==== December 6th, 2013
==== Nika, Atmanth, Arianne, Caelth, T'ral, Esanth
==== Nik-uts and Hair-i-anne haze poor, poor T'ral.

Who Nika, Atmanth, Arianne, Caelth, T'ral, Esanth
What Nik-uts and Hair-i-anne haze poor, poor T'ral.
When There are 0 turns, 6 months and 15 days until the 12th pass.
Where Southern Weyr

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ground_weyrs.jpg

Dragon Infirmary
An exceptionally large cavernous area is set aside for the dragons of the weyr to convalesce. Immediately adjacent to the ground weyrs, it provides some privacy for those pairs whose injuries require more silence and solitude for recovery. But there are also a number of dragon wallows here for triage and diagnosis; those with the worst injuries have the wallows nearest the open air exit reserved for them until they're well enough to be moved further in. Bins, shelves, and locked cabinets store all of the medicines and raw ingredients the dragonhealers will need for treatment, as well as things like blankets and 'medicinal whiskey' for the riders of the afflicted. A lettering system applied to the shelves above one lone desk hint at a filing system used by those who work here.


Now that Nika isn't wingleader anymore it has freed her up for some time in the infirmary. Even if that means she has to sneak it late at night because of Q'fex's order for extra drill time. A much needed order. So here it is creeping toward midnight and Nika is rolling bandages and putting them away. A rare moment of serenity, or rather quiet serenity, for the rider. Atmanth is nearby, inspecting each roll before it is put a way. Which only causes Nika to giggle everytime she holds ones up.

Esanth and T'ral pick their way past the weyrs and through the wallows. There's a sudden loud wooden groan of furniture or cabinetry being dragged. Then furious shushing and a few shorter, stuttering groans. Something being shoved back into place? T'ral comes into sight shaking his head, Esanth on his heels, drawn up regally, neck pulled into a casual, haughty curve and countercurve ruined only by the cattywampus set of his still-growing wings. Once he spies her, T'ral makes a beeline for Nika, saluting when he gets close, "Evening, ma'am." He drops the salute, "T'ral, blue Esanth's." In case she didn't recall one of the DOZENS of times he and Esanth had been here. There had been a rumor of an over/under pool on how many visits Esanth and T'ral would make before graduating to senior weyrlinghood. He surreptitiously looks around for a board listing odds. "We're here to do some training." Esanth sits, tail coiling, rumbling a quiet grinding greeting at Atmanth.

Esanth senses Atmanth is not easily detectable at first, is only mark the soft strum an old guitar, but that only distracts as slowly everything fades to a night sky. The soft lighting of stars shows only the outline of swamp evergreens, which are the backdrop for the twinkling of lightning bugs. Soon the guitar is joined by a chorus of cicadas, as an old wooden rocker creaks welcomingly against the unfinished wood of a well used porch. « Hey, cat. You been movin' furniture around in the ground weyrs? Or just cuttin' a rug in there? »

Nika giggles, lowering her rolled bandage as her giant blue's attention is stolen by the weyrling's dragon. "Nika. And that's At-man." Hey, she's not a wingleader anymore, she doesn't have to use his full name. "And I know you anyway. You've been in here lots. No worries though. Lots of dragons are clumsy till they understand their bodies. Like boy's in puberty." So clearly this will be a night of unawkward conversation. "Oh! Training! Right. Cause Arianne said you spend so much time here you'd been thinkin' about movin' in once ya graduate." She giggles and leaps from her stool to slowly circle the boy appraisingly.

Esanth is a rumbling of engines, eager to be away, « Too close down here. Too much stuff. » One of the stars shines more brightly, steady against the flickering of the lightning bugs, a warmth in the vast cold of the darkness far above. A distant thrumming, holding station, visible through the stillness of bayou boughs and beard moss. A low shrill as Atmanth's music feedsback through tinny speakers. « Makes a body… ansty. Give me an open sky and the stars. »

"Evening Atmanth. Nika." T'ral knows his full name. "Yes, ma'am. It's been better since we've been flying." Months ago T'ral's ears would have colored at Nika's reference to a puberty not all that far behind him. He clears his throat. It was still a bit uncomfortable. He laughs, "Well, it hasn't been a problem so far, but I might move in if Esanth shows any signs of rolling off his ledge." Thanks Cerise for that particular worry. He stands straight as Nika makes her circuit, eyes tracking her progress, but not moving a muscle.

Esanth senses Atmanth curls his steady tune around the sound of the engines, the thrumming of his home station becoming the bassline. « Whether life is playing on the ground or the sky, s'all a dance man. Don't matter where I'm at as long as the music is playin' and Niks is here. Can you dig? Life man! Can you feel it? While your wings are spread? »

The prounciation of her dragon's full name causes the tiny woman to double over in laughter, "At-man is fine!" She finally pulls herself together, only to fall half over again, "Roll off his ledge?" Her hand wraps around an examination table to steady herself, the other clutching at her stomach. "Too much..too…Atman! No, you may not try it!" Her nose wrinkles up at her dragon, and she offers him a giant grin, "Unless I'm strapped to your back!" Maybe the male shouldn't have given them that particular idea. Finally she finishes her last circle and points at him. "I can't give you any training yet. Not unil you've had…" BumBumBum. "A haircut. But don't worry. We have scissors." Don't bother about her awful, mismatched, almost bald is places hairdo.

Arianne arrives -without- Caelth stalking behind her for once. One can only guess that he's off mangling a wherry to pieces and she doesn't feel like watching today. What she walks into is Nika clutching the exam table, with a T'ral obviously nearby, and her expression turns to split-second panic. "Nika!? Nika, are you alr…. oh, you're fine." Relieved, the redhead clutches a hand up to her heart and then steps the rest of the way in. "How's Esanth doing, T'ral?" Also hi!

Esanth rolls in the sky, the thrumming deeping. « While my wings are spread, yes. » The distant hold fills with anonymous furry skins, tobacco strung up in bundles, neatly rolled gauze. The thrumming deepens further, « Sky's got my dance card punched. »

T'ral watches Nika's slow advance. Eyes flying through a variety of reactions to the Serval wingrider's pronouncements, her laugher and the snicker snack of her scissors. His eyes flick to Nika's disaster do. "I'm…" he clears his throat, "I'm sorry?" What was that? Arianne's alarm makes him tense and he looks around for some kind of threat. Oh. There's nothing. He blinks and wipes his hands on black pants, straightening into a salute, "Evening, Wingleader."

Atmanth pulls the tobacco into different shapes, as cheap liquor coats the back of the throat. « Sky's got your dance card punched… » His deep graveled voice as thick as molasses tastes sweet with amusemement. « I can dig that, brotha blue. I can dig it. »

Nika seems un-preturbed by the boy's reaction to her GORGEOUS hair cut. Snicker-snack scissors indeed, which are drawn from the drawer and wielded. "Arianne! Wingleader!" Cough. She manages a salute without poking her eye out with her artistic tools. "Hey! Doesn't T'ral need a haircut? How can we give him any training if he isn't in code with the weyrwoman's orders?" See she's only being a good little bluerider, so Pern Santa will bring her presents. Big round eyes flick up to her wingleader, she isn't going to ruin the fun is she?

"Don't… the scissors… your eyes…" Pardon Arianne for a moment while she tries not to hyperventilate, and composes herself. MUST BE CALM AT ALL TIMES. She does turn to study T'ral's hair though, head tilting a little to the side while she tugs at the tips of her own freshly cut hair. "Well… we /do/ all have to meet regulation." she agrees. "A little off the sides, at least." *squint* "And maybe clean up the back a little." She even gives a curt nod, because she's being all proper wingleadery in contrast to Nika's adorable over-eagerness.

"Ah..haheh…ah." T'ral leans away from Nika's gleaming weapons, "I'm reasonably sure the Weyrwoman meant folks with long hair." He rakes fingers across his scalp and down the back (which feels totally fine to him). His hair stands up all crazy in the wake of the finger combing. See, his hair's bee-yoo-tee-ful without Nika's help. "Esanth's well, ma'am. Thank you for asking." He'd enquire after Caelth, but just now he's being stalked.

Nika's little eyes narrow, well as narrow as they can. "I'm "reasonably sure" two people who out rank you, one of them a wingleader - just told it you your hairs are too long." Okay so maybe being a wingleader for a bit taught her to be a little sassy. Still, whatever sass turns into laughter and an agreement with Arianne. And since T'ral's refusual gave her more time to think (a dangerous thing to do), her eyes light up with an IDEA look. "Ari, Ari, Ari! You wanna see who can do it better? You do one side and I'll do the other, we'll meet in the back. Best side gets a drink from the other side!"

T'ral blinks, mouth snapping shut and straightening to attention, called to order by Nika's rebuke. He stares into the distance, awaiting his fate. How bad could it be? He could always shave, right? Grow a goatee. That'd probably look pretty good. "Permission to ask a question, ma'am?" Either ma'am will do.

Arianne ducks her head a little so that she doesn't burst out into a gigglefit with Nika's rank-pulling. Hazing the newbie. Poor guy. She starts to feel sorry for him, really, but then Caelth likely butts in there and she clears her throat. "Nika, you always have the BEST ideas!" she exclaims, even letting go an excited squeal at the notion. "Of course, T'ral. Ask away!" she agrees readily, all while sliding a look her wingrider's way.

"I know!" Is Nika's resounding acceptance of Arianne's praise of her ideas. Even if she too feels a little sorry for the boy, pulling rank isn't normally her style. But it's for a good cause. "Don't worry T'ral! I did my own." She pulls at one bouncing curl, which is decidedly a differently length than the rest of her hair, none of which is even, and which contains a few baldish spots. "Oh! And I did Nathanael's." See other people let her do their's. "Just bend over so I can reach you!" She blinks. "Or have a seat on this stool."

Well, these two do seem to enjoy one another's company. Eager to get on with the training and, since it clearly looks like this is happening, he asks, "I'd like to choose the winner, if that would be okay, ma'am?" He looks to the stool indicated and sits. What am I getting myself into? Hands on knees, he sits calmly, face clear of emotion, eyes distant, momentarily the very image of his father.

"That sounds fair. Doesn't that sound fair, Nika? I think we can allow that." Arianne nods along happily with this idea. It's when T'ral becomes miniRenalde that she almost totally loses her shit. The first stray giggle erupts and is smothered by a coughing noise as she steps up alongside the Sr. Weyrling. And, holds out her hand for a pair of scissors. "Don't worry, it'll be over in no time!" is chirped, with disgusting cheerfulness. "Would you like a drink? We have whiskey!" Medicinal. And this absolutely counts.

Oh! He plays along! Arianne is only half way through her answer when Nika loses her relative cool. A single bound she up to T'ral' side and she's got her tiny arms wrapped around the seated sr. weyrling, face buried in his upper arm. Suddenly she releases him and nods eagerly at her wingleader, "Yah! That sounds like a great idea!" As if they didn't know that's what she thought. "He's already passed his first test!" The could you manage to survive the people who work in the infirmary test. And just to prove the whiskey part, Nika reaches into the inside pocket of her leathers and pulls out a flask, thrusting it toward the male. "We," Read Nika, "always have whiskey."

The male's straight-ahead stare goes flinty, it's not fun to be laughed at particularly. Going along is a defense mechanism, maybe they'd try to do a good job… T'ral groans inwardly. It really would only take one of them doing a poor job to… right. Shave. Goatee. Whiskey. "Yes. A whisky would be-uufff." Nika-tackle. Maintaining flinty affront in the face of that much cuteness is nigh-impossible. Renalde could manage. But I've met Renalde, and you, T'ral, are no Renalde. His lips twitch and his eyes twinkle before schooling his face back to solemnity. And just like that, he's passed the first test. Flask. Waggling in his face. He takes the offering, undoes the cap, and throws back a healthy slug. Handing the flask back he, sniffs, grimacing at the fiery burn of the whiskey. "Smoooth," he rasps.

"I liken it to agrenothree. If we ever run out of the stuff, my suggestion is to use whiskey instead. Maybe it'll burn thread just by touching it. Just like it does the lining of the throat." Arianne is obviously not one of those who likes whiskey overmuch. "Oh yes, passed with fying colors." The agreement is given readily, while she starts snipping bits of hair. "Stay still now, I don't want to clip your ear by accident." Inspires confidence, amirite??? That's mostly for Nika though, so she knows not to tackle again. And, don't tell anyone. But she's doing a decent job with the hair too.

Nika, on the other hand, is the Picasso of hair dressers. She'll never be appreciated during her lifetime, but someday someone will pay millions of marks for her styles. Or something. At the moment she's just randomly cutting bits of hair. Taking a hand she smooths back some of the male's top hair, and goes to down on the bottom. It's all the rage in Ista, promise. "Well, if he didn't look so serious he'd have gotten better marks."

Caelth is familiar with Esanth's mind by now, and so he slithers in darkness to the edge of the stratosphere and hisses through the ozone into the space beyond to reach him. « Arianne says not to worry. She will fix it later. » He can't even bother to hide his continued amusement, so, he doesn't. Just delivers his message and then slinks back toward his precious shadows.

T'ral, apart from throwing back that slug of whiskey -still warming his throat- is sitting still as stone. The thin metallic snick of scissors plays about his ears and scalp. "But wingrider, serious is the family business." He grimaces, a bit weakly, he can feel drafts… spottily… on his Nika-side scalp. Oh boy.

Arianne decides to make sure T'ral's hair isn't a total disaster before they're through; already the message has been sent via dragon message that she will fix the new 'do if needed. So, she sets down her own scissors to declare herself finished. "I think we've cut just enough now!" is declared, so that Nika too will put the scissors down and spare the poor young man any further heartburn.

Esanth's shock pulls him from orbit around Atmanth. Caelth delivering pleasantries, reassurances? Drum barrels in the hold of Esanth's mind leak darkness, dripping, spreading like oil -iridescence playing across the surface- into the grating on the floor. « I'll pass that along. »

Nika'll just snip a few more places, as she glares at Arianne, she's totally going to win this! Even if she knows exactly what Arianne is doing. She doesn't need to be stopped, she's an artist. Still, she back away dutifully with a squealed glee, clasping her hands together, she turns around to pull up something T'ral can examine himself in. "Do. YOU. LOVE IT!?" Big rounded eyes turn with all the hope in Pern up at the weyrling. "Isn't he gorgeous, Arianne?"

T'ral turns his head one way and then the other. Brow furrowed, mouth pursed critically, eyes narrowed speculatively. He brings up a hand to stroke his jaw, studying himself. Turning on the stool he looks up at the Dragonhealer, "Arianne, may I call you Arianne?" At her approval, T'ral nods, "Arianne, this cut is solid, it would not draw the ire of Weyrlingmasters at the Training Grounds, there's some nice work over the ear. It does lack boldness. Presence. Passion. But your gentleness shines through." He pivots on the stool to Nika, "Nika. May I cal- right. Nika, your cut is raw passion, exuberance in hair form! But it lacks disicipline and structure and is, thus, unrelatable. Hair, like great music, or art, must consider its audience. That which does not is merely self-indulgece." He stands and backs away a step or two, warming to the critique. He steeples his hands in front of his lips, looking back and forth between Arianne and Nika. "So… I choose…"

Arianne pouts back at Nika!! Hey, why are you glaring woman!? Okay, maybe when Nika squeals again her lips will twitch a little in amusement. It turns into a smile though, as T'ral asks for and receives permission to use their names and then proceeds to describe the haircuts in a manner befitting a Masterharper. She even -claps- for the critiques. "Oh, that was good. You missed your calling as a Harper, I think. I should have my brother talk to you. Teach you some of the finer points of negotiation. You'd be great at Searchriding…" He hasn't even picked one of them yet, but she's just rambling on.

"Passion? Exuberence!? Lacks relatability!" Nika hands slap against her mouth to stifle who laughter, "Clearly you haven't won flight yet!" Her head turns so she can waggle her eyebrows at Esanth. "You will soon. Consider it part of a flight lesson." Still her nose wrinkles up and points a finger at T'ral. "Come on! Call it, man! And no ties. That's poppy-cock!"

T'ral boggles at Nika's response, not following her line of thought. He looks over at Esanth… he's not but half-grown. He shakes his head -stay on target- steepled hands raise and… drop, a blade of hand pointed at… "Arianne!" He looks at Nika, "Though Arianne's offering lacked the," he grunts for emphasis, "Omph, of yours, ultimately, it is a more completely realized whole." Dramatically, he fixes Nika with an imploring look and a sad shake of his head, reaching out to touch her shoulder with reverent fingertips, "We're simply not ready for you." He notices his hand and starts, snapping it back, "Uh, ma'am." He scrubs his hands back and forth in his new do, smoothing it back and wincing at the dragonhealers. "May I have another slug of that whiskey?"

"I believe that means you owe me a drink!" Ari beams at Nika when the pronouncement is made. And then, she inclines her head at T'ral. "I think you've passed, by the way. I mean, if you kept your cool through all that!!!" Hah! All she does now, however, is go grab one of the small jars of numbweed on the lower shelves and look out towards the bowl. "I'll collect those drink-winnings later. For now? Numbweed on the shoulders and then… an hour of sleep. Sweet, precious sleep." It almost sounds like a lament the way she says it, before she starts to head out.

Nika gives a rousing 'whoop!' for Arianne, and wrinkles her nose at T'ral, poor kid. He really is his father's son. "Oh, you'll learn soon enough, T'ral. Soon enough." Ultimately completely unconcerned with the almost touch, she did after all attack-hug him not too long ago. "Arianne! You win! At least a Serval won!" Not that there was another option at this particular competition but who cares as long as their wing wins. "Yah a drink! As soon as you're rested…" Beaming, she fetches the flask and hands it back towards the lad. "Don't you worry, we'll get Arianne's side looking like mine, and then you're hair will be…" She fluffers her hands around her own head, "Awesome." like hers. Nevermind the brownrider won. "Yah, you're totally cool. Sorry, but we had ta… if you can't keep your cool during that, then when you have some hurt dragon flapping around and his rider all crazy cause he feels the pain… you'd never make it."

T'ral blinks. "This was a test? Really?" He looks alarmed. He thought they were just making sport. His brow furrows, what if he hadn't passed. Arianne gathers up supplies, seeming to be in some low grade distress. T'ral looks worriedly at Arianne, eyes flicking to Nika and back to the brownrider. He's back to senior weyrling T'ral and lets his superiors banter and chat. "G'night, ma'am." T'ral salutes as Arianne makes her exit. He snorts, "Well, if there's a rider who can survive a flailing dragon, it's me." He grimaces. Esanth rumbles and T'ral snaps back, "Hey. I calls 'em likes I sees 'em, pal." Esanth squints at T'ral, tip of his tail twitching one way then another before turning his attention back to Atmanth.

Nika giggles at the confusion on the male's face and shakes her head, "You'll get use to us, and this place. Gotta learn to relax a bit." She winks softly and starts to head out herself. Yep, they are going to leave him there on that stool all by himself with his fabulous haircut. Hopefully the other weyrlings won't make too much fun of him. "Anyway. Come back here next time you get some off time. We'll start you off by giving you a little more anatomy than they teach you in weyrlinghood. And some simple stuff around the infirm." With a flutter of fingers in a wave she skipping off into the ground weyrs.

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