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Ever the Twain
Published 2002
Publication Order 20th
Events Unknown, probably First or Second Pass

Neru ("Ru") was tired from helping his father load the fishing nets. He returns to his favorite daydream, of riding a Bronze dragon, named Nerith, fighting Thread.

His daydream is cut short, by a boy named Flamel teasing him, calling him the "wannabe dragonrider", and referring to his twin sister Nian as "Ninny".

Neru lived in a small seahold, Hold Lado, on Ista Island. He was commonly called "Ru", which he didn't mind, but he took exception to the nickname Ninny for his sister, with whom he was very close.

Orla, the daughter of the Hold's weaver, intervenes in Neru and Flamel's bickering. Neru, Nian, and Orla head to the Hold's Harper for their lessons, chatting on the way and complaining about Flamel.

The three of them knew that they would not always be together, that they would soon be separated. Nian, in particular, was worried about being parted from her beloved brother.

Orla asks them if Ruart had recommended them for the Healer and Harper Halls. Orla herself was going to become an apprentice to Master Elaine at Fort Hold. Neru said that their father wanted to marry Nian off to a farmer on teh North Shore. Nian told Orla that they'd been keeping an eye open for fire-lizard clutches. Orla remarks that Clidith had a clutch hardening, and that that might be Neru's chance to become a dragonrider, and one of the eggs was a queen egg, meaning that Nian might be able to become a dragonrider too.

Flamel and Neru bicker again as soon as they arrive at the Harper's hall.

The interior of the hall was decorated with drawings by the students. Orla's were the most skillfull of the drawings, and many expected her to go on to an Artist's Hall.

Ruart was about to take roll call when the class was interrupted by an announcement that dragons were arriving on Search. The class was dismissed to meet with the dragonriders, all but those too young to Impress. Two green dragons and one blue had arrived for the Search. The children gather to greet the dragons, and to present themselves for Search.

The bluerider, R'dik, introduces himself and his companions, greenriders Sarty and Conna.

The dragons select Chaum, Orla, and Nian, but seem uninterested in Neru. Nian, as well as their mother, Palla, were shocked by this. Nian felt guilty, worrying about stealing Neru's dream and leaving him behind, all at the same time.

Oswith, greenrider Conna's dragon, tells her rider that Nian was very strong, but that she would not go without her brother. Sarty, the other greenrider, asks if they'd ever been separated, to which they truthfully answer that they had not.

Conna speaks with their mother, seeking formal permission to take Nian with them to the Weyr. Palla was concerned about Nian going without Neru.

Nian steps in and asks, nervously, if it might be possible to bring Neru, at least to have someone from her family to watch the Hatching. Oswith tells her rider that the boy also seemed strong, but that his twin shielded him from her, making it hard to clearly see his potential, and suggested that perhaps he, too, should come along as a Candidate. Conna announced that Neru would be brought as well.

Candidates having been chosen, Holder Lado dismisses the other children, and tells those chosen to run along and pack what they needed to take with them, quickly.

Neru and Nian pack for the journey to the Weyr.

The dragonriders return, with their Candidates, to the Weyr. They are welcomed there by Kilpie, headwoman of the Lower Caverns. She gives them a tour of the Weyr. They are informed that there were 32 eggs, and 40 candidates so far, with more on the way.

While having a snack in teh Weyr's kitchens, they are introduced to H'ran, the Weyrlingmaster, who tells them what to expect at the Impression. He then takes them across the Bowl to the Hatching Ground to view the eggs. The candidates view the eggs, touching them.

One girl in particular, Robina, daughter of the Masterfarmer, was convinced that she'd been "promised" the queen egg. Neru enthusiastically tells the other Candidates everything he knew about dragons. Nian could tell that he was hiding his worries about not Impressing.

After a few minutes, H'ran pulls them away from the eggs for evening chores. He assigns them to help Dragonriders tending dragons wounded from the last Threadfall, a couple of days earlier. Neru and Nian are assigned to help a bronzerider named C'tic. Nian, who back at the hold had often helped with nursing, expresses an interest in the dragon's recuperation. Robina passes out while tending her assigned dragon. They speak with C'tic as they tend his dragon. The dragon speaks to them, surprising both of them. C'tic tells them that they would both make fine dragonriders, his dragon told him so. Brith suggests to Nian that she should train to be a dragon healer.

H'ran enters after a while to announce dinner. After washing their hands, the candidates enter the dining room. During dinner, a Harper plays a tune on his gitar, one Neru and Nian had never heard. A number of fire-lizards appear, joining in the singing.

The next morning, the twins are assigned to help C'tic again in the infirmary. However, before the candidates can go to their assigned duties, the Hatching begins. They rush to change into their candidate robes and make it to the Hatching Ground.

The eggs were rocking as the candidates assembled, and the spectator area filled. Suddenly one of the eggs cracks open, a bronze dragonet. They watch as dragonets Impress Candidates one by one. Nian Impresses the gold dragonet, though she initially ignores it, trying to encourage her brother. The dragonet trips her, trying to get her attention, and wondernig whe she was ignoring her. The dragonet's name was Quinth. Quinth finally gets Nian's attention, and she begins feeding her, still concerned that her brother had not yet impressed.

Robina was outraged that Nian had Impressed the queen, and not her. Orla had impressed a green. Robina soons follows suit with another green, while Neru still had not Impressed, and most of the hatchlings had Impressed. Neru's favored egg had not cracked. He stood by it, encouraging the dragonet inside to break out. The Weyrwoman, seeing Nian looking at Neru and the egg, told her that they'd found that an egg that doesn't crack is usually damaged, and is best to let nature take its course. Nian continues feeding her dragonet. She remarks loudly that she needed more meat, and they head towards the entrance, the way to which lying past Neru. As they approach Neru and his egg, Nian asks Quinth to trip her again. Quinth reluctantly agrees, and Nian falls right onto Neru's egg, cracking it open, as she'd intended. A bronze dragonet emerges and immediately Impresses Neru (now N'ru).

Nian is shocked, dismayed, as N'ru's Impression weakens the bond between them. Nian gives her brother some of her meat, angering Quinth. Though the Weyrwoman is convinced that the trip was intentional, she does nothing about it. Nian apologizes to Quinth for initially ignoring her, and Quinth forgives her, but makes it quite clear that she was her dragon and Larinth was her brother's dragon.

They make it to the Weyrling barracks. Once there, the dragonets fall asleep. As their dragons fall asleep, N'ru talks to Nian, thanking her for all she'd done for him. N'ru worried that, being dragonriders, they were now more effectively separated than they'd've been otherwise. Nian, as a queenrider, might be sent to another Weyr, while he'd likely remain at Ista, and their duties would be quiet different even if they remained in the same Weyr.

Quinth, still awake, assured the twins that she and Larinth would be able to keep them together always, never more than a thought apart, and they'd never be alone.

Characters Introduced Edit

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