From Camp To Kitchen

Survival Camp - Campfire Square
During the day this area is a small clearing that sits just big enough to land four dragons in it, though by night it becomes an inferno where a fire is built up that licks its stray bits of lights to the ground just before the barracks nearby. The two barracks sit across from each other in strong contrast, the leader barracks being a comfortable modern barracks that looks clean and kept in good eminence while the follower barracks has a sharp destitute about it, looking that the ivy and decay is a day away from making the whole thing collapse.

Welcome to survival camp, round two. At least it's not freezing cold here. Not at all. If it were cold, the swarms of midges and biting insects would have been killed off for the winter and wouldn't be here to trouble the weyrlings. Those insects are doing just fine, though. Soriana can attest to that. She probably has bugs in her hair. She knows she has bug-bites on assorted exposed skin, as well as marsh-mud on her boots and splashed up over her trousers. And she wore the nice ones for betweening lessons, too! Sigh. She's trudging back toward the campsite now, hands in her pockets.

Round two…who win win? Camp or the Weyrlings? Hard to tell at this point. M'kal's relatively clean and clad in his warmer clothing to go between. He's not been at camp as long as these guys have, that's for sure. His jacket is slung over Xeosoth's neck ridges and he's stalking around camp a bit in exploration. A hand slaps at the back of his neck occasionally during this prowling and there seems to be no signs of any rash upon the teen's exposed skin, yet.

Mur'dah is sitting by the fire, brooding as he works on carving a bowl from wood. Another bowl. Damn these camping trips. "This isn't fair you know," he grouses to the others, pausing to sharpen his blade. "Nothing /really/ says we have to stay here. Maybe it's a test to see if we've got the nerve to between back home on our own. See how long we stick it out."

Never mind victory, Soriana's willing to call for a truce and make a quick retreat… except for that pesky thing of orders from V'dim to stay here a sevenday. It wasn't so bad - at least this time there's shelter - except for the bugs last night. That's why she went into the marsh in the first place, to look for some of the herbs that drive away insects. She does not have the face of victory, though. She lifts a hand to wave slightly to M'kal, then heads toward the fire and sinks into a sitting position near Mur'dah. Her head tilts, glancing to him. "We'll have to between sooner or later," she agrees. Sort of. "No other way home." Her eyes return to the fire, and she sighs. "I'm going to stay the full seven."

M'kal's gaze slips over towards Mur'dah with some surprise in his expression. "Thought you would be excited about a chance to live out in the wild once more. Really live all rough like." he can't help but tease his friend a little as his steps draw him closer to the fire and Mur'dah and Soriana.

Mur'dah watches Soriana's approach, looking disappointed when she doesn't return happily waving leaves and shouting in triumph. Sadness. "Why?" he asks. "Why stay the full seven? And…I think I would be, but I had a /date/ tonight," he mutters moodily. "Now I'm going to miss it and be out here instead. No offense, but I'd rather be drinking it up on the beach with a ladyfriend."

No triumph today. Soriana bends up one leg, looping her arms around it lightly. She nods to M'kal and Mur'dah, but then she's quiet for a moment, considering. Why, indeed. Because it builds chara- no she is not going to think that, even to herself. Especially not to herself. Fail. She makes a face. Try again, Sori. Why? "Because they expect us to. They're trusting us to do it." She reaches for a stick, giving the fire a poke. "Sucks about your date, though." Her lips tug up and to the side, and she tilts her head at Mur'dah. "Think you could convince her to come out here for it?"

M'kal's interest suddenly perks up ten-fold as he hears of his friend's date that is not to be. "You had a date? With who? How did you ask her out? What were you going to do on the date?" he is suddenly /full/ of questions, full attention upon the brown weyrling. "Are you going to bring her a flower? You should you know. Girls like flowers." now he looks over towards Soriana for confirmation of this fact since she is, after all, a girl. He pauses the flow of questions a moment to comment off-handedly towards Soriana with a sigh. "But…camp again?" he seems unsure about this whole thing.

Mur'dah shakes his head a bit. "Well I think it's BS," he says. "We're almost graduated, and they've stuck us out here again. I'm…so tempted to just go home. See what happens. If I get in trouble, Kalsuoth will send word to stay. Or maybe they'll send me back…" Looking at M'kal, the brownling's eyes widen slightly. "Sheersha. From the kitchens. And I just…asked her." Shrug. But it was mortifying and it took him three times to muster up the courage. They must have been wondering why he was the one bringing in dirty plates from the living caverns - whatever plates he could find, just for an excuse. "Were going to take a picnic down to the beach, sit and talk, watch the sunset. You know." All that cliche stuff that non-creative teenagers think is AWESOME. "A flower? No, I wasn't…I can't take her anything now. And no, Sori, I'm not going to invite her here. Hardly romantic…and how would she get here? I couldn't go get her and then bring her back, and then go back /again/ to drop her off…" Though he did consider that. Briefly.

"Some girls like flowers." Soriana replies to M'kal as she reaches up to scratch her shoulder. "Me, I could go for some bitterleaf. Maybe some numbweed?" If it didn't drive the bugs away, at least she wouldn't have to care anymore. She half-smiles, then gives her head a shake. "Camp again." Sigh. She glances to Mur'dah, and hehs. "Why not? V'dim said we were to stay here, not that we couldn't between at all. I mean, don't do it without checking coordinates with someone," or he might end up like the weyrling in the cave, "but… I don't think that's cheating. Not really." The smile turns to about a three-quarter one. "And you can tell V'dim I said that."

M'kal casts a look of sympathy to his friend though he's storing away some of this information in the back of his head to access later. Beach. Sunset. Awesome ideas. Totally awesome indeed. Absently he swats at insects crawling along the back of his neck as he looses himself in these thoughts so much that Soriana's words nearly drift over his head. Nearly. Finally he gives his head a shake. "I aint so good at girls and stuff but really I hardly think /here/ would be a great place for a date. Not like compared to the beach or something. Even if V'dim did agree with your logic." which from his tone M'kal clearly doesn't think the grumpy green rider would agree.

Mur'dah laughs. "Goldrider Soriana said I could bring my date?" Then he's thoughtful. "I could get us some supplies too…" Mur'dah the troublemaker. "Well, then at least I could tell her why I wouldn't be there? I don't want her to think I stood her up…"

"Okay, so maybe it's not the most romantic place." Soriana waves the stick (now, with glowing ember!) to take in the swamp and midges and general rot, and grins briefly. "Still. If we're here for a good reason," instead of just V'dim being grumpy, "it's to learn how to survive if something bad happens. Thing one to learn: we're not actually isolated. We've got dragons. Even if our lifemates are injured, they can still call for help." She gives the fire another poke. "I think bringing back supplies would be cheating, but… yeah. Bring her a flower," a glance to M'kal and a crooked grin, then back to Mur'dah, "-and tell her you're sorry and can you please do it another time?"

A faint grin appears as the suggestion of a flower. M'kal's gaze wanders now, though his attention remains on the conversation at hand. He's looking all around the camp thoughtfully with his gaze eventually landing on XEosoth. "I'm sure she'll understand. After all she's been in the kitchen for several turns now." he's now placed the face to the name. "I think I worked with her a bit when I used to do some time in the kitchens."

Mur'dah pushes to his feet with a determined look on his face. "I'm going to go tell her I won't be there. I can't just stand her up for a /week/. That's just rude. I'll be back." He hopes, as he turns to head towards Kalsuoth, grabbing his straps as he goes.

Soriana nods her agreement with M'kal, then looks up at Mur'dah. "Make sure Kalsuoth checks his coordinates with someone!" she calls after him. Someone meaning someone with experience. Isobeth, maybe? …yeah okay maybe not, but there's a touch of worry in Soriana's gaze nonetheless, that dead dragonrider in the cave returning to her thoughts and making her lips tug in a small frown despite having encouraged this in the first place.

M'kal flickers his glance back towards Mur'dah with his own look of worry briefly crossing his expression. "Be quick and maybe no one will notice you even left." surely /he/ wouldn't tell!

Yeah right. Mur'dah doesn't have the best luck staying out of trouble. Buckling in and mounting up, brown and rider hover for a few moments - no doubt getting coordinates - before they vanish. And…no keening, so they went /somewhere/ safely.

Soriana certainly isn't going to say anything! So Mur'dah just has to sneak in and out and not get spotted on the other side, and all will be well! Sori's eyes stay on Kalsuoth as the brown lifts, watching him until he vanishes. Betweening… successful. No keening. Good! So now, uh… they wait. Soriana turns her attention back to M'kal. "So what about you? I heard they had you back in the infirmary… not contagious, are you?" Better not be. Sick and in a marsh, how much worse can it get? She's smiling as she says it, though.

M'kal shifts full attention back to Soriana once enough time has passed to ensure Kalsuoth has arrived…somewhere. Xeosith certainly seems unconcerned as he's sprawled out in the mud. Yes, he's mud bathing it seems. Yuck. He's a ways away from the clearing though so M'kal hasn't yet noticed the location of his weyrmate. "I'm only contagious if I touch someone for longer than two seconds." seriously? It's hard to tell if he's joking or not but he's reaching for Soriana's arm with one hand. Oh noes!

Luraoth is likewise untroubled. She is not, however, mudbathing… for which Soriana is grateful. "Two seconds, huh? That's… eep!" And now he'd going to infect her. Oh noes! So she leans away. Leaaaan. …she doesn't bother actually getting up, though. Just leans precariously to the side.

M'kal doesn't get up yet but as she leans then he too leans forward to try to touch. Leeeeean. In. Further. So close. "Two seconds." he confirms. "A rare disease really. Spreads too quickly. I got from J'myn." he confides.

Nooooo! Not the dreaded… two-second-touch infection vector! Soriana is doomed. Doomed she tells you! "Wasn't there a plague of it once?" Back in the mists of time, along with all the other things that didn't actually happen. "Why aren't you still in isolation?" Maybe he's here to infect anyone the swamp doesn't get first. Maybe… V'dim has decided to just get rid of the weyrlings entirely but wants to make it look like an accident. Gasp!

Doooom….oh wait. Isolation. Clearly this wasn't thought out and M'kal must think quick on his feet! So to speak. "I snuck out." he continues to lean towards his victim. He shall spread this disease to everyone. *insert evil laugh here* "Now c'mere my pretty so that I may infect you too and together we shall take over the world!" or something like that.

Mur'dah returns! With…nothing more than he left with, actually. Kalsuoth circles down to land, and Mur'dah dismounts, flush with triumph. "Did it! No one saw a thing," he says, cocky and confident. Oh how wrong you are.

So to speak. Soriana gasps as M'kal admits to sneaking out of isolation - but that's what it's there for! No, not sneaking out of, keeping infectious and deadly (this is deadly, right?) plagues from infecting the rest of Pern! "No!" she tells him. Disbelieving-like. And puts a hand over her heart. And… falls down onto her side. It's not like she's going to get more muddy. So there's his chance to poke her right there, hapless Soriana, and then… pop! A dragon appears overhead. So she's probably managed to sit up again by the time Kalsuoth lands, giving Mur'dah a grin as he comes over. "Good!"

What? No soup? No sweets? Npthing? Just the brown weyrling and his life mate? Say it aint so! As she lay prone to his touch he draws closer and then….the telltale *pop* of between distracts him and his hand stops mere INCHES away from her arm. Oh to be saved by the bell. Or the dragon in this case. Cause it could totally be DEADLY yis! "Oh…hey that was quick." he scans Mur'dah and then the brown. "No food?" he asks in clear disappointment. "No one saw then?"

Mur'dah flops down again, looking to be in a /much/ better mood. That might be worth it all right there. "No one saw, nope. And yeah, I was real quick about it. Didn't take any food or anything, that'd be breaking the rules." But leaving was totally fine. Yeah.

Soriana is lucky she's not dead yet. Note to self: don't let M'kal serve the soup! …actually that was already the note, because he'd eat it all. Okay, revised note. Don't let M'kal serve anything, or else you're doooooomed. …and on a completely different topic from being doomed, welcome back Mur'dah! Soriana nods to him, still with that grin. Never mind the food, there's a Mur'dah back! Safely, even. Well… Physically safe, anyhow. But hey. Nobody saw, right? Soriana leans back on her hands, getting comfy. "Be way easier if they told us about this stuff ahead of time."

M'kal leaves off the touch of death for now and copies Soriana's pose as he gives full attention to the one who skirts the line of the law and escapes unscathed for now. Still sad for now soup (or other food) he heaves a heavy sigh. "Yeah, suppose there wasn't time for anything to be grabbed. Glad she understood though." he remarks.

Mur'dah nods with a huff as he resumes carving his bowl. "Shards yes, if we even had half a candlemark to plan, it'd be better than the surprise. My leathers are just about ruined…all this mud. Have to start saving my marks again." And he nods. "Yeah, she understood. And I think she was totally impressed that I betweened all the way back against orders (because of course he had to say that!) to tell her. Even gave her a flower." He had time for a flower?

…but, hey, at least it's minty-fresh mud. Soriana nods. "I knooow. I'm going to be scrubbing and oiling mine for days, I bet." She stretches out one leg a little to look at her trousers. So much mud. Sigh. She gives her head a shake. "Okay, so, if lesson one is that we're never alone, lesson two is plan ahead. Don't just go rushing into things on a whim!" …unless the whim is V'dim's, and you're a weyrling. Then, well, rushing into things is …kinda recommended. At least, the things he tells you to rush into. Details. She tilts her head to listen to Mur'dah's report, then hehs. Priorities: here's a view into Mur'dah's. No time for food for his friends, but time for flowers for the laaadies.

M'kal casts a longing look towards the bowl that Mur'dah carves. He himself didn't bring anything to draw with, not that it would be easy to keep his sketchpad free of mud. Fetching a sigh he pulls free his own knife, leans to grab a branch and starts whittling it. Which is to say he starts simply making it a sharp stick instead of the branch with bark that it was before it came into his hands.

Just one flower! That he yanked out of the meadow on his way to the kitchens. Mur'dah nods, "Those are good lessons," he agrees. "Wonder if we'll have to write a report, or give a report after all this…" Glancing at M'kal, he grins, "Going to make a spoon for my bowl?"

Soriana's hands stay idle as the other two carve, her gaze wandering between them and the fire. At least the smoke helps keep some of the insects away. She'll take what she can get. "Hah," she says to the idea of reports. "Probably." She gives her head a small shake, then glances over to M'kal's spoon… and Mur'dah's bowl. Hmm. "Does that mean I'm supposed to make something to go in it?"

A spoon would be better than the spear that was starting to take shape. With a tilt of his head M'kal simply nods as if that was his intention all along. "Yup." he says simple, adjusting the long strokes of the pocket knife accordingly. Green eyes flicker towards Soriana. "Yup." he repeats himself. "Tis only fair if we carve the eating equipment that you help fill it." sounds logical.

"Well, you are a girl…" And this is why Mur'dah doesn't have a girlfriend. Though he's grinning a bit, so maybe he knows how stupid he sounds.

Hey, spears can be useful too! M'kal could stab a wild herdbeast and… uh… vaguely annoy it. Hurm. Maybe they'll be better off sticking with hunting by means of dragon and just taking the leftovers. Soriana grins to M'kal's fair and logical answer, then rolls her eyes and leans over to try and poke Mur'dah's shoulder. Isn't he lucky M'kal didn't infect her yet? …and then she grins. "Okay, but if I make it, you have to eat it." No matter how terrible!

M'kal totally wasn't going to take the 'you are a girl' angle of that argument. In fact when Mur'dah does he can't help but give him a look of surprise. The surprise grows when Soriana doesn't outright deck the brown riding weyrling. Huh. Who would have guessed it. "Hey if it's edible we'll eat it!" he assures her. It is a good thing he didn't infect her then if she's offering to cook!

Mur'dah is a teenage boy. "Deal." That's an easy one. He's poked, but he endures it (even though it's hard!), and grins. "But you have to eat it too. Since you're using our cooking and eating stuff. We're working together, or something. Maybe that's another lesson. Wish V'dim had given us a number of lessons he wanted us to learn…"

Hey now, Soriana didn't say anything about edible… but at least the boys are in agreement, so she nods. "Course I'm gonna eat it." Still grinning. "I'm hardly going to do all that just for your benefit." Well, unless she goes with the ditchwater and leaves plan, but she'd get pretty hungry. Besides, she did go to a cooking lesson. Admittedly, there the ingredients were neatly pre-measured and chosen for balance and whatnot, but the theory is sound! She hopes. "Hah. Teamwork. …I think we already studied that one, though."

"Teamwork in various environments." M'kal offers his suggestion. His spoon carved he tosses it towards Mur'dah as he stands and stretches. "I think I need to walk…." a groan escapes him as Xeosoth chooses that moment to return to the camp and he's clearly not very blue any more. Oh sure somewhere under all that mud is a blue hide but it's hard to see at the moment. "Or perhaps a bath. I'll see you two later." he grumbles but most of his focus is towards Xeosoth now.

Mur'dah nods, almost rolling his eyes. "Shards, so much teamwork. I feel like we can do /anything/." And there's a bit of sadness there too, since Weyrlinghood is almost over, and their team will be disbanded to join other teams.

Various environments, huh? "Mud. Dirt. Vines. More mud." Soriana groans, but it's a lot more good-natured than when she first emerged out of that swamp. Good company will do that! "If we ever have mud -" blink. Now she sees Xeosoth. Xeosoth, the mud-dragon. Sori can't help but grin at the sight, mostly because it's not her dragon, before giving her head a shake. "I think I saw a river out… that way." She points, vaguely out past the marsh of doom (and mud). "Good luck!" Because, well, he'll need it. Once bluerider and mud-dragon have departed, she looks back to Mur'dah and nods. "Sure we can. Anything at all!" …though some things have consequences… "You decided where you're going yet?" Because… yeah. They can do anything, and before long, they're going to be doing it on different wings.

Mur'dah shakes his head. "No," he admits. "Though I'm leaning more towards transport. Getting out, exploring Pern and all that stuff." Pausing in the carving, he glances up at her. "Do you have a choice in where you go?"

"Makes sense," Soriana agrees with a nod. "Not like you have to know right now, that's what all the wing shadowing is for." She leans back to settle more comfortably, letting her gaze drift to the fire as one corner of her mouth quirks. "There's always a choice." Somewhere. Somehow. At some cost. Soriana looks back to Mur'dah with a half-smile. "But, no."

Mur'dah gives her a sad smile in return for her half one. "Yeah, that's what I thought. Any regrets?" he asks, looking around to see if the queen is visible. "Not that you had a choice in /that/, but…"

There's a bit of golden hide visible through the trees of where Luraoth is relaxing in a nearby clearing with her bulk out of the way. She's probably got company there. She usually does, of one form or another. Soriana laughs, a brief and wry sound. "I don't even know, anymore." She gives her head a shake. "It sounds awful, doesn't it? But… I'm not sorry about Luraoth, and the rest of it… I dunno. Maybe the reasons are good. Maybe I can fit in everything and be a dragonhealer and a weyrwoman and… all of it."

Mur'dah shakes his head, "That doesn't sound awful at all," he reassures, with a little smile. "I'm sure you can do it. Lots of weyrwomen are also dragonhealers, or regular healers…it's a natural fit for the golds." Often times. "And I'm sure you'll be a good girlfriend too," he adds with a little grin, guessing at what 'all of it' meant.

"One of Nova's duties is helping in the Annex," Soriana says with a nod. "It's just… how much that means dragonhealing instead of letting the queen do it." And letting the human do paperwork. She half-smiles. "I'll just make sure it means really truly dragonhealing when it comes to me, and get my classes in… somehow." Sometime. In all the copious free time that weyrwomen have. Mur'dah's other suggestion brings a full smile onto her face. Actually, more of a teasing grin. "Hah. Nah. Nothing but trouble, but only because he deserves it."

Mur'dah nods a bit, and then laughs. "Are you two…like…always teasing? Or is..I mean." Clear throat. "I don't want to pry, but. I'm assuming there's a softer side of your relationship that you just don't make public…right?"

There are some phrases that kind of mean their opposite. Here's one now… but Soriana just tilts her head to listen to the question from Mur'dah. The smile remains in place, though it's more serious now as she nods. "There is, yeah. We… do a lot of talking. Walks on the beach. Cuddles." A self-deprecating heh. "It's just, well. Nobody likes watching the kissyface couple, y'know? It's awkward."

Mur'dah nods, looking thoughtful again as he dips his attention back to carving the bowl. "Alright. Yeah, no. I get it. That's private stuff."

Soriana lets her gaze linger on Mur'dah for the moment, thoughtful. "We don't tease each other about the serious stuff, either. It's just… yeah. We keep things private." Despite practically the whole weyr knowing that they're together. She lifts her shoulders in a shrug, and smiles.

Mur'dah nods again, glancing up and smiling. "As it should be. I'm going to go check on Kalsuoth, I think he wants to go hunt. Hopefully I'll bring something back for…whatever's going in the bowl."

"Soup," Soriana says firmly. There's the grin again. "It will be soup." Assuming she can find the right ingredients and figure out the details of camp cooking. Maybe she'll just call it soup. Hunting, though… yes. "Good idea. I'll look for some veggies." Because, hey. Those go in soup! And V'dim did say there were edible plants around here.

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