Xanthee, Talya, Daenerys


When there are candidates, there will always be a giant pile of tubers that need peeling.



It is midmorning of the twenty-second day of the fourth month of the thirteenth turn of the 12th pass.


Kitchen Courtyard

OOC Date 24 Feb 2018 07:00


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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.

Midmorning and with the storm clouds on the horizon, the Kitchen staff is taking advantage of the still clear weather while they can. A couple large bags of tubers are placed near a couple of benches. Xanthee is just coming out from the kitchens calling over her shoulder, "So just the tubers Grella? That's nothing, you know I've been doing them since I was 8. Why are you snickering at me like that girl?" She giggles now until her green eyes swivel to the two large sacks of tubers. "Grella!" she calls back, but her only response from the indoors is a hearty chuckle. With a resigned sigh, she heads over to the bench and sinks down onto it.

Talya thought she /left/ the storms behind. Of course Igen has very different storms. The ex-bartender spent a good part of her first few days skirting the duties she can to stare out at the desert Weyr and her unfamiliar surroundings. Now it's back to full duties because she has to be the good candidate or get kicked out. Late to the kitchens, the girl looks around before landing on the large pile of tubers. "Oh fu— er, shells." Candidates are supposed to be on their best behavior, right? "Peeling tubers all morning?" she asks the other white-knotted candidate she spies. Poor Xanthee is going to get grumpy Talya today. She pulls her dark hair up into a messy knot before approaching the bench with a scowl.

Xanthee raises her hand in greeting to the unfamiliar Candidate coming to join her at the bench. "You can say fuck you know, just not around anyone important." she giggles playfully as she puts her hand out towards the other dark-haired girl. "I'm Xanthee." she offers easily. "And yes, peeling tubers. Lots and lots of them apparently." and she shoots a rueful glare back towards the kitchens. "They seem to get so much pleasure with making us Candidates suffer."

"Well then…" Talya gives the kitchens a look around then plops down on the bench. "Fuck this shit." It does make her feel just a teeny bit better, but there is still a large pile of work in front of her to glare out. The other girl on the bench gets sized up first, before finally (almost reluctantly) Talya shakes her hand just when Xanthee probably was going to retract it. "Talya," is her introduction. "I mean, I knew candidates don't have a glorious life but I thought we'd be mostly learning with the dragonriders and all. Not so much… labor work. I could have just stayed in Southern if I wanted to be a drudge." She picks up a tuber in her hand and examines the vegetable from all angles, as if wondering what way is best to peel the thing.

"Well met Talya." Xanthee says amiably as her smile falters for the barest of seconds when the other girl says she's from Southern, but she recovers quickly, "Southern huh? Very cool. I was a candidate there over a Turn ago. You must be dealing with quite a shock coming to the desert from the lush jungle." When the girl disparages the work they are doing, the raven-haired girl merely shrugs her shoulders, "It has a few purposes, mainly to put everyone on the same footing, doesn't matter if you were Blooded or the kid of a drudge, we're all on the same level now. It also helps to bond Candidates amoung themselves, so that when most of them impress, they will already be used to having each others back." Another shrug, "At least that's what I always figured it was for." This is not Xan's first Rodeo.

Talya did not miss the girl's smile change, her brow quirking up when she gets what she assumes is the reason of the small change. "Left standing? That must have sucked, but I assume you're not from there yourself if you didn't stay. Are you some Holder's daughter?" Talya sets the tuber down and then lifts up her tool to study the sharpness of /that/ next. Trying to put off the actual work as much as possible. "I guess that makes sense, but you can do that just as well by just sticking us all in the same room." They can all be equally lazy together. "I don't quite mind physical training, since dragonriding is all tough anyway, but nothing useful in peeling tubers for everyone's dinner." With a big grudging sigh, she starts to work on that finally.

Clearing her throat poitedly, Xanthee looks down at her hands as her cheeks redden as she is asked if she was left standing but quickly regains her composure, "Well I didn't impress obviously if I'm here as a Candidate again." she says with a little chuckle and a hand wave, dismissing the topic out of hand before laughing louder when she's asked if she's a Holder's daughter, "Not even a little bit. Igen Weyr, born and bred. I only left once for my Candidacy at Southern." As she picks up heer own paring knife, she grabs a tuber and holds the blade expertly against her thumb as she rotates the vegetable around it, the peel coming off in one long strip, "And maybe they want to make sure furture riders are humble? No room for an ego when you're wingmates are counting on you to have their back."

Talya listens to the other girl, using it as an excuse to not be peeling. "Wouldn't it be better to just Impress here at home then? I do wish you luck out there when the eggs hatch." There's an actual smile on Talya's face at the idea that she will actually be right there too. She starts hacking away at the tuber impatiently, moving on to the next. It's no nice clean strip like the other girl, just hacked enough away that it looks peeled. If they wanted them to look pretty, they should have the kitchen workers doing it. "Humble. Obviously that doesn't work all the time, since I definitely have seen several riders back at Southern that would not be considered /humble/. I don't think that's a word we really thought dragonriders had in their vocabulary before I moved to the Weyr myself."

"Well, Southern was my second Candidacy, I had stood once here before that. So I'm on my third try. Is there a saying about third time's a charm or something?" Xanthee says with a giggle that has just a touch of nervousness in it that quickly evaporates when she sees the way the other girl is hacking at her tuber, "Well that's one way to go about it. You want some pointers?" Xan offers as she tosses the peeled tuber into the pot that has been set there for them. "Yeah well, me neither, which is why it's only a theory of mine. And I know several riders at Southern, some of them are great. Like Th'res of blue Jedameth, never been a more humble guy I think than that. And weyrwoman Amani's great. She was the only other girl from Igen in our class, she's one of my best friends actually." No, Xan is definitely not above a little name dropping.

Talya's full frown is on the other girl now, but it is attached to a puzzled expression in her eyes. "Three times? Is there a limit at all besides age when they just say— nah, nevermind?" Talya is honestly curious about this. She stops in her peeling to stare at her work compared to Xanthee's clean cut tuber. Then she finally shakes her head. "Nah, I still get the job done." HACK. HACK. HACK. Maybe it helps with her anger issues instead. The quick swipes of the blade has its drawbacks, however, like nicking her finger that conveniently comes around the time Xanthee is name dropping. She hisses and then sticks the injured finger into her mouth quickly. "I don't know about the weyrwoman, but one bluerider example definitely doesn't make up for hundreds at the Weyr," is pointed out when she removes the hurt appendage. Is blood in the food any good?

"No, no limit except for age and when you're a weyrbrat like me, you don't actually get Searched really for your own Weyr, you just get asked if you want to stand. I've known people who've stood for a lot more than three times. You never know when your dragon might be out there, so you just keep trying." Xanthee winces though when she sees the other girl nick her finger. "And that's why you should keep the knife still and move the tuber around it." she chides before getting up to grab a nearby basket which she knows has some first aid supplies. She comes back with a small roll of narrow bandages and a tiny pot of numbweed. "Does it hurt?" she asks as she sits back down.

"Well you're probably more patient than I could ever be," Talya says with a hint of admiration. "This is my first. I ain't really from Southern Weyr." Hence never having been asked before to stand there like the other girl says. The cut is mostly superficial but still deep enough to draw blood. Her dark eyes stare down at it, pushing at the skin to well up a little drop. "I don't think I am here to actually learn to be a proper cook. They kicked me out of the kitchens at Southern for a reason." She holds the little bloody finger up to Xanthee with a shrug. "Pleasantly," she answers her, regarding if it hurts. "Just need a bandage unless they want a little extra something added to these tubers." She is already reaching for a bandage to wrap up the finger, ignoring the numbweed all together. "Thanks. Do you think if I cut off my finger completely, they'd learn not to give candidates boring chores?" Not to mention she's likely to never stand again with a missing finger.

Xanthee blinks a little bit at the girl's response to the cut on her finger and hands over the bandage when she reaches for it. "I don't think that will work. Besides, it's really a small price to pay to have a chance of impressing when the eggs Hatch. You can't get something for nothing you know." Xan with the sage advice again, her voice even if a little cold, this is her dream afterall and she can't help but be a tiny bit offended at the girl's blase attitude over the process. But Xan would much rather change the subject right now, "So where are you from if not Southern? And what did you do before you were Searched?"

"Not /nothing/, specifically," Talya says as she makes certain the bandage covers the finger well, almost expertly. She gives it another look and, satisfied, goes back to the peeling. "I mean, there's plenty of other work I'd rather do. Put me through rigorious training, if they must. I thought candidacy was a little more… intense." Peeling potatoes and cleaning latrines was definitely not on her top wishlist of things to do. She goes back to hacking away, learning absolutely nothing from cutting her finger. Occasionally she does slow down, if only to be able to look at the other girl. "I was from Black Rock, which is mostly underwater now. Not that I care," she adds quickly, in case Xanthee decides to pity her. "But at the Weyr I was a bartender at the Tipsy Kitten. Serving drunks, getting drunk, and cleaning vomit." Her face says everything of what she thought of her old job.

"Mostly underwater? What happened?" Xanthee sounds concerned enough as she finishes another pristine tuber and tosses it into the pit before grabbing another one. "Yeah, I've been to the Tipsy Kitten, nice place. Not while I was a Candidate, that whole no drinking rule." Oh right, cause that rule Xanthee decided was worth following, "But a couple of times on visits back there. I'm actually a waitress too, I work in the Tea Room, so luckily, way less drunks and vomit thankfully." she says with a giggle.

- Use pcrowds to see just public groups. -
Talya waves her knife around in a circle carelessly (but not in any danger of cutting up fellow candidates), "Big storm. We had to evacuate holders and then do the same at the Weyr. Black Rock took a pretty big hit and I have no idea what they're gonna do now. At least I'm not at Southern if they're going to drag all the hold folk there." Something dark passes through Talya at that thought, sharing her safe space with what was essentially the people she grew up with and eventually ran away from. The dark face doesn't let up at the reminder that there was no drinking allowed. "If there was a time someone could use a drink, it's after a day of chores like this as a candidate." She's downright pouting now. "Would be a sight if someone got drunk off of tea," she muses with a smirk at the giggling girl.

Xanthee nods listening intently, eyes wide as the girl talks of the big storm, "Oh wow! That sounds awful. Imagine being homeless like that." she shakes her head, picking up on Talya's dark mood but doesn't ask. "Yeah, the no drinking is probably mostly so we keep our heads at all time and also as practise for if we impress, cause you can't be drinking with a baby dragon in your mind." Again Xan imparts her knowlege as she tosses her tuber in the pot and grabs another one, a small pile of peel curls now between her feet. "Yeah, they don't. But we're right down the street from the Pit and we often get drunks stumbling in after the fights."

Talya and Xanthee are seated at a bench in the kitchens that midmorning with a large pile of tubers in front of them. While Xanthee has the perfect beautiful method down, Talya's been hacking away without care at the poor vegetables and is already sporting one bandaged fingers. How many more will she accumulate? The Southern native scowls even more at the pity she hears in Xanthee's words. "Oh, some of them deserve it. Some of them deserve to have /drowned/ in the storm and one can only hope." She transfers her anger into the current tuber she is peeling before it just suddenly wisps away as fast as it arrived. "I didn't know that," she says in regards to the no-drinking with baby dragons. It seems to make Talya hesitate, but with a shrug she continues on. "A small price to pay, and it sounds like you'll be too busy. It's… it's hard to still believe I'm here, right now, and may be there, someday." When she says 'there' she points up with her blade to the skies. And then there's a magic word said. Tal perks up. "Fights?"

"So this is where you all got to," Daenerys cuts in from the Kitchen door, having been voluntold to come clean tubers — and right after a lovely bath, too! How annoying. But still, part of being a candidate is being tortured by things one rather not do. And so, he'll move farther into the kitchen, letting his long hair trail freely behind him, as he hasn't bothered to tie it back as yet. As the girls go on about their conversation, he'll take a listen, eyeing the tubers with something akin to disgust. He's supposed to eat them, not peel them! Ugh. Finally, though, he picks up a knife and a tuber, and begins carefully shaving off the outer skin before he frowns over at Xanthee. "From the Pit, eh? Those dudes are brutes."

Xanthee looks at Talya with a slightly incredulous expression when the Southerner speaks with such venom over the inhabitants of her former Hold, her mouth hanging open slightly in shock. She quickly recover though and nods about the baby dragons, "Personally, nothing is too great a sacrifice if the reward is finding your lifemate on the Sands." Her emerald eyes flash resolutely with that as she continues to curl off the peel from her tuber. When Daenerys enter though, she has a wide grin for her adopted sibling. "Took you long enough to find us! Hoping we'd be done before you got here huh?" she gently teases the older Candidate as she nots at his comment about the Pit, "Oh yes, the Pit! It's pretty much what you think, an arena where pit fighters face off and there's bets placed on the outcome. It's very entertaining. Although the alcohol flows freely, so more than once a patron has wandered into the Pit after a fight just to give me a headache. Almost glad the Steens keep shooting down the idea of me adding some spiked teas to the menu."

Talya does not seem to mind Xanthee's expression towards her vehemence at the people on her mind. She does not offer up anymore than that. There are things to learn here… "It's such a small percentage that manages to get the chance at Impression, I never really considered what I would or would not be willing to give up. But I would like that chance." Which is why she was here, after all. Even if she hates the tasks given to them. The arrival of Daenerys is a pleasant distraction. The young woman sets her blade down and stretches her arms behind her, giving a nod to space by them for him to join in. "The more, the faster for this to be over with," is said by way of greeting. Her dark eyes look from the older man to the other girl. "So with our restrictions I'm guessing we are not allowed in there?" Talya actually licks her lips in desire of this venue. She wants to go see some fights.

Talya's venom, is, indeed an awesome sight to behold — there's a story there yet to be told, though Daenerys seems unwilling to try and pull it out of her right now. She seems to have had some bad times in life. Xanthee's equal vehemenence is met with a gentle smile; his sister, ever determined to meet her lifemate on the Sands. Grinning, he admits to the attempt at ducking out of this particular chore. "Ugh, don't you know I'm too pretty for this?" He asks her, attempting to look Very Much the Decorative One. But his mischevious grins might suggest he doesn't particularly believe the foolery of his statement. Back to the peeling he goes, uncurling the skin a bit of a time. ""M, I've had to wrestle a drunk or two when they've got especially… happy."

Xanthee shrugs again as she tosses another finished tuber in the pot, "Well you're getting your chance now. Just make sure if you want it, keep your nose clean and follow the rules." At this Xanthee's whole demeanor changes, she has dropped all girlish bubbling, and her tone is one of complete seriousness as emerald eyes lock on Talya's. At Daen's next, she seems to warm again after her temporary coldness, a smile spreading on her lips, "You're not too pretty for nuthin, you're a Candidate. It's not like the dragons are looking for the prettiest on the Sands." Turnig back to Talya, her normal tone of voice returned, she shrugs, "Well you're what? 18 or 19 at least? If you want to check it out all you'd have to do is ask a rider to accompany you as a chaperone. You won't be able to drink, but I don't know why you wouldn't be able to at least watch the fights. Of course, check with one of the assistant weyrlingmasters to make sure." she adds since she doesn't want to be the reason the Southerner gets in trouble.

Talya meets Xanthee's stern eyes with her own, a hint of rebelliousness in them. "There's always a candidate or two who can bend the rules and still wind up on the sands," she says with a rising smirk to her features, feeling rather certain about her words. There were always loopholes. Her eyes move on to the long-haired man, searching for a likeminded individual here. "Too pretty, sure." Talya is unable to hide the snort of laughter. "What was that we were saying about going through candidates so you don't get an ego and are humble?" She looks between Xanthee to Daenerys, pointing the latter. "I think he needs a little help on that one." She plucks a tuber from the pile, low enough that it topples a few of the uppermost ones that then roll in Daenerys's direction. Here, have some more tubers. She peels this one a little slower, her anger dissapating at the curiosity for the fighting Pit. "So who gets to join the fights?"

"There always are — the smarter of us usually refrains, however. It really depends on whether you're bent on proving you're smarter than everyone else, or if you fuck up by accident. Actions have consequences." Daenerys will naturally lend Talya a hint of a caveat to her suppositions. "Nobody's saying you have to be perfect, you just don't go out of your way to flout the rules and expect a reward for it." His answering snort of laughter for Talya's poking at his 'ego' suggests he's enjoying her teasing. "But… but… what if I ruin my pretty hands?" He gasps, drawing back in horror and managing to appear quite the fine lady despite his rather scruffy-faced appearance at the moment — guess who forgot to shave what little facial hair he owns? THIS GUY. Xanthee gets a nosewrinkle for her trouble. "Well, there goes my chances. We all know I'm the prettiest thing in the Barracks." He grins in amusement. He's not, not really. The girls are definitely cuter. "Well, bar Karlantro. That boy might as well be a girl."

Xanthee grows quiet suddenly at Talya's assertion that candidates can bend the rules and still end up on the Sands, her brows furrowing as she suddenly looks like she wants to say something but luckily for her Daenerys interjects, and she can takes a few deep breaths to calm herself before she is able to manage a long sigh, "There are rules for a reason. And you came from Southern, did you not hear about the Candidate who got kicked out of the last class there? So no matter how smart someone is or how careful they are, it's a risk. It's on you if you think the risk is worth the bad behaviour." She shoots a look at Daenerys for a moment before she clears her throat again, "You know, I'm really not sure how someone would join the fight.." She turns to her brother, "Daen, do you know? Oh!" she seems to remember something then. "Daenerys, this is Talya from Southern. Talya, this is Daenerys, my big brother of sorts." There, introductions done and finally Xan can blink at Daen in suprise, "Wait, Karlantro? Tall, waifish, silky blond hair to his waist and big blue eyes? You mean that's not a girl?!" Could have fooled Xanthee.

Talya gives Daenerys a languid smirk, raising her brows at his explanation. "I'm not about to say I'm smarter than anyone else, but there certainly are limits for one's sanity." Dodging chores here and there, making up excuses, lying for the sake of a little bit of free time to get away from it all. Talya is going to push some boundaries this candidacy. "I arrived at Southern when that batch of weyrlings were about full grown. And if a candidate got kicked out… well, sucks to be them." The threat is not going to frighten Talya away, but she does give Xanthee a more intriguing look. "So what /did/ they do to get kicked out then?" When introductions are made, however, she lifts the blade and gives it a little wave at Daenerys in greeting before going back to gently hacking tubers. "That's me. Can't disagree or agree that you're pretty, but from what I hear dragonridering can easily change that. What happens if you get threadscored? Worried 'bout fingers is nothing." And she even wiggles the bandaged finger at him. "Does it matter if they are a girl or boy? I mean, pretty is pretty and always nice to look at."

Absently, Daenerys will hook an arm around Xanthee's shoulders, dropping a little kiss on her hair, running soothing fingers over her bicep to help calm her. "Hmm… I think it's best left alone. What's done's done." His gaze shifts from Talya to Xanthee and back again, thinking it time to change the subject to something else, now. "Well met, Talya… and well, as long as I got life and limb, I'll live if I don't stay good looking. Should I even Impress. More to life than a pretty face." He shrugs off the very thought that he could lose his looks; those can be lost any number of ways! "And yeah, he's a boy. He's just pretty…. um. Ladylike." Daenerys smirks in amusement, for Karlantro is, indeed, something close to a Lady Holder for uselessness.

Giving her brother a warm smile of thanks at his comforting, Xanthee turns back to the pile of tubers and snatches up her next one to distract herself while the conversation turns to threadscore and she swallows a lump in her throat, her next comes out strained. "Yeah, as long as they are still kicking, threadscore is just proof that you're still here to face it again." She sniffs hard as her eyes unwillingly fill with tears. "Because there are many who don't survive it. Better to be ugly than dead. Excuse me." And with that the raven haired girl is up in an instant and crossing the courtyard at a jog, her hand going to her eyes to wipe at them furiously.

Talya would not have thought twice about the connection of kicked out candidate and the one that once stood at Southern sitting with them, if it wasn't for Daenerys's comforting and insisting to drop the subject. And if it wasn't for her silly comment about threadscores and Xanthee's reaction, she probably would have questioned it more. "Fuck," is her reply to Xanthee's abrupt departure. "I always seem to say the wrong things." She sighs and goes back to the messy cutting of the poor tubers, left to the fate of Talya's hands instead of the delicate work that Xanthee did. "It's just a fact of life if we're here to Impress… which I guess is hypocritical of me since I'd rather be alive than dead." She quiets as she focuses intently on her work instead.

"Hmm. It happens." Daenerys eyes Talya quietly a long moment, and then, quietly, returns to his tuber-peeling. He'll neither confirm nor deny any suspicions Talya might have, there. "Yes, it's a fact, but… Xanthee — she lost a parent, and her dad's pretty scarred up, so. It's not just a fact to her, unfortunately. She's seen what Thread can do to people." And then he smiles at Talya, a boyish smile of good will and humor. "Not hypocritical at all — we'd all prefer being alive to dead, I think. Ugly and alive is the best possible solution to the opposite." He's not so attached to being pretty that he'd mourn too hard the loss of those looks, as long as he's alive to do so.

Talya stays silent as the other candidate enlightens her to Xanthee's history. Just the scraping of her blade as she destroys the tubers. More than skin is being hacked away from them, but eventually the small remains gets set aside with the finished ones. "I'm surprised she continues to stand for a dragon of her own if she feels so strongly about what Thread can do to a person." She glances up to the smiling Daenerys, brows furrowed just a bit. "I know someone that seems to have little care to himself just to get from point A to point B faster. Maybe that's what is bred into dragonriders? With such a high probability of being maimed and death rate that comes to riders, do you have even the tiniest bit of hesitation to standing?"

Daenerys raises his eyebrows thoughtfully. "You do realize how that sounds? As if the desire to find a way to protect those you care for is… somehow psychotic?" He's certain Talya doesn't mean that, certainly. Another tuber is added to the pile, and yet another is given the treatment. As to her other question, he'll offer up a dismisive shrug. "What fool doesn't hesitate, at least a little? It is a dangerous job."

"There are other more logical methods than hurting yourself to protect others," Talya points out, stabbing at a tuber a little too savagely. "But that's really up to the person I suppose." Her recent work is given a stare down, hopeless beyond any measure to salvage it. She discards this whole tuber (or rather the pieces) into a separate pile, probably to be given to someone to use for something else. At least she hasn't gone and stabbed through her own hand. "So you're weyrbred here at Igen like Xanthee, if you both are related?" she says in a way to change the subject, finally turning her attention away from being cruel to tubers to look at Daenerys.

"Oh, yes, and Thread can simply fall upon the land and end our food supply — no big deal." Sarcasm laces Daenerys' tone, here. Does Talya never think of what she's saying ere she says it? The Trader-turned-Candidate would guess not, and is likely hopeful that life will lean in and teach the girl a lesson or two. For the future. "Yes, I am also Weyrbred — but Xanthee and I are not blood relatives. We sort of…. adopted each other."

Talya pauses in her tuber-peeling to give Daenerys a long dry look at his sarcasm. "I have no idea where you took what I said as trying to imply dragonriders should stop fighting Thread. Dragons are bred for that very purpose and riders trained together to save everyone else. And if we're lucky, we get to join them." She sinks the tip of her peeling knife blade into the table before standing up to gather all the ones they have peeled into a bucket. "I'll go take these along," she says, give the other man a nod at the tubers. "May as well catch up on what you missed." The young woman will let the late arrival keep peeling as she moves on to give the cooks the finished products. And maybe she'll find a way to squeeze into some other manual labor task that didn't require handling food.

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