Water Soothes All Manner Of Ills

Day 20 of Month 8 of Turn 2720
Monaco Bay Weyr - Cove Beach
//Sparkling black sands are gently washed over with crystal blue waters, creating a playful blend of colors that twist and meld under the alternating rays of sun and moon. The cove stretches out from the mouth of the river towards the ocean, mixing saltwater with fresh for an invigorating rush that teems with life./b

The coast curves eastward, the waters growing more quiet along the broad expanse of beach before finally meeting a large cove. Here there are few waves, the ocean's movement reduced to little more than slight swells. What might have been an idyllic and peaceful area however, is interrupted by a brilliantly gleaming structure that stands on the edge of the sands.

Large steel poles soar upwards, supporting a staircase that leads to a pair of water slides. The height of the structure is remarkable, standing at a height comparable to that of a small gold dragon. Pipes pump water upward, creating small pools at the entrance of both plastic blue slides. The rush of water moves with the slides, following their twisting course downwards while easing their passenger's journey. Parts of the slides are open and others covered, creating a thrill for each voyager before unceremoniously dumping them into the still waters below. For the safety of all patrons, a large net has been drawn across the mouth of the cove to prevent any accidental drifting away.

Not far from the slides is a small stand that also seems to have been built just recently. A menu is posted on its side and displays a variety of drinks and snacks for beach goers.


It's a lovely day at Monaco's beaches, though perhaps not the time you'd expect to find a crowd. It's nearly sunset, and while warm for winter you still don't see too many people actually out in the water. At least one brave soul is willing to endure the mild chill, out paddling around aimlessly in the surf. Viora must have had a rest day. Or, perhaps, just had no work that needed doing to begin with.

Wandering feet have carried Etinei to the beach. There's something reassuring in its familiarity, and the girl's expression seems to lighten as she treads across the sands towards the water. Though the evening brings a coolness, she's still dressed in a light shirt, shorts, and sandals; that said, her intention is not to go in the water (she's not that crazy). The sight of someone in there, however, is too intriguing to ignore, and so Etinei comes to a stop just bat the edge of where the waves are lapping at the sand, in close enough proximity to get a better look at Viora. She's…not exactly subtle with her staring.

Viora would probably dispute the 'crazy' descriptor, even if her choice of evening recreation is borderline bizarre. 'Intriguing' sounds nicer. Let's go with that. She's close enough to the shore to notice someone staring at her. Those stares earn stares in return, a curious look. "Heeey. I know you, don't I?" She calls out, lifting an arm out of the water to wave. Is she skinny dipping? It's hard to tell with only her head and a single limb above the water, but she doesn't seem bothered either way.

Was Etinei expecting to be noticed? She was staring after all, but somehow she had it in her head that the swimmer would be too focused on their recreation to pay attention to her on the beach. Hesitantly, she returns the wave, looking as baffled as she feels - which is a lot. "Um. I don't think so?" Does she need glasses to better see the swimmer's face? "Do I know you?" She asks outright, waving hand dropping back to her side as she continues to look at Viora, searching through her memory desperately.

Viora must have exceptional vision. Or maybe it's just easier to see people clearly when there aren't waves splashing over them every few moments. That could be it. Her wet hair keeps getting in her face. "Yeah, yeah I do!" She insists. "You were a candidate at Half Moon, right? I saw you on the sands." A gawker from the gallery, apparently. That counts as 'knowing someone' in Viora's book. "Did you come to swim? Come join me!" Why else would anyone be at the somewhat chilly beach?

Etinei seems to be approaching something akin to panic that this person knows her, but she doesn't know them. Fortunately, Viora explains, and the teenager visibly relaxes. "Oh." Of course. There were a lot of people watching that hatching. The way she swallows hard may not be so visible, and in an impulsive movement, she slips off both sandals and steps into the seafoam. Her toes curl, and she gasps at the chill - but proceeds into the water nonetheless. Maybe she'll find out if Viora's skinny-dipping or not! "I was…coming to clear my head. It's been a weird sevenday," she says as she gets closer, glad to not have to speak so loudly, now that she's nearer to the other woman.

Viora seems to just sort of be a loud person in general, though she tones it down once Etinei is in the water. "Well, you picked a good place for it. Nothing like cold water to clear your head." Maybe that's why she's out here, too? Or it could just be this is a normal evening for her. She does, in fact, appear to be skinny-dipping, which might explain why she picked off-hours for her beach outing. Not that she seems to mind the company. "I'd imagine 'weird' is an understatement. Want to talk about it?" She asks, still aimlessly paddling around.

Getting close up now, Etinei - still in shirts and shorts, now soaked through - realises Viora is not as clothed as her. Not. At. All. Thank goodness she's seen enough flesh in the candidate's barracks not to go scooting back to the beach, but she does keep her eyes firmly UP and on Viora's face. "It's nice," she says of the water, keeping limbs moving to stave off the sea's chill. As for talking about it? "Um. Not really…." There's a mixture of emotions in her face, and she barrels on with: "I'm Etinei." Yay introductions!

Viora either doesn't notice or isn't phased by the reaction her unclothedness provokes in Etinei. At least the water, while not a substitute for clothes, does at least obscure her somewhat. Her disinterest in talking about the hatching is met with a nod. "That's cool. We'll talk about something else. It's nice to meet you, Etinei." She wades close enough to offer her hand. "I'm Viora."

Etinei's arm swooshes through the water, hand surfacing and moving to clasp Viora's. It's not a strong grip, but there's enough pressure behind it - not to mention a look in Etinei's eyes - to imply gratitude for the change of subject. "Nice to meet you too, Viora." She'll file that name away as she lets her hand drop into the water again, to resume its idle movements. The ebb and flow of the sea is, indeed, very soothing, and she seems more at ease already. "Are you from here? I feel like I've probably missed so much."

Viora gives Etinei's hand a firm shake before releasing her grip and wading a little further back into the soothing cool water. She shakes her head at the question posed. "Nope. This is about as far from home as could be. That was the idea, really. I flagged down a rider and told him I needed to be as far away as possible." Despite the potentially worrying implications of that statement, Viora doesn't sound particularly bothered. "He dropped me off here. Actually, that's why I came out here. He said it's more fun to go swimming naked. I figured I'd try it out." The rider was probably hoping Viora would test that out with him, but that seems to have completely escaped her. "So I'm probably a poor source of local news. Sorry."

"Oh." Not what Etinei was expecting? She doesn't look too surprised - perhaps the last few months have made the girl more open-minded to the unusual. Rather, it's curiosity that's predominant in her face, blue eyes watching Viora as she backs away some. "Well, Monaco is nice, so he picked a good place to bring you." She's just as oblivious about the rider's possible implications, apparently. "I've got a lot of catching up to do." There's a small smile at the prospect of getting all the latest news. "What is it you do?" Comes her next question, as she starts to practise lifting her feet from the seabed and half-floating, half paddling.

Viora stays at what could be considered a normal conversation distance from Etinei, giving her space while enjoying the water. "I guess he was sort of right? It is nice. Fun maybe wouldn't be how I'd describe it, but it's nice." She shrugs as much as she can while staying afloat. "So far I am really liking Monaco. Nice weather, nice friendly people. I can't complain about anything." The last question takes longer to answer than it should. "I'm not sure." She answers. "Mother wanted me to get hitched to some Lord Holder three times my age. I didn't want to do that. So… I ended up here instead." Not a planner, sounds like.

"There's more going on in the daytime," Etinei says, without a hint of any implication that Viora's picked the wrong time to come here. She's stating a fact is all! "Boats, surfing, games…." Has she partaken in any of these? Perhaps not, but she's seen them, and knows they happen. Then she lapses into silence, to listen to Viora's admission about what she does. Or doesn't do, as it may be. "Oh. I see." Is she going to be involved in harbouring a fugitive? Uhoh. Eyes a fraction wider, she asks: "are you going to stay here?"

Fugitive would imply Viora had committed some sort of crime. If that's the case, she has conveniently left it out of the narrative. She sounds more like a runaway, really. Still maybe not the best thing to harbour. "I'll have to check it out during the day, then. Though maybe I should have clothes on then, if there's a lot of people?" More shrugging. One definitely gets the sense that she's a little sheltered. "For now, at least. I didn't really plan any further ahead."

Internal panic about whether she's involved in a crime bubbling away in the background, Etinei focuses intently on not thinking about that and chatting instead. Conversation! It's a thing people do! "Most people wear swimming stuff," she says rather stupidly, for lack of anything else in her brain to say right now. "Oh. Well, it's a really nice place. But…won't your mum come looking for you?" That, apparently, is the main concern now coming to the surface of the worried-looking teen.

Viora presses a finger to her lips and looks up at the sky, as if pondering that question for the first time. "I mean… probably?" She shrugs. "Don't know how she would find me, though. It's not like I told her where I was going. And even if she did find me, the riders wouldn't let her drag me back against my will, right?" Pause. "So what is it you do, Etinei?" Smooth conversation shift.

Etinei quits with the foot lifting, and now that she's acclimatised to the water's temperature, she ducks down until the surface is at her collarbones. "I suppose Pern would be a big place to search for you," she agrees, more sure of that given it's a fact. As for being dragged back, that she's sure of. "No. Things used to be that way, long ago but…not now." For which she does sound rather grateful about. The questioning, then, turns on her, and she's happy to answer that one. "I'm an Apprentice Techcrafter. And…maybe a candidate, sometimes, now, I suppose." Of that, she really doesn't sound sure, brow furrowing as she thinks about it.

Viora seems to be gradually transitioning from swimming to simply floating. She's acclimated to the temperature by now, and seems to be slowly tiring out. "Anyways, even if I did want to go back, I figure I just need to wait long enough for Lord Holder Whateverface to lose interest. I mean, a guy like that isn't going to wait forever on a runaway bride, is he?" One can hope, anyways. "Oh? Not sure you'll do candidacy again?" Viora smiles sheepishly. "Sorry. Forgot. Not talking about that today, right? Tell me about the Techcraft. Sounds fun."

"I suppose not," Etinei agrees on the limits of a Lord Holder's patience - though not with much certainty. Engagements, marriages, all that sort of thing - it's a mystery to her, other than what little she's read in books. "And you can choose not to marry him." Or run away. Same thing, right? She sends back a small smile in response to Viora's. "It's okay. It's just all sort of, weird. I love the Techcraft," her words are coming quicker now, on this familiar topic, but also from a sort of emotional nervousness. "And I' going to make journeyman. But candidacy was so lovely, meeting the people I met and…." She trails off, swallowing, and turns in the direction of the sunset as if watching it. Totally not because she doesn't know what to say, or even what to think right now.

"That's what I did." Apparently, 'choosing not to marry' and 'running away' are in fact synonymous in Viora's estimation. She listens to Etinei describe her dilemma with a sympathetic expression, hesitating for a moment before she answers. "I… I don't know all that much about these things. I didn't grow up in a weyr. But… don't a lot of dragonriders continue with their crafts? I heard someone say there are more journeyman riders than ever now. Do you have to pick one over the other?"

A great many things are boiling away inside of Etinei; a miasma of emotions the girl is poorly equipped to handle. Gulping in a breath, she plants her feet in the sand, standing there solidly and taking in the colours of the setting sun. Viora's words are penetrating, though; when she turns back to face the other woman, there's a less conflicted look in her eyes, replaced with gratitude for the advice. "I suppose they do. Landing had some that my father knew. I suppose…I thought Techcrafting was everything." What is it about Viora that's managed to draw this out of her? "But…seeing my friends with their dragons…it was so wonderful. Have you ever thought about it?" She adds hastily, as if to take the attention off her.

Viora may just come across as extremely nonthreatening. That helps with people opening up. And she does seem to listen attentively as she bobs in the water. "Me?" She asks when the question is put to her. "I doubt I'd be what they were looking for. I mean, it does sound nice, though. And it was amazing to see. Having that kind of connection… and all the friends you'd make during candidacy. I see the appeal."

Etinei's reply is enthusiastic, a sort of joy in her that's too much to fully contain. "You meet all these people…I never would have met them otherwise. Tolavin, and Petra, and Aishen…." She stops herself there, the thought of her friends so far away and on an entirely different path a sad thing to consider. "Sorry." Suddenly self-conscious of her outburst, the girl clams up, the only sound from her now the movements of her arms as they wave through the water.

Viora frowns, a sympathetic glimmer in her eye as she edges a little closer. "I'm sorry… you said you didn't want to talk about it, and I got you talking about it anyways. I shouldn't have." She hesitates, but continues anyways. "… There are still a lot of options open to you, it sounds like. Weyrlinghood won't be forever, you'll see the friends you made again. And if you want your own lifemate, you can try again. Right?"

If there's a hint of wetness in Etinei's eyes, she can blame it on the sea salt in the air, right? Let's…let's go with that. But she does smile back at Viora, grateful again for the other teenager's sympathy. "You didn't make me talk about it," she deflects, before the wisdom of the other's words sinks in. "Yes. There must be lots of clutches. Though…I have missed my craft." Like, a lot. "If I can walk the tables first, then…." A shrug that sends ripples out from her, but her smile is easier now, an optimism there that wasn't there before.

"So… do that?" Viora's suggestion sounds like a question, likely uncertain whether it really would be as simple or as possible as she seems to be suggesting. She has no knowledge about these things. "I mean, there'll probably be some time before they need you for another clutch, right? Are you close enough that you could knuckle down and walk the tables by then?"

Etinei's thoughts turn fully to her studies, sifting through where she had got to in that path. Finally, she answers: "yes…I expect so. I don't think there's going to be a clutch here for a while?" She would need to read up on that in more detail, but she's pretty sure there's no gold about to drop eggs on the sands any time soon. Feeling funny about the conversation being focused on her, she turns to Viora and the clunking of the conversation change is damn near audible. "What will you do if you stay here? Would you like to practise a craft?"

Viora looks curious, but she seems to take the abrupt conversation change as a cue to let the other subject go for now. She's pried enough, and she does feel a bit as if she might be commenting on things she has no business commenting about. The question posed to her is considered, then answered with an uncertain reply. "Maybe. I'm not sure. I met a nice boy who was going to introduce me to a bakercrafter, but I think he got searched. I don't really know how it would go, I'm pretty old to apprentice."

With the heat off her for at least a little while, Etinei's shoulders are more relaxes as she enjoys the soothing water, and the company. "Well - it doesn't have to be a craft, I suppose." Yes, there is life outside of books and learning, Etinei, and you know it! "There's so much to do at a Weyr. If there was something that interested you, you could probably do it?"


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