Fort Weyr - Guard Area
Just off the main bustle of the Southwestern Bowl is a large field dedicated solely to the intense training regimen of the Fort Guard contingent. Your average Weyrfolk isn't allowed past the corded off entrance for safety reasons but for the Guards that train here, much awaits their perusal.
To the west, rows of targets are set up for archery practice. Long bow and crossbow alike are used here thoughthe crossbow is certainly more travel friendly.
What lies directly before is an open area of packed earth for the one on one contests of skill, and training for the Guard members. The sight of many bumps and bruises, the expanse of dirt is often dreaded depending on who your next match is against. Skirting the back of this area is a beaten track heading to the north, where another field has been set aside for the purposes of emergency response training, in cohoots with the guards.
And finally over to the East is the dummies for exacting some more.. deadly force upon with out endangering your fellows. There's also a table with the first aid kit and a few skins of water for when a break is necessary to keep running at optimun efficiency.


Spring has arrived in Fort and with it comes warmer temperatures. Warmer, at least, that one can venture outdoors and not be too chilled and this mid-afternoon day prove to be mild enough. The sky is partially clouded, casting slow moving shadows across the wide expanse that is the guard training area. Training has ended for the day, most of the guards now on duty or away on other tasks, leaving the fields open and mostly deserted. What is out of place is Th'ero's presence there. Dressed in a thick fabric, neutral-hued long sleeved tunic, a pair of black pants, and his usual worn knee high black boots, the Weyrleader doesn't appear to be in the fields on duty or for any purpose at first glance. It's only when the bronzerider turns, having had his back to the bowl entrance, that the blunt-edged short-sword in his hand is clearly seen. Without skipping a beat, Th'ero moves through a few simple maneuvers, looking well at ease as many Turns of practice come into play.

What has Kimmila meandering towards the guard area? A clue is held in each of her hands - her worn, hand made bow in one, and her quiver of arrows in her other. Stopping on the edge of the training grounds, the bluerider's gaze catches Th'ero, and she quirks a little smile. Silent, and not wanting to disturb someone obviously working through his paces, she just waits and watches him move about, her eyes keen and head tilted slightly.

Th'ero isn't too deep in the trance of practice not to catch movement approaching and with one final swing the Weyrleader relaxes his stance and lowers the blunted practice weapon. He seems to have barely broken a sweat; only the faintest of red flushing across his cheeks and that could easily be blamed on the cold. A small smile is given to Kimmila, though his gaze slides to the bow she carries and the quiver as well. Quirking a brow, he too tilts his head slightly to the side, questioning. "Hunting or target practice?" Th'ero asks her, sounding amused and skipping any formality with the bluerider. He gestures for her to join him as well, while he turns to face her.

Kimmila laughs, walking forward. "You're too tough to eat," she teases. Old, old joke, but it makes her grin just the same. "Thought I'd get in some practice," she says. She's dressed in clothes that aren't too loose, and not too tight - perfect for moving about freely, and she's even added an accessory - around her neck is a deep red wine colored scarf, held in place with a jaunty little knot. When she's a few feet from him, she looks curiously at his practice blade. "Keeping your techniques well honed?"

Old, old joke it may be, but Th'ero smirks and chuckles over it. "They don't give you too much grief over using the range?" he asks the bluerider curiously, brown eyes lingering on that red scarf and with just a hint of upset before he's smiling again. "Decided to see if I still had technique on a whim." The Weyrleader admits, glancing down at the practice blade and turning it slightly, almost thoughtfully. "Better with another." He adds in a lower tone, before his head tilts up and so does his gaze to meet Kimmila's. "Ever spar before?" Th'ero asks, no sign of teasing and while his small smile holds; his tone is curious, but serious. Might not be a pastime many would consider a Weyrleader to do, but it seems the bronzerider has the itch.

Kimmila shrugs, looking around. "I've never tried it before," she admits. "I figured I'd walk in here and just see if I got chased out or not," she says with a little shrug and a crooked smile. Then her brows lift in mild surprise. "Not really," she admits. "I'm more of a knifes and bow and arrow sort of person. You don't usually hunt with a sword." Her grin twists, "Not animals, anyway. I'm game, if you're willing to teach me," she says, setting her bow and arrows aside and taking a step towards him, dusting her hands off.

"Normally you would, if they were having drills or training." Th'ero points out, and then his smile turns a little sly. "Though it also helps if I happen to be around. The Guard Captain and I have an…understanding." It's not meant to be cryptic; though his sudden glance to the scarf she wears should be hint enough. "Good point." He chuckles again at Kimmila's reply, having to nod his head in agreement to most of it. "Alright, then. We'll see if I can't teach you a few tricks." He muses, striding a bit away and then returning within moments with a second practice blade exact to his. "Test the balance and weight first." Th'ero passes it to the bluerider then, taking a step back once she has it in her grasp. His own blade is still lowered at his side as he gives Kimmila another curious look. "So I'll safely assume I should start with defensive moves first rather then offensive?" he asks, a vague hint of a teasing tone creeping into his words.

Kimmila nods her own understanding of his remark - cryptic it might be to others, but she understands it, and that is enough to bring a sudden grin to her lips. She understands something he said! Taking the blade into her hand, she snorts. "It's too damn long," she complains, her free hand patting her knife on her hip. "Feels okay, though. Just awkward and unwieldy." Then she snorts, giving him a smirk. "I could just chuck it at you," she says dryly, letting the blade swish through the air. Then she's serious again, since she really /does/ want to learn. "Yes, probably would be best."

Kimmila's grin earns a wider smile from Th'ero, before he out rightly laughs at her first complaint. "You'll adjust. And you think these are long? These are short-swords. Be thankful we're not hefting long-swords." He teases her openly now, giving a nod to the bluerider's next assessment. The Weyrleader smirks back, "Please don't. They're blunted, but they still smart." Which Kimmila may or may not find out shortly enough. He waits until she's done testing it before starting, blade still held at his side. "First key is stance." Th'ero points out first and then demonstrates, moving a little slower then he normally would so that Kimmila can follow. He then lifts the blade and his opposite arm up in a typical defensive manner, gesturing with a quick tilt of his head for the bluerider to follow suit. "Obviously, loose your balance, loose the fight." Th'ero will advance on her then, not to attack but just to see if Kimmila will hold the stance or test to see how she moves with sword in hand. He'll push them in a circular path, always focused on her and correcting her as they move.

Kimmila's teasing demeanor and grin fade away when the real training begins, settling into the intense focus she wears while hunting. She holds the stance fairly well, moving away from him as he advances, her eyes flicking between his face, his blade, and his navel.

Th'ero will ease back and his stance will as well, signal for Kimmila to do the same. "Good." He tells her, and while he doesn't show it much aside from another small smile, her reaction and movements please the bronzerider. "Now, on to the /real/ fun." He muses, before moving on. Th'ero will start by demonstrating a few classic attacks, though not against Kimmila herself, hoping the bluerider's imagination is keen enough to picture it all together. He'll put her through the paces then on her own, stopping her only to correct her technique or he'll simply offer a quick tip of advice. Then he moves on to the defensive maneuvers, demonstrating himself again though Th'ero begins to explain when best and when best not to use each. Like before, he'll have Kimmila try them next and will only call for a stop once he's figured the bluerider has grasped the general concept. "So," Th'ero has lowered his blade again, signaling another pause. "Feel confident to try it now as an actual spar? I'll go easy, I promise." He teases her again and actually grins. It could very well be the first time the Weyrleader has been relaxed in public, even if the situation is a little odd.

Kimmila is patient and focused throughout the drills and the instruction, making herself go over each move until she's got it down perfectly and locked into muscle memory - at least for the moment. Then she snorts. "The day you go easy on me is the day I start to worry," she teases him with a twisted grin, taking a step back and settling into the first stance, blade held up and at the ready. She knows full well he's going to kick her ass, but her rakish grin and the light to her green eyes shows that she's looking forward to the challenge.

"And why is that?" Th'ero fires back, though the moment Kimmila goes into stance and raises her blade, the bronzerider is doing the same. He'll start their circular dance first, eyes locked on hers, ever watchful and waiting. His will be the first move though and he moves with an almost fluid grace despite his build and height. The attack is easy to see and counter, though the force behind it is anything but weak. It'll be enough to jar their blades quite forcefully, should Kimmila block successfully. Anytime she blocks him, he'll grin, his only encouragement. Should she fail, she'll get smacked by the flat of his blade and not lightly! Th'ero then breaks away, dropping back into his stance and grinning towards Kimmila. "Common!" he taunts.

Kimmila has no focus for smiling in return, her only sounds soft grunts when she fails to block and she gets whacked. She's going to have some bruises, that's for sure. But, once she gets whacked, she learns quickly and it's rare that he'll get her there a second time. When he drops back she takes a moment to breathe, adjusting the blade in her hands. "Because it means you think I've gone soft," she finally answers, lunging forward with a hard and sweeping downward blow. She intends to get in close, letting her forward momentum bring her right up into his personal space.

Th'ero gives another laugh to Kimmila's eventual reply and when her attack comes, he's ready. The grin he gives her now takes on a wicked edge, the bronzerider blocking her attack though her forward momentum catches him unawares and with a grunt, he tries to adjust to regain some distance between them so that he can return with his own attack against her. His next swings are faster and still with the same amount of force and now he aims not only to lay a hit or two, but to try and off balance her. The taunts start to come next after that, another of Th'ero's tactics to egg Kimmila on, if she falls for it.

Normally Kimmila would rise to the taunting, but she's so focused on the attack she ignores them. Or, it's possible that she doesn't hear them at all. Still, she is not practiced at all with this blade, and as his swings come in hard and fast, she stumbles and hops backwards until she does lose her balance and fall to the ground. Down, but not out, as she draws her knife and twirls it in her fingers with a grin. She's not going to use it of course, but with a little flick…if this were a real battle, she could certainly try to stab him. Breathing hard, she's yielded, sitting there on the ground and grinning up at him. "You're good."

Once Kimmila falls, Th'ero moves in, blade pointed down towards her neck. He grins crookedly when she pulls the knife out, watching as she twirls it and not at all threatened by the gesture. Eventually, he turns so that his blade moves away to his side and instead he's offering his free hand to the bluerider, though his eyes to watch the knife by habit. "And you're not half bad." He muses, a little winded himself from the last few moments of their sparring.

Kimmila meets Th'ero's gaze without fear when the blade point moves towards her neck, and when it moves aside she twirls the knife back into its sheath before she grips Th'ero's hand, her grasp a little weak from the exertion of holding the blade. "Thanks," she says, flexing her fingers once they're free and she's on her feet. "That's hard."

"It is hard, at first." Th'ero admits while he grips Kimmila's hand and pulls her up, chuckling dryly. "Practice helps." He tells her with a pointed look, stepping back and giving a curious tilt of his head, the practice blade still held at his side. "One last round?" The bronzerider asks, with another lopsided grin. "We'll keep it simple." He adds, half teasing and half serious.

Kimmila chuckles, hefting the blade in her hand. "Practice always helps," she agrees. "Sure, one last round," she agrees, "and the loser buys the winner dinner," she adds, because why not throw in a bet to make things interesting? Then without warning she's springing forward, on to the attack.

"Fair enough!" Th'ero agrees with a quick laugh that is abruptly cut off the moment Kimmila springs forwards. He blocks again, pushing her back and then swinging in his own attack and quickly springing to block any of her returns. Over time though, his amusement gets the best of him and soon there isn't as much force behind his swing. It's an opening if the bluerider is keen enough to catch it and probably not one Th'ero intentionally setup.

Kimmila is tiring and she knows it, so when this last attempt presents itself, she pushes in hard, intending to either end it or go out swinging.

Th'ero grins a wicked grin when Kimmila pushes forwards hard, though his defense seems almost playful and his costly mistake. As he goes to bring his blade up to deflect one of her attacks, he misjudges the force behind her movements and his blade ends up sliding off at an odd angle. Rather then pushing her blade aside, it's knocks it slightly off course and Th'ero is completely unprepared. The blade ends up clipping him in the face and while it's far from sharp, it's hard enough hurt. Cursing, the bronzerider steps back, yielding as he holds up his other hand to his nose. "Damn." Th'ero growls, though his crooked grin shows his good humor remains. When he removes his hand, it's streaked with blood and somewhere in the Weyr a pale bronze is laughing his boxy-shaped rear end off.

Kimmila startles - just a bit - when her blade actually makes contact with his face. "Shards!" she says, the word toned half between a curse and a laugh. "Shit, Th'ero, did I break your nose?" she asks, stepping forward and peering closely at his face. "Are you okay?" And now she has to press her lips together /tightly/, to keep from laughing hard. But it's there, that laughter, dancing in her green eyes.

Th'ero doesn't answer Kimmila right away as he uses the back of his hand to try and stem some of the blood trickling from his nose. When she steps forwards to peer closely at him, the Weyrleader takes a half-step back. "I'm fine." He tells her, lopsided grin still intact but made a little absurd by the blood. "Doesn't feel broken. But I'll remember not to go soft on you ever again." Th'ero teases, before using the sleeve of his tunic to try and clean off most of his face. Not the classiest of moves, but the bronzerider honestly doesn't seem to care. He gives a narrowed look to Kimmila when she sees the held back laughter and then smirks, "You win it seems." He muses, "So what will it be for dinner?"

Kimmila takes a step back as well, when it's clear he doesn't need her help. And when it's clear he's fine, she lets her grin flood onto her face. "I /am/ sorry," she admits, "but you've got to admit…" It's pretty damn funny. Glancing skyward, she ponders his question for a moment. "Hmmm. What do I feel like. Well," she says, looking to him again, her eyes almost wicked, "if /you're/ buying, then I'll want Keroon herdbeast steak, rare, with mashed tubers and gravy, a salad, a basketful of rolls and a cake for dessert."

The blood eventually stops and Th'ero is able to mop up the worst of it, though his sleeve is now stained and so is his hand. "Don't apologize." He says, chuckling dryly as Kimmila grins at him. It is funny and the Weyrleader knows that well enough. Though he's learned a lesson! When she makes her choice, Th'ero almost groans and his eyes close for a moment. "Figures." He sighs, but his smile shows it's all in good humor still. "And is that all? No wine?" he asks sarcastically, while gesturing for her to pass over the practice blade. Th'ero will return them, before the guards come out again for the drills. Turning back to Kimmila, he gives a tilt of his head towards the bowls. "We best not linger here too long." He warns, grimacing when he catches sight of the stains on his sleeve. "Are you needed back at Western? I've the time to make good on your victory dinner now, though I should clean up first."

Kimmila grins, "Only if you want wine. I'll have scotch, most likely," she says blandly. She's milking this for alllll it's worth, oh yes. "Nope, I'm not needed back," she says, handing over her sword. She does eye his tunic and winces, and then she grins. "I think I owe you a tunic, actually," she says. "Let's just go to Keroon. I'll buy you a tunic and then we'll go to dinner, then we'll both be even."

"I'll stick to the wine, personally." Th'ero mutters, already tallying the damage this dinner will cost in his head. He's one to stick true to his word though and Kimmila is about to be royally treated. There's a small smile given when she confirms that he won't be causing strife with her duties and then he snorts, "You owe me two, actually." He teases, though in a lower voice. Some of the guards have begun to arrive and Th'ero doesn't want anyone to overhear. It's bad enough they're getting looks as it is and once Kimmila has gathered her bow and quiver, he'll be leading the bluerider away. He looks startled though, when she mentions the Hold. "Wait, we're actually /going/ to Keroon?" Th'ero asks her as they slip past the entrance and begin the trek back to his ground level weyr where Velokraeth will be waiting. "And here I figured you were talking of a relaxing dinner here."

Kimmila gives a jaunty salute to the Guards as they emerge, before she's walking after Th'ero and blinking in surprise at his question, shouldering her bow. "Where else are we going to get Keroon beef?" she asks, perplexed. "Let's /go/ somewhere, Wingmate. That sparring got my blood flowing - and yours," wicked grin and shoulder nudge, "so let's get out of the weyr and go somewhere else for a little while. Unless," and here she falters somewhat, giving him a little look, "you can't leave."

Th'ero goes to fire a reply back to Kimmila, only to realize she's caught him and that he actually has nothing. "Good point." He says in the end with a sheepish looking half-grin. The Weyrleader inhales deeply and then sighs, the bluerider catching the truth of the matter once again. "I can leave and you're right, again. Let's go then, before I either change my mind or duty finds me. If anyone asks, I'll just say I had…work to do in Keroon. Valid enough excuse." Th'ero will chuckle then, increasing his stride as he reaches his weyr, signaling to Kimmila that he'll only be a moment. It doesn't take him long after he's slipped inside his weyr to return, freshly changed and slipping on his riding jacket. Next comes getting the straps onto Velokraeth, but even that doesn't take much time. "I'll leave it to you and Varmiroth to lead the way?" Th'ero asks Kimmila as he makes the final adjustments, fishing his flight helmet and gloves from a side pouch as he does.

Kimmila waits on the ledge, Varmiroth landing neatly once they've arrived, and Kimm is checking his straps when Th'ero emerges. "Can do," she says with a wide grin, adjusting her scarf and buttoning up her riding jacket around it. Climbing up into Varmiroth's straps, the blue is quick to kick off into the air, waiting just long enough for Velokraeth to get airborne before he's vanishing between.


'The World of Pern(tm)' and 'The Dragonriders of Pern(r)' are copyright to Anne McCaffrey (c) l967, 2000. This is a recorded online session, by permission of the author but generated on PernWorld MUSH for the benefit of people unable to attend.