Riding Out The Storm

Half Moon Bay 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 maneuvers required for the rescue and protection work that the 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 is a rather lovely afternoon across the Weyr, a cool breeze is blowing in front of the sea and is caught slightly bringing new scents. Out there in the middle rests Sundari and Irkevalath. The blue is sitting upon his haunches waiting for the appraching weyrling that he called out for. Seems the manned flight lessons are continuing. Irk's straps are on and he makes sure to put a notice out to Valigath that if she wishes to fly today with her rider then straps need to be on!

Oh, she's in her straps, all right. But it's equally clear from Valigath's inarticulate mental sendings that she does NOT approve of the color of them. The gold is grudging about her arrival to the meeting place, while Aglaia's considerably more enthusiastic. Collected and composed, sure, but still enthusiastic in comparison to the huffing, wing-fluttering, and tail-flopping weyrling dragon! "Hey, Sundari! Irkevalath!" A salute is offered, followed by a wiggle-wave of fingertips as the pair draws closer.

Sundari grins as she curiously watches the pair move on out, and the comments from Irk at that. She offers a wave back and nods. "Hello Aglaia, Valigath. Big day hum?" She questions with an amused tone while she moves on over to peek at those so not approved colored straps!

Oh, those weyrling straps. So boring and dull! Valigath takes a half-step back when Sundari approaches to check them, while her wings threaten to furl over to try to cover the terrible and shameful trappings that she's been forced into. It takes a stern look from Aglaia to get the gold to comply and she harrumphs, settling her wings with an audible snap of displeasure. Despite the color, they're secure and well-fitted - and well-constructed, besides, though they're still obviously weyrling-made. "Yeah, just a little bit," Aggie laughs to Sundari. "But we have a couple more big days ahead of us, so… it's no good to worry too much about this one."

Sundari grins and nods while she goes about checking the straps and buckles to make sure everything is indeed in place. She chuckles and gives Valigath's foreleg a soft pat. "No worries.. Your have better straps soon enough your see." She offers with a soft murmur. "That is indeed true! You all are getting close to graduating." A slight finger is waggled towards the other. "Told you it wouldn't take long now didn't I?" She smiles warmly while she moves back to Irk. "Mount up! We're going to get started."

"Dad told me it'd go quickly, too! I kind of miss the first days - and then I remember how loud she was." Aglaia grins lopsidedly and nods to Sundari as the instruction is given. She's quick to mount - but, then, when her parents are both riders, it's hard not to pick up a few things! Once she's settled and secure, she nods again and calls. "I think we're good to go!" Valigath's tittering warble is merely confirmation!

Sundari grins and nods at that while she clambers up and settles upon Irk's shoulders, straps clipping into place. With the distance Irk will be doing the 'talking' now it seems. The blue warbles and croons out to Valigath. « We will start.. Now! Follow after us! » So much of a warning right? With that offered Irk is leaping into the sky, wings flapping a few times to carry him upwards with that tail of his flicking and lashing about.

Valigath's reply? A familiar, shrill, « Kweeheehee! » just before she pushes off for the sky. Graceful, she is not - but she does make it into the air with something akin to efficiency. Aglaia seizes onto the straps and grits her teeth, eyes narrowed just a little at that initial rushing of wind. Once they're up in the air, the gold stabilizes and falls into position behind Irkevalath, her wingbeats measured just so to ensure she doesn't overtake the blue! Though, clearly, this is due to a significant amount of effort on Aggie's behalf; the gold is mentally straining to just GO already!

Irkevalath had a feeling that Valigath would indeed be ready. He is quick though and while indeed the gold could zoom past him he is not worried while his wings carry him rather quickly at first. « Do not put to much energy into it just yet! Take your time, each wingbeat will take energy. You must learn to control yourself, and use the air current to your advantage. » Especially when she gets all glitter and glowy! Sundari looks over to the pair, watching for things that may need to be worked with later on when back on the ground.

May Faranth have mercy on Pern when that terrible day comes. Fortunately, any thoughts of Flights are far from the gold's mind; instead, she's focused on the necessary movements of flight. « You are much too SLOW, » Valigath protests with a mental huff of smoke and sparks and steam. « I can't possibly flap any slower! » Gliding might be an option but that's not what this is about! Not to her mind, anyway. Aglaia remains where she is, eyes fixed straight ahead - more or less - while she juggles what she's seeing with whatever the gold is relaying to her.

Slow… Did Valigath just call Irkevalath slow? A slight rumble escapes him and he shifts suddenly and turns rather sharply in the air, there is a sudden push of speed and Sunny able to get the blue to pull back he is gone and is clearly going to put on a show for the dear gold. « Do not follow. » It is a hard edge tone to prove that gold is only to watch. Power and speed is something Irk has and he is heading up into the sky with a few hard flaps before he is turning sharply and twirling downwards in a tight spiral heading right past Valigath, and then under her and zipping up into the sky once more. He circles her twice and with an updraft of air his wings flick open catching the wind and send him a drift which sends him a few dozen feet above the gold where he glides and lets out echoing warbles that drift across the open sky. As for Sundari there is a few well places baps and smacks against the back of her dragon's neck, someone is cursing him out to say the least.. Irk could careless!

Czaiath rumbles as he strolls out of the barracks, his straps already in place, though his rider is walking beside him. There's a pause, both tilting their heads up to watch the aerial display. This could be… problematic.

There's a horrifying moment when Valigath starts to ascend, only for Aglaia to yank as hard as she can on the straps and hiss some warning or another to the gold. All the same, the weyrling dragon titter-hisses to herself, maintaining her speed and course while the blue shows off his agility. « I am still FASTER, » is her mental retort, any awe for his skill clearly being shelved for the sake of raw physics - or, well, some attempt to salvage her easily bruised pride, either way. Considering she's doomed to be a lumbering behemoth of the skies, well! There will be plenty of bruising to her pride in the future as aerobatics are concerned!

Irkevalath rumbles out slightly as he hears Valigath. « You are spoiled. » The blue offers back while he shifts to take up a spot once more in the air, his wings flap a few times while he turns to eye the cold slightly before he goes back into lesson mode. « Follow and behave. » Someone is grumpy now it seems. Sundari mutters out another line of curses to her dear dragon. Much as Irk has done before he turns to head towards the sea and expect the gold to do as told so the lesson can go on.

Mental giggling follows Irkevalath's words - but Valigath falls into position, all the same. Of course, her jaw gapes briefly into a terrible grin, but that falls away quickly enough with Aglaia's mental intervention. The weyrling rider's gone pale, her grip white-knuckled on the straps. And if it seems she's talking to herself under her breath, so be it; she's more likely muttering at Valigath to keep her in check. Off to the sea, then!

D'nyl chuckles softly to himself, then urges Czaiath out into the open field before mounting. He's in no rush to catch the other two, but he's not going to stay on the ground, either, and soon the bronze is midsky, a good ways behind the blue and gold.

Irkevalath sends back a few glances towards Valigath, there is a sour snort escaping him while his wings stretch once he hits a bit of air that allows him to glide. « You above the rest must remember much when it comes to flying. Feel the air, be one with it. When you find a current use it. Being fast is great, it is a show! But getting up high for you must be ideal. » Sundari mutters and baps the blue again. Flying lesson only you damn blue is all she is trying to get into his skull. As for Czaiath and D'nyl they can follow along, and Irk even catches sight of a bronze form a good dozen yard behind.

« Better to get as HIGH as FAST as possible, » is Valigath's reply, coupled with a mechanical grinding that's a bit more audible than usual. She's readily able to keep pace if she keeps her flapping to a bare minimum; much more and she -will- overshoot the blue by sheer accident. Some other thought percolates through her twisted mind, but all that's shared is another tittering sensation, a rapidfire clicking coupled with shrill, girlish giggling. Aglaia is doomed to bear the brunt of it, naturally, so the distraction of another weyrling rider joining them in the air is a welcome one. She raises a hand to wave at D'nyl, though she only partially twists around to try to look directly at the other pair.

D'nyl returns Aglaia's wave, cautioning Czaiath not to try to outfly the gold, though he does start to catch up with the pace Irk sets. « Flying is its own reward. » Czaiath's bright bugle accompanies the sage comment.

« That is not the point. If you fly to high you could run out of air, if you fly to fast you will become weakend from the effort to go so fast! We are not fighting Thread, we do not need to go crazy up here! » Sundari is grumbling, though thankfully no one can hear what she is saying. A glance is sent over to D'nyl and Czaiath, she smiles once the pair catch up and waves over to them. Irk has slipped quiet as he takes them a bit further out over the water. There is a crackle and low rumble of thunder coming from a few thick gray clouds that still rest a good ways off.

« And flying is a means to an end, » is Valigath's counterpoint to Czaiath's words. Considering her apparent lack of grace in the skies - which is a stark contrast to her dancing on the ground - that might prove to be the case for the likes of her. She continues to follow along but, when the thunder from afar reaches her headknobs, her maw cracks open into a wide, pleased grin. Aglaia adds a smile to the greeting but, by then, the distraction of the distant storm is enough to pinch her brow and harden the line of her mouth. Not good, clearly. As for Irkevalath? Well, if Valigath's listening, she's not speaking back. For once.

Czaiath's only answer is a pleased croon as his rider passes on another wave. The bronze just loves the sky.

Sundari shakes her head slightly while glancing towards Valigath a moment, pondering it seems before she turns to look back before them, eyeing the storm that is rumbling and rolling about off at sea. Irkevalath slowly turns, it is a lazy bit of movement really and his form turns with his wings pulling a touch towards him. « Back we go. Must not get to near the storms. » The blue will assume the pair will follow it seems.

The wide arc that Irkevalath sketches out is further exaggerated by the gold; she takes her time in sweeping around, drawing as close to the storm as she can - which still isn't close enough, but it will have to suffice. The rumbling of thunder is met with a deep rumbling of her own and the young dragon keeps the clouds in view as long as she possibly can. She's following, not to worry, but she's moving much more slowly than before - and Aglaia's stuck trying to talk sense into the beast.

Czaiath tilts his wings, arcing after the other two. The fact that Valigath is running slow seems to frustrate him, though, and he cuts the circle a little tighter, starting to pull inside the gold.

Irkevalath turns to look back at his charges, a deep rumble escaping him while he turns and is heading back to Valigath. « Are you tired, do you need to land? » Best believe he will be poking and nipping (not really) to push that gold further from the lingers storms. Another crackle of thunder lights up the sky back with the gray clouds. Sundari casts it a slight knowing. « We must stay before the storm, mine says it will be bad soon where we are. »

« No, » Valigath replies with a gout of smoke and rattling gears. « I just want to FEEL the storm. » It's just a terrible disappointment that they're going away from it, rather than toward it! She hisses just a little at Czaiath for venturing too closely to her, but she's keen enough to correct her flight path to avoid any collision. Good thing for draconic instincts! « I do not enjoy the WET of the rain, » she continues, « But the THUNDER! The LIGHTNING! » Glorious!

« The stench of seared wingmeats when the storm decides to sink its teeth into you. » Czaiath just wings along pleasantly with the others, enjoying that rush of feeling that precedes the storm, « Mine asks when we should land or if we can outfly the storm. »

« You have not felt what the lightning can and will do. You must go, and go now. » Irkevalath sends to Valigath, a low rumble escaping him. Sundari grumbles a bit herself and the blue finds himself in a position behind the bronze and gold, and with the lightening creeping closer it is not the best spot. Though Irk knows to keep Valigath safe, so this is the spot he takes. « You will continue the trek home, or you will land on the approaching Island, that is an order. Do not slow anymore! » Another crackle and the thunder echoes around them proving the storm is only getting closer. The decision is made though when another crackle of light strikes in the air not that far behind Irk. « LAND NOW! » Is sent out to the pair while his wings unfurl and there is a slight waver as he works to steady himself as the air current suddenly whips through the sky around them. Seems they are to land on the approaching island that is basically before them now.

« If you get too close, of course you will get bitten, » is Valigath's snippy reply. « Only a fool would get THAT close! » And she's definitely not that fool - after all, she has her precious hide and talons to keep immaculate! As the first directive given is to 'continue', the gold begins to pour on the speed - only to be arrested by the next, distinctly conflicting instruction to land. « Which IS IT?! Land? Or fly?! » She hangs in the air with uncertainty, even after the next 'land now' is announced. There's a terrible hiss and snarl from her at the indecision on display and she banks sharply toward the island, though the movement is made clumsy by sheer virtue of her need to pivot in the air to get into proper position.

Czaiath bellows in surprise as he's suddenly whipped around in some way he just can't explain and he spins midsky, his rider grasping tightly to his straps and cursing up a storm. The bronze pulls his wings in and plummets towards the island, riding the winds until he's closer to the ground. He spreads his wings almost at the last moment, just barely breaking speed enough to land on the tiny island.

There is no more time for talk, words are lost as Irk is warbling out as his wings flap with another gust of air slam into him this time from the side. Sundari has a tight hold of the straps and is eyeing both Czaiath and Valigath hoping and praying neither hit the ground wrong at this rate. Irk is lighter then the pair, the wind is affecting him more thanks to it. Another strong guest sends Irkevalath scrambling in the air, grasping out at it with his talons but unable to of course get hold of anything. The guest make his wings fold slightly, buckle almost at the effort of it all and he is not lining up right to land on that island as a result.

Valigath has bulk on her side, at least - considerably more than the blue, at any rate. She utters a hideous-sounding bellow when she finds her place in the air again, then utters the sound a second time as she fixates on her landing point. Eyes whirl in hues of alarm and frustration, while all Aglaia can do is hold on for dear life. She doesn't shut her eyes, though; not her. She'll see this through even if it's doomed to end in disaster - which it might yet. The gold is able to get close enough to the island to start the landing process, but it's an awkward affair that's made all the more terrible when Aglaia glances back to see how Irkevalath and Sundari are doing. Then it's a snap of her head and she's looking for Czaiath and D'nyl, with a mounting expression of fear on her face.

« Mine says to hold on and land! » Czaiath's mind blazes brightly, confident even in the face of this kind of sheer terror. D'nyl leans forward along the great neck, holding as tightly as he can as the bronze rolls sideways, pressing his side up against Irkevelath's, trying to give the blue balance and nudge him the right way, « We can do this! »

Irkevalath rumbles out in what one could be worry and fear all rolled into one. Yes land.. everyone LAND.. not that he is getting that out, why there is his impending doom here before him that has his mind a bit busy. There is that bronze hide that does give him a good shove, which helps him not hit headfirst into the ground and is enough to send him sliding against his side once his shoulder hits it to the point that the effort sends him right into the shallows. The storm is a whirlwind now, sharp updrafts of hot air are felt while crackles and bright flashes of lightning are flashing across the sky that has quickly turned gray above them all.

Valigath's finally on the ground - but her work isn't done yet. Quick footwork brings her to where Irkevalath has landed and she snaps her wings wide around and over him to offer some means of protection against the snapping wind and threat of worse yet to come. No words from the tyrant queen, oh no; this bit might be Aggie's own doing in some way or another. As for the girl? She's still up there, still grim and prepared; fear is gone, replaced with a determination that's plainly visible in the cording of her arms and whiteness of her knuckles. There is a deep mental undercurrent that's extended to Czaiath, though; no words attached, but the weighty IMPERATIVE of needing his presence is made quite clear. Closer. Come closer. And that is all.

D'nyl hits the shallows not far from the blue, bellowing a challenge to the winds as he shakes off the disorientation. Valigath? What… oh yes! He moves to help as well, one wing extending over the blue as well while his forepaw reaches to offer support. D'nyl flails at the buckles for his riding belt, muttering a rapid, "Stupid stupid stupid" under his breath as he swings down and around, always keeping one hand on the straps while reaching toward Sundari with the other, shouting to be heard above the surf, "C'mon, Irk, you can do it!"

The hit to the ground could have been worse, Czaiath helped in many ways but what he did. Irkevalath is still in the shallows, a slow rise of his sides is seen proving his still breathing. One wing is folded under him while the other twitches a bit as it works on moving proving the blue is working on trying to move. A hindpaw kicks out with a low throaty growl escaping him, he wants up, he needs to get up as he feels the rush of water around him. Sundari is still in those straps at least, though she is caught half under the surf thanks to the angle of the fallen dragon, and for a moment there she isn't moving. Between falling dragon, and hitting the ground the pair is in a bit of sensory overload thanks to that link between rider and dragon. With Irk moving it at least hauls himself up enough to get Sunny out of the water, which leaves her gasping for air as she is scrambling to get the buckle off from the strap that holds her in place. Stupid is indeed the word of the day.

The gold lends her paws as well, reaching out to help Irkevalath get to higher ground. Her wings remain spread wide - both as a buffer and a warning to the storm that rages around them. Aggie's soaked to the bone, of course, as is Valigath - and she is NOT pleased about that. Being wet? Not fun. She keeps her thoughts swirling in the space she shares with her rider, but there's a certain, crackling ferocity that filters through. Aglaia bellows something at Valigath and the gold complies, shifting her bulk so that the weyrling rider can reach across and try to help Sundari out - somehow. Whether that's undoing a helpful buckle or offering her support, she'll do it. « Move FARTHER this way! » is the proclamation, weighted as it is with burgeoning queenly influence - a rare application of it, considering how outspoken she normally is. Of course, with a pair of big weyrlings trying to pull Irk along, it's not like he'll be staying put for much longer anyway!

D'nyl tugs himself up until he can slide his arm into the straps for extra support, dangling awkwardly as he is between his dragon's forearms, and swings himself towards Sundari, "Take my han', Sunny! Give him one less thing ta worry abou'!"

Irkevalath is still with the living, his just had the wind knocked out of him which doesn't help seeing everything is going to hell around them. His worry for his rider, worry for the weyrlings, worry of failing and then there is the above all thing on just dying which is not an option. Sundari is struggling, coughing hard to escape the straps, Aglaia's help is helpful, and the hand is there before her which she is grabbing hold of. The large wings of Valigath are helpful, and Irk is dragged backwards with the pair so he won't drown at least if he goes sprawling about again.

Satisfied that the rider-half of the bluerider pair is being seen to, Aglaia relaxes just a little in her straps. All she can do now is hold on while Valigath does her due diligence - first in making sure that Irkevalath is safe and on the island proper and, second, in making sure Czaiath and D'nyl are very much in the same position. Her thoughts erupt in a scathing wash of smoke and fire, clearly cracking free from the confines of Aglaia's mind for the sheer force of them. « I have many plans, » is hissed in that eruption. « And none of them involve you DYING. » This is clearly for both of them, given the look she spares for them. And then she's moving along, just a little further up, so she can hunker down, wings unfurled and let Aglaia finally - finally! - dismount and seek shelter in those wings.

D'nyl's fingers grasp hard around Sunny's arm, dragging her up against him even as Czaiath works to help the blue ashore alongside his clutchsister. Once the blue is managed, the bronze lets his burden down in the shelter Valigath's wings offer before closing the circle as best he can, trying to shelter the blue until he's ready to rise as well as the riders. For a moment, D'nyl dosn't seem to realize that the worst has passed, but slowly the adrenaline fades and he mutters, "Is there anything here we can ligh'? It's shardin' col' 'n' I don' know how long this storm'll last."

Irkevalath is quiet as he lays there against the wet sand, the blue hurts, soreness is setting in from the hit to the ground. His shoulder and side took the brunt of it, there are scratches across his hide and black icor runs downwards thanks to the rain that has started to fall hard upon them. Sundari half clings to D'nyl during that time both Valigath and Czaiath get Irk up onto shore and once there is when she will relax slightly. Everything is still a bit of a mess in her head, a jumble of thoughts, and she shakes her head hard a few times, her hand moving to her head slightly as she coughs a moment. The question is heard and she glances towards the wet packs that rest with her straps and she shakes her head slightly. As for the storm, it is creeping above them now, and holding for the moment. Hello rain! And wind, yes his here too.

The gold, of course, is not in her element - which is to say 'water'. Water is not her thing. She hisses, but that hissing is purely at the unrelenting pound of water in conjunction with the rest of the whole, mad affair. Aglaia shakes her head at D'nyl as well, though her attention shifts from bronzerider to blue with mounting concern. "Are you okay, Sundari?" Then: "Is she okay?" That for D'nyl, since he's closer to her, of course. She busies herself with wringing out her clothes for what little that'll do; dragonwings are only perfect as far as they cover, after all, and some of the stuff is going to drip past that barrier. The gold's presence is still blistering, but controlled; she isn't angry at THEM, after all. She's just angry at IT. And if she's instinctively pressing on both of them to stay calm, then so be it; just be grateful she's not aware that it's happening!

The warmth of Czaiath's mind isn't enough to disperse the cold chill that settles in. D'nyl watches Sunny for a moment, then nods to Aglaia, "I think so. I don' suppose you happen ta have any dry tinder in there." Now that the worst of the danger has ebbed, he's sagging a little, "We're gonna get cold if'n we don' fin' somethin'…" He strips off his soaked shirt automatically and Czaiath tries to draw the circle tighter, "At leas' th' dragons're warm."

Sundari eyes close as she leans there against D'nyl, everything is a mess in her head still. Her head lowers slightly to press into her arm, eyes closing tight while her shoulders lower. She'll be alright as long as Irk is, which will be when there back at the Weyr whenever that might be! "Just stay with them, the storm will blow over soon enough." Sunny finally does speak up, her voice soft though, a bit hard to hear over it all. Irk is quiet, a swirling eye drifting slowly towards the others and to his rider before it closes and he just rest. As for the storm it will blow over with a bit of time, and they will be able to get home, Irkevlath will need help though. Needless to say there will be a rather upset WeyrlingMaster to greet Sundari when they do get home, no telling who else at this rate.

"I wish I did," Aglaia replies with a grimace. "I just have her straps and- well, the few things in my pockets are both useless -and- soaked." She's silent for a long moment, head tilted and eyes fogged, before her vision clears again. "She let Dad know where we are. Not that it'll do much good, but Zaq'll make sure everyone knows we're okay for now." And so it goes, with the weyrling rider settled in against Valigath until the storm passes and they can all move on toward home. If help is needed, the gold will provide - and, once they return, a certain bronzeriding pair will be among those who are upset. Naturally.

D'nyl holds Sunny, gently guiding her to sit with him beneath star-dappled bronze wings, "It'll be alrigh'." D'nyl doesn't sleep and, if anyone starts showing signs of hypothermia, he'll be the one to wake them up and get them moving. Likely, Ez will hit him when they get back, but at least for now, they're safe.


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