Kebra, Harriet


(Sort of) doing chores together, two Candidates try talking about their shared experience and don't exactly succeed.


It is evening of the fourth day of the seventh month of the seventh turn of the 12th pass.



OOC Date 30 Mar 2016 04:00


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The powerful odor of hot runner lies heavy in the air here, and even the relative open of the stable design - roomy stalls, lofty arches, this is incongruously one of the best designed buildings in the entire Weyr, legacy of a long-ago Weyrleader of Herder origins - cannot altogether dispel the stink of Animal. The Stables serve for the Weyr's population of runners, and house a small menagerie of other creatures. Avians, caprines and porcines all have their homes here, and all add to the earthy feel of the place.

The evening hour finds Kebra in one of the least desirable tasks assigned to the Candidates. Mucking. Despite such, he finds purpose in it. Great purpose. So there's a whole lot of scraping and poo flinging going on in his little corner of the stables. He isn't Korsan, but he is /hot/ and so his shirt is off and chucked over a railing. A skin of water (once cold) dangles from a post. He's been at it for a bit now, to judge by the amount of manure he's moved. But there's still a bit more to go, and fresh bedding to throw down.

If Harriet were just a little less reliable one might think she had arrived closer to the end of the poo-flinging part on purpose, but more likely she was only just recently dispatched to help. She's forgone her headscarf and her hair is tightly braided down her back. On entering the stables it's not that hard to locate Kebra. "There you are." She pulls a rake from the wall and heads to the stall adjacent. "I'm sorry, they kept me late in the kitchens."

Most humiliatingly, there is a clutter of shovel against poo/poo covered floor as Harriet's arrival starts Kebra mid-throw. The man spends a moment staring at the shovel he'd just chucked and then, upon deciding it's best to pretend he meant to do that, dusts his hands and moves to get a drink. Because /that/ won't be any more awkward. "It's ok," He says, "You don't exactly belong…" He trails off - wisely - and instead takes another drink. Upon recapping the skin, he proceeds to fetch his shovel as if it were the most natural thing in the world.

Harriet stops short in the aisle and blinks as Kebra suddenly throws aside his shovel and goes for a drink of water, and then she edges towards the stall she's claimed for herself and rather clumsily stabs at a mat of hay and horse poop just inside the door. Far from disagreeing with her fellow candidate on the subject of belonging, she says drily, "Mention that to the taskmasters for me?" and pokes gingerly at the lump at the end of her rake again.

"Or," Kebra, as he digs into a pile of poo and shifts it elsewhere. "You could just go and I'll finish up." For them both. Because he's a good guy like that! "Isn't a place for you." And least she put too much into that, Kebra hastily adds, "Girls. In general. It's — you think they'd know that." Taskmasters.

"I'm supposed to work," Harriet points out, though what she's doing so far isn't exactly working. "And they sent me here." After a good deal of scuffling she's got a nice lump or soiled straw on her fork, and she bears it, tines wobbling precariously, towards the muck pile. Managing just barely to walk (with dung) and talk at the same time, she asks, "What about girls who ride horses?"

Kebra thinks for a moment, then staunchly says, "They can ride 'em all they want. Doesn't mean they have to pick up after it. It's… a guy's job." Yeah. If only he was slightly more convincing. He looks toward her and her precarious package and shakes his head. "It'd take you all night to get the stall done." In a generous 'I got this' sort of way.

Harriet ponders that answer a little, apparently having asked it out of genuine curiousity, then nods. Sounds legit. Stopping at the pile, she turns to look at Kebra and cracks a half-smile. "You're always trying to get me to not do things." This declared, she heaves her forkload awkwardly and the load loses cohesion, landing in a rain of smaller straw and poo bits distributed along the base of the dung heap. Maybe that's why. She blows at a wisp of escaped hair and sighs, looking at what she has wrought. "Well, I don't have much practice with this sort of thing."

"For good reason," Kebra says to both points. He stops shoveling and turns to regard her with an almost smile. "Really. Just… relax. It's too hot for one. And you're kind of making a mess." Which really is annoying him just a smidgen! He gives it another beat, then adds a hopeful, "Please?" Then, presumptuously, moves in to start mucking up her mess.

He did say please…she's clearly torn between seeming lazy and not wanting to make things worse for Kebra, but when he goes right in for the cleanup she sidesteps hastily out of the way, one hand raised in defeat. "All right, all right." Harriet perches obligingly on a stable door and props the rake up beside her. "But if anyone else shows up I'm getting up again." Casting her gaze around, she asks, "Do you know of anything else around here that needs to be done? Don't…things need…oiling, or polishing or something?"

"I guess. Maybe?" He stops shoveling and looks around, a bit lost. By the book, he is. Mucking meant mucking, not polishing and cleaning! Unable to really express any concrete idea, he instead expresses that very thought. "They said to muck so… I'm mucking." Back to work he goes, getting two more piles squared away before he's stopping and turning to look at her - a great deal more serious now. "How are you?" That is far, far more meaningful. For all the that doesn't follow it.

Harriet purses her lips and determines, "I'd better not try anything else then." Clearly not a horsewoman here. Trapped in the stables but forbidden from lifting a finger, she actually does let herself relax a little bit, slouching against a support beam and half closing her eyes. The heat is intense, but as an Igenite born and bed she seems to suffer litte from it. Kebra's question, though, stiffens her all up again and she opens her eyes, though her gaze is focused groundwards. "Been all right," the girl replies shortly, then tacks on, "Not sleeping very well. You? Is your arm doing better?" Physical wounds she finds easier to deal with.

"I know," That she's not sleeping well. Barracks life aside — "Haven't been either." Her query on his arm is answered with a flex of said arm and a non-committal, "It's fine. Almost healed." Then, back to the serious. "I'm sorry. I shouldn't have… should have stopped it. You falling." Somehow. Even as he says it he feels foolish yet can't really help himself. "Anyways. If you need something… let me know." And he'd do what, exactly? Kebra doesn't even know himself. But the e offer has been made and he's moving on. Shifting first one and then the other pile into the muck wagon. The floor is growing ever closer to being 'clean'.

"I should have asked you that before I let you shoo me off the raking," Harriet says apologetically, gaze alighting on the arm flex with an almost clinical interest. Brows furrow but she doesn't contradict Kebra's self-assessment. On the arm, anyway. On the rest, she nearly hops back to the ground, but stops herself for fear of landing in the cleaning zone. Still, she looks at her fellow candidate directly this time, and her voice is almost forceful. "Don't be sorry. Not for that. You couldn't have stopped it. No one could have stopped it, and we're…we're all right now." Which only makes it more obvious that some among their number are not. After a pause she adds softly, "Have you heard anything about Micyn?"

"You don't understand." And Kebra doesn't explain. He continues working around the stall, meticulously scraping up every last bit of waste and spoiled straw. It's that fastidious cleaning that delays his answer. "I haven't. He's not going anywhere—- I mean…" He stops and looks back to her, apologetic in expression and tone. "They'll get him out. We told them where he is. Soon as they can get someone down there safely…"

"I don't understand because you're not making sense," Harriet replies with an atypical hint of sardonicness, which she backs off of when they return to the topic of Micyn. Kebra's choice of words isn't the best, perhaps, but she doesn't seem to notice. "I asked Bronzerider F'in about it a few days ago and he said he hadn't heard anything, but I guess he has been busy with the eggs." She pulls the end of her braid over her shoulder to fidget with it. "I didn't tell anyone about it, but I heard everyone talking about it so I assumed someone had…I should have said something when we first got out but everything was so confusing-" There's where her survivor's guilt lies, clearly.

"He was dead. Wasn't anything anyone could do…. They wanted /us/. Not — not him." Dead candidates weren't much use, after all! Kebra finishes the stall and sets the shovel off to the side, then moves to the cart. "You didn't do anything wrong, Harriet. Don't blame yourself." He tips the cart up to begin pushing it out, but stops mid-way through. "We were lucky to get out. And I don't like that he wasn't. But I'm gonna do something with it."

Harriet is silent, struggling with Kebra's lack of understanding and also the fact that now she gets it when he said she didn't understand. Her fingers clutch at the edge of her perch, then with the floor cleared she jumps down. The foray into the shadows surrounding their shared misadventure mean that relaxation is now beyond her and she casts about for something, anything to distract. Work! "I'll put some clean hay in," Harriet declares, and approaches a nearby bale of fresh straw with determination. Hopefully when Kebra returns (if Kebra returns) she will have managed to get at least some of it where it's supposed to go.

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