Kerso darted into the bathing rooms only a few minutes ahead of the brownrider who was in charge of them - surprising, NOT H'lee. He practically leaped into one of the tubs and started scrubbing like mad. He muttered something in Apollo's general direction about not wanting to be mistaken for a hatchling's first meal because he smelled like butchered wherries.
He had ducked his head under the water when the brownrider came in, so he missed the first few words, but he got the gist of it quickly enough. He finished scrubbing down and was one of the last ones out the door and onto the Sands. He scrunched his face and cringed as the heat slammed into his scrubbed skin. Happy thoughts...right. He'd just taken his first step onto the sands when a loud crack split the air - the eggs were hatching! He scurried out with a perfunctory bow to the queen and her eggs, eager to see what the first hatchling would be.
Some might have argued that the Weyrlingmaster, who was also a Dragonhealer, should have been helping the Healers and other Dragonhealers set up. But that's why he'd brought A'dam, of course - the young man was much better equipped to identify injured hatchlings before they got off the Sands, and H'lee spent his time, instead, setting up the tables with their accoutrements: a basket of meat, two baskets of water (one with a moderately stiff-bristled brush hanging on the side), and a bowl of oil with a couple of cloths.
In truth, no rider wanted to miss the Hatching and Impressions of the youngsters, not even H'lee. However, he would only be able to witness the first few, until the first one reached his station, then he would be too busy getting the newly-bonded pairs straightened out and their first meal and bath started. However, he'd done this plenty of times before; the only difference was that this was the first time he'd been in Fort Weyr doing it, and that was minor enough. He had plenty of time to limp partway from his station to the Sands with his other Assistant Weyrlingmasters to watch the beginning of the Hatching; hearing the first egg's cracking echo up the tunnel, the group scurried around the last corner to where they could see the eggs and their attendant hopefuls.
, and /
- line of Candidates
| a b X c d x |
\ e f g h i /
\ j k l /
Not all of the Candidates were on the Sands when the first egg cracked, and Nataly practically shoved the last handful out the doorway. "Get out there, out, out, out!"
she shooed them. Then, her job done until the Impressions were over - at which point she would escort those who had been rejected back to the bathing chambers to change and would then preside over the Feast - she leaned against the wall with her assistant brownrider and watched.
A second crack followed the first and a shard of eggshell went flying outward toward the curve of Candidates from the center egg in the front row, closest to the Candidates (egg k
). A moment later, the rest of the shell crumbled away from its contents: a bronze!
There was a long moment of relative silence as the bronze - whose back was to the Candidates initially - peered around the Sands, seeming to nod to himself before turning around to regard the Candidates with a critical eye. Again, he seemed to nod to himself before moving toward one of the boys on his right - the end farthest from the door where the Candidates had come in from. With an amazed, high-pitched cry, the boy flung his arms around the young dragon's head, shouting, "His name's Zhlucarth!"
With that, it was as though all the other eggs decided they'd given their clutchbrother enough time in the spotlight and that they'd hatch all at once. Crackling filled the arena: egg b
split in half to reveal a brown; egg d
bounced around for a bit before the bottom broke out, revealing the bottom half of a green, with the upper portion of the shell still stuck over the hatchling's head and neck; egg h
also spilled out green contents; egg f
revealed a blue. These looked around at the assembled Candidates (except for the one green who was still trying to back out of her egg and was comically turning in circles), but seemed content to just sit for the moment and their siblings continued to punch out of their confinement.
Yes, the lack of PC Impression was done intentionally...partly because I haven't figured out 100% who's getting what. :-) Next week will probably reveal all!
Deadline: Saturday, May 26th
My Next Post: Sunday, May 27th
Bronze Zhlucarth to NPC
Owing to a single-minded drive to be the best dragon he can possibly be, Zhlucarth isn't much on family, even with his clutchsibs. Oh, sure, he'll develop friendships with a few and perhaps have some failed romantic attempts with others, but he doesn't typically contemplate the idea of "family," or of being a father somewhere down the line. Children, particularly human children, tend to put his nerves on edge and, as he gets older, he'll find that younger weyrlings do the same. He's not a patient dragon and the expectation from others to BE patient tends to make him less patient and more than a little irritable. He can also be very defiant. The bronze has a near-obsessive interest in Ancient history, art (particularly writing and playwriting), and ruins (archeology).
Although unadorned, Zhlucarth is undeniably a handsome dragon, with a shiny bronze hide, fairly consistent in color throughout with only slight variation between his dorsal and ventral sides. He is not, perhaps, the most fit or muscular dragon to ever walk or fly on Pern, but his character clearly expresses itself in his posture and head. His head - length, width, position of his eyes, etc. - reveals the strong character within. And he almost always holds himself in a confident, strong posture, as though daring anyone to be better than he is. When agitated, he can't sit still, but that strength of posture remains.