====September 26, 2013
====Donner, Hannah, Kultir, Nora
====Nora leads Candidates on an expedition to get vines and flowers. Hannah helps!

Who Donner, Hannah, Kultir, Nora
What Nora leads Candidates on an expedition to get vines and flowers. Hannah helps!
When There is 1 turn 1 month and 18 days until the 12th pass.
Where Jungle Flatlands, Southern Weyr

hannah_default.jpg Nora1.png


Jungle Flatlands
Rising higher than the deeper parts of the forest, the flatlands provide a unique view of the rolling mountainous jungle regions that stretches far across the western parts of Southern. Trees rise up to the south and west as the land slopes away to the east and north, allowing a brief glimpse of the winding Black Rock River far, far, in the distance. Various trails wind through these parts, providing a good place to 'hike'; with the sounds of wildlife echoing in the distance, this part of the jungle is relatively safe. A small stand of bamboo and fern trees grows here.
It is Spring and 76 degrees. It is heavily overcast.
You see Wagon Inle here.
Nora is here.
Obvious exits:
Thick Jungle Hiking Trail Cotholds

-- On Pern --
It is midmorning
It is 9:59 AM where you are.
There is 1 turn 1 month and 18 days until the 12th pass.
It is Spring and 76 degrees. It is heavily overcast.

Is it a nice day for this? That might have to be decided on an individual basis. The weather is warm, though maybe a touch too warm and thick for tromping around and doing manual labor. At least the overcast sky keeps a brutal sun from beating down on the rugged and unruly flatlands. Maybe it will rain. Would that be good or bad? However the weather is received, a group of candidates have escaped the Weyr today, with Nora and Hannah and a few other helpful riders who have agrees to provide transport and assistance in this task. Armed with baskets and rather unfortunately dull machetes, everyone was shown some examples of what they're looking for: goldweed (a scrubby looking plant with yellow flowers) and a certain type of stringy vine that can be found hanging from the sporadic trees. And thusly, everyone was sent off to mill across the wildness, instructed to stay within sight of the watchful dragons and to keep an eye out for felines. (Though they did a sweep beforehand, so hopefully that's not a problem. This time.)

Nora is dressed in a style only slightly more suited to this particular task — as in, she wearing short flat boots and a pair of trousers that were probably quite fashionably cut a few hundred years ago, but now seem a touch on the flagrant side, what with only reaching her refusing-to-be-covered calves. She also has a very wide sun hat tied on her head. Still, she braves the wilderness with her usual confidence, stomping through some brush, keeping an eye out for that telltale yellow and another eye on where her charges are wandering. Her basket, thus far, is rather empty, but then she's mostly here to manage, right?

Kultir is dressed for this sort of work and happily tramps off as far as he safely can to begin hacking down the vines that they were shown. He climbs up the trees as far as he's able to get the longest lengths of the vine, more useful that way. Once he has as many as he can reach, the teen drops back to the ground and carefully coils the vine in the basket so it stays neat and more will fit in the basket.

"Ug, I'm already sticky." Donner's Bollian tenor can be heard through the thicket of vines and foliage, and he unceremoniously traipses over an underbrush of ferns. He is dressed for exploring, with a floppy, wide brimmed hat, too large, on his head, a cord tucked underneath his chin to keep it from being knocked off by any stray branches. He reaches up at his first tree and snags a vine, his dull machete coming down with a 'thwak'. "What are these things going to be used for again?" He sounds mighty skeptical as he searches for someone official; perhaps he just thinks it's all just busy work. "Ug, its sticky." The vine drops into his basket, and he begins to wipe stained hands off on already dirty tunic.

Grateful to be free of sands sitting for the day, Hannah's also dressed for this venture in jungle worthy attire that's made to be work-worn in shades of khaki and forest green. Pale hair is woven into a loose braid, though the goldrider's forgone any hat in favor of letting the breeze tickle the tendrils of hair that slip free. Boots cover dainty feet; all in all, the woman's fit for work in the jungle. Along with Nora, Hannah has a basket but hers is also empty. "What are we aiming for, Nora?" she asks, husky voice quiet while watching Kultir and Donner get to work. Amusement filters across her expression in the uptick of brows and the touch of a smile to her lips at Donner's complaining.

There might be a pinch of concern on Nora's face, her gaze cast off in time to see Kultir at the edge of the pack, dropping out of a tree. But, when it seems that's what he meant to do, it's easy enough for Donner's sticky-sandwiched question to catch her attention. "The machetes? I think this is basically what they're for," she teases, crouching to try to wrench a piece of weed out of the ground. "Or do you mean these?" She holds up her chunk of goldweed, waving it near (but not touching!) her cheek as she grins at him. "The weed is used for dye." Her eyebrows give a portentous bounce, smile spread wide. As for the aim, to Hannah she gives an answer full of calculations, vines per minute, per person, by the number of people Q'fex has indicated, with extra to account for mishap and confusion. And then ultimately, "But we'll see how much we have after today and go from there."

Kultir laughs as Donner's complaints ride the wind to his ears across the flatlands and calls back, "Quit ye'r bellyachin', Donner! Ye wanna go back t' latrines or be out here in th' fresh air?" He snatches up a rough stone from the ground and strops his machete a few times on either side of the blade. Hmmph, better than nothing. The tall teen leaps for a low branch and pulls himself upward to get several more lengths of vine from the branches nearest him. There is obvious enjoyment on the tall boy's face as he gets to climb trees and give the Assistant Headwoman heart palpitations every time he drops out of the tree after chopping down as many vines as he can. Every time he drops from the tree, he carefully coils the vines he cut into his basket. It doesn't take long before the basket is nearly full, coils of vines placed around the edges. He takes the time to scan the grasses to find the goldweed they'd been shown to stuff down into the center of the coiled vine to use as much space as possible in the basket. Once that basket is full, he heads back toward the women, grin still in place with the heavy basket hefted to his shoulder as he strolls easily across the flatlands. "Weyrwoman, ma'am, iff'n ye have a whetstone, I c'n sharpen these blades t' make the work a bit easier …" he offers with a polite nod as he swings the basket down where the empties are piled.

To not complain is to not be Donner; alas for all of the people in his general vicinity. "I'm not complaining," he snaps back Kultir's way, meandering to the next available vine within reach of his lanky arms. "I'm just making note that it's sticky, hot, and these things leak juices when you cut them." To demonstrate, he pulls taut another vine and brings the dull blade down, grunting with a mixture of effort and annoyance as it doesn't cut cleanly. "Ug, see, it's squirting. Gross!" He turns with his basket, moving with an unseemly gait over to the vine pile and dumps his basket out, eyes trained on Nora and her golden weed. "Yeah— that!" He thrusts his basket towards the Assistant Headwoman with a confirming nod, "I know what the machetes do, in theory at least." To say that Donner has limited training in machete 101 would be an understatement to say the least. "And the vines? Are we using those for some candidate bondage punishment?" Oh, he thinks that joke is funny, all cheeky smiles flashed at Hannah and Nora both. "Or something else?"

More moderately, Hannah takes one of the dulled machetes and hacks away at what she thinks she should be gathering. "Hopefully, we can get the bulk of it done," she comments, half-way idly, while watching Kultir's obvious enjoyment at the task at hand. "Oh, I don't have a whetstone," the goldrider comments when Kultir makes his rounds back to the group with his full basket. Hefting the machete, she eyes it and then glances to Nora. "I am going to be honest, I'm not sure how safe I am around sharp and pointy things." A subtle joke that plays along the corners of her eyes and into the small smile given to both Candidate and Assistant Headwoman. Either way, she has no such sharpening accoutrements. She steps closer to the Candidate group, tugging on a vine before sawzawing at it with her machete. Let's face it, Hannah isn't the hulk here. "We'll tie you up down into the stores, by the by, where we'll strip the meat from your bones — what? Too soon to tell you? Not the right story?" Amusement definitely filters into emerald gaze, the soft huff of laughter following. "It's a surprise." Whether it is or isn't, it so is.

Breaking candidates is a no-no, so yes, Nora watches on with touch of anxiety, though chances are, it's more about messing up at her job than real concern for missing fingers or broken ankles. There's a beat when Kultir approaches, making such speedy progress with his collection, where Nora just stares at him, letting him speak without any reaction at all. And then she animates to pat at her pockets. "Not on hand," she admits of the whetstone with an unconcerned laugh and a guilty smile. "I didn't realize they were so…" Listen, she's not an expert on tools. "Maybe we'll see about getting them all sharpened before we come out again. Though…" Her eye casts off across the candidate spotted field and then to Hannah when she expresses her misgivings about an army of untrained kids with knives. "Perhaps it's better that they aren't too sharp." At least not unless they're all going to pass machete 101 first. Nora presses a smile tight as Donner turns up wearing most of his mess, thanks to that frequently-wiping hand. (Maybe there's a reason she's keeping to the weeds.) "We're going to tie you all up, dye you yellow and then send you out to see if the felines will mistake you for hairless cubs." Hannah's version of plan, though, with strips of meat in the stores, that gets a curiously narrowed glance from the assistant headwoman. "Funny you should say that," she muses with a teasing grin.

Kultir just rolls his eyes at his fellow Candidate and shakes his head at the complaining Donner keeps up. However it has happened, Kultir barely has a strand of sticky goop on his arms and his leather trews and vest are still as clean as when he got here though his linen shirt is a bit sweat-stained. A soft chuckle comes from low in his chest as the goldrider indicates that she probably isn't safe around the machetes and shrugs slightly. "Wull … dull blades be more dang'rous th'n sharp 'ens but, ye ain't got a whetstone … I c'n makedo." he says, grabbing up a pair of baskets this time. No sense making more trips than he has to when he can easily carry two full baskets at once. The grin he sends to both women is nearly feral at their teasing, amber eyes sparkling as he heads back toward the trees. "Think I might like t' be mistook f'r a feline, ma'am." drifts back to them as he drops his baskets at the foot of a new tree. Looking up he gauges the distance and leaps upward, strong arms pulling himself up and over the branch he'd grabbed onto. Rough stone is fished out of his pocket and he spends about five minutes scraping the stone across the blade before slicing easily through the vines and dropping them to the ground near the baskets. This time, he does not immediately drop to the ground though, he clambers over to straddle a second limb to repeat the vine cutting. This process is repeated till the tree is bare of the hanging vines. He is nothing if not efficient when it comes to junglecraft.

"Well, if that's the case-" Donner's voice drops off momentarily, and he's moving from the trees to the shrubs; better to be dyed yellow than to be strung up. "One of my older brothers once lobbed off his pinkie finger while stringing net lines out at sea once. Got the finger trapped in a trolling net; had to take a gutting knife and— " the candidate makes a 'sncking' noise, swiping the air with his machete with emphasis. So what he's ACTUALLY trying to say is that yes, it's way better that these knives are not sharp. He leans down to start plucking and depositing weeds into his basket, a wary look passed between the weyrwoman and Nora. "Will those things happen before or after impression?" He mulls over his next response, plucking a few more weeds into his basket, gaze drifting over to watch Kultir work those trees. 'Show off-' might be muttered under the teen's breath, but it's soft enough that others might not hear exactly what he's said. "And it's a good thing I'm scrawny and tough. You'd be more successful in attracting felines with a more, robust candidate." He points to Kultir, "Which isn't me!"

"Is it?" This question is lobbed at Nora with the upraise of pale brows again, Hannah pausing in the act of tugging on one of those golden weed things. The junior weyrwoman sticks to picking flowers and the odd vine here and there. Too short to be climbing trees, she watches Donner and Kultir instead. Perhaps to ensure that her dragon's Candidates do not, actually, fall to their deaths. "Be careful," she cautions the climb-y Kultir, shading her eyes to watch as he climbs into the tree. But it's to Donner that she directs the delicate shudder, "I would hate to lose a finger like that." In fact, it's a good thing no one is standing near Hannah, because that machete is flailing about with each move the goldrider makes. "I would say, after the Hatching. We need you guys until then…" Totally teases, though outright laughter comes with Donner's final disclaimer. "Or perhaps a feline will go for the taller, stringier bit of meat." A glance is cast towards Nora, and whether the headwoman is busy or not, she's asking: "Right?" An actual answer may not be expected.

"I have heard that," Nora admits, now seeming a bit uncertain on the topic of blade edges. "I suppose they need to be sharpened eventually anyway…" But as there's no whetstone, she can be a bit relieved to push it off as a task they can attend when they're all back home. Meanwhile, she squats again to start working at a veritable little grove of raggedy weeds, making a face for the dirt getting on her hands. "We'll give you a vine for a tail," she tosses over at Kultir with a smirk. And then to Hannah, offhanded, "Someone was telling tall tales about the dried meats actually being former 'friends' of yours." Her brows go up, pointing suggesting the goldrider take a guess where such stories could come from. However, it's the story she's hearing from Donner that has all such expression draining out of her face. "His own pinky? Were you there?" she asks a touch hesitantly, mouth pulled in an uneasy frown. "Gross." At least he doesn't seem too damaged by the event, and so as he continues on, she eases back into her weed yanking, separating out few stray blades of rough grass. Nora's focus appears to drift away, though, and it's Hannah's check that brings her back. "Don't they go after the small and weak?" It's a little too innocent to be, well, innocent.

Kultir drops from the tree branch and takes a long time to carefully coil the vine into the basket. He flashes a grin at he other Candidate, figureing that Donner would be a bit of a stringy mouthful if a feline managed to snag him. After a bit he does hear the admonition to be careful and waves a hand to indicate he'd heard. Not like he's careless or anything when he's out her on the plains. His grin doesn't fade, he's having an entirely wonderful time and doesn't care who knows that he enjoyes this type of assignment. He manages to fit most of the vines into one basket and grabs the almost empty one to move toward another tree. His leap and climb is repeated till this tree too is naked of hanging vines. The candidate takes the time to climb down this time … he may be getting a bit tired of climbing and jumping. After that second basket is filled, he searches for the goldweed to stuff into the empty places in the basket befor hefting them up to bring back to the growing pile of full baskets.

"Need us— ah." Donner has no smartass response to that one. He squints Hannah's way, trying to determine if there's even a lick of seriousness to her words. "If I don't impress, and no offense ma'am, I'll be hightailing it out of here so fast." He leans over to pull another handful of golden weed into his basket with a downward pull of his lips. "No flaying, no being strung up. No sir. No way." The last thing Donner wants is to be feed to the lions, be it hypothetical or literal, in this case. Nora's question is met with an enthusiastic smile, "Oh, I wasn't on the ship, but I was there when he came back bleeding' all over himself and everyone within a five handspan radius." He seems almost proud of the story, to say the least. "They said that he got him a 'squirter.' That was turns ago though— you don't need all your fingers, it turns out, to do able bodied work." Are you squeamish yet, guys? "Good thing I ain't small then," he directs in response to Nora's quip. "Tall and weak more like it. But I'd put up a fight if you fed me to the felines. That's for sure."

Now Hannah gives pause, machete hanging loosely from her hands. "Former 'friends'?" Pale brows lift ever higher, the goldrider unsure whether she should be surprised, embarrassed, or angry at this rumor. "I didn't realize I had so many 'friends'," amusement wins out, at least visually, as the goldrider turns back to yanking on the flowering weeds. "I'll need to let myself know that I'm so popular." Husky voice drips with acerbic sarcasm, though she's gamely back to tackling the nearest vine after getting the golden weed out of the ground with only ninety percent of the plant mangled. "You don't know. The sands might trap us all." Now the goldrider is definitely teasing, though she makes a disgusted face at Donner's continued talk of 'squirters'. "Everyone in this weyr is a giant." This muttered comment is given to the vine in which the woman is currently yanking on. Her basket is barely a quarter full and over half that are the easier-to-pick flowers. With a muffled yelp, she accidentally flings her machete to the ground as the stubborn vine comes back on her to smack her across the cheek. Arms windmill as she falls onto her butt, luckily the machete bounces off the ground a bare inch from her booted foot. No eviscerated toes, here. "This is harder than you all make it look." Trufax, she's puny.

"So everyone agrees," Nora says with a self-satisfied grin and the happy straightening of her shoulders as she stands, "Spending the afternoon doing these lovely candidate chores is better than losing fingers, being flayed, or fed to felines. And I think…" Her eyes cut over to the young man who is so visibly at peace in the trees. "Kultir might say it's better than working in the caverns, too." Yes, she'll go ahead and speak for him. "Everyone is happy." She makes a show of fanning herself with a bit of weed, over-simplifying the circumstances for her own benefit, all in fun. Though it's with touch of put-upon pout that she asked of Donner, "What if we try not to main you?" Will he stay then? Meanwhile, her own collection is still a bit lacking, but with a glance, she's about to wonder to Hannah, "Should we…" Except that's about the time when Hannah loses all control of the physical world and ends up on her backside. Nora gasps, rather understandably, and it's only after the goldrider complains that she exhales. "You're okay?" A few steps and she's offering the tiny woman a hand up. "Maybe we should put you in charge of getting the baskets strapped up. I can try to round up the rest of them."

Kultir has nearly returned to where the two women are working when Hannah falls smack on her prat, falled victim to a stubborn vine that has clipped her cheek. He's torn. Can he get away with laughing at the fallen goldrider? He's already grinning so a chuckling smirk can be hidden by turning his head a bit, right? He can't help it, he laughs softly, his head shaking at the sight of the goldrider sitting on the ground with vine goo stringing across her face. He manages to compose his expression into one of polite concern as he situates the two full baskets and pauses to make sure the diminutive woman is alright before he snags another pair of baskets and returning to his tasks. He decides that it's time to gather just the goldweed for a while, then he'll go back to climbing trees. As he moves off, searching the ground for the weed he catches the mention of his name and grins again and nods very slightly in agreement though it is doubtful anyone would see his agreement. Donner, for the most part, is completely ignored as he's off on another of his gory stories about people losing limbs … or eyeballs … or other vital organs … to various, preventable, accidents.

"I'm okay, Nora. More bruised pride than anything else." Hannah's smile is rueful, and while the vine's left a red splotch like someone slapped her, the goldrider is otherwise none the worse for wear. "I'll… just." She did warn them that she was a calamity with the machete. "Maybe that's best. I'll catch all kinds of shards and shells if I come back injured." Soft laughter follows, though the junior isn't really paying attention the candidates. Kultir's humor and Donner's complaining and rambling talk are left to their own devices. "We've got a lot, though. Few more candlemarks then we should head back?" This is given to Nora after gratefully accepting the other woman's help, which leads to wandering off and brushing off her backside. To the baskets she goes! Although, she does yank up (and mangle) some more goldweed as she does. Can't hurt to have a little bit more, right? And onward the day goes.

Somewhere in the midst of helping Hannah up and the goldrider getting herself brushed off, Nora will juuuuust casually take up her machete, so that it doesn't pose any more danger. "At least I'm not responsible if you get hurt," she quips in there, the friendly kind of abuse. And meanwhile, she looks at the full baskets collecting near the dragons. "I hope this is enough. More work than I'd like for something we're just going burn," she exhales on a heavy sigh, and with a very lady-like brush of her wrist at her 'glowing' brow, too. "Kultir, would you mind?" she asks sweetly, tipping her head toward the goldrider and assigning him to act as her muscle. Has anyone noticed she's like a midget? And meanwhile, the assistant headwoman pulls a hanky from her pocket to try to clean off her fingers really really well, so she can stick them in her mouth and blow out a piercing whistle across their little corner of the flatlands. Time for everyone to start wrapping up. And when Nora finishes wiping her fingers again, she sets one just-so at her cheek. "I hope I took an accurate headcount before we left," she muses without much concern at all.

Kultir is moving across he grassland in a kind of weird … wherry-walk, bending down to twist the weeds off at ground level till he's got a handfull. He stands, deposit that handfull in one basket, step forward, bend, twist another handful, stand, etc, etc. He rather gets into the rhythm and that first basket is quickly filled since he has strong, large hands and can get decent sized handfulls. He hears Nora's request and glances back in time to see that tip of the head. He grins and strides back in that direction to assist the goldrider with hefting the heavy baskets onto the waiting dragons to transport back to the Weyr. He tosses the empty back on the pile and shoves his machete down into the other basket to keep it from damaging anyone else.

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