Formations And Discipline

Participants:

Ahnika.jpg F'min.jpg L'ron.jpg Rocio.jpg

Date: 9/1/10
Location: EW: Upper Bowl East
Synopsis: Weyrling Class: Formations and a better understanding of the bond between dragon and human, with colorful NPC work from Bast.
Rating: PG
Logger: Ahnika

Eastern Weyr: Upper Bowl East

The eastern section of the upper bowl is flat. Compared to the rest of this bowl, it's almost polished. The smell of grass seed and dragon oil permeates the air here, occasionally joined by the sweet scent of timothy hay. On the far eastern wall is the entrance to the beast caverns, surrounded by the strong wooden fencing that encloses the seedlings of grass in the area that will be the Feeding Pens. Further north, the weyrling barracks are nestled into the northeast corner; the whole area is a constant haze of activity. Most of the cross-bowl traffic is further west of here, kept centered by the uneven lay of that ground. Because of that, this area is a popular spot for those who want to spend free time lounging in the sun or taking a meal outdoors. To the south is the ever-growing scoop in the ground where - hopefully - the lake will be soon.


As the evening draws on, and the weyrlings herd their charges inside and to their couches, Voldrath backwings to a landing, depositing his rider who's left behind riding gear this evening, opting to dress comfortably in a loose tunic. Hopping down Voldrath's shoulder to the ground, he leans against his lifemate, whittling and whistling under his breath as he waits for the dragonets to fall asleep, and the weyrlings to assemble. Little tiny nicks of pale wood litter the ground below, or stick to the rough fabric of his trousers. Every once in awhile, the blue eyes glance upwards towards the opening of the cavern that leads into the weyrling barracks.

Not among the first to arrive, but somewhere close to the beginning of weyrlings who trickle out of the barracks as their lifemates drop off to sleep one by one, Ahnika casually trots out to whatever sort of formation is going on. She is still wearing her usual, day-to-day, chore and training, casual wear, hair up in that braided bun she likes so much, and when she finds her place among the others, she salutes F’min and any other riders nearby who outrank her.

Mealtimes take…Forever. And then some. However, comparatively speaking, dragons, even slow and picky dragons, do eat faster than fungi grows, so Rio is neither exasperated nor irritated when she finally arrives, somewhat oil-stained and still trying to wipe that slick substance off her fingers. Seeing Ahnika, Rio drops into step with the green Weyrling, unbidden. "I've not had a chance to talk to you, but I think you won the prize. Your green is gorgeous… And well behaved. Congrats, Ahnika." Rio may smile, under that veil. Always hard to tell, but her tone sounds sincere, and admiring.

The glances continue as the weyrling assemble, seeming casual as each new arrival is noted. When it appears that almost all are accounted for and waiting, F'min tucks the knife in his sheath at his belt, and the wood disappears into a pouch. He strides forward, and calls out, "Weyrlings, to order. Present yourselves at attention in columns of five, gold and bronze riders to the front, browns, greens and blues behind. Facing me." He stands with his hands clasped behind his back and feet planted solidly just barely more than shoulder width apart, and waits.

Turning to regard Rio as she falls into step with her, Ahnika brightens and then warms noticeably under the compliment. “Kind of you to say, but your gold is magnificent, truly. Congratulations, yourself. You deserve … this.” The last is said with a memory in mind, a memory of an evening one-on-one chat in an Infirmary, and some terrible truths revealed about the harsh reality of life sometimes. Then she grins, musing proudly on her olive-hued green, “Jhath’s just … “ she chuckles, “eager. It makes it easier, I think. She’s willing to work hard and train just because she’s wanting to get up there,” she nods to the darkened sky, “to flame Thread. If graduation meant, oh, learning to sew a gather gown together or something, well, she’d not be as well-behaved and disciplined about it all, methinks.” Her voice trails off as F’min calls them to order and she gives one last fond fleeting glance to Rio before adjusting her placement in an appropriate column and standing at attention. Jhath’d be proud, no doubt, if she were awake.

As the rows finally start to become more organized, people finding their order, F'min begins to stalk down the front. He pauses at the head of one column and looks down it. "I've seen tunnel snakes that're straighter than this, riders. Don't look t'th'sides, look t'th'person in front o'y'. I should see one head when I stand at th'front o'a column… unless y're taller'n th'person in front o'y'." There's a snicker at the misfortune of the column as it hurries to become a straight line. The blue eyes snap to the weyrling, wiping the smile from the girl's face. "Y'think this is funny? One lap o'th'Eastern Bowl after class, Weyrlin' Hadya." He continues down the front row, "fix y're tunic," he mentions to one, and then stops in front of Rocio, then looks over the rest of the ranks. "That's good an'proper posture, WEyrlin' Rocio. Everyone take a look an'straighten y're shoulders, head up an'attention same's this young woman here. However…" he looks back down to Rocio. "Y'need t'see Headwoman Indira about new clothes." His eyes travel to the oil stain, then he returns to his former position at the head of the class.

Smiling warmly at Rio’s comment on Eo’s desire to fly, Ahnika lapses quiet and soon has her expression schooled neutral once more as the columns get put in order. Listening to F’min, Ahni’s head doesn’t move. After all, he did say to present “at attention”, and at attention she remains until bidden otherwise. But that doesn’t mean she can’t slide her eyes around a little and watch him correct others as much as her position allows peripherally, inwardly making notes on their mistakes, committing them to memory so she doesn’t do them herself even if she isn’t the one being called out for anything right now. Good to know what others are doing wrong so you can avoid it, too. When he calls attention to Rio’s “parade rest” as being the proper way, she does move her head then, grey eyes scanning Rio’s posture and stance and after a moment, mimics it entirely, face forward.

New clothes? Rio times her glance down, bemused, for when F'min has stepped away and is heading back to his previous spot. She otherwise does not move, instead listening to some of the shuffling and the little grumbling going on around her.

Raising his voice again, F'min scans the rest of the assembled group. "That goes for all th'rest o'y', too. Y're dragonriders, now. Y'became dragonriders th'minute y'r lifemate looked y'in th'eyes. Y'will comport y'selves as such. When y'know y're bein'called to assemble, y'will do so dressed neatly, an'," his eyes find the refruit stain on the shoulder of another weyrling's tunic, "cleanly. If not, next time y'can do laps around th'bowl, too. It's time for y't'take pride in y'selves. Now, look t'th'people around y'. Whenever y'have class with me, y'will present y'selves in this formation. Y'shouldn't have t'look too much t'th'sides, because th'leaders at th'front of y'r rows should be rememberin'that for y'." He pauses for a moment, allowing the weyrlings to look back and forth mark their positions.

Ahnika listens with a rather stoic expression. It all seems reasonable to her so far by her standards, so the green weyrling just continues to stand there and listen. It is when F’min tells them to look around them and memorize this position in her column, the tall redhead considers the first few heads in front of her, and then turns around and considers the ones behind her. In the process, she also looks to the side, discreetly, but mostly because she likes knowing as much as possible to be helpful. If the column beside her gets confused, and forgetful, then she’ll hopefully remember enough to point out how they need to be. Beyond that, she returns to her parade rest stand and eyes are front once more.

Wait. What is Rio supposed to be remembering? She heard the 'take pride in yourselves' part, and keeps all salient comments quite to herself, there. She will, however, mark in her memory who is specifically to her left and right and about how far they are. Again, she settles.

A few of the weyrlings take the opportunity of looking around to start a conversation here and there, and little buzz starts to grow. Raising a thumb and forefinger to his mouth, F'min puts his years of seacrafter to use, emitting an ear piercing whistle that instantly cuts through all other noise. In the moment of silence, the brown rider's voice takes over again. "I didn'say talk t'y'r neighbors, I said look at them. There will be li'l talkin'unless called upon. Tonight, y'll do a lot o'listenin'. I know y'know th'ground rules o'salutin' an'rank. Does anyone know why y're kept mostly separated from th'weyr while y're dragonets're so young?"

A'kon, standing near the front of the lines because of his small stature, raises his hand and does his best to get the forbidding man's attention. His Ranuth is asleep, so he doesn't have his guide, but he'll do his best. "I … I think it's cuz you have to get used to having her around. Ranuth's a lot sometimes, and …" He looks down, afraid he's said something out of line. "It's very different."

Another Weyrling, one of the few, the proud, the brownriders, also speaks up, "The baby dragons, they need to learn how to be dragons, too, so that they aren't making a mess of things. They're sensitive, might not know how to react. Right?" He does, then, ask for the reassurance.

While Ahnika’s head doesn’t move, her eyes squeeze shut at the sharp whistle and a frown tugs at the corners of her mouth, briefly, either in thought or in irritation at the talkers. Whatever the case, when F’min puts the question out to them, Ahnika’s eyes slide left and right while she ponders this, seeing if anyone else will come up with it first. And then the flame-haired girl with initiative to go with it raises her hand, not really knowing how else to do it but like the way she did it back in the Harper’s Teaching Ballad days. She waits to be called upon and acknowledged and when she is, she offers, “Because they are too young to do that much walking or know that no one will try and hurt us, sir?”

Rio remains quiet, head canted so that she can easily hear both the answers behind her, and yet also read the facial language of the older brownrider. Rio seems relaxed in her pose, eyes not quite half-lidding, but clearly she's calling on an easy patience learned at another time, in another place.

F'min nods at each of the answers. "Each o'y'have a piece o'it. Y'need t'get used t'each other, an'they need t'grow. Y're dragonets're just like human babies. With th'exception they can talk from th'shell." He starts to pace a bit down the colmns. "If say, I made this young woman run five laps around th'entire bowl because I don't like th'way she's payin' attention," he pauses in front of a weyrling who had allowed her eyes to wander. She realizes she's being referred to, and swallows, her eyes facing front again. "Sh'might think it's a little excessive, an'in thinkin'it's unfair, sh' could also become angry. These are feelin's that a baby wouldn't understand. Sometimes, even our full grown dragons don'quite understand what effects us. However," he circles behind the end of the column, tucking a collar properly. "Th'point is, when a baby doesn'understand, they over-react. This can cause serious problems." He makes his way to the front of the lines again. "Never forget, y're dragons aren'just here," he points to his temple. "They're also here," his finger lowers to indicate his heart. "What y'feel, they feel. An' they aren't ready for grown-up emotions, yet. Weyrlings Ahnika and Rocio, what's another emotion that might be too much for a dragonet t'understand?"

Everything seems to be quite interesting so far. Ahni just seems to soak it all in. She’d even nod, really, as it is the thing for her to do as she listens, but she is disciplined enough to keep her head from nodding while she listens. It all makes a good bit of sense, for the most part, so her expression is just that, comprehending and connecting dots. Jhath fairly meets this description from F’min, except she is just so darn… militant and regimented and disciplined in most everything she does, there’s not a whole lot of temper-tantrum or childishness she has to squash in her Jhath … except … that one time. And as F’min asks her and Rio to answer this next one, Ahnika’s mind rewinds a bit to the emotions she felt that morning. Anger. Fear. Frustration. Since F’min already used anger as an example, she answers, “Fear, sir.” Not in a questioning tone, either. Jhath was spit-fired and ready to go, so Ahnika feels pretty confident in her answer there.

"Lust." Instant response. "Drunkeness." Rio speaks clearly enough in her mild alto, without moving so much as to reveal that she did, indeed, speak. But the words fall. "Jealousy." Rio's gaze, forgive her, does track streaking star, or a flaming dragon, as an arc of light paints a line in her mind's eye, across the horizon behind F'min.

"I dunno, though." V'tol speaks out of turn. "Wreth can understand some of that pretty well." He gives a crooked smile, a new development since his connection to the young brown, and snorts. "Well, not the lust, of course, but the other two he's got down pat."

"That's three answers, Weyrling Rocio. All very good ones. Especially th'first. Which is why," and even though his voice doesn't raise as it was already projecting to the last person in the last row, but it does take on a sterner aura of command, "during y'r first turn, maybe two, as a weyrlin', y'will not engage in any activities that can lead t'lust. If y'have a 'true love' out there, or here among th'other weyrlin's, y'will contain y'selves until y're dragons're old enough t'rise. If they're true, they'll still be there waitin'with open arms when y're done." He nods to Ahnika. "Fear is a good one, as well. Most dragon's don'learn fear. Which's good. Can't have them fearin'thread. They learn caution…" he trails off and turns to V'tol. "Weyrling V'tol, where did y'r dragonet learn fear an'drunkeness?" he asks. "Or perhaps y'were referrin't'jealousy."

With Rio’s response, Ahnika gives an internal nod, and manages with considerable effort not to join in any giggling going on with V’tol’s response. She doesn’t acknowledge F’min’s words, of course, standing at parade rest attention as she is, but she soaks them in and a little bit of breath escapes her lips, unable to completely hold back the solemn sigh. That said, she’s not crumpling to the ground, wailing in tears. Jhath chose her. She knows her duty and knows what she’s about and will get it done, as Ahnika always strives to do since she first got to the weyr, and was on path for a junior headwoman’s knot before Searched.

L'ron has been here all along, hanging around at the back somewhere with the other blue weyrlings appearing to be more intrigued with a rock he's rolling surreptitiously rolling under a boot than what it is F'min's been saying. Or then again maybe not, for something said has him lifting his head and putting a contemplative look onto the brownrider, a hand half-lifting in the air, "Sir?" Yup, he got a question. "No relationships as in the intimate kind," cue the wonderfully deep blush there, "or…none at all, whatosever?" Those last few words put forth with a light frown in place.

F'min comes to a stop in front of V'tol, not even an arms length away from the weyrling, and the icy blue that looks down at the lad is not very reassuring. "Y'seem t'be sure o'many things y'have no cause t'be sure about, V'tol," he comments almost casually, although there is a palpable undercurrent of displeasure at the boy's attitude. "For every drink y'take from now until th'end o'weyrlinghood, y'will do a lap around th'entire bowl. Jealosy an'fear're not particulary innate emotions t'a dragon. An' if y'find y'r dragon actin' upon these emotions, y'need t'head it off right away." He backs up from the Weyrling to return his attention to the group at large. "Dragons fight thread. With thread increasin', it's vital that they're not afraid, 'specially o'facin'an enemy that has no mind an'can burn through them at the slightest touch." L'ron's question, however, earns a slight quirk of a smile from F'min. "It's been my experience, young L'ron, that th'latter inevitably leads t'th'former. Best not t'tempt fate at all. I'm not just talkin' about not engagin'in intimacy, I'm talkin'about not thinkin' on it much as possible. Raisin' a dragonet takes extreme self discipline an'diligence. Y'have t'be mindful o'all y'r thoughts an'feelin's. Just as a little in th'cavern will pick up a swear word practically th'first time he hears it, so dragonets will pick up undesirably habits just as easily. Remember that. Discipline y'r thoughts an'y'r feelin's at every moment that y're lifemate is awake. Not easy, I know. I've been there, an'I remember. But it's necessary t'make sure y'r dragons grow strong both physically and mentally. Be thankful y'only have t'do it for a turn o'two. Little humans take much longer."

Well, so Ahni won’t be accepting that offer to teach her all about getting drunk anytime soon, it looks like. But if the redhead is upset about that particular rule, she doesn’t show it. The comment about fear and jealousy not being typical for dragons, has Ahnika’s thoughts drifting back to that morning, and it was genuinely hard to say if Jhath was reacting to the anger or fear or just the memory that surfaced itself, so she won’t fret about it. She just tucks that bit of information away for future reference should it ever come up again and keep an eye on Jhath and her reactions to things. With L’ron’s question though, her focus returns to the here and now and she pays attention to F’min’s response to that. Yet, if she seems disheartened at all about anything on it, she doesn’t show it, remaining in parade rest, eyes forward, and looking, well, somewhat confident. Either she believes she is already managing things the way F’min says she needs to be, or she simply doesn’t feel she has anything to worry about with Jhath, who would more than likely just watch and play Olympic judge, holding up score cards with a critical multi-faceted look. Though of course, Ahni won’t know for awhile and likely won’t have cause to find out. However, there is something that F’min says that makes the redhead raise her hand and wait to be acknowledged before asking, “How long until they can start flying, sir? You mentioned we’d only have to wait a turn or two for … “ she waves her hand vaguely, as if to say ‘whatever’. Oh lovely thought there, Ms. Firecracker. “But what about flying, sir?”

L'ron casts a glance V'tol's way but doesn't seem too perturbed about the consequences of sneaking a drink in being as how he's not much a drinker himself to begin with; it's what F'min addresses to his own question that has the usually ebullient blue weyrling going quiet. A quick cast of eyes somewhere up front in the direction of the gold weyrlings and then he's nodding his head, "Yes, sir." The poor rock getting ground under the heel of his boot only show of what his thoughts on all that might be as his attention then goes a ways toward what Ahnika asks of their dragons and flying.

"When y're able t'start flyin' depends mostly on th'dragon. In a few months, we'll be checkin' how y'r dragons're growin' how their wingsails're fillin' out, an'th' muscle tone o'y'r dragons. If y'fly a dragon too soon, y'run the risk o'havin'nothin'more than a talkin'watch wher for a lifemate. No one wants that t'happen, I'm sure. That's another place where y'r discipline is goin't'be needed an'tested. I haven'met a dragon yet that wasn'eager t'fly, an'all o'em will want t'test their wings b'fore they should. It's up t'y't'keep them grounded until they're cleared t'fly. An'trust me, th'queens will reinforce this if y'should happen t'slip." He looks about, eyeing L'ron and the direction og his gaze, then claps his hands together. "Any more questions before I close class?"

Ahnika listens to F'min explain the process and just nods internally to that, about flying anyway, seeming either satisfied with the answer or it apparently was what she had already heard by way of the grapevine and unofficial explanation. She completely misses L'ron's look for someone among the goldriding section, being that she is standing in formation as she is, eyes front. She apparently is out of questions for the time being, as well.

Probably just as well that L'ron misses F'min having caught where his glance had gone, or else you can bet on the part of his ears having turned a crimson shade. As it is his attention is focused on the flying bit, brows pulling together as he works through all that and how many turnips of encouragement it's likely to take to get Balkrith from here to there in actually being cleared for flight. Shaking his head in the negative of having any further questions, his hands shift as if to pocket, his usual stance when he has something he's dwelling on, but they remain at his sides, fingers simply fiddling with the seam of his trousers.

F'min nods as no one seems to have any more questions. "Okay. One last thing before I let y'go. Because o'our unusual situation, with many people servin'as y'r Weyrlin'masters, y're bound t'have th'same thing come up in more'n one class. Y're also bound t'receive unsolicited advice from riders around th'weyr. Nothin'about raisin'dragons can be said t'much o'heard t'often. Be polite, listen again, an'no rollin'o'th'eyes or disprespectin' people who have th'best interests o'y'an'y'r dragons at heart. It's not personal, everyone just wants t'be sure our next set o'riders makes it through safe an' strong." His blue eyes rake over the ranks. "Remember y'r order. Have a good night, an'take care o'y'r dragonets an'y'rselves. Class dismissed."


Closing Credits Theme Music: Queen/David Bowie - "Under Pressure"


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