Morning Scavengers

High Reaches Weyr - Kitchens
The kitchen is an absolutely huge facility located at the northern end of the main residential building. The ceiling is two stories above, allowing some reprieve from the heat generated by the various cooking activities. The kitchen is carefully laid out working from preparation areas to cooking to cooling: it has it all. Long wooden cabinets are capped by durable stone counter tops for utensil storage and food preparations. Elongated windows bring light to the preparation area and offer the hard workers a glimpse outside. All manner of pots and pans can be found hanging from hooks along the walls as one shifts into the primary cooking areas. A series of six ovens and a dozen coal fired stoves provide the necessary heating for everything from baking bread and pies to frying fish or steaming vegetables. Four open hearths are usually stoked by firewood to heat the batches of soup or stew in enormous copper kettles. A smaller area to the back looks perfect for cooling newly baked cookies and bread on racks stacked six feet high. A full third of the area is taken up by a series of sinks. It is nearest the doorway into the inner caverns handling the washing, drying, sorting and storage of dishes. A pipe sticks out of the wall, the steady flow of water filling a semi-circle stone well centered between the dish and cooking areas, from which the water is taken by bucket or cup as needed.


Oh, mornings. How lovely you are! It's a busy, busy morning, too, especially with the weather being so nice already. The kitchens are alive with activity, though there are a few who are there that ought not be. Shailaja's one of them. She's not kitchenfolk, not by a long shot, but she's found her way into the kitchens all the same and is in the process of sneaking her way around the ovens like the worst kind of scavenger.

Scavengers can work in pairs, right? Even if they're unaware of each other. Eodarin is no morning person though she'll drag herself out of bed regardless and trudge off to her duties which, for her, are often right at dawn. Today she feels like skipping the crowds and potential lineups for food, so why not go right for the source? Covering a yawn with her hand, she then runs it over her short cropped hair, ruffling the longer waves on top as she weaves her way about the actual kitchen workers. It's in evading one that she bumps into Shailaja and grunts in surprise. "Uh? Oh. Sorry…"

Full impact is avoided at the last second with a bit of a wobbly dance-step from Shailaja, but the contact is still made. She utters a soft yelp of surprise, eyes wide for just a moment before she calms. "Oh. Oh! Sorry, sorry," she breathes with an apologetic smile. "Got the same idea, eh?" She lifts her chin and gestures to the ovens with a touch of sheepishness. "They should be getting the good rolls out of there any minute."

"Heh, don't know if you should be the one apologizing," Eodarin muses with a crooked half-smile to echo the apologetic one Shailaja offers. A chuckle follows and she spreads her hands in a gesture much like 'you caught me!'. "Looks like it! You trying to avoid the rush too?" Eyes shift to those ovens with clear curiosity and a soft sound of understanding. Huh! "I'll take your word for it! Should be enough for us both. I'm Eodarin, by the way." She'll even offer her hand to shake, that half-smile broadening to a grin. "Darin for short."

There's a soft laugh at that and a slight shake of her head. Shailaja finds an unoccupied section of counter to lean against, which keeps her more or less out of the way of cooks rushing hither, thither, and yon. Alas, the ovens remain sealed - for now. "Yeah-yeah. I mean, anything to avoid seeing my mom, you know?" Her nose wrinkles a bit. "And, besides, the really hot meat- and sweetrolls are best." The introduction is met with another smile, this one genuine and bright. "Good to meet you, yeah? I'm Shailaja. Nice to meet you, Darin."

Eodarin will eventually follow suit and lean up against that counter before she truly does trip someone up and cause more mayhem then she ever intended. Her mouth quirks into a bit of a grimace at the mention of parents. "Dodging her, are ya?" she asks, a touch blunt but a smile follows to take the edge off. "Know how that goes. Shells, that's made me hungry…" A hand pats her stomach. "I'm still getting my bearings about this place. Thanks for the tips on the best of the best." Another grin follows the shared return of introductions and she inclines her head. "Same to you, Shailaja."

Laughter follows again and Shailaja bobs her head a few times. "Something like that, yeah," Shailaja replies. "Dad's not so bad, but…" She trails and mock-shudders. Then: "Are you new here? I don't think I've seen you around. I mean, I'm still getting my bearings, too, but I've been here a while." Though most of her attention is on Eodarin, there's a bit of side-eye given to some of the cooks lurking near the ovens. Their efforts will be rewarded soon enough; a couple of cooks are busily getting into those ovens to dig out trays of treats - savory and sweet alike.

Eodarin makes another sound in her throat to show she understands. She's curious about this 'mother' of Shailaja's but she doesn't pry. Not yet, anyways. Again, her hand comes up to rub along the back of her head. A nervous gesture, perhaps? Or an idle habit. "Ah… Guess it shows or suppose I gave myself away. No, I'm not from here. I was born 'n raised in Ista Weyr most of my life — or I should say until recently." Her attention darts to the movements of those cooks but when it's obvious they've time yet to wait, she focuses back on the other young woman. "High Reaches your home, then?"

That's worth a double-take. "Really?" Shai's eyes go wide again - and then she catches herself and looks away. Conveniently, there are cooks to look at. Busy, busy cooks. "That's where I'm from. I came here a while ago, though." A shoulder rises and falls. "Well. From Ista, then… kind of from here, then back to Ista." She gestures vaguely; dismissively even. "It's a long story, you know? But. Um. I guess this is as much home as anywhere, these days." Cue an awkwardly tilted smile. "What do you do here? I mean, for work?"

Eodarin almost does a double-take of her own and she certainly peers a little closer at Shailaja when she admits to being Istan born. She'll nod though, to confirm Shailaja's query. "Mhm! My mother was a greenrider. Father a bluerider — from here, apparently." A shoulder shrug. "Thought something about you seemed not… well, full High Reachian. No offence but you know what I mean?" There's a low whistle when she explains the back and forth. "Truly?" So much travel! Such of which that perks Darin's interest but she bites her lower lip to keep from asking. Long story is code for 'don't ask', right? She grins, aiming to lighten the conversation again. "Home is what you make of it! I may be new here but I think of it as home." What does she do? Eodarin chuckles, "Nothing terribly exciting. Just a stablehand. I think folks thought I was gonna pursue the Beastcraft but… I dunno. What about you?"

"Oh, jays. Is it that obvious?" Shailaja's features scrunch up a little with dismay. "I mean, no offense taken, it's just- oh. It has to be the tan. It's the tan, isn't it?" She laughs, even if that laugh threatens to fall a bit flat. It just takes a quick shake of her head to clear it up and the smile she gives Eodarin is right back to being bright and cheerful. "It is home," she decides after a moment and a firm nod. "Oh! Oh, really?" Wide eyed again and brightly inquisitive. "I keep meaning to go to the stables to draw some of the runners. I, oh! I'm an artist - mostly. But the Headwoman just puts me to doing whatever needs doing, you know?"

Eodarin wiggles her hand from side to side. Maybe? "Could be that though really it's not that noticeable. It's more the, uh… little things?" She coughs and her grins is crooked, almost teasing. Maybe she's just yanking the poor girl's chain? "Or, y'know. Lucky guess?" The response she gets to her position has her looking pleasantly surprised. Normally that's not the reaction she gets! "Yeah? Why don't you come down sometime? I know the quieter ones — or does it matter? Don't know if I've ever met an artist! Do you just sketch or a whole bunch of stuff?" Forgive her lack of knowledge! Eodarin doesn't look embarrassed about it either, though she's glancing again at those ovens before casting a look over her shoulder. Speaking of runners… "You think they'll be done soon? I shouldn't linger long." So tempting, though. So tempting.

"Maybe?" But Shai's not sure and she works over her lower lip bit while she ponders it. It's clearly a lot for her to consider - for whatever reason - and it takes her a moment to shake it all off. She latches onto the offer instead with a bright, "Oh, that would be the best, you know? I'll bring all my stuff. I do, um. Well, sketches and some painting and some with chalk and charcoal. It just kind of depends. I'm not, you know, a ''real'' artist yet - but someday." She can hope! The cooks seem to be finishing up with the various rolls, leaving them on cooling racks on a nearby counter. When the lot of them clear away, the artist grins at Eodarin and lifts her chin in the direction of the treats. "Get a towel so you don't burn your hands - and get those before they notice! I'll cover for you!" You know, just in case she's caught.

"Then let me help get you some practice in! Doubt the others will mind. I think it'd be nice to get some sketches of the runners. Do you ride?" Eodarin asks and there may be a hint of mischievousness there too — or perhaps excitement at the chance for some fun admits "work". Finally the time is ripe for the plundering and following Shailaja's cues and hints, she snickers and offers a mock salute. "Gotcha! Thanks again, eh? I'll see you around. Come by the stables!" Somehow. Waiting for the right moment, Eodarin gives her farewells in a nod and impish grin before she darts off, snatching a towel and equally as quickly two of those rolls. Judging from her hissed muttering, they're quite hot but she doesn't drop her prize and darts back out to the living area. Hopefully Shailaja doesn't get caught!

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