Rising With The Dawn

Xanadu Weyr - Feeding Grounds
A large portion of the eastern edge of the meadow has been fenced off, the corralling on three sides is located on the rolling meadow, while the fourth is located a short way up on the eastern hills. Within the large corral are a variety of beasts - ovines, bovines, and wherries - milling around, though the appearance of a dragon may send them one way or the other to try and escape. A small pond is set near one corner of the enclosure, and at times it reflects the low, bordering mountains.
Just at the forest's edge set under the tree line is a guest weyr for use in mating flights, a simple cottage made of weathered planking and grey stones.

A new day dawns. To the east, light paints the sky pink, fading to a soft purple velvet where the morning has not yet reached. The brightening of the sky is laced with orange gleams where passing clouds reflect Rukbat's rays more directly. The day begins, and Xanadu begins to stir. Some have been up for hours already; the bakers making bread for the morning meal. The night patrols that keep the Weyr safe, soon headed to bed.

Soriana. She doesn't know why. She doesn't have anywhere to be for more hours still - and yet sometime during the darkness, in those quiet hours after midnight and before dawn, she woke to a restless feeling. Like too much klah, except she hasn't had any. Like fast music, making her toes tap. Like the feeling of her pulse in her ears after running. Except, none of those things are true. She's restless, and there's no reason for it. Tossing and turning in her bed failed to do any good, and so at last she's gotten up and put on her clothes. If she can't sleep, she can at least do something. Her morning klah's been skipped. She's restless enough already. Her check on Luraoth found the young gold fast asleep, and so Soriana has left her weyr to wander through a Xanadu lit by the soft glow of a sky in transition from night to day, her steps brisk despite their lack of destination.

There's a reason. Luraoth's eyes open with a red gleam, and as she emerges from the shadows of her barn, his hide is bright in the wan morning light with a glow that's grown there overnight, unseen until the touch of morning's first light. The urge that drove her rider from bed has finally awoken the queen, but in her it has a destination. Luraoth hungers. She spreads her wings and bugles to the rose-grey sky, then launches into the air. Luraoth flies - but for the moment, only in a low skim, racing toward the feeding grounds to sate her hunger.

Mur'dah and Kalsuoth were up early as well - super early, making one of those deliveries that the newbies in the wing always get assigned. Not that the pair minds. Eager to be out and about and doing things without V'dim breathing down their necks (except yesterday when Mur'dah left the barracks a mess). So while Mur'dah leans against a fence post, cleaning his nails with his teeth, Kalsuoth is feeding on the wherry he'd just killed. Head lifts sharply at Luraoth's approach, and the darkly hued brown croons a happy hello to his clutchsister…that swiftly turns into a lower sound, his stance shifting. Something is amiss, and while Kalsuoth flows with the change, Mur'dah jumps, startled, and whips his head around so fast it cracks, sending that seeping hot/cold feeling down his spine. "Oh Faranth's bloody egg sack."

Restdays are fantastic things. M'ta has been using his to visit the other Weyrs, but at the moment, the Eastern rider is at Xanadu. Something his bronze considers quite fortuitous. The bronze appears first, resplendent in his copper tones this early in the morning, the sideways lighting only further hilighting the odd patterning of his headknobs of bright orange, red, brown, and yellow. As if autumn took up residence there. His wings follow suit, patterned as leaves fading from springs bright greens to Autumn's warmer tones. He croons a melodic greeting to Luraoth as he draws near, judging her mood with a cautious waiting before he'll approach to blood himself.

M'ta is a bit behind, booted feet running to keep pace and catch up to his bronze. Long red-orange hair flows behind him as he does along with the tails of his long black flight coat. Emerald green eyes slide over the tableau, "Sharding beast, this is revenge for not catching at Fort, isn't it?" Even M'ta's voice is somewhat androgenous. Narrow features and limbs combine to make the only sure indication of gender the bronze knot on his shoulder.

Every now and then something happens that will require him to visit another weyr. Sometimes, most of the time as a matter of fact, he is not visiting another weyr for any important reason at all. This just so happens to be one of those times. He is only at Xanadu visiting his sister, a crafter stationed there. He was only supposed to be there for the night and was meant to be leaving in a few minutes. Tolmath has other plans. The dark bronze is outside when Luraoth glides down to the feeding pens. He has been in quite a few flights over the turns and can recognize the signs of a gold ready to flight. With a loud bellow he launches himself off the ground and into the feeding pens, where he sinks his fangs into a herdbeast's jugular and begins to feast. His eyes are whirling red, any male that dares to approach will be glared at. Meanwhile, K'ior, who was happily curled up asleep a moment before, lets out a startled curse as the first familiar bits of flightlust begin to trickle in. Still wearing his nightclothes he stumbles out of his visitors Weyr and approaches a weyrfolk he does not recognize, asking if they know where the rider of the rising gold's weyr is. Luckily they do and soon enough K'ior is stumbling up to Soriana's weyr.

To the beat of an unheard song, Ka'el jogs, as he is prone to do in the morning before the sun gets too hot. Part of the routine of Galaxy, and the same one done during Weyrlinghood. That part was an easy transition. Everything else? Well. To be seen. But morning runs are quiet times. Times he looks forward to clearing the head and losing both himself and Kanekith within the forest both literal and metaphorical. Since egg touching, these two have raced through trees, and although Kanekith himself is off to breakfast, he runs right along with him. .. Til the bugle. This isn't the first time he's heard the call of Luraoth, nor will it be his last. But something is different this morning. So much so that both Kanekith and Ka'el stop what they're doing. Ka'el, in the woods, Kanekith who now stalks towards the feeding grounds. "Kanekith?" The wayward rider gets an uneasy feeling at the lack of answer from his bronze. The sudden pulling away from the run, his attention on something else, just as predatory. Ka'el moves again, backtracking, heading through the trees towards the feeding grounds. Kanekith never .. doesn't answer him.

Luraoth passes her rider, and Soriana pauses in her restless wanderings to look up at the golden streak in the sky. The glowing… golden…. Her thoughts reach out, and what they find there tells her to run. So. She. Runs. Luraoth races through the sky, and Soriana runs after her. Finally, a use for all that energy! She knows where her dragon's going. It's a very quick flight. It's a longer run. Luraoth swoops on her first kill straight from her approach, with a reckless dive that would make V'dim frown. But then, he's not here. Luraoth kills quickly, and lifts her head to bugle. Her thoughts reach out, a wind that carries with it the scent of blood, and sweep past the dragons gathering here. Kalsuoth. Rielth. Tolmath. Kanekith. The breath of mental wind swirls out faster and then contracts sharply, returning to Luraoth herself as she lowers her jaws to the herdbeast's belly - "No!" Soriana's gotten here. Finally. Panting. She doesn't have her breath. She hasn't run like that since… ever. If V'dim was here, he'd think she was holding back on her laps as a weyrling. Then again, if he was here, he'd see Luraoth's glowing hide. The gold stops, her head inches from the flesh. No? She hungers. Soriana lurches forward to the fence, focusing on her dragon. Panting. Words out loud? None. But she knows the flights lesson, strange as it was. She's studied the dragonhealing books. Blood only. …Luraoth isn't so happy with that. She claws at the beast's flank, and ducks her head again, aimed for a foreleg.

Mur'dah jumps a bit, his face going a bit pale as he looks around. Where's…ah. "Sori," he says, though it's barely a whisper as he watches, wide-eyed, the struggle between gold and rider. Licking dry lips he looks around again, pushes for Kalsuoth to call Kanekith…and to have his brown give him what is essentially 'hell, no!'. But then Kanekith is there and Mur'dah exhales a sigh of relief. Okay, good. Yeah. Good. It'll be fine now, right? Yeah. Browns don't win gold flights. Nope. He's fine. It'll just…suck.

Rielth's mind touches back to Luraoth's, all crisp autumn breeze, pie spices, mulled wine, and rum along with the gentle cadence of a guitar. Now that the rider is present, Rielth moves forward and plucks up an ovine, latching his teeth onto the throat and sucking the beast dry while his rider puffs out several breaths and uses one hand as a fan to his sweaty face as he slows and draws nearer to Soriana, "Eastern's duties, Weyrwoman." He pants again, then nods to the other males as they approach, "M'ta, bronze Rielth's." He glances over to see the bronze raise his bloodstained muzzle and lick his chomps. Mmmm. Tasty. But his eyes never leave his prize.

There's no one there. He walked to the weyr, having asked a complete stranger where is was, and found absolutely no one. The bronzerider lets out a groan and resists the urge to slap his face with his hand in an over dramatic fashion. Part of him wants to collapse right there, but he also doesn't want to fail to greet the rider who's dragon his would be chasing. After a moment he thinks to reach out to Tolmath and ask where she is. It takes a while but soon enough he reveals that the rider is at the feeding pens. And so the annoyed bronzer takes off again. After the brief interruption by his rider Tolmath drops the herdbeast and grabs another one, his eyes flicking away from the other males and over to the queen. At the sight of her going for a foreleg he tries to touch his mind against hers. The feel of his mind is strong, like a storm far out in sea. His voice rumbles low as he suggests, blood makes the gold fly faster farther.

Ka'el is moving faster, but it takes him a little while to get to where Kanekith is. He all but bursts through the treeline, because having a silent bronze is likely the most unsettling thing Kanekith has ever done to him, and it's difficult to swallow down the vague panic. His run here is the likely reason for his quickened breath. Likely, his racing heart is due to exertion. And .. what? There are a lot of strange dragons about. Unknown bronzes. A familiar brown. A very shiny gold… His eyes dart, seeking Kanekith first. The flashy bronze is here, eyes a swirl a color Ka'el's never seen them before, eyeing the other males as he moves at a slow stalk. Older males. Strangers. Momentary rivals. Ka'el glances to their riders, looking bewildered for a long moment, before setting his attention on the ravenous Luraoth. "..Flippin' shards.. but…" Isn't it supposed to be greens? Greens! Little greens for blues and browns. Not her. Not now already. He sees Mur'dah and gives him a vaguely panicked look.

Soriana has no attention for anything that isn't her dragon. Mur'dah? Utterly ignored. Ka'el? Not even noticed. M'ta? Was ignored, until he gets too close. She glances to him - no, glares to him. "Get outta-" the way. Except she doesn't have the breath to finish those words, and so she just lunges past him instead. She'll shove at him if he gets too close, aimed for the fence to cling at it as if she'll fall down without it. Maybe she will, but she hasn't yet.

Luraoth's thoughts are sharp. Crackling. The sound of a fire. The sound of snapping bone. The coppery tang of blood. When Soriana is, for a moment, distracted, her teeth clamp down on the leg and wrench, tearing it with a loud pop. « I will soar! » pops the thought, quick and definite. No matter what. Her wings flex against her back, lifting - then settling. Her rider's control reasserts itself, and Luraoth casts the limb away, uneaten. No eating. Another swipe of her claws against the beast's flank… and only now does she begin to drink. The blood is slow, partially coagulated during her delays. She won't get much from this beast.

Mur'dah isn't going to help Ka'el, sorry, as the brownrider looks absolutely panicked. He edges towards his friend. "Hey. Uh. Sorry." Are we still going to be friends if I have flight sex with your girlfriend? You /said/ it didn't count. Right? Eyes widening a bit, he looks around as the others begin to gather, fidgeting and then reaching down to subtly (he hopes) adjust himself. Stupid tight riding leathers. In the pen, Kalsuoth casts aside his half eaten beast, finding a fresh one to strike down for the hot blood that pulses within. His thoughts are dark and deep, but only shadowed and dark in color, not in emotion. No emo. Life teems within his mind, bursting with it with raucous calls. « We will, » he answers her.

Rielth's mind stays calm, though there's the soft clacking of branches beneath the guitar as he swoops on a herdbeast, sucking it dry, as well, « I will chase! » He's convinced he'll catch, too, but it's just the way he is. His eyes pick up speed as he sucks on his second victim. M'ta lets her push past him and then turns to move after her, his voice dropping softer as he draws near enough to murmur, "Her first?"

Run, run, run. Legs burning, heart pumping, lust trickling in. While Tolmath has always been a flight animal K'ior never got into it, not really. They were never things he felt excitement or joy about. More like things he grudgingly had to do. And running? Running was one of the /last/ things he wanted to do in a flight. But he didn't seem to have much of a choice at the moment. Eventually the ruffled rider did reach the pens though, only seconds after the gold starts to blood. Ever the fast eater Tolmath has finished his second kill. That is when he stops, two herdbeasts is enough. Much more could slow him down, he can feel it. There is a notable tone of competitiveness to his voice as he calls, «I will chase. I will /win/.» Confident, much?

Kanekith pays no attention to his rider for the first time in his young life. His stalking presence is on everything else. Luraoth. The bronzes. The single brown, small in comparison, and the beast which he now captures in a violent flurry of teeth and claws to feed upon. Hot blood down the gullet while eyes continue to scope. He is silent to Luroath too at her claim of soaring. Unnaturally quiet. Eerily quiet for such an outspoken bronze. He has no taunting words. No boastful promises, only still thoughts that simmer beneath a surface of smoldering ash, building up heat within glowing embers that seem to warm Ka'el's blood to boiling. An expletive is said beneath the breath and teeth grind. Another kill, quickly made, and Ka'el doesn't try keeping himself still. His eyes flit to Soriana. Once. Twice. He moves towards the fence, then back away from it, watching his dragon. Watching Luraoth. Watching their newest weyrwoman.

If M'ta is to have an answer, someone else will have to give it - that is, if Soriana's panting focus isn't answer enough. Her breath is almost caught from the run, but now she's breathless once again as she struggles with Luraoth, trying to exert control against a force that wants to sweep her away with it. A hurricane. A firestorm. But she's still the rider of this swirl of water and fire. Luraoth drinks. There's not really enough blood here. Enough to take the edge from the gold's hunger, but hardly to fuel her for a long flight. She should strike again, kill another beast as the males are doing. She should drink while the blood is still fresh, leave another carcass drained beside her first with its bones uncrunched and flesh untorn. She… she should… Yes. Kalsuoth has the truth of it. Wisdom in the depths of his forest. Verdant life. Yes. Rielth will chase. Yes. So will Tolmath. YES. Luraoth is done with waiting. She's done with holding back. If she can't rend flesh and bone, she'll rend the skies themselves. « I fly! » Her wings snap open again, and this time they stay extended. Luraoth is a small gold, and her rise from the ground is quick, her wings beating quickly to gain height.

Mur'dah fidgets, shifting beside Ka'el, until he steps a bit away. He doesn't want to be near to anyone right now. The emotions he's feeling…well he's a teenage boy, he's felt them before, but not to this limit. When Luraoth rises, so does Kalsuoth, springing up after her without any sign of strain from his odd leg. Up he soars, the creatures in his mind roaring their approval while he saves his breath for the chase. On the ground, Mur'dah staggers, catching the fence post and swearing, head down, forehead beaded in sweat. A slow, steady stream of swear words issues from parted lips as the brownrider shuts his eyes tight and is swept away by his dragon. Up there, too, linked tightly with Kalsuoth's mind, both dragon and rider peer out at the flying gold, approval and pride and desire to fly with her surging in their mingled thoughts.

Rielth bugles his challenge to the rising queen, a half-wingbeat behind as he tosses the carcass away, but he's light for a bronze and he's able to make up some speed with his strong wings. He never lets himself lose sight of her, his tongue lolling out to one side like an overjoyed canine as he speeds through the morning air, « A price to catch, a pace to match, let's go flying! » It's sung in that boozy autumn mindvoice of his in perfect time with the guitar, no longer understated as it picks up pace. M'ta glances at Soriana, then he's pulled above with his dragon, his eyes glazing over as his focus goes elsewhere.

K'ior does not even attempt to talk to the goldrider, assuming she is too far gone to hold a conversation. As a matter of fact he might be as well. So instead of saying anything to anyone he leans against the railing, silently watching the goldrider. But while his rider is all frazzled Tolmath is far from it. Since he first dropped his second beast he had been preparing to lunge, for the chase to begin. And so it did. When Luraoth calls out and launches herself into the sky Tolmath takes a step back before springing up, great dark bronze wings pushing him higher and higher. He is now silent, not wanting to spend precious energy talking.

Kanekith has no time for words, but there are no words that he could utter that could do justice what he feels now. The trumpted call, his masculine, gutteral roar, speaks far deeper than anything he could've thought to have uttered. Large wings spread against the growing light of day, and and abandons the kill to what scavenger may want it. He's pulled by the gold, forced to fly and chase after her. Wanting to fly and chase after her. A predator pursing his prey, but he's not the only predator out here. Rielth. Tolmath. Kalsuoth. All vying for what he wants. What is his! He'll show them and he'll show her, this is no better out there than him. None swifter. None stronger! Ka'el is tense while Kanekith is not. He's large, and thus takes off slower than his smaller clutchmate and possibly than speedier, more seasoned bronzes. But he isn't slow for long. Another cry to the sky and his wings pump and pump, pushing himself through the air on the trail of the glittering gold.

Up, up, up into the sky! The bone-cracking pops of Luraoth's thoughts turn to laughter as she rises, the joy of the wind against her wings. The males chase her. Of course they do, for they fly together. They will dance together, but this time, she will lead the dance. The first figure is the rise, like Rukbat on the horizon. Golden rays reach out to golden hide, illuminating her like a falling star in reverse, chased to the heavens by bronzes - and brown. As she does, Soriana lets out a heavy breath. Her gaze drops to that carcass for a moment, and then she turns. The junior's eyes are on her dragon no more. Luraoth isn't fighting now. She's flying, wings cupping the sky, body twisting as she adjusts to the currents of the air and slides through them, leaving eddies behind her for the chasing bronzes to weave through. These aren't flight formations. This is a challenge! Show her your moves. On the ground, Soriana finally looks over the riders. Mur'dah, stumbling and quivering. M'ta, glazed and senseless. K'ior, practically quivering. Ka'el, tense. Soriana laughs. The sound is still a little breathy. She leaves the fence, her steps steady now, gracious as she steps to the rough center of the group. "Good morning." She sounds amused. Everything is easy, for now. Luraoth soars… until her wings begin to tire.

Mur'dah does not - can not - tear himself away from Kalsuoth enough to grant Soriana a reply. Perhaps it's for the best, as he continues to lean against the fence, eyes shut tightly. Above, Kalsuoth shows that his skills are in the air, not on the ground. Small, quick, and energized, the brown pushes forward recklessly, knowing nothing of the length of a gold flight nor the skill of tempering one's enthusiasm. He flies after her as they've flown so many times before, only now he doesn't (yet) have Kanekith's rump in his face. Shifting, he dips below another bronze to rise in front of him, agile, nimble, dancing on the air currents and giving it his all. Early. Far, far too early.

M'ta's emerald eyes give a slow blink, turning to look at Soriana, but no words come. He merely advances towards her, stopping at a safe distance to watch while above his dragon soars. Rukbat's rays catch Rielth's wings, making their colorful palate practically glow as he beats powerful strokes after her into the dance. He's uncommonly dextrous for a bronze, though he pays for it some in strength, allowing him to cut a delicate dance opposing the gold's, like a mirror of her beauty. One eddy throws him momentarily off-cue, but he twists through a barrel roll, regaining his position and working hard to regain on her. His prize. He will win this time.

Oh dear Faranth, she's talking. She's talking to the chasers, which includes him. So much for too far gone. Sucking in a deep breath K'ior attempts to steady himself, but despite his best attempts he is still quivering a bit. Yet he does manage to react. The bronzer gives a quick nod before saying in a half-choked voice, "and a good morning to you, Weyrwoman." Meanwhile, Tolmath is calculating. Yes, it is still early, but never too early to plan. He takes in the other dragons in the back of his mind before finally declaring Kanekith his main competition. But he does think he has a little something the other bronze does not. While Kanekith is large Tolmath has always been on the smaller side for a bronze, gifting him with speed. That is what he will rely on now, speed. Unwilling to let himself be outpaced by the youngster he turns his speed up a gear. As he does this he begins to go up, attempting to get himself into a position where he is above the gold. The gold, his gold. His Luraoth.

Why hello, Soriana. Aren't you lookin' gorgeous. Ka'el pants for her, feeling much like a canine on a leash that he could either stay put with or break through. For now, he strains against it, watching her as if ready to devour. Sure, he usually lusts for her in some way or another, but this is a totally different thing than his usual emotion. This sudden pining is overwhelming. Incredibly, utterly overwhelming. It floods his brain that's already flooded by Kanekith, and he finds himself clenching fists as he watches her. Shifting on his feet. Does he dare get close. "Shut up!" The hissed words are barked not to her, but to K'ior as he speaks, his aggression a mirror of what's happening above. Kanekith is good at keeping up. He's not tired. He could do this all day! (or..so he'd so declare if given the chance) but there are others to contend with and now, they're grating his nerves. His flying barely falters. How many times has he flown with this gold? But not like this. This is almost like a water dance before the sky was their limit. Rolling and gliding and playing. But this isn't play. This is a challenge, and one he doesn't back down from. Wings tuck as he shifts his flight to the right, trying to avoid those changes in the air and succeeding about as many times as he fails. Tolmath catches his eye, in his way in his ascent. He snarls, as much of a bully in the sky as he can be on the ground, and throws his weight towards him, trying to push him off his path.

Luraoth should have drunk deeper of the herdbeast's blood while she had the chance. Her hunger was eased, not sated - but the dance has begun, the music is playing, and there's no time to visit the refreshment table now. For a moment, her wingbeats slow, her eyes slipping back over her chasers - but no. She's not done yet. Her youth and the sheer joy of flying will grant her the energy she needs, and she redoubles her efforts. The males draw closer to her? Good. A country double toward - and back again, as her wings carry her over the countryside. That's just a move in the dance. Further. Faster. Away, she'll lead them all away through the glorious skies, chasing from dawn through to dusk! Nothing will stop her. Not even the growing hunger in her belly. She's flying. Soriana may have her feet on the ground, in the part of her that's here and not with her dragon, but she grins wide. The junior weyrwoman sashays forward, reaching out her fingers toward M'ta, almost to his cheek - then laughs, and turns away, gaze instead falling on K'ior. Ooh, he talks. That's interesting! So Soriana wanders that way. "Oh, very good, yes, so very good." Talking, yes. Talking with sense? Maybe not so much. She veers past K'ior, then looks to Ka'el. He's - Ka'el is, is… there's something particular about him. Something that makes him more than just another of the riders, than just another, "-chaser. Chase, chase, chase…" And Soriana heads past all the riders, returning to the fence and clambering up to stand on the bottom rail, spreading her arms out to feel the wind - like she/Luraoth feels the wind so high above, dancing through airy waves. (Admit it or not, she's starting to slow. The musicians won't be able to play much longer for this set.)

Mur'dah is ignored. Good. He's not really here, please leave a message. He is still aloft with Kalsuoth, the brown pushing onward, nimbly ducking out of the way of his larger sibling. He's used to that, and ignores it, taking advantage of the momentary distraction to push ahead. But he is tiring, the food he had before the flight weighing him down, causing his wings to strain and slow. Just a fraction, but if he slows and Luraoth slows, the distance between them stays the same.

Rielth is glad to slide past the more combative pair. He's not above violence, but he's glad to allow them to slow themselves. He croons again, managing a full chord as he follows her through her dance. On the ground, M'ta leans forward as that hand reaches for him, then all that comes out is a strangled, unhappy sound as she pulls away and he turns to dart after her towards the fence just as Rielth puts on a small burst of speed, his mental song picking up its tempo. Come fly with me, oh dragon child. He can almost taste victory despite the fact that she's yet to slow enough for it to be within his reach. Egotistical bronze.

K'ior and Tolmath are like night and day, a rather calm, collected rider and a ambitious, proud, occasionally aggressive dragon that always has to get what he wants. Normally he would have reacted calming to a screech of shut up, but not with his dragon effecting him so strongly. This time K'ior snarls at Ka'el, a growl-like sound echoing from down deep in his throat. His hands ball into fists. But suddenly Soriana is there and talking to him. So close, so /close/. The aggression on his face vanishes and for a moment he almost reaches out a hand, but before he can touch her she's gone. Up above Kanekith tries to slam Tolmath out of the way, throwing his weight around. Yet the speedy Tolmath is not a first-time flier like the larger bronze. He manages to swerve above, getting out of the way but not loosing his path. It is tempting to slash at the other bronze, the one that dared try to push him around. So very tempting. Yet he doesn't, he has to focus on his queen. Putting on another burst of speed, pushing himself to his limits, he attempts to get even closer to the gold. If he gets close enough that he is above or nearly above her he will lower himself down, trying to get even closer. No, it was not time yet, but it would be soon.

A fighter Ka'el usually isn't, but now? Now Ka'el is hardly himself with his own hormones running rampant amped up by the lust of his own dragon. Now, he'd happily brawl if that were to turn and keep Soriana's eyes on him. Now, he wants to brawl with this unknown rider who snarls at him, eliciting colorful language that spills from Ka'el's own mouth. But, like K'ior, all it takes is Soriana for him to shut up. Her eyes. Her considering look. His hope soars! And then, gone, leaving him to follow her only three steps before stopping. His heart won't stop pounding. The loudness in his ears? He's not sure where its coming from. It sounds like screaming. Roaring. Kanekith! His bodyslam may miss but his claws do swipe, clawing the air towards Tolmath, caring not whether they meet their mark or not. Keep away! He still follows, above the countryside, too far up to cast too much of a shadow on the ground far, far below them. If he is an instrument, he is a violin. Sharp and crisp in movements. The quick bow over strings that drive the melody. Claws and teeth, the bite of pizzicato. Sudden, unexpected sharp plucks towards any who get in his way, even his own brown sibling. Is she slowing? He is not! Or rather, not at the same rate. He drank. He's ready! He's inexperienced, but still fighting.

Are they going to fight? Soriana turns her head to look back at K'ior and Ka'el, her gaze curious. Who let them bring fists to her dance party? They're not here to fight! They're- "Here to fly!" She climbs up to the next rail, and up again, spreading her arms as she balances precariously atop the fence. Her attentions return to the skies, her arms spread to welcome the dawn - or perhaps she thinks to launch herself into the air after her dragon. Luraoth soars still, ignoring the tiredness of her muscles, ignoring the tiny fires of complaint - as best she can. She won't be able to do it forever. She's slowing, even if Kalsuoth's still the same distance behind. Rielth is closer, and she listens to his music consideringly. Perhaps he can play for the next set of her dance? But she has other suitors to consider. Tolmath, perhaps? Is that swerve a fancy dance move? She's not certain. Kanekith's music gains her ear. Different music. He could play for her next set, too. Him or Rielth. It's time to harmonize, but with who? The gold slows. Her wings cup the air as the bronzes slip up around her, positioning herself not for soaring flight but for darting quickness. She's ready for-

Mur'dah looks up sharply, finally, as Kalsuoth begins to flag, the realization of a flight lost seeping into brown and rider's thoughts. Mur'dah blinks, staring up at Soriana, so close, his hand reaching out in a blind daze. Look at that /leg/ right there. Nom? No. He snatches his hand back and staggers, shifting a bit before he turns and runs. Fleeeeeee. While above, Kalsuoth uses the last of his energy to nearly evade a swipe from Kanekith, though his clutchsibling's talons cut briefly into the hide of his shoulder. Jerk. So down he goes, spiraling slowly back to earth.

M'ta is forward enough to climb up onto the lower rail slightly to the right of where Soriana is, in some ways mirroring the chase overhead. Rielth bugles a sudden challenge to the other males. This female Will. Be. His! He's sure of it. His wings beat hard to gain that last little distance on his prize. He dips one wing, turning out and away from the chase, then spinning back, executing another roll, aiming to come back against her side and claim her for his own, the music of his mind picking up tempo from something more flirtatious to a spirited waltz worthy of the Harper Hall, trying to drag her to him as he comes to her.

And suddenly K'ior is lost to the world once again. The flight is nearing its end, Tolmath can feel it, and unconsciously yanks his rider up to the sky with him. This is quite possibly the most important moment, the moment that will decide this flight, this dance. Tolmath is not an instrument but the beat, hidden but there, deep and powerful. A rumble leaves his throat, not a soft croon like some others but what he thinks is a sign of power. When Kanekith slashes at him it does indeed hit, catching at his side. But while he does growl he does not give in or let himself slow down too much or give up. Oh, it hurts, it hurts very much. But he can't give up. With a mighty roar he gives the last of his energy into one great surge. Go goes forward then down, down, down, down to Luraoth's side. It is there that he finally speaks, rumbling, «dance with me.» He then moves back up as swiftly as he can, trying to twine himself with her for the catch.

Mur'dah runs, Ka'el is a statue. A sweaty, quavering statue. The whole of himself is engulfed by Kanekith, sharing his vision of the chase above. A roller coaster. A jive. A dance too fast that has no name. Something is changing. Something with Luraoth. Kanekith is dimly aware of one less dragon to contend with, but even with these two that are left, he can sense that this is the crescendo he's been waiting for. The apex of the movement that's starting to unravel. The violin is not in time with the beat. Instruments are falling apart. Falling out. Going out of tune. Too sharp. Too flat. What can fix this? Luroath can. She is the maestro that can change this out of control song to something as beautiful as she herself. Who will be the lead instrument on her new song? It shall be him! Claws are no longer intended to be used to fend off the other males. They no longer matter. They are out of tune while he is perfectly melodious! They all come from different directions. He finds his own opening, and after a heavy flap forward, his wings tuck in attempt to streamline himself. A speeding bullet towards his prize, corkscrewing once before claws reach!

She's looked over the males on the ground. Now Soriana looks with Luraoth's eyes at the males in the sky. She listens to them. Mur'dah's reaching hand is unnoticed. M'ta's presence, equally ignored. Soriana - Luraoth. It's all Luraoth now. Tolmath dives for her, and her wings flex, casting herself to the side and then up again, circling around him without letting him tangle. Do-si-do and keep the flow, dance to the side and here we go- And Luraoth sweeps toward Rielth. Her wings are tired. His guitar is soothing, not like the harshness of Kanekith metallic symphony. Did the strings of his violin break? Luraoth waltzes toward Rielth, her wings arching to sweep her sleek body in against him as Soriana turns to M'ta, swooping down toward him with the urge to loop arms about his neck like limbs will twine in the sky and kiss and - then Kanekith hits like a deflector pulse out of nowhere. Luraoth cries in surprise, her wings flexing, trying to catch herself as he knocks her off true and sends her tumbling. Off-center. Falling. (Like Soriana is, unstable and headed for M'ta.) But Luraoth, at least, gets caught. Somewhere in the fall her talons catch at Kanekith. Her wings flounder - perhaps his can beat? Perhaps he can save the music before they tumble. It's that, or this will be a very short dance.

It's so close he can feel it. Rielth's tail lashes out, perparing to twine with the gold and pull her against his coppery side even as below M'ta reaches for the rider that reaches for him. His hands go to twine around her waist as she goes for the neck. Then, out of nowhere, Kanekith's intercession hits him like a ton of bricks as the other bronze throws himself at the gold and somewise her into him, leaving Rielth floudering as he tries to claim the gold anyway, but finds her occupied and flailing as M'ta falls backwards off the rail, risking pulling Soriana back with him if she doesn't keep her own balance. Rielth? He does the gentlemanly thing as he regains his senses, he lets himself drop beneath the pair, trying to support the queen until she finds her wings again. M'ta becomes a sprawl of ginger hair, flight coat, and disorientation.

He was so close, so sharding close! He could see her, smell her, part of him swore he could taste her. Then she swerves to the side, away from him, toward the bronze that Tolmath had counted out. For a moment he was angry, felt like he had been cheated. And then there was Kanekith, slamming into the gold, sending her plunging down to the ground. It is then that Tolmath les out a growl and surges down, trying to get below the pair. He lost, he knows he has lost. But while he might be no gentleman like Rielth he is not about to let a gold slam into the ground over petty anger. So he positions himself below them, doing his best to help. Meanwhile, K'ior lets out a groan and slides down against the fence.

Leave it to Kanekith to get what he wants by bullying his way through. Luraoth may not have chosen him, but in the end, it's him that steals the prize from her intended suitor. The collision is hard. The bite of her claws to his bronze body, painful, but the hurt barely registers as he revels in the feel of her shine against him. Caught! Wings instantly spread upon impact as bodies tangle, his grasp tight as if afraid she will try to wrestle away. Now, there is no more flying. His wings, mottled with rust and corroded with a tint of green, serve as a parachute. Fanning out to slow the fall back towards earth, pumping trying to fight it. Roughly do hindfeet kick towards the bronzes beneath him, noble as intentions may be. He's got this! Quickly does his attention turn and stay solely upon his partner. It's a descending waltz with the pair of dancers keeping perfect time. Kanekith utters his one and only word. «"Mine"» It's the same word spoken by Ka'el at the same exact time as the once statue reanimates himself, his glazed over eyes staring at Soriana who stumbles towards M'ta. With M'ta? He pounces, lunging towards them like an animal possessed to claim his own prey. M'ta is ignored. It's a wonder if he even knows the man is there. It's Soriana that he reaches for, pulling her away from him, away from that fence, and into his own arms roughly. "Mine!"

Flailing, falling - Luraoth's wings extend, trying to recover herself. Rielth is there. A support. A third beat, a triple-time waltz. Three dragons fly close together, all of them descending toward the ground - but the mating dance only has two positions in it, though three dragons fly close, Tolmath a little further below. Distinguishable, as the others are not at first. On the ground - because, oh, Soriana is on the ground. Balance? She's none of that. No desire for it, either, because her intent - Luraoth's intent - was to twine with M'ta - Rielth. That didn't happen, up in the sky, but Soriana can feel the mating urge still, and her thoughts are too much Luraoth's thoughts to have realized that the rider she sprawls over, the one she presses kisses to, is not in fact the one whose dragon caught hers. It wasn't what she (Luraoth) meant, but that intent was snatched away. Luraoth's wings catch the air again, but she too is caught, falling with Kanekith still - but no more at the breakneck pace. They'll fall to earth together, but they'll have time for a dance along the way. A close-bodied dance, one that Soriana seeks to echo - but is snatched away from. Ka'el grabs her, and she makes an incoherent noise of protest as she's pulled from M'ta. Her arm swings up, a fist headed straight his face - and then his body is against hers, and what follows that fist is her lips in an urgent kiss. Oh. Yeah. He can be her partner. He is her partner. Time to dance.

M'ta returns the kisses, only half aware that above Rielth is not, in fact, taking the leadership position. The Autumn Fae bronze that yearns for a gold thwarted yet again. And then Soriana is gone, yanked off him. His arms flail wildly through where she was as Rielth, for the first time in his over ten Turns, bugles a lament at his loss, finally veering away to allow them to fly together. Finally, M'ta just lets his arms fall to the ground, emerald eyes staring upward as his mind reels with the shock of the sudden switches and his body puts in demands for a return of the attention he was just receiving. He'll just… lay here for a while… yeah…

Well, the gold is caught, and that is done. Tolmath lets out a huff and soars down, coming to a stop beside his rider. The dark bronze briefly judges K'ior, who proceeds to stumble to his feet. With a bleary glance around he stumbles back to the Weyr, looking for a moth. Tolmath, meanwhile, flies off to lick his wounds, literal and figurative.

Soriana could've punched him right between the legs and it would've made no difference. Ka'el is not in his right mind. His right mind is the in back of his mind somewhere, hunkered down and waiting for this suddenly dominant side to taper off and fall back into the recesses of himself. But for now, it's that part of him that runs rampant, ignorant of M'ta or K'ior or any of the dragons above besides his own. His own … is overpowering. Ka'el's own vision is blurred as he looks at Soriana, and it blurs more as a fist is brought to his face. BAM! Soriana has a good arm. Right to the cheek, just below an eye. That'll bruise, definitely, and his head turns at the impact. SHARDS OWPAIN! But how is it that pain doesn't exactly…register now. Oh, it will. But at this moment, it's lust that has him returning that punch with a hard kiss to the mouth. But not for long. His body is afire for something that's not just a kiss, and his grip upon her is too tight as he breaks away with a feral-sounding grunt. Tunnel vision seeks. His weyr? Too far! He needs this no- Oh, there! The guest weyr. He pulls her that away, face throbbing, but it isn't the throbbing above the neck that he's looking to alleviate as he yanks her inside… to dance a rough and tumble dance.

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