Podenco: Bloom Season

From Arknights Terra Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Operator Record
Bloom Season
Podenco icon.png

May the floral fragrance bring happiness to all.

Unlock conditions

  • Raise Podenco to Elite 2 Level 1.
  • Have at least 50% Trust with Podenco.
Male Old Kuranta A icon.png
Farm Owner
Cold Forest
RI Room
In order to make way for new cultivars, the Convalescent Garden has to clear out a batch of plants. Does wilting or being plucked spell the end of a flower's life? Podenco finds new answers.
<Background 1>
Rhodes Island Convalescent Garden
10:00 A.M. \ Sunny, clear
[Perfumer walks in while Podenco tends to the Convalescent Garden.]
Perfumer Podenco.
Podenco Oh, Miss Lena, you're here.
Look at the golden spider mums planter over that way. It's long past their forty-day flowering period, but they still aren't wilting.
And look at these yarny velvets. One of the yarn balls grew a layer more than usual, and the layers are all much more distinct too.
Perfumer Making the right changes to a plants' nutrient intake can prolong or shorten their flowering seasons. Weren't you trying to tweak the formula of your nutrient solution?
Podenco Um, do you think you could you invite the Doctor here this weekend? They weren't here last time we did the flower display, and they've regretted missing it all this time.
Perfumer ......
Podenco Um, what's wrong?
Perfumer Podenco, we might need to... get rid of these flowers.
Podenco What?
Perfumer Medical's taken on several new research projects recently, and they'll need us to provide specimen samples in bulk. Here's the list–I've already been over it with Dr. Kal'tsit.
There are some varieties we've never raised before, and some with extremely long life cycles. We'll be in trouble unless we start work as soon as we can.
But the Convalescent Garden only has so much room.
Podenco Will we have to... pluck them all?
Perfumer We won't need to go that far. As long as we dedicate some space to cultivation, we'll be fine.
Podenco Can I move them to my own dorm then?
Perfumer With this many flowers, even ten dormitories wouldn't be enough.
Podenco Didn't you send Engineering an application to expand the Garden before?
Perfumer That still hasn't been approved. They're busy with other refurbishment and maintenance. We'll just have to do something about the flowers near the end of their cycle, along with a few others.
Podenco I see.
[Podenco walks around the Garden, checking the flowers.]
Podenco (That's still a lot, though.)
(These yarny velvets and golden spider mums...)
Perfumer Podenco?
Podenco ......
[Perfumer joins Podenco.]
Perfumer I'm sorry. I know you've been taking care of them for so long.
But the Convalescent Garden isn't an ordinary garden.
It's a "supplier" for Medical, as well as an "operating room" for aromatherapy. And it belongs to Rhodes Island, before anything else.
We cultivate all these plants both because pretty flowers can uplift spirits, and because we hope to make use of them to help everyone in the truest sense.
Podenco Oh, I know that much, Miss Lena. I've had to pluck pretty flowers all the time back home, too.
Perfumer ...You've never talked about your home before.
Podenco Mostly because there's not much to say. Do you still remember the nomadic city where we met for the first time?
Perfumer I do.
Podenco It was a tiny, faraway place, but it took me a whole month to get there from home.
Perfumer I think you used to live in a plateau settlement, on the Bolívarian border?
Podenco Mm-hm. We were living off the land ever since I can remember, not that we had a choice. People barely ever wanted to see what it was like outside. They said it was a mess out there.
We planted so many crops. At first it was millet, then at some point the adults pulled all the millet out while it was still sprouts, and switched to coffee beans.
Perfumer "Bolívarian coffee." Not just any bean can lay claim to a whole country's name. The largest cities sell it as a popular souvenir, and the demand is endless both domestic and abroad.
And so, though masses of its people go hungry, Bolívar still has all sorts of regional policies in place to encourage the growing of cash crops.
Podenco It was completely new to us, so we didn't have experience growing it. And the soil is hard in the plateau, and the drainage is poor. It wasn't good for growing coffee at all.
All the land in our village was used to plant it, but the harvests were miserable, the beans didn't meet the standard, and the reward wasn't enough to trade for the grains we used to grow.
Perfumer Watch out, Podenco.
[Podenco stops when realizing that...]
Perfumer Keep walking and you would've kicked the boronias over.
Podenco Oh, sorry, sorry.
(But we're going to have to get rid of them anyway.)
Perfumer Go on.
Podenco Later on, we planted a few other cash crops, too, which went about as well as the coffee, until finally we went back to millet.
But that didn't work either. Every harvest season, we'd get people coming to levy our grains. I couldn't tell you if they were from the Singas dynasty, the Coalition, or True Bolívarians.
Or maybe they were just a bunch of awful people who wandered around the border plateau.
We could escape Catastrophe, but we couldn't escape them. Our only real option was to develop the wild land and plant more grains.
But whether we were planting coffee beans or millet, we always saw wild flowers in the soil.
Red ones, yellow ones, light pink ones... I didn't know their names at the time.
They grew all around the fields. They were really beautiful, and they smelled pretty too.
Whenever it was time to water, I'd sprinkle a little at their roots, and occasionally I'd transplant a few of them into our house's nursery.
My dad would pluck any left in the ground. So would the others in the village. Afterwards, so would I.
And because we didn't have much fertilizer to spare for them, the ones in the nursery didn't live long either.
Podenco Compared to the coffee beans or the millet, the flowers were nothing more than weeds.
Perfumer I understand, Podenco.
But what about after you plucked those flowers?
Podenco After?
Perfumer That's right. What did you do with them after?
There's still a bit more to what I said earlier. We cultivate so many plants, and we do grow pretty flowers to uplift spirits, but also in hopes of making use of them to help everyone in the truest sense.
Podenco Mm.
Perfumer But not all plants have medicinal value, or are able to cure the sick. The existence of some flowers is purely to cheer us up.
But it's not as if flowers grow on branches just to make us happy.
For them, going from budding to blooming to wilting is nothing more than a natural cycle.
There's a saying in Minos: "When a flower blooms on a branch, it is embracing the whole land."
And a Yanese operator once told me they have a poem that goes something like "petals fall upon the ground, come with the soil, their fragrance still as old"... I can't remember the original exactly.
In other words, the flowering season comes to a close, but the flowers' lives aren't over yet.
Podenco ......
Back home... I'd try air-drying the flowers sometimes, so I could put them up for a while more.
Perfumer Is that so.
[Podenco and Perfumer continues walking.]
Perfumer Podenco, I'll help however I can. Let's sort out these flowers together.
Podenco Umm... no, it's okay, I want to figure this out by myself.
The golden spider mums, and yarny velvets, and boronias... I've been looking after all these plants on the south end this whole time.
All I did for the wild flowers back home was pick them. But now... I think you just helped me figure a lot of things out, Miss Lena.
Perfumer ...Alright then. For now, here's the Medical Department's list of new plants. Don't lose it.
[Perfumer gave Podenco a list of plants.]
<Background black>
Rhodes Island Convalescent Garden
11:30 P.M.
The yarny velvets have been air-drying naturally for two days. I think they should be good now.
First, trim away the stems and leaves that are already damaged.
Then apply the desiccant. It's the trickiest but the most important step. Too thin a coating and it won't preserve for long, too thick and it'll completely block their scent.
<Background 2>
[Podenco is making a dessicant.]
Podenco Once the desiccant is on, stand them in fine sand for... ten minutes–no, fifteen.
(I tried a whole parade of chemicals to find the right ingredient blend for this desiccant. It should work great.)
(Dried flowers don't last very long if you just rely on air-drying–they wither before you know it. Just like the ones from back then...)
(Oh, it would've been so nice to have all this stuff back home.)
Phew–now the desiccant just needs to completely absorb, and it's done.
[Perfumer walks in.]
Perfumer Podenco?
Podenco Miss Lena! What are you doing here?
Perfumer I'm preparing what I need for aromatherapy. Nyctomaluses only bloom in the dead of morning, and I'm here to collect their pollen.
Podenco Oh! Is it that late already...?
Perfumer Yarny velvets have quite large flowers, and there's a rich sense of layering between their petals. There's more ornamental value in drying them than you'd think.
You've treated so many velvets, it's become like a little dried flower shop in here.
[Perfumer notices a bag.]
Perfumer Oh, what's this?
Podenco Floral teabags.
Perfumer Boronia petals?
Podenco Mm-hm! I saw Rosa drinking tea and the idea just came to me. I've already tried it. The aroma's very strong, plus a tiny bit sweet, and it's easier to brew than tea leaves.
Perfumer Have you been up since yesterday making all this?
Podenco Hehe.
Perfumer Oh, you must be so tired, Podenco.
Podenco But I'm not done... There are still the couple dozen pots of spider mums left. Their aroma's very mild. It could easily be lost when using special treatments.
(But I'm sure I can think of something else. I can't just throw them away. Mm-hm.)
Perfumer Say, why don't you let me help after all?
Podenco It's okay. You assigned me this task, so it's my job now. I'll be sure to see it through.
Perfumer Mm. Alright.
I remember you telling me the same thing, the first time we met.
Podenco Oh...
<Flashback starts here>
<Background 3>
Border of Bolívar, a small nomadic city
3:00 P.M. \ Sunny, clear
Farm Owner Make way! You've been wandering around all day now.
Podenco Excuse me, is there a botanical garden or exhibition hall here? Where can I find it? It's supposed to be full of fresh flowers, and the booklet said, um, they're in big nomadic cities...
Farm Owner Yeah, in "big" ones. Not here.
Podenco What about flower fields, then?
Farm Owner Eugh, look, I'm busy recruiting for the farm. Do your research before you go out on holiday, señorita[note 1]. This is the Bolívarian border, middle of nowhere, we don't got nothing like that.
Podenco (I'm not on holiday...)
About the farm then–could you let me try? I've just left home, and I don't know where I'm going yet.
My name's Podenco, and I've been helping in the fields since I was little. I'm familiar with lots of plants, and I've planted seven or eight kinds of crops before. Millet, coffee, hemp, even cocoa trees...
Nursery, irrigation and ventilation, weeding and fertilizing, grafting and transplanting, I can do it all. Trust me.
Farm Owner Hmm.
(So she's not some well-to-do kid.)
Podenco If you're worried about pay, I'd be fine without.
But I'd like a tiny little plot where I can plant a few of my own flowers.
I've seen so many flowers on the way here I've never seen before, and I've collected heaps of seeds already. They'll make your farm really pretty.
Farm Owner Enough, señorita, I'm busy here. There's plenty of vacant land outside the nomadic cities. You can plant flowers wherever you like.
(Can't eat 'em, can't sell 'em either. I'd be better off paying you extra than giving you a plot for flowers... Honestly, some kid you are.)
Podenco Well... excuse me, then. Very sorry to bother you.
[Podenco leaves, but she bumped into Perfumer and they fall down. Both stands back up.]
Podenco Ah! Sorry, so sorry! I didn't step on you, did I?
Perfumer Can I see the seeds you've collected?
Podenco Um?
Perfumer Sorry, I happened to overhear you just now.
Podenco Ah. Um, yes, go ahead.
A dozen or so bags of flower seeds lie in her backpack. They're carefully sorted by size and color, and wrapped in cotton cloth cut from her clothes to let them breathe.
Lena returns the seeds to the girl before her.
Perfumer Are you fond of flowers?
Podenco Mm-hm. I know you can't eat them, or make money with them, but they make the earth so pretty, and they make us all happier too.
But at the same time, they're so frail, and have trouble blooming, but then they wither so soon too, so nobody who wants to take care of them... I want to become a great gardener.
Perfumer Podenco, I can provide you a garden, and you can plant whatever flowers you like there.
Podenco Really?!
What do you need me to do in return, then?
Perfumer Love them always, and care for them well. That will be your job.
Podenco stares at Lena.
She gives her head a shake, seemingly lost in thought, deliberating whether she can trust this woman, but in no more than the blink of an eye, she gives a nod.
Podenco Just be a good gardener? I'll do it. I'll do everything I can to see my job through.
<Flashback ends here>
<Background 2>
Perfumer Alright, then. Come to me if you ever need anything.
Also, try turn in sooner than later. It's very late.
Podenco Mm-hm. I'll return to the dorms as soon as I put away these dried flowers.
[Perfumer leaves.]
With the velvets done standing, Podenco lays them out according to petal size.
Sheaf by sheaf, she wraps them up.
By now, the scent of desiccant has vanished. A floral perfume fills the whole room.
<Background black>
Three days later
<Background 4>
Rhodes Island, Perfumer's dormitory
Lena pushes the door open.
On the table is a bouquet of dried yarny velvets, and a delicately wrapped paper bag. As soon as the fastener on the side is opened, a floral scent pervades Lena's nose.
She opens it up, and inside are boronia teabags and a box of cookies.
Blue Poison Ah, Miss Lena. Have you seen Podenco?
Perfumer I just got back from the Logistics Department. Is she not in the Garden? What do you need?
Blue Poison She gave me a giant floral gift package, and disappeared before I could thank her.
Perfumer A floral gift package?
Blue Poison Flower cookies, floral tea, and dried flowers. Haha–the same one you have right there. I'm guessing everyone on the landship has one by now.
I hear she gave HR a whole stack of office paper, too, dyed in all different colors with flower extract.
I want to find her and tell her how delicious the cookies were!
Gold chrysanthemum stamens, chopped up evenly throughout the dough. Baked with care to not only not ruin the texture, but let the fragrance make them that much more appetizing.
Perfumer (So in the end, she thought of turning the spider mums into desserts. Now that was a good idea.)
Did she ask you to help her, Blue?
Blue Poison I didn't help her with anything. I just taught her how to make cookies. All credit goes to her for figuring out how to add fresh flowers.
All I said was that it should be fine.
Anyway, give her my thanks if you see her.
Oh, and let me know if you ever need help at the Garden, too.
[Blue Poison leaves.]
<Background fades out and in>
[Someone knocks the door and enters, who turned out to be Closure.]
Closure Lena! Hey there, Miss In-Your-Dorm-For-Once. Anyway, this is for you.
Perfumer What is it?
Closure Construction work to expand the Convalescent Garden, approved. Dr. Amiya already signed off.
We'll move some of the energy storage facilities to another part of the ship, and that should give you plenty more floorspace. We'll start the evaluation next week, and if all's good, it's hammer time.
Perfumer Why so suddenly?
Closure Is it? You've applied, like, a couple of times already.
Perfumer But you never gave it the nod...
Closure Well, I was pretty tied up before.
There's been a bunch of operators requesting to expand the Garden, lately. Blue Poison, for one... Honestly, I expected her apply for more ovens.
Rhodes needs a bigger chill-out area, anyway. The gaming room and the Garden are both getting cramped. And obviously, "let's expand the gaming room" ain't exactly an idea with legs.
Oh, yeah, I got an application from a Convalescent Garden op too.
Perfumer ......
Closure It said you had to clear out a whole bunch of plants and stuff before you could cultivate what Medical needed.
It also said she was willing to make her own dorm part of the expansion, and she could move the arbors in herself for max plant care convenience.
Perfumer Podenco...
Closure Point is, we summed up our ops' views and reached this conclusion. Not to mention Medical needs more stuff by the day–expanding the Garden was always on Engineering's agenda.
Perfumer Thank you, Closure.
Closure No problemo! And I mean, who could refuse flower cookies AND flower tea that good, you know? Plus, I got a double portion!
<Background 1>
Rhodes Island Convalescent Garden
[Podenco walks around the Garden...]
Podenco Summer wisteria, fire croton, hiemalgrass... mille-feuille mugwort...
[...checking the flowers...]
Podenco Schulers, didymo plums...
[...as Perfumer shows up.]
Podenco Oh, Miss Lena, you're here.
I just double-checked all the species and quantities.
Perfumer I've verified them myself. The labelling for all the necessary water and soil nutrient ratios is fine. This new batch of plants for Medical is settling in well.
Oh, you must be so tired, Podenco.
Podenco You too, Miss Lena.
We'll need to ask Procurement for two additional orders of nutrient solution.
Perfumer Alright.
That reminds me, Podenco. The Engineering Department gave the expansion application the go-ahead.
Podenco !!
Perfumer Mm-hmm.
Podenco That’s amazing!
Perfumer We'll be twice as big. We're also planning to build two new PRTS-assisted smart greenhouses, specifically catered to the cultivation and exhibition of flowers.
And you, Podenco, will be in charge of managing them.
Podenco Huh? Me? But I'm just an ordinary gardener.
Perfumer I know you can handle it.
You always see the job through to the end.
But once construction is done, other operators will be dropping by to relax day in, day out. They'll need to be welcomed properly, and we'll only grow busier with cultivation.
Podenco I-I could move straight into the Garden, then.
Perfumer Hahah. Taking care of flowers starts with taking good care of yourself. Don't mind me, now, I'll be going to see Closure about ordering that nutrient solution.
[As Podenco leaves...]
Perfumer Oh, and Podenco, your cookies were delicious.
[Podenco turns back.]
Podenco Mm!


  1. "Miss" in Spanish