Contemplation Of The Hunt


Ahnika.jpg Merendezen.jpg Max.jpg Jhath.jpg Tuoroth.jpg

Date: 2010.09.01
Location: EW - Feeding Pens
Synopsis: Hunting is contemplated with more left unsaid than is verbalized.
Rating: PG13
Logger: Max

Things had been a little tense that morning when, upon seeing Brolan, Boxtol's son, as the one bringing the bucket of choice meat for Jhath at breakfast, Ahnika was unable to hold back the sudden association between him and Phineus, and cue the unhappy, fiery fierce dragonet, who tried her hardest to rally people and dragonets to her banner. Fortunately, Ahni was able to calm her down enough to finish eating before she went off to right the wrongs of the world around her. And so it was that the redhead was able to eventually get that look and gesture from Brolan and she investigated the bucket when Jhath was done and ready for her bath. The rest of the day was more or less uneventful, but Ahni spent it longing for just a glimpse of Max, having read that secreted letter. She jogged slowly around the lake, and now it was a lake! And then made a couple of inexplicable trips to the feeding pens. Doing what she could do to in between training and bathing and oiling and feeding and getting that quick meal or two in for herself, too. And so it is that after the afternoon feeding, a freshly bathed and oiled green dragonet and her lifemate marshal up toward the feeding pens.

The dragons can make such an awful mess when they feed as not every dragon will eat –all- a herdbeast, and then there’s the few older creatures that get trampled in the stampede. As such, cleaning of the feeding pens is an unpleasant chore and one used by the beast manager as a means of ‘punishment’ when one of the beast caverns ‘hands step out of line. This afternoon finds him, with a boot up on the lowest pole and arms draped over the topmost one watching as a disgruntled youngster draaags his ass around collecting up the nasty bits and pieces. “Stop glaring at me like that and get busy,” Max calls out as the lad turns a scowl his way, “next time you’ll remember to close the stall door behind you.”

It is likely a surprise for many that Tuorth has taken himself to the feeding pens, freshly oiled and gleaming in the light of the day. Of course, Zen is not too far behind the bronze who instantly prowls to the fence and green eyes follow the movements before he takes to following, much like a good advisor does. "You're too small." Can be heard, first as brows are drawn into a frown before rolling. "Not yet. Eventually. Even if you could find your way in there, how would you be able to hunt? It's not a good idea." In the end, Zen's logic wins out and the bronze simply contents himself with the prowl for the hunt, watching the beasts with a firm interest, hungry for the hunt that he cannot experience.

Ahnika knows all about that mess, as she got a little sprayed by some earlier of course. She hasn't had a chance for a full on bath, but just as soon as she had gotten back and someone pointed out the smear of dried blood on her face, she naturally washed it off with a wet cloth. She frowns a little at the poor lad who is unlucky enough (or undisciplined enough) to be forced to drag the carcasses off, but it is Max's voice from his position at the fence that draws her attention suddenly. She smiles at him, following the line of the fence and ignoring the unease of the herdbeasts giving her and Jhath a wide berth as they approach, even if Jhath is certainly no threat even without the fence separating them. Tuorth is more threat to these beasts than Jhath is right now. And as she spots M'zen and Tuorth beyond Max, she gives the bronze weyrling pair a wave. That marshaled step is kept more or less in unison, with Jhath walking alongside Ahnika, until the both come to a stop a relatively appropriate distance from Max and M'zen. "Does the smell ever get any better?" She asks the men, conversationally. It's punctuated with a warbling greeting from the green dragonet in rich, throaty alto.

As the young bronze appears along the fencing, Max sets an amused though careful look its way, watching that it doesn’t somehow breech the barrier and scare the wits out of one already grumpy youngster that’s busy eyeballing the dragonet warily and then the other as it approaches. A low laugh shorts out when he hears Zen’s voice putting his lifemate to rights and he turns with a grin, “Zen,” still keeping to the name used before the newly bonded bronzerider had impressed, “Quite the ambitious one, ain’t he?” Attention then lands on Ahnika as she approaches, a warm smile appearing, “Ahnika, Jhath,” more unspoken sent with his eyes to the redhead and a nod given to the green dragonet. As to the question put to him he half turns his head in time to catch the youngster standing staring off into space, “Ralor!” the bellow from him snapping the lad back into action, “Jays, another Leron,” is muttered under his breath and then his head turns back to the two weyrlings, “Leave that mess standing out in the sun long enough, it gets –way- better,” teasing sarcasm in that. With a nod back to Ralor who’s looking a little green as he gingerly lifts a tangle of entrails with gloved hands, “Bunch of porcine got out. Heard a piglet made it all the way to the living caverns before it was caught. Edna,” the old aunty who seems to have taken up court-like residence in the living caverns with a group of her old cronies, “was not impressed when it got tangled up in a basket of her yarn.” The chuckle ending that speaking to his having found the whole affair rather amusing, although it would also explain why it was that he wasn’t to be found down at the lake shore as intimated in a certain piece of written communication.

M'zen looks to Ahnika as she speaks, lifting a brow. "What smell?" His brows rise further upwards before slowly sinking downwards. He, however, halts his pacing while Tuorth continues, considering the beasts in the pens still, form taut and muscles rippling with the restrained desire to hunt and take down his prey, blood lust quite obvious with those subtle hints. Green eyes flicker back to the bronze while lips part to say something, though closing quickly before once again parting for a quiet statement. "When you can fly." Because an insult to his size would do no good at this point. Attention is drawn to Max and he nods in greeting, "he's ambitious, alright. He desires to hunt already, unfortunately."

The redhead turns her attention from Max to M'zen and Tuorth and then to Ralor, with the green dragonet's head swaying in the same direction each time hers does. Ahnika actually shoots the youngster a sympathetic look, but she doesn't dare interfere with Max's authority here. Then she's giving the Beast Manager a nod and another smile in greeting, but she seems inclined to keep herself and Jhath a comfortable few feet distance from him, where she will climb up on the fence, back to the herd, and perch on the top railing. "Well, L'ron turned out alright in the end. Maybe he will, too," she says, with a look over her shoulder at Ralor as she shifts her seating on the railing a little more, gripping the top railing with both hands while her boots hooked into the bottom. Jhath, for her part, is poking as much of her head as can get through those rungs beside her feet, watching the herd as Tuorth does, but she isn't on the prowl. It seems she is studying them. "Well," Ahni looks down at her lifemate, "I didn't know if there'd be any here or not, Nobleheart. I just told you 'maybe'." She leans down a little from her position to rub the headknobs of her green briefly before straightening back on her perch more securely. She stifles a laugh at the mention of the porcine, though, trying not to let it show to Ralor and potentially make him think it was something funny and, therefore, okay to do again. Ahni then watches Tuorth and his prowling by the edges, and muses, "Well, at least it wasn't the whole herd getting loose, which is what I thought might have been about to happen this morning, as fired up as Escaeth was." Spoken as if Ahni has never been fired up about anything a day in her life. Then she tilts her head and looks to Max, "Other than that porcine business … a good day?" She smiles, warmth evident in her eyes before she calls to Tuorth, "My good Lord Tuorth, I've little doubt that you will be the first to be on the hunt out of the entire clutch." Then she grins knowingly to M'zen. "The smell in this pen, is what I meant. From the herdbeasts… and well, their carcasses?"

A light frown forms as Ahnika studiously settles herself a little further down the railing from where he is but the beast manager leaves it be and turns to Zen with a half grin, “Maybe you can teach him to hunt for wild feline too once he’s older. There’s some good marks to be made from undamaged pelts.” Pausing and then asking in lower tone of the bronze weyrling, “You good with this?” finding himself bonded to a dragon. To Ahnika, “She’s looking for something in particular?” a glance going the way of the green dragonet and then lifting briefly to her bonded with an edge of a smile in place before brows furrow again, “Heard there was a scuffle out here earlier,” a muttered oath before adding, “flights bring the worst mess out. Golds especially.” Catching the query sent to him from the redhead a corner of his mouth curls upward and a short nod is given in response, though no words attach themselves as the man seems quite at a loss as to how to deal with the situation it would seem. He leaves the bronze weyrling to respond further to the smell of the feeding pens as he ducks under a railing and heads over to where Ralor appears about to throw up. A few short words are exchanged and the lad nods in chastened manner before heading off, dragging the heavy bucket behind him.

"If the whole herd got loose…" Zen trails off, frowning at the thought. "Tuorth would have had a lot of fun with that." If Zen did not catch and stop him first, at least. Everyone should be considered lucky that the bronze actually listens to his rider. "Thanks, Ahni…" The bronze pauses for the compliments, stretching out to make himself bigger before returning to his prowling with prouder strides than before. "I don't think it gets better. You just get used to it, after all, we'll be exposed to it now." Zen turns to Max, grinning briefly. "Was thinking about letting him do it, but… Would have to be able to single out a feline from the rest, get it alone before even considering that. They're still dangerous in groups…" Yes, lots of consideration there. The question is met with a shrug, "no real choice now… Just… Getting used to it. Wasn't expecting this, to walk away with him." A gesture of his head towards the bronze who pauses briefly, considering his rider and the man simply shakes his head in response to the silent statement.

At Max's light frown, Ahnika takes in a steadying breath and looks away a moment before exhaling. And then he is talking to Zen and she gets a breather from those dark eyes of his and that frown. "Yes," Ahnika says, looking up and in the direction of the men again, smirking at Zen, "I seem to recall when we first met you were willing to teach me to hunt felines for either any pelts I got from it, or … a kiss." That smirk turns into a teasing grin for the bronze weyrling, "So, this way you can get those pelts and you don't have to kiss anyone." Jhath snorts, and in the process hits her chin on the railing and pulls her head out between the rungs as Ahni hops down off the top railing to inspect it gently. Neither green dragonet nor weyrling seem to be verbally complaining about it. Ahni's just being thorough in checking it out. The gentle rub of the underside of Jhath's muzzle turns into more affectionate rubbing of her headknobs as she responds to Max without looking at him, "I told her about this morning. She was interested in seeing how the older dragons hunted and challenged each other, and how the herdbeasts responded. So, she convinced me to bring her with me so she could watch one of the adults," she gestures behind her, looking at him now, "you know … in here." Killing their prey, as it were. Her smile turns fondly onto Jhath, "Always wanting to learn something new." Big surprise at who she Impressed, huh? "Always wanting to fix problems … riddle things out." Then a small shrug and a nod for M'zen and Tuorth, "Jhath'd be right behind him, likely, if she really cared much about hunting as she does about flaming Thread." Then she smirks at her green dragonet, and shakes her head, at some silent exchange of their own. When Max talks of Flights and the mess, Ahnika stiffens slightly, frowning, and looking over at Tuorth before looking at her Jhath, and back again to look at M'zen next. Jhath can't exactly look at herself, but she does follow Ahni's gaze over to the bronze weyrling pair, and then looks off - with Ahni again - to Max as the man moves into the pen to talk to the boy. "Right," she murmurs, "Messy." In more than one way. Ahni steps away from the fence then, giving a little wave to M'zen and Tuorth and a look to Max, "I got it," is all she says by means of confirmation. "We … should go." She and Jhath turn then, starting to head off, and then they stop and Ahni (along with Jhath) looks back at Max, "Maybe we'll see you tomorrow?" Unable to hide the hope in her voice.

Pulling gloves from the waistband of his trousers where they'd been set, Max pulls them on and stoops untroubled to pick up some or other nasty piece of leftover herdbeast that Ralor had missed and tosses it to one side where a couple of Weyr mutts descend upon it greedily. Arriving back at the fencing in time to catch Zen's words a rough sound of understanding greets his words on suddenly finding himself bonded to Tuorth, but his words are sent after a different topic, tone sincere in the few given out, "Thanks for keeping an eye on things," while he was away, "Waine give you any problems that I should know of?" Ahnika's words to the bronze weyrling draw a low chuckle rather than the jealousy one might have expected, "Pelts for a kiss," more chuckling and then a glance over the redhead's way, amusement still in place. When she explains of what her green had been looking for he nods in acknowledgement thereof and comments, "From a distance would probably be safer for her, the adults tend to get…enthusiastic about it sometimes," hunting and feeding. Only when he catches that frown upon her face at the end does the implication strike home and his own expression mirrors hers before he's shaking his head as if to toss the thought away and forcing a smile out for the confirmation given. Nodding slowly, his gaze fastens intently to Ahnika, "Aye tomorrow," is all he gives with a more genuine smile and then turns to toss a small rock into the small pack of canines that have taken to snarling over the leftovers. And come Thread or high water, you can bet he'll be there. Wherever there might be.

M'zen tilts a look to Ahni, shrugging. "I admit my intentions for both were not pure in any sense." His attention flickers away as Tuorth returns to his side, settling down and propping himself up to look entirely regal as a hand lifts to reside on the bronze head. "She sounds like you, Ahnika." A simple statement of observations and nothing more, offering a sympathetic smile. "Hopefully, Tuorth won't lead her down a path to hunting early, if I can help it." A smile is given before the subject is put to rest and the young woman is stating her intentions on leaving. A light salute farewell is given before he considers Max. "No trouble. Was all rather smooth up to the Hatching." And then this bronze here snagged him, thus, making it harder.

Ahnika looks briefly amused, too, as Max does, regarding the bargain she came pretty close to making with Zen. She wanted to learn to hunt felines so badly, after all. Then she nods to Zen's words, acknowledging that his intentions weren't entirely pure, and not seeming either surprised nor upset about that fact. To Max's advice on Jhath watching, Ahni says nothing, nodding and seeming appreciative of the advice, while Jhath trumpets, fearless. To that, Ahni grins ruefully and shakes her head a little, then gives a single short nod to Zen, her smile warming, "Thank you. She's clever. Really clever. And fierce and strong if I am anything close to that, at all, then I count it as a compliment." Then a warmer smile still for Max and the promise for tomorrow and she nods simply, letting it go at that before chuckling at Zen. "I suppose she'd be interested, if only because it would help her improve her tactical skills. Can't say it'd be leading her down the wrong path in that light," which Jhath vocally agrees with, too. The green weyrling pair take another step back, and wave to each man in turn, smiling a little longer at Max and giving him a discreetly-blown kiss from the little distance, before they turn in unison and side-by-side marshal back toward the weyrling barracks.

It’s only when Zen makes his admission of not having had pure intentions that Max narrows a look onto the other man and then wisely turns his head away, keeping his thoughts firmly to himself. The returning bronze is given a short look and then one is sent toward the green and there’s no denying the slight set to his jaw. Yeah, he’s not liking whatever it is that’s just slapped him between the eyes. Sheer strength of will has him forcing it behind a neutral mask and sending an agreeable nod to what the bronze weyrling had said, “Good. He can be a bonehead sometimes.” Pottle moment much? His expression softens somewhat and he lends his agreement to what Zen had said earlier, “Like ‘rider, like dragon,” he comments on the matter of Ahnika and Jhath sharing the same passion for learning and their fierce strength. And then he goes quiet, watching as the green pair depart, his mouth lifting briefly into a warm smile for the discreetly blown kiss, but it’s gone by the time he turns back and takes up the position he’d been in when the weyrlings had first arrived, although this time his gaze out over the herd sets to nothing in particular. Quiet for a long time before he turns his head slightly as if to ask something of the bronze weyrling but instead says nothing and turns back to his brooding perusal of the herd.

"You're welcome Ahni." Zen gives her a slight smile and then salutes her farewell once more, choosing to remain in silence for a moment as she leaves. Then, he considers the other man. "Promised Randi pelts. Hadn't known you when I asked her for it." Both explanations thrown out for the other man, leaving him to fill in the rest while keeping it out of the vulnerable mind settled beside him. "Yeah. Could handle most of it on my own, at least. Things all went well." There's a bit of silence before he shrugs, "not always, at least." Because he pointedly looks to the bronze beside him before shaking his head and turning. "We'll talk later. When Tuorth sleeps…" Because he noticed that look, the desire to ask and yet saying nothing. One can imagine the protest from the bronze, but he turns to follow after his rider. "'til then, Max." And then off they go.

“Heh,” Max sends out with a short shake of head for the explanation tossed out, “Don’t worry about it.” Rubbing a thumb along corner of his mouth there’s a nod to talking later, “Aye, later Zen.” And once the bronze pair have departed he’ll stay in his position of brooding out over the herds a while longer before shoving hands into pockets and heading back to duties in need of his attention. Woe to those in the beast caverns of a mind to take its manager on this day for they’re likely to find the short end of both temper and tongue.

Closing Credits Theme Song: Mike & The Mechanics - Plain And Simple

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