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Chapter 13 Dragonquest Chapter 15

Word had come to Ruatha Hold that the Hatching was likely to occur that day. Ever since the battled between the two queens, Lytol had been even more gloomy than usual, unnerving the entire Hold.

A drudge comes up to Jaxom to announce that the Hatching was about to start, and that Lytol had said for him to change into his best. He quickly changes and heads into the courtyard, where a dragon awaited. Jaxom resented Lytol's decision not to accept fire-lizard eggs. Lytol was giving some instructions for the day's work to the stewards, when he arrived at the dragon. They take off and go between to Benden Weyr. As soon as they land, Jaxom is greeted by Felessan. Soon after they find a seat, the first egg begins to rock. The smallest egg, the one that Jaxom had touched, was not rocking, and Felessan remarked that it probably wouldn't hatch. Jaxom sees Brekke being brought out to the Hatching Grounds for possible re-Impressing. It was Lessa's idea to try it.

The eggs begin hatching, and one after another dragonet Impresses their new riders. The queen egg cracks open. The other candidates step back to give Brekke first chance. The queen takes a step toward her. Suddenly, Berd, her fire-lizard, appears, attacking the dragonet. Brekke cries out to stop the fire-lizard, suddenly snapped free of her catatonic state. One of Felessan's friends, Birto, now B'irto, had Impressed a bronze, while a bully named Pellomar (now P'llomar) only a green. Felessan begins leaving the Hatching Ground with everyone else, anxious to see who else Impressed what. Jaxom was concerned about the small egg, which hadn't cracked.

Jaxom insisted that someone should crack the egg open and help the dragonet out, the way birthing-women do when a baby won't come out. Lytol tells him it's better to let the dragonet die. Jaxom thought someone should tell F'lar, and Lytol tells him that he already knew, and pointed him out, conferring with other bronze riders about the egg. Jaxom refused to leave, and urged the egg to crack open. It was rocking, but woudl not crack open. Without thinking about it, Jaxom jumps over the railing onto the sand, and gets out his knife, cracking teh egg open. The egg cracks open, and a small white dragonet came out, looking at Jaxom with adoration, Impressing him. Jaxmo exclaims incredulously that his name was Ruth.

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