Dyeing the Sands (TP)

Monaco Bay Weyr-Hatching Sands
The sand of the cavern stretches out to all sides, searing hot at all times of the day from the geothermal heat that this extinct volcano provides. With only the very top of the cavern open to the elements, allowing vision of the sky and the occasional shower through, but little more. Thick with dark sand, imported and sifted for its extreme fineness and silken feel, this cavern is home to the Queens during their brooding and their multitude of eggs. Off to one side is a risen platform for the Queen's rider and her mate's rider, allowing them a rest from the heat their dragons endure.


It's the dead of night and darkness has fallen on Eastern, darkness that seeps its way onto the dimly lit sands where two queens lay asleep. But though their riders might not be there, there are certainly some humans present. Somehow word had been passed down through the candidate ladder that a rider had asked them to pour the newest shipment of hatching sand onto the warmed area. Of course, that isn't true in the least bit. There are what Feyran likes to call the fun candidates and the sticks in the mud…and the /fun/ candidates had decided that there was a bit of fun to be had. Dyeing the sands…such a brilliant idea. That's the real story behind all of this.

This being…/almost/ the entire candidate class breaking onto the sands with buckets of water to help dampen the bags of sands. They aren't soaked now, but some previously placed powdered dye packets seem to be doing quite a number as it mixes with the water and…well, it's certainly doing /something/ to the sacks of sands because they aren't their usual color.

Ceresth slumbers soundly ( thankfully) and Nessa is no where to be seen though being the dead of the night she could be somewhere sleeping as well.

Chrystoph is a new candidate. In fact he was one of the last ones searched before search was declared closed. He follows along quietly but says in a hissing voice towards Feyran. "Pssst….hey. Are you sure we aint gonna be getting into /trouble/ over this?"

Label Vantayne as one of those 'stick in the mud' types. He'd not be the type to go along with such a prank at all. But - given that this is a candidate 'service' for the dragons - he's more-than-willing to help, the young man lugging his share and more of the packaged Sand around..helping any other candidates who are perhaps on the spindly side. With the lights down low for lulling of clutch parents into sleep, the holder keeps his voice way down, his motions economical as he slits open the burlap, dumps out the granules in various places. It's too dark in here, currently, to make out the spastic colors said sand has been dyed.

Sigel is doing his part amongst the, uh, fun candidates by hauling two bags of sand on either shoulder, trudging along after Feyran as sneakily as he can while carting around sand. He pauses as soon as they step out, fidgeting uncomfortably before bowing slightly to the sleeping golds, not willing to totally drop etiquette, especially considering what they're about to do. As for Chrystoph, he offers him a mild smile and murmurs, "Not really, but I imagine it'll work out okay." He and Vantayne are apparently the muscle for this current business, so Sigel sends the other youth the shared look of a work-horse before marching along after their fearless-er leader.

"Trouble?" Feyran glances over at Chrystoph and smirks, "The riders /told/ us to do this, remember? They just want us to be quiet about it so the dragons don't get their tails in knots. Relax a little, yeah? Just get the job done, yeah?" She gives him a clap on the shoulder, though her attention now falls on the bags Vantayne and Sigel are lugging around. She'll pick one up too, but…it probably weighs about half as much as her, so instead of carrying it the trader girl is dragging it behind her on the sands. "They want a /niiiiice/ even coat on the whole thing, make it so you can't see the old sand below. Gotta keep it pretty and all!" Her words are quiet hiss, and there's one small glance afforded to the sleeping dragons before she's dumping some of the dyed sand on top of the old.

His keen ears pick up Feyran's hiss about a nice, even coating, and 'Tayne passes this on to those that take up small shovels and start spreading the wet stuff out thinly. This helps it to dry faster, as well…and aides in spreading out all the pink and purple dye they currently can't make out. The holder lugs, totes that barge, lifts that bale all around, his body already sweating profusely - even in mere cargo shorts and boots, sans shirt - and he has to stop on occasion to work out kinks in his back, stretch muscles, and wipe sweat from his face.

Sigel sets whatever extra bags he has down near the center of the sands before he starts spreading out the sand as well, holding the bag at an angle to spill it in broad lines back and forth until the area he's working on looks vaguely like it's been tilled for crops. Very, very purple crops. Once the bag is empty, he will trot as quietly as he can do the entrance onto the sands and return with a broad twig-style broom, using it to spread the purple sand out more broadly, using the lingering dye at the bottom of the bag to help dye a little of the sands underneath. He does his level best to make sure it's spread out nice and even, at least.

Feyran can't hold an entire bag up herself, but she's got it set on the ground and kind of scooping it out with her hands…which….well, it makes them purple essentially. She doesn't seem to mind that for now though, and once the entirety of her bag is dumped in a small area the trader girl also looks around for a shovel. Aha, there! There's some poor spindly candida struggling to drag a shovel over and…Fey just goes over and takes it. "Let me do this, you go get a broom." Maybe she's being kind-hearted because the thing is heavy? Not. She just doesn't want to walk and find one herself so she's taking someone else's. "How're we doing? Think we can get this done before someone wakes up?" Another quiet whisper to Vantayne and Sigel.

Huffing as he continues hauling around big bags of sand, then slicing them open to spill in various places, Vantayne finds himself near Feyran once again, the young man stopping to look at the snoozing queens and the lack of people around right now. The back of one hand's dragged quickly across his face, dashing sweat away, though he doesn't bother with the saline beading down his torso, legs. Softly, to 'Pesty', "We just have to keep up the pace. If we can do that, then there's no problem. If we slow down…" and as he says this, there's a few looks cast around at those youngest or scrawniest or heaviest Candidates who might find this task too demanding "…we'll be cutting it closer."

Sigel seems to have a similar view on things, frowning down at his own broom before he carefully picks his way over to Feyran, "Fey, what if… um, the bigger candidates lift and pour the sand, and the… slighter candidates spread it around? It'll probably go a lot easier for everybody." As if to make that point, he picks up the bag she's dumping handfuls from and offers her his broom instead, looking a bit like he's pushing down a laugh. He's got his shirt on, so it's easy to see that he's sweating a bit too, but that mostly seems due to the heat of the sands. Manual labour is pretty much his stock and trade, after all, so this is probably like another day with his caravan.

Feyran purses her lips a bit at Vantayne's words before giving him a slight nod. "That's true…we might need to keep the pace up." Cause not /everyone/ here is a hard laborer. Like Fey? Not exactly the most useful when it comes to lifting things, so Sigel's words are also earning a nod of agreement. "Alright, you guys pour and we'll spread…" Though maybe she can tell that Sigel is trying hard to laugh because what she decides to do next is attempt to tiptoe up and pat Sigel's head as well as Vantayne's arm. Whoops! Look at that dye…going everywhere. Fey is so sorry really, she is. For now though, the girl takes the broom and starts 'sweeping'!

There's a hint of a frown as Feyran's leaving behind of 'dirt' and sand gunk on his arm at her patting, but it'll wash off later. Right? No matter, 'Tayne's nodding in firm agreement with Sigel's idea, finally getting his wind back enough for him to lift up another parcel of 'contaminated sand, lug it over to the far end of the Grounds, and slit it open there for a small crew of more 'spindly' candidates to sweep and rake out and even. At least he had the foresight enough to place the bags of sand generally equidistant; there'll be not carrying from one end to another…just from the center to the edges. Huff puff!

Sigel knows exactly what Feyran just did and only gives his head a bit of a shake before he smiles and pats her gently on the cheek, "Thanks. I appreciate you taking my plan into consideration." Nyah. Before things escalate, he takes his bag and hustles it on over to an as-yet pristine area of the Sands, humming softly under his breath as he once again lays down line after line, starting where one other candidate stands with a broom so they can come along after and spread it all out.

"You're welcome." Feyran grins at Sigel and shoots him a quick wink before putting her broom to the sands again. The trader girl must have done quite a bit of sweeping because she seems rather practiced in the art. Of course how hard is it /really/ to spread some sand around? She stomps down on some of it afterwards, likely getting the bottom of her boots dyed a nice bright color in the process. And she likely isn't the only one. No doubt that they're all going to have to wash off /before/ going into the barracks again if they don't want to be incriminated. Not that Fey seems to care. She's having fun, it's easy to tell by the smudges of dye all over her and the wicked grin on her face. "We should've done this earlier, it's great!"

Good thing he's still out near the edge of the Sands, depositing his latest batch of contaminated stuff upon them for others to rake out, because if Vantayne overheard -that- tidbit from Feyran, he would likely start getting suspicious. On his way back towards the center for one of the few bags of corrupted sand left to haul over and slit open, dump, the holder stops to have a quick chat with one of the brattier candidates. The young teen from some lesser hold is more used to painting her nails than raking sand, and her bitching is getting on some peoples' nerves. Like Tayne's. Whatever the hunter has to say to the girl seems to do the trick, because she's back to work with a certain vengence, her lips tight. Quiet is all that matters, really.

Sigel finishes off his latest bag of sand and carries the bag over to the entry to lay it out like a rug with some of the others, hoping it will serve to keep the sand from spreading too far beyond where they want it to go. He'll heft up another one and cart it on out there to start laying lines again, once more humming idly under his breath. He will pause every once in a while to brush a hand over his brow and push his hair back, but he otherwise seems to be okay. Unfortunately, those simple motions tend to streak his forehead and cheeks with purple, giving him the look of someone who is trying and failing to blend with their surroundings. Ah well.

Feyran's gaze flicks over to the holder girl, and though Vantayne doesn't seem to find the goofing around amusing…the trader girl certainly does. In fact…she even picks up a handful of sand and throws it at the nearest candidate. This may or may not involve Sigel getting some, though the main target is the spindly looking boy she tried to take a shovel from earlier. "My, you looking dashing in all that sand!" She might not know his name, but apparently Fey's going to tease the kid anyways. Then it's back to sweeping the sands…maybe no one will retaliate! Where's Vantayne? He's the next target!

He'd expect the horsing around from Feyran, and when she tosses sand at him, he manages to duck most of it, though one shoulder is now home to a light spatter of fuschia-colored stuff…which looks darker, and not pink in the low light. His only answer for the baptisement is to flip the trader a casual bird and a small smirk as he sweats, marches up and back opening the very last three bags of 'surprise sand.' There's an indignant little squawk from one of the younger boys when one of his likewise younger fellows dumps some wet sand atop his head, but a quick frown and glare from Tayne shut him up fast. The hunter gives a quick, long look to the snoozing golds to see if they're bothered.

Sigel glances over when some of the thrown sand smacks into his side, turning his attention to look around curiously for a moment only to poke his tongue out at Feyran. After that, his only comment regarding the horseplay is to hold a finger up to his lips and go, "Shhh." Playing around is all well and good, but they don't want to wake up two gigantic protective mamas, that's for dang sure. He empties out another bag of sand while two of the sweeper candidates spend a short time trying to sweep purple sand all over eachother, then proceeds to wander back over towards Feyran and plop the empty bag over her head. Sure, it's empty of mostly sand, but that doesn't mean there isn't sticky damp sand and dye inside. That bit of retaliation-slash-amusement will be followed by a rapid retreat to acquire another bag to work with. Bwaha.

Feyran glances back at the younger boy that squawked and got glared at, and then glances at Vantayne before rolling her eyes. Apparnetly she's going to make things worse by going over to the very same boy and pouring some wet sand down his shirt. She catches Sigel's admonishment from the corner of her eye, but that just gets a finger waggle because attention is on…hey! There's suddenly a bag of dye all over her hair and face, and that earns a bit of spluttering. It takes her a second to get the thing off and onto the sands, but once she does there's a mock glare for Sigel. It's not hard to see the amusement behind her expression though, and the trader girl just might be planning some retaliation.

Phew! The big gold mommas are still asleep! Vantayne looks deeply relieved - as do the pair of boys horsing around - until Feyran dumps more sand down the big-mouth's shirt. He almost squalls aloud again, but a helpful cupping of his buddy's hand over his mouth extinguishes most of the sound. Only the youth's outraged green eyes tell the tale of how he takes the trader's prank on him. Grrr! Leave it to Tayne to be the dogged one, the young man still plodding around and helping with whatever needs helping with. Raking, smoothing, checking depth…even breaking up potential squabbles or laughing/giggling fits. He does them all. Oh, and nevermind the small ball of wet, dyed sand he hurls like a missile at the back of Fayren's head, when she isn't looking.

Sigel isn't doing anything untoward. He's just laying that sand out, all bustling about and totally innocent in every fashion available to anyone ever. Were a book to be written about his life, it would focus largely on just how innocent, noble, and hard-working he is and how he never horseplayed ever. Yep. Fortunately for everyone at this point, there's not much sand-spreading left to do and the horseplay is helping to mix the sand so that the layer beneath it is already getting dyed a little bit too. Seeing as his newest bag is empty, he'll do his best to dart over to the entryway without becoming the victim of sand-related vengeance.

"When'd /you/ get all responsible and serious?" Feyran hisses at Vantayne as she passes by with the broom. Of course, she's not looking when she does so and the sand missile that hits the back of her head earns a slight jerk forwards. When she rounds though, there's an absolutely /delightful/ look in her eyes. She digs into the sands with the bristles of her broom and flicks quite a bit of sand at VAntayne. Whoops? Did it hit Sigel again? Fey will raise a hand in apology if she did. But look, she's being /quiet/ about it all. There's just an /occasional/ snort that she can't keep in check…occasional.

"Apparently the day I was born…" Vantayne murmurs smoothly back at Feyran, the man then ducking part of what she flicks up at him, via the broom. His rare little grin is of the 'eat shit' variety, but he soon enough feels the pull of duty, and returns to raking…and finally taking a swig of water from the small skin at his side. Again, someone thought ahead.

Sigel is fortunately behind Feyran when she flicks sand in Vantayne's direction, meaning that he's not likely to get hit by her attempts to start a miniature war with the other young man. Since he's finished up with pouring his sand, however, and it's only up to people sweeping now to make sure it spreads out evenly, he's more than happy to stand in the entryway and watch how things are about to go down.

Pyrith shifts, wings rustling, her tail curling about the clutch. She's not rousing really just getting comfy but that all could change…

Feyran smirks back at Vantayne and sticks her tongue out at him before pulling down the bottom eyelid on her right side. It makes for /such/ a wonderful face what with all the dye and the messy hair and the sweat from the heated sands. Her gaze shifts over to Sigel then and she throws him a quick wink, but it really does seem like most everything is done so she finishes a last bit of raking and….freezes. There's a sudden glance over to Pyrith then, and suddenly Feyran is signaling for those closest to her to make a quick retreat. Not /out/, not until they're done, but farther back.

Oh shells! If people other than hunters could understand his fast hand signals, they'd be fleeing, right now, with that shift from Pyrith. Instinct. Vantayne hisses out a tight, "Pick up the stuff and get out of here. QUIETLY…" to whoever's nearest. He's not as foolish at Feyran and her bunch; best to retreat while retreat is viable. Making certain panic doesn't rule the evening, the holder herds his younger charges - who are looking pale - towards the exit. There's a scowl for Feyran and Sigel along the way, though the latter's farther off, at said entranceway.

Ceresth shifts subtly as well though her eyes don't open. Yet.

Sigel is just standing in the doorway, so he's not entirely sure why Vantayne is scowling at him. He only looks towards Feyran and gives a small shrug himself, though he will follow it with a gesture for her to head in his direction. He won't yell at her across the Sands, after all. Once she's within conversational distance, he notes, "We could probably finish up now. The dragons moving and whatever weather comes through here should mix up whatever's left, and there's no way we'll get any of it under the queens until they're awake, so." Another shrug, to show his lack of super concern, before he jerks a thumb towards Vantayne and his, uh, Van Scouts, "Careful. I laid the sacks out so people wouldn't get purple sand all over the floor and track it back to the barracks."

Perhaps it's time for her nightly rotating of the eggs or maybe it's just bad luck on the candidates part but Ceresth is certainly rousing. At most they have just a couple of minutes to make their escape!

Oh man…shards! Feyran is heading to the sands exit as fast as she can, but not before picking up a few things along the way. A broom, one of the buckets, even an empty bag that she manages to balance. There might be a few doing the same, but with a second gold stirring? Most are just trying to high-tail it out of there. Who knows what the morning light might bring…something left behind? A trail leading to the barracks? Feyran's not worrying about that /too/ much right now. Right now, it's escape time! Run boys, run! Or…power walk.

Nodding crisply to Sigel, Vantayne directs 'his' Van-scouts to step upon those deployed sacks, the man giving his fellow, more muscly 'conspirator' a thumbs-up for forethought. With Ceresth now starting to waken in earnest, he too is double-stepping it behind the 'kiddies,' fleeing the upcoming, potential wrath of golds. If they escape, just wait until the light of dawn comes, and illuminates the 'helpful' work the candidates have made of the Sands. A quick look back shows Feyran engaged in doing the same, and he urgently gestures to the trader to follow in their footsteps…on those bags. No tracks equals GOOD.

Sigel just motions for people to scuff their shoes as they step off the sand, then straight up leans down and takes his off, chucking them into an empty bag; they're only sandals, so they can't dye too much. He'll busily collect the bags as they go as well, collecting anyone else's shoes if they decide to cast aside even the chance of leading tracks to the barracks. Shoes go in one bag, empty bags go in another, making it a relatively tidy and rapid escape for the lot of them. Hoof hoof hoof!

Ceresth surges to her feet once she's fully awake and a bellow will chase out the last of the departing candidates though surely they are well enough on their way out that they aren't actually seen. Sensing something different but unable to place what the small, shivering, Gold starts to move Every. Single. One of /her/ eggs to a completely new position than they were before. Surely her movements and the eggs is doing nothing but helping the mixing process. Vanessa emerges from the back of the hatching caverns, tousle haired and sleepy as she tries to figure out why exactly her life mate is fussing up a storm.

Vantayne will be one of those people to toss his old boots in that bag, the stick-in-the-mud also directing the other kids he's taken charge of to do the same. Don't want to dirty up the barracks any more than they already are. He's still clueless as to the colored dye…for now. That bellow from Ceresth makes him cringe deeply, and hurry his ass on out of there.

Feyran grins at Sigel, nice thinking! She's no duckling following behind Van and his efforts with the so called kids gets an eye rolls. But right now she's focusing on…oh no. Her boots have been tossed into a bag by now, but…there's Ceresth moving eggs and /Vanessa/. Run, run…is she going to make it back in time? Feyran's certainly one of the last people making it to the door so it might not be so easy. If Vanessa and Ceresth are awake enough, the girl could most /definitely/ get caught.

Still rubbing at her eyes to get the last of the sleep out, Vanessa pauses to peek blearily around the sands. "There's no one here…" she starts to say she she catches the fleeting form of someone at the entrance. This arouses her suspicions and she calls out. "Hey…who'se there?"

Sigel isn't about to let his best friend get caught after masterminding this insanity. When she's within reach of the entryway, he'll lean out, snag her by the arm, and literally pull her into the tunnel. He doesn't set her down, either, letting her clamber halfway onto his back as he steps in close to the wall that keeps them out of the gold and rider's view and hoofs it as quietly as possible towards safety and… FREEEEDOOOOM.

Just forget Vantayne was ever here. He's well-gone into the barracks again, sighing in utter relief at a job well done and heat well-fled, the man stripping off his sweaty clothing, and wadding it into a small pile beside his bed. After all, he's got nothing to fear, given this was a sanctioned thing. All he had to worry about was upsetting the queens…who never saw him, anyway. Phew!

Feyran lets out what might be a yelp when Sigel snags her, it's definitely a /sound/ though and one that Vanessa and Ceresth might hear. The girl clings to her friend's back though, and is that…is that the sound of quiet laughing? Why yes, it most certainly is! There is /sure/ to be trouble ahead, of that there's absolutely no doubt!

Vanessa hears a sound but she's not taken more than half a dozen steps forward before it becomes obvious she'll never make it to the entrance in time to see who was running. With a stifled sigh she merely turns around to try to placate the unhappy queen who seems intent on punctuating the night once more with her unhappy bugles.

"Shh!" is Sigel's hissed warning to Feyran, casting her a light frown as he hauls off into the night with her on his back. Hey, he's not just some casual getaway car here, he doesn't want to get in trouble, either, if they can help it. He'll give her a little poke to punctuate that fact, but at least they're beyond Vanessa's sight and concern by now. Rather than go to the barracks, however, he'll snag the remaining candidates milling around outside the Sands and trundle everyone down to the baths, where bags, shoes, clothes, and bodies will be scrubbed clean of purple. Only then will they return to the safety of the barracks, looking like nothing more than the usual night time group of candidates cleaning up. The bags themselves will get chuted for the laundry in the baths (which also helps avoid any blame since they're not just sitting around with the candidates).

Those bugles don't make Vantayne happy, either, the young man looking very sober - even unhappy - as he quickly pulls on a fresh pair of underwear, then wetting a cloth from his press down with leftover water from his skin to wipe his sweaty form down with. Ugh. Even behind their closed and re-locked door to the Sands, the gold's irritation is still audible. To nobody in particular, the holder mutters, "Not very successful…" It's only when he takes time to look at his fellow candidates that he notices the purple and pink dyes… looks at his cloth… and starts swearing a low cuss storm the likes of which are likely rarely heard in the barracks


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