Ronalth's 3rd Clutch

A month or more had passed as Tolira made a cursory examination of the eggs, knowing that the day was soon.

Ca'dis leads his little flock of canidates in he makes sure to bow to Tolira and especially to Ronalth He expects the canidates to follow his exaple. he was always especially carful around the brooding gold after his first…meeting with her. The irony that he would now be offically introducing canidates to he clutch was not lost on him.

He waits for Torlia to direct the canidates further, after all she would know how much her dragon would allow

Jairi followed Ca'dis's example and gave a gentle curtsy to the Queen and her rider. When Ronalth rumbled she cast a nervous smile at the eggs. Was today the day, she wondered. She waited anxiously, shifting her feet in the hot sands.

Ronalth hissed at the intrusive candidates.

Shayan followed Ca'dis in and followed his example, dipping into a deep curtsey, "Its an honor.." she murmured, the normally outgoing girl was quiet with awe of the golden queen. She looked at the closest egg, studying its molted shell.

As Karyn stepped onto the hatching grounds and her gaze fell upon the queen, she was speechless with amazement. The golden dragon was so pretty, and wonderful! The girl was honored to be here, and she respectfully curtsied before Ronalth and Tolira her rider, following the others' examples. Then, standing with the other candidates, Karyn looked over at Ca'dis, and then to the entrance of the hatching grounds, waiting for the rest of the candidates to arrive.

Dallan walked quietly into the Hatching Grounds, having changed into the attire he had been informed was traditional for such an occasion. His first view of Ronalth was awe-inspiring, even though he'd seen another gold recently. It rendered him completely silent, though he bowed somewhat jerkily to the queen, and then her rider, before moving to join the rest of the candidates. He remained silent, looking at the eggs in a bit of a daze, his mind whirling with bits and pieces of imagery that made no sense at the time, all of them fragments of his life which he'd forgotten over the years, none of them registering as more than dizzying pieces of pictures, or scraps of words.

C'pan strode in after the Candidates, bowing (probably unnecessarily) with a flourish to Ronalth and to his weyrmate.

Creenth had winged to his usual spot and was watching his Queen. He couldn't remember the odd events with B'tran and his dragon that had almost made the "his" moniker not true.

Kaneth, finally stopping her insults at the blue, winged into the grounds and dropped off her passengers before finding a spot on the ledge to sit and watch.

Kella grinned at Deanal. "Good luck. I think Ca'dis over there is the Candidatemaster, just let him know you're from Fort." She gestured to Ca'dis, and then looked to the girls, and sauntered to the stands. Not too far up she climbed, and not too far forward, either. Maybe about five benches up. "Good place for everyone? We're a bit early but that's alright."

Melody followed Kella, grinning. "This is perfect." Mini re-settled himself in her hair. "Early is a good thing! That means we're here before the crowd swarms in."

Ca'dis gets the canidates to line up ready to go onto the sands. he gives them all the same advice, the same message he's been trying to drill into they heads think welcoming thoughts, dont crowd the hatchlings or you will get hurt, when you come off the sands with your dragon go to Aelisa, you will go to your first feeding as a group do not leave before she tells you you can

Durpth glides in with lazy stokes and takes a spot one usually a bronze would get but that what happens if they're going to pioke around more then him. anyway it was his canidates impressing.

Aleyna was glad to be on solid ground again! Glancing at the candidates, she smiled at them. She hoped they would be as happy as Halyn was. One of the girls was going to walk away as a Weyrling queenrider! Having talked to her sister, she knew it wouldn't be easy.

But it was rewarding too, she knew that too. She moved into the stands, peering at the eggs. They were just as lovely as the ones at Fort had been. Taban materialized on her shoulder, his eyes whirling as he too stared at the eggs, wondering and waiting…

The near accident had startled Deanal but solidified his desire to be a dragonrider. He would be the best rider in the weyr, nodded at Kella and walked over the Ca'dis, "Sir, I'm Deanal, a candidate from Fort Weyr.. Where do I need to be?"

Karyn nodded and closed her eyes, taking a deep, and definitely nervous breath. She looked over at Jairi and Shayan. "This is it," she breathed. Oh my goodness, I can't believe this is happening to me… I'm a candidate at a dragon hatching! This is so exciting, yet at the same time a bit frightening. There's a possibility of our lives turning in a completely new direction. Scary thought…

She saw the girl in the stands smile at them, and returned it. Karyn realized that people would be watching them. She decided that whatever she did, she would refrain from freaking out. That would be embarrassing… Then the girl's firelizard caught her eye, and made the candidate wonder if Nip was still sleeping. The thought of her firelizard brought a smile to the girl's face. No matter what happened here today, she would be content with what she had already impressed.

Keahi smiled, following Melody up the stands and taking a seat next to her fellow greenrider, "Should we start betting on what hatches first?"

"Maybe." She looked down at the eggs thoughtfully. "A brown."

Keahi chuckled, "What if a green hatches first? Or even the queen?" She looked at Kari, "You ought to see if you can go down to the sands too."

"The queen? Hatching first? That's not likely."

Kari was also unsettled with the second jump between. Sliding down off the dragon's back, she answered her sister, "Yeah, I'm okay."

She sat down next to her sister in the sands, and listened in on her conversation with Melody. "I hope it's a Bronze. That's supposed to be a good sign."

Bainth winged in through the upper entrance and flew to one of the unoccupied ledges which ringed the hatching grounds. She settled on the rocky outcropping and neatly folded her wings. As soon as she was settled she continued her welcoming hum, doing her part to encourage the eggs to hatch, and to welcome the new dragonets.

Marsali paused in the entrance and gulped nervously as Ronalth's huge hulk hovered protectively over the clutch. The greenrider bowed respectfully towards the queen, then turned to find a seat in the stands, calling back over her shoulder, C'mon V'din, We don't want to miss anything.

Aleyna was by herself. She felt a little lonely but the others seemed to know each other. At least she had a good view for when the Hatching happened! She got up and moved closer. How similar would it be to the Hatching at Fort? How different?

Murth followed Bainth in through the upper entrance, close, but not too close. The bronze definitely did not want a repeat snap. After she landed, he alit on the ledge next to her, but again, not too close. He paused for a moment, then added his welcoming hum to hers and the other dragons. Tentatively, he asked, his tone uncertain, What is wrong Bainth? Why did you snap at me?

Bowing towards Ronalth, V'din hurried to catch up with Marsali. He pointed to a couple of empty places near Aleyna. There's some empty spots, near that girl there.

Two people were approaching her. She smiled nervously over at them. "Hi," she said. The knots on their shoulder informed her that they were Weyrlings. That made her smile deepen a bit.

Shayan gave Karyn an excited look, "I can't believe we're here.. Its really about to happen.. are you scared?" She asked her fellow candidate.

Biting her lip in shyness, Marsali hung back to allow V'din to go ahead. To cover her reaction, she looked up, scanning the upper ledges until she found Bainth. She noticed the unusual extra space between her dainty green her much larger bronze friend and wondered why. Touching Bainth's thoughts she sensed a slight irritation that normally wasn't present but the rider could see no reason for it. Shrugging mentally, she filed it away for further examination later.

When the bronze queried her, the green glanced at him, her eye facets tinged with flickers of red, but had no ready answer, at least not one that made much sense. I said you were too close!

Murth blinked and edged a bit farther away from the green. I'm sorry, I didn't think I was that close.. He was rather taken back by Bainth's vehemence. She usually was pretty even-tempered if a bit flighty. As his attention was caught by the eggs below, he dismissed her behavior from his thoughts and increased the pitch and tone of his welcoming hum.

V'din stepped around Marsali and bowed with a flourish to Aleyna, a lock of hair falling into his eyes as he moved. I am V'din, rider of Bronze Murth and this.. he half turned and motioned to Marsali, is Marsali, rider of green Bainth. D'you mind if we sit here with you? He grinned at her as he reached up to push his hair out of his eyes.

Jairi smiled nervously at everyone. She wasn't nervous about the hatching, she was worried that she would leave the sands alone once again. "I'm not scared, exactly. I am just so afraid I won't impress again." she told Shayan. "The humming is kinda soothing, don't you think?" she asked the other candidates.

"I'll agree on the bronze being first." Kella glanced around again. "But I'm all for good luck." She chuckled slightly. She tilted her head slightly, eyes going glazey for a second. "Wow, we got out of Fort just in time. Kaneth says as soon as we left Blith started blooding her kills and is in the process of rising. What timing on her part…." Kella laughed. "Should probably let C'pan or Tolira know that the Weyrleaders of Fort aren't likely to be here."

K'lan strode into the stands and took a seat with some of the other riders in his wing. Synth found a spot and began to hum. Turning to one of the other blue riders he said, "I'll wager a mark that the first hatchling is a brown." "You'll be linin my pocket, it's gonna be a bronze." the rider said and the wager was made.

Karyn looked at Shayan and nodded. Was she scared? "Yes, a bit," she admitted. "I guess there's no denying it. But I'm very excited as well. I can't think of a better place to be right now than here, where we are." She smiled. Jairi was right, now that she thought about it. Yes, the humming was rather soothing. Maybe that was the idea. You want breaking their shells to be an inviting idea for the dragons, right? "Yes, it is," she said, almost a whisper as she gazed at the eggs in wonder. She was really here, this was really, truly happening…

"It really is…"

Melody turned her head to look at Kari. "A bronze was first in the clutch Keahi and I impressed from, remember? That would be cool if it happened today, too." She smiled, looking back down at the eggs. "I still bet it's a brown."

Keahi smiled, "I'm hoping that the queen hatches first.. that would be really interesting.." She winked at Kari, "Are you sure you don't want to be down there?"

Oh, he was handsome. And charming. She smiled back, resisting the urge to giggle. Still, she couldn't forget… "I don't mind at all," she assured him. "It's a pleasure to meet you," she said, extending her hand. "My name is Aleyna."

Shayan smiled, "It also seems… encouraging to me." Her nervousness was fading as she watched the rocking eggs.

Karyn nodded slowly. "Yes. That is does," she agreed softly. Her nervousness was not fading much, but at least it wasn't strengthening. Currently, she was mesmerized by her surroundings. Dragon eggs due to hatch very soon, including a queen egg. It was beautiful, slightly golden tinted. Plus, a queen dragon nearby! Wow…was this to be the day that she found what she was looking for? She had always wanted some adventure in her life. Was she going to impress?

Even if she walked off these scorching hot sands without having impressed a hatchling, she would still be very happy. If she impressed, she would be ecstatic! Karyn often found that it helped you not be disappointed at the end of something if you hadn't expected something good from the beginning. She was honored just to be here, though, and to even have been searched.

This was such a drastic change from her life back home, and the weaving! Even if she did miss her little sister…

V'din's grin deepened as he grasped Aleyna's hand, holding it for a heartbeat longer than necessary before moving past her to an empty seat. He glanced back to make sure Marsali was finding her own seat before turning again to the other girl. Is this your first Hatching? He scanned the sands quickly, keeping a close eye on the eggs so he didn't miss anything.

Kari flushed at her sister's comment, and stammered a bit, protesting. "Really, I-I'm fine right here."

Was it her or did he hold her for longer than he needed to? Not that she really minded too much, but… She smiled at him again and shook her head. "No, I was there for the most recent one at Fort. My sister Impressed," she announced.

As V'din introduced her, Marsali stammered an almost incoherent greeting to Aleyna and quickly settled into a seat, hoping the attention would shift away from her. It appeared she would get her wish when V'din struck up conversation with the younger girl, allowing Marsali to sit back and listen.

Above on the ledges, Bainth continued to voice her welcome, though she shifted with subtle irritation whenever any dragon flew close to her perch.

V'din nodded. This is also my second hatching. He laughed. The first one as a spectator though. He paused slightly, then asked, There was a Gold egg on the sands at Fort's last hatching, if I remember right. Did your sister Impress the Queen or a green?

As he waited for her answer, he glanced over and noticed Marsali had found a seat, then scanned the upper ledges looking for his bronze. When he saw him and the distance between him and Bainth, the boy frowned inwardly. Something was going on. First the green snapped at Murth and now this. Murth, what's wrong? Did Bainth snap at you earlier? His dragon answered, his mental tone slightly aggrieved. Yes, she did. She said I crowded her but I didn't! Hmm, that's strange. I'll make sure to ask Marsi about it later. Maybe she's just tired. Just make sure you give her extra room. The young bronze agreed and V'din switched his full attention back to Aleyna again.

Aleyna grinned at him, understanding what he meant. Her gaze shifted to the bronzes assembled. One of them was his, as his knots suggested, but which? "She Impressed the queen," she said. Taban chittered excitedly and began to hum to greet the dragonets that were going to emerge.

As she tried very hard not to wince with pain, and not to squirm too much, and step back and forth between her feet, Karyn was exceptionally aware of a burning sensation in her feet. She knew right away that she needed to think about something else - to get her mind of the heat of the sands they were standing on. But how? She was sure she would soon think of something. Ouch…that really burns.

And she did; thinking was just the trick that she needed to make use of now. Karyn stood there, scanning the hatching grounds, and reflecting on the events that had taken place since she was searched. She had left her family in Southern Boll, but had come to stand as a candidate for the next hatching here at Ista. That's leaving one good thing, which is a bad thing, but also coming to another good thing, even though she had to go through a rather unpleasant thing on the way. Shivers…brrrr… Between was cold, but unlike any cold she had ever felt. When she got here, oh my! She was greeted by two canines at the barracks. That was enough to make her feel welcome. What's more, she and Shayan then met a firelizard! Jairi let them pet Echo, and then he played with the dogs, of course making a mess of the barracks in the meantime.

Then came the hatching. Jairi impressed another firelizard, and to Karyn's amazement, she impressed one as well! The poor little blue had just hatched, and was trying to find someone to feed him, when he ran into his green clutchmate, and injury resulted. She fed him, but only to distract him from his sister, and break up the fight. What she hadn't expected was to impress him, but nonetheless, she had! Nip turned out to be the sweetest thing, even if he was a bit of a klutz.

After that, they got to sit and watch the healer, Horlintal, who was tending to an injured weyrling dragon. They learned a bit about dragon anatomy. It was most interesting, and Karyn decided to try to learn everything she can while she's here at the weyr. Then she finally got to see the weyrlings flying! It was the first flight for some of them, and immensely exciting, even for Karyn, who was merely a spectator. However, she had only gotten to watch them briefly, before she and the other candidates were called away by Ca'dis, but for an even more wondrous and exciting event; the hatching.

It was time! They were finally ready to hatch. But the real question was, were they ready?

Ah…Kiarith, if I remember right. His eyes widened a bit as he noticed the fire-lizard on her shoulder for the first time. Oh, so you were one of the lucky ones that got one of Ca'dis's queen's clutch. What did you name him? He grinned at the rather shrill hum emanating from the miniature bronze throat. He's very stunning. Looks just like a real dragon, only in miniature. V'din waved up to where his dragon was perched next to Bainth. See? He's up there next to the deep green - that's Marsi's Bainth - he's the smallish bronze. Doesn't your little one look like him, only much smaller?

Deanal took his spot with the male candidates, ignoring the burning sensation in his feet and watching the eggs, trying to decide which one would hatch his dragon. His teeth were clenched and he took a breath to calm down, One of them will be mine this time.. my bronze will be better than A'den's blue.

Shayan wondered idly what Razz was up to, how would he react to a dragon if she impressed one? Too late to worry about that now… She looked at the queen egg longingly, but then looked at the rest of the clutch, The queen egg is too good for me.. She shifted her weight from foot to foot to try to relieve the burning sensation.

Keahi smiled at her sister, "All right.. If you're sure.." She looked back out at the clutch. Zane's humming made her feel so relaxed. The little brown was perched on her shoulder, his tail wrapped loosely around her throat and his neck and head stretched out towards the hatching grounds.

Ioreth swoops in, she takes a spot on a ledge near Ronalith where she can watch the canidates for the queen.

Lawna takes a spot in the front rows of the stands, she would have rather gotten a ride with Ioreth to sit with her gold but with a queen egg on the sands there would surly be more Lords,Ladies, and Masters.

Ioreth carries the hum adding her surprisinly deep note to it.

Flarth came out of /between/ just outside of the hatching grounds, knowing the rush they were in, and winged inside, depositing his human cargo on the viewing stands before finding a ledge seat for himself and his partner.

A'nit walks in followed by his grounded brown Vorth. They find a place to the edge of the sands and settles to watch.

A'nit leans agaist his dragon enjoying the soothing hum.

Ronalth hissed at the candidates as they assembled, showing her displeasure at their stealing her babies from her. Then suddenly, without warning, the first egg rocked.

Quintal stubles a bit as she enters the hatching grounds, she was greatful for the lowercavern women who had found a nice loose robe to accmadate her growing belly.

She looks around at the other girls suddenly disparing there were so many all trying to impress the queen and none of them looked like anyone she had stood on the sands with before. She tried not to look at the two mature queens, tried not to think how one of them should have been hers. Now of corse she would gladly take a green but she was to old for them to even look at her.

Quin took the first step onto the sands to join the other canidates, she cant help the feeling of hope that rises as the first egg rocks.

This message was last edited by the player at 08:37, Tue 18 Mar 2008.

The Masterharper and half a dozen journeymen/women dismount and make their way into the stands. Finerik takes the time to thank the blue rider before seating himself with the others. His brown firelizard ruffles his wings in excitement, humming along with the dragons.

Jairi shifted her feet constantly. She had hoped to have the time to grab the extra padding she had made to place in her shoes but they had come straight from the bowl. Echo sat on a small ledge nearby and hummed. She decided to see if he would get the padding for her. She called the brown flit and with vivid mental pictures of the padding she sent him to the barracks. In only moments he returned with the padding and a report that Rain was still sleeping. She reached under her robe for the treats and rewarded Echo then Jairi quickly stuffed her shoes and felt immediate relief from the heat. Echo returned to his perch and immediately began humming in a heightened tone. Jairi looked around at the eggs just in time to see the first one rock. "It won't be long now" she said to the others gathered around her. She noticed the new candidate and smiled at her. "Hello" she said.

Aleyna smiled at him and nodded. "She's a beauty, just like them," she said, motioning towards the queens who were waiting to greet the youngest dragons. "Yes, I was. His name is Taban." The bronze firelizard chirped a greeting to V'din.

She was very pleased with how well behaved he was being. The firelizard had resumed his humming and all his attention was fixed on the eggs. It was hard to tear herself away to look at the bronze he pointed out.

She nodded. He appeared to be in fine condition. "He is quite handsome. And yes, he does rather!" she exclaimed. Huh! How interesting. Seeing the signs of movement, she glanced back at the sands.

One egg was rocking. A bronze Hatching first was a good sign but as long as the dragonet was healthy and Impressed, she didn't really care what color it was. Her gaze shifted to the queen. She didn't have any ambition to be a queenrider or a dragonrider at all, actually.

Still, she was slightly envious of those on the sands. To feel that indissolvable bond, have the ability to go where you wanted instantly, have the respect and admiration of most of Pern… That would be something.

Quintal gives the other girl a curt nod this would be the time, this had to be the time, no stupid little bitch was going to take this queen from her

She bites her lip and watches the queen egg it had to be her turn

"No, it won't be," responded Karyn with excitement showing in her voice. She scanned the eggs again, and noticed one had finally started to rock. "Oooh, look!" she said, pointing. "There's one rocking! That means it'll hatch soon, right?" she asked the other girl, whom she was aware had been to the last hatching. "I wonder what it will be!" I bet there are quite a few people up there betting on what hathes first, she thought as she looked up into the stands. And looking back down at the egg, she decided to make a guess herself; but only to herself. I bet it's a green. Or a blue… Yeah, a green.

Another candidate had arrived, and just on time. "Hello," she greeted Quintal with a friendly smile.

When Jairi's brown firelizard Echo came to her with padding for her feet, Karyn saw what it was for, and wished she had some, too. Unfortunately, this brought her attention right back to the very thing she wished to avoid. Her feet hurt like crazy! In all of mother's stories about that rider, she neglected to mention how hot the sands were at the hatchings… I guess if she didn't experience it, she didn't think it terribly significant. She shuffled her feet in the sand, and winced. No. I must not think about it. Just ignore it, Karyn… Just ignore it. She glanced at Jairi briefly. I wonder if Nip's still asleep…

Nip from the Candidate Barracks via the Bowl

Right on cue, Nip flew into the hatcing grounds with curiosity, and spotted Karyn right away. The clumsy little blue flit sped over to the candidate, and nearly colliding with her head in the process, he landed on her shoulder. There he complained loudly at her, until she rubbed his eye ridges affectionately and sent him reassuring thoughts. "Shhh," she whispered to him. "Nip, I'm sorry for leaving you back there. But you weren't alone, Jairi's blue was there too. Now why don't you go back there and sleep?" But Nip didn't want to sleep. He wanted to stay here with her. Karyn finally gave in. "Alright…but why don't you join Echo? You can watch us just fine from there."

The blue agreed, and popped between, appearing again next to Echo. Karyn returned her attention to the rocking egg, watching it anxiously to see what came out. Did she guess correctly?

Melody glits in and takes her seat on Durpth's head. Durpth tilts his head to give the diminutive gold a better view.

Ca'dis gives the queen canidates a gentle push go stand by her egg, and be polite to Ronalth

Karyn, startled by the push, nodded and obeyed. "Yes sir." She slowly stepped closer to the queen egg, stopping when she was near it, and curtsied to Ronalth again, not wanting to upset the queen by standing even closer to her gold child's egg. Upsettting a gold dragon, or any dragon for that matter, was the last thing she wanted to do here at the weyr. It was to be avoided at all costs.

Melody nodded. "Keahi, I think if there's a dragon in this clutch that is destined to impress Kari, she won't hesitate to climb all the way up here for her. Remember how A'den impressed Stjeth?" She flashed an encouraging smile at Kari, then noticed the egg rocking. "Look! There's one starting to hatch!" She beamed at the other girls, then set her full attention on that egg, not wanting to miss a thing.

Late. Of course. But he was wearing the white robes, and was actually here. Not that he hadn't stood for Hatchings before, but each time it was still pretty amazing.

As quietly as he could, he sidled into the loose semicircle of boys, looking around at them somewhat sneakily. There were some cute ones there— but his heart still lay at Benden.

But Martin was distracted by the eggs shaking. He hoped it would be this time. Then he would be able train, and transfer.

He didn't even want to think about what would happen if he didn't Impress…

Kari blushed further and gave Melody a shove. "Really now-" She was cut short by the egg rocking. She sucked in her breath with a hiss. "This is it!" she said in a small but thoroughly excited voice.

"What, you don't want to impress? I think you'd make a great greenrider, just like your sister!" She leaned toward Keahi and whispered, so only she could hear. "I don't think she could handle the responsibilities of riding a gold, though." She said it a bit jokingly.

Kella looked at her charges with a slight smile, glancing overr at the rocking eggs. "If one of the Hatchlings is destined for one of you up here, ther isn't anything that would be able to stop them." She grinned slightly. "But I wouldn't worry to be honest. It's really only a once-in-a-very-little-while thing."

Though, she said to her dragon, it happens more frequently when there aren't enough candidates…and there aren't enough candidates here.

Kaneth hummed, and replied. All will be as it should be, do not worry. It was as it should have been when We came together, remember?

Kella chuckled quietly. What a stir that had caused, her Impressing to a fighting dragon. (Which then caused a nearly whole clutch of greens to do so, and was now fairly standard at both Ista AND Fort.) But there wasn't a single thing that Kella would have changed.

A few more eggs began to rock, slowly at first and then more vigorously. Soon all of the eggs were shaking, a few beginning to show sirrations and cracks.

Karyn looked around excitedly. They were about to hatch! The sight of the eggs rocking made her excitement intensify, and even made her nervousness lessen, though it did not vanish altogether. She scanned the grounds anxiously, and saw a few cracks in a couple of the eggs. This is it! It's time… I want to make sure I see which one hatches first, so I know what it is.

Aleyna's eyes were bright as she leaned forward. All of the eggs were rocking now and there were even cracks in some of them! It was anyone's guess as to which one would Hatch first. It was so exciting and not nearly as nerve-wracking to be a spectator, she decided. Pursing her lips with interest and anxiety for the Hatchlings and candidates, she alternated observing the candidates and the eggs that held their lifemates.

Seminth settles himself on a ledge and R'lon slides down the bronze's side, finding a comfortable spot leaning on his dragon's side. Nice view, eh, Seminth? Rather small clutch, isn't it?

The bronze's eyes gleam brightly and whirl with excitement as he hums a welcome. Yes. A small clutch, but there is a queen egg. The happy note in Seminth's tone made R'lon look up at his mount, but the bronze was focused on the Hatching, and his happiness spilled over into his rider, giving R'lon no time to think about what another queen meant to the bronze.

Sek uncurled from his position about R'lon's neck and flew up to perch on Seminth's head, right between the bronze's eyeridges. The little blue reared back on his haunches, spread his wings, and emitted his own welcoming hum, an octave and a half above the bronze's.

What a wonderful na.. V'din trailed off as the eggs began rocking, forgetting completely what he had been about to say. Look! Oh I hope it's a bronze..Murth was first hatched.. He again trailed off, and gazed fondly up at his bronze, recalling the overwhelming feeling of Impression. We are together. Murth crooned to his lifemate. V'din looked back down at the eggs, leaning forward in his seat.

Shayan sucked in a breath, clasping her hands together in front of her chest, she swallowed nervously, watching the first egg that rocked, Come on, little one.. hatch.. you can do it! She mentally encouraged the hatchling, wondering idly if the dragon would be a bronze or green.

Aleyna glanced over at V'din and smiled. "Really? That's interesting," she said, somewhat distractedly as her attention turned back to the candidates and egg. Her eyes narrowed, then widened when she glanced at one of the girls.

Was she pregnant?! Was that even allowed? Well, it must have been since she was there. She might not Impress but what if she did? She could be wrong. Maybe it was a trick of the lighting and her excitement.

"Any ideas about which of them will Impress the queen?" she asked curiously. Aleyna didn't even know any of their names so she had no opinion. The girl was firmly of the opinion that no dragon could make a wrong choice, so whoever Impressed the queen would do a good job, she was sure.

Keahi nodded at Melody, and shrugged before whispering back, "She'll be happy with any dragon, I think.. but I agree.. a green like Aronth might suit her best." She gasped softly when she saw the first egg move, "Oh! I guess the queen won't have first."

Shards! It was happening! He hadn't expected to be thrust onto the sands so soon, not before having a chance to get to know the Weyr and learn more about the life of a dragonrider. Oh, well.

"Thank you!" he said, waving at the Searchrider as the man moved into the stands. Giving the blue one last past on his shoulder, he hurried onto the sands. Why now?

Bowing hastily and with as much grace as could be mustered at that moment to Ronalth, he didn't even glance at the other candidates. The eggs were rocking and he could see cracks on several of them.

He sighed. Well, he was there and that was all that mattered. A smile flitted across his features at the thought of Impressing. Would he be so lucky? The smile was replaced by an expression of curiousity, nervous anticipation, and excitement. He would know soon enough.

I'm gonna get a dragon, wow! This is awesome! I'll be able to show those guys back at home now!

No, I'm late, I'm not gonna get a dragon, they'll all have hatched by the time I get there… Despite this depressing turn of thought, none of the dragons had hatched by the time Balin was ushered out onto the sands to stand by the other candidates.

Shifting his feet nervously, his mind thoughts kicked up again. I'm gonna get a dragon! I bet it's a Bronze, that would be cool. I can't wait! He'll be my best friend in the whole world…

Quintal moved closer to the queen egg, her mood swung between despration and anger at the other queen canidates.

She bowed to the queen, not to deeply she didnt want to fall over or even worse throw up again. The heat wasnt helping she was begining to feel really queezy again.

Karyn looked at Quintal with concern. She didn't look so good. It was probably just nerves, but maybe not. "Are you alright?" she asked the other woman, her genuine concern for the other candidate showing clearly in her voice.

Ronalth bugled as the first egg split, spilling its squalling green occupant onto the hot sands.

Kella let out a whisle as the first egg finally hatched. A green, but really that should be more expected as they're the single most numerous dragon on Pern.

A dragon! They're hatching! I wonder if I'll get this one?

But it's a green, that's bad luck. I probably won't get any at all.

Hmm, bipolar disorder on steroids? Typical. Balin shuffled his feet, eyes first bright, then down, as his thought take him on a roller-coaster ride during this wash of high emotions.

Oh, it was a green! Not the bronze that was said to be a good omen, but she seemed healthy enough if her squalls were anything to go by. Smiling, she watched the Hatchling with avid interest, her gaze occasionally shifting to the candidates. Who would it choose, a male or female?

Her thoughts following Kella's, Kari followed up with the inevitable, Good thing greens aren't fertile, otherwise Pern would be up to it's eyeballs in green dragons!

That one female candidate didn't look well. Shifting to try and alleviate some of the heat of the stands, he paused, his smile returning when the first Hatchling emerged. It was a green, but she seemed healthy and well-formed.

Who would she choose? One of the females? He was surprised that they had allowed that one girl on the sands, pregnant as she appeared to be. Well, if she wanted to risk her dragon by having a dragonet at such an advanced stage in her pregnancy or any stage at all.

If she went into labor before the dragonet was old enough, she could lose herself, the baby, and her dragonet. Even if she didn't die and her baby survived, the stress and pain might send the dragon /between/ but he supposed it was up to her.

And the dragonets. His green eyes gleamed as his gaze shifted back to the dragonet. There were so few candidates! Too few. Hopefully she wouldn't go /between/ like the one he had heard about.

Quin waved the other girl away and rested the other hand on the barly swelling curve of her stomach. She takes a few deep breaths in thorught the mouth out through the nose not now you little beast

The poor little green creeled hungrily, casting about first left, then right for her partner.

Another egg splits, spilling a creely, bronze onto the sands, who immediately hisses at his green sister before also looking for his partner.

Karyn frowned. She's pregnant…should she be here? The hot sands aren't good for her. She was worried about the woman, but if she wanted her to leave her alone, she would. I hope she's alright, I really do.

She saw the green break her shell, and a gleeful look appeared over the concern on her face. I was right! It was a green, a green hatched first! And as far as I can tell, it looks perfectly healthy. I wonder who will impress her! She looked around at the other candidates. I guess it could impress just about anyone, really. Karyn watched the hatchling anxiously, to see who she approached. More candidates were arriving, would it be one of them? I hope the one she's supposed to impress is here… She didn't want to think about what would happen to the green if that person wasn't present. She would much rather feel the pain of sand a thousand times hotter than what she was standing on!

And now a bronze. Wonderful! Perhaps not such good luck as if it were first to hatch, but he was second. Surely that had to count for something!

The little green was now creeling in hunger, veering from right to left in search of the one meant for her. Would she find her? The thought of any of the little Hatchlings going /between/ was horrifying. There weren't very many candidates…

A bronze Hatched next and her worried expression was replaced by a smile. That was good! The first bronze of the clutch! Glancing at the males, she wondered which of them would be lucky enough to Impress him. And what of the green?

A young boy of thirteen turns stumbled onto the sands. Am I late? I know I'm late. Oh good, not too late! They're just starting to hatch now. Lesli was too busy looking at the bronze to see where he was going, and he tripped over is own feet, falling face first onto the hot sands. "Ow ow ow it burns!"

Keahi grinned when a green broke her shell first and headed for her chosen, <green>"Not that I'm complaining.. but isn't that not a good sign?"<green> Her eyes misted slightly, remembering her own Aronth.

Kari shrugged her shoulders. "No-one's ever said so. It's just a good sign if a bronze hatches first. But one hatched second, so that can't be too bad!"

Melody shrugged. "I don't know…but look again, the second one's a bronze! That's good, right? I mean, it wasn't the first, but still…" She looked down at the green, examining her from afar. "She looks perfectly fine to me, nice and healthy. It can't be that bad."

Deanal smirked when Lesli yelped in pain. He had already pushed the sensation of feet from his mind. The young man made no effort to help Lesli, instead he turned his attention to the bronze that had broken its shell and stepped forward expectantly, There's my dragon.

P'tan makes it into a seat just as the first dragonet emerges, squalling, onto the hot sands. His eyes quickly pick out the green hide flashing in the sun. A green, Chenth! Wonder who she'll pick?

Chenth, having settled himself in a good position, does not respond, but merely focuses his gently-whirling eyes on the hatching.

When the bronze emerges, P'tan sends I s'pose bronze second is good luck, too, eh? in a wry tone to his partner, who gives an incredulous mental snort.

The bronze looked expectantly up and Deanal, but the green hissed and pounced on him as a little blue hatched beyond them.

Dallan looked over at the yelping young man, and smiled at him, despite being distracted by the hatching eggs. He didn't have time to say anything, though, because the noise of the cracking shells distracted him with his mouth open. He quietly shut it once more, and looked. A green had hatched… and a bronze, as well! Then the blue hatched.

Well, now, isn't he a beauty? The green is gorgeous as well… and the blue, too. Whatever happens, even if I don't Impress, this has been an honor. Who knew that hatching dragons could be so beautiful?

His thoughts immediately went to welcoming them both, bronze then green, followed by blue, though he wasn't certain it would do any good. If only he could give them the welcome they deserved, like the dragons were! That thought was the last conscious thought he registered, as he turned his mind to welcoming each new hatchling as it appeared from it's long confinement in the egg. The noise was distracting, however; he could feel the hunger from both of them, and it was causing his own stomach to twist up in protest, which he only dimly registered as unusual, before he refocused his mind on giving each of the newly-hatched dragons a proper welcome.

A bronze had Hatched! The first one of the clutch. Tymon's heart swelled with happiness and hope. Would it be for him? It had made its way over and was staring expectantly at another boy. Then the green hissed and leapt for her brother while a blue Hatched behind them.

Was it normal for Hatchlings to fight? This was his first Hatching ever, as a candidate or spectator. It would be a life-changing experience either way and he still had several Turns ahead of him if he didn't Impress this time.

Tymon watched all three of the Hatchlings with equal interest. As long as his lifemate was whole and happy, he would be content. Once you Impressed, the color of your lifemate's didn't matter- you still loved them and they still loved you…

Deanal gasped as the green and bronze began fighting. That silly green could hurt his bronze! Suddenly not thinking of his own safety, Deanal stepped forward, "Here now.. none of that! You'll hurt each other!" Careful of their claws, Deanal reached to separate the hatchlings.

A blue had Hatched. The bronze and green were fighting. Her eyes widened. Surely they couldn't both be intended for the same person, so why they fighting? And why weren't the candidates trying to get their attention so they could find their lifemate?

There was nothing she could do. Worriedly, she glanced over at V'din. "Are fights normal?" she asked. There hadn't been any at the last one she had intended.

Balin took a step back, eyes widening at the fight. It's a disaster! They're going to kill each other!

The bronze nipped at his fingers, but the green creeled happily and dove at the boy.

D'nalMine! Your Foeth is here!… will you feed me?

Aleyna relaxed. The first green had Impressed! Everything would be all right now, wouldn't it? Now the bronze could go and find his lifemate. Who was that, though? The small group of boys, which was growing as a couple late-comers arrived on the sands, all looked hopeful. "I guess things will be okay. I was worried though! Do you know any of the candidates?" she asked curiously. They were all strangers to her except for Deanal and him she only vaguely recognized.

Lesli got to his feet and rubbed his face. Oww… Oh! They're fighting, that can't be good. What if I'm supposed to impress one of them, and it gets killed? He gulped, then stepped forward to join the other boys, crossing his fingers hopefully as he watched Deanal's impression take place.

D'nal blinked in shock, staring stunned at the green, "Foeth?" This couldn't be right, he was supposed to impress the bronze! His gaze met the little green's eyes, and his heart was lost. Mine… don't you want me? The green moved off the bronze and thrust her head into D'nal's arms. Numbly D'nal stroked the greens head, his mind still spinning in shock, "Of course.. Foeth.. How could I not want you…"

But.. I don't like men…

Dallan's attention was snapped away from the welcoming thoughts by sounds of a fight and aggressive emotions washing over him. He looked around and saw the bronze and green fighting. Of all things to happen, he couldn't allow this. He moved quickly over to the quarreling hatchlings, behind another, much larger boy. The other lad was trying to do the same thing he intended, but didn't seem to know what he was doing.

His beastcraft training took over and he knew what was necessary. Control the head, and you control the beast, his master's voice rang in his head. He moved over, making sure the green, whose attention was now on the other lad, was out of the way, before he completed the separation by pulling the bronze out from beneath the claws of the green. He took firm hold of the head, right where the neck joined, and carefully began assisting the bronze from beneath his hatch-mate.

He wasn't even thinking of things like Impression or any such; his concern was making sure the two were separated and that the bronze had taken no injury from his sibling's attack.

The green had already climbed off the bronze. The bronze swiped at the offending arm that had grabbed him, rending flesh. He hissed at the odd herder boy.

You're not mine! Let go!

The green had Impressed. He couldn't help being slightly glad about that- the bronze still had to choose. So did that blue. Surely it wouldn't be long! Right? He wished he had had more time at the Weyr. Having only the vaguest idea about what to expect wasn't making things easy. He winced when the bronze swiped at the boy who had just tried to help him. Glancing at the blue and the remaining eggs, he made a note to not interfere for fear of being injured like the other candidate had been… or worse.

P'tan watched with delight as the first Impression was made. The boy looked almost shocked to have Impressed. Or, perhaps it was just the color of his dragon. After all, he had been reaching for the bronze. It was not meant to be. Chenth's calm thoughts cut through P'tan's own.


The bronze knew the boy was not suited to him. The green fought for her lifemate. All is as it should be. Be easy.

Kari let out a long sigh of relief when the fighting stopped, followed by a giggle. "Keahi, Deanal Impressed the Green…"

Balin, spirits on the rise with the end of the fight, and looking to stay up this time, strode forward back into ranks with the others, though reminding himself to be careful not to push himself on any of the dragons, after what happened to Deanal.

Dallan let go abruptly, not even looking at his arm, which was bleeding from long parallel gouges where the bronze's claws had bitten, and bowed to the bronze before moving back to his original position.

He didn't bother to bind the wounds, instead simply raising his arm and bending it at a level above the middle of his chest, and grasped the opposite arm with the hand on his wounded arm.

He respected the bronze's move, though it had caused him injury; he understood why it had been done, and he had acted too slowly to prevent the dragons from fighting, too boldly to help untangle a mess which didn't exist by the time he'd acted. Now he knew better; he wouldn't make the same mistake a second time.

Keahi grinned, "Wait till A'den finds out.. Deanal will be stuck here for months!" She looked at Melody, "Don't tell Hielth, Melody.. let's wait until we're back at Fort. Then we'll both tell him in person."

Karyn watched worriedly as the two hatchlings fought. Why are they fighting? It's just like Nip and the green…I hope they don't hurt each other! She saw one of the candidates step forward. Had he impressed one? Or was he just trying to force impression? Ah, but it seemed he was trying to break up the fight. Was that allowed? A few moments later, impression was made, and everything was clear to the girl. The green, who was meant for that boy, thought the bronze was trying to impress him, and was keeping her clutchmate away from her lifemate. It doesn't look like it resulted in any injury…

But the thought had come too soon, for just then, another of the boys stepped forward and grabbed the bronze's head. It seemed he was trying to stop their fighting as well - what was his name? Karyn knew she knew it, because that was the boy she had met on their way here to the hatching grounds, wasn't it? Was it…Dallan? Yes, that's it! I remember now. She winced. Oww… I hope he's alright! She watched Dallan for a moment, but it seemed he would be alright. Just a bit of bandaging would probably do the trick. However, Karyn was no healer, so she couldn't say for sure, especially since she wasn't exactly near the other candidate.

Karyn looked down at the golden egg. It was rocking, too, just like the others. Would she wait to break her shell until most of her clutchmates had already done so? She looked around at the other girls. I wonder who she's meant for. After a few moments, she returned her attention to the un-impressed bronze and blue - the latter of which was creeling hungrily as he searched for his partner - and the rapidly shaking eggs all around. Who would these two impress?

Jairi then caught her attention, and as her mind was on the question of who the eggs would impress, she thought, I hope Jairi impresses. She really deserves it, and I think she would make a wonderful rider. She was a candidate in the last hatching, wasn't she? And she didn't impress… Karyn looked around at the eggs. I hope there's one here that is destined to be paired up with her. The gold, or even a green. I'd hate to see her go through another hatching and step off the sands alone.

"Oh! Oh dear…" The green was attacking the bronze! But soon this was resolved, and it seemed that Deanal had impressed the green - no, it was unmistakable. Then what Keahi was saying registered, and she giggled.

"Yeah…that'll be sure to cheer him up! I bet he was hoping for a bronze, so he could rub it in A'den's face. Ha! Must've been a shock, by the look on his face." Sure, greens were better than bronzes in Melody's mind, but she knew it would not be the same for Deanal.

Lesli watched as one boy impressed a green, and another was attacked by the bronze. Hmph. Serves him right for being grabby and trying to forcefully impress the bronze. He shifted his weight constantly from one foot to the other. Would this burning never stop? Why did they wish to torture the candidates so?! That combined with the excitement of the hatching was making the boy restless.

The heat of the sands really was almost unbearable. Glancing at the other candidates, he was mildly comforted that the others seemed to be just as uncomfortable. Well, a few moments of discomfort was worth Impression, right? Once again, he wished that he had arrived earlier.

It would have been nice to get to know the other candidates before being thrust onto the sands with complete strangers. How many of them had stood before? Would he be left standing at the end of the Hatching?

There were still… 12 eggs including the queen egg that had yet to Hatch it seemed. A good number, he supposed, and a new queen was always a good thing for a Weyr.

His family wasn't there, unfortunately. It would have been nice to have their support but his sister had lessons and his parents had to work to support themselves. Perhaps as a dragonrider he would be able to repay them for all their hard work.

Balin's feet were beginning to burn now, and as a result, he was starting to hop from foot to foot. Although, unusually, that didn't keep him down. He was quite excited, jumping up and down almost. I wonder who the bronze will choose? Maybe that older kid next to me? He looks like he could take care of him well. Maybe it'll be me, even! Balin's mood was soaring, and he was scouring the stands with his eyes, observing the observers. Is that the Masterharper? I think it is! And those girls over there look nice, maybe from another Weyr, and those guys over there look like Miners… His thoughts were distracting him from the sands, so he wasn't seeing much of the eggs.

P'val rushes into the hatching grounds breathing heavily. He was in the process of putting Mithnaths harness up when the humming began and was desperatley afraid he was going to miss the whole event. He glances around the crowd eagerly and is relieved to spot Lawna in the first row. He makes his way over to her quickly, pushing people out of his way with quick apologies. "Whatd i miss?" He asks Lawna excitedly as he sits down next to her.

Horlintal strides into the grounds a little late. It had taken him a little time to pack up his supplies and get them put away. He did not seem too bothered though. As the stands were full he picks a spot to stand against the far wall. Bastion pops out of nowhere and the little bronze settles in on the healers shoulders. Horlintal idly begins to pet his firelizard as he watches the hatching. These things never cease to amaze me…

you did miss that sweet little green trying to maul the bronze that was to near her life mate and our firast injury, that boy Dallen, I think he can hear all the dragons but he grabbed that bronze that didnt want him and got clawed for it I suppose hearing dragons still dosent make you wise to them

"Hear all the dragons?!" the bronze rider asked surprised. "Ive never heard of such an ability before.."

Another blue swooped into the cavern, swiftly depositing his white-clad burden on the sands and finding himself a ledge on which to perch.

Orinlatan shuffled his feet, oblivious to what had gone on before his arrival and scared of what might happen next.

I dont know for sure, the eggs decided to hatch just before I was going to speak with C'pan about it he could just be…off…but Ioreth notice him and he knew the names of both the injured browns and could tell them appart. I know he just got here and I can't think of anyway for him to have learned their names and be able to tell them appert so soon.she looks worried Im most surprised Ioreth noticed him, she usually doent take any intrest in the canidates unless thier after her babies and that she would notice him now is doubly surprising lawna looks over at her softly glowing gold from the look of her were going to have to make sure no one lingers to long tommorrow morning

Ioreth glowers down at the canidates from her ledge.

"It definatley sounds like something worth looking into." He stares off and thinks on it for a moment, just trying to imagine what it would be like to hear all the dragons in your head. His attention is brought back to the situation at hand shortly though. "You really think she will rise that soon?" he asked casually. He seemed alot calmer about her eminent rising than he had a few days ago.

Karyn looked up toward the stands. There were quite a lot of people watching them, and even more were constantly arriving. Probably a lot of the other candidates had family up there in those stands, watching the hatching with the crowd, and crossing their fingers for that candidate to impress. Her family wasn't up there. They would have loved to have come, she was sure. They had stressed that point beyond how much was neccessary when she left. But they were just too busy, and couldn't make it in time. I wonder what they're doing now…

As she stood there, looking up into the stands, Karyn couldn't help but let her mind wander toward home. She missed her family, but her little sister most of all. I guess she's probably busy weaving. I wonder what mother's doing? Or my little brother…

its either that or he's touched in the head and I recall learning the dragons wont search those that are off like that she looks gives Ioreth a look and says with dry humor I think Im going to have to have an uneventful night if I dont want to cause any incedents I think Ioreth LIKES being 'loud'.

The little bronze continued to hiss at the candidates around it, backing away. Another egg split, spilling a little brown onto the sands head-over-heels.

Lesli frowned. What's wrong with that bronze? He's hissing at everyone. I guess that means he hasn't impressed anyone yet. His eyes widened. Another one's hatching. Oh, it's a brown! He grinned. I'm sure I'll impress, how couldn't I? I wonder what color it'll be…maybe a brown! I'm too short to be able to ride a bronze, they're too big. I hope it's a brown! he thought excitedly.

The little bronze, backing away from the core of the candidates, tripped over Lesli, bowling him over. The bronze found himself laying on his back on Lesli's chest.

Oh, hello L'sli. Are you mine?

Kari watched apprehensively. "That bronze seems to be causing a lot of hurt, i hope he impresses soon, before someone gets really hurt." She hadn't seen anyone get badly injured at the Hatching she'd been to, but she'd heard stories of people breaking bones, and even dying. Though she wasn't sure if she believed those last stories, she still wished the candidates would be more careful. She didn't like to see people getting hurt. "Oh, the bronze knocked over the kid! I hope he's okay. Did he Impress?"

Another dragonet had emerged. It was a brown, kind of small for his color but aside from that he appeared to be quite healthy. That blue had yet to make up his mind. As for that bronze, who was hissing at the candidates…

Tymon wasn't quite sure what to make of that. That didn't seem normal to him but what did he know? Maybe after that one boy had touched him he didn't want any of the candidates getting too close?

He gasped when the bronze tripped over one of the boys, landing on top of him on his back. Was he all right? Had he Impressed? The heat of the sands was momentarily forgotten.

A brown had joined the other two dragonets still on the sands. What was taking that blue so long? And why was that bronze hissing at everyone? Her eyes widened when the bronze tripped over a boy and landed on him. Would they be all right? Would Impression be made? Leaning forward, she watched anxiously.

Balin watched with avid interest as two more eggs hatched, one by one. A blue and a brown! That's good, a nice variety. I hope that there are a lot of bronzes, that would be good. They look nice and strong, even though that brown is a bit small. I wonder wen the gold egg is going to hatch? I've heard that everything else seems to stop when the gold egg starts hatching, even the other eggs about to hatch wait! I wonder if it's true? Excitable little kid. Balin shifted his feet when the kid to his left went down. He turned to look at him more closely, offering his small hand to help him up, but keeping his cautious distance from the bronze. "Are you okay?"

Ca'dis winced as the bronze clawed the boy but stays away, it was best to keep clear unless anyone was injured really severly.

Lesli was both surprised and frightened when the bronze knocked him over, landing on top of him and interrupting his thoughts.

Oh, hello. Are you mine?

"Gah!" It was a bit disturbing, hearing a voice in his head. It seemed to be the bronze speaking to him! "I…uh…I'm not sure. Aren't you supposed to know that?" He didn't seem to notice Balin, though his answer could have been mistaken as being directed toward the other boy - even though it didn't make much sense that way.

The bronze flails his legs in the air.

Help, mine, I'm stuck. I'm Fifth, by the way.

Karyn gasped as one of the younger boys on the sands was knocked over and pinned down by the little bronze hatchling. Isn't that the second time that boy has fallen on the sands? Ouch… I bet that burns. Especially with the dragon on top of him, that has to be uncomortable. I hope he's alright, and the bronze too! She watched the two curiously. Say, I wonder - did they impress? The whole scene was a bit confusing. Was he answering the other boy? She couldn't hear too clearly, but it seemed to her that it didn't make much sense. Maybe the bronze had spoken to him after all…

Had Impression been made or not? Tymon still couldn't tell. The bronze's legs were flailing in the air. That had be uncomfortable. Shifting, he wondered if he should try and help… The young man stepped closer so he would be in the bronze's line of sight. Seeing how the dragonet had lashed out at the other boy who had wanted to help and been hissing, he wasn't about to get closer unless the bronze was meant for him. Whether or not he was, Tymon would be content as long as the bronze Impressed and his own lifemate, whatever color the hide, was healthy and happy.

Lesli's eyes widened. "You…called me 'mine'…" He looked around, his eyes landing on Balin, who was closest. "Help! Fifth is stuck, he can't get up, and I can't help him, cuz he's on top of me!"

Don't hurt him if he helps, 'kay?

Ca'dis bites his lip didnt they listen? crowding the hatchiling was the best way to get injured

Durpth send soothing happy thoughts to his they will find thier and it will be good it always is

Ca'dis wipes away tears that had begun to fall yes it always is good

Balin stepped back from the flailing bronze. "I don't know. How would I know? Oh, you mean him. Sorry." Shutting up now, Balin stepped back into line, turning his eyes back to the rocking eggs, and even straying to the queen egg. When he asked for help, he turned back. "Really? I-I'm not sure if I should touch him…" He stepped closer, but, still unsure, stayed out of reach of the dragon.

"Ow…" he groaned. This was a very uncomfortable position. "No! Wait! Help!" was all he could manage to say. His respiratory system was a bit squished.

"He won't hurt you… I think. I think I've impressed him…"

Ah, the bronze had Impressed to the boy he had fallen on. There was another younger candidate there so Tymon was fully prepared to back away and let things happen. But the new pair needed help. He took a tentative step forward. "What can I do?" he asked.

Balin held out his hand to the dragon, attempting to grab it's leg to roll it over onto it's legs and off of Lesli. He turned his head toward Tymon, and nodded. "Help me roll him over." He pointed around to the other side. "Maybe you can lift over there."

Tymon wouldn't know if he had or not. Hadn't the boy said a name? Fifth? Glancing at Balin, he nodded, amused to be taking orders from someone younger. In this case he didn't mind very much. Moving to the other side, he carefully put his hands under the bronze, hoping that Lesli was right and that Fifth wouldn't hurt him. With a grunt, he pushed, hoping that the motion would roll the bronze off his lifemate and onto his feet.

Keahi brought a hand up to her mouth, "Oh dear.. I remember Stejth hurting several people in the stands.. but that was toward the end of hatching. I'm surprised that there all ready several people hurt here." She looked at Melody, "I'm glad ours were a bit more graceful out of their shells.. even if Aronth did go the wrong way at first."

Shayan gasped when the bronze bowled Lesli over, After all that.. I hope he impresses.. Hearing him speak a name, she grinned, "He must have impressed.. I'm hope I'm as lucky.." She watched a few of the hatchlings that still wandered the sands before looking back at the queen egg and focusing her attention on it.

Don't hurt them. They'll flip you over on ta your feet. And stop squirming, it makes it hard ta breathe…
Oh, sorry!

The flailing of the bronze's legs ceased, which made it slightly easier for Lesli to breathe. The weight of the hatchling was still on him, though, which wasn't particularly comfortable.

Had the bronze Impressed? It was hard to tell. The boy under him looked a bit frantic. Two of the other candidates were helping and she hoped that the bronze wouldn't lash out at them for their efforts. They were just trying to help and quite clearly the boy underneath couldn't do much, if anything. The other two dragonets had yet to find their lifemates but she was sure they would. At the moment, she watched the bronze and the three boys.

The poor little blue continued to cast around listlessly, creeling for /his/ to find him. The brown was a tad more confident, stridign up to the boys and looking them over, but he seemed just as confused.

Another egg spilled an over-sized green onto the sands, and she managed to trap her wing beneath herself as she tried to stand.

Kari giggled. "I remember that! That was cute." She watched the efforts with the bronze for a moment. "It looks like they're getting him off, so I think they'll be fine. Someone will need to check out that kid, though, make sure he's not hurt." She turns her head toward her sister and Melody. "What do you think will hatch next? I say a blue." Just then the green came out, trapping it's wing. "I guess I was wrong. Oh, that poor thing! I hope it's okay!"

Balin gave his mightiest heave on the dragon's leg, trying to pull it over, and hoping it didn't hurt the dragon. It didn't hurt him, but it didn't move him very far, either.

The combined efforts of the two boys did the trick. Fifth was soon on his feet, and like the boy had said, he didn't hurt the two. Lesli sat up, breathing heavily.

I am so sorry, Mine! I did not see you, and I did not know it was you. Did I hurt you? Are you alright?
Yeah, I think I'm okay… What about you?
I am fine.

It worked! Balin's spirit soared. Mind high in the clouds, he turned back to the hatchlings, practically bubbling with joy.

Martin had been watching the whole goings-on with shifting feet and anxiety in his heart. The fight, the boy getting near-mauled—though he seemed to be okay. Or at least not brutally hurt. On the other hand, he should probably go get medical attention before he passed out on these hot sands.

But not that that was any of Martin's business, anyways. He looked to and fro. A blue looked like he was very lost; Martin hoped that that little one wouldn't go between. A confident brown, but somewhere in those swirling eyes Martin had a feeling that he was just as sad and lost as his blue brother.

And a big green, newly hatched and not coordinated enough to keep from hurting herself. Forcefully Martin kept himself from going to help her. Not that he was afraid of getting hurt by her, he just didn't want anyone to think he was doing something silly such as forcing an Impression.

Again, Martin shifted. One of these days, he was going to invent a pair of footwear that would be acceptable to wear on the Hatching Sands.

Melody agreed. "Hey, do you think they impressed? It looks like they might've…"

At last, the bronze was on his feet. Tymon stepped back, grinning at the other boy who had helped before turning to Lesli. "Congratulations!" he declared. He gave a short bow to the bronze before returning to his place among the candidates.

He gave a sigh of relief, glad that they hadn't gotten injured. Fifth seemed to be unharmed, thankfully, and so did Lesli. And Impression had been made. The blue was creeling rather pitifully and the brown was looking at the boys but neither seemed close to finding theirs.

Then a green Hatched. She was big. He winced when she stepped on her wing. That had to hurt! The young man tried to watch all three of the dragonets, occasionally glancing at the eggs to see which one would be Hatching next.

The brown, in his stalwart confusion, butted his snout into Tymon's butt.

Oooh, another green had Hatched! The blue and brown were still trying to find thir lifemates but going about it quite differently. Hatchings really were very interesting! And SO exciting, even though she wasn't a candidate. She winced when she saw the green step on her wing. Was she all right?

T'len leaned forward from his perch by his dragon willing the hatchling to impress the blue didnt even seems to be looking. He glance nervously towards the weyr entrance hoping for the flap of dragon wing signalling a late arrival.

Vorth stops humming for a moment and snorts he looks at his with his near eye you are making me itchy again

Tymon had somehow lost sight of the brown. Where was h-? Oh! The young man gave a yelp of surprise when he felt something nudge him from behind. He turned around to face… the brown. "Why, hello there," he said with a little chuckle. "You surprised me!" His tone was gentle and soothing, his thoughts full of warmth and affection and food. Still, he was prepared to move out of the way if necessary.

R'lon's breath catches at the bronze's Impression, and he leans deeper into Seminth's side. At least you didn't land on me when you knocked me over, eh, Seminth?

Seminth turns his head so he can nudge his rider gently with his nose. You were much more agile than this boy. But you were the right choice. Pride seeps into the bronze's mental tone, as well as a certain smugness. Of course, his choice was the best.

R'lon hugs the great nose to him, letting the warm breath wash over his body. Glad it was me you chose.

Karyn watched as closely as she could. "That boy said a name…I think he impressed the bronze!" Watching impressions filled her heart to overflowing with sheer joy. Impression was such a wonderful thing! I wonder if I shall ever experience it… Sure, she had impressed Nip. But she was certain that impressing a firelizard was only a fraction as wonderful as a dragon impression.

Speaking of that little bugger, Nip fluttered his wings excitedly as he watched the happenings down on the sands. Chirping at the brown next to him, Echo, he flew up in a spiral, and landed happily again.

The blue was looking a bit lost and confused. Was he having trouble finding his boy? Was his destined partner even here? The brown seemed to have found someone - maybe? A green hatched, and Karyn sized her up. Wow, she's big, for a green anyway…she could almost be a blue! Oh! She's stepping on her wing, the poor thing! I hope she's alright, and finds her lifemate soon… She grinned at Shayan. "This is so exciting!"

Shayan nodded rapidly, "I know.. I hope we both impress.." She caught sight of the poor blue, "Why hasn't that one found his yet?"

"Yes, I hope so, too!" Karyn frowned. "I don't know… It worries me. I hope he finds him, though. I wonder if something's wrong? Something other than what we can see, I mean." She watched the blue thoughtfully.

Lesli simply grinned at the other boys before they turned away, not even thanking them for their help. Wow…I can't believe I impressed a bronze!
Why is it so unbelievable that we were meant to be together?
I'm just surprised, that's all. What startled him even more was the realization that the bronze could hear all his thoughts.

The bronze cocked his head curiously. Yes?
How come you didn't know you were supposed ta impress me?
Oh, that is easy. I simply did not recognize you at first!
The boy nodded. It still wasn't very clear to him, but he'd figure it out before too long.

Lesli jumped a little. Oh, that's my name now?
It is.
It's weird.
It is?
But it's an improvement… I always used ta get teased for having a girly name. He blushed slightly.
That's my name, don't wear it out. He chuckled. What's up?

I am hungry.

The brown, seemingly confused, wumphed into Tymon again, knocking him over.

Mine now, t'mon! Wopth has coquered thee!

The great queen egg wobbled hugely first transversely, then along the opposite axis.

Kari almost squealed with excitement. "The gold egg is about to hatch! Did you see it move? There it goes again!"

The brown butted him again. His arms flailed in a vain attempt to maintain his balance. "Owww!" he exclaimed when he hit the sands. He sprang to his feet again, glancing at the brown. Strangely, it wasn't annoyance but affection he felt.

Mine now! Wopth has conquered thee! His eyes widened as Impression was made. Grinning, he knelt, heedless of the pain this time, and began to scratch Wopth's eyeridges. "Yes, you have," he murmured.

The brown's eyes whirled with triumph and affection and wonder. 'Tis most strange, for I feel as though thou hast also conquered me! T'mon, I hunger. Whilst thou not assuage the ache in mine stomach?

Shayan gasped when the queen egg rocked twice. It was about to happen. Soon the little queen would hatch and choose her lifemate. Who would it be? Clasping her hands in front of her, Shayan could scarcly breathe.

Apparently the brown had Impressed. She giggled when the brown knocked the boy over and he sprang to his feet with a cry. However, all her attention was diverted to the queen egg when it began to rock. The queen was about to Hatch! She was quite curious as to who the newest queen would choose. Not her, she was almost entirely certain of it.

The movement of the gold egg startled Karyn! She gasped, and nearly jumped. "Is she…hatching?" She bit her lip. Was this it? Was it the moment she and the other girls had been waiting for? She watched the egg anxiously, watching very closely for cracks in the great golden egg, and crossing her fingers hopefully. Rather suddenly, Nip began to hum.

Is it time?

Quin gasps as the egg rocks please please please please she takes a few steps closer hoping to be the closest to the queen when she broke shell and mabye the first thing she would see.

Fifth decided to greet the other dragons. Hello, sister, he told Foeth. And to Wopth, Hello brother.

Toward the rather large green, he directed a question. Hello, sister. Why are you standing on your wing?

And finally, to the blue he sent encouragement. I am sure you will find yours…I had trouble, but I kept looking, and I found him.

"…Fifth? What're you doing?"
I am greeting my siblings.

Foeth practically purred at Fifth, Hello, Fifth.. numb with shock, A green…

Tymon couldn't think of anything else but his magnificent lifemate. Wopth… They made their way to where L'sli and Fifth were waiting. He grinned at the other boy before turning to watch the rest of the Hatching.

Wopth bugled a greeting to his siblings, his eyes whirling when he glanced at Fifth. Greetings, brother! How dost thou fare? he asked.

V'din abstractedly answered Aleyna, his attention still on all the activity on the sands. Yeah..I know one of the candidates..Jairi. She stood with us and didn't impress. She's down there. I hope she gets the Gold, I think she will. He went back to watching carefully, wincing in sympathy when the one boy was gouged by the bronze. He remembered when he had helped Murth free his wing. He had been lucky that Murth didn't mistake him for forcing impression and hurt him. His dragon objected strongly to that idea. I would have never hurt you! You were mine, and that's why you helped me.

All of a sudden the Queen egg rocked mightily. V'din gasped. Oh look, she's going to hatch!

Fifth cocked his head to the other side. Why do you talk weird, Wopth?

Wopth's eyes whirled and his head snapped back as if he had been hurt. I do not talk… weird! Why wouldst thou say such a thing? the brown asked. Dost thou think I have a strange manner of speech, Mine?

Truthfully T'mon had never heard anyone else talk like his wonderful brown. You don't talk like anyone else I know but it's your way of talking. What others think doesn't matter. I love you! He did, more than anything else on Pern…

Aleyna glanced down at the girls. Which one was Jairi? "Ah," she said, pretending that she did. Nodding, she leaned forward again. Taban's humming had escalated to welcome the queen as she prepared to make her entrance. Or at least that's how it seemed. "I remember Kiarith was the last to Hatch from her clutch but I guess that queens don't always Hatch last."

Karyn looked at Quintal. Why is she stepping closer to the egg? Does she want to risk be injured when the queen hatches if they weren't meant for each other? That would be very bad, considering herr current state… At least, she appears to be pregnant. I wouldn't swear to it. She tore her eyes away from the woman, and moved them back to the rocking queen egg, focusing her full attention on it. I must not get sidetracked. I want to be prepared when she hatches, so that if she does not choose me, I can move out of the way if I need to. An alert candidate is a safe candidate.

Nip let out a loud and joyful cheep, then continued to hum, watching the queen egg and female candidates below attentively.

Keahi leaned forward to focus on the gold. She tried not to watch the blue that still wandered the hatching grounds. She was starting to have a sneaking suspicion that it was going to go between. Zane continued to hum on his perch on her shoulder, "I wonder who the queen will choose?"

I am sorry, brother! Fifth apologized. I did not mean to upset you! It is not bad, no, that is not what I meant. I meant different, and different is not always a bad thing. Take Mine, for instance. He is undersized for his age. But he is very good, otherwise I would not have chosen him, right? The bronze, who was just a little undersized himself, nudged his L'sli affectionately, recieving an eye ridge scratch in return.

P'tan is rather enjoying this Hatching, using it to reaffirm his bond with Chenth. While he was interested in seeing who Impressed the greens (and the other blues and browns), his attention is drawn by the rocking of the queen egg.

The blue still hadn't Impressed and neither had that green. Not even the daze of happiness from Impression could overwhelm his concern from Wopth's siblings. He alternated watching the dragonets and the other eggs, especially the queen egg. Wopth's eyes whirled. Fear not, good Fifth, the brown said. Thank you for thine kind words and thou speakest truly. Neither would I have chosen Tymon had he not been meant for me.

Two more eggs suddenly shattered, spilling a second bronze and a third green onto the sands, but their birth's were detracted from as the great golden egg began to show small cracks, then shattered, spraying all around it with tiny flecks of egg-shrapnel. She strutted out of the ruins of her egg and walked towards Quintal eyeing her (or is it her belly) with great interest.

And Lo, the queen had appeared.

While Martin was interested in seeing which of the girls would Impress, he otherwise had no interest in the whole thing beyond that. It was unlikely he would get to chase for the Queen, if he Impressed.

Martin looked at the other dragons again, another green and another bronze having shown themselves slightly before the Queen.

There was another bronze on the sands as well as the third green of the clutch. However, they were overshadowed by the entrance of the golden queen. She was eyeing the pregnant candidate with interest. Would she be Ista's newest queenrider? Aleyna didn't know any of the hopeful girls well enough to have an opinion. So she just pursed her lips and waited along with the rest of the Weyr.

Marsali held her breath as the new Queen hatched and looked at the oldest candidate. Oh no no, please, let it be Jairi.. The timid former beastcrafter repeated her entreaty to herself over and over, as if her opinion would hold sway with the newly hatched Queen. Bainth chimed in, If it is meant to be, she will chose the harper girl. If not, she will not. She will chose correctly. This of course was true, but did nothing to assuage her weyrmate's hope.

L'sli didn't even notice the bronze and green hatching. He was too absorbed in the shattering of the queen's egg. It didn't really matter to him who impressed the gold, but he wanted to watch anyway. He was curious.

Welcome, brother!

Hello, sister!

And finally, to the gold, Welcome, sister!

The golden egg hatched - no, it shattered!

Karyn gasped, and her hand flew to her mouth, as she speechlessly beheld the beauty of the young gold. Wow… She's amazing! It was impossible in her amazement for her to think anything other than happy and inviting thoughts. Beaming, she watched with bated breath as the gold examined the older candidate, watching for signs of impression. She had heard that they didn't usually impress right away, but inspected the candidates first, so it wasn't likely that she had impressed already - but yet possible all the same. And if she didn't like Quintal? Please don't hurt her, you'll hurt her baby… The new queen seemed to be looking at Quintal's belly. Karyn bit her lip again, waiting for something, anything, to happen. Hopefully something good, and no injury.

Who would the gold choose?

Melody was jumping up and down in excitement. "She hatched! Oooh, Keahi! She hatched, she hatched! The queen hatched!" She was grinning from ear to ear. "Did you see how her egg shattered?"

Oooh, the queen had Hatched! Though Wopth would probably never be able to catch her, he was still intensely curious about who she would choose as her lifemate. She was looking at the pregnant candidate. The brown was observing her with whirling eyes. He wanted to greet her but would wait until she had made the most important decision in her life, the one that would forever change the life of one young woman…

V'din leaned forward, holding his breath as the Queen shattered her shell and made her appearance. Above on the ledges, Murth heralded the appearance of the Gold by deepening his hum and increasing the volume, fairly singing a welcome to his (and the other bronzes) potential mate.

Kari gasped when the egg shattered. She was rendered temporarily speechless by the sight of the queen standing their in all her practical royal majesty, gold hide shining brilliantly. "Wow…"

P'tan lets out the breath he didn't know he'd been holding as the queen steps from the shards of her egg. She was a little beauty, and emanated "queen" in every way. Now, the only question was, which girl would she choose.

The right one, of course. Chenth's calm logic interrupts P'tan's thoughts.

P'tan turns to regard his blue thoughtfully. The dragon always knows?

The dragon always knows. And with that food for thought, P'tan turns back to see the little gold's choice.

Quin gasped entranced finally it was her turn! she leaned for ward intending to ask the gorgous creature her name. The slight change in postion was just enough, between the now unsettling motion of dragon finght , the heat and exictement pregnancy sickness finally won. she shuddered and then vomited; Right on the new hatched queen. She keep wretching though lucky no longer aiming at the unfortunate gold, tears begain to poor down her cheacks and she sobbed between heaves as her stomach emptyed Everything onto the sand

Balin looked around at the dragons on the sand, watching, and wondering which one would choose who, when the gold egg suddenly shattered. They were right, everything else does seem to stop. When Quintal threw up on her, Balin winced. She's not going to like that…

Keahi's hands flew to her mouth, covering her gasp of shock when the pregnant candidate threw up on the newborn queen, "Uh oh.."

Aleyna couldn't help being envious of the girls on the sands. And of her sister, whose Kiarith was just as lovely as the queen who had just Hatched. She gaped in astonishment, horror, and disgust when the pregnant candidates threw up on the young queen. Ewwww!

R'lon, watching the little gold avidly to see her choice, recoils in disgust as one of the candidates empties the contents of her stomach onto the dragonet. Gross! Shards, Seminth, why'd they put a squeamish candidate out there? What'll she be like if she Impresses and has has to cut up meat for her dragon? Don't the Search dragons think about stuff like that before they bring 'em back here?

Seminth's eyes take on the purple of worry as he watches the scene unfold. I do not know. I have never been on Search. His eyes whirl faster as his worry increases. I hope the queen is all right. His welcoming hum has not stopped; in fact, it has increased now that the young queen has emerged.

R'lon crosses his arms in disgust at his dragon. Shows where your head is.

T'mon gaped in astonishment when the pregnant candidate threw up… all over the young queen. He could hardly believe what he had just witnessed. He shuddered. Wopth's eyes whirled. Managing to tear his gaze away from the queen and the girl who had just vomited all over her, he glanced at the other dragonets who had yet to choose before turning his gaze back to the queen.

Martin coudln't help himself. He caught the puking out of the corner of his eye, and when he noticed the queen covered in sick, he started snickering, rather hard.

Really, he wasn't a very nasty person, he just thought the sight was funny.

The Masterharper cringed at the girl vomiting on the queen, but he made a mental count of the dragons on the sands.

Shayan gasped in shock when Quintal vomited on the queen, "Oh my.. you poor thing.." The platinum haired girl looked around, "Umm.." With a slight groan, she tore a strip of cloth from the hem of her candidate robe and carefully approached the queen to attempt to clean off her head, "Please don't hurt me.. I'm just trying to help.."

Karyn gasped in sync with Shayan. She closed her eyes for a second. Eww… I hope she doesn't get hurt for getting the gold messy… But when Shayan tore some cloth from her robe and stepped forward, she said, "Careful, Shayan! I don't know if that's such a good idea. She's probably a bit annoyed right now, and confused, so she might hurt you. Maybe you should wait until after she chooses, she should be calmed down once she impresses someone." Her concern for the other girl showed in her voice and on her face. "Please, Shayan. Too many people have gotten hurt already. Don't you get hurt, too!"

L'sli wrinkled his nose when the pregnant woman emptied her last meal onto the gold. "Yuck! Why'd they even let her on ta tha sands?"

Mine! Do not be mean. She is hurting, there is a child inside her. Can you not see that she is crying? Fifth had a sympathetic tone.

The boy snorted. Why should he care? It was her problem, not his.

Melody looked away. "Oh shards…"

By Faranth! Marsali shuddered as the oldest female candidate became sick all over the newly hatched Queen. How could this happen? Though she was horrified at what the girl had done, she couldn't help but feel sympathy for her. After all, she was so nervous during her Impression that she might have thrown up had she had anything in her stomach.

Bainth added her opinion, her mental vocal tone almost sneering, so unlike the green that Marsali stared up at her in shock. That one should have known better than to attempt to Impress the Queen. She is gravid and risks not only herself, but the child and the Queen should she give birth before the Queen is old enough to understand the pain.

Lawna's jaw drops and the woman on the sands hurls on the new gold shards she didnt know if she felt worse for the poor woman or the tiny gold that gold is going to crawl back in her shell and never come out after a greeting like that, and I think that girl would like to join her she noted that the rider that had dropped the woman off had made himself scare probably for the best though it was certain his just deserts would find him for dropping This on thier laps.

Ca'dis surpresses a gag of his own when the woman vomits all over the new queen. Slaughtering herd beast, dragons eating, mucking out the pens even birth all were fine with him just not the sight of vomit, or worse someone vomiting.

Asilinn took the opportunity to glide into the hatching grounds on Iath, still revelling in awe over her first flight. With a much more graceful flare of her wings, Iath alighted on the hatching stands, triuphantly settling into her welcome hum as her rider slipped off her neck.

We did it! I told you we would fly!

indeed you did my Linn-love. And I fly fast and well since I am so agile.

Asilinn smiled as her dragon puffed up with pride as she realized that being small was not a bad thing. She snorted as she looked over the hatching as she stood by her green, watching the girl throw up over the gold.

be nice to the girl she does not feel well. her dragon chided.

Horlintal watched the proceedings with his usual open mouthed awe. He would watch each dragon eagerly as they emerged from their eggs, his attention being shifted every time a new one hatched. He was particularly fascinated by the explosive manner in which the queen had emerged. When the candidate vomited however his inerest was peaked. He began wondering what could cause her to do something like that and immediatley spotted her belly. Odd, i didnt know pregnant women could stand for impression… He made a mental note to check on her once the hatching was over to insure nothing was wrong.

P'vals head came back and his jaw dropped as he watched the girl vomit on the queen. "By the egg.. why would she do something like that…" In all his life in the weyr he had never seen anything like this.

V'din gagged as the gravid woman threw up right on the poor Queen. Shells! I've never seen or heard of such a thing happening! His bronze agreed, his voice full of worry This has never happened before. I hope this doesn't put her between..she hasn't even found her lifemate! V'din frowned. He hadn't even considered that this may upset the Queen that much.

Shayan nodded, but did not look away from the queen, ready to jump back at any moment, "I know that.. but I can't just leave her like that.." She continued to approach, "I just want to clean you off.."

"Shayan, please wait! There will be time to clean her up after she chooses." Karyn's voice showed that this advice had changed to a plea. She didn't want the other girl to get hurt. They had seen not long before that trying to help an un-impressed hatchling often resulted in injury.

"Please," she repeated, almost in a wisper.

Melody sat down, with her face in her hands. She couldn't watch this anymore.

Ronalth's eyes whirled red-orange with anger.

Ronalth's 'voice' projects into Horlintal's mind, Help her off the sands now, you fool, before something happens to the child within.

The little queen hisses at all around her, backing away and shaking her head, sending little sprays of vomit everywhere.

The little blue, however, seemed to finally make up his mind, swinging his head into Balin's side, humming loudly.

Oh, there you are B'linmine. Your Aath looked everywhere for you.

Shayan yelped, holding up the ripped cloth as meager protection against the queen's shaking, "Eww.."

Keahi groaned again when the queen started shaking, attempting to rid her golden hide of the disgusting stuff that had been tossed on her, "I think she's okay, Melody.. although not very happy."

Karyn's eyes widen as she steps back a bit, startled by Ronalth's anger and the little queen's hiss. It frightened her, and it showed in her eyes. She looked at Shayan, relieved that the other girl hadn't gotten close enough to the gold to get hurt, and likewise that the gold had not attacked the vomiting pregnant woman in agitation.

Thinking fast, Karyn filled her mind with warm and happy thoughts. "Think happy thoughts," she suggested to the other girls. "Maybe it will help calm her down."

Balin finally realizes that not everything does not stop when the queen hatches, for here was living proof. Instead it seemed like everything but he and his blue had stopped moving. He dropped down on one knee beside the blue, hugging it, and trying to hum along with it. "There you are Aath, I was hoping you'd find me soon."

T'mon watched and waited tensely to see how the young queen would react. The clutch's mother didn't seem very happy either. He placed a hand on Wopth for comfort and strength. Fear not, Mine. All shall be made well, the brown assured him.

The blue at last made up his mind. That was a relief! He had been concerned. What of the two greens and the bronze? What were they waiting for? It was hard to know where to look but T'mon didn't want to miss anything, so he tried to observe all the action going on on the sands.

Kari watched in wide-eyed wonder. "She looks like a dog when she does that. But, she's still so… regal. Is that the word? She looks like a real Queen, despite the mess." She watched, fascinated, a moment longer, before checking up on the other hatchlings. "Oh, the blue Impressed! That green still looks like she's having trouble though…" she bit her lip, worriedly.

Aleyna could hardly breathe for the suspense. The queens definitely weren't happy. The girls were clustering around. Would that make things worse? Oh, she hoped the queen would Impress soon so that she could be cleaned off! The blue's Impression was hardly noticed. It didn't seem like either queen would hurt anyone, but you never knew…

Shayan nodded and focused on happy things.. standing for impression, playing with Razz. She smiled at the queen, using the clean parts of the torn strip of cloth to wipe off her face, "Calm down, golden one.. Let us help you." She took a step back, thinking the queen wanted space.

Dallan smiled softly when the queen emerged, as well as the others, and sent each a welcome thought; he didn't make the mistake of going up to a hatchling again; he had the bloody gouges in his arm, thankfully beginning to dry and stop bleeding, to prove that it was a bad idea to do so. He simply bowed to each and sent a warm, welcoming thought, and a smile. He didn't mind that none of them had chosen him; he had heard it was possible that none of them would choose him. He simply let things be as they were, and welcomed each accordingly.

If I get any dragon at all, it would be far more than wonderful, but even if I don't, I'll never be alone; I'll always know how they feel, and it won't be so lonely.

Quin shreiks when the huge beast hisses at her and begins trying to leave the sands sobbing harder, only now everything seems to be working against her. She makes it only a few steps before she steps on the hem of her rob and narrowly avoids falling face first on the sand by partially catching herself on one of the unhatched eggs. she pulls her hand bak as if burned and falls right on her butt.

The newest bronze makes a b-line for Dallan, bowling him over and walking atop him (his little claws pricking the skin all up his torso) until he could look into the lads eyes and cooed softly.

There you are, mine, your Seventh has found you.

The over-sized green was still tryingto disentangle her wing from her claws.

Karyn saw Quintal fall, and she gasped, rushing to the woman's side. "Are you alright?" she asked. "Do you need me to help you up?" All this excitement was getting to be a bit too much. The poor woman, I hope she's alright when this is all over…

Kari winced as the bronze knocked the boy over. "That poor boy, he needs to get fixed up." She turned to her sister with a worried look. "No-one gut hurt this much in the last Hatching we went to, did they? And that green is going to tear up her wing if she keeps that up!" She fidgeted in her seat, wanting to run down there and help it, but knowing she would get in big trouble if she did.

Quin sobbs harder and waves the girl away she manages to make it to her feet and gathers the robes up in her hands tries again to get off the sands, though this time she doesnt try to run.

The larger green was still caught in her wings. She could seriously hurt herself! Aleyna bit her lip anxiously, the drama of the queen's condition and how it had happened momentarily forgotten. The green's lifemate would help her but in order for that to happen she had to find her lifemate! It didn't seem right to her that the green was basically being ignored. She had an important part to play too!

It appeared as though the second bronze and the blue had made up their minds. Still, the greens had yet to choose and the one still had her foot caught. He frowned, wishing he could help. That was for her lifemate. Although Wopth wanted to do nothing more than charge out there and rescue the damsel in distress.

Quintal's reaction troubled Karyn. Why didn't she want help? She did look like she could use it. "You sure you're alright? Why are you leaving? Don't you want to be here when the queen chooses? What if you leave, and she chooses you?" Her voice showed kindness and concern for the older candidate.

Keahi looked at the green worriedly, "They're too busy helping the queen."

Melody finally looked up from her hands again, but not at the queen. She looked over at the larger green worriedly. "Oh no, poor thing…" Mini twerped inquiringly.

Dallan was surprised by the bronze rushing into him and knocking him to the hot sands. He nearly yelped as it started walking on him, it's weight an uncomfortable pressure on his chest. Suddenly, the bronze stopped, right in the middle of his chest, sat down and looked him in the eyes, and the most wonderful thing in the world happened — he heard the sweetest sound in the world.

Welcome to the world, Seventh; it's good to see you.

It is good to finally find you as well, mine. Why do you sound so funny?

It's just that you're sitting on my chest, and I'm having trouble breathing. Nothing for you to concern yourself with right now.

Why didn't you say something before now, mine? I would have moved. I will move now; you need to breathe.

And Seventh promptly stood and hopped off of his chest, to the sands next to the slight boy. He stood there crooning while Dallan — no, now he was a dragonrider; his name was now D'lan, he must remember that — gratefully sucked air into his lungs and expelled it a few times, before he finally stood up carefully, looked down at the bronze, and smiled, before reaching down and gently stroking the left eye-ridge.

Do that some more, but not now; I'm hungry!

Seventh's eyes were whirling with the colors of intense hunger now, and D'lan nodded, and said, "Well, then, Seventh, we'll just have to find you something to eat, then, won't we?"

And D'lan walked to the edge of the sands, keeping to the pace of the bronze.

He looked back up, blanching at seeing the filthy queen, "Look at that, Foeth."

The green craned her head back to look towards the golden queen, Filthy.. I want to be clean and soft. D'nal felt his heart melting towards the adoring green.

Ioreth mantles and mimics her dam hiss threateningly at the retreating girl HsssssSSSSS

Food takes a more direct approch and dives at the girl shreeeing

Lawna stands up and turns her will on the Blue flit stop NOW

Foood give one final skree and goes to hide in one the the crannies in the cavern.

Zane, oddly, stopped his humming and chirped inquiringly at Mini, waving his head towards the ailing green. The brown hops onto the seat back in front of him, continuing to chirp at Mini.

Lesli patted his bronze's hide gently as he watched the retreating gold candidate. Either she's feeling that sick, or she decided she doesn't want ta impress tha gold after all, he thought, once again startled by getting a response. He was really going to have to get used to this…

The gold hissed at her. Mieeeen, I am huuuungry! Feed me, Mine, feeed meeee! The bronze squirmed anxiously.

I know you're hungry, Fifth. You're broadcasting it so loudly that I can feel it.

No, L'sli, that is because we are bonded. You can feel when I am very hungry, like so.


Mini chirped his response, seemingly agreement, though you never can tell with those creatures. He took off, diving down out of the stands, toward the sands below.

Melody saw this. "Mini! What in the name of Faranth do you think you're doing?!"

With a crow of triumph, Zane also launches into the air, following Mini out onto the sands. He quickly catches the blue and flies to the ailing green, landing on the sand in front of her. His chirps change back to that encouraging hum, his faceted eyes swirling with yellows and blues. He seemed to be trying to encourage her to relax.

Keahi had jumped to her feet with Melody, "Zane, No! Come back! Zane!!" She then got bombarded with images of the stricken green. She looked at Melody, her face pale, "They're trying to help the green.."

An elderly brown dragon suddenly flew in through the upper entrance to the Hatching grounds and glided down to hover a scant half dragon-length above the sands. His grizzled rider turned and offered his hand to the young man..behind him. Shards! We just got you here in time! Hurry, no time to land, jump off here lad and get out there! The dragon rumbled in agreement, turning his head to regard his passenger with whirling eyes as he fanned his wings to maintain position.

Darvon grabbed the rider's arm and swung off of the brown neck, dropping the dozen or more feet to land with a grunt on the scorching hot sands. Darvon almost fell to his knees, then straightened himself and brushed off the white robe he wore and strode quickly over to where the unhatched eggs were, joining in with the crowd of mostly younger boys but staying slightly to the side.

As soon as his passenger was on the sands, the brown winged up to allow his rider to join the other spectators and take his own place on an empty ledge.

The harper journeyman glanced around when he reached the others, and noticed there was yet an unmatched green with her leg tangled in her wing, but most of the attention was on the newly hatched Queen. He squinted and looked closer. The gold was covered in something.. Was that..could that be..vomit?

Horlintal is immediatley shaken from his awe inspired trance by a very commanding dragons voice in his head. Though he didnt recognize it he could only assume it Ronalths. He drops his bag and races onto the sands towards the pregnant lady. Too slow though for she managed to trip and fall onto the eggs, then her rear. Finally he manages to reach Quintal and puts a supportive arm under her shoulders. "Calmly now." he instructs as calmly as he can amidst all the excitement. "Put as much of your weight as you need on me, dont be shy now."

Mini's landing kicked up bunch of sand. He, too, tried to get her to calm down.

Melody slapped her forehead. "Oh, no… They can't hear us from here. What're we going to do?" She frowned. "This is bad."

"Oh, good," said Karyn when the healer arrived, with a relieved tone. "I'll go back, then." I hope she turns out alright. She's with the healer now, she assured herself as she headed back toward the newly hatched gold and the other hopeful candidates. She'll be fine, don't worry about it. She returned to join the other girls, and gazed at the queen in wonder. It's amazing… If you look past the vomit, it seems like it's not there anymore. It doesn't seem to hide her beauty at all! It's like it isn't possible to cover it up, she's so wonderfully beautiful! She smiled, momentarily forgetting all her worry about the pregnant woman, as she was caught up in all the gold's majesty.

Quin greatfully leans on the healer and sets her sites on being off the sands and later finding the deepest darkest tunnel in the lower caverns and NEVER comeing out.

None of the dragonets on the sands seemed any closer to making a choice. Aleyna watched someone help the pregnant woman off the sands and she had to admit being relieved for the sake of the woman and her unborn child. If the queen was meant for her, they would find each other. But they had been so close…

Oh, well. Aleyna's attention was mostly focused on the larger green. The others that had come from Fort seemed to have noticed as well. She hoped that the green would Impress soon so that she could be helped.

T'mon and Wopth watched the other dragonets. He watched the pregnant candidate being escorted off the sands with an unreadable expression. If she was meant to Impress, she would. Wopth was more eager than ever to help his sister but the brown couldn't do anything. Neither could T'mon. Seeing how the other dragonets had reacted to the touch of someone other than their lifemate…

Dr'nan watched from his place in the stands. He shook his head when two firelizards flew down and landed in front of the green. "Oh ho. I hope Ronalth is to busy with the queen to notice them two firelizards."

V'din focused on the green and frowned. Almost distractedly, he commented to Aleyna, Murth fell and got his beak buried in the sand when he hatched. I don't know why noone is helping her right herself. If they are careful and don't try to force Impression, it'll be okay. He paused, then continued, thoughtfully, I stepped forward before I knew Murth was mine and got him righted. I just made sure to step back and not try to make him notice me. The bronze above him added, Well, you were mine and when you helped me, you also helped me find you.

Quni pauses when they reach the green momentarly torn as to weather or not to help it, it seemed they were both doomed to fail on the sands, she turns away from the struggling green and keeps moving leaning a little more heavily on the healer.

R'lon, turning his attention away from the queen for a moment, spots the struggling green and frowns. Shells, Seminth, she'll hurt herself if she no one helps her. He cannot for the life of him think of why the silly kids down there — he considered them all kids for not doing anything, despite knowing that some were older than he — were just letting her struggle. He firmly suppresses the urge to yell at the candidates to help the green.

Quin takes a deep sobbing breath and turns back towards the green she falls to he knees on the sand and begins trying to free the green's wings, it suddenly seemed despratly important the the green not fail you have to find yours

Mini trilled and looked up at Quintal.

Zane chirped and, with a flap of his wings, hopped up onto the pregnant woman's shoulder. He hummed, furling his wings around the woman's head as if to shield her from the eyes of the audience.

Keahi clasped her hands, her body tense, "I hope Zane doesn't get in trouble.." Mentally, she tried calling the flit back to her.

It seemed to be all about the Queen. Martin was actually rahter annoyed at this.

Oh, wait…the pregnant woman had stopped to help the green. Then there was hope for this class and these people. Martin paused, and decided that he wasn't going to be one of those idiots who stood around as well. He walked towards the green and Quintal as well. "Would you two like some help?"

Without waiting for an answer, Martin knelt, his dye stained tanners hands reaching out to help untangle the green.

Quins speaks to the flitmake your self useful and tell her to lift her foot not that she expected the stupid little beast to understand her she tries shifting the dragon but find herself to weak and shakiy to do much im going to get mauled again, and this time there is not way I'm going to get away stupid weither she was adressing the green or her self was unclear

she looks up with pleading eye please

The little queen continued to hiss and back away from the girls, finding her initial treatment quite distasteful.

The little green just managed to free her wing (with Quintal's help) as Martin approached. She hissed at the male and jumped at him.

M'rtin-mine, why did you wait so long and let your Toeth suffer?

Zane seems to chuckle and chirps at the green, continually looking between the green's foot and the green's head.

Quin stands up stiffly and heads back to the healer and off the sands. She sits on the first not-hot out of the way chair like object she can find.

D'nal sighed, stroking Foeth's neck and watching the sands. The green had been helped and the queen seemed to be rejecting the girls.

After what they did, I would not want them either. I am glad that you are mine. said Foeth, pressing her head against his chest, Why have you not fed me yet? D'nal rubbed her eyeridge's apologetically, Sorry.. they want us to wait for the others.. I'd rather feed you right now.. you're making my stomach hurt.

Zane nuzzles the woman one last time before launching into the air, zipping back towards Keahi, Melody, and Kari. He crash landed into Keahi's arms, who immediately scolded him, "You silly thing, don't scare me like that again.. you could have been hurt…"

Martin, now M'rtin blinked as he looked up at the green dragon who had jumped on him the minute Quintal had freed her. "Oh Toeth…I…hadn't realized…I would have helped you sooner…can you forgive me, dearheart?"

Of course I can, M'rtin-mine…can we go eat now? I am so very hungry, please? A grumble from Toeth's stomach punctuated the request as the green climbed down.

M'rtin nodded, still in somewhat shock. Things had worked out nicely for him. And of course, his Toeth.

Shayan backs away from the gold, "I'm sorry, I was just trying to help you." She glanced back, wondering where Karyn and the cause of the trouble had gotten off to. The pregnant woman had left and Karyn appeared to be coming back. She turned back to the queen, wondering who she would choose.

Through all the confusion with the firelizards, Flynn ad wanted to go join them, but Kari held him back, insisting he not go onto the sands, because the dragons might hurt him. He finally understood, and by the time Zane and Mini got back, he was calm again. "As much as I want to help the green, I don't want to do anything to get you hurt." Turning to her sister, she asked, "Why didn't Zane listen to you and come back?"

Karyn stepped back a little as well, giving the little queen some more room. "Oh, I hope she finds her lifemate. She doesn't seem to like any of us. I hope hers is here…" The thought filled her with worry, and it spread to Nip - his eyes whirled slowly yellow and he crooned softly as he watched.

Mini cheeped happily when the green impressed. He did a couple loop-the-loops in the air, before coming back with blue-green eyes.

Aath looked around at his clutchmates, observing them curiously. B'lin, my sister is stepping on her wing, and it's hurting her! Don't worry, Aath, others are taking care of her. See? All better. Yes, mine, all better!

Hello, Aath. I see you've found yours? Fifth said to the blue. I had trouble finding mine, too. But I found him! Well, more like squished him…

Is yours all better too, Fifth? Aath asked, fully confident that he was.

He says he is, and I think he's right. What about yours? He's okay, right? Fifth had run out of hatchlings to greet for the moment, so he had decided to talk to the already impressed ones.

He's okay. I didn't knock him over! he added excitedly.

Hooray for you! I knocked over Mine… but I apologized afterward, because I really didn't mean to, and he didn't seem to be too upset. I am very happy I found Mine, Fifth added happily.

Keahi looked tolerantly at her flit. The little brown had resumed the hatching hum and nuzzled Keahi, his eyes swirling with blues and greens. The greenrider stroked him for a few moments before looking at her sister, "They're very excitable.. the hatching and everything just.. overloaded them. Zane must have picked up on my worry for the green and did what he could to help."

I am too. Seventh, is yours all better yet? Aath asked the other dragon who had knocked his over.

D'lan grinned and nodded, saying himself, "I'm just fine, Aath. I simply had the breath knocked out of me for a bit."

Seventh sent the same message to Aath, just in case the blue hadn't realized that D'lan could hear on his own and reply, adding smugly, Mine can hear you well. If you wish to ask about him, speak to mine directly, and he'll answer. If there is any confusion, simply ask me. I can tell what mine means, and relay it to you promptly.

Seventh, that wasn't nice; I know how to make sure that they understand. And there's no reason to sound so smug about the fact that I can hear them.

But mine, it's a special thing, and I'm proud of the fact you can hear my brothers and sisters. If I sounded a bit smug, I'm sorry; I was simply expressing my pride in you.

Yes, I know, but it isn't nice to rub it in like you were doing. Please apologize to Aath. He was only worried about my health after you sat on me. I'm not blaming you; I simply wanted to tell you, because it's just not something you go rubbing in people's faces like you were.

Aath, I apologize for being so smug about mine's ability. If you wish to speak to him, simply ask him what you want to know, and he will reply.

Seventh sounded truly apologetic, and his eyes whirled slowly purple and yellow, replacing the hunger momentarily.

Aath dipped his head. That's okay, I like mine the way he is. He's just like me!

Darvon shifted his position on the sands, rocking from foot to foot to try to alleviate the burning heat in his soles. Shards, they weren't kidding when they said the sands were hot.. He watched as the large green's wing was freed by the gravid candidate. By Faranth, I didn't think they let them stand when they were expecting. I wonder if she's the one who hurled on the Gold.

His attention was drawn back to the green as she lunged at the boy who approached her and the woman. At first he thought she was going to attack him, but then it became apparent that Impression had occured. Hmpf. Took her long enough. No telling for draconic taste either. But I guess she chose right. He does look like he'd be expected to ride green.

The young man looked over the rest of the candidates, his gaze measuring them and dismissing them in the next moment. Don't look like there's much choice for the hatchlings. Good thing I got here when I did. At least they'll have another to pick from. He instantly dismissed the thought that occured deep deep down, Not that you're much to chose from, dismissed from your last three posts and threw his head back proudly, his eyes fastened on the remaining eggs.

M'rtin and Toeth wandered over to the little gaggle of Impressed boys that had seemed to form. He felt awkwardly old.

Toeth, on the other hand, had no such awkwardness. I am Toeth and this is mine!

Four more eggs hatched simultaneously, spilling a dragon of each color onto the sands. The green that wasn't part of the mass hatching exodus, mewled piteously and started running towards the stands.

The queen, having managed to shake most of the vomit off, was now eyeing the candidates with a goodly amount of contempt, as if none of them were worthy.

P'tan perches on the edge of his seat to keep an eye on the green who has made a dash for the stands. Guess she doesn't want anyone on the sands. While this was not unheard of, it was rare enough that P'tan had never seen a stands-Impression, even in his years at Benden.

Chenth merely shifts a little bit on his ledge and croons encouragement to the young green.

Keahi giggled seeing the green coming towards the stands. She rose to her feet, "We'd better be ready to move.. if she comes up here, she won't stop until she finds hers."

The queen still had yet to choose. Well, it had taken Kiarith a long time to find Halyn. In the meantime, more dragonets had Hatched. Another bronze, brown, blue, and green had emerged. The green that had Hatched before them was running towards the stands. She was fairly surprised- after all, that blue had Impressed from the stands at Fort just as unexpectedly- but was more curious than anything to see if she would turn back or if the one meant for her was sitting in the crowd. Perhaps it was her…

Karri looked at the Queen, worried over the fact that she hadn't chosen yet. But when four eggs hatched simultaneously, and the other green ran for the stands, her attention was dragged away. "Looks like another Impression from the stands," Kari commented. "Aren't those supposed to be rare?" She stood up, but remained where she was, reluctant to move, and wondering, if it was looking for her.

Marsali tore her eyes away from the unImpressed Queen for a scant moment, long enough to notice that there was a green hatchling headed towards the stands. Uh oh..guess there's not enough choice for her on the sands.., she muttered. Do not hinder her, Marsi. She will be very focused on finding her mate and will not notice if she hurts anyone in her way. Bainth cautioned her rider, worried about her safety. Marsali nodded distractedly and shifted her weight, ready to leap to her feet and clear the way for the dragonet. She warned the others of Bainth's words. Be careful. Bainth says that if the other green is set on finding hers she won't notice who she hurts in the meantime.

Aath was worried that the green couldn't find hers. Mine, my sister cannot find hers! She's gonna go between… I hope she doesn't, but she will if she doesn't find hers soon.

Melody nodded. "Yeah, remember how many people Stjeth hurt on his way to A'den? Serah had a busy day."

Mine? L'sli was busy watching the queen's disapproval of the candidates before her. Mine? Still no answer. L'sli! The boy jumped, looking around with a start. "Wha- oh, it's you, Fifth. Wuzzup?" The bronze snorted. Do you never pay attention? It was a simple question, nothing was really meant by it at all. Strange how dragons could manage that, yet you rarely saw a human do it.

See that green over there?
L'sli nodded. "Yes… Why?" He still hadn't quite gotten used to the thinking-to-your-dragon-thingie.
She cannot find hers on the sands. Do you think she might have found hers up there?
"Maybe." His tone was a tad proud, with a pinch of sleepiness, and a generous spritzing of boredom.
I hope she has. It's unusual for us dragons to impress from up there, but it happens.

L'sli responded with a simple, "Hmm," and a yawn.

Fifth spoke to the blue. Aath, I do hope this is over soon. Mine is growing tired. I could use some food, and so could you I assume, and Mine could use a nap. And of course, he could stand to eat some as well. How about you, and yours?

B'tran felt the queen was right, there didnt seem to be anything worth impressing out on the sands at leas that stupid cow had been lead off the sands

Gernath enjoys the whole hatching humming in greeting to his new sibs and generally ignoring his's comments

Faelen slowly made her way through the stands, constantly assuring her green that she was alright walking so long as she held onto a wall. Silmeth had already landed on the far side of Murth as she hummed her greeting despite her worry for her Lovely who she kept a careful eye on. Faelen was working hard to balance a bowl of meat rolls while looking for T'kel or Marsali.

Oh Lovely! Watch out for the little green in the stands! I think hers is in the crowd and I don't want you to be hurt anymore!

Shayan pressed her lips together when the queen hissed at them, "I'm sorry, little gold.. I was trying to help you.." It was difficult to think happy thoughts when the newborn queen looked so upset.

The last set of impressions happened almost more quickly than the audience could follow. The 3rd bronze suddenly gave a huge happy humm and dive-bombed Darvon while the little brown stumbling around in his confusion ran smack into Orinlatan. The little green who wasn't heading away from the candidates tripped on a bit of egg-shell and went summersaulting nose over tail into Shayan's hip and the last little blue impressed to Eranol (a potetial NPC or maybe nto….)

D'vonmine, your Sixth has found you!
Or'tan, did your Fopth hurt you?
H'lo Sh'yan-mine. You were hiding from your Poeth behind the mean one.

The little queen took a bit longer to decide, eyeing the girls up and down before finally settling on the quiet one at the end of line: Jairi.

Jairi-mine, your Ynath has finally found you. Why did that other girl puke on me?

The last little green was still creeling piteously. She'd reached the edge of the sands, but she couldn't gain the purchase to climb the stairs.

Orinlatan, who had mostly been non-communicative throughout the hatching, really expecting nothing sobbed and hugged the brown hatchling's ugly head, "He says his name's Fopth!"

Seminth hummed his approval of the queen's choice, letting the noise taper off. R'lon, he says, his "voice" filled with worry. The green has not found her mate. Flecks of yellow worry sneak into the dominant blue-green of his eyes.

R'lon turns his attention to the green at the edge of the sands. Uh-oh… From his position up by his dragon, there is not much R'lon can do. We'll just have to watch and hope, Seminth.

The bronze gives a small, almost-silent keen, more yellow intruding on his eyes, which whirl ever faster.

Kella looked down at the little creeling green, and could see what the problem was nearly immediately. She looked around at her Fort contingent, biting her lip slightly. "It's probably not exactly the most…okay thing to do, but why don't one of you try and at least help her up into the stands? She can't get up here on her own and clearly her Rider is somewhere up here."

Quin glares at the green, at the queen trying to muffle sobs, she had so hopped the little gold would follow her off the sands she glares back at the green shards those things are helpless She considers going to it no, Ive risked more then enough for one day, Im dont with dragons, let the little beast go between if who ever its looking for is to stupid to go down to it she sigh and gets up, cool air had made her fell much better I may as well get sick again on it she walks over to the green and unceromoniously grabs the beasts rump and lifts and shoves I hope you give what ever idiot was to stupid to come down to you a good clawing

"Easy there Faelen. Here lean on me." T'kel said as he walked up behind her and wrapped his right arm around her waist. He took the platter of meatrolls from her hand with his left hand. "I've been looking for you since we were released from practice. You gave me and Borth a good scare earlier. What happened?"

"Nothing about this hatching has been normal," said Keahi, standing again, she motioned to Melody and Kari, "A mauling's worth it to keep that one from going between." Her tone was both jovial and worried, but she deftly pushed her way through the crowd in the stands down to the bottom.

Carefully she reached, taking the green by one foreleg, to help pull the green that the gravid candidate was trying to shove up to the sands, "Keep going, I've got her." She hoped simultaneously that the green wouldn't savage her and that one of her companions would come help her pull the green up. "I don't remember Aronth being this heavy.."

Zane moved to be on top of Keahi's head, crooning comfortingly at the green. The brown's eyes swirled blue and yellow.

The little green hissed and swiped at Keahi, recognizing certainly that she was already bonded.

Ca'dis manges to stablize his own stomach but if that girl thows up again… well at least the she wouldnt bee the only on heaving her guts out on the sand

Ca'dis heads to join the group helping the queen, mostly ready to grab anyone and pull them away if it looked like the green was going to maul them. Bloody was fine, just no more vomit.

Meldoy put in her to marks fliting about the heads of the girl and calling encuragement to the green

Ca'dis dosnt even bother to try to control the flit cant we just have one unevenful hatching

Flynn chirped questioningly at Kari, and she looked just as hesitant to go near it as to go away. She made up her mind and followed her sister, moving forward as if to help the green, but stopping when it took a swipe at Keahi. She stood there for a moment, and an idea came to her. Turning to her firelizard, she told him, "Flynn, tell her we're just trying to help," along with images of them helping the green up the sairs(and not getting mauled). Flynn complied, and Kari turned back to the green, taking a step closer to see if she understood.

Melody followed, but hung back a little hesitantly when they reached the green.

Shayan stumbled when the green dragonet rolled right into her but managed to keep her footing by some miracle. The adoring, beautiful voice that filled her mind and heart made her draw her breath in disbelief, "Poeth?" sinking to her knees, she set the green back on its feet and wrapped her arms around it, No.. no way.. she's too perfect.. The green thrust her head up against Shayan's chest, You're beautiful, my Sh'yan… trust me that I am right.. your hair is like moonbeams and starlight.

"Sh'yan?" she asked, stroking the green's head, oblivious to the hot sands beneath her bum. A name worthy of you, my soul sister. I am so clever, and now we will be together forever.

Sh'yan, she needed to get used to the new name, smiled continuing to carress the lovely green, "You're rhyming.."

Would you like another verse? But there is something I want first. asked Poeth, cocking her head to the side with yellow and blue whirling eyes, "Name it, clever Poeth."

Food. Sh'yan burst out laughing and stood, "Then come on, we're supposed to wait over there for the food.. come along."

I'll always be behind you.. pray I do not step on your shoes!

Ca'dis wnces as the green swipes at kaehi, those new born claws were sharp, keep back I think the girl back there is having better luck moving her up the stairs, just keep out of her way he lowers his voice for Kaehi ears only and its not worth losing you over an unbonded hatchling being in front of and angary hatching was probably a much worse idea them begin behind one, especially in the hatchling decided the fastest way to its lifemat was through you.

Keahi barely avoided the swipe, and she was fairly certain one talon had sliced through her sleeve, "Stop that, you silly thing, we're trying to help you find yours!" Zane both crooned at and scolded the green. Undeterred and not minding a few scratches, Keahi reached started to reach for the paw again, when Ca'dis spoke to her. Glancing at Melody, she looked back at him, "I'm not afraid of a few scratches.. If Melody or someone will get her other paw, one tug and we'll have her up here, between us and facing the crowd so she can find hers."

Ioreth stop hissing and mantling when the gold impresses and instead turns her attention to the green struggling with the stairs

Lawna groans an impression in the stands, this could get messy

Melody hesitated. She didn't want to get injured, but… Thinking of her Hielth, she finally decided it would be worse to see this green go between. The girl stepped forward slowly, gently held the green's paw, and helped with a gentle tug, bracing for scratching, ready to mentally block out the pain as much as she could.

The green hissed and clawed at all of the girls who were now surrounding her, especially those alreayd impressed, catching more than a little bit of skin on a few occassions. She was practically screaming for her lifemate now.

Keahi was not about to let Melody walk into danger and pain alone. She hurried to help Melody pull the other paw when the green started struggling and slashing at all of them. Gritting her teeth when ever it caught her skin, she hissed at Melody, "Pull!!" She used all her strength to pull the green over the railing onto the stands.

Kari stepped back in a hurry, but couldn't avoid getting a slash on her leg for it. "She's not even listening to Flynn, we'd better get out of the way quick." Once she was out of reach of the green's claws, she turned and hurried away, but she tripped and went sprawling in the stands, twisting her injured leg. She cut short a cry of pain, and looked down at her leg. That doesn't look good… Closing her eyes, she tried to get into a more comfortable position, and leaned back, hoping the green didn't come her way.

Ca'dis resorts to yelling EVERYONE BACK NOW

The only other impressions Karyn saw were to Shayan and Jairi. She was oblivious to the others. When she saw the green with Shayan, she smiled. "Oh, wow! You impressed a green! She's so adorable!" Then the gold finally chose - and she chose Jairi. When this happened, there were conflicting emotions inside her fighting each other. She felt a tinge of jealousy and sadness, but what won in the end was joy at the other girl's impression. "Jairi, she chose you! That's wonderful!" She beamed at her. "Congratulations!"

Quin squeeals as she takes a claw and gets bashed by the tail and backs away from the green ungrateful beast she holds her injuerd hand to her chest and gets the heck out of the way of the green

Keahi let go, pulling Melody with her away from the ungreatful green. She nearly stumbled over Kari. Zane answered Flynn's anxious chirps and, with one eye still on the green incase is charged them, she immediately noticed Kari's leg, "Kari.. your leg."

Horlintal made it to the stands with the pregnant candidate and sat her down. Several times he tried to keep her from reacting to the goings on in the sands, but after the third time he simply gave up and let her make her own mistakes. He can however not keep on ignoring her when she started recieving injuries from the little dragon. He gets up and heads to her once again. "Come on now were getting you out of here before you get you and your unborn child killed!" He says in a rather commanding voice, uncommon for the usually calm healer. He once again puts a supporting arm under her shoulders and leads her towards the exit of the grounds.

Quin gives up defeted, she was ready to settle for a green and even they didnt want her, that was it, her last chance after this it would be all mewing littles and diapers she mutters to herself why wont they chose me

P'val winces as the little green begins taking swings. "Forget the could… This is the bloodiest hatching ive seen so far…" That comming from P'val was no small statement, hed been born and raised in the weyr and had seen more than his fair share of hatchings.

Lawna grits her teeth as the little green turns violent and I could get worse, all its going to take is one wrong swing she could just picture the green accidently disembowling one of the idiot weyrling or the stupid chit that seemed detrmined to throw herself at on of the hatchling.

Kari opened her eyes, looking at her sister. She nodded, slowly. "Yeah… it hurts… C'mon, help me up." She held out her arm, and winced as that much more weight went onto her leg. "Carefully…"

Ignoring her own battle wounds, and glad for her leather riding jacket, Keahi took Kari's arm around her shoulders and helped her sister up, moving her to higher in the stands and, hopefully, out of the green's way. She glanced back at the green, You're too silly for your own good.. She looked back forward, looking for a spot to deposit Kari so she could get weight off the injured foot, If she goes between..

Melody jumped back in fright and pain, and cried out, as she was injured, Ca'dis shouted to back off, and Keahi pulled her away, all at the same time. She had a gash on her left forearm, which she was holding with her right hand. She could feel some pain on her left cheek as well, and it was bleeding, but she couldn't see it to tell how bad that injury was. Groaning, she put a little distance between herself and the green, sitting down on the other side of the sisters.

Mini screeched in distress as his friend was injured. He scolded the green loudly, before flying to Melody, landing on her right shoulder, and crooning comfortingly.

Kari limped up the stands next to her sister, keeping her weight off the injured(right) leg. Flynn flew about her head, squawking with worry. Shushing him, Kari found a seat, and, leaning against Keahi, tore off a strip of her dress. "So much for this dress…" she muttered, and tied it around her leg to help stop the bleeding, wincing and almost crying out when she tightened it. "It won't stop the bleeding, but it's better than nothing." She leaned back, off her sister, and told her, "Go find a healer, please? I think I may have broken something when I fell…"

Melody's hiss of pain called Keahi's attention to her wounds. Her riding jacket had no hope of stopping them all. Keahi inspected her arms, seeing a few good cuts down her right arm and a stinging pain across her collar bone. Looking down, she saw that the collar bone cut was fairly deep and long, and winced, "Are you ok, Melody?"

At Kari's question, she nodded, "Let's wait until that green is done making a mess." Her left hand sported a good sized cut, that bled sluggishly. She fisted her hand to put pressure on that one, she decided to try to distract her sister, "Remember sewing my arm when I was younger, Kari? We fell off father's runner.. riding it in the fields. I was silly enough to land wrong.."

Ca'dis goes to stand over the trio of injuries all on you infirmary. Now. get Aronth to help with your sister Im sure Hortial will be there shortly with the other girl

As more of his siblings hatched, Fifth greeted them, expressing his happiness for them when they found their lifemates. Especially the gold.

L'sli grimaced as he watched all the injuries the lone green was causing. Ouch… Serves them right for being stupidiotic enough to grab her claws.

Mine… At that moment, the bronze decided he would teach his boy to be a nicer person. Mine, they were trying to help her.

He stared at his new buddy. "But they grabbed her claws!" Why anyone would do that was a mystery to him. He shook his head, sighing at their stupidity.

Keahi blinked at Ca'dis oddly, "Get Aronth? Aronth's at Fort.. She's never gone between.. How would she get here?" Then she heard Aronth's voice, Mine? You are in pain.. I will come to you. The green sounded distant, as if both very far away and very close at the same time.

Keahi gasped and suddenly sat up straight, "Aronth, no!! You can't!" She focused all her will behind her sending, No, Aronth. It is too dangerous! Stay at Fort.

Even from the distance that separated them, she could feel the green's rebellion, You are mine and in pain.. I must come to you.

Shells… I knew that was a bad idea. Not only are we badly hurt, but we're gonna be in sooo much trouble… I'm not sure what posessed us to do that.

Melody shrugged. "No idea if I am, are you alright?" She stood up.

The healer merely remaind silent as the girl talked. Despite his slight annoyance with her he did feel sorry for her. He keeps her walking, taking her out of the stands and onto the sands just long enough for him to retrieve his bag before heading back towards the bowl proper and the cavern leading to his chambers.

Fopth turned to Aath, What are they doing to our poor sister? They're making it hard for her to reach hers.

Kari nodded glumly. "Yeah, remember when I broke my arm? that was worse than this. Not by much, because I could still walk, but…" Keahi called out to Aronth just then. "What, what's she trying to do?"

Aath calmed down enough to point out another possibility. Maybe they were trying to help her?

But they're not her's… how dare they.

I think they were, agreed Fifth. Because she was struggling…

I don't know, was the reply.

She was struggling. They just wanted to help. The bronze's tone was sympathetic.

Everything went unnoticed except for the green. She needed help! Aleyna wanted to. Rising, she raced down towards the green, heedless of the calls or the havoc the green was causing. Finally, she paused in front of the green, trembling and staring. "I am here," she said softly, not knowing if the green was meant for her or not but she was there. "No need to hurt them. Tell me somehow what you want!"

The little green finally cooed happily, and then collapsed exhausted at Aleyna's feet.

'Leyna-mine, your Roeth is here… and tired… you made it so hard to find you.

The last four eggs gave a few more feeble shudders… then stopped.

Bainth fixed eyes flickering with reds and yellows on the girls who had been trying to help the unImpressed green into the stands. They are foolish to interfere so. The green would have gotten up herself. And they are even more foolish to allow themselves to be hurt. They have their own lifemates to worry about. Do they not know what would happen if they were very badly injured and did not recover? Do they care for their mates so little? The normally mild mannered green's mental tone was filled with angst and scorn and caused Marsali to stare at her in shock. Bainth! What is wrong with you? They were only trying to help! Why are you so touchy?

She was so distracted by her dragon that she almost missed Jairi's Impression of the young Queen. She glanced back at the sands just in time to see the little queen bury her face in the healer girl's skirts. Oh V'din! She did it! Jairi Impressed the Queen. Her face lit up with a big smile as her concern for her dragon faded slightly.

P'val releases an audible sigh of relief as the little green finally seemed to impress. "Well thankfully it didnt." He looks around to take a look at the hectic hatching ground, his eyes spotting the group of injured girls. "Hmpf… and i thought the injury report from my last wing practice was bad…"

Darvon swayed forward when the four eggs hatched simultaneously, spilling forth a bronze, brown, green and blue to join the other green who was making her way towards the stands. Suddenly, the bronze crowed happily and lurched at him. The young man barely had time to brace himself before the impact of the dragonet almost knocked him to his knees. Staggering, he caught his balance and reached out to steady the clumsy hatchling. He quickly drew back his hand, mindful of the injuries he had seen decorating the bodies of the other candidates and unwilling to subject himself to pain.

But then, he heard a voice in his head. One that was not his own. He blinked and shook his head, and then blinked again as the voice became even more insistent. D'von, it is I, your Sixth. I am here now. I have found you and I would never hurt you. Why do you not answer me? The bronze head, minutes after hatching already as big as his torso, butted him hard in the chest. This time he was unprepared and he did go down, falling flat on his back. The bronze hatchling stood over the young journeyman harper, his eyes beginning to whirl quicker as he stared at his lifemate's face. D'von?

The fall did more than knock the wind out of him, it helped him come out of his shock. The new dragonrider finally answered the by-now pitiful plea. I am sorry I didn't answer you Sixth. You surprised me! I didn't really expect that.. He trailed off and sat up then jumped to his feet and threw his arms around the bronze neck, grinning widely.

P'tan breathes a sigh of relief and runs a hand through his hair as the little green finally makes her choice. Silly wherry-heads, those girls, trying to help a dragonet without its consent. Well, at least she'd found her lifemate.

Chenth gives a small unhappy keen, which P'tan can identify, even with the distance between himself and his dragon. Unhatched eggs.

P'tan glances back down at the eggs, which have stilled on the warm sands. I guess their chosen ones weren't here. Don't dwell on it, Chenth. There are many other who did hatch and Impress.

That does not make it any less sad.

R'tan watched as the last green finally impressed. Though he noticed that four of the eggs hadn't hatched. I guess they weren't meant to hatched. He thought to himself as he looked up at where his brother watched from the stands. He had wanted to watch with his brother, but he had came in a little late and hadn't wanted to get in way of the other people watching the hatching. He would just have to get with him when everyone left for the feast.

Melody saw the green with Aleyna, and it looked like they had impressed. She managed a smiled, and walked up to the other girl. "Hi! You're Halyn's sister, right? Sorry, I forget your name," she apologized. "You impressed the green, right? That's wonderful! I'm glad she found her lifemate." Hielth had a little trouble finding Melody, too, when she first hatched, she remembered. When she thought about what might've happened if she hadn't found her…

L'sli stared at the eggs, confused.

"They're not hatching…"

shardsLawna swears softly, she was sure the full clutch would hatch, she scans the stands hoping some how she would spot who ever was supposed to impress those four.

Ioreth drops the welcoming hum and launches into a low glide, low enough that any one brave enough could probably leap up and touch her, out of the hatching ground

and now Ioreth is cranky and proddy

M'rtin, a veteran of Hatchings by this point in his life, looked over at L'sli. "Sometimes they don't." He shrugged slightly. "I'm just glad that all of the ones that did Hatch Impressed…I think it's even worse when dragonets go between."

L'sli raised an eyebrow at M'rtin. "Why? Isn't it basically the same thing?"

"I personally don't think so. When a dragonet hatches, there's at least a chance for them to…yanno…Impress. And then if they go between it's just…I guess sadder. I don't know, I suppose seeing a living creature die like that is different than seeing just an egg stop moving."

M'rtin looked down at his Toeth, whose stomach let out another growl. Mine, this is all well and good but…I'm hungry… Her rider smiled, then looked up at his fellow Weyrlings. "Err, what next? Toeth's complainin' about being hungry."

When is there going to be fooooood?

"So's Fifth. Kinda off and on, but he's making me hungry too. When do we feed 'em?"

Ca'dis speak calmy I want you to picture were you are right now as clearly as you can , Tell her not to jump, we will bering you to her but if she does insist you need to give her the clearest picture possible. Durpth go, see if you can catch her before she jumps, you remeber were fort is I think im going to trottle who ever brought her here.

Durpth catches his rider worry and launches, going between while still in the hatching grounds I go

"She took the idea out of my head… I'm holding her there.." said Keahi, focusing her eyes straight up, visualizing everything in exquisite detail, Aronth, NO stay at Fort. I'm not hurt that badly and have been hurt worse in the past. I know you're upset, and I understand. Belatedly, she realized what the problem was, Aronth was only reacting to her own heightened emotions. Keahi took a deep, calming breath. She needed to calm herself before Aronth did something really stupid.

But I want to come to you.. The green sounded forlorn, Why do they all deny me? You are mine. Her own anger faltering at the suddenly tempering of Keahi's emotions. Calm down, Aronth.. I got upset because I thought I was going to loose you. Land again, I'll be with you soon.. You must calm down.

Now. insisted the green, her agitation seemed to be lessening, her emotions pulled at Keahi's own, Peace.. I'm safe. You're safe. We're always together.

Ca'dis scans the stands looking for someone with the fort dragon rider knots on thier shoulder Kella! can you get us to fort?

Kella had sauntered down, Kaneth having already launched herself into the bowl to sun. "Of course I can." Kella was calm. "Kaneth'll meet us" She grinned slightly. "Ah, the life of a dragonridernever a dull moment."

Ca'dis helps keasi to her feet and for good messure grabs the other fort girl, he didnt want anyones unprepare dragon making a fatal jump between bowl now before anyones dragon gets any ideas

Melody cooperated.

Mine, are you going to be okay?
I'll be fine, Hielth…it's not bad. I'll be there soon, don't worry about me.

Keahi tried to step back, "She won't jump. I wouldn't let her. Wait, what about Kari?" Ca'dis's hand wouldn't let her turn back to help her sister. She only had time for one look back before she couldn't see Kari anymore, "Kari!!"

V'din grinned as the defiant little green found Aleyna. He turned to Marsali, then his eyes quickly found the newly Impressed Gold on the sands. Yeah, that's great! I'm so happy she Impressed the gold. And Aleyna got a green and she wasn't even a candidate. Well, the dragon always knows. He stood and walked the few steps to Marsali. Shall we head down and introduce ourselves to the newly Impressed?

Murth above him bugled, drawing his attention. V'din, there is something wrong with Bainth. She is very agitated and bad tempered. She snapped at me when we were flying in, and has been very angry about everything tonight. V'din frowned at his dragon's comments. Marsi, do you know what's wrong with Bainth? Murth said that she's grouchy and in a foul temper..and she tried to bite him earlier.

Marsali frowned as her attention was drawn back to her weyrmate's unusual behavior. She looked up at Bainth, who was mantling a bit as bronze Murth stepped closer to her. I d-don't know what's wrong. She's been very uneven in her temper ever since our flight. You said she snapped at Murth? She's never done that, and has never been that irritated with him. She's been snippy with everything that is happening too. The girl bit her lip and wrung her hands together in anxiety.

Above her, the green in question rose to her feet, hissing at the bronze as he inadvertently took a step closer to her as he also stood. Get back! I told you not to crowd me! With that sullen comment she suddenly spread her wings and launched herself from the ledge, flying out of the hatching grounds. I am hungry! She tossed back to her rider as she left.

D'von was so overwhelmed with joy at Impression that he didn't even take notice of the four eggs that didn't hatch until Sixth made a mournful sound. What is wrong my dear? The bronze hid his face in his new weyrmate's robe. Not all the eggs hatched. Their mates weren't here. The young man soothed his dragon. It isn't that unusual my love. It doesn't mean theirs weren't here necessarily. It could be that those contained within were malformed or ill. Do not be upset. Aren't you hungry?

Thus distracted the bronze hatchling began creeling his hunger. His voracious thoughts impinged upon D'von who began having hunger pangs so intense he almost bent double. He looked around then helped his dragon over towards the other candidates, assuming that they would know what to do next since they had likely been here longer than he. Sixth is hungry. Where do we get food for them?

P'tan makes his way down the steps and finds his brother just in time to see Bainth launch herself towards the hunting grounds. "She's in a fine temper." He remarks to R'tan.

Chenth, too, watches the green exit the Hatching Grounds. Launching himself into the air, he follows in her wake on silent wings, coasting most of the way.

P'tan watches his blue go before speaking in an undertone. "Something's amiss, R'tan." He swivels his head to see the other dragons' reactions to the green's behavior.

Sh'yan was oblivious to almost all else as she led Poeth to the edge of the hatching grounds where the other successful candidates. She murmured praises at her new dragon, caressing her head. Looking out at the sands, she smiled to see that Jairi had impressed the queen, Congratulations.. Then her eyes fell on the 4 eggs that had stopped moving.

Her heart fell, Oh, no.. they didn't hatch.. Poeth crooned, May their spirits soar free and laugh on the wind.. until we meet again. Smiling, she caressed the dragon's head, "Now.. where to get you food.." She looked around, wondering.

R'tan looked up to watch Bainth when P'tan mentioned her mood. Denth dropped down and followed right behind Bainth and Chenth to the feeding grounds. "I wonder what is going on with her. Whatever it is it has Denth and Chenth interested."

Jairi had been thoroughly disgusted when the other gold candidate spewed on the regal golden hatchling. The look of contempt and disgust on the little one surely matched her own. She saw Shayan rip the cloth from her robe and begin to approach the little one. Karyn was right to try and stop her. Th little queen would surely be too upset to allow anyone but her new lifemate near her now. Jairi watched as the little one finally shook off the vomit and began searching for her lifemate. When she heard the voice in her mind saying her name and asking why that girl had puked on her she could hardly believe it. She had impressed Ynath. Jairi was glad she had her tunic on over her robe because she pulled it off quickly and began mopping what was left of the vomit off of her precious little queen. "I don't think she meant to my precious Ynath. She is just not well right now." Ynath just curled her lips in disgust at the smell and said, I am so hungry but I don't think I can eat with this disgusting smell. Jairi led Ynath toward the feeding tables and looked around for someone to run to her barracks for some sweet sand to help mask the odor.

Aath greeted his brothers and sisters and their new lifemates with warmth, then asked B'lin, Where's the food? I'm hungry, I want to eat! "The food is over here, Aath. Just follow the others, and we'll get some soon as they can get it to us, I'm sure."

Finerik saw Kari lying on the stands, in bad shape, and called over a couple strong, young journeymen. "Excuse me miss, do you need us to carry you to the infirmary?" When she nodded slightly, he and three others moved forward, grabbed each others' hands under her, and lifted her up. Finerik, holding her injured leg, led the way to the infirmary, without a moan from their passenger.

Karyn stood frozen on the sands, staring at the four eggs that remained unbroken. They didn't hatch, she thought. It was almost enough to bring tears to her eyes, but she was too stunned right now. Why didn't they hatch…

Oh, my L'sli, I want some too! I want food! Foooood! Please can I have some food?

"Of course, Fifth! So… Where do we get food for them?" he asked, looking around and scratching his head.


Faelen leaned against T'kel in relief, the stairs were beginning to take it out of her already.

Oh Lovely, you are supposed to take it easy! Even if there is a hatching going on. It is a good thing that Borth's was there for you.

Both T'kel's comment on trying to find her and her dragons comment on him finding her made her blush though she couldn't rightfully refuse his help now no matter how red her face may be getting. "I… I have been so busy taking care of Silmeth that I haven't been taking care of myself. I got so caught up in helping everyone else that it came at my own expense. I… I almost fainted."

Faelen hung her head in embarrassment at risking not only her life but also her dragon's life with such little thought to the consequences.

B'lin watched the harpers carry the injured girl past, and hoped she was okay. I hope the green didn't hurt here too bad. Don't worry, she didn't mean too, she was just worried she wouldn't find her lifemate. That's understandable. He watched the miners he noticed earlier walking past, consoling a candidate that didn't Impress. "Maybe next time, Cadoc." "I heard that Blith over at Fort is rising. I'm going to go try there…" Aath interrupted again. I'm hungry, can I eat yet? Soon, Aath, soon.

T'kel tighted his arm a little more when Faelen leaned into him. He gave her a grin. "We can't have that happening now can we. And the first thing we're going to do to fix that is get you something good to eat to build your strength back up."

When Faelen hung her head down he stopped and set what little remained of the meatrolls into one of his pouches. He brought his now free hand up cupped her chin and tilted it up so that she could see him and see that he was serious. "There is nothing to be ashamed of or embarrased about. You have a kind heart and want to help others. And now I'm going to return the help and help you."

T'kel tried not to stare to much at her eyes, fearing that she might read how much his feelings for her really were. But he couldn't help it. He loved the way her eyes looked and he felt she needed some kind of comfort.

Helpful riders direct the weyrlings to take their hatchling to the hunting grounds for thier first meal.

Sh'yan sighed in relief when they were told where to find food for the dragonets. Poeth was nearly beside herself with happiness, she broadcasted to her fellow dragonets, Food is good, food is great! Let us hurry so we can appreciate!

Sh'yan giggled and smiled at her new dragonet, "Poeth.. you are so silly.."

Foeth snorted at Poeth's words and looked at her own chosen, D'nal, I am hungry! D'nal nodded, "I know, Foeth.. I can feel your hunger as much as you do.. come on. The faster we get to the feeding grounds, the faster you get to eat.." Mentally he tagged on, And the more you eat, the bigger you'll get… The green scampered forward, making D'nal have to trot to keep up, Hurry, mine.. I want to eat!

Her heart skipped a beat and it felt as though her world had been turned upside down and backwards, then abruptly righted again. Aleyna couldn't help smiling happily and leaning down to embrace Roeth, who crooned as she nudged her lifemate.

Aleyna hadn't ever been Searched. She had never expected… this, Roeth. Her lovely, loving green. Then again, she felt complete in a way she never had before. To think, if she hadn't been there…

It wasn't worth considering. Slowly, she lead her lifemate to join the other Weyrlings, in a daze of happiness and surprise. Roeth too was silent, content now that her lifemate had found her. She followed the others.

It was over. T'mon applauded, glad that all of the Hatchlings had Impressed. He glanced at the unhatched eggs, his happiness dimming for a moment. Was that normal? The clutch hadn't really been that big… Wopth butted him gently. I hunger, Mine, he announced. Glancing down at the brown, he nodded, his smile returning before he followed the others.

M'rtin followed the mass of Weyrlings heading towards the Feeding Grounds. This had been the first time he was at Ista, and though he had seen the beast pens from the air in his abrupt and exciting arrival, he really wasn't sure where exactly where everything was.

Food, finally!

When he caught her chin, Faelen was surprised to see the emotion behind T'kel's eyes as he spoke. She stood there, almost frozen as his words slowly sunk in. We was worried for her. He cared for her. And not just in the simple way one cares for a friend, or even the deeper way that she herself loved to help others.

He cared for her. She could see it in his eyes that he cared for her just like the Weyrlingmaster did, just like how the weyr cared for her but much more that anything she had felt before.

The revelation washed over her as she held T'kel's gaze. The beginnings of a smile tugged at her lips as her eyes lit up in joy. Her voice was quiet but more confident that it had been earlier. "I think I like that idea. A lot. You will probably have to get me to the barracks then since the Weyrlingmaster has me on bed rest for the day."

Silemth kept a soft hum in her throat as she watched her rider with a swelling of pride and joy.

Eranol had been standing on the side of the grounds, manning one of the many bowls of meat that the lower caverns workers had for the hatchlings so that they could eat a bit before making it to the hunting grounds. He had always loved watching the hatchings, having been born a weyr brat to one of the lower caverns woman. He had always felt himself lucky in just being part of a weyr, never having thought for a second that he would ever be on the sands for more than his place as a helper (though he had always hoped they would let him stand when he got older).

As he watched the eventful (to say the least) hatching, the last thing he expected was the blue to come scrambling his way, nearly bowling workers out of the way before he sat down in front of him opened his mouth and creeled.

Mine! E'nol mine! I am hungry! Very very very hungry!

Eranol just blinked in utter shock as his eyes were locked with his creeling blues, trying to process what had just happened. The blue's creeles seemed to raise an octave as he nosed the bowl, and wondering why his wouldn't feed him.

A helping hand nudged him forward a step, snapping him out of his shock.

"I… I am yours?"

Yes! You are my E'nol and I am your Eeth! Now can you pleeeeeease feed me? Cracking my shell was very very hard to do on such a hungry stomach!

A grin split E'nol's face as he quick gave his blue, his Eeth several handfuls of meat before many of the lower caverns women shooed him on his way, happily chattering away that one of their own had impressed.

T'kel smiled down at Faelen as he settled his arm back in place around her waist. "Then that is where we shall go. Then after we get you settled I'll head back to the lower caverns and get us some food."

He began walking with Faelen again towards the entrance. Whenever he thought she would not notice, T'kel would look at Faelen and watch her as they walked. As he watched her, Borth rumbled in his head with amusement and happiness. You like her a lot don't you. More then before. He made it a statement.

T'kel brought his head quickly around to look at his dragon, who was watching them as they walked. T'kel sighed. There wasn't much he could hide from his dragon. Yes I do. She is the greatest person I know.

T'kel thought for a minute as his dragon's words sunk in. What do you mean more then before? How long have you known? You haven't told anyone have you? I have known for a little while now and no I haven't told anyone. I don't see why you don't just tell her how you feel.

T'kel gave a silent sigh. Because I don't know if she feels the same way about me. I'd feel like an idot if I told her and she didn't feel the same way. I could ask and find out. Borth said helpfully.

"No!" T'kel said out loud, forgetting that he didn't want to draw Faelen's attention to what he was talking to Borth about. Borth ignored T'kel and turned to look at Silmeth. Do you know if your rider likes T'kel a lot like he does her? T'kel just let out a groan when he heard Borth ask anyway.

T'kel: To Weyr Bowl

When the others started making their way over to the feeding grounds, Aath followed along, trying to work his way to the front of the group, but without much success. Food, finally! Hurry up, feed me! Alright, calm down, I don't need you climbing all over me. You're heavy! B'lin pushed Aath down from where he had been trying to use him as a perch to see over the crowd. I hope we get there soon, I don't want you to be hungry any longer.

"Finally!" L'sli breathed a sigh of relief as they headed towards the feeding grounds with haste.
Yes, finally! Fooood, glorious fooood! Fifth sang.

How come we have ta be following everyone else? L'sli wondered. How come they get ta be ahead of us?
Somebody has to be in front, came the response. And someone has to be following.
Yeah, I know that. Duh. But why can't we be in front? You're a bronze, and I'm your rider. We should get ta be in front!
I fail to see why.
But…you're a bronze!
That doesn't mean we're any better than the others, Mine. Greens, blues, and browns are just as good as bronzes and golds.

The boy was clearly of a different opinion, but he didn't press the matter. He merely mumbled something about there being no meat left for Fifth when they'd get there.

Faelen had nestled herself into T'kel's arm nicely as they made their way to the entrance, forgetting how hot the sand was as she wrestled with an internal debate over whether or not she should lean her head on T'kel's shoulder.

She had slipped back into her silence as she tried to sort out the overwhelming emotions that were flitting through her head. The joy of hatching, the silliness of her own actions, but most of all, the care and concern that she had just seen in T'kel. Had he always been like this towards her? Had she always hoped that he would be so nice?

Just as they began to leave the hatching grounds and Faelen was about to say thank you for his kind offer to get dinner for the both of them a surprising No! leapt from T'kel's mouth. Faelen pulled back just enough to catch his expression and blink.

Silmeth rapidly answered Borth's question, happy to be able to expound upon an aspect of her rider that she had studied very well since hatching. My Lovely has always liked your T'kel since I hatched. Indeed, it was one of the first things I noticed after I was feed. But as I got older, I have realized that she likes your a lot. She likes yours more than anyone she can remember. Though the funny thing is she hasn't really admitted this to herself. In fact I think she is just realizing that she likes yours, though I have told her time and time again that your is one of the people that she is very comfortable around. She likes talking to yours and spending time with yours. So yes, she does like yours a lot. A whole lot in fact. The green seemed infinitely proud of herself at being able to deduce such information out of her rider in such great detail.

Thankfully, Silmeth quickly caught her rider's rapid emotional swing an corrected it before any damage could be done. He doesn't mean you, Lovely. Borth was talking to his and his got upset at Borth asking me questions. The green's tone was coy and Faelen knew that she was hiding something from her.

Just what kind of questions Silmeth?

Oh you will see Lovely! The green seemed all to pleased with herself as she gently launched herself from the ledge she was on to one closer to Borth.

Lawna gets up to head to the feast and the pauses and gets a rather blank look.

She furrows her brow and the grabs a handfull of P'val's tunic and begins draging him towards her weyr. Through gritted teeth she growls Weyr now

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