First Wingbeats for Mikalath

Xanadu Weyr - Weyrling Grounds

Cradled in a cup shaped bite out of the mountain, this wide, grassy flat has become home for Xanadu's weyrling dragons. It's set surprisingly high above the level of the beach, visible from the eastern side of the grounds where a long path snakes its way down the hill to the sand dunes below. All other sides to the grounds are bordered by the hard granite cliffs, two entrances clearly visible. One is merely human sized and leads deep into the mountain, to the Caverns. The other is broad and high, the entrance to the Weyrling Barracks.

It's a breezy day today in Xanadu, a raw wind that cuts off the recently-thawed lake. The signs of spring are evident in the bare branches of the trees and bushes, heavy with unopened buds. Today the Weyrlings practice their skills. Some work quietly on their flight straps, while others supervise their lifemates short flight exercises. At least those that have been cleared to do them. Off to one side reclines Seryth, keeping company with the younger dragons since Thea was in Ista's prison - it has now become a pleasant habit. Today Thea sits with her, having taken a seat on the gold's curled forearms. She's pale and tired which might explain why she's not at work in the office.

V'dim moves among the Weyrlings, examining straps her, prodding wing muscles there. His gruff and looming presence may intimidate, but he's got their best interests at heart. He nears a group of Weyrlings and looks them over. "You, you and you," his finger points. "Have your dragons out there to warm the wing muscles, like Isobeth out there." Oh he knows who has and who has not flown yet. No clipboard needed. Green Isobeth is all too happy to demonstrate as her wings do the stretch moves and she warbles her bright encouragement to the onlookers.

R'zel has been busily working on flight straps ever since Mikalath caught on to the fact that they can be colored. The half-finished work is already a bizarre mishmash of greens, blues, and oranges, which R'zel works at with a skeptical eye as Mikalath prods him and provides him with further direction. "I don't know about this color scheme…" He seems almost relieved to be called out by the Weyrlingmaster, although that is quickly replaced with concern as they bound out onto the training field. The brown begins stretching his wings, already excited.

Thea has had an eye on R'zel's straps for awhile now. She can't help but say as the pair walk by, "They look like a beautiful mosaic." Striving for kind encouragement maybe. Seryth croons a sedate greeting to Mikalath as the brown passes but for today she seem content to watch quietly and enjoy having her lifemate with her once more.

V'dim keeps an eagle eye on the stretches, walking 'round the trio in the Grounds, ducking low to watch the angle of the wings. He pauses by R'zel, "Have him rotate the shoulder joints a little more. Further back and forwards." He backs up to watch almost grimly, pale eyes keen to see that his commands are followed.

That only encourages the brown, who croons happily at Thea's praise of his masterpiece in progress. R'zel can't help but chuckle a little as well. "Thank you, ma'am. He's very proud of them." The pair makes their way into place, and Mikalath busily stretches and warms up, taking V'dim's instructions and rotating his joints to really get the muscles working. R'zel watches attentively, making sure his lifemate follows the commands.

Thea sighs and leans back against Seryth's chest, her eyes drifting out across the waters of the Caspian lake towards the far distant Black Rock Hold. Her thoughts seem to take her from the here and now as she focuses on the low line of far blue mountains and her mouth curves in a slightly sad line.

V'dim nods, a rusty chuckle issues from his throat. "He does well." He backs away gesturing to R'zel, "Have him watch Isotbeth, please." The green face the wind, make a bit of a running leap, flaps three times to rise in the air, glides across the grounds and returns to the ground with a bit of a running step. "Have him do exactly what she did, no more," V'dim warns sternly, then muses, "He's lighter than Isobeth, should go further."

"Do as the weyrlingmaster says, Mik." R'zel says with a smile. The brown croons and watches attentively as the green demonstrates proper takeoff procedure. Clearly excited to try it for himself, he starts flapping his wings, perhaps just to keep limber or to work off some nervous energy. R'zel chuckles a little. "Okay, okay… don't overexert yourself, Mikalath. There'll be lots of flying to come. Just give it a shot." The brown steels himself with his most determined expression, rearing up and facing the wind just as the green did.

For a moment, the young dragon is very still while he concentrates. Finally getting up the nerve, he flaps his wings thrice, lifting up off the ground. He trumpets with excitement, dipping to one edge and almost losing his balance as he experiences the rush. Luckily he regains control in time for a controlled glide, swooping down to land just a bit beyond where the green did, managing not to stumble. R'zel laughs and applauds. "Great job!"

The flapping of wings rouses Thea from her thoughts and she turns to watch yet another young dragon take his first wingbeats. She smiles gently calling, "He looked completely at home in the air, R'zel." Seryth warbles her encouragement to the ones flying, then lowers her head to peer closely at her lifemate, tipping her head so one great eye can examine her closely. "All right, all right. I'll go get some rest." The werywoman slides down off of her perch on the gold's forelegs and heads off with a wave to the Weyrlings present. Seryth stays put. She has visiting to do!

V'dim nods approval, but it isn't outwardly enthusiastic. He's pleased though, or R'zel and the others would all know it. His only comment is a stren, to-be-obeyed, "Have Mikalath do that every day, a little further and a little longer every day. No more, no less." He studies the brown's movements for a few moments longer then turns to depart, "Have a good afternoon Weyrling."

R'zel and Mikalath look positively thrilled with the results. The brown hurries back to his lifemate, nudging him and flapping his wings excitedly. R'zel laughs happily. "Yes, yes, I'm sure you'll be doing beautiful flips and spins in no time. But that was already very impressive, Mik. Did you hear? You did a great job." The brown trumpets happily to the weyrlingmaster, then nudges R'zel again. The weyrling laughs. "Hungry again already? Well, I suppose you've earned it…" And off they go to fetch another meal.

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