|Chapter 6||Dragonsblood||Chapter 8|
Wind Blossom remembers an earlier time. She had originally maintained a working relationship with Sorka, but after the creation of the watch-whers, her relationship with the dragonriders had soured, especially with Sean.
After the dragons had been created and matured with no signs of defects, Wind Blossom transferred to the medical profession. One day, speaking with Emily Boll, about the whers and their part in the plan, she broke down and cried. They became quite close after that.
During the Fever Year, when Emily Boll came down with the disease, Wind Blossom was kept busy doing all she could to help those with it. By this point, a sixth of teh colony had already perished. Ultimately, nearly 4000 out of 9000 died. The Dragonriders had avoided sickness, in part due to their isolation, and in part due to Eridani immune boost that Wind Blossom had given them. There wasn't enough for everyone, and Emily had not been on the list.
Wind Blossom spoke with Emily Boll, on her death bed. She tells Emily that she felt shamed, that she had failed badly, in having to make such massive - and visible - changse. In the Eridani Way, it is taught that harmony is everything, that a good change is invisible.
It is revealed that Ted Tubberman was an Eridani adept as well, and part of the ultimate plan. Emily asks Wind Blossom to perform an autopsy on her, in the hopes of finding a cure.
Wind Blossom worked herself hard treating the victims of the Fever, almost killing herself in the process. Wind Blossom told Pierre that she had become close to Emily Boll during the Nathi bombardment of Tau Ceti. After Emily's death, Wind Blossom and Pierre take her to a makeshift morgue.
Wind Blossom found the cause of the disease. A crossover of a Pernese bacterium and a Terran one. Wind Blossom found a vaccine, and inoculated, first the few remaining medical personnel, and then the population.
Before she passed away, Emily had sent a note to Sorka. Sorka never told Wind Blossom about the note, but shortly after she received, she asked Wind Blossom to visit her.
Over time, their relationship changed from merely professional to one of mutual respect, and finally to friendship. Wind Blossom's first - and only - child was named Emorra, after Emily and Sorka, and Sorka and Pierre were named her godparents.
Now on her death bed, Sorka wishes to speak with Wind Blossom privately. She sends M'hall away. They talk about the future of Pern, and the problems with knowledge being lost. Wind Blossom is concerned with the proliferation of the titles Lord and Lady, concerned about the development of a caste system.
Outside the door, they hear an argument between Torene and M'hall, but, assured they would not be interrupted, they continued. Wind Blossom predicts an ossification of the population, continuing into the upcoming interval. The dragonriders have been losing numbers, but should grow after the end of the Pass. By the next pass, Wind Blossom predicted, the dragonriders should be more able to handle Thread. Wind Blossom tells Sorka of her fear that a crossover infection may infect the dragons.
Sorka theorizes that Emily Boll and Paul Benden were also part of the Eridani plan.
Sorka's life approaches its end. She asks Wind Blossom if she could use her body for an autopsy. Wind Blossom refuses, horrified by the notion. Her children surround her. Sorka says good-bye to each of them. Sorka insists on Wind Blossom performin an autopsy on her, and suggests using her for practice for Tieran's surgery.
Later that night, with just Wind Blossom and M'hall present, Sorka passes away. Faranth and Duke both went between. Wind Blossom gently makes Sorka's body presentable before letting Sorka's children enter. The current Weyrleader and Weyrwoman of Fort, D'mal and Nara, enter after they've paid their respects.
M'hall and Wind Blossom transport Sorka's body to the College by dragonback.