Fort Weyr - Western Forests
The forests here grow all the more pressing, soon choking out the gravel- and sand-formed path that splits from the fork. While it continues to wind further into the darkness and coolness that only such thickly grown foliage can create, other smells hint at places yet to be fully explored. Blueberries and the calls of birds, lush blackberry thickets just out of sight, and deep undergrowth that holds promise of mysterious fungi and other such plants.
Traveling through the woods alone is always a dangerous affair … and all the moreso with whisperings of renegades and feral beasts running rampant throughout. The whoop and call of avians and firelizards penetrate the strange not-quite-silence of the forest, while deeper rumblings of creatures yet unseen might be heard in other places. Great beasts crash through the forest from time to time and set the avians into unexpected flight.

Hazelon steps through the forest, alone, though he holds a bow in his hands. It is one of his free days off, and he has escaped the claustrophobia of the weyr into the silence of the forest to just be alone. He keeps a careful watch around for anything which moves, the arrow at the ready, but the bow not bent. Here in the fores the whipping winds are just a memory, though they cause the treeline above to whisper loudly. He still wears the knot of the weyr upon his shoulder, though it is hidden under a rough and stained leather jacket that cuts what wind does curl around him.

Ah, but one should always look /up/ when wandering the forests, for that is where Kimmila perches high up in a tree, feet swinging and enjoying a sandwich. Knotless and without her lifemate, the bluerider might as well be anyone as she peers downwards, watching Hazelon move. "Heel, toe," she calls down to him with a smirk, pushing up to crouch on the branch and ready to move should her sudden call have him firing off an arrow. She's already been shot out of a tree once, and she's not eager to repeat it.

"S*it," the word falls from the teen's lips and he jumps, that bow pointing upwards instinctly though he does not fire blindly. Instead he looks and recognizes the bluerider, and drops the arrow down. Scrambling he attempts to put back on the Hazelon facade- the shy do-anything personality. The drudge. "Ma'am?"

When she's sure he's not going to shoot her, Kimm swings from branch to branch before nimbly landing on the ground a few yards away. "Hey. You're that drudge." Identified, she then eyes the bow. "What're you doing with that?"

Hazelon allows the arrow to fall from the bow, and is left holding both limply. Inwardly, he spins, trying to figure out how to reconcile the bow with his persona. Silence stretches till the blue rider hits the ground and he hits upon the most likely story. "Was told the forests were a bit dangerous still ma'am, but was wantin' to get out."

Kimmila smirks, adjusting the bow on her own back. "So you thought a bow would be the best thing to carry?" The 'you're an idiot' is implied in her tone. "You even know how to use that thing, kid?"

Um. Hazelon isn't often caught in his lies, but this once he is. Inwardly he curses himself for stupidity. Getting away from the confusion inside the weyr wasn't worth losing what he had. So, think quick. "Ain't… all that good at it ma'am. Just was thinkin' mabe it would be best." He holds the bow as awkwardly as possible, maybe she hasn't seen how utterly comfortable he was with it before?

Kimmila misses some things, but the handling of a bow isn't one of them. "Why would you bring a weapon you're not good with into the forest if you wanted to protect yourself with it?" Liiiies. She can smell them.

"Was thinkin' mayhap it wouldn't be too hard ma'am?" Yes, more lies. Hazelon shifts more than a little uncomfortably under Kimmila's pushing. He cannot meet her gaze any more and drops his eyes down to the forest floor.

Kimmila eyes the kid. "Why are you lying to me?" she asks, slinging her bow off her shoulder and notching an arrow. She keeps it pointed at the ground though, nodding into the woods. "See that tree? Crooked one that splits? Can you get an arrow through the split?"

It is an act of a lifetime that Hazelon has to put on now as she full on accuses him of lying. He licks his lips as anxiety begins to bite at him and turns around. He sees the tree well enough and inwardly puts the shot as easy enough. But that wasn't the point right now. "I could be tryin' ma'am?" With a show of reluctance he raises the bow, fingers purposefully clumsy on the string and wood. Slightly too far he pulls back the string and the arrow dips out of place before he can shift it back in. When the shot does fly it wobbles badly and misses the mark by a fair margin.

Kimmila watches him as he lifts the bow, practiced eyes studying his movements. Fake or not…hmm. "You afraid of besting me?" she pushes at him. "Because I'm always up for a challenge."

"No ma'am!" Hazelon is quick to interject, turning those dark of eyes of his onto her. The bow is lowered again, and without his specific attention his grip changes back to a more competent one. "I'm not practiced at all. Don't need to be, livin' at the weyr." A thought occurs to him and he holds out the bow to her. "If you'd rather I not be holdin it ma'am?"

Kimmila snorts. "You're lying, drudge," and she looks pointedly at his grip. "I'm just wondering /why/, is all. Not a crime for a drudge to know how to use a bow. It's a good skill, and makes me think you wouldn't wander off and get yourself eaten." She doesn't take it, shifting her grip on her own weapon.

Any denial of said lying would make him seem even more true, so Hazelon just goes silent. The bow falls back to his side. "I'll be gettin' back to the weyr now ma'am."

Kimmila shakes her head and tips it towards the trees. "Nope, not yet." That's an order. "Again. Until you make it. You've got the bow. Claim you can't use it, well, here's your practice."

Any denial of said lying would make him seem even more true, so Hazelon just goes silent. The bow falls back to his side. "I'll be gettin' back to the weyr now ma'am."

Kimmila shakes her head and tips it towards the trees. "Nope, not yet." That's an order. "Again. Until you make it. You've got the bow. Claim you can't use it, well, here's your practice."

Hazelon had just about to begin a trudge back towards the weyr when the bluerider stops him in his tracks. Again he licks his lips and looks up towards the target she had picked out for them. Reluctantly he pulls another arrow out and sights it up. This time the arrow falls short, but not quite as badly.

Kimmila's abrupt commands ring a bell in Hazelon's mind, and his hands tighten on the bow. Another arrow set to the string and sent flying, again, still far from the mark, but slightly closer than the first two

Kimmila watches closely, then nods. "Again."

Hazelon is slowly beginning to sweat, despite the cool temperatures. This tableau is much too familiar, echoing back into his own history. Except, the blue rider hadn't hit him yet, for missing, or kicked him to go after the precious arrows. The arrow is picked, shot, this time thudding much closer into the wood of the tree rather than sailing far left.

Kimmila nods, "Good," she praises, though soft and gruff. "Again. How many arrows you got left?"

Hazelon's eyes narrow at the praise, unsettled by the difference and similarities. He chances a gland backwards at her, eyes narrowed in speculation. "Three."

Kimmila smirks a bit. "Better get it in three then."

In three? Inwardly Hazelon knows he could have gotten it on the first try, but he has to maintain his cover. Despite everything Rayathess had said about the acceptance the other camp children had received, Hazelon simply cannot see that kind of acceptance for himself. His tight grip upon the bow becomes even tighter, his knuckles whitening. Upwards goes the bow again and in quick succession Hazel sends off the three shots, the last just barely hitting the target.

Kimmila's smirk grows if anything. "You're such a liar," she chuckles, reaching for the bow. "Why do you hide your skill?"

Hazelon is quick to surrender the bow to the woman, though inwardly he cringes, even if the thing is no longer use for him without arrows. "Just lucky with that last one ma'am. Was sure I would be able to make it."

Kimmila eyes him. She just /eyes/ him. And…she waits.

She'll be waiting for a long time. Hazelon stands firm behind his lies, eyes glued to the ground, the picture of innocent drudge.

Kimmila snorts. "Go fetch the arrows." HazeLIAR.

An order Hazelon is more familiar with. Without waiting for any other instruction he dashes off into the forest, losing himself quickly in the foliage. The real question is… will he come back to Kimmila? Or will he take his chance to run away?

If he runs, Kimmila will track him. And she's a /good/ tracker.

Off in the distance nary a bush rustles. Is Hazelon still out there? He has blended into the bushes with ease.

Kimmila watches and listens, and then she exhales heavily. Something is /up/ and she's tenacious enough to see it through. "Hazelon," she calls, striding after him into the brush, setting his bow down before she goes so her hands are free for her own. Just in case he's been trapped by some wild canines or somesuch.

Decisions. Hazelon hovers between two choices to make. Return to the woman who so clearly has suspicions or return to the weyr and be back to work so that her words seem baseless? The one wrinkle… those arrows. The first three he found easy enough, but the next trio are stuck fast into the tree. What consequences would fall if he left them there? Behind him he hears his name called and shifts from one foot to the other. Decision time. "Ma'am? Just gettin' the arrows."

Kimmila walks up behind him but stands a few yards away, watching. "Who taught you to shoot?"

Hazelon shifts towards the tree and looks up. The arrows are not too far up, but as he tends on the slightly shorter side, they're just out of his reach. Their heads are buried deep into the wood, a testiment of the power Hazelon was able to put behind them as they left his hand. "Just friends casual like ma'am. Ain't practiced since comin' to the weyr."

Kimmila nods, walking closer and setting her bow aside. She braces, one foot forward and one back, patting her thigh as an offer for a step. "You should practice more. It's a good skill to have."

Hazelon is wary, but there is no chance to run now, so he steps up on the leg and yanks at the arrows. They don't want to come free, but with enough force Hazelon is able to free them. A check of the head shows he'll have to do some work on them before he returns them. "I'm not interested in that much ma'am, if you'll pardon me sayin, Ain't got no use for it in the weyr proper, and I don't leave much."

Kimmila gives him an odd look as she straightens. "But…you brought a bow with you into the woods to be safe. And then said you couldn't use it very well. So if you want to be safe, you should /get/ better at it."

Oh the tangled web we weave… Hazelon says, "I should probably be gettin' back to the weyr ma'am…"

You say "Not until you explain yourself."

"I just wasn't thinkin' it through very well ma'am. I ain't been out of the weyr much."

You say "You can shoot better than you showed me. Why are you hiding it?"

"Ma'am," The protest comes, Hazelon looking up as if trying to reassure the rider she is wrong, "I'm not sure what you're talkin' about. Promise that I'm no good at the bow."

Kimmila shakes her head, "I've been shooting and watching people shoot most of my life. You're better than that," she says, gesturing. "Why do you hide it?" She is /suspicious/. "Why /would/ you hide such a skill?" Unless he's planning to do something BAD with it.

"Ain't hidin' nothin' ma'am." Hazelon's tone firms up, losing some of the passive note that had curled around him. "Ain't good with the bow, and was foolish to be brinin' it here."

Kimmila shakes her head again. "That's a lie, you /are/ good with a bow. No one could have made that shot in that many arrows if they weren't at least /proficient/."

Hazelon is silent, and not looking at Kimmila.

Kimmila takes a step towards him. "You were coming out here to practice." Statement, not a question. "Just tell me the truth." That's all she wants, really. Honesty. Lies…do not sit well with her.

Hazelon retreats a step as Kimmila steps forward. He grabs onto the story she provides, and twists it just slightly. "Don't be tellin' anyone ma'am? It's just… some of the others were braggin' about bettin' on some shootin' later, and they figured I didn't know how to be usin' a bow. So I thought, mayhap, if I practiced I'd be able t' win…" He manages just the right expression of shame, as if the shooting between young men was the secret, and not Hazelon himself.

Kimmila stares at him for a long moment, but Hazelon is /good/ at those masks, and it seems as if Kimmila buys his story. Her shoulders relax and she laughs. "Why didn't you just /say/ so? Shards. You want some tips? Some of those boys are total assholes. I'd love to see them bested." By a drudge. She doesn't say that.

Deep inside satisfaction and a sick sense of iron settle themselves into Hazelon's stomach. His story seems to be taken. Outwardly though, he has regained his sense of things, and no longer stumbles over his story. "No thank'e ma'am. It… wouldn't be fair, aye? If they ain't gettin' help too." The arrows are tucked neatly back into their holder.

Kimmila shrugs, "Who cares? It's not like I'll be shooting /for/ you. Everyone's bound to be practicing."

"Aye… but mayhap not gettin' help." No to mention the fact that if Hazel shoots for too long the woman will realize how good he really is with this particular weapon. And that simply wouldn't do. Bad enough someone not from back then knows he has an interest in shooting at all. "I probably should be goin'….." And he'll begin to edge his way sideways, back toward the weyr.

Kimmila eyes him again, and then she just shrugs. "Alright. Good luck then. Take your bow when you go, I'm going this way." Further into the trees, as she picks up her own bow again and makes sure she's left nothing behind.

Hazelon takes the bow when she hands it off to him and scoots off into the forest, heading directly back to the weyr, though once out of sight he'll shift, and move deeper into the forest again.