The relaxed nature of relationships in the Weyr had always been a joy of Ariaceli's, who felt no shame in her favorite form of relaxation and was always glad that few at a Weyr did either. She had needed it that night, and although it meant she had fallen asleep far later than she'd initially wanted, it also meant that she slept incredibly soundly. It had been her intention to sleep in slightly, no more than half a candlemark, to make up for the night's activities, but as Mallitorioth had chuckled to herself, eggs had no sense of time, or indeed, no sense of other people's schedules. There was no consideration at all for other people. Ariaceli might have been deep in sleep, far past dreaming, but the voice of her dragon was a better alarm than anything else for her. The Weyrwoman was awake in an instant, the words of her dragon filtering through her mind, although she lay there, draped in furs, for a few more moments as she tried to figure out what her dragon was telling her. It didn't take long for Ariaceli to put the pieces together, and with a gasp, she sat up, throwing furs off of herself with enough vigor to wake her nocturnal companion. A question, incoherent with sleep, was mumbled at the Weyrwoman, who had sprung from her bed. "Hatching! The Eggs! Mal just sent word. You'll hear the call in a second. I have to get down there!" The most basic of clothes that were appropriate, far more so than the dressing gown that Ariaceli had been wearing, were thrown on, And Ariaceli had barely touched her heair with a brush when her prediction came true. Good morning Star island residents. I have excellent news that everyone has been waiting to hear. The clutch is about to hatch. Candidates, awake to the sands. Meat is required, kitchen staff. Butcher the food fresh for our newest pairs. Bring it to the sands. They are coming, and I will kill anyone who causes, by some fault of their own, the death of any one of these children. Hurry, my patience, and theirs, grows thin. Ariaceli let out a small laugh, brush finally running through her hair. "She does have a way with words, doesn't she?" Despite her lack of sleep, Ariaceli didn't feel exhausted. Adrenaline had propelled her up, and now it coursed through her veins like fire. "C'mon. We can't be late." Ariaceli gave her companion a wink, and, shuffling into sandals that offered just enough protection, she dashed from her rooms. Her hands quickly braiding back her hair as she went, so that she wouldn't be distracted by it during the hatching. The layout of the compound had been well thought out, and it took very little time for Ariaceli to get to the sands, although she didn't stop when she got there, and quickly picked her way though the sands to her dragon's side. "How far along are we?" Ariaceli glanced over her shoulder, hoping to catch a glimpse of an egg shaking, before she hauled herself up onto Mallitorioth's leg, and then up onto her dragon's shoulder so that she would be well out of the way. it wouldn't do for her to be injured unnecessarily by a passing dragonet. Not far. They will be a bit still. See? There. The egg near the middle is shaking. The Frosted Ermine Egg was shaking gently, clearly about to hatch, but not quite at the point where cracks could be seen. Ariaceli let out a breath she hadn't known she was holding. "We have time, then." Mallitorioth, in response, raised the gentle hum she'd been emitting into a full-blown hatching song, welcoming the new life that was about to emerge into the world.
Although The Frosted Ermine Egg was vibrating with obvious life, it was not the only one. Many of the others out of the large clutch were beginning to show signs of movement as well. This was an incredibly good sign, and Ariaceli felt her words stick in her throat. She loved this, the joy and excitement. This was what made the responsibility of being a Weyrwoman worth it. She did take a moment to wonder what Mallitorioth had meant by "They are powerful", when she'd spoken before, but that was a background thought of Ariaceli's. Most of her attention was focused on the eggs, and besides, what Mallitorioth had felt, what she had realized, would become clear soon enough, even if Ariaceli didn't know it yet. Mallitorioth curled her tail in tighter and stretched her front paws out, getting herself even more comfortable and she raised her head, looking around at the eggs just like her rider. As uncharacteristic as it was of Mallitorioth, she possessed an incredibly deep mothering instinct, and her desire to protect the eggs under her care, her true children or not, meant that this was a tense time for her. She shared in her rider's excitement and exuberance, but Mallitorioth was able to contain her composure in ways that Ariaceli absolutely was unable to do. The Weyrwoman didn't even try and look regal or stately, although she certainly looked happy, glowing with a radiance that was still outshone by the eggs somehow. Ariaceli was bouncing as intensely as she had done during the touching. They didn't have long to wait, and the eggs were showing more signs of stress. None had cracked still, but it was only a matter of time. "I hope the candidates get here."They always do. Mallitorioth's voice was calm, although Ariaceli could feel her excitement and joy as well. her dragon was usually so practical that anytime Mallitorioth felt excess emotion, especially positive emotion, it leaked over to Ariaceli and made her even more excitable than she already was. It was nice to see her dragon as invested in this clutch as Ariaceli was. They all knew what was riding on this clutch and what the potential outcomes could be. Do not think such things. They are sensitive to it, but strong. Do not doubt these children, Ariaceli. Her dragon's chiding made Ariaceli sign, but inwardly. "I know, but worry doesn't work that way. I want them to impress, and I think they will, but that doesn't stop doubt. Everyone will always doubt, Mal. They have to get used to that." Mallitorioth huffed, although the only other response she had to her rider was that her hum became louder. Her rider had a point. The gold's attention snapped to The Gyrfalcon Egg, which had overtaken the other eggs in the violence of its shaking. Cracks had appeared, little flakes of the shell pinging off into the semi-darkness. Do you see, Ariaceli? Ariaceli shook her head and then raised her gaze, suddenly realizing what she had forgotten to do. "AIVAS? Lights on full, please!" The voice of AIVAS answered, mild as ever as it permitted the room with an easy clarity, hiding just the barest hint of a laugh in its words. "Request Accepted. Lights on full. Anything else, Weyrwoman?" Ariaceli shook her head. "No, AIVAS. Thank you!" The voice of the great machine came again. "Of course, Weyrwoman. Happy hatching. I look on with interest." The voice faded as the lights brightened considerably. There were some overhead lights, but the walls were also now washed with a pale glow that helped illuminate the entire sands and the stands as well. As the light rose, a few more tiny shards of The Gyrfalcon Egg fell away, and the side of the egg that had cracked into tiny pieces bulged slightly, the dragonet inside clearly straining to free itself. Ariaceli made an excited squeaking noise and looked over at the main entrance to the sands. "They better get here! They'll miss the first dragonet out!"
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