Disclaimer: the Dragonriders of Pern belongs to Anne McCaffrey.


Black, blacker, blackest...

Keeping those words in her mind, Jahra ensured that she had a good hold on the belt worn by the rider sitting in front of her, closing her eyes tightly in expectation of what was about to come. Then the feel of the warmth of the sun at her back was replaced by the shocking cold of Between, but while she did her best to keep her fear under control, it was quite terrifying. The cold and the complete sensory deprivation of Between, along with the memory of her first experience of it only a sevenday ago, didn't make enduring those few moments any easier.

But then, at the count of two 'breaths'..

Though she couldn't actually see anything, Jahra knew that her eyes opened wide as a horrible feeling of falling hit her with full force, growing stronger with each second that passed. And as the first sensation was followed by pain, she opened her mouth to scream, though there was nothing to carry the sound.

Then.., images and emotions flashed in her mind-- suggestions of something huge and very close, pulsing with strange power.

Confusion..

Fear..

Helplessness..

A desperate plea for help from a dragon mind, that likely went unheard..

Jahra's mind reeled from the shock of what was happening, then her consciousness started fading, the lack of oxygen proving too much on top of what her body and mind was being subjected to.

Though as she blacked out, part of her mind imagined that dark Between was replaced by blue sky and glimpses of twin suns whose light stung her eyes. And still they continued the tumble downwards...


Though that she had hovered between sleep and being awake for a while, imagining that she heard voices and people moving around her, a strange sound finally woke her completely. Coming from somewhere nearby, it was a deep sound which vibrated through her as well as the ground under her-- rapidly raising in pitch, then it ended as a sharp whistle came from another direction.

Opening her eyes, Jahra found herself laying on the ground, her head resting at her folded up wher-hide jacket.

And above was a roof of woven straw and twigs, held up by poles at each corner.

Certainly it seemed to be some kind of makeshift hut, if it even deserved to be called that, certainly not constructed to last for long by whoever that had made it.

Jahra sat up, wincing at the movement caused a unknown number of bruises and small cuts to make their presence known. Well, it felt like she was alive at least, though she would have prefered if her body wouldn't be quite as insistent on telling her that.

It didn't feel like anything was broken though, even if that didn't mean that something might be...

There had been that Healer who had told her that some injuries might not be felt right away, due to shock..

Still, after stretching her limbs and looking for cuts or other signs of injury, she couldn't really find anything but a nice collection of bruises. Standing up went well too, though the muscles in her legs complained a bit, standing upright went fine. At least she didn't feel dizzy or weak, neither did she think that the slight nausea she was feeling might be a reason for her to feel concerned.

Finally she decided that it was time to have a look outside. And grabbing the jacket her head had rested on to put it on, it was a bit chilly after all, Jahra bent slightly as she watched for any sign of danger as she stepped out of the shelter.

Surrounding her was some kind of forest-- dominated by large, coppery-barked trees with spine-like leafs, some of which seemed to be at least as long as her arm. There was a large number of vines and bush-like plants too, many bearing what seemed to be fruits or nuts. Wherever she was, it seemed like it might be late summer, so she might be able to find food if necessary.

Another matter that was more urgent though, was where the rider and the dragon who should have been taking her to Igen Hold. If it was N'yal who had made the shelter while she was out, she could certainly not see any sign of him or his brown anywhere. And a being as large as a dragon probably should have left some quite distinctive tracks in a place like this..

It was the sound, little more than a barely audible chirr, which alerted Jahra of that she wasn't alone. And turning in the direction she thought the sound had come from, she found herself face to face with a strange creature.

About two meters long and standing on a pair of long, but muscular legs, there was something vaguely dragon-like about the creature-- as if some kind of avian had tried to become a dragon. Its smooth hide was a earthly brown with a noticeably lighter underside, and despite the rows of sharp teeth in its head, the creature didn't appear too threatening. In fact, it appeared to watch her with a certain aloof interest, chittering softly as it reached up with one arm to swat away some kind of insect that had just landed at its muzzle.

In the next instant however, Jahra got quite a startle as the creature suddenly threw its head back, uttering a piercing call that made her want to cover her ears with her hands. Before she got a chance to do that however, the call ended abruptly, and the creature settled back at its haunches-- scratching its neck.

Jahra shifted nervously, keeping a wary eye at the creature. Certainly it didn't appear hostile in any way, or had shown any real sign of becoming so, but how might it react if she tried to walk away...

Then however, she got something else to think of, as the sound of voices approaching reached her ears.