==== September 15, 203
==== Yulena, Maosa, Donner
==== Donner doesn't want to get up, but Yulena's klah is irresistible, even to shy wild childs!

Who Yulena, Maosa, Donner
What Yulena is far too cheerful in the morning; Donner isn't; Maosa just wants some klah. All is well.
When One Turn, two months and 24 days to the 12th Pass
Where Candidate Barracks

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candidate_barracks.jpg

Candidate Barracks
Perhaps the safest place in the weyr, these barracks: the stonework here is old, perhaps as old as the weyr is itself, for the uncanny cleanliness of ancient stonecutters marks neat corners and perfect arches. Richly-lit by glowlight, tapestries reflect scenes of yore from the walls - dragons flaming, holders farming, and one particularly well-made that depicts the impression of a dark-haired girl to a light-toned gold dragonet, dripping and fierce. The barracks themselves are open-air, with not even a curtain to divide the space of male from female. Bunk-bed style cots line each wall, hammocks strung along the middle for those unfortunate enough to lack the privacy that an adjoining wall brings. There are privies in the back and locker-style item storage in the front, and one especially large table next to a book-case filled with basic Harper texts.


It is the morning, and Yulena's bunk is cold to touch, but don't you dare be touchin' her bunk, yo. The cook has been up since nearly before the freakin' break of Rukhbat, and now here she comes, back into the Barracks with a collection of mugs in one hand, and a moderately large pot of klah in the other. She's even sounding cheerful. Let's kill her guys. "Klah's on!" she announces to the room at large, earning disgruntled looks. Oh, so she intends to share this bounty?

Morning is Donner's enemy. Morning in the candidate barracks is even worse. Yulena's cheerful lilt hits Donner's ears like a klaxon, and the teen is doing what every teen does when woken up before mid-morning. He whines. "Mmrrrgggg." The noise comes from under the muffled lump of sheets and blankets that cover the gangly boy, and he's pulling back the corner just a crack to squint out at Yulena with another, more audible grunt. "Will you be quiet? Some of us are trying to get some sleep still." There's another whine, high pitched, as Donner alligator rolls his sheets tightly around his body for emphasis.

You know, being up at the early butt-crack of dawn gives one time to think, reflect, pontificate. One of the things Yulena has frequently thought is, wouldn't it be great if everyone got up at the same time she did? (she did ask a few people, but the resulting awkward stares made her drop the subject) So Donner's response brings the overly-cheerful klah-bearer to the foot of his bed: "Rise and shine, buddy boy!" Because Pern doesn't use the term 'Princess'. Yulena's already pouring a mug for the entrenched teen, "Here's your morning klah." Maybe waving it in his direction will help, "Smells greeeat, doesn't it?" Okay, now she's just being mercilessly happy.

"Nrgggg." Donner's reflective response is none too appreciative, and again the edge of his blanket is lifted to peer back at Yulena. By the looks of his bleary-eyed scowl, the woman is going to need to bring much more than just klah to turn that frown upside down. "I don't want it." He spits this out like the petulant child he is, blanket tucking tight over his face. "No one said I'd have to get up -this- early." Clearly, Donner is loving his newfound life as a candidate already. "Everything is terrible."

Any 'nrggging' is ignored by Yulena, "Oh come on," she huffs a little, "It's not that early." See, Yulena's been up for a candlemark and STILL brought back klah. And who doesn't want klah? NO ONE, that's who. "Don't be silly, you've had to get up this early before." Another moaning zombie-of-awakeness comes by and makes off with the klah she's offering Donner, and so Yulena just fills another one up, "Besides, what else do you have to do?" Clearly, 'sleeping' is not an option.

Maosa has been up for a while herself, though it's chancy whether anyone's noticed: the sheer size of the barracks has allowed the Mountain Girl to claim a bunk away from anyone else, and she hasn't been terrifically quick to meet'n'greet anyone who ventures near. It's more a 'silent staring until they go away' sort of thing. It's… it's kind of awkward. But the smell of hot beverages is a lure even she can't resist. She pads, shoeless and silent, in their direction. Donner she ignores, staring intently at Yulena's klah pot.

Donner shuffles underneath his blanket shell, grumbling and grunting and scratching. "Lay here. Not be bothered." He mutters this, muffled underneath his sheets, before finally emerging in a flurry of sheets. Clearly Yulena's plan worked, because her interaction has caused the boy to be alert enough to respond, which means he won't be going back to sleep any time soon. Like some disgruntled rooster, with his mop of hair plastered and stuck straight up into the air, he makes a rough grab for the klah, shooting Yulena the nastiest of looks before pulling it to his mouth to take a sip. "Oh, the wild girl is here," he mutters, giving Maosa a tentative tip of his mug. He's been on the receiving end of those staring contests of course— hasn't everyone else?

Yulena is friend to all klah-lovers. Even if the horribly ungrateful Donner isn't about to take the mug she's holding out, the new-comer's interest is felt more than noticed, "Yeah, good luck with that," she tells Donner absently, while turning to espy Maosa back. It'd be creepy, except that Yulena feels exactly the same way about this beverage. And oh look, Donner's up and at'em because she can now pour a new mug and wave it in Maosa's direction, even though she tries to put her own body between the staring and the klah pot. "Want some?" she offers. Wiggles the klah mug but no spills - that'd be pure criminal.

Probably for the best she does block that pot: Maosa might take it if they let her. (Isn't that rumored to have happened to someone the other day?) "Yeah," says the girl, marking Word #7 in the 'How Many Words Have Her Fellow Candidates Heard Her Say' tally. Though she leans over enough to peer past Yulena, eyeing the pot with a speculative narrowing of eyes, she will settle for a mere mug. Maosa nods her gratitude before draining half the thing in a single go, then lowers her mug enough to add Word #8: "Thanks." Then she stares at Donner, just because she can.

"Oh, she speaks? That's a first— ever." Donner takes another drag from his mug, crawling back under the covers with his mug safely clutched in one hand, and he turns to prop himself up into a sitting position, pillow tucked against his back. He's not one for conversation here at first, instead, opting to meet Maosa's stare with his own level gaze, brows knitting with a mixture of confusion and curiosity. "Do you do that on purpose? Or did no one really ever tell you that staring is rude?" He doesn't say this bitingly though, his Bollian tenor mixing with more unrestrained curiosity because, really, he can't help it. "Yulena, is she feral?" His gaze swings back around to the cook with a tilt of his head. He just needs, to you know, check.

"Don't be silly, Donner." Yulena rolls her eyes. Anyone who likes klah, by natural law, can't be feral. Still, Maosa's mug did empty suspiciously quickly, so Yulena fills her own mug before offering the pot to Maosa. It's like a test: if the other girl takes it politely, then there's no question of civility, and if she grabs it, Yulena will have possibly saved herself some bruises or broken fingers: "Want some more?" Anyways, back to Donner, "You're asking if /she's/ feral? The one who apparently forgot about 'normal working hours'?" Harrumph.

Words 9 - 11: "I'm right here." Maosa's tone isn't hostile so much as merely observational: maybe they haven't noticed? Maybe these loud Outsiders are so loud because they can only see things that are making noise — maybe she's a Velociraptor amongst T-rexes. Donner she stares at, blankly, for a long beat - so that answers that question - before her attention shifts. The wildling eyes Yulena and Yulena's pot with caution, head tilting to the side. All these RULES. How does she navigate them? The end result is somewhere between the two extremes: her hand moves out at grabbing speed, but actually takes the pot gently, and with a grateful nod. And she even pours into the cup, not straight into her mouth. Progress!

"Normal working hours is relative," Donner opines back, draining his own cup as he watches Maosa with an equally blank look. "You," he points to Yulena, "enjoy getting up at the crack of dawn to cook." He smudges a finger against his chest with a sniff, "I don't really have a job. So that affords me the time to sleep so I can get on with my business later." He tips his cup back again to his lips, realizing only too late that it's empty, and the wild girl has the pot. "Uh—" Tentatively, he extends the mug out, like he's extending his hand out to a dog he just met. "Could you?" He smiles, warily, before his gaze flickers back over to Yulena, "I only ask because I'm curious!"

Yulena blinks a little at Maosa. "Of course you're here." Who else is the coo… argh, candidate feeding klah too? An appreciative nod, "Very welcome," and then she sips her own, marvelling at Maosa's restraint, "Some day, I'll make a big pool of klah that we can just dip a mug into." Sanitary? Not quite. Genius? Possibly. Donner's announcing of business earns a snort, "And… what do you do, when you are up?" And then Maosa's point is taken, if not freshly realized, "Shouldn't you ask her?" Wave of cup in Maosa's ddirection, possibly trying to hide a slightly sheepish expression, "How do you like the klah?" That question is right directed at Maosa. See? You can teach an old cook new tricks.

"I like it," Maosa supplies, nodding solemnly at Yulena, before an astounding torrent of words flows smoothly from her mouth, in the form of two whole sentences: "Didn't know you could drink klahbark. Always just used it to season." Oh, right — klah is a native plant in the Southern wilds, isn't it? She stares blankly at Donner and his mug, weighing his request, before generously holding out the entire pot for him to take. She shoots a side-glance at Yulena, brow furrowed - she's doing this right, right? - before absently tugging on the tip of one mussed braid. She stands silently, occasionally sipping from her mug, while patiently listening to the others.

"I do quite a lot." Donner shoots back at Yulena with an indignant wrinkle of his nose, "I do laundry. I fish. I do all those heinous chores Renalde tells me to do. I scoop a ton of shit out of the runner stalls too. But I don't have to get up before it's light out to do those things." The teen gives a labored sigh as the pot is extended, and he wiggles his mug back and forth with emphasis. "You're suppose to pour it in the mug— oh, forget it." He reaches with one hand for the pot and with a little bit of finagling, refills his cup. "I didn't know she talked before, well now. She might not even know what feral -means-." And just to show Yulena, he turns to Maosa: "Are. You. Feral?" He punctuates his words slow and loud, like he's talking to a moron. "Do. You. Knooow. What. Feral. Meeaaans?"

If Yulena had a free hand, she would facepalm. Nevermind Donner's list of exploits, she… oh, look, free hand. And there it goes, providing the sturdy sound of *smack* against her forehead. "Donner." How did Yulena come out as the politer one? Because it's hard to be ruder? "She obviously understands you." Sip of klah, "She offered the pot to you." What's next on the list of One Hundred Things Donner Did Wrong Before Getting Out of Bed? Oh yeah. A helpless look at Maosa, "He really is like this. All the time. ALL the time." Despite proving that unthinkingly, Yulena can be just as bad.

Maosa considers the two of them, weighing the evidence in solemn silence. Then three things happen in rapid succession: her mug-holding hand darts out (and she is FAST) and dumps a half cup of warm klah over Donner's head. Her other hand follows swiftly in rapid succession, seizing the klah pot with a sharp tug. And, thirdly, she snarls. Like, an actual snarl. Barred teeth, a light spot of growling, the works. "Real nasty bludger, you are," the wildling pronounces, cooly, before flicking her braids over her shoulders with a sharp jerk of her head, and then - in a civilized mimicry of their own motions - pouring herself a refill.

Assumably, that klah is hot, and Donner's reflexes are not as adept as Maosa's. There's a strangled yelp as he registers pretty quickly what has just happened, and he's leaping quickly out of bed, one gangly leg tangled in his sheets with inadvertently cause him to trip and tumble. "OW! OW! GET IT OFF. GET IT OFF." He gives a wide-eyed stare back at Maosa, chest heaving with startled fear. Nope. NOPE. "WHAT DID I DO TO YOU?" And then he glares, glares all around, stumbling to his feet to grab his tipped over cup with a strangled whimper. And then he's stomping to the door, and presumably the baths without so much as another word to either woman. Well, not before he flashes a really inappropriate hand gesture Maosa's way. New friend, for sure!

Spilled klah is always a damn shame, and Yulena eyes the rending of such with utter dismay. But, as she eyes Maosa, she nods. "It was a good sacrifice," she says gravely, holding out her mug either for a refill or a clink. Either is appropriate. Donner, however, doesn't seem to agree, and Yulena watches his retreating back. "I think you'll get along wth him fine," the taller girl says, then continues, "Well. He won't think so." Be that as it may. "Have you ever tried some of my klah spice? Makes it kinda… well, spicy." Dark eyes flick over the other candidate for a second. "Or have you even heard of it?" Some day, Yulena will be famous beyond these walls… someday.

She gets both: apparently THAT cultural symbol has survived amongst the Wild Men of the Mountains. After the clink is had and the refill is given, Maosa sets the klah pot down (on Donner's vacated cot, but carefully, so it won't spill) and scowls at the male candidate's retreating back. "Idiot." She takes a sip from her mug, eyeing Yulena speculatively, before the suddenly inquiry occurs: "What is 'feral'? Am I?" Her tone is simple, unloaded: she's genuinely just asking a question. Her brow furrows further at the cook's mention of unfamiliar deliciousness. "And no. Can I?"

Yulena sips gratefully at her refreshed mug and grins, "Yeah. It can get better. Or worse." Whatever, it's entertaining. Maosa's question gets a very perplexed look, "Feral? Um…" and Yulena's searching through the dictionary in her mind, the one filled with cooking terms. "I think it means you don't use a fork, or cook your food, or drink klah out of mugs." Of course Yulena's definition of uncivilized would revolve around food, "Or you don't bathe, or something but," a sniff of the air, "All I can smell is klah, so I don't think so." And then, the very idea that Maosa hasn't tasted the spice makes the avid klah-er's eyes light up, "Just a moment." Dashing (carefully, so as to not spill) off to her little cot, Yulie pulls out a little pouch and makes her way back to Maosa. Opening it up, she hands it over, "Carefully put some in your klah and swirl it. Not too much, though. It can cause digestive problems."

"Huh." The information is tucked away without comment, to be examined at greater length when she's lurking off by herself somewhere. (Rumor says she was spotted on top of a starstone, the other day. Who knows if it's true.) Maosa waits patiently for Yulena's return, before taking the pouch (carefully) and giving its contents a wary sniff. Sniff, sniff. It doesn't smell toxic, so she pours a little sprinkle's worth into her klah, and swishes it around before taking a sip. The wildling's eyebrows go up. "Good."

Yulena has never made anything toxic, since the last time, but she gives Maosa's caution an approving 'hmph', "I'm glad you like it. I'm always running out of the stuff, but I'll try to make sure you get some." The best advertising is a satisfied customer. "So…" An awkward sip of klah. "How're you finding the Weyr?" Maybe no one apprised Yulena of how her fellow Candidate came to be here, but she's genuinely curious, "Were you down here during the winter rains? Is it always like that then?"

The wild girl nods her thanks, with a hint - just a hint - of a smile lurking at the corners of her mouth. SHE, it seems, feels no awkwardness about simply standing around and drinking things in silence, and she seems faintly bemused at Yulena's question, eyebrows lifting. Still, she deigns to entertain it. "Big. Strange. They say it's cursed." Maosa takes a calm sip of her klah. "Everyone's a lil' daft. And loud! Women all seem real nice, though." Having provided a truly shocking amount of information in a single go, she lapses back into her standard habits, idly scratching the back of her neck while answering the two questions with a single measly word. "Yes." To both inquiries, presumably.

Yulena can totally do the silent thing for a while. Not a problem. No sirree, bob, but thankfully Maosa is willing to break it too. "Yeah, that's a pretty good summation of it, I think." Affirming nod, but, "They can be. Watch out for the goldy ones, when their dragons look really shiny. Just a word." Especially that pink one, but why go into specifics? The news of winter is met with dismay, "Well. Dang." Maybe she can commute to work next Turn… A sip of klah and then Yulena recalls: "Oh, and keep that pouch. Enjoy."

"Already found that out. They tried to skin me." Wait what wait. Come to think of it, no one HAS shared more than the faintest outline of how Maosa got Searched with her fellow Candidates. And Yulena isn't going to find out the deets now, because Maosa is nodding once, solemnly, and then just… wandering off. Pivoting on her heel, and walking back towards her own cot. Without a word! Maybe she's used up her full daily allotment.

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