The Weyrbrat Hordes!

Xanadu Weyr - Clearing

A wide clearing stretches from east to west, the ground packed hard although grass grows across most of it. Trees are strictly forbidden in this space, their danger to the constant draconic traffic reason enough to banish them to the forest that creates a this and sharp border to the north. Where the ground is less trampled, tiny flowers poke their delicate heads out from their shaded hiding places with upturned petals to wave to whoever may be looking.
The cliff looms imposingly on three sides, stretching upwards all the way up the side of the mountain where, high above, Xanadu's Star Stones and the ever present watchdragon sit on a lonely peak. Directly south is a massive tunnel, fully wide enough for even the largest dragon to fly down. Southeast are wide steps leading up to the Caverns and eastwards is the large entrance to the Infirmary. Somewhat north of the Infirmary is a human sized archway that has a frequent quantity of traffic — it leads to the Tavern. Southwest lies the low ledges currently belonging to Xanadu's queens while north and west a broad path cut by the side of the cliff leads to the Feeding Grounds and due north is the spacious trail that leads to the rest of the Weyr.

The weather is calm and bright, the heat being just hot enough to be comfortable without needing to be in the shade, the cool breeze blowing over from the northwest keeping the heat just mild enough for a picnic and that is exactly what Kinzie is doing. Anyone used to the stablehand turned candidate will certainly be used to seeing her either alone or with runners but certainly not surrounded by children, but there is always an exception to everything, and there is at least seven weyrbrats running the poor girl ragged as she tries in vain to chase them in to taking a seat. She sighs heavily as she finally manages to persuade most of them to stay still, well close to still, and eat something but soon enough food is being thrown everywhere and Kinzie let's out an exasperated sigh "The puppies are easier" she says under her breath.

"Seilistraee! Belsiaryn!" From across the clearing comes a sharp call, a rather stern Esiae following in its wake. The girl is relatively clean, all things considered, with the exception of wood chips clinging to her sleeves and the front of a pale pink dress. The source is evident, as one hand has fisted itself around the beginnings of a wooden flute, the other around a rather sharp-looking carving tool. "That's enough. I'm telling R'iahn on you." The seven-turn-old twins, who are probably right in the middle of smearing some other weyrbrat with fruit, look stricken, either by the fear of this R'iahn, or the fear of the tool the teen candidate is shaking at them. "Clean it up. All of it." There are the customary whines and wheedling, but the twins apparently know a no-win situation when they see one, and start to gather the bits of lunch about them, regardless of whether its theirs or not. The rest of the children… well, she doesn't have authority over them. The girl does loft a long-suffering look Kinzie's way, perhaps sharing a bit in her exhasperation. "Holding up okay?"

Soriana comes up from the southwest at the quick half-trot of a youngster with places to go and interesting things to see. The girl takes note of this picnic as one of the weyrbrats shouts particularly loudly, and glances at it before changing her course to avoid it entirely and head for the woods. Someone, apparently, is not interested. …too bad for her that a creamy head with a black stripe pokes out from her pouch, and beady dark brown eyes stare in fascination at the crowd before the ferret leaps out of her bag with a chirp. "Inkfoooot!" Soriana grabs for him, but he evades her grasp and scampers off toward the picnic with the young teen in hot pursuit.

Sola comes out of the caverns and blinks at the bright sun a bit while pushing both arms high over her head to stretch. She stays perched on her tippy toes, yawning along with her stretch and somewhere in that process she opens one of her eyes enough to watch Kinzie with the herd of children. As she drops back to her feet she calls over to one of the children, "Torby! Don't let those twins do that to you." Her little brother Torban looks at her like she is insane, what could be better than being smeared with fruit? Sola shakes her head and sighs, then turns to comment to Kinzie, "That looks like so much fun!" So much fun that Sola looks quite pleased that SHE isn't stuck doing it.

The look Kinzie gives Esiae is one of complete gratitude as she grabs a weyrbrat by his collar and directs him gently but purposefully towards the mess "You too Erilian, otherwise there will be nothing left for you all to eat" she says sternly, managing to find her composure again "and don't think the aunties will give you any more when I tell them /why/ we have no food left" as the young lad begins to help the others Kinzie looks back to her fellow candidate with a smile "I'm holding up" she says with a roll of her eyes "But I tell you animals are /so/ much easier" there is real emphasis on that note "They don't answer back" she says loud enough then as she realises how much grumbling is coming form the group of children, the shout from Soriana makes her turn round and she looks over towards the girl, not even noticing the escaped tunnelcat as he comes hurtling towards them, Sola's comment gets a chuckle and she nods in greeting "Oh yes… so much fun" she grins and shakes her head "Why don't you take them for some fresh air it'll do them good" she attempts to sound like one of the aunties as she speaks "In other words they wanted them out of their way" Kinzie sighs with mock drama.

"Oh, I'd imagine you're right. They also don't devise tiny evil plans of revenge," Esiae says towards Kinzie. Her face has a grin plastered on it, but her voice is likewise pitched loud enough to be a warning for those weyrbrats. She's onto them! "Oooh, what's that?!" Belsiaryn spies the ferret before Esi does. Rising to his gangly feet, the boy runs over in the hopes of intersecting the critter, immediately dropping to his knees. Now the dilemma comes - hands full of food, how will he catch the tunnelcat?! He didn't think this over very well. "Bels, don't even." Esi moves to lay a hand on the brat's shoulder, shooting Soriana a smile of greeting when she draws near in the pursuit of Inkfoot. "Hello again." A wince is given when Sola appears and mentions twins, and immediately, Esi turns apologetic. "Sorry about that," she says, head shaking over at the girl. "They get a little crazy." Understatement, if her smirk is anything to judge by. "So like those aunties…"

Inkfoot certainly doesn't answer back. On the other hand, he doesn't listen, either. The ferret makes no attempt to dodge Belsiaryn - oh, no. There's a reason why they're called tunnelcats. They're so very thin and suited to going through tunnels… like, say, the one between Bels' knees. Inkfoot dives straight through, quick as anything. Soriana, on the other hand, is not so lucky, and she has to scramble to a stop to avoid crashing into the boy, who she gives a dirty look for blocking her. Esiae gets a brief, harried smile before she returns her attention to regaining her escaped pet… who has now found yet more Interesting Things as he reaches the crowd of weyrbrats. First he scampers over the lap of a young girl and makes her shriek, and then he stretches out his long body and shoves his face right up against little Torban's to peer inquisitively at all that smeared fruit! "Dook? Dookdook!"

Sola leaves her spot at the edge of shade and heads on over to Kinzie and the gaggle of children. The little round figure of Torban stares at her with large eyes as she heads up towards him. But the arrival of Inkfoot makes him completely forget his skinny sister. Instead he smiles at the ferret as it comes face to face with him. "Hi." Sola slowly approaches her round little brother and she shakes her head at him, "Do you ever do anything but smile Torby?" Silently the boy shakes his head, smiling at her before turning his attention back to Inkfoot, offering him a piece of fruit. Sola rolls her eyes and ruffles his hair before turning to Esi, "Oh…Torby doesn't mind and it is hardly something that could hurt him." She eyes the ferret, then Soriana, "Your little friend doesn't bite does he?"

"There'd better be no revenge, either to eachother or anyone else" Kinzie's eyes go straight to Erilian who is tiptoeing behind a young girl with blond pigtails, the girl was about to get redfruit slices mushed in her hair if the candidate hadn't noticed the brat first, and changing his mind Erilian decides to eat the fruit hes holding instead. The panic caused by the tunnelcat is short lived, except one shrieking girl who is clambering at Kinzie's sleeve and with a roll of her eyes the candidate lifts her up and smiles as calmly as possible "Now now, he didn't hurt you he was just trying to get to the fruit" she says and the little girl in her arms sniffs dramatically before watching the Tunnelcat with interest. "Hey" Kinzie says to Soriana with a sympathetic smile, looks like she's not the only one being ignored today, and she watches the children clammering round Torban to get as close to the Tunnelcat as possible, most with a look of pure jealousy for Torban getting all the attention. "Well at least they're quiet again" Kinzie mutters to no one in particular.

Belsiaryn outright giggles when Inkfoot zooms between his knees and dashes beyond him, abandoning his food in a pile in his excitement. Back to the other weyrbrats he runs, if only to stand to one side and avidly watch this new critter's reactions as he interacts with Torby. Esiae sighs, and lets him go, headshaking with a world-weary 'kids, oy' eyeroll. "I know, but it's still not exactly polite," she says towards Sola with a laugh, shoulders rising and falling in a shrug. "At least it's cleanable though. Not like whoever stained one of our friend's hair with dye." Esi also tries to look sympathetic for Soriana and her pet, but really, the interest from all the kids is cute, and at least he's come to rest. "Quiet for now, perhaps. Who knows how long that will last," she agrees with Kinzie with a low chuckle.

Inkfoot chirps at Torban, sniffing back and forth along his face. As the other weyrbrats crowd in around him, Soriana comes to an awkward stop. How's she going to get the tunnelcat out of there now, short of trampling all those kids? She looks side to side for a route, nodding to Kinzie absently, and then erms at Sola's question. "Uhm. Not… usually." Okay, yes, he has sharp little teeth, and yes, sometimes he gets overexcited in playing, but he hasn't bitten anyone _really_ hard in… oh, years. As long as nobody pulls on his tail or tries to grab him wrong, it shoooould be okay? She hopes? Inkfoot has no such concerns, looking in at the fruit Torby offers him with an inquisitive noise, then wrapping his paws around the boy's wrist and half-dangling there as he bites down - on the fruit. Sigh of relief, as all he bites is the fruit. Chomp! Chomp chomp gnaw chomp! Wow, those are some sharp teeth. Really not fruit-eating teeth at all.

Torby is quite focused on his new furry friend, trying to share his food with Inkfoot with earnest concern that the poor little thing might be starving. When the ferret latches on he dimples up, pleased as punch. "Ooh. You are hungry!" Sola looks up and over at Kinzie, showing her own smile, though perhaps not as cute as her chubby brother's, "So, I am done with bandages for now. What can I help you with?" She looks from there to Esi, "Well, someone has to be the wild ones. Right? What would babysitting be without the wild kids to chase after?" And then she comments to Soriana, "Well, he seems friendly enough. And Torby loves him."

Kizzy is certainly not going to complain about the intrusion of the tunnelcat, not considering the critter currently has the undivided attention of her seven charges, instead she actually manages to relax a little even if it is short lived, letting the girl who she was holding to drop back down to the floor and creep her way over to the group "Can I see?" the little dark haired girl says quietly to Torban, trying to push between the other chidren to get to the front. Kinzie sighs as she realises she can't use Inkfoot as a distraction all day and she moves her way through to Torban, with a look to Soriana to follow her in so she can retrieve her little charge "Don't we think it's time to let the little guy return to his owner?" the glare she gets from the group of children doesn't seem to agree with that observation and Sola's offer of help is greatly appreciated considering the possible rebellion about to happen.

Esiae titters softly for Soriana's 'not usually' response, understanding full well. "S'probably like the puppies, right? It's not like they mean to." Well… usually. Bels and Seilistraye move aside when the girl in Kinzie's arms comes over to see Inkfoot, letting her get in closer to see before the candidate intervenes. "Awwwwwwww, but we just want to pet him," Sei complains, arms drooping dramatically towards the ground while Bels joins the little group of glarers. Esi stifles a snort behind one hand, trying to pass it off as a cough. "Ahem. Kinzie's right, let's step back and let Soriana get her pet back." She takes her twin foster siblings by the shoulders and pulls them back, hoping the others will follow suit. Sola earns a grin in the meantime. "Babysitting might be /fun/ in that case," she says with a laugh. The twins extracted, the girl looks as though she may conduct them back to lunch - maybe join them - when a journeyman Harper appears nearby , and he doesn't look happy. "Esiae, your tools?" Indeed, the girl has been fumbling the sharp and pointies in one hand or another the entire time, which perhaps was not the smartest thing to do. Flushing red, the girl turns immediately sheepish. "Sorry, I gotta run. Be back later maybe, after I put these back." A stern parting glance is given to the twins, and then she's off with a wave, headed back towards the crafter area.

The fruit squelches! And squishes! And is overall just plain shredded. An observant person might note that none of it actually goes down Inkfoot's throat, instead just making a mess of his fur and further splattering Torby. Most of the laughing weyrbrats are not being that observant, and as the fruit is 'finished' the ferret crouches down with a butt-waggle and then digs down with his sharp claws for a moment as he leaps up toward Torban's shoulder to peer at the dark-haired little girl and dook! He's just having a grand ol' time, he is. Soriana nods to Sola. "Oh, yeah! Definitely friendly." Only… ah, and there's Esiae with the truth of it. Just as friendly as any animal that plays mostly by wrestling and biting! She swallows before she follows Kinzie in among the horde (seven is a horde!) of weyrbrats. "Uh. Yeah…" she says. "I was gonna take him huntin', see, and so… we should do that." Inkfoot gives his owner another happy chirp, though he doesn't seem inclined to leave. He's made friends, see? Seeee?

Torby of course offers over the ferret the moment the little girl asks for him. He doesn't actually remove the ferret from his arm of course, as he has no free hands. His mouth turns round when Inkfoot departs. He stiffens like a board a moment later when he finds himself being used as a perch. His eyes are HUGE, then that smile comes back as he tries looking for Inkfoot without moving a muscle, other than the ones used to move his saucerlike eyes about. Sola eyes the mess that Torban's clothes are in and takes a deep breath, "So…I'm thinking seven youngsters should mean more than one candidate. They must have great faith in your skills." She starts to reach for the ferret, but then dcides to let an expert take care of things, namely Soriana.

Kinzie watches as the other children grudgingly move aside for Soriana to reach the little tunnelcat, the usual sighs and groans of dissapointment are there but the weyrbrats are at least behaving enough to listen to their current babysitter. At Esi's departure, Kinzie can't help but grimace as one leg of her support system vanishes but she at least tries to look happy as she waves goodbye to the girl. Soriana's look gets a nod of understanding, she looks over the group as they look absolutely intrigued by both girl and pet… oh yes the constant questions are coming you can tell by the look on bright eyed faces "You take him hunting?" the first question comes as Erilian pipes up "What can he hunt he's so small?" the second comes from another smaller boy who had been keeping to the outskirts of the group and all of a sudden the air is filled with excited and rather noisy chatter about what, where, how and why's of hunting with tunnelcats, most of it centered around childish stories. Kinzie's look to Soriana is nothing but apologetic as she tries to quieten the group and she looks towards Sola with a shrug and sigh "They must be confused as to what I usually look after" her face trying to remain composed "But I try" she says sighing.

Yep, here's the expert come to take charge of things! Soriana reaches out for Inkfoot, snagging him by the scruff with one hand and then reaching the other up underneath him to lift the ferret. He doesn't resist, seeming satisfied with his adventure, and curls up around her hand as she lifts him up and holds him against her, from which vantage he continues to peer at the youngsters and dook occasionally as the mob re-centers on her with a flurry of questions. Her eyes, they are wide. "Y-yeah, hunting. Uhm. He goes after tunnelsnakes a lot, 'cause he can follow them into their burrows… and other stuff, too. Well, he can hunt stuff bigger'n he is… he even took down a whersport once." There's a proud grin for her pet, and a ruffle for his fur that makes him chirr. "He, uh… well, he does it by being fast, and then pouncing quick and biting their necks. No, he doesn't fight like a canine… yes, sort of like a feline, but it's sorta different too… No, uh… he actually doesn't eat fruit, he was just playing… uh…."

Sola squats down and starts scrubbing Torby with the hem of her dress and saliva as the questions are fired of rapid fire fashion at poor Soriana. Torby is of course silent, but the other kids are doing a great job of asking all the questions he wants answered anyway. Once her brother is scrubbed up a bit Sola releases him and stands up, "You need to get one of those for yourself. It would make your babysitting a lot easier." She is listening to all the questions and answers herself, and comments, "He's very cute."

"Ok now I think that is enough, we've all had a great time and a chance to meet Inkfoot and Soriana" Kinzie's words become a little bit more forceful as she gets the looks of dismay from the weyrbrats "Come on now… get everything cleaned up and lets get back to the caverns it's been long enough" the older girls words are drowned out by a large clamour of "No I haven't eaten enough…" or "No I want to learn more about the tunnelcat!" and many other cries of complaint but at least the children do seem to be making the effort to pack up the picnic and basket and Kinzie grabs the basket and a few collars of boys and girls trying to get back to the tunnelcat and points them roughly in the direction of the caverns "Thanks for the help both of you" but her face actually extends to all three, girls and tunnelcat, and with that she's sheperding the group towards the caverns.

Soriana smiles as Sola compliments her pet, and murmurs a "Thanks," before she's crushed by the wave of everyone trying to pet the tunnelcat before they have to go. In the wake of that horde, Soriana is rather stunned. Too many young faces. At least she had the small saving grace that they were asking about her tunnelcat, and so at least she knew what to say. She stares after the crowd as Kinzie herds them away. "Uh. You're welcome," she says to the stablehand/candidate, and then just stands there. Staring.

Sola laughs and steps over to Soriana, clapping a hand upon the girl's back. "You look like you just survived an epic battle. You don't get around the children much with your friend there huh? He seems awfully good with kids though. Do you normally let him do all the talking?"

Soriana jumps a little at the thump from Sola, and turns to look at the other girl. "Well, uh… no. I mean… back at the cothold… there weren't really many kids. Uh, besides me, that is." Inkfoot scrabbles about in her hold, and Soriana gives him a look like 'behave yourself!' before setting him on her shoulder. He curls up there contentedly, seemingly done with his antics for now.

Sola reaches down and pulls off her slippers, looking much more comfortable once she's standing next to Soriana in her bare feet. "Yeah? Huh. I grew up here. Always with a crowd of kids around. I imagine it is way different. When I was younger I'd dream about it…but since I'm going to be a dragon rider some day, I would have had to got used to the crowds anyway."

Soriana nods to Sola, taking a look around. "Yeah, it is pretty busy here. I mean… Ierne Weyrhold was kind of like this too, when we'd visit, but… I never really went looking for the kids or anything. Mostly I just hung out by the stables or at the beach and watched, if I wasn't supposed to be doing something else." She shrugs.

Sola grins at the young tomboy, "Well, we are even busier here. Especially right now. I like to go do my foraging real far around hatchings. If I were you, that's when me and your little friend would go find the best hiding spots to hunt." She rocks on her feet, wiggling her toes a bit. "Course, I dunno nothing about hunting."

"So it's not always this bad?" asks Soriana with a hopeful look, and then she nods. "Well… Inkfoot does most of the work, really. Especially something like tunnelsnakes, I can just set him loose and he'll go sniffing around down the tunnels and find 'em."

Sola stands with Soriana, chatting with the young tomboy, who happens to have a ferret on her shoulders. "Oh heck no. There's always more folks around towards a hatching. You got all the candidates and people who don't show up much tend to start showing up more…I dunno why, cause I am the opposite. I show up less!" She giggles at her joke then kicks a stray bit of fruit left by the kids from before across the ground, "Lots of excitement."

"Yeah. Excitement." Soriana does not look excited. Inkfoot stirs for just long enough to go, "Dook," and she reaches up to ruffle behind his ears. "I mean, hatching's a pretty neat thing, but… there sure is a lot of running around. Like half the people of the weyr don't know what they're doing or something. Prob'ly why the kids were so… crazy, right?" She says it hopefully, like maybe they aren't always like that.

"Heh. That's just how things are in a weyr." Like Sola's been to so many to compare, but she's older than Soriana, so she must know all about that sort of thing. Right? "Don't you want a dragon? I do. I'll get one too. Not this time. But I bet you there will be a gold next hatching and then I'll impress." Visions of grandeur wafting through her head she grabs at the stray bit of fruit with her toes, then flings it like a monkey. "Are your parents here?"

"Well, I mean… yeah." Soriana smiles. "I helped out with Yumeth sometimes, but it's really not the same when it's not /your/ dragon." She gives Inkfoot another pet… but then, tunnelcats aren't much like dragons either. Not even as close as firelizards. "Those things are supposed to run in families, right? So maybe I will, someday." She shrugs carefully, with one shoulder. "My mother is. Sorrin, Yumeth's rider."

"Just get going, there's no point arguing you can't spend all day looking like a fruit bowl" Kinzie's voice can be heard before she even gets close to the group in the clearing, her seven weyrbrat charges from earlier are shuffling feet, sulking, moaning and are basically having to be physically pushed along towards the caverns. Erilian is being pushed by two younger girls who seem to delight in the idea of him suffering a wash, the twins Seilistraee and Belsiaryn are looking about hopefully for their candidate reletive who may possibly save them from their terrible fate and Torban, the most fruit smeared, is not looking as happy as he was previously and trying to take solace in his new friend Imiran who is juggling redfruit to cheer him up. "Maybe next time you decide to have a fruit fight instead of a picnic you'll think about the consequences" Kinzie is hopeful her new found authoritative tone lasts all the way to the hot springs, she's not convinced, but she manages to hold each childs stare as they attempt to argue back at her. Noticing the two familiar faces Kinzie smiles an exhasperated smile and waves "Hi again" and noticing the tunnelcat Kizzy grimaces as she hopes the children are too busy to notice it too.

Direct out of the tavern a tall tawny-brown haired, blue eyed, muscular rider swaggers outside, the door left swinging behind him. His stride is confident and there's a slight hint of a smug smirk on his face, with a bit of a pat to his fat-mark purse. The brownrider, evident by the weave of brown in his wingleader knot, looks as if he enjoyed the time spent in the tavern, regardless of the time of day. He strolls casually nearby the young women chattering, his eyes sliding that way with a curious tilt in them, appreciative but curious all the same. A name on their tongues is what does cause him to take a bit more interest in them than he normally would. Ers'lan's gaze turns then to the crowding of weyrbrats around one of the candidates, pausing not because of them but because it looks like he suddenly remembered something and is looking if he has it on his person - checking pockets and patting down his jacket and his pants.

"Ooh. Well, you've got a better chance at a gold than I do." says Sola, contemplating the other girl for a moment or too, not sure how she feels about that. "Well, we can both have dragons." as if her decision mattered in that, but it mattered to her it would seem. She offered up a smile to the tomboy, then turns away to laugh at Kinzie and her gaggle of young hoodlums, "Bath time! Oh, you are so lucky. It looks like you don't have any little fishes in this group." She makes a fish face, putting her hands up beside her cheeks, flapping them like gills. As she's busy doing that she spots Ers'lan. Just the sight of him makes her blush, though with her coloration it isn't terribly obvious.

Soriana lowers her gaze as Sola gives her that considering stare, scuffing one foot against the ground slightly, and then looks back up to nod her agreement. "Sure we can. Dragons'll chose right." Whatever more she might have said is stopped as eyes widen at the approaching voices. Oh no. They're back. She had her chance to get away, and she didn't take advantage of it. Now she is doooomed… at least if they notice her, and Inkfoot curled up half-asleep on her shoulder. Maybe she can hide behind Sola? She tries shuffling that way, only peeking out to wave back at Kinzie and give a curious look to the half-recognized Ers'lan before eeping and hiding again as Belsiaryn's wandering gaze falls on her. "Hey, it's the tunnelcat girl again!" he says faaaar too loudly for her comfort.

Kinzie is getting good at this babysitting lark, even if she still looks like she's been racing a runner across half of Pern. When the little dears attempt to slip behind her or disappear without her noticing she manages to herd them back in the right direction like a canine with caprines either that or she grabs an available strip of collar or jacket and turns them back in the right direction "Hello again, no I think they're only fishes when it doesn't involve getting washed" Kinzie rolls her eyes as her charges start the tirade of moans, whimpers and pleading to be set free to return back to the barracks but then the worst happens and the tunnelcat is noticed and all bathing is forgotten… Kizzy sighs and looks towards Soriana sympathetically and apologetically before trying to restore order and failing rapidly. Ers'lan gets a half smile as well as if he's not careful he's going to get knocked down by seven over excitable, bath avoiding, weybrats.

Ers'lan seems to find what he was looking for, pulling it from his back pants pocket to tuck it away neatly into his inner jacket pocket - papers of some sort. Likely official business or some such thing. Regardless, as his eyes lift back up, he does note Sola's fish impression, smirking, although his attention diverts back toward the kids and this tunnelcat girl title tossed out by one of the kids. The interplay between them and Soriana ducking behind Sola does have him pipe in, "Ya can narh hide from 'em little eyes." He notes of the group of weyrbrats, shuffling over toward Torban since he recognizes the brat, saying in his sea-farrin tone, "Ahoy thar Torban, reckon tha' thar be a fine mess." He goes so far as to ruffle the kid's hair, smirking, "Tell yer mum I do be sayin hello." The brownrider then starts laughing a cheerful rumble of approval as the kids get all rambunctious, "Reckon ye be havin yer hands full," he chuckles as he keeps Torban from the some of the girls after him.

Sola looks downright surprised when Ers'lan starts talking to her little brother. A brown rider! The chubby little fellow looks awfully pleased by Ers'lan's greeting, smiling in reply. He doesn't talk much, something that isn't genetically shared between siblings apparently. Sola says to Kinzie, "Are you goint to try washing them all on your own? Did you get one of the aunties mad at you?" She puffs her tiny frame up as much as possible, to give Soriana something a bit more substantial to hide behind.

Seems Ers'lan is right. Soriana laughs briefly, at the brownrider, and then steps out from behind Sola to accept her fate. "Too late now…" she murmurs to the other girl, though with a grateful smile for the attempt. It certainly is too late, particularly with a brownrider (wingleader!) practically encouraging them to run wild. Belsiaryn is one of the first to break free from Kinzie and come over, along with the dark-haired girl who seems to have gotten over her fear to the extent she's decided being trampled by Inkfoot makes her his second-favoritest person. (After Torban, of course. Soriana is entirely irrelevant to those calculations.) "Can we play?" askes the young girl, tugging at Soriana's tunic and making Inkfoot wobble and open his eyes to give a sleepy chirrup. Sori nudges at her hands, saying "Hey, careful now…" which means her hands are too occupied to stop Bels' reaching right out to pet the ferret.

"Have you been hunting yet?" The weyrbrat questions start all over again as Kinzie gets distracted trying to stop the girls from bullying Torban "Did Inkfoot catch anything?""I bet he did I bet he's a good hunter right?""Does he get dirty digging through all those holes?" the questions come thick and fast while each child attempts to pet the little critter, eventually the group decide to play at tunnelcat and tunnelsnake and chase each other round in a generally loud and noisy ball of energy. Their carer looks exhausted and she looks over to Sola at her question "You know I'm not sure what I did, I was supposed to be on serving duties but these.." and she gestures to the weyrbrat tornado "were creating so much that they needed them out the way and it seems I was voted in" Kinzie says with a shrug and a heavy sigh, Ers'lan now gets a proper greeting and smile "sorry about this" she says politely to the rider, her most apologetic look is reserved for Soriana and she is glad to see that the children have finally left her and inkfoot be, even if it is just to emulate their new favourite subject.

Ers'lan has likely worked with their mother once before and being a wingleader, he has the advantage of knowing more this his fair share of fellow dragonriders. Regardless, he winks at Torban as the little fella looks up with that pleased look. For the others, his eyes track to Kinzie as she's been tasked, apparently by the conversation going on, to bathe all the kids. Seven is quite a lot. Ers'lan gives a hapless shrug at Soriana as she sneaks out from behind Sola, not about to stop a few kids from running out their energy. He even hunkers down with his arms out to try and keep the girls from Torban, chasing them a little with a growl. If that scurrie them off, he'll have to wait and see, but he does straighten up with a shrug to Kinzie, "Reckon they be best enjoyin thar time as kids." There is a curious eye cast to the tunnelcat, watching as the kids go into numerous questions about it.

Sola looks at all the kids closing around Soriana and scolds them just a bit, "Are you wanting to scare poor Soriana to death? You are like a heard of bovines, threat'nin' to push down the fence. She aint going to go anywhere you know, so if you are all nice and don't try asking every question under the sun right this instant I am sure she'll still be here when you get around to them." She waves the children back, particularly Bels'. "Get back so you don't get her little fellow all upset. Or me. Cause he might not bite, but /I/ will." She snaps her teeth at them to prove her point, then says to Kinzie, "Well, my offer of help stands. Why don't I help you corral all these wild things down for their baths. You are for sure going to need help."

"No, not yet -" answers Soriana, though she looks like she wishes she did! "He is a good hunter, but… sure, that's why I brush his fur… well, no, he _doesn't_ have to take baths all the time…." Soriana gives a guilty look to Kinzie at the same time as several of the weyrbrats give triumphant ones. Inkfoot himself has turned from whirlwind of motion to lazyferret, and he galumphs down from her shoulder to her arms and accepts the pettings as his regal due while Soriana tries to make sure none of the kids are too rough about it. The flurry of questions and pettings continues for a while longer, despite Sola's attempts to drag them away, but eventually the youngsters scurry off and begin their playing of tunnelsnakes and tunnelcats. (The game looks much like 'dragons and wherries', except for the dooking as they pounce each other.) Soriana sighs with relief as they're finally gone, and Inkfoot peers after them… though she keeps a good hold on him. He's done enough today, oh yes.

With silver and blue eyes sparkling with humour Kinzie looks to Ers'lan and chuckles "I don't mind kids being kids, it's when I'm charged to clean them up and they're just making themselves worse that is when I have a problem" and as if to prove a point the twins appear each bit of sticky fruit smudge on their clothes and skin is now a dusty, dirty, sticky smudge. The girls have now taken to hiding behind their babysitters legs in between making tunnelcat noises at the scarey browrider. Sola's response also gets a smile and she looks about the group who have now decided to play tunnelcat hunting Scary Sola's and the boys, all except Torban who is happy hiding with Ers'lan, take to running round her like a whirlwind. With three relitively calm and only four left to get under control Kinzie raises her voice above the noise "Ok boys that's enough now otherwise we'll…" and she realises she doesn't know her new aquaintances name yet "be taking you straight to the bathing caverns and there will be no more chances to see the tunnelcat" the threat creates complete silence and the stares of seven sorry faces look back at Kinzie, eyes wide "We're sorry, honest we are" Erilian pipes up first "Please can we play a little longer" he says putting on his best injured puppy face, when the candidate nods in agreement the energy ball starts up again and even the girls decide to join in their new fun game. Wandering over to Soriana and Inkfoot Kinzie smiles "I hope he's alright, they didn't hurt him or panic him did they?" she says with a worried smile.

Ers'lan gives a pointed look at Kinzie when she explains about being charged with kids when they'll make it worse, "Aye, reckon ye best be gettin used ta tha iffin ye be standing fer the eggs." His weight shifts back onto his heels as he goes into a little blurb about dragons, "Ye see, reckon 'em weyrling dragons be getting cleaned by yah, then *BAM*, they be in the dirt, they be in the blood vats, tossing meat bout, or they be rollin in thar own poop." The voice of experience to be sure. "A weyrling dragon be jus as bad as 'em weyrbrats," a half quirks grin. There's a consideration for Sola and Soriana, head tilting, "So whar do ya do with one of 'em-" a point to so called Inkfoot.

"Oh yeah. You always got to be taking care of dragons. And I bet your brown is way worse than a green, just cause there is so much more of him to take care of." She keeps up her protection of Soriana, though she isn't so good at shielding her new found friend from the flock of children. "So, I'm Sola." She looks over at Ers'lan, "Torby is my brother."

Soriana doesn't do more than glance down at her pet before smiling back to Kinzie. "He's okay." But then, she knows what to look for! "Though now his fur's all sticky… maybe I _will_ have to give him a bath…" She looks up as one of the kids shrieks, and hehs. "Still be easier'n those, I bet." There's only one of him, for a start! Sori looks over to Ers'lan as he talks about the young dragons, and then adjusts herself to stand a bit more upright as he, too, asks questions about her pet. "He's a hunter. Tunnelsnakes, mostly… he'll follow them right into their burrows." Erilian pops up his head. "An' bites their necks! Pow!" He grins proudly until Soriana nods, and then darts off again to play.

Kinzie looks towards her charges and after a while makes the decision they can wait no longer, it is bath time otherwise it is going to be difficult to tell where fruit and dirt end and kidlets begin. Looking to Soriana with a smile and a look of relief "Glad he's only dirty and maybe I can use that as persuasion as they can all be tunnelcats taking a bath, if you don't mind sayin how much they like to?" Kinzie is not above taking advantage of the situation and she looks at Soriana briefly before turning back to Ers'lan, the whole dragonet thing hasn't really sunk in yet but she does nod and try to remember that scrap of advice just in case and she smiles happily "Ok boys and girls, it's time to get you tunnelcats washed and cleaned, after all tunnelcats don't like to stay dirty" she flashes a grin back to Soriana for her approval and smiles and nods a goodbye before beginning her new found kidlet herding technique again and heading towards the caverns and the hot springs.

Ers'lan shrugs at Sola, "Aye, he was, befer we worked as a team. He be pushin me from the start, ta always clean 'em 'n ta get it right or I be havin ta do it over. Then narh an hour later, he be wrestlin with his clutchmates and making me do it all over again once he be done." He shakes his head at those memories, "Reckon I be glad the weyrling stage is over. He be a much better sport bout it now." Realizing that the names weren't shared or introductions made, he ahhs softly, "Yer Sola?" A look down to Torban, smiling, seeing the resemblance, "Aye. T'would make sense." A beat, "Ers'lan. Most folks be calling me Lan though." His eyes dance toward Soriana as she now answers -his- question about her pet, what a conversational piece he is! "Ahh, reckon tha be brilliant-" his eyes track Erilian as he exclaims about the heads part, reiterating "Pow!" just for the kid's benefit. A soft chuckle follows, watching as Kinzie manages to get something to work to corral the kids towards the baths, sending a brief wave to her and a murmur of 'good luck.'

Oh yeah. Names. Soriana always forgets to get names. So this is Ers'lan, and this is Sola… "I'm Soriana," she offers. Inkfoot, well… his name has been bandied about enough to make things nice and clear. "He's good at it, yeah…" she says, then blinks at Kinzie for a moment, until she connects the pieces and nods. "Oh! Oh, yeah, uhm… tunnelcats like the water. He goes chasing after spiderclaws, and… when I give him a bath, he swims around and plays with the soap." Hopefully that'll help, instead of just making bathtime a chaos. At least it'll be a chaos in the water? It's a start, and so the kids set off for the caverns, herded along carefully and waving bye to their new tunnelcat friend.

Sola nods her head and stands next to Torban. They might be very different in terms of weight distribution, but the coloration is there for sure, as are the facial features. "Yep! I'm Sola. I didn't know /you/ were the rider that Torby says is so nice." As Kinzie heads the kids towards the bath she shrugs, "She's a brave one, trying that all by herse3lf. I might rather have my foot gnawed off by a watch wher." Then she looks to Soriana, "Hi Soriana. I knew your name when you said who your Mom was." She laughs, "As if anyone in the weyr wouldn't right? But uh…do tunnelcats really like water?"

Ers'lan seems to take in the names with a longer glance toward Sola, though in the same instant as they're introducing themselves, Lan turns his head toward the clearing where a few Galaxy riders are touching down - a bluerider and another brownrider. The comment about Torby has him chuckling, "Tis a great kid." That's as much as he gets to say before his distraction has him turning a look over his shoulder again, "Excuse me ladies," he politely notes, "Thar be business ta take care of." He thumbs toward the riders, nodding to each of them in turn, "Twas nice ta meet you." And that's about all that he'll stick in there as a fast pace carries him over toward the dragons, moving up to the bluerider who throws something down so that Ers'lan can catch it. The items? They look like nets and harpoons, fishing equipment?

Soriana laughs a little to Sola. "It might be safer," she agrees, and then ducks her head a little. "Oh, yeah." She's still not used to this, clearly! She looks up again soon enough at the mention of her pet, though, and smiles. "Some of them do. Inkfoot does, as long as it's not too cold… so it was true enough. They can just all be the water-loving sort of tunnelcat." She hehs, and then as Ers'lan is heading off she adjusts Inkfoot to give herself a free hand to wave. "Nice to meet you!" she replies, and looks curiously at the accoutrements of the newly arrived dragonriders. "What're -they- doing, you think?"

Sola watches Ers'Lan head off then she turns her attention to Soriana, smiling "Well, so he'd like the hot springs then, because they aren't cold. For sure. Or they'd be cold springs, right?" She gives a little laugh at her own joke then twists to study the riders and their gear, "Um…they are going to go fishing it looks like. Dragon riders like to cheat ya know…oh, yeah. Well, maybe not gold riders. But see, you can skim right over the water like so low you can really see the fish." She waves her arms about like wings, "Then you can harpoon em…or net em. And you can cover so much water with the dragon you can outfish the best fisherman ever really easy."

Soriana laughs along at the joke, and nods. "I haven't taken him there yet… don't want him to get underfoot or cause trouble or anything." She glances over to where the kids disappeared to, as if half-expecting some of them to come rampaging back for more, then returns her attention to the fisher-dragons lifting off as Sola explains. "Oh! That's pretty neat. It's a good day for it, I guess… wind's calm, so there won't be too many waves."

Sola nods her head, "Yeah. Clear skies means no shadows in the water, which can fool ya when you're flying along. And waves and wind always make it harder. I've done it a couple times with my Mom." She nudges the girl and says, "You need to hide your friend there in that pouch you got there when kiddies are about. They seem to fluster you a lot." She digs her foot in the dirt, "I bet he is funny in the water."

"Makes sense," says Soriana, and then sighs. "I had him in to start!" she protests. "He doesn't always like to stay in there, though… and I bet now he'll start coming out whenever he hears them, since /he/ had fun, didn't you?" She lifts up the ferret and mock-glares at him. Inkfoot dooks cheerfully in response, entirely unrepentant, and after a moment Soriana sighs and hugs him.

"Well, at least one of you did. But maybe you'll get used to the kiddoes soon. I don't think we have any real stinkers. They aren't all perfect of course." She shrugs and steps closer, offering her fingers for sniffing before risking any tunnelcat petting. "He is a happy little fellow."

"They seemed okay," says Soriana. "I mean… y'know." Now that they're safely gone away, she can see the merits. Mostly. She sighs, and then turns a bit to give Sola a better angle to approach. Inkfoot sniffs at those fingers and leans in to mouth them lightly, not biting down. "He was a lot flightier when he was a baby… but he's calmed down now." Yes, leaping from her pouch and running across the field to play with seven children at once is calm.

Sola doesn't seem bothered by the sniffing, or even the mouthing. She in fact grins and reaches up to offer some light scratching in reward for the friendly little mouthing. "Well, I guess it is all relative right? He's not calm by dragon standards, but by tunnelcat standards. When he gets all cozy like that he seems like a wonderful little pet."

Inkfoot chirrups, and arches himself up into those pets with pleased wriggles. Soriana laughs. "I don't even want to imagine how much trouble he'd cause if he was the size of a dragon. Even a firelizard… the wings alone would let him get into so much trouble, never mind how he'd go winking away between and be even more impossible to catch up with." She smiles. "I'm glad I have him, though. He's been a good friend."

"I like animals. I would be a beastcrafter maybe if I wasn't going to be a dragonrider." She laughs and shrugs her shoulders before turning her attnetion back to giving the friendly ferret some more scritching, "But I hunt herbs instead. And other stuff for medicines. I get to be on my own a lot, with no one to listen to. Well, when I'm back at the weyr I have like, more bosses than I could ever count. Like, every auntie in the weyr thinks I work for them."

"No reason you can't be both," says Soriana with a grin. "Keziah's got her dragon and her caprines, too. There's probably others…" Inkfoot, meanwhile, shows his appreciation by wriggling around and even running in a little nose-to-tail circle to allow the petting to be continuous before flopping out in a sprawl. "I do some gathering sometimes too… only basic stuff, really, I don't know that many of the herbs. But it's a good excuse to get out and explore." She grins. "Maybe you can show me more, sometime… if you don't mind the company. I promise I won't try to order you around like an old auntie."

"Heh. I promise to not boss you around like an old auntie too Soriana." She laughs a bit then pushes at her hair, pushing it back over her shoulders before she tugs her hat back down into place. "I love it. You see so much stuff and it is like finding treasure when you…" Right about then one of those 'aunties' comes out of the caverns, "Sola! Are you still dawdling? These bandages aren't going to get rolled on their own!" Sola groans and looks at Soriana apologetically, "Sorry. Bandages. I gotta go. It was really nice meeting you Soriana!" That said she turns and rushes for the healer, hopping from foot to foot as she pulls on her slippers. "Coming!"

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