==== October 11, 2013
==== Kultir, Taralde, Xaychil, Renalde, M'rgin
==== Taralde and Kultir break curfew, there are consequences … and a kitten.

Who Kultir, Taralde, Xaychil, Renalde, Mrgin
What Breaking curfew!
When 11 months and 28 days until the 12th pass.
Where Southern Weyr, Stables, Headman's Office

kultir2.jpg t-ral_facepalm.jpg renalde.jpg Xaychil.jpg


Rehabilitated, the stone stables of Southern sweep grandly in arches and valuted ceilings. A half-loft in the back shows openly the hay piled in sweet-scenting mounds. Beneath, broad box stalls house inhabitants safely away from the purview of dragons… nickers and restless stompings fill the air to blend in with hay and runner-sweat and leather: sweet nirvana.

Taralde backs quietly up to his rack, gesturing Kultir closer with a toss of his head and a glint in his eyes. "Sure, that'd be great Kultir," he says for anyone listening. Rats were everywhere in barracks like these. This wasn't his first rodeo. A quick glance left, right, down at the sleepers on nearby racks. "Tomorrow, though. I'm gonna get some sleep." He ducks and grins broadly at Kultir. He goes through his normal routine, wiping down the gitar and putting it in its case. Case grated on the ground, but not stowed. Kicking around at his boots. Scuff scuff. Swinging the case up onto the rack he lowers it gently into place and gives the rack a shove. "Oof." He winks at Kultir. He grins and cocks his head towards the narrow passage behind the tapestry. Come on. Let's get outta here.

Kultir pushes himself up from the floor, depositing his tunic on his bunk and advances toward the man. He follows the man down the narrow passage, somewhat excited to be breaking the rules. He grins a bit roguishly, keeping his tread light so as not to wake anyone who might catch them at their stealthy exit.

Taralde stuffs his gitar case under the covers, ruffling them and squinting critically. Bah. It's fine! He lowers his hands and the leather band so recently given to him catches on the bedpost. His father's clipped voice intones in memory, 'Think before you act.' He stops. My life may be in this man's hands one day. It's well to get to know him. He nods and pads off quietly. For a long time they move uncertainly in the darkness, only the sounds of their breath and shuffling, searching feet, hands stretched out above and ahead. Once well clear of the barracks and anyone who's not also breaking curfew he, "This, uh, this isn't where they discovered any of those bodies I hear about, right?"

Kultir grins at the man and shrugs. "Mebbe … mebbe not. If they did, it's been cleaned out a long time 'go." he says in a low tone. "Ye skeert o' the dark then?" His amber eyes sparkle with mischief as he teases the man. "Where we headin', anyway?" is asked as an aside.

Taralde can hear the grin in Kultir's voice, "No, no. Not the dark. Ow," he rubs his head where he'd misjudged a dip in the ceiling, "Of never finding my way out of here." Shuffle, shuffle, "And dying of starvation…" He huffs, squeezing through a narrow bit, hoping he hasn't already marred the gifted clothes, "…after the, uff," more squeezing, "…Kultir jerky runs out."

Kultir laughs softly and manages to make his way through the narrow passage without hurting himself or making an inordinate amount of noise. "Ye thin ye'll have the chance to make jerky o' me?" he asks, a mock-menacing tone to his voice. He pads silently after Taralde, using his tracking skills to keep quiet, wondering if he can unnerve the Harper.

Ducking and sidling and clambering along, Taralde comes to what feels like a divide, a stone… column? He can tell. He stops, pondering. Touching the right side of the stone in front of him, he stretches out searching fingers, he speaks into the darkness with a distracted air, mind on the fingers stretching through the darkness, "Don't underestimate…" he huffs affirmatively finding the far side not so far, fingers brushing the stone, "…my Harper wit." He stops. The tunnel has gone quiet. It still seems as if he can feel Kultir… but… "Kultir?"

Kultir continues to pad silently after the Harper, keeping his breathing quiet and soft as he approaches the man's back. He stops just before the man might feel the heat of his body and reaches a hand out toward the other's shoulder. Fingertips just lightly brush against the fabric of Taralde's shirt. The ex-Tracker grinning from ear to ear, wondering just how the ex-Harper will react.

"Bhaa!!" Taralde's shout disappears up down the passageway. Fight or flight? He fights! He spins on his toes, ducking into a crouch and aiming a smart jab that grazes Kultir's thigh, glancing right into the stone wall, crack! His mouth falls open, shock and pain taking his breath.

Kultir senses the movement of the man before him, swaying backward as the man spins and strikes out. The boy chuckles softly, hand striking to grab the wrist of the hand that had struck his thigh. "Hey, you got good reflexes." he says, gentle fingers questing over the other's hand, making sure no bones are broken. "Sorry, man, din't think ye'd startle that bad."

""Ow," says Taralde. He pulls his hand away and stands, wincing, slowly opening and closing the insulted limb. "Ow." He leans against the wall, "Yeah." He chuckles, "On edge, I guess." He feels the hand carefully, along the bones, skin scraped, throbbing, "I, uh," he grunts balling the hand into a fist, "I think this may be a branch. Have you been down here before?"

"Kultir chuckles softly as the man inspects his hand for himself and settles his tunic back into place. "Hmmm, I have a couple times …" he says, pondering the sounds coming down from the branching. "I think we go left t' get t' th' Sands. Not sure where the right goes though."

"The grin in Taralde's voice is plain, "Why was I leading then!?" He laughs, brushing his hair off of his brow. Ow ow ow. Though he knows that Kultir can't really see, he gestures down the other passage, "After you. Lurker."

"Kultir laughs. "Cuz it was ye'r idea t' skive outta the Barracks?" he says, slipping past the man and moving down the right hand passage. "I be gonna guess this'll go to the Bowl … less it goes to the Living Cavern." He makes sure he makes enough noise so that the other an follow by the sounds through the pitch blackness.

"Fair enough," Taralde allows. The two slip into the darkness of the Hatching Cavern entrance and out across the weyr proper. They slink from shadow to shadow, boulder to boulder. Insect noises rise and fall, the whole weyr alive and breathing. "How will we protect all this… life?"

Kultir chuckles softly as the other man keeps pace with him as they flit from shadow to shadow, avoiding the eyes of anyone that might see them. Candidates out after hours? What is this Weyr coming to? "I dunno … prolly have t' have a fair number o' groundcrew iff'n th' jungles gonna survive." he murmurs, leading the way through familiar shadows to the closed Stable door.

Taralde leads a merry chase to the craft complex, down the stone stairs, up, down. He'd done a good bit of exploring it seems. Or getting lost. And then down, down to the stables. He grins at Kultir in the dark, massaging his hand, "So, show me where this forking took place?" He peers around a corner into the stables, sweet-smelling with hay and fodder. Earthy with runners and dung. An ocasional stamped hoof or swished tail is all that they can hear, beyond the everpresent insect chorus.

Kultir shrugs as the other man asks where the event took place and shakes his head. "I dunno where it actually took place." he whispers, trying not to disturb the beasts in their stalls. "Jes know'd it happened an' I found th' marks on the runner in that stall." He waves to a specific stall off to his left. "Not that piebald though … twas a roan."

Taralde shakes his head, "I don't know what folks are thinking. Taking after an animal like that." He leans on one of the empty stalls, arms hanging over, and peers into the shadows thinking.

Late-night wanderings always seem to bring out the best and the worst of Weyr residents; which will Xaychil be? Time will tell, time will tell; in the meantime, here he comes a-wandering, poking his nose into the belly of the place, familiarizing himself with his new, perhaps temporary, home. And upon two people he blunders, whispering together in the dark. Instinct demands he shout, however — sleeping beasts. Therefore, he whispers loudly, "Oi. Who's there?"

Kultir sighs as the other man leans against the stall. "It coulda been a accident. I dunno, jes found the untreated wounds." he says softly. He begins to say something but a loud whisper startles him, sending him into a crouch further into the shadows and remaining silent while his heart pounds in his ears.

Taralde's eyes go wide. We're pinched! He ducks with Kultir, crouching against the stall. He winces dramatically at Kultir and grins, rolling his eyes. Just their luck. He reaches up and carefully slides the bolt on the stall… quietly… quietly… quietly enough?

Not quite: they've been pinched by one whose ear is Harper-trained. That little tell-tale bolt has Xaychil slinking toward the very stall, where he crouches to look under the door. Oho — he sees human feet! "Hey. Come outta there right now." And here, he tries to sound threatening. One hopes his training holds on that score, or things will become embarrassing very quickly. Thebusted pair might even see a bit of blond hair and an eye peering toward their shadowy presence.

Kultir brushes Taralde's arm lightly, motioning the man to remain where he is and as quiet as possible. His soft bootsoles making no noise as he crabsteps through the darkest shadows to the opposite side of the stall alley way. There is a very brief moment where the lantern light may reveal him but his dun colored clothing should keep him mostly hidden, if he's quiet.

Taralde nods and keeps totally still. Pinched! So pinched! His father would have his hide. He tries to keep his breathing under control, heart pounding in his throat. He peers curiously after Kultir. Hey! What are you doing? He grimaces at the other Candidate. Not helping his heartrate.

There's creeping about, and a flash of something moving in the lantern-light. Xaychil has a creeping sensation — and decides he's going to sliiiide under that door, maybe. And so he crouches lower still, and begins to wriggle under that door. Just in case the place really IS haunted, like all the stories say it is.

Kultir's gleeful grin is hidden in the darkness as he continues to circle around the other person in the stables out of hours. Remaining in the deepest shadows until he's directly behind the other male. The sounds of someone attempting to slide under a wooden door makes the Candidate's jaw drop in a silent laugh. So, someone is feeling creeped out? With a fairly accurate immitation of a feline's moaning hunting cough, the larger boy pounces and latches his hands into the back of a tunic.

Xaychil becomes a flurry of kicking feet and raking nails — oh, it's all very undignified, but any gutter brat will bite and scratch and claw like a wild thing when there is SOMETHING ON HIS BACK. And there's something, most definitely, on his back. And so Xaychil does his best imitation of a hissing, spitting kitten and he scrambles out from under that door, all the better to attack — at least as well as a smallish young man can manage to attack another.

Taralde hears Kultir's cough, having never heard a feline, but the hair raising on his arms nonetheless, he crouches, fingertips pressed lightly against the ground, ready to spring to his friend's aid. Then Kultir has a whirlwind in hand, a dervish of hissing and spitting. He peers through the planks and sees someone their own age and he strides out, laughing. "Oh man, your face." He grins, leaning on the stable walls, "You've got a talent for skulking, my friend." He grins at Kultir.

Kultir chuckles softly as the flurry of kicking, scratching, hissing young man writhes beneath his hands. "Hey, I ain't gonna hurt ye." he says goodnaturedly. The larger boy pretty much absorbs whatever feeble strikes the smaller man can offer. He releases the other's tunic and hops backward a bit to keep out of the way, still chuckling while his heart races with the thrill he hasn't experience in several sevens.

Xaychil hits the floor and scuttles away, breathing hard. He almost died, and these two are yukking it up over there. Chest heaving, he glares at the two, arms crossed. "Ha, ha, very funny." He grumbles at them, and then rolls his eyes at Kultir. "How'm I supposed to know that, with you hacking like a crazy feline?"

"Is that what that was?" He grins at Kultir. "That doesn't sound like any feline I've ever heard." He walks over to Xaychil, "Sorry, man." He reaches a hand down, extended in greeting and to give a hand up. Eyes warm, "I'm Taralde." He'd give Kultir's name, but he won't dish if the stalker isn't game.

Kultir can't help the chortling that keeps rolling through his chest and out his mouth. "I be … well, useta be, a wild feline tracker. I got Turns o' practice skulkin'." he says to Taralde. His sparkling eyes watch the smaller man skuttle away, shaking his head in amusement. "Ye really think a feline coulda opened tha' door? What'cha doin' sneakin' up on us, eh? Ye ain't a stableboy, is ye?"

Xaychil glares even more fiercely, if it's possible. "No." He hisses, insulted at the very idea. "And I wasn't sneaking, I was just looking around." At night. When half the Weyr is probably already asleep. "I walked in and heard you two whispering, and wanted to know why." Infamous Harper curiosity — he must know all the details in the world. Note, however, that he doesn't give his name. That much he seems inclined to hold back from the other two.

Taralde's sense of fairness asserts itself, "He's right, we were the ones doing the sneaking." He includes himself in that even though Kultir did the stalking and pouncing. He gestures again at the other young man, hand still outstretcheg. "Come on, no harm, no foul, right?" He pouring on his Harper charm as well. We'll see how it goes. There's a little sound. A tiny squeak. The tiniest possible squeak. Taralde's head snaps around, "Not that. THAT sounds like the felines I know." He leaves his hand for another second and helps if the agrieved Harper takes it, or drops it if he doesn't. He turns and pads toward the sound.

Xaychil eyes that hand with deep mistrust. It's an ominous hand, associated with being snatched up from behind. Maybe. Or not. At any rate, Xaychil finally decides to take the hand and pull himself up, only to whirl around with a squeak of his own. "What the — " A mouse in the house! Or, perhaps, some kittens. "Where's that coming from?"

Kultir shrugs at Taralde's sense of fairness, not losing his grin of delight. "Yeah, 'spose we was the ones sneakin'" he says. He too hears that odd squeaking sound and cocks his head to listen a bit closer. "Sounds like it be comin' fr'm tha' empty stall there." He points toward where Taralde had been trying to open the door. He makes sure to stay a bit further from the distrustful man, maybe that'll help the guy settle down a bit.

Moving on his toes, now he's sneaking, Taralde creeps to the stall and unlatches the door. He slips in, peering into the hay. His eyes light and he grins over his shoulder at the others, "Hey! Come take a look," he leans back, startled at a spitting hiss, not unlike the ones they'd heard from the other lad earlier. "Whoa, watch it. Momma's fierce." He scuttles back to give the momma her room, but has revealed a mother feline and her kittens. He grins again.

Deciding he simply doesn't want to know, Xaychil decides he's going to slouch the OTHER way — out the door, as soundlessly as he can, just to prove that he can sneak if he ruddy well wants to. And so he does. HUFF.

Kultir laughs softly as the young man slouches off, shaking his head as he moves toward the empty stall and peers into the hay. "Yeah … cute." he says, probably not too convincingly since he never dealt with the felines at his old home, they were too feral to be handled. "S'pose ye'r gonna bring 'em back t' Barracks an' raise 'em?" Of course he's being sarcastic but … he wouldn't put it past a few of the younger ones that share the cavern with them.

"Heck no," he watches the kittens curiously. "We can't have pets." Only one of the kittens is up, restless. The mother, for her part, has her ears laid back, growling low in her throat. "Not for me." The wakeful kitten is now aware of the giants! It's little back is arched - so fierce! "I have someone in mind, though." Someone who's clothes will never be the same. He grins, lopsided.

Kultir grins down at the feisty little kitten. "Really? Who ye thinkin' would like one o' them little spitballs?" he asks with another laugh. "Careful there … momma's gonna take a swipe at ye." The time spent tracking the larger cousins of these little animals has given him a fairly good idea of how these might act … and react.

Spit flies from the ball of fur, hissing loudly as hair raises along his spine. AWay with you human!

"My father." Taralde wriggles his fingers in the hay, irresistibly, enticing, wriggles. Stop. Wriggles again. Stop. Little wriggle.

Kultir groans softly when he hears that Taralde wants to give it to his father and shakes his head. He finally crouches next to the other Candidate and does his best to distract momma-cat from shredding the Harper's hands if she thinks he's getting too close. "Ye'r Da … tha's th' Headman, right?" he asks, glancing at the kitten and chuckling softly, a low rumble in his chest as he keeps as quiet as he can.

Taralde snatches his hand away, 'Oh valiant kitten, you have won this round, but I will return! From over here!' with his other hand opposite where the kitty is facing he wiggles the hay, crunching and shifting the bristles. He takes a deep breath when he hears Kultir's low groan. "Yeah. The Headman." He bows up, bristling on his father's behalf, "He's not all bad. Or he wasn't." Taralde chuckles in memory, "I remember catching him cuddling one of the weyrfelines at Benden when he thought no one was looking." He grins at Kultir, "Can you imagine?"

Now wait, there, that hand was his. The fierce kitten eyes the movement away from him, croching down to stare at the hand. Tiny claws extend, scraping against stone and a few wary steps are taken forward.

Kultir pulls back a little at Taralde's bristling and frowns in confusion at the other man. "I dun e'en know 'im, man. Jes what I be hearin'." he says, a hint of apology in his voice. "Ain't never e'en met 'im … not t' speak to a'least." He smiles at the image of the stiff man he's heard about cuddling a feline and makes him shake his head again. "Not really …"

"Ah… sorry." He grits his teeth. "I know a lot of the Candidates," he sighs, A lot of the weyr, "Don't really get along with him." He turns his focus on the little one, so fierce! Fingers wiggled enticingly. And then back to Kultir, "Where you from? A jungle-tracker. So, here?"

HA! The fingers wiggle and it's only a moment before the little furball is launching itself onto the fingers. A loud hiss is issued as needle like teeth angle to latch onto the fingers, sharp claws to grab the cloth.

Kultir shrugs slightly at the man's apology. "Na big deal." he says softly. The man's question gets a frown and gritting of teeth, the boy not really wanting to answer but not having a real reason to not answer. "I be born in Keroon. Herder-bred." he says in a low tone. "Yeah, I be a jungle tracker when I be gettin' here but I be doin' other trackin' since I been 'bout 12 Turns." This is delivered in a rather flat tone, as matter-of-factly as possible.

Taralde winces as the kitten's claws and teeth sink home, but it's not that strong, just ferocious. Superficial scratches and maybe some… ow… yeah, that's blood, but not much. It's what he's been waiting for. He swoops in with the other hand and issues a gentle ear and cheek rubbing, fully expecting the little cuss to latch onto his other hand. "Keroon. Lovely flat country. Beautiful storms. Or," he grins, "That's what the ballads say." He notes Kultir's suddenly flat affect, "When did you come here?"

TARGET CHANGE. But wait, small claws are tangled in rough fabric. Hisses turn to whimpers as teeth release the hand to attempt to tug free.

Kultir snickers at the kitten's attack on the Harper's hand and shakes his head. "Ye sure ye wanna gi' that t' her Da?" he asks. His expression falls at the recitation of what people consider Keroon to be and shrugs slightly. "Yeah, s'pose it's like that. Tis the people tha' make a place good 'r no." He heaves a heavy sigh, watching as momma-cat curls back around the rest of her litter, eyeing the kitten and Harper disdainfully. "I come 'ere a few moons afore I got asked t' stand."

Taralde's eyebrows raise at the poor little kitten. "Easy, easy," he murmurs, low, chiefly for the vibration and the aspect, he gently unhooks the kitten's paws, keeping up the gentle strokes. "True enough, if it were the climate," he gives a long suffering sigh, "Southern would be the worst place on Pern." He winces down at his sleeve, the kitten - and the narrow passage - have done a number on his new shirt. "Thanks again, for this." He gestures at the shirt and then keeps at petting the little kitten, murmuring.

Whimpers slowly shift into a low rumble from deep within the ball of fur. Needle like claws this time cling to the front of the man's shirt for purchase, don't drop me plez!

Kultir laughs softly at the antics of the kitten and cocks a shoulder at the Harper. "Yeah … no problems. I outgrow'd it already." he says of the clothing the older man is wearing. "I like the weather … 'cept the winter rains, tha's jes mis'rable."

Taralde says, "I suppose it's better than freezing." He nods. It is at that. He cradles the kitten's hindlegs in one hand and stands slowly, so that it doesn't fret. For its part it just clings, relaxing only marginally. He grins down at it, "I think they're made for eachother." He does some mental math, "So you've been here for the whole Candidacy?" A thought strikes him, "Who the devil Searched Maosa?""

Kultir shoves himself to his feet next to the other Candidate and looks at the kitten doubtfully. "Yeah … b'fore the flight tha' made them eggs too." he says, moving out of the stall and awaiting the other. The question startles a laugh out of him as he lifts his hands helplessly. "No bloody idea." The words come out carefully enunciated instead of slurred as is his normal wont. "Jes know she was there when I got back fr'm afternoon chores …"

Rough fabric is a perfect kitten pole, and the little ball of fur hooks all of those needle like claws into the fabric and begins to climb upwards.

Taralde cocks his head, noting the shift in language. He lets it pass. Ambling after Kultir, he turns and nods at the momma cat, Your baby will be well cared for. He lets the kitten scale mount Taralde, rubbing it's ears and jaw and shoulders. He grins at Kultir's bark of laughter, "Shh…" he laughs quietly, eyes gleaming, "Bailey corded me, what about you?" He gestures for the other lad to precede them from the stables.

Kultir bites his lip as he realizes he's been a bit too loud and shrugs an apology. "Nika." he says shortly in answer to who had asked … or rather arrested and forced … him to Stand for the clutch. At the other's gesture he nods and turns to pad silently back toward the door, peeking out to be sure they are unobserved. When the coast is clear and the other Candidate is hard on his heels, the door is opened far enough for them to slip out and then closed once more.

Cords hang from the shoulder of the pole-person that is being climbed, and the small horror, pulls himself to the shoulder of the bitable individual. Three sets of claws stay hooked firmly into the cloth, the last bats at the strange strings.

Taralde keeps an eye on the kitten to see if is making any signs of leaping. Otherwise, he's fine with whatever it wants to do.

Kultir carefully leads the other man through the shadows to the spot they came out of the Barracks at. "Ye wanna try this way or through the Weyrling Barracks?" he whispers. More worried about getting caught than about he kitten but wanting to give the other a choice.

Deep darkness has encapsulated the bowl, only the glow of the moon above lighting up the bowl. A summons in the middle of the night has fetched the headman from his bed, and quick steps bring him to the doorway of the stables just as it opens. His eyebrows draw together as the light from the glow in his hand illuminates the pair of younger men who exit from the doorway. "Kultir, Taralde. Come here."

Kultir groans low in his throat, rising from his sneaking crouch as he hears his name spoken in a male voice. "Yes, sir." is said in a subdued tone of voice. He glances sideways at his companion in sneaking and shrugs.

Derwyth turns his head as his glowing eyes slit open to watch the escapees. The rider next to the dragon turns to watch as well, but finds his lifemates eyes to be more usefull in the dark.

Dread soaks into every pore. And the day had gone so well. That little, rat from the stables! He is cradling the little kitten against his chest, having won a brief exchange of mock hostilities. He steps into the light next to Kultir. "Yes, Sir."

"I'll not bother to ask you to explain why you are not in your bunks. Turn boys. Walk." Renalde steps to one side, his tone booking no room for the pair to argue. There is a roughness there, a tone that should be familiar to Taralde at least, disappointment. He gestures for the young men to move towards the weyr.

Kultir turns toward the weyr and heaves a sigh. Well, it was fun while it lasted. "To the Barracks, sir?" he asks, rather hopefully but a slightly hollow sound to his voice indicates there isn't that much hope there.

"No. My office, pick up your feet Taralde. This is not time for dragging your feet." Renalde pushes the glow at Kultir to take, for him to lead the way.

M'rgin turns and continues walking from the living caverns to the waiting brown, now freshly cleaned and joints working good from a nice long soak in the baths. The dragon asists him up and the pair spend a few more minutes watching what plays out as the boys are delt with.

Kultir accepts the glow and nods slightly. "Aye, sir." he says, turning back toward the cavern entrance now that he knows where he's going. He picks up the pace, eager to get the yelling over with so that he can get back to his bunk.

Taralde keeps the kitten held tightly in his hands, like a cage of sorts, not squeezing, but not giving, despite whatever punishment the little ball of adorable spite cares to dish out. He shuffles faster, despite not really having been dragging his feet. He looks sidelong at Kultir, catching his eyes, a smile quirking as they head to the Headman's office.

The heavy door to the headman's office is pushed open with one very white hand, as Renalde ushers the two rule-breakers into the brightly lit area. "In. Sit." There are two chairs before the headman's desk.

Kultir enters the office as told and settles into a chair, setting the glow on the edge of the desk before he clasps his hands in his lap. Amber eyes focus on the Headman, the expression on his face a combination of chagrin, nerves and resignation. His back is ramrod straight and gaze is steady despite his nerves.

Following closely on Kultir's heels he moves quickly to a chair and sits, straight and as still as possible with a wriggling kitten. He can count on one hand with fingers left over the number of times he's been called into his father's office for disciplinary purposes. His father's office. Even so. Dread. He sits quietly. Waiting for the boom.

Measured paces bring the tall headman to stand behind his desk. Rather then sit as he has instructed the pair to do he stands, laying elegant hands flat on the table. He watches the boys gently squirming before him. A small sigh falls from his lips. "It seems that among every group of candidates that have passed in all of my years of working as a headman are at least some who feel that the rules which have been set do simply not apply to them. Rules which have been set forth for the express purpose of keeping the baby dragons who slumber on the sands safe. We are unsure if it is the touch upon the eggs that draws the dragons bond, or if it is what passes after. Regardless, we seek to make sure that no little one is without their lifemate when their egg cracks. In this time especially, with Thread looming quickly on the horizon, it is of utmost importance that every dragon find its partner. Thus we put up safeguards to make sure that the candidates who touch their shells also remain safe. One such rule you both have decided to utterly ignore, as I have found you outside of the confines of the barracks at this late an hour. In consequence, you both are confined to the weyr proper until the hatching. In addition, you Kultir will help our newest headcook for an extra hour in the evenings cleaning out the pits wherein the roasts are cooked. Taralde, you will spend an extra hour in the latrines, making sure that the sanitary conditions of our weyr are properly cared for. Am I understood?

Kultir was not squirming until the moment the Headman had started talking about the rules being set out for the Candidates to remain safe. Then, of course, he started squirming. When the headman gets to the pronouncement of punishment, his jaw literally drops, gaping at the man. "Confined?" he gasps. Realizing he's spoken aloud, the boy snaps his mouth shut and nods his head though the sick feeling is expressed in his eyes. "Aye, sir." he says with resignation. "Confined to the Weyr proper till Hatching. An extra hour daily cleaning the roasting pits." He repeats the punishment to let the man know he'd heard and didn't just react.

Taralde was only squirming because of the kitten. That bit about keeping the Candidates safe because of the egg-touchings sobers him. He closes his eyes for a long moment and snaps them open. Still, it is good to know a man better who may have my life in his hands. He drops his eyes and raises them. "Yes, Sir. Confined to the weyr proper and an extra hour cleaning the latrines every day." In a lot of ways he feels they've gotten off easy. Though Kultir may disagree. He sits quietly, awaiting any further words. His heart is still beating so hard, and he's sitting so still you can see his shirt shiver, the movement telegraphed through his skin. "Meew!" insistent and strident. The kitten finally protests its confinement.

Renalde straightens up, removing his hands from the dark wood of the table. "I expect both of you to head directly to the barracks without a single stop off. Xinzang," Renalde turns his attention upwards to the mantle where a tawny firelizard has draped herself across his mantle piece. "Will stay with you till you have closed the doors. If you choose to wander again she will inform me and your consequences will be more severe." The firelizard picks herself up, silver glinting off of her delicate wings. One moment she is crouched on the mantle, the next in the air, dipping above the heads of the candidates in the small confines of the office.

Kultir pushes himself to his feet and gives the Headman a proper salute though his expression is somber. "Aye, sir. Directly to the Barracks." he says, turning to leave the office. He pauses with a hand on the door handle, frowning at the other Candidate's back, wondering if he'll follow or not.

Taralde stands, face still very neutral. He looks at the Headman, "I'd like a word alone, Sir. If I may?" He drops his head, looking first at the floor, then sidelong at Kultir, Xinzang whirring above the other Candidate's head.

The gold lizard continues to flit above the pair, watching each of the people in turn. "Wait outside candidate Kultir. We will only be a moment." Taking Kultir's acceptance in stride, Renalde folds his arms over his chest and looks at this son, his eyes flicking only once to the mewling mass half hidden in Taralde's clothing. "What cannot wait till a reasonable time in the morning Taralde?"

Kultir nods briefly at the Headman, frowning at Taralde. "Aye, sir." he murmurs and slips out the door.

Taralde lifts his head, "This." he gestures with his cage-hands, growing stiff, moving the little squirming, biting creature away from his chest.

Renalde frowns, and moves around the table to gently take the creature from his son's hands. In his delicate fingers the kitten calms, and Renalde's eyes meet the green of the kitten. For a moment there is only quiet contemplation of the small one. "Thank you Taralde." The kitten is placed upon the desk where it promptly moves to bat at the pen set to one side. "Walk quickly back to the barracks. There is no need of further trouble tonight." It's as close as Renalde gets to emotion, and his ice-cold eyes do thaw… just a touch.

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