The Inevitable Mating Flights Lecture

Characters Kate, R'sner
Synopsis The Mating Flights Lecture
Out-of-Character Date April 8, 2020

Igen Weyr - Weyrling Barracks
Nearly equal in size to the Hatching Cavern, the barracks are immense, easily one of the largest of the caverns that sprawl through the cliffside at Igen Weyr. Accessible though a wide entrance meant to admit wind-trailing dragonets, and lighted by small windows cut into the rock, as well as the newly added electric lights, the weyrling barracks provide a place for growing dragonets that haven't reached their full size yet. A path leads though the cavern, on either side standing stone hollows that form the weyrling couches, with a cot and clothespress for the rider beside them. A small alcove in the back houses several large bins are placed along the short ends of the walls nearest the entrance tunnels, containing supplies of oil, food, and water for the young dragons and their riders: a vat of oil and paddles for spreading it onto itchy hides, and various containers kept filled daily with fresh meat. There are also materials available for making riding straps later on in the training sessions. A training chart is posted near the doorway, informing the weyrlings of the lessons they will need to follow.

Winter - Month 13, Turn 2724

The inevitable is upon them: Mating Flights. And like with most lessons, there is no surprise when it comes to the actual discussion. The weyrlings are warned well in advance what the day will hold. While they've been briefed as candidates what life as a dragonrider might entail, now is the time for official lessons and (hopefully) some freedom in the form of moving out of the barracks. This time, R'sner finds himself in the unique position of teaching an entire class of females — dragon and human. And while he's never balked at a lesson, there might be a bit of strain around his eyes given the subject of discussion.

Today, it's a laid-back atmosphere, and Res comes to them rather than calling them out of the barracks. There are snacks (courtesy of N'sir) and blankets and pillows and a cozy atmosphere meant to inspire calm. R'sner himself has taken up residence against one wall, settled in a chair with arms crossed, waiting for the weyrling to settle.

N'sir's snacks are always appreciated, a bit of this and that and the girls are settled for this lesson. A lesson that's likely to have mixed reviews, and lucky R'sner getting to teach it to a full class of girls. Among them, Kate settles in to listen relatively quickly to listen. Its not as if they weren't forewarned after all.

Snacks certainly help, even if R'sner is not partaking in any. Probably for the best, given he's meant to do some talking. "Alright. This lecture is liable to be short, given there's only greens." And one gold. But she's getting her own sort of lecture. One that Res is probably glad he is absent for. "If you have a question, don't hesitate to ask. If you'd rather discuss it in private later, that's fine as well. If you'd rather discuss it with… someone else—" like maybe a woman, "Let me know and I'll arrange it. The point I am trying to make is that this is not the time to be shy; this is the time to ask questions and learn. Ultimately, all of your dragons will rise at some point; aim to be prepared beforehand." He's probably not going to win any congeniality points today. "Let's start with this. Kate, tell me what you know about mating flights."

Oh, of course he's going to pick on her right off the bat. No, R'sner is not going to earn any congeniality points today, but he's the Weyrlingmaster does he really needed them? Kate sends a slight sidways glance towards the other girls. There are five of them. Seriously he couldn't call on someone else? Then again, there are likely others who would be more shy about answering too. And there's only five of them so she'd likely have gotten called on sooner or later during this discussion. "The females go proddy," like so many animals have their season. "They want to mate. The males chase them. Dragons want sex too." There, she said it. They've had the cliff notes version.

"That is the bullet-point version, yes," agrees R'sner, ignoring the tittering of other weyrlings. Giggles are to be expect, particularly when there are a few weyrlings who are Hold or Craf-born and unaccustomed to the Weyr. "The greens will go proddy, which is often accompanied by a change in demeanor as well as a change in the color of their hide — often referred to as 'glowing'. Their color gets richer, or darker, or more vibrant, but they don't actually give off light." Cause no, dragons don't actually glow in the dark, alas. "The rider, as well, can be affected by this change in temperament. It happens to most riders, though not all of them will experience it. And almost everyone experiences it differently. N'sir runs a fever. I feel especially tired. My son — who is a greenrider as well — craves sugar. I bring this up because it can be different for everyone and I don't want any of you to worry if you suddenly develop a habit or taste for something you previously avoided." And poor Kate. She's just gonna keep getting picked on when Res asks, "What do you know about Blooding?"

Kate might not be weyrborn but at least she can say it without the giggling. There is a smirk from the blonde for the giggling of those who do though. Unfortunately for her her turn isn't over. "Blooding?" the repetition of the question in that single word a delay tactic to think of the answer. She doesn't have one this time though other than to say, "I've heard it said, but…" The term she's heard, but details are lacking for that one.

Libby's hand shoots into the air at Kate's confession and, after a moment of consideration, R'sner nods his head at her to speak. "Blooding happens when the green — or gold," she adds quickly, "Is just about to rise. They want to eat first, for energy, and the rider has to keep them from eating the meat and only consuming the blood instead. Hence the term, 'blooding'." R'sner's "Correct," has Libby looking far smugger than she really should be for giving the answer, but he ignores it. "Typically, but not always, immediately before rising a green or gold will sleep heavily, then wake ravenous. Sometimes, they are not asleep, and not all greens will want to eat. But in the case of those that do, it is important for the rider to limit them to consuming only the blood of the kill. The meat will weigh them down and, while a green flight will not result in a clutch, it can be dangerous if they don't get high enough before mating." Crash landings are no fun. "Does anyone have any questions so far?"

A look is shot towards Libby and her smugness but even so Kate is still listening. Green eyes shifting soon enough back to R'sner and his additional explanation on blooding. The question of questions brings a shake of her head. No questions here.

"Alright then." And in the absence of questions, R'sner is going to carry on. "By now, you are very aware of how connected a dragon and a rider are to one another. What you feel, they feel. What they feel, you feel. And you've no doubt noticed how times of intense emotion — fear or anger or excitement — how much clearer you feel each other." He's definitely going somewhere with this, and while Amee looks clueless and a little giggly, Sage just looks bored and somewhat sleepy. At least Libby is paying attention, even if she's looking a little haughty, still. "During a flight, that connection is amplified. While riders of both male and female dragons will feel it, for us-" greenriders "- and for goldriders, it's… all consuming. I have not yet met a green- or goldrider who has not lost themselves to their dragon during the flight. While your green is on the ground, even while blooding, you will likely have a sense of yourself. But do not be surprised if, when she takes flight, you lose yourself with her. It will feel like you are her. And, as the dragons mate, so will the riders." This Is not new. He definitely talked about this in Candidacy, in case it was a deal breaker for anyone. "Now, while there is nothing that can be done about the flight itself, there are things that you, as a rider, can do. It is not always successful, but you can try to make arrangements so that the person you are with is someone other than the rider of the winning dragon. However, I would like to stress that no matter the outcome, a flight is just a flight. It doesn't have to mean anything more than that."

No, they're not strangers to those moments of intense emotion especially with those first months of weyrlinghood so very fresh in their minds. Kate may try to look unaffected by that, but there is an expression in those green eyes. Amplified? They already had a chat about the whole connection thing, she and R'sner. The blonde simply nods slightly to all of it as she listens. Riders have worked through it before and she'll manage too. It, like everything else on this journey they've taken since their dragons hatched, will just take getting used to.

Yup. Amplified. Not much reassurance Res can give on that one, because it's definitely going to happen. Best be prepared for it. A moment of pause is given as he lets what he's said settle, the weyrlingmaster's gaze steadily sweeping through the (albeit, small) group of weyrlings. "That's about it on flights, unless anyone has questions?"

Kate sighs, mostly to herself. Well he can't say they weren't warned either. She'll just get over it or work through (and maybe be a little miserable during that time) just like the rest of them. A shake of the blonde's head at least confirms there are no questions from her. For now anyway.

When Kate's head-shake is echoed by the rest of the group, R'sner pushes up from his place on the wall. "Alright then. Over the next week or so you'll be released from the barracks to move into your own weyrs. Keep in mind that the schedule still stands; you are still expected to be on time to lessons and chores. If you think of any questions later, don't hesitate to speak to myself or N'sir; we're happy to answer just about anything." Just about. "Dismissed."

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