Who Doktah, Kimmila, Vossrik, Xhanfyr
What Kimmila leads candidates of questionable skill into the evening cloaked wilderness. What could possibly go wrong?
When Summer, 2711
Where Western Forests, Fort Weyr

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Fort Weyr - Fort's Forests ~~ 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.


It's a tradition, the Candidate excursions. And one that always happens at least once, is a hunting trip led by Kimmila - bluerider, retired weyrwoman Elara's daughter, and Weyrleader's weyrmate. She gathered up a few of the Candidates after their evening meal and led them out of the weyr and into Fort's forests, deeper and deeper as twilight stretched. She carries her bow and a quiver of arrows, and the Candidates were each offered a weapon of their choosing, depending on their previous skill levels - skills that they did, of course, have to prove to Kimmila before she handed over the weapon. As the shadows lengthen and the warm summer evening begins to cool, the bluerider calls a halt to their quiet hike, standing in the middle of a nondescript clearing.

Awwww ye-yah. Friggin' GIANT ASS SPEAR for Vossrik, one that he should probably stop spinning around him like he's in the dang color guard. Though his careful feet are at least silent enough on the floor of the forest, the whistling travel of his new toy and occasional 'teehee' style bubbling from his smiling lips probably alert every animal within range that a gigantic dork is in their demesne.

Is that Xhanfyr? The boy doesn't look much like himself, despite the only real physical change being the two daggers strapped to his narrow hips. Somehow, just this minor addition makes the usually shy and overall timid lad scooped up from the Beastcraft not so long ago older and more mature. The change in scenery might very well be the clincher here, effortlessly traversing over fallen logs and sidestepping the occational upturned root as if he'd done it all his life. He does pause when Kimmila bids it, brown eyes darting off towards Vossrik and his giant pointy stick there. He can't help but chuckle at the older boy's jovial demeanor, giving a light shake of his head in the end. "Voss, it's just a spear, not the Weyrleadership." he gently teases with a bump of his shoulder against his.

Doktah may not know hunting, but she does know technology. This is why she has insisted upon equipping herself with the most advanced weapon available: an automatically reloading crossbow. Doktah has speant the entire hike thus far fiddling with the thing, making 'improvements' of an extremely dubious nature. When they reach the point they are told to pause she stands as still as possible, hyper alert. What happens now?

Kimmila turns to peer at her group, lifting a brow to peer even more intently at Vossrik. "If you put an eye out, it's not my fault," she says flatly, though there is a slight tug to the corner of her lips. Her eyes flick to Xhanfyr, and quickly move on to Doktah. "Stop fiddling," she says firmly. "You're not a Smith, leave it alone." She peers around the ever darkening woods. "Okay then. You three, go that way, down that game path, and see if you can't find something." Um. What?

Vossrik's grin has an implied Nelsonesque 'HA-ha!' in Doktah's direction, but it remains unvoiced. Xhanfyr earns a gleefully stuck out tongue, then he points to the daggers, and points back to his spear. Point, point. Eyyy. His finger freezes mid-point, though, and Kimmila gets a look. "Wait, what? Like what are we looking for? Do we gotta look for, like, animal…scat? Will we get eaten?"

Xhanfyr rolls his eyes some at the implication of Vossrik pointing between his spear and the Beastcrater's much smaller in comparison daggers, his cheeks only coloring minutely. He doesn't comment, letting his gaze wander past his friend to Doktah and then back to Kimmila. At her command, he pauses instead of obeys, brows shooting purposely upwards beneath the dark hair which rests upon his forehead, opening his mouth to speak, but Vossrik interjects and so it merely closes again. He almost laughs, this time at the tumble of words that spill forth from the smith's lips. His own, are pressed together firmly in order to stifle the inappropriate chortle. It doesn't however stop his shoulders from shaking, clapping a hand on Voss's shoulder and turns away in order to head the way they were bidden. "Come on, and Doktah…I like breathing. So, please…don't kill me with that thing."

Doktah pouts at Kimmila, looking almost insulted by the reproach. "I'm a /TechCrafter/. I build things as well as any smith." Grumble grumble. The instructions are pondered for a moment. "And if we see something we… shoot it?" Yes, Doktah. Fire wildly at all unidentified moving objects. "Okie dokie." Off she goes down the path. She glances briefly at Vossrik. "If we have to deal with the scat, that's your job." Is she kidding? Maybe. Then she raises an eyebrow at Xhanfyr. "Have I given you the impression that I am likely to shoot you?"

Kimmila smirks and answers dryly. "Animals. Yes. Probably not." Then she looks at Doktah sternly. "No." For both questions.

This time the 'HA-ha' is audible, if barely. "Yeah. You're not Leimna, so I prolly won't be murdered for my skin," Vossrik assures in sotto voce. He hefts the spear experimentally, balancing the shaft on his shoulder and cocking his elbow in readiness. "Let me know if you see any dookie, you guys." Strong leadership skills? Check.

Sighing softly, Xhanfyr continues down the game path, leading the way if no one else seems up to the task, but willing to give it up if they are. What two daggers are going to accomplish out here in the wild wilds is anyone guess really, but newfound and misplaced perhaps confidence is still confidence. Enjoy it while it lasts. He lets whatever mouthing off to the dragonrider directing this adventure go, minding his own business, but does laugh softly to himself for the return for the words directed at him, "You're a techcrafter, not a huntswoman. Unless you are, and in that case, my bad." he bounces right back at her, a crooked grin tossed over his shoulder at her. What is happening? What has this person done to the real Xhanfyr?! Is the world ending? Ducking a low lying branch, the Beastcrafter points out a root twist with a soft, "Watch out there." He does pause to give a double brow lifted look at Vossrik, "You seriously want to track something brave enough to leave its scat in plain sight?"

"You're too picky, Vossrik." Doktah remarks as she stalks down the path, crouching lower in an attempt at stealth. She gives Xhanfyr the side-eye again as she ducks beneath the branches. "I don't see how my hunting experience" or lack thereof "is relevant as to whether or not I can modify a crossbow. It's just basic mecahnical principles." Ranting is certainly stealthy.

"Yeah, like Xhan here ain't wrecked the can in the barracks on the regular. Nothing out here " And the loudly whispering Smith flourishes his <3 spear <3 at the surrounding trees, " is as scary as that." Somewhat surprisingly, Vossrik hops over the roots using his new toy as a makeshift pole vault and seriously implying a whee with his expression. "Wait wait wait. Noise. What was that noise?"

Xhanfyr looks back towards Doktah, "Big difference between aim and technical know how. You ever shot something like that before?" he asks, eyes moving to the crossbow the woman was just tinkering with not so long ago. There is nothing accusatory in his dulcet tones, it was more like, curiosity and perhaps a bit of wariness. No one likes getting an arrow to the knee, because thus ends your adventuring days. There is a blink for the implication of his bathroom habits, mouth opening and then closing again shortly there after. "Why Voss? Just…why?" A suffering look and then he drops his head and shakes it. Somethings are just not meant to be understood, such is how his spear-wielding friend's head works apparently. He lifts his gaze again in time to catch the pole-volting, to which he whispers something to the heavens. Farnath only knows what. Another shake of his head and he takes up the rear position for all of two steps before he freezes and very quietly looks around. Straining to hear, eyes widening a touch. Ah, there's the old Xhanfyr. "What? From where?" The words are hushed and low, cautious.

Crunch. Crunch. Snap. Grrrrrrrrrr.

"I still don't see how that's relevant to basic design principles." Doktah responds. In other words, no. Hearing the approaching growly thing, she raises up her crossbow. "Kimmila said not to shoot." She says to her fellow candidates. "So you two will have to handle that. The crossbow makes a poor blunt weapon." So helpful.

"Because it's true?" breathes Vossrik on the wings of a giggle. "Waitwaitwait, hold on." Holding an arm across the faint game path, he blocks Doktah's passage. Apparently, he's also unnerved enough to not notice that his forearm is about boob high. "Dude, was that a doggy?"

Honestly, Xhanfyr is aghast. He just stares at the back of Doktah's head after that, in utter and complete disbelief. "Are you serious?" he hisses, well, maybe he's a little irritated now. You know, with the whole rustling of brush and growling things that can not be seen. "What the…" And there's a very uncharacteristic round of colorful metaphors best left to the imagination, because they're probably worse, "…shard it, Doktah. We're in the middle of only Faranth knows where and I got daggers and the ineffectual pole bearer here." He jerks a thumb at Vossrik, who honest to sally is totally his bro. Fistbump and all. Then there is more cursing. All very quiet and almost guttural. He openly stares then at said friend, mouth slightly open. "Are you serious!?" This is hissed now at Vossrik, all color draining out of his face as he lets his arms limply hang at his sides. "I'm going to die."

Doktah walks right into Vossrik's arm, which undoubtedly creates more awkwardness for Vossrik than it does for Doktah. She's too focused on the possibly deadly beasty lurking nearby. "Fine." She quietly responds to Xhanfyr. "If it's a dangerous monster, I will shoot it. But if I get in trouble, I'm telling Kimmila it was your idea." Doktah is a bad friend.

GRRRRRR. Even closer, now. Two directions.

IT'S RIGHT OVER THERE. AND THERE TOO. DO YOU SHOOT AT THEM?

Doktah doesn't. She has Vossrik between her and the sound, so it is not yet an emergency.

"Two… dogs?" Vossrik whispers. "OH CRAP DOK DOK DOK GO GO GO SHOOT IT!" The spear gets hitched to attention, held in place firmly with quivering arms. "Over THAT way! Auuuuugh!" Rammmm-paaaage! Vossrik runs riiight towards one of the noises, fully prepared to mess up a Thing that's probably squirrel sized.

Brown eyes shoot back instantly to Doktah, "WHATEVER." he tosses back at her, even as he very slowly and carefully extracts his daggers from their sheaths before his attention darts between the two places from where the growling is coming from. He's taking up the rear here after all, and can do nothing about the fact his buddy just went charging into the underbrush wielding a spear with questionable skill at best. Time for more colorful metaphors. "Voss!!!" he calls out after him, alas to no effect because off the smithcrafter goes anyway, which of course lends to more cursing. "Doktah, that way. Aim towards the sound and shoot." Didn't need all that much skill to aim at a sound. It lands or it doesn't. "Damn it! Voss!" Why wasn't there four of them? This is what he gets for looking unoccupied after meals. Cautiously he turns and puts his back up against Doktah, protecting hers in the process because that's what a man should do. Protect the women and not go charging into the wilderness with long pointed sticks. Alive ones anyway.

"You people are panicking." Doktah chides. She seems, frankly, worryingly calm about this. Maybe that's just because she has Vossrik between her and one terrifying sound and Xhanfyr between her and the other terrifying sound. A helpful human shield. "Kimmila said not to shoot. This is probably some sort of test to see how we respond under pressure. Just relax. If a horrible monster leaps out and attack, I will shoot it."

It's hardly squirrel sized, this creature Vossrik is charging at. Stupidly. Running. At. As he runs, the large - large - huge - wild canine emerges from the brush and charges…and an arrow soars from the left to TWANG into the beast's side, just enough to cause it to stumble. "DAMMIT WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!" Kimmila is yelling, swinging down from a tree into the clearing and glaring at Doktah and Xhanfyr.

More growls from the other side of the clearing, and a rustling, and NOISES. SHOOT AT IT.

"I already explained my reasoning." Doktah's eerie calm persists. "Be patient."

Hey now, Xhanfyr wasn't the one racing towards impending growly doom here! He was calm! He was so FREAKING CALM! He had two small daggers, one assumes he knows how to use. The boy does startle though when an arrow shoots out of the proverbial blue and wounds the creature that had just appeared out of seemingly no where. Without even waiting to be yelled at from above, a second after that arrow lands, a dagger flies free and sinks between the beast's eyes. Kimmila totally slowed it down, but still. NOt charging, now probably very dead. "A visible target!" he calls back to the rider, more than a little irritation suddenly in his tone, "It's not exactly a nice sunny afternoon." Now that there was backup, he jogs over to quickly retrieve his weapon, yanking it out of the canine and casting a long dark look upwards towards where the arrow came from. "Trying to thin the herd maybe, because this is damn good way to go about it." Hooray for having a spine after all, or maybe spells his doom. His eyes don't linger on the tree-hugging dragonrider, already on the watch for another attack.

"HOLY CRAP IT *IS* A DOG!" Vossrik cries, after (implied) WOOOOOing his way spear-first towards the wolf. Leaping in the air like he's in an effing cartoon, he propels himself towards the wolf. "I'M SORRY I HAD TO DO THIIIIIS!" So much for the subtle, quiet approach. Does he hit his mark? Does the wolf run? Does he get totally eaten or fall on his butt? Stay tuned for someone else to decide the thrilling conclusion.

Get the other one! That's now CHARGING out of the clearing at Doktah. PATIENT ENOUGH FOR YOU ROAR.

Poor Vossrik stabs the dead canine. It…helps?

Sweet.

When it was just the boys being threatened, this was a matter of no urgency. But now a possibly rabid wild canine is lunging at Doktah? That's an entirely different matter altogether. Doktah's eyes widen as she pulls the trigger, firing bolt after bolt at her assailant. She is eerily quiet while doing this.

Kimmila stands beside Doktah, watching as the lunging canine dies before them. Then she turns to look down at the girl. "Glad that worked," she says, calmly, before looking around. "Well, you guys did pretty well."

That whole wild-man with pointy stick does his whooping and thrusting action has Xhanfyr taking a rather skillful series of movements that clear the way for him to stab at the wild canine he'd already felled. All he can do is stare and look between them with those wide eyes before another appears just as quick, and dies that way too. "Good shot Dok!" he praises, "I take back everything I said." All's well that ends well as they say, but he does shoot Kamilla another hard look. Nope, he did not like this lesson at all. At least he keeps this opinion to himself, taking out a cloth from one of his belt pouches and cleans off his blade before returning it to its place at his hip with the other.

Ponk. Ponk ponk ponk. Vossrik pulls ineffectually at the spear, firmly lodged as it is in the twice-dead wolf's side. "Uh, could someone…?" Releasing the spear to stand erect from the lupine's corpse, he circles around it, then puts a foot on it's ribs and starts pulling. "C'mooooooooooooooon."

Doktah pouts. Ravenous, deadly beast or no, she doesn't seem the type to enjoy killing animals. She frowns sadly as she looks over to Kimmila. "So it was a test?" She asks, uncertain. What kind of test requires her to deliberately disobey instructions? Her gaze returns to her kill. "Are we supposed to eat these now?" Because that's what one does when hunting, right? "They do not look especially tasty." She seems uncertain what to make of the praise she gets from Xhanfyr. "… Thank you?" She is pointedly ignoring the grisly task Vossrik is occupied with.

Kimmila peers at Doktah, confused. "Was…what a test? Hunting? No? And no, we're not eating them. Others will." Dragons, or other critters back at the weyr.

Who knows what goes on inside of Xhanfyr's head, or what the heck a Beastcrafter needed with mad daggering skills, but he flashes a toothy grin at Doktah anyway for her thanks. This aside, he steps forward and places a seemingly scrawny looking arm out and takes hold of the spear, foot beside Vossrik's and gives an oddly strong yank upwards. It's enough to pull the thing free at least, if not send them both onto their rumps if the smith loses his balance at all because the wooden handle and up is the main focus here. Either way, he'll look between Doktah and Kimmila both before a frown sets his lips into a thin line. Already the complaint was being ledge inside his mind, one can practically see it. Dear Th'ero….ARE YOU NUTS?! Something like that.

Doktah only looks more confused after those answers from Kimmila. "But… if it was not a test, and we are not using the bodies of the canines we killed… then what was the point of this?" Very confusing.

Kimmila tilts her head at Doktah. "/We/ won't eat them. Someone will. And their parts will be used, trust me. Those hides? Worth their weight, for sure. And…it wasn't a test of any sort. Just…a hunt. I'll admit, it wasn't supposed to go that way, but…it did, and you guys handled it pretty well. But I didn't /plan/ that. I didn't have wild canines waiting."


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