Astrid, Ibrahim, Laeiva


Who makes the best fish chowder? And where are all those books coming from?


It is midmorning of the fourth day of the eighth month of the thirteenth turn of the 12th pass.


Nighthearth, Southern Weyr

OOC Date 29 Mar 2018 23:00





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.

The day is dreary, overcast, and topped off with a wintry rain that seems to put a damp chill all through the inner caverns. Having made it through her first few days of work in the Harper's Solarium, Astrid is quite happy to finally have a day off to rest… and warm up. Dressed in fitted trous and a white top kept hidden by a open front sweater wrapped tightly around her willowy frame, the young woman folds her arms across her middle and makes her way toward the stews. It's a perfect day for fish chowder — a classic meal that reminds her of her former home in Tillek. But first, she peers into the large pot to scrutinize.

She's going to find it empty, or almost so - the pot by the hearth contains only the last meagre scrapings, and they probably don't look too appetising by now. How fortunate, then, that Laeiva is approaching, bearing another large stewpot. "Are you after the fish chowder? This is fresh from the kitchen. Perhaps you could move the other pan out of the way for me, so I can put this down there?" What she's carrying does look heavy, and there's an encouraging curl of steam rising from around the lid.

And then there is another, perhaps drawn by the smell of chowder, perhaps pulled by the rumblings of deep hunger; nonetheless, there is now a wildling in the midst of the Nighthearth, seeking to get away from the winter rain and find sustenence that isn't self-prepared for a change of pace. Ibrahim eyes Laeiva's stewpot with near-ravenous eyes, for the stuff smells delicious, and he is near to starving. He's wearing his usual quilted coat and leather trousers, his fur-lined winter boots tied to the knee.

Astrid does look a little defeated that the chowder is all but scraped from the edges of the empty pot on the hearth. She's just about to sigh when Southern's Headwoman emerges from the main area of the caverns with a fresh batch — she saves the day! "Oh, right…" Peering about for the proper utensils to move said pan, Astrid puts on some oven mitts lying near the hearth before grabbing hold of the pan. Hey, if it's piping hot she's not really wanting to burn her skin. Now she moves everything out of the way so Laeiva can get to where she needs to be. "I am. Is it really as good as Tillek chowder?" Green eyes peer with acute curiosity.

"Are you from Tillek? You'll have to judge that for yourself, but I do think our Southern recipe does have a certain something. Maybe it's the warm-water fish?" Laeiva sets the pan down as she speaks, then tucks the oven gloves with which she was holding it into her belt and rubs her fingers together to unbend them. Yes, that was heavy. "Or maybe Ardstelle has a secret ingredient," she adds, her voice intentionally teasing. Catching a glimpse of Ibrahim, she enquires, "Another taker for the chowder? I can recommend it. Just the thing for these winter days."

Winter sucks, and refuses to go away! Between that and the waves of illness that send Ibrahim off into the Jungle for those special herbs only the wildlings seem to know of, he's been run ragged, doing long rounds in the Infirmary to help allay the exhaustion of the Healers being run aground. The more hands, the merrier, runs the saying. "Anything but my own cooking," Ibrabim confirms for Laeiva with a laugh, eyeing that pot with deepening interest. But still, home training holds firm against the temptation to just grab some for himself and scuttle away like some feral beast. Instead, he turns to Astrid and offers, "Ladies first." Especially since she'd look so very disappointed in that empty pot.

Astrid nods her response while removing the oven mitts from her hands. "The Seacrafters at the Hold really know how to cook and season their ocean catches. Not to disparage Southern's own recipe for chowder…" She really isn't trying to be insulting! Having eaten the best seafood on Pern really does set the bar high, though. Ibrahim attracts her attention for a moment before a bowl is picked up from a nearby serving table — the food certainly does smell delicious. Some chowder is ladled into the bowl and then a spoon is added to it. "Want to taste test for me?" It's offered to Ibrahim with a little bit of a smirk. "There's bread to go with it, too."

"Oh, I think we might surprise you," Laeiva says lightly, her eyes resting on Astrid for a moment. "And there's plenty to go round - don't stint yourselves. We bought in a good catch, and there's certainly nothing wrong with our coooking." She secures a couple of spoons and offers one to each soup-eater.

Ibrahim would know; he'd been in on that. Briefly, before getting called away, and back into the Infirmary where everyone now seems to think he belongs. Such is life when one displays skills other than fishing. Whoops. Arching an eyebrow, Ibrahim ladles his own into a bowl and laughs softly. "Afraid you're on your own." He'll take the proffered spoon from Laeiva with thanks, and dips it into his bowl. He takes in the mouthful with enthusiasm. Mmmm…. savory. Once that's down, he'll ask, "What's with all the books all over the place? There's a couple on the boardwalk and beach…"

So far, Astrid has been healthy since arriving at the Weyr a few sevendays ago and plans to stay that way. There haven't been any problems with the food and her overall experience has been rather pleasant — but, there's still a little nagging voice in the back of her mind that tells her to be cautious of what's being served. It's probably the same voice that's nagging at Ibrahim when he politely declines her offered bowl. "I don't blame you." she says with an actual smirk this time. She keeps the bowl for herself and grabs a few hunks of bread from a nearby basket before taking a seat on one of the big comfy chairs to eat. "I'm not sure." Said in between bites, that. "But, I've seen a few bronzeriders giggling over one of the books in the Tipsy Kitten." Fact.

Laeiva rolls her eyes, then nods to Ibrahim. "And a lot of other places. What a load of scandalous tripe! I don't know who's writing them all, but if I ever catch them, they'll be paying for all the hide they're using." Southern's headwoman is known for keeping a close eye on supplies! "Have you found one about yourself, yet?" She smiles at Astrid. "You're a recent arrival, aren't you? I don't suppose you've sparked their over-active imagination yet!"

They should all get sick together! Be brave, friend Astrid; be brave. Ibrahim will also collect a hunk of bread — they're great for soaking up the extra sauce with. "There was one, yes. In the goldriders' office." Ibrahim smirks, mildly. He shakes his head, amused at the overly dramatic writing, the overall sappy tone, the fact that it was: "Something a teenager would write, I think. No adult has time to write that kind of thing. Amani and I found it… rather amusing." All things considered, that bit of melodramatic writing is likely to be the only reminder of their former close ties.

"You're probably right. And I'm old enough to be safe from their attentions. Teenagers never seem to think that anybody over thirty could possibly have a love life!" Laeiva is a granny, after all! She settles in an armchair, apparently watching them eat.

Astrid almost chokes on her chowder when Laeiva asks if she's the subject of one of the books. "Um," A napkin is dabbed at the corner of her mouth. "No, ma'am. At least… not yet. I'm new to Southern and only just arrived a few sevendays ago." Once she avoids a coughing fit, Astrid begins to eat a little more of the soup and bread. Green eyes lift toward Ibrahim and she can't help but appear amused at the thought of such literature lying around the goldriders' office. "There are a few more lying around the Harper's Solarium." She's quick to add: "I only know since I see them when I'm on my way to the shops every morning."

"I think whoever it is must still be writing them," Laeiva speculates. She continues as she gets up and pours herself a mug of klah. "My son told me about the first few - not that he was really interested, except that they were about people he knew - but there seem to be a lot more now." She smiles with her lips only; it doesn't reach her eyes. "So maybe your turn will come."

"It rather seems that there's some kid with too much time on his hands writing these things." Ibrahim soothes, having shrugged off the whole thing with no apparent worry. Deep down, though, he's probably consider tossing 'his' book into the sea in a fit of annoyance. But whatever, someone needs the amusement of such things. He dips his bread into his chowder, enjoying the fresh chewy texture, the crisp crust, the interplay of chowder and bread with a slight smile. "Hmm. Or maybe a group of them, if they're spreading that fast.

"Who's your son? I'm Astrid, by the way." She certainly knows who the Headwoman is, and she's not entirely confident that her name will be retained for longer than this first meeting. Laeiva probably has a million and five faces she sees on a daily basis — how can she possibly remember everyone she meets? The introduction is also extended to Ibrahim should he be inclined to know. "I'm not entirely sure I want to be a character in The Velvet of the Ships." It's an epic series (or so she's heard). Some bread is used to sop some of the chowder inside the bowl in hand as she busies herself with the task. "It's fame that I don't want." A hint of a smirk follows that statement as her eyes cast downward at the piece of bread.

"The handwriting does seem rather similar," Laeiva observes from over the rim of her mug. She adds hastily, "Not that I've looked at that many of them, of course!" Of course not! "Oh well, there are worse things that can happen than having a torrid romance written about you." She turns to Astrid. "His name was S'vian. He flew with Tiglon Wing." Yes, past tense.

Ibrahim is not the author, if Laeiva had been wondering! He has more interesting things to do with his 'copious' spare time. "I suppose you're right about that." More food is claimed by his belly before he acknowledges Astrid's introduction. "I am Ibrahim." He offers the girl a dignified little nod. And when Laeiva mentions her now-desceased son, he offers her a covertly sympathetic look; how does one offer condolences to a Headwoman? It would be rather difficult to do.

Astrid nods after Laeiva speaks, looking a little subdued. "You're very right. There are worse things that can happen." A moment passes while the young woman finishes the last bit of her soup and bread, making sure that no crumbs or soup drips onto her lap or onto the chair she rests upon. "Thank you for the conversation. I enjoyed the chowder very much and it certainly does rival Tillek's." Standing up now, Astrid places her empty bowl and spoon into a nearby bin for the kitchen staff to collect before offering a pleasant nod to Ibrahim and Laeiva together. "It was nice to meet you both. Stay dry and warm, yes?" With that said, the gal is off to see if she can find one of the books that were only just mentioned.

"You too," Laeiva says to the departing Astrid. She drinks enough of her klah that the mug is no longer too full to carry. "I should be getting on, too. There's never enough time just to sit and do nothing. Enjoy your meal." With a nod to Ibrahim, she too heads off along a tunnel.

Ibrahim will, indeed enjoy the rest of his meal! "Enjoy your day, ladies!" he says to their fleeing backs, and settles down to finish off his excellent chowder so that he, too, can get back to work.

Add a New Comment