Flying or Controlled Falling?

Xanadu Weyr – Beach


The unerring range of subdued white rises and falls in a multitude of sandy dunes, creating an endless amount of tiny valleys constantly demolished and rebuilt by the frequent arrival or departure of a dragon. Smoothing out as it slopes gently to the edge of the deep blue water, the sand darkens and a shell here and there stands out for children to collect. The beach itself is set along a low cliff - the height lessoning as one heads eastwards, blocking a portion of the beach from direct access.

The wide wide stretch of water opens up to the east, the far distant shore way beyond the horizon and the beach curves ever so slowly round to east and west, distant arms of land embracing the wind-ruffled Caspian Lake. East leads up to the mouth of the Rubicon River, where the protecting cliff is merely an arms length higher then the sand, and beyond that, a winding road leading out of Xanadu's territory. Westwards, the beach narrows as the cliff swings out, leaving a path wide enough for dragons in single file before cutting in to the sheltered cove designated the Weyrling Beach. However, cut in the cliff face to the north are a variety of rough, wide staircases, providing access to the clearing and to the meadow.

Siebith senses that Seryth speaks with the agitated beat of raindrops on tin « Mine wishes to know if yours would have time to take her on an errand?» There's a brief pause that crackles with lightning «I cannot leave my eggs, even if someone else cares for them.»

Seryth senses that Siebith's reply is loud against the crash of waves, the surf of his mind echoing that flash of lightening she shows. « I will tell mine. Where would yours meet us? » There's a brief instance in which that seems there's all he has to say before his thought pattern appears again, « You will take good care of them. »

Siebith senses that Seryth's answer is a long time coming. As delayed rains at the height of summer during a dry spell, her normal peace has evaporated «I cannot care for them at all. They are keeping them from me in that box.» A small tendril, a fog-wisp of thought whispers, «She comes to the Beach.»

Seryth senses that Siebith gives an irritated snort, though its clearly meant for the 'they' rather than the gold. « You will make sure 'they' take good care of them then. » He corrects, a flash of confirmation on the meeting place being sent as well.

Crews are already at work clearing the debris form yet another storm, although the previous day's storm was not as bad as the recent tornado-bearing storm. Today, the sky is a cloudless, brilliant blue and there is just enough breeze to make things pleasant - a perfect day for flying. The beach is cluttered this afternoon with storm-wrack piled where the largest of waves deposited them, small branches, water weeds, shells, stones… and one small, broken sailing skiff with Thea seated atop it, waiting for D'had and Siebith to arrive. She's dressed in her flying leathers, goggles and gloves in her hands. No helmet though.

D'had leads the way to the beach, of course Siebith is behind him nudging him along a sign that he might not have been particularly fond of going anywhere. He to is dressed for flight. "Enough already," he grumbles at the blue, "Said I was goin', just cause I ain't walkin' fast enough for ya don't mean ya have to push." Yes, he does tend to talk out loud rather than mentally even with his own.

Thea is just watching the horizon, enjoying the peace the waves and the occasional leaping fish bring. Quiet sounds that might lull a person into daydreaming. The sound of grumbling intrudes on this, though and her head turns to see the eager blue and the not-so-eager (or so he appears to Thea) Rider. She stands by the stricken craft, a slight tension to her shoulders creeps in to erase her peaceful calm. "Hey." Her brief greeting is called across the sands and she offers a guarded smile, "Look what washed up on the beach." So she had to argue with the crews to keep them from hauling it off and using it for firewood.

Thea's greeting is what brings D'had around to finally pay attention to his surroundings. "Hey," he returns, the word itself said flatly though lips quirk into something resembling a smile. Eyes light upon the skiff and he simply gives his head a slight shake. "Could have done alot worse."

Thea is silent for a long moment, eyes that had been dream-hazed focus more keenly to observe D'had, flickering over his eyes and mouth. Her smile fades and she starts to say, "You don't have-" then changes it to, "-any idea if they can fix this, do you?" She lifts her foot to kick the side of the hull as she turns her attention to the wreck. The crack down the length of the center of the bottom can be clearly seen. "The clean-up crew says it's the keel?" She's pulling the word from memory. "D'son thinks it will take a seacrafter." There's a bit of a groan in the words.

D'had strides closer, leaving Siebith to wait a few paces off as he inspects the wreckage. There's the walk around and he finally nods. "Possible. Might be I could if I had the time and tools, but its been a long time," since he's done any such work the likely finish to the thought. "Seacrafter probably be best, yeah."

"Shells. I have to pay for the craft first. This is getting expensive." Thea eyes the mast where it lies beside the skiff dubiously. "So I need to consult with T'eo at Western, Niva says. You sure you don't mind taking me there?" She flickers an uncertain look at him from under her lashes, stilling her hands as they fidget with her gloves.

"For you?" D'had starts, that smirk of his creeping back to his face as he turns attention from the wreckage back towards Thea. "Anything," a wink follows. "Western, hm," he comments idly as he turns to head towards where Siebith waits, the blue having found a place to sun in the meantime.

Thea half-smiles at the smirk, but it isn't reaching her eyes today. One last glance at the small skiff to see if… Yes! The sign is still tacked to that cracked keel. It reads, 'Lay one finger here and Seryth will EAT you.' Someone smart has scribbled, 'And then she'll hawk you up to chew some more' underneath. She kicks a puff of sand at the unknown writer and follows after D'had.

D'had mounts up first, straps already having been secured prior to their venture down to the beach to meet the passenger. She likely doesn't need it, Siebith being far smaller than Seryth, but D'had leans down to extend a hand of assistance.

Thea pauses to pat Siebith's shoulder, "How's my hero today?" There's genuine fondness in her voice for the blue. She peeks up at D'had. Okay. She's ready to die now. "So I've heard… stories-" (yes, let's call them that) "-about Siebith's flying…" She's saying it as if it's a question as she's reaching for his hand and pulling herself up.


You sit atop Siebith's back. Beneath your legs, you see: Shallow ocean currents race across this dragon's body, streaks of white wakes swirling after some unseen vessel. Dappled shades dot down his neck from his muzzle to pool into a darker blue splotch on his chest. His body is small and compact, perfectly proportioned like a prized racing boat. A thin darker blue streak down both sides of his torso create a stylized marking, as they swirl down to the tip of his tail, chasing each other as if in a never ending quest. His wings are shorter than average, but thicker as well, colored the same pale blue as the rest of his body.

D'had chuckles, "Have you?" he remarks the words not quite a question though they hold a hint of one within. As their hands meet he pulls gently, giving a hand up to have her settle in front of him. "That a good thing or a bad?" he goes on to ask, letting her buckle herself in though he does give the straps a second check. Then, once he's satisfied, and without warning there's the launch.

"I have," Thea says it with a laugh rippling in her tone, "and you should know I don't scare easily." If she'll try sailing without lessons, well that says something about courage, right? "I'm here, after all." So we'll see it those stories are true, shall we? Good, bad, she doesn't say as she buckles in and waits for him to check the straps. The launch takes her by surprise, but she makes not one sound, although the suddenness throws her back against the man behind her.

D'had chuckles. "Who said anything about scaring?" Best guess, one of those whom she heard the stories from. There's a soft 'oof' from the man when their passenger throws back at him, but he grins all the same. "Hear that Sie, lady wants ta see some flying," he remarks. There's few strong pumps of blue wings after the initial launch to bring them higher into the sky. Altitude gained is still far lower than many dragons might approve of but it's there, a mere dragon length above the ground the Siebith makes a quick dart of a turn to be heading the opposite direction - out and towards the lake.

Thea's hands grip the neckridge in front of her. She turns her head over one shoulder to give D'had a look. He might get that glint of 'dare ya' in her eye if he can see though her whipping hair (girl really ought to wear a helmet). She's ready. Bring it on! The turn has her slipping sideways just a bit, straining the harness and there's just the smallest gasp, barely makes it past tight-lipped determination. Ha! Do your worst.

Honey, this is just the beginning! Siebith pulls up, using the air currents to easy the effort, but what effort is saved in rising is quickly used up in other ways. A twist, a turn, a draft carrying them up, up, up, higher and higher when its hit only to run out at which point the blue almost pauses mid-flight before turning nose down to plummet towards the waves below. The tight corkscrew spiral he makes on the way only serving to speed the descent.

So they're flying up. Been there done that. Yawn. Okay, maybe not this fast. The twists and turns have Thea swaying side to side, but she hasn't thrown her arms about the dragon's neck and shut her eyes. They reach the apex of Siebith's ascent and she is (as calmly as she can possibly force herself to - ignore that little waver in the vocal timbre, it must be the altitude) saying, "Nice. Seryth and I have never been this high-" Then they are dropping and spinning? Wait, wait! This is not flying. The stories were about flying. She not only shuts her eyes as tightly as she can when the spinning starts, she lets go of that neckridge and wraps both arms around D'had's. In a death-grip. If they're accessible. Because baby, if she's going to fall off? She's taking him with her!

D'had doesn't even chuckle. No, he flat out laughs the smooth sound likely ringing in Thea's ears even given the speed at which they're descending as he pulls arms tighter around her, leaning in, only to have her grab a tighter hold of him. As high as they went up, Siebith seems intent on going down just as far. Down. And down. And just before it seems that impending doom can't be avoided wings are unfurled to catch the air, a simultaneous flick of his tail once again turning their direction in order to glide, in seemingly effortless fashion, out of what anyone watching would certainly have preceded as a most certain slam into the waters of the lake.

Thea's speechless. This ought to be a cue to her right here. Someone has learned a trick or two about shutting women up. If Thea's eyes were open? Likely she'd be dead before they hit the water. So fortunate for her that she shut them, eh? But that laugh. It has her cracking them open in suspicion to see what is he doing now? Oops. Big mistake. The water is rushing up (?) at them. Which way is up now? Thea has her jaws clenched. Not going to scream…not going to… She screams. Through her teeth. And shuts her eyes. If D'had's hands are getting any blood through her tourniquet-grip, it would be a wonder. As Siebith's wings flare, she is thrown forward, but there's no way she's letting go of those arms. The glide is heaven. She cracks one eye open. We're dead, right?

"No," D'had comments firmly, a second after the death defying dive has been completed. Siebith stretches out his wings, leaving the pump that was going to lift them to the sky again unfinished, and turns to a gentle, lazy glide, skimming across the top of the waves talons nearly touching the surface. "Can't feel my fingers babe," he comments, still holding Thea tightly in his arms.

Thea loosens her grip on D'had's arms, but only enough to let blood seep through. Never know what Siebith will do next, right? There's not a word coming from her at the moment because she's just trying to breathe, more like small gasps than normal breathing. Seems the only breath she took on the way down was the one that she used to scream with.

"Deep breaths love," D'had prompts, resting his chin on Thea's shoulder to be more easily heard. "In… and out…." he directs regulating his own breathing to his direction as well. "I'm right here."

Thea works on it, she does, really. For some reason finding it more of a challenge with D'had's chin on her shoulder. She's not letting go of his arms, either, oh no! Likely won't be doing that unless Siebith lands. Finally breathing slows, she swallows and says, "That all he's got?" She turns her head to catch his eye with a deliberately (faked) smug smile, which ends up looking little more than a wobble of pale lips. Who's scared? Not her.

That comment from Thea has the muscles of the blue beneath both her and D'had rippling to show off some more. If dragons could grin you can be certain Siebith would be about now. That surge of power is quickly lulled back into temporary dormancy however. "Don't tempt him," D'had comments, the words are there, but he's clearly not at all focused on her when she looks back.

So Thea doesn't say more for the time being. Bit by bit she relaxes as Siebith flies sedately. And since it appears he's not going to be doing anymore stunts, she lets go of D'had's arms. She sounds disappointed (faked again), "I heard he can fly upside down." Though her tone makes that sound like she believes that is a tall tale. Not tempting, but no - she's not needling dragons too? Shut up Thea.

The comment is made and almost simultaneous there's a quick dip of a wing and a warning "Sie…" from D'had as he subconsciously tightens his hold on the woman in front of him. "Don't you dare," he mutters and while it's not meant for Thea to hear, with their proximity she still might. Tension in the air between dragon and rider, a battle of wills.

Oh! Oh if Thea were the bold, brazen, ready-to-die type of woman! She might could try to distract the man while he's battling wills with his dragon. But alas, Thea is not and she prefers to live. There's nothing more than a quick, indrawn breath as D'had's arms tighten. She remains silent. Yes, she's capable of that. Once in awhile.

If Thea were that kind of woman there would likely be no battle of wills to be had at the moment. D'had would simply let Siebith have his way and nearly kill all three of them three times over. Thea however, at least in his experience, is not that type of woman. Donn lets out a breath as they seem to have come to an agreement, the blue giving a snort as he concedes continuing his glide. "You okay?" he asks, drawing a breath and with it her scent, his hold not yet relinquished.

Thea must be, of course. She was never scared at all to begin with, remember? For all that (badly) faked bravado, she merely nods this time instead of making any mocking comments. "Never flew like that before." Well, if it doesn't sound like admiring, perhaps Siebith will know that his shock-and-awe strategy worked? Likely picking up on the trembling in her legs, the blue is. She has got to say it, though. "That last bit? Was falling not flying." A curious side-look at his eyes there beside hers, "Do you do that often?"

"Controlled falling," D'had corrects, "Which is a sort of flying." That's his theory on things anyway. As for often… "His favorite way ta land." seems only appropriate, and does (though perhaps in a round about way) answer the question. He starts to say something else, but stops before he can begin. "So… where'd ya say we're headed?" Yes, safe topic.

"Shards," Thea mutters. They are still up in the air, after all. So whee! She has something to look forward to. Twice more, even. There's another curious side-glance when he starts to speak, but it is the question she answers, "Western Weyr." So if they're going to be landing after *Between*? Up come those arms to curve around D'had's again. Not quite the death-grip though. Yet. She'll do that on the way to the ground, no doubt.

Siebith has been circling steadily higher as the two have been talking, gaining altitude for the jump between. Instead of the jump however, upon gaining the height a wing is dipped without warning, as so many of the blue's movements are. The start of a barrel roll this. Only thing, it ends halfway through. Thea's the one who had to mention the upside down flight. Not only does she get to experience that, but also inverted betweening.

See? Thea has good instincts. It may do not one bit of good if the harness breaks? But that death-grip on D'had's arms makes her feel better. Though it's a very small comfort at the moment. As the harness bites into her shoulders, her hair flips to hang down and her seat on Siebith is barely there, she squeaks, throwing her head back instinctively. She's still mid-squeak as they go *Between*.

Between isn't any different. No shorter. No longer. No warmer or colder. It simply is, just like always, and three beats later they've arrived above Western. The tip of a wing moves, a subtly perfected near twitch that turns Siebith (and is passengers) right side up once again.

Thea's hair flips back down with a soft whoosh, blown back immediately by their course through the sky. She lifts her head and shuts her mouth (no one saw that, right?), which is no longer squeaking. But no way is she letting go of those arms. No, that she'll do when Siebith is on land.

Siebith doesn't leave much time to get used to anything before his spiralling downward once again. Though not nearly as tight as the initial corkscrew Thea experienced his decent isn't anywhere near the lazy circling of many. A) there's traffic of people and other dragons below which may require faster reaction than divebombing allows, and B) well it's not his weyr. C) That Thea is likely not over the shock of the rest of the experience is completely out of the question. D'had peers over the woman's shoulder, checking on her likely though he doesn't ask how she is. Likely he can guess what that answer will be.

And Thea is fine! Just fiiiiiine. (lies!) This spiral is nothing like what she's used to on Seryth. The arms she's got hooked over his tighten more if that's possible. If D'had's checking on her, he's going to see that she's got her eyes squeezed shut. She's dizzy? And might even lose her lunch.

D'had says nothing, but the tight circle of Siebith's loosens even more after a moment, opening up to a lazy drift downward which ends in a light touch down and a snort at D'had once the blue has landed.

Someone might have to pry Thea's fingers from D'had's arms. Does the Weyrsecond bruise easily? They stop and her eyes flick open first. Yes, that is terra firma. She slides a look at the wings to make sure they are indeed, folded. Okay, reluctantly she loosens her grip on his arms. There's a decidedly dazed look on the weyrwoman's face as she reaches for the harness and she tries to unbuckle it without success. Her fingers are shaking just a wee bit.

D'had leans over her to reach for the buckles. Even if Siebith hasn't completely settled when he does so the blue is clearly doing so, and he must be certain there's going to be no further sudden flight. "Wait," he comments as the straps are unhooked and he hops down first, holding hands up should Thea require assistance or catching. "Easy now."

Thea complies. She knows her shaky legs aren't about to work, but she's not saying a word. After he has dismounted, she kicks one leg over in front of her. She meets his eyes with a faint grin, "Don't miss. It'd be a shame to die here of a broken neck rather than heart failure in the sky." Pale face and shaky legs? Huh! She's still got a spark of … er, sarcastic wit? Stubborn pride? She slides down, trusting him to catch.

"No way either one of us woulda let ya die," D'had comments with a quiet chuckle for her comment. And catch her he does, hands under arms just like it should be though it might not have been exactly necessary for him to pull her quite that close in the end or quite for that long either. "You're sure you're okay?" he inquires, a faint touch of concern coloring his tone.

Thea’s grabbing at D'had's arms for support because when her feet hit the ground? Oh, joy. Her legs are like rubber, so she's not minding being pulled close one bit. (If asked that's what she'll be saying) "I know," she answers his quiet assurance. She lifts her head to tell him that she's fine, but somehow the words stick in her throat. Well, she'll be honest for once, "That was some ride, (Translation: terrifying) can we do it again, please? (Just kill me now so I don't have to go back)

D'had chuckles, a warm rumble in his throat. One hand reaches up to rest against the side of her face, thumb lightly tracing her cheekbone as dark eyes seem to examine to assure himself that she indeed is fine like she'll likely say if asked. "I'm sure he'll be happy ta do just that on the way back," he says with a smirk. "Now I don't know about you, but I could use a good drink about now…"

That's her legs shaking, that's all. But he's not helping them with that thumb, no. Thea's not going to say it, though. She returns his look with that same dazed expression she's had through the whole flight. There's a nod to whatever the question was. Rattled much?

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