Naer looked up and saw his best friend Yenna, covered in flour from
the bread she was making. They could have been brother and sister. They both
had brown hair and brown eyes, and lots of freckles. There were times Naer
hoped they would go away, because they made him look younger then his 16
turns, but then, some of the masters gave him lesser punishments if he had
been caught snoozing.
He looked down again and missed the smile from Yenna. He had to make the
little breads for the upcoming gather in his hold. The weather had been
superb this last week and all things indicated it would remain calm and
sunny. The bread he and Yenna made would be sold at the bakery stand as
apprentice-bread, which meant he wouldn't get much marks out of it. But then,
he would probably walk the tables later this year. He started to mix the
peppers with the dough, his bread was as good as most of the recently
He turned rapidly when he heard the shoes of master Kleo entering the
workroom. She was a good master, all of the masters of the baking craft were
nice, but he had heard stories from other craft apprentices. He couldn't
believe all they told, really, he knew some of them had been rejected after
some incidents. He didn't really listen to gossip, he had better things to
do, like going on trips to the nearby Cincanta Weyr with Yenna! They
especially liked the weyrling training. It was so trilling to see those
young dragons learning to fly thread. They never got enough of it. He
smiled. Kleo looked at him and said:
"I don't know what you're thinking off, but get your attention back to
your bread before the dough gets to dry to bake!"
Naer hastily shaped the bread and put them in the oven to please his
master. Maybe that was why he liked all masters here, he always tried to do
what they wanted.
The next morning the gather flag was raised and the stalls
were made around the central square of the hold. Naer and Yenna would have
to help selling around noon, so they were free to run around the gather in
the morning, which was good because it got really hot around midday in this
He and Yenna took off and had a lot of fun trading in a
little amount of marks for bubbly pies, since they were from the craft,
they got a discount.
"So, have you seen your parents?" Yenna asked.
"Not yet, but they should be here." What about yours?"
"They couldn't come today, the baby took this day of all to get born. Don
told me this morning, while you were busy choosing your gatherclothes."
"Any idea if it will be a boy or girl?"
"Mum wants another girl, she thinks me having 4 brothers is enough. Not that
I see them that often." she said with a sad tone in her voice.
It became Midday too soon to their point of view, but they ran back
to the bakery stall and reported for duty. That's when they heard about the
new clutch at the Weyr.
"We might see dragons today, boy." Kleo said "Oraenuth has
Naer almost leaped in joy of the possibility he might see adult dragons
flying high in the sky. He didn't know what it was exactly, but when he saw
them flying, his hearth leaped in his chest and he felt happy.
But now they weren't flying yet, and he had to help sell the bread. To his
surprise he saw his bread prised like the bread of the journeyman.
"Kleo, is this a mistake?" he asked, pointing to pricecharts.
"No, boy, you'll walk the tables soon enough, it wouldn't be fair to sell
this bread cheap." She smiled and went to a customer looking at his
That night he walked the tables. The only thing he remembered from the
experience itself, were a lot of smiling faces and the strong arms of a
fellow journeyman, helping him to the journeyman-table.
"And now for your assignment" Kleo said "Cincanta Weyr's Weyrwoman needs
some help with the hatching, I hear you know your way around the Weyr, and
we can keep an eye on you on your first assignment."
He was so happy he didn't even notice people knew about their excursions to
He woke up and saw the Weyr in the first rays of sun. He was
too excited to sleep more, so he got up and walked out to the lower caverns.
He saw the nightheart and got some klah. Then he moved out into the Weyrbowl
and looked up to the hatching grounds. He could spot the queen because the
early morning sunlight fell in and reflected on her hide. He went back in
and saw the headwoman already up busy with bread and klah. It would soon be
The Weyr came alive in one big wave of people entering the lower caverns and
eating breakfast One of them being Yenna who had come to check up on him For
Kleo. She wanted to know he had settled in good and wasn't sleeping in on
his first day. He went outside with Yenna to get more wood for the hearths
and saw the magnificant sight of 5 dragons ready to take off on search. But
suddenly one of them turned his heads and bugled. The green came closer and
sniffled him. Naer looked puzzled at the green and heard people laugh.
"It seems our lazy green here thought that if she found a candidate here
she could stay in the Weyr and sleep in" her rider said. "So what do
you say, want to be a candidate for the clutch?"
"Go on Naer!" Yenna said, "Why wouldn't you want to stand for a
It was midnight when
Oraenuth's eggs started to hatch. After what seemed an uncannily long wait
the thought of bonding a dragon was so exhillerating to Naer that he didn't
even mind the late hour. He met up with Yenna in the hallway and saw by her
droopy eyes that she had been well asleep too. But what he could see of her
eyes sparkled with anticipation, and though her step was slower than it
usually was, it was certainly as bouncy as ever.
Eggs started hatching and hatchlings scrambled to the candidates as if they
too knew it had been a long wait.
Soon four eggs out of the eighteen that Oraenuth had
spoken of had hatched, and the crowd was eagerly watching for more. The next
bunch of eggs, unearthed in haste, had begun to crack open and spilled forth
two blues, a green, and a bronze; the crowd gave an appreciative murmur at
the latter. The former two, however, were the first to race into the circle
of male Candidates and select their chosen. The larger of the two sat down
and reached with a miniscule talon to tug at Naer's sleeve.
"Of course I'm glad that I came, Gezroth," he smiled
"That's good, Na'r." the
dragon spoke before succumbing to the lull of the food and running toward
it, his rider trailing behind him.
Gezroth spread his wings, took a short run and dived of the cliffs
surrounding Cincanta Weyr. He fell, but he knew the winds would catch him
and so knew his rider. Naer's stomach was one big knot of nerves, but still
he had faith. Of course, he hadn't really ever before experienced a thing
quite like this. The wind blew in his face and he was glad he had goggles to
protect his eyes from the bite.
Gezroth entered an upward air current and let himself drift higher. He made
several concentric circles above the Weyr and a few dips and rises before
they were called back.
"We have to go." Gezroth said.
"Already?" Naer called out disappointed.
"Others are waiting for their turn. Caleenth
is ready with Yenna now."
Naer sighed, but let his dragon return to the cliffs to land.
"Our time will come, rider mine."
Gezroth nodded, "One day we will fly all day
and all night and we shall be free."
"Not like today." Naer snorted.
"I'm not strong enough to carry you that long
yet, Na'r. But one day."
The faith in Naer's eyes was mirrored in Gezroth's as they whirled a bright
blue. One day...
"Naer!" Yenna called shocked, "Watch the baby!"
Gezroth's tail quickly ensnared Naer youngest sibling, a baby girl by the
name of Reiny before she could stumble into the pond. Reiny couldn't really
be called a baby anymore with her 3 years, but she still tended to wander
around and get herself into trouble.
"She's fine." Naer apologised when Yenna came running.
"Don't you dare say she's fine, what were you going to do if she had
"She wouldn't have." Naer insisted.
"What if she was ours?" Yenna asked.
Naer cocked an eyebrow. As far as he knew that didn't matter. Maybe it was a
woman thing. Yenna had been a bit cranky lately.
"Hormones." Gezroth said.
Caleenth swished her mate with her tail, "And you
would know? A Mother's heart is
easily burdened by worries about her child."
"Men don't understand anything about babies. Not
even that women like to have them."
"You could have that flight." Naer nudged Gezroth.
"He could, but he's resisting until a certain
person's baby's born." The green said looking at Naer.
"I can understand he thinks the strain of a flight
might be too hard on Yenna."
"I'll be fine." Yenna sighed.