More Than a Handful
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Xanadu Weyr - Training Grounds
// A wide, grassy expanse, nestled into the gentle bowl shape where something's taken a bite out of the mountain. It's high above the level of the beach, and there's a good eastern view of the lake and a long path leading down to that sandy shore. Granite cliffs surround it on the other sides.
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.
There's a dragon-sized opening to the south that leads to the cavernous weyrling barracks, and a smaller tunnel to the northeast - large enough for dragons newly emerged from the sands, but quickly outgrown by hatchlings who are then forced to take the long way around - at least, until they learn to spread their wings and fly. Between them in both position and size, a jagged crack in the stone leads to a dim cave with the sound of water.
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« IMMA GETCHA!!! IMMA GETCHA!!! » As confident as Inasyth might be, the outcome seems dubious as her vtol target seems to simply flitter about the training grounds without a care in the world. The young gold continues to frolic, even as the bug flies higher and higher away. She might not be able to fly yet herself, but she can streeeeeeetch and when that doesn't work… she JUMPS to land with a pretty solid thunk which has Rhodelia dropping whatever she was holding and running. "Ground bound! Ground bound!" Inasyth gives a little snort. « Where's the fun in that? »

« GET IT. DON'T LET HER BOSS YOU AROUND.» Emerging from the barracks, freshly oiled from head to talon is Neifeth. The smallest green in the clutch is slinking out her front feet far out of proportion to the rest of her body and obviously going through a growth spurt, this fact alone seems to be causing her to walk funny. Much higher than necessary with exaggeration at the knees and a slight wiggle at her back end, she looks silly. «You just let her keep you down?» There's sass in her tone, each word said more harshly then she either knows or cares, each word coming with a flutter of purple. Crouching down close to the ground, she growls at the escaping target and seems moments from jumping up and attempting an impossible grab at it when Evi emerges, "NEI." Sinking down to the ground, it's clear she's now sulking, it's clear to see that Evi is carrying no less than 3 books and two firelizards. "At least I am um, not alone in my troubles." A small smile, because it's someone else making trouble for once, "Hello Inasyth. You're.. huge. " A nod to the queen, and a shake to her head. "Do you just oil all day?"

While it might not be as much fun, Inasyth is content enough on the ground, wrapping around her weyrling with a happy rumble that might be an attempt at a laugh or an imitation of a feline's purr. Rhodelia reaches up give a scritch to her lifemate's headknobs even as the gold turns her attention on her sister. « I'll get it another day. She only keeps me down cause my Rhody loooooooooves me. » Ina is sure of many things, but this she is absolutely the surest. She also doesn't miss the fact that a single word from Evi keeps the young green also on the ground. « Looks like somebody else found her bossy pants this morning too! » Rhody shrugs for the question. "I don't think trouble will ever be something we're alone in." They might as well engrave it in their foreheads at the rate things are going. Since she was directly addressed, Inasyth spreads out those massive wings to make herself appear even larger before leaning over to give a gentle nose boop towards the youngest weyrling. « Thank you! I am. And you are very small! Like Neifeth! » There's a little cartoony image of the green pair as twinsies, complete with doodles of hearts and stars off to the side. Rhody gives a bit of a sigh. "Forever and ever. Except when I'm cutting up more meat. I don't know how I'll ever be able to sew straps quick enough for her not to outgrow them." Before too long the baby queen might be outgrowing some of the tiniest adult greens.

«FORMAL NAMES ARE FOR FORMAL PEOPLE.» Neifeth snaps, snaking her neck, so she's in front of Evi and between Inasyth and her rider watching her make physical contact with her partner, eyes whirling orange. There's a wave of crimson grass, the smell of redwort."Nei, it's. Thank you, Inasyth. She prefers Nei. I um. Gosh. When will this be normal?" She seems to be asking the world at large, her eyes unfocused but mouth running. Nei picks herself up off the ground and stalks towards Inasyth, growling though there's a trickle of play in her mind, and her eyes are whirling happily enough. There's never been any fear in the small green, no sense of size and projects a roaring river, the water violet, and lavender, bubbles lining the tree-lined shore as if the river were also a giant bath? «Bet you can't get meeee.» Very rarely does the green focus on anything but Evi, or how miserable the world is. «Bet I can winnn.» The slight purr to her tone put Evi on high alert, and she observes her new lifemate, while also trying to have a HUMAN conversation. "Maybe they will help you? I mean… I can't even think of straps yet, she's still too small to imagine riding her." Flopping herself down in the middle of the training grounds, she opens one of the books, "I um, they can play.. if we are both here." Nei's mind smells of citrus and red fruit. "Do you want to sit?" Maybe both chaperones shouldn't sit.

At some point, Inasyth might need to be a formal person, but it's hard to imagine right now as the young gold's limbs are still all massively outsized for other parts of her. She tilts her head to peer down at her sibling, almost owlish, blinking eyelids as Evi attempts to add her own corrections. « But Neifeth was the name you gave yourself. Did you make a bad choice? My Rhody makes bad choices sometimes. A lot of times. But she also makes right ones. Maybe we can get you another name! » A golden wash of tiny champagne bubbles streams over to the other dragon as inspiration strikes. « We just need to find SOMETHING to IMPRESS YOU! A firelizard is much too small… maybe a wher? You mention them often enough I think you must like them… » And even with those fighting words so lightly dropped, she'll lumber after Neifeth, adding her boozy bubbles to the bubble-shore. « You'll probably win, but I can try! » Inasyth definitely isn't the quickest dragon around, but she can cover quite a bit of ground as she bounces forward. Rhodelia looks as if she's about to step forward when Evi adds her own comment, causing Rhody to give the size differential a second glance. "As long as they're careful? NOSE BOOPS ONLY!!!" The last is hollered in the direction of the romping dragon, before she plops down on the ground. "Or straps might just be one of those things that get a lot quicker at as you do it enough? And I'll be doing plenty. Bet your weaving experience should come in handy?" Even if leather isn't the same as cloth, sewing is sewing, right?

«You'd think so wouldn't you? BUT then if I got a wher who would be competing for ugliest? You'd hate that kind of competition.» A snarl rips from Nei's throat, a sharp bugle of challenge following shortly behind her gold sibling as she snakes herself forward with what would be grace if her feet weren't so large and requiring extra effort to move. Looking every bit like a feline with something on its feet, this directly goes against her normal feral movement that usually appears effortless. Stalking, she's stalking her sister. «YOU have not EARNED the right to call me ANYTHING» Growl, snap, there's still some play in her mind as the river overflows and spreads through her mental forest. When Inasyth seems to engage and even challenge back Evi shakes her head "Girls." Evi yells back, in a voice that she only used back with her siblings. Never imagining she would be using it on two feisty dragons. «We are being nicceee yesss.» Crouching down she presses herself up into a bounce and lands with a jostle, taking off after Insayth at full speed. "Leather is much harder to work with, I was tempted to start trying… when I'd find the time. Not to mention Nei wants me to read these." The three books all seem self-help related. "If I get good at it, I um. I can help you. I don't expect her to be anywhere near the size, and well… Nei needs me to lead by example." The responsibility of having someone far less mature than you as a partner, with such a temper.

« Some folks are cursed with a face only a mother could love!!! » And of course Inasyth is picturing the absolute cutest possible ugly wher, crudely sketched in what appears to be crayon come to life, ready to chase through those forest bubbles. HE JUST WANTS TO LOOOOVE YOU! The young gold skids to a stop as Neifith hisses, a tint of concerned yellow flicking into her eyes. « Well, isn't someone a cranky franky this morning? Get up on the wrong side of the couch, Neifeth? » In one moment of daring, a final, massive champagne bubble floats over to the other dragon before it pops. Rhodelia meanwhile, stares and stares at her own dragon, eyebrows narrowing and tongue sticking out just a bit as she tries for the whole thinking instead of shouting, but patience or concentration does not win out this day. "INA! Just cause she started it, you DON'T have to finish it! Find a spot to sun!" Sulking, much like a toddler being sent to time out, she'll drag herself over to a suitably sunny spot on the grounds and flop, head on front limbs. Rhody will return her attention back to conversation, although shifting so she can keep at least one eye on her dragon as well. "Yeah… you gotta get those big needles and the whole punchy thing." Just wait until Ila'den hears all the lovely terms she can come up for the leatherworking tools that are totally not right, but close enough. "Are those books about leatherworking? She does seem to be one that would only want the BEST straps."

Neifeth watches the Wher, her soap bubbles swallowing it whole and graphically dragging it into the river. Spending way too much time on its graphic drowning scene, Evi wincing and mouthing SORRY to Rhodelia. The forest is now serene again, the wher gone from sight. «My NAME is not for you. Silly wher, your self-portrait was a good likeness.» At the last comment, especially after drowning the wher Evi wrinkles her nose and closes her eyes, «YOU ALWAYS TAKE EVERYONE ELSES SIDE. SHE'S UNDULATING, CONFINSCATING, INVEStiGATING. SHE'S. YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN.» SNAP. Suddenly the trees are gone, the dragon's mind shutting up entirely, and Evi's hand has gone to her temple. Neifeth lays down eyes whirling orange and yellow, body seeming boneless as whatever Evi is saying gets to her. «But.. my Evi. She's not the boss of us. Eviii.» Silence again, and she heavy sighs and frowns, "Um, I have been avoiding the subject." Nei seems to have found a way around the rules Evi is trying to enforce, and a tendril of vanilla escapes, all apologetic «Mine is getting me a set in every color. All of them. » Waves of color seep through, every single color, at least 50 of them. "I better work on it; these books are more personal. Nei saw something, in my mind, and wanted me to work on… well things." Evading some of the discussion and sighing, laying back down on the ground. "I.. I am doing my best." The young weaver girl is every bit the mother with a screaming toddler, tired and looking defeated. "We will need the hole punchy thing, we should have them bring us one to practice with."

« Of course it was good. I drew it! » And if Inasyth had a mental refrigerator, she'd be pinning the drawing up, miraculously undrowned, as proud in her own artwork as any mother might be a child's. But sadly, the imaginary wher will probably remain in his watery doom. The gold settles her head back down on her forepaws and lets out a massive yawn. « Rhoooooody. I think I'm going to nap right here. » As quickly as the words are said, the dragon plops over on her side and soon those champagne bubbles get replaced with cartoonish zzzzzs. Rhodelia gives a look over her shoulder at Neifeth's words of gloating. "Sounds like you're going to have your work cut out for you in other ways. And they'd bring us the hole punchy thing, right? Can't let us start without all the right tools?" That unfailing optimism of Inasyth's is totally rubbing off just like the oil that was applied hours ago and Rhody sighs. "Guess I'm going to be rolling the oil barrel out here again." And with a two fingered mock salute, she's off into the barracks, to return with supplies for the never ending task of hide-care.

«Immature child.» Nei snipes, never one to let anyone else have the last word, even if her sibling is asleep. Turning back to her rider, the cyan striped green flops on her side «EVI. WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS TO ME.» After several moments of gratuitous self-pity, lying on the ground staring straight at Rukbat Evi closes her eyes. Takes a long breath, hissing the air through her teeth and rocking up to her bottom. "I.. do. She's worth it though, she's the best thing that ever happened to me. I- need to remember that." Exhaustion cuts into her face, the last month has aged her at least two turns. Any day now, grey hair. "If you can, ask for us? Or I will. We can't both forget." Grimacing slightly, with a pained smile. "I.. have to." Motioning towards her green, which is thrashing about on the ground, and whining «Whhyyy…» The terrible two's is right. Standing up, one of the books is grabbed, and as Rhodelia is gone, Evi goes and sits down by her lifemate. A quiet whisper, one hand stroking the thrashing head. "Nei, my darling. You have to. If you can't try harder than you have to be quieter. I think you may have sorta told Inasyth you'd drown her. That's not going to help me." «SHE KEPT USING MY NAME.» "I know, I am sorry, my love." «YOU ARE NOT ON MY SIDE.» "No, neinei I am always on your side, and you are mine. Here. Let's read. Chapter 8, let yourself forgive and forget." That side of Neifeth no one else sees, visible for only a fleeting moment. «You hear that Evi, forgiveness. Work on it.»


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