|Chapter 5||Dragonsblood||Chapter 7|
Wind Blossom wakes up, the sun streaming into her room. She gets up, performs her morning excercises, and dresses to get ready to go to the infirmary to attend to Threadfall injuries. She carefully made her way downstairs. A trainee, Mirlan, offers to help her down, she waves it away.
Once there, she meets with the senior surgeon, Janir, and makes an informal wager about the number of injuries. She sends her students off to study until Threadfall is over.
Wind Blossom is beginning to lose her short-term memory. She speaks with Janir about this. Early onset of senile dementia has become common on Pern at this time. They agree that it's probably due to some difference in diet. Wind Blossom decides that they must perform biopsies on any new cadavers to figure out what's going wrong, although she realizes that reducing infant mortality is probably even more important.
Tieran is now a regular member of the drum tower. Now eighteen years old, he has grown into a lean, well-muscled young man. He had joined the tower only a month after its had been completed, and had devised a new code for the drums, which Jendel, who was in charge of it, and the other drummers enthusiastically adopted (the code was based on PNA).
Standing on top of the tower, after drumming out the "all-clear" signal, he watches the College below him. he sees Lord Holder Mendin heading to the College. As he's watching, and wondering why he'd be going there so soon after Threadfall, Jendel comes up to him. He tells him that he's needed back at the College, and to go see Dean Emorra. He tells him to bring lunch and Kassa when he returns.
When he finds Emorra, she asks him to teach a class to some youngsters, as a way to introduce them to musical beat.
He arrives at the class. The children are between the ages of seven and eleven. The class goes well. He decides that he could teach young children.
In the kitchen, Moira informs Tieran that the last of the thermal units ("hot boxes") had cracked the previous day, and so there would be no more hot meals in the drum tower.
Emorra and Tieran return to the Drum Tower with lunch, and he realized he'd forgotten to get Kassa. Emorra, Tieran, Rodar, and Jendel talk about what was lost and what was kept in the First Crossing. Sage, they'd had a hard time getting it to take. Rodar complains about how they didn't bring any elephant DNA with them. Jendel and Rodar leave to fetch Kassa. They talk more about what was lost in the Second Crossing, and about how humanity would adapt to Pern.
Kassa arrives, and Emorra leaves. The two spend their dull shift chatting. The conversation turns to families, and the need for everyone to have at least four children (on average) to ensure a large enough population to survive plagues and other disasters.
As they're bringing the body in, M'hall appears again. The two M'halls argue, the newer arrival attempting a time paradox.