Who

W'rin, Jalebren

What

While Valiuth is eating W'rin wanders into the stables.

When

It is evening of the tenth day of the twelfth month of the first turn of the 12th pass

Where

Stables, Igen Weyr

OOC Date

 

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Stables

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.


Chore time is finally over…for now. The animals are fed, the water troughs are full, and all seems well in the barn. Jalebren is silent as he sweeps the center aisle free of chaff and seems rather focused on the task at hand. Aside from the runner beasts munching on their hay, the young stablehand is just enjoying the peace and quiet. That is, until a frenzied hen squawks from outside the barn and half flies, half runs into the aisle where Jay is sweeping. Before he can react, a fuzzy black feline runs after the bird in full chase. "Hey!" he hollers at them both.

W'rin stomps in from direction of the pens, Valiuth's noisy hunting and the screams of his kill can be heard in the background, but the weyrleader has encroached on another hunt as prey and predator streak past him, and the stablehand's holler draws a snort from the man. Hands crossing over his barreled chest, the mountain of a man casts his gaze at the young lad. "You'll find yelling at felines is about as effective at yelling at women. Especially when they have their mind set on something. Felines, that is." A pause and the man brushes a hand through his bushy beard with a snorted laugh, "Aye, and women too."

Jalebren drops the broom to the side and immediately darts toward the distressed hen. Hey, he's no stranger to chasing, cornering and catching domestic fowl. The feline, however, isn't making the job easy. "Shadow! Sha—" He doesn't make it far when a large, looming figure enters the barn and causes him to stop dead in his tracks. It takes a moment to process the man's appearance, but he immediately recognizes the knot on his shoulder. Jay salutes the dragonrider almost immediately and motions to the feline. "That thing is a pest, sir. Perhaps you should feed it to your dragon…"

The imposing figure, not normally found towering in the stable doesn't, for once, seem to mind the process of his knot. And once salute, sharply returns it. "Aye?" The boy's final statement perks the weyrleader's interest with a morbid curiosity, his eyes unfocusing for a moment. Intoning coolly, after a moment, "Aye. Well. Valiuth says he's much to big to get the thing in here, but were you to bring it out to him perhaps the two of you could play a one round game of catch. He believes it might make for a tasty shake up in the ole' menu, though its scarcely more than a bite."

A million thoughts are running through Jalebren's mind right now. First, thank Faranth the barn is clean and the animals are relatively calm. Second, does he have hay in his hair? Because that would be embarrassing. Third, he just might take the Weyrleader up on his offer. Pause. By the first egg, the Weyrleader is standing here in the barn with him! "Well, sir, if I could catch the shar— um, darn thing, I would." After a few more squawks from the hen, the raucous moves outside and Jay grumbles a few words under his breath. "Just wandering the area while your bond feeds? You'd think I'd get used to the gore, y'know, being close to the pens and all. But, sadly, no."

"We could feed him the hen…" Unphased by the almost swear, perhaps the weyrleader just wants to see a food based sporting event, but as his eyes follow after the shenanigans, and then sweep back to the boy, he can offer only a grunted affirmation. "Aye, lad. The beginning and end of life are the same, messy and unpleasant." With a dry cough and another glance about the place he add, "And usually someone is leaking bodily fluids from somewhere." So there's an image for the boy to carry with him. "Wandering, yes, he's in a playful mood so he's taking longer than usual." The game isn't nearly as fun for the beasts. "We could watch? If this is going to be your job you'll need to get use to it I suppose."

Poor Jalebren isn't one for guts and blood. In fact, he gets queasy whenever he witnesses a new birth in the stables, or even when he has to assist the beast healer with a procedure on an animal. So, imagine what the smell of blood and screams of pain and fear from the herd beasts do to him. Over the Turns, he's learned to tune it out as best he can by remaining very focused on a task while the dragons feed. Blinking at the Weyrleader's offer to watch the dragon feed, Jay thinks fast and attempts to quickly change the subject. "Sir, my name is Jalebren." he says, motioning to the stall immediately to his left. "Are you familiar with the runner beasts we have here? This is Phantom. He's won races before." Pause. "I've even won a few marks betting on him." A half grin tugs at the corner of his mouth.

"Jalebren." The name muttered under man's breath as if he might try to remember it, but is clearly not made for such details. "Uh. W'rin, to bronze Valiuth." The previous part of the conversation abandoned for the moment. "The runners? No." The 'why would I?', not verbalized, is still communicated. All the same he marches over toward the runner and wrinkles his nose at him. "Phantom, eh?" The horse is clearly found wanting in the transportation department. "Marks? His odds must have been horrible." Beard is scratched at thoughtfully again. "Are you from here, Jale-la-" He coughs to buy some time. "Jalequen."

Jalebren probably shouldn't be telling the weyrleader about his past gambling experience, but it was the first thing he thought of. Stepping to the side, he leans over to pick up the broom he flung when the hen and feline ran through. Some more chaff is swept away before he peers into Phantom's stall. The tall, lean runner is busy munching on some hay and conveniently ignores them both. "Oh, yes, sir. I've lived at the Weyr my whole life. They assigned me to the stables when I was thirteen because I wasn't good enough for any of the crafts around here." Or so he thinks. "Were you a crafter before you Impressed?" The man looks like he could easily be a blacksmith by the looks of his brawny appearance.

"Crafts aren't everything. Place wouldn't run if everyone didn't pull their weight." A compliment or a statement of fact, the weyrleader doesn't offer the facial expressions to differentiate. "Igen's a good place. Your father work the stables as well?" The returned question may lift a corner of his lips in the slightest of grins. "Aye. Grew up in Telgar myself. Was in the smiths for a bit, before I impressed here. One of my brother's is a journeyman with them." He does fit the stereotype, and he'd hate to disappoint. "Ain't so bad, being a stablehand. Better than being a drudge. How long you been at it?"

"Three Turns. Just turned sixteen last month." Jalebren says with a slight grin to match the weyrleader's. The man's semi-compliment is noted and Jay just nods his response to it. "My father has a hand with the stables, yes. But, he's mostly a farmer. He grows some of the Weyr's food and he also takes care of a few floral gardens." The broom is set aside and he lowers his eyes to the ground for a moment. "He's not a crafter either. I suppose it just doesn't run in the family, y'know, like dragonriding does."

"Sixteen's a fine age. Hormones are a bugger though. Zits. Awkward hair growth, awkward moments of…" He trails off making gestures to indicate just what unfortunate things pop up at times when one is sixteen. "…I take it back. Sixteen's a right awful age to be, seventeen'll be better." W'rin lifts an eyebrow, "What? A farmer? In the desert? No wonder he didn't make the craft…" Leave it to the weyrleader to know so little about the golderider's side running the place. "Aye? Dragonriding does? Who then, boy?" He may not know everyone, but his riders, his riders he does.

A hand reaches up to scratch an itch near his forehead and then nonchalantly brushes the top of his head in search of any pieces of hay the weyrleader isn't telling him about. Jalebren is about to answer the man when that pesky hen clucks in a frenzy just outside the barn door. By the sounds of it, the poor thing is finally pinned by the feline and Jay peers around the bronzerider. "Begging your pardon, sir, but I'm going to get that feline and serve him to your lifemate!" And he means it if he can actually catch the sharding menace. A salute is thrown at the weyrleader and without giving it much thought, the lad bolts toward the door and outside the barn to rescue the poor bird.

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