Who

Ginger, Katryana, Talya

What

Candidates compare experiences while working hard in the stables. Candidate bingo log, brought to you by the letter 'S'.

When

It is afternoon of the thirteenth day of the fifth month of the fourteenth turn of the 12th pass.

Where

Stables, Southern Weyr

OOC Date 30 Jun 2018 23:00

 

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Stables

The stone stables of Southern sweep breezily in arches and vaulted ceilings, done in the same architecture that figures so prominently within the inner caverns. A half-loft in the back shows neatly stacked hay bales, the sweet scents from the fodder drifting down to commingle with the aroma of runner and leather and sweat. There, broad box stalls house inhabitants safely away from the fancies of dragons: nickers and restless stompings fill the air, nirvana to those so inclined.


Sweating in the afternoon is a common past time for the candidates at Southern, even when summer has finally gone for good. The chore that afternoon is not unknown to the Guard-turned-Candidate, filling a wheelbarrow full of muck from a stall. It's not the nicest smelling chore but it was better than scrubbing the stains out of the latrines. Talya leans up on her shovel as she takes a break, staring out at the row of stalls still yet to be done. "At least the back-breaking work in here keeps us warm," she tells no one in particular, wiping at the sweat on her forehead. Still, she wears a long sleeved shirt, her jacket hanging from a rung not too far away from her for when she needs to leave the stables.

"Stables are good for that," Ginger agrees. "It's all the piles of decomposing droppings, I suppose. And the warm bodies." She's in an empty stall, wielding her own shovel. She's similarly dressed to Talya, though she's got her sleeves rolled up, and her sweater's draped over a hook on the wall. "You wouldn't believe one runnerbeast could produce so much of the stuff!" Another shovelful of what's on the floor drops into her barrow.

Seasonally appropriate attire has been shed by Katryana to combat the warmth of manual labor, leaving her coat beside Talya's. Katryana's even donned workboots for the occasion, though to her chagrin, she's been wearing them more often than not lately. "Try to think of it as practice for baby dragon dung," she offers helpfully to Ginger, shoveling another scoop of waste into her own barrow down the way. "At least it's not summer though. Can you imagine doing this in summer?" She ducks her head, rubbing her forehead on the shoulder of her undershirt.

Sighing as Talya eyes the amount of work still left to be done, she turns to the other candidates. "Baby dragons are gonna be producing a lot more than just one runnerbeast too, aren't they? I doubt it smells as pleasant, either." Not that she thinks runner crap is good, the way her nose wrinkles up. She moves over one stall to peek into it, giving the runner head that pops out a pat. "Miss me?" she asks the beast, though she doesn't remain by him long. "I had to muck a stall out durinthe summer, and you're right it's a little worse. But it was only one compared to all of them… And at least the air didn't sting when you go out to dump your wheelbarrow." Complaining about the cold, Tal's favorite pasttime.

"Stinky in the extreme," is Ginger's verdict on summertime stables. "And I don't have to imagine it, I've done this when it was hot. Though it's not the worst sort of smell, I suppose - it's kind of earthy. Dirty nappies are worse." She wrinkles her nose. "Do you think your own dragon's dung still smells awful, or is it like - you know how women with kids try to tell you that if it's your own baby, it doesn't smell so bad?" She considers that for a moment. "Not sure I totally believe that, actually. Might be one of those things they say when they want to convince you that having babies isn't awful. Certainly doesn't work for sisters."

Sweat narrowly avoids dripping into Katryana's eyes by grace of a well-timed headshake alone. Talya's comment on amount of waste gains her a momentary horrified look before she schools her features back into neutrality. "Well, at least it's not bedpans. I don't miss that particular aspect of Healing." After a moment of thought while scooping, "Well, I mean, they wouldn't be our babies though. Technically. Unless we're secretly dragons." Which they probably aren't.

"Shit is still shit," Talya says with a determined nod. "I can't imagine any of that is true, it's going to smell like shit and people just forget about it because they love their… whatever it is. Dragon babies, people babies." Deciding that she has taken enough of a leaning break, she gets back into the stall to finish scooping up the bits that were left. "Sure, not biologically yours, but they'll be linked to you and you'll be their caretaker from the moment after they hatch. That's about as much yours as a foster mother or wet nurse for a babe is." Tal is more focused on the task at hand, not really too confident she'll be in that crowd of baby-dragon carers in the near future.

"Smithing's pretty odour-free, most of the time. I guess I made a good choice of craft," Ginger chuckles. She's almost finished in this particular stall, and talking between shovelling is starting to give way to shovelling between talking. "Secretly dragons, eh? Wouldn't that be a thing. Maybe you could just jump off a cliff or a hilltop and transform in mid-air. You know, spreading your wings just in time to save yourself from being shattered on the rocks below." And back on topic, "I suppose the stage of needing to clear up your dragon's messes only lasts a few months, and then they can get themselves somewhere. So much more sensible than human babies."

Shovel is leaned against the edge of the stall Katryana's just finished cleaning to flap her arms, furrowing her brow and concentrating. With a sigh and slightly crestfallen, she concludes, "Nope, not a dragon. I guess if we get to the point you ever want to push me off a cliff, we can try harder to get it to kick in?" Note to Ginger: Please don't push Kat off a cliff. "Shit is shit indeed!" Talya's firm nod is echoed. "And yeah, I guess that really gets into that whole 'what makes a parent' discussion. But that's a little deep for the stables. I need some klah for that kinda shit." Her shovel is reclaimed with a huff. "And really, Gin? I'd expect Smithing would be all fires and burned up fuel. I guess you're more of a theoretical type of Smith, though."

Sharp clanging rings out from Talya's stall as she drops the shovel hard against the wheelbarrow after Ginger's words about jumping off a cliff. She stumbles a bit from the overbalanced weight and then there's silence as she tries to compose herself again. "Ah. Well… I know for a fact that I'm not a dragon, then," she says out from her stall. "Nothing that kicked in here." Some more scraping and soft clangs and Talya finally decides this stall cleaned, walking the wheelbarrow out with the muck to park it at the next one she will be tending to. First she needs to spread new clean bedding down. She's quiet as she finishes her task, though she glances over to the other women in curiosity to their craft.

Suspicion tinges Ginger's voice. "Uh, Kat? A few days ago you were pleading with me to eat you. Now you think I'm going to push you off a cliff? Is this some kind of death wish, or am I really that scary?" Scraping sounds come from her stall as she tries to get up some final bits of manure-filled straw. "And I am trying to be a theoretical-type Smith, but I really like the metal-bashing, too. And it's not really that smelly, apart from a bit of smoke." Talya's words take a bit longer to register, and there's a pause before she says, "Did… something happen, Talya?"

"Shut up, Gin. I thought we were gonna die, okay? I'd much rather it be you than the tunnelsnakes." Katryana continues grumbling under her breath, stepping out of the stall as she deems it done. She nearly jumps out of her skin at the shovel clattering, slowly turning her head to Talya and narrowing her eyes. "You, uh, okay there, girl? Just, uh, if you feel the need to throw yourself off a cliff, don't. At least tell someone." So helpful. Clearing her throat, she examines the remaining stalls and settles on one, reaching her hand out to the runner inside and addressing him, "'Hoy, there, buddy. Gonna need you to step out for me."

"Should I ask what you were doing at a time like that?" Talya raises a brow at the two other women, though the smirk on her face is weak if anything. She takes in clean bedding in handfulls to spread out into the stall before wiping her hands on her pants as she returns out, smirk all gone. "I'm the last person to be getting even close to the edge of a cliff, you don't have to worry about that," she assures Katryana with a sigh. She wipes at her sweat-soaked forehead again, though this time also passing the sleeve over the rest of her face. "I may have taken a free-falling experience off a cliff a little bit ago through no fault but my own trusting stupidity. I'm not dead, at least." Though she definitely looks uncomfortable talking about tha experience. She moves back to that runner from earlier to give him some petting. "You're up, buddy."

Shovel grates against floor as Ginger tries to get the muck out of a corner, though perhaps the force of the strokes suggests some lingering anger. "We weren't doing anything - except following stupid wrong directions that left us somewhere with stupid broken shelves and a door that wouldn't open. Should I ask how you fell off a cliff and didn't end up with a bad case of dead?" There's more scraping, in short strokes of the shovel-blade, then she emerges from the stall wheeling a full barrow. She trundles it along the row of stalls, then out to the midden, returning quickly with an empty barrow.

Sweetly, Katryana gives the runner a nose pat, causing the animal to whuffle against her hand. "At least that scope stand or whatever it was was repairable!" Always look on the bright side of near-death! (Doot doot, doot doot doot doot doot doot…) To Talya, "We were supposed to bring something down for long-term storage and it did not take kindly to having a shelf fall on it." With her non-dominant and least-muck-covered hand, she hauls up a pant leg, revealing what must have been a pretty gnarly bruise on her calf, now reduced to a yellowish patch with a purple spot at the epicenter. "Mind, I didn't exactly take kindly having a shelf fall on me, either." "Oh, yeah, gotta do that," she notes, watching Ginger empty her barrow, "Knew there was something I was forgetting." With that, she plods off to empty her barrow to hopefully conveniently avoid the spot of conflict when Ginger pries about something the candidate-Guard seems done talking about.

Something about Talya's stance says she doesn't want to talk about it, even after getting the story out of Ginger of their own escapade. She's tense even as she enters the stall with the runnerbeast. Half-distracted is probably not a smart thing to be around a runner, but she seems pretty comfortable with this particular gelding. "That looks pretty painful, but at least you didn't break a leg doing that and lose out on the chance of Standing. Did whoever give you those directions get in trouble?" After getting a halter on the beast, she leads him out to find a place for him outside, though she doesn't go back in to muck. First she'll do some brushing, probably more to calm her own self down. Her dark eyes follow Katryana, and she glances back to Ginger for a moment. With a sigh she says, "If you're really that curious, it had to do with a dragon wanting to prove something or… just being plain crazy. Sometimes I wonder if I did wind up smashed at the bottom of the cliffs to be stupid enough to Stand after that experience."

"She'd missed a vital 'turn left here' out, so we ended up in the Catacombs instead of the back storeroom," Ginger explains. "And no, she didn't, but at least we didn't either." Rather grumpily, she adds, "I did volunteer to mend the thing that got broken, seeing as that's Smith business and anyway I did kind of bend a bit of it getting out of the door, but no, apparently my time is better spent mucking stalls." She frowns at Talya's explanation, though, and says more gently, "Sorry. That sounds pretty terrifying. I kind of hope somebody did get into trouble for that." It's not a question, though, and she wanders off to get clean straw for the freshly-emptied stall. She returns with a fresh bale and vanishes into the stall again.

Squeak, squeak, squeak goes Katryana's barrow as she wheels her way back through the stables, having been nosy and overheard everything anyway before she got out of earshot. Belatedly, she answers Talya, "Yeah, there's that! It really wasn't that bad, but it looks impressive." She puffs up proudly for a moment, grinning broadly. "I'm sure you've had much worse. Line of work and all. And apparently cliff-faces. I'm glad you were able to get patched up enough to join us, at any rate?" Though her squint indicates the fact the woman is Standing at all also indicates a mind-healer referral. "Did you know that there are 26 bones in the human foot? A lot of them are too small to do anything about, so a wrong fall, bam, we can't fix it." Just what Talya wants to know, I'm sure. She follows suit with her runner, seating a halter and getting him tacked outside so she can return, reclaim her shovel, and trudge into the stall.

Spreading fresh straw proves much quicker than shovelling out the old stuff, so Ginger's soon ready to bring back the runnerbeast who's been parked in an empty stall while she mucks out his own. Alas, runnerbeasts are not really Ginger's thing. Also, the runnerbeast seems keen to stay where he is. There is much pulling on the halter, but Ginger weighs considerably less than the runner. "Come on, lovely fresh straw to sleep in. Or something." He seems immune to persuasion, too.

Smoothing down the runner's mane, Talya makes sure that it is nice and untangled before moving on to the rest of his body. The runner just seems calm and happy to be getting some attention. "Proud of your scars?" Talya is actually amused at Katryana, looking over as the young girl returns. "Flying Thread, I hear you gain a few of those over time." She pauses in her brushing to then look over herself, patting her shoulders and the middle of her chest with the brush. "There was nothing broken— well…" Nothing visible, is implied quietly. She huffs out a heavy breath, perhaps talking about it now months later is better than letting the nightmares flourish in her head. "Rider and dragon seem to have gotten in trouble, but I don't really followup with either of them. I think the reasons are obvious." Even if the dragon in question is very much pleased with himself. "I think it's obvious I'll be left standing after this clutch hatches too."

Shrugging her shoulders as she exits her claimed stall to see what Ginger's issue is, Katryana gives Talya a wry grin, "Hey, you don't get much opportunity to get permanent marks of your trials as a Healer. I'm sure it won't be nearly as much fun if I do end up Impressing and am the one with the battle scars." After observing the way the runner is digging in his hoofs, Kat fetches a salt lick and offers it to the beast, who promptly mlem-mlem-mlems the surface. She holds it in a way for Ginger to claim. "I'm glad to hear someone took the fall for you, uh, taking a fall." Awkward throat clearing. "Sorry, that wasn't intentional." As to being left Standing… "I've never Stood before, so I figure, why not? Why do you think you're not gonna Impress, though?" A cant of the head indicates her puzzlement.

Swearwords might be heard coming from the stall that Ginger's in with the recalcitrant runner. Presumably the colourful language isn't coming from the beast. While she considers what to do about its determination to stay put, she calls, "Yeah, they're all different - just because one's kind of crazy doesn't mean none of them will ever like you." Not that she's entirely certain what the dragon in question actually did, but the general idea seems fairly clear.

"Shells, infirmaries are dangerous places. Plenty of ways to earn scars there, I bet." Talya gives an actual shudder. Her break from the sweaty labor has to come to an end, however, and she leaves the runnerbeast to go clean out his stall, her own wheelbarrow still only partially full. Time to fill her up. "I mean, I'm not going out to the Sands as eager a candidate as I was last time. Do baby dragons sense that kind of stuff from the candidates?" Who really knew what attracted a dragonet to one candidate over the other? She shrugs her shoulders helplessly. The scrape of the wheelbarrow is short, moving it into the stall. Then it's just the rhythmic sounds of the shovel inside. "Still, I never stood here at Southern and I figured I'd give it a chance too."

"Some people think they can. That's why they tell you to think welcoming thoughts. But I don't reckon any amount of welcoming thoughts are going to make one Impress you if it wasn't going to anyway." That's Ginger's theory, anyway. Runnerbeasts on the other hand… She'll take any advice she can get there. She also notices Katryana offering the salt-lick, and takes it with some relief. "Thanks. Let's see if bribery works, then." It does! The beast trundles after her, or rather, after what she's holding.

Salt lick handed off and runner bribed (Katryana gives a cheer at this success) has the Healer-turned-candidate returning to the stall she's removed the runner from. Thankfully for her, it isn't that messed, and she's got it cleaned and replaced the floor with fresh, sweet-smelling hay in almost no time… which is great for the runner who lives here, who eagerly returns to the warmth unlike the other curmudgeon. "I've gotten a few, honestly, but you aren't going to be allowed in an infirmary for too much time if you keep gouging yourself. Generally, those sort of apprentices are weeded out pretty quickly." She gives her returned runner a few strokes with a nearby brush, a pat on the muzzle, and frees him from the lead. "Happy thoughts certainly don't hurt, I reckon, but I think you're right. If dragon isn't there, thinking happy thoughts isn't going to make a lick of difference."

"Seriously, welcoming thoughts? That's what they say? I think most people are just thinking 'Shit, shit, my feet are burning.' Sometimes, 'Please don't maul me'." Talya pauses in her mucking to give a dry chuckle. "Maybe they didn't appreciate my thoughts over at Igen." She seems to finish the stall up quickly, happy to drag her wheelbarrow out of there. "So long as it's something that they want, bribery always works." She may or may not be referring to runnerbeasts. It seem to work on people like Talya too, after all. She looks to see that Ginger isn't struggling anymore, though busy fixing up this last stall now and laying fresh bedding. Her own runner doesn't even need to be led, he's happily moving into the stall the moment that he's free to do so. She takes the wheelbarrow this time, passing the girls as she walks by. "Time to brave the cold, then I think I'm done with my time here. You guys okay?" She's slowly making her way out, giving the appearance of waiting for any requests at least.

"Shouldn't be too much longer," Ginger says, as she shuts the stall door on the runner within. "I'm just gonna get this last one done. At least the runner's out somewhere." Not having to deal with a runnerbeast will make the whole business much better, in Ginger's estimation. She reclaims her barrow and shovel, and vanishes into the next stall.

"Shards, I've had to help patch up some of those candidates after the dragonets get them. No manners when you're fresh out of the shell. Really, you'd think they'd pick a color other than white. I guess if you're gonna get blood on something, white is easiest to get out." Katryana thinks about this a little too hard. "Sounds good. Have a good evening, Talya. Thanks for the help!" Her shovel is placed off to the side so she can grab more hay to put in the empty stall she'd cleaned previously, similarly lacking occupant. "Just gonna finish this up and then I'm good to go too. I've gotta finish up my robe. Catch you back home, Gin!"

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