The Courage of Change -- {Gold Soquilith, Leadership Flight!}

For all the Mating Flights and Runs of all dragonkin who wish to test their suitors of New Atricis. Tips on Flights and Runs can be found within as well.
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Fawkes
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Sun Nov 12, 2017 3:12 am

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The Weyr was abuzz with the news of Eavan's departure and soon word had spread throughout much of Pern that Atricis' Senior Gold was moving to strengthen their ally, Evanoria Weyrhold. There were some who scoffed at the decision of a queenrider relinquishing her title for love, and others who agreed it was the right choice to make for the Weyr and Weyrhold. There was always two sides of the coin, and everyone had their own opinions on the matter, but almost all eyes had begun to look upon the most senior of the junior queenriders, the one whose Gold was next Rise.

Safryn bore the looks with a sense of pride and dignity, she would not fail the Weyr, she would uphold the esteem that Eavan had set for them already and work toward strengthening their ties. The woman would make sure that none of her people would ever go wanting, their needs would be tended to, every courtesy and opportunity offered to them with fairness and equality. Every step she took through the halls, every look and smile toward the people of the Weyr spoke of this promise she made to them, to the Home she knew and loved and the ones who made it that way. She would not fail them as their Weyrwoman and would work to make each of their lives better.

For her part, Soquilith had been patient...as patient as a budding Queen could be. There was a respect still held for Paiseantath, and thus there was a truce between them for the following days. Though, perhaps that was mostly because they tended to keep their distance from each other, which was likely for the best. Once Soquilith had realized this Weyr would be hers with Paiseantath gone, she'd reveled in that feeling, the glory of becoming Senior Gold, of achieving their dreams earlier than expected and having a whole Weyr full of dragons to call her own. She would protect them as if they were all her children, she would care for them and fight for them, she would chose the best among them to bear new generations and a create a legacy. The dark queen was determined to prove her worth to the Weyr, eager for that day to come when she would claim the skies overhead as her own, forever more.

That day would have come much sooner, the brazen gold would have practically willed herself into cycle if she could have. However, Safryn had pleaded with her to wait just a little longer, allow some time for these changes to take root, for meetings to be held and plans to be lain before their rise of power. The woman insisted that a foundation must be laid first, that secrets of the Weyr must be shared between the old Weyrwoman and the new, that contingencies must be made, and that this change didn't happen overnight. The more prepared they were for it, the better it would be in the end, and the longer Soquilith fawned over the idea the sweeter the reward would be when she could bask in that glory.

A sevenday had passed though, and to be honest Safryn was surprised she'd managed to delay the queen that long even, but on the eigth day, the dark queen began to feel restless and the inevitable could not be put off much longer. The dapples in her hide began to shine with their own inner glow, the dark queen began to strut confidently around the Yard and stretched her wings as often as she could. Soquilith was merciless in her teasing of the males, fawning over the largest and strongest of them while challenging the others to show their mettle, to prove themselves worthier than a giant like Behemoth or Akoth. While scant attention was paid to most of the browns, there were a few among them such as Ifrith for his devotion, or Norieth for his prowess with queens, but she knew that neither of them could give her what she truly desired most from this Flight. It was not just the Weyr in her heart, but the thought of a golden gleaming shell among this Clutch, a daughter to call her own in the same clutch that would bring her reign to this Weyr.

The golden queen shone brighter and brighter with every passing day, and it was becoming quite obvious what would happen soon. Safryn bid farewell to her jr. queenriders, ushering them out of the Weyr, to join Eavan leaving for Evanoria for the evening to get a scope for their ally and present themselves to the Holdfolk as representatives of the Weyr on her behalf. It was a diplomatic move as much as one to get their queens out of the Weyr, while Soquilith staked her claim on Atricis and all the males at her whim.

The morning of the tenth day, Soquilith slumbered long past since Rukbat rose in the sky, and thus Safryn and the rest of the Weyr seemed to watch and wait for her to Rise. As she slept, she soaked up the sunshine and each dapple on her hide seemed to radiate like little suns of their own and her burnished hide nearly sparkled with every breath. Safryn spent the morning readying herself, taking deep breaths and talking to herself quietly while pacing in her apartment. She was ready for this, Eavan had been grooming her for this and taught her everything she needed to know. If she ever found the need for help, she had Rhianwen, Keetin and Isiana, and Eavan was only a blink between away in a pinch. The Atricis born was a strong woman, she'd faced adversity before and she'd overcome it, growing stronger along the way, much like her home had. This was something she'd been preparing her whole life for, and now it was finally upon her...the moment her queen awoke from her restoring slumber.

Rukbat was nearly at it's zenith when the dappled gold finally began to stir, dark wings spreading wide as Soquilith roused. The sensation of sleep soon faded and the need and lust for the power that was hers for the taking gathered around the queen as she stalked toward the edge of the cliff. By the time she was looking down into the Yard below, all attention was on her and she raised her head high as she gave a mighty roar for all to hear. Hear me Atricis! Heed my call! The Weyr by all rights was hers and today, now, she claimed it once and for all.

The roar could be felt shuddering through the body of her rider, the redheaded woman stopped in mid stride and closed her eyes for a brief moment. Safryn steeled herself for the flood of lust and emotions that came flowing through their bond and she controlled the tide of it, stronger than ever before. She had known Soquilith would be powerful this time, and she had to hold tight onto the reins of her queen lest that power go to her head. We are bound, you and I, to this Weyr, to this place we call Home. We have a duty to protect, to uphold, and make better this Weyr. Today, we choose what is best for the Weyr, not for ourselves. She reminded her queen, knowing full well that the gold had her own strong preferences, but they had more than themselves to think of this time, and for every Flight.

On the cliffs' edge, Soquilith gave a mighty huff as if to disregard the woman's words, though she knew Safryn was right, the sake of the Weyr rested in her claws this day and she would choose wisely among them. Today we start a new future for Atricis, yet one of the same making. I was Hatched upon these Sands and raised by the finest queens. I will uphold their honor and take pride in my Weyr. Atricis is my home, and I will do everything I can as your Senior Queen. I vow to protect and care for each of you, to fight for you and love you as my own. The gold said clearly for all the dragons to hear, including a few of those gifted enough to hear her, speaking to her subjects as well a Queen should on a fateful day such as this when she takes the mantle. She rose high on her haunches and spread her dark wings wide once more, swiping at the air a few times before settling back into a poised position. Will you follow me? Will you have the courage to lead this change? Soquilith continued, faceted eyes beginning to whirl with the reds of desires and the fire that began to well up inside her. Her gaze travelled over the whole Weyr, but it lingered on a few of the males, those she'd teased and taunted in the last few days, those she knew would rise to this challenge.

With another mighty bellow, the dark queen dove from the cliff's edge and streaked down toward the feeding pens, only spreading her wings at the last moment to pounce upon a startled herd beast. Her claws gripped tightly to the beast in one forepaw as her muzzle came down around the flailing beast, jaws clamping around the sinuous neck. The taste of the coppery liquid excited the animal within her, stoked those flames inside and made her burn even hotter. How she desired to taste more, to savor the morsels of this beast and just as she moved to take a bite of flesh, she felt the lash of her riders' mind sharp against her own. You know better than that. Blood only, and don't spare a drop, you'll need every ounce of it today. Came the reminder and the queen growled low in her throat yet knew the right of it and instead of swallowing a hunk of meat, she drank greedily from the buck's throat until the beast stopped thrashing.

Another two herd beasts were taken down in similar fashion, the queens jaws clamping down on their neck and her lips curling as she drank hungrily of their life blood, the fuel and energy she would need to stay aloft, to lead these males on the Flight of their lives. She would need every advantage, would need to use every trick in her arsenal to test them, to exhaust them and weed out the weak, for only those strong enough and worthy to lead would become her mate today, to become the new Weyrleader and she would choose wisely.

While she took the time to clean herself, lapping at the sides of her muzzle, the dark queen gave a glance around her at all the males who'd turned out to show their appreciation. They ranged from all sizes and hues, and Soquilith gave a pleased rumble as she looked about her and saw the adoring and intense looks given to her. They were all hers, vying for her attention, hoping to be chosen by her and given the opportunity of a lifetime that came with her pairing. She would the Senior Gold from this moment forth, and they would always come flocking to her side when this moment came, their devotions giving her strength and she crooned longingly for a moment, languishing in their love for her.

The moment was soon gone though and in the next heart beat, Soquilith shot off the ground with a might leap, strong wing beats carrying her swiftly up into the air. She was silent as she climbed, not even bothering to look back to watch the flock of dragons taking off after her, and instead focused straight ahead of her, up into the clouds above and using this initial burst of speed to put some distance between her and her suitors. The dark queen had no intentions of going easy on them, and if they wanted to catch her, they would have to keep up from the very beginning of this Chase.

In her apartment, Safryn had endured the battle of wills and won and while her queen drank the beasts' blood, she could feel the warmth enveloping her as well. The woman moved with a fluidity she didn't often have, a grace bestowed on her by the freedom of that connection with her queen and the lust that flowed through them. The children were with their crechemother, she'd made sure of that this morning, and now she hustled her fair of flitters to find their perches elsewhere, though Piper was always the hardest to persuade to leave her side. She'd learned from Eavan many Turns ago, to change into something a little more appropriate and...accessible for these occasions, and so she moved into the bedroom to put on one of her cotton shifts and slipped a silken robe over her shoulders as well to keep her modesty in the presence of so many.

Moving back into the living room, Safryn moved toward the door, unlocking it and even leaving it open slightly, knowing the first of them would be soon to arrive and silently hoping it would be H'tai to show up first. He'd wanted to stay all morning with her, knowing what was likely to happen, but duty isn't something either of them could shirk and he still had at least make an appearance for drills, just like the rest of them. Everyone knew that drills would be forgotten in the drop of a hat, the stretch of a telltale wing, and Safryn hoped H'tai had been among the first to take note and make for their home.

While she waited though, she leaned against the back of her favorite armchair, the one she'd spent so many hours curled up with a book, or bouncing a child on her knee, or sitting on H'tai's lap to talk about their day. Her hands gripped the chair perhaps a little too tightly, the only outward sign of the apprehension she could feel in her bones. Otherwise she held herself with the poise and dignity befitting of the title that would be resting on her shoulders from here on as Weyrwoman of Atricis.

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  • And so begins a new Reign! Gold Soquilith is up in the air and looking for a new mate, the rider of which will become Atricis' New Weyrleader!
    While it seems Soquilith has a fondness for the big boys, I will play fair in choosing the winner, but Leadership is not always chosen lightly.
    I'm still undecided one round or two, so feel free to let me know if you're up for a second round of replies.
    -- If not, I'll wrap up the Flight next weekend, so gives everyone a week to get their boys into the Flight!

    Good luck everyone! I'm excited to see how this all goes. <3
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Altreis
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Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:19 pm

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It was bound to happen eventually. Paiseantath would grow old one day and need to retire. Shells but did it have to happen so soon? Eavan's reasons for transferring to the Weyrhold were...well the political reasons were solid though it was very likely that the personal reasons were the motivation behind her decision. Atricis had plenty of clutchers; they could have spared one before now. Eavan gets lonely and then the topic comes up. Yet the young brownrider felt no animosity towards her; only anxiety at the new challenges he had to face.

With the Senior pair leaving, one of the juniors would have to take over and with the timing of their transfer there could be no doubt who would Rise next and take over: Soquilith. Which made Safryn Senior Weyrwoman. The real snag however was that this now meant the rider of whichever dragon Flew her would become Weyrleader. When it had been Paiseantath choosing, avoiding the possibility had been easy. There was only gold his brown ever Chased and she was not the Senior...except now she was, or would be once she Rose.

This left the brown and his rider with two choices: give up on ever winning their respective mates ever again, or push all the harder and accept the mantle of leadership should they win.

At least, if I end up Weyrleader, it would be Safryn I worked with, H'tai murmured distractedly. He was supposed to be focusing on drills but all he could think of was how brightly Soquilith had begun to glow over the last couple of days. Today she had yet to wake. Today had to be the day. Why did drills have to be a thing when the whole Weyr knew a gold Flight was imminent? They would have to rush to drop everything if Soquilith woke before the late evening and then rush to get in position for the Flight. Not much work would get done after, what with how strongly golds projected their needs. The Weyr at large would be pairing off and later on recovering from their exertions. He wanted to be with Safryn; not trying and failing to pay enough attention to drills. As always Ifrith tried to steady him but nothing could distract the brownrider from what was looming over them.

He already knew Safryn would not lock her door this Flight. Dutiful as she was he wasn't sure she ever would again. Not that he would ever ask it of her but he never was able to shake the uneasiness that came with knowing another bedded her, albeit at the whims of their dragons rather than true attraction. Then again no one truly had to; it was simply expected of those Impressed to clutching dragons. The riders of the males Chasing did not always show up, not even to a Leadership Flight. Why was it such a taboo for the riders of the Rising females to choose their mates? Why did they have to sacrifice their right to choose once a turn? They didn't pick their dragons' mates. Why were they expected to let their dragons choose for them?

And yet...it was already a thing. Rhianwen of gold Lennoth had locked her door against everyone, had not had a partner of any sort, and Lennoth's clutch had been perfectly healthy and strong. Atricis had set new standards in many ways-why could it not shatter another tradition?

It was selfish of him to even think such things, but was it really? Greenriders could be loyal to their human mates, as could opalriders, most zultaniteriders, garnetriders to date, and anyone who Impressed a male dragon. The clutchers shouldn't have to make such a sacrifice where no one else was expected to. It bothered him greatly.

Then I will Fly her today and as Weyrleader you can address that, Ifrith rumbled somberly. The brown was serious; he had every intention of winning this time. For as scary as the thought of being Weyrleader might be, he knew H'tai could do it. The position also gave him more power to instigate such a change. H'tai had proven before that he had the courage to stand with Safryn no matter what. Standing with her as her Weyrleader was no different, save he had extra work to do...and could petition the pressure be taken off riders of clutching dragons to leave their doors open.

Ifrith's point was certainly tempting...and if nothing else should the brown manage to consistently win it wouldn't matter since H'tai would be with Safryn anyway. The odds of that happening however seemed slim, unless Ifrith tried the unthinkable: force-Catching her. Soquilith openly favored the larger dragons, especially bronzes. She wanted the largest, most powerful male and color she could claim. As a somewhat larger than average brown, Ifrith was neither of those things. The bronze-happy gold was likely to choose another's dragon and if they showed up because Safryn insisted on the old open-door policy...there was nothing H'tai could do but leave with the other losers and vent his feelings somehow...alone. He was not interested in finding a moth; never had been. He wanted to make love to the only person to have ever caught not just his eye but his heart as well, the woman who helped him find his courage, that inspired him, that made him want to be so much more for her. No one else had that connection with him. A pretty form to play with was not what he wanted and could not replace what he lost when Soquilith chose another dragon yet again.

Ifrith growled into his mind. I WILL win! the brown snarled, orange bleeding into his eyes briefly. He was not annoyed with H'tai though. The outburst was one of determination. Yes he Chased other dragons, but he had no long-term mate as his rider did. He tried every turn to win Soquilith's favor once more but when he did not he had to respect her wishes and allow her the mate she chose. Without her to care for though he needed something. A non-clutcher Flight here and there was not too much to ask, especially as he never tried to win them over beyond the Flights. A dragon version of having flings while the one he desired eluded him. He had needs too!

The brown suddenly broke formation, along with most of the wing. It was time. The males sensed it, knew the dark gold would rouse soon. They dropped their riders off, had their gear removed, and made their way to the feeding pens. Without any urging from their riders they would blood the beasts they felled, the bloodlust that Rising females had never present.

Once H'tai was on the ground and moving to put his gear away Ifrith took off. Today the brown was very careful, choosing the largest and healthiest beasts he could find. He was equally careful once he had them, working to drain every drop of blood he could manage. Such was his need that after his usual two herdbeasts Ifrith took down a wherry. He could not quite manage another full herdbeast but he wanted more...and a wherry was just the right size.

It was as he was draining the wherry that the dark beauty he sought woke. There was no missing the sensation of her need as it stroked him, tugged at him and added fuel to the fire already beginning to burn within. The burning brown's head snapped up, whirling red eyes gazing intently upon Soquilith as she made her appearance on the cliff. Soquilith didn't need the mighty roar she let out; everyone was already paying attention to her. There was no denying how impressive she was when she roared though. Her words were equally stirring, calling to a purpose most important and noble. Would he follow her? Did he have the courage to lead? Of course! Ifrith echoed Soquilith's roar, even as he shifted to keep an eye on her. For now the gold was among them, making her first kill and growling her displeasure before blooding it.

Two more full herdbeasts were blooded before Soquilith was sated. The entire time Ifrith waited, crouched and ready to spring into the air after her. The blood from his own kills was settling in; the brown positively abuzz with energy begging to be released. Yet he waited, watched as the dark gold cleaned up from her kills. Her croon he nearly met with one of his own, but before he could do more than consider it Soquilith was in the air. Among the thunder of wings as her suitors took off, Ifrith snapped out of his crouch and followed her like a flaming arrow shot from a powerful bow. He would show her...today he would again find a way to help her see he was the best in the sky, even if there were larger and shinier males around.

As for H'tai, the brownrider had been very quick to relieve himself of all the gear, both his and Ifrith's. Of course that meant he had to essentially dash around the space he shared with Safryn, who was already there and dressed for what was to come. Though his cheeks blazed at the sight H'tai still managed to get the gear out of the way-out of their way. His brown's determination began to bleed into him as much as the lust. Together they could conquer this challenge and together they would. It was as simple as that.

A somewhat mischievous smile was flashed as he rejoined Safryn. "I have no doubt that Soquilith will fly high, fly far, and make the best possible choice this day," he said with confidence. If that confidence was that she would choose Ifrith well...he was smart enough not to say. Nothing would push the gold to choose another quicker than arrogance-or rather perceived arrogance. Though they fully intended to win, neither H'tai nor Ifrith would use dirty tricks to do so. They would win by proving they were the best!
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Parker
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Wed Nov 15, 2017 4:14 pm

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Since Mnenomth had had some luck with the golds of Atricis he had become rather insufferable. Fox loved his bronze, but the dragon was not Faranth's gift to golds no matter how much he thought he was. On the plus side, since catching his first gold, Mnenomth had stopped chasing every female that rose. Fox didn't mind flights, but when his bronze was chasing so often he felt as if it took up too much of his time, free or otherwise.

Thanks to his current track record Fox figured that Mnenomth would continue to chase all the golds whenever they rose regardless if he'd won one already. Since Eavan's announcement of her leaving to join Evanoria Weyrhold, Fox knew in the back of his mind that Mnenomth would be more determined than ever to chase the next gold that rose. The bronze wanted leadership, believed that they were born for it. Fox on the other hand was quite happy to follow rather than lead. He considered keeping Mnenomth out of whatever gold flew next, but then realized that was silly. It wasn't as if he couldn't lead and perhaps a change of pace would be good for him.

It didn't take long after Eavan's anouncement to realize which gold would be the next to rise. Soquilith. Fox figured that was likely for the best since after Eavan she had been a queenrider longest. Mnenomth had been keeping an eye on the dark gold since that evening. He didn't crowd her though and kept from doing anything that might annoy her. He'd even performed better in drills than usual in the hopes of impressing Soquilith. However, today he had not been paying as much attention in drills as his gaze kept going to the sleeping gold until finally the glowing dark beauty demanded the attention of the whole weyr.

Mnenomth quickly deposited Fox before he made his way to the corrals to await the chase. I would follow you to the ends of Pern, mighty queen. I will prove to you I have the courage to help you lead this weyr further into greatness. He crooned his answer to her. Every fiber in his body was tense and waiting for that moment when she finally sprung into the air. Mnenomth gave as large of a leap off of the ground as he could in pursuit. Snarls and growls was giving to the males that were closest to him. He would show her his prowess and why he should be the one to twine with her.

Fox made his way to the new Senior Weyrwoman's quarters. He knocked politely on the door before stepping in. He was not the first to be there and was not surprised to see that it was Safryn's lover that had made it to who weyr first. Fox bowed politely to Safryn and then to H'tai. "Congratulations Senior Weyrwoman. I have no doubt that you will lead Atricis well. May Soquilith's first flight as Senior stand testiment to the great things I'm sure you'll do for the weyr in the future." He said with genuine feeling and respect. Then he turned towards the brownrider and held out a hand in greeting. "H'tai, good luck to you and your brown."
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Ember
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Thu Nov 16, 2017 4:16 am

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It was bound to happen, that had been the thought on L'van's mind when Eavan had announced she was stepping down as Weyrwoman of Atricis. It happened all the time, after all, he had just not expected to see it during his lifetime, especially with a young woman in the prime of her life with Turns of experience still left to give. But it was inevitable that some goldriders would be lost, and it was a blessing that Faranth say this one remain fruitful with life, rather than having it striped away from her.

With her and Paiseantath gone from the Weyr, it also meant that a new Senior would take to the skies and be crowned. There was only one that would take up that charge, not only because it had been handed to her, but because her queen was next to rise - Safryn. Everyone within the Weyr had taken to watching her and Soquilith the moment the announcement had been made, knowing how important the gold's decision would be. It meant a new Weyrleader, it meant a new era for their home and territory.

L'van was prepared for the flight, or as prepared as any one could be for what was to come when a mating call was made. It would be his dragon that made the most out of the efforts, not him. He wouldl have to depend on Zenjarth to make sure that this turned out for them. Even then, it was not guaranteed that they would come out on top. That decision was left to the lady in the lead, and whether or not she found him worthy of flying forward into the future with her.

But he sure was determined to be the one that she found capable of doing so. Zenjarth was a quiet bronze when it came to mating flights, but he answered calls when it was appropriate to do so, especially when it came to all important moments like these ones. When Soquilith's voice demanded, the elder bronze answered. Pern will know true greatness on this day, Soquilith, now that you are its queen! After that, speech did not seem to matter, and he took to the skies in pursuit, certain that he would be able to show her that he and he alone was the only one worthy of twining with her.

On the ground, L'van made his way to Saffryn's apartment, his mind calm despite what could happen during and after the flight. At the door he paused, eyes closed for a moment, before knocking and allowing himself in. He wasn't at all surprised to see H'tai already in attendance, and he nodded to the brownrider while also giving Fox a greeting when he saw his fellow bronzerider there. "My Weyrwoman, congratulations on your day of glory," he stood after bowing partially before her. "Good flight to you and Soquilith. May your reign as Senior Weyrwoman stand solid and true throughout the test of time."

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K'rios had no designs on becoming Weyrleader. In fact, the moment it was announced that Eavan was stepping down, he started to make plans to be out of the Weyr sporadically each day after until the next gold had risen and a new leader had been crowned. It wasn't that he wanted to avoid the responsibility, he just wasn't sure if he would be suitable as a Weyrleader. Besides that, he was certain his father would be there, and that would just be awkward as fuck.

It wasn't awkward when you didn't know he was your father.

Not the point, Iktomith...

Regardless, he was preparing to head out when his pewter reared up and jostled him away, making it impossible to get his straps on for the harness. It slid away, and K'rios looked at him in confusion. What the fuck was that about? It didn't take long for him to feel the infusion of heat that normally came about during an incoming mating flight, and once he realized that - and how strong it was - he knew, he just knew. Iktomith, don't! But he was already racing towards Safryn's apartment, just as the pewter was taking off towards the feeding pens.

I will fly her, K'rios, and you will rise to greatness with me! After that, he was quiet, at least to his rider; when he spoke again, it was to the glowing queen. Small though I might be, oh beautiful Soquilith, I will show you that I have worth that rises far beyond what others can offer you today! He fed, waited, watched, and when it came time, he sprang into action, rising with the great queen, certain of his chances in flight!

K'rios arrived at Safryn's door, half tempted to turn on his heel and go in the other direction. He didn't really need to be here, did he? He could just as easily find someone else to spend the flight with and... well, if - and that was a HARD if - Iktomith won, how poorly would it look if the Weyrleader wasn't in attendance? He took a breath and knocked, stepped inside, and nodded to those that were there. "Weyrwoman," he made sure to greet her first, and properly. "I look forward to serving you for Turns to come. May you continue to bring glory to Atricis." He glanced at the other men. "Good flight to the rest of you."
Dirce L'van D'kellen D'ante V'ric Na'vi K'rios J'on
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Fali'vas Koda'vis Melangell Cataren Sianca Feraliss Yaranavexa Rathiran
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Sat Nov 18, 2017 4:10 am

A'ric looked out of the Weyrleader's office, and smiled softly as his mind wandered, thinking about how his life had been since the last leadership Flight. Back then, his life had changed drastically, for the better, and in more ways than one. Honestly, he had not thought that he would be able to do everything as a Weyrleader. Worry had clouded his mind for quiet some time about if he would have time to be the good Weyrleader everyone probably wanted (or needed) him to be, and making sure that he was spending enough time with his family. Well, he said family loosely actually. Sometimes, it was still difficult to know where he and Kit stood. Were they more than friends, since they had a child together? Or were they more than that now? Something had changed between them, and they had yet to talk about it really. For now, he was there for her, and his son. Even if Kit and he just decided to stay friends, or a little more than friends, he would always be there for her as well.

For the past sevenday it had felt as though these thoughts had been going through his mind. Sooner or later, the new Queen would rise, and if Behemoth won, then A'ric would remain the Weyrleader. If someone else found the Queen's favor, A'ric would just go back to his life as it was before. Part of him was happy that he would have more free time if one of the other male dragons won, while the other part of him still wanted to remain the Weyrleader. The young man honestly thought he hadn't really accomplished much during his time in power, but there was nothing he could do about it, so there was no reason to dwell on it.

Once a seven day had passed, everyone was still wondering when the new Queen was going to rise. Behemoth had been growing slightly agitated, but that was mostly just because the bronze was not so eager to go back to be a Wingleader. Behemoth had always known that eventually he and A'ric would be leading the Weyr. Now that the big bronze had tasted that power, he was very reluctant to give it up. While he would do what A'ric told him, the young man did not find it easy to try and calm the dragon. There would be other opportunities. They were both still young, and the Queens would continue to rise, no matter what. That was what the young rider kept telling his beast, and finally, it seemed to statisfy him, at least a little.

Finally the time came when Soquilith rose, and A'ric could tell quickly, even before Behemoth told him. The bronze took off into the air She finally rises A'ric! I will make sure we keep our position!

The young man shook his head, and quickly made sure that Behemoth only blooded a few herdbeasts before he went in and got himself ready. Loking in the mirrow, he took a deep breath, trying to calm himself down. Quickly he told himself that it didn't matter if Behemoth won or not. It wasn't the end of the world. Throwing some water on his face, the young man scolded himself. Everything would be fine, no matter how it all played out.

Running a hand through his hair he turned away from the mirror and headed towards Safryn's apartment. Usually he wouold go find Kit, but since this was a leadership flight, he felt better going where he was supposed to be. If needed, he knew Kit would be there for him later. Entering the room, he bowed to Safryn. May the Flight be good for everyone.

By this time, Behemoth had reached the other dragons, and bugled out. Your beauty knows no bounds my Queen. Your radiance will shine over all the Weyr now
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Parker
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Mon Nov 20, 2017 12:02 am

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The challenge has been given. I must heed her call, Cas. I know you understand." The brown stated with a calm, collected demeanor. It wasn't often that the brown got overly excited about things, but Cas could feel the excitement that was running through his brown's veins as he informed him that a gold was about to rise. Not just any gold, though, the next Senior Queen. This flight was not just for the further growth of the weyr, but it marked a change in the entire weyr itself. A picture of Soquilith's dark hide crossed Cas's mind letting him know who was to be the next Senior Weyrwoman. He was glad that it was the most senior of queenriders.

I understand. Good luck out there. Cas responded to him and stopped what he was doing to go back to his weyr. Regardless if this was a leadership flight, Cas was not the sort to participate in them himself. He was happily and loyally involved with Talen, so not even flight lust seemed an appropriate reason for him to be with another. That wasn't going to make Gastoneth stay away from flights he wanted to join in.

To be honest, Cas wasn't sure if he would be a good Weyrleader. He wasn't even sure if he wanted it, but Rhianwen seemed to think that he was a capable leader. For this time he would let fate and the skills of his dragon decide. If Gastoneth happened to win then he would figure out being a Weyrleader and he'd make sure to make the Weyrsecond someone that has done it before. He was not a prideful man that refused to ask for help when needed and he loved Atricis enough that he would want to do right by it.

While Cas locked himself away in his weyr and hoped Talen would show up, Gastoneth joined the other males in waiting for Soquilith to finish her blooding and take to the skies. His entire body was tense as he watched her make kill after kill for the blood that would give her the energy to fly as high and far as possible. Then, after what felt like an eternity to him, the dark gold beauty made a leap into the air. It was only a heart beat later that he was in the air after her. He would show her why he was the best mate for her.
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Fawkes
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Tue Nov 21, 2017 11:09 pm

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As she shot into the sky, the dark queen barely spared a glance behind her for she knew they were following her. Even the eyes still down below in the Yard would be watching until the flock of dragon turned into specks and disappeared into the clouds. Dark wings carried her upwards and onwards, her focus keen on breaching the clouds and soaring high above them where she could see her whole domain spread out below her. All of Atricis and it's territory was hers now, and she wanted to gaze upon it in a whole new light now.

Through their bond, Soquilith was aware of the males chasing her, compared to those that showed up at the goldriders apartment. Ifrith's rider had been the first among them, and she knew the burning brown would never stop Chasing her, never waver in his devotions for her as much as his rider cared for her lifemate. Safryn's own love for the brownrider was apparent in the woman's eyes when she saw him enter and she wanted to go to him, to wrap her arms around him and assure him that everything was going to be okay. She could see the unease in H'tai's features even as he scurried around to put away his things in their apartment and she had a soft smile on her face for him. When he stepped before her though, she could practically see the dragon shining through him now too, a determination that followed them with every one of Soquilith's flights. If it were up to her, she knew she would choose to be with H'tai, but there was more than her own feelings at stake here today, and every flight from here on as well. Weyrleadership was not something she took lightly and while H'tai was a wonderful and attentive life partner, would he be ready for something as heavy as Weyrleader?

The next to make themselves known was ones who'd had the honor of being her mate for her last flight. Mnenomth was a strong beast, and she'd admittedly enjoyed watching the way he had flown in his drills lately in his efforts to entice her and woo her in his own way. However, it seemed that perhaps the bronze was a bit too eager so soon after winning Lennoth's favor to seek her own now, and she had to wonder if he would dismiss her just as quickly if Andromedath were to Rise next. F'lin on the other hand was a charming man, the quirky sort that brought a smile to Safryn's face upon seeing him, though she couldn't boast to knowing him all that well save for the night they had already shared. Not knowing him was a disadvantage in this case though, for she knew not how he would be as a Weyrleader, the man who'd work beside her for the next Turn and into this new realm together. Her smile widened as she curtsied to his greeting, sapphire eyes regarding him curiously. Friend he could be, but Weyrleader?

The following male had her attention though, an older more experienced bronze that had been chosen to lead once before and had proven to be a doting mate while bound with Paiseantath. Would Zenjarth be just as devoted to her should she chose him? And of all the males Chasing her, he had not yet had the honor to twine with her, unlike many of the others. It was well known that Soquilith had yet to have the same male twice, something that perhaps she was even a bit proud of, so would her own tradition carry into this new reign as well? For L'van there was a softer smile on her face for the older man, for she'd worked beside him well for a Turn already and perhaps it would not be so bad to have him by her side in the coming Turn either. The smile reached her eyes as the redheaded woman gave a contented nod of thanks at his kind words. He'd led Atricis before and succeeded, would be once again be Weyrleader?

The pewter was a pleasant surprise, a dragon with a brave heart and the courage to follow her into this daring Chase. Iktomith certainly had some spunk and determination if he thought he could impress her with so many fine browns and bronzes to choose from instead. Perhaps he'd hoped his challenge would curry some favor, and it may even be possible that it did make the dark gold flattered to see one trying so hard for her attentions. His rider was known well enough also, K'rios having been working with the Candidatemaster for a time, and Safryn had always taken a particular interest in the candidates and wishing them well. She'd met with the pewterrider a time or two and his rough charm was always apparent, and yet beneath it was a steadfastness and realistic ethic that might come in handy should his daring pewter woe over the queen. His words did not quite reflect his dragons confidence though, though she smiled in kind and gave him a polite curtsy in return. He'd taught the candidates well, but could he become their Weyrleader?

Of course, the next to follow was one whom she had taunted and teased mercilessly, the current Leader and one of the largest males in the Chase. Behemoth was a giant among them, his bulk a testament to his strength and will and she'd known him to be a competent flyer, so over the last few days, her gaze seemed to always travel back to him. Though, his ambitions were a bit too eager for her tastes, as he seemed ready to Chase every gilded tail in the skies, and it hadn't seemed to be much different even when he'd had the Senior Gold by his side. His sheer size may not be quite enough to curry her favor, but it certainly didn't hurt his chances much either. A'ric had been a bit nervous at first, but under Eavan's gentle hand and the advice from his more experienced Weyrsecond, the young bronzerider had begun to come into his own and was learning how to take that charge. Safryn greeted the current Weyrleader with a pleasant smile and an respectful dip of her head at his approach as well. Could it be that he'll continue to grow under the responsibility and remain their Weyrleader?

Once the dark gold had breached the clouds, her wings fanned wide as the droplets of dew sprinkled off her form and she trumpeted her delight. What it felt to be free, to have the freedom to choose from among so many fine males that desired her, sought after her and pined for her. They had all followed her and as her flight leveled off, dancing above the clouds now, she could see them all trailing behind her. The dappled queen swayed to and fro over the tops of the puffy clouds, a sultry sway to entice and encourage as she slowed ever so slightly to give them all the hopes of catching up to her. Soquilith warbled to the males as she looked back over her shoulder, surprised to see a few others she had not felt through the bond with her rider.

Gallant Gastoneth had yet to fail in Chasing her, so how could not have noticed him before? A subtle thought supplied the answer though, his rider absent from those who'd made their way into Safryn's apartment, but this did nothing to sway the gold's inkling toward the handsome brown. He was a strong beast, one who'd been worthy of her affections before and she was curious to see how the brown would react this day, with much more on the line. He was not the only brown determined to win her favor either, the burning embers of Ifrith valiantly streaking through the skies behind her, or the soft and mottled hide of the sandy brown Norieth who'd had luck with many of the other queens, but would he get so lucky this day as well? There were others present, but none of them as remarkable as those she'd taken care to note, those who mattered most this day, this decision of theirs and neither gold nor rider were taking this lightly.

While Safryn remained poised in the living room, her sapphire gaze moving slowly about the room and taking in all the faces, her thoughts churning about their references, their experience, their potential as the next Weyrleader, Soquilith had other ideas about testing the males who vyed for that position. The redheaded woman could feel the raw power and lust that flowed through her veins, and once upon a time she would have enjoyed flaunting and teasing the men just as her own queen did overhead, but now she was a mother, a lover, a partner and the Weyrwoman and she held herself to a higher standard than the girl she'd been back then. While her queen weaved through the clouds, playing yet another game with her suitors of hide and seek within the vapors, the woman kept a hold of the chair as if to ground herself from wanting to do the same.

The dappled gold began easy on the males, ducking into the clouds to disappear for a moment, before emerging again as she jumped from one cloud to another. It was a game that many of the females would play, toying with the males and testing to see who would follow on her tail, or who watched from above or below as she dipped and weaved out of sight. She was almost languid about it, giving them just enough of a respite from the intense climb, but it wasn't a relaxing moment that would last very long. Just as she disappeared into the clouds once more, she was breaking through the other side and climbing so suddenly that one could think that this was it, the call to Rise higher. Instead, Soquilith had other thoughts and as the males all rushed in for the Chase, she turned on them just as quickly, diving back through their ranks.

Dark talons caught onto one of the males, her hind claws gripping tightly onto his own, but front claws and teeth would hinder any chances the male thought he had to twine with her. No, her choice was not made yet, though Iktomith was firmly caught in her grasp, the daring pewter in for the flight of his life as the dark queen let herself fall backwards. Gravity pulled them back toward the ground and the pair of them began a deadly head over tail tumble through the skies and centrifugal force tried to pry them apart. It was a trick she'd used once before, a show of dominance, a display of her power, and if the pewter thought he had what it took to win over a Queen like her, it was time for him to prove it. Their talons remained locked together, even as they passed back through the clouds, even when their tumble shifted into a corkscrew spiral so they could watch the ground racing up to greet them once more. Soquilith did not falter, she did not relent and instead seemed to wait until she could practically see the leaves on the trees and felt the hesitation in the pewter. Only then did she relinquish, shoving off of the smaller dragon and launching herself back into the skies with a triumphant roar. {for reference}

After that particular display, they would all know that she was serious, that this was not just another Flight, this was not a game, she planned to weed out the weakest of them first and foremost, leaving only the determined and strongest left to be worthy. As she climbed once more, she expertly weaved through the males that had followed her descent, yet could clearly see who had remained aloft in anticipation of her next climb. She did not join them high up above though, breaking through the ranks of the followers and then veering sharply to streak over the distance of her lands. All around her now she could see the territory sprawling out before her and she lavished in the green glory, in the sparkles of sunlight off snaking rivers, or glinting off the hint of snows on the furthest mountains. It was beautiful and breathtaking and for a moment while she was free of grasping claws, she took a moment to revel in this celebration. The sights filled her with and unrivaled joy and fueled her onwards and farther to see more of it, to reach the oceans beyond where her territory ended and a new one began.

As she ventured further, her path was not an easy one to follow either as she led the males on the Chase, diving unexpectedly and veering off suddenly, dropping through a cluster of them only to quickly backtrack before weaving sharply toward the ocean once more. The flight wore on and slowly the pack began to dwindle, the fatigue beginning to set in and those who couldn't keep up began to fall away in defeat. Each time she looked back and saw fewer and fewer males, she crooned to the ones that carried on. Just a little further now, she knew she couldn't last forever either as her own wing muscles were beginning to tire. She could feel the strain creeping in, the warmth of the beasts' blood beginning to cool within her and she knew she couldn't keep this up much longer.

Her flight leveled out once more, but there was a subtle ascent to it still, covering distance more than height now, as she reserved what strength she had left to lead this Chase to it's last stretch. They all seemed to sense it then, the males who's managed to hang on for this long, and now they too reserved that last ounce of stamina left to them as they flew straight for a while. Soquilith was quiet then as she led them onwards, her thoughts mingling with those of her riders, knowing who it was that still hung on, those that still followed, those to choose from. Dark wings stroked almost languidly through the air as she sought after the sight of the ocean, the edge of her territory that she desired to reach with her chosen partner. Only once the sparkling blue brushed the horizon did the dappled gold shift course once more, this time her ascent quite a bit steeper and taking them back into and above the clouds once again.

The newly appointed Senior Gold dipped into her last ounces of strength, pulling from within her, from the blood of the beast, from the bond with her rider and strong wings pumped furiously against the sky now, rising higher and faster upwards now. Much like her initial climb, she was silent and focused now, reserving everything for this last climb into the heavens and as she disappeared into the clouds, the vapors did little to cool the heat that came off of her now. The dark queen erupted through the cloud layer and broke out into the open light once more, showering droplets that paled in comparison to the radiating dapples of her hide. Higher still she climbed, her wings giving everything she had into reaching an impossible peak, and only when she could almost feel the last drop of strength did the mighty gold finally call out.

Zenjarth, I choose you! Your strength and experience will guide this Weyr once more. Soquilith trumpeted her choice, her wings seeming to give out as she tucked them back to her sides and let gravity take hold once more. Whirling facets were locked on the older bronze as she veered back into the crowd of males, and tooth and claw would meet any who wanted to take that choice away from her. Only Zenjarth was greeted with a warble, a soft croon as her neck twined around his own and their tails soon followed suit, wings fanned wide to slow their descent back toward Pern. While the new Senior pair were entwined, they were gifted with the sight of their whole territory, from the seas to the mountains, just as she'd intended.

Both gold and rider had confidence in their choice, having chosen wisely for the Weyr rather than for themselves and had faith in decision as the best thing for Atricis. Yet in the apartment, there was a brief moment where Safryn was still in control and sapphire eyes flitted toward a certain brownrider, a man she knew would be pained by this choice. Not because he wouldn't be Weyrleader, but because Safryn belonged to someone else for the evening now and she could practically see it in his eyes the way H'tai's heart broke. She wanted to say something, she wanted to be reassuring, but she was so swept away that there was barely anything left of her to tell H'tai it was going to be okay. With what reserve she had left, the redheaded woman moved toward L'van, her hand slipping into his own quietly and for a moment standing there and waiting for those that mattered most to take their leave. Only once her love was out of sight, did Safryn truly allow herself to fall away and embrace L'van in her arms much as Soquilith was twined with Zenjarth.
This Intoxication Thrills Me,
I Only Pray It Doesn't Kill Me

Safryn ~* *~ Kitiara ~* *~ V'an ~* *~ Ay'li ~* *~ Elysia ~* *~ Kent ~* *~ Isolde ~* *~ Omri'vis ~* *~ Daela
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Altreis
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Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:09 am

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I WILL win!

Such were Ifrith's final words before Soquilith's Flight, the strength of his resolve-a resolve his rider shared. Neither one wanted to lose this Flight. Ifrith would be disappointed should it come to that but such was the way of the dragons. Humans however, humans more often preferred the same mate. H'tai certainly did, to the point Soquilith's Flights ended up hurting him. Every time Ifrith gave his best and so far every time since the Flight that had brought his rider and hers together the burning brown had failed. Soquilith had not claimed the same male twice to date-

-and today proved no exception. Though the brown gave more than ever in his attempts to win the dark gold it was not enough. The entire Flight he was silent, so intense was his focus and so hard were his efforts. As much as he wanted Soquilith for himself, when the Flights were left open he wanted her for his rider as well, that H'tai could be with his mate as he so desired.

But no. Soquilith wanted another male she had yet to twine with and another bronze at that. This particular bronze and his rider had led the Weyr before, as Paiseantath's mates. Now-

Ifrith hissed softly, coming to a hover as Soquilith dove to twine with her chosen mate. The brown was very much burning from fatigue at this point but remained where he was in the air, frozen by the feedback from his rider. Whirling red eyes watched Soquilith fall away, a touch of anger mixing with desire. Ifrith was a devoted dragon, calm and reasonable, friendly even. He did have times when his patience was strained though-and they typically were this. He could deal with losing a Flight but oh how he hated it when Soquilith and her rider hurt his H'tai!

Instead of going back he called on reserves of strength to remain aloft this time, soaring above the offenders. Though they were long out of sight by now he didn't care. He refused to return until they were done making a spectacle of themselves. And once he was able to return he would seek out H'tai. He could feel how much his rider needed him-but neither one wanted to face to dragons that were dropping towards the ground, tearing their hearts apart.

The moment Soquilith yet again chose another and worse one whose rider was there, a familiar burning, sinking feeling began in H'tai's chest. Yet something had changed, had been changing since Eavan's announcement. Soquilith had to be won every single Flight but Safryn was his. The only one she belonged to more was the dark gold and H'tai never would take her away from Soquilith, even if he could. He did however disagree with open door Flights. Were Safryn more like Eavan, the type to enjoy them, it would perhaps be more palatable for him...but he knew better. Given the choice, nothing on the line and nothing expected of her, Safryn wanted the same thing he did. She wanted to be his, not sleep with whoever showed up and had a dragon Soqui liked. Thus, as the gold dragged Safryn away from him again, drove her into another man's arms and more once more, H'tai could not help burning more than his dragon's hide.

Most of the losers were quick to leave but not him. Though his gaze remained blank, thoughts mostly turned inward, H'tai needed to stay and see for himself as Safryn did indeed go to L'van and let him whisk her away. Only then did the brownrider turn and leave, legs stiffly carrying him out. It hurt, he could not pretend otherwise, but there was more this time. He could feel Ifrith's anger, his disappointment and frustration...and he felt them within himself too. This Flight was one too many that he and his brown had needed to walk away from to nurse broken hearts over.

As soon as they knew Safryn and Soquilith were going to be the Senior pair, H'tai and Ifrith had been determined to succeed. Neither had ever held as much rank as Wingthird but through Fall, Fog and Fire they would Chase their mates. Leading was big and scary but H'tai was not nearly as nervous when the Weyrwoman he would work alongside was his beloved Safryn. If anything for her sake, their sake, he became increasingly determined. If there was any leadership in him at all he would dig as deep as needed to pull it out-had Ifrith won. With another loss, H'tai's mind turned to his grievances with the system. Safryn never, not once, made Soquilith's choice. No goldrider did that he knew of. Why then were they expected to let their golds choose their mates for the Flight?

Only a scant few steps outside his apartment H'tai stopped, eyes narrowing into such a scowl that flight moths steered well clear of him. It's wrong. Not only was it wrong but he refused to accept it. Had Eavan not made a point of how proud she was for Atricis and all the new trends it was setting? This needed to be another one. Shards it already was with most of the other queenriders! The Senior should not be an exception.

Dark eyes cast a burning gaze back at the door that led into his personal space, his love, both of which he felt were being grossly violated right now-all at the whims of a dragon and her hormones! The time for tradition has passed. And he intended to bury this particular tradition. Ifrith! Meet me along with Tuner and Abram by the lake. We have a very important matter to crush.
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Ember
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Wed Nov 22, 2017 2:47 am

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Iktomith, in all of his glory, had thought his chances were great. He was a pewter that had aspirations that may not have matched with what his rider intended, but nonetheless were to be considered grand. K'rios would have acclimated to them, he would have come to accept things as they were. He was a good rider, a good man, someone who knew the value of hard work and accepted the ranks he received because he was loyal and hard working.

So even as he tired, Iktomith flew, and continued to fly as worn muscles screamed at him. As the great queen dove and twisted in the air, he tried to follow, only to lose himself in the air. Yet he scrambled to continue on. He wasn't going to drop out, not until every last ounce of energy dropped out of him, and it was either turn back or completely collapse like a paper sail. Stupid he was not, but stupidly determined he was.

But all things needed to come to an end, and Iktomith couldn't hold on, not forever. He cried out as his wing pulled, and in doing so, K'rios called for him, told him to come back, used his will to force the issue until the pewter had no choice but to comply. The heat was still throbbing through the man when he appeared through the apartment into the bowl to tend to his dragon, who was hobbling, his wing held tenderly to his side. His own needs would have to wait, difficult though it would to keep his mind - and body - from wandering with such lust lingering in the air, but it would happen.

"Foolish beast," K'rios chided lovingly, breath in a pant as he pushed him in the direction of the infirmary. "I don't know when I'll allow you to do that again." It wouldn't be anytime soon at least. He saw his dragon tended to, watched the dragonhealer closely, saw the way he watched in return, and when business was taken care of they snuck away for a little time in an empty apartment that would be cleaned. Right now though, there was just sweet relief, and the knowledge that Iktomith was tended to and safe.

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There was no telling how this flight was going to end. All L'van knew was that come win or fail, he was going to take it in stride and continue to do what was best for Atricis. That was all that mattered in the end, the best for the Weyr. He'd come from a Weyr that had wanted nothing to do with him simply because he'd tried to change viewpoints that had not matched with close minded arguments, and been accepted into a place that looked towards what he had to think and say with open eyes and ears. How could he not look out for his home, his place of heart, regardless of where he was in both rank and situation?

He watched for Zenjarth carefully, wanting to make sure that his bronze did not try to over extend himself. It wasn't that he didn't trust the old man, it was that he knew he was going to try too hard. He knew how much L'van wanted this, on some level, and he wanted it too for his own carnal, instinctual needs. Combined, he was more likely to push, over extend, do harm to himself and those were things that could throw him out of the loop outside of the flight. Those were things that needed to be avoided.

But he was doing well, he was well aged into the ways of flight, and he knew what needed to be done. Mentally, Zenjarth fluttered his rider away and focused purely on the queen before him, not wanting anything to distract himself away from her. He was doing well, while not primarily at the front of the pack, he was at a place where he could comfortably say he was not going to fall behind anytime soon. He wanted it to remain that way for the time being, though he had no intentions of slipping behind at any point in time.

When she dove, he followed after, when she twisted, he twisted with her. She was a spectacular specimen, and were he in any other situation, he would stop to admire her as she sliced through the air. But this wasn't a matter were stopping could be afforded. If he paused, even for a fraction of a breath, that could cost him everything. If he won, when he won, he would take the opportunity to watch his mate plenty of times from both the ground and the sky as she moved, take joy in lavishing her with attention in words and mind and touch. For now, he would chase, and he would wait for the moment when she decided that he was the one she wanted.

Then it came. Zenjarth, I choose you! Your strength and experience will guide this Weyr once more. He bugled his triumph as his dark queen started to twine with him, as their wings flared, as they began their own private flight through the air. On the ground, L'van was thrown into his body in shock, surprised that it had happened not for the first time, but for the second, and what he'd intended to do couldn't happen - he felt Safryn's hand in his, felt them walk towards the bedroom, and by then, everything else was lost until the fogs of flight cleared.
Dirce L'van D'kellen D'ante V'ric Na'vi K'rios J'on
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