Cullen, Kebra


A poor young candidate comes up against a Stormfront.


It is afternoon of the twenty-eighth day of the fourth month of the seventh turn of the 12th pass.


Lake Shore

OOC Date 08 Mar 2016 08:00


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Lake Shore

Sprawled out beyond the Weyr proper's hustling activity and ambling roads, the cool, blue paradise of the Weyr lake promises escape from the oppressive hammer of Igen summer's cruel climes; the asymmetrical, sandy white shores hook delicately around the deceptively still waters running deep and sure, greedy peninsulas reaching white fingers stretching in crooked lines towards its center. A sturdy shack, weather-beaten and brown as cured leather, resides in isolated splendor upon one such finger, screened shelving offering a variety of brushes and fragrant oils housed in colorful tureens. Out beyond a small and dusty paddock ringed by a white fence, a long rocky pier stabs out into the lake, providing a panoramic view of the Weyr itself, while the southern shores provide varied shrubs and grassed for the massed herds in their pens.

The desert air hangs heavy beneath the pregnant dark bulges of thunderhead clouds. Though no rain yet falls, its promise comes soon, through voluptuous crack-booms of rolling thunder and spearhead flashes of approaching lightning. It's thinned out the lakeside visitors, down to a lone man - Cullen, hard-aged face, sun-beaten tunic, heavy broad shoulders and fisted hands - and his long-legged stallion. The beast is aged, gray-muzzled and sharply-withered, but retains yet some suggestion of long-legged conformity that… well, puts it a few leagues above Cullen in good breeding. The two walk semi side-by-side, a long lead of rope allowed to sag between them. Even if the runner is kind of BUTTING its chest periodically up against the back of Cullen's shoulder. Maybe IT wants a ride for once. Cullen has a lot of frowning for this. Or maybe just… frowning in general. Boom. Crackle. The lakeside laps in an increasing wind.

Kebra really shouldn't be out and about, especially in the weather that's coming. But he is, and he's stooped near the waters edge, busy with something. He has an old, weather and use beaten bag at his side. More importantly, a white knot resides upon his shoulder. By appearance alone, he's seen better days. Tasked as industriously as he is, however, he at least represents the dutiful, industrious candidate. If /only/ his given chore was Candidate related, he would certainly be Igen's poster boy for Candidacy.

Poor Kebra; positioned as he is at the shore, he stands dead center in Cullen's line of sight. It inevitably finds him speared through the side of his HEAD by the older man's grizzled-coyote stare. Maybe he's thinking of slow-motion running the poor candidate DOWN at a… leisurely stroll. "Ho," whups, no, he's calling out as he draws nearer, the scratchiness of his baritone fitting just fine against the backdrop of thunder, "A white knot. You're one caught, then." His level of curiosity in what Kebra's clever little fingers are doing has a scavenger's interest to it… mitigated considerably by the fact that, when he comes to a rolling stop, his graying old runner continues to roam forward a few more feet, head hung low like it might go from lipping at lakeside grass to just… lipping at Kebra's feet instead. Homphomp?

Kebra really does.not.know. He starts aware (an ever constant thing for him), and draws up a hand to needlessly shield his eyes as he spies… a rather impressive runner and equally impressive man. Between the two, there's sufficient incentive to get to his feet, post haste. And then to skip back a step so that his heels all but graze the laping lake water. "Ho-eey!" A bandaged pinwheels slightly as he seeks to keep his balance (his dignity is just gone by this point). "Ium—" A quick beat spaces his uncertain greeting turned wary query. "I am." Claimed. Because that meant he was protected. Against nefarious ner-do-wells.

A wind is picking up; it plasters down Cullen's hair and clothes to one side of his body, sending them flagging in rippling streamers off the opposite side in unreassuringly apocalyptic fashion. It doesn't help that, in closer proximity, his sharply-boned runner (splashed gray and white in color) has murky eyes filmed in unpleasant cataracts like a zombie Death-horse of the Apocalypse, wide horse-nostrils flared and HUFFING up the side of Kebra's leg. Warm… warm runner breath whafting. Nose-butt. SNUFFLE. Cullen hangs back, arms crossed loosely, RIGHT where he is, doing nothing to STOP this investigation. If anything, he seems to vaguely approve of the way his runner is sort of… cornering the poor kid at the water's edge. "What's it you have," he asks. All low-slung patience. HE HAS TIME. Maybe he's just bored. Or maybe he's still deciding if he wants to rob the boy. His expression could go either way.

"Whaheyohh!" Kebra sounds more like a too young kidlet, incapable of stringing together enough syllables to make a single word. And he's dancing… sort of, in an effort at evading the Death horse. He's not really unfamiliar with runners… but nor is he overly familiar with them. So he is caught smack dab in the midst of 'freaked out' and 'wtf'. As for the man? Well, Kebra's /tall/ but the man before him is a full on man of terrifying proportions. So yes, Kebra's eyes are about as wide as they can get. "H-have? I, um, I have nothing." Nothing at all. No. His aforementioned bag is, ironically enough, deflated and pathetic. The storm has yet to factor into his fear factor.

Swivel? Flick-flick! The runner's perky-erected ears track Kebra's movements like finely tuned satellite dishes, its massive HORSEFACE and terrible milky eyes only more slowly swinging to track the candidate's movements. If the young man doesn't evade quick enough, he'll get nose-bonked aimlessly about the hip. Maybe the runner is trying to DRIVE HIM INTO THE LAKE. Maybe it has a collection of lost candidates floating beneath the choppy water's surface. "What is thy name," Cullen continues, at that same relentless, stony pace. His heavy-lidded expression still hasn't changed — even when he CRAMS a finger into his mouth, picking at something caught in his back molars.

The effect is a recoil of expected proportions. Both from the nose bonk that sends him slipping back into the water and the disgusted flinch as Cullen picks his teeth. He's really trying to cope with this situation which, aside from being bizarre, is also downright -creepy-. "Kebra," A word. An actual word! He picks his way back to the shore - it's not a long walk. "He's… um… friendly, isn't he?" Notice Kebra does not pet the hellbeast. He sidesteps him again, chancing a step closer to what may soon serve as his escape route.

Though still whuffle-following after Kebra's retreat, the runner will eventually come up to the end of its lead. And while it had found no censure from Cullen, it finds no slack from the man either. The rope pulls taut and REMAINS taut where the human end terminates in Cullen's FIST. Even if he's otherwise pretty much… ignoring the whole interaction. "He's named Roadkill." And, true to a quintessential air of unhelpfulness, Cullen answers the question with another question, "He bitten you yet?"

"…what?" Kebra's consternation is palpable. He looks at Roadkill and then at Cullen before opting to say, "I—there's a storm," Acknowledged! He glances up at the sky as if it might help validate his claim. "I should probably…. go." Away from Roadkill and Hulksmash. Kebra, normally not one to run, considers this more of a tactical retreat. He's beating the punch. Pun intended!

Cullen does not look to the sky when the weather is pointed out. He has a gaze that doesn't seem to be looking at much of anything at all - save maybe a fine red HAZE. Plop! It's entirely possible Kebra gets struck in the face by the first fat raindrop of the storm, a few more audibly pat-patting down across Cullen's shoulders and head. He weathers them like a boulder. "Aye," he agrees mutely. Or maybe just acknowledges - YEA MAYBE YOU SHOULD GO. When Kebra moves out of noseing range, Roadkill tosses his forelock a few times for the thwartment - woe! His NEW FRIEND. And then turns, long neck taking it slow, slow, sloooow to extend that velvety runnernose towards Cullen instead. Big rubbery horselips pull back from worn-yellow front teeth. Cullen FROWNS back at the runner, and extracts one hand from the fold of his arms to… soft-thump a fist in the center of Roadkill's nose. Bomf.

Yeah. Kebra is going to go now, k thnx bye. He's a bit off put by this encounter (to say the least). He leaves behind a half dug pile of sand. Or dirt. Or whatever it was he was pawing through. He is graceful enough to not flee at a full run, but he's most certainly making haste. It's not the rain that lights the fire under his heels, either!

Cullen watches him go like a hulking animal that's just defended its rightful territory, storm-tossed and with a few droplets sliding down the deep lines of his face. Maybe a droplet just kind of hanging there, off the tip of his hawkish old nose. Is that — is that a slight upward twist at the corner of his mouth? MAYBE. "Move it, beast," he says to his old runner, only once Kebra is far enough away to be irrelevant. And for all the air of heavy impatience, he… walks slowly. For the bony old DeathStallion to plod along at his own pace, once again periodically bumping chest and shoulder against the side of Cullen's own shoulder as they head for shelter.

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