Things were never entirely quiet around Arolos. Whether it was political issues between having two Weyrleaders, wine being taken away after parties, attacks at the Gather, heat waves, or monsoons, the last few months had been no different. That said, the last sevenday or so had been nice and quiet. With Kassia growing noticeably pregnant while dealing with Foreth sitting on her own eggs, including two gold eggs, Kassia was glad for the reprieve.
It was that point on in the day where the sun was very low in the sky, barely visible and offering meager light. Foreth was in the Caverns, as always, curled around her eggs with the twin golds holding the majority of her attention. Truenoth and Talith were tucked inside with her but close to the entrance. Kassia was just finishing her paperwork for the day. She stood and stretched.
“I’m going to be in the temporary weyr for a few minutes, love,” Kassia called to her lifemate before turning to head into the weyr which had been enlargened since she’d first started inhabiting the Caverns with Foreth.
Kassia stepped inside and reached for her carafe of juice.
Suddenly everything went dark and she was flying across the room. A large boom ripped through the weyr. She screamed as she hid the door and everything went black.
The big dragons guarding the place were going to keep him out with all that flailing they were doing, but Kodah was going to get inside to Kassia if it killed him. He had not let a single soul inside, not but those who were allowed, and he knew his colleagues had not, either. Had something burst beneath the Caverns? He could not say.
And he very nearly went flying at the swipe of the bronze one's tail, but he managed to dive out of the way just in time.
"Kassia!" he called as he scrambled back to his feet.
N'shen's head immediately whipped toward the Hatching Cavern, and he instinctively pressed the palms of his hands to his eyes.
[[What happened!?]] he demanded of the screaming voice in his head.
((A blast! I cannot see! You must come now, we must save my children!)) Truenoth demanded. N'shen was on his feet and running in a moment, but his shoulder glanced off the frame of his door as he ran. He cursed and gathered himself together again and resumed his dash toward the Hatching Grounds.
Talith was up and snarling at hidden dangers in the sudden blackness, bewildered but ready to guard his eggs. ((Truenoth! Something attacks!)) he warned. He couldn’t imagine what, but he had felt the scorch of heat against his hide before darkness had fallen, could feel the burn now. He heaved himself up and staggered a few wobbly feet, tripping on the bronze’s tail. ((Dragon attacks!)) he said alarmed, feeling the hide. ((Be wary!))
It had been a perfectly normal conversation. Calm small talk, the kind normal people had when out for a walk.
Normal people didn’t feel the world explode in their heads though. R’tal didn’t even stop to ask what had happened, just went white and turned, breaking into a run.
Between the initial blast and Kassia going black confusion had fallen over Foreth for a moment. Something had gone wrong, she knew that much. Her butt and tail burned. Smoke concentrated near the wall and the Stands and was spreading.
((Mine...Mine...Mine...!)) Each word was more and more panicked sounding as she probed at her lifemate’s mind even as twin instincts to protect her lifemate and her clutch warred at her.
Back in the temporary weyr, Kassia started to rouse. The world was still dark with the little light coming through the windows into the Caverns from the temporary weyr being covered in smoke. She could barely breathe through the smoke. Coughing, she tried to roll onto her hands and knees and screamed and nearly passed out again as she leaned weight on her arm.
((MINE!)) The pair might fight, but when it came to it Kassia was her lifemate and she’d kill anyone that tried to hurt her. ((NO ONE HURTS MINE AND MY EGGS!))
Her eyes rolled red-orange as fury rushed through her. She half opened her wings, smacking into the sides of the Caverns and at least one of the other dragons and then whirled toward the temporary weyr. Unfortunately her attention was more on getting to her lifemate in that moment and not for the eggs at the edges of the clutch.
"Foreth!" Kodah called. "FORETH!" He had no intention of letting the gold tear him apart without realizing who he was if he tried to get to Kassia without her permission. "It's me, Kassia's guard. Let me get to her!"
Sniffit bounded in behind Kodah but did not advance any further than he did. He echoed Kodah's sentiments to her as best he could.
There were a few sickening crunches that Foreth would regret later. For now she had her goal and went for it singlemindedly. She reached the edge of the Stands as Kodah did and pulled back a paw, ready to take out the threat.
Kassia had heard Kodah’s cry and even as she struggled to get closer to the door, she threw her will at the gold just before the deadly claws could come down. ((DON’T HURT HIM! Let him SAVE ME!))
Foreth hesitated, shaking her head hard.
((Make him get me out,)) Kassia added, struggling to think through the pain and the smoke.
Foreth lowered her paw and to Kodah she said, ((SAVE MINE! You hurt her more, and I’ll eat you.))
Kodah might have had something clever to say if he had a few minutes to ponder it, but as it was, he was too focused on his job to think of it.
[[Sniffit, rescue!]] he sent with images of the wher clearing the rubble. The pair rushed in and quickly but carefully got to work lifting the fallen debris to reach Kassia.
"I'm coming, Kassia!" he called. "Can you hear me?"
The sound of Kodah’s voice came in through the door. Kassia lifted her head and groaned as even that shifted her on her arm. “I’m in here!” she called as loud as she could manage and then dissolved into coughing.
Sniffit rushed in through the door, staying low to the ground and searching for Kassia by scent – the wher had hers committed to memory, of course. When he reached her, he crooned to her and sent what he saw back to Kodah, who followed him in.
Kassia sagged back to the ground with relief as the sight of her wher an guard saviors appeared in the dark weyr. “Hel...help...” she gasped between coughs. “Hit...my head...arm...broken...I think...”
((HURRY!)) Foreth snapped in his head.
Kodah very carefully lifted Kassia, supporting her as best he could without hurting her arm any worse than it was.
"You're going to be OK," he said. "Stay with me."
**Big bronze, stop screech, get Healer!** Sniffit chastised Truenoth, and a few moments later, the bronze was wailing in Elphith's head, demanding that her rider send all of the Healers she had.
For a moment, Truenoth was worried she had heard, send a lot of Healers, so he made sure she understood – send all the Healers she had.
And Talith was shouting a similar message to K’ren; send help, send Healers, send EVERYONE. And that seemed a good idea for a moment, so much so that he turned up the ‘volume’ on that message, projecting it to other dragons.
((THE EGGS ARE BEING ATTACKED. YOU AND YOUR RIDERS SHOULD COME AND GUARD THEM. NOW.)) It didn’t carry the weight of a gold’s command, but Talith wasn’t usually a dragon to panic at the drop of a hat and there was enough alarm in that statement to garner attention.
That done, he dropped his head back onto his fore-legs, exhausted for a moment. His entire face felt like it was throbbing, and it was still so very dark.