==== October 29th, 2013
==== E'don, Qianvaelth, T'ral, Esanth, P'quil & Kwirath (NPC'd by Cerise)
==== E'don, Qianvaelth, T'ral and Esanth are in need of further development of their mindlinks.

Who E'don, Qianvaelth, T'ral, Esanth, P'quil & Kwirath (NPC'd by Cerise)
What E'don, Qianvaelth, T'ral and Esanth are in need of further development of their mindlinks.
When Sunset
Where Southern Weyr

edon3 t-ral_facepalm.jpg


Training Grounds
A broad and sheltered swoop of bowl lies bare for the talons and tread of countless weyrlings that-will-be, encased by stone scoured and scarred by those-that-were. Dirt lies as neatly as dirt can lie, swept and raked daily, at the mouth of the caverns that must indubitably be the weyrling barracks. Devoid of decoration, the place stands strangely absent of pressence when empty, the everpresent wind of Southern giving strange acoustics to those under the shelter of the towering bowl-wall.

In the last several days, the assistant weyrlingmasters have been watching you. Yes, you! Those they feel might need a little extra work with the mindlinking exercises have been pinpointed as a result, though no fingers have been pointed. But earlier today, P'quil, brown Kwirath's, approached T'ral and E'don separately and told each to be in the training grounds come sunset. Dinner, it seems, could wait.

And so sunset is here, the sky above painted lurid shades and the temperature beginning to dip below the three digits. The humidity remains high but there's enough of a breeze through the grounds to dispel it, though that same wind occasionally makes odd keening sounds above as it plays through the bowl-wall. P'quil waits his two charges, standing in the center of the raked dirt field at parade rest, hands clasped behind him, feet shoulderwidth apart. Above, on a ledge worn smooth by countless mentor dragons, Kwirath reclines like a sphinx where he has a prime view of the dual obstacle courses erected by his better half. To the right of the brownrider, a course suitable to a growing dragonet- there are logs striped of bark laid in a line for stepping over, and posts that have been hammered deep into the ground and stand twice as tall as a man for winding through. There's a stitched leather ball the size of a pony, as well, about fifty yards away from "goal posts", and beyond that a structure covered with palm fronds, tall enough for an average sized woman to walk beneath it but requiring a dragonet to go belly down to crawl. To left of the brownrider is the same course but in miniature- though miniature in this case means that all of the landmarks are sized down to human beings.

Ah, if only the life of a Weyrling provided free evenings. Well, that's how it's generally suppose to be, right? To be called out for extra mind linking exercises hasn't put E'don in the best of moods—he's been quite petulant lately as it is, but being grouchy from a full days work, and now this? Ah, the bronze weyrling is full of whines tonight. And it is in fact Qianvaelth that plods out from the barracks first, marching an awkward trail towards P'quil and Kwirath, ever-growing wings outstretched to balance his slow, unbalanced steps. "I'm coming!" Sharp Bollian tenor echoes out from the direction of inside the barracks and E'don is quick to finally follow his dragonet, in a state of half-dress, boots untied and a fresh green tunic barely shrugged on. But hey, he looks bathed! Simple steps, with this one. "Sir," the teen curtly salutes when he finally makes it over to where the brown rider is waiting, and he desperately tries to smooth down his hair for kept appearances sake.

T'ral hustles out onto the training grounds, steps slowing as he takes in the assemblage of obstacles. Esanth trundles alongside T'ral, limping slightly on his left foreleg. T'ral rubs at his arm unconsciously as the two square up in front of P'quil. It's no surprise that they'd needed remediation in this particular area of weyrlinghood. With all the injuries poor, clutzy Esanth sustains on a near daily basis, T'ral had had lots of practice dampening the 'link, but not much exercising it. Today, the many cuts and bruises and bumps and itching of healing wounds are flaring intermittently into T'ral's mind. Esanth seems unphazed by the insults to his tough, tanky body, the pain still blips on the radar - a contstant low-grade distress. He drops his hand as Esanth settles. Esanth stops on a dime and teeeeeeters on the brink of a faceplant at P'quil's feet, with a frantic backwinging and dropping of hind quarters narrowly saving him. His wings glitch as they fold and batter T'ral a bit before they collapse properly with a raspy whisper. T'ral snaps a salute at P'quil, "T'ral and Esanth reporting, Sir."

P'quil waits impassively while the little quartet collects and arranges itself. He doesn't so much as twitch, though (traitor brown that he is) Kwirath warbles down to the two pairs in encouraging fashion. Or a welcome. Yes, yes, definitely a welcome, the arch of his neck and the coy tilt of his head attempts to imply, when his rider flicks a glance up that way. "Weyrlings," the man says, finally turning his attention back to the pair. "This evening we'll be practicing how to make best use of your bond with your lifemate. Each of you is responsible for the other. Each of you has strengths the other can draw upon when necessary. T'ral!" Dark eyes snap to the man in question. "The injuries that Esanth is inflicting himself end today. Today you learn how to provide your dragon with the mental support and spatial awareness he needs to steady himself. Esanth, your responsibility is to listen to your rider's guidance and begin relying on his superior perception of the space around you. You will be using this course, Esanth, while T'ral guides you through it. You will keep your eyes lidded throughout his instructions," he instructs, pointing to the larger of the fields arrayed. "E'don!" A handkerchief is fished from his pocket and offered to the young man. "You and Qianvaelth will be taking the smaller field. Tie this over your eyes once you're both at the starting point. Qianvaelth, your rider is your charge. You are responsible for his physical safety in the air and on the ground. You will be guiding him through the obstacle course."

E'don is the first to send a dubious look P'quil's way, one brow raising up his forehead as he tentatively reaches out for the handkerchief. "So I'm walking the course blind?" A quick glance back to his dragon belies something unsaid that passes between the pair. And then, Qian lurches forward first, a fierce determination that seems to fire the little dragon in his belly and he emits a low, defiant honk back towards his trailing rider. "He's known for being a bit independent, you know?" E'don calls back over his shoulder at the brown rider as he moves off towards the obstacle course, shrugging with emphasis as he moves to tie the handkerchief around his head. "Just, don't let me face plant, alright Qian?" The bronze doesn't even flinch. He doesn't even blink, just turns 'round to give his rider the most certain of looks, sturdy as a branching tree.

T'ral nods at E'don and Qianvaelth, glad that he's not totally singled out. Gladness fades as the import of P'quil's words sink in. His face grows slack. He hadn't really considered that Esanth's notorious clumsiness could be his fault. He had been distracted. But the dragonet seemed happy, healthy… unperturbed by his myriad injuries. Esanth… if… I'm sorry. The little dragonet gives a surprisngly deep rumble to Kwirath in greeting as he stands and gives himself a shake. He snorts, « Bah. This guy's a blowhard. I'm fine. You're fine. Let's do this. » The tanky blue moves off to the start of the larger course. T'ral sees a dip in the ground and reaches out a hand and a mental bark, Look ou- …. Esanth faceplants on the way to the starting line. They're off to a great start. The dragonet scrambles to his feet, totally unphased. « Ready. »

"He can be independent, but you need to work as a team." For this, the assistant weyrlingmasters divide their attention. P'quil follows briskly after T'ral, to provide support and advice- and a caution. "You need to be vigilant, lad. Anticipate him, reach out with your mind when you see he isn't paying attention there and draw him about," he instructs gruffly on the heels of that faceplant. No pressure or anything but he does take up a position to T'ral's left, looking down the course and eyeing the blue. "Esanth, you need to focus and rely on your rider. Trust him to give you guidance. And get those eyes lidded now."

With Qianvaelth as guide on the other side, it is Kwirath extends a dried spice voice to the young bronze. Whispery, crumbly, soft as a sigh in a forgotten tomb, it's a voice that demands attention simply by making the listener strain to hear it. « The trick here, young one, is to encourage his trust without demanding it. You can't force trust and he seems the twitchy sort. So just…lean up against him in his head, let him feel you there, supporting him. Making a safe space around him, filled with you. Let those roots go deep, gently, gently. Now… »

As one, the pair says, "«Begin.»"

Qianvaelth meets Kwirath's mental direction with the eagerness of a growing sapling, branches reaching for the brown's guidance. «I trust mine to lead and follow. I just believe in his independence.» The little bronze's mind voice is echoed through the hollowed chambers of a fallen tree, deep certainty leveled in the gravitas of his voice. His next movement is sure and purposeful, moving his homely head over to catch E'don's outstretched hand with a warbling croon. «Come. We walk. Step over step.» E'don's fingers grasp 'round the top of his dragon's ridges and he lurches forward as Qian takes his own step forward, an awkward shuffle to meet the smaller stride of his rider. "Alright Qian. P'quil. What are we trying to walk 'round first?" E'don sounds, eh, shaky. Worried even.

Esanth grumbles a grinding complaint, but his lids snap shut. T'ral nods, chin tucked, eyes looking hard forward, trying to discern the best way through the obstacles. At the command to begin, Esanth starts moving forward at a trot, making an unsteady beeline for the first obstacle, because, duh, he studied the course while the blowhard lectured his own. Esanth's totally got this. What could go wrong? T'ral's breath catches and his eyes grow wide in alarm, Slow down. Esanth doesn't. He has his head extended, tilting his head this way, then that, like he's sniffing or listening for the log. Scanning. Slow down! There's the…! Oh no! Esanth doesn't. He leaps the first log with preternatural awareness. T'ral lets out the pent up breath. « See? Nothing to worry about. » Esanth's systems report: All Systems Nominal. He lifts his head in triumph. Warning! Warning! Proximity alert! T'ral grits his teeth, brow furrowed, Slow down. Esanth doesn't. "Fine. You've got this," he growls and relaxes the presence he'd been asserting. Warning! Warning! Navigation systems offline! Esanth runs headlong into the next log, eyes snapping open and flaring a bright yellow as goes tail over teakettle across the second log. He's a pile of limbs and spars and indignance. T'ral strides out to the log in long steps and helps Esanth right himself. "Let's do this together, hey?" The little blue snorts, a huff of air that stirs the hair on T'ral's brow. Close your eyes and we'll start from here. T'ral trots back to P'quil but doesn't look at the man.

« Even those strong enough to walk on their own appreciate a wing wrapped 'round them at times, » the brown comments from on high. Or whispers, really. If Qian presents a fallen tree, his is the voice of the wind through leaf clutter around it. « It does not make them less, it makes them more. Good. Good. See for him, help him tell his feet when and where to lift. You do this well. If he keeps from stumbling, have him walk the final one on his own, with just your mind, your eyes, your voice to guide him. You can do this. You are doing this! »

"That's it, lads," P'quil says to E'don and Qianvaelth but his attention is divided and then ultimately distracted. The fact that T'ral is avoiding his gaze is telling enough. Practiced eyes flick over the blue as he rearranges himself, looking for signs of fresh hurts- there'll be no continuing if Esanth is truly wounded. But when all seems clear, he says, "Before you begin again…what happened? What happened between you that he was going well and then he fell? Talk it out, lad. Draw it for me with words. Esanth, on your mark, please."

Esanth grumbles and returns to the starting line, head slung low, eyes whirling with red sparks before he snaps them shut. T'ral flicks a look out to the grumbling blue and back to P'quil. He scratches his jaw. "Uh, well, he didn't listen to anything." T'ral drops his hand from his jaw. He blinks up at P'quil, looking closely at the man's face, he hadn't worked directly with him. "He thinks you're a blowhard and we don't need this." He gestures at the course, "He made that one fine because he could see it from the starting line." The younger man looks down, "But when he wouldn't listen to me to slow down I let him have his head and crash into the next log."

P'quil reaches for T'ral's shoulder, meaning to offer up a reassuring squeeze if the young man stands for it. "Sometimes they need to experience a thing before they learn," he says, unruffled by the delivery of Esanth's opinion. His gaze remains level on the little blue. "Neither of you want or deserve to be grounded, for rushing through something that needs care, time and attention, Esanth. The path you're traveling, it'll be a life of no flight, you keep on this way. You disrespect your chosen rider when you choose not to listen to him. Now, begin again. Slowly. Listen. T'ral, exert your will, not just your words. Picture it, wrapping around him, pulling him back."

T'ral nods and takes a deep breath. The look in P'quil's eyes and the squeeze on his shoulder are reassuring and he turns back to the course. He closes his eyes and lands in a crouch on the deck of Esanth's mindspace. His boots ring on the metal grating of the floor. Crates after crate is stacked against the bulkhead. The light is dim and T'ral can't see the tops of the crates. The lettering on the sides is strange, designations of some kind, but the sense he gets from them is dark and foreboding. He's really rather certain that he doesn't want to look inside those crates. Outside the void presses in, cold and merciless. Esanth. It's getting dark. And I'm hungry. Let's get this over with. Deep below engines idling die, « You've got things to do, I get it. I ran this pretty good before, so. » T'ral blinks, spreading his hands, How is that… what? A light flashes on the wall and airlock hatches starts to turn. « For a smart guy, yer pretty dumb. » The hatch on the wall starts to recess, whirling caution lights flash yellow. « I picked you. You. Because I needed a partner. » T'ral shrugs, cold seeping in from the hatch. « And you're off, your brain on permanent shore leave, making googly eyes in the mess. » T'ral puts a hand to his brow, he'd been working his tail off keeping the dragonet fed and bathed and … Wow. I… You are so independent. Easy. Compared to the others. The lights go out and the hatch slides clear, the airlock lights flicker. I've been… The lights in the airlock come on. « Self-absorbed. Inattentive. Derelict. Yeah. You have. Consider this your official reprimand. We've got lots of work to do. And I need help. I need YOU. It can be just business between us, if that's what ya want. There's the door. » …with a sucking, frigid, airless void beyond it. You make a… compelling offer. Partner. T'ral's eyes snap open. "We're ready."

"All right then," P'quil says. Above him, the sentinel brown dips his head lower, a cautious eye kept on the little blue and his rush ahead tendencies. "See if you can get through this without having to start again. On my mark…go." He drops his hand and steps back to leave them to it, to feel out the intricacies of making that bond work in their favor.

Esanth waits for the pressure from T'ral to start forward, he's moving quickly (he's done this bit before after all). All right, you're looking at 6 feet, 5 feet, 4 feet, 3 feet, get ready to … STEP. Esanth doesn't have enough speed to leap the log and clambers atop it, Watch the step down. Hanging in the cold void, the little vibrant presence whirs, a mechanical thrum coming up to speed, rolling on it's long axis to orient itself. Esanth slides off the log, hind quarters first and is disoriented. All right… you're facing the wrong way, hard left… aaannd… stop. T'ral takes a deep breath. Good. Full ahead, he grins that had been the game they were playing when Renalde had visited the yard. Why had he been there. Oh! Slow up! …3 feet, get ready…. … STEP. Esanth clambers over the log. Slowly, ungracefully, but without further injury, they navigate the logs.

The brownrider folds his arms across his chest. Notably, he has no further instruction for the pair, once he's assessed that both are taking this seriously now, buckling down, concentrating. If a small smile plays over thin lips, then it's bound to be missed by the blueriding pair given that very fact. And so it goes, with the logs passed, the weave poles loom and once those are conquered, the ball awaits to be pushed through the goal posts. Once both weyrlings have finished the course, they aren't released just yet either- there are claps on the back to deliver, a quick assessment to be performed looking for tender muscles and only then, they're ushered off to enjoy their dinner. In triumph, hopefully. "Now that's something to be proud of, eh lads?"

Add a New Comment