Play Ball!

Characters Kate, Oddisa, R'sner
Synopsis Kate and Oddisa play a game.
Out-of-Character Date March 27, 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.

Winter - Month 12, Turn 2724

Morning Winter's are Oddisa's favorite part of being in Igen, as Rukbat streams light over the red rocks and sand that make up the bulk of the Weyr the orange, yellow, purple, and blue hues are breathtaking if slightly chilly. Odi is an early riser in the group, out of bed and ready for the day she gets a run in and visits the stables to get her fix before the excitement begins. Oriapeth has settled in the bowl, as light has crested the bowl wall, and Oddisa is running at a full sprint to try and avoiding seeming late. She's got a terrible sense of time, ironically and is usually near late or excessively early to everything. Today is no different, blonde braids bouncing as she moves with an excess of speed.

Kate is one of those early risers as well though she has her own routine that she follows (that doesn't involve the stables). While Oddisa might not have the best time, she is on time. Both she and Xinieth arriving from the direction of the lake, which has perhaps unsurprisingly become a favorite location for the pair.

Rounding out the trio of early rises is R'sner, who whether by habit or preference is typically up with the sun. Little surprise that his night-owl weyrmate is no where to be seen (and probably still snoozing the morning away). But the weyrlingmaster looks cheerful enough. Or. Well. He's not scowling so one might assume the lack of grump equates to cheer? Sure. Go with that. He's also got props in the form of a large red ball that stands just shy of waist high on the weyrlingmaster, one hand resting atop to keep the object from rolling away. "Good morning," greets Kate at her arrival, while an arched eyebrow answers Oddisa's excessive speed. But hey. Either she's not late or Res is gonna let her off for the moment. "Thought we'd play a game today, to get everyone comfortable flying," he starts. "Pretty simple. You'll be in teams of two and passing this," the giant rubber ball R'sner gives a little pat-pat to, for emphasis, "between the pair of you. The goal is not to drop it, but we'll keep things over the training field and the lake, just in case." Because no one needs to go to the infirmary for that.

As Kate emerges from the lake area, Oddisa slows down and catches her breath because she's obviously not late. Satisfied with her own sense of time, even if it's dumb luck, she strides over towards Kate and waves. "Mornin', anythin' new at the lake?" Cocking her head to one side and straightening back up as R'sner approaches. The ball is eyed with a giddiness, a hunger for competition that has her swinging her shoulders back and forth long before instructions are given. "Is it jus' the humans doin' the catching or can Ori try?" Not that it'll end well for the ball, but she needs to nail down these rules. Oriapeth is up and moving before the words leave the tiny blonde mouth, standing behind Oddisa and peering down at the round object with whirling blue-eyed interest.

Kate shakes her head for Oddisa's inquiry, "Not really, pretty morning though." Nothing specific worth mentioning, though her attention is drawn towards the Weyrlingmaster with his greeting. "Morning, sir," she replies, giving a salute to go with it though green eyes are drawn curiously towards that ball until further explanation is provided. She may have questions too, but for now she'll let Oddisa's stand on its own.

"Just the riders," clarifies R'sner. "This is about coordinating between teammates, communicating with your dragon, and being comfortable enough to let go of the straps to be able to throw and catch the ball." Plus, the poor ball wouldn't survive being caught by a dragon. "There are really no other rules besides those designed for safety. Don't crash. Don't fall. Keep it over the training area and the lake — preferably the lake — and if Toith or I say 'stop', everything stops. If you have questions, ask them as you're getting ready. Straps on, mount up."

With several nods towards Kate, the grin on her face cannot be mistaken; Oddisa's ecstatic about this new game. The clarification of the rules is all she needs, "Yes, sir." Turning without a second thought and mounting with more speed then she's shown previously. Hopping to the forelimb and then parkouring up to grab ahold of the straps, she's buckling up only moments before Oriapeth is sashaying into an open spot and tossing herself upwards. Take off is still occasionally rough, but they're in the air in no time flat. Oriapeth warbles to Xinieth, mind a clustered mess of planets all moving in different directions and orbiting a fixed point that's radiating excessive warmth. «Mine says we have to work together, communication lines open.» Meaning Ori plans to talk a lot; that was your warning.

"And if we do drop it? Start over?" Kate asks, because it's bound to happen a time or more. The blonde climbing to her place atop Xinieth and strapping herself in, the green not far behind the gold in taking to the sky to being the day's challenge. « Yes, » Xinieth replies, mists creeping across, « Together. » That means it goes both ways Oriapeth.

"Yes," comes in answer to Kate's question. "If you drop it, you'll have to start over." Of course, then there are exuberant dragons launching in to the sky and R'sner just sighs while Toith reaches out with an amused « Res dun 'member saying 'fly' yet… » followed by a much more straight forward, « back onna ground. Both o' ya. Y'r not flying yet. » Snort. And, assuming both Oriapeth and Xinieth come back to Pern as requested, Res will heft the ball up and head for the smaller of the pair. "Let's start by practicing on the ground, hm?" comes as he lifts the ball for Kate. "Put a dragon length between you two and practice throwing the ball a few times to get the feel of it."

Ordered to land, Oddisa is still far too excited as Oriapeth lands, and the ball is handed to Kate. Scooting a dragon length away from Xinieth, Oriapeth crouches down to make it a horizontal throw instead of a diagonal throw that would need more force and might be harder to do. Hands up ready to catch, Odi realizes for a moment how SMOL her and Kate are. "Apologies, sir." Affixing her eyes on the ball, she's beyond excited, and Oriapeth kneads the ground with a soft pitter-pat of talons through the sand.

Xinieth settles reluctantly back to the ground. « But we can fly. » And therefore they should, having waiting so long to get to this point. Disappointed perhaps, but she'll get over it quickly enough. "Sorry, sir," Kate offers the apology to R'sner as he hands the ball up to her and she takes a moment to get a decent hold on it. Xinieth and Oriapeth in position the designated distance apart she gives it a good toss towards Oddisa.

"Lesson learned," answers R'sner, in the tones of 'do better next time', though there's no real bite behind it. "A few tosses on the ground, and then you can take to the skies," he promises, moving back out of range. Thankfully, the ball is not terribly heavy, though it has enough weight to make throwing it easy enough. Settled back on Toith's forelimb, Res is clearly going to play referee. And true to his word, once it's clear the pair are capable of throwing (and catching) from the ground, he calls a halt to the practice. "Now you can fly," he directs. "Remember to communicate! Dragons should know where to go, and everyone should know when to expect the ball to be thrown."

Oddisa quickly gets into the game, tossing it back with more force than it seems her tiny body is capable of and quickly clearing the distance between Oriapeth and XInieth. Oriapeth remains utterly still, allowing the game to be easier than it ever will be in the air. "Lets go Ori, you got this." Patting her dragon beneath her Oriapeth saunters several steps away and throws herself off the ground, from her launch you'd not think she could fly the way she does. Oriapeth opens up her ginormous wings and glides through the air like a fish through the sea, her natural home. Oriapeth rumbles, mind still a MESS of stars and moons, «Xinieth, mine would like to convey that if we fly a loop, I on the outside and you on the inside it'll be easier to stay together. » Oddisa's eyes are glossy, attempting to suss out the details while watching for understanding from Kate. Beyond all the excitement brief sparks of Oriapeth's wisdom sneak in, she's slowly becoming a queen in personality.

Those few tosses back and forth on the ground help them get used to the feel of it, but when the Weyrlingmaster gives the okay there little more of a moment that passes before Xinieth turns to launch herself into the air. A few good flaps bring them to a good height for their game and she glides. « Agreed. » Xinieth gives easily to that suggestion, at least for their first attempts in the air, shifting to take up the position they've agreed upon. Kate meanwhile sending a nod towards Oddisa for her own confirmation.

With the weyrlings in the air, R'sner resumes his role as referee and spectator. Both he and Toith will keep an eye on things as they progress — and of course, call a halt to anything too dangerous — but otherwise keep out of it. Seems the weyrlings are on their own for a bit.

The speed changes and angle required to keep Oddisa even with Kate require all of Oriapeth's concentration, and she has to watch for other dragons, solid objects, maintain height and not outfly her green clutchmate. All of this with wingsails twice the size of Xinieth's and a body twice as long. Clutching the ball in front of her, Oddisa turns and waits for an affirmative nod from her partner before throwing it. The brightness of Rukbat shining directly in the center of her black expanse, the loud whirring and mechanical clicking drowning out the roar of movement as if she's flying through space and not the bowl «Three, Two, One.» Throwing the ball on Ori's One and screaming "Catch" even if there's some chance she won't be heard.

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