Fort Weyr - Shenanigan's Lounge
The natural walls of this cavern haven been completely covered and replaced by straight and sometimes curving walls of brickwork. There's method to the madness of covering stone with stone. It's as simple as the electric buzz in the room. New grade electric lights dot the fancy brick worked walls, with wires cleverly hidden behind, allowing more focus to be centered on the rest of the room rather than the numerous strings of wire needed to operate the lighting. Each bulb roosts in a bronzed metal flowering fixture, giving the room a rich atmosphere. Still, the walls are not the only place which has stone on stone appeal. The floor has been run smooth, the surface now slate rock, creating an imperial cast.
Beyond the actual foundations of the lounge, the luxury continues. High backed wooden chairs with padded white seats have been stationed all around the room. Between the individual chairs are benches fashioned out of the same rich wood with pillows made to flatter the cushions. There are low lying coffee tables or end tables near the individual chairs, while there's larger dinning room sized tables with chairs to match scattered as well, giving much variety to those who find themselves in the room. Decorative hangings and framed artwork has been neatly hung around the room, but to offset the meticulous method of the room, there's some pieces that give a sporty feeling to the room - such as a fishing rod or a snow shoe.
Of course, the final appeal of the room comes in the form of it's purpose; athletic competition. There are several games of darts lining the walls, various decks of dragon poker cards available, a large velvet lined pool table centered to one side of the lounge, a mat area surrounded by ropes, and an area that keeps track of all the runner races around the world via radio signal, giving constant updates on the status of the runners. Lastly, there's a bar here, small and built with brick as well. There's usually a bartender on duty willing to mix drinks during the evening hours.
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After a grueling first day of training, there's a newly sworn-in (and quite sufficiently sworn-at) guard cadet in Shenanigans. Amid the usual evening crowd, he's nursing some sore muscles (which isn't a surprise to him, though the existence of some of those muscles did catch him off guard)…and to top off the situation, he's not even old enough to drink yet as far as he knows.

With his duty wrapped up early today, and training already finished, Russall's been in Shenanigan's for a while already. In fact, by the time Daralyn arrives he's deeply engaged in the tail-end of a darts competition - which cheers and whoops announce the ending of. Tossing a couple of marks in his hand as he steps away from that crowd, Russall spies the teen he spoke to about guarding, and approaches him with a smirk as he looks over the young recruit's uniform. Once he's beside him, he pulls out a smart, stiff salute - "Trainee Daralyn."

Daralyn smiles back and returns the salute. "At ease, Russall." Daralyn chuckles at the role inversion for a moment. "I take it you won your match?" he asks, noticing the marks in Russall's hand.

Russall raises a brow, frowning briefly. "Uh… best not go telling anyone else 'at ease', kid. You're at the bottom of the pile now, and that's an order that comes from top down." He rolls a mark across the back of his fingers when Daralyn asks, nodding to confirm. "Yeah. Won a firelizard egg in here the other week, too. Turned out, after I gave it to someone as an early turnday present, that it held a little gold hatchling. Not bad, eh?" A little jerk of his head invites Daralyn to join him to the bar. "You want a drink?"

"Yeah, I know that…honestly I was surprised you saluted me at all." Shifting topics to the eggs and darts and drinks (oh my!), he nods and steps over to the bar with Russall. "I…would very much. Thank you." Beat. "Congratulations to…whomever you gave it to, I guess?"

"He has probably the prissiest green dragon in Fort, so he'll have no trouble caring for another firelizard," Russall says with a dismissive little wave of his hand. Then there's the more serious task of ordering drinks, and he turns to the bartender to put in his request. Marks are exchanged, and he watches as his pint is poured. "So. Today was day one? How did it go?"

Daralyn chuckles at the bit about the green dragon. When it comes to drinks, he orders…well, whatever it is Russall just ordered a pint of. "Day one? I thought it was month one…" He shrugs. "Honestly, it was about what I was expecting. Long, hard…lots of running and other exercises." Beat. "Fun isn't quite the right word for it…but I think it'll be managable. No regrets…yet, at least." And with that, he takes a sip of his drink…and makes a face that he quickly tries to cover up.

Two pints of lager and a packet of chips are served. Russ pushes one over to Daralyn, and pops open the chips to offer him one, before he starts scarfing them down. "It gets easier, once your muscles get used to it. Day one's normally the easiest of the first few months, though, so if today felt like a month, then tomorrow will feel like a turn." He shrugs, picking up his pint to drink from it. "Who'd you have for PT?"

"Shamus." Daralyn sips on his pint, forcing back more faces as he…makes himself get used to the stuff. "He wasn't /too/ hard on us pacing-wise." Which is to say that nobody threw up from being overworked today. Still, the thought of it getting rougher from here causes Daralyn to wince. Today had been…managable, but… "About when does it hit bottom? Or do I want to know?" He probably doesn't, but he /did/ just ask…

"Aha, Shamus - so that isn't why you're crying in your bunk right now." Russal snorts, holding up his glass in cheers to Daralyn before taking down another mouthful of its contents. He wipes his mouth with the back of his hand, then leans back against the bar, smirking. "When does it get bad? I don't remember. I did everything I could to not get anywhere when I was at your level, while doing just enough to not get the boot. Took me turns to get promoted."

Daralyn snorts right back and returns the toast. "Why'd you try not to get anywhere?" That does…not seem like a terribly wise career move to Daralyn (though he'd happily admit to possible naivete on that count). "Something further up the ladder you didn't want?" Like…DUN DUN DUN…paperwork?

Russall shrugs. "Because it required work to get there? Why put in the effort when you can get away with the bare minimum?" He takes another sip of his drink, then sets the glass down so he can stretch his arms. "I'm lazy. Don't like working. And if it hadn't been for trying to impress someone by showing them I could make something of myself, then I'd've still been wearing a recruit's knot."

That gets a shrug in return. "Hey, fair enough." It really doesn't seem like a bad philosophy, come to think of it. Daralyn might be a bit more ambitious (if he wasn't he'd be fishing back home)…but that's also clearly not saying too much. "Why'd you join the guard, then? Doesn't feel like it's easy pay, at least for the first few months."

"Because I didn't just want to be a bum sitting in the caverns doing nothing," which might contradict the whole being lazy thing, but that's Russall's reasoning. Or what he's offering, anyway. "And swordfighting looks pretty awesome, plus there's the whole renegade thing… it just seemed like an exciting career. I rescued weyrwoman Dtirae once, so it's not dull, by any means."

That actually gets an appreciative nod. "Yeah…I didn't want to seem like some sort of starry-eyed kid when we talked the other day, but…the excitement does have a draw. And yeah, I know it's the exception and not the rule…" Daralyn sips some more of his pint and sighs. "Any advice on how not to get my ass chewed out more often than it has to?" It's actually a practical question since…well, there's /got/ to be an art to this.

"Whether you're crap or you're amazing, you're going to get chewed out, Daralyn. It's called hazing," Russall explains, swilling his drink around in its glass. "They make you feel crap, make you hate the instructurs, because it gives you something to bond with your comrades over. You're more likely to bond in hatred than anything else, right?"

"Oh, I know that." He was expecting the chewing-outs to happen. "More…ways not to…attract more attention than I've got to." The difference is subtle, but it's also significant. "I'd…rather not end up stuck as the center of attention for all that."

Russall shifts to lean his weight against the bar, looking thoughtful. "Well… if you do too well, you're going to get yelled at for trying to make your group look bad. If you do too badly, you're going to get yelled at for dragging your team down. If you're just average, you're going to get yelled at for not being good enough, so… there's a chewing out no matter what end of the scale you fall at, unfortunately." He raises his glass to take another drink, a hearty gulp that nearly drains it. "The only way to get by is to just get by, I guess. I got yelled at for not being good enough all the time. Turns out I'm actually pretty damned good at the weapons stuff."

Daralyn nods at the advice. It's actually a pretty good rundown of it, all things considered. Then the mention of weapons comes up…and Daralyn shifts topics. "Once I get through the training…I know they'll cover everything, but if there's anything not covered in the basic weapons training, mind if I ask you for some pointers?"

"You can ask, but whether I can help or not is another thing." His reaction suggests that Russ is amused that someone would ask him, of all people, for advice. "I mean, we can spar or something, if you want? I'm specialised in longstaff and bow, but my swordsmanship and hand-to-hand isn't all that bad either. Hands-on is the best way to learn though, right? Instead of 'jab here, parry there, blah blah blah'."

"Yeah…that would be helpful." Daralyn shrugs at the surprise. "What can I say? You're approachable. We're sharing a drink in a bar, aren't we?" Translation: It's not like he's inclined to ack his instructors for this. "And you're right…practice is probably more good than just going through a bunch of forms would be alone."

Russall gives Daralyn a thumbs up, and an exaggeratedly cheesy grin. "Good to know I'm good for something," he says with a cheeky wink. "And you'd better get used to having a drink, because knocking off to the pub after a day's training will become part of your routine. It's a good way to bond, and you need to build those connections, y'know?" He then raises his pint, downing the last of what's in it. "Speaking of bonding… my date's just walked in. Catch up with me tomorrow, yeah?"

"Sounds like a plan." Daralyn raises his glass in acknowledgement. "I'll catch you then."


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