Flying Woes

Western Weyr - Weyrling Training Field
Near the tall black eastern wall of the crater is a cleared field. The earth there has been churned many times over by the landings and take offs of young dragons and only a few patches of grass cling to life in this active area. Wooden props and markers used to assist the weyrlings as they learn the precise manuvers required for the rescue and protection work that Western Weyr is famous for, litter the training field. Close to the rimwall, in the east where the sun is usually shaded is a large wooden slat barracks for the weyrlings to live in. Tropical trees and shrubs have been allowed to grow here, perfuming the air with a floral scent.


It's been an afternoon of unmanned flight for the weyrlings, with dragons taking turns to show their stuff (for better or for worse). In Tavehtiath's case, it's definitely been for the worse: in fact, the young queen has spent much of the afternoon insisting that others go ahead of her: anything to avoid having to make (yet another) poor landing in front of everyone. Now, with class dismissed, Rhysa's standing off to one side with her dragon, having a conversation that is, from her side at least, partly audible, albeit muttered in low tones: "We are not going inside. You are not hiding— yes, that's exactly what it is. Hiding."

Nae is having the opposite problem with her lifemate. Kaiath doesn't want to stop flying, even if her technique for getting airborne in the first place is highly unorthodox, to say the least. Nae looks up at the little green zooming through the air with a mix of exasperation and pride. "Kaiath, lessons are done for the day…" The green zooms by and tries to offer the gold a little encouragement. « C'mon up here, sis! It's fuuuuuuun! »

« No, thank you, » insists Tavehtiath, though she lifts her head free of those great forelimbs of hers so that she can watch Kaiath above. « You're flying well, but I am perfectly content here on the ground. Perhaps you could show me— » 'A graceful landing' would be a good way to end that particular suggestion, but since that is her own primary problem… no. The sound of Nae's voice has Rhysa lifting her own gaze, allowing it to track from green to rider; she smiles, tiredly, at her fellow weyrling. "She looks great up there."

« Of course! Witness my amazing grace! » Kaiath shares her lifemate's lack of modesty. Landings come much easier to the green than takeoffs do. She zooms in and manages to reach the ground with a minimum of difficulty. Calling it 'graceful' may be a stretch given her inexperience, but it's not overtly embarassing. Nae looks proud, watching the whole thing before she grins at Rhysanna. "Thank you. It is great seeing her up there."

It's certainly got to be a far sight better than Tavehtiath's, given her last attempt had her very nearly crashing into a tree. Of course, there's no suggestion of that in the pale, cool whiteness of her thoughts. « Well done, Kaiath, » she says, gently. « That was very well done indeed. » "As though they're real dragons at last," confirms Rhysa, managing a brighter smile this time, though it turns rueful as she glances at her dragon. "Or that's the theory. She's so afraid of—" She doesn't finish, and Kaiath will certainly feel the abrupt mental chill that follows so immediately. "Well." Rhysa blushes.

« Thank you! » Kaiath positively glows at the praise. « You can do it too, little sis! C'mon! We can fly together! It'll be SO COOL. » She radiates encouragement. Nae is a little more understanding, giving Rhysanna a very sympathetic smile. "They /are/ real dragons. And that means Taveh will get it. Everyone knows she will. Shards, when we were seven months old, walking was still out of our grasp, much less flying. Nobody expects perfection overnight." She pauses. "… Well. Maybe Nisa does. But you know, she's like that."

"Nisa and Tavehtiath. I never thought I'd have something in common with— hush, Tavehtiath. Seriously." The young queen is discomforted by the conversation at hand, her thoughts brittle despite the way she continues to show a certain amount of affection towards Kaiath. « Perhaps later, when there are fewer others about, » she evades. "I'm hoping the reminder that she'll be able to catch her own food once she's got it all down will help. But - she will get it, I'm sure of it. Patience, right? We've waited this long. Seven months."

"I'm certainly looking forward to them being able to hunt on their own." Nae admits. "Though not as much as I'm looking forward to betweening. Then, y'know. Less… mess to clean up." Some things Nae will just never get used to. "Seven months. Time flies." She sighs a little. "It'll be my birthday soon. I had such debauchery planned for my eighteenth… oh well. There's always the nineteenth." Kaiath croons, lightly nudging her sibling. « You can do it! I believe in you, little sis! »

"Betweening. Yes." Rhysa does not need a second reminder of that: her nose scrunches, and she gives a slightly over-exaggerated shudder. "Particularly now when they're getting so big. It's revolting." Her gaze tracks over the horizon, and she nods: "My nineteenth was just after we Impressed. I barely even registered it… too tired, I suppose. But your nineteenth, and my twentieth…" That's the point at which she glances back at the other weyrling, grinning. "Mating flights. I'm also looking forward to that one, in a… strange kind of way." Not all that strange, probably. Tavehtiath considers Kaiath, mantling her wings carefully. « Of course I can do it. Why wouldn't I be able to do it? »

Nae grins a little bit broader at that last admission of Rhysanna's. "Feeling the deprivation as much as any of us, mmm? Well, that's all pretty understandable. I've felt the buzz that is given off to the weyr when the flights happen. To be actually bonded to the dragon, well… that's gonna be an experience, I'm sure." Kaiath continues to try to provide encouragement to Tavehtiath. « EXACTLY! You take that attitude and bolt up into the skies with it! If anyone can do it, my little sis can! »

Rhysanna's blush says a lot, though her words say more: "It's been a while. And you may have been with my—" She breaks off, chancing a quick look at Tavehtiath, and then changes tactics. "Well. I don't know that I'm necessarily looking forward to flights themselves, but… it's just part of life for us, isn't it? Will be." Luckily, Tavehtiath is not paying too much attention to that conversation, not when Kaiath is being so very adorably encouraging. « Flying, » she admits, in a very quiet, I'm-not-actually-saying-this kind of voice, « is not the problem. »

Nae crosses her arms and raises an eyebrow at Rhysanna. "… That was over a long ways ago. Believe it or not, I've actually adhered to all the rules of candidacy and weyrlinghood." She pauses. "… Well. Except maybe that thing with the balloons. That was probably against some rule. But that'll stay our little secret, yes?" She sways back and forth on her heels and grins playfully. "Well, once the restrictions are off, I'm sure you'll have no trouble satisfying those particular urges." Kaiath does being adorably encouraging pretty well. « You can't get better if you don't practice! But once you do, you can be the BEST. I know it! You just have to try! Don't be afraid, little sis! »

"Well, yes, I'm not saying it wasn't," Rhysanna is quick to answer. "And I don't even want to know about balloons. All I'm saying is… even with my first boyfriend, I didn't wait this long." She's still blushing. "I can't imagine you'll have trouble, either, when it comes down to it. But that's still months away, isn't it?" It's not really a question. She's surprised - visibly surprised - when, a moment later, Tavehtiath abruptly rises up into the air. Perhaps it's that most of the other weyrlings have departed; perhaps it's just Kaiath. In any case, she's true enough to her word: getting into the air is definitely not a problem.

"You were there for the balloons. Remember? The riders who wronged us?" Nae reminds with a little bit of a smirk. "Mmm. Anyways, you might be surprised. There's nobody really in my sights at the moment. Though if you and Zi ever want to spice things up and invite someone else along on your romps, well…" She doesn't really need to finish that tought. "Alas, many months." Kaiath trumpets happily when Tavhtiath takes to the sky. She zooms backwards abruptly, perhaps in some odd attempt to build momentum before leaping forward to take off. « YAY! FLYING! »

"Those balloons." Rhysanna remembers, now, and is - well, not flushing, but certainly a little rueful for the recollection. The flushing comes (predictably) later: she coughs, too, but at least she's still smiling. "I'm sure we'll keep that in mind," she says, in that politic way that probably means 'yeah, no'. Tavehtiath's great wings spread as she gains a little momentum, though given her track record of landings, she's still not permitted to go far— gliding, she wobbles once, and then attempts the landing that has thus far evaded her. Attempts… and hits a tree.

"That's what I figured." Nae replies with an unwavering grin. "Don't worry about it. But I have to proposition you every so often, or people are going to start wondering if I've changed." And we can't have that. "Anyways. Everyone I'd be interested in either doesn't feel the same way, or left the weyr. Even when the restrictions end, I think I'm single for the foreseeable future." She winces when she sees the gold connect with the tree. Kaiath warbles and comes in for her own landing, backwinging with increasing ease. « I think you did better that time! » Maybe it's a lie, or maybe the green is just that positive. « It was almost perfect! Next time, just a little to the right. Or the left. Wherever there's not a tree. Just do that, and it's perfect! » There really is not even a hint of mockery there, it's all just an earnest desire to encourage Taveh.

Luckily, Tavehtiath is rather larger than the tree in question (indeed, larger than most trees), though it still causes some obvious consternation in her rider. The dragon herself disentangles herself, and then returns, steadfast, to the ground. « I believe I will stay on the ground, » she says, coolly. It's then that her rider manages to turn her gaze off of her, and back towards Nae; it's rueful, and quietly uncomfortable in a way that has nothing to do with the conversation. "You wouldn't be you," she agrees. "Well. Maybe things will change between now and then. You'll be able to travel, after all."

Nae shrugs her shoulders, eyes on the dragons for the moment. "Eh. Cass didn't even write like she promised she would. I think I was just… silly and desperate. In retrospect, I'm not really even sure why I was so infatuated with her to begin with. Her looks, probably." There's a hint of sour grapes here. « Well, maybe you can try again when you've rested. I know you'll get really, really good at it! » Nae can't help but grin a little.

"I'm sorry," murmurs Rhysa, giving Nae a sidelong glance. "There'll be someone better. Lots of someones better, hopefully." She sucks in a breath, abruptly awkward. « We will see, » says Tavehtiath, coolly, her thoughts wreathed in sudden snow: she does not like this. She does not like this at all. "Oh, Tavehtiath," sighs her rider.

"Eh. That was practically a lifetime ago." Nae says with a smile that tries to be nonchalant and a shrug of her shoulders. "There'll always be flights, at least. « You'll do it perfect next time, little sis. I'm sure of it. » Kaiath thinks with great certainty, now waddling back towards the barracks. « C'mon, let's get dinner. »

"Practically," agrees Rhysa, in a way that suggests she doesn't wholly disagree… and yet. "I suppose there will be. More for you than for me, thankfully. At least that works out well." Kaiath's movement back towards the barracks has her straightening, glancing immediately for her own dragon, who is certainly not far behind. "Feeding time, then," she says, with a sigh. "But not for much longer." Tavehtiath is silent, but apparently content. Yes. It is time for food.


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