Lesson 5: Dogs and Clues

Xanadu Weyr - Deep Forest
The wooded areas closer to Xanadu Weyr represent a compromise between man and mother nature, but to the north and west, no such arrangements have been made. The deep woods between the Weyr and the mountains are less traveled, the wider paths fit for man and beast less present. The noises of mankind are barely audible here, brief ghosts on the wind, and the quiet thrum of forest life presses in on all sides. The snapping of a twig, a bird's cry, the low cadence of insects; all of these things seem louder. Closer. The deeper one moves into the trees, the more it becomes obvious that one passes through nature only at her allowance.
The cover of trees is more severe in this area of the wood and only occasional shafts of sunlight lance down through the canopy, the sky visible in brief patches. A rough path has been blazed back towards the Weyr. It does not appear to be a heavily frequented path, but the few who have chosen to pass through this area appear to use it more than other avenues available. Only the very foolish or the very experienced would ever wander far from the path.

If you come out to the woods today… you're in for a big surprise! At least, if you're going to be surprised by seeing D'lei sitting on a fallen log waiting for candidates to arrive, with a droopy hound that seems to have half-melted into wrinkles sprawled at his feet and lazily demolishing some poor, defenseless stick. He's probably not going to be terribly surprised by the candidates, though, given that he went and sent an AWLM there to tell them where to go and what trail out into the woods to take! So… here he is, on a day that's partly-cloudy and rather chill, and here he waits.

Meion comes out with that small group of candidates, looking somewhat-the-worse for her recent cliff-scaling adventure. Both hands are wrapped with snug bandages to help keep swelling down, and she's been informed that she will make use of the walking stick she has, on loan from one of the healers. Still, she's in good spirits - even if occasional steps come accompanied with a little wince, and her hips and legs look a little stiff.

Cadidates are not teddy bears, and they are PROBABLY not having a picnic … but Ajral doesn't know, maybe they are. She hasn't brought any food, though. She's dressed kind of lazily for the chill, like someone used to weather much colder than Xanadu's might be, and looks very peacefully curious. Good luck ever seeing Ajral look excited about anything, but she tries to emote a little bit.

Risali seems to have taken it upon herself to be with the group of candidates making their way forward, a low conversation being exchanged with one of the assistant weyrlingmasters before she breaks away from the crowed to join D'lei. She doesn't sit (mostly because it's probably futile anyway), but she does drag fingers along the weyrleader's shoulder as she moves to stand beside him, careful of dogs, hands dropping to her sides when she turns to watch the incoming crowd. Beneath her cape (yep, STILL GOT IT). Because Leirith.

Elayne has wound the light fabric of her white scarf up and over her head as well as around her neck, hoping to avoid any drips from trees that have taken on moisture, the pale pink of her jacket only helping to make her a pastel cloud drifting through the forest. When she finally reaches the intended destination, she stops somewhere in the middle of the group of Candidates, only to surge forward again at the sight of the hound and belatedly realise that she's moving and hands are reaching. She abruptly halts and knots her arms, clamping her hands under her arms while she stares at her feet, listening, yet decidedly more pink than her jacket.

D'lei looks up as a crunch underfoot makes noise, and lifts his hand in a wave. His other hand's busy, what with the leash of that dog… who, really, doesn't seem to care in the slightest about the new arrivals. This stick deserves to be mulch. It will become so. Gnawr, gnawr, gnawr. The dog doesn't care even when Risali comes close, but at least D'lei looks up to her with a soft smile as she comes to a place beside him before he looks back to the candidates, who… okay. "So!" D'lei says, not rising but using the attention-voice. "Hopefully nobody got lost on the way here… but that can be a risk, in these woods. There's a lot of paths and things that look like them, and a small confusion can lead you ever-deeper instead of getting you out." Not ominous at all. "Which is why we're here today!"

Meion listens attentively, hanging slightly back in that cluster of fellow candidates. She leans a little on her walking stick, and pulls a small piece of dried fruit from an inside pocket of her jacket, chewing it slowly while she listens and takes in her surroundings. This part of the forest is deeper than she's used to going, and it's a little unsettling.

Crunch, crunch, crunch… Footsteps come down the path. Is it a lagging Candidate? NOPE. It's coming from the wrong way! It is, in fact, a wild herder, tromping down the path on the way back to the weyr from parts unknown. What was his purpose this deep in the forest? Anyone's guess! But he's carrying a small pack and wearing his heavy winter clothes, so it must not have been /terribly/ labor-intensive. As he hears voices and footsteps on the path ahead, his steps slow, and he pauses a short distance away. He glances to either side, considering… But even Tei is not dumb enough to wander off into the unmarked forest just to get around a pack of Riders and their potential proteges. So he just sort of stops there and waits. He's certainly not going to barge into the middle of the proceedings just to get by.

Confident Ajral is toward the front, smiling at the dog — to likely everyone's relief, she left her own pup behind for this adventure, and hopefully he stays asleep and not eating linens — and looping her thumbs into the belt-buckles of her pants. It's a good mulching job going on there. When her glance moves to D'lei, she offers up a couple of slow nods as acknowledgement. Yes, getting lost lessons, sounds fantastic! But really: she gets lost in Xanadu all the time and has been there for six months.

Nailii is on eof those AWLM that happens to be around for the 'fun' so to speak. She doesn't have a problem being in the deep forest, she tends to wander actually so this is a worry to her. She tilts her head while glancing over the ones that have joined in for the lesson and is looking over to Teinon once he appears thanks to the crunchcrunch of movement.

Turning, Elayne actually looks back over her shoulder and down the path that they've just travelled along, as if expecting some poor lost soul to finally catch up with them, and while she may not find a Candidate, she does discover Teinon and lift a hand in a polite wave that seems more acknowledgement than greeting. She clasps her hands behind her back now and looks back to D'lei, doing her best to watch the Weyrleader and not the hound, though her gaze strays every few seconds or so in what is a losing battle.

"Except," Risali adds on, still void of usual smiles and that hint of welcome, "instead of teaching you how to get lost, we are going to teach you how to find somebody." Grey eyes find Teinon, settle for one, two, three moments, and then the Weyrwoman looks away, to Nailii who gets a dip of her head in greeting, and then back to the candidates. But D'lei has the much more desirable voice (or MAYBE RISA JUST LIKES TO HEAR HIM TALK), so the Weyrwoman lapses back into silence, allowing D'lei to continue.

D'lei nods to Risali, agreeing with what she says. "Exactly." He smiles, and adjusts his seat slightly. "We've arranged to get someone lost, and that trail passes through this very spot. It's up to you," a gesture of his free hand to the candidates, "to find them. So!" Another smile, and then -with neither further explanation nor any acknowledgement of that dog that Elayne and Ajral have both certainly noticed - he asks, "Anyone have an idea how to start?"

Ajral looks at D'lei. Looks at the dog. She has a theory, here, though it's not as if she would know how to use it, she's just a little bit knowledgable about dogs! "Do we have any of their stuff?" she asks quietly, but not so quietly that she can't be heard, considering she is toward the front of the group.

Meion looks around her, considering. "We could look for spots where something's gone off the path?" Because, of course, they'd be obvious. And nothing except lost people ever leave the path, here in the woods.

Teinon catches Nailii looking at him. And then… horror of horrors. Risali is looking at him! He flushes a kind of red color and takes a deliberate step back and away from what they're doing. As though he wasn't already staying separate enough. He glances back up the path, possibly thinking about heading back… But either this is the only path he actually knows, or he has some other reason to need to go /this/ direction, because he continues waiting, now watching his toes instead of the Candidate group.

Nailii sends a smile and a wave back to Risali, yep she sees you over tharin your purdy cape. As for the reason they are all here, well she heard some of the bits and bobs over the why and looks on curious like before glancing over the area pondering it seems. She hears the suggestions and looks back to Risali and D'lei.

"If someone with a firelizard knows the person who's lost, it would be, in theory, be relatively simple to ask the firelizard to locate them, if only to get a look at the surrounding area," Elayne offers, squaring her shoulders. She shrugs one of them immediately after, as though to dismiss what she's said, and resumes observing the hound as if she hasn't spoken at all.

It's decided. Nailii needs a cape. LEIRITH IS ORDERING ONE FOR YOU. Risali does not answer Ajral's question, but she does nod to Meion - and there. There's a hint of smile. "Yes, that is correct. But spotting signs can be tricky, especially to the untrained eye." Grey eyes blink to Elayne and there's another whisper of a smile, but Risali tilts her head towards D'lei, as if allowing the Weyrleader the rest of those answers (or those elaborations) so as to not be talking over (or against) him. DO THEY HAVE SOMETHING OF THE 'VICTIM'S'? MYSTERY~

There are definitely no wild felines or stray herdbeasts crashing through these woods, and that would certainly not be quite possibly the reason that Teinon is here in the first place! Nope. D'lei nods to what Risali says to Meion, then shifts his attention to Elayne. "You've done so." Via the magic of interactive scenario-telling! "There's some fairly dense trees, and a few scraggly bushes." Maybe not the most helpful, but hey. Having answered that, D'lei looks to Ajral, and nods. He reaches behind him and pulls out a small wooden box, which he extends toward her. Inside, there's… some crumpled fabric, of a rather personal nature. AT LEAST IT'LL HAVE A STRONG SCENT.

Rolling with it, Ajral takes the box and … does not pick up what's inside, because a) that's probably gross, b) she doesn't want to get her scent on it, necessarily. "Hey, puppy," she says to the lazy hound, "I don't know if you're trained to do this but I hope you are — want to come here and smell something?" She is making it sound like this is A GIFT beause of her cooing talking-to-dogs voice, but then she says to the humans, especially D'lei and Risali, "I have no idea how to tell the dog to look for the person, though." Innocent shrug. "But I know that dogs can find people with their smells …" It's a start!

Meion nods, looking around her to see if she can spot the signs of broken vegetation or trampled underbrush. She spots a few squirrels, a wild firelizard sunning itself on a high branch, more than a dozen things that might be paths in the undergrowth… She looks back to Risali. "We… don't know enough to spot those signs, do we?" It's not so much a question as an admission of defeat.

Nailii does like capes! She might even have one or two but right now her flight jacket is helping with the cooler weather as her hands are tucked into the pockets. She just peers at D'lei as the box is produced and a brow lifts before she goes back to watching. "Is it a search canine?" So comes the question from the back row. Well now she is curious. Either way this could get a bit amusing let's face it.

Risali's answering smile is quiet with amusement, a scrunch of her nose, a hint of mischief as she breathes, "Not yet." But she BELIEVES IN YOU, MEION. "And it's a little too complicated to teach in one sitting, given the variations, but the main things are to positively identify your track, keep the track-line between you and a source of light, observe and track as far out as you can recognize the sign, never move further than the last known one, don't contaminate the tracks by stepping in them, and never track faster than you're comfortable with. The best times are to do it before noon, and as the sun begins to set because the shadows get longer, so it's easier to spot the details of impressions." But she gestures towards the dog, towards Ajral offering the sniff of delicate belongings. "But there are other means to track. Firelizards, as Elayne said, or this guy." AJral's admittance earns her another smile, but Risali's head just tilts back to the Weyreleader again.

D'lei extends the canine's leash out toward Ajral as well, letting her take full control of Operation Doggo Sniffs. The hound whuffs, somewhere between a bay and a sigh, and he rolls laboriously up to his feet to give Ajral a mournful look… then step closer to look at the box. Is it food? …no. Does he really care, if it's not food? The candidate is given another of those sad-eye looks, because it's like she's going to make him work… or at least, attempt it. If she can find the magic words, that is! But… D'lei does look up at Nailii's question, and smiles. "A retired one… but yes."

Sorry, puppy. Ajral, who now has your leash, was mean and made you move. She will definitely reward you later with so much petting and a treat, it will be fine. There will be food. Seems like work first though. Ajral may be quaking slightly at the pressure INTERNALLY, but she has to keep the facade of not being concerned because she drops it approximately once a turn. So: everything is fine! She tries boring first, and says as confidently as possible — uptalking doesn't work with dogs, but this is a guess okay: "Find."

Meion watches curiously as Ajral tries to coax the canine into activity. She's familiar with the general idea of working dogs, but she's never really been in a situation to watch one practice its trade before, and she studies it for a clue of just how it manages that search.

At least it seems to be a live-person search dog and not a cadaver dog. SMALL MERCIES, RIGHT? But Risali actually just watches, her attention focused on dog and Ajral in silence.

Another doleful look to Ajral, and then the hound lowers his head to sniff. SNURF. SNOOOFF. SNORT- okay, seriously, is he smelling it, or trying to inhale it through a nostril? At least he's, uh… motivated. And diligent. And - huuuf! - exhaling, with a mighty sigh of breath that blows the underwear straight out of that box to spread their leg-holes and fly like the most terrible lace-edged butterfly. Not that the canine cares, nope. He's got his scent, and now he puts his nose to the ground to start sniffing and snuffling around in search of its match.

Did anyone actually clarify that we were not using a cadaver dog? Ajral has just been assuming. And apparently assuming correct wording, too. "You will definitely get treats later," she tells the dog, then tries not to laugh as whoever's underthings those are are lost to the forest. It … doesn't really work, but at least she's soft as not to distract him! "I don't mind hanging on," she says to the nearest candidate, in this case it's Meion, "But if you want to do something and feel like being tugged around for a bit …" She looked interested, okay. "Either way I have to give him a treat later." She's still speaking kind of quietly, because the hound is woring.

Meion steps up to Ajral tentatively. "Could… you show me how to do that?" Because clearly, Ajral is the expert - after all, she's the one who activated the doggo.

Did anyone actually clarify that we were not using a cadaver dog? Ajral has just been assuming. And apparently assuming correct wording, too. "You will definitely get treats later," she tells the dog, then tries not to laugh as whoever's underthings those are are lost to the forest. It … doesn't really work, but at least she's soft as not to distract him! "Oh, sure," she tells Meion; she HAS a dog, so walking on a leash she's got, better share the love: "Hang on to the leash like so," one hand through the loop at the end, other hand closer to the dog's neck, about 3 feet back, and after doing a little gentle-motion 'like this' with her hands, offers the leash to Meion, "He's in charge, though, try not to pull back on him or he might get confused. If he starts running, uh, so are we, but I think they usually don't." Unless it smells like death suddenly or something. She's still speaking kind of quietly, because the hound is working.

Nailii grins and nods as she getsthe answer from D'lei and is curiously watching as Ajral takes hold of the leash and is atemping to get the canine to do some work. She's never actually done such things with a canine before, and let's face it other then her wanderings to search for herbs and the like she doesn't end to be on many searching type trips. She wanders forward a bit as the canine starts to wander sniffing along and more so watching how the candidates are working with one another and the like.

Risali's attention, similarly, is focused on the candidates and their doggo. There's a quiet smile that comes, a dip of her body as she leans to whisper something to D'lei, to meet his eyes with a scrunch of nose and a bigger smile even as those underwear go flying and - ohp. Risali looks UNAMUSED and then so very amused as she presses one hand over her lips in an attempt to not laugh. Her eyes are laughing though when they focus back to the two in charge. Just don't trust her to speak yet.

Meion gives a Very Serious nod to Ajral, looping the leash around one hand - and it's like she planned for it, with the slight compress bandages from her rock-climbing endeavors helping to give her a good secure grip. Leash in one hand, walking-stick in the other, she's ready to follow wherever that search-dog leads!

See, this is part of why they're using the retired search dog. He's not only free on weekdays because he's no longer on duty, but - added bonus - he's had enough practice over the years that he could pretty much do this in his sleep, and he probably cares less about the actual word being said and more about the tone of yes, worky that implies those future treats with which he can be lazy and fed. Sniff. Snurf. Sneff… poing! The canine's tail goes up behind him, like a raised flag of found it, and he starts into a more directed sort of motion, down along the path - and then veering off it - with his nose to the ground. D'lei just lets him - and the candidates - take the lead. He's got whispers from Risali to hear, after all! And arms to put around her as they're passed, along with a glance back to Nailii and a grin as he wiggles his free fingers. They'll just take up the rear, they will!

Rinian is late, having something her Journeyman demanded absolutely must be done. She runs down the trail from the forest weyrs and into the deep forest, looking for the training group and hopeing she hasn't missed it entirely.

Teinon is still linger. You know, LIKE A CREEPER. But as the whole party starts to move off, he sneaks a peek up at them, then steps off the trail to let them go by. He definitely has a touch of curiosity sparking in his expression as the dog passes by… but he doesn't get pulled up in their wake. Instead, he just kind of watches them go, maybe a touch wistfully, and then points himself toward the weyr and starts trudging home. (He does spare a quick finger-waggle for the late Rinian, but he keeps on walking.)

Nailii is totes fine following from behind, better to see what happens right? Of course! "So… Who was the one to get the item into the box?" She questiones with an amused tone to both D'lei and Risali as she glances to the pair curious like. Though seeing what it was she might also be wondering who it belonged too, or did someone los a pair in the wash and then get asked to be a part of the search? Possible! She will slightly point at D'lei's wiggling fingers. "After what I saw in the box and the fact you was holding it keep your fingers to yourself." Her tone is teasing, really. Her gaze is back to the ones they follow to see what may or may not happen. A wave is sent after Teinon as she caught him pointing in the other direction back towards the Weyr it seems.

Risali presses in against D'lei's side, her arm coming to rest slung low around his hips, thumb hooking into the loop of his pants. She looks around the Weyrleader to Nailli (with a smile), past her to Rinian. One hand goes up in hello, a silent greeting that's followed by a sweep of her hand towards Meion and her retired-but-still-important hound companion as if to say, 'Come along!' "We're tracking," she informs Rinian. KEEP UP! But then she's turning a wicked little expression up onto the Weyrleader. "Do you need some ice, baby?" For that SICK NAILII BURN, SHE MEANS. And maybe that's why she's biting down on her bottom lip and giving Nailii the kind of look that GIVES MENTAL HIGHFIVES because SHE AIN'T NEED NO DRAGON TO COMMUNICATE.

D'lei is struck! Wounded! So injured, which is why he puts that hand over his heart in mock-offense for an entire three seconds before he grins to Nailii. "D'merial will be disappointed by that," he says. "He was so hoping they'd be for him." Among a variety of other things, but shh. Here's Rinian, heading past, and D'lei just nods to her as she goes. "…he put them in himself," he adds, conversationally. "All I told him was to provide a sample scent." And D'merial did WHAT D'MERIALS DO. But hey, at least it's working, with the hound leading them along at a pace that's reasonable - but maybe a bit fast for a computercrafter with sore hands and a walking-stick, which has Meion both rather without the spare energy for conversation - and quite willing to hand off that tracking-hound's to whoever shows the slightest interest!

Rinian hasn't a clue what is going on, but she slows to a trot and then falls in behind other candidates. Hopefully as they go she'll be able to figure out what they are doing, so as not to interrupt the lesson.

Between them, Ajral and Meion - with a few bits from some of the other candidates - fill Rinian in on the situation. They're finding a missing person, and this is a search dog. He's been given the scent - that part seems to trigger a lot of snickers, for some reason - and now he's leading them along the trail. Presumably, at the end of it… they'll find their quarry! And/or the next phase of this lesson.

Nailii can only offer a grin and wink back to Risali before chuckling softly after D'lei's little 'show'. "Do I even want to know what he would want such…things? Perhaps it is better to not quesiton the matter." She offers with an amused tone. "Not a bad idea though this lesson. Get to see how they work together with one another through a issue." Like searching for someone with a canine and certain things out from a box. As for Rinian she'll offer the other a wave and smile.

Risali just presses back in against D'lei's side, seemingly content to listen as one of those candidates takes the leash from Meion and then looking suddenly PETRIFIED of having such an important role, looks desperately towards Rinian. YOU CAN ALMOST SEE THE FEAR IN HER EYES, the plea for it to Not Be Her as she stumbles after the champion sniffer. Still, she's trying to hand off the leash again, almost frantic in her endeavor to not bear the role of something she deems so ding-dang important.

"You'd have to ask him that," D'lei says as far as D'merial's motivations. "Careful, though." A grin to Nailii. "He'll probably tell you." AT LENGTH. AND IN DETAIL. D'lei keeps his arm tucked around Risali as they follow, and nods to Nailii. "Maybe some of them will decide they want to ride Galaxy, after this." Assuming they impress, that is. "But even if they don't… what's candidacy if not a time to try something new and see if it fits?" Or if you fit it, really. TECHNICALITIES.

Rinian is a sucker, really. For she responds to the plea and takes the canine's leash. Now moving quickly through the forest is again, in her area. So long as they don't have her like, knitting or that whole defense thing again… Which reminds her to ask as she takes the leash, "Are you ok, Risali?" You know, from before, when the brutish woodcrafter mini-samson ripped your arm off…

"I think I'll just pass then. Not to certain I could handle a in detail conversation about undies in a box and how one gets them there and the like." Oh the conversations they have! "True… I use to get lost outhere when I was a kid, learned a few things on how to get back home though that is about as far as I go for search and rescue type situations I'll admit." As for the question from Rinian a curious glance is sent over to Risali along with a tilt of her head.

LOOK AT THAT GRATEFUL EXPRESSION. The candidate tries to slip back into the bigger body of candidates with a softly-offered, "Thank you," for Rinian as she takes the lead. Risali, on the other hand, is focused on D'lei and Nailii's conversation until her name draws her gaze to Rinian. She does not, in fact, register that Rinian is asking her about her arm, and that's why the Weyrwoman falters for just a moment, brows knitting inward, lips pressing together and pulling out at the corners. "I…" A beat, a flicker of her gaze up towards D'lei as if she might find the proper answer there but… of course she doesn't. D'lei can't possibly answer for her (even if he, in fact, could). "I'm okay." A beat. "Are you?"

"A wise decision," D'lei agrees. The less asked of D'merial… the less brain-bleach is required because of the answers! He nods to Nailii, looking to one side and the other at the forest around them as they continue to follow that hound who sniffs his way along - sometimes faster, sometimes slower when the ground is rocky or otherwise less conducive to holding a scent - but ever onward. "It's sort of fascinating," he muses to Nailii. "In some ways, they're like the jungles where I grew up, but… in others, not so much." He himself is not so much helpful to Risali, slow even to look back to her because that conversation and… not helping with answers. Even if he does still have that arm around her, and as words (and tone) register, he gives a soft pet of fingers against her side.

Rinian isn't entirely sure with Risa's less than certain answer. She'll just have to ask later when she's not on the other end of a hound following his nose. She tucks under that tree branch, and follows the old canine around that bush. Somewhere in there her brain pokes at her with inforation it had picked up while she was otherwise engaged. Undies? Ew. "So is this a somewhat normal task for the search and rescue wing?" Because, except for the undie part, this job is pretty cool so far. Climbing cliffs, searching through forests.

"I suppose ever now and then I have a good decision." Nailii says with a grin seen and a slight shrug while she half glances between Risali and Rinian pondering what she misses before smiling and nods to D'lei. "I've always sort of liked this forest better, nothing like what they have at Fort. A bit in the middle of what to expect from a few different places if that makes sense." She'll point to a few trees with no leaves. "Like them during winter." As for Rinian's question and grins. "Depends on whose undies might be missing."

Risali huffs soft laughter for Nailii's answer to Rinian's question, but she does answer with, "I wouldn't say it's a 'normal' task. Search and Rescue's employ tends more towards…" A shift of her shoulders as Risali considers her words, "Things that are a little bit more dangerous." Land and sea rescue though they may be, the weyr also has guards in their employ. Kind of like Police versus the Coast Guard. "But they do assist, and they do have expertise that means we usually have a couple of them on any job like this." Because they are very good at that search and rescue thing.

D'lei grins back to Nailii, with a nod - and then another one. "Yeah. It's got… seasons, for one thing. As opposed to 'hot, wet, and wetter', or 'cold and not-quite-as-cold'." Which, in some places… are about what you get! He snrks in his attempt to not laugh at Nailii's answer to Rinian, but then tilts his head to listen to Risali's in more detail. He smiles slightly, then nods. "Search and Rescue doesn't keep canine handlers ourselves - though if we had a rider with the skill, we'd probably use it." It's just not a necessary part of the wing. "If this were part of an emergency search, we'd be doing sweeps and coordinating teams." His arm tightens a bit around Risali, a tensed squeeze.

Rinian nods to some of the things that are listed, and asks, "How do riders for the search and rescue team get chosen?" And she might have missed that part so wonders, "Whose undies have gone missing?" And she has the dog, right, so she shouldn't have to touch the undies? She returns her gaze forward just in time to duck under another low hanging branch.

Nailii is totes innocent, and has NO idea why Risali nor D'lei would laugh over a missing undie comment. IT is VERY important right? "Seasons, yeah that's the word for it." The dragonhealer offers with an amused tone. "Back at Irene there isn't such things to hot. Or maybe it gets hot, hotter, and then hottest?" Is that even a word? Either way back to the conversation at hand. "Typically one tries to go forth with what skills they may have, or craft. I use to work with transport for a while going all over. Though if you might be interested in the search and rider wing could always get some extra lessons in with them to see, get one's feet wet so to speak."

"That is a question for your Weyrleader." Because Risali is the Domestic half of the leadership, and D'lei is the one who gets to oversee the actual structure and discipline of the wings (though she does nod for Nailii's addition to the conversation). It's Rinian's next question that has Risali scrunching her nose, a smile coming just wide enough to show canines before diminishing into something a little softer. "That is what we're trying to find out." Who the underwear belong to, she means. SUCH MYSTERY. SUCH SUSPENSE. Risali's hand shifts, thumb pulling free from hooks as she squeezes D'lei back, as fingers splay and press up his side towards his ribs then curl in and pull down. It's not SEXY, relax. It seems to be comfort. Her hand settles at his hip, she presses a kiss into his upper arm, and then she continues with, "Though if you watch where he's tracking, you might be able to find clues." Foot prints, snapped twigs, a disturbance or collapse in sections of shrubbery.

Uh oh, D'lei's on the spot! Time for him to provide an actual reputable answer! "To ride Search and Rescue, you need to want it… and be able to pass the physicals and training." One of these is significantly harder than the other. "You don't need to have any of the skills beforehand… but it's a lot easier to make it through the training if you're not starting from nothing." He smiles, just a bit. "It's a lot harder to make it in Galaxy than most other wings… because the consequences of failure are a lot higher." As for the source of those missing undies? NOPE. That sure does sound like a domestic matter.

Rinian nods her understanding of the wing, if not the undies. She isn't sure she wants to ask more about that. She imagines with her size she'd probably not pass the physicals…and she loves to carve. Talk about counting dragons before they are hatched! She'll probably go back to her Woodcraft after the big day anyway. "So Galaxy is the search and rescue? What are the others?"

"I tend to get lost, even with dragon help at times. So I didn't even think about it." Nailii offers, well that and she is a dragon healer, but she still manages to go wandering and not get /that/ lost anymore at least. "There are five different wings, well actually six if you want to count Meteor Wing, which is the recuperation and retirement wing." She won't be commenting more about the undies, nope. Her gaze drifts slowly from the searching canine to the area around them for anything a miss.

BUT THE MYSTERIES OF THE ORIGIN OF THOSE QUESTIONABLY LACY THINGS WILL REMAIN, for now, IN THE DARK. And Risali's attention jumps towards Nailii as the brownrider answers Rinian's next question, nodding her agreement. "Quasar, Galaxy, Comet, Pulsar, Asteroid, and, as Nailii said, Meteor." But she doesn't go into detail about what they are. D'LEI CAN GO INTO DETAIL ON THAT IF HE WANTS. Risali just… falls into step and silence as Doggo continues to sniff out the 'Who' of those undies.

Searching… for your own way home… doesn't tend to count! D'lei nods, as Nailii gives the count - and Risali fills in the names! "Most of our riders are in Comet or Asteroid," he says. "Comet handles transport, whether that's the heavy lifting of cargo and goods… or just helping people get where they need to be." Freight train and taxi service! "And Asteroid takes riders who have a craft and want to keep that as their focus."

Rinian starts to ask something else, but the hound must have picked up something more interesting, because he pulls faster on the small girl's arm. She speeds up after him wondering, "Did he find it?" She's sort of forgotten to pay attention for other signs along the track the canine is following.

Nailii nods to what both Risali and D'lei says about the given wings, the names and what 'they' do so to speak. "So, if you wanted to stay in your craft you could think about Asteroid Wing." Her gaze lifts as if seems the canine has started to move faster and she ohs a bit wondering if he picked up a fresh scent or the one they are looking for.

AND PERHAPS HE HAS PICKED UP ON THE SCENT. It surely can't be much longer now, can it? Risali breaks away from D'lei when their professional scent-sniffer seems to make headway, lengthening her stride to catch up with Rinian as the dog leads them through the forest. "Everybody pay attention!" Risali says, and now she's employing instruction in areas that it might be a bit more easily read for beginners (even if they are moving somewhat faster). There's depressions in the ground, there's bits of land that seem disturbed in relation to the rest of the layout about them. AND THEY COME UPON IT, a small, abandoned den in the forest. AND THERE HE IS. IN ALL OF HIS GLORY. IT'S ONE BROWNRIDER WITH MUCH TOO BIG A SMILE from beneath a pile of blankets and an abundance of winter-clothes. Risali lags behind, attention on D'lei as brows raise and she offers, "At least he has clothes on," Risali murmurs. And D'merial rises to his feet to APPLAUD YOU CANDIDOOTS. "You found me! So what happens next?" Note: Risali is not offering help. And NEITHER IS D'MERIAL.

D'lei nods agreement to what Nailii says, because yes. This is how the wings work! And as for how searching with dogs works? HERE HE IS. D'merial, that is, and - okay, maybe D'lei had a little bit of a waiting cringe before he sighs with relief and nods to Risali's comment. "I was wondering if we'd be teaching how to treat frostbite." At least it would have been educational? But no, D'merial showed at least that much sense today! The hound faceplants jowls against the brownrider, and gives a satisfied whurf before he turns to fix Rinian with an expectant gaze. He did his job. Now MAKE WITH THE REWARDS, GIRL.

So this is the inf..famous D'merial… Rinian crouches down to pet the hound. "What a good clever fellow you are." See, she's too busy to return undies to riders or..whatever. "D'lei, do you have any treats on you for him?" She had no idea of the task so..yep..unprepared.

Nailii pauses and looks amused as she hears Risali. "If not he'd be a bit painful I'd figure in certain areas at this point in time." RIGHT? "Good job there with the canine guys." As for the 'what next' question a glance is sent to D'lei and Risali to see what is next so to speak. As for the canine she grins to Rinian. "Hopefully he does or we might have a very sad puppy on our hands."

"Nothing happens next. You've been rescued," is Risali's answer. THEM TONES. SO DRY. But yes, Riri. IT IS. It IS the infamous D'merial, whom beams much too cheerfully to D'lei. "Well, I'm dead now. You all failed. Nobody checked my vitals, nobody offered me a —" Risali rolls her eyes with a sharp, "D'merial." And D'merial GRINS, patting dog heads before he takes his army of blankets AWAY. TOWARDS THE TREES (though not without a VERY CRUDE (don't ask, he manages)) WINK TO NAILII. SUP GURL. CAN HE HAVE YO' NUMBAH. "I KNOW WHEN I'M NOT WANTED." And he totally did not just stumble and almost trip. YOU DID. Risali's attention is back on D'lei, however. Do you have treats?

"…next time, we'll send the canine with the rum barrel." D'lei knows the secret to D'merial's heart… or was that his pants? Honestly, it's hard to tell and he's just… not going to investigate closely enough to find out. BUT. Despite the fact that nobody made sure D'merial wasn't all corpsified and gross, the candidates did succeed, and so did the doggo. D'lei grins, stepping forward with a reach into his pocket to pull out a bag of, well… some bits of greasy roasted meat that the cooks deemed mediocre enough to be turned into fabulous dog treats. He strides over and hands them out - to the humans, of course. Rinian, here's a treat to give the hound! And one for you, Ajral, and one for Meion, and that mega anxious candidate, and… TREATS FOR ALL. (To be given to the canine, of course, though… it's not like he's keeping that close an eye on anyone. EAT THEM YOURSELVES, if you want - you'll just have to contend with the SADDEST EYES of a searching sniff-hound DENIED.)

Rinian smiles her thanks to the Weyrleader and feeds the bit to the hound with one hand, keeping the other on the leash. The good dog is very gentle but also opportunistic, so as soon as his nose tells him hers is gone, he'll start making the rounds to mooch. "So we were supposed to check his vitals and such?" The fact that he was perfectly healthy was kind of obvious.

Nailii giggles as she hears Risali saying nothing happens next. She blinks hearing D'merial and peers over at him while lifting her head a bit. "Well if you were a dragon I could help you. As you're not? Sorry, I might make it worse?" She is soon actually blushing a moment at that here look she is getting. This tree looks SO interesting right now and she is eyeing it. No number to give it seems. A curious glance is sent D'merial as he is stumbling in another direction? As the canine gets the treats she grins. "There you go, now his all happy."

"Well, normally you would assess the situation. It's good and well if somebody goes missing in the woods, but what if somebody took them? Are you potentially putting yourself at risk? And there are different kinds of searches. Usually they will plot out wide areas to be scoured, and the searches will walk shoulder-to-shoulder, one step at a time, looking for any clues. It can be a very long, and very tedious process. Sometimes your subject is gone for days, and there's a risk of injury that may have stranded them. If that were the case," which it clearly was not here, "then it would require an assessment of how severe and how best to treat him." Risali's shoulder lifts in half a shrug. "Today, the main goal was to focus on the dog and see if you all would pay attention to see those signs. The dog took you on the right path, so what trends did you notice in your surroundings?" TAKE NOTE, AND ALL THAT. But don't worry, Nailii. D'merial knows you're like the rest: hate to watch him go, BUT LOVE TO WATCH HIM LEAVE. Because then you can stare at his assets, get it? Except he's buried under a thousand blankets but LISTEN HE KNOWS YOU WANT IT. HE DOESN'T BLAME YOU. HE WANTS IT TOO. … Don't question that. But the important part: TREATS. DISTRIBUTED.

The canine could care less about D'merial, but he's not going to put in that effort, because. Treats. Om. Nom. Nomf. And some licks of hands, just to make sure nobody's holding out on any more of that greasy goodness. D'lei hehs, tilting his head to Nailii. "I think it looks like fat tail, personally." A grin, but then… he's just rolling his eyes at D'merial's OFFENDED DEPARTURE before returning his attention to the candidates. He nods at Risali's question, gaze shifting between them to see just what answers may be found! "Your goal is to get them safely home. Which… D'merial can do for himself just fine." Yeah, but TO WHOSE HOME?

Rinian makes sure to give the dog some more good pettings. She does look a bit abashed, "I'm sorry. I totally forgot to look for the signs." She was doing her best to mind the dog himself, and her own footing. "I have been meaning to say thank you, by the way. All these different chores and classes are really eye opening. What goes on around the Weyr, and I'm guessing all the other Holds and Crafts, is so much more complex than I usually get to see or experience."

Nailii is so not watching D'merial walk away, one he is covered in blankets so it's not like she could really enjoy the show now is it? "Does sort of make sense one should keep an eye out on everything and the person or people they may be looking for." She hasn't done much of stuff like this since she was a weyrling so she does sort of forget some things that may be a bit important. Hearing Rinian a smile is seen. "Glad that you have been learning so much while with us. Being a candidate does and can open the eyes to a whole world of things as I recall."

YOUR LOSS, NAILII. YOUR. LOSS. And yours, D'lei. And yours, Rinian. There's a quiet smile for the admittance of forgetting to look, and then Risali is nodding her head in response to that thanks. Does she look a little awkward? THAT'S BECAUSE SHE IS AWKWARD. And okay, maybe this neck of the woods isn't exactly her favorite. And maybe that's starting to get to her. "As Nailii said, I'm glad that you're learning so much. We want to prepare you all, regardless of whether you end up bonded to dragons or no. You all did an excellent job." Because hey, it never hurt anybody to have a little bit of extra knowledge in the survival department. One day it might even be you waiting to be rescued. But there's a shift, a pull of her cape between fingers that seem suddenly too busy. "Excuse me." And there she goes, not really making eye contact as she starts back in the direction that she came from.

D'lei nods to Rinian. "Something for you to try again next time, then." Assuming there even is a next time, because it's not like 'taking out search canines' is a standard part of either woodcraft or candidacy. But. He smiles as she gives her thanks, with an incline of his head to accept them. "Most things are more complicated than they look," D'lei agrees. "And once you start looking, you find more things that'll turn out to be complex." He grins. "You're welcome." But he doesn't get much further than that, because there's Risali heading off, and his gaze shifts to her - and his expression shifts to a frown - before his jaw sets and he looks back to Rinian and the other candidates with a smile that's a bit less open. "On our way back, we can take some time to look at the tracks we made." It's kind of easy mode, given how many feet tromped along so recently, but… gotta start somewhere!

Rinian nods, watching Risali with some worry. She and the dog walk more side by side now as they head back towards the weyr and she looks for prints and broken twigs and..hopefully not underwear. Cause..yeah…no.

Nailii shakes her head after the feeling blanket covered brown rider and lets her gaze turns to the others before Risali is heading to stage exit left there and she blinks pondering the sudden shift. A glance is sent to D'lei and she nods on the talk of them heading back and looking for stuff and things like tracks and so forth. "If you like I can lead the group on back." You know encase he might want to go check on Risali and such. Either way they are all heading back the way they came, and hopefully they won't have to find the undies and return them.

If D'lei knows just what's up with Risali, he doesn't say. There's a half-smile for Nailii's offer, and a small shake of his head. "I'm sure you'd find your way back eventually… but I don't think we actually need to give them a detour by way of Hannista." Though… it might make for good practice. But. "Not this time, anyhow." Another slight smile, and… well, even if D'lei doesn't already know the issue, Leirith is more than capable of informing him of what his opinions and actions should be, so… here he is! Walking on back, and - "Here, look at this." D'lei pauses, draws candidate attention. "See this branch?" It's a low-hanging one, with… hey, that's no leaf! It's a bit of green wool, no doubt stolen from a scarf or sweater.

Rinian had been primarily watching the ground itself, with talk of footsteps and all, so had missed any clues higher up. She dutifully goes over to see the find. "Oh! I remember that branch. I just thought it was odd looking." She is not a natural at this search thing, that's for sure.

Nailii smirks as she hears D'lei. "Right? I think I could follow this trail back home at least." She offers in her defense. A nod is seen after that and she is curiously looking over the area and catches sight of the branch. "Looks like a bit of green fuzz from a scarf or maybe a blanket?" Well a certain someone did have a few fuzzy blankets after all!

"It does indeed," D'lei says to Nailii, with a slight smile as he nods to Rinian. "Of course, all that really tells us is that someone passed this way - but if we knew that, for instance, the person we were searching for was wearing a fuzzy green blanket like a cape… well, that would tell us a great deal more!" He grins. "That's why one of the things we always ask before we start looking is what they were wearing." A pause, and then he adds, "Also helps with identity, if you don't happen to recognize the person straight off."

Rinian nods her understanding. "If there is a missing person, will others be called in to help as well? Earlier was said about a string of people working their way through the woods…"
Nailii nods to Rinian at the question. "Oh yes, would be more than a few people involved in searching for someone that could be missing." She points around to the areas in the forest. "Seeing how big the place is it would take a few dozen to search certain places after all. Which would be helpful with search canines as well of course."

D'lei nods, starting to walk again as he does - otherwise, they'll be out here until night, and it's gonna get coooold. "It somewhat depends on the situation," he adds. "The more danger we think someone might be in, the more urgent it is that we get them found as quickly as possible. A lost child in winter is very different than a lost hunter in summer."

Rinian follows along, trying to spot steps, branches..anything that might help so that in the future she'll have a better idea of what to look for. "Are there any other search and rescue things that take more than just the wing?"

Nailii follows along, making sure the others are quick to continue as well because one, cold, and two in the middle of the forest not a good place to get as it gets later and the like. At the quesiton from Rinian she ponders before going about answering. "I imagen it would depend on what might be going on at the time. Though every wing will at times get a hand from another if it is needed, and if the riders are able to help of course." Though she doesn send a glance over to D'lei to see what his answer may be as well.

D'lei hehs, and nods agreement to Nailii before adding his piece. "It depends on what the issue is. If there's a storm at sea, the ships and dolphins work with search and rescue. If it's blizzards snowing people in, transport helps with supplies. If it's a medical issue, we draw in more of the healers. The focus of S&R is on being capable quick responders, but different situations call for different skills."

Rinian says as she goes around another tree and sees what looks like the main path, "I'd never given that sort of thing much thought before. You hear the rumors about some disaster or someone lost, and then you hear the end result. But I never really heard what happened to get the resolution."

"Until one needs to really think about it, could just be inthe back of ones mind really." Nailii offers while they walk along. She points to another broken branch that has what looks like a foot print near it, of course one of them might have done it but it is good to still make note of such things right? "Though in the end everyone attempts to help everyone else really."

D'lei nods, with a wry smile to Rinian. "That's search and rescue for you. There's someone like that for every task." He smiles. "Our firewood and furniture doesn't just appear fully formed either, but unless you've stopped to think about… well, you could certainly think that Woodcraft just sort of happened." (D'lei is a Weyrleader, he's supposed to be at least vaguely aware of all the otherwise-invisible things.) He nods to what Nailii points out, with a smile. "See how this person puts their weight more to the outside, at the toes?" he points out. "Things like that can help you figure out the right trail."

Rinian blinks at the comparison, and her frown turns to a faint smile. "I see your point." And then brings her thoughts back to the trail. "How..can you tell where the weight is?" To her it looks like..well..not much of anything. Take off tracking as a natural ability for this one. But then..trees don't move so its not like she has to track them down…

Nailii glances to D'lei then back to the print and ahs a bit pondering this new information. "I suppose that makes some sense. Sometimes have to get a dragon to walk on wet ground when trying to figure out if a paw is hurt and they can't pinpoint 'just' where. In the damp ground we can see where the place the weight and where they don't."

"It's pressed deeper there," D'lei says to Rinian, pointing it out. "You can see the imprint more clearly in those places, because there's more weight pushing it down… almost like a stamp." Foot-stomp-stamps! He nods to Nailii, with a smile. "They can't all be as obvious as thorns."

Rinian crouches down, her tush nearly sitting on her heels to get a better look, absently petting the canine that she's still been walking all this time. "D'lei, you've got reall good eyes to see that from all the way up there." You know, those tall people, which is anyone over 5'3. She looks over to the hound and smiles, "You know…I never thought of having a canine as a pet before, but I think I could get to like this taking a walk with one."

Nailii grins back to D'lei. "No, it can't always be that easy. Not all dragons are eager to help either." This said with an amused tone before she starts walking forward once more. "I wasn't allowed pets growing up, not even a firelizard. Though I have a few that made friends with me that still hang around." Now well she has a 'farm' to some degree. "I thought about getting a canine actally."

"I've had practice," is D'lei's answer about his eyes. "You start to see patterns, after a while." And he's ancient (at least, to a teenager) as well as tall (to Rinian)! So he's had plenty of time to figure it out. D'lei grins to Nailii as he too starts into motion again, then nods. "This one has his own home to go back to," he reminds Rinian, just in case she was starting to get ideas… "But I'm sure there are others that could use a home." To Nailii, he adds, "Maybe one of the herder dogs, to help you keep order…"

Rinian wouldn't dream of keeping this fine old dog. She straightens and starts off again with the others, "Oh, I have no doubt he has a good owner. But, maybe my own, someday." She looks over to Nailii and nods, "Me either." She smiles, "Until I was kindly gifted with Fern." She hopes her parents don't get too upset, because there isn't much to be done about it now.

"It was always sort of amusing to try and bring pets home as a kid. My mom always caught it rather quickly for one reason or another." Nailii looks amused and soon chuckles before nodding to D'lei. "That might not be a bad idea. Talanoath still manages to sneak something new home now and then from the pens somehow."

So, Nailii tried to sneak the critters home, and was stopped… and now Talanoath does it, and… well, Nailii has a lovely little farm, she does! D'lei grins. "The ship's cats would come stay with us… well, as much as they'd stay with anyone." They're a bit like barn cats, in that way. "It kept me from bringing home random lizards, at least." He gives an amused shrug. "Otherwise… well, the jungle's got a lot of interesting critters."

Rinian steps out onto the path and wonders, "If it isn't too rude…may I ask what you two did before you impressed?"

Nailii is a bit amused to think that her dragon now does what she use to as a child, funny how things work out right? "I have a pair of cats that stay mostly in the barn, still need to finsh fixing that place up actually. Winter caught me before I had a chance." She glances to D'lei and smiles. "What sort of interesting critters would you have brought home if you could?" Hearing the question from Rinian she looks a bit amused. "I was a dragonhealer still. Just impressing a dragon was the major difference in my life." At least the only one she's willing to talk about.

"They can be tough little things, those barn cats…" D'lei muses, and nods. "It's been a busy season." Which… involves some not exactly pleasant thoughts, but he gives his head a little shake to push them aside. "Have you ever seen those little tropical lizards with the orange and green spots? The ones that live near water and always look a little shiny…" He grins. "I used to love those. Caught them all the time, when I was a kid." But then he grew up, and became… a dragonrider, eventually, but along the way? "I was techcraft," he answers Rinian. "Fixed a lot of broken radios and laggy circuits."

Rinian ohs, "I thought you'd be in some sort of…outside sort of craft." She does perk up a bit at the mention of a barn. "Do you have any wood repairs needed in the barn?" One woodcrafter, happy to help.

"I have one black one named Grendal, not to sure where he came from but he rules the roost. Keeps the mice away so I shouldn't complain." Nailii grins a bit. "I think Talanoath is a but unsure about that cat too." As for th lizards she ponders a bit. "Well, 've seen a few not sure if I've seen those types but they sound rather nice. I'll have to try and find some whenever I got somewhere more jungle related like." A smile is offered to Rinian. "I have a lot of work to do on it. Talanoath has his spot all nice and comfy but I get the feeling I'll need to get a new one going at some point."

D'lei chuckles at Nailii's description of that barn-cat, and nods knowingly. He's met the type! There's another nod for those lizards - "Maybe I can get my cousins to catch me one." Because, hey, they can keep sands hot enough to hatch dragon eggs, surely they can keep a tropical lizard warm? It's mostly an idle thought… which are, admittedly, some of the most dangerous! He smiles to Rinian, just a bit crooked. "Who said it wasn't? I did a lot of work with radio antennas and laying cable between buildings."

Rinian is surprised again. "I guess…those things have to be done somehow. It just seems all the ones I meet are buried inside buildings, working on odd little things that honestly, make no sense to me." She looks to Nailii, "If you would ever like some help, let me know? Besides, with a name like Grendal I'd love to meet your feline."

Nailii rubs at her hands and chuckles at the thought. "That would be a conversation starter in the caverns with a little lizard sitting there near the fireplace trying to warm up. Or diving into someone's drink." There's a thought right? As they are nearly back to the start of things a nod is offered to Rinian. "Your welcome to come by and meet Grendal anytime you like, the other is named Juice. A orange tabby who likes to annoy Talanoath at times." She points at D'lei. "I bet you did expert work on such things." She has only basic knowledge of such techie type stuff unless it deals with dragonhealing, which honestly how much is there given the size of a dragon after all? She tucks her hands back into her pockets. "I need to go annoy Talanoath a bit, I'll se you guys later someplace a bit warmer I hope too." The coldness is starting to get to her as well finally. After a quick wave she is off heading homwards, and hopfully not getting lost along the way.

"See?" D'lei says to Nailii's suggestion of what to do with that lizard. "Little face like that peeking out of your klah, and you'll wake up right fast!" He grins, then listens and nods about those felines who've adopted her barn and mostly tolerate the dragon so many hundreds of times their size. As for the technology… "It was that, or fix it again." After it broke from his failure to fix it, he means. "Technology's a tool, like any other… so if you really want it to be helpful, you need to get it out where it's a part of how people live."

Rinian laughs at the image of a lizard in a mug of klah. "I have to say, I've heard about the old ways of cutting lumber, and the new saws make it so much easier." But for the rest? Good old methods work quite well. "Thank you for a very interesting lesson, and I am very sorry for showing up late to it."

"It's amazing what difference the right tool can make," D'lei says - though he's not about to get into the details of just what tools may be ideal for what! That could be a long conversation, and … it's cold out here. He nods to Rinian's gratitude, offering her a smile. "You're welcome. I like helping people discover something new…" Technologist that he is! But then he reaches out for that leash, "I can take this fellow back to his handler." No stealing the search hound! "You have a good day… and don't freeze!"

Rinian hands the leash back over, and crouches down to bid the nice dog a fond farewell. "Don't worry. I actually like the cold." She smiles at him, "But I'll head back in as well."

Schlorp! Rinian gets a face-lick from the saggy old hound in farewell - D'lei just waves - and then he's bumbling off with D'lei to go return to his bed next to the fire and enjoy his retirement!

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