Zali stood outside her weyr, taking in the fresh air. It was a beautiful spring day, still morning, but it was already very warm out. Perhaps she would take Tikiriath out for a nice little fly out to the hold today. Thinking of that, Zali looked for her green
"Tikiriath!" She called. Hearing no reply, she searched for her dragon via the internal bondage they shared. There was a blank greyness on the other side of the partnership. Now Zali was worried. She had never been as cut off from her green as this. She raced down to the lower caverns, hoping that she would be able to catch the Weyrwoman at breakfast.
Tiyanni was just finishing, about to leave the kitchens when Zali found her. "Tiki-ri-ath..." she panted. "Where- is she?" she asked, panting furiously. Tiyanni smiled fondly.
"So that's the green that's been hovering over the feeding grounds!" she exclaimed. "You'd better go check up on her, I'd guess that she's going to fly today," Zali immediatly turned and ran in the other direction, screaming.
"I'M- COMING- TIKI- RIATH!!! I'll- be- right... there! DON'T- WORRY!" Tiyanni laughed.
"The first flight's always the worst," she commented.
"Ti... ki...ri...ath!!!" Zali continued screaming as she raced out of the lower caverns and up to the fire heights. She could faintly see her dragon, sitting in the middle of the herdbeasts' pen. At the sight of her beloved green, Zali promptly fell flat on her face. "TIKIRI- Mmph!"
"Are you all right?" a young man asked. Zali flipped over onto her back, staring up at the person towering above her.
"Meh," she said.
"Need some help?"
"Are you sure you're all right?"
"Meh." Taking the nasal sound as a 'yes', the man took her hand and pulled her to her feet. She rubbed her nose, then shook the dirt off her pants and clothes. She then turned and began running again. "TIKIRIATH!" The man shook his head.
"She must be flying, soon. I've heard the first time is always the worst,"
Finally, having reached the fire heights and being able to see her dragon fully, Zali stopped running/screaming.
"There... you... are..." she panted. Tikiriath stared up at her rider, hissing.
I thought I left you back at the weyr! she thought furiously to her rider. Mood swings were a typical side effect of a female in heat.
"You can't get rid of me that easily!" Zali said. Tikiriath sighed.
I suppose so... It's just not fair! Why can't I have been born a blue? They never have to worry about flights, or blooding kills.... All they ever do is sit around in their weyrs all day! The green complained.
"No, they don't," Zali countered. Tikiriath glared back at her rider.
I don't care!
"Fine! Don't listen to me, then!"
Someone walked up to Zali. "I've been informed by my blue, Hawk, that a green named... uh... Takee-rath is due to fly soon and I've been signed up for the flight. Would you by any chance know where her rider, Zali, is?" Zali squinted at the bluerider.
"You're not a man," she commented. "Are you?" Miza stared blankly at the rider who looked... well... delirious.
"No, I'm not... What would make you think that?"
"Well, I'm Zali and you said you have a blue. Why aren't you a man?" Miza started to become angry. How dare she insult her?
"Because I'm a woman! Do you have a problem with that?" she demanded.
"But girls don't Impress blues!" Zali countered. She had no idea why she was making this into an argument. It was like the words and actions were flowing out of her body without her consent.
"Well, I do!" Miza shouted, throwing a punch at Zali. She dodged it, then threw her own at Miza. It hit her shoulder. Miza leaped at the greenrider. Before either of them knew what had happened, they were engaged in a tough wrestling match.
"Calm down, ladies!" someone said. Zali poked her head over Miza's shoulder to see two men standing up on the fireheights with them.
"Who are you?" she asked. Miza got off the greenrider long enough to get a good look at the two men.
"My name is M'ris, and this is S'nar. I believe that our two dragons are in your flight," the first man said.
"Sorry, there's no flight here," Zali said. Why did I just say that? she thought.
"What are you talking about?" Miza said angrily.
Stop arguing with everyone, Zali! Tikiriath ordered. Zali stopped.
"Fine!" she shouted.
Fine! Tikiriath shouted back.
Another man walked up to join the group. "Hi, I'm Morte. I'm looking for someone named-" S'nar held up a hand.
"Please. Don't get her started," he said. Morte shrugged as a fifth chaser appeared.
"My name is J'rabin. Which one of you is Zali?" he asked. Zali stood up, going over to inspect the new chaser.
"That's me," she said. J'rabin looked over her rough appearance. Her clothes were laced with dirt and her hair was tangled from her fight with Miza.
"She's blooding her kills!" Miza announced. The six people all went over to watch as Tikiriath dove down to kill her first herdbeast. The young doe gave a little bit of a fight, before the powerful dragon's canines pierced her throat.
Blood it only, Tikiriath! Zali said.
I know what to do, Zali. Now I suggest you go over to your weyr, just in case one of these blokes is fast enough to catch me! Tikiriath replied, gesturing to the males who had begun to surround her. One of the blues snorted at the last comment.
Following her green's advice, Zali began running back to her weyr, which was on the other side of the lower caverns. She was quickly pursued by the five chasers who had no idea where the greenrider was going. As they passed through the kitchen, several heads turned. One person asked a cook what was happening.
"It's the girl's first flight," the cook explained. "The first time's always the worst."
You'll never catch me, you little wherries! Tikiriath shouted at her pursuers as she took to the air. The flight had only just begun when the first dragon dropped out.
Rocath was far ahead of the others, only a dragonlength behind the green. He pumped his wings extra hard, for the burst of speed he would need to capture his prize. This is too easy, he commented.
Think again! Tikiriath replied, kicking out at him with a hind leg. Rocath paused, rubbing his scratched nose with his front feet just long enough for the others to speed ahead of him, leaving him far behind.
That's what you get for thinking you can catch ME! Tikiriath exulted, still on the high she got from the blood of the two herdbeasts.
They were now headed away from the Weyr. Hawk and Arabicath were in the lead, with Kashith and Arzianth just behind them. The pace was still slow enough that none had started tiring--yet.
You'll never catch me! Tikiriath shouted gleefully as she sped upward. It took the others a moment to follow, taking Arzianth to the back. He struggled to gain, but it was getting hot. His body was used to the colder season, in which he was born. Slowly, his white wings began to beat with less and less energy, until he was forced to give up. He dove back down, flitting between to the weyr where S'nar awaited him.
Hawk looked back at Arzianth flitting between. He wasn't ready for the challenge, Hawk decided, He knew that I would be the one to catch Tikiriath! He thought to himself, smugly. If only Miza could see me now!
S'nar and J'rabrin had already left for their own Weyrs. Only Miza, Morte, and M'ris remained at the entrance to Zali's weyr, where they had her cornered. Miza found herself stepping steadily forward as Hawk began to gain in the flight. She took Zali by the hand, as she began to pull her into the weyr. Zali followed the other woman quietly, her mind somewhere else. Once inside, Miza pulled Zali into her arms, attempting to kiss the greenrider. Popping back into consciousness, Zali saw the woman tilt her head and slapped Miza squarely accross her left cheek. Miza backed up, as Mortendar and M'ris took her place within the weyr.
Hawk dropped back, feeling the slap. He hovered, confused. Miza didn't say anything to him. Assuming that she was fine, he took back after Tikiriath. Unfortunately for him, the green had put on an extra burst of speed which he could not match; especially since the other males now had a start on him. Cursing to himself, he dropped out between.
Tikiriath, seeing Hawk leave, knew her flight was drawing to an end. Only two males remained. Which one would she let catch her? She went over each one mentally as she put on an extra burst of speed. Aribicath, the brown, was larger and stronger, and therefore produce her better offspring.
Then it is he who I will let catch me, she said to herself. She immediately slowed her pace, turning to the left, where Arabicath was flying. Kashith saw her slow, and immediately filled the space.
Go away! Tikiriath shouted to the blue/black. I don't want you to catch me! she said. Arabicath shot forward to emphasize the point. I don't like pesky little blues like you! Kashith forced himself not to take offence from the green.
The best male will catch you. Which one of us that is remains to be seen, Kashith replied cautiously. Frustrated, Tikiriath pumped her wings with all the remaining strength she had drained from the herdbeasts. Arabicath lengthened his own wingbeats to match the green's. Not to be outdone, Kashith also started going faster. But the green and the brown were just too fast for him. He found himself being left further and further behind after every beat of his small blue wings.
That left Tikiriath and Arabicath. She slowed a little after seeing Kashith drop back, but knew that she could not let Arabicath catch her so easily. She dipped lower, swerving wildly as she headed back to Ryslen. She would let the whole Weyr see her wonderful flight! Arabicath followed, almost lazily, as he waited for her to tire herself out. He let her gain a bit as the Weyr came into view. Let the Weyr see him capture her triumphantly!
Suddenly, a blur of color shot down from above, grasping the green as they both dived lower. The male locked talons with her, their tails entwining as he secured his catch.
Tikiriath cooed pleasantly as she found herself captured in the snare of this unknown male.
He must have been very strong and fast to have captured me at my best... she told herself. I will have the most beautiful children... she fantisized. She had no idea who the male was, she only knew that he was fast and strong. That was good enough for her.
Arabicath snorted at Kashith and Tikiriath. How dare that blue steal his green? It wasn't fair! He was so close... He bugled furiously, blinking between to join his rider with the rest of the dragons who had failed.