'The World of Pern(tm)' and 'The Dragonriders of Pern(r)' are copyright to Anne McCaffrey (c) l967, 2000. This is a recorded online session, by permission of the author but generated on PernWorld MUSH for the benefit of people unable to attend.

~~*~~ Fort Weyr - Guard Area ~~*~~

Just off the main bustle of the Southwestern Bowl is a large field dedicated solely to the intense training regimen of the Fort Guard contingent. Your average Weyrfolk isn't allowed past the corded off entrance for safety reasons but for the Guards that train here, much awaits their perusal.
To the west, rows of targets are set up for archery practice. Long bow and crossbow alike are used here thoughthe crossbow is certainly more travel friendly.
What lies directly before is an open area of packed earth for the one on one contests of skill, and training for the Guard members. The sight of many bumps and bruises, the expanse of dirt is often dreaded depending on who your next match is against. Skirting the back of this area is a beaten track heading to the north, where another field has been set aside for the purposes of emergency response training, in cohoots with the guards.
And finally over to the East is the dummies for exacting some more.. deadly force upon with out endangering your fellows. There's also a table with the first aid kit and a few skins of water for when a break is necessary to keep running at optimun efficiency.

Water, water everywhere, chilly cold droplets that cascade down from the skies above. Water, water everywhere, one might as well have a drink. At least, that's what Ystwyth is doing, the green dragon having set down in the guard area, and is now tilting her head upwards, jaws agape to catch raindrops on her tongue. "Silly beast," Akyla scolds the green, slipping down the dragon's soaked shoulder, making a face at the dampness clinging to her trousers. At least she's got a slicker on to keep from being soaked to the bone. "You just stay here a moment while I go find a guard or someone who can look at my knives."

Of course, a helpful guard is, actually, right there in the outer guard area, sitting tight under a helpful overhang that's keeping at least sixty percent of the rain away from him all by itself. Kazulen is bundled up tight, but looks a little cold anyway — an extra wool blanket would come in very handy right about now, but he doesn't seem to have one. "What happened to them?" his voice calls out from the other side of the green. "Did they turn invisible?"

Akyla is lucky! The brunette greenrider won't have to go far to find a guard with Kazulen sitting right there. "See," she retorts to the green dragon, Ystwyth's wings fluttering about gayly as she swivels her neck from side to side, jaws tilted skywards in joyful abandon of drinking rainwater. "That didn't take long at all." Sloshing her way around the dragon through slop and puddles, the greenrider wincing at the squishy sounds emanating from the soles of her boots. "You look miserably cold," she observes to Kazulen as she finally clears Ystwyth's shoulder. "Ought to be inside or something, with something nice and warm to drink." She flicks a thumb down towards her belt. "L'da told me to come get them checked out." she answers, hooking her hand through her belt, although she makes no move to actually offer her weaponry towards the guard just yet. "You got time to look 'em over?"

"I have an abundance of time," Kazulen answers, heaping a helping of unnecessary gloom into his tone for a moment — then gives up the pretense and grins at her. "Are you getting them checked out for any particular reason, or just so someone can tell you that they're shiny, or what?"

"Oh good," Akyla gives a little clap of her gloved hand, the one linked though her belt having been pulled free in the process. "I could so make use of all that time of yours, but you are on duty, no?" She'll mock pout for a moment before getting to the matter at hand. "I don't need someone to tell me they're shiny, I can see that right easy. It's just this one," she reaches for the knife hanging on her belt. "The grip seems a little loose for some reason." Holding it there in her hand, still in the sheath, the greenrider looks the guard over. "What's your name anyway? Been through some drills with the guards, but never really got to know anybody."

"Kazulen," he answers, half-stretching as he gets up off his duff, careful to stay under the overhang and keep from bumping his head on it. He holds a hand out for her knife, and adds, "You might've seen me as a Candidate, though. I've gone the rounds several times over the past years." With no luck, obviously.

Akyla drops the knife into the guard's outstretched hand. "Ah, I haven't been here long enough for any of the past clutches," the greenrider admits. "We transferred up from Ierne WeyrHold after the last one, so I've probably missed you running around. Still, pleasure to meet you, Kazulen." She does trade a curious glance over her shoulder at the rapt-in-raindrops Ystwyth. "I'm Akyla, and she's Ystwyth. She loves water a lot more than I do." Biting her lip, the greenrider nods at the knife. "So take a look and tell me if the grip's off or something."

And look Kazulen does — with his fingers, and not his eyes, it seems, at least past the first few seconds. He only peers at the knife briefly before he's got some sort of other knife out to poke at the hilt, handle, grip — whatever you want to call the various parts of the knife's anatomy, he's poking and prodding at all of them. (Except, perhaps, the sheath.) "Nice to meet you both," he answers belatedly, distant and distracted, frowning down at the pommel nut — and then dropping the nut in his pocket and digging inside the hilt at the tang with the tip of his own knife.

Akyla simply watches, arms crossed over the slicker covering her upper body, various squeaks and squealches coming from the friction of sleeve against the coat body. She remains silent, letting the guard inspect the knife carefully. The close attention seems to have caught Ystwyth's awareness as well, the green sloshing over to hover behind her rider, peering down at the two humans. "Find anything wrong yet?" Akyla asks, leaning back slightly against the green's bulk.

"Sure," Kazulen replies, still sounding a little bit absent-minded, and pointedly not looking absent-minded. "There's a piece in here that's supposed to be screwed in tightly, see," not that he angles it so she can, "and so you're right — it wasn't, so the whole hilt winds up loose. That's pretty dangerous. It could twist when you needed to use it, and then you lose a lot of the thrust, or could end up slicing your finger by mistake."

"Huh," Akyla breathes out in a breathy little exclaimation, tilting forwards now to inspect the knife in question, Ystwyth's shadow falling across the two of them. "Sharddit," the greenrider aims a playful swat at the dragon. "Get out of the way, Ystwyth, your blocking the view." The shadow moves, the green lifting her head up and away, and "Ah ha, I do see." the woman spots the issue readily enough. "You reckon it'd be an easy fix? I'm really not relishing the idea of slicing my fingers to ribbons."

"Oh, sure," Kaz declaims lazily, with one last deft twist of his wrist — and then his knife vanishes, and he holds onto hers while patting himself down to figure out where he'd put the nut. "I just have to put it back together, now, but it's all tightened up for you, now. No charge." Mostly because he's not even a smith apprentice, to be allowed to charge — but hey, he does sound teasing, at least!

Akyla claps her hands again, just a little giddy despite the fact that it's pouring rain. "Oh splendid." she exclaims with satisfaction, looking pleased. "I was getting worried about the way it sat in my hand, and the grip just didn't feel right. But if you can fix it, and I don't have to go to all the trouble of chasing down a smithcrafter, it makes my day." There's a pause, and a wry smile from the brunette. "Try your pocket?" she suggests, tilting her head up towards her dragon at a faint rumbling sound from Ystwyth. "Should I really, dear one?" she asks. Another rumble. "Oh well, if you insist." Glancing back at Kazulen she grins a little. "Well, you offered no charge, but would you trade, of a sorts?"

"What, you're offering me a gift, now?" Kazulen chuckles, and obligingly digs through his pockets, failing to say 'no' as he finds the nut and screws it back into place. A moment more spent testing the knife-as-a-whole, and then, pleased, he offers it back out to her.

"It isn't a gift," Akyla remarks, "just consider it a trade. Seems she," the greenrider tips her thumb over her shoulder at the dragon right behind her, "thinks that you're a pretty resourceful fellow and a dab hand at fixing knives. Although what it has to do with her question, I'll never know —." there's a loud snort from Ystwyth, the dragon dropping her head back to loom over guard and rider alike. "Oh all /right/" the greenrider scowls at her 'mate for a moment and reaches out to accept the knife. "She wants you to stand. For the clutch. Knot for knife, see."

Kazulen stalls out for a moment, nonplussed, and stares wide-eyed at Ystwyth while the gears in his brain try to re-engage. Whirrrrrrrrr. "Well, I never could tell a lady no," he manages weakly, before swallowing, gathering his pride, courage, charisma, and rogueish charm to smirk-grin at them both once more. "I knew I had a good feeling about this clutch. I'm in!"

Well gosh darn it, roguish charm and charisma are Akyla's undoing, and she just has to laugh heartily at the smirk-grin from the guard. "Then consider it done," she answers, slipping the belt knife, sheath and all, back onto her belt and pulling a thin cord of white from a pouch hanging off the back of the wide leather strap. "One knife repair for one candidate knot. And best of luck you to you, if you've got a good feeling, you never know how good things can turn out."

"Magnificently, if I have anything to do with it," Kazulen answers, grinning fit to bring the sun out from behind the sky's faucets. Apparently, being left standing on the sands for Turn after Turn, Hatching after Hatching, has done nothing at all to quell his confidence. "But thank you, twice."

She can see clearly now, the rain was gone. Or so Akyla wishes. She's still drenched, soggy and her boots are getting wetter and wetter by the minute. "I'm sure you'll do a great job, and make Ystwyth proud. She's rarely searched before, so I can't say she's got the greatest of track records. At least Kazulen has confidence right? "Here you go," she'll flip the white cord over to him. "You know the rules right? No drinking, no fighting, no getting into trouble." Which basically means don't have fun.

"'Trouble' is such a vague term," he answers, thoughtful to say the least, as he catches the cord and deftly wrings its scrawny little neck into a proper candidate's knot. "I know the rules," he promises, flashing her that grin again. "Including how I have to go tell my sergeant he's lost me for the next however-long. Again."

"A man after my own heart," Akyla quips cheerfuully to the guard. "I think they need to define trouble in so many better ways, but just try and not to cause too much of a ruckus. Ystwyth would be simply devastated if her candidate got thrown out for making mischief." She gives a nod of satisfaction for the cord's strangulation into propriety. "Then I trust you know where the candidate barracks is, and how to get set up? I'd show you there, except I've not been there myself yet, and my boots feel as if I'm swimming in the lake." Which is just as convenient a reason to get out of the rain as any.

"Oh, I'm good," Kazulen promises, grinning fit to burst, really. He's very good, now! "And if it's just the same, I'll thank you not to go tracking mud everywhere I'm about to probably have to clean." Yeah, that's a saucy, flirtatious wink, there, now that he's vowed to celibacy for the next however-long. Again. He's packing up his things as quickly as he's flirting, though, and is already ready to go report that a rider has gone and made it impossible for him to finish his scheduled shifts.

Akyla might well regret the hastiness in offering Kazulen the knot, dooming him to nothing more than those smoldering looks and no way to act upon them, and dooming herself to being the recipient of such. Alas, the greenrider didn't plan that one very well and she can only pout prettily for a brief span. "I'm sure you're delightfully good." she replies, a little moue of petulance for the rapidness of her actions, and a silent tsk at Ystwyth for intervening too quickly. "Pity I can't find out just how good." But that's for another time maybe. However-long. "Well then," she steps back just a little, almost reluctant. "Thank you for fixing my knife, and I'll go let someone know that Ystwyth has searched you."

"Thanks," Kaz replies, his cheeky grin softening for a moment into genuine gratitude, his glance flicking to the side to take in Ystwyth as well — and then he's off into the downpour, to make arrangements with his now-former superior officers.

Ystwyth gives a soft croon, dipping her long neck in acknowledgement to Kazulen as Akyla retreats to her side. "You're welcome." the greenrider smiles, rather warmly. "Do us proud." And then she's scrabling up the green's side. The first thing to do is report to the proper authorities on the candidates, and then home, to change into something dry!