Making A Splash

Characters Kate, R'sner
Synopsis Kate and R'sner discuss the difficulties of being a new weyrling, while Toith and Xinieth enjoy some fun splashing in the lake.
Out-of-Character Date March 13, 2020

Igen Weyr - Lake Shore
It is sometimes hard to tell where the bowl ends and the lake shore begins. Fine grains of gold, tan and orange hued sand layer much as the bowl walls in the distance beyond. The sand only gives way to thin patches of grass where the tall fence of the feeding grounds intersects the lake to the south and the smooth curve of the bowl wall rises on the opposite shore. At that intersection one can make out a small building and colorful fabrics where the Weyr's residents go to relax. The shallow lake waters shimmer invitingly, day and night, lapping at the fine grain sands. Engineered pipes are hidden beneath the bowl landscape and feed the lake as well as the grasses of the feeding grounds to keep the water levels from dropping past a certain point which is marked by a waist high obelisk.

Autumn - Month 10 of Turn 2724

Another autumn morning in Igen finds R'sner at the lakeside. While Toith might refuse to take a bath, she also absolutely loves playing in the water (usually digging up great talonfuls of muck and whatever else resides at the bottom. But hey, win some, lose some). So while the green plays Lake Monster, R'sner sits on the beach and reviews records, enjoying the morning sun before it becomes too hot to handle.

Xinieth loves absolutely anything and everything to do with the water, bath or otherwise, so Toith may well have a friend for a time. Lake Monster could probably be a good game, she just hasn't learned that one yet. The young green bounds towards the lake with Kate not quite behind until they reach the water, while the blonde remains on the sand dragon splashes happily into the water greeting her teacher with a cheery « Morning Toith! »

Toith is one with the water! … well, maybe not. But she is slithering about at the bottom of the lake, sending great columns of bubbles upward. Nice thing about big dragon lungs is being able to hold her breath for a long time. « 'Lo Xin! » comes with another burst of bubbles, the older green pushing up to twirl her way toward the surface, presumably for another breath of air. Either way, R'sner's not too concerned. He's far enough back that any splashing should (hopefully) not affect him. But he does peek up at the arrival of Xinieth, watching the green enter the water before finding Kate on the shore. "Good morning."

Hopefully he's back far enough to avoid splashing. Little, relatively speaking, greens who are reluctant to go too far from shore regardless of how wonderful the water is can find ways to have a rather long range of splash. For now at least he should be safe though. « Don't you just love the water? » she questions, happy little melodies in the background. Its a rhetorical question really because as far as she's concerned everyone should love it as much as she does. The human side of the greeting finds Kate turning in R'sner's direction, returning it with a slight nod and smile, "Morning sir.

If he does get splashed, it'll hardly be the first time. R'sner will survive. His paperwork might not but, well… hazard of the job. Or at least, he knew what he was getting into bringing it outside. A squint against the rising sun and an almost-smile, and he adds, "How are you doing this morning?" to the greeting given. Toith breaches the surface, far out in the center of the lake; a great green monster rising from the depths to trumpet and snort and act a fool because she's definitely a dragon and not an anything more. Certainly not a sea creature even if she pretends to be. « S'great, » she agrees easily, thrashing about to create waves. « S'even better when y'r bigger an' y' can fly and flop. » Belly flop? « Cannonballs! S'great too. » She definitely loves the water, but perhaps for much different reasons.

"Fine," it might be short, but its an answer that R'sner receives from Kate and true. "You?" the question returned even as her gaze shifts back to her lifemate. Xinieth oozes pleasure at the waves (They were created just for her, right? Doesn't matter, they were even if they weren't.) which are happily pounced upon. « You'll teach me those too. » Toith is teaching everything else so it's only a logical assumption. « When I'm bigger. » she adds, because sadly that is one of the conditions for many things at this point in her short life.

Truth or not, it still prompts skepticism, an eyebrow arched as R'sner regards the weyrling. But while he might regard her with a look that suggests he's not entirely convinced, he won't question that answer. "Well enough," comes in return, the papers shuffled unnecessarily before he sets them aside, a rock added as an impromptu paperweight. And whether the waves were meant for Xinieth or not, Toith will happily declare, « Yup! » if just because she can. Sure they were. The are now. « An' o' course I will, » comes just as easily, the older green serpentine-ing her way across the water with just her head visible. Because now she's a crocodile. « Soon as y' can fly, » she adds. « Cause tha's th' bes' fo' height. Y' can pro'ly getta decen' splash by jumpin' but i' won' be as good. »

Kate doesn't see that look given she's not looking his direction when it's given though his answer does receive a nod of acknowledgement. « I can. » Xinieth declares, proving just how good her splash can be, jumping playfully to land back in the water. No, not the same as what could be with a flying cannonball, but she doesn't know what she's missing yet so no disappointment here. The blonde laughs for it, but turns towards the weyrlingmaster, "Mind if I join you?" If only to not be standing on her own perhaps. He did set aside those papers so maybe it wouldn't be interrupting either. « Someday we'll see the ocean too. »

"You may." And while there might be a touch of amusement — because R'sner by no means owns the beach — he'll at least keep those comments to himself. Toith is in high spirits, and perhaps it is affecting the weyrlingmaster, too. It at least has him far more relaxed than he might be while teaching lessons, even if he's keeping half an eye on Xinieth. Just in case. "She seems to really enjoy the water." Toith offers another trumpet in triumphant return for Xinieth's splashing. « Tha's th' spirit! » Even if it may not be the same, it's still splashing and Toith highly approves of it. « An' if y' swish y'r wings jus' right, y' can get a wave goin' too. » She'll even demonstrate, rearing up from the water so that her wings can be seen, a great sweep of green that sends a decent wave rolling toward the shore. « Th' ocean's 'mazing, » she agrees. « S'too deep in some places. Can' touch th' bottom. » But not for lack of trying on her part. « An' dark. Sometimes. Sometimes light. » So very unspecific.

Moving closer to where R'sner has taken up a spot on the beach Kate settles to a seat at a distance comfortable for conversation to be had. "She does," the blonde replies, lip quirking in a fond smile for the mention of Xinieth, who on the other hand is completely enthralled with her lesson in splashing and waves. « Its like Igen, only instead of sand it's water. » So much water it must be amazing. « As far as you can see. » Or so she's heard. "Wasn't sure I was going to get her back to the barracks the first time we got down here." Here being the lake. She's not even going to mention the time there was an attempt by the green to make one of the barracks wallows into a personal puddle by knocking over a water barrel. That's old news now and he's sure to have known about it at the time.

« Yes! » agrees Toith. « Jus' like that! » Water, everywhere! And while Kate has surely shown Xinieth what it looks like, Toith will happily provide her own, too. Though the image is somewhat fuzzy, as time has ruined Toith's memory, she'll pluck a memory of the ocean as she remembers it from R'sner's head to share. This one is choppy and dark; the northern ocean under a cloudy sky. « So far. So deep. Ships sail on it, an' creature's live beneath. » But those she's only heard in stories; no memories there. R'sner's gaze is turned toward the lake, even if all that can be seen of his green is her head and back; the glimmer of green wings beneath the water as she propels herself forward. "I had the opposite problem," he admits. "Toith would refuse to go into the water. She hated baths," he offers by way of explanation. "Still does. It's a struggle each time she needs one but, well…" and he lifts a hand to gesture toward the lake. "She likes to play, so I made it work." He totally tricked her into washing herself by disguising it as a game.

Xinieth pokes sunshine through those clouds, calming waves to a peaceful roll sharing her own stolen memory with Toith. « Can we live in it? » Hey, she can try! And if tricking into games works, it works and Kate isn't going to judge, not just because he's the weyrlingmaster either. "Really?" she inquires, "You'd never think it with the way she is now." Toith in the water. "She's getting better about me not being right there." The Weyr is sure to know of at least one time she didn't make it back before the young green woke up. Today might be courtesy of distractions. « Like this? » Xinieth is asking even as she rears up to mimic the older green's previous wave making demonstration.

« Y' can try. » Toith is pretty game to try anything. Even living in the ocean. « But w're meant for the sky. » An unintentional poet, she nonetheless chortles for her unintentional rhyme, far too pleased with herself. A powerful pump of her wings sends her slicing through the water toward Xinieth, until Toith's feet touch shore and she can stand in her own right. "She hates baths," repeats R'sner with a hint of a dry grin, shooting a look toward his dragon. "And water was associated with baths. Toith would much rather be filthy — the dirtier the better in her book. It's only by chance that she's as clean as she is now a days." Probably because Igen is sorely lacking in mud, much to Toith's dismay. « Jus' like that, » agrees Toith. « Now flap 'em in th' water! » Toith will even demonstrate, even if R'sner is going to pretend she's not. "It will probably get easier still as she gets old," he agrees. "They usually get more independent. Sometimes more stubborn, too. But you'll learn how to work with her. Become a team."

"I don't think the Weyrlingmaster would approve of us sleeping at the lake," Kate replies to Xinieth, the question clear enough given the answer. « I'm still too little for the sky, » Xinieth pouts, her music shifting to match her mood. She doesn't like it but she's been told enough to know it at least. It doesn't last long however given current circumstances of making waves. "That's what everyone keeps saying," it will get easier and while she believes it doesn't make it easier now. "Sometimes its hard to know which of us is thinking. Does that get easier too?"

« Soon, » promises Toith. Though given she's a dragon and liable to forget what she's promised within a day or two, take it with a grain of salt. « Soon, an' then y'll be flyin' all o'er th' place an' crashin' inna th' lake. » Hopefully on purpose! R'sner is just gonna pretend he didn't hear that part. Instead, there's a tip of his head and a slide of his gaze toward Kate, a quiet consideration in his expression. "We only say it because we have been there, and we know it to be true." It's gently said, at least. "And if it is not getting easier, you should say something," he prompts. "Because there are things we can do to make it easier." As for separating ones thoughts from the other? There's a hint of amusement once more, for himself more than anything. "Yes," he assures. "You'll learn to build boundaries. Like walls in your mind. There are some games we can do to help, if you'd like? It's not difficult," he promises. "It just takes time and practice."

Xinieth will likely ask again in a day or two. Its okay. She'll also hopefully forget about that idea of crashing in the lake. Hopefully. When she does it's totally your fault though R'sner. "Hmm? Yeah," the half question turns to confirmation a second later as Kate's attention refocuses with a nod. "What?" the word said almost offended. Almost. He's laughing at her, isn't he? But then there's the suggestion of games. "Never hurts to try. Right?"

No, actually, he's laughing at himself. For the weyrling he once was, and the handful that Toith still is. But R'sner won't bother to correct her, just taking that almost-offense in stride. "Mm," comes as R'sner considers what to try, gaze turned toward the lake to watch the pair of greens cavorting. "Maybe game gave the wrong impression," he admits. "While we do play games with mind images, those are more in effort to ensure clear communication between a pair. In this case… well I suppose you can think of it like a game of memories. Focus on the things that are you, to separate them from the things that are her, then picture a wall between them. It's not an impenetrable wall. You want sound to pass through, just… dampen it a little." Does that even make sense?! Maybe. R'sner seems to think it does.

Does it make sense? In theory, it makes perfect sense. In practice, that's a little more difficult. Kate nods as he explains, she can follow the logic there at least. "I think that make sense." She pauses a moment before going on. "Did you have that?" A similar situation that is. "You don't have to answer that," she adds a second later. "I just.. I wouldn't trade her for anything, but I never thought I'd be here."

"I don't mind," assures R'sner. "I'm happy to answer most questions about my weyrlinghood, or dragonriding in general. If there's a topic that may be too personal, I'll let you know." It goes for all his pupils. "And no. Not me personally. Toith is… very different from me. With her, it was a struggle to keep her under control. She'd get very physically aggressive; wanting to pounce and play and wrestle." She still does. "She broke my nose once," he adds, touching fingers to face with a hint of a smirk. "But K'zre, my son… he had a similar issue with Yasminath. It took him a while to separate himself from her; to put up that buffer between them. It is not an uncommon experience for weyrlings. And," he adds with a hint of a smile that is perhaps more understanding, "It is something that they often struggle with because… they don't necessarily want that separation." Another glance at the greens and R'sner can't help that his expression softens. How could it not, when speaking of his dragon? "Most don't." Think they will be here. "And as wonderful as they are, it is a very big change."

Kate can't help laughing, just a bit. More a grin and a giggle, quickly stifled with an apology for that once broken nose. Or rather an apology for her laughing at him for it. "Sorry, I met him once," the latter for the mention of his son. "Twice," she corrects, "I don't think he was himself the first time." Since she met him the second time, if she hadn't all bets would be off there and she might never believe the two could be related. "Its not?" assurance requested in the look she turns towards R'sner. "Very," she breaths and on that she can easily agree at least, her gaze drifting back to the dragon pair. She's quiet for a long moment, hesitating when she speaks again. "I… thank you."

No harm done. R'sner would have probably laughed at himself, if it wasn't his own nose that had been broken. But baby Toith was a handful, and he definitely has the scars to show for it. As for his son? Well. There's a bit of a smirk that says he probably knows, but it's about to discuss The Candy Incident. "No," he assures. "It's not." Uncommon. "Most weyrlings experience something like it. Having a new life in your head is… well. There's not really much that can be done to prepare for it, is there?" The question is rhetorical, but perhaps meant to offer reassurance that Kate is perfectly normal for feeling as she does. He twists, gathering up his papers as Toith hauls herself from the lake, mini waterfalls sluicing off her as she goes. No skin off her back if she happens to drip over some poor, unsuspecting people, right? "Try to practice a little bit at a time. Sometimes it is easier while they are asleep and dreaming, if their thoughts aren't so loud and overwhelming. High emotions can make it difficult, but if you keep at it, you should find that it does get easier and more manageable over time. It will become second nature." A nod of his head comes for the thanks, and while it's definitely his job, what he'll say instead is simply, "You're welcome, Kate," before pushing himself up. "I'll see you in a bit for lessons."

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