Cidheoth Hunts

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.

It's early spring, one of those days where the air holds a kiss of warmth from a slowly strengthening Rukbat. The snow is gone for the most part, except for icy patches that remain in shadow all day. The ground is drying out and a faint green fuzz can be seen as the tips of blades pierce through the deadened grasses of last year. A soft breeze, laden with winter's farewell and spring's greeting carries the scent of both snow and new growth, stirs bare branches studded with fat buds. Soon, soon winter will be gone. At the far end of the feeding grounds the herd is bunched, grazing on the hay piled there for them. Away off behind them, at the edge of the forest walks the lone figure of Thea. She's in no hurry, just ambling aimlessly today.

M'nol and Faraeth enter the clearing, Agate, Bloodstone, Tourmaline, and Jasper flying lazy loops around them. None of them notice Thea at first, their focus on the feeding ground. So much on the feeding ground that M'nol manages to slip on one of the melting patches of ice, landing with a quiet 'oof' against Faraeth's quickly-supplied nose. A silent conversation passes, then they make their way the rest of the way to the paddock. Faraeth takes a running jump, gliding easily towards the herd.

Ontali seems to be enjoying the lovely day. Okay, in reality, she's muttering wildly to herself about the effects of various land-masses on trade and…you get the point. Cidheoth ambles easily alongside his lifemate, taking a running leap over the fence and landing inside with a 'look at me!' look back at Tali. The girl grins distractedly. "Behave, you." She laughs, as he stalks off, never mind that he's much too big to actually stalk the herd. He seems to be speaking to the girl, though, as she laughs after a moment and shakes her head, eyes unfocused. Eventually, though, she comes back to Pern, and grins brightly at M'nol and Thea, waving. "Hey!"

R'owan isn't far behind M'nol and his brown, although Nyunath seems to hang back a little bit, sticking his nose into shadowy places to see why the snow lingers there and not anywhere else. "Come on, Nyu. You'll have turns to figure out just how everything works." The bronze snorts once, and then follows along behind, his tail twitching with interest as he scans the budding grasses and lightly mouths at them. With a wrinkle of his nose, he drums softly. « These don't taste good. » "Hey guys, wait up." He calls, and nudges at one bronze foreleg. "Come on, we're going to get left behind." « Fine fine. »

Thea draws nearer, voices break through the preoccupied solitude and her head lifts. She raises a hand in answer, shoves it back into her jacket pocket and turns to head their way, eyes briefly shift to watch the young dragons begin their hunt. As she reaches the spot where the Weyrlings are, it can be seen that the shadowed look has lifted somewhat from her eyes, but it is evident she has lost a bit of weight. She half-smiles at the group, "Always hungry aren't they?" There's a bit of nostalgia in her tone, but also some underlying weariness. Nyunath is eyed with some faint amusement as she leans against the fence rail, watching the action for a few moments, before she asks the group in general, "How go the lessons?"

M'nol's eyes get big when Thea makes herself know, a light if inexplicable blush crossing his face. His flits, on the other hand, offer a chorused hello in four-part harmony, flying over to see how she's doing. M'nol glances back to the paddock as Faraeth flushes an ovine from the herd and dives on it with a satisfying squelch. He turns back to Thea, looking slightly less embarrassed now, "Howdy, Thea. Yeah, I swear that one'd eat the entire stables if I let him." He shoots Ro an apologetic glance, "Lessons have gotten boring. Why do I care who the fifth lord holder of Fort was? That was aaaaaaages ago." His accent is nearly gone now, only cropping up on particularly difficult words or phrases.

"Ro," Tali calls fondly to the other Weyrling, smiling and waving. "I bet herdbeast tastes a bunch better, sunshine." Is remarked drily for the grass-testing dragon with a little smirk. Thea gets a bright, happy grin, after a moment, accompanied by a little nosewrinkle. "At least we don't have to cut it all up any more! I sure don't miss it." The goldrider's leaner condition likely isn't noticed (Ierne Weyrhold's impact on trade, however?), beyond passing worry. "They go." M'nol gets a nod and look of exasperation. "'zactly. I mean, I guess I might need to know why Ierne's important to trade, but, I dunno." The girl sighs, as Cidheoth stalks quietly towards the herd, apparently in the mood to be picky today. Too small, too thin, too fat, too hairy…

Nyunath's head lifts, and he warbles a small greeting to Seryth's rider. He's had bonding time with the gold dragon while she was away, so he's got to be polite to the rider as well. « Seryth likes me. Her rider will like me. » He insists, the drums fading into the untertone as his voice rises in tenor above it. He seems to eye the others, and then launches hismelf over the fence and into the feeding grounds, turning to look back at Tali momentarily. « I will hunt. » "You do that." R'owan manages with an almost bored expression on his face. He smiles though, as if such things had become commonplace. "Hey Thea. Hey Tali, M'nol." He raises a hand, the last to approach, but the smile lingers. "Good to see you back." His words seem genuine enough, nodding his agreement to M'nol's description of lessons. "My brain is full. I think I need to put in a request for a second one." He runs a hand through his tusstled hair, smirking wryly.

Thea offers a greeting with genuine warmth, "Hi M'nol, R'owan, Ontali. It's good to be back." Shep pokes a brown head out from under Thea's hair to chirp a hello to the sudden harmonic greeting, cocking his head to watch them for a few beats. He rubs the top of his head on Thea's cheek before withdrawing to curl back into his spot around the back of her neck. She misses any blushing while glancing at the circling firelizards and by the time her eyes shift back towards the trio, M'nol's comment preoccupies her and it's a wry rejoiner, "Hmm, I remember that feeling well. Boring. However, it matters quite a bit to Hold leaders, so we try to take an interest for their sake." Nyunath's greeting elicits a gentle smile and a "Hi Sweet," as the young bronze launches himself past her. She props a chin on one hand, bracing her elbow on the top rail, idly watching the hunt, "Depending on what wing you're in these things will matter. Diplomacy, delivery…"

M'nol glances over his shoulder, watching the hunt for a moment as well. Mostly making sure that Faraeth wasn't choking on the wooly beast, then back, chuckling, "I guess that makes sense…" He trails off, thinking for a moment, "When do we find out which wings we're in? I hadn't even thought about that." While Agate, Jasper, and Tourmaline turn to glide over the feeding grounds, hoping to make off with some fresh scraps, Bloodstone hovered near Thea, cheeping at her little hidden brown, come play?

Ontali leans on the fence, watching Cidheoth out of the corner of her eyes. He finally deigns his time unwasted by one, a fat yearling bovine that bellows once as he lands atop it. Quickly, it's dispatched, and neatly (lieees!), he begins at the young bovine's head, by his body language, half-starved! "If you don't chew, you're going to kill yourself." Tali remarks absently, rolling her eyes at the young dragon. "A second brain." This idea gets a broad, wolfish grin. "Good plan. Tell me if you find one." Thea is offered another bright, happy smile after a moment, only tinged faintly around the edges with ruefulness. "I don't plan on talking to any, and I sure as Faranth's dead don't envy you for it." The girl says feelingly, nodding. "Do we get to pick them?" Asked quietly after M'nol's query, eyebrows contracting slightly.

Nyunath slowly eyes the herds, playing the part of the steady tactition as he watches their movement. Crouching, he waits until the herd moves in his direction before leaping, latching his jaws onto one of the herdbeast and then winging upward. Unlike his earlier hunts, he at least can drag his kill off somewhere away from humans where they don't have to watch the gruesome carnage. "Delivery. Ugh." R'owan seems to be reminded of what would most likely end up his after-weyrling job, rubbing at his head as if he were worried any more information might make it explode. "I thought remembering all the small holders around Xanadu was bad." With a bit of a rueful smile on his face, Ro' shrugs his shoulders a little. "I'm sure there's a few people who don't need theirs." His mind fleetingly considers his brother, but assumes a jerk's brain wouldn't be good for diplomacy purposes. His hand lightly reaches out, the fingers reaching to brush lightly over Tali's hand before he's back to looking at Thea. He's being good, honest (yeah, right).

Thea glances at the hovering firelizard and she speaks with a bit of apology in her tone, "Sorry, babe, Shep just never leaves me unless it's to eat and do his business." Indeed there's a muffled mrr from underneath Thea's hair as Shep declines the offer. M'nol's question has her raising her eyebrows in surprise, "They haven't spoken to you guys about that?" Her head turns to include them all in her question, before Ontali has her smirking, "Holders aren't always unpleasant folk." She pauses with an indrawn breath, glancing at R'owan, "Why… it's up to you. You can cross-train into any craft. The wings are, Crafters, Diplomacy, Search and Rescue, Technology Support, Tansport and Delivery…" Her voice trails off and she shrugs, "Whatever you're interested in, I guess."

Bloodstone gives a disappointed chirrup, then flies to joins his fair picking the remains of Faraeth's first kill from the field. M'nol seems about to say something, then he turns suddenly as Faraeth takes another glide at the heard, shouting, "Only a little one, Farry. I'm not cleaning you out if you over eat!" Then he blushes… he'd just said that in front of *Thea*… woops, he turns a sheepish grin back to her, "I.. uh… oh, wings… We get to pick? I don't know if that makes it easier or harder. I mean, I don't want to stop learning about mining, but I can't exactly live my life underground with a dragon, can I?"

Cidheoth has no such inhibitions — the dragon cheerfully devours his kill happily, crunching hide and bone and flesh (not to mention the less savory bits) with equal enthusiasm. "I know most of 'em around here, at least." The girl mutters quietly, snorting. "Guess that helps." Then she giggles impishly, flashing a little smirk. "Surely." Nod-nod-nod the girl goes, then the smirk softens into a grin that's entirely too happy. There is a brief certainly-a-pout before she settles on bumping the other weyrling with a shoulder and grinning, then watching the firelizards with a giggle. "No, not all of them." Is agreed more solemnly, though not by much. "Just lots of 'em." Cough. "Least, the ones I knew." Tali considers the next with a thoughtful frown, and a little smirk at M'nol. "Cid's finally gotten the point on that, I think." Admitted without shame. "Wonder what Cid'd be able to do. I don't wanna get stuck being diplomatic, don't think he'd really do good with that. Maybe Search 'n Rescue."

R'owan manages a small chuckle, seeming to put his dragon mostly out of his mind as the bronze eats a small distance away. Above him, a trio of firelizards creel and swoop, waiting for their chance to have at the remains of the kill. Lifting one eyebrow, he draws his hands back and folds them over his chest, seeming thoughtful of the possibilities. "Transport seems pretty likely to me. Nyunath doesn't have a preference, and it's what I'm trained in." He half-shrugs, and looks towards the other two weyrlings with some curiousity, nodding slightly to Tali's choice. "Well, Cid's certainly got the energy for it. He reminds me of D'had's blue a little bit. Probably would love getting a passenger good and sick to his stomach." He muses, and then comes up with an interesting question, "Hey Thea… what wing do you think you'd have liked to be in? You know, if Seryth wasn't big and shiny."

Thea eyes M'nol with a good deal of confusion at his blushing and she has a 'what?' kind of expression on her face. Nothing about his comments for caring for his dragon has struck her out of the ordinary apparently, as she merely nods at his question. "You do get to choose." The boy's comment about mines has her laughing shortly, "Why not? I spend my life in an office." Ontali's giggling is observed with amusement, the weyrwoman's eyes crinkling as she can't help but smile at her infectious joy, "Well, most of what crafting you'll be doing won't involve your dragons, unless it's carrying and traveling." R'owan's question has her pausing, "Well… back when I was a Candidate I had considered continuing in my craft - marketing my da's wool all over Pern." She lifts one leg to prop a booted foot on the lowest rail of that fence, her eyes remain on that boot as she speaks slowly and thoughtfully, "But nowadays, if I had a choice-"Her voice grows rough and she clears her throat, "I'd pick a wing that I could do something to make Pern a better, more peaceful place." Her eyes lift to make eye contact with each one of them, "You all have that opportunity." That last bit offered softly, a suggestion to think upon.

Thea's 'what look' receives a shrug in return. If it didn't bother her yet, M'nol wasn't going to try to make it bother her. "I suppose something like Search and Rescue could be fun and helpful. Rescuing people from all sorts of problems…" He sighs wistfully for a moment, pondering how many lives he could save, then he blinks, adopting a quizzacal expression, "Make Pern more peaceful? Isn't that what the diplomacy wing is for? I don't exactly see myself as th' diplomacy type."

Out at Cid's kill, three firelizards appear, called by the silent call of 'FOOOD!' that the dragon is cheerfully offering up. "You'd have even more room to roam, then." Tali offers with a little grin for Ro'. Across the grounds, Cid snorts into the side of his bovine, and affects an aloof expression. "…Cid, if they threw up it'd really be more their fault than yours." Pause. "Yes, really." /Snort/. But then she's peering at Thea curiously, smile faint and a little rueful. She doesn't understand the complexities of the situation, or maybe even the simple parts, but the desire to make Pern better seems to strike a chord. "We will." She answers, smile becoming more sure, less rueful. "I wish you could were you are right now." Then offered, quieter, with the tone of 'I'm sorry you can't'. M'nol's answer gets a thoughtful lip-chew, as the girl eyes Cidheoth warily. "I don't think you'd *have* to be in that one…"

"It's easy to want to go back to whatever life you left behind." R'owan says with a slightly more somber tone to his voice as he glances over his shoulder at the bronze dragon. Finishing the last of his meal, Nyunath doesn't seem interested in going for seconds and just settles himself down to watch the firelizards pick at the leftovers. He rubs at the back of his neck, the way he does whenever he's nervous about something. "It might be nice if places like Ista didn't see us like the bane of all existance, but…" He trails off, and seems a bit sheepish about it. "Not sure that sort of thing is up my alley. 'Bound to say something stupid and send everyone a twitter when all I meant to say was pass me a meatroll or something." He babbles, nudging a rock beneath his foot a few inches forward. "Suppose if I deliver wine all over the Pern, everyone will be too sloshed to be mad at each other?"

Thea lifts her head, her eyes drifting out to the feeding dragons once more, "I didn't necessarily mean you'd have to be in Policy and Diplomacy to do that, M'nol. You can do it in Search and Rescue, or any craft wing, really." The weyrwoman is thoughtful as she continues, "As a Rider you'll be in and out of Holds at least doing sweeps, if not in Weyrs for other matters. Just… help people. Represent the Weyr - and all Riders well. Have integrity, focus on what unites us - or find something that does." She starts out nodding gravely at R'owan, "Well, it is only one person at Ista thinking that way-" Her own laughter at his suggestion interrupts those words, "Enlist Cenlia and B'miel and Pern's problems will be solved, eh?" Ontali's comment has her eyes shifting the girl's way, and there's a definite twinkle in them now, whatever thought that had her emotions caught has been laid to rest, "But, see? I -do- have that chance. I'm doing it right now." Her lips curve in a genuine smile.

M'nol blushes slightly when Cen is mentioned… he hadn't thought about her consciously in a while. To cover his thoughts, he focused on her words instead, nodding slowly, "I couldn't imagine *not* doing my best to represent the Weyrs. Why would I possibly want to make any of the Weyrs look bad, it just makes us all look bad." He ponders that, it was a lot to chew on.

Ontali shakes her head firmly, tossing a smile to Cidheoth, so close by and convenient. Always? "Not for me. I'd never want to." She lifts an eyebrow and grins at the young bronzerider, letting her face slowly grow more contemplative, thoughtful. "Ista can stuff a —" Pause. One can almost /hear/ the mental breaks squealing. "…erm." Cough. Thankfully, the last is distracting enough to get a wolfish grin from the girl, whose eyes light up at the prospect. "Grand idea. Aye! Cen would be brilliant." The girl giggles happily. Thea gets a stout nod, next, as she peers thoughtfully at her dragon. "Try not to let your dragon offend any poor Holder he drags around." Murmured with vague amusement, as Cid finally finishes, and stretches luxuriantly, fixing his lifemate with an impish stare before bounding out of the feeding grounds and off towards the beach. "One sec." The girl calls after him, focusing a curious, bright look on Thea. "You'll have to tell me more about that." She says with what could be an impish grin. "I can't wait to hear, but Cid seems to think I need to bathe him. Exactly, though, M'nol. I don't think it'd be too good of an idea to give the idiots out there a good reason to whine about us." She heaves a longsuffering sigh as she stretches, and starts off after Cid. "We'll just have to prove all of 'em wrong, yeah? Can't be too hard." Aaand with all of the confidence of somebody bonded to the dragon that poooor put-upon (ha! She definitely deserves it.) Tali is, the girl bounces off, waving. "See you guys later!"

Thea removes her foot from that lower rail, takes a step back and turns to go, "Might be surprised at how many do not care about those things, M'nol." Her dry-voiced statement is a sad commentary on her experiences thus far. She pauses to snicker at Ontali, "Well, truth be told, Holders complain far more about Riders than they do their dragons." She's shaking her head and smiling as she lifts a hand to all of them, "Back to work for me." She turns, her hand lowers to rub tiredly at her face and the smile disappears with it as she walks off, heading not towards the Weyr proper, but towards the forest and her weyr, disappearing between the trunks.

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