Graduation to Senior Weyrling (clutch 13)

15th October 2005
Logged by G'deon

Central Bowl
Seven spindles brush the clouds overhead, displaying a jagged, spired cotillion grey-stoned majesty. The bowl from here is expansively large, extending a full half-mile in both directions, and though a bit of a stretch at times, most of the hubs of activity can be easily observed. Hard-packed ground shows the common pathways, all of them meandering about the craggy bunch of boulders that form a centerpiece within the middle of the otherwise vast emptiness.
The hatching grounds and leadership weyrs are located to the north, while the sounds of herdbeasts noisily allude to the pens slightly east of there. Constant traffic marks the entrance to the westward living caverns, and a glance southeast reveals the cold, glittering, glacial lake.
It is an autumn noon. As the sun shines above in the crystal blue sky, the yellows and reds and oranges of the trees shine in the warm summer-like day.

Casseth folds her wings primly back and down, and snakes head and tail in counterbalancing, sweeping excitement while her rider pats her foreleg and beams uncertainly towards the other weyrlings.

Having dismounted, Eshe takes up her place next to Strakath, gathering her hands behind her back, glancing up and down the line of weyrlings, ready to graduate.

G'deon walks into the area with a purposeful stride. He holds up a hand for attention, then asks the junior weyrlings to line up in front of him. The weyrleader has a large washed leather bag at his side, bulging with what can only be the weyrlings' new knots. "Weyrlings! When I call your name, please step forward," he instructs, voice pitched to carry beyond the eleven junior riders.

Feitoveth is high shouldered, folded wings. I'anex is in front, in the freshly formed line, trying to keep his feet planted instead of using them to wander away from the line to burn excess energy. His own shoulders are up, posture strongly straight, in preparation. His eyes watch the weyrleader.

V'enn watches, too, but one of his hands is tugging quietly, furtively at his uniform's vest. Then his other hand catches it, holds, interlaces fingers behind his back, and he blinks even as his green does, as she settles back with distinct approval spinning eyes and mood to those who can taste it.

Eshe looks back at G'deon, giving a nod, happy to be here in the first place, rather than watching this from her ledge. But she is here. Waiting. Patiently. Feet only moving a little bit. Next to her, Strakath is calmer, sitting back on his haunches, watching the weyrleader with cool blue eyes.

A crowd of younger weyrfolk have gathered off to the side, pointing and talking quietly as they watch the ceremony. A couple of the girls point out some of the male weyrlings and giggle lightly, but they're harshly shushed by a nearby adult.

G'deon nods once, seeing things are ready, then begins calling out names one by one, handing each of the weyrlings their new knots with extra threads to place them as senior weyrlings. "Auryn, rider of brown Animuth. Azure, rider of blue Skyth. Eloise, rider of blue Spruceth. Eshe, rider of brown Strakath. H'bit, rider of green Doorth. I'anex, rider of bronze Feitoveth. Liza, rider of green Ikth. L'ost, rider of blue Marblth. S'mon, rider of green Sleevth. Vain, rider of green Envyth. V'enn, rider of green Casseth." Yes, it's alphabetical. Most efficient. "Welcome to Quagmire Wing." Is that a hint of a grin in the weyrleader's expression?

Shazi doesn't need to giggle. Clinging to her solitary spot, her hands shoved into her pockets, she simply oggles any that are worth oggling. She sighs, a dreamy pout pursing her lips.

"Did he say /quackmire/?" asks one of the younger teens off to the side, his pimply face screwed up in confusion. "What's a quackmire?" "Dimglow, he said QUAGmire," adds one of the girls, until they're both hushed again by the same adult from earlier.

Envyth touches down. Late. Vain drops to the ground quickly, obviously having spent a great deal of time on her appearance for this special occasion. Every hair is in place, and kohl has been meticulously applied to her eyes with an unfortunate staring effect. And even though her name's already been called, she wiggles in next to V'enn and puts out her hand to receive her new knot.

I'anex does a quick step forward to accept the knot, with a brisk nod (quick smile) to accentuate. All brisk, all quick, largely through natural tendencies - and 'Quagmire?' is quickly, and amusedly (and confusedly!) telegraphed back to Feitoveth as he regains his place in the line.

V'enn grips his new knot fiercely, his other hand fisted at his side, and his eyes are banner-bright with pride and relief both. Casseth rattles her wingspars against her side, but quietly, very quietly.

Eshe lets out a breath of air as she hears her name called, walks forward to accept the new knot, mumbles a "thank you," and then returns to her spot by Strakath, fingering it with a smile. A smile which disappears the moment as she hears the name of their wing. Quagmire? Not exactly.. The stuff of legends, is it? She looks up as Vain and Envyth arrive and gives a shake of the head, the smile back in place now.

"I bet it'll feel like a quagmire, afore they're done," one hushed, sour-faced, resident mutters to another.

H'bit accepts his knot in his rolling sort of way. As the wing name is announced, two bushy brows shoot up, matched by a quick toe-hop as the weyrling looks most speculative. He even goes so far as to mouth the new wing name to himself, or perhaps to Doorth.

Ignoring, well… pretty much everything that's out of place, G'deon waits only for the worst of the hubbub to die down before plowing onward. "You are now senior weyrlings, which graduates you to new duties and expectations. You will deliver firestone during threadfall. You will be allowed to travel on your own, assuming you behave as a full rider should, and that you are present and accounted for during your lessons, chores and assigned duties. Over the next three months you'll get first-hand knowledge of thread and what it can do, and what it can't, and you'll have your last chances to show us you're worthy of joining our full fighting wings. Weyrlings, are you ready for that?" G'deon finishes, this time smiling in earnest, though it's a rather somber sort of smile.

Shazi shifts on her feet, giggling, as she abandons the pursuit of eye-candy and turns her gaze to seek out the muttering speaker. Had to be nearby.

A definite snort comes from the gaggle of teens, though this time the adult doesn't settle for a mere hush but actually backhands the youth nearest him. The pimply youth from earlier scowls at the adult and begins to rub his shoulder, looking overly injured.

I'anex salutes, broadly. "Yes, sir!" is noted with more earnestness than enthusiasm (the latter requiring some sort of heel bouncing, inappropriate).

K'nex is here, and mostly has been here along with most of the rest fo the weyrlingmasters. Physically, at least, anyway. Cleaned up, though, certainly. He's unsurprised as some people are at the name of the wing and who's graduationg - he knew that stuff already. He claps like other do, but he doesn't smile.

Vain snaps to some sort of salute as well, careful not to disturb her careful coiffure. Silence is assent, right?

V'enn keeps his response to a silent salute, too, but some of his shining has dimmed, tarnished by strain that echoes down rigid shoulders and legs.

"Yes, sir," Eshe calls as G'deon finishes his speech, straightning with her fingers still fiddling the knot in her hands and thus no salute. New and sparkly knot, you know. Those giggling and snorting teens are completely ignored as the /senior/ weyrling gives the weyrleader a most serious and heartfelt nod of affirmation. Yes, ready. Definitely.

H'bit calls forth an, "Oh, yes sir!" as he beams across the short distance at the weyrlingmaster. Doorth leans forward enough to touch her green shoulder to her rider's, and the weyrling subsides instantly. Yes, yes. Mustn't seem /too/ excited.

G'deon studies the weyrlings one by one. His eyes lose focus for the briefest of seconds before he nods once and removes two last bits of knot work from the bag. They're tassels. One is of a silvery material, the other of gold to match his own, both much smaller than a normal wingrider's, but definitely miniature replicas of a wingleader and wingsecond.

H'bit leans forward as his eyes spot the sparkly tassels, and no amount of leaning from his lifemate, mental or physical, can stop it. There's another little toe-hop before a murmured comment from Eloise reminds him to settle down.

Shazi sweeps her hair back over her shoulders when she realizes that it's swept forward yet again, and shifts on her feet, sudden boredom drawing her attention to the crowd. She catches the interested murmur of her neighbors and her own is suddenly reinvested in the scene.

I'anex's eyes are carefully focused - for a moment. As G'deon removes the knot tassels (quick stomach-lung clench), his eyes go whipping nervously away to the weyrling staff. First, second parents. There. Back to G'deon.

V'enn sticks with G'deon, definitely. No looking elsewhere. (No looking /back,/ at patiently waiting, blue-eyed green dragon.) He tucks his knot into hands cupped behind his back again and visibly relaxes his shoulders, at least, while eyes pin widely grey on the Weyrleader and the shinies in hand.

Eshe tries hard not to see what G'deon has produced from his bag, glancing sideways in a pretence to look at Strakath, who is still calmly watching the weyrleader. She takes a deep breath, then shakes her head and drops her eyes to her hand, closely studying the knot she's holding, fingers clenching it just a little too hard.

Vain misses the tassels altogether - she's busy twirling her new knot in her hand and testing to see how well it goes with her outfit. So it's a uniform. It still has /style/, darnit. Leaning into Azure next to her she can be heard to murmur, "Do you think this blue will bring out my eyes?" Azure elbows her. "Shhh. He's not done yet."

"As many of you can probably imagine," G'deon says, his voice only mildly drawled as he steps forward a pace, "this final decision was the most difficult for your clutch. We feel confident in our choices, however, and ask you to do the same. And if there are /any/ disagreements," he adds with a hard look at a couple of the weyrlings, "I ask you to come to me or a weyrlingmaster." A little out of the norm, but so is this class. G'deon takes another slow step forward, blue-eyed gaze sweeping the young riders in front of him. "A wingleader and 'second in the weyrling wing are chosen for many reasons, both for their own personal growth and for that of the wing. Can they lead? Can they think? Can they support? And perhaps more importantly, will the others follow?" Dragging it out a little, Gid? "I'anex and V'enn. I trust you will serve us well as wingleader and wingsecond. Should you have any questions or worries, there are many mentors who are more than willing to give you a hand. Please step forward, both of you."

One step forward, unsteady, landed more on the side of the sole than on the flat. This is corrected by a timely turn of ankle. I'anex holds his hand steady and out with the knot laid on top, only to experience a burst of self consciousness, reach across himself, and lift the knot between too fingers, at 'ready.' By this point, he's in front of G'deon. He ducks his head in a partial bow, making no move for the tassel, his spare hand limp and uncertain by his side. "Sir."

Emotion jolts V'enn forward that step, next to his new wingleader, who gets a swift, 'mazed glance that swings as quickly back around and up to G'deon. "Yes, sir," he manages, tenor shaky but clear. "Th-thank you, sir. We'll do our best. In everything."

Eshe can't keep back a snort as the names are announced, even if they were expected. Keeping her eyes on the knot in her hands, she keeps her face under control enough that she seems unaffected by the news. Her shoulders tense, though, and fingers clenching the knot become more white and begin to tremble slightly.

H'bit deflates a little bit as the wingleader and wingsecond are announced. But only for a second. His little mind is quickly at work as he turns towards his two newly promoted wingmates, and a downright devious expression ensues. Calculating is something H'bit does best, after all.

Luckily for Eshe and her snort, G'deon is focused on the two young men in front of him right now. He gives them a cursory smile before handing the silver tassel to V'enn, accompanied by a handshake, then follows suit with I'anex and the gold tassel. "I think you two will work well together. And I think you will both do an excellent job in leading your wing. Congratulations, wingleader. Wingsecond."

I'anex takes both tassel and handshake with demeanor that would be over-rapid indeed if he didn't school himself. He lets the handshake stand just a moment with a "Thank you. We - we won't let you down, sir," the last with sudden confidence and a half smile. And he withdraws back to the line.

Vain ohs quietly and looks up in time to see I'anex and V'enn accepting their knots. "Those would so clash with my outfit," she hisses to Azure, who elbows her again.

V'enn does his best to juggle knot, tassel, and handshake, and doesn't drop a one of them. Victory. "Yes, sir," is all he says, softly, before he nods his way back into the line.

Fingers still clutching her knot, Eshe crosses her arms over her chest, looking none too pleased as she raises her gaze to watch as I'anex and V'enn are handed their tassles. She glances sideways at S'mon, who gives her a bit of a comforting smile and a shrug of his shoulders.

Eloise sighs softly and leans against H'bit, who looks both surprised and baffled to find her there. "Isn't he just dreamy?" says the girl to the rather round weyrling. H'bit turns to stare at I'anex and V'enn, perhaps trying to figure out which one she could possibly be talking about.

S'mon smiles in an elfish sort of way and grins at L'ost. "When she goes, she's gone. If she stays, she stays here." L'ost just stares at him before the impish one continues, "The girl does what she wants to do. She knows what she wants to do. And I know I'm fakin' it. I'm not really makin' it."

G'deon clears his throat slightly and raises his voice. "Without further ado, I give you our new Quagmire Wing. Though I'm hoping you guys learn to build a /bridge/ over that mire." The last is said with a stony look at the brown rider in the group.

I'anex begins to assemble his knot, stops, and tucks it between thumb and palm. His eyes pass over the audience, and the half smile tries itself into a full one.

V'enn nods solemnly for the injunction, looks again at I'anex and then the whole line, and then studies the knot and tassel nestled in his palm, lip bit in the thought that creases a line between his brows.

H'bit begins to clap enthusiastically, beaming a smile at his wingmates. "I do say, S'mon, that had a rather lyrical taste to it. Is there more?" S'mon, however, waves off the fellow green rider and begins to clap as well. Yes, they're congratulating themselves. It's better than standing around mutely.

Eshe narrows her eyes a bit as G'deon speaks, then stuffs the new knot in her pocket, seeming ready to leave, even to the point of taking a step toward Strakath. She pauses, then, and waits for a dismissal, whether it comes from the weyrleader or the new wingleader is of little matter to her at this point.

Azure breaks formation to run over to Eloise and give her a big hug, bubbling over about how she can't believe they made it, and how she's invited so and so from the caverns for a last weyrwarming party. The two wander off towards the caverns, chatting quickly.

G'deon watches the weyrlings with a faint smile, glances over at Nylanth for a moment, then slowly makes his way north, soon followed by a slowly lumbering bronze, the two conferring quietly. I guess that's it.

I'anex dips a sudden bow to no one in particular and breaks full away toward the living caverns. Feitoveth rumbles, and withdraws himself toward the edges of the bowl.

S'mon gives L'ost and H'bit a cocky grin and nods his head toward Azure and Eloise. "Think they want some company?" he asks, much too innocently. "Oh, I think we can arrange that!" exclaims H'bit, his cheerful face lighting up with mischief. L'ost, however, glances off towards the pens. "Uh… I'll catch up with you all. Marblth is feeling peckish.

Vain is suddenly left with no Azure beside her. Oh well, she has her shiny knot. She fiddles with the exact placement of it, completely ignoring everyone else.

V'enn trades a few words and smiles with his fellows and a few in the crowd (an older couple are there to all but smother him with proud embraces). Then he and Casseth share their own fiercely private moment - her nuzzling him, him hugging her - and go off on their own to see about making sense of this knot business.

Eshe glances toward I'anex, sees him leave and gives a shrug before mounting Strakath. "Let's go home," she mumbles, taking a tight hold on the straps for the short trip.

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