Who

tasna, Sadaiya

What

A weyrwoman and candidate discuss stories, egg laying, thread, rumors, and mettle.

When

It is midmorning of the thirteenth day of the third month of the first turn of the 12th pass.

Where

Kitchen Courtyard, Igen Weyr

OOC Date

 

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Kitchen Courtyard

The domestic space of the kitchen courtyard is small, dusty, slightly over-grown, and practical. The focal point of the stone courtyard is a large well found directly in the middle. Turns have worn the once angled bricks to soft, crumbling curves about the lip, and a bucket always slightly damp is tied, secure, and ready to use at the side. Though a broom has swept here since last you passed through, it would appear the wind-borne dust has merely been heaped under the cobble-cracking shrubs of a stubborn environment that grow ever upward. A few benches are scattered around, but the feel is not comfort, for this small slice of sky and wind are saved for a kitchen staff always on the move.

It is the thirteenth day of Spring and 52 degrees. It is a bright, sunny day.


It is an outdoorsy sort of day, and Sadaiya's daily area check is more ambling than usual because of it. Her clipboard is nestled in a hug against her soft chest and her round face is blissfully turned towards the sun. As her steps bring her near the well, though, the board is brought to attention, and with alert eyes she gives it a thorough once-over, using her pencil to poke at the mortar of the bricks that make it.

Tasena is already seated on one of the few benches around the small courtyard. She has a stack of older cast iron pans and griddles on the ground beside her, and she seems to be attacking one of those pans with a sanding block. There is just one items all clean and silvery beside her, but her hands and forearms are quite well coated with black by not, not to mention the poor-fitting work clothes that came out of the stores that morning. She looks up when Sadaiya enters and looks briefly thankful for an interruption. "Good morning, ma'am," Tas calls over, saluting just carefully enough so as not to smudge black over her forehead.

Squinting against the sun's rays, Sadaiya looks around for the source of the greeting and, finding it, waves enthusiastically. "You need some water while I'm over here?" she calls in response, cupping her clipboardless hand next to her mouth for extra amplification. "Those dishes look like you'll need a dragon to fire at them or something!"

Tasena gives Sadaiya a grin and shakes her head in answer. "I'm fine, but thanks." She also looks vaguely sunward, then leans back on the bench, the sanding block dangling from one hand. "Just some elbow grease," she adds, glancing at the frying pan in her lap. "I guess the Weyr got them in trade or something recently. Not bad, but after decades in a caravan, they saw a whole lot of use. Time to reseason. Though I don't know how they do that part. I'm just scrubbing off the gunk." She glances at the rest of the pile beside her, then at the other end of the bench, then scoots closer to the pile. "Want to sit? It's actually really nice sitting in the sun in this place. I didn't even know this courtyard existed until I signed up for this chore."

"Righty-o!" Dropping her arm, Sadaiya's just one motion away from skipping over to Tasena's side. Setting her clipboard down with a small click, she sits herself down and scoots over. "Thanks. Yeah, this place is pretty nice and secluded. Folks think it's mostly midden and avoid it, much to our advantage." Reaching over to one of the dirty pots, Sadie scrapes a fingernail over the surface and boggles as she examines the residue. "What on earth did they DO to these things?" With a furrow of her brow, she discards good judgment and takes a delicate sniff of the blobby black bit on her fingertip and gacks expressively. "Ugh. I smell every herb ever and, like, runner poop with a faint hint of numbweed and human suffering. Should get Mayte out here to review it Vintner-style."

"That's why I'm cleaning it," Tasena answers with a chuckle, motioning with her foot to the nicely polished one. "And really, all they did was use them daily for twenty-some Turns, I'm guessing. Maybe more. There was just one that had to go back to the Smiths, so… that's pretty good, I think." She twists the pan in her lap by the handle, studying the difference between the inside half she'd already scrubbed, and the other half waiting for attention. "I love cast iron. Just thinking about all the things this set has seen and heard? Blows the mind after a while."

With a flick of her thumbnail, Sadaiya dislodges the food cruft from her fingernail, sending it flying a good six feet. This, of course, makes her smile somewhat inanely as if she won something. Her smile turns affectionate, though, as she turns to listen to Tasena's observations. "I never thought of it that way. You make it sound so beautiful, even the gooey stuff on them." Again she cranes her neck to look at the pans, this time without disgust in her gaze. "I've never learned to cook, you know. Never really had the time, plus when I tried, uh, I sort of made fire happen, and lots of people aren't really a fan of coal as an ingredient."

Tasena laughs softly as she gives the pan a single swipe with the sanding block. "Drinks I can do. Food? I'm with ya there," she agrees quietly. She takes a moment to study a mild abrasion on her left hand, then shrugs and leans back again, letting the block rest in the pan. "I just figure, everyone has a story. And the things we've used in life kind of carry that story with them. I like to sit and guess what those stories might be," she admits, shrugging as she gives the weyrwoman a crooked smile. "Like that gunk? Maybe it was the last breakfast the caravan's cook made with this pan. Why last? Tired of lugging all this around? Hard up for tradable goods? Did the caravan split up? Stuff like that."

"If only it could talk. Faranth knows that Caravaneers have their secrets, and get to see so much." Sadie laughs quietly to herself, shaking her head. "It would be so convenient were we able to ask them questions, or at least terribly interesting. Though, sometimes, caravans can be a bit boring. Even the pots would start to despair when rolling through the Keroon plains." Tasena's motion doesn't slip past the weyrwoman's notice, and she frowns slightly. "You should be careful with that and cleaning those. We don't want you to get a nasty infection. Make sure you clean it up when you're done, otherwise I'll worry!"

Tasena starts to grin at Sadaiya, then lets out a single, quiet chuckle. "I will be careful, Weyrwoman, I swear. If nothing else, I can get Yukie to take a look when I see her next. Barring that, the infirmary, I promise." She glances quickly toward the door to the kitchens when a couple people come out to haul water, but she soon turns her attention back to Sadaiya. "So what brings you out here?"

Sadaiya nods firmly, putting on her best official expression. "You bet your buns you are," she says, as loftily as she possibly can before breaking into one of her famously brilliant smiles. "Hm? Oh, the weather. Doing a check up on weyr things as an excuse to enjoy the day. There's still so much repairing that needs to be done, and supplies that need to be obtained. Refugees to be counted, candidates to feed, guards to recruit, posters to hang. Honestly this is the first time I've had a chance to rest my feet in days. How're you enjoying being torn from the bar?"

"That's a pretty good excuse," Tasena agrees, glancing up at the amazing spring sky, full of sunlight rather than, say… Thread. "As for the bar, I never did get back into it after leaving Southern. Just wanted something… I don't know. Different." She laughs then and picks up the sanding block. "This is pretty sharding different, too." She doesn't go back to that sanding just yet, though. "It's weird, though. All those Turns back when, drifting in and out of Weyrs, and now in this time, too, this is the first time some dragon looked and me and thought, 'Yeah, she could do that.' Unless they did, and their riders thought otherwise, of course," she adds with another crooked grin for the weyrwoman. "So far, it's a trip. How did you like your own candidacy?"

"I could have sworn I'd heard something about you associated with wine or… something. Honestly, it's been super difficult to keep track of things since, y'know, started." One of Sadaiya's fingers points upwards, moving up and down slightly to indicate the skies. "We've got so many more people to care for, not to mention injuries to tend. And hey, at least you get to settle for a time. Huh. My candidacy." Sadaiya pauses momentarily, lost in thought. "Fun. It's how I met my best friend and others that, sadly, stayed behind. We were very close and not quite prone to the pranking as other groups seem to be, unless you consider haranguing the boys into trying out facial cleansers 'pranking'. It'll likely be a different experience for you with how crazy everything is, but it's a lovely time to meet new folks."

Sadaiya's hand comes up to do that 'so-so' motion, tipping back and forth in the air. "Somewhat grumpy about it, yeah. It's one of my primary duties, after all, but after the last couple of weyrwomen before me…" Dropping her arm, she shrugs and smiles sadly. "The best thing Tuli and I can do right now is make sure that we can keep affairs going smoothly. Who… who was it that left? Do you recall her name? Maybe if I talk to her she'll relax somewhat."

"She high-tailed it back to Keroon, from what I heard," Tasena answers, shrugging, "and if you don't mind, I'd rather not say. Maybe she had whatever it is in her head that made her good to search, but if she doesn't have the rest, I'd say let her go." She regards Sadaiya for a moment, very nearly wary, like someone waiting for a challenge. A moment later, though, she takes a deep breath, then smiles. "Anyway… with that gold egg on the sands, hopefully you guys will be able to bump your number back up to three, right?"

What with the brightly shining wobble in her dark eyes, the Weyrwoman looks about two seconds from crying. "The poor dear. Well, if you happen to keep in contact by firelizard or what-have-you, please send my sympathies, won't you?" Turning her head slightly, Sadaiya lets her hair fall like a curtain in front of her face and dabs at her eyes a bit over emotionally. "Perhaps the weyrlingmasters could come and talk to the candidates about things, cheer everyone up and dispel some of the nastier rumors about what happens." Mention of the gold egg brings her head back up and puts a smile back on her face. "Oh, yes. We couldn't be prouder of Tuli. Having a third queenrider will make everyone SO much more relaxed, not to mention help with morale since it's always a good omen when one appears."

"Proud of Tuli?" Tasena teases, winking at the other woman. "I thought it was Elicheritath who had to squeeze out that whole clutch. I mean, may as well be proud of El'ai, too, if you're going to shed some pride on Tuli." She pauses, still grinning, then shrugs. "Then again, all Sekhaenkath did was offer some seed, so… maybe it's a bad correlation. All sorts of good things, regardless." She sets in with her sanding for a few more seconds before continuing. "I don't know if there are bad rumors going around or anything like that. The riders I've spoken to before have been quite open about how stuff goes down. Honestly, I'd rather hear the horror stories and let the ones leave quietly if they can't take it than be told it's not so bad in the hopes we'll all stick around."

"Wouldn't that be a disturbing sight." Sadaiya shudders, then laughs with a horribly pained expression. "Thanks, now I can't stop picturing Tuli laying eggs. Ugh, gimme that scouring block. I'm gonna need it for my brain." Still fraught with giggles, she pushes her loose hair back behind her small ears. "Oh, I am proud of El'ai. He's a nice boy and this is likely a real notch in his belt. You're right, though. The dragons DO deserve kudos. It's just far easier for folks to remember people, so I tend to refer to the riders first. It humanizes the weyr somewhat, which prevents the nasty rumors. If there aren't any, though, I'm glad. Sometimes we hear some real whoppers about the tastes of male riders, or what dragons eat. The usual."

"Puppies and kittens," Tasena replies, with a wave of a carbon-coated hand. "And baby watchwhers, too. Whatever they're called. Tubbies, maybe." The scraping sounds continue, as the inside of the frying pan is gradually changed from black to that silvery mercury-like appearance. "He's too nice. Tuli's going to chew him up and spit him out, and knowing him, he'll thank her for it after." She could be teasing, but the smile she gives Sadaiya right after is a little too wry. "There seems to be a good mix of candidates so far. I don't think any of the more asinine rumors could get very far."

It takes a moment for the dignified weyrwoman to regain her composure, cackling as she is and kicking her small feet merrily. "Oh goodness. Oh goodness. You are too much, Tasena. I'm not going to be able to look at Tuli OR El'ai now for awhile without cackling." This time, when Sadaiya wipes the moisture from her eyes, it's mirth that brought it there. Still tittering and shaking her head, she pushes up off the bench and grabs her clipboard. "Whoo. On that note, my dear candidate, I should likely get back to taking stock of things that need doing. I'll stop by the kitchens, though. Let them know you're making good headway on the pots. Don't forget to clean that scrape! I mean it!" A finger is shaken at Tasena, but her grin takes away any severity she may have tried to emulate.

"I only promise a thing once, so don't make me repeat myself," Tasena counters in a dry drawl as she grins at Sadaiya. After a wink, she adds, "Ma'am," and salutes again, though this time there is a telltale line of carbonized powder left behind. What's a little bit more soot in the long run? "Good luck with your stock-taking." She then settles in to really scrub at the current pan, while quietly humming a soft Trader tune that the cast iron has probably already heard.

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