Random Log: To Sleep or Not to Sleep

Xanadu Weyr - Candidate Barracks

A long, low ceiling room opens off the entrance hall to the arena, one wall slightly curved as it is set against the outer wall of the arena itself. Cots are set evenly the length of the room, in two rows, each with its own small press at the foot, for personal belongings. Wide windows are spaced along the outside wall, letting sunlight in, while other lights are available for the night time hours.

It is lights out in the Barracks and the Candidates are settling down for the night — as best they can on a bare floor with no covers. Here and there sounds or wriggling and grumbling can be heard. Maybe a bit of whining from the younger ones.

Nicca turns over on her bunk with a groan. "I swear this mattress has even more lumps than the one I took back to Stores," she grumbles softly to anyone in earshot. "Mind you it smells less. Not sure which was worse." She gives another mound in the mattress a battering with her elbow. There is no noticeable improvement.

Thea stretches out on her back on the floor where her cot used to be, placing her hands behind her head. "Camp was more comfortable than this." She pulls one hand out, smothers a yawn and replaces it behind her head. "Only problem sleeping this way is, I wake up with numb hands."

Neferennu is laying down on the clothes she has laid down on the floor for her bed. A couple of clothes needed to be washed is bundled up as her pillow. Spire and Charte are help keeping her warm, while Venom just lays at her head with a talon in her hair. She is trying not to move, but soon she will have to move due to the pressure of the hard floor. "Oh stop your whining." This is snapped towards a younger boy a bit away and then she does roll over, the gold talon tangling in her hair. "You're the one who did this to us anyways. Hope they kick you out…" The boy snaps back and rolls the other direction. This only gets an eyeroll from Rennu and then she looks over to where Thea and the others are laying. "Yeah, the ground was softer at camp. I have some scrap clothes you can use as a pillow if you want Thea. I was going to throw them out, but I've kept them for padding." Snort.

Nicca turns over and tweaks her coat round her. She does not look happy. A sweater is bundled under her head. "This is stupid. In fact, this is beyond stupid. Can anyone remind me just what the point of all this was meant to be?" She snorts at Neferennu. "Ground might have been softer where you were lying. I had a sharding great rock in the middle of my back all night. Moved it the next night, and got some spiky plant instead."

Thea rolls on her side to answer Rennu. Ruin is curled up on Thea's stomach, but when she turns, he falls onto the floor with a *thump*. There's a shriek and he's glaring with red eyes at his 'bed' as if to say, 'Be still.' Thea ignores the firelizard's ire to answer her friend, "Thanks, no. You need your stuff. I put my extra clothes in the laundry. Too muddy and smoky to hang onto and I didn't think ahead to sleeping on the floor." A sigh. Nicca's question gets some pondering. "Probably to make us tough?"

Delgin's one of the mumblers and grumblers. "I deserved to keep my bunk. I behaved." He thrashes in a bit of frustration. "And I'm cold." He sits up rubbing the back of his head. "And clothes make a rotten pillow!" His voice has taken on a bit of a whine, which spurs some of the younger kids to join the chorus.

Neferennu gives an apologetic smile to Nicca, even if it is hidden in shadow. Her tone is apologetic though. "Well I'm sorry you got such a bad place to sleep at camp. You should've said something, there was room over where my tent was set up, if you didn't mind sleeping at an angle." This was due to the fact that the ground near here was the most bumpy per say. Thea's response gets a shrug but a grin. "Maybe. Either that or there will be times we will have to sleep on something other than a cot or bed." Delgin's whining and then the others gets an eyeroll. "I said I was sorry, that it was just a bad day. It isn't my fault they punish everyone for one person. Be thankful I didn't argue about it and make it worse." She learned her lesson about keeping her mouth shut when she is having a bad day.

Nicca gives a non-committal shrug and turns over, wincing as she finds yet another bruise. "I'd sneak out of here and go sleep in my own room, if I didn't know that one of you nasty little brats would immediately going and sneak about it to one of the staff." Her eye falls on one or two of the candidates who indeed have been rather good at talebearing in the last weeks. "But since they're so fond of collective punishment, all that would happen is I'd get turfed back in here again and they'd take our clothes away too. So what's the point?"

Thea ignores Delgin and the other complainers to a point. "Be glad there are no bugs or rain in here." Count your blessings, otherwise. Might work…might not. She tells Nicca, "I took one look at the ground and used my tent as a hammock. Was pretty comfortable, actually. Used to do that on the road with wool caravans in High Reaches." Short pause, "Bit damp at night, with the dew and all." Then Nicca's talking about them taking clothes and she starts giggling, "There'd be nekkid Candidates running all over the Weyr and everyone would be entertained, I guess."

Neferennu snorts and then giggles at the image of naked candidates running around the weyr. The comment though has caused some of the hold-bred candidates to make noises of shock and indecency. "Yes, there have been a few tellers in this group, but it seems there always are. At least from those I talked to before this clutch. At least it isn't that cold or wet in here. It's spring too. I wonder if they would get upset if I went and slept outside in the grass, it would at least be softer."

Delgin sits up, muttering. "Don't care about bugs and rain! This isn't fair! I wanna go home." Sniffle, moan. And he's crying. Now the chorus follows suit and several of the younger ones add their tears.

Nicca sits up in exasperation. "Oh for the sake of the First Shell, will you whiny brats shut up? None of you got dragged here in chains. You don't want to be here, go tell any of the staff, they take you home. Problem solved. For us as well as you." In the slightly shocked silence that follows this she turns to Neferennu. "Well, if you were sleeping in the grass, maybe they'd think you're suffering a bit less than the rest of us, turf you back in here and just take some of our clothes. Leave us the underwear or something." The idea of a hammock has made her thoughtful, but she shakes her head. "Pity we can't just go steal the blankets back."

Thea also sits up, leaning against the wall. Ruin leaps to claim her lap, digging the tips of his claws through her clothes until the tips just prickle her skin. A warning his subject had better heed. She nods in the darkness, agreeing with Nicca, "She's right, Rennu. You'd get in trouble, and the others might follow and there'd be…repercussions for sure." Thea is silent for a time, then, "You know, they could be testing us. See if we can keep cohesion as a unit in spite of stuff like this. What we need is to come up with a plan to work through this together. Anyone got any ideas?"

Some of the bawling stops and the sniffing is at least quieter as the younger ones begin listening. Delgin growls in response to Nicca's blanket idea, "Gettin turfed might be worth it…let's do it!" None of the younger Candidates comment on that, but soft movements and shadows indicate they are creeping closer to Nicca, Rennu and Thea. A timid voice quavers, "Could we…kinda sleep closer so it won't be cold? They can't punish us for that, can they?"

Neferennu sighs and just lays her head back down a little further, reaching up to untangle the gold talon in her hair. "I figured as much, it was just a thought." There is some thinking time about Thea comments and then a headshake. Though at least there is a bit of a chuckle and a large smile going unseen at what Nicca tells the younger ones. "I have no idea Thea. Not right now. Though I might be able to ask one of the high ranking dragonhealers to show us what it takes to be a weyrling after hatching. Afterall, those dragons are probably nearing a month old now. Get some of these younger ones to realize what it takes and decide if they still want to go through with it." Her voice is only half teasing, as even candidates would probably not be allowed in the weyrling barracks. Then it is noticed that the others are creeping towards them. "I wouldn't mind. The survival manual, if I remember correctly, did say huddling together for warmth during cold nights was a viable option. Luckily we had tents."

Nicca shakes her head. "Honestly, I despair of the lot of you sometimes." She wads her coat up into a ball and sits on it. "Team bonding? This whole thing has been mind games from start to finish. Worse than playing dragonpoker in a dark room with a dealer who won't tell you the rules and smiles all the time. Lets face it, we go take the blankets, what do they do? Pat us on the back? Take the blankets back and leave us to sleep in here again with a few buckets of cold water throw in for good measure?" She snorts again. "Someone's having a sharding good laugh about this somewhere. If you think there's any more to it than that, then you probably believe every egg on the sands is a gold and going to Impress to a male candidate, because clearly you believe anything."

Delgin mutters, "I have a headache from having no pillow." He gives a shove at Quavery Voice. "And we'd get in trouble if they come in findin' us cuddling with -girls-!" A wave of semi-embarrassed giggling ripples though the barracks.

Thea grins, although the darkness hides it. "Well, we do have to keep the big picture in mind. It isn't fun to endure discomfort, though. Rennu's right, the Hatching will be soon. And it might help to talk to some of the Weyrlings and ask them if it was all worth it." She laughs outright at Nicca's comment on the gold eggs and males getting them. "That would set the entire Weyr on it's keister, now wouldn't it?" She is silent for a few moments, then Aha! She snaps her fingers. "Got it! We all sleep close, at right angles and use the belly of your neighbor as your pillow."

Neferennu laughs and then looks towards where Thea's voice is coming from. "That would be an idea, except some of these younger boys don't want to sleep next to girls. Plus, at right angles you won't get much heat." A shrug in the darkness and then her voice is angled more towards Thea. "Well, if golds started impressing to males, all of Pern would be in an uproar. Besides, everyone knows there can only be one gold per clutch, unless they skipped all of their Harper lessons. At least one person per class has always asked about that. At Landing anyways. Venom, stop it!" The untangling of the gold talon wasn't going very well, in fact horribly. There is a hiss from the 'lizard and instead the hatchling wraps herself up in Rennu's hair. "Ah shells, Venom! Do you realize how much it is going to hurt to brush those tangles out tomorrow? Ow!" Claw in the scalp apparently.

Thea stands, one hand on the wall to steady herself in the darkness, the other cradling ruin, whoo hisses in irritation at once again having his bed move. "We can do two groups, Boys over on their side and girls on this. And it might be warmer if we spiral it. Sort of like that ancient Earth game Dominos. It's worth a try?"

Neferennu hrms and manages to get up to her feet also. "At least it is a plan." There is a lot of squaking from the hatchling and one hand is kept on her to try and keep claws from digging into the head. "Ok, I'm coming." Slowly she moves through the darkness towards Thea's voice, hearing more shuffling as others move as well. The idea soon hits home and the boys move towards the other side of the barracks while this side is being dominated by females. "Ok, how about somone lie down first and we'll go from there. Oh wait…" There is a couple ows, to which Rennu replies sorry. A jangle and then a glow basket is found. It is unshielded part way so there is a little light in the barracks. "There, now we can see what we are doing." The glowbasket is kept with her, so that it can be shielded again once they are done.

It seems the boys, at least are willing to try and one of the older boys supervises the arrangements. There's a fair amount of shuffling and giggling while doing so. Delgin allows himself to be placed, blinking in the sudden glowlight. He's looking fairly unconvinced, but he's cooperating.

Thea is in the midst of helping the younger girls get set, but it's not so easy in the darkness. As Rennu opens the glow, she blinkblinks, "Now why didn't I think of that? Thanks Rennu." She's the last to lie down, and the glow is still open. She eyes the Venom/Rennu-hair tangle dubiously. "Ya think she'll tolerate you having your head on my stomach?" Perhaps she ought to ask if Ruin will tolerate it. Either way, one of the firelizards is going to be cuddling the other, for Ruin doesn't look about to budge; his claws are firmly meshed in Thea's tunic.

Neferennu waits until the others are set and then sidles into place between a young girl and Thea. "I think they are going to have to share." As soon as she lays down, not even having put her head down, the blue and green recurl around her neck and chest. "We can try it…" Slowly her head is layed down on Thea's stomach, while the young girl placed her head on Rennu's stomach. There is a bit of hissing from Venom at Ruin, and a definate ow from Rennu, but the gold moves enough out of the hair to be near the side of the face instead. Oh no, she won't share her spot, since the blue on her neck gets pushed out of the way and replaced. Spire, chitters at this but curls up around the young girl's head instead. At least he is still there. "Oh well.." Rennu comments and then yawns. "Oh…the glow…" Once the scuffling has diminished, she reaches over and shuts the glowlight off from the rest of the room. "So far so good…"

Ruin just stays there on Thea's lap-turned-stomach but amazingly he doesn't growl. Rather he gives a smug chirr as Rennu's head emits the extra warmth he deserves. He doesn't respond to Venom's hiss except to open one eyelid at her breifly. The wisely just lies very still. Hopefully Ruin won't incorporate Rennu's tangle as part of his blanket, or the two of them will have to see the Healers in the morning. Silence settles over the Barracks.

There's a bit of squirming and giggling going on here and there, with several sleepy yawns sprinkled throughout the ranks but for the most part, things are settling down throughout the Barracks. Quiet descends. Then an irritated voice is heard, "Get your feet outta my face." A giggle. "Hey—stoppit! Yer giggling's got yer belly jiggling." That ends the silence as the ripple effect kicks in. Giggling and bellies moving heads are bouncing on their makeshift pillows. It's kinda contagious.

Neferennu is really trying to suppress a giggle but it isn't working. Soon she is giggling with the rest of them. "Oh yeah, this is going to work out real well…"

It does take some time and a fair bit of growling from various firelizards, but after awhile the giggling dies down and silence once again settles as sleep claims it's rightful place.

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