Ayotundeth and Heziolth sang, reverberating a deep hum that every dragon in
Shigan picked up and answered, until the very walls of the weyr shook with
their song: The eggs were hatching.
Candidates spilled into the sands, following Weyrwoman Vikana, Weyrleader
J'ram who took their seats on the stands among the other weyrfolk, and
candidate master Rh'mel who urged the last stragglers through the entry
with a proud smile. Heziolth had dutifully flown to a ledge to overlook
the hatching without interference. J'ram was certain he'd be recording the
bondings as well as any scribe in attendance.
The eggs were well on their way to rocking when the last candidate stepped
onto the sands. By last count, there were twenty-seven eggs in total. Not
a terrible clutch for Ayotundeth. She'd kept them safe and partially
hidden, but now her wings were spread wide and she stepped away, revealing
two glimmering gold shells. People gasped and the stakes of this hatching
just went up.
The sound of shattering shells silenced the conversation. A lithe green
split her egg and tumbled to the sand with a bellow. And then the hatching
was truly underway.
A second bronze burst from his shell and struck a handsome pose, intending
for everyone to gape at him. His hide was a glimmering, perfect bronze,
but the webbing of his wings was deep chocolate. A bi-color! He squeaked
his eyes open and realized several of his siblings were already hatched
and waddling through the candidates. He let out a sharp cry and raced
forward, knocking a few smaller greens out of his way.
:: I wanted to be
first! :: he barked.
"It would have been awesome to be the first to bond," Bye
replied, as the bronze thundered toward him with a look of determination
furrowing his brow.
:: We'll just have to prove
to be the best then :: the bronze replied. ::
I'm Tochukwuth, and don't you forget it! ::
Tochukwuth sniffed at the beverage in front of him. Water he knew, fruit
juices could sometimes entice him, but to drink fermented juices seemed
like a risky thing. The brown-winged bronze dragon had seen how people
reacted to the stuff.
"Are you really going
to drink it?" he asked his
Bye took in a deep breath and answered: "I am."
Over the past years he'd grown up enough that he was allowed to drink.
But, and this was the problem, he'd never gone out with friends nor had he
tried it before because he always believed that it would not help him.
"So why are you considering
"I need the courage." Bye said quietly.
"Is this about
that lady?" Tochukwuth asked.
Bye cringed, but he wouldn't deny the truth. It was indeed because of her.
He'd been around other people all his life. But they were family or
classmates or fellow weyrling-riders. Getting up the nerve to ask out a
woman was something he'd missed gaining experience on while he'd been
training, always trying to make head of the class. He hadn't had time to
court a girl.
"And you don't have
to now either!" Tochukwuth
"Huh?" Bye asked.
"I'll win her for you! I'll catch her dragon
and then all you need to do is swoop in and
Bye wondered if it would be so simple. So he took a sip of the liquor and
coughed. Yeah, that wasn't going to help. Better stick with his dragon's