You Can't Do That JP Foreth/Nimoth


Kassia’s first indication that something was going on was the sudden disappearance of her mates despite her and the newborn babies. The second was Foreth’s furious roar.

((What’s wrong?)) she asked, trying to soothe her lifemate even as she tried to soothe two fussy newborn girls.

((She influences the Weyr,)) Foreth explained. ((She’s messing with my dragons! She’s making the males chase.))

((Who is?)) Kassia asked, more than a little distracted.


Kassia might have laughed if it didn’t mean a power play at the tender age of 5 months. And if her own mates hadn’t fallen under the spell. ((Well, take care of it. I’ll have someone talk to her rider once things quiet down.))

Foreth pulled away and reached for Nimoth, severing the connection to the males but the damage was already done. The males wouldn’t need her help any longer.

((Nimoth, what the shards do you think you were doing?)) she snarled.

Nimoth had a headache. Compelling the males to fly was easy, since, well, they were male. Even though most of them said they didn’t want to chase, well, a little part of them was always ready to chase. 

Her own Clutchmates, well, she had been practicing on them a little. Apparently the practice worked.

It was holding Travath back that had given her the headache. Keeping him from doing something he wanted to do, and his rider wanted him to do. The fact that he held off for so long had her a little chuffed. If she were a person, she’d be blowing on her fingernails and rubbing them against her shirt. Until her mother got all tetchy.

{{Ow,}} she said. {{I was helping a friend.}} 

((Attempting to get every male in the Weyr to chase one green isn’t  helping anybody,)) Foreth snapped. On the Infirmary ledge adjoining Kassia’s room, she lashed her tail. ((What makes you think that would help?))

Nimoth stopped a moment. Why did she think that would help? Her head was hurting so much she was having trouble thinking. But, she finally remembered why.

{{Because Ponth’s is Mendl’s friend. And Ponth is also Elpheth’s friend. And Elpheth called for dragons to chase, so they could protect her from one who she didn’t want chasing her. So I helped.}} In her mind that made sense, though it didn’t sound good that she was taking direction from a green. But Ponth was so cute and tiny and she didn’t want her hurt.

((You can’t go around compelling dragons like that,)) Foreth said sharply. ((You compel only for emergencies or with Yours’ permission and unless you’re Senior Queen you’ll have few reasons to use it.))

Well, that just made Nimoth even more obstinate. And of course she would speak before thinking about what she said.  {{So, as far as you’re concerned, it’s OK for a dragon to chase just so he can hurt the green in the flight? You’re getting soft, Mother. I thought you would take care of your dragons.}}  

((No, it’s not,)) Foreth said firmly and unruffled, ((but there are better ways to handle that situation. If you have knowledge of such a thing, you get ahold of humans who can step in to protect the rider. You get ahold of me so that I can ground the male. You don’t take away the will of the entire Weyr. That is not your job. You are a young Weyrling. Your job is not to be compelling at all.))

Nimoth rolled that over in her mind for a bit. If she’d gone to her mother, maybe the chaser wouldn’t have been able to chase at all.

{{You would have listened to me? Ponth’s said that this is something hard to prove. So, if no one would believe Ponth’s, how do I know you would believe me?}}

Foreth’s tail lashed harder, in part from the conversation and in part because of Ponth’s situation.

((It’s my job to believe you,)) Foreth said. ((It’s my job to protect the Weyr. That means protecting Ponth’s from being hurt during her flight and that means the Weyr’s males from being forced to join a flight they didn’t intend to join. I believe you, but unfortunately you sent away all the male dragons to chase Ponth, which means that their riders went with them. You sent away Mine’s mates so they aren’t there at a moment she really needs them. It’s also going to be harder to get help to Ponth’s because now we have to rely only on the guards and it’s harder to pass messages. There are consequences to what you do, Nimoth.”

{{Oh,}} Nimoth said in a small voice. Her head didn’t hurt so bad because now her tummy was all in a tangle. {{I didn’t know.}} And her mother really would have believed her? That meant more to her than anything.

{{But I wanted to help,}} she wailed. {{And I don’t want to end up like Ponth after a flight.}} She unwittingly showed Foreth the images Mendl had remembered. They may have been having trouble with the visual-sharing exercises, but this one had come out crystal clear, probably because of how upset her rider had been.

((I do not believe you will ever be in a position where you would risk ending up like Ponth,)) Foreth said. ((I cannot guarantee you will never be hurt, but it’s rare for dragons to behave this way. I will deal with this male once this flight is over and Mine will make sure his rider is dealt with as well. You were right to be concerned,  as it is our job as golds to protect the other dragons, but we have to do it correctly. I want you to come to me next time. I also don’t want you compelling other dragons. Not for this. Not for fun. If I catch you doing it again, I will have to compel you to keep from doing that and I don’t want to have to do that. Understand?))

Nimoth hung her head. {{Yes, Mother,}} she said. {{But how will I be able to compel dragons when I need to, if I don’t practice first? Will you teach me when I’m older?}} But she would have to wait so long for that. Maybe just a little nudge here and there?

((I will teach you,)) Foreth agreed, now suitably mollified. ((But a lot of it is instinct and doesn’t need a lot of practice. Remember that compulsion is not our play thing.)) No, there were plenty of other ways to treat the Weyr like a toy box, but she wasn’t about to teach Nimoth that yet either. The downside of having golden daughters was that she eventually had to share her Weyr with them until they could get transferred somewhere.

Stomach was better, but her head hurt again. She knew she’d have to be good for a while, but right now that was easy with this head pain. {{Thank you for explaining this to me,}} Nimoth said. She was a little hurt that her mother wasn’t proud of her, but she wasn’t going to say that. She was starting to understand her rider telling her that just because she could do something didn’t mean she should do it. No matter how fun it was. 

((Good,)) Foreth said in what came as close to a compliment as Nimoth was as likely to ever get. ((Keep watching for those that need help, but remember that our job is rarely to act directly. We act through our riders and other riders through their dragons. Our duty is to protect Ours and the Weyr as a whole. It’s up to our riders to deal with the other humans.))

{{I understand,}} Nimoth said. And she did. But it was so hard to sit by and watch while other dragons got to have all the fun. For now, though, there were other things she could do.