Quinn looked up when he felt
the surge of air and the fear of his herds. There were dragons flying over
the beasthold again. They should now better! Sure, they needed them, but
they also needed the meat and wool of the herd beasts. Scaring them half to
death wasn't good for them.
Quinn only is 24 turns of age, but he knows
every move of his beasts like the back of his hand. He is small compared to
most men, but people who had thought him an easy win, had soon found out
they were wrong. His arms and legs
are muscled and there is a twinkle in his brown eyes, daring people to
try him. His blond, almost white hair is kept close to his
scalp. He doesn't seek the company of other humans much, except the other
herders when there are felines around. His Craft is everything to him.
He led his beast further along some plains in the relative cool of
the Southern Continent Dawn. They needed to be somewhere shady with enough
grass by noon when it would be too hot for hiking far. These were usually
the times when he wanted a canine, or even a firelizard to help him herd.
The cattle were still nervous from the dragons and left the trail at any
chance they got. He didn't have time to loose as he wanted to get to a
summer gather in the nearby Hold to sell of some of his older animals for
meat and buy new males, because he had lost 2 prime animals when they ran
from dragons, right of a cliff edge. He mumbled some curses and managed to
get a female back in line, right before she would have been caught in the
fast currents of the river. He couldn't afford to lose anymore of his herd.
When he arrived at the Hold, without anymore losses, he first stabled his
animals and made sure they were secure and well cared for. The Gather would
be held tomorrow, so he had to go and secure a spot today and hope it would
be a good one. He had been cheated before, some of these holders weren't all
honest in their ways, some were however and he had heard good things about
this one. He managed to get a spot close enough to the stables and a good
visible one too.
He spent the night among his animals in the stable.
Guarding more than sleeping. Thinking more than guarding. He seemed to think
a lot lately, of better times when he and his sister had herded together. He
would never forgive himself for letting her go after that runaway alone. But
he had been busy with a birth, he couldn't be missed. If he had gone, maybe
he would have stood a chance against the feline. He knew he shouldn't think
like that, he would have been killed too, but at least Synea would have
still been alive...He went on for hours like this, thinking, feeling guilty
until he finally fell asleep.
The next day he took 10 beasts to the Gather
he hoped to sell. They were all well fed and healthy, but well in their
life. He hoped to find a cook that wouldn't mind having them slaughtered on
his own expense, he would get them at a good enough price. Quinn didn't need
to wait long for the first possible buyers, but they turned out to be
holders, wanting to get breeding stock themselves. The second customer came
around noon, and was what Quinn needed, a cook. After a large session of
haggling and looking angry, they got to an agreement that made both of them
happy. Now that he had some marks on him he could check out the breeding
stock. He struggled through, what seemed to him, huge masses of people to
get to the other side were he had spotted some interesting material. He got
there and saw that there were still a good dozen left. He would only need to
buy 2 males and 3 females, so he would have some marks left to get some
decent cooked food and wine tonight. He got the sellers attention and they
made a deal, with less haggling and shouting this time, because both of them
were herders and knew what there stock was worth.
He was leading his new
animals to the stables when suddenly a blue dragon flew over from behind
him. Quinn felt the anxiety, but was too late and not accustomed enough to
the young herd beast to keep them in his control. They fled, knocking over
and stepping on everything that crossed their path. Quinn ran after his
animals, but they were struggling to keep alive and a lot faster then him,
if he didn't get them cornered, he could lose them.
Suddenly a green
dragon emerged right in front of the running cattle forcing them to turn to
the stable area. After the rider had driven them into a, conveniently, empty
pasture, the dragon landed and her rider got off. She waited patiently for
him to reach her, out of breath of course from the long run. She looked at
him and started:
"I'm sorry for your
inconvenience, but P'mir and his
Siyeth are still young, they didn't now about the gather and didn't avoid
it like the rest of us."
Quinn, having expected anything but this, stood
speechless and on top of all, this green dragon kept on swaying her head
right in front of them. Then she looked back at her rider and made a funny
noise. Her rider looked at her and then turned to him.
"Say, Phaysath just
tells me you would do great on a hatching. That's why we were out here by
the way. Would you consider being a candidate?"
Quinn caught his breath
and thought of it... It would mean leaving his cattle, but it would also
mean, bonding with a dragon, flying...just to be on the safe side he said
"I might, but I won't sell my herd, or add it to the Weyr's supplies before
I have impressed."
Quinn awoke to with the sweet
melodic sounds of the dragons humming. At first he thought he was still
dreaming. But then a voice called out
"Everyone up that is standing for
the greenís clutch! Zironathís clutch is hatching."
Excited Quinn jumped out of bed. He had been waiting so long and learned so
much in the time he had been here. His rule about not adding his herd to
the Weyr's supplies had long been broken and he hadn't regretted it yet.
When Quinn reached the hatching sands, the candidates saw three dragons had
already hatched. A brown and green made their way to a chosen, but the blue
got cought up with another egg that hatched another blue. Both dragons were
caught in each others wings, making it impossible for them to move and
impress. Quinn had to help. This was no different from delivering a new lamb
that was turned wrong, though helping these dragon was easier.
'One of these is mine' went through Quinn's head as he was touching the big
pile of blue limbs.
At last the dragons were seperated adn Quinn was standing next to one of
them and tried to get closer. But the blue pulled away and switched places
with his brother.
The other blue had 2 oozing lines on his side. He had dealt with cattle, but
these cuts were weird. First of all the green of the ... erm blood? and it
didn't run, it was thick and sticky.
"It hurts! Ampeth hurt me!"
the blue whimpered as Quinn touched one of the cuts.
"Not on purpose, Tueth. You two
just wanted to hatch in the same spot at the same time. Thatís impossible."
Quinn looked around. Wasn't anyone going to help them?
"What's happened here?" a man asked.
"Two cuts when we were unhooking them." Quinn said, slightly worried.
"Nothing to be worried about, I'll just put on some numbweed and he'll be
The numbweed had just started to work it's magic when Tueth suddenly
"Quinn, I'm very hungry, I
could eat an entire runningbeast!"
Tueth called out.
"I'm a growing dragon! Of
course I am."
Quinn sighed, "Ok we'll go by the feeding pen again, but if you keep up
like this much longer my stock will be wiped out. You eat all of them!"
Tueth called out, "It's
very good stock."
"Yeah yeah, quit with the flattery and eat so we can get rid of this
churning feeling in our bellies... If you stay like this long I'll be round
as a barrel because you have me eating that much more."
"You're skinny, you could
use more flesh."
"No, I could use more muscle, not fat, fat makes me heavy and then you
won't be able to get off the ground with me on you."
"Of course you are, but still I'd like to be sure."
"You're so light I could
easily carry 3 of you."
"Now that I'd like to see."
"Wanna give it a
try?" Tueth winked.
"Not for all the marks on pern."
"You're no fun at
"You remember you never
being fun?" Tueth asked.
"You've made sure I don't forget how un-fun I am, Tueth. You know that.
I can't live a day without you reminding."
"Well now you have a
chance to prove me wrong."
"I have? What do you want me to do now? Go for a wild ride between
mountain tops while flying upside down? Or maybe teleport inches from the
ground? Or wait! run naked through the snow!"
"Not one of those, though
i have to remember that snow one, it might be fun for afterwards."
"What is it?"
"I want to fly."
"Plenty of females around." Quinn added, "I don't know why
that would make me fun. In fact you've participated in a few flights
"Just like that. I'd
never say you were un-fun again."
"I doubt that'd be true, but to even go a year without it would be
"Great! I've already
"Then why did I need to ok it."
"Just a chance to prove
how fun you can be... like I said. Let's go!"
"Can't this wait a few days?"
Quinn sighed as his dragon pushed him to his weyr to get the necessary
clothes and backpack to travel offworld, all the while reminding him to be
Quinn impressed at