Flurry Hatching, Part One
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2001 Winter Gather Flurry Hatching

The day was just breaking as Tiyanni stirred in her bed. Something... Tiyanni rubbed her eyes.

Good Morning the silvering gold Litayth purred to her rider.

You're up early, love. Tiyanni said as she slid out form under the downy patchwork quilts that had been birthday gifts to her by the craftsmen and women of the weyr.

Yes, but the queens have been rearranging their eggs for the last hour!

Today's the day then? Tiyanni said, running a brush through her hair as she looked at her reflection in the polished mirror. She'd chosen a soft grey-blue flannel dress. It was nice enough, but there was much to be done if today was hatching day for forty-two...

More than 42, Ty. Many more. Litayth said smugly.

Tiyanni began to laugh as she secured her long auburn and silver hair with a pair of slim wooden sticks carved for her by a boy a few years back. Tiyanni wondered briefly what had happened to Degaran and his family, before replying to Litayth. "More than 42..."

J'kosh laughed from the doorway, bearing hot tea sweetened the way she liked it. "That's not surprising."

Tiyanni laughed. "You're up early too?"

"Of course... after so many hatchings, did you expect me not to notice?"

Tiyanni smirked, and lifted the teacup from his hands. "No, nor did I expect there to be exactly 42 eggs. One of these days we'll have to find out just how deep those sands are."

Deep enough. Litayth rumbled.

* * *

The hours passed quickly, and soon there were guests to collect. The other leaders could bring themselves - they had their own dragons after all. Tiyanni met the guests garbed in a silver-blue brocade gown with J'kosh as her side. Light flurries fell from the bright sunny sky like glitter in a snow globe. Inside the hatching grounds, the tiers were packed - and weyrfolk squeezed in where they could. Nobody wanted to miss this hatching!

* * *

The clutch mothers bordered the sands and claimed the lowest ledges as their own. Exactly 42 eggs rested on the soft red sands, buoyed almost as high as the spirits of the hopeful candidates who filed in, dressed as they wished. Some wore traditional robes, some the shorter embroidered shirtlike robes sewn lovingly for Cytiath's clutch, and some wore their ordinary garb - which varied from nearly all-revealing to nearly none revealed, as was the case for Mutorudis. The queens had relinquished the platform where the leaders sat, and it had been hastily converted to seat more.

Tiyanni and J'kosh chatted with Weyrwoman Magika, Shard, Rue, Etan (who bothered Tiyanni, though she couldn't recall why) and others. Alabaster's Lord Holder Engell sat quietly, and K'yl gossiped with some riders he knew. J'lenn found himself sitting between Ar'wen, searcher of Seiryuu, and Koora, cousin of goldrider Quachir. He didn't mind so much. They were respectable sorts.

The dragons shifted, their anticipation growing as the rocking of the eggs became more pronounced.

"I can't believe all these people fit in here - not to mention all the dragons." Tiyanni laughed.

Baeris grinned, fingering her white lock absently. "After all I've been through, I'd believe pretty much anything - as long as it's at a hatching."

Naeodin, B'nir, Mia, and Kyu slipped in, finding seats. People made room for the ghastly Kyu, though he really didn't need it. Red and Gem waved to Mia from on high, and invited her to watch the hatching from the low ledge their oddly colored dragons had somehow appropriated.

J'kosh laughed softly as snow-spattered Mystic and Aaron took their places, almost the last to arrive. ~You shouldn't laugh. It's not nice.~ Hope the draca scolded as she attempted to torment Magika. Tiyanni still chatted with Cathairte Kataela and Cathairix D'lan, discovering a few similarities between their homes.

Silverrider Kaladrin had vanished from the aging Weyrwoman's sight, but not from his dragon's mate's rider. Alotta bounded over to him from her white's side, and grabbed onto him. "Isn't this fabulous Kaladrin?" she bounced, excited and perhaps a little annoying.

J'kosh looked over the anxious candidates, murmuring at the great difference between their numbers and that of the eggs. "Don't worry, it always works out right." Tiyanni said, taking her love's hand, trying not to remember that every clutch seemed to have at least one bad egg. J'kosh squeezed her hand as a largish egg near the fringes rocked itself over onto one side.

Somewhere in the stands, a loud voice called out "Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the Main Event!"

The occupant of the egg pushed his way out - brown; a Light Brown to be precise. He looked around the sands, and opened his wings - lo and behold his wingsails were spangled with snowflakes. A hushed murmur ran through the assembled masses. How wonderful! The brown patiently walked across the soft sands to a young Alskyrian man. Ayin; the nothing ends here. I am Semunyath. His brothers and sisters shouted congratulations to him for his bonding, yet never missed the arrival of the second hatchling.

He was a Light Blue, studded with snowflakes as the brown had been. He strode matter-of-factly over to Teovia, whose love had been found by a darling green, and named himself Zyreth. And that was that.

The third egg gave a convulsive shake, and then let loose its hatchling - a sturdy male - undisputedly red. Gasps of astonishment rose from the assembled as he made his way unerringly to Yesod. My name is Selath he said, love shining in his eyes.

J'lenn sprang from his seat. "This is an outrage!" Ar'wen pulled him back down and all but sat in his lap. "Oh behave, dahling..." the searcher drawled. J'lenn paled and didn't say anything.

The next egg, almost perfectly spherical, shattered into many fragments, revealing a shining-wet blue. He opened his wings to reveal icy-pale sails sparkling with snow. Though the warmth of the sands dried him quickly, the shine remained. The silver-blue son of Tuveth made his way to one of the newest arrivals. Betsy - I know what you can do, and I want to do it too. I am Orypith.

Two eggs collided, as they were apt to do, spilling a vibrant green and a sandy blue into a heap. Shakaina was first to break ranks to go to their aid, and Serin followed nearly as boldly. After a moment, Serin had the green in her arms, and Shaikaina had the blue. "This is Venyrth." "And this' Viceith." Shaikaina and Serin said to each other, introducing their respective dragons.

Across the sands, a green dragon pushed shyly from her ivory cradle. Her paws were covered in white, and she had a blaze gracing her crestless head. As she got free, a shining golden charm shone on her wingtip - a snowflake. One lad nearly cried, looking on her beauty. Do not weep, Ueonin, for I am yours; I am Xarineroth. She said, moving with speed to his side.

A very pale blue snuck out of his shell, his clouded coloring a mix of blue and white. With the subtlety of snowfall, he chose his rider - Tanon, now T'on. "Velozth... You are...." Hungry. T'on laughed.

Another egg opened, perhaps as a flower bloomed, revealing a dragonet as purple as the red who had come before her. She began her trek across the sands, going directly to her quarry, not discouraged in the least by the outbursts from the gallery. Aysha. she said clearly. "S... Sicarlith?" the girl was caught off guard. Who would have expected this? The dragonet opened her snowy wings, and greeted her rider - her forever friend.

The next egg opened abruptly, leaving its caramel-colored occupant wavering unsteadily. An awed silence was thick in the hatching grounds. Not only was this dragonet of an unusual hue, but they had two sets of wings, a look never before seen by anyone present. As the dragonet looked around, someone in the stands whispered. "Do you suppose that will breed true?" "IF they can fly at all..." Baeris murmured, a sly smile on her face. The hatchling headed off towards a relatively short candidate who hung in Senorith's shadow. You are not afraid of me, Terra. The duo-winged dragon said, a statement of fact rather than a question. "O' course not, Calionapyth. Why should I be scared of a wee lass like you?" Now the chaos burst out. Lass? That caramel dragon was female?!

While the white gold came into the world. She was a Light, yet unlike any other who'd come before. Her wings were dappled like summer sunlight through treetops... and she was stuck. In the stands, an almond-eyed beauty stood; the world was going in slow motion as Aisu leapt over the barrier that separated the tiers from the sands as easy as you please, and went to the dragonet's aid. "Get back here!" someone roared. "You're not a candidate!" About twenty of the folks who had been seated nearest her got to their feet and began chanting "Sieve" at her at the top of their lungs. Aisu turned to yell, but Senorith beat her to it, snarling at those people. They were quick to cease that, and bowed respectfully to the queen, chanting her name, and bowing with their arms outstretched. "Senor-ith! Senor-ith!" Aisu laughed. "That's better! Her name is Akeimith!"

"Impressing from the stands... who would have guessed?" K'rional murmured. "Of course! Like Lieyanth's daughter would simply settle for less?" Vienna found herself saying. Maiahn leaned close to the Weyrlingmaster and the record keepers. "Amitath did find the whole lot of them just before the hatching." D'lrik nodded, but his mind was elsewhere.

The next egg caused a gasp to come from the candidates nearest as it hatched. A white head peered out. He didn't seem afraid, but quickly made his escape from the shell. Flaring his snow sparkled blue wings caused the assembled to gasp. A blue-winged white. Why are they looking at me like that! the dragon demanded of his rider. "I'm not sure, Arzianth, but you are fabulous!" Senar said, picking a piece of shell from the white's head.

Much of the attention was withdrawn from the blue-winged male as a delicate muzzle pushed out of another egg. White hide sparkling with snow graced this dragonet. A pair of brown eyes attached to the graceful dragon, and the keen mind behind them wondered how she could attract this beauty to her side, not caring whether it was male or female. The dragonet pushed free of it's shell, and fell onto its back in the sand. The tiny red grains clung on. The newest dragon looked around. The attention was wonderful! The dragon spread her wings and gave a short bugle - her wings were rainbows! In the stands, J'lenn glared. This wasn't right! Several girls tried to beckon the rainbow winged beauty to them, but the brown eyed girl said nothing, keeping her eyes diverted as though she thought herself unworthy. A nudge at her hand brought the silvery haired girl's attention to the dragon. I did it! I got Onatirveth! The dragon chuckled in her mind. Suurre... Like I wasn't going to Pick you Anyway Kynde?

While all this was happening, a cloudy green identical to Tanon's blue made her way out. She was more patient than she was small but she did want some attention for herself so she sat and waited until the fuss died down. When the time was right the green-white daughter of a green-white sought out her rider. The eyes of Light Blue Sekayth were on her as she stopped before the healer Damari'chel. Damari...? she queried. "Yes, Elcayleth?" the elf said, tenderly taking the small green in his arms. On the ledges, Keylyn beamed.

On the sands, brown hindquarters shoed out a hole in an egg. As he moved out, his hide got lighter - his head was white. Once he got out, he looked around as if sizing up the opposition. Almost impulsively, Kasai left his seat and slipped over the barrier into the sands. The brown charged, but the young man was ready. What were you thinking, Kasai? the brownish hatchling said, sliding to a stop in front of the young man.

Whatever Kasai's response was, it was lost as a green head and wings burst from an egg. The dragoness looked at her paws. Green... I'm green. And I have a tail... and... The green craned her neck to look behind her. Wings. Lots of wings. Great. This' just like being a Kiliwajaa Fly... The audience's eyes weren't on the duo-winged green much longer. A pale brown dragon with tricolor wings was making his entrance. What's a Kiliwajaa, Ainchis-th? the brown said, stalking the bizarre green. Ainchis blinked his faceted eyes beholding the handsome snowflake marked male with wings the color of Danachian Sunset. Nasty critters, Ambroseth. I'll tell you all about them. Ainchis said, then blinked again. Ambroseth had chosen him? You silly girl! Of course I chose you! Ainchis' heart warmed just enough - they had impressed each other. A riot almost broke out! Dragons didn't impress each other!

Gem says the green is something like Ainchisth, and the brown is Ambroseth. Litayth informed Tiyanni. "Ainchith?" the Weyrwoman said. Kataela looked at her. "Did you say Ainchis?" Tiyanni nodded. "Weird..."

A Light Bronze shed his shell and took stock of the situation. A Light green nearby was having a bit of trouble. The bronze went to her aid, hauling the shell with this bronze forepaws. Greg leapt over the barrier and scrambled across the sand while the rest of the team gawked as their captain went to help the bronze. Something stirred in the boy Raeltun, and with tears in his eyes, he hurried over. Raeltun! I'm stuck! The green wailed. "It's okay Novath, it's okay..." Raeltun murmured, holding her head. Calm down! "Calm down!" Greg and the bronze chorused, and with their combined efforts, they split the tough shell open pouring Novath into Raeltun's arms. "Thanks Ailonth." Greg said, slapping the Light Bronze's shoulder affectionately. Thank you, Cap'n.

Even though the green's dramatic entrance should have had everyone's attention, it didn't. In the center of clutch, sand shook off a previously unrevealed egg - the 43rd. There, with everyone looking on hatched a dragon who was neither blue nor green nor purple, but all three at the same time. "Reminds me of one of those birds at Mama Tani's..." a Protectorate rider said. "Peacocks..." Kendrah murmured. The peacock dragoness spread her snowy wings, bowed dramatically with her rainbow gaze lingering longest on the rainbow crested Quioath and the Istabithan Deakoth. A young woman stepped forward and knelt before the dragonet in the sand. No ceremony Siarl. We are equals. "Nievereinath." Siarl murmured, and the dragon ran to her.

And the Hatching Continues!