Fort Weyr - Living Caverns
This cavern, having been created by bubbles in the volcanic flow of this extinct volcano, has a breathtaking ceiling — a vast dome that arches high above the heads of the weyrfolk that scurry around beneath it. A hollow echo can be heard from loud enough noises, and the chatterings of various firelizards are consequently multiplied into a chaotic babble. All in all, the living cavern is a loud place.

Tables are scattered around the room, apparently in no particular order. Over to one side near the kitchens, two medium sized serving tables are constantly spread with snacks, klah, and other goodies. The tables look worn, yet perfectly fitted to the atmosphere of the caverns. In the 'corners' of the cavern, smaller two and four place tables are set up for more private talks or just a less chaotic atmosphere in which to eat.


Evening has begun to close in on the Weyr, though the cloudy skies make it difficult to tell that the sun is setting. The wet day, like so many of late, has lead to many rain cloaks and muddy boots lining the walls of the cavern to dry while pitchers of steaming klah and tea are at nearly every table. This evening's meal has been made with the chill weather in mind, hot vegetable soup and a rump roast balanced by mashed tubers and steamed greens. Idralia has collected a soup mug and tea and retired to a chair near one of the heat vents, enjoying the play of warm air as she sips at the soup. The chairs nearest her are vacant, as it is still a bit early for most to have started their meal.

A trumpet echoes throughout the weyr, the particular tones of this dragon's vocals having not been heard in this weyr for quite some time. Turns, even, since this gold's low rumbles and alto roars has reflected /just/ so off the stone walls and reverberated to the ground below. As the aging queen makes herself comfortable in the bowl, eying the mud with much distaste and making her way to the driest ground she can find, she does pause long enough to let her rider dismount. The middle aged woman then steps into the Living Cavern, pausing just inside the entrance to let her hazel eyes scan the room as she slowly unfastens her violet riding cloak and hangs it on a hook to dry. Then, she drifts towards the hearths, her heavy skirts rustling softly as she moves towards the old aunties and uncles who always seek the warmth of the fires when the world chills around them. A few quiet moments are spent between old, old friends, hugs given and returned, hands clasped, soft laughter shared before the goldrider walks to a free spot at Idralia's table and settles into a chair, hands clasped politely in her lap, her posture straight and eyes keen. "Good evening," she says, voice soft and melodic where her dragon's is earthy and gravely.

The cold weather does not affect Fort's hardened weyrleader, the heat from his body steams off of him as he walks outside. The thing glossy coat of sweat and no doubt a bit of water tossed on to cool off after a long workout. He steps through the doors and then salutes all around have him shaking his head and laughing a bit, but saluting the others regardless. As the tall bronzer moves across the room towards the serving table, the towel around his shoulders is draped over a chair that just happens to have Elara and Idralia sitting in them. He doesn't stop but moves on and takes two plates in one hand on the other on his arm, he fills the two plates heavily with the tubbers and roast, some hot warm buns added on with some of the heavy sauce that is nearby, a large bowl of soup and a mug of klah later it's all done. While weyrleaders may need their food to grow, you'd think this bronzer to be growing a redwood, or learning to juggle with all the things in his hand. Soon back to the table with all his small meals, and he sits down where his towels is, he looks around towards Elara and Idralia. "Well hello you…wait Elara….why…it's been ages since I last saw you…" The bronzer laughs setting down his food with a bit of a slam klah spilling a bit. "Don't tell me….they've sent you to straighten me out…" The bronzer's deep laugh echoes in the cavern, he looks to Idralia and says. "I remember you….I do….your name…." If she lets him he will keep thinking….or waiting for her to say it.

While Idralia may be a relative newcomer to the Weyr she had visited before, when Elara was in residence, and so the goldrider's features are vaguely familiar to her. However, that only serves to make Elara's arrival at her table more awkward for the crafter, for the Techie knows she should know who this woman is, but can't quite place her. How frustrating! "And good evening to you, ma'am," is Idralia's prompt response, studying her new tablemate through her short lashes. R'oc comes to her rescue, though he probably doesn't know it, supplying a name to go with the face. Elara. Right. Filing that away, she smiles briefly to R'oc as he struggles to come up with her name. "Idralia," she offers promptly. "I'm the Techcrafter who keeps the heating and cooling systems behaving," she adds, in case it helps him remember next time.

Elara chuckles quietly as her hazel eyes watch R'oc's arrival, and then she gives her head a shake, tucking a strand of grey hair behind her ear. "It'd take more than me to do that, R'oc," she tells the bronzerider fondly, her smile warm. "How has my weyr been in my absence?" Despite the possessive word choice, there is mirth in her voice that betrays her teasing, since she long, long since gave up her seniorship. Then, her attention shifts smoothly to Idralia, and she extends a calloused hand. "Elara, Wiyaneth's," she introduces softly, smile just as warm for the other woman. "And it's a good thing you do, too. Though I'll admit that the use of fires and windows to manage temperature has always been my preference. Ah, thank you," she says, her attention divided when a drudge arrives with a small tray, upon which is the goldrider's blue dragon china tea set, kettle steaming. "Either of you care for some tea?" she says, clearly pleased that the kitchens have remembered her.

"Whats tea…." The bronzer says taking a large bite of the cut up roast and putting it into his lips, he looks over towards Idralia after she says that and says with a bit of a full mouth. "I knew your name…." Sure he did and he'll never change that story, soon the food is swallowed and he turns towards Elara. "Well it's all fixed now that I'm in charge of it….got things running smoothly. Why when you got the looks that can charm and the muscle that can bruise, there isn't anything this weyrleader can't do." The boasting is quite heavy with seriousness, and as he smiles and turns to Idralia he whispers almost. "We have a heating system…whats that?" Oh poor poor lovable lug this R'oc, he smiles and then turns to Elara taking another bite. "And what brings you to My weyr today….I hear say you were traving all sorts of places." R'oc laughs and then picks up his mug of klah.

Idralia watches the byplay between the two riders with reserved curiosity, trying to not be overly intrusive while still picking up what she can of their relationship. Clearly, they are on good terms. "A pleasure to meet you, ma'am," she replies, briefly clasping the offered hand before returning it to holding her mug of tea. "I'm glad the system is here, since it provides much more work for me than helping with the computer systems. Fort has several excellent computer crafters on site." The offer of tea is politely declined with the comment, "I already have some, thank you." R'oc's question has her almost choking on said tea, and she coughs into a napkin to clear her throat. "I can show you later," she squeaks out, dabbing at her mouth.

Elara laughs lightly as she pours a cup for herself and blows across the top of the liquid, sending up tendrils of steam. "That's a low blow, R'oc," she says, giving him a pout that doesn't reach her eyes. "I'm sure of that," she agrees, another chuckle coming from her pursed lips before she takes a sip of the tea and sighs happily, returning the cup to the tray with a soft clink. "Ah," she says, looking around the caverns once more, her eyes distant. "Memories, I suppose? No matter how far we roam, we are always pulled back here. A'rtomus is busy cleaning out our weyr, which I thank you for leaving for us." Her nod to Idralia is pleased, as is her smile. "Tea is the best drink Pern has to offer." Then her nose wrinkles and she hides her frown behind the rim of her cup once more.

"Well if I didn't leave it I'd have to have you in my weyr….and well I can't have that too much trouble." The weyrleader smiles and then looks at her pout. "hey now…don't pout….you know I have a chip in my armor for pouts." He turns to Idralia and smiles. "Thanks you, I'd love to go over that and make sure everything is up to date." And make sure he knows what it is that she does…and what that whole system thing is. He takes a sip of his hot klah and then eyes the tea. "What kind of tea is it….wait it's not that dirt pouch stuff…..is it? Ate the pouch when it was sitting in my tea….how you ladies like tea is beyond me." R'oc then eyes Elara and says. "You know…i'm actually kinda glad your back….do you remember when we first me." The bronzer laughs.

It is with quiet dignity, or something of that sort, that Idralia resumes drinking her soup, and her tea. She is seated at a table near one of the heat vents, sharing said table with a sweaty, towel-bearing R'oc and a much more presentable Elara. Wiyaneth certainly made the goldrider's return known a few minutes earlier, and Idralia is somewhat out of her depth with both the Weyrleader and a retired weyrwoman at her table. So she sits there, quietly listening to the two catch up as she has her early dinner.

R'oc the rather sweaty bronzer just having come from the training grounds smiles towards Elara, he eyes the woman and then shakes his head. "Your telling me you don't remember the visit from the Eastern bronzer who sweet talked every girl that passed his way." The bronzer looks over at Idralia. "Your lucky one you are….if it was a few weeks earlier I'd be givin you the look…" The bronzer makes the look towards the tech, and then chuckles. "Where are you from Idr….er…where are you from?" The bronzer says looking towards the girl.

Miki comes into the caverns, a bar of soap in hand and sniffing the air, following sort of invisible trail like a canine. It isn't long before the woman is heading over to the table where Elara, Idralia, and R'oc are seated. The tiny greenrider doesn't look sickly anymore, though she is skinnier than usual, and there's a rather annoyed look on her face. Miki is also wearing a rather loose flowy shirt, different than her normal well fitting clothes and no doubt a subtle attempt to hide the tiny baby bump she's sporting. Not that the entire Weyr doesn't already know. When she finally makes it to the table there's a moment of surprise as she spots Elara and a polite nod and smile. A warm greeting is given to Idralia too, but then she's turning to R'oc all warmth gone and a definite scowl on her face. "You smell DISGUSTING." So disgusting that she must smoosh the soap bar against her nose and sniff at it.

Idralia seems a bit surprised when Elara turns to her, though she doesn't hesitate to respond to the goldrider's query. "I didn't think you did, ma'am. I'm from Southern Boll originally." She would have stopped there, really, especially with R'oc giving her odd looks, but since he also asked about her background she should probably elaborate. Perhaps it will keep them from asking her more questions; she really would rather listen and learn. "I spent about eight Turns apprenticed at Landing and another six at various posts after walking the tables. This is my second stay at the Weyr, in fact, and I've been here for about right about two Turns now." Miki's arrival is of great relief to Idra, but that is short-lived as her friend takes note of R'oc sweaty state. "Here we go…" she says softly to herself, hiding behind her mug of quickly-cooling soup.

Elara eyes R'oc with her brows lifting, and then she laughs, waving a hand. "Must have not stuck in my mind, I'm sorry," she says lightly, tone teasing and eyes keen. That same keen gaze meets Miki, looking the greenrider up and down for a moment, and then settling on a warm smile, just as polite. That polite smile is shaken by a laugh, though, and she shakes her head. "Put it on /him/ dear," she says to Miki. "Putting it up your nose is only a temporary solution." Then, smiling, her attention returns to Idralia. "That's very interesting. Do you enjoy Fort?"

The bronzer is listening somewhat intently, mostly his eyes glazing over a little as he thinks of something else. But it's the performance of the small eating….or rather smelling for two greenie that comes with soap. The bronzer's eyes quickly glance over towards the girl and his brow raises, but the way she speaks to him has a light tint in his skin. A smile leaving his lips, and he eyes the girl, there is a rather serious and hard look in his eyes. "I'm sorry….Miki…can you say that again." The bronzer's look is anything but warm, and the fact stands that he is still the weyrleader.

Miki doesn't seem to here Idralia's quiet comment, though she does hear Elara. The woman takes the soap down first looking at it, then at Elara, and then at R'oc and hen back and forth between the three again. "You…are a very very smart person." The retired weyrwoman gets an enthusiastic smile which of course turns sour when she faces their current Weyrleader. If she notices that cold voice or any oncoming danger she doesn't show it. She's a bit far gone it seems. "You smelly nasty."

Idralia snorts softly into her soup at Elara's words of wisdom to the hormonal greenrider. If only it were that simple. She scoots her chair as unobtrusively as possible away from the impending disaster between Weyrleader and greenrider, wincing at R'oc's tone. "What? Oh, yes. I, ah, I really quite like it here, most days," she replies to Elara, reaching over to tug her two mugs closer to her new chair position. She looks between R'oc and Miki, debating whether to interject anything, but ends up keeping her mouth shut. Probably a good idea, that. "I've been getting along well enough, and except for the last season or so the weather has been lovely."

Elara sighs, shaking her head at Miki as a very disapproving roar sounds from outside. "My dear," she says patiently to Miki, carefully lifting her tray with the blue dragon china set and handing it off to a trusted and waiting drudge, "there is a fine line between being funny, and being rude." Though at this point she silences herself, not wishing to step on R'oc's toes by doling out her own discipline. So she sips her tea and watches the Weyrleader expectantly. "I'm glad," she adds as a soft aside to Idralia.

"A fine line indeed…." The bronzer pushes his plate away, he takes a deep breath and closes his eyes. The large man stands up, his form clearly visible through the thin tunic. And the living caverns is aware of the impeding storm that is moving towards the area, the room suddenly quiet, not a bite can be heard nor a peep other than the movement of the of the bronzer as he opens his eyes and stares at Miki. There is a look in his eyes that could curdle the blood of any rider, and a few of the drudges move to the kitches away from the threa. "You are M'lo's assistant are you not Miki….I would assume that he's taught you about knowing and respecting the leadership of this weyr….because if he hasn't! I will make it a point to make sure that he takes care of it…so that I don't have to. If you ahve something to say to any of the leadership of this weyr you say it with respect…you say it with duty…and you say it with some sort of tact! Is that understood!?" The bronzer looks across to the girl, some of the others are rather confused about the control in his voice even at that.

"I'm not trying to be funny." The tiny greenie states quite seriously to Elara. "It may be rude but it's true." And she's been doing this for the past couple of weeks. She takes a deep breath then, facing R'oc again and certainly not backing down. "Leave M'lo out of this." The greenie is practically hissing back. "Fine. Polite and with tact. Dear Weyrleader, I'm sorry to inform you that you don't smell quite pleasant right now. Would you indulge me by pretty please taking a bath. As for it being dutiful….yes I should behave as fitting for the Weyr and you of course have an image to keep as well do you not? Your image is being broken currently. A bath will fix it quite nicely." Miki is certainly not helping the situation at all. Irdalia probably has the right idea and Miki /should/ follow her example, but of course doesn't.

Tact is something Idralia has! In fact, now seems to be a good time to tactfully withdraw from the caverns. As much as the woman would like to support her friend, there isn't much that can be said in a situation like this. So Idralia murmurs a soft, "It's been a pleasure having tea with you," to the goldrider, nods respectfully to the Weyrleader, and very quietly makes her way to deposit her cups with the subdued kitchen staff. She'll just go play with that finicky HVAC system until Miki and R'oc wrap up their moment of conflict. She can always check on Miki later, right?

Elara nods, not bothering to hide her smile of approval for the Weyrleader as she sets her china cup on the tray patiently held by the drudge, and rises. "If you will excuse me," she says softly to the assembled, "Wiyaneth requires some soothing and reassuring that not all new riders are this disrespectful. R'oc, I am at your disposal tomorrow should you have need. Idralia, it was a pleasure." She stares at Miki and frowns, shaking her head. "Sarcasm is not becoming," is all the older goldrider says as she heads for the exit.

The bronzer doel little but waive the two off, the look doesn't leave the green riders for a second, the anger filling up. If he had a meter he would have broken, he nods towards Elara at the last moment but breaks not gaze nore anything. Most others having seen R'oc's temper need not want to be here, and are making a quick exit their way out. "I was being conciderate…..and I was trying to account for you being with child. I am the weyrleader young green rider and as such you need to find more respect before you come talk to me." The bronzer move over towards the girl and then he says. "Disrespect no matter how you phrase it my dear is just that, and the only one that is allowed to give orders between the two of us is me. "If you are so worried about my cleanliness….well then Miki I'm going to make sure I am well kept…." The bronzer looks to all the riders around the room. "This is not just for Miki….things have been lax in my absense and do not for one second think that I will let it stay that way! We are going back to a time of respect and duty long since gone, and if you think you don't need to follow the rules. Then it will be me who you will be dealing with, is that understood!" There are many head nods and many yes weyrleaders heard around the room, but it's the look he gives to Miki that makes the others look away. "Now you are with child and as such it's not proper for you to be M'lo's assistant…..but this will be temporary….I'm going to make sure you know how to be respectul. You are to report to my weyr every morning upon sun up, and you are to begin cleaning my weyr. Upon finishing that you will make follow me around and you will be extra polight and kind to everyone no matter the smell. This includes the training grounds, this includes the goat pens, the stables….all of it….now is your duties clear miss green rider." The stone cold look in R'oc's eyes mean business should she poke more at this mountain ready to explode there will be no more holding back.

"I'm not becoming." The greenie doesn't really bother much with the leaving except for a couple of nods, which is somewhat surprising. Miki then turns back to R'oc with a glare which suddenly turns to a sickly sweet smile. "That's fine. I really don't need you to be considerate of me. As long as you don't bother M'lo I'm fine with whatever. I'll clean everything and be the most polite rider you've ever known. I hope you enjoy your morning wakeup calls and having me follow you around. I'll be sure to make it entertaing and pleasant."

'The World of Pern(tm)' and 'The Dragonriders of Pern(r)' are copyright to Anne McCaffrey (c) l967, 2000. This is a recorded online session, by permission of the author but generated on PernWorld MUSH for the benefit of people unable to attend.