|Chapter 7||Dragonquest||Chapter 9|
Brekke checks in on Mirrim, looking at her wounded brown. He was okay, but Brekke warns her not to overfeed him.
Brekke realizes that her queen was near mating, and goes off to her dragon. F'nor hoped that someone other than the bronzes already at Southern would fly her queen, as the bronzeriders already there had all contended for Kylara.
F'nor approaches Brekke by her dragon, speaking with her about Wirenth's upcoming mating flight. He suggests that she could ask for an open flight, suggesting such bronzeriders as N'ton of Benden or B'dor of Igen.
Brekke wonders aloud whether, if the fire-lizards could be Impressed by anyone, if perhaps a girl could Impress a fighting dragon, not just queens. F'nor is stunned by her suggesting, dismissing the idea that a woman could fly a fighting dragon, which was hard work. Brekke fires back that managing a Weyr, or plowing fields, was hard work too, and suggests that Mirrim would make a good dragonrider.
As they're discussing this idea, F'lar arrives. T'bor arrives shortly afterwards, having heard that F'lar had arrived. F'lar asks to see the fire-lizards. He is introduced to Mirrim. After the meeting, he sits down to speak privately with F'nor. He tells F'nor what he'd learned about the Oldtimer Weyrs. F'lar suggests that the fire-lizards might help to ease matters between the Weyrs and the Holds and Crafts. F'nor casually remarks that Brekke hoped to see Mirrim Impress a fighting dragon. F'lar was startled, and then began to laugh, imagining T'ron's reaction. He asks F'nor more questions about the similarities between fire-lizards and dragons.
F'lar flies a patrol to check for burrows. He finds plants with threadscores, but no sign of burrow. He sees nothing but a profusion of grubs. He is mystified.
T'bor arrives, announcing the end of the Fall after just two hours. F'lar shows him what he's found, and he, too, is perplexed.
Sweeps are flown of the surrounding area, where Thread had recently fallen, and found, again, no sign of Thread.
Kylara arrives, showing off her new queen. They ignore her queen, and berate her for not showing up for the Fall. She tries again to show off her queen, and startles it, causing it to fly off, going between. After Kylara storms off, T'bor tells F'lar that she'd found more than just the one egg, that she'd found a whole clutch, which she took to a Hold. He'd known that because Prideth, displeased with her Rider, had told his Orth.
F'lar was dismayed at the idea of a dragon displeased with her own rider, and at Kylara's pre-empting him by giving a Holder the fire-lizards.
He returns to the swamp where Thread had fallen earlier. He notes far fewer of the grubs than he'd seen immediately after Threadfall. He wonders if the grubs were the equivalent of Igen's sandworms, which destroyed Thread. He decides to test it out. He gets onto Mnementh, and orders him to time it back to the start of the Fall, around noon. They arrive at noon, and shortly afterwards, Thread begins falling. Resisting instincts to fight Thread, F'lar and Mnementh watch it fall to the ground, falling onto the mud, piercing the leaves. He lands just short of the Edge. He examines a plant, still smoking from Threadscore. He scoops up a bunch of grubs in his glove, and sets off for the Masterherdsman's Crafthall in Keroon.
Sograny, the Masterherder, was not pleased to see F'lar. He asked brusquely what he was there for. F'lar tells him that he had some questions about the fire-lizards. Sograny was surprised to hear that fire-lizards had been Impressed. Sograny dismisses fire-lizards as useless flitterbys, and dismisses out of hand the idea of dragons being bred up from fire-lizards.
He reacts with extreme vehemence when F'lar shows him the grubs, destroying them and calling them an abomination, rejecting out of hand F'lar's statements that they ate Thread.
They leave the Hall.