Fort Weyr - Guard Training Field
This wide, roughly square section of the bowl has been set aside as a training zone for the guards, and is frequently the scene of drills and sparring. There's always someone on watch, but entrance is open to all - with a warning to steer clear of any training activities if you don't want to get in trouble. A permanent obstacle course is erected to test agility, strength and endurance, while a track has been worn around the perimeter of the area by the daily footfall of countless guards, from recruits to captains, running laps, either alone or in squads. Near the weaponry, closer to the section carved into the wall that houses the guards' offices and quarters, there's a line of well-battered dummies for various uses - some have targets on their bulging sack bellies for archery, while others, made of tougher materials, are dented from hours of blows from blunted swords, cudgels and longstaffs.

Early morning is one of the busiest times in the guard training area, as the Weyr's defence force takes to pounding the running track, running the obstacle course, or weapons practice. Guard PFC Russall is amongst those in the latter category this particular day, standing over at the archery range with his bow over a shoulder and his quiver on his back, though that's not the weaponry he's toying with; he's actually polishing his longstaff with a cloth as he waits for one of the targets, all of which are currently occupied, to become free.

Wandering into the training area is Daralyn. Well, not so much wandering…that word implies a lack of focus and Daralyn is most assuredly focused upon coming in. Not quite diehard man-on-a-mission focused…more bleary-eyed early-in-the-morning teenager focused (which is a thing…usually involving some element of missing one's bed). Waiting for Russall to reach a break in his training routine, he stands aside…and well clear of his area of movement. Getting elbowed by an archer is not a great way to meet someone, y'know?

Perhaps it's lucky for Daralyn that Russall hasn't yet found a spot amongst the archers to take his turn? Given that he's simply applying balm to his longstaff's exposed wood - a task that's hardly in need of much attention - he looks up to see the unfamiliar face, and takes a moment to silently assess Daralyn before stepping towards him. "This area's not for those without weapons," he says, not in an unfriendly manner, but more matter of fact. It is a potentially dangerous area, after all. "Is there anything in particular I can help you with?"

"Uh, yes…" Beat. "Yes, sir, there is." .o0(D'oh! Not an officer…works for a living…)0o. Moving along quickly, he shrugs off the slip. "I was hoping to apply to join the Guard. It's why I came to Fort Weyr in the first place…" Before being waylaid by his candidacy…and nearly triggering real hilarity during the ceremony…

Russall squints at Daralyn. "So that's why you're familiar. I saw you on the Sands." Mystery solved! The Guard PFC gives a nod of his head, offering Daralyn a sympathetic smile. "I did candidacy myself. Twice, actually. Decided the first time that Xanadu wasn't really where I wanted to be tied down, nice as it is and all, and second time, no dragon decided it wanted to be tied down to me. So I get the whole left standing deal." He gently shrugs a shoulder, then shifts to lean his weight against the longstaff as he picks up polishing it again. "Why do you want to join the guard?"

"My candidacy was…er…a bit of an accident." Beat. "I was basically picked out by a…not-so-picky dragon. I've wanted to join the guard for…quite some time." Picking out a date would be hard enough for Daralyn. "It's something I think I'd be good at…I know the training is hard…and honestly? It beats fishing."

"Fishing? That's a good hobby." Though Russall sounds more teasing as he does genuine when he says that. "Guard's not bad, to be honest. Though it takes hard work to actually get anywhere. I stayed a recruit for…" He pauses as he works it out in his head. "Oh, a good few turns. However long it was. Ages. You've got to put in the hours and the graft if you want to rank up."

"Graft?" Daralyn shrugs. "Wish I was surprised." He really, really does…but he'd seen more than a few cases of fish that probably weren't cases of fish get passed around growing up. "Fishing wouldn't be a bad hobby…it just isn't the life I want." He doesn't have his head filled with romantic notions, mind you…he just wants something different than what he was stuck being railroaded into growing up. "And…is there anything that doesn't require hard work to get somewhere worthwhile?"

Russall snorts in amusement. "If there was, I would've found it by now. Gotta be something though, right? Look at that Janja. I don't think she's done sweet eff ay to get anywhere in life, and she's got one of the highest ranks possible as a goldrider, even as a banished one. So maybe," and now he leans in, grinning mischievously, "all you've gotta do is be become a girl and Impress a gold."

"Become a girl? Ew!" Daralyn throws out mockingly. No, he doesn't think they've got cooties…but the thought of becoming one? Well…ew. "I think I'll stick to…anything else. Even hard work!" There's plenty of laughter in his voice as he says this…even though he's pretty serious about it. "So…there anyone else I need to see about joining?"

"Yeah, you've gotta go in and see whoever's on the desk, and they'll get you to fill in some paperwork, then you'll meet with… probably one of the Sergeants, probably, whoever's on duty, and then they'll send you for a medical, then if you're fit, you'll get to come back and interview with the Captain." Russall shrugs, tapping his longstaff against the ground and tucking the cleaning cloth away now that the wood's polished and shiny. "It's pretty simple, really. Just gotta follow procedure. Are you any good with weapons?"

"I'm alright with my knife." Daralyn shrugs. "Never had much experience with a bow…" Fishing, remember. "…and wasn't able to get much training with a sword back home." His main hope is more that he's trainable than anything.

"Ever tried a cudgel? Or a longstaff?" Like the one Russ has in his hand, which he holds horizontal to show Daralyn. "Knives are fine for close combat, but you want a bit of range, too. Swords are good, of course, but I've gotta say, I prefer my bow." It's the lazier option. "So long's your accepted into the guards, though, you'll get to train in all of them. See those, over there?" He uses the end of the longstaff to point to a ring of teenagers, standing around a sparring pair while an instructor bellows orders. "You'll be in with them, learning. Can you take knocks?"

"Yeah, I think I'll be able to take that." Not that he went around searching for fights back home, but Daralyn…well, he's at least comfortably confident in his abilities to (at a bare minimum) take a few hits and keep coming back. He /had/ managed to wring at least a bit of sparring/wrestling back home that wasn't of the 'get into a brawl' type, and his father had accepted him getting that on the grounds that enough fights happened in either bars or the docks that if he didn't learn on his own he'd get in worse trouble for not knowing later on in life. "That…actually looks like fun."

Russall looks from Daralyn to the ring of recruits, then back again. "Yeah?" He snorts softly, then leans his weight back on his longstaff. "It's hard work, and it's painful. Bruises, sprains, broken bones, soreness, stiffness, when you're not used to it. Concussions, too. Some recruits even die." Certainly he's a little over-dramatic as he says it, with strong enunciation, but Russall keeps a straight - and serious face. Could he be telling the truth?

"I…really?" His demeanor implies…not quite shrugging off the last bit, but perhaps a bit of skepticism. Not to mention the fact that it isn't like back home offers a perfectly safe alternative to this. Most of the parade of horribles is basically written off as 'that's life' (hands get hooks stuck in them, lifting nets isn't exactly casual work, and boats even get sunk with bad storms), but the idea of lethal training…well, it at least gets some of Daralyn's attention.

Russall shrugs, looking at Daranyl with his blue eyes narrowed, challengingly. "Really." He straightens up, twirling te longstand in his hand twice, before dropping the end back to the ground with a hollow-sounding clunk. "I think it's Meranyl on duty today. She's tall. Hot, if you're into blondes, but maybe she's a bit old for you… how old are you, anyway?"

"16 turns." Beat. "How old is she?" Daralyn asks that question almost immediately. Mentioning that there's a hot babe at the duty desk does quite a bit for grabbing the interest of a teenager. Of course, that's a /total/ shock, isn't it?

"You never ask a lady how old she is, especially when it's Corporal Meranyl." In other words, Russall has no clue. But he winks at Daranyl. "Nothing to stop you from dreaming though, eh? She's got the right, uh, assets for it…" Wink wink. "Anyway. You go on and find her, if you want to get that paperwork filled. She's just through that way." He points towards a doorway, which has a uniformed guard standing by it. "Just tell him you're here to sign up, and he'll show you where to go inside. Not that it's hard. It's literally just inside the door."

"Fair enough, you got me…" Daralyn raises his hands in defeat on that front. "Thanks for the directions. It was nice to meet you…" Beat. "I didn't catch your name?" Whoops. Yay for details getting skipped!

"Russall. Private First Class." The rank is added in as an afterthought. "And yours?"

"Daralyn. Nice to meet you Russall."

Russall nods, standing more to attention - though Daralyn doesn't get the full-on salute a ranking officer would receive. "Nice meeting you, potential-guard-trainee Daralyn. Good luck with the interviews and everything, and maybe I'll see you in the barracks in the next few days." He points along the row of archery targets, to where one's just become free. "Gotta go practice now. Later, Daranyl."

Daralyn waves back to Russall. "Thanks…and here's hoping. Nice meeting you, too, Russall!" And with that, he's just short of skipping off…to do paperwork. Good grief, is there any military anywhere in history that isn't buried in the stuff?

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