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 means a few things. One that the weather is unpredictable but on a good day it will at least be warm and clear and this day does not disappoint! Any who had hopes of strolling along the lake shore however are promptly shoo'ed away just shy of the breakfast hour as the obstacles are reset for the weyrlings to drill on. It's much of the same before with them bringing their lifemates fully strapped and while mounted and formed in teams of two or three or as a full group they will tackle that obstacle course with it's hidden little secrets. Subtle little rises and dips, narrowing and widening and doing the best to simulate change in wind and weather. It forces the Weyrlings to work as a team too, which has proven to be a task and a half! Slowly they have learned. Even N'an and S'ki are beginning to catch up (finally!). On top of all of this, the Weyrlings have had their other exercises and tasks too. Dragon care, caring for themselves, etiquette and politics, history, strap maintenance, having their lifemates learn to hunt from the ground, Dragonhealing… it's been a whirlwind time!

On this afternoon, M'icha has called the Weyrlings off their usual routine to drag them ALL back to the lake shore. The obstacle course is there and the moment they begin to arrive he briskly sets them to stretching and going through it. The Weyrlingmaster seems to be in a curt and short mood, his eyes narrowed and mood grim. Probably not the best of times to try his patience! Leaning on his cane, he will prowl along the side lines, watching as he always does. "Watch it!" He will call out. "Remember to talk between yourselves! Work as a team!" He's set them at a lope through the course, which for today seems so much more tighter and smaller but that could be because the dragons have grown again too.

When As'tre was first allowed on Zeltenith's back, there was much jubilation on both sides, and it was only with stern reining in that the bronze dragonling was dissuaded from charging out of the Weyr with him. Finally, they were allowed to be together like that! It was the greatest thing in the world. As'tre was successful in that, so Zeltenith is obediently going through the obstacles. Both have their attention focused, and Zeltenith is trying his best to be better than everyone else while still trying to be a team player. "Yeah, good job Zelt! You're the best at this!"

And following in Zeltenith's wake and shadow of AWESOME is none other than Marin and her brown and F'rari and his green. Both flank the bronze, with the green often having to check her stride less she zip and zoom right by them. Slow pokes! "You mean we're all the best at this?" comes the slightly snarky remark from Marin as they reach the end of the obstacle course and is drawing her brown up alongside Zeltenith. Before much more can be said though, a shadow swoops down and Aycheth lands in the clear and flat portion of the shore. The blue rumbles, neatly tucking his wings as he fixes all the weyrlings with a stern look. One that means Big Things are About to Happen. M'icha is limping forwards, his cane occasionally clicking as it strikes a rock or stone. "Good job! Proven you at least have that so ingrained in your skulls that you could likely do it asleep. NOT that I recommend that!" The Weyrlingmaster snorts and then waves his free hand dismissively before signalling them to gather. "Line up. Dismount. Time for inspection." That earns a few groans, mostly from N'an and S'ki though they promptly shut up when M'icha glares at them. "As'tre?" Peer. "You and Zeltenith are first. Have him step forwards and extend and hold his wings out!"

As'tre chuckles as he glances at his fellow Weyrlings, grinning at them. Of course! Well to him, Zeltenith is always better than everyone else but that's normal, right? As the Serious Business starts, though, and he's called out, he hastily orders Zeltenith off to the side. Uh oh, he's first? This doesn't sound good. The bronze rumbles reassuringly as As'tre slides off, and the weyrling hastily dusts the dragon's side. He's all dirty, oh noes. Zeltenith, meanwhile, follows the instructions on his own, stepping out of As'tre's reach and extending his huge wings proudly.

Of course it's normal! And it won't matter if Zeltenith was filthy or pristine clean, as it's not what M'icha is looking for. Offering As'tre a crooked smirk that could mean anything, the Weyrlingmaster steps forwards with the usual grunted warning that he's going to touch and poke the bronze. He takes his sweet time in making a complete circuit of the young dragon, sometimes muttering for him to move or bend a limb. At last, M'icha backs off and peers at As'tre in uncomfortable silence and with a thoughtful frown that borders on a scowl. "Well, Zeltenith has grown as he should and he's certainly has the muscle strength…" He begins and a few of the other Weyrlings stir behind them, with Marin's too-loud whispering drifting up. '… might be first flight!' M'icha blinks and glares at the girl, only to sigh. "Yes, it's time for first flights. Actually, it's more like first glides and take off and landing practice. So, Zeltenith. As'tre. Ready?" Cue a crooked grin as M'icha turns to point down the shore line. "Have him lope forwards and jump. The rest should come naturally but he is to glide and land at the end of the shore. Understood?" Simple, right?

Hopefuly M'icha isn't standing too close to the bronze at that because as soon as he hears that, he sweeps his wings up as he arches his neck and bugles excitedly. As'tre is just as excited, though he barely keeps himself from cheering himself, spurred by his lifemate's emotions. Then the bronze happily crouches down, preparing himself for it. "Yes, sir!"

M'icha is wise enough to give the bronze a wide berth, stepping back so that he is standing with the other Weyrling's at his side. Fellow Weyrlings who all look at As'tre with envy and impatience, some of the dragons beginning to fidget as they catch on to their rider's and Zeltenith's excitement. "When you're both ready!" he says, gesturing for the pair to go ahead. Time to make that first important leap! Will he succeed? Or wind up with a muzzle full of dirt and mud? Even if he manages the take off, what about the landing! Will that be his downfall? All eyes are on As'tre and Zeltenith now. No pressure! Nope. None at all!

Zeltenith suddenly lunges forward and upward, beating his strong wings powerfully. It's a little shaky, and he almost loses his balance, but he manages to get up with the first try! As'tre can't restrain a cheer this time, sharing in his jubilation, and the bronze tries going higher.

Aycheth rumbles his encouragement, echoed by the voices of the other young dragons present all willing their bronze brother to succeed! And succeed he does, which has a few of the Weyrlings cheering. M'icha watches in silence, his eyes narrowed and keen. "As'tre, have him level out now or he won't have the room to land." he reminds the weyrling and in his concentration of watching the young bronze in his first attempt at flight (even if shaky!) the Weyrlingmaster has forgotten how wilful this pair can be — or the bronze, at least.

Zeltenith makes a dissenting noise at the mental command of his partner, and doesn't make the effort to do so. He can fly! He can go places now! At this point, As'tre starts looking worried, watching him fly with the faintest stirrings of alarm. "Come on, Zeltenith, come back now!" the bronze turns to look towards the wall of the bowl, the barrier between him and the rest of Pern.

The other Weyrlings begin to mutter amongst themselves as Zeltenith keeps going. Surely he wouldn't dare? M'icha is rapidly coming to that conclusion then. "As'tre!" he says in a sharper and firmer tone of voice and his eyes bore into the weyrling. "Call him down. Now! He's to land at the end of the shore!" Which is rapidly approaching. Aycheth begins to shift, muscles tensing as he settles into a quiet crouch and his wings begin to half unfurl from his sides.

« No, I do not want to! I want to go! Out there! » the bronze rebels against the commands from both M'icha and As'tre, the latter now running after him. "No, Zeltenith, come back, don't do that! You can't!" As'tre holds his head, trying to force his will on the transgressing bronze. "He's… he's not listening!" time to panic.

Oh, but he is doing it and Aycheth bugles a warning. « You cannot go out there! You are not ready yet and you do not have your rider! Come back here and land at once! Or I'll be forced to do something I'd rather not do! » Some threat from the blue! With a flare of his wings and a powerful leap, he's aloft to give chase after Zeltenith. Though not really give chase, as he doesn't want to spook the bronze into Betweening. That would be Very Bad. Very, very bad! M'icha is furious… or is it concerned? Concerned fury? As As'tre takes off running, the Weyrlingmaster limps after him after barking at the other Weyrlings to stay put. Not that they need much convincing! They're all staring slack jawed at the drama unfolding! "Call him down NOW, As'tre! He's going to get himself hurt! Don't make us force him, you don't want that! Call him DOWN!" M'icha bellows.

Zuvaleyuth, Wiyaneth and Kouzevelth sense that Aycheth slips in with little warning, his alarm and concern and downright bafflement enough of an apology for now for his rude entrance. Much like kicking down a door, but the blue feels he has no time to waste. « We cannot get one of the bronzes to land despite his weyrling's pleas and common sense! This is his first taste of flight, he cannot keep flying! He has no experience but he refuses! » An image surfaces then, grainy and slowly focusing as Aycheth attempts to concentrate on it and on trying to herd an errant young dragon. It's Zeltenith and the bronze is making a break for freedom from the lake shore. « We do not want to chase him, less he Between… » Yeah, let's not go that route of thought.

Zuvaleyuth, Wiyaneth, Aycheth and Zeltenith sense that Kouzevelth had been resting, but she is just as instantly not doing so as the Weyrlingmaster's dragon reaches out to the queens. She has a little lightning zap for Aycheth and the other golds, establishing her presence and that she is paying attention — and then her clouds and rain and jungle sounds are all gently extended to Zeltenith, cautious but supportive, and nonetheless authoritative. « Son, » she carefully identifies him, as family is //important to her, « why do you still fly? »//

Zuvaleyuth, Kouzevelth, Aycheth and Zeltenith sense that Wiyaneth is a bit less subtle in her reply, the older Fortian queen reaching out with a puff of hot, dry wind over arid planes. « Land. » And she exerts her mental pressure on the bronze's mind - not too much, but enough to make it an //order.//

Wiyaneth, Aycheth, Kouzevelth and Zeltenith sense that Zuvaleyuth's mind enters like a gentle stream at first, gently trickling in before the cascade follows and brings forth the glacier of her mindscape. There are no gentle words that hail her arrival to the mental link. And, just as Wiyaneth puts forth her pressure, the Senior does so as well. « Thy youth, borne of my lineage and further back to many more within the history of these great walls… Settle your wings, place yourself upon the ground. Now is not thy time to fly, now is only when you must learn. You will experience freedom soon, but you will not if you do not bring yourself to touch upon these grounds and heed the words of thy elders. »

Aycheth, Kouzevelth, Zeltenith and Zuvaleyuth sense that Wiyaneth huffs in irritation, pushing into the twined mental links again. « Stop confusing the boy, Zuvaleyuth. Land, dammit. Do I have to come down there? »

Wiyaneth, Aycheth, Kouzevelth and Zuvaleyuth sense that Zeltenith is still rebellious, despite the pressure from three golds. Mental images of faraway places, flickering from one to the next, flash through with a yearning to go OUT. « I…. I just want to… the world is big and I want to see it… » he can't resist the compulsions, however, and obediently he slowly angles downward. « ….how do I land? » the last bit is said incredibly meekly.

Wiyaneth, Aycheth, Zuvaleyuth and Zeltenith sense that Kouzevelth is slowly learning the moves from her elders (as her dam so neatly said), and thus while they already have it, there is a slight pressure — like the increase in barometry before a severe storm, perhaps? — and she is still aptly Paying Attention. « You will have your chance, » she comforts, sidestepping the other two's discussion entirely (she is even more soft-spoken than they) and while providing a mental image of a small bronze about his size landing, she is still passing the buck: « Later. Aycheth will show you. »

Wiyaneth, Kouzevelth, Zeltenith and Aycheth sense that Zuvaleyuth quietly flusters, but there's no more eloquent speeches. « You will see it. You will see many things. But you have to learn before you can. » When the young bronze makes his indication that he will land, the pressure is eased off but her presence still lingers.

Wiyaneth, Kouzevelth, Zuvaleyuth and Zeltenith sense that Aycheth keeps within the links but is silent while the golds exert their pressure and command, the blue content to just focus for awhile on flying after the young bronze. Even he shies away at bit from Wiyaneth's strength, though his relief is palatable as Kouzevelth and Zuvaleyuth step in as well. « My thanks. » he says privately to the golds, while to Zeltenith his tone is curt and echoing the furious anger M'icha is likely about to unleash on poor As'tre. Run, Weyrling, run! « That comes with time and was not for today! Follow me and observe. » Lesson on the fly! Literally. The dark, dark blue will show Zeltenith what he needs to know, purposely going through the motions in over exaggerated slowness. Don't mess it up now!

Aycheth senses that Zuvaleyuth branches off gently, the gentle stream of her mind just a minor trinkle compared to her other presence. « Dtirae suggests not grounding them from flights as it will likely cause further incident. But, Zeltenith cannot go without a sort of punishment. She does trust your rider's judgment but merely wishes to make her suggestion known. » Pointedly, she is not overly eloquent in her speech before she begins to gently fade away.

Zuvaleyuth senses that Aycheth reaches back, gentle but cool like steel and just as rigid. He's ruffled and baffled, his focus shattered as he deals with Zeltenith's rebellion, M'icha's furious temper and the other Weyrlings who are likely all clamouring now to know what's going on. Sigh. « Does yours have any suggestions? Mine's judgement is clouded by his temper. He would see them grounded but sees the issue with that and is at a loss of what to do. » Pointed and blunt.

Zeltenith had three golds after him, and he has no choice but to obey. With the mental image from Kouzevelth, as well as the demonstration by Aycheth, he eventually stumbles to a landing, which definitely wasn't the best that could be done. He'll get better…. hopefully. He ends up muzzlefirst into the dirt, and snorts. As'tre makes it to him, clinging to his side. "Don't ever do that again, Zeltenith! I was scared to death!" contritely, the bronze nuzzles him, then settles to the ground. Ok, he's tired now.

Aycheth senses that Zuvaleyuth is drawn back by the reaching, cool, silent but there. It takes a long moment before the gold quietly offers. « Find something for Zeltenith to do as chores, something he loathes. I am certain that dragons are able to face punishments as well. It would not be much help to punish the rider for not having the ability to control him, as it is clear that he was attempting at his full ability. Zeltenith's rider should, however, have supplementary lessons on exerting his will and control. »

Aycheth does not wince or look too sympathetic when Zeltenith goes muzzle first into the dirt but he at least queries with a firm spoken: « Are you alright? » As'tre is left to scold his bronze for a few moments, as M'icha is still limping his way over to them, his expression dark and plain 'ol pissed off. "Now you've gone and done it!" he growls, scowling heavily. The other Weyrlings have hurried over now, all dismounted and their lifemates in tow. Poor Zeltenith is likely to be questioned left right and center by his more curious siblings, while their riders wisely stay quiet though they stare at As'tre in mixed emotions from wonder to frustration.

Zuvaleyuth senses that Aycheth considers her advice carefully, picking it apart meticulously and his mind buzzes with approval. « Mhm, all wise words and we will come up with something suitable. Yours will have a report soon enough on what comes of this. » And then he is drifting from contact, having to focus all his strength on the other weyrling dragons now.

As'tre hears M'icha approaching and blanches, going pale. He gulps and turns around to face him, wincing a little once he's made sure the bronze is ok and it's not more than a scrape on his snout. "Oh my gosh…. sir, I'm really sorry, it'll never happen again I promise!"

M'icha ignores As'tre for now, limping past to peer closely at Zeltenith though he doesn't touch the bronze with his weyrling so close. "Is Zeltenith alright? Nothing pulled or strained? No aches?" he asks, clipped and curt. Which is just the way the Weyrlingmaster shows he cares! Honestly. Not that his expression shows that and as he backs off again, As'tre is pinned under his heated and furious stare. "Afraid the damage is already done!" he snaps. "And you're shardin' lucky that Zeltenith wasn't injured! But you're not escaping this free either. You," And he points to As'tre. "Will be doing more control and bond exercises. As for Zeltenith, we won't be grounding him but he will be put into more ground exercises. When flight is permitted, he will be the last to go. Any chore we can think of in addition to all of this? We will also add to your routine. Until we decide that you've served a long enough punishment for this infraction. Be SURE it doesn't happen again!" he growls. Or else! "Now go take him back to the barracks. Feed him, oil him down. You're dismissed from the rest of the day but DON'T think it's a rest day!"

As'tre flinches at the dismissal, and Zeltenith croons to him. "Ah, no, he's not hurt aside from when he landed facefirst.. um… he's just tired… ah yes sir!" As'tre salutes to him, then helps Zeltenith to his feet and the two trudge off, definitely hangdog.

M'icha stares after As'tre and Zeltenith and for a moment he looks almost regretful for being so hard on the pair but they sure did give him a fright! It isn't until Marin makes some snarky comment that his attention shifts and he begins barking at the other weyrlings, setting them back into place and order. The rest of the lesson will continue! Right until dinner time, when the Weyrlingmaster has finally had enough and dismisses them all as he goes to limp into his office and begin writing the reports.