Between The Lines


Ahnika.jpg Nenienne.jpg

Date: 8/22/10 (IC: Immediately following the New Arrivals and an Odd Request scene.)
Location: EW: Living Caverns
Synopsis: Ahnika and Nenienne continue their late meal and discussion turns to Between and Impressions and the potential outcomes of each.
Rating: PG
Logger: Ahnika

Eastern Weyr: Living Cavern

The main Living Cavern at Eastern Weyr is a near replica of the "Lower Bowl" in shape. It is circular, with ceilings sloping up into a gentle cone shape. There are a few stalactites hanging from the ceiling, from which the Weyr's few firelizards may perch. Between these, there are a few inverted "hills", showing exactly how quickly the workmen finished this job. It lends an eerie quietness to the place, as the features cut the sound more effectively. The glowbaskets on the walls highlight the tables of all shapes and sizes around the room. The Head Table appears to be more traditional in place and kind, but the rest of the tables are variable. The east side of the room boasts larger rectangle tables suitable for whole groups of riders, while the middle holds smaller circular tables more appropriate for a family with children. The west side of the room has small square tables which often double as gaming tables on lazy days and most evenings.

Near the Head table, off to the East side, the double doors of the kitchen swing open. Near those doors, two long rectanglular tables are set up for food and drink service. On the eastern and western sides of the room, the stairs lead up to parallel hallways which connect to the rest of the Weyr. A third, smaller set of stairs at the southernmost end of the cavern leads to the Weyr Entrance.

Nodding a little to Neni and her response, Ahnika seems to relax even more. Maybe she can get through this without having a sketch made at all and just a name and general description passed along. Good riddance. She eats a bit more before dipping her head politely to the rider family as they make their departure, and then another nod given to Uveline and after swallowing her bite says, “Thank you,” to the departing candidate before going back to her plate and trying some casual conversation with Nenienne. “So, did I overhear right? F’min’s weyrmate and son has been transferred here? That’s got to make things easier on them.”

Nenienne oooohs at Uveline's suggestion even as she waves to her retreating form. "Eissa's helper or maybe Neythan," she adds. Then she nods to Ahni's question. "They couldn't travel sooner because the little boy was ill. I hope he's all right now." Her frown is worried on this point.

“Neythan sketches?” Ahnika queries without really seeming interested in the fact. Just means another person she’ll have to ask. She pushes a little bit of her food around on her plate a moment, and then whatever it was that crosses her expression passes and she takes a bite, chews, swallows, and says, “Sick? That’s terrible.” Her grey eyes slide in the direction the brownrider and his family departed. “Right. Well, if they travelled here, then he must have been well enough to do so.” Ahnika always assumes people have the same practical sense that she does until they prove otherwise. “Hopefully, he won’t have a relapse from the chill in Between,” not really knowing what that kind of coldness can do to a less than a hundred percent healthy child. She stabs at something else on her plate and stuffs it in her mouth, chewing thoughtfully before chasing it with a sip of her drink.

Nenienne shrugs and says, "He's a Smith. F'min was correct, we have to be able to draw at some level." She silently listens to Ahnika's musing and finally remembers her own food. Just before she takes a bite she asks, "Does it hurt to eat?"

Ahnika nods again as she is chewing another bite and listening to Nenienne talk about smiths and their required skillsets. It is Neni’s question that has Ahnika slowing and going still, but still keeps her attention on the plate in front of her. After the pause, she resumes chewing, swallows and shrugs a bit, “Not as much as it did yesterday. The cut lip stings some depending on what I eat or drink, but not too bad. Not bad enough to forego eating and drinking entirely, of course. That would be silly.” And then it’s her turn to try small talk about anything but her face, or sketching, “You ever think about it? Between? What it really is all about? Why it’s like that?” Because Ahnika has. Of course she has. The young woman has an insatiable appetite of Knowledge Of All Things. But Between is something she’s never asked anyone else about, thinking it was just something Out There and no one really had complete answers on it.

Nenienne pauses in her eating, then says, "I hadn't really thought about *between*. I've only been once, on my way to being posted here. It seems like such a bad design decision, though, making it so cold and dark. Then again, I suppose the unpleasantness is good for keeping anyone from lingering there."

Nodding once more, Ahnika sips her drink, then says, “Me too. My first time was when Indira’s group was brought here dragonback.” A pause, then she adds, “My last time, too, as I’ve not had a reason to leave the weyr since …” her voice trails off, remembering a certain riding lesson a few sevens ago and her cheeks color and a genuinely warm smile breaks her otherwise indifferent expression with the memory. She clears her throat, “Well not had a reason to leave the weyr on dragonback, that is.” She stabs at one of the few remaining morsels on her plate, but doesn’t bring it to her lips just yet, saying thoughtfully, “Design? Oh, I hadn’t realized it was something made.” That actually has her interest piqued even more. “I think if I Impress, when we’re able to go Between, I’m going to study it.” Somebody stop this too-inquisitive girl before she hurts herself. Again. Please.

Nenienne says, "It wasn't made, that I know of, it just is. But I tend to look at things from the angle of whether I would have designed them the same way. If you do impress, be sure to listen to what people tell you about *between* — all accounts are that it's dangerous to stay there for too long. And besides, it's unpleasant." She shivers at the memory of the ride. "I guess that's another reason not to want to impress — if I do, I would have to go *between* a lot."

As Neni talks, Ahnika eats the chunk of food she had stabbed previously and put off eating. She chews thoughtfully, her grey eyes watching Neni as the other candidate speaks on Between. She nods then, sipping her drink and eyeing her plate before looking back at Neni, “Oh, I see. I guess that keeps your design skills sharp while a candidate, too.” Then she considers a moment and asks, “Have you been doing much designing since you got your knot? Didn’t I hear once something about working on a design for someone on your rest day?” There is a pause as she takes another sip, foregoing getting another bite for the time being. “I’ll be sure to do it right and be careful,” she says, of studying Between, “I’ve always wondered what happens to … things … there.” Like dropping a certain man off in Between or a dragon whose lost his rider going Between. “Maybe there’s more to it than just what we’ve seen so far, but only people and dragons who go there and don’t come back actually get to see that part.” Sort of like the afterlife. What really happens? She swallows another sip and tips her cup toward Neni a moment, “But I’ll come back.” Then she eyes her plate again, and decides to get one last bite in before pushing her plate a little away from her and sticking with her drink.

Nenienne says, "I've gotten two commissions since being searched — all I need now is for the hatchings to be over so I can go to Landing for the resources and to the Minecraft and Smith Halls for supplies. I've already gotten the designs approved. And yes, definitely, I'm not in as precarious a position as Teallan, but I do want to keep up for when I go back to being a Smith." She pauses, then amends "If I go back to being a Smith, I guess." She still seems leery of the idea of studying *between*, but doesn't say any more about it.

“And what happens to those commissions if you do Impress?” Ahnika asks curiously before taking a sip of her drink. Judiciously avoiding the topic of the murdered pre-hatched dragonets and whether or not the green one was destined for Nenienne, Ahnika smiles gently to the other young woman and says, “Never know. There are a lot of eggs out there on those Sands. Both clutches.” Then more seriously she says, “All I’ve heard is that ‘the dragon’s know’ on how some Impress and some don’t. And this is my first time in a weyr, Neni, but I can say that if a dragon is looking for a good person to bond to, one who is clever and kind and … resourceful and hardworking, then I can’t imagine why that dragon would pass you up.” She sips her drink and then something strikes her a little late, “What’s precarious about Teallan’s position?” concern evident in her bruised expression.

Nenienne says, "I've offered to let the person who replaces me use my sketches, and I get a cut if they use my drawings instead of theirs." Then she hmmms. "Actually, I've only mentioned it to one of the two, but she thought it was fair." She listens to Ahnika's litany and blushes when it's revealed Ahnika is talking about her. "Thank you," she says, suddenly very interested in her klah. "But I really think you should impress." Finally, she says, "Teallan is an apprentice. A senior apprentice, but still an apprentice. She stands to lose a lot more in two months' of candidacy than I do, since my mastery is turns away She may lose ground on getting a promotion."

Ahnika gets another sip of her drink as Neni explains what will happen if she Impresses, and sets the cup back down on the table gently. “Well, that’s good then. Fair. Everyone wins in some respect.” She goes quiet as Nenienne says she thinks Ahni should Impress, and draws one leg up into the chair with her, wrapping her arm around it and resting her chin on her knee, though careful to rest it on the side without the bruising. “Thank you, Neni. I hope so,” she says softly, looking at the surface of the table, “I really do. I mean, I’m trying not to get my hopes up just so they can be dashed, but it’s funny how it never really occurred to me that I might Stand until E’ro Searched me, and now I find that the idea of Impressing is … so important. So important. I wonder why it never occurred to me at all before.” She exhales a bit and then smiles ruefully at Neni before sinking a little against the back of the chair, almost lounging. Her expression sobers a little as Neni explains the piece about Teallan being a senior apprentice and why her situation is a little more precarious. “Oh … that must be unsettling,” Ahnika says, “and nervewracking. No wonder she is trying so hard to find some trick to attracting a dragonet and guarantee Impression.” She frowns, looking at the table again, and then shifts a bit more in her seat, her expression smoothing out calm and serene once more as she says, “I’ll be staying if I don’t Impress,” a pause, “Resuming my duties under the Headwoman.”

Nenienne pauses for a while, then says quietly "I hope I impress too, after touching the eggs. I just don't want to get my hopes up if there's no chance." She nods about Teallan's situation, then says "I'll be staying as well, unless the Craftmaster decides to re-assign me. I can't imagine where else I might be sent, though, except for Landing to study under Master Jarvys or if some journeyman posted to a minor hld retires or something."

Ahnika nods gently, her chin still on her knee to make it hard to do it broadly, to the comment about not wanting to get her hopes up. Ahni definitely understands that sentiment. Then with a rueful smile, she adds, “Zen said that some see it as bad luck to place a bet on yourself Impressing. I’m taking it a step further. I don’t even want to hear what the current odds are on the candidates for fear of any bad luck slipping through.” She chuckles softly, lifting her chin briefly to do so, and then returns to her position once more. With another nod, Ahni adds to Neni, “Well, I’m glad you’ll be staying on regardless. I’d hate to lose a friend.”

Nenienne snorts softly about the bit about not betting on yourself and Ahni's further measures. "I probably won't bet on anyone, but I think I'm too curious not to look at what bets have been placed." She blushes for the second time tonight and says "Thank you. I would miss you if either of us left." Then she looks at her empty plate and mug and says "I should get going. Good luck finding someone to draw for you."

Grinning a bit, Ahni nods, “I understand. Just keep that information to yourself around me, if you don’t mind.” Jokingly she holds up her hands toward Neni as if to stay off any giving of that info now, “Don’t want to know.” She smiles at the next comment, and then nods to Neni saying she needed to go. Ahnika gets up, too, but slowly, stiffly, and adds, “I need to speak with the Headwoman, myself.” She seems to gloss completely over the notion of anyone sketching for her and picks up her plate and cup, “I’ll see you later, Neni.”

Closing Credits Theme Music: Duran Duran - "What Happens Tomorrow"

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