Topics

For Want Of A Horse Attn Tolfast


Laura Walker
 

"Please don't make a noise."

Garatt knew exactly what field to head for, looking for his favourite runner. If they had moved her-- The worry gnawed at his stomach as he opened the gate, habit making him close it behind him. It would be awful it he didn't catch her and she got out anyway and to the dragons.

"Come on then, come on, girl, please."

It was dark and the runner, friendly enough by day, was not particularly keen on being approached by strange boys at night. She shied away as he approached.

Usually an orangeroot helped. But he hadn't brought an orangeroot.

"Please, girl. Please."

Garatt was moving slowly and stiffly. The runner was not. She let him get almost within grasping distance and then whinnied, a high alarm sound, and bolted past him to the other end of the field. Garatt followed, and tried not to cry. It was clear this plan had its faults.



--

Blackadder: I mean, what about the people that do all the work?
Baldrick: The servants.
Blackadder: No, me; *I'm* the people who do all the work.


 

Tilly may have been a young green wher prone to playfulness and inattention, but she took her "job" as nightwatch very seriously. On a long tether that let her sit near the entrance to the stables without Tolfast at her side, her view of the surrounding beast pens was remarkably clear. Had the runner not screamed in alarm, it's likely she would have eventually detected the intruder's presence, but that shrill whinny alerted her immediately. 

{{Bad two-legs! Tilly see!}} She strained against her line, pointing like an arrow toward the field. {{Tilly catch!}}

Tolfast happened to be awake when he received the wher's message and abandoned the scrolls he had been reading before bed. Sleep rarely came easily to him. Leaping out of his armchair in response to this emergency, he wasted no time stuffing feet into his boots and racing out the door, everything else abandoned in the moment. Shep snored peacefully at the foot of his bed, undisturbed. 

Swiping a basket of glows from the wall, he made his way out across the stable yard casting long shadows as he went. Tilly was bouncing at the end of her tether when he approached, and he freed her to join him. One could never be sure what or who they would find. She raced ahead down the path that circled the pens, and Tolfast jogged to keep up. 

"Ho, who goes there?" He called, announcing himself as they neared the scattered runners. Tilly darted through the fencing, her keen eyes on the boy.

{{No take!}} She commanded, though her tiny stature was less intimidating than she would have liked. 


On Thu, Sep 17, 2020, 3:36 PM Laura Walker <shewhoguards@...> wrote:
"Please don't make a noise."

Garatt knew exactly what field to head for, looking for his favourite runner. If they had moved her-- The worry gnawed at his stomach as he opened the gate, habit making him close it behind him. It would be awful it he didn't catch her and she got out anyway and to the dragons.

"Come on then, come on, girl, please."

It was dark and the runner, friendly enough by day, was not particularly keen on being approached by strange boys at night. She shied away as he approached.

Usually an orangeroot helped. But he hadn't brought an orangeroot.

"Please, girl. Please."

Garatt was moving slowly and stiffly. The runner was not. She let him get almost within grasping distance and then whinnied, a high alarm sound, and bolted past him to the other end of the field. Garatt followed, and tried not to cry. It was clear this plan had its faults.



--

Blackadder: I mean, what about the people that do all the work?
Baldrick: The servants.
Blackadder: No, me; *I'm* the people who do all the work.


Laura Walker
 

It had always been a stupid plan. Runners were fast and they were big and none of them had any intention whatsoever of being caught, If Garatt, by some miracle, did get close they pushed past him to get to the other end of the field. He wasn't a trained BeastCrafter; he was a skinny fourteen turn old with a hurt hand and the picture in his head where his favourite runner just decided to let him climb on was never going to happen.

But getting caught? That was worse than failing. That would get him straight back to M'ayen, with more ammunition for the ACM to use as punishment. Garatt's breathing stuttered at that thought. He knew just how severe the ACM had been over cheating. For something like theft.. and runner theft at that..

He tried to run, seeing the man but not the wher in the dimly lit field. Desperation lent him a burst of speed, but that got him as far as the fence. The fence where he gripped it with both hands and tried to pull himself up and over, forgetting in his panic why he hadn't been using that plan. The flare of pain made him drop back with a yelp, cradling his hand.

On Fri, Sep 18, 2020 at 1:54 AM Ariel Rogers <ariel.aurora.rogers@...> wrote:
Tilly may have been a young green wher prone to playfulness and inattention, but she took her "job" as nightwatch very seriously. On a long tether that let her sit near the entrance to the stables without Tolfast at her side, her view of the surrounding beast pens was remarkably clear. Had the runner not screamed in alarm, it's likely she would have eventually detected the intruder's presence, but that shrill whinny alerted her immediately. 

{{Bad two-legs! Tilly see!}} She strained against her line, pointing like an arrow toward the field. {{Tilly catch!}}

Tolfast happened to be awake when he received the wher's message and abandoned the scrolls he had been reading before bed. Sleep rarely came easily to him. Leaping out of his armchair in response to this emergency, he wasted no time stuffing feet into his boots and racing out the door, everything else abandoned in the moment. Shep snored peacefully at the foot of his bed, undisturbed. 

Swiping a basket of glows from the wall, he made his way out across the stable yard casting long shadows as he went. Tilly was bouncing at the end of her tether when he approached, and he freed her to join him. One could never be sure what or who they would find. She raced ahead down the path that circled the pens, and Tolfast jogged to keep up. 

"Ho, who goes there?" He called, announcing himself as they neared the scattered runners. Tilly darted through the fencing, her keen eyes on the boy.

{{No take!}} She commanded, though her tiny stature was less intimidating than she would have liked. 


On Thu, Sep 17, 2020, 3:36 PM Laura Walker <shewhoguards@...> wrote:
"Please don't make a noise."

Garatt knew exactly what field to head for, looking for his favourite runner. If they had moved her-- The worry gnawed at his stomach as he opened the gate, habit making him close it behind him. It would be awful it he didn't catch her and she got out anyway and to the dragons.

"Come on then, come on, girl, please."

It was dark and the runner, friendly enough by day, was not particularly keen on being approached by strange boys at night. She shied away as he approached.

Usually an orangeroot helped. But he hadn't brought an orangeroot.

"Please, girl. Please."

Garatt was moving slowly and stiffly. The runner was not. She let him get almost within grasping distance and then whinnied, a high alarm sound, and bolted past him to the other end of the field. Garatt followed, and tried not to cry. It was clear this plan had its faults.



--

Blackadder: I mean, what about the people that do all the work?
Baldrick: The servants.
Blackadder: No, me; *I'm* the people who do all the work.



--

Blackadder: I mean, what about the people that do all the work?
Baldrick: The servants.
Blackadder: No, me; *I'm* the people who do all the work.


 

Tolfast wasn't certain what to expect, but he was a man who preferred to be prepared for all scenarios. He could barely see the shape that bolted toward the fence even with the glow basket. This is where Tilly would provide the advantage. Her specialized eyes had no trouble locating the fleeing boy and she scampered after him on small legs, bugling angrily. {{No run from Tilly!}} 

The runners had scattered to the far side of the field over the commotion. Tolfast would check on them later. He vaulted less awkwardly over the fence than anticipated, landing with only a minor stumble on the other side. "You, stop right there!" He shouted, racing after them.

Tilly skidded to a halt a few yards away from the boy, continuing to bounce where she stood in excitement. With teeth bared, her rumbling noises might have been considered threatening were she any bigger than a canine, but her resemblance to a yapping pup was uncanny. {{Tilly catch!}} She announced with pride, stalking forward with a giddy hop. Suddenly, she froze, nostrils flaring with a scent she found familiar. She knew this two-legs! {{...Play? Play, play!}} The little green's demeanor changed abruptly and she leaped forward to butt Garatt's leg with her headknobs.

Tolfast finally caught up, raising the basket high to illuminate the pair as he approached at a trot. "What are you-- Wait," he began to demand, but his severe expression turned shocked. "G-Garatt? Is that you?"

On Fri, Sep 18, 2020, 1:43 AM Laura Walker <shewhoguards@...> wrote:
It had always been a stupid plan. Runners were fast and they were big and none of them had any intention whatsoever of being caught, If Garatt, by some miracle, did get close they pushed past him to get to the other end of the field. He wasn't a trained BeastCrafter; he was a skinny fourteen turn old with a hurt hand and the picture in his head where his favourite runner just decided to let him climb on was never going to happen.

But getting caught? That was worse than failing. That would get him straight back to M'ayen, with more ammunition for the ACM to use as punishment. Garatt's breathing stuttered at that thought. He knew just how severe the ACM had been over cheating. For something like theft.. and runner theft at that..

He tried to run, seeing the man but not the wher in the dimly lit field. Desperation lent him a burst of speed, but that got him as far as the fence. The fence where he gripped it with both hands and tried to pull himself up and over, forgetting in his panic why he hadn't been using that plan. The flare of pain made him drop back with a yelp, cradling his hand.

On Fri, Sep 18, 2020 at 1:54 AM Ariel Rogers <ariel.aurora.rogers@...> wrote:
Tilly may have been a young green wher prone to playfulness and inattention, but she took her "job" as nightwatch very seriously. On a long tether that let her sit near the entrance to the stables without Tolfast at her side, her view of the surrounding beast pens was remarkably clear. Had the runner not screamed in alarm, it's likely she would have eventually detected the intruder's presence, but that shrill whinny alerted her immediately. 

{{Bad two-legs! Tilly see!}} She strained against her line, pointing like an arrow toward the field. {{Tilly catch!}}

Tolfast happened to be awake when he received the wher's message and abandoned the scrolls he had been reading before bed. Sleep rarely came easily to him. Leaping out of his armchair in response to this emergency, he wasted no time stuffing feet into his boots and racing out the door, everything else abandoned in the moment. Shep snored peacefully at the foot of his bed, undisturbed. 

Swiping a basket of glows from the wall, he made his way out across the stable yard casting long shadows as he went. Tilly was bouncing at the end of her tether when he approached, and he freed her to join him. One could never be sure what or who they would find. She raced ahead down the path that circled the pens, and Tolfast jogged to keep up. 

"Ho, who goes there?" He called, announcing himself as they neared the scattered runners. Tilly darted through the fencing, her keen eyes on the boy.

{{No take!}} She commanded, though her tiny stature was less intimidating than she would have liked. 


On Thu, Sep 17, 2020, 3:36 PM Laura Walker <shewhoguards@...> wrote:
"Please don't make a noise."

Garatt knew exactly what field to head for, looking for his favourite runner. If they had moved her-- The worry gnawed at his stomach as he opened the gate, habit making him close it behind him. It would be awful it he didn't catch her and she got out anyway and to the dragons.

"Come on then, come on, girl, please."

It was dark and the runner, friendly enough by day, was not particularly keen on being approached by strange boys at night. She shied away as he approached.

Usually an orangeroot helped. But he hadn't brought an orangeroot.

"Please, girl. Please."

Garatt was moving slowly and stiffly. The runner was not. She let him get almost within grasping distance and then whinnied, a high alarm sound, and bolted past him to the other end of the field. Garatt followed, and tried not to cry. It was clear this plan had its faults.



--

Blackadder: I mean, what about the people that do all the work?
Baldrick: The servants.
Blackadder: No, me; *I'm* the people who do all the work.



--

Blackadder: I mean, what about the people that do all the work?
Baldrick: The servants.
Blackadder: No, me; *I'm* the people who do all the work.


Laura Walker
 

"I'm sorry!" Was it worse to be caught by someone you were scared of or someone you didn't want to disappoint? Garatt couldn't decide, only knew that this was the baddest of bad days. His hand hurt and everything else hurt more and now he was going to add to the people who were angry with him. He hugged his hand to his chest, trying at least to take it like a man rather than crying like a baby again. It didn't work. Whatever his mind might want to do, however he tried to blink them back, his eyes still flooded with tears. 

"I'm sorry," he repeated, back against the fence. "I was..was only going to borrow her." Theft, his mind sang severely. Borrowing-without-asking was theft and got you a lot more trouble than cheating.

On Thu, Sep 24, 2020 at 9:36 PM Ariel Rogers <ariel.aurora.rogers@...> wrote:
Tolfast wasn't certain what to expect, but he was a man who preferred to be prepared for all scenarios. He could barely see the shape that bolted toward the fence even with the glow basket. This is where Tilly would provide the advantage. Her specialized eyes had no trouble locating the fleeing boy and she scampered after him on small legs, bugling angrily. {{No run from Tilly!}} 

The runners had scattered to the far side of the field over the commotion. Tolfast would check on them later. He vaulted less awkwardly over the fence than anticipated, landing with only a minor stumble on the other side. "You, stop right there!" He shouted, racing after them.

Tilly skidded to a halt a few yards away from the boy, continuing to bounce where she stood in excitement. With teeth bared, her rumbling noises might have been considered threatening were she any bigger than a canine, but her resemblance to a yapping pup was uncanny. {{Tilly catch!}} She announced with pride, stalking forward with a giddy hop. Suddenly, she froze, nostrils flaring with a scent she found familiar. She knew this two-legs! {{...Play? Play, play!}} The little green's demeanor changed abruptly and she leaped forward to butt Garatt's leg with her headknobs.

Tolfast finally caught up, raising the basket high to illuminate the pair as he approached at a trot. "What are you-- Wait," he began to demand, but his severe expression turned shocked. "G-Garatt? Is that you?"

On Fri, Sep 18, 2020, 1:43 AM Laura Walker <shewhoguards@...> wrote:
It had always been a stupid plan. Runners were fast and they were big and none of them had any intention whatsoever of being caught, If Garatt, by some miracle, did get close they pushed past him to get to the other end of the field. He wasn't a trained BeastCrafter; he was a skinny fourteen turn old with a hurt hand and the picture in his head where his favourite runner just decided to let him climb on was never going to happen.

But getting caught? That was worse than failing. That would get him straight back to M'ayen, with more ammunition for the ACM to use as punishment. Garatt's breathing stuttered at that thought. He knew just how severe the ACM had been over cheating. For something like theft.. and runner theft at that..

He tried to run, seeing the man but not the wher in the dimly lit field. Desperation lent him a burst of speed, but that got him as far as the fence. The fence where he gripped it with both hands and tried to pull himself up and over, forgetting in his panic why he hadn't been using that plan. The flare of pain made him drop back with a yelp, cradling his hand.

On Fri, Sep 18, 2020 at 1:54 AM Ariel Rogers <ariel.aurora.rogers@...> wrote:
Tilly may have been a young green wher prone to playfulness and inattention, but she took her "job" as nightwatch very seriously. On a long tether that let her sit near the entrance to the stables without Tolfast at her side, her view of the surrounding beast pens was remarkably clear. Had the runner not screamed in alarm, it's likely she would have eventually detected the intruder's presence, but that shrill whinny alerted her immediately. 

{{Bad two-legs! Tilly see!}} She strained against her line, pointing like an arrow toward the field. {{Tilly catch!}}

Tolfast happened to be awake when he received the wher's message and abandoned the scrolls he had been reading before bed. Sleep rarely came easily to him. Leaping out of his armchair in response to this emergency, he wasted no time stuffing feet into his boots and racing out the door, everything else abandoned in the moment. Shep snored peacefully at the foot of his bed, undisturbed. 

Swiping a basket of glows from the wall, he made his way out across the stable yard casting long shadows as he went. Tilly was bouncing at the end of her tether when he approached, and he freed her to join him. One could never be sure what or who they would find. She raced ahead down the path that circled the pens, and Tolfast jogged to keep up. 

"Ho, who goes there?" He called, announcing himself as they neared the scattered runners. Tilly darted through the fencing, her keen eyes on the boy.

{{No take!}} She commanded, though her tiny stature was less intimidating than she would have liked. 


On Thu, Sep 17, 2020, 3:36 PM Laura Walker <shewhoguards@...> wrote:
"Please don't make a noise."

Garatt knew exactly what field to head for, looking for his favourite runner. If they had moved her-- The worry gnawed at his stomach as he opened the gate, habit making him close it behind him. It would be awful it he didn't catch her and she got out anyway and to the dragons.

"Come on then, come on, girl, please."

It was dark and the runner, friendly enough by day, was not particularly keen on being approached by strange boys at night. She shied away as he approached.

Usually an orangeroot helped. But he hadn't brought an orangeroot.

"Please, girl. Please."

Garatt was moving slowly and stiffly. The runner was not. She let him get almost within grasping distance and then whinnied, a high alarm sound, and bolted past him to the other end of the field. Garatt followed, and tried not to cry. It was clear this plan had its faults.



--

Blackadder: I mean, what about the people that do all the work?
Baldrick: The servants.
Blackadder: No, me; *I'm* the people who do all the work.



--

Blackadder: I mean, what about the people that do all the work?
Baldrick: The servants.
Blackadder: No, me; *I'm* the people who do all the work.



--

Blackadder: I mean, what about the people that do all the work?
Baldrick: The servants.
Blackadder: No, me; *I'm* the people who do all the work.


 

Blinking away his astonishment, Tolfast gave a thoughtful frown at the scene before him. Tilly had ceased her jumping, sensing that this wasn't the time for play after all, and retreated back behind Tolfast's legs at the sound of the boy's sad apologies. She didn't understand this emotion, this reaction. Even without the wher's reservations in his mind, Tolfast knew something was very wrong. The candidate had always been a tad skittish and he recognized a kindred spirit from their first meeting, but he also knew desperation when he saw it. Something had happened.

"Garatt, it's alright lad. Take a breath," he advised, stepping forward with his free hand held palm up and open, approaching the child in the same manner he might a terrified runner. His voice softly low and soothing, markedly different from the shouts a moment earlier. "You done nothin' yet. Why are you sorry? Come here, let me take a look at you." 


On Thu, Sep 24, 2020, 12:49 PM Laura Walker <shewhoguards@...> wrote:
"I'm sorry!" Was it worse to be caught by someone you were scared of or someone you didn't want to disappoint? Garatt couldn't decide, only knew that this was the baddest of bad days. His hand hurt and everything else hurt more and now he was going to add to the people who were angry with him. He hugged his hand to his chest, trying at least to take it like a man rather than crying like a baby again. It didn't work. Whatever his mind might want to do, however he tried to blink them back, his eyes still flooded with tears. 

"I'm sorry," he repeated, back against the fence. "I was..was only going to borrow her." Theft, his mind sang severely. Borrowing-without-asking was theft and got you a lot more trouble than cheating.

On Thu, Sep 24, 2020 at 9:36 PM Ariel Rogers <ariel.aurora.rogers@...> wrote:
Tolfast wasn't certain what to expect, but he was a man who preferred to be prepared for all scenarios. He could barely see the shape that bolted toward the fence even with the glow basket. This is where Tilly would provide the advantage. Her specialized eyes had no trouble locating the fleeing boy and she scampered after him on small legs, bugling angrily. {{No run from Tilly!}} 

The runners had scattered to the far side of the field over the commotion. Tolfast would check on them later. He vaulted less awkwardly over the fence than anticipated, landing with only a minor stumble on the other side. "You, stop right there!" He shouted, racing after them.

Tilly skidded to a halt a few yards away from the boy, continuing to bounce where she stood in excitement. With teeth bared, her rumbling noises might have been considered threatening were she any bigger than a canine, but her resemblance to a yapping pup was uncanny. {{Tilly catch!}} She announced with pride, stalking forward with a giddy hop. Suddenly, she froze, nostrils flaring with a scent she found familiar. She knew this two-legs! {{...Play? Play, play!}} The little green's demeanor changed abruptly and she leaped forward to butt Garatt's leg with her headknobs.

Tolfast finally caught up, raising the basket high to illuminate the pair as he approached at a trot. "What are you-- Wait," he began to demand, but his severe expression turned shocked. "G-Garatt? Is that you?"

On Fri, Sep 18, 2020, 1:43 AM Laura Walker <shewhoguards@...> wrote:
It had always been a stupid plan. Runners were fast and they were big and none of them had any intention whatsoever of being caught, If Garatt, by some miracle, did get close they pushed past him to get to the other end of the field. He wasn't a trained BeastCrafter; he was a skinny fourteen turn old with a hurt hand and the picture in his head where his favourite runner just decided to let him climb on was never going to happen.

But getting caught? That was worse than failing. That would get him straight back to M'ayen, with more ammunition for the ACM to use as punishment. Garatt's breathing stuttered at that thought. He knew just how severe the ACM had been over cheating. For something like theft.. and runner theft at that..

He tried to run, seeing the man but not the wher in the dimly lit field. Desperation lent him a burst of speed, but that got him as far as the fence. The fence where he gripped it with both hands and tried to pull himself up and over, forgetting in his panic why he hadn't been using that plan. The flare of pain made him drop back with a yelp, cradling his hand.

On Fri, Sep 18, 2020 at 1:54 AM Ariel Rogers <ariel.aurora.rogers@...> wrote:
Tilly may have been a young green wher prone to playfulness and inattention, but she took her "job" as nightwatch very seriously. On a long tether that let her sit near the entrance to the stables without Tolfast at her side, her view of the surrounding beast pens was remarkably clear. Had the runner not screamed in alarm, it's likely she would have eventually detected the intruder's presence, but that shrill whinny alerted her immediately. 

{{Bad two-legs! Tilly see!}} She strained against her line, pointing like an arrow toward the field. {{Tilly catch!}}

Tolfast happened to be awake when he received the wher's message and abandoned the scrolls he had been reading before bed. Sleep rarely came easily to him. Leaping out of his armchair in response to this emergency, he wasted no time stuffing feet into his boots and racing out the door, everything else abandoned in the moment. Shep snored peacefully at the foot of his bed, undisturbed. 

Swiping a basket of glows from the wall, he made his way out across the stable yard casting long shadows as he went. Tilly was bouncing at the end of her tether when he approached, and he freed her to join him. One could never be sure what or who they would find. She raced ahead down the path that circled the pens, and Tolfast jogged to keep up. 

"Ho, who goes there?" He called, announcing himself as they neared the scattered runners. Tilly darted through the fencing, her keen eyes on the boy.

{{No take!}} She commanded, though her tiny stature was less intimidating than she would have liked. 


On Thu, Sep 17, 2020, 3:36 PM Laura Walker <shewhoguards@...> wrote:
"Please don't make a noise."

Garatt knew exactly what field to head for, looking for his favourite runner. If they had moved her-- The worry gnawed at his stomach as he opened the gate, habit making him close it behind him. It would be awful it he didn't catch her and she got out anyway and to the dragons.

"Come on then, come on, girl, please."

It was dark and the runner, friendly enough by day, was not particularly keen on being approached by strange boys at night. She shied away as he approached.

Usually an orangeroot helped. But he hadn't brought an orangeroot.

"Please, girl. Please."

Garatt was moving slowly and stiffly. The runner was not. She let him get almost within grasping distance and then whinnied, a high alarm sound, and bolted past him to the other end of the field. Garatt followed, and tried not to cry. It was clear this plan had its faults.



--

Blackadder: I mean, what about the people that do all the work?
Baldrick: The servants.
Blackadder: No, me; *I'm* the people who do all the work.



--

Blackadder: I mean, what about the people that do all the work?
Baldrick: The servants.
Blackadder: No, me; *I'm* the people who do all the work.



--

Blackadder: I mean, what about the people that do all the work?
Baldrick: The servants.
Blackadder: No, me; *I'm* the people who do all the work.


Laura Walker
 


Blinking away his astonishment, Tolfast gave a thoughtful frown at the scene before him. Tilly had ceased her jumping, sensing that this wasn't the time for play after all, and retreated back behind Tolfast's legs at the sound of the boy's sad apologies. She didn't understand this emotion, this reaction. Even without the wher's reservations in his mind, Tolfast knew something was very wrong. The candidate had always been a tad skittish and he recognized a kindred spirit from their first meeting, but he also knew desperation when he saw it. Something had happened.

"Garatt, it's alright lad. Take a breath," he advised, stepping forward with his free hand held palm up and open, approaching the child in the same manner he might a terrified runner. His voice softly low and soothing, markedly different from the shouts a moment earlier. "You done nothin' yet. Why are you sorry? Come here, let me take a look at you." 

"I--I didn't mean--" Garatt fumbled for excuses and found none, far too conscious himself that he'd wanted to do a bad thing even if he hadn't actually done it. Kindness when you didn't feel like you deserved it could be as hard to bear as cruel and he sniffled, because Tolfast was kind and really really did not deserve stupid ungrateful boys stealing his runners.

(amazing how, after a time, the heckling voice in your head happened all on its own and without the bully even needing to be there).

He didn't try to bolt again, but didn't move closer either, shivering with fear and shock. "I wouldn't have hurt her. I was just-- but I couldn't catch her.." Another boy maybe might have concocted a lie about what he had been doing there. Garatt was far beyond the point where that even felt worth trying.


 

--

Blackadder: I mean, what about the people that do all the work?
Baldrick: The servants.
Blackadder: No, me; *I'm* the people who do all the work.


 

"I know you wouldn't, lad," Tolfast replied, kneeling when he reached the boy - both in order to be on his level and to present a less intimidating posture. "You've never made me think you'd be anything but gentle. You know all you needed to do was ask if you wanted to go for a ride. Couldn't it have waited til mornin'?" He set the basket of glows down beside them and reached for Garatt's hands, noting the way he held them so protectively. "Did the fence get'cha?" 


On Thu, Sep 24, 2020 at 2:26 PM Laura Walker <shewhoguards@...> wrote:

Blinking away his astonishment, Tolfast gave a thoughtful frown at the scene before him. Tilly had ceased her jumping, sensing that this wasn't the time for play after all, and retreated back behind Tolfast's legs at the sound of the boy's sad apologies. She didn't understand this emotion, this reaction. Even without the wher's reservations in his mind, Tolfast knew something was very wrong. The candidate had always been a tad skittish and he recognized a kindred spirit from their first meeting, but he also knew desperation when he saw it. Something had happened.

"Garatt, it's alright lad. Take a breath," he advised, stepping forward with his free hand held palm up and open, approaching the child in the same manner he might a terrified runner. His voice softly low and soothing, markedly different from the shouts a moment earlier. "You done nothin' yet. Why are you sorry? Come here, let me take a look at you." 

"I--I didn't mean--" Garatt fumbled for excuses and found none, far too conscious himself that he'd wanted to do a bad thing even if he hadn't actually done it. Kindness when you didn't feel like you deserved it could be as hard to bear as cruel and he sniffled, because Tolfast was kind and really really did not deserve stupid ungrateful boys stealing his runners.

(amazing how, after a time, the heckling voice in your head happened all on its own and without the bully even needing to be there).

He didn't try to bolt again, but didn't move closer either, shivering with fear and shock. "I wouldn't have hurt her. I was just-- but I couldn't catch her.." Another boy maybe might have concocted a lie about what he had been doing there. Garatt was far beyond the point where that even felt worth trying.


 

--

Blackadder: I mean, what about the people that do all the work?
Baldrick: The servants.
Blackadder: No, me; *I'm* the people who do all the work.


Laura Walker
 

Garatt shook his head, but flinched away when Tolfast reached for his hand, trying to hide his left hand behind his right. "Not the fence. It-- I--" His imagination stalled because every excuse he'd tried so far had failed. Obstacle course hadn't lasted a second, and 'slammed in a door' hadn't lasted that long either. "I--hurt it." 

There were bruises peeking around the edge of his sleeve, vivid purple-red bruising, impossible to miss even in the glowlight.

On Thu, Sep 24, 2020 at 11:39 PM Ariel Rogers <ariel.aurora.rogers@...> wrote:
"I know you wouldn't, lad," Tolfast replied, kneeling when he reached the boy - both in order to be on his level and to present a less intimidating posture. "You've never made me think you'd be anything but gentle. You know all you needed to do was ask if you wanted to go for a ride. Couldn't it have waited til mornin'?" He set the basket of glows down beside them and reached for Garatt's hands, noting the way he held them so protectively. "Did the fence get'cha?" 

On Thu, Sep 24, 2020 at 2:26 PM Laura Walker <shewhoguards@...> wrote:

Blinking away his astonishment, Tolfast gave a thoughtful frown at the scene before him. Tilly had ceased her jumping, sensing that this wasn't the time for play after all, and retreated back behind Tolfast's legs at the sound of the boy's sad apologies. She didn't understand this emotion, this reaction. Even without the wher's reservations in his mind, Tolfast knew something was very wrong. The candidate had always been a tad skittish and he recognized a kindred spirit from their first meeting, but he also knew desperation when he saw it. Something had happened.

"Garatt, it's alright lad. Take a breath," he advised, stepping forward with his free hand held palm up and open, approaching the child in the same manner he might a terrified runner. His voice softly low and soothing, markedly different from the shouts a moment earlier. "You done nothin' yet. Why are you sorry? Come here, let me take a look at you." 

"I--I didn't mean--" Garatt fumbled for excuses and found none, far too conscious himself that he'd wanted to do a bad thing even if he hadn't actually done it. Kindness when you didn't feel like you deserved it could be as hard to bear as cruel and he sniffled, because Tolfast was kind and really really did not deserve stupid ungrateful boys stealing his runners.

(amazing how, after a time, the heckling voice in your head happened all on its own and without the bully even needing to be there).

He didn't try to bolt again, but didn't move closer either, shivering with fear and shock. "I wouldn't have hurt her. I was just-- but I couldn't catch her.." Another boy maybe might have concocted a lie about what he had been doing there. Garatt was far beyond the point where that even felt worth trying.


 

--

Blackadder: I mean, what about the people that do all the work?
Baldrick: The servants.
Blackadder: No, me; *I'm* the people who do all the work.



--

Blackadder: I mean, what about the people that do all the work?
Baldrick: The servants.
Blackadder: No, me; *I'm* the people who do all the work.


 

Tolfast may not have been the most perceptive person on Pern, but he could practically smell this lie. The sight of those splotches coloring the boy's skin made him worried, and that the boy tried to hide their origin told him the truth would be worse than he first thought. Garatt was scared of something. Someone? He suspected there might be a bully he'd been trying to escape via his time spent in the stables. This evidence didn't dissuade that notion. 

"I won't touch, I just want to see." He lifted both hands in surrender, a weak smile mustered to put the boy at ease. "I've got friends in the Infirmary, we could snag us a pot of numbweed. What do you think? Will you come with me?" 


On Thu, Sep 24, 2020, 2:46 PM Laura Walker <shewhoguards@...> wrote:
Garatt shook his head, but flinched away when Tolfast reached for his hand, trying to hide his left hand behind his right. "Not the fence. It-- I--" His imagination stalled because every excuse he'd tried so far had failed. Obstacle course hadn't lasted a second, and 'slammed in a door' hadn't lasted that long either. "I--hurt it." 

There were bruises peeking around the edge of his sleeve, vivid purple-red bruising, impossible to miss even in the glowlight.

On Thu, Sep 24, 2020 at 11:39 PM Ariel Rogers <ariel.aurora.rogers@...> wrote:
"I know you wouldn't, lad," Tolfast replied, kneeling when he reached the boy - both in order to be on his level and to present a less intimidating posture. "You've never made me think you'd be anything but gentle. You know all you needed to do was ask if you wanted to go for a ride. Couldn't it have waited til mornin'?" He set the basket of glows down beside them and reached for Garatt's hands, noting the way he held them so protectively. "Did the fence get'cha?" 

On Thu, Sep 24, 2020 at 2:26 PM Laura Walker <shewhoguards@...> wrote:

Blinking away his astonishment, Tolfast gave a thoughtful frown at the scene before him. Tilly had ceased her jumping, sensing that this wasn't the time for play after all, and retreated back behind Tolfast's legs at the sound of the boy's sad apologies. She didn't understand this emotion, this reaction. Even without the wher's reservations in his mind, Tolfast knew something was very wrong. The candidate had always been a tad skittish and he recognized a kindred spirit from their first meeting, but he also knew desperation when he saw it. Something had happened.

"Garatt, it's alright lad. Take a breath," he advised, stepping forward with his free hand held palm up and open, approaching the child in the same manner he might a terrified runner. His voice softly low and soothing, markedly different from the shouts a moment earlier. "You done nothin' yet. Why are you sorry? Come here, let me take a look at you." 

"I--I didn't mean--" Garatt fumbled for excuses and found none, far too conscious himself that he'd wanted to do a bad thing even if he hadn't actually done it. Kindness when you didn't feel like you deserved it could be as hard to bear as cruel and he sniffled, because Tolfast was kind and really really did not deserve stupid ungrateful boys stealing his runners.

(amazing how, after a time, the heckling voice in your head happened all on its own and without the bully even needing to be there).

He didn't try to bolt again, but didn't move closer either, shivering with fear and shock. "I wouldn't have hurt her. I was just-- but I couldn't catch her.." Another boy maybe might have concocted a lie about what he had been doing there. Garatt was far beyond the point where that even felt worth trying.


 

--

Blackadder: I mean, what about the people that do all the work?
Baldrick: The servants.
Blackadder: No, me; *I'm* the people who do all the work.



--

Blackadder: I mean, what about the people that do all the work?
Baldrick: The servants.
Blackadder: No, me; *I'm* the people who do all the work.


Laura Walker
 


Tolfast may not have been the most perceptive person on Pern, but he could practically smell this lie. The sight of those splotches coloring the boy's skin made him worried, and that the boy tried to hide their origin told him the truth would be worse than he first thought. Garatt was scared of something. Someone? He suspected there might be a bully he'd been trying to escape via his time spent in the stables. This evidence didn't dissuade that notion. 

"I won't touch, I just want to see." He lifted both hands in surrender, a weak smile mustered to put the boy at ease. "I've got friends in the Infirmary, we could snag us a pot of numbweed. What do you think? Will you come with me?" 

The Infirrmary might have Cuylar but it was just as likely to have the Healer from the night before, the man who had perhaps been trying to be kind but who had kept talking about the Hatching and hadn't understood anything at all.

If he went back to the Infirmary they'd make him sleep there for the night. And then the next day would be the normal plan of lessons then food then lessons and if he tried to run they'd notice within a very short period and then it would be evening and M'ayen would find him and he''d have to go to the office and--

His imagination stuttered and failed at that point, too frightened even to think what happened after that. Bad things, his mind said darkly, and refused to go further.

"I..can't," he said, very quiet. "Please don't make me go back."


--

Blackadder: I mean, what about the people that do all the work?
Baldrick: The servants.
Blackadder: No, me; *I'm* the people who do all the work.


 

The way Garatt seemed suddenly overwhelmed by fear at his invitation made Tolfast's stomach twist. "Hey, woah now. Easy there, lad. I won't make you go nowhere you don't want to," he replied, settling back into his knee. It was pretty clear Garatt did not want to he touched, but above all else, the idea of being forced to go 'back' was nearly petrifying. He needed to diffuse this situation before Garatt fled from him as well.

"That hand looks like it hurts a whole lot. Tell you what, you come with me to the Infirmary and I'll stay with you the whole time. Alright? We'll get you fixed up with a cup of klah and some numbweed, you'll feel right as rain." He tried to project confidence, a smile on his face. "I swear on my knots, no one'll make you go anywhere until you're ready. How's that sound?"

On Thu, Sep 24, 2020, 3:07 PM Laura Walker <shewhoguards@...> wrote:

Tolfast may not have been the most perceptive person on Pern, but he could practically smell this lie. The sight of those splotches coloring the boy's skin made him worried, and that the boy tried to hide their origin told him the truth would be worse than he first thought. Garatt was scared of something. Someone? He suspected there might be a bully he'd been trying to escape via his time spent in the stables. This evidence didn't dissuade that notion. 

"I won't touch, I just want to see." He lifted both hands in surrender, a weak smile mustered to put the boy at ease. "I've got friends in the Infirmary, we could snag us a pot of numbweed. What do you think? Will you come with me?" 

The Infirrmary might have Cuylar but it was just as likely to have the Healer from the night before, the man who had perhaps been trying to be kind but who had kept talking about the Hatching and hadn't understood anything at all.

If he went back to the Infirmary they'd make him sleep there for the night. And then the next day would be the normal plan of lessons then food then lessons and if he tried to run they'd notice within a very short period and then it would be evening and M'ayen would find him and he''d have to go to the office and--

His imagination stuttered and failed at that point, too frightened even to think what happened after that. Bad things, his mind said darkly, and refused to go further.

"I..can't," he said, very quiet. "Please don't make me go back."


--

Blackadder: I mean, what about the people that do all the work?
Baldrick: The servants.
Blackadder: No, me; *I'm* the people who do all the work.


Laura Walker
 

"I can't!" Garatt shook his head violently. "I-- if I go to the Infirmary they'll make me sleep there and then they'll make me go back to the Barracks!" That word was a wail.

"My hand's okay," he added, trying too late to cover his wrist, tugging at his sleeve as though he could make it unseen. "Really. I just caught it wrong." There were possibly worse liars on Pern, just most of them were under the age of five.

On Fri, Sep 25, 2020 at 12:21 AM Ariel Rogers <ariel.aurora.rogers@...> wrote:
The way Garatt seemed suddenly overwhelmed by fear at his invitation made Tolfast's stomach twist. "Hey, woah now. Easy there, lad. I won't make you go nowhere you don't want to," he replied, settling back into his knee. It was pretty clear Garatt did not want to he touched, but above all else, the idea of being forced to go 'back' was nearly petrifying. He needed to diffuse this situation before Garatt fled from him as well.

"That hand looks like it hurts a whole lot. Tell you what, you come with me to the Infirmary and I'll stay with you the whole time. Alright? We'll get you fixed up with a cup of klah and some numbweed, you'll feel right as rain." He tried to project confidence, a smile on his face. "I swear on my knots, no one'll make you go anywhere until you're ready. How's that sound?"

On Thu, Sep 24, 2020, 3:07 PM Laura Walker <shewhoguards@...> wrote:

Tolfast may not have been the most perceptive person on Pern, but he could practically smell this lie. The sight of those splotches coloring the boy's skin made him worried, and that the boy tried to hide their origin told him the truth would be worse than he first thought. Garatt was scared of something. Someone? He suspected there might be a bully he'd been trying to escape via his time spent in the stables. This evidence didn't dissuade that notion. 

"I won't touch, I just want to see." He lifted both hands in surrender, a weak smile mustered to put the boy at ease. "I've got friends in the Infirmary, we could snag us a pot of numbweed. What do you think? Will you come with me?" 

The Infirrmary might have Cuylar but it was just as likely to have the Healer from the night before, the man who had perhaps been trying to be kind but who had kept talking about the Hatching and hadn't understood anything at all.

If he went back to the Infirmary they'd make him sleep there for the night. And then the next day would be the normal plan of lessons then food then lessons and if he tried to run they'd notice within a very short period and then it would be evening and M'ayen would find him and he''d have to go to the office and--

His imagination stuttered and failed at that point, too frightened even to think what happened after that. Bad things, his mind said darkly, and refused to go further.

"I..can't," he said, very quiet. "Please don't make me go back."


--

Blackadder: I mean, what about the people that do all the work?
Baldrick: The servants.
Blackadder: No, me; *I'm* the people who do all the work.



--

Blackadder: I mean, what about the people that do all the work?
Baldrick: The servants.
Blackadder: No, me; *I'm* the people who do all the work.


 

"Garatt, listen to me," Tolfast said firmly, his smile waning. Everything about this screamed wrong and he had to do something about it.  "Everything is going to be alright, I won't let anyone take you anywhere. That hand needs to be seen by someone. I.." He struggled for an option that might seem amenable to the boy. "I've got a first aid kit in my office. Let's get out of this field and I'll see to your hand m'self. I'm no Healer, but I've wrapped enough runner legs. Can't be too different." He winked, trying to lighten the mood, though it wasn't likely to succeed. 

Tilly had been watching this exchange silently, head tilted from side to side as she tried to comprehend the distress. There was no danger here. She had seen to that! Big bad two-legs had turned into small two-legs. She padded toward them hesitantly, shying away from the glow basket and putting Tolfast between it and herself. {{No be scared, Tilly keep safe!!!}} She explained, puffing out her little green chest and lifting her ugly head high. {{Tilly best guard, biggest! ...Play now?}} 

"Not now, Tilly," Tolfast held her back with one hand and prevented her from getting too close to Garatt. 

On Thu, Sep 24, 2020 at 3:31 PM Laura Walker <shewhoguards@...> wrote:
"I can't!" Garatt shook his head violently. "I-- if I go to the Infirmary they'll make me sleep there and then they'll make me go back to the Barracks!" That word was a wail.

"My hand's okay," he added, trying too late to cover his wrist, tugging at his sleeve as though he could make it unseen. "Really. I just caught it wrong." There were possibly worse liars on Pern, just most of them were under the age of five.

On Fri, Sep 25, 2020 at 12:21 AM Ariel Rogers <ariel.aurora.rogers@...> wrote:
The way Garatt seemed suddenly overwhelmed by fear at his invitation made Tolfast's stomach twist. "Hey, woah now. Easy there, lad. I won't make you go nowhere you don't want to," he replied, settling back into his knee. It was pretty clear Garatt did not want to he touched, but above all else, the idea of being forced to go 'back' was nearly petrifying. He needed to diffuse this situation before Garatt fled from him as well.

"That hand looks like it hurts a whole lot. Tell you what, you come with me to the Infirmary and I'll stay with you the whole time. Alright? We'll get you fixed up with a cup of klah and some numbweed, you'll feel right as rain." He tried to project confidence, a smile on his face. "I swear on my knots, no one'll make you go anywhere until you're ready. How's that sound?"

On Thu, Sep 24, 2020, 3:07 PM Laura Walker <shewhoguards@...> wrote:

Tolfast may not have been the most perceptive person on Pern, but he could practically smell this lie. The sight of those splotches coloring the boy's skin made him worried, and that the boy tried to hide their origin told him the truth would be worse than he first thought. Garatt was scared of something. Someone? He suspected there might be a bully he'd been trying to escape via his time spent in the stables. This evidence didn't dissuade that notion. 

"I won't touch, I just want to see." He lifted both hands in surrender, a weak smile mustered to put the boy at ease. "I've got friends in the Infirmary, we could snag us a pot of numbweed. What do you think? Will you come with me?" 

The Infirrmary might have Cuylar but it was just as likely to have the Healer from the night before, the man who had perhaps been trying to be kind but who had kept talking about the Hatching and hadn't understood anything at all.

If he went back to the Infirmary they'd make him sleep there for the night. And then the next day would be the normal plan of lessons then food then lessons and if he tried to run they'd notice within a very short period and then it would be evening and M'ayen would find him and he''d have to go to the office and--

His imagination stuttered and failed at that point, too frightened even to think what happened after that. Bad things, his mind said darkly, and refused to go further.

"I..can't," he said, very quiet. "Please don't make me go back."


--

Blackadder: I mean, what about the people that do all the work?
Baldrick: The servants.
Blackadder: No, me; *I'm* the people who do all the work.



--

Blackadder: I mean, what about the people that do all the work?
Baldrick: The servants.
Blackadder: No, me; *I'm* the people who do all the work.


Laura Walker
 

"Tilly's okay," Garatt volunteered quietly. He calmed a little once it was clear that 'going to the Infirmary' was no longer the favoured option, sniffing back the tears. Explaining to Tolfast might be difficult, but it wasn't 'now I am in the Infirmary and have lost my chance to escape' difficult. He could do that. Probably. He pulled his bag more securely onto his shoulder with his good hand, not quite so anxious about shielding the hurt one if no-one was going to grab it. "..okay."


On Fri, Sep 25, 2020 at 12:41 AM Ariel Rogers <ariel.aurora.rogers@...> wrote:
"Garatt, listen to me," Tolfast said firmly, his smile waning. Everything about this screamed wrong and he had to do something about it.  "Everything is going to be alright, I won't let anyone take you anywhere. That hand needs to be seen by someone. I.." He struggled for an option that might seem amenable to the boy. "I've got a first aid kit in my office. Let's get out of this field and I'll see to your hand m'self. I'm no Healer, but I've wrapped enough runner legs. Can't be too different." He winked, trying to lighten the mood, though it wasn't likely to succeed. 

Tilly had been watching this exchange silently, head tilted from side to side as she tried to comprehend the distress. There was no danger here. She had seen to that! Big bad two-legs had turned into small two-legs. She padded toward them hesitantly, shying away from the glow basket and putting Tolfast between it and herself. {{No be scared, Tilly keep safe!!!}} She explained, puffing out her little green chest and lifting her ugly head high. {{Tilly best guard, biggest! ...Play now?}} 

"Not now, Tilly," Tolfast held her back with one hand and prevented her from getting too close to Garatt. 

On Thu, Sep 24, 2020 at 3:31 PM Laura Walker <shewhoguards@...> wrote:
"I can't!" Garatt shook his head violently. "I-- if I go to the Infirmary they'll make me sleep there and then they'll make me go back to the Barracks!" That word was a wail.

"My hand's okay," he added, trying too late to cover his wrist, tugging at his sleeve as though he could make it unseen. "Really. I just caught it wrong." There were possibly worse liars on Pern, just most of them were under the age of five.

On Fri, Sep 25, 2020 at 12:21 AM Ariel Rogers <ariel.aurora.rogers@...> wrote:
The way Garatt seemed suddenly overwhelmed by fear at his invitation made Tolfast's stomach twist. "Hey, woah now. Easy there, lad. I won't make you go nowhere you don't want to," he replied, settling back into his knee. It was pretty clear Garatt did not want to he touched, but above all else, the idea of being forced to go 'back' was nearly petrifying. He needed to diffuse this situation before Garatt fled from him as well.

"That hand looks like it hurts a whole lot. Tell you what, you come with me to the Infirmary and I'll stay with you the whole time. Alright? We'll get you fixed up with a cup of klah and some numbweed, you'll feel right as rain." He tried to project confidence, a smile on his face. "I swear on my knots, no one'll make you go anywhere until you're ready. How's that sound?"

On Thu, Sep 24, 2020, 3:07 PM Laura Walker <shewhoguards@...> wrote:

Tolfast may not have been the most perceptive person on Pern, but he could practically smell this lie. The sight of those splotches coloring the boy's skin made him worried, and that the boy tried to hide their origin told him the truth would be worse than he first thought. Garatt was scared of something. Someone? He suspected there might be a bully he'd been trying to escape via his time spent in the stables. This evidence didn't dissuade that notion. 

"I won't touch, I just want to see." He lifted both hands in surrender, a weak smile mustered to put the boy at ease. "I've got friends in the Infirmary, we could snag us a pot of numbweed. What do you think? Will you come with me?" 

The Infirrmary might have Cuylar but it was just as likely to have the Healer from the night before, the man who had perhaps been trying to be kind but who had kept talking about the Hatching and hadn't understood anything at all.

If he went back to the Infirmary they'd make him sleep there for the night. And then the next day would be the normal plan of lessons then food then lessons and if he tried to run they'd notice within a very short period and then it would be evening and M'ayen would find him and he''d have to go to the office and--

His imagination stuttered and failed at that point, too frightened even to think what happened after that. Bad things, his mind said darkly, and refused to go further.

"I..can't," he said, very quiet. "Please don't make me go back."


--

Blackadder: I mean, what about the people that do all the work?
Baldrick: The servants.
Blackadder: No, me; *I'm* the people who do all the work.



--

Blackadder: I mean, what about the people that do all the work?
Baldrick: The servants.
Blackadder: No, me; *I'm* the people who do all the work.



--

Blackadder: I mean, what about the people that do all the work?
Baldrick: The servants.
Blackadder: No, me; *I'm* the people who do all the work.


 

Tolfast immediately felt a wave of relief even if Garatt's agreement had required coaxing, and the smile that then lit his bearded face was broadly genuine. He didn't bother offering to carry the bag, reading the possessive signal. Perhaps the boy feared it might be taken away - was something in the bag the root of his trouble? Tolfast could only wonder for now, those answers would come in time. "Good. C'mon, it's not far from here. Might even have some left over bubblies from dinner if your stomach gets to growlin'," he said, rising to his feet and letting Tilly free in the same motion. If the boy was anything like himself at that age, his hunger would be a bottomless pit. Turning to leave, he moved slowly until Garatt was able to match his stride. 

Tilly rushed forward, grinding her face against Garatt's legs like some sort of giant, needy feline before pulling away, distracted. {{Food. Have food?}} She asked, shoving her nose up against the pack he carried at the mention of treats from her master. 


On Thu, Sep 24, 2020 at 3:54 PM Laura Walker <shewhoguards@...> wrote:
"Tilly's okay," Garatt volunteered quietly. He calmed a little once it was clear that 'going to the Infirmary' was no longer the favoured option, sniffing back the tears. Explaining to Tolfast might be difficult, but it wasn't 'now I am in the Infirmary and have lost my chance to escape' difficult. He could do that. Probably. He pulled his bag more securely onto his shoulder with his good hand, not quite so anxious about shielding the hurt one if no-one was going to grab it. "..okay."

On Fri, Sep 25, 2020 at 12:41 AM Ariel Rogers <ariel.aurora.rogers@...> wrote:
"Garatt, listen to me," Tolfast said firmly, his smile waning. Everything about this screamed wrong and he had to do something about it.  "Everything is going to be alright, I won't let anyone take you anywhere. That hand needs to be seen by someone. I.." He struggled for an option that might seem amenable to the boy. "I've got a first aid kit in my office. Let's get out of this field and I'll see to your hand m'self. I'm no Healer, but I've wrapped enough runner legs. Can't be too different." He winked, trying to lighten the mood, though it wasn't likely to succeed. 

Tilly had been watching this exchange silently, head tilted from side to side as she tried to comprehend the distress. There was no danger here. She had seen to that! Big bad two-legs had turned into small two-legs. She padded toward them hesitantly, shying away from the glow basket and putting Tolfast between it and herself. {{No be scared, Tilly keep safe!!!}} She explained, puffing out her little green chest and lifting her ugly head high. {{Tilly best guard, biggest! ...Play now?}} 

"Not now, Tilly," Tolfast held her back with one hand and prevented her from getting too close to Garatt. 

On Thu, Sep 24, 2020 at 3:31 PM Laura Walker <shewhoguards@...> wrote:
"I can't!" Garatt shook his head violently. "I-- if I go to the Infirmary they'll make me sleep there and then they'll make me go back to the Barracks!" That word was a wail.

"My hand's okay," he added, trying too late to cover his wrist, tugging at his sleeve as though he could make it unseen. "Really. I just caught it wrong." There were possibly worse liars on Pern, just most of them were under the age of five.

On Fri, Sep 25, 2020 at 12:21 AM Ariel Rogers <ariel.aurora.rogers@...> wrote:
The way Garatt seemed suddenly overwhelmed by fear at his invitation made Tolfast's stomach twist. "Hey, woah now. Easy there, lad. I won't make you go nowhere you don't want to," he replied, settling back into his knee. It was pretty clear Garatt did not want to he touched, but above all else, the idea of being forced to go 'back' was nearly petrifying. He needed to diffuse this situation before Garatt fled from him as well.

"That hand looks like it hurts a whole lot. Tell you what, you come with me to the Infirmary and I'll stay with you the whole time. Alright? We'll get you fixed up with a cup of klah and some numbweed, you'll feel right as rain." He tried to project confidence, a smile on his face. "I swear on my knots, no one'll make you go anywhere until you're ready. How's that sound?"

On Thu, Sep 24, 2020, 3:07 PM Laura Walker <shewhoguards@...> wrote:

Tolfast may not have been the most perceptive person on Pern, but he could practically smell this lie. The sight of those splotches coloring the boy's skin made him worried, and that the boy tried to hide their origin told him the truth would be worse than he first thought. Garatt was scared of something. Someone? He suspected there might be a bully he'd been trying to escape via his time spent in the stables. This evidence didn't dissuade that notion. 

"I won't touch, I just want to see." He lifted both hands in surrender, a weak smile mustered to put the boy at ease. "I've got friends in the Infirmary, we could snag us a pot of numbweed. What do you think? Will you come with me?" 

The Infirrmary might have Cuylar but it was just as likely to have the Healer from the night before, the man who had perhaps been trying to be kind but who had kept talking about the Hatching and hadn't understood anything at all.

If he went back to the Infirmary they'd make him sleep there for the night. And then the next day would be the normal plan of lessons then food then lessons and if he tried to run they'd notice within a very short period and then it would be evening and M'ayen would find him and he''d have to go to the office and--

His imagination stuttered and failed at that point, too frightened even to think what happened after that. Bad things, his mind said darkly, and refused to go further.

"I..can't," he said, very quiet. "Please don't make me go back."


--

Blackadder: I mean, what about the people that do all the work?
Baldrick: The servants.
Blackadder: No, me; *I'm* the people who do all the work.



--

Blackadder: I mean, what about the people that do all the work?
Baldrick: The servants.
Blackadder: No, me; *I'm* the people who do all the work.



--

Blackadder: I mean, what about the people that do all the work?
Baldrick: The servants.
Blackadder: No, me; *I'm* the people who do all the work.


Laura Walker
 

"Sorry," Garatt apologised to her. "I gave it all to Felix."

He was moving carefully as he followed Tolfast. He'd got this far mostly because he had to, because if he stopped to think about it and didn't the consequences were too hard to be worth bearing. Now things were different and he could feel it. The slight rub of his pants as he walked, a painful sore spot or three where the seam crossed one of the cane-marks and pressed against it, a painful pull of material which had stuck while a weal was bleeding a little and now tugged on it with every step. It meant he walked oddly, testing each step before he commited to it -- was this going to hurt more if he set his foot down fully or was it easier to move on the half-step before his heel was down?

Tilly caused some difficulties. He wanted to pet her, but grasping his bag with his sore hand was.. no, that would hurt. Very cautiously, ready to pull it away if she pressed against it, he patted the top of her head with his left hand. 

On Fri, Sep 25, 2020 at 1:06 AM Ariel Rogers <ariel.aurora.rogers@...> wrote:
Tolfast immediately felt a wave of relief even if Garatt's agreement had required coaxing, and the smile that then lit his bearded face was broadly genuine. He didn't bother offering to carry the bag, reading the possessive signal. Perhaps the boy feared it might be taken away - was something in the bag the root of his trouble? Tolfast could only wonder for now, those answers would come in time. "Good. C'mon, it's not far from here. Might even have some left over bubblies from dinner if your stomach gets to growlin'," he said, rising to his feet and letting Tilly free in the same motion. If the boy was anything like himself at that age, his hunger would be a bottomless pit. Turning to leave, he moved slowly until Garatt was able to match his stride. 

Tilly rushed forward, grinding her face against Garatt's legs like some sort of giant, needy feline before pulling away, distracted. {{Food. Have food?}} She asked, shoving her nose up against the pack he carried at the mention of treats from her master. 


On Thu, Sep 24, 2020 at 3:54 PM Laura Walker <shewhoguards@...> wrote:
"Tilly's okay," Garatt volunteered quietly. He calmed a little once it was clear that 'going to the Infirmary' was no longer the favoured option, sniffing back the tears. Explaining to Tolfast might be difficult, but it wasn't 'now I am in the Infirmary and have lost my chance to escape' difficult. He could do that. Probably. He pulled his bag more securely onto his shoulder with his good hand, not quite so anxious about shielding the hurt one if no-one was going to grab it. "..okay."

On Fri, Sep 25, 2020 at 12:41 AM Ariel Rogers <ariel.aurora.rogers@...> wrote:
"Garatt, listen to me," Tolfast said firmly, his smile waning. Everything about this screamed wrong and he had to do something about it.  "Everything is going to be alright, I won't let anyone take you anywhere. That hand needs to be seen by someone. I.." He struggled for an option that might seem amenable to the boy. "I've got a first aid kit in my office. Let's get out of this field and I'll see to your hand m'self. I'm no Healer, but I've wrapped enough runner legs. Can't be too different." He winked, trying to lighten the mood, though it wasn't likely to succeed. 

Tilly had been watching this exchange silently, head tilted from side to side as she tried to comprehend the distress. There was no danger here. She had seen to that! Big bad two-legs had turned into small two-legs. She padded toward them hesitantly, shying away from the glow basket and putting Tolfast between it and herself. {{No be scared, Tilly keep safe!!!}} She explained, puffing out her little green chest and lifting her ugly head high. {{Tilly best guard, biggest! ...Play now?}} 

"Not now, Tilly," Tolfast held her back with one hand and prevented her from getting too close to Garatt. 

On Thu, Sep 24, 2020 at 3:31 PM Laura Walker <shewhoguards@...> wrote:
"I can't!" Garatt shook his head violently. "I-- if I go to the Infirmary they'll make me sleep there and then they'll make me go back to the Barracks!" That word was a wail.

"My hand's okay," he added, trying too late to cover his wrist, tugging at his sleeve as though he could make it unseen. "Really. I just caught it wrong." There were possibly worse liars on Pern, just most of them were under the age of five.

On Fri, Sep 25, 2020 at 12:21 AM Ariel Rogers <ariel.aurora.rogers@...> wrote:
The way Garatt seemed suddenly overwhelmed by fear at his invitation made Tolfast's stomach twist. "Hey, woah now. Easy there, lad. I won't make you go nowhere you don't want to," he replied, settling back into his knee. It was pretty clear Garatt did not want to he touched, but above all else, the idea of being forced to go 'back' was nearly petrifying. He needed to diffuse this situation before Garatt fled from him as well.

"That hand looks like it hurts a whole lot. Tell you what, you come with me to the Infirmary and I'll stay with you the whole time. Alright? We'll get you fixed up with a cup of klah and some numbweed, you'll feel right as rain." He tried to project confidence, a smile on his face. "I swear on my knots, no one'll make you go anywhere until you're ready. How's that sound?"

On Thu, Sep 24, 2020, 3:07 PM Laura Walker <shewhoguards@...> wrote:

Tolfast may not have been the most perceptive person on Pern, but he could practically smell this lie. The sight of those splotches coloring the boy's skin made him worried, and that the boy tried to hide their origin told him the truth would be worse than he first thought. Garatt was scared of something. Someone? He suspected there might be a bully he'd been trying to escape via his time spent in the stables. This evidence didn't dissuade that notion. 

"I won't touch, I just want to see." He lifted both hands in surrender, a weak smile mustered to put the boy at ease. "I've got friends in the Infirmary, we could snag us a pot of numbweed. What do you think? Will you come with me?" 

The Infirrmary might have Cuylar but it was just as likely to have the Healer from the night before, the man who had perhaps been trying to be kind but who had kept talking about the Hatching and hadn't understood anything at all.

If he went back to the Infirmary they'd make him sleep there for the night. And then the next day would be the normal plan of lessons then food then lessons and if he tried to run they'd notice within a very short period and then it would be evening and M'ayen would find him and he''d have to go to the office and--

His imagination stuttered and failed at that point, too frightened even to think what happened after that. Bad things, his mind said darkly, and refused to go further.

"I..can't," he said, very quiet. "Please don't make me go back."


--

Blackadder: I mean, what about the people that do all the work?
Baldrick: The servants.
Blackadder: No, me; *I'm* the people who do all the work.



--

Blackadder: I mean, what about the people that do all the work?
Baldrick: The servants.
Blackadder: No, me; *I'm* the people who do all the work.



--

Blackadder: I mean, what about the people that do all the work?
Baldrick: The servants.
Blackadder: No, me; *I'm* the people who do all the work.



--

Blackadder: I mean, what about the people that do all the work?
Baldrick: The servants.
Blackadder: No, me; *I'm* the people who do all the work.


 

Tilly was overjoyed for the attention, dancing in place with her forelegs and thick, little tail wagging in the manner she'd learned from growing-up around Shep. No food was fine because pets were to be had! Her senses were keen, though, and the hand that patted her head carried with it a scent she didn't recognize. 

Without any tact whatsoever, Tilly pulled back, but only so she could press her nose up into Garatt's fingers with curious sniffing. {{What this?}} She asked, signaling with her muzzle. {{Smelly. Smelly smell.}} The wher stopped briefly in her tracks, darting around behind Garatt to snuffle at his backside. The scent was here as well! 

Tolfast watched Garatt's hesitant gate with growing concern, running through his mind the worst reasons that might injure a boy in this fashion. Shards, what had been done to him? He consciously slowed his steps, allowing Garatt to take the time he needed without putting distance between them. He had so many questions, none of which would do any good to ask right then. "How long has it been since I seen you out here last?" Casual talk. 


On Thu, Sep 24, 2020, 4:18 PM Laura Walker <shewhoguards@...> wrote:
"Sorry," Garatt apologised to her. "I gave it all to Felix."

He was moving carefully as he followed Tolfast. He'd got this far mostly because he had to, because if he stopped to think about it and didn't the consequences were too hard to be worth bearing. Now things were different and he could feel it. The slight rub of his pants as he walked, a painful sore spot or three where the seam crossed one of the cane-marks and pressed against it, a painful pull of material which had stuck while a weal was bleeding a little and now tugged on it with every step. It meant he walked oddly, testing each step before he commited to it -- was this going to hurt more if he set his foot down fully or was it easier to move on the half-step before his heel was down?

Tilly caused some difficulties. He wanted to pet her, but grasping his bag with his sore hand was.. no, that would hurt. Very cautiously, ready to pull it away if she pressed against it, he patted the top of her head with his left hand. 

On Fri, Sep 25, 2020 at 1:06 AM Ariel Rogers <ariel.aurora.rogers@...> wrote:
Tolfast immediately felt a wave of relief even if Garatt's agreement had required coaxing, and the smile that then lit his bearded face was broadly genuine. He didn't bother offering to carry the bag, reading the possessive signal. Perhaps the boy feared it might be taken away - was something in the bag the root of his trouble? Tolfast could only wonder for now, those answers would come in time. "Good. C'mon, it's not far from here. Might even have some left over bubblies from dinner if your stomach gets to growlin'," he said, rising to his feet and letting Tilly free in the same motion. If the boy was anything like himself at that age, his hunger would be a bottomless pit. Turning to leave, he moved slowly until Garatt was able to match his stride. 

Tilly rushed forward, grinding her face against Garatt's legs like some sort of giant, needy feline before pulling away, distracted. {{Food. Have food?}} She asked, shoving her nose up against the pack he carried at the mention of treats from her master. 


On Thu, Sep 24, 2020 at 3:54 PM Laura Walker <shewhoguards@...> wrote:
"Tilly's okay," Garatt volunteered quietly. He calmed a little once it was clear that 'going to the Infirmary' was no longer the favoured option, sniffing back the tears. Explaining to Tolfast might be difficult, but it wasn't 'now I am in the Infirmary and have lost my chance to escape' difficult. He could do that. Probably. He pulled his bag more securely onto his shoulder with his good hand, not quite so anxious about shielding the hurt one if no-one was going to grab it. "..okay."

On Fri, Sep 25, 2020 at 12:41 AM Ariel Rogers <ariel.aurora.rogers@...> wrote:
"Garatt, listen to me," Tolfast said firmly, his smile waning. Everything about this screamed wrong and he had to do something about it.  "Everything is going to be alright, I won't let anyone take you anywhere. That hand needs to be seen by someone. I.." He struggled for an option that might seem amenable to the boy. "I've got a first aid kit in my office. Let's get out of this field and I'll see to your hand m'self. I'm no Healer, but I've wrapped enough runner legs. Can't be too different." He winked, trying to lighten the mood, though it wasn't likely to succeed. 

Tilly had been watching this exchange silently, head tilted from side to side as she tried to comprehend the distress. There was no danger here. She had seen to that! Big bad two-legs had turned into small two-legs. She padded toward them hesitantly, shying away from the glow basket and putting Tolfast between it and herself. {{No be scared, Tilly keep safe!!!}} She explained, puffing out her little green chest and lifting her ugly head high. {{Tilly best guard, biggest! ...Play now?}} 

"Not now, Tilly," Tolfast held her back with one hand and prevented her from getting too close to Garatt. 

On Thu, Sep 24, 2020 at 3:31 PM Laura Walker <shewhoguards@...> wrote:
"I can't!" Garatt shook his head violently. "I-- if I go to the Infirmary they'll make me sleep there and then they'll make me go back to the Barracks!" That word was a wail.

"My hand's okay," he added, trying too late to cover his wrist, tugging at his sleeve as though he could make it unseen. "Really. I just caught it wrong." There were possibly worse liars on Pern, just most of them were under the age of five.

On Fri, Sep 25, 2020 at 12:21 AM Ariel Rogers <ariel.aurora.rogers@...> wrote:
The way Garatt seemed suddenly overwhelmed by fear at his invitation made Tolfast's stomach twist. "Hey, woah now. Easy there, lad. I won't make you go nowhere you don't want to," he replied, settling back into his knee. It was pretty clear Garatt did not want to he touched, but above all else, the idea of being forced to go 'back' was nearly petrifying. He needed to diffuse this situation before Garatt fled from him as well.

"That hand looks like it hurts a whole lot. Tell you what, you come with me to the Infirmary and I'll stay with you the whole time. Alright? We'll get you fixed up with a cup of klah and some numbweed, you'll feel right as rain." He tried to project confidence, a smile on his face. "I swear on my knots, no one'll make you go anywhere until you're ready. How's that sound?"

On Thu, Sep 24, 2020, 3:07 PM Laura Walker <shewhoguards@...> wrote:

Tolfast may not have been the most perceptive person on Pern, but he could practically smell this lie. The sight of those splotches coloring the boy's skin made him worried, and that the boy tried to hide their origin told him the truth would be worse than he first thought. Garatt was scared of something. Someone? He suspected there might be a bully he'd been trying to escape via his time spent in the stables. This evidence didn't dissuade that notion. 

"I won't touch, I just want to see." He lifted both hands in surrender, a weak smile mustered to put the boy at ease. "I've got friends in the Infirmary, we could snag us a pot of numbweed. What do you think? Will you come with me?" 

The Infirrmary might have Cuylar but it was just as likely to have the Healer from the night before, the man who had perhaps been trying to be kind but who had kept talking about the Hatching and hadn't understood anything at all.

If he went back to the Infirmary they'd make him sleep there for the night. And then the next day would be the normal plan of lessons then food then lessons and if he tried to run they'd notice within a very short period and then it would be evening and M'ayen would find him and he''d have to go to the office and--

His imagination stuttered and failed at that point, too frightened even to think what happened after that. Bad things, his mind said darkly, and refused to go further.

"I..can't," he said, very quiet. "Please don't make me go back."


--

Blackadder: I mean, what about the people that do all the work?
Baldrick: The servants.
Blackadder: No, me; *I'm* the people who do all the work.



--

Blackadder: I mean, what about the people that do all the work?
Baldrick: The servants.
Blackadder: No, me; *I'm* the people who do all the work.



--

Blackadder: I mean, what about the people that do all the work?
Baldrick: The servants.
Blackadder: No, me; *I'm* the people who do all the work.



--

Blackadder: I mean, what about the people that do all the work?
Baldrick: The servants.
Blackadder: No, me; *I'm* the people who do all the work.


Laura Walker
 

"Don't, Tilly!" Garatt tolerated her snuffling at his hand as long as she didn't press too hard but flinched when she ran around, turning a little to try to keep facing her, warding her away a little with his left hand. "It's.. not nice to sniff there." As though a wher might care. 

He ducked his head at Tolfast's question. "They wouldn't let me come for a bit." Too many detentions and adults were funny. If they knew you were in trouble with one they started backing each other up. 



Tilly was overjoyed for the attention, dancing in place with her forelegs and thick, little tail wagging in the manner she'd learned from growing-up around Shep. No food was fine because pets were to be had! Her senses were keen, though, and the hand that patted her head carried with it a scent she didn't recognize. 

Without any tact whatsoever, Tilly pulled back, but only so she could press her nose up into Garatt's fingers with curious sniffing. {{What this?}} She asked, signaling with her muzzle. {{Smelly. Smelly smell.}} The wher stopped briefly in her tracks, darting around behind Garatt to snuffle at his backside. The scent was here as well! 

Tolfast watched Garatt's hesitant gate with growing concern, running through his mind the worst reasons that might injure a boy in this fashion. Shards, what had been done to him? He consciously slowed his steps, allowing Garatt to take the time he needed without putting distance between them. He had so many questions, none of which would do any good to ask right then. "How long has it been since I seen you out here last?" Casual talk. 


On Thu, Sep 24, 2020, 4:18 PM Laura Walker <shewhoguards@...> wrote:
"Sorry," Garatt apologised to her. "I gave it all to Felix."

He was moving carefully as he followed Tolfast. He'd got this far mostly because he had to, because if he stopped to think about it and didn't the consequences were too hard to be worth bearing. Now things were different and he could feel it. The slight rub of his pants as he walked, a painful sore spot or three where the seam crossed one of the cane-marks and pressed against it, a painful pull of material which had stuck while a weal was bleeding a little and now tugged on it with every step. It meant he walked oddly, testing each step before he commited to it -- was this going to hurt more if he set his foot down fully or was it easier to move on the half-step before his heel was down?

Tilly caused some difficulties. He wanted to pet her, but grasping his bag with his sore hand was.. no, that would hurt. Very cautiously, ready to pull it away if she pressed against it, he patted the top of her head with his left hand. 

On Fri, Sep 25, 2020 at 1:06 AM Ariel Rogers <ariel.aurora.rogers@...> wrote:
Tolfast immediately felt a wave of relief even if Garatt's agreement had required coaxing, and the smile that then lit his bearded face was broadly genuine. He didn't bother offering to carry the bag, reading the possessive signal. Perhaps the boy feared it might be taken away - was something in the bag the root of his trouble? Tolfast could only wonder for now, those answers would come in time. "Good. C'mon, it's not far from here. Might even have some left over bubblies from dinner if your stomach gets to growlin'," he said, rising to his feet and letting Tilly free in the same motion. If the boy was anything like himself at that age, his hunger would be a bottomless pit. Turning to leave, he moved slowly until Garatt was able to match his stride. 

Tilly rushed forward, grinding her face against Garatt's legs like some sort of giant, needy feline before pulling away, distracted. {{Food. Have food?}} She asked, shoving her nose up against the pack he carried at the mention of treats from her master. 


On Thu, Sep 24, 2020 at 3:54 PM Laura Walker <shewhoguards@...> wrote:
"Tilly's okay," Garatt volunteered quietly. He calmed a little once it was clear that 'going to the Infirmary' was no longer the favoured option, sniffing back the tears. Explaining to Tolfast might be difficult, but it wasn't 'now I am in the Infirmary and have lost my chance to escape' difficult. He could do that. Probably. He pulled his bag more securely onto his shoulder with his good hand, not quite so anxious about shielding the hurt one if no-one was going to grab it. "..okay."

On Fri, Sep 25, 2020 at 12:41 AM Ariel Rogers <ariel.aurora.rogers@...> wrote:
"Garatt, listen to me," Tolfast said firmly, his smile waning. Everything about this screamed wrong and he had to do something about it.  "Everything is going to be alright, I won't let anyone take you anywhere. That hand needs to be seen by someone. I.." He struggled for an option that might seem amenable to the boy. "I've got a first aid kit in my office. Let's get out of this field and I'll see to your hand m'self. I'm no Healer, but I've wrapped enough runner legs. Can't be too different." He winked, trying to lighten the mood, though it wasn't likely to succeed. 

Tilly had been watching this exchange silently, head tilted from side to side as she tried to comprehend the distress. There was no danger here. She had seen to that! Big bad two-legs had turned into small two-legs. She padded toward them hesitantly, shying away from the glow basket and putting Tolfast between it and herself. {{No be scared, Tilly keep safe!!!}} She explained, puffing out her little green chest and lifting her ugly head high. {{Tilly best guard, biggest! ...Play now?}} 

"Not now, Tilly," Tolfast held her back with one hand and prevented her from getting too close to Garatt. 

On Thu, Sep 24, 2020 at 3:31 PM Laura Walker <shewhoguards@...> wrote:
"I can't!" Garatt shook his head violently. "I-- if I go to the Infirmary they'll make me sleep there and then they'll make me go back to the Barracks!" That word was a wail.

"My hand's okay," he added, trying too late to cover his wrist, tugging at his sleeve as though he could make it unseen. "Really. I just caught it wrong." There were possibly worse liars on Pern, just most of them were under the age of five.

On Fri, Sep 25, 2020 at 12:21 AM Ariel Rogers <ariel.aurora.rogers@...> wrote:
The way Garatt seemed suddenly overwhelmed by fear at his invitation made Tolfast's stomach twist. "Hey, woah now. Easy there, lad. I won't make you go nowhere you don't want to," he replied, settling back into his knee. It was pretty clear Garatt did not want to he touched, but above all else, the idea of being forced to go 'back' was nearly petrifying. He needed to diffuse this situation before Garatt fled from him as well.

"That hand looks like it hurts a whole lot. Tell you what, you come with me to the Infirmary and I'll stay with you the whole time. Alright? We'll get you fixed up with a cup of klah and some numbweed, you'll feel right as rain." He tried to project confidence, a smile on his face. "I swear on my knots, no one'll make you go anywhere until you're ready. How's that sound?"

On Thu, Sep 24, 2020, 3:07 PM Laura Walker <shewhoguards@...> wrote:

Tolfast may not have been the most perceptive person on Pern, but he could practically smell this lie. The sight of those splotches coloring the boy's skin made him worried, and that the boy tried to hide their origin told him the truth would be worse than he first thought. Garatt was scared of something. Someone? He suspected there might be a bully he'd been trying to escape via his time spent in the stables. This evidence didn't dissuade that notion. 

"I won't touch, I just want to see." He lifted both hands in surrender, a weak smile mustered to put the boy at ease. "I've got friends in the Infirmary, we could snag us a pot of numbweed. What do you think? Will you come with me?" 

The Infirrmary might have Cuylar but it was just as likely to have the Healer from the night before, the man who had perhaps been trying to be kind but who had kept talking about the Hatching and hadn't understood anything at all.

If he went back to the Infirmary they'd make him sleep there for the night. And then the next day would be the normal plan of lessons then food then lessons and if he tried to run they'd notice within a very short period and then it would be evening and M'ayen would find him and he''d have to go to the office and--

His imagination stuttered and failed at that point, too frightened even to think what happened after that. Bad things, his mind said darkly, and refused to go further.

"I..can't," he said, very quiet. "Please don't make me go back."


--

Blackadder: I mean, what about the people that do all the work?
Baldrick: The servants.
Blackadder: No, me; *I'm* the people who do all the work.



--

Blackadder: I mean, what about the people that do all the work?
Baldrick: The servants.
Blackadder: No, me; *I'm* the people who do all the work.



--

Blackadder: I mean, what about the people that do all the work?
Baldrick: The servants.
Blackadder: No, me; *I'm* the people who do all the work.



--

Blackadder: I mean, what about the people that do all the work?
Baldrick: The servants.
Blackadder: No, me; *I'm* the people who do all the work.



--

Blackadder: I mean, what about the people that do all the work?
Baldrick: The servants.
Blackadder: No, me; *I'm* the people who do all the work.


 

Tilly wasn't properly dissuaded until the boy swatted gently in her direction. She didn't understand why she wasn't allowed to sniff this smell, a perfectly ordinary fact-finding mission to the little green that small two-legs objected to. She rushed around to follow when he turned the first few times, trying to circumvent his efforts to keep her away, before giving a frustrated whine. {{Tilly want!}} She complained, scampering to keep up on her short legs even though the pace was slow. 

"They?" Tolfast asked, leading the way back to the stableyard. Garatt's absence had been noted after his visits had become like clockwork, but there hadn't been any reason to suspect wrongdoing - until now. No others were awake at this hour save for the occasional guard on patrol, leaving this side of the Weyr looking very much like a ghost town without even a hint of the uproar happening on the other. "If there's someone giving you a hard time, all you need do is let me know their name and I'll make sure the CM's know 'em." He could hardly be blamed for thinking the boy's bully was another Candidate.

The gravel crunched beneath their feet all the way up to the corridor where Tolfast kicked his boots against the wall to shed the stones trapped in his soles, beckoning Garatt in through the wide double-doors. His office was only a short walk further inside, the basket of glows he carried providing the only light as the wall sconces had long since been extinguished for the night. 

"Here we go," he introduced, turning the knob and swinging wide the door that squeaked gently on old hinges. Modestly decorated, there was little in the room that set it apart from any other moderately-sized room in the Weyr. Rather than dominating the center of the room, the large wooden desk had been shoved up against one wall where it was buried under stacks of hide that looked disorganized, but held no dust which suggested they were exchanged regularly. A tiny cookstove had capacity only for a pot of water, though he rarely used it. There was room for two comfortable chairs meant for guests placed around a beat-up rug in the middle of the floor, the third was extraordinarily plain and tucked against the desk. 

"Take a seat, I'll get us something warm to drink. I've got klah, but I'm sure there's some tea around here somewhere."

On Thu, Sep 24, 2020 at 4:51 PM Laura Walker <shewhoguards@...> wrote:
"Don't, Tilly!" Garatt tolerated her snuffling at his hand as long as she didn't press too hard but flinched when she ran around, turning a little to try to keep facing her, warding her away a little with his left hand. "It's.. not nice to sniff there." As though a wher might care. 

He ducked his head at Tolfast's question. "They wouldn't let me come for a bit." Too many detentions and adults were funny. If they knew you were in trouble with one they started backing each other up. 



Tilly was overjoyed for the attention, dancing in place with her forelegs and thick, little tail wagging in the manner she'd learned from growing-up around Shep. No food was fine because pets were to be had! Her senses were keen, though, and the hand that patted her head carried with it a scent she didn't recognize. 

Without any tact whatsoever, Tilly pulled back, but only so she could press her nose up into Garatt's fingers with curious sniffing. {{What this?}} She asked, signaling with her muzzle. {{Smelly. Smelly smell.}} The wher stopped briefly in her tracks, darting around behind Garatt to snuffle at his backside. The scent was here as well! 

Tolfast watched Garatt's hesitant gate with growing concern, running through his mind the worst reasons that might injure a boy in this fashion. Shards, what had been done to him? He consciously slowed his steps, allowing Garatt to take the time he needed without putting distance between them. He had so many questions, none of which would do any good to ask right then. "How long has it been since I seen you out here last?" Casual talk. 


On Thu, Sep 24, 2020, 4:18 PM Laura Walker <shewhoguards@...> wrote:
"Sorry," Garatt apologised to her. "I gave it all to Felix."

He was moving carefully as he followed Tolfast. He'd got this far mostly because he had to, because if he stopped to think about it and didn't the consequences were too hard to be worth bearing. Now things were different and he could feel it. The slight rub of his pants as he walked, a painful sore spot or three where the seam crossed one of the cane-marks and pressed against it, a painful pull of material which had stuck while a weal was bleeding a little and now tugged on it with every step. It meant he walked oddly, testing each step before he commited to it -- was this going to hurt more if he set his foot down fully or was it easier to move on the half-step before his heel was down?

Tilly caused some difficulties. He wanted to pet her, but grasping his bag with his sore hand was.. no, that would hurt. Very cautiously, ready to pull it away if she pressed against it, he patted the top of her head with his left hand. 

On Fri, Sep 25, 2020 at 1:06 AM Ariel Rogers <ariel.aurora.rogers@...> wrote:
Tolfast immediately felt a wave of relief even if Garatt's agreement had required coaxing, and the smile that then lit his bearded face was broadly genuine. He didn't bother offering to carry the bag, reading the possessive signal. Perhaps the boy feared it might be taken away - was something in the bag the root of his trouble? Tolfast could only wonder for now, those answers would come in time. "Good. C'mon, it's not far from here. Might even have some left over bubblies from dinner if your stomach gets to growlin'," he said, rising to his feet and letting Tilly free in the same motion. If the boy was anything like himself at that age, his hunger would be a bottomless pit. Turning to leave, he moved slowly until Garatt was able to match his stride. 

Tilly rushed forward, grinding her face against Garatt's legs like some sort of giant, needy feline before pulling away, distracted. {{Food. Have food?}} She asked, shoving her nose up against the pack he carried at the mention of treats from her master. 


On Thu, Sep 24, 2020 at 3:54 PM Laura Walker <shewhoguards@...> wrote:
"Tilly's okay," Garatt volunteered quietly. He calmed a little once it was clear that 'going to the Infirmary' was no longer the favoured option, sniffing back the tears. Explaining to Tolfast might be difficult, but it wasn't 'now I am in the Infirmary and have lost my chance to escape' difficult. He could do that. Probably. He pulled his bag more securely onto his shoulder with his good hand, not quite so anxious about shielding the hurt one if no-one was going to grab it. "..okay."

On Fri, Sep 25, 2020 at 12:41 AM Ariel Rogers <ariel.aurora.rogers@...> wrote:
"Garatt, listen to me," Tolfast said firmly, his smile waning. Everything about this screamed wrong and he had to do something about it.  "Everything is going to be alright, I won't let anyone take you anywhere. That hand needs to be seen by someone. I.." He struggled for an option that might seem amenable to the boy. "I've got a first aid kit in my office. Let's get out of this field and I'll see to your hand m'self. I'm no Healer, but I've wrapped enough runner legs. Can't be too different." He winked, trying to lighten the mood, though it wasn't likely to succeed. 

Tilly had been watching this exchange silently, head tilted from side to side as she tried to comprehend the distress. There was no danger here. She had seen to that! Big bad two-legs had turned into small two-legs. She padded toward them hesitantly, shying away from the glow basket and putting Tolfast between it and herself. {{No be scared, Tilly keep safe!!!}} She explained, puffing out her little green chest and lifting her ugly head high. {{Tilly best guard, biggest! ...Play now?}} 

"Not now, Tilly," Tolfast held her back with one hand and prevented her from getting too close to Garatt. 

On Thu, Sep 24, 2020 at 3:31 PM Laura Walker <shewhoguards@...> wrote:
"I can't!" Garatt shook his head violently. "I-- if I go to the Infirmary they'll make me sleep there and then they'll make me go back to the Barracks!" That word was a wail.

"My hand's okay," he added, trying too late to cover his wrist, tugging at his sleeve as though he could make it unseen. "Really. I just caught it wrong." There were possibly worse liars on Pern, just most of them were under the age of five.

On Fri, Sep 25, 2020 at 12:21 AM Ariel Rogers <ariel.aurora.rogers@...> wrote:
The way Garatt seemed suddenly overwhelmed by fear at his invitation made Tolfast's stomach twist. "Hey, woah now. Easy there, lad. I won't make you go nowhere you don't want to," he replied, settling back into his knee. It was pretty clear Garatt did not want to he touched, but above all else, the idea of being forced to go 'back' was nearly petrifying. He needed to diffuse this situation before Garatt fled from him as well.

"That hand looks like it hurts a whole lot. Tell you what, you come with me to the Infirmary and I'll stay with you the whole time. Alright? We'll get you fixed up with a cup of klah and some numbweed, you'll feel right as rain." He tried to project confidence, a smile on his face. "I swear on my knots, no one'll make you go anywhere until you're ready. How's that sound?"

On Thu, Sep 24, 2020, 3:07 PM Laura Walker <shewhoguards@...> wrote:

Tolfast may not have been the most perceptive person on Pern, but he could practically smell this lie. The sight of those splotches coloring the boy's skin made him worried, and that the boy tried to hide their origin told him the truth would be worse than he first thought. Garatt was scared of something. Someone? He suspected there might be a bully he'd been trying to escape via his time spent in the stables. This evidence didn't dissuade that notion. 

"I won't touch, I just want to see." He lifted both hands in surrender, a weak smile mustered to put the boy at ease. "I've got friends in the Infirmary, we could snag us a pot of numbweed. What do you think? Will you come with me?" 

The Infirrmary might have Cuylar but it was just as likely to have the Healer from the night before, the man who had perhaps been trying to be kind but who had kept talking about the Hatching and hadn't understood anything at all.

If he went back to the Infirmary they'd make him sleep there for the night. And then the next day would be the normal plan of lessons then food then lessons and if he tried to run they'd notice within a very short period and then it would be evening and M'ayen would find him and he''d have to go to the office and--

His imagination stuttered and failed at that point, too frightened even to think what happened after that. Bad things, his mind said darkly, and refused to go further.

"I..can't," he said, very quiet. "Please don't make me go back."


--

Blackadder: I mean, what about the people that do all the work?
Baldrick: The servants.
Blackadder: No, me; *I'm* the people who do all the work.



--

Blackadder: I mean, what about the people that do all the work?
Baldrick: The servants.
Blackadder: No, me; *I'm* the people who do all the work.



--

Blackadder: I mean, what about the people that do all the work?
Baldrick: The servants.
Blackadder: No, me; *I'm* the people who do all the work.



--

Blackadder: I mean, what about the people that do all the work?
Baldrick: The servants.
Blackadder: No, me; *I'm* the people who do all the work.



--

Blackadder: I mean, what about the people that do all the work?
Baldrick: The servants.
Blackadder: No, me; *I'm* the people who do all the work.