Fort Weyr - Centre Bowl
The wide center of the bowl is often bustling with activity as riders come and go. Off westward can be seen the entrances for the candidate barracks and the guest weyr, while to the east is a large opening that leads into the dragon infirmary. The bowl stretches off both to the north and to the south, where the sheer stone walls rise steeply to the sky.

Late summer is upon Fort Weyr and the day is a hot one… or promises to be. It may only be mid-morning, but already the air carries a heavy humidity to it and there is scant clouds in the sky meaning there will be no rain anytime soon. The centre bowl is a hub of activity, with weyfolk wandering to and fro. One dragon is waiting patiently on the side and the pale bronze stands out in any crowd. For one, because of his size… he's stunted and small for one of his color. Second? He's ugly. Velokraeth knows it too but hardly cares as he waits patiently, straps buckled securely over his hide. At his feet, the Weyrleader also waits, dressed in his flight gear. Who does he wait for? Whoever was lucky enough to draw "time" with him. The Weyrlings will be very busy with their training. Ever since they started manned flight and flying longer and farther, things have progressed very fast for them. From there, it was Between training and now they are strong enough and old enough to shadow experienced riders.

Xianeth comes flying in from the direction of the Northern Bowl, B'ryl riding on her. Her flight is graceful and serpetine, her average speed under that of most dragons, but she can give faster short bursts of speed, and has better manuverability. It gives her a smooth flight, punctuated with higher speed changes in direction. It certainally gives B'yrl a ride. She swoops on down to the ground about 20 feet from he Weyrleader and takes the rest of the way on foot. Another thing they've discovered. Her form is pretty good at ground movement. "Eventide and greetings this sweltering day, Weyrleader!" B'yrl calls as he dismounts. He can finally do this without falling on anything but his feet.

It'd probably be for the best that B'yrl not land on his butt or the Weyrleader would be very worried that the Weyrling isn't ready yet no matter what M'icha and Am'ry may be reporting on their progress. "Good morning to you as well, B'yrl. You and Xianeth are looking well. I hope she is still well rested? We've a fair bit of flying to do." Where are they going? Th'ero doesn't say. That will come later. Velokraeth rumbles, his head lifting, having observed Xianeth's flight and landing. The pale bronze appears pleased… though from Th'ero's sideways look over his shoulder, the bronze's intentions or private compliments may not be entirely pure.

Xianeth walks up proudly to Th'ero, and awaits B'yrl's dismount before acknowledging the other Velokraeth, giving her tail a deliberate swish. « We're getting good at flying, and B'yrl is getting good at landing! » she claims. No lack of confidence there. B'yrl gives a polite nod to the Weryleader. "Rested she is. For conserving energy, both land and air momevent are used." he answers. "We shall be ready for more flight."

« So I can see! » Velokraeth's tone is full of mirth but his compliment rings true. He's not mocking Xianeth in any way, but the bronze is a mischevious beast. « Soon you'll outstrip just about any dragon in ability. That I've no doubt. » So much praise! The bronze is known for his honeyed tongue, so very the opposite of his rider. Th'ero's brows knit but he nods his head, glancing from B'yrl to Xianeth. "Good. We'll be travelling far today. We're to go to Nerat Hold, on the opposite side of the northern continent. Velokraeth will provide the image once we're in the sky. It won't be a long visit." The nature of the visit? Also a mystery! He doesn't expect B'yrl to ask questions, already turning to step towards Velokraeth's side and prepare to mount up. If there are questions to be asked, they best be done so hastily!

Xianeth lifts her head in an air of pride. « We'll try harder! » she decides. B'yrl figures the Weyrleader will give him more information in-flight, and so goes to mount Xia immediately. B'yrl pats the side of her neck, and she gets ready to take off after the other two. Both appear eager for the trip.

Velokraeth chuffs in a manner that is as close to laughter as he can get. « Such an optimistic attitude! So eager and enthusiastic! » By then, Th'ero has buckled in and the pale bronze pushes to his feet. He's so ungainly looking, with stunted and twisted front legs and a heavy, boxy rear end. His wings flare, twin banners of gold and reddish bronze. « Ready then, young lady? » he says with an implied impish grin and he springs aloft, surprisingly quick even for a bronze his size and age. Up and up he circles, giving Xianeth time to fall into place in formation beside him.

Fort Weyr - Center Sky
The central skies of Fort are usually high traffic areas as dragons are taking off and landing, or ferrying passengers to and fro. The cliff walls stretch up, dotted with the weyrs of the dragon pairs that make their homes here.

Xianeth gives a firm nod at the question if she's ready or not. « Let's go already! » B'yrl makes sure he's strapped in and ready, and leans foward. Xia takes a few steps and launches into the air, sliding up through the air in a beeline, closing distance rather quickly to the circling bronze dragon. B'yrl tries to keep his body balanced with her's, to compensate for the lack of strength the other dragons have. Instead of just sitting and taking a ride, he and Xia are more actively working as a pair. This is still harder then just simply riding, but it does help with manuvering. And they're both getting some practice with it.

Velokraeth's answer is nothing but a ripple of honeyed wine and implied laughter as he twists his head around to watch as Xianeth soars up to join them. « Focus carefully, now. » he warns, just before solidifying his mental link with the green and sending the necessary imagery of Nerat Hold as it would be seen from above. Everything from the courtyard hewn of dark basalt to the native greenery to the position of the sun. No detail is missed and he makes sure the young green has grasped it before speaking again. « Understand where we must go? Good. I will help you, don't fret. » It's much like "holding hands" on this jump, as Velokraeth will help guide Xianeth through. « Be ready! » He warns and after three breaths he gives the silent command: jump. Into Between they go, to nothing but blackness and cold and nothing. Just three long heartbeats and then… they emerge! Near is below them and it's far later in the day here as they've crossed half the continent. Fort is in mid-morning, Nerat is nearing late afternoon. The Hold is bustling with activity and even from their spot high in the sky it's obvious it is a prosperous Hold.

Darkness and cold like you can't imagine. Nothing to see, feel or hear, except the beating of your heart.
Then, as suddenly as you entered the emptiness…

Xianeth has closed her wings to her side, and B'yrl's arms are against her neck, when they went between. Definitely not used to that. And due to that, they drop. Like a rock. It doesn't take long to recover though, and B'yrl rubs his hands, trying to warm them.

Velokraeth warbles in alarm when Xianeth drops like a rock and folds his wings to dive after her. When she recovers, the bronze hovers close by, his eyes whirling in a worried shade of yellow still mixed with the red of alarm. « Shards and shells, girl! You gave us a fright! You keep flying going Between! Don't freeze up. Didn't they teach you that? » he chides but not to scold. There's genuine concern there, likely shared by Th'ero.

B'yrl is petting and rubbing Xia's neck, having his own internal dialog with her. He glances up as Velokraeth and Th'ero close distance. He lets out a deep breath. But his face is pale. He doesn't like Between at all. "That must have been my fault.." he says. « He got nervous, and then I got nervous. I won't stop flying next time! » Xia thinks at Velokraeth.

Nerat Hold - Courtyard
Cut into the rough rock of the peninsula, Nerat's courtyard is hewn from the dark basalt and worn smooth only from generations of walking. The actual hold rises into the cliffs behind, built so many generations ago to protect from thread and now still a safe shelter. Now though lining the many walkways are the tropical and subtropical plants and greenery that the area is famous for, with fruiting vines and trees planted as decorations. Wine grapes climb along balustrades, first covered in flowers and later bunches of heavy fruit. Off to the east is the wharves where Nerat's fishing fleet tie up, some sort of work being done there at all times of day or night, while some enterprising sailer has strung a Neratian hammock between a couple of trees.

« Nervousness can be a good thing but not if it causes you to lock your wings! Be sure you don't let it happen again. » Velokraeth dips his wings and gradually begins to descend towards the fields outside the courtyard walls. « We'll land and rest while our riders go about their business. » Once landed, Velokraeth settles comfortably and Th'ero dismounts, waiting for Xianeth to land and for B'yrl to do the same.

Xianeth and B'yrl watches the to descend to the fields. B'yrl might hate Between, but flying.. he downright enjoys it. And they both need to burn off some shared nervousness. So they naturally do the most sensible thing. They go into a controlled dive. They descend rapidly, pulling up far enough above the fields so they can regain control. They're unafraid, but not stupid. They know they're still novices. They come into a smooth landing about ten feet from the other two, taking the rest of the way on paw. B'yrl slides off of Xia and joins at Th'ero's side.

Velokraeth snorts but his mind is filled with mirth. « Showing off? » He's teasing Xianeth, trying to take some of the sting from his previous chiding away. Th'ero gives B'yrl a long, lingering look. "The Weyrlingmaster had told me you were all ready for Between and had already practiced a few jumps. Are you still nervous?" he asks, before gesturing for him to follow as he turns to walk slowly towards one of the side pathways leading up to the main road and courtyard entrance.

Xianeth sits down next to the large dragon, and peers up at him, her tail dancing in enjoyment. « Having fun with B'yrl! » The quality in her voice is void of sarcasm. She probably means it. B'yrl shrinks slightly, and lets out a soft breath. "Sorry Weyrleader. I.. fear that place." he admits quietly. "We won't let it interfer with our flight again." He follows Th'ero down the road.

« Ahh, so that's what that was? Do you do that often? » Velokraeth teases further as he tilts his head to peer down at the much smaller Xianeth. Th'ero is far more stern and serious than his bronze but something in B'yrl's answer has the Weyrleader exhaling and easing up on the poor Weyrling. "It's right that you fear Between. Become too lax with it and you're liable to die… but fear it too much and it'll be the same. Have confidence that Xianeth has the ability to take you safely from point to point." he tells him, before letting the subject drop and gestures again towards the Hold with a nod of his head. "We'll be here for a short time. I'll introduce you to the Lord Holder if he's available and then you're free to explore. Just remember… you are to act on your best behaviour. I've my own business to attend to."

Xianeth wanders around Velokraeth (or perhaps struts), looking up at the larger dragon all the while. « I always have fun. I'm still teaching B'yrl how to have fun though. » B'yrl nods lightly, indicating he's listening. "Full confidence is something I have in her. I shall endeavor to place that trust better in practice." He looks where Th'ero points, following where he leads.

Velokraeth chuffs again in amusement for Xianeth's antics. « Good luck! I've been trying for Turns to get Th'ero to lighten up. » Stretching his wings, the bronze then sinks to the ground with a low, deep groan and settles in to rest and doze in the sun while he waits on his rider to return. He'll be "watching" his charge though to be sure SHE doesn't get into any mischief. "Good," Th'ero is pleased by B'yrl's answer and goes on to lead the weyrling into the Hold courtyard. It won't take him long to find the Steward, who informs them that the Lord Holder is away but welcomes them warmly to Nerat all the same in his Lord's absence. "Please, feel free to walk the grounds, Weyrling." The man offers to B'yrl, giving a polite half bow. "Weyrleader, the man you seek is in the orchards. I'll be in my office, if you need me." With that the Steward excuses himself, leaving Th'ero to give B'yrl a parting nod. "Remember… be on your best behaviour. I won't be long and Velokraeth will inform Xianeth when it is time to go."

B'yrl wanders around the area, looking at whatever happens to be here. He's on his best behavior, and relaxes for a few, looking through Xia's eyes. She's nothing but mischief, and she fishes out a hitchhiker. King has smuggled himself in her sidebag. He chirps as he spots Xia, and takes off on wing. Xia takes after him! She keeps herself amused as B'yrl continues to look about the place until Th'ero returns

Velokraeth will rumble a warning if King leads Xianeth too far away. « Stay close, m'lady! Leave the exploring to your other half. » he reminds her, before she gets into any trouble. Meanwhile, Th'ero takes his leave and disappears to the orchards and as promised he isn't gone long. Just long enough for B'yrl to see most of Nerat Hold and likely still enjoy his time here before growing too bored with the monotony. « We have what we need. Th'ero is coming. Yours best get here too, » Velokraeth informs Xianeth just as the Weyrleader walks down the pathway and over to where the pale bronze is resting. He'll busy himself with tying the small crates he carried with him to the bronze's straps while he waits on B'yrl to return.

Xianeth stays (mostly) out of trouble, playing with King while B'yrl explores. When Velokraeth warns her, she calls B'yrl back. It doesn't take long for him to get back, and he comes into view when Th'ero is finishing up with the crates. He hurries on over. Spotting King, he tasks himself to putting the firelizard back in the bag before fixing up Xia's straps for riding.

"Do you know the image for home?" Th'ero asks B'yrl after a span of time while they both worked on preparing. The Weyrleader has just finished his checks and is now giving the Weyrling a lingering look as he holds off on mounting up until he receives his answer.

B'yrl closes his eyes. "Alright Xia, let's find the map of home." Xia stops for a few long moments, focusing on something. "There it is." B'yrl says, then opens his eyes. "We have it, Weyrleader." finishing mounting up on Xia.

Th'ero nods his head and mounts up onto Velokraeth's neck. « Lets go home then! » Velokraeth pushes to his feet and flares his wings again, only to gather himself up and spring aloft in the skies. He'll wait until Xianeth has joined him before informing the green: « When you're ready, we'll make the jump Between and home! » Of course, he'll link with her again just to be sure that the image she and B'yrl have is the correct one. Finding it satisfactory, they have permission to continue.

Xianeth lifts off and flies up, closing the distance to the other dragon again. One she levels off, she and B'yrl ready themselves for the trip, keeping the image in their minds. « We're ready! » she tells Velokraeth.

« Then you may lead us Between! » Velokraeth informs Xianeth and once the green vanishes, he will follow right behind her, reappearing high over Fort Weyr.

Darkness and cold like you can't imagine. Nothing to see, feel or hear, except the beating of your heart.
Then, as suddenly as you entered the emptiness…

Fort Weyr - High Sky
Flying higher into the sky, the traffic lightens slightly. Now and again you'll see the blink in and out of a dragon pair entering or exiting between.

Fort Weyr - Center Bowl
The wide center of the bowl is often bustling with activity as riders come and go. Off westward can be seen the entrances for the candidate barracks and the guest weyr, while to the east is a large opening that leads into the dragon infirmary. The bowl stretches off both to the north and to the south, where the sheer stone walls rise steeply to the sky.

Xianeth comes to a swooping landing, touching down on familiar land. This time they don't mess up the entry from Between. B'yrl still takes a couple moments to get down though.

Velokraeth takes a more modest approach to his landing but he looks smug all the same. « Well flown, Xianeth. You and your rider should be pleased. You improve quickly! » Even if B'yrl is still a little lagged. Th'ero dismounts, signalling for the Weyrling to come and join him. "Good work, B'yrl. Are you alright?" So long as the answer isn't 'no', the Weyrleader will smile vaguely. "You're free to return to your usual training schedule. Thank you for your time today. Clear skies, B'yrl." Though why he brought a Weyrling with him for such a small task is left to mystery!

B'yrl heads over to Th'ero. "I am, Weyrleader." he answers, rubbing his hands slightly. "I thank you for the chance to travel with you, Weyrleader. Safe flights." He heads back over to Xia. Apparently their idea of relaxing is taking a flight.

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