Truth Is The Beginning Of Every Good

Even if Tameketh had been able to choose the moment her babies were to come into the world, she would have had a hard time choosing a better moment than that which came about naturally. With part of the Istan bowl gone, the sunset over the western ocean was clearly visible from within the weyrbowl, sinking lower and lower towards the horizon even as the humming of the adult dragons of Ista Weyr grew louder and louder. Bright orange bathed the entire Weyr in the fire of the sunset, the vibrant colors seeping into the entranceway to the Hatching Grounds, standing at-odds with the dim glowlight of the deeper interior. A trio of weyrbrats rushed around the edges of the cavern and up each set of steps that rose up into the stands, placing fresh glows into a few of the glowbaskets that were nearly spent, gradually brightening up the large room even as the light from the sunset began to withdraw.

And then, with the stands nearly full and the cavern fully lit, weyrbrats safely out of the way and candidates ringing the eggs, /just/ as the fire of the sunset began to ripen into a gorgeous deep purple promise of twilight, one of the eggs gave a loud *POP*, and the humming ceased.

There was a moment of relative silence as the audience held its breath, awaiting the first dragon, eyes searching the Sands trying to figure out which egg was cracking… and then the colorful Proud Plumage egg split away, halves pushed to either side as a bright blue dragon spread his wings, neck outstretched and one front foot poised just off the ground.

He held the pose for a long moment, gratified by the collective intake of breath and then sudden bevy of excited murmuring as the audience discussed him — they were admiring him, he was sure — and then he let himself relax and stepped from the midst of his broken shell, looking all around him, puffing out his chest and bobbing his head in encouragement.

((Thank you, thank you. I accept your praise and admiration. Would you like a better angle?))

He turned around, flaring his wings out, so that those closest to his side of the Sands could get a good look at the his wings and the feathery light blue pattern down his back.

Which of course was when the very brightly coloured Chaos Rising egg exploded.

Brightly coloured bits of shell cascaded through the air like rain, revealing in their debris a little brown who huffed and stood, huge,out of proportion wings spreading like a massive canopy over his slight build.

((Well that is a relief.)) the brown rumbled out, shaking the wings slowly to flick some of his egg goop off, some of which landed on the blue nearby, ((It was beginning to be rather cramped in there.))

Worse than the sudden commotion, worse than the splat of egg goop against his shoulder, was the obvious shift of the attention of the audience — all at once there was a new buzz of activity as the onlookers took note of something more important and interesting than a mere /blue/ (and one who had, possibly, made an even better entrance), and the blue was /furious/.

((YOU,)) he roared suddenly, wheeling on the new brown, his gracious, pleased demeanor turning to righteous indignation so quickly that it was like a switch had been flipped. ((What are /you/ doing here? It isn’t time for you yet! Just who do you think you are?!))

The brown seemed to arch a brow slightly, ((I always arrive when I mean to.)) he informed the little blue, wings slowly drawing in as took a few steps forward, precarious on his spindly little legs, ((I am Ceretith, and I have absolutely no idea why you are being so antagonistic. I just hatched. What a terrible image you are presenting to everyone….I’m sorry what is your name unknown blue?))

((Zalqueth,)) the blue replied, with an indignant flip of one wing. ((I was /going/ to tell everyone, but then /you/ showed up too early and ruined my moment! I don’t care if this was ‘when you meant to’ or not — all that means is that you’re either deliberately rude, or you have a terrible sense of timing! Both are unforgivable, as far as I’m concerned. Go hide behind an egg or something until its time!)) He glared balefully at the largest remaining shards of his brown brother’s egg. ((I would tell you to go back in your egg, but you went and ruined that, too.))

((Tch…)) Ceretith flicked his wings in a shrug, the tip of one wing knocking against the shell of the Beauty in Shadows egg. He glanced at it briefly, but the egg blended so well against the pools of shadow created by the glows that his sharp gaze slid over the wobbling egg and then returned to the matter at hand: Zalqueth. ((Let go of the past. It is over and done, the moment is gone and trying to recapture it is a futile endeavor.)) the little brown strolled out, wobbling on his legs, wings fanning once more to keep his balance, ((You do not wish to look foolish do you?))

Behind them the Beauty in shadows egg slowly rolled off it’s mound, finally over balancing and landed in a pile of loose sand, cushioning the sound of the shell cracking.

Slowly a little green head peeked out, looking around, ((Oh…this is different…))

Zalqueth hadn’t even noticed the Beauty in Shadows egg move, let alone that it had hatched. His gaze was leveled resentfully on Ceretith and Ceretith alone. ((No one looks foolish except you, Brown Rudeness. Maybe my first moment is gone, but if you would stop flapping around like that I could have another moment that might be almost as good! And anyway, your wings are terrible. If I were you, I would hide them.))

The brown chuckled, a low rumble that was the kind of pitch that filled the cavern with it, making everyone hush for a moment, an expectant hush as all eyes stared at the brown as he drew himself up and spread those huge wings in a dramatic snap, earning him an appreciative ‘ooooh’.

((It is not my fault if you cannot hold their attention brother.)) Ceretith smirked, ((Maybe you should practice some more.))

The little green meanwhile had slipped a bit closer, seemingly unaware that she sat in a pool of shadow, ((There isn’t going to be a fight is there?)) she asked, looking between the two, ((A fight seems most unwise.))

((Just because they like you doesn’t mean you’re anything special!)) Zalqueth snapped, hopping a little in his fury. ((And it isn’t /my/ failing, either! It’s only because you’re brown and they think that’s more… more…)) he struggled for the word, ((/exclusive/!)) he spit finally. ((Though I don’t see how /that/ should be enough to make them care. Brown is a hideous color, especially on you. This… /this/ is what a dragon should look like!))

The blue spread his wings again, turning slowly so the audience could see, sitting up proudly as the gesture earned him another murmur from the crowd. They probably weren’t /all/ admiring murmurs — many were certainly just discussing the behavior of the dragonets and the motion of the eggs in particular — but Zalqueth didn’t bother to listen too hard. So long as he figured into their conversation somehow, that was enough.

((Now get out. I don’t care what you do anymore — just get away from /me/. Go… work the crowd over /there/ or something.)) The blue gestured towards the candidates. ((They look poor and stupid enough to be impressed by something as drab as you.))

((I don’t think they can hear me…)) The little green murmured, concerned by this as she looked down at herself, a worried little look on her pretty face, ((Am I invisible? Am I an invisible dragon?))

Ceretith snickered softly, flicking his too long tail at Zalqueth and sending another rather large gobbet of slimy egg goo flying through the air to land splat against the blue’s back. Before Zalqueth could turn and accuse him however, Ceretith flicked a bit onto himself and looked around as though in shock, ((Who threw that!)) He called, stretching himself as tall as he could, wings splayed to keep his very precarious balance, ((Who has hatched and is skulking around?))

((Not me!)) The little green informed them both, ((Not Hasheth.))

There was no reaction from either of the dragons out on the Sands and Hasheth made a worried little sound, ((No one can hear me. How can I be of any use to anyone or anything if no one can hear or see me. I must find a way…))

Zalqueth would surely have accused Hasheth, if only he could have seen her or was paying better attention, but Ceretith and another egg blocked his view of the green in the shadows, and he wasn’t really listening for such a quiet voice. He looked around and, seeing no one, looked back at Ceretith suspiciously, then looked around again.

((I hope whoever it is /stays/ hidden,)) the blue grumbled. ((There isn’t enough attention to go around for the two of us, as it is!))

He shook the goo off of his back and stomped off away from Ceretith, looking for an audience all his own.

((If he wanted my advice,)) Hasheth murmured to herself, slinking carefully around the outside of the caverns, sticking to the darker areas. She was pretty sure by this point that she was invisible, but she wasn’t taking the risk. After all Zalqueth had said anyone skulking should stay hidden. And while he was not the boss of her, the last thing she wanted was to cause more problems, ((If he asked my opinion I would tell him that that brown doesn’t strike me as a good dragon to cross.))

She glanced back over her shoulder at Ceretith who looked to be smirking after the blue.

((But of course, no one has asked me.)) she reminded herself, ((Best watch and listen.))

((Hmmm…)) Ceretith drawled, seemingly as though to himself, although his voice very purposefully carried just far enough for the sulking blue to pick up on it, ((I am certain that the blue didn’t mean to run away. He probably just wants me to have the entire attention from this side of this place.)) and he paused, turning his gaze towards the white dressed people, ((And of course them. Zalqueth must not want their attention at all…))

((Oh dear,)) Hasheth sighed as she settled on a good shadowed vantage point to observe the two dragons, ((This won’t end well for anyone.))

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