Mending Fences

Xanadu Weyr - Feeding Grounds

A large portion of the eastern edge of the meadow has been fenced off, the corralling on three sides is located on the rolling meadow, while the fourth is located a short way up on the eastern hills. Within the large corral are a variety of beasts - ovines, bovines, and wherries - milling around, though the appearance of a dragon may send them one way or the other to try and escape. A small pond is set near one corner of the enclosure, and at times it reflects the low, bordering mountains.

As morning trips obliviously along towards afternoon, stomachs might start reminding folk that there's lunch to look forward to. Though really, one's stomach would have to be iron - or paired with a dragon - to entertain the thought of food after spending any amount of time near the feeding pens. The usual muttering and calling of the animals can be heard, mostly placid for now since it appears there's no dragons currently eating, though there's a still-fairly-recent blood stain that they're all nervously avoiding. And in amongst the animal sounds, there's a whack whack whack-ing that can be heard. Originating, apparently, from Iroha. Or rather, from the hammer she holds in one hand, aimed unerringly at the nail stuck in the wood of the fence, as she lies flat on her back, legs in the pen, head outside, replacing a rotted plank.

Truly, one might find it hard to believe that tending eggs is difficult work. However, Kilaueth finds it as such, and with her mate on the Sands to guard the clutch, the Senior gold is taking advantage of the situation, fleeing the hot Hatching Arena, and gliding low over the ground to the feeding grounds. On foot, Niva's progress is significantly slower, and so she's still no where in sight as Kilaueth glides over Iroha, driving the herd in the opposite direction, downing a beast with expertise.

As the shadow of a dragon in flight causes a brief darkening, Iroha pauses in her hammering and squints up at the sky. A small scramble, as she scuffles her feet against the ground to push herself backwards enough so she can sit up and continue to track the queen's progress. Arms looping about her updrawn knees, hammer left to lie in the dirt beside her rump. "Ha!" exclaimed as the beast is taken down.

Kilaueth settles herself upon the herdbeast, wings flaring to shield it from view as she drops her muzzle, taking her time on her earned meal. While Kilaueth is feeding, Niva's finally making her appearance, moving to lean against the fence near Iroha, glancing down at the candidate working on it with a bit of a smile. "I hope she didn't scare you, candidate."

Once the wings have flared and the eating commences, Iroha is fast to lose interest. Though, just the eating would have sufficed. Flop, over backwards she goes again, wiggling back into position under the fence and grabbing up the hammer. A new nail is drawn from one of the pouches at her belt, placed a couple inches below the first with frowning concentration… oh, hey, boots! "I like watching them fly in," she tells those boots, her accent betraying her origins the second she opens her mouth. Green eyes start travelling upwards: boots attached to legs, legs to torso, torso to… really freaking fancy knot. "Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't realise you were the weyrwoman! A weyrwoman, obviously," hammer waggles over in Kilaueth's direction, "just not -the.-" Pause. "Ma'am." Shouldn't she be, like, standing up or something? An uncertain look is directed at the nail in her fingers. Uhhhm.

"Just as long as they chase them *away* from the fence your mending. I'd rather not have anymore incidents." Niva says, a bit of amusement evident in her tone despite the formality of her words. Pausing for a moment, she takes a step back to look over the portion of the fence being mended, and then back at the teen responsible. "I suppose you've proven that Istans are good for *something*." And now, the amusement is all there is, arms folded across her chest, the Weyrwoman smirking all the while. "Least we got a hard working one, hm?" The girl's rambling apology is dismissed with a flick of her fingers, still amused.

Iroha's expression is vaguely dubious, as she continues to look at Niva upside down. It's not a view she's particularly comfortable with, judging by the way she rolls over onto her belly and then crawls out from under the fence. "Any… -more- incidents?" She pops to her feet like a bobber out of water, slipping the hammer into one of the loops at her belt, twiddling the nail around in her fingers still. "You can feel the ground shake when they're coming at you." She makes a few largely token swipes at her over-shirt, trying to dislodge bits of dirt and grass and only succeeding in further transferring the mess onto her hand. Because attempting to clean herself up means she doesn't have to look up and meet the Weyrwoman's eyes while she cringes under that amused tone. "I like to work, ma'am," she addresses her boots again.

Niva steps forward to lean against the fence, folding her arms on the top rail, and looking back at the Istan-bred candidate as she crawls from under the fence and pops up. "Two.. three turns back… They stampeded and took out a weak portion of the fence." A shifting step, and she wrinkles her nose. "Broken bones for those of us not quick enough to get out of the way." Gaze flickers over the girl's clothing, and then back at the girl's face, even turned away from her as it is. "Then, you deserve to be a candidate…" And she trails off, waiting for the girl to offer a name, no matter that she'll likely forget it again before it matters.

Iroha opens her mouth, shuts it again, tilts her head sideways and rubs at the side of her nose. Smearing dirt there in the process. "So you were there, then, ma'am?" As if the words weren't obvious enough already. "Must've been scary…." Lips pucker as she chews on the inside of her cheek for a moment, head being tilted back into an upright position again. Something about that trailing statement makes the teen brighten out of her uncertainty, probably the 'deserve to be' portion. "Oh do you really think so?" She does actually flicker green eyes up, a freshly considering look. The silence is allowed to drift, lazily, as she apparently missed the subtle opportunity. But she does get around to it eventually, more to fill the air with sound than anything, "M'Iroha, by the by."

"I was, and Ah'm certain that leg is just a little bit shorter now, to show for it." She makes a face, and nods. "Aye, there were boys out there, in the way, and the dragons kept trying to help, but only sent them running again." Niva sighs, a bit exasperated at the whole situation, looking back at the beasts who are still milling nervously, and then being sent into a tired charge as Kilaueth takes a quick hop, bringing down a second for herself. At Iroha's offering of her name, Niva's gaze flicks back, surprised to see her looking at her. "I do, Candidate. Hard workers deserve to be candidates.." An unsaid, 'Even if they *are* Istan' lingers, before Niva is looking the young candidate over again. "Settling in, I hope?" She asks absently.

Iroha winces a bit at the furtherance of the tale. "Yeah, more hindrance than help, situation like that." Every once in a while, she gives the impression of having a serious brain in that head of hers. It's rare. Gaze sliiiides past to watch the pounce, drifts away again. Another wince, though this time for being caught looking. Oooh, dirty toes. Wiggle wiggle. "Well enough, ma'am. Easier with chores to do. Keeping busy…." Feet shuffle slightly. "Miss everyone, though." Lips clamping shut then. Those last three words weren't supposed to slip out.

"Really, at times they aren't much better than children - reacting first, and asking for directions later." Kilaueth is at least *neat* as she feeds, making only a minor amount of mess as the second beast is disappearing at a sedate pace. As her gaze drops again, Niva smiles a little. "Hopefully you'll make some friends as well, here." A pause as the girl shuffles, and she shakes her head. "A number of riders have family at Ista. A discrete word, and I would think you'd have a ride to visit."

Iroha can't really comment much on the nature of dragons. Not much beyond, "At they ask though. I mean, gosh, can you imagine if they were as brainless as those nasty little flits?" A quick glance up, a bright flash of her crooked smile. "Starting to. Met a few people already, most are really nice." A quick shrug, a blithe, "L'ton's said he'd take me back to visit. It's just… not really the same. I—" she frowns, shrugs again. "Weyrlings from Dhonzayth's last clutch should be graduating soon. I hope I can go to that."

"Not that they do, though. As smart as they are, they do tend to be more.. instinctual than we are." A pause, and she looks surprised at Iroha's assessment of firelizards, shaking her head. "They have their uses, though most are too busy playing to even remember who they belong to." As the girl reassures her as to the fact that she is making a few friends, Niva nods, relaxing a bit. "I do hope that Vivian won't give you any headaches.." She comments idly, a frown passing over her face as a certain bronzerider is mentioned. "We'll be sure to arrange for you to go, and anyone else who wants to. I'm sure you could all use a little break."

Iroha returns a little 'what?' look in responce to the surprised one on Niva's face. "Better instinctual than wantonly destructive," is grumbled, more than a trifle uncharitably. "Playing… yeah." She makes an effort to smooth out her expression, the Weyrwoman's continuing words making it somewhat easier as puzzlement works its way across her face. Blink. "I don't spend much time with girls. Snooty." Them, not her, though it might sound the other way around. Tripping past that other unpleasant thought, enthusiasm for the idea of making a group trip out of the Istan graduation. "I'm sure it would just be ever so much fun! I hope they'll hold it on the beach, so the dragons can be there too. Sisketh will probably make the entire Weyr miserable if he can't see it, and Rixaith'd probably try to fit his fat head inside. He used to wander around the caverns with M'tri when he was still bitty."

"Maybe they don't train their firelizards at Ista, but, here they at least are expected to behave, or be sentenced elsewhere." Niva says with a bit of a snort, shaking her head, chuckling softly at Iroha's reaction to girls. "Well, that certainly describes Vivian." She murmurs, and looks back at Kila, who's daintily cleaning her claws. She listens to the girl talk about the Istan weyrlings, shaking her head at their antics, glancing back over her shoulder towards the Clearing and the hatching grounds. "The little ones at least make things entertaining.."

Iroha shrugs her shoulders, her expression saying pretty clearly what she thinks about the trainability of firelizards. Un-be-lievable. "Pests," is all she mutters on that topic. The murmur illicits a squinty-eyed peer, but the teen doesn't like dwelling on unpleasant people. Nice people are, well, nicer! So are baby dragons. "It seems like there's almost always new babies around. As soon as one batch is almost grown, another one hatches. They're so cute when they're that little." Beat. "Well, most of them are."

"If you're looking for a bit of a distraction, there are fifteen of them in the barracks - I'm certain they'd all approve of a new face, and a bit of help with their rapidly growing lifemates." Niva comments on the state of weyrlings, nodding. "It'll certainly be a shuffle, getting them into Weyrs in time for these to hatch." Kilaueth has finished her grooming, and the dark gold rumbles, before taking a hop skywards, and beginning a glide back towards the hatching arena. "If you would.." Niva inclines her head in apology.

For all her chirping about it, Niva's suggestion makes Iroha's eyes go wide. "Oh, I wouldn't want to intrude, or get in the way," she says hastily.But then she's bobbing her head in a swift nod, fly-away curls bouncing around her face. "Oh, of course, of course! It was… really nice talking with you, ma'am." Perhaps she can be forgiven for her surprise? She not one to expect any lingering goodbyes or anything like that, already turning back towards her job of the day, fingers finding the hammer at her belt even as knees are bending to lower herself back onto the ground.

"I'm certain, they're growing faster than they know what to do." A wink, and with another bob of her head, Niva's meandering back to the Weyr proper in Kilaueth's wake, leaving the candidate to finish her assigned chores for the day.

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