settled over the bowl of Fire Ridge Weyr. A stiff wind blew in from the south, whipping the banners of the silver gates that
guarded the entrance. A white dragon glided in from the west; sleepily the blue
watchdragon warbled a greeting. The white trilled in return then veered off towards
the Queens weyr. Galaxiath met the pair as they landed, warbling uncertainly
at the whiteriders anger. Darkwinds yellow eyes flashed as she entered the weyr. She walked into the Records room, where Copper and Ltrel could usually be found, presiding
over their kingdom of papers. Copper looked up and smiled tiredly at the shapechangers
entrance, then frowned when she saw Darkwinds expression. Stardancer, what happened
Darkwind? she said, her shoulders sagging. The Lord Holder Neithro has passed on, his son in law, Cordello, is the new Lord.
She said bitterly. Basically everyone who was not human had heard of Cordello, the big bigot was well known for his hatred
of non-humans. Shards. Ltrel hissed and Copper visibly sank. Five elves and a
Celerien have already been imprisoned, they are in no danger because of their
political immunity but there are always assassins. Copper shuddered and put her head down on the desk. Then she stood abruptly. I will deal with him tomorrow. Right now, I must sleep. She paused and listened
to her gold. Sighing she looked at Darkwind. Or I will, Darkwind, please go tend to your white. The celerien looked startled.
Why? Copper shook her head, she is more then just white right now, and shes upsetting my queen. Darkwind cursed fluently in
elvish. Ltrel raised one eyebrow at her. Now? Why NOW! Outside Aphelionth bugled angrily as Copper raced out of her own weyr.
Galaxiath was on the ledge, staying as far away from the white as possible. Darkwind followed Ltrel when the Weyrleader bid
her come with a motion of his hand. Remember your lessons Darkwind. Halfbreed though she is, Aphelionth will have the same
drives as any other rising female. DO NOT LET HER FEED! Ltrel emphasized this with a shake of Darkwinds shoulders. The shapechanger
nodded mutely, looking at her dragon with oddly detached eyes. I understand, but does she?
once fiery, yet loving white dragon was gone, no this was some sort of demon. Aphelionth rose on her hind legs and bugled,
six males answered with varying degrees of readiness and excitement. Moonlight reflecting on white hide and silver horns made
Aphelionth into a small moon herself. A dragon of the stars and worthy of the Stardancer Herself. Darkwind watched as her
partner took off towards the feeding grounds, barely noticed as Ltrel boosted her onto the neck of his bronze Raelynth, nodding
at his whispered assurances and encouragement. He left her at the fence to the grounds, then remounted and disappeared, probably
to find his mate. Find his mate, yeah, who would want a shapechanger and a bastard halfbreed? Darkwind noticed that
several of the male riders kept there distance. Yet who they were was lost to the raven haired wild elf as Aphelionth caught
her riders thoughts. Who wouldnt want us Darkwind? You forget! I am a white, and half Eienic! Unique to this world and
untamable! The last was directed to the humming males surrounding her. The scent of herdbeast came to her and with a hiss
of greed she pounced on one, her head hovering over the steaming entrails she could smell but not see clearly. Blood
it only! Darkwind yelled, allowing all of her pent up frustrations and anger color her voice and add force to her
command. The white dragon snarled and locked wills with her rider, her eyes whirling red,
the black slit that also marked her as Eienic barely visible. Blood only if you wish to fly! Flight, yes that
sounded right. Aphelionth relented and noisily suck the carcass dry of blood. Her
blood coursing through her veins the white straightened, she eyed the males and snapped at one when the brown got to close.
Silence descended and Darkwind reveled in the welcome stillness, calling to mind the thick forest of night that had been her
home. Suddenly the dragon vanished, using the forgotten magic of he ancestors to teleport high up in the air. The males howled
and bugled before launching themselves, trying vainly to reach her. Darkwind threw her head back, letting the wind of the
many wings whip her hair around as she became the white dragoness.
They sure hadnt expected that little trick! Aphelionth snorted derisively and
hastened her flight. If none had bothered to truly understand her then none were worthy of her or her rider. She looked back
casually and took note of who led, a brown, Flortath if her memory served her. She snorted again and disappeared into the
clouds, letting them conceal her movements as she decided. Unlike those lusty, stupid females Aphelionth would not be tricked,
she would be won, and the white wanted this very clear to the males below.
Though brown Flortath had the lead, he noticed that some contenders were missing.
Finding this odd her looked all around, and was startled as a white shape hurtled past from a concealing cloud. He thought
it was Aphelionth but when the dragon turned he realized his mistake to late. A whip like tail stung his eyes and his right
wing. Defeated he spiraled to the comfort of his rider and a jug of numbweed. Nardirth snorted at the browns departure and
bugled his challenge to the other males. A giant silver growled in his throat and angled his wings to bring his close to the
white male. Aphelioth watched with interest from above as a bronze and another brown drew close to the white male.
Nardirth watched with apprehension as the other challengers drew closer to him.
Silver Valieanth growled again and lashed out with sharp talons. Nardirth ducked and dove, looking back and hovering as the
silvers claws racked the sides of brown Lyventh. The bronze had dove as well
while the brown attacked the silver with vicious intent. Nardirth arrowed away,
bronze Arath following him. They heard a ripping sound and turned back to see that Valieanth had torn some membrane on his
wingsail. Brown Lyventh, though unscathed, spiraled down, helping the injured
silver to land. Nardirth snorted at the show, knowing that if his competitors kept attacking each other this flight was as
good as won! Up ahead Aphelionth hovered, totally concealed. She watched the white avoid the others and considered. Suddenly
she felt eyes on her and realized her cover was blown. She roared in anger as a marble shape slammed into her, You bumbling
idiot! Khuzudth rumbled in surprise and backed off, then realized what he had done. Aphelionth screamed and teleported
away, wishing she knew invisibility. Only she appeared right in front of Nardirth and Arath.
The bronze roared in surprise while the white took advantage of her momentary surprise, latching onto her, neck twinning
with hers. In a panic she teleported higher, taking them both away from the others. Nardirth only jerked a little in surprise
but other wise remained calm. Aphelionth resisted his attempts to lock talons, trying vainly to escape. I will not be caught!
She yelled to the skies. No, you will be earned, turn my lovely white beauty. He said gently, spreading his wings to
slow their descent. She turned her head slightly and regarded the male. How? How did you know? Nardirth only chuckled,
gently turning her around, locking talons. You made that very clear by staying out of sight and using every advantage you
had. Come my beauty, let us fly and show the rest who has won! Their wings beating rhythmically they soared into a cloud,
visible briefly to the two remaining males, who spiraled down to the comfort of their riders.