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.

Darkness. Not a single glow illuminates this place and for good reason: Light's out has been going on for a couple of hours now and all good little candidates should be nestled comfortably in their cots asleep, unless the unfortunate have been forced into night duty. Clik-clik-click… Clik-clik. It could be furniture settling down from the new found weight of candidates they've been without for so long or other firelizards nestling… Clik-clik. Or not. A lizard sleeping stirs and begins to flutter wings in agitation, shifting and moving about before inflating it's body with loud huffing breaths. The little winged creature hisses, pacing on the frame of the cot as it peers down into the darkness. Clik-clik-clik.

Clack-clack-clack. It could be a restless candidate's foot tapping against the side of their bed. Or it could be someone opening and closing their jaw in their sleep. Clack-clack. Or maybe it's the sounds of several firelizards waking up at the sound of a hissing one. And then starting their own hissing. Whatever it is it's coming from the floor area, and now there seems to be multiple sources. Clack-clack-clack. By now someone must have heard it, other than a firelizard?

The loud snores of a certain guard-turned-candidate are loud enough at least on /this/ side of the dormitories to drown out all that clacking. Well, until it happens near to him. Xander's unfortunate guard reflexes cause him to sit up in bed, instantly on guard, sea green eyes struggling desperately to get used to the pitch blackness of the room. "What in Faranth's name…?" he whispers to himself as he strains to hear, pulling back the covers and squinting into the blackness.

Kaliena had finally fallen into a deep enough sleep that the clik and clack don't disturb her. Her firelizards however, are another matter entirely and the brown looms silent and alert, a low growl escaping him while her green slinks down to hover protectively by the foot of the cot. Whether it's the murmurings of others now waking or the collective noise of more firelizards, but the girl stirs and rubs at her eyes, grumbling some half-formed curse. She just wants to /sleep/. "Nng. What…? What now?" Kaliena grumbles as she opens her eyes too… darkness. Sluggish mind isn't making any connections though, save for what emotions and alarm her firelizards are feeding her. So she too peers into the dark, but sees nothing and hears little more.

Clik-clik. The sounds continue, slowly but surely spreading across the barracks in a wave that leaves no inch of free floor space left so there's no where else to go but up. Tiny tugging of any bit of blanket that touches the floor begins to take place on several of the cots. The firelizards hissing becomes more shrill as they snap at the unknown shapes in the darkness. A sound of a different kind begins, an almost silent croaking, barely audible over the sounds of the unseens movements. Clik-clik-clik. Some cots might be even to feel the weight of the heavy things, little hard pokes through the blankets as they move in the night.

Solarus doesn't have firelizards, but it doesn't matter now, the bunks around him are beginning to stir with the tiny tugs and the heavy weight of whatever they are, and he wakes up fully in the darkness, blind without his glasses and scrambling for the bedside table to find them. In his alarm the glasses fall to the floor with a clatter. "Shards," he mutters, and gets up, throwing the blankets back and reaching to the floor to search for his glasses. "What's going on?"

There's some rustling now, coming from underneath Xander's cot. Whatever it is is trying to work itself into his stuff! There's a bit of clicking, and maybe some clacking going on down there. And then… there's something on top of his cot! It's not very heavy, but it's moving around and clicking and clacking. Then it stops. Then seems to scurry whenever he moves his legs. Kaliena can hear the clacking around her stuff, possibly climbing over her trunk. And when Solarus reaches for his glasses… he might feel something pinch him! CLACK!

The cot on the edge of the dormitories on which Xander is currently perched upon is making /noise/. Hands grip the sheets as the young man hunkers low and peers into the darkness. "I don't know," he answers both Kaliena and Solarus in a low, still sleep laden voice, even as he quickly rustles his covers in hopes of dislodging whatever it is which is making such a racket. "I can't really get a good look at them. Just.. stay in your cots."

Kaliena sits up a little straighter in her cot as sleepiness is replaced by a tense alertness when her ears finally pick up the clik-clik sound not far away. In the darkness, she cocks her head to the side, trying to finger the sound and failing. Her two firelizards continue to growl and hiss, the brown now crawling down to her pillow while the green keeps her stance on the edge of the cot. The candidate utters a curse when some of the sounds approach from whatever it is that's crawling in the dorms. "I can't see /anything/. Shells, this is a low prank whoever done it. " Suddenly her two firelizards go on the attack the second Kaliena can hear the clacking climbing up and over her trunk. As she cannot see them, she uses their shrill cries to try and pinpoint the "intruder" and kicks out with her feet still wrapped in her blanket. "Shards! Get /off/!! It's on my trunk! They can /climb/." she growls just loud enough to be heard by most. At least she's not yelling?

Clik-clik-clik. The sounds continue to move within the barracks, drifting from all corners of the room now and in some cases, on some of the pillows. This fuzzy thing could make awesome nesting material! The unseen creatures begin to grow louder in their movements, only seeming to multiply and drown out the sounds of the angry lizards that relocated up into the rafters overhead. This boot looks comfy! Some of the /things/ begin to lurk amongst shoes, boots and sandles in search of sustenance. Left over food snuck in by a candidate perhaps? Or the flesh of candidates, themselves!

Suddenly there is a loud shriek! Solarus jumps up onto his bed shrieking like mad. "Something PINCHED ME!" he says and he starts crying. "M-maybe thats a g-good idea, Xander," he says, and shakes his sore hand furiously. Owie. "We need some light to see…" he says around tears and trying to examine his hand in the darkness without his glasses.

Whizz! A clacker is kicked off of Xander's cot and flung onto Kaliena's pillow. What does she care? She's not using it. Several go flying off her trunk as she kicks it. Whatever it is they're hard. And one of them clings to the blanket her foot is wrapped in for dear life. Hopefully it's a thick blanket, or Kali is going to have pinched piggies. Solarus probably isn't losing blood, not to say the pinch wasn't painful enough on its own. Light would probably be a good idea. But someone will have to man the floor to get to the light switch. From the hall there are expletives yelled from the guard who is supposed to be protecting them.

Xander winces at the shriek, peering in the direction of the culprit of /that/ noise with a somewhat sheepish look on his face. "S'okay Sol, I don't think they're.. out to eat us or anything," the teenager tries his best to sooth, even if his voice is on edge. Not being able to /see/ is obviously frustrating him, and it's with a well place jerking gesture that he attempts to capture one of the beasts in his bedding but fails, the little thing managing to scurry away just in time. "I'm going to get the lights," he finally decides, taking a deep breath before putting vulnerable toes onto the ground and making his way over to the switch as carefully as possible.

Big thing trying to move in it's way? I think not! The unseen clik-cliks at Xander as he moves in the darkness. Most of the horde scurry and scoot out of his way in favor of the more vulnerable prey that is still hiding in the cots. They smell it, they know it's here, they're going to find it and when they do, they… will… FEED. Oh, this is soft? And squishy. Soft and squishy will definitely be a good place to sleep. The big moving thing won't miss this. The creatures sounds are rising up the walls, too, and over the heads of the candidates. A loud crack will sound after another as the things fall from the tapestries they've climbed but there's plenty more where they come from. Hey, someone has a bit of fruit in here…

"We have to get down to get to the light and I can't make heads or tails of where they are or coming from!" Kaliena points out to Solarus, though she has no idea who she's addressing or where they are. The girl tries to pretend not to hear the other candidates crying though. "You ain't bleeding, are you?" Aww, she cares! Sort of. Until she's distracted by the sound of something striking her pillow and her firelizards split up, the brown going for that particular newcomer, while the green tries to catch the stowaway clinging to the blanket. To judge from the sudden loud curse, Kaliena does get pinched but likely not as bad as Solarus. "That /hurts/!" But there's something that jogs at the candidate's thoughts. Maybe she's getting a glimmer of what could be the mysterious attackers? Either way, she's /mad/ now and ready for a fight. "Enough of this!" she growls and despite the dangers of going barefoot on the floor, she rolls off her cot and reaches for the nearest heaviest thing she can grab - her steel toed boot - and begins to swing, aiming to rid her cot of the pests even though she's blind in the dark.

The tears are gone now and Solarus is mad. "No, I'm not bleeding," he says to Kaliena. "But you're right, whoever did this is slimier than a tunnel snake," a very low opinion in Sol's opinion. He rubs his sore hand with his other while trying to stand on his cot away from the critters. As one climbs up, Sol has had enough and he tries to kick with his heel. "Get off!" He is successful, but loses his balance and falls back down onto his cot. "Shards!" Other candidates are panicking now and climbing up and grabbing things to hit at the attackers. One girl just flees her own cot and jumps right on top of Sol. "Get them away from me!" she shrieks. "Gerrofme!" Sol complains, face down on the blanket.

It's an awkward trek, across the room as Xander attempts to kick first and step later towards that light switch. If the lights were on, it'd actually be incredibly amusing to watch — with the seventeen turn old literally flailing as he makes his way across the room, uttering quiet curses as he bumps into other cots, trunks, and possibly whatever is making that terrible click-clacking noise. "Hold on," he tells Kaliena with gritted teeth, shaking his head as he finally makes it to the location. "Everyone shield your eyes," he warns quickly before actually flipping said switch, giving his eyes a moment to rest before blinking blearily open to the room.

Xander has captured a clacker! Hopefully he's captured it the right way, or he'll be rewarded with a pinch of his own. Clack-clack! Either way it's clacking away in an agitated fashion. Kaliena's firelizards make easy work of the couple still lingering on her cot, and a few others are smashed by boot. As Solarus's behind finds his cot again he lands on something hard, which is wiggling and trying to escape. Also possibly pinching him. When the light is flicked out the clackers are revealed to be…. SPIDERCLAWS. Hundreds, maybe even thousands of them! They've swarmed into the candidate dorms and are climbing all over EVERYTHING. Cots, trunks, shoes, clothes, even candidates and each other. Several of the more girlie candidate shriek in terror and stand up on their cots. If this is in fact a prank someone went through A LOT of trouble to capture this many live spiderclaws.

Kaliena grunts as she loses her balance, swinging too hard and having to grab hold of her cot or fall to the floor when it makes contact with nothing but air. Solarus' low opinion earns a smirk of agreement, not that it can be seen. Then the girl is shrieking and Solarus is left to deal with her. This candidate only curses again. "Screamin' won't do us a lick of /good/!" she drawls sarcastically and then lets out a victorious whoop when her boot hits a target. Kali /smash/. "Shield our what…?" Kaliena calls back to Xander, having missed his warning over the din of the other candidates, her firelizards and the clik and clak of the creatures. So she gets blinded, having to toss up her arm to shield her eyes as she swears again and blinks her eyes furiously. When she can focus and recognizes /what/ they are, she does the strangest thing ever: she begins to laugh, loud and hard. "Sharding spiderclaws!" she exclaims and then promptly smacks another with a boot now that she can see. It won't take her long to get an idea of numbers, though she's in a near constant fit of movement to avoid any. When she does, she's adds a little meekly. "Lots." Stating the obvious and then shooting an annoyed glare at the shrieking girls. "Shut up, will you?" she yells, frustrated now.

The girl on Sol's cot is one of the most audible shriekers, although she finally does get off of Sol once the lights are on. Only to shriek and jump up and down on the cot. "Oh shards oh shards!" Sol grumbles, standing up, blinking a little at the light but still not able to see without his specs. Which is too bad, cause the girl is pointing at him and he still can't see what she's pointing at. "What now?" he says. There's a a spiderclaw is clinging to the back of his nightshirt. "Its on you!" she shrieks, and he also shrieks and then he starts to jump too. "Get is off me! Get it off me!" He's almost as loud a shrieker as the girl.

Hey! It's even better with the lights on and you can see those happy faces that only want to get a little bit closer and why not? We're all friends here, right? One of the creatures is under a garment and appears to be walking away with it over it's body, concealing the odd form. Not only is it soft and squishy, it's a nice purple polka dot with ruffly lace on the trim! This is definitely going to pimp out the clik-clack homestead! A large pincer tugs on the straps and continues to drag the bra along, into the masses of it's crustaceous brethren to share in it's spoils of war. It's rather, a shame that Xander wasn't too observant around him. Surely, he would notice the extra bit of weight he was carrying on his clothing: particularly in the front-crotchal region. Hitch hikers aren't always welcome on some trips.

Shield your eyes! And your fingers. And your crotchal-area. The candidate dorms have a crab infestation! The guard who was babysitting them has… run off. Hopefully for help, and not because he has a deathly fear of spinderclaws. No. Not because of that at all! Kaliena is killing some of them, others are just bounced off her bed and land on the floor, some flipped over and wriggling about to get right-side up again. The boot she's not using as a weapon has about three of them packed into it, using it as shelter or something. The clacker clinging to Solarus' shirt is probably as scared as he is, though if he moves around a bit it'll fall off. Hopefully Xander's good bits aren't being pinched by the clacker that loves him.

Isn't this a pretty picture? Xander, hand still hovering above the light switch, with a spiderclaw dangling from his crotch. It's a dead pan moment, as the young man looks down, blinks, and then involuntarily jerks to the left, eyes going wide. "What.. AH!" He swats at the thing, only looking up when he realizes that there are more. A LOT MORE. Swallowing, the former-guard suddenly loses his cool, jerking this way and that, and eventually dislodging the beast from his more private of areas. "How the..? What the..?" are the only real questions he's able to articulate before the actual pain begins to set in, and he trudges over to the closest cot to pop a squat, grabbing a random shoe to begin swatting at them himself. "Should we.. uh.. send for someone?" he asks of Kaliena, now that he can /see/ her and all. "Because.. I uh.. I hope this isn't normal." His joke is accompanied by a pained half smile before he smites one of the beasts.

One spiderclaw is rather proud of himself, perched in the most dangerous of places and still remains unscathed! If he had a little flag, it would be marking Kaliena's hair as a place well conquered. The spiderclaw clik-clacks to the horde in might! She is MINE! And she smells rather good. Can't place if it's fruit or flowers but it's rather pleasing to the creature. Yummy.

Oh for the love of … Kaliena's face twists into an almost pained grimace from all the shrieking coming from Solarus' cot, though she's distracted again and a little dumbfounded by the lace and purple polka-dotted undergarment that seems to flow across the floor on it's own accord. Xander's reaction to his most unfortunate hitchhiker has the girl /grinning/ of all things and snorting with more laughter. "It ain't normal," she drawls in response for him, "Least I don't think it is. And someone /must/ have heard all the commotion. Specially thanks to 'em!" And she pauses in her swinging to jut her thumb over her shoulder to where the shrieking girls and perhaps Solarus' cots lays. So distracted is she that she doesn't feel the spiderclaw in her hair. There's enough of it that it probably masks the conquering creature's movements quite well.

Clackers Clackers everywhere! Don't look now but there's one in Kaliena's hair! How did it get there? Also why didn't she feel it? Xander should probably put some ice on that. A few of the candidates have already started fleeing the barracks. Crunch, crunch. Some of them are being mashed to bits. The bulk of the herd has moved on by this point, really since the lights have turned on they've dispersed. There's still a few lurking in choice places, but most of the cots look fairly empty. at least the ones with candidates still left in them. A makeshift wall is put up at the entrance by several candidates, made of several trunks stacked up. So hopefully everyone is safe… for now!

Xander's chin descends in a slow nod, as if that's all he can really muster at present. "Got it," he responds to Kaliena, before leaning back on that cot and issuing a groan. It's going to be a long night.

Solarus is now safe, the spiderclaws have left his cot area and he's down again. But now he's blinking and trying to find his away around the floor, the girl from before still on her feet on the bed looking horrified. "Where where where?" searching hands now look for his glasses, but the spiderclaws must have taken them. They are gone. "Dang, and I think Mum has my spares. Hey, cousin, if you're done shrieking, can you take me to Mum?" he mutters. "Bet the riders are awake by now," he says, as the girl, his cousin it appears, joins him on the ground in order to lead him towards the entrance. Which is blocked by trunks. "Shards." Eventually he'll make it there. But what a predicament! "Is that my bra!?" his cousin suddenly shrieks, and starts chasing the spiderclaw in question, Solarus trying to follow after her in protest. "Cousin you need to be my eyes!" he complains. "Get back here with those!" she replies.

Kaliena does eventually feel the spiderclaw perched as it is on her head and with something that is not quite a yelled curse or a snarl, the girls hands reach up to brush and smack at it furiously regardless if she'll be pinched of not. "Get /off/ you bloody little thing!" she hisses and if she's lucky enough to dislodge it, it'll likely die a swift death the moment her boot can find it. No touchy. Seeing that the numbers have thinned, the girl stalks back to her cot to assess the damages. Hope the trio in her boot have fled, or there will be three more casualties of the night. "And I /just/ fell asleep too." Kaliena can be heard grumbling as she falls silent in her own little spot, scowling and keeping a sharp eye out for more spiderclaws.

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