Who

Elonoora, Ginger

What

Something's bugging Elonoora, and Ginger has a Cunning Plan.

When

It is afternoon of the tenth day of the twelfth month of the twelfth turn of the 12th pass.

Where

Lower Bowl, Southern Weyr.

OOC Date 11 Jan 2018 00:00

 

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Lower Bowl

Cobblestones sweep as far as the eye can see, a unique feature to the lower section of the bowl — but necessary, perhaps, as the stepped western bowl drains off into this high-trafficked area. The shallow bowl is bounded by craggy-black bowlwall with entrances pockmarked - and some boarded over in an effort to prevent entry from un-renovated caverns. Directly south, the wall neatly crumbles away to roll southerly into rollicking fields of soft hills; a glance of the stables can be seen through the gap, nestled against the entrance bridge that spans westward.


Every so often, a girl must sing the song of her people. This afternoon, under the bright sunny Southern summer sun, it's Elonoora's turn to be that girl and the song happens to go something like a very high pitched "AAAAAiiiiiiAAAAAAiiiiiiiEEEEEEEE!!!!" Distress mode is activated as the girl happens to be absolutely surrounded by cluster of those sharding bugs that happen to be everywhere. It's like they sensed weakness and knew to swarm. Poor girl is armed only with a net, which she attempts to either collect or fend of the bugs. Either way, she's not doing a very good job of it as she turns around in a circle with her eyes closed, wildly swining. And screeching. The screeching will continue.

Ginger emerges from the entrance to the living caverns. She's not alone; it's just after lunchtime, and there are others also heading back to their afternoon's work. Most of them ignore Elonoora, though, or pass by with sympathetic looks. Not Ginger, however, and also not brown Walnut, who has been perched on the red-head's shoulder. He takes off and swoops into the swarm of bugs. He will rescue her, one crunchy treat at a time! It may be noticeable that Walnut, though still not full grown, is looking rather plump at the moment. Ginger follows rapidly. "Hey, what's up? Just stand still: they won't hurt you. They don't bite, or anything."

Elonoora pauses when it appears her hysterical circling has not gone unnoticed (which shouldn't be surprising considering the location is right near one of the highest traffic areas of the Weyr) and slowly opens her eyes. "They jump And fly." As if on cue, one of those pesky little buggers is going to give a good hop off the ground and buzz his way towards the baker apprentice who promptly flinches as he flies into her kneecap. The net that she's holding happens to have one pathetically struggling bug. It probably got in there due to sure dumb luck.

Ginger watches Elonoora's efforts for a moment. "They make pretty good curry, though." All is excused for curry! "Is the net for catching them? Only, you might try somewhere with trees. Last time I looked they were crawling all over them." There's something feline about those bugs: they gravitate to the person who least likes them. Ginger is almost entirely un-pestered, except for the odd one that buzzes her in passing. Walnut swoops and dives: he's in his element, and it's easy to guess where his bulging tummy came from.

There's another feeble, halfhearted attempt to swat at some of the bugs around her with the net while avoiding that helpful firelizard. Elonoora's face scowls up in disgust at the mention of the bugs being good for curry. "So I've been told." She lets out a little huff which puffs up a stray piece of hair that had slipped in front of her face. "I was told to catch more for dinner. Don't know why we can't just eat watercress and finger-roots for dinner. With a little citrus vinagrette. Maybe a sprinkling of caprine cheese…" Okay, she's distracted herself and while she's not smacking her lips at the thought of the salad, she's at least not flinching away from the surrounding bugs for the moment.

Ginger's nose twitches at the thought, and she waves away a passing bug. "That sort of thing's lovely in the heat, but it doesn't last long when you're bashing metal with hammers." Walnut dives, warbling loudly, and snatches another bug from the air. "Is he getting in your way?" Snap-crunch! It's gone. "Hey, you, you're going to burst. Leave some for OUR dinner." She nods to Elonoora. "Have you got a bag for them as well as the net? 'Cos otherwise you're going to have bugs in the net when you're waving it." Ginger holds out a hand and directs her gaze towards the firelizard. He creels a complaint, but returns to her and lets her settle him on her shoulder again. She tells him, "You've already had enough for a good meal, so stop complaining."

"Ugh!" Elonoora throws up her free hand in despair as Ginger points out one of the flaws in her hands. "Well, I still don't see why I have to catch them. At least one of those queens is bound to go up before too long and then we'll have a passel of candidates to get stuck with this type of chores." Another huff. Yes, Elonoora might think bug gathering is beneath her. Or just flat out disgusting and she'll take any excuse or reason not to do it. As for the bag question, she quickly pulls one out from her apron pocket and looks between the bag in hand and the net, then back to Ginger. "Well, I have one… but haven't figured out how to transfer them without it flying away." Or WORST touching her. As for the firelizard she grins a bit. "Have him eat them all!!!"

"He's doing his best to do just that," Ginger laughs. "The greedyguts. But I suppose we have to catch them while they're here." She eyes the few bugs in the net. "Are you supposed to take them in live? Or are you allowed to, ah…" She raises a thumb and forefinger and mimes a delicate pinching motion. "Though I guess that would take forever. Maybe just try to put the neck of the bag over the rim of the net, and hold the bag closed after?" She sounds sceptical, as well she might.

Firelizards can just be bug dispersal units, right? Ingest them and take all evidence of the bug's existance between then rinse and repeat? That's at least what Elonoora might dream about at the moment. The girl shudders with the miming of pinching of the bugs. "I was told not to squish them. Although, the kitchen's just going to squish them. Some of them anyway. But they want the bugs and not whatever might be on the ground along with them." She'll nod slowly along as Ginger gives her theory on how to use the bag and then a bright idea occurs to the older girl. "I don't think I quite understand what you're saying. Do you mind demonstrating?" She'll hold out the bag and net with a bit of a smile. And a flinch as another of those bugs flutters up near her ear.

Ginger takes the net and hefts it a bit to get the feel of it. "There really are places with more bugs, you know. But…" But there are quite enough here, when it comes down to it. She wields the net, trying not to clobber Elonoora with it, and she does manage to get a number of bugs in it, though the process isn't exactly graceful, and some of the ones that were in manage to fly out again. "All right, can I have the bag now please?" And with that she upends the net and slams its rim against the ground, trapping the bugs. Well, that's the plan. A couple of bugs make a clean getaway, but she's still got a modest haul.

Elonoora is more than happy to get out of Ginger's way, thank you very much. She has no intention of getting clobbered with a net and since it also puts a bit more distance between herself and the bugs, it's a win-win as far as she's concerned although she still looks a bit greenish and squeamish while watching the other girl try to apprehend some 'dinner'. "Ah yes…" The bag. She'll hand it over hastily when Ginger calls for it. "So do you think that's it?" She's just going to eye the bag. Maybe weighing if that can be called a fair haul for an afternoon's work and she can hang up her bug net for the day.

"Not sure. If you do it enough, you'll fill the bag eventually, I suppose. How many do you need to get?" Ginger's starting to turn a Smith's eye on things around her, and at the moment it's the bag that's got her attention. "There must be a better way of doing this. If it were more of a bin than a bag, and it had a neck that was like a funnel that you could pour bugs down and then close off…."

"Uhhhh…." Elonoora looks like a runner that just spotted a hungry dragon. She may have forgotten to ask that very important question or just blocked out that part of the assignment when she was too busy thinking 'OMF WHY ME?????' But then she just turns in disbelief as Ginger goes on about how to improve the collection. "I mean.. do you really think that'd be necessary? I mean, it can't be that much longer we'll be scavenging for bugs, right?"

Ginger shrugs. "I don't know. But I heard you were salting them, so you may as well get as many as you can while you can. Want me to see if they'll let me try and make something?" She eyes the net with a calculating gleam in her eye, then turns the same expression on Elonoora in a sideways look. "Might be able to avoid having to handle them so much."

Elonoora very, very, very tenatively toes at the half trampled carcass of one of the monster bugs nearest her, still shuddering a little bit as she does so. "Salted bugs… that sounds like the absolutely worst." But once Ginger mentions a possiblity of not having to touch the bugs in the future, her face lights up with even that brief glimmer of hope. "YES!" Does she have to ask twice? Say pretty please with a cherry on top? Cause she'll do it. Her eyes says she's desperate for any not-touching-bug technology that can be jury rigged up.

"I'm supposed to be on the forge this afternoon. But if I say one of the Bakers has asked me for help, maybe they'll let me try something after that." Ginger's calculating streak is showing. "Can't promise, though." She's far away already on the sea of speculation. "Maybe a barrel. And some canvas. And you could always wear gloves."

"It is definitely for the bakers and everybody likes to eat, right?" As an apprentice, Elonoora probably doesn't have enough clout for her asking for help to make much weight in the assignment of duties, but she's had some practice finagling some half truths to benefit her. And also bribing people with food has never hurt. It's called sugaring up for a reason. "And if I had any warning that this is what I would be doing today, trust me. I'd be wearing something completely different." Or somehow finding a way to get herself admitted to the infirmary for the afternoon. Anything besides bugs.

Ginger grins. "No promises, but I'll see what I can do. Even if it's on my own time. And you should try the curry." Walnut's had enough of watching other people catch bugs, and launches himself again. "I need to get back to the forge. I'll let you know if I manage to do anything." She looks up to see Walnut climbing higher in pursuit of a choice bug, and shakes her head. "That lizard's going to burst if he doesn't stop eating. See you later!"

Elonoora wrinkles her nose again at the mention of the bug curry, but she'll reclaim her bag, still holding it at arm's length as if that makes the fact that she has a sack at least partially full of still living bugs any better to deal with. "Well, thanks for the help. And the possiblity of that… thing." She waves her free hand at the abstract concept of the improved bug catch device. That thing they were just talking about. "I think I'll just take these back to the kitchen and hope. Maybe I can end up cutting tubers instead next…" Cause piles and piles of tubers would be better in her world. Off to the kitchens for Elonoora with a wave to Ginger and Walnut before she departs.

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