Redwort And Gather Gowns

Participants:

Fiala.jpg Randi.jpg

Date: 14/5/2011
Location: Infirmary Weyr
Synopsis: Fiala provides Randi with a welcome distraction from hidework and a few interesting points of view, besides.
Rating: PG
Logger: Randi

Eastern WEyr: Infirmary Weyr

Another of the ground weyrs that dot the walls of the Upper Bowl, the infirmary weyr could be easily missed if one isn't careful. Unlike most of the others, there is no ledge stepped up from the bowl floor, just an easy slope up into the weyr's entrance. The space inside is massive, open enough to fit two good-sized bronzes inside if need be. On the far north side is a slightly raised platform with a cot and a table set up on it and a narrow tunnel winds around from the west wall heading south. The strong scent of redwort and other medicinal herbs pervade the air, though the smell gets stronger the closer to the tunnel one gets.


Not terribly early, not terribly late. It's a good time of morning, when the first rush of chorses is nering its end, and breakfast is either done or underway. A slip of a girl darts into the room, padding quickly but silently, and looking behind her nervously. She straightens her dress, which seems askew, and is also a bit too tight at the top. She shakes herself, leaning against the wall and closing her eyes, patting tangled red hair into a plait, not seeming to care where she is.

Curled up in the cavernous weyr are two unlikely couch-fellows. Kaseth - the tiny, sunlight-golden queen - and a large, bull-snouted indigo blue take up a vast majority of the space, though they're mushed in rather close together. The blue is rolling rocks between his talons while the gold looks on - the pair deep in silent conversation as an attendant slathers redwort on a cut in the blue's flank. Seated at a desk with hides scattered over it willy-nilly, a young blonde - pale for this far south - who manages to keep a close eye on the procedure from over the stacks of work. Fiala's entrance seems to coincide with a headtwitch of the gold's, but it's only a heartbeat later that the figure behind the desk speaks. "If you're hiding from someone, I would say there are probably less hazardous places to do it in." Her voice is pitched to carry across the room, but she does not shout. This is an infirmary after all.

"I… oh." The girl actually lifts her head to take a look, and she flushes slightly. "My… my apologies. It was a turn I could make out of sight. I won't stay…" She looks nervously out the way she came in, then curtsies awkwardly to the pair of dragons, and then nods her head to the woman. "I liked it better when the boys didn't notice me at all… I hope… they? he? … feels better soon." Then she begins to edge towards the exit, being far more careful than she was coming in.

"Since you're here…" Dropping the quill in its holder with a bit more flourish than is strictly necessary, Randi pushes back from the desk and moves over to clean her hands of any ink remnants and other such debris. "You can be my extra set of hands." Dipping her hands in redwort, she rubs the rather smelly substance all the way up to her elbows - thank Faranth it's still warm enough to forego sleeves - and gestures for Fiala to take the bowl from the rather relieved looking attendant. She flashes the younger girl a bright, understanding grin. "No boys in here." The blue rumbles a low protest and Randi's smile widens. "Well, not except him and he won't bother you none."

"Aye, be glad to help," murmurs Fiala. "I work in the beast caverns, normally, but today's my restday. So I was out and about, looking for a place to just sit and… and practice my letters. So. Boys." She lifts her head and takes the bowl. "So what would you like me to do? I'll do it best as I can, promise." She looks at the blue. "Not a boy, you're a fine wonderful male."

Randi grins. "Even better. You'll already know how to watch him so he doesn't knock you back if something ends up surprising him and he jumps." Apparently - judging by the look on her face at least - this has been a problem with her recruited help in the past. "Why do you think I was working in here?" Randi gestures to the desk full of hides. "Those boys grow up and impress bronze dragons and if you think they're anoying now … " She lets that trail off in a foreboding manner, biting the inside of her cheek to hide a smile. "Here, you take the bowl of redwort from her - " she gestures to the impatiently waiting attendant, " - and hold onto that while I finish making the cut clean. Then when that's done, you'll fetch and hold things as I need them. Gonna have to stitch this pretty one up, I think." She dips the brush in the redwort bowl and slathers a big stripe over the top of the cut before working it in gently around the wound's edges with her fingertips. "You been working with the Harper on those letters?"

"I don't think any bronzerider's gonna be looking at me," murmurs the girl. "Fiala. Just a stablehand. All right, a decent one, but not usually…" She shrugs. "Anyway. Right." She clasps the bowl tightly and nods. "What's his name, then?" she adds. She glances at the blue, then smiles. "You'll be a dear and hold still, won't you? So brave of you to do so. So very brave. She'll make you all well again, but you've got to have the courage to stay still, all right? Big strong handsome brilliant boy."

Hiding a smile at Fiala's one-sided conversation with the blue, Randi dips her fingertips into the bowl an continues to work the cleansing solution down the sides of the cut. It's shallow, but long and wide. "You'd be surprised, I think." She grins down at the girl from under her arm. "I've seen bronzers walk off with girls what'd make your stomach turn when they lose a flight." Finally finished cleaning, she sets the brush gently in the bowl and points to a slightly larger tub on a table nearby. "Set that down an grab the numbweed jar, please. There should be a paddle for it on there somewhere." Giving the blue a light pat on uninjured hide, she looks sad for a moment, but shrugs it off to answer the question posed to her. "He's Kreoth. Good, solid flyer who got in a bit of a scrap with one of the wild felines." Her voice gets quieter, then. "He's one of the lucky ones."

"Oh dear," murmurs Fiala, shaking her head. "Poor Kreoth. And… the others…" SHe swallows hard as she goes to get the numbweed and the paddle, and she scoots back with it as quickly as she can. "See, Kreoth, dear, this is numbweed. It's wonderful how it makes you not feel. I've hurt myself some awful and not been feeling it when this is slathered on." She nods again. "Aye, been studying my letters with the Harper. He makes it almost interesting. But… it makes me … feel hollow, somehow. I don't know." She shakes her head a little. "And I've been told anytime there's a flight, I should hide somewhere right quick. Like as not a good idea."

Kaseth turns her head, tilting it to one side as she examines the girl currently holding the numbweed pot. One multi-faceted eye looms overhead, whirling deep blues and soft greens mingling together in a type of dance. "Kaseth would like to know why you talk to people who can't talk back." Randi translates the silent query with a gesture towards the blue - just in case the gold's idea of 'people' wasn't entirely clear. Taking the paddle with a nod of thanks, she dips and spins it in the numbweed, scooping out a generous amount and beginning to slather it all over the wound in - perhaps - overly generous amounts. "I don't know about all flights. The greens go up so often you'd be having to hide all the time. Most folk don't even notice them going up after a while - you've probably been through a few already yourself without even knowing it." She scoops out a bit more numbweed and bites her lip in concentration. "But the golds…" She nods to Kaseth as if any further example is at all needed. "When they go up, I'd probably be somewhere else, for sure."

"Yeah… but… but I'd like to *see* it just once," murmurs Fiala. "Maybe it is odd… Weyrwoman," she adds with a little jump, shaking her head. "But I would like to see it once." She looks to the dragon, then offers a sheepish smile, bracing herself to hold the numbweed steady. "I talk to people who can't talk back because they can still talk… and they can still understand. Just because *I* am not able to hear him doesn't mean that he can't hear and understand me. And he is brave and courageous and wonderful and I want him to know it. It's the kindness I can offer him,… you… any dragon, for what you do."
<Public> Not Carrot Fiala says, "Hahahahaha"

"Please - unless you're in my wing or in trouble - Randi'll do just fine." Kaseth lets out a short burst of air through her nostrils and lays her head back on her forelimbs to watch out the cavern entrance with - if a dragon could at all be said to have one - a thoughtful air about her. Randi smothers a smile. "I'm sure you'll end up seeing one eventually, if you stick around long enough. Some of the girls give plenty of warning, but others I've known just go up out of the clear blue sky. Don't worry." She flashes a grin Fiala's way and sets the paddle back in the pot, moving over to the table to pull the Healer's Thread from its bath of redwort and numbweed and squinting as she threads it through a needle. "What did you mean about the Harper's lessons, then? Can't say as I've ever heard of someone getting gutted out by their letters."

"I don't know. Learning makes me feel kind of… well… hollow. Like there's something out there, something more, something…" Fiala shrugs. "Something more than mucking out stalls for the rest of my life. There's nothing wrong with it. And before I studied… I could live in… just this moment, day. But now… I think too much. And I'll try to remember… Randi… but…" She shrugs. "Anyway. One, at least. Has… has Kaseth risen… before?:

Listening to the slightly disjointed explanation in stunned silence, Randi takes a moment to piece it all together in her own mind. When the meaning finally dawns on her, she can't help but bark out a laugh. Kaseth - in her rider's mind more surely than Randi is, sometimes - saw the signs of the amusement and made sure to warn the blue ahead of time. Even so, he jumps a little at the sound. "Sorry, love." She walks over and pats him on the flank, showing the threaded needle to Fiala - as if she was teaching a class of some sort, herself - before beginning to very carefully thread it through hide and flesh. "Sorry, Fiala. I don't mean to be laughing at you. I've just never heard it all put quite that way, before." Her tongue pokes out the side of her mouth, wedged between her teeth as she concentrates. "But you're right. Without any learning, we're rather a lot like herdbeasts. We just eat and shit and pull our plows every day - just plodding along with no ambition and no direction we're not given by the person holding our reins." She works with care, but doesn't dawdle - it must be done before the numbweed has even the chance to wear off. "And some people like being herdbeasts and if that's how they're happy, that's just fine. It's a painful thing, sometimes, growing up to be a proper person, but if you ever want to do more than chew cud and pull your plow, it's a necessary step."

Fiala hangs her head at the laughter, though it is only for a moment, and she meets the weyrwoman's eye. "I spent more time with runnerbeasts than people, afore I came here. Was easier to talk to them. And… it's kind of funny. I ran away… and am doing much like what I was doing. Just by choice. Or… sort of choice. But…" She reaches out a hand to soothe the blue, instinctive move, but she draws back before she touches him. "But I'm glad you understand me. I was worried I was just getting addle-brained hoping for a dragon someday and that was it. I could hide in an eggshell…"
GAME: Save complete.

For some reason, Fiala's confession has Randi's expression falling into a painfully blank mask of neutrality. "Sometimes it's easiest to talk to critters that don't talk back to you." Her voice is quieter than it has been and she then falls silent, stitching with fierce efficiency. It's the comment about hiding in the egg that pulls her out of her funk and she snorts with laughter. "I don't think any queen I know would be too happy to see a two-legger pop out of any shell of hers. Still…" She turns and looks at Fiala sidelong. "I suppose if it's a dragon you're after, you're in the right place."

Now Fiala laughs, a soft, gentle sound, some sad. "I've gone and said something wrong. I'm sorry. But no, I meant, what dragon would even *see* me?" She shakes her head. "But no, I'd not even given tjought to it. Me with a dragon would be like me in silks and satins. Playing dress-up, more like. But…" She smiles. "Shells, if I popped out of an egg, woe to whoever Impressed me."

Randi grins, reaching for the paddle to slather more numbweed over the closed wound. "But playing dress-up is fun, sometimes." Satisfied with her work, she replaces the paddle in the jar and gestures for Fiala to set it on the table where she'd gotten it. "When I graduated and became a full Junior Weyrwoman, I didn't feel much like I belonged there, either. I felt like I was pretending to be someone I wasn't and it chafed at me like a set of straps that didn't fit." She moves over to wash her hands clean of the redwort and bits of numbweed that had made it to the skin. "Kass did her best to help, of course, but she didn't understand the problem - not really. Then one day, I saw the Tanners working a bit of bright red leather for a Lady Holder's carriage and absolutely fell in love with it. I commissioned a full set of riding leathers done in that exact shade and when I put them on, I actually felt like a Weyrwoman. I looked good in them. I looked like I knew what I was doing in them. It gave me the confidence boost I needed to relax and just do the job I'd been trained for." Drying her hands on a nearby towel, she leans back against the wall. "Don't discount the power of dressing up. A nice silk Gather gown can make you feel like you can conquer anything."



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