Players: Cayri (via Aydeth), I'neph, and M'vari.
Time: Evening, day 18, month 13, turn 442.
Scene: I'neph gets to be the first of Fedayth's weyrlings to fly.
It is night in the early winter. A broken layer of clouds covers the sky, and the night air is cold, stirred by a biting breeze. Timor is a waning gibbous moon, and Belior is a waning crescent moon, both visible occasionally through gaps in the clouds. The temperature is about 25F, -4C.
[DTU] To Dioscuth, Reith, as promised, << Come to the bowl with your rider and your straps. >> There's a 'poste haste' quality to that order.
[DTU] To Reith, Dioscuth's mental touch is excited at once, agreement in the form of an image of himself and his rider already in the air. Assorted other weyrlings stare longingly at them from the ground.
[DTU] To Dioscuth, Reith's mental image is cold. Sure, he understands the excitement of a first flight, but there's snow and ice and brr. << We're waiting. >>
I'neph heads over from the lake.
Dioscuth heads over from the lake.
Yep. Snow and ice and brr, and they're waiting. M'vari sports all out flying gear, goggles and a turned up collar, gloves and who knows how many layers of warm stuff underneath his clothes. "We ought to be doing this in the middle of the day, but this way minimizes the likelihood of a dozen weyrlings trickling over to look hopefully at us." A couple have wandered on along behind I'neph, of course, but screw them. "Feeling ready?"
Dioscuth is barging ahead of his rider in his eagerness, I'neph dragging his feet and his straps along in the bronze's wake. "Oh, yes, sir. Chomping at the bit," drawls the rider as he pulls up along Dioscuth. The young man glances around the bowl idly, and despite conspicuous lack of eagerness he has a smirk for the those trailing him.
M'vari looks on down at the straps trailing in the snow, and - though most of his cringe is inward - he still winces at his shoulders a bit there. "The things you've yet to learn, it seems," he mumbles calmly. "Come over here where there's a bit more light, will you? And put those things on like a decent rider instead of dragging them in the snow." Snorting, he points to a nice pool of light from the living cavern.
I'neph's lips purse but he complies wordlessly with M'vari's orders, heading to the light. Dioscuth happily crowds along with him. "Hold still, or--" I'neph orders the wriggly young bronze; Dioscuth obeys at once, not willing to jeopardize his position. I'neph is slow putting the straps around the bronze, methodical, and double-checking everything; but finally he finishes and steps back. "There," he announces smugly.
While I'neph makes with the straps, M'vari makes with the inspection. Gradually, he walks a circle around the bronze dragon, studying this'n that as it catches his eye. At the end, he back-steps from the bronze and remarks, "Still big-headed. Ironic twist of physiology, maybe?" Snickering, he flicks his fingers toward the strap-wearing Dioscuth. "How do they fit? Ask him how they feel."
I'neph glances around at M'vari then, and even he has to grin, shrugging immodestly. "We suit each other," is his opinion on the subject. Dioscuth, fidgeting with impatience, pauses long enough to rumble at M'vari and his rider both. "Do they /really/ feel good, or are you just saying that?" I'neph puts the question to the dragon. He eyes the bronze a moment longer and finally shrugs again, turning back to M'vari. "He says they're fine, anyway."
M'vari replies, "No arguments here, kid." He drags his eyes over the outline of Dioscuth's head again, snorting a chuckle as he starts toward Reith. "You think they're fine? You're the one who falls to his death if your handywork isn't so handy," he informs, glib in tone but serious in expression. "At least a few people would be sad if a young bronzerider went splat."
I'neph was trying not to think about that, thank you very much. He fidgets as much as his dragon now, though his is a much more uncomfortable sort. "Uh, well. I... I think so. Best I could do, right? Took my time--" which goes without saying "--and made sure they were good. Well-made. Checked everything again, too." Though, that doesn't stop him from glancing back to Dioscuth again and tugging experimentally on a section of the straps, just to make sure.
M'vari, tellin' it like it is. "If you're happy with them, then I'm happy with them," answers the Weyrlingmaster, though he does go to all the trouble of making a long, pitched whistle that ends with a crunchy-splatty noise pushed out from his cheek. "Up, strap yourself in properly." He does this part himself deftly, buckling straps to his belt while Reith stretches to his feet with a yawning grunt.
** "Oh, I'm happy. Ecstatic," mutters I'neph as he clambers up Dioscuth's side. "Can't you tell?" Again, he takes his time in buckling himself onto the dragon, checking everything when he does it and then all at once in the end before he forcefully stops himself. Deep breath. "All--all ready, sir."
** I'neph climbs up between Dioscuth's neckridges.
M'vari calls over the short distance, "If you're going to cry or break down and panic like a little girl, do it now? Better than when we're up there." He pulls a pair of little used goggles up to his eyes, sucking in a breath at the cold leather and glass on his face. "Up and around. I see anything fancy, and your ass the one that gets kicked for it." Capiche?
** From Dioscuth's neckridges, "I'm fine," I'neph yells back, frowning. "Perfectly fine. Not like I don't know what I'm doing or we're doing or... anything." He trails off slowly, and gets a tight grip on the straps in front of him. He tells Dioscuth quietly, "Okay. You hear that? Don't get me killed." By M'vari or otherwise.
** Reith seems more eager than his rider about this, even crooning pleasantly to the younger dragon. "Up, then," calls M'vari, bracing against the brown's neckridges as he makes the quick leap upward, scattering snow off his talons as he pulls his feet up after him. Nice and springy, he circles to gain altitude and hovers to await Dioscuth.
Reith springs into the sky.
** Dioscuth wings up from the bowl.
** Dioscuth leaps upward just after Reith, flapping to keep himself airborne. Despite all his words, I'neph still doesn't seem to quite expect it, for he's jerked backward and takes a second to recover, clinging tight to the bronze's neck as they gain altitude.
** Reith hovers in such a way that M'vari can see Dioscuth and I'neph, his neck craning to the side to keep the view unobstructed. There's a clearly amused look on the Weyrlingmaster's face, but - hey - let's pretend darkness and distance keep it a little difficult to decipher. When the younger pair are safely off the ground, Reith starts a nice, slow path across the bowl, flapping slowly, relying as much on a steady glide to carry them toward the star stones in a long, slow arc.
** From Dioscuth's neckridges, I'neph is hunched against the cold on Dioscuth's back as the dragon continues flapping rather than conserving his energy and gliding like Reith. This, of course, makes I'neph straighten slightly; whatever he conveys to the dragon persuades Dioscuth to slow his wingbeats and finally take up a glide as well, trailing after Reith.
[DTU] To Dioscuth, Reith projects, << The fewer flaps, the longer you can go. Just use energy when you NEED to. You'll learn. >>
[DTU] To Reith, Dioscuth, nevermind the suggestions from Reith and the fact that I'neph already nixed this idea, still sends a hopeful image of himself and the older brown, neck-and-neck and flapping furiously as they circle the bowl. Couldn't they just try it?
** Reith brings 'em around nice and slow, illustrating his capacity for precious little energy expended as he turns back toward the place where they started. M'vari braves the worst of the cold wind to keep leaning off to the side and watch Dioscuth. He sends a thumbs up back at the pair when the bronze eases into a better pace. Gradually, Reith's altitude dips.
[DTU] To Dioscuth, Reith rolls his eyes - er, mentally does that. Y'know, the dragon-thought version? Yeah, that. The image he sends back illustrates a few problems with Dioscuth's idea: The fact that Reith out-measures him by six feet, that he actually knows how to fly, that - y'know - Dioscuth's idea is completely crack pot. << Just do it the way M'vari wants you to. It's much better that way, trust me. >>
** Dioscuth follows, his mood drifting somewhere between sulky and smug--he really is like his rider. At any rate, he maintains that slow pace in Reith's wake, and finally dips downward after the brown, which prompts further relaxing from his rider.
Reith wings your way toward the bowl.
** From the sky, Dioscuth wings his way toward the bowl.
** Dioscuth wings his way from the southwestern sky.
** Reith lands nice and gradually, facing the lake - which would be a good place to crash if Dioscuth's going to f'ck up his landing, by the way. The snow isn't nearly deep enough or powdery enough to provide appropriate cushion in case of an emergency. With a crunch of ice under his talons, Reith folds his wings and turns an expectant look toward the bronze.
** From Dioscuth's neckridges, I'neph's relaxation lasts just about long enough for him to realize that, oh, crap, the ground is approaching again. Dioscuth, though, seems unworried; he doesn't even look at the lake consideringly before he aims for a patch of snow near Reith. Closer, closer... Touchdown. He doesn't quite perfect it--he nearly plants his own nose in the snow and has to scrabble a couple of steps on the icy snow, jarring I'neph around, but in the end, they both come up all right. Mostly. I'neph is cringing like he's about to die, but he's in one piece, anyway, and manages a relieved, "Faranth," as he pries his hands from the straps.
You hop down from Reith's neckridges.
From Dioscuth's neckridges, "Oh, sure," I'neph says, looking a little green around the edges as he continues unstrapping himself, much faster than he got on. When he slides down the bronze's neck, he keeps close, half-leaning against Dioscuth still for support. "I'd much rather be able to /see/ what we're fixing to crash into. Faranth, you have /got/ to work on being smoother," he notes, the latter to his dragon. Still, he's much relieved to be on the ground, and can't help the smug smirk that forms on his lips. "Oh, he's fine--perfect, in fact. Thrilled."
M'vari points out, "It gets easier, smoother. Reith was - " He stops without finishing, getting a baleful look from the brown at the mention of his name. "Anyway, gets better. You'll see. You need to practice from now on, though. Take-offs and landings in particular, till they're like butter. Got that?"
I'neph hops down from Dioscuth's neckridges.
I'neph glances over at Reith, brightening slightly at the brown's grumpiness; Dioscuth seems just as pleased, though perhaps more with himself than anyone else. "Yes, sir. We'll work on it. Incessantly, I'm sure--Dioscuth'll be the best," I'neph agrees. Pause. "Do we get a weyr now?
"Right this exact moment? No. I'm fresh out," answers M'vari, digging around in his pockets emptily, then turning his eyes to the scanty lights glowing in the few inhabited weyrs around here. "First thing in the morning, you get to look around for one if you can find the time." Pause. "Before you're dismissed, however - how's the girl?"
"Of course," mutters I'neph, sharing a look with Dioscuth. "Don't worry--we'll find time." At the expense of something else, probably. The weyrling is already starting to turn, perhaps anticipating the dismissal; at the question, he turns back to glances at M'vari. "Her. Oh, she's fine. Seems to be getting on okay," he notes. "I've been showing her around a little, making sure she had everything she needed, playing babysitter, just like you said. No problems yet."
M'vari informs gravely, "I'm serious about this, son. I'm as excited about another girl as you are, I'm sure, but her safety is up to us now. None of us want to go through another dead weyrling, right? So don't dick around." With a stern nod, he finalizes a salute to I'neph. "Now go somewhere warm." Ya bother me, kid.
I'neph glances away at the prospect, nodding. "Yes, sir. I know," he replies. "Don't worry, I'm on it. She'll be okay." He straightens slightly, and though Dioscuth starts back toward the barracks, and he's really been dismissed this time, I'neph lingers a moment longer. "Uh, hey, sir? When do you think we can go /between/?" he asks abruptly, brows arching slightly.
Here's a shocking reply: "When I say you can." Way to ask stupid questions.
"Thought so," says I'neph, sounding rather satisfied with that answer. "Thanks, sir." Then, he turns, tramping after his dragon to the barracks.
It is night in the early winter. A broken layer of clouds covers the sky, and the night air is cold, stirred by a biting breeze. Timor is a waning gibbous moon, and Belior is a waning crescent moon, both visible occasionally through gaps in the clouds. The temperature is about 23F, -5C.
I'neph heads off southwest.
A few minutes later...
[DTU] To Reith, Aydeth projects, << May I ask you if you were afraid of Dioscuth? >>
[DTU] To Aydeth, Reith scoffs at the mere thought of it. << Of course not. He was so zealous that he was more dangerous to himself than to me. >> Scoff!
[DTU] To Reith, Aydeth communicates happily, << That's pretty funny. >>