A Different Way to Fly

Xanadu Weyr - Weyrling Beach

With a gentler slope to the water from the main beach and the way it is cut in like a cove, this is the most sheltered spot for bathing. The sand is the same white hue, there are just as many — or perhaps more — scattered shells. From here, one has a beautiful view across the lake, a scene more often tranquil than not.

Mid winter and a sudden cold snap has come. Cold enough to freeze the water of the Sea of Azov a good way out from the shore. Oddly enough no snow has fallen, so the ice is a clear-glass polished surface sparkling in a brilliantly blue sky. The air is totally still, not a breath of wind and that is a good thing, for the chill is bone-deep. Thankfully dragons do not really seem to mind such things. Their humans, however are not so fortunate. Into this pristine picture walks one lone gold dragon, trilling a purring song to entice baby dragons out to play with her.

Faraeth bounds happily onto the beach, runs a few steps and takes to the air, flapping his wings twice before gliding over to Seryth. His eyes whirl quickly green-blue with pleasure and the velvet and silk flutter happily in a light wind, « They let us fly! They let us fly! » He prances around near Seryth's feet, landing hard most every time and causing the earth to rumble and shake. For the moment, at least, there is no sign of his rider.

It doesn't take a great deal to get Nyunath out to explore his world. However, there is some hesitation as he looks over his shoulder back towards the weyrling grounds, unsure if he should venture out away from his rider. Finally, it's Faraeth's enthusiasm that brings him out. He watches the brown's gliding, but doesn't seem as if he were about to try to duplicate it. He does stretch his wings a bit, approaching in slow and steady feet towards the gold dragon. « Some were allowed. » It's clear from the low oboe type sound behind his drumbeats that he wasn't among those allowed to have their first flight.

Seryth chuffs playfully, crouching with her butt sticking up in the air, her tail lashes as she jumps forward just a bit at Faraeth, rising to curve her neck in order to watch his prancing for a moment. « I know! I heard your joy while your wings flapped. » Her head turns towards Nyunath and she croons softly, the tone is sympathetic. « Shall I show you another way of flying, little one?» the green hued eyes whirl quickly, perhaps mischievously.
Faraeth stops suddenly and settles puppy-like on his butt, wings flared out behind him and he nods vigorously, a behavior he's obviously picked up from his rider, « I'd love to. I want to fly every way I can! » The velvet and silk are in constant motion, wrapping and unwrapping, flicking and sweeping.

Enthusiasm is infectious, especially among the very young. So, Nyunath doesn't have time to brood about his lost opportunity at joining the others in first flight. It's likely enough that he'll get the chance soon enough. He lowers his head a bit, echoing Seryth's croon with one of his own at a slightly higher pitch. His tail sways restlessly from side to side, « Another way to fly? » He asks with interest, head tilting slightly as a flicker of something rumbles behind his thoughts. « How many ways to fly are there? Will the weyrlingmasters get angry? »

Seryth backs up from the two young dragons until she is a good distance away from the shoreline. Her mindvoice comes today oddly crystalline and free of water sounds, «There are -many ways to fly. There are -three- ways to fly without using your wings. You will learn them all in time. Today you will learn one and no one will be angry. » She clamps her wings tight to her back, unsheathes her claws and ruuuuuuns towards the shore. As she reaches where the land meets the edge of the ice, she leaps - but not high! She gives a mighty thrust with her hindlegs forward, her claws meet ice with a *skreeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet!!!!!!!* as she zips across the ice, turning a little as she comes to a stop to face back towards them. She croons encouragement for them to try.

Faraeth gives a joyful bark, watching Seryth 'fly' across the ice. « *This* I want to do! » He backs up about as far as Seryth, then runs at the ice and jumps. He manages to catch his claws in the ice, but he hits at the wrong angle and flies head-over-tail like a rolling boulder, ending up flat on his back, the velvet and silk's colors have changed, they're swirly now, with blues, greens, and purples, « That was fun… but not what I meant to do… »

Nyunath watches the gold's movements with wide, interested eyes. He's never seen anyone do something like that with the ice, although he has chewed on it plenty of times before. « It holds you up? » He seems surprised, the drums increasing pace as excitement flows through him like an electric current from head to tail. He watches Faraeth's attempt, and tries to learn from it, slicking his wings back against himself as he races forward. « Yeeeehaaaah. » His mind calls out with a flash like cymbols crashing together, hitting the ice and sliding forward with some speed. At least until one of his claws catch and his front paws end up scrambling a bit to catch a footing that leaves huge clawmarks across the ice. When he stops again, there is amusement running a steady harmony across his mindscape. « Is it like real flying? Like what the weyrlingmasters taught you? » He asks of Faraeth, obviously he's already forgotten about the rivalry over who would fly first, interested instead on learning all he can about these new things.

Seryth opens her wings and leaps, beating a few times to gain height flying further out above the frozen part of the water. From above them she speaks to them, her mindvoice glittering crystals in the sun as she assures Nyunath, « The ice is strong, like the great rocks of the weyr cavern. » A clear, pure frozen thought, « Now, stay where you are, but open your wings!» And she drops to glide towards them at great speed. As she nears them, she flies low, her claws nearly - but not quite - touching the ice, beating her wings in mighty sweeps as she comes at them, pushing great gusts of wind towards their open wings.

Faraeth listens carefully to Seryth, then rights himself, slipping a bit on the smooth ice, « Will it be more fun? » Despite his question, he turns to face Seryth, his wings spread wide. While he waits less-than-patiently for Seryth's… whatever it was she was doing… he gives an odd wuffle to Nyunath, « Flying is even more fun. The wind beneath your wings is second only to your lifemate. »

Nyunath looks down between his legs, watching as some fish swim by in the water beneath the thick layer of ice supporting his frame. He follows them with his eyes for a moment, but then raises his bronze head, watching as Seryth takes to the skies. Evne if he's not allowed yet, his wings flap twice as if he wanted to join her in the air. Longing tinges the drumbeats of his mind as he listens, and then obeys, opening his wings as far as they will reach and cupping them towards the gold dragon. « What is this? » Surprise clatters quickly as the force of the wind starts to force him backwards, the wings acting like sails as he skids across the ice. Then, for a moment, there is just enough force that his claws lift off and exhilaration rings out clearly like bells. Unfortunately, it doesn't last long, and soon he's just sliding across the ice, spinning slightly as one wing tucks. « I want to do it again! »

Seryth continues on past the two and gains height once more, her command coming as a crackling of light ice crust upon snow that is crunches underfoot when one runs, a happy dance to the words, « This time face out towards the Sea, away from me! » and she swoops down upon them once more and sweeps her wings. But this time she doesn't fly past. She hovers behind them, continuing to fan them and driving them as ships before a gale! Faster, faster - a long ways.

Faraeth gives a happy bugle as he's flown back towards the shore on her first pass, then turns as directed, facing the other way. He gives a happy squeal, not that different from the one a young girl would give on a fast swing as he goes skidding across the ice. Nostril's flaring he flies on, « Faster! Faster! »

As he slows from the first gust of wing wind, Nyunath has to struggle to get himself to stop spinning and turn out towards the sea. His feet scramble a bit on the smooth ice. « It's slippery. » He claims, his drumbeats becoming a bit unsteady as he tries to find a proper footing to get himself turned about. As he spreads his wings again, he catches the second gust and is quickly thrown out to sea, his face enjoying the whipping of the wind against him. « Hah! » It's a rumble of pure laughter, only interrupted slightly when one foot catches on a soft spot of ice and he ends up sun around with one very wet back leg. A clattering of instruments together show his surprise, and as he draws his cold, dripping leg out of the water, he warns the others. « Ice not solid here. » He shakes the leg out, and then starts to carefully, very very carefully, try walking back towards shore, and Seryth. Something has his interest. « My rider's class is almost through. Why do they have to know the names of all these people? All he needs to know is he is my R'owan, and I am his Nyunath. » It's a longer stream of consiousness than normally comes from the bronze, but he looks towards Faraeth. « Yours should be done too. Should we go? » It's clear he's itching to get back to his rider, not quite over the 'youngling' attachment phase.

Seryth lifts one more time, rising into the vivid blue winter sky, much higher than before, the sun gliding her as she turns, « I must blow you back, Little ones! Before the ice is too thin. And yours will wish to know where you are.» She folds her wings and plummets towards them at great speed, her mighty wings sweep forward, but this time she zig-zags them this was and that as she turns her body and wings to create differing air currents. All the while driving them towards shore. When they are finally there, she doesn't land, but hovers, her mindvoice the sound of the first trickle of Spring Thaw, « Mine says to tell yours she is well and not to worry. She is with friends. She is well. »

Faraeth flies zig-zagging and swirly back across the ice. Once he reaches the shore he sits for a minute, then shakes his head. « That was fun. We should do it again! » After another moment he stands, the velvet waving both too fast and then slow, « We should join them. Mine so dislikes these boring class-things. I will tell him yours is well, Seryth. It will please him. » He will willingly follow Nyunath back towards the barracks if he goes that way.

Not expecting the gold's wind, it catches Nyunath a bit unawares. He spins out just once, and then lifts his wings again to catch the air. Using his tail as a strange sort of rudder, he tries to control himself towards the shore, moving with a certain lack of grace over the ice until his forepaws hit the sand and he's propelled forward in a half-leap onto solid ground. « Thank you Seryth. For the flight lesson. » The bronze seems convinced that this is just as important as any weyrling-taught class, so he takes it very seriously as he shakes himself once more to get the last droplets of water free from his hide. « I will pass along the message. His mind is distracted. He is not good with many names. » The image of R'owan crouched over a scroll looking perplexed flickers, and then one of of him whispering some question to M'nol and handing him a package while the weyrlingmasters aren't looking.

Seryth sweeps her wings to gain some height, then glides back towards her weyr, a soft, musical croon floats back as she is lost to sight. Her parting words come to them reminiscent of a soft wind that eddies snow across drifts shimmering in the moonlight, «One day I will tell you of those other ways we fly without wings. Yours will enjoy hearing too.»

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