Weyrling Lessons - Unmanned Flight

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 a clear afternoon, weather is good, the skies are clear, especially clear, everyone knows it's the first time the little dragonettes will take to the skies and they can be an unpredictable lot. Damasth is settled behind Lissi who stands and waits with her clipboard, smiling, watching for weyrlings to arrive. "It's a special day.." she says and the green behind her croons softly, it's obvious she agrees.

It's not long before a few weyrling pairs wander out, Velokraeth and Th'ero among them. The young bronze is waddling a little ahead of the weyrling, oversized head held as high as he can manage. This is a special day and he looks eager enough to give this exercise his all. Th'ero only smirks at some inner thought shared silently between him and his bronze, shaking his head a little as he reaches out to pat his lifemate's neck fondly. Velokraeth rumbles a greeting and Th'ero glances towards where Lissi and Damasth are waiting. There's a nod given to the Weyrlingmaster, followed by a lopsided grin. "Looks like a clear day, doesn't it?" he remarks, gaze moving skywards for a moment as if to reassure himself that it hasn't changed within the last few seconds.

Iris arrives in the middle of the pack of weyrlings, quite eager herself but keeping it in check. Have to maintain control, after all Shadhavarth might not listen well if she's bursting with all the excitement she feels on top of all the excitement Shadhavarth feels. The gold is practically prancing alongside Iris, her whole body vibrating with the energy. « The sky, the sky, today we meet the sky! » Like Th'ero, Iris reaches for her lifemate's neck though she's holding that hand there, flushing a little. "Settle down, m'love. I don't want you jumping too hard and hurting yourself."

Damasth croons again as the pairs start to arrive and the Weyrlingmaster smiles, lifting a hand as they file out. A blue pair joins as well and a green and they all sorta gather around while Lissi starts to speak. "Aye it's a right clear afternoon and a good one fer gettin in tha sky," the greenrider answers. "Now.. I know yer itchin ta get up there.. cause yer little mates are, I know ya been getting used ta seein what they see and feelin what they feel.." she says. "I want ta caution ya on this exercise ta keep yer wits about ya. There's only one first, aye, I want ya ta see what they see but ya canna get caught up in it.. ya gotta be the level head on tha ground tha keeps them in check. They will feel at home and comfortable, which is good, but they are still learnin and ya need ta watch fer signs of distress, fatigue, strain.. confusion..you will be tha only anchor that can bring them back."

Velokraeth's head cants a little to the side, his mismatched eyes whirling as he observes which of his siblings come to join them on the fields. When he spots Shadhavarth, there's a polite dip of his head and a low rumbled greeting for her, while he answers Damasth with a returned croon. While the young bronze waits, he extends his wings a touch before bringing them back to his sides, the only sign of his restlessness aside from the twitch of his short tail. Th'ero takes a careful step back from his bronze, watching him carefully and no doubt already working on keeping him in line. There's a grin flashed to Iris and a quick, "Excited?" asked before his head turns and his focus is back on Lissi. Th'ero frowns a little, taking her warnings to heart and nodding his head, the grin fading has his mouth draws down into a thin line. "Basically… no fooling around, right? And keep our wits. Right. Sounds simple enough." Though judging by his tone, he knows it'll be anything but.

While Iris salutes, Shadhavarth warbles excitedly at Damasth as they pass the weyrlingmaster. Velokraeth, too, earns an excited croon. It's her favorite brother! Still prancing, the gold sidles towards him, nudging his wings with her own wingtips. « The sky, brother, the sky! » She looks up at it. « We will /be/ there soon! » Iris, meanwhile, grins back at Th'ero. "I am… but she's definitely more excited than I am." She nods at Lissi, still grinning. "We've been practicing mental control a little, hopefully it's enough practice!"

Lissi grins and then nods to Iris and Th'ero, "Right.. though a little fun is okay.. ya gotta not get carried away.." and she moves back a little to point toward a line. "Alright.. we'll line up Damasth then… bronze, blue, green, and gold," she explains. "A bit of follow the leader. Tha first pass will be a short little burst of take-off.. and a low flight then land.. practice up and down. Damasth will go first and then tha bronze, but he can't take off til she lands.. and he needs to follow the line of her flight as close as he can.. we'll see who can mimic it best." «Come dragonettes, watch me and do what I do.. but don't take off til your mate says you can.» "So, you watch and help direct your mate to the air then down again." With a warble the green trots ahead and then a downbeat of wings pushes her up off the ground and then a gentle arc upward, forward, and down for a soft landing.

Velokraeth chuffs in an amused sort of way when Shadhavarth croons excitedly to him; though he's surprised when she nudges his wings with her own wingtips. The gesture is returned though, when the bronze unfurls his wings again and resettles them against his sides. «Indeed, little sister! All in good time, all in good time!» Th'ero chuckles dryly, arms folding loosely over his chest as he tries his best not to fidget as he side glances to Iris. "I can tell." He muses, grinning crookedly at the young gold's enthusiasm. It's infectious, that's for certain! There's a nod given to Lissi as the Weyrlingmaster begins to give them their instructions and then Th'ero's stepping back a little as Velokraeth moves forwards into position in his waddle-like gait. The bronze does watch Damasth as the green demonstrates and as instructed, he follows once she has landed. His trot is anything but graceful, stunted legs having to pick their own pace. Then he takes that faithful leap followed by a downbeat of his wings and he's up into an arc, letting out a bugle of delight in his success. But just as soon as he's airborne, he's landing and like his trot, it's far from graceful or soft. There's a bit of a sheepish snort from Velokraeth when he's straightened himself out, but he did not face plant into the dirt at least!

As Lissi pulls in the weyrlings' attention, Iris presses a hand strongly into Shadhavarth's neck as she also encourages her lifemate to be attentive. The gold reluctantly calms, whirling eyes focusing on Damasth. As directed, they move to the end of the line and watch those in front take off and land. The dragonet holds in her happiness as each of her clutchsiblings has their turn, though Iris beams at their riders. And suddenly it is Shadhavarth's turn and the compact little gold trots forward, her wings go out and then she's downbeating and is airborne! There's no bugle of delight- she and Iris are in full concentration through the arc. Up, forward, down, trotting once more. It's not as graceful as it will become with practice, but it's their first time, and once Shadhavarth is safely slowed on the ground, she bugles triumphantly. « I met the sky! »

Damasth rounds the end of the field to watch 'her' students and up they go, one by one, then down, the blue and green make it too and when all four are back safely on the ground Damasth lifts her head to bugle toward them. «Let's go again!» She turns and heads back for the line and then she trots a few steps and leaps to the sky, this time the arc is taller, longer, circles the field then she soars over top of the weyrlings and dragons and lands featherlight at the end again.

Th'ero lets out a long sigh, having probably held his breath and not realized he was doing so until Velokraeth had landed, his mind being focused as it was in keeping the young bronze from going too far beyond his capabilities. He watches carefully as the next pair and then another go, with Shadhavarth finishing the first round. There's another broad grin flashed to Iris, Th'ero looking both pleased and relieved. "She did well!" he says by way of compliment, but then Damasth is calling for another round and Th'ero has his attention pulled away to focus his mind on Velokraeth, though he ducks his head a little when the green comes soaring over their heads. As Th'ero recovers, the young bronze waddles into position, waiting his turn before awkwardly trotting forwards, leaping into the air and completing the same pattern, though is reluctant to land. A good, determined mental nudge from Th'ero though and Velokraeth does as he's told, landing a touch more easily and with less stumbling then before.

The first round complete, Iris breathes deeply of relief. They managed! And that lithe little body that's been exercising vigorously when not basking is definitely working in their favor. Shadhavarth prances back around to return to the end of the line, pleased as punch with herself. As they pass, Iris smiles happily at Th'ero. "Yours wasn't so bad either!" They settle into line to watch Damasth's second demonstration and the class go again, and when Velokraeth lands more easily this round, Iris starts to applaud, though she stops quickly to simply grin and nod should he glance their way. As the blue and green make their second flights, Shadhavarth quivers with excitement. It settles into a sudden calm as Iris reminds her that it is her turn now. The gold charges forward several strides before downbeating vigorously, propelling herself up, up and around, dipping down a time or two as she gets used to the feeling of longer airtime. The landing is less light than her first landing as she had more momentum, but she catches herself quickly and is trotting back to the group, bugling her glee once more.

Lissi smiles, "Ya'll are doin fine..ok.. this time.. they can follow while she's still in the air.. and you guys need ta try to find them.. and see what they see…" she says to the weyrlings. Damasth huffs out a breath then she leaps to the skies once more and starts a slow, gently bend that will give the others time to get in the air, forming a sort of train of dragons. They will soar over the weyr and along the way older dragons will bugle encouragement and stay out of the way while the dragonettes get a look of Western from the sunny, clear skies. After a few minutes Lissi speaks up, "Everyone ok?" she asks. They won't be gone long, the little ones need to build some stamina, and so it isn't a long while until the green is leading them back to the landing strip, as it were.

"Thanks, Iris. He's doing a lot better then I had thought." Th'ero admits, giving Velokraeth a fond and perhaps even proud look as the young bronze settles himself by Damasth to wait and watch the progress of his siblings as well. When Iris begins to clap, Th'ero does glance his way, but he seems to be holding back a bit of a laugh, not seeming to mind the gesture, though a touch embarrassed by it. But then he's watching as Shadhavarth takes her turn, grinning broadly as the young gold is successful again with her second round. "She's really enjoying it, isn't she?" he asks Iris the moment he can pull his attention away long enough. The tension in Th'ero's stance seems to lessen a little, his arms uncrossing to rest now at his sides and he's no longer holding his breath in anticipation for the worst. But now the longest trial comes and Th'ero gives a nod of his head to Lissi, jaw firmly set as he tries to keep himself calm and relaxed. Velokraeth is already geared to go and once Damasth is up and he's given his cue, the young bronze launches after her, soaring up and keeping close, eyes whirling at an excited pace as he bugles back to the dragons that call out to them. Down below, Th'ero is concentrating on seeing through Velokraeth's eyes and it takes a moment or two before the weyrling is successful, known only by the slightly muttered oath under his breath. "Shells, this is so strange…" he murmurs, "…but amazing." And then he looks a little disappointed, something that is echoed in Velokraeth above when Damasth turns back, but orders are orders and Th'ero calls the bronze back to land, despite the urge to let the young dragon linger in flight.

Iris can't stop grinning. This is the best class ever! So far, anyway! She nods at Th'ero, expression aglow. "She /is/! /I/ am!" But as the rest of the weyrlings do, so does Iris turn her attention back onto her lifemate, jaw setting in concentration. Shadhavarth is eager to bring up the end of the train of dragonettes, making her third launch her smoothest yet. Eyes whirl excitedly, wings beat strongly, and the gold returns the adult bugles with her own high, warbling bugle. On the ground, Iris has her eyes shut, murmuring unintelligibly once she's got the hang of seeing through the gold's eyes. This soaring thing is /really/ where it's at! But, alas, it is not long before they are called to return to the landing strip and although both dragon and rider long to stay in the air, staying too long would be bad and, well, the train of dragonets is already headed for the ground so she'll make her landing as neatly as possible when her turn comes to land.

Lissi closes her eyes to do just what the werylings are doing, looking through her mate's eyes. She smiles as she soars with Damasth and then when they land she looks to the four weyrlings, "Alright.. I would caution you to watch them for strain and fatigue.. but it looks like they all have the basics down, which is no surprise, they are made fer flyin.. now they need ta be up there daily and build those muscles cause it won't be too long til ya go with 'em. Ya'll are free a move about the weyr..but thas it, fer now. Dun forget ta run the wall again and be watchin fer new posts. Any questions?"

Th'ero's thoughts are still reeling a little from the shared experience of seeing how it is to fly above the Weyr through Velokraeth's eyes. Having to focus on the last set of instructions from Lissi helps him refocus though and he promptly shakes his head. "No, no questions." He replies, nodding his head and giving a quick salute to acknowledge that he's understood. Velokraeth has waddled his way back to Th'ero by this point; obviously pleased by the way he carries himself. It'll be one of the rare times that the young bronze ever has a bit of an openly boasting nature. But he did well! They all did! But most of all he flew, even if it was a small taste. The prospect of more practice has the bronze rumbling deep in his throat, no doubt eager for more practice. With a gentle nudge to Th'ero, Velokraeth gives another soft chuff and the weyrling playfully pushes the blunted nose away, "Alright, alright. We'll get you some food." He mutters, chuckling dryly as he gives a brisk wave to Lissi and Iris. "I'll see you around." Th'ero says to the latter before turning to follow Velokraeth back to the barracks. What better way to end a successful afternoon then a small victory feast?

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