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Chapter 23 Dragonsblood Epilogue

Third Pass 1 (508 AL)

Above Upper Crom, Thread began to fall, waiting for the dragonriders from Telgar, who would never come. The riders of High Reaches Weyr appeared over Upper Crom, arriving from a day in the future.

Lorana regains consciousness. Lorana told them what happened, how she'd pulled Caranth and Minith back, and how she'd contacted the Oldtimer she'd felt before and answered her question. The group enters the second room, seeing a door at the other end to the room they'd found first, which appeared to have been intended for last.

Ketan leaves to tend to injured dragons returning from Threadfall. After a few hours of practicing on the microscope, they are summoned to help Ketan with the injured dragons.

Minith has just come down with the illness, which was fortunate, as it would allow them to get a sample from early in the progression of the disease.

The next day, Lorana was hard at work in the Learning Rooms when Salina entered. Lorana found what appeared to be a lead on a cure. Lorana explained to the group what she'd found. She worries, however, about how they'd cure the next disease, which would probably happen in another hundred Turns or so.

With what she now knew, she knew what the four vials in the original room were for. One was to turn a watch-wher into a dragon, which is what had killed Arith.

Suddenly Tullea bursts into the room, shouting angrily at Lorana that she'd caused five stillborns in Minith's clutch. She shouts abuse at Lorana, calling her "dragonkiller". She's forced out. Ketan was surprised, at her talk of stillborns, as Minith hadn't even clutched. Lorana realizes what it meant. That they'd build a shield to slow down the parasites, and works out how to alter draconic PNA in such a way to prevent future infections, by creating a retrovirus that would alter the basic sequencing codons. They had just enough genetic material to produce a cure for that particular plague, and to create the change in the stop codons. Lorana realizes that it must be given to Minith.

Tullea refused to allow her dragon to be injected with the cure they'd found, but Minith insisted on it. Tullea injects her with the cure they'd created.

Tullea did not bring up the clutch again, and called B'nik a liar when he asked about it. He remarks that she's as bad as some of those who'd timed it. M'tal realizes soemthing, and gets up, asking B'nik to come with him somewhere.

Later, Tullea angrily wakes up Lorana, calling her "dragonkiller" again, and telling her that her potion hadn't worked, and believing that her dragon was dying too. B'nik and M'tal come in, defending Lorana, insisting that the cure would work. B'nik takes out a small syringe from the pouch on his side and injects Caranth. M'tal remarks, smugly, the he could never figure out why High Reaches became "so rude several Turns back". Kindan, Ketan, and Salina also enter, B'nik grinning impishly. M'tal tells Lorana that where he'd just been, she was known as the dragons' savior. Kindan realizes where they'd been - High Reaches. Her cure worked, but it wasn't enough to just hatch healthy dragons, they had to be old enough to fly. B'nik tells Tullea that it was time to go - to go to High Reaches, three Turns back, to warn D'vin to close off the weyr. Ketan offers to go with her.

Just moments after Tullea left, she returned, much to everyone's surprise. However, as Lorana quickly realized, she was different. Smiling, and more relaxed than she'd ever seen her before, and older. She apologized profusely for how she'd treated her earlier. Ketan explains that she'd been in two times at once, for over three Turns. Ketan had enough serum with him to immunize all the dragons at Benden, and other riders were dispatched to Fort and Ista as well. Tullea explained that the serum was ichor - dragons' blood - which contained the cure for the plague. Tullea gave Lorana a small silver item, which, she explained, she'd found in the first Learning Room.

A new dragon, a bronze named Kmuth, followed by a brown named Aloth, and a queen named Tolarth, appeared.

As this happened, Lorana looked at the item, which had an old version of the Masterhealer's mark, and her own Animal Healer mark on the back. Tullea asks her to open it. She opens and sees Arith's saddle star in it, and two pictures, one of a very old woman (Wind Blossom) and another of two younger people (Tieran and Emorra), and on the young man's shoulder, Lorana's own fire-lizard, Grenn.

Characters Introduced Edit

Characters Appearing Edit

Characters Mentioned Edit