Learning to Fly
He sighed, cautious in his skepticism. To be asked to fly without a machine seemed odd, even if he had dreams at night over how natural it felt to fly. Although not asked to do so, he continued to flex his wings as he stood there to familiarize himself with their movements so he could more easily time them together in one smooth motion. The strangeness of the situation was wearing off at the least, so he could concentrate on more complicated challenges. "Right then. A little more of that, and we'll continue the lesson with assisted flight. At least they decided to give you a mare body, as the females of our species are more light and lithe than the male counterparts. I might actually be able to carry you without pulling a tendon again." Danny wasn't paying attention on the palomino so much, more focused on his exercises and trying to prepare his timing.
It was quite a surprise to feel something hot brush up against him from behind along with the hot oat-scented breath from the stronger taller male. "I'm going to pick you up around your middle and then we'll continue the lesson, but first you should fold up your wings so they won't get in the way. You can spread them out once I drop you." Just as Danny was folding his wings and digesting the words through his innate nervousness, a cold panic set into his insides when he heard the last three words of the flightmaster's command. "I drop you", in other words, he was going to learn to swim by getting dropped in the deep end of the pool and expected to either drown or figure it out in just a few seconds. He was going to yell out for Jarvi to wait, but his halted response was too late as he felt one strong paw across his navel and another wrapped around his pert tiny aerodynamic breasts.
Whatever perverse things might be implied by such an overt action were soon dispelled by platonic professionalism when the pegasi instructor got down to brass tacks and began his lesson. As with other athletic affairs, this would be more a physical demonstration than so much as an actual lecture. Daniel wondered why Jarvi was so much more buff than other examples of his species, and this was probably why, having the job of carrying another pegasi to add to his own weight. The creaking of tendon and bone in the older pegasus male's wingframe seemed to strain under the additional stress while Daniel closed his eyes against the sharp cold winds buffeting him once they had left the sheltered safety of the landing pad. He came to the conclusion that it had to be so windy to make the act of flight easier, if turbulent. Strong breezes certainly assisted flight and allowed better conservation of energy through gliding, but course corrections would be problematic due to competing wind directions.
The weather up here was much too loud to speak and be heard over, so Jarvi simply gave daniel a few firm squeezes when he had reached an acceptable height. He had the intuition to realize this as the moment of truth, that he would suddenly lose the support holding him up. At first he fought against the grip like a drowning man, wanting desperately not to fall to his death. Jarvi, expecting such a desperate fight, had a knowledge of techniques that would harmlessly disentangle them so the trainee could separate and fall down at their own pace. Once freed, his wings opened like a parachute, but he had struggles in trying to keep them spread and level to catch the updrift geysers of hot air billowing up like random pockets of warmth. He lacked the intuition for it, so he ended up missing more than he caught and was on a downward spinning spiral to the rocky ground below.
By sheerest luck, or perhaps frantic flapping out of fear, he managed to dodge most of the crags and outcroppings of rock on the jagged face of the mountain with only a few pointy edges or dead tree roots poking out snagging at his fur and wings like claws. Half the time, his eyes were tightly shut againstt the onrushing gails fluttering past his effeminate slim body, while the rest of the time was spent on trying to gauge the distance between himself and the structures of the mountain or especially the ground itself. After all, it wasn't the fall he was so much afraid of but the sudden stop once he got there. He opened his eyes a bit wider and tried even harder to flap his wings in unison like a choreographed duet of feathered rainbows, but only clumsily faltered through the exercise as he expected to hit the trees and grassy plains of the valley below any second. His body braced for the impact and the expectation of a lot of pain.
Daniel shouldn't have been so surprised by the promptness of his rescue when Jarvi swooped in like a cross between a bird of prey and Superman to save the day. One minute he was falling flat on his face while flailing around helplessly, and the next minute he was gliding slowly down to the ground in controlled flight once more as those same strong arms grabbed him as gentle as possible about the middle. Once they were safely on their hooves in a grassy plain, the older more experienced pegasi dropped back into his lecture as if nothing had happened and one of his students hadn't just nearly died. ''This is also something you humanfolk tend to not get right the first time. But as they say, try try again, and competence will follow. This is really more of a test anyway, to weed out the prodigies from those that require more focused schooling." During the course of the mini lecture, Daniel was on his hands and knees vomiting both from vertigo and the unexpected fear of death combined with its unexpected reprieve. Going through that whole ordeal was quite traumatic, and he suspected that Jarvi did that to newcomers not to be a smug bastard, but to instill in new pegasi the very real dangers of occupational flying. After all, most people who get on a motorcycle for the first time are convinced of their own sense of immortality and rarely ever learn the truth before it became too late.
Written by FluffyPony on 24 January 2016
A long way up