More Bad Ideas

Xanadu Weyr - Gardens
An arch woven from the tendrils of a willow tree stretches overhead lightly creeping with ivy as one steps in from the meadow into this sanctuary of green. Cool gray flagstone carefully spaced enables a soft velvety moss to thrive within the cracks, and creates a single wide pathway that fluidly breaks off into two paths of stone once free of the natural arbor. It is a wonder this place, and meticulously tended from the way it seems not a single leaf is out of place.
On either side of the main path expansive grassy patches are trimmed short and edged behind with natural tan colored stone selectively chosen to stack just right. Beyond these are a line of fine puffed shrubberies in vibrant green intermingled with flowering bushes of brilliant pinks varying in hue from the very light to the very dark, which causes the occasional snowy white blossoms of other scattered here and there without worry to simply pop out of the scenery.
Directly in the center of the garden is another wall of intricately stacked stone, this of muted grays, creating what from the air would prove to be a perfect circle. It's been set high for safety, but not so much as one would not be able to lean over it to admire what lies beyond, either standing or sitting at the smattering of benches whose backs are set every four feet along it. Flush to the ground inside it's protective stone outcropping, is an enormous twenty foot wide fish pond. Within one can glean the metallic glint of playful goldfish, the unhurried cruise of fat koi, and even a frog or three among pale yellow and white flowering water lilies and their thick green pads.
The trees surrounding the entire garden were planted to give the impression that they had always been here, not only lending to a rustic look, but also alluding to the beauty that can be found among the wilds if only one might just look for it. Species vary from the ordinary Birch and Pine, but the flaming red capsules of the Indian Shot to the robust orange spokes of the Firewheel tree suggest the spice of the exotic.

Being a few hours before noon still, it's probably questionable why exactly Rhodelia is up, but the barmaid isn't just awake, but she's mobile as well! Or at least, she was mobile enough to scrummage through the kitchens, grab a bag of something and work her way on down the this fine little garden pond. That mobility is all in the past. At this very moment, the woman is currently doing a good impression of a statue. A crouching statue with a hand outstretched with breadcrumbs towards the water as she makes a soft click-click-clicking sound.

D'lei's excuse for being up at this hour… well, he has a lot of them, including both dragons and humans of various sizes. The real question is why it is that he's free of both dragons and humans and capable of taking a walk in the gardens, all on his own. The thoughtful look with which he's gazing at the sky, the trees, and nothing in particular might be some part of it - a walk to think things over, and see just what conclusion he may come to… except, he doesn't come to a conclusion. Or a statue, despite appearances, but his steps slow as he sees Rhodelia there. His head tilts a bit, with a curious expression, and then he takes a few quiet steps closer. Don't startle the … fish? OR WHATEVER ELSE. (He'd like to know whatever else, really.)

The fish are definitely not startled. Those hungry koi are busy trying to swarm the area right under Rhody's outstretched hand, but she's mostly ignoring them. She frowns a bit as apparently the clicking doesn't lure her quarry closer to her. One of the many reasons why she's not a hunter. Another being the fact that she's apparently completely unaware of an approaching weyrleader. Her eyes are focused on the far end of the little lake and the small flock of white avians that are currently floating down there minding their own business. Since holding out the crumbs isn't enough, time to up the ante and she begins tossing some of the crumbs. They're not aerodynamic and barely even make it a few feet away but the call of "HERE DUCKY, DUCKY, DUCKIES!!!" she makes right after does seem to get their attention. And slowly they begin swimming just a bit closer.

Maybe the fish will learn to jump! For all D'lei knows, Rhodelia is a skilled animal trainer and she's teaching the fish acrobatics… but if so, they're being rather coy about it at the moment. Still, there's another explanation for what she's trying to lure - well, besides a Weyrleader, but he's pretty sure he's incidental. So… ducks! Yes, those. There are ducky-ducky-ducks, and D'lei snerks with a laugh at the… duck-call. "…hope you brought enough for everyone," he observes, even as he takes a step back. He is not the food, duckies. Or holding the food. Or … associated with the food. He's just watching!

Nessalyn strides through the gardens with purpose (porpoise?), because she's certainly not here to appreciate the natural beauty of her surroundings or find a tranquil, quiet moment to herself. No, she has reasons for being here, reasons which seem to include a decently-sized ball of twine and absolute focus. NOTHING WILL DETER HER. Except, well. There's D'lei. And that girl who gave her the booze that still has her hand wrapped up in bandages. Those oh-so-purposeful steps slow to a crawl as she comes up on the other side of the pond. "That's a bad idea," she observes in a light tone that barely hides the fact that she's hoping for something terrible to happen. She tosses the ball of twine up, and catches it in one hand.

IDEAS FOR NEXT TIME! But for now, Rhodelia is focused on ducks, bouncing slightly when the waterfowl do at least turn towards her and she tosses a bit more of the breadcrumbs, much to the happiness of the koi since she's still not getting anywhere close to her actual targets. The voice from behind has her jumping, which is awkward considering she was crouching and didn't have much room to be jumping. One foot actually goes into the pond, but she doesn't fully fall in and pulls the wet foot out and waggles it around. Good thing she was barefoot. "Uhhh, sir. I don't think you'll want any? It's stale. Unless you're wanting to feed them too. Then I guess I have enough to share." Now with her back turned, Rhody is blissfully unaware that those ducks are now close enough to appear to be a lot bigger than ducks. Still very much white, but the bigger birds seem a bit perturbed by all that foot waggling as they pick up some speed just as Nessa calls out how bad an idea this might be. "What's a bad idea?" Cause clearly, Nessa's an expert on bad ideas. See bandages.

Bad ideas? In this Weyr? …yeah, it's probably about exactly as likely as you think. WELCOME TO XANADU. Also, if you're Rhodelia's foot, welcome to the pond. D'lei laughs, and shakes his head. "No, I'm good." No stale crusts for him! He dines on the finest, unless Risa's cooking. D'lei glances past to Nessalyn, and his mouth tugs to the side with a wry amusment at her observation before he turns his focus back to Rhodelia. "Disturbing those feathery renegades, that's what," he answers the question she didn't ask him. "Especially if they've got eggs." Not that he goes to stop her, because … well, it's her bad idea to make! Also he doesn't exactly fancy getting himself on a swan's hit-list. Floaty velociraptors!

The smirk that seems to have taken up permanent residence upon Nessalyn's lips obscures her true intentions, so it's difficult to say whether she genuinely believes Rhodelia to be in danger or not. (Probably not.) Still, she keeps up her observation under the pretense of warning, intoning gravely, "All those white feathers are to lure you in." Into the maws of death. "Also, when he's around, bad things happen." She gestures toward D'lei with her injured hand to drive home the point. BEWARE THE D'LEI. Also, beware those birds getting closer and closer. Nessalyn opens her mouth to issue this warning, then seems to think better of it. Sure, that would be the nice thing to do, but it'd be much less entertaining than leaving things up to chance.

"But I'm just trying to feed them…" And wherever Rhody was going with that, it's interrupted by a very loud (and angry!) HOOOONK!!! The honk is enough to cause Rhodelia to jump again, although not into the pond this time even if she does spill some of the bag of bread crumbs all around. It's a big bag. She's got plenty. She gives a look between both D'lei and Nessa before taking a couple steps further away from the pond and eyeing the approaching birds warily. They're a lot bigger than she thought, especially since they're busy puffing out feathers and ruffling some wings. "What do they do if they have eggs? There aren't eggs right here." As if that makes a difference.

"Who, me?" D'lei is pained! How can someone think that he - he - is an omen of bad news? "I'll have you know a great many disasters happened long before I got there." See? Definitely not his fault at all. And - really, it's a good thing that he's had practice not going deaf (THANKS, LEIRITH) with that honk, but even so it makes him stop a moment as his train of thought diverts. "That," he says, then continues "They're kinda territorial. Like a gold. Well… most golds." A crooked grin. "Anyhow. The eggs'd probably be hidden nearby… maybe in that grass," he points toward a few artful clumps nearby, "and looking for them is a terrible idea." Which is why he's pointing out places where they might be, apparently.

"Doesn't mean you're not the harbinger of trouble," Nessalyn points out in a breezy tone, like she's not accusing the Weyrleader of endangering innocent civilians with his very presence. She tosses that twine up again once, twice, and then rests it in the crook of her elbow. Mischief tinges that smirk of hers as she watches the 'ducks' get ever-closer, their clear agitation only feeding her amusement. "You are in their territory. Here, see-" What Rhodelia is meant to see isn't clear, but Nessalyn plucks that ball of twine from the crook of her arm and lobs it into the pond. It's not aimed at the birds, but it lands somewhat near them with a splash. It's an experiment, and Rhody is the subject!

The mention of where eggs might be hidden has Rhodelia's eyes drifting towards the clumps of grass before she's shaking her head and remembering the whole terrible idea part. She was also perfectly capable of getting the ducks swans angry at her all by herself, but the whole twine throwing thing certainly expedites that. Rhody turns with eyes wide and full of horror to the craft. "You didn't!" Despite the fact that she so obviously did. This is also the point where swan one makes landfall and Rhodelia starts backpedalling some more. "You're a good duckie… want some food?" She throws some breadcrumbs at his face, but that just gets another loud HONK and a charge, so she's running towards the closest thing she can think to hide behind, which is D'lei. Bird close on her heels.

"Mm." D'lei considers on Nessalyn's rejoinder, then nods. "Well, could be. I suppose we'd need to compare statistics of trouble happening around me versus someone else. Though, we'd probably want the someone else to be another Weyrleader, just to keep the comparison fair." Another moment's thought, and then he nods decisively. "I'll ask R'hyn." But enough about planning that experiment, there's already one in flight! Or, well, in swim, sploosh, and… charge! D'lei had this great plan of staying out of the way, but… it doesn't work so great when Rhodelia brings the chase to him. D'lei tilts his head as she starts that way, then starts to grin. He shifts his stance to a more balanced one, leans forward a bit to face the charging swan head-on, inhales, and then uses his shouting-over-wind-and-dragons voice. "HELLO, ANGRY BIRB!"

"It slipped." Nessalyn doesn't even attempt to make that lie sound convincing. She just lifts her shoulders in a casual 'oops' shrug, because the bird isn't after her. #SORRYNOTSORRY. "It's important to keep track of how much of a liability you are," she comments to D'lei, almost as an afterthought. Her focus truly lies on that bird, and the trajectory of its angry charge. Lips curl into a grin as Rhodelia goes running, actually laughing when she hides behind the Weyrleader. "Keep throwing more food in its face, I think that's helping." It's helping her entertainment levels, at least, which is all that matters. She crosses her arms, careful to leave her injured one on top so as not to put any pressure on her healing hand. One brow arches when D'lei invokes The Voice against Angry Bird #1. "Fire might work better." Lessons learned: 0!

The swan at least takes a step back at the use of The Voice. Maybe it was working. Or maybe Swan #1 was just waiting for his buddies Swans 2, 3 and 4 to make their appearances. They are outnumbered! Rhodelia is busy trying to cower behind D'lei even as some of the other birds are moving into flanking positions. Rhody also has a few muttered curses for Nessa's helpfulness, but it's also accompanied by some of the breadcrumbs being tossed at the other woman. "Here! You can have these!" She's not giving up the entire bag though. She might need that as a bludgeoning weapon of last resort.

That's right, BIRB. D'lei eats your kind for breakfast! …okay, usually he eats your kind's eggs for breakfast, but the point is that he's got a stare to go with that voice, and he's ready to pounce. …okay, really, he's ready to roll with the punches if it lashes out, but it (hopefully) looks threatening enough. Even without the fire. GLARE. And … it might work, except for those other swans in the wings. "I recommend retreat," he says, his tone conversational, calm, and said without taking his gaze off that swan in front of him. Or his peripheral vision off the WHITE DOOM. "THAT'S RIGHT, BIRB. We're gonna RETREAT YOU SO HARD." Okay, sure, the threat doesn't actually make sense, but it's not like these bird-brains will know the difference, right? It's threatening-like. And D'lei is Taking Steps Backward (Away From The Water)-Like, and hopefully not crashing into Rhodelia because she's also doing the same. That, or he'll trip and fall over her and everything will be terrible but Nessalyn can report the findings after she's done laughing at them! Either way.

Heeeey, now. Nessalyn holds her hands up - well, one hand, and one mummy appendage - to ward off the breadcrumbs being thrown her way. "I don't want any of that!" If they find the crumbs, THEY CAN FIND HER. And she's only here to laugh at other people being chased by swans, not be chased herself. She does, however, laugh as more swans emerge and begin their raptor-pack tracking tactics. "Watch, on your right!" Is there actually anything to their right? The smug smirk upon her lips suggests her warning might be better taken with a grain of salt, but there's always the possibility that she's telling the truth. "Just move slowly. They can't see you if you move slowly."

"Retreat, right," Rhodelia nods and is totally ignore the advice to move slowly. There's big angry birds and so getting away immediately seems like the right course of action. And while she might be an expert at running away, it's more the away part than the running that she's mastered. Rhody trips over her own feet, spreading breadcrumbs everywhere and maybe or maybe not taking D'lei down with her. "Can I just play dead?" Even as she says that, one of the beaked monsters is getting closer and the idea doesn't seem so appealing. She'll start crawling through the breadcrumbs. CRAWL AWAY!

There probably is something to the right. Of course, there's probably something to the left, too. And there's definitely something in front. As for behind - well, there wasn't something there, up until Rhodelia tripped and made a speedbump. Fortunately for D'lei, he at least does understand being slow - and was doing so, despite the fact that Nessalyn advised it. (Look, even a stopped clock is right twice a day, Nessalyn's allowed to be helpful once.) So, while he does bump a slid-back leg into… some part of Rhodelia, he's honestly not sure where his heel nudged… he doesn't actually tumble over. Or die. "I wouldn't," he answers to Rhodelia without looking that way. "You're seasoned with breadcrumbs." Kentucky Fried Rhodelia! Mmmmm.

"Yes, play dead." And so ends Nessalyn's streak of being helpful. Hopefully Rhodelia has already learned not to listen, so she won't end up being pecked to death. SWANS HAVE TEETH ON THEIR TONGUES, YOU GUYS. ON. THEIR. TONGUES. "You do look delicious," the techcrafter adds with a grin, licking her lips just to emphasize the point. "How about on the count of three, we just scream really loudly and run at them waving our arms?" This is directed toward D'lei, as Rhody seems somewhat… indisposed at the moment. She eyes the swans, taking a few steps toward their side of the pond before pausing in her approach.

Ow. That was probably Rhody's leg he ran into, but she's distracted wincing from the wings that are beating perilously close to her face. The whole crawling thing? That was not efficient and so up she pops even as one of the swans nips at her ankle. She kicks out at the swan which just makes it honk more and try to bite back. "Run at them? What happened to running away?" It was a good plan. She liked that plan, even if she'd be the first to fall behind and then get pecked to death by angry swans. "Or like, could a dragon fly close enough to scare them away?" Until an answer comes around, she's not going to be the first to make a break for it. She'll continue pelting birds with breadcrumbs.

D'lei glances over to Nessalyn, which only mostly takes his gaze away from swans, and regards her for a moment before he grins. "If only you were trustworthy," he says, his tone light and seeming almost amused as that part of his attention returns to swans. He takes another step back, except this one's more diagonal, so he's more beside Rhodelia than in front of her. Not that 'front' means much when the deadly drumsticks and wicked wings have them surrounded! As for the less feathery kind of wings… D'lei hehs. "If they've got eggs? No." DEATH BEFORE DISEGGING. "You could hide in the toolshed, maybe?" It's relatively close, at least. It's also tiny, full of spiky shears and rakes, and right next to a compost heap. But hey, at least it's birb-free!

Nessalyn feigns injury, her bandaged hand over her heart in scandalized pain. "How am I not trustworthy? There's only a seventy-five percent chance I'm setting you up to attack the birds alone." That estimate might be low. She retreats in her slight advance, measuring the length between herself and the angry swans carefully. Sure, they're far enough away now, but if D'lei and Rhody make a run for the tool shed, who knows what will happen? She might become a victim by proximity. "Hide in the compost heap. They can't smell you in there," she suggests, smirking all the while. "They can't get you if they can't smell you." Because swans are dinosaurs. FLUFFY FEATHERY DINOSAURS.

Rhodelia is running out of options here and she's already gotten pecked more than a few times on the legs. The toolshed is eyed quickly, but she shakes her head. "Looks like it's locked." But the compost heap is not locked and she's willing to take a chance and run towards the heap. "I'm just going to stand on it and be really still!" Even if that means wincing as her barefeet touch the compost pile. At least being on the top of the heap gives her a few feet advantage to the ducks. The breadcrumb bag? It was dropped in the run and at least has the attention of the last swan. only three monsters now.

"Because that'd be trouble," D'lei retorts to Nessalyn and her heartbreak. "Which I cause. So." Clearly, he cannot trust the Nessalyn in front of him… and she doesn't trust the swans… so… there they are. And the toolshed is - "Of course it is. See, this is the problem with security. Terrible idea!" He shakes a fist at … whoever set up that lock. Or maybe just a swan. D'lei nods to Rhodelia's plan - such as it is - then grins. "Come on, birbs!" Aww yeah. He's gonna be a target. Or maybe just a distraction. "Aren't your eggs getting cold?" And with that, D'lei breaks into an actual run, past those three chasers and to the koi pond - and, yep, around it, with an aim to catch up to Nessalyn and let her join in on the athletic adventure that is SWAN CHASE as he makes for the exit. And probably gets whapped and bit a few times on the way, but hey. What's life without a few injuries?

"Yes. This is all your fault." Let's just reiterate that, and ignore the part where Rhodelia started all of this by trying to entice the birds, and Nessalyn made everything worse by throwing a ball of twine into the bond. There's a bark of a laugh from the woman when Rhody actually goes for the compost heap, amusement rife in her expression as she follows the bartender's progress. "Well done!" She'll even clap, because that performance was worth the price of admission. "Never get security. It ruins everything." What does it ruin? No one will get to find out, because as she's speaking those words, D'lei BETRAYS HER and starts running in her direction. "Oh, come on!" Nessalyn grouses as the man rounds the pond toward her, quickly turning on her heel and beginning to run. "I TOLD YOU THIS WAS ALL YOUR FAULT." The infirmary is going to love this one.

"I GOT A REPUTATION TO UPHOLD," D'lei retorts to Nessalyn. Admittedly, it's one she assigned to him, which means that the angry honks and flaps chasing them are probably poetic in some fashion or another, but he's kind of too busy running to spend more breath on poetry right now. LESS TALK, MORE RUN. Which they do. And Rhodelia can sneak out while the swans are busy with the moving targets, and all well be well except for those swan-bite cuts with compost rubbed into them. Healers need adventure too! And so if D'lei can't cause trouble for them out here, he'll send the trouble to their infirmary! It's his purpose, apparently… but for now, he flees consequence, and if the swans don't give up by the time they make it out of the gardens, there's at least a Garouth waiting there to remind them that they should maybe go back to guard those eggs they may or may not have. Or to make them his dinner, if they really fail to get the point. He's a problem-solver like that, Garouth is! (It's to balance out D'lei being a problem-causer.)

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