Donis becomes a Candidate again

November 3rd 2004
Logged by Donis

Row upon row of stone benching rises above the Hatching Grounds, seats for those who come to watch the incredible experience that is a hatching. Each individual seat is embellished with a worn cushion, the only concession to comfort in a place that traps heat, holding it within so that those who watch are inflicted with its intensity, though on a milder level than those who must stand and face the dragonets. The expanse of sand that is the hatching grounds spreads out in front of the benches, a huge stage for a spectacular show.
Type 'help here' for info on how to view objects on the sands.
Settled along stone are two firelizards.
Nuff is here.

Some of the cherubic about Donis's round face has been bashed away, thanks to the bump of a recently-broken nose and an old scar across his left temple, though his cheeks are still apple-round, narrow lips still pink and mud-pool eyes still (usually) bright. He's allowed his black hair to grow a little, to give it just a hint of curl. Just below average height, he's fairly lean, and his limbs are wiry with muscle.
The motony of dark brown shorts and matching leather sandals is ripped to pieces by the violent summery hues of Donis's short-sleeved shirt: irregular lime and tangerine patches enliven its basic vivid aquamarine.
He is a young adult of about 21.

Mother hubbard, mother hen: obnoxious gold ringlets tumble down around this rosy-cheeked matron in a perfectly divine halo of treacle and amber. If not truly angelic, at least she may look the seraph's part from broody heather-violet eyes to bottled-sunlight smile; age is resettling generous amounts of flesh about chest and hips, and chin, and thighs, and toes, and ankles, and…
Susurrant lavender trimmed indigo drapes loosely over her pale torso; sisal flows through the crossed vee of fabric over rounded chest to bare Nuff-belly before resuming its tumbling folds down to mid-thigh. The skirt flares outwards in lighter shades of purple that gleam with shifting golden threads, matching satin petticoats of the same rich metallic. Her boots are, of course, lined in purple - one puce, one lavender, and the same colors entwine the ribbons that curl about every coil of her hair. Two firelizards are perched on her shoulders.
She is an older adult of about 58.

Donis is out of uniform and apparently babysitting, since he's got a sling-contraption over one shoulder with a rather small baby in it. "These are the galleries and those are the eggs," he can be heard telling the child as he comes up the stairs. "And that's Nuff. Wave to Nuff!" And the baby's hand is duly taken in one of Donis's and waved, limp-wristedly, at the goldrider.

Nuff is knitting booties today. Purple ones. Its all part of the nesting syndrome as Tiareth broods below in a half-circle of brilliant sunshine'd hide. The dragon snores softly in her sleep, but Nuff is awake and watches the latest arrivals. The old woman waves a half-finished booty at the baby, "Ah, a slow-grower." Something dragons have called humans, over the turns.

"A slow-grower?" Donis sounds baffled as he perches on a cushion next to Nuff, and carefully disengages the baby from its sling to bounce on his knee instead. "He's pretty big for his age, I thought - four months old already!"

"And very adorable", says the Nuff making those silly fat-cheeked babyfaces adults will, to young children. Then, grinning at Donis, "Its a dragon thing, Tiareth always thought m'kids were very slow to grow up, grow into anything useful. He's very bright-eyed, Guard Donis, building the Weyr a new dragonrider to be, are you?"

"Blub." That was Rennis. "And I suppose Tiareth's right - her children are useful when they're a Turn old, but I can't imagine this one will be." And that was Donis, jiggling the baby to try and make him giggle, while two chubby fists wave aimlessly. Donis gives Nuff a bright grin at her suggestion: "Well, maybe in another fifteen Turns or so. When he's finished growing slowly."

Nuff waves the half-knit booty at the end of her needle and echoes the child: "Blub!", though when she says it it sounds like a bad word. "Nuffie can't wait that long, even Tiareth'll be too old to fly then." She leans closer to young man beside her, regardless of putting a silver-strewn curl within range of those fists, now. Low voice, secret voice, "I'm thinking this is our last, Donis, Nuffie's getting too old for this."

Down on the Sands, Tiareth stirs in her sleep and then recurls herself more tightly around the eggs. Well, not the two Dyamith is allowed to tend.

"You're not that old," Donis protests automatically, though he stops baby-jiggling for a moment to look down at Tiareth on the Sands. "I suppose she might be though," he concedes while Rennis squirms in an attempt to jiggle himself with a "Bu-blub."

Nuff glances back to Tiareth, her heart in her eyes, and then resettles back to her cushion, and her knitting. "Aye, well, we all grow old in the end, young Donis. That is as it should be." And then, because she's Nuff, and she knew his father well: "And you, Donis of the Guards and of the mountains, how are you?"

Donis grins at Nuff's form of address, with no small amount of boyish affection for someone who's been around on the edges of all of his life, and bounces Rennis gently on his knee again. "I'm fine, thank you. Life is very good at the moment. Plenty of work, not too many crimes… This boy, of course." No mention of the baby's mother though.

A'ran comes up the stairs.

From the sands, Wings flutter, a gold body shifts a bit as Tiareth decides naptime is over and starts to wake up. She lifts up her head and shakes it a bit before her blue whirling eyes look over her eggs, to make sure they are all still there and content. That is done before she looks around for her brown mate, seeing where he is among the Sands.

From the sands, Dyamith has been on watch, and listening silently to the conversation in the galleries as he watches over the eggs. A soft croon is sent to Tiareth she wakes, before he returns his attention to those gathered, a rumble is sent in greeting.

Nuff grins then, content that he is content. "Hold out one of his little feet, Donis? Let an old Nuff knit him some booties?" Nevermind she's already got a few dozen of them made and knitted and dropped to the basket beside her, "Oh look Rennie, the dragons are awake."

A'ran walks slowly up the steps, trying to get an ideal view of the eggs and the clutchparents. Under his arm is a rather large bundle which makes his climb awkward. Out of breath, he stops for a rest where other people are gathered. Upon further inspection, they appear to be people he knows. "Morning, Donis. Morning, Nuff. How are the Sands?"

Donis cranes his head back and gives A'ran a welcoming grin. "Lo there…" Obedient then to the goldrider, he holds out one of Rennis's little blue-socked feet. "Booties would be ever so kind, Nuff…" The baby slides down so he's lying in Donis's lap, other leg kicking as his father holds onto him for dear life.

From the sands, Tiareth returns to the croon to her mate, moving closer to him after making sure the eggs are just right and have been moved if needed to remain warm. She settles down beside the brown, tail wrapping around one of his legs, though losely so she wouldn't trip him if he tried to move away. She looks over to see there are people in the galleries, a bit of orange added to the blue, but she remains calm. They're in the galleries, not on /her/ Sands near /her/ eggs.

From the sands, Dyamith knows Donis, but what is that thing he's holding, is it safe? Will it hurt his eggs? Dyamith's wings flair slightly as he cocks his head to one side, it's not very noisy but it sure does kick a lot. He archs is neck out towards his gold mate and rumbles to her.

"Hot", says Nuff, which also explains why she's sitting in the galleries knitting booties instead of resting her fat tush on the Sands. "But the dragons and eggs prefer it that way, of course of course." She tickles Ren's little feet and makes some measure of his tiny feet. "Lookie what D'renn did", a slip of the tongue, for Nuff is Old, "he's tending a future dragonrider, blue socks'n all." No pressure for the poor lad's future. And, with one eye on the dragons, "You two just tend to your own children."

"D'renn?" A'ran wonders aloud before he can put two and two together. He quickly cahnges the subject. "Oh. I see I'm not the only one feeling creative today. I thought I'd come do a drawing of the Sands. You don't think the dragons would mind, do you?" He's already begun to set up, openning up the bundle to reveal a folding easel. "And as to being a future dragonrider, I think he'll take after his father. He'll be a guard and discipline X'ian's spawn."

From the sands, Tiareth seems to relax a bit, watching those in the galleries almost curiously, but on guard, despite Nuff being there. She would look over her eggs every now and then, still making sure they are still there, despite having only gotten up a few minutes ago.

"D're… oh." Donis shrugs one shoulder, and hefts the baby back into a sitting position. "Well, he can be a guard if he likes, but please don't tell me X'ian's fathered any children…" Rennis grabs his dad's finger and starts to gum on it fiercely.

Nuff shakes her head, "Donis. Donis Donis Donis a Donis. Not a D'renn."Back to the Sands, for a minute, "I think the dragons are wondering why yours isn't still in an egg, Donis. But I think he's just perfect." Nuff says that to all the babies, yes yes yes. And, to A'ran, "And you? When are you going to find time to find Tiareth some more dragonriders?" Dyamith is, with some effort, ignored and ignored again, but its getting more difficult, him being so tied to Tiareth and everything.

From the sands, Dyamith decides that he isn't completely satisfied with Nuff's reassurance and so he stands, shakes the sand from himself and oh so carefully moves towards the galleries. He rumbles at Nuff.

From the sands, Tiareth let her tail drop from Dyamith's leg as he got up, staying where she was, content with the little one, but she whuffled a bit at Dyamith, as if amused by his curiosity of the little thing.

A'ran shrugs. "Who knows. I'll probably just wander around the weyr at random until I run into someone. This place has to be crawling with suitable people. All these rider types about reproducing and everything." He picks up a penicil and begins the initial sketch, glancing over ocassionally at the clutchparents to see just what they're up to.

"Like I said, as long as X'ian isn't one of them…" Donis reiterates in answer to A'ran, and then gets up, going down a few stairs to sit the baby rather dangerously on the railing - Donis is holding on tight to him though. Very tight. "You should ask my Mom if you can have one of my younger sisters," he calls back to the riders. "They're not doing anything useful round here."

From the sands, Dyamith waits patiently for the child to be presented, the dragon sniffs at the child and then snorts heavily hot air blowing out in large quanities. Smells funny.

"To search?", asks Nuff in all innocence. And then, "Aye, well, never too many Candidates, whatever the caretakers of them might say. Besides, I've never chosen a good one yet, so I've stopped asking people. Tis better left to the dragons, says Nuff." And then, "Careful there, Dyamith. And don't go and try and bury it like an egg or anything."

A'ran frowns. "Bury it? Are you sure you have a good grip, Donis?" He continues to draw, conversing all the while. "Stopped asking people? A few more can't hurt. Besides, one would think you'd be experienced enough to pick out a few winners." He realizes what he has just implied. "No offense." He quickly becomes silent and hides from view behind his sketchpad.

"Hey, watch it!" Donis hastily lifts Rennis to safety as the baby lets out a startled wail. Retreating back to their previous seat, he shouts, "I'll be telling Desba on you!" at the brown dragon. Jiggling the baby again gently in case Rennis starts crying, he shrugs one shoulder again at Nuff. "Well you and Ciera were wrong one me, so… I would've thought you would've managed a few though, Nuff. Even if golds don't Search. Statistics, and so on."

Nuff abandons her knitting then, dragging A'ran up with her if she can. She stands near the Guard but watches the dragon near the Sands and her eyes flicker from brown to babe and back to brown. "Isn't he kinda of tiny?", she asks of Dyamith, amusement bright in her purply-blue eyes. And then, as Tiareth translates, "Oh, you want the Donis." She looks him over then, "I dunno, he looks kinda busy. And, well, High Reaches needs Guards too you know, dragon." Yah, like that's going to dissuade him. To A'ran, "You do it, then, as Desba's not here? I don't want to jinx anyone." And, to Donis, finally, "Here, hand me that Rennis a minute."

From the sands, Dyamith rumbles excitedly at Nuff, he's not going to take no for an answer.

"Huh? What?" Donis hands the baby automatically over to Nuff with a blank stare.

From the sands, Tiareth watches from her spot fairly amused by all of this, especially by the behavior of her mate. Trusting no one will come and steal her eggs, she carefully gets up and comes over as well, head against the brown's to watch this, but keeping arranged thus so she can see the entrance to the Sands clearly.

The old Nuff is an expert, with babies, so easily juggles Rennis with one arm and tries to make sense of everythign else with the other: hands try and dispell Dyamith's assistant, reassure Tiareth, and drag A'ran into it all at the same time. Even if she's mostly entranced by Rennis anyway. "Gawsh, impatient one you have there, Tiareth." She turns to A'ran, all but pleading, "I will, if you won't, but you should, and then I don't have to."

A'ran smiles. "Okay. If you insist." He fishes around in his jacket pocket and produces something whitish. "Donis, it looks like these dragons want you to stand. So why don't you make our lives easier and put this on?" He holds out his palm, displaying the white knot of a cadidate. "Take it or leave it."

From the sands, Dyamith stretches out his wings, he makes no decision without diliberation, and this one he wants to stand. Yes, the X'ian-stopping-hero, must be made to stand for the clutch.

"Blub." That was Donis this time, not the baby, completely taken aback. He's dense, you see, and can't see a good thing coming. "You want me to be a Candidate again? But…" He waves vaguely in the direction of the baby, and then runs his hand back through his cropped hair in a thoughtful gesture.

Nuff juggles the babe in her arms up and down and makes koochy-koochy-koo noises at him. "You're dady's going to be a Candidate again, oh yes he is, yes yes yes, with chores and duties and responsiblities and have to live with children again, and…" She makes it sound ever so ever so appealing. "But it would make Dyamith, happy, and Tiareth too."

From the sands, Dyamith rumbles and sticks his head as far over the railing as it can go. Donis' hesitation is rumbled at, Dyamith has is mind made up, and don't think he won't come up there.

From the sands, Tiareth would prove obviously larger than her mate and would do her very best to keep from the brown from getting up into the galleries if he dared. But Donis seemed good, and she wouldn't mind him on the Sands. The little one however…..

A'ran continues to hold out the knot, dangling it in front of Donis like he's tempting a canine with a chew toy. "You know you want to. Didn't you have fun the last time? You insisted that you get to do all the candiate chores and what-not!" He turns to Rennis, giving him a pat on the head. "Do it for your son."

"He's four months old, what difference is it going to make to him?" Donis asks with a certain amount of incredulity - really, he's just procrastinating. Rennis starts to grizzle a little, held by a stranger and then thumped on the head… Donis stares at the knot though, eyes wide, one thumb scratching his cheek as he considers. "If I say no… then I'll never know, will I?" he says, and holds out his hand. "I'll take it."

Nuff juggles the kid up and down, and reaches out to stop the knot as before it hits Donis' hand. "Or for the Weyr. Or for Dyamith." She doesn't offer 'Do it for Nuff'. And then, in all seriousness, "Do it for yourself, Donis, or don't do it at all. I know its not an easy decision. Not once. Not twice. And you've a life already, to be proud of. This is a duty you need not take upon yourself, for any reason but that you want to, somewhere deep down inside, because its what you were meant to do. If you can't find that, then how could a dragon find you?"

From the sands, Tiareth nudges her mate as he bugles slightly as Donis accepts. Very content that Donis accepted the knot, the brown heads back over to his place to go take a nap while leaving the gold to watch over their eggs. The gold also moves back, leaving the humans to watch from the galleries.

A'ran is taken aback by something so philosophical. He takes awhile to constuct something suitable to say. When the words finally do come, they aren't quite as deep and profound as he expected. "I know we've put you on the spot here, but you've got to consider. Why would the dragons keep insisting on you if you weren't meant for something? Although the weyr is due for a good scrubbing."

"I said yes, didn't I?" Donis stares from one rider to the other, rather baffled, and reaches out his arms to take Rennis if A'ran isn't actually going to give him the knot. "I mean, I do have other things to do, but it's only for a couple of months, and I would regret not at least finding out if, well, if Dyamith's right." He scowls down at the brown, just because.

Nuff lets the knot fall then, and all the rest. "Then thank you." To A'ran, "You can get him settled?"
Nuff has disconnected.

A'ran nods. "To the candidate barracks, then! Go get your things. I'm sure you know where to go."
A'ran goes out.

"I'll drop Rennis back to the nannies and get my stuff from the guard barracks," Donis nods, clutching both knot and baby carefully. "I'm not sure the Captain's going to be too pleased though…" With a perplexed look at the Sands, he shakes his head, and starts down the stairs.

** travel spam **

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.
Perched on a few empty cots are eleven firelizards.
You see Name Board, Crepe's Cot, Mraleh's Cot, Ebe's Cot, Seabert's Cot, Rysta's Cot, and Silas's Cot here.
A'ran is here.

Donis enters, without the baby, but with the white knot arranged skewiff on the shoulder of his bright shirt and with not only a sack of stuff but also a flamethrower slung across his back.

A'ran stands from his spot on one of the empty cots. "I see you've made it here in one piece. Pick a cot and settle in. A cot on the /boys/ side, that is." Though it might have tempted A'ran at one time to try for one on the other. "Does it feel good to be back in this place?"

Donis shrugs one shoulder, though that's partly because he's slinging the flamethrower off it and under a vacant cot. The contents of his sack are dumped out on the cot for sorting, and he offers a sideways grin to A'ran. "No worse than the guard barracks, that's for sure - it's a long time since we were in here, wasn't it?"

A'ran nods, eyeing the flamethrower distrustfully. Hopefully there won't be any open flame in the barracks. "It seems like it was in a completely different lifetime. So much has happened since then. And I thought candidate chores were tough. Wow." This is sure bringing back memories, pleasant ones and ones that are just…aggravating. "Remember now. No pranks," he says with a snicker.

"No setting the cots on fire, hmm?" Donis grins, noticing where A'ran was looking. "Or the Weyrwoman, for that matter…"

"Perhaps I would look the other way if certain people were to catch on fire. But that might be a little hard to pull off," A'ran comments. "Though if it does happen, I promise I won't say a word.

Donis rubs his nose and grins. "Say no more. Although you've got a far bigger flamethrower than I do - Taiith, that is." Donis looks around the barracks with a sigh, then, and starts sorting the jumble of clothes and oddments upended on the bed. "Well, I guess I'm here to stay for a while."

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