Surviving The Road
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Black Rock Area - Forest

Somewhere south of Black Rock Hold in the trackless forests, skirting the Sea of Azov and heading south.


Three days have passed since they left the last tavern, seven days since the first when they were approached by Biran. Every stop since, if they've made a stop at an inn or tavern, has been quite adventurous. Each stop, someone would come by and pry into their lives, trying to wiggle loose some information from them. Some were more casual about it so they were able to find out that Jax and Gayle were from a wrecked fisher trolly up near the Yuwati small Hold. Yet, each morning the pair would sneak out before anyone suspected they would - an hour before dawn, two, three. It was a silly game they were playing, but it drew their prey closer to them all the time.

Today, the pair had decided it would be best to keep off the trail, go around the nearest cothold and stay within the forest. Lan's rational was that if they were too obvious and sticking to inn's, that would raise further questions. If they acted like they were trying to stay low, that'd get the right response. With evening fast approaching, they found a perfect retreat, under the branches of the brough trees. The horses would find little to munch on, with the floor covered in needles and weeds, but it would keep the smoke of their fire from being spotted above. The horses were hobbled and given what oats remained. Either Jaye or Lan both built the small cookfire, and their catch from small snares were lopped down beside Lan, who was going through the process of skinning the small creatures. There would be little meat on them, but it was better than salted fish and crusty bread, the remains of their supplies. The weather was promising to be fair, at least no storms on the forecast, but the trees above would keep most of the weather off if it changed it's mind.

Lan looks up from one of the skinned rabbit-pernese equivalents, "Missin home?" he inquires across to the woman. They -had- been away a while and they still weren't sure which gang was pursuing them. This so called man named Payne, or Kareyan, or … was it Laris' band afterall? Maybe Veski's old crew. It was hard to say, which is why the haven't necessarily gone ahead to find 'work' as which was offered to them.

Day of playing cat and mouse, so to speak, such was their life now. The woman hadn't relaxed much, if at all, the whole time, all the sleepless nights hadn't quite caught up to her, but then she was used to being up at night since her beast back home had always been a creature of the night. It was the sleepless days that were starting to get to her a bit, maybe, good thing dragonriders are kept so healthy, right? At least none of their evasion acts had met with too much violence yet, she was glad for that as she wasn't quite willing to reveal her hidden strength for fighting just yet, she was hoping to keep that under wraps until they found what they were looking for. That way maybe she could be kept with the warriors or soldiers rather than the women and children when they did get discovered by the right group. A check of the area, and she returns to where the animal-skining is taken place. At the question of missing home, she shrugs a little. "Aye, a bit, but 'tis fer th'best that we're out 'ere." Right? Right. "Miss m'daughter, didna get t'see 'er much b'fore we left. An' Maehwa has said Kal's taken ev'rything hard, went after Th'ero… guess they knocked 'im back t'Weyrling fer it." Stupid weyrmate, stupid but so very sweet, daww. "What've ya? Y'miss yer fam'ly yet? Y'got a pretty big one, huh?" Her? She's only got the one weyrmate and single toddler daughter, and Cesran, she still hasn't found the right title for him, maybe family pet or something.

Ers'lan is just finishing the first of the animal's to be skinned, going through the process of gutting it then, ensuring all the waste is immediately thrown into the fire. No need to attract wild felines with the remains of their kill. Afterward, he's reaching over to the skewer made out of a fresh green sappling. He shoves the stick down the mouth of the animal and has it coming out of the tail pipe (or what remains of it since he's gutted it well). He hands it to Jaye, for her to start roasting it while he readies the next one to skin. His pants are all bloody but he doesn't seem to mind, there's a creek nearby in which he can wash out his clothes in. He doesn't say if it's the best thing that they're out there. He's starting to have doubts on what they could really learn - people had been rather closed mouth about much of what was going on. His brows lift up at the mention of her weyrmate getting knocked down to weyrlinghood, "Ouch, reckon he must've been a bit crazy in the head fer tha ta happen." Or straight out trying to kill the Weyrleader. As for his own family, he smiles fondly at the mention of them, "Aye. I miss 'em. I be with each of me 'mates befer I left, 'n I spent much time with me boys 'n girls. T'was narh enough tho…" there's a pause before he admits, "Aye. I do 'ave a big one. Five kids so far…" he seems to say that as if half expecting to have more, "T'would love ta 'ave more, ta be honest. I reckon I never did be havin a family meself when I wars young." He goes about slicing into the next kill.

Jaye take the skewered animal, squatting down near the fire to begin to roast the creature. "D'nno th'details, jus' that he went a lil crazy after I left. We didna get much time t'gether since Maehwa was refusin' t'leave Xanadu by then. I figgered he'd be upset, though I didna know he'd be that bad." Makes her wonder if this will all be worth it in the end. "He's as overpr'tective as m'shadowbeastie, I s'ppose. Jus' hope he don't go an' do somethin' irrepairably stupid b'fore we get back." Because, that would be bad, very bad, and it would be all her fault for volunteering for this job. She glances over the critter-skewer, turning it a bit to try and even out the roasting. "Five kids, busy man, hmm? We were tryin' fer 'nother b'fore this whole Laris thing came 'bout. S'ppose it's a good thing it didna take, else Th'ero'd ne'er hve 'llowed me t'take on this expedition." She chuckles, she can't help it if she's got the heart of an adventurer or whetever you wanna call it. "R'ckon after all this, maybe we'll start tryin' 'gain." A shrug. "That is iff'n he's still there when I get back."

Ers'lan doesn't seem to make much of a comment about her weyrmate, realizing that it was likely a sore subject with the man having gone ape-shit on the Weyrleader. He continues to skin and gut though, listening to her with casual glances up over toward her and the skewer of meat she's got over the fire. For her question to him, he chuckles, "Nawh, jus be havin three weyrmates who be all gettin with child bout the same time. One of 'em had triplets." Which would explain five so soon. "T'was a surprise but now I could narh live without 'em." He was fond of his family and everyday out here wondering if they were going to get killed or had to fight for their lives out of a bad situation made him wonder too, if he was doing the right thing. "Reckon me one weyrmate be askin why t'was me they be pickin, she be sayin tha they could've been picking someone without family…" he snorts, "Reckon our weyrleaders be smart tho… They know we be fightin fer all the right reasons iffin we have to." A look over toward Jaye, winking, "Iffin he be tha crazy fer ya when ye left, he be makin it up to ye when ye get back. Else, he be narh the right fit. Reckon my three be waiting fer me ta return, worried as they be." He's ripping down the skin of the animal, the guts let to fall out.

Jaye arches her brow a bit. "Three weyrmates. Lucky man. Bet they all three be beautiful ladies too, hmm?" Ah, beautiful women, how she misses those, she's gonna have herself a big old, erm, get together, yeah, when she gets back home. "Me an' Kal, we got ourselves a bit of an open mating too, course, I've nay taken anyone else as m'weyrmate, but we have our lovers we enjoy. R'ckon he's got someone to comfort him while I'm gone, I told Cesran t'take care of 'im while I was gone, th'boy's got a good body on 'im, e'en if he's a bit young." The woman gives herself a bit of a shake, attention of the critter-skewer whose turning had nearly been stopped. Yes, well, she probably doesn't need to be talking about her lovers, it's gonna get her all worked up or something. So she tries to think of something else to talk about, she's really not very good with the whole socializing stuff. "Think I miss th'good weyr food almost as much as th'good weyr sex." she smirks. Almost? Yeah, almost, she misses the latter a wee bit more than the former, apparently. She moves to test the skewer of meat, poking at it to see if it's done yet.

"Aye, all three women be lookers, aye…" he smiles, as if he wouldn't have it any other way, "T'would narh be 'matin ta any wall-eyed squids." He has the next animal skewered as he did the first, sticking it in the ground though, instead of handing it to Jaye. The last is picked up and he starts to do the same as the first two to it. "Tis actually rather special fer me ta keep all three lovin me. Ye be thinkin they be wantin ta move on ta have a man one-on-one… but tis narh like tha 'n we be workin." He shrugs, as if he couldn't explain what kept three women from extending their claws on one another. There's a bit of a nod at the lovers part, "Aye, reckon I still be havin a few flings now 'n than, more when I be younger. Flatter's a bloke, aye." He cuts and slits the meat open, eyes lifting, realizing that yes, he is talking about this right here and now with Jaye. She better get used to it, that's how the camp life is going to be.But somehow he doesn't think it'll bother her at all. He laughs finally, "Aye, shellin Weyr sex, dun realize whar ya 'ave until it be narh thar…" and instead they're just in a bunch of trees. How sad.

Jaye mms at the thought of three beautiful women at the same time. "S'nice, havin' a good choice, I'd be havin' 'em all three at th'same time, done that once. It was… delicious." Ah yes, she remembers that night, two women and two young men. She grins, not bothered at all by the talk of sex. "Th'first time I had me one lover, he ne'er had a w'man b'fore and wound up with three. Ah, a good time, that." She's such a bad brownrider, ayup, aren't we all? A check of the critter skewer. "R'ckon this one's done, hmm?" She offers it for inspection, and if it passes, she'll settle it in the ground and reach for the next to cook.

The man chuckles, remembering his own times with multiple partners, sighing as he shakes his head, "Tis true. I be a lucky man…" and that is all he is saying of his weyrmates, wanting not to disrespect them in front of another rider. Still, he seems to be drawn into sweet memories from the conversation at hand. Thus, he is having a hard time focusing on the last critter, knicking off a good piece of meat by accident and swearing for it. Once he gets his thoughts back he studies the meat, "Nay, reckon narh yet."

Jaye glances up from her roasting of meat at the cursing, and she chuckles lightly. "Hmm, what iff'n they make y'take me in front of 'em?" She's teasing, or is she? "Y'know, a guy an' a gal travellin' t'gether, bet they think we're sleepin' t'gether anyway." Well, there was that inn, and maybe a few others, where their room had only the single bed. She considers a moment, freely offering, "I r'member m'first time with 'nother gal, though, 'twas back when I was at Ista, there's this beautiful waterfall pool on one of th'islands there. We was jus' swimmin' at first, then she asked me t'pose 'neath th'falls, an' told me she could show me something real fun t'do. So she had me right there up 'gainst one of th'sides of th'pool." Man, it's getting difficult for her to concentrate on that meat-turning, the result is a charred side of the second critter kebob. "Damn, r'ckon all this talk's makin' m'mind wander."

Ers'lan looks up from the critter he's gutted, "Reckon 'ey might…" they could test them and if they were to say anything in regards to them being hooked up, they could demand a show or some sort of thing, "Ye nevar know whar the cult tis bout. Reckon we could be married in front of 'em 'n have ta show 'em…" he starts to consider that and as he does, his eyes begin to regard Jaye as something other than his partner in this adventure, something other than the tomboy she is hidden behind baggy clothes and the complete lack of femininity that he notes in most women. He was completely into those girly girls, though, maybe one out of three of his weyrmates were the type. It was hard to be frilly in a life of hard work. He looks back down once his eyes have lingered too long, peeling the skin back on the last critter before he jams it onto a skewer and shuffles forward to hoist it over the flames of the cookfire. He offers the woman a smile though for her story and her comment of being distracted, noting the charred side, "Aye. We need ta eat somethin, dun burn 'em."

Eating is a good thing, yes indeed. Especially after a sevenday of no real food, well, aside from the occasional bowl of watered down stew at the inns along their path. Jaye definitely isn't the feminine type, she's got the body, somewhere under those baggy clothes and that cloak that she wears to cover most of her body, ut she moves and acts more like some wayward teenaged boy rather than the woman she is. "Since m'plan t'pose as a male didna fool that Biran fella as much as I'd hoped, guess wouldna hurt t'have a backup plan iff'n I need it." A shrug, briefly, and she's trying to focus on the critter skewer she's roasting. "R'ckon after I eat I oughta go see 'bout gettin' cleaned up." She is pretty dirty-streaked from the dusty trails. And, well, that comment could be taken as an invitation, maybe, if the other brownrider had a hankering to take it that way. She already looked her fellow over, probably more than once, but she'd kept it hidden up until now, when she regards the scruffy well-built man at the fire with her. Dark eyes only linger long enough for her to look him over from head to toe, especially since she does't want to burn anymore of what little meat there is on the critter. The skewer is turned slowly and stedily as she tries to get back into her state of mind before all the sex talk. Of course, she's not very successful, her mind likely continues to wander. "Think 'tis done?" She asks, removing the critter from the fire for inspection before offering it to her partner. She'll eat the first one she roasted, he's bigger and needs more of the meat than her smaller form, at least this is what she seems to have decided on anyway. "Dunna s'ppose we got any of that rum left, hmm?" Yeah, probably not, so sad.

"Aye… t'was narh dumb, tha one…" he mentions as the one he's cooking up roasts rather well, starting to stare into the flames at something or another. Maybe he's too, caught up by thoughts and need going unsated. The talk of getting cleaned up makes him look down at his bloodied shirt and pants, nodding, "Aye. T'will join ya." He takes the bait like a fish would a hook with a worm, though it doesn't sound like he's reluctant too get washed up. It's been a good three days since the last inn and the smells on them were enough to scare the horses. He hadn't really noticed, since he failed to notice the girl under all those baggy clothes. He liked his women with curves and breasts, and enough sense to show them off. There's a nod to the meat, "Aye. Seems ta be done. Taste it…" he peers over, ensuring the meat was not pink, just in case, "aye aye. Tis good." He grabs the second skewer and leaves the third to roast on the rocks around the cookfire… to be finished if either of them need further sustainance. He shakes his head at the mention of rum, "Nay. Had ta trade the last of it fer some more salted meat 'n bread."

Jaye has two things going against her by now, lack of drink and lack of sex, the two things she's always craved, the fuel she seems to run on. "Oh, aye, s'ppose 'tis more important t'have food than th'drink." Just wait until she starts going through withdrawal, that might not be a pretty sight, unless somehow her dragon or her smarts can help her keep it together. The flask that she'd carried around with her back home had been left behind since she was trying to fit the build of a poor fisherman, now she wishes she'd brought it with her, not that it would likely still have anything in it by now. He wouldn't've seen her curves, nope, since she always slept in everything but her boots and cloak, and when she'd gone to wash up before, it had been by herself. She starts to pick apart her meal, pulling off bits of meat and examining them idly before popping them into her mouth. She was getting too relaxed around this man, probably, her careful control of the persona she had taken up slipping away slowly bit by bit. "S'good, hmm? Better'n salty fish an' stale bread." She shuffles round in her pack, pulling out the waterskin from it so she can take a swig. "S'nay rum, but 'tis wet anyway." She comments as she offers the 'skin over to her fellow.

It would be a miracle if they actually got out of this alive, he had begun to believe. Going into a snakes pit was easier than trying to get out. It was going to be tricky if they were to escape with their lives. A little rum would've been nice right about then, but they couldn't risk calling to their firelizards incase there were spies in the trees. "We be almost ta the next cothold. Reckon we can try fer some rum thar…" though what they would have left to trade with was little. Nothing more than a patched saddle bag, their weapons, and some other useless junk that seemed a waste of energy to carry around. He's well into eating his own meal, the taste greasy but at least it was better than the same old thing day after day. A bit of grease washed down into his beard and he swept it aside with a sleeve, nodding and 'mmmhrmming' to her comment about it being good. He reaches over for the water skin once she passes it, taking a sip before giving it over. It wasn't long before the meat had run out, including the third one in which he cooked and split. He mostly sat in silence eating and brooding, like he would from time to time in this long adventure. It'd been almost a month now since they left on the ship and sunk it on the rocks. Finally, with the meat consumed, he throws the skewers in the fire and any other greasy remains. Packing up his knife, he points in the direction of the creek, "Better we go now and not in the complete dark." It'd be cold, but it was something.


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