StarCraft Main Hall
The vaulted Great Hall of StarCraft possesses a grandeur that belies its recent construction. Built to inspire the mind to look upward, smooth columns support the Gothic arches of the ceiling. The Hall runs on an East-West axis, with the heavy doors of the main office to the west. To the north and south other doors lead to various work areas. Staircases at the corners of the hall lead up to a balcony that wraps around the three sides of north, south, and west.
Cress is here.
Linora nearly runs smack into Cress. "Oh... hi." Beam. "What're you doing here?" As if maybe he shouldn't be hanging around the main hall, instead of in the Vault like always.
Cress turns his head at the sound of a very familiar voice. Sitting on the floor near the entrance, he looks up at her. "I just needed a change I guess," he more or less mumbles. "The Vault was getting a bit stuffy, you know?"
"Archives're worse," Linora remarks, looking back down at him with a vaguely confused and somewhat concerned expression. "You okay?" Because he doesn't really seem okay, sitting on the floor like this. "Wanna go outside?"
"Outside?" Cress repeats and blink. "Sure," he continues and gets up from the floor. "You're sure it's not hotter out there?" Even after his time down here in the south, he still hadn't gotten used to the heat.
Linora shrugs lightly. "There's shade and stuff." Poor Cress. "It's cooler by the water," she offers, pushing the heavy door open to let the daylight flood the hall, and sighing with audible relief at the fresh air.
Cress nods, "okay, that sounds good," he says and moves out behind her. "Maybe fresh air would be a good thing." He bends down to pick up the book he was reading and tucks it under his arm.
A deep broad pool marks the beginning, or the end of the lake. Refreshing, cool water flows down the waterfall coming from a spring high in the Garish hills, and fills a lake that stretches far to the north, only to disappear near the bathhouse. Numerous rocks are scattered out around the cloud of water that surrounds the waterfall's flow crashing into the pool, which gives the entire area a wet, yet cool athmosphere. Small amount of trees surround the high clifwall, masking a sturdy rope lader that stretches acros the lake up to the top of the waterfall.
It is a summer midmorning. The sun is high over the ocean to the east, and a good breeze blows in off of the waves. A line of clouds seems to be brewing off the eastern horizon.
Cress moves slowly in from the Lakeside.
Standing at only 5'5 this young man's size is not impressive. His blond hair, which has resently been cut short at the back and the front, is the color of wheat, has bleached strands, and he has a light tan from the sun, even if he doesn't spend many hours outside. Narrow gray eyes are framed by light-colored lashes and brows, and his cheekbones are angular as is his chin. His muscles are hardened, from long hours of hard work, done in his previous life as a trader. A scar runs along the right side of his neck and his most obvious feature is a missing inch of his right little finger.
A shortsleeved lightgray tunic covers his upper body with a black drawstring looped through holes at the v-neck to close it up on chilly nights. Light cotton trousers, the color of an early morning sky cover his legs, and has been rolled up to just below the knee. On his feet sandals are secured with leather bands, tightened in metal buckles. Perched on Cress's shoulder is Dixie. Cress' Pack hangs heavily from Cress's shoulder. Perched on Cress's shoulder is Idoru. Perched on Cress's shoulder is Wintermute.
A knot of intertwined, double corded red and silver, looped once and left with a small tail, shows that he is a Senior Apprentice to the StarCraft.
Cress is 19 Turns, 2 months, and 18 days old.
Linora pulls off her sandals and tosses them aside, picking her way over to the edge of the pool. She sits carefully down on a mostly dry rock with her feet in the water, and looks back at him. "Glad you finally got some cooler clothes," she remarks. "It's really nice over here."
Cress chuckles, glad to hear her, seemingly, in a better mood, and comes over to sit next to her, finding a rock of his own. Taking off his sandals, he explains, "I met someone who'd grown out of it, so he sold it to me cheep." He puts his feet in the water and gives a sigh of relief. "That does feel good..."
Linora grins, both at the explanation and at Cress's relieved sigh. "Good." She kicks her feet idly in the water, not quite breaking the surface. "You shoulda seen my folks when I got home... they almost weren't gonna let me come back." She leans back on her hands, looking into the water.
Cress looks over his shoulder at her, with a strange look in his eye. "Why wouldn't your folks let you come home?" He wishes /he/ could visit his parents, but he didn't even know where they would be this time of year. Somewhere in the north, but that was about as close as he could come to a location.
Linora looks back at him, confused. Home's where her folks are, right? "My da was really mad." She looks back into the water again. "But I think he was really just scared." Well, she'd been scared, too, or she wouldn't have asked to go home. "I had t'beg him to let me come back to the Hall, and that was only after the healer said my lungs were better."
Cress looks at her for a long time, then turns back to look at the lake and the waterfall. He was glad she'd come back, though. "I'm happy he let you come back here..." He moves his feet around in the water, wiggling his toes at the same time. "Musta been nice to see them, though?" Meaning her parents, of course.
Linora nods, still looking at the water, not really noticing him looking at her. "Sure." Once they'd stopped worrying about her and yelling at her. "They still kinda treat me like a baby sometimes, though." She shrugs, then turns her head to look at him. "Miss your folks?" She pulls her feet up out of the water and hugs her knees against her chest, little rivulets of water streaming over her toes and down the rock into the pool.
Cress nods slowly. "First time I ever been away from them this long," he says, looking at the water. "Never any more than half a day or so." Being away from them this long had been hard on him, but he was still here right? "I /do/ wish I could see them some time... And the rest of the caravan." He'd had a lot of friends there, who he missed almost as much as his parents.
Linora swallows hard, starting to feel like she felt that day at High Reaches... the first day since she'd met Cress that he really seemed like a stranger to her. She hugs her knees tighter, and nods. "Must seem like they're really far away," she whispers. Kind of like she feels about Cress right now.
Cress pulls one knee up to rest his chin on it. "I s'pose," he mumbles. "I mean, I don't even know where they /are/." At least she knew where her parents were, and could go see them, without much trouble. "I think they must be close to Crom this time of Turn, but anything could've happened to delay them." He wasn't really sure if she could understand that, being holdbred and all, so he turns her head to look in her eyes, trying to read her.
Linora's eyes look lost. "Oh." She vaguely knows where Crom is... somewhere up north, she thinks. "Guess they don't write, and stuff?" Talking about anything else, anything but what she's really afraid of... that he'd rather be traveling up north than anyplace with her. She looks into the water again.
Cress shrugs, and gives her a vague smile, "most of 'em don't, true. But my mom does..." And as soon as he says it, he starts wondering why he hadn't gotten a letter from her. And he starts to worry..
Linora doesn't know how to read Cress anymore, apparently - either that or she's so hung up still with everything that's happened in the past few sevendays... or has it been months now?... that she can't think clearly. "Oh." She swallows hard, and looks over at him again like she wants to say something... but she doesn't.
Cress grimaces, then looks down and out over the water again, wishing he would hear from his mother soon. Maybe he should go look for them? But he probably wouldn't be allowed to leave the craft for any long amount of time. Then he sighs and shakes his head, "I dunno, maybe they're just busy..."
Linora shrugs, light beginning to dawn. "Maybe." So he /hasn't/ heard from them? She'd thought he said his mother wrote? Is that why he looks like that? She chews her lip and looks down into the water for a long moment before she looks back up again. "Can you write to them?" He's got three flits, hasn't he? One of 'em ought to be able to find the way, right?
A tiny smiles spreads across Cress' face as he peeks at his lizards. Maybe 'Mute would be able to find his mother. If he gave the brown a wellenough projected image? "Maybe that'd be an idea..."