Mud Monster Vs. Grumpy Teen

Characters Alexa, N'sir
Synopsis Alexa gets drafted for some cleaning. Elianneth "helps" and in the end, an offer is made.
Out-of-Character Date March 25, 2019

Igen Weyr - Hydroponic Gardens
Vibrant sights and smells greet visitors to a lush desert oasis that oughtn't exist here in the crater of Igen Weyr. Everywhere one looks, lush greenery waves lazily, hiding growing lights and the fixtures which give off the subtle lighting. The cavern, a natural bubble in the rock, is mostly round - there is no closure to the outside, and there's a tapering off at the back before exploding into another bubble further back. One can just see that the next "room" leads to yet another room even further back.

There is no set aisle through the plants. Walkways meander here and there, sand heaped along the floor and kept warm by whatever device gives the Hatching Grounds their warmth. The heat is not as intense here, but the mist generated by clever automatic sprayers lends humidity to the air. Tubs of various depths and sizes are scattered higgeldy piggeldy, and the plants in them seem to have no rhyme or reason. Aromatic scents give the hint that kitchen herbs and useful vegetables have been scattered among the decorative flowers and trees.

The chain of rooms are obviously a newer addition, perhaps onyl a few decades old. Insects buzz about everywhere, and there is a quiet twitter of avains and firelizards, who seem quite at home here among the vegetation. Near the door, a wooden rack holds a few pairs of shoes, encouraging visitors to go barefoot.


Winter - Month 11 of Turn 2720

One would think that a bit of rain in Igen would be a welcome thing, but one would be wrong. It is not a nice thing. It is a messy thing. It is a humid thing. It takes all that desert sand, and turns it into? muck. And all that desert heat and turns it into? well. Wet. There are sure to be some (*cough-TOITH*) who love it. And there are definitely some (*cough-ALEXA*) who do not. Maybe this is why she's looking so sullen, and miserable, and particularly grump on an otherwise perfectly acceptable day. She's got books. She's got pillows. She's even got a cold drink of some sort, condensation collecting in a little puddle beneath it. And yet, there's that look. The sort that says 'I am royally annoyed for probably NO REASON AT ALL' that is thankfully turned toward the book in her hands and not the other people trying to enjoy the gardens. At least she's not being rained on?

It is safe to say wither goeth Toith go Eli and at the moment, the pair outside in the bowl rolling in the muck and mud like.. Well, like mud monsters. N'sir on the otherhand has been stalking through the weyr, dark eyes narrowed as he searchs for… R'sner. Why? Because the dragons are /filthy/ and he KNOWS how much his weyrmate loves that. Despite the narrowed eyes, though, there is a twinkle of amusement in N'sir's gaze. Fortunately, his search is about to get a lot less annoying and good deal more entertaining, particularly as he heads directly toward the reading Alexa. "Are you Alexa?" Really, the wise money would be on saying no, or playing dumb, but from the look on N'sir's face? It's pretty clear that he's aware that he's found the right person.

"Nope." One can almost imagine the sound of popped chewing gum to go along with that single-word dismissal. "Never met her. Maybe try the library." Because apparently, she's never met her, but she knows where she hangs. Alas. Harper she may be, but good-liar she is not. After a second or two of pretending she's 'not that girl', there's a sigh and a squint up at the greenrider to wonder, "Why? Who wants to know?"

N'sir exhales a low snort at the response, his lips twitching in a smirk. "Cute. Up and at em, your Journeyman volunteered you to help me." Sadly, the search for R'sner, who is /supposed/ to be helping him will just have to wait. "On the upside," he notes as he raises his shoufa to cover his hair. "It won't take terribly long and you can get right back to your reading." That being said, he draws back a step, clearly expecting her to follow.

"What? Why?! That's not fair! I'm supposed to be off today!" Maybe. Or she just doesn't want to go out on the rain. "Ugh!" Of course, she's also slamming the book shut, and throwing it in her bag, and swallowing down the rest of her drink (so she can toss the cup in the bag too) and hauling herself to her feet. Because as much as she might be scowling and seething about 'that bastard', this is clearly not the first time. "And who are 'you' anyways? If I'm going off with a stranger, I'd at least like his name first."

"Whelp, next time? Don't do whatever you did to get on his badside," N'sir suggests. "Generally speaking, that is the best way to avoid getting extra duty." It's her last that inspires a wry smile, his cloak adjusted over his shoulders. "N'sir, rider of Green Elianneth, Assistant Weyrlingmaster for Igen." In the wake of the words, he bumps the door open with his hip, gesturing her to proceed him. On the way through the kitchens, he stops and grabs a mop and bucket from the storage closet, more then aware of the fact that Elianneth is having a glorious time getting the weyrling barracks as muddy as possible. Unfortunately for Alexa? That means this not taking long has transformed into, we're going to be a while. He does not bother telling her that, though, leading the way into the living cavern and hoisting up one of the boxes waiting there. "Grab that one and the bags," he points before stepping toward the exit.

Alexa scowls. It's a look that comes with a full-on pout and the indignation of the unjustly accused. "I didn't do anything! He's just… not a nice person." Because maybe she has enough sense to know that referring to her journeyman by less appropriate names would be a step too far. But grump though she might, she's still going with him, sliding through that opened door and into the kitchen. "I'd say 'nice to meet you' but I'm not sure it is yet," she decides, once he's offered his name. A side-eye for the mop and bucket, and her shoulders droop further. "I'm cleaning things?" The joy. It radiates out of her. But down she goes, snagging the box and hoisting it up, following the motions. Box balanced on her hip, she wrangles the bags onto her other shoulder and shoots him a look before heading to the door. "Where're we going?"

"Weyrling barracks," N'sir provides as he leads the way out into the bowl. "And yes, I'm afraid there is going to be cleaning involved." A /lot/ of cleaning. Course, the protest of innocence is met with another wry smile, his chin ducking against the rain as he moves across the muddy bowl toward the barracks. "I'm sure it will pass, these things generally do." Course, his words are interupted with a long suffering sigh as he steps into the mud pit that was once his spotlessly clean barracks. "ELIANNETH!" The not so little green (Who is far more brown then green at the moment) bugles excitedly, her head whipping around to send a spray of mud toward the pair. "Oi."

Igen Weyr - Weyrling Barracks
Nearly equal in size to the Hatching Cavern, the barracks are immense, easily one of the largest of the caverns that sprawl through the cliffside at Igen Weyr. Accessible though a wide entrance meant to admit wind-trailing dragonets, and lighted by small windows cut into the rock, as well as the newly added electric lights, the weyrling barracks provide a place for growing dragonets that haven't reached their full size yet. A path leads though the cavern, on either side standing stone hollows that form the weyrling couches, with a cot and clothespress for the rider beside them. A small alcove in the back houses several large bins are placed along the short ends of the walls nearest the entrance tunnels, containing supplies of oil, food, and water for the young dragons and their riders: a vat of oil and paddles for spreading it onto itchy hides, and various containers kept filled daily with fresh meat. There are also materials available for making riding straps later on in the training sessions. A training chart is posted near the doorway, informing the weyrlings of the lessons they will need to follow.

Alas, Alexa did not pull her hood up. If she'd been paying a bit more attention instead of sulking, she might have taken a cue from the greenrider and prepared herself for the rain. As she did not, it is a somewhat soggy harper apprentice that wanders into the mud-barracks behind N'sir. Looking for all the world like a slightly drowned rat, those green eyes of hers just sliiiiiiiide over to the weyrlingmaster for the horrible, horrible mess that is before them. "You… want me… to clean this…" It is an impossible task. Herculean, even! And made all the more challenging by the muddy beast within. "Ack! No, don't do that!" Too late. A duck of her head might spare Alexa's face, but there's definitely mud in her hair now. Sigh. "Just… kill me now." Ahh, teenagers.

N'sir exhales a quiet laugh, the sound ending on a sigh as he stoops and sets down the boxes, mop and bucket. "Its not that bad," he assures. It is. "Most of this can be solved with a bit of water and shoveling the mud out into the training field." Course, Elianneth? Not making it any better, since she's all but rolling around in the muck with a proud little croon. « My Kingdom! MUWHAHAHAHAHAA! » Course it's a rare day Elianneth is loud, but she's in a good mood— cause N'sir is in a good mood, cause Toith is in a good, cause R'sner is hiding. Straightening, N'sir snags a shovel from against the wal, dark eyes slanting a sideways look at his dragon. "Couch," he orders. Fortunately, Elianneth slides onto one of the couches (It's way to small for her) as N'sir passes the shovel to Alexa. "You start on the left, I'll start on the right, we'll meet in the middle."

R'sner is definitely hiding. And pretending his dragon is not currently brown. And that someday (soon) he will have to wash her. Undoubtedly, he will wear a look much like the one Alexa has currently, even if the harper lass adds a certain pouty-flare to the mix. She's definitely sulking. And it is the sort of sulk meant to be witnessed by people. The sort of sulk that says 'yes, I am upset and I want you to know it!' Complete with sighs. And huffs. And under-breath mutters that are meant to be heard-but-not-heard. "Kingdom?" And as startled as she might be to hear Elianneth, she's gonna try her darnedest to maintain that scoff (even if it got a little wide-eyed for a moment there.) "But did she have to bring it inside?" she wonders. Bags and box are dropped on something not mud-covered (an empty cot, perhaps) before she snags that shovel. "Right." Dubious look at the mud, then the mud-monster, then the mud-monster's rider. But rather than protest further, she just huffs and heads for the 'left' and gets to shoveling. "Is this a normal thing? This…" hand-waggle toward the mud-and-beast, "Mess?"

N'sir exhales a sigh, the sort of sigh that is impossibly long suffering. "More normal then I would like," N'sir notes with a pointed look at his Mud Monster. "Toith's proddy, its raining, Elianneth is feeling her oats." Faranth only knows what Toith is up to at the moment. Or what she's making off with. Eli? She knows, but her contented croon makes it clear that she's not telling. She is, however, tracking Alexa's movements, the sinuous length of her neck stretching out across the open space to settle her head on the couch opposite her. Well aware that the harper girl is upset, N'sir does his level best not to chuckle as he heads to the opposite side of the barracks with his own shovel. "Be glad you don't have to wash her."

Alexa might not know who Toith is, but 'proddy' is definitely a term she's come to understand. It has her casting a deeply suspicious look at the green (brown?) head suddenly resting snaking her way. As if maybe proddy is catching? She doesn't know. But she'll err on the side of caution and offer a somewhat tentative, "Um. Hi…?" to the mud-beast watching her now. The idea of *washing* her?! There's a withering look shot toward the weyrlingmaster, if just for the mere *suggestion* of such a thing. Even if N'sir did not suggest it at all. Still. It's in her head now, and she's going to scowl at him as if he had. While shoveling mud toward the… door? Sure. The door. "I have to wear these for the rest of the day," she notes, eyeballing all that mud and its proximity to her (never mind she's already drenched and mud-splattered). "So… you know… if you could, maybe like, *not* make it worse…? That, um. That would be great."

Elianneth chuffs in response to Alexa's greeting, her neck snaking out a wee bit more, her eyes whirling merry shades of green and blue. She's happy, clearly, that much is clear from the slow sweep of her tail behind her. For N'sir's part, he steadfastedly pretends not to notice the withering look. He does, however, dip his chin in a 'get to it' motion toward the floor. "Not clear itself," he points out as he returns to his own shoveling of muck and mud. Once she's moving again, Elianneth is quick to 'help' her tail lashing out to whip across the floor to chase Alexa with a shower of mud. That? That has N'sir near choking on a laugh, his head giving a slow shake as he returns to his own side. "I'm sure you can grab a change of clothes from stores," he points out. Elianneth? Convinced that she's helping? She's all to eager to keep pushing (splashing) mud after Alexa.

"Hey, I am shoveling!" Just… in a very measured and methodical manner that involves moving as little mud as possible as slowly as possible. Away from the dragon. Who seems intent on getting her muddier. "Hey!" This time, it is for that lash of tail, Alexa's duck quick enough to not catch any muck in the face, but there's definitely a healthy dose of it on her person now. "Seriously? That is *not* helping!" The laughing isn't helping either, and that withering, insulted look once more turned on the greenrider before Alexa's gaze turns it toward the floor (and the mud) instead. "I hate you both." She doesn't. What she really hates is mud (She might bond with R'sner over this). And shoveling it. And being in the barracks when she'd rather be in the gardens. Reading. "Oh great, so I can look like a boy the rest of the day? No thanks," comes in return for grabbing clothes from the stores. "It's all too-big trousers and way oversized blouses. I'd drown." She's kind of a skinny little weed. "I'll just wash it and wear wet clothes." Woe is me-the world is ending! "Seriously, that's not helping, stop!" comes as she tries (and fails) to dance away from all that splashing. "At least do it… that way. Toward him! Your rider! Go splash HIM, not me!"

N'sir laughs a bit harder, the sound nearly drown out by the croon rising in Elianneth's throat. She's helping. She KNOWS she's helping (she's certainly moved more mud then Alexa) and she's determined to continue helping. "She's moved more mud then you," N'sir points out and entirely to amused look. "And who cares what you look like? You'll be fine." The insistance that Elianneth splash him is met with another quiet laugh, his braid spilling out from beneath his shoufa as he shrugs off his cloak and tosses it on a cot. "She knows how much my clothes cost," he points out. Clearly, that makes Alexa the target of choice. Of course, N'sir is also the maker of wonderful hats and Elianneth is not about to risk that. Instead, she shoves her nose down into the water on the floor and /blows/ a wave toward Alexa. « Attack of the Muuuuuuudddd Monster MUAHAHAHAHAH! »

Alexa gives up. She just… gives up. She's going to be muddy. She's going to be wet. She might even be crushed to death by an over-friendly dragon (She's never met Leirith >.>). But she'll do it with a longsuffering sigh and a 'woe is me' look. "Yeah, well. She's a little bit bigger and probably has more practice!" Moving mud. "Besides, she's making my spots muddier! I can't clean it if she's just gonna push it all back!" Of course, Alexa has basically given up even attempting to move mud from the floor, more worried about removing it from herself (a desperate and impossible task). But it's the suggestion of not caring what she loos like (coupled with the cost of N'sir's clothes) that has her just defeated, scowling with a vengeance as she twists her hands around the handle of that shovel. "Whatever," she decides, committing a litany of injuries to memory so that she can list them out to her poor, unsuspecting brother later. "I quit. I quit!" is vehemently declared for that spray of water. "You're not a mud monster, you're a dragon!" (She's also never met Toith >.>)

N'sir can't help laughing, particularly since it's clear that Elianneth is having a wonderful time. Pausing in his shoveling, he tilts his head, his gaze going distant as Elianneth swings her head around to regard him for a long moment. After a moment, he arches a brow, dark eyes slanting a glance toward Alexa before looking back at Elianneth for a long, long moment. It is the declaration of quiting that has him setting the shovel down, one hand reaching in his pocket. "You need to really consider if that is what you want to do," he points out as he opens his hand to reveal a white knot. "Because despite what Elianneth thinks, I'm not inclined to give this to a quitter, Alexa." To which Elianneth chimes in with another gloriously muddy spray of water and a very loud bugle.

This is how the world ends. In mud, and dragon-bugles. But it is the moment of stillness, while looks are shared between rider and dragon (and no mud is currently being flung or pushed anywhere) that Alexa gives serious consideration to the door. And then the floor. And then her hands as they twist and grip at that shovel. Whatever thoughts are churning in her brain, they briefly drown out all else because she's almost startled when N'sir speaks again. Guilty conscience, perhaps? Or simply not expecting him to address her. Either way, there's a suspicious look cast toward the greenrider before her gaze darts to the item in his hand. Elianneth's bugle has her jumping all the more. "Wow, loud…" comes with a quick glare at the green, and it takes her a moment to really recognize what it is N'sir is holding. But when it does, her scowl loses a lot of its petulance as curiosity snakes its way in. "Is that… a candidate knot?" Cut her some slack, she's Holdbred and only ever read about these things. "It is, isn't it. Right?" Gone is the snark and instead there's just a girl, with a flicker of wonder in those wide, green eyes as she risks a glance between Elianneth and N'sir.

N'sir says, "It is," N'sir assures as he holds it up between thumb and forefinger. "A rather nice one, too." He made it, after all. "Course, it's not a thing for quitters, Alexa," he points out. "If you take this, and Elianneth thinks you should, you cannot walk away the moment that things get tough. And they will get tough," he adds in serious tones. "And, should be fortunate to be one of those who do impress? From there? There is absolutely no quitting." That he's as serious as heart attack is clear from a glimpse on his face. "This is the potential for your life to change dramatically. No matter what happens, it is an absolute certainty that you will not be the same after this experience.""

The simple fact that no smart-ass remark is forthcoming might speak for itself. But there is a bit of a scowl, a little screwing up of Alexa's face in return for that pep talk, and she can't quite help the sullen, "What do you know about tough," that even she might realize is rather hypocritical if she weren't too busy being a brat. But that she wants that knot may also be clear, though her hands refrain from reaching out, twisting all the tighter around that shovel's handle as though wringing it solves all her problems. "I'm not going to quit," she insists. "You want me to shovel the barracks, I'll shovel the sharding barracks, Okay?"

N'sir exhales a quiet laugh, dark eyes slanting a pointed look at his mud monster of a dragon. "Oh, I think I know a thing about tough," he points out. It is in response to her last that he holds the knot out to her, an easy smile tracing over his lips. "You're right, Candidate, you will shovel the barracks and then mop the floors, wipe down the cots and get them all neatly made with the linens in the boxes. But," he adds. "That can wait for morning. Right now? We're going to the Candidate Barracks to get you set up. Elianneth, hit the lake and rinse off… And find out what Toith is up to."

There's definitely a moment in which Alexa gives serious thought to throwing it all away. Muck the whole barracks? Mop the floors? DRESS THE BEDS?! But the protests remain behind those screwed-up, sour-looking lips, bitten back and swallowed down so that it is just a sullen little nod of her head that is given. Let the drudgery begin. "Yeah, okay…" And hey, at least it gets her out of the mud for a little bit…

N'sir winks before he exhales another quietly husky laugh. "You'll be fine. If you want, I can send Elianneth down to help you." Something Elianneth would no doubt /love/ if her bugle as she heads out in search of Toith is any indication. "Lets get you settled," he adds as he steps out of the barracks fully expecting her to follow.

Igen Weyr - Candidates' Quarters
While the barracks are little different from the dorms in layout and appearance, a little time makes it apparent that they house younger people, for the most part. There's also more order; the cots are lined with precision - almost as if laid out on a sleeping chart. The room is kept tidy, and the presses are closed and not leaking belongings. Though not segregated by sex, one side of the room appears to belong primarily to the female candidates, the other to the males, though there does happen to be some over-lapping. In general, the barracks are open, perhaps as an introduction to the more public, collective life of a rider. To one side of the door, a large chore board lists the duties of each Candidate for the day.

Alexa is definitely following. She might have to return and muck out the barracks, but that's tomorrow. And she's still young enough to believe that procrastinating is a good idea. The shovel gets left behind however, leaned up against the wall before she minces her way through the mud and back out of the barracks. "Uh… no that's okay," comes for the idea of Elianneth helping, the wary look shot toward the pretty (muddy) green. "But… um. Thanks for the offer?" Really. Please-but-no. Into the rain, and she just leaves her hood down (why bother, she's already soaked). And it's not even a good, hard rain to help wash her clean. Just a persistent, irritating drizzle that makes everything wet. "I'll have to tell my Journeyman," she recalls, once they're in the caverns once again. "And my brother…"

"I'm sure they'll hear it soon enough," N'sir notes as he steps into the barracks with her. It's cozy, with neatly painted cots, fresh, hand made linens and freshly painted walls. "Pick a cot and then go get your things, you'll want to get good sleep tonight," he points out. "The choreboard is there, on the wall. You are expected to work while in Candidacy. Every morning, before chores and breakfast, we'll be going to do physical training, so make sure you have something you don't mind getting sweaty." Once he's certain she understands, he flashes her a wink and adds. "Welcome to Candidacy, Alexa." In the next moment, he's dipping out. He still has a weyrlingmaster to find.

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