Nylaeth's Last Flight

Igen Weyr - Central Bowl(#5959RJLas)
Barren by day, the Weyr bowl becomes a hive of activity at sundown. It is the center of the Weyr's industry — the frequent comings-and-goings of dragon transports are marked by the greeting bugles of the watchrider pairs with the odd flurry of wings and raucous calls of gathered firelizards. During the day, before and after Rukbat reaches its zenith, shadows are cast by the worn peaks at the volcanoes rim that at times look as though they're dancing across the sand — an illusion enhanced by the shimmering of rising heat and light reflected by the lake to the south. Dragons of all sizes and colours can be seen lounging in the sun, soaking up the extreme warmth as if it were going out of fashion. Towards the end of the day or very early morning before the heat becomes too much, activity within the Weyr increases — residents and riders alike helping to load and unload arriving goods and visitors from dragons and regular trade caravans. Every other part of the Weyr branches out from this central location. Many of the lower ledges can also be seen from the bowl; most specifically those of the Weyrleaders and the junior queens.

Kathryn has finally left her weyr for what might be the first time since her weyrmate died, and is headed over to the restlessly sleeping form of her lifemate. The normally sunlight gold is much darken gold then normal but showing a distinctive glow. The older goldrider seems to sigh on seeing her lifemate and nod. "Well." Shoulders straighten her to her full, if miniscule height. "Right then." As she says this, Nylaeth's eyes flash open, rolling more red then the normal violet they should be.

Who needs an excuse to be at Igen? Look at that desert air, the cloudless sky, and all that sun? Not to mention all that sand. Perhaps an excuse would be best for the pale Istan bronze and his rider who have just arrived in the Igen bowl. Thankfully, the rider seems to be pulling a variety of packs and boxes off the bronzes straps, settling them on the ground around him even as, with a bit of organization, the Weyr staff is coming to shuffle them away to the caverns. After only a few short moments, the ground is cleared and Dhonzayth is set free by L'ton, the straps pulled off, and the bronze heads off to perch on a free ledge overhead, peering down at the darker sunlit gold while his rider seems to head the opposite direction - into the Weyr. At least for now.

A'dun finishes undoing Zendath's straps so his bronze boy can relax in the sun. "Go ahead Zen. Have fun." Zen however peers upon the Gold nearby with an intense interest. A'dun does not notice his dragon's interest and begins to pick up the straps.

Es'nak has the perfect excuse, the hatching at Eastern will happen any day now, and there's always need for more candidates! That's his reason for being in Igen. He's a /tad/ reluctant to be here, considering what happened the last time he came. He actually won the Weyrwoman's mating flight and became WL… for about a day, then he gave up and left. Right then! Naturally, as soon as they arrive, Aevisaanth notices the glowing gold and all but kicks Es'nak off his back, rumbling at her. Hey baby. Wanna twine necks?

K'ael is at Igen on business. Really he is. Or at least that's why he's come to Igen in the first place. But now that the shipment had been dropped off with its recipient, his oversized bronze Azaeth was leading him out into the bowl and was just refusing to leave. It only takes K'ael a moment to realize what exactly is going on. The gathering of the dragons around the glowing gold could only mean one thing. He starts rifling through his pockets looking for something, then sighs. "Shards… forgot my flask."

With the worst heat of the day starting to fade, the residents of Igen are stirring out of doors again and more then one interested eye is on the appearance of their dragonhealer. Kathryn steps up to Nylaeth, resting her hand against the dully glowing hide on her queen's rear leg. "One more time old girl." she says in a curiously empty voice. The gold's eyes whirl even more aggiatedly and now, finally a hint of purple shows in the depths of red as she turns to nuzzle Kathryn very gently for a proddy dragon. It's here that Kathryn bothers to acknowledge those around, and it's only with a narrow angry look. She steps away from her lifemate literally as the great wings come out, just as if it were arranged. "You'd better hurry." She says mockingly to the bronzes while Nylaeth sails off to the feeding grounds.

Looking a little disoriented, D'son emerges from the lower caverns and comes to a halt, frowning. Wasn't he just here? The young bronzerider sighs deeply and starts to turn around and trudge back inward when something about the way Inimeth is behaving swings his head back towards his bronze. "Oh no, no, no, no," he starts muttering under his breath. "Not /again/. Inimeth …" he starts to jog over towards where the other young Istan dragon has taken off towards the feeding grounds. Dels comes to a halt near K'ael though. "Hey K'ael, uh — going to let Azaeth go or try to — shells," hazel eyes cross and D'son lifts a hand to scrub at his face. Kathryn's words bring his head up and he gets this distinctly nervous look on his face.

Zendath leaves A'dun quickly and without warning. Pushing off the ground in a show of strength, and a speed uncommon to a bronze. He is a bit on the smaller side. Skimming the air he slips over the feeding grounds in the Gold's wake and lands square upon a running beast, breaking its back instantly. Tearing open its jugular a moment later he drink quickly and deep. A'dun on the other hand stands quickly with the sudden departure of Zendath and the blast of emotions upon him as well. Dropping the straps at his feet he swears under his breath when he spies the Gold and then Kathryn nearby.

The ledge above the bowl offers quite a magnificent view - the flurry of multi-colored dragon wings taking off from above and below, from the left and the right, even as others are settling to ledges or the bowl laden with riders, passengers, packages, and in a single case, livestock. Of course, from this vantage point, Dhonzayth also is enjoying the view of a particular gold, one colored with the delicate beams of Rukbat as they darken to the same hues that are filtering into the bowl now, crooning to her and her rider softly, offering the female a soft serenade from above, even as he leans over the edge, wings spread wide for balance, head swinging from side to side as he watches. Yet as Nylaeth heads to the feeding grounds, he is tipping off the ledge with a show of elegance, open sails catching the air just so, momentarily hovering before he's gliding down towards the beasts below, L'ton still inside, though its obvious that he won't be putting a stop to Dhonzayth's "fun".

Aevisaanth immediately leaves when the gold does, following after her. Es'nak, for his part, approaches Kathryn. "Are you all right?" he asks her, looking concerned since she seems to not be too happy. He glances at others who congregate in the area, then shrugs and looks back at Kathryn, waiting for her answer.

Dhonzayth> Igen Weyr - Feeding Grounds

Azaeth is quick to take to the air, following the gold off to the feeding grounds. He offers her a croon, but not much else. The bronze doubts she needs much encouragement with what she's about to undertake. K'ael for his part gives a wave to D'son. "Heh. Stuck here too, hm? Try to…? Heh. Way too late for that now." He points to the gaggle of dragons heading south. "Not much we can do… you don't have anything to drink on you, do you?" Not that D'son really was the type to keep booze hidden away in his coat. K'ael just gives a grin to Kathryn after the dragons have departed. This should be… fun, right?

Es'nak's question is at least enough to remind the goldrider of her manners as a weyr representative, and so rather then snapping, Kathryn just looks pained and shakes her head. "Honestly no, not really." She shrugs, turning her back on all the males and walks away towards the junior queens ledges, stopping far enough away to give herself some 'space'. A local Igenite brownrider, mutters in answer for the visitors. "She just lost her weyrmate in a tragic accident. This is the first time she's even left her weyr since he fell from his ledge." Even lower, he whispers. "Some say, they had a fight that night and that's why he was drinking."

"I uh — yeah, too late," D'son says with a little wrinkle of his brows, then he squares his shoulders apparently meaning to make the best of it as Inimeth sails on his way after glowing Nylaeth. "Drink um …" Dels roots around in his pockets and does actually produce a bottle. "It's just spiked juice though," he tells his friend as he passes it over. "Ma'am," he greets Kathryn once he's collected his own manners from somewhere. Once she's stepped away and that other rider tells the tale his eyes go a little round and he leans in towards K'ael. "Man. That has to be rough."

L'ton reemerges from the inner weyr, ducking slightly as he steps into the fading light in the Igen bowl, pausing to stare after the dragons heading towards the feeding grounds, before cautiously moving to follow after Kathryn, bypassing the local Igenite and his words, tilting his head. He may not know her personally, but there are only so many Igenite goldriders, and the Istan Weyrsecond had heard of R'by's unfortunate demise. "Ma'am, Ista's duties to you and your queens.. Ah'm sorry for yer loss, even if Ah know it ain't worth much." He remains a respectful distance away, nodding his head to her once more, biting his lip as he looks back in the direction that their respective lifemates disappeared in.

A'dun hears the reason behind Kathryn's somber mood and crosses his arms with decided regret. "Oh that Zendath would have been away right now. I'd hate for him to be the…" His voice trails off as he accepts the inevitable. One of the males would catch this night. A rare sympathy is given for Kathryn's plight. Standing his ground he allows her the space that she needs.

Dhonzayth> Nylaeth might have arrived first at the fields but surprisingly she takes a perch to the back and above the feeding grounds, leaving the way for the males to start the blooding. But the queen isn't doing nothing. No, she examining each suitor and his hunting style as if she were a weyrlingmaster hearing their lessons. Her wings mantle around her and she gives a low, almost continuous hiss. Violence and angry seem to radiate from the glowing hide in waves.

Es'nak winces. "Oh, I'm sorry. How long were you weyrmates? It must be rough." he tells her sympathetically. "The loss of any rider is bad enough, but a weyrmate…" he looks about shoving his hands in his pockets. "Eastern's duties to Igen and her queens."

Dhonzayth> Dhonzayth momentarily maintains his cautious hover, watching Nylaeth were she settles upon a perch, before he's dropping down towards the beasts below, crooning once more to Nylaeth before snapping his wings and suddenly bringing down a large herdbeast - the poor animal lowing until there's a snap from his limbs and the animal is put out of his misery. After a long moment, as if offering the thought of the kill to Nylaeth, he's dropping his muzzle, quickly draining it of its blood - the heat of its own life heating his body for the chase. « As your duty is to run, mine is to chase. We know you and yours know. » He replies - a haughty tone hinted at just slightly in his mind - even as he's pushing the drained beast to the side. Then, with a short hop, he's after another one to satiate his thirst.

K'ael blinks at the news from one of the Igen riders. He lets L'ton offer her a formal greeting, then motions for D'son to offer the drink to her. Ladies first of course, and she could probably use the drink more than any of the other riders milling about. He does offer the goldrider a slight nod though. "Please let us know if there's anything we can do for you. I know this sort of thing can't be easy for you." Just lost her weyrmate and now surrounded by a swarm of men? K'ael can't imagine that being exactly a picnic.

Dhonzayth> Aevisaanth quickly grasps the situation, and proceeds to go out among the herdbeasts, trying to impress her. He picks out the biggest, strongest, most violent of the herdbeasts that he can see, a nice bull, and faces it down, snatching it up and breaking its back with a quick twist of his claws. He croons at Nylaeth, equally sounding sympathetic, then tries offering her the herdbeast as a sort of… peace offering. At least, he sets it nearby and flies away from it a little, going off to target another one. This one he'll keep himself.

Dhonzayth> Zendath drinks until his first beast is empty. Flicking his tongue he cleans his muzzle as his calculating eyes view the fields for another. Up again, wings spread wide, moving with what seems like careless abondon. But no. A quick intake of his wings brings him talons first onto the back of another. Slash, slash and blood flows again. Fleck of crimson sprinkle his hide as he dips his head. Drinking and never leaving his gaze now from the gold. Muscles tense in preparation at a single moments notice to fly and fly hard.

Dhonzayth> Inimeth is all excitement, leaping into the unfamiliar grounds and getting his bearings quickly. The young bronze stretches his wings wide, cruising around the pens at a seemingly lazy pace until he spots his intended quarry then just /drops/ quick and efficient and snaps up the beast, giving it a shake to snap its spine. Out of the way a little, he works on draining that first beast dry, tail lashing back and forth a little as he keeps an eye on everything. His thoughts bend towards Nylaeth, tendrils of green scented with musky lavender testing out the edges of her mind.

Kathryn just dips her head in acknowledgement of the kindess the men are showing. She motions with one arm, turning towards the ledge which is hers. "This way if you will gentleman." She says, wrapping her arms back around herself and leading the way somehow without actually answering any of the questions or even coming near the offered drink. "Sianne left instrustions before she left. I'm sure there are drinks and chairs inside to make the wait more comfortable." And with that, she walks off, careful to stay well ahead of anyone else.

Dhonzayth> Azaeth does some of his own examining as well, before the actual feeding begins. Finally he turns his attention to the beasts, picking out a good sized one, nice and healthy. After springing his mass into the air, the iron-clad bronze rams into the beast from above. There's a bit of a crunch as the beast is crushed under the weight of the bronze, what was a helthy beast a second ago was now a gnarled carcass. But it had lost very little blood in the process, and Azaeth works on sucking it dry after a bite to the throat.

Igen Weyr - Junior Queens Weyrs(#8566RL)

Given that Kathryn's walked off to get some space, D'son looks a little uncertain about going over there with the bottle but he does muster a headbob and an: "Ista's duties," spoken evenly enough. He keeps his hand wrapped around the neck of that bottle and this time he just plain pushes it K'ael's way. "Need a drink, you have it," he says a little sharply then winces. "Sorry, man." His cheeks are starting to flush up as Inimeth throws himself into showing the good to Nylaeth out there in the pens.

L'ton turns to look over his shoulder at the two young riders who are, at least minimally, under his oversight, shaking his head at the pair of them. Nevertheless, however, he's following after Kathryn, settling down in a chair rather comfortably, at least for now, pulling one foot up to rest on his opposite knee, satisfied for now with examining the weyr of the goldrider. If he can't interact directly with her, he can at least learn a few more things about the woman from her space, no?

Es'nak hangs back a little, understanding she needs space. "My weyrmate decided she liked someone else better." he mutters to himself. He's not too big on socializing during a flight, but he can make an effort. "Nice place." he states, nodding. "Igen takes good care of its riders."

A'dun follows with a slow shake of his head. Uncrossing his arms he gives in with a quiet sigh. The vicious blooding of his dragon, Zendath has left him tense. Watching the tender, feminine shoulders of Kathryn as she retreats from them, he considers her with growing sympathy. Riders all converging upon one thing, one area of need, their dragon's lust. Shaking his head again he hopes it goes by quickly. As riders settle down in their places, he too takes a spot off to one side as far away from her as space will allow. Not that he wouldn't mind his dragon catching, but that he knows things might get a bit tense.

K'ael peers at D'son when the bottle is shoved his way, and swipes it from him. "Suit yourself." D'son angry! But oh wait, now he's blushing. K'ael pops the bottle open to take a swing from it. He's happy to wallflower himself away from the goldrider. Not that she had been rude to them or anything, he just didn't want to be 'that bronzer' up in the goldrider's face, blabbering about things that may have mattered if she wasn't distracted. So instead he'll pin himself between the wall and the bottle.

Dhonzayth> Nylaeth has been as patient as she can be but the smells and sounds and her own drives are getting to her and so finally she gives in. With what would most closely be described as a scream, the gold sails down and slams onto two rather hefty cows, taking them both down. One is killed on impact but the other has a few squeels left before Nylaeth puts an end to the sounds. An old hat at this trick, the gold makes no attempt to feed. She bloods neatly and quickly, dripping little on herself and in almost no time both are as empty as she can get them. With a tail swipe she brings down another, bloods, and then goes for a fourth. A little greedy, but the old girl is a big girl still. « It is my duty and I take my duty very seriously. And so will you all. » And with that cryptic remark the queen is aloft, waiting for no one and no response. She moves forcefully and steadily upwards, reaching for all the best air currents to pull her high into the sky before settling in for a long distance flight. No antics for this oe. Just strength, stamina and intellect. « Now prove yourselves. »

Dhonzayth> Aevisaanth leaps into the air after his second herdbeast, using his small stature yet large wings to surge upwards as quickly as a bronze can go. « Prove myself I will! » he calls forward, all silky smooth assurance. The silver-brushed bronze slips into the air with a flaring of wings, zipping after her. « I'm always serious in the matters of love! » He's a lover, not a fighter, after all. « Come, let me prove myself to you, O delight of Igen! »

Dhonzayth> Dhonzayth hesitates as he has a trio of beasts fleeing before him, only a moment before finishing his short hoping flight, landing on the leftmost animal though his wing fouls up the middlemost animal, sending it sprawling as well. Leaving it to kick up the dust of the pen ground, all the Istan's attention is on the animal below him, held prone by his talons in his back. Tearing at his soft belly, he allows it to start to moisten the ground below it, entranced for a long moment, before instinct takes over and he's dropping his already coppery-stained muzzle to the beast, blooding it fully, adding a bit of a shimmer to his own brocade hide. Conveniently for the Istan, that beast that had fouled himself on his wing seems to have been unable to get back up, and is now lying on the ground, kicking once and again, though unable to right itself, its spastic movements keeping the other beasts from nearing it to assess its status. And so Dhonzayth dispatches it by merely turning his body, snapping his neck out at the last moment to break its own, and he's crouching low to enjoy this third and for him, final offering. Faceted eyes, tinged with the purple of lust and the reds of excitement and eagerness, remain trained upon the sliver of sunlight that inhabits the feeding grounds with them at this very moment, haunches taunt even as he continues his preparations. The pale Istan moves not a single muscle, poised with his neck outstretched and his head turned just so, as if he will be able to predict the gold's movement if he focuses hard enough. And, the bronze Dhonzayth seems to be convinced that his still, silent spying gave him an advantage, for as soon as the gold's muscles are tensing and bunching under her, even as he listens to her cryptic remarks, his are doing the same. And then, he's combining the mighty downstroke of his wings with a great push by his copper and brass limbs, even as his ivory tipped tail snaps. The first crucial wingstrokes send him higher and higher, warmed by the glow of the sunlit gold, instinct and desire urging him onwards, determined to stick close to the ray of light, and to prove his own worthiness.

Dhonzayth> Zendath is prepared. Watching the kills as he finished blooding his beast he crouches low. A mighty heave into the air and he is aloft and down-stroking hard. His focus is extreme. Neither to the left, nor right does he veer. No, his goal is in sight and he sets himself a strong pace to catch up. Not giving it his all yet, he is careful not to lose any ground either. A slight angle to his ascent is taken into consideration at this point and put into action. He might need the height later. «I will sooth your pain.» Is his gentle call.

Dhonzayth> Inimeth exuberantly takes down two more beasts in the same manner as before, drinking deep, while Nylaeth joins the fray. Her sudden take-off isn't missed and the young bronze abandons his pile of corpses to leap after her, polished wings stretching to catch the dry desert wind. Up and up in her wake he goes. « As you wish, Nylaeth, » he says with simple politeness, the musky scent in his sending increasing, winding out as he takes a near-straight path upward after her, his focus now on the /flying/. If it's proof she wants then he'd better be getting right on that. Strong young wings cut through the air, carrying Inimeth surely onward, speed slowly gained the further he gets from the ground. Sky. Flight. Clear air. And her. THat's what it's all about.

Dhonzayth> Up in the sky, Nasrinth spreads his mighty wings and leaps into the air, surging upwards.

Dhonzayth> Azaeth has just felled another beast when the queen is quickly moving onto act two of this production. He quickly drains whatever he can from the bull he's feeding on, squeezing the flesh with his jaws to hurry the blood flow. This queen clearly had still got flesh hanging from his mouth, and his muzzle hasn't been licked clean when he hunkers back to lunch himself into the air. His gigantic sails open up to reveal the spidery lines of black that run along them and with a hefty push from his thick legs he's airborn. Let the smaller bronzes fight for the back spot, this bronze likes to get up close to the lady of the hour, where he could admire the details of her hide and feel the wind generated by her sails. So Azaeth is making a push to get to his desire position. The battle has begun!

Kathryn might not be very welcoming and talkative but she does manage to be polite. As polite as she can with the emotions from Nylaeth and her own heart. She takes up her prefered position of the center of the bed, claiming it and the area around there with a look that dares any to approach too soon. When all are smart enough to stay back, she settles into a cross legged seat and fixes her tunic. Then gives a big, clearly fake smile. Let the others examine her room. It's very much a reflection of herself and she's proud of what she is and has been.

L'ton wouldn't dare sneak too close to Kathryn - even had her weyrmate not passed so recently. It pays to be wary of Igen golds, regardless of which one it is, given his own experience with them. And so, taking another look at D'son and K'ael, making quite certain that the younger pair are staying as much out of trouble as can be hoped for, despite the ever present alcohol, he's nodding at them, then nodding slowly back to the settled Kathryn.

D'son trudges on after Kathryn, keeping pace with K'ael in spite of his uneven mood. "It's bad enough without it," Dels mutters under his breath and joins his clutchmate in leaning against the wall, though he lets the slightly older Istan bronzerider keep the bottle-as-shield. "I wonder if we ever get used to these," he remarks to K'ael still in that undertone then lifts both hands to cover his eyes as he gets more mental feedback from Inimeth. Overall, the teen just doesn't seem to be handling this all that well.

A'dun views Kathryn's position and forced smile with a nod of politeness to acknowledge her area. Glancing curiously around the room he notices the pale cool earth colors there on the bed. The Fur, the clothes presses and then his gaze is back upon her face. A sudden intense interest in watching her pours upon him from his Zendath. Not bothering to fight it, he simply looks, takes in the soft and gentle curves and the tender lips. The flight has begun.

Dhonzayth> Nylaeth is all about strength at this point and for all her age, she still has tons and then to spare. She puts on a little speed, making sure to leave the boys far enough behind to have a bit of breathing room and then begins to fly for herself. The clouds become her suitors, and she weaves between them, dropping down and up as the various wind currents shift from fast to slow with the shifting dunes of the Igen desert. Occasionally she drops lower to flirt with the hot winds and fight the driven sands of the harsh desert. They scald across golden hide, dragging the golden glow out of her and driving the last of the red from her eyes. Seemingly. Yet, when one large brown dares to get too close, Nylaeth snaps her wings, dives at him and with teeth and claws drives him towards the ground and out of the flight.

K'ael doesn't want to get within three feet of that bed right now. In fact, he's fighting off the urge to go running when she smiles like that. K'ael nods to L'ton, then turns to D'son. "Booze helps. Sort of. Are you okay? Because um… I think I might be having a mini-freak out here. Just tell me I don't have to stay in this room." Right. Hopefully the juice would be enough to keep K'ael distracted. At least he could use the bottle to protect himself from the walls closing in on him, right?

A swagger of a man made rough by the sun and his line of work clearly isn't created by over confidence or over drinking. It seems the cause is all but his persona; an easy non-chalant sway that has N'kor drifting in behind a shorter stout man and in front of a thicker built one. Scratching the whiskers of his beard with a gritty finger nail, N'kor looks pleased to see the woman at the center of attention take her place amongst those drawn into her dragon's affair. There's a smile for the lady, perhaps as fake as the one she wears herself, but it balances out the mood in the chambers where some are uncomfortable and others over eager - he's just there to sit out the endurance of all parties involved. He stands (should he not get roughed out of the way by another) at the end of her bed, a few feet back of course, but in her direct line of sight with his hands clasped behind his back.

Dhonzayth> Dhonzayth strives onward and upward, ever higher, ever further, aiming to put as much distance between himself and the ground as possible - foggy-brass hide hoping to become a cloud, drifting above Pern, where he can experience the full glory of Nylaeth's own glowing light. And so, with effort, the pale Istan becomes a cloud in the dry desert air of Igen, propelled onwards by the rising heat from the rolling dunes. Pushed ever forward by the heavy winds that sweep through the region, his flight is augmented by the occasional stroke of his wings as he attempts to protect the reserve of energy that he so recently filled upon the blood of the beasts below. And as they continue to dance with the hot desert winds and the rippled dunes of Igen, the brassy-toned bronze cloud seems to long to be one of those that Nylaeth is dancing with, despite the violent expulsion of a brown from her living, breathing group of suitors.

Es'nak takes note of Kathryn's expression and smiles faintly, himself. He turns away from her, not even bothering to approach her, and spares an amused glance towards the two youngest riders. "Eventually." he tells them. "I've been riding for nineteen turns now and it's still overwhelming sometimes."

Dhonzayth> Aevisaanth is similarly long in the tooth, but that doesn't stop him from acting the stud. Working his wings faster, he storms after her, leaving a whipped snarl of wind currents behind him, ready to ensnare any careless rival trying to mooch off his tailwind. He surgest to the left and right, using acrobatics aimed to impress her while still remaining hot on her trail. The hot Igen sun warms his blood to a boil, and brilliantly hued eyes gaze intently at the gold as he croons to her, deftly sideslipping to avoid her clawed dive. She's aimed at that brown anyway, serves him right for insulting her by showing up!

Dhonzayth> Zendath sees that Nylaeth is drawing slowly away. Decisive action puts Zendath on a higher speed and drive. Holding nothing back now, he skims forward and levelS out his accent to match hers, eyes flashing with violet and the deep purple of a kiss. Wingtips stirring the clouds he passes and a roll away from the beaten brown draws Zendath ever nearer. Ever observant and completely focused to an unreal degree every muscles and sinew bends to his will. He dances the skies with grace. Searching for a moment, a hold, a perfect thing…his dream. «I will make your heart free. Come fly with me.»

Dhonzayth> Nasrinth had a distinctive advantage and perhaps a disadvantage as well. He had flung himself from the tops of his ledge just in time to join the pursuit and need not waste energy for the climb since he was already way up there. Yet at the same time he had not indulged in anything to nourish the quick lust which caused his talons to rent great slashes in the stone of his ledge due to his hasty departure. Already long since spun of sand, the bronze rolls out of the way of the disabled brown in which the queen of the dunes spurned from the skies. He makes a noise to encourage further carnage of his brethren, for should more be sent away from the fray, the better the chances for the bronze whose easily in his prime of youth. A well aimed flap drives him through a swirl of sand and sails him toward Nylaeth.

Dhonzayth> Inimeth has so many new kinds of wind to taste, to test. He tips this way and that, trying each current out, seeking out the best, the one that will carry him far and fast, the one that will get him that much closer to Nylaeth. Though apparently not too close. He sees what happens to that brown and is wise enough to take that lesson to heart. Fly fast. Fly well. But don't crowd. A tussle breaks out in the air right in front of him and he rolls away from it, tucks wings in briefly, then takes off again, soaring up and after Nylaeth with his heart on the line. She asked them for proof and this is what he's got, his wings, to show her he can /fly/. « There's nothing but sky to reach for, » he tells her with all the innocence of youth, though it's a sweet thought.

Dhonzayth> Azaeth keeps his eyes on the gold with a keen interest. Strength was also at the top of his own list, and he'll push himself upwards as hard as he can. His overgrown muscles strain to keep his mass as close to her as they can. The acrobatics are tougher for him though, and his muscles have to work overtime to keep up with her loops. In and out of clouds he weaves with the rest of the suitors. He's losing his coveted position right behind the rippling golden flesh and muscles, and gives a low howl. Must be faster, must be better! Though the bronze is somewhat glad to be out of the way during this last particular dip, as the gold lashes out at a brown who ventures too close. The sand stings his hide, but not as bad as that wound was stinging the brown who was out for the count! Such are the perils in love and war. And this was both.

Dhonzayth> Nylaeth loops around in a slow, wide circle and heads back towards the weyr which has drawn away so distant by this point. Then she hits an updraft and using it shoot high up into the sky, up so far it seems the gold is trying to reach Rukbat itself and leave duty and pain behind her forever. But the air thins and chills and even dragons need to breath. Eventually, sunlight wings tuck tight and she cuts over to the side, diving and turning in one smooth move. She builds speed as she comes, keeping wings tucked in as long as feasible and using that last turn to bring her directly at the males for the first time since the flight began. « And now, you prove again. » She screams a challege at them, flicking her talons out and paws open but held close to her body. The first is another Igenite, a young and inexperienced bronze and she slaps his head lightly in passing. The startled youngling drops out, as yet too young for the stresses of this type of flight. Next in her sites seems to be Aevisaanth and him she just tries to push asside when she crosses his left wing. Then is past the most experienced Istan and a snap of her mouth for him. Two young bronzes are ignored for the moment as she sails past the males and seems to forget them again for the clouds.

Dhonzayth> Aevisaanth sees his chance and tries taking it, lifting his wing up to try and snare hers, but her path is just out of reach and he loses a few feet from that maneuver, hissing in vexation. Almost his! Almost his! He sneers in contempt at the youngling that drops out just because of a little bap. That one doesn't need to propagate, for he clearly doesn't have what it takes to catch this wild and beautiful gold. « Come, my darling. Let's leave these lesser ones alone. You need someone strong and capable, and I just happen to fulfill those needs! » he works to regain his previous place, watching the gold closely for another chance.

D'son peeks out from under his hand at K'ael, eyes all befuddled and lost already. "No — not, no. No freaking," he says a little hoarsely and blinks rapidly a few times. "Dunno." About the room and then Dels is pulling restlessly at the collar of his shirt, like it's too tight. His eyes close and he leans back against the wall hard.

Dhonzayth> Dhonzayth drops his wing enough to spiral back around after Nylaeth slowly loops towards there weyr, and the source of responsibility. As she catches an updraft, the Istan slips in as well, striving to rise with her, to pass the other clouds, to become a brassy cloud out of place amongst the cold air. Yet, unlike the clouds, and much like Nylaeth, Dhonzayth cannot climb ever higher, and must fall after the fading golden hue of the sunlight gold, even as the light of Rukbat itself is fading over the desert. « You must have only the best. » Dhonzayth seems in agreement, even as wings are snapped open, steadying himself even as he's dropping suddenly to avoid the snap of the experienced gold, though he catches it along his haunch, screaming in response, rhythm thrown off for just a moment. And yet, it seems that it has his blood stirred, his eagerness primed as he's once more shooting skywards to attempt the disguise of a cloud yet again.

Dhonzayth> Zendath points his nose to the heavens and flows Nylaeth strongly. He does not quite reach the height of the Gold before she turns and seems to fall from the sky. Closing his wings completely when she passes him by, his nose nearly touches the tip of her tail as he moves ever closer. He can taste the desire in his blood. «I am the one for you!» He screams boldly. A deep bass roar moves the very sky behind her. Hastening his speed he pumps his wings, once, twice and he prepares himself to reach. The moment is nearly upon him. It must be perfect.

Dhonzayth> Inimeth tips a wing to the side, pivoting around to follow Nylaeth, seeks some kind of updraft, but doesn't find a very good one. He's only lifted partway when she comes back down at them and has to veer fast to get out of the way. One wing folds inward and he rolls quickly over and over, spreads his wings again to turn about once more while she skims over the others. Whoa. So that's the name of the game. Reaching for youthful energy, Inimeth puts a little more oomph into his wingbeats and tries to track Nylaeth as she comes away from that last swipe. If the others are distracted with those attacks, could very well mean an opening for him. He's gone quiet, just feelings stretching outward, the promise of a challenge for her if that's what she wants.

Dhonzayth> Azaeth follows Nylaeth in her slow loop around, though it's tempting to cut the turn sharper to catch up to her slightly. But he doesn't want to find himself being powerspiked to the ground like that overeager brown. Best to stay back around the tail area. Then the thermal is lifting her up, and he follows suit until she swoops down to maneuver in front of them. Azaeth returns her challenge with a powerful trumpet of his own. « I shall not show fear, I shall not show pain. I will prove myself worthy of you. » He keeps his position even as the gold moves to take out a few of the older bronzes. Once she's moving back into the clouds, he gets his engines restarted and takes off after her with a renewed pace. Where was his test?! He'd have to prove himself to her a different way, by pushing himself harder and faster than the rest.

Dhonzayth> Nasrinth is experienced enough to know what goes up must come down. Thus, he circles in an upward spiral, a slow ascent that doesn't leave him gasping for breath as much as a direct vertical incline would cause. And as calculated, she descends at a speed worth getting out of the way for, since those claws are not exactly held out at welcoming length. Flushing his bronze wings just in time, he loops around fast enough to follow her tail through the path she swathes through the other males. Another is taken out of the fray and once again Nasrinth makes a noise of approval - a rendering of sounds to make what some would call a thundering crack caused by hundreds of trees on fire. A darkness, like a living shadow, creeps out toward Nylaeth with a hint of smoke, « Like the heat of the sand decides what lives, you decide who flies with you. Another of the dunes should be at your side. » The hiss of Nasrinth is enough to make another dragon beside him faulter just enough to lose wing in the unruly winds of the desert. Such is how it is in Igen. The strong will prevail, the weak will quickly succumb. Incensed by his hightened yearning, the bronze tries to mimick the wing movements of Nylaeth. He must prove that with his wings, their unison could the perfect mirage built on the heat of the sand around them.

Dhonzayth> Nylaeth allows the time to pass, completely lost to the others in her soaring flight through the clouds. The day begins to darken as evening creeps into the desert weyr and her golden hide seems more difficult to find in the rose tinted air. Stamina can only last so long and the gold isn't in the bloom of youth any longer. She slows and the chasers draw nearer. Again the queen turns to teeth and claw to clear out those unsuited to be her mate, striking at those who test her limits but without the driving anger of before. Now, they clearly are tests and no more and those few still dropping out leave from exhaustion rather then fear. No longer just ahead, Nylaeth skillfully winds up and down and around, keeping the pack from seperating too much and thus surrounding her and allowing herself the breathing room to choose. No accidents or lucky catches. This queen will be caught because she means to be and only when she means to be. It's up to that one to show her who he is.

N'kor's arms hang down at his sides now, his stance that of concentration as a stern expression crosses his face (about the time that the gold renders a few more dragons out of the race). Alas, a second later a smirk trace over the smirking mouth of the rugged man. Eyes squint at the sides as he regards the woman on the bed, seeing her with the help of his mate's lust. Gritty sand crunches underneath his boot as he shuffles his one foot forward however slightly. He's in his dragon's grip now. The evening will be full of satisfaction one way or the other.

Dhonzayth> Aevisaanth believes that /he/ passed her test that she set for him, since he's still in the running and didn't run and hide like the others! Sensing that she's flagging, he soars up on one last thermal, then tilts his wings towards her, using altitude to try and get to her first, stretching his wings out. He'll dare her claws and jaws, because he knows what he wants. And soon enough she'll know what she wants too! MY SKILLZ! LET ME SHOW YOU THEM.

Without warning, A'dun stands. His gaze upon Kathryn is not his own. His arms uncross and hands…no, talons grip and ungrip where he waits.

Dhonzayth> Dhonzayth has found his own pale hide darkening amidst the darkening shadows of the clouds, and the eldest of the Istan trio is drawing on the last of his reserved strength even as the rose-tinged sky dares to engulf the darkening gold, dares to extinguish the sunlight of Nylaeth. Staying close with the others, shuffled like a beast by its keeper, he's lumped. But then, he's slipping out of the pack, attempting to close the distance. « It was my duty to do my best. It is yours to chose." But even then he's stretching out neck and wings, hoping to entwine them with her own and lend her the strength of Ista to join with the power and resilence of the desert.

Dhonzayth> Inimeth speeds on, in contrast to the tiring queen, he /is/ in the bloom of youth and though he's spent a lot early on, he's only just got his appetite for the tricks and turns of this particular flight even with so wily and dangerous a queen. She slows and the young Istan bronze presses the perceived advantage he gained before: a clear path that's left him just above and to one side of her, still back behind and effectively brought back around into the pack again, but not in the thick of it. Again his mind stretches out, seeking hers. There's the promise of strength and support now, a resting place to be found in his embrace. He's got so much to offer and underneath that, the admission maybe that she could also /teach/ him so much. Inimeth launches fast-fast after her, every muscle straining forward to be the one in the right place at the right time when she chooses.

Kathryn tenses and for a moment it seems she's herself again rather then her lifemate. In that span of time she looks at each and every rider, weighting them much as Nylaeth did their dragons. She looks up, staring at the ceiling or maybe even through it and one eye glitters as if there is a tear there. Then she is Nylaeth again and they will only accept the very best. Her very pose changes, in the blink of an eye going from closed to coy. Slyly now she eyes them again and any eye which catches hers receives a knowing smirk. They want us..yes.

L'ton has been quite content to remain in his seat, and yet, as Dhonzayth is drawing closer, L'ton begins to do the same, slowly moving to stretch out of his chair, taking a few cautious steps, reaching to extend a hand to Kathryn, even as Dhonzayth is extending his own offer far above the desert. Ista and Igen, together?

Dhonzayth> Zendath Meeting her wing beats with more of his own he gives his heart to Nylaeth. A hard push, a last effort and he draws even with her. The moment is now. Tail slips down as he draws upon her from above. His brawny head reaches forward to embrace her neck with his own. Talons gentle yet strong, dart forward like greased lightning for the taking of the Gold. «Come to me. I am forever yours.» The moment is now.

Es'nak turns to face Kathryn now, merely looking at her intently. He's breathing deeply, but nothing else just yet. His pulse is through the roof though. He and Aevisaanth won once over Igen's skies, they can do it again.

Dhonzayth> Azaeth makes sure to keep as close to Nylaeth as was safe. A slight misjudge is thanked by a rake of the queens talons, but it's not enough to drop the bulky bronze to the cooling sands below. He could feel himself tiring though, all the exercise around the weyr never pushed his endurance this much, and his muscles were quickly using up the energy they'd received from the beast blood earlier. Lesson learned, drink much more! But not was not the time for hindsight, as the queen dips up and down, it becomes apparent that she wasn't going to just be scooped up in mid-fall. The bronze extends his neck, a risky move given the gold's violent mood, but he was hoping that the risk would pay off handsomely in the form of her golden hide beneath him.

K'ael, once struggling to keep himself in the weyr was now struggling to keep himself from launching right onto the bed. The juice bottle was empty, but he wouldn't have a problem swinging it at a bronzer who tries to get into Kathryn's bed if it was his to claim tonight.

Dhonzayth> Nasrinth keeps track of her desirable shadows as she whips through the clouds

D'son is still pressed against the wall, tense from head to foot though. His hands spread along the stone as if that's all that's holding him up, eyes screwed tight shut, breath moving fast in his chest.

Dhonzayth> Nasrinth keeps track of her desirable shadows as she whips through the clouds…continuing to make those eerie sounds which some would assume came from a dragon in mourn. Clearly not though, as the tune changes as he finds a break in the clouds - catching but a glimpse of her bolting through them. Her motions throughout the flight had kept many at bay, others had become victims, but for him, it was another challenge of survival in a place that certainly isn't lenient. At one with the grit of sand in his hide, this bronze puts what he has left to the task. The challenge before him. The other dragons he felt closing in on the center of this sand storm of emotion. Each wanted, each sought. But he had intended to prove himself capable above the rest. With a snort rippling out of his nostrils and another spray of sand cleansed from his quickly beating wings, this bronze put himself in contention for the queen of the dune - the desert rose.

N'kor remains stationary, though his teeth grit together as if fighting to control himself. Kathryn was not his if she didn't deam it so. Thus, he would remain at the end of her bed in his professional stance until they all knew who exactly it was the night would go to.

Dhonzayth> Perhaps it was takeing her mark and remaining with pride, or possibly the movement through the skies but the time must come and when it does, Nylaeth makes a choice which seems a little out of sync with what one would expect of Igen's famously even tempered old gold pair. The two who always do the mature and responsible thing, who always follow duty knowingly slip just in time to arrive under Azaeth's extended neck, rather then slicing through it. And with that simple movement the queen allows herself to be caught by a young, inexperienced outsider. Curiously very unlike their last mates.

L'ton practically growls even as his lifemate does the same high above, turning around to glare at the younger bronzerider, before stalking out. There is certainly someone to be found. And yet, perhaps it was for the best - K'ael can be injured and it won't need to be at his hand. Fair deal.

Dhonzayth> Zendath creels almost as if he had been scored. Head droops and wings slow to a glide as he turns his heavy heart back towards the weyr from which he came.

Dhonzayth> Inimeth overshoots as Nylaeth makes her choice, and goes haring off into the distance, flying hard until he crashes down out there in the desert somewhere.

A'dun seems to echo his dragon, Zendath again as he groans miserably and slowly heads out and away from the prize he did not attain.

With Nasrinth missing and Nylaeth choosing, it is only right for N'kor to seek his… satisfaction outside of the weyr proper. Without another word, the wingsecond of Igen's search and rescue wing departs, legs stiff.

D'son's breath goes out all at once and then he's staggering woozily away from the wall. He starts going the wrong way and a friendly-enough Igenite claps a hand down on his shoulder, turns him around and makes sure he gets out.

Dhonzayth> Aevisaanth grumbles when a /baby/ catches the gold. Hmmph, the indignity of it! He was catching golds before that brat was even shelled! Oh well, maybe now he'll go find a green or two. Es'nak has a few girls in mind too.

Dhonzayth> Dhonzayth seems to be satisfied that the Istan blood will still mingle with the gold, and spirals downwards to perhaps find a green, or perhaps his rider.

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