Near Miss - Oriapeth's First Time Flying

Characters Oddisa, R'sner
Synopsis Oriapeth has her first flight and it does not go as smoothly as anticipated.
Out-of-Character Date March 18, 2020

Igen Weyr - South Bowl
The orange hued sandstone layers comprising the bowl walls curve gently, but ever presently in your view. Fine sand shifts underfoot, a slightly paler version of what is found upon the walls. It gives way along the eastern edge to a section of contrasting green grass where a series of cleverly engineered pipes provide water to the fenced off area of the feeding grounds, and keeps the shimmer of the shallow lake beyond from disappearing during the driest periods of the turn. A distinctly squared entrance farther south is the tunnel leading out to the lands beyond. Traders and tithes arrive here at regular intervals and it is not uncommon for part of the bowl to be set up with a series of tents and wagons as wares are displayed and sold. To the west, the bowl wall has been eroded by the desert winds into strange shapes. At their base are found the weyrling barracks and training fields.

Autumn - Month 10 of Turn 2724

Even with a class of only six, it still takes a few days for all the dragons to get their first-flight on. And now, day or two after he'd begun, R'sner is ready for the last group to go. Or, rather, the last pair. Truly, if pressed for a reason, he would simply say that it is common for the larger dragons to go last, owing to their size and development. That's a whole lotta dragon to get into the air and not crash on the landing. So, caution first. But now (perhaps finally) it is time for Oriapeth to fly. But first? "Wing stretches," instructs R'sner, stern tone matched by an even more stern façade as he squints between gold and girl. "Unless she wants to pull a muscle and stay grounded."

Watching everyone else fly before her drove Oriapeth insane, she cheered on her siblings and congratulated them but she begged and pleaded Toith to go next for the last few days. Unhappy and grouchy, she required Oddisa's constant reassurance that she would get her shot. They were early for once, Ori camping out in the bowl with single-minded ferocity. R'sner barely has to arrive for her to begin stretching, having watched the others she's quick to throw open her ginormous wings and rolls her shoulders. Odi nods, trying to look impartial though every few minutes, a smile breaks through on her face and hands ball up with pent up excitement. "I'm not sure how she's not levitatin' honestly, she bout floated out here." The mind or Oriapeth is all clutter today, planets loom far to close for actual physics, each a different color and each orbiting a different direction. Some move impossibly sideways like giant water wheels, a star looms in the distance, and everything is brightly lit «This will be a site, I hope no one blinks because they might miss my grand performance.» All show, all the time with her voice echoing through any draconic mind nearby.

Begging and pleading and being grumpy and grouchy is probably a great way to get R'sner and Toith to do absolutely nothing. And possibly even delay the much-desired event. But alas, here we are. It is time for Oriapeth to fly. Maybe. "Hm. I'd expect it's because you both know us well enough to know that if she were levitating, she'd be grounded for another week." Because Res really doesn't play around with those rules. But as the young gold is doing her stretches and staying on the ground well enough, and the weyrlingmaster is content to let her continue as he speaks with Oddisa. "I'm sure you know what is expected, but for clarity-sake I will reiterate." A frown, and he slants a look at Oriapeth. He might not be able to see those swirling planets, but perhaps Toith is helping him along. "Since you've already seen the demonstrations, Toith won't bother unless you need a reminder. But. I expect Oriapeth to stick to the established parameters. A jump — she can get a running start if necessary — three to four flaps of her wings, and then a glide back to the ground. All in a straight line. No theatrics. And once her feet touch the ground, I expect them to stay there." At least until he gives the go-head for a second flight. « M sure they're watchin' close, » declares Toith in dry amusement.

Not even R'sner's frowning can bring these two down, Odi nodding along with the procedure and relaying them to Oriapeth whose practice strokes are throwing sand into the air, giant wings requiring a good deal of space to maneuver. "Alright, Oriapeth, I think you've gotten permission to launch." One cheek moves up in a semi-smirk, eye squinting into a sassy wink as some of the gold's good mood has rubbed off on her rider, and the chaotic planet filled mind brings a festive spring to the confident blonde pixie's step. Stepping away, plenty of room is given, Oriapeth backing herself up with a shimmy of the tail. «Oooh, nothing like a first time is there darlings?» The words are full of play as she bounds forward, strutting and then running at full speed, leaping upwards and snapping wings open. Pressing down with every muscle in her body, she moves away from the ground with far more grace then she should; having inherited Raaneth's talent for flying, she rises up with laser accuracy crowing her superiority with a warble of ecstasy. Oddisa allows herself to join, eyes disconnected as she feels the same way she did when she first touched Jewel of the Sahara Egg.

"Slowly," comes for those sand-spinning wing strokes. "Stretches are about slow movements, not flapping fast and hard." The reminder comes as R'sner takes a step back toward Toith's shoulder, using his dragon's shadow as a convenient sunblock. The pair stand silent as Oriapeth takes the stage, both watching with keen eyes as she launches herself into the air. While he's not tense, he's definitely not slacking off either, the young gold watched carefully as she ascends toward the bowl rim. "Straight path," he reminds, just in case. Because while it was many, many, many (did we mention many?) turns ago that he did this himself, he can still appreciate the excitement of the first flight.

Four strokes, they're counting, going to take the fourth downbeat it's suddenly clear that the distance she is capable of traveling in four strokes means she's careening perilously close to the bowl wall. Oddisa's eyes pop open, startled out of the moment by the sudden closeness of the wall to her dragon. Oriapeth recognizes the barrier, executing a turn that shouldn't be possible given her size and relative youth she's avoided the wall by the hair of a wingtip, gliding slowly back down radiating pleasure «Well that was hairy wasn't it! Got to keep the blood pumping.» Unphased by the near-miss, Oddisa is sheet white and tense, looking to R'sner for guidance as denim blue eyes suddenly recognize the inherent danger in what they're doing.

Toith issues a warning sound, the growl in her chest echoed in her mindvoice which radiates toward Oriapeth. Her near-miss has the green snorting irritably, wings rustled against her back. « Land an' stay onna ground, » comes with all the authority the little Weyrlingmaster's green possesses (which, given the dynamics between them, is a rather lot right now. R'sner is not impressed. There's a tight line where his mouth should be, and a hard look in his eyes. "If you can explain what went wrong, and what you're going to do about it, I'll consider letting her fly again," he decides, turning toward the ghost-white candidate beside him.

Oriapeth does not protest, though it's clear she's not sure what the big deal is as her mind bubbles with pleasure and the whirring, screeching mechanical noise that follows echoes a question, «Well if we have to talk like that, this can't be a friendly chat?» It's difficult to feel like she takes anything seriously, though the moment her chestnut feet hit the ground, Oddisa's emotions have a resounding impact. Sauntering forward, she extends her neck, eyes whirling red and orange with alarm as her rider is stark still. Taking a deep breath, Odi turns to R'sner and is momentarily speechless. The bravado she carries has escaped her, she's suddenly 15 turns old and 4'11, 90lbs soaking wet and frightened. After a careful breath, there's a cock to her head, eyebrow up, shoulders, and head raised in confidence. "She took four strokes, sir, I wasn' watchin' an' she's never used them wings before. Four was too many, bu' she didn' know. I-" admitting she's wrong is one of her faults, it's clearly a grand struggle before there's a grumbling murmur, "I needed to watch, an' count. Tell her to only have done three, maybe two." Staring down at the ground, Odi is intensely concentrating on the potential incident, hands shaking with adrenaline.

"Mm," is R'sner's return, the weyrlingmaster's gaze sliding toward the gold as she comes close. And maybe it's the appropriate worry in both of them that has him holding his tongue for a moment, arms crossed in a comfortable manner as he waits and listens. "Four strokes," he repeats. "Let's talk about why she almost hit the wall. Which would imply that she wasn't paying attention to where she was going," he adds, looking at Oriapeth once again. "Care to explain?" Excitement is definitely something, but this is an important lesson to learn. And back to Oddisa, he asks, "What do you imagine would have happened, had she collided with the stone?" It's not a hypothetical question. R'sner definitely expects an answer.

Oddisa waits a moment, eyes studying R'sner before her arms are tossed around Ori's head, hands twining with headknobs and face pressing into warm rose gold hide. Straightening back up, fingers scritching along with the knobs. "She wasn't watching where she was goin', I was distracting an' she was too eager." Finding the answer but also parroting back the Weyrlingmaster's own word. As the second question is processed, both shoulders go up towards her ears, "I.. she'd of prolly hurt herself. I've.. never seen dragons hit anythin' before, she'd. Um, maybe of, been real scared. Coulda, possibly maybe tried to jump-" The words are cut off, unable to imagine that idea for too long. "Bad things." SHe concludes, tucking her body against the large gold head.

"Bad things," agrees R'sner. He waits another moment before continuing, stoic in the face of fear because he has to be. Because this is important. Because today it was a near-miss, and he aims to make sure it never happens again. There are no 'near misses' with Between, and even if that particular lesson is far from them, it is what they are working toward. "Bumps and bruises at the least," he decides, for what might have happened. "Broken wing at the worst. At least physical injuries." She's already filled in the blank in her own head, and while stern, R'sner is not cruel and he can see that she gets it. "This isn't a game, and the lessons are only going to get more dangerous from here. I can't have a weyrling progress if I can't trust them to take things seriously, particularly the safety of themselves or others." He gives that a moment to sink in. "So. Her feet stay on the ground. No more flying. Tomorrow, we'll discuss it again and if you can convince me that both you and Oriapeth are going to take things seriously, I'll let her try again."

Oddisa bows her head lips flat and eyes wide, recovering from the rush of emotions behind the shaky first flight. "We'll work on it, sir." Solemnly promising, popping her head up to make eye contact with her teacher. Oriapeth doesn't seem to see what's wrong, remaining quiet while her rider manages this portion of things. Learning when not to speak has been tough for the young gold, and at least in this crucial moment, she's aware that her tongue won't help. "What can we do? I'm- well. How do I teach her? Should I be speakin' to her differently or? She's headstrong an' I like tha' but not if it's gonna get us killed." Shooting an apologetic look to her lifemate R'sner is stared up at, hands out in a 'what do I do' gesture.

Seeing nothing wrong with her actions is definitely going to keep Oriapeth on the ground longer than she'd like. The weyrlingmaster is studying both gold and girl, expression stoic and arms crossed (though it's more out of convenience than anger) as he stands near the pair. "Unfortunately, that is something you will need to learn for yourself. You're in her head, not me. But I would also advise that practicing asserting your will now is a good thing to do. There will come a day when you will need to make her obey, even if she doesn't want to." And while that lecture (mating flights) is also far in the future, it's no secret that it's coming. "Headstrong is reckless." And he definitely speaks from experience, shooting his own dragon a look that leaves little to the imagination. "And if she can't understand that, then you need to. This is a partnership, but you are the leader, Oddisa. Uncomfortable as it might be, you'll need to learn to make her mind." He considers for a moment longer, thoughtful in his silence. "Start denying her things," he says simply. "Not necessities. But start telling her no. Until you know you can put your foot down and she'll listen even if she doesn't want to, because someday, you might need to do just that to prevent a disaster."

"I can do tha' easily, I didn' wanna hurt her feelings." The little girl who beat up people twice her size is still here, not milk and meek by any stretch of the imagination but attempting to be kinder for the love of the creature next to her. "I wanted her to like me." The admittance has Odi looking at ANYTHING but R'sner, body stiffening. "I know how to do this with other things, sir, I didn' know it was strictly necessary with dragons." Suddenly finding an analogy, she perks right up, "Is it like she's a young filly an' not all her ideas are good, so she needs to listen to me even if'n she don' wanna?" Excited about her revelation even if Oriapeth rumbles a protest, «Oddisa I am not a burden beast, you can use words.» Turning towards the gold head, there's a defiant mental push back for her lifemate "Oriapeth, the adults are speaking. You can talk later." A squeak of happiness escapes her, getting to use a skill set she knows too well while waiting on the Weyrlingmasters approval.

"She already likes you, Oddisa. You're her rider. She loves you." And R'sner can say that with absolute confidence because it knows it to be true. Because all dragons love their riders. As for the analogy? There might be a little eyebrow twitch, but he'll roll with it. "Sure. You could think of it that way. So long as you remember that she's not actually a runner, and probably would not take kindly to being treated as such." Breaking that 'woah' habit was probably hard enough the first time? "The principle is the same. She has ideas. They are not always good ideas. And it's your job as her rider to discern the difference. While I do encourage cooperation, if the need arises, you do need to be able to assert control." A tip of his head for the exchange. "I think it would be best if you take tonight to work things out, and we can try another flight tomorrow morning. If it goes well," read: no accidents, "Then she can join the others with daily flights."

Oriapeth is not totally pleased with this idea, «We can still discuss things, Sweetie, while I enjoy a heavy hand you must be a bit more tickle than pinch to get results.» No more planets, her mind back to the black abyss of space, and the timelessness of floating along in it. Oddisa nods, pleased to have found a mental workaround for her problem and blushing at Ori's thoughts. "We've got this, I mean if they let Evi graduate from weyrlinghood and she helped burn down the barracks. Surely this is a stumble, nothin' more." Assuring herself as much as R'sner, prepared to go inside and work on this relationship. "We'll be ready in the mornin', thank yu sir." Waiting to be dismissed but eyeing the barracks, both stomachs rumbling as neither had eaten before the flying practice.

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