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Chapter 2 Dragonquest Chapter 4

Ramoth was in the Hatching Ground when she received a frantic summons from a green watchrider at Lemos, Thread was falling from the northeast at Lemos. She relays the call to all the dragons and riders of Benden. Thread was falling out of schedule. It had been expected to fall later in the day, and from southwest.

Thread was falling, but had not yet reached the ground. The riders had arrived in time to save the lush forests that were Asgenar's prime project.

Mere minutes into the fall, Virianth, R'nor's brown, is hit by thread, but it was only a minor injury, and he returned to the fight.

By the end of the fight, there were nine minor brushes, and two bad lacings, and two face-burned riders. F'lar wished that F'nor were there, but he was recuperating at Southern Weyr.

There was a queen egg on the sands at Benden. F'lar contemplated what to do about it, as Ramoth disliked having to share the Weyr with too many junior queens. He considers giving the egg to R'mart at Telgar or G'narish at Igen.

F'lar lands to speak with Lord Holder Asgenar of Lemos, relieved that it was to him that he was to speak, rather than with Raid or Sifer.

Asgenar greets F'lar, asking about the "Variations". F'lar is surprised, as that was the first one he'd known of. F'lar tells Asgenar he'd leave F'rad with him. Asgenar promises not to "abuse the privilege". Final reports from sweepriders come in. Nine infestations, controlled with minimal loss of property.

F'lar returns to Benden. Lessa meets him with numbweed, Mnementh having reported his injury to Lessa. Lessa told F'lar that she'd sent messengers to the other Weyrs to tell them about the changes in the timetables. F'lar tells her that at least some of the other Weyrs already knew, and hadn't told them.

T'ron arrives, quite agitated. He's waving around a Record, which he says proves that F'lar had not included all the records from Fort Weyr in devising his timetables, though he does not let F'lar see the Record.

Lessa enters, offering T'ron some klah. He calms down somewhat, though he does take the opportunity to grumble anew about the "overforestation" of the present time. T'ron shows them the badly-worn Record, which T'ron had happened to remember when the weyrling sent by Lessa arrived with the news. The Record made a mention of a Pass where all previous Records were no help, referring to "unpredictable shifts".

D'ram and G'narish arrive, asking about the news of irregular Threadfall.

A weyrling messenger from Telgar Weyr arrives, informing them that R'mart was badly injured, and there were many other wounded dragons and riders, and that half the Holds of High Crom were said to be charred. Lessa replies that she must send aid. T'ron and D'ram object, and Lessa insists that helping out a Weyr in time of disaster was 'not interference. G'narish sides with Lessa. F'lar remarks that a Pern-wide guard was needed, to which T'ron objects, seeing that he was proposing housing Dragons in Holds and Crafthalls. G'narish points out that the Holders could easily supply the watchers themselves, with F'lar pointing out the warning fires that had been in place near the end of the Interval in case of another campaign by Fax.

The Weyrleaders agreed to the plan, to get the Holds to mount watches, and to use a few sweepriders to watch for the fire beacons. Lessa receives news that the situation at Telgar wasn't quite as bad as had been reported, though they still need assistance.

After the other Weyrleaders leave, Lessa tells F'lar that she didn't think the deviations were as much a problem as he'd thought. During their conversation, Lessa tells F'lar that she'd already sent for Robinton and Fandarel, knowing he was planning to contact them already.

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