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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction that combine worlds created by the original content owner with names, places, characters, events, and incidents that are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, organizations, companies, events or locales are entirely coincidental. Authors are responsible for properly crediting Original Content creator for their creative works.
Recognized characters/events/plots from Dragonriders of Pern belong to Ann McCaffrey

Weyrlings - 4. Decline and Fall

The young dragons fly with their riders for the first time. Valli asks for help.

The shadows were lengthening now; the sun slipping out of sight beyond the rim of the Bowl a little earlier each day. It was still warm, though. Summer was clinging on this Turn.

All twelve of the weyrling pairs had taken their places around half way up the ancient rock fall at the far end of the Bowl. Today was the first time they’d fly on board their own dragons. Herebeth was as excited as D’gar. He’d watched his dragon perfect his flying skills alone, practising circuits and turns, take offs and landings. Now, at last, they would fly together.

Some of the older dragons lined the rim, or perched on ledges to watch. Valli herself had joined them, Kadoth gleaming. She sat proud and straight on her dragon’s neck, even though D’gar knew how much effort it took for her to do that now. She was having to take more fellis just to be able to do the little things everyone took for granted but her public face never slipped.

D’gar checked his riding straps were properly secured. It would be very embarrassing to fall off in front of all these spectators. Sure I’m not too heavy for you? he asked for the umpteenth time.

I can barely feel your weight, Herebeth assured him. I am a strong dragon. Whether I have you on my neck or not makes no difference.

D’gar glanced over to where S’brin sat on Zemianth. She was still slightly smaller than the rest of the greens from Kadoth’s clutch, but she had fine lines. Like the difference between a runner bred for racing and one more suited to pull a carriage, he thought, although S’brin probably wouldn’t appreciate the comparison.

N’teren was mounted on his own dragon. This was a proud moment for him, as well. ‘Now, we’ll have the two browns go first. Herebeth and Kailarth.’ It was traditional to fly in colour order. If there had been any bronzes in the clutch, they’d have had the honour of going first.

‘Once your dragon’s taken off, you’ll fly to the opposite end, turn to your left, nice and smooth, then fly back here and land on the flat area down below us. You’ll all have more than one go as long as your dragons are up to it. Last thing we want is to overstrain them. Right! Are you ready?’

D’gar gave the hand signal indicating he was and saw G’tash do the same.

Time to fly, Herebeth.

‘Then go when you’re ready.’

There was a surge of power as Herebeth pushed off the slope with his hind legs, then began to beat his wings. The ground fell away and even though it was a still afternoon, the air whipped against D’gar’s face. He barely had time to enjoy the view before they reached the point at which they had to start to turn. He leaned with it, feeling the riding straps holding him tightly in position. The floor of the Bowl was at an odd angle now as Herebeth banked to complete his turn, then with a few more beats of his wings, gained height. Kailarth was alongside, at a dragonslength distance. G’tash had a broad smile on his face and D’gar knew he must look the same. This was amazing.

We have to land on the flat. Can you manage that? He wondered if landing would be bumpy, but Herebeth set down as gently as if he’d been on his own.

You see. That was easy. D’gar felt incredibly happy and knew that part of it was Herebeth’s own feeling of joy at having successfully flown with his rider. But it had all been over so quickly!

We will be able to go again, Herebeth said. I shall fly higher next time.

They watched the blues take their turn, then finally, the green dragons lined up.

Tell Zemianth good luck. From the nod S’brin gave him just a few moments later he knew he’d got the message. Then, they too were airborne and heading off for the end of the Bowl. Watching them, D’gar could see quite clearly how much closer they were able to get to the rocky wall before turning. If he and Herebeth tried that, they’d not make it. But Herebeth, like all dragons, instinctively knew how much space he needed to turn safely.

Zemianth, he noted proudly, was the quickest of all of them. She landed neatly and precisely, folding her wings to her sides. S’brin was grinning wildly. Valli punched her fist in the air and Kadoth bugled to congratulate her sons and daughters on their achievement. Even N’teren had relaxed enough to crack a smile.

They had two more goes each, practising ascents and descents. On their third run, Herebeth flew high enough for D’gar to see over the edge of the rim; a spectacular glimpse of the mountains surrounding the Weyr and the valley that sloped down towards Fort Hold.

I do not know why we must stop, Herebeth protested. I am not at all tired. I like it when we fly together.

We also have to do what we’re told. And we’ve been told to stop now. But I expect we’ll be doing a lot more flying practice from now on.

The barracks were emptier these days, since most of Suderoth’s clutch had moved out to their own weyrs. Loranth’s clutch, having mastered the skill of flying between had now begun to take on the duty of supplying firestone to the fighting dragons during Fall.

‘Few more months and that’ll be us.’ D’gar paused for a break from passing filled bags up to the supply dragons. Although it wasn’t as tiring as flying Fall in a Wing, supply duties were almost as dangerous; they brought a rider and dragon pair into closer contact with Thread than they had ever been before and accidents sometimes happened.

A brown dragon landed, his rider throwing down a handful of empty sacks. ‘Four greens, two blues, two bronze,’ he called out. D’gar recognised M’rell and Toth.

‘Coming up,’ S’brin called, as D’gar threw him the first couple of green marked sacks. ‘How is it up there today?’

‘Thread’s falling erratically in this wind,’ M’rell answered. ‘They’re using more firestone than normal. Hope you’ll be able to keep up with demand.’

‘We always do.’ D’gar grabbed the blue coded sacks. ‘Bring us a couple more bronze over, G’tash.’

M’rell took care to fasten the sacks securely to the clips on his straps. ‘See you later, lads.’ Toth pushed off powerfully, the downdraught from his wings stirring the dust. He went between at just a few dragon lengths height.

‘He’s cutting it a bit fine,’ G’tash said, but there was no time to reply as blue Mirlith landed and V’sil shouted out his order.

Firestone duty was always like that. Nothing much to do at all for the first hour or so, then a mad panic for the initial re-supply, when dragons were landing and taking off almost non-stop. After that, orders came in in dribs and drabs, giving a bit more time to re-fill the old bags and to re-organise the graded ones for easy access when another rush came in.

Mirlith flew slightly higher before disappearing, but not much. It was time and energy saving, D’gar knew. Of course, they’d been drilled on not going between until you were at a safe height but there was often a divide between the proper way things should be done and the more pragmatic way they actually got done.

Another few dragons arrived in rapid succession, then there was a lull. D’gar took a drink of water, passing the flask across to S’brin. ‘Looks like it’s a difficult one today.’

‘They thought it might be, beforehand.’

It was fairly breezy here at the Weyr, but over the plains of Southern Boll, the wind must be far stronger. Thread would blow unpredictably sideways, rather than falling straight down. Fighting against the wind tired dragons more quickly.

Minth descended rapidly to the landing area. ‘Four bronze, two brown,’ E’sen shouted. He threw down some empty sacks. ‘Mind those. Some of ‘em are bloody.’

It was the red blood of a rider rather than the green ichor of a dragon. D’gar picked them up and took them over to the re-filling area. The blood was mostly dry, but he still didn’t like to think about the injuries that might have caused it. He grabbed two brown coded sacks and took them back, while G’tash and S’brin brought the bronze ones. ‘Here you go.’

‘Thanks.’ As E’sen was fastening them, Minth suddenly stretched her neck out and keened, her voice rapidly being joined by all the other dragons still left at the Weyr. Someone had died. D’gar wondered if it had been the rider whose blood now stained his gloves. It was over almost before it had begun. In the midst of Fall, there wasn’t time to mourn. Minth recovered her composure, gave a little shake of her head as if to say, ‘back to work’ and sprang into the air.

After they’d tidied up the firestone bunker, they made their way back. A few Wings had already returned. There were several scored dragons waiting for treatment beside the infirmary caves and healers together with their helpers were carrying injured men inside.

The Queens’ Wing had already landed and D’gar spotted Kadoth at the mouth of her weyr, still wearing fighting straps and with flamethrower mounted on her back. ‘Shall we go and see to Kadoth first?’ he suggested. No-one else seemed to be helping and Valli wasn’t around. She was probably exhausted, he realised, and must have gone straight inside her weyr to lie down.

‘Good idea.’ They climbed the steps - it was a good job Valli was entitled to a more-or-less ground level weyr - with D’gar in the lead. At the top, he heard raised voices and stopped so quickly S’brin almost ran into him.

‘Hey! Watch it.’

‘Shh.’ They both hung back, Kadoth peering at them quizzically.

‘I’m sorry, Valli, but this is it. No-one in this Weyr - least of all me - wants to see you and Kadoth hurt, or worse.’ D’gar had heard that voice often enough to know that it was the Weyrleader speaking.

‘I’m already hurt.’ Her voice cracked, as if she was in pain, or had been crying. ‘I’m dying, T’ron. I’d rather go fighting, up in the air. A good, clean death, on my dragon. You’d feel the same if it was you.’

‘I know, I know. I’m not saying you can’t still fly, while you’re able. But no more riding Fall. That’s my final word.’

D’gar heard his boots on the stone and shrank back against S’brin. If he knew they’d been eavesdropping, they’d be in trouble. But before he got any closer, Kadoth shifted slightly and extended a wing. D’gar caught her eye and pulled S’brin with him, under the shelter of its golden canopy. A few moments later, the Weyrleader strode past. Kadoth kept them there a while longer before finally lifting her wing.

‘You can take her stuff off, she says,’ Valli called. ‘Then come in here.’

S’brin looked at him. ‘We shouldn’t have been listening to that.’

‘We weren’t to know.’ D’gar unfastened the tank from Kadoth’s back and removed the pad that stopped it chafing her while S’brin took off the straps. Then they carried them through to the inner weyr.

Valli sat in her usual chair, her riding leathers still covered in char from Fall. Her short, grey hair was stuck to her scalp with sweat and her face was lined in pain.

‘Do you want some fellis?’ D’gar asked.


‘I’m sorry you heard all that.’

‘We are too,’ S’brin offered. ‘We didn’t mean to snoop. We’d just come up to help with Kadoth.’

‘It’s all right. She told me. That was kind of you both.’

D’gar handed her the cup. She sniffed at the contents. ‘I hate tainting good Benden white with this foul stuff.’ She drank it quickly, then handed it back to him. ‘Give it a swill out, then put something decent in there.’

He busied himself. When he returned, S’brin was sitting beside the chair on a wooden stool.

D’gar handed her the cup. She took another drink. ‘Ah, that’s better. So, what do you think? Am I a disgrace to this Weyr?’

‘No!’ S’brin was the first to reply.

‘Of course not,’ D’gar said.

‘Well, our good Weyrleader thinks so. He doesn’t want my death on his hands, he said. Bad for morale, he said. He’d rather me die in here and Kadoth have to go off between alone.’

‘Are you sure that’s what he meant? He said you could still fly.’

‘Ah, so you heard that part. And that I can’t ride Fall anymore.’

D’gar nodded. He could see T’ron’s point of view, but he sympathised equally as much with Valli.

She took another sip of the wine. ‘He’s right, to some extent. I’ll admit I’ve not been so… careful, recently. You lads don’t know what it’s like yet, but when you’re up there, in the thick of it, everyone knows one mistake can kill you. It makes you careful. And lately, I’ve not been taking heed of that. Oh, Kadoth won’t let me do anything downright dangerous, but I’ve not been so averse to taking risks. Why let someone else get Thread in the face when I might be able to reach it first?’

‘That’s very brave of you,’ S’brin said.

She shook her head. ‘Anything but. When there’s nothing to live for anymore, a quick death doesn’t seem so bad.’

D’gar wondered how anyone could feel like that. Yes, Valli knew she was going to die, but while you were still alive and breathing how could you want to throw it away? And what about your dragon?

‘I’ve been like this before,’ she said. ‘When Os’erl died. Didn’t much care then, either. What’s the point in living when the one you love has gone into cold between?’ She drained the cup. ‘Refill, please.’

D’gar didn’t think she should be drinking so much. But who was he to deny her? If he was Valli’s age and facing certain death, then who’s to say he wouldn’t do the same? Only, in his case, S’brin would stop him. It wouldn’t be so bad, would it, if you had someone there with you, to hold your hand and remind you of the good times? Impulsively he said, ‘We’ll always be here for you.’ S’brin nodded agreement.

‘Thanks lads, I appreciate that. Now, you’d better get on before anyone wonders where you’ve got to. I’ll be fine.’

They left, reluctantly and joined the others in the baths.

‘Where did you two get to?’ J’rud called over, as they undressed.

‘Probably feeling each other up in some store cupboard,’ T’mudra said, getting a few laughs.

‘Why don’t you join us in there next time,’ S’brin snapped back. ‘You might learn something.’

‘We’ll all be learning it tomorrow.’ That was B’rol. ‘Well, all of us greens. N’teren’s giving the lecture on how to tell when your dragon’s going to rise and what to do when she does.’

There were several groans from the pool. ‘We’ve seen enough flights to know about all that, haven’t we?’ J’rud said. ‘Colour changes, moodiness, then bye bye to your mind for a couple of hours.’

‘And hello sore bum for a few days afterwards,’ G’tash added. ‘Really glad I didn’t Impress a green.’

’T’garrin’s already taking bets on which of our lot will be first to rise.’ R’chol splashed from the deeper end of the pool to grab a handful of sweetsand from the bowl on the side. ‘And whether it will happen before Turn’s End.’

‘I bet I know which one it’ll be.’ T’mudra looked pointedly at S’brin, who ignored him and jumped in at the deep end, making a large splash.

‘That’s rubbish.’ D’gar thought it was time he said something. ‘It’s down to the dragon, not the rider. Zemianth’s still one of the smallest, lightest greens in our clutch. If I was making a bet I’d put it on one of the sturdy ones who eats a lot. Like Jassainth.’ T’mudra’s dragon’s habit of gorging had given her a few digestive problems over the past couple of months.

‘Yeah. If she eats like that before she rises, she won’t last very long.’ S’brin had surfaced, next to T’mudra. ‘Maybe he won’t either.’ He made a rude gesture. That got some laughs as well.

D’gar got into the pool, ducking under to get his hair wet and rinse the firestone dust out of it. He remembered the last time S’brin and he had been in this particular pool; the day Kadoth rose, before they’d Impressed. Surely if the greens were getting close to the stage where they might be mature enough to rise, there wasn’t much point in their riders avoiding sexual contact anymore? He made a mental note to ask N’teren about that even though he could already see the Weyrlingmaster’s pained expression at yet another question. Actually, he’d probably be as well to ask some of the riders from Loranth’s clutch as they’d already passed that stage. He was pretty sure that M’rell was involved with one of the young women who worked in the laundry and it was unlikely they just sat holding hands whenever they met.

Suddenly, someone pulled him under, arms wrapped tightly around his waist. He didn’t struggle. He knew exactly who it was. They broke the surface together. D’gar shook the water off. ’What was all that about?’

‘You looked like you were thinking too much.’ S’brin was still very close to him. Close enough to kiss. For a few moments, D’gar thought it might happen. Then he realised everyone was watching and that T’mudra would probably tell the Weyrlingmaster. He broke eye contact, then dived under again, surfacing on the far side.

J’rud laughed. ’Think I’m going to take bets on how long it is before those two are doing each other again, never mind what the dragons think.’

While the greens were having their special lecture, the rest of the clutch worked at their usual task; breaking and bagging firestone. ‘I reckon we’ll be having our first firestone lesson soon,’ D’gar said. During his time in the archives, he’d learned that green dragons were capable of laying eggs too and it was only chewing firestone that prevented this happening. N’teren would want to make sure they’d had a sufficient quantity before anyone rose to mate.

‘Great,’ G’tash said. ‘I can’t wait to ride a flaming dragon.’ Flying had progressed from circuits of the bowl to longer trips out of the Weyr, learning how to keep formation and to communicate with each other via the dragons. They’d been practising that on the ground, too, but once in the air, it began to make more sense.

‘Flying, flaming. Next one after that is learning to go between.’ T’kes stopped shovelling. ‘Think we’ll be lucky like Loranth’s clutch?’

They’d not lost anyone. ‘Let’s hope so.’ D’gar’s nightmares still resurfaced sometimes. Between wasn’t a place he liked to think about too much. Sometimes, he worried he’d not be able to keep a clear image in his head for the requisite eight seconds, due to the way his mind jumped around. Although if some of the riders in the Weyr, who were more stupid than a field full of ovines, could do it, then there was no reason he shouldn’t.

While they worked a green dragon rose, as if to underline the lesson their clutchmates were learning. It was one of the younger greens; V’chal’s Lilith. It wasn’t an uncommon sight; due to the numbers of green dragons at Fort Weyr, one or two rose most sevendays. Today, though, they all watched as several blues, browns and two bronzes went after her, until they were mere specks against the cloudless autumn sky. Meanwhile, the riders hurried into the flight cave.

‘That’ll be us this time next Turn,’ G’tash commented. ‘Some of the blues from Loranth’s clutch are already getting interested in chasing.’

‘Browns and bronzes always take longer to fully mature.’ K’dis often made comments like that. He seemed to think his blue Cegorth was far in advance of all the others in the clutch. He gave a sideways glance at D’gar. ‘Wonder who’ll get to fly Zemianth the first time?’

D’gar ignored him and carried on filling the bag. Although he kept telling himself it didn’t matter, he knew that really it did. It wasn't so much the thought of S’brin having sex with someone else, more that whoever it was might not be as considerate as they should. Sometimes mating flights got rough; sometimes people were hurt; all of that he’d known for Turns. Now that it might happen to S’brin, he felt very differently about it.

‘I bet there’ll be a few riders who’ll send their dragons up after her, just for a chance to get S’brin.’

‘Shut it, K’dis,’ G’tash said. ‘Or are you deliberately trying to rile D’gar?’

‘Me? No. Just making conversation.’ But he did shut up.

D’gar flashed a grateful smile to G’tash.

‘All he needs to do is ask for a restricted flight,’ G’tash said. ‘That’ll keep away any of the old lechers.’

‘Someone else said the same thing.’

‘Well then, he’ll be fine.’

It all sounded so simple. Mind you, so did chewing firestone and the first time the dragons did that, some of them bit their tongues by accident, while others ended up with rocks in the wrong stomach, making them vomit up piles of steaming grey gloop rather than producing flame.

Herebeth chewed thoughtfully. The noise was so loud that D’gar feared for his teeth.

My teeth are strong and the stone is soft. It is very noisy, though.

It must sound even louder inside your head than it does to my ears.

After a few minutes, he belched and a tiny trickle of flame emerged from his mouth. Herebeth looked slightly surprised. Then he tried again and a much larger flame emerged.

‘Remember to keep a good distance apart,’ N’teren called, as some of the other dragons also successfully produced fire. ‘Tell your dragons to make sure they’re facing away from you and from each other. At this stage, they probably won’t have much control over it. The purpose of these lessons is to allow them to test their capabilities safely on the ground.’

On his third try, Kailarth emitted such a large gout of flame, he startled himself and ended up sitting back on his own tail. Zemianth seemed entranced by the sight and started moving her head around so that she could better view the effect. Herebeth looked very pleased when he managed to sustain a blast for several seconds.

Look. I am a fire-breathing dragon. I will soon be able to sear Thread from the sky.

Yes, you will. I’m very impressed.

Following the first lesson, firestone practice became part of the regular training schedule. The aerial drills became more involved too; the formations tighter and the patterns more complex. It seemed to D’gar that the dragons were acquiring an instinctive feel for where they were in relation to their neighbours. When they’d successfully run through several complicated routines, both he and Herebeth felt a great sense of satisfaction.

Autumn brought the first storms and rain, although there were still jewel-bright days in between, like memories of the fading summer. Threadfall continued as normal. This end of the Turn, everyone looked forward to the freezing winter days when intense cold turned Thread to harmless black dust. Some of the older riders talked about a fabled winter, twenty-four Turns ago, when they didn’t have to fly Fall for almost two months.

Each Fall, Valli waved the Wings off. Kadoth remained at the Weyr on support duty. If a fighting dragon was badly injured and unable to land safely, she would help to steady their descent into the Bowl. A queen dragon’s place at the top of the hierarchy meant that she could mentally command the lesser colours, holding them still while healers worked to repair a damaged wing, or to get an injured rider down for treatment.

Valli sat on a portable chair most of the time while Kadoth did her duty. She could still walk with the aid of a stick, but it was clear that the movement hurt her. Her left foot barely lifted off the ground, meaning that she had to be careful not to trip. It was painful to watch.

‘She’s got a lot worse in the last couple of sevendays.’ S’brin commented as Valli climbed slowly up the steps to her weyr, pausing several times to rest.

‘I know. Even the fellis doesn’t work much anymore.’ When they helped her, he often prepared the solution and he’d noticed how the healers had increased the dosage.

She took as little as she could get away with. ‘I don’t enjoy the pain but I hate the way that stuff makes me feel. I can’t think straight and I want to sleep all the time. Kadoth doesn’t like it either. She says it makes me all fuzzy and she finds it harder to talk to me.’

Although she still flew with Kadoth to the feeding grounds, it was getting increasingly difficult for her to climb on board, even with assistance. S’brin could lift the weyrwoman up easily enough but he was aware of how much it hurt her and he didn’t like doing it.

Before breakfast, whatever the weather, the two of them went for a run around the lake. D’gar always accompanied S’brin. He didn’t have the same sense of dedication to exercise, but it was still something they could share. It was the day after an easy Fall over Hold Gar; a bright and cold morning, making their breath steam as they ran. The sun climbed slowly above the rim, hardly making any difference to the chill in the air. As they finished their second circuit, D’gar saw a flash of gold on Kadoth’s ledge as the old dragon stretched her wings. The next moment, S’brin turned to him. ‘Kadoth wants us in her weyr, right away.’

She must have sent him the message via Zemianth. They ran across the landing area and up the steps, two at a time, stopping just short of the queen dragon. She seemed solemn this morning and stepped aside to let them through.

Valli was sitting on the edge of her bed, still in her night clothes. Her arms and legs looked painfully thin, D’gar thought.

‘Glad you got here quickly. I can’t feel this leg anymore. Can you boys give me a hand?’

‘Of course. What do you want us to do?’

‘Firstly, fetch me some clothes.’

D’gar went over to the niche where her dresses hung. ‘Any preference?’

‘Not a dress, today. Breeches and wherhide. I’ll be riding.’

‘Are you sure that’s wise?’ S’brin asked cautiously.

‘It’s my last chance. If I don’t do it now, then I’ll die here.’ She looked down at the bed with a tortured expression. ‘Neither of us want that.’

D’gar felt a shiver go down his spine. He knew what she meant to do. As he fetched what she’d asked for, his eyes started to fill with tears and as he laid the clothes out next to her, one fell free and splashed onto her hand.

‘Don’t cry, lad. It comes to us all. I’ve had a good life and I want a good death, too.’

‘Aren’t you scared?’ He wiped his face on his sleeve.

‘I’d be a fool if I wasn’t. But I’d rather go on my own terms. It’s the only choice I have left. Now, get me up,’ she said to S’brin.

Dressing was clearly difficult for her, although she only asked for help once or twice, when she couldn’t stand unaided, or get her leg to do as she wanted.

‘Kadoth asks if you can put her neck strap on. We don’t need a full harness today.’ She smiled briefly. ‘That would be a waste of good hide.’

D’gar choked back his tears. When he glanced at S’brin, he saw he was doing much the same.

‘I want you both to promise me one thing. I’ll not see the end of this Pass, so you’ll have to do it for me. Just say a few words on the first dawn of the Interval, in our memory.’

‘I promise,’ S’brin said.

‘You have my word, too.’

‘You’re good lads, both of you. And you’ve got two of the best dragons in this Weyr. Kadoth’s last clutch was a fine one. Now, help me over to her.’

While S’brin supported most of her weight as she hobbled across the weyr, D’gar took the neck strap from its hook. Kadoth lowered her head for him to put it on.

Thank you. We are grateful.

She’d spoken to him! He knew what an honour that was and thought it deserved some kind of acknowledgement. He stood before the great golden dragon and made a formal bow.

Kadoth crouched as low as she could while S’brin lifted Valli to her place between the last two neck ridges. Once she was there, she took a few moments to recover her breath, then as Kadoth raised herself, looked down on them both and smiled.

It was only a few steps to the front of the ledge. Kadoth spread her wings wide as soon as she had room and with a few strong beats, she was airborne. Beams of light illuminated her golden hide, making her seem to shine like something precious and fragile. D’gar and S’brin watched her ascend rapidly to the height of the Bowl. It looked as if she was flying up to the sun itself. Then, as she flew higher still, abruptly she disappeared between.

All around the Weyr, dragons raised their heads and keened for the loss of a queen and her rider.

Copyright © 2020 Mawgrim; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction that combine worlds created by the original content owner with names, places, characters, events, and incidents that are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, organizations, companies, events or locales are entirely coincidental. Authors are responsible for properly crediting Original Content creator for their creative works.
Recognized characters/events/plots from Dragonriders of Pern belong to Ann McCaffrey
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4 minutes ago, kjoel1961 said:

I knew this chapter was coming soon, but still it tore at my heart. :(

I was wiping away tears as I was writing it.

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I had wondered why Greens could not lay eggs, now I know. Firestone. If a Green stopped eating firestone, would she be able to lay eggs again? If so, would the eggs be viable? This has the potential for a new story about a Green laying a clutch of eggs and the resultant dragons from the hatching... . Maybe a special colored dragon with an unusual ability?  It is something to think about.

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52 minutes ago, Lutheros said:

This has the potential for a new story about a Green laying a clutch of eggs and the resultant dragons from the hatching... .

Anne and Todd McCaffrey already did it in 'Sky Dragons'. I have also read a few fanfics where green dragons lay eggs as a result of not being given firestone early enough to stop this happening. I'm not sure if it's reversible - once they've had sufficient firestone bang goes the chance to breed.

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As sad as it is to say goodbye, they had befriended and prepared the young riders for increasing support and then the inevitable.

Even with the end so near, what class it is to see a Gold giving aid to the wounded while they could still support from home. But then as the time to make the final flight arrived, issuing the call to those trusted friends who they knew they could call upon for their own aid, so they could be together as bonded. So as that final page could then show them together one final time, as they lived, and as they fought, and so too did they pair once more to their final flight; so majestically and prideful of the life they had together. Tears, tears, and more tears...

Edited by Philippe
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Valli was truly a great mentor and friend.  S'brin and D'gar were very fortunate to learn under her guidance and friendship.  Kadoth speaking to D'gar was indeed an honour for him. 

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