The Incident at the Training Grounds

Xanadu Weyr - Training Grounds
This wide, grassy expanse is nestled into a vaguely bowl-shaped curve, granite walls jagged and misshapen as though something's taken a bite out of the mountain. It's high above the level of the beach, with a lovely easterly view of the sea and a long path leading down to sandy shores. Cliffs surround the training grounds on all other sides, excepting a small archway leading towards the hatching arena.

While much of the grounds are left in their natural state, one area has been trampled and trodden by enough feet that the grass struggles to grow. A running track circles a set of equipment - straw dummies with wooden frames, obstacles of various sizes and shapes, and targets for flaming, archery, and whatever else might be needed to train human and dragon bodies alike.

Candidate access to the combined barracks can obtained by way of a simple door embedded into the wooden half of the structure. Weyrlings are encouraged to make use of a short but massive tunnel that slopes gently upwards into the half of the barracks meant for dragon use. To the right of this opening, a jagged crack in the stone leads to a dim cave, alive with the sound of water.

It's a crisp winter morning in Xanadu, and though weyrlinghood may have been a long time ago, that doesn't stop N'on from showing up for regular training in between his rounds with Galaxy wing. In fact, he's not an unfamiliar sight on the training grounds, in his simple undyed linen tunic and trousers. Sturdy leather boots strike the hard-packed ground of the running track at a rhythmic pace, taking N'on around the circle again and again at a moderate trot. Slight panting shows that he's putting in some effort, at least, but he hasn't quite broken a sweat. Must be a warm-up run.

Training. Ugh! If'an doesn't want to train… Not today! There are many other things he would rather be doing. Like getting a tooth pulled. It's really not fair! But Izzuth is determined not to have a 'fat rider', so the broad-shouldered miner is off to work out in the easiest place to do so. And, really, it never hurts to stay in shape, anyway. One never knows when one will have to beat some sense into some idiot or other, after all. Iffy isn't really paying attention as he crosses the running track to get to the practice dummies and almost walks right into N'on as the younger man circles the track, "Oy! Watch where y'er goin'!" Forget that it's the aging man that is interrupting the other's workout.

An arrow wistles across the clearing and firmly embeds itslef into a target set up off to the side of the track. A young boy, standing roughly fifteen yards away, frowns at the target. His expression says it all: Taht's not good enough! He snaches anther arrow from his quiver, slowly pulls back the bowstring, carefully lines upthe shot… and fires! A gust dances across the arrows path making it veer off course and stike a half centimeter from where the last one did. Logain quietly grumbles to himself, then jerks his headup at the commotion across the feild. Upon recognizing If'an, however, he merely rolls his eyes, and grabs anther arrow.

N'on is in that peculiar state of not-quite-consciousness that can sometimes happen during a good run. It's almost meditative, really, and why should he be watching for obstacles? After all, he's on the /running/ track. So he nearly slams right into If'an as the older man steps onto the track. He manages to skid just enough to avoid and outright crash, but he still bumps shoulders with the other rider as he dodges past, a look of startled surprise plastered across his face. He stumbles to a stop, glances back to see that the other man is okay… only to get castigated. He blinks a few times, owlishly, then offers an uncertain sort of half smile and a shrug. Maybe that's intended to be an apology, but when it's clear that no one has been hurt, he stretches out his calves a bit and prepares to return to his run.

If'an's eyes narrow at N'on and he stands taller, scowling at the younger man. He grumbles to himself softly enough that the other two could probably ignore him if they put their minds to it. At least it's quiet until he spots Logain and the youngling's eye-roll, "Do we have a problem, kid?" For once, every word is clipped and clearly understandable. It almost might make one wonder if his normal half-slurred accent is an affectation.

Logain Lets the bowstring snict, making yet another arrow wistle across the space and actually touch the bullseye this time! He glances back over at the intruder, then looks all around himself innocently before looking to the intruder again. "Who, me?" he says with a barely perceptable twinkle to his eye.

N'on is good at ignoring grumpy people, it seems. He signs something most likely incomprehensible to the other rider, then continues on his slow trot of a run around the track. Luckily, the track /does/ circle the training area. That lets him slide a glance in that direction when If'an turns his annoyance on the kid. For now, he just keeps an eye on things to see what will happen.

"Yes, you!" If'an's voice is just short of a roar, "D' we have a problem here, kid?" He turns like he's going to stomp in Logain's direction, his arms held out from his body slightly and fists clenched. It seems that someone is in a bad mood…

Logain flinches slightly at the apparent aggression form the old miner, before regathering his wits and taking a defiant stance. He knows If'an's reputaion, but the boy is not /about/ to be intimidated physically. Probably why he'd been in so many fights as a weyrbrat…

N'on catches when If'an goes from yelling at the kid to actually advancing on him, and that's the moment when he abandons the track, turning his trot into a slightly faster run. He plants himself directly in the path between If'an and Logain, facing the former and holding his hands up, palms out in a warding gesture. He grins broadly, and signs some more of that strange hand-flapping language he uses. Does he know that no one here understands it? Probably! That doesn't stop him from using it, apparently.

If'an's scowl turns from the defiant youth to the defending rider as N'on inserts himself between irritated man and boy, "What?" The word is a gruff bark. Then there are hands flapping around at him and his scowl deepens, "Stop flapping your sharding hands at me and speak up, man!"

Logain briskly strides up to his advocate, and huffs at If'an's exclamation. "Give him a break, he's mute!" he says raising his voice slightly, then very quietly mumbles, "You old fart…"

N'on's beaming smile does not so much as flicker in the face of If'an's deepening scowl and expletive. Of course, he doesn't speak up. He also doesn't stop flapping his hands. Or at least, that certainly must be what it seems like. At one point, he does touch his lips. A few signs later, there's a distinct tap of his fist against his forehead, then the back of his fist to the palm of his other hand. All the while smiling broadly. Logain's words don't exactly cause the smile to flicker, but he does stand ready to shift if he needs to keep himself between If'an and Logain.

If'an growls, actually growls, at N'on as he keeps flapping his hands at him. He puffs out his chest, only sparing a glance at Logain when he explains the other rider's disability. Apparently having had enough, the 'old fart' makes a mocking face at the younger man and randomly flails his own meaty hands around in the air between them, "See? I can to that too."

N'on tilts his head at If'an for two seconds. Three. There's a visible attempt to hold in his mirth, and then it comes bursting out in a hiss between his lips, soon turning into a rhythmic wheeze that certainly /looks/ like gales of laughter, even if it doesn't sound like it. He points at If'an, then abruptly puts on a mockingly stern face and flaps his hands around in a mimickry of If'an's hand-flapping. Apparently his feelings must not be too badly hurt.

With another roar of anger, If'an wildly swings at N'on. It would be very easy for the younger man to see the punch coming and get out of the way. Apparently, the old miner can mock people, but Faranth forbid anyone try mocking him back!

N'on probably /should/ be able to get out of the way, but he really wasn't expecting it. Belatedly, he attempts to dodge to the side, only to get clocked on the side of the head, sending him reeling backward.

In the distance, an infuriated roar echoes through the weyr, soon to be reflected in the mindvoice of one dainty green. Typically, her mind presence is a subtle one, all whispers and candle smoke. But not in this moment. Nope! Her mind is an enraged scream, backed by a skin-searing bonfire that she brings to bear on Izzuth. « I WILL EAT HIS HEART! » Already, gilt green wings reflect the winter sun as she circles overhead, driven into the sky by anger.

If'an tenses to spring at the reeling man, but is suddenly sent reeling back himself as another powerful roar answers Zhelinath. The older rider gives his head a slightly dazed shake, "Burn it all, Izzuth!!!"

A large, pale, motled brown takes to the skies shortly after Zhelinath, circling the oposite direction from the green. His voice a violent PUNCH to the sturnum. « YOU WILL LEAVE HIM ALONE! »

Logain looks wide-eyed at the situation around him, and considers a… uh… tactical retreat.

Zhelinath stutters in the sky, falling several dozen feet with a loud, furious creel before she catches her self on an updraft to circle back on Izzuth. Her response is another wordless burst of psychic fire, launched at the brown.

Meanwhile, N'on does not take very well to that psychic punch. He staggers at the exact moment that Zhelinath falters in the sky, and when he catches his balance, the look he sends If'an is pure malice. In perfect synchronicity with the green's mental response, N'on clenches his fist and throws it at If'an.

Izzuth screams in rage at the firy attack, stumbling several lengths in the air before catching himself on broad wings. A completely non-virbal punch aimed both at the green and his own rider!

Attacked on two fronts, If'an goes down. Tiiiiimberrrrrr! The aging rider suddenly finds himself flat on his back, only now noticing the dragons circling overhead, "IZZUTH!!!" Suddenly, his tone goes from angry at the world to almost desperate, the cry making his huge brown break off. The brown drops like a rock, catching himself a bare length from the groud to land with an earth shaking thump a short distance away from his downed rider.

N'on's punch hits nothing but air as If'ain unexpectedly drops. Overhead, Zhelinath drops in time with Izzuth, landing much more lightly mere feet behind N'on. For a moment, they both look down at If'an, and there's an off-putting sensation of one mind looking through two sets of eyes. Then, abruptly, both dragon and rider simultaneously bare their teeth. N'on launches himself at If'an, capitalizing on the brownrider's disadvantage to really just… punch the crap out of him. Meanwhile, Zhelinath mantles her wings, teeth bared just over the fighting pair of riders, just waiting for Izzuth to give her a reason to snap at him.

A blue firelizard appears behind Lgain and swoops down to his shulder, startling the boy. "Orne! Feth Mom," Logain whispers to his 'lizard. Orne looks at the situation arund them, then cocks his head at his master in confusion. Not coming? "/Go!/" he hisses, shrugging his shulder. Once the 'lizard is gone, Logain suddenly realizes he's caught between to very angry dragons. "I'll just, uh, be over there," he mumbles, then blts to the edge of the feild, obviusly not wanting to miss anyting.

OOF! When N'on suddenly lands on top of him, the wind gets knocked out of If'an. Then there are fists swinging at him, and the brownrider tries to get his arms up to guard his face, hoping to take the blows on his muscular forearms instead of in the face. Izzuth roars again, baring his own teeth at the much smaller green and taking a step closer to the riders. « GET OFF! » Another roar, full of rage at his rider's helplessness.

It would be fair to say that N'on is not acting entirely in his right mind, as he rains down punches on If'an. Poor brownrider… For all that N'on seems like an affable, harmless sort of chap, he spent most of his youth lifting bovine calves and hay bales, and then most of his adult life in search and rescue training. When he decides to hit something, it's not a light tap.

For her part, Zhelinath is not backing off. As Izzuth takes a step closer, she snaps her teeth in a warning, her eyes glowing hot coals of fury to match the projection of roaring flames that she lashes out with, all over again.

If'an bucks his hips, trying to throw the furious greenrider off of him, "Gerroffame!" He lashes out with his right fist, aiming for N'on's face in hopes of ending this fight quickly.

Izzuth doesn't back down, either. He's the larger dragon, after all! How would it look to let himself get intimidated by a lowly green?! He CAN'T back down! He fires another wordless PUNCH at Zhelinath, eyes whirling red with rage that these two young ones refuse to back off.

A young blue firelizard zips into the clearing with three panting guards in hot pursuit. Leklala, the leader, looks around the clearing to assess the situation. "What is ging on here!?!" she shouts at the brawling riders.

The one-two punch to N'on's chin and Zhelinath's mind stun the pair for a moment. N'on falls back a little, even as Zhelinath staggers slightly. Still, they both shake off the shock quickly and are getting ready to launch a renewed assault when the guards show up. It's enough to throw a bucket of cold water over /N'on/ at least. For a moment, he looks at them with a slightly glassy-eyed expression… And then something sparks with alarm as he realizes what Zhelinath is about to do. She rears back, wings spread in a threatening display as she gets ready to launch at Izzuth with something more than just a psychic attack, only for N'on to launch to his feet, If'an forgotten, and plant himself in front of her. For a moment, they face off, N'on with his hands up in a warding gesture and Zhelinath snarling with rage… And then, reluctantly, Zhelinath backs down. Just one step, though. Her muzzle remains just over N'on's head in a protective posture as she takes turns glaring at guards, If'an, Izzuth, and even the poor firelizard.

If'an slowly pushes himself up once N'on is off of him, glaring daggers at the other rider and green. A bruise is already starting to form on his cheek, "That sharding mute," he turns the word into a vicious slur, "attacked me!" Forget the fact that he swung first. A low, rumbling growl, more felt than heard, comes from Izzuth. The brown doesn't take his eyes from the angry green, completely ignoring guards, firelizards, and human boy to make sure that she doesn't get any closer to his own rider.

Orne withers under the green dragon's gaze, and zips over to Logain's shoulder, tucking his head behind his master's.

Leklala eyes the pair, either not believing the miner or really not caring who /started/ it. She glancs to her two subordinates then gives a barely perceptible nod. They advance toward the two riders to ensure the fight really has ended. Leklala continues to eye the riders before announcing, "You will each return to your weyrs. You will be contacted when the Weyrleaders are ready to speak to you."

This time, the slur strikes true. N'on visibly flinches, and very pointedly does not look up at either brownrider or guards. He starts to lift his hands to sign something, remembers that it isn't going to be of any use, and fumbles at his waistband for the small notebook and pencil he always keeps there. But of course, he was just in a fist fight… So when he brings the point to the paper, he discovers that the business end has snapped off, leaving it useless until it's sharpened again. He stares at it for a moment, dully. Maybe he hears Leklala's order or maybe he doesn't, but he suddenly scrambles up Zhelinath's straps. Before he's even properly in place, she shoots into the sky. Probably he'll be found in his weyr later. Probably.

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