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06 March 2008 @ 10:24 pm
One  
Note: This is based of the Dragonriders of Pern books, I tried to make everything as clear as possible.



One

Ampara caught the plate just before it became fated to shatter into a million pieces on the cold stone floor. The other candidate had dropped it in shock of hearing the deep thrumming of the dragons. Candidate, it still felt strange to call herself that. She had been an apprentice for so long and then she had just gotten used to the idea of being adrift, but now she had the most amazing opportunity of a lifetime. Ampara had the chance to be bonded to one of Pern’s most magnificent creatures, a dragon.

“Come on you brainless wherry, don’t just stand there. Move it,” she hissed, dragging her friend by the arm back to the candidate’s barracks.

Ampara never stood on ceremony, but an event like this demanded it. It was no doubt one of the longest standing weyr traditions, going back turns and turns. Candidates wore white robes and went barefoot onto the hatching sands, presenting themselves as suitable choices for the hatching dragonets. She swept her long reddish darker auburn locks up into a bun. It was going to be boiling hot. There was shouting as the candidate master attempted to get everyone in order and march them out.

Everyone was silent and pale either so nervous or so excited they were nearly ill with anticipation. Ampara felt like she was in a trance, and somehow almost calm. She had done it before after all. It was her second time, her second chance. There was an age limit, but she hadn’t reached it yet and so she had decided to stay on and take the ‘wait and see’ approach. Every day there hadn’t been a dragon clutch on the sands she had wandered further and further from the weyr, almost like she was trying to convince herself to leave. Ampara had returned to the bustling hollow mountain that the dragonriders had made their home which somehow felt more homelike to her than any other place she had been. Ampara found the twists and turns of the passage ways in the lower caverns as exciting as the open road. The dragons winging overhead were as natural as anything else, but maybe that was because she wasn’t afraid of them like some.

They were winging overhead then too, all of them on their way to the hatching caverns to welcome their new comrades into the world with that deep hum like being surrounded by a thousand bass players. The light from the twin moons Belior and Timor seemed to flash as the large shadows passed overhead, making some of the more excitable girls titter in fear. The wan light of the waxing crescents was just enough to see by until they finally reached the entrance and the light of the glows revealed them as a knot of fearful energy. It was the moment doubts assailed the fainter of heart, and caused remembered sadness for those who had tried before and failed. Ampara had given it a lot of thought and she knew that if she didn’t impress this time she never would. The surety of that thought kept her numb to the infectious feelings around, and while it was sobering at best she never tried to fool herself.

The candidate master whispered a reminder of their teachings before ushering them onto the burning sands. Some were momentarily relieved of their anxiety distracted by the burning sand underfoot as they stepped into the gigantic cavern and proceeded to hop into place, fanning out around the clutch. It was small and the eggs were few, but the most unusual feature of this hatching was that there was no Queen to watch over this clutch. Gold dragons, the Queens, were the egg layers but the mother of this clutch had passed on. There was no great brooding beast to pay homage to, but she had left a golden daughter in her wake. Green, blue, brown, and bronze; no one could guess which would come from what egg, but Queen eggs were distinctive in their large size and golden sheen.

Her dark green eyes as well as they eyes of every other candidate were on the gently rocking eggs, each person wondering which one would crack first. The small one with a gently speckled shell? The large one with those lovely blue-green streaks? The Queen? It was always a toss up. Already the heat was getting to them and Ampara felt the candidate robe clinging to her back as droplets of sweat made its way down her back, and she hopped from foot to foot. As much as she wanted it to start she also didn’t want it to start. A hatching was really living in the moment when destiny could hinge on a frightened, hungry newborn, one that could rake an unwary candidate with deceptively sharp claws in its desperation to reach the one that was its rider. To impress, as the process of bonding a dragonet was termed, and become a dragonrider of Pern was the most honored and awesome responsibility a person could receive.

Suddenly, the doubt assailed her gut like it had the time before. What if she couldn’t handle it if she impressed? Ampara had been an apprentice and she had skipped out on her duties to become an aimless wanderer, and now what would she do either way? If she failed here she would have to move on, and if she impressed and failed at dragon riding would the weyr cast her out?

Her anxiety was lost as the first almighty crack spilled out a dragonet onto the sands. The intensity of the hums increased to fever pitch as the real action began. Glowing jewel-like eyes watched from ledges inside the enormous cavern reserved for the most special of purposes. The multi-faceted dragon eyes appeared to make them whirl different colors in this case blue for joy.

A bronze hatchling first, a sign of good luck to the superstitious, on unsteady legs it wobbled to the boys nearly running into one who nearly didn’t get out of the way in time. It found it’s impressed, but then more cracks announced the arrival of brothers and sisters. Blue, then green, and another blue all found bonds, and then a brown. Out of fifteen eggs five had already hatched, and there were about 30 candidates or maybe more. At least half would be left standing, and sometimes there were eggs that didn’t hatch at all, malformed for some reason or another.

The wait was both an eternity and mere moments. The odd hops to relieve the discomfort of the burning sands and the sweat mixed with the profound joy that appeared on the faces of others as soon as they were impressed. In no time at all there were only two left. The Queen egg and a sibling and they both cracked at the same time. One spilled out a second bronze, and then the gold spilled out onto the sands. It was hard to tell that such stumbling unsure creatures would become some of the most regal and respected of dragonkind. She was such a dark gold at first she almost seemed a bronze herself, but once she stepped out of the shadows the quickly drying hide professed a deep color not bright or yellow toned like some.

There were two little knots of girls standing on either side of the little Queenling. She held her head high and seemed to pace back and forth, almost asking them who was worth her attention. The gold dragonet approached the first knot, effectively dispersing it as they shrieked in fear most tripping over themselves as they each tried to hide behind one another. The dragon bared her teeth and hissed at them, they were not worthy of her love and affection they were not right for her.

A haughty girl stepped forward, showing neither fear nor respect.

“Don’t!” one of the girls shrieked, one of her friends maybe.

It was too late; feeling threatened the dragonet lashed out slicing the girl across her leg. She shrieked falling to the ground, and Ampara was spurred into action. The dragonet might trample her and cause more hurt when she didn’t mean to. Sharding fool, wasn’t she listening before? A few of the girls in the second knot had sense at least. They were already pulling the injured girl back for first aid by the time Ampara had gotten there to help.

The gold snorted impatiently. While she had the lack of grace that all of the newborns possessed there was something regal in her standing, and something knowing in that gaze. Though Ampara couldn’t help but risk a quiet giggle as the haughty female tripped over her own feet. It seemed as the hatchling heard and looked up and suddenly they were looking at each other right in the eye, and that was it all it took.

Without realizing she had moved Ampara found herself helping the hatchling disentangle herself so the fragile wing membranes weren’t torn with those sharp claws. If Dysmeth hurt herself that would be the single most terrible tragedy in all of Pern, and Ampara knew she simply couldn’t bear it if anything happened to Dysmeth.

Ampara touched her hand to her forehead like she was getting a fever or a headache as soon as the Queenling was righted. It was like somebody had knocked the ground out from under her, but she couldn’t understand why. Those eyes kept looking into her and not past her but like the dragonet could see everything from the inside out, each and every minute detail. Waves of intense joy were flooding through her and she was too far to the moons to even realize she was crying. It was like being born, and she felt like she was seeing the world for the first time.

I am hungry. The voice was very insistent, but she knew she would do anything to please it.

“Dysmeth,” Ampara said the name, studying her new bonded from snout to tail-tip.

Dysmeth was the most wonderful and special dragon in all of Pern, and to Dysmeth Ampara was the most wonderful and special human in all of Pern. It was impression, bonding, finding a life-mate. Impression was the formation of a telepathic link so strong that only death could break it. Dragon and rider became two halves of a whole. Losing a dragon partner was like tearing out a person’s soul so closely were the minds interwoven really it was as if they were one mind. They shared each though, each sensation, every dream, and even then Ampara could feel Dysmeth’s burning hunger as if it were her own. She knew where exactly Dysmeth would love to be scratched or petted, and how much Dysmeth adored her. The last was enough to send her into a fresh wave of tears.

Ampara was oblivious to everything and everyone else besides Dysmeth. The rest of the night Ampara would only remember in a loving haze as she fed her dragon and they bedded down in the weyrling barracks. The other weyrlings, young dragon and rider pairs, had already gotten settled and Ampara and Dysmeth were the last to settle in. Ampara caressed the smooth hide admiringly as Dysmeth nodded off, and Ampara’s own eyes drooped as Dysmeth’s exhaustion fell through her. The last thing she remembered before dozing off, leaning against her new bonded, was how a dragon smelled like fresh spices.
 
 
Current Mood: accomplished
Current Music: Apocalyptica
 
 
 
penseur_nevrose on March 7th, 2008 04:01 am (UTC)
Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww

I probably should find the form, but I think I know it by now. I didn't see anything noteable, it was an interesting story indeed, and so cuuute, [pets].
penseur_nevrose on March 7th, 2008 04:02 am (UTC)
CLARIFICATION: nothing noteable as in errors, not your story... lol, sorry, that came out wrong. My sentences are coming out in word salads this week.