Quentin, Linden, Niyati


Candidates plot a trip to the beach!


It is noon of the twenty-fifth day of the twelfth month of the first turn of the 12th pass.


Galleries, Beach

OOC Date


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An eerie mirror, the glass-quiet Sea of Azov: the clear waters stretch along the dark-pebbled shores, and along this narrow beach. Here the faintest lap of waves belies the calm beyond; here the rocks have been ground down into finest, softest sand - those observant would mark upon the similarity between it and the sands of the hatching grounds. The soft sand soaks up summer sunlight as a sponge; painfully hot during the warmer months, it is only truly pleasant at wintertime. Rocks rise to east and west, lichen-limned and green against the abyssal darkness of stone.

Niyati has claimed the cooler, breezier portion of the galleries since Bailey retreated to her dragon. Move your feet, lose your seat as the saying goes. Now she's quietly eating melon and inspecting each egg in its turn.

Quentin's footsteps are soft as he moves in from the entrance, hands shoved in his pockets and head down so that his abundent curls cover his face. For the most part, he seems to be gazing straight at the ground, but given the occasional odd twist of his neck, it's pretty even odds that he's actually glancing at the eggs, in furtive fashion.

Niyati gives a wave of her hand at her fellow candidate. "It's cooler up here. Cooler being relative. It's the difference between "Help, I'm melting into liquid form" and "I may not burst into flame". Also, I still have a bit of melon left." That said, the bowl is held up in an offering gesture before she sets it aside to begin sketching. This time it's the eggs, though there's little doubt outfits will follow.

Lifting his head, Quentin peers up at Niyati through a haze of curls, lips twitching slightly. "I'm almost hoping they send us to work at the Hold," he replies as he turns, mounting the steps to join his fellow Candidate. Sliding onto the bench next to her, he reaches out and carefully plucks out a piece of melon, popping it in his mouth. "Good thing they're used to heat," and he gestures towards the eggs on the Sands, "or we'd end up with hard-boiled hatchlings." He twitches at the thought, looking momentarily disgusted with himself for voicing it. "Ew."

Linden bounds up the stairs, eager for a few moments of quiet to peer down at the eggs, which is what he is intending on doing. Spotting two of his fellows, he tosses up a wave and clambers up to join them. "Hi!" Then, manners. "Can I sit with you guys?"

"I do hope! Or at least put us to work with some of that abundant ice making cool things to drink and eat." Niyati's nose wrinkles as she gazes down at the sands. "I'm glad that's not going to happen. As nervous as the prospect makes me, I'd rather not see any go unhatched." Linden is waved over. "It's a little cooler over here. A good angle to see the eggs from, too."

Raising a hand to greet Linden, Quentin shifts to make sure there's room for him to join them. As his gaze flickers back out over the eggs, the boy purses his lips, considering Niyati's words. "As hot as I've heard Igen gets, I imagine this is balmy for them. I doubt the dragons'd be so calm if there was any risk - to the hatchlings, at least. For us?" He gives a soft laugh. "It gets hot in Keroon, but honestly, it's the humidity that's going to get me. And the fact that my body knows it should be snowing right now." Stupid hemispheres.

Linden flops down beside them and grins out at the eggs, nodding his head. "Talking about the ice hold? I want to see it. But I like the warmth better than the cold, really." He leans back on the bench with an exhale, closing his eyes for a moment. "Feel like Ista. Kind of want to go to the beach. Are we allowed down to the beach?"

"Oh, there's a hot spring! I imagine that would be perfect after ice climbing. Oh, and there were skeletons in the cave with the spring. A dragon and rider, I think. I imagine those are gone by now but I can't help wondering if there might be more." Rather than being horrified, Niyati seems positively excited by the discovery." Linden's question is thought over and she shrugs. "Well, we haven't been told /not/ to be there. They've been fairly clear about the things we're not supposed to do so I don't see why not." Quentin's words earn a shudder. "I'm just as thankful that it's not. Snow can be fun for a diversion but it tends to stay around too long and accumulate too much."

To each their own, but it's clear Quentin is a bit startled by his companions' opinion of cold weather. Shaking his head slightly, he merely murmurs, "It's fun to play in. And watch the puppies play in." Other than that, though, he's silent on the subject of weather. About the beach, however, he's willing to be a bit more vocal: "Didn't some of the Candidates go to the beach to help wash a dragon before?"
Linden perks up, "There's skeletons somewhere?" Eyes open and he turns to peer curiously at her. Ooooh? "I want to find something like that. Heard there were bodies all /over/ Southern but I haven't found one yet." Pout. "I know we can't go into the jungle, but…does the beach count?" He perks up again. "Puppies? Do you have any here, Quentin? Snow is fine, I grew up in High Reaches, but I just like Ista better." Then he nods. "Yeah, but that was with a rider. I wonder if we can go on our own."

"I suppose I'm a bit spoiled when it comes to weather. We wouldn't stay too long in any particular place when I was growing up, so I didn't have time to get used to any particular climate. We'd get snowed in occasionally and it would seem to take AGES to get out again. But when ones parents deal in the latest fashions it doesn't really do for them to stay in one place." Niyati gives an enthusiastic nod. "There are! It was amazing and I'd only heard stories and of course Yules told me her story, I was a little envious but I got to find a body of my very own! Well, not /my/ own, and there were others there, but I got to see it!" She'd clap, but she's too busy thinking over the idea of the beach. "Well, then whe should just ask someone who has the authority to tell us where we can and can't be. I imagine if we're responsible about it there can't be too much trouble for us to get into."

Oh no, three Candidates together can't possibly get into too much trouble. Also, there's this great bridge over here with an awesome price tag. Quentin has yet to understand this fascination with the dead that everyone else seems to have, so that particular part of the conversation is convienently ignored in favor of the idea of going to the beach. "Okay, do you know where someone we can ask is?" He lifts his hands to show he has no clue where to find such a creature, himself.

Linden tilts his head with a smile for Niyati. "Traders?" he guesses. "Or Weavers? Ooooh, you did? I'm jealous! I want to see one." Someone die so Linden can see a body. He's morbidly fascinated with this idea. "Who would we ask? Bailey?" He peers down towards the sands. Hmm. "I just want to sit on the beach and see the water." It feeds his soul, just like it does his father's.

Niyati thinks it over for a second. "Well, we can ask T'ral, maybe. I'm sure SOMEONE has to know." Linden is given a shake of her head. "Weavers, but my father was a designer and my mother specialized trims so we had to travel a lot. But I'm sure you'll get to see /something/, if there's one there's more. We didn't see any felines, which is kind of disappointing because I'd love to have some white fur for trims. I'm sure it's going to be just the thing once the hold is fully populated." She's still thinking as a weaver, of course.

"You lead the way, I'm happy to follow." Words to live by, for Quinn. His hand snakes out, plucking the last piece of melon from the bowl and popping it in his mouth. Lips snap shut and he gazes down at the eggs with an innocent, butter-wouldn't-melt expression totally at odds with the fact that both Candidates were clearly able to see him be greedy. "Also," he adds, glancing sidelong at Niyati, "feline fur is very soft, but not very thick, nor naturally waterproof. Probably easier to make a deal with a Tanner for the furs they get from us." Herder, that is, not the Candidates.

Linden grins, "I saw a feline my first day here. It almost ate Nate and me." Aww, there was mellon? He totally missed that. Pout. "So what furs are the best, then?"

Niyati shakes her head. "It's not for warmth, it's for /look/ and for softness. The less attractive furs are for linings and warmth, although I imagine feline fur would be wonderful for handmuffs and lining dress gloves." She's clearly got plans. "Why do the males here get to have all the fun?" Clearly this is to Linden, never mind that the weaver was in on a rather grand skeletal discovery. "Oh, you know, the boring ones that are far too easy to come by. Although I suppose not so easily here."

"You try feeding a cageful of minks and tell me that fur is boring," Quentin mutters, wrinkling his nose. "Not to mention the smell…" Ahem. "So. Beach? Yes? Should we stop by the barracks first, pick up something to swim in?"

Linden shrugs. "Wasn't on purpose fun. Some kids told me the cook was in the jungle when I asked so I went." Stupid older boys playing a prank on the newbie. He giggles and then sits up straighter. "We going to the beach now?" YES PLEASE. Then he's on his feet. "Yeah, and I'll go see what I can get from the kitchens too. Maybe some drinks. If we bury the skins in the sand it'll keep 'em cool."

Niyati waves her hand to indicate the exit. "By all means. I'm set for chores later but I believe I have time to swim a bit." With that she picks up her bowl and makes for the exit. "I'll try to nab some fruit on the way. We can't have it until after the swim but we'll probably need it!" And then she's off. Not at a run but at least at a fast walk.

Quentin trails behind the other two. Fast? In this heat? Hah! He'll catch up. Eventually.

It doesn't take long for Linden to get down to the beach in his swim trunks, skin smeared with sun-salve and a few juice and water skins clutched in a hand. The first thing he does is find a shady spot to dig a deep hole and bury the drink skins, letting the damp sand keep them cool, and then he's bolting for the water with a delighted whoop, Aster's golden form darting after him.

Niyati builds the driftwood inside the bonfire and starts striking metal to flint until the tinder catches.

The bonfire blazes up and crackles, and sparks fly into the air.

Niyati at least remembered to pack her bathing suit when she got her things. Now she's taking a moment to lay out the large square of material that had been folded and wrapped about her waist before taking out the materials to start up the fire in the pit. "Ah, there we go…" And there's the whoop and the dashing Linden, and she really can't help but laugh. "Well, I guess this really was a good idea." The bowl of fruit she'd brought- all varieties that have to be pealed to spare anyone from eating sand, is settled off to the side and she wanders out to the water. "Oh this was such a good idea."

Linden dives into the water with a *splash* and a cry of delight, the boy vanishing for a few moments before he emerges again. "Yessssss," he says, closing his eyes and falling backwards in rapture while Aster circles above, chittering happily. "Come in, Niyati!"

The bonfire blazes up and crackles, and sparks fly into the air.

Niyati laughs again and walks into the water with a grateful sigh. "At least the water is cool. I'd half expected it to be like a bath the first time I came here for a swim, you know." She lays back to to wet her hair still trapped in its braid. "I think we should do this every evening as a way to cool down after our chores. It would certainly make sure we slept as soon as we hit our pillows."

Linden floats along on his back and grins up at the sky. "Now that we know we can come down here? I'm going to be here ALL the time." Alllll the tiiiiime.

The bonfire leaps and crackles, and a few sparks rise slowly into the air.

"Well, as long as our chores allow. You don't want to spend too much time in the sun and water, after all. You'll end up with a burn under your chin and that's never comfortable." Niyati's little green is taking the opportunity to dive through the water to catch little fish before devouring them mid-flight. "I doubt we'll have as much time to be here as we'd like. They have to do something to condition us to all the work a dragon entails, I suppose. It's not like we'd be able to just lounge in the water all day."

The bonfire leaps and crackles, and a few sparks rise slowly into the air.

Linden shakes his head with a laugh. "Dad sent me some sun-salve, I'll be fine. It's good stuff, I live in Ista." He knows. Seeing the other firelizard fishing, Aster chirps curiously, still young, and attempts to catch some fish of her own. "Why're you being so negative?" Linden laughs. "We're here, enjoy it!"

The bonfire leaps and crackles, and a few sparks rise slowly into the air.

Niyati laughs. "It's not negativity, it's … practicality. Trust me, I'd spend all Summer long here if I could. I just realized that those chores are for a better cause than "Oh look, free labor" which makes them easier to do." To prove her point she dives under the water and resurfaces further out. "Our firelizards are certainly enjoying themselves. Pomp absolutely loves fish. A good thing since it means she can get her own when I'm busy."

Aster dives, tries…fails. She chitters in frustration and circles before diving again. "Well yeah, hard work to get us used to hard work. Get us strong. Dragons are hard work, so's thread. Gotta be strong to do that." He grins, diving briefly beneath the water. "Wonder if Aster will figure out how…"

The bonfire leaps and crackles, and a few sparks rise slowly into the air.

The bonfire leaps and crackles, and a few sparks rise slowly into the air.

Niyati watches the firelizards for a moment then laughs as her green begins to demonstrate. "She's a show off of the highest order, but thankfully doesn't seem that competitive. Before long you won't have to worry about being too busy for hand feeding. Honestly, if it weren't for the love of fish I'd be a lot busier." She considers then, and nod. "Another thing I didn't even think about. Well, then. I suppose impressing would be worth it for that experience alone."

Linden grins, "I don't mind feeding her, but…this looks like something fun for her to do on her own. Keep her busy…" He continues to float around, paddling. "For what experience? Thread?" The teen twitches a bit. "Thread's scary."

The bonfire leaps and crackles, and a few sparks rise slowly into the air.

Niyati waves her hand. "Things are only frightening if you allow yourself to be scared. I used to not be one for heights, but climbing looked so exciting that I just decided to not be afraid anymore. After all, you can't go to your end perfectly preserved anyway so you may as well enjoy whatever you encounter." She pauses and then adds "Within reason, of course. I mean, walking right up to one of those huge felines might sound exciting but it's also just asking to become its next meal."

Linden shakes his head. "Yeah but climbing can't sneak up behind you and kill you." Falling can though! "You think you'd enjoy Thread?" His brows furrow. "I kind of want to make a metal shield for riders to wear on their backs…seems like lots of them get scored there."

The bonfire leaps and crackles, and a few sparks rise slowly into the air.
Niyati shrugs, but then shakes her head. "If you think about it, your rope could snap, you could slip and fall, and nothing would be able to stop you. I don't think I'd enjoy it, but I don't see a real reason to be afraid. You're there to get rid of it and being afraid would probably interfere. I just think that you have to decide to not be afraid sooner or later." She watches the firelizards for a few second then nods. "I think the idea of some sort of shield might not be a bad one. YOu'd have to make it lightweight and easy to move in."

The bonfire crackles softly, and starts to wind down.

Linden sits up a bit, treading water as he watches Niyati. "Y'ever /seen/ Thread?" he whispers softly, his dark eyes widening a little. "Y'ever seen what it can do to a person? That's somethin' to be afraid of."

With a few final pops and crackles, the bonfire goes out.

Niyati looks at Linden as if he'd just claimed the sky to be green. "Well of /course/ it's something to be afraid of. It can take down a herdbeast in no time, can you imagien what it would do to a person? I've been on ground crews- it was the flamethrowers, how could I say no?- but it's really just a thing. You take all the precautions you can but there are people who will depend on you if you impress. You can't just let fear stop you, so you have to decide to not be afraid. Because they're going to have enough fear to cover what you lack."

Linden shakes his head, "But you said," to his black and white brain, "that you could just choose to not be afraid of thread. I'm always gonna be afraid of thread. No matter what, I'm gonna be scared. Don't mean I won't /fight/ it. Don't mean I'll run away. But bein' scared sometimes makes you better, cuz you're careful."

Niyati chuckles. "Then if that's what works for you, you should do it. I find that if I allow myself to be afraid of something I become completely unable to go on. Isn't that strange? Completely frozen. I'll tell you something that does frighten me. The prospect of that hatching. Are you frightened by it? All of those dragons coming out of their shells and you there as bait?" She raises one hand out of the water and snaps her fingers. "Everything changed in that one instant. No more craft, your old life completely gone." But then she's laughing again. "Sounds completely silly, I suppose. You're probably dreaming of your dragon finding you."

Linden shakes his head again, continuing to tread water. "I'm not scared of the hatching. I've seen 'em before. They look exciting. Not scary." He tilts his head. "But…you're still you. Not like you become a totally new person. I've known folks before and after they impress. They change a bit but…they don't seem to care? So it doesn't seem scary." As for dreaming, he blushes a bit and shrugs. "Kind of? I mean…I've seen people after they didn't impress. They look so sad, 'specially the ones that were /hoping/. So…I'm…trying not to get too…set on it?"

Niyati glances over at Linden "You've seen them, so that gives you an advantage over me. I've always been far too busy helping with the last minute work on outfits for the hatching. So and so needs a trim fixed, another needs to have the bodice let out just a little. In fact, I'd never even thought of peeking in to see what was going on. Now here I am, and I'll be seeing one from the sands." The blush earns another chuckle. "Oh, don't blush so. I've known plenty of young men with dreams of dragonriding. You're allowed your hopes. I imagine you won't be walking off the sands alone but it's probably best to always have a second option. I have a craft, Kultir has his hunting, and so on."

Linden nods, with a grin. "They're very exciting. So neat, seeing all of them…" He dips his head down, treading water with a slightly sheepish smile. "Well, if I don't impress I'll go back to Ista. Never took up a craft, so…probably Steward's assistant, help the weyr run."

"Well, if you don't impress I'll be quite surprised but helping the Weyr run helps everyone. Even the riders. Which makes that job as important as fighting thread." Clearly Niyati believes her own words. "And you know, I think it's time for some of that fruit. I brought some more melon and snuck some spoons to eat it with. Want some? Pomp can keep up with her teaching. Maybe it'll wear her out!"

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