Xanadu Weyr - The Lonely Beach
Though perhaps nothing to write home about, the Lonely Island's beach is peaceful enough, a long stretch of white sand just big enough for two golds to sprawl out comfortably without touching. Shells, agates, driftwood, and other watery detritus litters the beach in bits and spots, just enough to make things interesting. East-facing, the beach is ideal for watching the sun rise, the view utterly unimpeded by the dense forest that otherwise swallows the island. Natural stone jetties and pockets of sand create excellent spots for fishing and swimming, while others play home to tiny ecosystems in the form of tidepools.
Another morning on the island! This particular one is no different to the others - it's sunny, hot, and there's sand no doubt in every crevice, everywhere. There's industry on the beach though despite the relatively early hour, as candidates work together to build the raft that's supposed to be their ticket out of there. A woodcrafter from team Bluefin is overseeing part of the construction, directing folks as best he knows. To one side, knotting rope from vines found in the forest, is Quillan.
Maorin is..chewing. It's easy to do while working, at least, and there's a strip of jerky dangling out of his mouth as he does so. Dried meats? Such win. Not that the JAMZ haven't had food to nibble on already. There was fish to be had. /Certainly/ not brought in by Maorin though. He'll deny everything. There's enough vining to be worked on though for him to have sat nearby, working cords into one stronger one. His voice is just a tad garbled when he speaks, lips working to keep that jerky firmly planted between them. "I'm no weaver, but even this is something I can do. Not looking half bad, if I do say so myself."
"Good." Quillan will take that as a personal compliment that the vine-ropes are looking good. "They'd better shardin' well hold, because there's no shardin' way I'm getting on that damned thing if there's any chance at all of it coming apart." He shudders, pausing in his knotting to wipe his sunburnt forehead. "You've been to sea. What's in the water? How likely are we to be eaten before we even make land again?"
Maorin blinks just a moment, and pauses what he's doing to think. The chewing continues though. Slow..methodic cow-chewing. Meat is good. "Eaten? I dunno about eaten. You get dumped off and forgotten out there in the water though..well. You know how you spend a while in the water and your fingers get all pruny? Well, stay too long and your skin starts coming off. Just..off. And there's no water to drink, obviously. Drink from the sea and it's bad news. But it's hot, you know? Your lips get chapped and your skin starts to burn cuz there's no protection.. Heh.. It's not what's under the water that's the real problem if you fall off!" He's so comforting.
Quillan watches Maorin steadily. With a blank expression, as if he's looking, but not seeing. When that wonderful description has finally sunk in, he looks down at the rope in his hands and stays quiet for a few minutes. "And people think I was being stupid saying we should just wait for them to come get us," he mutters, giving Mao side-eye. "Does going on boats make you an expert raft-builder? Woody over there," that'd be the woodcrafter, whose name probably isn't Woody, "is a tot. An apprentice. No experience, green as bovineshit. You've got experience, though."
Maorin grins brightly. He's so happy to be of some assistance. Horrible..horrible assistance. He shrugs though, glancing over toward the woodcrafter on the beach. "He's the best shot at it." No, Maorin is not going to call the poor guy Woody. He shakes his head though, shoulders lifting in a shrug. "There's people who build boats, and people who work on them. I just worked, I have no idea how to /build/ one. Granted, a raft isn't exactly a boat. We're just strapping logs together, aren't we? It doesn't need to be fancy, just needs to hold together."
"And it needs to protect us… from the elements." Not from bitey things in the water that might eat them up! Quillan starts knotting his rope again, mucky fingers moving deftly. "Don't you think it's a better idea to just call Esiae's bluff, and sit on our arses here until they're forced to come rescue us by dragon to make it back to the eggs in time? It'd save us, what, half a day of being towed? Not to mention all this time chopping and knotting and building and stuff."
"The /point/ is to work, Quillan." Maorin sighs, that cheerful demeanor dipping just a bit as he watches the other candidate work. "Besides, doing what we're told is a part of it. You do know that if you Impress, you're gonna have to eventually join a wing and do /work/, right? Lazing about on your butt on a comfy pillow while everyone else does all the work for you isn't an option." His lips do finally quirk upward again though, and he moves the jerky to the other side of his mouth to continue gnawing on it. "But you can go ahead and try. We could use you for a rudder. Just tie you to the back of the raft and dangle part of you in the water."
Those assumptions make Quillan frown. "Now, hang on. I've been out chopping shardin' wood for that raft. I've been keeping a fire going, and I've been getting fruit. I've not exactly been bone-idle, FishBoy. I don't have an aversion to work. My problem with all this is that we're being put in potential danger being dragged out to sea on a shoddy raft. So what if the riders'll be there? We could still drown. And I am not bloody lazy, like you seem to think."
Maorin shrugs somewhat. "If you're not lazy, then stop asking to sit around and do nothing. I know you're working, but you're also complaining about it." He nods toward the other candidates working, looking over them. Being a diligent, they are! "We're not in any /danger/ here. Have you seen any scary wild animals? No. They've given us enough to work with. And if there's anyone, /anyone/, that can't swim..they should speak up. I'm not opposed to jumping off the raft to help out if something happens, either. Stop worrying about it, and just go with it!"
"My mum would have kittens if she knew we'd been dumped on an island to fend for ourselves," Quillan mutters, mopily. "Even if there's nothing dangerous here, there's still Rukbat to worry about." His skin is certainly burnt, and peeling across his forehead and nose. "What're you so happy about being here, anyway? What's being on the island done for you, FishBoy?"
Maorin takes a breath. Really. There's a few, very slow breaths before he glances over at Quillan, frowning. "Stop calling me that. My name is Maorin. Rin, even, if you have to shorten it, but knock that off." Oh yes, there's a certain amount of seriousness there. The rest of that jerky finally makes it into his mouth, although there's still plenty of chewing on it to be had. It has /flavor/. "Your mother isn't here, and even if she were, she has no say in Xanadu's business, now does she?" There's a faint laugh finally at that, and Maorin ties off his section of vine-rope being made. "Just because you don't like it, doesn't mean everyone does. This is /fun/ as far as I'm concerned."
Maorin standing up for himself has Quillan… surprised. And amused, too. He looks at the younger lad, brow cocked curiously, then smirks. "You want me to drop the FishBoy thing? Then you quit suggesting I'm lazy and doing nothing here. Fair's fair… Rin." He cants his head, giving Maorin a look that challenges him to accept… or deny. The offer's on the table, anyway.
Maorin shakes his head somewhat. Alas, that jerky has finally disappeared entirely. "I haven't said you're not doing anything. In fact, I believe I just said that I know you are working. I said you keep asking not to, which is different. It's not lazy so much as..whiny." The teenager gives a grin at that, but shrugs. "Not that I'm calling you anything, mind you." He does stand up though, brushing sand off of the back of his trousers a bit. "I'm gonna go see if they can use this yet." His lengths of vine-rope are hoisted, then the teen makes his way out onto the beach with them. Rope for the raft!
Quillan's rope is pretty much finished too, so he gets up and follows Maorin over to the raft-in-progress. "Oi, Woody! Gotcha some rope." He hands the curled lengths over, then looks to Maorin's own efforts. "Heh. Mine's bigger than yours." Is it, though? Quill stands with his hands pressed to his hips, surveying the work. "There's no way we're going to get this big enough for everyone to fit on. It's still way too tiny, unless we're going to straddle it in a row."
Maorin can only look sideways at Quillan for that comment. /Really/? It's a size comparison now? The candidate can only sigh, and gives an appreciative grin at the poor unfortunately christened…Woody. "It's coming along though. We'll have it all read in no time. It's looking great" There's a clap on the back for the poor apprentice, before he stretches his own arms above his head. "If you're worried abut it needing more logs, then I say we need to get a few more. Needs a few hands to drag them back up to the beach anyway when cut down. Where'd that hatchet get off to?"
The hatchet? Quill pats his waist as if expecting to find it there, though it clearly isn't. "Huh. Oh. Yeah, Fudge took it to go knock down some trees." Fudge being a candidate who used to be a Baker, also not really called Fudge. "I know where they are, though. They can take a break." Because he wants to cut down trees far more than he wants to sit and braid more lashings. "C'mon. This way, if you're coming." He leads them into the forest, to where the sound of chopping and laughing can be heard in the distance.
"If it's hiding in your pants, Quill, we should really talk about safety issues." Maorin tilts his head, brows raising just a bit as he watches Quillan check himself for the hatchet. There's a faint laugh though after a moment, even though there's an eyeroll for yet another unfortunate nickname. The teen sighs, but starts to head off toward the treeline with a nod. "Hack or haul back what they've finished. I'm not real particular on it."
"Haha, so funny. I braided a belt for it, numbnuts." Quillan's got things in his shorts that are waaay too precious for hatchets to go near. He leads them through the trees until they come across the group currently working there. "Breaktime, Fudge. We're taking over. Hatchet, please." There's a bit of grumbling before it's handed over, but then Quill looks pleased as punch as he takes a swing at a tree trunk. "We'll hack. Haul later."
"Hey guys, thanks for all the work, eh? Won't do any good if your arms are too tired and wobbly to hang onto the raft though!" Maorin waves as the other candidates break away from their cutting word, so ordered by Quillan. There's a quick glance at the older candidate though, before he shakes his head and promptly..leans against a tree. There's only one hatchet, after all! "Sure, sure. Let me know when you're tired."
Which, given his pride, is something that Quillan is unlikely to do. Admit weakness? Bah! He chops away at the tree until he's through the trunk enough to nudge it over. Once it's felled, he begins on another one. "Y'know, they had tools to start stripping the branches. Sharpened rocks. There." A pile of abandoned stones is pointed to. "You could start stripping the branches while I take down another one?"
Maorin tilts his head for a moment, brows raising. "Should I take it as a good sign that it was a /suggestion/ and not an order?" The teen himself looks somewhat amused though, even as he heads over to get to work. "Heh, next time, try /offering/ the other guys a break, eh? Might get a few less dirty looks." Possibly a few less fish left in pillows!
"I'm sorry, would you prefer an order?" Quillan frowns at Maorin, not getting the other lad's amusement. "Yeah, well, it's not offering them something if they're already due it. It isn't like I'm doing them any favours, or anything." Chop, chop, chop. Poor hatchet must be getting dull by now, what with all the cutting and stuff. "So why'd you go on boats, anyway? Your family into sailing or fishing, or something?"
Maorin shakes his head slightly, sighing. He doesn't respond though. At least not to that first part. He's working after all, at hacking as much branch off of the tree as he can manage. "My father's a fisher. Liked the sea, grew up around it. Figured, why not? Get to travel around, too."
"And being out in the sea doesn't freak you out, with all the nasty things that live out there?" This seems something that Quill can't quite understand. Who wouldn't be freaked out by all that stuff? He keeps chopping, angling the cuts in the trunk so he can push the tree away from Maorin when it's ready to fall. How thoughtful! "Were you a fisherman?"
Maorin sits back a little, sighing. "It's hard to work and talk at the same time." Not entirely, though the more physical labor does tend to need more breath than sitting around weaving rope. "No, nothing under the water freaks me out. There's much worse stuff in the world. I'm not a fisherman, but I learned how to well enough being around my father." Of course! JAMZ has had fish to eat, after all. He shakes his head somewhat though, glancing over at the tree-chopping candidate.
And Quillan quickly puts two and two together. "So you're the fish-source, huh? Makes sense. FishBoy of a different sort." With a second tree down, he takes a break from working on a third to start stripping some of the branches away from the felled one. "What made you choose Search, anyway? Sounds like you had a good thing with your dad and fishing."
There is a pause in Maorin's work. A distinct stop, while he turns to look at Quillan in mild confusion. "The sun really /has/ baked your brains, hasn't it? You already know the answer, though you didn't like what I had to say about it." There's a small snort then, while he gets back to work. "I haven't lived with my parents in a few turns. Took a job on a ship, remember? As I recall, it was quite 'stupid' of me to be on a ship that had an accident."
Quillan squints at Maorin. Hve they really had this conversation before? He clearly can't recall it, but, to save face, he scoots to the next topic. "Right. And you came from Monaco. Why leave Monaco to come to Xanadu? You're not even from Monaco, are you?" Maybe he does remember something?
Maorin shakes his head slowly. "I'm really not gonna have a talk about this all over again, Quill." The /last/ conversation they had about their reasons for doing things, didn't really go over that well. He stands up, brushing himself off again with a small frown to the other candidate. "I'm real sorry your brain is fried and all, maybe one of the candidates that are healers can check you out or something, yeah? You don't like my reasons for coming here, and I'm not all that fond of yours. Let's leave it at that, huh?" He hefts up the end of the tree he's cleared then, working at it a moment to get a grip before he begins to drag the log back out toward the beach again.
Quillan looks confused. He watches Maorin leave, then shrugs, going back to chopping at stuff. At least he can remember how to do that, right?