Ainslee, Talya, Xanthee


A brief respite from Igen's heat but no escaping candidate chores.



It is evening of the first day of the sixth month of the thirteenth turn of the 12th pass.


Cold Storage

OOC Date 09 Mar 2018 07:00


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Cold Storage

Halite forms a thick, hoary frost on the walls, forever preserving the contents held within and offering up a somewhat bitter aftertaste to the still, chilly air. Frozen solid, carcasses are stacked like grotesque statuary against the far reaches of the walls, row upon row of foot-tagged herdbeast and fowl gleaming amid solid blocks of ice. The wintry chill of the place does little to dissipate the stench of blood that hangs,ominous, in the air; dry, coppery, permanent. The floors are covered in hides to contain any melt-off, while raised walkways between the aisles of food prevent contamination by human foot traffic and make it more difficult for the occasional pest to get at the Weyr's precious foodstuffs.

The first day of summer and it's a hot one. Now that evening has settled on the Weyr, the heat abates slightly, although still quite opressive. When one of the assistant cooks was looking for a candidate to check the inventory of the cold storage against what tomorrow's menu is requiring, a mundane task at the best of times, Xanthee was the first on her feet and gladly took up the list provided for her. Now as she makes her way down past the cellars and comes into the chilly room, she just closes her eyes for a moment and sighs gladly as the frosty air greets her, "Ahhhhhhhh, that's so nice!"

Ainslee is already down here, bundled against the cold in a fashion that is otherwise fairly unusual for Igen. She even has gloves! Gloves that seem to be giving her a spot of trouble, as she tries to grasp a writing implement in one hand and hold a sheaf of papers steady in the other. She's muttering something about wherries. Her attention lifts at Xanthee's exclaimation and smiles, wry. "For the first half hour, sure."

You know what's better than one candidate heading to the cold storage? TWO candidates! (okay, there are three actually) Talya seems to not have been far behind Xanthee, though taking her sweet time getting there after making a quick pit stop for her jacket. No way was she going down there without some warm gear. She is half-dragging a few recently tanned hides to lay out in the future, probably replacing many of the older looking ones. "Give it a few minutes," she mumbles, catching the trail end of the other candidates' words. "It ain't that bad outside… Yet."

Xanthee smiles towards Ainslee for that comment as she giggles, "Nah, I like the cold actually. And I don't think I will be in here that long anwyay. Just gotta make sure the cooks have everything on this list for their menu tomorrow." And then Xanthee actually unfolds the hide with the list and sees it's a lot longer than she initially thought. When Talya comes in wearing her jacket, the raven-haired girl raises an eyebrow, "Oh I know, I'm from here remember?" there may be a little snarkiness in her tone, but it's mainly a teasing sort. "And wait till we get one of our summer sandstorms, those can be brutal is you aren't use to them." Back to the seamstres, she grins, "Been here long then have you? What do they have you doing?"

Ainslee nods to Talya as she comes in behind Xanthee. "Do you need help with those?" She indicates the hides - and winces at the mention of sandstorms. "They're not that bad, if you stay inside. Helping with inventory," she lifts the sheaf. "So, basically, counting dead bodies." I mean, more or less?

"Nah, I think I'm good with these," Talya replies to Ainslee and then just drops the hides as soon as she feels they are well into the storage, giving them a little shove here and there with her booted foot so that they are out of the way of people tripping at least. "You don't think they want us to actually… you know, set them out do they? Just told me to bring these down here." She gives the other two girls a questioning glance. "Sometimes I just plain forget," she says to Xanthee, regarding her place of residence, then lifts both of her brows. "Now that I can't wait to see. Or not… do you wind up with sand in the most random of places afterward?"

"Yeah, well when you work in the Bazaar and live in the Residence Terrace, you don't really have the option of staying inside for a triffling thing such as a storm." Xanthee replies with a snort as she start looking over the food here for what is on her list, checking them off as she goes. At Talya's question, she shrugs, "If they just said to bring them down here, then that's what you did. Just maybe try and find them an out of the way spot?" She looks around, seeing if she can spot a place the other girl could set them down. Put at her question about the sandstorms, she just laughs loudly, "Oh honey, you will be digging sand out of places you didn't even know you had." Xan might be kidding, or she could be completely serious, it's hard to tell.

"I saw some hides piled over there," Ainslee indicates with her chin, "Maybe stick them there?" She makes a mark on her pad and adds, "How many are they, by the way?" She snorts softly, though it's not clear if it's at Talya's question, or Xanthee's answer. "Sand is very mobile," is all she'll offer. And: "Just, if you end up in one, keep your mouth closed."

Talya glances back to where she dumped the hides by the entrance, just a little off to one side maybe, and then to Xanthee… then back to the hides. "You think that's a bad spot?" she asks, in all seriousness. Because that meant she would have to pick them back up. Her hands tuck into her jacket pockets and she gives an involuntary little shudder. "I mean, shit, that'd definitely take longer down here. I don't know what's worse, staying here or going back up there empty handed to get some other chore dumped on me." She's not moving though, turning to regard the other two young women stuck down there with her. Then, with a big heavy reluctant sigh she kneels down and grabs the first hide. smaller than the rest at least before heading further into the storage. "I'll have to remember that if I find myself in one. I guess I better start getting used to the sand." It being everywhere and she's (hopefully) here to stay with a lifemate.

"Hey it's up to you, it wasn't my task." Xanthee says with a shrug of her shoulders as she returns to her list, walking on the raises walkways winding her way through the various aisles, her emerald eyes scanning the shelves and various foodstuffs. To Ainslee's advice for Talya in a sandstorm, she snorts, "Yeah, that's pretty much rule one right there. Nothing like a mouthful of sand to ruin your day." The girl is obviously talking from much experience on that one. Then she hums softly, "Wherry eggs? Why can't I find the sharding wherry eggs?" Xan grumbles, scanning the shelves in front of her.

Ainslee lofts her brows at Talya, "Imagine how much worse the next chore could be," she says, dry. "I'll help you move them if you help me count herdbeast haunches. Oh!" She cranes her neck to try and spot Xan. "If you find them, can you count them for me?" She asks, mild, as if it's a perfectly normal, reasonable request. "Tell you what - it might be dead cold in here, but I'd still rather sleep here than those stuffy barracks full of people and their breathing."

Talya, dragging that herdbeast hide, leans over to one side and says, "Eggs. Wherry eggs… At least I hope they're wherry eggs. Here," she finishes to Xanthee, nodding her head down to a spot. She was just passing them by as she moves her one hide. Finally dumping it where Ainslee thought was the best spot. One down… several more to go. Instead she tucks her hands into her pockets and moves closer to Ainslee. "That's a deal. You make a good point, would rather not risk knowing what next they'll throw at me." She tucks herself into the large jacket and gives another little shudder. "Even with all that snoring and gases, I think I'll take that over the cold."

"Hey! I have my own job to do here y'know?" Xanthee says with mock severity but the giggle that accompanies it betrays that she is joking. Now that the cold has settled onto her, she rubs absently at her bare arms. When Talya speaks up though, she perks and moves towards the other girl's voice. At the nod in the direction of the wggs she smiles, "Thanks a bunch." she says as she heads down the right aisle and finds the basket with wherry eggs. Silently she starts counting. At talk of the barracks, she snickers softly, "It's not that bad guys, it's kind of comforting. Like when I was a kid and slept in the dorms in the lower caverns."

"Oh, the gases," Ainslee mutters. Ahem. "Here," She holds out a paper for Talya. "You do that row," she points to the one opposite them, "I'll do that one," the row behind it. "Counting will keep you warm." Lies! "I think it's worse than the dorms. Far more teenaged boys in a much smaller space. That alone." She wrinkles her nose.

"Comforting, says the girl that has all the good dreams," Talya says with a smirk over her shoulder at Xanthee. "I mean, sure the company can be nice and all but a curtain between beds is not enough privacy sometimes." She makes a face, one hand rising up to wave in front of her face. "I guess I'd take this smell over some of the smells that come out of my bunk mates. Just not the cold." She takes the paper from Ainslee and makes a motion like scratching on it. "Got a charcoal or something or should I swipe some blood from somewhere?" Because there had to be some somewhere that dripped from the haunches that weren't completely exsanguinated.

A blush rises to warm on Xanthee's cold cheeks as Talya mentions good dreams. "Hey, I can't help what I dream about. And it's the first time I've been away from my boyfriend for more than a day so…" as if that could explain why she seems to have such a good time in her sleep. After she counts the eggs, she calls out to Ainslee, "Looks like there's three baskets with 3 dozen in each for the wherry eggs." ticking off on her own list she moves onto the next item.

Ainslee fishes in her coat pocket to produce a charcoal pencil, and holds it out. "Though if you prefer to write in blood, don't let me stop you." She moves to her own row and begins to tally, stopping when she hears Xan. "Thanks!" She calls back, flipping to a different sheet to make a note. "A boyfriend? And you still agreed to Stand?"

Talya makes as if she considers the option, then takes the pencil from the seamstress. "Nah, this will work nicely. I'd hate to contaminate our food." She moves on to the row she was instructed to go to, glancing back to the others briefly. "Just unfair not to share the details, we're all stuck in there together you know!" Not that she really is serious about it, turning around to finally start the counting. She does listen, however. "So long as she's not pregnant or married it's still okay to Stand, right?" Little nicks on the paper count her tally, and she never turns her gaze away now though lifts her voice up to be heard. "Though I bet you have to be strong to be away that long, if you're dreaming of it loudly… you two were probably at it like cats in heat." Snicker.

"Why shouldn't I?" Xanthee asks as she peeks around the aisle to look at Ainslee with a wide smile on her face since the other Igenite has just stumbled upon Xan's very favorite subject ever. "We are on a break of course, we're not seeing each other at all even though he's only over in the Crafter Complex. But when it started to get serious, I told him I'd stood before and I plan to again, and that he would have to be okay with that." the raven-haired girl pauses only long enough for a quivering sigh, "And he told me that he wanted to be with me, but also that he wanted me to chase my dream, even if that meant we'd have to take breaks like this. In his last letter he said how proud of me he is for going through this again." With a little wink she adds, "Not to mention he's a Journeyman Miner with a body like chiseled stone." Back to Talya, she shrugs her shoulders absently, "We are very passionate about each other if that's what you mean, and I'm a good Weyrbred girl, I know how to take my herbs on time, everytime."

Ainslee flicks a hand dismissively, "Oh, I know she can. Just…" she trails off, lips pursed, ticking off a few more haunches. "Well, if it's your dream, it's your dream. I don't think I could do it, especially if you're real serious. That's a life right there." She gives a short laugh for the miner's description. "Chiseled stone? You'll bruise something."

It's probably a good thing that Talya is facing the haunches and dutifully counting, so that she cannot see the expressions of her fellow candidates. Or make faces in return. She finally finishes her designated section, towards the end of it and turns back to the others to deliver the good news to Ainslee. She lifts one brow alone to Xanthee at the tail end of it. "Passionate is a word for it. Are you going all the way without even seeing him and just writing? It can be Turns. You can at least have meals together or something or talk 'bout the day." If said dream comes to fuition that is. "Got your number right here, Ainslee," she adds as she approaches, handing over the paper and pencil. The tally marks are even added and a number circled for the other girl.

"We are serious, but I was serious about being a dragonrider first, and he knows that's how it is for now until I either impress or am too old to stand anymore." Xanthee says in all seriousness now as it's obvious she has thought this through thoroughly. "And when I say he's ok with this, he talked me back into standing when I was getting nervous right before the clutching, that's how much he wants this for me." Then to Talya she grins a bit, "Well, at least through Candidacy, we're staying apart." Because getting kicked out once for a relationship is enough for this girl, but she won't say that out loud. "If I impress, I'm sure we will see each other occasionally. But I know he'll wait for me." That last is said with some secret significance as she reaches up to touch the round piece of polished opal that hangs on a leather cord right above her heart. When she finally snaps out of it, she looks down at her list for a quick check, "Well looks like I'm done here. I'll catch you two in Barracks at lights out." She says as she dashes for the door, hands rubbing at her bare arms to try and get the blood circulating again.

"Thanks, Talya," Ainslee takes the page, and makes marks on her own, presumably transcribing the numbers. Her smile loses its wry edge and seems fairly genuine as she listens to Xanthee. "Well, that's good then." She shuffles her sheaf, "So, shall I help you with those - " she breaks off as another Candidate skitters down the steps. "Ainslee! They want you back up there!" he announces before fleeing. Ainslee throws Talya an apologetic look, "I'll owe you a favor, okay?" she calls as she scurries away.

"Uh huh," is about all Talya can say about young love and long distance relationships sticking through the turns, though her eyes drop briefly to the opal and then she gives a shrug. "Wish you luck on that," she says before waving to Xanthee on her way out. Doesn't sound like Talya really believes in true love. She's grinning at Ainslee as soon as the girl turns to her about the hides. "Ready then? Cause it's freezing down here." And then that /other/ candidate just had to come down and ruin it! "Wait, y'all are leaving me down here alone?" She stares after the retreating girls, calling out a "You definitely owe me one!" to Ainslee. If she even heard that. She stares at her discarded pile of hides. She already started moving them. She remains to finish the job, with only the carcasses for company.

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