Plat'o and Aristolth take Sienna and Kehemath for their first trip between

Star Stones
The view here is startling and magificient as the whole Weyr is laid out before your eyes. As you scan the horizon you can easily see why this is a favored firelizard basking spot when the weather is clear. Quietly resting in the shadow of star stones, that has served countless generations at the Weyr providing warning as turns of Threadfall approach, you can only wonder at the view and the ancients that created the star stones.

Sky-blue Aristolth alights on the star stones, landing with a wingsnap learned from a certain foamy-'ridged bronze so many turns ago, and making a point of settling his shoulders with repeated lifting and resting of his feet until he's properly comfortable. Only then does Plat'o slide from his neck, peering out first over the bowl coloured grey by the cloudy day, with a bit of a disapproving frown, and then looking to the young greenrider, an expectant look that clearly shows he expects her to dismount as well.

Sienna and Kehemath are looking freshly scrubbed and oiled, the tan and green dragon gleaming with health. Even if she is terribly bony and awkward as she leans down to let her rider dismount. Flicking her wings, Kehemath eyes Aristolth with a subtle tenseness to her body that - compared to her usual distaste for others - is almost friendly. Sienna salutes Plat'o and steps forward so she stands just in front of where Kehemath's broad claws rest against the stone. "Sir," she says respectfully, her chin lifting marginally as she watches him and waits for further instruction.

"I suppose this day is as representative of Ista's actual state in spring - more so than a sunny day. Even if it's not the Weyr itself as only a few know it." It's almost an apology, after which the somewhat-bearded bluerider shrugs his shoulders. Aristolth dips his head to Kehemath, then directs his attentions out over the bowl. « Begin to look for particulars. » His attentions centre on the rim, on the shape of the ground below them, on the star stones themselves, each brought out in somewhat sharper relief in turn over the mindlink, though the blue hardly has the flare of certain others for dramatic visualisations. Perhaps why he was assigned Kehemath. "I wanted to meet here because here you see Ista as you will be looking down on it most likely. When we fly, you ought to just add the star stones to the image you build. For now, I want to be able to hear you. Your job will be to provide Kehemath with the references she needs to direct herself where she goes. I thought it might be best to start here, fly straight out toward the hold, perhaps, and then between back, holding these forms in mind."

Sienna tilts her head slightly at his first words, slightly confused. But she doesn't ask questions as she instead reaches out to rub Kehemath's neck when the green drops her head towards the stone to sniff. Her talons scrape once but then still at a quick mental rebuke from her lifemate. Snorting softly, the green looks to Aristolth. For a moment her mind is simply darkness with a faint tang of sagebrush smoke, but as he begins to picture the weyr, so does she. Briefly, a bizarre looking creature appears in the sky, but it's wiped out by a swift rosemary wind as Sienna redirects Kehemath's imagination. Now is not the time, lest they ::between:: into some alternate universe of her and Kzydnth's creation. Sienna nods, "Okay. Yes, sir. So I just send her whatever I see? And we work on a shared image?"

Plat'o's half-frown suggests only half-agreement. "'Send' is perhaps the wrong term to be using. You both must know it equally. You don't want to find yourself in a dilemma where your picture risks distortion by having details lost in the transfer. It's an instantaneous awareness." As he speaks, Aristolth finishes his visual sweep of the bowl, and then brings forward an image. "You want to share it now. It will be to -you- specifically to remember it for both. But the recall should again be instantaneous, once you've brought it to mind." Icy-blue eyes look down to the weyrling, and he tilts his head, just slightly. "Do you understand?"

Sienna shifts her weight, trying to hide her nervousness behind a smile. She nods, "Yes, sir. I understand. It's like all those exercises they had us doing where we had to see what each other was seeing. Like when she flies and I can feel the wind on her wings as if they were my own. Closely linked, like that." Kehemath tilts her head at Aristolth and pictures the image as well, just as he does. This is where her imagination and practice with mental pictures comes in handy.

"Good. Now focus on this picture in her mind." A glance over his shoulder, and his blue suddenly focuses his gaze down to his talons, all images and mental link cut off for the time being. "Aristolth has stopped envisioning this point. Before we go to fly, I would like for you to have her leave this image, and then bring it back for her. Once the two of you have it in common, share it with Aristolth." And Plat'o closes his eyes, though whether Sienna will notice this - the assistant weyrlingmaster's head is turned to the side for now - is questionable.

Sienna closes her eyes as well; the easiest way for her to hop into the chalk painting that is Kehemath's thoughts. She 'sees' the image and memorizes it, and then offers Kehemath an image of their forest. The green warbles happily aloud as her mind starts playing and darting through the landscape, chasing the ever-present long-legged wherry. Slowly, Sienna pushes the image of the bowl back at her, nudging the forest aside. Kehemath tosses her head and snorts, laying on her belly with a soft whine as she's forced to abandon her play for the boring picture of the /bowl/. She can /see/ it, why does she need to picture it, too? Sienna is persistent, however. Firm and gentle, and soon Kehemath has the image once more fixed in her mind. Almost grudgingly she sends it to Aristolth with the same amount of detail as he originally sent it to her. The whole exchange - from initial image to forest and back - takes barely fifteen seconds.

Far be it from Plat'o, when the image is shared from Aristolth, to give an abundance of flattery or praise. He simply nods, with some sort of twitch to his lips, though it's hard to tell what sort of expression that might be under his close-trimmed beard. "Then let us fly. We'll add the star stones, repeat this same exercise in the air, and then fly out beyond the Weyr. She is able to fly a good distance now without fatiguing, I should hope?"

Sienna nods, her smile widening with pride. "Yes, sir. She can fly a long ways," she boasts, patting Kehemath's shoulder. The green rumbles, dipping her muzzle down and bumping it gently against her rider's shoulder.

Plat'o nods once more. "Fly, then. Do as we do. As I said, we will hover first and get a more full image, higher up." Aristolth shifts and shuffles a ways away from Kehemath, as much as the stones will allow him, before dipping a shoulder to allow his rider to vault to his neck. The blue takes a leap off to the side, and off the starstones, before spreading his wings to catch himself, sure to give Kehemath plenty of room for her own takeoff.

Sienna quickly clambers up Kehemath's lanky side, making sure her straps are buckled tightly. The green waits for Aristolth to take off before she crouches and springs forward, leaping more horizontal than vertical and letting the air catch her before she plummets towards the earth. Her thin wings lift her upwards, circling around Aristolth until she is at his right side and slightly behind. There she hovers, holding herself easily in the air despite the occasional awkward wingbeat.

Aristolth once again scans the bowl, brings forward each point, adds the star stones. « This is home. These are the particulars that will always bring you to the whole. » The image is held for a few wingbeats, and then the blue withdraws his mental touch sharply. Hopefully, with Plat'o squinting at her from atop his dragon's neck, Sienna will know what to do at this point.

Sienna does. Kehemath takes Aristolth's image and shares it with her lifemate, and Sienna memorizes it. The green hovers and warbles happily when she's once again allowed to bound off on a mental adventure - however brief - before Sienna pulls that away and gives her this picture. Once again, grudgingly, Kehemath returns it to Aristolth. Getting a little bored, her fidgeting is kept in check by Sienna's mental reins. She doesn't even let the green try to find her favorite mind-mate.

It takes a moment for Plat'o to be sure, going over the point provided, but in time he nods. A fist-pump and gesture sets their course - as does Aristolth's taking off on it with a bugle, heading southeast at a measured pace - fast enough to get there soon, not so fast that they ought to be too out of breath when they do arrive. At whatever destination Plat'o thinks is far enough out.

Kehemath pushes forward eagerly after the blue, always ready to go on a long flight. Settling into the one-two-three rhythm of wingbeats she soars along after him, relaxed in the air and happy to be getting out. Sienna sits still on her dragon's neck, bent forward slightly as the wind rushes over them both.

And they fly. And fly, and fly, and fly, and fly. And it's somewhere between Blacksands and Ista Hold that the blue's pace slows, and Plat'o holds up his hand in the traditional 'hey, let's stop and hover' motion. The blue and rider give only a moment to allow the green pair to gather themselves. « Now think of home. »

Kehemath slows when the blue does, and stops to hover as he does, too. The green's mind swirls sagebrush smoke and hazy whisps of whatever she was thinking about before the blue's direction are wiped away, replaced by the clear image of their home weyr as provided by Sienna.

« These points are unchanging, » Aristolth notes in a calm tone. « Home will always feel as home. It can be trusted if you trust it. » And while the blue gives these words, and shares the image, pressing a bit on the mind link to ensure nothing in the image itself changes, Plat'o is squinting once again at the greenrider. His nod is imperceptible. Aristolth's subtle change in posture, the same. The words? Loud and clear. « We will go there now. »

Kehemath rumbles softly and her posture shifts, wings flaring in mid-hover. Seconds after the 'now' from Aristolth, Kehemath vanishes.

Kehemath winks into ::between::!

:::BETWEEN!:::

You hang, senseless, in the dark nothingness of ::between::… absolute darkness surrounds you, and the profound cold stings you… you wait, and count…

Black…

Blacker…

Blackest…

Sky over Central Bowl

Ista heat breeds whirling, swirling, dragon-tossing thermals that send you up over the bowl and off towards the east. Here, beneath the towering pinnacles of the Weyr's jagged rim, ledges dot the cliffside and tier down to the hatching grounds to southeast just beyond queen's weyrs and living cavern, and to the northeast the weyrling barracks and training ground are made of hard pounded earth and ash-pits

Kehemath emerges from ::between::, wings flapping the instant she appears. She falters in mid-air, trying to transition from the emptiness of ::between:: to the solid air above Ista. A few awkward flaps and a little sinking towards the ground and the lanky green scrambles back into flight mode, lifting once more to where she originally appeared from. On her neck, Sienna heaves a deep breath and leans forward to give her green a tight hug. It's brief, however, as she sits up and looks around for their escort.

Plat'o and Aristolth appear alongside, and once the weylrings seem to have regained their footing (winging?), the weyrlingmaster gives a sharp gesture toward the ground. Time to land. And debrief, surely.

With a happy bugle, Kehemath spirals downwards to land in the bowl below.

Central Bowl

Looking toward the sky from the center of Ista Weyr's bowl, you view the five towering pinnacles of the Weyr rim that appear to reach into the clouds. The bowl floor slopes gently upward to the southeast, where various tunnels lead to the hatching grounds, ground weyrs, and living caverns. Across the bowl to the northeast are the weyrling barracks and training grounds. The Weyr's artificial waterfall sheets down along the northern wall of the Bowl, its pool concealed at the base of the bowl by a cloud of mist. West, the entire wall of the bowl has been blown out by some long-distant eruption, offering a breathtaking view of the ocean.

Plat'o dismounts no sooner than Aristolth has landed, and crosses his arms over his chest. The bluerider waits now for the weyrling, an eyebrow slightly arched. Waiting for something? A reaction, probably. And looking just the tiniest bit amused.

Sienna slides to the ground as soon as Kehemath lands, wobby legs causing the rider to have to lean against her dragon. She giggles; a nervous, relieved sound. "Hee-hee. Hehehe." Kehemath watches her rider with her head cocked to one side, rumbling curiously. Sienna continues to giggle and beam, finally straightening up and clearing her throat as she masters herself. "Sir," she says breathlessly. "We're alive, sir."

Plat'o nods his head to that. "Indeed." A glance is shared between the rider and his lifemate. "That is between. It must always be done with the utmost care and attention. The dragons know it, but every time must be the first for you. You will be practicing to come to know more points as you and your clutchmates continue to practice, but you must never become complacent. Without a rider's direction, a dragon's instinct alone cannot prevent a wrong destination. A wrong place. A wrong material. You must be sure to envision from the air, to mark the forms every time." Pause. "But it was well done."

Sienna nods her head, the giddy smile of success wiped from her face to be replaced by a more serious expression. "Yes, sir. Thank you sir." Kehemath rumbles softly at the praise, tossing her head and arching her neck subtly while her tail is held straight out behind her and waving slightly.

Plat'o rocks a bit from toe to heel, and tilts his chin up, ever so slightly. "If you have any questions?" And this, for just about any lesson that the weyrlings will have had for him, is the dismissal bell - if there are no questions to be asked, anyway. Aristolth, for his part, echoes the, « It was done well » sentiment to the green personally.

Kehemath shares a brief brush of grateful sagebrush with Aristolth, but it does not linger as her attention is mostly focused on her lifemate, flushed and happy with success. "No questions, sir," Sienna says, snapping off a smart salute. "Thank you, sir."

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