Homeward Bound

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.


Brionnith has been sprawled out on the beach for a number of days now, the blue spending a majority of his time alternating between fishing in the shallows or dozing in the nice warm sand. There's no greens here to cozy up to, so he's got a rather hang-dog expression — totally and utterly bored. No doubt the candidates have been having an interesting time of it on this trip, but their idyll (or not) vacation in paradise is coming to an end. As half a wing of dragons appears in the sky above the island, Brionnith is sitting up onto his haunches, flapping his wings and bugling loudly. It's time to go! "Keep yer shirt on, Bri," Kasira comes out of one of the girl's hut, stuffing clothes into a knapsack. "Candidates, get yer things, it's time to go home." She hollers this last, meant to be heard by anyone who might be anywhere on the beach, or down in the lagoon. Hopefully nobody went off to explore the jungle right now.

As a matter of fact, Tineska has just come from exploring the jungle. It doesn't seem as though she has found anything interesting, though. There's sand caked in her hair, and it appears she's spent lots of time in the water earlier today as well. She also doesn't look like she's gotten much sleep. When she hears the call to get ready to leave, she looks a little relieved. In a snap, she's front and center with her things and standing as near to Brionnith as he will allow. Yep, she's ready to get out of here now.

How very lucky that Keelyra was not doing just that. Exploring the jungle that is. The teen has largely kept to herself on the trip, save for meal times and when she's gone out for hunting lessons with Velrich. As they're hollared for, she was actually digging in her carisack for something. Instead, she rams whatever it was back in and starts pulling on more proper clothes over her swimsuit. Her hair is a right mess and there's a small brown 'lizard tangled up in it making things even worse. "Quiddit," she mutters to the creature as she laces up her boots.

Idris had been sort of napping in her hammock, arms slung over her face and little blue firelizard curled half on her forehead, half in the hammock. The bugling dragon interrupts her dream and she rolls to her side in the hammock, still half-asleep. When Kasira hollers so close by, though, Idris is woken, and she sits up drowsily, disturbing the firelizard. It takes her several minutes to collect her things; she has to hunt down the girl who'd borrowed her sleeping roll. Her backpack is hurriedly packed, sandals are slid on, firelizard is perched on shoulder and clinging to her disheveled hair, and she's making her way to the beach.

Kelthero was thankfully not way off up in the grove or around the monument at this particular time of day. In fact, he was taking a nap in one of the various hammocks - until Brionnith begins to bugle and Kasira is giving out the call to pack up. Sitting up and blinking a little, it takes a moment for his sleep addled thoughts to click into gear and then he's taking his time to stretch out and yawn. Eventually he swings out of the hammock, scrubbing one hand idly across his face while the other begins to drag his few belongings together. Thankfully, he had packed light, so it's not long before he's wandering over to join the others in lining up to go back to Western. With his pack slung over one shoulder, he glances around, nodding or waving a little when he spots familiar faces.

Ever one to sleep in strange places, Jey is sprawled out on the sand, eyes closed and breathing steady. Unfortunately, it isn't exactly easy to nap when there's a cacophony going on all around and up above. With search and rescue trained reflexes, the dolphineer pops up almost immediately, slinging a tiny sack that had laid beside her over her shoulder and making a mad dash towards the water only to realize that in fact, no one is drowning. Pulling herself into a slow jog, the dolphineer lines up with the rest of the candidates and slides in beside Kelthero.

Kiley is lingering at the camp, idly weaving some leaves together in attempts to make /something/. But nothing forms quite yet as it is in the starting stages. But, then there is the blue bugling as he does and she blinks up from her work. A look towards Kasira as she comes from the hut and gives the announcement of their return. Though she doesn't moan and groan, she certainly doesn't appear all that thrilled as she pushes up to her feet and makes her way back into the hut to gather her things. Everything is carefully packed before she's shuffling over to stand beside Jeyinshi and Kelthero.

Patori is /totally/ on the beach, having pretty much attached himself to one of the huts and not let go since escaping Velrich's attempted swimming lesson. As it is, the look on his face when the call to go back goes out is one of sheer and absolute relief. He immediately darts inside and grabs his few piddly belongings and all but races out again, and totally falling into step behind Kelthero. Shadowing him like a little puppy. And maybe sticking close to Jey and Kiley too, eyes darting about, almost warily. He hugs his backpack to him, and tries to make himself small(er).

Someone was getting ready to explore the jungle — skinny Kashie, the weyrbrat-candidate's eyes glinting with mischief. At least until the assistant weyrlingmaster is intercepting her path, and giving the girl a dark look. "Ye won't be running off, Kashie," Kasira scolds the girl, "or else ye can stay here till the next batch of candidates comes back." Scuffing her feet in the sand, the girl ducks away. "But ma…" "Ma SIR," Kasira clucks her tongue, making a shooing motion at her offspring. Daughter or no, she won't let the kid take liberties. "Yessir." Kashie doubles back, trudging off towards the hut to gather her gear. Moving to Brionnith's side, Kasira begins checking his harness as the half-wing of dragons comes spiraling down to land. "Bet yer all excited to go home, huh." she grins at the candidates as they begin to gather around, Brionnith turning his head a little to whuffle at the nearby Tineska. "Did ye have fun? Get anything good?" Most of them are sporting new firelizards, aren't they? Winking, Kasi begins to direct the candidates to the waiting dragons. "And it won't be long afore those eggs hatch. We'll have ye all back in time."

Having been somewhat absent this trip, it might become more clear as Keelyra approases the rest of the candidates to wait for the wing that's been sent to escort them to land. She's been introspective. She still is. The girl fusses with her shirt somewhat as she waits, pack slung over her shoulder for now. She holds her bow and quiver for the time being; like to pack it on the dragon once they mount up.

Ther's a sudden *POP* and Layali the green is there, hovering beside Tineska. The Computercrafter-apprentice-candidate is not much in the mood for her firelizards or anyone else's, regardless of how hungry the green seems to be. She hasn't spent much time around the others the last few days, strangely having preferred to spend some alone time in the deeps of the island jungle. She sure does look grumpy now. A very audible grunt is given in Kashie's direction, as Tineska rolls her eyes at the girl. She doesn't seem to be much of a fan of hers. She watches as the others gather their things and seems to zone out occasionally, but she does give a faint smile to the ones she is closer too. Maybe this trip wasn't so bad after all? She did get a bit better at swimming. If only there wasn't that cut on her leg. She reaches down to touch it, still watching the others. "We ready to go now then?"

As he waits for further orders, Kelthero grins a little when first Jeyinshi and then Kiley slip in close, though he's unaware of Patori shadowing him from behind. "Was wondering if you two were nearby. Anxious to get back?" he asks, trying to seem simply idly curious and instead betrays his own anxiousness to finally return to the Weyr. Not that the island didn't bring a sense of enjoyment! Kelthero is a creature of habit though and being left here with so few places to escape has no doubt worn him down a little. Glancing back to Kasira, he nods his head, smiling crookedly. "It'll be nice to back." He admits truthfully, though he blinks a little when the eggs are mentioned. "Not that long?" he adds, echoing part of the bluerider's words. Then he's glancing to the others, shifting a little on spot as he seems to grow more and more restless now that there seems to be quite a few of them gathered together.

The dolphineer /is/ sporting a shiny tiny firelizard. Not that the green is really visible. She's hiding in Jeyinshi's sack, the tip of her muzzle barely peeking out, eyes whirling and slightly trembling at the sudden crowd. Jeyinshi doesn't seem to be at all phased by the crowd though. Arriving candidates earn a pleasant smile and then the dolphineer is zeroing in on Patori, brows lifting at his demeanor. "No swimming for you today Pat. Kelthero's question earns a definite nod and she sort of sighs, looking out across the ocean as if she would be able to see the Weyr. "Yeah. The island is nice, but I miss Sungie. It's been so long since I've seen him."

Kiley's firelizard is likely hiding in her things from the way the bag shuffles about, and then there's a head popping out. But, the computer crafter pays no mind as there is no sounds of hunger coming from the green. Instead, she's looking towards Kasira for further instruction before she looks to Kelthero. "I think I had already explored the whole island, there wasn't much left to do besides make things out of grass." Well, that and hunt for food, but that would be a waste if they didn't need it. "I am not entirely anxious. It was nice out here, but, I am missing my laptop. And the eggs will be needing us soon enough." There's a chuckle before Jeyinshi draws her attention to Patori, in which she gives the boy a pleasant little smile before attention returns forward.

Brionnith is certainly happy to see the other dragons, whuffling and snorting at them affectionately — most of his attention given to the greens on the beach — before his rider swats at his shoulder. "Hey!" Kasira scolds the dragon. "Pay attention, wouldye?" The little blonde bluerider consults a clipboard. "Alexavier, Meshcha, you two over there," she waves at a blue dragon, and continues down the list calling out names and directing candidates at dragons. "Patori, Jeyinshi, on that brown." He's a patchy looking fellow, speckled like a runner with broken color — darker brown overlying lighter brown. "Keelyra, Velrich, over there with that brown. And Kiley and Idris, on that green," She's nearing the end of the list now, "The rest of ye, with me." Tineska gets a nod. "Ayep, time to head home. Did everyone get their things? Because we aren't coming back fer it."

Patori is firelizardless, having had his adventurous streak eated completely by the terrors of tunnelsnake-like vines, the creepy jungle, and Velrich. Mostly Velrich. He does at least have a decent collection of colorful pebbles and shells. Continuing to shadow Kelthero, the boy peeks over at the others, mumbling a soft, "I hope so," in response to Tineska. Jey's mention of swimming has Pat totally hunching up and going quiet however, darting another wary glance at the ocean and then looking around again, noticing Kiley's smile and returning it shyly. When Kasira directs them to dragons, he shuffles quickly over to the brown, bobbing his head to the rider and getting settled as fast as possible. Poor boy, this one is so ready to head home.

Idris adjusts her backpack on her shoulders and makes her way for the green to which she's been assigned. The little blue firelizard stares with whirling, curious eyes as they approach the dragon, and as Idris greets the rider and prepares to mount up the firelizard dives into her hair, tangling into the hair she'd left unbraided today. She has a brief squirmy dance as she carefully pulls the firelizard out and opens the main pocket in her backpack for him to hide in. That settled she is soon adragonback and ready to go home.

Kelthero chuckles a little when Jeyinshi brings up Sungie. "Figured. I'm sure he'll be happy enough to see you too though when you get back." He muses, and then frowns a little. Wait, swimming lessons? Turning his head a little to look back over his shoulder, it's then he spots Patori and promptly steps to the side to expose the younger candidate. No more shadow shield for him! Not that it would matter, as Patori is soon called away. "Yeah, I think I've seen and explored all there was to this island as well." Kelthero says as he glances back to Kiley, about to add more but then Kasira is listing off more names and the former guard drags his attention back to the bluerider. There's a frown to one name there but then Kiley and Jeyinshi are called away too and he gives them a quick wave before moving closer to Kasira. Nodding to her, he slips his pack from his shoulder only to switch it to the other. "All set and ready to go." Kelthero then no doubt readies to mount up, but not before being given the okay to do so.

Tineska nods. "Got my stuff, yep." She looks as if she might be relaxing a little bit. She even reaches out to stroke Layali this time, but it isn't long before the green has gone over to investigate the other greens belonging to Kiley and Jeyinshi with a curious chirp and fluttering of wings. They look a bit like her, yep. Not nearly as beautiful as /she/ though. Tineska opens her bag to double check that she's got everything, and inches closer to Brionnith, waiting for Kasira or the Blue to give her the go ahead to try mounting up., pausing a moment to give a wink to Patori. There's also a bit more of that smile again. Yes, she's coming around. "You've got a handsome blue, here," she offers to Kasira.

Keelyra is directed to a brown and hauls her things in that way. She helps the rider secure them to the dragon, offering polite conversation in the process. Fortunately, the teen is well-used to dragons and the process is fairly smooth. It's not long before she's a-dragonback and strapped in.

Jeyinshi grins and nods, "And there's only so much exploring and fishing one can do." But then they're being assigned to dragons and the dolphineer strides quickly after the boy, shaking her head and mumbling something about how amazing it is that he's always disappearing so fast. Then again. He probably had practice. It doesn't take long until she's scrambled up after Patori and settled in behind him. Once she's settled in, Jey slides the bag in a circular motion, twisting it around so that it rests in her lap rather than by her side. The green lets out a small protest at this movement and burrows farther into the sack while the dolphineer pets it idly, waiting for them to head out.

Kiley nods in response to Kasira, "yes ma'am." She turns, smiles a little wider for Patori's returned smile before she is hurrying on over towards the green as directed. Her bag is shifted and then handed over so that it may be settled into the straps before she's making to mount with the assistance of the greenrider once Idris is all settled in. After strapping herself in, she makes herself comfortable for the ride back to the Weyr.

Kasira remains at Brionnith's side, tucking the clipboard back into her knapsack before she offers it up to the blue to hold, holding out a hand to assist the candidates riding with her — that would be Kelthero and Tineska — with their luggage. Those would be stowed onto the blue's back, and Kasi would be offering to help them mount up. Once she herself is aboard, she fastens her harness, and surveys the dragons. Everyone ought to be on their conveyance by now. "Brionnith's a grand blue," she flashes a grin at Tineska. "Best of the bunch in my opinon, but then I'm probably a bit biased thar." Cupping her hands over her mouth, the bluerider hollers out. "Last call, everyone should be on the dragons." Yep, everyone is. "All right, let's go home!" And with that, Brionnith's launching himself skywards withe the rest behind him.

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