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Poisoned (2/2)

Writers: Estelle, Miriah, Suzee
Date Posted: 21st September 2021

Characters: Y'gel, Briata, R'fal, Aviday, R'ayl, Enali
Description: Y'gel, R'fal and Aviday work to save Delorth's life
Location: Dolphin Cove Weyr
Date: month 9, day 17 of Turn 10
Notes: Follows "DCW: Bad Meat!"


Y'gel
Y'gel
Briata
Briata
Aviday
Aviday

Y'gel's face drained of color as he realized what they'd done. **Tell
the Weyrleaders the sharding holders tried to poison the Weyrlings.**
he sent. Then he ran toward the weyrling. He gritted his teeth a
moment before he spoke gently to the boy who'd obviously just
Impressed. "Son, your dragon has just been poisoned and I have to help
him. If you can please tell him to open his mouth wide and please
don't bite me."

"Poisoned?" R'ayl looked up at the tall bronzerider, terrified, then
down at his stained hand. "No - not Delorth!" Fear flooded their bond
and the newly hatched dragonet's eyes whirled yellow and white, his
wings half-unfolding as if his instinct told him to take flight.

}:I don't understand, R'ayl! What is poison? They say the meat is bad.
Dangerous!:{ Delorth moaned in low agony. }:I don't want any more. I
feel strange.:{ His back legs folded and he dropped to a crouch, his
head drooping.

R'fal glanced over to where more Impressed pairs were starting to crowd
the entrance to the Hatching Grounds, their eyes glowing, and voices
were raised in panic. Was Y'gel really going to do what he thought?
"Don't worry. Master Y'gel will help him." He tried to keep his voice
calm and even. "It'll be all right."

"O-okay." R'ayl wiped his hand across the white Candidate's robe, then
knelt and slipped an arm around Delorth's neck. He wasn't sure if he was
imagining it but the hide felt hotter, shivering under his touch. "You
have to open your mouth, Delorth. Please!"

Reluctantly, the little blue lifted his head and opened his mouth,
exposing small, but sharp, pointed teeth.

Aviday had frozen in shock and horror at the sudden change in
circumstance. The meat? What did they mean the meat was bad? Her hands
trembled, dropping the buck of meat at her feet. What was she supposed
to do? She didn't know. She stared down at the pail of meat, seeing it
as though it leaked with vicious, vile fluid throughout the hunks. At
the sound of the chaos with the newly Impressed Candidates, she paled.
"Get rid of the buckets! We need fresh meat! " **Kobeth! We need fresh
kills!"

From the sidelines, a pair of dark eyes watched with growing
satisfaction, but hesitated when she saw little Furayl with a little
blue hatchling by his side. **That traitor!** Enali sucked in air
through her teeth in sudden panic. He'd been turned by the riders;
he'd been chosen by a _blue_ ! That little.... The chaos and panic
thrilled her, but they weren't supposed to find out so soon! Hissing,
she withdrew from the crowd, hurrying into the lower caverns, using
the uproar to hide her movements.

Y'gel didn't notice the drudge for he was looking at the blue and then
at his arm. He shook his head. "I'm too big for this guy I'm afraid."
Then he caught sight of Aviday. "Come here girl," he motioned for her
to come to him.

"Hold his jaws open," he nodded to R'fal.

Then he looked into the little blue's eyes and spoke to him as he
would to an adult blue. "We're going to make you feel better real
quick, but this might not feel good right now."

Looking back at Aviday, he smiled. "Ready for a little dragonhealing?"

Aviday paled and swallowed hard. Y'gel's arm would never fit down a
hatchling's throat, but hers....her's was skinny and there was no time
to wait, especially if the meat had been poisoned. She nodded. "Okay.
What do I have to do?" She glanced at R'fal and then looked at the new
Candidate. **What if I hurt him?**

"You can do this," he said reassuringly. "Weyrlings don't chew their
first bite so it's going to feel just like what's in the pail. Just
get a couple of fingers on it and pull it back out. Don't make a fist,
more like pinching it. His reflex will expel whatever else is in his
stomach. How many pieces did he eat?" He directed the final question
to the new bluerider.

R'ayl swallowed, his voice trembling. "O-only one." Tears welled in his
eyes. He'd thought he was used to being afraid for himself, but to sense
Delorth's fear was unbearable.

"It's going to be okay." R'fal crouched down on the other side of the
hatchling, and with a glance at the young boy for permission, lightly
rested his hands on the blue's snout and lower jaw, feeling for where he
could get the best grip with his fingers safe from the teeth. He looked
up at Aviday, trying to hide his nerves. "I'm ready."

"I'll try to be quick," she promised both Delorth and R'ayl. Folding her
hand and fingers as Y'gel had directed her, Aviday swallowed hard and
tried to move quickly, but carefully. Trembling, she carefully put
her hand in the little hatchling's mouth and with a grimace, wiggled it
into the poor blues throat. It felt strange, wrong, and she could feel
the muscles of the dragon's throat tensing around her slim arm. Pinching
her fingers, and wrinkling her nose, she found the moist sticky piece
of meat and carefully withdrew her hand. "I got it!"

R'ayl choked, gasping for air. The sensation of sharing his dragon's
mind was so new and raw, and he could _feel_ the arm in his throat, the
panicked instinct to get it out. The terrified hatchling tried to writhe
and thrash his head from side to side, and R'fal gritted his teeth as he
hung on, doing his best to keep the head still.

As soon as Aviday's hand was clear, R'fal let go and stumbled back as
the little blue retched, bringing up bile and a few flecks of meat. His
brightly-colored hide had faded to a greyish shade and his eyes glowed a
dull red, while his claws scrabbled listlessly at the sandy ground.
Beside him, the young boy collapsed forward onto hands and knees and
brought up the contents of his own stomach, shuddering.

"It's okay. She got the bad meat out. It's over." R'fal hurried to
crouch beside the boy, resting a hand on his shoulder. "You can comfort
him."

R'ayl wiped at his mouth with the sleeve of his candidate's robe, his
cheeks wet with tears, but he did manage to turn and reach out a hand to
touch his lifemate's neck. "Delorth, you're going to be all right. You
have to! Please, stay with me..." He shivered. Delorth was so tired and
weak, he could hardly hold his head up.

"Good Job, all of you," Y'gel said and knelt in front of the little
Weyrling. "You should begin feeling better soon," he said. Then he
looked at R'ayl. "Do you think you can carry him to the dragon
infirmary? I'd like to watch him over night just to make sure there
are no complications." He was fairly certain the meat had only
received a light sprinkling of felis or he'd have been able to smell
it.

"You and you..." he pointed at R'fal and Aviday. "Good work," now make
sure that bad meat is where no one will grab it. We've already got
some riders cutting up fresh meat, it will be here soon."

"Yes, sir." R'fal picked up the bucket, eyeing the contents warily.
"I'll put this with the others."

R'ayl crouched by the little blue's side, stroking his neck. "It's okay.
I'll take you to the dragonhealers and they'll make you better." He'd
never seen a hatchling before today, much less carried one. Carefully,
he wrapped his arms around Delorth's middle, making sure not to touch
the fragile wings, and straightened with a puff of breath at the effort.
He staggered a bit, then adjusted the weight in his arms, relieved that
his few sevendays at the Weyr had given him enough strength to carry his
lifemate.

Delorth wrapped his tail around R'ayl's waist and rested his head on the
boy's shoulder with a sigh. There was a scattering of applause from some
of the onlookers as they saw that the danger had passed, for now.

Aviday was still trembling from the adrenaline and the thought of what
she'd just done, nodding numbly. She turned to Furayl **No, it's R'ayl
now,** she thought. "I'm glad he's going to be okay."

"You saved his life." R'ayl blinked away the tears. Already, even so
soon after his Impression, the thought of life without Delorth terrified
him. "You were so brave. Thank you. I'll never, never forget it."

She quickly nodded and felt a surge of nervous pride as she glanced at
both Y'gel and R'fal. She felt her knees wobble a bit and had to grab
R'fal's arm to stop herself from tottering over from sheer adrenaline
and relief. "Just get him to the infirmary and Y'gel will make sure
that he'll get all better." She turned to Y'gel "Right?"

"We'll do everything we can," he nodded and put a hand on her
shoulder. "You go make sure those fresh pails get to the pairs coming
off the sands. They're going to be famished." He looked at R'ayl, "You
come with me," he said and headed toward the infirmary. As they walked
he saw one of his assistants with a pail running toward them. Y'gel
just pointed at the infirmary as they got out of the cavern, out of
danger.

R'fal watched as the weyrling followed Y'gel, his slight form bowed by
the weight of the young blue in his arms. He could still hardly make
sense of what had happened. What kind of hatred would lead someone to
poison an innocent hatchling, tear him from his newly joined rider? It
_must_ have been an accident.

He slipped his arm around Aviday, hugging her one-armed. "That was
amazing. You're a real dragonhealer." He glanced at the pail of tainted
meat in his free hand. "Let's get rid of this, and get some fresh
buckets, okay?" There was a group of confused weyrling pairs by the
entrance to the Hatching Grounds, growing in size as more emerged, the
dragonets creeling in hunger.

Last updated on the October 1st 2021


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