H'rik, Vosji


The T-Tourney, forks and other stories.


It is midmorning of the seventh day of the fifth month of the fourteenth turn of the 12th pass.


Cellars, Igen Weyr

OOC Date 29 Jun 2018 04:00


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"… but since the T-Tourney is my fault-" idea, H'rik, IDEA-



Order at last, here in the cellar: foodstuffs in their proper places, floors cleaned and shelves organized: all the pots, pans, and flatware are properly hung on the walls and stored on their shelves, gleaming with careful cleaning. To one side of the cavern, there is a large outcropping of smoothed rock, permanently stained red: the place where all meat goes to be portioned for cooking. The air is cool and crisp and almost free of humidity and moisture, an astringent tang of salt and herbs hanging heavy in the air.

The cellars aren't normally the domain of the Weyrleader, but this autumn morning finds H'rik down in the cool, organised place anyway. He can't be escaping the heat - the day isn't looking to be an especially hot one. Could it be the bundles of herbs that's drawn him down here? The man certainly seems interested in a selection of dried bundles on a shelf, running a finger over the neatly-written label on the shelf. His forehead crinkles as he frowns, appearing to be thinking hard about something. He's dressed casually, the top couple of buttons on his shirt undone.

It's a popular day for that — for the cellars attracting people who don't normally belong there, it seems. As the Weyrleader is considering herbs, enter Weyrlingmaster: Vosji steps carefully down into the cellars with her boots making a tell-tale 'clack' on the stairs; she has a thoughtful expression on and her lips pursed tight. It's probably been ages since she's been down here, and her nose wrinkles at the sight of the meat tenderizing rock before she directs herself firmly toward where she's actually going. The path to what she's looking for is redirected, however — "Weyrleader," she says, with a salute even if he isn't looking, "How unusual to find you here, sir."

The boots do indeed give her away, though the person he sees when he looks up is not who H'rik was expecting. "Good morning, Weyrlingmaster." He straightens up from his examination of the shelf, returning her salute with a tough of his hand to his temple. "I…could say the same for you," he retorts jokingly, lips upturning in a smile. "You haven't come to look at herbs as well?" He's pulled himself up some, of a height with the woman.

"Forks." That's an odd single word out of context, but Vosji is offering it as an answer — Vosji who, surprise, is not kitchen staff. At least there's none of those interrogating them about why they're down there instead of asking someone who isn't ridiculously important for help! "I came to look for forks, because I had been keeping some in my weyr and there aren't any, anymore. Don't have kids," is tacked on, implying that those statements are clearly related.

Vosji actually hadn't even thought of that, though perhaps it's because she's been too quick to blame her daughters for most anything that they could potentially be blamed for; on the other hand, "I do, yes. A good number of them, though one or two tend to disappear for long times — but it's more likely that my younger daughter took them just because that's something she would do." It's also something a shiny-hoarding firelizard might, especially a gold one with a nest, but — no, it's the child's fault. "Something she likes to do, taking things to make trouble. She doesn't visit often, so it could take me months to get back whatever she has." And yet Vosji doesn't seem that bothered; mostly amused. "What's interesting about the herbs?"

Kid talk. Now there's something H'rik has managed to avoid much of the time. Being practically ostracised from one's family has some advantages. "Is she here at Igen?" Because asking questions about people's kids - even if they have admitted that they cause trouble - is a polite thing to do, right? Oh yeah, the herbs. H'rik turns his head to regard the herbs. "Well…I figure if we're having a T-Tourney it needs some good eatign to go with it. Looking after the stores isn't exactly my job, but since the T-Tourney is my fault-" idea, H'rik, IDEA- "I figured I should see if I need to get anything extra in from the bazaar. Maybe some spices to give some food with a kick, make things fun."

Idea and fault are really similar, right? Vosji might not notice a difference. "Oh," she says brightly, "That's a good idea. And also contributing a lot more than past Weyrleaders would — not here, maybe, I think a lot of the Weyrleaders here have been very hands on but my father would never have done anything like that." Her father, despite his long tenure, isn't Ista's Weyrleader anymore and maybe that's one of the reasons. "And, not anymore. My daughter. She was just visiting; she lives back at Ista with the rest of the family — actually, neither of my daughters are here, but I'm not entirely sure where the older one is most of the time." Iskanzivoth's participation now is to relay a single emotion toward Wendryth: embarrassing. How does she not know stuff like that. He knows where all of his siblings are, and if he had children he'd know where they were too!

The mention of her father gets his interest. H'rik knows as much as is professional to know about Vosji, but a chat like this is the perfect time to learn a little more. As he is, about her daughters. "Some would say too much, and to get back to managing the Wings, I'm sure but…" He lifts his shoulders, a hint of exasperation in his demeanour. "It's all for the Weyr, far as I see it." He'll take an interest in the talk of her daughters. "Old enough to go wandering, huh?" Maybe growing up in the bazaar has made H'rik less worried about not having parents know where their kids are all the time. Wendryth seems to have different thoughts - it's agreement with Iskanzivoth's feelings that is sent back to the blue. And, perhaps, a hint of wistful longing for H'rik to have some kids, like he has.

Iskanzivoth is ALWAYS in favor of kids, though moreso dragon kids — all compliments for Wendryth's, they were great to help raise and train, bring him more anytime. Vosji's feelings on hte matter continue to be embarrassingly clueless: "Yes, she's um — how old is she? Old enough to have apprenticed. She's a dolphineer and I believe she lives on a ship at the moment, so I'm not that likely to know where it is. About the Weyr, though — no, I think a personal touch is better. The fact that it seems like you actually care about things like people participating in a tournament that didn't even used to include the ground crew." Yes, lots of people are touchy about that too, but Vosji thinks it's a good idea.

H'rik gives a little impressed nod at the choice of occupation. Desert born and bred, he can hardly imagine spending his life on the sea, mingling with talkative swimming creatures. "The way I see it, we all work together. Ground crew's as important as anyone else." Apparently also thinking about people's touchiness about that particular inclusion, he goes on with his defense of his choice - not in an aggressive manner, but he's been defending himself to enough people that it's a somewhat sore subject for him. "I'm hoping it'll be a good morale, boost, too." On a similar topic, he gives Vosji a curious look. "Reckon any of Wendy's kids are likely to take home a prize from it?"

"Oh, I wouldn't be surprised. Though I can also imagine it might be difficult to get a few of them to participate," Szokanith. She's talking about Szokanith. "A few of the others have interesting skills specific to the tasks." First, Vosji mentions a couple names from his first clutch with Zsaviranth, and her predictions for participation and potential wins, following up with, "Tuanhjaliteth was actually really good at tracking stuff down, and he has a lot of enthusiasm in him, I'd probably put him down for just about anything." For a bronze, that guy is fast. "Keryth, for the ball game. Edleveth at straight flight or speed, maybe …"

Wendryth has been keeping an eye on his children, especially his daughters because BOYS. With Szokanith's recent flight, the green is more at the forefront of H'rik's mind, and he gives a small, knowing smile when Vosji talks about getting some to participate. He listens with interest to the Weyrlingmaster's assessment of the former Weyrlings and their skills, with the odd nod here and there. She's the expert, and he's learned during his tenure that he can - nay, must - rely on experts. "The Weyr won't hear the end of it if any of Wendy's lot pick up something," H'rik says with a grin, accompanied by a muffled mental protest from the bronze in question that reaches Iskanzivoth. "How about you? Thinking of having a go at anything?" Is this H'rik trying to hype up the event?

"It's always nice to have a proud parent around." Vosji is all smiles for Wendryth's brand of broadcasting; he's nice and straightforward, even if a little inspiring of the need for earplugs at times. Too bad psychic earplugs aren't actually an option. "I try to stay out of situations where I could compete against trainees because it leads to a lot of awkward," Vosji does that pursed lip fold again for a second, "But Iskanzivoth made me promise we could at least have a go at hide and seek." He may not have notably good vision for a dragon, but it's still interesting, and there aren't any events that specifically hunt for draconic math skills.

H'rik grins at the compliment to Wendy; he's happy to let the conversation move onto Vosji and Iskanzivoth's skills, rather than linger on back-patting his own dragon. He'll wait patiently to hear Vosji's thoughts, an eagerness in his eyes at the idea of more people participating in the much talked about Tourney. There's a broad smile when it comes down to a promise to her dragon. "Glad to hear it. I was pondering putting Wendryth in for straight flight. If it's not too uncouth for the Weyrleader to compete, anyway," he adds, the way he looks at Vosji implying he's poking for her thoughts on the acceptability of this.

"You might want to …" Vosji is clearly trying to find a good way, or a nice way, to put it into words and settles on: "Try not to win. If you think your dragon can handle that. I'm not sure it wouldn't actually be good for overall morale to see that the Weyrleading dragon has some great skills, but it's also likely to cause grumbling in the ranks about either things being fixed and unfair, or that you didn't give them a chance, or — " Hand wave. Other things she isn't going to bother putting specific words to. "So it's a difficult line to walk. I'd suss out his comfort with not winning and see if he wants to participate for fun but deliberately hang back a little?"

The advice is well-met. If there's the faintest hint of disappointment, it's more from Wendryth - but no doubt once H'rik has had some time to better explain to the bronze why it's better NOT to try and thrash the competition, things will be fine. H'rik, for his part, is smiling, grateful for the older rider's advice. "Fortunately, I think cheering the other dragons on should distract him from not winning anything." Or maybe even his rivals in whatever event he takes part in? "It all seems to be coming together okay, anyway. The whole thing." Read: nothing has gone disastrously wrong. But there are certainly grumbles that he's aware of (and no doubt more that H'rik isn't).

And that's welcome in and of itself: that Vosji is not talking to an audience that will turn around and do the opposite of what she said. It happens, with weyrlings. And back when she was wingsecond it happened just as often if not more. "He's good-natured like that," she says with a smile, "I do wish Iskanzivoth were more of a good sport. He hates not getting things just right." Hence her selecting an event where that's less likely to be a factor. It is impressively un-Igen-like for something to go off without a hitch, and Vosji hasn't neglected that detail. "Impresively well, I would think. Waiting for that other shoe to drop?"

"We need that balance of personalities, though," H'rik is trying to do the upbeat advice sort of thing now. "For every hot headed dragon, we need one with an attention to detail." Is he implying Wendryth is a hot heat? Probably not - Wendryth is something inbetween. He gives not particularly enthusiastic smile when Vosji asks that question, rubbing an imaginary mark on the nearest bit of shelf. "It's gotta happen some time, right?" He's submitted to his fate, at least.

"It is at least possible," Vosji suggests pragmatically, more than optimistically, "that it might be a very small shoe." There will be something, though. There always is. Nothing ever rolls out perfectly; that would be its own level of concerning. "You are right about that, though. And Iskanzivoth's lack of interest in some things and bizarre interest in others used to get more comments than it does now — people do expect certain fastidiousness, though. Much as they expect enthusiasm, support and an impressive baritone from Wendryth." That's not mocking; it's affectionate, she's smiling. She's also carefully examining a fork, as if her dragon's fastidiousness might come into play in fork selection.

"I can only hope so," H'rik says, voice a little tenser. He's not looking at Vosji now, picking at a splinter of loose wood on the shelf. Probably shouldn't go around damaging the cellars, the Headwoman probably won't be above telling off the Weyrleader. Vosji's affectionate comment about Wendryth brings him back to lighter thoughts, though, and he smiles softly, albeit not at the Weyrlingmaster. "Thanks." For the advice? For the compliments? Just a general thanks, perhaps. "I should leave you to your fork search," he says, finally looking back and focusing on the fork that she's now examining. "And I should get back to…not poking around at herbs, I guess."

"I think all the forks are the same," says Vosji, attempting not to sound disappointed. It may or may not be successful. Evidently the cooler forks (not literally, because it's cold down here) are in the Stores, where she was supposed to have gone in the first place. But there were hopes for continued variety! At least she probably doesn't have another cellars-specific fork. "I won't tell anyone about the herbs. I bet if you ask Diem, though, she'll tell you which of the Tlatoani to go to for their especially pungent spice." Diem would know. Vosji would definitely not know.

"Can't say I've looked at them too closely." Vosji doesn't know spices, H'rik doesn't know forks? He offers up a grin for her recommendation of Diem as a source of spice knowledge. "Will do." Weyrwoman and spice expert? H'rik learns something new about his leadership partner every day. "Thanks." After a quick salute and a final smile, he heads for the steps, the dull thud of his footsteps announcing his exit.

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