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 Fire and Ice: Casriel's Impression of Maraxith

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PostSubject: Fire and Ice: Casriel's Impression of Maraxith   Sun Mar 13, 2016 9:58 am

The sun burned hot and heavy across the Hatching Sands and above the buzz of the growing crowd, the humming of Eastern Weyr's dragons could be heard for miles. The sky was a sharp blue and everywhere the golden light of the sun hit it sent the dragon eggs to gleaming.

'There are not as many people here as there was last hatching.' Casriel thought to herself, looking up into the stands.

Indeed, not as many by half. She was not surprised but held her head high none the less. No doubt everyone was a little troubled back the fact here was one six eggs. There was no explanation for it, other than gold queen Olenath was no longer young. Her bronze mate had been in good health. The dragon healers couldn't explain it and other than to tell the leadership that all six eggs were in the pink of health, they had no answers. Answers or not, there was still three times the amount of candidates on the Sands for the clutch presented. Somewhere on the golden sands, Casriel knew her brother looked on the eggs with smug surety. Asteriel might be there but she could not be sure. So many new faces, so many old ones. She blinked hard against the glare, her hands reaching up to smooth her white-blond hair back from her face. Near her, Garrah shown with all her beauty and for Casriel, to look upon her was a sweet pain more than even the heat of the Hatching Sands. More than the pleasant burn of whiskey or the relief ache of a popped spine. She smiled as she caught the other girl's gaze, holding it for a few moments. They it passed away, like the last words of a sweet song. There was rumble from the senior queen and all eyes turned back to the eggs. A hush fell over the crowd and the tension soared.

Then the center seemed to explode. Half the eggs began to shiver and shake. Casriel caught her breath as a crack appeared in an egg near her and she licked her lips.

'Remember, project love and acceptance.' Casriel thought to herself, leaning forward a little. The egg shook again and then a sudden heavy threw it to the sandy floor of the Hatching Caverns. The crack widened, yawning open to reveal....

"Shards and shells!" came the gasp from behind her. Casriel whirled as Garrah took a half step back into her. Casriel raised her hands to steady the young woman but her surprised expression bloomed into sheer awe rivaling disbelieve. Twelve paces beyond Garrah, a large dragonet paced. At first, Casriel thought it was a blue dragon but when the sunlight caught it, it gleamed silver. It was bigger than any blue Casriel had ever see hatched. The silvery-blue dragon advanced toward Garrah and Casriel, head held high. It's gaze passed from Casriel, to Garrah and then back to Casriel. Then finally it reached out to Garrah and touched it's silvery muzzle to her chest. Garrah's face brought out into a bright smile, tears gathering in her eyes.

"Cas... she says her name is Parazath!" Garrah's voice broke as she knelt in the sand next to her dragon.

"Parazath...Garrah...is she is a queen?" the dragon was female and metallic. It could only mean one thing.

Casriel had no time to consider, all the eggs were hatching now. A white colored dragon broke free of an egg and gleamed meadow bright colors as the sun struck him. Not a true white but what? Crystal? Quartz?

'What in Faranth's name is happening?' Casriel thought, flabbergasted. The crowd that had gathered was in an uproar and even some of the candidates were leaving the sands. Everything was in chaos. Casriel stood over Garrah and her queen, unable and unwilling to abandon them to the maelstrom. On the edge of the sands, Casriel could see the Weyrling Master arguing with a someone. With shock, she recognized her own father S'riel. Turning  to stare right at her, the brownrider cupped his hands and shouted.

"Casriel, come here. Get your brother and sister. This isn't right! Those eggs...come away from there now!" S'riel shouted. She saw Jacasril go and then young Asteriel.

'Are you mad? I'm timing out. I have no time, no other chance.' Casriel thought back at him as she shook her head. She could hear S'riels voice bellow but turned away from him. Garrah seemed reluctant to leave the sands and Parazath mewled in hunger.

"Go feed her. I'll be right behind you." Cas said softly.

Garrah nodded, meeting Casriel's cool eyes. She stood and led away her dragon, who gleamed silver-blue in the sunlight. As her vision panned away from them, it came to rest on an egg that lay just ahead of her. With a sudden shake, it twitched hard. It was a deep purple in color, flecked with white and black markings. It surged again and toppled to the sands. The impact caused the egg to split into two halves and the dragon who surged free made Casriel's breath seize in her mouth. Leaping to powerful feet was a darkly colored dragon, somewhere between shadowy black and dark plum purple. The dragonet flicked his tail free of his eggshell prison and scanned the sands. Casriel found herself staring into the rainbow whirling eyes and her heart constricted. This dragon was barely smaller than the one Garrah had Impressed and powerfully built. Still damp from the recent exit, the dark dragonet arched it's neck to pluck a shard of egg shell off one wing. Then, quick as lightning, the black plum dragon turned and closed the distant between himself and Casriel. Such an aggressive dragon seemed instantly masculine to Casriel. A scream pierced the air as another female candidate was knocked down in his passing and blood leaked onto the sand. The pained cries faded, however, as the dragon came to rest at her feet. Dipping his head, the dragon leaned hard into Casriel's legs. His wet hide was warm and his color shone deepest night and touched with velvet purple. Like a plum wrapped in midnight black silk.

I am Maraxith, Casriel. You are mine. With your fire and my ice, we shall rise together. Come, my lovely. I must feed.

The words were distant thunder and spoke of strength like solid ice. Casriel felt the cool, deep presence settle into her mind. It tempered with her inner fire and she feel to her knees, wrapping her arms around Maraxith. Her dragon Maraxith. All around her, she could see others who had Impressed. A young woman, Sidran, stood by a muscular dragon. He was of a similar color and size as Maraxith and Casriel decided that must make the males of the same type. No other dragons like the one Garrah had Impressed but the sparkling white one stood with it's rider. Casriel was surprised to see sad Ashrah, once the weyrmate to Wingrider Z'fel. Up until the dragonman's death at the Spring Games; she was walking beside a bright, red dragon. Ashrah was crying and smiling, her green eyes rimmed with tears.

"She says her name is Hesriath. Red....red? Who ever heard of a red dragon?" she asked breathlessly of Casriel as she passed. She continued to walk toward the frowning Weyrling Master, oblivious of his dark expression. Casriel lifted her head as she stood, her hand on Maraxith's neck. She turned to look for S'riel but all she caught was his retreating back. He glanced once over his shoulder and the revolution in his eyes made Casriel's heart sink.

'It is of no matter.' she told herself, staunching the pain immediately. She had Maraxith and his cool voice filled her heart with love and devotion. She knew without asking that he would be her guardian, her defender and her ultimate confidant. Her one true partner, to carry her through life as a dragonrider of Pern. A new breed and as Casriel walked she could see the effect rippling through the Weyr. There were some surprised grins in her direction as she walked with Maraxith and some blank stares. Many more deep frowns among the elder dragonriders.

'They cannot touch us.' Casriel thought. This was her last shot and she had come out victorious.

'No matter what happens, we will rise. Fire and Ice together as one.'she vowed. One day she would be a Wingsecond, she instantly decided. She would find a way to become a Wingleader and eventually, she would rise to Weyrleader. Garrah would help her. Together, they would be unstoppable. Together they would rise to lead a new age of Pern. Her eyes dropped, water beryl to Maraxith whirling rainbow. The male met her intense gaze with his own.

No power in this world can stop us.


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