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Bad Meat!

Writers: Devin, Miriah, Suzee
Date Posted: 23rd September 2021

Characters: Cyradis, N'vanik, J'ackt, Urlene
Description: A frightening Hatching
Location: Dolphin Cove Weyr
Date: month 9, day 17 of Turn 10
Notes: Mentioned: F'rayl, K'deren, Reyela, Irradis
Resent for additional Hatchling!


It had been a rough few days as Panitath had demanded her presence in
the hatching cavern even as she tired from the effects of her
pregnancy and the stress of the warnings for which they'd been

She looked out at the Weyrbowl from the door to the ledge for a
moment at the storm blowing across the Weyrbowl and then sat down on
her couch and took a sip of tea that had been left for her then
decided to try and grab a nap before Panitath called her back again.

When the humming started, N'vanik hurried to his weyr to get ready.
He'd barely gotten through the door before Loseth said, }:Panitath's
rider will not wake.:{

**What?** A jolt of panic went through him.

}:She is deeply asleep.:{ Loseth sent gentle feelings to soothe his
rider. }:Not hurt. But Panitath needs her.:{

Despite the assurance, N'vanik ran to her weyr to find Cyradis asleep
on the couch, her breathing slow and even. N'vanik took a steadying
breath of his own before going over to shake her. "Cyradis."

Her eyes popped open and she blinked rapidly up at him not recognizing
N'vanik for a moment before her brain clicked back in focus. Then she
heard the hummining. "Faranth! I haven't missed it have I?"

"They started humming just a bit ago." He studied her. "Are you okay?"

She rubbed her forehead and temples for a moment, then looked up at
him. "I will be," said. She swung her feet off the couch and sat up.
Reaching for his hand she stood, swaying just a little then smiled at
him. "Just so tired," she said. She looked down at her rumpled dress.
"I need to change. Just give me a minute."

He nodded, still looking at her with concern. "I'll help you, if you
don't mind." It was all too easy to imagine her falling over while
trying to get dressed.

She looked puzzled at him for a moment, "Sure," she said. She didn't
really try to process why he might want to but she had no modesty
where he was concerned. She walked into her sleeping area and pulled
the dress she intended to wear. "I'm just tired," she said as she
began unbuttoning her shirt. "Just tired."

N'vanik helped her get into her Hatching dress, watching her carefully
for any signs that this was more than exhaustion. "I want you to check
in with Urlene after the Hatching, just to be safe."

"Sure," she nodded. "My head feels a little wooly. Like I'm not all
together." It was a new experience for Cyradis, she'd never felt this
way before. She took his arm again and smiled. "I can do this," she

"If you're sure. But if you need to leave, then leave. I know Panitath
needs you, but I'm sure she wouldn't want you to be ill or faint in
the Stands." N'vanik led her down to the Hatching Cavern. As if he
needed _more_ to worry about today. He was already on high alert due
to the threat against the Weyr, wondering if the holders truly would
strike against them--and how.

She squeezed his arm and smiled as they came into the cavern and took
their seats. She nodded to J'ackt when she saw him then turned to wave
to the crowd.

J'ackt nodded, his face taut as he settled into his seat behind the
Weyrleader and Weyrwoman. His eyes furtively flicked from side to
side, watching for any abnormal movement.

N'vanik scanned the crowd. There were so many familiar faces -- major
and minor Holders, dolphineers, harpers, weavers, printers, families
that had been to several Hatchings to cheer on their relatives. But
just because they'd been to the Weyr before didn't mean they weren't
part of the plot.

Cyradis' attention was focused on a small knot of candidates who were
grouped near a rocking egg. "Over there," she pointed out to N'vanik.
"I think it will be first." Sure enough a moment later a sharp crack
sounded and a blue tail slapped the sand then the rest of the blue
tumbled out as the little dragon backed out of his egg. A pair of
boys ran toward him then one backed off as the blue flailed for a
moment the other continued and helped him right himself then threw his
arms around the little guy. "Delorth," he grinned up at the cheering
crowd. "His name is Delorth."

N'vanik recognized the new rider as the scrawny kid who almost fainted
that day when he and J'ackt were sparring in the Weyrbowl. "Good for
him." N'vanik smiled as he watched Furayl guide Delorth off the Sands.
Two greens hatched, and then a brown. Most of the other eggs were
rocking now. One of the greens found her new rider right away, but the
other wandered among the white-robbed Candidates.

While appearing to watch the Hatching along with the Weyrleader and
Weyrwoman, J'ackt was quietly examining anyone who drew close, tensing
before they took their seats or if they made any movement towards the
pair in front of him. He wanted to reach for his belt knife with every
movement, but instead, forced himself to relax and breathe deeply. He
did notice when Furayl Impressed and his brow knit. Why was the boy
familiar? He shook his head and went back to his observations of his

Cyradis almost hovered over her seat as the little green seemed to
turn and look directly at Reyela. Her eyes grew big as she waddled
toward the girl.

Then the warning came blasting through the cavern
bugled by bronze bellows. "Bad Meat!"

She stood and started to turn when someone grabbed her dress and
pulled her back down into her seat. At that moment Reyela turned her
face to look up at her with a giant smile.

}:Her name is Brandith,:{ Panitath said smugly then turned to snarl
towards where the healers and weyrling assistants were working on a
little blue.

Now all of the dragons were in an uproar. }:The meat is bad. Delorth
is sick!:{ Loseth said.

**What do you mean the meat is bad?** It couldn't be spoiled, they
always freshly butchered animals for the Hatching, and the
beastcrafters would have weeded out sick animals, so how... The blood
drained from N'vanik's face and he gripped Cyradis's arm. "Poison!
They poisoned the hatchlings."

J'ackt paled but didn't move his hand from the sleeve of Cyradis'
dress where he had instinctively pulled her back down. He felt Zith's
own rage and tamped down an immediate instinct of his own to rise and
make his way to the Hatchlings. "It could be a distraction to get to
one of you." He snapped quickly as his eyes scanned the crowd
beginning to move towards the hatchlings. "Let Y'gel handle it until
everyone is cleared away. It's too much of a risk for both of you."

Cyradis nodded in agreement and sat again trying to project calm and that
everything was under control even while she knew it was far from it.
She pulled on N'vanik as well to get him to sit beside her. "We still
have a few eggs. They're handling it."

}:My hatchlings must eat!:{ Loseth sprang from his perch and glided
over the heads of the startled Candidates. He flew out of the cavern
and straight for the feeding pens, where he dove upon a fat herdbeast.
The huge bronze carried the carcass to the new weyrling pairs and
dropped it near the tables where the tainted meat was quickly being
removed. With a slash of his talons, Loseth split the animal open.
}:Riders only!:{ he warned, making sure only the weyrlingstaff

On the Sands, a little blue had hatched, but instead of seeking his
rider he crouched among the shards, eyes whirling with distress. The
minds around him were full of confusion, fear, and anger. One of the
braver Candidates approached and the blue hissed, swiping out with
deadly sharp talons, missing the boy by an inch. }:Stay away!:{

While N'vanik and Cyradis projected an air of calm, J'ackt's eyes
searched the crowd and he remained tense behind them. **Find out
what's going on.** The terse sending to Zith crackled with intensity.
**Watch and alert Loseth of anything. **

Zith stayed back from the larger, angry bronze, but his eyes scanned
just as intently as his rider. J'ackt murmured to the two Weyrleaders,
"Zith is watching the crowd. Just in case. "

Cyradis' eyes shifted around the room looking for hints while she also
clamped down on Panitath's desire to shred anything close to her.
**You must let the candidates near the eggs love** she projected her
calm all the while squeezing N'vanik's hand. She'd never felt
this great a tension outside of the flight rooms.

A newly hatched green let out an eep of distress and ran in a circle
before hiding behind her mother trembling in distress.

Familiar with her rider's control, Panitath's swirling eyes gradually
shifted from red to gold through yellow and then flecks of green
appeared and she turned to calm her newly hatched. Spreading her great
wings she lulled them with a croon and bent her head to peer at the
little blue. }:Calmly little one. You must find yours. And so must you, she
added to the little green behind her great leg. Look for them now,:{ she

The blue hatchling looked up at his huge golden mother. He was still
confused and afraid but Panitath's voice was soothing, and he realized
he was so very, very hungry. His instincts told him he must have a
rider to feed him and so he needed to choose one of the boys on the
Sands. The Candidates were now giving him space and moved out of his
way when he finally stepped away from the shards of his egg.

The little green peeked around the golden shaft of her mother's bulk
}:Must I,:{ she asked.

}:You must,:{ Panitath nodded.

The little one crept toward a small clump of Candidates and up behind
a tall young man who seemed to be ignoring the rest of the candidates.
She butted her head into the back of his knees knocking him down and
announced. }:Here I am!:{

N'vanik scanned the crowd around them. It was hard to maintain control
between his own protective instincts and those of his bronze, but he
had to trust the other weyrfolk around them to handle things. He
turned back to the Sands to see that all the hatchlings had found
their riders except for one blue. As he watched, the small male
stumbled on shaky legs up to Irradis and Impression was made.

Watching with relief as the last hatclhing found their weyrling,
J'ackt breathed a slow sigh. As people began to gather and leave the
Grounds, J'ackt slowly rose to hover behind Cyradis and N'vanik. "Wait
until the people around us are gone. Then I'll walk with you where
ever you need to go."

Cyradis felt her gorge rise and she didn't know whether it was
actually her or a sympathetic reaction to the events being relayed to
her by her lifemate. Panitath was still angry though she was
maintaining her composure to keep the Weyrlings calm. In either case
she needed some time alone to recover. "Take me to my quarters," she
said and signaled K'deren with a twitch of her head. She'd felt his
eyes on her during the commotion. "Urlene, can you come with us?"

"Do you need me, or should I stay and handle all this?" N'vanik asked,
looking at Cyradis with concern.

"Go," she said. "Handle it. I'll be fine with Urlene, J'ackt and K'deren."

"I'll get her there safely. " J'ackt replied.

Urlene was strangely quiet, face pinched with an odd strain, but she
nodded, offering Cyradis her arm. "Come, I want to examine you
before anything else happens. "

N'vanik felt better knowing his Weyrwoman would be somewhere safe and
well protected. The crowd was making their way slowly outside with
worried expressions and confused murmurs.

Now to figure out who was responsible for this. And make them pay.

Last updated on the October 1st 2021

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