The Lower Caverns
The Lower Caverns are huge. They are almost like a small colony filled with milling people at most times of day or night. The Lower Caverns system extends widthways and lengthways down the Weyr and is it's heart in some ways. The Hatchling carcass butchery is an adjoining room on the weyrside, and people are encouraged to not come through the Kitchens to access this cold store, but to enter from the weyr entrance. In here are carcasses and firelizard scrap-bowls. The Lower Caverns is longitudinally lined with stoves and roasting pits. Hood and flu vents channel most of the smoke and excess heat outside and the centre aisled are filled with preparation tables and the pre-serving lay out. At any given point in the day people are filling or emptying these tables up to the Dining Hall.
Near the bottom end of this room is a rather ingenious water and sink arrangement. This is where the majority of washing up is done. There are simple hand pumps that can fill long sinks from the central reservoir and racks that fit over the rough like trough area for draining before they are dried and put away in the dresser that line the partial walls that jut in this section.
There is a smaller chamber adjoining this where alot of the basic preparation is done. There are pits and stoves here and on the Holdside are the massive bakers ovens. and the cooling racks. At the far end of this room are the labyrinthian Stores. Food is Holdside, and the storage extends deep, to cold rooms and high for dried goods. Narrow corridors lit with glows riddle this area. The Support staff quarters are on the Holdside above the Lower Caverns and extending around the curve of the weyr.
The Lower Caverns are the domain of Head Woman Jayara, who rules them with a fearsome efficiency. She is very protective of her "support Staff" as she calls them as opposed to drudges and has managed to get the Weyr Womans approval that they be entitled to some respect. Be warned however, Jayara HATES flits. With so many in the South they have a tendency to plague the Kitchens. She has declared them a no flit Zone and Baby, her wher has instructions to chase them out if they dare to try her patience!
All references to worlds and characters based on Anne McCaffrey's fiction are copyrightę Anne McCaffrey 1967,2005, all rights reserved, and used by permission of the author.
The Dragonriders of Pern« is registered U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, by Anne McCaffrey, used here with permission. Use or reproduction without a license is strictly prohibited.