Who

Kyara, Erissa

What

Lesson Two in offense/defense tactics doesn't go anywhere near as well as Lesson One did.

When

It is morning of the thirteenth day of the ninth month of the first turn of the 12th pass.

Where

Standing Stones, Igen Weyr

OOC Date

 

KyaraIcon.jpg erissa.jpg

igenstandingstones.jpg

Standing Stones

Standing Stones
It is perhaps a pity that the Standing Stones lie in quiet isolation, half-forgotten in the Weyr's easternmost corner. Or perhaps it is inevitable: the grandiose beauty of these red rocks is ill-suited to Igen's coarse grit, and maybe only their loneliness allows them to survive unmarred. Whatever the reason, it cannot be denied that the Standing Stones, a lonely jumble of ancient boulders, have a glory about them. The tumbled field of pillars and arches has been shaped by eons of wind and water into strange shapes, twisted and rutted. The going is treacherous: only the Weyr's half-feral herd of caprines navigates the terrain with any ease. To the northwest, the lakeshore glimmers; to the east, rough-carved steps lead towards another ancient pile of rocks - though the Star Stones are less haphazardly placed than their Standing cousins.


Characters


Log

Erissa second guesses herself the moment Danorath leaps off their ledge and pulls them upward with a mighty downthrust of cobalt wings. Gravity presses her into her seat with the same pressure that a headache pounds the inside of her skull.

This was NOT going to be an easy lesson with Kyara. Her keen-eyed trainer would no doubt notice too much but it didn’t matter. Erissa was all the more determined to rise to the occasion and not let the issues that had been plaguing her of late show. She was NOT going to miss her time with the greenrider, especially after the woman had agreed to give her private training.

Suck it up and move forward.

A supportive brush of strong wind brushes her mind, tinted by bright sunshine and crystal blue skies. Danorath adds a verbal whuffle to that note of confidence as they approach the Standing Stones, the agreed-upon location for her lessons with Kyara.

Leaning forward just slightly to give the blue’s hide a solid pat with gloved hand, Erissa draws up a wan smile and turns dark blue hues ahead to look for the green or her rider.


Kyara may be in a much better mood than she was a few days ago (thanks to a certain bronzerider), but she’s still quite looking forward to today’s lesson with Erissa. Working on punches will definitely be satisfying. Oh, the commiseration that could happen if the greenrider ever discovers Erissa’s sentiments about K’vvan…

The second Danorath appears overhead, Liareth warbles a greeting…and the moment he’s settled himself, she’ll be making her way over to sit find a spot next to him and commence to flirting like she does. Except a touch more pointedly. Kyara just shakes her head as she watches Liareth do all this, the rueful expression on her face slipping into more of a smile as the bluerider comes along. “If she does anything to annoy him, let me know,” she says, tapping off a salute to Erissa and gesturing up to her lifemate. “I may not always be in the know for the time being. Anyway. Ready to go?”


It would take several lessons to get through the amount of verbal bashing that would occur if the topic of K’vvan came up, so it’s probably a good thing for the sake of their progress that it doesn’t.

Erissa slides off Danorath as soon as he lands and hides a wince as her feet hit solid rock, the vibration of it snapping through aching muscles. Pushing herself aright she straightens spine and shoulders, lifts her chin, and approaches Kyara while pulling off the rest of her riding gear.

When the other woman mentions her green Erissa glances in the dragon’s direction, giving her chin a jerk to sway over long white-blond locks out of her view. A rueful grin slips across her lips.

“I don’t think that’ll be a problem,” she muses, already noting the pleased feel of the blue’s mind. Setting her jacket and gloves in a neat pile on a rock she nods to the question and tries to sound eager. “Ready as ever.”


There’s a certain tone to trying to sound a certain way that Kyara is familiar with (darn her Harper ears), so Erissa’s last brings a slightly curious glance from the greenrider as she has them settle in to their usual warm-up routine of stretches, push-up variations, squats, lunges, and the like. She takes a bit longer with these, focusing on arms and legs and - perhaps fortunately for Erissa - waves off the running she normally has them do. Even so, she keeps a close eye on the bluerider throughout all this, stopping them for water directly afterward and going about inspecting a large, heavy-looking bag she’s brought down for what they’re supposed to focus on today.


Probably the most telling feature of Erissa’s behavior is the way she avoids meeting Kyara eye-to-eye. Instead she appears to concentrate on the way her limbs bend and muscles flex, doggedly copying her moves with precision if not optimal strength. The bluerider makes it through but is breathing heavily when they finally stop for a drink, beads of sweat dampening her skin and making white-blond locks cling to her cheeks and neck.

Swiping a forearm across her brow then dropping it to brace her palm on a hip, Erissa lifts the skin in her other hand and takes a long drink. Tilting her chin up she then pours some of the water over her face, letting the liquid cool her skin as it runs down her neck and darkens the edges of her white tank top. Dark blue hues, shadowed both within and beneath, note what Kyara is doing and pale brows rise slightly.

“What is that for?”


The extra concentration is noted, though Kyara doesn’t say anything about it. Not yet, anyway. The shadows beneath Erissa’s eyes are what seem most out of place, but with how often riders still have to drill and fight Fall while somewhat under the weather, she’s not about to make a big deal out of it.

“Some practical application,” Kyara replies with a smirk and a bit of a glint in her eye. “Pulling strikes in sparring keeps you more disciplined, but every now and then you just need to go full out to make sure you’re learning the techniques effectively.” Dragging on one end, the greenrider stands the bag upright, the density and heft of it showing it to likely be filled with sand.

Setting one elbow on the upper end, she makes a gesture at the waterskin Erissa has. “Finish that up first, though.” Dehydration is her first thought - something that needs to be nipped in the bud, if it’s a factor. “Are you sleeping alright?” she ventures, flicking a finger up toward her own eyes while training her gaze on the bluerider. “You look like you had a rough night.”


Punching a bag as hard as she can? Erissa perks at that idea! The brightening of her demeanor is obvious in stance and expression mostly because of the reservation that had dragged at her until now.

“Sounds fun,” she remarks with a slight lift to the corner of her lips. Up-ending the skin when directed Erissa finishes off the water, letting some of it fall aside to cool her skin again. Bending to set it down she stops short at the greenrider’s question, then finishes her motion as if she hadn’t hesitated. Damn! Dark blue hues rise to dart a glance toward Kyara and catch that intense look, quickly darting away again. Slender shoulders rise and fall in a dismissive shrug.

“Just having a little trouble sleeping is all. No big deal.” Stepping up to the bag she gives it a passing swipe with folded knuckles. “So I get to punch this as hard as I can?”


Kyara’s eyebrows arch when Erissa gives her answer, but she just nods and chuckles a little at the bluerider’s eagerness. Widening her stance and bending low at the knees to keep her back straight, she pulls the bag into her arms and stands back up, hefting it a little to be sure she has a good grip. It’s heavy - perhaps a little heavier than a sack of low-grade firestone - but this just becomes another case of why learning to toss the stuff comes in handy.

“Almost,” Kyara replies, the concentration of holding the bag properly evident in her voice. “Remember what I’ve been saying about putting momentum into it from your hips and snapping the punch? If you do it right, you won’t have to hit full-force to make me shuffle back a few steps.” And with the extra weight in her arms, it should be a little easier to make that happen. “So, right arm first - straight lines, focus on the momentum and the snap, three jabs. Light, medium, then make me move.”

Renewing her grip on the bag, she sets her stance again, gaze settling on Erissa again in order to watch her technique.


Pale brows rise a little as Kyara makes it obvious that she’s going to hold the bag while Erissa punches it. Then again, the greenrider knows what she’s doing so Erissa takes a deep breath and focuses her concentration, stance loosening as she shifts her weight to the front of her feet and bends her knees slightly. Pretty features scrunch into a frown just before she throws her first punch as instructed, not making much of an impact. The next is swift and harder, and the third draws a grunt of effort as she slams her fist into the firm but slightly giving surface of the bag. It isn’t anywhere near enough to move the greenrider, however, weakened muscles and sapped strength sabotaging her from within. Erissa knows it. She can feel it. Frustration lights a fire under her temper.

“Can I keep going?” she asks bruskly, not wanting to do so without Kyara being prepared for it.


Initially, Kyara sees the flaw in Erissa’s technique and puts her issues off to that…but the sense that there’s more to it starts to nag at the greenrider, especially when the brusqueness comes to the other woman’s tone. “Remember the momentum bit,” she instructs patiently. “Ground to hip to shoulder to hand. More rotation through the strike so that you can snap more than slam. Again. Get me to move.” Which is basically a yes…but Kyara is watching even more closely now.


Erissa nods sharply, taking the correction and repeating it in her head. Flip-flip-flip go the mental files that log it away. Setting her back foot more solidly she pushes off of it, trying to move the energy through her frame and out to her fist. It gets derailed a bit somewhere in the middle where a build meant for more feminine curves has thinned of late and left her weaker in the process but anger makes up for much of it and she delivers a trio of punches more in the manner intended but still without the strength to back it up.

So she does it again.

And again. Each time punctuating moves with the sounds of grinding effort.

And again. Chin tucked, ignoring the clinging fall of white-blond locks.

And again. The bloom of a flush begins beneath the light tan of her complexion, deepening the look of concentration across fine features.

And again. Showing no signs of stopping on her own despite the bright red of her knuckles.


Kyara moves a little, just to shift the bag as Erissa’s strikes settle it in her grasp, but not because her punches are being effectual beyond that. She doesn’t stop the bluerider when the punches are repeated, either; she’s too busy trying to figure out what under the sun is going on with the other woman.

Finally, she lets the bag slide to the ground at her feet, and if Erissa isn’t quick enough to stop her strike, the greenrider is prepared to deflect it and let it skim by her as she leans outside it.

“Alright, Erissa, stop,” she tells the bluerider, her brow furrowing in concern. “Something’s going on, and not just lack of sleep. Are you sick? Hurt? What is it?”


Too engrossed in throwing punches Erissa doesn’t pull back when Kyara lowers the bag, though at the last second she flinches to miss.

“Sorry!” she hisses, belatedly jerking aright.

Breath quick and shallow, the bluerider rocks back on her heels. “What? Didn’t I do it right?”


Unfazed by the punch left unpulled, Kyara shakes her head, raising her hand in an ‘it’s nothing’ sort of gesture. Subtly arched brows pull together a little further. “There’s no strength to what you’re doing,” she replies, even more concerned that Erissa doesn’t seem to recognize it. That, or she’s in denial about it, which is even more plausible. “I said move me, and you can’t. You had more going the first day I taught you.”


Full lips set in a straight line as Erissa breathes out through her nose, frustration peaking. Raising both arms she sifts long fingers through her hair and squeezes forearms around her head for a moment before dropping them again.

“I can do it. I just need more practice,” she insists. “Do I at least have the technique right?”


Kyara folds her arms, adopting a posture both easy and unyielding as she watches the other woman. No, this definitely is not the Erissa of previous lessons. “It was better at first, the second time ‘round,” she concedes, “but this isn’t me doubting you can do it, Erissa. You’ve done well enough before. I’ve caught your hits on my hands and felt more power to them.”

But knowing that Erissa will continue being stubborn, there’s one more thing Kyara will do to prove her point. Hauling the bag up again and dropping to her left knee, she props the bag at an angle against her right knee and leans her weight on the high end. “Kick it,” she instructs, her tone clipping a little because of her certainty about what will happen. “Light, medium, hard, front kicks with your right leg. Ball of the foot, with good snap.” She’ll watch the bluerider set up for a moment, then devote her concentration to keeping that bag in place, even if she does doubt how much she’ll need to.


Deep down, Erissa knows she’s screwing this all up but on the surface it only shows as nervous energy and erratic emotions. Kyara’s honest assessment makes the bluerider grind her teeth with frustration, pale lashes more often than not feathering a downcast gaze.

Kick? Yes! Surely she can do that. The mere idea has the blond rider’s gut sizzling and sparking for action. Going through the prep process she again assumes a light, slightly bent stance and repeats the instructions in her head several times. Then….

Wham! Her full foot hits the sack hard with more drive than snap. Hopping on her left leg a bit to regain her over-extended balance she immediately attempts a second, less powerful hit, and then a third that’s packed with flustered agitation. She might move the bag some, but it certainly wasn’t enough to knock it out of Kyara’s grip.


Pressing her lips together in a thin line at that botched first kick, Kyara resigns herself to having to cut the lesson short, though she keeps hold of the bag for Erissa’s next two attempts. The first kick, though not executed well, does budge her a little, but the next two don’t do much…and the more flustered and irritated Erissa gets, the more risk there is that something will go wrong if they keep at it.

“Sorry, Erissa,” the greenrider says, letting the bag drop to the ground again and standing up, brushing off her hands. “No more today. You need to figure out what’s going on before we do another lesson. See the Healers, sleep - whatever you need to do, but you’re going to hurt yourself at this rate.” And if she doesn’t like it…tough!


“No!” Erissa instantly blurts, the light flush beneath her tan darkening with the upswell of emotion. Before they can spill over, however, a deeper sense of honor and rank kicks in making her visually pull herself back under control. However frustrated she might be, Kyara is still her teacher and thus outranks her in this situation. Not to mention she simply likes the woman so doesn’t want to explode on her. A deep breath is drawn and slowly exhaled through slightly parted lips. Pushing a hand through matted locks she drops her arm with a slight jerk, slender shoulders lowering.

“Kyara,” she starts, forcing her voice to come out level and calm. “I’m sorry. I’ve got a lot going on right now. It’s hard to get it off my mind. But I need this. Please don’t give up on me.”


“Oh, that’s pretty evident,” Kyara says of things going on, though her tone is without judgement. "I’m not giving up on you. But not giving up also means making sure the person I’m teaching gets what they need, and that there’s a next time.” Casting a sympathetic glance at the bluerider, she moves away from the bag and to the stone where she’s keeping her waterskin and a few pouches. “I’d let you keep thumping that thing all day if it were just a matter of getting something off your mind, but it’s not. It’s physical. I can see it.”

Rummaging in the smaller of her two pouches, she palms something and straightens again to face Erissa. “You’re on a short fuse, and I really don’t want to end up butting heads with my second rider in a seven just because you’re going to be stubborn. Please, Erissa,” she says, opening her hand and holding it out between them, a small, dark vial with a cork stopper sealing the top revealed in her palm, “go try to sleep for a bit, at least? If you’re feeling better once you’re up, we can try again later on.” She’s doubtful…but there’s nothing to give that away right now.


Try as the bluerider might to keep it all under wraps, the stubbornness that Kyara foresaw creeps out across Erissa’s features as she listens to the greenrider reiterate her decision. Jaw set stiffly she looks out over the bowl as Kyara turns to her pouches and Danorath whuffles from his nearby perch, wave-crested head rising as he looks in his lifemate’s direction. Catching Kyara’s movement out of the corner of her eye the blond rider turns back to see what is being offered, pale brows shooting upward behind sticky white locks.

“This will make me sleep?” Erissa clarifies, a surge of hope smoothing the wrinkles of grumpiness.


Kyara nods, rolling the vial and catching it between thumb and forefinger to hold it up. “Faranth, it had better. It’s fellis extract.” So a bit more concentrated than the usual stuff the Healers use. “I had to haggle like mad to get a Healer to let me have it for my kit.” Her and that kit of hers! And it’s still just basics - redwort, numbweed, fellis, gauze. “Just put it in a glass of juice or wine, and it should knock you out. If it doesn’t…” She shrugs, eying the bluerider significantly. “Then there’s a real problem. And we can’t move on until you’ve got it taken care of, so just give a little, alright?” She gives a small smile, offering the precious vial Erissa’s way. “I enjoy teaching you. So hurry up and get better so you can get back to kicking the bag’s ass, yeah?”


Eagerness practically oozes off of Erissa as she eyes the vial. Sleep! Precious sleep! Nodding to the instructions her arm darts out quickly to take it when offered, slowing only at the last second to take it with extreme caution. Cradling it in her palm she curls her fingers carefully around it, bringing it close to her chest before lifting tired eyes to Kyara.

“That sounds fun,” she jokes to taking aggression out on the bag, crooking a wan smile. “Thanks.”


Kyara’s brows pop up a bit at how quickly Erissa moves to snatch that vial from her fingers, but she relinquishes it easily enough. If it’ll help the bluerider, poking at the Healers for another to replenish her kit should be worthwhile. Mentally, she urges Liareth away from her current flirtations with Danorath while physically gathering her things back together. Her lifemate joins them presently, momentarily regarding Erissa with a rather assessing look before reaching out to grab take the striking bag in her talons. “No problem, Erissa,” Kyara returns with a nod. “Just have Danorath speak to Lia when you’re feeling up to it again. Sleep well.” And once she’s got a few things secured, she scales up Liareth’s neck, and the pair wings off back home to tend to a few other duties.


Danorath is reluctant to lose his companion but when the pretty green has to go he respects the call of her rider and saunters over to his own. Coming up close behind her he rumbles softly, nudging her back with wave-crested muzzle. Still stinging from the botched lesson Erissa doesn’t turn but nods to Kyara with a clear, “I will. Right away.” Danorath whuffles, blowing white-blond locks askew. “Thanks. Same to you,” she says to the departing greenrider. Once Kyara is gone she finally turns to the blue and gives his hide a pat with one hand. “Let’s go home, Dano. I’ve got some sleep to catch up on!”

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