Odd Pets

Palm Tree Island - Sandy Beach

A remote tropical paradise — a white sandy beach stretches as far as the eye can see, ending abruptly at a sheer rocky cliff in one direction, while in the other, opposite direction, it curves around a gentle headland before disappearing back into the jungle. Heavily forested with frond-topped palms and other lush tropical plants, the island is small as islands go, a tiny oasis of vegetation and lush greenery in a wide wide sea of endless blue. From where the waves of the lagoon lap against the shore, the beach rises gradually, sloping upwards towards the jungle. In the shallows, when the water has retreated just right, rocky tidepools have formed, brimming with tiny sea creatures — a haven for explorers! At the edge of the water, a lone palm tree — its tall crown of fronds stretching upwards towards the sky — gives the island its name. A rough trail has been hacked out through the foliage, leading deeper into the interior of the island.

Situated at the edge of the jungle, yet within sight of the beach, overhanging jungle vines and palm fronds throw a dappled pattern of shade and sunshine across the ground of the small campsite. The sand of the beach runs right to the edge of the jungle here, so foliage growth isn't nearly so lush and abundant as it might be the further inland one goes. A circular ring of stones forms a firepit around which fallen logs are arranged to serve as seating locations. Two huts, sets back into the trees stand on stilted legs — roofed with dried palm fronds and made of woven fronds which form mats that are then hung vertical against the walls. The wooden floors are worn smooth and shiny by time, each hut providing enough space for sleeping locations. Hammocks are also strung up between several trees, swaying gently in the tropical breeze.

It is sunshiney! And warm! And there are avians! Oh, and one lone spiderclaw scuttling awaay. Because Patori is totally plopped down somewhere, in the sand, prodding the thing with the end of a stick, while that patchwork plushie is stowed under his arm. First herding the little critter this way, and then the other way, he watches it run in circles for a time, light nudges to its shell eventually convincing the creature that pokey stick is no threat. And finally it jsut clambers up the thing. Pat watches it idly, lifting the stick to peer at the spiderclaw. He's dressed, as usual, in secondhand clothes, drab shorts and shirt, his shoes gone missing somewhere as he's barefoot again, and covered more than a little in sand. Some shell or other is nearby, topping a pile of little, carefully collected and colorful pebbles.

It is a day full of sunshine and warmth and all those other good things! But Kelthero wasn't on the beach to enjoy them. Oh no - he was up in that creepy grove place again and by that equally creepy monument. Seems he enjoys lurking about up there alone. Hunger (or just boredom) has brought him down though and as he wanders across the beach, he spots Patori with his all to familiar patchwork plush dragon. Kelthero is dressed in a sleeveless tunic again and a pair of shorts, though he has sandals on his feet this time instead of his usual heavy boots. As he approaches, he notices the spiderclaw and stick and promptly smirks. "Don't torture the thing. Even if it is just a spiderclaw - you planning on eating it?" He teases, coming to a stop next to the younger candidate. There's a curious glance given to the collection pile, but he says nothing of it for now.

Kiley has been traveling about the island, hunting, fishing, and occasionally doing the gathering. The computer crafter is entirely one with the nature, it seems. And now she is making her way back to the main part of the beach and moves to settle herself in the shade, legs crossing as she leans back against a tree and then considers Patori as he goes about, brows lifting and then she smiles to herself. "What are you doing, Patori?" Her head tilts but then Kelthero is approaching. The computer crafter stretches out her legs out and arms lift slightly to stretch. "Wait. What? He's torturing a spiderclaw?"

In all likelihood, Patori's just been sitting around on the beach all day, collecting stuff. He's definitely tanned some, since the candidates arrived on the island, and has been wary of exploring the place further, given the ..less than dignified adventure the /last/ time he ventured further than the beach. Not that the weyrbrat looks particularly bored, watching that spiderclaw inch its way up the stick with definite interest. He starts a bit when Kelthero, and then Kiley, come over, though Pat only offers a bright smile, protesting quietly, "I'm not torturing it." And see, he totally holds up the stick for them to look. The spiderclaw keeps scuttling on its way. Scuttlescuttle. Eyes widen though, at the former guard, for the suggestion of eating it. "Nuu," he says quickly, bringing the stick in closer, all defensively, "Nobody's eating Robert!" Oh good grief, he named the thing.

Kelthero hadn't seen Kiley coming down the beach or seen her settle in the shade. So he starts a little when she speaks, head turning to glance her way. He then grins lopsidedly. "Well, I don't know if "torture" is the right word…" he drawls out slowly, sounding entirely amused with himself. When he goes to glance back to Patori, he's instead caught with a rather more up close view of the spider-claw in question. "Then why are you poking it with a stick?" Kelthero asks as he settles down on the sands, leaning forwards so that he can casually drape an arm across his knee. Patori's sudden defensiveness earns him a curious glance and then the former guard frowns. "Robert? You name your food?" Then it clicks and he gives the younger candidate a disbelieving look that ends with him dissolving into chuckles. "Shards, you're keeping it as a pet?"

Kiley tilts her head slightly as Patori holds up the stick with no spiderclaw attached. This appeases her, or something, as she's leaning back and closing her eyes for a moment. There's a pause, eyes opening. "Robert?" A soft chuckle and the computer crafter looks up the tree, humming softly. "I should get a friend for Stan." Attention drifts towards Kelthero and she grins. "Playing with would be more accurate, then…" Trailing off, she pushes up to her feet and drifts from the shade to wander over to see this spiderclaw better. "Why not? They can be cute. Stan needs a friend too, I'll need to find another crawler."

"I was trying to get him to climb up," Pat continues to protest softly, the critter by now having reached his hand, totally unnoticed. "I want to move him over to the pools, so nobody steps on him." There's a sort of dismayed look for Kelthero though, "He's not food!" A pause. "I wasn't going to keep him.." as he becomes aware of the creature not happily scuttling up his arm, "..um." This is. Predicament. There is a slight huff for the guard's laughter, Patori sending Kiley an imploring look, "I need something to carry him in." Another pause, and a headtilt, "Who's Stan?" tytbrows sneakuing up for the rest of the girl's words, "Crawler? Can I help?" Though he's starting to twitch as teeny spiderflaw feets ticke up further along his arm.

Kelthero glances between both Kiley and Patori with a rather blank look. "Seriously?" he asks them both, before frowning and looking a touch thoughtful - or simply confused over the whole idea of crawlers and spider-claws as pets. "Why though? What's the point?" This question he seems to direct to Kiley, giving her a bit of a faint smile. "I mean, it doesn't make much sense to me. Can they do anything useful?" Kelthero then snorts. "Cute? Never thought of them as cute. Delicious, on the other hand…" And now he's eyeing "Robert" again in a joking manner (or is it?) as he (it?) starts to use the young candidate, as it's personal jungle gym. Perhaps Patori better watch his new pet closely… especially around dinnertime. "Sure you weren't." Kelthero sighs, shaking his head as he continues to struggle with the concept of pets. "You'll need a sturdy container of sorts, I'd think. Something that can hold sand and water and can be covered." And with that, he shrugs his shoulders. "Don't know much else about it." Though he does glance to Kiley, no doubt hinting that he figures she knows, since she owns a crawler already.

Kiley blinks at Patori, then chuckling softly. "Okay." Yes. Maybe she did prepare something to take something home. "Stan is my crawler. You can help find one, though." Kelthero's look only earns a shrug and a smile of amusement. "Observation. Amusement. All sort of things." The computer crafter gives another shrug. "Stan eats bugs and I'm not fond of bugs. Other than crawlers, because they are cuter than other bugs and they eat them." A glance to the spiderclaw crawling all over the youngest and she chuckles. "They're cute in an odd sort of way, I think." She shrugs at Kelthero. "They appear to be able to survive without being covered in water constantly, so he probably wouldn't need water right away, so having something to hold the sand would be fine. I'm not sure what they eat, however."

Patori starts to shrug at Kelthero, then apparently thinks better of it, the weyrbrat making an odd face as tiny little spiderclaw feets continue scuttling up his arm. "I wasn't planning on keeping him," he releats, slightly dubiously, lifting the stick again to try to encourage the critter back. And maybe giving the former guard something of a suspicious look. "Nobody's eating Robert!" he states. Huff! And pout. "Bugs aren't so bad," Patori will chime in, however, to Kiley, "..Except maybe trundlebugs," nose wrinkling a little, "They stink." As for Robert, Pat manages to very carefully coax the creature back onto the stick, mumbling, "I just need something to carry him as far as the pools over there," pointing with his free hand toward the tidepools, "I don't think Robert would like living in a tank."

Kelthero can only screw up his expression more when he tries to think about pet ownership and eventually he just gives up all together. So it's to Kiley he grins first, "I guess I'll take your word for it then." He muses, before listening to her describe Stan's eating habits. That seems to get some interest from the former guard, though he does chuckle when she admits to not liking bugs. "Huh, that could be useful, actually." So perhaps he isn't entirely against owning pets - if they have usefulness it would seem. At the mention of a crawler's diet though, his interest flags and he shrugs. "Probably be best to ask someone familiar with them." He mumbles, gaze shifting back to Patori when he continues to claim he's not keeping "Robert". The former guard lifts his hands up in a mock defensive manner. "Alright, alright. So you're "not" keeping him and I won't eat him." There's a pause and then he grins from ear to ear. "Can't say I can keep Cranky from snacking on him though." But then he laughs - until trundlebugs are mentioned. Then he too is grimacing. "I'd hope you both have enough sense not to keep /those/ as pets."

"Then make sure he gets back into the water, Patori." Kiley notes in a rather indulgent tone to Patori. "That way no one will eat him." The talk of bugs has her shaking her head, "bugs are nasty. And gross. Nasty." Her nose wrinkles with a sort of disgust before she's sighing. "Just pick him up. Or get one of those big leafs and scoop him up to carry him to the pools." Kelthero is given another grin before she's nodding along. "He's rather useful if the bugs get into my room. Hardware doesn't like eating bugs, it seems. I did train him not to eat Stan." The guard's reaction to the whole thing leaves a smile upon her lips, a horribly amusing one. "Trundlebugs are nasty, they always walk in a line. That is so odd."

Patori bobs his head to Kiley, promising a cheerful, "I will." And he totally will, sliding another sidelong look at Kelthero, and then wrinkling his nose again, "Who's Cranky?" As for trundlebugs, Pat makes a bit of a face, "My brother kept trundlebugs. He'd stick them in my clothes press," grumped out as the weyrbrat shifts so he can get to his feet without dislodging 'Robert' the spiderclaw from his stick. A hand is kept beneath the critter, just in case, and the boy gives his pile of shells and pebbles a considering look before apparently deciding to leave them there. "Oh, a leaf!" he takes Kiley's suggestion, turning toward the forest, and then hesitating, bottom lip caught briefly between his teeth. Another blink, while he musters the nerve to approach the trees, "Hardware? What's that?"

There's another set of amused chuckles from Kelthero when Kiley goes on about the nastiness of bugs, but he voices no comments. Instead, he listens quietly as she gives instructions for Patori. It isn't until she grins at him that he refocuses his full attention back to her. "I never noticed if Cranky ate bugs or not, though it doesn't surprise me that firelizards wouldn't touch them." Just as he quirks a brow in curiosity to Kiley's mention of training her firelizard not to eat a crawler, Kelthero's attention is drawn back to Patori. "Cranky? She's my firelizard." He grins after giving his explanation. Said green firelizard is nowhere to be seen, however, though the former guard doesn't seem to find that odd. Kelthero then pulls a rather disgusted look. "Wonderful brother you have." He notes sarcastically as he watches Patori shuffle off towards the jungle. It's then that he spots the pile of shells and pebbles again and curiosity kicks in. Shifting so that he's now kneeling in the sand, the former guard leans forwards in what's obviously a move to reach for said pile, no doubt intent to pluck something to observe it if he isn't stopped. Tsk - and he didn't even ask!

"Good, good." Kiley nods to Patori, pleased. "I think it is hard to keep trundlebugs." There's a furrow of her brows in concern as the boy makes his way towards the forest. "Do you want me to get you a leaf?" As he is hesitating, then, before he can answer she is starting towards the trees. "Hardware is my firelizard." But then she is noticing that Kelthero is already on his way, so then she stops where she is and turns around, stretching out once more and then considering. "I'll head towards the pools now. I'm going to check if there's any crawlers around there, then we can find one once you get Robert settled."

Patori 'ohs' at the explanation fo firelizards, bobbing his head and mumbling, "I think some of them like bugs, and some don't," though having none of his own, he doesn't appear terribly certain. And he totally misses Kelthero snatching at one of the colorful pebbles or shells, continuing toward the trees in search of a big enough leaf. He'll trail after Kiley, totally like a little puppy, looking less worried now that he's not going it alone, nodding to the computercrafter about getting the spiderclaw settled and hunting for crawlers.

Kelthero doesn't keep the little shell he managed to pluck from Patori's collection. He had simply been curious to see what the younger candidate was piling up and now that he's got a better idea, he returns it. As both Patori and Kiley go hunting for a suitable spiderclaw leaf, Kelthero simply stretches out and then slowly gets to his feet, brushing the sand that clings to his legs. "You two go on." He says, flashing them a quick grin as he juts a thumb back over his shoulder. "I've got to go get something and then I should see if there's any more hunting or gathering to do." With that, he gives a quick wave and turns to head towards where the hammocks are, but not before adding in, "Good luck!" just before he's out of range to do so.

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