The thought of sea monsters weighed heavy on the woman's mind constantly, as she knew it must for the rest of the Weyrleaders as well. When the call came for Atricis to lend a hand, the Weyr was eager to respond and support the cause toward a greater good. While their Weyrleader L'van chose to lead the Scouting Mission, the femme brownrider opted to lead the Escort Mission, a show of strength in both endeavors. The Southern Seahold brought trade to the whole of the Atricis settled south, and further to Evanoria Weyrhold and Ivory Tower, so there was every intention to make sure these goods and profits made it to and from port safe and sound.
Ay'li had made sure to prepare all her gear the night before, checking the riding straps, the condition of the firestone sacs and the extra she planned to bring, the drawstring of her bow was taut, her arrows sharpened to a fine honed edge and everything else was prepared as best she could think of. It wasn't often that her practiced skill had come of any use while she lived in Ista and had just been a way to pass the time or try to impress wingmates, but now her archery talent had come in handy quite a few times during her Turns in Atricis so far. The femme brownrider had to admit, the thought of taking down one of these beasts with her arrows from the back of her dragon...sounded pretty epic. She didn't have the mind of a harper, but she could imagine that there could be a song made out of that sort of bravery.
Morning came early for her, rising again before the dawn and checking her preparations once more, just to be sure. Norieth snorted at her that there is such a thing as 'too prepared' and the woman just chuckled and rolled her eyes before carrying on. There was a pleasant surprise at the door when her daughter stopped by to wish her luck and gave her a kiss on the cheek. There was the slightest hesitation in the young woman, but she smiled at her mother as the brownrider moved to embrace her. Ay'li knew better than to make a promise she didn't know if she could keep, but she wasn't going to leave without telling her daughter how much she loved her.
What felt like only a breath later, the Weyrsecond was sitting astride her sandy brown mount and hovering above the Weyryard with very precise ocean coordinates rooted firmly in her mind, and passed down the wing once more to be sure. The next moment the Wing vanished overhead, and slipped between
They appeared again over an open expanse of water, clear horizon as far as the eye could see from here. For the briefest moment, Ay'li felt a panic rising in her chest and she gave a quiet look around at the horizon and then counted the members of her Wing. All were accounted for, so they hadn't lost anyone to the void, but were they lost? The Weyrsecond held the pattern though, stalling for another moment or two as she thought it over, discerning which direction the fleet should be coming from if they needed to fly to find them.
A volunteer Watchrider called out first, arm pointed out over the sea and the green dragon craned her head in the same direction to for a better display. The keen eyes of the watchrider were spot on as just the barest fleck of darkness crept onto the horizon and more specks began to appear as they watched. It was the fleet of ships and Ay'li breathed a soft sigh of relief, and led the dragonriders to greet them into safe harbor.
Norieth made a careful landing on the prow of the leading vessel, gently clutching the rim of the decking as his rider nimbly dismounted. The brown leaned in closer to the deck, the extra sac of firestone hauled from his neck and onto the ship for anyone to use if any fighting brought out. Ay'li moved to greet the Captain of the vessel then, and the man who would be leading this fleet of ships, she introduced herself and represented the Weyr fairly as she spoke with the Captain about preparations and their plans for what to do in case of an encounter. After a while, they'd come to a working arrangement and the Weyrsecond and Captain shook hands before parting ways to tend to their respective crews.
Walking to the prow of the ship, the femme brownrider looked up into the sky of fluttering dragon wings and took a moment to bask in what she was a part of, before the sensible side returned. Reaching out through Norieth, they were able to touch the minds of all the riders under her charge and pass along their orders. Riders at attention! Remain ever vigilant and alert for danger, for these sailors and the South depend on us! Should we encounter these beasts, the ships well be taking evasive and defense maneuvers and we are to provide offensive cover fire to aide in their escape. Keep firestone at the ready! If you run out, you'll find more on the decks of each ship for ease of access. Archers, keep your bows ready and arrows sharp! Watchers, call out at the first sight of a shadow or ripple in the waters. Stay alert Riders of Pern, we don't much about our foes, but they have sunk many ships and taken down a dragon, so use caution and sense, and watch out for your fellow wingmates. Rest while you can, but at the first sign of trouble, all wings in the air!
came the regal baritone voice of the brown, with the words of his inspiring and dedicated rider.
A lasting look was given to the beasts hovering above as they began to drift apart to seek out a landing spot, or others who took first watch and continued to hover above the ships and leading the way. Nori, be my eyes, and spread those big beautiful wings of yours.
The woman said as she walked toward the railing of the ship, smiling up at the sandy brown. The dragon rumbled at the compliment, and she could feel the wash of appreciation from him before the brown let go of the ship and backwinged away from the deck. For a moment, she watched the brown go, every wing beat rising him higher to join the watchers in the sky, but her attention was soon drawn away by a soft chirrup on her ear.
It was Surf, her bronze and blue hybrid flitter, and he had a small scroll in his forepaws that he eagerly handed out to her. She'd left him behind with L'van so the Weyrleader could contact her from anywhere with the firelizard, and it seemed that the man was already eager, or worried to send a message so soon. Unfurling the hide, it was a quick read. Report.
Her lips pulled back into a slight smirk, as she moved to lean against the railing, pulling a piece of writing coal from an inner pocket of her flight jacket. Arrived safely and joined the fleet. Preparations are under way. First watch in the sky. Will send word of any changes.
She wrote with a neat yet hasty hand and rolled the hide back up again. "Take this back to L'van. Be ready for my call though." She instructed the flit, who gave a trill of acknowledgement and took the scroll from her, holding it tightly against his chest before leaping from the ships' railing and popping between
The femme brownrider leaned against the railing then, her eyes drawn the ocean beneath her, and wondering what sort of monster lay hidden in it's depth. Yet all she saw lapping at the wake of the vessel were the shipfish, their gray bodies sleek and streamlining through the water. She watched them for a while, and actually began to find their antics rather playful and amusing, the way they seemed to dances with the waves, or weave amongst each other like a child playing tag. The tension of their mission was lifted momentarily as the brownrider watched the shipfish for a while, admiring their sort of carefree attitude about this endeavor. They would certainly come in handy to spot anything from approaching beneath the ships too, so they had eyes everywhere looking for these beasts. Ay'li wasn't sure which outcome she'd rather have for this mission, an uneventful escort where no one got hurt, or an encounter with one of those monsters and take it down.