Tasna, Kyara


Mentor and mentee end a betweening exercise at the Red Butte with some serious discussion.


It is the evening of the thirteenth day of the eleventh month of the first Turn of the 12th Pass.


Red Butte

OOC Date


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Red Butte

Far removed from Hold and Hall, out in the utter midst of the plains of Keroon, sits the unique, solitary dome that every weyrling most likely knows better than any other landmark on the face of Pern - the Red Butte. Rings of eroded bedrock and sandstone encircle this small mountain like long-frozen ripples, worn by weather, upheaval, and time. Valleys and scarps surround and fade into the varied strata of the plateau itself. From both the ground and the air, the strikingly-hued Red Butte remains one of the most impressive and recognizable features of the entire Northern Continent.

Betweening practice is starting to feel routine for most of the weyrlings, and Tasna and Tseylath are no exception. They took to it well at first, though both tend to deliberate a little longer than might be normal before each jump. Just making sure? Whatever it is, they're still alive, but it's with some relief that they spiral down to land near the Red Butte rock formation. Tasna removes a water skin from Tseylath's straps and walks forward to his camo-brown head before tipping some of the water into his waiting maw.

Liareth blinks in right beside Tseylath, just where she was when they left the Weyr. The pretty green warbles approvingly at the young brown, landing neatly nearby and letting Kyara down after the greenrider goes for her own waterskin. After a drink of her own, she pulls off her helmet and grins over at Tasna, rubbing briskly at Liareth's nose before walking over to lean against a nearby outcrop. "Good work," she says, looking Tseylath over. "Still taking your time…but I always did the same thing. You'll grow out of it before you graduate." They'll have to.

Tasna saves some of the water for herself, taking a long drink before scratching the very tip of Tseylath's snout. She moves toward the same outcrop and leans against it before tugging her riding jacket open against the dry heat. "That whole skipping thing is easy," she replies, frowning into the distance toward the hold. "He's so detail oriented, though." She recaps the water and bumps her boot heel against the rock behind her a couple times before sneaking a glance over at Kyara. "It doesn't mean he doesn't trust me or something like that, does it? It kind of feels that way sometimes." Which the brown seems to find absurd, by the yellow-orange look in his eyes as he turns his head toward the riders.

Kyara hums in agreement about skipping, her smirk one of recollection more than anything. At Tasna's question, she shakes her head slightly, narrowing her eyes slightly at the brown himself and considering. "I'd say you have your answer," she says somewhat wryly, gesturing at those glowing eyes. "It's probably more him just looking out for you. What does he say when you ask him?"

Tasna's expression probably says it all as she glances sideways toward the dragons. Her boot scuffs again as she changes her stance. "Maybe he's not sure I'm sure," she says instead, not really answering the question. Tseylath continues to stare. "It's just kind of nerve-wracking. Before Tseylath, it was always someone else doing it. And all those jumps between to get here… Maybe I'm afraid I'll get it wrong and end up…back then."

"Tasna," Kyara says, fixing her mentee with a look both firm and sympathetic, "you've got to have a long talk with him if there's uncertainty between you about it. You two are a little…quieter than a lot of the other pairs." She has noticed, having been around the weyrlings in totality enough over the past months. "You can have maybes aplenty between you, but not about ::between::. If there's something Lia can help figure out, tell me." With a sigh, she props a boot against the stone behind her. "I understand, though. I wasn't comfortable with betweening until the last moment because of what I remembered from traveling forward." Her eyes find a spot on the ever-dimming horizon. "It's all a matter of trust. Trust yourself; you won't end up somewhere you don't want to be. Trust him; he knows what he's doing, and won't let you end up in the wrong place and time, either. We certainly won't let you," she says, gesturing between herself and Liareth. "Do you trust that you're learning what you need to well, or is something confusing you?"

Tasna taps the water skin against her knee a couple times, gaze going distant, though it's not quite the rider-dragon distant. Just thinking. And thinking some more. Then thinking and grimacing at the same time. "I guess I don't feel like a rider most of the time," she admits before sneaking a look at Kyara. "I feel like a fake, and it just…" She trails off, shoulders moving uncomfortably. "And now I have this," as she tugs momentarily at the knot on her shoulder. "I mean…Majel makes it pretty easy, but I see all the others staring at us sometimes, and I just want to… I don't know. Something."

That has Kyara turning to face Tasna more fully, her brow furrowing. "You are not a fake," she states, tone brooking no argument. "You are not wingsecond for no reason, Tasna. Trust me - I know what it feels like. People will stare, and you know what? To ::between:: with them." She shrugs, giving her head a shake. "This is what it is to be a female rider on a fighting dragon - the scrutiny, the judgment - and learning to overcome it. It doesn't matter. Tseylath clearly doesn't think so, or else he wouldn't have chosen you. You're doing well, and you're going to do just as well when you're tapped." She reaches out, squeezing the other woman's shoulder reassuringly. "There's no such thing as a fake dragonrider. And if you want to get in the face of someone staring at you, questioning you, then you do so. Question them right back. Are they so insecure in what they're doing that they've got nothing better to do than sit there sneering at you?" Her jaw is set by the end of this; it's something she's dealt with long enough, herself.

Tasna can only watch as Kyara speaks. She begins nodding toward the end, slowly relaxing. "I kind of think, too…well." She winces slightly and looks away, rubbing at some of the ever-present grit that clings to Igen's riders. "This is the longest I've ever stayed in one place since I had the choice, pretty much. I mean… maybe it's different with Tseylath. But it's new. Not actually wanting to move on. Feels like maybe…" She straightens from the outcropping only to thumb her back against it again. "Like I think I should feel that itch. And it's not there. There's just Tseylath now. That's good, right?" she asks, turning to the greenrider again. "Like I belong?"

Kyara relaxes as well while Tasna works things out a bit, smiling once the other woman finishes. "I'd say so," she affirms, folding her arms. "There's no denying being a rider changes you. It forces you to set aside old habits that won't mesh with this life…or erases them for you. But now you have a family, in a way. There are so many women on fighting dragons here that you never have to worry about being alone, there. You always have a place to land, always have someone to watch your back. You belong." Her smile widens encouragingly. "And that's something you can trust in, too."

And Tasna is encouraged! She gives Kyara a crooked smile, then nods once. "I will try," she replies, sounding like she means it. "It's weird, though. Back then, no one thought twice about women on dragons. Then we got here, and it all just got so… uncomfortable. But you're right. Strength in numbers and all that, right?" She taps the water skin against her leg again, then uncaps it for another drink. Deserts make for thirsty work. "Speaking of…you're in Arroyo, right?" Hence the mentor-mentee relationship, of course. "Think they'd be interested in someone like Tsey and me?"

Liareth chooses that moment to give Kyara a light headbutt, snorting lightly in agreement as she listens in on the conversation, and the greenrider shifts to lean back on her lifemate's nose, reaching up to idly rub a headknob. "Yeah," she half-snorts in agreement about the past versus the now, and she nods. "I think they'd be very interested," she affirms. "And I bet Trek would love to talk with you about it. Or N'cal. It's a good wing - heavy on the smaller colors," obviously, "but the few browns and bronzes we have are crucial. I think you'd be a good addition. And I'll say so to them." Lia shifts a bit again, whuffling, and the greenrider laughs. "We'd best head back," she says, regarding her mentee thoughtfully once more. "Anything else on your mind? Or something you want to save for later?"

Tasna laughs softly as she watches the green and her rider interact. She pushes away from the outcropping, already fastening her jacket's buttons again. "That's about the bulk of it," she replies in a low, amused sounding drawl. "Kyara…thanks. I mean, for the mentoring thing of course, but also just…" Tas is not a word smith by any means, so when she grasps for one in particular, she usually ends up with things like, "For being here." Simple enough, at least. Tseylath gathers himself to his feet, awaiting his rider. It doesn't take long. Rather than mangle more words, it's short work for both riders to prepare to take for the skies, and moments later, both dragons blink ::between::, headed home.

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