'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.

Fort Weyr - Northeast Bowl

The northern end of the bowl can be an intimidating area, being that Fort is the largest weyr. The far north wall contains the gigantic opening to the hatching caverns, and to the west of that can be seen the sprawling ledges and carved stair cases that mark the way to the administration complex and the training grounds were candidates and weyrlings can often be found. The west cliff wall towers up, dotted here and there by darker openings that mark individual weyrs before it tapers to a point at Tooth Crag.

It's not been too long since the Trader's have settled in the bowl, spread out between north, center, and southern and making quite a show of themselves. Of course, there are more settled near the Hatching Caverns, ever eager to peek in and even more placing bets. Dtirae, however, is not pleased. As is expected as the Weyrwoman was less than receptive of the Traders as a candidate, even more so with her hands tied behind her back for allowing them to enter. Though, the biggest surprise is likely the yelling that can be hear from the bowl as Weyrwoman and bronzerider exit the Hatching caverns. "You know she ain't a good idea, P'on. Yet yer still takin' her side!" The woman's voice certainly isn't restrained, even with all the eyes and ears. The bronzerider, however, only speaks in soft tones. Clearly, what he says, causes to Weyrwoman to give him a look of disgust and drop her tone considerably. He pats her cheek in the most condescending of ways before he departs to one of the caravans. "Shardin' Traders."

Coming back from a few hours of skinning fish, Inyri has just managed to get a shower and fresh clothes — she still looks like an exhausted Candidate who's been at work since very very early in the morning, but at least she doesn't have the telling aroma of dead fish she thought she'd left back at Breakwater. Initially, she and her clingy green firelizard are just walking on by on their way to somewhere else, but when she overhears the Weyrwoman's words? She stops, and looks about the bowl as if hunting an excuse to linger. P'on is the good-for-nothing ex-weyrmate Dtirae mentioned to her before, she's sure of it — and so anything she can overhear from /this/ conversation is definitely worth hearing.

Hotaru has been a bit excited since the traders showed up and settled down into the bowl. She doesn't have more than a mark or two to her name, but that hasn't stopped her from looking over their goods and making note of things she might want later. In just a tank top and a pair of big baggy shorts, the bronze firelizard at her neck looks annoyed he doesn't have anything to hold onto. And the knot looks awkward attached to suck little clothing at her shoulder. Hotaru spots the weyrwoman -having words- with some bronzer. She's not been informed on Dei's recent escapades. Though as P'on moves past her she gets the urge to stick her foot out and try and trip the bronzer.
Edani hasn't had time to think about the traders, let alone stop by and see their wares or be flirted with by pretty girls who just want to flatter so they can sell something. Chances are he'd be less than impressed with that approach anyway. He's been busy all day long back beyond the kitchens where slaughtered bovines are hung helping skin, gut and butcher them. He's not yet had time to bathe, and though his hands have been washed, the leather apron left in the kitchens, there are still suspicious gobbets of goo clinging to his rough jeans and boots. Apparently he's heading to the barracks to gather clean clothes, passing the hatching grounds just in time to witness the shouting. He's lost to what the deal is though and so sidles nearer to Inyri with a puzzled quirk of brows to ask, "What's up with these traders? They seem less than welcome."

P'on does not address anyone with any look, or greeting, in fact, he pointedly ignores most people. Prime tripping target of anyone who happens to be near. Namely, his attention seems to be on a young woman with similar appearance to his who is, without a doubt, flaunting her new white knot to the Traders around mentioned caravan.

Dtirae's distraction in glaring at the back of the man only lasts a moment before she's slowly focusing on her surroundings. Namely, the people gathered. And a handful of Candidates. Having a scene clearly is not on her agenda a she does not chase the man down, and instead, approaches Inyri, the familiar face. "Hey Inyri." Edani is given a curious look the woman then gives him a smile, a worn one but still quite pleasant. "Edani, correct?" Her gaze does not linger there, instead, drifts to P'on and her gaze settles on Hotaru, namely for the knot that struggles to attach to her clothing before she is studying the candidate for the briefest of moments. Whether or not she heard Edani's question to the other candidate, she doesn't respond.

Spotting Hotaru's foot, Inyri covers her mouth to hide her impulse to laugh; this is, of course, not completely obscurable because she's got those eyes that give away the fact she's amused (or any other emotion, for that matter — in this case, it's amusement shining through). Edani's question, though, has her gaze trailing to her feet for a moment in what very well may be shame; she's supposed to have the answers to these sorts of things, and this is the kind of gossip that she doesn't actually entirely know. "I haven't been around long enough to be able to tell you for sure," Inyri explains in a low tone, sounding a little guilty, "but there was something back when Neyuni was Senior with Th'ero about some kind of artifact? And there was a bunch of lying or double-dealing or something, depends on who you believe. That bronzerider was one of the caravan, though." When the Weyrwoman addresses her, she looks away from her whispering to the beastcrafter to smile. "Hi," she says. "How's the golden lady doing?"

Hotaru isn't going to go barreling into the bronzer. Nor is she going to make a scene either. Nope, instead she just nonchalantly sticks her foot out right as P'on goes to pass her. All while looking at a trader stall. That way she can claim it was an accident, right? Hotaru isn't up to date on the latest of the happenings amongst the weyr, but she's close enough to overhear Inyri talking to Edani about the bronzer and something and caravan. Whether or not P'on is successfully tripped, Hotaru is making herself scarce from -that- spot. Instead she heads towards the three, the way that P'on is moving away from, of course. She looks like she's about to give Edani a hug, but stops herself and wrinkles her nose. "What happened to -you-?" She asks the beastcrafter, sounding disgusted. "Did you blow up a herdbeast?" Then she clears her throat and nods to Dei. "Ahem. Sorry. Hello, Weyrwoman."

Edani may remain calmly poised as the Weyrwoman approaches them, but that doesn't mean he forgets his manners. He greets her with a slight inclination of his head and a polite smile. "Yes Ma'am. I am Edani." Though he seems a touch surprised she knows his name. He hadn't seen Hotaru's foot so conveniently in the way of the bronzerider, but Inyri's dancing eyes tip him off and he glances that way and resists rolling his eyes in a way that speaks his opinion: Hotaru is trouble, but in an adorable-obnoxious teenaged sort of way. That the girl has the impulse to hug him almost causes him to flail but he'll gladly take the nose-wrinkled disgust. "Something like that," he quips with a smirk to the teen. Then to Inyri he asides, "It sounds like I might not want to trade with them." He's not really one to gossip anyway. But he does like to know when he needs to keep his head down!

"She's well. Lookin' like the eggs are hardenin' up nicely, should be ready ta touch soon." A wink is given to the candidates, amusement playing into her features slowly. Her gaze turns away to Hotaru, where P'on is and watches as the bronzerider goes down. It's not graceful, and is certainly painful looking and Dtirae quickly turns away, lest she laugh, hysterically, which would not look good on her part. Instead, she focuses on Inyri and Edani, extending to Hotaru as she joins them. "Hello Candidate. Well done." Let it be known that the woman has just praised her candidate for essentially pranking someone. Or, perhaps their ears deceive them. "What sort of chores were you doin' where you blew up herdbeasts? Shells, I wish they had /that/ when I was a candidate."

Excitement about the prospect of egg-touching only gets a second to cross Inyri's eyes before she is, instead, looking back down at the ground and trying to muffle her giggles. Which doesn't stop her from miming clapping at Hotaru once the girl joins the group — she's not /actually/ clapping if it doesn't make a sound, right? "You blew up a herdbeast? How did you do /that/?" she asks, eyeing Edani as if, perhaps, she questions the veracity of his statement. "Because yeah, I would have wanted in on that too, instead of cleaning fish."

Hotaru flicks a bit of goo off Edani. Ew. Bovine brains or guts or something. The red-head is trouble, especially for P'on, who seems to be baring the brunt of her playful pranking. Hopefully he's not too hurt, other than his pride, or Hotaru might actually feel bad about it. She doesn't really get a good look at the damage done, but knows the bronzer has fallen over. She grins a bit and salutes the weyrwoman. "My pleasure, ma'am. Sounds messy. The firelizards might enjoy some blown up herdbeast though." In fact there would probably be a swarm of them should something like that happen. As gruesome as it would be. Hotaru grins to Inyri. "I'm off today. Though I am curious about the touchings." The teen has decided Edani isn't -that- gross, since she's looping her arm with his.

Deadpan, "It's called butchering, M'Ladies and if you'd both like in on it, there are three more to do this afternoon," Edani offers it to both Dtirae and Inyri as graciously as a dance invitation. The mention of eggtouching causes a flicker of unease to flit across his face, but it passes quickly. He catches the blur that is Hotaru moving from the scene of the crime, P'on thudding to the ground a moment later but if he connects the two, he makes no comment. He doesn't know the rider other than that the Weyrwoman was just annoyed with him. There's enough doubt regarding the issue between them that he doesn't rush over to help the man up, but does call over a polite, "Are you okay, Sir?" Feeling an arm curl around one of his, he peers down at Hotaru with a longsuffering sort of smile that replaces the 'do you mind?' sort of look he'd rather give her. "Uh, hi?"

"Cleanin' fish can be fun, slicin' through the skin, pullin' out the bones, choppin' off the heads. Y'know. Cleanin' fish things." Dtirae's amusement only grows with this description. Her gaze briefly flickers over to P'on, the bronzerider has gotten again to his feet and is walking as if nothing's happened. Queska, however, laughs at the plight of her brother. Pointedly, she is not doing her chores. Either Dtrae has not yet noticed or would prefer the girl to be out here rather than in the Weyr. Her gaze eventually finds a way to Hotaru once more, nodding once before Edani's comment has her turning her gaze to the man. "Yer the serious sort, aren't you? Kinda like Th'ero." A chuckle and the woman tucks her hands into her pockets. "Should loosen up some, candidate."

"He's not as bad," Inyri blurts, re: comparing Edani to Th'ero, before she gets a chance to actually consider what she's just said. She only pales a /little/ bit when her brain catches up to her mouth, though; it's carried out along with a little self-deprecating laugh. "I mean — oh, never mind." There is really no covering up that one. Instead, she can stick to the previous topic! "I did grow up around fishermen, though, so I don't so much mind the fish. I've gotten real good with the knife. I'd probably make a mess of butchering herdbeasts — which means someone's going to make sure I get a chance, I'm sure, knowing this place and how being a candidate has worked out so far." Queska gets a brief, narrow-eyed glance from Inyri; shouldn't she be doing something besides loitering? Not, uh, that Edani and Inyri aren't loitering. At least Hotaru earnestly has an off day.

Hotaru chuckles to Edani. "I'll join you when it's my turn maybe. I intend to enjoy my day off though." Apparently by playing pranks and wandering about the trader stalls. Edani better not give Hotaru any looks like that! Or he'll be -next-! Instead, the redhead pushes up her glasses and grins to him. "Hi, boyfriend." Hotaru chuckles a bit at the weyrwoman. "I ain't a fan of the smell though. The fishy smell. I'd rather smell like I blew up a herdbeast." She pats Edani's arm in a patronizing fond matter. "I tell him the same thing." Hotaru giggles a bit. "Th'ero seems like he's stressed out all the time. I tried to get him to relax a little, try some meditation. He couldn't. It's like he's expecting someone to leap out of the bushed and lynch him or something." Hotaru does notice the girl laughing at P'on and sort of recognizes her. "So Weyrwoman, I heard you're quite the huntress. D'you use a bow or blade?"

With her so-obvious delight in dismemberment, Edani seems a little surprised that Dtirae didn't jump on the invitation to butcher herdbeast carcasses, but the tiny telltale curl to the corners of his lips says he was teasing. "Should I really?" he drawls with a twinkle lurking in his brown eyes. He's content to let her think what she likes; clearly he seems to find no insult being compared to the Weyrleader. He laughs outright when Inyri comes to his defense. "Thanks, I think. And if you need help Inyri, I'll be happy to teach you the fine art of separating muscle from bone, tendon from ligament." It's a wry jest - he really doesn't find butchering as fascinating as the Weyrwoman seems to find gutting fish but it's Inyri! Hotaru's pat and nickname for him is received with weary patience. And one of those looks. Though he's forestalled from answering by the tiny flutter of brown wings as a firelizard settles on one of his boots and begins to methodically clean the tidbits of goo off of it with a rattling chirr.

Dtirae laughs at Inyri's blurting, a grin slowly forming. "Got a thing goin' for this one, here?" Her head tilts towards Edani, but, the woman teases, really. "Th'ero has a real hard time relaxin', I don't think he does. Ever. He's more fun ta tease that way, but, he's my Weyrleader. Ain't sure I'd do so well if he wasn't so Stressed all the time." That's as close as a compliment the man will get from the woman. "Who'd you hear that from? Ain't goin' ta lie, though: Quite the huntress. I use both the bow and a blade, depends on the prey and the mood." Edani's teasing back to her statement only makes the woman grin more, grey eyes dancing with amusement. "That you should, candidate. Though, stiff, stuck up Weyrleaders seem ta have no issue findin' some fun." Wait. What? Dtirae simply looks innocent, or, attempts innocence.

Not, of course, that Inyri and Hotaru could get Th'ero to ice skate. But let it be noted that they tried! Dtirae's comments about her and Edani are thankfully taken as joking, at least to Inyri; the former barmaid grins and shakes her head. "Me and him? Nah, he's just my pal." And Edani gets a little bit of a fist-to-shoulder bump from Inyri, never mind the herdbeast goo. "Can't you tell he's Hotaru's boyfriend? She's calling him that." She seems happy, almost uncharacteristically so; while Inyri is always cheerful, right now, amongst people she genuinely likes and trusts who appear to be returning the feelings — she's relaxed and just pure contentment. It's something that she didn't get much of at home, maybe, and hadn't expected to find where she did. "But if we're talking about stuck-up Weyrleaders, what /do/ they do for fun?"

Clearly the weyrwoman only likes to dismember things that are alive. Hotaru just grins up at Edani, but he seems spared her attention for now. Other than her arm looped with his. "Don't worry, I'll share if you want, Inyri. Then he can scowl at you for a change." Hotaru giggles a bit. "I guess Th'ero does all the worrying then?" She shrugs then. "Some of the weyrbrats said that what you used to do before you impressed. I'm not too good with a knife, but I'm pretty good with a bow. And I like to climb trees." Hotaru blinks at her insinuation about the weyrleader, then nudges Inyri. "Something I don't think candidates are allowed to help the weyrleader with. Ain't he got a weyrmate or something anyways?" What? Hotaru is at least old enough to know about such things. It's a weyr!

"No doubt," says a very amused Edani of Weyrleaders and fun. "Those eggs in the hatching grounds are testament to that!" As for loosening up, he tries another invitation, "Come chase calves with me sometime, Weyrwoman." It's almost a dare. He receives Inyri's fist-to-shoulder in good grace, easily absorbing both the teasing from the Weyrwoman and Inyri's unequivocal denial. It seems that her genuine like and trust is mutual. Hotaru now, the weird girl-in-red-glasses, is another story. She's the bratty kid-sister-to-best-friend-type that you run away from. He'd beg to differ, but there's a trader girl headed his way with an irate look and an empty shell cupped in hand. Ah HAH! So that little monster on his boot is her pest! While stooping down to scoop up the tiny 'lizard and hand it back, he starts to drawl, "How kind of you both to decide my fate-" only to stop and stare at the critter with eyes a touch widened. Nooooo!

Scalliwag Brown Hatchling looks into Edani's eyes. Impression!

"Ah, just a pal." Dtirae seems content with that answer, or something similar. Laughter follows Inyri's last question, but, the woman doesn't seem so inclined to touch on it. She simply smiles at the candidate with a sort of amused fondness. "Hotaru's willin' ta share." Subject changed, partially. "Yer all good, then." However, the Weyrwoman shakes her head at the question over worry. "Nah. We worry equal, I just vent it with humor. He keeps it all bottled up." The talk of babbling weyrbrats and her former profession gets a nod, "they're right. Could teach ya with a knife at some point. Climbin' trees is great for knowin' where yer prey is." At least Hotaru's got the woman's joke, as does Edani and the woman looks quite pleased. "I'll come chase calves with you, candidate. Sounds fun." There's even a wink. And then she looks to the firelizard as it Impresses Edani. Is that a snicker? Yes, it is.

The Weyrwoman might have the decency to only snicker; Inyri is back to giggling. "Wow, Edani," she says. "Way to steal. That was incredibly impressive." And completely having pulled the subject away from whether or not he's Hotaru's boyfriend, which Inyri resists any tempting urge to comment on. "And — oh. I'm a miserable hunter, so far as I can tell, every attempt I've had has gone — kind of bad — but I'm /very/ good at climbing trees. So maybe I'm not a completely lost cause in that regard." She's talking to Dtirae, but is still eyeing Edani's tiny little brown — as her miniscule, pocket-dwelling green sticks a head out of Inyri's coat pocket to chirp at him.

Hotaru is the only one that seems to get under Edani's skin. Maybe it's the way she's hanging off of him that's causing the issues. Also how she's a brat to him. Hotaru is thankfully lucky enough to look down -after- Edani does, instead catching the older beastcrafter impressing the little brown. She giggles, along with Inyri. "Congrats Edani. I think you smelling like food earned you a new friend." Hotaru nods to the weyrwoman. "I don't think Th'ero is capable of… venting." If anyone ever catches the bronzer fart, they ought to alert the weyr that he's about to explode. "I'd like to learn with a knife." She turns her attention to Inyri then. "You ought to learn with a bow, then. I'd start on the ground first though." Hotaru giggles.

As that glowering trader girl bears down on him Edani's sentiment seems to be: Get it off - get it off - get it off!!! He tries first to fling the tiny brown at Hortau, loosening his arm from her grasp in the process, but the critter clings to his hand with the tenacity of… well, Hotaru. He shoots Inyri a flustered look, blinks at the looming displeasure that is the shell-bearer and gleeps, "Here," he offers and she does try to take it, but the displeasured snap of teeth has her backing off, jamming hands on hips and glaring at him. So the beastcrafter tries tossing the creature her way, with a boomerang effect. The giggling trio of girls are not helping matters, no. There's a very good reason he never impressed any despite living in the tropical western isles. He likes firelizards just fine as long as they belong to somone else. "I don't have time for a pet!" Grumpgrouchglare - mostly at the firelizard.

"Well, can't really blame yerself for all of the huntin' goin' bad. Doesn't help when you've got Weyrleaders hidin' in the bushes." Dtirae notes, in a rather playful tone. "I'll take you out sometime after the eggs Hatch, Hotaru. Either after Weyrlin'hood or sooner, dependin' on how things turn out. If yer wantin' ta help Inyri with a bow, we can take her ta learn with you, as well. I'll let someone know you got permission ta get some bows, just don't go pointin' it at anyone." The woman grins and then, plops a single hand on Edani's shoulder, "you'll be fine. Think of it as practice for a dragon." And then, the Weyrwoman is making her way back into the Hatching Grounds.

More laughter, from Inyri; this time, it's much more subdued, but that doesn't stop it from being there — and, as usual, the look's much brighter in her eyes than it is coming from her mouth, as she turns to give Dtirae a quick, more private smile, almost a thanks. "Do you shoot from trees, then, with bows?" she asks, of the group at large. "Because really, I just haven't got a clue about anything. Firelizards, though, I sort of do, being stuck with two of them now; they're not so hard. Mostly take care of themselves after they grow up a little. Lyo here's just clingy —" And there's the Weyrwoman leaving, and so Inyri's waving goodbye.

Hotaru will let Edani go while he deals with his new friend. Instead she'll retreat over towards Inyri, so they can join forces in the giggling. Her own firelizard is eying the tiny brown warily. She giggles as Edani tries to give it back. "Firelizards don't work that way, Edani. You can't give them back. Besides, as far as pets go firelizards are great. You can train them. And they can feed themselves and don't generally make a mess." Hotaru blinks at Dtirae. "Eh? Weyrleaders in the bushes? Inyri, what did you walk in on?" She giggles at that notion. "I got my own bow actually, but I'll take Inyri to get one. Maybe we can get some training in before the eggs hatch." She looks to the other candidate. "If you want to learn. I will sometimes shoot from the trees, yeah. If I can get a clear shot." Hotaru also gives a wave to the departing weyrwoman. "See you later, Weyrwoman."

Edani splutters at the Weyrwoman, "I figured I'd get broken in when and if that day ever comes." Which has a very remote chance of happening, is his take on it. He's too busy for practice! He has the bovines to tend, courses to finish, chores to do, field trips to participate in… To her retreating form he reminds her, "Calf-chasing. Don't forget." Because she needled him enough that he has to see it through now. He half-listens to Inyri while eyeing that clinging 'lizard askance. Then he reaches into his pocket, pulls out a 2-mark piece, offering it to the still-glaring trader, who snatches it and speeds off before he can think the better of it. "I don't suppose a 2-mark piece would work for you?" He says a touch sourly to Hotaru. Oh yeah, he's had a real productive day. He's scored a date with the Weyrwoman, impressed a firelizard and been defined as 'just a pal' by the lovely Inyri. Yet he still hasn't managed to get rid of the 'girlfriend' he doesn't want.

Covering her face with her hand, Inyri says into her palm — though it's for Hotaru's edification — "Kimmila took Edani and I out hunting and Dtirae and Th'ero were in the bushes. Watching us fail at hunting, I assume. They weren't doing anything — obscene," she adds, just to clarify, "and we thought they were dangerous invaders and freaked out." That is, at least, essentially what happened. "It turned out really funny, though," is her conclusion as she pulls her hand away from her face and straightens up a little. "I wouldn't mind learning properly in a, um, better setting. Not that I'm going to impress, but like — it's a good thing to know, yeah?"

"I'll take a two-mark!" Actually that might work for Hotaru. Though whatever she buys with it she'll say was from Edani. Her 'boyfriend'. So he might not want to do that. Hotaru looks up at the beastcrafter with a 'gimme!' look. She giggles a bit at Inyri. "How do you know? Heh, invaders, hm?" There's a nod from the teen to Inyri. "Alright. I'll find you a bow then. We can meet up in the training field. Next time we both have a chance." Hotaru bounces a bit on the balls of her feet. "Well, I think I'm going to go look around at the traders' stuff some more. See you later, Inyri." She grins to Edani then. "Byyy-yye." She says to him in a sing-songy lovey-dovey voice.

Edani actually considers it. "Make Kazulen your new 'boyfriend' instead and I'll give you five?" The ex-Beastcrafter isn't exactly loaded, so it's a desperate attempt at best. Comparable to $100 dollars back on Old Terra, five marks is not to be sneezed at. "See me in a turn," he adds hastily, which makes the offer conditional. Hah! He gives Hotaru another long suffering look but a smile tugs at his mouth when he nods at Inyri. It's hard to stay grumpy when she's looking so happy. The tiny brown is nipping at his hands now, the bits of meaty scraps it found not enough to satisfy it's hunger. "I need to go find… this… thing…some food. I'll see you guys later." And off he goes to collect gobbets from the recent butchering floor.

No comment, at least not in front of both Hotaru /and/ Edani, from Inyri about Edani's attempts to pawn Hotaru off on someone else — with money. She looks curious, as if contemplating why he picked who he did or why five marks is enough to pay someone to make somebody else their boyfriend instead, or maybe why he doesn't /want/ adorable Hotaru as his girlfriend — but none of that actually comes out of her mouth. What does is, "See you, 'taru," because she can't bring herself to call her Ho, but is companionable enough with most of the other candidates to call them by some kind of nickname, "We'll try out a bow. And as for you two," that being Edani and his new friend, "good luck with that. I'm going to get food for /me/." She's not going to the butchering floor, though; she's actually going to try the kitchen.