Guard Area - Training Field
Separated from the guard area by a pocket of caldera, this field is enclosed and devoted to those being trained in emergency response. A noteboard is tacked on the rock wall nearest the entrance into the grounds, where scenarios can be posted up, conditions to be fullfilled and the environmental conditions to be played through described there. Props scatter the wide open area, allowing for the training scenarios to be constructed and staged for greater realism and there is enough space for several dragons to land and take off with ease, allowing for ariel training alongside ground maneuvers.


The last seven have brought about change for the candidates. No more excursions for one. Apparently the weyr leadership doesn't want the candidates to die. Another change, the duty roster for Hazelon has shifted. While he is shadowing riders like the others, he only shadows Thunderbird, and is often gone on sweeps with them. The rest of the time not spent on various chores has seen him in the guard training area. There he is a mite more animated then he has been, soaking in what he can learn from them. As for his fellow candidates? Total Silence. This is why Hazelon is still here, even though a majority of the guards have cleared out. Arrow after arrow is marching from Hazelon's bow into a target several yards down the way. His expression is closed off, and determined.

The lack of excursions - and restriction to the Weyr proper only - has nearly been driving Brennan insane. It's a good thing the lot of them have been kept so busy. While the hunter can't, well, hunt, at least there is somewhere to keep his aim sharp in the meantime. So it is that he strides into the training area set aside for the guards, his bow and quiver slanting across his shoulder as he picks out a target to practice on. His eyes narrow slightly when they find Hazelon, but rather than giving the other Candidate a wide berth, Brennan chooses a target one to his right and sets up - silent, but watching Hazelon's shooting with a critical eye. Not a bad one, either. The hunter straightens and draws, letting the first of his own arrows loose to plant soundly in the upper cusp of the bullseye of the target downrange.

Hazelon doesn't flinch when the older candidate enters his area. No, he completely ignores the other man. His arrows continue their deliberate march, hitting the center more often than not. When his quiver is emptied he waits, only a fool walks out when another is shooting. Just as Brennan had done with him, the hunter's aim is judged, and found to be good. No comments are made aloud as Hazelon waits patiently for him to finish.

Brennan slips a few glances sidelong when he hears Hazelon finishing, though the rest of him remains focused on filling the bullseye with arrows. A few stray outside the circle - very few. "How'd y' get so good with that thing?" the hunter questions finally, voice gruff with concentration and eyes still forward as he breaks into his last half dozen arrows.

Hazelon considers lying. His dark eyes weigh Brennan for long moments before he finally answers. "Necessity. Would've died in the camps if I wasn't knowin' how to hunt. And after… always figured I'd have to be goin' back less somethin' turned right. Kept it up on the side." Each arrow is watched as it flies, zipping through the air. They're almost like memories.

Four left. The arrow is slipped, nocked, drawn and trained. "Camps," Brennan grunts, letting the arrow whistle away. "That how that lot out there knew ya, then?" he wants to know, a carefully neutral glance sent over to the younger man and the next arrow is reached for. "Why even think about headin' back? Things not right enough here?"

Silence for a bit longer. Hazelon stands ready, movement always an option. "In a way." He seems to have used up his words for the day and so he'll stand there again, eyes now trained on Brennan's hands.

Down to three. Brennan snorts, but not with enough impetus to shift his aim. "To which? Knowin' ya, or things not being right here?" He shoots; the arrow smacks into the outline between the bullseye and the ring around it, and the hunter scowls slightly as he slips out the next arrow.

The snort is heard, catalogued and judged. It is Hazelon's way. He'll read antagonism into that glance, no matter how neutral it is. Brennan might not remember the anger in his gaze when he had dragged Hazelon up from the dust, but the ex-renegade does. Hazelon's answer to the question is cool and detached. "No. Camps where I be learnin' to shoot are wehere I be known' Ustrr and his ilk from." Notice, Hazelon doesn't answer the second question. It's none of Brennan's business.

Down to two. Oh, Brennan remembers alright. He's just not acknowledging it for now. Nor is he fazed by the fact that his second question isn't addressed; he's prone to doing the same thing fairly often. "How'd y' end up here then?" Ready, aim…

"Kids had to be endin' up somewhere. Pile of 'em got searched. Others had homes to be returnin' to. Rest ran off. Probably killed some of them the other night. Didn't have nothin' so. Stayed." Short, sweet and to the point. There's no self pity in Hazelon's tone as he rattles off. No does there seem to be any remorse for the fact that just a few days ago he was surrounded by dead bodies.

Still two. The fact that Hazelon doesn't seem all that bothered by having killed does register with Brennan, and the hunter pauses to look at him, a brow slightly arched. "'Probably'?" He retrains his aim. "And y're fine with that?"

Hazelon levels his gaze at Brennan. It's piercing, with a hint of the darkness of revenge twisted deep within. Hazelon's wearing no mask now. He's not the passive lower caverns jack-of-all-trades. He's not the reluctant candidate. He isn't even the cocky and surefire renegade. No, he's quiet danger wrapped in anger and ready to move at the second provocation. "They was goin' to be killin' me. Knew it from the moment Ustrr said my name. When that runner sent all to heck, knew he was goin' to be doin' you all in too. Choice made. They got what they deserved. 'Cept Ustrr." Hatred there. Unbridled and clear as day.

Arrow is fired, target is nailed, and Brennan lowers his bow and sets one end on the ground, draping his hands over other as he fits Hazelon with a thoughtful look. The other Candidate's expression has him reevaluating a bit. "No arguin' that," he says of the renegades getting their due. "Or that they were lookin' to gut ya. 's why we jumped in; y'know that, right? Mayhap y'don't care," he says with a shrug, "but it is what it is. And Ustrr… I reckon y're thinkin' you wanna be the one to give 'im what he deserves, eh?"

Judge away Brennan - Hazelon is a bastion of calm inside his head. "Was stupid to be jumpin' in." Flat, emotionless. "I ain't nothin' to you, and ain't none of you nothin' to me." No bonding apparently happened over their adventures in the woods. No use playing the what-if game- what had happened had happened. "I will be. Weyrleader asked me to be stayin till them eggs hatch and the bruises be healed. Then I be gone."

"Oh, won't argue that, either," Brennan counters with an easy shrug. "Nothin' to me either, 'cept another Candidate, 'n' I wasn' lookin' to lose the knot over not lookin' out for the rest of ya. Wouldn't've followed ya if the rest hadn't." Simple factuality in his tone, and nothing else. "If y'hate bein' around the rest of us so much, why even take the knot, eh? Coulda just run off then and killed yourself a ringleader, got your revenge." His bow goes back into his hand, the last arrow nocked. "So you leave, kill him. Then what? Stay out there, take 'em over yourself?"

"Don't hate you." Hazelon raises an eyebrow. "Don't hate them. Just ain't nothin' to me." With those arrows of Brennan's spent, Hazelon can now go retrieve his. Picking his bow up again from where it had rested gently His stride is loose and easy as he walks those long yards down to where his arrows are buried deeply into the straw target. He is careful as he pulls them out one by one, examining the tips. The answer to Brennan's question remains empty though.

Brennan's got one arrow left, but he doesn't fire it just yet, instead watching Hazelon retrieve his. "Even after all this time here, no one here's anythin' to ya, eh?" The hunter shrugs, inspecting the arm nocks of his recurve. "Seems people here think y're somethin' to them. Biggest one even took an arrow for ya." And others came to his aid, though he's not about to point that out again. Brennan fires that last arrow at the next archery butt off to the right, well away from Hazelon, and then heads off down the range to silently retrieve his own projectiles.

Hazelon freezes down at that edge of the yard when the arrow swings by. No fear that it was aimed at him. "Candidates ain't nothin' to me." Hazelon clarifies this calmly. "The Weyrleader got his own twisty ways 'n reasons for doin' what he done. I know the road I'm choosin' to walk. Ain't one what having friends be useful."

"Candidate's just a rank," Brennan notes with a grunt. "People underneath it. 'n just because the Weyrleader's got his reasons shouldn't take any weight off what he did." Shoving his bunch of arrows smoothly back into his quiver, Brennan slips it and his bow back over his shoulder. "Us who're used to wanderin' alone don't rightly know just how useful havin' friends can be, I reckon. Mayhap you ought give it a chance." With that, the hunter stalks from the yard without a backward glance. Time to move on to the next round of work.