Sink or Swim

Palm Tree Island - Rocky Tidepools

Between crystalline waters and the sandy shore, The time- and water-worn remnants of volcanic activity in the island's past have been smoothed and hollowed into craggy nooks and sloping crannies — rocks worn by wind and wave. Life here is at the mercies of the tide; controlled by the ebb and flow of the ocean and the life-bringing water it provides. Yet still, even when the high tide has long since receded, little pools of shallow water remain, allowing life to flourish and grow even in the tiniest of puddles despite the lack of fresh seawater for many hours. Blooming algae and a plethora of tentacled anemones decorate the rocks in random clusters, while tiny spiderclaws scuttle amongst them and then occasionally the shadow of a small fish can be seen, cast upon the rocks, as it darts out of a crevasse in search of food.


Velrich is /wandering/. Yes, at the moment, with the sun beginning to sink toward the horizon, there's little to do but wait for the bonfire to begin. And then…there will be the tikidance. Perhaps. UNTIL then, the candidate has taken to picking about amongst the rocks and tidepools. There's a bit of wading through one of them, with a shell or two occasionally plucked up and examined..only to be ultimately tossed back with a 'plunk' into the water.

Kiley walks with her attention lingering on their surroundings rather than watching where she's going, being that this is one of the closer places to the camp, the trail is practically memorized. Her gaze then settles over towards Velrich as he wades through the water and then she drifts over to some of the rocks. Her boots are removed along with socks before she is rolling up her pants and slipping into the water. "What're you looking for, Velrich?"

The setting sun brings another wanderer in from the direction of the sandy beaches. Kelthero is dressed in his usual sleeveless tunic and shorts, but is barefoot for this trek. There seems no purpose to his arrival to the tide pools. Foraging? Boredom? Most likely more the latter then anything, however it doesn't take him long to spot Kiley or Velrich. Carefully, he picks his way over to join them, giving a slight wave of his hand to both. "Evening." He says, before giving Velrich a curious look as he wades through the pool. Kiley beats him to the question though and so he's silent for now.

Patori comes scurrying after Kiley, with several big leaves held in his hands, the weyrbrat setting them down and putting a rock over them before he very carefully picks his way toward the pools. He's totally trailing Kiley, like a little puppy, barefoot and wearing a slightly oversized shirt and a pair of shorts, the clothing somewhat theadbare in places, possibly secondhand. He peeks past the girl at the sound of plunking shells, head tilting at Velrich with a, "That one was neat. You should have kept it." The arriving Kelthero has the boy turning to bob his head to the former guard with a, "Hi," and oh so enthusiastically proclaiming, "I put Robert back." Yup.

Velrich glances over, looking as first Kiley appears and then Kelthero right after. "Shells." Alas, he doesn't seem to have actually /collected/ any of those yet. Each time he leans down and picks one up, it seems to be deemed unworthy and thrown right back into the water. He examines another before giving a sigh, and then letting it drop back as well. "Perfect..shells." They must be perfect! Flaws are unacceptable! "I'm making a necklace." At least he elaborates as to the /purpose/ of said shells. They aren't for rattling around in his pockets, at least. And then? Then there's Patori…who gets a bit of a stare from Velrich and his mention of..Robert. "Can you swim?" Random questions ahoy!

Kiley peeks back at Kelthero as he joins them, offering a smile and a slight wave before she's looking to her little follower. Checking on his progress? Perhaps. Once he joins them, she smiles. "You want to join him? We can find a few shells, too." She offers to the puppy-like candidate with a indulgent smile, there's a soft chuckle about Robert before she's shuffling deeper into the water. "Why are you looking for shells?" Though that is answered after a moment and she nods in a sort of understanding before she's reaching in to pick up a shell. "I'd like to see it when you''re done. My brother makes jewelry."

Kelthero blinks a little as Patori suddenly appears as well, having not caught sight of the younger candidate until he comes up next to Kiley. "That's great!" he says, grinning. "Though I still think he'd have made a good snack. But a promise is a promise." Velrich's search for the perfect shell earns another curious glance and now the former guard is settling down by the edge of a pool to watch for now, though it's not the most comfortable of places to rest. "What makes them perfect?" he asks, grinning faintly. "For necklace purposes, anyways." Next he's side glancing to Kiley, head tilting to the side a little. "Really? All sorts of jewelry or does he specify in certain kinds?" Seems he's content to stay where he is, for now, leaving the shell picking to the other candidates.

Patori is totally stealthyninja. Or maybe just very quiet, a leetle Kiley-shadow. There is obvious dismay on his face at Kelthero's mention of a snack, the boy protesting quickly, "Robert isn't food!" despite the assurance from the older candidate. Except spderclaws are totally edible. And he'll eye the former guard suspiciously, just in case any snackage tendencies appear, even with the promise. Luckily, the short little candie probably couldn't tell which one was Robert with all the critters around. Pat lowers to a crouch plucking up his own bit of shell to examine, though it's with a less critical eye, totally pocketing the thing. "A.. necklace?" there's a blink and a slightly dubious look for the manly Velrich over there, "You're going to make /jewelry/?" The weyrbrat starts to wrinkle his nose, then shrugs, straightening again and moving to follow Kiley to the pool. "I was just collecting them to collect," he informs the computercrafter, but bobs his head at the suggestion of finding shells. Velrich's question gives him pause, however. Patori, probably recalling the /last/ time this came up at the tidepools, shifts about at the edge of one, shuffling a little closer to the water and shifting his weight slightly from one foot to the other, a little bit of lower lip nibbling happening. "..Kind of," he mumbles, giving a shrug of slim shoulders, "..Not really. Jey's been trying to teach me." Though actually getting the boy into the water has proven a monumental task. Even /with/ dolphin encouragement.

Velrich rolls his eyes just a little bit, though he moves off to the side of the tidepool and out of the shallow water. "I'm making it for /Kiltara/, not me." Yes, so he's got a soft spot for Kilarden's little sister. She /grows/ on a person! Like fungus. "I don't want broken shells for it. Those have chips." Now he's just being picky. Or just…putting off the actual making of the thing. "Really?" He blinks, peering at Kiley for a moment before shaking his head. No, he will not beg someone /else/ to do it. "Trying." There's a slow use of the word as Patori explains his swimming…lessons? Or lack thereof. But without further comment he tromps right over to Patori and /hoists/ the poor boy up and over one shoulder. Like potatoes! Alas….then he's making an immediate trek towards the /actual/ ocean.

Kiley gives Kelthero a look for his talk before she chuckles and shakes her head, "you're going to scare him, Kelthero." There is a mild hint of scolding but she smiles nonetheless. "My brother makes all sorts of jewelry. Mostly with metal and gems, though, he's a smith." The computer crafter looks back towards Patori, curious and then sighing for his reaction to Kelthero. She doesn't say anything in response to that, however, as she watches him follower her into the pool. "That is fine. I was wondering why Velrich was. We can find you a few." The shell in her hand is offered out toward the younger boy before she's shuffling to find more, using her toes as a guidance. Another is found and she's reaching down to pluck another up. "You still haven't learned?" Patori is given a careful look before she's looking towards Velrich. "That's nice of you." A bright smile, "I'd really like to see it when you finish. Jewelry always interests me."

"I won't scare him!" Kelthero protests to Kiley's mild scolding. Luckily for Patori, Kelthero has already eaten, back before the sun had begun to set so thus the threat of any spiderclaw snacking will be slim. Even so, he gives a reassuring grin when Patori eyes him suspiciously and then the candidate's attention is swinging back to Velrich. "Ahh, that makes sense then." Kelthero says with a slight shrug of his shoulders. He knows nothing about shells or shell necklaces, so now that his question is answered, he seems satisfied to lapse back into some silent observing. Creepy? Just a little, but that's just good old Kelthero for you. Kiley earns another grin. "Must have a good knack for it. Can't imagine working metal into jewelry is easy." For just a moment he's distracted in conversation with Kiley and then he's glancing back over to see Patori being hoisted and carried off sack-style to the ocean. "Hey!" he calls out, sounding both amused and concerned in one shot, "I don't know if that's such a good idea!" For a moment, he lingers where he sits and then with a sigh, carefully places his feet in the water and begins to follow Velrich.

Patori gives a little protest of, "I'm not scared!" almost at the same time Kelthero says similar, the boy's eyes darting from Kiley to the former guard. The other boy's grin is not returned. Suspicious still! Especially at all that watchingness. As it turns out, it's totally not Kel Pat should be wary of, though. The weyrbrat quickly pockets the shell Kiley hands him, too, scouting around the edge of the pool a bit, and getting his toes wet at least. He continues to nibble his bottom lip, shoulders lifting in a shrug to the computercrafter, "I sink a lot." And then there is a sudden, startled SQUEAK! As Patori is hoiseted up and manhandled towards the ocean. The weyrbrat's eyes go WIDE as he sees where he's being hauled off too, surprised only for a second before he starts flailing, "Hey! What are you- let me go! Lemme go! Lemme gooo!" his voice getting progressively higher in pitch as the other candidate getsinto deeper water.

"/Trying/ isn't doing. He'll never learn if he doesn't actually get in!" Velrich grumbles a bit back at Kelthero. It's a bit more..difficult progress with Patori flailing, but that doesn't deter him from his goal. Indeed, he wades right into the water. Hey, thankfully he's tall. Quite a bit taller than Patori. Though he does shift his hold on the boy so he's not so draped over his shoulder. The boy…/probably/ could do without getting a face full of water. "Calm down already! I'm not going to shove you under or let go." Not…yet anyway. Still, he's rather firm about it, wincing just a bit as a flailing limb smacks into him. …Well ow. "/Relax!/"

Kiley's attention on Velrich is watching Patori, mostly, before she's shuffling to find another shell. She has two, now, because she's ducking in to pick up another shell. "He's good at it. He's been doing it since he was an apprentice, he's a journeyman now, so he's got to be good. Otherwise he wouldn't get commissions." A soft chuckle before she's considering Patori and Velrich once more, frowns furrowing slightly. "Patori. You're going to hit him in the face if you keep flailing and he really /will/ drop you." Velrich says much of the same and she's giving him a careful look, or simply watching to see what happens.

"Scaring him isn't going to make him learn either!" Kelthero grumbles right back to Velrich as he continues to follow out into the deeper waters but stops about half way. Glancing back to Kiley, he grins lopsidedly. "Good for your brother then. Are you hunting for shells now too?" That questions reminds him why he waded out into the water in the first place and he's turning back to focus on the two candidates farther out in the water. He smirks a little when Patori's flailing gives Velrich some difficulty, but eventually the former guard chimes in - on Velrich's side. "Patori, relax like he said. You're only going to make it worse!" Probably not to best reassuring words, but they're the first to pop into Kelthero's head. Grimacing a little, he adds, "We're all here anyways. We won't let you sink." Well, he won't anyways.

Patori. Is not calm. Nope, he is the direct opposite, flaily arms continuing as Velrich hauls him further out to sea, the small boy only struggling more for the other candidates words. "Let me gooo!" the pitch ov his voice getting high enough to crack at the end there, Patori isn't just scared. He's absolutely /terrified/. And totally freaking out. Legs get into the flaily, the weyrbrat not thinking at all logically, given that if Vel /does/ in fact let him go, he's likely to get dunked anyhow. He might as well be deaf to Kilay and Kelthero's adicve, though they both het wide-eyed, pleading looks, and a wibbly bottom lip which trembles even as he keeps panicking. "Nuu! NooO!" at least he eventually realizes that if he is dropped, he's going to get in the water, or maybe it's the warnings from Kiley and Kel - either way, the waterworks totally start flowing, and all teary-faced he starts sobbingly begging, "Nuu, I don't want to! Letmegoletmego!" grabbing around Velrich's neck while his legs continue the flailing.

Is Kilarden the only one with common sense? He may be late to arrive on the scene, but he's managing in enough time to hear Patori's protests and witness Velrich's persistent bullying. He spares no time in taking to the water in a full run, slowing only when water hinders his progress and he's finally at ends with Kiley, Kelthero, Velrich, and Patori alike. The younger is ripped away from Velrich's arms, earning him a scowl from those grey eyes as Kilarden takes long strides back to shore. One foot, two foot, three foot, four. Five foot, six foot, Patori, shore! "Go," he tells the small candie, giving him a push as eyes settle on Velrich, somehow icy beneath all the friendly smile he throws to him. "I don't think you would be very tickled if somebody was forcing Kiltara to do something she didn't want. I'm sure you had good intentions; you always do. But don't force him."

"Patori wanted some." Kiley notes to Kelthero, "So, I'm getting some while… Velrich 'teaches' him. Y'know, something for him to look forward to once he's free." Then, he's speaking to the pair and she's turning. "Patori, we're not going to let you get hurt." She promises to the youngest. She doesn't leave the water though she appears to be done finding shells for the moment as she's placing them on the surface of a rock and watching. Arms fold carefully across her chest, watching. There's a frown as Patori continues to flail about and freak out as he does, wincing just a bit. "Velrich, just put him down." But then there's a Kilarden sweeping in and saving the day. Horaay. The computer crafter nods and smiles before she's shuffling towards the rocks and climbing out once more. She picks up the shells so that they don't get squished by her rump as she settles down there.

Keltheroseems to have had enough as well, especially once Patori starts to cry. Tears mean the fun is over and someone has to step in. But just as he's about to do so himself, Kilarden comes all but running as much as one can in water and takes Patori from Velrich, leaving Kelthero to only blink in surprise. Having had enough of the water for one evening, he turns to head back towards the shallows, pausing nearby to Kilarden. "Thanks." He says, nodding his head a little and smiling. "For stepping in and all." Now he heads over more towards where Kiley as settled, stopping again only to give Patori a concerned look. "You okay?" he asks, before his attention finally settles back to Kiley. "Well, good thing you gathered shells." He notes quietly. "Cause I think he'll need some cheering up." And it would seem Kelthero isn't going to be part of that, since he's then stepping back out of the pools and to the all-familiar trail. "I don't know about you three, but I'm done with the water for one day. Going to go see if that bonfire is up yet." There's one last smile to all and then a quick half-wave and he's gone.

Patori is totally freaking out, indeed. He doesn't even /notice/ Kilarden till the other candidate is suddenly /stealing/ him. Pat is so stunned he actually stops the flailing long enough to let out a startled SQUEAK and then clings with desperation to his heroic rescuer. And sniffle on him. A lot. The moment he's set on the shore, he stopes with the panicky, though that doesn't do any good for the huffing, puffy-eyedness or the slight gibbering. Poor traumatized weyrbrat. He doesn't need the push, not even seeing Kiley with the spiffie little shells for him, or hearing Kelthero's question. The boy is /gone/. Bolting the second he gets his wits back, zooming off into the forest and out of sight!

Kilarden's a savior? Pah! He was only reacting like any big brother would if a little sibling was kicking, screaming, and wailing. Right? He watches Patori vamoosh with his speedy legs, turning eyes onto Kelthero as he's given thanks in passing. He even looks to Kiley, though he doesn't return her smile. He lifts his hand in a wave, then turns his eyes toward the ocean. Wary? It would seem that perhaps Pat isn't the /only/ one in need of lessons. Still, almost as silently as he arrived on the scene, he exits. No hellos, no goodbyes, just the retreating back of a kind-of-sort-of hero.

Kiley nods to Kelthero, offering a smile and a wave of farewell as he takes off. Her hands fold upon the shells on her lap, peeking towards Patori and then he's taking off. She blinks owlishly and then sighs softly. "He's going to get lost." A frown and she keeps the shells tucked in her hands as she pushes from the rock to nod a thanks to Kilarden. "Thank you." Is added in as well, quietly and considering the man before she's taking off after Patori.

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