Ariele reflects on where she is, and how she got there.


It is morning of the nineteenth day of the twelfth month of the thirteenth turn of the 12th pass.


Lower Caverns, Southern Weyr

OOC Date 13 May 2018 23:00



Perhaps that first Searchrider had been wrong. Perhaps the second had been desperate, ready to take anyone.


Ariele found herself distracted as she changed her clothes, post-walk. It had been turns, she supposed, since she'd last thought of that double clutch and how it had felt to be one amongst so many.

It had felt like an obvious decision, to come South: with eighty eggs, she'd have plenty of opportunities to Impress. With eighty eggs, she had an extra excuse to move on from Telgar, where she'd never quite felt at home.

She remembered what it felt like, afterwards, when she realised that she'd been rejected by eighty dragons. Logically, she knew that not every candidate could Impress, even with numbers like that. You had to give the dragons choice. But oh… oh, it had hurt.

Not so much that she wasn't willing to stay at Southern, though. She wondered, now, looking back, whether her dragon might have hatched elsewhere. Perhaps if she'd stayed at Telgar, or gone to Igen, High Reaches, Ista, Benden. But how could you know?

That dream was put aside, now. She dressed, smoothing out non-existent wrinkles from her neatly-pressed blouse, the lines of her simple skirt. She was too old for such dreams. If she was honest with herself, perhaps she'd been too old for some time. Eventually, you had to accept that your path was different to what you'd imagined. Perhaps that first Searchrider had been wrong. Perhaps the second had been desperate, ready to take anyone.

Not that it mattered.

She straightened her hair, repinning a few strands that threatened to escape. She inspected her reflection, carefully, and found herself satisfied.

Once, she'd thought she was intended for the dragons. Now, she realised, she had better things to pursue. The Weyrleader was younger than she was; the Weyrwoman only a handful of turns older, and she had been Senior before; Rocio, too, as Weyrlingmaster, was not much older. Headwoman, then. Perhaps not immediately, but she'd make it happen.

She wouldn't poison anyone, not with poison and not with butter and sugar.

And she would set herself up as an example: not Impressing was not a failure, merely the way things happened sometimes. One could still succeed at something else.

Everything was going to be fine.

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