Fort Weyr Hatching 1

Fort Weyr: Hatching Grounds

Fort's Hatching Sands are large and elaborate, built in the forgotten days when Fort was The Weyr, home to all the queens of Pern and their many Clutches. The Hatching area is marked off into multiple sections, intended to provide the queens some privacy. The walls between each of the three separate hatching sections are large and thick.

Off of each of the separate ares is a small version of a weyr, designed to accommodate the rider of the Queen(s). The middle of the three hatching sections is the largest, designed for the Senior Queen. The weyr there is slightly larger and better furnished than the other two Hatching Ground Weyrs. When the Senior is not in clutch, junior golds may use the central area.

Blith, having laid her eggs approximately three months previous, was curled around them, her massive eye watching as they wiggled ever so slightly. They are early, but they do not hatch just yet. Okima sat and watched her great gold. "But soon." Blith backed off away from the 24 splottled-cream eggs, and went to push a little more sand up at the dull gold nearest her bulk.

Cr'lan stands at the mouth of the Grounds, waiting for the last stragglers to arrive.

Some of the eggs had begun to wiggle even more than they had been. Oddly, a few were wiggling less. Blith watched the entering Candidates carefully, with slowly swirling eyes of a red-tinged yellow.

Okima stood nearby, watching her dragon. You're going to have to let them go sometime, dear heart…we have some very very fine young men and women, so stop worrying. Okima looked calm, but her mind-voice was a little tense. This was her first clutch here at Fort after all. Hopefully everything would go very smoothly.

Halyn entered the sounds, her gaze sweeping the crowd. She found R'han and Emalyna and waved at her daughter before moving on. Her family was there too. Smiling happily at the sight, she waved to them as well. Then she turned to the queen and the eggs. Bowing respectfully to the queen, she moved a little closer before stopping.

Her eyes were bright with curiousity and excitement. Which egg would Hatch first? What would Hatch? Who would it choose? How long would this take? Would she Impress? So many questions! They would all be answered through the course of the Hatching. Her smile deepened as she watched the eggs and her fellow candidates, as eager as they to see what would happen.

Keahi could scarcely breath when she saw the hatching ground and rocking eggs. The heat hit her like a wall. She shuddered, nervous, and gingerly stepped to the sands. 'They're hotter than I thought… As one egg gave a slightly harder shake, the heat was suddenly forgotten, The eggs are huge! How big are the dragonets? Fear attempted to squeeze her heart in a vice-like grip, but she stubbornly shoved it down.

No! this is what I've waited for. This is what I want to devote my life to.. I. Will. Not. Be. Afraid. she raised her head up, and walked more confidently out onto the sands. Her crystal blue eyes now held a spark of determination.

Braeden emerged onto the sands, his gaze firmly focused ahead. His parents wouldn't be there, there was no reason to look for them. Besides, all his attention was focused on the eggs. Did one of them hold his lifemate? He would soon find out. As would everyone else.

Rani couldn't help but take in an amazed gasp when she saw the hatching ground. The two dozen rocking eggs seemed to immediately bring her back to the matter at hand. She barely even noticed the heat as her gaze settled on the queen egg. She smiled and walked towards it, pausing for a moment to give a respectful bow to the queen She then took a place around the queen egg.

Leonwen was right behind Braeden, "There's so many…" The blonde tugged nervously at the hem of his candidate robe, Why is this thing so thick… I should have made a thinner one… He took a few breaths in an attempt to relax as he moved slightly closer to the eggs.

After giving a bow to the golden Queen, Keahi smiled at Halyn as she took a spot next to her, "Good luck."

Alline steps gingerly onto the sands, keeping her head down as she passes Cr'lan. As the heat gets through her thin-soled shoes, she walks with an increasingly uncomfortable step. She takes her place in a more isolated spot, though near enough to the eggs that she will be easily seen by the hatchlings. She watches the eggs rock with a kind of fascination, like she's never seen a birth before.

Halyn was content with her placement. She could see everything clearly but had enough room to move out of the way if there was a need. Hopefully the other candidates remembered Cr'lan's advice! It would be a shame if her skills were needed. Casting a professional gaze over her fellow candidates, she finally nodded, satisfied that they would be all right, before turning her attention back to the eggs.

They were rocking, the Hatchlings inside them almost ready to enter the world. She grinned at Keahi. "Thanks!" she exclaimed. "I wish you the best too." It was too. The gleam of curiousity and excitement in her eyes had a touch of steel in it as well. She would Impress. It was just a matter of when and what.

Once again, she reminded herself that she had all of Weyrlinghood to prepare for the responsibilities of a queenrider or Wingrider. Either way she would be content. As long as she Impressed, her life would be complete. Though her life was full, there was a sort of space in her mind and heart. A dragonet would fill that.

She reveled in the scene. The smell of the crowd and meat, the hum of the dragons, the heat of the sands. It all made for an unforgettable experience. Hopefully it wouldn't be spoiled by any injuries! Halyn smiled, focusing on the joy of the moment rather than the nervousness that accompanied it. Really, not Impressing wouldn't be devastating because she would have more chances but the waiting and not knowing whether she would have was agonizing. Unfortunately she never really had been a patient person.

It wasn't as hard as she thought it would be to wait. Then again, this was different. She glanced up at Blith and her rider Okima, wondering if they were as nervous as the candidates. Smiling happily, she gazed at the queen egg before focusing on the other eggs. The future of Pern was contained within those shells.

Braeden nodded. The other boy was right. There was the queen egg, somewhat set apart. The girls had gathered around it. Chances were it'd be one of the last to Hatch. He didn't have a chance at it for an obvious reason and he didn't really want it. But those other eggs… Any one of them could contain his future lifemate. Would he Impress? What color? He would have to wait and find out.

Benjour strides onto the sands with his usually quiet calm, he goes to stand with the other boys and then the nerves start here I am again he looks along the line of boys try to relax, just like woolie dont want to alarm them as the heat begins to seep through his boot he shifts from one foot to the other please dont let me be alone on the sands again when this is all over memorys of the rapture on the faces of the other men and boy as they impress and one by one left him alone on the sands run through his mind.

Ioreth wings in with Lawna and finds a ledge from which to welcome the new queen.

Lawna slides off the gold's shoulder and stands, leaning against the hummming bulk of her queen, I thought I'd never find my way out of those tunnels, one wrong turn…

Serah stepped onto the hatching grounds, immediately feeling the hot sands through her sandals. As she looked out over the sands she froze, taken aback by the sheer wonder of the eggs. There were so many! And several looked as if they were about to hatch any moment. She looked up at the queen, a smile on her face. The gold was so impressive! If she could simply impress she would be happy. Before moving, she bowed to the queen, deeply in awe of the dragon.

She turned back to the eggs, nodding slightly to Cr'lan as she passed. She couldn't really be upset at him, she was more bothered by the fact that he hadn't told her.

But now was not the time to think about it. Her stomach fluttered as she walked between the eggs towards Halyn and the other girls. She wanted to touch each egg, comfort the dragons before they hatched but thought better of it in case the queen would not like such an action.

She hadn't realized she had been holding her breath until she reached the others. She let her breath out softly before whispering to Halyn. "They're so beautiful!"

Fithreal stumbled into the hatching grounds, oblivious to the heat against his feet as he looked around in awe. They were so large! So majestic! His eyes were wide as she suddenly remembered to bow to the queen, chiding himself for being so disrespectful. He hung around the back of the boys, watching the numerous beautiful eggs around them, ready to hatch at any moment.

He was almost sure he would wake up from this dream at any moment and yet he didn't. Maybe this was real. Maybe his life was about to change.

Dominic strode onto the grounds, confident in the fact that he would impress even though a small part of him know he might not. But he knew better than to think that he of all people wouldn't impress. He stopped in his quick step, bowing low to the queen, before hurrying across the sands to the other boys, slipping next to Benjour to have a clear view of all the eggs.

He shifted from foot to foot, his sandals giving him almost no protection. "The sands are so hot! The songs say as such, but even I had never imagined this."

Leonwen nodded at Dominic, "Indeed.. it's like a smith's forge…"

"I have never been, but I can only imagine. I feel as if my feet will burn." His eyes scanned over the eggs, trying to decide which would hatch into which, shifting from foot to foot.

Melody followed, bowing to the queen. She then stood staring at the eggs, amazed. Her lower lip was caught between her teeth, and though her feet were burning from the hot sands of the hatching grounds, she did not seem to notice it, as she was too preoccupied by the eggs, the queen, and the humming. Amazing!

As she watched the eggs rocking on the sands, Melody once again began clenching her fists and quickly releasing the pressure to reduce nerves. The humming definitely helped, but better to be safe then sorry. She certainly didn't want to be run over by any hatchlings with sharp claws. She had heard stories about such situations, though she expected half of them were nonsense. But nonetheless, people had been injured many times before at hatchings. She didn't want to be the next.

Keahi smiled at Melody, "Good luck, Melody." She looked at the rest of the rocking eggs, 'I hope there's one here for me…'

Melody looked over at Keahi and somehow managed a nervous smile. "Thanks. Good luck to you, too." She looked back at the eggs. Well, at least she wasn't hungry anymore. If she impressed, she didn't want to feel both her own hunger and that of the dragon. If she impressed. She stared at the eggs in such a longing and hopeful way that you'd think she though staring at them would make them hatch sooner!

Dashing after the candidates, Siron peeks onto the hatching grounds. Oh no, I'm late! Again! And now of all times! He didn't mind it as much for other things, but late for a hatching? No way! Oh good, none have hatched yet. He breathed a sigh of relief, then reported to the candidate master. "Siron here, making a fashionably late entrance!" He saluted as he looked up at Cr'lan.

Sabieth glided into the hatching caverns with his passengers. Winging to a lower spectator ledge, he hovered, grabbing the edge with his front claw to allow R'han to dismount. The rider did so gingerly, being careful of his burden of child and kit. Once R'han dismounted, Sabieth joined the other dragons on the upper ledges of the caverns, his thrumming growing louder and changing in pitch. He kept his eyes on the Queen egg, knowing that from this egg would hatch his future mate, if he was canny enough to win her in flight.

R'han settled in a seat next to Emalyna and handed her the kitten. "Look, there is your mother coming in just now, she's waving at you."

Taboll follows a short distance behind Dominic, looking slightly dazed. Likewise, his reaction to the heat of the sands is delayed a bit as well. A few moments after Dominic started hopping from foot to foot, Taboll leaped up as well. "Yow! That is hot!"

Aidaen squirmed in his seat next to his parents and other siblings as the candidates filed into the hatching grounds. He looked around, watching all the dragons on the ledges. These seats are great! We're so close I can feel the heat of the sands! Why, I bet I could reach out and touch a hatchling if I wanted to. He sat still for a moment, considering the thought. Then, he was again distracted by the eggs. Aidaen nudged his sister, "Where is he? He'll miss the hatching! I'd laugh and laugh if that happened." Where was his brother? He was supposed to be on the sands. "Oh look! There he is! He's coming in now, look look!" He yelled as he jumped up and started waving wildly as the older boy followed the rest of the candidates to make a loose circle around the rocking eggs.

Aidaen subsided into his seat again as his mother shot him a nasty glare and his sister gave him an admonitory pinch. "Ow, that hurt. Its gonna leave a bruise. Just you wait, I'm gonna get you back but good. See if you ever pinch me again," he muttered.

His attention again swung to the sands. Man, that one egg was really moving! And the dragons! Their humming was so loud it felt like it was gonna shake his bones loose! Soon, they'll hatch soon. And if he impresses, at least I won't have him buggin me anymore.

Cr'lan looks down at the boy. "Take your place on the sands, then, Siron. The eggs are about to hatch." He couldn't help but feel that there were more late arrivals than at his own Impression, the one where Braxith had found him.

Leonwen was fascinated by the rocking eggs. He was scarcely even aware of the burning sands. His eyes kept searching for which egg would be the first to burst from its shell.

Siron nodded. "Alrighty!" He then walked across the hot sands, which he just then noticed were burning his feet, and joined the other boys that were watching the eggs and all hoping to impress. He stared, wide-eyed at the scene before him. Dragon eggs, rocking, and about to hatch. Lots of candidates, waiting for them to hatch; waiting to impress. And…he was one of them.

Rani kept her eyes focused on the queen egg, trying to will it to hatch and come to her, 'Any dragon would be wonderful.. just the feeling of flying alone.. but a Queen…' She glanced briefly at the other girls, all of whom looks hopeful.

Setona walked in, she took a look at the golden egg, but she realized nothing in there could ever be good for her. Queen riders were meant to be beautiful, and honest, two things that the failed healer was not. So when she had to choose where to walk to, after giving a stiff bow to the queen, She walked over to where the other eggs were, she would hopefully impress a green, and live out the rest of her time with it. A tearful eye looked over her shoulder however, one of wishes, sorrow and regret. The watery eye looked at the egg, and soon the small amount of water in her eye became painfully slow, but silent tears. She shivered, even on the burning sands, then shook her head, and wiped her eyes, she was older than all the boys around her, and most of the women surrounding the egg, she would not show fear, she would be strong on the outside, even if she was a gibbering wreck on the inside.

She turned to Serah, pleased to see her standing by her. "I know! This whole event is beautiful," she whispered. Her eyes were bright with the wonder of it and her smile was full of wondered. It was an honor to be there. The eggs were still rocking, but none of them had Hatched yet. Her smile didn't fade. What did they feel like? Were they smooth or rough, warm or cool to the touch? It would have been nice to have a chance to touch the eggs before. Perhaps the Hatchling inside would be able to sense them and maybe get a better idea about who their lifemate was. Mostly, though, she thought such an occurence would be more for the candidates.

Well, she would have missed it anyway. She didn't feel so bad now that more candidates had arrived even later. Still, she had been late enough. Halyn hadn't had any of the lessons the other candidates had had or the exposure to the dragons. Hold-born young men and women and people Searched from the Halls Impressed as regularly as people who had grown up in the Weyr. That comforted her somewhat.

Still, she didn't have any idea about what was expected of her at the Hatching Feast, how they would get their belongings, the rules of Weyrlinghood, or any of that. Hopefully that wouldn't put her at too great of a disadvantage! Well, it wouldn't hinder her from Impressing and that was all that mattered. With her lifemate by her side, she would be able to find her way through and take her place in the Weyr, whether it was as Junior Weyrwoman or a Wingrider.

To be honest with herself, she wanted to Impress the queen. It would be the best way to make the difference and leave the mark she wanted to. It wouldn't be easy, that was for sure! But it would be so rewarding.

Emalyna was delighted to have a chance to ride on Sabieth again. She loved flying! It was her newest favorite thing to do. The cavern was full of voices and the hum of the dragons. The eggs were rocking. Soon they would Hatch and her mother's lifemate would emerge. But what would it be?

R'han helped her down and she followed him. They found a seat, one that allowed her to see well enough. She squinted and tried to find her mother. R'han pointed her out and she laughed and eagerly waved back. She was so proud of her! Beaming, she hugged the kit to her (not too tightly) and glanced at R'han before turning her attention back to her mother.

Still the eggs hadn't Hatched. How much longer? Braeden wasn't impatient, just curious. The memory of Saralesa's Impression was still fresh in his mind but he had been so intent on seeing if she Impressed or not that it had seemed to fly by. Now he wished he could remember. Then again, every Hatching was different and not just in the candidates and dragonets. His gaze shifted back and forth from one egg to another, trying to guess which one would Hatch first.

Fithreal watched Setona as she hung back, almost as if she didn't want to be with the other girls. He slipped next to her, just beginning to notice the heat beneath his feet. He slipped a hand behind her back and gave her a little push towards the other female candidates, not enough to displace her but enough to encourage her.

"You should stand with the other girls. Its your… right." In fact he didn't know why she should stand with the other girls, he just knew that she should. She was female, thus she was allowed to stand there where he was not.

Setona snorted under her breath. "Why would I stand there? A green is what I will get, if I get anything, so why make the poor thing run across the sands? No, I will stay here." She stood defiantly, watching the eggs, almost willing one to open. Yet still, in her mind, the one in her mind was the golden egg.

Ca'dis watches the older canidate maser in action, wondering what if anything he's going to do about the one girl hanging back from the circle around the queen egg.

Serah was still beaming with nervous excitement, her eyes glancing from the queen egg to the surrounding eggs to the candidates. She paused as she looked through the girls standing with her, noticing that one was missing. She thought that everyone had left the candidates barracks before her.

She quickly looked over her shoulder at the rest of the hatching grounds, having to shift her feet again, as she searched through the eggs and boys. Yes, there was the missing candidate, no her missing fellow female candidate and friend, Setona, standing off with the boys. She glanced between the gold egg before her and Setona just a few eggs back before making up her mind.

Serah, with a surprising amount of grace that one could get on the hot sands, quickly made her way to Setona, a pleasant and inviting smile on her face. She extended a hand as she noted Setona's sullen face and that Fithreal seemed to be trying to urge her towards the queen egg. "Join us please Setona. You never know who the queen will impress and we want to give her the best possible choice." And she heartily meant what she said. She wouldn't want the queen to not impress and she wanted Setona to be close if she impressed. Who ever the queen picked, be it Setona, Halyn, or maybe even her, she wanted everyone to be around the egg with equal chance.

Halyn had been so caught up in the Hatching that she hadn't noticed that Setona had moved into the other circle. She saw the tearstreaks on her cheeks and she understood. Setona felt that she wasn't worthy. Just because she was still an Apprentice at her age and didn't feel like she was good enough for that, let alone the queen in that age, didn't mean she shouldn't hope and have the chance every girl dreamed off.

"Yes, Setona, please!" she said, motioning to a spot next to her. "You were Searched and Searchdragons don't take just anyone! You have a chance most girls only ever dream of. Please, take the spot that is yours." Halyn smiled kindly at the girl. If she let it, her mind would take her down the same path. But she refused to. It wouldn't do any good to give up and the fact that she was there meant she had a chance. So did Setona.

Serah stepped up and took Setona's hand, standing with Halyn. "Halyn is right. You were searched and that of in itself means you are allowed, no, invited and welcomed to come stand for the queen egg." She wanted Setona to join them, she deserved it, no matter what Setona thought. "Please come join us?"

Keahi also smiled at Setona, "There's no way to know who will choose you… even if it is a green, she'll probably call you over there than run over here."

Cr'lan watches the Candidates arrange themselves on the sands, knowing that if a dragon chooses them, there is no place on the sands they will be able to hide from the hatchling. Even the girl who chose to remove herself from the circle around the queen egg. If the queen decided to choose her, none of the other girls would be able to stop the little gold from reaching her rider. So, he let them arrange themselves, a slight smile on his face as he picked up the happiness his brown was emitting at the thought of the Hatching.

Melody stood near the other girls, but not too close. Truthfully, the color dragon she wanted to impress was a green. Not a queen, a green. She wanted to help fight thread. Yes, that's right, a green. Other girls would think she was crazy to not want to impress the queen, but she didn't care what others thought. She wanted to help protect Pern fighting thread, and that was that. Besides, she didn't think she would ever be able to handle the responsibilities of being a queenrider anyway.

So there she stood, staring at the eggs rocking on the hot sands, feet burning, humming in her ears, and her lower lip caught between her teeth once more, hoping to impress. She glanced over at Taboll out of habit, to see his reaction to the rocking eggs, wondering if his headache was any better. She sure hoped so. Even though her brother was annoying, he was still her brother.

Siron stood on the hot sands staring at the eggs. And wait - could this be? For once, he didn't have a mischievous grin slapped across his face! His eyes were so wide they looked like they might fall out, and they were twinkling with excitement. Luckily, he noticed his mouth hanging open, and shut it quickly. Wow, he couldn't believe he was actually here! A candidate at a hatching!

Finally, one of the eggs nearest Siron started shuddering, sliding down onto its side on the sand, and a hairline fracture appeared in the shell. It seemed like a long, long time (though it really wasn't) before a talon appeared in the crack. The crack widened, and again, after what seemed a long time the egg split into two, revealing a bronze dragonet.

Now, Okima wasn't one to believe too much in superstition…but this was a very good sign indeed.

The bronze rolled himself up, looking around. His swirling red eyes passed over the girls, to look at the gaggle of boys. He seemed to focus at first far away, and then looked suprised aas he focused quite near. Gangly like, and slowly on the sands that were partially sticking to him, he made his way to Siron, nearly barreling him over in the process.

Oops, I'm sorry! It's hard for me to see right now, because I'm quite hungry. S'ron, please feed your Dalth!

There she was! The figure of her sister was a hard one to miss. Smiling with pride, she eagerly waved back. She bit her lip. It had always been her sister's dream to Impress and here she was at last. Even though tehy wre quite different, she loved Halyn. Truth be told, she was her favorite sibling. She was glad she could be here to support her sister. It would be nice to see Halyn and Emalyna again.

Alline couldn't stop the slight gasp that emerged from her lips as the first dragonet hatched. Bronze. Bronze first is a good sign, right? She watched as the hatchling made its way over to a boy she didn't recognize and barreled into him. Impression was wonderful, wasn't it?

Just as the egg cracked, the dragons' humming reached a peak, and Taboll clapped his hands over his ears, cringing slightly.

The first dragonet had Hatched! It was a bronze. A good omen from what he had heard. Braeden gazed at the magnificent dragonet, wondering which one of the boys he would choose for his lifemate. His heart pounded. (It would probably do that for every Hatchling.) He watched as it made its way to Siron, nearly knocking the boy over. They both seemed fine. Was that to be the first Impression?

At the first egg cracking, Setona ran over to the two girls beckoning to her, tears streaming down her eyes, "Ok, but be warned, I will say I told you so!" She laughed as tears ran into her mouth, then hugged the two healer journeywomen, for once, people wanted her to stand with them, so she did, and a small spark, no longer a wish, but a glimmer of hope ignited within her heart, and the tears became those of joy, as the woman spoke again, "Come on then egg! Let her free!"

She returned Setona's hug, seeing the hope return. Good! One of the eggs began to shudder more intensely, a crack appearing. Halyn drew in her breath, her eyes wide as she stared at the egg. What would it be? It was a bronze! A bronze. That was supposed to be a good sign. She watched as he glanced at the girls before turning his attention towards the males. Of course his lifemate would be among them but who?

He seemed to take a moment before making his way towards a candidate she didn't recognize. Would he be it? The excitement and hope in the air was almost palpable. Halyn gazed at the other boys, wondering which one it would choose if it wasn't to be Siron. Oh, how lucky the new pair would be…

All at once, it seemed, a bunch of the eggs split open. Two blues came first, and they looked around quite confusedly. One moved towards the boys, but the other stayed put for the moment.

The fourth egg to hatch contained a brown, and he laid on his back, dreamily staring up at the ceiling like it was the most wonderous thing in the world. He didn't look like he was going to move.

The first green appeared from the next egg. She was quite tiny, even for a green dragonet.

The bronze had at last chosen. Smiling happily for the new pair, she applauded, although she was slightly envious of his good fortune. Would that applause be for her one of these times? Three more Hatched- two blues, one of which immediately started moving towards the boys while the one stayed put and a brown who stared up dreamily, also content to stay there. The next one was a green! The first one any of them had a chance to Impress. She was so small but that didn't mean she wouldn't be healthy and strong.

Once again, she was struck by the honor of being chosen to have a chance to Impress a dragon and by the beauty of this occasion. Here, on these sands, a lifelong partnership would be forged. But it was so much more than that! Even though she didn't really know what it was like to be bonded to a dragon, she knew that it was more than just a partnership. It ran deeper and stronger.

She shivered, knowing that accidents happened, both here and during Weyrlinghood. For Emalyna's sake as well as her dragon's, she would have to do her best to keep them all safe and do everything right so there were no accidents. Halyn smiled as she gazed at the dragonets, wondering and hoping for herself and the others.

Siron stared in amazement at the bronze. So…shiny. Then it came toward him! He couldn't believe his eyes! When it nearly barreled him over, he stepped backward. Then he blinked. His mouth opened. It closed. It opened. It closed. He blinked again, and came to his senses. "Dalth?" He grinned and scratched the dragon's eyeridge, like he had seen other riders do. Siron - no wait, S'ron - was a rider now! Wow!

As the eggs all split open, Taboll fell to his knees, clutching his head. The intense throbbing filled his mind, blocking out all else.

It appeared that the bronze had Impressed the boy he had nearly knocked over. He applauded for the first pair, but he couldn't help the pang of jealousy and wistfulness that pierced him. Well, there were more dragonets on the sands. There were two blues and a brown as well as a green. He smiled as he watched them all. Who were their lifemates, he wondered. And when would they choose them?

Melody watched the dragonets with excitement showing clearly on her face, also mixed with increasing nervousness. Would she impress? She tried to push this though from her mind, but it took much effort. She gazed in admiration at the bronze and his new rider. The first one to hatch was a bronze - she had heard that that was a very good sign. Who would impress next?

Then Melody saw her brother fall to his knees. She rushed over to him and knelt down. "Taboll! Are you okay? What's wrong?" Her eyes were wide as she spoke to her brother.

Cr'lan felt the tears falling unashamedly down his face as the first Impression was made. He looked up, reaching through his bond with Braxith to find where the brown had perched himself around the Grounds. Braxith? You were there. Right where I needed you to be. Cr'lan smiles involuntarily at the thought, and turns his attention back to the Hatching, feeling Braxith's hum of welcome through their shared bond.

Taboll shoved her back. "Go, stay with the others."

"No," she said stubbornly. "Are you okay? Is it your head?"

Halyn's gaze moved to the males and she noticed that one had fallen to his knees. Melody moved to his side. She frowned. Were her skills required? She shifted from one foot to the next, wondering whether she could do any good without any of her equipment and medicines. She would give them a few minutes. Maybe Melody could help him. If he didn't seem any better, she would go see what she could do. That settled, she once again watched the dragonets.

"Yes. Go."

Alline notices her hands starting to shake more violently, and stubbornly locks her fingers together to prevent her nervousness from showing. More eggs were hatching, one spilling out an incredibly dainty green. The girl's heart skipped a few beats as she watched the hatchlings search for their lifemates.

Ioreth increases her hum, Lawna finds hereself crying. Ioreth?

The gold moves so that Lawna stands in a cresent formed of her body, Mine.

Lawna finds herself looking around for P'val wanting to share the reafirmation with him as well before remembering he was stuck behind at the weyr

Then awna notices the boy on his knees and worry begins to seep in…

Kari watched in eager anticipation as her sister stood on the sands, awaiting the hatching of the queen egg. I really hope she impresses! That would be something, have a sister who's a rider. A queen rider, no less!

The excitement built as the eggs started cracking, and the first dragon popped out. A bronze, a good sign! Then he ran over a cocky young fellow up front, apparently impressing. Immediately, the other eggs started hatching, and the dragons started piling out. So exciting! I hope she impresses…

Aleyna was too miserable to enjoy any part of this. It was one of the last functions she would be attending with her family. In two months, she would be married. To him. She knew he looked forward to it with anticipation. After all, she was young and attractive and from a fertile, well-established (to say the least) family. But he scared her. No one knew… not even Halyn… She fought back tears. Well, for Halyn, she would at least try and seem happy.

Cr'lan's attention is drawn to Taboll, as the Candidate falls to the ground grasping his head. He starts off across the sands towards the boy, his boots sinking slightly in the soft sand, but keeping his feet protected from the heat. As he reaches Taboll's side, he knees down so the two are on the same level. "Are you all right?" What Cr'lan is most worried about is taking Taboll off the sands: if he does so and there is a dragonet who is looking for this boy, the hatchling will suicide, and Cr'lan does not want that to happen on his watch.

Benjour feel tears well up along with the fear that he would be left standing again, "They're so pretty." He clamps his mouth shut when he relizes hes spoke out loud and tries to concentrate on the gorgous little dragons still damp from hatching please one of you be mine

Taboll just shakes his head wordlessly at Cr'lan, waving at him to go away.

"Taboll, we told you to do something about that headache. Did you listen? Nope. Are you going to be okay?" she asks in a worried tone.

He shoves them away, climbing up to one foot. "Go. What if the queen hatches, and you're not there?"

The brown who had been laying on his back had turned his head, looking with fascination at all the colors and movement and everything. It was all just so very, very intersesting after being stuck in that dark, boring egg. But then he slightly sat up, and rolled over. He was, for a hatchling, rather well coordinated as he made his way over to Taboll. The swirling eyes looked at Cr'lan and Melody for a moment, regarding them, then looked back at Taboll.

T'bol-mine The dragon's mind-voice was somewhat airy and high, but still a little deep in the way of brown dragons. T'bolmine, why do you fret so much? The air is clear, the grass—what is grass….is green…and your Alshith is here. And very hungry, if you would please feed him…

Melody shook her head. "It doesn't matter. If it chose me, it would come over here. Besides," she added, "I don't want to impress the queen. I'd rather impress a green. Now answer," she insisted, "are you going to be okay?"

Ca'dis follows but stops when the little brown heads for the boy please don't let it be seriuos remebering the triple tragedy of Ronalth's second clutch. He keeps going and gentle moves melody away, just a moment he indicates the brown he impressed he doesn't need two people and a dragon talking at once

Cr'lan frowns as he is waved away. His frown deepens with Melody's comment about Taboll being told to do something about the headache. "Melody, is it? Go back and stand by the queen egg. And Taboll? Why didn't you get your headache taken care of? There are three Candidates who are healers, and I'm sure any of them would have been glad to help you." Cr'lan's voice is soft and controlled, with no trace of the anger he feels at the stupidity of this boy right now. Out of the corner of his eye he sees the little brown step closer.

One of his fellow candidates didn't seem to be doing so well. Before he could offer assistance or see if it was needed, the Weyrlingmaster approached. So did the brown. His eyes grew wide. The brown was going to choose! Once again, his heart pounded. Would it be him? He sighed. The answer was no. Taboll had been the brown's choice. Maybe he would get better now. Once again, he applauded, but he couldn't help but wish that it had been him.

As his head miraculously clears at the sound of the voice, Taboll - no, he was T'boll now - looked up, right into the swirling eyes of the dragon. "Alshith…" he mutters, completely oblivious of the others.

Melody frowned. "Please get better, Taboll," she said softly, then made her way back to where she was standing before. She really was concerned for her brother. Then she noticed that he had impressed the brown. She smiled. Perhaps his headache would get better now, or he would at least not notice it. She turned her attention back to the dragonets and unhatched eggs.

Okay, the Weyrlingmaster was getting involved. The queen egg showed no signs of Hatching quite yet and no more dragonets had Hatched. So perhaps she would have some time to help. She made her way over to him, her concern evident. "Is there anything I can do to help?" she asked, smiling down at the brown who it seemed had chosen the boy. Her gaze shifted upwards to Cr'lan as she waited. If necessary she would take him to the infirmary. He seemed to be doing better after Impression…

He will be fine now, his Alshith is with him Ca'dis stays close despite the reasurances of his dragon.

Cr'lan backs away from the newly Impressed pair. He had seen all of the tension drain from the boy's body when his eyes had met those of the little brown. Alshith, Braxith reminded him. Cr'lan grinned as he made his way back to his post at the entrance of the Grounds. Of course. Alshith.

Setona looked over her shoulder, and saw the boy on the floor. She ran over to him, and took a knee opposite the Weyrling master, "I don't know much, but I think I might be able to help, the eggs can wait. Again." Confused as what to do next, Setona started poking about his body, till she reached his mouth, it was dry, "I..I think he is d-dehydrated, I'm n-not sure, but a-a drink mi- might help." She was shaking now, though she did not know why.

She wasn't given an answer but she didn't need it. Seeing the Weyrlingmaster move back to his post, she followed suit, glad that he had Impressed and recovered. He hadn't looked well back in the Barracks. Melody must be his sister, she mused. Her own were there to watch her Impress. Hopefully! So was her youngest brother, Leyan. Like her, he hoped to Impress one day. But he wasn't old enough yet. Basking in the knowledge of her family's support (to say nothing of R'han's) and the joy of the Hatching, Halyn relaxed and waited to see who the other dragonets would choose.

Ca'dis follows Cr'lan well spoted Durpth

Durpth answers with his usually 'but of corse' attitude, blue|his was there when he needed him as I was there for you

when they get back to their spot Ca'dis asks //have you ever seen that happen before? //

One of the blues, the one who had been moving towards the boys, stopped by the green who had hatched. The blue looked at her, then made a remarkably suave crooning noise at her. She blinked at him, then turned and waddled away, her tail up in the air like a feline.

The blue watched her go, then made another remarkably human shrug, continuing to wander towards the boys.

The first blue who had hatched still had not moved, surveying the area almost continually.

Another egg, quite close to Blith and the gold egg she still cradled popped open, and a green sat there. She actually still wore the very top of her egg, like a helmet.

Melody giggled at the sight of the green still wearing half her egg. "Well, that's two greens, a blue, a bronze, and brown. A little of everything had hatched. Well, other than the queen, that is."

The green who sat there with her egg spoke out, not moving still.

Setona-Mine! Setona-Mine! Your Myrth wants you right here, she's very hungry and can't get up!

Benjour finds himself chukling through his tears at the little green with her tail up now there is a dragon Queen would aprove of

Oh, another green! Part of her shell sat on top of her head. It looked like a helmet. She giggled at the amusing sight. The other candidates were for the moment forgotten as she watched the dragonets interact. Why hadn't that blue moved? Halyn's smile deepened. Her gaze shifted to the gold egg. It couldn't Hatch soon enough!

Well, there were other dragonets and candidates to worry about for the moment. So far everything had gone all right. No injuries, no dragonets going between… That could change at any moment though. She hoped that the rest of the Hatching went as well. It would be such a tragedy if any of the dragonets went between or any of the candidates got injured!

As he hears the dragons' humming reaches a peak Rigal starts running even faster, bumping twice on the wall when he failed to negotiate a corner.

not again! not again! I won't be late this time, I CANNOT be late twice he thinks forcefully.

at last he arrives at the hatching ground (thankfully, the dragon's humming was a good guide).

the first thing he sees are the already hatched dragonets

I am too late… once again…

but then he sees the remaining eggs and his hope rises again

Seeing she was wrong, again, Setona rushed back to the group of girls, and looked at the small green with her shell on top, Little warrior she joked to herself. The green was stumbling about, maybe it would come to her, Maybe. Just maybe Then she heard it. The call. She ran to the little dragon, almost stumbling and she went, then arrived with the little eyes looking up at her. The shell was still on it's head. Setona picked it up, and clutched it close to her chest.

Ca'dis gives his 'fashionably' late candidate a little shove as he goes by to hurry him along "about time you showed up looking for fire lizards again? git out there"

The tiny green, who had rejected the blue's advances, picked her way delicately towards the girls. Suddenly she stopped, looked at all of them, and then looked around. The green again nudged her way through the gaggle, and stopped at Melody.

##green|I thought I knew where you were, but I didn't, but then I did again. Would you please feed your Hielth? I know I'm small but you can help and I'm gonna be faster than any of these dragons here. I'm hungry.

Dominic watched the eggs hatch open in bursts and rocks. He found it funny that a harper had never caught the hatching right in the sands. He watched, still shifting from foot to food as first a bronze, then as Taboll went down. He was nearly on the brink of action, but then Taboll impressed the confused little brown! Finally a green impressed the healer girl who came to the barracks a mess but now she seemed, happy, complete almost. He couldn't help be feel slightly jealous, where was his dragon?

Melody stared at the green, then grinned. "Hielth!" She threw her arms around the dragon's neck, hugging it. //I'm hungry. We will take care of that.

Fithreal simply stared in wonder at the eggs. A bronze first from the shell! And more dragons appear at every second. He could feel the humming reverberating through every inch of his body now as he watched both Taboll fall to his knees and then impress. He took a few steps back, not in fear, but because he wanted to remember all of this, the beauty of the hatching, of the dragons, of what his life could end up being.

Alline kept to her spot on the sands, shifting uncomfortably as the heat penetrated the soles of her shoes. Both of the greens who had hatched had Impressed. Maybe there wouldn't be a dragon for her at this Hatching. Maybe she would have to wait for the next Hatching. By then she'd be old enough to stand for a gold. Maybe that's what would happen. She'd be left standing this time around. She clasped her hands tighter together and clamped down harder mentally on her emotions.

S'ron grinned up into Dalth's eyes. I'm hungry. His grin faded. I…so am I… He clutched his stomach as the feeling of double hunger, his and his dragon's, hit him. He hadn't eaten yet that morning. Very hungry. Both of us.

Halyn's heart swelled as Setona Impressed the helmeted green. The other one had made its way over and she waited anxiously. It went to Melody. Happy for her new friends, she applauded vigorously. The taint of wistful envy that marred her joy for them vanished when she glanced at the remaining eggs, the queen among them. There were plenty of chances left, in this Hatching and the few to come.

She smiled at Serah before glancing once again at the eggs and dragonets that still stood on the sands. Neither of the blues had Impressed yet and no other eggs showed signs of Hatching. Halyn determinedly ignored the scratchiness of the robe and the heat of the sands. Momentary discomfort was worth the lifetime of happiness that was sure to follow.

Serah smiled as they finally convinced Setona to join them in the front just as the eggs began to burst forth with dragons! And a bronze was first! She had heard tales that this was a good omen for the weyr and smiled as the dragon quickly found his mate, one of the newest candidates too!

But as Taboll went down, she started heading towards him, torn between the eggs and her duty to care for him. She knew better than to force help on those that didn't want it. However, before she could convince herself to go over to him and Cr'lan, a brown waddled over to him. The simple act of impression managed to take all his pain away. Serah smiled as Cr'lan and Halyn stepped back and she took her cue that she wasn't needed.

As she turned back, to head back towards the other girls, a little green who had decided that her shell was a hat found Setona. Serah smiled, she knew the girl would impress. Everyone had a purpose on Pern and Setona's was as a dragonrider, not as a healer.

And in quick succession, Melody impressed another green! She could help but stop and grin in wonder at the beauty of impression. The oddly awkward hatching were so beautiful as they made their way between the eggs and the candidates.

But the queen egg hadn't even moved yet and that worried her as she stood in no man's land. She hoped it was alright. The last thing the weyr needed was the new queen to die.

Setona hugged the dragon, which was followed by a sort of chirrup from the dragon's throat. Myrth //Setona thought to herself. //Food The little dragon asked in Setona's mind, and then went to grab at the woman's hand, which was promptly snatched away, Soon, we don't want you getting fat, no. The two then walked over to where Melody was hugging her green, "We've done it! We're riders!" She exclaimed, tears of joy rolling down her eyes

Melody grinned at Setona. "Yes we have! And Hielth is very hungry. Besides her telling me, I can feel it. It's a strange feeling, isn't it?" Melody reached up and scratched the eyeridge of her dragon.

Braeden watched the greens Impressed, sighing. He was happy for the girls, really. He hoped that there would be cause for others to be happy for him, too. Those blues hadn't Impressed yet and there were quite a few eggs left to Hatch. So he had a chance. Forcing himself to think positively and relax, he watched the dragonets, his eyes occasionally shifting to the eggs.

Setona smiled, "It sure is!" She looked down at Myrth, Like your helmet? I'm a warrior! Setona shook her head in surprise "It's weird, as soon as she hatched, I knew she was coming for me!"

Melody giggled. "She's a silly one, only half hatched! What's her name?" She smiled at Setona's green.

Setona beamed back,"Myrth"

I'm not silly, I'm a warrior! Setona laughed, "She says that she isn't silly, and that she is a warrior" Setona looked over to where the gold still had not hatched, " I think she heard me when she hatched. Who do you think will get the queen?" The question was aimed at both Melody and Myrth, the latter who answered One of the girls, I think.

Melody laughed. "Yep, she's silly alright! This is Hielth." She indicated her green. Then she looked over at the other girls. "I don't know, but we'll see soon I guess." Soon. Now feed me. Be patient! I think we have to wait for the others.

panting, Rigal takes a look at the others candidate. It was quite obvious to see which ones had already met their soul mate.

I hope Yama will arrives shortly, I should have looked back to see if he was following me

but soon all he can think about are the remaining eggs and dragonets, and he cannot stop himself to look at the other candidates, wondering if he, who arrived so late really had a place here.

stop worrying he tells himself you have been Searched and that means dragons saw in you what a Rider needs. So focus on the eggs with all your hopes and will, and cross you fingers

Food. Now. "For a small thing, you are awfully agressive" Setona paused. "Did I say that out loud" she blushed, Real clever. Like this. Like thiiiis. The green was rolling on her back now, seemingly teasing, but the shell-helmet was still on top of the little dragon's head. "This Will take some getting used to"

Melody grinned. "Yes, you said that out loud. And Myrth certainly is very silly." She laughed. I'm hungry. "As for Hielth, she won't stop complaining that she's hungry." I won't stop until you stop ignoring me. I'm not ignoring you. Like I said, we have to wait. Sorry. "It's a good thing I ate while waiting in the candidates' barracks or I would be starving."

Ronalth glided in through the upper entrance and b-lined for a spot, already caught up in the moment.

The suave blue finally made his way to the boys, passing an egg that suddenly hatched beside him. The blue paused, looking at the egg's inhabitant. Alas, it wasn't anyone he was interested in; another blue. The suave one continued, shoving one young man ruthlessly out of the way before continuing. Finally he stopped, in front of Benjour.

Benjour, your Rogeth is here. Can we go meet the girls when you feed me?

The man who had been pushed away was suddenly struck upon by the blue that had just hatched. They looked into each other's eyes, and the young man reached up to rub his little lifemate's head.

Braeden watched as one of the blues had decided to Impress, making his way… towards Benjour. Another blue Hatched as his brother passed. He too found his lifemate. Sighing, he glanced at the other blue. It had to be getting hungry by this point! Why hadn't it found its lifemate yet?

Fithreal couldn't help but grin at the antics of the suave blue looking for his mate. It reminded him of his siblings back home, how they were always wanting attention from someone and had no qualms about how they got it. He just shook his head, happy that the overlooked boy then suddenly found his dragon.

Okima waved up at Tolira and C'pan as they made their own fashionably late entrance. It was excused though… they had been busy with other things.

A green broke shell, tumbling to the sands. She was big for a green, and made her way towards… the boys. But she stopped for a second, nosing with the very first blue that had hatched (but had still not Impressed) and making a chirruping sound like Benjour's blue had. He didn't respond, and so the green moved along. She stopped at an egg, which had also cracked and was showing just an eye and a sliver of bronze. Again, she nosed it, and the egg shook and split. Another crooning noise from her. The bronze responded, and they nuzzled for a brief minute before wandering in the same direction…towards the boys.

Both stopped in front of Dominic.

Halyn watched as the blue that had been rejected by the green made his way towards the males. Another egg Hatched suddenly, a third blue emerging. Both of them Impressed. Once again, she applauded. What a fine group of Weyrlings this was going to be! Hopefully she would be a part of it.

Smiling to herself, she glanced at the queen egg. Traditionally it Hatched last but who knew? Besides, she was enjoying watching the others Impress. Her gaze shifted to the one blue, who still hadn't made a move. What was taking so long? Was it all right? She bit her lip and glanced at Cr'lan before her eyes shifted to Okima and Blith. Well, if something was wrong, they would know and do what they could to help. Still, she worried.

Braxith rose to his haunches and bugled a welcome before dropping back into the welcoming hum. Who was that, Braxith? Ronalth, with the Weyrleaders from Ista. Cr'lan blinks in surprise. Ronalth and both Weyrleaders, but no Creenth? What had happened during that mating flight to prevent Creenth from attending, Cr'lan didn't know, but he would undoubtedly find out in due course. In the meantime, there were new Weyrlings to worry about. And the first blue to Hatch had still not made any movement.

Bejour looks down at the blue shocked and points rather stupidly they're over there

Rogeth tilts his head to one side I mean the greens, and when do I eat, Im hungary

Benjour gets down on his knees to look the blue in the eyes you choose me?

Yes, are you okay?

very okay , now if only that cute harper boy would impress a green….

Two more blues quickly impressed, and then without warning he found two hatchling staring up at him, one bronze and one green. He couldn't help but chuckle as he bowed to both of them. "Good day my little friends, looking for your mates are you?"

The bronze moved on, leaving the green in front of Dominic.

D'nic, your Ryth has arrived! I'm very very hungry…ooh, look at him, he looks nice. So does that other one there.

Still clutching his stomach, S'ron looked back up at Dalth. You'll get food soon, don't worry. But I want it now! Why can't I have it now? Because we have to wait. What if I say please? S'ron couldn't help but chuckle. Sorry, but that won't help. I'd feed you sooner if I could, but i can't. Who says you can't? You may not. He sighed. So Dalth had a sense of humor, eh? Heh, We were made for each other, Dalth. Of course we were. Why else would I have chosen you?

A green and a bronze had Hatched! They were both moving towards the boys. They both stopped in front of Dominic. He frowned. There was no way he could Impress both of them. As he had thought, one of them moved on. It was the bronze. That left the green standing in front of the boy. Had she found her life mate? And what of that bronze, to say nothing of the blue?

Alline watched as the suave blue made its way to Benjour. She couldn't help the little cry of happiness that slipped from her mouth, nor the smile that spread across her face. She even managed to move a step or two closer to the eggs and the other Candidates.

Halyn watched as a green Impressed. She was a good size. Smiling as the green tenderly nudged the blue and another egg, she followed her progress as she, followed by the bronze that had Hatched, made her way towards the boys. Would the green Impress a male? Curious, she watched.

They both stopped in front of the same boy! Her eyes grew wide. The bronze moved on, but the green remained. Interesting… Would she Impress him? It wouldn't be long before they found out. Once again, she glanced at the blue, hoping he was all right. The smile returned as she glanced to see what was happening with the dragonets.

A grin split D'nic's face as he didn't even notice the bronze wander away, or ever really care for that matter. His Ryth had found him!

Oh my beautiful Ryth! You found me! You found me! I know you are hungry but apparently it is tradition to wait to eat. And indeed he does look nice.

But I am hungry! So long in that shell. Soooooo huuuuuungry!

Soon mine, soon you can eat. Dominic cradled the precious green head in his hands scratching the eye ridge without a thought.

Cr'lan tensed as two dragons stopped in front of one Candidate, then breathed a sigh of relief as one moved on. That was that Harper boy, wasn't it? No matter, he'd Impressed, and that was where Cr'lan stepped in. "Weyrlings," he called, his voice pitched to be heard over the cacophony. "Lead your dragons over here." He gestures to the Lower Caverns women who have emerged behind them with bowls of freshly-slaughtered meat. "The women will show you to your new quarters."

Serah smiled as both Benjour and Dominic impressed. A blue and a green! What an interesting choice, particularly with so many girls on the sands.

She was actually enjoying her spot between groups now even through she was slowly taking a step at a time back towards the queen egg. The little blue caught her eye. He must have been deep in thought, trying to find his rider if he had not moved in such a long time.

Rogeth looks please as though he himself had arranged the pairing there, now lets eat

we have to wait for everyone

well can we go talk to Ryth? you can talk to hers

B'jour finds himself blushing hotly at looking anywere but the pair in question.

The bronze paused for a second, looking at the boys, then turning to face them in general. He only spoke to one, though.

R'gal? What do you worry so much about? I am here, your Weborth is here! I'm very hungry, so if you could come and feed him…

S'ron and Dalth headed over to Cr'lan and the lower caverns women. Dalth sniffed. Mmm, finally. Food. Yes, food.

Melody led Hielth across the sands, toward Cr'lan and the women with the meat. Yes! Meat! Now I will eat? Just as soon as they say it is time. Then I will feed you, Hielth. I suppose I can wait another couple minutes. But no longer. Melody laughed. //Alright…

It appeared as though the bronze had chosen. And it wasn't him. He sighed again. Well, as long as all the Hatchlings were healthy and found their lifemates, it didn't matter. Besides, he still had a couple Turns left. So it wouldn't be the end if he didn't Impress that day.

An egg, almost across the cavern from Braeden started shuddering and shaking very hard. It cracked a little, but it appeared as though the shell were tough. Tougher than the hatchling could break easily. It continued to shudder, until a foot stuck out of it. The foot was brown, indicating the color of the dragon inside.

Inside of Braeden's head, there was a cry. B'den-mine, Help! I can't get out! Could you please help your Isith? I know you're here!

The boy had Impressed the green! And another candidate had been chosen by the bronze. She glanced at the other eggs before turning her gaze to the queen egg. Almost involuntarily she took a step forward towards it. Perhaps her lifemate was in there. Perhaps it was Serah's. Perhaps it was one of the other girl's. Well, time would tell.

Until the golden queen emerged, there were her siblings to focus on. They all seemed healthy and lively. Things were going very well so far. She was glad that her first Hatching was such a good one. No one had been mauled or injured, the dragonets (except for that blue) had all Impressed, and everyone that mattered to her was there. In short, she couldn't ask for anything to be better.

It was no effort to enjoy herself. Why shouldn't she be happy for her fellow candidates? Smiling as she watched the Weyrlings file off the sands to their new quarters she wondered who would be the next to join them. So far she was no closer to discovering why dragonets chose certain people or didn't and how they knew who the right person was. But that didn't matter. What was important was the fact that they knew.

Rogeth snaps to attention and peers around B'jour They have food I want to eat now

B'jour heads towards the Lower cavern women with the food, Rogeth struts along beside him crooning sweetly at Ryth as they pass

could you not do that? B'jour was used to keeping such feelings well underwraps and having Rogeth sing it to the world was going to make him pass out from blushing so hard.

A few more eggs had broken while the B'den's dragon had attempted to get out of his shell. A brown, and two more greens. The three seemed to find their riders without incident. The brown, of course went to a boy, as did one of the greens. The other green went to a girl.

Suddenly Blith reared up, spreading her wings. The gold egg, which had been trembling this entire time, had finally cracked. It split almost perfectly in two, to reveal the gold. She was very very small, and would probably grow to be no bigger than the bigger bronzes who would chase her. But she held the regal bearing of her color quite nicely.

Ioreth cranks her greeting hum up another notch as the new queen finally emurges.

Lawna bits her lip waiting for the moment when the litle gold finds her life mate.

Hielth stops walking and turns around. What's wrong? The queen hatches. Oh! I wonder who will impress her? We shall see, mine, we shall see. Melody turns to watch as the queen hatches, anxious to see who impresses her.

One of the eggs farthest away from him was rocking. It was cracking, but not much. He frowned. Was that shell so tough? A brown foot emerged. His eyes widened. A plea for help! Immediately he raced accross the sands to the egg and gripped the edges, pulling with all his might. He grunted with the effort, hoping he would be able to break the shell enough for the dragon to break through.

He succeeded. Smiling happily, he stepped back to let Isith emerge. The brown glanced at the remains of his shell and snorted before he turned his attention to Braeden, now B'den. All right, now that that's over with, can you feed me? I am SO hungry! the dragonet asked. B'den could certainly tell! "Of course, Isith! This way," he said, heading towards the meat. In a daze of happiness and hunger, the pair began to move accross the sands.

Despite being newly hatched, the gold went right up to the gaggle of girls, looking at them each in turn. She circled them, sizing them all up. Like many of her other Clutchmates, she was remarkably steady on her feet.

She tilted her head as Braeden suddenly raced towards the cracked eggs. That wasn't allowed! Unless… The brown inside was meant for him. Applauding for the tall Smith and his brown, her attention was soon on the other dragonets that had Hatched. A brown and one of the greens went to the boys while the green chose one of her fellow female candidates.

Then… Blith spread her wings. Eyes widening, she watched the queen egg Hatch. The dragonet emerged. Small but a queen nonetheless. "Oh," she whispered. Everything else seemed to fade as the queen moved towards the female candidates, looking them over.

Her heart pounded. This was what she had been waiting for. What would happen? Any minute now, the queen would choose… But who? Whichever girl was her lifemate would be worthy, of that she was certain. That was comfort. With a racing heart and wide eyes, she waited to see who the newest queenrider would be.

Alline's attention was drawn by the arrival of the golden queen. Very dainty, but very regal, as befit a true queen. She watched and waited with bated breath, wondering who the queen would choose.

As Alline's attention went to the queen, an egg out of her line of sight hatched. It contained a green. Almost catlike, she stalked up behind the girl.

You're mine. You're Pareth's. I'm over here! At the last word, she lightly butted Alline's legs.

A green had Hatched and moved to stand behind Alline. Absently she wondered if the girl was that dragonet's lifemate. But there were other things to concentrate on. She had to stay calm. Working herself into a nervous frenzy wouldn't do anyone any good, particularly her dragonet. So she tried to soothe herself by thinking happy thoughts of what it would be like to have a dragonet to care for, the good times they would have, and how wonderful the bond would be.

She smiled as she gazed at the queen. Whatever happened happened. It would be for the best, whether or not she was the new queenrider. That was comforting. For the first time since the queen had Hatched, she eyed the other girls. If it wasn't to be her, she hoped it would be Serah who Impressed the queen.

Alline nearly fell over backwards on top of the green dragonet as her legs were butted out from under her. "What the…?" Catching herself before she crushed the little green, she found herself lost in the rainbow eyes. What are you doing? You almost crushed me! Why were you watching the queen when I am here? Alline knelt down by the dragonet, caressing the eyeridges gingerly. Oh, Pareth, I am so sorry. You are certainly the most beautiful dragonet I've ever seen. Pareth sniffed a little huffily, but her 'voice' tone softened. Of course I am. A slightly desperate tone crept in. I am very very hungry, though. Is there food? Alline rises to her feet immediately. Oh, of course, you're hungry! Here, come this way, there's food over here. The girl proceeds to lead her weyrmate to the entrance of the Hatching Grounds, all the while carrying on a lively, but totally telepathic, conversation. And she can't seem to stop smiling.

Finally, after five excruciatingly long minutes…… another egg Hatched. This one contained anotheer blue. He looked over at the queen, snorted, and went to the group of boys. Like before, a boy was bowled over. And, like before, Impression was made when the dragonet looked at him in curiousity.

Two more popped open. One contained a bronze, and the other a green.

It seemed like forever but it was really only about five minutes before the spell the queen's Hatching had cast was broken by the emergence of another dragonet. The queen didn't seem to be in any hurry to make her choice and she really was curious to see who else would Impress. She watched the blue make his way towards the boy after snorting at the queen.

She gasped when a candidate was bowled over but her fears were relieved when the blue glanced down at him. Another successful Impression! Okima and Blith must have been very proud. Smiling, she watched as a bronze and a green Hatched. The bronze would obviously choose a male but what of the green? And still there was that blue…

The green wandered towards Rani, then turned and circled her, much as the queen was still doing.

You'll do for Dureth, Rani-mine. Now feed me.

The bronze paused at the boys, then rushed one of them, Fithreal, headbutting him to the ground and standing right on top of him, staring.

FEEEEEEEEEED YOUR ZIMARTH!

The green was making her way towards the girls. She circled Rani. Apparently she had found her match. The queen dragonet was still circling the remaining candidates. Well, the blue was still alive as far as she could tell so the queen would surely be able to survive for a few more moments. Just to make sure, she glanced at the blue, who still hadn't moved!

Why hadn't the queen done something? All of her children were important. Well, if she wasn't worried than it would be all right. Reassured, she turned her attention back to the queen, those images firmly held in her mind. They were having the desired affect. She was still nervous but it was endurable and nothing that would cloud her mind or reflexes.

Finally, the little Queen stopped. This had been a hard decision for her. They were all so very worthy. But one was far more worthier than the others.

Your Kiarith has chosen you…Halyn. Would you please come feed me so I can meet everyone?

The queen stopped. Could it be that she had chosen? Everything seemed to stand still. There was nothing. And then there was everything. It all started with a voice that was followed by something like a strong steady trickle that filled that space. She stepped towards the queen, incredulity and delight on her face. It had happened! And it wasn't anything like she had imagined. It was much better.

Laughing from sheer delight, her face was radiant. She scratched the queen's eyeridges. Yes, it was real. "Her name is Kiarith!" she announced. The dragonet gently nudged her. Yes, we've established that. Now can you please feed me? I'd really like to get to know my siblings. Her eyes widened and she was overwhelmed with hunger and affectionate concern. Of course, darling. Shall we? The queen's eyes whirled happily as they headed towards the food.

Ronalth bugled her welcome to the little queen now that she had chosen as tears flowed freely down Tolira's face. The happiness was way too much.

C'pan wasn't crying, but his chest felt about to burst with all the good, positive, happy feelings. Nothing really bad had happened this clutch. Not like their last one.

From a distance, Creenth spoke. Think not about that….be happy, cuz I like it when you are so very happy. C'pan thought back to when he Impressed his bronze, and he got a lump in his throat.

Cr'lan watched with thinly veiled interest as the queen finally made her choice. The girl with the daughter…what was her name? Halyn, that was it. She would do well with the queen. Cr'lan glanced at Serah, still out on the sands. Was there a green out there for the Healer girl? Well, the Hatching was not yet over, so there was still hope for the remaining queen Candidates.

It was winding down now. Only a couple of the eggs were still wiggling. The remainder (luckily not many) had really not twitched since the before the Hatching began. This was pretty normal, Okima was certain, so she wasn't too worried.

Two eggs, at once, popped open. A green, and a bronze. That left three dragons left on the field…the four remaining eggs were still.

Five candidates left on the sands…who would be chosen?

She helped Kiarith move towards the food. It wouldn't do to have her tear her wings. The dragonet's hunger was stronger than she had imagined it would be. She took a bowl of meat and began to feed Kiarith, who snapped it up eagerly. Halyn laughed, but she remembered Cr'lan's warning. Slowly, Kiarith. I promise you you will not starve, she said. The dragonet snorted, obviously aware of that fact. She wouldn't have chosen Halyn if she wasn't going to take good care of her!

But she was hungry. Halyn continued to feed her, making sure she chewed everything thoroughly and ate slowly. By the time she was done, the dragonet was completely sated. Sighing with relief, she was struck by another sensation. Weariness… Halyn, I am tired. It was hard to get out of that shell and find you! the dragonet announced. But I want to stay and watch the rest. She sighed.

It would probably be best if she got the dragonet settled into the Weyrling Barracks. She wanted to stay too. Hopefully Cr'lan would let them! The little queen had settled herself and was watching the other eggs. I can't wait to get to know my siblings! Do you know many of the other Weyrlings? They seem nice. Her smile deepened. They are, my darling. They are.

The bronze and the green split off. The bronze towards the girls, and the green to the boys. Wait, what? Both dragons stopped, looked at each other quizzically, then trudged back the way they came. This time the bronze went to the boys, and the green to the girls.

The green stopped, and lightly headbutted one of the females, Keahi.

Keahimine, please feed your Aronth! I'm so hungry and I almost went the wrong direction! A mental voice giggled. It would've been funnier if my brother over there went the wrong direction! He can't have any of you!

The bronze snorted at something, and approached Leonwen.

Stupid girls. They should know I can't be with any of them. But I can be with you. Your Marth is here to be with you so please please feed me, L'wen.

The blue, the little blue who had been there for so long finally began to move! But…not towards any of the candidates still on the sands. He had a look on his face like the one you get when you finally spot someone you're meeting after a long time, and was just booking it as fast as his legs could carry him…

Into the stands.

People scrambled towards, then away from the dragonet as he climbed and clawed his way upwards frantically, slashing a few onlookers in the process. He was making a beeline to one young man, who had been watching his still-standing brother. The blue suddenly sat literally eye to eye with the Hold brat.

A'den, A'den! I looked and I looked and I looked and I couldn't find you! But now I found you, hiding like this in a big crowd! You shouldn't do that again to me, ever ever ever. Now, feed me? Feed your Stjeth?

Lanwa punchs the air and hops around exictedly as Hayln impresses.

Ioreth watches her rider amusedly I dont see why your so exicted, I knew she would impress

No more eggs were going to Hatch, it seemed. Okima was pleased. Blith looked pleased too. Most of her children had found their riders!

At last, it was over. Halyn applauded for her fellow Weyrlings, smiling. The memory of her own Impression was still fresh in her mind. She could understand the emotions running through their heads. Kiarith looked happy, although she gave a small mournful croon as she glanced at the unHatched eggs. Well, there was nothing either of them could do. There weren't many.

She glanced at Serah and her smile faded somewhat. Really, she was a worthy girl. It was a shame that she had been left standing. Hopefully her Impression wouldn't stand between them. Her gaze moved from the unImpressed candidates to the stands where Emalyna was cheering wildly and her family looked dazed and pleased. Halyn couldn't wait to introduce them to Kiarith.

Her whole life had changed. This was a dream come true, quite literally. Never had she imagined that it would come true. She was more than a Holder's wife, more than a Journeywoman Healer, more than a candidate… She was a goldrider, one of two in the Weyr. If anything happened to Okima and/or Blith, it would be up to her. Hopefully they stayed healthy and safe!

There couldn't have been a more perfect conclusion to an already perfect day. Beaming at the Weyrlings that joined the two of them, she placed a hand on Kiarith, who greeted her siblings with little croons and bugles, letting Halyn know her opinion about everyone of them. For a tired Hatchling, she talked a lot! She glanced at Cr'lan, wondering what to do next.

when the little bronze paused in front of his group, Rigal stopped breathing that's when he heard him, wondering why he was so tense and worried.

falling to his knee in relief, tears in his eyes, R'gal embraces the newly born dragon."I was so worried that I would have been too late to meet you, Weborth. You cannot imagine how happy and proud I am that you choose me. You are even much more than I could have hoped for"

of course I can answers Weborth, like he was stating an obvious truth. but don't worry anymore: I am here now and you are here too. … I like when you hug and stroke me like that but… I am reaaaly hungry. Can we do it again after I ate? he ask, looking both happy and annoyed.

of course, let's go answers R'gal, rising. He then follow the others lucky candidate, helping Weborth the two times he falters

Cr'lan involves himself in getting all of the newly-Impressed over to the mouth of the Grounds. There is still meat left, but it is going fast. He looks over the heads of those nearest him, beckoning to those still on the sands. "Come feed your dragons! They must be starving."

B'den and Isith had settled back to wait. Isith was no longer hungry, thanks to his rider. The brown eyed his siblings with curiousity, particularly the gold. The boy saw the object of his brown's focus. It was a lost cause. Don't even think about it. She will be flown by the bronzes, he said. Isith looked at him, then back at the queen, then back at him. B'den was right of course. B'den nodded and smiled at his fellow Weyrlings.

Alline finally managed to get Pareth to the entrance, where the little green promptly buried her muzzle in the first bowl of meat offered to her, seeming to inhale gobbets of flesh. Remembering what the Weyrling Master had said, Alline had to shield the bowl from her hungry weyrmate.

But, Alline-mine, I'm hungry. My belly is so empty!

..I don't care, Pareth, you eat what you have in your mouth first, then we'll get you more!// The force with which Alline speaks mentally is echoed on her face. Pareth, grumbling a bit at the restriction, sullenly chews and swallows before opening her mouth for more, which Alline dutifully places in the open maw. And so it goes, Pareth's eating frenzy calming as her stomach is slowly filled.

Kari let out a quiet shriek of joy as her sister Impressed, even though it was just a green. Waving frantically at Keahi, Kari managed to still herself and take account of who had Impressed.

Rogeth tries to get one more piece of food from B'jour with a pitious creel just another bite

No, dont even try that look your half a candle mark out of the egg and Im already onto you

Like you want to be onto Ryth's? Rogeth asks with a flirting tilt to his head, making his blush like that was fun.

B'jour stuffs the last few pieces of meat into the blues' jaws further bloating the blue.

Fithreal was busy watching the other eggs hatch until suddenly a voice rang through his head.

FEEEEEEEEEED YOUR ZIMARTH!

He nearly feel over as the dragon's hunger hit him, making him reel backwards. There was a bronze standing in front of him looked up at him with whirling hungry eyes.

FEEEEEEEEEED MEEEEEEEEEE!

F'rel blinked again in surprise not believing he had impressed. Zimarth took several steps closer and nudged F'rel in the stomach rather hard, trying to emphasize how hungry he was.

F'rel, feed me feed me feed me!

F'rel brightened up, scrambling up while trying to hug and pick up Zirmath all at once. Oh mine! We'll get food soon yes, come we can go get food!

Rani was startled out of watching the queen hatch by the green circling her like a feline. She knelt as their gazes met and she was lost in those jeweled rainbow eyes.

At the green's imperious command she smiled and wrapped her arms around it still wet flanks, "Then I will feed you immediately…my beautiful Dureth…"

How could she have ever wanted the queen? This lovely beauty was perfect, You're perfect.

Of course, I am.. responded the green indignantly, Feed me! I'm starving!

Rani smiled and led her new partner over to where the bowls of meat were, immediately claiming one and offering the hunks to the suddenly greedy green. She almost couldn't shovel them in fast enough. Rani smiled, "Relax.. there's pleanty. Chew it so you don't choke.." How long had it been since she had felt such a feeling of love and understanding. This green was her match in every way, Nothing will ever separate us.. I swear it.

Dureth regarded her with jeweled eyes, We're together.. forever.

D'nic happily walked his green, his Ryth over to the meat as she danced and sang. Feeeeed meeeeee! Feeeeeed meeeee! Feeed me!

D'nic chuckled as he found a bowl of meat and tossed a piece to Ryth. The big green dragonet gulped down the meat quickly before dancing before D'nic. More please! Pleeeeease pleeeeease pleeeeease!

D'nic smiled and shook his head. "Oh you beautiful Ryth, if you eat too fast you will lose your figure!"

Are you calling me fat? The green snorted, glaring up at D'nic.

"Fat? You? Never! You just want to get so full you get bloated."

Serah held her breath as the queen hatched. The small dear was so small! But she was a gold and it was good that she had hatched. The queen circled the girls before finally choosing. And she choose Halyn. Serah smiled, so happy that her friend and fellow healer had impress and the gold no less!

But her elation began to dwindle as she began to realize all the eggs were hatched and not a single dragon had chosen her. It stung… she wasn't worthy of a dragon.

Yet before she even had time to think about such things, the little blue that hadn't moved suddenly darted to his mate, in the stands. As soon as she heard the screams, Serah darted into the stands, quickly hopping over riders and holders alike to make her way to the injured.

Out of breath she stood before the injured, quickly find the worst off. Without a though she quickly knelt next to him, calming him down as she looked around for a piece of cloth to stop the bleeding. "Shhhhhh, I'm a healer. Its alright, its just a gash, nothing I can't take care of."

She sighed and ripped off a strip of her hatching gowns. She didn't like having to ruin such clothing but she didn't have her pouch with her. Serah quickly took the strip and held it to the would, the blood quickly saturating the small strip she had.

T'boll marched his dragon over to the food, and started feeding it. In between bites, he asked D'nic, "I believe we've met. I'm T'boll. You are?" He grins, holding out his hand, but his dragon butts him in the leg. Hey! Get back to work! "Sorry," he says, and continues feeding him.

Aronth.. Aronth, the gorgeous green hatchling had chosen her. Keahi cried out in joy, tears ran down her face as laughter bubbled past her lips, "Of course he couldn't have us.. Especially not me." She knelt to hug the chiseled, wedge-shaped head to her chest, "Let's get you fed, my darling.. I can't have you starving to death.."

As she led the hatchling to where the bowls were kept, a delighted squeal drew her attention. She quickly found the source, her sister, "Kari!? Kari!! Her name is Aronth!"

The green bleated plaintively, Keahimine, I'm hungry!!

Agast at her rudeness, Keahi quickly went and picked up one bowl that was nearly overflowing with meat. The green had scampered along with her tried to pull the bowl down, only succeeding in getting three pieces to spill on to the sand, which were quickly gobbled up.

"Slow down, Aronth.. There's pleanty for you…" smiled Keahi, stroking the green head, "There will always be pleanty for you.. everything I have will be yours too.."

Forever, Keahimine, forever.

Leonwen watched with a falling heart as candidate after candidate impressed and he was left alone, he struggled not to close his eyes, 'I'm not worthy…'

Then a bronze started heading towards the girls, Huh? Bronze's can't impress girls.. Then it turned and headed towards him, "Marth…"

He smiled and cradled the wet bronze head in his hands, "Marth.." For the first time in his life, he felt complete. Here was the one being who would always stand by him, always love him, and always support him. He couldn't help but feel the same way towards it. Nothing would ever be half as important to him as Marth.

I'm glad you love me as much as I love you.. but I really am very hungry.. Can you feed me now? asked the dragonet, butting him in the stomach with his head. Leonwen, no, L'wen smiled, "Of course.. the meats over there.."

He took a spot next to T'boll and preceded to feed a steady supply of meat to his bronze. He smiled at T'boll, "We did it.. mine is Marth.. who is yours?"
Lawna almost wipes her eyes on her sleave then remembers she had a hankie, she cleans herself up before heading over the her Weyrleaders "I see you're still Weyrleader" she can help but tease C'pan.

Kari called back, "Wow, such a nice name! I'll be talking to you later!" She was quickly swallowed up in the crowd heading back for the feast. Aronth, such a beautiful name. I almost wish I had a dragon…

Keahi was completely absorbed in feeding Aronth. The weyrling master had been right, there was no feeling like Impression. A perfect union of two souls. Aronth was beautiful and was everything Keahi wanted.

No more searching.. you are what I was waiting for.. she thought. She wasn't expecting the immediate answer in her mind.

I'm sorry it took me so long.. that egg was really hard! the answer was filled with love and admiration for her.

Keahi blinked as she fed another chunk of bloody meat to the dragonet, "Don't be sorry! I'm just glad that you found me."

She looked around to see the rest of the results of impression, Dominic got a green.. Her eyes strayed to Halyn, and widened in delighted surprise, Oh.. Emalyna will be so happy!

"Congratulations, Halyn!" she called towards the new gold rider.

C'pan laughed. "Oy, but barely. One of the—" He clears his throat "competitiors decided to play a dirty little trick… 's why I've got no dragon at the moment. He's resting." He waved it off. "Nothing to worry about, and it's certainly not the right moment." Ista's Weyrleader grinned. "We should find some food."

Rani was careful not to let Dureth over eat, but found that the bowl was nearly empty before Dureth's side had taken on a comfortable curve and her hunger pangs had subsided.

Rani.. I want to sleep. The hatching was a lot of work, and I'm tired.. Dureth's eyes were spinning slower as she swayed from side to side.

The green started to settle on the warm sands, "No, darling, you can't sleep yet.." said Rani, pulling the green back to her feet. Without bothering to look to see who else had impressed, she led her green to the adult rider standing at the mouth of the hatching ground, "Dureth is getting too sleepy to stand.. where do I take her?"

Lawna raises an eyebrow curiously but doesnt ask any further questions, some weyr busness was best left in the weyr.

"food sounds good, I think I might even beable to lead us there with out getting lost "

Melody lets out a joyful laugh as she and Hielth make their way over to Halyn Don't worry, I can wait just a bit longer to eat. Let us go meet the queen. Melody grins at Halyn. "Congratulations!"

Hielth speaks to Kiarith. Hello. I am very happy for you, and mine is very happy for yours.

As the feeding frenzy starts to die down, Cr'lan once again projects his voice so all of the Weyrlings can hear him. "Once your dragons are full, you can lead them to the Weyrling Barracks, which are right next to the Candidates' Barracks." He points in the general direction. "Get your dragons settled in and sleeping, then come and join the feast. The hard work starts tomorrow." For a moment, his eyes follow Serah in the stands, hard at work tending to one of the scored watchers.

She will be fine. We must worry about the hatchlings now.

S'ron picked up some meat and dropped it into his eager dragon's mouth. Dalth hungrily swallowed it and hummed lightly. More. S'ron sighed. Now, now, don't stuff yourself! That would be very bad. Hence why I'm feeding you, not letting you fend for yourself. So not too much, okay? More! …Please? S'ron laughed in response to Dalth's words as he fed the dragon more. I'm so glad you found me, Dalth. Dalth tilted his head. Why of course, who would not be? I'm a bronze. No, you're a hungry bronze. Right you are. So are you going to do something about it, instead of sitting there staring at me? Indeed, S'ron had fallen down on the job. "Yes, master," he said out loud as he fed Dalth.

Rani listened to the weyrling master, "All right, Dureth, lets find you a nice place to sleep."

The sleepy green stumbled beside Rani as she led her to the Weyrling Barracks.

T'boll turned to Leonwen - no, L'wen, he was a rider now. "His name is Alshith."

Once he receives a name from D'nic, he starts trudging off to the weyrlings' barracks. Must we go? I'd rather stay with the food. T'boll chuckled. "Yes, we must go. No, you may not have any more food."

F'har left his spot and headed to where the food was prepared. He had a long day ahead of him congradulating everyone. He would fix himself a glass of wine while he waited for the newly made weyrlings to come join the feast.

Aronth burped as she swallowed a final piece of meat, having cleaned out the bowl Keahi had claimed for her.

Keahi smiled and used the front of her candidate robe to clean off the green's bloody muzzle, "All right, darling, let's find you a comfortable spot before they're all taken."

The green chirped, Why? Its plenty warm here.. I'd rather sleep here..

Keahi giggled at her charge, "Because you aren't allowed to sleep here, Aronth, we need to get to the weryling barracks."

Oh, very well… let's hurry up then.. I'm getting tired..
« they exit »

When S'ron felt that Dalth was full, the flow of meat stopped. Hey, where did my food go? Dalth looked into his rider's face quizzically. You've had enough. Time to go now. #cc9900|But I like eating. I want more.On second thought, I am a bit tired. That's what I thought. Now let's go. The two walked side by side toward the weyrling barracks, the mind-conversation continuing the whole way.

Aidaen watched the hatching dragonets down on the sands with awe. He had never seen a hatching and the sight rendered him speechless, something that had never happened before. He leaned forward and watched, his eyes flicking from one vivid hatchling to another. Each time a hatchling broke their shells, the thrumming from the watching dragons increased in intensity. His sister sitting next to him squealed as each dragonet Impressed and chattered away at him, her words fading into the croon of the dragons as he heard only a couple of words here and there. He caught a few words about his brother and hoping he Impressed. Aidaen hoped so too. At least then he wouldn't be able to pick on him.

As he gazed at the hatching chaos, and the expectant candidates, he noticed a single blue dragon sitting amidst the shattered shards of his egg shell, simply looking around the sands. The boy mused to himself, I wonder why he's not finding his chosen. He won't be able to find him if he doesn't move. Why is it taking so long? Almost all of the other dragonets have Impressed.

Aidaen's attention is distracted by the cracking of the Queen egg, but he kept an eye on that blue dragonet. After the new Queen made her choice, he looked back at the blue. Just then the little dragon started making a beeline across the sands. "Oh, he's moving! The blue is finally moving!" the boy shouted. His parents threw him another dirty look and his sister pinched his already bruised arm but in his excitement he barely noticed.

The blue raced towards a clump of boys still on the sands, including Aidaen's brother. The older boy converged on the dragonet and Aidaen held his breath, but the hatchling did not even pause, pushing right on by. Then, crying piteously, the blue started scaling the stands in front of him and his family. Most people scrambled out of the way but a few foolish spectators who tried to halt the dragonet were injured by the flailing hatchling's claws.

Aidaen nudged his sister, "Better move, don't block him!" and prepared to jump out of the way himself when suddenly the newly hatched dragon sat right in front of him He shook his head slowly in confusion, "But.. my brother is supposed to Impress.." The little blue's whirled with flickers of distress as Aidaen protested his choice. He nudged the boy with his nose. But A'den, I looked and looked. I do not want him. I want you. You are mineeeeee!

The dragonet's mental voice is almost a keen by now and Aidaen is no longer able, nor willing to, resist. I am here Stjeth, we are together now. I love you my beautiful blue. He throws his skinny and bruised arms around the little blue neck and turns shining eyes to his family who watched him with expressions ranging from joy to dismay and anger. "His name is Stjeth!" He is so enraptured with his new found friend that he didn't notice the venomous look his older brother gave him.

Marth swallowed the last piece of meat from the bowl, More please, kind L'wen.

L'wen smiled, "I'm sorry, Marth, but I think you've had enough. You aren't really hungry anymore. You need to go rest now." He set the bowl down and started to lead the newly hatched bronze towards the door, stroking its neck as they walked.

Will I get to eat again later? asked Marth plaintively.

L'wen laughed, "Of course! You're a growing dragonet. You'll have to eat plenty! But for now, you need to rest."
« they exit »

Everything was a blur of smiles and murmured thanks and returned congratulations. Kiarith happily conversed with some of the other dragonets that introduced themselves. She beamed at Melody and Keahi. It was good to know she had a few friends in her Weyrling class.

Kiarith was having a harder time now staying awake. Before she could fall asleep, Halyn gently urged her to stand and follow the others. There was still the Hatching Feast for her to sit through before she could go to sleep. And now she had to find a place for Emalyna to stay. Kaelas would probably stay with the girl. She couldn't ask it of R'han.

No doubt her family would be wanting to see her. She sighed. Life certainly had changed! And it had only taken a moment. Still smiling, she followed the other Weyrlings to the Barracks. Her belongings would have to wait.

As the initial bronze tumbled from his shell onto the sands, R'han looked up at his dragon, his face wet with tears at the remembered occasion of his own Impression. Sabieth gave a mental croon, We are together, now and forever. I am yours R'han and you are mine. The man sighed happily. Yes love, we belong to each other. He paused, then continued. I do hope Halyn Impresses the little Queen. Sabieth responded, rather tartly. Did I not tell you she has all the qualities of a Queen rider? Most especially, she produces strong young. Look at my little egg.

R'han grinned down at the child, who was staring at the sands in awe and excitement. He looked back at the sands again, watching as dragonet after dragonet Impressed and candidates were chosen, or left standing. The rider frowned as he watched the first blue that hatched. He didn't seem to be looking. Oh, I hope he doesn't go between like the little green at Ista did.. Sabieth immediately noted, There was something wrong with her. This one, he is just looking. His may not be close enough. R'han nodded, accepting his dragon's assurance.

Suddenly, his attention is drawn from the blue to the Queen egg. The shell cracked and split in half, the dainty Gold hatchling stepping almost regally from the shattered remains. Sabieth sat up on his haunches and bugled a welcome to the new Queen, cognizant of the fact that she may well be his mate, if he was canny enough to outfly the other bronzes to win her when she rose. R'han held his breath as the gold hatchling circled the waiting girls. Is she pausing in front of Halyn? Oh please please..

As the little Queen stopped in front of Halyn and the petite girl stared into her eyes, her face transformed with joy and happiness, R'han leaped to his feet and shouted with sheer delight. The smug voice of his dragon broke into his thoughts. Did I not tell you Kiarith would choose well? R'han laughed with joy and nodded. He looked down at Emalyna. "Your mother did it little egg. She Impressed the new Queen." Sabieth added his two marks to the conversation, Your mother is a Queen rider now, just as you will be one day my little wherry egg.

R'han's eye is caught by the suddenly charging blue. The blue dragonet rushed up to the stands, ignoring a whole group of candidates. He scaled the spectator area, and injured a few foolish people who got in his way. The dragonet finally stopped in front of a pale and scrawny boy. I was right again. He will be fine. R'han laughed at his dragon. You're gonna get too big for your britches if this keeps up.

B'den watched the rest of the Hatching. Isith was impatient, eager for the comfort that surely waited for him. At last, they were directed to the Barracks. It would be good to put Isith to bed and not have to feel his weariness. Smiling, he followed the rest of his fellow Weyrlings into the Barracks.

A'den looked around, wondering how he would get Stjeth down off the stands without more injuries to people when the most intense hunger pangs overcame him. He hunched almost double. I cannot fly just yet, and my wings are wet. But please, A'den, I am so hungry, I must go eat. I need food, you must feed me. The rest have already eaten and there will be no food left. The hatchling stood up and started pacing back and forth in the stands. He stretched out his wings and flapped them vigorously then eyed the steps. A'den called over his shoulder to his family, "Stjeth is hungry, I must get him down and feed him.," as he hurried to help his dragon down the steps.

Several willing bystanders helped the scrawny lad maneuver the awkward blue down the stairs to the sands and across it to where the last of the Lower Caverns women stood, holding a big bowl of fresh meat. A'den took it from her and thanked her and as he turned towards Stjeth, the dragonet already had his nose buried half in the meat and was gulping down bloody gobbets as fast as he could. Stjeth, please don't eat so fast, you'll choke! the boy begged his dragon, but the starving blue paid no attention to him. The boy tried to tug the bowl of meat away from the ravenous blue, and failing, looked around frantically for help.

Food? Yes, food. Melody fed her Hieth, until she had eaten enough. Aw, but why can't I have more? Because it will make you fat. And unattractive, she added. Very well, Melly-mine. We do not want that to happen. I am very tired now. May I go to sleep? Yes, come with me. We'll follow the other weyrlings now. Melody led Hielth to the weyrling barracks.

Pareth's furious inhalation of meat gobbets slowed to a crawl and finally stopped. Sleepy… Alline yawned involuntarily as she picked up on her dragonet's tiredness. Let's get you to bed, then, shall we? The little green nodded agreement, and the two set off towards their new home.

Sabieth called urgently to his rider. R'han! The little blue is eating too fast. Help the boy, I will slow his Stjeth down. R'han started abruptly, and catching up Emalyna and Kaelas in his arms, he raced down the steps to the blue dragonet and his new weyrmate, pausing only to set the child and kit down by the edge of the hot sands.

Sabieth spread his wings and flew down to the stands, then spoke severely to the blue hatchling. Stjeth, you must stop gulping right now. You are scaring your rider and you will make yourself sick!

R'han spoke to A'den. "I'm R'han and this is my dragon, Sabieth. Don't worry lad, Sabieth will slow him down."

A'den turned relieved eyes up to the man who walked up to him. He jumped as the bronze dragon landed next to Stjeth. But then the blue lifted his head from the bowl, his eyes whirling reproachfully as he spoke to the huge dragon next to him. I was only very hungry. It was hard work finding my A'den all the way up in those stands. And then those others tried to stop me! I am only trying to catch up to my hatchmates. Look they are all gone!

Sabieth rumbled, partly in amusement, partly in censure. Look at your weyrmate Stjeth. You scared him. He has no training. You must behave for him and not take advantage of him. He is just a mere hatchling like you.

The boy stammered his thanks to the rider, T-thanks R'han. "I'm Aidae..oh wait, Stjeth calls me A'den, so I guess that's my name now. I didn't know what to do when he started gulpin'." Stjeth turned back to the bowl, this time eating at a more relaxed pace, chewing steadily and swallowing until the bowl is emptied. As soon as he finished, a big yawn split his beak wide open and he began to sink down to the sands. So..tired..

You can't sleep here Stjeth! Come, we have to go with the others to the weyrlin' barracks. The blue whined a bit, but Sabieth broke in, Remember, behave for him and he sighed heavily, trudging slowly after his weyrmate on their way to the Weyrling barracks.

Braxith, how is that blue that climbed into the stands faring? Cr'lan had lost track in the rush of youngsters to get to food. He found his weyrmate, but is gulping food like there is no tomorrow. Some anxiousness fought its way into the brown's tone. Does he need help? Sabieth and his are helping. Sabieth tells Stjeth to stop eating so quickly. Cr'lan breathes a sigh of relief. It was nice to know that, while he was down here with his hands full, there was someone else willing to help. Please ask Sabieth to ask R'han to help Stjeth and his rider to the Weyrling Barracks after Stjeth's hunger is satiated? The message was passed.

Sabieth passed on the message from Cr'lan to his rider. R'han nodded and followed the boy and his hatchling out of the grounds, pausing only to scoop up Emalyna and her kitten. "Busy night pumpkin." He tickled the little girl as he carried her out, setting her to giggling.

Sabieth launched himself off the ground and winged across the bowl to land outside the Weyrling's Barracks to wait for his rider and his little wherry egg.

After the last weyrling has left the Hatching Grounds, Cr'lan helps the Lower Cavern women collect empty bowls before heading off to the Weyrling Barracks.

Braxith launches himself back to the ledge of his weyr.

Ioreth glides out of the hatching grounds to find a pearch on thr bowl rim.

we'll go right back to the beach once the hatching feasy is over love

Lawna heads to the Hall were the feast is being held, hurring slightly to catch up with her weyr leadrs.

R'gal and Weborth finaly catches up with the other couples already at work. As he doesn't know anyone here, he tries to engage conversation with one or two of the boys, but - and he quickly understand why - none of them really answers to him

R'gal, stop talking, you can't feed me enough while you chat with them. And I am even more hungry than before

"ok ok, say 'haaaa'" .The little bronze obeys diligently and his empty mouth is not empty very long.

faster, faster, I must eat eat eat

you already have your mouth full, if I give you anything more before you have carfully and slowly chewed what's in there, you will be sick. I am sure you don't want to embarrass yourself while spilling food, do you? and stop looking to the other bronze, you will not finish before him: you arrived later.

after a few minutes of carefully distributed meat, R'gal adds: "remind me to thank Ca'dis and Durth for bringing me here. We owe them a lot."

Even later, when Weborth is - to his deepest regret - forbidden to eat anymore meat, R'gal has to ask the way to the Weyrling Barracks.

Lynae was stunned. Halyn had done it! The little queen had finally chosen her! Once she had recovered sufficiently from the shock, she began to beam and applaud. The whole Hatching had been wonderful but most of all her sister's Impression. She watched the Weyrlings file off the stands. Well, she supposed they had to get their dragonets settled into the Weyrling Barracks. But she would see her at the Hatching Feast. Her parents were in a state of something like shock but they rose. She followed them as they began to move to the Lower Caverns.

Her sister was the new queenrider. Halyn would one day be the Junior Weyrwoman of Fort Weyr. That meant that unless she too Impressed a gold she would be her sister's subordinate. And she didn't want to Impress. Why risk life and limb and the death of her dragon? No, the life of a dragonrider wasn't for her. But neither was the life of a Holder. She didn't want to get old before her time from childbirth and unhappiness. Maybe now Halyn would be able to help her find a way to stay. Her family began to move towards the Lower Caverns and she followed them.

F'rel couldn't believe how damp his Zimarth still was from hatching. And he couldn't feed the wondrous bronze fast enough. As soon as F'rel was on his feet, he walk and Zimarth rather gangly made his way to the lower cavern women. In quick order F'rel was feeding the bronze.

Zimarth snapped the food from F'rel's hand, nearly biting the boy.

"Whooooooa Zimarth, dunn eat so fast! I dunn want you to get a tummy ache."

But I have been in the egg for sooooo long! I needs must eat!

"But yea have to be gettin' full soon." F'rel looked down at the dragonnet as he gave him another piece of meet.

Ooooh just a bit more pleeeeeeeeease.

"Alright… but then we leave okay?"

Zimarth yawned, his eyes calming to blue before F'rel could even feed him. With a smile he gave the dragon the last bit of meat before shooing him with the other werylings to their new home. F'rel grinned. Home… a weyr. And with a dragon too!

Without warning Serah had a small swarm of injured spectators around her, most were minor but all wanted help. And the parents of injured boys didn't help either. She quickly got the boy's father to hold the saturated cloth to the wound, even through he looked like he was about to pass out.

"Now, I will tend to everyone, but I need to take care of this boy first or we might lose him. If everyone else can find some clean piece of cloth to hold to any wounds they have, I will tend to each of you as soon as I can."

She quickly blocked out some of the shouts of protest as she tore more of her hatching robe up, adding more cloth and pressure to the boy's arm wound, raising the arm closer to his head level in hopes the blood would move away from the wound.

She glanced up, glad that some of the boys and parents had understood her instructions as clothes came out of no where to care for the boys. The ones that were still fusing she shot a sharp look at, a look that she had mastered having taken care of many a stubborn patient. A look that was both serious and comforting at the same time.

D'nic was so focused on feeding his Ryth that he hadn't even noticed anyone else. It only occurred to him that anyone else had impressed when other dragonets filtered out. He glanced up into the stands, catching a salute from one of his Harper masters who had made it to the hatching. It was the one who had encouraged him so much to go on the search. Ryth's head swung around to watch her D'nic's gaze.

He wanted you to come didn't he? He knew I would be better for you yes?

D'nic grinned, amazed at how sharp his Ryth was. Yes, he knew I would be better here at the weyr, here with you. I haven't told anyone before…

Ryth thrummed as she nuzzled D'nic's hand before nudging him to the entrance of the hatching grounds. Don't worry mine, your secret is safe with me.
« they exit »

After she had finally gotten the bleeding to slow enough to move most injured. "Now, if you would all follow me, I can take you to the infirmary to get everyone cleaned up and ready for the feast, which I am sure no one wants to miss."

With a bit of herding and some correction of the management of bleeding with the loss of more of her robes, Serah managed to get the injured and their parents out of the hatching ground with little difficulty.

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