|Chapter 13||Dragonsblood||Chapter 15|
At Telgar Weyr, D'gan refuses to accept Lina and V'gin's advice to keep the sick dragons behind, declaring that all 222 fighting dragons and the three queens would fly, as that was what the Teaching Songs said.
Lina's dragon had recently started sneezing.
C'rion had decided to move the queens and senior wingleaders to the upper weyrs, in the hopes of mimizing infection, and to not use the queens' wing, because of the risk of any ill fighting dragons infecting them. When the Red Star was bracketed by the Eye Rock, indicating the iminent onset of a Pass, he had had 333 fighting dragons. Now he only had 176.
C'rion readied his Weyr to meet Thread over Nerat. It would be a short fall, since most of it would be over the sea. It was a dangerous one, though, with unpredictable thermals. J'lantir sees a clump of Thread falling on C'rion, but before he has time to warn them, it hits them. C'rion and Nidanth go between, and are lost. J'lantir takes charge
Kindan and Lorana had been working together, part of the time in the Records Room, and aprt of the time helping K'tan with injured dragons and riders, plus sick dragons. Kindan became worried, however, when she did not come to dinner. He went to look for her in the Records Room. Arith calls Kindan, telling him that Lorana needed him. He hears sobbing from inside her room. He finds her lying on the bed, surrounded by drawings of dragons, those that had been lost to Thread or the illness. He massages her back and shoulder, and then her hands and arms and legs. After a while, she's much more relaxed, and falls asleep.
The next morning, Tullea's Minith blooded her kills. Lorana awakes abruptly. Kindan checks in on her, and she asks him to stay with her. Lorana reacts to Minith's mating quite passionately. Minith mated with B'nik's Caranth.
Tullea had failed to - or perhaps intentionally refused to - control her dragon, who had eaten two whole herdbeasts. The mating flight had been short, a poor sign, portending not only a small clutch, but problems for the Weyr, having a Weyrwoman who would not control her dragon. (Compare the behavior of Jora in the Second Long Interval).
Now officially Werywoman, Tullea announces that Lorana and Kindan would have to conduct their research elsewhere, nd that M'tal's wings would move to the upper levels.
Lorana and Kindan moved their research to Kindan's quarters. Lorana insists that they should go to Fort Weyr, which M'tal had refused to allow. B'nik, however, allowed it, and C'rion had agreed, and offered to take her and Kindan there, offering to time it to ensure that they returned to the Weyr only a couple hours after they left, making an ambiguous reference about needing practice timing it.
At the Harper Hall, Masterharper Zist tells Kindan that he could get nothing from High Reaches Weyr, with no reason given. The only message received was "wait", and that nearly a fortnight earlier. Verilan announces his estimate that, if a cure was not found, that the Weyrs would be incapable of fighting Thread after the next two Falls.
Lorana and Cisca are going through Fort's Records. B'nik joins them, and later K'lior. Finally, late in the night, Cisca discovers something in the Records, a reference to a special room built just at the beginning of the First Interval. There'd been much argument about it, but finally M'hall prevailed, and it was built at Benden Weyr.
Lorana bursts in suddenly, announcing to Kindan that Arith was sick.