M’gal was at Kassia’s party, wondering what was keeping her. About the same time that the news of Foreth’s Clutching began to circulate, Kashara found him and requested him to get ice for Foreth. A bit pale, he immediately called Oz. They stopped by the infirmary for some large empty oil drums to fill with ice from the mountains, grabbed a wandering candidate, and they were gone.
Maybe he should have waited for T’rifoshe, but the rider knew what to do, so why wait? For all he knew, T’rif had already gone.
It was cold, but worry kept him warm as he and the candidate filled the drums. He didn’t even ask their name. But with two of them, they made short work of their ice-haul. Another short hop, and they were at the Caverns.
Word was sent as soon as they arrived. By then Kassia had done the heavy lifting in convincing the laying Queen to let the help arrive and the ice to be brought in.
“Let’s help them bring it in, Mendl,” Kassia said as way was made for Ozayith to drop off his load and Kasheth who was only a few minutes behind.
Finally. Something to do! Mendl followed Kassia and grabbed one side of a drum, bringing it down to Foreth. Too bad the dragon wouldn’t let the bronzes any closer, but she wasn’t even sure the queen would allow Kassia by her.
“Will she let me help her out?” Mendl asked. “She wouldn’t let me come down before, but you weren’t around and she’ll probably be more amenable with you here.” Maybe.
M’gal stopped Kassia and gave her a quick kiss. “Word is circulating that the eggs are coming,” he said. “Everyone’s excited. Is everything alright here?” It wasn’t every day that ice was fetched for a clutching queen.
Kassia hugged M’gal tight. “She’s rushing herself and she’s not in the best of shape after being grounded so long. I think she just needs to give herself a break. The ice will give her something to chomp on and maybe make things a little more comfortable. T’rif is coming with more, or he’s supposed to be.”
She turned back to Mendl, “Let’s just offer it to her and see what she does.”
Kass led the way as they started bringing in the drums. They set the closest one within reach of her but left plenty of room between them and her and her eggs.
Foreth was already part into laying the next egg, but she reached out and greedily crunched down some of the ice, soothing her dry throat.
Well, Foreth was smart. Instinct would take over. “That works. It’s just hard to watch her, and not be able to do anything.” But watching the dragon chew on the ice, she was heartened. Part of her problem might also be dehydration, and the ice would definitely help that. Plus, whatever she didn’t eat she’d most likely drink. Yes, this was good.
“Good, it’s helping already. Not exactly what I envisioned, but she knows what she needs.”
“Let’s just settle in and watch and see if she needs anything,” Kassia said. “The boys can keep bringing ice for her.”
Foreth seemed to have a revival after the ice and after a few more moments she got up and started anew. She laid three eggs in quick succession. The first looked like black wings, the second may as well have been a stone Foreth had unearthed from the Sands, and the third was a mesmerizing tangle of greens yellows and browns.