Candidates vs Wild Feline

Monaco Bay Weyr- Deep Jungle

Unlike the neatly kept path, the trees here crowd together into a darker, denser wood of arboreal trees swarming with natural plantlife and many species of animal from whersport to roosting wherries. Those firelizards that don't bury their clutches on the beech find the natural heat here a decent facsimile. Only those who wish for privacy well-away from the central clearings of the Weyr select the older structures here for their homes, but a few still do. In the distance to the south, Monaco's few low cliffs run right up against the forest.
Old-fashioned glowbaskets ring the small central clearing, making it a landmark in the otherwise dark wood Though glows or small lights string out to some of the huts tucked away in the gloom, others are merely distant lights in windows that only their owners can find in the dark. Springtime has arrived on Monaco Bay Weyr, the flowers budding with wild abandon and all about new growth of the jungle seems to be the theme both in the animal and plant kingdoms.

It's supposed to be a nice afternoon where the candidates have been sent to pick out purple flowers. They were /supposed/ to stay out of the itchy plants, but Fey and Sydney both ended up falling in them…for reasons that…let's pretend it was an accident. That's when two little wild kittens came up to them, and while Sydney backed away Fey didn't. Unfortunately, momma feline has woken up and she is NOT happy, not at all. She's on the ground now and has just taken a swat at the annoying trader.

Feyran's reflexes are fast, but she isn't /that/ fast. The trader barely has time to register mommy cat's presence before the feline is making contact with her shoulder and the slight trader is flying back a few feet. The creature's claws have ripped through her jacket and now the cloth is soaked red with the blood dripping from her wounds. The arm won't be of much use right now, but the injury isn't nearly nasty as it may look. "RUN!" She pushes that single word from her lips, though there's plenty of pain behind it. Her main order of business though? Fey's up on her feet and backing away slowly, though her eyes still remain on the feline.

Even on such pastoral hunts as ones for herbs and special greenery, Vantayne was taught, and learned to never underestimate nature, or the potential for things to go wrong. As such, the young man keeps to certain cautions, such as carrying his skybroom longbow, quiver of tan-fletched arrows, and his knives about his person. He might've been informally taught a guard's skills, but he's more of a Hunter…who's trying to ply some few skills in herbage, right now. With a relative quietness bourne of habit, the candidate picks his way deeper and deeper into the jungle, plucking up bits of helpful foliage here and there, while leaving subtle marks behind to mark his path. Whazzis? Not far beyond him, a woman's call of 'Run!' hits the air, sounding fearful and pained. Though his brothers have often called him a coward, it seems as if, at least this time, the holder keeps his ground. Tayne stands tall suddenly, using all his senses to assess the situation, listens for other noises, peers about, even sniffs the air. Already, his hands are moving bow to hand, arrow soon following it, to be nocked, and slowly pulled back to full draw. Waiting… waiting…

The kittens dart behind their mother, as instinct would dictate, and while Feyran is scrambling away the jungle feline makes swift movements towards Sydney because the boy just hasn't moved. A growl, and an accompanying swipe is given towards him to get him on the move as well. The noise surely has brought attention from the other groups of candidates, though the majority seem far more interested in running away than helping. There are guards with the group of candidates, however they're not as close to where Sydney and Feyran are - and they're pretty much smack in a pile of leaves that they were told to avoid because it'll leave them itchy for /days/. This won't be a good experience for the pair, certainly.

Sydney learned a very long time ago that you don't run away from wild things, as they are likely to give chase and then you are in serious trouble. That particular bit of knowledge is about to be put to the test, because it would be very tempting to bolt. He just stares the cat down, and lifts his hands to make himself look at big as possible. He also offers a hiss which turns into something more of a shout as the cat swipes his shin with her claws, "Owwwww!" he shouts, but still stands his ground, "Off with you!" he says to the cat, waving a hand in her direction.

Feyran's attention is on the feline, tracking every movement…but her then she sees something, Vantayne with that bow. The distraction is long enough that she misses the feline going after Sydney. "DON'T hurt her!" There's a fierceness in the trader's voice, but the words are clear…if Vantayne is close enough to hear them. "Scare her away…shoo her…do not hurt her." Because there are kittens and this is not mommy feline's fault. The trader girl is putting a hand into her jacket and curling her fingers around the sheathed knife there. Worst case scenario, she'll knock the feline over the head, but Fey is in favor of another course of action. "She's protecting her children…if we back away slowly Sydna…" Still the wrong name!

That growl…he's heard it enough times before, being a lifelong resident of the South: wild feline. More shouting - male human, this time - urges 'Tayne to ease back off his draw, for now; he can't quite place where the humans and the cat are, and thus could accidentally shoot the wrong thing. Too dangerous. Instead, the holder stomps quite suddenly and very loudly through the underbush and trees, lifting his bow high, and slapping his arrow against it to make echoing 'crack!'ing sounds. Called in deep baritone as he stamps forward just after the now-recognized Feyran's voice blurts out something about cubs, "Haiiiiya! Get gone, cat! Go on home!" His voice is roughened and harsh on purpose, his over 6 feet of height gaining another 4+ feet with the bow raised on high. Me big bad hunter! Run kitties!

Maybe the 'make yourself look bigger' thing works for most animals, but not those that are protecting their young. No, in fact it makes the feline more fierce and her teeth bare as she growls and is more intent on trying to get the people out of /her/ territory than for them to get her out of theirs. No, the cat is not going to move, in fact she'll lunge forward and swipe at any that dare get any closer to her. Barring fire, or extremely loud noises, this feline is not going to give up any of her ground. The fact that another kitten comes bounding out from near where Vantayne is - is likely the cause - she has to collect all her young before she will even think about giving up her ground.

Sydney feels decidedly less tender about the mother cat than does his compatriot. His leg is really begining to hurt and the blood can be seen running down his left leg. He takes a tenative step back from the cat, hoping that it will be content to stay where it is and that he will get himself out of the swipe range, "Kill it!" he shouts. No mercy! Is he going to be one miserable man later this evening.

Damn! No luck…and so Vantayne drops his bow and arrow, instead draws his pig-sticker of a knife, the one designed not necessarily for simply hand-to-hand fighting, but survival in the wild. Clipped off to Feyran out there: "Don't retreat, don't run!" For them both: "You two; stand slowly if you can, and look big! Try to move sideways, out of her path, away from the cubs!" Is he daft, being so loud and obvious as he continues to stalk slowly forward? He's going to have that mother feline all over his dumb ass! As he moves steadily forward, Syd and Fey might just now be able to notice his hair, some of his torso and legs through the foliage. Was that a glint of metal, as well?

If only they would just back off, the feline might actually let them go - but no, Vantayne's attempt to look bigger, and move forward is all the invitation she needs to jump at him. Indeed, the feline is going to be all over him, teeth and claws and everything. The cubs scurry away towards some of the thicker foliage to wait for their mother - but this is so close to their den that the mother will not relent. The guards that came with the candidate group make the way over to where the remainder are, and yells at them, "Shard it, get AWAY from here!" They say, reaching for Feyran and tugging her towards the way the other candidates are leaving and reaching for Sydney as well to try and usher him off as they get their spears ready - they brought them for a reason.

Sydney continues to back away slowly and when the guards are on the scene he is even more thankful and limps away toward the direction that they indicated, putting the guys with spears inbetween him and the very angry kitty, "No I certainly wouldn't leave them to die!" he calls over to Feyran, who is commpletely to blame for all of this "I would make sure they were put out of their misery first." See. Some mercy there.

"I'd like to see you /try/…" Feyran hisses at Sydney. So something /can/ ruffle her feathers after all! The trader is tugged quite easily by the guards, she's tiny and injured after all…but that doesn't stop her from moving slowly and glancing over her shoulder every few seconds. The trader girl is keeping an eye on what's happening with the feline and her cubs. Come one…come on!

Coward, coward… Right now, that's the only chant Vantayne hears clearly in his mind, his fear and springbolt tightness within both secondary. He flinches inwardly, and yet holds his ground, trying to allow Feyran and Sydney time to get away - with their newly discovered escort of guards - now that he's got the mother's attention. Crouched lower, his stance wide and ready - the big-ass knife in his right hand held just-so - Vantayne's dour features begin to drip with the sweat of his inner agitation about this shitty situation. He doesn't want to have to try and kill the big cat, but if she goes for him… Barked out intensely to the guards, "I CAN'T. She's near-on me." His forward motion stops as he tries to let the guards see where he is. "Take the shot if y'need to!"

The kits are gone, at least not visible any longer and the mother cat seems like it's ready to take another lunge towards Vantayne as he doesn't appear to be moving -out of her way-. She's a wild beast, who has no reasoning skills beyond the fact that she is going to protect her young. The guards are busy shoving the injured candidates towards where the rest of the group went, with the elder healer leading them off. They aren't going to be fast enough to save Vantayne from any injury he might sustain in the leap - but the cat isn't going to stay afterwards either. Even if she's injured in the scuffle, she will dart off into the jungle after her cubs.

"Like you could stop me." is Sydney's response to Feyran. He continues to let himself be ushered away to wherever they are going. Though he does look back to try to see what has happened to Vantayne. He only met the guy once, but he wouldn't want to see anything bad happen to him, "All of this is your fault Feyran. All of it, and as soon as I feel up to it I'm going to kick your butt."

"HA. I could tie you up like a porcine before you even took two steps and there isn't a thing you could do about it." Feyran clicks her tongue and glares at Sydney for a moment. "If you hadn't noticed, this is a /jungle/. It was idiots like you who wouldn't step /back/ that made this worse…I backed off and she left me alone, but you were all too stupid to realize that." No, there isn't any thanks from Feyran. There is, however, a smile of relief when she sees that the feline has escaped.

At this point, Feyran and Sydney are merely peripheral distractions, since they've been carted away by the guards. With his strategic, and quick, crablike sideways withdrawl comes momma cat's bounding past him to round up her cubs, then Tayne's own tight mutter of, "Git outta' here, ya dumb cat. Scat," after the receding four-legger. Only when the feline's truly gone does he allow himself the luxury of trembling all over for some moments, his knife wavering in shaking hands.

The dumb cat as it's called scatters along with its young, and the healer that brought the candidates out into this mess is ushering them all back towards the weyr proper. The guards are as well, glancing off where the cat left and then to Vantayne. "You alright?" The ask, before trying to nudge him back towards the weyr as well. Seems this field trip is over, and a couple have to make their way to the infirmary to get their wounds looked at.

"Not if you are sleeping." Sydney response to Feyran. Yeah. Like he is going to fight fair. He is a law harper after all. They have very little decency and nearly no shame, and right now he is spitting mad, and dangit he's sober! Life is just not fair. To the infirmary he is most likely headed.

He takes the few moments he has to gather his marbles about him as much as possible, and when the guards inquire of him, Vantayne takes a big breath to try and ease himself, then nods and murmurs, "Yeah…" while slowly rising to his full height, so as not to make himself accidentally pass out in the process. Once he's got his legs back under him, the holder gathers up his dropped bow, arrow, resettles them properly upon his person, and moves off with the group. Once he catches up with Sydney and Feyran, the young man mutters darkly, "Knock it off, you two." Glare. For some reason, apparently, he's miffed…but he says no more of it, at least for now, though their wounds do get quick gazes. If they were bad off, the two wouldn't likely be sniping at each other. Shrug.

"I'm trained, sleeping doesn't mean my guard is down." Feyran snaps that back at Sydney before glancing to Vantayne when he catches up. "Shut up." Oh no, there is no happiness from the trader either. She falls silent then, pushing forward and moving to the infirmary with the rest. Bloody arm? Nah, really not that big of a deal fortunately.

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