Lesson 3: It's Always Risali's Fault

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 splits in two against it. One branch leads to a clearing with a large stone building finished with wooden cladding, while the other turns back toward the meadow. Just before it emerges, a trail veers off to the Firelizard Theatre.

THE BUGLES HAVE DONE BEEN BUGLED, the candidates: GATHERED. Leirith has abandoned Garouth to egg-watching so she can candidate-watch, lurking at the edge of treelines in preparation to shout metaphysical encouragements probably meant to inspire FULL ON FAILURE (OR OUT-RIGHT SUCCESS). The important part that Risali is here looking suspiciously underprepared, given that all she has by her are ladders. « HELLO. HI. HOW YOU DOIN'. YOU ARE LOOKING PARTICULARLY BADASS TODAY, GINIAN. THOSE ARE LOVELY FEATHERS IN YOUR HAIR, DAYNA. » It's bright and sunny, it's cold and still somehow a little grey, but as AWLMs herd their charges forward, Risali somehow manages to keep a straight face and wait. « YOU COULD WALK FASTER. JUST KIDDING. I KNOW YOUR LEGS ARE SHORT AND HUMAN AHAHAHAHA. MY LEGS ARE SHORT TOO. DON'T WORRY. JUST LONGER THAN YOURS. »

LURK. LURKLURKLURK…. As the Candidates arrive with the AWLMs, another pair of eyes watches from the shadows of the trees, because that's not creepy at all. In fact, it's actually /two/ pairs of eyes, if you count the green firelizard sitting on Teinon's head, but she's not watching so much as sleeping. Tei himself half-hides behind a tree, still smudged with dirt from the day's work, and prepares to watch the spectacle of…whatever those ladders are for.
Cielo is here! He is awake! And despite taking a small thrashing yesterday he doesn't wince too much when he comes forward with the other candidates. Leirith's presence makes him one part fidgety and one part smiley-warm, a curious cocktail of candidate emotion. He turns a little of that to Risali, and the other candidates as he studies the ladders. "Would that I could fly…" Or run, without looking silly and jangly.

Bundled up real good to protect against the chill that hangs in Xanadu's wintery air, Mathis walks along with the other candidates, hands shoved into his pockets of his muted-tone and down-filled jacket. A fluffy scarf is wrapped about his neck, and insulation lining his boots. Trudge. Trudge. Trudge. That is one enormous fuzzy pompom at the top of that gray woolen knit hat. Despite the cold which have given his cheeks a rosy hue, a wide-toothy grin is extended towards Lirith as he sees her in the distance, giving her a mittened wave, before that hand goes right back into his pocket. He doesn't see the lurking Teinon just yet, but he does spy Cielo, the smile extended to him softer moments before he turns hazel eyes upon the ladders with a curious tilt of his head. "What do you think those are for?" he asks, whoever's closest to him.

"Climbing," Cielo remarks quickly.

After yesterday's structured lessons where she wasn't SUPPOSED to just roll around in the dirt and have a good time (whether or not she did that is unimportant, it's the principle of the thing!), Nessalyn is looking far less excited by the prospect of another lesson. But she's here! She didn't try to hide behind a taller candidate, drift slowly to the back of the group, and then slip away down a hallway only to be corralled by someone who's getting paid far too little to keep them under control. That definitely didn't happen. So maybe she's sulking a little, arms crossed and that perma-frown upon her face. ALL SHE WANTS TO DO IS RUN WILD ALL THE TIME AND Y'ALL ARE BOXING HER IN. But she's here! She's participating. Whether or not it's against her will is all in the details.

Risali's smile comes in immediate answer to Cielo's, along with, "Well, if you're lucky today, you won't go flying." WHATEVER THAT MEANS, RISALI. Leirith thrums enthusiasm back to Mathis, a wave of sound and smell that swells and fades - not quite gone, but something more persistent, like the hum of electricity that you never quite notice until it's too quiet. As for what they are here for, Risali bites down on her bottom lip as eyes go from Mathis to Cielo, and she points to the dragonhealer when he answers with, "Correct! Sort of." That's a knowing look for Nessalyn though, and when Risali moves, her movements are just a little stiff - her arm, perhaps, being utilized with slight favor and a stiffness that speaks to pain (if that pull of lips and scrunch of nose does not). But it's clearly NOT THAT BAD because she is moving (like Leirith is moving, TOWARDS TEINON. IN THE TREELINES. CUE THE JAWS MUSIC!), and once everybody is gathered, she's gesturing towards the ladders. "Today, we are doing a team-building exercise with one of the more… mediocre tasks our guards take on." Risa's leaning down, shifting ladders over with her boots (WHICH IS PRETTY NOISY), and grabbing gloves. Forward she strides. "You, you, and you," a pair handed to Mathis, Cielo, and Nessalyn respectively, "Are one group. Take these, because you're going to need them. And then grab a ladder each; you're probably going to need them." And THERE SHE GOES, expecting they will follow without instruction, as she moves towards one of those trees in the distance. Keep up, candies!

Teinon is a little too busy watching the show to notice Leirith (what a dull life he must lead!). When Risali and the Candidates start moving, Tei shadows them, keeping the trees between them. Really, it's kind of amazing that he hasn't noticed the giant gold dragon stalking him…but he /is/ pretty intent on his own stalking business. The firelizard is not so distracted. She flares her tiny wings a bit, grabbing hold of Teinon's hair to stay perched, and tilts her head at the gold with an inquisitive little 'mrrr?'

Cielo follows his 'witty' not at all witty joke to Mathis with an apologetic smile. He tries to keep this serious, but he can't help the familial chatter and sense starting to build up. "The luck isn't really the flying. It's the landing!" He replies. At instruction, he takes the gloves and slowly puts them on (with an imaginary, elastic snap on each) before moving forward to find his ladder. "Guard ladders, huh…" He peers around as if looking for their resident BestClimber before nodding to Mathis and Nessa. "We got this." Whatever THIS is.

Mathis, eyes alight, extends the warmth of his smile towards Risali and gives an awkward mitten wiggle her direction. Why was she looking at them like that? The abruptness with which she points at the older teen at his side causes him to jump slightly, but doesn't dim his enthusiasm any. "Mysterious." is whispered beneath his breath, turning his head as his brows lift for the answer that Cielo had for his question. A single blink and he's quick to flash all of teeth in a wide grin unable to stop himself from a round of soft laughter even as he rolls his eyes some towards the sky. "I got that much." Giving the dragonhealer a gentle nudge with one puffy elbow, he returns his attention up front and practically beams lovely cheerful thoughts right back at Leirith, regardless of whether or not she could actually hear them. He was finally used to her bombastic exuberance rattling around within his brain meats and thus reveals in the pure joy of her rather than shrinking back. While there was some interest in where the gold was going, Risali's voice draws his gaze ahead to her instead, a look of sympathy crossing his features before he quietly asks, "You're not in any pain, right?" This was for Cielo alone, peeking up at him briefly before there are suddenly ladders and groups and…Nessalyn. For some reason there is a rather nervous sound that is expelled from him, huffed out a gust of warm air to waft white and fade out. It'll be fine, he decides. Mathis moves off only as long as it takes to acquire some gloves and a ladder, nodding once crisply off to the dragonhealer. Newly gloved hands curled into fists and arms pulled downwards towards his body minutely. Fighting!

Nessalyn sideeyes Risali suspiciously as she makes that comment to Cielo. DON'T GO MAKING PROMISES ABOUT SENDING PEOPLE FLYING THAT YOU CAN'T KEEP, RISA. IF there's the potential for accidental aerial acts, this might actually be worthwhile. It seems unlikely, at this point, but perhaps there are strange creatures lurking in those trees which are liable to send them tumbling. Then again, that seems a little too risky for a candidate duty, tragically. There's a quiet huff from the woman as yet another activity requires teams. "I don't need a ladder." Grumble, grumble. While the forest may still linger in her mind as a looming threat, she hasn't lost her talent for getting lost among the branches. Oh-so-reluctantly, she takes those gloves and starts off toward the trees with a mutter of, "Sure we do." Was she supposed to grab a ladder? OH WELL, TOO BAD.

Risali huffs laughter for Cielo's rejoinder, a scrunch of her nose and a nod as she says, "I'll be sure to assign points, in the event that any of you find yourselves in an unfortunate heap at the bottom of your ladders." SO WHY ARE THERE NO HEALERS ABOUT FOR SUCH DARING ADVENTURE? Because REASONS. Reasons like Leirith has, as she continues to stalk Teinon through the trees (mrring flitter and all) which means that Risali probably (definitely) knows that he's there. And then WUBWUBWUBWUB « BOO. » BAHAHAHAHA. At least, that's what her mind seems to say. « MY MINION SAYS THAT IF YOU ARE GOING TO BE HERE, YOU MAY AS WELL MAKE YOURSELF USEFUL AND JOIN THE GROUP SHE IS WITH. GLOVES AND A LADDER. » TEINON. "Maybe not," Risali tells Nessalyn ONLY THEN. "But I think you might regret it." Have you ever heard an angry tree before? YOU'RE HEARING ONE NOW. RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRREEEEEEEEEEEOWWWWWWWWWW. Oh yeah. They approach that tree and there's a rustling in the branches, a low hiss that speaks to creatures that are definitely in those trees - and may or may not have questionable intentions for those incoming candidates. AT LEAST RISALI MANAGES TO NOT LAUGH when they reach the tree and she turns around. "The ladders can be stacked, but this is mostly to see how you all divvy up the work." Maybe somebody to hold, somebody to shout directions, and TWO BRAVE SOULS to try and corral a cat the size of a small bear. "There's somebody's very special kitty in the tree, and you all get to be their hero for the day." BEAM. "Goodluck."

Teinon jumps and whirls as the dragon makes herself known, though that startled expression quickly turns to delight. He finger-waggles a greeting. HI LEIRITH. …But then the orders are given, and the expression fades just a /bit/ toward wariness. He hesitates a moment or two, but then shrugs, gives a thumbs-up sign, and goes to fetch the ladder that Nessalyn left behind. He has his own gloves, which he will produce from his pocket as soon as his arms aren't full of ladder. So he arrives a little belatedly, catching the tail end of Risali's instructions as he peers with interest up into the tree. He glances aside to try and catch Mathis's eye with a raised eyebrow. If it works, he signs a message.

Cielo's heart MELTS a little bit when he realizes the nature of their mission. "Do.. do they do this often? Do they want to be here?" Either way, pulling an angry cat for a tree is a dire exercise. Ladders. Cats. "Well, we're not ALL going up, are we? Any volunteers?" He peers over at.. Teinon! Waves, and smiles. "Welcome. Hoo. No, this is not the flying I would like to be doing, now that I think of it…"

Doesn't need a… "Nessalyn!" Mathis nearly jumps at the suddenness of his own voice, giving his ladder a wriggle as to make it rattle. "Risali said to use the ladders…" Staring after her, all his smiling has been reduced to a line that soon pulls down at the corners as she makes for that tree without a ladder and without the rest of them either. Cupping his hands around his mouth, he calls after her, "Hey! We're supposed to be a team!" Sighing, his arms drop to his sides and he's looking between the goldrider and dragonhealer, the excitement and anticipation he'd packed in to bursting with their journey into the woods starting to leak out out him at a fairly steady clip. It's by coincidence that when he lifts his head again that he spots Teinon and his arched brow, his own shooting upwards. "There is? Where?" Abandoning the ladder, he holds up a finger of waiting towards Cielo as he passes by, approaching the herder. Better this, than shouting across the distance between them.

Nessalyn summons all of her maturity and pulls a face at Risali as soon as her back is turned, like the adult she so clearly is. "Whatever, I don't-" And then she hears that yowl, and she knows instantly what's up in that tree. She has an angry cat of her own, and she's becoming more and more familiar with their song. "Cat?" she queries of the mystery animal up in the trees, but it doesn't take more than a glance to realize that thing is too big to be her grumpy ginger. (Just as well, because she's not too keen on trying to corral him, either.) "So when we get maimed, how does that work for standing? Do we still get to go out on the sands horribly injured because you told us to do this?" Nessalyn asks as she tugs those gloves on, evidently still planning on doing said task. She just has to run her mouth off in the process. "We are a team," she informs Mathis with a glance and a shrug of her shoulders. "I just got here first."

Risali's eyes find Cielo, his words make her smile (in a way that bespeaks mischief more than real answer), and she offers, "He probably wants to be there, but he belongs to somebody and has not, despite coaxing and food, come down. So we're pretty sure he's stuck." She is, however, silent. Brows rising to the question of volunteers, offering a nod to Teinon in what is definitely acknowledgement and greeting. HELLO! Eyes go between Mathis and Teinon, but Nessalyn snags her attention with those words. "If that cat does more damage to you than what you attempt to do to yourself on a daily basis, Nessalyn, we can have a conversation." It's not cruel, there's a hint of something playful behind the words. But that's it; she doesn't comment on the dissent between team mates, she just crosses her arms over her chest and watches. The cat is less silent while watching, another low, chest-thrumming GROWL emitting from the feline as he paces up high on his branch, waiting for the first contender to come.

Teinon thinks really hard for a few moments, and then signs something back to Mathis with an apologetic grin. He looks up toward the cat, tapping his lips thoughtfully, and then he signs a long string of something to Mathis, before he starts wrestling with the ladder. He doesn't lean it against the trunk, but instead takes it further out, so that the cat is between the ladder and the trunk of the tree. Once that way down is provided for the cat, he grins at Mathis. Tada!

Cielo smiles back at Risali. That's the feeling of unbroken trust and confidence. He won't let you down, no! The dragonhealer presses his gloves hands together and nods to Nessa. "If that is what you want. Two of us should hold the ladder steady, then. No matter what happens, our priority will be to make sure Nessa doesn't worry about her footing." He smiles apologetically to Teinon. "Would you mind taking a side?" And he peers at Mathis. "I can take the other, or you can." Then, there is the matter of the cat. "If this is anything at all like dragon healing, which I am sure it is absolutely, positively not… work with the cat if you can. Coaxing it would be best. But if it is trying to fight you, you need to take control. Don't HURT it, but be firm. If you let it take charge, it's going to do a number on both of you." …. that's probably the most he's ever said uninterrupted in the Weyr ever, and it wasn't even a lame joke. After spouting off, his arms slump a little and he gets a look on his face like '… if that's okay with you. How was that?'

Mathis hadn't looked up that tree yet, nor had he yet too approach it, all he'd heard was feline and he'd naturally assumed that it was something roughly the size of the others that he'd seen around in his lifetime. Although, that yoweling from above does pull his attention upwards, causing his eyes to round out a bit because it was considerably larger than anything he'd ever met up close and personal. If it was that big from far away, how big would it be close up? Swallowing hard, he straightens himself out and takes a minute to breathe. He could do this. He'd flipped Cielo over his back and knocked the wind out of him. He can climb a tree and pull a cat out it! No problem! "Oh," he says to Nessalyn, a mixed expression on his face. Somewhere between sheepish, apologetic, and confused. "You got a plan then?" She might, she seemed to be fairly confident aside from the remarks about getting hurt. Again, he eyes the tree. It was rather tall. Oh boy. Risali's reassurance and the ease in which she held herself gives Mathis a boost of confidence. As Cielo comes over, "Do you have a plan?" Did anyone? "Hold on a second you guys, we should probably share as a group what everyone's thinking before anyone climbs anything. Teinon had an idea." Turning back to the herder and rubbing his hands together because those gloves were much less warm than his mittens were, he watches the hand gestures with a measure of concern seeping into his expression, "Yeah we don't want either of those things to happen," he exhales, then gives the man a dubious look, "Risali already said that the feline wouldn't come down with food, I'm not sure building a bridge out of ladders is going to help, but…" With that he looks to Cielo and Nessalyn, to gauge their opinions on this.

Nessalyn tugs up the sleeve of her coat and the shirt beneath to reveal the still-visible lines of a particularly bad clawing still visible despite the wound having healed. "I blame this on you." Well, Leirith. "You gave me Cat." See, SHE'S not the one putting herself in daily danger. At least that's the logical route she's going to take. She arches a brow as Cielo volunteers her to climb the ladder, but she's not exactly objecting, just… making a note of that for later. She shrugs out of her coat, throwing it over her arm as she eyes the ladder. "Does anyone have anything a cat would like to eat on them? Someone," Risali, she's looking at you, "should have brought a blanket or a towel, but my jacket will have to do. Unless someone bigger than me wants to volunteer theirs." A glance goes to Teinon and Cielo, while Mathis is spared. As far as a plan goes, Nessalyn shrugs her shoulders. "It might not come down with food, but it might come closer at the offer of food. Someone should climb up above it as backup, someone else tries to catch it on its level. Use a coat to wrap it up so it can't scratch you." Or at least so it'll scratch you less. "And leave the ladder where it can run down it if it's so inclined." She shrugs. "That's how I'd do it, at least."

SHE'S LOOKING BACK, NESS. And she's smiling about it. YOU CAN'T TOUCH A PURITY LIKE THIS. Risali isn't your team; she's just here to spectate, and listen, without helping. Because team building. This isn't how well you take direction, it's how well you work together. And there is Bear Cat up there, HISSING at ladders because HE AIN'T WANT YOUR LADDER GIFTS, MY DUDE. And he definitely SMACKSMACKSMACKSMACKS the top of that ladder before CLIMBING HIGHER UP. HSSSSSSSSSSSSSST. EFF YOU HUMANS. THIS IS HIS TREE.

Teinon sighs and rubs at his eyes. Frustration, thy name is Teinon. Who decided to invite the mute animal expert and make his translator the kid? …..Probably Risali. THIS IS YOUR FAULT, RISALI. For a moment, he looks very much like he has Opinions about everything Cielo said, but those opinions are trapped in his head where they're apparently going to stay. He shrugs expressively, gives up, and grabs hold of the back of the ladder. It is an A-frame ladder now because magic! (And TeinonPlayer misunderstood the original description whoops.) He looks expectantly over at Nessalyn. No he's not giving her his coat. Someone else will have to be chivalrous, it looks like!

Oh yes, Cielo is shrinking back a bit from his spouting of instructions and gives a deep breath. A nod to Mathis. "You're right. You're very right. If anyone has ideas, it'd be good to hear them. All of them. Simple and small and wild and crazy and we can agree together." Which is his way of apologizing for voluntelling everyone out the gate. Sheepish smile to Nessa. To make up for it, he takes off his coat. And THEN he goes to that satchel at his bag, and fwips it open. And then pulls out a small, cord-bound bag that he loosens and reaches into. ".. smoked fish will do? Just don't tell Opera I gave away any of his snacks…" Somewhere, a napping firelizard plots revenge.

"Uh," Mathis looks up as the feline attacks the top of the ladder and moves higher up, hissing. That was always a good sign. What possibly go wrong? A glance is spared towards Nessalyn's arms, trying to dismiss the multitude of scenarios dreamed up inside his head that mostly revolved around someone getting pounced or batted out of that tree by a creature practically the same size as himself. Perhaps looking marginally greener for having thought it, the woodcrafter does his best to put a cap on his overactive imagination, made easier as Teinon shrugs and walks away gesturlessly to take hold of the ladder. Blink-blink. Yes, this was going well. Pressing his lips together, he walks over and listens to what the others had to say, offering the faintness of a smile towards Cielo, "I don't know about that, I just…" But whatever else was to be said trails off as Nessalyn takes the helm and offers her ideas, with plenty of looks given to the top of the ladder, the feline, and the tree. "He didn't seem very happy about the ladder, I don't know how he's going to react when someone climbs it trying to get above him." Would he even let someone get above him, or would the foofy menace just climb higher and throw a wrench in the works. Wrapping his arms around himself, he comes to chew on his lower lip, pondering the possibilities. Finally there is some nodding to the rest, looking like he has more to add, but a quick scan of the woods and the mums-the-word Weyrwoman nips that right in the bud. Eyes drop to the smoked fish that's pulled in the open, not minding that he was not asked to relinquish his jacket. "Maybe we can try sending someone upwards first with that and see what happens? Go from there?"

EVERYTHING IS RISALI'S FAULT. We all know this. Nessalyn certainly knows it, and she's already planning some words she'd like to have with the Weyrwoman about underpreparing her candidates for potentially bloody tasks in the name of 'lessons'. There's a roll of her eyes as Teinon refuses to offer his coat, and she's quick to say, "Don't let him up the ladder, he'll just hit the cat and make it worse." An entirely false smile is sent Tei's way, before she reaches for that coat which Cielo removes. "That's perfect." It's about as close to a thank you as anyone has ever gotten from her. Smoked fish it is! "So who's going up with me? The kid?" A glance goes to Mathis with an arched brow. For once, she's not seeking to offend, but she does look skeptical. SEND THE TWO SMALLEST PEOPLE UP AFTER THE GIANT CAT. And then the boy offers his own suggestion, and Nessalyn's patience begins to wear thin. "And what if it runs further up the tree? Then it's a longer fall for whoever tries to catch it, and it's that much harder for someone to get above it." But again, patience isn't her strong suit, so that rational answer is shortly followed by, "You know what? Whatever. I'll just go up there, I'll try once, and then you guys are on your own." And up the ladder Nessalyn goes, TOWARD HER DOOM.

BEAR CAT HAS NO USE FOR YOUR DISCUSSIONS, HUMANS. Nessalyn starts up, and bear cat lowers himself down, extending paws forward as claws LATCH INTO THE TREE and ears draw back. She's not close enough for a smack, but she's close enough (which, really, is just in his line of sight, period), to hear those WARNING GROWLS. Maybe even to see those flicks of agitated tail; those teeth that bare as he hisses at her royal smolness' ascent. But that's fair, you guys. It is, in fact, probably Risali's fault.

Teinon smiles at Nessalyn. Oh yes, he is /highly/ amused. And most definitely /not/ going up the ladder. They will have to decide the reason for his amusement themselves, as he's just going to continue standing there, holding the ladder, and letting them bicker about the best strategy. When Nessalyn finally starts up the ladder, he braces himself. At least he does a good job of holding his side steady!

Cielo draws in a deep breath. "If… you change your mind, I will go." He's not afraid of a little clawing up; certainly worse has happened to him in the healing halls just by merit of being young and inexperienced at some point. "Courage," he offers. His coat will probably not survive well, but that's the least of his worries here. He braces himself opposite Teinonsorry, Matthisand plants his feet. Peeeers up curiously. And the bridge from before? Not the worst idea, but… "It does not seem to like ladders. Or us. Or… what might it like other than up."

A look is given Teinon for Nessalyn's accusation, noting the smiles and possibly questioning their meaning. Adults. With a sigh, he watches the great coat exchange, and handing over of smoked fish. Not expecting that she would look at him, the boy blinks and his mouth opens. "Wha..but…we're…" The smallest. For a split second techcrafter and woodcrafter share the same expression, the same thought, causing time and space to fold in on themselves. It doesn't last overly long, not with Nessa's reply, making the word right again. "That's what I'm saying! How is someone supposed to get above him without him going higher in the first place?" Mathis wasn't trying to bicker or wear out anyone's patience, truly, rather he'd only wanted to make sure they had a solid plan in place once they'd taken time to consider all the possible outcomes. That idea gets thrown right out the window though, with the the woman's follow up statement and her ascendance up the latter before anyone can stop her. Brows sink and frowning deeply, a rush of anger sees to it that Mathis grabs the rungs and pulls himself upwards, to provide additional back up. "Ugh, wait a minute! Don't just go up there by yourself."

Nessalyn is off to battle the monster cat ALL ALONE. A battle which she's pretty certain ends with her clawed to bloody bits, falling out of that tree. She ignores those warning growls, because quite frankly, WHAT ELSE CAN SHE DO? The cat has to come down, and there's no way of getting into that tree that won't piss him off. "You're just as bad as Cat, except much, much bigger." Seriously, what have they been feeding this beast? "I don't think I'll be able to bring him back down the ladder," Ness confesses, pausing juuuuust out of claw reach. "I think I'm just going to have to try to tackle him out of the tree and hope that neither of us dies." It's a solid plan! She grabs one of those pieces of smoked fish, dangling it out with one gloved hand. Maybe she can feed him enough to get up the tree and at a better tackling angle. But wait! If the situation with Nessalyn and Mathis on the ladder isn't precarious enough, along comes Cat, drawn in by the hissing and growling. His tail is twitching, a low, agitated noise eminating from him. "Great." TWO angry cats.

That's a nice piece of fish that you've got there, Nessalyn. Be a shame if somebody SMACKED IT RIGHT OUT OF YOUR HANDS. HISSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS. GET YOUR COMMONER FISH (no offense, Cielo; you probably cuddle real good by human standards) OUT OF HIS SIGHT. HEATHEN. But at least he doesn't climb higher, even if Mathis' subsequent ascent has him moving back on his branch and looking ready to lea - A CHALLENGE. "REEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW," descends from on high to Lesser Cats, punctuated by a rather strongly worded, "HHHHHHHSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSST." It probably translates into, 'DEAR PLEBIAN, FIRST YOU SHOULD KNOW THAT I AM TYPING THIS WITH MY MIDDLE FINGER, SECONDLY, I WOULD LIKE TO OFFER THAT YOU SLIP INTO SOMETHING MORE COMFORTABLE. LIKE A COMA.'

Teinon shrugs at Cielo, still with that same knowing, amused smile. He waits for both Mathis and Nessalyn to get up the ladder, and then stands back a little so that he can better see what's happening up there. As Nessalyn approaches the still snarling feline, Tei's brow goes up, and he glances over at Cielo. He mimes a figure climbing upward with two fingers of his left hand, then claws at it with his right hand with a 'ksst' noise, then adds a sound effect of a descending whistle as the finger-Nessa falls her to doom, until 'shplt'. He shrugs, wryly, and looks up again to watch the mayhem.

Cielo hears. Listens. Looks at Teinon's motions which he admittedly interprets rather well for once and tries, despite himself, not to snrrk. No, it can't go that bad. "They'll be fine." If no one panics, or does anything out of sorts. He glances up at the cat. Well, he will just CUDDLE WITH SOMEONE WHO WANTS AND DESERVES IT THANK YOU. Someone who appreciates his fish, too, hmph. But in the meantime, the best thing they can do is NOT LET GO. No sense in adding more complications to the mess yet.

Nailii is actually on her way homewards, with a rather large brown dragon following in her steps which who could possibly miss that? Voices of others are caught and the dragonhealer looks on curiously while hlding onto a basket ful of bits and things and she glances up to Talanoath before looking back to the others while the pair pauses. "So… What's the good word kiddies?" She questions with an amused tone as she moves on a bit closer and casts a faint glance upwards as it seems there must be something up there.

Oooh, those were not happy sounds coming from above them, no. Looking up, all Mathis could see was Nessalyn, and not at the most flatteringly of angles. "I take it, it's a no go?" he asks from below, centering himself on that ladder and not looking down. Not that she'd be able to tell, but the boy nods in response to her answer, "I know you hate everything that comes out of my mouth, but try and loop Cielo's jacket around him and tie him in it with the sleeves and fastenings. Like a sack. If you can do that, hand him down to me and I'll toss him down to someone at ground level." It may not work, but it sounded better than Nessalyn hurdling herself at fur with all those teeth and claws. Still not looking down, "Did you guys hear that?" he asks, perhaps a bit louder. While he can hear angry growling and that 'Great' which did not sound great at all, there was no way of knowing for sure what was going on, not without leaning this way or that to try and peer around her. "What? What's going on?"

WELL THAT WENT WELL. Nessalyn doesn't look the least bit surprised to have that fish whacked from her hand, flinching back just in time to prevent claws from slicing straight through that glove. It's a close call, though. Down below, it's all, "YYYYYYRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRROWWWWWWW." Poof goes the tail, as Cat becomes a ginger bottle-brush and proceeds to STARE DOWN this monster cat. The variety of disturbing noises leaving his throat probably mean something like, "%&$* OFF, YOU @#$%*$@.'(Look, we can't all be eloquent.) Nessalyn glances toward the cat confrontation, and then toward Mathis. A DISTRACTION. "Up, quick!" She hisses, using this moment to attempt to get past the demon cat. "We can try your plan, but get up here high enough for me to pass him off." While she gets up into the tree proper, hopefully without getting her face clawed off. And then she can make a lunge for the cat and attempt to get that jacket around him.

Also, all of Nessalyn's angles are flattering angles, TYVM.

Cielo wouldn't know!

SURPRISE, NAILII! Risali is there too, and as the brownrider approaches, Risali smiles, crinkling her nose at the woman. "We're doing team building exercises." By getting enormous part-bear cats out of unsavory-high trees. With ladders. The new cat on the scene earns an inward draw of brows, but listen. Risali is here to watch and observe, not to help. SO SHE LETS CAT GET IN HIS TWO-CENTS. Which Bear Cat answers with a ferociously emphatic, "RRRRRRrrrrrrrrrrrOWWWWWWWWWowWWWoooWWWWWwwwwwwwww." Translation: @#%$ YOUUUUUUUUUUUUU. Shakespeare clearly had nothing on these cats, but it does mean that Bear Cat is more focused on the threat below than the immediate threat trying to get above. He even SWATS AT AIR FROM UP HERE. But towards that POOFY TAIL BELOW. Because BRING IT. And okay, maybe there's a distracted HISSSWATGROWLBACKUP for Nessalyn, but it's brief. THERE'S TOO MUCH GOING ON FOR HIM.

Teinon is just going to sit here and stare up into the tree. He /tried/ to offer them a better option than risking life and limb, so he's thoroughly enjoying the whole drama as it plays out. As Nessalyn makes her lunge for the cat, he takes another step back to make sure he's no where near a spot where either an angry cat or (possibly worse) angry Ness can land on his head.

Nailii watches and glances over to Risali hearing her before seeing how. "Really?" Is qustioned as she looks back up to the tree at all the bad kitty cuss words at the moment. She lifts a hand to scratch at her neck before letting it take hold of the basket once more and rocks back on her heels a moment. "So who is going to get mauled first? Shall we make a wager?" This questioned with an amused tone back to Risali. Talanoath tilts his head and rumbles out amusedly at the sight of people in trees and a rather upset feline in the thick of it.

Did Mathis notice that the fish was knocked from Nessalyn's hand? He notes that something falls but at the same time is thankful that it wasn't either of them. Without any sort of vantage from which to view the situation, all he has to go on is what his ears pick up on. A whole lot of unhappiness, that's what. From the felines, he gets that there is two now, and Nessalyn. Hazel eyes are there to meet hers when she look down at him, brows lifting in question. Up quick? "Oh! Um…o-okay!" The boy didn't sound exactly thrilled at the prospect, but there he goes anyway up the ladder as close to Nessalyn as he dares without risking a rather embarrassing head bump. As she clambers up the tree, it's Mathis's first time getting a up close and personal view of what's been causing most of the racket. Eyes the size of dinner plates, "What the.." Oh, my, does he kiss his mother with that mouth? Unable to stop himself before that particular expletive is loosed, the woodcrafter clamps his mouth closed, taking a steading breath through his nose and exhaling it again. As prepared as he'll ever be, he waits for Nessalyn to get into position and make her attempt, carefully hooking his feet and freeing up his hands to help her not only tie him up but also so he can take him from her once he was good and bagged.

Cat is the real hero of this story. And while he continues to, "RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRAAAAAAAArrrrrrrrrAAAAArrroooooWWWWWWW," at his opponent, moving a bit closer as though he might attempt to CLIMB UP THAT TREE TO MURDER HIM, Ness makes her move. The techcrafter awkwardly stretches from branch to branch, maybe receiving a handsome new set of scratches in the process, but managing to throw that jacket over the cat and get him mostly pinned. And then Mathis can secure bear-cat the rest of the way. Unfortunately, the boy is going to have to heft the weight of the monster himself (or just tip him out of the tree), because Nessalyn slips, hits a branch, and just manages to catch herself before she falls the rest of the way to the ground. Once she has control, though, it's easier to just let go than attempt to climb back up, and she drops to the earth with a loud grunt. Don't worry, it's only some blood and a few bruises. "You got him?" Cat is still there at the bottom of the tree, yowling at his opponent, probably communicating something like, 'SUCK ON THAT,' to his entrapped foe.

"Really," Risali answers. As for who is getting mauled, Risali has the GOOD GRACE to bite down on her bottom lip before she laughs at the thought. PERISH IT. "Uhm," she answers on what sounds like laughter, but SURELY IS NOT. "Teinon." That's her guess, even though he's at the BOTTOM OF THE TREE. And she's BEAMING AT HIM. Beat Cat was RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF, "YRRRRRRRRRRRRROOOOWWWWWWWWLLLLLLlllllllLlllLLllLLLLLLLLlllll," (which clearly translated to: YA BASIC (THAT WAS DEVASTATING, CAT (YOU'RE DEVASTATED))) when WHUMP. WOT'S THIS?????!!!!! IS THERE ENOUGH PUNCTUATION IN HIS ARSENAL TO SIGNIFY HIS DISPLEASE? NO. But he does doe an awful lot of growling and attempting to thrash about underneath PUNY, HUMAN JACKETS. YOU WILL NEVER TAKE HIM ALIVE. Which is why his claws are DIGGING IN TO TREES and Mathis is gonna have to put in some WORK to get him detached.

Teinon hears his name and glances over with a slightly round-eyed expression. He missed whatever was said before that, so now he's just… vaguely convinced that he's in trouble? Maybe? He watches her for a moment, quizzically, but unless an answer is pretty forthcoming, he looks back to the tree, because there's an awful lot of yowling going on up there. He just sort of shakes his head.

Cielo is soooo laser focused on holding that ladder steady that he's silent for a good, good long while. The voice of a new person, Nailii, snaps his interest for a moment and his social instincts kick in. Greet. Approach. Signal. Vigorously rub cheeks on—wait no that's the cats. He squeezes the ladder tighter and looks up. "… well I suppose it wasn't going to go quietly," he says, sighing. Hopefully there will be something of his coat left when the dust clears.

If he wasn't concerned of getting his eyeballs scratched out, Mathis might have tried and snuggled the heck out of that puffed-up distraction. It gives himself and Nessalyn the opportunity that they need. Watching the techcrafter closely, his fingers twitch only slightly, wincing some as she stretches her body out with the jacket extended and waits for that moment in which everything was motion. There! Reaching up, Matty's hands move with speed to close the material around as much of the animal as he can, feet and knees applied, and hoping to Faranth that people were still holding that ladder steadfastly. Otherwise, while he was pulling and straining and using all of those secret muscles of his to get the feline's claws out of the tree, he'd undoubtedly lose his balance and they'd both go tumbling down. Or, he could end up dangling from something that didn't want to be dangled from or touched or fed, apparently. It's touch and go there for a bit, particularly when he leans back a little too far and feels his balance shifting. "WHOA! WHOA!" Even the cold of the air doesn't keep him from paling, his life flashing before his eyes (its a short clip really, cause he wasn't that old to begin with), launching himself forward to offset it and leveling himself off again. Shaking, terribly upset with himself for getting up there to start with, somehow, SOMEWAY, that last hard yank seems to have payed off and he feels weight against that jacket to indicate that there was not longer a tree attached to the feline. Like the WIND Mathis jerks the jacket closed and quickly does up fastenings while Nessalyn had him secured in place. As she lets go, he grabs the sleeves and ties them as tight as he dared until he had a bundle of wriggling and squirming all of his very own. Having been far too busy with all of that, he hadn't seen the woman work her way down to such a place as falling out of the tree didn't do more than scratches and bruises, so when he looks up he blinks and experiences a moment of panic. "Nessalyn!?" Looking. Looking. And there she was, already on the ground and he looks notably relieved. "Yeah, I got him!" he calls back down, struggling with keeping one pissed off feline from just bursting through the center of its temporary prison and attaching himself to his face. No eggs in his chest, thanks. "Uh, hey guys? Someone catch this."
Nailii grins as she hears Risali and glances over to her again. "You honestly wasn't thinking that before I brought it up?" At the name that is given she peeks over at Teinon and chuckles. "I dono, what about someone in the tree?" She glances upwards and watches the 'show' so to speak. "I wonder who will win."

MonsterCat is now contained. CAT HAS WON. If he could do a z-snap in MonsterCat's face right now, he would, but he doesn't have opposable thumbs. Still, that bottle-brush ginger tail is lashing quite smugly. WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION. Does it matter that Cat didn't actually beat his opponent? No it does not. Nessalyn dusts herself off, wincing as she presses fingertips to her very sore back. She's still walking, so that's probably a good sign, but maybe she should get her ribs checked out. And the blood that's seeping through her ripped sleeve thanks to MonsterCat's claws should probably be seen to, too. "Go on now," she shoos Cat, keen on getting him out of there before the beast is unleashed. After another hiss toward the cat-bundle, he finally turns and begins to saunter off. There will probably be a fight to the death later, but it won't be here. "I think Tei-whatever should catch him. He hasn't done anything useful whatsoever. That guy already sacrificed his jacket." She jerks her thumb toward Cielo, another name she hasn't bothered to learn.

'YOUR MOTHER WAS A HAMSTER AND YOUR FATHER SMELT OF ELDERBERRIES,' is probably the assured translation of Bear Cat's disgruntled vocable. Something also along the lines of, 'YOU BETTER RUN.' Even though he can't see. BUT HE CAN HEAR. DEAD CAT WALKING. HE WILL FIND YOU, AND HE WILL KILL YOU (LIAM NEESON STYLE). But yeah, Tei. Catch him. What else have you GOT TO LOSE? Risali's eyes are on Nessalyn, unfocused for maybe just a moment before she tilts her head back towards Nailii with another bright smile. "That seems too obvious." THAT'S WHY. She even finger-waggles for Teinon, while Leirith SUMMONS FORTH A HEALER to meet Nessalyn on her way towards the infirmary. What? It's better to be safe than sorry, okay.

Teinon /glares/ at Nessalyn. He deliberately crosses his arms and takes a /long/ step back. That's going to be a 100 percent 'nope' on the cat-catching duty. He makes an only /very/ slightly rude gesture toward Nessalyn, then goes back to watching. Looks like Ris is going to lose that bet!

Cielo looks over his shoulder and frowns. Mental note—learn how to put people back together. Just… first aid and stuff. "He's half the reason you didn't tip over when that thing went helter skelter," Cielo defends, and then peeks at Teinon. If he's refusing, and Mathis is still up… he pats the man on the shoulder and steps into a good position. "This will be the second most interesting gift I've ever gotten," he remarks, opening arms.

"Point taken it would be a easy given I do suppose." Nailii offers with an amused tone while glancing towards Nassalyn pondering if she is alright. "Should we make sure she's ok?" She doesn't know this lot all that well so isn't to certain what to expect perhaps. When it comes to catching a cat a soft ah escapes her. "I forgot to renew my cat wrangling license so not me."
Waiting only as long as it takes for someone below to outstretch their arms (HE SEES THAT REFUSAL TEINON, IT IS KNOWN), Mathis does a decent aiming job and gives that precious package the heave ho. INCOMING! There you are Cielo, enjoy. That being done and finding himself remarkably lighter now, the boy decides rather easily to take the safer route and climb back down on his own rather than attempt Nessalyn's express elevator trick. Rung by rung he goes and once his feet were back on solid ground? Knees give way and he just sort of plunks down right there onto his rump, suddenly feeling exhausted all at once. Blowing out a long exhale past puckered lips, Mathis thunks back against the tree/ladder (whatever is most convenient) to catch his breath, placing a hand over his heart perhaps to keep it from beating itself out of his chest. That was, harrowing, to say the least.

"Yeah, sure, he held the ladder. But isn't he supposed to be an animal expert or something?" Nessalyn points out in response to Cielo's attempt to stand up for Teinon. "Sort of makes you wonder why he was just holding the ladder, doesn't it? What kind of a petty person would do something like that?" A hand goes over her heart, as though the thought deeply troubles her. Then, shade thrown Nessalyn is going to PEACE OUT. She has a cat of her own to check up on, and an infirmary to visit. There's no farewell to be had, but she does offer a tip of her head (and a glare for Risali) before she's going to make her painful way out of the forest to that waiting healer.

"She's okay," Risali answers Nailii with confidence, grey eyes straying back to Nessalyn. "We would be hearing about it if she wasn't. Either that or she's not okay, but her pride tends towards anger, and you'd regret asking." Undoubtedly it will, at some point, be a point of contention between goldrider and techcrafter. For now, Risali lets her be. As Bear Cat is unceremoniously DELIVERED TO CIELO, he BREAKS FREE. …Except there is no maiming. That enormous cat turns into a marshmallow, prrtprrtprrt purring as paws touch gentle to faces and coax them down for NUZZLES. HELLO HUMAN. "See?" Risali says to Nailii - about Nessalyn of course. But she's moving forward to clap with a smile. "Well done, everybody. Now come along. We'll return that cat to his owner and we'll get you all cleaned up and fed." ONWARD! TOWARDS VICTORY! After she gives Nailii a smile, and then takes off towards the end of today's adventure.

Oh no she DI'NT. Teinon's jaw drops, and he spreads his arms. Every bit of his body language screams, 'Did she really just say what I thought she said?' He looks toward Risali, looking for some sort of vindication. Then Risali starts /applauding/ and he just throws his hands up and looks at the sky. With that, he dismisses the entire enterprise, frowning deeply as he flees off into the forest.

"To be fair, I told him to…" Cielo tries to take responsibility and break the awkward conflict between the two, but no avail. They part and he is expecting a cat so he is rooted to the spot. His poor jacket comes down and the cat in it. Does he fear the claws? Yes. Does he fear the cat getting hurt more? Also yes. He expects the WORST when catches this bundle, and cloth comes undone and the BEAR CAT bursts free. He turns his face to protect the best of it from assault and feels… fuzz and beans. The FACEBEAN PROPHECY HAS BEEN FULFILLED. The young man laughs softly and returns little affections to the cat while giving it a proper, supporting hold. "Thank goodness. My, you're the sweetest, aren't you?" He's… going to be talking to that cat a lot. A looot. He smiles up to see if his remaining team is okay and down and ready to go, and falls in. We came together, we shall depart together in victory.

Nailii ohs softly and is pondering but nods while glancing back to Risali, or well after her it seems. "Laters." Is said while she watches them run off with a new friend at the moment. She glances up to Talanoath before she is off heading on towards her ottage and the brown following after

People. People were leaving now that spectacle was over and no one was being mauled, not that Mathis was noticing right now because his eyes were closed and he was practicing breathing while loving so hard on the ground. He wasn't afraid of heights so much as terrorized of falling from them, having questionable control over his lengthening limbs as it was. Once he was calmer, he sits up properly and gets a front row seat to EVIL feline making the sweetest of love to his remaining team member's face. Confused, given his expression, he does a quick survey of his surroundings to come to the conclusion that there wasn't many people left around. Nessalyn and Teinon were gone, and he hadn't quite made out who that other person was before they'd vanished as well. His next exhale entailing that sound that's made when your lips flap, he pushes himself to his feet and uses the tree to steady himself as his head swims. "Looks like you made a new friend," he sighs in the direction of the dragonhealer. All that work and Cielo got all the reward. Figures. Glancing towards Risali as she gives them further instruction, he perks up a bit. Oh, yes, he could murder some food right now. A nod for her, pulling his gloved off and putting them back where he'd gotten them from (CAUSE HIS MAMA TAUGHT HIM RIGHT), replacing them with his mittens. So warm. So fluffy. Speaking of fluffy, "Let's get him home, Cee."

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