Ista Weyr Leadership Flight: 25 June 2009

Ista Weyr - Feeding Grounds

Ronalth lands amongst the beasts with a startling roar. She turns first one way, then the other, before selecting a particularly large beast, catching it in her claws, and draining it dry of blood.

Her bugle of challenge to the bronzes, both new and old, rings throughout the Weyr.

Brimneth lands a good distance away from the gold and quickly selects a beast and drains it. He didn't need many because of his recent feeding early that morning. He gave a roar at the gathering dragons and lanched himself to the rim to wait. Bunching his rear leg muscles up under him, he watched as Ronalth made her kills.

Pomth dove down into the feeding grounds and landed on top of a beast. He quickly slashed open its neck and began to suck the blood. Once he was finished he lifted his bloody maw and roared his own challenge. He launched himself up and onto another beast and grabbing it in his mouth, took it up to a ledge where he could finish it off and then wait for Ronalth to lift off.

Seventh glides into the feeding grounds and drops onto a buck, quickly tearing it's throat open and draining it of the blood. Once finished, the huge bronze, who had fed the night before, winged his way to a ledge unoccupied by a weyr and roared a challenge to Ronalth and the other bronzes present.

Sabieth winged in low over the pens, swooping down to catch a fat herdbeast, neatly breaking the creature's neck as he landed on a ledge to drain the unfortunate beast of its energy-providing blood. The bronze kept one eye on the Golden prize as he drank deeply and quickly before tossing the spent carcass away and launching himself for another. The second was dealt with as quickly.

Sabieth felt the touch of his rider's mind and his acceptance of the event but it was a dim fog in the back of his thoughts. Nothing else took precedence now but for the beautifully glowing Queen. She was the entire focus of his thoughts and his entire attention was on her. He cared not for the other bronze beasts nor for the petty concerns his rider might have.

Ronalth hisses at the bronzes. How /dare/ they even consider themselves worthy of her. She dove on another buck, snapping his neck with one clean strike before draining him dry as well. Her lustrous hide glowing brightly in the midday light, she bugled her intentions once more. One of them would win her, but whom?

Murth emerged from between and glided quickly to a halt, his rider jumping agilely off of his neck. The young bronze quickly launched himself at the herd, snatching a fat wherry buck in one foreleg, and a hen in the other. He retreated to a nearby ledge to drain the beasts of their blood, knowing he would need every bit of advantage he could hope for to win this flight.

As he fed his eyes swept the other bronzes, gauging their possible weaknesses and his advantages. They all just about had him in size, but his agility would perhaps be a benefit for him. His smaller size gave him more maneuverability.. It was something. Would it be enough? Only time would tell.

As soon as V'din dismounted he quickly made his way across the bowl to the steps leading to the Weyrwoman's Weyr, wincing slightly as his bare feet made contact with rocks and stones. The small discomfort was barely noticed though, with his bronze's lust quickly affecting the young rider's body.

Ronalth tossed her third blooded kill away with a hiss to the bronzes then, bugling her challenge she took to the air, her powerful legs propelling her up and forward towards the clouds.

Murth kept his eye on the glowing Gold beauty and noted a slight tensing of her rear legs that heralded a leap into flight. The young bronze timed his own ascent with hers, his roar melding with and answering her defiant challenge as he followed close on her heels up, up, up, into the sky. His small size gave him a bit of an advantage over the larger, heavier built bronzes, but he knew that advantage would be for nothing if he wore himself out prematurely so he conserved his strength, allowing her to put several dragonlengths between them as she climbed.

It was enough for now that he was the first to follow her. A Gold flight was not won in minutes..no, it would be a long and strenuous flight, but he hoped his experience in catching greens coupled with his agility and maneuverability would stand him in good stead today.

Sabieth crouched on the ledge he had chosen, the drained carcass of his second blooded kill discarded to the side. His eyes flashed red as he stared hard at the object of his desire, the quickly whirling facets tracking Ronalth's every movement as he awaited the moment when the Queen would launch herself off the ground, taking to the air for an instinctive chase-and-capture that would culminate in a new mate for the Gold dragon, a new clutch for the Weyr, and a new Weyrleader.

Suddenly Ronalth finished blooding her third kill and hissed at the gathered bronzes, launching herself skyward with a challenging roar. A bronze streak followed, one of the younger, smaller bronzes, but Sabieth wasted no time in determining which as he shoved off with his powerful rear legs. His wings bore down in that all important downstroke at the same time, the momentum lifting him off of the ground with a mighty effort that had him following not far behind the other bronze chaser.

Ronalth ducks into a cloud, pausing for a moment before plummeting out of it, spreading her wings wide and taunting her chasers as she catches a thermal and rises even higher into the sky.

Seventh had waited a moment, gauging the distance and direction of the gold, and when he found an opening, he shot up in a thunder, his great leg muscles working in tandem with the powerful sweep of the huge wings to shoot him skyward.

He leveled out just below the queen, closing the distance at a thunderous pace. The great wings worked overtime as he pushed himself closer to the object of his desire and began cutting ahead of the other bronzes in the chase. He wasted no breath on bugling, simply conserving it for the chase.

Even as he closed, he kept an eye on the queen, determined not to be fooled by sudden, unexpected movements by the gold.

Sabieth kept his eye on Ronalth while maneuvering carefully to keep within a close enough distance to make a catch should the opportunity arise. When the Queen ducked into a cloud, the bronze was close behind, staying slightly below her to keep the glowing golden body well within sight even though the misty whiteness partially obscured her for a few long moments.

As a result the canny bronze was close enough to locate a matching ride on a nearby thermal, rising almost effortlessly as he chased the alluring female with whom he wished to mate. A low croon of admiration burst from his throat, all but lost in the rushing winds.

He paid scant attention to the other bronzes still chasing, except to note their position in the sky in order to avoid collisions with them. The male knew from his previous mating flights that the quickest way to lose the prize was to focus on the other contenders rather than the object of his desire.

Murth angled his flight on a course he hoped would intersect Ronalth's right before she disappeared into the cloud cover. His surprise was such that he didn't have time to brake and soon shot into the clouds himself. He began to despair as he lost sight of the glowing golden body for a long moment but just as he decided to fold his wings and dive from the clouds to search for her, he emerged from the obscuring whiteness and caught a glimpse of shining gold.

His heart lifted as he realized the beauty had risen above the clouds after entering them but the small bronze's trajectory was not on a course with his. With an astounding agility only a bronze of his small stature could exhibit, the chasing dragon executed a tight, mid air turn, seeming to pivot almost on a wingtip.

Now Murth was in a good position and put on a well controlled burst of speed, lacking only a few dragonlengths of height needed to be close enough to the Queen for an attempt, should the opportunity arise.

Ronalth spares a look back at her pursuers, than turns quickly, shooting off at ninety degrees to her original trajectory. Let's see how they handle that.

Seventh, slightly back and just a few dragonlengths lower than both the gold and the bronze nearest her, had been awaiting a move like that, and he banked smoothly to follow, gaining altitude at the same time by utilizing deft, powerful wingstrokes to raise himself just below the gold and in front of his nearest competitor by a few dragonlengths.

He could almost taste victory, but he watched carefully, for queens had many tricks, and he watched for those and the unevitable mistake the gold was bound to make, as well.

Murth gave another delighted bugle, knowing that he had an advantage again in this trick of Ronalth's, an advantage of smaller than usual size for a bronze, though he was by no means petite. His smaller size meant less stamina, and he was beginning to tire, but he could possibly make up some distance now.

Ronalth's turn had her going away from him at a right angle, and to do the same type of tight turn he would still be below her and parallel to her but that wouldn't allow him the right position for a catch. No, he needed to intersect with her if he had any hopes of winning the flight. So the young bronze calculated carefully and angled his flight just enough to put him on a direct course of intersection with the Gold.

Now, if only his burning wing muscles could hold out, but he would push himself to his last ounce of strength to win this flight..if he could just keep up for a bit longer.

Sabieth's eyes just caught the tell tale bunching of the Gold's muscles before she threw herself into a truly astounding maneuver, given her vast size. The bronze couldn't help but be impressed by her daring and knew that only daring to match her own could catch her attention. Now…now was the time to make his move, especially as the other bronzes were closing in for their own attempts.

Luckily he had been moving mostly parallel to Ronalth while still gaining some altitude, and even with her turn, she was now moving directly above him. The sun sparkled on the bronze hide as he made his move, knowing exactly where the nearby thermal was that he needed for the maneuver. He side slipped into it and used it to rise up in an intense spiral nearly straight upwards and fast fast faster than even he had thought possible.

He pulled out of the thermal at the crucial moment, slipping in behind Ronalth a few lengths, all his attention focused on the alluring Queen.

Ronalth allows herself one more glance back at her persuers and nearly falters a beat, where had that tiny bronze come from?! She hissed at Murth. How dare he! She beat her wings harder, the runt would surely not catch her gloriousness.

Seventh saw just the opening he wanted. So far, he was doing well enough, but another bronze had moved in front of him, and above. He knew without a doubt that it was time to act, and act quickly, yet surely.

He knew there was a thermal just ahead, one which would carry him up and into range of the gold, and he took it without hesitation, swooping upward with grace and sureness, leveling out with a snap and beginning to pump his wings with renewed vigor. The huge bronze had gained, and he was within a dragonlength of the gold, just back and to the right, and on a level plane.

He knew he was going to tire eventually, but he felt just as fresh as when the flight began. His tremendous stamina could be the thing that saved him in this flight.

Ronalth hissed at the approaching bronzes, beating her wings harder in the attempt to escape their pursuit.

Brimenth had lanched a few seconds after Ronath and was now about third behind her.When he saw her turn he curved his wings and rolled to follow and then stretched his wings taunt and rose on a thermal. Once he was just a little below her he evened out flapped a little to gain some more speed. He watched the other bronzes closely and gauged their distance from the queen. He saw that two where near her and roared his challenage. Pumping his wings he shot forward to close the distance.

Pomth launched himself after his kill and flew behind some of the larger bronzes. He hissed at the others in anger at lanching before him. He pumped his wings to try and make up lost ground and came up about close to the front but still a good distance from the gold. He searched the air around him for a heat thermal to help he.

Murth was so close to Ronalth he could hear her hiss and it gave him heart. When the Gold increased her speed, he knew it was time to make his move. The other bronzes were closing in and rapidly. He would *not* miss his chance at the glorious beauty. He heard but ignored Brimneth's roaring challenge, refusing to be distracted from his goal.

As the Queen raced away from him he beat his wings mightily; the wind put less resistance on his smaller sails than it would the larger beasts, allowing him to rise quicker than they could with less effort. He soared to a couple of dragonlengths above Ronalth and then folded his wings and dove at her, his body a bronze dart arrowing towards her with the tremendous speed of his dive. At his close distance he was upon her in an instant, giving her no chance to escape his capture.

The young bronze bugled with fierce exultation as his talons gripped her flanks, and he quickly twined neck and tail with her as he spread his wings to slow their descent knowing that he had captured the beautiful prize.

Ronalth emitted a brazen bugle. How dare he!?! How dare such a little on presume to outmanouver her. She struggled beneath him, trying to break free, trying to… She spread her wings, accepting the bold little bronze, this woul be an interesting flight.

Sabieth gathered himself for an attempt at Ronalth and prepared to lunge forward, only to see the bronze blur that was Murth a split second before he executed his move. The larger bronze bellowed in frustration and just managed to turn his lunge into a dive, narrowly avoiding a collision with the now entwined pair.

He banked slowly into a turn that would take him back to the feeding grounds, where he planned on subverting his frustration by feasting on herdbeast. If he could not feed one hunger, he could and would another.

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