Xanadu Weyr - Candidate Barracks
A long, low ceilinged room opens off the entrance hall to the arena. One wall is slightly curved, set against the outer wall of the arena itself. Cots are set in two rows along the length of the room, each with its own small press at the foot for personal belongings. Wide windows are spaced along the outside wall, letting sunlight in, while other lights are available for the night time hours. It's always warm here when there are eggs on the sands, and candidates seldom need more than a light blanket.
It doesn't matter if it's the middle of the night or if he's interrupting a passionate coupling for Benraam is on a hunt and nothing and no-one can prevent him from reaching his prey. Stealthy like a shadow and as sneaky as the creatures he's currently after, the young boy swiftly jumps above a first cot, aiming his crossbow at an escaping form. "Shards!!" echoes like a bugle - a prepubescent bugle but still - as the released arrow killed a dirty sock instead.
No passionate coupling here in Zak's cot for it is just him sleeping soundly. There are also a total of 4 small lumps as well. Three kitten shaped balls sound sleeping practically atop of the candidate's head. The fourth lump is curled up just at his back, golden in color. The disturbance in the night has him sitting up straight in his bed with a startled 'yelp' emitting from him. "Fishy bits!" he exclaims.
Quillan has the unfortunate luck of being in one of the first cots by the door, and that 'Shards!!' wakes him up sharply. "Wha-?!" He sits up stiffly, throwing the blanket back and dropping his feet to the ground as he rubs at his eyes. "What the…" Sleepy eyes spot Benraam… and he looks confused. "What in the name of Faranth's fat fanny are you doing in here?!"
Benraam is far more upset by his miss than embarrassed for waking people. He never misses! A deep snort accompanies him as he passes by Quillan's cot and reaches the one next to Zak's to retrieve his arrow. He wrinkles his nose before throwing the dirty socks away. A quick glance informs him where his track brought him and he sighs. "Shhhh…." is his only apology and he raises a hand in hope to silence them. He did see them but something else also. "Ha!!!" Leaping again, he grabs the short knife tied to his belt and plummets to a pillow. There's a critter's scream and a loud snap sound, the determined boy twisting his blade once. The pillow is dead? Certainly. And the hidden tunnelsnake under as well considering the boy's wicked smile and the splatter of blood forming on the floor.
Wait..what? Dodging the dirty, dead, sock tossed his way he starts to stand when the weyrbrat's 'Shh' has him pausing and watching in confusion. Zak can only observe as the kid leaps again and kills a pillow? It takes a moment for the presence of blood to sink in to Zak's still sleepy mind to realize that perchance Benraam wasn't actually stalking and stabbing a pillow in the middle of the night in the candidate barracks. Still though it seems pretty random to Zak who shoots a confused look to the only other awake person in the room, Quill. Meanwhile all of Zak's creatures are all wide awake and currently fighting over the said dirty sock which was the original victim.
A scream, and blood? "Did you just kill a kitten?!" Because the barracks are teeming with the little buggers, and Quill's mind instantly goes to that dark place. "Zak! Where're your kittens, man?" He's properly on his feet by now, and dashing across the room to tackle the teenaged murderer off the bed, wrapping arms around him when they tumble to the floor to pin him. Is Benraam lucky or unlucky that Quill sleeps in just his underwear?
"S'alright folks, I got it…." Benraam now raises both arms, the one still holding his arrow and the prey attached to it gets red as blood slowly leaks in thick crimson ropes along the forearm. Crossing Zak's gaze first, he tries to tame down his joy from that kill. "I'll be on my way in a blink…just gimme time to scorch the-" Everyone knows the quicker the better but it's certainly that diligence that made him forget about Quillan. Just as he turns his head, he catches sight of the leaping candidate from a corner of one eye. It's only pure reflex that prevents him from stabbing himself with his knife. "Hey….Humpfs!!!" And here go the two on the floor. If Quillan is in his undies they'd better not be white for Ben is still awfully bloody. "Hey dude! What's on your mind!?"
Zak's gaze doesn't have quite enough time to actually focus on the prey stuck to the knife before Q tackles the lad onto the floor. Muttering curses he struggles to get out of the tangle of bedcovers when Q's previously dark words penetrates the last of the sleep fog. Panicked he stands and drags the covers to the floor with his feet. The kittens are no where to be seen! Oh noes! "He stabbed a kitten?!" fear and outrage raise Zak's voice three octaves as he scrambles to find the waylaid kittens.
Kitten J, Kitten A and Kitten Q are by now under the bed fighting over the dirty sock with Nazneen under there too.
Quillan's no weakling, and he man(coughteencough)handles Benraam into a sitting position, keeping a tight hold around the younger lad's torso so he can't move his arms. "Where's the kitten?! Where's the kitten?! Why'd you kill a kitten, man?" There's interrobangs galore going around the barracks right now. Never mind that Quill's nice (sorta)white undies are now spattered with blood. "Who the shards are you, anyway? Z! Where are the kittens?!"
Benraam doesn't even bother to squirm and free himself from Quillan's restrain. Is this how he manhandle? Raising a single brow, the weyrbrat ignore Q to look at Zak. "Is he always easily freaked out like that?" Oh there is more than a hint of contempt in his voice and without even waiting for an answer, he plants his deep emerald gaze in Quillan's brown ones. "Are ya done yet?" There's a pause when he wiggles his pierced-with-his-knife prey, spraying more blood if possible. "I don't see any kittens. There're no kittens and I'm not used to hunting fluffy thingies." Okay now he's glaring. "Now who the shards are you? Some kind of silly draggies's meat I can tell…"
Zak angrily throws the covers on his bed once he's finally free of them. Adrenaline is pumping now! "Where are they!" he bellows loudly with not a care now for sleeping people. Falling to his knees he peeks up the cot. "Not there!" cause they've moved somewhere else by now. Standing he stalks towards the tangle of people that are Benraam and Quill. "You killed one." he gestures to the form on the knife though he does hesitate. The lighting isn't the best in here being the middle of the night and all but once closer he can see that the form is a tad long and skinny. "Well…who the shards are you!?" he demands with arms crossed over his chest. He's not gonna offer their names until it is discovered just who this prey-stalking weyrbrat is!
"Help me get him up, Z. We oughta take him to E'tan or someone." Quill's not in the easiest position to get to his feet without letting go, and there's no way he's doing that! "We're candidates," he snaps at Benraam, grumpy from being woken up and sore from falling to the floor too, no doubt. "And you're not meant to be in here. 'specially not if you're killing kittens, man. That's so not cool."
Two against one? And two accosting with that? Ben's expression changes and turns into…nothing? It surely threatens things to get worse by the seconds. And indeed. "What's wrong with you?" Zak is again, ignored. The immediate threat is Quillan. "Can't you just…." and he cuts himself short, bumping his hips upwards and catching Quillan off guard enough to roll and sit on his chest. "…listen to me?" He knows that given the weight difference he won't be able to remain here for long but he's trying anyway, showing no signs of fears. He has Quillan's forearms at each side of the older boy's head but in the move he didn't drop his knife, the blade eventually tracing a short bloody furrow in the candidate's cheek. Frowning, Benraam does notice it but decides to stay still. "I did not kill ANY kittens…"
Zak is already on the move to help Q get this unknown intruder up so when Benraam makes his move Zak is making him and lunging forward in an attempt to wrap his arms around Ben's chest in an effort to drag him off Q. Kitten killer or not now the goal is simply to overpower this one and get the situation straightened up later. "Get 'em Q" no names yet. Just initials.
"What the—" Well, that was unexpected. Quill's not only on his back, but now bleeding?! Or so he assumes, given the stinging on his cheek. It takes him until Zak's trying to drag Ben off him before he gathers his senses again, and the teen gives the younger lad a good shove to push him into his fellow candidate's hold. Teamwork! "He's got a knife or something." Only when he's sure the intruder's safely held does Quill lift a hand to his cheek, pulling it away to see blood on his fingers. "Shardit! What the shell are you doing in here?! Killing kittens and slicing up candidates?! You're the one that's gonna be 'draggies' meat', kid." Surely there must be other candidates awake by now? "Can't someone go get the shardin' Weyrleader or Innes or someone?!"
There are moments when some people are just to easily woken up, and with the fuss being raised, how can Zhianna continue to sleep. "What the shells and shards is going on?" is growlingly asked as the girl manages to rise part way on her cot. "Someone better be sick or dying if I'mma gettin' woken up in the middle of the night." she points out as she comes to a sitting pose on the side of her bed. "And who is he?"
Benraam saw that coming and didn't even dodge. He felt Zak's presence behind him and reluctantly allows himself to be caught. With narrowed eyes he lets out another deep sigh. More like a frustrated one this time. "Why on Pern do I always have to run into sillies?" There is no trace of resistance in Ben's move for he's completely still now, accepting the situation. "Here…" and he throws the knife just in front of Quillan. Close enough for him to discern the tunnelsnake attached to it and even with the relative darkness of the barracks. "….look at your dead kitten. That's what I was trying to tell you." If he's calmer now, his voice does still betray a faded anger. Oh shards, now more candidates are awake. Zhianna gets a look but soon, and since Zak is holding him, his attention is on Quillan again. "No need to warn the Tall and Uptight. I'm on my way if we're done?" He points his chin at the accidental wound and adds. "I never wanted that but you should put some 'weed on it before it scars badly…"
Zak doesn't lesson his grip but he can see now the shape on the knife is just a dead tunnel snake. "Shards…" he mutters right in Ben's ear. "Q? You okay?" moving he tugs Ben up until they are both fully standing and he shifts his grip so he's got Ben's arm in a firm grip. "What do you think, Quill? He still came barging in here with a bow and arrow! And knife." he adds. "Cut you up and no doubt scared away my kittens somewhere." whereever those guys got off to is anyones guess. "Why were you hunting tunnel snakes in here at this time of night anyway?" he demands of Ben with no indication he is ready to just let Ben stroll on out of here as if nothing happened. Zhianna is heard and barely acknowledged for most of Zak's attention is on Ben and Q.
"Zhi!" Not to be confused with Z. Quillan has his fingers pressed to his cheek now, trying to stop the blood. For all he knows, he could be bleeding to death! He takes his hand away to hold up bloodied fingers for the girl to see, before pressing them back again so he can look down at the skewered tunnelsnake. "Huh. Not a kitten." Does he look sheepish for overreacting? Not at all. "Wait. What the shell, man, you stabbed me with tunnelsnake blood on your knife?! Isn't that toxic or something?!" With his face pale, he looks at Zak - the guy's a beastcrafter so he should know, right? "What if I die?!"
Zhianna scrambles up off her cot, moving to where the boys are with her bare feet making little sound on the floor. "Quill you gotta wash that and stuffs, you cat be getting sick or anything right now." she points out before looking over at Zak then at the boy, "Either of you hurt?" is asked before her brown furrows further. "WHy are you in here with a tunnelsnake bloodied knife? You aint a candidate."
"If you die, there will be less meat to feed draggies's souls and that's about it." At least in Benraam's mind, it's that simple. "Come on. Get over it. It's just a scratch and since I killed my…" And now he turns to stare at Zak. "…prey" Yeah, he was hunting and when on a hunt, one can't just stop because the sun isn't here anymore. He sighs again. "I saved your miserable lives here. And no…" Zhianna is finally included since she approached the group. "I'm not a candidate. Faranth helps me not to ever be! I hunt. That's what I do. All of this…" And he waggles his free hand at the mess at Quillan's feet, the dead pillow and barrack's kind of wreck. "….is a simple misunderstanding." Still no names, even if he caught Zak's and the beginning of Quillan's and Zhianna's.
Zak's expression betrays misunderstanding. "You saved our lives by barging in here and cutting poor Q's face up? You killed a pillow and a 'snake and that saved our lives?" evidently Zak was sleeping while the tunnel snake was maliciously picking out victims to bite. Or something like that. Keeping his grip on Ben's arm Zak looks like he still wants to haul Ben off for some kind of justice. "Zhianna. Q's hurt. Get him something to stop the bleeding with." like that random shirt on the floor over there. "And what is your name?" a shake is given to Ben's arm. "We gotta wash that off your face, Q. Tunnelsnake blood is poisooush!" or so he's heard from fellow apprentices which at this time of the middle of the night can totally be taken as fact.
Everything is fact when it might kill you! And Quillan suddenly goes white as a ghost when Zak - the authority on such things, to his mind - confirms his fear. "I'm gonna…" Pass out, perhaps? He looks woozy, and drops to sit heavily on the bed that the tunnelsnake was murdered on. "I don't wanna die!" Big brown eyes look panicked over at Zhianna. "Stupid brat killed me, and a tunnelsnake, and maybe a kitten too… I hope Kairoikyriath eats you."
Zhianna moves quick, grabbing a clean rag and offering it to Quill, "Sit down then." pointing to an empty cot. Since Zak seems to have the boy in hand, Zhi moves off to get some water. "Here's a small mug of water Quill, better wash it unless you wanna go to the infirmary and 'splain what happened and all this."
Benraam can't help but burst out laughing at Quillan's whimpering behavior. How could he been among the chosen ones? Did Xanadu's dragons lose their sense of smell? "Stop whining like a little girl. You're not gonna die here." Is there some disappointment in his voice now? "You'll get numb for a week or maybe two." And that's a wish. "And for your information, Kairo already did try to eat me. She's just too big of a lump to follow me in tunnels." Zhianna's work gets an approving nod, the move almost unnoticed. Now to deal with Zak. Swiftly and using a catch his mother taught him, he grabs Zak's thumb and twist his wrist, making him loosen his grip just enough so he can escape. Leaning to pick up his crossbow, he turns to look at every one of them, a defiant look on his face. "I saved your lives. Consider yourselves lucky….saved by a stupid brat…" And with that he's gone, his laughter echoing in the corridor…
There is not rebuttal to the whining remark because on the heels of that Zak's squealing like a little girl himself. "Balls!" he hollers. Surely this will wake up one or two more random candidates here in the middle of the night. "I'll find you brat!" he hollers after the fleeing, laughing, 'brat. "Shells…Q!" he rushes over to his stricken friend. "It'll be alright. I won't let you die." grabbing the mug of water from Zhianna he splashes it right into Q's face to rinse the cut.
Kittens Q, A and J emerge just then. Completely unscathed and un-traumatized, one of the smokey grey ones leaps up onto Quill's lap to paw at his hand in demand for petting.
Quillan takes the mug thankfully from Zhianna, though he doesn't actually do anything with it as he watches the little brat escape. "Shardit," he joins in with Zak's swearing… who is suddenly right there. In his face. Soaking his face. "What the shards, man?" This is just getting to slapstick ridiculousness now! And there's a kitten, too, which Q totally doesn't have time for. He picks it up, sets it aside, then wibbles as he stands up. "I'm going to the frickin' infirmary. Not dying here from tunnelsnakes and shit." Without a care for still being in his blood-spattered white underwear and nothing else, the candidate stomps out to go moan at some Healers, or something.
Zhianna sighs and heads back to her cot, casting a longing look at the kittens before curling back up and going to sleep.