Bronagh in trouble

November 2002
Logged by Bronagh

Candidate Barracks
Serviceable, this low-ceiling'd room runs right and left from the heavy canvas curtains that function as a door: relatively bare of ornamentation, tidy glows light the few worn tapestries that adorn the walls and depict a variety of dragons in flight or at rest. But it is the cots, lots and lots of cots, that distinguish this room from the others, their blue or black coverlets tucked neatly over relatively fresh rushes.
Candidate's haven, this is their escape from the bustling world of chores and Weyr; visitors are welcome if invited.

Pyrene escapes in from the bustling activity of caverns and Weyr.
Pyrene stalks in, looking vexed to put it mildly. To put it both more accurately and more lyrically, she looks as friendly as a stormy winter's sea. "Bronagh? Are you in here?" she snaps out, adding glacier cold to the list of natural metaphors.

Oddly enough, Bronagh actually /is/ in the barracks, though he's presently sleeping - considering the late night he put in yet again last night. He looks so innocent, rolled onto his side, with one hand tucked under his head and this little, self-satisfied smile on his lips. More than likely dreaming about how he's been sneaking out without anyone being the wiser…

One of the other candidates spies the weyrwoman and points her towards Bron's cot. "He's over there, but I think he's still asleep," the girl states, as she moves to hurriedly put on her socks and get outta the way.

Pyrene jerks her head at the girl in acknowledgment and strides over to Bronagh, considering his peaceful state. "As bad as any brat," she murmurs, her words almost tender but her eyes malicious. She's just come in from outside, and there's still clumps of snow on her clothes - she gathers these quickly into a somewhat sloppy snowball, then in one deft movement she strips the coverss from the candidate and slaps the snow down on his chest. "Up!"

The snow upon his bare chest is enough to bring even a dragon around from sound sleep, and considering that Bronagh's no dragon, it's understandable as to why he jumps nearly a foot off the cot as the wet and cold white stuff dribbles down to lower areas. "Ai!" he shouts, as he goes tumbling off the side of his berth. A lound bang marks his landing, as do muttered curses. From his spot on the floor, he can't see who it was who awoke him in such a manner, but he's willing to guess. "Stupid young candidates!" he shouts, slowly rising and wiping the rest of the snow away before any of it sneaks under the lining of his trous. "I've told you a thousand times that I don't want no part in your stupid pranks and…" Suddenly, he blinks as he sees just /who/ is standing beside his cot. "Um.. Pyrene?" In his shock, he forgot the woman's title. Ooh. Bad move..

Some of the other candidates watch with interest, gathering excitedly at the sound of the 'bang'. However, the more wiser ones are quick to scatter or at least make themselves look busy. None the less, an audience has formed, and all eyes maintain the same curious glint - asking the silent question, 'What's going on?'

Pyrene folds her arms and allows herself to look extremely satisfied with the results of her unorthodox wake-up call. Never tall, she knows how to make the most of what height she has, and she doesn't permit Bronagh to get up before she corrects him: "I think 'weyrwoman Pyrene' might be more appropriate in this instance - and be grateful you don't rate Areiah herself." The audience is noted but ignored. Let Bronagh feel self-conscious in their presence.

Bronagh? Self conscious? Now that's a farce. Risen, the young man grins peacefully at the goldrider, even going so far as to bring out both his hands in an offerance of peace. "Sorry.. Not quite awake, you see.." Another lie. Tilting his head and continuing with the grin, he asks, "So.. What's this all about? Did my father put you up to this? You know, as a little joke to 'put the fear of Faranth' into his son?" Gaze flickers left and right, however, at the mention of Areiah. That'd be some pretty well planned joke if the senior weyrwoman were here.

Pyrene makes a special effort and gets frostier, pulling off her trick of looking down her nose at the lad despite the fact that he towers over her. "What your father's opinion of this is, I couldn't tell you, but I'm going to do more than put the fear of Faranth into you. Tell me, candidate, what would it take to teach you some self-control?" Her eyes narrow to a glitter.

It's slowly starting to dawn on Bronagh that perhaps - just maybe - this isn't a joke afterall. His worse fears are confirmed when the weyrwoman mentions 'self control.' Though his grin slips for a mere second, the young man saves himself from admitting to guilt by holding on to his curious expression with hardly a flicker. "Self control?" he echoes, reaching up with one hand to run his fingers through his tussled hair. "I think I've got my fair share of that… Though, I don't understand what this has to do with being waken by a deluge of snow…" The grin becomes sour, almost a sneer, as he adds, "Shouldn't that be something you asked yourself, dear weyrwoman." Hands return before him, palms out, as this lad is no dimglow. "No offence, but it just seems odd that you ask this of me when you're the one who just barged in here in such a fashion…"

It's one of a few wonders tonight, but it seems one of the candidates was able to actually /sleep/ through most of the racket. Only when one of the other, now wide-awake candidates shakes him awake to keep him from missing the action does the boy open his eyes. There is a brief exchange of whispering before Enceladus' flip wide open and the younger candidate moves to prop himself up on an elbow, eying the situation with typical nosiness.

Pyrene's thin lips slowly curve into a humourless smile. "Barge in here? I scarcely think you could have noticed the manner of my entry, as deeply asleep as you were. The snow is a trick from my nannying days - I do not have time to wait for you to wake up on your own, and I need you alert to hear what I have to say. And as for /my/ self-control, I came here at Areiah's order. For your impudence, you've just earned my enmity." Pyrene's enmity is enduring as enmities go too. She pauses there, preferring to relish the moment than to explain to Bronagh what's up.

"And here I thought you were here to offer me a cup of klah," Bronagh mutters under his breath. He lowers his hands, obviously realizing that silent pleading to the weyrwoman will get him nowhere. Once again, Areiah's name is mentioned, and the young man begins to realize that this has to do with more than just his sneaking out at night; his lack of enthusiam for all candidate events; and his lackluster fashion of doing any chores assigned to him. But if not that, then what? Suddenly, Bro's face goes pale, and he does clue in to what this is all about. Turning to hide his expression from Pyrene, the lad reaches down to pick up his discarded tunic, and busies himself with putting that on instead of replying. Once done, he turns back, his features once more composed, though the grin is no longer in appearance. Crossing his arms, he states, "Fine then. But tell me… Why have I earned this visit anyway. I'm sure it's more than just a friendly stop over for chit chat."

Pyrene looks faintly amused. "I must be having the right effect on you already, if you're putting clothes /on/. Areiah is currently talking to Via, after Netteth was somewhat indiscreet in dragon chitchat this morning. Now, is there anything /you/ would like to tell me." She glances around at the other candidates briefly, nodding courteously to them. "We are not going anywhere more private, but if you wish to leave, you may do so. Otherwise, feel free to stay. You may find this most educational."

As if Enceladus' mouth wasn't open already with confusion and fascination at the "controversy", his jaw proceeds to drop further as Bronagh speaks. It's clear the young boy is fearful of even being near such a conflict, much less the idea of actually be in one. Gaze flits back in forth as Pyrene then Bronagh speaks and back again. When the weyrwoman actually turns to them, Enc looks almost as if he were a cornered crawlie, shying away. Of course, when she fails to fuss at them and actually suggest they stay, the ex-nanny bites at his lip and shifts back into his previous position.

Justified in his fears, Bron's face becomes even /more/ ashen in color, which in turn makes his freckles stick out like stark dots upon a canvas of white. Not looking too handsome now, are we? Once again, the young man tries to not let his body's betrayal confirm his guilt, as he fights hard to maintain his calm, outward appearances. Alas, it's a little too much for Bronagh, as one brow begins to twitch nervously. "Via?" he croaks, his arms now uncrossd and his hands gripped into fists. "I.. I.. I don't see how she or her dragon are any of my concern. Dragon's talk, that's for certain, but why should anything that Netteth said have anything to do with me?" One can tell by the twitch, however, that it has /everything/ to do with him…

Pyrene sighs heavily. "Bronagh, how much do you know about dragons? Pop quiz… do dragons ever lie? You may ask for help from the audience, if you prefer." Starker than Bronagh's freckles is the disdain on her face. She's not in the mood for bluffing tactics.

Obviously, Bronagh didn't know /that/. Something he must have missed while dozing through the many candidacy classes. He does glance towards said audience, however, and the nods from several of his fellow candidates confirm his fate. "Well, perhaps Netteth was.. misguided..," he mutters again, more weakly this time. The twitch has grown to a full-blown eye-shudder, and the young man brings up one fist to rub it away, with little success. Finally, he takes a deep breath and asks - trying to sound curious, though he knows sharding well what the response will be - "So, what did the green say anyway? Not that I really care.." Shrug. Twitch.

"Oh, we first thought she /must/ be misguided," Pyrene assures him. "We couldn't believe even Via would be fool enough to take /you/ to her bed. But apparently we have yet to find the lower end of her standards." She seems to grow an inch all of a sudden, her face getting closer than is comfortable to Bronagh's own. And then her words come fast and hard, laced with fire "Was it worth it, dallying the night with her? Do we make exceptions to the rules for /you/ of all candidates?"

It's like a Pernese soap opera - if they ever had one - and Enceladus is hanging on every word. Even when a nearby friend nudges him to whisper about it, the boy waves a hand and shushes harshly and absently. What a fascinating first candidacy indeed.

Cool and calm dissapear in a snap, as the weyrwoman's words and close proximinity finally break poor Bronagh's spirit. If Netteth really did tell her dragon friends, then there's no telling how many people around the weyr know about it by now, therefore, there's no reason for him to keep fighting it. "It was all her idea!" he finally squeals, falling to the cot as though he were a kidlet of two instead of a young man of twenty. Looking up at the weyrwoman, he relates, "She was the one who came after me, I swear! From the first moment we met, she was always hounding me, following me into the dark shadows of the weyr…" He blushes then, as he remembers how infatuated he was with her at first. All those love notes… His fear is soon replaced with anger, however, once he realizes that he was duped. "She could have blocked all knowledge from her dragon, couldn't she? She.. She set me up!"

Pyrene nearly blinks at the sudden and dramatic breakdown of Bronagh's nerve. She tips her head at him. "Bronagh, we are well aware that Via knows better than to add candidates to the notches of her bedpost, and she will certainly be run through the mill for this, but, from observation of your past behaviour, we find it hard to believe that she was doing all the chasing." She glances again to the other candidates. "I also find it hard to believe that you could not know the consequences of what you did. Even if you felt powerless to resist her yourself, there is no shortage of chaperones for you to turn to. It takes far more effort to be alone during candidacy than to be among too many for privacy."

A group of candidates directly under Pyrene's stare slink back towards their bunks, though they continue to whisper once the weyrwoman has turned her attention back to Bronagh. "Seems like he put all his effort into being alone," says one girl, while the boy at her side nods his head knowingly. "He certainly didn't put any effort into his chores, from what I could see when I was paired with him." "Nor his studying," pipes in another, her voice a little louder than a whisper - so loud, in fact, that it's possible that it might have carried over to the two partners of the heated discussion.

Once again, his bluffing is caught on to, and Bronagh's thoughts a'whirl as he searches hard for some way to get himself out of this mess. Alas, all his resources have been used up. Faked innocence, stolen innocence… Hmm, well, there is one more option, but he doubts it'll be well received. "I just wanted someone to love me," he begins to state, but even he hears how false that sounds to his own ears and quickly puts a stop to that train of discussion. Hoisting himself back off the bunk, he stands tall and crosses his arms once more (This kid has more mood swings than a dragon gone proddy, it would seem. Shame, he would have made a great greenrider) "I wasn't the one who wanted to be a candidate in the first place," he exclaims. "So these rules were pushed on to me…" And considering that Tatia was the one who had 'asked' (more like told) him to Stand, there was no way he was going to back down. So, with that in mind, the lad squeezes out the last bit of his courage and won't back down this time either. Hmmph.

Pyrene raises her brows stiffly. "Well, if you didn't want to be a candidate, it will be no punishment at all to hear you have been removed from that position," she tells him simply. "So we shall think up something in addition to that to bring home the importance of doing as asked. Because, Bronagh, whether you ask for something or not, you must stand by the rules that go with it. Be glad we're not turning you out of the Weyr - irresponsibility costs lives around here. As it is, I'll relieve you of that knot now, and you may pack up your things and move back into the dorms before evening. I hope we'll see you behaving with a little more self-discipline in future." She holds out her hand for his knot, no trace of sympathy in her face.

Enceladus lets out what sounds to be a muffled cough when the troubled older candidate graces the unrealistic subject of 'needing love', bringing a few snickers from those nearby. But with a gulp and a pointed look to Pyrene to see if she noticed, the boy goes back to watching with rapt attention. As the drama rounds the corner, Enc gives on final look of disbelief at Pyrene before shooting his gaze at Bronagh.

Bronagh blinks. Though he should have expected as much, having to hand in his knot and being expelled from Candidacy still hits him pretty hard. Reaching up to his shoulder, he tears the knot off, (ripping his wrinkled tunic in the process) and hands it over to the weyrwoman. He says little, other than to cough out a "what'cha lookin at?" to those candidates still goggling at his shame. Though his face is a mask of differeing emotions, one glance towards Pyrene shows the woman that this has touched him in some, small way - but for good or ill, it's difficult to tell. Bronagh then bends over and begins to pack up his stuff, shoving items into a sack without even looking at them.

A naive candidate nearby blurts out, "Maybe Via will take him in now, do you think?" She's quickly shushed and glared at, though the girl remains wide eyed. "Wha?" she continues to ask..

Pyrene watches him for a while, eyes cold before giving her farewell. "We will let you know if there is anything further." With that, she turns and sweeps out, candidates dispersing fearfully before her like mist, although a few will later swear that the jr weyrwoman threw an amused wink to the naive, wide-eyed girl as she passed.
Pyrene goes home.

Bronagh finishes with packing everything up (Cause let's face it - there wasn't much in the first place) and slings his pack over his shoulder. He's about to walk out without a look back, that is, until that same girl who asked about Via steps forward. "Um… This is to remember us by," she states, reaching out and handing something to the young man. "It's nothing big, but it has some significance, I think.." Bron doesn't thank her; instead, he just blinks and glances down at the piece of white material in his hand… A piece of white candidacy robe. A knot makes it way into his throat, and he clears it away before turning around and sliding out into the weyr… leaving this piece of his past behind him…

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