Rumours Made Public

Participants:

Ahnika.jpg Alara.jpg Jaret.jpg Nenienne.jpg Neythan.jpg Uveline.jpg

Date: August 07, 2010
Location: Eastern Weyr: Lakeshore
Synopsis: Alara joins the candidates as they dig in the rain, and some ugly rumours are brought to her attention, sparking some unhappy words from candiadtes and weyrwoman alike.
Rating: PG-13 for language
Logger: Uveline (last portion added by Alara)

Day 22, Month 08, Turn 01, AIVAS Reckoning, First Long Pass

Eastern Weyr: Lakeshore

At present, this large scoop in the ground - which only grows larger each day - looks a bit odd. There's a string of makeshift fencing around the edges to try and keep those without business there out of the way. However, small wooden poles and three lines of twine are more of a suggestion than a deterrent, and weyrbrats can often be seen playing in the sections not filled with digging workers. A small sign hung on the highest bit of twine states 'LAKE HOPELESS' in forcibly fancy script, yet there's not a drop of water to be seen anywhere in the scoop.


It's rather early in the morning, after the first of the breakfasters have eaten but before the Weyr is actively crawling. By common agreement, the candidates have begun coming early, staying late, and not digging in the heat of the day. Today is no different, fast rain notwithstanding, and several candidates are digging while others haul away the larger rocks. Neni is one of those digging, only pausing every once in a while to wipe the rain from her eyes.

One nice thing about riding leathers: they are treated to withstand most types of weather, this fast rain included. A rare moment of being away from the sands or her work finds Alara stepping out toward the lake to see the candidates digging. She folds her arms across her chest, not so much in consternation as simple comfort. "Fair day, candidates." She calls out cheerily, waving a hand at them, aware of the irony in her words. "How goes it?"

Uveline has gotten sick and tired of digging the lake, for all that she is desperate to see it finished and enjoy it. As such, she is taking a turn with hauling today, locating and removing rocks and loading them up for the beast-pulled cart to drag away. The rain makes this both easier and harder - the rocks are more visible when the dust is washed off them, but they also grow slick in the mud. Muttering to herself, Uveline pauses near Nenienne, squinting toward Alara as the Weyrwoman calls out to them. "Fair day?" she says in a low voice to Neni, raising a brow. "I wouldn't use that phrase." Raising her voice, she calls back, "It's the slowest process ever, but I think we'll be done someday!"

Ahnika is among those digging in the rain, and for once she doesn't have her eyes on that younger candidate Gavin, making sure he is pulling his weight, griping or no. Her clothes seem good and soaked through with mud and rain, however, suggesting she was among those who came on duty early, after breakfast. Ahni looks up and over at Alara as the senior weyrwoman calls out to them, and in reply, the redhead simply looks up into the rain, blinking a lot as big globs of drops fall into her face. Then she just laughs softly, nodding and looking over at Uveline, "Some day sooner than later the more we keep putting our backs into it!" Her expression is enthused, an effort to be encouraging, and she gives another look back to Neni, who is sharing the digging portion of this chore with her, and smiles.

Nenienne snorts softly at Uveline's comment, but aloud she says politely "Good morning, Weyrwoman." She doesn't miss a beat in her digging, and in looking down she misses Ahnika's encouraging look.

"That's the spirit!" Alara is still embarrassed by the events in regards to Ahnika, but covers her embarrassment well, she thinks. "If we all pull together, we'll get it done more quickly." And to put truth to her words, she steps closer, scrabbling down into the depression to move some of the rocks herself. "I need a little bit of exercise," is her explanation to the nearest candidate.

Uveline shakes her head slightly at Alara's energy but returns to work, clearing rocks so the candidate nearest her can dig without issue. "Sooner would be good, yes. How soon do the miners estimate it will be done?" she asks Alara when she passes her with a mid-sized stone, headed for the cart. The candidate digging in her area puts some extra effort into his work, nervously glancing at Alara every few moments.

Neythan gives Alara a politely concerned look when the Weyrwoman appears embarrassed for a brief moment, as he arrives fashionably late, but with a pick and shovel and a basket in hand. "Good day to you and your Rauzath," he greets her cheerfully as his goggled eyes take in the scene of everyone digging. "Ladies," he adds to the other candidates as he unslings his tools and finds a suitable place to make a mess. Anyone expecting the kilt to go flying about inappropriately during the digging will be disappointed as he puts his muscles behind his work. "How are you all, eh?"

As Alara gets closer to them and their work now, Ahnika smiles at her, dipping her head more appropriately, deferentially, as curtsying right now would be dangerous and liable to land the candidate face first among the slick rocks and mud. She glances from Neni to Uveline, with Ahni's gaze then moving back to Alara for the weyrwoman's response to Uveline's question. It's a good, sensible question after all, and the answer interests Ahnika, as well. Neythan's arrival earns him a grin and Ahni nods at him, "Welcome to the dig! The more help the better!"

Nenienne continues in her plodding rhythm as the Weyrwoman approaches. She certainly isn't the fastest digger out there, but on the other hand her progress is steady and even. At Uveline's question she pauses, for a change listening in to what's being said.

"They won't give me a solid estimate. I am really hoping they'll be finished by the time our eggs crack shell, but being practical, we'll have to arrange some sort of baths for them if we can't finish in time." Alara frowns, then lifts up a good-sized rock. "Thank you, Neythan." This to his greeting. "Do you have any words of wisdom on how to do this more effectively?" The man is a smith, after all. "I can just see trying to bathe little ones in those huge vats on the sands or something." The sands is the hottest place in the external part of the Weyr. "That would be something for a harper artist to capture for certain." She chuckles softly, and glances over at Uveline. Something strikes her, though. "Where is Teallan this morning, then?" She's supposed to be keeping a little bit of a watch on the young harper.

"Well, maybe they are trying to not get anyone's hopes up, just to be safe," Uveline says slowly. "If I were them, I suppose I would be worried about saying it will be done on a certain day, and then have it /not/ be done yet." She nods to herself, liking that idea, and heaves her rock into the cart. Eyeing it, she murmurs, "Need to dump that soon," before she blinks at Alara. "Teallan? I think she was headed to the kitchens after breakfast, but I'm not positive."

Neythan straightens when the Weyrwoman queries him, and he flashes a smile to her. "I haven't seen Teallan at all, but then, I wasn't looking for her, either," he remarks casually, considering the professional question he's been posed. "More effectively? Well, if it were /me/ organizing this mess, instead of the miners," he begins with a cheeky grin, dimples showing, "I'd have a chain of people hauling baskets like this to get the dirt out of the way, instead of dig dig dig, pile it over here, and go from there. Have the strongest men on the picks to break up the … but… no…" His gaze is brought upwards through the weather and he frowns for a moment. And that wicked grin returns, twice as large. "Or better yet… do what was done at Landing when it was first discovered." He simply points to the lazy blue dragon winging across the bowl. "The Records of my craft indicate that even the proud Benden queen Ramoth wasn't too proud to help excavate." His cheerful grin is almost challenging, waiting to see what reaction his saucy suggestion causes.

Once both Neythan and the weyrwoman set to work, Ahnika herself gets back to work with her pick and shovel, exchanging one for the other as needed. "Vats on the Sands, ma'am?" Ahni asks, ever curious, "So, they'll have to be bathed and oiled both? Is there a specific order to it?" After all, there's not been much training on weyrlinghood itself, yet, just chore work, and the rural cothold-raised girl is of a mind to learn everything she can, eagerly anticipating even if she stops short of assuming she might be one of the lucky ones to Impress. To the question on Teallan, Ahnika pauses and looks around, as if double-checking that she isn't about, and then tries to recall what the chore roster looked like that morning. "Perhaps she drew kitchen duty today?" she suggests, not really remembering, then nodding to Uveline as the other candidate suggests similarly. It's Neythan's answer that draws Ahnika to another stop of her work, and the redhead looks more than a little impressed. It could be she's impressed with his moxie or it could be she's impressed with the actual alternative suggestion that could solve this problem of labor rather quickly, or perhaps even a mixture of both. Whatever it is, it causes the usually busy candidate to stall in her work.

"Ah, yes, but then what would the candidates do?" queries Nenienne, her voice teasing. "I mean, could we handle the loss of our favorite chore?" At Ahnika's question she adds one of her own, directed toward Alara. "Will we be having any lessons as to how to act on the sands; like what to do and what to avoid?"

Alara taps her fingers to her lips. Leaving aside her 'charge' for a moment, she considers the suggestions that the Smith offers. "We could indeed do the first things. And as to the dragons, well, it would depend on…" She purses her lips, and considers. "I shall talk to Iar — weyrwoman Randi — on that score and see what she says." She's the weyrbred goldrider, and some of these ideas are best passed by her. "The only rules to remember beyond being very respectful is to be clean and aware of your surroundings. That's beyond the information that you were given already." She smiles. "The little ones will need bathing nearly every day for the first few sevens, and oiling at least that often. They grow so fast at first that one of your biggest worries will be keeping them well oiled so that their skin doesn't crack." She remembers a few weyrlings who didn't pay attention to this, and had serious problems later on. "They'll tell you when they need oil, let me reassure you on that point. They're quite adamant." She grins fondly, looking toward the other bowl where her gold sits on the sands for a long moment. "You lot had an egg touching already, correct?"

Uveline nods slowly as she listens to Neythan's recommendations, adding, "I remember being told they dragons even enjoyed the digging. I wonder if Atsya and Zhiyth would be willing to help, when they aren't training," she muses. "It would certainly speed this up." Neni's words elicit a snort from Uveline. "I'm sure once the lake is filled, we'll have to start seeding plants and fish, so there will be lots to do still." But she quiets after that, listening to Alara's answers to the questions of her fellow candidates. At the question she nods. "Randi and Kaseth were, uhm, kind enough to introduce us to Kaseth's eggs." Her voice is rather empty - the candidate didn't have a very good time, as her fellow candidates know.

Neythan throws a bit of a smirk toward Nenienne. "You underestimate the fiendishness of those who decide what our chores are," he replies to her a bit tartly. He nods to Alara's question about the egg-touching. "It was pretty intense… for the couple of eggs I did touch. Didn't get to touch many, because it was dark and no one else thought to bring a glowbasket." And the mention of a glowbasket brings a gentle smile to his features for some reason which he doesn't bother explaining.

Ahnika looks at Nenienne with her question and nods, looking back at Alara once more, eager for the answer. Then, as if suddenly realizing she had allowed herself to be distracted, she gets back to work, but not without watching the others over her shoulder as they all work and talk, giving each her attention in turn. She seems to hang on Alara's words even more, especially as she gets a little more of a hint of weyrlinghood, and then shakes her head briefly, "No, ma'am, I've not been in one of the groups who've gone to do that yet, myself, I'm afraid." On touching eggs, that is. Then regarding getting the dragons and riders to help, Ahni suggests, "Maybe at first we could just simply solicit rider and dragon volunteers to help. After all, they have a lot to gain by having the lake done sooner."

Nenienne pauses to shake her head, sending droplets everywhere, even if it is a futile gesture. After rubbing her eyes again, she answers, "I was in one of the groups to touch the eggs, Weyrwoman." At that she resumes digging with the faintest hint of a second wind.

Alara's smile widens. "I know that Orralth and Lenia have been pestering me rather constantly, so I suppose he'd be willing to do so…" She pauses and tilts her head sideways, listening to Rauzath for a moment. "Oh. Apparently, Orralth likes to dig, and would probably be pleased as punch to help, if the Weyrleader will let him do so." She gives a tighter smile. "That may be something for discussion." There is 'prepared', and then there is 'overworked.' Alara worries about the fighting dragons entering into that second state soon. "That gives you a small hint of what having a dragon with you is like." She nods over at Ahnika. "Soon, Rauzath's eggs will be hard enough that the rain won't make them unnecessarily cold, and she'll allow them out for a touching." She'd been allowing them to be seen, yes, but not for long periods of time, because of the rain. There certainly is a drawback to the open-air cavern. "We'll plan for one soon, I think." And hopefully the young redhead can come. "I do want to talk to Randi about it, but perhaps it wouldn't hurt to ask for volunteers. Unless there is a reason for the dragons not to dig too deeply or something." She looks to Neythan for this, if he knows, she'll accept the answer. As she does, she catches the smile that crosses his face for a moment. She smiles back, and returns to lifting rocks, instead of explaining things for a bit.

Uveline nods as the others speak up, moving back to collecting rocks and pitching them into the cart. And then something occurs to her, and she pauses when passing Alara next. "I've heard a fairly nasty rumour going around, ma'am, which I'm not sure has come to your attention. Someone's spread the idea that candidates who don't Impress will be savaged, or flat out killed." Her tone makes it clear that she doesn't approve. "Teallan had mentioned to me that several candidates have been very upset about this, worrying that they'll not Impress and end up hurt, or worse." And that's all she says, continuing on to deposit her current rock.

Neythan appears rather thoughtful, his eyes going a bit unfocused as he thinks while he works, putting his back in the pick-swinging. The goggles are definitely helping prevent him from getting anything in his eyes. "Maybe, if we can pry some plastics out of the Plastic-craft, we can erect some kind of canopy over the grounds," he muses aloud. And then Uveline's words register, and the smith is startled by this enough that he speaks with a deep scorn no one's ever heard out of him. "What sort of idiotic wherrybrain came up with that nonsense?" he demands. "And what sort of gullible fool actually believed that load of runner shit?" He's not prone to swearing, but there is cause.

Alara blinks, her whole demeanor changing. "Those hide-bound…" She mutters off to herself. "No, the worst savagery a candidate can expect, if they are wise on Hatching day," she does add that caveat, "is this right here." Dropping her rock into the container, she gestures to the working candidates. "Precisely, Candidate." Neythan gets a sharp nod. "Though I mayn't have phrased it in that particular manner." Randi would have, though, so her expression is fond, reminded of her best friend. "Dragonets, when they first crack shell, are unaware of their surroundings. The closest approximation would be …" She purses her lips and considers. "Would be watching the riders walking out of Jaya's establishment when she's had enough of them. They aren't intentionally dangerous, and are in fact rather distraught when something does happen." Unlike some of said riders. "If you keep your wits about you, and your eyes open, we should have a good Hatching day." She shrugs. "Things do happen occasionally, I will be honest, but as to those of you who do not Impress…" She pauses again, stooping to pick up a rock as she considers her next words. "You may have noticed that we do not have as many drudges as a Hold might. Candidates serve those roles between cycles, if they have no other role to fill." Another general nod toward the crafting candidates.

Continuing her work, grunting a little as she chips up a larger rock, Ahnika pauses long enough to wipe some of the rain from her face with her soggy sleeve and nods with a smile to Alara, "As you say, ma'am," content to be patient on that front, not one to want to upset a gold dragon to be sure. Uveline's words draw a frown from the redheaded candidate, however, and Ahni gets back to work. She remains quiet until Neythan, himself, speaks on the topic. To this, she scowls, and straightens, snapping at Neythan, "Not everyone is weyrbred, you know," shooting a defensive sidelong glance for Nenienne, as well as herself for that matter, "So, if someone with a Harper's forked silver tongue," she narrows her eyes, briefly menacingly, at Uveline, and then back to Neythan, "comes along and tells people who don't know better something pretty convincingly, it shouldn't be all their fault for believing the tale, you know." And with that, grumbling, Ahnika gets back to work.

Nenienne outright stops digging to listen to Alara's response, then says "Thank you, ma'am. Lexi mentioned sometimes candidates get shredded if they don't get out of the way in time, and I think the rumor just got added to. And I'd heard conflicting reports, too — one saying candidates have died that way, another saying at best there would be bumps and scrapes. That's why I asked if we'd be told how to act on the sands." After that soliloquy she begins digging again, going perhaps slightly faster to make up for the time she spent speaking.

Uveline's eyes rest on Neythan, and her tone is flat as she replies, "I don't know who started it, but there are plenty of holdbred and craftbred youths who are plenty scared of dragons to begin with, and having seen a dragon eat, are willing to believe that they are dangerous to people. We," and she clearly means the Harper Hall, "do our best to educate everyone, but that doesn't mean they can't be scared by maliciously crafted rumours." She nods then to Alara, opening her mouth to reply, but then Ahnika's words sink in and she stares at the girl for a moment. "What do you mean, with a Harper's forked silver tongue? No Harper is going to spread that kind fo trash! Shards, the only /Harpers/ here are Kestian, Teallan and me, and none of /us/ started this… mess!"

"I'm not weyrbred either, Ahnika," Neythan shoots back acidly. "And I still know better than that. I'm guessing common sense isn't as common as one hopes." Almost savagely, he swings the pick at his next target, but the ladies around him might notice that he's still being very careful with his work, despite his annoyance. "And if dumb clods are wandering around believing that kind of twaddle, why aren't you doing more to squelch those rumors before they have people panicking, huh?" His question is spoke more coldly than full of anger as he vents that anger on the burgeoning lakebed.

And to this, fiery-haired with a temper to match, Ahni, stops her work and rolls her eyes at Uveline, "Perhaps if you teaching Harpers listened as much as you say you teach, you'd know I didn't actually say a Harper started the tale, Uveline. I said someone with the same kind of skill telling stories. For that matter, Bronzerider E'ro has both the skill and the forked tongue, and he'll say as much about himself, to boot. Listen a little harder next time, won't you?" Then she scowls at Neythan, "Know what you're sharding talkin' 'bout before you put your shit-covered boot in your mouth. It just so happens that as soon as I heard it wasn't true from a /reliable/ source," she shoots a look at Uveline, and then goes back to work, "I was only too happy to try and calm those people down." She jerks her head at Nenienne, "Just ask Neni there. She was there one of those times. So, don't talk about people who can't take up for themselves, and don't give me your lip, man, or I'll put my pick square in it," she grouses, not seeming to care she's making such a terrible scene right in front of the senior weyrwoman. To her, she is in the right to defend those who can't defend themselves when being talked about so poorly with no one to champion them.

Nenienne is suddenly very studiously digging, seemingly unaware of her surroundings as she puts mind, body, and soul into her work.

"There are variations on Harper, just as there are variations on Smith. I know Master Gallifren is rather adamant about some things, but not all his apprentices or journeymen, or shells, even his Masters listen." Alara grins at Neythan. "I know that some Harpers are more interested in keeping us all entertained, and some are more interested in their own political beliefs than …" They don't have the phrase 'the party line,' "Than what the Hall has decided as policy." She grew up there, and was nanny for a long time. "Perhaps she was saying that this individual had a tongue like a harper?" She hefts another rock, and then falls silent as she works. At least until the young woman speaks. She stops, large rock in hand, and gazes rather incredulously at Ahnika. She is so forcibly reminded of Randi that she cannot help the quiet chuckle that escapes. "That's certainly truth. That bronzerider… for that one, I'd be willing to take up Iardani's beliefs." The younger woman is not fond of bronzeriders. "And, yes, he could talk the marks from a trader, should he decide to. Or he thinks he can, anyway." With a soft snort, she moves the rock. "He attempted to …" She sighs, not wanting to spread rumors, but she does add, "let's just say he tried to persuade me of something. Even knowing that circumstances were different."

Assumming Neythan is talking to her, Uveline fires back, "I /have/ been trying! But it's not like I have the time, or freedom, to take each candidate aside and tell them, 'hey, there's nothing to worry about, just be careful on the sands and give the dragons some room'! Why do you think I said something to Alara in the first place? She can make an announcement, and people should sharding well /believe/ her. Problem solved!" To Ahnika she snaps, "Harpers have never been the only ones skilled at speaking, and certainly, not all of /us/ are, for that matter. Don't paint us all with the same brush." She pauses, then blushes and adds, "E'ro actually /is/ Harper-trained." Still, Ahnika's words clearly have hit a nerve with the older candidate. Rubbing her face with a clear patch of sleeve, Uveline turns to Alara. "I take it you'll address this more directly with the rest of the candidates? I think most of them have heard the truth, but I don't know if anyone is still worried about it."

Neythan raises his head and stops his work, looking intently at Ahnika. "Stupid rumors nearly killed one of my foster mothers, and there was a concerted effort by our Hold harper to educate everyone so it wouldn't happen again. So if you want to get violent because someone was trying to scare people and take advantage of them, please be my guest." He sets his pick carefully to the side, the shovel as well, and steps away from them. "If you want to be angry, be angry at the person who actually started the rumors as a way to pick on the others and get a charge out of causing panic. THAT person is the one who needs to be properly identified and dealt with." His words are calm now, his manner patient, as he beckons for Ahnika to put her words to deeds in front of the Weyrwoman. "Otherwise, you might wish to reconsider your own words." To Uveline, he suggests, "What about a group lesson?" in his usual helpful sort of manner before turning his regard back on the one with the violent tendencies.

Some of her initial ire is abated with Alara's diplomatic and soothing testimony on E'ro, and Ahnika, to some degree, feels a little bit vindicated. At least enough to stop with the unfair barbs. She continues to work, now a little more feverishly than before, working the anger out of her system much more safely than physically attacking someone there on the spot. To Uveline's words directed at her, Ahni just gives the girl a dismissive wave over her shoulder, but she leaves it at that, not seeming to have any objections to Alara addressing the candidates as a group. Ahni gives a sidelong glance to Neni, frowning a little at the other girl with concern, before slipping another glance at Alara for her response to Uveline's suggestion. Then she pauses to look at Neythan, arching her eyebrows at him a little, seeming slightly mollified, though if it is his calm tone or his helpful suggestion, it's hard to say. In reply, Ahnika shrugs and says simply, "I solve the problems and fight the fights that are put in front of me. I don't know who started the rumor, so I can't do anything about that. I can try and help people see that they aren't true, though and I can and will take up for anyone who picks on others for believing them." Muttering a small curse to herself, she toes out some rock from the muddy earth and rubs the back of her neck a little, before she says, "Alright, I s'pose it wasn't fair to threaten you directly like that," probably the closest she'll come to an apology, "but you might want to reconsider slingin' insults and jumping to conclusions about people before you know everything. Yeah?" With that, she gets back to work, not waiting for him to concede or not concede and as the suggestion for a group lesson has been made already, she only nods in agreement that she thinks it's a good idea.

Nenienne is just fine, working away industriously, definitely not taking sides in the arguments going on around her. As the commotion dies down she becomes less focused on the digging, and more on her surroundings.

"We'll have to see about a formal class." Alara continues to work, switching from lifting the heavy rocks to shovelling out the dirt around them. As she grabs a shovel, she looks up at the rainy sky, allowing the water to sluice down her face. "Those rumors have been around since Faranth cracked shell, I imagine. People have been ignorant forever." She snorts. "That's the primary function of a Harper." And here, one in the know might recognize a passable imitation of Harper Journeyman Dathon, La's sire. "To combat such ignorance with the truth. In whatever manner possible." She's heard that enough, she figures. "You all can definitely quash any rumors. We could have a class if it was absolutely necessary, but it may be a bit hard with everyone stretched so…." Unless she assigned …. She ponders the possibilities for a long moment. She watches Ahnika for a while, nodding appreciatively at her decision to fuel her work with her ire. "I think I shall handle bronzerider E'ro myself. Rauzath says she knows how to deal with Yzuruth." And she does, really. "If he is spreading the rumors of things like this, well, he'll be running laps around the bowl. The bowls." She amends the last statement, remembering the layout of their Weyr. "Perhaps he ought to teach the class, and use his glib tongue for more than harrassment."

"Thank you, Weyrwoman," is Uveline's reply, as Alara plans things out. Uveline returns to moving stone, detouring widely around Ahnika on her way to and from the cart. "Nenienne, you doing alright there?" she asks as she passes, noticing that she has been quiet this whole time. "Need a hand with anything?" Clearly, Uveline wants to distance herself from the entire blow-up, and is attempting to focus on getting back to work.

Neythan nods to himself as Ahni seems to have become mollified, and a slight smile crosses his features as his lesson was given. "For you, anything," he says with a gallant bow. "Perhaps I spoke out of turn due to how badly things happened in the past… and was honestly surprised anyone fell for such tomfoolery." Relaxing and going back to his own hard work, heedless of the sweat and stink generated, or how dirty his boots are getting, he looks over toward the Weyrwoman. "With supervision, one hopes…" he remarks almost politely.

In another pause to wipe some rainwater from her face, Ahnika nods a bit to Alara, apparently agreeing or supportive on one or more pieces of the senior weyrwoman's voiced thoughts on the matter, but more or less holding her own tongue as she eases out of her adrenaline high for the moment, other than to say, "Thank you, Weyrwoman," a heartbeat or two after Uveline, and then, face wiped, Ahnika gets back to work, breathing hard and grunting a little with the heavy labor for the teen who is more accustomed to the work assisting the headwoman. But she voices no complaint. Neythan's bow captures the redhead's attention and that causes her to look at him with arched eyebrows, forehead slightly furrowed in confusion and startlement, and then she just simply nods to him, accepting his explanation as a form of apology, it seems, and getting back to work.

Surprisingly silent through this whole ordeal, Jaret is now taking time to pause and look to the Weyrwoman. Indeed one might have thought the candidate not even there, given how there's been a lack of snark from his corner thus far. However, a hooded head does raise upon the conclusion of 'The Great Whether Or Not Dragons Eat People On The Sands Debate.' is put to bed. Running the back of his hand and leather wrist brace across mouth and nose, Jaret does offer a snort. "Well I am glad that got sorted out. We'd hate to have any danger with our calling.." Oh there's the snark, and he's bending back down to stick his shovel into the muck. It's not bad enough that it is raining and cold, but they did need to know this important detail. There's a glance back between Uveline and Ahnika, as he begins to chuckle, if one can call that odd grunted noise, that.

Nenienne nods, then adds, "I'm fine. I just don't like it when people fight." The latter in an almost plaintive tone. Then her shovel makes a scraping sound and her frown deepens as she tries to dig around whatever is blocking it. Finally she upends a large stone which she picks up and trots pver to the cart.

"Certainly." Alara responds to the thanks with a little nod, lifting her scoop of dirt into the cart. "I don't either, truth be told, Nenienne. I hate it when people argue." There's no reproof there, but the words may sting a bit. "Oh, naturally, Neythan. Rauzath will probably give Yzuruth very strict instructions and we'll have at least one rider in the room." It may be someone like T'ryn or herself, but there will be someone. "Perhaps a few riders can share their stories." She smiles. "Get some of these misconceptions out of the way. We all need honesty during these days." Her lips purse, allluding to some of the wider world's concerns. Jaret's comments get a soft snort. "Well, you are correct in your words, …" She attempts to address the candidates, and finds she doesn't remember this one's name. If she ever knew it. "Your name, candidate? I am Alara, Rauzath's rider." Which most know, but it's only polite to offer her name in exchange for his.

"Alright, then," Uveline says, stepping away from Nenienne and moving back toward the candidate digging in her area. The boy nods at her return and they get back into the rhythym of working at the digging. That is, until his shovel slips and the boy gives himself a messy, though not severe, cut on his shin. Uveline promptly helps the boy carry his shovel out to the equipment stack and off to the infirmary to get his leg cleaned up and bandaged.

Neythan tilts his head in a nod to the Weyrwoman as he gets back to work, and Neni's plaintive tone causes him to murmur a quiet apology to her. "I'm hoping the rain will let up soon… this digging during rain is not healthy. Selby was sneezing all over the barracks last night." And with a dimpled small smile, he says, "And that's not a rumor." He gestures to the kid who just got a cut on his shin as an example of why digging in mud is not the safest of tasks. And if some of the mud he just schlepped away winds up near one of the other candidates with a casual plop and splatter, he doesn't seem to notice before going back to attack the rock he was working on.

Jaret stabs his Shovel back into the dirt, as a boot kicks a rock out of the way. Coming out of his part of the hole, Jaret, at least has the decency to pull back his hood a little-but it'll remain put. It's raining damnit, and he will have none of this getting completely frozen to the bone nonsense. Sniffling he wipes mud down his leg, before he is responding again. "Jaret." simple there, however he's not doing any well meets or offering his hand. "What do you want?" and there's a beat before he adds, "Weyrwoman?" Well, at least he was better than he was with Randi.

Ahnika is still working away some of that frustration, though it's lessened considerably since the spark of the fight. And so Jaret's words earn him a look from the redhead that is a mixture of confusion and challenge before she gets back to working a particularly tough rock from the ground. A look is then given to Neni, then and with a sigh, Ahni says, "Shells, Nenienne, I'm sorry," and sounds to mean it, before her attention is distracted by the boy who is cut while digging. She straightens, pausing only long enough to see Uveline take him off to the Infirmary, and then nodding once to Neythan, "Hot drinks in the Living Caverns would be best tonight with the evening meal, methinks." And then some mud gets splattered on her by the kilt-wearing candidate and Ahni is initially startled and indignant, and then bursts out into laughter, swinging her shovel down onto the wet muddy ground right behind Neythan and sending another splatter of mud in all directions, including herself, before pulling it back and trying to get back to work. She apparently misses any further interaction between Alara and Jaret for the moment.

Nenienne murmurs an apology of her own to Neythan and Ahnika, then resumes her digging, just as several fresh candidates arrive. The Miner overseer directs them to take the places of several of the candidates who have been digging since early morning and dismisses them for lunch. Neni, being one of the lucky ones, hands over her shovel to the newly-arrived candidate and heads off toward the nice dry living cavern.

Neythan grins impishly at Ahnika as she picked up on his intent. "Although it'll be a bit of a pain to wash off if we all start rolling in the mud like squalling children," he comments with a chuckle, pointedly overlooking Jaret's snark, but making sure none of the splattering mud goes wandering in his direction. No sense in offending someone else today. He waves as Nenienne and others get out of additional work, but since he started late, he's got plenty of work left in him.

The splattered mud everywhere manages to hit Alara square in the face, and she wipes her sleeve across her lips, attempting to get the bulk of the splatter off before she speaks. "Your respect for one, Candidate." Alara gives him a narrowed gaze, and moves to shovel the slick mud out of the way before it can run back to the middle of the growing space in the ground. "I don't mind friendly gestures, or the like, but I will not tolerate an attitude among my candidates. If you do not wish to be making laps around the bowls in addition to your chores, consider your words and tone." The diminutive woman has stretched up to her fullest now, and gazes at the young man for a long moment before returning to shovelling. "I think I heard that from a Healer, Neythan. Not the specific person, but that the rain was affecting the digging in more ways than just the mud." She takes another swipe of her face to clear it.

Jaret turns as mud splatters and there's a faint shrug as he moves a hand to knock off the mud. A look back towards Alara and there's a flat look before he is shaking his head. "Laps would be welcomed." said back without even a thought. "Seriously, you're giving it to us too, bloody easy." and with that he is reaching for his shovel, moving to move some more sludge out before it can run further down. "And it's not so much respect won't be given.." Oh one might expect this to get painful. Well, they would be right. "And mind you, it's not the chores or the physical exertion that I mind. I've done drudge work- I can do drudge work. But, you lot keep on about respect." a huff as he is getting a shovel load. "But, I haven't had the decent amount given to me" and he is raising up a hand " By that, I mean since I've been here, I've been thrust onto some sandy area to touch eggs, I've been given chores-Fine." a glance "But no one has yet to explain to me why I am here, and what to expect. What the blood objective is beyond riding a dragon. That much I know, I'm a fucking candidate for a dragon." Which is an honor-one he doesn't see just yet. " But, that is the extent of what I know about a Weyr, beyond dragons fight thread. I don't know who ranks where-except everyone is above me. I don't know why they are that rank, nor our structure." And there he leans on the shovel. Jaret pauses. "I'll give the respect, I got no trouble doing that. I just want to know why. That's all."

Neythan pauses in his work with a flinch when he realizes that he got the Weyrwoman as well with his playfulness. And Jaret's words cause him to seem quite astonished. He marches over to Alara and gives her a clean rag he kept safe in an inner pocket on his vest so she can properly wipe her face better, murmuring an apology as well. "May I ask where are you /from/ that you don't know these sorts of things?" he queries of the other male candidate, sounding rather perplexed than anything else. "I thought everyone would at least know rank and that you gave someone respect due their rank, regardless of whether they personally liked that person or not. Hold harper'd always be out to teach everyone even out in the Holds in the boonies.

Another flicker of concern at Nenienne and her apology before she is cleared off her work-shift and escapes the lakebed and the work here, and then Ahnika waves to her in farewell. The redhead, having been one of those on the earlier shift, too, should be getting off with Neni, but she chooses to stay instead, at least to get to a 'proper' stopping point by her own estimation. "Then I guess we best not roll around in the mud like squalling children," Ahni says with a good-natured grin for Neythan, most of her earlier irritation with him abated, or seems to be. But it's catching Alara's swipe to her face to wipe away some of the mud that has Ahni genuinely looking contrite, and she offers, "Oh, I'm sorry, Weyrwoman." Then she falls quiet, distracted by the byplay between Alara and Jaret now, and showing some interest as she resumes her work.

Alara snorts. Before she was Rauzath's, she was nanny at Harper Hall, and even the smallest ones started learning their teaching ballads. "It appears you need a refresher course on your Teaching Ballads, Jaret. That will help immensely. Luckily, we have three harpers here. Two candidates, and one posted harper. I think we can find someone to sit down with you and remind you of what you need to know." She can understand only remembering the 'important' stuff, but she doesn't see how rank isn't important. But, having lived in the Hall all her life before Impressing, she's always had a larger view of the world. "It's no matter Ahnika. I am sure you didn't mean it. It's part of the chore." You get muddy. She takes a few more digs into the ground before she strikes another rock. "Shards. No wonder it's taking so long."

A glance over towards Neythan "Outside of River Bend. Didn't have much time to go in for teaching." You'd be surprised that he cannot even read. "And when I was put into training, that was never asked of me." How he's gotten this far in life is most likely astonishing. "I know my seasons-shit like that." Beyond, what else would he need to know. As for the teaching ballad, he just nods as he remains hanging there on his shovel. Looking up for a second. "Rain doesn't help. Had to do this once in my drudge years- I guess our luck is that the ground isn't too hard." If you don't count the rocks.

A grunt and he's back to digging. "Just let me know who I need to talk to, an I'll do it." A grunt as he is bending down to pull out a rock with his fingers. Not afraid to get dirty, this one. "Weyrwoman." See he got that right.

Neythan sees no need to comment on the other man's upbringing. It was what it was, and the Weyrwoman's already got the solution at hand. With a shrug, he resumes his own digging, keeping his opinion to himself. "By the way, Alara, the water pump is ready to go whenever it's time to start filling this hole. Got the last parts from Telgar a couple of days ago, Plastic-craft's got the pipeline extruded, we're just waiting on the right time to get it done."

Nodding once to Alara's acceptance of her apology, Ahnika gets back to work, occasionally glancing over at the other three as she finishes up the last in the little row of earth she mentally boxed for herself. Jaret is given a slightly longer look, though it's not challenging this time. If anything, it's almost sympathetic, considering Ahnika's own upbringing. Let's face it, she was ready to believe those rumors too, until Max set her straight. Finally coming to an end that works for Ahnika and not the miner supervising her shift, the shift that had already been let go, Ahni sets her equipment off to the rack being shared by the candidates and drudges here, and wipes her muddy hands on her rainsocked tunic at her hips. She bows her head and shoulders to Alara, and gives a little nod to Neythan and Jaret before heading out, "Good morning to you all, then." Another nod for Alara, "Ma'am," and then she is off, climbing awkwardly out of the rainsoaked lakebed.

"Oh, that's wonderful. Well, if that's the case, then we'll have to see about the dragons helping. It will cheer everyone up considerably if there is hope of getting this done." At least that's Alara's hope. Her eyebrows quirk at Jaret's admission of where he's from. "That is a long way from a Weyr." Not necessarily in distance, but definitely in mindset. "Beholden to Fort, correct?" She thinks she knows all of the little places that are connected with Fort Hold, but she might be wrong. "No." She's recalling that it's not Fort. "Up further." She cannot remember High Reaches at the moment. "Thank you, Ahnika." Alara eyes the work done, and smiles. "This will help considerably." It eases her mind quite a bit.

To Jaret's words, she merely nods. "I will do that. It will proably be rather informal, as that will probably work better…" Her mind is already considering the possibilities.

"Fine with me." Jaret states as he is taking the rock to drop off into the cart before he is coming back over. "High Reaches." He finishes for the Weyrwoman before he is going back to work. Yes he is going to mainly focus on that till he will be eventually relieved by one of the other incoming candidates. A glance is given over to Neythan for a moment and then is looking to what he is wearing. "Where are you from?" Might as well ask. He's not seen many kilts before, himself.

Neythan shakes his head to something Alara says. "High Reaches, Weyrwoman," he corrects on the heels of others citing it as well over the sound of his pick making a sick metallic clang against a bit of rock before it turns to the side. He pulls the pick back and examines the end with a frown. "Inferior craftsmanship," he reports with a sigh and then switches it around to test the other side. When Jaret queries him, he says, "Telgar Smithcrafthall… but originally from Tillek. And quite glad to leave. The quality of the alcohol…" He affects a shudder.

"Right. Thank you gentlemen." Alara hefts another shovelful of mud into the cart, and sets down her shovel. "I think I will go clean up, and get some food. I've been dallying here long enough for one day." She smiles. "I quite agree with you, Neythan, on the alcohol." She doesn't drink in excess often, but a good glass of wine is not beyond her reach.

Jaret nods once towards Neythan "Odd dress they got there." a faint chuckle, beforehe's leaving his shovel where it is. "Well then Telgar, I'll catch you later." a faint chuckle, and with that he is moving to climb out and get cleaned up himself

Neythan clambers out of the pit with his own tools. "This isn't a Tillek outfit," he says, not saying what it is. "I'm for a wash, and then booze. Yes." And with that, he wends his way across the bowl, whistling cheerfully… but at least on key.

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