The Carving of Flesh

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.
Electric lights light the entrances as those on night duty come out to take over, moving quietly in the night so as not to disturb those sleeping about the Weyr.The days grow longer over the spring months, the air seeming more fresh and warm than it did over the winter.

Dusk, that great time when the sun is out of your hair and the wind is free to go on by, driving away any lingering heat the day perhaps held. It's that time right now, and Theicher is totally enjoying that gusty wind that's breezing on by. He's currently stripped down to an undershirt, which appears to already be stained in several places, but at the moment it's also covered in fresh ruby spots. There's a carcass in front of him and in a bucket not far away are several organs. Oh look, there are some intestines that didn't quite make it and are laying half-coiled like a limp snake. A sharp knife is slicing through the herdbeast's flesh, carving pieces off to put on a fold-out wooden table, and Theicher appears to know how to wield it well.

Strange place to be cutting up carcasses, the corral! Ila'den happens upon the scene only because his lifemate, after much patrolling of baby dragon eggs, has deemed the world safe enough for another venture away for food. Ila is silent in his approach, but Teimyrth emits a large shadow that'd be hard to miss, and the whooshing of wings as he chooses his prey. "Stealing from the corral?" the weyrsecond inquires, amusement clear in his tone as he shifts to a position for better observing Theicher's work. "What're you planning to make out of it?"

Theicher is off to the side of the corral, you know, not in the middle with all the other animals. Who does Ila'den think he is? Some monster who enjoys torturing the animals around? Just they most definitely can smell the scent of blood, but considering how often dragons swoop down and snag someone, he didn't think it would have much mattered. Although at Ila'den's voice, his knife stills in his hand and his chocolate gaze fixates upon the bronzerider. "Stealing? Hardly! One of the cooks had me come out here and do them the favor. You know the one? That squimish one who's got too soft a heart? She makes a mean bubbly pie but if it's wiggling, she just really can't deal with it." He offers a small roll of his shoulders. "I think she's gunna make soup, but she might make some meat pies. That would be amazing too."

"I can't say I'm all that familiar with all the cooks in the kitchen; I tend to leave the gossiping nannies to my weyrmate and eat mostly what she makes." The former renegade finds a suitable spot to settle himself, and takes in the carnage of Theicher's handy work. "Why are you cutting it in pieces?" Ila'den inquires, brows furrowed as he leans that much closer for inspection. "Wouldn't it be easier to skin them first? The meat comes away cleaner and easier when you do it all in one." Now those grey eyes are searching to see if he has any other innocent animal victims waiting for the slaughter. "If you have another one, I can show you what I mean."

Theicher blinks a few times, glancing back at his kill and then back to the Weyrsecond. "Oh. Well, you see, me and this other hunter, we had this bet going, that I could skin it and still get better cuts than him, without even skinning it first. I never really tried it before, but hey, a bet is a bet and I'm not about to turn one down." Is the young man's explanation as a lopsided grin is offered. "I don't think I'm doing that bad. Definitely could be better, but first time ya know. Harder to see where to cut with skin in the way. But this is the only one, she didn't need that much. But if she makes a pie I'll totally save one for you. Even if you're spoiled by your weyrmate, I still think it's something you've gotta try at least once."

"I'll take your word on it, and you certainly don't have to save me one. Iris is in the kitchens often enough; she'd probably know exactly who you were speaking of if it was her sitting opposite of you and not me. I'll just have her bring one for me." Teimyrth finds his prey, finding a suitable place to land with it caught between his jaws. Those slowly whirling eyes focus on Theicher, as if his curiosity has suddenly been piqued, but Ila pays his lifemate's demeanor little mind. "Ahh, a bet is it? I used to cut them the way you're doing now when I was younger. It took a good while for me to finally master skinning, but I can't imagine ever going back to that for anything. So what do you get if you win this bet?"

"Alright, well that works too. And I'm sure she knows her, Weyrwoman are always overseeing weyr staff like that. You know back in the day they used to be expected to cook? Like, the Juniors for the Weyrleaders and stuff? Or at least that's what I was told. I'm not really big on reading myself. They all look like scribbles or something a child's done drawn." Theicher's eyes seem to gleam though, at that next question. "A cup of the best wine marks can buy." Not that he's a huge wino but who would pass that up? "I guess he came into some money and it's burning a hole in his pocket. Making silly bets with people and all."

"Were they? I wasn't raised in a weyr so a lot of the practices are still new to me. It's been /turns/ since I came here, but… Well, at least they aren't expected to now. Not that it would matter. I suspect Iris would jump at the chance to bake for anybody." Teimyrth lets out a low rumble from around his (nearly finished) meal, calling Ila's attention to himself long enough for the weyrsecond to blink before turning his eyes onto Theicher with another smile. "Well, anyway. You seem to like doing chores well enough. Nevermind the wine you were offered, I have an even better proposition for you. What would you say to the chance at impressing a dragon?"

Theicher’s brows lift at the Weyrsecond’s observation and he quickly raises his hands, shaking them from side to side. “Oh no sir, I would most definitely not say I like doing chores. I’d have to say my specialty is more getting out of doing than, or getting others to do them for me. This here, this isn’t a chore, this is fun. There’s something soothing in carving up flesh.” Because that isn’t creepy at all. Theicher offers a half-grin to Ila’den, “But impressing a dragon. I dunno, I think I’m getting a tad old for that dream. Ya know, growing up in a weyr it seems all the weybrats dream to take after their parents and ride, but I dunno. I’m already half-way through my twenty-first turn.”

Something soothing in carving up flesh? Ila'den's brows go up in a subtle way, questioning, and then around easy laughter, the weyrsecond says, "You'd make a fine renegade with that thinking." Now the smile on his lips seems somewhat distracted, his eyes unfocused until Teimyrth, having finished his dining, hunkers over to the pair and levels an eye with Theicher. /Snort/. Ila reaches out to rub along the ridge of an eye, but where most dragons might croon and turn into the touch, Teimyrth does nothing. "You're never too old to dream for a dragon, Theicher. To be honest, the only reason I even stood for him was because I wanted my sister to be raised in a weyr, not because I thought I'd actually impress. It's worth it, though. Besides, Teimyrth here feels it's necessary for me to inform you that if you don't accept, he'll be carving /your/ flesh." Which earns a rumble of agreement from the bronze himself.

Theicher’s once calm and collected expression suddenly faulters and his face blanches at that first comment Ila’den has made. “Renegade? Oh, I hope you don’t think I meant I’d do that to someone else. Just food, I only hunt /food/.” He’s quite adamant suddenly, worry creases his face as he tries to wipe the mental image from his mind. Eventually it must pass because he seems to relax again a few moments later, taking slow, deep breaths. “Perhaps, but I found it a lot harder to keep the dream going when you watch your friends get snagged to the sands and then never come back to the brat cave.” He rolls his shoulders, unable to hold his gaze upon the bronzerider’s face up until that last comment where his head swings up and intent brown eyes focus upon Teimyrth. That earns the dragon a low, hearty laugh before he shakes his misgivings away. “Fine. Fine. But I do warn you. I will make a horrid candidate. And just remember it was you who inflicted me upon your young.” A finger is shook at the dragon before he smiles faintly at his rider.

Ila'den is very observant of Theicher's moment, and the weyrsecond allows the man enough time to regain his composure before adding, very softly, "A majority of renegades aren't murderers, you know. It's a very common misconception, but a misconception none-the-less." Still, Ila'den listens to the reason for faltering dreams, and flashes a confident smile when he says, "I've never been left standing, Theicher, but now that I have Teimyrth, I can't imagine ever giving up. Even if none of the eggs this time around were meant for you, it's worth it when one of them finally is." Clearly the bronzerider can't relate to the hurt of being left behind (at least not on a standing to impress a dragon level), but he does do his best to try. Theich agrees, Teimyrth lets out a snort that seems more put-upon than elated, and Ila'den is extending that coveted white knot to the hunter. "I think it may be me inflicting my young on you, friend. Either way, I will be sure to enjoy every moment of your misery in candidacy." EVIL GRIN. "Just make sure you bathe regularly. Confined spaces and all."

“I didn’t mean to imply that they were, it’s just, you have to admit, that renegades don’t have the best of reputations and.. I just, got nervous. I shouldn’t have said that thing about carving flesh.” Theicher backpedals quite ineffectively and thus succeeds in only shoving his boot further into his mouth. As for talk of dragons and eggs, there’s not much for the young man to say, so he only nods mutely, letting the words sink into that thick skull of his. It’s only those last comments that earn the Weyrsecond a solitary quirked brow, “Are you anticipating your dragon’s young are going to be a handful? Perhaps I should change my mind while I still can.” And yet even as it’s said the newest candidate reaches over to snag the proffered knot and makes quick work to secure it to its proper place. “I think I can manage a few extra baths from time to time. I’ll try not to make the rest of the candidate class clump up all on one side.” He pauses a moment, flicking his tongue across dry lips, “Thanks.. for giving me the chance.” He offers quickly, looking between the pair, who knows who precisely he’s thanking. “I’ll find my own way to the barracks. I’ve passed ‘em often enough to know where they are.” With that the hunter-turned-candidate makes his way off, reaching up to touch the white knot upon his shoulder when he thinks no one else is looking.

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