"Hey, miss!"
Emili knew he shouldn't make a noise. He should just ignore them and they would grow tired of it easily. 
"The little lady sure is quiet today." the first bully tried again.
"Maybe his mother told him never to talk with strangers?" a second tried.
"Yes, that's it. Miss is afraid of us."
Emili didn't like the way this was heading. They should grow bored of this game and return to their sports or whatever else they did in their spare time.

Onyco watched as the Herc squad surrounded the new kid. They weren't very creative. They didn't even look at the boys crooked teeth and silly glasses nor at his lanky figure. Onyco knew exactly what the new kid was. A nerd. Even the book on his lap could have told her that. 
For one moment she pitied the boy. What had his parents been thinking? Giving him a girls name was almost as bad as her own name. Latin it was. Nobody remembered what it meant though. Latin was beyond being a death language. 

Emili faced the truth. The bullies had their minds set on humiliating him. Emili hated violence, but sometimes you had to do what was necessary to prevent worse. He sighed. Maybe he should answer? Nah, words couldn't save him here. He would have to take action. And soon, he liked to plan, but they weren't going to give him time to figure out a strategy. Maybe walking was a good idea. That would test their guts. Emili slowly got up, grabbed his book and casually started walking towards the school entrance. 

Onyco watched as the boy got up. That was about the worst thing he could have done. She knew, they had tried this routine on her too. She of course wasn't bullying material. She had too much of a temper to sit back and let it all happen, nor did she need the company of others. Her imagination was enough to get her through the day. She was going to become a famous writer. School was just something to help her analyse personalities so she could write good books. Sadly, people weren't that different from stereotypes. The nerd and the bullies for example. They were so predictable. The bullies would close in and the nerd would get beaten half to death. 
Onyco followed Emili with her deep blue eyes and focused, trying to get as much info out of this as she could.

The girl was watching him. Emili could feel her eyes on him. He didn't know if he should like that. She looked strange, even to him, with her long black hair, deep blue eyes and weird clothes. She was dressed all in black with a few silver bracelets and a big silver necklace. It looked heavy. 
"Hey!" one of the bullies yelled. Emili thought his name was Meryn, but he wasn't sure.
"Look at me when I'm going to beat you."
Faster than any of them could expect Emili turned and ducked, grabbing Meryns legs and pulling him down. Emili knew from experience he had an advantage when his opponents were down. 
"Listen to yourself!" he thought, "You fight way too much."
He gave the bully a black eye and a sore nose when he tried to get up again.
"Stay down." Emili said, his voice low and threatening.
"The bully obliged, showing the palms of his hands. Emili couldn't deny he felt good after winning a fight. Nobody ever saw it coming. It was so rewarding to see the look on their faces.

Onyco watched the fight with growing amazement. The nerd had some hidden skills. She would need to remember that. Meryn and his squad ran off, tail between their legs. She giggled. Emili sat himself on a nearby rock and started reading again.
Onyco thought this was as good a time as any to interview him. She got closer and saw he had seen her coming. The muscles in his neck were tight and he was ready to run off.
"I saw what you did there." she said.
"It was inspiring."

Emili knew he shouldn't talk about this. The bullies wouldn't and he shouldn't too or his cover would be blown. Someone would figure it out. They always did. So when the dark girl came his way he intended not to tell her anything.
"Ah, come on, I won't tell anyone what you did." she said.
"It's just that I want to know why you fought them in stead of looking them straight in the eyes."
"They don't like that."
This girl proved most difficult to disencourage.
"They tried bullying me as well."
"Really? I can't imagine why." he said sarcastically.
She just shrugged: "I believe in free opinions, if I want to dress black I will."
"So you do know why."
"Yes." she admitted. Emili knew he was winning.
"It's just that for an alien you are very bad in disguises."
Time froze that moment. The air became thick and sounds seized to exist. They were outside time.
"How did you know?" Emili asked.
"I see through them every time. I've been at it a whole lot longer."
"How long?"
"Five years, 4 here."
"Six." Emili admitted.
"How can you still be bad like this! I even think like my character!" Onyco exclaimed.
"I can't."
"Meet me later and we'll practice." she said. 

After school Emili waited for the girl to show. Half an hour later she showed up. 
"Stupid boy!" she said, "I couldn't meet you outside in plain view. People know I have no friends."
"oh." Emili said, embarrassed that he hadn't known that.
The first rule of their kind was to never make friends with humans. They were too suspicious and paranoid for any cover. Even the best infiltrators among them had failed the human friendship test.
"They should send the new ones off in teams." Onyco said, "That way they wouldn't mess up so quick. Have you heard the tales they tell about aliens?"
"Yes, frightening."
"Well, those stories are about us, so you better be afraid. Do you know what would happen to us when they found out?"
"About us? But they are untrue!"
"Well, all humans are liars in one way or another. Even to each other."
"What did I do wrong back there?"
"A nerd, what you are, has some ways of reacting. He can a) Sit still and get beaten or b) run off and get beaten even worse. There are no other options, unless he is fast enough to outrun them, but then he's going to get it the next time they see him. That's why I chose for the goth personality. They don't care and humans are scared of them."
"If that's the case, then I don't want to be a nerd anymore." Emili said.
"Too bad, you chose this form and you're going to keep it." Onyco said.
"I'm older than you, shouldn't I be permitted a choice?"
"No, because you suck at infiltration. How many times do you have left before you get killed?"
"Tssssk. You're even worse than I thought!"
"Well, maybe if someone had told me sooner about the fighting!" Emili yelled, angry that everyone had known and had let him get in big trouble.
"You're supposed to learn it on your own. We can't survive without humans, therefore we must blend in." Onyco quoted straight from the manual of Infiltration.
"Yes, I know." Emili said: "We need humans for our delicate brain transmissions. If we aren't near a sentient organism we will wither and die due to lack of neural synapses."
"I see you studied the Manual. Good, it will save you in times of trouble."
Emili's face lit up as he heard her compliment. He was glad she liked him.
"That's no compliment! If you hadn't studied it I would have let you get yourself killed."
"You can read my mind?"
"Yes, I've advanced to level 8, I can teleport, mindread, stop time, rewind time and change my appearance at will. What can you do?"
"Stop time." he admitted. Stopping time was the only skill you could earn without infiltration and was usually the first skill aliens learned because it could save them.
"Rookie." she said.
"I can learn."
"We'll have to move first though...Meryn and his squad know there's something about you and they'll tell others. I've had this one place in mind for a long time now. Pern it's called. And there are supposed to be dragons."
"But they would know!"
"That would be the ultimate infiltration." she said.
"No-one has ever done it."
"All the more reason for us to try it first. I even know a place where there are more outsiders. The dragons would know, but they wouldn't tell the humans if we were casual about it."
"ok, I guess. I can't stay here anyway."

"Ahem, sir?" a girl asked.
"Yes?" The brownrider turned and saw a darkhaired girl, all dressed in black and a tall boy with glasses.
"Be still dragon. We are normal and mean no harm." she thought to his brown
The dragon agreed to play the game she told him about. A game of infiltration to see if the riders would find out.
"We'd like to be candidates for the clutch. We came all the way down from Zane Hold to impress." she said laughing.
"That's a long way."
"It took us days." the boy said and then looked down again. He didn't look much like dragon material, maybe a green would find him good enough.
"You can always try." he said.

Onyco's Dragon: Night Cream Isungoth
Emili's Dragon: Red Sevromanth

Onyco and Emili are standing at Ryslen Weyr