Who

Alyna, Ginger, Idara

What

Three women have an early morning encounter with some wild porcines. And is Haquith shinier than usual?

When

It is sunrise of the first day of the first month of the sixteenth turn of the 12th pass.

Where

River Clearing, Southern Weyr

OOC Date 13 Jan 2019 00:00

 

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River Clearing

Just north of the river delta, the jungle's grip loosens enough to expose the sand-enriched soil and lichen-kissed rocks as the river battles through the rapids before dumping into the gentler delta. Cacophony of sound is made through the roar of the rapids, the spray of white water as it rains upon the nearby shores, and the shrieking of birds and wild firelizards that call from the nearby jungles. Treacherous to cross, most would follow the bank to either the river's delta or the calmer river bank, but a few courageous souls find the lure of the rapids too tempting to not cross as the far bank holds the promise of accomplishment.


Rukbat is just rising above the horizon, streaking the sky in vibrant flames of magenta, orange and gold, creating a spectacular backdrop for the silouetted shape of a curvy green dragon winging lazily over the jungle, her gaze keenly scanning the treeline around this particular clearing. To those who might be so knowledgeable, it is obvious Haquith is on the hunt, keeping high in the air until she spies her prey. This early in the morning, there will surely be activity coming to the river to drink after a long night's slumber, and so she is biding her time. There's a rustling along the edge of the folliage and a small group of wild porcine amble out cautiously, a large boar with a trio of sows and over a dozen piglets all running excitedly towards the water's edge while the adults take their time and stick closer to the jungle for the time being, remaining alert but quietly grazing on some tall grasses as well.

What, exactly, has compelled Idara to stray this far from the Weyr - well, it's unclear. But the teenager is here nonetheless, in clothing not entirely suited to such a journey. She's slowly getting the idea of what works for outdoorsy stuff, and her skirt is of a heavier cotton, with enough give to make walking easier; her short-sleeved blouse is billowy enough to keep her cool, while a straw hat shades her eyes from the sun. Her leather sandals make the faintest noise as she treads a careful path into the river clearing, eyes wide as she spies the porcines by the water. She stays concealed amongst the foliage at the edge of the clearing, apparently as ignorant as the animals of Haquith's presence above.

A dragon without her rider above, and on the ground, a rider without her dragon. Ginger is apparently out for some exercise before it gets any hotter: dressed in skimpy shorts and sleveless top, she's running down the path that leads up the hill, going quite slowly and cautiously on the uneven ground. As she enters the clearing, she notices the larger porcines and comes abruptly to a silent halt, frowning: wild porcines are not the kind of beast that one would wish to anger. Her eyes lose focus for a moment, then she glances upwards - but the dragon flying there is green, and therefore not Shokravanth.

The little clan of porcine seem to be oblivious of the people nearby and even more so of the dragon above. Such a shame. The sows soon follow their offspring towards the water and take turns dipping their heads to drink while the others watch. The boar still remains close to the treeline, grazing every now and then, snorting and digging at the soft ground with long tusks. Eventually he will creep out into view, and it takes no longer than a moment in the rising sunlight, and Haquith dives. Completely quiet, her wings are tucked against her body, diving snout first until she is just a dragonlength from the ground and suddenly thrusting her back claws forward, she lands on the boar before he even realized what was happening, and breaks his neck cleanly. Though the male may not have seen it, his mates and their piglets certainly did, and now try to scramble as far away from the hungry green as they can, fjording the shallowest part of the river and barreling in the general direction of the concealed onlookers in squealing, blind panic.

Stillness is everything right now to Idara, lest she scare the animals. Another movement catches her eye, and she recognises Ginger - she doesn't dare try to get the brownrider's attention, though. Not right now. All of a sudden, a green dragon descends, and now Idara does make a noise: a frightened shriek, as she tries to back away from the scene of the attack and the surviving porcines barrelling her way. Falling onto her butt, she curls up into a ball and trembles as the animals run by.

Shokravanth is not in fact that far behind his rider. That's probably just as well, as the sows and piglets that have bypassed Idara are now heading straight for Ginger, and the sows at least are heavy beasts with big teeth and move surprisingly quickly. She looks around for a possible escape route, but it's clear that they're going to be as fast as her if she heads back up the hill. She stands her ground, arms outspread to make herself look bigger. That's not actually as foolhardy as it seems, because a large brown form swoops low over the trees and bellows as he dives towards the leading sow, interposing his bulk between her and Ginger. Pigs and piglets scatter into the trees: Shokravanth isn't going to get a meal for his pains. He turns tightly and glides down more slowly to land near his rider. Ginger trots towards him, seeking the reassurance of proximity to a large protector, but pauses to call, "Idara? Is that you? Are you all right?"

It's not until Shokravanth's bellow that Haquith looks up from her meal, a meticulous eater, only a small amount of blood stains her muzzle, which she quickly licks off as she blinks in confusion at the scene of brown dragon and rider and the scattering porcines. And bringing up the rear it seems, a petite blonde comes into view, clad in a tanktop cut off at her midriff and shorts that ride low and are cut high, her pale cheeks flushed from her run that became a little more frantic at the end when she heard Idara's shriek and Shokravanth's bellow. Of course she comes on the scene too late to see anything, but she quickly approaches Ginger while sending her green a look. « Don't glare at me like that! I told you I was going ahead to hunt. How was I supposed to know people would be lurking around before sensitble hours? » And with that, the charteuse green turns her ample hindquarters towards the peanut gallery and continues with her meal. "Are you okay? I heard a shriek!" the greenrider asks Ginger, oblivious to Idara who is curled up somewhere nearby.

Idara stays in her little ball of safety, lifting her head slightly when someone addresses her. "Oh." Her pale face is quite pink; her hat has gone missing in all the excitement, and her coiffured blonde locks are coming out of their pins. "G-Ginger? I think so." Her voice is much much quieter than that shriek, and she starts to get slowly to her feet, gently touching legs, arms. Seems to be in one piece. "Alyna-" now there're two riders, and Idara's face seems even more flushed, the girl seeming not to know what to say after that experience. Instead, she stands there looking rather shellshocked, eyes blinking occasionally.

Ginger draws herself up straight as she turns towards Alyna. "There were some other porcines, wingsecond, coming our way." She salutes as she speaks. "Shokravanth scared them into the woods before they reached us. I'm not hurt, and… I don't think Idara is?" She turns a slightly sceptical look on the other girl, relaxing as she satisfies herself that Idara is in fact unharmed. "They didn't touch us," she reiterates. "Though I think Shokravanth's a bit miffed that he can't go after that big sow among the trees." Amusement tinges her voice. " Not that he needs to hunt today." « I do not need to hunt, » the brown agrees, to Haquith. « The chase would be pleasant, and porcine is tasty, but greed will bring the Weyr distress. »

Seeing Idara raise up like that, looking shellshocked, has Alyna slipping into a much practiced role. She moves slowly closer to Idara and looks her up and down to see if she's visibly hurt. "Yup, it's me. Sorry Haquith scared you like that, she didn't think anyone would be up here this early," the greenrider says rather sheepishly as she looks around for somewhere the girl might sit down in case she's in some kind of shock. All that Search and Rescue training with Arroyo has certainly been coming in handy lately. Ginger's clarification about the porcinces has her jaw dropping in sympathy as she looks back on the Holder girl. "Oh Faranth! That's fucking terrifying!" I'm not mad at you, love, you couldn't have known they were down here, but y'know, acting at least a little apologetic would be nice too. The green's only reply is to increase the mental buzz that runs along their link, almost warningly. As the sun rises higher in the sky, the light does seem to catch on Haquith's bright hide, making it appear ever so slightly brighter. But Alyna dismisses it. Haquith almost exclusively rises in the colder months. Shokravanth gets wafted with a thick note of lily-of-the-valley and a husky mental chuckle, « The chase is always pleasant. I had a hunger for a bit more of a challenge than a pen of beasts. I find it makes the meal that much sweeter. »

"I'm an early riser," Idara mumbles, as if she has to apologise for…being there when it all happened? She looks down at herself and starts to try brushing the dirt and bits of leaves off her, though it's a futile task. The language coming out of Alyna's mouth causes her to flick her eyes up, if only for a moment. She's just going to pretend she didn't hear it. "I should thank Shokravanth," she notes to Ginger, giving up on rubbing away the stains on her skirt. She straightens up, and reaches to pat her hair and get an idea of the state it's in. "If he hadn't been here, perhaps it would have all ended differently?" Whether she's mad at Haquith or not is unclear - at the moment, Idara seems more interested in getting herself in order.

« True, true. » Shokravanth won't argue with that: the words come with a swirl of stars that resolve into a spiral galaxy with a bright central core of truth. Ginger walks over to join Idara and Alyna. "Shokravanth says you're very welcome; he's glad to oblige." She gives a chuckle. "I tend to feel kind of safe with him around to look out for me, but I really wouldn't have wanted to tangle with those beasts." She glances over at the green and the remains of her kill. "Wow. The tusks on that boar!"

Watching Idara pull herself together, Alyna pauses and decides the girl looks well enough, although she'll keep a weary eye on her. To Ginger she offers a nod, "Yeah, I second that. Never had to worry after Haquith found me on the Sands." she grins, but frowns then at her green and the way she is behaving and wonders. The beast in question is being fastidiously devoured but even the greenrider shudders when she gets a look at the size of those tusks. "Wow indeed." She gives her green an impressed look before shaking it off and turning back to the others. Haquith curls her neck coquettishly and swishes her tail a little more as she finishes the boar off.

Hands still up as she now tries to pin some of her braids back into place, Idara looks over at Shokravanth, a grateful bow of the head given to him. Her attention moves on to Haquith - well, the green's backside, anyway, seeing as that's what's facing their way. A sigh heaves out of the girl as she gives up on her hair. It's never going to be right unless she has a mirror. There's the slightest tremble in her hands as she lowers them, clasping them together in front of her at their lowest reach. "Perhaps I should bring a dragon with me, next time I come here," the girl observes simply.

Shokravanth is also watching Haquith and her meal - but mostly Haquith. « An excellent kill, » he compliments. « Porcines can be tricky. » Ginger grins at the younger girl, though she also glances sideways at her brown. She's not offering to loan her dragon, but, "What were you doing out here, anyway? If you were looking for exercise, you're welcome to join him and me for a run, sometime. That is, I do the running. He flies," she clarifies.

Once she has left little more than bones, Haquith moves to a deeper part of the river and dunks her muzzle to rinse of the little bit of gore left behind. Alyna is still watching Idara carefully, that shake of her hand noted and her smile brightening in turn. "Actually not to be an alarmist, but having someone with you when you explore the jungles around here is a really good idea. I mean, it looks like paradise, but beneath the surface there are a lot of dangers. It was Porcines today, what if it were felines the next?" she asks with a tilt of her head. She's not trying to sound condescending, but there might be a hint of that as well given the girl's age. "Anyway, we need to head back for early drills. At least you won't need klah to wake you up this morning huh?" the greenrider jokes with a smirk before tossing a salute at Ginger and heading back down the path. The green is very aware of the brown watching her, and so it's with an extra shimmy of her haunches that she coils herself and then leaps back into the skies, gliding back towards the Weyr proper.

"I - was just going for a walk," is Idara's answer to Ginger, though there's enough of a waver as she gives it to hint that there's more to it than she's letting on. "I might take you up on that offer," she goes on quickly to the offer. "I imagine I shall need some trousers made, though." Or shorts, Idara, SHORTS. Jeez. She seems somewhat cowed by Alyna's talk of dangers, giving only a nod of acknowledgement to the Wingsecond's words. Off goes the greenrider, which seems something of a relief to Idara as she relaxes ever so slightly.

"Well, I'd recommend shorts for running, unless you're going somewhere with prickles. Much more pleasant in the heat." Ginger's tone is matter-of-fact, as if she's oblivious to the huge step that wearing shorts would be for Idara. "Look, I can't be out too much longer, either. Drill's not for a while today, but I promised I'd drop in on Mother. Do you want a ride back?"

Idara seems to consider walking back, glancing at the way she came. Is it the way she came? She's all turned around after the little encounter with the porcines. "If it's no hassle to you and Shokravanth, Idara accepts in a way.

Shokravanth is now settled on his haunches in the middle of the clearing, keeping a hopeful eye open (but alas, in vain!) for more porcines. Ginger responds with a broad grin, a sweeping gesture in the dragon's direction, and, "No problem at all. After you!" Ready indeed, and soon both girls are on the brown's back as he wings his way towards the Weyr.

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