Kejuli was still sneaking around the offworlders. The inevitable had, of course, happened, more than once.
They had put her to work. Which had turned out not to be a bad thing. Besides, she was a Candidate, and rather used to having people dump chores on her. If she was lucky, when Aldyth and Iassenth's clutches hatched she would not be a Candidate any more.
Maybe she would Impress a green. A green would be nice, would match her temperament, but there was a small part of her that, of course, hoped for higher.
But all parts of her was now focused on what she had earned for all of those extra chores. The egg was more like a wher egg than a firelizard egg, and it was clearly about to hatch.
Twitch. There. She glanced around...she really was hoping nobody would come in for just a few minutes, especially as she had been warned the being inside might not properly bond anyway. It might be more like having a dog.
Crack. A small grey head, streaked with egg goo, emerged from the egg, followed by shoulders and stubby wings. "Well, you're definitely not a firelizard," she informed it.
The rest of the wherlizard pulled its way out of the egg, then it stood studying her. She held out a piece of meat. "But you're definitely hungry. I know that."
Through the egg goo she could see what looked to be a bronze or gold streak along its back...she would have to clean it off more to work out which it was, but they said color didn't connect to size or rank anyway. Gender, though, was important.
The muzzle reached forward and tugged the meat out of her hand, then seemed to chew it thoughtfully. "There's plenty more."
Norm did not creep. No, seriously! He wasn't that sort of guy in most ways. He liked to poke his nose in to peoples business, to talk and talk and make them like him for his vast knowledge of everything and rub it in their face if they didn't, but he refused to creep. It sounded very stalkerish.
Luckily for Kejuli, Norm had no intention of running into her when he decided to troll around the Candidate barracks. Oh, no, it was purely for his research, because the barracks would be full at some other points, wouldn't they? He wandered, making notes of the seemingly empty barracks, his old-school tablet and pen in his hand to scrawl them out on the board with too loopy hand writing. It was like an army camp! (Not that he knew what one really looked like, just that it was. Leave it to Miles to do that sort of stuff!)
Only when he heard kejuli and her chatter with the new wherlizard did Norm even bother paying attention to the small figure chilling out in the barracks. Norm lit up like a Christmas Tree and beelined his way over there.
"That's a wherlizard, right? Isn't it? They're absolutely fascinating, don't you think? Hi! I'm Norm. What is it's name? Is it new? Did you know that the first generation of anything is highly unstable? You could have a rare and magnificent pit-bull sized in the future beast on your hands. What's your name?"