A Harper for a Dollar

Ista Weyr - Living Caverns

Large enough to house the entirity of the weyr's population at one time, the cavern set aside to house the very heart of the weyr's life is a grandoise, somewhat circular affair, filled with rows of long tables. Bustling and busy, it is a rare moment indeed when there is not someone at work or leisure in here; the long trestle table by the kitchens is perpetually filled with plates and trays of food, a pot of something always bubbling upon the mahogany hearth, ready to fill the belly of any hungry resident or rider. Although a high table is set aside for seating respected dignitaries on formal occasions, most of the tables here are not designated to any particular group— rather, all levels of Ista's population eat together, intermingled across the broad cavern.
Great tapestries have been flung down the walls, orange and black borders remarking upon Ista's heritage, the age-faded hangings depicting scenes of importance to the Weyr— the erruption of the volcano; the first clutch; the view from the star stones, over forest, dark beach, and glistening waves of blue. Propellor-like fans have been affixed to the ceiling in more modern times, cooling the cavern on the hottest of days. Passageways lead up the stairs to the kitchens, down a second flight of stairs to the lower caverns, and out into the expanse of the broad weyr bowl.

Shorynia sits at a table a plate of tubers at one hand, which she picks at occasionally, and a clipboard at the other. For once, she's humming softly to herself, taking notes with a cheerful smile on her face.

Chaton slides in quietly behind Shory. He gets closer, closer, closer… and tickles her sides. "Hey there! Watcha doing?"

Shorynia yelps loudly, her pencil and clipboard going flying across the table as she jumps in surprise. She turns on him glaring playfully, "don't sneak up on me."

Chaton grins. "Or what? You'll giggle me to death?" he grins and slides into a chair beside her and winks. "So, what are you working on?" he asks, stealing one of her tubers.

Shorynia leans across the table, gathering her clipboard back up, "Finalizing inventory." She grins happily, "All the useless and decomposing supplies have been removed as have the tunnel snakes. It's practically a whole new caverns."

Chaton grins. "Reason to celebrate indeed." he nuzzles her cheek with his nose playfully. "What if I told you… tha t I have a suprize for you."

Apparently it's pretty easy to make friends with the guards, or at least one guard who has taken a liking to his 'responsibility.' The man is pointing out some of the more extravagant tapestries in the living cavern as they enter, Valkin pretty well fascinated by the sight of them and wide eyed nevertheless. Yet, he's not without hiw own sidekick, a blue firelizard coming along for the ride.

Shorynia leans gently into his nose, not at first noticing Valkin's entrance as she was well distracted, "A surprise?" she murmurs, "Last surprise was your transfer to Ista." Then the sound of voices interrupts her revere and she glances up, "Evening, Valkin. Enjoying your stay at our Weyr?"

Chaton hms. "Well, this isn't as big of a suprize, but I think you'll like it." he murmurs, and groans inwardly as he straightens up in his chair and smiles. "Goodevening Valkin. How are you doing this fine evening?"

Valkin thumbs toward his 'guardian' shrugging a shoulder with a half crooked smile on his face: "He's been telling me all about a Weyr. He's got lots of stories." The guard seems to readjust himself in a fluffing his own feathers sort of fashion. Valkin doesn't see it but the guard wears an approving smile as Valkin turns his face back toward an old tapestry that still hangs with the display of the volcano erruption. To Chaton, Valkin returns his attention, fleetingly as there's much to gawk at, "Good."

Chaton breaks out into a smile. "I think we have an art enthusiast. Do I smell a future Harper?" he nudges Shory, amusedly.

Shorynia chuckles gently, "Perhaps. But I thought he was determined to return to Veski. I doubt he can do both." She leans in and whispers to Chaton, "I'll be expecting that surprise, yanno."

Valkin's face turns back to Chaton with a mixture of a frown and a puzzled look, "My ma said we were too poor to receive a Harper. Them are those people who teach stories?" A secondary blink up to the guard, "Is he a harper?" The guard suddenly laughs and shakes his head dismissively, moving the kid on with a hand on his back. Valkin takes the encouragement that steers him toward Chaton and Shorynia, still apparently waiting for some answers.

Shorynia chuckles and points at Chaton, "Him? No. But several people here are. We even have a master rank harper in attendance along with several journeymen."

Chaton grins. "I could be a Harper. Laaa-la-la-laaa, as Pern turns along, la-lala-la-la." he sings horribly, though wether or not by nature or design, he wont say.

"Oh. Okay." Valkin says with a suddenly dismissive shrug, though he approaches the table they are at and looks between them both. He shuffles back a bit from Chaton, regarding him with a slightly lifted chin, a wary glance like none other. "That's terrible," he says with all honesty and peers at Shorynia, admitting, "makes sounds like a wherry getting it's neck cut."

Shorynia chuckles, then giggles, "It was quite horrible, love," she says, patting him on the back gently before she turns back to Valkin, "I could teach you a lot, though. The harper that visited my family's hold said I was a good learner."

Chaton grins. "It was made to be horrible. That's why I'm a Healer, not a Harper." he grins, and sits back, gently rubbing Shorynia between the shoulder blades. "You are a good learner."

Valkin's face twitches a bit, as if he was going to show a smile but he doesn't follow through with the motion. Instead he averts his attention down at the table, a finger reaching out and absently scrubbing along the surface of it. "This is good… wood.." he finds himself murmuring, "liquids.. won't soak through it… as bad as some." There's a pause as he removes his fingers and considers both people in front of him, darting to another subject as he blurts out, "Made any kids yet?"

Chaton's grin widens. "I stitched one together just this morning. Does that count?"

Shorynia nods, "Ista donated quite heavily to the woodcraft hall in its early life. These are one of the results." Then her eyes go wide looking at the lad, "I… uh… no? We're… we're not ready for that yet, I don't think… And a lad your age shouldn't be thinking that way, anyhow."

Valkin lifts an eyebrow, "Well, that's the point? Isn't it?" He sniffs a bit dismissively, shrugging as if it weren't the strangest thing in the world for him, "My parents were together to have lots of kids." He glances at Shorynia when she mentions his age, "Age don't mean anything."

Shorynia casts an appraising eye on the boy, "Some people get together for other reasons…. such as love and attraction." she reaches over and squeezes Chaton's hand gently, "And how old are you? 10? 11? You should be playing catch with a canine, not worrying about why adults have relationships."

Chaton sniggers, and squeezes Shory's hand back. He wrinkles his nose. "I'm glad the boy has a curiosity about him. Perhaps one day I can convert him into a Mindhealer." he laughs, and streches. "The present, I think, shall have to wait untill tomorrow."

Valkin regards Shorynia with a snort at her guess, "Older than that." Though he doesn't give an exact age, perhaps not knowing it himself. Still, the mention of a canine has him staring longer at her, maybe more so at the relationship part of it. "Only adults?" Out of the blue, then he's straying away as his eyes follow someone moving by with a bubbly. His line of sight follows where the person came from and he grins, "Oo. So that's where they come from." Then he's moving off a ways, ignoring the 'adults' suddenly with more attention given to food.

Shorynia chuckles, "Most of the time, yes, the cooks make them. When they start reproducing on their own we tend to throw them out for fear they'd be dangerous to eat." She can't help developing a soft-spot for the lad even with his odd and scary history, "How much older, do you think? And yeah, generally only adults try to make babies… and I'm not an adult yet… just mostly there." She gives Chaton a sideways grin, "That'll be fine, love, then at least I'll have had a chance to wash off the smell of that last box of half-decomposed redfruit."

Chaton chuckles, at his own private joke. "Though," he adds to Shorynia's comments, "we sometimes let the self-reproducing ones alone to see how many we can get in a fortnight." he smiles. "Record so far is seventy-three."

"Two .. three turns? I don't know. It's been a long time since I was in mistress Helgah's service… I haven't been long with Veski." He speaks light of the situation, then draws an eyebrow up, "Veski does it, but not … well, I don't know." He looks a bit confused as he shakes his head and shrugs the matter away, continuing toward the bubblies to get himself one. He takes his time at the serving tables, darting a look around and then snatching one almost suspiciously, trying to duck under a table… The guard stands and frowns, as if having lost track of the kid in the milling crowd.

Chaton chuckles. "I like that kid." he says, grinning. "But I'm afraid I must be getting to bed. Exausted." he nods. "Sleep well." he says to the guard. To shory he says, "Will you come to bed with me, or are you busy here?"

Shorynia stands as Chaton does, yawning, "I do believe I agree on both accounts." she casts Valkin and his guard a sidelong glance, "Will you two be okay here?" She doesn't really wait for a reply, slipping her hand into Chaton's, clipboard under her other arm, as she begins to walk from the room.

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