Asien yawned as she walked into the dining hall. Though the morning meal had just begun, it was already filling with weyrfolk and riders. It was much too crowded for the greenrider's taste; everytime she turned around she found herself much to close to someone else. She was usually irritable in the morning and Quith's proddiness lately didn't improve her temperament any.
Shouldering her way through the crowd, Asien managed to procure a decent sized helping of food and retire to a sparsely populated table. The other people seated at the table seemed to notice Asien's mood and scooted away. The greenrider watched them amusedly, for they reminded her of the way browns and blues had been getting out of Quith's way for the past few sevendays. She dearly hoped the green would rise soon, she'd made more enemies in less than a month than she'd made in her entire life because of the green. Sometimes, Asien was sure Quith was dragging her proddiness out just to make her rider's life miserable.
"Asien!" Asien looked up from her food, glowering in the direction of a very familiar voice, not at all happy to see that it belonged to X'resh, a whiterider from her home of Quinalt Weyr. What in Faranth's name was he doing here? "Asien! What are you doing down here when Quith is about to rise?" X'resh thundered.
"Quith is not about to rise. I should think I would know my own dragon better than you, X'resh," Asien scoffed. "And I think I'd most certainly know if Quith were about to rise!" Despite her angry words, there was something unsettling about the way Quith slept. It was too deep and yet too light; the green was restless.
Asien knew the instant Quith awakened that she had indeed not been merely sleeping. The green's mind was a whirling chaos of thoughts, the most prominent being hunger. Asien heard her green's scream and was out of her seat in an instant, rushing through the crowded dining hall and making it into the weyrbowl in time to see her green, who was indeed glowing very brightly now, launch herself from her ledge and swoop down over the feeding grounds. Blood, you silly beast, BLOOD! Asien screamed at her green as she ran, watching with apprehension and amazement as Quith descended on a beast.
Quith looked up from her kill to snarl both at her rider's command and at the six dragons who had gathered on the rim around the feeding grounds. Asien could see the males through her green's eyes but did not give a wherry's hind end about them now. All that mattered was her dragon. Blood it Quith! Blood ONLY! Asien commanded, and Quith, snarling her defiance dipped her head and greedily sucked the carcass dry of blood.
Tossing aside the drained beast, Quith shrilled a challenge as she pounced on another beast. Asien repeated the command to Blood and Quith submitted, though she snarled as she sucked at the beast's neck. A third beast was dispatched in a similar fashion and then Quith, with one last, scornful look at her would-be mates, launched herself into the air, trumpeting her challenge to the oafs of dragons who dared chase her.
As Quith left the ground, Asien's mind left with her. She was her green, and she was soaring far above the slower, larger males who pursued her. A quick glance over her shoulder told Quith that her suitors were still far behind her, and she bugled tauntingly, executing a series of intricate aerial maneuvers. The green was usually agile in the air, but mating lust lent her extra speed and strength as well as agility and Quith delighted in the freedom she felt. She could turn on a wingtip and go into a vertical stoop if she so chose, and then, in the flick of a tail, rocket back up to the clouds. How could those clumsy males pit themselves against her skill and grace?
Quith hovered where she was, watching nonchalantly as her suitors approached. When they were within a dragonlength of her, she trumpeted and rocketed high into the air, plummeting back down, barely missing the leading male, a strong young brown who she recognized as Fivrith. Fivrith was a good strong beast, he would sire large, healthy dragonets. But he would not catch her yet.
With a snort of contempt for the clumsy males, Quith dove back in the direction of the weyr, coming up through the middle of the group. Two blues whom the green hadn't enough time to identify made for her, only to be disappointed as Quith sped up at an almost vertical angle. This was too easy. These males were slower than herdbeasts! Quith winged her way far ahead of the group, confident that they would not catch up to her.
The youngest blue, Jyath, from the most recently Hatched clutch at Ryslen, was now at the front of the pack. To Quith's dismay, none of her suitors had dropped out yet. Perhaps she could play with this eager blue. Swooping down, Quith trumpeted her challenge and sped off into the clouds. The pack followed, Jyath, inviteably, in the lead. Quith dove sharply. Jyath followed, but was unable to manuver fast enough when Quith turned on a wing tip and rocketed back up into the clouds. Quith watched with glee as the blue winked between and back to the weyr, crowing her success.
Her suitors were getting bolder now, and now it was Fivrith who was leading the pack once more. Evth was not far behind him, and the two seemed to be vying for the leading position. Quith eyed them contemptuously. Browns. Concieted, over self-confident browns. They were intolerable at best. She would not be caught by one. Calling to her suitors in a sweet sort of croon, Quith spiraled up into the clouds, watching delightedly as the pack followed. She swooped down at a leisurly angle and snarled in surprise to find herself in the paths of the two browns, Fivrith coming from above, Evth from below.
Quith tried to outfly them but was matched stroke for stroke. Bellowing her frustration, Quith flew in the direction of Fivrith. Better to be caught by a Ryslen brown. Fivrith, however, had not counted on this and was unable to check his momentum. Quith veered to the right to avoid the oncoming browns. Evth wheeled away but had to turn back from Quith's path to avoid colliding with Fivrith, who was heading in the same direction. By the time the two browns were back on course, Quith and her remaining suitors, two blues and an agile little white, were far ahead.
Quith looked back and, to her pleasant surprise, saw only three dragons pursuing her. Two Ryslen blues and a very familiar white. One of them was worthy of her. Two of them would have to be evaded. The white flew above and slightly behind the two blues, though his speed was obvious in his wingstrokes. The two blues powered on a head, each determinded to catch Quith. Quith, however, was still not ready to be caught. Taking care to note where the white was, Quith plunged down and doubled back, finding herself less than a dragonlength away from a blue whom she recognized angrily as Zewinth. Snarling, Quith turned to speed away in the opposite direction- only to find herself entangled in the claws of the white. Green and white necks twined as the pair fell towards the weyr. Luath extended his wings to slow their fall and Quith did the same.
* * *
Asien found herself abruptly back on the ground, her arms around X'resh's neck and the whiterider's strong arms encircling her waist. Good choice Quith, Asien told her green.
My only choice. Quith replied dreamily, not caring to elaborate on her words. Asien didn't much care either.