Cruel is a Matter of Perspective

Xanadu Weyr - DragonHealer's Annex

An entrance way which would allow admittance to even the greatest of Queen Dragons leads into a chamber which would house half-a-dozen of the same size. To one side is a shallow pool which constantly clears itself of grime and is used is washing wounds. Nearby is a shelf with a generous supply of clean bandages and clean sheets upon stone shelves. The other side of the chamber is taken up by an alcove with multiple banks of computers to house medical records and help to diagnose illness and injury in the Dragons who come for aid. Within this alcove is a small medical laboratory where medicines and herbs can be prepared and experiments can take place. The far wall houses two dozen Dragon couches, each separated above by a rail which supports a thick curtain allowing the patients an option of privacy as they rest and recover.

The eggs are due to hatch any day now. The caverns already starting to fill with the family of the candidates. Seven eggs rest out in the cavern while one still resides in the incubator of the Annex. Candidates have still been brought to it in hopes that it might still hatch, might still impress. It looking no more developed than a one month old egg and not the three months it should be. The candidates have reporting some sensations from it but not as strong as the other eggs and seeming to lessen as the days pass. The junior is sitting next to the incubator watching over the egg, her fingers pressed to the glass outside despite its probably warmth and there is a look of strain upon her features and the look of one who has far too many sleepless nights of late.

Ur'con comes in quietly, his voice carrying a little ahead of him, "Darlth says Sahazyth says that she's in with the last egg…in here…" Like the goldrider wouldn't know the way to the incubation unit? But he's been in and out of the Annex a lot, since the commotion began…as if he felt he knew the way far too well. "Ah…there you are, Briana…I was going to go and grab some food…" And look who he brought with him…that'd be Thea, yeah? Yeah.

There's a quiet murmur of an answer as the sound of bootheels click on the polished concrete flooding announcing the arrival of the pair. The words, unintelligible at first, growing more audible as they draw near can be recognized as Thea's words "…worries too much. She needs a vacation after this I'm thinking." Outside the rain still drizzles down, if the moisture beaded on the Weyrwoman's flight jacket is any indication of the weather. "Ah Briana. Egg-sitting are you?" She tries to make it light.

At the approach of the voices, Briana lifts her reddened hand from the glass and rises to greet Ur'con and the Weyrwoman. There is a salute for the woman and she nods, "Yes Ma'am…well..I just don't want it to be alone." Oh perhaps she is empathizing with this odd one out a bit much. She looks back to the egg for a moment before looking back to Thea and the bronzerider, shifting to stand closer to the man. "Darlth has been great at keeping Sahazyth settled." She says with a quiet tone to her voice.

Ur'con smiles, a sidelong sort of expression, and one more built out of sympathy than any humor for the moment. "Darlth is a calming sort….he's kept me out of trouble." It's a quiet demuring, as he comes close…but lets Thea have the stage, as it were. "Any change in it, lass?"

Thea returns Briana's salute, mouth curving in a kind smile for the junior's reply, "That's understandable, but surely we can rotate Candidates to sit with it, if that's a concern to you. Maybe a few gold firelizards as well." Her comment ends in an up-tick, brows lifting questioningly, a wordless 'would that work for you?' One hand reaches to give Briana's shoulder a reassuring pat. "While I'm sure Darlth is helping, your queen needs you to help her remain calm. And you need her. Hatching's can be stressful enough without adding exhaustion to it." There's no admonishment, however, simply gentle concern. She focuses on the egg then, very much interested to hear the update on it.

Briana shakes her head at the question of the egg, "Not really. With the shell still soft and the weakening voice…They don't think it will hatch, and if it does it won't last long outside. So I don't know what to do Thea. If it does hatch, I don't want it to be alone but if it is gonna die, its cruel for a candidate to impress to it. There have been another suggestion, but I just…I am not ready for that yet." Briana says as she looks up to Ur'con and extends a hand to the older man. He no doubt knowing what that choice is as he offered to do it for her. She looks back to Thea and nods, "Yes, I owe it to Sahazyth and the other eggs to be out there…I just.." She starts before shaking her head and looking at the egg.

Ur'con is soft, as he reaches out and takes the young goldrider's hand with the care of a favorite uncle. It's a soft gesture, even gentlemanly, as he gives her soft fingers a squeeze. "You owe it to yourself too, Briana…to rest. You aren't doing you or your lifemate a whit of good…fretting in here. What will be will be…and your worrying won't change it…the egg will hatch, or it won't."

Over the top of Briana's head, Thea sends a meaningful look at the clutchsire's rider. It's likely she can discern what that choice is and she simply nods to that. "No one is going to rush you on that, Briana," she promises quietly before falling silent for several beats. Then slowly, she notes, "If it does hatch, though. We cannot very well deny it Impression. Wouldn't you think that would be just as cruel?" Her voice is impartial, weighing the two outcomes equally. Leaving unspoken the words to create the picture of a hatchling, weak and helpless, terrified at not finding the one it seeks, calling but receiving no answer…

Briana nods to Thea "Yeah, I thought of that as well. Its cruel either way…and part of me thinks that it would be best to go between, but another part is…well wants to hope that it will be alright. Like a runt in a litter, if they can survive the birth they …hardy up after a time." There is moisture in her eyes as she glances to the egg and she takes a slow deep breath, squeezing Ur'con's hand. Despite her current behavior, well it has been good to have this older rider around. It has no doubt kept her more sane than she might have otherwise been.

Ur'con chuckles a bit, but suggests, "Why don't you go see your poor gold before she turns white from lack of you…and we'll worry about this egg later. You need some food, I think, and some sleep…I can keep an eye in here…" He glances at Thea; he's a foreign rider, so really he's got no say about the Candidates themselves. Or leaving them to tend the sport egg. "And I'll be happy to bring you something. Darlth'll bring her something, if she's of a mind to eat."

Gently agreeing to the cruelty, "Life is like that sometimes." Her eyes drift over to the computers where a lone dragonhealer sits clicking the keys, perhaps entering data or perhaps conferring with someone at Landing over supplies. After a thoughtful pause, she says, "When the time comes to make your decision, I'm sure you'll put the creature's best interests before your own wishes." She falls silent when Ur'con speaks, nodding support for his suggestion. "Tomorrow, you could see if Sahazyth wants to come have a peek while Darlth guards her clutch?"

Briana nods to the older riders, releasing Ur'con's hand to go touch the glass of the incubator again. "It will be alright little one." She takes a breath and looks over to the Dragonhealers. "When the other eggs start, can you bring this one out to the sands to be with them. I do not want it alone and we need to give it a chance to impress to our candidates if it is meant to do so." She says with a lift of her head, looking a bit more weyrwomanly in that moment. "Ok…" She gives another salute to Thea and heads out to the sands and her lifemate.

Thea's lips part to say something when that request is made, but she just closes them, leaving her own thoughts unspoken. Lifting a hand, she returns her junior's salute automatically, pale gaze following the girl out. When she is gone, she gives a tiny headshake and a long sigh. "I hope she doesn't regret that decision." As for her, she's got grave misgivings if the expression on her face is anything to go by.

Ur'con offers a sturdy, but sympathetic smile back at the Senior, "She's a young woman…we all do things we regret when we're young." He chuckles, "Sahazyth strikes me as strong enough to handle it." He takes a breath, and looks at the small, soft egg…as if he'd will it to get harder just by staring at it. Behave, you…or else! Don't break the little girl's heart!

Almost grimly, the weyrwoman's reply is, "It's neither Sahazyth nor her rider I'm worried about handling it. It's the young person who might Impress it that concerns me. And the creature within that might suffer a great deal before-" She bites that off with a long breath out and another headshake. "And though I could probably order it taken *Between*, D'son and I think she needs to make this decision and live with it. Because Faranth knows it's harder sometimes living with the ones others make for you!" Those words are heartfelt, spoken from her own bitter experience by the tone of them. Her lips form a reluctant smile. "Thank you for being so supportive of her. You're a rock, Ur'con."

Ur'con chuckles a little, "No, lass." Um. He just addressed the Senior as 'lass', "I'm just as scared as she is…but I've got a bit more frost on the roof, if you catch my meaning. She'll be fine…and that is a hard lesson to learn." He takes a breath, "I doubt it'd hatch…don't worry too much. You can't change a damned thing worrying; I keep telling her that too."

Thea lifts a forefinger and waggles it with mock-admonishment, attempting to look severe but behind it sea green eyes are dancing. "You sound like my weyrmate! He's always telling me not to worry. It's ironic, isn't it - that the things you worry about turn out fine and the things you don't come back to bite you unexpectedly in the rear end?" As for that egg, she isn't unkind when she says bluntly, "I hope it doesn't hatch! Because to lose a dragon when the rider is barely a teenager…" Her voice trails off, dark brows lower menacingly at the flaccid shell as if to say, 'don't dare do it!'

Ur'con chuckles, "That's the idea…now. How about I go get some food for Briana, and see if Darlth can coax that golden beast of hers to eat with a freshly killed ram or two."

Thea stops glaring at the poor egg, slides a look over Ur'con's way and nods gratefully, "Please do. I'm sure the pair of them could use a good meal." As for her, she steps away to where that dragonhealer is to have a word with her and the two are soon in deep conversation.

Ur'con nods his head, and sketching a polite salute, exits…to make himself useful in the time that's left before the inevitable! Hatching.

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