Calliope, Ginger, Kyriatis


Two apprentices and a gardener discuss firelizards, apprenticeships, and the possibilities of search and Impression, over breakfast.


It is early morning of the sixteenth day of the twelfth month of the thirteenth turn of the 12th pass.


Living Caverns, Southern Weyr

OOC Date 12 May 2018 23:00


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"I was thinking about those eggs half the night."


Living Caverns

Grand and spacious, the cavern curves high aloft in naturally-vaulted ceiling that soothes any sense of claustrophoba. Rich woods line the cavern floor, varnished and stained a rich mahogany, while round tables scatter about candlelit and intimate. The largest table lies southerly next the sideboard, long trestles that seem oriented to providing for the weyr's youngest. The rich blue of Azov can be seen from a distance in good weather, when the heavy stone doors covering the entrance are allowed to stand open.

Breakfast starts early in the Weyr, what with riders heading off to sweeps and drills and so on. The meal's well underway when Ginger wanders into the cavern, dressed in summer gear that's not tough enough for a day in the smithy. It must be admitted that she's not usually here at this time, and she's moving slowly, bleary-eyed and occasionally yawning, and apparently wrapped in her thoughts. She gathers a couple of pastries and, after some hesitation, a piece of fruit and a hunk of cheese - no bread. Plate full, she makes for the klah pot, and scans the mugs of offer before choosing the largest available and filling it to the brim. Looks like it's one of those mornings.

"Late night?" Kyriatis' question comes from just over Ginger's shoulder, and given she has her own plate of food in hand, it's entirely possible she's been in the apprentice's vicinity for more than a moment or two. She pulls in alongside, picking a mug at random rather than with great intent, and fills it. Cheerfully, "Hopefully that klah'll help!" Yes, she is an obnoxiously cheerful morning person.

Calliope doesn't seem to be beginning her day. If one takes note she seems to be winding down, settled in at one of the tables with a tray of fruit and meat. The meat more likely for the young firelizards that she's trying to teach various commands. The green, while being rather of a whirlwind of movement, at least seems to pay occasional attention. The gold, well she's a bit of a stinker. Exasperation colors Calliope's expression as she puts the meat back on the tray. "You're going to learn Nebula, it will happen. I can out stubborn you, just wait!." the cheerfulness of Kyriatis does not go unnoticed, perhaps there was something about her voice that had her glancing over with slight amusement. Apprentice though Calli is she's older by a few years than most.

Ginger turns a resigned smile on Kyriatis. "It'd better - I need a brain today. I wasn't up late, I just didn't sleep. And then, I woke up before I wanted to. That always seems grossly unfair of life, wasting good sleep-opportunities." Her eyes seek out the person who's obviously addressing firelizards, and she shoots a sympathetic grin in Calliope's direction. Her own shoulder is firelizard-free at the moment. Then she asks Kyriatis, "Shall we grab a table? There's one over there." Right next to Calliope, in fact.

Kyriatis wrinkles her nose in genuine sympathy. "That must be terrible," she decides. "Me, I'm usually asleep the moment my head hits the pillow, and if I sleep past dawn…" She shakes her head in bewilderment, as if she's not wholly sure what happens in that case. Lifting mug and plate, she confirms the suggestion of finding a table with a tip of her chin, then leads the way, still talking: "Got something important to do today, then? Or just… smith-ing as normal? Hello!" That's for Calliope, whom she addresses on approach. "We've come to join you."

Calliope's amusement turns to a shrug as the pair of them head over towards her. "Sure, why not." she plucks up a piece of fruit and pops it into her mouth, shooing the gold away from the tidbits of meat. "I said no. You're learning /something/ before I go to bed." narrowed eyes track the gold to make sure she doesn't try to snitch the meat before she offers a smile to Kyriatis and Ginger. "I'm sure I've seen you around but I'm rather horrible with names. I'm Calliope."

"Sort of. I'm doing maths this morning, and I really need to do well on that 'cos I want to specialise in design," Ginger explains. "Got to convince the powers that be to let me. When I get that far," she adds, a little sourly. "But that wasn't what kept me awake." Calliope's words have her looking at the older apprentice with interest. "Starcrafter? If it's bedtime?" Though perhaps Calliope's knot is also telling her that. She deposits her plate and mug on the table, and sits down. "I'm Ginger - Smithcraft apprentice. You've probably seen us in the dorm."

"They never want to let us do the interesting things, do they?" Kyriatis is sympathetic, and a little disgruntled all at the same time. Setting her plate down at the table, however, her expression turns to a smile, her own introduction following fluidly on from Ginger's: "And I'm Kyriatis. Not an apprentice, just an exceptional weed-puller hoping to one day be permitted to plant a flower or two."

Calliope bobs her head at Ginger "Got it in one." and the knot probably helped but that's okay. "Good to meet you both, as for the maths I am rather good at that. I'm hoping to rank up to Journeyman soon, just have to finish coming up with a project and seeing it through. Which is weirdly harder than you'd think once you get around to doing it." Kyriatis gets a glance even as she scoops Nebula up and places her on her shoulder. "Stay. And then we'll see if you get your treat." this to the gold who somehow manages to look disgruntled and put upon when she's hardly a week old. "Flowers, ah you're better than me then. I tried to have a plant before, I think it escaped or someone took pity on it and hid it from me."

Ginger shakes her head, agreeing with Kyriatis. "I started too late," she grumbles. "My own fault: it took me too long to realise what I wanted to do. There's Senior Apprentices more than a turn younger than me now." Which is, of course, a lifetime. She watches the young firelizard for a moment before asking Calliope, "She's tiny - how old is she? And what sort of maths do you do?"

Kyriatis' expression is wistful as she listens to the two apprentices, as though she admires something in their- what, dedication? Something. She covers it with a quick sip from her mug, and with lifting her fork to start attacking her breakfast. "They barely let me touch the actual plants," she demurs. "Just the weeds. Oh— she is lovely. I remember when mine was that size. They grow up so fast!"

Calliope shakes her head "I hardly think either of you are too old to get started. I'm still at Senior Apprentice but mainly that's because of my craft. There's so much charting and tracking and that's where the maths come in. You have to know what start or thing in the sky is going to be and when. I could probably help you if you need a tutor sometime." the mention of Nebula who has managed to 'stay' for all of two minutes has her reaching up to give the gold a treat as well as the green on her other shoulder. "She's just over a week old, but I learned with my brown that you have to start them early with the training or it's twice as hard." the caress to the rather, let's face it she is not a pretty gold. Her hide is healthy but the color itself tends towards muddy and swirled with other colors. "Named her Nebula, and she's a handful. All personality."

"That sounds really interesting, actually. I guess the maths for plotting movement of things works for anything. Assuming it's the same sort of movement, like straight lines or circles." Ginger's got that glint in her eye that suggests her brain is working on something. "I'm working on stuff that helps you know when something's going to break. That's pretty interesting too." She watches the little firelizard with some amusement. "You do, but you can't expect too much when they're really tiny. It's not long before they can do more. Walnut's pretty reliable now and has been for months, and he's only a turn and a half."

Babies are cute, regardless of anything. It's a size thing. Kyriatis is an open book, and her expression is definitely on a page of: that is a cute baby. Ugly-cute, maybe, but definitely still cute. "I don't think I have passion enough for a craft," she admits. "And definitely not one that has anything to do with math, ugh. Ilasi's still too little to be reliable, but she's getting there. The bronze I Impressed first is hopeless, but I was too little, I think, and never learned how to train him right."

Calliope says, "Ah, the stress on metals and wood. Stuff like that?" is asked with regard to the mention of things that break. "That's a useful thing to figure out, maybe I'll try it sometime to see about my telescopes and how long things last. Do you keep track on certain things based on how much their used? There's so many variables to go with in that sort of testing." she chews her lip thoughtfully for a moment. And the firelizards? Well the green she's off and gone, having decided to go play somewhere else. The gold, she's curled into the side of Calliope's neck to snuggle and sleep. "Oh I know, we're not really working on much other than staying in a place for a little bit of time." a sip of her fruit juice is taken before she wrinkles her nose at Kyriatis "It's not for everyone, heck I thought about giving it up when I first started years ago. Now I've been in too long, I'm going to out stubborn it too. And I really love the work."

"That's what I used to think," Ginger tells Kyriatis. "But there's so many different things, I bet you could find something you like, if you wanted to," She nods to Calliope. "What I'm doing at the moment is breaking strain. Like, if you have a bar of iron and you hang weight from it in a certain place, what the forces on it are and how much weight will make it bend." She takes a bite of her cheese stick, at which point Walnut decides it's time to put in an appearance. He pops out of *between* and settles on Ginger's shoulder. She reaches up a hand to rub his brown head.

"It doesn't seem like there's a lot of point, now," says Kyriatis. "I'm weyrbred, my father's a dragonrider, and this is a Pass: once Rhiscorath's eggs are on the sands, I'll likely be a candidate. And it's not as if I don't like working in the gardens." She's determined in her summation of the situation, rather as if she's busy convincing herself of it; certainly, her expression is not quite as calmly resigned as her words suggest it ought to be. "But I'm glad you both enjoy what you do. Even if you are math weirdos."

Calliope's attention has been diverted. Ah Kyriatis wrong table for not hearing about the crafts and their awesomeness. Though her interest in the breaking strain does earn Ginger a hmmm. "Sometime I'll come by and have a look if you don't mind? Starcraft and Smithcraft are related after all." ah but now she considers the weed pulling gardener girl. "You can stand and still be an apprentice. It's not as if that would keep you from being Searched after all. Farmcrafter what interests you maybe? You'd learn a lot, even if you were only there for a short while before getting searched or impressing or something." she waves a hand in the air "Leastways they're not so hidebound here about who is searched for what colors, not like that Igen Weyr." and here are politics. Alas.

Hey!" Ginger turns an offended look on Kyriatis, and protests, "It doesn't mean I'm not going to Stand again! And /I'm/ also weyrbred, and my father's - was - a dragonrider, and my grandfather and great-grandfathers and several great-greats - and all the rest of it." She wrinkles her lips. "It's just, nobody can guarantee that they're going to Impress and I want something interesting to do if I don't." Eyes on her food, she mutters, "I was thinking about those eggs half the night." Then she gathers herself and nods to Calliope. "Sure. I'd like to see what you do, too. It sounds really interesting." She laughs, unaffectedly cheerful. "The bane of the teaching harpers, and now I've found a passion for maths. Who'd have thought it?"

Igen! Kyriatis makes a disapproving face for mention of the desert Weyr, though she doesn't take up that thread of conversation: she's busy looking abashed for Ginger's response, and acknowledges, "I know, I know. I've been thinking about them a lot too, and I'm not even sure if I want to Imp— well. I hate it, not having control over that, even when it's not even as if I have a better idea of what I want to do. How'd you two even work out what you wanted?"

Calliope gives a little waggle of her hand. She's the elder here, all the worlds knowledge to impart and be wise and knowing. And it comes down to "I liked the sky. So I just went with it. My da's in the Herdercraft, only ever got to Journeyman but he's got great ideas. Just seemed like the thing to do. I'm still learning things too." there's a dry chuckle at the pair of them and all their my grandda's grandda was a rider. "I come from a long line of cotholders, till we moved here that is. But Search goes everywhere so why wait around for what might happen. Just go out and do what you want and take a break if you get Searched."

Ginger shrugs a little. "My family came from Igen - so did I, as a babe. I've still got loads of relatives over there - another of my cousins just Impressed, in fact. It's not so bad. I'd rather be here, though." She thinks for a moment, then tells Kyriatis, "I thought the same as you for a while, but then I Stood a couple of times, and didn't Impress, obviously. And I'd tried umpteen jobs round the Weyr, and hated most of them, but I did like working with the handymen." Annoyance crosses her face. "Trouble is, some of them weren't that keen on the idea of handy/women/, so that didn't really work out. And then I got talking to someone about making stuff, and the Smithcraft sounded like I could learn to make lots of really /interesting/ stuff. Wood and metal and so on, and designing things."

Kyriatis licks the prongs of her fork clean, visibly mulling over what the other two teens have said. "Well," she decides, finally. "I know I don't want to be a farmcrafter, because that's too much about crop rotation and that kind of thing. I know I don't want to do something with math. Maybe if the right thing comes up… it doesn't bother your masters, that you'll take time out to Stand and that they might lose you for good?" This last question is plainly for Ginger, though the overall question still relates to both older girls: how to decide who you want to be when you grow up. "There'll be eggs soon, and then Zymuraith will be set to rise too at some point soon, so… after that, maybe."

Calliope says, "The Master's know that's how it works. And then they don't have to worry about you pining for the what ifs if you've stood or not until you walk the Journeyman tables." with a bit of a yawn. "Anyway, I think you should try and find something. It is a Pass and you might be Searched and Impress someday, but you might not. You could make wine?" is offered with a little wry quirk of her lips. "Or you know there's tons of things, or nothing at all." Ginger gets a little not quite salute of her fingers and then one to Kyriatis, the pair of teenagers making her feel old. "It was great figuring out your names. I promise I'll try to remember them next time we see each other. I am however off to bed." she pushes to her feet, gathering her dishes to put away. "Oh and if you ever can't sleep at night, feel free to look me up. I'm generally out under the stars if there are no clouds."

Ginger takes a long pull on her klah as Calliope speaks, then wiggles her fingers in returned farewell. "See you around - and I do normally sleep like a log, but let's talk maths sometime." She's staying put herself, as she's not actually got very far with her food. She adds, to Kyriatis, "Saying 'no' to people Standing wouldn't go down too well in a Weyr, I guess. Except, for the specialty I want, I've been told I'll have to go the Hall eventually, so it might be harder."

"Sleep well," enthuses Kyriatis, with rather too much energy when faced with someone who is on their way to bed - no matter! She sets down her fork and reaches for her mug, nursing it between her hands. "Mm, I guess. We all know that you've got to have the dragonriders. Especially in a Pass. Must still suck for them." She hesitates, chewing at some loose skin on her lower lip, then wonders, "It'd be really weird, not living in a Weyr, I think? Even if it were only for a few turns. Do you… how much do you want to Impress, really?" A genuine question, with no apparent motive beyond sheer curiosity.

There's a pause while Ginger thinks about Kyriatis' question. "I thought I wanted it more than anything," she says slowly. "And I still do. But I don't think it's the only thing that could possibly make me happy any more. I'll miss what I do now, if I Impress." Head tilted, she looks at the younger girl. "You… sounded as if you weren't sure, earlier on?"

Kyriatis' nod is a slow one, begun while Ginger answers her question, and drawn to a halt when she's asked that question in return. "I… love the idea of Impression," she supposes. "Having a lifemate. But… risking my life every day, all those drills and sweeps and duties? People die. I don't want to die."

"And Threadfall," Ginger agrees gloomily. "Can't forget that. It's kind of scary. But it's also - probably the most important job on the planet? Someone has to fight Thread. We couldn't survive without it. Well, I suppose we could here, as long as there's no more trouble with the grubs. But the North couldn't, and we'd lose a lot even here…. It seems kind of worth doing even if it's risky. Besides, I don't want to die young, but I'm not too bothered if I never have to be really old."

Kyriatis lets out a long, low breath. "Yes," she says. "Exactly. It's really important, and in a way it's an honour to take on that role and that risk and… but I still don't really want to die, and that's always a possibility." She looks serious, almost to the edge of troubled, but after a moment sucks in another quick breath. " But in a way it's easy: either we Impress or we don't, it's not in our control except for being there. So I'll do my duty. Which… for the moment means I should clear up."

"Me too," Ginger agrees, and picks up one of her pastries. She's been doing too much talking and too little eating. "I'd better finish breakfast first, though: it's going to be a long morning." She takes a bite.

Kyriatis lets the corners of her mouth twitch upwards into something akin to her usual smile. "Mm, all right. I'll see you around, okay?" She picks up her plate and mug, then takes her leave. The gardens - before it gets ridiculously hot - await!

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