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Time: It is a spring dusk, 18:33 of day 22, month 4, turn 19 of Interval 10.
Place: Weyrling Barracks, Fort Weyr.
Players: B'kaiv, Cirse, Phara, Y'nolek, Agrith, Chielyth
Scene: The Weyrwoman stops by for a visit with words of advice.

Weyrling Barracks, Fort Weyr

A vast, volcanic bubble has been left in its natural state, creating a functional -- if unrefined -- home for growing dragons and their riders. There are two large entrances along the eastern wall leading out of this space, with plenty of room to allow dragons and riders alike to come and go as needed. Several rows of rush-lined stone couches, each paired with a small cot and a clothing press, fill the bulk of the floor space.

Tucked off toward the northwestern corner of the ovoid cavern would be a teaching area, with diagrams and other devices for demonstration, such as straps, oiling paddles, and the like. Scattered throughout the chamber at convenient intervals are oil-filled bins, spaced specifically for convenient access. A larger bin is located toward the southeastern corner, which is meant to refill the smaller ones. Storage for other supplies -- cleaning, straps-making, and such -- is tucked behind the teaching area.

There is a curtained off alcove along the southwestern wall that leads to a small bathing area -- just large enough for a few people or a pair of smaller dragons -- while another curtained entry that's approximately in the middle of the westernmost wall leads to a cool, dark cavern where meat is stored. This entry is flanked to either side by bins for meat; weyrling riders can dine at the wooden tables located along the east wall, between the entrances. The natural lighting is augmented with glow baskets that are strategically placed throughout.

Obvious exits:
Weyrlingmaster's Office Bowl

Most of the weyrlings are still at dinner, though a few are starting to trickle back in, either from a fast meal or late classes that delayed them. One of those is Kai, who shoots a look at the office door but bypasses it, heading instead for his couch where Chielyth is curled up, dozing. The green isn't precisely asleep, but she's not bouncing, either.

Y'nolek is on his cot, sleeping, one arm hanging off the cot with his fingers brushing the floor. His mouth is open and he's snoring loudly. That is, until Agrith stirs from his couch, climbs to his feet, steps over, and nudges Nolek in the backside with his muzzle. "Huwha?!??" Nolek yelps as he leaps out of bed in a tangle of blankets and promptly falls over.

B'kaiv looks over at that yell - everyone in the barracks does - but it's only I'zach who comes out and laughs. "Gonna be late for supper, Nolek!" he calls from where he's perched on the edge of his cot tying his boots. Kai continues on his path to his cot and flops down, but immediately sits up and digs under his pillow with a frown. He draws out a folded bit of hide, opens it and starts to read, mouthing along.

Y'nolek sighs, and picks himself up, untangling the sheets from his legs and throwing them back on the bed in a wad. "Don't /do/ that," he scolds Agrith. "You scared the life out of me!" Agrith ducks his head and croons apologetically, at which Nolek relents and runs a hand over his headknobs, affectionate. A glance about the barracks to orient himself, and he sees B'kaiv with the hide. "Someone send you a letter?" he asks.

I'zach giggles again and rolls over to give his sleeping blue a fond caress; rolls the other way and jogs into the bowl, yelling for someone to wait up. Kai doesn't so much as glance the bluerider's way, engrossed in his hide as he is. It takes a few seconds for Y'nolek's question to sink in, and when it does, Kai's first instinct is to crumple the bit of hide protectively. "No. Maybe. --Yeah." He shoots a look over at Nolek, smoothes the bit of hide on his leg.

Y'nolek laughs a little bit, hand still automatically caressing Agrith's head. "Well, don't worry, I'm not gonna steal your letter. Family?" he asks. "Or girlfriend?" He grins a bit.

Kai's shoulders hunch anyway - first at the laugh, then at the 'girlfriend'. "No," he growls quellingly, and shoots the note another look. "S'just. S'just Su. Weyrleader told me t' write t' her. T' practice. 'Stead of." He waves a hand vaguely toward the work area before elaborating, "What they got me doin'."

Phara comes in looking...exhausted. She's also covered in sand. No doubt, so is Bennath. She's covered in sand the way someone is covered in sand when they fall asleep and their mischevious dragon helps the weyr's children cover you in sand before their nannies and parents haul them off to dinner. Sadly for her, she did it in one of her favorite dresses. It was, at the beginning of the day, yellow fading into pink at the bottom. Her shoes seem to be missing entirely. At least the yellow headband in her hair looks like it survived her nap. She stops at the entry way to brush off the worst of the grit, looking for all the world quite helpless. "Sharding Benny."

"To practice?" Nolek repeats blankly. Then, belatedly, he catches on. "/Oh/. To practice writing? Right. Well, that's good then? Nice of her to write back." He gives Kai an amiable smile, trying to make up for causing the hunching and growling. When he hears Phara, he looks around, his face showing surprise at her words - and appearance. "Heh. Wow."

Cirse enters without notice, much less fanfare, as she has done at irregular intervals over the last couple of months. Her drawing pad rests at one hip, slung on a thin chain from her opposite shoulder, which serves to keep her hands free. She has also chosen to enter the barracks pristinely clad, in white and gray-blue with polished black, which given Phara's experience may yet prove to be a mistake. "Good evening," she greets from behind the young bluerider.

"Yeah," Kai agrees, and relaxes enough to let a ghost of a smile flicker and die. He glances doorward when Nolek does; tenses but pops to his feet, one hand clutching his letter while offering a salute with the other. "Evening, ma'am. --Bluerider," he adds, this time with a nod.

"Not a word," Phara groans at her mentee, shaking her skirt out and then trying to push all the sand back out the door with her foot with minimal success. Cirse gets a startled look. "Weyrwoman," she says, her voice risen an octave. Her own pristine clothing gets a slightly amused look as she takes the goldrider in. "Uh... try not to, er, touch anything, yeah?" Grimace. Baby dragons, not very clean. Kai... gets a gapey kinda look at then something passes across her face. Guilt? It's gone too fast to tell. "B'kaiv," she acknowledges with a nod.

"Oh. Hi, Weyrwoman," Nolek says, standing up straight and removing his hand from Agrith's head when he notices Cirse. The young bronze catches on from his rider's reaction that something interesting is happening, and swings his head around to look at Cirse and Phara curiously.

"I will attempt to not touch anything I do not mean to," Cirse assures the sandy woman, and actually appears to be giving her a closer look before identifying out loud, "Assistant Weyrlingmaster Phara." For B'kaiv and the others, "At ease." She bypasses the bluerider to walk further into the massive cavern, her hands neatly behind her, the picture of ease.

It becomes apparent as the Weyrwoman moves that Kai's watching her, not Phara - though he did acknowledge her presence, so he did see the slight rider. "Uh... yes, ma'am," he answers Cirse and retakes his seat. A frown and he bends over, reclaiming the momentarily lost note, then shoots a look around at the company and stashes it away in his press instead. "How's um. Peirith, ma'am?"

Phara nods her head shyly at Cirse. "Er, bit of a mouthful there, ma'am. How 'bout just Phara?" And possessed of a demonic need to clean up she scatters to the storage closet to find a broom and dustpan and get rid of the sand in a more concrete way. Yep, let Cirse deal with them. She'll just be scarce, yeah?

If Cirse is the picture of ease, Nolek is the picture of unease. He wipes his hands on his trousers, looks at Agrith, looks at Kai, looks at Phara sweeping, and then looks guiltily at the mass of wadded up sheet and blanket on the cot behind him. He gives Cirse a shy smile, while Agrith takes a few steps foward to investigate her, head tilted curiously to one side.

Dark eyes have indeed seemed intent on examining the walkway for the smelly sort of draconic mishaps, or maybe it's stray wings or tails that might not like to be stepped on, or possibly tunnelsnake-filled pits, so Phara's concern might be valid enough. "Phara," Cirse agreeably allows a few steps later, steps that eventually curve around towards where B'kaiv sits, her gaze lifting enough to search for his green should she be in sight. But it's Agrith who intercepts her, and she greets the young dragon by crouching somewhat, her hands extended towards him. "She is well, thank you, B'kaiv. We are back up to speed and flexibility, which is a great reassurance to me. And how is all here, just now?"

Chielyth blinks sleepily at the weyrwoman from her curl, wurbles and rustles her wings at the woman her brother's investigating but doesn't - yet - rise to follow. Kai keeps a sidelong eye on Phara until she disappears, then focuses again on Cirse, his hands resting uncertainly on his knees. "I, uh. That's good t' hear. We're," he nods Y'nolek-wards, jerks his head to include Chielyth, "Well, /I'm/. I mean, had early supper. You ate yet? Pretty good food t'night, huh?"

Phara is, you know, sweeping. Nothing to see here folks, move along. One eye is kept on Agrith however, just to make sure the little bronze doesn't... I dunno... poop on her.

Agrith is pleased to be greeted, and lets out a whuff of air, eyes whirling a fast-paced blue-green. He extends his muzzle toward Cirse's hands and tilts his head slightly. Nolek looks surprised. "Huh, he doesn't usually do that. Um, but he wants you to scratch him - if you want, I mean. Weyrwoman," he says to Cirse. "Don't have to or anything." He grins a little bit at B'kaiv, but having no other, better answer to How It's Going, he doesn't volunteer one.

"That is good to hear," Cirse says in her turn, something about her timbre speaking of sincerity, however stilted, rather than deliberate mimicry of B'kaiv. Rather than object to little Agrith's attentions, or expectations, her fingers curl and wiggle in that universal 'come here' sort of fashion, all prepared to rub his hide where he presses up, and this not knowing where his muzzle has been. "I do prefer to visit when it is no interruption. I appreciate the food as well, particularly the greater variety that can be had with the change in the seasons. More than one of our bakers has mentioned the pleasures of having a greater variety for the menu. Does your Chielyth enjoy the warming weather? She has such a pleasant sound to her."

B'kaiv stares at Cirse like she's coming down in spots. "Uh," he says again, retreats to the safety of coaxing Chielyth out of her bed. It doesn't take much coaxing at all for the little green to crawl out of her hollow and stretch her hind legs one toe-wriggling extension at a time. Kai watches this all with adoring fascination, at least until Chielyth hops and scampers over to demand her share of Cirse's attention. "She likes everything, ma'am. When she ain't tired, of course. You be nice, now!" It's likely this last is aimed to the green, for she immediately crouches and only leans heavily against Agrith's shoulder.

Phara finds herself with no more sand to sweep and so she looks around, bewildered, and then dutifully troops back to return the broom to where it belongs. That done, she stands awkwardly with her arms folded behind her, an observer rather than butting in.

Agrith thrusts his head into Cirse's hands happily, grunting a bit when Chielyth leans against him, and squirming to get his wing out of her way. Nolek snorts with laughter. "Be nice, Agrith! She can scratch you both. If she wants." He looks at B'kaiv in wonder. "Never seen 'em do that," he says, shaking his head a bit. "You?"

Staring doesn't seem to discommode Cirse, and she could very well be breaking out in spots indeed for all she seems to attend to herself. "A positive outlook does help one in life, I believe... Yes, dear, better to bother your brother now than when he is much bigger, but a little patience would not go amiss." This, with both hands about that wriggly muzzle of Agrith's, all the way past his jaw to the arch of his neck if he pushes into them enough. "He seems symmetrically developed," she opines. "Good neck strength.... Yes, aren't you a love. You like that. I like that too. Now it's time to share with your sister." One hand for each!

Kai snorts, amused, at Chielyth's exuberance, and stands to tug his shirt straight. "All th' time," he answers 'Nolek. "Chielyth's always -bouncin'- at people." And Agrith's a people. Chielyth mock-snaps at that bronze wing as it wriggles free, her tail lashing enthusiastically behind, only to nudge her muzzle straight into Cirse's palm. Yes, here. Demanding. Behind her, a warning growl, "Chielyth..."

Phara smiles indulgently, watching the two dragons vying for Cirse's attention. "No doubt you would have Impressed, was there?" she murmurs, passing the Weyrwoman to come around and sit down at the bottom of an unoccupied cot.

Agrith thrums appreciatively at Cirse, and is already moving aside to make more room for Chielyth when she snaps at him. He bleats a complaint, and a yellow tinge appears around the edge of his eyes. One hand is enough for him, though he does go on moving his head against Cirse's hand, like a cat being stroked - keeping an eye on Chielyth all the while. Nolek frowns a bit, and glances at B'kaiv anxiously, but bites his lip, not intervening for the moment.

That muzzle-nudge gets something close to a squeak out of the generally dignified Cirse, and the dragons might be able to sense the unvoiced laughter with which she informs Chielyth, "That tickles." However! To both of them, rubbing Chielyth but bracing her elbow on her thigh so Agrith can rub up against her, "That was a good recovery, Agrith. Just be a little careful, both of you. If you knock me over, there will be no more attention... Phara, look at Chielyth's hide, here. See this crevice behind her headknob, where the hide is so close together? B'kaiv really has done a wonderful job of tending to her under your collective care." It takes her longer to find words for the woman's question, even her fingers momentarily gone still until she's reminded to continue. "I was only a candidate for a sevenday, or perhaps it was six days, before they hatched," she says as part of the story.

Chielyth bleats delight and nudges Cirse's hand again - more carefully, though. She doesn't want to knock anyone over either! "She's just playin'," Kai announces, as though it needed to be said; frowns and folds his arms as the weyrwoman brings Phara into the admiration party. "She gets plenty of baths. -And- I oil her too." Defensively said, with a jerk of his chin at the bluerider. "Chielyth, maybe you ought t' stop botherin' the weyrwoman." The green doesn't so much as glance backwards at this pseudo-suggestion.

Phara leans forward to examine what Cirse indicates, her eyebrows furrowing a little. "She's a doll," Phara finally murmurs, looking uncomfortable. And then she conceeds to Cirse, "That must have been the easier end of the deal. T'rev and I were the first ones Searched when we stood. 'Course, I didn't Impress. And then I was one of the first ones in again the second time." She sort of wilts as B'kaiv so easily dismisses her part in the raising of the enthusiastic little green. Suddenly, she's busy again trying to discover any sand still hiding in the folds of her dress. Oh hey, is that a speck?

Y'nolek completely misses the byplay between Phara and Kai. He's not entirely sure what to do with himself with Agrith demanding attention from /someone else/. After a time of this, his forehead creases in consternation. "Why doncha come on back over, Agrith," he suggests. "Agrith?" Belatedly, the bronze head swings around, and with a final playful nudge at Cirse, Agrith waddles rapidly back over to Nolek, shoving the top of his head into the weyrling's stomach, and getting rubbed on the sides of his head for his trouble, while Nolek smiles broadly, at ease again. "You're right ma'am," he says, running hands along Agrith's neck as the weyrwoman did. "He does have a strong neck. Guess it's from practicing at pushing on /me/." That's a joke, though; he slaps Agrith lightly, playfully, along with it.

"The oiling is so important after baths." Cirse catches herself saying as she attends to the little ones, then explains, "I know Jantha will have told you that and told you that, or just told you that and expected you to remember... but I can't not say it, it seems.... They do like to push, do they not? And I can only imagine that being Searched first would have felt like forever. Agrith, thank you for your company. Now, Chielyth," for something about one of the little green's reactions has had her pause, her quick glance finding the little green's rider before it returns to Chielyth's whirling gaze. "I'm just going to touch this little bit here, and here, very gently, along your shoulder. Please tell your B'kaiv if we find a spot that is not like the rest."

B'kaiv is firmly not looking at Phara, as if that half of his vision had a handy wall in it. "/He/ listens t' you," he half-laughs at Y'nolek, even though Chielyth is never far from her Kai and the man's complaint holds no water. Still, he comes first one slow step, then another hasty one toward Cirse for her exploring. "She's kinda sore there. Come from th' other day, when she knocked int' my desk."

Phara does not exist now. Cool. But that speck sure does. She picks at it with one fingernail with dedication to the task. "Yeah. Forever," she agrees, and gives Cirse no more. Instead, she watches Y'nolek. He's safe!

Y'nolek smirks at Kai. "He listens to 'come here' anyway," he corrects. "We're still working on 'go away.'" Agrith pulls his head back and looks up at his rider, crooning in a sorrowful way. Nolek sighs a bit. "No, silly, I don't want you to go away... it was a joke." He reaches out his hands and Agrith puts his head between them for more rubbing. Y'nolek's gaze drifts back to Cirse and Chielyth, and he frowns slightly in concern, but doesn't comment about the green's possible hide problem. He glances at Phara, too, grinning tentatively when their eyes meet.

With that warning, Cirse stops, her palms flattening against the earthy green of the dragonet's chest and then smoothing down along her neck, instead. "I imagine you both learned a lesson from that, didn't you," she murmurs. "And you'll have talked to Jantha, so I needn't worry there. She is well trained, you know, and most reliable, or else we would not have asked for her help."

B'kaiv crouches at Chielyth's side, turning half of a wry smile up at the weyrwoman. "Learned not t' keep the ink where she can get at it," he answers with an arm over green haunches. "She were all covered in it. An' I'd just oiled her too, remember?" That to Nolek, invitingly. "Later she decided t' go rollin' around in the muck pit - earned her -two- baths that day." Chielyth, unrepentant Chielyth, only sighs and lets her head droop, trusting that Cirse will catch her.

Phara smiles back tentatively at Y'nolek and nods her head, a bit of acknowledgement for him before she can't help but peek back at what the Weyrwoman is doing with the green and her weyrling.

Y'nolek makes a face. "Wow," he says sympathetically. "Like one's not enough, huh?" He pats Agrith, who's nudging at him for more attention. "Yes, I know, you /always/ stay clean," he says with a roll of his eyes. "Except that time you went in the mud with Elaruth, remember? Ha. Yeah, yeah. 'Forgot,' my heinie." He rolls his eyes, smirking.

Perhaps it's no surprise that Cirse sounds fervent with her, "Not the ink." It's enough to give the young dragon a more solemn look, and she mentions, "The oiling might have kept it from staining herself so much, however." Later it would surely come as more of a surprise, but with the dragonet currently being shorter than the woman is tall, and mostly neck and tail at that, it's no hardship to prop up that dark chin of hers in her palms and regard those spinning eyes like she's memorizing her. Her sudden chuckle, however, is a giveaway that she's been eavesdropping on Y'nolek as well. Reluctantly, she moves her cupped hands to the side, so that B'kaiv may more easily take custody. "I must wish you all a good night, rather than stay too long this time."

"Got her right t' the baths, ma'am," Kai assures, though there's no trace of ink left on Chielyth's hide. Not even on that dark-tinted muzzle Cirse is so good as to hold. Chielyth wurbles again and -leans- into her rider, forcing a good-natured swear as he adjusts his balance to not topple. "A'right. It were nice of you t' come, ma'am. Chielyth says you got nice hands. She likes you." He looks over at Y'nolek and snorts, not chuckles, though the sound is similar. "Yeah, Elaruth likes mud plenty, don't she?"

Phara nods to Cirse. "Thanks for, you know, coming down to see us, Cirse." But maybe she looks a little relieved to see the Weyrwoman leave. She pushes herself to her feet, just to be proper and walk the older woman out. "Elaruth does like mud," Phara agrees, out of the blue.

Agrith nudges Nolek, and thus prompted, he says, "Agrith likes you too, weyrwoman, and," he glances at his bronze and paraphrases a little, "he thanks you for the headrub." Agrith bleats, but Nolek just says, "Hush, you." And smirks in agreement about Elaruth liking mud. "Least they'd got into it before bath time, that day."

The swearing does take Cirse aback, however good-natured, and she gives B'kaiv a long look before she straightens. "It was nice to be here. You are welcome," this most certainly for Agrith in translation as well, and after double-checking that her notes are still with her, she accepts Phara's escort to the cavern's mouth.

Chielyth bounces a little, as if she'd go after Phara and Cirse for more attention, but B'kaiv keeps one hand on her back and after a minute, she settles. Turns her attention back to Agrith, anyway, and lashes her tail at the much larger bronze. << Your cot is walking away, >> she announces glibly, her mindvoice twinkling. << You should go get it! >>

Phara sees Cirse out and then comes back, sweeping a hand through her hair and then resettling her distrubed headband. She smiles at the little dragons first and then sighs, resettling onto the cot to look around. Weyrlings have been coming back from dinner slowly over the course of Cirse's visit, so at least now there are a few more than there were. Phara doesn't look optomistic about how her night's going.

Agrith is credulous enough to swing his head around to look for his cot, but when he sees it in the same place it always is, he turns himself back around to look at Chielyth, confused. << What do you mean? >> he asks. Nolek relaxes a little, with Cirse gone, and heads over to straighten out the sheets on his bed. It takes a few minutes to get the bed made, and when he looks up again, Phara's back. Noticing the look on her face, he asks, "What's wrong?"

The green bounces at Agrith while he's not looking though Kai's hand keeps her close, and not into the bronze's personal space. << You looked! >> she pouts at him, though this isn't enough to keep her quelled for long. "Ain't you tired?" Kai asks her, half-resigned, but from her wriggling it's plain to see she isn't. "How 'bout you an' me goin' outside t' play? Nolek," he starts, but cuts off when the other weyrling addresses Phara.

Phara looks at Y'nolek. "Nothing," she says hastily and rearranges her face instantly into the cheerful smile she wears normally. "Nothing like a visit from your Weyrwoman to get your heart racing, huh? She's something." She pops to her feet and crosses the room. "Why don't you see if you can get Agrith to go play outside with Chielyth, Y'nolek, see if you can't get some sleep. Bennath'll keep an eye on him."

"Um, I. Okay," Nolek says to Phara, looking a bit nervous about that prospect. But: sleep! "Hey Agrith... you want to go play with Chielyth?" he proposes, and the bronze wriggles eagerly. That would be a yes. Nolek looks over at B'kaiv, and grins. "Well?"

"I'll go with 'em," B'kaiv volunteers with a shrug. "Was gonna watch her get all tired anyway. Might as well do it when there's still light, yeah?" He ambles for the door, Chielyth gallivanting behind, with a lazy half-salute for Phara as they pass. Apparently trusting that Agrith will follow, the two head outside into what's left of the Spring evening.

Agrith is eager enough to play that he gallops off after Chielyth, and Nolek collapses onto his cot with relief. He kicks off his shoes, and closes his eyes.

Phara glances over her shoulder at Y'nolek and then sighs and trails a safe distance after B'kaiv, out of the barracks. "I need pie," she says to herself, frowning.