Curious Candidate Questions

Characters Oddisa, R'sner
Synopsis Oddisa has some questions for R'sner
Out-of-Character Date February 12, 2020

Igen Weyr - Inner Caverns
Igen's inner cavern is smaller than the main living cavern, but isn't small by any stretch of the imagination. Tables and comfortable chairs are placed about the room, clustered together, and often-occupied spinning wheels and a large loom sit in one corner. A small corner-table holds klah and various crudites and appetizers, refreshed constantly by the kitchen's staff. The walls and much of the floor are covered with a mosaic of colorful rugs, many handcrafted by Igen residents, dampening noises and giving the cavern a more intimate feel than its size immediately would suggest

Summer - Month 6 of Turn 2724

There's nothing like an Igen summer, nothing. Indescribably hot weather, it's similar to living in an oven of perpetual human torture during the day. Working in the kitchens is particularly hard, because food still demands to be heated to safe eating temperatures. Having been banished to do the dishes in the evening, Oddisa is slowly coming to appreciate how much a person can tolerate. At the end of the evening at least, the day has cooled off, Odi is shuffling over to refresh the klah set out for night time convienence. A serving plate of tiny cakes, cookies, and savory fried vegetable rolls are being carefully set one by one in precise, nearly pretty order by the beastcraft girl.

There's nothing like an Igen summer, nothing. Indescribably hot weather, it's similar to living in an oven of perpetual human torture during the day. Working in the kitchens is particularly hard because food still demands to be heated to safe eating temperatures. Having been banished to do the dishes in the evening, Oddisa is slowly coming to appreciate how much a person can tolerate. At the end of the evening at least, the day has cooled off, Odi is shuffling over to refresh the klah set out for nighttime convenience. A serving plate of tiny cakes, cookies, and savory fried vegetable rolls are carefully set one by one in precise, nearly pretty order by the beastcraft girl. That's the thing about her, she's contradictory to the last breath. All of the bite and fight, the sassy mouth, and hatred for lines are directly in contrast to any report on her work ethic or manners when at a task. No duty is ever half done, and there's rarely a complaint about how hard she's willing to work. The extreme detail orientation of her current work is sharply contrasted by the person presented to the world.

Evening finds R'sner not-quite retired, but at least a little more relaxed. It is a time when candidates tend to have free time (if they haven't spoiled it by inspiring extra work as punishment out of the weyrlingmaster) which means that R'sner does, too. But he's still in the tunnels. Still lingering near the barracks. Still around even if he might not always be in sight. And tonight, while Odi is straightening snacks and doing the thing, the Weyrlingmaster is cozy in a chair, one ankle resting on his knee, sipping at a mug of something steaming, and reviewing what might just be lesson plans. His decision to be here might be a coincidence. Or it might be to keep an eye on the beastcraft-candidate. Only he would know.

While doing her job R'sner is ignored, spending extra time doing the task in utter silence. After 5 minutes, a cook comes out, taking the now empty platter from Oddisa's hands and nodding approvingly at the arrangement she's prepared. "Thank yu." Is given to the woman taking the platter back to the kitchen, turning once in a circle and pausing to exam the weyrlingmaster. Proving she's not immune to politeness and respect, and often seems to show it to people who do not always receive it. Kitchen staff, maintenance, random apprentices have all fallen on the more charming side of the blonde. A cursory glance, head to foot and back, to take in the man with a tightness chin and lips that aren't entirely polite. Overt friendliness might be out for right now, instead a cup of water is poured, Odi settling on a rug near R'sner without being uncomfortably close. Silence, sizing him up with quick glances and lips opening to comment, then closing. Finally, unable to help herself any longer, she chirps out, "Why Igen?"
Only making momentary eye contact to indicate who she's asking. "Of all the places on the planet, why here? If I may ask, sir." The sir was nearly forgotten, she tacks it onto the end with a rounded mouth yawn. Tired, even if she's never going to admit that to anyone ever.

R'sner proves that he was, indeed, just here to relax and read when Odi's claiming of the rug and eventual question have him glancing over in brief confusion. For a moment he seems puzzled, as though perhaps he doesn't think she's speaking to him, until the question is posed more directly and that 'sir' is tacked on. Pretty clear sign she's talking to him. With a loft of one dark brow, he wonders, "Why not Igen?" in dry return before taking a sip of his drink. A quick swallow, and he rearranges his position, both feet to the floor and the papers carefully set on a side table where they will be safe, his attention turning toward the candidate completely. "I'm afraid your question is a little bit vague. Why was Igen founded? Why do dragons still reside here? Can you be a little more specific?"

"All of it, why do yu live here? Why would anyone choose to live here?" Oddisa sighing out long, words incredulous. The childlike soprano voice harsher with the drawl she's inherited from her mother. The fire in the deep blue eyes is always there, a searching, busy hunger that resonates youthful vigor. "Then more, why here for you? Why'd yu choose this Weyr." Emphasizing with a pushy hint that's far too exasperated, as if the whole idea annoys her or is personally offensive. "And why Weyrlingmastering? Why Weyrlings? Why, N'sir?" It's not her place to ask such things, but of all the interactions with Odi, she's never asked a single question. No curiosity, no attempt to get to know either of them at all since being searched. Yes sir, no sir, eye rolls and a strange affinity to allowing herself to be punished. Laying down on her stomach, knees bent and feet touching her backside, she's at ease, scrutinizing R'sner's face with tight lips and slight left head tilt.

One might argue that getting personal with your weyrlingmaster is probably *not* a great idea. Certainly, learning a little about them is probably welcome — forming a bond that might be crucial in the coming Turns should one Impress — but the power-dynamic of 'teacher and student' relationship should always be maintained. But still, R'sner is not the sort to discourage questions. Quite the opposite, in fact! So long as those questions are respectfully asked and inspired by curiosity and not spite. So, while he'll listen openly enough to those 'why Igen' questions, the 'why N'sir' question has his expression hardening. Careful Odi. Dangerous ground you're treading. "I'll skip the question of Igen's habitation and why residents desire to live here for the time being," he decides. It would be a very long discussion that Odi might not appreciate. "And while I won't bore you with a lecture about assumptions, I will caution you against making them. I didn't choose Igen." Igen chose him? Maybe not. "I am a weyrlingmaster because I am good at it. And I am good at it because I care about those I teach, and I care about teaching them well. 'Why weyrlings' would be the same answer." A little pause for a sip of his drink (it's tea) and he decides, "Why N'sir is not an appropriate question to ask. He's my weyrmate. I'm not going to explain our relationship to you." It is, at least, politely if pointedly stated. He's not angry. He's just drawing a very clear line that he won't cross.

The grand puzzle of who R'sner is seems to be the target today, a deep subject for the girl who has adamantly avoided any deep thought for turns. Introspection was a worthless endeavor until egg touching pushed her off the cliff and into the deep end of self-awareness and curiosity. So far, the trips been terrible, and as she's always imagined, deep thought is the pits. "Sorry, wasn't thinkin'" Which seems to be part of her malfunction, oftentimes things come out of her mouth well before she's actually thought about how they sound. A portion of this can easily be blamed on age and lack of development that usually makes people more palpable to adults. Everyone learns eventually, "But, that's what I wanna know. What brings people to a place wherein they end up here. Yu woke up one day an' thought 'I guess I'll move to Igen?' Or was it different? Did yu think, 'Igen has somethin' I wan'?" Exhaling deeply, silently kicking her feet in a manner reminiscent of a small child preoccupied with toys, tap, tap, tap. "Yur older than my Ma, bu' not by a lot I don' think." The remainder of the water is swallowed, "Sir, ever since I can remember all I've wanted was runners. I saw one an' thought they were the best thin' in the entire world. Nuthin' better." A goofy, silly smile on her face eyes full of stars at the thought of her favorite thing ever. She could be talking about the love of her life, she speaks of this in the way people talk of being deeply impassioned. "Nothin' else mattered… Now, I don' know. For a moment, I sorta have been feeling about one of those eggs they way I've felt about my runners." All of the delving into deep thought has probably made her grumpy, changing the focus of your entire life is a grand amount of upheaval for someone who chose her path at age 4.

"You're young," comes not as an insult or platitude, but simply an observation. "As you get older, I think you'll discover that life is far more complicated than it might appear. Including things that seem simple, such as where to live, or what to do with one's life." R'sner settles back in his chair, leg crossed once again, fingers curled around ceramic as he holds his mug and contemplates the questions posed by the youth on the rug. "A lot of things bring people to the places they are. Sometimes it's passion. Sometimes it's obligation. Sometimes, it's not about going to somewhere, but running from somewhere else — the destination doesn't always matter, so much as leaving wherever they're at. For me specifically…" A press of his lips and he frowns; a thoughtful sort of expression that has him going silent as he considers how best to explain. Or whether he will explain at all. "Before Igen I was weyrlingmaster at Half Moon Bay. Before that, I did freelance transport out of Ierne. It was a job, but I didn't love it. Half Moon needed a weyrlingmaster. I offered, they accepted. I found I had a knack for it." And by that, he means he discovered he was very passionate about properly teaching weyrlings how to become dragonriders, and keeping them save and healthy while they did it. "I was Weyrlingmaster there for many Turns, until I had an accident that resulted in my being incapable of teaching for some time. N'sir and I decided to move to Igen; it has always been special to us. After my recovery, I was asked to be Weyrlingmaster here and I accepted." As for dreams of runners and now of eggs? R'sner can't really say much to that, but there's a knowing look in his eyes that might just be irritating were it to be smug. Thankfully, it isn't. It's just understanding from someone who might have seen a great many things in his life change despite his wanting them to stay the same. "You will hate to hear it," he predicts. "But that is simply life. Childhood is often simple. Growing up is complicated. Including discovering there is more than one thing you might want out of it."

Comfortably positioned on her stomach, Oddisa listens with rapt attention, hands under chin, eyes barely blinking. R'sner may recognize that she's never paid half as much mind to anything he's said before, but now, she listens as if he's about to reveal how to turn dirt into marks and water into Benden red. "I wasn' running from Keroon, if'n I don' impress I'll go righ' back." Needlessly defensive for half a breath, slowly rejecting the idea that comes entirely from inside of her and has no reflection on the conversation. A glimpse at the thoughts she's been having, the prickliest sliver of self-doubt in a person who never seems to have any doubts about anything. True confidence may not exist, and if it does, it might be a fool's dominion. "Do you love teaching? Like, do you wake up an' think yur lucky yu get tu do it? When yu couldn't did yu miss it?" A deep, dread-filled sigh as she drops her head down to folded arms and yawns again. "Complicated drivel, all of it." Is muttered tiredly, "Life will change, Oddisa, yu gonna grow up someday oddisa." There's a snarky tone to her voice, as she quotes a random adult from her past. "Thank yu, sir. For sharin'. Even if it's not, I still don' know what to do with all this. What would you do? If you were me?" For the first time since they met in Keroon nearly two months ago, Odi is soft and kind. All of the bluster and push gone, it's clear she's somebody's strong-willed child. Laying on this rug, feet kicking, finally talking about the real core problem she's had, she starts to respect R'sner. Not because she has to, but wanting to.

"I never said you were," agrees R'sner, calm as can be. "Simply that there are some who do. And some for very good reasons." The world and the people in it, are far too complicated to sum up in a sentence. But it's the question that has him thoughtful again, eyeing Oddisa with an unreadable (though not hostile) expression. "Do I love teaching? Yes. Do I wake up thinking I'm lucky I get to do it? No. It has nothing to do with being lucky. It has to do with being good at what I do, and knowing that I am making a difference. It is what gives me the greatest satisfaction; something transport riding never did. And yes, I did miss it, when I couldn't teach. I would not have accepted the position if I didn't enjoy what I do." There might even be a hint of a smile, ghosting across his expression, for those muttering repetitions of tired truths. "Sad but true, even if you dislike it," he drawls. "We all change and grow. It's not always a bad thing." But sometimes it is, even if he won't say it. "You're welcome," comes just as easily, and honestly, in return. But as to what she's meant to do? Sometimes, adults can be so very frustrating when they say things like, "I can't decide that for you." But it's what R'sner is going to say. "I can't make that decision. I'm not you. It wouldn't be appropriate to tell you what you should do. Tough decisions are tough for a reason, and no one is going to be able to make it for you. If they try," he adds, "You should avoid them. Only you can decide what is best." Even if she's only fifteen, R'sner will espouse that she's her own advocate in life. "But also consider that no decision is set in stone. Whatever you decide now does not have to define your life. And yes, there are eggs. And yes, those eggs will Hatch. And should you choose to Stand, you could Impress. But even so… Your life is not set in stone. A dragonrider can do a great many things, including becoming a journeywoman Beastcrafter and work with runners."

Nothing is ever simple is it? You can point in any given direction and say, 'that is the way to go, but sometimes you have to learn to *STAY*. Going is easy, but staying a course even when uncomfortable is one of life's hardest lessons. Oddisa nods along, dipping chin slightly into the crook made by arms crossed over one another in a simplistic pillow. Glassy eyed for several moments, possibly thinking but also tired. "It is, nice, bein' good at somethin'." She allows, pushing up to a cross-legged seated position, the move done with an ease that's almost showing off. Leaning backward in a backbends, stretching out and rising to her feet, she stares again at R'sner, frowning poutly at the lack of 'go that way, and your life will be perfect' advice. At the idea that she could do both, her face lights up fully."That sounds better, I was- giving up as many turns of work seemed absurd." Five turns of work is 1/3rd of her life, and so it feels like a lifetime of dedication even though it's almost nothing. "I'm goin' to bed, firelizard haven' been fed yet." On that note, she sneaks out of the cavern towards the candidate barracks. The world's problems seem very big when you're both small and young.

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