Oddisa and Oriapeth learn Between

Characters Oddisa, R'sner
Synopsis Oddisa and Oriapeth learn Between
Out-of-Character Date April 2, 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 dissapearing during the dryest 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.

The infamous Between lesson has been looming on the horizon for weeks. Visualization drills have been increased and harder than ever, lessons have taken a tone toward a much more serious nature, and more than one lecture has concluded with warnings about the dangers of reckless behavior and the perils of Between. While R'sner does not believe in scaring his weyrlings unnecessarily, neither has he shied away from blunt descriptions of what could happen to a dragonrider, should they go Between unprepared. Hubris is the precursor to disaster and death, and R'sner is adamant that none of his weyrlings become a casualty. And so, it is only when he is confident that a weyrling has mastered visualization and understands the seriousness of Between, that he'll call them out for the actual lesson. And on the afternoon of another Igen day, it's Oriapeth and Oddisa that Toith reaches out and summons.

In most things, Oddisa seems decently relaxed, not finding a reason to worry and having the confidence in her own ability to get herself in and out of trouble. Upon the beginning of between lessons, her tone changed a bit. For all the zeal and recklessness she displayed previously, the idea of going between with Oriapeth quieted her down a notch. In this lesson, she wished to be the last one to go, having watched from afar as all her clutch siblings went first, and even then, there was no begging to try it. Ori pushed at this idea but quickly relented to Odi's desire to wait. As they're summoned to the field, unlike any other time, they arrive together, striding out with the queen taking time to stick next to Oddisa. "Sir, Toith." A quick salute, a tad stiffer than usual. The dark red gold is unusually quiet in both body and mind, blocked off from the rest of the world, and eyes whirling with the slightest tinge of yellow.

"Oddisa," comes in return, a nod of R'sner's head offered in greeting. "Oriapeth." A moment of study before he continues, the weyrlingmaster's expression serious, but not overly so. He's not grumpy by any means. Simply solemn and stoic, as the subject matter necessitates. "What's on your mind?" Lessons on Between will come, but only once everyone is comfortable with it. Or at least, not distressed.

Oriapeth stretches out front limbs and hovers her head over Oddisa's, the constant tilted look about her giving her a curious expression and offsets the minor concern present in giant eyes. "I'm good sir." When it comes to actual problems, Oddisa is rather stoic and could be considered a bit secretive. Staring up at Ori's jaw for a moment, a hand reaches up to brush it before there's a shrug. "Ready to get this done." Never a fan of deep thought, or indecision anything that causes pause seems to ruffle her a bit. "Once I know we can do it, then I'll stop thinkin' on it." Stuffing hands in pockets and fiddling with the zipper on her riding jacket, there's a huffy shrug. "Lost a cousin like this, turns ago now. But, he was kinda a wherry brain." And she's not, driven, pushy, fierce and forward, occasionally thoughtless but not to be confused with stupid or unfocused. "We can't get more ready, the waitin' seems worse than the doin'."

Secretive might not be the best approach when it comes to weyrlingmasters and Very Serious Lessons. "It's making sure that you /can/ do it, that has me asking," counters R'sner. A second later and he is clarifying with, "I know that you and Oriapeth have the capacity to go Between. For Oriapeth, it is an innate ability — as easy as breathing for her. And you have the ability to visualize clear images and share them with her." They definitely wouldn't be here right now, if that were not the case. "It's alright to be nervous. Most weyrlings are. So long as you pay attention, you'll be fine." He can't speak on the reasons for why her cousin might not have made it, and so he won't even try. But he will add, "It's alright if you want to wait. And it's alright if you want to go slow. We can do the first jump — with a visualization provided by Toith — and see how it goes. If you want to stop and wait, we can do that. If you feel comfortable after that first jump, we can keep going. It's your decision."

With a jerk down of her sharp chin, Oddisa exhales, relieving herself of the burden she'd probably been thinking on far too long. Oriapeth shimmies, settling wings that she's only recently gained full control of on the ground, spars tilting out with a minor stretch before taking a step backward and crouching down. "Slow works, don' need my thoughts gettin' to her. Righ' now she's ready." The solution offered up with a wave of one hand, "I figured once we do it, we've done it." Oriapeth lowers her head to be even with her rider's body, which means her jaw nearly touches the ground and there's a press of long headknobs to blonde hair, «Come on sweetie, this will be child's play.» Mind free of anything but darkness, though there's the constant whirring sound, beeping, and scraping that makes little sense in space.

"One step at a time," agrees R'sner. "In a moment, we'll mount up and meet in the sky above the south bowl. Once in the air, we'll speak through the dragons. It's imperative that you and Oriapeth pay attention and do exactly what we tell you to do, and not to get ahead of us. The first jump will be across the bowl to the star stones, and the image will be presented by Toith and shared with Oriapeth. Then, we will say 'go' and you can go Between. After that, if you feel comfortable, we'll fly back to the south bowl and you will visualize the same destination — the Igen Star Stones. Oriapeth will share the image with Toith, and if we agree that it is a good image, you'll be given the go-ahead to make the jump." A tip of his head and a quiet but serious study of the weyrling pair. "Do you both understand? Do you have any questions?" And, presuming the answer is 'no', there will come the directive to mount up and meet in the sky.

"Works for me." An affirmative nod of the head, tucking the wispy hairs that have escaped braid behind her ears. "Done." Agreeing to the terms and conditions before pressing a hand into her mounts jaw. Her fingers slide along gold hide as she hops upward, foot finding purchase on forelimb but requiring fancy footwork and a fair amount of upper body strength to pull her body up on the shimmery flaxen neck. Hooking herself in, the gold is off the ground with a spring upward and a flash of rosy wings. Oriapeth flies with the same ease fish swim, naturally at home in the sky, she greets Toith once aloft with a warble «Well, imagine seeing you here! Alright, I say let us get this started.» Always on the cusp of laughter, the slight twang of her mind voice entirely opposite of Oddisa's rough speech. She's smooth and elegant, every bit the queen with the confidence behind her words.

Toith and R'sner are quick to follow, the little green speeding through the sky in a straight-shot toward her destination to glide languidly on an updraft. « A'ight. Listen well, kid, » comes the tart response, though there's amusement behind the chide. This is a serious lesson and as such, Toith will be Sufficiently Serious, but even that doesn't stop her from a natural cheer. « Imma give ya th' image o' the Star Stones. Butcha don' getta go till I say so, got it? ». It's a repetition of the rules laid out by R'sner, but repeated all the same. A moment later, and the crisp picture of Igen from above the Star Stones is shared, details sharp and practiced. A heartbeat or two, to make sure she's got it, and then, « Go. »

The natural, cheerful mood of Toith is met with a twinkle of starlight onto the bleak, emptiness that makes up the majority of Oriapeth's mind. A light, far off that indicates a change in tone. As the image is shared, Oriapeth repeats it back, sharing it with Oddisa and back again to the green and R'sner. «Got it.» Oddisa takes a deep breath, double-checking everything before they abruptly poof out of sight. Blackness, the sudden cold and emptiness outside of her connection with her mount. Then they're back, above the Star stones, and once the warmth hits her face, there's a huge grin. «Oh ho ho, we've done it!» Not that she ever doubted it, but there's a loud bugle of triumph towards the watch dragon. «Mine says again.»

The moment that Oriapeth and Oddisa reappear above the Star Stones, Toith bugles in triumph. It might have been a small leap, but it was still their first successful jump Between. « Woohoo! Ya did it! » Clearly. The alternative would have been devastating. But even so, there's pride in the green's voice. « Fly back an' y' can try again, » she offers. « An' this time y' can do th' imagin'. »

«As I knew we would.» A planet now looming in her mindspace, twisting every which way with a dim blue glow. In no time flat Oriapeth is back where they started, Oddisa giving the image over to the gold. After a moment of delay, Odi fine-tooth combing the imagery before it's transferred to Toith for evaluation. The picture is solid, it's done well and will guide them with ease. Once given permission, there's less hesitation, and they will go *between*. Quickly arriving back over the Star Stones, Ori is bursting with satisfaction.

The picture is approve and the go-ahead is given. This time, Toith follows a moment later, appearing in the air beside Oriapeth within seconds of her arrival. There's smug satisfaction in the green; another successful venture down. R'sner is far more reserve of course, but even if he's done this literally hundreds of times, there's relief enough when each weyrling makes it through. « Good job, » comes Toith's praise. « How ya feel? » The question is probably for Oddisa rather than Oriapeth, and echoing back to the conversation on the ground. « Do ya needa break? »

Oriapeth sails through the air, flying with a sassy flair as she's enjoying all of this bouncing around. «WHat a way to travel!» Instantaneous travel is absolutely her new favorite thing, and Oddisa has caught her dragon's happiness and is smiling widely. «More, mine says more, more, more. No need to repeat herself like that but, you get her drift.» If not, Oriapeth is willing to elaborate, as usual. CIrcling the STar stones with an occasional dip and turning sharply while they wait, it's clear she's got all the hallmarks of flying like her mother. The resemblance is most apparent when she's in the sky.

In contrast, Toith's glide remains serene and steady, almost as stoic as her rider. « Res says t' remind ya tha' o'erconfidence can bring disaster. » That is to say, « Easy as it is, y' still gotta pay close attention. » A moment more, and she's speaking again. « Th' nex' few jumps'll come from us. » Meaning that Toith will provide the image. « Ya don' jump till we say so. » A moment to make sure the limitations will be honored, and then the image comes. And so it goes; a few jumps around Igen's territory to places that have no doubt become familiar as Oriapeth and Oddisa joined the sweepriders on their rides. But even so, Toith is steadfast in delivering the image for them; highlighting what is important about each one, after they appear in the sky over their destinations. A few more jumps and, gliding in the sky above Igen Hold, she asks, « Where d' y' wanna go nex'? »

The reminder is taken to heart, though now that they know they can do it there's a slow intrusion of large joyful spinning objects, floating asteroids, comet dust and every manner of star in Ori's mind. «That is marvelous.» Crowing with all the fun they're having, but quieting with the warning as Oddisa grabs the straps and prepares for more. Arriving at Igen Hold, there's a moment of thought as a student and teacher glide around, «Fort Weyr, she's missed it.» Admitting it with a quietness that shows she's hiding the missing part from Oddisa is she can manage it. «The place is home.» An odd idea, considering she's been in Igen longer than Fort now. Yet the mountains, trees, and horrible snow had always felt like home.

There's a long pause between the request and the answer, though R'sner is too far away to be seen clearly. When Toith finally responds in the affirmative, there is nothing in tone or temperament to suggest anything is amiss. « Fort Weyr then, » she declares, a mental nod of her head. A moment later, and the image comes; Fort Weyr above the star stones, crisp and clear. And once Toith's sure they have it, « Go, » and they vanish Between.

The idea of being in Fort again brings a rush of joy to Oddisa, possibly because she misses her mare and wishes to see the yearling colt. Not that it'll happen today, but it's one moment closer. Capturing the image, and easily making the transfer to above the first Weyr. Circling around there's a bright greeting to the Fortian Watch Dragon, crooning and dripping with flirty joy as she reaches out to any and all dragons who Oddisa remembers. Yasminath, Nymionth, Raaneth, and Kralkth along with a smattering of others all recieve a «Helloo sweetie.» Because she's Oriapeth, and enjoys the company of her own kind. Oddisa snickers and has Ori ask «Mine says she knows we must leave, but she wishes to know when we can return?» Because she's got a colt to look at, and Ori has people to greet.

« Res says he'll discuss it when we ge' back t' Igen. » All business from the green, and this time there's a noticeable absence of that amusement in her tone. There's no warm welcome to the watch dragon, though Toith will do her due diligence and announce their presence and make with the formalities. But otherwise, she coasts in the sky above their first home — not that she remembers it — with the same stoic lethargy. « S'cold. » She doesn't feel it. R'sner might, though. « We go home now. Y' give us th' image, » she prompts. « But don' go till we say so. »

Leaving the place is reluctantly done, thinking of all the people she could visit and the thought of sharing her other loves with her new one is exciting and knowing she can do it is a big thing for Oddisa. The loss of humor is noticed, though not commented on and as they imagine the space over Igen's star stones there's a sigh of sadness, eyes taking in the trees and even enjoying the cold. Once the go is given, they'll arrive above Igen. There's no doubt if Odi knew, she'd of chosen Xanadu. But the day seems to be a day for overcoming, or at least facing grief.

The image is approve and the go is given, Toith leaving almost immediately after. Once the pair are over Igen again, a swift, « Time t' land, » is offered before the little green is doing just that, circling down to land promptly in the bowl where they began. R'sner slides down but spends a moment with his hand on Toith's leg before turning to close the distance between him and Oddisa. His expression is as it always is; stoic but relaxed, nothing in his demeanor there to indicate any sort of upset. "You did well," he says, a nod of his head for both gold and girl. "How are you feeling, now that you've done it?"

Oriapeth arrives and greets her clutchmates with a rush of stars and a push of «Hello darlings, guess whose back?» They don't have to guess, it's obviously the gold, and she's dripping with satisfaction as she circles to land. Gently finding the ground, her landings have improved, and Oddisa takes a moment to lean down and whisper words into the golden neck before sliding off. Dismounting always happens fast, the space between Ori's neck and the ground far enough that if she was less swift on her feet, she'd be injured, holding onto the straps using the forelimb to slow her 'fall. It's not fancy, it's practical. R'sner's approach is met with a pleased nod, cocking her head to the side and avoiding smiling. "Felt fine, was the tryin' tha' was hard not the doin'." Hopefully, the Weyr never lets her go to a meeting because she's terrible with words. "Anythin' new now tha' I've done it?" Eager to hear is she's being set loose a bit more.

"Quite a few things, actually," drawls R'sner, eyebrow lofted in response. "First this: while most weyrlings are worried about the first jump Between, it's overconfidence that will get them killed. Just because you've done it doesn't mean you should take it any less serious than you did before. One wrong image and you could find yourself in a rock." And no doubt, a trip to the weyrling tomb will be on the horizon, to make it clear he's being literal. "Second: While you've proven you're capable of going Between, you may only do so with another Weyrlingmaster present. Next week, if you've proven you can be responsible, you'll be allowed to travel with another Igen dragonrider present. And only after that, should everything I hear back give me confidence that you can be trusted, will you be allowed to travel with other weyrlings." Never alone, because that's just one of those things. But Oddisa will find that the rules laid out for her are the same as he's given to all other weyrlings. They're all in this together. "Any questions?"

As the rules are laid out, she finds a seat with on Oriapeth's forelimb, hopping up and given enough lift to be even with R'sner eye wise and not be staring up at him. "Got it." Folding hands in her lap and paying close attention, "Sir, when visualizing new places.. how do I know what the weather is like? Especially places without other dragons, where I was there say. Yesterday, but now it's raining, or snowing." Asking with a wave of one hand, there's more to this question, but she leaves it there.

As the rules are laid out, she finds a seat with on Oriapeth's forelimb, hopping up and given enough lift to be even with R'sner eye wise and not be staring up at him. "Got it." Folding hands in her lap and paying close attention, "Nothin' I can think of, Ori has a few but she always does." With a rueful grin she pats her mount and unzips her jacket, "We'll see who is goin' where, she's eager to do more." Oriapeth already planning the next 40 adventures, as Oddisa starts to contemplate lunch.

"No more today," comes in rueful tones, though at least R'sner has the grace to look a little apologetic for it. Or maybe empathetic to the plight of young weyrlings wishing to explore (or go visit baby runners, as the case may be). "Tomorrow, outside of drills and lessons, you can start traveling." And if there's nothing more, a nod will come with a murmured, "Dismissed." Eventually, once they are free to go places on their own, there will be new and "exciting" chores to go along with elevator duty: escort and transport riding!

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