Rude Awakening

Western Weyr - Weyrling Barracks
Inside the wooden building fresh air circulates from the many open windows lining the two longest walls. Outside, you can see many tropical trees and shrubs. The walls and ceiling of the barracks are made of slats that have been pegged together tightly. Overhead are beams from which electric lights have been strung. The floor is of black volcanic stone, rubbed to a smoothness that will not hurt the tender claws of young dragons. Along each of the two longer walls are cots set up next to rounded depressions in the stone. There are enough areas available for all of the young dragons and their new riders with room to spare. At the back of the barracks are trunks with oiling supplies and bins where fresh meat is delivered until the dragonets learn to hunt for themselves.

The wee hours are dark in the barracks and it's one of the rare occasions when you are off duty and should be resting. In the shadows along the wall four teensy feet move to carry a furry body with whiskers wider than the critter itself, stealthy, fast, and right up the leg of a cot he goes and beneath the covers of its inhabitant, or along the top if one sleeps atop. The leetle, bitty mouse finds a foot, and a leg, and starts to work his way up, after all, he wants to see what's at the top! Little claws perform like grips to help him move up the body, creeping and skittering, pausing now and then to press a tiny nose to the body and sniff, whiskers wriggling side to side, possibly against bare skin, possibly against clothing. He may or may not be discovered during his under-cover ascent and if he makes it to the top of the big lump body what he finds top-side really is due a bit of investigation. A face. Nom. Yes. Chitterchitterwrigglesniff. Humans smell funny and *lick*, taste a little funny. If only he could sink his little teeth in and taste…

~ Pose written by Lissi

In their chosen spot among the barracks, both Th’ero and Velokraeth are resting, weyrling and dragon in their respective cot and couch. It’s not until it a brush of fur against his face that things change, the sensation causing the weyrling to stir enough in semi-consciousness to raise a hand and brush the pest away so sleep can resume undisturbed. Poor little mouse-like critter gets banished under the covers again and it’s there that it’ll find its taste sample in human flesh; which in Th’ero’s case is the inside of his upper arm.

With an adrenaline fueled start, Th’ero all but thrashes awake and in turn, Velokraeth is up with him, misshapen body tensed with alarm, though no mental call goes out to wake the Weyr. Amid the chaos of tossed sheets and thrashing of human limbs, the furry intruder is propelled from the cot, no doubt squeaking in alarm or fear. So this is the price for curiosity? Th’ero, biting back curses and a few well-placed oaths, catches a glimpse of the small critter just before it lands in front of Velokraeth. The bronze is quick to catch his rider’s thoughts, but acts on his own and with startling quickness, a stunted forearm is extended and the creature is ensnared within his clawed fingers.

Poor, poor furry creature’s heart was not meant to deal with such shocks and when Velokraeth, still tensed, relaxes enough to show Th’ero his captive, the furry creature is … well, dead. Th’ero has recovered enough to calm down and inspect the tiny bite wound, which is minor and of no serious worry (unless one worries about disease). But at the sight of the dead critter, the weyrling freezes for a moment, staring at his young bronze with uncertainty. However, Velokraeth seems only to stare at it, confused but curious. «This strange little thing is the cause of it all?» he asks, sounding dubious. «What’s wrong with it?»

Th’ero seems reluctant, though in the end the weyrling simply sighs. He knows better then to lie; the last attempt earned such a scathing reprimand from the bronze that he’s unwilling to test him again. “It’s dead. Probably from fright and not your fault.” The weyrling explains, slowly letting himself relax now that the initial alarm from such a rude awakening is wearing off. Velokraeth only turns his oversized head to the side, whirling gaze studying the dead critter with what seems to be innocent interest. At least, that’s what Th’ero wrongly assumed and before he can fully grasp Velokraeth’s intent, the deed is done and the evidence promptly eaten.

Th’ero, thoroughly revolted, only confuses the young bronze. «What?» Velokraeth snorts, defensive. «It hurt you! Seems only fair. And it was dead and it smelled good. What else were we to do with it? Seemed a shame to waste a snack, though it was pitifully small.» The bronze sighs, almost wistfully. There need be no words for Th’ero to catch on to Velokraeth’s hint and with a groan, the weyrling brings both his hands up to scrub tiredly at his face. “Are you serious?” he mutters, which only earns him “the look” from the young dragon.

«Yes, I am. Why would I tease? It’s not my fault that this unwanted guest turned snack has only made me hungrier.» Knowing better to argue, Th’ero gets up from his cot, still dressed in his night clothes. “I still don’t think that was smart to do. If you get sick…” «I won’t. Meat is meat and there was barely anything to it to upset me.» Velokraeth interrupts him with an audible sniff at the suggestion, though Th’ero only rolls his eyes. “… /if/ you do,” he stresses, pausing only to give the bronze an affectionate slap to the neck and earning a nudge from a blunted muzzle in return.

Chuckling and stifling a yawn, Th’ero wanders off in search of some fresh meat, being as careful as possible not to rouse the entire barracks as he does. Velokraeth remains in his couch, patiently waiting and seeming smugly amused with himself for one who was startled awake. No ill harm came of it though. Well, not for them anyways. But furry critters beware … Velokraeth is no friend of theirs.

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