Unmanned Flight 101

Xanadu Weyr - Clearing
A wide clearing stretches from east to west, the ground packed hard although grass grows across most of it. Trees are strictly forbidden in this space, their danger to the constant draconic traffic reason enough to banish them to the forest that creates a border to the north. Where the ground is less trampled, tiny flowers poke their delicate heads out from their shaded hiding places.

The cliff looms imposingly on three sides, stretching upwards all the way up the side of the rock edifice where, high above on Xanadu's Star Stones, the ever-present watchdragon sits on the lonely peak. Directly south is the hatching arena, the large round complex taking up a large portion of the perimeter, a line of trees visible beyond it. Southeast are wide steps leading up to the caverns and eastwards is the large entrance to the Infirmary. Somewhat north of the infirmary is a human-sized archway that has a frequent quantity of traffic — it leads to the Wandering Wherry Tavern. Tucked neatly under the arch, to one side is a tiny wood-frame shop bearing the name 'Petals and Pots Garden Shop'. Southwest lies cliffs where windows for the administrative offices have been cut. Underneath them are the entrances to the crafters complex while north and west along the cliff's base, a broad path leads to the feeding grounds. Due north is the spacious trail that leads to the rest of the Weyr - the meadow, the forest beyond. At the far edge of the clearing, beside the trail leading to the forest sits a clocktower.

Seasons turn again, with autumn slowly but surely crawling onward to winter. The trees have changed colours and most have been stripped now of their leafs by brisk winds. On this morning though the winds are down, hardly a breeze stirring and the skies are a vivid, clear blue. A crisp day and a good day for some! Especially the Weyrlings, as this day will mark an important milestone. Unmanned flight! No more talk of it, now they finally get to have their first tastes! The clearing will be strictly off limits for the short amount of time to other traffic, save for one section designated to ground travel. No pressure there, right, if some weyrfolk come to gawk? Nah, none at all! Anoryn stands off to one side, propped up against Rysith's foreleg and waiting for the Weyrlings to emerge. She won't be alone for this lesson either and both the aged greenrider and her lifemate look eager to see how each pair fair at today's lesson. "Everything in order?" Anoryn will ask, once her fellow AWLM returns, should he join her where she waits.

Mur'dah nods as he returns, his stride normal without a limp. "Yup, the whole area is cleared of rocks and other things." Anything that might hurt landing paws, or trip up fumbling weyrlings. Stopping beside Anoryn, he glances at Kalsuoth as the brown rests nearby, off to the edge and watching. He's here, he's ready if he's needed, but most likely he'll just get to relax and lounge! Perfect lesson.

Kera is trotting along beside Moncerath, the young green's oiled hide reflecting the morning sun occassionally. As they approach from the meadow, the weyrling urges the pair to slow down and the green's gait becomes more awkward. Noticing the scarcity of people and dragons, Kera gives a salute to the AWLM's but remains by Moncerath's side. "G'morning ma'am, sir." The young green warbles her greeting the select few dragons that are present in the clearing.

Innes is mid-argument as she makes her way into the clearing, her narrowed gaze fixed on the gold dragon at her side. Anyone close enough to overhear will likely be able to catch her end of the conversation, which largely consists of continued insistence that no, there is not an alternative to listening to the weyrlingmasters, thank you. Especially when it comes to this. She's stubbornly staring Kairoikyriath down as she comes to a halt at Kera's side, almost forgetting a greeting and salute for Anoryn and Mur'dah. But after another moment of solid staring, her expression changes swiftly to something more pleasant and she salutes them both. "Nice day." Well, she's halfway there with the greeting, at least.

"Good! Lets hope then that we'll not have to deal with any injuries today," Anoryn replies back to Mur'dah, tilting her head enough to grin at the young brownrider. Rysith rumbles gruffly to Kalsuoth, then turns her head to croon in a welcoming tone as the Weyrlings arrive. Ahh, just on time! "You'll help with the check overs?" she asks Mur'dah quietly as she pushes off her life mate's leg. He's walking normally now, but it's her turn to be limping slightly. Damn joints and the cold! "Morning Kera, Moncerath. And to you as well, Innes and Kairoikyriath. Have you all gone through your stretches this morning? If not, we ask that you start now so we can get underway." she instructs, only to flash a half-grin to the young gold weyrling. "Perfect day for what's to come." she replies, only to then lift her voice for all to overhear as more Weyrlings arrive. "We're on to unmanned flight today! So line up, spread out! We're going to check on your lifemates, just to be sure all is clear and good to go!" Not to mention lay down some rules!

Mur'dah returns the salutes with a little smile, watching both weyrling riders and dragons closely, sizing them up. "No, hopefully not," he agrees aside to Anoryn. "Yes, of course I will." He eyes his fellow AWLM when she limps, but doesn't bring it up. "Dibs on Kera." Cough.

Kera reaches up to rest a hand on her dragonmate's shoulder, peering around at the muttered half argument she hears bits of, and cant stop the chuckle that slips out. Shaking her head, and smirking "Looks like the goldlings are arguing among themselves again." Flashing a wave towards Innes "Mornin Nessi." Then Anoryn begins speaking, she turns her attention that way and nods "Yes, Mon swam a bit after breakfast, that warmed muscles up a bit." Moncerath's wings twitch and flutter excitedly and Kera calms her dragonmate a bit so that the green isn't snapping her wings out imediately. "Now aren't you glad I didn't let you have two for breakfast? I promise, you can have as many as you want after class though." Moving to space out in the line, Moncerath does get to stretch her wings out, loosely for now.

What, Mur'dah doesn't want to spend extra time with his favorite weyrling? Innes might be amused, if she weren't so entirely focused on the gold at her side. "Morning, Kera," she answers absent-mindedly as she runs her hands over Kairoikyriath's hide. A subtle encouragment is given, and then a more obvious elbow to the dragon's side when the gold doesn't immediately fall into line with her stretches. Stretches are boring, can't they just get to the good part? But despite Kairoikyriath's rumble of annoyance, the weyrling dragon does eventually begin to work with her rider on her stretches. "We did a couple earlier," she tells Anoryn, "But not enough to me to feel comfortable just yet." Which is why they're doing them now!

Anoryn chuckles dryly and gives Mur'dah a sidelong look. Fine! She gestures at him to go on, while she makes her slow, shuffling way over to Innes and Kairoikyriath. "Can't hurt to do a few more, just don't overdo it. Swimming is good to work some muscles, Kera, but best to stretch those wings regardless." Which Moncerath proceeds to do, so Anoryn just nods in a satisfied way. Mur'dah will take over for their checkup. Turning back to focus on the young gold, Anoryn will hold up a hand to indicate to Innes to have the young dragon stop. "Have her hold her wings still. She doesn't mind if I touch her?" she asks, stepping forwards to begin her examination but won't lay a hand on Kairoikyriath's hide until permission is given. No need to spook anyone today! "Once you're cleared by either Mur'dah or myself, you're to wait. You may continue with some light stretches. We'll then have them try, one at a time, to take off, glide and land. An extended jump, if you will. This is so they can get a feel for take off and landing. Small steps! We'll progress onwards from there. Maybe not today, but gradually until they build strength and endurance. You do not want to rush this! Cannot stress that enough." Anoryn continues to instruct, pitching her voice to carry to the others.

Soriana's out to… appreciate the nice day? Not so much. She emerges from the caverns where her stores of paperwork are hidden, and makes her way through the ground-traffic zone toward the flight zone. The weyrlings are glanced to, a nod of greeting offered to them and the weyrlingmasters. The young dragons are given more than a glance, their stretching eyed critically, though she doesn't comment on that, just watching quietly.

Mur'dah moves forward to Kera, smiling as he approaches. "Go ahead and have her spread her wings for me, so I can check her over?" he requests - and he'll do just that, assuming the green allows him to. "No strain, no tension, feeling good?"

Kera looks Moncerath over herself as the young green shifts her weight and extends her wings a bit more to be checked. Smiling at her excited dragonmate, the weyrling turns back towards the brownrider when he approaches. Her gaze flickers downwards a few seconds before giving him a quick nod grins "Good to see your moving around properly again Mur'dah." That said while he checks Moncerath over. Canting her head upwards to Moncerath, her head shakes and peers back to the brownrider after a short time "No, she says she feels fine." The green's muzzle dips her own agreeable response to the alwm. Mon's head turns a bit, watching Mur'dah and tries to hold still. Kera glances around towards the other weyrlings in the line, and spots Soriana watching from across the clearing and sends a quick wave towards her friend before turning back to her dragonmate and the lesson.

Kairoikyriath doesn't seem altogether fond of the idea of needing to be told what to do — because she was doing it perfectly, of course — but since Innes isn't about to allow her to take off without Anoryn's clearance, she doesn't have much of a choice. With a huff of air through her muzzle, she allows the AWLM to touch her without any more fuss. At least not the kind that anyone other tan her rider can hear. "Yes, I'm sure," Innes mutters to the gold with a roll of her eyes, "But try it without moving your wings, would you?" She resists the urge to jab her companion with an elbow again, and instead settles for simply staring her down until the young dragon complies. "She's going to want to do more," she informs Anoryn with a slight grimace. "I won't let her, but it's not easy getting her to listen."

Anoryn is quick with her assessment of Kairoikyriath and steps back, looking pleased. "No tenderness or anything, Innes? Nothing feeling strained? She's grown well and I see no reason why she cannot proceed today." So no lying! The old greenrider keeps a sharp eye on the young gold weyrling, likely trying to puzzle out that very thing. A brow lifts and she smirks. "Keep her to the limits of the lesson, Innes. For good reason!" And her voice seems to include Kairoikyriath in it too. "Push too fast now and you can run the risk of being grounded. Permanently and NOT from orders. A crippled wing now will set you back. Maybe for a few sevendays, maybe months. Turns. Forever. Not worth the risk! Think about it." Really think about it! Anoryn turns to Mur'dah then, gesturing for the inspections to continue on to the other pairs. Rysith has pushed to her feet now and is shaking herself out, wings flaring and then folding to her side. "Those of you cleared, watch closely!" Time for the "fun" to start! "Rysith will demonstrate." The aged green lumbers to the one end of the clearing and pausing for a few seconds, she gathers herself and with a half-gallop, half-hop she surges forwards and then springs, wings sweeping to help boost her jump before leaving herself to glide down and land. Rysith folds her wings then and snorts, eyes spinning and an almost amused air about her. See? Simple! Anoryn smirks. "And that's the gist of it. Any questions?" The AWLM waits to hear them, answering what she can and then motioning for the Weyrlings to line up. "Kera you're first. Innes, second…" And so on and so forth! "One try and then move to the back of the line! Even if you don't succeed the first time, praise them and so long as they're feeling alright, you can try again!" And again and again.

Mur'dah smiles. "Thanks, Kera. And I was asking you. What do /you/ feel in her. I've known young dragons to lie to their riders, so you have to double check. Feel her body with your mind. Is she truly ready?" He's smiling though, gently encouraging rather than calling her to task. Then he turns to listen to Anoryn, nodding his head as she speaks.

Kera considers Mur'dah clarification and nods after a moment "I feel she's ready. It's been all I can do to keep her from 'tryin' to fly as is." Looking over her dragonmate once more, Kera grins "And other than being a bit frustrated I wouldn't let her stuff herself, she's in good health…..you're /not/ gonna starve." that last bit muttered to Moncerath. Even though they haven't been cleared yet, she still urges Moncerath to pay attention to the older green as Rysith begins demonstrating. The green pair have been watching older pairs for sevendays now, as they take off and that whole landing again thing. But now…now Moncerath get's to 'swim' in the air. When the green touches down again, Kera chuckles at some comment from her dragonmate, but that ends quickly when Moncerath is called first and peers to Mur'dah, the weyrling herself shifting from foot to foot at her green's excitement. Well, is Moncerath cleared to fly?

Anoryn will keep a careful eye on Innes and Kairoikyriath until she's satisfied that the young gold won't rush headlong into the lesson and not heed her rider's control or instruction. Stepping back, she'll nod briskly to Kera and Mur'dah, her smile amused but her eyes flickering with other emotions. Concern, no doubt, as these lessons are always unpredictable and they'll only escalate in difficulty and risk. For as long as the greenrider has been an AWLM, certain times in the training always weigh heavily on her shoulders. "Whenever you're ready, Kera. Or I should say, Moncerath!"

Mur'dah opens his mouth to clarify, then closes it. "Alright then, as long as she's ready." Smiling, he steps back and gestures for her to go ahead, scanning the field one last time.

Kera grins when Mur'dah clears Moncerath and gives an agreeable little salute to both Anoryn and the brownrider again. Walking a few paces away to give the green plenty of space, she smacks Moncerath's shoulder affectionately a couple of times. "You'll do this easy Mon. Just like Rysith showed you." Kera encourages her dragonmate, adding in a few gestures as she goes on "Take a quick hop then leap, wings out just then and grab…" Nodding enthusiastically Kera goes as fas as to give Moncerath two thumbs up as she backs away to give her dragonmate room. The young green stretches her wings out slowly twitching them to and fro some, as if working through what she's gonna do. Finally Crouching down, she shifts her paws til she's set, an excited warble bugles from the young green's muzzle as she takes a that half hop then leaps up. Kera watches intently from her spot, even going so far as to give a little bouncy jump timed with Moncerath's. The green's wings catch the air, another warbling announcement to let everyone know of her success, then Moncerath is gliding back down too soon for the green's liking.

Rysith croons her encouragement to the young green as she paces along the one length of the clearing, keeping well clear of the "flight" path of the fledgeling dragons. When Moncerath passes her first attempt cleanly, the aged green warbles her approval. Well done! Something that is echoed by Anoryn as well, after she's flashed a grin to Mur'dah. "Not bad, hmm?" she murmurs low to the brownrider. "Something to be said for a good start like this." Lifting her head, she calls to Kera. "Good job, both of you! You can continue to stretch while your fellows take their turn." she praises and once the way is clear again, Anoryn will signal the next pairs to go. One after the other, they attempt and with mixed success.

Mur'dah shakes his head with a smile. "Not bad at all," he agrees with a nod, offering Kera an encouraging smile as well. "Well done!" Then he's quiet as they watch others make their attempts - some far less successful than Moncerath's.

Kera is quick to trot over and hug the young green's neck "That was perfect Mon." another pat given as she glances over to Anoryn and Mur'dah, nodding to the greenrider's instructions "Yes ma'am….Thanks." A eager nod dips her head towards both riders before she's coaxing Moncerath off to the side and begins checking the young green over, poking gently at chest and wing muscles. Moncerath shifts her weight then holds out a taloned paw for Kera to scrutinize. "Now that you showed Kairo how to get her big ole self off the ground, Nessi may not be so grumpy." A green muzzle nudges her shoulder and Kera grins. "You keep stretching and then go again when the others go. Then you can eat." Her dragonmate is still in good health, no pulled muscles, or bad landing injuries. Kera walks along with her dragonmate, both watching and encouraging the other dragons as they try their wings out properly for the first time, til they get to the back of the line.

Anoryn will have Mur'dah tend to some of the weyrling pairs who don't succeed on their first attempts, while she makes her rounds as well. Offering praise and encouragement in equal parts. Rysith will pace or will settle to watch as they take second tries and maybe even thirds, rumbling and offering her own support to the young dragons. But ever lesson has to come to an end and soon enough, Anoryn is signalling for dismissal. "You've all done well and we'll call it a day for now!" Plus they have to reopen the clearing to regular traffic! "Return to the barracks or go and let them hunt in they're hungry. You've a few candlemarks of free time and then it's on to the afternoon lessons!" Yay, studying? How thrilling. It won't be… not in the slightest after this!

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