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.

Since the incident with Zeltenith, Elara and Wiyaneth have decided to come supervise another dragon's first unmanned flight. Namely So'l and Shruth. Not that anyone expects this pair to have any issues, but still. You never know. So it is that the crippled pale gold glides down to land near the shore, reaching out to Sharuth's mind with a puff of warm spring air over a vast plain of waving grasses. « Lesson time, » she calls, gentle but firm in her summons. Elara pulls the hood of her purple jacket up over her hair as she moves down with one of the AWLM pairs, though the AWLM is there just to make things official, as Elara has requested she handle this lesson herself.

They'd been told by the AWLMs to report to the lake for flight training and thus here So'l and Sharuth rest. The bronze - now over 13 meters in length - practices his wing flares and stretches as his rider directs him from nearby. Looking up at Sharuth, So'l can't help but admire how much his lifemate has grown over the last few months. His smile at such a thought is nothing compared to the warm feelings pouring through his link with the bronze. «Wiyaneth comes,» Sharuth sends back, «and I admire you, too.» Turning, So'l looks up as the gold approaches and gives her a polite wave before looking to both the AWLMs and Elara. Giving the proper salute, he greets warmly with "Weyrwoman Elara. Hello," is given with a smile, first to her and then the AWLMs. Sharuth, for his part, meets the sunny planes with a forest of springtime pine in the distance.

Wiyaneth rumbles softly in return greeting to the young bronze as she settles, folding her right wing with care and her left like normal against her pale spine. Elara returns the salute with a warm smile for the pair, speaking quietly to the AWLM for a moment before she approaches. "Hello, So'l! I'll be giving your lesson today if that is alright?" And by the way she phrases it, it /is/ a genuine question - he has a right to refuse to be taught by someone not of the Weyrlingmaster staff.

"Of course," comes the bronzerider's reply. "I would be very honored to have you teach me," So'l grins in earnest. "We've been studying hard and making sure Sharuth is in great shape for this," he smiles, looking - again - with admiration towards the bronze before turning back. "We are ready," the young man nods, though - in the back of his head - he hopes what happened with Zeltenith and As'tre is not repeated today. Sharuth, meanwhile, spies the gingerly treated wing and wants to ask about it. However, a mental request for focus has him paying attention instead…though the gold /is/ given a whuffle of welcome.

Elara smiles, seeming well pleased with his answer. "Excellent," the older woman replies, hands in her pockets. "Though this is mostly a lesson for the dragons, you still need to pay attention of course." Looking fondly at her lifemate, her smile is gentle and well worn on her features. Wiyaneth does not glance at her rider, her visual focus instead on Sharuth. « Now then, young one. Stretch for me. Let me touch your thoughts so I can feel your muscles, your movements. » Is there a subtle hunger to her tone? A yearning? Perhaps, as she eyes the unbroken limbs of the fine young bronze.

Smiling back to Elara, So'l nods with confidence. "Of course," he repeats once more, understanding absolutely. 'Sharuth, you are wonderful and I love you. Be careful, though, and listen to both myself and Wiyaneth without question,' the weyrling mentally sends to his lifemate, his words colored with both affection and concern. «I will,» the bronze promises back before turning to Wiyaneth, his eyes whirling with determination. His mind does, indeed, open for the gold. And as she enters, she'll be met with the burgeoning of life within his pine forested mind. Rising onto his hind legs, Sharuth does as he's told, stretching his almost-golden wings to their full breadth of almost 22 meters. He can comfortably hold them there now, having built up much strength and endurance over the last few months. «As you say, wise Wiyaneth,» Sharuth sends, wondering at the meaning of the undercurrent he senses.

Wiyaneth watches Sharuth and Elara watches Wiyaneth, a gentle smile on her lips. She is quiet though, as the queen instructs and inspects the young bronze. « Now flap, move, twist, /show/ me that you are ready for this, » she encourages, her voice a soft breath of wind through individual leaves of a single cottonwood tree standing in the center of that plain, near a swift and clear stream.

So'l, too, is watching Sharuth, pleased with his form. When his dragon begins flapping his wings, the puffs of disturbed air ruffle the spring buds beneath Sharuth. As directed, the bronze begins moving in ways that shows his readiness for flight. Wings are strong, powerful, and always under control. First comes the takeoff position. The bronze lowers himself slightly to the ground - as if ready to spring forward — his wings held at the ready for flapping and pumping while his tail stretches straight back. Then he's shifting into an in-place run, extending his wings and angling them for a flapping ascent. Next comes a gliding posture, wings tipped first for ascent and then turned down for a slow descent. And last comes the landing position, demonstrating that So'l and Sharuth have indeed been practicing and perfecting their forms. «We are dedicated,» the bronze comments to Wiyaneth. «I feel ready, but you know more than I,» he says, dipping his head in deference.

Elara smiles, looking over at So'l with a nod. "Very impressive," she murmurs, soft encouragement and praise for the rider. "Is he usually this mellow? Or has Zeltenith's…excursion tempered his own enthusiasm?" Wiyaneth is pleased with the display, rumbling her pleasure. « Excellent. Let us move a bit further away so we do not knock our riders over. » Us? She lumbers along down the beach, her weight making moving on the sand a bit difficult, but she manages just fine on the ground.

"He wants to impress," So'l nods back, a slight smile on his face at the praise. "And he is very conscious that the other bronze of his clutch had some trouble." Watching Sharuth move away with Wiyaneth, he turns again to Elara and says, "But if you'd heard him last night," So'l smirks, "mellow would not be a word you'd chose." There's a chuckle there as the bronzer turns back to watch. Sharuth has done as he's been told, moving down the shore to a point where there's more room and no danger of harming the riders. «Am I fit to fly, Wiyaneth?» the bronze asks, his eyes whirling more slowly in line with his curiosity. His thoughts float through the plains then, drifting about the cottonwood tree and exploring it.

Elara chuckles, grinning. "Didn't get much sleep?" she asks, guessing. Shifting her weight, she stomps her boots a bit and watches. Wiyaneth rumbles softly as she stops, extending her own wings for a moment. The right is odd though, old scars where it broke are visible, the bones knit together awkwardly, making flying difficult but at least still possible. « You are, young Sharuth, » the old queen whispers, longing in her voice. « You will run forward and spring into the air. Three quick wing beats and then glide down to land. That is all. Do you understand? »

"Let's just say," So'l unconsciously yawns, "we're due for a nap later." With a smirk, he maintains his watch over the bronze. Wiyaneth's directions are relayed and So'l reinforces them with, 'Plenty of time for extended flight later. For now, let's just get cleared to fly, alright?' «Do not worry,» Sharuth sends back. «I wish to fly very badly, but would do nothing to endanger our progress.» To Wiyaneth, the bronze replies, «I understand. A short flight only.» The wing damage is definitely noticed but right now, there is no time to ask after it. Loping down the shore, determination fueling his muscles, Sharuth flaps his wings and rises. «This is amazing!!» he bugles, his enthusiasm brimming to the surface despite his fears. «I feel as if I could do this for hours,» Sharuth practically glows within the mental link with his rider. 'But not yet, dear Sharuth. Down,' So'l orders softly, staring up at the bronze with a heart just as swollen. «Of course,» Sharuth acknowledges, coming back down after the allotted third beat. It's a graceful glide and landing, though he does end up a bit farther from Wiyaneth than intended. Walking back, he again dips his head to her, waiting to hear the wise one's feedback.

Elara laughs. "I understand," she says, amused. Then, silent, she watches the bronze's flight. Wiyaneth is even more attentive, her presence in his mind perhaps a bit more than it should be, but she does nothing to hinder or distract him. She watches from the ground, flexing her wings longingly but she does not have the strength or the desire to take such a short flight. « Excellent, Sharuth, » the old queen praises. « You flew very well. Stretch your wings again. No strain? No heat or hurting? » "Go to him," Elara encourages softly. "Feel his wings, his shoulders, make /sure/ he suffered no strain from that short flight."

Sharuth's eyes glow and whirl like a seastorm maelstrom, intense satisfaction and pride radiating from him to both S'ol /and/ Wiyaneth. «Thank you. That is a moment I shall never forget,» the bronze admits, his own mindscape - a forest of Fort - positively glowing with intensified sunlight, brought on by pride and exhilaration. Meanwhile, So'l - who'd been watching with incredible attention to detail - nods deeply to Elara before setting out to do as /he/ has been instructed. "Wings out, let me see," the rider kindly instructs his lifemate. A nod and smile are given to Wiyaneth as Sharuth unfurls his wings low to the ground. For the next minute or so, So'l takes his time to inspect the wings and ensure there's been no damage to them. "Are you tired? Hurting?" he asks, knowing his dragon would not hide such things from him, no matter /how/ much he wishes to fly more. «I am NOT!» Sharuth bugles again, including Wiyaneth in his response. «I truly do feel as if I could do that many more times today.»

Elara laughs. "Well, go ahead and let him fly back, then give him a rest. If there's no soreness after another candlemark then he can fly again. From this point on you will be gradually increasing his flight time, but always making sure he feels no pain or strain. Alright?"

"Understood!" So'l grins back, his own enthusiasm beginning to overwhelm him. "We will both take exceptional strides to ensure no harm is done to him. I love him too much not to," the bronze rider admits, pride for Sharuth shining in his eyes. Saluting, So'l thanks Elara for coming today and then bows to Wiyaneth. 'Shar, please tell Wiyaneth how grateful we are for her help today,' the young rider sends. «So relayed,» the bronze replies, bugling to the gold and adding, «I would very much like to know you better, Wiyaneth. And…thank you for today,» Sharuth thinks, his gratitude plain. When given the signal by So'l, the bronze assumes the takeoff position and then springs into a run, flapping his wings and launching aloft. He hovers for a moment, turning to change direction, and then flies towards the direction of the Training Complex. Watching again with admiration - and wishing desperately he were up there, too - So'l turns again to Elara and says, "Well, looks like I've got a walk ahead of me. Thanks again, Weyrwoman." With a respectful salute, the bronzer is on his way back towards the complex.