Jason covertly tried to wipe his sweating palms on his white robe. Heat burned through the soles of his sandals and he began to fidget; the humming of the amassed dragons above him provided a counterpoint to his racing heartbeat.
Had he ever been so terrified in his life? Jason couldn't imagine a time – not even when his father had taken him a-dragonback to see Ista's exploding mountain shoot liquid rock and smoke into the air.
It didn't soothe him to know that his new friend was faring no better. He and Tommy shared an anxious look before casting a glance back over the rocking eggs.
Wing-tips began to show through fissures in the shells. The first to shrug the shards away was a stunning creature – a tall bronze, a good omen for the clutch.
Jason shifted again; it felt like all eyes had turned to him. The weyrbred lads looked to him as leader of their age group; the craft- and hold-bred potential riders had quickly done the same.
'Should I step forward?' No… the bronze had continued looking around the gathered young men. There was nothing pulling Jason to him…
With the pops and snaps of eggshells, bronze, brown, green and blue dragonets began swarming across the sands. Hatchlings crooned piteously as they began to search the faces of the boys nearby; one creeled as his foot caught on his wing. Jason was beaten to helping it by a young man – he couldn't tell who – and sighed a bit. No dragons were coming his way…
In his peripheral vision, Jason saw Tommy had Impressed a bronze. Adam's fingers rested on a dainty green; Aisha rubbed another little girl's chin. Nearby, the farm-bred Rocky stroked a sturdy blue.
Jason almost feared he'd be left standing on the grounds when a rumbling croon echoed behind him, followed up with a shove to his back. He turned to see a beautiful bronze, eyes whirling a happy blue.
"What's your name?" Jason mumbled, reaching out to scratch the side of the dragonet's neck, knowing without thinking just where it itched.
'I'm Rosuth… I'm so very, very hungry…'
Trini had so wished to watch Jason Impress bronze. Unfortunately – or fortunately, depending on how one looked at the situation – Trini missed the moment she had waited years for.
She was having her own.
The dark-haired young woman didn't even have a moment to think. It seemed as though one moment the golden egg in front of her was solid and the next, it had shattered to pieces. Surrounded by the shards, the little Queen sat, tail flicking and catching the glow-light.
Unlike her clutchmates, this little girl needed no prompting. As though pre-Impressed, she stared directly at Trini, tilted her head, and let out a soft whine.
Trini blinked as the rich voice filled her head. And then blinked again as she realized that somehow, she had been chosen out of a dozen other ladies. And then shook herself from her stupor when the little queen began to croon anxiously, afraid that her chosen partner didn't want her, after all.
"Oh, pretty girl, I'm sorry!" She rushed forward to soothe the distraught hatchling. Trini was unaware of the brassy calls of the male dragons above her – their future mate had Impressed quickly, a sign of a strong-willed queen. Her only focus was on the eyes whirling in front of her… quickly changing from green to a hungry yellow.
"We'll feed you straight away," she promised Griffeth, beginning to look around for a clue as to what to do now.
Coming toward her was the current Weyrleader and Weyrwoman and Trini winced a little; their daughter had stood on the sands with her… and had obviously been rejected. "Congratulations, Trini," Dulcea said, no anger in her voice. "Phaedoth says Griffeth is truly a daughter of her heart; I look forward to seeing how the two of you grow together."
I have no legal rights to the characters or worlds I use here, unless explicitly stated otherwise.
Anything from Power Rangers (primarily the main characters) belongs to Saban.
Anything from the Dragonriders of Pern series belongs to Anne McCaffrey and her son, Todd.