Fort Weyr - Shenanigan's Lounge
The natural walls of this cavern haven been completely covered and replaced by straight and sometimes curving walls of brickwork. There's method to the madness of covering stone with stone. It's as simple as the electric buzz in the room. New grade electric lights dot the fancy brick worked walls, with wires cleverly hidden behind, allowing more focus to be centered on the rest of the room rather than the numerous strings of wire needed to operate the lighting. Each bulb roosts in a bronzed metal flowering fixture, giving the room a rich atmosphere. Still, the walls are not the only place which has stone on stone appeal. The floor has been run smooth, the surface now slate rock, creating an imperial cast.
Beyond the actual foundations of the lounge, the luxury continues. High backed wooden chairs with padded white seats have been stationed all around the room. Between the individual chairs are benches fashioned out of the same rich wood with pillows made to flatter the cushions. There are low lying coffee tables or end tables near the individual chairs, while there's larger dinning room sized tables with chairs to match scattered as well, giving much variety to those who find themselves in the room. Decorative hangings and framed artwork has been neatly hung around the room, but to offset the meticulous method of the room, there's some pieces that give a sporty feeling to the room - such as a fishing rod or a snow shoe.
Of course, the final appeal of the room comes in the form of it's purpose; athletic competition. There are several games of darts lining the walls, various decks of dragon poker cards available, a large velvet lined pool table centered to one side of the lounge, a mat area surrounded by ropes, and an area that keeps track of all the runner races around the world via radio signal, giving constant updates on the status of the runners. Lastly, there's a bar here, small and built with brick as well. There's usually a bartender on duty willing to mix drinks during the evening hours.

Mid-day has come upon the Weyr, with most everyone back to normal after the events of the previous day. This includes Idralia, who is back to work today with a chart and a basket of well-padded light-bulbs in her hands. Looking determined, the techie makes her way around those who choose to drink their lunch on her way toward the bar. When she gets there, a brief discussion with the barkeeper elicits an invitation behind the bar, and a short stool is promptly provided for her to stand upon. It seems it is time for the lightbulbs in the lounge to be replaced - a good thing, since they have been flickering terribly.

What's the best way to spend the day after a flight? Drink heavily. That seems to be Shena's philosophy, anyways. The woodcrafter must have the day off, as she's dressed casually and can be seen at the bar with a green drink in her hand. Must not be her first, given how she's leaning on the bar. When Idralia ends up on a stool behind the bar, she grins at her. "No days off for after-flights, huh?"

Carlyn looks… haggard. And that's putting it mildly. She's got more hay in her hair than usual, and there's a stubborn smudge on her cheek that simply won't go away. She's also walking with a bit of a limp, and her poor jacket seems to be missing a rather large chunk of fabric over her shoulder. So really, it should be no surprise that the stablehand is in the lounge, and heading for the bar at a swift pace. "Something… good," is her very specific order to the tender on duty. Those flickering bulbs are glared at darkly, and in the process, it allows Lyn to spot the arriving Idralia. "Been at it a while, have we?" she asks Shena in a less than friendly voice. Someone's snarky.

Idralia doesn't respond to Shena right away, focusing first on getting a pair of bulbs turned off without having to turn off /all/ the lights in the room. Once that's done, she shuffle-steps into a turn toward the front of the bar, sourcing the unfamiliar voice by process of elimination. "Yesterday was a day off. Today, there are things that need to be done, and unfortunately, they won't wait." Carlyn's arrival brings a concerned expression to the techie's face. "Are you alright? Scratch that, obviously not. Are you /going/ to be alright?"

Shena eyes the disheveled stablehand for a moment, blinking in confusion. "Wow… is that hay in your hair? I guess the stories about what weyrfolk get up to after flights /are/ true, then." She says with great amusement, giggling in a mildly tipsy way. "And hey, it's my day off. If I want to have a drink to unwind, nothing wrong with that, right?" She looks over at the techie, eyeing the lights for a moment. "I know how that is. Hope it's not too much of a pain, anyways."

"I am not 'weyrfolk'," Carlyn informs her sternly. "I am Holder-folk, and the hay has nothing to do with me. Well, not really anyways." She sighs a bit and leans her arms heavily on the bar. "Yes, I will be," she answers Idralia. "It looks worse than it is. But thank you for the concern." She picks a bit at the fabric hanging off her shoulder before, spotting it out of the corner of her eye, begins pulling the hay from her hair. "Lucky," says Lyn of Shena's day off. "I'm finally getting a break. Been up since before dawn. Not fun." She's just explaining, not really complaining. "But you're right. I'm sorry." Her drink is brought, and the stablehand pushes away from the bar in order to free her hands. "I always knew a dragonfight would be crazy for the humans, but I underestimated the effect it would have on the animals."

Idralia shakes her head at Shena's flippant remarks, turning back to the lights to check if they have cooled enough to be handled. Speaking over her shoulder she replies, "You must be new here, since anyone who has lived at a Weyr for any length of time knows very well that the rumors are a significant exaggeration upon the reality, and that joking about them is considered rude." Carefully she extracts the first bulb using a soft towel to protect her fingers, stepping down from the stool to exchange it for a new bulb from her basket. While on the ground she turns to Carlyn, reaching out to touch her arm with the unoccupied hand. "You go easy on that drink unless you eat something with it. The last thing you need is to have it hit you as your headed back out to deal with dragon-spooked beasts," she says kindly.

Shena looks a little sheepish after the rebuke from Idralia, shrinking in her stool a bit. "… Sorry. It's my first time back here after eight turns away. Things all seem a little different. Didn't mean no offense." She says before hiding behind her drink for a little while. "I had a hearty breakfast. But thank you for the concern." She glances at Carlyn, and grins. "Sorry for being rude. Buy you a drink to make up for it?"

For the moment, Carlyn seems content merely to hold her drink in her hand. Drinking it will come later. She watches Idralia with some interest, as though it never occurred to her before that someone had to /change/ the light bulbs from time to time. "Your first day back? Must like that timing, hm? Imagine if it had been a day previous." She flashes Idralia a tired, but honest smile, before, with some apprehension, sniffs at her drink. Hm. "They're not spooked much anymore. I heard they were rather settled as soon as the dragons reached the air and were no threat. No, they trouble came later, when the, ah, very inspired stallion jumped his fence to have some fun with the ladies," she explains. Shena gets a smile as well. "Sure. As long as it's non alcoholic. If I actually drink this one, I'll probably be at my limit." She considers the pair for a moment before offering, "If I got get some snacks, would anyone else eat them?"

Idralia nods to Shena as the younger journeywoman apologizes, turning back to her stool with the new bulb in hand. Once she's up and has the first one screwed in she takes out the second, repeating the process. "I can understand that it might seem different, but try to look at it from the point of view of those you are talking about. It comes across as very insulting though I know you didn't mean it that way. A lot of residents are probably more or less drunk right now, and those kinds of statements can lead to unexpected and unpleasant reactions," she explains quietly. The bartender nods his agreement as he passes by, carefully stepping around Idralia's stool. To Carlyn the techie says, "Ah. Well, I'm glad they've mostly settled down. I wouldn't object to something to nibble on, since I'm missing lunch right now to get this done."

Shena listens to Idralia's advice with an increasingly confused look as she teeters on her stool. "Alright, alright, I'll try to tone it down… I thought people were all crazy laid back here, though. I had one rider I've never met pelt me with snowballs, then there was some boy I didn't know who kept making remarks about my weight. Then there was the weird girly guy with the fan who seemed convinced I was in love with him. I don't know what's normal here anymore." She takes another drink, then smiles at Carlyn. "Sure, I'll share some snacks. Getting kinda hungry anyways."

There might be a comment on Lyn's lips, but the stablehand just shuts her trap and sips her drink. Gah! Big mistake. She pushes it away and decides to ignore it instead. The mention of a fan makes her grin a bit. "You must have met Aniki," is all she says about that, though there's a sparkle to her eye, and a wicked sort of look about her grin. "I'll go get something to eat, then," she decides, using the opportunity to escape for a bit. She hops from her chair and starts for the Living Caverns. "You're welcome to finish that, if you want it," is said of her drink, though it's not clear if she's addressing the techie or the woodcrafter.

Idralia steps back down and swaps bulbs again, pausing to smile briefly. "Ah, you met Aniki. My most sincere sympathies for whatever weird things he may have said to you. That ones is a bit off his rocker." As she steps up on the stool she continues, "I don't know what it will be like with the change in leadership, but Fort has always been the most traditional Weyr and proper manners have always been encouraged. Under R'oc, being laid back didn't always go well. That particular bronzerider is very strict and took his job seriously - he chewed out his second's assistant for pointing out that he should bathe before relaxing in the caverns if he's just been working out. And some individuals are more or less likely to take offense than others. Much like anywhere." Carlyn gets a wave as she heads off to grab some food, though the motion is quikly stilled when it causes the stool to wobble.

Shena looks at the offered free drink with a wide, appreciative smile. "Really? You sure you're not going to want it? Thanks!" She gleefully snatches up the drink before it can be taken back, sipping some down. "Mmmm. Tasty." The comments about Aniki earn a relieved look. "Oh, so there's only one guy that weird here? Thank goodness. I don't think I could handle too many of those wandering around." The anecdote about R'oc prompts confusion. "Isn't being stinky in the living caverns just as rude as pointing out someone is being stinky in the living caverns?"

"Oh, there are probably several more weird people, but few are as… vivid as Aniki," Idralia replies, finishing the bulb exchange and stepping down to deposit the bulb in her basket. "His sister is a the one who got chewed out, actually." She steps up again, tinking with the wires to turn the bulbs back on as she continues to talk. "That's what I mean. It can be really unpredictable as to how a statement might be reacted to. Mind, Miki was not the most tactful when she told him he should bathe, but even so, his reaction was… rather extreme. You never know how people are going to respond if you don't know them well, so in most cases, it's best to either be as tactful as possible or just not say something that might be misconstrued." There's a pause as the first bulb turns on and she studies it for signs of flickering. "I'm surprised you didn't get a lecture to that effect before being posted. It's a standard part of training at the Techcraft for anyone who looks likely to make journeyman."

Shena blinks a little, looking momentarially bewildered as the little wheels turn in her head. "Wait a minute… Miki is Aniki's sister? Miki, the greenrider? She's the one who pelted me with snowballs for no reason!" Sge shakes her head and sips more liquor. "Craziness must run in that family. Not hard for me to imagine them being less than tactful… and I grew up here. Thought I knew how things worked. Guess people are more forgiving with you when you're ten."

Carlyn returns, bearing gifts! Of the edible variety! A plate of fruit, obviously flown in from afar, is carried in one hand, while a tray of cheeses and cold-cuts are in the other. "Sorry, no bread," she apologizes. "But I figured this would work well 'nough. Cooks gave me some grumpy looks, don't know why," might be the hay in her hair, and the mud on her shoes… "but they let me take the food." Shrug. "Was it good?" she wonders of her drink, glancing at Shena. But the facial expressions give her pause, and she wonders, "What did I miss?"

"Ah, Miki was orchestrating a snowball war with the weyrbrats - she used to be a nanny, and has always stayed in touch with them. She might have thought you were part of the game," Idralia offers as she finishes resetting the wiring around the second bulb and gives them a satisfied look as neither flickers. "Two down, ten to go," she murmurs. She steps back to the floor and, after waiting for the barkeep to move past, moves her stool along the bar to the next pair of bulbs, pulling chart and basket after her along the back counter. That's when Carlyn's return draws her attention and she looks over at the tray. "That looks great, Carlyn. Let me do this pair of bulbs and I'll be happy to take a moment to snack." Toward Shena, "Of course they are more forgiving with kids. The kids don't know any better, but everyone expects adults to." She leaves it to the younger woman to explain the subject of conversation.

Shena looks dubious at the explanation given by the bulb replacer. "I don't know. She admitted she didn't know who I was. I think she targeted me because I was talking to Kairhys. Are those two a thing? Was this a jealousy thing?" She asks, still quite confused. When the snack bringer returns, she beams happily. "Oh, this looks great! And the drink was just super. Thank you for sharing."

"You're very welcome!" answers Lyn before popping a piece of fruit in her mouth. Despite the rest of her appearance, her hands at least look clean and washed. She listens, chewing as quickly as she can so that she can say, "Miki's always come across as very sweet, to me. I've only been around her a handful of times, but she doesn't seem the time to be malicious…" She frowns a bit and reaches for some cheese next. As for Kairhys, Lyn just shrugs. "Glad you liked it. Was a bit strong for my taste." She eyes the lightbulbs being replaced. "How often do those get switched, anyway?"

"Uhm… I'm not sure. He asked her out yesterday. /Before/ the flight," Idralia responds, once again disabling the electricity to the bulbs she is working on and waiting for them to cool. "I doubt she's jealous, though. You could always ask her why she threw snowballs at you - it should be a safe enough query." Once a bulb is cool she removes it and comes down, pausing to grab a piece of chesse and meat before she swaps it out. "Whenever they show signs of losing stability and start flickering. or when they burn out."

"Strong? Didn't seem that strong to me." The wobbly woodcrafter replies before grabbing a slab of meat to nibble on. "Mmm… I definitely owe you a drink now. Get whatever you like." She looks back to Idralia, pondering. "She said it was just for fun. Now I'm beginning to wonder… oh well. It's their business, anyways. Best I don't get involved."

Idralia shrugs as she exchanges the first bulb, replying, "If she said it was for fun, then it was probably just for fun." Once she's stepped down she leans against the bar, taking some fruit this time to eat quickly. "So, you're a woodcrafter, right? What is your specialty?"

Shena continues her nibbling, taking occassional sips from her previously discarded drink. "I make furniture, mostly. But really, in a weyr posting you do a lot of odd jobs. Structural repairs, home maintenance, medical supplies, even decorative pieces. Whatever needs doing."

"Medical supplies?" asks Carlyn, dubious. "What sort of medical supplies does a woodcrafter make?" She's on her third slice of ham, this time rolled around a bit of cheese, that she nibbles on carefully.

"Medical supplies?" Idralia echoes curiously as she goes over to the basket, swapping things out again. "I didn't know there were medical supplies made out of wood." She steps onto the stool again, moving to change the second bulb out. "I thought they used plastics and metals for everything."

Shena raises an eyebrow slightly at the question from the others. "Splints, crutches, tongue depressors, all sorts of things. Plastic is replacing a lot of it, sure, but wood remains a cheaper and still effective alternative for many medical purposes." She smiles proudly before taking another bite.

"Oh," says Carlyn. "I wasn't really thinking about things like that. When you say medical supplies, I think of bandages, and needles, and herbs," she admits sheepishly. "But that makes a lot of sense, now that you mention it." She takes a bit, chews, swallows, and seems to feel less silly after she's done so. "I'm beginning to feel very small and uninformed," she says dryly, casting a glance at the techie.

Idralia ahs as she steps back down, setting the bulb into her basket and taking a hopping over the bar to take a seat next to Carlyn. "What she said," she quips as she grabs another couple of pieces of meat and cheese as she settles in. "What else are you uninformed about?" Idra asks the stablehand, raising a brow. "If it was a conversation from yesterday, I can't remember most of what we talked about."

Shena smiles, looking a little embarassed again. "Sorry. Hey, we all know our own crafts best, it's nothing to get worried about. I'm sure if we started discussing technology with our techcrafter friend here, I'd be feeling very ignorant myself. No reason to worry."

"What it is that techie's actually do," says Carlyn, harking back to a conversation from long ago (or maybe a couple days). "Changing light bulbs, crawling in vents, etc. And woodcrafters… honestly, if you had asked me earlier, I would have said that all they do is make chairs and fix fences… do you fix fences?" she wonders of Shena. "But you're right. Tend to know your own hobbies and careers best, though I'm not a crafter."

"Oh, that. Well, clearly you aren't doing that bad, since you not only ask questions but actually listen to the answers," Idralia says cheerfully as she nibbles her food. "And of course you would. Much like I would if I asked about woodcrafting. Or handling beasts. Or whatever." She orders a juice drinks, sans alcohol, from the barkeeper, who fulfills the request with only minor grumbling, since the improved lighting is already making a difference for him.

Shena laughs softly at Carlyn's question, nodding in confirmation. "I do. Left that one out of the list earlier, I suppose. But yes. You need that a lot in a place like this. A clumsy feeding dragon can do some good damage to a corral." She beams and nods at Idralia's comment. "Exactly. We all have our strong suits."

"I try," says the Stablehand, of listening. But she beams a bit, looking rather pleased with herself. "True. But they just seem like kind of… 'oh, duh' questions after the fact, you know?" It's rhetorical. Carlyn will take after Idralia, and when the barkeep comes with her drink, Lyn will put an order in for her own. She placates the man with a bright, cheery smile and an offering of some fruit. "Ugh, I can only imagine. I've seen a few, feeding," she says of dragons, "When I've had to tend to the 'beasts selected as dragon food. One misplaced tail-swipe and 'whoosh' there goes the fence! Of course, the runners don't do too bad either, breaking things." She stretches a bit.

"Oh, there's no shortage of creatures that can damage fences. Herdbeasts, dragons, runners, humans… keeps my job interesting, I suppose. Always something that needs fixing." Shena remarks with a little laugh. "So, you're with Beastcraft, then? Or you work in the stables?"

"Oh no, nothing that interesting," says Carlyn with a laugh. "I'm just a stablehand. Which is a really nice way of saying 'groom' and 'stall-cleaner' really. I feed, clean, clean up after, and do some minor doctoring. Mostly cuts and scrapes. All the fun stuff goes to the crafters. Sometimes, though, I do get to ride a few." She sips at her juice, non-alcoholic this time. "But I love it, despite the hazards. And the mess." Grin. "How did you get into woodcrafting?"

"I was always tinkering with stuff when I was a kid. You know, making little things with my hands. The nannies thought I might have a talent for one of the more hands-on crafts. Woodcraft seemed like the best fit. Been doing it for eight years now. It's great work." Shena says with a broad grin. "And that's what it comes down to in the end, right? Having work you love. Nothing better."

Carlyn slumps against the bar, one elbow propped up so that her hand can hold up her chin. "So they recommended you to apprentice?" she wonders. "That sounds nice. My brothers were always fiddling with things, but they never apprenticed," she mentions. "I think it had more to do with the necessity of having them at home, but sometimes I wonder if my mother didn't try to push my oldest into going. Knowing him, he probably refused." Shrug. "When I was little, I always wanted to be a Harper."

Shena shrugs her shoulders a little. "It's not for everyone. There are some very annoying downsides to apprenticeship. Can't drink. Can't date. Lots of free time eaten up by studying. Even as a journeyman, I have little say in where I end up living. I go where the craft needs. On the whole it's worth it to me, but I don't think it's for everyone." She grins. "A Harper, eh? Good work. Though some of them always seem kind of stuffy."

"It's not as appealing when you put it that way," she decides, grinning. "But it seems worth it in the end. I mean, I put in a lot of work at the barn, but it won't really get me anywhere. Not that I mean to complain, because I love what I do and wouldn't trade it for anything. But I can see that a little sacrifice now, is worth what you have in the future. Or, in your case, what you have now." She pokes idly at some remaining fruit, but leaves it on the platter. "Oh, I was just being silly, really. I thought it would be tons of fun to run around singing all day long. I had no idea what they actually did. I was only a child."

Idralia listens to the two talk for a while, making steady inroads on her juice and the snacks, but she just can't stay still for long. "I need to go swap the rest of the bulbs out. It was nice meeting you, uhm… journeywoman," she says brightly. "Catch you later, Carlyn." And she back over the bar long enough to grab her basket and chart before heading to teh otehr end of teh lounge to work.


'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.