It was snowing again.
Isina folded her wings and glanced about. Where was everyone? Zerdena should be pestering her to play in the new powder, Sam should be calling her over to help clear out the old from the doorway. Where could they all be? Isina turned her gaze upon the old ship which had been her home since her arrival in those cold lands, candle light flickered inside but all other tell tale signs of her family being within were absent... and all was quiet.
The ice dragoness trotted through the new snow, splaying her toes so as not to sink in past the fur which protected her feet. If the scene proved at all menacing to Isina she didnt show it, but then again... the ice lands werent really a hot spot for any kind of activity, let alone the frightening kind. She approached the doorway without slowing, and stuck her crested head into the warm interior of the dwelling. Her family stared back at her, all gathered around the circular table which was the center of their common room, and sitting with them was none other than NinQueesha, the female fire elemental which made herself a quest more often than most.
Come in, Isina! Said the other humanoid at the table, Isinas caretaker Samantha Dervison. The dragoness obliged, making sure to close the door behind herself. She smiled down at the group and took the only open place left at the small table.
Why, hello, NinQueesha. Isina said. She was still confused as to what was going on here, but Isina didnt like to come across as rude. What brings you out here? Nothing wrong with asking.
You, actually. The elemental grinned sheepishly at the large creature.
You are ready for your coming of age, Isina, Samantha said. The womans dark eyes betrayed little else than what she had spoken, however all seated in the room were aware of the surprise in Isinas face. The dragonesss eyes went wide for but a moment, but her jaw hung a bit and her wings had pulled in towards her sides.
Are you sure? She managed.
Yes, Both NinQueesha and Sam answered.
Where am I to go? Isina asked, at something of a loss. Jhiirsaiian coming of age, though there were celebrations and trials involved , revolved around bonding... thus Isina would be sent out to find her partner.
That is up to you, NinQueesha said. The elementals expression was one of support, and her brilliant yellow eyes reflected what Isina thought was genuine concern. If anything, it seemed to be bonding which scared most young more than anything else... but all had tried it and few had failed. If anything, it was a fear of rejection which made most hesitate, rather than any qualms with the mental connection that would be formed between bonds. The responsibility and adjustment that went along with the ceremony was outweighed by the companionship and love shared with such a close friend.
I volunteered to take you! Piped Zerdena, Isinas younger friend, and a dragon who was quite talented at teleportation. We will have so much fun! Think of all the places that we will be able to see, all the other dragons! It will be so much fun, Isina! The ice dragon couldnt help but relax a bit at that... as long as her friend was going to be with her.
Or, if the idea of trusting your life to Zerdena isnt all that appealing to you, there are always ships to be lent out, said the dark male perched next to Samantha, the womans own bond, Geress. They all laughed. Zerdena was a bit of an immature dragon, she was still young, but they all knew that her ability to control her magic was excellent. Isina was feeling a bit better, and now that her surprise had left her, a sensation of excitement and honor had begun to overtake her. She was going to be marked as an adult, free to go out on her own, and she would have her bond with her...
So is it settled then? NinQueesha asked.
I think so, Samantha replied.
Then lets eat, I am starving. They all joined one another in laughter once again.
* * *
Isina took one last look at her home, hoping to capture the feeling of the place before she left. It was hard though, her mind kept wandering, and Zerdena was even more eager to be off than Isina herself. Queesha, Geress, and Samantha had alined themselves amid the snow, they all looked strangely solemn.
May the stars sing your good fortune, Samantha said in blessing and she kissed her two charges. Isina thought that she might have seen something like tears in her caretakers eyes, but she couldnt be sure...
They have, NinQueesha added her own wholehearted farewell, and Geress nodded a silent goodbye.
We wont be gone long, Isina told them all, hoping that it was true.
Bye! Chirped Zerdena, who had positioned herself along side Isina in preparation to teleport. Then the familiar snow covered landscape faded, and the cold swirled strangely around them and then they were swathed in sun. Isina blinked and ruffled her wings uncomfortably. Some of the cool air from their home had lingered about them, but the dragoness already knew that this new place was all too hot for her. Zerdena on the other claw, seemed delighted by the place.
Wow! She was saying. Have you ever seen such a place, Isina? And look at all the different sorts of people... The ice dragoness tuned out her friend as she concentrated on the city scape around them. The whole place had a deserty feel, though she thought that she could perhaps make out the sound of running water, a river perhaps. If anything though, Isina didnt want to stay here... it was too hot, too grating.
Isina, look! Zerdena cried, pointing with one of her claws towards what looked like some sort of huge stadium. Isina glanced towards the great building, already too uncomfortable to want to say and check it out. I bet that is where the bondings happen, why else would that place be so big, but for dragons. Lets go see!
Wait, Zerdena, Isina said suddenly, I dont quite like it here, why dont we move on a bit... do you think that we could take us anywhere... colder. Zerdena took a disappointed expression but thought it over anyway, and then nodded. In the blink of an eye they were off again, this time to find themselves amid another strange scene.
The thick air and varied crowd hinted to Isina that they might be in some sort of space station. Sniffing at the air, Isina shot her smaller friend something of a disdainful look.
Uh, Zerdena? The ice dragoness said slowly. Would you mind taking us somewhere a little... I dont know... cold? Zerdena glanced up at Isina, thoughtful... and then... snow whipped past them on all sides, lights shimmered in the distance.
Sam told me about this place, Zerdena said, She thought that you might want to come here... this is the Flurry.