Flaming Practice Gone Wrong

Xanadu Weyr - Lake Sky

Looking out across the Caspian Lake, this is indeed a prime location. A sheer cliff to the southwest meets the deep water of the lake and following that cliff north a little leads you to the main beach and docks. The air here tends to be a little cooler than inside the sheltered valley but the northeast aspect of the weyrs scattered over the cliff face makes up for it.
Below you, the water of the lake shimmers blue or grey, depending on the weather and one can usually see the fishing fleet of Xanadu out on the lake or traders ships are often visible on their way across.

Away from Inimeth, It's a bright day, clear, not too windy, which means it's a reasonably good day to do a little practice with flaming. D'son's sent out a call to all the volunteers and those who can make it form up above the lake for safety's sake, dragons excitedly stoking up on 'stone.

Away from Inimeth, Siebith is one of those dragons settling into formation above the lake. Astride, D'had sends a glance over the others, taking note as to who has showed up.

Away from Inimeth, Seryth has been circling, waiting for those ranks to finish chewing 'stone and make it into place. Thea sits quietly, watching, one arm holding the flamethower awkwardly in her right hand. She adjusts the nozzle once again, then rests it on her thigh as she guides Seryth into the lower ranks with a questioning glance at D'had. Hopefully this will do?

Away from Inimeth, Atop Inimeth's back,D'son swivels around, salutes the Weyrsecond as Siebith drops into the formation and waits a few more minutes. Thea is also saluted and then Inimeth is passing along instructions. « Form up in a standard vee and we'll sweep from one end of the lake to the other. Dragons will flame *these*. » Those annoying seed pod … things that have been floating around in the air lately. « Stay well-spaced and be watchful! »

Away from Inimeth, Siebith's neck> D'had returns that salute from the Weyrleader as he takes notice of it. For that junior weyrwoman there's the same, though distance doesn't exactly give much view of the expression that goes with it. Siebith drops into his place in the formation, all to excited to get onto the flaming himself.

Away from Inimeth, Seryth's neck> Thea returns the Weyrleader's salute, including the Weyrsecond in another before taking up her flamethrower, bracing the muzzle in her left hand, finger moving to the trigger, her lips firming as she eyes the skies in her near airspace. How to aim seems to be her uncertainty as she points the thing first ahead, then corrects to aim up and to one side. Seryth tilts, veering to make more space between her and the other queens, her wings churning swirls of floating seed behind her.

Away from Inimeth, Inimeth turns to face forward and leads onward further out over the water. « On my mark, start to flame carefully! » is the bronze dragon's instruction relayed from D'son, though the Weyrleader is eyeing Thea's uncertainty as he looks back again. Not shared with the others is Inimeth's quiet image to Seryth with a tip from his rider about how to point that thing she's wielding there. A few seconds later, that cloud of seed stuff is closer and Inimeth cuts upward and lets out a short burst of flame that catches in the pods. Unlike Thread, the seed pods actually carry the fire backwards, lighting more of the air. They'll have to be careful when burning this stuff out of the skies because it hangs for a little before going to ash and dropping away.

Away from Inimeth, Siebith holds steady in formation until the order is given to start flame. At that mark however it's a short burst, gauging how the fluff catches and falls. Then a longer one. The Weyrsecond's attention is split between his own dragon and the others participating in the drill, a glance spared here and there for how some of the others are doing.

Away from Inimeth, Seryth's neck> Thea corrects the wand of that flamethrower, a brief nod in the Weyrleader's direction as she does so and then they are moving towards the stuff. Thea's first blast through the flamethrower is a failure. The flame drips dangerously close to Seryth's shoulder. Thea leans forward, re-adjusts the nozzle once more, then takes careful aim though the tip quivers just a bit as she does so. She brings one leg up, bracing her foot against the queen's shoulder and rests her elbow on her knee to steady the thing before firing a swath through the floating seeds. Then she's ducking hastily as the burning stuff floats back in her face, turning to watch it go by, making sure it clears the gold's back.

Away from Inimeth, Inimeth gives a little flutter of wings and then sends back the command to split into levels instead of a standard vee. A high level, middle level and lower level, well-staggered because of the way the flames are behaving in the seeds. Better to give each other more room to avoid getting singed. D'son looks over his shoulder and gives a thumbs up though, seemingly undaunted by some of the little bobbles that are happening here and there throughout the formation. More seeds catch fire and burn, making rather an odd effect and as the burn spreads amongst the pods, something interesting happens. Some of them start to pop, like so much corn over the fire, sending tiny hot pips flying this way and that in unpredictable directions. D'son's arm gets flung up suddenly and he can't prevent the outcry of "Ow!" as he gets pelted in the face by a hot pip.

Away from Inimeth, Siebith glides a bit further ahead, twisting one way or the other just a touch to avoid some of those still smoldering bits of fluff that float back at them. The blue dips downward then, taking up his place in one of the lower groups of the new formation. « How is she doing? » he questions of Seryth, D'had missing that shout from the Weyrleader as they slide further from the pair.

Away from Inimeth, Seryth slows her speed as the formation changes, dropping with the other queens to the lowest level. Thea's head turns forward with a small side to side shake of amazement, her eyes wider than before as the gold's wings sweep them forward. She's hearing exclamations from Riders near her, seeing glowing embers eddy downwards ahead. For several wingbeats Thea doesn't flame at anything. Seryth answers Siebith, « She is not sure how not to hurt me with the burning stuff. » Her rider angles out more, leaning as far out as the straps will allow and fires hastily at a nearby swirl of seed, which floats by aflame over the queen's wing before dropping towards the lake below.

A few others at the same level as D'son and Inimeth dodge and duck flying pip-seeds. D'son is still rubbing at his cheek, looking offended by the seeds' behavior. He tucks his scarf up a little bit more though as the exercise continues. « Flame and duck, » comes some advice from Inimeth which is sort of a 'duh' thing by now.

Away from Inimeth, Siebith's neck> D'had leans to one side, while Siebith flames more to the opposite, which seems to work at least in part. Then again, an unexpected swirl of a momentary change of wind, or a catching of a wing beat sends some of those burning bits back at him. Seems no one will remain completely unscathed. But then, that's what practice such as this is all about. Right?

Away from Inimeth, Seryth's neck> Thea has thankfully for once donned her wherhide helmet with her goggles today, her hair tucked safely inside so the seed pip embers popping and flying bounce harmlessly off it rather than setting her hair afire. They're getting the advice passed on by Inimeth, moving accordingly as Thea takes aim and blasts a swath through the floating seeds. Thea ducks from where she's leaning and Seryth tilts a wing to avoid the embers. Unbeknownst to them, one ember lodges in one of the harness straps where they join and quietly smolders.

Lessons every time there's practice, yep. D'son hunches down a little along Inimeth's neck while the bronze continues to turn his head, flame this way and that. Up above the higher level is starting to drift out of formation though and making for some close calls that the young Weyrleader hasn't noticed yet.

Away from Inimeth, Seryth's neck> Thea straightens back up, noting where they are in formation, Seryth glides to widen the space she's drifted into that drew her nearer one of the queens beside her. Thea is watching ahead, taking careful aim, flaming as she leans, ducking as the mess floats by. That smouldering seed stuck in the harness is not harming the thick wherhide straps, but the stitching holding the junction together is another matter.

If only Weyrleaders had eagle eyes. D'son may be a pretty observant guy but he hasn't caught the smoldering in Thea's straps. One of the other riders at Thea's level though is sitting up a bit, squinting forward, maybe catching some of the discoloration in the leather. Dels ducks again and this time so does Inimeth as some more flaming seed mess starts to drop downward, still smoldering. It's definitely not a clean burning thing up here.

Away from Inimeth, Siebith's neck> Its not exactly a clean burning thing anywhere in the ranks. Goo thing it was decided to practice over the lake at least, and it's not a very dry time of year. D'had swats at an ember that's landed on his hand, smothering it before it can melt to far into wherhide gloves. Flame this way, glide that, it might well become a pattern but for the breeze.

Away from Inimeth, Seryth tilts one wing, dipping the side Thea is leaning towards to avoid one of the seared seed pod clumps as it flutters past, stressing the smoldering strap just enough that there's a barely audible snap as the stitching gives way. Leaning way out over Seryth's shoulder as she is, there's no time, and no hands ready to grab at a neckridge and thus, Thea pitches over to dangle by the one remaining strap left intact and the belt it is clipped to. She does manage to hang onto the flamethrower, but too surprised to cry out. Seryth stops flapping and glides, likely something her rider has requested and her position in the ranks falters as the queen loses altitude slowly.

The snap goes unheard, but that glide and Seryth's position attract D'son's attention and his arm lifts a signal to hold fire given physically and echoed by Inimeth. « Hold fire. Hold fire. » And next the Weyrleader's bronze instructs one of the other juniors to fly up alongside Seryth to provide some cushioning in case that other strap gives way. Next, D'son has Inimeth contact Siebith with a command to help Thea to right herself and get re-seated. « Seryth, please continue as you are, another is coming up alongside you to provide assistance and Siebith's will help Thea to get back on your back. As soon as she's settled, please return to the ground. »

Away from Inimeth, Siebith's neck> D'had doesn't hear that snap either, but Inimeth's contact with Siebith has the Weyrsecond turning to catch sight of the mentioned junior even as the blue dives to Seyrth's level. Slightly above, so as to slightly overlap, he slips into a glide that matches hers as closely as he can. Meanwhile, D'had loosens his own tether enough to be able to more easily lean, precarious looking at that, to stretch a hand towards Thea.

Away from Inimeth, Seryth angles to allow the other queen better access to her side, rolling towards her left so her right shoulder is tilted just enough to help take some of her rider's weight as Siebith approaches from the other. Her drifting glide continues out over the lake in an almost-imperceptible descent, for her wings are not keeping her level any longer. Seryth's answer to Inimeth is stressed by the tone, but controlled « I will. » Contact from Siebith to Seryth has Thea looking up even as the blue's shadow passes over them. Her eyes, with tightly controlled fear flicker from that hand to D'had's eyes, unsure before she grasps the flamethrower's muzzle, and loosens her hand from the bulkier part of the thing. She reaches, her gloved fingers barely touching his the first time. A second try, arching her back and stretching further.

Away from Inimeth, Inimeth drops down closer to oversee the retrieval, both bronze and rider seemingly calm. S&R is bread and butter to them still and this isn't a complicated maneuver for most riders with S&R experience. Inimeth directs one of the other bronzes in the group to take over leading the rest of the flaming exercise onward through the cloud of seeds.

Away from Inimeth, Siebith's neck> D'had stretches a bit further that second try as well, clasping fingers tightly around Thea's wrist pulling gently yet firmly to allow her to climb back into place. Siebith does his best to keep steady, but there's always some waver. "Careful," D'had calls across the space, "Doing good." Attempting to calm and encourage.

Away from Inimeth, Seryth's neck> Thea manages to swing a leg over Seryth, her grasp on D'had's wrist loosens as she rights herself. Her face has drained of color, her words more of a gasp than voiced, "You can let go now… D'had. Donn leggo!" She shakes her hand just a little, her lips forming a stiff smile, "I need it to hold on with?" She's still got that flamethrower gripped in the other. As soon as she is able, she reaches for the bar imbedded in Seryth neckstrap, nods to the riders helping her and the gold banks gently to curve back towards the Weyr.

Away from Inimeth, Siebith's neck> D'had lets go one he's sure she's in place, that note on her part does help it sink in that he can though. He shifts back into place himself even as Siebith dips a wing to follow Seryth towards the ground and back to the Weyr.

Away from Inimeth, Inimeth hovers near until Thea is well-seated again then he backs off to give the others more space. D'son looks off towards where the flaming exercise continues for a moment and there's likely some communication there and then the Weyrleader is waving off the other junior to go rejoin the others, while he and INimeth accompany Seryth back to the beach along with Siebith.

Continues in Ya Alright?

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