On the Way Up (Cielo is Searched!)

Xanadu Weyr - Main 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 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 two sides. Toward the southwest, a spire stretches up to high above where the everpresent watchdragon sits on a lonely peak with Xanadu's Starstones. A massive rocky spur extends to the north, curved slightly to hold the clearing and pocked with doors and windows.
The hatching arena and Dragonhealers' Annex sit to the southeast, built together into a single complex that takes up a large portion of the perimeter beneath its domed roof. To the southwest, wide steps lead up to the caverns, and almost directly south is the entrance to the Infirmary. Nestled between the infirmary and the main caverns there's a human-sized archway with frequent traffic - it leads to the Wanderin' Wherry Tavern.
Tucked near the arch, just off to one side is a tiny wood-frame shop bearing the name 'Wildflower Boutique'. Windows have been cut along the cliff in various places along the cliff. Those of the administrative offices are placed to have the best view of Xanadu's airspace - to the southwest, over the entrance to the caverns and the infirmary. Others mark the dormitories and those of lucky residents, while toward the northern edge of that spur cluster the windows and entrances to the crafters' complex.
The rest of the Weyr lies to the north and east - a broad road that leads through the meadow and the trees of the forest beyond. At the far northern edge of the clearing, just inside the perimeter kept clear of trees, a clocktower sits and proudly displays the hour.

Rinian is carrying a bag as she makes her way out from the caverns. She looks distracted and possibly a little worried. Though she still has her usual serious expression, so it could be just that as well.

Autumn has come, and that means… it's time to go! To the autumnal ball, that is. Various dragons and riders have been tasked with bringing folks to the one Fort is hosting, in rotating shifts so as to not clog the air… or the space on the other end… all at the same time. At the moment, it's D'lei and Garouth who are in the clearing, the bronze tucked down obligingly as D'lei adjusts the secondary straps used for taking passengers.

Rinian stops for a moment as she watches a blue with guests that had just taken off just..vanish. She lets out a slow breath and also slowly, makes her way towards D'lei and his large friend. "Um..hello." She nods to them both politely.

Cielo is coming in at a fast trot! His own bag swinging at his side and his mask tilted up to his forehead so he can see where he's going, silly or not. He looks a bit flustered and breathless. "Haa…. I made it? I made it…" He straightens up and greets those already present, cheerfully. "Permission to board?" He asks, before peering at Rinian. "Hi!" Somehow.. managing to talk despite being winded.

Garouth shifts his head to observe Rinian, then turns it to look at Cielo. He exhales, a small snort of breath as he does. D'lei smiles to Rinian, and nods. "Hey there! Ready to go?" he asks her - despite how she looks nothing like it - then glances to Cielo. "Just-" pause in mid-sentence, apparently. He glances to Garouth as the bronze leans his head in to observe more closely. "…he wants to know if you're supposed to be a dragon," D'lei translates for the bronze.

Rinian isn't dressed yet, as whatever she has is still in her bag. She is saved from answering right away as Cielo gets the attention. Good..lieing would be rude, but being honest might not be nice either.

Oh look, and who else is here in the clearing — It's Ajral, actually looking ready to go. That is to say, she looks ready for a party (fancy, strappy high heeled sandals; updo for her hair) and she also looks ready for a costume party (the rest of her outfit is pale blue leggings and a pale blue form-fitting top and … a gigantic shimmery shawl that's also attached to her wrists, creating wings, and it is butterfly printed. So basically she has a skinny butterfly body and butterfly wings.) so it makes sense that she is here for a ride to a party. She scoots up to where Rinian has arrived, and watches Garouth's inspection of Cielo.

Cielo looks rather astonished at Garouth's query! Though he does not shy away from observation. "Oh! No, no, just some silly old doctor tales… this is more of a bird-look. Or it's supposed to be." Would dressing up as a dragon even be appropriate? He looks worried at the very though. Maybe a child would be more appropriate to such a thing. He fidgets with his mask self-consciously, saved only with a half-distracted smile to Ajral. Much… more catching costume, yes.

D'lei glances to Ajral - and those shimmer-shawl arms, and half-smiles. "Careful with that. Wouldn't want you to leave your wings in his back," he says to her, eyes shifting over Rinian to offer her a reassuring smile before his attention returns to Cielo. "Heh," he says, with a glance to Garouth before returning it to the dragonhealer - briefly - and then back to Ajral and Rinian. "All right, let's do this. You'll be in front," he says to the woodcrafter, and smiles. "Just like climbing a tree." If a tree was large, bronze, and flesh… but at least there are straps to help.

Rinian blows out a soft breath and nods. Climbing trees she can do. Not a problem. Nope. She starts to move closer to the big bronze and then stops. He is not a tree! "My shoes won't bother him?"

Ajral has at least done this one before — the mounting a dragon in nice clothing thing — and D'lei gets a polite salute and a returned generic-friendly expression bordering on a smile as she waits. Once Rinian gets settled upon Garouth it'll be her turn and while she will have to be a little more cautious she can mount smoothly. "You, by the way," she tells Garouth quietly, before mounting, "are the largest dragon I have ever tried to ride."

This may not be Cielo's first time riding, but it may be his first proper introduction to Garouth too. "Would you prefer I had?" he wonders. "There is always next year." When in doubt, ask! He carefully grasps a strap and goes about climbing. His fabric is a bit all over the place, but… hey. Even his boots are soft! That has to be a plus.

Very few trees are capable of turning their heads to look at people about to climb them. In fact.. probably no actual trees can do that! But Garouth does, a glance to Rinian. D'lei smiles, and shakes his head. "Not unless you've put on crampons," he says to Rinian, and grins. "Hide's pretty thick." Garouth seems likewise unconcerned, his attention shifting to Ajral - whose words to him earn a draconic snort. D'lei glances up as Cielo starts to climb, "You take back!" he says - practical first - and then, "…he says that we'll see." Ominous? Garouth? NEVER.

Ok Rinian, you got this. One scary thing at a time. Get on the dragon. Don't fall off when he flies. Don't die Between. Don't expire in space. Got it. She shifts her bag more securely over her shoulder, and then scrambles on up. If they had squirrels on Pern one might see the relation.

Ajral and her shimmery-wings costume are going to freeze to death between if they're there longer than like, two seconds, so hopefully they are not. "He would be a very odd tree, but a charming one," she proclaims from her perch behind Rinian.

Back? Back. Yes, back is good. Cielo nod nods and settles in as such. "Aye, aye!" He offers cheerfully. Well, ominous or not, a year is a long time to let suspicion build. With a little wiggle, he muses. "Well. A very lovely autumnal, at that," he agrees with Ajral.

Meion comes running out from the Weyr with a small suitcase in tow, looking far more rested than her last public appearance. "Am I too late? Are you all going to the… the thing?" She's wearing some sort of a coat that looks borrowed from the healers' storage, but otherwise doesn't seem all that costumed.

Death is not on the agenda, unless that's a costume idea! D'lei nods as the rest climb up, with another glance to Garouth before he too makes the climb. He may not be a squirrelcrafter, but he is at least quite familiar with this particular climb. "There are waist belts!" he informs as he does. "Put them on!" Which is maybe less specific than Rinian would have hoped for, but the more familiar ones can help… hopefully. And… here's another voice, down from below. D'lei leans to glance and… "Climb fast!" he tells Meion, because he's not stopping but hey, there's still time to catch up!

Belts? There are belts? Belts are good. Rinian looks around and spies something likely. She secures it, she hopes, properly. She looks down to the newest arrival and is glad to see her looking better. The height at least doesn't bother her.

Late to the party (well, not the actual party, just the boarding party) is Nessalyn, who also appears uncostumed, although she carries a bag over her shoulder. It's enough to try to master the art of climbing with a still-weakened leg without having to do so in a costume as well. She's not going to try this 'climb fast' thing that D'lei insists upon, so she's going to take the next bus out. Or dragon.

Cielo squints a moment and considers the straps being used. Then nods and buckles himself in. Right in time, too, because that initial movement makes him wobble a bit! "No one gets left behind~" Cielo cheers, though that's probably wishful thinking.

Strap: grabbed. Climb: made. It's like Meion has been ferried on dragonback a time or twenty in her life - though the bronze is rather more majestic than she's had prior experience with, and the climb a bit higher. "Thankyouthankyou," she manages, strapping herself in quickly. She's not the most familiar with Garouth, but she's not going to risk what happens if she fails to climb fast. That small case is hugged tight to chest with both arms, and she's ready to go.

An ear-piercing whistle sounds across the courtyard. A keen eye would be able to spot that it came from across the clearing, where Teinon is rushing to catch up to the crew. As he runs, he pinches his lip again and emits another shrill whistle, startlingly loud considering that it comes from a human. Probably that's his way of saying 'Wait for me!' At first, he seems to be wearing his normal clothes. You know, the ones he scoops bovine poop while wearing. But in fact, he is wearing an eyepatch and headband! Clearly, the costume is flawless. He pulls up short when he sees Ness, hesitates, but then shrugs a little and gets in line to climb up. Party time! (He does try to casually find a way to put another person between him and Ness. NO TOUCHING.)

There'll be another dragon along… pretty soon, probably. It's like there are both riders going to the party, and riders who will take any excuse to not actually go to the party. D'lei tucks himself into place, with a spot for Meion left, and makes a quick work of his own straps. "Right, we're-" This time, it's a whistle that interrupts, then another one. D'lei looks out to see… "Catch the next one!" …and oh look, here it comes; a blue (not quite what Nessalyn was hoping for, but at least he's smaller than Garouth) with a forty-something rider who hops off and tells the two of them to hop on… then ducks into the caverns. He'll… be back in a moment? It's probably just a bathroom break. Garouth, meanwhile, spreads his wings and rears up, with a tilt as he adjusts his weight and then a leap up into the air to gain enough altitude before he does the really disorienting part.

Rinian hold on tight to her bag with one hand, and the straps with the others. Her eyes go wide and then she…smiles. Ok, this part is fun! She leans over to watch the ground get further away. "He is way better than a tree."

Good call, Teinon. Nessalyn may not even notice him, truthfully, but he's also not harassed. That approaching blue is eyed with a speculative look, but he seems to pass muster. And she can even make the climb up with little more than a few winces for her pain - improvement! She'll be back on her feet in no time. Maybe those aboard Garouth will even hear it as Ness starts grumbling about how long the bluerider has been gone mere moments after he heads inside.

Cielo is just starting to get to that point where he realizes he doesn't know… much of anyone! He doesn't get much time to ponder that though. "Much, much better," he agrees with Rinian. His own bag is given a tight tug in against his side. It's strapped to him, but better safe than sorry.

On the ground, Teinon doesn't really have time to look disappointed. He watches the dragon take off, mouth agape. Apparently that never gets old? At any rate, he has to shake himself out of it, and carefully climbs up to claim a spot on the blue. He doesn't grumble about the bluerider. Go figure.
Meion grins widely, as Garouth picks up speed fast. She holds on tightly to her bag, with a good sense of what's about to happen. Just a moment of it, and then she'll be there, safely. But that moment…

That bluerider has been gone LITERALLY FOREVER. For serious. How many minutes does it even take to hit the bathroom and then get some klah and chug it? TOO LONG. But he'll come out eventually, and in the meantime, Garouth achieves minimum safe distance for go time! His wings fold in as part of one of their beats, and then - cold, and dark, and silence except for the rush of blood that is the sole assurance that anyone is still even alive, because there is nothing in the universe except cold-and-dark-and- THEN. Arrive, at destination.

Yokohama - Cargo Bay
Since the gravity units were restored and now are maintained in working order, the cargo deck of the Yokohama is constantly buzzing with activity. With research needing to be done, equipment to be moved, or a plethora of other tasks taking place people are always coming and going, either from the planet 'below' by dragon back, or meandering in and out from other places aboard the ship.
This area is well lit, the floors themselves have had space set aside specifically for 'betweening'. Three large marked off areas remain clutter-free of people, dragons and equipment. With these 'landing pads' clear, dragons avoid the danger of teleporting into an area of space already occupied and causing a tragedy. Several massive sun lamps have been set up over off to the left, in an effort to make the stay of dragon-kind more comfortable.

Rinian's eyes are huge by the time they arrive in a place that..keeps them that way. Flying is cool. Between..that's up to debate still. Space? Well….that will have to be answered later.

Garouth arrives with his wings neatly tucked, because in space nobody needs to flap… and even this large bay is a bit cramped by dragons. "…and here we are," D'lei says, easing back to let people off… though he puts out an arm to stop Cielo from doing so just yet. Why? Who knows, but he's got a crooked smile as he does.

N'sir exhales a breath as he slides down off Elianneth and takes a moment to readjust his hair and clothes. Fussing with the lace on his sleeves, he flashes a smile at the new arrivals before making a beeline for Toith and R'sner. "Did you see K'zre?"

R'sner is trying very hard to not look as uncomfortable as he might feel, though the mask at least allows a (very, very, VERY tiny) bit of anonymity. That is totally tossed out the window given his dragon is right there. She's at least tiny, squishing herself to the side of the bay beneath the sunlamps to allow bigger dragons to move around. "Did I see the gold paint and glitter-bomb creature that was once my son? Yes." But really, there's a hint of a smile, teasing at the side of his mouth, and a gleam of amusement in his gaze as he slings an arm around N'sir's shoulders and pulls him close. "He looks great."

Cielo decides to put his mask down so that no one can see his expression for that part of the trip. Though it probably doesn't help the impression much. It stops him from noticing the arm right away, which he meets with a light *bump* before settling back into place. "Ah?" He only sounds slightly worried as he pushes the beakmask back up. Another quick glance between Garouth and D'lei, and an anxious smile.

Meion waits a moment, sitting on Garouth-back slightly longer than is necessary, squeezing her bag tight. And then, the climbing down! She pauses once she's clear of the langing area, finding a relatively quiet corner where she can open (and stash) her bag to finish putting the costume together. There's a clatter of heavy glass things being removed from padding, and props come together.

D'lei puts his arm down once Cielo gets the point. "Garouth said something else," he says with a smile, and reaches down to sort through a pocket and find… ah, there it is. White cord, fashioned into a loop. "He said your costume was incomplete." D'lie half-turns in his seat, extending that knot in an offer toward the dragondoctor with an amused arch of brows to go with his smile.

"He looks stunning," N'sir laughs as he winds his arm around R'sner's waist. Yes, he's very pleased with himself for K'zre's costume and he's not about to pretend otherwise. "You, however, you look just as amazing," he notes as he snuggles up against the Weyrlingmaster's side. For now, he's perfectly content to remain right where they are with the dragons. Course, he cannot help but observe D'lei handing out a white knot, a grin immediately quirking his lips.

Rinian slides off as easily as she got up and gets out of the way of D'lei and Cielo. She does glance over her shoulder in time to see the white knot and smiles. She'll congratulate later, for now she gets out of the way so other dragons can come in. Besides she needs to find a place to change her clothes.

"Did he?" Cielo asks. This sort of conversation usually had a much different cadence in the healer's annex. And then. Ah. Is that what he thinks he spies? If masks could turn red. No, no, that's just candy dust and he's not wearing it besides. The tug of familiar conversations and beginning ekes of festivities is there, but suddenly as far away as his home Weyr. "Y-you're sure? Of course you're sure. Why wouldn't you be? Oh, gosh…" No, the young dragonhealer hasn't managed to process this. What does he do next? Right, accept, dummy. Just reach out, try not to look too much like a jittery fledgling and accept. Then… and then… oh dear.

R'sner? Rush to join a crowd of strangers? Never. Which means he's quite content to steal a bit of space in the cargo bay, pull his weyrmate close, and just loiter with the dragons. "Hm. Given this is all your doing…" he teases, a faint smile twitching at the side of his mouth as he turns a look down to N'sir, "I'm not sure that's a compliment toward me, or yourself." Kidding! He's kidding. And there's a fleeting kiss to his beloved's lips to prove it. But he is not oblivious to the passing of knots, and while he might not know either of them (well, he kinda, sorta knows D'lei), nonetheless there's a congratulatory expression for the new candidate.

D'lei nods, smile still in place. "He did," he says. That offered knot remains extended, and while D'lei does look amused, it's the sort of fond he-knows-that-excitement look… followed by a trace of concern. "Don't pass out, please," he says as he passes the knot over… because politely asking is super-effective against what bodies decide to do, right? "They might start to think I do it on purpose." Garouth rumbles, a sound that's just a bit like a chuckle… or at least, it might seem like it in context.

Meion can't hear the conversation between D'lei and Cielo as she's putting her costume together, but as she finishes and looks back, she can see that knot being offered. She can't help the grin that breaks out. She pauses in her trip up to the party to make sure her own knot is in place, and manages to hear that last retort. At least she can laugh about it too, now.

N'sir smooths his hand over R'sner's chest, subtlely straightening the weyrlingmaster's jacket and vest as he does so. Course, he's returning the stolen kiss with a quick smile. He cannot help but feel a bit nostalgic seeing the knot being passed over. It was not that long ago that it happened to him, after all. "Xanadu is in full swing it seems," he notes with another easy smile. "And the compliment was for you. I already know my work is outstanding," he adds with a teasing wink.

Would it be cruel for Cielo to…? Lookers on might see him wobble a bit and then fall slack in his straps. For but a couple moments. And Garouth would almost certainly pick up on the jest. "I—you won't regret this. Thank you." And a string of other professities. Despite the levity, his head IS swimming when he looks at the knot again. "You have a certain flair for the dramatic, though, don't you…?" He wonders of the pair. It would be nice to be associated with something other than checkups and other awkward interactions. It would be a LOT nicer than that. He starts to think about putting it into place proper, then. "I won't… oh. I should not keep you from the party, too."

D'lei has the start of a twitch to catch Cielo - then stops, and instead turns his head to give Garouth a look. "Your fault," he informs the bronze, which is replied to with something that makes him grin, and then he turns his attention back to Cielo with that grin still there. "Might as well do things interestingly, hey?" he replies. "But yes. The party calls… and don't worry about enjoying yourself." He grins. "Just so long as you can still walk - or float - straight. We expect candidates to be well-behaved, nothing more than that." With that, he swings off Garouth, leaving Cielo to do the same… once his head stops swimming, anyhow. "See you at the party!" he says, with waves to Cielo, Mieon… and N'sir and R'sner, too… before he heads for the lift.

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