The Hunt is On

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 this and sharp border to the north. Where the ground is less trampled, tiny flowers poke their delicate heads out from their shaded hiding places with upturned petals to wave to whoever may be looking.

The cliff looms imposingly on three sides, stretching upwards all the way up the side of the mountain where, high above, Xanadu's Star Stones and the ever present watchdragon sit on a lonely peak. Directly south is a massive tunnel, fully wide enough for even the largest dragon to fly down. 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 Tavern. Southwest lies the low ledges currently belonging to Xanadu's queens while north and west a broad path cut by the side of the cliff leads to the Feeding Grounds and due north is the spacious trail that leads to the rest of the Weyr.

Rukbat's rays beat mercilessly down on the Xanadu Clearing, the hour not much past mid morning, and yet the heat has settled like a heavy blanket over the Weyr. The heat seems to create a sense of laziness, with those out and about seeming to move in slow motion, while many of taken the promise of the cooler, dryer weather of the plains and are now gathering to hunt. Amongst them is a possibly unexpected gold, as Kilaueth is settled in the clearing, rather antsy, even as Niva is busy checking in with the volunteers, or sending ready groups off in different directions.

Working in tandem with Niva is D'son, a clipboard at hand. He swings around to check in with the Weyrwoman while Inimeth sits up looking alert and ready to go. Every now and then he swings his head around to nose gently at Kilaueth, possibly meant to reassure that antsiness.

Thea is here, dressed in her flight leathers, and a cream-colored sleeveless shirt, her flight jacket is, at the moment, thrown over one arm. She's checking her crossbow over one last time and finding all in order. Seryth is not with her presently as the junior steps up near Niva and D'son. "Here and available to help. Need a ride though, Seryth's in the Annex. Won't leave the eggs." She gives Niva and then D'son a brief smile, then steps to one side to wait quietly.

Kilaueth touches noses briefly with Inimeth now and then in response, recognizing his offer, but yet, she continues to shuffle a little, wings folding and unfolding, stretching out, before at a silent glare from Niva she settles for at least a few minutes. "We're the last ones, the rest have their assignments." The Weyrwoman comments to the young bronzerider, before Thea's arrival earns a smile. "You're with us, then.." And she turns to glance over the stragglers, trying to pick out who's staying or going.

Hunting to F'yr is close to breathing, so it is no surprise to see her within the group, though not quite as heavily armed as most of the others. She's convinced her dragon to stay in the Annex while she moved off to the clearing, in riding leathers nonetheless. Her wrist still splinted hangs loosely at her side, but at least the stitches had been removed.

"Got it," D'son answers the Weyrwoman and makes a last ticky mark on the clipboard, turns as Thea approaches and smiles warmly. "Heya Thea, with me specifically, if you don't mind?" and he sweeps a one-armed gesture towards Inimeth. "All set to go as soon as everyone's mounted up, Niva," he states clearly and moves to put the clipboard away in Inimeth's strap-pack, then holds a hand out to assist Thea up onto the large bronze dragon's back.

The spring in Sigam's step is, dare we say it, cheerful. He looks more like he's ready for a field of war than ballet, bow hanging out of one hand and a knife dangling from his belt, arrows appearing here and there in more subtle patches around his person, but… well. He's whistling a tune. We'll put it that way. "Hey!" Free hand sticking up into the air, the Dragonhealer waves, spying the group ahead of him in the clearing. "Lovely day, yeah? Nice and lazy. They won't know what hit 'em." He raises the bow and mimes firing of a shot. "Suppose I should hitch a ride with one of you, hm?" Insert cute puppy eyes here. "I don't bite. Much."

Thea nods acquiescence to the Weyrleader's offer, flashes him a return smile, her eyes are dancing with unspoken thought, which she for now keeps to herself. She steps away from Niva to Inimeth's side, places her hand in D'son's, grabs the flight straps and jump-climbs nimbly up the bronze's side to settle. Once there, she rests the crossbow in her lap while she slips into her jacket, pulls on her gloves and buckles in. There's a fleeting glance for the restless Kilaueth, before she hails Sigam. "Heya Sigam. Manly work today, eh? Kill stuff. Haul carcasses…" She's smirking over the cheery tone of his. F'yr is given a concerned look, "Can you hunt with one hand?"

F'yr's eyes are scanning the closest greens for room before she notices a familiar cheerful face. She raises a hand to give Sigam a wave and then starts aiming in that direction. If he finds a ride, perhaps so can she? Thea's voice stops her, wrist sudednly hidden behind her back as she cocks her head up to glance that way. "One hand, ma'am?" [D[D I'm used to hunting all the time, there ain't anything that I got that'll pose a problem."

At the okay from D'son, Niva is nodding with a grin, her attention catching Sigam's more boisterous entrance first, the older woman sighing a little and waving him over. "You had best keep those arrows to yourself, *'healer*." But, never the less, she waves him at the ansty Kilaueth, the gold giving the dragonhealer a long look, but eventually crouches. At Thea's question, the weyrwoman's gaze lingers on F'yr, "This is a serious hunt, rider, not a game - and if you're injured.."

"Yes," Sigam says, jerking is arm down in a sharp 'score!' motion, shooting a wide grin in Thea's direction. "And then I get to go drown myself on a beach. This is a good day." He's not going to specify what day it is, however, shifting his gaze towards F'yr with a conspiratorial wink. "Hey, good to see you out of the infirmary." Niva is given a more sober look, face becoming so incredibly serious so fast that it's obvious he's still horsing around. "Oh, I will, ma'am. My arrows are well-trained - no frisky business whatsoever." Finally, the serious facade breaks and he's trotting towards Kilaueth, empty hand flicking through the air. "AW, Fy's fine. The brace is for sympathy points with the bronzeriders, right?" Someone's in a rare mood, sigh. Maybe it will wear off. Cross your fingers. "'Morning, Kilaueth. Ready to take out some brainless beasts?," he asks as he scrambles up to take a seat on the senior gold's back.

"Sigam," D'son greets politely as the dragonhealer arrives, nods his way. It's only a matter of moments to help Thea up atop Inimeth's back. That unspoken thought of the junior's quirks his brows upward and once she's up he lingers on the ground as he catches sight of F'yr. "Hey Fy!" he calls out cheerily. "Boomerang?" he suggests with a touch of teasing in his voice.

Spending time checking on Infirmary needs does give Thea a heads up on what injuries and illnesses are affecting the Weyr. She has nothing but concern on her face as her cool green eyes remain upon F'yr, "That cracked wrist bone cleared with the Healers to hunt, then?" Her shrug to the brownrider is telling that if she's willing to risk it, then it's up to her. Sigam's got her snickering, but she calls, "Happy Turnday Sig! I've got something for you. But later." She raises her brows up and down suggestively, purposely allowing him to come to the wrong conclusion if he will. D'son's quirked brow just gets an innocent look and a casual, "Bringing your fishing pole along?" Then an impish grin breaks that studied innocence. someone is happy to get out of the office today. And do manly stuff.

F'yr gives Sigam a thankful grin, which turns into an awkward smile and a wave towards D'son. "Healer says it's fine, see?" Too late, she's already finding a spot with one of the greenriders following, needing a ride herself.

Kilaueth remains settled as Sigam settles himself, even as the gold turns her head enough to watch this strange passenger with those strange weapons as he settles himself. An impatient croon to Inimeth and she begins to shuffle, Niva already moving to snag riding straps, turning her gaze to F'yr, a certain impatientness visible in the Weyrwoman as well. "Well, come on then!" Niva says, giving in with a shake of her head, waiting for the brownrider to settle before Niva's settling in on Kilaueth's neck, her own bow and arrow strapped safely out of the way, and after just a moment to check on Sigam, the gold is setting the example, pushing off the ground with an echoing trumpet, wings helping them to quickly gain altitude. On their way!

"There's still room with —" D'son starts and stops as Fy gives him that awkward look and his brows do quirky things again trying to sort that out. As the brownrider heads over to that green, the Weyrleader watches her go, then he turns to climb in front of Thea on Inimeth's back, clips in safeties. The crossbow that is securely fastened to the bronze dragon's straps is also given a last minute check, then Inimeth echoes Kilaueth's trumpet and conveys the orders to lift off to the rest of the dragons coming with. During lift-off: "Fishing pole?" he asks Thea.

"Oh, do you," Sigam all but purrs, bouncing his eyebrows right back at the junior weyrwoman, grin turning into something wicked. "I look forwards to that." The Dragonhealer returns F'yrs grin before buckling in and holding tight, eyes lit up like a child's at Christmas. Resisting the urge to trumpet something like 'hi ho, silver, away!' he instead leans back to watch the groud below them disappear, visibly thrilled. "Didn't know you fished!," he does manage to shout back towards D'son, but he's only managed to catch the end of Thea's question, and not the weyrleaders return confusion. Another time, perhaps.

Thea's shaking her head just a bit as she watches F'yr mount up, but really the expression on her face is understanding, if anything. A sidelong look at Kilauaeth's shuffling has her perplexed for a moment, "What's up with Kilaueth, Niva?" She eyes that hide closely, but in the sun, it's hard to tell what is sunshine and what might be glow. She slides an amused look Sigam's way, but nothing more is said, as she snickers, instead observing his response to flying with interest. As they rise, Thea just smiles back at D'son, having seen that crossbow of his. "MmHm," She confirms her question, but likely obvious to the Weyreader she's not serious.

F'yr is quick to have swung up on the little dragon and strapped in, all ready before she even lifts her eyes back to the Weyrwoman when a sheepish grin. Maneuvering doesn't seem to be a problem at all with one hand out of commission and she ducks her head in close to the rider in front of her for some quiet conversation right before they lift off to follow the rest of the riders.


Xanadu Weyr Region - Open Plains

Open plains stretch in every direction, the tall grass interrupted now and then by a group of rocks suddenly thrust upwards from the ground or a copse of trees gathered around a spring-fed pond. The high grass looks like an ocean as the wind causes it to ripple back and forth, creating the illusion of puddles here and there, even as the ground slopes gently upwards towards the mountains that can just be seen on the southern horizon.
Despite the remoteness, there are lines cut here and there amongst the grasses of the prairie, most in pairs as they track from one direction to another. The campsites of former travelers can be made out here and there where a tent was once pitched, or a campfire once burned - and the remenants of some shelters remain.

Thea's question to Niva goes unanswered - most likely merely unheard, while Kilaueth is quickly leveling her flight out, dropping a shoulder now and then to change her direction, before a dark spot on the distant horizon catches their attention, and Kilaueth is setting off towards the running herd. Niva pauses, glancing back over her shoulder at Sigam with an arched eyebrow. "Still have all your arrows back there, hm?" Niva asks a little snappily.

Even with the lack of seriousness, D'son still looks puzzled by Thea's statements though he ducks his head, grinning at the goldrider's flirty side, out in full force today it seems. The Weyrleader doesn't look too concerned about Kilaueth's antsiness, but Inimeth /is/ being more attentive and solicitous in general than he is usually, not that he's any slouch in the 'pay attention to my queen' department. The bronze flies along in formation and Dels swings around to check on the rest of the dragons and hunters before facing forward again as they proceed away from the Weyr. As they near possible targets, the Weyrleader releases his crossbow from the straps that held it, all but the longer safety looped in through the end to prevent dropping it off the dragon and he loads up a bolt with sure motions. "See any others?" he asks Thea behind him.

Sigam peers back over his shoulder for a long moment, face somewhat serious now, calculating as he watches the other dragons in flight behind them. He's likely just as intrigued by dragon flight as he is by being in the air himself. Soon enough, however, he becomes less nosy and more interested in the task at hand, noting the beasts running below them. An arrow is drawn and clasped firmly in one hand, ready to be knocked even as Niva's question reaches his ears. Though he's frowning just a bit from the snappish tone, a grin still stretches out his features to accompany his nod. "Yep, all set back here!," he says loud enough to be heard over the rushing of the wind, gaze darting away from her face and back towards the herd, assessing.

F'yr and the greenrider continue spread out with the rest of the riders, two pairs of eyes searching for game. They remain apart, with Fy helping as eyes as well with a spare crossbow throughout the entire hunt.

Thea notes that puzzled look of D'son's and, well, it's not right to leave one's Weyrleader confused, right? "While back when I told you I crossbow hunt, you said you just fish." It's obviously still amusing, at least to her. Something clicks as she notices the interaction between Inimeth and Kilaueth. They're over the plains then and she is silent,all business now as her eyes scan for anything that is not brush or trees. She points towards a deep, wide-bottomed but winding riverbed, "Something moving down there." She pulls a few darts from her belt, lifts one to clench in her teeth and loads the other one in the channel, priming the weapon, but holding it pointed carefully out and away from the man in front and the dragon beneath.

As the wing disperses into invididual groups, each heading after their own particularly piece of the hunt, Kilaueth trumpets once more to Inimeth before her attention is solely on the herdbeasts as she pulls out of her controlled dive, flying low over the herd, quickly catching up and closing the gap, even as Niva's pulling her own cross bow up, loop over her wrist, loading it slowly as she watches the dust and the dark creatures contained within. "Left, Sigam. You take the left." Apparently she really did know his name, though her expression is blank as she turns to the right, preparing the sight. Almost there…

"Oh yeah, mostly just fish. But I /do/ know how to use one of these, just … nothing that requires any more skill than this," D'son tells Thea with a laugh. Dels turns Inimeth in that direction and more instructions are forwarded on down the line to other riders. "You've got that side, I've got this one?" The Weyrleader says to the goldrider behind them as they all get down to serious business.

"I will," Sigam agrees, more polite than flippant now as he settles his arrow into place, eyes devoted solely to the herd they are fast approaching. Yet… something niggles in the back of his mind. Niva wasn't usually this grumpy… right? Suspicions whirl, and suddenly his Skeptical Dragonhealer face is on, lips pursing. Hmm. Distracting himself from too much analytical thinking, brown eyes squint against the cloud of dry dirt kicked up by the herd as he raises his own weapon to the level of his eyes. Careful aim is taken, adjusting constantly to make up for their momentum and movement, waiting for the word.

Thea's only reply to D'son is a small grin before she leans out as far as the safety straps will allow her to, draws one foot up, planting her booted sole against the bronze's side and braces her arm on her knee. For now Niva's mood is stashed away in the back of her mind to be retrieved when it's time. She's taking careful sight down the barrel of the crossbow as they drop closer and level out, gaining on the herd. She's waiting for a shot, assessing the creatures, looking for a fat one.

D'son keeps an eye out likewise, leaning out in the opposite direction from Thea. It might almost look like a singularly funny deck of cards: Inimeth's head, D'son to one side, Thea to the other. Or in another universe, Charlie's Angels a la Pern. Kabam. That's Dels' overly happy trigger finger releasing the first bolt too soon, spooking a cluster of younger beasties. Scatter!

At least dragonhealers are particularly safe from grumpy Weyrwoman with dragons nearing that whole proddy cycle. Kilaueth maintains her even flight, before suddenly there's a thump that reverberates through the gold as closed talons catch a pair of beasts across their back, causing them both to stumble to the ground, beasts staying there even as two bolts are let fly from her crossbow, one going wide, the other not doing much as it catches a beast in the rump, only slowing it. "Now!" She offers a bit louder than neccesary to Sigam.

Sigam doesn't need to be told twice. Though the jostle caused by the gold sends one of his own bolts spiralling high, useless and likely causing more panic than necessary, a second is readied as fast as he can before - ting! - it arches into the herd of animals to peg one in the shoulder. It stumbles, sure, but leave it to animals to keep going in a blaze of fright. Frown forming, the Dragonhealer pulls another arrow, turning back towards the lame herdbeast to fire off another at its head. His success is masked by the downward pump of the Kilaueth's wings, but he's not paying attention anymore, already drawing and aiming for the next hopeful conquest ahead of them, not wanting to risk an injury to the gold out of stubbornness.

The tip of Thea's crossbow lines up with a fine-looking beast, she tilts her arm to bring the base of the heardbeast's neck into her sights. Just as her finger tightens, sending the bolt flying towards its mark, the beast stumbles and the bolt whizzes right over to thunk into the side of a calf, sinking between the ribs. The critter squawls, continuing with a gurgling bleat as pinkish froth collects at its nostrils. Finally there's a tumble and it goes down as the herd thunders by. The junior, meanwhile grabs the bolt she's got in her teeth and reloads.

Kilaueth keeps steady, continuing to stick close the the herd, dropping a bit lower, risking a dip of her wing to give Sigam a better shot. Another bolt is sent backwards by Niva, catching her own lamed beast in the neck, causing it to drop, her hands steadying herself on Kilaueth's neck as the gold begins to bank, following the haphazard path of the herdbeasts as the animals split, the larger group heading for a distance split in the rocks. "Try for one more.." She offers over her shoulder, her own bow lifted, only to have a shot drop into the dirt, trampled by galloping hooves.

The dip gives Sigam a chance to look back, dark eyes searching and eventually finding the fallen animal. He smirks, but saves the rest of his victory for later. "Okay," is his quick agreement to Niva's suggestion, scanning, waiting for the fanning beasts to settle back into some sort of pattern. Yet, the closer the get to the rocks, the more frustrated Sigam gets from their frenzy, and in the end he fires towards the closest one. The bolt doesn't strike home, but grazes a long line through fur across the shoulders, blood quickly welling up in the wound. Sig growls, vexed, but leaves off, assuming another rider or hunter behind them will spy the injury and take the herdbeast down more efficiently than he'd be able to at this point. Or maybe it will collapse from exhaustion later. Who knows. For now, he holds the rest of his shots.

D'son is slower to reload than Thea. "Darn - sorry Thea," he apologizes to the goldrider. "Really /not/ the best at this," he says with a self-deprecating chuckle and gets that second bolt in place. Inimeth cruises down lower, catching up to cantering beasts and this time when D'son shoots, it's a true enough shot and it's a swift kill. "Much better," he breathes out relief.

Only one more bolt is set free by Niva, another miss, before the beasts are retreating in the relative safety of the narrow canyon and Kilaueth is hurriedly pulling up from her set path, a tight turn before she's turning back the way they came, out of the way of the other hunters, but staying low to the ground to attempt to locate their kills, the gold backwinging as they come to the first, though the others are close enough. Niva's quickly undoing her straps, freeing herself and Sigam, before she slides down, crossbow still in and hand ready, should it be needed.

Thea peers ahead, searching for that fat herdbeast she'd had in her sights before, spots it and once more takes aim, waiting for the critter to leap a small creek. This time when she fires, her bolt is buried at the base of its neck, but does not hit the jugular as she hoped it would. She makes a small sound of annoyance, reaches for another bolt, but the are too far ahead now for another shot. She aims for a young female, trying for the same spot, but for some reason the cow bunches her hooves and is in the process of skidding to a stop just as Thea squeezes the trigger. The bolt hits the temple, punctures through bone and brain matter and the animal crumples to the ground with a sigh that is lost in the thunder of hooves. She makes a small, "Hunh," of surprise at this unintended hit. She drops her leg, straightens up and peeks over at D'son when he speaks. "Did you get any?" So intent on her shots she wasn't noticing.

Sig leans into Kilaueth's turn, gleeful expression once again returning to his face, enjoying the brief sense of vertigo even as the herd escapes. The landing has him fumbling at his straps, and it's a relief when Niva helps out. "Thanks," he mumbles before skidding down after her, taking time to stretch before he looks around. "They did well," the Dragonhealer comments offhandedly, spying several fallen herdbeasts before he glances over to Niva, smile wry. "I mean, of course they did. This is Xanadu." Prideful much? Regardless, he looks up for the dragons and hunters still overhead, smiling and satisfied as he shifts his weapon to his other hand, fingers stretching to relax.

"One," D'son answers Thea, squinting downward as his target goes down. "Another pass you think?" he inquires over his shoulder and reloads the crossbow again, concentrating on getting the metal bolt securely in place.

Its a prideful croon from Kilaueth as the gold begins to prowl, though she stays out of the way of those 'working' hunters. Niva glances over the beast, before glancing back at Sigam with a grin, apparently in a better mood given the obvious signs of their success. "One a piece, and two for Kilaueth, not bad.." She comments, even as she turns back to Kilaueth's straps. "We don't need to field dress them, we'll be back to the Weyr soon enough. just.." And she makes a quick motion at her throat, though its a descrete one, before odd slings are tugged loose for transport.

Thea gives D'son a thumbs up, peeks over her shoulder, "Huh. I think another Rider took out the other one I hit. It's down." She turns to spot Niva, "How many does she want?" She makes no move to reload just yet, instead she's busily swiping hair out of her eyes. "Should we ask her?" Again her eyes settle over that way, but rather than the Weyrwoman they assess the golden hide of Kilaueth. "Does she, uh, look like I think she does?" Uneasy trepidation is in the jumior's tone. Someone needs to know when to hightail it before that happens.

"Inimeth'll ask," D'son says calmly and looks up and over at Kilaueth with the safety in place on the crossbow. Quietly: "Yeah. I don't think it's pressing yet," says the Weyrleader with a thoughtful look in that direction. "Inimeth is sticking close though," he says after a moment and a deep breath. There's a polite but cheery query from said bronze to the queen about the number of beasts to fell and should they keep on?

"Not bad at all. Nice work," Sigam agrees with a grin that borders on cheery despite the new task at hand. "Yeah, alright, can do. Makes sense if we're going straight back. I'll start with this one over here then." Nodding to the goldrider's suggestion, the Dragonhealer unbuckles his knife, padding towards the nearest downed beast to assure its merciful demise. The slings are peeked at out of the corner of his eye even as he moves on, quiet and concentrated once again.

Kilaueth continues to look rather proud of herself, though she does turn her head to peer in the direction of the bronze, a series of mental touches back and forth indicating that the pair should simply bring what they have now, and with all those out there, there should be enough. The next beast meets its own end without a lot of ceremony, and its only after they are each dispatched that she meanders back to the gold. "We'll roll 'em, then she'll pick them up.. make sense?" She asks, hand on her hip, knife sheathed, at least, to be less threatening.

Thea lets out a breath she didn't know she was holding, keeping the queen in sight as they circle back. "I dunno if I can get Seryth away." There's disquiet in her tone even as she says, "Though in the Annex with her eggs, maybe her mind will be off Kilaueth." She glances back to note that Riders have landed all over the area to take care of fallen beasts and she is back to her elated mood. "I want some of that veal," She points to the clump of bushes where the calf fell.

"Nope, no second pass," D'son says, blinking and cranks that bolt back out of the cross bow, stows the weapon in the straps again, then has Inimeth land over near where the calf went down. "Good eats, that," the Weyrleader agrees and Inimeth sets down pretty smoothly. "Here we are." And over the side he goes after pulling safeties free. "Is Seryth really territorial? And yeah if she's sandsbound, should be okay."

Sigam lazily wipes his own blade clean on the ground before tucking it away, standing over the last herdbeast when the goldrider speaks up again. "Alright, that sounds like a plan," the Dragonhealer nods, glancing from Kilaueth to beast and back, appraising. "Can you drag the sling over here, or should we start rollin' it back her way?" An undercurrent of humor is appearing in Sig's voice again even as he bends to gather the animal's front hooves. The animal is heavy, and being entirely limp isn't going to help the situation, but it won't be too hard to handle with a bit of cooperation.

"You mean, *you* aren't going to get the sling?" Niva says with a bit of sarcasm, making a big deal out of rolling her eyes, before she's dragging the sling over, leaving the others nearby, moving to help shift the animal.. A task that is aided by a well-placed Kilaueth nose that gives the animal a little bit of a nudge, the gold fighting the urge to take a little snack bite. With the animal settled, Niva flips the other half of the sling over, nodding at the empty ones. "Your turn to haul.."

Thea nods, "A good hunt then!" Satisfaction ripples her voice as she also prepares her crossbow and attaches it to the sling on her back, answering D'son at the same time. "Not territorial, just… well it's as good excuse as any to avoid Riders after is all." She shrugs that away, ignoring the faint flush that rises in her cheeks. She'll hide when the time comes. She unbuckles and slides down after D'son, landing with a small hop and makes her way over to that calf and grabbing the two back hooves. "Should be tender anyway. D'you have nets or rope or…?"

"Pretty decent, yep," D'son agrees looking back over towards the others then moving in to help Thea with the calf. "What, think a person can't take no for an answer, even after a flight?" Dels says, brows up, hazel eyes sympathetic though. "Rope is in coils on his straps … and one net," the Weyrleader proclaims, standing there eyeing the carcass. "At least this one is pretty small, I'll get the stuff out."

Sigam's mouth opens and shuts gracelessly, not entirely knowing how to answer. "Uhm. You're… closest?," he attempts to reason, though it sounds lame even to him. Either way, he seems overly-helpful when it comes to rolling the animal, pulling a little harder than he might otherwise. The nosing from Kilaueth is received with a crooked smile and a nod of relief, hands clapping against each other lightly to dust off. "Uhm, yeah, of course." Sig skitters for the next one, dragging it across the ground towards the second beast and stretching it out before taking his position at the front legs again, lifting and shoving.

With Kilaueth's help, the moving of the defeated animals is relatively simple, and in short order the three remaining beasts are on their slings and Kilaueth is moving to allow each to be attached to the hooks on her straps made for just such a purpose. With the new weight balanced, Niva is clammoring up, looking down at Sigam with a grin. "Come on, you aren't getting out of unloading.." She offers, the gold pair waiting only long enough for the dragonhealer to settle before a quick touch to Inimeth and the heavily ladened senior gold is beginning the return trip to the weyr with her passengers and cargo.

Thea flickers a perplexed look at D'son, "Some don't. It's… awkward." She says it shortly, avoiding any names as she tugs on the legs of that calf. It's not really all that heavy and she's making progress as the Weyrleader retrieves that rope, plowing a narrow swath through the long prairie grasses as she nears Inimeth.

"Some don't?" That pauses D'son as he pulls the net out and the rope and looks over at Thea, brows knitting. "Who's given you a hard time?" the Weyrleader asks in a suddenly firm tone, even as he walks over to help haul the calf into the net and rope it up to Inimeth.

Wiping his forehead with a patch of sleeve, Sigam peers up at Niva with a look that's either grumpy or amused or disbelieving. Maybe all three! "Pff, as if I was trying to get out of it. Gimme a sec, I'm comin'." Retrieving his 'bow from where he dropped it on the ground to load up the beasties, the Dragonhealer hauls himself up Kilaueth's side and barely gets buckled into the straps when the gold takes off. With a muffled 'whoa' and then a most unmanly giggling noise, Sig leans forward to enjoy the return ride to the weyr before the real work begins.

It's pretty obvious that Thea really doesn't want to say. "Uh, uhm…" The Weyrleader has asked a direct question, however so Thea gives him a direct answer, in her own indirect way, of course. "Rather not say." For the shade of red her face is, perhaps he'll drop it. "Looks like the others have taken some of ours to load." Subject chaaaange. Hopefully.

That very indirect answer hikes D'son's brows up even more, though he's flattening the net out more and then moving around to help nudge the calf into it. "Mm," about the others, squinting that way and then back to the goldrider. "Can't let this slide, Thea," he says quietly. "It's not acceptable."

Thea tugs on that carcass, flashing D'son a rebellious look, before glancing away, "Don't like to get anyone in trouble. I've… managed to avoid since." As the calf is settled into the net, she rubs her face with a small growl, "Please!" She can be stubborn.

Lifting one end of the net to start folding it over and collecting the dead animal for transport, D'son's mouth sets in a fine line. "You shouldn't /have/ to 'avoid' anything," the Weyrleader says about as stubbornly.

Thea kneels to fold that net about on her end. "Yessir, I know, but he… didn't even remember it the next day." There's a pleading note to her voice, "Please, I'd be embarrassed if you brought it up." She focuses on that net, "Not so hard to be away from… really. Prefer to go off anyway." There's a flickered glance his way.

Blowing out a breath, D'son looks away, off where the milling herd has retreated away towards dragons. "It wouldn't have to be specific, could just remind people," the Weyrleader says quietly, "that they're expected to behave, regardless." His brows knit faintly and one hand scrubs up through his hair. "You know, I've never really gotten it, how some people can use it as an excuse to be out of control. The whole point of what we train to is self-control." Clearly assuming she means a rider. "Anyway, here, hold that end up… and we'll tie off and get going."

Thea nods agreement, "Well, D'son… I suppose so, but the alcohol they're giving the losers to take the edge off doesn't help their control, either." She points out reasonably as she lifts her end of that net. "I'm sorry, just… I have to work with the man, so…" She trails off as she waves a hand at the others Riders as if to indicate it could be any of them, "If you want to say something in general, I have no objection."

D'son finishes binding off the calf in the net and lets Inimeth come /to/ the load instead of the other way around. "Mm. Maybe the whole drinking thing isn't a good idea anyway. Could put a stop to that," Dels says. "Teach people to get a handle on it instead of 'taking the edge off' with something that just makes it harder to stay with it."

Thea's face looks doubtful, "Might. Some of the older riders're set in their ways. Keep that stuff on hand in their own weyrs." She shrugs, "I have just adjusted to it, really. I take off. Plenty of kitchen gals hang around waiting. It usually sorts itself out." Striving for a casual tone there. "Maybe with the new Weyrling groups coming up." She holds out her end of the rope for him to tie onto Inimeth's harness.

"Everyone now has to go jump in the Sea of Azov. Mandatory, Weyrleader's new rule," D'son says but he's kidding, grinning at Thea as they get the calf tied on. "All right, that's all done, any others to grab or are we good to go?"

Thea laughs, albeit weakly at D'son's new rule, relaxing finally. She smirks at that, "Almost enough to make me want to stick around and see that." A quick look over the area has her pointing, "That green has the other beast I got." She’s just lifting off with the loaded animal. "I think we're good?"

"All right then, up you go," D'son says giving a last tug on a securing rope and then politely offers to help Thea up again. "I'm kind of kidding," he notes about that. "But you know, it's what I do — well, did. If I didn't — well anyway. Cold water. Much healthier than drinking yourself into a stupor and doing something stupid."

It's a much subdued Thea that accepts D'son's help as she climbs to buckle in atop Inimeth. There's a quick smile and a nod for him. "It is." That's all she says on the matter as she buckles herself in. Her former elation vanished and she is silent for the trip back, deep in thought, apparently.

Likewise quiet is D'son and the trip back goes without mishap. There's no further talk about flight misbehavior and hey, there might just be yummy veal dishes to eat for the next seven.

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