D'kan, E'bert, Linny, Mayte, M'ren (NPCed by Veresch), Tasna, Trek, Veresch


Threadfall over Katz arrives out of place, and ends up complicated and costly.


It is evening of the sixteenth day of the eleventh month of the first turn of the 12th pass.


Katz Field

OOC Date


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Katz Field

A minor hold, situated above Igen's Toe, right where the green belt stops. To the north, verdant, grassy fields. To the south, golden desert. The sea shimmers in the distance.

The wings, amassed: barely enough to meet the scourge that is sure to come any second. Four days previously, the fall at South Telgar Hold injured too many, and left the wings ragged, just-just intact enough to meet the ancient enemy. Today's fall at Katz Field Hold, near Igen's toe, has been planned to a fare-thee-well by the wingleaders to compensate, and they've appeared from between a little early, with the last of the afternoon sun. Below them, on the ground, the groundcrews gather as well, uneasily aware that they might have additional pressure today.

M'ren, rider of green Hielth, one of the older riders, sits assured on his dragon's neck, wrapped up tight in protective leather and goggles. Though his face is hidden, there's tension to the set of his shoulders, tension put there by the fact that his weyrmate had been injured by a freak cluster in the last fall. Making sure the initial sack of precious firestone is tied on tightly, he reaches out to pat his green's sage neck lovingly and tries to ignore the tension spreading through the wings.

Veresch, recently back from Igen Hold, is standing towards the edge of the ground crew, is checking over the old firethrower assigned to her with a little rill of tension running through her frame. Her expression is remote, bruised jaw set, but the motion of her hands betray her anger with each too-precise, neat movement. Then, wrestling the heavy thing on her back and tightening the straps, she tilts her head back to look at the distant arrows of the wings far above her.

Seated on the neck of his brown lifemate, E'bert watches the skies. Firestone having already been fed to Karkath, both now wait for the ancient enemy to fall. The eerie silence of his lifemate's mind keeps E'bert calm in the face of what he knows is coming. Karkath keeps himself firmly in place with a mimimum of effort. They've been working together for long enough that there is no longer any nervous jitters between them. Only a grim determination to erradicate the Thread before it can do any damage below.

Double checking, perhaps even triple checking, straps is Linny, looking all the smaller beside Kaelidyth, her flamethrower at her feet. The goldrider isn't looking particularly thrilled to be there, but more methodical, serious, focused. Dark eyes are only on her dragon, not chit chatting with anyone close by, trying to get her game face on. A deep exhale, and she steps away from the gold, lips pursed as she looks her over, and subtly at first, her head starts nodding before it's very noticeably bobbing up and down. Finally, her flamethrower is grabbed and slung over her shoulder, only then pausing to glance around to see who has gathered.

Mayte is there, along with Linny. Her gently used flamethrower is prepped and ready to go, while Mayte fiddles with a knob. Haha, knob. No, not funny right now: Mayte has her game-face on. She's waiting with Mirage, while her fellow Weyrlings are clustered over in Mosaic form under the command of Majel. A couple of times, Mayte straightens her helmet, while Rhiscorath is busy STARING at whatever Threat she can see. Studying. Calculating.

D'kan and Kazavoth have been tossed in with one of the other wings, filling some of the gaps left by the last Threadfall. Still so new to the Weyr, though, it's not that different a hurdle from flying with Whirlwind. The brown rider checks in with his temporary wingleader, then jogs back to Kaz to finish loading the last of the firestone. As he climbs to the brown's shoulders, Kazavoth announces to the others present (dragons and humans alike), « Such a lovely evening to burn such uselessness from the skies! » There is a mental and literal kick from D'kan, after which Kaz knocks it down a few decibels and adds to the dragons only, « Why do we sit here like herdbeasts? Are we not dragons? »

There, the signal is given by 'leaders to pop into the sky as the candle-mark ticks over, warned by the watchdragon left at the Weyr — to the skies, to the skies! Up in the sky, as wings vane idly to keep dragons in place, a small, but noticeable breeze starts up, tickling at the senses and the body. Then another flick, from a different direction, not a good start. Finally: there, prompted by instinct and the sight of an unusually keen-eyed young rider posted at the tip of the Toe on a whim: the first ribbons of Thread start to hiss and fall entirely out of place, miles from where it had been predicted to first uncurl. The wings receive the news in one shattering blast from Valiuth, relayed through to each leader and second — can the riders and their dragons meet it in time to buy the groundcrews enough time to catch up?

M'ren, barely getting into place in Arroyo's ranks up in the sky, has just started feeding his sage-hued partner the first of many rounds of firestone, conserving as much as possible, and Hielth chews slowly and stolidly as the wing starts to form around her. The news of the mis-predicted 'fall shivers through their frames like a visible wave; up ahead, with much mental cursing and angry roaring from the dragons, the defenders start winking out to shift the battle front, with a « Get them over here right damn now! Wings, get the visual and shift position!» roaring down mental links from the leaders of the 'fall. M'ren's hand tightens on the straps, and they disappear from the skies, flicking back into reality so far away they're no more than tiny specks in the afternoon sky.

Kazavoth is ready! So very ready. Flying, flying… flying. « Oooh, you blues are fast, » he tells some of his temporary wingmates, though soon enough his larger wings bring him past the little buggers. Oh right. Different position, with another mental prod from D'kan. But then they're all out of position? What gives? Flight by flight, the wings begin blinking into ::between::, taking their precious eight seconds to skip to the new location, buffeted by the uncertain winds.

Karkath surges towards the falling menace of Thread along with the rest of Arroyo. It's good to send a gout of flame towards the silvery strands. Karkath's calm, silent stillness flows back towards Arroyo's lead in answer as he gets the visual and shifts over, « We fly, » is his reply. Quiet, calm, aggravating to some.

"Stay by me." Yes, Linny is suddenly talking to Mayte, sounding more serious than the weyrling perhaps has ever seen her before. "I'll cover you as much as I can. Just…don't go doing anything stupid, alright?" There's a little tick of a grin that's gone so quickly if Mayte blinked, she probably missed it. The goldrider closes the distance between them to give her a little hug, a clout on the back, a "Good luck,", and then Linny's off striding towards Kaelidyth, quickly and easily climbing up and getting settled in, once more nervously checking and rechecking herself. But there's not too much time for her to obsess over things before Kaelidyth springs into the sky, Linny turning to make sure Mayte and Rhiscorath are close behind. "C'mon!" comes right before they follow suit with everyone else to quickly race to the new location.

The signal given, Mayte is ready to mount, but Linny gave her a sneak hug! The girl blinks at Linny as she's released but nods seriously: "Fly safe," is her own return. She's quick onto Rhiscorath's back and following Mirage into the air, the young gold's own peculiar gliding technique suited to reaching this new site. They're so quiet that they could possibly be trying to sneak up on the Thread. Surprise!

Well… damn. All loaded up and apparently entirely at the wrong place, Veresch has no idea of what's going on at all, beyond the sudden angry tension that runs through all the riders and their lifemates. Why is everyone disappearing? Hello? Is there still a fall? Her body jerks at a "Get on the dragons!" roared out by Majel — who knew her friend could be so loud? It's chaos and confusion as the groundcrew almost stampedes the poor weyrling wing, before the 'crew leaders start shouting and sorting them into neat lines. Luckily she's one of the ones to get a first-go seat, stationed on a periwinkle blue, and they hop up, wings for height and disappears all before she can get in a word.

At first, Kanyith and Trek are at the head of Arroyo wing. As soon as the message comes from Valiuth, though, Trek passes off the lead to E'bert and Karkath. They'll be fine! As the weyrling wing's mentors, though, someone has to take that lead, so Trek has the young dragons gather near the ground crews. Time to regroup. Orders are called to the humans, while others are passed along via Kanyith, and the weyrlings (sans Mayte) begin helping ground crew members up to their dragons' shoulders.

Arrival at the real site of the fall is not pretty. The patchwork wings start filling in, barely fast enough to be in place before the leading edge of the silvery Thread. For a moment all is chaos, a perceptible clench of tension. Though the younger riders are as yet unused to reading such a leading edge, those older riders, and particularly those from the oldtime, can see from the way it's falling that it's going to be a bad one. Almost immediately the queens have their work cut out for them, as the first spinners of silvery ropes are already way below the altitude the normal wings can reach, spinning hither and yon in the cross-current winds.

A delicate spiderweb of Thread looms before Kaelidyth, waiting to ensnare her.

Twirling around like some spiraling child's toy, a group of Threads spin dizzyingly down past Rhiscorath.

A writhing knot of Thread descends above Kazavoth.

A large chunk of Thread falls near Karkath, fanning out as if to ensnare him.

And like that E'bert finds himself and Karkath at the head of Arroyo. Aggravatingly calm, Karkath flames the falling Thread as it fans past him. He's quick to blink ::Between:: as needed while continuing to monitor those behind him in the wing.

Kazavoth lets loose a wide fan of flame almost the moment he reappears in the new spot from ::between::. It is accompanied by a crowing sound across the mental link, but thankfully he keeps it honed in to just the temporary wing. Lucky them. The Thread is turned to dust, but as it clears, they're met by another clump of tangled, deathly silver. With a shout from D'kan, the brown pair skips between, reappearing a moment later only to again roar out a burst of flame. This is going to be a tough one, all right. On the upside, it means Kazavoth is less chatty.

Instantly, Linny's got that sick feeling in her gut that this was, in fact, a bad idea. Couldn't she have said she had a very important meeting to say she had to go to? At the sight of Thread in front of her, Kaelidyth quickly maneuvers to the side as Linny hits it with her flamethrower, able to get some of it, but not all of it, leaving the rest for the groundcrews as they continue on, large wings beating quickly and tucking when necessary to weave in and out as Linny flames what she can, and when possible, she checks back over her shoulder to make sure Mayte is still all right. Gotta keep an eye on her Sister.

Linny receives a slight score on the upper back!

Barely in time to the actual fall area, M'ren and Hielth go into action, providing a point of stability for the riders around them. Flaming, falling, soaring, Hielth carves out a little clear space for the rest of the riders to congregate in; then, diving like an arrowhead forward at direction of E'bert. Down below, Veresch scrambles to get off the blue, and hits the ground running, already pumping the 'thrower's handle like crazy as the 'crew leader drives them forward to get to the first burrows. Luckily, they're on the edge of the desert, moving in more deeply; there's not much green for the moment.

Kanyith lands quickly below the flights of dragons with barely enough time to let the ground crew folks dismount. The second they're clear, the blue leaps into the air, flying straight underneath Kaelidyth to catch a bit of missed Thread. It's one strand, at least, the crew below won't have to find. Leaving those with the flamethrowers to do what they do best, Kanyith and Trek blink into ::between::, reappearing with the rest of Arroyo, though
Trek leaves E'bert and Karkath at the front.

Right behind Linny's the safest place, right? Mayte is watching the strange Threadfall with a set frown, and she's quick to set out a few licks of flame to char any strange thread that has fallen between dragons. And in the brief second of quiet, Mayte looks up just in time to see Linny get Threadscore: She pumps her flamethrower a few extra times and burns the next globs of Thread past her with a little extra vengeance. Die, you ill-mannered rapscallion!! From there, Mayte continues to fight, teeth gritted and head steaming. Her jaw will hurt later.

A rider screams, a dragon roars out her fury: a little green, one 'sail scored through-and-through by Thread signals the start of contrary, shifting winds. Suddenly the air is the enemy as well, with winds strong enough to pluck the smallest pairs straight out of formations, the sure sign of a sandstorm starting soon. Those in the know predict it might hit just before nightfall; this, the precursor winds, sting and whip and scourge at the defenders as well, making it difficult to see the raggedy strands increase in number to approximate tattered, moth-worn curtains. It causes havoc in well-trained ranks as the smaller greens start being plucked back and forth, without enough mass to compensate, and even the blues start to feel it.

A group of Threads fall past Kaelidyth, one after another, plodding downward with mindless determination.

A delicate spiderweb of Thread drops alongside Kazavoth.

A knotted tangle of Thread slips past Karkath, writhing in hungry eagerness to reach the ground below.

"Mother fu—" Thankfully, that statement from Linny gets cut off as they flash ::between::, quickly reappearing closer to the ground, but ever stubborn, the goldrider shakes her head, obviously in mental conversation with Kaelidyth. "I'm fine. Keep going!" is shouted through gritted teeth, sneaking a glance over her shoulder at her back. Yeah, it's gonna hurt later, but it's too early to wuss out now. And really, it only gives Linny more tenacity to fight the bastard that did that to her back, and so when the group falls near them, Kaelidyth dives to chase after it, and with flamethrower at the ready, Lin burns the whole damn bunch, before they quickly change course to fly after another batch.

In the Thread-choked air, it's physically impossible to find clear spaces now as the 'fall thickens, churns in the air. It's a stomach-wrenching sight, the twined, disgusting tangle of doom that rains down on poor Pern, leaving no end in sight. Another score, then two, then three; M'ren is too used to this to panic, but chance is against him today — as Hielth ducks around another green blown directly into their path, her rider looks around to estimate clearances and gets a huge tangle right in the face, right on the edge of a blue's failure to get the whole clump as his fire is pushed awry. There's a single pained shriek from a thing with no face, and Hielth skips Between. They do not skip out again.

From Karkath's neck, E'bert receives a slight score on the hip!

Flame after flame after flame, Kazavoth roars his fury at the Thread, reloading on firestone with every single pass. With every single pair that drops out, the formations need to keep changing, adding occasional confusion to an already difficult 'fall. Just as one wing gets their shape figured out, another gets blasted by Thread. Instinct makes people clump, but that brings the danger of friendly fire. Literally. Kazavoth shrieks his fury at the dragon behind him, nearly caught by the tangle that almost clips his wing before D'kan forces him to skip ::between::.

Veresch will complete that curse for you, Linny. "..ucker!" she screams out as, barely an inch beyond her nose, a missed tendril hisses down onto the ground. She dances back just in time to get clear, but has to dance back again to avoid another searing jet of fire from another of the crew. Grimacing, she does the only thing she can, turn to point and click: a huge gout meets its match in her, and she winces as the ash starts to fall heavily around them.

A school of silvery Threads surround Linny, darting this way and that as the wind buffets them.

A ropy clot of Thread sinks, almost lifelessly, past D'kan.

A long white tendril of Thread tumbles like a dandelion past D'kan, twirling downward towards the ground.

From Karkath's neck, E'bert growls at the sudden pain in his hip as he and Karkath skip ::Between::. Once back Karkath flames the next clump to fall too close even as he wraps E'bert's mind in that calm stillness that is his mindvoice, or lack thereof to be more precise. There is more to flame, and this becomes their only task. Flame, skip, repeat.

Wheeling end over end across Karkath's flightpath, a ring of Thread spins its way down towards the greenery below.

Thread sheets and writhes down on the defenseless planet, strewn like beautiful, unsightly necklaces to drape across fertile earth. In clumps it falls so thick that there is nothing but argent, writhing doom across a sky with waning light. Wings flicker and dart, hard-pressed by the heavy fall, with pairs tiring and dropping like flies, spent utterly. Above, with the hissing it makes in ever-increasing winds, Thread is a strong, full curtain now, glittering like an ill omen. Then, to cap off the miserable timing of this whole fall, a shout starts rallying through minds. « Dust storm! Dust storm! » shrieks one of the nervous, falling Weyrlings, referring to the wall of brown that explains the uneasy winds. This one rolls off from deep desert, pushing thundering winds in front of it, enough to play havoc with the smaller wings, and starting to affect the smaller browns.

'Scores or not, Trek has no choice but to keep the more mildly injured right where they are. Kanyith checks in with each of Arroyo's dragons periodically, checking in as he can, but the chances are few and far between. After a shout from Trek, the blue relays instructions to Karkath and the others to spread out. The wind is playing too much havoc, Mirage and the ground crews will just have to do what they can. Kanyith's last flame splutters out as he runs short on firestone. With a last word to Karkath that they need to tag out, Trek nearly catches her own bundle of Thread to the face before Kanyith blinks ::between::, just in the nick of time.

E'bert blinks towards the dust storm even as Karkath reaches his stillness towards the panicked Weyrlings, « Calm, » is urged by the brown as he reinforces that with the near sensory depriving presence of his mind.

"Faranth. Seriously?" This stuff seems out to get them. Linny purses her lips together and urges Kaelidyth on as they continue in their Thread destruction. Just as soon as she gets one, there's another one waiting on the other side, and then another one about to fall on top of them. Senses on alert, heart pounding in her ears, it's surprising how nimble and quick the large gold can be, but Kaelidyth turns on a dime to race after a patch before Linny disintegrates it. Even though it didn't work out well for her last time, she turns, briefly, to check on Mayte, and sensing all is well there, the pair continue their path of destruction.

The fall seems insanely thick to the crew on the ground, as they're kept hopping to fill the spots that the battling riders can't get to. Veresch is kept hopping with the rest of them, darting around to sop up the last bits that fall through the wings. As the dragons start spreading wider and wider, her life turns into a little hell-hole — difficult to imagine what it's like for Mirage.

A long snaking filament of Thread kites past Kaelidyth, fluttering as it sails downward.

A silvery clump of Thread tumbles downwards towards Kazavoth.

A tangled mass of Thread tumbles on the winds, spinning close to Karkath in its fall.

« Late to the party as ever, » scathes an ash-dusted Kazavoth as he curses both the Thread and the nearing sandstorm in one cynical burst of thought, this one broadcast more than loudly enough to reach the crews below. D'kan is too busy trying to feed the brown more firestone to keep him in check. They barely manage in time for Kaz to seer the nearest clump on his left, only to have to dive to the right to catch another web of Thread before it hits a wingmate. With tired dragons dropping out, fresh dragons blink in to replace them, only to be met by the horror the wearying dragons have been facing. Shouts from riders are carried off by the erratic winds, overshadowed by the roar of flames.

Karkath relays the orders from Trek to the rest of the wing, « We are to spread out, » and he suits action to words. The brown is still doing the flame, skip, repeat routine. E'bert urges Karkath to the right just a little, trying to avoid the Thread while flaming at the same time.

Overhead, the airspace is chaos, filled with floating and fluttering Thread that sheets between the wings. Ash chokes the air, the heat from screaming flame is incredible, and the defenders so hard-pressed that mistakes are bound to occur. Towards the dusk, the sky starts to bleed red, an ominous sign of things to come. Thread doesn't fall at night … right? The winds increase in strength, affecting even the strongest of browns and bronzes; on the distant horizon an ominous brown wall shows clearly now. Rescue is at hand… if they can last about a 'mark to get to it.

A long, thin strand of Thread descends stealthily, slipping silently past Kaelidyth in its downward fall.

A mirrorlike pane of Thread suddenly appears before Kazavoth, reflecting him image back in eerie silvery distortion.

A seething mass of Thread plummets out of the sky in front of Kazavoth.

A sheeting ribbon of Thread cascades downwards, tumbling past Karkath with silent grace.

Linny receives a deep score on the hand!

Below, some of the weyrling riders have been called to help as the ground crew fights to keep any potentially burrowing Thread at bay. Acting as much as the crew's eyes and ears as they are extra flames for Thread that reaches the ground, several of the young dragons who can't withstand the wind can be seen adding their own flames here and there, waddling carefully so as not to step on any humans with the flame machines. The larger ones are still set with the task of delivering firestone, though it's a dicey task today. Tasna and Tseylath nearly get caught by two colliding webs of Thread before they skip between, reappearing seconds later to finish their delivery. Is nowhere safe today?

From Karkath's neck, E'bert receives a severe score on the chest!

A scream of rage from Karkath is given as he goes ::Between::, and ultimately back to the Weyr. A silent, stillness spins towards Kazavoth, « We must return, » and then the pair are gone. It will remain to be seen what happens with his rider.

Kazavoth is about to scorch the mass of Thread in front of him when he's suddenly choking on ash from the wings above. He has to pull up short, barely missing the hissing enemy and almost causing a collision with the dragon behind him. The two dragons join forces to turn the Thread to ash, only to swerve out of the way of more dragons as chaos continues to grow. Skipping between, the formation begins to reshape just in time for another pass.

Kaelidyth goes chasing after the next batch of Thread that slipped by her, wings beating quickly to chase after it. With it gone, the gold pair hover in the sky to locate their next target, and it doesn't take long for Linny to spot it. "There!" she says, her left hand reaching up to point, even if the gesture is totally unnecessary given her link with Kaelidyth. Wrong move, because just then a sliver of Thread comes down onto that hand, Linny instantly screaming. The pair is goes ::between::, and even when they come back, she's still crying out in pain, tears streaming down her face as she has to sling her flamethrower across her back so she's able to grab onto the straps with the only good hand she's got left. « SHE'S HURT! » Kaelidyth announces as they abandon their post, carefully flying down to the ground so her beloved can get the attention that she so desperately needs.

It's chaos down on the ground between weyrlings and 'crew and flames and ash, until everything resembles little black mountains. Veresch is one of those ambulatory mountains, so tired she can barely keep one foot ahead of the other. She barely misses friendly fire, surviving only by hunkering down to let it roar over her. Afterwards, one of the hulkier, strapping men have to pull her up to her feet again, and ash shifts around them as she shakes her head. Those few healers amongst the crew rush to the impact site, quiet clearly being hurried along towards a crying Linny and Kaelidyth. In the air, D'kan is beset time and again; it's hard to keep a position with the younger and smaller dragons being tossed around like they are, and the smaller wings are shambles right now.

Trek and Kanyith reappear as Karkath disappears. Exhausted, the blue is clearly fighting both wind and fatigue as he takes the brown's place, but what else can the pair do? They're down to their last few 'Royos at this point, with that oddly relieving sand still too uncertain between friend or foe. The blue instructs his wing to regroup, but there is only so much they can do except to flame on.

In the light of deep dusk, the shimmering strands of Thread wink pink and red in the light of the setting sun. Here and there, open patches start to develop, making the ancient enemy into a curtain torn ragged by the wings. The brown wall is almost upon them, surely no more than a quarter-mark away, and looking to bear all the sand of the desert with it. Below, the smaller, more tired pairs and weyrlings start running cleanup, picking up ground crew to rescue before the dust-storm strikes. Now the air is howling with glee, until even the massive beasts of the queen's wing are having problems, and Thread is slow to wane.

A tumbling ball of Thread drops silently off Kanyith's wing.

A tangled mass of Thread sinks in deadly silence, just ahead of Kazavoth.

Trek receives a slight score on the calf!

Kanyith receives a deep score on the mainsail!

Once on they've landed, Linny just sits there, looking down, pain clouding her mind as the score on her hand just brings out the pain on her back. Together, they intoxicate her, and not in the good way she usually likes to be intoxicated. Finally, through tear-filled eyes, she has to face the facts- she has to get down. With one hand. Teeth grit once more, and the goldrider starts the slow, and very painful, process of dismounting Kaelidyth with just her right hand, needing to pause, occasionally to press her forehead against her lifemate, as if she could suck strength out of her.

Speaking of friendly fire, just seconds after Tseylath lands, the wind whips what should have been a helpful stream of flame right toward the brown. A backdraft from his wings sends it skirting up, only to lick right over Tasna's back. The weyrling rider hits the ground with a thud, leather jacket smouldering as she tries to rip it away from her body. That's really going to hurt in the morning. Tseylath's scream of outrage is lost, though, as the wind continues to gain momentum. And sand.

Kanyith skips ::between::, but not in time! Trek's shout of pain and Kanyith's horrific howl are lost as they disappear. Skipping back in seconds later, they begin to realize the extent of the blue's injury almost too late. Wingsail in tatters, the blue starts to plummet, blinking ::between:: again just in time to be left to the dragonhealers back at the Weyr, and leaving Arroyo in the hands of whichever rider is next in line.

Kazavoth tries to flame yet another cluster of Thread that falls toward his rider, but the wind whips both dragon and Thread sideways. An instinctive barrel roll saves the brown, but fatigue and the sudden motion make D'kan puke. Yeah. That's going to be awesome. Look out below, there's more than just ash and Thread and sand falling from the skies now. « Sorry! » bellows the brown, but it is a useless gesture as he barely has time to let loose with the flame again.

No, no, no! The dust storm is so close that if the crew had been able to taste everything but ash, they would have tasted it starting to grit the back of their mouths. Now, with a gold landing practically in their middle and everyone clearing out before the brown wall hits, the 'crew leader reaches up and practically tosses Veresch at Kaelidyth's side. "Get her back up!" he roars; the girl yells an apology to Linny as she goes scrambling past, and reaches down to yank her back up onto the gold's neck. "Get her up, get her up!" the leader roars at the goldrider, pushing from beneath — any second now that dust'll hit, and then everything will be in deep doo-doo. Still, before they can even think to react, a huge clump of Thread threatens to impact, and he falls away from them, screaming as his back's infested. There's a roar of flames from a nearby weyrling; Veresch gets Linny back up into flying position, wrapping arms around her to steady her.

There, as the light of Rukbat winks its last desperate glimmers, the sky bleeds carmine and deepest purple, and the last few dragons loft up above the storm on the Weyrleader's orders. The trailing edge falls… and then clears up quixotically, leaving draconic wings hovering in the air, tired as hell from the fierce fall. The brown edge on the horizon is here, now, an earthen wall that pushes inexorably forward over everything that stays in its way: stray groundcrew, those pairs not able to climb to flight-level, even the queen's wing that has to sweep low. Has all the burrows been caught? Is someone missing? Questions, so many of them, all that can only be answered after the dust-storm subsides.

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