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Any landing you can limp away from.

Who: Arekoth, H'kon, Miniyal, Peloth
Where: Southern bowl
When: Lunchtime on day 22, month 3, turn 4 of the 7th Pass.
What: Peloth and Arekoth take a turn together in the air. All goes well until Arekoth does not nail the dismount and gets hurt. H'kon is grumpy. Miniyal is mostly quiet other than a few small insults before the injury occurs.


At High Reaches Weyr, it is 11:59 on day 22, month 3, turn 4 of the 7th Pass.

Arekoth is already in the sky, flying low in the bowl in lazy circles, attention tuned in to the weyrling area, expecting to see that favourite gold of his emerging at any moment. The air is damp, and the winds are heavy enough to require a bit of careful navigation, but it obviously isn't enough to dissuade the brown. He'll even let out an impatient rumble as he dips in closer to the lake. Come on.

Peloth takes her time in emerging, not that she's not happy to fly with the brown, but to make her point. He waits on her and not the other way around. If her rider doesn't seem overly concerned with rank that is her problem, but Peloth makes quite sure all the other dragons know who is the boss around here. As she is the best ever she is clearly the boss. So, while she is eager she appears after a few moments and once she's cleared the wall just enough she launches herself into the air to swoop over the lake and pass by the impatient brown.

Ahah! Just as Arekoth was dipping talons to make little ripples in the lake, there's that gold, and it's with a slight spray of water that the brown veers upward, this time bugling a welcome, and, with a few speed-gaining flaps, making to to swoop in close to the younger dragon. << You're here! >> There's something almost triumphant to that, never mind the waiting game he's had to play. He moves upward in a tihgt spiral. << We're going high today, right? >>

There's a soft answering bugle. Of course she is here. Peloth never passes up a chance to fly. << I had nothing else to do. I was not hungry. >> Lest the brown's ego get too large. << We will go high. Try to keep up. >> And with that she catches an updraft and gains altitude. She won't stop as long as she's able to flap her wings and keep finding the right currents to soar on.

<< It's good that you're not hungry, >> Arekoth intones, making well sure to dance to either side of the gold as he does so. Any slight fallings back are surely a tease before he gains once more. << If you've eaten recently, you'll fly better. >> A gust of wind brings a few more water droplets to make his hide shine. He must be aware of this, moving toward a lighter area of the sky. Glistening works better with light.

She flies up straight to gain altitude before she takes part in the dance. Peloth falls back just enough to go under him and come up on his left before she catches an updraft once more and takes the lead with a swish of her tail. << I would rather fly than eat anyway. Flying is more fun for both of us. >> Maybe she means the both of them. Or maybe she means her and her rider. Either way, she doesn't let something simple like talking interfere with something more complicated like flying. << I will go higher than you today. >>

Arekoth revels in the two-way dance, whipping himself about in the winds as best he can, snapping forward, falling back, and occasionally letting out some sort of vocalisation for the general joy of the whole thing. << I highly doubt that, >> is quipped back. << I could show you some tricks once we're higher, though. >> Thankfully, there's an updraft for him to catch, and give some improvement to his altitude. Side-to-side comes at a price. << There are ways to fall with a special style. >>

<< You may show your tricks to me. >> Peloth, ever generous. Leveling out she swoops a large circle around the brown before diving down and twisting to come straight back up with a few hard beats of her wings. If she admires the way he looks she's given no indication as such. The way he looks is secondary. << You do fly well. Not as well as me, but there are not many who can keep up. Most of them are dull to fly with. >> Like those pesky greens who can do way more tricks than her. Damn their smaller size!

<< So do you. >> He moves into a lazy circle, to be sure and keep track of that little manoeuvre of the gold's. << And you aren't at all dull to fly with, either. Now, watch! >> A bit more time put into the circling to be sure he has her attention, and then the brown pushes up a bit more, climbing at a steep angle for as long as he can manage, then adjusting his wings to work more as stabilisers than as sources of motion. Body is held stiff, and he makes himself to be nearly straight up and down. And loses momentum. And starts sliding backward, down, tail-first. It doesn't last long before he's righted himself and set to a glide, of course. << Be sure your wings are strong for that, or else they'll snap off. >>

Lazy circles of her own begin as Arekoth shows off his trick. Peloth keeps her eyes on him and it's a good thing no one else is about because she might have flown right into someone else's air space. << Show me again. >> It's a demand couched in a request and she clearly expects to be obeyed as she gains just a bit of altitude so she might watch from a higher vantage point. << My wings are plenty strong. >> Just a bit of firmness there under the usual cool tone of her voice.

<< You need your wings to keep yourself straight, because you have to hold your tail still, >> the brown instructs, even as he starts his climb for a bit more altitude. << Then you just fall. And then you have to stop falling, and twist forward so you can catch the air again. >> Wings are set to rudder-mode once more, and the brown keeps his body quite stiff and straight for the backward slide. Slightest tilt of wings brings him belly-down, and then it's all about catching himself. As per the instructions. << Hardest is to not fall onto your back, not unless you mean to loop out. But don't do that yet. >> That last is a command. You'd think he were a bronze or something.

<< Loop out? >> There is a thoughtful quality to her voice that others have come to fear. As if Peloth is not quite able to do /anything/ that anyone points out. However, for whatever reason and quite possible there was a little assistance from her rider in keeping her out of too much trouble she gains a bit more altitude and then mimics the brown. << I could do it. >> In her mind, at least. But, she behaves for a change and while she loses a bit more height than he did she comes out of the fall and lets out a triumphant bugle. Clearly she meant to fall that far. Besides, they are up high. What does it matter.

Arekoth adds his bugle to Peloth, dropping some of his own altitude until they're on the same level, or thereabouts. << Now this one - it can make your head spin. >> There may be a pun intended there, because next, after he's once again gone higher (surely a tacit invite for Peloth to follow), he's arching around, and using momentum of head and limbs to carry him in a backwards loop. Again, falling with style. A moment to level, then wings are tucked and he turns around on himself a few times. A bit of a corkscrew before evening out fully. << You really need to throw yourself back for that one, or else you won't make it over. >> And maybe it's the over-developed sense of elation, or maybe it's the loud bugles through the bowl, or maybe it's just a learned behaviour not to trust Arekoth alone for too long - but just as the dragon is executing this flourish, there's a scowly brownrider stomping out into the bowl.

If he's going higher than Peloth is not going to be left behind. She rises up right next to him with just inches between his wing and hers. Playing chicken with the brown to see if he would have moved. Once more she watches him execute the trick and this time she doesn't ask for it to be repeated. Instead, having convinced her own rider it's more fun to just let her play there's nothing stopping her from following him. It's not bad for a first attempt, but it's nowhere near as good as his. This is shaken off with a twitch of her tail. << That is fun. >> For all she tries to remain calm there is definitely a bubble of pure elation in her tone at learning something new and fun and not just new and what she should do. Her circle takes her farther away from Arekoth and when she can turn she heads straight for him until close once more and then she arcs up just enough to pass over his back without touching him. Down below, Miniyal doesn't bother trying to watch. She just leans against the wall of the bowl with the look of someone completely not paying attention to anything.

Only moments after the gold has skimmed him, Arekoth tucks into another downward corkscrew, then is quick to loop and chase after her. << It is fun! That's the point of flying. That, and fighting, of course. >> How can Threadfall possibly be far from a dragon's mind, especially when he has, in a way, been promoted, and has a rider worrying about it so consistently? << But fighting's fun too. >> And for now, Arekoth is content with another close manoeuvre with that gold, coming up fast behind her, trying to match her pace from just above. In the bowl, H'kon doesn't bother looking for Miniyal. Not yet. For now, he's busy squinting up through the somewhat hazy sky, arms crossed hard over his chest. And what he sees of Arekoth's newfound game, he certainly doesn't appreciate. Frowny-face.

<< There are few things I am told I am allowed to do that are fun. >> Petulance? Not much. A wee shade, perhaps, from the not so very grown up queen. << This is fun. That is why I allow you to fly with me. >> Peloth is so nice. She loops around and loses a little altitude in the process. Wings beat to regain what height was lost as she lets out another bugle. << Fighting. It is not the same for me. But flying is the same. So, we shall fly together. >> Finding the brown again she dives down for him, pulling up before even getting close. On the ground it's a good thing H'kon is not looking for Miniyal because the only way he's going to get her attention will be by shouting or maybe shaking her. Why pay attention to the dull world when she can share more fun experiences with her dragon? Even though she can barely make out the spots in the sky that make up Peloth and Arekoth her face tilts upwards towards them.

Arekoth counters with, << This is why I'm willing to teach you my tricks. >> A few playful swoops at the gold, and then it's up for the altitude again. Preparing for another one of these tricks. << This one is fun too. Just let go. >> And he's up, again going as close to straight up as he can manage. This time, instead of looping backward, or sliding back on his tail, Arekoth gives a sharp tail-whip out to one side, and leans to the other, and so veers to the left. And lets himself tumble a good ways before he's rights himself. << It's harder to keep track of things when you're flipping sideways. But you really get to feel the wind. >> On the ground, H'kon growls something. It's non-verbal, and surely meant for the dragon. And /now/ he'll look for that goldrider. And stomp over there. Even if she doesn't see him.

At least she is a good student. Peloth stops circling wide and watches as as the brown shows off his next trick. << It is never hard for me to keep track of things. >> More boasting, but she's in good company for that. Waiting until she is sure he is done Peloth again sets herself up to mimic what the brown just showed her. She's good with her tail and she's good in the air and if she hadn't got a little twisted up in her mind on where she was she would have done better. Instead she tumbles a little farther than she meant to, getting herself righted fine, but not without some having to work at it. << That was fun. >> See? She's fine. She meant to do that. Like a cat that skids across the floor and goes head first into a cupboard. Down in the bowl Miniyal has to give her head a little shake as Peloth rights herself in the air. But she still doesn't notice the stomping frowny face on his way towards her.

H'kon pauses for long enough to check on the gold's tumbling. And then he's mad. "Bring her down." It's ordered to Miniyal, even as a sharp, downward jab of his finger is given. Eyes are on the sky for that, though, and it's likely a gesture meant for the brown. In the air, Arekoth has followed quickly after Peloth as she tumbles, but once all is well, he sends a wave of approval her way. << That's one of my favourites. That and the first one. >> And then there's a snort from the brown, though it might not be heard for the gust of wet wind that's come up. << He's worried something will happen to you. I'd never let anything happen to you. >> Circling...

Up in the air Peloth acts as if nothing bad happened and a little trouble righting from a proper tumble is no big deal. << I will practice it. Next time you see me I will have it perfect. >> She doesn't, at first, pretend to hear what else is said by the brown. But, he gets the equivalent of a mental sigh that is more affection than annoyance. << He is dull. I do not like him. Neither does she. Nothing will happen to me. I would not leave her. >> And since she /would/ not clearly she believes she /could/ not, even by some misfortunate accident. "Sir, they're just playing. Leave us be." Miniyal doesn't take her eyes off the sky. There's still nothing down here she wants to see. "Lighten up. No one's doing anything wrong. And, you're not the boss of me." Now her eyes flicker over to the brownrider, but just long enough to take in his expression. Then it's back to focusing on Peloth and what goes on overhead. "All things considered, they deserve their fun."

"Playing dangerously," H'kon notes with a frown. In the air, Arekoth has allowed his circling to slowly - slowly! - bring him closer to the bowl. << We can practice it together. You're safer with me. And he's not always dull. He just worries too much. He's never got to fly with you. >> It's not as outright defensive as it might have been, and the brown does indeed try to make up for some of his mud-sticker's ways by turning hard for a quick swoop in toward Peloth, accompanied by a playful little warble of sorts. H'kon has few other arguments, it would seem, opening his mouth, closing it. "I will not have her hurt," is finally decided.

With a shake of her head Miniyal focuses for the first time on H'kon. "She won't get hurt, sir. She's a great flier. You worry too much. You're worse than an old man." Verdict given she resumes Peloth watching as the gold slowly becomes more visible as she makes her way towards the ground. "You're just scared." Said under her breath, but clearly meant for the wingsecond to hear. Peloth, for her part, bugles once and dives down even though it means coming closer to the ground faster. She likes the rush of wind and it's not like she lands. Instead she sweeps back up and comes under the brown where she crosses his downward trajectory back and forth.

Miniyal's words are likely being backed up in the form of a mental conversation, and H'kon has managed to take on quite the squint for it. "One of us ought to be scared for your dragon," is noted quite dryly. He does bristle, however, just enough that he takes a step away from the weyrling rider. Arekoth has followed Peloth's dive, and weaves in all too easily into the trajectory-crossing and dancing. Another dip will find him brushing the top of the lake - surely a show of rebellion for that scowling brownrider.

"Why should I be scared for her, sir? She's doing fine. She's great up there. I'm not going to stifle her fun just because /some/ people have no clue as to the meaning of the word." Miniyal casts a sidewise glance towards the other rider that is not quite mocking, but certainly not respectful. Peloth happily allows the downward spirals to be as slow as the brown will let her make them. She chases him across the water before veering around him and going back up again. << It was fun. >> With a little height gained she drops down to do a nosedive landing on the bank of the lake. At the same time she imbues her next sentence with enough warm affection to alter her normally cool voice. << Thank you for showing me. >>

H'kon has no good answer for that - or none that doesn't hint at a general tate of paranoia brought on by recent events - and so keeps his mouth closed, and shrugs. Arekoth, for his part, allows a final little buzz toward the young queen after she's landed. << It really was my pleasure, you know. We'll do it again. When things are calmer. >> And he moves to whip around, dropping fast for a landing as near the gold as is safe. And indeed, it's not the gold's proximity that prompts the bellow upon touchdown, but rather the general muddy nature of the bank of the lake. Mud-chunks fly, wings are stuck right out, and the brown is quickly on three legs, with all four feet properly caked. And H'kon has just gone pale, lost in the split-second of hesitation that accompanies such things.

And it just goes to show it's the worriers who wind up with problems. Miniyal is watching Peloth with an affectionate smile that fades with some sort of situational awareness that clues her in maybe something is not right. "Sir? Are you all right?" Dragging her gaze from the somewhat muddy gold who probably just mentioned desiring a bath she focuses on the wingsecond. Besides, Peloth is not watching Arekoth so much as moving towards him to come to a stop near where he stands. << What has happened? >> And she edges a little closer to try to give him a little nudge of worried concern with her head.

H'kon doesn't answer Miniyal, but rather goes and gets himself all muddy too, moving toward that big dragon, who can't help but instinctively turn a shoulder to receive Peloth's nudge. Hide the hurt leg. The front leg that's still on the ground - that is to say, the right one - gives a little hop. << Ow. >> It's said calmly enough, almost joking. Pity there's that ripple of pain that can't be ignored, and can't help but be transmitted. And soon there's a tiny, boring brownrider pushing himself in between the dragons.

Since she's not going to be any help Miniyal stands back. She does watch, but there's no offer to do anything knowing how Arekoth's rider feels about her and such. For her part, Peloth seems offended to be pushed out of the way. Tail twitches and wings shake once before she graciously, mostly, retreats. Besides, it doesn't keep from her from sending more concerned affection as she settles by where her rider is. << Your bad leg? I am sorry. We were having such fun too. >> Settling down her eyes whirl faster as she watches her playmate with continued mental concern and support for him.

<< It'll be fine. >> Arekoth even straightens his neck a bit to shoot Peloth a glance, bravado all over, before he's dipping his head back in to look at that leg. Which H'kon has taken a light hold of - as if a human's gentle touch could hurt a dragon. "Straighten it," is murmured out loud. << I'm tough, >> is insisted. Even as the attempted straightening brings a rustle of wings. Displeasure.

<< That is why flying is better. There are not the problems of landing. >> She allows a hint of amusement in her tone now as if trying to share a joke. When his wings rustle she stands like she might move back over to him, but Peloth remains by Miniyal. Instead of physical comfort she has to settle for sharing what she can with him in his mind. And the being quite used to doing such things with her rider she finds it easy to do so with him. Poor hurt brown. Miniyal, from her spot away from the goings on, just continues to watch. Knowing better than to talk at this juncture.

A second attempt at straightening brings a back-hop from the brown. H'kon is quick to release the dragon's foot. But he stays good and close. << Flying is definitely better, >> Arekoth replies, if in a belated fashion. And it's at this point that he peers over to Peloth, and notes, in near-direct translation, << He will speak with yours. >> There's Miniyal's invite. The brown gives another half-hearted hop to adjust his balance, shifts his wings again. H'kon... scowls. Surprise.

Well, on cue, Miniyal gathers up the skirt she wears so only her boots get muddy as she walks closer towards the lake. "Sir?" is offered once she is close enough. Peloth follows along and finds a spot not in anyone's way where she can swish her tail to let it thump lightly against one of the brown's good legs. << I am sorry you hurt. >> In case he did not interpret the tail swish thump properly.

Arekoth certainly doesn't seem to mind the thump, tilting his head to the gold again. Leave the bipeds to talk. << It's fine. I got to fly with you. My wings are still fine. My tail is still fine. We'll do it again. >> His head is tossed. If dragons could shrug... H'kon, for his part, turns that scowling face of his to Miniyal as she approaches. "Go check if there is a dragonhealer on duty." It's almost a request.

"Of course," Miniyal answers and turns to make her way across the bowl. No sir or salute, but she doesn't even seem to be trying these days for the most part. Peloth watches her for a short while before she refocuses on the brown. After all, she can keep in touch with her rider without looking at her. Peloth moves closer and presses lightly against the brown. In case he wants to lean on her or something. Her head bends to study H'kon a moment as if daring him to try to push past her again.

Arekoth is more than willing to lean back, though he doesn't do so too much. It's important to keep a sense of balance on those three good legs, after all. H'kon has got brave and has put his hands back onto the leg. Nope, no point in nudging past Peloth right now. He probably doesn't even notice the gold's inspection of him. << You should tell her thank you. He won't think to. >>

<< She knows. And she never expects thank yous even though I tell her she should. It is her due, after all. >> Peloth, of the ego is more than willing to share it with her rider. Not that Miniyal has been accused often of having none herself. She is still gone waiting to fetch a dragonhealer, likely in no rush to get back to disapproving company not that she dawdles. Peloth remains where she is and doesn't concern herself with H'kon now that he's not trying to nudge her out of the way or anything else rude. She just continues to provide quiet comfort. << She is coming back. >>

H'kon has given up with trying to get that leg straightened, and instead is running his fingers along the skin carefully. As if he's got knowledge enough to tell what's happened by feel through dragon hide. << After all, >> Arekoth agrees. That brown head swivels to try and see the entrance that Miniyal will be using. The hurt leg is given a testing flex again, and then there's another quick shot of discomfort, expressed this time as a snort. << This is stupid. >>

It will be a few minutes before Miniyal reappears with one of the dragonhealers in tow. It's not hard to see where the problem is and so that is where they will head. When they get closer Peloth will turn her gaze on the new person a moment before she resumes watching everyone and not just someone. All while continuing to provide a place to lean for the brown. << You are hurt. Let them take care of you so we can fly again. >> It's an order couched in a gentle request. Not that he has to listen to her orders, but she does like giving them.

<< Not /that/ hurt. >> Even if he's still got that leg suspended in mid-air. That dragonhealer goes about his inspection, with H'kon grudgingly moving out of the way. And hovering over the healer's shoulder as best he can, though the dragonhealer is, of course, the taller of the two. At one point, the brownrider even looks to Miniyal, and gives her a little nod. Something of a thankyou, or at least, not outright disapproval.

The nod is received with one of her own. Sometimes Miniyal knows when it is best not to talk. Peloth remains where she is while the dragonhealer looks at things although she does keep one slowly whirling eye on him. << Hurt. It will be fine, but we must humor them. It is hard work, but we have to. >> There. See? He has to humor them for his rider's sake. Not because he is overly hurt.

Arekoth releases an audible sigh as a response to Peloth, and, for a moment, leans a bit more heavily against the gold, though surely not enough to upset her balance. The dragonhealer keeps inspecting. H'kon keeps frowning. And soon enough it's communicated that a hobble to the infirmary might prove best. Arekoth takes that moment to nudge Peloth with his head, though it's an awkward thing to do, what with most nudgable spots being leaned against. << I think I need to go humour them. >>

<< It is hard, but sometimes we must. I am sorry. As soon as you are able we will fly again. >> She straightens up and the gold gives a little nudge with her head before moving away from the brown. << Perhaps I will show you one of my tricks next time. >> Since the fun is over, despite lunch nearly being over, Miniyal and Peloth both head for the hot springs. The gold simply cannot be seen with mud on her.