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With the end of the rains comes added hardship for the people of Landing. Fish have all but vanished with the storms--and while the larder is still stocked, it won't last long. Tensions are high, even as the council does their best to keep the grim news quiet.

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 A Little Off-Hours Cleaning, Open
Avaline Crawford
 Posted on: Jan 29 2018, 03:32 PM
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Wherhandlers
Farmer & Candidate
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9 posts | 140 marks
written by Wolf

It was supposed to be a rest day. Which meant Avaline should be relaxing with her friends and/or family, or going for a swim or catching up on her reading. Really anything other than what she was doing, namely, hauling a bucket of soapy water and sponge around, trying to scrub the terrible anti-dragon project graffiti off the walls.

It wasn't something anyone had asked her to do, but after seeing some of the truly terrible things people had been writing, she'd felt compelled to do something. And this was more productive and less likely to get her in trouble than tracking down the graffiti 'artists' and pounding the living crap out of them. It even used some of the same muscles. If only it was as satisfying.

She understood why people were frustrated of course. Food was short, and the baby dragons did seem to eat a lot. But that was what babies did. And sure, they weren't much help against Thread at the moment, but they were only hatched four or so months ago. Ava hadn't dealt with working animals much before coming to Pern, but even she was pretty sure you didn't start training horses or other animals this early.

With a sigh she dropped her sponge into the bucket and wiped the sweat from her forehead. There were still streaks of paint, but the hateful message had been obscured. She was about to pick up the bucket and go looking for more when she caught movement out of the corner of her eye. "I swear, if you're the jerk who's been writing these," she called out, waving a vague hand at the cleaned up graffiti, "I'm going to pound your head in!"


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Connor Audley
 Posted on: Feb 1 2018, 07:47 AM
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Candidates
Rancher & Candidate
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12 posts | 170 marks
written by Otterly

Wolf

Connor whistled lowly to bring Rusty to heel. She was well-trained--didn't need a leash to keep her close to him--but she was still curious about everything going on around her. They'd been out ambling since dawn, though, and now that her energy was mostly corralled, she only huffed softly and came to a stop beside him.

His bronze Freckles chattered at the dog from his shoulder, and Connor reached up to give him a pat. The fire lizard had spent the last hour napping around Connor's neck and now had the most energy of all of them.

He wasn't paying much attention when he heard Avaline's voice, however, and the sound of it stopped him short. "What's this?" he asked. He hadn't seen the graffiti she'd been cleaning earlier, but she looked frustrated. She sounded it too.

"I haven't been the one writing anything," he told her after a moment of looking at the streaks of paint that were left of whatever had been written there. Connor supposed he'd had an inkling of it; he was a candidate himself, and it was hard not to hear the angry whispers of some of the civilians. He understood that the dragons took up resources that many thought they didn't have, but the dragons were their key to survival in the long run. They could survive this, in order to have a sure method of flaming Thread right out of the sky.

"More angry people, then," he murmured quietly. He recognized Avaline as another candidate, even if he didn't know her very well, and knew she understood. "People like that, they'll never be happy." Especially not with another clutch hardening in the incubation room.
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Avaline Crawford
 Posted on: Feb 4 2018, 01:27 PM
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Wherhandlers
Farmer & Candidate
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9 posts | 140 marks
written by Wolf

Ava relaxed slightly as the man responded and didn't just try to flee. That gave a lot of weight to his assertions that he wasn't responsible for the graffiti. Especially with a dog and firelizard with him. Granted, he could be lying, and have just done it some time when he didn't have his pets with him, but she was pretty sure she remembered seeing him at some of the candidate training things before. She was just being jumpy and defensive, assuming anyone else in the halls would be a graffiti 'artist'.

She let out a heavy sigh and crouched to pick up her bucket. "Idiots scrawling invective," she said, both as an explanation and an agreement with his statement that people would never be happy. "Doesn't mean such filth needs to be allowed to stay."

She gave him a flash of a weary smile. "Just trying to do my part for the community. All of the community. Name's Avaline. Avaline Crawford."


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Connor Audley
 Posted on: Feb 5 2018, 10:48 PM
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Candidates
Rancher & Candidate
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12 posts | 170 marks
written by Otterly

Wolf

Connor grimace, his usually easy-going face marred with the expression. "Lots of people ain't happy with the dragons," he sighed. "But they've no right to be angry with 'em. They're only babies, after all."

It was good of Avaline to clean the nasty messages, and he offered her a grin for it, and then reached out to shake her hand. "I'm Connor Audley," he said. "And these two're Rusty." He nodded down at the dog, who whined softly upon hearing her name. "And Freckles." The bronze fire lizard on his shoulder chirped, his eyes whirling bright.

"We've been ambling 'round Landing today. This ol' girl here needs a good run before she starts trying to herd children." When he'd left at dawn, he hadn't noticed any of the graffiti on the walls--but then, there had not quite been any light yet, and Connor hadn't been looking for it.

He turned to the graffiti and sighed again. "The dragon program's been a success so far. Hopefully they'll learn," he said, even though that contradicted his earlier statement: some people wold never be happy, especially not about dragons who needed many resources.

Connor sent Avaline a sidelong look. "Not long now till this next clutch is ready to hatch. Either people'll learn, or this'll upset them even more," he said grimly.
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Avaline Crawford
 Posted on: Feb 7 2018, 09:31 AM
Quote
Wherhandlers
Farmer & Candidate
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9 posts | 140 marks
written by Wolf

otterly

Avaline gave a sardonic smile in response to Connor's grimace. "Some folks seem to have assumed the creatures would hatch and somehow just make the Thread magically go away." She punctuated her statement with a short bark of a laugh.

She shook the offered hand and gave a nod to the dog and firelizard. There'd been herd dogs in the farm stakehold she and her parents had been a part of before Thread had forced them all back to the safety of Landing. They'd gone with the families that owned them, same as the surviving horses and herd animals, not that there'd been that many of those. She missed having animals around, though she had to admit she didn't miss cleaning up after them.

"Folks are hungry and scared," she said with a slight shrug. It wasn't an excuse, and she wasn't offering it as one. But it was a reason, and it was one she understood, even if she didn't agree with it. "And more baby dragons aren't going to make things better unless we get more food somehow."


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Connor Audley
 Posted on: Feb 8 2018, 11:16 PM
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Candidates
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12 posts | 170 marks
written by Otterly

Wolf

"If only that were possible!" Connor barked out a laugh of his own. It would certainly make their lives easier, if simply hatching a dragon were to scare off Thread.

More solemnly, he said, "I s'pose it's hard to wait for the future when it feels like the world is ending every time Thread falls." It burned through everything alive, plant or animal or person. He stroked Freckels' mottled bronze hide and thought of his late brother, and--

He focused on Avaline, pushing his own thoughts away. "The food issue is a conundrum," he agreed. "On the one hand, we need more space. But on the other--it's hard to spread out when the best protection is here at landing." He sighed. "My family raises cattle. Our herds suffered less than many others. But we know as well as any that one wrong move can deplete the lot of 'em."

Rusty whined softly and leaned against Connor's leg. He smiled down at her and bent to scratch her ears. "We are an enterprising species, though," he murmured, tilting his head to grin at Avaline. "We'll find a way to make it through. We're already on our way." Connor believed desperately in the Dragon Project. He was an idealist by nature, truly--and the project gave him hope.
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Avaline Crawford
 Posted on: Feb 12 2018, 10:05 AM
Quote
Wherhandlers
Farmer & Candidate
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9 posts | 140 marks
written by Wolf

otterly

Avaline sighed, her shoulders drooping a bit as she nodded in agreement with Connor's words. She'd been exceedingly lucky that she hadn't lost anyone close to her, but it felt like there was always a 'yet' hanging on that thought. Even if everything went perfectly with the dragon project, more people were going to die to Thread. It was just the way of things. Which didn't make it any less of a depressing thought.

She couldn't quite muster a full smile for Connor's optimism, but she managed to square her shoulders a bit and nod with more decisiveness. She would never consider herself an idealist, but she also refused to admit defeat, especially at this point, when there were actual solutions being developed. Even if the dragon project did fail - or more likely, proved less effective than hoped, there were still options. Like Connor said, humans were an enterprising species, that had survived far worse. They'd survive this.

Which was why the graffiti bothered her so much. It smacked of defeatism, of assuming the dragon project wouldn't work, of assuming they were all doomed. "In the mean time, I see no reason to let idiots spread their poison," she said, with a slight head tilt towards the cleaned wall. "I should probably go find more." Her tone left an open invitation for Connor to join her if he wanted to.


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Connor Audley
 Posted on: Feb 13 2018, 09:52 AM
Quote
Candidates
Rancher & Candidate
n/a | n/a
12 posts | 170 marks
written by Otterly

Wolf

Connor offered her an encouraging grin. "We'll help," he said, gesturing to himself and Freckles, and Rusty, though a dog and a fire lizard were not much for cleaning. He didn't want to go back to the barracks yet, though, and he didn't want to leave Avaline to hunting down graffiti on her own.

As they moved on, he murmured, "I understand how hard it is, to be brave in the face of all of this. My brother--" He cut himself off with a grimace. It was still hard to remember that day, and how he and his sister had lost their very best friend. Connor shook his head slightly. "It's hard, when you lose someone you love, and some people have lost everything."

Freckles pressed his pale nose to Connor's jaw, and he smiled briefly at the feeling. "But feeling hopeless and taking it out on others doesn't help anyone, least of all the dragons and their riders." Just because Connor understood didn't mean that he liked it, after all.

And the graffiti that Avaline had cleaned off earlier wasn't the only left behind on the walls. "There," he sighed, nodding toward more angry words splayed across the plastics. "Well, s'pose we'd better get on with it, huh? Between the two of us, we'll get them cleaned in no time."

These things were better handled together, he thought. Otherwise, he suspected that they'd both just stew in their own frustration.
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