Vashae, Veresch, Shea, Cale


Vashae goes to Crater Lake to enjoy the first official day of spring. Good company finds her!


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


Crater Lake, Igen Weyr

OOC Date


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Crater Lake

Four centuries ago, a chunk of the very comet that drove some Oldtimers forward crashed to the desert near Igen Weyr, collapsing the original inner caverns and breaking through to a new spring that now feeds into Igen's underground aquifer. The result? Beauty from destruction - a long, crystalline lake of brilliant sapphire blue. Sharp sandstone rings the water in jagged peaks, where sparse desert shrubs cling to steep, sandy slopes and reflect darkly on the pristine, mirror-like surface. Out in the midst of the lake, a small island pierces the glassy plane, umber from azure in a near-perfect cone. A startling break in the stark desert and savannah surrounding the Weyr, the crater lake sits like a jewel in the rough - a picturesque, inviting respite from the rough, dry terrain beyond.

Recent events during the last few sevens have brought a whole new appreciation to Vashae for the scars that the now long-gone Comet left upon the face of Pern. She's even lucky enough that one of those scars is right near home, and so after drills are over, Jovianth wings over to the Crater Lake instead of to the lake closer to the weyr. Once the blue has landed, Vashae slips easily from the straps. While spring means that it is indeed getting warmer, the chill of Between means she's not yet ready to immediately shuck her riding leathers. Her helmet, on the other hand, is shucked immediately and secured on Jovianth's straps. Her next move is to grab out a blanket from one of the bags in his straps, and spread it out. A day of warm but not unpleasant (yet) weather? She intends to make the most of it.

It's a pleasant-enough resting spot for those looking for a scenic trip, and the blanket seems perfectly cheerful, just right for a picnic. There are other travellers around as well, most notably a scrawny, mop-haired waif still warmly dressed. Though she looks around as the dragon lands and Vashae slides down, there's not much beyond a polite nod at first, as she's too busy cupping a handful of water to drink from. The residue gets swiped over her unruly hair, until she's wet it down quite thoroughly and it drips wetness down a delicate neck. She stands then, and turns to offer them a smile and a small quirky bow. "Rider," she greets happily. "A wonderful day, isn't it? I also send my greetings to your blue."

By the time Veresch speaks, Vashae's finished spreading out the blanket, and has pulled one of the packs off of Jovianth's straps. She was too busy to find a basket, perhaps, but well. "Hello," Vashae replies with a smile. "It is a lovely day, and thank you." A fond look is sent at the blue, although he only watches the two for a moment, before settling and stretching out to sun. "Care to join me? I stopped by the kitchens briefly on my way out here." It's an open invitation, and with it issued, Vashae's slipping out of her riding jacket finally, and opening the pack up for perusal.

Oh. /Oh/. Food! Veresch isn't so particular about stepping closer daintily. In fact, she gives a few long steps in the direction of the blanket, though she remembers to pull her boots off at least. As she sits, dust wafts onto the small corner of blanket she occupies, and she keeps her hands neatly on her thighs rather than dive in as she wants to. There's a slightly squirmy noise, and her hands fly to press at her tummy. "Sorry," she mutters. "It's been a long run this time, out past Crater Lake."

Vashae flashes a grin at the girl, and shakes her head. "No need to apologize. I'm the same way, especially after drills or sweeps." She gestures at the pack, and pulls a meatroll out to snack on. "There's a couple skins of water in there too, so feel free." She considers the younger woman for a moment while she munches on the roll, and then. "Sorry, I'm Vashae, with the Arroyo wing. That blue lump on the sand there is Jovianth." The smile the woman sends at her lifemate belays her real feelings for the socalled lump. "How has your day been? Aside from the." She waves a hand in the air. "Running out and about."

Veresch gives a relieved look as she wiggles around to sit cross-legged. "I'm Veresch - weyr messenger. It's a pleasure to meet someone all the way out here, Vashae, and Jovianth too." It's politely said, but in the next moment she's on that pack like a little beast, pulling out two meatrolls at first. Her expression glazes with joy as she puffs on one, using the other to keep her hand warm for a bit, and when she finally bites in there's a stifled mumble of pleasure. "So good," she finally gets out after swallowing. "I think I met someone that spoke of Arroyo as well in the baths the other night — Trek? Nice. Kinda clever." Her eyes narrow a bit, happily. "I enjoyed it, I managed to dodge all the chores my mother wanted to throw on me, and I managed to work on a distance trot."

Vashae grins a little at the delighted look on Veresch's face, and finishes off her own meatroll in a couple more quick bites. "Working on getting better at running?" She asks, curious. "I know you said you're a messenger, are you planning a competition or something, though?" Because she might have to participate, just for the fun of it, if so! "Oh, you met Trek? She's our Wingleader." Vashae's all too happy to explain things. Veresch and Vashae are chilling on a blanket with a food filled pack. Jovianth is nearby, sunning, and mid-morning spring weather is being enjoyed and appreciated.

Sunning? Sunning sounds excellent, so it is perhaps no surprise when Jovianth is joined by another, larger Arroyo blue; in fact Arroyo's largest to date. Cervilaevarth settles down with little to no thought for Shea, who is sort of shoulder-jerked off his neck without anything even resembling an apology. The bluerider is in a loose-fitting blouse and twill pants, mid-length curls falling out of the pins affixed to her head, clearly having been on some sort of lunch break herself — but seeing as how she is only holding a single orange fruit, it doesn't look like she was planning on crashing anyone's lunch. Her lifemate gets an eyeroll, and then she does what Shea does best: butts into a conversation first, then apologizes. "Our wing? Neither of us were in it before," with a nod to Vashae, "but it's definitely better than the other wings were, for whatever that's worth. Sorry about the apparent intrusion, Vash … Vash's friend. I can get out of your hair," though she's lazily started peeling her fruit, now, "just he apparently absolutely had to sit right there." Almost ten turns after Impressing, and there's still some debate who the dominant one in this pair is. Shea's losing.

The shadow Cervilaevarth throws as he comes in to settle is enough to throw a wide (fat) shadow over Veresch, enough to make her blink up, teeth still halfway in the meatroll. There's almost a choke - did that dragon just toss his rider off? - before her eyes run up and down Shea. She swallows and smiles from where she's sitting, on one dusty corner of a cheerful blanket. It's a lovely day, early enough in spring to be warm without being hot; the skies are clear as a properly cast bell-tone, hammered-blue. The teenager's got her hair slicked down by water, still enough to drip a little, and is apparently attepting to inhale her food. Vashae is considerably more delicate, and Shea more so still, judging by the neat way she's peeling a fruit. "Veresch," she says. "Weyr messenger. Pleased to meet you, and my greetings to your blue as well, ma'am."

Vashae doesn't need to look up when the shadow passes by - Jovianth's already happily extending his greetings to Cervilaevarth and has given his lifemate a heads up. "No problem, Shea!" Especially considering that. Well, she grabbed food and ran away essentially! Not eating lunch indoors, not today! Although to be fair, she was pretty eager to get out and enjoy the weather today. "How's it going?" Since drills, she presumably means! Vashae seems completely unbothered by picnic crashing, but then, she's been in a very good mood lately. A bit of fruit is snatched out, and the younger of the two blueriders will start on that now. "It's perfect out, isn't it?"

'Messenger' touches upon Shea's ears and is met with a delighted little smile: "Oh, a former me! Wonderful, I never see enough messengers around here and I always thought it was a wonderful way to spend my life, so I'm glad to see there are other women. Working as messengers." If she's met male ones, she apparently doesn't care. "I'd offer to shake except there's juice on my fingers — Shea, go ahead and call me Shea, that's Cervilaevarth, don't worry about calling him that." Considering some of his clutchmates, it's not a mouthful, but next to most of Igen's dragons it's still a relatively complicated moniker. Vashae gets an enthusiastic, "It is, though I would've been okay with more warning about where we were going — pretty boring, anyway, or alternatively it's not going anywhere? I might sit with you, if that's all right." As of now she's still standing. Hover.

"Cer…" Yeah. Veresch isn't even though to attempt it. "I absolutely love being a messenger. It gives me a sense of freedom that I wouldn't have had otherwise, apprenticing at a craft or doing inner-caverns work." As she speaks she bends over, and fishes up a napkin from the pack, shaking it out and wiggling at Shea with it. "But I thought i'd be able to make it back faster, so I didn't think to buy food. Vashae is saving my life right now." Though the grumble has stilled, she tucks the other wrapped meatroll into her pocket, just in case she's caught again later on. "I was just trying to explain to her about the difference between running far and even, and running short and fast. I'm not so good at the first yet."

The rangy form of a new youth makes itself known with a merrily whistled tune, the skittering of dust and pebbles underfoot, and a momentarily flailing arm as he tries not to trip over a particularly hazardous bit of his own shadow. It *could* be mistaken for an enthusiastic wave, though. Anyway, Cale pauses and watches the small picnic gathering for a few moments before shouldering the sack he carries and pacing more carefully into the area.

Vashae smiles while the younger girl talks, and beckons at Shea. "Please, please do. I don't mind at all." Join them, she means! "Lots of people out enjoying spring, today." She notices, spotting the young man almost tripping. "Care to join us?" She asks Cale cheerfully, beckoning him on over. "We don't bite, I promise." Ignore the grin, really, she doesn't mean it.

Right, at this point, it does calendrically count as spring; Shea approves, as she joins the other two women at the picnic blanket. (Her name doesn't match.) "I definitely had that same issue, at first — I was always more of a sprinter. Then when I started doing long runs, I had a runnerbeast, but it's that space in between — gotta carry a pack to keep yourself going, munch on things on the way! Which, apparently, you are learning." There's a decisive nod; she approves of Veresch's path in life. She also gives Cale the benefit of the doubt that he totally did that on purpose, and enthusiastically waves.

Luckily for Cale, Veresch is eating the last of her meatroll and licking her fingers to get all the crumbs. She doesn't see the stumble. She hears the invitation though, and looks up to stare at him, glance level. "…hey," she says, considerably more reserved — he might be after her next portion, he looks kind of rangy with that height. "Yeah. This is Vashae, and this Shea, and their two dragons." Pause. "D'you want some water? If you don't care for lake water, that is, Vashae brought some from the Weyr." There /might/ be a fruit she'd part with too. "I'm Veresch. Who are you?"

Cale happily returns the waves. Igen is so friendly! He paces over, brown eyes moving from one diner to the next. "Uhm…hi! I'm Cale, nice to meet you Ma'am(to the riders), and Miss(to the not-rider). I was exploring, pretty new here, and some folks said this was a good place to scout. I brough a little lunch myself, and a thing or two I'm trying out." He grins and unlimbers his satchel, digging mostly fruitlessly around in it until he wrests a small, tightly wrapped bundle from it. "I'd love to share, if you can give me an honest opinion on it.."

When Cale mentions he's brought some of his own, Vashae tilts her head to the side a little. "I'll give you my honest opinion," she promises. "Come have a seat, and feel free to help yourself if you do see anything you like." She flashes a quick grin at the young man. "Pleasure to meet you, Cale. My lifemate's Jovianth," who twitches lazily at the mention of his name. No doubt he's probably trying to talk Cervilaevarth's ear off. Whether or not he's succeeding.. "Have you been at the Weyr for long?" It's time for the questions to begin!

Cervilaevarth is nothing if not a good listener; he rarely interjects, and is at least making it seem as if he's following along with what the younger blue is talking about. Shea, on the other hand, having tuned the dragons out, is at least a little intrigued — "You might not want my honest opinion, it's usually astoundingly honest," otherwise known as 'she has a reputation for being rude,' "but if your work's excellent you'll probably appreciate it. Willing to try if you're willing to let me!"

Veresch is officially old enough to be a Miss to someone! Thrillll! The mere thought of it makes her smile just a little brighter, teen-ego stroked, and she leans forward a little to eyeball the newcomer. "You're new? I can show you around a bit myself, I know the area fairly well." Faranth knows she's been over most of it by foot. Her glance drops to the satchel; she's clearly too polite to come out and ask straight away, but her expression's rather willfully intent. Her gaze slices to Vashae, then Shea; getting their permission makes her nod towards a corner of the blanket. "Spill," she advises him shortly, curiously. "Honest opinions all around."

With a nod, Cale takes a knee and carefully unwraps the small bundle in his hands, lip caught between his teeth. He's still getting used to 'timers, easier to look at what he's doing at the moment. He clears his throat and unwraps the package. "It's a dessert. Sugar, cream, butter, a bit of klah." He carefully removes a few chunks of the caramel and passes them around. "It's cool, so it's going to be really chewy, in case you have any bad teeth." Now that the goodies have gone out, he unlimbers some kind of bread-thing with nuts and fruits in it and tears off a hunk to munch on. Between bites, he answers, "Uhm, been here a couple days? Still learning my way around, mostly."

Vashae nudges Shea lightly. "You're not so bad." She tells her former mentor, and then turns back to the younger two, nodding agreement at Veresch's statement. "So are you with the bakercraft then, Cale?" Vashae inquires curiously. "Or do you work in the kitchens?" This is all asked while watching him get the caramel out, and takes a bit of it with a smile and a thank you. "How are you finding the weyr so far?" Better leave some questions for the others to ask too though, lest she come off as being overly nosy. She'll pop the caramel on in her mouth then. Taste test time!

"Depends on who you ask, anyway." Shea is willing to believe she's not so bad, and is also completely okay with allowing other people to believe that. "I like sweet, though," she muses, taking a caramel, "and chewy, usually." Cervilaevarth sits up a bit straighter as if he, too, is concerned with taste tests — he is, more often than not. "Mm," she says, thoughtful. "I like this. I'm not sure if I'm sure why I like it, but I like it." Soft, rumbly sound from the dragon corner. "… And he likes it, but thinks it would go good with a white wine and please, please ignore that part."

The teenager of the three wise women waits for her turn, hesitantly takes a caramel and pops it into her mouth as well. There's one chew, and the next, and her face squints somewhat as she tries to pacify the sweet into giving in to her will. "Ifff chewy," she manages to mutter out - the caramel is fighting back - but finally overcomes that nasty jaw-lock and gives the boy two earnest thumbs up. "Its so weird," she says happily. "I think the salt is making the sweet bit sweeter. I don't really like the klah taste in it, but it's nice." She sits back, squints a little up at Cale. "Craft apprentice?" He looks so /young/ to have made something so delicious. "How old are you?"

"Uhm.. mostly nice?" Cale responds to Vashae. "I mean, there's a variety of people, but mostly people have been okay." The caramel is a touch more molasses and salt than fatty cream caramel. It's fairly intense. He grins and color rises to his features when people say they like it, and he tilts his head to the side, before gnawing on more bread. "Oh, and bakercraft, but I'll be helping out in the kitchens. And, uh, 14, but I'd been doing this for a while before I got apprenticed. It's really not that hard, you just have to pay attention closely."

The caramel's chewed carefully. "It's nice. I like the flavors, personally…" She glances at Shea, and giggles a little at the other's comments. "He would, though, wouldn't he? He might be right, honestly…" White wine sounds nice, right now! Just not this early in the day. And then a small frown crosses her face suddenly. "Um. NO, it's not the caramel the caramel's fine." She's quick to reassure Cale before he thinks it's his doing. "I have to go. Sorry guys." She casts an apologetic look at them. "It was very nice meeting you both." That's to Veresch and Cale, "see you later, Shea!" The bluerider's up and mounted 'tween neck ridges on Jovianth before they can ask for further explanation, and without much more hesitation, the two are up in the air, and gone.

"Your loss!" Shea calls to her parting wingmate, and would probably throw something (friendly-like!) at her exiting form if she had something to toss. "The rest of us will just enjoy more of your delicious food — what else is here?" the bluerider asks, squinting at the bread-and-company but not letting herself be so bold as to try to take a piece. "And have you met, uh. What was his name. Liesan! Works with my old wingmate, on baker-y things. Sienna?" She's got a glimmer of hope that new apprentices will know the cheesemaking greenrider.

Veresch licks her lips surreptitiously get the last of that strange, salty sweetness, and uncoils easily to her feet as she stares at the angle of the sun in the sky. "I've got to get back, or the assistant's going to be so mad at me," she announces dolefully. "Vashae, Shea, nice to meet more female Arroyo riders! Cale… I dearly hope you survive the kitches. That wasn't half-bad." Clearly she'll have to cultivate him. "Like I said, if you don't wanna explore on your own, just flag me down when I run by, I'll be happy to show you around a bit." There's a small, shocked pause as Vashae takes off so quickly. "Er. Shea, would you…?" Escort Cale back, obviously. "I've got to run myself."

Cale waves to the departing rider, and then then departing messenger. He offers them a grin, and rips off a hunk of breadstuff for the remaining rider. "I brought some of this, some water, and some, uh… kind of failed things. I like them, but my teachers never did. They're like flat, chewy bread that didn't rise right. I mix them with sugar and fry them."

Shea squints as she takes a bite, the description not sounding at all like something that should've counted as failed. What she was actually eating, though: "Hm." Chew, chew, swallow, lip bite. "That's an interesting combination — not something I would've thought to try, but not bad. You, shut up with the vintnery commentary you don't really know anything about wine," was clearly not meant for the apprentice. "What you call failed things, though, I think actually sounds pretty good? I'd be willing to give it a shot." Her own waterskin comes out now, though, to clear the palette. "Though I am not really … the authority on taste, I don't tend to be picky. Just rude if I don't like something. I think you'll do."

Cale nods to Shea, chewing on his bottom lip for a bit. He looks a bit lost at the lifemate-commentary, but picks up the meaning after a few moments and settles down into a relaxed seating posture. "Sure, I can share." He pulls out a strip of fried bread dusted with pulverized sugar and hands it over. It's a good two inches by six to eight, and as promised, it's chewy inside, crispy outside. "Well, when you mess something up, they say you did it wrong. If it's a test, you fail. I always want to find a way to make it work, and I don't like wasting anything. Plus, I… I kinda taste things really well. Breads and sugars, mostly. I always tested stuff in the kitchens." He offers the rider a cautious smile just on the confident side of bashful. "I had a funny nickname in the trains." Pause. "I'll do? Do what?"

"That," Shea says, and then fails to keep talking because she is too busy eating. Cervilaevarth, too, looks mildly impressed, his posture adjusting again so wide snowy wings trail slightly on the ground. Once she's had a few thoughtful bites, the bluerider remembers that she was saying something and finishes off the sentence now that she's finished off the food, "Is actually innovative. And smart. You'll be a really good baker, I think — I like this. I mean, I'd order another one — it got a name?" That second question, of course, she completely fails to answer due to having been distracted by taste.

Cale finds that sort of pink hue returning to his cheeks again as he nods, but he does look a bit pleased. He can't quite suppress his grin, but at her question, he shakes his head. "Not… really? People just called my experiments junks because I'd make them out of the junk failures. They should have a better name than that, though, especially if other folks like them. Maybe you can help me come up with one?" he taps his cheek as he asks that, eyes moving to follow the movements of the dragon. "Oh, uhm, thanks for the compliment. I like baking and cooking, and I like feeding people and seeing them happy." He tucks into his food again, silent as he executes the "cram food into face" maneuver learned by most teens.

Silent eating that eventually, later, comes with conversation about the silent eating suits Shea; Cervilaevarth's offered commentary is summarily ignored from here on out. But bluerider and baker apprentice get to bond in the silent eating, which will later come with suggestions, and perhaps someday Shea will not just learn Cale's nickname, but help him give a few new things a name.

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