====September 20, 2013
====Cerise, Dimitri, Donner, Sytin
====Ja'kai attempts to instill a sense of teamwork and healthy competition in a group of candidates. It (kind of) works.

Who Cerise, Dimitri, Donner, Sytin
What Ja'kai attempts to instill a sense of teamwork and healthy competition in a group of candidates. It (kind of) works.
When There is 1 turn 2 months and 6 days until the 12th pass.
Where Training Grounds, Southern Weyr

cerise7.jpg dimitri6.jpg


Training Grounds
A broad and sheltered swoop of bowl lies bare for the talons and tread of countless weyrlings that-will-be, encased by stone scoured and scarred by those-that-were. Dirt lies as neatly as dirt can lie, swept and raked daily, at the mouth of the caverns that must indubitably be the weyrling barracks. Devoid of decoration, the place stands strangely absent of pressence when empty, the everpresent wind of Southern giving strange acoustics to those under the shelter of the towering bowl-wall.

If one had to find an example of the perfect spring day, today might be it; by midmorning, Rukbak's rays are shining down dappled sunlight over a bright blue sky; it might even be considered too hot, but the Southern breeze off of Azoz's waters makes being outside the Weyr's caverns a luxurious pleasure for most. That is, except for the Candidates, who are called to order in the Training Grounds, standing to attention in a number of rows for daily PT duty. Ja'kai stalks the front of the line, inspecting each candidate before assigning each a number, "One Two ThreeREMEMBER YOUR NUMBER, I WON'T TELL YOU AGAIN Four. One Two Three Four." He stalks back to the front of the line, glowering acrimoniously as he provides the day's instructions. "NOW! We are going to do relay exercises. You fat, lazy pigs were pathetic with last week's team exercise. So we're doing another one. Don't mess it up." He points to a pile of sandbags-large sand bags, that would seem to be a struggle to carry with two people, even." We're going to do relays. Find your number and drag it to the start line-first one across the finish point-" He points to an arbitrary location yards off, "Doesn't have to do the morning run down the beach. The last to cross, has to do 20 pushups and be shamed. In front of the rest of their peers. Got it? Now HURRY UP, find your partner."

Cerise's stay with the healers was brief. A little numbweed, a wad of bandages to stuff into her mouth, and she was good to go. Since then, the candidate has been quiet. Too quiet. The bandages might have been discarded earlier this morning but her tongue is still achy and swollen, which means she's mute for the day. All communication has therefore been done with expressive looks- and she doesn't look displeased with this exercise at all. After all, even before candidacy she was known for her early morning running and swimming and generally keeping herself in shape. So all is well…until she turns her head to count down and realizes that she's been partnered with Donner. Oh no. With a hint of dread, she starts for the matching sandbag and seizes a corner to prepare for dragging. All of the dragging, possibly, given the way she's eyeing Donner and his skinny arms.

Donner's own mental math is brief, and he does a quick count before his eyes befall Cerise with a repressed look that belies his excitement. OH BOY OH BOY OH BOY. "We're partners Cerise! This will be great. I promise I won't screw it up on my end. Don't worry-I'll do must of the heavy lifting. I got this." It doesn't look like Donner is all too aware that Cerise isn't speaking. So to fill the void, he jabbers happily. He puffs his chest out in feigned bravado, moving to grab at the other corner of the sack of sand. And then he lifts. "HUURRFFFFFF." And barely moves it. "UNNGGGG." And then he's dragging it, skinny arms straining under the weight. Over to the start line. Bring it over to the start line. "NNGGGG." I'm so sorry Cerise-this probably won't end well for you.

There is one person who doesn't look at Ja'kai when he is spoken to, too busy fixing the hem of his shirt sticking out from under his vest. Dimitri looks considerably more displeased than his sister, though whether that's for lack physical prowess isn't exactly clear. He's not in a bad mood, just sort of… bored. Perhaps it is the prerequisite expression for whenever he is near any sort of figure of authority. But… upon hearing Donner's enthusiastic drivel and subsequent struggles? Oh, there's some grins Dimitri just couldn't fight back if he wanted to. "Sister. Is that puppy going to follow you home, later?" What's that? He's supposed to find a partner and a sandbag? Oh no. Far too busy being standing there and being amused, shoulders pushed back and arms folding over his chest.

With Donner in full peacock mode, Cerise lets him strut his stuff. If only so she has a decent idea of how much weight she's going to have to carry here. Aaaand apparently the answer to that is: all the weight. She ambles after him, walking beside the snailmark left in the dirt by the the other candidate's impressive effort. Sigh. Before he can bring himself to the brink of hernia, she steps in to seize the other corner of the bag again in a blatant assist. Nothing is said, of course, but between heaves and huffing breaths, a Look goes winging towards Dimitri. Where is her sharp quip? Oh, that's right. She can't shut him up. SORRY GUYS.

"EVERYONE MOVE." Ja'kai's thundering bellow is sure to cause those lazing about to startle, and the giant of a man may be shooting a stink eye Dimitri's way. But alas, Dimitri is just part of the larger problem-he's got a bunch of other dithering Candidates to keep track of too. "Ya'll have FIVE SECONDS to get to the start point, or by default, I'm declaring you the loser here." Donner, for his part, is still dragging that sandbag, concentrating too much on the exerted effort to really register what Dimitri said. Or maybe, just maybe, he's learning to ignore it! Nah. "Oh, well, if you -want- to help, I guess it'd be easier." He makes a concerted effort to look aloof about Cerise's assistance, but he's panting by the time he gets to where they need to be. "Don't worry. We're probably the strongest pair here."

Unlucky number three? Sytin doesn't look particularly phased by the challenge that Ja'kai is handing down from on high. After all, sand isn't really any worse than rock! He moves to the sandbag and gets a grip on the corners, testing his hold out with some experimental tugs as he bends his knees and (mostly) keeps his back straight. Look, someone taught him to lift properly! Well, almost anyway. He looks around and spies Dimitri, who seems to have also been labeled number three. "Hey, Dimglow!" he jibes to try and spur the man into action. "Am I gonna have to do all the work here or what?" He half hoists the sandbag up, grunting and giving something like a glare that looks too cute on his still boyish features.

With Donner not responding to his oh so witty quip, Dimitri has been rendered bored. Don't worry, he's still got something else up his sleeve. But for now? He's wrapping his arms around himself and swinging from side to side in some vague attempt to stretch out the scarce amount of muscle he has. "Awarding the winner is a terrible motivation," he mentions offhandedly, as he's sauntering over to Sytin, "I mean, sort of puts the odds against the majority then, nh? Unless your ego is… well." He blinks, grin growing to dangerous levels of confidence. "Mine-sized." With that, he leans down to grip the other side of the sandbag Sytin's got his hands on, and it goes straight UP— hopefully not too high for the younger Candidate. It looks like this may not be the first time Dimitri's lifted a heavy object either. Far from it. Comes with being a part-time stage hand, perhaps. "Think you can lug this thing to the start line with me? You'll have to make up for my lack of manliness!" His words lack the sting of a grudge- jesting's all in good fun.

Cerise wants to help. More than that, she wants to win. Note the narrow glance being aimed at Dimitri and Sytin. Could there be some sibling rivalry at work here? Her eyes flick to Donner and she releases the bag long enough to reach out for his elbow. Tweak! Pay attention, Romeo! She points at herself, points at the bag. Herself, the bag. Only then does she tap Donner in the chest before directing his attention to the corner of the bag. What could it meeean! Oh, right, she's squatting to go a lift and sling, intending to send the bag over her shoulder. While she might not be able to talk, she can grunt. So unladylike.

Thick and slow; that's Donner's mind. So it can only be expected that Cerise's pantomime is initially met with a very blank look. He takes a step back to watch her, brows furrowed with an equal mixture of curiosity and confusion. "What the-what are you doing?" He places hands on his hips, his Bollian tenor lilting with a playful teasing tone, until, until. "Wait. No. No. Nonono. This isn't a one person race. Cerise—stop. STOP. Stopstopstop. You're gonna hurt yourself. SERIOUSLY STOP" He lunges forward, hands outstretched to try and claw part of the bag out of the other candidate's grip, which is probably going to hurt more than help the situation. It's like the start of a Benny Hill skit right here. "ON YOUR MARK-" Ja'kai's barks out his next command to the Candidates, "AND GO."

Sytin peers at Dimitri for a bit, at first unsure how to take the statement, but then he lets out a low chuckle, deciding that the fellow Candidate is expressing a similar sense of humor, even if just a tad more off kilter. He grins and hefts the sand bag with the taller lad, grunting a bit from the effort, but none-the-less managing the load for now, despite their height difference. He starts walking backwards at a surprising clip, clearly having had a bit of practice with moonwalking — what boy hasn't? — and looks just a tad impish. Well, c'mon then! his expression seems to say. "You're not gonna let a girl beat us, are you?" Well, are you?!

Sibling rivalry? Dimitri wouldn't know the meaning of it! Except Cerise went and touched some eggs yesterday and he DIDN'T GET TO, and then he laughed for a pretty long time when she came back with her tongue the way it was. And when Cerise takes it upon herself to shoulder the bag? His eyebrows crash downward with the might of a thousand— okay yeah it's definitely sibling rivalry. To Sytin, he says loud and clear, "'A girl'? Which one?!" And he's off as well, following after Sytin and then some, head dipping as he presses forward with his end of the sandbag in his arms, throwing not Cerise but Donner an obnoxiously content glance as he happily striiides forward, eyebrows once more popping up. "Pull your weight, Sweat-stain! Earn that name'a yours!"

Ow ow ow ow! Cerise twists awkwardly as the bag's weight is shifted. Donner just earned himself a one way ticket to Glareville as one end slides free and she's left to scramble to grab the other. It's a precarious grip at best- especially when Ja'kai doesn't give them the luxury of figuring this out before the race begins! What was that? Was that Dimitri and Sytin strolling by? It was. This time, she upgrades from a glare to a hiss of teeth at her partner before staggering off in pursuit. If Donner drops his end of the bag, they're doomed…and if he doesn't hurry to keep up, they're also doomed.

Donner makes a desperate grab for the edge of the sandbag closest to him, and while he catches a handful of the burlap sack, it's at an awkward angle that tugs his wrist down unnaturally. "Ow. Ow. Ow-Grah, Cerise, I need to readjust my hand otherwise it's going to break." It's funny really, Donner asking his teammate for some sympathy, and with Cerise looking like she's not even going to break her stride, Donner fumbles to compensate the weight with his other hand, gripping the other side with a more steady grip; Dimitri 's taunts are finally acknowledged, and Donner spits out venom to the other pair: "Shut your shardin' mouth Dimitri, or I'll really come over there and shut that sissy mouth of yours. You and the kid both!" And then his grip slips and he drops his end, scampering forward to catch it. "Ow. Ow owowow."

Despite having a foster-sibling, the concept of brother/sister sibling rivalry is somewhat of a mystery to Sytin. Now, brotherly rivalry… Well, that might be different! The Smith grins eagerly as Dimitri picks up the pace, practically trotting backwards now as the sand-filled bag gives them additional momentum as they build speed. It's likely to be a disaster if they hit a road bump though! "Dim, you'd better watch where we're going otherwise we'll lose!" That's incentive enough, right? "And your sister, of course!" As if that weren't mega obvious. Clearly the poor boy has lost some of his wits with that white knot! That finish line is fast approaching. Who will cross it first?!

Dimitri might've gained some wits with his knot! Because he DOES watch where he's going when he's told, using his height difference to his advantage to peer OVER Sytin. But that doesn't guarantee him safety from disaster, however; "You watch where YOU'RE going!" He calls back in equal parts retort and (presumably) joke at backwards-running Sytin, "Or where… we've come frooaaAAaaAAHCATCHME." He places his foot down just so in an already flattened dirt footprint and ends up practically careening forward in the next few steps, holding tightly onto the bag and doing his best to keep upright as he STAGGERS.

By local standards, this has all been going pretty well. No one's died or almost died, thus far it's a win! But the reprieve of the local curse is only temporary. Cerise's tunnel vision on that eventual victory is shattered when Donner goes and says what he does. Donner's welcome to scamper forward to try to catch the whole bag, because she's totally dropping it right now, rounding on the young man and planting hands on her hips. The look on her face is easily translated to, "Just what do you think YOU'RE doing, talking like that?!"

"What. What are you doing?! WHAT ARE YOU DOING DROPPING THE BAG?!" Donner's arms splay out wide with disbelief, and he staggers right up to the bag, staggering back to give Cerise a look like she just went nuts. That look, of panicked confusion is suddenly replaced with exasperated consternation, and he matches Cerise's hands on hip stance. "Oh, it's perfectly fine for your brother to call me sweat stain and the like, and I call him a sissy and we have to drop the bag?! He started it." Donner's Bollian lilt is a full on brogue now, as he taps his foot impatiently. "Cerise, pick up the bag. Don't sabotage this because of your delicate sensibilities." Oh look guys, lovers spat. And all while this is happening, another pair of candidates crosses the line. Not anyone you know. Wah wah.

Well, so much for their Ocean of Fire race to victory! Sytin realistically has no way to catch both the larger Dimitri and the hefty bag of sand, so instead the two go down in a heap of oomphs and jutting limbs as the wind is forced from his lungs with a grunt. "Oy! Get off me!" He shoves, trying to wriggle his way out from under the sandbag that is now sitting squarely on his chest. "I refuse to be last place!" First place is out of the question though, as another pair races across the "finish line", eliciting a groan from the boy. Or maybe he's just feeling bruised. Plus he can't seem to wiggle free of where he's pinned on the Weyr bowl, despite his best squirming efforts. "Ugh, c'mon Dimitri! Off!"

But Sytin's set free with a ROLL of Dimitri's body off and into the dirt a moment later! Because the older Candidate has laughing to do, after a brief brush off of his trousers that ends up leaving more dirt from his hands than there was originally. The amusement quickly tapers off, as the sight of another team crossing the finishline cuts short an honest to god 'hee-hee' and helps it devolve into a withering whimper instead. But after he watches the two winners drop their bag and celebrate? … His face first drops into disappointment… but then screws into SERIOUSMODE, eyebrows plummeting as he redirects his attention and HUNKERS DOWN to wrap both arms right under the sandbag nearby again. He thrusts its unsupported end toward Sytin, and shifts his weight to throw a lopsided baring of teeth over his shoulder, an expression that may well be either sneer or grin. Whatever it is, it is driven not to lose. "Hey, Lady Talksalot! C'mere." He nods sharply down to the bag. Why yes, that IS an invitaton to ditch the starstruck loverboy and come join the winning tea— well. The not-losing-team.

It can't be a proper lovers' spat without antagonism on both sides. Mute though she is, Cerise makes up for it by reaching out- while Sytin and her brother are taking a tumble- to sharply stab Donner right through the heart. Except not really because she's just using her finger to poke at him. Poke POKE. He started it? Delicate sensibilities?? Really?! Then, just as Team Dimiwit & Minion are regrouping, she also stoops. With a heave and a hop, she drops the sandbag over her shoulder, spins heavily about, and begins small-but-quick-stepping it towards the finish line. Chugga chugga chugga chugga…clearly the message here is: screw you boys, I'm gonna win.

If there's one thing Ja'kai likes, it's tenacity. But if there's another thing he really dislikes, it's women. Morons and dimwits come in a close second and clearly there are a panoply of them here. "Where are you going? CERISE. CERISE." Donner's dithering can be heard as he follows after the woman; she crosses the finish line first, Donner not too far behind, and Dimitri and Sytin? Screw them. They're last. But Ja'kai has had enough of all of it. "You four!" The green rider's says this in a monotone boom, and he's turning first on Cerise and Donner. "You," he points to Cerise, "Do not follow directions. Typical woman. And you," he points next to Donner, "Are a weak moron. And those two," He's swinging around to point over to the Dimitri-Sytin love pile, "are LAST. So all four of you will perform an extra thirty pushups in front of the rest of the candidate group." Presumably, everyone else is behind them, watching this. "Candidates— You may shame them." Shame. SHAME. SHAAAAAMME.

Oh. "She's got it! Lookit 'er go!" Far from reacting negatively to his sister's rejection, Dimitri just blinks. Then, simply, DROPS the bag and throws up his arms in cheer! At least that explains why he and Sytin came in last. He'll be less delighted about pushups later, but for now? He'll give his sister this tiny victory.

Abandoned by both Dimitri and the others, Sytin scowls as he finally scuttles out from under the sand bag, just in time to seriously lose. It isn't his fault! Dimitri pushed him! A hefty sigh escapes him as he makes his way to his feet only to be told he's got to do push ups. Well, shaffit all! Looking sour he swallows and gets down, hands flat on the ground. Fortunately he's a lightweight thing, so he has something going for him. One. Pause. Down. Up. Two. Rinse and repeat and all. "This is all your fault," he mutters in the entertainers direction. Oh, well. More push ups left he falls silent. THE SHAME! IT BURNS!

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