Fort Weyr - Living Caverns

This cavern, having been created by bubbles in the volcanic flow of this extinct volcano, has a breathtaking ceiling — a vast dome that arches high above the heads of the weyrfolk that scurry around beneath it. A hollow echo can be heard from loud enough noises, and the chatterings of various firelizards are consequently multiplied into a chaotic babble. All in all, the living cavern is a loud place.

Tables are scattered around the room, apparently in no particular order. Over to one side near the kitchens, two medium sized serving tables are constantly spread with snacks, klah, and other goodies. The tables look worn, yet perfectly fitted to the atmosphere of the caverns. In the 'corners' of the cavern, smaller two and four place tables are set up for more private talks or just a less chaotic atmosphere in which to eat.


It is lunch time and the Living Caverns are the center of activity, filled with people of all ranks and candidates who are still working despite the time as they have likely eaten already. Among those there for food is Deitra and her ever present shadow, Padron. The pair have already filled their plates and are sitting at a table alone, as many have shied away from the brutish appearance of Padron, or possibly have shied away from the former hunter as their conversation seems to be lingering on how to properly skin an animal despite that there is food in front of them. While Deitra shows little manners to her eating — using her fingers instead of forks, spoons, or knifes — Padron is the complete opposite, using all the proper utensils and he's quite neat about it.

Jaylen has snuck out of the kitchen, finally, wiping her hands on a towel. Kitchen duty is one of her least favourites, she has decided. But at least the good part about kitchen duty is you know what's available for a meal so don't have to spend time looking at everything. The Istan, for once, is sans all her little mysteriousness since it's way too warm in the kitchen to wear her big thick hooded coat to hide herself. Oh yes, but she has a purpose, and she's reminded of that purpose by the growl of her stomach. She takes little time to fill a plate with various tidbits of edibles, then she's looking to find a seat.

Speaking of hunting…in walks a Western bluerider (why is she /here/ all the time?) with a large wild porcine draped over her shoulders. The beast is dead, clearly, and has been drained so at least it's not bleeding everywhere. Looking rather smug and proud of herself, Kimmila scans the caverns and then grins, the look a little wild. "Deitra! Shipwreck-girl. And that guy. Come help me with this." And off she stomps into the kitchen.

Jaylen is given a look from Padron as she makes her way out from the kitchen, a hand lifts to wave her over as their table isn't quite as full as it could be. Deitra is drawn over in that direction as he waves and the young woman grins widely, leaning over to give Padron a playful nudge. "Look at you, makin' friends." Though it is all in good fun as she smiles in his direction and the young man simply looks sheepish. Kimmila's call of her name, turns Deitra's attention that way and the former hunter lets out a loud whoop for Kimmila's kill. "Good kill!" The hunter praises, abandoning her food to make her way after the bluerider, clearly excited.

Padron's reaction to Kimmila's call is far different than Deitra's, the former trader looking suddenly pale and in awe. But, rather than making a fuss and potentially getting in trouble, he's quickly taking off after Deitra.

Jaylen returns the young man's wave, but then the entrance of the bluerider is pulling her attention away from finding a table. She just escaped the kitchen, now Kimmila wants her to go back in? The request comes from the bluerider as a meatroll is halfway to the Istan's mouth. With a moment of hesitation, the meatroll is shoved into her mouth and she proceeds to set her plate down at the table that Deitra and padron had previously inhabited, maybe it will still be there when she gets back. And then she's trudging after the three.

Fort Weyr - Kitchen

After rising up an imposing flight of steps you enter an elaborate vaulted ceiling. The delicious smells that gently infuse the air drift out from this portion of the cavern. The head cook, Rickard, bustles about creating the masterpiece dishes that the weyr as a whole consumes. His extensive collection of prized copper cookware hangs upon their custom-made racks, reflecting soft light back out into the cavern proper. A handful of sub-cooks and helpers are engaged in an variety of food preparations, moving briskly but efficiently about their work. A pair of spit canines trot in their wicker wheels, continuously turning the spits with their slowly roasting joints that hiss and crackle over the fires.

Kimmila leads the way into the kitchens and dumps the porcine onto one of the butchering tables with a grunt. "Thanks," she says to Deitra, clearly pleased and proud of her kill. "Any of you good at butchering? I'm better at skinning, but I'm not much of a cook so the different cuts of meat escape me most of the time. And I'd hate to ruin this," she admits.

The look on Padron's face as he stares at Deitra clearly reads that he's blaming her for the fact that they've been dragged into the kitchens with the kill, after all, she was the one who was talking about hunting up until that point. At Kimmila's question, Padron shakes his head and then clears his throat as he shuffles behind Deitra to use the hunter as a shield. "No, ma'am."

Deitra beams a wider grin at Kimmila and nods, "welcome. Good clean kill." The former hunter praises and then moves in closer to consider the porcine. "'m good at it. Sometimes we had ta chop up the meat rather'n lettin' it sit, y'know? Easier ta bring it back that way when we ain't got a dragon ta carry it for us." A wide grin before the young woman is moving off to fetch herself a proper knife. "You wantin' ta keep some of it for yerself, Kimm?"

Jaylen is no butcher, merely a fisherwoman turned candidate. "I've no idea 'bout 'ow t'cut meat, s'rry." But then there's Deitra volunteering, oh good. Jay will stand back and let the professionals, so to speak, deal with the porcine. Watching Padron a moment, she hides a giggle behind her hand. "'tis jus' a dead an'mal, s'not s'bad." she says to the young man.

Kimmila grins crookedly at Padron, winking at the poor boy before her attention is back to Deitra. She laughs, shaking her head. "Nope, wouldn't know what to do with it. This is for Fort and her cooks to deal with, I just did the hunting. Would like to learn how to butcher a porcine, though, if'n you don't mind teaching a bit." A cook breezes by, murmuring quick instructions to Deitra on how they want the meat butchered and divided, and then she's plunking down some tubers for Jaylen and Padron to peel and chop. No idle hands in the kitchens!

Padron coughs at Jaylen's statement, flustering a bit and then shaking his head. "It's not the animal I'm worried about." He insists softly towards Jaylen, keeping his tone hushed and his eyes upon that bluerider over there. And then she winks at him, the poor man straightens and scoots closer towards Jaylen, attempting to use the other candidate as a human shield. At least until the cook is plopping down tubbers for them, a soft groan and a glare is sent in Deitra's direction but he sets to peeling, muttering about his lunch waiting for him.

Deitra is ignoring Padron's antics, quite happy to be back in her element. "Ah. Yer doin' a lot for Fort. Thinkin' 'bout transferrin' back?" The huntress idly questions, the cook that drifts by and gives the instructions earns a nod and a grin before her attention turns to Kimmila again. "So, they're wantin' the cuts specifically this way, there's a few ways ta do it." There's quiet instructions along with a demonstration of how to cut, along with more detailed instructions about the types of meat and what has more fat to it, or what is completely fat and mostly used for cooking ingredients than an actual meal.

Jaylen frowns as she's once again set to work. "Ugh..not 'gain." Though the complaint is quiet enough to hopefully not be heard by any higher ups. "I'm startin' t'really dislike tubers." Yes, well, such is life. She had followed Padron's eyes towards Kimmila, hmm, is she really that frightening? The Istan will keep an eye there, though, while she's peeling the evil tubers, maybe she can learn something useful.

Kimmila turns to give the trader-turned-candidate a slightly narrowed look. "Are you afraid of me or something?" she asks a bit sharply, which isn't helped by the knife she's picked up and waved around a bit. Deitra's question catches her off guard, and the bluerider turns to stare at her for a moment, blinking before she shrugs. "Not really, no. Just like visiting, that's all." She's then actually /quiet/ while she listens to Deitra's instructions, nodding as she starts to get her hands in it, too, gutting the animal and then slicing through the meat. "Think the belly's my favorite. S'where bacon comes from after all." Mmm, bacon.

"Me, too." Padron grumbles in response to Jaylen's hate of tubbers, "as good as they are to eat, they sure are annoying to peel." Grumble grumble. His movements freeze entirely once Kimmila turns to him again and speaks. Eyes are wide as he stares at her, "yes." Clearly, he's blurting out the first thing that comes to mind and he quickly silences himself, quickly looking busy peeling tubbers.

Deitra lifts her brows and peeks at Padron before looking back to Kimmila, "'m thinkin' he's more 'fraid of you'n me." The former hunter snickers to herself before nodding along to what the bluerider says about her non-existent plans to transfer. "Ah. I see. Well, 'm glad you visit so much." A smile is beamed in her direction. "Mm. Yeah. The belly is one of the best parts. When it is bacon, otherwise it ain't that good."

Jaylen keeps her eyes and ears open to listen to Deitra and Kimmila, otherwise she's pretty quiet for the moment. She continues with her tuber peeling, wrinkling her nose at the sticky starch that soon covers her hands and the knife she's using to peel. "I need a t'wel." And she gets up, moving away long enough to retrieve a towel, upon which she wipes her hands and knife on.

Kimmila shakes her head at Deitra, "You've never had pork belly? You really should try it sometime, it's amazing. It's like bacon, but it's….it's different. Different texture. It's incredible." Then she's turning to look at Padron, holding the knife loosely in her hand. "Why?" she asks, looking half amused and half baffled. "What, you're afraid of me too?" she says with a frown, peering at Deitra. "Why is everyone afraid of me? Are /you/ afraid of me?" she demands of Jaylen, perhaps a bit aggressively.

Deitra shakes her head slightly, "ain't ever tried it. Some're sayin' it's nasty. Will have ta catch one and try it, then." A grin plays on the huntress' lips before she's turning to peer at Padron before looking to Kimmila. "Pfft. Nah, I ain't 'fraid of you. Got the utmost respect for you, suppose I could say 'm in awe of you or somethin'. Padron's 'fraid of me, maybe not anymore now that I ain't makin' his life miserable." The woman laughs freely and shakes her head with amusement, though it grows louder as Kimmila asks Jaylen if she's afraid.

Padron opens his mouth and then promptly closes it, giving Deitra a look that clearly reads 'yes, you are making my life miserable' but he says not a word of that as her laughter picks up even more. "Because… Uh. You're… Intimidating." At least he manages to answer as he attempts to return to peeling, sending Jaylen a look that pleads for help.

Jaylen arches her brow to peer at Kimmila, "Dunna th'nk so..shoul' I be?" This is her response to Kimmila's demanding query, spoken soft and calmly. Hey, she used to hang out at Ista with a group of drunks(weyrwoman included sometimes), she's seen worse. Poor Padron, so abused. The scarred Istan sends him a light smile, at least she's not scary…is she?

Kimmila blinks at Deitra. "In awe?" she mutters, shaking her head. "Don't be," she mutters under her breath, hacking away at a porcine leg, cutting through the tendon and then twisting the leg to just pop it out of joint. The hind leg is set into a tray so it can be roasted. Mmmm. Then she looks back at Padron, frowning slightly. "Don't be intimidated. Stand up straight, boy, you're a Candidate of Fort. You should be proud of that. And no, you shouldn't be," she answers Jaylen with a little roll of her eyes. "No one should be afraid of me." Hack, cut, stab.

Padron is so abused! The smile given by Jaylen is returned and he lowers his gaze to his tubber peeling. When Kimmila addresses him again, he looks up and stares at her for the words she gives him. A firm nod is given in response and he stands up straighter as he returns to his peeling.

Deitra snorts softly, "yer a strong woman, rider and you hunt well, ain't nothin' ta scoff at." The huntress insists firmly, giving the bluerider a wide grin as she continues her work of cutting up the meat properly. "Yer sayin' that while hackin' away at meat. No one's not goin' ta be 'fraid of you until yer not holdin' a knife anymore." Teasing, she grins widely at Kimmila before peeking over at Jaylen. "What'd you do in Ista for work?"

Jaylen gives a grin to Kimmila as the bluerider returns to the butchering of porcine meat. "Aye, th'knife doesna help much, I think mos' people're 'fraid of folk with knives. But I s'ppose yer not quite as sc'ry as a greenr'der with a knife." Cause greenriders, in Jay's short experiences, are scary. As she's questioned about her job back at Ista, she shrugs, "Oh purty much an'thin' they asked me t'do, I got purty good at fishin', even learnt 'ow t'gut an' scale."

Kimmila turns her head to watch Padron, and the bluerider nods, looking pleased. Then she's staring at Deitra, her expression impossible to read. But in the end, she just laughs, tapping her knife against the porcine. "Point taken," she says, her grin twisted but very amused. Then she snorts at something that's said, but keeps her opinion to herself as she starts to cut out the tenderloin, being very careful to do as she's instructed so she doesn't mess up that delicious part of the porcine. "Fishing's a good skill to have. It's always good to know how to feed people."

Deitra chuckles at Jaylen's statement of greenriders with knives, grinning mostly to herself as she, too, continues to butcher the porcine meat. "Ah. Just doin' odd jobs and all? Fishin' is fun, one of my favorite things ta do." Deitra notes idly as she works, "you likin' it bein' a candidate, though? Ain't sure if I asked that b'fore or not. 'm likin' it, learnin' new things." Kimmila's expression earns a lift of her brow before the woman shrugs, "'m wantin' ta be stronger." She notes in the end, chuckling as Kimm relents to the statement of the knife making her look frightening.

Jaylen grins a bit, "Aye, but 'fraid fishin' ain't th'best way t'impress folk. Kinda stinky aft'wards." She considers the ther candidate a moment. "Well s'not s'bad, 'cept fer th' no drinkin' and such. I miss m'rum, 'twas s'easy t'get at Ista. And I kinda miss th'parties that were a'ways goin' on at night. But I know, s'fer in case we 'mpress an' all, gotta keep th' lil dr'gonlings safe. An' what's th'worse that kin 'appen af'er th'whole cand'dacy thing, either I wind up with a dr'gon or I go back 'ome t'Ista." She chuckles at that, it's a win win really.

Kimmila glances over at Deitra, causing her to cut a bit off the tenderloin, which earns a soft swear and a refocusing of her efforts. "Stronger in what way? Physically? Emotionally? Mentally?" She grins at Jaylen. "They won't care how you smell when they've got food, though," she points out. Then she's shaking her head, chuckling under her breath. "I really have to listen differently, when I hear you two talk, to make sure I understand what you're saying."

"Nah. Ain't nothin' wrong with the smell, ain't like they goin' ta be sniffin' you while they're eatin' or nothin'. 'S'long as yer not ever takin' a bath, I ain't seein' the issue." Deitra insists, grinning wider before she's nodding her agreement. "Not drinkin' is hard, used ta have one every night b'fore bed. Woulda had one b'fore I took the knot if it weren't for Kimm." A gesture to the bluerider who played witness to the events and the stealer of victory drinks. "Sounds like you've got everythin' planned out. 'm goin' ta work on savin' for my runner once 'm done bein' a candidate." Kimmila's cutting of the tenderloin draws her attention over that way, making no comment as she watches the other woman work before returning to her own. "In all ways. 'm goin' ta be strong." Another chuckle for Kimmila and the former hunter gives a slight shrug, "just the way I talk. Chy's worse'n I am."

Jaylen grins, "S'good t'be strong, ain't nothin' wrong with that." She shrugs helplessly at the mention of her talking. "S'rry, canna 'elp it, but I'll try ta speak clearer fer ya." The scarred girl chuckles softly, "Well, havin' a plan's safer'n not, huh? Gives ya a chance fer a backup plan. Backup plans're very 'mportant, better t'be safe than s'rry." Not that plans or even backup p;ans always work out, but still they're good to have.

Kimmila grins crookedly at the former huntress. "Couldn't have you drunk your first night as a Candidate," she says with a wry twist to her lips. "And it's just drinking. It's not /that/ hard to give up. Neither is sex, for that matter," she adds with a little shrug. "Keeping control of your desires is part of what'll make you an exceptional dragonrider. So this is good practice. It'll make you stronger," she adds. "Are either of you running in the mornings?"

Deitra grins widely at Jaylen's agreement on strength, pausing her work to cast it in her direction before finishing off with her meat. "Nnf. True, ain't like a hangover woulda gone over well in the mornin'. Thanks." A much belated one, but, there it is. "True, keepin' desires in check is bein' strong. Ain't like 'm desirin' sex any, and missn' the alcohol less'n I was b'fore." With the meat finished — her part, at least — she moves to wash her hands off. "Mhm. 'm runnin' every mornin'. I keep up my routine from b'fore I was Searched. Ain't goin' ta let myself get lazy."

Jaylen lets a smile turn her lips, "Ah, but drinkin' an' sex're so much fun. Ev'ryone likes t'ave fun." Hey wait is she supposed to run in the mornings, no one told her that. "S'too chilly in th'mornin', I try not t'get up 'til I hafta mos' times." At least she admits it, right? "At Ista I swam ev'ry morn' an' night, canna do that 'ere tho, least nay without freezin'. S'ppose I could do some runnin' tho."

Kimmila nods to Deitra, offering her a smile. "Good. Sounds like you're well on your way to being stronger, then. Deciding to make that effort is the first part." Finished with her part, she's nudged aside by one of the older cooks who, now that his usual duties are done, can stop the literal butchering of the porcine. "I'd best be off to my other duties," Kimmila says, taking her knife to the sink and washing her hands. "Jaylen, maybe you could run with Deitra each morning," she suggests, drying off her hands before she's simply leaving, not even bothering to say goodbye.

"True. Havin' fun is great." Deitra laughs and snags a towel to dry her hands, "yer goin' ta have ta get used ta the cold if you end up Impressin'. Takes some time, 'm sure. Maybe a few Turns." The towel is then placed down somewhere, likely not where it belongs. "Thanks." This is to Kimmila, along with a grin. "Later Kimm." Her hands are then rubbed together as she considers Jaylen. "'m sure I can get you up in the mornin'. Take you runnin' with us. Ain't as cold once you get movin'." Padron's finished with his tubbers from the looks of it and he's heading off to wash and dry his hands before returning to Deitra's side. "We're up early every morning." He offers to the other candidate with a smile, "it'd be fun if you could join us."

Jaylen is pretty much done with the whole tuber peeling thing. She sends a wave after Kimmila, "'til next time." But then her attention is back on Padron and Deitra, "Aye, s'ppose so, s'not as bad as 'twas at first when I got 'ere." She's pretty much done with her tubers as well, heading over after Padron to wash up as well before they have a chance to plop more tubers down in front of her. "Well, I kin at leas' try th'whole runnin' thin' I guess, s'not like it'll kill me or anythin'."

"Ain't ever been somewhere other'n Fort, but, 'm sure I can imagine it. If I ended up in Igen or somethin', 'm sure I'd fry." Deitra insists, "so, just switchin' that 'round and imaginin' freeezin'." A grin is given towards Jaylen, "it ain't goin' ta kill you. What don't kill you makes you stronger." The huntress insists and starts back towards the living caverns to their forgotten lunch.

Padron smiles a little wider at Jaylen, "it'll be fun." He insists, "now I hope we can finish eating!" And the former trader takes off after the hunter-candidate to get his food.

Jaylen nods at the huntress-candidate's words. The Istan giggles a little at the ex-trader's mention of finishing eating. "Hopef'lly 'tis still there, an' hasna been t'ken o'er by firel'zards." The istan will follow the pair out of the kitchen, she thinks she's done enough kitchen duty, at least for awhile.


'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.