Candidates In Exile

Western Weyr - Candidate Dorm
Carved from a natural bubble in the volcanic stone, this small dorm room has room enough to hold around two dozen occupants comfortably. Along the walls are stationed sets of cots and clothes presses, each made up to the standards of the weyrwoman. Above, the soft white light from electric lamps cast down during waking hours.


Ila'den? He's a monster of a man - maybe not in height, like Zi'on is, but certainly in build. That's why when he does ridiculous things like he's doing now, it's all the more… off-putting. Somewhere between the trip from the Weyrleader's office to the candidate barracks, Ila'den kidnapped an apron (to which he would argue he looks /quite/ manly in), and a big metal pot with a stirring spoon to swat it with. BANGBANGBANGBANG. Absolutely unnecessary. "Oi! Candidates!" And here comes the Weyrsecond's stupid face, grinning like a proverbial Christmas has come early as he leans against the wall right near the entrance. Don't worry, Zi. He left enough room for you to slip on in. The candidates who jump and turn terrified eyes onto him make the entire debacle worth it. "Good morning!" Seriously. All that to say hello (maybe, not quite). Jerk.

Naeda is an early riser, as some of her annoyed fellow candidates can attest. But she doesn't usually rise /this/ early. The banging jolts her awake, and she immediately becomes entangled in her bedsheet like a panicked kitten, thrashing about. She ends up toppling out of the cot, wrapped up in said sheet. When she realizes ther is no immediate cause for panic, she scowls tiredly, attempting to tie the bedsheet into a makeshift toga so that she can get up with a modicum of dignity. Grumble grumble.

Zi'on could… not find an apron long enough to cover his junk. He is too tall! Instead, he is wearing naught but a speedo. The two of them have planned this out. The bronzer has supplies, strapped to Suldith outside. Few supplies, but enough. He follows Ila'den down to the barracks, his ears plugged. Once Ila'den has stopped, Zi'on starts barking out orders. "Clothes and shoes, clothes and shoes! Put them on! Get up! You can only bring what you can fit in here!" The bronzer tosses a couple small knapsacks to the candidates. "You've got five minutes! Line up at the door!"

Rhysanna is not, as her fellow candidates would certainly be aware of by now, a morning person. Like many of the others, she's torn from her rest by Ila'den's (stupid, expletive deleted) pot; unlike many of them, the bleary-eyed, still-mostly-asleep face she presents as she sits bolt upright is not forgiving. Or even comprehending, really. Nor do Zi'on's barked orders seem to help much, except that she blinks owlishly a few times, and then rubs at her eyes. Maybe she's still asleep.

"You heard the man! Shoes, clothes! Rise and shine, the lot of you!" And, because there are those like Rhysanna who seem to not /wake up/ from the first assault of eardrums, Ila'den leans toward's Zi with a crap-eating grin. "Ears," is all the warning he gives the weyrleader before banging on it again. "Up, up!" And then he's pushing from the wall to step around those who're fallen casualties in an attempt to escape their sheets. Namely, those who might have earplugs or the like protecting them. He will lean over them and bang until they jolt upright with looks of /horror/. Worth it! "You're running out of time. Come on, come on. Get moving!"

Naeda eyes the poorly dressed riders, frowning a little. She remains half-convinced that she's just having some sort of particularly cruel dream in which she feels unaccountably tired. She continues to grumble under her breath as she wriggles out of her sheet and into clothes chosen seemingly at random, as well as her favorite pair of shoes.

Zi'on is busy physically pulling candidates out of their beds and getting them on their feet. "Anyone not in the line in three minutes will have to do all their chores before we leave!" Zi'on plugs his ears as Ila'den goes back to banging that pot. "Up up!" No one seems to be interested in the knapsacks yet, and in three minutes Zi'on is going to pick them up, empty or not! "Rhysa! Out of bed! Let's go!"

Rhysanna's awake, she's awake, honestly, she's awake now! Still pre-verbal, she can only really blink her comprehension - but, as tempting as it is to pull a pillow over her ears and hide, no doubt, she instead gives in to the inevitable and begins struggling out of bed and into the required clothes. This, at least, she can apparently do without even needing to think; and while it's pretty likely her packing will not be of the terribly useful variety, she's evidently capable of that too. Sort of. A great yawn punctuates all of that; yes, Rhysa's still blinking sleepily.

It would seem that a few of the candidates had sense enough, despite the rude awakening, to stuff the knapsacks with… well… whatever it is, Ila'den isn't paying it very much mind, is he? He's too busy ushering the stragglers out of bed. "Up and at 'em, there you go!" Grey eyes jump up to Zi'on, just as the Weyrleader picks up the knacksacks and heads out. It's his signal! "Time is up! Leave whatever you're doing and go! Come on! Out, out! Time is of the essence!" BANGBANGBANG. Get moving! To the outside world you go!

Naeda stuffs items at random into her knapsack. What could be useful for this mysterious journey. Change of clothes? Sure. Waterskin? Seems useful. Knife? Why not. Having given packing her best guess, she lines up and looks grumpy.

Rhysanna … still hasn't reached the verbal stage of wakefulness. Really, she's just following blindly at this point - case in point would be that she hasn't actually even asked where they're going. So this should go well! At least she can follow instructions.


Emerald Isle - Sunset Beach
Soft pink sand lays along this stretch of seaside like a comfortable blanket. Its hue is a soft one and comforting to look upon, as is the smooth aquamarine of the ocean. Although the beach is beautiful at all times or day and night, it is the most profound at sunset when the sky is painted with the soft pastel colours of a setting sun. Dramatic reds, pinks and peachs stretch into one another, the seperate colours' boundaries left undefined, but as it gets darker you can notice a light purple continuely creeping into the others. Even the pink sand's shade changes, ranging from containing an almost fiery element to being a smooth pinkish purple.


And here they are! Those that managed to make it out. It's not a long ride from Western proper, just a few clicks away on dragon back. Zi'on has loaded up any supplies and as many candidates as Suldith can manage to fit. Once they arrive at the beach, he unstraps those that need a hand, before sliding down to the sand himself. Then he starts undoing the supplies. "Okay! We've got one tent and a couple of sleeping rolls. Some towels and blankets. Some firestone. Couple water jugs. Pots and pans. A few knives and an axe. And some dried meat and fruit and nuts just in case." He dusts off his hands and tosses everything down into the sand. "Well. Have at it." The bronzer pulls out a towel from their supplies, and sets it out to lay on it. Suldith just… goes about sunning himself.

Naeda still looks a little grumpy about having been stirred out of her bed so early in the morning. She eyes the beach and the supplies with a persistant frown that doesn't seem to be going anywhere. "Have at… what, exactly?" She asks, confused. "What are we doing here?"

The combination of time and fresh air has done a lot to wake Rhysanna up properly, though it still can't be said that she looks especially pleased, either. Naeda's question prompts the dark haired candidate to open her mouth for something other than a yawn for the first time: "Are we… staying out here?" A pause. And then, "Is this some kind of test?" She sounds bewildered, frowning in Naeda's direction - solidarity! - rather than at the riders.

Ila'den is helping candidates down as well, though his bronze is considerably less friendly and snaps at quite a few of them with a low growl. Ila'den seems unperturbed by Teimyrth's behavior - a disturbing thought to think that maybe this is… /normal/. Once he's done, he helps Zi'on with the remaining supplies, and then grabs a towel for himself. The Weyrsecond is boring, and pulling on his leathers and a long-sleeved tunic to replace the apron he'd woken them all up in. He'll settle himself, and then raise his brows. "Well /telling/ you takes all of the fun out of it. Just do what seems best with what you see, Naeda." He's not going to be helpful, not in the slightest. They have Sorel, anyway. Rely on the former renegade for help!

Zi'on blinks at Naeda. "Oh. This is survival training. We're going to leave you all out here for a sevenday or two. So… get to surviving. There's not enough food or water to last that long." And clearly, the bronzer isn't helping them. He is sunning himself. As is his dragon. As is Ila'den, apparently. He sits up suddenly and looks around. "I call this 'melon island'." He chuckles. "And not because of the company." Then he lays back down. "Let us know if you need a hand with something fun." What a jerk!

Naeda shares a moment of frowning with Rhysanna before that grumpy frown gets turned to Ila'den. She eyes the surroundings, trying to figure out what to do with those incredibly vague instructions. "I see a beach. The best I can do with that is… probably sunbathing. Or swimming." Then Zi'on makes things a little more clear, and her eyes go wide with alarm. "Oh, shards." She sighs heavily. "/Work/. As if we hadn't had enough of that." She looks around, and plants her hands on her hips. "… I can fish with a spear. They teach us a lot of diving tricks and stuff in the dolphincraft. How can the rest of you be useful?" She defaults to being bossy. She probably thinks this is 'leadership'.

If anything, Rhysanna seems relieved when Naeda steps up: bossy or not, at least it means someone is making the effort. She gives their assembled supplies a dubious glance, that kind that makes it pretty clear she's completely outside of her comfort zone, here; having done so, she lets her gaze slide from one candidate face to the next. Shoulders drawn back, chin lifted, she says, "I don't know I'm much use at all. I can follow directions."

Ila'den laughs low and husky at the sudden plight the soon-to-be stranded candidates are being faced with. Ila'den flops onto his back, hands tucking away behind his head as he wiggles his feet. "Well, while you all sort it out, let me and Zi'on know once the games begin." He's all for watching the ladies play chicken in the water. Or something. But, while they figure it out, Ila'den is turning his head to look at Zi and arching a brow. Quieter, he's saying, "How's your eye?" HE IS NICE WHEN HE WANTS TO BE.

Sorel was off and about when Ila'den and Zi'on came to collect the candidates. Where? Who's to say, but he most definitely hasn't been getting much sleepand therefore not been around the barracksever since he heard the news. So someone had to go find him, and once he was found a rider scooped him up and dumped him off with barely a word. His arm is currently in a sling and it's been wrapped so it's pretty much immobilized. But hey, he can at least wiggle his fingers around. Apparently someone up there hates him, dumping him on an island with.. Zi'on around. The candidate groans and quickly starts walking away from the bronzeriders and towards the jungle to at least get out of the sun. If they're going to be there a while, he's not about to treat this like a summer beach vacation.

Zi'on grins. "Yep, work. What you think this is vacation? Find enough shelter and food and water for a sevenday and then it can be vacation." At least Western is tropical, so even during the night in spring time it's not terribly cold. Rain though would mean a whole other thing. "I can fish and I know where the fruit trees are here. Also I can boil water and make fire." He laughs. "But I'm not going to be doing any of those things." Zi'on is probably also going to earn himself a kick for teasing the candidates. Zi'on also raises a brow at Ila'den. "Fine. Back to normal." As for Sorel, well, the bronzer isn't going to press his luck there.

Naeda seems perfectly happy to be the bossy one. She eyes Rhysanna for a moment, pondering tasks. "Well, we're going to need a fire. And that means gathering kindling and wood. Remember that dry, long dead plants burn best. And we'll need some stones to make a proper fire pit. Do you think you could gather up what we'll need?" She spares a moment for a forlorn glare at Ila'den. She'd certainly rather be playing chicken. But she needs food! No breakfast yet today. Perhaps that partially explains the grumpy bossiness. And now, Sorel is the next target for this. "Sorel. You look like you've got some aggression to work out." The arm in the sling is eyed. "… But hunting is probably out with that. Let's see, things you can do with a single hand…" The tension between Sorel and Zi'on is noted with a frown. "… Maybe you'd be up for some scouting? They call it melon island. Maybe there's fruit we could find and harvest. Plus, we'll need a source of fresh water. If you could make even a rough map of our surrounding area, it'd be a big help." Zi'on is pouted at. This is all his fault.

Unlike Naeda, Rhysanna seems to have elected to simply ignore the lazy bronzeriders, as if she is absolutely determined not to give them the satisfaction of her disapproving glower. Teasing doesn't work if it doesn't get acknowledged. So there. The dark-haired candidate does glance after Sorel, though, eyeing his sling (and, let's face it, the candidate himself) with wariness. Or is it watchfulness? "Kindling and wood," she repeats, sounding tired. "All right." And, "Jana, you can come with me. I know you don't have any other useful skills, either. Is there anything else we should keep an eye out for?"

Sorel doesn't look terribly interested in helping Naeda, or well, anyone else at the moment. So when she's calling out to him, he stops, blinks a few times at her and then keeps on walking. "Do it yourself." Because it isn't as if he's particularly worried about surviving somewhere for a week. It's an island and it sounds like it's a rather fruitful one in terms of things that will keep them alive. He obviously doesn't really care about anyone right now, if his very cold attitude is any indication. Rhysanna is given a look and emotion flashes across his face, pity? Pain? Who knows, but it isn't a particularly pleasant one before it's gone and he's made his way to the tree line edge to plop on down in the shade.

It pretty much is Zi'on's fault. It was his idea. Also he had to suffer through it as a candidate! And no one helped them either! Though they also didn't rub it in like he's doing. The bronzer has given them enough advice. "Well, I'm going to head back to the weyr. Get a nice hot brekafast and a bath before I go to work." The bronzer gets up and shakes off his towel, then he rolls it up and tosses it with the rest of everything. The bronzer climbs up onto his dragon. "One of you has a firelizard, right?"

Naeda continues on with her plotting with Rhysanna. "Keep an eye out for any sources of fresh water, and any wild fruit or other edibles you might spot while you're foraging. Make sure you mark the locations of anything like that." Sorel's lack of obedience to her bossiness earns a quick glare and scowl. "Sorel. We are all out here as a team. You've got two options. You can be part of the team and help us make a relatively pleasant place to wait out the sevenday. /Or/ you can chose not to be part of the team, go off on your own, and fend for yourself. All I know is, I'm not sharing any of the fish I catch with anyone who isn't at least /trying/ to contribute. Got it?" Her poor mood is once again taken out on Zi'on, who receives another harsh glare.

It's that glance she gets from Sorel that has Rhysanna's own expression faltering. "We'll see what we can do," she promises Naeda. And, lower toned, "Don't be too harsh on Sorel, okay? He's injured." No, she's still not going to turn and acknowledge Zi'on, not even now that he's leaving. She's busy surviving, okay? And surely one of the candidates has a firelizard, even if it isn't her. "Jana," said authoritatively. "This way." She's carefully winding her hair up into a more secure position atop her head, doing so as she begins to walk towards the jungle. If it means she's getting closer to Sorel's position, well, it's hard to tell if that's deliberate or not.

"Who said I /ever/ wanted to be part of a team or that I needed anything from you?" Sorel snaps at Naeda but doesn't look her way again. He's just mad at the world right now. As for the firelizard question, well there are at least two western banded firelizard floating about in the air though, so probably one of them belongs to someone. Sorel isn't about to reply to the Weyrleader though. He's just going to pretend like the man doesn't exist right now because it's too raw at the moment. However, when Rhysanna starts getting closer to him, his gray eyes are following her, and a quiet, "How can you be with a man like him." Is said, not really asked. Partially because of the way that Zi is being a dick right now and rubbing shit in their face, and partly because well, all the other stuff that's been going on.

Naeda continues to glare at the departing riders, sighing heavily before she looks back to Rhysanna. She's still irritated, obviously, but her words do seem to prompt at least a little flicker of sympathy for the grumpy male candidate. She looks back at Sorel and takes a deep breath before she goes on. "Sorel, I get it." There's a pause. "What happened was… well, terrible. No getting around that. I get why you're not feeling well. But we /can't/ fall apart out here. We do that, we won't eat. Do you want to give Zi'on that satisfaction? Or do you want to show him that you're more of a man than he'll ever be?"

This time, Naeda gets a warning glance from Rhysanna, eyes silently begging her to let it go. She inhales, quietly, in answer to Sorel's words to her. The candidate walking beside her hastily heads off in the other direction: she is so getting out of dodge. But Rhysa, she hesitates. "I'm not saying he's not being a… I'm not saying he's not an ass, sometimes. But he isn't always. Though that," her hand waves in the direction where the Weyrleader was, most recently, "was clearly not cool." Or the other, but she doesn't refer to that specifically.

Oi, oi. Did Zi'on really just leave him in a den of lions? Ila'den watches the man go with a roll of his eyes, shortly before he's getting to his own feet, rolling up /his/ towel, and placing it back among the belongings of the stranded candidates. Grey eyes are moving between Rhysa, Nae, and Sorel before the bronzerider makes his way over to his younger brother. There's a half-smile for Rhysa, as Ila'den fishes something out from his back pocket. "Oi, little brother," Ila'den says, brogue thick as he hunkers down into a crouch beside his sibling. He holds out a letter then, waving his hand as if to say, 'Take it'. "This is from Kiltara. I told her that you were going to be gone a while and she asked me to give you this."

Sorel isn't grumpy, he's destroyed. There is very much a difference between the two of those things. "Get it?" His voice cracks as it strains, "Are you serious? You think you understand what I'm possibly feeling because you know that that dick of a bronzerider couldn't manage to keep it in his pants for five minutes and not fuck half the weyr?" Laughter falls away from his lips, the kind of laughter that isn't funny or makes you want to smile, instead it's the kind that makes you want to inch away, quickly. "You, my dear, have no idea about the entire situation, so don't sit there and pretend to. Go have fun ordering all the other candidates around and acting as if you know what's best for everyone, and I'll do my own damn thing. Don't worry your pretty little head. I'm already am twice the man he ever will be. I don't sleep with other people's 'mates while said mates have been searched." Douchebag move to the extreme in his book. But then he's looking back at Rhys and a clearly pissed off smile twists the corner of his lips. "Well, I guess you're well aware of what you're getting into. But I don't think I could personally ever trust someone like that. Kiltara.. is just as to blame. But he could have said no. Somewhere in that little brain of his should have said 'This is a pretty dick move when she's with someone else'. Wonder if he'd be okay with someone sleeping with you while he was unable to." The look that he gives Rhys is almost predatory. Even though /Sorel/ would never do anything to truly hurt her, he'd be lying if he said that horrible thought hadn't crossed his mind. As to Ila and his letter from Kiltara? Well he just kind of stares at his half-sib for a few moments before taking the letter and tossing it to his side. He /really/ doesn't want it right now. Maybe late he'll cool down and read it, but it doesn't look likely right now.

Sadly, Naeda doesn't seem too inclined to follow Rhysanna's wise advice of letting the conflict cool down. She gives her a quick glance. "Hold on. I've got this." There's a brief glimpse of a look that might just be a little apologetic. The reason for that might be explained by what happens next. She steps up closer, face to face with Sorel. "Sorel. Listen to me. Zi'on and I were together. He doted on me. Treated me to whatever I wanted. Then one day, he calls me into his office and dumps me like last week's rotted tubers because he's been seeing her…" She jabs a thumb back to point at Rhysanna. "… And I get tossed out without a second thought. You're /not/ the only one he's hurt by thinking with his dick. Does it suck? Yes. It's painful and shitty and I'm sorry it happened to you. But the best thing you can do? Show him just how good you can be in spite of all of it. Let's show him what we can do. He's expecting us to flounder and struggle and have a good laugh at our expense. Do you want to just accept that, or stand up for yourself?"

Oh, good. Sorel's almost predatory glance is clearly making Rhysanna uncomfortable, and Naeda's tirade? That's even worse, even with that pre-emptive apology by way of glance. The candidate bites her lip, glances at Ila'den - who at least doesn't seem to be throwing her in the middle of something, hurray! - and then glances away again. Under her breath, she lets out an expletive. And then another. "I get it, I get it," she says, frustrated but not outright annoyed. "He's screwed up. A lot. I'm not going to defend that. Or him. And I am really tired of ending up in the middle of it, believe me. But this? Is not helping." Of course, that's easy for her to say, since, you know, she's not one of the ones who has ben screwed over here, yay!

/Well/. How incredibly rude. Ila'den watches Sorel toss the paper to the side, but he doesn't make any move to retrieve it. If he's in it to punish Kiltara by punishing himself, then who is Ila'den to get between the candidate's dramatic inclinations? Naeda's words have Ila'den's brows rising up, and then he looks at Rhysa for a long, quiet moment until his focus is back on his brother. Ila'den comes out of his crouch, broad arms coming over his broad chest as Rhysa lets loose with her own frustrations. "It's okay to be upset, Sorel," Ila'den says very softly then. There's no push in his voice, no aggression - the man isn't even chiding. "But you're punishing the wrong people." Ila spares an apologetic look for Rhysa, though he doesn't reach out to touch her like one might in an attempt to comfort another. He drops his gaze back to Sorel then, with a sharper edge to his tone. "I don't see Rhysa trying to talk you out of your relationship with Kiltara, Sorel. She can figure out what she wants from Zi'on on her own."

Oh Naeda, you don't got anything when it comes to Sorel. "Together? He's together with most of the able and willing population of the weyr, Naeda. You don't have any concept of what I've gone through to be with Kit. She isn't just someone I've been with for a sevenday. I've been in love with her for turns." Many, many turns. "And I tried to save her from something horrible, and what happens? Something infinitely more horrible because of that. Something I will never, in a million turns be able to make up for." He snarls the words, so angry at himself, the self-loathing and disgust plain as day. "You have no idea what's going through my head right now. So please, do us both a favor and stop trying." Although he does manage to tack on, "I am sorry he used you as well though. No one deserves that." He falls silent a few moments, letting Rhysa's words wash over him. "Oh but you see my dear brother, I'm not trying to punish her or talk her out, I just want to understand what it is that makes that guy's cock so amazing that all the girls flock to him." Oh yes, the man is most definitely bitter. He chuckles, a low, gravely sound that can't be pleasant at all. "I'm sorry Rhysa. I just want you to be fully aware of exactly what type of guy you're getting invested with, before you're too far gone and he grinds his heel into it. Either way. Good luck." Eyes flicker back to Ila and there's definitely a 'You and me need to talk'.

Naeda rolls her eyes at the response from Sorel, sighing heavily. "You want me to leave you alone? Fine. When you've calmed down and want to help, you'll know where we are." She steps back and takes a couple deep breaths to try to calm down, her cheeks a bit red. Another apologetic look is sent to Rhysanna. "… Sorry. I thought… well, nevermind. Didn't work. This is /not/ productive. We need to be focusing on things that are. You with me?"

Rhysanna's expression is naively defiant: clearly, whatever Zi'on has done in the past, he's not going to do it to her! She's different. Her cheeks are burning, and though she opens her mouth to say something, she evidently can't come up with anything worthwhile. Without looking at any of them - which means she probably misses all the apologetic glances - she turns on her heel and storms off into the forest. Hopefully she'll come back with firewood eventually, and doesn't, you know, get lost and die. That would be inconvenient.

Sorel glances Naeda-wards again and shrugs rather impassionately at her. Great reply there Sorel! She likely won't see much of him for the majority of their stay on the island. He reaches over, grabs the letter and walks his ass into the forest. The opposite way of Rhys, because he's tormented her quite enough today. No reason to make it so she's unable to sleep in the barracks at night because he's creeped her out so badly.

Naeda watches her fellow candidates depart, sighing heavily for the umpteenth time. She rubs at her temples in frustration. "… Fine!" She calls out after both of them. "I'm going to just catch some fish myself, cook them over the fire, and have a lovely little lunch. Then we'll see how glad you are that you ditched me!" Shouting done, she sighs more. She's not looking the slightest bit happy.


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