Nudgy-Nosy

Fort Weyr - Training Complex
The remnants of a historic collapse are apparent here, as the slope face of the bowl has a predominant downward curvature. It's likely long ago, that a cavern larger than any Fort currently has was where the training complex currently is. A probable cave in triggered a fissure on the bowl wall which lead to a great chunk of it dislodging, thus creating the rounded slope.

Yet, many centuries later, all that remains to give evidence is the pocket made into the bowl wall. It seems that the inhabitants of Fort Weyr have made best of the created space. Rock on the ground proper has long since cleared, but pebbles and loose shale are constantly underfoot. Still, the sprig of some green leafed vegetation isn't too out of the ordinary in these parts, as long as it doesn't get trampled by the comings and goings.

It's clear that this area has been designated for the training of young minds, whether human or dragon. Surrounded by rock on all side, it's like a personal weyr bowl for the youngsters to minimize distraction and danger. The candidate barracks have been built across from the Weyrling barracks, so that one group can educate the next. Finally, placed in the centre of the two entrances of the opposing barracks, near the rock face, is a statue with a memorial plaque.


The morning after the Hatching has no doubt brought plenty of sore heads around Fort Weyr as a result of evening festivities gone on far too long, though the youngest goldrider wouldn't seem to be amongst those. Thys comes striding into the training grounds, pausing just within the entrance to look around. Though given that Rhenesath is in a position up high where she can watch the little ones down below, the junior no doubt knew already that several of the weyrlings were out near the entrance to the barracks, enjoying a little sunshine in their new world. "Good morning, weyrlings!" she calls out as she approaches, a bright grin on her face and a pause-to-salute as she reaches them. At least M'rc returns the salute, though it's sloppy… not that Thys reprimands him. She's too busy ogling little blues and greens.

Lucy was up late and up early, shoved from her cot by an insistent and starving baby dragon who had a very long to-do list. Having knocked several items off, Hallenayth has decided it's okay to join her siblings in the sun, and her camo-green body is stretched out to enjoy the rays, eyes half-lidded. Lucy's in a similar state though sitting cross-legged beside the dragon, letting the sunlight filter through a crack in her eyelids. The shadow of Thys' passing and her cheery greeting bring Lucy to full wakefulness and there's a brief struggle while she tries to decide whether she should stand or salute first. She ends up doing both, rather ungracefully.

Thys sees that sleepiness in Lucy, and sidles over towards her. "I know that feeling all too well," she says softly, amused. "It's a real labour of love, isn't it? An exhausting, amazing, wouldn't-swap-it-for-the-world labour of love." Looking from Lucy to Hallenayth, she sighs softly, wistfully, even. "How are you finding it, other than tiring?" If Thys's shadow was something, then Rhenesath's from up above is something way more as the gold takes flight to glide down to the training grounds, landing a safe distance from the little ones and hopping over towards them. She lies down, head lowered to where she can watch quietly.

"Sorry," Lucy murmurs, for the unusual spate of clumsiness, and rubs at her eyes with the back of her hand. "It's…she's…" The girl flaps her hands a little, helpless to find the words. "She's like a person, you know? Everyone says it's like having a newborn baby, just eating and sleeping but she's been hatched for one day…not even one day and she has all these things she wants to do and ideas about stuff. Are they all like that?" Her gaze travels to hopping Rhenesath. Hallenayth, unconcerned, paddles her feet a little in her sleep.

Rhenesath is entertaining herself with the gregarious little Zukerberth, playing a game of nudgy-nosy. She's clucking away happily, leaving Thys to give all her attention to Lucy. "No need to apologise! It's a bit like having to look after a newborn adult, really, isn't it? Or… a newborn teenager, maybe. Not quite adult yet. If that makes sense?" Her gaze drifts to the sleep-paddling Hallenayth, and she purses her lips in an appreciation of the cuteness. "They're all different, of course, in what they want beyond the basics of food, sleep, going to the toilet… how would you describe her mind?"

Lucy's lips quirk at little at Rhenesath's own cuteness before giving in to the inevitable and dropping back to a crouch next to her lifemate. Standing, so hard. "A newborn teenager," she muses, running one hand lightly over the green's nearest chunky headknob. "She wants to do stuff. She wants to explore, to fly. All morning she wanted to see what was in the barracks, see what was outside the barracks, look over all my stuff. I got an earful about the candidate robe, even. 'It looks different, why is it different?'" Lucy airquotes that bit.

If Lucy wants to sit, Thys has no qualms about dropping down beside her with a quick and rhetorical, "May I?" She folds her legs so she's sitting tailor-style, and exhales gently as she leans back to prop herself up on her hands. No airs and graces here, clearly. "So she's curious - that's going to be both fun and a challenge for you. And… that was you with the, ah, ripped robe, wasn't it?" Thys grins softly, dropping her gaze for a moment until the threat of laughter dissipates. "Rhenesath's mind is hot, like a forge, but also soft like a feather - like lots of feathers. If you had to describe Hallenayth's, how would you?"

A little bit of nerves seems to seep away when Thys sits down all casual-like and Lucy slumps a little to the side, one arm draping over Hallenayth's broad shoulders. A pink spot (probably not from the dye incident) blooms on each of Lucy's cheeks and she nods an affirmative regarding the robe. "Hari…H'tal," she almost spits the honorific, "was carrying this little goat around and I just bet it ate my robe." But the anger fades quickly at Thys' question. "Precise. Like she wants to get everything right before she says it. Hot, too, when she's worked up. No feathers though. Like machinery, maybe. She's always working on something."

Thys laughs. "That sounds adorable - the goat bit, that is! My brother Searched H'tal, so you can blame him for it, perhaps? Fl'n. Brown Riderth's. I know he also brought in… someone else, can't remember who though, off the top of my head. But caprines, though? I adore them. Or at least I adore my pair." She's relaxed, attentive, and leans forward to rest an elbow on her knee, propping her chin up in her cupped hand. "Always working, hrm? I wonder what that means for your future as a pair… a mind like that could make her the ideal transport dragon, you know. It takes thought on the dragon's part as well as the rider's in Haast."

Lucy crinkles her nose. "Maybe I'll feed it to Hally, if I find it." It's probably an empty threat, and she adds, "I'm sure yours are much better behaved." She rubs her nails over Hallenayth's shoulder a little, making the little green snort, then subside into whistling snores. "Yeah? I…uhm, don't know much about the Wings yet. I mostly agreed to getting Searched so I could knock off my shift in the kitchen that night. Transport sounds cool though. We'd get to see a lot of Pern, right?"

"I agreed to Search because I never thought I'd end up here," Thys admits, looking over her shoulder to where Rhenesath is still playing gently with Zukerberth. "Honestly? I thought I'd give it a go, say I'd done it, then go on my way to becoming a journeyman… and instead, I'm a goldrider, trying to become a journeyman, but someone managed to blow up my project when they blew up the smithy, so…" Her dark eyes are rolled, and she sighs. "But yes. Haast. You get to see lots of Pern, absolutely, but you can see lots of Pern in any wing, really. Phoenix, that's the wing I'm in, is more about diplomacy, associating with the Holds, Crafts and so on. I do a lot of Craft liaison, actually, while Inri does a lot in the Holds. Then there's Haast, which is transport and crafting, and Thunderbird, which is for search and rescue, policing, all that sort of stuff. Honestly, a thinker, like you say Hallenayth is, would be fantastic in any of them. What do you fancy, though? Even if it's a little early to be thinking about it."

"I guess I figured I'd get away from the Head Cook for awhile, then go back to the kitchens when it was all over." Lucy's ministrations finally waken the green, who struggles to her feet and gives a mighty yawn and a sinuous stretch at odds with her clunky build. Lucy pokes Hallenayth affectionately on the haunch. "I'm sorry about your project. Did you hear about what happened with the excursion to Weaver Hall? Alister ruined everyone's projects." A dimple pops up on one cheek at the recent memory, then she nods along as the goldrider details the wings. "I don't think I'd be much of a diplomat. But Haast and Thunderbird both sound like possibilities."

Thys shakes her head, biting her lip at hearing about the excursion's outcome. "Oh, Faranth, no. I hadn't heard that… I wonder why not?" Possibly because it would mean having to do some political cleaning up? "Well, what's done is done, right? And I'm sure there's nothing a little balm can't soothe. Projects can always be remade, mine included." Her fingers drum against her cheek, and she cants her head slightly. "Phoenix is more than just straight-up diplomacy, actually; that's just the easy description. There's two parts to the wing - my side, under Nyalle, and Th'ero's side. My side deals with internal… administration, I suppose you can say. Stores, residents and so on. Th'ero's side deals with the wings, Holds and all of that side. But any of the wings are wonderful, to be honest. And nothing's ever permanent, right?"

"Well, that's why Alister was pink," Lucy explains, mischief glinting behind a near-deadpan delivery. Then it's back to considering her future (what have you done to her, Hallenayth!?) as the green lumbers off towards Rhenesath and her blue clutchmate, curious as to what is going on and whether it could be improved upon. Her rider chews her lower lip thoughtfully. "That's true. My dad always said that pretty much everything, no matter how bad, can eventually be fixed." Her lips quirk, wryly this time. "Though he probably meant it more before I turned out to be such a clod at Weavercraft."

Rhenesath wuffles warmly towards Hallenayth. « Come play, little one. » Her mindvoice is forge-hot, but not burning, feather-soft and maternal - a mother hen, surrounding the weyrling in the warmth of her plumage. Thys watches the little green's progress, eyes settling on her as she replies to Lucy. "Oh, were you a Weaver? I Impressed with a Weaver - R'yal. He's a greenrider, too, and he chose to go into Thunderbird. If I'd had a choice, I think I, personally, would have chosen Haast so I could continue Smithing. Though of course, I'm sure you'll understand what I mean when I say I wouldn't swap Rhen for the world?"

« What are we doing? » Hallenayth replies, awash with curiousity and en route. Bump-nose looks fun; there's one for Zuckerberth and one for Rhenesath. Lucy, now lacking her armrest, leans forward with her elbows propped on her knees and snorts softly. "No, I was never a Weaver. I grew up at the Crafthall, and literally everyone in my family is, but it seems to have…skipped me. I came here to sort of get out from under all the pressure, you know? Not like anyone in my family ever said anything but…" Her expression phases from slightly bitter to something warmer and atypically unguarded. "Of course. I wouldn't give up Hally for anything."

« Playing, » Rhenesath replies with a gust of mountainbreeze to cool off her flames. She lowers her muzzle to gently nudge at the little green's side, then does the same for her blue brother, before snorting a hot breath down onto Hallenayth. « Can you push me hard, little one? » Her nose is there for the bumping! Thys grins at the interaction, shifting her attention back to Lucy. "Aha, I see! So a Weaver, but only by blood. Got it. Well, not everyone can be a Crafter, can they? Unless you were considering taking up Baking as a craft, of course? Which you could perhaps still do, once you've graduated. The sky's the limit, really, if you can make time for everything. Rhenesath is very insistent that I try and set aside at least some time for my Smithing. She's quite determined that I should get my Journeyman's knot."

The green is thrilled to oblige, prepping herself by crouching and digging her wee claws into the ground. Then she shoves off, bumping her blunt snoot hard against the gold's and then pingponging off again from the size differential and landing on her squat haunches. She shakes herself head to overlarge wings and asks, « Was that good? » Lucy, with a weather eye on Hallenayth, nods an affirmative to Thys. "Right. I wasn't planning on Bakercraft when I left…I wasn't planning on much of anything really." She tips one hand towards Hallenayth in a 'and see where that got me' gesture. "I guess I'll have to see what pans out when we're done training, but…she's alreay asking me what I do."

Rhenesath's mind glows white-hot with pride. « That was good! Again? » Down goes her muzzle, to bump-bump against Hallenayth's side, a gentle double-nudge that might, maaaybe, be just enough to slightly unbalance her. This is a lesson about staying upright! Thys notices Lucy watching her lifemate, and grins reassuringly. "Rhenesath won't hurt her. She adores little dragons. Big dragons, too, really. But they make her all maternal-mushy when they're new-hatched." The junior snorts slightly as she rolls her eyes at that, amused and also slightly exasperated. "What do you tell her you do? I would tell her that she's what you do now."

Hallenayth's got a low center of gravity and while the double nudge does cause her to loll a little, she keeps her feet and burbles with delight at the game. « I like you, » she tells Rhenesath with firm conviction, head-butting the gold again to prove it. Lucy answers absently, "I know, I just don't want to let her overdo it." Good luck with that, Lucy. She grins at Thys' reaction. "Well yeah, that's pretty much what I told her. But I just have a feeling it'll come up again."

"That's the downside to them having a short memory; the same questions, over and over. Rhen can be a little bird-brained about things, even from one moment to the next, sometimes. Moreso when she was little, if I'm honest." A fond look is cast over her shoulder at her husky lifemate. "She's keeping an eye on Hallenayth, so she won't let her tire out too much." Rhenesath actually nudges Zukerberth gently away towards M'rc, the little blue take sleep-wobbling steps towards the barracks. Then her attention is back on boistrous little Hallenayth. « I like you, too. » Bump. This time, to the green's rump. « Can you roll over? »

Lucy huffs softly, amused, exasperated. "Her too. Full of questions. Do you think they can hear things before they hatch? I don't know how else she could come up with some of the things." Hallenayth may be dignified later; right now she's just a happy baby. « Yes! » she exclaims with warm cheerfulness and demonstrates, getting a little bit hung up on her back but powering through it anyway before bouncing to her feet, wings aruffle.

And what does Rhenesath do once Hallenayth is settled on her back? She dips her head low over her, snorting heavily on her belly… before licking her. Like one giant, wet tickle. Then she bumps at her flank, trying to roll her back over again. « Good, » her mental voice cluck-croons, like a satisfied chicken. "I believe they absorb a little bit of everyone who touches their eggs," Thys says after a moment's thought. "And then I think they might sort of draw from the older dragons, when they hatch. Like there's a subconscious thought-bank kept somewhere… there - " she waves a hand vaguely above her, indicating 'there' to be the air, somewhere - "where all of their minds connect. Because I'm not sure how else to explain it."

"I don't remember touching hers," Lucy says with a bit of guilt. "I mean I know I did, I just don't remember. Maybe she remembered me though." She tips a fond smile towards Hallenayth, then laughs outright when she sees what she's up to. "You mean like a collective-" but words fail baker-not-philosopher Lucy too and she makes the handwavey gesture as well. Hallenayth lolls and waves her legs, she got licked and Zuckerberth didn't. Finally on her feet, she hunches, rump waggling playfully. « This is a good game. » She rears up and places both forefeet on Rhenesath's shoulder, push!

Hallenayth must be mighty strong, because that push knocks Rhenesath right over! Only… not really. It's pretend, but the big gold does roll over onto her side, as if the push was that strong. « And you are very good at it! » She raises her head to look at the little green, then carefully - AKA awkwardly - rolls back up. « But I think the game must end now. We have work to do. » And as Rhen says that, Thys huffs and sighs. "A collective something, yes. And I'm sorry, Lucy, but I'm being called into a meeting. It's been a pleasure getting to know you and Hallenayth, though. She's beautiful. They all are."

Hallenayth bounces, stiff-legged, in delight at Rhenesath's sally before her thick head droops at the gold's farewell. "Hally," Lucy calls though, and the green turns and charges back to her lifemate, disappointment forgotten. Lucy smiles at Thys and tosses a salute that is much more precise than the one she gave on greeting. "Thank you. It was lovely talking to you. Hally says we have some work waiting for us as well." She asides softly, "Really she just wants to eat. Again."

Thys laughs as she gets to her feet. She dusts off her butt, and shrugs her shoulders. "You'll be an expert butcher by the time you're finished, that's for sure. No room for being squeamish when there's a belly that big to fill!" Lucy's salute is returned, with Thys's being pretty smart. She's had practice, natch. "I hope both of you have a good day. With lots of sleep. Sleep is the best, especially at this stage! Get all you can… and I'm sure Rhenesath will check in on Hallenayth later on." With a little wink at the weyrling, Thys turns on her heel to trot towards her dragon, clambering up the straps with practiced ease before Rhenesath leaps upwards, winging them away.


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