Posted on Fri Mar 1st, 2013 @ 11:48pm by Celestial Angel
Location: Shadow Word, Stark Academy, Celebration Amphitheater
Timeline: November 28, 2011
Angel watched as the others took their own methods of transport or paired off with their instructor for classes, only once they were nearly alone did she look at Oriel. "I really hate being bad at anything," she confided, chewing her lower lip.
"Angels in general hate being bad at anything," Oriel replied, "you know, being part of the armies of Heavens and all that." He grinned as he empathized with her and teased them both. "I did a LOT of crashing as a fledge, so don't feel bad."
"Doesn't mean I have to like it," Angel muttered but a hint of a smile touched her lips, she was actually looking forward to flying just not the learning curve, "so how do we start?"
"With instinct," he replied. "The Divine part of you is winged and you have instincts built into you how to fly. And while birds are the same way, instinct and actual physical use aren't exactly the same thing." He smiled reassuringly, "Today, I was going to introduce you to assisted gliding, a thing we do if one of us is wounded in the air and another is nearby to help them reach a stable place to rest and heal. Or, in today's case, to keep yourself aloft while I propel us to get somewhere fast." Then he raised a cautionary finger on his right hand, "If you're actually a Harbinger, as everyone believes, its likely you'll be able to do things I can't and you might be able to 'Crash us right to where we need to go or," he shrugged, "almost anywhere else in a day's journey, up or down the World Ladder."
"So is there anything I shouldn't do?" Angel asked with concern, "I mean that doesn't sound good so is there a way to avoid it?"
"Panic," Oriel told her. "Don't do that, ever. If you panic you could start flailing around and hurt yourself and everyone else around you. As a Divine, your wings are one of your primary weapons and you can do a great deal of damage if you're not careful."
"I'm not really afraid of heights so I think I will be okay," Angel said with a smile, the first one since she had been told she was flying, "I guess I am ready whenever you are?"
"Yes," Oriel nodded and brought his right wing around over his shoulder as he stood there and spread the feathers like the fingers of a hand. "Our wings are extra limbs and we can control them like arms, or feet, if needed. Our feathers look normal but they're much stronger than a bird's of the same size, more durable and we can control them individually like fingers. This is especially useful when you're using them to fight and you're in mixed company of foe and friend."
"Oh?" Angel asked, flexing her wings outward and trying to 'spread' the feathers as she would her fingers, as she did it she began her usual warm up stretches, straightening her spine and firming her thighs in ‘mountain pose' and bringing her arms out then up over her head as she took a deep breath then bringing her hands together and down and folding her wings as she exhaled.
Oriel nodded, "Yes, as you become more in tune with your wings you'll develop a heightened awareness of your immediate surroundings, so much so that you can sense anything that gets within a certain range of you. It's nearly impossible to catch us unaware if we're alert and extremely hard, even if we're not. This will allow you to fight in all directions, even in direction you're not facing and cannot see with your eyes."
"Very, very useful," Angel said, her voice already calmer as she repeated the motion, watching him as she breathed slow and smooth through her nose. After she had done three repetitions she nodded, she could stretch like this for an hour, but decided this was enough.
"Spread your wings and shut your eyes," Oriel told her gently. "Relax, allow yourself to sense the wind moving across your wings, across your feathers, feel the vibrations and tilt your wings until you feel the wind along the underside. Play with the buoyancy, feel the strength of that tiny breeze and how buoyant it makes you..." his voice trailed off as he watched her.
Angel did as he bid, staying in mountain pose, palms facing outward, eyes falling closed she spread her wings and just focused on the wind moving around her. As she breathed slow and even she slowly became aware of the wind moving through her feathers. That thought derailed her progress for a time and put a smirk on her face.
"Sorry, just never thought I would hear ‘my feathers' as part of my internal dialogue," she shook off the smirk and returned to a neutral pose, again breathing deeply and trying to sense the wind. Again that extra awareness began to build as she breathed and turned her feathers this way and that until she felt them almost catch, felt them creating low and high pressure that pushed her away from the ground without really lifting her.
"Open your eyes," he said softly, his voice oddly below and in front of her.
Slowly Angel opened her eyes, and looked...down? Oriel was a few feet below her and she was floating gently a few feet off the ground, her pink lips made a small 'o' of surprise and her eyes went wide.
"Its easier if you just allow yourself to do it," Oriel smiled at her with satisfaction. "If you tilt your feathers upward, ever so slightly, you'll drop to the ground. Keep your wings extended when you do and I'll teach you another very handy trick," he added.
Angel let her eyes close again and did as he said, not trying to tell her feathers what to do but just let them act on instinct. She knew she'd done it when she felt her feet touching down on the earth again and opened her eyes to beam at Oriel.
He raised his hands and clapped, just for her. "That was an amazing first effort! We'll get you flying on your own in no time," he grinned, "but for now, we've got a Rite to get to and," he looked around, "it looks like everyone else had left us behind. So, we need to get moving."
Angel smiled brilliantly, delight obvious in her features, "Alright, let's go!"