Quinten Log 134 - 22 06 2006

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~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%< The River Moss >~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%

The waters of the great River Moss soak you through as you move out into its lazy flow. The waters are far from clean and clear here, though, the river has picked up much dirt and dust on its way to the sea. This has turned the water's color to a pale and dirty brown.

Everyso often the movement of a fish can be detected in the water or on the surface, but they seem to be keeping away from the beasts in the water for the most part. The trees that over hang the river weave a tight mesh and block out much of the sun light from either side, even in the winter months. This lends a sort of calm and relaxed aura to this part of the river as it nears the Old Stone Bridge that allows beasts to cross the

river without swimming in it.

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It's still early morning, and the sun is yet to look up over the horizon, but Tomas and Hazel are already awake. Tomas is standing off to a side, taking full advantage of his tall stature in scouting along the river, while the doe is hunched up over a small fire, finishing up a bit of cooking.

Quinten stirs in his sleep and mutters something stretching and flicking his long ears, the disgraced 1st level recruit slowly blinks his eyes open and looks up at the underside of the bridge. Smiling for a moment and then his situation crashes back and he sits up slowly and glances nervously towards the other two hares.

"Well, look who's awake..." Hazel says, glancing over to Quinten. Her voice is soft, which takes some of the edge off the disgruntled tone of her voice, and she even manages a little smile.

You say, "Erm...morning all.." he shifts into a crouch and pulls his pack over to him. "Need any help with Breakfast Private? I got me supplies at the abbey so...erm i got some nice stuff to share out..." He's reeking nerves, yesterdays march was done mostly in silence and the young buck starts to chew on his whiskers."

Tomas interrupts the conversation without turning around. "Thanks, we already ate." he says. "You get somethin' in yer belly quickly, tho', we're moving out as soon as Brownears gets back..."

Quinten salutes Tomas and opens his pack and takes out a thick scone and settles back, his pack between his feet munching on it, keeping his eyes on the fire so as not to look at the others.

Hazel pours some water over the fire to douse it completely, and, after rinsing the cooking gear in the river, she packs it all up quickly, and goes to stand next to Tomas, fairly close.

Quinten finishes the scone and moves down to the rivers edge, splashing water on his muzzle and ears before he takes a drink. Once his thirst is slated he pads over to pick up his tunic and slip it back on, adjusting his sabre at his side.

There is a gentle cough from behind the group, and Brownears

approaches, seemingly out of nowhere. "Time to move." he says shortly, adding a "Don't wanna waste any more time than we have to..." with a decidedly hostile glare at Quinten.

Quinten's ears flop right down his back and he finishes with his buttons and salutes Tomas, "Ready sah..." He mumbles and shifts his paws flicking a glance towards Brownears.

Tomas and Hazel quickly separate, and hoist their respective packs up on their shoulders, and Tomas turns around to debrief Brownears quickly. "What do you have for me?"

Brownears shrugs, adjusting his pack. "Bunch of otters coming up the river, couple of rats heading down the river. Some marten jill coming up the road, and I don't think we wanna meet either of 'em."

Quinten just stands at attention, looking straight ahead and waiting for the order to march out, his scent is still spiked with fear and nervousness at all this.

Tomas grins. "Oh, I know the jill, she's not dangerous - to us. Let's move before the otters get here though. Brownears, you got point." There's a quick shared chuckle at what was apparently a joke, and then the three patrol hares start moving at the same time, with Brownears giving the recruit a sharp shove in the back to snap him out of his apparent

rapture before he takes the lead, advancing quickly to where he's just in sight of the others.

Quinten stumbles forwards and his footpaws splash into the river shallows before he gets moving, emitting a worried boff before loping off after them. Not feeling very safe even surrounded by three fully trained hares, especially three hares who don't even want to speak to him.

Being the most senior in the group, Tomas takes on the job of bringing up on the rear, and so he lags behind, taking on the job the second runner would ordinarily do, and leaving Quinten alone with the doe, Hazel.

Quinten glances nervously at Hazel and then snaps his eyes to the fore, pacing ahead at the same speed as the others, though with his shorter height and younger seasons, he knows he can't keep this pace up for long.

"Got yourself in some real trouble, wot?" Hazel suddenly utters, speaking softly, her voice barely audible. It's obviously directed to Quinten - nobody else being within earshot - but she doesn't take her attention away from the treeline.

Quinten keeps his eyes scanning the trees and ground before him and nods his head, "Yes ma'am seems Colonel and Major have had enough of me screw ups....dumped be back at the bottom and ordered me home..."

The doe sniffs the air a little, turning her head this way and that, and grunting to herself before she continues the conversation. "What'cha do? Knock up an Abbey doe?"

Quinten chuckles, "You mean you didn't here? I got into a arguement with another recruit infront of an abbey brother, an than two days later me and Recruit jakk got jumped by vermin on tha way to the 67th, I lost Jakk to em, but thankfully he got away imself."

Hazel doesn't change her expression a bit. "Missed all that, I was with Blackfoot's patrol then... They're even shorter 'an us... It's jus' Black an' some buck who's no older than you..." She snorts. "They do things diff'rent at the 67'th..."

Quinten nods his head and stumbles having to slow down, panting. "Lucky you...Major an Colonel ad tha whole patrol scouring the woods for Jakk....then word came back from the Colonel i was demoted and well here i am, being shipped home..i almost quit.." he hesitates at that last thing

and flicks a glance to the doe then turns his eyes ahead again, still slowing back to an easier pace for him.

Hazel frowns. "Keep up, or Tomas'll catch up with you." she barks, and then she adds, a little softer. "Look, we all know it's rough on ya, and Tomas is as nice as they get - ya know his li'l brother, don't ya? But he and Brownears gave up ten days of leave for this..."

Quinten groans as she tells him that and his ears sag back down, gasping he struggles to catch up with her again, "Oh gods.....why did they do tha...anyone could ave taken me wot...ya i know Dande..me an he are mates ye know...but i can't keep this pace up...aye'm not a runner."

"We were headin' this way anyway." Hazel remarks, shooting the recruit a worried glance. Suddenly she has an idea, and slows her pace a little, beginning to worm out of the straps of her backpack. "Hey, switch packs. Mine's lighter." she says.

Quinten frowns at her and nods, jumping over a tree root and slipping his pack off. "Ok....guess i shouldn't ave let tha abbey fill it with so much food. But Brother Keiran insisted, he was right upset i wouldn't be staying to help him rebuild the belltower, after all me work on tha new plans...an thanks...least one of ye is talking to me."

Accepts the pack, expertly hoisting it up on her shoulders in stride. "Ow, what'd they put -in- this?" she groans. "We'll move some of this to Tomas tonight..." She pauses while she shifts the load a little, and then continues. "Don't mind the others, Tomas is too busy commandin', an' Brownears is sour 'cause he's an only runner..."

Quinten nods and shifts the does lighter pack onto his back and grimaces, "Oh they filled it with everything....from food to three full flagons on various coridal and one of strawberry fiss, scones, fresh bread, early fruit." He looks aead and nods "Aye well i'll try keep out of

their way."

- To Be Continued