Business Lunch

Participants:

Fiala.jpg Harson.jpg Nenienne.jpg Vanielle.jpg Warin.jpg

Date: 06 Jan 2011
Location: Eastern Weyr: Living Cavern
Synopsis: Fiala, Neni, and Vanielle chat. Harson discovers how scary girls are. So does Warin.
Rating: PG
Logger: Nenienne

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.


Standing just ooutside the kitchen, Vanielle is quickly to take a few peices of of freshly baked bread coming off the kitchen's ovens. And pops them onto her plate, she's also got some delivious meat, and cheese, so now its time o make sandwhich it seams.

The bustle of lunchtime in the living cavern is just beginning to pick up, but that doesn't stop Neni from performing her usual ritual of downing a mugful of klah and pouring herself a second one before even looking at food. She opts for herdbeast slices and greens, plus some of the aforementioned freshly-baked bread on the side. Then she looks around for a likely place to sit.

Flopped into a chair and beginning to put together a sandwhich, Vanielle sets herself up with a rather respetable meat,cheese, and bread mixture, with some herbs thrown in. "Nen!" she calls out waving to the jewelry. "How are you?!"

Nenienne hears her name and glances over. Taking the call as an invitation, she heads over toward Vanielle's table. "I'm doing well," she says, "And I have something for you to look at."

Vanielle looks up. "For me?" she asks clutching a cup of Klah.

Nenienne nods, setting down her food and klah and reaching for her pouch. In an apologetic tone she says, "I didn't have a lot to go on, so this may not be to your liking. It was an idea I've for a while, though, and no one commissioned it sooner." She pulls out a necklace made from what looks like a string of thick shell chips, mostly square and rectangular. The have been dyed irregularly; some completely covered in dye, others just on the edge, and everything in between. The chips have been arranged in a sort of rainbow continuum, with red shading to orange which becomes yellow which turns to yellow-green before a true green which becomes teal, then blue, and finally indigo an violet. The violet occurs about halfway around the necklace, and then segues to red, with the pattern repeated until it reaches the clasp.

Vanielle smiles. There's little more than that on her face, before she starts sniffling. "Nen, this is beautiful, amazing… umm this is… just so spectacular." she inhales slowly. "I couldn't be happier with it…" she whispers. "Believe me, never seen anything like this in my life."

It's lunchtime at the Weyr, and the living caverns are bustling. Neni and Vanielle are seated at a table, Vanielle smiling and holding a shell chip necklace and Neni looking very relieved. Nenienne is still unsmiling, as usual, but her tone is happy as she says, "Oh good. I was hoping someone would like it."

Vanielle grins. "This is colorful, and bright, and I'll wear it when I am not in the infirmary… oh yeah I got a job there, its weird, I went from Beast crafter to candidate and now I love working in the infirmary."

Nenienne hmmmms. "I know someone who might want to talk to you, then. She's helping out in the stables, but the other day she said she might be interested in healing people."

Fiala comes into the cavern, newly-washed, her morning chores apparently done. She is even wearing clean clothes, simple and rough, but not threadbare. Her hair is almost-neat, and she seems to be both happy and shy at the same time. She is carrying her plate in one hand and a cup in the other, but she waves her fingers as she sees Nenienne.

Vanielle nods. "Well I am no healer, just an infirmary aide, but I'd say she should talk to the Head Woman, that'd be a good place, its how I got my job.."

Nenienne nods, then says, "But you could tell her about your experiences there so far." Fiala's motion catches her eye, and she waves her over, saying, "Speaking of… Have you met Fiala yet?"

Fiala comes over, smiling. She has a multicolored necklace she is wearing, made of flower-beads. She waves, nods her head, then sets her lunch down on the table. "Hullo," she breathes softly. "How are you both?"

Vanielle nods. "I…" she turns when she sees the woman. "Hello, its good to see you again." she said quickly. She smiles. "My experiences huh, cleaning, badages, washing them, making sure people eat, cleaning the sheets, helping to bandage or unbanage wounds." "Very well, you?" she touches the necklace and holds it out to Neni and Fiala… "This is done Neni?"

Nenienne says, "Oh good, you have met." She hands the necklace over to Vanielle. "Yes, it's all yours. We'll need to discuss payment at some point." To Fiala she says, "I'm doing well, and you?"

Vanielle nods. "We do need to discuss that, this was hard work," she fingers each peice of shell and smiles. "How much ?"

"It's a lovely necklace," Fiala observes, seating herself. "May I… sit?" she asks belatedly, flushing a little. She tils her head, listening, then makes a face. "I'd rather bandage animals."

Nenienne nods to Fiala. "Of course; make yourself comfortable. Why animals? Because they don't talk back?" She names a price for Vanielle, one not nearly as scary as it might be for something with gemstones or precious metals. "Most of it is for the dye and the metal in the clasp," she explains, then adds, "I can itemize if you want."

Vanielle nods. "Please do. I'll need to rumage and get a the marks together." she says quickly. "But Animals are nice, I enjoy them when I grow tired of people.

"Because I understand animals. Animals don't need words to know what you feel and who you are. Animals just know. And me… I can understand them the same way. People?" Fiala shakes her head. "I just really don't *get* people. I'm working on it… but it is a… what is the way it is said? A work in progress."

Nenienne says, "Very well. I'll drop by with a hide later. You can pay in installments if you need to." She doesn't quite smile, but does nod at Fiala's explanation. "I tend to feel the same way about people myself. So of course I chose a profession which requires me to interact with them."

Vanielle grins. "I understand. I worked with animals, and I love that about them, they understand… but humans too they give you something… you can't quite always get from someone who can't talk to you, and say… 'its ok.' I've lately found listening is much more effective when dealing with people in the firmary. I'll sit and talk to patients. Just to listen to them."

"Oh, I can listen." Fiala nods her head. "But see, a nudge of a muzzle, a lick on the hand, a little sound, a little shift… all of these can mean "it's okay." I just *get* animals. Not that people aren't nice. But…" She laughs softly. "I even find it easier to understand people if I can see how an animal reacts."

Vanielle grins. "You can apply those animal actions, to people, ever seen someone shift—- its similar to a nervous runner. Sometimes learning to read humans is about learning to read animals."

Nenienne listens to both, nodding occasionally. At Fiala's last she volunteers, "I'm not quite that in-tune with animals, I don't think." She shakes her head at Vanielle. "That's what I always seem to miss — body language."

"That's what I've noticed," murmurs Fiala. "I watch people deal with runners, canines, herdbeasts. They listen, yeah, and they see the extreme physical reactions. But they don't see the early warning signs. And they don't *feel*… She shakes her head. "Do you know what I mean? Where you're just 'in tune' with an animal? Or maybe a person, too? And you just *know* things?"

Nenienne ponders this. "I've seen people who were married for a while who can complete each others' sentences," she concedes.

Vanielle nods. "Yeah. I think people are just 'harder to read', we do too much extra thinking, and this is why we have trouble reading each other."

"So…. I don't think enough to be a proper human?" asks Fiala. Her expresion is earnest, but there is a crinkling and sparkle in her eyes that indicates humor here.

Nenienne says, "I think it's more that there's a whole language I'm just missing when I talk to people, especially when they lie. I've never really understood that, either. Animals don't really lie, except I guess felines who hide when they're sick."

Vanielle grins. "No you think like you do. I think its a mix, people when they lie, have little things that let you know. Its hard to tell I guess- I am learning about reading people in the infirmary more."

"I can tell when people are lying, pretty well," answers Fiala. "And other things. What I don't get is why they lie, why they hurt people, why… well, why a lot of things. I can see… but not understand. And… animals don't hurt you like people do."

Nenienne nods. "Generally you only get head-butted by a cranky goat if you deserve it." She speaks as if she knows this from personal experience. "I wish I could tell when people are lying, or just joking around. And I'm with you, Fiala — I just don't understand why people do that."

Vanielle thinks. "To protect themeselves, to lessen the pain of others.. to… I don't know."

"And then there's politics. I really don't get those. I don't get things that aren't direct and honest. Does it make more sense when you get older? I mean, maybe fourteen is too young to really get it?" Fiala sips at her drink, then begins to eat her bread.

Nenienne shakes her head. "I suppose it makes sense to those who engage in them, but I'm an outsider in that regard. But politics would explain how some people in the Smithcraft have gotten promoted. Or not promoted."

"I guess so. Of course… I didn't really…" Fiala stops herself, then brightens a little. "I'm sure I'll have… ermm… a lot of chances to study people and… stuff… in the Weyr."

Nenienne says, "And a colorful bunch, at that."

Fiala laughs softly. "Better than a group that's all the same, huh? A lot of people, all from different places. I think it's good, actually. And… I will be given the *chance* to learn, which is even better. I never knew people could be so… nice."

It's noonish and the living caverns are bustling with people. Neni is seated at a table along with Fiala and Vanielle, and there are a few empty seats by them. Neni is addressing Fiala when she says, "I imagine there are advantages to both. You will get to see a gamut of personalities, for sure. And some of them might hurt you for implying they're nice." The last, said with a frown, is humorous in tone.

"Yes, well… I suppose some might. It's a chance I didn't have before, though." Fiala stretches her legs and then swings them back and forth. "Oh, this bread is so nice. And the cheese. And the fruit."

Nenienne says helpfully, "So is the roast herdbeast. They got the seasonings just right in the rub. In fact, she gets up and gets herself seconds on the herdbeat and thirds on her klah, then asks, "Does anyone need anything while I'm up?"

"Not me, thanks." Fiala smiles, and bites off another hunk of bread. It has been slathered with butter and soft cheese, and the girl settles herself more comfortably as she chews.

Harson quietly slips into the living cavern from the kitchen. He keeps his eyes downcast towards a hide that he's reading as he goes. A few chairs are bumped into and he stumbles a bit, but manages to get to the food and grab a plate to fill without too much damage to himself or others.

Nenienne manages to avoid being bumped into as she returns, empty-handed, to the table. She sits and begins eating again, silent for the moment as her mouth is full.

"What, were they out of what you wanted?" Fiala asks, tilting her head. "I can wait in line for you, if you like." She smiles, half-rising, looking at Nenienne. "I have a bit before I have to get to class."

Nenienne shakes her head, pointing to the plate she had set down before asking the question. Aloud she says, "I'm set. This is very filling. Thank you, though."

Harson murmurs an appology as he spots Nenienne out of the corner of his eye. He starts to reach for a plate but then switches for a bowl as he spies a pot of stew. A few sniffs and a stir or two of the heavy ladel and it seems he's re-thinking his choice. "What /is/ this?" Lifting up the ladel he pours some of the dark brown stuff back into the pot, fearful of what the brew might contain.

Harson catches Fiala's attention, and she smiles slightly, watching him. "I guess he doesn't like the stew either. I think…" she murmurs, "I think they're trying out someone new in the kitchens. I was hearing horror stories about the porridge this morning. Luckily I like the mash I make for runnerbeasts."

Nenienne says, "I'm not sure, but I know the roast herdbeast is quite good. Perhaps they put the new person on porridge and stew duty before letting him or her at the real food." This last said slyly."

Warin strolls into the living caverns and looks around, trying to gauge the situation. As he does so he spots Fiala, and gives her a careful look, apparently checking out her clothes.

Harson gulps dryly a couple times and looks over his shoulder with an uncertain look. "Looks…terrifying." He decides at last to skip the stew and go for the recomended roast with the various fixing and a tall glass of bovine milk. Ah! Scuffling along he flashes a shy smile to the girls and a nod hello to Warin in passing on his way to find a chair.

Fiala is wearing clean clothes, not new ones, but they are not threadbare either. They are comfortable, not precisely work clothes, but ones that will suffice, in a pinch, if she has to run to help with chores. She is also wearing a pretty, colorful-beaded necklace. She returns the look briefly, then flushes and looks down.

It is noon or so, and the living caverns are bustling with the lunch crowd. Fiala and Nenienne are seated at one of the few tables with seats available. Neni nods politely to Harson and Warin as she finishes her roast and gets up for mug number four of klah.

Harson decides to avoid the girls for the moment and sneaks into the kitchen to eat.

Warin nods, mostly to himself, and smiles at Fiala. "Much better," he says, then pours himself a glass of fruit juice. He blinks at Harson, but doesn't comment on the young man's precipitous departure. Looking around at the crowded hall, he moves over to Fiala and Neni's table and sets down his glass at one of the empty seats, asking, "Mind if I join you?"

Again Fiala flushes, reddening as Warin speaks. Maybe she *does* look better, but it doesn't make her less ebarrassed to hear it spoken. She looks down at her food, the smile fading from her lips. "Of course you can join us," she says, barely audible.

Nenienne says, "Nope." Then she clarifies, "I don't mind if you sit here, that is."

Warin smiles at the Smith journeyman and heads back to get himself some food. Returning to the table with some bread and meat, he sits down and makes a sandwich out of it. To Nenienne he says, "How have you been? I hear you're swimming in commissions these days." And to Fiala, he notes conversationally, "Nice necklace."

Fiala hunches her shoulders, but she lifts her head a little. "Th-thank you," she stammers. "I… i-it … Nenienne made it for me. She makes beautiful jewelry." Her voice is earnest, but also shy, and she looks down again, closing her eyes.

Nenienne says carefully, without returning the smile, "Well, I wouldn't say swimming in them, but I'm certainly keeping busy. And, of course," she notes in deference to his assistant steward knot, "I'm doing a good day's work for the Weyr as well as the commissions." She gives Fiala a brief nod for the plug.

Warin ahs, then absently begins eating. In between swallows he says, "I would have expected something less elaborate. It's amazing what you can do can do with stones."

"I…" Fiala hunches her shoulders even more, as if she could make herself disappear so. But then she shakes herself. "Why… why should it be less elaborate? Shouldn't I get to wear pretty things too? Or do you really *think* you're the one who gets to say what I wear? It's… it's *rude*!"

Nenienne just looks at Warin, waiting to hear what he'll say in his defense.

Warin holds up his hands. "Whoa, I didn't mean it that way," he explains hastily. "I just thought it must have taken forever to carve all of those flowers, is all. I think it looks very nice on you," he finishes weakly.

"Thank you," answers Fiala. "It is very pretty. Nenienne did a wonderful job." She bites off a large chunk of bread, and she chews it a bit angrily, as if she was biting off his head instead.

Nenienne begins to say, "Not as hard as you think," but cuts herself off mid-sentence. Instead she nods noncommitally, completely oblivious to the figurative beheading.

Warin is not oblivious to the virtual beheading, and gulps, if somewhat exaggerated, as if for comic effect. Then, he changes the subject. "I would commission something similar if I had someone to commission for."

"Don't men wear Jewelry? Pins or rings or belt-buckles or something?" Fiala bites down hard, then swallows swiftly. "Something like that, maybe. You don't have to be a girl to have nice things."

Nenienne nods in agreement with Fiala. "Signet rings, belt buckles, even earrings," she lists off. "And I'd be happy to make any of those for you if you want."

Warin frowns when earrings are mentioned, a kind of "I'll wear earrings over my dead body" expression. He recovers quickly, though, and says, "Once I've saved up some marks I'll be sure to seek you out." He returns to watching Fiala warily, lest she stab him with a fork or something.

Fiala does not stab Warin with a fork, or a knife. She merely finishes her bread, eyeing the man as she rips the last little bit apart with her teeth. "If you'll excuse me, though, I've got to get ready for lessons. Thanks again, Nenienne." She drains the last of her drink, rises, and with a nod, departs.

Nenienne waves after Fiala, calling out, "Have fun!" Then she mutters something about getting back to work herself, and puts her dishes into their respective bins.


Note: Vanielle's necklace in living color.


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