The Sound Bones Make

Xanadu Weyr - Forest
The trees grow thickly here, avians nesting in their branches and flitting about after insects. Flowers sprout up and speckle the ground between, the green of small plants and their blooms of bright saffron and cheeky rose that creep all the way up to the bases of the trees and adorn the fallen leaves and mulch of the forest floor. Those trees rise upward in their aged magnificence, gargantuan limbs casting often welcome shade, the general atmosphere and scent of the path is one of freshness and wild abandon.
A path winds its leisurely way through the trees, wide enough for wagons to pass. As it goes through into the forest, a number of other trails branch away, both more and less traveled. Many of them lead to private weyrs, but there's a few more trodden paths - notable among them a road to the feeding grounds, set against the western slopes.
The forest grows wilder the further north one goes, deep growth and ancient places, and the road does not extend far in that direction, instead turning toward the meadow. Just before it emerges, a trail veers off to the Firelizard Theatre.

It's the end of the day, in that lull between most candidate chores ending and dinner service not quite starting. Having finished his lessons, Quillan is out wandering the path in the forest… or he looks like he's at least contemplating doing so. For the moment, he stands at the end of the clearing, looking down the pathway, watching a resident and their blue dragon making their way along to their weyr. It might almost look like he's hesitant to follow them, from the way he stands with his hands in his pockets in an uncertain stance.

Just how close is dinner to starting? Well, let's put it this way: Janaya had kitchen duty today, and yet they've apparently run out of pots for her to stir, because here she is. She comes out of the caverns, walking briskly toward the woods with an empty sack over one shoulder and a blue firelizard perched on the other. Only… there's someone in the way. Someone, standing with an uncertain stance, and looking down the path. Someone. "Quill, what are you doing?" Besides being in her way, but that's a minor detail. She could probably shove around him if she really tried, but instead she stops to talk, eyeing him curiously.

"Gonna stand there all day?" For a second, it's almost as though the disembodied voice of Esiae is haunting Quillan, but it doesn't take much effort for the source of the voice to be found. Perched on a low branch a couple trees over, the junior weyrwoman peers over at the waffling candidate, amusement in her gaze and a book in her lap. Janaya's approach is noted, but since it's awkward to offer greetings from way up there, Esi drops from the branch and ambles closer to the pair of them, brown eyes flicking over Janaya's empty sack and firelizard curiously. "One could ask you the same," she points out with a crooked smile, hand lifting in a wave as she finally comes to a stop. "What's with the sack?" And does she even want to know, at this point?

There's a slight odor of fish lingering behind wherever Zak walks. Seems that Candidate Z has drawn Fish and Game as a chore /yet again!/. This is even with washing. Not quite ready to mingle with the general population waiting for the start of dinner service, Zak finds himself trailing behind…Janaya. Why? Well because really anything can happen with her around. That and she has an empty sack. His gold chirps a friendly greeting to her blue. Stopping just short of where she stops he looks towards Quill first and then up and towards Esiae. "Why're you in a tree?" he calls out then adds. "Ma'am."

Mmm, relaxation. Chores are done, dinner hasn't started yet, and Zalulia has a moment where she can just step back and breathe. Normally the redhead's life isn't that busy. Now? Well, candidacy has a way of giving people more to do. The redhead is dressed in a long-sleeved dark blue shirt and a flowy black skirt that nearly reaches her ankles. She doesn't have anything to do that requires her wearing trousers at the moment, and by Faranth she is going to take advantage of that. Her current activity? Wandering. Largely pointless, but sometimes a girl just needs to drop plotting and planning and wander. It is this wandering that leads her to the small gathering in the forest. Zalulia comes to a stop at the sight, amusement crawling across her face. "Something going on?" she calls. Without waiting for a response she adds on, "ooh, are we tracking something down? Trapping something?" She'd be up for helping trap someone. That can make a pit and cover it in leaves and stuff!

The out-of-nowhere Esiae voice has Quill looking around him for its source, and when he sees Janaya, well, the first thought obvious on his face is that he thinks she's the source of the talking. At least until Esiae drops down to the ground, anyway. "What'm I doing?" He answers Janaya, while giving the goldrider a jaunty salute. "I'm waiting to be preyed upon by tree-creeping weyrwomen." Said weyrwoman gets a wink, before he shrugs, gives Candidate Z a wave, and… wait, Lu is here too? "Faranth's fancy bits, it's a party now. All I was doing was wondering whether I wanted to go check out the way weyrs are built here or not. What're you all doing here?"

Ahh! Weyrghosts! And they're possessing Janaya! …oh, no, wait. It's not a ghost, it's a Junior Weyrwoman. That's… hmm. Is that better or worse? Either way, Janaya laughs to Quillan's answer, waving a greeting to Esiae before nodding to him. As for herself? "Oh, I'm going to the pens," she says with a vague gesture toward the feeding grounds. That doesn't make the sack's presence seem any better, does it? Whether or not Esiae actually wants to hear her explanation, Janaya's certainly been asked for one, and so she gives it, off-handedly as if this sort of thing always happens. Maybe it does, around her? "I'm looking for bones."

Esiae shrugs for Zak's question as the fishy-smelling candidate draws near, hand holding her book lifting to tilt it at him. "Reading," is her simple answer. "S'easier to do when people can't find you and bug you every other sentence, so…" Here she is! "I guess so," she murmurs towards Zalulia, matching the other Harper's humor as her gaze flicks around the rather large gathering they seem to have haphazardly collected. "Certainly does look suspicious, doesn't it?" She can't speak as to what the rest of them are doing, but she does chuckle at Quill's explanation, fingers arching into claws with a slight growl. "Guess you got away this time." She seems amused by the idea that it's practically a party up in here - maybe even snorts aloud for his use of 'Faranth's fancy bits' - but before she can comment on the fact, or wonder why he is so curious about the weyrs, Janaya explains herself and earns herself a raised eyebrow from the weyrwoman. "Bones? Whatever for?," she asks, more surprised than disgusted, really, which is par for the course with this junior, really.

What a motley crew we have gathered here today. One contimplating the mysteries of Xandau weyrs, a bone collector…a tree-reader, and a trap maker. Oh and something smells fishy with all this! "Faranath fancy bits?" mouths Zak a moment before focusing on something else. Someone else. "S'long as you don't fall out I suppose." is his comment towards Esiae since the logical question of /why/ is already posed towards the bone collector. Not remarking yet on the energetic inquiry of building a trap he comments instead. "What way /are/ weyrs built here?"

"A party?" Oh, Zalulia likes a party. At least, she likes some parties. She likes parties where she gets to do things and doesn't get in trouble for doing some things. "I don't think it's an intentinal party," she remarks. "But we could make it one! Just gather some things, start a bonfire, and boom, party! Or we can schedule a party , it would be later but it was be a better, better, grander, candidate-partyy! Well, candidates and other people." There's going to be a party now. She will not be stopped. Way to go, Mr. Fancy Bits. To Janaya, she tilts her head and inquires, "are you making a skeleton?" The way she speaks makes it sound that's a completely normal thing to be doing. Than again, it might very well be to Zalulia. Esiae doesn't so much get a vocal response as a slightly alarming grin. Oh yes, this is very suspicious. Luckily for her, Zalulia is all down with suspicious activity. Not that she's engaged in any of that herself. Nope. And finally there is the fishy-smeller. The redhead strides over to him and casually slings her arm over his shoulder, only to wrinkle her nose and pull back when the smell hits her. Eck. Fish. The scent is not commented on at the moment. Instead she smarmily states, "a Weyr is where a dragon is." No construction required.

Quillan groans when Jan announces what she's looking for. "Are we having bones for dinner tonight? I'd rather sleep up in weyrwoman E's tree than eat bones." He gives Esiae a sheepish grin. "How does weyrwoman E suit you for a nickname, ma'am? Just trying it out, here." As for Zak and his question, Quill points down the pathway to where the first weyrs are visible. "They're sorta… barnlike, I guess? Not like at Igen. They're not in rock." Which is probably obvious, given their current location and its geophysical features. "I've never been in one, so I was curious about where I might end up living." Zalulia… is blinked at. That's one heck of a flow of words! "Whoa there… were you sneaking sweetner during lessons earlier? Cos you've gotta stop when you have so many, Lu, otherwise…" Hyperness! "The whole weyr thing here though is totally different to what I - and Zak, too -" hey, they're buddies from the same Weyr, y'know - "are used to. It just seems… strange. To not live in a stone weyr."

Fee fi fo fum, Janaya's getting bones for… skeletons? "Nah, I already have all the skeletons I need." She shakes her head to Quillan's suggestion next. "Nope, not tonight. Tomorrow!" She grins, and glances back to Esiae. "The cook said to go look for any big fresh ones the dragons left, and they'll put them in a pot of water and start cooking and tomorrow we'll have soup." Kori chirps back to Nanzeen, projecting his own spin on this. Bones! With tender meaty bits dangling off. This is a great chore for his human, at least according to him. Janaya grins, listening to Quillan and Zak, then rolls her eyes at Zalulia's smarmy answer before deliberately paying attention to Quillan instead. "Ohhh yeaaah, I guess most other Weyrs do have them underground, in the bowls and stuff." She wrinkles her nose. "Those seem cold. And inconvenient."

"Nahhh," Esi drawls towards Zak before she pauses, thinking. "Well, I did once. Pretty epically, too. Scared the living daylights out of the weyrwoman then, as I came crashing down near about on her dragon's head, but…" She shrugs, as though to indicate that was a long time ago, now. Grinning for Zal's enthusiasm, the goldrider nods a bit, head tilting to one side. "Been considering getting a fire going myself. Maybe out on the beach though, where there's a little less… wood, or where oh where will Quill sleep tomorrow?" Brown eyes twinkle at the candidates before shrugging at that sheepish grin. "Suits me just fine. It's a little on the long side, though. Just 'E' or 'Esi' or some other variant on shortening will do." The weyr-talk has her humming, eyes going distant as she considers the various sort of weyrs Xanadu contains. "Yeah, guess that's true, most of 'em are more weyrbarns than anything else. The beachfront ones are a little more on the cottage side of things, built sturdy to withstand the wind coming off the lake, you know? Then you've got the weird ones. My weyr's a ship, and it's right next to a lighthouse weyr…" They come in all sorts around here! 'Ah'ing quietly, Esi nods for Janaya's explanation, having likely expected something much more morbid. Like skeleton-collecting. "I'll look forwards to that." For now, though, she does the sort of shuffle one does when they're about to leave, gaze darting weyrwards with a purse of your lips. "For now, though, I've gotta have a word with our weyrlingmaster, if you'll excuse me. Let me know if you decide to do that bonfire, yeah?" And, with a finger-waggle farewell for them all, the goldrider tucks the book up under her arm and heads back to the weyr.

From her sturdy perch of Zak's shoulder ( /she/ doesn't mind the slightly fishy calogne he's got going on), Nazneen warbles with some enthusiasm and interest in bones with tender meaty bits just dangling off. Perhaps she'll like that better than fish! Zak can only hope. "Soup bones?" a pause. "Bone soup." in complete agreement with Quills assessment of no stone weyrs he chimes in with. "Barn like?" he's not even sure what that means! Falling silent to listen to Elsie's explanation on the various weyr types he simply nods at it. "Interesting." he murmurs. Ducking quickly before the redheaded chick can get her arm around his shoulder he moves. "Well I hate to abandon a good party but food has /got/ to be getting close to being ready and I'm hoping there is no fish in it!"

Zalulia gives snort followed quickly by a giggle. "I may be odd but I'm not a hellion," she teases. Well, probably. She's probably not a hellion. No, Quillan, that's just the way she talks. Best be getting used to it, because you're candidates together, meaning your one of her people. Not to mention if the eggs decide that the pair of you will be going through weyrlinghood together. At his observations on the differences between Xanadu's weyrs and what he's used to she remarks. "Strange is good. Strange is new, and new is good, so strange is good." As she speaks she begins to pull her gaze away from him and eye Zak. Squirming away from her? Hmm. "That's good," is all she says to Janaya, her skeletons, and their upcoming bone soup. Is she eyeing Zak up? She is. She's eyeing him up like a piece of meat. Esiae had won a grin with her remark regarding the fire, and as she walked away she turned away from Zak for a moment to wave and call, "we'll have one soon! Fire party!" With that she turns back to Zak and says, "aww, you running away? Well, at least you won't be missing anything big. We aren't having the party yet." Cue devious grin. Is Zalulia thinking of messing with him? Well, it's actually more likely that she's decide she needs to befriend and/or get to know this fishy smelling candidate who ducked away from her, but there's really no way to know for sure.

"Bone soup? From dragon leftovers? Is that… sanitary?" Quillan looks dubiously down at Janaya and her sack. "I know it makes good broth, but… it'll have dragon slobber in it." And that's gross. He waves off weyrwoman E with a salute and a smile… a smile because she's left him thinking. Zak, too, is offered a bro-fist farewell, leaving Quill to chill with the two girls. To do so properly, he backs up against a tree trunk to have a good leaning spot. "Fire party, huh? Bonfires, sausages, tubers and stuff? Or just a fire that we dance madly around to the beat of the Harper's drum? Please don't let there be fish there. I'm so over fish." He gives Janaya a knowing look, and rolls his eyes. "Hey. Have either of you seen cliffs around here? I've not explored enough to find any."

"There's baked wherry with red sauce," Janaya offers helpfully to Zak. "They're probably putting it out now, they were just taking it from the oven when I left." Presumably there's other stuff to go with it, but… Janaya's a candidate who had kitchen duty, not a cook! She can't recite the whole menu. At the very least, now he knows there's one thing that's not fish and not bones either, dragon-slobbered or otherwise. "I dunno, that's what they told me to do," she says to Quillan. "Besides, you'd kiss a wher, what're you worried about a bit of dragon slobber for?" Janaya grins, teasing, then waves to Zak and Esiae as they go their separate ways. Now it's just her, Quillan, Zalulia, and talk of fire. "Sounds fun," she admits of the prospect. "Out on the beach, or… maybe if we could get Esiae to take us all to the ruins?" She grins, with no respect at all for important historic sites. "…but yeah, no fish. Not even a fish sausage!" Do they even make those? If so, they're not allowed! Kori, impatient with waiting, launches into the air to go scout ahead, but Janaya doesn't take this as a hint. "Cliffs? I mean… there's the rock face for the caverns… and the stuff around the beach… but I dunno if those count."

Run away, fishboy, escape the wily redhead! Zalulia pouts slightly when Zak departs, but her attention soon snaps back to the two remaining candidates. The candidate shrugs at the mention of sanitation, "Eh, they'll probably wash the bones. Besides, the chances of you getting sick are…" Zalulia frowns and tilts her head to the side. "Well, it depends on how it's cooked, but that might not always… hmmm." More frowning. "Well, if you do get sick you'll probably survive, unless there are deadly microrginisms in the meat, but the boiling would hopefully kill any of those off. Unless it's undercooked, then we're all screwed." With that morbid statement she cheerily tells Janaya, "take the bones that look like they're the freshest. Immediately after the dragon's done with them, if possible." Less time for something to infect the meat! She then continues on to say, "but, yes, the ruins! I'll have to ask her about that. I love that idea! And Quil, I'm thinking the fire-dancing scenario, but with all the food." All the food. All of it.

"I said I'd kiss my wher if I had one. It's different if it's your own… I'm not gonna go snog some random wher." Quillan rolls his eyes, flicking a piece of tree bark at Jan. "Cliffs by the beach sound promising. I dunno if I like the idea of living in a barn. My mum's weyr was always so cosy, and I grew up in it, so… I dunno. Not being surrounded by stone kinda seems weird, I guess." And then Zal's trying to freak him out with bacteria and stuff. "Er… I'm going to skip the soup tomorrow, I think. You're just a ray of Rukbat's light, are you, Lu?" A ray of gross-out light! He shudders, disgusted by the thought of the soup. "They sure serve weird food here. Both of you are actually from here, though, right?"

Janaya laughs, ducking that piece of bark from Quillan… which is entirely ineffective, given that it wasn't even aimed for his head. It's the thought that matters? "Poor whers," she says with a grin and a shake of her head, then nods. "There are some underground here, I guess. They're just… not the ones you notice, what with being… under." She makes a vague downward-pointing gesture, then shrugs. Her head tilts to listen to Zalulia talk about the possible dangers of their food. "Huh. Micro-organisms in the meat, poisons in the fish… what are we supposed to eat that won't kill us?" She grins, apparently not actually all that concerned about the death looming at her from all directions. "But yeah, the cook said fresh. I'll get fresh." Maybe not fresh enough for some people's satisfaction, but oh well. She laughs to Quillan's question of origins. "I'm from, oh, half a mile thataway." She points out across the meadow. "So, yeah. Here."

"I might kiss a random wher," Zalulia chimes in. "Depends on the wher, though. I wouldn't kiss a snarly, outwardly aggressive one." Meaning she'd risk kissing an inwardly aggressive one? Well, you've gotta take some risks. Kiss a few whers to turn into… hopefully happier and more docile whers. A joyful look crosses the candidate's face. People are listening to stuff she knows! People seems to be enjoying stuff she knows! "Oh, anything that you eat can kill you," she clarifies, "whether it will is what you need to think about. Anything can get infected, especially if it's been sitting out for a while or come in contact with some sort of contamination." A twinge of playfulness touches her voice when she chirps, "I'm a ray of informative light, Quill." Ah, light. She can tell you some things about light. Granted, these things mostly have to do with the interesting reactions certain materials have when they come into contact with light, and how light can sometimes generate enough heat to set something ablaze, but hey, science. She knows science. "Also, I'm actually from Telgar, originally." Yep.

"In my experience, there aren't many cuddly, friendly whers," Quillan replies to Zalulia, giving her a nose-wrinkle. And, for good measure, he flicks another piece of bark at Janaya. Still not aiming at her head, but just in her general direction for annoyance's sake. "Telgar, huh? Telgar's cool. But here's cooler. You, kiddo, are my new insider pal." Congrats on the promotion, Jan. "I'm really curious, though, when you say underground… you mean they're, like, dug into the floor?" He stomps his foot, in case floor wasn't obvious enough. "Rather than dug into a caldera?"

Janaya grins. "I don't think I'd kiss any whers, personally. They don't seem like they'd appreciate it, you know?" Poor maligned beasts. Maybe that's why they're so snarly? She sticks her tongue out at Quillan, which is still a better reaction than most whers would give, then hmms to Zalulia. "So… eating food is pretty much gambling with death. And you can't avoid it, just adjust the odds." She thinks about that for a bit. "…if that's not the best excuse yet to eat an entire meal of candy, I don't know what is." Janaya grins. Zalulia's information has certainly brought a potential ray of light into her life! Now she just needs convince the cooks of that logic. It may be an uphill battle, but hey. Maybe her inside information will help! She laughs. "Does that mean you'll follow my directions?" she asks with a grin, then halfway nods before finishing it off with a shrug. "They're sorta in the side of hills. Like… still sloped down… but not, like, a straight drop."

"Don't sterotype the whers," Zalulia protests, "they might hate that. Ooh! Maybe that's why they're so snarly! If they are snarly outside of their general bumpy and gnarled look, I mean." They should make a club: the society for defence of whers. Janaya gets a look, a blink, and finally, a laugh. "Pretty much!" Maybe she will end up eating sweet stuff during lessons after all. Or maybe not. Maybe not at all, even! For all that Zalulia might seem like the type to enjoy sweets, they actually have a way of making her head hurt. Then Janaya's promoted and Zalulia gives a hurt sniff. "What about me?" As she speaks she begins to walk backwards, hands flailing about to make sure she doesn't walk into something as she continues to chatter. "I'm going to go get something to eat and gamble with my life, but I expect an answer by the next time we talk, Mr. Wher Kisser." With that she turns around so she can actually see where she's going and skitters off.

"So long's we keep the sweetner down for Lu, for the sake and sanity of the Weyr at large…" Quillan gives Zalulia a wink to show he's only teasing. "You, sweets, sadly don't come from this area… but if you've got something to offer…" As she turns to go, he opens his hands wide, in a gesture to say he's willing to listen. See, she won't even have to wait until next time they see each other! And then there was two, and Quill flicks another piece of bark at poor Janaya. "Faranth, but she's like…" Whistling, he circles his finger by his temple. "Borderline nutjob, I think. But hey. You're normal, right?" And more bark is flicked.

Janaya hmms to Zalulia. "I'll let the whers speak for themselves, how's that?" Their snarly, bitey, grumpy selves. And, given that Zalulia's headed off to bet her life on a roll of the kitchen's dice, Janaya will have to assume it suffices! Does Zalulia know that Janaya was working in the kitchen for chores today? Would it change her opinion of dinner if she did? Too late! She's gone, and it's down to Quillan and Janaya, who hmphs and puffs herself up. "Nope. I'm fabulous beyond the ken of normal." Her chin lifts, haughty. "Mere normalcy can't hope to describe me. I'm superior to it all! Ha!" …and she manages to hold the pose a minute before a snort escapes, followed by a grin. "I think she means well. She's just sort of… a mile a minute and no sense, you know? Lots of facts, no sense."

Quillan snorts at Janaya's posing. "Hah! Yeah, sure. Superior being Jan is above all other Pernese." He laughs, digging his hands into his pockets and relaxing into his lean a little more. "It's too much, man. She's like… gabgabgabgabgabgabgab. I've heard avians that are less chattery." His brown eyes are rolled, and he sweeps his hand back through his curls. "I wonder what it'd be like living in barracks with her for weyrlinghood. Or with everyone, for that matter. Like Fishboy and Candidate Z… they're kinda cool. I wouldn't mind them." So the truth comes out - despite the teasing, he actually likes Maorin. "You're alright. You'd better not Impress a green though, Jan, cos I'd freak out if my dragon went and chased yours."

Janaya beams with the truth…okay, no, she grins with the ridiculous, then hehs as she turns to look over where Zalulia departed. No return to tell them some other science fact? No? Good. "…yeah, I dunno. Maybe it's a harper thing." She shrugs, and turns to look back to Quillan, nodding and then smirking. "And what if you impress a green, huh? And I'm on a brown or something and my dragon chases yours?" Sothere! …and just a moment afterward, she frowns. "…that'd be weird. I mean…" Her brow furrows, mouth tugging to the side. "It just would. I like you and all, but it'd be weird. Same with Maorin or Zak." They get actual names from her. At least, this time they do.

"Me? On a green? Can you really see it?" Apparently Quillan can't, because he sounds surprised by the suggestion. "I've got me pegged for bronze. Brown or blue's good, too, but I mean… I've never imagined myself as a greenrider. Shards… imagine if my dad's blue ch—" He stops himself, and shakes his head. "Thank Faranth this isn't happening at Igen. Mum rides green, dad rides blue… I'd be living in constant fear." And drowning in disgusted thoughts. "What about you? D'you fancy brown? You'd be a good brownrider."

Janaya tilts her head, peering at Quillan as if trying to picture him on that green. "They say it's all up to the dragons." Which has never stopped anyone from speculating before, now has it? She nods to his idea of bronze, with a bit of a grin and then - further on - a wrinkle of her nose. "My dad's on bronze, but Vesukith's old. He doesn't really chase anymore." And so she'll keep telling herself whenever that idea comes up, because some things don't bear thinking about. Anyway. "Brown'd be pretty awesome. I could be a wingleader someday…" She grins. "Wingleader Janaya, getting all the salutes."

Starting now, as Quillan straightens up and fires off a pretty snappy salute for the maybepossibly future wingleader. "Yes ma'am." Aaaaand slouch. "You could be wingleader on any colour though, doesn't have to be brown. Though I guess if you Impressed gold… is there even a could-be gold egg out there? I don't think I've heard anyone say, and some… well, I guess some kinda look like they could be. But normally the dam knows, right? Have you heard anything?"

Janaya grins wide as she returns the salute that someday could be hers if she gets promoted if she even impresses! But hey, she's at least been searched, so she's closer to it than many who dream of dragons. She nods, then shakes her head. "I haven't heard. I mean, not from anyone who'd know, anyhow. I've heard random aunties and 'brats saying stuff, but they'll say anything." She shrugs. "So I dunno if there is… or if I'd even want it, I mean… not like I'd get a choice, but I don't like salutes that much." She grins. "I'll stick with wingleader, on whatever color. Even if some people still like rankers to have big dragons… who cares what they think, right?"

"Esiae doesn't seem to like salutes or titles, but she's still a weyrwoman. I think you'd be alright at it, when you're a bit older." Is Quill having a little dig about Jan's age there? He lines up a piece of bark on the palm of his hand, and flicks it across at her. "I could be Weyrleader one day, if I Impress bronze. Shards - you could be Weyrwoman, I could be Weyrleader. And all Pern would collapse from the sheer epicness of it all." He laughs, then looks up to the darkening sky. "Though I reckon I'm more likely to Impress blue, between me and you. If it's anything to do with genetics, well, my family's all blues and greens."

Janaya hmms, giving Quillan's observation about Esiae a serious nod. A smile starts to warm her face at being deemed 'alright', only to be replaced by an eyeroll. "Just 'cause pretty much everyone in the barracks is older than me…" she protests, not that she has anything to conclude about it. She's just protesting… oh, and kicking up leaves at him, in retaliation for those flicked bits of bark. Because that's how she shows her maturity. "…you wouldn't be a terrible Weyrleader," she admits. "Long as you had a Weyrwoman to keep you in line, anyhow." She grins. "Someone with insider information. And epic awesomeness." Not that she's naming names, of course. "Hey, every bronzeriding line has to start somewhere, right?"

"Maybe it'd be me and E, sitting in a tree… WeyrL-E-A-D-I-N-G. Eh. Doesn't sound so good when it's not K-I-S-S-I-N-G." And Quillan fails in that attempt to be funny. He huffs, brushing off the leaf-kick with a raise of one brow. "She seems pretty cool, anyway. I've not met the others yet. And I'm glad you think I'd be alright at it. Dad would've told me to 'stop having lofty aspirations, it'll never happen.'" Quill rolls his eyes again, then grins. "Anyway, it's all pie in the sky right now, isn't it? All these plans, and none of them guaranteed, like, ever. There's too much chance and luck involved, right?"

Janaya gives Quillan a very dubious look, followed by a smirk, followed by a nose-wrinkle. "That'd come before. When you… when the dragons… yeah." That. Kissing And Then Some. "Esiae's the only one I really know. I mean, I've seen Innes, but I don't think I ever actually talked to her or the ones before her." Janaya shrugs. So much for valuable inside information, right? "Oh, but E'tan's nice! So you can't replace him until he wants to retire anyway." Yeah, because they get so much choice about these things. Starting with the choice they don't get about whether they even impress anything, let alone bronzes and golds. She laughs, nodding to that. "Yeah. It's more likely than anything that you'll go back to mining and I'll go apprentice in tech and we'll have nothing but memories. Of fish."

Quillan shakes his head, tutting at Jan. "Not mining. Demolition. I don't go into all the digging and getting dirty stuff, I just blow things up." And from the way his face lights up, he enjoys it, too. "Actually, that's why I wanted to have a look at some cliffs around here. It's possible I could set charges to excavate a weyr in them if I needed to, and then I could live sorta like how mum does at home." High up, and inaccessible to anyone who doesn't have the help of a dragon. "I'd maybe think of making you one too, if you wanted it. Needed it. Whatever."

Janaya laughs! "Okay, back to demolition." She grins, and nods. "There's bound to be some cliffs somewhere… I mean, there's plenty of rocks around, and so… yeah." Things she is not include both miner and demolitions expert, so 'there are rocks' is about her limit. "Maybe you could ask… uh… whoever keeps track of maps and stuff?" Someone has to do that, right? "For flyovers and whatever." Things she also is not: a cartographer or surveyor. "One for me, huh?" She smiles, then tilts her head, thoughtful. "I dunno. I mean… sometimes it's nice to get away from it all! But… it's nice getting to see people, too. I mean… I don't like everyone in the barracks, but it's still kind of fun being all together."

"I bet by the time we're done with weyrlinghood, you'll be desperate to get away from whoever we end up with. It's a really long time to be stuck with people…" Quillan grins, then shrugs. "Anyway, each to their own, of course. I'm not sure I fancy living underground or in one of those barn thingies, though. I guess I've got plenty of time to find a solution, though… we've got what, more than a month before the eggs hatch? Shards, we're not even touching them yet, so it must be ages off."

Janaya laughs, nodding. "Maybe, yeah! Especially if…" She shakes her head, not finishing that sentence. "Besides, maybe the dragons will have opinions about where they live, too. I mean, so many of them do live in cliffs, maybe it's what they want." Janaya shrugs, then nods. "Ages and ages, probably. And then all of weyrlinghood to go through before we have to decide anything." She hmms, looking down and past into the woods. "…have you heard anything about that? About… the touching thing?"

Oh, but Quillan picked up on that 'if' and he's not about to let it go so quickly. "Especially if… what? Someone bugging you? Who don't you like? Tell me, and I'll tell you what I've heard about touchings…" He straightens up in his lean, crossing his arms over his chest and drumming fingers against his elbow. Big brother stance, maybe?

Janaya frowns, kicking a leaf backward. "I'm not a tattletale." She juts her chin out, standing up straight. "And anyway, she didn't do anything, really. Probably just teasing. Jokes or something." She shrugs her shoulders in a dismissal that doesn't really touch her lingering frown, but she holds her head proud. "I can take it. Course there's gonna be people we don't like. That's life."

"Huh." Quill pouts, pulling his best surly face. "So someone in our group's acting like a baby." He huffs, shaking his head. "If she bugs you more, Jan, you come tell me. I'll speak to her. I mean, it's crazy. Most of the girls are older - older than both of us. What the shell's their problem, teasing people?" His hands go back down into his pockets, and he frowns. "Hey. You'll come tell me, right?"

Janaya holds her head high… and then ducks it into a nod. "…yeah. Okay. I mean, if she does anything." She sighs, and her shoulders sink a bit. "You sort of said the same, anyway, with Lu." She shrugs, then looks up as she adds, "It's not her. I mean, she's weird, and she might drive us all crazy, but she hasn't done anything." Janaya half-smiles, for a moment, then sighs. "I just… I know I'm younger, but I'm not some little 'brat who's so precious or whatever."

"So then I'm guessing it's not Lu who's being a bitch, but… who? It's not like I'm going to go telling, or anything. It'll be our secret… until she does it again, and I'll tell her to go to the Red Star." Quill smirks, seemingly pleased with his defensiveness. "Just cos you're younger doesn't mean anyone should treat you any different. Well, I mean, if you were a little older I'd probably kinda try and flirt with you a little, but you're like my little sister now, cos, y'know…" Cue awkward throat-clearing. "Anyway. I'll kick her butt for you, if you need it. Not really, but… you know what I mean. Right?"

Janaya nods, then crosses her arms in front of her. Her secrets will die with her! …only… do they really have to? Quillan gets it. People should treat her just the same! Er. Except for a certain exception, which has her mouth opening and eyes blinking before she looks away to 'anywhere else' for a moment to process the surprise and weird and flattered that shows as a faint blush but is also more weird, and thus gets to be shoved down with all the rest. Anyway. Butt-kicking! "…yeah." She looks up at him again, chewing a little on her lower lip. "…it's that new one. Joelle?" She sounds uncertain on the name. "Maybe it's how she talks to everone. I dunno." Maybe Harpers are just all weird.

Quillan hrumphs. "Joelle. Seen her, know what she looks like, but haven't actually met her properly yet. Don't think I want to, if she's like that." Perhaps he doesn't realise what a hypocrite he's being about the whole situation, given his own interactions with a certain Fishboy. "Harpers are weird, man. I think my mum wanted me to become one. It's a good, safe career, right? That's why I picked the possibility of blowing myself up every time I go to work. Just to show her that I can."

Janaya nods. "Well, anyway, I don't like her." That much she can admit, now that the name's been dragged out of her! A dislike which… she's basing on a single interaction, because she is, despite her claims, an impulsive teenager and prone to snap judgments on partial information. Fortunately, that doesn't mean she'll necessarily stick to them! She nods about those weird harpers, then frowns. "…don't actually go and blow yourself up, okay?" Because of course it's entirely his decision and not something that might happen because of someone else's sloppy work. "I'd be sad." …but now she's smiling, at least a little. "But harpers… yeah." She shakes her head, dismissing an entire craft on the basis of two individuals. Oh wait, no, three. "Esiae used to be a harper, or so I heard. Well, she still sort of is, when she has time. But that still makes them weird, she's just weird in a good way."

"Eh, I'm not trying to blow myself up," Quillan laughs, and Janaya gets a bit of bark tossed at her for admitting she'd be sad if he did manage to. "It's just a threat for my mum. She's… overbearing. I'm half expecting her to be keeping tabs on what I'm doing down here, so she can come coddle me or clip me round the ear if she has to." A thought that deserves an eye-roll. "Besides, if I did blow myself up, Pern would lose it's prettiest face." A face that's all teenager in its scruffy attempt at growing hair and the odd zit, too. "E's acceptable in her weirdness. But you know, since we're sharing secrets… I find Lu a bit too weird. She's… well. What I said before. Maybe round the twist a bit."

Janaya makes a face at Quillan, and an ostentatious show of brushing that bark off herself. That, and all the other little bits of bark. Including the invisible ones. By the time she's gotten them all, she has a grin. "If she tries it, tell her it's against the rules." Janaya grins, only to roll her eyes at Quillan's claim as to the beauty of his face. "Maybe compared to the whers…" she teases, grinning. It's followed by a nod, and then… "Yeah. I mean… she's nice… I think." Not that she can entirely tell, and that's worthy of a furrowed brow and a frown. "But I don't get her. She's probably joking about… traps and skeletons and stuff… but… I'm not actually all the way sure they're jokes. It's a little creepy."

And Janaya hits Quill's thoughts right on the head. "Exactly. I don't think she's trying to be… malicious is the wrong word, but you know what I mean? Not malicious, not at all, because I don't think she's mean. She just spouts out some totally randomly weird stuff and it's really frickin' hard to tell if she's being serious or not." He frowns in thought, then shrugs off whatever was on his mind. "She makes even Fishboy look weird. Well. Look. Haha. I mean sound, cos… well, with that face…"

Janaya nods, slow-like. "She's not mean at all. It's almost creepier that way, 'cause… if she was mean, she'd do stuff if you made her mad or she didn't like you. But she just seems like… she might cut your hand off just to see how it looked." Janaya shivers in a way that has nothing to do with the lengthening shadows and cooler breezes of evening, then frowns a little. "You know if you keep calling him that you're gonna deserve whatever he does to you, right?"

"And she is never coming near my hands with anything sharp, ever." Quillan shudders at the thought. "I think he put the fish in my pillow. Fishboy, planting fish where you least expect them. Can't prove it, though, so I'm not going to bring it up to anyone. It's Cos who's getting the blame right now." The little green firelizard who's nowhere to be seen. Quillan pushes off the tree, brushing down his back in case he has bark stuck to him. "Hey, didn't you have bones to collect? The cooks'll be going made waiting for you by now. Want me to come help you?"

Janaya nods agreement. She's probably going to have nightmares about that now. Thanks a lot, self. As for that fish in the pillow… she smirks, and nods. "Probably. If he did, you deserved it." All's fair in fish and war? And Janaya's willing to leave it at that, it seems, either because it fits her sense of cosmic justice or… "Oh, shards, you're right. Dinner's probably half over, and if they have to wait they'll make me do the dishes." Her nose wrinkles, because ick, and then she grins. "So yeah, some help would be great!"

"To the pens it is, then. After you, Bone-lady! Or maybe I should just call you Bones? Bones. It fits." And thus a new nickname is born. Quillan winks at Jan, and has one last bit of bark to set so carefully on her shoulder, before he darts on ahead so there's no takesy-backsies.

Janaya starts to roll her eyes, then pauses and laughs instead. "Yeah, that's right. I rule the bones and they are me! Raaaa!" Which is apparently the sound bones make now. She eyes that piece of bark, then leaves it there as she charges after Quillan. If it can survive the trip to the feeding pens, it deserves to be on her shoulder. If not, well… too bad!

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