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The latest dragon clutch has hatched successfully. Yet for the time being, the focus seems to have slid off the dragons. There's been a spike in volcanic activity around Landing, and for once, it's not Thread the colonists are worried about.

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 Soaring Skyward, [05.09] Story Event - Open to Everyone!
Eleanor Winters
 Posted on: Feb 6 2018, 12:02 PM
Quote
Dragonriders
Goldrider
Chioneth | #f9ba3a
131 posts | 85 marks
written by Otterly

Chioneth was having what Ellie liked to call flying lessons. She'd been practicing darting about for months now, under the tutelage of Penny, Hawk and Maggie--and a few wild fire lizards who seemed to be attracted by her golden dragons' presence. She caught a glimpse of Ilya's bronze Ginger, hovering nearby, and had to grin. If he was here, then surely Noodle and Splash would be too. She wondered if Ilya himself, and Harth were around.

Maggie seemed content to chirp orders from Ellie's shoulder, squawking whenever Chioneth made a particularly sharp turn. Penny was more hands-on, so to speak--her bright green hide was a flash against Chioneth's golden body as she tried to guide the much larger dragon where she wanted her to go. Ellie bit back a laugh.

They are good teachers, Chioneth said amiably, catching the wisp of Ellie's thoughts. She had landed gently in the grassy meadow and turned to regard Ellie with brightly whirling eyes. And we've been practicing a lot!

"You have," Ellie told her, grinning. They weren't very far outside of Landing, but this clearing provided ample space for Chioneth's practicing without getting in anyone's way. "You've been going for awhile now. Are you ready for a break?"

Chioneth considered that. She flapped her wings slightly, as if to test their strength, and shook herself all over like a horse. She was horse-sized now, too, and perhaps almost big enough to ride. Eleanor thought of what it would be like wistfully, and Chioneth whirled to face her, eyes gleaming.

I don't need a break, she declared fiercely. Her tail lashed back and forth eagerly, and Ellie leaned forward. And I am big enough to ride, now. I'm as big as any squealing horse! I could carry you, and we could fly together at last.

"Oh, I don't know," Eleanor murmured, hesitant. She made her way to Chioneth, who lowered her head to be stroked. Eleanor ran her fingers over Chioneth's eye ridges. "The vets say we should wait till you're a year. I don't want to hurt you."

Chioneth scoffed. I know myself. You wouldn't hurt me. She had latched onto the thought of flying together finally, as they had discussed long ago--though her memories of their conversations in the egg were only Ellie's now. Eleanor knew that she wouldn't let go of this idea now that she'd had it, and well--

Ellie really did want to fly with her.

"We've no saddle," she offered, trying one last time to strength her self control. "I don't want to fall." Chioneth snorted, offended.

I would never let you! C'mon, Ellie. Her voice was coy now, and she knew that Ellie was close to giving in to the temptation, even if Eleanor rarely did anything that might get her into trouble. Are we not meant to fly together? The fire lizards--hers and Ilya's--were gathered 'round them, peering down, but none of them seemed particularly agitated.

For some silly reason, it was their contentment that convinced Eleanor to go along with Chioneth's idea. They were protective of the dragons, after all.

"All right," she breathed, her own heart beginning to speed up excitedly. "All right, Chioneth. Let's do it."

Chioneth bugled in triumph, and then crouched down so that Ellie could reach her more easily. Eleanor scrambled up to settle herself on Chioneth's shoulders, between the ridges on her neck and back. It was not all that dissimilar to riding a horse, she supposed.

I am better than any horse, Chioneth said haughtily, and Ellie laughed breathlessly.

"I know," she murmured. Riding Summer would never be anything like this. She curled her hands around the neck ridges and took one deep breath. Chioneth knew she was ready now.

Then, in a flash, she was up, and Eleanor let out a gasp. The wind was whipping around her hair, tendrils of it catching on her lips and cheeks. Eleanor leaned forward and tightened her legs around Chioneth as her stomach flopped like she was riding on a roller coaster.

When they were aloft, Ellie looked over the clearing spread out below them, and to Landing in the distance. How small it all looked from up here! Eleanor let out a bright laugh and felt Chioneth's own rumble beneath her.

Is it not amazing? Chionoth bugled as she banked left, turning to circle the meadow.

Oh, it was more than Eleanor had ever imagined it could be! "We're really flying," she cried, even as her words were swept away by the wind. They could go anywhere on Pern, if they wanted to now.

Eventually they had to land--it was colder in the air than Eleanor had expected--and Chioneth spiraled lazily downward. She landed easily, and when she touched down, Eleanor threw her arms around her neck and buried her face in the soft hide. Her cheeks were suspiciously wet, overcome with emotion as she was.

"That was the best," she mumbled. "Even if we still need a saddle, or something." And even if she were to get in trouble for doing this without permission.

Chioneth snorted, though this time she was amused. The sky is ours now!



In light of Crow's speeding dragon development up, we decided it would be a good time to have their first flight! This thread is open to everyone, dragonrider or not!

Ilya's fire lizards are mentioned with Crow's permission, as well.


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By Crowfeet
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Karine Juel
 Posted on: Feb 6 2018, 12:41 PM
Quote
Colonists
Captain | Candidate Wrangler
|
46 posts | 70 marks
written by Zahhy

Tensions had been high. Captain Karine Juel had failed to maintain morale with her candidates, many returning to their previous duties, or picking up new ones. Landing was abuzz, even with the addition of Catherine Caves to move the loud and ever-growing dragons into. Though the Captain was very busy with aiding in all of the threadfighting efforts, she always made certain to take her daily run.

Today it was necessary. She felt her body aching to break something, and she feared it would be the face of the next person to demean their hard work. The dragons were a miracle, Karine knew it, but she too was beginning to believe they may not amount to the threadfighting mounts that they had all hoped for them.

A glint of light soared above and Karine stopped in her running to crouch. Thread glistened, it danced with malicious intent, its sickly pink hide shining and Karine feared that perhaps their calculations for the next fall were wrong. Reason overruled her fears though and she covered her eyes against the sun to see what the shine could be, a firelizard likely. Karine called her own to her side, the gold cheeping pleasantly at the sight. No - not thread.

It took some time for Karine's eyes to adjust and she realized it was one of the golden queen dragons. They were big enough to fly, she should stop being surprised... but, was that a rider? Karine squinted into the bright southern sky, for once cursing their paradise choice of home. A rider! That gold had a rider.

Karine ran, she could tell the dragon was circling, landing. Her heart beat into her throat, almost choking her. This was it! This is what they waited for, what they needed. The colonists would be bolstered by the knowledge that the dragons could fly with a rider! But what daft child and gold had tried? Racing through the underbrush, Captain Juel crashed into the clearing, sweat beading her brow and soaking her shirt. She was panting, the field had been much farther than she had anticipated. She paused at the edge of the field to stare at the girl and her dragon and to catch her breath. Did her eyes deceive her? The girl still sat atop the dragon as a mount, collapsed forward. Were they injured? Karine paused in awe, her heart pounding and her mind racing faster than even her legs had to carry her here.
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Lily Reed
 Posted on: Feb 6 2018, 01:12 PM
Quote
Dragonriders
Goldrider
Peleth | #f1a278
43 posts | 50 marks
written by Zahhy

It was a beautiful day. Lily wished she could sit beneath a tree in the shade and read the afternoon away, but Peleth wanted to explore. Sensitive as she was, Lily knew that Peleth felt stifled in the confining spaces they were used to, she wanted to stretch luxuriously, lay where she could be admired by all manner of creatures. They were worth more comforts than they were afforded, or at least Peleth believed it so. Today she had forced Lily out on the premise of finding a larger home.

"Must we really look for our own caves? I'm certain the specialists have surveyed this area time and again." Lily complained, her usually quiet voice much louder with the safety of believing she was alone with her dragon.

For human living, yes, but not dragon. Peleth's voice said as she poked her head under a nearby bush as if it would open up suddenly to reveal an underground network. Lily giggled. She knew Peleth was humoring her.

"Oh, enough of your teasing. I'll start looking for the sweet oil plants. I know you don't care much for the stock oil for your hide."

And look for new caves.


"You look for the caves, I'll look for the grass." Lily teased back, her voice still holding onto the giggle as she began searching the base of the trees for the sweet-oil grass that grew. She startled very audibly when she heard the crashing of steps of someone running through the trees.

"Peleth?" Lily rushed to her dragon to find Peleth not looking at the sound of the commotion, but off into the sky.

Look Lily! Chioneth and Ellie fly! How lovely. May we also try?
Peleth's eyes whirled fast in excitement, the tantalizing prospect of enjoying life to its fullest hanging on every word of her silken voice with the hint of a desperate whine in Lily's mind.

Lily stared at the sky, it was hard to see through the trees, but she had seen a glimpse of Chioneth as she spiraled. Was it true? She had never questioned her dragon before, but Eleanor was adventurous, would she truly risk Chioneth's health like that? Sweetgrass forgotten, Lily began to run after the sounds of someone crashing through the brush well ahead of her. Peleth trumpeted triumphantly, believing she had convinced Lily to let them fly.

Chioneth! Tell us how it is done! Peleth cried to the other gold, her voice alight with excitement and a deep curiosity. The rose gold dragon and her rider burst into the clearing a few paces away from Captain Juel. Too terrified to speak, Lily froze just a few feet into the clearing and Peleth flapped her wings loudly as if announcing their presence. Oh, no. Lily thought, and even though she hadn't been breaking any rules she blushed at the sweaty and terrifying sight of a wide-eyed Captain Juel staring at a sobbing Eleanor.


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Ilya Kuznetsov
 Posted on: Feb 6 2018, 04:40 PM
Quote
Dragonriders
Bronzerider
Harth | #d05c28
110 posts | 1030 marks
written by crowfeet

The bronze dragon lay stretched out comfortably on the ledge, wings fully extended—as if soaking up as much sun as possible.

“I’m starting to think you’re solar powered,” Ilya murmured. He was seated under one vast wing—carefully placed in the cooler shadows.

We all need sun to live, Harth rumbled.

It was always a bit of a hike to get up here—at least, for Ilya. For Harth, it was only a few swift flaps up the hillside. He always had to wait for his slower, wingless rider.

Still, there was no better place for a quiet picnic, Ilya thought. Away from landing, away from everyone, surrounded by nothing but clean air and the rustling of the trees...

Ilya set down his half-finished sandwich and leaned back. Dimly, he felt the chittering of the firelizards in the back of his mind, but they didn’t seem agitated. He wondered, idly, if he ought to take a nap.

Ginger’s tugging was growing more insistent, though. He blinked. “What—“

They must be playing some kind of game. He shrugged to himself.

Ilya, Harth said suddenly. It’s Chioneth and Ellie!

Ilya started.

He stood up to get a better look. Chioneth’s vivid form was unmistakeable as she raced through the air—and so was the rider perched on her back!

“Ellie!” Ilya cried out. He took a step forward.

Chioneth flies so fast and well!

“Harth, she could fall!”

The bronze swung his head around to look at his rider as he started to stumble down the hillside.

You aren’t getting anywhere fast like that.

Harth’s meaning wasn’t lost on him. Ilya looked to the soaring dragon, then to Harth. The decision was made in a split second, and whether it was his own or Harth’s, he wasn’t certain.

He vaulted up onto Harth’s back as he had with his own horse so many times—Harth was still a little shorter than he was used to, but he settled so neatly into the space between his last two neck ridges. It was as if he had been made for him.

I was.

Ilya instinctively grabbed on with his legs and arms as Harth lurched forward. It was unlike anything he’d experienced before. The powerful flap of wings, the ground rushing past them, cold air stinging his throat and eyes—

It was all he could do to hold on against the thrill and sudden speed—he felt himself jostled and tossed about, but he wasn’t afraid, suddenly. His eyes and Harth’s were trained on the golden queen ahead of them. They saw her circling, slowing—

Harth seemed to know Ilya’s intention before he could voice it. There was no need for him to squeeze the dragon’s sides as he would a horse: Harth’s movements were smooth and effortless as he, too, glided down to where Chioneth and Ellie had landed.

In the corner of his eye, he saw Captain Juel and another rider, but he didn’t care. Harth had hardly skidded to a halt before Ilya leapt down off him and hurried towards Chioneth’s side. Eleanor was bent over Chioneth’s back—

“Ellie!” he cried out again, and reached up to clasp her hand—meaning to pull her into a hug off of Chioneth.

As smug as a dragon could look, Harth swished his tail and tossed his head. He turned two enormous blue eyes onto Juel—as if daring her to criticize them.

They were made for this!


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Eleanor Winters
 Posted on: Feb 7 2018, 08:39 PM
Quote
Dragonriders
Goldrider
Chioneth | #f9ba3a
131 posts | 85 marks
written by Otterly

crowfeet, Zahhy

Ellie kept her face pressed to Chioneth's golden hide, catching her breath, and it took a moment for her to realize that others had joined them. When she lifted her head, she was flushed and, despite the tears, was laughing like she couldn't believe what had just happened.

She faltered a little at the sight of Captain Juel, but in the end--Eleanor knew how to take responsibility for her actions, and she didn't regret allowing Chioneth to convince her to try this. She lifted her chin slightly, though Eleanor's face was still awed and exhilarated.

Then Chioneth whirled around with a triumphant bugle, turning her bright whirling eyes to Peleth.

"Whoa!" Ellie said, clutching at Chioneth's neck ridges. "Still need a saddle, or something." How silly would it be, to fall off now? Better than in the air, Eleanor supposed.

Ah, Peleth! Chioneth cried, her voice bright and eager. It was wonderful! We leaped into the air and let the wind carry us. You will know what to do, when you fly! It had been instinctive--Chioneth knew, and it was right. It was just how it was supposed to be. We'll be sure to fly together, Peleth!

Then--then Ilya was there, and oh, where did he come from? He hadn't been here before. The fire lizards hovered and chirped all around her, Penny landing hard on her shoulders.

She reached out to clasp Ilya's hand, though there was a part of her that did not want to leave Chioneth's back. She wasn't sure that her legs would be able to hold her up. "When did you get here?" she breathed, the flush high on her cheeks.

We should fly again, Chioneth said, interrupting them. All together!

"Oh," Eleanor said, distracted. She did not let go of Ilya's hand, though, and she slid down from Chioneth's shoulders. Her legs were a little wobbly. "No, Chioneth, not till we have straps, or something." She surreptitiously wiped her cheeks, and then she turned to Captain Juel.

"I will deal with any punishment," she said quietly. She knew that it was probably a stupid thing to have done. She could've been hurt. But she didn't regret it. Chioneth let out a soft huff, a hint of yellow flashing through her eyes, and thrust her head against Eleanor, who took comfort in her steady presence.

She took a breath. "Also," Ellie added, a little sheepishly, "I don't think we can fight Thread without something to tie us to our dragon."


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By Crowfeet
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Karine Juel
 Posted on: Feb 8 2018, 08:50 AM
Quote
Colonists
Captain | Candidate Wrangler
|
46 posts | 70 marks
written by Zahhy

Captain Juel watched as another dragon and rider soared into view. She was dumbstruck. In all her years as a military woman she had been speechless only a handful of times. It was real. They had done it! It wasn't threadfighting but it was close! She felt the tension and the worry, the powederkeg that was landing's politics clench her heart and tethering it in her chest as it beat wildly like a caged animal. Surely, surely knowing the dragons could carry their riders would be enough to dissuade any further complaints from those claiming the dragons were a drain on resources?

The dragons were still too small. Too small to carry the weight of their riders and a fully equipped flamethrower and extra Hno3 tanks. Juel cursed under her breath. The vets and specialists would be at the rider's throats demanding to know who authorized unsanctioned flights. She too should punish them for their foolishness. They could have hurt their only hopes for survival, or been deemed an UFO and riled the entire colony into a frenzy.

Would they be so lucky that none of the watchtowers had noticed? Karine between Miss Winters and young Kuznetsov, her eyes narrowing. Out of all of the candidates that had been under her tutelage she would not have expected these two to go breaking rules. Eventually, Karine composed herself, her expression back to its usual harsh mask, though a hint of surprise kept her eyebrows raised.

"By your dragon's antics," Karine peered dubiously at the trumpeting gold Chioneth and then at the bronze and tried to buy herself some time to think by asking a question, "That they are unharmed?" All of landing would know something was happening by now with all these damnable firelizards about. Even her own gold was flitting above them chattering with the others. Were they not their only hope for survival, Karine might have cursed them again. As long as the dragons were well, could Karine truly force a punishment on them for doing exactly what they had been bred to do?
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Lily Reed
 Posted on: Feb 8 2018, 09:09 AM
Quote
Dragonriders
Goldrider
Peleth | #f1a278
43 posts | 50 marks
written by Zahhy

Lily watched with jealous but apprehensive awe as Harth and Ilya also soared into view. Silent tears burst from her eyes and she quickly wiped them away, she did not want Captain Juel to see her crying. Peleth quivered with joy beside her.

Oh, Harth, Chioneth! How wonderful. By the winds! Lily, please can we do it too? Together! Peleth's sparking velvet voice was ripe with extravagance, a hint of a suggestion heavy against Lily's mind and Lily startled and looked at her dragon with vivid shock. Peleth was rarely impatient, and careful to hide her hedonistic tenancies behind a fine layer of refinement, but right now Lily felt her dragon's excitement, her desire to fly with the other dragons as if it were her own.

Was it not what you wanted to do?
Peleth's voice was quiet, tentative as it reminded Lily of their purpose. Lily choked back her emotions again. Peleth knew her heart, her deepest secrets. Lily wanted to fly thread, to protect everyone. She bit her lip. She did want to fly. It meant they could learn to help and be useful and that they were doing what they were supposed to. The stirring at landing was growing. Lily knew they were viewed with unease and best and outright hate at the worst. If they could only fly, Landing would have hope in them again.

Gathering every ounce of courage Lily had, she stepped forward to stand close to Eleanor. Yes, Ellie and Ilya had gone and flown without them, but they were dragonriders like her. No one would understand quite they way they did.

"Captain - if I may interject... Whatever punishment you give them, I will accept too." Her back was straight and her eyes defiant, but Lily's lip quivered. She had never been punished, but Ellie and Ilya shouldn't be either!


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Clara Jones
 Posted on: Feb 9 2018, 11:06 AM
Quote
Dragonriders
Brownrider
Picath | #9D715D
67 posts | 0 marks
written by Otterly

It had been simply luck, that they looked up just in time to see a golden streak across the sky. Clara gasped, her hands flying to her mouth, and Lyra crooned worriedly into her ear. "Picath, do you see that?"

She could feel his astonishment suffusing her as he craned his neck upward. It's Chioneth! And her rider with her, he said, his own voice bright with shock. And, hiding beneath that, a hint of eagerness.

"Oh, are they allowed to do that?" Picath had been practicing gliding about on his own, landing awkwardly and kicking dirt and grass everywhere, but this--

It's what we were meant to do, Picath breathed, the awe evident as he spoke. Clara, let's go to them! Maybe we could fly too! Even if he was afraid of Thread, he wanted to soar through the sky with Clara.

But they didn't fly just then. Instead, they scrambled toward the outskirts of Landing. Picath seemed to know instinctively where the other dragons were, and his awkward hop-skipping was swift as they made there way to them. Missy, and Seeker, and Lyra followed suit, looking very much like a bright green swirl as they went.

They slid to a stop just in time to hear Lily asking about punishment for Ilya and Eleanor, and Clara let out a soft noise of surprise. "Punishment?" she asked, heedless of her interruption. Then she paused. "This wasn't planned?"

Oh, Harth, Chioneth, Picath said, ignoring the humans gathered round. What was it like? Peleth, did you get to fly too?


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Ilya Kuznetsov
 Posted on: Feb 10 2018, 07:52 PM
Quote
Dragonriders
Bronzerider
Harth | #d05c28
110 posts | 1030 marks
written by crowfeet

Ilya gripped her hand, allowing her to lean against him to steady herself. Even if he couldn’t help but shiver a bit himself—his heart was still pounding in his chest. Slowly, gradually, the realization of what exactly he’d just done, and how stupid it had been, started to sink in.

Harth huffed and tossed his head like a defiant horse.

“Uh, I,” he started to mumble to Ellie. “Harth saw you and Chioneth flying, starting to land over here, I guess, and, uh—”

We were too far away to walk. So we followed suit, the bronze told Chioneth. We got excited.

“Uh, well, I guess we’ll be in detention together now…” Iely joked nervously. He couldn’t wipe off the vivid, almost childish grin on his face—not even with Captain Juel staring them down. Something tense and bold had risen up in him, and when he looked up at the Captain’s eyes, there was a mix of a both bravery and fear in his own.

We’re dragonriders, he thought. Each and every person here was an adult. Ilya had always known that Eleanor was braver than maybe she even thought. She’d more than proved that she was willing to fight for Pern’s life today—and Ilya didn’t think it was fair to treat them like naughty schoolchildren over that. Even if it was stupid. Even if it was dangerous—

Their lives were going to be spent flying into danger. There was a fierce streak of pride in him, and he shifted closer to Ellie. He’d back her up on this.

He smiled at Lily as she moved to stand by them. And then Clara appeared—how many people had noticed them—

“No, um, I—” Ilya started to mumble to Clara—but then, Harth broke in.

We are fine, Harth offered calmly. In a rare moment, he spoke directly to Karine Juel. I—I convinced my rider to this.

And then, tenderly, the bronze stepped towards the captain and lowered his head.

You should punish me, not my rider. I am sorry, Captain Juel.

“Harth, no.”

otterly


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Darin Frazier
 Posted on: Feb 11 2018, 11:12 AM
Quote
Dragonriders
Beiarth | #5d5532
10 posts | 130 marks
written by Ecksdee

It was one of those blessed free times, in which Darin could gather his head a little after more training. What would Laurel and Fiona say if they'd saw him now? There was less and less time to see them, after all. Not to mention it was becoming more and more dangerous if anything he'd heard about the unrest was true. Darin leaned against Beiarth's warm hide, soaking up the sun as he read. He loved his bronze to death, but...Beiarth was an idiot. Always trying to find something stupid to do in order to impress the others, but he still had a good heart. Who would possibly want to get rid of him?

I dunno. The bronze chimed in, startling Darin out of his thoughts. Why can't you just enjoy the warmth without fretting about something?

'There's a lot to worry about, Beiarth. Like, whether or not someone wants us gone.' It was terrifying, indeed. And what if someone tried to attack one of the other dragonriders? What would they do then? Darin attempted to bury himself back in his book, the bronze bored now that he was awake. Beiarth looked towards the sky, across the hills...and saw a flash of gold. Then a spot of reddish-brown. He sat up, and if he had ears they would've perked like a dog's. Darin felt the sudden bristling of his hide, and looked up to see what he was looking at.

There! D'rinmine! Chioneth and Harth fly! His gold sister had already landed when the brown was in the sky.

'Beiarth, you've all practiced flight at some point-' He began to chide, until he realized there was a dark splotch upon Harth's back. No, could it be...? Darin shot up, standing on his feet in a flash. "Holy shit!" He exclaimed as Beiarth stood up beside him. "I-is that allowed?"

I dunno, but it looks fun! The bronze's tail thumped the ground excitedly. Pleeeaaase, mine?[/i]

'NO.' Came the brisk reply. 'We don't have any gear! I could fall, and die, and then you could die!'

I promise, I won't hurt you. I'd never let you be hurt. His eyes swirled with glee, and really, it was too damn hard to say no to that face. He knew he should, but...

'Alright. But we fly low to the ground.' Now, what city boy would know how to ride a horse? He sure didn't. He settled into a spot on Beiarth's back, hoping that it was right. Darin wrapped his arms around the bronze's neck, and-

Here we gooooo! With a few beats of his wings, Beiarth lifted off the ground. Darin gasped as they rose higher into the air, the hills beginning to decrease in size. Yes, this was where they were meant to be. In the air, soaring, and soon fighting Thread. Well, maybe not soon, but months had already passed since Beiarth hatched. Surely they'd still pass by fast? The young man laughed, partially out of joy and partially out of fear. Soon, a few other dragonriders were visible, on the ground...as well as Captain Juel. Suddenly, fear fully gripped his heart. Shit, he was probably breaking some sort of rule!

'Beiarth! We have to land!' He mentally screamed, stirring sudden, confused concern.

But why? This is so much fun! A squeak sounded, and Darin turned his head to see Racer flapping happily alongside them. The little green chirped, then zipped forward and spiraled towards the ground. I want to stay like this.

'We can't. Beiarth, you got to land!'

Oh...alright. With that, he began to tilt downward and dive towards the ground. Much too fast. Darin screamed, gripping to the bronze for dear life. It felt as if he might truly fall, especially with the way Beiarth was going to land. Then, before they hit the ground, Beiarth's wings shot open and they glided over the ground. The bronze's talons touched the ground near the others, and with grace he managed to regain his footing. That was fun! Did you guys fly too? He chirped to his other siblings.

Meanwhile, Darin sat there for a few moments, unable to think. Then, he leaned to the side and fell off Beiarth's back, rolling onto the ground. His breathscame out shakily, and his eyes were wild. He couldn't believe he just did that. He just rode a dragon.


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Ariel Flanagan
 Posted on: Feb 12 2018, 12:29 AM
Quote
Dragonriders
Goldrider
Valath | #d9a642
70 posts | 690 marks
written by crowfeet

In a rare moment of rest, Valath was soundly asleep in her lair (as Ari liked to call it). The gold had gorged herself on a herdbeast she’d caught for lunch. She’d wanted more, growling and mentally butting against Ari—and it had taken all her willpower to restrain the voracious dragon. She was relieved when at last she had grown drowsy with her belly full.

Ariel took that moment to take a quiet stroll in the fields. Scorchmarks and barren circles pockmarked the otherwise yellow-green hills that stretched out before her. Nature’s capacity to rejuvenate after calamity was impressive, Ari thought, as she paused to observe a patch of flowers.

But would it be enough?

She glanced up at the sky, idly watching the way the white clouds drifted. They always looked so soft. It had once been her dream, as a child, to reach up and touch them. She saw the vivid hue of a gold dragon soaring up above, and her vision wasn’t quite good enough—but—

Was there are figure perched on her back? And then, slowly, the dragon started to circle and land. Ari saw at once that it was Chioneth, Eleanor’s gold, and—was that Eleanor on her back?

“Hey!” Ari called out and waved furiously to the dragonpair. In spite of herself, she was grinning ear to ear. She hurried over to where she saw them go to land—which, fortunately, wasn’t too far away. And then, suddenly—

It seemed others were following suit. Ari watched with great surprise as first the vivid frame of one bronze appeared, a few minutes after Chioneth’s, and then as yet another did the same. Had they planned this? And if they had, why had she and Valath been left out? A prickle of unpleasant surprise filled her.

It was with a cold, indignant look that Ari hurried forwards. There were many things happening at once, but she tried to take in what she could—the expression on Clara and Karine’s faces, Ellie’s guilty eyes, and then—

“Darin! Are you alright?” Ari said, and she hurried over to the man who’d collapsed on the ground. His dragon seemed perfectly unconcerned. Idiots! They’d all been excited to try, she knew, but—

Monkey see, monkey do, Valath said snidely in the back of her mind. You're a monkey too.

Ari rolled her eyes and shoved the dragon’s mind aside for the moment.

Ecksdee


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Danica O'Connor
 Posted on: Feb 12 2018, 11:02 AM
Quote
Dragonriders
Goldrider
Hirith | #f1d29a
80 posts | 580 marks
written by Fox

Zahhy and otterly mainly, but open to any

I cannot see this ending well, judged Hirith. The pale gold was basking in the sunlight with her tail twitching now and again, a signal that she wasn't entirely as passive as she might have seemed at first glance. Danica had assumed that the female had drifted off into some semblance of rest though, and so she looked with an expression of surprise first to the gold, and then to the sky where the dragon was turned. 'What.... that can't be.'

It is. The cool reply was made more shrill as the gold hissed to herself in annoyance, though if it was because she had not thought of it first, or if it was because the dragon was concerned for the safety of the smaller gold and her rider, Danica couldn't be sure. She frowned as well before sending a response to her dragon through their telepathic connection. 'Surely no one else will try ---' I swear, they do it just to prove you wrong my dear flower. This time a hint of amusement wavered in the reply.

'Come on, we should go over and see what's going on.' The silent addition of, 'and if they're okay', went without being said as the pair paced the extra room to where a gathering of their peers was quickly becoming the center of some new event. A worried glance was given first to Eleanor, then to Ilya, and finally rested on Darin. As Ariel rushed to the latter's aid, Danica turned to her fellow goldrider, knowing full well that the frown she had worn on her way over here was still there. "You could have been hurt."

Something fueled her disappointment, and it wasn't until she looked over to Hirtih that she understood why. The gold's eyes were run through with yellow and orange so that they looked more like topaz jewels than actual eyes, and the dragon arched her neck primly with a pointed motion to pin her wings to her sides. We are meant to set an example, commented a voice which reminded Danica more of the tutors she had encountered than the mothering tone the gold normally took. But what is done is done. If one of us is to endure punishment for the success or failure of our mission, then we should all share in it.

Understanding her dragon's meaning, Danica turned to Captain Juel. "I think she means that we should all try. If three can do it, then the odds are in our favor. We should share the punishment for having tried early. We won't be dealing with Thread alone. Our actions affect every one of us. We fail or succeed together, and we're going to have to handle the ramifications together too."


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Karine Juel
 Posted on: Feb 12 2018, 12:36 PM
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Colonists
Captain | Candidate Wrangler
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46 posts | 70 marks
written by Zahhy

Captain Juel threw up her hand to command silence. It was bad enough having half a dozen willful children blabbering at you, even without the oppressive, invasive feeling of dragonminds pressing on on your head without warning. Karine would not lose complete control over this situation, even though she was quickly and painfully realizing that the authority of Landing no longer had any real control over the dragonriders. This would only add to the dissension...

Shoving that particular problem to the side, for now, she would have to think on ways to make them accountable later. Captain Juel took a deep breath. Frustration, clean and sharp flashed in her eyes and she threw her hand back to her side. She must teach them a lesson, even if she didn't personally feel comfortable enacting punishments in her usual sense. Her heart was too full of hope.

"Quiet! I demand all of you come to attention!" She barked, her voice intentionally softer so it would carry out only to everyone close to her. How many of them intended to step forward to take the blame in part or together haphazardly? Had she not taught them the proper way to report? She knew very well that they were all more than capable of using their drills. Half of Landing could be here soon - they had to think - and act - quickly.

"I shall not design to decide your punishment on my own. You may take it upon yourselves to act out, but I will not." Despite the sweat that dripped down her cheek by her ear, Captain Juel looked completely composed again, her lips set in a thoughtful scowl and her eyes scanned the clearing round them before sliding over Ilya Kuznetsov's Harth, and then to Danica O'Connor's Hirith.

"This mission is a failure. You have disobeyed direct orders by deviating from your schedule and manning an unsanctioned flight. Your first mission - and dare I say most important mission - was to grow big and strong and to become disciplined and conditioned pilots - not risk yourselves foolishly because of your impatience or your daring." She looked to each of the young ones here, and to their dragons.

"Today has proven that you might have the courage and the teamwork it takes to face up against our greatest foe, and for that I am grateful..." She wanted to ease back on her tone, to let them know she was not entirely disappointed in them, but she couldn't.

"... but you lack the basics that I personally was tasked with teaching you. If you fail - I fail - we all fail." Karine wanted them to understand. They were their only hope. This was their lives, the lives of everyone on Pern. They should not have them being reckless, thoughtless, even if it was in the face of something good. Something miraculous. They just couldn't afford any mistakes.

"Everyone to your feet! We must make this look intentional before all of Landing comes down on you." Though her voice was her usual bark, the orders slicing out like a knife, Karine couldn't hide the small smile tilting the side of her cheek. She saw the wide-eyed shock on Darin Frazier's face and almost laughed out loud, it was a look she knew well. She turned to Ariel Flanagan.

"Miss Flanagan, get Mister Frazier to his feet immediately. The rest of you, compose yourselves for the onslaught of questions from civilians and specialists that will be incoming, and prepare yourselves for low-level flight - nothing above thirty feet mind you, but if you're asked to do so, be ready." Captain Juel felt her slight smile turn up into a smug look. She would punish them later - after discussing with the other leaders of Landing, but for now, they had a truce and she would offer them their prize for their boldness. Lily Reed, Clara Jones, Danica & Ilya fell under her eye next.

"Miss Reed, take down notes regarding Miss Winters's request for riding straps. Miss Jones, I expect you to write down Mister Kuzenetsov's report as well. Miss O'Connor, you may also take notes. We don't fly sleds without harnesses, you shan't be doing so long-term either." They needed an excuse for this surprise. If Captain Juel had privately sanctioned the behavior, the children and their dragons would not feel the wrath of the tense colony that found them a nuisance, and a useless burden on their resources. If they could somehow spin this as a good omen, and intentional display, they would have something everyone could move forward with. They could distract landing once again with a flurry of work. Modifying harnesses for a dragon would take time, and hopefully keep idle hands and minds busy. What other things would they need to get ready? Practice weights so the dragons can become accustomed to the weight of their rider, and a flamethrower? Yes... They had much work to do!



Reading between the lines: Karine is suggesting you all make this look like a proper lesson - something intentional, as if you're all practicing low-level take-offs and glides with your dragons, but have paused to take notes on the equipment and other necessary items your riders/ dragons might need. She'll punish y'all later in some creative way I'm certain, but for now, this is a chance for your characters to try out low flying (if they like of course) with the Captain's implicit approval.
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Lily Reed
 Posted on: Feb 12 2018, 12:59 PM
Quote
Dragonriders
Goldrider
Peleth | #f1a278
43 posts | 50 marks
written by Zahhy

Lily Reed stared in nervous by happy awe as the others joined in to defend one another. She was slightly worried about Darin as he fell, but he looked fine overall, he didn't fall far really and Ariel was to his side before Lily could even move. She kept her eyes locked on Captain Juel, her courage beginning to waver as the woman barked orders. Lily stayed put, her body already at attention, but she straightened her shoulders just to be sure.

Out of her small bag, Lily produced a small pad and began scribbling without question what the Captain ordered. She was shaking again, the fear of punishment growing all too real as the Captain berated them. She was right of course, they had a duty, they were soldiers... but Lily found no sharp words continuing to cut her, no proverbial fist that came crashing down around her ears. Lily blinked at the pad after her notes were complete and then risked a look back at the Captian. There was no punishment... yet. They could... they could keep flying?!

Peleth's eyes sparkled like sapphires on a wealthy woman's fingers, all glittery and blue and she shook her head at her siblings and rushed air out her nose. They had not done as they were told, which was... disfavorable of course, but they were made to fly and it seemed this Captain knew it and Peleth loved nothing better than when she and Lily were right in the middle of everything!

No, Beiarth, Picath, we have not yet flown, but we will!
Peleth's voice was luxurious, and appreciative, soft as the breeze that blew Lily's hair into her eyes. She turned to Lily to see if they should be next. Lily shook her head wildly and looked at the others expectantly. Would they... would they want her to try?

"Peleth and I will try with you and Hirith, Danica... if you want." Lily's voice was eager, she wanted to prove they could do this, that she could do this.

Fox, Ecksdee otterly


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Eleanor Winters
 Posted on: Feb 13 2018, 09:11 AM
Quote
Dragonriders
Goldrider
Chioneth | #f9ba3a
131 posts | 85 marks
written by Otterly

Ecksdee, Zahhy, Fox, crowfeet

Eleanor listened with some dismay as the others argued that they should be punished too, for her own actions. She hadn't meant for that! But it seemed like Captain Juel did not intend to actually punish them, and Eleanor couldn't help the warmth she felt at the way they all rallied round. They were all connected to one another as dragonriders, and Ellie was surprised she hadn't realized that before.

She looked on with concern was Darin arrived, and took a vague step toward him. "All right?" she offered hopefully. She hadn't actually wanted anyone to be hurt by her escapades with Chioneth--but then, she hadn't known the others would follow her so soon. Perhaps she should have considered that.

Chioneth, on the other hand, was supremely smug. All is well, she told Eleanor cheerfully, completely unrepentant. She turned to Beiarth, her eyes sparkling with excitement. You flew so well, too, Beiarth! Soon, we must fly together! She turned her head to regard all of the dragons. All of us! Hirith, you can see so much from above!

She was prancing from foot to foot, pleased and exultant, and completely oblivious to anything but the memory of the wind across her hide. She only stilled when Ellie rested a hand over her spotted shoulder.

Despite the hand resting over her dragon's hide, Eleanor was paying close attention to Captain Juel. There was a part of her that chafed at the Captain's intrusion; she was no dragonrider, and Eleanor was no longer a candidate. But she knew that this was irrational, and that the Captain was offering her a way to avoid truly being in trouble with colony leadership for taking liberties with the dragon program's timeline. She would not argue with the Captain over this--though Eleanor was not a particularly argumentative person anyway.

Eleanor cleared her throat slightly and nodded. She turned to Lily with a wry grin. "I was all right while I was up there and Chioneth was flying straight. But I don't think it would be possible to stay safe while fighting Thread. There'll be too much moving and twisting. And it gets really chilly, really fast. I felt like my fingers were going to fall off much sooner than I realized!" She rubbed the fingers of her free hand together, though the chilled feeling had long faded. "I think we'd need something soft against the dragons' hide, too. Something that won't chafe!"

There was a lot more she could say, and in truth she wasn't exactly sure where to begin. Part of her mind was still up there in the sky, it seemed.

But when she saw Ari arriving, she had to grin. "Hey! I saw you from all the way up that! But I was too afraid to let go of Chioneth's neck ridges," she laughed, the memory of her flight really bright in her mind. That was another reason for straps.


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Clara Jones
 Posted on: Feb 13 2018, 09:25 AM
Quote
Dragonriders
Brownrider
Picath | #9D715D
67 posts | 0 marks
written by Otterly

Fox, Zahhy

"Wow, they really did it," Clara murmured, shooting Danica a slightly worried glance. She was right; it could have been dangerous, and Clara was sort of glad that she wasn't the one who'd gone first. Picath crept close to her, nudging her shoulder in reassurance.

We know that it can be done now, he murmured to her, his voice coming gentle across her mind. There was a hint of excitement there, and Clara knew that Picath was eager for them to fly, even if flying meant that they were closer to fighting Thread, and that was something that Picath wasn't sure about.

I wish the rest of us could fly, instead of making reports, he added, impatience coloring the last word. This time Clara nudged him, and he snorted softly but fell silent.

"I haven't a notebook on me," Clara murmured, turning to Ilya with a slight grin. She hadn't expected to be doing much, apart from exercising with Picath this afternoon. "But I'd still like to hear what it was like! And if you wanted, we can write up the report when we get back to Landing."

Something occurred to her then, and she turned to Captain Juel seriously. "Will we be returning these reports to you, or to one of the specialists?" Clara did not exactly want to have to handle Wind Blossom--though in truth, it was probably Eleanor who would have to deal with her most of all.

Picath, meanwhile, had craned his neck to peer up at the bright sky. The longing was pouring off of him in waves, so she reached up to pull his head toward her, cradling it in her arms. "Not to worry," she assured him. "We'll all be up there soon enough, ourselves."


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Danica O'Connor
 Posted on: Feb 13 2018, 04:54 PM
Quote
Dragonriders
Goldrider
Hirith | #f1d29a
80 posts | 580 marks
written by Fox

otterly Zahhy

There was a part of Danica that wanted to dip her head down to the earth and nod solemnly to what Karine was saying. It was almost instinctual to want to do that, to obey, to ignore the fluttering in her heart and stomach, to once again play the part of a dutiful daughter or student. They were only soldiers after all, right? Pieces on a board to be marched toward Thread as sword and shield. 'I don't want to be a pawn anymore,' she found herself whispering to Hirith rebelliously. Gray-blue eyes rose to meet Lily's as the other goldrider asked her if she'd like to fly with them, and then she looked back to the woman who had called them to attention. What did Karine know about riding a dragon? Less than they did now. She would never share in the riders' joy or fear as they would with one another.

In fact, Danica thought to herself as she looked in the direction of Landing and all the people that they were supposed to be worried about, none of them would understand it unless they happened to be chosen by hatchlings as well. This wasn't about them, the riders. It was about the reputation of the program. It was about the hope for a community which wasn't even sure it wanted them. Who was watching out for the riders and their dragons? Not as a functional group and for what they could do to serve Pern, but as individuals who had their own needs and hopes? They were not the soldiers who had fought in the wars of their predecessors. Danica didn't feel like a soldier at all. In the end, it was because of this that she didn't come to attention when Karine called to them all and began barking orders. It was why she turned to Lily and Clara both with a softened expression and a small smile.

"I'm going," she finally sighed onto a wind that felt less like the tension she had held before and more like waiting freedom. Hirith crooned approvingly next to her rider. It is time we begin making our own rules, came the soft reply to her girl's thoughts, and the gold nudged Danica as the redhead took off the lengthy scarf she had been wearing and wove it around the dragon's neck. It wasn't the best make-shift strap or rein, but it was something to hold onto as she knotted it tightly time and time again with her hand slipping under after to make sure it wasn't too constricting. Join us, Hirith called to Peleth as she lowered herself to let Danica get her leg over the proud arch of her neck. We will not hide what has happened here.

The initial jolt of adrenaline which began to waver through Danica's veins was glorious. There was Hirith beneath her with wings spreading out, fueled by both her rider's and her own frustrations. She could see the other riders and Karine. They were given a momentary thought before Hirith stepped away on Danica's cue, and for the first time, she thanked the times she had been able to go riding as a child with her siblings. It wasn't quite the same as riding horses, but there was something to say for having at least some experience with balancing oneself across the gold's shoulders. Her fingers curled into the scarf and around the knots she had made with another check to be sure it wouldn't bother the gold. Beside them, Marigold and Saffron arrived from between with trills of encouragement.

They flitted around the dragon and rider with wings pumping the air and little legs moving under them in the motions of running. 'Go,' Danica finally breathed as Hirith took a few paces forward, steadily faster as the wind rushed by, and then the gold's wings unfurled and beat against the air as she had done so many times before now on her own. Days upon days of practicing, of working joints and muscles, of learning how to bank and curve with her wings until it became second nature. It was instinctual in a way that Hirith had always known, and as Danica lowered herself over the dragon's neck to watch the world fall away from them one foot at a time, she couldn't help but laugh.

Let this be my promise to you, my flower. The gold's voice touched her mind and Danica fought the urge to close her eyes as she might have on the ground to relish the moment. From this day forward, we make our own rules. The words settled over her with the sort of reassurance that Danica had always known from the gold, and in that moment with air dancing through tendrils of red hair and caressing her skin, she couldn't tell if the tears came because of the icy sting or because of the relief that washed over her.'There's still going to be hell to pay,' she thought back with a tart discomfort as she thought about turning back to the group.

Hirith banked in their direction with a slow and lazy circle, her altitude dropping perhaps less steadily than she would have liked. Still, the gold had watched three others do this now, and she had watched them carefully. Her wings beat against the air as she came in, hovering for a moment before touching the ground with a lurch that sent Danica grasping the scarf harder and pitching forward to the neck she had leaned against. She didn't trust herself to get down yet. Instead, the girl stayed right where she was, body trembling, eyes wide as she laughed again. "Neck strap's definitely a good addition," she finally called out to no one in particular.

"Something sturdier than wool though." Her fingers unknotted the scarf from around Hirith's neck and returned it back to her own neck before resettling on her dragon's shoulders. 'Am I too heavy?' The very thought made the gold snort before tucking her wings back against her spine and stepped over to the others again with a look toward her clutch-siblings. We set an example for those who come after, Hirith stated again. Chioneth set one for the rest of us. We are meant to fly. The gold sidled up to her smaller sister as Danica finally slid off and leaned heavily against her dragon's side to regain her bearings.

"This wasn't a mistake. It shouldn't be treated like something we have to cover up."


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Enid Faulk
 Posted on: Feb 13 2018, 05:02 PM
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Dragonriders
Goldrider
Falth | #D1B316
83 posts | 35 marks
written by North

There is a development. Falth lifted her narrow head, looking to the distance, sensing something as yet unseen. She was bathed in golden sunlight not far from the Catherine Caves. Enid was inside tidying. But between the laundry-folding and bed-making, she extended her mind lightly to the gold's; followed the thought-threads to what it was she noticed.

Wings on the wind. A rising. It was as if she could see it through the nebulous blackness of the telepathic veil. Chioneth's mind sailing across some intangible space. Harth's, too, and Beiarth's. Little satellites crossing the path. A commotion. A gathering? She blinked. I feel drawn to them. As so often she did. The dragons all seemed close. Familial.

'Here – I'll finish up,' said Enid, and soon enough she had tugged on a sweater and came out to walk alongside her dragon. They passed into the meadow clearing and found, as Falth had sensed, a smattering of shiny wings and tiny riders. Hirith in the sky, and then circling down to land once more.

Chioneth has made Eleanor into a passenger. Spoken so clinically, Enid couldn't help but laugh privately, mentally, in their mind-space. Falth regarded her clutchmates coolly, hanging around the fringes, perfectly pleased to let them tangle with Captain Juel without her. A neutral observer. Enid felt much the same.

'Getting ahead of themselves,' Enid mentioned lightly. She trusted Falth with her life, certainly – but maybe not with heights. Maybe not yet.

The instinct is programmed. It is strong, Falth countered, and – well. Enid couldn't argue with that.

[ exit ]


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Samuel Marceau
 Posted on: Feb 13 2018, 05:34 PM
Quote
Dragonriders
Brownrider
Henth | #7F4F35
52 posts | 35 marks
written by North

Samuel had the distinct feeling that he was missing out.

Henth, quite indifferent, was calmly splayed on the grass of the cattle pasture. The cows were further down the field. Sam could see them grazing calmly from his vantage point, perched on a fencepost, cowboy boots and all. But all of a sudden, his nagging feelings came true, and both he and Henth looked up to see Chioneth passing high above the trees – with Eleanor included.

"Oh – for the love of – aren't we – isn't it early? Henth! Look at them!" Samuel briskly clambered down from the fence. Harth and Beiarth flew overhead, and he couldn't help a raucous cheer. "Yes! Oh, man, Henth, don't they look great? Come on!"

In his heart, Sam felt a flutter of wishfulness – of wild abandon – thinking that he and Henth could fly together, too! But the golds and bronzes were larger, and Henth was distinctly milder. He was calm and patient, rising to his feet from his comfy sun-bath in the meadow.

Should we hurry? But the brown knew the answer in the shining excitement in Samuel's eyes, and soon they broke into the clearing with the rest, just in time to see Darin's graceless fall. Samuel grinned and laughed, all radiant joy. It had looked so good! It had been so fantastic! How could Captain Juel still be so stern?

He slipped in next to Ariel Flanagan and Darin Frazier, while Henth hung back pleasantly.

"Shit, Darin! You look like that was – like it was incredible!" The wide-eyed shock. Dazed. Samuel was half star-struck and half amused. But he kept his excited voice hushed, if only to avoid too much scrutiny from the captain.
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Silvia Tolbert
 Posted on: Feb 13 2018, 06:29 PM
Quote
Colonists
Governor
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32 posts | 290 marks
written by crowfeet

Tag: everyone here




Despite Juel’s efforts to gain order before it occurred, the dragonriders would soon find they were no longer alone. It was not a whole crowd, as Karine had feared, but a small group of significant individuals. One looked very happy and one looked very displeased. The other two were council members, who seemed to find it difficult to keep their eyes off of the dragons.

The cheerful one strode in first. Her broad, excited grin mirrored the look on many of the riders.

“Oh, that was marvelous, Eleanor! I saw you from my window!” Silvia said warmly. She strode past Captain Juel to clap Ellie on the shoulder first—and then she turned to the captain with a warm smile. “It was presumptuous of you to do flying lessons without contacting the veterinarians first, but my, Captain, they’ve done well—”

Wind Blossom cleared her throat loudly.

“Now, Dr. Ping, you’ve expressed already to me—”

“How stupid this was?” Wind Blossom said coldly, in a voice so soft the others would have to strain to hear it. “Do any of you understand how close you came to ruining everything?”

She paused dramatically and cast a menacing glare all around her.

“My grandmother did not die for you all to act like irresponsible, reckless children.

Silvia winced, and went to the other woman’s side. Wind Blossom shook off her attempt to put a hand on her shoulder.

“Come now, Dr. Ping. It is a telepathic bond; surely the riders wouldn’t have done anything that would harm their dragon,” she said awkwardly. “Isn’t it possible that perhaps the dragons might be growing faster than expected? We didn’t expect for a woman to be chosen by a brown, after all.”

Wind Blossom eyed her coldly, and then looked to Karine stiffly. And then, to all the dragonriders—especially to Eleanor and Danica.

Silvia took the moment to then speak to Eleanor.

“Miss Winters. You were the first to fly. Please tell us how it went, and what you need from the colony. Then, I would like to hear what the others who have attempted flight have to say,” Silvia said gently, turning to address everyone present.

“I think that we should take a moment to respectfully listen to Miss Winters, who had the initiative to attempt such a dangerous task, and what she needs to say. The colony needs dragons that are ready to fight Thread as soon as possible.”
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