Yank It Out

Characters Alekzandyr, Alexa
Synopsis Alexa is murdering plants. Alek offers some expert advice.
Out-of-Character Date April 9, 2019

Igen Weyr - Hydroponic Gardens
Vibrant sights and smells greet visitors to a lush desert oasis that oughtn't exist here in the crater of Igen Weyr. Everywhere one looks, lush greenery waves lazily, hiding growing lights and the fixtures which give off the subtle lighting. The cavern, a natural bubble in the rock, is mostly round - there is no closure to the outside, and there's a tapering off at the back before exploding into another bubble further back. One can just see that the next "room" leads to yet another room even further back.

There is no set aisle through the plants. Walkways meander here and there, sand heaped along the floor and kept warm by whatever device gives the Hatching Grounds their warmth. The heat is not as intense here, but the mist generated by clever automatic sprayers lends humidity to the air. Tubs of various depths and sizes are scattered higgeldy piggeldy, and the plants in them seem to have no rhyme or reason. Aromatic scents give the hint that kitchen herbs and useful vegetables have been scattered among the decorative flowers and trees.

The chain of rooms are obviously a newer addition, perhaps onyl a few decades old. Insects buzz about everywhere, and there is a quiet twitter of avains and firelizards, who seem quite at home here among the vegetation. Near the door, a wooden rack holds a few pairs of shoes, encouraging visitors to go barefoot.

Gardening. Alexa pulled gardening. And honestly? She totally laughed about it. That ironic "OMG of COURSE I got GARDENING" sort of laugh that spells DOOM and DEATH to plants everywhere. Because Alexa definitely did not inherent the green-thumb gene. Books. She does books. Not plants. But there's no getting out of it, really. So here she is. In the garden. Doing things with trowels and little pitchforks (a gardening fork) that? ought not be done to plants. Thankfully someone thought to remove the sharp objects once they caught sight of her ineptitude and general disregard for flora everywhere, and set her up on a relatively mundane and "easy" task: Weeding. Pull the thing that looks like this, don't pull the thing that looks like that… "Yeah, yeah, I got it." And she does. Mostly. I mean, there might be some poor little flower casualties but it's all for the greater good of the Garden, right? RIGHT!

Alexa might have laughed, but Alekzandyr very well may have stood before the choreboard and stared at it for a good five seconds before it'd sunk it. His sister? Gardening?? All those times when they were young and she had tried to 'help' came flooding back to him, but unfortunately he was unable to convince anyone that it was actually for the greater good of the Garden that he get there as soon as possible. See, he'd drawn cleaning duties in the lower caverns himself and for some reason they expected him to (gasp) do what he was assigned, however that doesn't stop Alek (at the first opportunity) from slipping away and into the hydroponics. It doesn't take long to spot Alexa, quickened steps carrying him over to where she was about to mangle a perfectly healthy crop of red wort and he reaches over to gently place his hand over hers to stop the reaping. "Hold on," he says gently, despite being a little out of breath and certainly the talk of the kitchens with the way that he'd woven his way through them, "That's one's okay…"

Oh, was that redwort? Alexa would have sworn it was something else. Like a bed of pretty flowers or… weeds. Not that she cares much either way (well, she might care a little given redwort has medicinal properties and even *she* is not fool enough to intentionally or callously waste resources). But really. See a thing, pull a thing… Gardening was incredibly easy and incredibly boring. The hand at her own has her huffing a sigh, settling on her rump as she turns a look up to Alek. "Took you long enough," she teases, though there's affection in the turn of her lips and in the gleam of her eyes.

Letting out a slow and eased breath, the healercraft apprentice removes his hand from Alexa's once she'd huffed and plopped herself down, giving a quick inspection of the flowering bed of redwort and finds it relatively unscathed. Phew. Alek turns an affectionate smile on his sibling and can't help the huffing laugh that emerges for her accusation. "I did try to get out of lower cavern duty, I swear." He would have much rather be showing Alexa how to garden then sweeping sand from stone, which would all too soon would be replaced with more given the foot traffic. Another quick assessment, and green eyes return to his twin, "They have you weeding?"

"Yeah," comes in quick affirmative, Alexa perfectly happy to give up her task to her brother. "I wanted to try pruning, but they decided I couldn't be trusted with shears." Probably because she had a suspiciously wild and mischievous look in her eyes. Neat hedges would undoubtedly be butchered. "And what else would I do, anyways? I'm not a gardener. And I don't want to spread the fertilizer." Cause ew. Settling in her spot, she combs her fingers through the grass (without pulling it out) and considers the situation. "We should have just traded. I think there are still some we can pull that whole 'twins' thing on." Maybe. >.>

Hmming, Alek begins to roll up his sleeves, lowering himself to the floor afterwards and looking close at what had been done so far. Brows lift and he glances Alexa's way as she mentions pruning. "They wouldn't even let me touch pruning sheers my first time in the garden." A pause and then, "Did anyone bother to show you how to weed properly, or did they just shove some tool at you?" he asks quietly. No assumption were actually being made on either side, but knowing his sister as he did? Well. As it seemed as though she was relenting her chore to him, Alek tsks and shakes his head with a lopsided grin, crooking his finger at her even as he offers the gardening fork over. "Oh no. I'm not going to do it for you Allie, but I will show you how and help." That way he could be with her and maybe get away with walking away from his own chore, if the fates smiled upon them. Besides, the whole job would go much faster with the two of them. "I'm not so sure. I was sweeping in the lower caverns and since puberty…" Alek was taller and broad shouldered, his voice considerably deeper. "…though could have just chalked it up to a clerical error…" Or, something.

"Pft. It's weeding. What's to know? See the thing, yank it out." Which is to say… yes. Someone probably taught her how to do it and, because it was boring, Alexa promptly decided to forget and ignore it. "Aww, why not?" comes in the wake of his refusal to just… do it for her, leaning forward to nudge-nudge him with her elbow. "If there was an alphabetizing chore, I'd totally do it for you!" But she's teasing (well, no. She'd totally do the chore. But she's teasing about being upset that he won't do it), leaning forward to mimic his body posture so that he can, "Show me the thing," where she can see it. Trading places? Yeah. Probably a trick they're done performing. Especially given Alexa sports none of those muscles or masculine qualities. Weedy-thing she might be, but definitely a girl.

Really, how Alek manages not to wince as Alexa simplifies weeding in such a way, is anyone's guess. Though, his expression does blank out before a slightly strained smiles slowly blooms in its place, if only to become much more genuine moments later. Processing, takes time. "It's a little more complicated than that," he explains, and might have gone on just then, were it not for playfully pouty lips and pointy elbows. By the end of his sister's offering, there's a hearty laugh, one Alek has to dial back once he realizes just how loud it was. Best not to call attention to the fact he was there at all, but it doesn't stop the amusement from dancing in his gaze. "If only." An alphabetizing chore? Would that be a chore though? Maybe if someone wasn't OCD and hated being organized. "Okay," is said as Alexa copies his posture, "The most important thing to remember is the roots. The more of those you get, the longer it takes for the weed to recover. You aren't going to get all of them. Also, being able to recognize the difference between them." Using the garden trowel, Alek applies it to the base of a weed and lifts it up, revealing it's thin white roots. "See these?"

Hey, it could happen! Somewhere, someday, a library will be in desperate need of categorizing, just waiting for unwilling candidates to come along so it can be organized. And Alexa will be all over trading for that particular task. But alas, that place is not here, and that time is not now. So in lieu of stacks to sort, she'll turn her attention to green and growing things. And how to eradicate them. "I know what roots are," she assures, eyeing those little while tendrils. "And why can't you get all of them? Seems like it would be easier to just… dig around and get all that gunk out and not have to worry about it ever again, than to have to come back to it time and time again."

"That's not the point I was trying to make," Alek chuckles, as he was well aware of how smart Alexa was, "I mean look at them and remember what these roots attached to this plant look like." While it was true that his sister was much more at home nose deep in a book somewhere, there was something about sharing something he loved with the one person on the planet he cared about that made him feel things he hadn't in a while. Alek then lifts the redwort plant, ever so carefully upwards, as not to damage it. The roots of that plant were thicker and red veined, "Plants, weeds especially, have a way of growing their root deep and wide. When you have several species clumped in together, all their roots can get tangled and lost in one another, so you can't completely remove one without hurting the other." After a moment of consideration, "Plus, removing every trace is impossible, because of how deep and small the roots can get." Gently releasing the redwort, he looks to Alexa to gauge her reaction.

Alexa's oh-so eloquent response comes in the form of rolled eyes. But she does as told and leans forward on her elbows to get a better look at the roots of this plant in particular. "I guess that makes sense," she allows, settling once more in her spot. "Still. Would be a lot easier if you just… didn't have the weeds in the first place." Well duh. But clearly weeds happen. "You can't just… shovel all the dirt out and replace it?" With? new dirt that is weed-free? Cause that's totally plausible… >.> But Alexa is following along, and she gets the point, even if she's still not looking terribly thrilled about gently and carefully weeding that garden. "So how do you get rid of the weed then, oh wise-one?"

Alekzandyr weathers that eye roll with calm patience and a thin smile, waiting for Alexa to look at the difference between the two roots, "Well, yes." It would be easier not to get any weeds. As for just replacing the dirt? "Like I said, even if you could manage to get the majority of the weed's roots, there's always going to be some small remnant that will eventually grow a new weed, at that point interwoven and tangled around the roots of the plant you want to keep. Every now and then, a plant can handle being moved, but you have to give it plenty of time to rest and adjust between repottings or it'll die." The reason for this? "Because every time you pull it out of the soil, you're breaking off a good many of the tiny nutrient and water siphoning parts of the roots. They need time to regrow and the plant to re-establish itself." The 'oh wise-one' grins crookedly at that question, giving that trowel a little tap-tap with the tip of his finger. "This works, and the garden fork is good for shredding up the larger clumps of remaining roots so the weed takes longer to grow back." And with that, his smile turns into a wicked smirk, "Or you can use poison designed to kill them and their roots…" Yeah, he likes that idea a little too much. Green eyes sliding towards and narrowing slightly at said weed. The little bastard. This is followed by a wistful sigh as Alek joins his twin in plunking down onto his rump, shoulders lifted and dropped in the same careless manner, "…but it's best not to do that around medicinal or food plants…" For very obvious reasons.

Alexa just slants him a look for all the botanical knowledge. "It was a rhetorical question." Because really, at the end of the day, plants are just not her thing. They are very much her brother's thing, and so she listens and attempts to find some sort of interest in *something* in this task, but the struggle is real. When he finally gets to the good stuff (or at least, what Alexa believes will be the good stuff) there's a perk in the harper-girl before mention of /poison/ has her rolling her eyes again. "That sounds a helluva lot easier than trying to dig it out." But, of course, he's got an explanation for why they can't do it that way which makes enough sense that she won't even grump about it. (Well, maybe a little). "OK, so… let's get to the actual demo then?" she encourages, motioning toward Le Weed with her hand. "Trowel-away and show me how it's done?"

Really, a passionate knowledgeable answer was probably always waiting in the wings, given the subject matter. After all, it was Alek, and if anyone was going to launch themselves into a wordy convention of seed-grown explanations, it was him. Still, he had the decency to look a little sheepish beneath that slanted look and once again he shrugs with that 'sorry-not-sorry' grin of his. "Oh, it is…" he agrees, about poison being a whole lot easier than getting your hands dirty. Unfortunately, the reasons why not to use said poison were rather obvious, and so he takes the trowel he handed to Alexa back gently and nods once, "Sure, but it's not very difficult." Making a box by pushing the trowel firmly down above, below, left and right of the weed, Alek gives it a wiggle towards the center each time. "This loosens the dirt and breaks the weed off from it's root system, then just grab it by it's base and lift, shaking out the dirt." He demonstrates this, after setting the gardening tool aside, and soon holds it aloft in his hand. "Then you use the fork, likes this…" That weed tossed into an already established pile, he rakes the fork through the soil where it once resided, rather enjoying the satisfying sound the roots below ripping as he does. After a few passes in a relatively small area, no larger than the where base of the weed had been in all directions, he sits back and offers both trowel and fork back to his sister, "And that's it. Just, try not to go too deep or too wide."

"Right," decides Alexa, the saucy smirk saying well that she knows she's being a brat, "Like I said. Just grab and yank." Not quite what he did, but there is yanking at the end of it, so she's gonna stick with it. The offer of the trowel gets big eyes and a feigned expression of bewilderment before she asks, "Are you sure you don't want to show me again, just to be safe? What if I kill the plant? The wrong plant," she adds, because she definitely wants to kill those weeds. But even if she's playing the wide-eyed innocent, there's far too much amusement in the gleam of those green eyes, and she doesn't even wait for his refusal before she plucks that trowel from his hand and rolls onto her knees to try it. "Ugh. This sucks," she declares as she stabs the tool into the ground as shown, wiggling it around the base of the weed on all sides before pulling it out. "Yeah, no… I'll take cataloging the library any day."

For a moment, but only one, Alek looks astonished and open his mouth before his sister's expression registers. A soft huffing laugh and he shakes his head, finding that soon it was his turn to level a look upon his sibling for all those big eyes and best attempt to con him into another weed. He couldn't help but find it adorable that she just kept trying to use that technique on him, despite knowing it's abyssal success rate. This is why he's grinning and chuckling as he remains passive with the offered trowel handle out towards her, "I think you've got the gist of it," he says, wholly amused over the whole thing, "Why don't you…" And the trowel is lifted from his hand earning her a wider grin and a quick peck to the side of her head (she was totally cute lamenting her lot in life), then leaning back to brush his two hands together against the other, already on the look out for another set of tools. "It's not that bad, and once you get the hang of it, it'll go much faster than you think." This was an attempt to be encouraging and comforting, rising to his feet and grabbing himself his own trowel and gardening fork once he'd spotted them, laughing softly for the want of cataloging. "And I'll take helping you with gardening over sweeping sand out of the lower caverns." Ugh, talk about tedious and never ending.

"I'll have blisters for days," complaints Alexa. "On top of my other blisters!" Which have already healed. "Blisters on blisters." Or, you know… she'll develop callouses. But still. WOE! ANGST! THE HORROR! "Ugh." And another weed is hacked at with the trowel, little cutting motions made in the soil around it before she can savagely rip it from the ground and toss it aside. "It would go even faster if they didn't make me do it." Cause that totally makes sense. "I hate dirt. I hate sand, too," she decides, working on her next demon-plant. "But I don't know which I hate more. I can't decide," she continues, "if I'd rather sweep than do this. At least the caverns are cooled, and not humid like here." All that moisture was wreaking havoc on her hair. "And pretty sure after what you just told me, weeding is tedious and never ending, too!"

Another side-eyed look towards his sister and Alek finds a bed nearby that was in need of some serious TLC, lowering himself to his knees and leaning over it with tools in hand, "There are some gardening gloves over there if you want them," he mentions, indicating the same place he'd just picked up his trowel and fork, his own hands already well calloused in this regard and certainly not afraid of a little dirt., "And if not, I'll just bandage them up again." Basically, there is zero sympathy, smiling and nodding cordially as Alexa complains as he gets to work. This is not to say that he isn't keeping one eye, more or less, on her as she gets down to business over there. Briefly, an expression of how he impressed he is with her overall technique washes over his features, and thus finds no reason to correct it. Instead, "You know, you're actually doing an excellent job for someone that's never done it before." Not implying so much that he was an excellent teacher, but rather that she was a good student. Humming softly, his smile spreads wider even as it softens despite her disgruntled venting, radiating peace and calm not only because he was in his element but that he was with her. For Alek, all was right with the world and everything was in its place. "It takes a lot longer for weeds to grow back than it does for dozen of feet to carry sand in from the bowl. If you do it right, it'll be several sevendays before it has to be done again."

"Maybe for this weed to grow back, but what about the other fifty-billion I have to yank?" Clearly, sand vs weeds is not an argument that will be won this day. Alexa is going to grump because she wants to grump, working her way slowly through her assigned patch of… whatever she's assigned too. "It's not that hard," she admits, for his compliment. "It's basically just… stab in four or five places around the sucker and then pull it out." Simple. Not so satisfying (at least not for Alexa). But at least she's no longer in any danger of destroying the "good" plants. "Sand is just part of life in Igen," she decides. "Not a part I like, but a part. Might as well get used to it." Even if she will still complain about THAT, too.

Fifty-billion? Alek chuckles at that, glancing back over with a highly amused sparkle to those green eyes of his, but soon schools his expression as best he can and tries to sound matter-of-fact, "I suppose you'll have to be quick and efficient then, else they start to grow back before you reach the end of it." He was teasing her of course, already well on his way to making another pile of weeds beside him as she was beside her, but he doesn't linger too long on that else she turn that trowel on him. Heh. "Maybe, but I've seen more than enough people muck it up in the past. Stabbing too wide, getting overzealous, distractedly yanking out the wrong thing…" And the list goes on, for while it might not take a lot of skill, it did require a certain amount of finesse. That, Alexa had in spades. "Hmm," he thrums, still somewhat out of sorts about sand being everywhere and in everything, as uncomfortable and unfortunate as it sounded, "I'd rather bitch about it, myself." Yank, and another weed bites the dust.

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