As Sterling explained the story of how she left the Weyr proper, without permission no doubt as she had been without escort, “found” a wher egg and drug it back to the Weyr and into the hatching sands, somehow without being caught, Irena's eyes did in fact begin to bug out in the fashion that Sterling had jokingly predicted with Melizandre earlier. However, the story was pretty preposterious, even with the little wherlet sleeping right in front of her, and so Irena tried to glean if Sterling was lying about the part of doing it herself. Sterling stuck to her guns about finding and bringing in the egg by herself, leaving the Wherlingmaster to have to take it as truth.
“We'll get you and her a handler space so she and you can sleep there,” the wherlingmaster had settled with for the moment after a sigh. “We'll have a talk later though,” was added before the preparations were done and Sterling and a very tired, grumpy Stesk, were moved into what would be their living space from here on out. Stesk immediately flopped into the wallow of the room and fell asleep. Eventually, Sterling did the same.
* * *
The next evening Sterling was awoken the moment the sun was far down enough for the whers to come out. A moment later, both the Wher Candidatemaster Orianne and the Wherlingmaster Irena were in her room. From there, the scolding began. It began with Irena opening up the line of lecturing by telling Sterling to relay to Orianne what she had told her the night previous. Sterling did, knowing there was no point in stalling and not looking to get into anymore trouble, even if the trouble she was already in was worth it.
Similar to Irena, Orianne's eyes widened in shock as Sterling told the story, but the moment Sterling seemed finished, Orianne began, the usually kinder woman having no qualms about chewing Sterling out for such a stunt. She lectured her harshly about what a stupid idea that had been, that she could have died from felines, or the mother wher could have followed her and killed her before she made it back to the Weyr, or even the mother could have followed her into the Weyr and caused likely a lot of injury to the resident whers and handlers that would have had to have taken her out or run her off. Likely the reason that didn't happen was the fact that the wild predators like the whers and the felines were deterred from the Weyr proper by the dragons, the isilian whers, and the day whers, but Orianne didn't say that, not wanting to justify any of Sterling's actions.
When the first set of lecturing was done, Sterling was asked why she would even do such a thing. So she answered.
“Because I've been standing forever now. Everyone else seems to always get their eggs, and I'm always passed over. I've followed the rules, learned what I can and showed I want this and still your resident gold has been ignoring me because she hates me for whatever reason,” Sterling had huffed in response, truly believing that was why she hadn't gotten an egg from the gold Vexilsk. There was a chance that wasn't the case at all in reality, but Sterling had her mind set on that being the reason. This of course didn't justify her actions, and that signaled it being Irena's turn to scold and lecture the blonde woman.
Irena backed up Orianne's reasonings for Sterling's actions being stupid, but added her own. One being that doing what she did would give candidates the idea that they can just go traipsing in the wilds to find a wher egg to steal from a mother, which would get most of them killed, which would marr Atricis' reputation, and wher and handler reputations further, never mind that lives would be lost that could have been completely preventable. Sterling hadn't thought of that, and of all the things so far she'd been yelled at for, that one she felt guilt for. The wherlingmaster didn't stop there though, continuing that such actions encourage wild wher genetics into the isilian wher population which could set the isilian wher's sizes and intelligence back if more people tried a stunt as stupid as this, and that would be a detriment to the duties and standing of the wherhandlers in New Atricis Weyr.
After a point though, the scolding and lecturing began to repeat itself, making it hard for Sterling to pay attention, though she pretended she did. It only stopped finally when Stesk rose and growled unhappily by how they were yelling at Sterling. This signaled the two women to stop, and even though they probably could have found more reasons to scold her and prove to Sterling that her actions were beyond wherrybrained, they took this as their signal to cease. So Irena said she'd let Sterling and Stesk be for the night.
* * *
It was two days of Irena keeping an eye on Sterling and Stesk before she presented them with their blooding knife. Normally it was done a lot sooner, but Irena wanted to be sure of Sterling and Stesk before helping to further seal the bond. The ceremony was much less formal than usual since this was very unexpected, and Sterling didn't deserve any fanfare for her actions. Sterling was ok with this though, and performed the blooding ceremony with Stesk so their bond could strengthen.
Afterward, Sterling cleaned the knife and carefully tucked it away into a drawer in her room for safe keeping.
* * *
After the blooding, things stopped being easy at all for Sterling. The Wherlingmaster handled Sterling's instruction personally, and because it was one on one, Sterling couldn't space out during the lectures or try and get information she missed from her peers. She had to pay full attention, otherwise Irena scolded her and punished her, usually by writing lines or a short essay. This made her lessons perhaps harder than a group would deal with, but it also made sure Sterling learned and retained a lot more than she would have in a group setting.
In between lessons, Sterling had to care for Stesk, first being taught by Irena what to do and how to do it. Once Irena was confident in Sterling's abilities to care for Stesk on her own, she stopped shadowing her everywhere. However, Sterling would notice the woman's bronze watching them often, or another wher or handler keeping an eye on them when Irena and Irensk couldn't. She was not trusted. Still, it was worth it.
The chores were perhaps what made it the hardest. Once Sterling's lesson schedule was more defined and she could care for Stesk without help from Irena, her chore amount increased considerably. In fact, when Sterling wasn't in lecture or caring for Stesk, she was performing chores.
In the beginning it was latrine duties mostly. After some time they moved on to other chores though. Storeroom cleaning, delivering things throughout the Weyr, glow baskets, weeding, and various other of the less enjoyable chores. In fact, Sterling quickly noticed how, other than numbweed collecting, which she hated the most because of the awful smell, the chores she was being given were some of the more physically demanding ones. They were trying to make sure she understood her actions were wrong and she would suffer the consequences, as well as making sure she was too exhausted to do anything after everything was said and done. And she was, in fact, especially seeing as Sterling didn't get any free time.
This was an idea of how much of her Wherlinghood would go. While the sheer intensity of her chores would be lessened over time, her wherlinghood wouldn't be easy by any means. But that was ok. It was all worth it. Stesk was worth it, and Sterling felt that opinion only increase with each passing day.