1st Wher Hatching

Kaemalisk was not a nervous mother. The copper had handled the whole affair of laying eggs and then tending to them with the calm dedication of a dam many turns her senior. Even the week of sharing the sands with the chimera Queen Chelth had gone by smoothly, with a simple cloth screen proving enough to give both new mothers peace of mind. The clutch of engineered eggs which had replaced the dragon was even easier, as they were tended by a rotating cast of humans and the weyr’s complement of female Whers that no-one was ever on the sands long enough for a personality conflict to come into play.

Her handler on the other hand had been a nervous wreck the entire time, leaning on Kaemask's calm to get her through the days where Kaemalisk was confined to the sands. To those used to seeing the young woman drifting through the Weyr with two large guardians by her side, it was odd to see just the one peering over her shoulder and directing her too where she wished to go.

The eggs will hatch soon Dawn was colouring the sky in delicate shades of pink and yellow as Kaemalisk reached out to her handler and her brother. The copper would not have been able to say how she knew this if questioned, but in the manner of Dragonkin mothers across Pern, she knew that today would be the day, and soon.

The pair of guards stationed at the entrance to the sands was a relatively new addition to the Weyr, one Kaemali still wasn’t sure the purpose of. Still, Kaemask greeted the trio of Whers with pleasure. Having been coming at least once a day to check of Kaemalisk, all the guards knew them by sight now, even the newer additions to the ranks.

"The eggs will hatch soon" Kaemali told them, her hand tightening around the leather strap of Kaemask’s harness as the enormity of the coming event began to properly settle in.

"We’ll be ready" The deep voice of the older handler of the pair replied as they both stepped aside to let her in.

Eggs hatch. Candidates to sands please Kaemalisk called out once Kaemali was safely settled beside her, the young woman a hand along her side until she reached the point she wanted to wait at, and Kaemask choosing to sit a short distance away. Ilmatar perched on Kaemali’s shoulder, the edges of her feathered wings tickling Kaemali’s cheek as the white staring intently at the rocking eggs, while Bronze Tyr has elected to rest on Kaemask’s head, right between the brown’s headknobs.

The Wherlingmaster showed all the candidates in, accompanied by the cheerful presence of her dragon-bond, while her wher immediately headed to check on the other clutch and settle her small form between the two clutches in order to ward off any potential untoward events.

It was a good quarter of an hour between the candidates arriving and the first egg finally breaking. The sands were filled with the quiet whispers of the waiting candidates and the murmuring of the small number of weyrfolk who had roused themselves to attend at this early hour, punctuated by louder yawns from those unused to being awake at this time, and all of it underscored by the welcoming hum of the dragonkin.

A small egg was the first to final break open, the one the candidates had dubbed the lonely egg spilling onto the sands a tiny green, one who had clearly inherited her sire’s bright golden speckling. The markings on the edges of her wings caught the light as she stood and stretched, shaking herself out before looking about curiously.

Go on Kaemalisk encouraged her daughter People waiting The green blinked up at her several times, before turning her head to look at the candidates. She had a rather bouncy walk as she took her dam’s advice and moved over to the candidates. Hello! The green called All wait for me? She seemed quite pleased by this, and being the first hatched, she had plenty of choice. However, it didn’t take her long to find the one she wanted, stopping before a pale and washed out looking young man. Kip! Am Kisk. Hungry. Feed me?

As if Kisk’s choice was a signal, another three eggs broke open at the same time, a bronze from the egg with the dragon shaped mark, a brown from the lumpy crowned egg, and a blue from the littlest egg. The blue and the bronze were white marked like their dam, while the brown seemed fairly normal. The trio looked at one another across the remaining eggs and then bolted in different directions.

The blue seemed to know exactly where he wanted to go, weaving between the candidates to approach a particular young woman. Hiveca! Am Hivesk. Show pretty? Then food?

The brown was less certain than his brother. He knew what he wanted, but not where to find it, taking his time about walking among the candidates looking up into each face before coming using on the next. As he passed by one group of the candidates the brown paused, one paw still lifted for his next step. There was a tug on his mind, and he suddenly knew where he needed to be. Whirling, he went back to the small knot of candidates, weaving through them to find a candidate standing just behind them. Talwyn hide, but Talsk find He announced, eyes whirling with pleased rainbows as he settled at the young woman’s feet.

The bronze was positively sedate in comparison to the other hatchlings, proceeding at a slow pace to seek his person. Meanwhile three more eggs broke open, a green, a copper and a purple entering the chaos. They needed little encouragement to get to their feet and the green headed to the candidates without an issue. The Purple however seemed more curious about the rest of the sands than the people waiting for it, and headed jauntily towards the other clutch, before being warned off by Cassisk and sent skittering back towards the humans.

The copper seemed content to just among the shattered remains the clutch, with only the largest egg still whole, though the dark cracks which riddled it suggested it wouldn’t remain that way for long. Still, the copper seemed to bask in the attention of the watching humans and Dragonkin. She was taking her time, brushing away what she could of the sand which stuck to her golden striped hide, then spreading one dark edged wing to carefully groom it. Only when she felt herself to be suitably presentable did she finally give in to her dam’s urging and begin to move. However she disdained the clustered groups of candidates, turning away from them and towards where the spectators watched from.

Am Ousk Her voice was clear as she stopped at the foot of the stairs and looked up at three particularly enthusiastic watchers. Ousk needs fed, clean. Frou, Dou, Chou come down now The chattering woman immediately came rushing down, cooing over the small copper and bundling her off to where the buckets of meat were waiting for them.

That not end well The Bronze said as he came to a top beside Hvar, watching the three disguised raptor queens fussing over their new friend. Am Hvarsk. Will help- His words were cut off as his green sister came barreling into his side. Not bond without me! She cried out Hvar, Hvarsk not leave Hvask behind! Hvar quickly moved to reassure her than they weren’t going to leave her behind at all.

Warned away from wandering the sands too much, the purple seemed content now to search among the candidates, seeking the mind which was most compatible with their own. Fortunately, it didn’t take long for them to find the right one, the purple stopping before a particularly young man. Puissar wait for Puissask. Will see all the thing, but together now He, for the voice and mind we’re definitely male, seemed to have an unusually strong grasp of language for a baby wher as he looked up at his chosen.

Finally only one egg remained, and with all their siblings bonded, it seemed the largest egg finally felt it was their time to shine. It broke open with a loud snapping crack of sound, falling in two pieces around a bright silver form. The silver surveyed their surrounds with a calm green eye, glancing back to look at her dam, eyeing the woman who stood at Kaemalisk’s side, before turning back to the candidates. Whispers filled the stands and wove among the candidates. Any larger wher was considered a boon, and bets were being quietly exchanged as to the gender and nature of this silver. A common male? An ordinary high ranked female? Or was this one of the rare Queen-silvers? Only time would tell for sure.

The silver began to walk towards the candidates, but their progress was suddenly halted with a yelp as a sharp shard of eggshell sliced one of their front paws. The silver stopped and sat, lifting their paw to look at the injury. The wound was small and shallow, but those at the front of the group could see ichor staring to well up.

Kalwoel The silver seemed to know exactly who she wanted, and her voice was the light chiming of bells as she called for her bonded. Kalwosk need help The pale blond came hurrying forward, his flits circling around them, followed more sedately by one of the older healers. It was the work of moments to wrap a simple bandage around Kalwosk’s paw so she could be safely brought to the edge of the sands and fed before being given a more thorough examination.

And with the last bond made, the hatching was over. The unsuccessful candidates filed out of the sands, while the spectators disappeared off to bed or start their day as needed. Kaemali, Kaemalisk and Kaemask waited until everyone was gone before leaving themselves, all three feeling very pleased at this highly successful first clutch.

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