Jenifor stood up from her work, brushing the dirt off her work smock. She had been weeding for most of the day, and she would welcome a break. Shielding her eyes from the sun, she saw her friend Anaxa running towards her as fast as the girl's short legs could carry her.
"Slow down An, what's the problem? You're acting like Brit when she's excited." Jenifor motioned to the tiny green flit lying on her back in the sun.
"Riders! Here! I saw 'em, a bronze and a green, flying right overhead. Runner spooked an' threw me, but I had ta' come and get ya, to tell you about it." The short girl beamed up at Jenifor. "Can you believe it? Riders? Here? Do you think it's a Search?" Jenifor shook her head at her friend's excitement.
"Probably just taking the Masterfarmer to some meeting or another An, don't get excited. I haven't heard of any new clutch at High Reaches, and I'm pretty sure they're the only ones allowed to Search us. Now get back to work!" Jenifor shooed her friend away and proceeded to forget all about the dragons.
As the sun sank into the horizon, dying the fields a deep orange, Jenifor stood up from her work again. She was a tall girl, fairly well built, with short dark brown hair and eyes of the same color. Looking at the sun as if she had just noticed it, she called the green flit Brit to her shoulder then strolled back to the main hall building.
Upon entering, her eyes fell upon a spot of green around the next corner. Probably another one of Garen's crazy projects. Doesn't he know it's dangerous to keep green around the stone? Jenifor sighed as she turned the corner preparing to uproot whatever her fellow apprentice had planted, then gasped in surprise. A green dragon was sitting in the day's last sun which bathed the East wall, her tail just curled around the corner to show a hint of green. Next to her was an even larger bronze. Both turned to gaze at the small creature who had interrupted their conversation, eyes swirling.
Dragons are really....big. Jenifor thought as she slowly apologized, though she wasn't sure the dragons could understand her. I guess Anaxa was right after all, I'll have to apologize later. Meanwhile, the dragons were having thoughts of their own.
Bekah? Bekah, I found another one. Green Leprecaunth called to her rider, who was sitting with the Master Farmer and a group of about nine youngsters listening to her Search partner explain the difficulties of candidacy.
Is he really worth it Lep? We're nearly ready to go.
SHE'S really worth it. Polite one, not cocky like that boy Grath picked out. Imagine, his nerve, talking to you like...
All RIGHT, all RIGHT I'm coming. Bekah grumbled mentally as she stood up. S'eth looked up questioningly and she mouthed, "Lep found another one."
Jenifor slowly backed away from the dragons. As she turned to run she fell straight into a strange girl, who could be no more than Jenifor's age of sixteen. Her long golden blond hair was swept into a ponytail, and she was wearing weyrhide riding clothes.
That's her Leprecaunth told her rider. Bekah nodded. Physically, Lep had made a good choice, as always. The girl was tall, at least a foot taller than Bekah herself. She had short, dark brown hair, which meant there would be no problem trying to convince her to cut it off. Muscular and tan, probably from working in the fields all day, she was pretty fit for the rider roll. But with the mind, no one could tell. Sighing, Bekah put on her largest fake smile.
"Heyla, I'm greenrider Bekah. That's Leprecaunth, she didn't scare you did she?" Bekah ignored her dragon's offended snort and the low rumble of dragon-laughs from S'eth's Grath.
"Oh, no, not a problem. Dragons are just..rather big, aren't they?" The girl shrugged and Bekah nodded. So far so good.
"Yes, that's what I thought when I first got to the weyr. But dragonets are much smaller, and after you Impress you can't exactly be afraid of them when they get bigger."
"Are baby dragons really so small? How can something so big be so little at first? I've always wanted to see one, but...oh, never mind." The girl blushed and Bekah grinned to herself. This one wasn't too much younger than she was, maybe a turn or so younger. She was modest enough not to ask a rider who could grant her every girl's dream to take her to the weyr.
"Well, how would you like to see a dragonet up close?" Bekah questioned.
"I'd love to!" the girl gushed, then controlled herself. "Did Leprecaunth have eggs?" She blushed as the greenrider chuckled at her ignorance.
"No, Leprecaunth chews firestone. However, a gold at Jerdan Weyr just clutched and another rider and I are on Search. So how about it? I take it you aren't a Master of course."
"No, of course not. Ima senior apprentice, though I'll walk to Journeywoman in a Turn or so..." Jenifor shrugged.
"Of course, if you'd rather stay, you're welcome to. Some girls find weyrlife isn't to their liking." Bekah expected the girl to quickly reject the notion of staying, but Jenifor wasn't to sure.
Do I really want to leave the Farmcraft? I'm pretty good at it, and I know so many people here. I haven't left since I was very young. Jenifor's thoughts were interrupted by the arrival of a young man. As she looked up, she relized this wasn't just any young man. Shards, he's gorgeous!
Puzzled by the girl's silence, Bekah greeted her wingthird. "Heyla S'eth, Lep found another one. She's not sure if she wants to come to the weyr or not."
"Oh, I want to come. I was just thinking about what to bring with me!" The girl suddenly burst out. "I'm Jenifor, and this is my green Brit." She extended her hand to the somewhat confused bronzerider. "Is that your dragon? He's lovely."
Bekah grinned as she figured out what was happening. Poor S'eth. The bronzerider was known around the weyr to be very shy, and was rarely ever seen with girls older than 12 turns, or younger than his mother. It wasn't his fault he was attractive to almost every girl that age he found awkward. She darted in to save the man from an awkward position.
"Jenifor is it? This is bronzerider S'eth, and yes Grath is his lifemate. Well, you would like to come with us to the weyr? Go pack up, the others that have been Searched are already doing so. Then come back here and we'll fly you back to the weyr." She gestured towards the low main building of the Farmcraft hall.
I'm here. Jenifor thought with a mixture of excitement, awe, and fear. I'm at the weyr.
She had loaded up most of her possessions into the large weyrhide bag she had slung over her shoulder. Brit had been perched on the other shoulder, but was now doing excited circles above her mistress. Jenifor had rejected wearing a short, tight clinging dress to Impress S'eth and was now wearing her work coveralls. No one seemed to notice or care.
"New candidate, dear?" A crisp voice in front of her brought her out of her dreaming. Jenifor looked up suddenly to see the Headwoman smiling up at her. "Ah yes, Bekah brought you in. I'll show you to the barracks, but first take these. We usually give them out on Hatching Day, but too many candidates lose them." She handed Jenifor a bleached white, woolen garmet and a pair of sandals. "Candidate whites. Now, this way."
Jenifor clutched her new possessions to her as she followed the Headwoman down the hallway. These robes were the key to a whole new life. Life in the weyr! She smiled warmly as she recognized a man they were approaching.
"Hello again, S'eth." She said out loud. I think I'm going to like living in the weyr.