Vines, Monsters and a Coin

Palm Tree Island - Shadowed Grove

Sunlight is unable to penetrate the thick dense jungle here. Towering tropical plants cast the grove into perpetual shade; a foreboding chill that seems to linger in the air even in the heat of the day. The wilderness is overgrown here, a snarled thicket of undergrowth that restricts movement and impedes exploration. Dark green ferns conceal movement that might come from any creatures underfoot, and here in the rather creepy grove, it's all too easy to imagine giant tunnelsnakes slithering around one's ankles where they can't see them. Thick ropy vines twist and snarl about the tree trunks, seeming to choke the life from those gnarled and twisted limbs. Jungle cries echo amongst the trees; the screams of whatever creatures they might be — wild avians or mutated firelizards or bloodthirsty whers, who knows! — almost haunting in their tone. At the far end of the grove, a stone monument looms up out of the undergrowth — but as massive and impressive as it is, it can only be man-made.


When Jey had returned to the beach it still hadn't been time for the bonfire that would feed all the candidates when Jey had returned to the beach. Instead of sitting around and waiting however, the dolphineer decided to continue exploring….and eventually ended up in a very grove. The dim lighting of late evening didn't make the area any less so. Jey looks warily at the vines and such, specifically eyeing the thick undergrowth in case of any wild animal that might pounce. The dolphineer is jumpy right now. Very jumpy.

Kiley has followed after Jeyinshi… If only for the fact that she's looking for vines to make additional nets. While Jeyinshi may be eying the vines with suspicion, she is looking for quality. The computer crafter tests a few before using her knife to add to her ever growing bundle. Scared? Nope. Even if her rational mind knows there could be creatures lurking in the bushes, she completely ignores it with the task of making sure they have nets to catch as many fish as they can. "Jey." She peeks over at the dolphineer then quickly jogs to catch up. "Stop moving so fast."

There's a snap of a twig and a rustle of leaves along the edges of the grove. For a moment, the wild calls fall silent. What could it be? Is it some predator to snack on unwary candidates? Another rustle in the dense foliage and then suddenly it pounces! Well, sort've - if storming through counts. It's no predator and instead is simply Kelthero in one of his moods as he comes not from the path but from the jungle itself. Seems he was stuck with a group of candidates that included the one boy he cannot stand and has only recently fled from them. No doubt he's left them behind at the beach where a supposed bonfire and food were to be. He doesn't seem ill at ease at all, though he does seem surprised to find Kiley and Jeyinshi not far from him. "What're you two doing this far in?" he asks while he approaches them. "Figured you'd both be back at the beach."

Jeyinshi turns slowly at the sound of approach, ready to strike…and stops as she see Kiley. "Sorry. Really though. Just use my hammock, you don't need to go building a net. I'm not going to ever sleep in it anyways." The computercrafter's appearance had allowed Jey to relax a but, but the sudden rustling in the bushes has her tensing up again, and Kelthero /isn't/ so fortunate. As soon as the supposed animal is out of the bushes, Jey drops down, aiming a swift kick at the legs of the 'creature'. At the same moment, the dolphineer's other arm comes up, fingers slowly curling into a fist and moving in it's direction.

Kiley pauses for the moment where there is rustling, turning to stare but not quite running until she sees exactly what it is. But, it is only a Kelthero! The computer crafter smiles and shifts her vines so to hold them better. "I'm finding vines. And I suppose we're exploring. The beach was rather boring and I needed something to do." And what better way to sate your boredom than ADVENTURE?! "But, Jey. I want to make a—" Nothing else comes as Jey goes flying on the attack! Eyes widen and she's only left standing there with her mouth open from shock.

One moment Kelthero is approaching to make idle talk and he's just about reply to Kiley, crooked smile at the ready and no doubt some half-witty response and instead he gets kicked in the shins by Jeyinshi, which causes him to shout some half formed curse. Shock has him stumbling back more then impact, but his reflexes kick in and her next move is neatly intercepted and blocked. The former guard simply and firmly reaches to grip her wrist and using their forward motion, swiftly aims to bend Jeyinshi's arm and lock it behind her. He's careful though, if she begins to protest, Kelthero will back off. Wouldn't be nice to break anything, after all? Grimacing, Kelthero curses again before glancing at Jeyinshi. By now, the dolphineer's back is turn to him and he stands directly behind her, with Kiley facing them both. "Shells! It's just me, Jey!" he exclaims, now glancing up to Kiley as well. In an almost apologetic manner, he finally lets her go, though wisely takes a few steps away, watching both women warily. "Jungle got you that jumpy already?" Never mind that he deserved it, charging through as he did.

There is a smaller rustling in the bushes, and not-quite from the direction of the beach. And there stands a Patori, still carrying that stick from earlier, arriving just in time to see Kel and Jey swinging doing that ankle-kicking and arm-grabbing thing. The boy's eyes go wide, and his mouth drops open in a similar manner as Kiley's shocked expression. He just stands there and stares at the lot of them. Staare. "What are you doing?!" he squeaks out, managing after a second to dart a glance at Kiley, and then promptly shuffling closer to the others, seeing as no one appears to actually be brawling, casting a wary look around the grove and maybe shivering ever so slightly, despite the warmth in the air.

Jey was not at /all/ prepared for a counterattack. The dolphineer lets out a small yelp of surprise as she's gripped by the wrist and is easily pulled along. There's a slight pause as she's twisted to face the computercrafter, and Jey simply freezes. And then Kelth's voice actually /registers/ and all that tension melts away again. "Oh…umm…sorry?" An apologetic grin is shot towards the ex-guard and the dolphineer looks a bit sheepish, especially when he starts backing away. "Well I honestly thought you were some kind of animal or something so I just kind of….hey Pat! We're just…playing. Yes. Playing." Jey isn't flustered, but she certainly hasn't gotten this worked up in quite a while. They should charge marks for the kind of show she's giving everyone.

Kiley's shocked expression remains firmly in place for a good while, more so when Kelthero is actually doing a sort of counter attack and holding the dolphineer as he does. Slowly, she calms and then shakes her head. "Jey's been jumpy." The computer crafter points out softly and resettles the vines once more and there's a peek towards Patori as he joins the fray, gesturing with her free hand for him to join her. "Hey Pat." It is a softer, gentler tone meant to calm before she's looking at Jeyinshi with a soft laugh for her excuse. "Anyway. I like making nets and we can use more than one. There are a lot of us to feed. The fishing group should provide just as much as the hunting group and the gathering group."

Kelthero smirks a little when Jeyinshi apologizes. "Wild animals don't talk." He states a touch sarcastically; knowing full well it was possible Jey had never heard him speak. But then he chuckles. "Ah well, it's what I get for surprising you two." For a moment, he bends down a little to rub at one of his shins, muttering something that sounds a lot like "nice shot". To Kiley, he simply snorts. "I can see that." It's when Jeyinshi mentions playing that Kelthero glances up and spots Patori staring at them. "Ahh, yeah… just some joking around." Cue the innocent look and then he's clearing his throat. "So… you're not interested in the food and fire on the beach?" he asks the younger candidate. Then Kiley is mentioning nets and fishing and the former guard's frowning a little. "Good point. Have they started making nets already?" he asks, sounding a little confused.

Patori is totally going to shuffle over to Kiley. Where it is SAFE. And eye her vines. "Hi," his head bobs once, though the greeting is soft, and just slightly uncertain, the boy glancing from Jeyinshi to Kelthero with a slightly dubious look, not unlike the one he was giving the water earlier, "Playing. Um, right." He'll just go with that. They haven't been here long enough to start pondering eating each other, anyway. Hopefully. "Somebody started up some truth or dare on the beach," he mumbles, and thus, was probably escaping before he could get dragged into it. "This place is spooky," he adds on, mumbled with a look around, eyes darting from undergrowth to canopy, and maybe edging juust slightly closer to Kiley.

Jeyinshi nods at Kiley's explanation, "That's true. And using Sungie would be a bit against the rules huh? Guess that means we'll have to work double hard." Jumpy? The dolphineer grins teasing and leans against a tree. "Well, /someone/ has to be on the lookout while you're engrossed in the vines Kiley. If a wild animal really did attack you'd be a goner!" And then she's being reminded of her mess. "Of course. I know that /now/. But uh, I did pretty well for some untrained fighter right?" Jey tries rather lamely to make a joke out of the whole thing before going back to the safe topic of nets. "We haven't got the nets started full swing yet, just starting up. Patori's going to spear fish with his stick." Patori probably won't, but Jey can't resist a bit of teasing towards the younger boy. "I'm not going back to the beach anytime soon then." Because this dolphineer is /not/ playing Truth or Dare.

Kiley can't help but chuckle at Kelthero's response before she's shaking her head. "The food and fire hasn't started yet. We're wasting time until then. Jey insists we use her hammock but that would only be one net. We need a few more. No one has started, however. All the girls back at the beach are still whining about the fact that we're out here." A shrug of her shoulders before she's considering Patori. "Shells. Really?" A roll of her eyes. "I am going to wait before heading back." There's a glance around, considering. "We could try moving further in. It may not be as dark as the rest?" A look to Jeyinshi and she laughs, "right. You're the lookout. Now, shall we keep moving?" She's itching to explore, even if she's covered in vines like some swamp monster.

Stone Monument
A massive shape rises out of the ferns and bracken of the jungle undergrowth — an immense block of stone that sits at the far end of the shadowed grove. Smaller stones line up against the huge square-ish block — steps leading up to a tabled plane. The rock face itself isn't completely smooth and flat, it's pitted and bumpy and full of grooves and hollows. While the stone is a common-enough looking shade of granite grey, strange rusty-brown stains are splotched and splashed across the surface of the rock. It looks suspiciously like centuries old dried blood or is that just a coincidence? In the middle of the stone monument, a vertical stone rises up, wind and weather and time having worn a face into the front of it — hollowed out pits for eyes and a broken shard of a nose, with a series of rain-pitted holes that seem to echo with an eerie moan as the wind blows through them.

"Of course it's spooky, it's a jungle." Kelthero reasons, no doubt noticing that Patori is favoring to stick close to Kiley and that doesn't seem to bother the former guard in the least. In fact, his attention has gone to glancing around the grove, though in the dim light he can't make much detail out. He makes a face when Patori mentions truth or dare. "Seriously? That game again?" Then he's smirking a little towards Jeyinshi, though his tone is amused. "You could make a decent guard yet." He teases, before turning his attention back to Kiley. He frowns then in thought, a hand coming up to rub idle at the side of his head. "Figured there'd be some whining. Not just the girls either. Smart to think on making nets, though. I'm guessing you've learned how?" Something in his tone hints that the guard isn't keen on either sharing that knowledge or partaking in it unless he has too. Suddenly, Kiley is suggesting they move on and Kelthero shrugs his shoulders. "Why not?" he agrees, grinning crookedly. "Can't hurt, can it?" Or did he just jinx them all?

Patori looks down at the stick he's still holding, blinking in confusion with a quiet, "I am?" before he seems to realize the dolphincrafter is just teasing, and absently rubs the back of his neck. "Me too," he will agree though, with the girls, about not going back to the beach, casting a brief, darting glance over his shoulder, and then shuffling forward, further into the grove. He'll stick close to Kiley though, whether or not she looks like some kind of swamp monster. "I don't think I like jungles," the weyrbrat mumbles to Kelthero, resisting the urge to make a face when the former guard totally goes and says /that/. Way to jinx them, dude. Tsk tsk!

Jeyinshi rolls her eyes at the thought of the girls on the beach. "They really need to get a hold of themselves. This is going to be fun less fun if they keep complaining." Kiley's comments earn a grin and a wink, and then the dolphineer is following after. "Course I'll make a great guard. I'll keep you boys safe!" Let Patori stick to Kiley. Jey will stick with Kelth for a while. Though not in an obvious way. But who can blame her? She's been suffering from Kelth withdrawal lately. When the group arrives at the stone monument, the dolphineer gives a once over to the surroundings…and stops her gaze on the stone face. Yea, great job Kelth. This place is creepy all because of him and his jinx! A small glint catches her eye and the dolphineer strides over, picking up a small round object that looks like…a coin? Jey brushes it off gently, turning it over in her hands before joining the group again. "Mmm, this looks like the one Kiley found right, though the carvings are a bit different."

"Everyone seems enthralled with that game that they must keep going on to play it." The computer crafter shrugs before she's grinning at Kelthero. "It has mostly been girls. From the Holds." A stretch before Kiley nods, "yes. I was taught in Xanadu by one of my friends who was a sailor. He also taught me how to make fishing rods, and a comfortable bed to sleep on. I learned a lot as a candidate over there." And then the move on to the bloody monument… Which is really no better than the forest they just left. There's a cough and she makes no verbal note of this, hoping not to draw Patori's attention to it. Nope, she'll just keep in front of him and guard him. "They do, really." She agrees towards Jeyinshi. And then Jey is actually approaching it. Brows lift and she stares at Jeyinshi, mouth opens and then closes and then her head tilts just so. "Huh. That's odd. Well, they did talk about treasure around the island?"

Kelthero follows the others deeper into the jungle and smiles when Jeyinshi joins him in a not-so noticeable way. He won't complain though, no doubt in withdrawal himself, but happy enough to at least be in the same area at least. Glancing back to Kiley, he shakes his head. "Figures." He mutters, but then seems relieved. "It's a good skill to have." And one he's glad he won't have to share, for now. Then it would seem he did jinx them all after all and Kelthero comes to an abrupt halt as he spots the stone monument up ahead. At first, he seems disinterested in it, but as he makes out more details, the more wary he becomes of it. In all his Turns wandering jungle paths on patrols or just his own idle wandering, he's never come across anything like this. He stares at the stone pillar, no doubt transfixed by the odd face-like formation on it. Kelthero finally pulls his attention away when Jeyinshi is suddenly striding forwards and seems to pluck a coin from it. Frowning a little, he gives it a curious glance when she turns it over in her hands. "So this isn't the first one you've found?" he asks, glancing curiously between Jeyinshi and Kiley.

"I don't think it's any fun," Patori mumbles to Kiley, on the subject of that particular game, "I always end up covered in egg yolks or tied to something." Of course he does. He totally keeps close to Kiley, shadowing her like a little puppy, and occasionally darting uncertain glances at the surrounds. Perhaps thankfully, he doesn't notice the brownish stains that could possibly be dried blood, nor does he at first spy the FACE up there. Instead, his gaze follews Jey to that coin, eyebrows lifting with a soft, "Another one?" And then he /squeaks/, and shuffles further behind Kiley, just barely peeking over her shoulder with a half-gibbered, "Wh- what is /that/?" Other than, obviously, a big stone head. Eyes go wide to Kelthero, though, as if expecting /him/ to answer. He's the tall manly man. He must know! That, and it's totally his fault for jinxing them.

Jey does not seem phased by her approach of the bloody stone. Though maybe she should be. In fact…she's going back towards it and the hollow where she found the coin, inspecting the area a bit more. But the search seems fruitless so she simply straightens and leans against the dratted thing. "Oh! Then I gess this could be the treasure? It certainly seems treasured like being scattered all over and such. And yeah. Kiley found one by the tidepools earlier. Hey…this one looks like it has a spiderclaw on it. Look Patori!" The dolphineer tosses the coin over to the boy. Maybe it'll distract him from the giant head a bit? But now she's looking towards the manly man for answers too. Curious about his response. And just sort of looking. Because she CAN!

"It was. I was wondering when I'd ever use what I learned ever again, but, here we are." Good thing she did learn! There's a shake of her head towards Kelthero, "no. I was out in the water at the tidepool and I felt it with my toes, first." Kiley offers in explanation of the first coin. Then, she turns to Patori. "It isn't any fun. And they pick on you as well, that is horrible. You don't need to play again." Though she totally got peer pressured into the last game. She's too slow to stop him from venturing out from behind her, thus him seeing the scary looking monument. Her free hand reaches out, "just a statue, Patori. The brown stuff is likely dirt, clay, or some sort of rust." Logic!

"What's what?" Kelthero asks, glancing over sharply at Patori after the younger candidate squeaks. The former guard then looks back to the stone pillar and frowns at it, tilting his head a little. "That?" he points to the monument, gaze sliding back to Patori as he does. "… I have no idea. It looks old, but I'm confused on it's purpose. Or what those stains are." And then he gives a helpless shrug. So much for the manly man being much help! With Jey leaning against it now though, Kelthero doesn't seem so wary about it. After all, it hasn't moved or anything, right? It's just and odd, possibly blood covered, monument. Nothing to fear, folks! So he approaches it as well, nudging one of the lower stones experimentally with the tip of his boot. Then Jey is mentioning treasure and his turns to face her, glancing back at the coin only to watch it being tossed to Patori. "Interesting. Any of the other candidates find anything?" he asks, snorting slightly. "Funny we're finding coins. Be nice if we'd find something practical to use if they're leaving us out here." Seems like the guard doesn't quite believe the treasure thing, though it would seem Jey and Kiley have found proof. That makes him frown a little in thought, thoughts that are briefly interrupted by Kiley's logic - which seems reasonable enough. "She's probably got the right of it. Maybe there used to be more to this?" He shrugs again and then moves away from the stones, taking a quick last glance around the area. "Don't know about you three, but I'm getting hungry. Think I'm going to brave going back to the beach. See if there is some food." Kelthero grins lopsidedly, one hand lifting in a half wave, half salute and then he lingers for a second or so before disappearing back down the path, a quick "Don't get lost!" called back over his shoulder. Cause he's so not coming to look for them. Not until he eats, anyways.

Patori turnsa little red at Kiley's summation of the truth or dare, but it's true. He's totally the one that gets picked on. The weyrbrat is a little preoccupied with the stone monument though, staring at it wide-eyed and darting glances between Kel, Jey, and the computercrafter. "B- but, it looks like a /face/," he almost whimpers, "Why would someone /do that/?" Carve giant stone heads out in the jungle? Probably to freak out whatever poor saps got lost in there. At least that could be one theory! Patori at least isn't freaking out, edging juust a little closer to Kiley, and trying not to look like he's hiding behind her. The explanations have him eyeing the thing some more, especially those brown spots now that he sees them too. Some unintelligable little noise escapes from his mouth before his clamps his jaw shut and wraps the fingers of both hands around his stick. And then he's getting a coin tossed at him! He at first starts to duck Jey's throw, on pure instinct, before halfway seeming to realize he's supposed to catch the thing and awkwardly half-fumbling after it, managing to drop both the stick and the coin in the process. He'll scurry after the latter, suddenly disappearing off itno the undergrowth as it bounce-rolls away.

From her up close look at the stone Jey….still can't tell. "Yeah. Looks like dirt or rust or something." She lies. But maybe that'll make Patori feel better? The dolphineer follows in Kelthero's footsteps by giving a few rocks some kicks and moving them around a bit. When nothing seems to happen, Jey simply shrugs and heads back towards the goup. "It /would/ be more practical to give us camping things. But that'd take the fun out of it." Says the dolphineer that sleeps in strange places. "Oh. Well, we'll see you later then! And don't worry…I'll protect them!" Jey waves after Kelthero before giving a small flex of her muscles. Patori's fumbling earns a small smile, more sympathetic than anything. "Ah, don't worry Pat…but uh, don't go running off by yourself either!" She steps towards the bushes into which Pat had disappeared and sort of crouches near them, peering in with a bit of anxiousness.

Kiley is watching Kelthero leave, perhaps tempted to leave from the way the computer crafter sways. And all those vines she carries sway along with her, but, she lingers instead, looking towards Patori. "Because it makes for interesting scenery and they are aiming to scare, but there's nothing frightening about it, really. It can't eat you." She promises as the boy continues to hide behind her. And then the coin is flying over and she's turning to watch as he tries and fails to catch it and then it is going off into the underbrush and Patori following along. "Wait! Patori!" She's slower than Jeyinshi - because she refuses to release vines - and she follows on after! Chugga chugga.

Patori re-appears! His head pops up right in front of Jey, triumphantly holding up the coin - and then he totally acks and falls back into the shrubbery, on his butt. Oops, close encounter! There's some epic bush-rustling as he tries to get up again, only to manage out a slightly squeaky, "..I'm stuck!" Alas, Kiley's warning came too late. He's totally got himself tangled in some vines, and all that sudden flailing about is only getting him more tangled. "It's got meee!" nice one, Pat, totally not panicking there. Just ignore the saucer-eyes and mad scrambling upt he nearest tree. Though the coin dies eventually roll out of the bushes again, followed by Patori on hanbds and knees, totally almost running into the girls in his attempt to escape the vines, most of which simply break and hang off him harmlesslly.

And Patori KEEPS FLAILING as he mad-scrambles out of there, practically /zooming/ back down the trail and whimpering all the way. He'll probably feeel very silly later. Yep. But for now, fleeing weyrbrat! Totally escaping from the man-eating tunnelsnakes he thinks are after him.

Jeyinshi oofs and falls on her butt on the ground as the Tori suddenly zooms by. But she's up on her feet in no time, making grab for vine-Kiley's hand. The both of them run after the boy, and the way Kiley's done up….it may actually look like a monster is chasing him! "YOU'RE GOING TO GET LOST! WAIT FOR US!" The dolphineer calls, but to no avail. And so the chase continues…all the way back to the safety of the sandy beach.

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