==== November 24th, 2013
==== E'don, Kyara, Liareth, Qianvaelth
==== E'don seeks out a bit of extra help with flying from a friend.

Who E'don, Kyara, Liareth, Qianvaelth
What E'don seeks out a bit of extra help with flying from a friend.
When (Slight back-log.) Afternoon. There are 7 months and 21 days until the 12th Pass.
Where Jungle Flatlands, Southern Weyr

jungle_flatlands.jpg

Jungle Flatlands
Rising higher than the deeper parts of the forest, the flatlands provide a unique view of the rolling mountainous jungle regions that stretches far across the western parts of Southern. Trees rise up to the south and west as the land slopes away to the east and north, allowing a brief glimpse of the winding Black Rock River far, far, in the distance. Various trails wind through these parts, providing a good place to 'hike'; with the sounds of wildlife echoing in the distance, this part of the jungle is relatively safe. A small stand of bamboo and fern trees grows here.

It is the sixty-ninth day of Autumn and 63 degrees. Overcast with only a little rainfall, Rukbat's light is brighter as the storm clouds drift further west, leaving only intermittent cloud cover.


In every weyrling class, there's the late bloomer. Usually it's not one in the same, dragon and rider; usually there's an one-sided deficit, but in the case of E'don and Qianvaelth, it seems to be that the pair are both incredibly late bloomers. But one really shouldn't be too surprised, at least in the case of E'don. With glides and first flights under most of the classes' belt, it seems the bronze pair has been doubling down on their practice outside of the ever-critical gaze of the Weyrlingmasters and clutchmates. And today, of all days, E'don and Qian have made their way out to the secluded clearing of the forest flatlands, which open to an autumnal sky. They seem to be waiting for someone— it isn't every day that the weyrling and his dragon would find themselves willingly out here. The gangly young man seems to be practicing while he waits, heaving himself up and onto his dragon's neck; a repetitive movement of heave, straddle and click as he locks his straps into place. Ah well, at least he's biding his time.

It takes a bit for Kyara and Liareth to find the spot E'don asked them to come to, but the Igen green pair doesn't mind the search in the least; it's just another excuse for a scenic glide and a little exploration. Low over the flatlands they come, with Liareth giving a bugle of greeting to the growing bronze who comes easily into view below. Kyara gives a mental start at how much Qianvaelth has grown since she was last here, laughing a little as she slides down from her lifemate's neck after they land easily close by. "Faranth, he's almost as big as Lia now!" she says by way of greeting, pulling off gloves as she saunters over to E'don. "And to think he'll get nearly twice her size, still." She has a hug ready for the bronze weyrling, and a smile skews lopsided up at him. "So, you asked, and here I am. What's going on, Don?"

The appearance of the Igen green pair is E'don's excuse for a picture perfect dismount, which he does, unfortunately, with an awkward wiggle/tumble as he scoots down his dragon's forearm, only to be halted halfway when he realizes he's still halfway connected to his straps. "Kyar — oft, hold on a sec'." He turns one arm up awkward to disconnect himself from the tangle of straps, before finally dropping down to the ground, hands steady against his dragon's flank. "He's big ain't he? I wake up every day and there's more to work with — ah, comeer' it's so good to see you!" He bridges the distance to meet her hug with his own bear hug. "Well, we're flying now —" He pauses to cock his gaze up to glance between Lia and Qian both, quickly referencing the two dragon's size. "Well, everyone else is. But Qian and I are having a bit of trouble. And I'd rather not be the laughingstock of the entire Weyr and ask anyone here." A hand is rubbing the back of his neck in sheepish admittance, but Qian in his own right, doesn't look to be holding the same embarrassment. He's extending his head out towards Liareth a tentative and curious sniff. "I figured, you know — you wouldn't mind helping a bumbling rider out, would you?"

Kyara watches E'don's rather haphazard dismount with her lower lip caught between her teeth, giving her head a slight shake as she just observes the awkwardness that she long ago decided was endearing, for whatever reason. He does give good bear hugs, though - for all she's liable to get a papercut off the skinny man, one of these days! Well, perhaps he's not as skinny as he used to be; one doesn't stay so, with the muscle that a rider's life demands be put on. Her eyebrows rise at his reasoning for calling her here. "I'm sure there are plenty of riders here who'd be willing to help and not laugh at you for the need," she says, amber eyes now sparking with a tease. "Admit it - you just wanted to get a private tutoring session from me." She grins at him, patting his shoulder as she walks past him to make her way around Qianvaelth, practiced eyes looking him over. "Of course I wouldn't mind, Don. Long as you don't say anything; I'm not sure how the leadership here would take hearing that an Igen rider is giving you pointers. Not that we're on bad terms or anything; I just don't know how it'd go over. Hello, Qianvaelth," she calls up pleasantly to the young bronze as Liareth extends her own muzzle towards his to whuffle gently back. "Would you mind showing me those mighty wings of yours?" Gotta look over everything, after all!

"Well —" E'don responds back with an elongated stretch of the word, "Maybe — maybe just, I'd like to have an excuse to see you sometime, but, really, this is all business, right?" His follows with an equally skewed smile and just the most salacious of winks before spinning round to follow after the green rider and her directions. "And you'd be surprised — the number of those type of riders are few and far between. Qian, wings —" he orders gently, and the bronze extends his sails for Kyara's inspection. They don't droop or sag, and the bronze holds them abreast with silent concentration. "Y'know, it's not that he can't fly. It's just, he's awkward about it — all bulk and muscle and, well, it's like watching a herdbeast maneuver off the ground." Qianvaleth is slow to retract his muzzle from Liareth's with a soft snort, before turning one large eye on her rider with a curious blink. "Oh!" E'don suddenly says with pleasant amusement. "He says he remembers you."

"Right," Kyara replies, giving the vowel on her answer a slight stretch of her own. "Oh, Don, you just have to ask, and I'll come down," she informs the weyrling in a rather distracted fashion as she concentrates on inspecting Qianvaelth's wings, running fingers firmly but gently along sail, spar, and joint. "Drills with my wing are like a constant ass-kicking with the Pass looming, seems like." She strides around to the other side of the bronze, giving his other wing the same appraisal. "Plus, Igen's getting a little pressed for space. I'm always looking for an excuse to take a break and go elsewhere, and as excuses go," she turns her head to regard him sideways, winking in turn, "you'll do. Thank you, Qianvaelth," she tells the young dragon, reaching up to give his neck a good rub before taking a few steps back. "I'm glad to be remembered!" She faces E'don now, arms folded. "So how are you guys doing with gliding? Have you done much flying together, or are things still pretty unsteady?"

Liareth washes easy, welcoming humidity in billowed steam around rich marble pillars flanking warm, clear waters, the energetic scent of bergamot laced lightly among wax and soapsand. « You grow strong, Qianvaelth, » she observes, lilting soprano approving and calm. Her memory of him is mostly through her lifemate, but it will do all the same. « And still you grow into the air. All will be well. Come! Fly a bit with me. » The pretty green bounds forward and glides easily for some lengths before coming to rest, turning to watch the young one take his turn with rapt interest. »

Qian gives the most polite of responders, a low rumble that vibrates his barrel chest, and he slowly retracts his wings towards his body before he suddenly hesitates and lurches forward, wings 'whooshing' as they stretch outward again. It's a motion that is unsaid and done without warning, and E'don ducks with startled reflex. "Shards — well, I'll return the favor when I learn how to ::between::. We haven't gotten there right yet, and I don't think when we've mastered the art of flying, that we'd be able to just, fly there straight." The bronze weyrling isn't the most fast moving of dragons, but he moves off after the green with an awkward hop-step, a stumbling trip that gets him airborne for a moment's glide before dropping knees and elbows down back to the ground. "Ah, see, he can glide. And fly too — it just takes a few extra tries." E'don pulls back his arm for emphasis to show his friend a long rashy scab along his forearm. "And a little skin off my back." The bronze takes another, more coordinated hop, wings beating down to get him aloft and gliding.

Qianvaelth rustles with a soft rejoiner of wind-swept trees, his sapling dell seemingly replaced with the strength of aged oaken boughs. He creeks and moves with the snapping of bare branches and ancient trunks. « I will be stronger yet.» He adds, the memory of his melodic tenor replaced with a deeper bass now, words painfully slow as he speaks. « You will need to return after this—» He says in a matter-of-fact manner, less as a suggestion as more as a certain principle, that Lia will return. «So we can fly together. I will be better then.»

Kyara is also startled by the sudden second unfurling of Qianvaelth's wings, her own stance lowering and an arm coming up a bit before she's looking downwind at Liareth, eyes momentarily vague in silent instruction before she's backing up a little, plucking briefly at E'don's sleeve to get him to do the same. "You'll have a good chunk of time until ::between:: yet, but yes, I expect a visit from time to time," she tells him in a no-nonsense way, her expression full of good humor. When he shows her his arm, she frowns slightly. "Uhm…throws you in the process? Or just gives you some good scrapes against the straps?" Or both? With a gusty sigh, she reaches up to rub her neck, taking a moment to observe the bronze's glide through Lia's eyes. "He looks good; he's growing well and even, just…he's dense in all the muscles male dragons tend to get dense, and it's still throwing him off balance a bit. But once he's got that worked out…" Another grin, reassuring. "You might want to spend all your time in the air. He's just got to catch up to his wings. Look." She gestures to where Liareth is now giving the youngling a lesson in bounding properly - something a bit humorous to watch when done in place. "Hopefully she'll get him feeling it out a little better. They can work a little more, and then we can see about you and me getting up there, too."

Liareth croons encouragement when he stumbles, steam thickening to invigorate as it curls throughout the boughs of his mind. « I will return. And I have no doubt you will be better when I do. Time improves us all. Your body doesn't know the air as well as your wings yet, » she observes with some amusement, and she hops in place - first on all fours, then with hindquarters alone. « You must concentrate to make all work together. Then you will not trip. You might first try jumping, then gliding from there, sometimes. It is not as fun, » she says with a rumble, « and it takes too long…but it is important. Mine has said so often. »

"General scrapes," E'don reassures Kyara with a glance down at his own arm one more time before rolling his sleeves back over it. "Nothing, you know, violent. But I can't say that I haven't fallen off of his ridges." He lapses into silence for a moment, embarrassed in having to admit that perhaps there's some disharmony in his dragon and his relationship, "But, you know, it wouldn't be me if I don't fall off of him, right?" There's another cheeky grin, and he follows the direction of Kyara's motion with a bit of a squint. "He's bulky, that's for certain. And a bit unwieldy if I have to be honest. But Liareth looks positively dashing. She flown yet?" His question is casual, if not a bit hesitant at best, curiosity lacing the edge of his voice, if not with the tinge of hope that maybe she hadn't. But even then, E'don is quick to change the subject back to the task at hand. "Getting on our respective dragons or both of us on mine?" He flashes her another grin, this time shameless and exaggerated on purpose. "Do I get to tell you which one I prefer?"

She would've been surprised to hear he hadn't been falling off his dragon. "No, I don't suppose it would," Kyara agrees, laughing and continuing to watch her green and E'don's bronze. His next question earns a sidelong glance and a slight upward tick of the corner of her mouth. "Yes," she answers simply. "And thank you. She's beautiful…and she's a flirt, and an impatient, pragmatic brat sometimes, and it makes life really interesting, but," a shrug, both fond and helpless, "she balances me. Like he'll balance you." The last remark earns the bronze weyrling a firm swat on the arm and a Look. "Don. Honestly, just because your restrictions are up." Yet she's sticking her tongue in her cheek to keep her smirk at bay. "With as wobbly as he still is, both of us on him wouldn't be the best idea, anyway. Each to our-" She stops suddenly as Liareth relays something to her, and the expression she regards E'don with now is one of gentle sympathy. "You're afraid of heights," she states quietly. Well, now. What's the best tack to take from here? "It's actually better that you're with a bronze in that case, I think," she comments as she lowers her eyes a bit, pondering.

Liareth sends up a happy babbling of fountains, muted voices obscured by steam echoing laughter around the edges of her baths for his success the third time. « Yes, » she affirms. « You will flame as I cannot, and I will fly as you cannot, and that is as it should be. » At the revelation of his lifemate's fear of heights, firelight brightens as voices and waters soften. « Mine had some fear when we first flew, she remembers. What do you tell him, when he is afraid? »

"Oh. Was it anyone special then?" E'don is all cheek and bright humor, and he can't help but wrinkle his noise with the most exaggerated of eye rolls. "Oh, you like it. Admit it. I'm the most handsome flirt you've ever seeeeen." He drawls out the last bit, that is, until his face falls and brow furrows, and he's shooting Kyara a quizzical look. "Oy, add gossip to that list too. Liareth is a gossip and so is my bloody, bastard of a dragon." The bronze rider's voice kicks into his thick Bollian lilt, and he glares across the clearing at the two dragons. "I'm not that afraid of heights. Maybe a bit. Just a tiny bit. Didn't the idea of falling off your dragon's ridges all that way up in the air not make you want to shit yourself at least once?" Oh, now he's defensive, but there's still the playful teasing in his voice. Maybe not that defensive. Now, now E'don just has a point to prove. "Come on, lets get on our dragons. I'll show you — not afraid of heights at all." This will end well. Yes it will.

Qianvaelth responds only with a renewal of his mind-scape, a creaking and cracking of branches as trees seemingly move, roots ripping from soft mossy ground to replace themselves elsewhere. The bronze arranges and rearranges his forest to accommodate the effervescence of Liareth's bathhouse, a feeling of pleasant agreement. The mention of his rider and the affirmed fear does not seem to faze Qianvaelth — in fact, there seems to be no movement in his forest, no sympathy or worry or even the hint of embarrassment. « His fear is his own.» He says this blithely. « I will calm his fears when he is want to change them.»

Keeping her expression neutral, Kyara replies with, "A friend," and leaves it at that out of respect for said friend. But then E’don’s messing about earns him a chuckle and a bit of a shove…which turns into just a hand rested on his arm as their gossip-prone lifemates are brought into the picture. "Hey, at least the gossip stays between us," she says, glancing at the now approaching dragons and shaking her head. "Honestly? I was scared a few times at first, yeah. Not of flying, just of falling, and almost always when she was banking. I had to get over it really quickly, though, because, well, greens are the most maneuverable. You watch us fly sometime, and some of what we do'll probably turn you white just by looking. But there's always that trust, and that's what you've got to cling to. Qianvaelth might be passive, but damned if he'll ever let you fall." She doesn't argue getting on their dragons…but she does watch very closely to see how he does at strapping himself in and gearing up.

Liareth finds the meld of forest to baths to be a rather pleasing aesthetic, winding thick tendrils of heated cloud among the trees and obscuring bubbling streams below a rolling fog across the forest floor. « He will change out of necessity, as mine has, » she observes. « But he likely needs you more than he will say. So mine believes. » A moment of quiet thought as hidden fountains gently splash. « Not with words, but with strength in his mind. Steady trees, standing immovable. » Amusement bubbles, candlelight dancing. « Or as you will. But don't be too far from him in this. »

Kyara just rolls her eyes at E'don's initial remark as she climbs up onto Liareth's neck. "That's what I mean, about it being good that you're with a bronze," she comments, strapping herself in and pulling her helmet on. "His nature helps you." After a thoughtful pause, she shrugs. "Maybe I should have you hop over here to do one higher flight with me and Lia before we're done, just to let you feel it." The suggestion is serious, and her smile over it is kind, much as she could easily have turned it to teasing. "But yeah, let's stick to some gliding for now, maybe a little trip out over the trees and back. See if he's got his balance a little more evened out. C'mon! Stay alongside us." She raises her fist, ready to drop it when they seem good to go, and an easy bound forward will put them in the air.

"I'll need a lot of coaxing to get on your dragon's back." E'don yells this back at Kyara as he pulls a face and shoves his helmet on. "If you really want me to, I can think of a few ways I could be convinced." Even in the most serious of conversations, the bronze rider can't help but inject a bit of levity into the situation. If Kyara can see it, he throws her a wink and a point of the finger, just to hit the innuendo home. But then Liareth is springing forward into the air, and E'don doesn't have much time to adjust himself and his grip before Qianvaelth is rearing back onto his haunches with a little hop-step to launch himself after the green with a joyful warble. It's shaky and a bit unwieldy, but it works. One can only assume it's smooth sailing for all participants for the rest of the day.

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