Internet Time: @774 beats
And on Pern ...
The time is 12:34.
It is noon of the fortieth day of winter.
It is the twelfth Turn of the Tenth Interval.
It is a winter noon.
Players: Ylisa, Alesa
Summary: An exhausted Master returns to the Ista hall to find it evacuating due to the volcanic eruption.
Main Hall and Ballroom
The ballroom's vast space is simply and tastefully decorated, combining images and materials from many parts of Pern. Opposite the main entrance, a broad balcony is supported by pillars of the finest northern marble; polished to glassy smoothness, they contrast the toning blues of the walls. A staircase of the same stone rises in sturdy flights to the upper level. The high vaulted ceiling with its round wrought-iron window is white, brightening the room, while the varnished floor is the deep red-brown of a Lemos hardwood. High on the west wall, a large 'mural' shows a map of Pern framed by images of harper life and symbols of the Craft, while the bright 'tapestry' opposite offers an informal scene. Glowbaskets rest on marble stands of different heights, turned to give both direct and reflected light, while carved stone benches along the walls provide places to sit for those attending functions, or simply wishing to rest. For everyday use, rush matting protects the most frequented parts of the polished floor.
You see Leyte here.
Ylisa is here.
Artist's Workshop Archive Vault Harper Office Harper Classroom Shainman Rehearsal Hall Great Hall Instrument Workshop Curving Stairways
A winter noon hits the Harper Hall, and Alesa is busy supervising the evacuating Harpers. Everything that's too big to carry a dragonback, such as the harpsichord, for example,is being secured, pushed into locked rooms and covered with soft cloths. "Edsel, you can fix it later, it just has to be moved now!" she calls out at the aging instrument repair crafter. "Realilina, please secure the documents from the workshop and the office first, I'll help you pack up your felines later!" she calls out to the new Journeywoman.
The harper hall may be moving out, but here's someone coming in - someone who was once a familiar sight. Ylisa, though, is scarcely recognisable as the well-groomed self-possessed Harper Master who used to walk these halls. She's thinner, obviously older, and at the moment she's looking both grubby and exhausted. One arm is in a somewhat grimy sling, and the other is clutching a carisak as if it were her entire worldly goods. As she enters the ballroom from the Great Hall, she looks round uncertainly.
Alesa hardly notices anyone approaching as she's checking things off on her list. But she does, looking over at who seems to be a familiar sight. "Master Ylisa..is that you?" She queries, looking over concernedly at the bedraggled woman who stands before her. "Do you need help? You're injured?"
Ylisa gives a smile of utter relief, and takes a few sore-footed steps forward before letting her bag slip to the ground. "Alesa. Yes, it's me - the bad marker turning up again - and at the worst possible time, by the look of it? I'm all right - my arm's fractured, but a healer splinted it." Some time ago, by the look of it. "Apart from that, there's nothing wrong with me but a few blisters. And I'm a little short on luggage. It looks as if I've arrived just as you're preparing to evacuate."
Alesa walks forward and hugs Ylisa, gently. "Oh, we've missed you around here. Your arm..how long has it been in the splint?" She sighs. "Yes, the volcano started to erupt and we've received word from Lord Windsrgryp that we're all to evacuate. Many of the apprentices have taken refuge on the mainland at Fort and Igen, but I'm still back here securing the hall against looters." She shakes her head. "What happened to your things?"
Ylisa gingerly returns the hug with her unbroken arm. "Mostly left at my brother's cothold - they're probably under several feet of lava by now. Including my gitar, unfortunately. I broke the arm - oh, the day before yesterday. I came off my runner when she put her foot in a hole. Poor old Trix. There was a healer there who strapped me up, but I wasn't much use on the fire lines after that, so it seemed sensible to head for here. I suppose I'd better get back to Fort if I can, but right at this moment I don't think I could walk another yard."
Alesa ahhs. "Many things are buried now, I expect. I'm glad you're back. Here, take a seat." She gestures towards the harper stage which is nearby. Rest your feet and we'll get you a rider escort back to Fort as soon as one's available. They come every few minutes, it seems." As if on cue, Apprentice Silfiel runs in saying "Next group of boxes is ready to be flown out. O'xide is waiting in the courtyard." Alesa salutes and calls out. "Next group, go! I'll be out shortly to take inventory."
Ylisa simply picks up her small carisak again and drops onto the nearest of the stone benches with the bag at her feet. "I don't know how much use I'm going to be to you, but if there's anything I can do to help..." She blinks, then stretches her legs out in front of her. "Sorry. It's not been the easiest few sevendays. Will the Hall be vacated completely?"
Alesa smiles wryly. "If people misbehave, I think you can exercise your authority over them to keep things on track, at least." She looks over to Ylisa with concern. "I believe you. The hall needs to be mostly vacated. I think a few like Master Kurt might be staying. I'm not sure if I'm staying or going.." A group of teenaged male apprentices slowly team lift the heavy boxes, they probably have instruments or books in them, looks like.
Ylisa watches the apprentices for a few moments. "Taking the archives away? Are they expecting the lava to reach here? It's frightening how fast it moves; I saw a bit... That wasn't coming this way, though." She flexes the fingers of the arm that's in the sling, then looks down at her hands with an expression of distaste. "I'm filthy. I can't remember when I last had a proper bath. I'm probably not nice to be around."
Alesa looks sadly. "We need to protect the records. I can't imagine what would be lost if we didn't try to move them." Biting her lip. "Do you need someone to escort you to the baths? There's a little time to take a short bath, I imagine. Or you could wait until we get you back to Fort?"
Ylisa nods. "We've had one disaster in the records in my lifetime; that was enough. Though," she gives a brittle laugh, "down in those tunnels that we found as a result of it will probably be as safe from the ash as anywhere, as long as the lava doesn't come this way." She gets to her feet. "I'll see if I can find a bath and a change of clothes, and then come back and give you a hand with the inventory. Frankly, getting back to Fort isn't top of my priorities right now. My family are still out there somewhere..."
Alesa gestures to a stocky apprentice by the name of Koeseran. "Here, can you lead Master Ylisa to the baths? Take this letter, show it to the guards at the staircase and they'll allow you both through." Koeseran bows and is only too willing to oblige. "Master Ylisa, this way." Alesa nods and agrees. "That's the best plan. Take a little time to refresh yourself a little and you'll be of more use to yourself and others. I'll be here!" She waves.
Ylisa pads wearily out in the apprentices wake.