Just A Day At The ( Lonely) Beach

Lonely Island—Beach
Though perhaps nothing to write home about, the Lonely Island's beach is peaceful enough, a long stretch of white sand just big enough for two golds to sprawl out comfortably without touching. Shells, agates, driftwood, and other watery detritus litters the beach in bits and spots, just enough to make things interesting. East-facing, the beach is ideal for watching the sun rise, the view utterly unimpeded by the dense forest that otherwise swallows the island. Natural stone jetties and pockets of sand create excellent spots for fishing and swimming, while others play home to tiny ecosystems in the form of tidepools.

Right, so. The candidates have been dropped off here on the island, and this is absolutely fine. They've definitely more or less been supplied with everything they really truly need, and there's almost certainly a responsible weyrlingstaff adult who isn't even drunk. It's fine. There aren't even any wild felines here, because it's an island. So, when D'lei and Garouth appear from between on this mist-laced morning over the island, they should definitely be finding some hale, hearty candidates, right? Riiight? The bronze does a half-circle, then arcs his way down to land with a ripple-causing stir of wings on one of the stony jetties reaching out from the beach.

Of alllll the candidates it might surprise some that this 'book smart' lad of not yet 17 turns that seems to be handling this trip. SO FAR. Zachariah and his tiny blue are over at one of the tidepools, the small firelizard is hunting for rockmites or whatever little edible creatures that live there. The arrival of the large bronze has both firelizard and human turning to watch the processing of his landing.

Okay, there's at least one survivor! Good. Good. Not that anyone was worried. Garouth swings his head around, observing Zach as if to transmit that view along - or maybe just make sure he's really there - while D'lei swings off from his neck and hops down… just as a wave splashes up. Whoops. He makes a face as seawater splashes over the top of his boots and squelches inside, and then his expression shifts to a half-grin as he strides his way along toward Zach, lifting a hand in greeting.

Zachariah is really here. And barefoot even! Topless, his shirt tossed off to the side where he was, his shorts are sand covered. A salute is cast though it's still far from perfect at least he doesn't jam his thumb into his eye socket everytime. "Heyla." he calls out in greeting.
Barefoot and topless? Are we sure this is the same lad who was looking for answers in books? D'lei grins, with a nod for that salute and one in return that's - lets be honest - far more formal and precise than the sort he'd normally give to someone with actual authority. "Hey! You look like you've rather taken to this…" he says, with a grin - and then he plops himself down onto a rock nearby, so he can pull off that now-squelchy boot of his.

"This?" a half grin slashes across Zach's face. "Born and raised in the middle of nowhere….I guess it makes it easier for me to adapt to this." a pause. "Though I really doubt anyone thought I would." he does wrinkle his nose at the squelchy boot of D'lei's. "But Peony here….I'm trying to coax her to hunt the little critters in that tidepool. I think though she'd rather me just hand her her meals."

"Back to your roots, huh?" D'lei grins, and nods… then turns his attention to his boot, giving it a bit of a shake… then propping it up against the rock, upside-down, as he reaches to tug off the other one and look at the firelizard as he does. "Heh. Most likely, yeah. Some of them keep their instincts - firelizards and dragons both - but more often than not… well, once they find a more convenient way, they don't see why they should bother. Though… it's likely good practice, I suppose. Firelizard might get away with staying hand-fed forever, but a dragon'll get too big for that rather fast."
Zachariah joins D'lei in his rocky seat. "It's not always fun getting back to my roots. Be glad to be back into the barracks no matter how cramped they are." he peers about the island. "The trip here though…certainly unexpected! Never thought I would be sleeping in a tent again." Peony splashes about in the water; clearly more interested in playing than hunting. "You had to hand feed him?" a glance towards whereever the bronze got himself off to.

"There's a reason why they're the roots, and not where you've grown out to, huh?" D'lei shares a wry grin with Zachariah, and sets his other boot down before he settles both his feet down against the beach, the better to dry off. He puts his hands back against the rock, and leans back a bit. "I did say there'd be some surprises. I think, anyhow." A heh, and then he glances to Zach before nodding. "When the dragons first come out of the shell… they're clumsy, uncoordinated, and ravenous. If they tried to hunt for themselves, probably half of them would trip and break their necks and the other half would choke as they tried to inhale an entire herdbeast at once." From his tone, he's not particularly joking, even if it seems incongruous with the adult form of Garouth perched elegantly on the rocks.

"You mentioned staying in the barracks in case of people running in for surprise events." which no one came running in and throwing tents at them. Zach peers off in the distance though he's clearly listening to the explanation of clumsy, uncordinated dragons at hatching. "So we best be on our toes then when they do emerge from the shell." he snort at something suddenly. "I'll feel a little vulnerable out there in just a simple white robe!"

"Mmh. Right," D'lei says, with a considering nod and then a grin, clearly unrepentant for having trapped Zach in a world of tents and campouts. His expression shifts a bit more serious as they talk about the hatching, though, and he nods. "I've still got a scar from mine." His head tilts, looking to Zachariah. "They're hungry, they're clumsy, they're desperate to find their connection. They won't hurt you on purpose, but if you get in the way… or they stumble over their own feet in their haste to find you… injuries happen."

Zachariah doesn't look worried, really, but curious. "You got a scar? From Garouth?" idly his fingers tap restlessly on his leg, the pure need for some movement evident. "I'll be sure to not get in the way then." he vows. He's great at wanting to avoid pain. "How long are we out here for?" his once tapping fingers now wave casually at the small island they are occupying. "And I assume we're save enough?" as in no pirates way out here.

"Yep," D'lei says. "He was a bit over-enthusiastic in making sure he caught a hold of me." From the rocks, Garouth gives a snort that seems to imply a slightly different reading of things… but not actually a denial of the facts, as reported. As for the dangers of being here? D'lei leans back, looking over that very island. "Don't know, honestly." A crooked grin. "I'm sure Inasyth will demand you back if she thinks the eggs are getting close, but other than that… I suppose it's up the the weyrlingstaff. Or… maybe the weather?" His gaze shifts, looking up at the sky. "Either way, nobody's consulted me about it." A shrug, and another grin. "Inasyth wouldn't let them send you anywhere dangerous. Well. Not that you can't make anywhere dangerous, if you try hard enough." His head tilts, and he eyes Zach with a bit of amusement. "So, don't get reckless?"
"Reckless? Me?" Zach is a picture perfect image of pure innocence. Totally. "I'm totally safe. I can't vouch for the others though. However…." Zachriah drawls out that last word. "Are we really needing to catch and cook all our food out here?" As far as instructions go as they were all dropped off it seems he's unsure of meals the most. "I'm not sure Lokialia is gonna like that at all." he references an older blond haired female candidate who is quite ill-suited to living rough. "She was quite put out at the tents." he notes.

"Mmmmhmmm." Does D'lei believe Zach? Maybe. Maybe not so much, but either way… he's not overly concerned. He, too, was once a teenager, and he survived it! Besides, that's one of the reasons why they collect extra candidates, just in case. As for the supplies (or lack thereof) of food… "We might have some travel rations?" he suggests, tilting back his head. "They'd be from at least a month ago, though… I haven't restocked them since Garouth's been on the sands." And they weren't exactly gourmet to begin with; more like stale leather with slightly-chewy rocks. "…somehow, I don't think Lokialla'd be any happier with that. Though… well, I dunno. If it's that or going hungry?" He arches brows as he tilts a questioning expression toward Zach.

The extras are in case one or two get lost/left behind on the island?? Luckily that thought doesn't cross Zachariah's mind. Yet. Give him a day or three out here. "We had travel rations too." he muses with a look of pure dislike on his expression. "I think i'd rather eat my boots." is his conclusion. He simply shrugs at the rider's questioning expression. "I'm sure she'll manage." he's not overly concerned really. "She's just been…vocal in her dislike." and now that he's told someone it's truely not his concern. "Did you stay out here too?"

"Also an option," D'lei says of boot-eating. "Though, your toes might regret it on the trip back." He grins, and glances over to his own boots, to make sure they're drying and haven't been stolen for someone's dinner. That done, he looks back over to Zachariah, and nods. "If she truly can't handle it, and wants to drop out of candidacy to escape, I'm sure someone can be found to take her back to the mainland." But, well. Is the potential prize worth the travails along the way? Not something D'lei can answer for anyone except himself! And, speaking of himself… he shakes his head at the question. "I stood at Monaco Bay, not Xanadu. We had runs along the beach every morning and an obstacle course in the jungle to climb and shimmy our way through before the mosquitos ate us."

"How big were the mosquitos?" Zach asks in all seriousness, perhaps envisioning the insects chasing the candidates along the obstacle course. It would be sufficient motivation that's for sure! "Beach runs though. Not easy to run through sand with shoes on." easier without shoes really "I was a Monaco for a little bit. Weather is pretty nice. They just had eggs hatch recently." or semi recently now. "Watched the hatching."

"Well, that depends. They claimed the largest ones were actually firelizards, but I'm not so sure." D'lei is almost certainly joking, here. There's even a moment of grin, before… he exhales. "Might not be the same for a candidate there now. There's been some changes… and even then, I think some of it was the clutchparents. They had opinions about fitness." A shrug, and then a grin. "I'd say that means you know what to expect, but… it's very different, when you're down there on the sands instead of just watching."

"I certainly hope the bigger ones were firelizards. Cause if an insect got that big…." Zachariah trails off. As far as the difference between watching and being down there he snorts. "Hotter on the sands for one." he notes. There are other obvious difference of course. "More eggs here than at Monaco, I think." he pauses. "Had a hard time really seeing them though. No lights cause of some spiderclaw invasion." he seems uncertain. "I hadn't been there that long before the eggs hatched but it seems they always have some sort of power issues there a lot."

D'lei nods, then - at the mention of the power outage at Monaco - laughs. "Maybe someone thinks it'll be a relief from the heat, without those extra lights shining down. Get a rider who's too used to borrowing their dragon's eyes in the dark, and… might start to seem like a good idea." He grins, then gives his head a shake. "Yeah, Monaco's got a lot of good points, but the quality of their wiring and power supplies is not one of them. At this point… it's probably more patch-jobs stacked on top of each other than anything else."

"So I assume there won't be that kind of problem at Xanadu? " Zach might have been a little concerned about that happening while was actually on the sands.

"I hope not," D'lei says, with a faint grimace. "Our power system is usually pretty stable, but we have had issues sometimes when there are big storms or the like." The unpredictable is, as always, unpredictable! "That's one of the things with hatchings, they just… don't wait for you, no matter how good a reason you might have why now is a very bad time."

"They can happen with little warning?" Zach inquires. "Of course they wouldn't be able to wait. I bet once they are ready they hatch quickly!

"Depends what you mean by warning," D'lei says with a lopsided grin. "We'll all know when the eggs are to the point when they could hatch. The dragons know it, the dragonhealers know it, even most riders and weyrfolk, if they've been around long enough, have a pretty good idea that it'll be sometime this sevenday or next. When they'll actually crack the shells, though?" D'lei gives an oversized shrug. "That can go from zero to shards everywhere in just a couple minutes."

"So we just have to be on our toes then?" Zachariah ventures to guess. "Gotcha."
he seems good with no warning. "So how long you sticking around our humble island for?"

"Pretty much," D'lei agrees. "You can pretend it's like the days of old, and you're waiting to find out where the thread is falling." He grins, and leans back in a stretch… then over to glance at his boots. "Well, at the very least, until my boots are dry." Another grin. "Beyond that… probably not too long, since Garouth'll want to get back to the sands, but Inasyth's fine at the moment, so we're not in any particular rush."
"He like the break off the sands?" again Zach flickers a glance towards the bronze. "Does the heat of the sands bother him?"

"Heh. Not like you or I would. He'll absorb that heat same as any of those eggs," D'lei says, with a grin and a shake of his head. "He likes checking in on things, though. Making sure that everything's good with the rest of the Weyr… and his candidates." Another grin. "Speaking of which… I should go see if I can find any more of you survivors." He stands up, and reaches to pick up his boots… just in case that leather starts to get too tempting. "Any idea where the others are hiding?" It's that, or just start hunting. At least it's a (relatively) small island?

The boot is safe enough. FOR NOW! Zach stands too. He'll return to his firelizard lesson in hunting at the tidepool. "Oh that way somewhere…." he gestures off towards the woody area.
"Thanks," D'lei says, and tosses off another salute, accompanied by his grin, before he wanders off in that direction. Onward! Time to see just how these candidates are handling the unexpected.

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