Author: Eminempern PM
Menolly's Impressions from the point of view of the firelizard queen. Oneshot. Please review!Rated: Fiction K - English - Words: 1,622 - Reviews: 24 - Favs: 21 - Follows: 2 - Published: 05-07-06 - Status: Complete - id: 2927652
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: I own not Pern, nor the firelizards, nor the 'tall creature' (Menolly)
ANs: This is just an idea I got while sitting here. This is when Menolly Impressed her firelizards, except it's from the point of view of the queen that laid them. It's kind of weird, but I wrote it, so yeah. I was going to do the part where Menolly actually saved the clutch, but I haven't yet, and probably won't, unless people think I should.
For some reason, I don't remember why, I seem to remember that firelizard hatchlings Impress the older firelizards. I don't remember where I read it, or got the idea, or whatever, but by the description of the hatching in Dragonsong, that didn't sem to be happening, so I didn't put it in. Because, yes, this does closely follow Anne's description.
If I've gotten anything wrong, please tell me, and I'll try to fix it. And please review...
As though of its own accord, the hum rose in the little gold's throat. She clutched tighter at the rocky ledge she was holding onto with her sharp talons. Below her, her eggs rocked and shook. The queen's tail lashed the wall of the little cave in her anticipation.
Around the circle of eggs, the other firelizards took up their queen's thrum. Eyes whirled as the shells began to vibrate. But the little gold felt that deep, sure confidence. This was nothing new. She'd Hatched eggs before. They would come. They would come out.
But then, her delicate golden head snapped around. A hiss slid out over her tongue. What was that? An intruder! She lifted her wings slightly, but did not take off. It was as though the eggs below her held her to her ledge. She refolded her wings, gave one last hiss at the scrabbling sounds outside the cave. She could deal with it later.
But then, a spot of fiery red appeared. One of the greens, forgetting herself, leapt up, into the air, eyes alight, ready to fight off the threat to the eggs.
The queen gave a furious screech. How dare that impertinent green leave the eggs! The other, smaller female landed once more and shrank back, wings pressed tightly to her back, and properly reattached her eyes to the clutch.
The fiery red spot turned out to be that odd hair those big, tall creatures had on their head. The queen recognized it as the one who had saved the clutch, and, giving a condescending chirp, allowed it to enter.
The tall creature crawled into the cave. The queen hardly knew she was there any more. The thin shells were cracking, thin black lines creeping up the sides.
The firelizards' hum grew, as though they could use their voices to hatch the eggs. Indeed, it was almost as if that was what happened when the first egg split violently, hurling its contents onto the floor of the cave.
The brown struggled with his newfound limbs, and the queen watched him intently. Her chest vibrated with her call now, encouraging him up, up, out of the cave. She knew he was hungry, that he had to eat.
Her sounds lifted above those of the others in her fair. Go, she told the brown. Go and eat. Eat and live.
With a compliant squawk, the brown staggered upright, bid them all a squealing farewell, and hurled himself out of the hatching cave. The queen watched with approval. He would live now.
More were hatching now, and the queen's steady thrumming did not cease. She personally urged each green, blue, brown, and bronze up, off his or her tail. She had no meat for them, and were they not to eat after hatching, they were dead. A hatchling with no food would die in under an hour after hatching. Which was why they were all born with the practically innate ability to hunt.
The gold knew that, without her, they could not get the hatchlings up and out. No lizard disobeyed his queen.
But then, the mother lizard sensed something outside. Not something… the thing. It was the Eater. She realized that the others felt it too, and their humming faltered. It would Eat their hatchlings! The bronze father of the clutch looked uncertainly at the queen. But she lifted her voice higher. Did they not remember what would happen, should the young ones not eat? It was die in here, or perhaps survive out there.
Her instinct didn't leave her a choice but to hum, and the others likewise took it up again.
A blue was the first to die. He flapped wet wings, drying them as fast as he could, the hunger gnawing away at his belly. The queen tirelessly urged him up, out, now. Fast. He did, flinging himself into the air, past the tall creature. It again moved aside, awed. But then, a look of fright passed over its features.
The blue was drenched in silver as soon as it left the cave. The queen barely watched, averting her eyes back to her clutch. It was sad, that the hatchling should be Eaten when it was so hungry. But that was the way it went. And more eggs were hatching. One could be forgotten.
The tall creature, however, seemed to disagree. For once, the gold's hum faltered into a hiss as the creature threw itself across the mouth of the cave, blocking the hatchlings' way out! The queen intensified her hum, and the other lizards did the same. The hatchlings obediently, ravenously, darted for the exit. When they saw the tall creature, they didn't need to be told to swoop at it. It quickly tried to defend itself, and the hatchlings zoomed out.
The tall creature, intelligently seeing that it had no hope with that approach, ran up to where the eggs were hatching, to look entreatingly at the older lizards. It began making loud sounds, waving its forelegs. The queen got the message: Stop them from going out!
The gold was contemptuous. Stop them? The creature knew nothing! What did it think it was doing?
Then, the Eater claimed another. The queen, however, made one more derisive noise at the tall creature, and continued urging on her offspring.
A look of desperation crossed the tall creature's face, followed by one of inspiration. It raced back to the entrance, grabbing its big brown carrying-thing.
The queen disregarded it, returning to her crooning, urging a bronze to get up and out. It did, screeching, and flew toward the cave entrance.
The tall creature grabbed him!
The queen's reaction was instantaneous. The tall creature could be here only so long as she did not harm the hatchlings. The queen had trusted it, since it had saved the clutch. But this was not to be permitted! The gold lifted her wings, hissing again, but then paused.
The creature had also grabbed something from the carrying thing. Food? Food! It waved the food in front of the bronze, who immediately was encouraged by the mature lizards. It snatched the food, then winged off to eat it.
Then, the largest egg was hatching. The gold's eyes lit brighter as she realized what was happening. The best and worse thing a queen could want in a clutch. Another gold. It was a mark of her health and strength that she could lay another, but two queens could not share a territory. This one would either have to leave or be dealt with.
The tall snatched the young gold, too. It got more food, then sent her off to eat it. The mature queen didn't like the hatchling gold to stay, but she knew that her offspring all must live. She wound her tail tightly around a protruding rock spire and hummed louder. She was finally beginning to feel fatigue after keeping it up so long. She wearily coaxed the remaining hatchlings out of their shells and up.
As though the tall creature, too, tired of this, it finally upended its carrying thing, dumping all the food it contained onto the ground. The hatchlings eagerly set upon it.
The queen was not at all irritated by this. To her, food was food, whether inside the cave or out. She coaxed two more hatchlings into being, and watched as they were snagged by the tall creature and put into the center of the food.
The tall creature seemed to have nine hatchlings that it personally fed. The queen was slightly bothered by this. They could not belong to it.
But the hatching was over, and the mother gold happily stopped her humming. She spread wings that had been clamped over her back, feeling relief as she could stretch them again. She drifted down, backwinging delicately to land neatly in front of one of the hatchlings.
The rest of the mature firelizards followed suit, coming down to nuzzle and rub the hatchlings. They crooned, welcoming the babes into the world. However, they were also bidding them farewell. The old mother queen gave one last nudge to the green she was fondling, then chirped imperiously to her fair. The hatchlings watched silently as the older ones lifted up, filling the air with flashing, writhing bodies, and then…
They were gone.
(By the way, I made most of what the queen was thinking up. I don't think they really have all the stuff about staying by the eggs, eating right away, etc.)