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Chapter 11 Dragonquest Chapter 13

F'nor left the Council Room as soon as he could, looking for F'lar. Canth reported to him that he was in his quarters. F'nor fetched the pot of grubs from his room and brought them to F'lar. F'lar tells him to follow him, and he crosses the Hatching Ground. On their way, F'lar asks F'nor about the division of the fire-lizard eggs. F'nor notices that the peephole had been sealed off. The enter the rooms that Jaxom and Felessan had found.

They enter the last of the three rooms, and F'nor is surprised to note that there were pots filled with various plants and crops, and a few small trees. He adds the grubs to all but one of the pots, to test whether the grubs could survive among Northern Continent plants, and consume Thread.

They watched the grubs burrow into the soil. F'nor experienced an odd disorientation, seeing events in the past, and imagining suggesting to F'lar allowing Canth to fly Wirenth.

F'lar points out that the only explanation for what they'd seen at Southern Weyr was that the grubs were consuming Thread. He tells F'nor that he'd need to capture Thread, though he wasn't sure how he could do it. He suggests flying low, in the queens' wing, and capturing a good thick patch with a long-handled hearthpan.

F'nor asks him what they would do, if his point was proven. F'lar smiled and replied that they would breed grubs and spread them all over Pern. F'lar believed that, with the grubs protecting Pern, dragonriders would be able to clear the Red Star itself of Thread. F'nor asked what dragonriders would do if Thread was eliminated. F'lar had no answer.

F'nor fetched a hearthpan from one of Manora's assistants for the mission. He worried about what the Weyrs would do if Thread was eliminated.

At High Reaches, Brekke was already awake, her body still adjusted to Southern Weyr's time, although it was still dark at High Reaches. Brekke got out of bed. T'kul and Merika had left with most of the Weyr's supplies, leaving only the worst, and had kept them from bringing most of Southern's up with them, leavnig the Weyr woefully undersupplied. Rannelly had complained that the Weyr's lake had been deliberately fouled by T'kul.

By the time the rest of the Weyr was awake, Brekke had inventories what they had on hand, and realized it wasn't quite as bad as initially feared. The lake, however, would still need dredging, and would be useless for days. Kylara announced that she would fetch barrels from Nabol.

Later that day, Wirenth rises to mate. Pilgra takes her Segrith away, and Vanira already had. The bronzes return to the Weyr. She calls Canth, not wishing to be compelled by her dragon's lust to a man she didn't wish for.

Wirenth bloods her kills and flies into the air. Another golden dragon appears in the sky, challenging her. Wirenth flies at the intruder, attacking it. Wirenth is injured and begins falling. The other dragon - Prideth - called to the bronzes. Wirenth turns around and flies back up, attacking Prideth. The two begin fighting, as other queens appear to break them up, but Wirenth escapes them and latches onto Prideth. The bronzes and queens, and Canth, attempt to stop their descent. Wirenth goes between taking Prideth with her.

At Telgar Hold, F'nor was preparing to join the wings against Thread, when Brekke's Berd arrives, conveying the message that Wirenth ahd risen. F'nor got co-ordinates from Berd and took off. When he arrived, he found the killing grounds already, to find the mating flight already started. Canth exclaimed that Prideth had also risen. F'nor tells him to rouse Ramoth, and to tell the bronze riders that Prideth also rose.

When he arrived at Brekke's room, she was caught up in Wirenth's flight, speaking her thoughts.

Prideth and Wirenth were gone. Brekke collapsed.

Lessa and Manora arrived at High Reaches, with medicine, to do what they could for Brekke.

The bronzeriders were in shock when she arrived. Mirrim quickly joins with a tray, bearing strong spirits.

F'lar arrives, asking where Kylara was.

By evening, some order had been restored. The bronzeriders were asleep. A greenrider, S'goral, who had been assigned to Nabol Hold, brought Kylara back, asking not to be assigned there. S'goral reports what he'd seen on his end. Kylara had arrived in the morning, fetching kegs. S'goral had thought that Prideth looked too gold to be out. Prideth had landed near his green, and so he'd gone back to teaching Holders how to care for the fire-lizards. Kylara had gone into Meron's room with him, their fire-lizards resting outside his room. Later, the mating flight began, and Prideth began blooding kills among Meron's stock. When he saw that Kylara was doing nothing to stop it, he'd burst into Meron's room, and saw the two of them having sex. That, combined with the nearby mating flight and Prideth's own closeness to mating, had set off her own mating flight.

F'lar was uncertain what they would do about Kylara, saying that they shouldn't decide anything in heat. They'd had no precedents, in their time. D'ram replied that there had been such incidents in his time, but didn't elaborate.

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