The morale among the candidates for the last clutch of Falas was rather low.
All of them had finished their classes on dragon-rearing weeks ago and all
they could do now was sit and hear the keening of the dragons as yet another
pair left for the between. Nerveracking it was, but time didn't wait for the
eggs. Ikron and Evron had impressed just a couple of days before. Each
finding a dragon of their own. And when that last clutch hatched, it would
be Mireille's turn.
The eggs were carefully transferred to the Weyr sands as they grew closer to
hatching. According to the Geneticists of the FGPC, the hatching was right
on schedule. Some of the eggs were said to be rumored to have been laced in
magic as well though Segarra would nearly bite off any persons head,
candidate or not, if she heard it. Landon justified that the Reririan
residence had done nothing to the eggs and even Jaslyn Bensen herself
cleared up the confusion.
The day of the hatching created an excitement in the air that overrode the
losses of a week ago. The Weyr was buzzing with as much excitement as the
candidates. Some hoped that with this hatching the Weyr would return to full
strength (all the eggs were to hatch on these sands this day). Others
figured it was the way the Weyrleaders wanted to leave Falas - with a big
bang of farewell.
Outside the Hatching Sands were flag poles. These had been set up mostly by
the Reririan wolves. In the center was the flag of Pern. On either side of
it was Rerir, Alskyr and any other world that had decided to join them for
The eggs were rocking steadily on the sands. Landon stood before the
candidates, standing on the rock ledge that the mother dragons often used
when their clutches were on the sands. All heads turned to him when he
cleared his throat in the microphone (provided by Landing).
"Even as I speak, the dragons that have waited longer then a normal dragonet
should, begin to emerge from there shells. So, I shall make this short.
"I would first like to welcome all that came, or were able to make it to the
last hatching of dragon kind the FGPC and Falas Weyr will be having. Many of
our riders, and indeed residence, have arrangements to leave and find
another place to live. Though some of you may not have noticed, Falas Weyr
has suffered a number of terrible losses that have caused the spirit of the
Weyr to fall and slowly die. However, I, as well as our last Weyrleaders,
intend to give you, the people of Pern as well as the other worlds of which
you have come from, one last farewell. As many of you know, each egg has
been altered with a requested color by each of the searched candidates." He
waved his hand and the geneticist on the sands with the candidates told them
that they were to search the eggs for the one that had been found for them
prior to the genetic mutation. They moved out over the sands like water
being released through rocks.
"Though we can only hope that they will receive the color they wanted, it is
likely that this will happen." A loud crack interrupted Landonís speech and
the MasterGeneticist looked around as an egg was beginning to emerge from
his shell. He blinked even as the dragons and firelizards hum started up
again. Landon looked to Jítha who shrugged. It wasnít like he could control
the time the dragons hatched. Smiling, Landon sighed. "Let the hatching
begin, I guess," he announced. Chuckles followed as he stepped down and
stood next to others of the FGPC.
The cracking egg had made the candidates more eager to reach their eggs.
Some had a hard time locating theirs. It wasnít easy for the mark that some
had placed on their egg was gone or rubbed off to much to read. Some were
drawn to an egg quickly and stood nervously beside it, hoping it was the
right egg. Others were still searching when the first egg hatched.
While the hatching of a 130 eggs erupted all around her, Mireille searched
for the egg she had marked. Hoping she'd be able to find it, she randomly
took turns and twists between eggs and shards. It took a while, but finally
she stood before the egg she thought was hers. Now all she could do was wait.
She waited for an eternity. Each sound of crackling keeping her to her toes.
But it was well into the second half of the hatching before the egg before
her, marked with the tree shield of Vlacbos, showed signs of hatching. When
it shattered another egg nearby did so as well.
The two dragonets, one gold, one white shook of the remaining bits of shell
and quickly found the ones before them.
"Mireille. I will be yours." the gold
said, "My name is Secarath."
Parents: Purple Yulisath and Blue Lorccanth
Nasionalth took in a breath, held it for a few seconds and then let it out.
He'd chewed some firestone before and indeed, he was able to produce a small
flame. He hadn't been able to before. Even if it was small, it HAD been
there. Rejoicing, Nasionalth grinned and waited for his rider, ikron
to pat him on the back.
Beside him Spuluth was trying to get the same effect, but all he produced
was smoke. Dejected, the brown dragon looked for comfort in his rider Evron.
Evron happily obliged and also patted his dragon's back.
"We'll get better with practice."
"Hmphh." Secarath interjected,
"I would be able to produce flame."
"You can't try because you're a female."
"And you're a sexist." she hissed.
"Sexist?" Mireille asked, "Have you been hanging out with those Earthern
"But that's what it's called. Not being allowed to
do something because of gender."
"Ah, but if all golds suddenly were to chew firestone, there wouldn't be
anymore dragons in give or take a 100 years. Just think of that. Besides I
know you would have been able to produce the biggest flame here." Mireille
added and patted Secarath's back.
Secarath purred happily.
growled as she awoke. There was a sudden feel of superiority about the day
that was quite pleasant to feel. Without much consideration to anyone's nightrest she got up and let herself fall from the cavern she and her rider
had been given at Lantessama. It was odd to think of it as cavern and not as
weyr so Secarath secretly kept calling it weyr. Thinking of that little
secret made her feel even more special. She never once considered the fact
that half the dragons at Lantessama called their caverns weyrs... why should
Secarath carefully spiralled down in the cool night air of Lantessama.
No-one had seen her yet, her golden hide darkened in the shadows. She
hovered above the animal pens and decided on which piece of cattle to feed
"Blood... not feed."
the sleepy voice of her rider Mireille reached her.
Even in her subconscious she still tried to do what was best for her queen. Secarath had to admire that, but not for too long. Because today, was her
day. Her flight.
The sun dragon blooded a few kills and then flew high up in the sky. She
waited there for a few seconds, but still no-one had awoken... no-one had
seen her. Was that watch dragon blind? She looked to one of the higher peaks
where the watch dragon was supposed to be. And in fact there was a watch
dragon. The silver hide of a moon was down below her, the eyes of the dragon
"Why do you not chase me?"
she asked the moon.
"I am more of a one that likes to be
the moon answered her amused.
"From the day I hatched." the moon laughed. "Try bugling."
Secarath pondered a moment about the bugling. It wasn't how she had
envisioned it... but then she could wait here for hours. And in the night
she still had some advantage. After a little scraping of her throat Secarath
opened her mouth wide and bugled in the night. Pleased she saw eyes opening
all around the mountain peaks. The dragons were stirring.
she yelled down and then flew away as fast as she could. A part of her
wanted to get caught, but that part was still talking with a silent voice
compared to the one that was screaming: "You'll never get caught!"
Down in the isle dragons woke up and launched themselves from their cavern
entrances. Riders hastily stirred, asking their dragons what had happened.
But the consternation from most of the male population was nothing compared
to the consternation in Mireille's cavern. She too had been awakened by the
bugle, but unlike most of the other riders she knew very well what the bugle
she cried out, "What have you
"Nothing, rider mine. I am just
"But you haven't even been placed on
the board!" Mireille said and silently
adding: "What about your promise to let Nasionalth catch you?"
"Don't keep your thoughts from me... I
can read them anyway. As for Nasionalth, he'll just have to catch me." Secarath
From a nearby cavern Ikron rushed into Mireille's Cavern. He was barely
dressed though Mireille didn't notice that in her state. She was partly with Secarath flying, getting excited at the thought of all those males trying to
catch her... but the other part, her true mind was sad and unwilling.
he called to her, "Nasionalth just took
off and won't talk to me!"
"Secarath's flying... and invited the
whole isle to catch her." Mireille
Ikron kneeled down beside his lover and hugged her tight. "Now
I know why Nasionalth isn't wasting time to talk to me. He is looking for
"But there must be a hundred males out
there obscuring his sight!" Mireille
said, "What if he's not the
fastest?" she asked him frightened.
"Let them try get past me. I won't let
anyone take you from me. Not after what I have sacrificed for you."
Ikron promised her passionately. He too was getting back some excited
feelings from his rayant now. Nasionalth had apparently found a lead.
High in the air the rayant hovered above most of the other colours. Where he
was flying only a few opals and other rayants were also looking for the gold
female seemingly only just out of their reach. But Secarath was nowhere to
be seen, she knew better.
When she looked down however she noticed that she hadn't gone unnoticed for
all. A small blue male, barely old enough to be a fledgeling flew below her,
trying to fly higher and higher. The determined look on the dragon's face
moved her, but she wasn't about to let herself be caught by a youngster half
Secarath flew higher and raced away from the blue. In doing so however she
exposed herself. For a single moment she flew through the white rays of the
moon and stars, her hide glowing like a beacon to all who were looking her
"I see her!"
Nasionalth yelled through the telekinetic link with his bond and took off,
as did about 20 other males, closely followed by the ones who hadn't seen
the sun, but who followed the others trying to keep up.
Secarath started a long series of exhausting manoeuvres to drive of the
smaller dragons. The male blues, greens and purples soon found themselves
low on energy though a few of the Lantessama born kept pursuing the female.
To her amusement Secarath even saw a few opals racing past her, trying to be
fast enough to lure her into an ambush a little down the way.
Too bad for them she wasn't really in the mood yet to be caught. The thrill
of the chase, of being stronger and faster than all those males behind her
was too much of a feeling to give up this soon. And by the way, she didn't
really want to get caught by an opal she hadn't met already.
Plummeting down she evaded the opals and their plans. Of course flying down
like this opened the flight back up for the dragons who couldn't fly as
high. Old world browns and blues continued their chase, their hopes renewed
by the gold's sudden fall.
Secarath turned and led her pursuers in a wide U-turn to the ocean. When she
raced over the waves, not so much as slowed a fraction of her original speed
most of the blues and greens let her go. There would be other females in the
Even so there were still plenty of dragons following her. The majority rayant, flame, silver and earth. Here and there a patch of blood red or opal
lighted the stream of chasers. Relentless Secarath launched herself
into another set of manoeuvres to shake of at least half of her followers.
Again she climbed higher, straining to reach the moon.
Nasionalth followed his mate, carefully ducking as dragons fell from the
sky, drained from their energy or in packs of two or three dragons that had
collided in mid air. He too rose, though he started to feel tired he
wouldn't leave his queen now that she was so close. He knew he still had an
advantage over some of the other dragons who had flown all over the isle
looking for Secarath. When he reached the highest point in the loop Secarath
had led them in he looked down. Only 5 dragons were now chasing his queen.
He, two more rayants, a flame and an earth. Looking closely, the earth was
breathing heavily and just about to give up. Perfect, one less to worry
Secarath too looked back and was pleased to see Nasionalth was still in the
running. But he would have to do a little better if he expected to win her
Halfway up the mountain-side Mireille and Ikron were only barely aware of
their human bodies. Both were now dragons, flying in an exhilarating ballet.
They came closer and closer. Breathing, feeling, wanting... yearning, but
still it was not time yet give in. Some small part of them needed to stay
aware of the flight, needed to keep track of who won.
Secarath rushed into a large front of clouds drifting over the calm water of
the sea. Her hide became dampened and wet as she flew through the mists. It
was harder for her to see now, but it would be the same for the males who
entered after her.
Rushing in and out of the covering white protection she kept an eye on her
suitors. Most of them fell back, searching the clouds without knowing she
had already left the first front and had entered a second. On her tail now
were only one rayant, Nasionalth and the flame.
With only three more chasing her, she eased a bit. Let the first one catch
her. She hovered in a small pocket of air that made her look like she was on
entirely different planet. If she fell down, would the soft fluffy white
hold her? Probably not, but maybe she could try it out later...
Finally the flame jumped into her vision. The male thought for a moment,
deciding if there was maybe a mountain behind her where he would crash if he
missed her. But apparently he decided against it. He rushed forward.
Secarath sighed a bit. It wasn't Nasi, but apparently this one was the
"Don't bet on it." Nasi
said in her mind.
The rayant, who had flown under the white clouds, reached up and grabbed
hold of Secarath's tail. He pulled though Secarath didn't struggle much.
Once below the clouds they saw the flame rush over their heads, dazed by her
"What no mountain for him to crash
on?" Nasionalth asked.
"I couldn't run forever... What took
you so long to catch me?"
"I don't know... a sun getting it in
her head that I needed to prove myself stronger maybe?"
Halfway up the mountain two humans didn't follow the conversation of the two
dragons as they drifted back down, arms and tails twisted together. They in
fact had better things to do.
Secarath moved in the hatching cave and tried not to
disturb the smaller spectral-sunset who was sleeping in the cave. Maybe it
had been a mistake to rise so early for a flight since it seemed that her
eggs were intent on being laid at night as well.
Pondering whether or not to wake her rider, Secarath watched as yet another
egg appeared. Secarath waited 5 more minutes and was more than a little
disappointed to see that no more eggs were coming. She was an old world
gold! A sun! How could she only lay 2 eggs?
"Mireille!" she bugled.
Mireille woke up, startled to hear her queen sound upset. For a moment she
weighed the sound of her voice. It hadn't been a 'I'm in a fool mood come
here so I can call you names' tone and not even a 'I'm bored come entertain
me' yell... in stead it seemed like genuine panic with little
irritation. So the sun's rider dragged herself out of her bed at the other
side of the hatching cavern, sheltered from the elements by a stone wall. As
she got up she nearly tripped over Red Fox, the bond of the other dragon.
Carefully Mireille stepped over the sleeping fox and went outside to check
up on her dragon.
"What is it, Secarath?"
"There is something wrong with me!"
the dragon sent to her.
"You look perfectly well to me, dear."
Mireille told her dragon, hoping it was just a mood swing.
"But... but, I only have 2 eggs!"
"Eggs?" Mireille said now
fully awake, "Can I see?"
A little embarrassed, Secarath moved away from the eggs she was guarding.
"I count three, Secarath..."
"There were just 2 a minute ago..."
"Well, most likely you haven't finished
clutching. Give it some time, at least that's what they told me." Mireille
said reciting a little bit of a lesson she had gotten years before. "Let
me get Ikron and Nasionalth so they can come too."
Secarath nodded and waited. By the time her mate arrived with his rider 5
eggs were already sheltered in the small space between her body and tail. Nasionalth proudly sat beside his queen and helped her move around her eggs
to places more to her liking. It didn't take long before both Red Fox and Arayath too were awake and looking at the spectacle of a broody queen
arranging her eggs. Two hours further 7 eggs had been laid and no new ones
in half an hour.
"I think you're done."
Mireille said, "How do you feel?"
"A little less disappointed, but still not
quite happy about the number." Secarath said.
"Poor baby..." Mireille said
hugging her dragon, "I told you clutches would
be smaller in Lantessama, but you wanted to stay in the sun with Nasionalth."
"If they are my children they will be the best
dragons ever." the rayant dragon bragged.
"What, are they going to grow extra limbs? Or
have extra strong fiery breath?" Ikron asked laughing.
"No... But I bet they'll be big!"
the rayant said seriously.
All images made by me
Font used is called First Order and can be downloaded