Fort Weyr - Vegetable Gardens

While the vegetable garden is by no means large enough to fully sustain the Weyr on a regular basis, it does suffice to fill temporary lapses in certain supplies well enough. Most of the vegetables are of the most basic kinds, from fingerroots and tubers to garlic and onions with various types of legumes and squashes from time to time; hardy things that tend to require very little intervention on the part of the cooks and gardeners that tend to them. The vast majority of the plants are planted directly in the ground, but some things — like the tomatoes and some of the peppers — have been placed in half-barrels that keep them off the ground and, presumably, out of trouble. All of the plants are labeled with plastic markers to indicate what's what.
Toward the back are a pair of wooden structures — one has windows and looks to be a sort of shed full of tools and various workstations, while the other is clearly a storage facility for the various herbs and vegetables that are harvested here. The location also makes it convenient for both Healers and cooks alike to get what they need and return quickly to work. Between the two is a manual pump that can be used to provide water, along with a few buckets nearby for the purpose of transporting that water to where it needs to go.


The rain is spotty today, which is why Hotaru is in a sweater type of thing with a hood on it. It's only a little chilly, and a bit damp. It's late morning, but the overcast keeps things cool. Hotaru has started her lunch break it would seem. She's brought it with her, or maybe she's pilfered from the surrounding garden since things are starting to bear fruit. Either way, she sits up on top of the tool shed cross legged eating something that resembles a plum. Some Pernese summer fruit hybrid thing.

The gardens are a brilliant place to turn to when one is trying to escape to relative peace and quiet. With the rains, not many would be out and about working the plots. Th'ero wanders in, dressed still in dark riding gear that looks damp from previous soakings from earlier rainfall. The Weyrleader had likely gone to oversee the first rotations of candidates outgoing to the various Halls. Now free for some time, he's seeking some comfort as far from the public eye as he can be without vanishing entirely. Pausing only to do the same as Hotaru may have done, the bronzerider plucks one of the riper looking fruits from the plants and promptly begins to snack on it. He may never have noticed the weyrbrat sitting there, if it weren't for the fact she's /on/ the tool shed. Slowing to a stop again, he peers up at her with a questioning frown. "Morning," he greets in a low, drawling tone. "Comfortable?" he asks next, smirking. Which is short for: why are you up there?

Hotaru comes here once in a while. Usually when she has chores out here. Which, given the fact she's got dirt on her face and pants, is probably the case today. There are plenty of quiet alcoves one can hide away in. It was easier not to be disturbed when you're perched up and away from everyone. And not at eye-level. "Morning, sir." Hotaru greets the weyrleader with a grin between bites. "Mm." Is short for 'yes'. Also for 'there is no reason' for why she's perched up so high. Other than the fact that she can be. "I was meditating. And taking a break. Do you meditate?" Does he even know what that is? "It's relaxing. I bet you could use some relaxation, no?"

No, he doesn't know what it means. Not fully. Th'ero gives her a long look, frowning still with his half eaten fruit forgotten in one hand. "Mediating." he echoes back, as if to test the word on his tongue. Grimacing, he adds, "So long as it doesn't wind up with you tumbling off of that shed and cracking your skull." If that doesn't make it obvious that the Weyrleader needs some relaxation, then the tense and stiff way he holds himself should. "How… is it relaxing? Is it an exercise of sorts?" Confused or not, the bronzerider is curious enough to linger and pry her for more information. Waiting on the answer, he takes another bite of the fruit, gaze never quite leaving Hotaru.

Hotaru finishes up her fruit and tosses the pit aside someplace. It's all natural! Actually it'll probably start growing another tree in some less than prime location. But what does she care? They can pluck it out later. The redhead slides her way down off the shed, landing gracefully on her feet. Has she done this before? Clearly she has. "Not exercising, no. Kind of the opposite, actually. I like to think of it kind of as wiping the slate clean. The goal is to find inner harmony by relaxing and not thinking." She moves to a patch of ground that's not wet, then sits down cross legged and waves the weyrleader over. "Sit like me." Time for a demonstration!

Th'ero isn't really one to nag over where one will toss the fruit pits and likewise mimics the same behavior when he finishes the rest of his fruit. Apparently he does not care either. "So it's a mind exercise," the Weyrleader murmurs, mildly intrigued now as he watches Hotaru slide down gracefully to her feet. But he also sounds a little cautious, uncertain. As she sits, her gesture to join her is met with a wary look. Demonstration? Who said anything about hands on experience. "I… don't think I make the best subject for this sort of thing." he says with a faint smile, almost apologetic. Stubborn, stick in the mud! He doesn't know how to relax and apparently doesn't know '"fun" when he has it practically offered to him. Regardless, he does step a little closer — just a little. To be polite, of course. "Is this something mindhealer's use?" he asks next, somewhat abruptly while giving Hotaru another lingering look from head to toe. "Or just something you do on your downtime?"

Hotaru grins to the weyrleader as he tosses away his pit. At least she won't be getting into trouble for tossing hers away! "Not exercise. Well, sort of. More like relaxing exercise. Like… stretching." Or yoga. She tilts her head at him. "Eh? You're not a subject, and it's not hard." Does Th'ero not -want- to relax? That's what it's starting to seem like! "Just come sit like me." And apparently Hotaru is stubborn about it. "I dunno. Maybe they do sometimes. My grandpa taught me how. He says our ancestors were doing it for generations. Sometimes it's good to clear your head. If you have too much going on, sometimes it's hard to focus in on the task at hand. Meditation can help by giving you a clean slate. And helping to relax you, even if it's only for a short while." She looks up at Th'ero. "I usually do it at least once a day. It helps me even when I'm exercising or doing chores."

"Stretching." Th'ero echoes again and now looks completely skepitcal. Stretching, in a physical sense, he can understand. A relaxing mind exercise that stretches it? Seems to escape his grasp for now. "I'm not worried over it being difficult or not." he replies dryly, back going up over the implication that he's balking. Which is is, but not for that reason. The Weyrleader does want to relax, he just generally doesn't in public. "So this is something the Ancients did?" he murmurs, even more wary now than before. "And it's trustworthy?" So he remains standing for some time more, quietly listening to the rest of the explanation as he stares down at Hotaru. Finally, logic prevails and with a low exhale, Th'ero moves to join her though awkwardly. She's relatively harmless enough in appearance that he feels no threat from her offer. So he'll entertain her by following along — for now.

"Stretching." Hotaru echoes the weyrleader. Affirming what she's said before. "What are you worried about, then?" This was hardly a public spot. Sure, anyone could waltz in on them, but it wasn't very likely. "Mmhm. At least the ones related to me, I guess. Your ancestors might not be the same as mine." She raises a brow at him over her red-tinted glasses. "Trustworthy? I'm not sure why it wouldn't be trustworthy." Though Th'ero doesn't seem to trust anything that might be relaxing or fun. Hotaru is rather harmless. Now if it were Zapallie asking Th'ero to meditate… Once he's settled, Hotaru shuts her eyes. "Okay, now shut your eyes. Are they shut? Now relax and breathe deeply…"

"Nothing," Th'ero replies briskly and without hesitation. If he has worries (and he does), he's keeping them to himself. The Weyrleader isn't about to go into a long winded explanation. It would mean opening up too much and well… as harmless as Hotaru is, he does not wholly trust her. Plus, they've only crossed paths once. Just him sitting here, following her demonstration is pushing his limits of interaction with folk. His brows raise when she goes on to tell him to close his eyes and almost goes to protest. Almost. But he grows a spine, sucks it up and follows suit. But he sits as rigid as a board, tense and alert in all senses but his sight, since his eyes do close. "This is strange." he mutters, but he does as told. What a strange picture this paints… the Weyrleader being instructed in meditation by a weybrat half his age.

Hotaru might sneak up on Th'ero and give him a wet-willy or worse! Maybe Th'ero dropped the soap one too many times in the guard barracks or something, now he's paranoid. Hotaru is a weyrbrat, so maybe she doesn't deserve to be trusted, but really she's harmless. At least whatever he's going to be subjected to, Hotaru is already engaged in. "Shh… Okay. Now just picture a white canvas. Examine it's pure whiteness, brush away all the imperfections. Now imagine the canvas is stretching out in all directions, as far as you can see. It's just one big sea of white." There's a long pause then, as Hotaru gives Th'ero a while to imagine.

That would be a very swift lesson for Hotaru to learn: you do not sneak up on Th'ero and touch him. It will not end nicely. And his paranoid behavior does not have anything to do with the guards. His secrets are his secrets though and the Weyrleader will hold them fiercely. Shushed, he frowns a little but tries his best to follow Hotaru's instructions. He has the imagery, perhaps begins to settle into it, but something jarrs him from his thoughts. Could be the call of some avian or any random sound that has him jerking from the trance. He gives a heavy exhale, slightly frustrated and perhaps feeling a little embarrassed. "I cannot stay focused like that," he admits with another smirk. "Not easily." Giving up so easily? Seems so.

Hotaru doesn't intend on sneaking up on Th'ero really. That wouldn't help the weyrleader declench any. Maybe someday Hotaru will learn Th'ero's secrets, but it is unlikely. Hotaru opens one eye when Th'ero exhales, then chuckles a bit. "Can not? Or will not? You should try again maybe. When you're alone or something, and can relax. I think I make you nervous. Or maybe I make people nervous in general." Hotaru gets to her feet then, padding over to one of the fruit trees, and hopping up to grab a branch before pulling herself up into it. She climbs up a bit, and then walks along a thick branch a bit wobbily. "Maybe you would prefer learning some hand-to-hand combat techniques. My grandpa taught me some of those, too."

It's very unlikely most, even the Weyrwoman, will ever know Th'ero's secrets. He is not a secret sharing type of guy. "Perhaps," he agrees and then snorts. "Can not. I /did/ try," The Weyrleader stresses and then shakes his head, idly plucking where the fabric of his riding gear folds at his knees. "It's not that you make me nervous. You pose no threat," he admits with a crooked but vague smile. Suddenly Hotaru is on her feet again and heading for the tree. Puzzled, Th'ero rises as well but doesn't go climbing. He only stares at her again, uncertain exactly how to gauge the weyrbat now, though it's probably tilting towards "strange". At the mention of hand-to-hand combat, he shoots her an incredulous look. "You know that sort of fighting technique? Why ever-for? Interested in a position among the Guards?" he asks and sounding just a touch perplexed. But he's curious again. Why wouldn't he be? "So what is this technique then? Tell me first, if you can. Then I'll decide if it's… safe for even attempting."

Th'ero can keep his secrets! For now. Hotaru giggles a bit as he claims she doesn't pose any threat. But she doesn't press him about trying harder. The weyrbrat is strange. About some things at least. She clearly didn't grow up on a normal cothold, it would seem. "Techniques. Have you ever heard of martial arts?" She giggles a bit more, reaching up to hang by a tree branch. Her shirt bunches up, exposing her belly as she swings a bit by her arms. "No, I don't want to join the guards. I don't like to fight. It's hard to explain. It's a series of stances and moves to help throw your opponent off-balance, so that you have the upper hand and can deal powerful blows to them. Obviously I wouldn't be actually beating you up. Just showing you how."

"No, I'm afraid I have not. Is this another thing of the Ancients?" Th'ero drawls, sounding vaguely amused. When Hotaru hangs from the branch though he averts his gaze and feigns idle interest elsewhere. It's obvious enough that he's keeping interest in the conversation though, as he replies easily enough. "Sounds simple and yet complicated. And not at all effective in armed combat. At least hand-to-hand can come into play even when armed. But these… "stances" seem more like another form of… meditation was it?" Maybe he doesn't quite grasp the concept. He does seem puzzled though, frowning even though he's not facing the weyrbrat. "You don't like to fight and yet you know fighting techniques. For what purposes?" Now she's becoming an enigma! Th'ero doesn't like puzzles it seems.

"Yep." Hotaru says about it being another thing of the Ancients. Oh no! Th'ero might see Hotaru's bellybutton! How scandalous! She chuckles a bit. "Well the point would be to surprise your opponent if you can, and get into close quarters." She slips down off the tree, jumping and landing close to Th'ero. "Or if you can't, you learn to anticipate your opponent's next move, so you can gain the advantage that way. Weapons are heavy, so it's easier to anticipate and adjust with your own body. At least that's what my grandpa said." She grins. "Gramma just told me to stay in the trees, and use my bow." She shrugs. "I guess it's sort of like meditating in a way. It's good exercise. And if I for some reason I do get into a fight or whatever…"

Scandalous? Th'ero was only being respectful… of course! And well, those plants over there are fascinating. Really. As Hotaru lands close to him, the Weyrleader side steps away a little, giving her a sidelong but curious glance, gaze scrutinizing. She really is baffling him, what with her quirky knowledge. "I can understand the logic behind that," he agrees slowly, taking a few moments to mull over the information she gives him on her more elaborate explanation. "Your gramma also had sense. Sometimes it's better to be in the distance then up close." Whatever that means. Th'ero is looking a little distracted, but it could just be him lost in thought. "Have you ever taught these stances to anyone?" he asks, finally turning to stare directly at the weyrbrat, brows knitted together and seemingly quite serious over the question. "I could see it being useful for self defence…" he ventures to add and his tone is drifting. Speaking out loud? Highly likely.

Hotaru is a bit young to be catching the Weyrleader's attention. At least once she's back on the ground her clothes move back to their normal positions. She looks up at him through those red glasses she wears, then laces her fingers behind her head with a grin. "If a feline is after you or something, yes. Or a crazy man with a sword." Hotaru shakes her head when he asks if she's taught anyone. "Nope. Only had them taught to me. Why? You want to know if they're effective? I could beat you up. That'd prove it, right?" She giggles then. "I'm teasing! I probably couldn't beat you up anyways." The weyrbrat wanders over to a weedy patch of plants and squats to pull out some of the weeds.

Th'ero only snorts, mouth curving up in the barest of amused smiles. "Obviously," he drawls to the mention of felines or sword wielding opponents. He doesn't seem wholly surprised by Hotaru's response, but he asks the question all the same. "Why not?" And then he does chuckle dryly, shaking his head. "No, you could not. And I'm afraid that I'm a little leery in even trying these stances." As she wanders away and back to her task, the Weyrleader lingers a bit behind, using the time to drift in thought, distracted. "Can these "stances" be practiced solo or do they require a sparring partner?" he'll ask after a considerable pause of silence.

Hotaru tilts her head to Th'ero. "Why haven't I taught them to anyone? No one else seemed that interested. It's sort of a family thing, I guess." Hotaru just grins wryly at Th'ero when he affirms that she couldn't beat him up. Apparently she might think different! But she doesn't say anything. So maybe she doesn't think different. It's hard to tell. Hotaru seems surprised to find the weyleaders still standing there. Also that he keeps on about the fighting stances. "Some can be practiced solo. The basic ones. Others you'll need a partner to practice the moves on." She eyes him curiously. "Don't you have other people to do the fighting for you, anyways?"

"Perhaps you have had the wrong audience then. I'd know more then a few of the younger Guards who likely would…" Th'ero suggests idly as he gives a subtle nod to her reply. Her wry grin has him quirking a brow though, but he doesn't question her on that at least. Maybe she could take him on and probably could take him down. The Weyrleader is likely not to really wish to spar or fight a woman, let alone a girl. Unless, of course, they were armed and attacking him first. Different story then. "Not always," Th'ero replies with another snort. "And sometimes I prefer to do my own fighting." And sometimes it cannot be helped. But he doesn't go so far as to explain it that deeply. There are some things folk are just better off not knowing. "Ahh. So they're flexible when it comes to that. Practical." Unlike weapon training or most sparring that he's familiar with. Yes, the Weyrleader is still there but not wholly without purpose or reason, aside from bagering poor Hotaru with his vague and subtle questions. Eventually, he's reaching into his jacket pocket and pulls out a knot. A white one. "Bet you could get a few Candidates interested in your techniques. Faranth knows they'd be an interesting twist on the physical training chores." Rather then wait for Hotaru to take the knot, he tosses it at her. A test of reflexes? Maybe. "So?" Th'ero drawls then, whether or not she catches it. "Up for taking on the challenge of standing as a Candidate for Zuvaleyuth and Velokraeth's clutch?"

Hotaru chuckles. "Maybe. I dunno. I doubt most of the guards would take me seriously." She'd have to beat someone up for real to get that. Hotaru is more of a pacifist really. She wouldn't beat Th'ero up even if he was attacking her, she'd just avoid his swings and maybe knock him out if she got tired. "That seems awful dangerous for the weyrleader to be fighting." She eyes him for a moment, then nods. "I suppose. It's more fun with a partner though. The rest can be practiced as another form of meditation though." Hotaru catches the knot as it's tossed at her, then stands up again. She rubs it in her fingers a bit, then looks at him warily. "Me? Well, I suppose so. I bet I can outrun most of the candidates, at the least." She chuckles. "Thanks, weyrleader." The knot is tucked into her pocket for the time being. "I guess I'll need to report to the barracks then?"

"The older ones are a little stuck in their ways. The younger one's not so much." Th'ero admits and this time he does seem a bit amused. The Weyrleader knows it's highly unlikely that Hotaru would ever approach the guards, but the conversation was likely just a front for his real purpose of lingering about. Imagine his surprise then if she actually went and did it! And it may count, since there are two ex-guard Candidates among the ranks. "It's awful dangerous for anyone to fight. But we Weyrleader's are not untouchable. Sometimes we are put into situations where we have to defend ourselves or defend others. And I am not the type to stand back and let others be injured because of my rank." he says firmly. Some of the tension leaves his shoulders when she does take the knot and maybe the reason he couldn't focus was because of a certain eavesdropping pale bronze. "I, for some reason, do no doubt that you could. Just be sure that if you do share your knowledge that no one winds up hurt…" he warns with another dry chuckle. Her thanks have him nodding his head, a touch awkward. "Ah yes… you have until nightfall to report. Until then you are free to settle your affairs, finish any work. You will have to report to the Headwoman as well. Congratulations. I am sure you'll fit right in." he murmurs and then straightens again, glancing back over his shoulders. "I need to tend to something. Good luck to you and clear skies. And… thank you for the ah, attempt at the meditation. It was worth a try." Too bad it failed. Perhaps someday he'll be able to unwind enough. The Weyrleader is a busy man though and with another brisk nod, he's turning back towards the doors that will lead him back to the kitchens and leaving Hotaru alone again in the gardens.


'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.