A Dumb Boy and Just a Girl

Xanadu Weyr - Beach

The unerring range of subdued white rises and falls in a multitude of sandy dunes, creating an endless amount of tiny valleys constantly demolished and rebuilt by the frequent arrival or departure of a dragon. Smoothing out as it slopes gently to the edge of the deep blue water, the sand darkens and a shell here and there stands out for children to collect. The beach itself is set along a low cliff - the height lessoning as one heads eastwards, blocking a portion of the beach from direct access.
The wide wide stretch of water opens up to the east, the far distant shore way beyond the horizon and the beach curves ever so slowly round to east and west, distant arms of land embracing the wind-ruffled Caspian Lake. East leads up to the mouth of the Rubicon River, where the protecting cliff is merely an arms length higher then the sand, and beyond that, a winding road leading out of Xanadu's territory. Westwards, the beach narrows as the cliff swings out, leaving a path wide enough for dragons in single file before cutting in to the sheltered cove designated the Weyrling Beach. However, cut in the cliff face to the north are a variety of rough, wide staircases, providing access to the clearing and to the meadow.

Mikal scuffs the sand as he walks along the edge of the water, hands thrust deep in his pocket. He splashes through both sand and water without much care of getting his pants and boots soaked.

Sitting on a boulder some ways along the shore is Soriana. She's dangling her feet in the water and looking out over the sea, petting a tunnelcat curled up in her lap.

Splash. Splash. At some point Mikal bends down to pick up a few rocks to toss them off into the waters. As he draws nearer towards the boulder he spies Soriana. "Heya." a friendly wave is cast.

Soriana looks over at the sound of a splash, and then back along to where it came from. She lifts up one hand, and waves. "Hey."

Mikal comes within a few feet, pointing to her lap. "Whatcha got?"

Soriana smiles a little. "'s Inkfoot," she says. "He's my tunnelcat." At the mention of his name, the sleepy ferret stirs a little, lifting his head and dooking.

Mikal recoils back a bit in surprise. "Your a girl." he accuses her.

Soriana sticks out her tongue at the younger boy. "Yeah. So?"

Mikal responds with his own tongue being stuck out. "You look like a boy!" he moves to lean up against the boulder, reaching to touch the animal. "Whatcha doin' with it? Training it?"

Soriana just hmphs! She glares at Mikal for a moment, but at the question about Inkfoot, she softens. "He's good company," she says, "And he hunts. Tunnelsnakes, spiderclaws, all sorts of things like that." The ferret dooks, and lifts his head up to the boy's fingers.

Mikal doesn't seem to mind the glare and his chin juts out a little. "Nothing wrong with being a boy. Since we're better at most things." boasts the young boy. At the dook from the ferret his head tilts a bit to the side. "A pet? Weird. I didn't think these things could be pets. Did you tame it?" he asks curiously, petting under the chin.

Suuuure. Soriana rolls her eyes at Mikal's bragging, but it doesn't surprise her. Boys are totally like that. Inkfoot, on the other hand, seems perfectly friendly, leaning in against those pets and chirping. "I raised him from a baby," she says. "And they can totally be tame, there's whole books about 'em with the Beastcrafters."

Mikal shows a bit of doubt at the girl's words. "And how do /you/ know of all these books with the Beastcrafters. You seem 'em?"

"Yeah, I have," retorts Soriana. "My mom's a beastcrafter. She does runners, mostly, but I've still been to the halls with her, and I saw the books there. And I've read Aivas files about 'em, too!"

"If she's a beastcrafter then why for are you here?" Mikal counters then looks a bit crestfallen. "Oh…you've gotten to read the Avias files? Well I've read 'em too!" he boasts.

"'Cause she was a craftrider, but then she came back to the Weyr," says Soriana with a 'duhhhh' sort of expression. "I guess maybe she's only sorta a beastcrafter now, 'cause she's busy with other stuff a lot, but she's still got a journeyman's knot, anyhow, so it counts."

Mikal pffts a bit. "How was I supposed to know that. I didn't know she was a craftrider. My parents are a couple of riders over at Ista but they didn't have much time for me." he says bitterly. "Who's your mom?"

Well of course he didn't know! Dumb boys. Soriana hmphs a bit, then nods at the mention of Mikal's parents before answering his question. "Sorrin, Yumeth's rider."

Mikal acts like he knows who that is, which he doesn't since he's fairly new here still. "Tanya's my mom. At Ista." he reminds in case she forgot already. "I like it here though too. So long as I don't get into any more fights I'll be able to stay. I'm thinkin' 'bout what craft I might want to learn when I'm older." he confides to her.

As riders go, Sorrin's a decent one for being recognized - after all, Yumeth is one of the junior golds of the Weyr. Soriana just nods to Mikal's mention of his mom (at Ista!). "It's nice here," she agrees, with a bit of a frown at the mention of fights and then another nod. "S'good to have a craft."

Mikal hedges a bit. "Yeah…I guess it's good to have a craft but I don't like to study much. Except for history. That's the only thing I like to learn about. And it is nice here." his feet kick at the sand a bit. "Better than Red Sands hold."
Soriana considers for a moment or three, looking out over the water again. "Y'could be a harper. They gotta know lots of history."

Mikal wrinkles his nose in thought, returning some attention to the ferret in Soriana's lap. He gives it a few scritches under the chin and atop the head. "Yeah but….they gotta sing and stuff too. And teach. I aint a good teacher." seeing as he's only 11 it's no surprise. "My older brothers taught me to fight." he adds cheerfully. "Maybe I could get good at teachin' people to fight. You wanna learn?"

Inkfoot dookdooks at the scritches, tilting his head from side to side. "I guess," Soriana says about harpering. "There's gotta be someone who just keeps records 'n stuff." At the mention of fighting, she frowns again. "That'll get you in lotsa trouble," she says. As it already has, to judge from some of what he's said. Then, though, she's quiet for a moment. "…but it's good to know, if you need it."

Mikal seems indifferent at the thought of lots of trouble. "You gonna be a Beastcrafter apprentice then when your older?" he asks, dropping the subject of the fighting altogether.

Soriana shrugs. "Maybe," she says. "I dunno yet what I'm gonna be." She's quiet a moment, stroking along her ferret's back, and then nudges him aside onto the rock and stands up. "So show me some of this fightin' stuff."

Mikal hedges a bit. "I wouldn't wanna hurt you…since your just a girl." he stands up straight to face her. "Well..what of it do ya wanna know?"

Soriana crosses her arms across her chest and glares at the boy. "I'm not gonna get hurt. Just don't tell my mom, 'cause she'd worry." She relaxes her arms again, putting them to her sides. "Like… how to take care of myself. Avoidin' stuff. Dodging." She sways side to side, ducking imaginary enemies.

Mikal just grins back at the glare. "Okay fine then!" he agrees. "Well…um, it's all in the footing really. You just gotta be quicker than the other kid." he nudges at her feet a bit with a booted foot. "Stand steadier so you can rock back on your heels or shift weight. Don't sway so much!" he instructs. "Now…dodge!" he takes a half swing at her arm.

Soriana adjusts her position a bit as Mikal nudges. A fighter she is not (yet), but she has spent years running around and climbing along cliffs. She shifts into a balanced pose, nodding at the instructions. "Okay." Inkfoot watches, curious, from the rock. When Mikal swings at her arm, she twists it back away from him.

Mikal follows through with the rest of the swing and misses, his momentum bringing him forward a bit. "Good! Now…duck again!" he moves to whap the back of her head with an open palm.

Duck? Okay, but… Soriana tries to move as instructed, and she does manage to get down in time such that the hand will only brush the top of her head and the hair… but she's off-balance now, wobbling and having to reach out a hand to the sand to catch herself. From the rock, Inkfoot chitters questioningly, his beady little eyes watching intently.

As his hand brushes the top of her head and hair his other hand follows through with a light shove to her side as she's already off-balance. Mikal crows victory.

Soriana thumps down to the sand; undamaged, but sprawled out. She nods, once, as Mikal calls out his victory… then picks herself up, brushing the sand from her clothes. "Okay," she says. "Do it again."

"Alright then." Mikal agrees. "Be ready." he gives her a few seconds to get ready before he swings at her head. "Duck" he calls out cheerily.

Soriana does better this time - she drops herself down, but it's with a lean forward that keeps balanced and then a sway back once the hand has passed. Just like a landing crouch when jumping.

Mikal swings past, the air from his hand ruffling her hair. "Good. Then..when you duck you can take advantage of my miss to hit me in the middle." with exaggeration he doubles over as if she whacked him in the stomach. HE falls over.

Soriana laughs as she stands up again. "Yeah, okay," she says, grinning at his over-acted collapse. "'Course, I s'pose you could dodge that, if it was for real…"

Mikal sits up with a grin plastered over his expression. "Maybe! But maybe not cause I was in midswing and prolly couldn't have reacted fast enough." he points out.

Soriana hmms, considering on that, then nods. "Makes sense," she says. "Y'can't go in two directions at once. Well, y'can try, but you'll prob'ly fall over." She grins a bit.

Mikal grins and moves to lean back up against the rock. "See…easy."

Soriana laughs. "Well, t'start, at least. But.. yeah, maybe next time I'm up against a wild feline I'll have a bit of a better idea."

Mikal looks doubtful. "Wild feline? Nu uh!" he shakes his head. "You can't fight one of /those/. Your a girl remember." just then there's a shout of his name from across the beach. "Oh shards! I forgot I had dish duty. I'll see you later. I guess your okay. For a girl." he books off.

For a girl, indeed. Soriana just shakes her head, looking out after the younger boy. …but, as boys, and kids go, he's not utterly terrible. There are a /few/ redeeming factors. She turns, scooping up Inkfoot. "C'mon, then…" she says to the ferret, and starts along the beach.

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