==== December 4th, 2013
==== T'ral, Esanth
==== Esanth and T'ral get ready for Graduation!

Who T'ral, Esanth
What Esanth and T'ral get ready for Graduation!
When There are 0 turns, 6 months and 21 days until the 12th pass.
Where Southern Weyr


T'ral wipes the oil from his hands on a rag and takes a few rocking steps back to from his handiwork. Esanth. Washed, scrubbed, gleaming. Nose to tail. Well, gleaming where he is not scuffed and scraped and shining where there are thin scars. Making a slow circuit, the play of light across it all produces a shimmering, flickering effect, the oiled scars flaring like shooting stars on the stormy blue-gray hide. Breathtaking. The tanky blue was growing into a sturdy, well-built flying machine. Though small as dragons went, barely bigger than the greens, he was still not yet even grown and seemed HUGE when T'ral recalled being able to lug the stubby guy around in his arms. T'ral feels a curious squeezing in his chest.

« Oh. Fer the love of… Yer not gettin' all maudlin on me, are ya? » The cant of Esanth's head and 'ridges is fond.

T'ral squints at the dragon, "Hold still," and reapproaches to make a couple more swipes. With a nod he backs up again, giving Esanth a once over. "You look… good. Fit."

The heavily jawed head slews around, Esanth gives himself an appraising look down long his length, raising a wing, flaring it, admiring the effect, lifting a hind quarter, stretching it, muscles cording and slithering under thick blue hide, lifting his tail in a dashing countercurve. « I reckon I do, don't I? Nice work. » An afterthought, « Oh yeah, uh, you look good too. »

T'ral wads the rag and throws it at Esanth's snout. Esanth dips his nose, avoiding the projectile with contemptuous ease, snorting. Grinning, T'ral shrugs into the shirt that Kultir let him borrow so many months ago. What hung on him then is still loose, but months and months of training have filled the lean lad out. The shirt was pretty much done for. It had seen horrors to make other shirts tremble and unravel. It wasn't long for this world. T'ral would see to a proper burial -with honors.

"Straps." T'ral nods curtly and turns smartly, bootsole grating on the floor before he skip walks to the rack where Esanth's new straps hang. Shouldering the unwieldy bulk of a new set of straps, opposite arm flung out in counterbalance, he bebops back over to Esanth. He's exhausted, but today there's reason to be excited.

« Yer in an uncommon good mood. »

"Pfft." T'ral launches the strap bundle off of his shoulder, keeping one set of ends in hand and snapping them up, then down, like a blanket. The bundle unrolls, buckles and findings jangling. "I'm always in a good mood."

Esanth's snort is eloquent. The dragon dips his head. T'ral goes over the outstretched straps inch by inch looking for defects, damage or dryness. Satisfied, he lifts the sleek array of leather webbing, flourishing it like a matador's cape as he draws it over Esanth's head, and walks it up. Esanth sits down and stretches out, sphinxlike so that T'ral can work. "Come on. Ungfff. It's graduation." He puts a boot up on the back of Esanth's upper foreleg and leans his weight into getting the strap snugged. New, they weren't yet broken in and still had to be 'encouraged' into place. "It's a big deal." T'ral grins, chucking Esanth on the shoulder as he ducks around to get the other side settled.

« Hey. Keep yer boots off the hide. I just had it done. »

Oh! T'ral hurries back to see if he'd mussed the work and gives it a swipe with the elbow of his shirt, just in case. He kicks off his boots, to more freely clamber about, settling the straps.

With any luck, these straps would last until Esanth had attained his full growth. These were based on the design Cerise had sketched up lo those many months ago. Altered from those original minimal designs to accomodate extra riders and sacks of firestone. "Tell me you're not excited."

« Duties are duties. This or that, they're all the same. Until we're flying Thread. » He shifts a bit, weight moving from one shoulder to the other, telegraphing down in the rustle of sails tucked against his body. « 'm interested in seein' who gets tapped fer leadership. »

T'ral's head comes up. He straightens, a hand on Esanth's shoulder, "You'll be disappointed if it's not me."

« Yes. » No pause, not even a flicker. T'ral is caught in the weightlessness of Esanth's mind. No ship, no hold, just floating in the cold, cold void. « But not in you. » The thrumming energy of Esanth's mind roars, heat with it, « The 'masters will pick who they will. Whatever they think, whatever you think… we deserve it. »

"More than Yules?"

« No. She and Desmeth would be a good choice. 's who I'd pick. »

"Yeah. Me too." He looks at Esanth, "I hope the weyrlingstaff agrees."

T'ral busies himself testing the tension of the straps, the fit, the flexibility. "All right, I'm gonna get dressed myself or we're not gonna make it." T'ral puts on his best -some of his nicer clothes had survived weyrlinghood intact, bless Donatien- a blue pocketsquare peeking out of the breast pocket. It's not regulation, so he tucks it out of sight, a dopey grin on his face. The leather band on his wrist gets a long, wistful look. A moment of silence. And then T'ral is hastening into his flight leathers. The helmet would make his hair a total loss. Whaddya do?

"All right. Let's go." Another milestone ahead. They flew by so fast. Would it ever stop? Probably not. Not if Br'er had the right of things. Esanth surges to his feet and in a few bone-jarring lopes they're aloft, winging towards the Upper Bowl.

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