Sweaty Guard and Super Candie!

Western Weyr - Corrals
Enclosed by a high wooden fence on one side and the steep walls of the weyr on the other is a half acre of grass that holds the Weyr's herdbeasts and wherry flock. While this dragon feeding area is smaller than most of the Weyrs on Pern, there is still enough room for a large dragon to swoop down and grab his dinner with relative ease.

Even clutchsires have to eat, Suldith being one of them. With so many eggs on the sands it's likely there's always at least two dragons around to keep an eye on things. So the bronze feels safe to nip out from time to time. However the bronze still forces his rider to come along. The small bronze has dragged the carcass he's munching on over to the fence where his rider leans, leaving a trail of gore and frightening away all the surrounding beasts. Several firelaizards circle overhead like vultures waiting for Suldith to finish, and the bronze snaps at them when they get too close. His! Zi'on for his part is eating a bubbly pie he's wrapped up earlier, looking a bit bored.

The sound of heavy breathing heralds the arrival of some of the weyr's guard, and their lone non-uniformed member, Xander. With face red and covered with beads of sweat, the young man chooses this moment to take a moment's respite from training, coming to a slow halt a few paces away from the bronzerider and his snacking lifemate, leaning over to rest his hands on his thighs as he struggles to catch his breath. It takes a few long moments before sea green eyes are able to actually /focus/ on his surroundings, and it's with an immediate straightening of his posture and a salute that Xander greets Zi'on. "Good afternoon, sir," he intones with a twitching half smile, even as he uses that saluting hand to wipe some sweat away from his brow. "I'll try not to get to close to you. I'm pretty sure I reek at the moment."

Zi'on eyes Xander for a moment. Piecing things together before he realizes where he knows him from. With the guards, of course. "Afternoon. I thought you joined up with the guards? Or do you need a letter of recommendation or something?" He chuckles. "Sorry, but I don't know you well enough." Zi'on shrugs a bit and thumbs to where Suldith is munching. "Can't be any worse than that. Or the smell of 'beast dung." Suldith peers at Xander for a moment, then stretches his neck out to give him a sniff, between licking his chops. There's a warble given to the young guard then, and a wuff for his rider before he goes back to eating.

"Eh, after talking to the captain, I thought it'd be best if I gave it a trial run first. You know, make sure I'm up to snuff," Xander confirms with a quirky half-grin, gesturing with his head towards the retreating guard squad. "It's a lot different from the Hold." There's a split second of a pause, before he adds, with a chuckle, "In a good way. Kickin' my butt, that's for sure." As for the smell of sweat, the teenager none too delicately lifts an arm and sniffs before shrugging. "Isn't that bad, I guess. Though I could use a dip in the hot springs before the day's out." At the draconic warble, Xander simply raises an eyebrow and offers the bronze a little nod. "And something to eat too. He's got the right idea."

Zi'on nods a bit, quiet while he listens to Xander's explanation. "Well, we don't keep as many guards at the weyr as most holds, on account of the dragons and all. So we expect what ones we do to be in top form. Had a bit of trouble with pirates recently, so thing're stricter now." The weyrleader doesn't say it, but there's a definite 'on my orders' implyed at the end. Zi'on just grins as Xander takes a smell of himself. "Probably a good idea about the hot springs. Though my girl gets mad if she finds out I go, since I have my own private bath." Zi'on finishes up his pastry and stuffs the wrapper into his pocket. He uses his hand to wipe the crumbs out of his beard. "Anyways. I've got some bad news for you. Or maybe good news. Your trial is over. If you want it to be, I guess." As if to explain himself, the bronzer reaches into his pocket and pulls out a nice white knot.

Xander's chin descends in agreement as Zi'on relates his views on weyr-guard as of late. "It's a good thing to have such a well disciplined group of non-riders as well," he agrees with a twitchy grin as a hand reaches up to brush sweat-laden hair out of his eyes. "I don't blame you for enforcing stricter protocol." In fact, it seems Xander is very much in agreement with this decision, based on the obvious respect the young man is showing the bronzerider. When the other man starts with his bad news, Xander almost flinches, as if expecting something very far from what that end result is. The white knot is puzzled at for a moment, as if trying to decipher if this is a test of some sort, or a true offering, before reaching slowly out a hand to take it. "So you think I'm up for this?" is his question, punctuated with a little bark of nervous laughter before he clasps fingers around the white cord. Heh.

"Well, the pirate problem wasn't just a non-rider problem. I suppose my old wing was a little lax since my father retired, more or less." Zi'on explains. Though in truth it's not much of an explanation for poor Xander, who probably doesn't know much about Zi'on or his father or their history. Zi'on holds out the knot to Xander, waiting for him to take it. He doesn't look like he's joking, though he does seem to be smiling enough. "If you can survive the rigors of guard training I'm sure a trip with the candidates should be a breeze. After all, I survived it three times. And I'm sure they'd rush me to the infirmary after one day of guard training." Zi'on nods to Xander. "I'll inform the captain myself. You'll have the rest of today to gather up your things and move to the dorms. You do know the rules, right?" Of candidacy, he means.

Humming absently, Keelyra is directing something. A mishap in the kitchens a couple weeks prior led to burned hands, so the teen isn't the one hauling buckets of slop out to the feeding pens today. Nope, a few weyrbrats roped into helping their oft sister-in-crime get that task. Her hands are wrapped in a light gauze, but that's far preferrable to the heavier layers of bandaging and goop she had been sporting for a bit. Rumour has it someone else's clumsiness led to the injury, which may be truthful. The teen herself has always owned up to such things. Reports that may have drifted about the upper echelons of weyr leadership about the status of the kitchens may have included that her healing is progressing well and she'll be back to full kitchen-duty rather soon. Her pace comes to a halt near the fence, fortunately well-enough away from Suldith. A flippant wave of hand gets the kids dumping the buckets into the feeding trough, though no herdbeast will near it at the moment. She seems content enough, for the moment, to pause and observe the exchange; one the weyr-bred girl is well-familiar with.

Company for food? Why yes please! Loxiath descends near the corral, a melodic thrum rising from the golden-brown when he dips to let V'ric off. "I'm aware, but there won't be time later. Deal with it." Stern, if softly growled words to the dragon as he pulls free his lifemate's straps. Loxiath lopes over the fenceline then, a leap large enough to allow a short glide further in. He's off to hunt, however, leaving V'ric to dump the straps on the ground for the time being. He's silent to the nearby exchange of knots though, despite brows raising ever so slightly. No, not something he'll interrupt. He does, however, move toward Keelyra, appraising the girl with a faint tilt of his head. "You're healing." A statement…with a lilt of question. After all, he may have heard /some/ of those rumors of flames and injuries and gauze.

Again, Xander's nod is slow and tinged with a bit of solemnity fit for the occaision, even if he's not /exactly/ sure what Zi'on means by his explanation of guarding at the Weyr. When he accepts his knot a moment later, it's with the same sort of discipline that he grasps the cord and pulls it back to himself. It's obviously a decision he doesn't take lightly, though it's likely he's not entirely aware of what he truly has set in motion with it all. "I'll do my best, sir," he responds, chewing on his lip before awkwardly rolling his shoulders one at a time to test his muscle stiffness. "I.. I think I know the rules. Mostly the same as being a guard recruit. No drinking, no sex, no gambling. Discipline." Xander's new mantra, it seems. Eyebrows do however raise as if he's just posed a question, rather than a statement, seeking approval.

Suldith is finishing up his meal, as is evident by the fact that he's allowing the firelizards in now to pick over the remains. Still there's a few snaps at the bold ones who wander too close to the bronze's mouth while he chews some of the leftover bones to clean out his teeth. It's the bronze that notices Keely, and he waddles over with a fat belly to warble at the girl, and also at V'ric while his dragon hunts. Zi'on for his part is distracted with Xander. If he wants he can pester the weyrleader for an explanation, or he can ask around about Zi'on's father. There were plenty of old aunties who will remember L'ton. And maybe even some young aunties. Zi'on chuckles. "Mm, that's about it. Do your chores, or at least don't get caught skipping out. I'm sure the headwoman will be happy to have another young buck she can torture carrying things here and there. No leaving the weyr without an escort either. Of the dragonriding variety."

The two words are enough to pull Keelyra's attention. She turns slightly, glancing to V'ric. There's a brief smile and she raises hands for his appraisal. Fingers are moved and hands flexed, but there's clearly a limitation still yet. She flinches briefly during the flexing, lowering hands to press them gently to her stomach. "They say I ought to be fully done in a week or two," she explains, glancing back to the pens to ensure the weyrbrats she's roped into assisting her aren't getting into trouble. Instead, they have begun to place bets on what Loxiath will kill for his meal. Suldith's greeting brings about pale gaze and she looks past V'ric to grin at the bronze. "Making a mess of yourself, Suldith?"

"Right," Xander replies with an easy grin, glacning over at Keelyra and V'ric briefly as he squeezes the cord in his hand. "I guess I'd better.. uh, get a bath and such, right? I don't think I'll make many friends smelling like this," he comments, with a gesture to his torso before taking a few steps away from the riders and young woman. "But thank you, sir. I can promise you I'll give it my all," the former-quasi-guard replies with a swift salute in the bronzerider's direction before purposefully striding off towards the weyr.

V'ric isn't long before he brings down a herdbeast, dragging the animal by the neck back toward the fence. A soft rumble is given to Suldith as well as Keelyra, although the dragon's attention is mostly on the meal at hand. Or what intends to be a meal…if the dragon could actually seem to determine where to start the whole..eating process. An almost plaintive noise comes from Loxiath, the dragon's head reaching up and over the fence again. There's a faint twitch of irritation that crosses V'ric's face, even as he looks over his shoulder. "..This could be a while." He sighs though, shifting to lean back on the fence somewhat when his attention returns to Keelyra. "…Good. No lasting damage?"

Suldith warbles to Keely, reaching his head over the fence to give her a head-nudge in the side. As if that's an answer to her question. Zi'on grins and nods to Xander. "Mm, probably a good idea. Unless you want to finish your run or whatever. You have the rest of the day to do as you like. Then you'll join the rotation tomorrow. Uh, you're welcome I guess." He peers at Xander for a moment. "Actually. You come to my office tomorrow and I'll get you sorted out." What does the bronzer have in store? Who knows. Zi'on gives Xander a nod then before heading over towards V'ric and Keely. "V'ric. Keely, how's the hands? Heard you took a burn in the kitchens. You ought to try an oven mit." He teases.

"Might have some scarring," Keelyra says, scratching at the edge of the gauze a bit. Ahh, the itchy parts of healing. Can't scratch the wound itself, but sometimes a little scratching nearby can help… "But the Healers say I should be just fine once the skin has repaired itself." She glances to Zi'on as the bronzerider makes his way over. Her initial response is a lopsided smirk. "I'll keep that in mind." She holds up the gauze-covered hands for him to see, before they drop to her sides once more. "I'm almost back to full duties in the kitchens, but lifting heavier things is still a bit out." Hence the weyrbrats a bit further down the corral fence fooling around and hollering at the dragons.

V'ric gives a brief, respectful nod when Zi'on heads over, gaze briefly tracking the new candidate that dashes off across the bowl. "Zi'on." They have such in depth conversations, the two of them! The brownrider tilts his head just a bit though, offering another quick glare at Loxiath. "No. You cannot save it until after dark. Eat." A breath puffed out, arms fold over his chest, and he nods to the notation of how well Keelyra's healing has been going. "Then you should be perfectly fine by the hatching. Yes?"

Zi'on nods to Keely. "Some scarring can be sexy. Though I'm not sure about scarring on your hands exactly." He strokes his beard in thought. "Maybe on the back. Or thigh." As if Keely wants to aim the next burn she gets. "Well that's good at least, that you're almost healed up." Suldith charges the group of youngster, roaring and snapping his jaws to scatter them like the herdbeasts. Zi'on just shakes his head. He looks to V'ric then. "You've heard the good news I'd take it. That Iris is pregnant again. Ila better get her on the tea, or he'll have as many kids as my father." Zi'on laughs and pats V'ric on the shoulder. A pot-shot at Ila? Who can pass that up?

"Oh, of course. I'll be well likely before the little scared kids are being ushered out to touch them. The head cook would murder me if I couldn't help with the hatching feast." Keelyra grins briefly, before glancing to the pens as the bronze has a field day giving animals heart attacks. Zi'on's news about Iris gains a bit of a tightening of features in response, but the girl does not utter anything in response to that. Instead, she focuses on prior words. "I'd rather have no scars, to be honest. The process of getting them is far from enjoyable."

Scars /can/ be sexy. V'ric has them, after all. There's a slow look at Zi'on though about the happy news, a blank stare given. "..No, I hadn't heard." But then again, with eggs popping out, and people running around, maybe things just got…hectic. Rest assured, V'ric will likely be having /words/ with his friend. "I'll make sure to suggest it." And of course make Ila'den /very/ aware of exactly who the suggestion came from. Keelyra gets a swift look, however, snorting. "I'm sure you'll be able to help out..some..with the feast. At least until you're called to the sands." His eyes narrow, one hand fishing a white knot out of a pocket. Because obviously, all riders carry those things around everywhere when there's eggs on the sand. Being prepared is good! "Unless you don't want to."

Suldith is actually chasing the youngsters who were shouting at him and Loxiath. Hoping to give them a scare, apparently. Or he's just having a bit of fun while his rider is distracted. "No scars is good, too." Zi'on says, leaning against the fence. "I've only got some on my legs from falling as a weyrbrat. Now they're mostly covered by hair." And Faranth knows Zi'on isn't lacking of hair. He grins to V'ric about Ila'den. "Well, now you have. I heard Iris told him after the hatching. But I heard it through the grapevine." Zi'on doesn't really care if Ila knows who the suggestion came from. Tea wasn't infallible, the bronzer knew that for certain. Zi'on grins to Keely as V'ric offers her a white knot. Of course they all carried them. Even Zi'on has a pocket full.

Blue eyes lock into those dangling white threads. Jaw works a bit, primarily in clenching. For a weyr-bred, being offered a second run is vastly different than that first, wide-eyed and awe-filled offered. It's a moment before she realizes she wasn't even properly breathing. Too much going on in that noggin. She draws a slow breath, hand rising to slowly reach for the knot. "It'd be crazy of me to not step out there again, wouldn't it." More of a statement than a question. Surprisingly, it's Zi'on she looks to for some kind of confirmation. "Is it easier?" The second time, her eyes and lilt of words seem to imply. The kids seem to be having a grand time being chased by the bronze - surely it'll translate into epic tales of bravery come lights out in the lower caverns.

"Yes." At least, that's V'ric's answer to the first, statement-question. But the brownrider glances over nonetheless. After all, Zi'on would certainly know about sanding multiple times. He releases the knot though, calmly allowing Keelyra to take it for her own. "Good. At least I can say I gave one away." With the amount of interaction the brownrider has with people generally, he's lucky to have found a candidate at all!

It was different? Well, it was for Zi'on, for certain. He'd actually been searched by dragons, and not by his father handing him a knot to get him out of his hair. "Probably. If you want to impress, that is." Zi'on laughs a bit. He shrugs a bit at Keely. "Maybe. It's more fun I guess, the second time. Less scary. I guess being older helps, too. You can help Xander get adjusted. He's holdbred." Xander being the lad that Zi'on was searching before, of course. Suldith has turned chasing them into a game, though the bronze is growing a bit bored with it. "I'll put a gold star next to your name for the week, V'ric." He teases.
The knot is twisted and turned in Keely's fingers, loosely grasped, but still help firm enough to not drop it. "I suppose I should feel honored," she says to V'ric, glancing between the two riders. There's a glimmer in her eye, the moment of self-awareness sliding away. "That V'ric felt me worth enough to bestow a single knot upon." That brings about more contemplation, but certainly of a silly nature; "What if I had /two/ candidate knots. Could I be a super-candidate?"

There it is. A small hint of a smile that creeps across V'ric's face. "You want extra, get them from him." He jerks a thumb towards Zi'on, with his pockets of knots. Eyes eyes narrow…just a bit at the Weyrleader though, before nodding. "I accept." Gold stars…are so important! "I'm sure they'll stick you to chores for now, that are easy on your hands," he offers at Keelyra, before the browrider moves back along the fence again. Loxiath is finally ready, it seems, having eaten most of his herdbeast, if reluctantly.

Zi'on laughs. "Double knot means double chores. You want double chores? Here, I'll give you my whole pocket of knots, and you can do everyone's chores. I'm sure you'd be really popular with your class." He reaches into his pocket and pulls out a wad of white knots, holding them out to Keely. He won't actually give her more than one though. Also how many people did he plan on searching, anyways? He's got at least fifteen knots in his pocket. This reeks of trouble. He shoves the knots back into his pocket then and gives V'ric a pat on the back. "Gold star it is!" Why does Zi'on always pat V'ric? Well, because look at how uncomfortable he looks. V'ric makes Th'ero look relaxed.

Provided Zi'on does let her, Keelyra reaches out and snags a second knot. Why not? It can be a new thing. Super Candidate. More chores than a speeding dragon! "I don't mind doing extra chores," she admits, though in a hushed voice like she's sharing a great secret. "I like the variety. I love cooking, but the kitchens get boring." She fiddles with the fibers in hand now, grinning briefly. Brow furrows somewhat, however. "I should get someone to buy me a drink now, before I officially can't have them tomorrow."

The real reason? Because Zi'on likes to touch V'ric. It's the only answer there could be! Alas, V'ric can't be buying anyone drinks, he's already restrapping Loxiath and climbing back on the lithe brown. "..Welcome back to candidacy, Keelyra." But then Loxiath is up, lurching into the air.

Zi'on will let her take an extra knot. Though he doesn't understand why she wants two. It'll just confuse people most likely. He looks at her like she's from outer space when she says she doesn't mind doing extra chores. Then he peers at her. "You're putting me on, aren't you?" Zi'on thumbs to V'ric then. "V'ric'll buy you a drink. Eh?" Only to turn and see V'ric escaping on the back of his dragon. "I'll buy you a drink later, then. As long as you don't mind Kaliena tagging along. She could use a few more friends actually. That aren't too girly or horrible." Maybe Zi'on does like to touch V'ric. Though it would seem only in manly ways.

Confusing people /is/ a favorite pastime of Keelyra. She stuffs one knot in her pocket and works on affixing the other. Maybe she just wants a back up, considering how messy schores can be. "Kaliena?" She seems to vaguely have an idea who he's talking about, but not a really solid one. "Not too girly or horrible… Oh geez, Zi. Now you've got me worried." She watches V'ric depart, smirking a bit. "Makes me a little disappointed, almost, that I'll be a candidate. Now I wanna corner him in the tiki lounge and make him drink." She glances to the weyrbrats who are now throwing the buckets around and rolls her eyes. "Lemme get this group back before they hurt themselves and I'm held responsible."

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