====September 21, 2013
====Cerise, Ellen, Yulena
====Another group of candidates flee the sands and take sanctuary on the Star Stones, after the shock of the second egg touching.

Who Cerise, Ellen, Yulena
What Another group of candidates flee the sands and take sanctuary on the Star Stones, after the shock of the second egg touching.
When There is 1 turn 2 months and 3 days until the 12th pass.
Where Star Stones, Southern Weyr



Star Stones
Jutting from the jungles, the caldera's northern most edge has been fashioned into the necessary star stones; two great boulders push up against the sky, weathering the winds that scour the ever-encroaching lichens that cling to the humid-moistened rock. A singular stone, so obviously man-made, serves as the eye-rock, long forgotten with only the wind's erosive touch to keep the greenery away. The stones stand upon the flattest point of the caldera, and any who climb the winding stairs, up the mountain's face, will be treated with a view worthy of the effort of the climb of the seemingly endless stone steps. Far and away, the entire weyr is exposed as are the vast jungles and terraced fields that dot the horizon. The Southern Barrier Range looms above the weyr, and from this vantage point, one can see the snows that clings to the summits. The winding Black Rock River sparkles far, far below. The ledge itself is small, however, so only a few brave souls and possibly one dragon could fit up here. With no handrails, the edge of the star stones's ledge offer a danger to the unwary who think to stand where the rock curves down into the bowl below.

-- On Pern --
It is evening
It is 6:30 PM where you are.
There is 1 turn 2 months and 3 days until the 12th pass.
It is Spring and 73 degrees. It is slightly overcast.

There are few enough places to find something like privacy for a candidate in the Weyr, but the Star Stones, with its wee ledge and frequent winds fits the bill well enough. In a way, it's good that the climb takes so long- having to measure out each breath and focus on the burning of lungs and legs sees to that. By the time Cerise emerges into open air, the flush is gone from her face and the tears from her eyes. She's as steady as she ever is, stepping out onto stone and then sinking down to place her back against the ledge's wall, knees drawn up before her and hair bouncing in the breeze.

Ellen's entrance is quieter than you might expect. Not delicate - just practical. When the sudden wind of the Stones strikes her, her weight stands against it like a stone, her hair pinned to one side of her scalp, a few flyaways streaming out like comet tails on the other side. Until she claps a hand down on them and shoves them back from her face, that is, eyes fixed hard on Cerise. She strides to her and stops, standing directly in front of the other candidate, hands on her hips. Looking down. "—what'd you see." Not really a question, is it.

The snort that answers the girl is snatched away by the wind, while Cerise deliberately turns her face away from Ellen to glare at open sky. You're too short to do the looming thing your Da does, she'd say if she could. Instead, she absents herself from the shadow that Ellen casts by simply ignoring it. As she studies the color-tangled mess sunset is making of the sky, her hands unfold from her knees to carve a few well known trail symbols in the air. Combined with the face she makes to mimic Dimitri at his stupidest, the meaning is clear enough: another brother dead, drowned, gone.

"Ksh." It's an untamed aggressive sound, but expressing it seems to take some of the hardness from Ellen. Or at least her posture, knees folding to crouch on her hunkers in front of Cerise. "So," she smiles hard. "They took him too, huh?" Turning, she spits off the edge - with the wind, she learned this many turns ago. And she comes back around to rasp through her teeth, "S'not real."

"Ah know s'no' 'eal," Cerise says, still cautious of her swollen tongue. Her arms slip lightly around her knees; less gentle is the squeeze that hugs them to her chest. "Bu' almos' was 'eal." She. She unlaces her fingers long enough to carve out an hourglass in Southern's sweetly scented evening before latching onto her legs again. She almost made it real. "'ey ha…hae…'ey hate 'im, El," she says, forcing the harder edged words out in spite of the twinge it causes her. "Bee..n so close to being th…thrown out. Shoul'nt've le' him stay. No' her then Th'ead if one of them li'e 'im."

"Aye," Ellen says with an unhappy lightness in her voice, fists sort of absently clenching. "An' if not Thread then a feline, or a weak heart. A bad plate of meat. Dyin's easy. Even when it comes hard." She's steadily watching Cerise's eyes, "But I ain't gonna let 'em. We're not gonna let 'em. Not that way. Yeah?"

Cerise summons a wan, crooked smile for that sentiment. "Tryin'," she says, wounding herself again. A grimace follows, the pass of a hand over her mouth. Stupid fucking tongue. Stupid fucking eggs. Like a switch, the entertainer shifts gears and falls into an easier mode. Head back against stone, eyes on clouds, she reflects for a moment before looking at Ellen and hiking up one eyebrow. Light-fingered, she reaches out to tap the girl's shoulder with her knuckles. How about her? Anything good?

Ellen hoists up her shoulders, twisting up the side of her mouth a little further, "Buncha bullshit. Eggs fuck with your head — I met plenty enough Candidates. They all got stories. — Look." She says it breathy, reverent, and holds out her palms cupped together as if offering up some sacred scoop of mythical water. "Y'see? Here's a great handful of fat dicks those eggs can choke on. I'll go again t'morrow, they want. I'll go again now."

Cerise sputters with laughter that she tries to keep in, but really, it's pointless. Dimitri and Ellen, man- there's no stopping either of them from pushing the right funny buttons. At least this time she managed to not look into the offered cup as if something might really be in there. "Some…some migh' wan' those fa' di's," she says once her voice is hers again. "Pro'ly greens, already wan'in to get' it on. 'eas…teases." The bridge of her nose rumples. "You 'ear wha' Q'fex was sayin'?"

"Yeah." Ellen's cocky (har har) grin falls off the side of her face, turning into a somehow detached grimace. "S'how Weyrs are." Her eyes have drifted off Cerise's face to re-inventory the entrance of the Star Stones, then shift off to look down off the edge. She's speaking as she does, in an offhand perhaps a little too pat to be entirely as casual as she pushes for, "Kinda forget some, you'n 'mitri are new t'this shit. Lemme," she comes back around, frowning hard, and zeroing oddly hard, shallow eyes, faded green and very present-moment, on Cerise's, "tell you somethin, kay?"

For a request couched in those terms, with that tone and that look, Cerise can do nothing but mutely nod. Fortunately there are no witnesses about, to see the adult woman listening so intently to a girl accounted still a child in their culture. But there she is, the performer's own hazel eyes cutting over to meet Ellen's and her palm turned up with curling fingers to invite whatever helpful wisdom she has to share.

Ellen flares her nostrils to sniff mildly; a cavalier sound against the hard pushing wind of the evening star stones. It carries green smells of wet jungle and ocean, rippling through the two candidate's hair and tugging irregularly at their clothes - Cerise sits against a wall, hugging her legs, while Ellen crouches before her with thighs hung off knees, spread out like a bullfrog. "Don't let 'em change you." She says it hard, low, meeting the older girl's eyes head on. "Cause they can. And they'll try. And they'll make it look easy. And if they do, I'm gonna go after 'em, y'ken me. And I'll have t' shatter their dear 'riders kneecaps one after t'other. Y'know where my wagon is - if you ever gotta tell these round heeled sons of bitches to eat thy shit, y'do it with a smile on thy face, yeah? An' you go there. 'Cause you 'n D'mitri got a home."

Cerise opens her mouth to marshal some sort of defense- they won't change her, why would they try to change her, no one's even tried, really, Ellen shouldn't be talking like that in the very heart of the Weyr itself because she could get herself thrown out. But all of those responses? They just do more to reinforce the girl's argument. So her jaw snaps shut- risking another tongue injury- while the entertainer grimaces and looks off towards the cloud-scraped and darkening sky. "Aye," she finally says, the one word not affected by her new and painfully won accent. "Ghuess we're no' so good for Weyrs, aye? Be'er in hol's."

Yulena slowly, cautiously, slowly again, makes her way up the stairs, a pot of klah clenched tightly in one hand, and a mug in the other. She didn't expect company. Hrumph. AT the top of the adventure, she pauses, and blinks a little at Ellen's words, and then approaches quietly, "Um. Sorry, didn't know there would be others here." Like only Yulena comes here after getting her brain rocked by crazy-ass dragon-baby thoughts. "Mind if I join?" And even if they do, she's settling down, pouring a cup of klah. and setting it within everyone's reach. Sharesies?

"Psh," Ellen throws open her hands to Cerise like 'if you wanna think that, it's your dime, sweety'. "You're good wherever you wanna be," she flickers hard, but fiercely warm eyes up to Yulena, seeming even a little curious if the other will sit should she be left to make the call herself. And makes no complaint when she decides to sit, nodding, "- just gotta make it on thy own terms. — Y'lena." Hah, shortened as though she were a 'rider. "Brutal, huh?" She's at least come out of the experience with a raggedbreathy sort of laughter for it, jumping up her eyebrows. "Where're you from, before all this shit?" 'This shit' being apparently the Weyr as a whole - she indicates it with a rather irreverent jerk of her head towards the Bowl below.

Truly this Weyr is blessed: when klah is needed, klah appears! Cerise certainly isn't going to speak up against Yulena joining them, given that the woman is offered a thankful look when the mug is set down. Anyone going for that? No? Don't mind if she does. "Fu'in painfu'," she mutters, choosing to leave Ellen's all too communicative gestures in the near past. In the now is cautious sipping, wincing for the ache the hot beverage causes and then looking- with slightly watery eyes- to Yulena with some curiosity for her answer.

This Weyr is blessed with a klah-addicted Candidate who can hardly bear to be without it. A little grin to Ellen, "Reaaaally not what I was expecting," Yulena confesses. "Last time was a lot… quieter, in my head." Is this a sign? Does she want it to be? The question of origin is much more interesting, "Um, originally Nerat-area. Then Igen. Now here." It's short, terse, and full of pauses and holes, but hopefully enough for now. Cerise's swallow of the mug is met with Yulena's dismay, but heck, there's more klah for all. Sisters in klah and all that. "You doing okay there, Cerise?" See, Yulena's trying to be comforting.

As the other candidates settle in, Ellen reaches down to steady herself as her crouch settles into a cross-legged sit, leaning back on the heel of her palms. She twitches up the corner of her mouth at Yulena's answer, noting perhaps the gaps in it and doing them a kindness by not pressing at them. Soaking in the company of known faces, she takes a moment to remain silent - it's not a shy quiet, her aggressive eye contact and steady monitoring of their environment something more social-wolfish and content with company. "What was thy last Touching like?" Since Yulena did mention it.

That Yulena's answers match what she's heard match leave Cerise studying the ex-cook with some curiosity. Nothing does for the doldrums like feeling compelled to be nosy about someone else's possible down points. But she doesn't press either, because there is klah to enjoy, company to rest in and a tongue to stick out at the other woman. Not because she's being a brat, honest! But there's a healing crescent of deep, deep toothmarks on her tongue that still show the red swelling of trauma and slow healing. After, though, she's quick to grin and roll her shoulders, the consummate actress again- all is well, all is well, all matter of things be well. Klah? She offers the mug back.

Yulena's going to put on her dragon-pokerface now, thank you, but relaxes a little. Quality klah, cool settings, and thou. Cerise's offer of the klah mug is waved in Ellen's direction, and she's just enjoying the silence until Ellen asks about Last Time. "Um." A beat. "It was quieter in my head," Yules offers, "Maybe because I had more things to be doing, or I was Lendai's assistant, or I just wasn't ready… or even the eggs weren't ready." There's no bitterness there - the past is a country that can't be changed. "That's what I heard a lot, after, like it was meant to be reassuring." A little shrug and Yulena plays with whatever she can grasp between her fingers in front of her seated pose, "After a while, it helped a bit." She looks to Cerise, "You?" Just in case the entertainer got a… different treatment.

"Think we all got plenty enough to be doing this time around," Ellen opines idly - she reaches out to take the klah if Yulena doesn't want it. Why not. Her mouth twitches drearily, "Been a long while since I done chile's drudgework, but 's like riding a runner, I guess. Once you scrub a floor, the skill stays with ya." She even tips up her mug to that.

"Ma'e you g'ow up big 'n s'ong," Cerise opines, shifting on her seat to give Ellen a front seat ticket to the gun show. Bam, bam, look what candidacy has wrought! And then? Then she is content to sit back against sun-warmed stone and pass around the klah. Now, at least, the trio are basked in warmth and light- two things that ever and always help do the trick in pushing the shadows away.

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