Egg One, Candidate Too


Alara.jpg Rocio.jpg

Date: July 22, 2010
Location: Eastern Weyr: Lower Hatching Sands
Synopsis: When Rauzath takes to the sands to begin clutching, Rocio approaches Alara carrying a note.
Rating: PG
Logger: Alara

Morning marks the end of Rocio's usual work-day, as the glow of the fungus is best gauged at night and as the Glow Tender's quarters are not yet dug out of the mountain's rock, then Rocio remains at the mercy of the times that work best. So she's put in a long day, which was really most of the night, and in acknowledgement to the work she does and deference to her intended audience, she has bathed. Thus, no odor of her charge's nutrient-supply perfumes the clean-clad woman as she pads up to the increasingly warm sands.

As Rocio approaches, the soil warms and the warm rain that dribbles down, changes its behavior from simply sopping into the ground, to seeming to create a dim mist of some steam, as the ground gets hotter. The scene before her — gold dragon not-so-distant, sands, trees, becomes increasinly shrouded in a fine mist. She pauses, considering, then actually leans down to put her fingers on the soil, before stepping forward a dragonlength and doing that again. Once more, supposing that she's not being observed, Rocio will repeat that, and each time with the same hand, for control of comparison. Finally she'll surriptiously wipe that hand on her pants, reach in to touch, for the thousandth time, that note L'han wrote, and adjust her veil, to resecure it and to use the cloth to wipe a persistant rain drop off her nose.

Alara stands on the sands, talking verbally to Rauzath, who is just beginning to settle herself in for a long, several-day affair. "Well, I'm glad she seems to be settling in well. That's grand. Thank you. Can you keep an ear open for her? Perhaps …." She purses her lips, and then continues, evidently replying to something the reddish-gold has said. "What?" She turns around. "Oh. Hello." She watches Rocio move for a long moment. "What are you doing, R-" It takes another beat or two for her to remember the Glow Tender's name. "Rocio? Are you the … Escaeth bespoke Rauzath and said someone should come to talk to us. Was that you, then?" She asks, stepping slowly toward the other woman.

"Weyrwoman." Rocio inclines her head and continues the bow toward the dragon, separating that motion with a straightening, before she speaks, "Perhaps, ma'am. He gave me a note." That precious piece of paper is worked from the deep recess of the pocket she's secured it in, and as Rocio crosses the last few steps to meet the other woman, proferred. "I was seeing… How… Different the temperatures of the ground were. There, cooler, and no mist. Here, the rain turns into mist, on the sands." The humidity, combined with the warm rain, creates a swealtering zone the further in Rocio walks. "And yes. Rocio." Her hand protects the document from the rain, lest the water run the ink of the scribed letters into forms that change the intended meaning.

"Well, then, let's see this note." Alara says, stepping more quickly toward her. "It is for certain. I believe Rauzath has found the hottest section, and that way the water won't cool the eggs too much. One hopes." She gives a happy smile, and turns to look over her shoulder at her gold who is starting to make rows in the sand. "If it does, she'll bury them, and we won't see them for a while. Until they're harder." Like a little firelizard or something. She is near enough now to hold her hand out for the note, readying her other hand to do the same: protect the message until she can read it.

"So she's laying? It seemed strange to me that the dragons were Searching, when there were no eggs. How do they know who to choose?" As soon as the note is surrendered, the gold dragon has Rocio's full attention, those dark eyes pinned on Rauzath's methodical motions. "Then again, our Harper may have had his tales backwards." Rocio rocks back on her heels just slightly, settling her hands somewhere within the folds of the cloth of her veil. Silent, so that Alara can read the note.

<Weyr> Escaeth pings the lines to her fellow dragons. « Anything odd occur in what will likely be our sweep area when we get things up to speed lately? »

"Well, the flights did happen when you were around, didn't they?" Alara doesn't sound condescending, just confused. "I'm sorry, around that time, I'm of no good whatsoever. Her attitude influences me so much that it's like walking through a haze." She smiles, and pauses to read the note. "Ahhh. I see. Just as Rauzath told me. No one really knows, actually, how they do it. They just sense something in you. Perhaps the earlier Pernese knew what drew dragons to them, That information may be some of what was lost. I don't know." She reads through the note again, quickly, catching the salient points, and smiles. "He wants to make sure you're settled with the other candidates. We don't have a separate candidate barracks yet, so we have been housing them — you, rather — in the weyrling barracks." She gives a soft snort. "It will mean you won't have to move, if you do Impress. Rauzath, for her part, lifts her muzzle and gazes interestedly at the glowtender. She intrigues. There's a quiet whuff, and Alara laughs. "She asks why you cover yourself. If you'd rather not answer, I'll tell her not to be rude and nosy."

<Weyr> Rauzath isn't aware of anything, and sends the pictures of the clear sky. « I don't know, but I've been focused on other things. »

<Weyr> Zhiyth gives a sigh. «There is still a lake without water. I do not think it can be a real lake without water to bathe in.»

"No, ma'am. I absented myself for both flights." Rocio has two, count them, two helpers. And so she does, sometimes, disappear for a day or two if there is no schedule of Thread. Few notice, since her day is overseen by the moons of Pern, rather than Rukbat. At the Weyrwoman's confirming the word 'Candidate', Rocio's eyes close for a few milliseconds longer than a blink. Her chin dips just slightly, and she'll attend, once more, the words. "In the Weyrling barracks. I — Am responsible for the glowtending. Neither of the two I've been working with…" Who may or may not be related to this woman, or someone else important…. Rocio considers how to phrase her next words, "They both would benefit from further training, ma'am. Before you entrust the Weyr's illumination to them."
Night-dark gaze turns to the dragon for a long moment, before Rocio murmurs, "I am healing, still, Queen. I… Cannot yet look at what lies beneath." A puzzle answered with another puzzle. A hint of humor lightens the next words, "Nor do I want anyone else looking."

<Weyr> Escaeth agrees with Zhiyth, a picture of a sad crying child coming through. « Lake water is so much better than ocean water. »

Alara gives a quick nod, though she continues to look at the woman. "Well, perhaps you can continue with your duties until you feel you have trained them properly. But do not delay in that. If the eggs should hatch while you're still training your replacements, and you impress, we will have trouble." She tilts her head toward the gold again, turning her body slightly that way so that she can look at the dragon, and to facilitate conversation between the two, even if she plays intermediary. "It's kind of like that, yes, luv." She turns back toward Rocio with an indulgent smile. "She's comparing you to the Masterstarsmith. He has scars, but nobody can see them." It's not known Pern-wide, but it is known in a lot of the higher circles that Master Donal is dragonless. "I can understand that. She can't so much. Her thought is that you can't heal threadscore if you can't see it. My apologies. Dragons can be childlike in their understanding of the world." A slight wince. "I said, can be, Rauzath. I didn't say you were." She snorts softly. "She objected to my phrasing."

<Weyr> Rauzath shows the pictures of the river nearby. « Oh, but the river is lovely. Especially now when it's all big and full of rainwater. But yes. I'll bother mine to make them hurry up. The babies will need a place to swim. And drink. »

<Weyr> Zhiyth whines softly. «My bed is dusty, and the lake is dusty. It is so hard to stay clean..»

<Weyr> Rauzath doesn't believe it's that dusty right now. « It's been raining, silly blue. Go stand outside for a while. »

<Weyr> Zhiyth hmmphs.

Again, the expression of the woman are hidden, largely, by the layers of fine cloth, though they now, wet, cling somewhat to Rocio's face and skin. The woman's right hand comes up to sluice water from her forehead and into her hair. The cloth vanbrace that she wears only on her right forearm, today, matches the color of the fabric of the veil. "Scars do not heal. I.." Rocio turns toward the dragon fully, eyes widening somewhat, "can hope that they are not scars, so that maybe they can heal. If… I look at them, and I see scars, instead of what was there… Then I know they are scars, then I cannot hope anymore." Her fingers almost touch the cloth over her cheeks, but Alara may notice that there is no contact, really, as the texture of the fine cloth over skin would no doubt reveal the same truth that sight and a mirror will. "Healers tended…There were stitches." Later. Crom's healers were forbidden to assist the woman. Rocio's swallow is audible, "Sometimes… I would envy that…Level of understanding, ma'am. It is nothing to apologize for."

"I do apologize again. It sounds as though the wounds inside have yet to scar." Alara phrases it in such a way, knowing that the other woman will understand what she's saying. "It is a unique experience. I lived at Harper Hall all my life until I was Searched, and I was exposed to a lot of different things. However, when I looked into Rauzath's eyes, it was …" She closes her own eyes. "Well, Faranth willing, you'll experience your own Impression. We shall see." She smiles brightly, hoping to ease some of the woman's obvious discomfort. In other news, "your duties are going well? Is there anything you might need to make your task easier?"

Diction dictates another hesitation, before Rocio intones in deliberate Crom cadence, "In the end, I will not be the sum of my deeds and hurts. And I hope not to be anywhere near the end." Again, perhaps an undertone of humor there; once upon a time, this shrouded woman may have been the vital life of a party. Her words, Harper-educated. Her looks, from what might be seen, uncannily attractive. Her form, fine enough from the hints under her overlarge clothes. But now she hides within the cloth and the night.

Attentively, Rocio turns on the conversation shift, and lifts her regard back to the Weyrwoman, skipping over the first thought that leaps to mind, which is something along the notion of 'Two competent assistants. Instead, "The sooner the glow cavern is dug, then easier it'll be to gauge the health of the fungi; we're having some issues with losing some of them because the luminescence is difficult to judge when each night's darkness is different from the next. I rode to Landing to get more information on phytopathology," love dropping those AIVIS words! "And emphasized is the necessity to have controlled conditions to judge their light output. And…Nearby sinks would just be… Indescribably nice."

Rocio's first words are met with silence, not of the stony variety, but more contemplative. She, too, is Harper-trained, living as she did at the Hall, and she understands some of the hints behind the words, though not all of it. "May it be." It's almost like a ritual agreement, and then she returns to the subject at hand. "I believe that's next on the list, though the lake itself is of prime importance, since the dragons are clutching. They'll need to have it close to drink and bathe the weyrlings. It will be much more work for the new riders if they don't have access to a body of water." Alara envisions in her mind the pictures of dragonets traipsing through the beast tunnel like ducklings behind their riders, walking all the way up the road to the river. "I do not know what the problem is, but it doesn't seem to be keeping the water in. They are working on it, though." And the rain at this juncture, unfortunately, does not help. "I'll put a word in for sinks. I think that would be helpful for all of us." She gives a small smile. She's well aware of how the Tender and her assistants are perceived.

"Of course, ma'am. We can procure more fungus, if we need it, from the Tender at the Hold. In fact, I may do that once the new cavern is dug, so that whatever ails the current crop… Might not be carried within." Rocio has taken on her new occupation with absolute ferver and has befriended the Hold's Tender as one of her primary activities; culturing his knowledge has been paramount to her success so far, but she's worried about this disease that seems to be weakening the glows, necessitating more frequent glow changes.

"To whom shall I report, ma'am?"

Alara lifts her eyebrows in interest. "If you feel that's necessary. It might help, indeed. I haven't noticed a change in lighting level…" Though a small enough change might be part of the reason she's getting headaches so often. The larger part is known, however. Stress. "Report? Um, well, since you'll continue what you're doing, why don't you report to me for the time being. I shall send someone to seek you out if that changes. You will need to find a white robe, and if you wish to remain covered at the Hatching, a white veil." Alara makes the decision that she'll allow a veil, if she's covered well enough. "There are two clutches standing, so if you do not Impress in one, you may in the other one…" This might be obvious to many, but Alara is not taking chances. "You work through the night and sleep during the day, correct?"

"As a rule, yes ma'am. Easier to find the glows out, at night." Once more, her alto inflects the next words in what may well be humor, "And fewer people to ask me about my choice of dress. Thank you." For the permission to wear the veil, still. For /this/ particular chance, Rocio would lose it, if thus charged. Currently, she'd rather not. "And thank you," this, addressed to the gold dragon as well as Alara, "For the opportunity to Stand." The capitalization is heard there. Rocio mentally adds, to Alara's list of white garb, a white vanbrace. She's not showing off her Crom Brand at this or these Hatchings, thanks. "Thank you." She said the same to the greenrider and his lifemate: Thank you.

The Weyrwoman nods, conveying her acceptance of gratitude, as well as Rauzath's. Rauzath has stopped paying attention, in favor of clutching an egg. Alara smiles. "I'm certain it will go well. Go ahead and keep to your duties, and if you have any problems, have any rider speak to Rauzath, and she'll let me know. Time of day is irrelevant." She'll take on the responsibility for this one, as well as her former charge. Randi can deal with some of the others, if they have need. "Oh." Alara has just noticed that Rauzath has started clutching. "Oh, forgive me. I need to return to her side."

The first egg! Having lost some faith in the signs and symbols that many Pernese take instead of a formal Faith, Rocio cannot help but stare. And linger. And hope. Perhaps if she catches view of that particular egg… Maybe that one, later… Maybe it's a sign? Then again, it's raining, and the Harpers say that's /always/ a sign. A change of life? Rocio's left hand seeks out the raised welted scar of a burn on her right forearm. That one, she already saw, long ago. The minute they did it, and every day that she had to clean it. She knows that mark better than any other feature of her own form: Holdless. Homeless. Maybe this is a change of life - If a dragon chooses Rocio…! Only after she begins to feel the weariness of a long day atop a nearly sleepless day before, and the increasing weight of every fiber of cloth absorbing as much water as possible… And maybe a hint of what that first egg might look like, does Rocio finally turn with a quick bow, sweaty and sodden and hot and cold and weary and exhilerated, off the sands to trail her way to … To her hidden bed and alcove to fetch her possessions, to change, and to see if she might lay claim to some private part of the Weyrling barracks, to sleep.

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