There she was sitting on her bed, still trying to chase away the sleep and her dreams. But deep inside she wanted to hold on to those beautiful dreams!
‘Oh, stop living in a fantasy, Mike! This is reality! Rise and shine, a new day is waiting!’
But this was just one of those days she felt like staying in bed all day and letting herself drifting away in her sorrow thoughts. It has been 3 turns when her father died and already 5 when her mom past away. Sometimes it was even hard to remember their voices or the way they held her and loved her. Yeah, just one of those days! But she would never forget what they taught her.
So to keep their memory in honour:
‘Get of your lazy butt Mike! It’s a beautiful day to do some work-out! If you want to become the best fighter in ‘Way Harmony Ki’ (this in a martial art, but I guess you figured that one out!), you have to train hard and yes, also suffer a bit!’
And remembering her dream: ‘You never now what this day may bring! Life is full of surprises!’
She jumped out off bed, refreshed by al her nice thoughts and ran out of her cave. Cave, hmm, that may sound primitive but on the inside it was really cosy and inviting to cocoon. After the death of her parents, she had learned very well to take care of herself. And hey, she wasn’t a little girl anymore! She was already walking 17 turns on this new planet! Her father sometimes told her a bed story about Earth and how they came to Pern. They were one of the families that, contrary to the majority of all the travellers from Earth, went to the South to start a new community. But in the South, the communities didn’t develop as good as in the northern part of Pern. And very soon the people got frustrated and tried to go their own way. Only a few people, including Mike’s family, wouldn’t give up on that dream. But in the meanwhile the most people that lived here were aggressive drunks of whom a few tried to have a tyrannical power over each and everyone. Her parents didn’t want to give up their ideal of ‘freedom and equal chances for everyone’ and they had to pay the price for it with their lives. But Mike was there to set on that dream of a Utopia where people could live in peace.
The latest rumours were that there were some dragon riders seen in the area. If that were only true! Then they were one step closer to realizing their ‘perfect’ world.
Mike came on her favourite spot, near a waterfall, to start her meditation. In her full concentration, she noticed two large shadows in the sky.
‘Dragons!!!’ Al’x and Trix were with respectively Zoreth and Frynoth flying through the deep blue sky.
‘What a strange place!’ Al’x said, ‘It gives me the creeps and Zoreth also doesn’t like it! There just ain’t something right!’
‘This is a part of Southern Pern where there are no dragon riders. The people that live here are demoralized they haven’t got a good leader, someone to look up to.’
‘Then what are we doing here? You don’t honestly think that there is walking a potential dragon rider somewhere?’
‘I don’t know Al’x, but Frynoth was anxious to come here. She must have a good reason! Call it female intuition.’
‘Women!’ grumbled the young bronze rider.
‘I heard that!’ Frynoth replied amused. And they started a wild, fooling race.
Amazed by such a beauty, she hadn’t heard the shouting coming from a little further and neither did the dragon riders. In an open spot in the forest, a couple of drunk and bored youngsters had noticed the dragons and made it a sport to shoot one down. Out of the blue, a burning arrow snatched into Zoreth’s wing. With a loud roar of pain he crashed down.
Frynoth made a dive and swept under need Al’x for preventing him to fall 30 feet high and smashing to a rock.
‘Let’s get out of here!’ Trix was shouting
‘No! I can’t leave Zoreth behind!’
‘If you haven’t noticed it: they are shooting at us! This is way too dangerous! Zeroth will be just fine, he’s a big boy and you trained him well Al’x. We’ll pick him up when the coast is clear.’ said Trix while trying to avoid the other arrows. ‘But you’re also worried.’ noticed Frynoth. ‘Damn, you dragons also know everything!’ replied Trix a bit cranky. ‘But you’re right. I really hope that Zoreth is ok, but I’m afraid not.’
In all the fuss that was going on in the sky and on ground, Mike was looking for that wounded dragon. If she’d hurry, maybe she could save him from a worse faith than just being injured!
Zoreth had made a save diving not so far from her cave. When Mike saw him, she merged towards him with great respect but not a spark of fear.

‘Don’t worry; I don’t want to hurt you.’
‘What the hell…?’ Zoreth was totally dashed by the fact that this little girl could talk to him. ‘You’re not supposed to talk to me! You didn’t impress me and I didn’t allow you to come in my head! That is private property you know!’ In all of his excitement he moved his injured wing and put on a painful grin.
‘Stop bugging me about stupid little details! My cave is nearby. Can you walk?’
‘Yes, I think so. It’s just my wing that’s hurting like hell.’
They reached Mike’s cave and, after a little struggle with the entrance which was a bit narrow, they got to the main chamber.
‘This looks a bit like a weyr.’
‘Well, make yourself comfortable. Don’t worry, no one knows that someone living here, so we’ll be save until your friends come back.’
Zoreth suddenly felt blue. ‘Why did he leave me behind? I never thought he would do that.’
Mike felt a bit sorry for him and tried to cheer him up:
‘Al’x didn’t mean to abandon you! He had to because his live was in danger and he wouldn’t be able to help you much when he was dead right?! I know that this very moment his also sitting somewhere heartbroken worrying if you’re alright. He loves you very much! You share something special that’s unbreakable by human hands.’
A shadow of a smile flew over the dragon’s face. ‘Yes, I guess you’re right. But I didn’t tell you that my rider’s name was Al’x. How…?’
Mike suddenly started to blush like a child caught on sneaky eating candy.
‘Well, I kind of dreamt about you. It’s like a dream things and somehow they come true.’
‘You’re psychic? And you’ve strengthen your powers to get into someone’s head. Very impressive! That’s quiet a special gift!’
‘But sometimes also a curse. There are not only the happy things I see.’
To switch from subject, she started to take some herbs and potions to fix up his wing. Knowing that he wouldn’t get another word out of her, he tried not to think about that mysterious girl that took care of his injuries what all the kindness and softness like only a dragon rider could do. He felt she was special! Was this the girl that Frynoth meant? It had to be! Even he felt a strange sort of connection he couldn’t explain and he had never felt it before by any of the other candidates. It was like on that moment when he impressed Al’x but milder. Tired of his try-not-to-think-too-hard and all of the commotion, he drifted of in a dreamless, deep sleep.
The next morning, when the sun had nearly shown her beautiful face to this brand new day, Al’x was running towards Trix’ room.
‘Wake up, Trix! Please! We have to go. We have to find Zoreth! I can’t stand it no longer!’
A bit grumpy about her early awakening, Trix got out of her bed and got herself ready. She knew that there was no point in trying to stop a dragon rider to find his dragon. And at least when she went with him, he wouldn’t do anything stupid!
After an hour, they flew out with a group of 10 dragon riders, because after their adventure last time, Trix thought it would be saver travelling in group. And maybe they also needed transport to bring Zoreth back to the weyr.
Suddenly Frynoth shouted surprised:
‘There is someone in my head. Her name is Mike and she says that we have to carry on flying until we see a mountain pike. Oh yeah, Al’x I have to let you know that Zoreth is ok and anxious to see you.’
After a few minutes they saw the place as described and landed right in front of the entrance. Mike came out to welcome them.
‘You made it! I wasn’t sure my message would come true, but luckily it did. Zoreth is still inside. He will be just fine, but he has to keep flying to the minimum for a while.’ Al’x jumped of Frynoth’s back and ran inside. ‘Zoreth! Oh my boy, am I glad to see! Are you ok? Let me take a look.’ And he started to inspect the wing.
‘Don’t worry Al’x, I’ve been in good hands. Mike did quiet a good job!’
‘Yes, she did. I couldn’t have done it better myself.’
‘Thank you! That’s a huge compliment coming from a dragon rider.’
Al’x turned around and smiled. Such a small girl! She almost looked like a fairy. It was hard to estimate her age because her face seamed timeless, but her eyes looked like they had the wisdom of many liven lives before.
‘No, I’m suppose to thank you for taken such good care of Zoreth.’
‘The pleasure was all mine. I’m glad there are finally flying dragons over our community. It must be a sign that times will change, that hope hasn’t died yet!’
Trix’ head showed around the corner. ‘I don’t want to interrupt anything, but we have to go back. Duty calls!’
They joined the group outside and prepared to leave.
But suddenly Al’x said:
‘We have a problem. Mike, you have to come with us. Zoreth won’t move a foot, I mean wing unless you come with us to the weyr.’ ‘And that counts for all of us!’ shouted Frynoth.
Trix smiled:
‘They have very persuasive ways to get what they want!!! But when so many dragons are equal-minded they can’t be mistaken. And I can only agree you would make a good candidate for our next clutch.’
‘What? How? I…’ Was this real what they were offering her and not one of her silly dreams?
‘No, it’s definitely real, Mike! Take your chance to make this one come true! And if I have to I’ll fly you myself to the weyr!’ Zoreth was laughing.
‘Wait one second!’ She ran inside, took her most imported values and before she knew it, she was up in the sky flying, driven by an unknown force to her new destiny. But what was waiting for her, was far beyond her dreams

It was early in the morning and the sun had just spread her first warming rays, trying to chase away darkness. Mike couldn't catch her sleep anymore. She had woken up with a sudden feeling of excitement but didn’t had a clue why. Maybe it was still the rush of her adventure that was making her restless. The past few days had been surreal. First her meeting with the Zoreth, the large bronze dragon of Al’x and than hearing that she was chosen to stand for the clutch of Zaranyth, it was overwhelming. Suddenly the air got filled with a nervous humming. As if stuck by lightning, she jumped out of bed. This was it: the hatching had started!
She hurried herself to the sands. The rest of the candidates were also standing nervously in a half circle. This was the moment they all were waiting for, but now the moment was so close it was also a little bit scary. Soon the first egg cracked and a purple dragon with cream wings showed its face. When it bonded with Dressanas, Mike saw such a warm, loving glow in the eyes of the girl that her stomach turned inside of eager.
Please, who ever that was up there, please let me experience that too. That’s all I’m asking. She thought.
But one egg after the other hatched but no dragon had approached her yet to become their rider. A blue, a green and a silver soon bonded with the lucky chosen ones. She already felt the cold hand of Doubt sneaking up on her. No, she will have a dragon! She had to! The next egg that burst contained…two coppers! She felt the nervousness tremble through the air. Apparently this was something very unusual, even for the Laedress. But soon another extraordinary dragon showed its face: a green-bronze and again he found his bond quickly without giving her a look worthy. She felt the cold fear closing around her heart. What if Zoreth was wrong? That she wasn’t meant to be a dragon-rider? But just at the moment that Despair almost defeated her, a small green dragon approached her without hesitation and looked her straight in the eyes with unconditional love and devotion.
‘I wanted to see this place you call home.’ she said.
‘Then we’ll go and find it.’ Mike answered.
‘Good but first…I’m hungry.’ she said with big puppy dog eyes.
Mike chuckled, who could resist such a pretty-face, and she went to find her bond some food. While she fed her little dragon, her thoughts drifted away. Lilimasith had said that she wanted to see her home, but she never knew where she belonged. As if Lilimasith felt her blue mood showing up, she stroke her head loving to Mike’s shoulder.
‘I’m with you. You’ll never be alone.’ she whispered softly.
That’s right, Mike thought, with you, I’ll always have a home.

‘Can we go now? I want to go to the lake so you can rub the smell of smoke of my skin.’ Lilimasith said complaining.
‘Oh alright, we’ll go. You’re sometimes so busy and pigheaded, Lili!’
‘But you love me. the dragon reasoned playfully.
Mike smiled. That was so true! From the moment they lay eyes on each other they felt that nothing could ever break this bond they had. So flying to the lake and washing a dragon that was growing over her head, was a small price to pay.
‘A little bit to the left and to the right…A bit higher…No, now you’re to high, lower…Aow please hurry up with that spot it itches very, very much!’
‘That’s because you’re growing that fast, my dear. You shouldn’t eat that much.’
‘But eating is so nice! It’s all so tasty!’
and she swept with her tail by the thought of all the goodies.
‘Oh, Lili, look what you’ve done! Now I can start all over again!’
‘It’s just my tail and butt that’s covered with sand…’
‘Do you know how much work it is to wash and oil the tail of a dragon that’s three times my size?!’
‘You should put some effort in me. I’m the best one of my class. No one can hold a flame as long as I can!’ Lilimasith said truly proud of herself.
‘Oh yeh, like the time you almost burned Cyan’s hair!’
‘That was an accident…’ the dragon blushed.
‘We haven’t proven ourselves in battle yet, Lili. So till that day, it’s best that we stay humble….And practice so damn hard that we will be the best.’
‘You’re right, but you know, we will be, because we’re the greatest team there is!’

Lilimasith nearly ran over Mike in full excitement.
‘Watch where you’re going! What’s on fire?’
‘What?!’ Mike screamed in fear, while all sorts of horrific scenes were flashing before her eyes.
‘Yes, she’s ready to fly!’ the dragon said  with big twinkling eyes.
‘Oh, thank god!’ Mike said relieved. ‘You scared me to death, I thought she really…’
‘No, silly! Look at her fly!’
Completely taken by the magnificent flight, Lilimasith became silent (which is very, very rare for her!). But the excitement had made place for a sad, lonely look in her eyes. Mike felt the sadness of her dragon and she got always uncomfortable feeling.
‘What’s wrong, Lili?’ she asked softly.
‘I don’t know if I can do this…’
‘Do what, sweaty?’
‘I don’t mind if you don’t want to fly….’
‘Oh but I do!’ Lilimasith desperately roared.
‘Than what is the problem?’
‘Who would ever want to fly with me…?’ the dragon sniffed.
‘Don’t worry, you’ll find someone.’ Mike said while she petted to comfort her.
‘Why should they? I’m just a simple, small green.’
‘You’re my simple, small green, Lili! And that’s what makes you special! Remember, we’re a team.’
‘That’s true! I know you always love me. And I have seen Al’x look on his face when you walk by…’ she said laughing and teasing.
Mike blushed.
‘Well, lets just wait and see what the future will bring.’


Mike is a Candidate at Lantessama Weyr
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