Fort Weyr - Cavern of Pillows

This enormous cavern stretches on into the darkness, its walls bare and grey, the domed ceiling disappearing in shadow. Save for the noise made by those who enter, it is utterly silent here, and even then the echoes that bounce off the cold stone are muffled by the floor. For the ground is covered in.. pillows. Dusty and old, pillows of every shape and size have been piled high, along with folded blankets, sheets, curtains, and other textiles. Rolls of fabric, their colors faded from age, have been stacked here and there, and the occasional bag or leather item is visible amongst the other things. There must be thousands of items in here, stored away for the weyr's use and then forgotten.


It's a lazy afternoon — at least for Deitra, it is — with not much to do but being entirely lazy once her volunteer tasks are done. What better way to spend the day in a room that is almost always completely silent and full of pillows and blankets. It becomes obvious, however, that she didn''t go right to sleep as many of the pillows and blankets have been formed into a massive fort. Occasionally, the huntress peeks out of her fortress, watching for others before again retreating.

The door to the pillow-festooned cavern is nudged open, a basket preceding the young woman who carries it through the opening. Mindful of her feet, Xanshalla isn't immediately paying attention to the room's contents or occupants, peering sideways over the edge of her basket as she tries to navigate her way inwards without getting her feet tangled up in either pillows or blankets.

Kairhys doesn't enter quite so quietly. There's stomping of feet, panting, and then the door is flung open. "Oh good." the weaver says, before the door is slammed shut and he pauses as he leans up against it. He's lacking his jacket and scarf at the moment, and he was sans sketchtome as well. Nothing out of the ordinary other than that simple white knot on his shoulder. That's new. "I am NOT here." This is said to Xanshalla before the six foot one sixteen turn old dives into the pillow fort, if only to bump into poor Deitra in the process. "Oh for crying out…" he mutters, and wriggles past her no matter what he has to grope to slither through during the process and curls up as tiny as possible.

Deitra's head pops out of the fort, peering at Xanshalla as she enters. Peer peer. "You—" And enter a weaver-turned-candidate! Sounds of protest are cut off as Kairhys dives in without invitation, the huntress disappearing from view as Kairhys takes her down in his process of wiggling past her. "/Hey/." But rather than latching onto the weaver and attempting to shove him out, she's shifting about to peer at him. "What's got you runnin' 'way like you are?" Grey eyes don't linger on him, instead, she's popping her head back out and peering at Xanshalla again. "Yer free ta come in if yer wantin'."

Bouncing sideways in startlement, Xanshalla manages to succeed in doing exactly what she was trying to avoid doing. Feet get all bumbled around a fat pillow, and with a squeak, down she goes on her butt. Good thing there's all that padding lying around. "You look pretty here to me…." the seamstress notes, blinking wide-eyed at Kairhys while hugging her workbasket. Following his progress, at least until he's disappeared beneath the pillows, she tilts her head sharply to the left. "Ooookay then." Blinkblink back at Deitra, and she bites her lip, clearly torn as she glances down. Work or play, work or—- oh, it's an easy one, really. "All right!" she decides happily, abandoning her basket to go crawling forward.

"Candidate chores." Kairhys hisses, now that he was all safe and tucked away in the way back of the pillow fort about as far from the door as possible. He attempts to burrow under things back there, butt wriggling in the air and all, but one of the walls starts to wobble and so he gives up on that pursuit. "Which way did he go?!" a female can be heard booming from the other side of the thick heavy door, and really that woman's voice could carry. Some sort murmuring can be heard after this, but Kai wasn't taking any chances as he starts to take pillows and things from the pillow fort floor and build a wall up in front of him. "Nonononononono…" he whimpers, and then goes silent. Well except for the occasional pitiful sound. Yes, the boy was hiding. The handle of the door turns and the door just barely opens, before a male voice shouts. "Someone spotted him in the bathing caverns!" With that the woman AH-HAs! And the door is closed once more, feet sounding against the passage floor and fading off into stillness.

Deitra beams a wide grin towards Xanshalla as she agrees, disappearing back into the fort just as quickly as she popped back up to peer at the other woman. The reasoning behind Kairhys' fleeing earns a snort, "shells, you wimp. Do yer part, yer a candidate so you got ta work for the Weyr." When the sound of the voice enters the room, the huntress peeks out before peering back at the weaver as he begins to use the pillow flooring to make another fort within the fort. A snicker of laughter and she's scooting closer, taking one of the pillows away and peering at him. "What chores're you doin'? Latrines? Mucking? Foldin' lady underthings?"

Xanshalla pauses with one hand lifted, hair falling forward to foil her own efforts at trying to catch another glimpse of Kairhys. "Are they really so awful?" she asks, her voice little more than a whisper as if his paranoia is perhaps catching. As the voice booms through the heavy wood door she scuttles forwards, inserting herself fully into the fort. She grins a bit at Deitra, half-amused and half-sheepish and since the huntress begins firing off questions once they're in the clear, she busies herself with tucking a few stray pillows this way and that to make a tiny 'nest' for herself with and listens.

Kairhys tosses a pillow at Deitra, not very hard mind you, as it bounces harmlessly off her shoulder only once it was clear that the person looking for him was in fact really and truly gone. "I am not a wimp!" he pouts at her, digging himself out and replacing the floor as best he can. "I also have no problem working for the weyr. As long as it's not scrubbing some proddy greenrider's dragon in the middle of winter." Huffing, he plops down onto his butt and wraps his arms around himself, shivering. Now that he was visible and not trying to dig himself into a fluffy hole, one can clear see that he is slightly damp, and that his cheeks and nose were bright red from being outside. "Not only was she pointing out her dragon's most secret places and telling me all about dragon mating, she was trying to show me what a flight was like. And of course this happens to me AFTER I agree to be a candidate and promise to follow the rules." Hands are then thrown up into the air, and then are pulling at a blanket, wrapping it around his shoulders. "Woman got me out of my coat and down onto the ground before I managed to fight her off. Freaking amazon."

"Welcome." Deitra notes towards Xanshalla once she makes it deeper into the fort, grinning wider and entirely pleased before she's turning back to pin that look on Kairhys once more. The pillow that bounces off her earns a laugh, but, she does nothing in response, simply grabbing another pillow and using it as a prop to keep her upright. Chin is rested on the pillow and she peers at the weaver once more, again shifting so to throw a blanket over him, at least she would be if he wasn't already pulling one from the fort. A sound of dismay and then the huntress quickly works to replace it. "Sounds scary. I won't tell, then. Yer free ta hide here until she's not proddy anymore." Of course she's teasing if the grin on her face is any indication.

"So… you're hiding from the greenrider?" Xanshalla guesses, brow puckering as she quirks her eyebrows. Tucking her legs close to her chest, she curls up in her finished nook, and contorts her spine a bit so that she can tilt her head to keep both Deitra and Kairhys in her line of sight. "What'd you make the fort for? Or did you just find it?" is directed towards the huntress.

Kairhys nods to Xanshalla, pulling the blanket tighter around him and trying not to lean back against walls unable to support the boy's weight. Not that he was fat by any means, quite the opposite. A small child leaning back on one of those would likely knock it over. Apparently he gets tired of being hunched over, and flops onto his back, long legs bent at the knee. "That is so much better." he sighs, and then glances to Deitra. Her teasing comment is met with a wrinkle of the weaver's nose. "Be nice to me. I have trauma."

Deitra makes herself comfortable, stretching out her legs and then looking to Xanshalla, beaming another grin. "I made it. Ta hide, ta have some fun, no reason in particular other'n tryin' not ta be bored." The huntress clicks her tongue, "bein' bored is bein' borin'." Or something to that nature. "Fine, fine," this is to Kairhys, "I'll be nice 'cause you have trauma." Though that doesn't stop the snicker from sneaking in. "How's it feelin' bein' a candidate?"

Brushing a strand of hair away from her nose, Xanshalla chuckles softly. "I was gonna say, if that woman chasing you was in charge of the candidates, it's a wonder they ever get anyone sayin' yes. I didn't even catch sight of her and I'm scared of her already." Bright grin, which is given as much to Deitra as it is to Kairhys. "Sometimes the best things are done just because," is her take on it. "If you wait around for reasons, nothing interesting would ever happen." Firm nod, before curious glance is directed at the traumatized one.

Kairhys honestly doesn't look all that traumatized, that pout on his face hanging long and childlike on his handsome features. As his shirt dries out and the chill leaves him, he shrugs out of the blanket and drapes his hands over his stomach. He's staring up at whatever ceiling is above him, letting Dei and Shalla talk about the reasons for pillow fort constructions. Perhaps more put out that he couldn't take the lady up on her advances than at all concerned with having them had been done to him in the first place. "She had a really nice rac…." he starts to say out loud, holding his hands up under his own flat chest to symbolize a woman's before he seems to realize just who was in there again and he coughs. "Never mind." Rolling over onto his side, he props his head up with a hand and elbow, brown eyes flickering from one woman to the other. "I don't know." he tells Deitra when she asks how he feels about being a candidate, "It's only been a couple of days. So far lots of dragon scrubbing, early to bed and early to rise. I'm not feeling particularly healthy, wealthy or wise. Just exhausted."

Deitra laughs at Xanshalla's statement on the greenrider, shaking her head. "Maybe she ain't inta women, yer only needin' ta fear her if she is." Pause, "and she'll be whatever her normal is once her lifemate goes up." Hopefully. "Yer right 'bout that. Ain't one ta sit 'round and do nothin' all day. Was thinkin' 'bout spreadin' it ta the whole room, wanna help?" The invitation extended to traumatized one over there, even if he doesn't look it! He said it! "Yer a boob guy, huh? Well, for yer women, at least." The huntress chuckles to herself and shifts from her seated position to take out some part of the walls that won't lead to a massive collapse. "'Course yer exhausted, yer doin' a buncha work for the Weyr."

Xanshalla snickers at Kairhys' pantomime and unfinished comment. "Smile," she offers impishly. "It's what my older brothers all say when they want to compliment the other but don't want to say it front of me. As if I didn't know what they really mean." She rolls her eyes, shaking her head at the silliness of boys. Sitting up a little, she nods brightly towards Deitra, "Ooh, yeah, that sounds like fun. We could make different rooms and stuff, or make a maze with one room at the center?" she suggests, looking around the cavern to see just how much room is available to get creative with. "Is that what they told you you'd feel? Healthy, wealthy and wise?"

It's entirely possible that Kairhys had no clue if the woman was into other women, because when Deitra brings it up, the weaver glances at Xanshalla and shrugs helplessly. Nope, not a clue from the looks of it. Though he can't help but grin at her when she tells him to use smile in place of the word he was really intending to use. "That's pretty cool…." he says, and then a beat later. "Are they hot?" Apparently the weaver doesn't seem to care that these are Xanshalla's brothers he's asking her about, brows lifting as he waits patiently for a response. As for what body parts he likes, Kai smirks at Deitra. "Well men don't have them, so that in itself makes them awesome. Rather attracted to the backside on men and women both. Nothing quite like a nice firm…" And he looks to Xanshalla again. "Smile…yeah. That doesn't work so well all the time I don't think." he says, and then plops over onto his stomach, as if he couldn't sit still for more than a few minutes at a time. He folds his arms under his chin and hooks his feet at the ankle, letting them swing back and forth slowly through the air."It's more heavy labor that I'm not used to. I don't think it being for the weyr really has anything to do with it."

Deitra laughs again, "sounds dumb. Ain't no reason for no one ta say what they don't mean. Ain't goin' ta get the point across that way." The huntress shrugs idly, dismissive of that topic as she continues to remove the wall. "Different rooms'd be fun. But, a maze would be funner. Lettin' people get lost tryin' ta find a certain room. Maze it is." Kairhys asking after Xanshalla's brothers, however, earns a pause and she peers at him. "Yer shameless. I like that." Laughter resumes and then the wall is removed, leading to Deitra making her way out to begin construction on a pathway. "Suppose it'd be weird ta see a man with them. I like tight smiles, too." More laughter and the huntress continues on her building quest, slowly making her way away from that main spot. "'m just sayin' that the Weyr's providin' the work. You'll get used ta it, the labor."

Eeeeew! is written all over Xanshalla's face as she stares in horror for Kairhys' question. "They're my brothers!" she protests. "I don't— gross!" She twists her features up even more and sticks her tongue out for a moment. Just put a 'Warning: contents may be poisonous!' border around her head and stick her on the outside of dangerous chemical containers. After a quick shake of her head and a full-body shudder, she manages to regain her composure. Mostly. "A butt's just a butt," she then declares for his efforts at inserting the 'smile' substitute. "I guess my brothers must be boob guys. Well, I dunno about Finnek and Jorek. Girls were still mostly just icky when they went off to 'prentice and all they ever talk about is boats and beasts these days." She's been moving as she rambled, though without any real purpose, moving outside of the pillow-fort and collecting cushions seemingly at random. Deitra's decision of making a maze sees her becoming more decisive, as she stops aimlessly rearranging and instead starts burrowing. "With dead ends! There need to be plenty of dead ends, or it's not a proper maze." After a couple more cushions are patted into new positions, she adds, "I'm the youngest girl, is what I figure. They none of them watch their mouths around my olders sisters."

Kairhys is not helping with the construction, no. He's just going to lay there on his stomach and watch the girls do their thing. He can't help but chuckle as Xanshalla gets all grossed out over him asking after her brothers, grinning ear to ear still. He winks at Deitra as she stares and comment on his shamelessness. "What? Your telling me you can't look at a relative and decide whether or not they are good looking? It's not like I asked if they were any good at a tumble…" His mouth opens as if he had more to add but Deitra's talk of boobs was distracting. "Heh. Yeah, I think even I draw the line at men with boobs. Boobs are awesome though. Soooo very awesome." he sighs and gets a dreamy expression for a moment before he too laughs. Tight smiles indeed. "I was thirteen when I started seeing girls as something other than annoying, but by then I was in love with my best friend. Last time I saw him he was the age I am now. He'd be eighteen now, and probably engaged to some scrawny holder his parents picked out for him." There's a frown for that, and then a deeper frown for the candidate work. "I imagine so."

Deitra laughs at Shalla's reaction, the loudest laugh yet. She eventually quiets long enough to begin her work once more. "Dead ends're great. They'll have ta start over and if they don't remember, they'll get lost." And then the nannies will wonder where all the children disappeared to, until someone breaks the fort. She doesn't say much in concerns to siblings and the seamstress being the youngest, distracted by perfecting her tunnel until she's peering at Kairhys. Laughter returns, softer and mostly kept to herself as she begins to drift farther and farther away from the weaver's location, no longer able to peer at him. "Well, ain't nothin' you can do 'bout it, so best not ta worry and think 'bout the dragons."

"My brothers are /old,/" Xanshalla replies tartly, before looking over her shoulder at Kairhys with a grin. "Well, Nyrian's only 6 turns older than me, and I suppose he's not all that bad. But he's a fathead." Declared with the fond disdain reserved for an insult that's not really meant. "And the twins of course are still just brats." She's not nearly so careful in her construction as Deitra, though she's not being sloppy about it, either. One short tunnel-branch is crawled out of, and she concentrates perhaps a bit too hard in laying a blanket over the top to create the roof. "One big fat cushion to plug that with…." she mutters as she steps back. And perhaps she decides there aren't enough cushions present, or it's another reason entirely, but she abruptly declares, "I'll be right back!" And then she's bouncing towards the door, pulling it open and disappearing through. And either she got lost, distracted or perhaps waylaid by her own superiors, because she doesn't return.

Kairhys may have very well have fallen asleep, for he goes quiet as the girls move on out making their fort. Xanshalla is gone by the time the boy crawls out of the fort through one of the gaps in the wall and plops himself down for a moment by the door where surprisingly is where his boots are. He tugs them on, one by one. It's about then that he looks about and blinks. "Where'd that other girl go?" he asks, yanking on the laces before tying them off at the top, and giving the other boot the same treatment. "Huh. Well, I'm gunna take off Dei. I'm getting hungry and I'm hoping Sarina's found more suitable prey and I'm off the hook. Thanks for letting me hide out with you." He pushes himself up and pulls open the door, peeking down either side of the hallway before he sends a grin the huntress' way. "You got a nice smile all over, by the way." A wink and he scoots out, "Byyyyyyyyyyyyyyeee…" And he's gone, his laughter echoing off the walls off the corridor.

Deitra waves towards Shalla as she calls to be back later. If she notices that the other never returns, it isn't for awhile — more specifically, when Kairhys asks where she went. "Oh." Pause, a glance around. "She said she'd be back. Maybe she got caught." A shrug and then she looks around, noting her progress with a hum and nod, pleased. She's drawn back towards Kai, "enjoy yer food. Yer welcome, feel free ta ask me for any other hidin' spots sometime." A wave of her hand in farewell, attention about to drift off until he speaks again about her 'smile'. Laughter follows, filling the room as the weaver departs with her head shaking in amusement. Eventually, she returns to work building her maze.


'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.