Consider The Odds


Ahnika.jpg Merendezen.jpg Nenienne.jpg Teallan.jpg

Date: 7/30/10 (IC: Day #: 07 Month #: 08 Turn #: 1 Time : 12:08:00 AM)
Location: EW - Weyrling Barracks
Synopsis: In the middle of the night, a few of the candidates have trouble sleeping. There's discussion of what it takes to Impress and what a dragon might see in someone worthy, and what the chances are for some of the candidates, risks (including of the heart and of being shredded) and dreams and aspirations, betting pools … and of course, pranks.
Rating: PG
Logger: Ahnika

Eastern Weyr: Weyrling Barracks

Set back into the northeast corner of the Upper Bowl, this cavern is huge. With a doorway wide enough to admit a very large brown or a small gold, it balloons out into an almost round room. Along the walls are couches carved out of the rock, some bigger and some smaller. Next to those couches are small, utilitarian cots. In the center are rows and rows and rows of similar cots, only a wide aisle seperating them from the couch-cots. Space is at a premium here, for both Candidates and Weyrlings must share space until another barracks can be dug.

It's the middle of the night and just about all of the hard-working candidates are abed now, as hard work tends to help enforce any curfew rules by making the candidates just simply too tired to want to stay out late. In most cases at least. Unable to sleep, however, is one Ahnika. And so she considers slipping away to the kitchens for something to help her sleep, practical girl that she is. On her way there, however, she pauses in the dimly lit cavern by the carved dragon couch in the wall nearest the entrance, and she moves over to it, studying it with a deep, if tired, thoughtfulness on her face.

As luck would have it, Ahnika is not the only one struggling with finding sleep. Someone near to Teallan snores loudly and the young woman is unable to find rest with the grating sounds. She grunts in frustration and rolls over, throwing off her coverlet. Sitting up, the Harper-candidate rubs at her eyes and squints around the cavern, getting her bearings. She spots Ahnika and, head tilted, studies the other candidate.

Not so sneakily returning to the barracks is Zen, the man having been unable to sleep had, in fact, abandoned hopes of it and wandered out long before anyone could really notice… Well, before any of those who weren't around his cot could notice. Even now, he appears to be unable to sleep, no weariness is on his face despite whatever he snuck out to do. He doesn't even pause as he walks past Ahnika, not caring if any who are still awake sees him as he strolls leisurely towards his cot. There's a sack draped over his shoulder, but what's inside can't be identified by the way it hangs, either.

The movement of the coverlet being thrown off peripherally catches Ahnika’s attention and she turns a little more to offer a distracted smile to Teallan, but anything she was about to say to the other candidate in a near whisper is forestalled as Zen walks in with that sack, and it draws a curious arching of Ahni’s eyebrow. The comment about being a ‘weak woman’ from her friend resurfaces at spying him and her cheeks burn again with renewed indignation and she crosses her arms over her chest with a bitter expression as she watches Zen pass.

Spot that sack. It's a great game. Teallan can play, too. She squints a little at said sack, but can't discern anything about it. With a yawn and a bit of a stretch, the young woman gets to her feet. She's attired in a basic nightgown, nothing fancy. It's also decidedly — almost infuriatingly for some of the males, likely — modest. She pads over to Ahnika and rubs at an eye. "Can't sleep either, huh?"

Merendezen turns a brief look to Ahnika over his shoulder, more for the fact that Teallan is moving over towards the other. Both are given a curious look, then, he shrugs at that bitter expression Ahnika wears. "Hate me all you want, sweetcake." His tone is very sing-songish before he considers Teallan. "Hey, Teallan." Yes, he does remember her name from their brief meeting. "Welcome to the Weyr and all that."

Ahni is in her nightshift as well, and as she had planned to go to the kitchen, her robe over it. As Teallan approaches, though, some of her anger burns off and she uncrosses her arms, letting one fall back to her side and the other lifts, the hand rubbing the back of her neck as her grey-eyed gaze follows Zen a moment longer before she looks back at Teallan. “Right.” She twists her mouth into a wry smile, “Keep wondering how many of those eggs Kaseth is putting out there and what the chances are … ” her voice drifts off a bit. That is, until Zen makes his comment to her. Then the fiery redhead scowls again, “I don’t hate you, Zen.” Said louder at first than she meant it, and a couple of the nearest candidates snap and grumble at her, so she lowers her voice, adding through teeth, “Maybe you can hate a friend after one row, but it usually takes more than just a few insults for me to start hating them, myself.” She makes a sidelong glance for Teallan, and then allows some of her ire to ebb with an exhale of breath before looking back to Zen, “But then, I’m not you.”

"There's Rauzath's eggs as well," the harper lass points out, smiling briefly. However, Merendezen catches her attention with his words for Ahnika and the girl looks rather baffled. "Hey," she echoes softly, tipping head in a nod to him. "Uh, thanks." Eyes drift back to the couch, then to Ahnika and she shrugs. "All we can do is wait and see. It's… kinda hard, but exciting, too."

"Says the girl who I insulted." Zen muses thoughtfully, "I don't hate, sweetcake. I'm not the one scowling at you." He shrugs, "no. You're not me." He looks to Teallan, offering a salute for her thanks and then makes his way to his cot to unload the sack. Various wood carvings come out one by one.

Nodding a little distractedly to Teallan, Ahnika replies, “Certainly, but she’s done laying.” A beat pause as Ahni looks at the floor a moment, furrowing her brow and realizing she doesn’t really know how all that goes, so she adds, “I mean, right? So, we already know how many eggs are out there on those sands. Kaseth is still laying hers, I think.” She smirks, “I wonder how the betting pools are going.” Then blinks a bit, “N-not that I gamble or anything. I don’t even know how to play the card games they play here.” The last added with a smirk at herself, which is completely wiped away at Zen’s response to her, to which she simply sniffs and recrosses her arms. A moment later she snorts, saying to Teallan with a jerk of her head toward Zen, “Some apology.” Then adds at a mutter, “Men.” And cue the sulking redhead look.

There's a slight smirk on Teallan's features in response to Ahnika's words and the Harper shrugs, turning away from the couch. She prods at the nearby glow and its hood a bit, adjusting the light somewhat. "I haven't heard much about the betting. Do they keep it quiet from candidates, or can we join in, too?" She glances from Zen to Ahnika and finally shrugs. "Boys, more like it," she quips.

Merendezen continues the unpacking of the wood carvings, examining a few and then they're transferred to another sack, mildly paying attention to the conversation between the two women. Though it's more of Teallan who he addresses, "I placed some bets already on a few of the others. Candidates can participate but, if you're feeling cocky or sure of yourself, you can place quite a bit on your own head. Or, you bet on the count of the eggs, or how many of each color for each clutch."

Ahnika continues to sulk a bit longer, though Teallan’s last comment earns the older teen a flash of a grin and a single emphatic nod, her version of the hi-five more than likely. She turns away from the empty dragon couch to lean against the wall near the glow basket, and even if Zen wasn’t talking to her, the conversation does interest her enough to comment, sincerely, “I should put marks on Ciara,” a beat pause, “And Rocio.” There’s a nod to some unvoiced internal dialogue and then another adding, “Perhaps even Uveline. She’s older. Has that whole teaching Harper side to her, even if she’s a bit …” Ahni shrugs, not really knowing how to classify her thoughts on Uveline other than to say, “Snappy.” Pot. Kettle. Black.

"I like Uveline," Teallan murmurs absently. She considers Zen's words and shrugs, "Maybe I'll put a mark on myself, just to see. Probably mostly on the others…" She squints along the makeshift barracks and people sleeping in their cots. "If Uveline Impresses, I wonder if I could seek assignment here as a teacher." Hmm!

"Max and I've got some on Ladon getting green, cause that boy's a shardin' wimp." Zen grins idly and then sets himself on his cot, green eyes still on the two ladies. Even if he's pretty much not apologizing to Ahni, nope. "Got some on the pair of you. Rocio. But I sure as heck don't know what dragons see in people to decide. It's risky business putting marks on yourself, I hear. But that just may be a rumor or a myth."

Glancing at Teallan, Ahnika is quick to state, “Sorry. She’s good with the good little ‘uns, the ones that behave,” though Ahni’s never really seen her at her work other than that one day. Her tone does sound appreciative as she adds, “and smart, which is good to have in a dragonrider, I think.” Warming to her topic and temporarily forgetting her anger at Zen, Ahni lowers her crossed arms once more, fidgeting with her robe some, “Oh I bet you could,” she says to Teallan, though Ahni really has no idea. The latter from Zen has her looking up and over at him again, her eyes going from soft at the mention of Max to narrowing at the bet on Ladon going green and why. She opens her mouth to object to that correlation and then he says he put marks on her Impressing and that has her closing her mouth and actually looking a little mollified. “Really?” she asks, seeming somewhat startled, but if she is asking him about him putting marks on her and Teallan or about the idea of it being unlucky to put marks on yourself, she doesn’t clarify.

"Maybe people who put marks on themselves don't have the skills to back it up," Teallan responds, rolling shoulders in a shrug. What skills those might be, she has no idea. A glance to Ahnika, then back to Zen and the Harper begins meandering back towards her cot. "I'd like to find out what a dragon sees in a person. That way I know exactly how I need to be for one to select me on the Sands."

"I can't back up that myth, but, I did put some marks on you, sweetcake. You do have a brain that I respect you for…" Though whatever else follows isn't added because Zen's actually being considerate for a moment. He turns attention to Teallan and chuckles. "Put it on yourself and see how it goes, I'm interested. But, I don't think dragons specifically look for traits, dear. I hear it's more that they find something inside you that matches them. But, then again, there are other things I've heard, too. I've been asking around, no one knows how it works."

“Wouldn’t we all,” Ahnika comments with a nod to Teallan’s last comment as the other girl heads back toward her cot, and Ahni sighs a bit and looks back at the empty dragon couch with a wistful expression. “To have that kind of unconditional bond, you know? Always be needed and always be cared for. Seems wonderful.” She blinks then and turns back to look at Zen, startled anew by his comment, but this time she doesn’t say anything except a soft, “Well … thank you.” Which may or may not have been heard, soft as it was. Then clearing her throat, Ahni manages a little louder, though not all the way to normal volume, considering others are sleeping, “I’m sorry for what I said to you the other day, Zen.” Her timbre suggests she means it. After all, Zen’s been a complete flirt, but has never actually disrespected her space or tried to force himself on her or anyone else, that she knows of. Then she looks back at the couch once more, repeating more softly, “Something inside you …”

"Hmm," Teallan muses, letting shoulders rise and fall in a shrug. "Well, whatever it is, I'm sure I have it. I just need to see if there's a way to… amplify it. Make it more obvious." She flashes a smile at the other two and near flounces back to her cot, sitting down. "Maybe I'll sleep on it."

Merendezen stretches out, kicking off his boots and then spreading out onto his cot, he is still, regrettably, restless. Green eyes drift to Ahni at her apology and he nods, "apology accepted. Can't promise I won't run my mouth off again, it tends to happen." As if his mouth has a mind of it's own. No, that's just him. He looks to Teallan, shrugging. "Doubt it. But, go for whatever makes you comfortable." Or Zen's just hoping for a laugh. Or two.

Turning back to Teallan with her words, Ahnika arches her eyebrows a little, and then chuckles good naturedly, but says nothing at first. Then a little flash of irritation at Zen at his accepting her apology without one of his own in kind, but it’s fleeting as she nods to Teallan as Ahni pushes away from the wall, contemplative, “Good luck. Sleep well.” Either she seems to just resign herself to the fact that Zen isn’t going to admit any wrong-doing, or just decides to be the bigger person, and since Teallan appears like she is getting ready to try sleep again, and Ahni doesn’t want to raise her voice too much while some of the other candidates are sleeping or trying to sleep, she closes the distance between herself and Zen, adding, “And I did try and talk to him.” She frowns, fidgeting with the tie on her robe, “For the record, it didn’t help. But …” she exhales, “things are a little better between us.” She rubs the back of her neck. Again.

"Just watch," Teallan says firmly as she carefully settles in, tugging her coverlet just so. "It'll work." She sniffs, but gives a nod Ahnika's way with a flash of teeth in a smile. "Good night," she echoes and then squirms under said coverlet to try to sleep.

Merendezen looks to Ahnika, lifting a brow. "I see. Well… At least things are better, then?" He's not really an optimist, but he does supply that as green eyes close. "I can't offer you advice on things I know nothing about, I'll just tell you things as I see them." Eyes open briefly to peek at Teallan and he shrugs. "If she manages to Impress, I'll be amazed that she managed to find something that worked." That, or, she's just extremely lucky. Either way. Amazement.

Uninvited, Ahni sits down on Zen’s cot, but with suitable personal space between them, and begins to undo her night-braid, intending to do it again. Her hands just have a hard time staying still. “Yeah. I just wish I could be sure I won’t get hurt … again.” She shrugs a little, then exhales, “But I’m giving him another chance and we’ll see.” She looks up from her lap to Zen, commenting in a soft, conspiratorial tone, “He says he’s going to teach me how to ride.” Then grins a little, though there is nothing coy about that grin, so she likely means ride runners, or she is just that naïve. Her attention drifts back to Teallan and her cot and nods a little, “It will be interesting to see how it goes. At least I know I still have a place here to fill if I don’t Impress.”

Merendezen doesn't protest the other settling on his cot, watching her and then shrugging. "You're bound to get hurt, sweetcake. There's no such thing as a world with no pain. You can either risk it for what you think you want, or avoid it completely." He glances up towards the ceiling, focusing green eyes there and staring thoughtfully. "That's good. We did a bit of riding to get the new beasts in. It's stupid to think you won't have a place here once it's all over, sweetcake. They still need people. A Weyr doesn't just run off of Candidates and Riders."

Braid unraveled as she talked, Ahni now begins to rebraiding it a little more neatly, nodding a little as she listens to Zen. Though she doesn’t seem to have anything to say about pain and getting hurt or risks. She does, however, comments when he finishes speaking, “Well, the headwoman still needs help, which I would like most of all if I don’t Impress,” Impression being her primary desire now that she thinks it’s actually a potential, “and then there’s Jaya, the bar owner, who seems like she’s willing to teach me a thing or two about running a bar.” She looks over at Zen and says, “Can you give me some pointers? About riding that is. I don’t want to start out looking like a complete fool when he is ready to give me my first lesson.”

Nenienne is snoring pretty steadily in her cot. Then for some reason the snores stop and she begins tossing and turning, as if she can't get comfortable. After a few minutes she gives up and rubs her eyes, sitting up and glancing around in an unfocused haze.

Merendezen nns softly, "there's always options, Ahni. You can, at this point, do whatever you'd like. Glad you have some options, though." Then, he quiets to consider and then allows green eyes to rest on her face for a moment. "Don't be tense. Runners get nervous if you're tense. Don't kick your boots into their sides firmly unless you're ready to take off at full speed and possibly risk falling off. Just, don't be nervous. A lesson is so you can learn. You won't look like a fool because you don't know what you're doing. It's to be expected." He lays there a moment longer before Nenienne draws his attention briefly as she shifts around.

“Headwomen are always needed everywhere,” Ahnika says, finishing her redone braid now and nodding once, “So, I think that’s what I’d like to do, eventually, if …” an exhale and a glance upwards, “If no dragon finds me suitable.” She looks back at him again, and then nods, “Don’t be tense. I can do that.” Yeah, right. When glows sprout wings and fly. Though if anyone’s been able to make her relax, it’s been that beast manager. “Don’t kick,” she nods, making mental notes, it seems. “Okay.” She stands up, stretching a little and rubbing the back of her neck and looking in the direction Zen looks. Ahni frowns, murmuring toward Neni, “Sorry if we woke you.”

Nenienne's finally focus as she looks over toward Zen's cot. She says is a distracted voice "No worries; I'm not sure what it was." Then she actually notices who all is on the cot and her eyes widen in surprise. Soon enough her gaze is up at the ceiling, though.

Merendezen nods, "yep. Always needed." He repeats, looking to her. "You have until you're twenty-five, sweetcake. You'll be fine." He chuckles and slowly stretches out and sitting up again. Restlessness continues. "You'll be fine." To Nenienne he gives a lazy salute in her direction. "There's a lot of snoring going on." Pause. "We should plug their noses."

Ahnika is continuing to rub the back of her neck a little longer than before, nodding once to Zen’s words, which also draw a smile from the redheaded teen, more hope in her grey eyes, and then she looks back at Neni. Lowering her hand from her neck, Ahni nods, “I had trouble sleeping, too.” Then she does one of Zen’s shoulder rolls, and recinches the tie on her robe. Zen’s last earns an unusual giggle from Ahni, and she stifles it behind her hand, “We shouldn’t.” But her tone suggests the notion of some kind of prank would be amusing.

Nenienne says automatically "Won't work. My parents tried it. Exactly once."

Merendezen slowly pushes up from his cot, stuffing his hands into his pockets briefly. He considers Neni before shrugging. "Well, we're not really aiming to get them to stop snoring. If anything, it'll be good for a laugh."

“As long as nobody gets hurt,” Ahnika says, smiling a little, and then stifles a yawn. She eyes her own cot, down the row, before looking at Zen and then Neni. “Harmless fun of some sort. Yeah. I’m sport for it.”

Nenienne says flatly "Depends on when they start breathing on their own again — or if you need to call a Healer to do it."

Merendezen gets one of those wicked look that are… Not like him. "I have the perfect thing. They'll wake up right after." And then, he's taking off. It must be the lack of sleep because he looks like an evil, but happy, child.

Ahnika blinks a bit at Zen, but doesn’t move to stop him. If he says they will wake up right after, well, she’ll take him at his word. A small sly smirk forms a moment and then she is moving away from his cot, toward her own, but pauses near Neni’s, “You holding up okay? Or is the restlessness just the same as the rest of us here? Nerves?”

Nenienne's expression is downright dubious, but she says nothing. She is awakened from her reverie by Ahnika's question, and answers absently "Definitely nerves. I've been having second thoughts about standing."

That actually surprises Ahnika, and it shows, but not without kindess and sympathy for the other candidate. “I admit that I hadn’t considered it before it was presented to me, but once it was, it’s now something I really want and hope to prove myself worthy …” she arches an eyebrow down at the other girl on her cot and asks gently, “What has you second-guessing the decision? You seem a fine person to me, at least.” Though Ahni really doesn’t know her well enough to say.

Nenienne shrugs. "Mostly it's based on a talk I had with Lexi the other day. There were so many things she told me about standing which I just didn't know. I wonder if they're even going to tell us about how dangerous it is during a hatching proper. I'm not partial to being shredded."

Ahnika’s jaw drops open and she pales a little, sinking down on the edge of Neni’s cot, uninvited, “What? Shredded? No. That can’t be,” says the naive redhead, “They wouldn’t slaughter us just because we didn’t Impress, would they?” She looks like she’s going to be ill and swallows visibly and looks at the ceiling again, in the direction (she thinks) of the Sands.

Nenienne shakes her head. "Not the Weyrfolk. The dragonets themselves. Apparently they will shred you if you don't get out of the way in time," she pauses, and then resumes, with not a little confusion, "which is confusing, because I thought you were supposed to let them come to you."

“That’s just … just …” Ahni still looks a little green, and she swallows again, “But the Healers are about, yeah? I mean.” She frowns, looking at her lap, and shaking her head a little, “Why don’t they tell you before you accept Search? That seems like a big risk to take … playing with your own life like that. On the Sands.” Her lips purse and she thinks about E’ro Searching her, “They should tell you that beforehand.”

Nenienne says, "My sentiments exactly. I mean, Atsya was obviously pretty new at searching, but I'm wondering when, or if, they plan on telling us about this kind of thing."

Ahnika stands up with that and nods, the frown still present, “Well, I for one will be saying something tomorrow if they don’t. That’s just not right. Not right at all.” She folds her arms across her chest, shaking her head. The wheels of her mind already churning as she starts to formulate A Plan to what she perceives as a new problem having surfaced. “We’ll see about this.” She starts to walk away, back toward her own cot, and then pauses looking at Neni, “Thanks for telling me. Tell the others, too, as many as you can, particularly the Holdbred. Everyone should know. I can’t believe they would keep us in the dark about something this significant.” She shakes her head again, and moves off to chew on this new stitch in her Candidate tapestry.

Nenienne nods and lies down, only to turn over restlessly within a few minutes, and then again — lather, rinse, repeat.

Closing Credits Theme Music: Rihanna "Russion Roulette"

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