Ouanda & Ekren

Ouanda looked down to the beach from the cliff she was standing on. The wind blew strongly around her, tugging at her twin brown ponytails and she clutched her shawl tighter around her body. From her neck, the soft bulge below her shawl complained at the sudden tightening of space.
Without uttering a word, Ouanda adjusted her cat, Jeva, again and the cat instantly fell back asleep. Softly purring, Ouanda caressed her absentminded.
She sighed.
Still without a sound, she turned away from the cliff and the gloomy-looking horizon and looked toward the little gathering of houses that was her hometown. Not much longer would she be allowed to live in her house. The safety of her childhood was fading fast.
Withthe sun well past it's zenith in her back and the wind coming to her from the sea, the lonely figure of Ouanda walked the road she had walked a thousand times since she and her mother had come to live here. She passed the little thickets where she'd played as a 10-year old, past the stream she'd fallen in when she was 12 and finally stopped in front of the cemetery where everyone she'd ever loved was buried.
Ouanda's mother had died two months ago. She was 14, too young to handle the little house and it's fields by herself. She was too old to be taken in by any of the other families. Everyone wished her well, but no-one had much to spare.
Lost in thoughts, her face covered in tears, she was not prepared for the boy that crashed into her. The two fell to the ground. Barely managing to keep upright, Ouanda recog-nised her assailant in a flash.

Ekren left the village running. He'd been scolded. Again! And for something he didn't do. On a sane level he knew that his father was having a hard time raising three boys, the youngest of which was still in diapers after his wife had left him. But on an emotional level, he was fed up.
This town screwed with people. He didn't think he knew anyone who was happy lately. Too much had happened. Illness, followed by draught, followed by heavy rains and mud slides. People dieing in accidents. Not a single household seemed to have been spared. A lot of people had left too.
Maybe they should too. Move to a more prosperous, populous hold where he could find something else to do besides growing vegetables and herding cattle. He felt like his life was going to waste in this godforsaken hole.
But he couldn't tell his dad. because he knew it wasn't his fault. it was no-one's fault and that was the worst of it. So he just ran. Past the fences where he'd climbed on as a child, past the fruit trees where he'd played thieves and mob with the other kids, past the cemetery which had frightened him until he was 7 and just too many people had died. He was 15 now and nothing much still frightened him. After all to fear you must love your life.
The wind increased and a gale started blowing in from the sea. Ekren closed his eyes when a cloud of dust hit him, not seeing the young girl he was about to hit ...

Slowly he got up, staring right into the tear-filled eyes of the girl in front of him.
"Ouanda." he said, "Are you ok?"
"Yeah." she said, hastily wiping away her tears.
"I'm sorry, there was dust and I... I didn't see you." Ekren said, feeling utterly lame, "Sorry."
"It doesn't matter." Ouanda said again and tried to smile.
Ekren hugged her without thinking much. It was as much a gesture to comfort himself as it was something he could support her with. He knew how it felt to lose a mother. He couldn't quite imagine though what it felt like to lose your home at the same time.
"How are you?" he asked.
"Fine." she said, her voice wavering and tears welling up in her eyes again.
"Not so good." he said.
Ouanda shook her head, "There's nothing anyone can do."
"You have to keep hoping." he told her.
Ouanda got angry, "I can't!" she lashed out, "I have nowhere to go. I have no-one to turn to and I'll DIE!"
She pulled herself from his embrace and sobbed. She grabbed the tip of her scarf and started rubbing her eyes again, making the whole mess worse.
Suddenly the thought hit her: "Where's Jeva?" she asked.
"Your cat?" Ekren said, "Haven't seen her."
"She was with me. I have to find her."
Distressed Ouanda got up and started walking, calling the name of her pet continuously. Jeva didn't comply and stayed hidden. Ekren got up and followed Ouanda. The cat would be ok, but Ouanda seemed dangerously close to something he knew all too well.
"She'll return home when she's not frightened. She probably got spooked when I hit you."
"I have to find her now." Ouanda persisted.
Ekren caved because he knew sometimes the logical thing wasn't the right thing to do. Even if the sun was not far from setting and the woods would be dark, chances were the cat hadn't strayed far.
"We'll go look, ok." he said.
Ouanda immediately darted off, making it hard for Ekren to keep up. They first stayed near the edge of the forest, only venturing deeper when Jeva was nowhere to be seen. While searching the both of them calmed down and though not many words were spoken, the air became more friendly.
"I see something!" Ekren called out.
Standing a head taller than Ouanda, he'd managed to see some peculiar white in the sea of green leaves. He worked his way through some bushes and stopped dead in his tracks on the other side.
Ouanda bumped into his back and she started muttering about making room when she too saw the large green beast in the clearing. Next to the green dragon, a young woman was sitting, maybe 5 turns older than they. And in her lap, a lazy Jeva was purring cosily.
"Jeva!" Ouanda called and the cat looked up, opening one eye and yawning.
"I think she likes where she is now." Ekren laughed, "I bet she hasn't been dropped yet either."
"It was your fault that we fell in the first place." Ouanda hissed and moved closer.
"Hello." she addressed the rider, "Can I have my cat back?"
"Certainly." the young woman said, her cheeks a bit red, "But first I must ask you something."
"What?" Ekren asked.
"My name is Ellone and my dragon's name is Seinkoth. We were on a trip home from our, well it's not exactly a weyr, but close enough, and we rested here and she said that you would do well in the upcoming hatching at Darkling Dawn."
Ellone closed her mouth and waited.
"A dragon?" Ouanda asked, she'd never thought of it.
"That would solve your problems." Ekren said, "Dragons come with food and boarding."
"What about you?" she asked him back.
Ekren hesitated for a bit. Could he leave home? Would it lessen the burden? Not really. But maybe his life wouldn't be wasted and he could always visit. He knew it was a bit selfish, but staying here would just ruin him.
"I'll go."

(Adopted from Darkling Dawn)


The first clutch after a relative quiet time in Darkling Dawn was about to hatch. Eggs were rocking, candidates and spectators filed in while the proud mother-dragon watched.
The first eggs were rocking now, and it wasn't long before one of the dragons inside fought its way out, and soon it was joined by three more. The first egg contained a tiny, pale green dragonet, who stumbled towards the candidates while the other three--a green, a blue, and a brown--were still breaking out of their shells.
After that another four dragon hatched. There were again two greens, one brown and a blue dragonet on the sands. And this time, the last of them, a pretty forest green walked toward Ouanda. She finally stopped in front of her, and butted her head gently against the girl's leg until she reached down to stroke her eyeridges. You'll stay with me, won't you, Ouanda?
Ouanda smiled. "Of course I will, Zuath."



It had been a few weeks since Teyumeth's clutch had hatched, and the Dragonry was starting to fall into a lull again. It was a welcome surprise, then, when the next clutch chose to hatch. Nine candidates were ushered onto the sands as the eggs rocked around their mother, Shonakasen, sitting in the middle.
Before long there was a crack as the first egg hatched. A pair of slender wings came out first, glistening with silver membranes. The hatchling's red body soon became visible as she struggled out of her egg. With a final kick, she removed the egg shell and climbed to two unsteady feet.
The candidates watched hopefully as she turned her head, but they were disappointed when the hatchling chose to sponsor in stead of bond.

Two more eggs had hatched, and from one had come a gold-winged blue, from the other, a brown-red. The brown)red male watched as his brother left the sands from where she was sitting. Climbing to his own feet, he pranced around a bit before looking over the candidates. He inspected them quite closely, some of them leaning away from his attentions, until he finally stopped at Ekren.
"I like you,"
he said in a satisfied voice. "I'm bonding to you, Ekren. My name's Nariti."
Initailly taken aback at the brown-red's direct manner, the boy smiled. "If you say so,"



Name: Nariti
Breed: Dragon Whorling/Atuan mutt/Hathian
Gender: Male
Color: Brown-Red
Abilities: Telepathy, Teleportation, Verbal Speech, Fire Breath
Personality: Energetic and full of energy, Nariti is a direct and simple-minded dragon who prefers to take the shorter, more direct route to things. He is rather headstrong and doesn't like to do what he's told, but he'll listen to Ekren.


Ouanda looked up nervously from her window. Zuath's mating flight would commence shortly and it was her first time. Ouanda really didn't know what to expect. What would she say when someone she didn't know well came up to her weyr? Would she be able to reject? After all she hadn't had much experience with love yet. How was she supposed to take such a huge leap now?
"Do not worry." Zuath hushed her, "Trust me, I would not allow a dragon with an unsuitable rider to fly me. Maybe I should help you."
"How? Ouanda asked.
"Let's play a game of trivia."
And up went Zuath, rising after she'd drained the blood of several herdbeasts for strength. She had in mind a possible winner, but she would allow her rider to make the final decision.
Four dragons flew up to chase her. Two blues, two browns. A meagre turn-up for a dragoness as beautiful as she. Look at her hide! It actually glowed leafy green! How many dragonesses had a colour as pretty as hers?
"I know you're pretty." Ouanda said and Zuath concentrated on her flight again.
"Let's see..." she said, "There's an eager fellow right here!"
One of the blues instantly tried to capture her. He'd rushed forward putting everything he had in this spurt. It was a bit uncoordinated and she'd be able to dodge it.
"Tell me quick. Do you want him?"
"No." Ouanda said frightened.
"He's out."
The blue speeded past Zuath and then barely avoided crashing. Zuath flew up with the three remaining chasers.

Ekren meanwhile stood on the ground and noticed the first blue being avoided. He let out a sigh of relief and told his dragon, Nariti to make sure he won.
"I know Zuath best." Nariti beamed, "I won't let her get away. She would not like sneaky ways to win. It's a matter of patience with her."
The brown-red followed the green dragoness easily and only used his force minimally since he knew the flight would take long.

"Hmm... I think one of them is nearing his end." Zuath said, "He has a nice rider even if the man's a bit older than you. Should I let him win?"
"How old?" Ouanda asked.
"45 in human years."
"That could be my dad." Ounada shuddered, "No, let him go."

The second blue fell off and Ekren felt a bit more confident again. There were only two of them left in the race now. Ekren casually looked over to his remaining rival and felt his heart sink back a bit. The guy looked strong. His dragon too had been bigger than Nariti. Ekren worried.
"Big isn't always better." Nariti signalled back, "Have faith."

Zuath decided this was the time to really make her suitors try. She launched in a series of aerial tricks and turns and waited for the three of them to tire. Both dragons chasing her were brown and she knew they'd have greater stamina than her. Both of them seemed to also be agile enough to follow her. Choosing would be hard.
"Help me rider." she said, "Both of them would be worthy males to sire my children. Which do I chose?"
"What are their riders like?" Ouanda asked desperate hoping one of them would be her exact type.
"They're both young." Zuath said, "And they both are strong. But one of them seems to enjoy this more than the other."
"How so?"
"One of them seems to think this is a nice pastime. He does not intend to form a lasting bond."
Ouanda felt her stomach turn, "Definitely not him!"
"You would like a lasting bond from this?" Zuath asked.
"More than a casual fling."
"Then let me give you what you want for."
Zuath swooped up and down and tried to shake off her chasers. Which was easier said than done. both browns did not seem to want to budge.
Finally Zuath turned around thinking to Nariti, "Are you going to make your move now?"
"Since you allowed me." he grinned and then hurled his mass past the other brown. He caught Zuath without effort, grabbing hold of her because she wanted it.
The other brown tried to come between them but was rewarded only with a series of scratches and bites before he realised his fight was futile.
"He is coming." Zuath told Ouanda before fading out of her mind.

Ekren rushed up the stairs toward Ouanda's weyr and hoped she would not mind him coming there. Nervously he opened the door and asked:
"Can I come in?"
"It's you." Ouanda called back.
"Yeah." Ekren took a few steps in and saw ouanda sitting on her bed. He sat down beside her and gently took her hand.
"You don't have too. We could just sit here."
"That would be hard."
"It would." Ekren grinned, "But I've been through hard times before. I can wait for the one I love."
"You love me?"
"From the moment I crashed into you." he said, kissing her tenderly on the cheek.

Ouanda and Ekren impressed at Darkling Dawn
Lantessama Isle