Highly. Inefficient. (Round Up - Day 3)

Xanadu Weyr Region - Open Plains

Open plains stretch in every direction, the tall grass interrupted now and then by a group of rocks suddenly thrust upwards from the ground or a copse of trees gathered around a spring-fed pond. The high grass looks like an ocean as the wind causes it to ripple back and forth, creating the illusion of puddles here and there, even as the ground slopes gently upwards towards the mountains that can just be seen on the southern horizon.

Despite the remoteness of the southern stretches of the plains that stretch south all the way to the Southern Barrier Range, the northern edge of the plains begin but a half-days trek from Xanadu Weyr by foot, three hours by fast-trotting runnerback or ten minute's straight flight a-dragonback. There are signs that travelers pass this way - lines cut here and there amongst the grasses of the prairie, most in pairs as they track from one direction to another. The campsites of former travelers can be seen occasionally where a tent was once pitched, or a campfire once burned - and the remnants of some shelters remain.

Behind a knoll, within a small stand of trees, a hiddden campsite has been assembled while quite a distance away, out on the plains there is a large rail corral built, one entire side left open, wing-fences on either side to funnel whatever is driven towards it into the corral and swung shut afterwards by three or four people. Off to the side there are several pens and all are brush-covered to disguise them. A trap well-laid and ready to spring.

It's early morning and there is slightly sober as people talk about the felines and the traps. Is it really serious to worry out here o the plains when the feline was in the forest? Who know? A little extra caution is being taken though with some extra safety procedures and those rounding up the herdbeasts may not be going as far out as previous days. Garait is there as well running errands and notes between Journeymen Beastcrafters as people start to gather things to begin today's roundup. Runners are being bright out, instructions gone over, groups assigned. Busy day for the last day of the round up, and it's been good so far. Let's hope it stays that way!

The -feline- was a breeding female and the den had been found. No other animals other than a few cubs had been discovered and it was believed she had been alone. No tracks in or around the den had indicated other animals. So the patrols went on, over the forest and on the outskirts of the open plains. Dragons can be seen high aloft in the sky, wisping through the early morning cloud cover, ranging high up to avoid interferring with the round up of the herd beasts. None of the other traps set out have been sprung, leading some people to wonder if the extra precaution was driven from paranoia rather than actual fact, those that don't believe in the felines being such a big threat - they are reclusive animals after all and this round up party was huge! It would take a pretty desperate animal to charge forward and risk interaction with humans and dragons like. So it's a general arguement to spend the idle moments, were the traps worth while or had they just been pressumptious and unnecessary?

Hotaru is here! She's hitched a ride with one of the dragonriders as is customary for her. In fact it's the same rider who took her out the first day. Today though, Hotaru is packing heat! Heat in the form of her trusty bow and a quiver of arrows. It looks as though the red-headed candidate doesn't plan on doing any rounding up today, and is instead hoping to provide some extra security around the premise. Or perhaps just to be told to go help someone else. Either way, she's not exactly sure she wants to play cowgirl today. The adventures the other day left her sore in muscles she didn't know she had. Right now she's sort of lingering by the tents, her bow and arrows strung on her back.

Idrissa is there working on getting the runners saddled up and read to be used by the ones that will be out riding. Hooves are checked and rechecked to make sure everything is fine, don't need a cracked hoof or other problem to slow a runner down after all. She makes sure saddles are on properly, bands clenched down right and snug enough to not loosen when the runners are well running. With the runners handed over to certain riders she is not getting her own runner ready. The large reddish colored stallion stands quietly, his mane has been combed out and long tail fur braided at the bottom to keep from dragging across the ground. She shakes out a blanket and settles it upon the runner, and then sets the saddle is placed and put on neatly, bridle and bit found and soon enough they are out to join up with the others. She has on a light green tunic, brown pants and boots, her hair is pulled back and the only other thing on her is that white knot at her shoulder. Once on her runner she is moving off towards the group she was paired up with.

Coming in from the directions of the Foothills is Datsun, riding on top of an all-black mare with white dots here and there and carrying a sight on his leather-clad left arm that hasn't been seen in a while by some and most likely never by the newer arrivals at Xanadu: A Gryphhawk. The black-and-auburn predator sits tied to Datsun's left wrist by a leather thong, regarding people left and right as the trio pass by them. It seems they were out alone some distance away by themselves and were only now returning to the tents area. Hotaru is passed by until Datsun notices her, tugging on the reins to turn the mare back around to come up beside the Candidate. "On guard duty, huh, Candy?" There's a greeting smile.

Rysith is once again aloft with the other dragons out on patrols currently. News of the felines and the traps have garnered much of Anoryn's attention of late, as the greenrider is long accustomed and familiar with the creatures. If she has an opinion as to how the whole situation unfolded and was handled, the older rider is (for once) holding her tongue. But with her duties not required back at the barracks, she signed up to take a few shifts to take Rysith out and comb over the forests and the outskirts of the plains. As they head back for the site of the roundup, Anoryn is careful to guide Rysith down to land somewhere at a safe distance, so as not to spook any of the animals below, runner or herdbeast alike. Dismounting, she slips off her helmet and gloves to store on Rysith's straps before casting her gaze out over the gathered group of folks and trying to pick out familiar faces or simply observe for a moment before diving in.

Thea is here, looking grim and displeased. Far to the opposite extreme about those traps, it's possible that she and the Weyrleader have had words about this little venture. She is high enough in the skies that they won't frighten the herdbeast herds down there, sitting upon Seryth, watching closely and truth be told, grimly anxious. Testament to her mood, the queen croons now and then, seeking to reassure her lifemate that she will let nothing happen to her weyrfolk. That the round up is proceeding at all in light of snaring a feline is not the Weyrwoman’s doing. She wanted the whole thing called off. But she's grudgingly given the last word to the Weyrleader and is here to help.

Out from one of the tents, with a rippling sound as the tent flap gets flung aside, A'dmar strides on out, holding up the flap for a few others to follow, the Galaxy Wingleader Ers'lan included, amongst others. It doesn't appear as if the Galaxy Wingleader is staying very long, considering he's already heading toward a brown dragon settled on a large rock at a safe distance from the animals, which gives the dragon an extra boost for scouting while he waits. A'dmar himself watches only for a faint instant where the Wingleader is going before he pivots away from the tent that apparently housed him over night. Slipping on some gloves that bear leather padding for protection, in fact banding an added gauntlet to each forearm, he's not in the normal attire the Weyrfolk are used to seeing him in. Instead, he's wearing a dusty tunic over a leather doublet with fur capped at the shoulders (presumably the fur of a feline), while belts strapped his hip, carrying a wicked blade. He seems to gather something at the tent, a spear, by the looks of it, a short spear, one he's able to slide into a carrying sheath behind his back, the tip of the spear not simple but bladed with a three tier spike. Noticably his attire will help to blend him into the long tall grasses on the plain. One of the hunter scounts that had been in charge of the protection of the animals jogs over to A'dmar, the two sharing quiet words as the Weyrleader goes to collect a water skin. If Thea was disgruntled by the round up, he was personally over seeing the finale of it, his presence likely causing more restlessness than good. But as it was, the round up so far had been a success and they might as well see it through to its conclusion. Maybe the traps and his current get up were just an over extension of his paranoia after all.

Hotaru spots Rissa handing out runners and gives her fellow candidate a wave. She might be able to be convinced to join the round up if she spots the copper colored mare she rode the other day, but right now it's not looking like she was one of the runners they've brought. Hotaru blinks as one of the riders turns back towards her, until she recognizes him as Datsun. "Dat! You got your gryphhawk back! I take it the weyrwoman came around? Or is she only letting you have him because we're so far from the weyr proper?" She shrugs at his question. "Eh, maybe. I figure I can climb a tree someplace and keep a look out. I don't want to ruffle any feathers though. Everyone seems really uptight today. What are you planning to do with your gryphhawk?"

Garait is not on a runner today and isn't that happy about it. He's been ordered to help with the Journeymen here and help out with the herdbeasts here since they told him that his skills are better suited to helping with those animals than being on a runner. As things begin to go forward, Garait moves over to Anoryn, "Is there anything I can do for you ma'am?" He eyes the Weyrleader and Ers'lan, but says nothing. Must be calm.

Instructions and safety precautions are being gone over again with areas assigned. Definietly not going out as far as the previous days, and group size being sent out has increased to five withh more experienced riders in every group.

Idrissa glances over as she catches the wave from Hotaru, she smiles and waves back to her. "Hey Hotaru!" She pulls her runner to a stop as she catches sight of both A'dmar and Ers'lan, waiting and wondering before she sends a wave after the leaving wingleader. Her attention goes back to Hotaru though. "Hey, are you coming with us?" She points towards a few runners that are still waiting for riders that are all ready to go, a smile seen to her friend.. "Me and RedFeathers will keep an eye on you how's that?" She waits a few moments to see if indeed her friend is going to get a runner and come with them.

The hunter is sent off with an acknowledgement from the Weyrleader, presued by a few more who inquire after one thing or another. He's not in charge of the round up, is what some can hear him saying to those who ask him questions, sending them to the proper authorities of Jarse or maybe even to Jethaniel, yes, indeed, the Steward's name is mentioned where ever possible. Instead, A'dmar claims to be here to over see and to 'hunt' as it were, protecting those who are going out. In fact, he approaches Idrissa with the mounts, asking of her, "Is there a mount I can take? I normally would go by foot, though I'm afraid I've gotten old over the last decade and won't be as nimble to stay aside a mounted party." Maybe not so much as getting old as getting soft. His eyes regard any of those who have approached Idrissa in or around the same time.

Datsun raises an eyebrow as he's called that nickname, "Dat? I haven't been called by that anyone from here yet." The smile increases, indicating that he doesn't mind being called that, relaxing into the saddle and lowering the arm that the 'Hawk is perched on slightly while the other rests on a thigh, letting go of the runner's reins. "Aye, she did. Ash is back, but only if I keep him tied around people and in the Weyr proper. He's going to be kept in a cage by the canine kennels where the Beastcrafters can keep an eye on him for me and keep people from bothering him. Your second guess is right too, he's only allowed loose out here in the wilds." There's a look around at the people going about their business, "You're right, they do look tense." Particularly the ones in charge. "I bet it's because of the traps Weyrleader A'dmar had me install. Weyrwoman Thea did not look happy at all when I informed her about them. A feline was found in one of them, so I guess the Weyrleader's worries were valid, after all…"

Anoryn had been distracted by the Weyrleader and Ers'lan's departure from the tents, observing silently until her attention is drawn away by Garait's approach. His request is met by a polite smile, but the greenrider shakes her head and simply shifts her weight to one hip as she crosses her arms loosely over her chest. "Not at the moment, but thank you. I'm only here to let Rysith rest a bit before we'll be back in the air. If I do need help though later, I will send word?" Seems only fair, right?

Darsce is totally here. Though… not to work or camp out - ugh! She'd break a nail doing that. And she's kept away from the dust raised by the milling of the herdbeasts in that corral, because dust. Ew? It being a nice day for a ride, she's ridden out on a blooded runner, a finely-bred gelding, her seat and hands on the reins mark her as an expert horsewoman. Presently she is astride the animal just watching things, but it also helps that she can better look for a certain someone she's been unable to find in the administration wing for the past few days.

Hotaru nods politely to the weyrleader. She'll let him get his runner before she chats with Idrissa. "I dunno… I'm still sore from the other day. I think I might just hang back here and help with security…" But then Rissa is being all nice and looking like she expects her to go. "I… alright I'll come. I dunno how much use I'll be though." Hotaru takes the reigns of whichever runner Rissa wants her to ride and saddles up, adjusting the bow on her back so it won't be in the way. She grins to Dat. "No? I'm surprised. Though I guess no one calls me any nicknames here either." She nods to all the information on Datsun's gryphhawk. "Well, that's great! I'm happy for you. I'd heard they'd caught a feline… I think everyone is a bit worried, now. Hopefully we can round up the rest of the bovine and then that'll be that."

Idrissa there is a new voice and she looks over to A'dmar, blinking a soft ah escapes her and she swallows a moment. That little nervous nature of her coming out for a few moments before her runner whinnes out, the sound was enough to snap her back. She nods and points towards the group of five runners. "Yes sir, there is a dark bay mare there that would suit you I'm sure. Her name is Firelight she is quick and agile for such things as this." There is a slight pause. "But Please pick one you may like better sir." Just her little bit of runner knowledge coming into play here that is all. A glance is sent back to Hotaru and she smiles to the girl nodding to her. "Your be alright." After the other girl making her sick in the kitchen perhaps this is a bit of payback? Naw not at all, Rissa doesn't think like that!

Datsun smiles at Hotaru, "Thanks. I'm not. There's plenty of obstacles for a feline to get through first before they can reach one of them." His free hand is waved around to indicate the general mass of people, nodding, "Enjoy your rounding up." Once Hotaru's gone off, the Woodcrafter directs his mare over to his own tent, dismounting with the 'Hawk still on his arm and disappearing inside the tent with the animal.

Garait nods at Anoryn, smiling, "That will be good ma'am, and glad to see you here." He wanders over to check in with the other Beastcraft Journeymen, getting things as they need them. Some of the groups are starting out to the plains to begin the roundup, and other groups will be sent out as they are ready.

The conversations near and around Idrissa are heard, certainly, maybe Datsun and Hotaru in relative nearness to Idrissa and her runner beasts. Each earn a speculative glance, "There have always been felines in the area." A'dmar doesn't do them any false hopes by suggesting it was normal and they shouldn't keep on guard. Nope, he just states the fact of the matter. Rather, once Idrissa works beyond her nervous swallow, his gaze roams over toward the runner that is pointed out to him. "She will do, thank you," he nods to the beastcraft apprentice, stepping over toward the said animal. There's a word or two he speaks to the animal but not in a tongue anyone around him would understand. He allows the animal to snuffle at him before he takes her reins, untying them from the post, already turning about with her in hand, leading her in a steady walk. A few of the hunters gather to him and it generally becomes known that he's taking one hunting party out, the eastern hunting party, the one which will head toward the thicker corpses of trees along the plains. A'dmar grunts at the few he has, turning to one, "Which round up team are we to cover?"

Unfortunately, Jethaniel was not able to get to sleep at an appropriate hour, last night. Documents he thought were in hand proved to not actually be present. On his return to gather the proper documents, he found the proper people missing. Upon finding the proper people… well, he finally finished up everything, late last night, and found a tent here to collapse in. At present, he is finally emerging, late and quite rumpled in appearance. His hair is going in every direction, his face is stubbly, and he's blinking with vague befuddlement at the wheels already well in motion around the camp.

Hotaru pats her runner. "Hopefully I will be. D'ani's not here this time to spook my runner." Yes, it's all his fault! Because he's not here to defend himself, mostly. Also, at least Hotaru helped Rissa to the infirmary? And she didn't have to do any more chores that day! Hotaru gives a wave to Datsun as he heads off to his old tent. She brings her runner around to where Idrissa is then. "Do we know where we're heading then? After which group?"

Idrissa blinks at the talk of felines, she lowers down a bit upon her runner. Felines, here?… Maybe she'll just turn around and leave. She clears her throat and nods to A'dmar. "I'm glad you approve sir." She watches as he goes and waits before heading out towards the group that is going to the round up. Well she doesn't hunt, she does know how to ride a runner and will stick around here it would seem! May not have had anymore chores that day but she had a healer thinking she and Kale was doing the vertical mambo. Which she still gets the even stare at by the certain healer whom still thinks otherwise. "I'm going with the round up crew. I don't hunt." Just because she knows how to use a bow does not mean she is a hunter thank you.

They're going hunting? Darsce knows how to hunt! Well, she's had practice stalking anyway. But she's fashionably dressed for riding, not hunting in trous that hug her shapely rear and thighs, a jacket of expensive weave on her slim shoulders and white gloves protecting her manicure. Besides, the blonde is still looking for someone- ahHA! "Je-tha-ni-el!" She calls the syllables of his name in a series of musical notes, her fingers waveling at him, then blows him a kiss. The fact that she got out of bed before noon to ride out here - early in the morning (gasp) is evidence that she's motivated… for some purpose. Legs squeezing her runner, she cuts right past through where the Weyrleader is having his little rally - right in front of him as though she doesn't even see him. Which she might not, but this is Darsce we're talking about so it may have been intentional. Pulling up nearby the Steward, she throws a slim leg over her runner, hops down and sashays over to him to drawl up to him, "You look hot." Scruffy and unshaved? She approves.

It seems the wheels in motion had gone on without the steward commanding them to. A'dmar actually notices Jethaniel just crawling out of his tent, a momentary pleasure sparks in his eyes to see the man's state. Of course, he schools his expression quickly enough, his voice tight as he acknowledges the Steward, "Steward, there you are! You look as if you just woke up and it's nearly mid-morning!" clearly there was some disapproval in his tone, "Find Rojan," one of the hunters, "He's been waiting for you to show your face." Yes, Rojan is on from earlier, a man frothing at the mouth to be told what to do, which should keep the steward busy all morning, since he's known to dither and to bicker if something isn't quite right. There might be long conversations of compensation involved too, or of supplies and other necessary arrangements that the Steward is happily in charge of. Darsce's little show doesn't phase the man, other than having to jerk back to avoid being ridden over. He peers after the girl, then to where she's going, barking loud enough, "Also Steward, keep your dalliances in check." And with that, he mounts up on the rider called Firelight, the mare giving a little whicker as A'dmar squeezes to spur her forward, breaking her into a trot as the others form up behind him.

Garait is definitely doing as told and running errands as well as checking on the corral. He's not noticing conversations, but happens to pick up a couple of meatroles, a redfruit and someting to drink and gives it to Jethabiel before moving on. Busy morning and everyone has to eat, so someone must of tole the Beastcrafter Apprentice to keep an eye out for the Steward and give him food. More groups are beng sent out to the Plains, leaving just a few nore to go.

Wait, Kale and Idrissa -weren't- doing the… isn't it the horizontal mambo? Hotaru has assumed that her and Kale get busy before curfew when no one else is around. Or whatever. "I suppose I'm going with Idrissa. Unless we're in need of additional hunters. I can shoot a bow." And she isn't squeamish about it, either. Hotaru trots her runner around a bit, getting used to her before pulling up alongside Idrissa again. She looks at the beastcrafter. "Well, where we headed? I'm following your lead here!"

Whichever it /is/ Kale and Idrissa have not been doing it! Idrissa continues along, her running moving at a easy trot as they catch up to the others for the round up. "I know how to use a bow, I just don't hunt with it." She is a beastcrafter that doesn't like killing animals which is why she works with runners. She smiles to Hotaru and nods. "Just keep hold of the reins and follow along. I think we're going to circle around some and bring them towards the corrals like last time." Well that is the thought she has at least.

Word has a funny way of drifting and when Anoryn catches snippets about hunters being gathered, the older greenrider cannot resist. Rysith has settled comfortably now, the aged green content to remain where she has settled to observe the main heart of the camp below. Rummaging in the packs fastened to the green's straps, Anoryn finds the gear she needs and swiftly buckling them in place. With a parting pat to Rysith's side, Anoryn then strides off to inquire as to where she can find a suitable mount and no doubt calling on Garait or any one nearby. She doesn't seem picky on whichever runner is brought to her, so long as the animal is healthy and looks capable of the task required of it. Once satisfied, she'll check the runner's tack and then mount up, trying not to grimace when a few muscles protest against it. Taking the reigns firmly in hand, she urges her mount forwards and hastily joins up with the others heading out hunting.

The sound of his name reaches through the fog of half-awake surrounding Jethaniel and draws his attention to Darsce. Coincidentally - or not, depending on how intentional Darsce's route was - this also brings his attention to A'dmar. It is a sign of a well tuned machine that it does not need frequent action to maintain its course, once set. Such efficiency might ordinarily bring a smile to the Steward's face; however, the expression at A'dmar's admonishment is instead a frown. "Ah. Yes," he says, and the frown lingers as he, for the moment, gives A'dmar's words first priority in his response. First priority, but there's nevertheless a pause before he speaks. Perhaps his brain is working more slowly than usual. "I will take it under advisement, Weyrleader." That's not exactly a yes or no, is it? But it's certainly an acknowledgment. That said, his attention rises to the approaching Darsce, and the smile that did not come to the surface earlier also begins to rise. "Hello, Darsce," he says, the smile nearly complete - until A'dmar speaks again, and the smile vanishes as Jethaniel's gaze returns to the Weyrleader. "If you wish to discuss my job performance, I suggest we do that at a later time… sir." Then Garait appears, and Jethaniel's gaze drops again to wave off the food, but… oh, klah. Yes. He'll take the klah.

Darsce doesn't care whether she displeases the Weyrleader or not, but his condescending tone and comment to Jethaniel has her flipping him off with her middle finger, not bothering to wait until his back is turned or if anyone else sees. "You're bitchy when you haven't had a lil somethin' somthin' for awhile, Hotstuff," she calls after A'dmar with no 'sir' anywhere in there. Hey - she's not D'had's daughter for nothing! Without trying to lower her voice, perhaps purposely so the Weyrleader overhears, she says sweetly to Jethaniel, "Don't worry about him, Jeth. Everyone knows you really work for the Weyrwoman. Besides, I'm here as your assistant today. So it's business." Pleasure-able business, but still. Cue a smugly innocent eyerolled look to the grumpy Weyrleader's back. She's working? And to prove that, he holds up a bag with supplies for Jethaniel - that special graph paper, pens, pencils, eraser, bottle of ink, rulers, compass and some official Xanadu Weyr letterhead with envelopes. "You forgot this."

Those last words of Jethaniel's? Unheard. Darsce's flipping of the bird, unseen. A'dmar ensured he spurred his mount on to get the last words too and lucky he did, else there might have been some fine discussions of business in the earshot for everyone. That angst can happen on another day, perhaps. Or they're both simply beneath him at this point. A'dmar and his small group of hunters (and anyone joining them) range out away from the camp, turning northward at first, small wafts of dust stirred up underneath the runner's hooves to mark their direction of travel, sticking mostly to the trails that have turned the tall grasses into mulch. As soon as they're over the knoll hiding the camp of beastcrafters from distant view, they turn eastward, heading toward the rocky outcrops that break up the ocean of tall grasses. A'dmar seems comfortable on the saddle, reining in the runner to pivot the animal around so he takes one look back at the camp, gathering up the stragglers before he pitches his weight forward and gives a good squeeze and bump of his heels into the runner's flank, setting them off to a good pace. They're going ahead of the round up party to clear the way and scout for any trouble, as the dragons up above are doing much the same.

Garait takes the unwanted food back to the camp, ignoring what Darsce just said even though he probably heard it. he walks over to the corral then to help finish preperations for incoming herdbeasts. The lasts of the groups have their assigned areas and are being motioned to head out and being told to be careful.

"It might be more correct to say I work for the Weyr," Jethaniel observes in a contemplative tone, then lifts his mug to take a sip of the klah. His brain definitely needs assistance in bootstrapping today. "However, you are correct that the Weyrwoman is the one capable of removing me from this position. Also, you look lovely today." He smiles to her, taking an inefficient moment of pleasure in admiring her features (the ones above her neck, as it so happens), before taking another sip of klah and returning his attention to business. Specifically, to the supplies Darsce has brought. "Ah. Thank you." Another smile. "I believe we should begin by speaking to Journeyman Pharse." Not Rojan? No. If the matter was sufficiently urgent, firstly it should have been handled by the Weyrleader himself, secondly it's not like the Steward was impossible to find. Jethaniel is capable of defining his own priorities and taking initiative.

Darsce is not watching A'dmar leave. She's turned away before the man's mount has taken two steps. "I know," says Darsce cheekily in the wake of Jethaniel's observation. "It makes him so mad when I say it like that though." And then she smiles sunnily at him, slipping her hand though his arm while shouldering that bag. She's being scribe and porter for him today, it seems. "Sounds like a plan," says she cheerfully, her mood much improved with the Weyrleader's departure. "Thank you, you're not half bad yourself. You should skip shaving more often." Weyrleader? Who? Out of sight, out of mind.

Idrissa peers curiously over the ones that she has met for the round up of the herd beasts, a soft ah escaping her as she turns to speak with Hotaru whom is off speaking with someone else it seems. The girl has a short attention span. Well then. She ohs and ponders before she is back to looking at the herd that is a long ways off. So now she waits until the others are ready it seems.

Beasts in the area may start to whicker and whine, restlessness for those who have not yet gone out. The animals in the corral, if any, start to bay and moan, some even snorting their discontent as the morning grows warmer.

Journeyan Pharse is near the corrals for a few moments giving instructions to those there, including Garait and he is walking bck towards the camp, eyeing the lasts of the goupps which seem to be slow-moving.

In the sky, Seryth glides, both Thea and the gold watching the hunting groups and the herdbeast herders spread out as well as keeping their eyes peeled for felines. Not leaving things to chance where the safety of her weyrfolk is concerned, she's probably keeping an eye on a certain someone to see that he handles things to her satisfaction.

"You are, as usual, correct." This observation of Jethaniel's comes with a smile in return for Darsce. The primary motivation for that smile is most likely her arm in his. The secondary motivation may be more closely related to what she actually said to A'dmar. Such a response is not rational; after all, Darsce's needling of the Weyrleader is likely to make him retaliate toward Jethaniel in the future. Irrational as it may be, it cannot be denied that the Steward seems to be taking a certain pleasure in hearing things he will not, himself, say. The mention of his scruffiness brings a tertiary motivation to his smile, a touch of abashedness. "Perhaps I shall," he says, and takes another sip of his klah as he begins to stroll with Darsce toward the most likely spot for him to find Pharse - specifically, the pens. Conveniently enough, this means their paths come into intersection expeditiously. "Ah, Journeyman," Jethaniel says, with a gesture of his klah-holding hand. The other arm is occupied with something far more important.

Some of the animals in the pen spook for no apparent reason, a group of them trotting to the far end of their pen, only to trot back in a tight cluster half way from where they started.

Idrissa shifts in her saddle and peers back to the corral lifting her head slightly as she watches the beasts within it. There spooking, now? She eyes them a few moments before there is talk of what is to be done to work at the rest of the wild group of beasts that is off still chewing on the grasses it seems. Ren one of the senior beastcraft apprentices is there and soon the pair is off to get around to the other side of the herd that is still off in the plains so they can start driving them back towards the pens it seems.

Journeyman Pharse nods to Jethaniel as he approaches, "Greeting. Steward. How may I help you?" A polite nod is given to Darsce then, but his eyes are drawn back to the herdbeasts in the pens. "Odd," is the only comment made as he looks to see if a dragon has flown to close or if there's another cause to the behavior. He isn't the only one to notice the odd behavior of the animals as many of the beastcraft, including Garait, take note an react accordingly.

If A'dmar does that, Darsce will be happy to throw more rotten tomatoes at the arrogant Iernian excuse for a Weyrleader! She just smiles up at Jethaniel, cautioning, "Scruffy is in beards are out; you should come with my brother to Ierne and model for me sometime." It's all said as if one thought. With her brother. That might be interesting! They near the corral and she spies Idrissa, calling to her friend, "Hey, 'Drissa!" And there's Garait, whom she really doesn't know but she's friendly so nods to him. Pharse is there and she's going to behave for Jethaniel's sake so says nothing to him. Besides her gelding she's leading is tossing his head and she's busy holding the reins tighter. "What's gotten into you?"

Jethaniel shall merely hope said rotten tomatoes do not end up splattering his inbox. Nor that of the Weyrwoman. A'dmar's inbox… ah, the unfortunate fact of it is that a tomato, once splattered, has a tendency to get everywhere. He nods to Darsce's explanation. "Ah. Fortunate; I find a beard uncomfortable." His tone is matter of fact. One might wonder what he'd say if informed that beards were the latest craze. Perhaps something like, "If you wish." In this case, however, it's an answer to the part about being taken as a model. There's a trace of bemusement to his smile now, and it turns into more than a trace over a moment of consideration before he adds, "I saw your sister yesterday." Now, however, he sees Pharse, and gives the man a nod of acknowledgement. "Just checking in, Journeyman. No incidents overnight? Morning's been running smoothly?" His gaze goes to the pens, looking at the beasts with a highly inexpert eye. "What's odd?"

Idrissa catches sight of Darsce and waves back to her with a smile. "Hey!" Is called out to the older girl while she continues along with Ren, they're getting closer to the herd, which is small so perfect for two to work back towards the corrals. In the little group is three females two with young which is perfect for what they need for the corral at the moment. "I'll go right, you go left Ren." This said as Rissa moves to the right, she waits for a moment and then gives her runner a good kick and there off. The little herd spooks as Ren comes up from the left and move to try and escapes though Rissa and her runner is there and thus push them back towards Ren. This last for a few moments, one runner move one way and then another before the beasts start to go in the direction that they are need to go in, towards the corral.

The animals in the pen settle, at least, by that, they are huddled together in a tight knot, nostrils flaring, some snorting. It could be a response to the free animals being rounded up.

Garait nods towards Darsce as he helps with the animals while Journeyman Pharse is looking around. To Jethaniel he says, "Everything was fine last night and this morning. It seemed that the herdbeasts were spooked by something for a moment, but they seem calm now. Hopefully it was nothing." He still seems wary though.

Does Darsce ever know about messes splattered everywhere! It's probably the reason she came to Xanadu in the first place. Though why she's commuting to Ierne in order to keep working has probably more to do with her interest in the Steward rather than comlications back home. She'll be careful where the Weyrleader is concerned, but the donkey's rearend might want to start treating people a bit more nicely. Her runner seems to have settled somewhat, so she resumes her conversation with Jethaniel, "Ah, you saw Hali? She works too much. I hardly ever see her." Her eyes drift to the pens, but there's nothing there to interest her as the animals seem (to her untrained eye) calm enough. She'd MUCH rather look at the man beside her anyway.

The camp was noisy, earlier, when the groups were gathering supplies and readying for adventures to round up the last of the beasts they could catch. The task was to be soon at an end, with the healthy beasts from what's been gathered returned to the Weyr. Now with most of the runners and riders out and only one or two dragons still in proximity, the rest flying over and above the expanse of the plains, the noise has lowered to the few who remain in camp. Except, the noise of the herd beasts being rounded up. The ones that Idrissa and Ren are bringing in, mothers and calves, are considerably loud with fear, the mothers bleating to keep their calves close. One of the calves spooked by the runner's chasing him, breaks away from the closing hooves of a runner, peeling back the way he came…

Idrissa and Ren work at driving the little group closer and closer towards the pen. The runners working rather well with their riders, so far there doesn't seem to be a problem at least. The closer they get towards those pens is when the problem may actually show itself as the ones they are driving could perhaps spook at the sight of their own kind in the corral. When one of the calves breaks off from the little group, Idrissa pulls hard on the reins to her runner and chases after it. Ren sticks with the herd and continues to drive it forward, yelling out yips and calls while his running takes him back and forth. Idrissa follows after the fleeing calf, hopefully she'll be able to get in front and send it running back towards the others.

"Ah, no," Jethaniel says to Darsce. "The younger one." Can he actually remember her name? There's certainly a pause as he tries to bring it to mind, and his tone is uncertain as he says, "Ma..rel?" Successful or no, Jethaniel returns his attention to the beastcrafter before him, and nods to Pharse's explanation. "Hmm," he says, looking out over the beasts again and, closer to transitive hand, Darsce's own mount's agitation. The Steward considers for a moment, then says, "I do not like to rely on hope. Please advise your people to be cautious." His gaze lifts again, looking out toward the sound of those bleats and squeals. Is that how these things are meant to be?

Conditioned, brutalized (by the show of scars) and starved, a skinny feline no older than two Turns, takes the chance it was waiting for. Driven insane by hunger one would guess, the creature has slipped in on his belly, crouched under the bushes and stalked behind the rocks in stealth, drawn in by the bleats and the whines of the rounded up animals. His coat the same color as the tall grass, thus hiding in plain sight as he waits for the opportunity to pounce. He was up wind until the momentary wind change gave him away to the beasts penned up, though with it changing back, they calm and he strikes! Despite the growing heat, it was still morning and cool enough to try it and his instincts drove him to the game which was so close at paw…. Dashing after the calf who broke from Idrissa and consequently racing toward the same animal Idrissa is on her mount, the feline is a tanned streak of determination and speed.

The beasts in the pen spook again at the feline showing itself, natural instincts crowding the group as far as it can away from the feline, which means at the other side of the pen again, in pointless fearful circles, pushing and shoving eachother wrecklessly out of the way. The instinct of flight is clear, but with no where to run, they go every which way.

"Oh, Marel. Yes?" Perhaps wondering why he's brought her up but it's asked in the way of one not really expecting to get an answer. After all, the man is working and Pharse is here. And her gelding is back to snorting and rolling his eyes again. She's got to slip her hand out of Jethaniel's arm to use both hands on those reins and her back is to the pen so she can't see what the animals see. Her focus on her mount is in vain; the frightened runner yanks the reins out of her gasp and takes off with a snort, heading back hellbent for leather towards the Weyr. He's going home! "Oww!" The Iernian model is peering at her palm.

Garait has his back turned to the plains, so does not see the feline on the Plains at first, but when the animals spook again, he reacts and a flash of something catches his eys and he turns nd looks at the Plains and blanches. Other bestcrafters, including Journeyman Pharse, start trying to keep the animals under control. Several of them notice the feline about the same time and a call goes out, "Feline!" The riders are being called back in as some of the guards get available runners to help out, and if any dragonrider is around they are called upon to help as well.

"Ah. There appears…" Jethaniel's words stop underneath the sounds of herdbeast and runner fear, their noise and agitation more than sufficient to also prevent him from answering Darsce's question about Marel, at least for the moment. Perhaps the matter will come up again later. Perhaps it won't. Regardless, there are suddenly more pressing concerns here. Concerns that are, as it turns out, even more pressing than Darsce's expression of pain, though Jethaniel's eyes are torn from the scene unfolding by that sound, a look of concern for Darsce as his hand reaches for her shoulder, a touch that's only momentary - for then he's one of the first to move, his klah set down on a fencepost as he runs oblique to the direction of the feline, going for one of those few dragonriders left here to point and add an instruction of his own. "Inform Thea!" …and, coming only second and perhaps missed in the stir of wings, "-and A'dmar." So he does know the Weyrleader's name. You wouldn't have known it, if not for the current need for efficiency of speech.

Everything is looking fine, Idrissa and her runner are nearly there upon the escaping calf. They merely have to get around it to cut it off from the area that it is trying to get to. As for anything around, sneaking, watching or who knows what else the rider and runner pair have no idea. Another few steps and RedFeathers is at the calf's side trying to use his greater size to push the calf back towards the right path, during this moment is when the stallion catches the thick scent of feline in the air which can mean nothing good is about to happen. Idrissa is caught by surprise as her runner rears up, front hooves striking at the air and the beastcraft apprentice is falling backwards right out of the saddle and to the ground with a thud once she hits it. So much for getting out and just rounding up some herdbeasts, sure it sounding like fun, now though not so much. As for the calf it isn't too far off from the fallen rider which could prove to cause plenty of more problems depending on where that feline happens to be.

Darsce is not a hero. Nor is she thinking like one. But that cry felines has her forgetting her own small problem of soft palm being leatherburned by the reins slipping through it to the runner's whinny of fear not far off. She looks up in time to see Idrissa's fall and doesn't hesitate for a moment. "Drissa!" She sprint towards the girl, her intent to pull her away from the area. Bending, the hooks her hands under the girl's armpits and that's when she sees the feline and calf. "Let's get out of here!" And if Idrissa doesn't scramble to her feet, she'll be dragged back to safety because Darsce isn't staying here!

The feline seems hell bent on the prey it has selected, mindless of dragons or the yells of all the human things. No. It's mind was driven, focused, conditioned for this. Nothing will get in its way of its meal. There is a brief instance that it preserves its life by minding the rearing runner beast, leaping out of range of any of those sharp slicing hooves. Instead, the feline sprints onward now toward the terrified calf, who in all the calamity struggles to change direction. In it's struggling the feline closes, at an alarming rate. The calf has only but a split second and it chooses to flee the way it was supposed to go in the first place. It trips over Idrissa before Darsce can get to them, herd beast hooves kicking and clobbering the poor candidate as it attempts to run… Too late for the calf though, as the feline launches itself over the struggling baby bovine, rolling it right over top of Idrissa, who might feel a claw or two as the bodies all tangle and writhe beside her. The feline doesn't see Idrissa or her rescuer Darsce, it's only concern is the calf, clamping it's mouth around the calf's neck, claws sinking into it's sides, dragging it down onto the ground mere inches away from the girls… they only has seconds to get out of there before it turns on her - that or as long as the calf holds on.

There were dragons near by… and Zhaoth was one of them. The Wingleader is on the dragon's back as the brown dives down in range of theat but not close enough that the feline can attack Zhaoth (as some felines were known to do), lining up the feline against the long shaft of a cross bow. "Idrissa! Darsce! Get out of thar!" calls Ers'lan from up above… waiting to line up the shot so as not to provoke the animal toward the girls.

Having delegated the matter to an appropriate person, Jethaniel looks back to the emergent situation to discover that Darsce has embroiled herself in it - if by embroiled one means sprinted toward a wild feline. He makes a half-strangled noise, and for a moment, he acts in an entirely irrational manner, inappropriate for his position as Steward and his skillset. He runs out after them.

Garait is not the hero, and never will be vecause as soon as he looks like he's going to move, but a glare from Journneyman Pharse stops him and he's orders to guard the pens. Journeyman Pharse on the otherhand is moving out to the plains the help everyone get in and possible keep the feline away.

Idrissa isn't moving too quickly, it was a hard fall from a rearing runner, and one the size of RedFeathers didn't help. A yelp escapes her as the calf trips over her, calf hooves to the side hurt. It takes her a few moments but soon enough she is trying to push herself up, and then Darsce is there, the only problem is Rissa is eyeing that feline and has basically stopped moving. The time in the forest when she was lost is flooding back and she whimpers out unsure what to do before she is getting hauled upwards by Darsce. RedFeathers hasn't gone too far; perhaps the runner's love for his rider has kept him there. The large runner is blocking the way between the feline and the girls and is backing upwards slowly while Darsce is dragging Idrissa off to safety. The voices of people calling her name is caught but she isn't saying a word, hopefully Darsce can continue to drag her off or who knows what could happen.

Staring into crazed yellow eyes - but oh, the Weyrleader has left hasn't he? - is enough to freeze a person's blood. So it's the feline's glare that Darsce meets, knowing none of her flippant irreverence - the armor she normally wears - will help her in this situation. She pauses in her tugtugging on Idrissa to reach for a clod of dirt, heedless for once in her life of her manicure, and whips it right at the feline's face. The girl has a good arm and excellent aim - the rocklike projectile smacks the critter square on the nose. Meanwhile, oblivious to everything else, she keeps dragging Idrissa, but it's slow progress.

Ill-suited as he is to this situation, Jethaniel finds himself on the scene of it. Some small snippet of rational thought has reasserted itself. Prioritization has returned. Priority one is to remove himself from the scene again. He's not going to do that without Darsce. She's not going to do that without Idrissa. Therefore: Priority one is to remove Idrissa from the scene. He crouches down next to Darsce, his own arms reaching around one of the whimpering beastcrafter's shoulders. Together they can drag more efficiently. Perhaps they can even manage to hoist Idrissa so she'll encounter fewer rocks along the way.

Seryth sweeps into the sky above the melee, her roar adding to the feline's snarls. On her back, the Weyrwoman, seeing Ers'lan's crossbow, keeps her out of the way and at a higher level, but she's watching, her face tense. Clearly she's expecting the Search and Rescue wingleader to fire when he gets a clear shot.

The feline was dealing with so many things coming at it. The runner, which it dances around and refuses to let go of its prize. A few more savage bites leaves the poor calf dead at the feline's feet. The creature is panting, easy to see the rib cage through its heavy pants. It must be starving to risk life and limb for a meal. Growling and hissing, it starts to get protective over it's catch, heckles rising as it threatens with a hitch pounce forward the runner hanging around. Only the clot of dirt makes it spin around to notice the girls. Fevered by the conditioning of its unknown life, the feline charges at the girls… *TWANG* *SWOOSH* A long bolt of a cross bow abruptly pierces through the animal's chest, Ers'lan up above on his hovering dragon (who couldn't get close because of runner beast, the girls, and the over all scenario of the scene) looses a shot that strikes true. The animal screams in terrible agony, tumbling over by the momentum of the bolt, writhing agony as it tries to right itself. *TWANG* *SWOOSH* *THUNK* And so ends the life of the feline as Ers'lan makes the kill shot, blood no doubt splattering the girls for how close they were to being mauled. Calf and feline are dead. The girls and the Steward alive. Zhaoth sweeps back to find a more suitable landing, as the terrain was ill fitted for large wings in that particular spot. Ers'lan practically leaps down, cracking a knee for his efforts on a rock, so as he makes over to the girls, he's limping a bit, "Reckon the Weyrleader be findin more tracks comin this way. Best ye all be returnin to the weyr. Steward Jethaniel," the Wingleader has no problem with the man, "Reckon we ought ta assemble the camp ta be packed 'n the beastcrafters can take whar they got."

Standing by the corral, Garait does help some of those getting back, herdbeasts in the corral are being gotten ready to move, runners taken care of or used to get people in, and glances at the action on the Plains keep him bust. Journeyman Pharse reaches the area as the animal is shot and gets Idrissa's runner. He looks at Idrissa, "re you hurt bad? Can you get back on the runner with someone to guide you in to have the Healers check you out?"

Idrissa is trying to snap out of it, she is trying so hard but just can't make her mind rolling back over the attack. It's like an ever pressing nightmare that is lingering, or a movie that is being played over and over. The touch to her shoulder from Jeth helps bring her around as it was the shoulder she hit into the ground first. She struggles against the grasping hands, trying to get herself up on her own feet. "Move!" Is snapped out, as she has at least come back to her sense. The screams from the feline make her yelp a moment and she looks back catching sight of it getting shot, a few times. She is quiet as she stands there just watching the dead feline as if expecting it to jump back up. The rest for the moment aren't even given a glance as her shoulders lower a bit, at least she isn't in tears. RedFeathers makes his way over, pushing past Garait in his wake, and the runner is lowering his head to bump and nose at his rider, whickering out softly to her.

For once Darsce has no eyes for Jethaniel. She's staring back at the feline's baleful glare even while she is scrabbling backwards while dragging Idrissa. Someone is helping, but who, the young woman couldn't say because she can't tear her eyes away from the feline. She's jabbering rapid-fire curses and threats at it that might be laughable in any other situation, "Go HOME you flea-bitten, excuse for a moth perch before I rip your skin off and feed it to you inside out! You just turn your bohunkus right around and scat, you ugly wher-bait, or do I have to kick your ass though your nose, you-" thankfully the rest is lost in utter garbled gibberish while Ers'lan shoots the beast. Yep. Shock is setting in and Darsce stops hauling Idrissa, partly so whoever needs to do so can check her and partly because she's shaking too hard to be of any use.

The twang of a crossbow and a feline's scream triggers a reprioritization in Jethaniel's mind, but it's made challenging by the fact that he lacks data on appropriate responses for this situation. Nobody ever gave him the emergency sheet for feline attacks or spatters of blood from crossbow bolts. So, as Ers'lan approaches, the Steward's response is momentarily slowed. He blinks to the other man, then nods as the thoughts finally come together. "Agreed, Wingleader. I'd like increased patrols while we do." Jethaniel's voice is nearly calm, but it's the sort of calm that speaks of an inordinate amount of effort being expended to achieve that semblance. The request - for, as Steward, Jethaniel has no authority over Ers'lan - made, Jethaniel finds that Idrissa has gone with her runner and another beastcrafter. Moving back up the priority stack, that brings him to… "Darsce." His voice is soft as he turns toward her, ignoring the Wingleader's presence - and all the other eyes that may be on them - as his hands reach for her, seeking to draw her against him. He'll see to it that the camp is packed up… after he deals with something higher priority.

Ers'lan considers Idrissa and Darsce both, showing concern for them, leaving those more adept at healing come to rush to their aid, keeping his own worry from bombarding them as people ask if they're okay or whatnot. He instead peers over toward the corpse of the feline, anxious to approach feline that he killed. He's no hunter but he's ensured since Idrissa was attacked those many moons ago with Lorelai, that he's gotten better at using other weapons, such as bows and cross-bows. He trained because he knew there were feline prides still unaccounted for in these parts. Now, the evidence of his training lies at his feet. Slowly he lowers beside it, inspecting the weakened condition that likely drove the animal insane with hunger. His hand skims over the fur of the tormented feline that lies motionless now, feeling the welts in the fur that indicate some previous scuffle. The animal didn't live a peaceful life, for even it's great face shows signs of scars and bumps from places old wounds healed poorly. As he's leaning in to inspect it further, he jerks away from it suddenly. "By the shell…!" he does curse a few more graphical words after, sailor-esque curses knowing him, looking up quickly for any of the beastcrafters. He looks to Idrissa, who still seems shocked, then toward Garait and perhaps a Journeyman, "Reckon one of ye be tellin me whar that is!" He points the end of his cross bow toward something in the feline's ear, and if one of the beastcrafters should inspect it, they'll find what looks to be like an identification tag, similar ones used on the herds belonging to the beastcraft…
Seconds later, Ers'lan darts a look out toward the distance, toward where the Weyrleader's hunting party got too, his dragon receiving something amiss. A worried look is cast up toward Thea, as she might too feel the distress from Anoryn's and A'dmar's lifemates. Regardless, the Weyrleader must take it upon himself to ensure his own safety, though a Galaxy wingrider might surge that way to assist. As for the request by Jethaniel, Ers'lan nods, "Reckon we be already on it." As you see, the sky is filling with any of the Galaxy riders who were off duty.

Seryth trumpets in triumph as Zhaoth's shoots the feline, the gold landing only when the creature is disabled and she won't accidentally land on someone fleeing from the feline. The Weyrwoman grabs her flightline and swings off, but this is without the small, self-pleased smirk that usually accompanies it. There's no little hop to keep her footing because she's running to the scene, sliding to a stop to see who is there and… is that blood? on Idrissa, Jethaniel and Darsce? "Nice shooting, Ers'lan, well done!" The praise, gasped out as it is, is nonetheless genuine. "Who is hurt?"

Garait is following orders and the camp is already starting to be packed up. He runs here and there helping to get things organised as one of the Beastcraft Journeymen is giving orders. Definitely time to go and head back to the Weyr. No one needs to tell them what is obvious.

Jorneyman Pharse looks at what Ers'lan points out, "Looks like an identification tag. Not sure why it's on one of the felines though…." He thinks for a moment, "I know Jesse works with felines and maybe someone else….."

It's strange that when faced with the threat of death much more certain than that of floating out of control in zero gravity Darsce does not scream in fear. Or cry like she did when she couldn't get her bearings. She's trembling, yes and looks angry enough to choke the feline herself, in fact she takes a few confused steps towards it, probably to kick the carcass, when she feels arms around her and so stops, looking up at Jethaniel's face with a dazed sort of blink. She’s in his arms, something she'd (not so subtly) been hoping for and the Steward will feel her shaking, and what does she do? Oddly, she holds up her hand for his inspection, laughs and says, "I think I broke a nail." Then her iceblue eyes roll up, heavy lashes flutter shut and she sags in his arms. Ye-e-e-ep, out cold. She'll never make a Search and Rescue rider.

Idrissa is't moving from her spot as RedFeathers pressing into her, oh ya she is in shock at the moment. Her shoulder hurts along with her side where the calf tripped over her. She closes her eyes and leans into her runner, fingers gripping tightly at his reins. As for blood on here, she doesn't think there is any, though possible seeing how she got kicked and fell, scrapes would only be the source of any blood and that would be on her arms. With all the voices around she still doesn't look up, just not really here, just trying to hide.

Ers'lan pivots back toward Pharse at the beastcrafters confirmation of what he thought it was, eyes down at the animal, "Reckon we best be figurin out why…" The Galaxy Wingleader is not one to be unnerved often, but this does make him shift uncomfortably where he stands. It's like this has some ominous indication of treachery, "'N soon." The beast's misery was over, to which he notes the sprinting Weyrwoman flying by with a compliment for the shot, one he takes with a nod, concern for many things crossing his mind. Then, it turns toward Idrissa. He might be one of the first to get to her, other than her runner beast. He approaches her and her runner slowly, "Rissa, reckon I can be givin ya a ride back…" No, she didn't have to ride a runner beast all the way back to the Weyr, he could get her there in no time and to the healers if she needed something for the pain he can read in her features. A look up and over sees Darsce in capable hands, then toward Thea, "Reckon Rissa might be bit battered, he be gettin run over by the calf…" Speaking of the calf, "Reckon someone ought ta get that carcass covered or cleared befer it brings more down upon us." Yes, blood to crazed felines would bring them in like sharks. Now whose paranoid?

It's a good thing that Ers'lan says the patrols are already taken care of, because if he argued, Jethaniel might have to argue back, and he would really rather not. Far preferable is to focus his attention on Darsce, and the talk about the feline and the dead calf might as well be happening in the next Weyr over for all he acknowledges it. His arms tighten around Darsce, for so long as the muscles are tensed to hold her, they can't tremble. His gaze goes to that lifted hand and ruined manicure. "Darsce, I-" Her body goes limp in his arms, and Jethaniel goes silent. Whatever he was going to say, she won't hear it now, though he knows she took no injury. His eyes never left her for long enough, and her breathing is steady. His arms adjust their position, one hand reaching up to pillow her unconscious head against his shoulder. His own head turns to softly touch his lips to her hair before looking up again to see… Thea. Another reprioritization seems required, but three sips of klah and a fading adrenaline rush means all he manages is, "Ah."

Garait moves along helping with the herdbeasts and the camp, unaware of what's going on in the Plains at the moment.

Journetman Jarse says, "Oh it will be checked out. I have no knowledge of this and will have to search reacords to see if the identification tag is registerd in the system." He calls for help to move the calf a distance aways and some brave beastcrafter help with that.

Thea isn't paying much attention to the discussion of the dead feline either. She has three bloody people, one of which is unconscious. As she wasn't here to see the whole attack, she can only assume the worst. "You," she points at a bluerider decisively, "take the Candidate (meaning Idrissa) to the infirmary now." She strides nearer to the Steward, peers at the pale woman and though she gives no indication she recognizes her, there's no mistaking that sliver-blonde hair. "Is she…?"

Idrissa lifts a hand to rub across her eyes a few times and half peers up at Ers'lan a moment, though she isn't to eager to move away from her runner. She's pretty sure this is the second time Ers'lan has saved her life, though Darsce and Jeth did sort of help this time. As for her shoulder oh yeah it hurts, her side to but it's nothing that will be lasting at least, even the scratches and scrapes across her arms aren't that bad. There is talk of going back to the weyr, and Ers'lan is going to take her it seems which she is fine with. "Who Who's going to take Feathers home?" Her voice I low, a faint whisper really, and maybe only Ers'lan can hear her as he is the one closest to her at the moment. She hears Thea and her gaze flicks around to whoever is to take her to the Weyr which makes her press closer to her the runner. It isn't like her to go against something she is told, but until she gets a answer as to whom is taking her runner back she isn't moving. Her green gaze flicks back to Ers'lan.

Zahleizjah really took off after those two sneaky herbeast who'd disappeared much earlier in the beginning of the Roundup. Believe it or not, she actually caught not one, but both of them, and is now pulling them along as she trots up on runnerback. Sure she's covered in scrapes and bruises, the two reluctant beasts that she jumped from saddle to catch trailing behind, but the situation she rides up on looks serious. Trot is quickly slowed, dead animals, fainting models, injured Candidates. The two in tow are wrangled towards the corral, secured inside, and then the Starcrafter is dismounting and heading towards the group, a concerned look and she asks "How can I help?" hearing Idrissa's faint whisper as she gets closer Zahl replies, "Don't worry about Feathers 'Rissa I got him.."

Darsce's striking appearance is, after all, something she makes a significant effort to maintain. Jethaniel continues to hold the petite model protectively close. A necessity, perhaps, given her limp state - but the positions of his arms speak to far more affection than mere efficiency. "It didn't get her." His voice once more attempts the illusion of calm, but it's a little nearer breaking this time.

"Thea," Ers'lan breaks across all the post-action from the feline racing in to kill itself, gesturing to the blue rider to turn back, "Reckon I be takin Rissa home." Someone she can trust and not a stranger who won't be so sympathic to her condition. The bluerider however, is then tasked, "Reckon ye could be takin the runner beast home fer her N'tor." The bluerider is indeed part of Galaxy too, so he doesn't hesitate in making for the runner named Feather's instead of Rissa, that is until Zahl instead offers her services, so, it frees up N'tor to keep available incase another incident happens. "Thar, ye Feathers be takin care of Rissa," He notes where she moves more slowly than normal, giving a grateful nod to Zahleizjah for her offer, then to Rissa, "Aye lass, tis time ta get ye home. Zhaoth be a smooth flyer." The girl doesn't have to worry about jarring her injuries. But, the Wingleader still has his duty and for now that's to repeat what the Weyrleader is saying, evidently the Weyrleader having Yarovith speak to Zhaoth rather than going to the Weyrwoman's Seryth direct, "Thea, reckon tha Weyrleader of yers be gettin himself inta trouble out thar. Me riders just be on him now 'n he's got two felines out thar. Anoryn be handlin the one, the other be slipping loose into the forest long." A pause as he frowns about that, "Reckon tis best ta get these folk packed in and gone home. We (Galaxy) be huntin out this way before we (the Weyr) be letting folks travel it again." Sometimes he's hard to understand, but Thea should get the jist of what he's saying clear enough.

The camp is actually coming along nicely and is mostly packed. Tents have come down, things packed and a plan of action has been made to get the herdbeasts back. Shouldn't be too much longer before they are ready to go. Garait comes to the group on the Plains after talking to one of the Journeymen, "I was told to come inform you all that we'll be all packed up rather quickly and should be leaving soon. He nods at ah then and will wait there a couple moments to see id there's any messages in return.

There are, perhaps things that speak louder than words. The Weyrwoman, while visibly relieved to hear that Darsce is unhurt, reads between the lines where her Steward and her ex-weyrmate's daughter are concerned. Her hand lifts to brush some of those blonde strands back from the young woman's face as she bends to examine her tenderly for a moment, then she straightens, one hand patting his arm in a motherly gesture. "Take care of her, please, Jethaniel?" Perhaps meaning more than just the obvious and those that know her own family is in tatters might understand the odd sentiment for a girl not of her blood. Ers'an speaks and she steps that way. "Oh!" A glance is sent to Idrissa and back, then she nods briskly. "That's fine." She nods to his next comment, unsurprised that the Weyrleader’s bronze would speak to the brown ridden by the wingleader of Search and Rescue. "Send a few riders to see to the Weyrleader, then?" She may seem unconcerned for the Iernian's wellbeing, but the truth is, the man was taking care of himself in the Igen deserts before she was born. Her priorities are for the safety of the folks here and so she remains, helping to get the camp packed and sent home while Seryth stands guard.

Idrissa lets a faint breath escape her once she hears Ers'lan speak up, she is rather thankful for that. Not that she doesn't trust any of the riders here at the Weyr just she knows the wingleader after all. Hearing Zahle a very faint smile is seen. "Thank you Zahle." As for RedFeathers, the runner is giving a hug and a soft murmur for him to be good and listen to Zahle before she offers the other girl the reins. Once the reins are taken over she'll go with Ers'lan to get back home. She's never met Zhaoth before and so she peers up and over at the brown while waiting for the wingleader to be ready to go.

Zahleizjah bows her head softly with a smile towards the brownrider tending to Idrissa, counting her blessings that lead riding was a formative part of her training back at Western. As Garait approaches, there's a warm expression and wave, though this dims as she shares "Things.. happened here.." glances motion towards Idrissa, Darsce and the slain calf and feline. "M'gonna take 'Rissa's runner as lead on Bubbly, so we've got room t'pack odds and ends for the venture back." A gentle upper back rub with a few circular motions hopes to reassure her fellow injured Candidate "You're welcome 'Rissa.. I'll take good care of him when we get back." The reigns are taken and the stallion is tied up near Bubbly the mare, after which she will approach the WW "Reporting for duty Thea, do let me know if there's anything I can assist with.." she silently promises to not be clumsy or muck anything up this time.

Zhaoth is a friendly natured dragon, dutiful though, so Idrissa will see him for the first time alert and constantly scanning the area with head turned one way and then the next. Ers'lan waits by redfeathers before escorting the battered and bruised candidate toward the reddish brown. Lending her a hand to mount up, Zhaoth lowers himself to assist with the height difference, considering he's larger than some of the smaller bronzes. With Idrissa injured so, the brown has practically crouched down and rolled as much as he can to the side to offer an easier step up to climb, trained to do so for injured folk. "Step on 'em, reckon he be narh mindin Rissa," and as if to prove it, Lan goes first, settling in between neck ridges even if it's on a much steeper angle due to how Zhaoth is positioning himself. As soon as the buckles are on, he'll turn back behind him to secure Idrissa in, giving her a reassuring squeeze on her hand before he's readying them for flight back to Xanadu, "Tell me when yer ready ta go." And when she gives the word, Zhaoth will straighten up, then launch himself skyward with ease, winging back to the Weyr, using the currents under wings to speed him along.

Idrissa nods to Zahle, a faint smile seen before she is off to get back to home. She watches Zhaoth as he moves about and takes in a faint breath as she follows up to get on the brown. The movement is enough to hurt but she bites her lip keeping herself quiet while she is buckled in, because falling is so not an option at the moment. "I'm ready." Is soon murmured out as she just leans close to Ers'lan, to the point he may get hugged, and yes she is still quivering somewhat. She really can't get a break with felines it seems. As for the flight back to the Weyr she watches quietly, and perhaps just a bit curious at how everything looks from this high up.

"I will," Jethaniel says softly. For the moment, what that means is clear enough; as the Weyrwoman moves on to other things, Jethaniel adjusts the positions of his hands once again, to lift Darsce's body against his. Petite as she is, her body is far heavier than the time she clung to him in zero-g, particularly since he eschews the efficiency of an over-the-shoulder carry in favor of something closer to cradled in his arms. Nevertheless, slow as that makes him, he carries her back to the camp on his own instead of asking for help, arriving to find that the packout is going so well the tent he slept in is no longer extant. He commandeers a healer, at least, and once Darsce's lack of injury has been confirmed, a chair for them to sit on while the packing continues. For this part of the expedition, Jethaniel will not be lifting any boxes, simply answering questions with an unconscious Darsce in his lap. It's highly inefficient. He doesn't seem to care.

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