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K'mio and blue Aulaxith

The Road So Far!

It all began at Madellon Weyr for Kemmio – a young woman of 18 Turns, dreaming of becoming a blue rider.

Kemmio was born the daughter of Nelya, a Headwoman's Second at Madellon Weyr. While she didn't have to be Searched, she was 'given the nod' as a likely dragonrider by the Weyr's most senior retired Search pair – S'rius and his elderly blue Padseth. Having been left standing at a Hatching once before, Kemmio struggled with both her modest upbringing as a Weyr child with no rider blood, and her fear that she wasn't dragonrider material.

As a candidate, Kemmio was assigned a bunkmate – Erilde, a quiet young woman from the Lower Caverns fearing a second unsuccessful Hatching, who would soon become her closest friend in the Weyr. She also got to know many of her fellow candidates, including the Weyrbred twins Leover and Leoguy; Zielaph, the nephew of a Madellon bronze rider; and Arina, a level-headed young woman from Jessaf who'd stood at the previous Hatching.

But she also made an enemy – Auciet, a snobby and superior Holdbred girl – who took a firm disliking to Kemmio! Backed up by her crony Cedranne, Auciet became the thorn in Kemmio's side throughout the sevendays of candidacy.

Hatching Day

The dragons' hum woke Erilde and Kemmio on 102.03.17. Following a brief run-in with Auciet, the pair joined the rest of the candidates for a morning lecture. The Weyrlingmaster, L'stev, gave the whole cohort – increased by three late Searchees to a total of thirty-five – strict instructions about pre-Hatching preparations, including eating, drinking, bathing – and in some cases, getting a decent haircut – and then turned the group loose for the morning. Before Kemmio left, Erilde asked her to make enquiries about any dragonrider heritage she herself might possess, to give her confidence a boost before the Hatching.

The one-armed green rider and the thieving queen

Immediately on leaving the candidate barracks, Kemmio was flagged down by M'shen – a green rider with one arm, a fire-lizard queen – and a problem. His queen, Squiffy, had stolen several pieces of the Weyrwoman's jewellery, and hidden it around the Weyr. M'shen recruited Kemmio to find it. Despite Kemmio's best efforts, though, she didn't manage to complete and return the jewellery set before the Hatching.

Respecting her elders

In the Weyr's kitchen gardens, Kemmio encountered R'hren, a former Weyrleader of Madellon, now peacefully retired to potter among his beloved plants. R'hren asked Kemmio to help him track down the ingredients for a warming salve to help his elderly bronze, Staamath, with his arthritic forepaws. Kemmio duly located the components of R'hren's salve, winning the old bronze rider's approval in the process.

A Masterful order

In the dining hall, Kemmio met her fellow candidate Zielaph, who'd been tasked by his somewhat dim uncle, bronze rider Fr'ton, with delivering a complicated drinks order to a group of Master Crafters. Zielaph had information about their names, beverages, crafts, and fire-lizards – but not in any sensible order!

Luckily for him, Kemmio solved the puzzle of Fr'ton's confusing notes adeptly, delivering the correct drinks to the correct Masters, and earning a handsome tip in the process. Kemmio even shared the largesse with Zielaph, who then introduced her to Fr'ton – who, having Impressed a bronze in spite of his less than boundless promise, gave Kemmio a certain confidence in her own prospects!

A rising problem

Kemmio encountered both Soleigh, whose green Bristath was preparing to rise near the lake, and her weyrmate Maris, who was getting very drunk in the dining hall on account of her fears that Soleigh was having an affair with a blue rider, G'tron. Kemmio's intervention successfully got rid of G'tron, whose Imdoth was very sweet indeed on Bristath, from the mating flight – not to mention G'pellas, another blue rider, needed in the Harper ensemble – and reconciled the two green riders.

Kitchen diplomacy

Madellon's kitchens – the heart of the Weyr, and domain of Headwoman Crauva – provided Kemmio with the opportunity to show off her work ethic before the Hatching. A round of chores duly pleased Crauva. And the kitchen was also the source of the hotfruit R'hren had sent Kemmio to find for his warming salve.

Eggs and baskets

A visit to the Archives led to a meeting with Tarshe, Madellon's Weyrwoman Second. When Kemmio expressed an interested in looking up some Weyr records, Tarshe offered her the loan of a glowbasket – on the proviso that she return it afterwards. Which – mindful of not offending such an important personage of the Weyr – Kemmio did!

A blue lady

Coming across T'gala, Pern's only female blue rider, bathing her Heppeth in the lake, Kemmio offered her assistance – which T'gala gladly accepted. Getting some first-hand advice about what it took for T'gala to Impress a blue dragon was an opportunity Kemmio didn't want to pass up.

Friend request

Seeking knowledge of Erilde's parentage, Kemmio visited the Weyr's Archives and sought advice from Weyrwoman Tarshe, the Weyrwoman Second. While Tarshe could find no evidence that Erilde's father had been a dragonrider, she suggested Kemmio might construct a story about a long-dead rider. Kemmio delved into Madellon's records and unearthed a brown rider, B'get, deceased some Turns ago, but of the right age to have fathered her friend. Bringing this plausible white lie to Erilde may have been a tad devious – but it had the desired effect on her belief that she could, in fact, possess the ability to Impress a dragon!

Hair today

Mindful of the Weyrlingmaster's orders to be smart for the Hatching, Kemmio visited Madellon's resident barber, Z'fell, for a trim. But she fell foul of the green rider's perverse sense of humour, and came away with a curious cut – short on top, long at the back – that prompted quite a number of odd looks and laughs at her expense!

A breath of foul air

Early in the day, Kemmio found out about a secret way into the Hatching Ground via storeroom that might allow her a sneaky peek at the eggs before the Hatching. Successfully entering the combination to the lock on the storeroom door, and suitably equipped with a glowbasket, she crawled into a confusing maze of passages. The route she chose turned out to be thick with choking toxic fumes from Madellon's volcanic foundation, and Kemmio soon found herself struggling for breath.

Undeterred, Kemmio pushed through the discomfort, and emerged shortly onto the Hatching Sands. But she wasn't quiet enough. Shimpath, dozing only very lightly, awoke, and she and Muzzanth chased Kemmio from the Sands!

The Hatching

When it came to the Hatching, Kemmio had to wait for every other dragonet to Hatch and choose a rider before the pearl-green egg Hatched to reveal the deep midnight-blue hatchling who would choose her, naming himself Aulaxith.

A friend in me

And Kemmio wasn't the only lucky one. To her delight, Erilde also Impressed, becoming the rider of an inquisitive teal-green hatchling, Shaldeth.

Whatever happened to Auciet?

Sadly, there was at least one fly in the numbweed. Auciet Impressed an unusually aggressive grass-green hatchling, making them Kemmio and Aulaxith's new classmates. (On the bright side, at least Cedranne didn't Impress!)

After the Hatching

"Aulaxith" by Chris S. Baily

The Weyrlingmaster was the first to congratulate Kemmio on her Impression, but it was old S'rius, delighted to have found yet another weyrling, who stepped in to help with the immediate matter of Aulaxith's first meal. That was Kemmio's first opportunity to speak to Erilde, too, and they introduced each other, with considerable delight, to their respective dragonets, Aulaxith and Shaldeth.

It wasn't long before Aulaxith's personality started to become evident. The big midnight-blue dragonet showed an immediate desire to show off and preen – not surprising given his handsome colour and conformation!

With both dragonets full to bursting with fresh meat, the newly minted dragonpairs left the Hatching sands for their new home: the weyrling barracks.

Big sister

Another friend Kemmio made along the way – a young Weyrbred candidate, Brithie, whom Kemmio had encountered in a sudden crisis of confidence directly before the Hatching – hailed Kemmio at the barracks – crediting her with her successful Impression of a tiny bottle-green dragonet, Epatanth!

Meeting the Weyrleader

As Kemmio and Erilde wiped the worst of the blood and sand from their tired new dragonets, the Weyrleader, T'gat, came to inspect both girls' dragonets – and in particular to remark upon Kemmio's unusual Impression of a blue. T'gat further enquired if Kemmio would like to elide her name, as T'gala had done, or not. Kemmio took up the opportunity to rename herself, and after a brief conference with Aulaxith, Kemmio gave the Weyrleader her new name – K'mio, rider of blue Aulaxith!

Following their audience with the Weyrleader, and the application of oily rags to relieve Aulaxith's and Shaldeth's newborn itchiness, K'mio and Erilde headed into the girls' barracks to claim the billets that would be theirs for the next Turn. Choosing adjacent cots, the two new weyrlings got their dragonets settled on the couches that they would take months to grow into. But there was no time for them to sit and admire their new dragons. The Weyrlingmaster soon came along to give them their new weyrling shoulder-knots, before chivvying them off to the Hatching feast!

The Hatching feast

K'mio and Erilde soon went their separate ways to find family and friends. Many of the riders and Weyrfolk K'mio had helped during the day greeted her with warm congratulations as she hunted through the throng – but, at last, she found her family.

K'mio's mother, Nelya, was thrilled by her daughter's Impression – though perhaps not quite as ecstatic as K'mio's younger siblings, Ashi and Halante. As the first dragonrider in the family, K'mio was keenly aware of what it meant to her brother and sister. And when the Weyrleaders came to drink a toast to K'mio and Aulaxith, Valonna was particularly delighted for Nelya – one of her most trusted Headwoman Seconds.

The rest of the evening passed in a blur for K'mio, and it came as a relief when the Weyrlingmaster ordered all the new weyrlings back to the barracks for a good night's sleep. But en route to bed, K'mio was flagged down by a Weyrbrat, Emry, bringing the message that Weyrwoman Second Tarshe wanted to see her in the Archives.

Setting the record straight

Tarshe, tasked by the Weyrwoman with converting candidate documentation into weyrling records, went through K'mio's background with her – including much of what she had got up to on the morning of the Hatching – for good and ill. She offered K'mio some advice about paying attention to her new classmates and surroundings, lest she fall foul of the Weyrlingmaster's penchant for snap quizzes, advised her to report to Master Isnan before returning to the barracks to get her injuries checked again, and made some observations on Aulaxith.

A close encounter

On her way back to the barracks (by way of the infirmary, as ordered by Tarshe), K'mio had two peculiar encounters – first, with Tarshe's queen, Berzunth, who seemed quite agitated by one of the visiting dragons on the Rim; and then with a mysterious hooded figure, smelling strongly of what K'mio would later realise was firestone, who called her by name – and gave her a curious wooden box.

"The Watchful Queen" by Chris S. Baily

Back at the barracks, K'mio decided, on balance, not to tell the Weyrlingmaster about the stranger.

Returning at last to Aulaxith – billeted between Erilde's Shaldeth and a pale green dragonet – K'mio was too tired to examine the strange wooden box very closely, and put it in her clothes' chest for later examination. But even as she went to sleep – a dragonrider at last, her blue beside her – K'mio was struck with a deep sense of foreboding. Who was the mysterious dragonrider in the hooded cloak? And what was the significance of the strange wooden box?

K'mio and Aulaxith's story will continue in Dragonchoice: Weyrling, coming soon!

K'mio's achievements

Achievement Unlocked:
CARRY ON WAYWARD SON

I travelled The Road So Far!

Achievement Unlocked:
OUR ROB, OR ROSS

I received a mysterious box!

Achievement Unlocked:
A HORSE WITH A NAME

I have a name and it's a good name and I don't need to fix my name. Probably.

Achievement Unlocked:
THE YIN TO YOUR YANG

Aulaxith and I complement each other!

Achievement Unlocked:
SUGAR AND SPICE

I've been a very nice person (so far)!

Achievement Unlocked:
PLEASE STATE THE NATURE OF THE MEDICAL EMERGENCY

I returned to the infirmary!

Achievement Unlocked:
EBONY AND IVORY

Aulaxith and I agreed on something very important!

Achievement Unlocked:
IN TUNE

Aulaxith and I agreed on something quite important!