Fort Weyr - Hatching Sands

The sands. The most prominant and possibly most important area for a weyr, this section of Fort is no exception to the rule. Completely enclosed from the outside elements by a high rounded ceiling, the golden white sand glitters under the streams of sunlight that manage to make their way in from the upper openings. Ledges abound in the upper areas of the dome, perfect for riders and their dragons to watch the action happening on the ground. At the back of the sands there appears to be a raised section of sand, built over generations by the golds who have laid clutches here, a couch of sorts for basking on while protecting their eggs. Slightly to one side of that, a small nook has been carved for the weyrwoman to take respite from the heat of the cavern.


It's been nearly a full turn since the snowstorm that trapped the Weyrsecond and one of Fort's juniors in a remote mountain hold and brought to three more goats to the Weyr, adding to the three babies already there. Somewhere along the way, someone decided that what the Weyr needed was a proper herd for milk and cheese-making and thus, despite D'ani's misgivings, a trip to Beastcraft has been accomplished. A small herd of twenty babies has been purchased, collected and transported just a few days ago and the skittish creatures are settling in. Settle would actually be the wrong word to use. Unused to dragons, they've been nervous and so, up to this point, they've been kept crammed in the few stalls within the stone barn. It may have been one of the weyrbrats who did it - or, knowing the uncanny ability of goats to mimic Houdini, they've escaped. At any rate, they're out and, led by their older friends the wild ones brought back from cliffside hold they're pronging and leaping through the bowl unchecked, because you see, it's in the middle of the night and have not been seen. For some unknown reason, they make for the opening that leads to the hatching grounds and trot right on in.

Kouzevelth knew there were goats — Inri knew about some of them, and probably heard about all of them, and Ha'ze had even mentioned them to her, so the gold was aware of the general concept of goats. She was not anticipating goat in her immediate space. And Inri isn't even awake — she's there, having fallen asleep in a protected area on the Sands, but isn't conscious. At least not at first. The caprine invasion has Kouzevelth sitting back on her haunches and just watching them like, well, what are you going to do? She isn't quite aware that they have a tendency to kick. Inri, on the other hand, is just glad she'd dozed off clothed because this is going to get weird very fast — she's lifting her head and pulling herself to her feet. Soon, relevant parties are alerted via dragon that there is a Problem on the sands, though they may not know exactly what it is; her attention to Dremkoth's mind until he pays heed is particularly nagging. These are his rider's problem, right? The Weyrleaders may or may not be permitted to sleep through the intrusion. Kouzevelth is mostly just confused; her commentary never involves any actual concern. (Again. They kick things? News to her.) "You're terrible," Inri is telling a goat, in the meantime. It's one she carried back from Cliffside.

Hey GOATS. Kainaesyth likes baby anything, and there are totally baby things going on right there on his sands. When Kouzevelth awakens it takes a little longer for Kainaesyth to tug himself from sleep. (Winter is coming guys. :( ) but pull himself he does. The threat to his eggs is not registered, aren't they cute? Where are those two he made friends with just a little bit ago. Kainaesyth and Kouzevelth are the worst egg protectors ever.

Never a dull day (or night in this case) in Fort, is there? All the fuss has indeed reached Velokraeth's attention and of course the pale bronze alerted his riders. Who cares if the Weyrleader was "busy" with "important" things? 'Problems' on the Sands is a serious thing! Or makes a good round of interesting gossip. Unless he's chased off, the stunted bronze will glide his way in from one of the entrances above and hunker down on a ledge to peer at the sands below. Close enough to see but far enough away not to be considered rudely intruding. Meanwhile, Th'ero is likely making his way down — eventually.

Gabriela's customary adorable outfit has been traded off in favor of more sleep friendly duds. An old shirt with the sleeves cut off that looks suspiciously like a man's hangs askew over a pair of flimsy capris' with a drawstring waist. Her wavy hair is twisted up and pinned to the back of her head in a messy array. The whole ensemble looks thrown together haphazardly down to the sandals on her feet. If this is a Hatching nobody told her about it so no Robe-Gown in sight. Just balled fists rubbing at sleepy eyes as she staggers onto the scene. "What is going on?" Much put upon she drops her hands to glare around her only to see goats. "Am I still asleep?!" Because goats! What the crap?

Zhirayr still doesn't even have a firelizard, much less a dragon, and it's not like he lives that close to the sands, or the barn — so it's probably the general hubbub, or the implant all the Stewards and Headwomen get that downloads gossip directly into their awareness, that has him showing up at the edge of the sands shortly after the Weyrleader. He, at least, actively seems concerned, grabbing the nearest goat with a firm hand and muttering directly to the animal in question that there had better not be any biting, kicking, or head-butting involved in his attempt to keep it confined. Wait, did he just say 'kicking'? Kicking. Yep. He raises his voice, calling out to Inri and Th'ero: "They haven't hurt the eggs, have they?"

Waking up isn't what Haristal does the best. He doesn't do a lot of things great, but at least he's not wearing a shirt when he drags himself from his cot to follow the commotion to the sands. It's probably a good thing this is a false alarm, so far as the eggs hatching go anyway, because he's definitely not wearing a robe. He is wearing a blank look when he starts actually processing what's happening, though. At least enough to realize that he has no idea what's going on right now. "Uh," he says at the nearest person.

No shirt no shoes and you still get service! Gabriela happens to glance toward Haristal and note the lack of a shirt. Presumably the man has on pants, though if not there will be NO complaints from the Gabby sector. "Goats," she responds to the 'uh' with a shrug. "Why.. I have no idea." She sighs as though she has better things to be doing right now. Like I don't know, SLEEPING! Alas that isn't going to happen. "Try not to spook 'em so they don't crack the eggs." Because that would be bad.

Goats have a tendency to climb. And head butt others. And escape, of course, but we already know this. The herd scatters once inside the hatching cavern. A few hippity hop up the stairs to the gallery, the rest invade the sands like they own them. Kouzevelth is ignored (too tall), the eggs are ignored (too low) but Kainaesyth now, he's just right. The majority scamper over to the bronze and in a series of agile leaps begin climbing the dragon while the goat Inri's talking to talks back. 'blaaaaaaaa!' It bleats indignantly. Where's the eats Lady? Too impatient to wait around, it skips over to Gabriela, cocks its head…and shoves it rudely up underneath her loose shirt. The one Zhirayr has by the horns…likes it. She prods and pushes enthusiastically. Hey look! I found a goat-man! Or… is that a satyr? 'Blaaaaagh!' is the response Haristal gets from yet another she-goat - a tiny one that simply cuddles up to him, tips her head back to gaze dreamily up at him and sighs. Love at first sight?

Dremkoth, who has joined Velokraeth above on one of those ledges, is trying to nudge D'ani awake, but the Weyrsecond is deeply asleep at his desk, head in a pile of paperwork. « Those have got to be the ugliest hatchlings produced at Fort Weyr yet, » the bronze asides in Statler and Waldorf fashion. « And where are their wings? » Heckling from the audience? Oh yes.

Kainaesyth should probably be like, moving, and shooing baby goats away and STUFF. But no, looking MOSTLY like a rock he's going to just make it as EASY AS POSSIBLE for the goats to climb up over him. « All children are welcome. » A quiet chastisement, slipping along a breeze slowly cooling into winter's chill, carries the thoughts above.

« Well, » Kouzevelth rejoinders, actually snorting — whether or not the bronzes up above can hear it at that distance is anyone's guess, « They did hatch too early. »

Inri shakes her head, looking glad to see the influx of Candidates; she ignores Ingan, if he's made an appearance, but Gabriela and Haristal get her attention. "Oh! Perfect. Minions. Can you um —" She waves a hand at the invaders, "Take care of that, maybe — oh, I didn't mean for you to take care of them," that last part being to the goat that is making Gabriela's life difficult. She turns around to call over her shoulder to Zhirayr, "I don't think they care about the eggs. I'd question whether these genius dragons did either but I think they're just both too fixated on how they're little to think hooves can be dangerous and don't realize."

"There is no room at the inn!" Gabriela hollers as the goat shoves and nudges at her. "C'mere you little shit," she makes grabby hands at the goat. If she is able to corral it she will look around for a place to stuff it. Though there is a chance it will bound away and leave her whirly arming it to stay on her tired feet. "I think I was just assaulted by a goat."

Haristal glances at Gabriela with a frown. The why seems kind of important, but if she doesn't know, asking her probably won't do either of them much good. Then there's one touching him and he looks down at it instead. "What're you doing in here?" he asks. Even Haristal probably knows perfectly well that goats can't talk, though. He crouches down to pick the little goat up carefully in his arms, asking of the Inri who's been trying to direct them, "Where do these, uh, go?"

Any goat dumb enough to get close to the eggs might end up as dragon food! Nothing like a bit of late night trauma, right? Never mind that Kainaesyth is being used as the equivalent of a dragon sized jungle-gym. Velokraeth observes from above and chuffs with amusement — or is he sizing a few up? « Don't look at me, Dremkoth! » he chides to the younger bronze with an implied impish grin. « Though if the blame is not mine, I'd rather not say who it is less we offend our lovely queens, hmm? » Never mind he sired Kouzevelth and he's not about to say it's Kayeth's fault. « Perhaps someone brought Kouzevelth dinner? Odd way to go about it but — a kind gesture. Wonder if they're as delicious young as they are as adults… » Ahem.

"They'd be dead by now if they touched the eggs." That growled voice? Is Th'ero's of course and in answering belatedly to Zhirayr. The Weyrleader looks a bit harried and maybe because he attempted to rouse D'ani before storming his way down here. It takes him a moment to scan the sands and with a long suffering sigh, adds: "Of all the pranks…" Yeah, he's looking at YOU Candidates!

Kainaesyth will BITE the next person who suggests eating the babies.

Kouzevelth wasn't even going to — they're too funny to even consider it. « It's entertainment, » she says. « Strange hour for it, though, I think Inri was trying to sleep. »

No, not Kainaesyth.

Somewhere the Weyrsecond is dreaming the oddest thing, thanks Dremkoth! The goatling is searching Gabriella's front for… oooh! Found one! Just like mom! Eep? No wonder she got cussed out by the pretty lady with the nice… As for the wee one Haristal has lifted, the goat bleats blissfully and snuggles into his arms, laying her head on his shoulder. Hi dad? Meanwhile the goats atop Kainaesyth's back begin playing king of the mountain. Or is that queen? They're all females, after all.

« Say that when they pee on you Kainaesyth! » chortles Dremkoth, the comment shared with the other dragons as well. He doesn't miss a beat when Kouzevelth chimes in, « Then can we put them back? » Is he… elbowing Velokraeth up there? « Snacks that deliver themselves, maybe? »

Hauling a goat across the sands Gabriela pauses long enough to pin the Weyrlearder with a look. "Seriously?" Is he really accusing her of this supposed prank? "Do you think for a minute that if I had a hand in this that I would be in here cleaning it up?! That's half the fun of them. Not doing the cleanup." Gabby has zero craps to give tonight folks. Drug from her bed to deal with loose goats near the eggs. Seeing as she doubts the Weyrleader has an actual clue she looks around her a moment before loudly asking, "Where do these go?"

« Liquid can be washed off. » Kainaesyth sees no humor in the thought of eating the babies. If anything, he's become PROTECTIVE of the little oens, and is going to attempt to keep them on his back with gentle wing nudges. This is hard. He'll finally have to reach out to Ha'ze and tug him towards the sands. Of course, Ha'ze is late, and isn't going to be there for a bit.

"Whoever is responsible wouldn't have shown up," says Inri, somewhat firmly — though she still seems amused by the entire thing. Maybe it's the dragons? That also exonerates Haristal and Gabriela and any other candidates who arrive to assist. She has of course just thought of Ha'ze, and is casting a glance in Kainaesyth's direction, "Hey, where's your rider?" This dragon she expects to answer her directly, though — as opposed to Dremkoth, who gets a raised eyebrow and, "And yours?" in his direction. He's probably not going to talk to her. He probably thinks this is funny.

"Other than 'not in the hatching cavern', you mean?" Zhirayr calls over to Gabriela, looking somewhat harried. "There's a barn, not actually that close to the feeding grounds — and it probably has what used to be a really effective fence or gate to keep them penned in, that has probably now been eaten or kicked to matchsticks. Also, it would be great to get these out of here before they pee all over the sands, because nobody's going to want to clean that up." He's also looking at you, candidates. Just imagine how much effort is involved in cleaning that particular mistake out of hot sand. Hot, wet, smelly sand.

Hot, wet, smelly new sand, because it was just replaced a turn or two ago after someone set it on fire.

Haristal is still holding his new goat girlfriend. What can he say? She's pretty warm and not making a nuisance of herself. If he were smarter, he might be able to say he was doing it on purpose to avoid having to catch any other goats. But really he's just not sure what to do with this one. Especially since the longer he carries her, the less he wants to put her down. Can he keep it? It totally followed him home (in his arms).

Also, if Alister were here, he probably would have spit on it for you.

At least someone has some sense around here. Gabriela flicks a thankful glance in Inri's direction. After all a prank is one thing. Like say.. walking under buckets of water hung over a doorway. That was totally probably her. This? Endangering the eggs after witnessing one idiot Candidate anger that bit Momma over there? For real Gabby is not suicidal. At the moment she is following Haristal across the sands with her ward in tow. Hoping he knows where he's going. Though she may really not want to know where he's going! Fort! Where then men are men and the goats are scared.

Velokraeth chuffs again and his mind is filled with rippling amusement as he nudges Dremkoth back. « I think not this time. They're safe and you don't have to be so protective Kainaesyth! » That might be an apology? « … I prefer wild wherry. » Back down on the Sands themselves, Th'ero just levels Gabriela with a narrowed look. Yeah, he totally DID accuse them! "Suppose not." he admits in a low mutter. "But someone is responsible — and before anyone says it it's not my son." THIS TIME. Zhirayr's grumbling about the barn has the Weyrleader grimacing. "Anyone think to notify the stablemaster or a posted Beastcrafter?" Since he utterly failed at waking D'ani up! "We'll start by trying to get them back to the feeding grounds at least or… just outside!"

Once he finally follows someone else, and thus leads Gabriela where they need to go to drop off their goat friends, Haristal lingers near the pen. He hasn't put the goat down yet. She fell asleep. What's he supposed do to? Wake her up?! It's not until someone yells at him to hurry up that he makes noises of protest and finally puts her down to make his way back to find catch another.

Cue the arrival of D'ani, looking fuzzle-haired and sleepy. He's got a large bundle of something under one arm and a pail of grain in the other hand. If he shoots a half-glare up towards those ledges, it's directed solely at Dremkoth. "Here," he says to those carrying goats and gets down to business shaking out what winds up being a net. No, he's not going to create a pen out of it, though that would work with cows. The goat kids would simply jump over it and be off. "Shove them under there and take a handful of grain to lure your next victim, eh?" Tousled he may be, but his mood is easy enough. The goats playing on Kainaesyth find his wing-elbowing alluring. They play hopscotch taking turns jumping over it. Any that tumble off nimbly leap back to a perch on the giant mountain. One brave soul finds her way along his neck to the top of his head. She likes it here! Can she stay?

Kouzevelth is watching Kainaesyth and his friends, looking incredibly amused; it almost looks like a humanoid smile splayed across her muzzle. Inri, on the other hand, is actually laughing at D'ani, "Have a nice nap? Oh, but that's useful —" and is then making her own attempt to catch a goat. She isn't too big a person, but there must be some small ones. The ones that know her are already bigger than she could scoop in an arm. Haristal gets a, "Good look for you," for his living accessory.

"This has got to be the weirdest place I have ever called home," Gabriela grouses as she stomps back across the sands after another goat. There is a chance Haristal will over hear her grumbling seeing as they are walking the same direction. "Nights like this I miss the wagons." It isn't often she laments what she lost leaving the Traders. With a handful of grain she slows to approach a pair of skittish kids. "It would be easier to just club 'em and be done with it." Goat roast anyone?

"Here's hoping that the grain is enough to keep them from eating the net," Zhirayr mutters, and… does not wait for the candidates to function well enough to wrangle all the goats by themselves. There's also the fact that he has not grown any emotional attachment to the goat he's been keeping his prisoner. Much easier to dump it — her — under the net, complete with a clump of grain, when he has no particular drive to pet or coddle her. And another, and a third, and he's at least agile enough that he's catching all the goats he's aiming for (perhaps since none of them are the dragon-hopping kind).

A new group of candidates is ushered into the sands, Senira among them. She plods gracelessly onto the sands, ice-blue eyes wide as she tries to take in the mild chaos currently happening in the sands. "What… How…?" She and her fellow candidates had been filled in on their way to the hatching cavern, but seeing is believing. She gives a brief shake of the head to clear her thoughts, paying careful attention to D'ani's advice. She nods slowly—bribes make sense. She half-stomps over to get a handful of grain, looking around for a goat to catch. She's not especially well-coordinated under the best of circumstances, so this is going to be a bit of a challenge. A few of the dragon-hopping goats are spied and Senira walks carefully toward them, fistful of grain held over her head. "Here…. ….kiddy kiddy," she calls, broken up by the occasional kissy-noise.

Someone's got to stay behind with the net and Th'ero will assume D'ani will do so as the Weyrleader moves off and further onto the sands. He'll see the goats currently scampering over Kainaesyth and likely echo a bit of Gabriela's sentiment. "If you knew half of what happens here," he tells her with a straight face. "This is by far the better of it. At least there is no fire or explosions or worse…" There's worse than that? "They're lucky goats," Somehow the tone he uses for 'lucky' means something else and no where near as polite. "That neither Kainaesyth or Kouzevelth seem troubled by them." Unfortunately they cannot stay and so Th'ero will likely try to grab one if one so happens to cross near his path. Don't worry — he left his daggers in his weyr!

"Wagons?" That gets Haristal's attention away from the goats and onto the other candidate. "I had— know— that. Too." Smooth as silk. Fortunately he practically trips over another goat that tries to wiggle its way between his legs while he walks. So, nope, he turns to follow it as soon as it bounds off the way he'd just come.

Anyone getting seriously hurt or killed on the sands, including goats, would be the recipient of all of Inri's sympathy ever, which means the goldrider would be incredibly put out if someone had killed any of the goats. Forget the dragons not wanting them eaten, Inri doesn't want any bloodshed. "Another innocent face!" she says cheerfully to Senira. She has such good candidates. They're smart. "Nice work with the bribe."

Balancing the she goat on his head is NO SMALL EFFORT. See how very still Kainaesyth is being? Which means that it is about time for Ha'ze to arrive. "Damn it Kainaesyth, put it down, and start shooing them away from the fucking eggs." Ha'ze ignores whatever chaos is going on to join the goats climbing on his dragon. "Inri, catch this thing when I throw it down." hopefully, uh, Inri is listening?

"I did," answers D'ani with a crooked grin to Inri, "though I had the wildest dream." Whiiiich is actually reality, go figure. He's keeping the net secure, accepting one kid at a time as the candidates bring them over and situating them underneath it. Of clubbing, he tsks at Gabriella, "Now, now, if we do that we'll deplete the future cheese operation and Nyalle will be quite disappointed." He lifts his voice to the rest of the candidates, "You may have to go up onto Kainaesyth to get the rest." The goat Zhirayr has ignores the grain and begins chewing on the steward's clothes. YUM!

Gabriela hasn't the time to answer Haristal though she does watch him chase the goats around for a moment. What? She's a healthy woman for crying out loud. "Never again for me," she mutters under her breath. Just then a goat takes interest in the scent of grain in her hand. "Gotcha!" There is bleating a lot of cussing and Gabby's hair comes loose before she wrangles the little monster to the sand. "Hold still!" Hefting a goat kid that weighs half as much as you do is NOT easy. A little help here? No? Figures. She tromps across the sands with a kicking bleating package to deliver.

Just think there are only about 16 more goats to go!

Ha'ze is in luck — Inri is paying attention. She'd just been looking for another goat to grab anyway, especially as now there is somewhere to put them besides 'not here' — "If she kicks me in the head or pees on me, it's your fault," she informs her sands-sharer blandly, but is prepared to catch a goatling. And not get kicked or peed on. "No one is killing any of them, by the way," is added firmly, hopefully loud enough to carry.

Oh, but instead there are 'raisins' scattered all over the sands - and probably Kainaesyth by now though!

"Don't you dare drop him." Ha'ze chucks a goat off of Kainaesyth's back and it BLEEEEEEETS it's way down into someone's arms. Sadness. All the sadness.

Haristal was just here. He was chasing a goat! But someone might miss him if they remember that he was here. They might also miss that little girl goat. She might end up in the barracks by the end of the catch, but for now Haristal might have just carried her off somewhere safer than a net.

Clubbing them was only a helpful suggestion. Gabby looks a little sour on the idea of not killing the little trouble makers. "Make good stew they do." Without looking to see if the poor bloke at the net is even prepared she shoves the goat toward them and staggers backward. "I'm too short for this crap." It's a mundane statement made in general. Seeing as how she's about the size of a young teenager it's logical. "Not bad enough I've had a face full of manure so far in this Candidacy.. now this!" Lack of sleep is the general source of her crankiness. "Aww man! Did I just step in?.?" Lifting her sandal she looks and gags. Yup she did step in it. "If I only had a rope to get around 'em" She might just wring their necks so it might be a bad idea.

The goatling atop Kainaesyth's head curls up, snuggling into the contours of his skull and begins nibbling affectionately at his ridges. She's no donkey, but she is in love with this dragon anyway. "Her," the Weyrsecond corrects Ha'ze absently and perhaps unwisely considering the chaos over there. He doesn't object to the goat-tossing, however. Goats are tough! And good on you, Haristal! D'ani'll have one less goat to worry about later. Buuut you'll have to milk her. As for the stweard's clothes? He's unconcerned. Goats have stomachs of iron. They eat all sorts of garbage.

Ha'ze is less of a bastard to that last baby, the one making a bed on Kainaesyth's head. That one gets gathered up in his arms, and Ha'ze slides down to the ground. No more words as he walks out, leaving Kainaesyth to settle back onto the sands, slightly melencholy for the loss of the babies. :(

At least Zhirayr also has a belt to use as a fake rope.


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