Learning on the Job?

Day 0 of Month 6 of Turn 2720
Half Moon Bay Weyr - Lagoon
A sandy beach running along the edge of the lagoon, between the sparkling waters and the bowl. Given the weyr's tropical climate, riders and dragons can be seen playing in the water nearby or a dolphin can be seen cavorting nearly turn-round. At other times seacraft can be seen coming in under the arch to dock. The lagoon is large enough to fill a quarter of the length of the bowl.


Even the patient, loyal, steadfast Ysgieuth needs a break from the terror that is Chauth once in a while - and so, it seems does his rider. For, while it is rather early, Rukbat has risen, and the pair are on the shores of the lagoon, Ysgieuth in the process of creeping into the water, while Z'tan remains firmly on the sand. A letter was delivered via firelizard to the candidate barracks far too early, directing whatever (un)lucky candidate was assigned to shadow the Weyrleader to a new meeting point, and so - he waits!

The summons cannot be ignored - even if it wasn't the Weyrleader she's shadowing, Etinei would be at the beck and call of whatever rider she's assigned to. The girl has tired shadows under her eyes as she steps onto the lagoon's sands, sandals leaving the slightest of footprints as she crosses to the obvious figure of Z'tan waiting there. A glance beyond the man reveals Ysgieuth in the water. Slowing to a halt, Etinei gives the man a respectful salute. "You asked for me, Weyrleader?" She asks, voice soft, looking up at him expectantly.

There is a voice, and the voice is drawing Z'tan's attention, the young man turning around, a grin appearing on his face after a moment. "Oh! Well, that worked out. I was afraid it was going to be one of the terrifying ones." Of course, terrifying could apply to so many in so many different ways. Waving a hand for her to come closer and flop, he is flopping on to the sand himself. "What was your name?" He asks after a moment, peeking at her, while Ysgie swivels to peer back at the candidate from the shallows.

Z'tan seems way friendlier than Etinei was expecting, and she returns his grin with a small smile. There is a flicker of confusion in her eyes about the 'terrifying ones'. "I hope I'm not…." She says, before following his instructions to…well, she doesn't flop down, but rather settles herself down, cross-legged on the sand. "Etinei," she supplies readily, and, sensing that someone else is watching her, looks over at the bronze again. She stares back for a moment, unsure if she should call a hello to him? But no, Z'tan is the one speaking to her, so she focuses her attention back on the man.

Z'tan, definitely not terrifying - just probably not ever going to win the award for 'best ever Weyrleader'! "Oh, no, there's one.. I don't know, she has a little book. I.. she.." And Zel just shakes his head, dismissing the whole train of thought. "And she is Ysgie's candidate, so I really don't know what to do with her." The bronze has an opinion, it seems, for he is rumbling once before sliding into deeper water, enjoying a change from the hot, glittery sands. "Etinei.. You were brought in from somewhere else, right?" A pause, "Are you settling in alright? No issues.. with the terrible ones, or anything?"

Etinei blinks at Z'tan's apparent fear(?) of the candidate with the book. She could get distracted trying to work out which candidate that is, but she's forcing herself to focus on the conversation at hand. "Oh. Is there something riders are supposed to do with the candidates they Search?" Should T'san be doing something for her? Or vice versa? There's a glance at Ysgie as he rumbles, curiosity evident on the girl's face as she looks at Z'tan again. "Yes, from Monaco Bay Weyr." She considers his question very seriously. "I haven't had any issues, no." Those mysterious terrible ones again! "Is there something I need to be aware of?" Is her question back at the Weyrleader, a hint of worry in her face.

"Oh, no. He is just.. I guess protective isn't quite the right word. Incredibly interested in her success?" Zel clarifies after a moment, eying the bronze in the water. "Her, and Petra.. Petra was a special gift for Chauth." Poor Petra. "There -shouldn't- but, but I mean. Candidates will be candidates, and I don't know." How noncommittal and confusion-inducing of the Weyrleader to say that. "Oh! Monaco! My daughter is there. I'm honestly surprised the Weyr is still standing.." He chuckles to himself, before he glances back at her. "I hope you didn't have great plans for today."

Etinei slowly nods at Z'tan's clarification about his dragon's interest in his candidates. The nodding continues, though the look on her face says that there has been absolutely no clarification at all about the terrifying candidates thing. Let's just move on to the Monaco topic. "Oh. Maybe I met her?" She says, seeing as that wouldn't be the weirdest thing on Pern, given the whole Aishen/Wendryn coincidence. She shakes her head emphatically when he asks about plans. "No, sir. I'm supposed to be helping you out as much as you need today?" There are strong hints of 'I think?' in the way she says that - this whole candidacy thing is still new to her.

"Her name is Ellira, she's.. almost four. Shards, I need to get her a turn-day present." Zel talks to himself for a moment, before shaking his head, attention shifting back to Etinei. "Her mom is weyrwoman Jazhira.. but she is fostered, so she tends to run with the herd, as it were." Because herd is the best way to describe the group of small children stampeding through the Weyr. "Well, I'm sorry if its a disappointment, but I plan on sitting here for a while, and then if you are up for a bit of fun, we'll go bouncing around. I have some, uh, friends to see." Though, at least with a candidate along, they are unlikely to be 'special' friends.

Ah. Maybe not then, on the knowing-his-daughter front, since Etinei tends to stay away from children as much as possible. "Oh. Do you visit her often?" Dragonriders and their ways of life are still something of a mystery to her, this not being written down in books that she can study extensively, but she's still determined to learn all about it. "I don't mind being here…it reminds me of the beach at Monaco Bay." She looks out at the water a moment, a thought occurring to her. "I was going to have surfing lessons, before I was…before I came here." So those never happened, apparently!

Probably a wise choice, honestly, staying away from children. Particularly ones that you aren't responsible for. "When I can - between Chauth and Szeta both being on the sands, its been a bit harder lately, but my da has been picking her up for me. She is absolutely entranced by his lifemate - I think Ysgie might be a little jealous." The bronze has begun to make his way out from the lagoon, just in time to catch that comment, making a sound that seems to say he is most definitely NOT. "Surfing, hm?" A pause, and Zel glances at the water. "I can't say I am any good, but, I wager a few people are. Maybe you could all use a day off to learn." Plotting? Why yes. "Consider it.. bonding."

"She sounds very lucky," Etinei contents herself with saying, as (to her at least) it sounds polite and the right thing to reply with. The bronze's movement catches her eye, and she blinks at the sound he makes. Because they're talking about him? Surfing distracts her - or the talk of it, at least - and she watches the way Z'tan looks at the water. "I wouldn't complain if I could learn…I was sort of…told to learn by the Weyrwoman." That's not the WHOLE story, but it's basically the truth!

"She's a spoiled little wherry-spawn, but I am not sure what else I'd expect, honestly." At least he is honest about it. "Oh?" Zel asks, intrigued by the mention of the weyrwoman telling Etinei to learn to surf. "Reya, I assume? I mean.." He coughs, and then clears his throat. "Somehow I doubt those words will ever be said by Jaz." The bronze dips as he emerges onto the sand, carrying himself with care to not gather sand all over his damp hide, settling for perching rather primly - especially given his size - on the still damp portion of the sand.

Etinei has no idea what to say to the Weyrleader calling his own daughter wherry-spawn, so she skips awkwardly over that and trips into the Reya/Jazhira talk. "Reya, yes. It would be nice if I could learn, then if I do go back to Monaco I can show her that I listened to her." Ah, but, there are other things she wants to talk about, now she's getting more at ease with Z'tan. Placin gher hands on the sand, pressing down to feel the grains between her fingers, she looks down at that as she says, "Weyrleader…may I ask you about being a rider? I don't know many riders at all, really, and there are things I…probably should have known before I said yes to Search."

"I bet she would enjoy that, knowing her." Zel comments, before Etinei seems to hesitate a bit, forehead creasing momentarily as she asks her question, before he is relaxing and grinning at her. "Of course! I suppose technically that's what this is suppose to be about, maybe." He shrugs, "Learning by doing, and all that." Another shrug, and he leans back on his elbows, eyes on the candidate. "What would you like to know?" Ysgie, it seems, is ready to add his own opinions, given that he is now looming a bit, far more interested in this turn in the conversation.

Etinei manages to force herself to look at Z'tan again, and finds herself relieved that the man is so openly welcoming to questions. Ysgieuth's more interested presence earns him a quick look, that indecision about addressing the dragon directly there again in her, but it's to Z'tan that she supplies her question. "It's - probably the most stupid one." Hesitation, fingers curling in the sand. "Does it change your life? People keep acting like it does, but all the riders I've met seem…normal."

Ysgieuth seems to be the first to answer her question, the bronze crouching down to turn one large, faceted eye on the candidate, speaking to her directly. « Changes are not always abnormal. » As if that is the simplest thing in the world to the bronze. Zel, meanwhile, is a bit slower to speak, biting his lip as he seems to ponder his words. "I mean. Of course it does. You are never alone again - not that I mean you want to be but - there is always someone else, in your thoughts, in your mind, with you." His tone is rather serious, for all his earlier cheerfulness. Eyes shift to rest on Ysgie, a distant look on his face as he smiles. "But, I am still me.. and I still do the things I do. I just.. have a giant meat-eating partner to help me do them." Pause. "It.. Weyrlinghood helps give you time to adjust. I won't say it wasn't an adjustment."

Oh, hello dragon's voice in her head! This is another new thing to add to the list, but Etinei holds up surprisingly well, not looking too alarmed. Ysgie isn't scary sounding, so that's probably the best introduction she's going to get to having someone speak mentally to her. "Oh," she murmurs at his declaration; then it's Z'tan that she watches, as he has to take time to consider his thoughts on the matter. The fact that they're not saying exactly the same thing - now that's very interesting to her. "I see." She looks between dragon and rider, contemplative. "And it's not intrusive? To always have someone else in your mind all the time?" There's no accusation in Etinei's tone, merely a curious one trying to get all the facts to form her own opinion.

There is a dismissive snort from Ysgieuth - how could *he* ever be *intrusive*, but Z'tan has a different reaction - an awkward choking chuckle, and.. what's that, a blush? A moment to recover and Z'tan clears his throat. "Oh, it definitely can be. Especially when they are young, and you aren't really prepared." Narrowing his gaze at Ysgie, the Weyrleader drops his voice, even though the bronze is more than aware of what's being said about him. "*Someone* liked to share all sorts of things with the rest of the class. Things that aren't meant to be shared." Weyrlings, man.

Etinei wasn't expecting that reaction, and she blinks at the Weyrleader in unconcealed surprise. She isn't getting at all what he's implying about young dragons, though by the time he's continued in that lower voice (and here Ysgie gets a glance, because should they be discussing this in front of him??), Etinei has started to understand. "Oh." Her voice is hushed, though not to be secretive, but more because she gets it. The flush on her cheeks is evident of that. "Oh, no. Do they learn not to?" She sounds pretty worried about this aspect of rider life.

"I mean, its a uh, joint effort. You sort of learn to shield things like that, and they learn that it isn't ok to go around telling everyone else what you were thinking of. Isn't that right, Ysgie?" The bronze snorts, tinges of yellow appearing in his faceted eyes, before he is turning around to sit facing the other way, blatantly ignoring them. And then, it is Zel's turn to roll his eyes, and he just shakes his head. "It, is just part of what happens. You're embarrassed for a minute, but then you have too many other things to do, to really dwell on it." And hopefully no one else remembers?

Etinei files that information away under 'Useful'. "I've heard from some people that they're - dragons I mean - they're just babies, really, at first. And you have to sort of teach them things, as you're learning things, too?" There's something in her eyes that likes the idea of learning, a brightness to them as she looks at poor Ysgie's back. "Is it like candidacy? Being busy all the time, I mean?"

"Really, really big babies who I swear you can watch growing, if you look closely enough." Zel agrees with the statement, "Shards, I am convinced that Ysgie would get bigger and hungrier between me starting to shove meat in his maw, to when we were done." A soft sigh, and Zel's flop backwards onto the sandy beach is finally completed, one arm pillowed behind his head as he stares up at the sky. "Shards, I mean, yes, but, also it is so much worse. There are no off days. They don't stop eating, they don't stop growing, they don't stop leaving terrible messes behind them. You chop and you feed and you bath and you oil and you muck.. and then most days you have lessons on top of it. Even on days you don't have lessons, they are picking your brain." Pause. "I hope no one told you weyrlinghood was easy. I mean, I would do it a thousand times over to keep Ysgie, but.. it is not easy." He spares a glance at Etinei. "Just, yeah."

Etinei sits in silence, absorbing this info dump from Z'tan. There's not a bit of complaint, nor any attempt to butt in with questions. No, she's just putting all these little snippets of information in amongst what she's already gleaned about Weyrlinghood, building an entire picture. When it seems that Z'tan is finished, she reassures him. "No, nobody's said it was easy. But…I didn't know just how hard it is." She sits in silent thought, gaze distant, even though she's looking own at her hands where they are pressed in the sand before her. "If it wasn't worth it, I suppose nobody would ever want to be a rider." She seems to have come to this conclusion, if nothing else but to justify her spur of the moment decision to come here in the first place.

Ysgieuth seems to have finished sulking, for the bronze is turning around, shuffling to drop his very large head very close to Etinei, one eye watching her. Look at that face, how could you not want a face like that of your own. Z'tan rolls his eyes at the bronze as he props himself up on one elbow. "I almost feel as if they dance around it though, because once you impress.. you are stuck, right? You can't give them up." There is a slightly worried snort from Ysgie at that, eye whirling orange. "You know I wouldn't, Ysgie. But, I mean, I didn't know exactly what I got myself into, until I was ankle deep in it." Possibly literally - though what 'it' is can be left to the imagination. "And shards, my parents are both riders."

Ysgieuth is bigger than the only other dragon Etinei's got up close and personal with, and she gives him a soft little smile. That's one big eye! Something Z'tan has said intrigues her, and she peers at the facets of Ysgie's eye for a moment, letting the thought come to maturity. "If both your parents are riders…and you still can't know exactly what it's like…I suppose I won't be able to understand it. Unless I do Impress." She lifts a hand towards Ysgieuth, her skin only slightly speckled with sand, and glances at Z'tan. "May I?"

Ysgieuth answers, even as the question is posed to Z'tan, the bronze wiggling his head carefully closer, nudging that hand ever so gently. Zel just mmms softly at her statement, nodding as he flops backwards onto the sand once more. "I mean, I'll answer questions for you all day long, but, they don't really do it justice." Pausing, "You've touched the eggs - take that and just.. all the time, and so much more than what you get from them." A sigh, "Sorry, like I said, its hard to explain."

The bronze's hide is warm under her hand, and Etinei presses firmly, feeling the texture of it before remembering where she scratched T'san's green. Behind the eye ridges - she'll try there on Ysgieuth, remembering to apply plenty of pressure. Sarendaeth didn't feel delicate, and neither does this guy. She considers Z'tan's latest, about the eggs, and looks…a touch troubled. "Some of those eggs are so…intense," she says softly. "Are some dragons like that?"

A snort-laugh escapes from Zel at that question, "I mean, have you meant Chauth? And Zach?" He shakes his head a little, lifting an arm to cover his eyes with an elbow. "Certainly, some of them are .. more intense in the shell than out.. I don't know if whoever they find tempers them, or what, but." A shake of his head. "I mean, given some of the reactions, I am a bit worried what Ysgie and Chauth have done." The bronze rumbles something rude at his life mate, before shifting and making it easier to scratch a particular spot above his eye ridge. Yes yes, good candidate.

Etinei blinks over at Z'tan. Snort-laughing? What has she said- oh, right. "I've…been told about Chauth." By her rider's cousin, no less. She feels Ysgieuth shift his head, and obligingly scratches at the spot of hide that's now beneath her slim fingers. She doesn't have much in the way of fingernails, these being bitten short, but she still does her best to scritch with her fingertips. "I do like some of the eggs," she tries to undo any offence she might have caused by mentioning the intensity of those certain eggs. "It's like they're trying to learn about us, while we're trying to learn about them." Her voice brightens as she says that, the memory of her personal favourites there in her mind.

"I mean, I love Tanit, but.. Chauth is.. intense." It seems that Zel really likes that word choice, particularly for the gold in question. "Oh, I mean, they all have their own quirks. And I am sure it will be fine, as long as we don't end up with ten little Zych clones." A grumble from Ysgie implies the bronze hopes so as well, even as he lids his eyes under Etinei's attention. "They are just babies, even now. And once they come out, they'll be learning even more, and it's always interesting." Sure, interesting. Chaotic, perhaps?

Interesting - Etinei likes interesting. Can she forget about intense and focus on interesting? If she keeps her mind on the eggs she's enjoyed interacting with, probably. "Thank you, for putting up with my questions." She gives Z'tan a smile that's a fraction more confident now, while he hand continues scratch-scratching at Ysgie's face, the grumble from the bronze vibrating up through her fingers and making her shiver. Weird feeling!

"I mean, I think that's what I am here for. Thank you for not insisting on the whole.. learning on the job, thing." Why yes, that is a grateful smile from the Weyrleader lounging on the beach. "Do you have any others?" He adds after a moment, taking advantage of the potential distraction as a further excuse not to move. The bronze, it seems, is just as content, another lid slipping over his eyes as his head drops the rest of the way onto the beach.

Maybe they're both learning as they go along, if Z'tan is wondering what he's here to do with the candidates shadowing him? "I like to try and learn what I can." Etinei comments, before she considers his question. Does she? Ah, there is one, her thoughts going back to the earlier conversation. "You mentioned - bouncing around," she uses his phrasing, finding it foreign but amusing on her tongue. "Where were you going to go? Did you want me to come along, too?" I that what a rider intern is meant to do? Stick with their rider the whole day?

"If you'd like to.." Zel offers, even as he props himself first to his elbows, then to sit upright, brushing the sand off his shoulder and out of his hair. "Monaco Bay, then Igen, and then if we've time, hopefully Telgar Hold." A pause, and he glances at Ysgieuth. "Need to pick up some things, and drop them off.. And hopefully get some good prices for them, because shards, Faranth knows we could use it." Odd statement is not elaborated on, and the trader is moving to get to his feet, offering her a hand up. "It'll be good for you - More of what normal riders do, less of what Weyrleaders do." Which is boring, let me tell you. "Ready?" Ysgie is! The bronze stretches, offering a leg for them to go start the next round of learning.

Monaco Bay! And also new places, to her, but Monaco. Maybe she'll bump into someone she knows? Etinei opts not to question the prices thing, because Faranth knows he's still the Weyrleader and she's the candidate, and she's already asked quite a few questions today. She wants to save any more for if she thinks of anything else rider-related. Taking his offered hand, she gets to her feet, brushing the sand from her shorts. "Thank you. It all sounds good - learning on the job," she borrows another phrase from him, smiling before she attends to the task of climbing up Ysgie's leg to his neck, more than ready for some more education!


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