Who

Katryana, Kyriatis, Syrianna

What

Kyriatis provides lunch; Katryana and Syrianna work on their robes; and then there's talk of Death.

Candidate bingo

When

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

Where

Nighthearth, Southern Weyr

OOC Date 01 Jul 2018 23:00

 

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"Sorry for making it all depressing. If it's any consolation, you're more likely to die from skin cancer than Thread, statistically speaking."


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Nighthearth

A comfortable nook, this natural extension of the living room is cozily attired with overstuffed chairs and a couple of well-worn loveseats. All have been covered in various shades of green, giving the very incongruous appeal of a miniature forest hidden away inside… a grove of man-made proportion. Fish stews and spicy white-wherry chili are often kept hot on the minor hearths east and west of the main, for those whose hours defy when meals are kept. Ornate, the largest hearth towers high, rich with carving and utilitarian in fashion: it holds court by providing the weyr with rich klah, the air thick with the scent of cinnamon wafting.


A break in chores after breakfast on this dreary day has led to some of Southern's candidate contingent to seek refuge from the 40F-degree weather within inner sanctum of the living quarters. Fires crackles merrily, warming the Nighthearth pleasantly, helping shake the cold of autumn rain from the bones of some of the older Aunties and Uncles who are parked there, happy to mind their own business while the youngsters are hard at work, for a candidate's work is never done! Katryana's sitting on her heels close to a hearth with an honest-to-goodness iron, heating it up in the edges of the fire to press the seams of her disassembled robe to get them ready for stitching together. The thing's a damn work of art, as much as a white sack of cloth can be, or at least promises to be once it's actually assembled. For now, it's carefully trimmed pieces of fabric with obsessively straight edges. The way things are going, the girl looks likely to chew through her own lip trying to concentrate before any pieces are actually sewn.

Having been on kitchen-duty already this morning, Kyriatis looks not unreasonably tired - though she's still cheerful in that bubbly, over-stimulated way of hers - as she makes her way into the nighthearth. She's carrying a tray with her, bearing a selection of sandwiches that may tempt teenage appetites, even at this time of the morning, caught between breakfast and lunch. Setting down her burden, the pint-sized teen turns and, laughing, "Are you still working on that, Kat? It's not a ball gown, it doesn't need to be perfect."

Syrianna wanders in herself. She was out in the weather and actually enjoying it not being too hot. Though it is still warmer than it is back home. She notices the other two and then smiles, "Actually it is suggested that you don't put too much time, I hear the hatchlings tend to ruin them, so make sure to wear your undergarments unless you want to give everyone a show." she giggles a little, but someone might have just been teasing the girl too, since she has never been to a hatching before.

Katryana looks up from her ironing (clay-ing? what with the lack of metal for household chores, and all) to give Kyriatis an exasperated look which is echoed to Syrianna as she makes her way in. "Oh, sh…" She jerks the iron away from the fabric, having forgotten what she was doing. Thankfully, she'd had the wherewithal to put an ironing cloth between it and her robe fabric, and at least that's still fine. The teen breathes a sigh of relief before insisting adamant, "I really haven't spent that much time on it. I just want to make sure the edges are all nice and lined up." Uh huh, sure you haven't, Kat. Mortified, she turns her body to face Syrianna, "Wait, why wouldn't you wear undergarments? Did you just plan on wearing the robe and nothing else?" The tray of snacks is eyed and she drags herself off the ground, swishing her skirts to get them to untangle. Happy day, she's gotten to go unshod so far, and she plods over on bare feet to inspect what Kyriatis has brought.

Kyriatis' smirk is the only immediate response she gives to Katryana's perfectionism; she says, instead, "Sandwiches! Salt wherry and cheese, and some with autumn greens and mayonnaise as well. I made 'em with the leftovers from the breakfast bread— there are some advantages to kitchen duty, I guess. Underwear," she adds, giving Syrianna a glance as she steps away from tray (though she's eyeing it a little hungrily when she can), "is a definite must. Preferably skin-coloured if you can manage it, else it'll show through the white. How's yours coming together? Not long to go now."

Having claimed one of sandwich creations with a delighted exclamation, Katryana returns to her place by the fire, fwomping down on the ground next to her work. "Ffhaanks, Khrrhhtss," she mumbles appreciatively through a mouth of wherry and bread, swallowing before continuing, "these are yummy. Plus, I'm getting hungry. I've been eating so. much. lately. All that physical labor and pee-tee training makes a girl have to work to keep the curves on her." It apparently doesn't work if you don't have them to start with, but nobody mention it. Syrianna's bundle of cloth is eyed with a raised brow, jesting, "Don't put too much time, she says, embroidering the dang thing. I guess that's all you have to do when you're snowed in, right? No, this is too cold for me."

Pleased with the appreciation for her sandwich creations, Kyriatis claims one for herself and then drops, languid, onto a nearby couch. Like Katryana, she's seen the embroidery on Syrianna's robe; unlike the other girl, she's more vocal about it: "Embroidery? Are you serious? Isn't the whole point that we all look the same?" Her tone absolutely screams 'why would you do that' but at least she's polite enough not to belabour the point too much more. "Mine is basically a sack, but it does the job. The PT is gruesome, isn't it? But I finally got the whole way through the course."

Syrianna looks at them and nods, "No this isn't for the sands, but I couldn't let it remain unfinished." she shakes her head, "Had to make a second robe. Forgot about the part that they were all supposed to be the same." she blushes a bit, "Was told wasn't a good idea after was almost done. Its just hard not to want to look good in whatever I wear." She sighs a bit. She pulls out another bundle, this one embroideryless, "Also wanted to see what you thought." she says and grins a little. The second one is all white, no embroidery but it isn't just a sack either. "When there is lots of snow, not much else to do. Both my parents are healers, and wanted me to be too, sewing is a good way to practice for stitching, so mother made sure I practiced often. They weren't happy when I became a herder." she shakes her head a bit.

Flexing a noodley arm, Katryana demonstrates very well why she hasn't been able to drag herself all the way through that training course yet. Still, there's significantly more there than there previously was. You'd think with how gawky her limbs are, she could think of some way to utilize that mechanical advantage, but it's yet to happen. She draws her own robe pieces into her lap, lining up the front panel to the back along one of the edges on the wrong side and shaking an open pincase onto a little dish she'd found to start pinning them together. "Stitching up flesh isn't quite the same as fabric, but I'm sure you knew that. My mom was a Harper, disappointed when I joined Healer. Maybe I can borrow your parents sometime?" she offers with a grin. "My grandma taught me how to embroider some, when I was a little kid. She was raised as a Holder, before she Impressed, so she got all those mending and tending niceties."

The wrinkle of Kyriatis' nose is suggestive of sympathy for Syrianna's double robe-making venture, but she doesn't clarify it into actual words. Instead, "I learned plain sewing, but that's about the extent of it. I don't like it much." She finishes her sandwich, wiping crumbs from her hands and then off of her trousered legs, too. "How do they feel about you being a candidate?" she wonders, aloud. "Not long to go now."

Syrianna shrugs, "Not happy. They weren't happy with my coming to the weyr in the first place, but it would have been problematic to remain at the hold." she shakes her head, "Was having problems with another apprentice, he was just the son of someone more important than my parents." she shakes her head and looks to Katryana, "Yeah it isn't but it gets you used to it they said, the embroidery, takes deft fingers and a close eye, which serves a healer well too." she smiles a bit, "At least that is what they said, considered going into beasthealing for a while." she shakes her head, "But Shimmer has been my life for a while." she says and then shrugs, "I sent a long letter to my parents, they responded, they might make it to the hatching, maybe not."

Katryana's totally blanked on the existence of her sandwich, mind now fully on the task at hand. A row of neat pins are being deftly placed, giving truth to the deft fingers and close eye of Healer training. "I don't mind it. Sewing, that is. My fostermother always made me help, but I'm the oldest and the only girl, so…" She nods sympathetically at Syrianna's story, "How do you feel about being a candidate, though? I'm still kind of reeling. I accepted the knot because I was mad; now, I don't know what I feel. But here we are. What happens, happens, right?"

"And how will you manage to take care of your canine and a dragon, if you Impress?" adds in Kyriatis, her words following directly on from Katryana's question. She curls up on the couch, now, legs tangled beneath her, her head lolling upon the armrest. "So many unanswerable questions. Shells but I hate the waiting. It'll be all over soon. One way or another."

Syrianna nods her head a bit, "Excited, scared, not all sure. I was honoured when I was asked to stand, but not sure how I feel about it, nervous, the touchings have make me wish that one will choose me, but I don't know." she looks at Kyriatis and smiles, "Well other herders are looking after Shimmer, but if I impress, I figure I will find a way to send him back to my parents, or find someone to watch him a bit more permanently, at least until I make it through being a Weyrling."

"Yeah, as a Weyrling, I've heard that you don't have time for anything but dragon things," Katryana announces very gravely. "Being a Pass and all, I don't think too much changes even out of Weyrlinghood. But I know a lot of 'riders who do have canines. I mean, I know they exist. So finding someone to foster him sounds very reasonable. What kind of canine is he, anyway?" With a huff of air, she holds the pieces of robe out in front of her, examining her handiwork. Deeming it worthy, she rummages through the dish full of pins to try and find the needle in the needle stack. When it's found, out of a pouch on her hip comes a spool of thread. The end of the thread is stuck in her mouth and twirled to make it a pointy bit and she bites her tongue, trying to get the needle threaded without too much fuss.

Kyriatis' expression is caught between wistful and sad and somehow brittle; she hesitates lengthily before she says anything. Finally, "I was friends with some of the weyrlings in Rhiscorath's clutch, before we Impressed. And now… now they have no time for anything. I think we need to be prepared for that: it really does become your whole life, if you Impress. And if you don't… you get left behind. It sucks. Even if you're not sure it's what you wanted. But," she's quick to add, "there's no shame in not Impressing."

Syrianna nods her head, "Yeah, I know I won't have time while a Weyrling, but after I might. He wouldn't stay with anyone too long anyway, he would come find me." she shakes her head before, "he has done it before." she looks at Katryana, "He was born in the wilds," she holds her hand out showing how tall he is, "He is larger than most canines and all white fur. He was injured as a pup and left for dead, I rescued him, nursed him back to health and tried to release him back to the wild, but I think I imprinted on him. It isn't like someone does with a dragon or anything, but it happens in animals sometimes. He tracked me down, I have been training him to be a guard canine." she says and then smiles a bit, "I think I am hoping to Impress but will be okay if I don't, Shimmer won't let me feel bad for too long."

Katryana is satisfied with the threading of the needle and wastes little time plunging into the layers of fabric, careful to not mess the delicate alignment of the seams. "I'll miss studying. I already miss studying." Her bubbly voice shifts to more didactic tone. "Have you ever encountered a situation in which you entered a room and immediately forgot the reason you were there? It's actually been proven pretty conclusively that doorways cause short term memory loss. If you view Impression, entry into Dragonriderhood, as a kind of mental doorway one passes through, it makes sense that people you used to be close to just don't remember what happened before they passed through." At least, that's what she tells herself to deal with the sting of abandonment from friends 'lost' to the dragons.

Kyriatis chews her lip, teeth pressing down hard as she listens to Katryana's explanation. "I'd never thought of that before," is genuine— quiet, surprised, but serious. "I mean, not like that. But it makes complete sense. I'm surprised there haven't been, like, healer studies on it. Unless there have been, and I've just never heard of them. It's not," she owns, cheerfully, "like I will ever miss study. I just miss my gardens. I miss… feeling responsible for something. Candidacy is just so much waiting and filling time."

Syrianna cocks her head to the side, "Most of the studying I have done has been hands on, working with the animals, but yeah, I miss it a bit." she says and then looks at Kyriatis, "There are probably chores you could ask to get assigned to that would get you working with some gardens." she shakes her head a bit and then blinks and folds her stuff up and puts it back in her satchel, "I should be heading out."

Katryana, after a short moment of looking crestfallen, bids Syrianna goodbye with a smile and wave, putting down her sewing for a moment to do so, "Enjoy the weather while it lasts! At least someone around here should, 'cause sure as the egg hatches, it isn't gonna be me. It looks like you've got the robe handled, but if you need any help finishing up, let me know." Needle is reclaimed and she continues back-stitching the seam with a deft hand. "If only humans were this easy to stitch up. They get all wiggly and cry." Wistful sigh for patient non-compliance. "I'm not looking forward to having to pull my head out of books if I Impress. Eventually, if they'll let me, maybe I could train as a Dragonhealer?" That seems to perk her up.

"See you later!" says Kyriatis, cheerfully, half-sitting but mostly so that she can eye the tray of sandwiches again. Evidently she's decided that that's too much effort, though, because she flops back down. "You'd be a good dragonhealer," she says, approvingly. "That'd be a good way to marry the two. If I Impress, I want to explore the jungles and find more cool plants, and maybe I can find a weyr where I can grow things out on the ledge and it won't be too windy or shady or whatever." She makes a face. "It's hard, though, you know? You want something, but you also have to be aware of what you'd be giving up to do it."

Syrianna nods and smiles, "I will keep that in mind." she says and then smiles at her, "Think you would make a great Dragonhealer." she says and then waves to both of them and slips out off to whom knows where.

Katryana beams at Kyriatis's assessment of aptitude. "Oh, that sounds fun. Maybe you could join the search and rescue wing? Good excuse to do some sanctioned jungle exploration." Her grin is pure mischief. "A ground weyr, maybe? You'll have one of those at the beginning, at least. And if we Impress, we'll be with the rest of Rhis's clutch; they're not gonna graduate before us!" From her seat on the ground, she can't bounce on her feet, but she can wiggle excitedly.

Kyriatis straightens, though given her current position it's more of a twist: she's not actually moving all that much, not now that she's comfortable. "That's an idea," she agrees, sounding surprised— and pleased. Some of that pleasure fades, however, as reality returns: "If I Impress. If either of us do. I wish they'd just hatch today, just to get it done with. Though," she grins. "You might be caught out if that were the case. You'd have to wear Syrianna's embroidered robe, or a leftover from someone else."

Kat raps the knuckles of her freehand against her noggin, "Ideas person and all. Gotta make up for the supreme social awkwardness somehow." Self-depreciating grin. "Oi! I'm working on it!" This seam already is about finished, the actual sewing itself going quickly thanks to all the pre-needle work she's put in. "Gotta actually finish the edges still, but!" she pulls on the needle with a bit of a flourish, "I got fast once everything's all set up." She's quiet for a moment, before confiding, "I'm caught in between. I want it done and over with AND I want it postponed indefinitely. I'm scared of what happens if I do Impress and if I don't Impress and I just feel pretty lost right now, you know?" Cue mid-teenage-life existential crisis.

Kyriatis nods, sympathetic, her hands curling up into little fists— and then relaxing again. "Mm," she agrees. "It's such a… big thing. Life-changing. Permanent. With everything else… if it didn't work out, if you change your mind, that's ok. But you can't stop being a dragonrider," not without losing the dragon, which is clearly unthinkable, "and that's… that's forever. But if I can't influence it, if I can't change the outcome with anything I do, I think I just want it over with. After this clutch, there's probably a turn or more until the next, unless something changes. Time to work other stuff out."

"That's it exactly!" Now it's Katryana's turn to be all surprised and enamored with her friend's reasoning as she lets the fabric slip from her hands. "It's… anything else, anything else, there's a way to change your mind. There's no changing your mind with a dragon. Once you're a dragonrider, you're a dragonrider. Your life is laid out. And that's scary. Not that I intended to run away from my craft or anything, but I could've. What if I'm a terrible dragonrider? What do they do to you if you're terrible or impudent or…" She anxious flaps her hands, mentally reminding herself to breath.

"Absolutely terrifying," agrees Kyriatis, rather quieter and more intense than she has been. "I think… I think they make sure you learn. I think you have to. But… what if I don't like it? I mean, I know you like your dragon. Love your dragon. That's a given, right? But the actual dragonriding part… that's what scares me. And thread. The idea of dying, or being maimed… that terrifies me." She does sit up, now, drawing her knees up to her chest so that she can wrap her arms around them and hug herself. "It wouldn't be so bad in an Interval. But we're only fourteen turns into the Pass."

"You can make anyone learn, eventually, but you can't make them good at something. Adept enough, sure, but…" Katryana takes deep breath, steadying herself. "But you don't hear about it happening, really. I figure dragons have some way of telling if you can make it or not, and if you can't, well, you won't Impress." She clears her throat, letting her eyes fall to the puddle of fabric on her lap. "It's all exciting from the outside, but the reality is terrifying. You don't have to tell me that. I've watched 'riders die more often than I'd like over the past few Turns. Even if you patch them all up, Threadburn can go septic, and they just… slip through your fingers." Whew, this got real dark, real fast. She can't think of any way to effectively dispel the tension, so she settles for sitting there awkwardly, fiddling with the partially sewn robe.

"Right," agrees Kyriatis, though to which part? "Right." She pauses, breathing, in and out. "I've always worried about my dad, all the time. Now I worry about my friends, and maybe me. Chances are, at least one person who Impresses, from our group, won't live until weyrling graduation. Maybe more than that. That's…" Terrifying, but this particular teen can't quite get the word out. She shivers, instead. "We should stop freaking ourselves out with this. I should get back to the kitchens."

Katryana clears her throat, occupying herself with folding her work-in-progress into a bundle and putting the pins away in their case. "Yeah, I should, uhm… find someone to tell me to do something. That sounds like a good idea." She nods, to herself, to her sewing, to her mental spiral. Finally looking up, pained smile is thrown in Kyriatis's direction. "Sorry for making it all depressing. If it's any consolation, you're more likely to die from skin cancer than Thread, statistically speaking." No, that isn't helpful. She clears her throat again. "I'll see you later, Kyriatis."

Kyriatis opens her mouth… and then closes it again. "Thanks?" she says, pulling herself up and to her feet. "I'll… take some comfort from that." Really. (No, not really.) Still, she manages a somewhat dubious smile, then scuttles off. Goodie!

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