Ginger, Ibrahim, Va'os


Ginger is being a good Candidate, Va'os just wants a meal-to-go and Ibrahim has the same idea…


It is afternoon of the nineteenth day of the third month of the fourteenth turn of the 12th pass.


Kitchens, Southern Weyr

OOC Date 13 Jun 2018 04:00





Renowned, the culinary prowress of Southern, and suitable her kitchens to the task. A broad and airy sweep of room, it cannot help the sweat-drenching heat — though hearths are cleverly set within the ground itself to maximize efficiency. Big copper pots gleam along long tables, cooks hustling to and fro to prepare the necessary meals. There is never a candlemark the kitchens are left unstaffed: even in the wee hours of the night, bakers can be seen shaping loaves and mixing biscuits. For those who miss meals, a sideboard brims with leftovers that are easily transformed into portable potables, complete with sweet herbal tea and a large wheel of a soft, white, crumbly cheese.

The lunchtime rush is over, and the dinnertime rush is getting into full swing in Southern's large and busy kitchens. Cooks are conferring over a large stewpan, assistants are chopping vegetables and roots, and water is being heated in copious quantities. Something's roasting on a spit, and there's a pleasant meaty fragrance. Also, it's hot and steamy in here. That doesn't seem to be bothering Ginger. The table that she's at might seem like an island of peace in the midst of the culinary storm. On it, edged weapons - OK, knives and meat cleavers - are set out in a neat line, currently two to her right and eight to her left, with a particularly vicious looking chopper currently in her hands as she inspects the edge of its blade. She has a couple of whetstones in front of her.

Are the various knives and cleavers to be a deterrent? Because they’re not effective against (innocently) meddling bronzeriders. Cue Va’os’ entrance to the kitchens, as he edges away from the busier part of the room and more towards Ginger’s little ‘island’ of peace. “So…” He begins in drawled humour directed her way and skipping right past greetings and formality. As he leans in closer, it’s evident that it must be raining outside. How does one know? Because he’s soaked and probably dripping on that floor as they speak. “What’re the chances of a guy getting a meal to go?” Preferably before the rest of the kitchen staff catch on anymore than they already have and ready to chase him out of there.

Ginger puts down the cleaver and salutes, because she's a candidate now and candidates have to do that sort of things. "What would you like, sir? Lunch is finished, but there's fish stew at the nighthearth. Or…" That's actually the limit of her knowledge of what's cooking, and she looks round hastily. "The roast doesn't look ready. But there's always bread, and cold stuff."

If she’d had saluted with that cleaver, he’d probably be both horrified (for her safety… yeah, that’s it) and impressed! Instead he just grins and gives her a little salute in return. “Nah, not fish.” His nose wrinkles a bit at that. “Been having that a lot lately.” Because he’s never in time for the GOOD stuff! Which likely explains his unusual arrival here. “Damn. You sure?” Va’os looks over to where the roast is cooking a little forlornly, before taking on a bit of a mischievous and thoughtful frown. Hmm. Just what is he up too? “… I mean, have you actually checked it? Has anyone? Maybe I should.” Because that won’t end up badly, would it?

"I'm not a cook," Ginger prevaricates, "and I haven't really been watching, but I think it's normally browner when it's done, and it's a bit early for it to be ready." She cranes her neck to see better. "And the dripping pan's still fairly empty." She grins brightly at the Weyrleader. "But the outside's probably edible by now: maybe someone should sample it? Would you like a knife?" With an open palm, she waves along the array of kitchen tools, ending with her hand pointing to the right-hand end of the row. "The ones at this end are sharper."

“Nothing wrong with rare meat!” Va’os chimes brightly and with a broad grin. “Usually I prefer it a little more cooked but… beggars can’t be choosers sometimes.” And he’s a hungry, hungry guy! As she offers a choice of —weapons— tools, he finally takes a good look at them. His gaze darts from the many there lined up and then to her and back again. “Uh… since when is sharpening a Candidate task?” If his teasing wasn’t apparent, it will be in his next statement… and the smirk that goes with it. “I mean, isn’t that just asking for trouble? And missing fingers?” He’s going to reach for the tool she pointed out, casually picking it up and keeping a side-eye glance on the other kitchen workers. All it takes is one to speak up…

Ginger draws herself up to her full height, which still leaves her six inches shorter than the Weyrleader, and there's a hint of frost in her expression until she realises he's teasing. Then there's something of a twinkle in her eye as she explains, "I'm a Smithcraft apprentice, sir. I'm safe to let loose on sharp objects. Besides, I used to work here, and they still won't let me anywhere near the food."

Va’os is generally teasing at least 85% of the time! He’s still teasing her even when she starts to go frosty on him, merely grinning down at her (and maybe eyeing those knives again). “Smithcraft, huh? Isn’t that a men dominated Craft?” He’s not meaning it like an insult, but more of blunt curiosity. “Y’know, how they kind of shun women out of Seacraft — and just about everything else.” There’s a scoff from him, “Really? Not even peeling or chopping?” Just all questions, isn’t he? And, with borrowed tool in hand, he starts to step back, but his focus on that roast is waning for the moment. Ginger has him distracted!

"Maybe peeling and chopping," Ginger admits after a moment's reflection. "But not stirring, or roasting. And definitely not frying. Better I do what I'm good at," she concludes firmly. "And there are plenty of women in the Smithcraft, even though most smiths are men. Lots of the jewellers are women. Me, I like working at the forge." Hitting hot metal with hammers, that would be, and she's getting the muscles for it, too. "And maths, so I can learn about designing things."

“What’s so tricky about stirring or roasting?” Says the man that should never be allowed to cook anything! Va’os once again is merely curious while he stands there in rain-soaked clothes. “Huh. Forgot about jewellers. But working a forge? You’re brave… or crazy.” Maybe both! Grinning again to show he’s just taking another jab at her, he’ll step back again. “Maths… those can be helpful for a lot of things!” he points out, before signalling with a raised finger. One moment! He’s off to go edge and sneak his way closer to that roast! Once the coast is as clear as it’s going to get, he’s aiming to slice off a piece (or three, greedy guy that he is).

"Things… burn." Could there be the hint of a story to discover here? Anyway, that's as far as Ginger gets before the Weyrleader starts to sneak over towards the roasting hearth and that succulent-looking side of meat. She follows him, but at a discreet distance, curious to see what happens. Nobody's really paying much attention to the roast at the moment; it's just minding its own business and releasing occasional fatty drips to the pan below.

Excellent! No one will mind then when Va’os just helps himself! Only he forgot one key thing: a plate! And that roast is hot. Cue a few hissed curses through his teeth and what sounds like a mantra of ‘ow ow ow’ strewn in for good measure. Maybe he should’ve stuck around for Ginger’s story on things burning? As he sneaks his way back, he’ll grab a nearby plate and beam at her with a wink. See? Easy peasy. “… so you were saying?” he comments, while arranging his stolen feast and licking (manners, what manners?) his fingers clean. Could be he’s trying to cool them off too… yeah, that’s it!

"There was… an incident." Ginger sounds reluctant to tell any more, but it looks as if she's resigning herself to it. "Um. You know how if someone's not a terribly good cook, people sometimes say, 'He could burn water?'" And if he's going to eat, she's going to work. She makes her way back to the table, picks up the chopper again and starts to pass it over the stone, because having somewhere else to direct her eyes is such a good idea at this point.

Va’os hasn’t started eating yet! He just got the toughest part of his meal-to-go. “Ha! Yeah, I’ve heard that before,” he begins to laugh. “So how’d you pull it off?” Because he’s going to immediate assume that it was Ginger who burned water. Sensing that his time is running short because he can’t go unnoticed forever in here, he begins to scan the room for other food to snatch. “… you said there was bread? Cheese, maybe?” He’s making a sandwich, isn’t he?

"On the sideboard - shall I get you some?" Ginger's offer is eagerly made, and she doesn't wait for a response before scuttling off. Of course, that distraction doesn't last long: she soon returns with slices of bread and smaller slices of cheese, neatly arranged on a plate, which she offers to Va'os. Neither bread nor cheese is burnt. "If you need any more, Weyrleader, there's plenty." As she holds the plate out, she adds in a murmur, "It wasn't actually water."

Opening his mouth to speak, Va’os will promptly close it when Ginger scuttles off to his request. She’s barely returned with the plate and he’s helping himself to that as well! “Looks great, thank you!” he mutters and even if it had been slightly burnt, he’d still go for it. “Nah, this should just about cut it. If I take anymore, there’s bound to be complaint.” He’s joking! No one would really notice the dent he made… unless he runs off with all of one specific thing! A brow quirks, as he arranges the last few pieces of cheese on his plate. “… what was it then?” Inquiring minds must know, before he makes his get-away!

Ginger grins. "Hooch. Best possible use for the stuff, if you ask me. My grandad had a still in his weyr. And I got kind of sick of the comments, so…" She shrugs. "The soup really was soup, though." The blade starts to move over the whetstone again, and she sounds rather less buoyant as she confesses, "And the teacloths really were teacloths."

“So you burned the hooch?” Va’os almost exclaims, but catches himself before drawing everyone’s attention his way. “… wait, there was soup too?” And he’s completely puzzled by the mention of a teacloth. “I think you lost me.” he admits with a crooked grin. That plate of gathered food is gathered in one hand; he’s still prepared to make a run for it at some point! Otherwise the Weyrleader is behaving like he’s supposed to be here, pinching food and distracting Candidates! Namely Ginger. At least from the warmth in here, he’s drying off from being drenched by the rain outside! Win-win, kind of?

Win-win, indeed. And Ibrahim sees no Weyrleaders 'stealing' food: he's here to do the very same, and the more confusion reigning, the better he'll go unnoticed in the melee. But — oh! Did he hear that correctly? "Who burned hooch?" He asks as he carefully pinches a half-round of bread here, a pile of vegetables there — oh wait, there's a perfectly good slice of redfin — and lastly, a bubbly pie or two. A man's gotta eat, yo. "Why?"

"The soup was an accident!" Ginger's protest is heartfelt and scandalised. "It's not as if I set fire to it. The only thing that ever really burned, with actual flames, was when a frying pan went up, and that was an accident, and if people will go dabbing at the flames with a teacloth…." Clearly, Ginger and cookery have a troubled history.

Va’os just blinks down at Ginger with a rather blank expression before he starts laughing. “I’m half tempted to ask you to cook for me, just because I want to see how wrong it’ll go.” Sorry, not sorry! “Apparently she did?” He’ll point with his free hand to her, for Ibrahim’s benefit. Suddenly, a call goes up from the other end of the kitchens. “WHY is there water on the floor over here!?” Va’os starts but he’s already shuffling to escape, plate in hand (he’ll return it later when it’s safe). “Time’s up!” he quips with a grin and makes to dash out of there with his meal. No waiting in line for him! It’s probably going to be the only thing he eats for the rest of the night, anyhow.

Ibrahim didn't do it! And as Va'os explains the particulars, he raises his eyebrows at Ginger thoughtfully. "Burning hooch. There are many who would object to that." Th'res might object violently to such blasphemy! Ibra would never se the end of the river of tears. The yelling about water on the floor has him wincing and hiding his sandwich. Perhaps he should pretend he works here, or something — but who would believe the wild-haired infirmary assistant got reassigned to the kitchens? He'll just take advantage of his slight stature and hide temporarily behind a rather large drudge wh so kindly brings over a mop to dab ineffectually at the spill.

"It really wasn't fit to drink." WIth that murmur, Ginger just shakes her head and gets back to sharpening the kitchen knives. A much safer occupation than, say, stirring soup, by her record.

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