Fort Weyr - Central Infirmary
This room looks fairly similar to most other infirmaries, with it's faint scent of antiseptic and an eerie quiet that goes along with convalescence. Rows of cots line both walls, each separated by a privacy screen. Breaking the line of cots along the outside wall is a entrance to the dragonhealing section of the infirmary. The far end of the oval room is filled with metal cabinets that hold the tools of the Weyrhealers trade, as well as a desk from which the healer can supervise his domain. Upon one wall rests a thick 'chart' containing the information on all patients within the infirmary.


It's kind of unfortunate to be cooped up inside on a beautiful summer day, especially considering how rarely Fort Weyr's weather can be called beautiful /and/ summery. It is, however, what comes with Candidacy, and so this lovely summer morning goes unnoticed by those inside doing chores. The infirmary is quiet, the couple of healers mostly doing desk work, and the candidates are, at least in theory, remaking the beds with clean linen while there are no patients. As it turns out, though, healers are /picky/ about how their beds are made. "This fancy corner thing's ridiculous," Inyri mutters, rolling her eyes as she fights with mitering a sheet for the fifteenth time. "Eighteen inches — ninety-degree angle — triangle —"

Totally unfortunate… and totally Khyonai's type of luck. The young man is entirely equipped well for the task of doing beds right, though: he smirks over at Inyri with surprising show of outward emotion. "Trust me," drolly stated; "This is nothing compared to what we have to do in the guard barracks." His hands are deft, and his end-product is considerably tidier than some of the other candidates' efforts. See? Being a guard DOES have it's perks!

"It's /more/ complicated than this?" Inyri just stares in horror at Khyonai for a moment, before finally pulling the bottom sheet taut enough she can put a top sheet over it — which means another corner mitering, this time on the other side. Giving it a look, she actually sighs once when realizing that she's got to go through that whole confusing process again. "I didn't know bed-making could ever get so complex and I made beds for the entire upstairs of a tavern, once. That was something like ten beds. In an hour. Because it wasn't this /intricate./" Someone's not too pleased, though her end result work is very neat and looks ship-shape — or maybe barracks-shape. Maybe that's part of the source of her frustration; everything Inyri does has to be perfect, and so it takes forever.

"Not necessarily complicated," Khyonai redacts himself; "But by necessity, less forgiving of errors." If you can't bounce a mark-piece off of it, of course… He frowns down at the sheet in his hand after a moment, but soon has whatever-it-is that he is doing mastered again. "Our sheets are less soft, though; easier to handle." If not necessarily nicer to sleep on. Probably has more to do with the frequency of washing than anything else… "Just feels odd to be working on a bed that isn't my own." His voice, a little rueful.

Inyri has moved on to the next bed, now, and is back to the beginning; unfolding the bottom sheet at the center and smoothing it forever until all wrinkles are gone. Maybe if she were a little less picky, this wouldn't take so long — but Faranth forbid anyone suggest that. Someone has to rest on this bed, after all! "It feels kind of weird sleeping in a bed that's not mine, too," she relates, thinking wistfully back on to when she had been sleeping above the tavern and not in the candidate barracks — since being Searched, there have definitely been extra lines forming around Inyri's eyes.

"Does make it difficult to get a /good/ night's sleep," Khyonai agrees, his voice distracted by the attention-demanding activity he's currently engaged in. "Especially if you wake up in the middle of the night not knowing where you are." His voice is wry at the end; he's not speaking from personal experience AT ALL.

"That and it's loud." Inyri has apparently moved on to complaining about the barracks at large; easier to do when there's not a crowd listening in, and she's been taught it's not good to sound /ungrateful/ for Search. That, and she's fond of Dtirae, and so wouldn't complain where anyone who might go on about what she said would hear her. Khyonai, though, has apparently earned her trust enough to get to hear: "You'd think people would all be tired enough from all the chores to not make a fuss all night. Talking, moving around. There's that one girl who moves /furniture/." Her pillowcase-smoothing takes on an added air of annoyance.

"I have not got enough pillows to put over my head to block all of it out," is Inyri's last thing to say about the furniture-moving. She isn't even commenting on the snoring; it's clearly eclipsed by Girl Who Moves Her Cot Around Constantly, Dragging It On The Floor. The boy who talks to himself at night, though, gets Inyri's head crooked to the side again, just ever-so-slightly, as she's doing her best to also concentrate on putting down a bedspread. "My littlest brother does that. He's pretty stressed all the time. Sounds awful — both for this kid and for the rest of you nearby. I do recommend sleeping underneath a pile of pillows, though if you've got someone dragging furniture," okay, so maybe earlier was not, quite, the last word, "it may not help."

A noise of sympathy from Khyonai; furniture moving. It's just /weird/. "I can't sleep with anything touching my face." It's a true fact. "Or covering my mouth, maybe. Stale air?" He's rambling, for Khy; it's because the monotony of the task stretching out in front of him, no doubt. "I feel for him, but I'm starting to feel for my sleep more. Maybe I should ask for a cot reassignment." His voice touches on resignation on that, though: what's to say that the new cot isn't going to be surrounded by even WORSE mouthbreathers or snorers or obsessive-compulsive night-time singers?

Inyri smirks, just slightly, as she looks back over at Khyonai again from her bedspread. It's a quiet sort of smirk, maybe a little mischievous or mocking, and the reasons behind that come to light when she speaks. "You could always just move it," is suggested, accompanied by an eyeroll. "I mean, it's obviously permissible." Never mind that the cot-moving girl is moving said cot around in the confines of her own area. She's still setting an example. "Is it horrible that I'm sitting here — well, I'm not really sitting — kind of hoping that someone gets injured so we've got something more interesting to do? And if we're bored, imagine how the healers feel." The healers are doing paperwork and probably are, at least, less bored. And glad they haven't got to do the bedmaking.

"I'll make sure to move it by /your/ cot. At night." Khyonai makes a face at Inyri; just a little one, but totally more than he typically endeavors. "I think we'd just be getting in the way," he directs as to replying to her hoping-someone-would-just-get-injured comment. "I may be a first-responder, but what I know is a thimbleful of what the actual Healers do." He gestures by his chin towards the closest knot of gossiping senior apprentices, over on the other side — all of them are excited to have candidates do the menial work, of course.

The cot comment, of course, is responded to with Inyri's tongue stuck out of her mouth. It's only for a split second, but she does actually dare to do it. To someone who could beat her up, nonetheless — but evidently she suspects he's not the type. "I'm sure you will," she says, and then pats the pillow down on the bed: that's done! Finally. In the time others have done seven, Inyri has done three. "I know some first aid too, but I'd suspect we'd be fetching things. Aren't healers chronically understaffed? And — suspect they're talking about us?" She leeeeans a little closer to the group of gossipers, trying to pick up on what they're saying. To no avail, of course: even this veteran newshound, with her actual subtle ability to overhear, can't make her hearing better just by changing position.

It's just a day for people to accomplish non-personality-predictive behaviors. Khyonai grins at the tongue-stuck-out-ness, shaking his head bemusedly. "Fetching? Understaffed?" Khyonai knows not about the dynamics of Healer staffing or operations. "Of course they're talking about us," is his reply; "We're the things that are new to the area. What else would they be talking about?" The two candidates are dressing cots in the onerous manner of very carefully folded sheets.

Somebody enters the infirmary, and is promptly met with a dismayed sound from the first Healer to notice her. Short blond hair is pulled back with a pink headband, which of course matches her pink summer dress. The short ankle boots are brown, but at least it's a nice contrast. The problem? She's dripping blood everywhere from some very nasty cuts on her hand and wrist. Zap does not look amused, but that's probably understandable given her current condition.

Wrinkling her nose up — this time, in a friendly-social kind of way rather than one of distaste — Inyri shrugs. "Actual work?" she hazards, though it's a longshot; if there are no patients at /all/, there can't be that much actual work for the apprentice-gossipers to do. "And yeah, they're usu—" Any explanation of understaffing in the Healercraft or needing people to fetch various objects to perform care is cut off as chaos occurs by the entryway; whirling around to the noise of the Healer, Inyri catches sight of Zapallie, and suddenly isn't sure what sort of reaction she's meant to have. "Well, when I wanted something to happen, I didn't want it to be somebody I knew. For the record," she sighs, before smoothing the bedspread and wandering over in that direction.

Dismay? That's SHOCK on Khyonai's face, as he happens to look up as Inyri goes about stating what she does. He's not necessarily surprised about Zapallie dripping vital fluids on the floor, but he *is* surprised at… "You look like the girl from Xanadu." Y'know. The baker. Harmony. The shock remains, though he finishes out with his folding and follows after Inyri, squinting at Zapallie as if somehow he may FORCE his brain to consolidate that-which-he-would-expect with that-which-is-in-front-of-him.

Any other time, any other day, Zapallie MIGHT have a biting retort for Khy. Today it's a perky grin. "Does Harmony often bleed all over herself?" she asks, looking down at the drip marks on her skirt. "Can I get a towel, or something?" she asks the apprentice gaping at her. Apparently, she's never seen a little bit of blood before. This, at least, sends the apprentice into action, and soon she's got a towel! "Hey Inyri," she greets, like this is all normal, while she's wrapping her hand up. "Do you want to know what changing bedsheets in here teaches you?" Yes, now the girl's all cheek.

"How to drive yourself slowly insane with finnicky detail-oriented tasks?" Inyri tries, playing along with the normalcy of the situation. Hey, maybe it /is/ normal. To Inyri, everything about being a candidate is still weird, so the only way to counteract that is behave as if all strange things are everyday occurrences. "Because it has definitely had that effect on me — you mean the baker?" Even if Inyri hasn't actually met Harmony, she knows who she is; it's her job, isn't it? What is apparently also her job is to gently prod Khyonai in the shoulder. "Khy. You froze."

"If she did," Khyonai comments thoughtfully, regarding Harmony and bleeding, "I'm pretty sure she would look just like this." He eyes in between Zap and Inyri until Inyri actually prods him. "Do you /see/ her? What she's wearing?" He thinks this is a horrible attempt to get some people to have a heart-attack. No. Really.

Zapallie rolls her eyes at the two of them. "It's not my fault you haven't seen my new wardrobe, Khy." Clearly, the nickname has stuck. "Best get used to it. I've seen the light, thanks to you. I should really look like a girl. Don't you think?" she takes a twirl, smirking over her shoulder at him as she turns. "Anyway…I'd better go get this bandaged. And then I have to clean broken glass out of my clothing press, since somebody was kind enough to fill my underwear drawer with it." Lucky her! "Have fun bouncing marks off of bed corners," she adds cheerfully before going to find somebody with some bandages or something.

Inyri is back to looking horrified, though it's not at Khyonai's comparison anymore; it's the description of what's been done to Zap's drawer. "What, /seriously/? People pull way too much on you —" she blurts, before cutting herself off; now's not the time for conversations about how Inyri doesn't approve of bullying. And considering she does occasionally approve of friendly pranking, her views on that are a little confusing anyway, even to her. "It's a dress," she tells Khyonai with a smaller smile, "and girls wear dresses sometimes. She /is/ a girl." Inyri thinks this entire thing is hilarious. "And she's right — we should probably get back to work."

"It's the end of the world," Khyonai mutters, mostly to himself. It may be overheard, though, as he turns back to his duties. He'll be perpetually shaking his head throughout the next set of bed-linens, though, and occaisionally stating stuff like: "/Pink/?" or "A /dress/?" to thin air.


'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.