Not By the Books

Fort Weyr - Lake Shore
This lake shares many features common to mountain lakes — a brilliant blue jewel nestled amongst the rocks. The waters are crystal clear, and the north shore slopes gently before abruptly falling away into the depths. This lake does have one significant differentiating feature, however. The south shore of the lake is a tumbled mass of rubble, rock and earth of an ancient rockslide smoothed only by the elements in the intervening years. This rubble, as well as the rather sheer east and west faces, makes for the north shore to be the only one easily accessible.
Spring’s arrival is noted by the disappearing lake ice. As it melts it breaks up into smaller icy bergs. These bob randomly throughout the choppy waters, slowly disappearing as the temperatures rise. They also frequently provide sport and entertainment for the bathing dragons. The emerging shoreline is inviting, though the water remains chilly for their human counterparts. As spring draws nearer to summer, the waters begin to feel quite invigorating with Rukbat's growing shine.


Early evening on Inri's fifth — fifth, as she curses the weather for not accommodating her dragon's cycle better in her head about every twenty minutes — day proddy, and she's managed to find Fort's lake shore someplace that isn't overly crowded and uncomfortable. Not that many people have found themselves intrigued by watching ice melt, and so it makes for a nice change; fresh outside air that isn't leaving her feeling choked. Not dressed in working clothes but in a blue sweater and black pants, Inri's sitting by the shore with her (massive) canine Durahiko, idly petting him. Kouzevelth? Not currently shadowing her rider: napping by the feeding grounds, soaking up every last possible edge of the setting sun.

Velokraeth is lounging nearby, no doubt on a ledge that gives him a clear view of Kouzevelth without being too obvious. The gold may not be shadowing her rider, but she is being shadowed by this bronze. Cleverly, of course though if he's ever noticed he'll brush it off with charm and honeyed words. Th'ero, however? Isn't meaning to track down Inri. Just seems the Weyrleader also had plans to come by the lake shore, accompanied by no one. Out for some fresh air? Who could blame him! Those offices must get stuffy.

It's not like D'ani's been unaware of Inri's current condition, sharing an office with her and hanging out with her whenever he can manage it, not to mention Dremkoth's preoccupation with Kouzevelth's slowly increasing glow. No, the bronze has been keeping D'ani updated almost hourly, much to his rider's annoyance. Inri now, he's been willingly supportive of and surreptitiously lurking where he can punch someone for taking advantage of her proddiness. He's drawn despite his inner reluctance not to take advantage himself and so guess what? Here he is, lagging behind her with his hands jammed in his pockets and kicking rocks into the lake while glowering menacingly at the splashes until one lands on shore and goes awry, bouncing and rolling where it wasn't intended. Oops?

No doubt Velokraeth is currently one of Kouzevelth's favorites, simply because she hates to be alone when proddy, and so if he's always there, well. That's a kindness! Someone to chatter at and unintentionally confuse. Inri, whose skittishness would be just as likely to land someone stabbed despite her natural tendency toward pacifism as kissed five days into this torture, finds the circular chatting funny more often than not; she's just commented as such. To her dog. "So at least she's being qui—" she finishes, and that's when Durahiko notices Th'ero and shoots him a puppy-grin, so Inri waves, too; that lasts half a second because the mis-aimed rock startles her and she jumps. "Did it — offend you, D'ani."

Sure, we'll call it kindness and not sneaky. Not sneaky at all! Yeah, right. Most of Velokraeth's "good intentions" often come with strings attached (or benefit him somehow). While Kouzevelth sleeps, he'll keep his 'distance'. Th'ero isn't as spooked by Inri's skittishness. If anything, he finds the junior's proddy side effects refreshing compared to Nyalle's (given Nyalle has tried to bed him twice now and goes a little loco? Yeeeah.) or, Faranth help them all, Jajen's. No, Inri is right there with Thys and Dtirae for proddiness — relatively safe and approachable. "Skipping stones can be relaxing," he says off hand when she jumps from D'ani's errant throw. The Weyrsecond is given a respectful nod and Durahiko is offered a hand in greeting, should the canine want to come over.

D'ani's eyes follow the stone… and he winces. Damn! He'd been aiming for invisibility. Perhaps he should have thought before starting stone-kicking. "Yes, stupid stone," he nearly growls. He coughs immediately, his expression taking on a semi-sheepish cast as one hand leaves his pocket and rubs the back of his neck. "Sorry," he mutters before attempting a more pleasant expression (unsuccessfully), "How're you Inri?" And then he's lifting his gaze to check on who Inri was waving to. Usually sight of his Weyrleader would bring a brightening to his expression; today he frowns and checks in with Dremkoth. Whatever he hears deepens the frown, but he mumbles a greeting to Th'ero nevertheless. It's mostly unintelligible, but "…'lo…" is mostly it. His steps continue towards them all, despite the urge to run the other way. Or throw Inri over his shoulder and run the other way.

A wander around the water, a job around the shore, it seemed like a fine idea, but company fills eyes once more. Perhaps a peaceful walk would help thoughts of times past (eludicated in the history tome he stole away, with related permission), but with others having same idea (or perhaps something simular), thus time to consider studies past would have to wait for the later, or if interest serves to peak with those near, on the morrow. Beyrl shifts his steps, meandering toward those gathered, or gathering still, focus on the shore, his arrival to appear incidental, and not of some curious plan.

"I'm," It's such a good question, and Inri doesn't entirely seem sure what the answer is. "I am," she concludes, shrugging a little. "It is what it is. I just would like it to get around to stopping." If she minds at all that she's being shadowed, technically twice over if her lifemate and Velokraeth count, she doesn't indicate it. Fact of the matter is she finds it comforting too, spending as often as she can near people she completely classifies as 'safe.' Beyrl's entrance isn't even yet noticed, except for the fact her head turns a little automatically toward sound — it's mostly distracted by giving D'ani a relatively peaceful, lazy smile, and Durahiko's sudden excited bounding toward the Weyrleader. He knows that with Th'ero often comes petting.

Maybe it's technically some kind of passive-aggressive punishment detail for the winter's unfortunate spills; maybe it's that he's still a relatively new transfer, so he gets the shifts the other guys don't want. Maybe he just likes not being pinned down to a particular route yet! Whatever the reason, though, it sees him in uniform and ambling toward the lake and the collected congregation there. Tonight, he doesn't go it alone: there's two months' worth of Idiocy perched on his shoulder, tail wrapped around his neck and one wing tangled into the blond mop of Alister's hair.

Th'ero does take the time to reach out and stroke the massive canine's ears, not at all uneasy by Durahiko's size or intimidated. What he doesn't do (thank Faranth) is make cooing noises at the canine or really show much affection beyond a small smile and the obvious scratch behind the ears until he withdraws his hand and steps back. "Weather isn't right for it… or do you think she'll rise without the rain?" His question is a touch blunt but why beat around the bush in this case? It is what it is and they all know it's coming. D'ani's behaviour earns him a lingering look and a snort but somewhere hidden there the Weyrleader is almost bemused. Th'ero is NO threat. It's other bronzerider's D'ani's going to have to watch out for. He doesn't say anything more to D'ani — the temptation to remark on the Weyrsecond's mood is too strong and now is not the time. He's not yet caught sight of Beyrl or Alister, his eyes darting up briefly to where Velokraeth is currently "sleeping".

Yeah, the other bronzeriders - and brownriders for that matter, when they gather, will surely get similar dark looks, thanks to - oh so many unresolved emotions and concerns. At least for the moment D'ani is being civil, if not unusually grouchy about this. "Yeah," agrees the Weyrsecond heartily to this being over and done with before shooting Th'ero a look for that question and eyeing the evening sky for clouds briefly. His gaze drops and naturally sweeps the area - it's become habit over the past five days of shadowing and he spots both Alister and Beyrl. Both get a chin-lift of recognition, but forgive him, he's rather somber. Beyrl he knows isn't a rider and so he at least tries to be polite. "What are you reading?" The book, that is? Which is currently not being read, but hey, he's trying here.

Zhirayr must, therefore, be approaching from the opposite direction of those other two guys, and is, apparently, also hoping that the weather will hold — in order that nobody ends up hospitalized today. Surely? Patterns happen for a reason, right? "Weyrleader," he offers quietly, followed by "Weyrwoman Inri, Weyrsecond." And that guy. And that other guy, who Zhirayr hasn't actually met, yet, and therefore the book-wielding Beyrl gets a curious look. "What weather we're having." What bland statements the Steward offers.

The question offered by the Weyrleader seems to give Inri pause; she looks off to one side as if to confer with her dragon, and then shrugs a little, much more nonchalant-uncertain than skittish and afraid. At least she's calm. "She's sleeping, like totally sleeping as opposed to playful sleeping, so I honestly wouldn't be surprised if she weren't just waiting for it, biding her energy. Though I guess she's been taking her naps near the herdbeasts for a few days now. Which means she has no sense of being able to predict the rain either, I don't think, she just wants me to believe she can? She's too stubborn to change, though. If she even does it consciously. I think her body really just won't let her, though. She's always been — impulsive," is that the dragon by herself or does that actually come from her rider's influence? "So if she wanted it over and done with it would be. She does, but. Not enough." Not like Inri does. No, she's busy giving Zhirayr a death glare for that comment, though it's brief. Alister gets a smile, Beyrl a curious look, because D'ani asked him a question.

[DTU/Project] Velokraeth and Dremkoth sense that Kouzevelth isn't really awake, no — she's almost entirely remained fast asleep, but something in Inri's conversation has filtered through to her nonetheless. Her mental reach in mostly-unwakefulness is still specific enough to target the correct dragons and not just those near her or the entire Weyr, but it's not all that clear: what it appears to be is some kind of argument, some protest. She most certainly can predict the rain. How, that sleeping-dragon mind doesn't share, but she seems insistent.

"Not as much as some people?" Alister's close enough by now to have caught the end of Inri's statement, and to return her smile with one of his own; the Steward, also familiar, gets something that might be a little closer to a grimace. Sorry, Zhirayr. "Weyrleader, Weyrsecond," are both crisp, as is his salute for them — fouled by Idiocy getting super excited about the movement of the guard's hand, and flaring out his wings to balance out a lunge for it. Which, you know. Whacks his one wing into the side of Alister's head even more than it already was, and has the guard dropping the salute to instead jam his fingers between the brown's tail and his windpipe so he doesn't end up throttled by the overt enthusiasm. "It's," he wheezes, just a little, then coughs to clear it, "nice."

Beyrl finally notices, by accident or choice, the others closing in toward a main group. Two are recognized, others are not, and a nod slightly seen is given toward Th'ero and Inri, a smile it comes with so politeness has been given. He doesn't speak a word yet, wishing to take in what's transpiring, in order to learn the way best to walk his story with those here. For what is a story, but a collection of same, from different perspectives, and.. His trail of thoughts abruptly ends at a possibility of rain, in which book unprotected won't fair well. He begins a process, simple and largely, he's sure, ineffective, of wrapping the pages, cover and all, into a tuck that his shirt provides, not naturally of course, but bottom folds all the same. His eyes go to one, whos only known presence was in brief passing, but a smile is given, and an answer as well. "A book of history, to learn the stories of those since past. I wish to weave them into the dreams that will take form of tales to teach those with ears to listen and hearts to learn." he gives to D'ani for his trouble to query a young man unknown.

The man arriving at he lake now has the look of someone who hasn't seen a restful sleep in at least a day. If you add to that the general look that he always has about him he looks bad. Though from across the expanse Marzoth heard the call and has answered it. Dropping out of the sky the bronze, goggles and all, lands lightly enough by the edge of the lake. Syd climbs down off of his dragons back and fixes him with a look that clearly says 'seriously'. Apparently the bronze is serious because he isn't going to budge. Knowing when he is beaten Syd removes his flight goggles and unzips his flight jacket. He quickly surveys the lake and then the group of people gathered. He looks up to the bronze, "You behave." he says softly enough so that only he and Marzoth can hear it. The man then strides forward toward the gathered group and waves a greeting, "Monaco's duties to Fort and her queens." he says offering a salute as well. Marzoth seeing that Syd is going to greet the people wanders away to explore.

"Steward," Th'ero greets Zhirayr just as quietly, if not a bit cooly but not intentional. He's distracted, both by some shift in Velokraeth's focus and by the sudden gathering of people. Riders and non-rider's alike. The Weyrleader's expression shifts, becoming more of a controlled mask. "What brings you here?" Trouble? Because for now he's pinning "trouble" on the sleeping Kouzevelth. "I suppose we'll see, won't we?" He says, equally as quiet, to Inri. "How're you holding up?" That's an innocent enough question, right? Alister's greeting and salute are met with a dip of his head. "Sergeant. All is well?" Why else would a Guard be out here? Idiocy's antics bring a quirked smirk that is almost a smile. Oh, the joys of firelizards. "Handful, is he?" he drawls, only to be drawn away by a visitor. "And Fort's duties to Monaco and her queens. Welcome, bronzerider! What brings you to Fort?"

The arrival of a foreign bronzerider certainly gets Inri's attention! Much as it probably garners at least D'ani's and Alister's, for very similar reasons. She's raising a suspicious eyebrow and tensing before she gets a chance to check herself and relax a bit, which at least she does before speaking: "And ours to Monaco," with a look that is just a little more shaky than one might normally expect from Inri. It looks as if she's going to say more, but that's when she suddenly stops, instead: her open mouth is interrupted by a crack from the skies as clouds open and pour rain on everyone's heads, and then she just groans. Covers her face with her hand. Stands up. "And that's my exit cue."

D'ani isn't so interested in Beyrl's book that he doesn't hear the greeting from the Steward and thus he half-turns to nod, though not with his usual easy-going warmth. His movement is a touch stiff and that hand he was rubbing the back of his neck with is once again jammed into his pocket. He does manage a rusty chuckle at Inri's rambling answer, the line of his shoulders relaxing just a touch to see that she is doing okay with this. Alister's plight is what prompts a crooked grin to tug at his frown and he simply shakes his head. The Weyrsecond isn't privy to Beyrl's thoughts, but he nods at the answer. S'dny's arrival is noted but no words spoken, simply a tension returning to the Weyrsecond's frame. This is the way it goes, he accepts it. He'll let Th'ero do the cordial stuff, for his attention is on Inri after that thunder. He's moving closer to her.

[DTU/Project] Kouzevelth and Velokraeth sense that Dremkoth would be the last to argue that, though whether he truly believes her is up for debate. He doesn't express doubts, however, not he. Instead, he asks brightly, « Is it going to rain soon? Maybe tonight? » Because he wants to know (and tell D'ani - and watch his rider's mental flailings).

[DTU/Project] Dremkoth and Velokraeth sense that Kouzevelth has, now, opened one physical eye: the sound of thunder rouses her instincts before it rises her mind, but she's sharp as a tack as quick as possible. « You are going to get wet, » she agrees, as the weather cooperates with her desires. Or maybe it's that she's cooperating with it. « It's dark out. » The fact it's nighttime, that doesn't seem to please her — but picky risers can't be picky about everything.

"Take the dog, please," Inri half-whispers, sounding strangled and irritated: it's to Alister, not D'ani, as she expects the bronzerider will be a little bit distracted. Alister, too, promised he'd stay with her, but he can at least take the canine at his side so she doesn't have to worry about his safety? That's the last thing she says, before her resigned, "Come on," and she's walking toward her dragon. Toward where soon there will be rain and blood and dead herdbeasts mingling, a sight she's always so thrilled for.

[DTU/Project] Dremkoth and Kouzevelth sense that Velokraeth has been listening in, mind rippling with amusement when it's not so heavily laden with the scent of honeyed wine. « A little bit of rain has never bothered me. Nor has the night! » Because her hide will be ALL the beacon he needs and that much is implied, along with an impish smile. Lead on, fair lady?

Beyrl 's eyes grow as thunder rolls from heavens to his ears, followed, as typical, by a torrent. Or so it is in his mind. His book he covers, his body now a shield, any answers from others lost upon ears no longer focused. A glance around, and another to follow, shelter he searches for, and so the others he trails behind, in hopes that more rain they're not interested in.

"Handful of idiocy, sir," is Alister's answer to Th'ero as he gently manhandles his idiot baby firelizard to a slightly less potentially injurious position. (There's a lot of trying to get that wing untangled from his hair). "Just doing my rounds," is further answer to the Weyrleader, but his attention is caught by the foreign bronzerider, first, and the clap of thunder, second. Then his hands are really busy, because Idiocy is startled by the second and now trying to both throttle him and climb into his hair. "No," he says, a little choked-off resigned, "Faranth, get off, go watch the puppies!" This, apparently, is a cue that the tiny brown has been trained for, because he allows himself to be disentangled and tossed into the air, where he promptly disappears. And Alister? Alister whistles for Durahiko as he falls in beside Inri, and a little at her back, and — follows her exit.

Poor S'dny is tired and it shows. He offers a tired, but polite smile to the gathered group and first turns his attention to the weyrleader, "I'm afraid that he does." he says as he motions off toward the bronze that has wandered away, "It seems I'm just along for the ride." Syd ends his thought with a rather impressive looking yawn, "Forgive me. I was unavoidably detained last evening and sleep has eluded me." he says to the weyrwoman. He notes the presence of the others and offers them polite nods as well. He can only sigh deeply when he hears the crack, "Of course. Just has to be that way. Fantastic." he says mostly under his breath. When he sees the weyrwoman begin to move he too follows after, offering an apologetic smile to everyone. Crazy way to meet people.

Zhirayr comes prepared for almost any eventuality — just ask him, he'll tell you! — and so as that first rumble of doom crosses the sky, he reaches into his pocket, and pulls out… a very, very small hat, which unfolds expands to prove itself a reasonably-wide-brimmed hat, and so he only gets a little bit wet. And shakes his head, actually rather sympathetically, at Inri — and everyone else stuck staying in the rain. And shakes his head, outright disbelieving, at the idiots who are choosing to stay in the rain, during an incipient flight, what are they thinking, and turns and heads back inside, to make sure the kitchen staff realizes just how much post-flight nibbly-snack food they're supposed to be making (before they're too distracted to focus on it).

Cue the rain and cue Th'ero's swearing but not so much because he's getting drenched. That is the least of his concerns. Why does he look up to the skies with a hand shielded against the rain? To see if there's an exodus of the other resident Queens and once that happens… oh yes. The Weyrleader will curse some more. Alister will never get an answer back, as Th'ero is already backing off, expression twisting into something akin to a deep scowl as Velokraeth rouses himself on his ledge with a slow, almost lazy stretch of his wings and lingering yawn. Shall they? The Weyrleader's exit is done without words. He just mutters under his breath and follows Inri (at a distance — for now). He can see how D'ani has moved closer and though he's not influenced too strongly by flight lust yet he feels bad for the Weyrsecond. Been there, done that… way too many times to count (though not with a gold flight, just the many green).


Fort Weyr - Feeding Grounds
Milling herdbeasts dot this lightly grassy section of the southern end of the bowl. Fences keep them neatly secured on all sides, even extending into the lake, allowing the beasts ample drinking water without granting them an escape. Dragons young and old come here to hunt on a fairly regular basis, though not all come at once of course. From here you can easily make out the entirety of the Weyr's lake as it spreads out south and southwest to the tumbled rubble of the far shore, while the rest of the bowl lies beyond the fences to the southeast, east and northeast.


A sleeping Kouzevelth has been a pretty regular sight at the feeding grounds of late; for the past five days a very slight sheen has been morphing into a near-blinding orange glow. The holdup on her rising, with her proddy periods normally far shorter? A lack of rain: the one consistency in Kouzevelth’s flights besides the fact that someone usually gets hurt is the requirement for rain. A little bit past sunset, that rain has arrived, so Fort’s junior queen and her pursuers are in for some fun in the form of darkness and a downpour simultaneously. she has been asleep, but the thundercrack has roused her; the pouring of rain has pushed her to immediate action. For all that the proddiness was slow and lazy, she is off the ground and blooding as soon as she’s able to ascertain that chasers and her own lifemate, who she always keeps just-so nearby, have arrived. No time to settle in: that’s one herdbeast down, two, and a third neck snapped and blood sucked swiftly before the long-and-lithe gold takes to the skies.

For Inri’s part, she’s reached the feeding grounds as fast as possible, is looking decidedly unhappy with how her cornrows are getting ruined by the weather (as well as the material of her knit sweater) and just — sighs, as she watches Kouzevelth’s leap-dive-and-leap. “At least,” she mutters, sticking close to her pair of appointed guards (one real, one not), “she’s getting it over with fast. Sorry,” is to poor unfortunate guest S’dny.

Water is the life force of the desert, and as the drops begin their steady sweep downwards, Kainaesyth's attention is caught away from a small sapling getting his very careful attention. Wings spread to embrace the water he is poised for a moment before he pushes upwards. In the air he'll dance, the water curving along the long bands upon his back and wings. No hurry to join is Kainaesyth, but he is coming closer, ever closer. Thus when Kouzevelth hits the skies Kainaesyth is already there, and his mind reaches out to cup around those who seek the sky. Warmth seeps upwards from the canyon, to drift about a desert come alive under the life-giving rains. A faint fragrance of sage sweeps cloyingly about the minds, as the storyteller begins, « Once in a land far away… »

"I'm so sorry," someone else is echoing nearby, as Ierne's Z'len, formerly of Fort, is busy hastily shoving another man off Tisjadath's neck, sliding off himself in nearly the same second. The straps, too, get yanked off in a hurry — at least the brown wasn't carrying non-human luggage anymore — and, well, the big brown galoot is bounding over, Tigger-style, with a hop and a skip and some broken necks that aren't his, well before the last of the straps is actually, you know, not on him any longer. At least nothing's (currently) dangling! "This is not what was supposed to happen today," Z'len mutters glumly. "At least we'd gotten the wine off him first."

Oh they're definitely not interested in more rain, Beyrl. But they're going to get it anyway. D'ani doesn't say what they're interested in, of course, but he does think to warn the harper, "If you're interested in dragons and Weyrlife, you're going to get an eyeful that you might prefer not to," before he's striding after Inri while growl-muttering a sarcastic something under his breath that sounds like, "Sure she can predict the weather. She probably controls it!"

Dremkoth is not waiting for an invitation or paying attention to flowery language. He joyfully and enthusiastically announces as he launches after the queen, « D'ANI BELIEVES!! » Nevermind that's not what his rider said at all. Because you see, it's raining and he's getting wet and now he believes (so D'ani therefore must). Besides Kouzevelth SAID IT WOULD.

Velokraeth is an old hat at these flights, gold and green both (and yes, he'll boast of it!). Never mind he sired Kouzevelth, that's beyond the point (nor do dragons care). Let the chase begin, rain or no rain! Nothing so far has stopped him and he's not as stupid as Zhirazoth (har har, look who's still grounded!) when it comes to chasing a queen. The pale bronze swoops into the feeding grounds, skipping the usual posturing or taunting of the other males when Kouzevelth gets right down to business. One herd beast, two herdbeasts and one pilfered from a too young and naive brown. Too slow, you lose! Once sated, Velokraeth joins the rest in their pursuit as the flight takes to the skies.

Down on the ground, Th'ero just trudges along, glowering now as his jaw sets and teeth grit as he struggles to keep his mind focused for as long as possible. It's a losing battle, he knows it, but that doesn't stop him from trying. At the very least to get an understanding of the situation, all while unconsciously gravitating closer to Inri, despite D'ani's possessiveness.

The man with the familiar-to-Fort Z'len is a totally not familiar-to-Fort (he's maybe been there three times in the past decade) gentleman in his late thirties wearing a Master Vintner's knot and an extremely displeased expression. "Really," Ghantin is saying to the brownrider, sounding just about as disapproving as disapproval gets. "You can't control him at all? And now we've got to just — what, stand here?" You would not know this man's grandmother was a goldrider or that his father rides green, either, with this level of patience for flights.

S'dny fully intends to drink later, and by drinking he means get so incredibly drunk that sleep will not be something that he can avoid. Though he refrains from mentioning this to the others, "No need to apologize. It's natural thing." Doens't mean its not a gigantic pain in the neck though. He follows along with the group toward the feeding grounds and once there just leans himself against the fence. Nothing for it. At this point its all about just finishing. Marzoth did get sleep, however, and is more than wide awake. He has already found his way to the feeding pens and is working on some herdbeasts of his own. His eyes glow red behind his dark goggles and if he is inclined to say anything at the present moment he doesn't. After finishing off another herdbeast he looks up to find that the queen is taking too the sky. Indeed there will be no time to dawdle. He unfurls his dark wings that had lain like a cape across his back and pushes himself into the sky after her. Once more unto the breach dear friends!

The junior weyrwoman will definitely be getting her canine back, just — not any time immediately, apparently. Alister has opted for having him hustled off somewhere out of the immediate line of fire, so that his hands are only full with one job — that being making sure no-one gets to grab-handsy with his the weyrwoman before she wants them to. "Well," he asides to her as he sets himself up as a semi-imposing presence at her back and slightly to one side, so he can keep an eye on and stare down the suitors rather than watch the dragons blood, "this should be interesting." As the rain starts falling, it makes his fringe go all flat and sad and droopy in his eyes. Totally imposing, there.

Wh'ton looks like he was just about to leave as he comes chasing his suddenly distracted mate across the remainder of the bowl "Hey Wasz, this isn't a game now. I.." he trips with the thundercrack and down goes the bags he was trying to pack up on that unwilling lifemate of his. Grumbling and gathering up the wares his pace is a bit slower as the skies unleash to add insult to injury he stumbles into a gathering ground as he ends up by the feeding grounds. It still doesn't seem to dawn as his gaze is searching out for the distinctive streak of bronze which is his, among so many others and that rather bright glowy golden creature, and he can only groan letting the bags drop back to the ground knowing he isn't going anywhere anytime soon. "Greeeat."

The brightly polished hide of Waszth won't be dissapearing into the shadows anytime soon. The dragon doesn't seem to mind at all, he isn't one for stalking and brooding he's in to chasing and dazzle and blood! Beast here and beast there, with nary a glance towards the queen such that he's a heartbeat late in getting off the ground after her, the last kill left only half finished as he beats hard to rise and leave the earthly confine.

Beyrl turns an ear cautious to D'ani, to hear what the other may say. A glance so curious is given, for what ills could come from the watching of dragonkind so spectacular? At first sight, of blooding herdbeasts with ease, a wince is given to his expression. He knows well the tales of dragons to be those of the ideal, and nature red, though explination not refrained, matches not the intensity of the real. "For what caution should I toss about the creatures I yearn to love and learn?" he then questions of D'ani, watching those in flight, the best he can, his book now hidden against his chest, shirt covering like a blanket. Though difficult it is to keep dry, when the shirt itself has already been drenched.

“She thinks it is,” Inri informs Wh’ton drearily; this is definitely not your typical cheerful-friendly-touchy-feely proddy going on, here. She’s not even been so kind as to register everyone who is there, as she keeps herself wrapped up in her own arms and in the shadows of D’ani and Alister. “A game, I mean. This is playing. And I wouldn’t entirely be surprised if she at least is convinced she controls the weather.” Totally playing to Kouzevelth’s ego, here, but Inri knows better than to not do that. To teenage-years friend Z’len, she just calls over, “Your weyrmate’s a dick,” though she’s making a massive assumption about who the man with him is.

Kouzevelth, of course, agrees. This is a game. It’s her playground. She doesn’t try for shrieks or cries or trills or bugles; no, the noise is not in her physical form but in her mindscape. Any dragon nearby, even those on the ground, are inundated with blinding lightning flashes as she pushes massive, disproportionate wings to get her higher and higher. It’s some subconscious push from Inri: a high flight is a good flight, a long flight is a good flight, but she so hates to take forever. At least as she’s reaching to get air, her overly-lengthy tail isn’t yet lashing to the point where it could whip anyone straying close in the face.

Kainaesyth does not chase, so much as entice. A swift wind kicks up in the deserts, and the air is filled with the multitude of colors which the rain soaked desert has revealed, petals fluttering into the sky to spread their scent abroad. « A young woman was the daughter of a great chief. When time came for her to marry, a contest was proposed to see who could prove themselves worthy of her hand. » All who would listen are invited to the story, it's layers of meaning springing up as imagery in puddles and deep within the canyon itself. It's like his mind isn't totally on the flight itself.

Z'len is torn between looking at, yes, his weyrmate — who gets a hissed "I am trying I would like to see you control him! Wait, that doesn't sound quite right" — and at Inri, where he wants to say something about his weyrmate and how 'being' isn't quite the right verb in question, but — well. Ahem. Tisjadath, meanwhile, has leapt gleefully into the air, wafting a tease of musky smoke in amongst Kouzevelth's thunderclouds. He's here, he's already chasing, he totally knows what he's doing, and as soon as his weyrmate stops distracting him he's all yours, orange-gold lady!

D'ani has nothing decent to say to any of the other chasers - not now. Tomorrow? He'll be back to his affable, friendly self. Now? No. In fact, he's there right beside Inri, on the opposite side that Alister is and he's also - at least at this stage - acting as her guardian. His hands are no longer in his pockets but he's not putting them where the flight might prompt him to (that'd be on Inri or in someone's face). Flights, so lovely! Beyrl does manage to catch D'ani's attention, but the flowery-worded question earns him a stare, "Wh-at??" And then the harper is dismissed with a shake of his head that sends droplets of water flying.

Dremkoth doesn't mind the rain one bit. He's quite interested in the story Kainaesyth weaves and thus hears it, but his concentration goes into staying close to Kouzevelth and hopefully outflying the others.

Waszth isn't exactly a planner, and is all up for a game, especially this game. With all his energies he strokes and pushes, seeking to catch up and join in the fun without taking anything to seriously that might be tossed his way. The elements seem to be posing the first challenge, the unfamiliar fortian currents and of course the rain which makes flying more like swimming at times, the water slick across his sails flung off trailing edges as the sails snap with each eager beat. Eyes seek the gold as eh sways along the back of the pursuing pack looking for an opening to edge up. Far below Wh'ton knows better than to respond with more than a neautral nod to Inri. He pulls his jacket closed a bit tighter against the weather, looking around at the unfamiliar faces before settling to the ground next to his wares.

Velokraeth knows how much Kouzevelth's tail stings when smacked across the face (and in his case, one of his eyes) — or at least is reminded by his rider not to suffer the same injury twice. So while she pushes on, the pale bronze will bide his time, happy enough to "mingle" among the competition and begin goading them on, should he find any weaknesses. Physical he is not. Mental sabotage? Oh yes, you BET he's in on that! First target? Kainaesyth. « You'll need more than stories! » he crows.

Th'ero is edging closer now, crowding in on where Alister and D'ani stand though he makes no effort to get too close to Inri. Yet. His eyes scan the skies but soon the rain becomes too much of a nuisance and his distracted, fractured mind drifts… only to focus in midway on Beyrl's answer to D'ani. The Weyrleader's reply is a bit blunt, words gritted through teeth but not out of desire to be rude… just that the bronzerider is starting to feel Velokraeth's influence from the flight. "It's the riders you need to be wary about. Gold flights broadcast, Apprentice and you'd best get yourself out of the thick of things, less you wish to break the rules of your Craft should the temptation to resist the lust prove too much. You're not used to it." Run, man. RUN. Leave it to Th'ero to dish out the truth? Awkwardly.

There is a flush that rides high on Alister's cheeks, and he's taking a similar tactic to D'ni in the hands department — while he's not quite at the point of jamming them into his pockets, his thumbs are hooked into them and his fingers flex against the now-damp fabric of his pants. Th'ero and his edging are met with squared shoulders and out-thrust jaw, not quite a challenge, but a definite statement that there will be one, if the encroaching comes further. It's broken just a little bit by a huff-snort laugh for the Weyrleader's commentary, and a, "No, seriously, get while the getting is good." He's being paid to be here. Otherwise he — probably wouldn't be. It's a little awkward.

Inri might apologize to Beyrl, too; she looks a little horrified for half a second, like she’s just realized that he’s an apprentice and they have rules. “I am a terrible person,” she tells D’ani (and Alister, and Th’ero), “because right now I find that entire conundrum — the one he’s having ” she’s pointing at the Harper, “ amusing. Which is rotten. At least I know better than to think it’s my fault.” Maybe she should have told him to leave, but how is that truly her responsibility? It is, as the Monaco rider said, natural. The visiting Vintner’s comment, though? “Wait, he’s right — that’s Kainaesyth. Where —?”

That normally gentle cognitive touch of Kouzevelth’s, the one she so often washes over Fort, is now tense and odorous; there’s a scent to lightning, you know, and a ground during rain, and it’s being amplified a thousandfold. If she could influence the feeling of every human in the Weyr to the extent where they, too, would feel electrified, she would — she certainly is trying, and that broadcast Velokraeth’s rider speaks of is on her side. There is a quick added shock for Marzoth, though, a wordless but clear rebuke that insulting one of her dragons is not welcomed. It’s not the sort of rebuke that would have him thrown from the chase, though. That she would never do. She’s perfectly happy with them all, and as she rises, rises, rises, she suddenly dips and banks, descending slightly and turning sharply so as to throw her pursuers off course as much as possible without losing them entirely. See? That is the game part. Now those wingbeats are more frequent and less heavy, and the tail? The tail takes wide guiding swings, but the end is twitching dangerously fast.

Beyrl is about to reply, in a way perhaps more direct, to D'ani, but the droplets shot at him causes him to give a shiver of his head to shake them lose, or attempt to. Though what use that may be when the rest of him is already coated in heaven's drink. Th'ero saves him from repeating, but offering an answer most dire (at least to one who's not used to strong desire). Though straight to the heart of it does the answer fly to Beyrl, it takes him a few awkward moments to process its impact. The young man thinks and remembers the stories of dragon flights, for what in them could be trouble to his Craft? Then it hits, like a train unaware, the term 'lust' was listed in the answer he heard, and recalls he now the fate of those around golden flights of passion. He peers up at the dragons, unsure of his plight. Should he answer curiousity, the dragons to watch, or heed the caution given, and instead take flight?

They think he talks too much? Just wait till Kainaesyth gets totally worked up. The storyteller takes the bad with the good, and his story will continue, lifted on the warmth from the canyon, and carried upon the backs of desert creatures who have come to partake of the excess of life in the storms. « When the challenge was begun the suitors came from near and far, » Strange how so many of them had bronze faces… « to win the daughter's hand. Unhappy with the choices though, the girl chose her own path. Cutting her hair she joined the suitors, unbeknownst to her father. » Without missing a single rhythmic word of his story, Kainaesyth dips int the sky, to slip around Velokraeth's attack. Leave the storyteller alone man, it's not like he could really win this flight if he's telling a story all through it. Seriously, Ha'ze isn't even here. Isn't that like, a requirement to win?

Up, up, and awayyyyy! Wait, Tisjadath already did that — the important thing, from the visiting brown's perspective, is that there must have been smoke in the gold's eyes, because all he has to do is a barrel-roll like this and thanks to that little waggle-and-dive of hers, he's right behind her! "Oh, shells," groans his rider, down below, as Z'len shades his eyes with his hands — or, at any rate, keeps the water out of them — keeping track of the dragon more than the other riders, at least for now. "That's gone and done it, he's trailing one of them now." A glance at Fencepost Weyrmate, and he mutters more quietly, "Do you really think he was going to wait for me to get the rest of them the rest of the way off him before going up?"

Marzoth feels the shock from the gold and in response he hisses. If he'd been in a placid mood before that mood is a thing of the past. As quickly as the mood came it is gone. The winds begin to tear through the trees cracking some of the smaller branches as they blow. Ok. Marzoth is back! From the center of the forest a rumble can be heard and a dragon rises from it. A dragon made of smoke and fire. The dragon that represents that animal part of him that comes to the fore most every time he rises to chase in the sky. The beast cries out in a mix of rage and passion. This only serves to spur Marzoth onward. Up and up he flies flowing after the glowing queen. He is past the point of words now, the time for action has come! He huffs and puffs taking in air and beating his wings against the sky.

"No," mutters Ghantin, who is actually pulling a full wineskin out of the bag he'd had on his shoulder now and is drinking it. By himself. All on his lonesome. If anyone else wants some — they'll have to ask, though he doesn't appear to be trying to hide it any.

Wh'ton is very much unsure of the dynamics of what all is going on here. Just what has his lifemate dragged him into this time? As far as he is concerned he'll just hunker here on the wet ground, getting wetter grumbling over bags no one but he is really interested in. His thoughts are not so much with his dragon above as things on the ground do have a sort of fascination. The apparently clashing egos and high rolling flight driven emotions might actually prove more interesting a scene than the typical struggle above, if only he can remember this might make an interesting diary entry for later. Waszth is entirely occupied with the antics above, and similarly completely ignores his rider far below. The queens actions are to his slight favor, scattering those less foolish than he and opening up a space into which he easily slides as he angles and follows the packs general chase of the playful queen.

"You are basically the worst," Alister tells Inri, and there's a wealth of affection there, if a little bit strained — mostly because he's one of those poor unincorporated saps getting whammied by her lifemate while also keeping close, keen attention on the crowd. "The actual absolute worst, why do I even like you again? I should have brought a stick." If Pern had weather forecasts, he probably would have been more prepared for this. As it is, he's just — wet, and hot under the collar, and eyeing the assembled brown and bronzeriders distrustfully.

"Not your fault," Th'ero grits out to Inri while his mind is still capable of such multi-focus. Alister's posturing earns him a lingering stare that narrows considerably as the Weyrleader sizes up the Guard. Don't mind the knuckle cracking either… because if it comes to a fight, this ex-Guard won't mind pitting himself against a man who'd likely at least give a damn good fight in return! Not that he's spoiling for violence… but all it'll take is just that teeny bit of a push! His temper, especially when frayed by flights, is known to most. "Don't linger much longer," he warns Beyrl again in a voice that has lowered considerably that it could be considered a growl. Yet it'll be the Apprentices choice to witness as much as he wants — the consequences will be his own to shoulder.

Velokraeth rises and rises along with the others, his mind in a constant flux of wine-scents and incense to compliment Kouzevelth's shared thoughts when his aren't rippling with his amusement and desires. The pale bronze will reserve a few privately spoken words for the gold, likely all sly and coy and in some way flattering. For the competitors? No such things. Just more taunts and mocking that could be considered sarcastic teasing. No one is spared… especially of Velokraeth feels he can gain from it and all while he keeps Kouzevelth in his sights.

D'ani throws a semi-questioning look Alister's way. Curiosity likely drew Beyrl, but the Weyrsecond is unaware unaware that Inri paid Alister to protect her and it's just as well. His mind is increasingly lost to Dremkoth's, but he's got enough of his own to murmur a dissent when Inri calls herself terrible. "Never! He's an adult. And the harper confuses me every time he opens his mouth." Poor Beyrl, being talked about while standing right there! There is, however a new problem and that is the one Inri points out. D'ani squints at the sky (like he'd find Ha'ze up there??) and mutters thickly, "Dunno." Doesn't care, either. Not yet.

Dremkoth beats through the rain, but chortles at Kainaesyth's story. « She cannot marry herself though? » He sends shooting stars back along the path of Kouzevelth's electricity. No words, just sparks falling through the night of his mind. I am here!

"Yes, it is all my fault, but you're making a mint in presents for the eight hundred women in your family and the Holder," Inri shoots back at Alister, though at least she is, still, smiling; maybe now D'ani can figure it out. Maybe not. Certainly it will get explained later how she just wanted to be completely sure she had someone on either side, just in case of — of — well, a clear-headed Inri won't be able to actually explain it. "As for him, I mean, he sounds like Zuvaleyuth," with the 'him' being Beyrl, and that is probably at least a kind observation?

The interior rain, that rain that's all mental, the rain that is tracing through the thoughts of every dragon and coming from Kouzevelth's otherwise-silent visage as opposed to the rain that's actually outside … it's lightening a little, a confused sort of pitter-patter for a second. Like: Dremkoth has a point. So where is this going, Kainaesyth? The confusion isn't enough to distract her, really, but maybe as a result she is making the circle just a little … tighter than she meant to. So she's almost managed to hit herself in the face with the tail there, which just increases the danger of being in its proximity when she lashes it out far to the left, getting it out of her way enough that she isn't paying attention to whose way it does swing into. Is she tired, with all this fast and fancy flying? Not … yet. Not quite.

Interuptions to the story are par for the course, and Kainaesyth pulls Dremkoth's into the story, as it pours forth, climbing upwards. « But she may win herself, and that is the choice she has made. The suitors are sent out with a charge, the reward known. The one who should bring back the largest buck should win the right to her hand, and thus the people when the chief should die. Into the forest they go, but unlike the others, the woman first stops at the door of the oldest woman to find where she might search for the legendary white wherry

Ack, crap, TAIL HAZARD, DEAD AH— wait, no, RI— left? EVERYWHERE. Tisjadath was not expecting that and is now trying to hover in midair for a moment, to catch his bearings, while Kouzevelth spins in her little circles right in front of him. He's not really, actually, built for the mid-air hover, of course, and so there's a lot of wobbling and some up-and-down and that dangling strap with the metal hook on the end is just kind of lurking in the space just beneath him, getting just a little bit further down with each beat of his wings, and — well, nobody's going to try to fly beneath him in order to get closer to the gold, right? That would be stupid! Z'len, meanwhile, down below, is groaning, covering his face with his hands and trying to keep his eyes on both his dragon and on Inri, all at once. (Effective.) "Would you just," he mutters, pushing at the brown, causing him to wobble in his hover-attempt even more.

S'dny remains very much out of it, looking like he may well fall over. Given the growing dampness of the ground at least he'd have some nice soft mud to hit when he did. Though the energy provided him by the moment keeps him standing. Audible sighs can be heard emanating from the poor tired man, but no words, so absorbed in Marzoth is he at the moment that he doesn't have the mental strength any longer. Marzoth looks to his right and to his left trying to get a feel for where all the dragons are located. His heart beats in his chest as he can feel the moment growing ever close. His gaze narrows and focuses entirely on the gold, that animal part of his mind meanwhile lays waste to the forest. Trees are scorched with fire and others ripped out by strong claws. Every fiber of his being vibrates with the power that the gold is exuding and he hates it just as much as he is drawn too it. His lips curl back letting his teeth show. He continues to push himself through the air waiting for the right moment to strike.

"I am going to be so popular," Alister doesn't have to split his focus, so he's managing to maintain a relatively coherent train of thought, here, "but that doesn't mean you aren't still the actual worst, I don't even know what Cailen — okay, no, that's totally a lie, I am also the actual worst, you're totally my favorite hi," that last word is bitten off a little bit, as he swings his attention back away from the goldrider at his back to the rest of the crowd as his front; this includes the Weyrleader, who isn't being seen much as the Weyrleader at the moment so much as another in a long list of credible threats, "you're gonna want to take a few steps back. Like, now. Everyone." Even the ones who aren't crowding? Sure, them too. It's remarkable that there's still enough unassigned bloodflow left in the young man for that flush across his cheeks, honestly. Goldflights.

You know who isn't crowding? Kainaesyth's rider. He really should be here at this point.

Beyrl rings a hand, rings another. To get the water off, he's certain, though he's unsure why, for its constant replenishment denies the result. There's something in the air, a passion to feel, and stories of dragon flights take to mind, racing like those already on wing, telling their stories, weaving their trails, through the common game they share. He notices not his own reaction, held back like a dam broken, resistance he has none for. D'ani's statement bears attention, and stretches his mind to focus, as the harper glances over to the other. "It is not my purpose to confused. My curiousity mearly remains unsatiated." He does take caution at Th'ero's statement, strong as it comes across, almost as a light shock to the young man. But his attention is too far split to let its seriousness settle upon his mind. The name, heard a second time, causing momentary deja vu. "Who is this one you speak of, Zuvaleyuth by name?" he asks, though it appears its no one in particular that the question is aimed. He shifts back and forth, though his mind has yet to connect the reason his body has already learned.

Ha'ze: probably Alister's favorite, at this point.

If D'ani puts two and two together, it'll be later and he'll keep silent about his feelings on not being enough to keep Inri safe. Hah. Which protection is totally doomed to eventually fail in any case, for D'ani is a rider and will accept the flight outcome. For now though, he merely eyes Alister and snorts, edging a half-step closer to Inri. He's not going anywhere yet, until the winner, if he isn't the lucky guy, claims her. Of Beyrl, he smirks aside to Inri, "Could never understand Zuva either."

Dremkoth ducks the tail, swerving to keep on course, but his commentary is a thoughtful, « She won't have a mate then. » And THAT at this time, is of prime importance. Speaking of mates, his next question to Kainaesyth has nothing to do with his story, « Where is yours? D'ani is wondering where he is. » Lies. But other people are.

Waszth finds space only to lose it moments later as he dodges hard right of another dragon that ducks some force he can not see. It pushes him into a wider arc than the queen follows and the brightly hued bronze struggles to regain his rhythem. Mind tumbles into confusion, the weather physical and that which is mental colliding and distracting nad he even loses sight of the queen, not a particularly safe move drawing the attenion of his rider below from the actions nearest. There is to much danger in no being aware enough of such matters with glowing queens and lusty bronzes.

Wait, someone is missing? Th'ero is late on Inri's observations or perhaps something fed through Velokraeth comes back to him and he can focus long enough to notice the absence of a certain rider. "He wouldn't… the sharding idiot," he growls (rather tamely — give him a moment) but there's no time to think of that now. His head shakes, eyes distracted and unfocused as he loses more of himself to his bronze, sharing the same desires and goals. One of which is to clear a path towards Inri and Alister's warning is met with an incredulous snort. "No." he states with a grin as wry as Velokraeth likely cannot do. "Like to see you try, Sergeant, to stop any of us when the time comes." Oh boy. Too distracted is he to hear Beyrl's question. Later, perhaps, he'll get his answer.

Above, Velokraeth is going to AVOID that tail of Kouzevelth's (though ideally that is what he'll want to twine with later…) and dive downwards. He plans to avoid any injury by the gold and he usually avoids confrontation with his competitors. What he doesn't expect to come into contact with? Flight gear. By the time he realizes Tisjadath's carrying his straps and a hazard at that, it's already too late. WHY is it ALWAYS the browns who get him in the end? Stupid Velokraeth is not, but just a victim to fate. Oh woe and shame!

Hey, no actual fighting, Inri wanted Alister here to avoid the actual fighting, that's why now he's getting the side-eye from her too. "He knows better than that," she promises Th'ero gently, her lips pursed as she is starting to feel a sudden wave of exhaustion. Thanks, Kouzevelth, your fancy flying always hits your lifemate first, and in the throes of flightlust is not when she wants to feel like she wants to take a nap. Inri actually tosses her head, blinking to shake off the weariness (which, at least, she knows to take as a sign that this part is almost over) and letting rain flow into her face and shock her system a bit. "I have him at least that well trained. We talked about it. He's just here so no one gets overly handsy on that side while D'ani watches this side." See, it makes PERFECT SENSE. Kind of like how Ha'ze is an idiot. Wait. She does hear Beyrl's question, most likely, somewhere in her head, but … the flight is too close to over for her to be comfortable talking about another gold more than she already has. Kouzevelth won't have it. Later. Just about anyone can tell him.

Tired? Who's tired? Kouzevelth isn't tired, that's just Inri being tired, which may, as a result, be making her tired — no. That is most definitely a lie. The tight circles and the ridiculously high start does have her tiring. The tail-whips are slowing down into steady motion lashes, and her wingbeats have evened to a consistent, level and relatively paced pattern. She is definitely slowing down, and that zap to her mindvoice has become instead a constant low-level sizzle. She knows she's wearying, in the end; that is when she issues her last challenging noise, a low-voiced croon, a call: really, now, she is getting a little worn out, and we're already way up here. Someone must wish to best all the others in a glorious, epic fashion and escort her down?

The front end, at that; and then the back end, quite embarrassingly, as the end of the strap snags and velocity works and Tisjadath comes crashing down onto Velokraeth's back end. Very, very briefly. Long enough to destroy both dragons' chances of winning; not actually long enough to cause a horrific maiming crash to the ground, or an instinctive Betweening with similarly-catastrophic results. So. It could be worse. "You're on your own now," Z'len snarls, at … the dragon, probably, as he grabs his weyrmate (and the wine) and rapidly vacates the premises.

"That's not my job, sir," Alister snaps back at Th'ero, but Inri's side-eyeing is quelling (old habits hard to break) enough that he doesn't do anything more than step just there, so he's more firmly between the goldrider and the encroaching hordes. "Winner," winner chicken dinner? "Is a different story entirely, okay, I'm not being paid for that." At least Z'len's precipitous exit means that the numbers of potential grab-hands are one down. One down a — few, okay, Alisty's not counting right now, to go.

S'dny lifts his head long enough to say, "Beat him!" at the top of his lungs. Just who he wants to see beat on who is left up to mystery. He just drop his head back down to his chest and sighs once more. The ex harper is not known for being a violent man, but Marzoth certainly is a violent fellow and he and Marzoth are one at the moment. High above in the sky through the rain an the wind Marzoth senses that the gold is begining to tire, and if he were to be honest he is also growing weary. The energy he expended winning that greenflight last night could have been useful here. No matter. He narrows his gaze and quickly calculates the amount of forward momentum he will require and that calculation complete he flaps his wings hard and holds them to his side as he darts through the sky aiming himself directly at the gold. He reaches out with his claws and hopes to ensnare the electric queen.

It makes perfect sense, yes. And D'ani half-hears Inri's comment too, primarily because she speaks. His eyes, half-shut, are glazed over and with it any focus on peripheral conversations. He doesn't echo Th'ero's challenge, but his body's stance says loud and clear that if push comes to shove, he's not budging.

Oh Dremkoth wishes all right, half-influenced by his rider's abiding feelings for Inri, but that is by far overshadowed by instinctual dragonlust at this point. His actions are his own as he presses forward at the sound of Kouzevelth's cry, mindful of dodging that tail (at least until his can entangle it) as he shoulders his way through to get closer.

Waszth catches a glint of something shiny and circles tighter, claws extending until the realization that it's actually another bronze and he swerves away to find the queen like the sun far above, unreachable in the weathered skies though he can't help but try to struggle upwards with waning strength towards that impossible beacon. Wh'ton turns his face skywards, letting the rain cool his features as the flight reaches its conclusion and he just trys to stay out of everyone else's way as he waits.

Velokraeth is not expecting to have Tisjadath trying to piggyback on his lumpy, boxy rear end! No sir and he is NOT PLEASED, to judge by the snarled growl and snap of teeth (thankfully to empty air) as the pale bronze thrashes in an attempt to dislodge his sudden passenger. « You bloody FOOL! » he seethes at the brown as they're simultaneously taken out of the running. Brief is their collision and both will untangle themselves in time, leaving the pale bronze only with injured pride to nurse. Will he quit? NOT quite. There's no chance in him winning, but that won't keep him from lingering despite the odds. His wings still function even if his backend smarts!

Down below, Th'ero snarls a few not polite oaths and curses to make a Seacrafter blush and turns away for a moment, trying to pin down Z'len but the brownrider has already made his hasty exit with his weyrmate. Damn! The Weyrleader might have done the same too — just turn heel and storm his way back to his weyr where Kimmila is no doubt waiting. Instead, Alister draws his attention back and Velokraeth's lingering roots him to the thick of things. "Since when do Guards hire themselves to riders?" he snaps back, as if only JUST aware that he'd been hired by Inri. What sorcery is this!?

Stories yell through his mind, his breathing harder, as passion fills his soul. His mind swims in song and ryhme and verse, and history spreads out in flamboyant tapestry, the feeling exhilerating. His eyes dialated, he watches the dragons, something about them, about all this, is an awakening to the senses, wild and untamed, almost feral in its.. lust. He becomes suddenly and keenly aware of the obvious nature of this event, and gives something that sounds slightly of a squeak. He eyes the dragons, the men wary, Inri.. he finds himself waxing passionate poems. And then they're receding, all the others, though the dragons in flight seem less so. Why are they leaving, all they that share in the flight? No.. they are not the ones falling behind. Why are his legs taking him away? Something in his mind itches, and its just enough that it moves his feet without his knowledge, on the edge of need, of desire, to keep clean by the rules of the Craft. Yet that seems tainted already, and his legs slow. Is there a reasonable distance, safe from the flight, safe from the others? He knows not. He wonders if he cares not.

"Ffffff—" there's a crash of thunder and a strangled sound from Alister as he gets a faceful of rain as he looks up at the sky to assess the current course of the flight and its participants; surely the spluttering end of that word was 'aranth,' right? "'s sake, man, she was practically my sister, so, since then, I don't know, when I was born?" Okay, he might be losing the thread, here, just a little bit: this is is first goldflight, okay, and Inri's tired and Kouzevelth is flagging and crooning and he is soaked to the skin and his pants are sticking uncomfortably in places as a result of all of this, and, you know. People are being provoking. He'll be way better at this in a few turns, no, for real. "Back. Off. Sir." Seeing as Velokraeth clearly isn't about to be the winner, here.

« He weaves his own story (NOT A PUNCUTAITON MARK HERE) separate from the tale told now. His soul joins us. » It's a break in the story, as Kainaesyth answers Dremkoth's question in an offhand fashion. His story dips and waves though the action of hunting the white wherry, and the girl bringing it back. « But you cannot marry yourself, her father protests, when her catch wins the challenge. A smile breaks upon the girls face, as she beckons forth her lover, a man of the tribe known for his artwork. But I may choose who I should marry is her reply, and thus it was given for her the power of choice. As it is given to you sweetest Kouzevelth.» Kainaesyth dives after the rain-summoned gold, content to accept her choice.

That's actually a pretty story, and Inri's going to be sad she missed it — since for all she often feels bodily one with her dragon, hence the dizziness and the tiredness, she is never dialed in on the conversation — though her bigger problem is one directly attached. Because, of course, whether it's proximity or the pretty storytelling or the excellent job he did helping tend to her last clutch as an eggsitter, or a brilliant combination of all three? It is in fact Kainaesyth, of all the options, the one with no rider present, who gets the incredible honor of ending up tangled with a lusty-sleepy gold. Kouzevelth's choice is just as impulsively-appearing as her initial takeoff; fast and firm and decisive. This is just the way it is now. Kainaesyth has won, even if everyone here thinks that at the moment his rider's a loser.

Which is definitely a terrible forming experience for Inri. She looks extremely confused; bewildered, tired, lost, overwhelmed. And twitchy. Her eyes aren't entirely glazed over, but she seems dazed and shaken. It's not the same discomfort, not the same twitch and shakiness as hours ago, but it is definitely caught up in that sense that something here is not right. Her look at least isn't at all to Alister, but purely to D'ani in helplessness. Fix it?

An ugly flute-like call rings from Kainaesyth's throat when he twines about Kouzevelth. He's welcoming more than just the moment, but that which will come after. BABIES guys. BABIES. No matter that his last set of babies just grew up, now there are MORE BABIES. Or will be. The lack-of-Ha'ze on the ground is ignored for the moment. The bronzerider got himself into the mess that is keeping him from the goldflight, and will have to get himself out later. Poor Inri.

Noooooo!!! Dremkoth has overshot or miscalculated. He veers off to avoid collision with the entangled bronze and gold, « Kainaesyth…! » This to D'ani, likely. The bronze spirals towards the ground, avoiding all of the other dragons in the sky. Alone. Sadness and woe!

D'ani also hears Alister's growled 'back off' to Th'ero, but he's instead stepping forward to curl an arm around Inri's shoulders. Not because Dremkoth has won, but to keep the goldrider from falling over in the shared exhaustion he knows has hit her. He's going to release her in a moment, he will if it kills him. As…soon as… (a glare skyward towards Dremkoth and a muttered, "Yeah, I know" is muttered)… Ha'ze steps forward to claim her. He looks warily around and grits, "Where IS he?!" While he's prepared to let her go to Ha'ze, his arm tightens possessively he doesn't see him yet.

Wh'ton keeps to the perifery, and although he may have learned an interesting new word or three it looks like the worst of things is past. He has no ground to stand on here and trys to quietly gather his things, retreating a bit to where he might rejoin his mate who is sulking down out of the sky in slow tired spirals.

Th'ero will use a word then that starts with an 'F' but does NOT end in 'aranth' but something far more rude. Pardon him while he acts anything BUT like a Weyrleader right now. Right now? He's nothing but frustrated and pissed off, given the situation that comes crashing down. Never mind Velokraeth got knocked out of the chase. But Ha'ze being MIA and it taking him until NOW to realize the ramifications? Oh, he is not going to let this go down easily. More cursing, swearing and oaths, most growled too low in his throat to be fully coherent. Speaking of coherent… in a moment of not-clear thinking, he'll lurch towards Inri. Not to impede on what is Not His to take, but out of misplaced need to see if she's alright. Which is pure idiocy on his part. Of course she's not alright and trying to put himself in her path is the WORST he could do. Also bad? The hand that reaches out, blindly, not to shove but more for support as he staggers a bit with his thoughts going to pieces — right for Alister, while he snaps: "Bastard's not here, D'ani! It's too late for it anyways!" What IS the Weyrsecond waiting for? Steal her away, already!

Above, Velokraeth knew he stood no chance in snaring Kouzevelth but once she is caught and done is done, the pale bronze wheels away and aims right for his ledge where he can nurse his bruised pride.

Marzoth misses the gold mark yet again. As he breezes past Kouzevelth he hisses his disgust at the turn of events. As he cruises through the skies he begins to forceably put down the animal inside of himself in a way that he has not done before, « It is no matter. » he declares solemnly in his deep baritone voice in as dignified a tone as he can manage at the moment, « I have learned much. » he adds before he shoots off as fast as his tired wings can take him. Below the spell is broken and Syd pops back to life, at least a piece of him does. He lifts his head with a start and pushes himself to his feet, "Uhhhhhhhh." he declares considerably less solmenly than his dragon. He looks to Inri and D'ani and the rest and just stands there, "This was not covered in any of the manuals." And he's read them all. He wobbles on his feet. What to do?

[DTU/Project] Kainaesyth and Kouzevelth sense that Dremkoth snorts with utter disgust, « D'ani wants me to go find Ha'ze. I say Kainaesyth will find him much more efficiently than I would. I can pinch-hit for you with Kouzevelth, Kainaesyth! » What? He knows nothing of science, but multiple eggs might benefit from multiple 'donors'?

Didn't Inri say NO fighting? … Did she forget to say that out loud? Does anyone expect Inri to remember? Just in case there was any doubt: Inri doesn't remember. No, she's too busy being lusty-sleepy-confused against D'ani's shoulder, pressing her eyes shut in frustration and then opening them again. "Somewhere," she starts, and then after taking a breath, "else," inhale, exhale, "that is not here, and I will kill him later, but —" But now her weyr is, you know, that way. Over there. He can carry her, he's done it before, and she is so over walking. Right?

Unaware the ground, wet as it is, has taken him down, Beyrl sits and watches the dragons wide-eyed. Simultaniously a raw and lovely sight. He is, if only unconciously, aware that he's tankful the crowd is at a distance now (though he knows not how far), else the intoxication for .. company, may be overwhelming. As it currently is, it's mearly rather decisively distracting, attempting to crowd out all other thoughts. Just a tad below overpowering. He barely recognizes the last interactions of the chasers that he's not really paying attention to.

This — this really, really, really wasn't covered in the guidelines that Inri set down when she hired him on for this, okay. What to do if riders got grabby, yes. When he was off the hook once someone had won, yes. What to do when the winner wasn't there, no, really, that wasn't covered. Which is why Alister manages to — okay, he doesn't assault a dragonrider, let's just be clear there, but he does throw an arm-bar to keep Th'ero from being able to reach for, to reach Inri, and it's, "'yri, go," that's snap-snarled … as the goldrider already has. Okay, okay, that's — good. Now he'll just deal with the fact that he's effectively grappling with his superior officer, here, that's— something else entirely.

[DTU/Project] Kainaesyth and Dremkoth sense that Kouzevelth is not as sleepy-lusty as her lifemate by far, but she is content. She is content to bask for a long time, as well, and she is — using is not the right word, at the moment, but she's certainly in need of Kainaesyth's continued presence and bodily warmth at the moment. There is post-conception nestling that happens. But she doesn't seem entirely averse to the interruption, just mildly irritated; her mindvoice is all gentle rains and lazy summer heat lightning. The sort that never hurts anyone and is far, far away. « You can both look, » she concludes, « later. » Though she can't help but be wondering loudly enough in a nonverbal sense as to where Ha'ze has gotten off to that Kainaesyth might choose to inform her?

Not…here? NOT here. Not HERE. It sinks in and all of the implications with it sink into D'ani's brain, which is also simmering in a flight hangover and a dragon-sized frustrated disappointed sexdrive. He begins cursing a string of words, most of them directed at the absent Ha'ze and in his heightened emotions, takes a swing at that steadying hand Th'ero reaches towards Inri, the motion might also carry through towards poor Alister as his other arm curls more tightly about Inri. Then he's ducking the melee (if one erupts) to hook that arm about Inri's knees and sweep her up. Yes, he knows where her weyr is and that's where he goes with her, striding with single-minded purpose to… do what riders do in these situations. He might just stumble blindly over the starry-eyed Beyrl on the way there, but he's just a bump in the road at this point. Sorry Beyrl!

Th'ero will forgive Alister for any grappling or whatever may come of this situation even if it dissolves to an all out brawl. The Sergeant isn't at fault here and neither is the Weyrleader… though he should know better. Still, tempers are temper and flight added minds do not make sound, logical decisions. D'ani's swing reaches his outstretched hand but the Weyrsecond is out of range (and also busy snaring Inri — about time!) and it will be Alister who gets the fallout. Not that Th'ero goes in swinging, but he's NOT about to allow the Guard to arm-bar him without retaliation and a swift counter that may end with fists — and possibly a sweeping kick for good measure. Whether or not it's effective remains to be seen. Hello outlet for frustrations and anger! Lust? Is on the backburner for now and will be settled later with a certain bluerider.

S'dny has been to many flights now and has not once witnessed something as disorderly as this at a flight. He just stands there watching a potential fight breakout and another man wander away with the winner, "I'm going to remind my weyrlings that they have to show up for flights their dragons are participating in." Yep. The academic in him is thinking about the lessons that he teaches. The practical side of him counters this more well thought out thought with just one word, "Booze. I need some." he says to no one in particular. With that thought he begins to wander away with an absent wave of his hand, "Goodbye Fortians. Clear skies." This will be the talk of Monaco when he gets home he is sure of that. He hadn't really noticed Beyrl tagging along but he spots him as he passes, "And you apprentice are insane…" Then he passes him by too on the great search foor booze.
As long as circumstances beyond their control don't happen, that should work out juuuust fine, S'dny!

It's the sweeping kick that does it, okay: the counter to his arm-bar is met with restraint but the kick is met with … instinct, which is why when Alister's legs are knocked out from under him he grabs ahold and uses his momentum to bear Th'ero down with him. This is clearly the part where he should be finding someone pleasant and willing, and he probably will once they're done, but for now — there's scrabbling and grappling and more than a few solid hits exchanged, down there in the mud beside the feeding pens. Eventually the rain lets up, the remaining spectators clear, and the scuffle breaks apart as its participants gain clearer heads and slink off to soothe their wounded egos. And — other things, surely.


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