New Arrivals And An Odd Request

Participants:

Ahnika.jpg F'min.jpg Mohria.jpg Nenienne.jpg Uveline.jpg

Also NPC Crispin, played by Mohria

Date: August 22, 2010
Location: Eastern Weyr: Living Cavern
Synopsis: F'min's weyrmate Mohria and their son Crispin arrive at Eastern, and Ahnika searches for someone to make a sketch for her.
Rating: PG for hinted at violence
Logger: Uveline

Day 20, Month 09, Turn 01, AIVAS Reckoning, First Long Pass

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.


The main rush of dinner is over, leaving some loiterers talking in small groups, or candidates gathered together gossiping or commiserating on new blisters. "Yeah, too bad for you that cute High Reaches Rider didn't come along and give you his gloves like he did for Isilna," one can be overheard commenting to her companion. "Guess you have to be former Lady to get that kind of treatment." The two candidates talking turn their heads to the end of the room. At the end of the room, where smaller tables are grouped around for games along with comfortable chairs for reading, the glows are grouped a little brighter. A rich contralto voice rises from one of the more comfortable chairs, singing an old, but well known song of the sea. She's joined by a lighter baritone that doesn't show the training of the first voice, but makes up for it with long familiarity of the song. The dark head is turned from the door as deep blue, half closed eyes follow the familiar words and melody. Some others have gathered around to listen, one or two humming what they know of the tune. In the light, a copper ring glows brightly on F'min's hand as the fingers tap along with the beat. Their music rises above the low buzz of the late diners, but not enough to be intrusive on their conversations.

Nenienne walks in and begins her klah ritual; pouring a mug, adding milk, drinking it, then pouring a second and adding more milk before looking around. As an afterthought she gathers a plateful of food and then heads over to the table with F'min. "Room for another, sir?" she asks in a politely formal tone.

Into the evening music steps the travelers. As a tiny blue dragon settles himself down outside, draped with enough bags and boxes to make him look more like a packbeast than a dragon, a slender woman steps into the Caverns, her hand tightly wrapped around the hand of a little boy who can't be more than five turns old. The woman pauses on the fringes, free hand gripping and then flexing and then shaking before sliding firmly into her pocket. Klah-brown eyes search the room, but it is Crispin who sees him first. Who knows how the child sees his father - being only thigh-height - but see him he does, and the boy breaks free of his mother's grasp to bolt through the Living Caverns. He runs without heed or care of who he might trip or disturb, fragile little body moving nimbly as he twists through a drudge's legs and scrambles (and overturnes) an Auntie's knitting basket. All the while as he runs towards F'min, his cry is piercing and loud. "Daaaaaadddddyyyyyyyyy!"

Normally, Uveline would keep singing through any kind of commotion in the Cavern - she's done so in the past, when arguments have gotten heated, or dishes spilled. But while she has a strong voice, she cannot compete with the truly earpiercing nature of a child's voice. Stopping at the end of the next verse, Uveling turns toward the entrance, trying to spot the source of that vibrant interruption but unable to clearly track the child's passage - or predict his path. "Someone's excited," the harper-candidate comments to F'min, glancing toward him with a shrug. "Shall we continue?"

Without pausing in his singing, F'min curls dimples into a grin to Nenienne, waving a hand to a seat across from him. It's not long after the candidate has her seat that the piercing cry can be heard. He doesn't wait for the end of the verse to break off, it's a familiar voice, and he breaks off immediately, turning in the direction of the sound. He's out of his chair, taking a few steps forward towards the sound, then he goes down on knee opening his arms barely one second before the small form hurtles headlong into him. His arms close around the child, and he closes his eyes, burying his face in the crook of the tiny neck. "Crispin, my boy," he murmurs against the child's skin. Then he's standing, the child hugged to the front of him as he turns, opening his blue eyes to search for another face. He doesn't even hear Uvvy asking if they should continue.

Nenienne turns when she hears the cry, and is just in time to see the little blur running by. Then her eyes widen as she sees who he's headed for (or would that be crashed into?) and she gives one of her extremely rare smiles at the reunion between the two. As is less unusual for her, she says nothing.

Crispin wraps his fragile little arms around his father's neck, burying his face against his dad's skin and hugging him tightly. For once, the little boy doesn't launch into a babble of talk; he is quiet. Mohria stands half-way between F'min and the exit. She had begun to chase after her son, but then stopped herself. Now the woman stands still, an island in a sea of moving people, and looks to F'min. Slowly, nervously, she smiles, lifting a hand to brush her short hair off her forehead. "Hi, F'min," she says quietly. Klah-brown eyes look around to the others, nodding in silent welcome. Uveline gets a small blush from the woman, in apology for interrupting the song. She takes a slow breath and continues to walk forward, nearing the group.

Uveline's question goes unanswered verbally, but the child clinging to her singing partner is answer enough in its own way. "Ah, he's yours, then?" she asks, stating the obvious as the little boy clings to his father. Glancing around, Uveline's gaze meets Mohria's, and the candidate smiles warmly and waves. "Hello, do feel free to join us," she offers as Mohria approaches. Nenienne gets a brief nod of greeting, but Uvvy's attention is much more focused on the family reunion.

Hoping to miss the dinner rush, not feeling much like being seen today, Ahnika steps into the living caverns and begins to move to the main buffet table to see what is left over from the dinner crowd. Her red hair is down today, and not in her usual work-day bun, and the long tresses are swept across the back of her neck to the right side and down the front, obscuring most of the right side of her face and the purple-grey bruising there on her cheek. At least the swelling has gone down now. The cut on the corner of her mouth isn't so visible from a distance, either, fortunately. Her attention is momentarily drawn to F'min and the little boy he holds, a wistful smile on her as she passes, but doesn't linger, preferring to continue on to the buffet for the moment. She does wave to Nenienne discreetly on the way. However, once she notices Uveline, her expression turns grim once more and she sighs softly as she finally gets to the buffet and starts to fill a plate.

A warm smile lights F'min's face as he loosens one hand from his son to pull Mohria to him. Holding her close, he kisses the top of her head. "'lo, Moh-love," he replies to her quiet greeting. "Ohh, man..!" He squeezes the two of them, and then pulls his head back a little to look at them. "I thought y'were never goin't'get here, what kept y'?" For the first time he notes Chrispin's thinness, and his concerned gaze flickers to Mohria. "Oh," Uveline's voice does manage to break in a little bit to his preoccupation. "Mohria, this's Uveline, an' Nenienne, they're two o'th'candidates for th'clutches on th'sands. Candidates, this's Mohria, rider o'Blue Riordanth, my weyrmate, an'our son, Crispin."

Already the smile has disappeared from Neni's face, once again replaced with her customary severe frown. At the introduction she says politely, "Hello, ma'am. My duty to Riordanth." She does stare somewhat at the little boy, fascinated, and almost misses the greeting waves from her fellow candidates — but only nearly. She waves back to Ahnika and Uveline before returning her gaze to the child.

Mohria is half pulled, and she half goes under her own power to the brownrider, sliding her arms around his waist and resting her head on his shoulder for a moment. Squeezing him, she then pulls back a little bit and looks up into his face, giving her head a little shake. "We'll talk later," she promises, standing on tiptoes to kiss his cheek. "We missed you." Crispin hugs his father's neck tightly and, surprise among surprises, he is /still/ quiet. Shy, almost, which is very strange for the little boy. Mohria speaks once more. "Well met, Uveline. Nenienne. Sorry we interrupted your singing." Her eyes roam around the cavern, noting Ahnika's arrival, and then she looks to the exit. "I should unpack Rio," she murmurs to the brownrider, another small smile offered to the assembled. "Where…"

Uveline continues to smile warmly to Mohria as she is introduced, and she tilts her head to get a better look at the child. "It's a pleasure to meet you, Mohria. I hope you, Riordanth and Crispin are well? And I don't mind the interruption. Family is more important than a song," Uveline replies easily. A pause, then, "So you're moving here now? Wonderful! We could use more mature dragons here," she adds.

Appearing content to remain on the fringe of whatever reunion may or may not be happening, Ahnika takes her plate and now a beverage to an empty table, but one where she can still keep an eye on the scene, or at least an eye on Uveline, while she eats. Settling down there, she starts to eat and drink, but taking her time with it, just shy of actually picking at her food.

F'min nods to Mohria when she says they'll talk later. Giving her another kiss on the forehead, he reaches up to the arms that still encircle his neck. "Hey, buddy, how was th'flight? Are y'hungry?" He tries to pull the child around in front of him so that he can see into his eyes. He touches noses with the boy. "Did y'forget how t'talk?" he teases, his dimples creasing his cheeks as his eyes dance playfully.

Nenienne notices Ahnika all alone and begin to wave her over, and then suddenly pauses and asks "Ahnika, what happened to you? Did you trip?" Her tone is serious as she looks more closely at her friend.

Mohria has a warm smile for Uveline, dipping her head in a nod. "Thank you. Yes, we're moving - we've moved," she corrects the verb, smiling once more. Then her smile blooms, and she laughs. "I don't know if I'd call Riordanth mature," she says with amusement, looking up at F'min. She takes a small step away when his focus shifts to their son, pulling off her gloves and shoving them into her back pocket. Crispin rubs noses with his father and giggles happily. "Nooo, Daddy!" he cries with another light laugh. "I'm hungry! Can I hav' cake?" Mohria speaks up again, relaxing by degrees. "Where are we staying, F'min? I should unpack Rio before he finds the water." And jumps in. And bye-bye personal belongings. Her eyes move to Ahnika once more, studying the girl.

Uveline appears to be unaware of Ahnika's silent observation, her attention fully turned toward F'min's newly arrived family. The child has a large portion of that interest, Uveline's history as a teacher shining through, but she still listens to Mohria. "Physically mature," Uveline amends with a smile, which blossoms into a grin at the mention of water. "You won't have to worry about that. Our lake still isn't done, and the river is outside the Weyr proper," she assures Mohria. "Do you need a hand unloading?" She won't intrude on unpacking without an invitation - weyrs are private spaces, after all.

Another glance is for the father-son and weyrmate bonding moment and Ahnika's expression turns distant and introspective for a brief time. That is until Nenienne's voice cuts through her reverie and Ahnika visibly winces and tugs her hair down more in front of her face, despite that it's futile now. She considers the invitation a moment, giving Uveline another considering look before giving in to duty and standing up, getting her plate and drink, and coming over to Nenienne, and presumably, the others who are nearby. Did she trip? Ahnika considers that a moment, her cheeks flushing a little and she stares resolutely at her plate as she takes at seat at Nenienne's table. "You could say that." She bobs her head politely and respectfully to the riders and gets back to the task of eating, her eyes straying to Uveline as the other candidate offers to help unpacking, and then back to her own plate.

F'min is torn, he doesn't want to leave either of his family, but his son is hungry, and Uveline is offering. He smiles, "we have a weyr. It's been pretty empty th'past couple months. If y'wouldn't mind helpin' Mohria, Uveline, Voldrath can show y'where our weyr is, an'I can feed Spin. Then, if y'd like t'come back, Voldrath can take Rio t'th'river." He chuckles, lifting the boy up in the air over his head. "I think this once we can have cake. Let's see what's left, shall we?" Cradling the boy once again, he looks to Mohria, his eyes asking her opinion of the plan.

Nenienne looks sympathetically toward Ahnika. "I hate when that happens," she comments. Then she once again glances toward the tableau of the family.

Mohria ahs at Uveline, nodding her head in thanks for the information about Eastern's waters. "I still wouldn't put it past him to find a puddle," she says fondly of her playful blue. She listens to F'min's plan and smiles faintly. "I…really think we should talk, F'min," she says quietly, giving Uveline - and the rest of the Candidates - an apologetic smile for denying help and trying to steal the brownrider away. Crispin is quiet, clinging once more to his father's neck when he's brought down from his laughing lift into the air. Arms wave as he flaps and 'flies' for a moment.

"And it's certainly been wet enough for there to be puddles," Uveline agrees with a nod. "Well, let me know if you find yourself needing help later. F'min, I can let the kitchens know you could use a bit of cake in your weyr, if they have any?" Uveline offers, turning toward the brownrider and finally catching sight of Ahnika. Uveline does a classic double-take at the signs of bruising on the girl's face, blinking in surprise, but she hasn't a clue what to say.

With F'min's acceptance to Uveline's offer to help, Ahnika looks back up and over again, a frown tugging at the corners of her lips. She is momentarily distracted by Nenienne's comment and nods, then looks back down at her plate, seeming conflicted somehow. "Yeah. It's … unpleasant." She glances back over to Mohria and F'min then, before looking once more to Uveline, "Eh, Uveline … I've been meaning to ask … you something." Her tone is rather an attempt to be disarming for a change, though it's certainly not timid by any stretch. Without waiting to see if Uveline is leaving or not, Ahnika just continues on, wanting to catch her before she leaves just in case, "Which of the Harpers posted here has the greatest … sketching talent? Yourself?" Oh please, let's hope not, she thinks. Ahnika buries any of that kind of expression in the rim of her cup as she takes a sip, as does she seem not to react to Uveline's double-take. She's been getting that a lot the last couple of days.

F'min glances down at Mohria, and he looks puzzled. "Is somethin'-" he trails off, and looks over to Ahnika, hearing her question of Uveline. He falls silent for a moment, his eyes only briefly glancing over her bruising, but darkening none the less. "Candidate Nenienne might be able t' help y', Ahnika," he suggests quietly. "Smiths have t'be a fair hand at sketchin' too, with all th'things they build an'design." Taking a breath, he turns, hoisting Crispin a little more securely to his side. "All right, then, sounds like it's cake t'go for th'young one. Anythin' for his mother after th'long trip?" His dimples return, along with the sparkling blue in his gaze.

Nenienne mmmmmms at F'min's comment. "I'm not too strong on the sketching side — mostly what I do is jewelry and such." Still, she's curious, and asks "What do you need sketched, Ahni?"

Mohria smiles faintly up at F'min, taking some comfort in just the sight of him after so many months apart. "Whatever is available," she answers his question. "I'm starving. Thank you, Candidate Uveline." She reaches out for F'min's hand and gives him a little tug towards the exit as Crispin beams. "Cake cake cake cake cake!" he chants happily. /He/ gets cake /and/ it's past his bedtime. And he's with his Daddy again. Once more, the little boy buries his face against his father's neck. Then launches into a story. "Daddy! On da way hewe we sawd /so/ many dwagns an dey wewe…" And he's off on one of his babbling, rambling stories. "It was nice to meet you," Mohria says to the Candidates with another small smile.

Uveline shakes her head slowly to Ahnika, answering softly, "Neither Teallan or I am any good at sketching, unfortunately, and I don't know for sure about Kestian, but I don't think it's one of his strong suits. I know the Weyrwoman was planning to ask him about it - she asked me the same thing earlier." She pauses, then continues with, "If he isn't a good sketcher, then he should know who at Landing to contact." At F'min's words she jerks her attention back to the family, nodding hurriedly and smiling to Mohria as they depart. "I'll let them know. Welcome to the Weyr, Mohria," she says after them.

With F'min's suggestion, Ahnika glances to Nenienne a moment and then looks back at her food, taking a bite without really tasting it. After swallowing, she says, "Thank you, sir. But it's not for me, really." Because if she had it her way, she wouldn't be doing this at all. "It's something Weyrwoman Alara asked me to … have done." Then to Neni's question, she continues to pick at her food, saying, "S'man's likeness." Then she puts her fork down to rub at the back of her neck, somewhat nervous and uncomfortable, but that fades distractedly as Ahnika can't help but look at the boy and his behavior, smiling softly in distraction and then nodding to Mohria, saying, "Clear skies, ma'am," politely, even if she hadn't been formally introduced. And then her attention returns to Uveline and Ahnika looks to visibly relax, letting out a breath she hadn't really realized she had been holding. "Oh, good," she says without really thinking how that might sound. "I've not had a chance to meet with him yet, but was meaning to ask him, too. Thank you, Uveline." And it sounds like she does mean it, the gratitude that is. She takes another bite of food, and looks back at Nenienne, seeming curious, "You ever do a man's likeness before?"

F'min doesn't comment when Ahnicka mentions that it's something the weyrwoman asked her to do, and he also shows a distinct lack of surprise when she asks Nenienne to draw the likeness of a man. However, he holds his comments to himself, turning instead to the Candidates as a whole to bid them good night. Then he's headed over to the table with his family for cake and perhaps some meatrolls to take back to his weyr. Their weyr, now. "Noooo, they weren'," his voice can be heard exclaiming to the babbling story.

Nenienne nods politely to F'min and Mohria. "Well met and clear skies, if that's possible here," she says to both Weyrmates. Then she adds, "And your little boy is adorable." There is warmth in her voice despite the ever-present frown. With that said, she shakes her head at Ahni. "Nope. I don't think I could do faces very well," she admits.

Uveline thinks for several moments before offering, "You might ask Eissa, the Healer. She was looking for someone to sketch people for her stretching pamphlets, and might have found one who could also be of use to you." Shrugging and bidding the other candidates good night, Uveline then moves toward the kitchen to alert the staff of the request for food at F'min's weyr, and to recommend some extra bedding and maybe a pallet for the child be sent, too, before heading off to the barracks.

Mohria gives the assembled a wave as she follows after her Weyrmate.


Ahnika and Nenienne's discussion is continued in Between the Lines


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