Where the hills of Gar meet the softer plains of the valley, rock slowly turns to gravel, dust and earth, leaving a large natural courtyard tucked against the walls of the hall. A low wall marks a boundary for the courtyard, rock and earth's battle for domination kept outside of it. Strong doors set in the hill wall, provide a new way to get into the hall, long windows letting light into the otherwise quite dark hall. They look out upon a grassy valley, filled with water, vineyards and herdbeast. Trails formed by the feet of human wind around rocks and trees, trailing off into the wilderness.
It is an autumn afternoon.
Carise stands, leaning against the courtyard as she searches through a pile of books and papers and everything else that is stacked in her arms.
Linora wanders across the courtyard, headed for the hall, her arms wrapped around herself, finding her way more by habit than by actually looking.
Carise grumbles under her breathe as a few of the papers start to fly off the pile in the autumn breeze, and she nearly drops more as she goes after the renegade papers. Looking around, she spots Linora, eyes loking onto the Apprentice. "Nora! Some help?" A hand lets go of the papers, for a mere moment to wave, before clinging once mroe to the stack.
Mayala walks in.
Mayala waves to Linora and Carise. "Hello!"
Linora blinks, surprised to hear someone call out to her, and looks stupidly at the flying papers for a long moment before she realizes she ought to probably do something about them. Carise /is/ a journeywoman, after all. Wouldn't do to ignore her. Or something. So she doesn't exactly jump into action... but she does manage to round up the flying papers, and brings them over to where Carise is standing. "Here y'go." Holding them out, not meeting Carise's eye. Mayala's greeting not ignored, but not really acknowledged either.
Carise stares for a moment at the apprentice, a quick nod of acknowledgement going towards Mayala before focusing her icy gaze once more on Linora, hand reaching carefully for the recaptured papers. Shoving them firmly inside a book, she glances over her shoulder towards the sky. "Thank you, Nora." As an after thought, she smiles slightly. "Are you busy?"
Mayala walks to the Gar Hold Field.
Linora shakes her head and murmurs a vague negative, forgetting that she probably ought to be busy doing something or other for Keris. Or something. She wraps her arms around herself again.
Carise raises an eyebrow at the mumbling words, "Is that a no? Because you now have something to do." Wandering back over to the wall, she grabs a bag that hand been sitting there, effectively shoving the papers in, without bothering to make sure nothing was bent or crumpled.
Dark hair falls lightly down her back, deep brown waves reaching to her waist. Icy blue eyes are surrounded by thick black lashes while thing brows arch across her high forehead. A small nose still has shadows of freckles spotting her face, remnants of her early years, while rosy pink dyes well-formed lips. She isn't extremely tall, but not short either, having reached a normal height. Her figure has finally filled out, curves flowing along her still thin, though not frail, body. Small yet well-toned muscles move under skin tanned by the Istan Sun, she's plenty able to take care of herself. A bit of a rushed appearance surrounds her, her work as a Journeywoman never seeming to end.
She wears a simple yet elegent skirt, the blue material falling lightly to touch the ground, its sleekneess forming into waves around her legs. A loose sky blue tunic, long sleeves hiding her hands and disguising her figure. Occassionally, lightweight borwn sandals peek out from under the long skirt while beaded bracelets jingle, obscured by her sleeves. Perched on Carise's shoulder is Crais.
Carise is wearing a thin Silver Ring. This Silver ring has a beautifull Saphire centered on it, it also has a design painted around the outside that you can't quite follow with your eyes, or else, you wind up with a splitting headache.
Carise wears the knot of a StarCraft Journeywoman.
Carise is 18 Turns, 4 months, and 15 days old.
Linora's eyes widen at the rough treatment of the papers - probably they represent hours of copying at the hands of some other poor apprentice - but she doesn't comment. She's too busy trying to figure out how she managed to walk herself into a chore. Well, her own fault, probably. She knows she should have been studying, or copying... she just hasn't been able to think clearly lately. "Okay?" Wouldn't say no... but the questioning tone in her voice clearly betrays her wonder at what the task might be.
Carise turns around, eyes dancing a bit as she swings the pack to her back. Her own work at Keris's hands, so its not much of a lost. Tilting her head, she laughs softly under her breath. "Curious as to what it is, no? You, Nora, are going to accompany me to Ista Weyr. If the 'rider ever gets here, that is."
Mayala walks in.
Linora blinks, her amazement beginning to overcome the numbness she's feeling. "The Weyr? What for?" Maybe that greenrider decided to have her walls painted after all? She's dead sure they won't be Searching any more StarCrafters... there wouldn't be any left.
Mayala here's the word "Weyr" and looks in Linora's direction. Maybe someday she'll be able to go there, if not, then she should at least be able to get a flit. Mayala sighs and thinks about the one that got away.
Carise stares at Linora for a second, narrowing her eyes just a bit. Are her motives being questioned? But then Rees is back to normal, her happy smiling self. "Oh... craft things. Drop off papers, pick up papers. Normal things. Why do you ask?" She would have thought she'd be happy just leaving the Hall.
Alexander walks in from the Hold Field.
Linora shrugs, then manages a little halfsmile. "Just s'prised, is all." Surprised at the errand, surprised to be asked along. But given Carise's reaction to her first question, she decides /not/ to ask the reason for /that/. And yeah, she would like to get away from the Hall. A little distance right now might be a very good thing.
Alexander runs around wildly in the StarCraft Courtyard after his canine, like a wherry without a head. Amazingly with a paper bag over his head, he doesn't bump into anything. "Hi, Linoraaa!" he calls cheerfully. "What're you up to?"
Carise nods, grinning and giggling a bit. "As long as you're not objecting, or anything." Spinning around, she nearly yells at the boy, taking a deep breath. "Alex! You don't have to talk so loud! We're right here."
Alexander chases the canine *away* from the mud this time. "Sorry," he mutters, voice muffled by the paper bag. "I always have to talk louder, or I don't know if people can hear me."
Linora has more or less given up wondering how Alex keeps finding her when he's got a bag over his head, and resigns herself to the inevitable. "Hey Alex." Sigh. "I'm goin' ta Ista Weyr with Carise." Apparently. Not objecting. Just not excited about much just at the moment.
Alexander raises his eyeholes for a moment to Linora's response, then reverts his attention to the canine as Bag goes romping through the mud.. again. "Erg," he grunts, but restrains from chasing through the mud after it. "Ista Weyr, huh. Why?"
A green dragon suddenly blinks out of ::between:: and backwings to land in an unoccupied part of the courtyard. A young rider slips lightly down the side of the green, and removing her gloves, approaches the trio. "Journeywoman Carise? We can head back to the Weyr whenever you are ready."
Alexander starts as the dragon appears out of the middle of nowhere, and falls splat into the mud, paper bag and all. "Holy crap, right on cue!"
Carise looks up at the appearance of the green, shivering slightly at the chill from *between*. With a nod to the rider, she shuffles over to grab her flying jacket, shrugging it on, still keeping a hold on her papers. With a glance to Nora, "Come on now, hurry up, we mustn't keep her waiting." Gaze settles on Alex for a moment. "You alright?"
Linora doesn't really know why, but it doesn't really matter. "Craft stuff," she says offhandedly, looking up to watch the dragon land... then looking back down to watch Alex splat into the mud. But she doesn't have time to worry about him, because suddenly she finds herself trotting across the courtyard after Carise, not to keep the rider waiting. Alex will be okay.
Said rider returns to her waiting dragon, mounting to set herself between the ridges, motioning the others closer. "Come on, I'll help you up. And no need to be afraid of Sporath here, she's calm as a baby."
Carise stares at Alex for one moment longer before completing the scurry over to the green, mounting with a hand from the green rider. Settling herself between the ridges, she is buckled in as she waits for her apprentice to join her.
Linora isn't afraid. She's ridden before, after all. She grabs ahold of the riding strap and pulls herself up, settling behind Carise and wrapping the strap once, twice around her wrist. Just to be sure.
Maile, the before nameless greenrider, quickly checks the straps, tightening them offhandedly, before, satisfied with the harness, she gives a silent command to her lifemate, which results in them rising off the ground, small whirlwinds forming near the wings of the green as she sweeps her giant wings, gaining altitude before going ::between::
You stand in the center of the Ista Weyr bowl. You feel small as you crane your neck to look into the sky, at the towering five pinnacles of the Weyr rim, so tall they seem to reach into the clouds. The bowl floor slopes gently upward to the southeast, where various tunnels lead to the hatching grounds, ground weyrs, and living caverns. Across the bowl to the northeast are the weyrling barracks and training grounds. You can see the Weyr's artificial waterfall as it sheets down along the northern wall of the Bowl, its pool concealed at the base of the bowl by an ethereal cloud of mist. West, the entire wall of the bowl has been blown out by some long-distant eruption, and you can see clear out to the ocean from here. The view is breathtaking.
It is an autumn afternoon.
Carise undoes her buckles and slips down the side of the green, pausing when she hits the ground to wait for her apprentice. With a pat, and a thank you to rider and dragon, she takes a few steps towards the caverns.
Linora lets herself down carefully, sliding down the offered foreleg and landing with a thump and a little puff of dust. Cough. And quickly follows Carise, not forgetting to add her thanks and duty as well. For once she's not gaping around herself, instead focusing her eyes on the journeywoman's back as she follows. Wherever it is they're going.
The smooth, rounded walls of the vast living cavern sweep upward from an oval base, two dragonlengths long and one wide, large enough to seat every member of the Weyr at mealtimes. The soft blackness of the lava which forms these caverns swallows glowlight, so shelves for glowbaskets abound, dotting the walls every three or four paces and casting gentle greenish light up toward the sparkles of gold volcanic glass embedded in the ceiling. Ancient lustrous tables run along the long axis of the cavern, and at the far end is the raised dais and high table, where the Weyrleaders and their honored guests eat during formal occasions. Behind the high table, the Weyr's symbol is chiseled into the stone: a smoking mountain in black, on an orange shield, trimmed in gold.
Jozelle watches as both of the woman that she was just coversing with rise from their chairs and leave the Living Cavern. That leaves Jozelle alone once again. Running her fingers through her hair, she reaches her other hand towards the klah pot and clean mug beside it. Ahh, just what she needed. Sleep...nope, awake!
Catlin walks in from the Southeastern Bowl.
Catlin smiles "Hello."
Linora looks around, wondering what to do now. She looks over at Carise, a bit expectantly. Are they looking for someone? Is she supposed to /do/ anything? She shifts a little, moving her weight from foot to foot, her arms wrapped around herself.
Carise strides into the Caverns, bag with papers deposited heavily on a table, and riding jacket shrugged off to hand over the back of a chair. Glancing around her, she zooms in on the juice, pouring herself a mug, before glancing at the others in the room. "Anyone else want some?"
Kiriya walks in from the Southeastern Bowl.
Tierza walks in from the South Caverns.
Tierza says, "Lin! How great to see you! I haven't seen anything of Gar at all since that night so long ago.. How is everyone? How is my garden? My roses? The Maze?" Okay, Lin probably could care less, but Tie is desparate for news from home. "And how are you? You look... tired..."
Jozelle sits in her chair and continious to blink, "Uhh?" That is Jozelle for you. She sips at her mug of klah, her body looking tired from a long day of tedious chores. Not to mention the kidlets! How they flock around her, grr...She dazes off as she looks into her mug.
Linora walks over near Carise, as much for security as anything else. "Sure." Juice would be good. Then she hears her name and turns in surprise - why hadn't she expected to see Tierza here? "Hey, Tie." Managing a smile for her friend. "The garden looks real pretty and stuff." She's actually been there quite a bit lately. "An' I'm okay." All right, so that's not exactly the truth. Anybody looking at her could see that.
Kiriya leans back against a wall, half-tired, half-interested in the conversation. "I don't suppose I've met any of you before...have I?" The young, fifteen-Turn-old girl looks slightly interested in talking to them, apparently. Managing a smile, she says, "I just settled in here...I'm still attempting to get an apprenticeship to the Harpercraft..."
Tierza says, "Sure you are..a dn I am selling dragons. Lin, I'm sorry.. you look like some of us do!" In otherwords, exhausted, harried and dirty.. to be not to polite. "But that's none of my business. Can you believe tey have me doing /night/ shifts at the nursery, and then cleaning ash pits and mending?"
Kiriya says, "That's the disadvantage of taking care of those little buggers, eh?"
Kiriya says, "I'm reasonably thankful I don't have to do much work around here...yet."
Jozelle goes home.
Carise pours a second mug for Nora and, grabbing the one she poured for herself, hands it to the Apprentice, with a half grin. A quick squeeze is given to Lin's shoulder, and a hushed whisper is directed towards her ear. "Do what you want, it seemed like you needed a break."
Tierza spots the klah and sighs.. Ahhh, a gift from Faranth! And makes a beeline for a mug herself. "Anyway, what brings you to the weyr, Lin? Not that I'm not glad to see.. I'm thrilled, but I can't believe it's just for me."
Linora's eyes fill at the unexpected kindness, and she clutches the mug with both hands. "Thanks, Carise," she whispers, blinking quickly and turning her focus to Tierza. "Um... Carise said she had somethin' t'do here, an' brought me along..." of course, she still hasn't any idea what that might be, but she's so happy to see a friendly face that she doesn't even really care. "You're really busy and stuff?"
Kiriya flings her braid back over her shoulder. Attempting to make conversation didn't produce results, apparently. She decides to sit off to the side silently and listen to them talk...
Carise returns to her table, the one she deposited all her belongs on that is, and, taking a sip of her klah, settles herself to hauling the papers and things out of the pack. With a glance at Lin, she shakes her head with a giggle. "Now, off with you, go have some fun if you want. Have fun being away from the Hall." See, she's not /all/ heartless. "I've have Gil find you when I'm ready to head back, but I'm not in any rush."
Kiriya stays at another table. She quietly says, "Nice to meet all of you...
Tierza laughs and sighs at the same time. "Actually, I'm free now... I just finished my daily chores and I don't head to the nursery tonight at all. See, 'they' aren't always wretched." She does grin now and nods to the one person she ahs never met here. But being a candidate, that's not surprising, they keep 'em too busy to meet most anyone except the riders and their dragons. "Hey, have you seen the eggs yet? Or are you even interested?" It's quiet, they can talk softly and most likely not even be noticed.
Linora shrugs. "I wouldn't mind seein'em, I guess," she says, not sounding too enthusiastic. Funny, shouldn't she be delighted? She sips her juice, still holding the mug with both hands. Tightly.
Tierza says, "Well, we could just take our mugs to the beach and talk, Lin. I don't mind. I could use a break from all 'this" Sweeping her hand at the cavern, "anyway. Does that sound better to you?"
Linora follows Tierza's hand with her eyes, looking around the cavern and wondering what it's like to live in such a place. And nods. "Okay." She stands a bit stupidly, though, waiting for Tierza to lead the way.
Tierza says, "Come on.. keep your mug.. we just need to remember to bring 'em back..." And she heads out to the bowl.. And stops and grabs Lin.. "This way Hon.."
The beach here is of a fine, glittering black sand... volcanic sand, remnants of a long-past eruption. The beach is fairly wide, which is a good thing since many of the Weyr's dragons like to come here and lounge in the sun. The crystal blue waters of the ocean roll up in gentle hissing waves on the shoreline, sometimes leaving shells or other treasures from the sea in their wake. On the north and south ends of the beach, the cliff from the plateau retreats into the forest, and trees flank the beaches. It is an autumn afternoon.
Tierza settles down on the beach and pats the sand beside her. "Come on woman, sit and tell me what's wrong. You look awful and it's not your health, it's in your eyes." She hates seeing ehr friend in this kind of pain. "Do you want to talk about it?" is asked in a softer, gentler voice.
Tierza releases Sweeting, who launches into the air.
Linora sits down on the beach next to Tierza and sets her mug in the sand, digging it in a bit so it won't topple over. One hand tugs at the ends of her hair - still getting used to it - as she looks out over the water. "I dunno what t'do, Tie..." she murmurs. "Everything's all wrong right now."
Tierza says, "O, your hair! Lin.. whay did you cut it? And what's all wrong?" She eyes her friend with more then concern now.. she looks like she is /seriously/ hurting. And to actually cut her hair!.. "Aww is it /that/ bad?"
Linora just shrugs, her eyes filling again, and nods slowly. "Cress is leaving." Leaving? Feels like he already left. "He just... decided." Without discussion, without warning. She chews her lip and stares out at the water.
Tierza says, "Oh Linora!" Yup, full name.. she is.. stunned? Shocked? Very surprised and hurting for her ffriend. reaching out, she hugs her and sighs.. men can be so 'wrong' sometimes. "Have you talked to him since he told you this? Has he said why?"
The tears start again, the floodgates opened by the sympathetic gesture of a trusted friend, and Linora leans against Tierza for whatever comfort she can find. A long sniffle later, she manages to tell what she can. "I knew he was homesick and stuff... I just didn't think... " She hadn't thought he was homesick enough to actually leave. But even if he were... she can barely get the words out, only a strangled whisper. "I didn't think he'd leave without /me/." He hadn't even asked.
Tierza says, "Are you sure he will? You said he hadn't left yet. Maybe he is waiting for you?" She really /doesn't/ know, but what can it hurt for Lin to ask him? "And do you /want/ to go with hime, Lin? You are still young and he is your first love..."
"I dunno..." Linora draws away a bit, dropping her head into her hands. "I mean, I know his mind's made up... an' I /do/ want him to be happy..." It really hadn't honestly occurred to her that he might be happy without her, probably because she can't imagine being happy without him. But he won't be happy without being on the road, and she's feeling like a very distant second place in his priorities. Maybe she's not even a priority at all. "I dunno what I wanna do." This last bit is muffled, spoken into her hands.
Tierza says, "Lin, hun.. You need to make a list.. figure out all the unasked questions and insist he answer them. Maybe he /is/ waiting for you to make up your mind to go with him. And honestly, can you be happy with someone who isn't happy?" She hugs her friend agaian and remembers what Zen put her through. But hey, she walked away and then found herself here. Without Jerrick, unfortunately. "I wouldn't let him leave with out all the questions answered to /your/ satisfaction."
Linora can't help smiling at Tierza's businesslike tone. A list, huh? She wipes her eyes with her hands and looks over at her friend. Sniffle. "Acourse I want him t'be happy," she whispers. Miserable Cress is no fun to be around. "But what if that don't include me?" Her voice breaks on the question; she's already got the feeling that it doesn't, and she's not sure she can handle hearing him actually say that. "He couldn't even say he'd wait for me." After all, she's well on her way to journeyman, and then it won't matter. But if he met someone else in his travels... She can't even stand to think about that.
Tierza says, "okay Lin.. what do /you/ want? Never mind what he wants.. Do you want to go with him or do you want jmanship? Is your love strong enough to just pack up and follow him if he /doesn't/ take you? Are you ready to fight for him?"
Linora swallows. "I'd fight anybody else for him, but if he don't want me himself..." It'd be worse than being alone, to be with someone who didn't want to be with her. Her eyes close, and she hugs her knees to her chest. "I wanna get promoted... but it won't mean anything if I lose him on accounta that." Nothing will.
Tierza says, "Well, you have to decide what /you/ want and fight for it. Hard. Nothing ever gets given on a platter.. that's one thing I have learned here. I have /never/ worked so hard at anything in my life.. and there are no promises I will be chosen by a dragon. But I'm not quitting just because there are no garuantees (sp?), and I will be /crushed/ if I don't Impress, but it's my choice to stick it out and take my chances.. dirt included!"
Linora nods, slumping to rest her chin on her knees. A choice? Maybe she /does/ have a choice... if she can talk to Cress again before he leaves for good, maybe she'll even get a chance to tell him. "Thanks, Tie." Just a whisper. "I bet there's a special hatchling that just loves you." She hugs her knees tighter and drops her head to the side, letting her eyes closed again. So tired... drained, really.
Tierza says, "yes, actually, there are four little ones.. and I love them too." But now she won't talk any more about dragons. That is well, so secret to her and she /never, ever/ told anyone else how she felst about them til now. So.. "So, now, you make notes and you sit him down and you get information and you tell him."
Linora stops hugging her knees to hug Tierza instead, nodding assent - or at least her good intentions. She might lose her nerve, but she won't say it's not a good idea. "Thanks... I better go look for Carise and stuff. It's gonna be dark soon."
Tierza nods and points her in the right direction...Over the trail to the plateau. "I think I'll stay here and think a little longer. It's nice to have some free time for a change."
Linora gets to her feet and heads back to the caverns, her step just a bit lighter than previously, turning to wave at Tierza with a grateful smile.