Warren ... Shivran Aerd

Myrah'Care's Flight! (courtesy of Mystic)

Myrah'Care's claws kneeded the ground like an anxious feline as she watched the Healing Den spin through time and space itself. She fluttered her wings at her sides, shivered her spin and flicked her tail, but it did nothing to aleviate the stress building up in her chest. It felt as if she carried an iron weight beneath her ribcage, weighing down on her heart and causing her almost physical pain. The silven dragoness had never delt well with stress, and without her rider there to calm her, it had gotten only worse.

In fact, it had gotten to the point where Baeris had been ready to tie her muzzle shut just to keep her from nattering on about the impending flight. Only a few months previous she and her rider had 'rediscovered' Mythicalae, and with it, her ability to speak verbally. Kalkin had been avoiding her like the plague, ever since her mental woes had bled over into his mind once and left him in the fetal position in the middle of the hallway. She didn't blame him. Mystic had done the same.

Her esteemed, and very pregnant, rider was back on Tris'Hath awaiting their arrival. Aaron had forbade her from travelling so much as two feet outside her den ever since she had passed the point where most of her pregnancies ended in failure. Then again, he had plans to ask Baeris to take her on after the flight. There were far too many political plots flying around the Council of Princes. Many of them concerning the health and safety of his wife.

The Healing Den soon left its colourless sky behind as it whirled into existance a few feet above ground on Tris'Hath. How, exactly, the oversized crator managed to hover as it did was a mystery to anyone but the operators of the Healing Den itself. Myrah'Care frankly didn't care at the moment, but instead directed them to a landing place in a mountain crevice that overlooked the site she had specified for her flight.

The temporary flight grounds were actually a secluded valley up in the Dragon Tooth Mountains. Though they were still close to the equator, the altitude was such that the temperature was no warmer then a sunny, spring day. There was only one access route into the valley other then by dragonback, and that was possessed by the monks of the Hidden Valley; a small town secreted away in the shadows of the mountain range. Myrah'Care had been very careful in picking out this spot exactly. Not only did it allow for supplies to be brought in via Hidden Valley, but it also came equipped with a chill, mountain lake to drink from, a sparkling waterfall, and towering cliff peaks whereupon the Healing Den perched.

When the Healing Den and it's occupants arrived, the green valley floor was already bustling with activity. Penned close to the lake was a herd of grazer beasts. Their pathetic mews reached the ears of the silven dam as the base of the Healing Den slid into place, causing a rumble of hunger to erupt in her stomach. She could already feel the first waves of pre-flight heat rippling through her body. It was only because of their unfamiliarity that she recognized them for what they were. Her last flight had been so long ago that it was no more then a foggy memory.

Soon after the Healing Den's landing, a large, dark shape filled the sky in front of Myrah'Care's view. The silver Geperna trilled a welcome to her mate, watching eagerly as he landed with a soft thump only a few feet away. She stretched out her neck, cooing inticingly as he moved towards her.

It's about time you got here. She chidded. I was beginning to wonder if I should look for another mate.

Not funny. Blakoreth growled irritably. He lowered his front half to the ground after exhanging a brief touch with his mate and allowed two passangers to step down over his shoulder.

Aaron slid to the ground with practiced ease, landing flat on his feet and twisting around to help the second passanger in a single movement. He took great care in catching her elbow as she stepped down from the hulking's blue's shoulder, his eyes rivetted on her swollen stomach.

After several months of carrying the child, Mystic had gotten grossly and undeniably pregnant. Her red robes rolled over the bulk of her abdomen, giving her an off balance appearence as she steadied herself on the lifeless soil of the Healing Den's exterior. One hand wound firmly around her staff, while the other rested with a regal delicacy on Aaron's extended arm. She held her head high and tried not to wobble as she made her way around Blakoreth's front.

Rider-mine, you should be resting. Foregoing any delight she might have felt upon seeing her bond again, Myrah'Care accosted her with the same concern that everyone had been showing around the severely pregnant Caretaker lately. Her words were rebuffed by a dismissive scoff from the red mage.

"I'm perfectly fine and if you don't mind, I'd like to find Baeris before this flight starts. It will be nice to see a familiar face after being holed up in that prison cell you call a den for the past few weeks." Mystic snapped as she waddled along at Aaron's side. It was obvious that she was accustomed to the weight of a child growing in her belly. Every move she made had the unsure footing of a new-born kitten.

No sooner had she spoken then the halls of the Healing Den began to empty out. Visitors, participants and curious on-lookers filed towards the lip of the crator, all vieing for the best viewing seat. The Master Healer herself was looking over a chart listing all the participating dragons as she made a bee-line for the Tris'Hathian duo and their bonds.

While most of the humanoids of the Healing Den had their own sense of style, Baeris Kshau was in a field all her own. She had no single designated fashion she preferred, unless one counted plastic wrap as a fashion. Her clothes were always changing, from full-length body suits to vibrantly coloured shorts and tank top combinations. Today, to suit the humid temperature of their location, she had doned a bright green undersuit, covered by a shiny set of white shorts and a top. The form-fitting green piece wrapped around her body from elbow to knee, hinting that it would have been nearly see-through except for the white, plastic coverings of shirt and shorts.

Her unerring path took her straight towards Mystic and Aaron, not once looking up from her clipboard and chart. When at last she stopped in front of them, knowing only that there was something blocking her path, she glanced up from her work and looked over the two Tris'Hathian leaders. Like anyone who hadn't been around Mystic for the past few months, her eyes went immediately to the mage's round belly.

"Shards, woman, you are pregnant!" Baeris exclaimed, critically studying the sufficent bulge of Mystic's dress.

"And here I was hoping you wouldn't notice." Mystic returned with her usual dry sarcasm. She detached herself from Aaron's arm, fixing him with a icy glare lest he protest her walking on her own two feet, and joined Baeris for the remainder of the walk to the crator's edge. During the few seconds of silence that follow, Mystic happened to catch a glance of Baeris' own filled out figure. "You're not looking entirely trim yourself." She arched a golden brow. "Results from that frenzy you ran a while ago?"

"You'll have to wait to find that out. I don't kiss and tell." Baeris retorted with a wry twist of her lips.

When they reached the crator's lip, Baeris sat down and dangled her legs over the edge. The separation between the mountain cliffs and the top of the Healing Den was enough that the humanoids could find multiple seats without being bothered by sharp rock points. Mystic had a more difficult time settling down to the ground, requiring assistance from her over-protective husband to lever her body like a cargo crate into an upright, seated position. He took his place on her other side with one foot crossed under his opposing knee, and the other dangling over the edge.

Myrah'Care and Blakoreth had long ago glided down to the lakeside to meet with the other participants. Both of them were eager to get this thing underway, but none so much as Myrah'Care. The silven dam was practically bouncing with excitment. Very unlike her calm, collected self. She paraded in front of the gathered males alongside her siblings, greeting those she knew and introducing herself to those she didn't. Of all of the Geperna that had turned up for this flight, only two of her own clutch siblings appeared. Virah'Care and Viull'Ryxa, duo bonds of the shape-shifting Sanger, Victory, recieved the silven female with as much enthusiasm as she showed herself. It had been nearly two decades since the old blood dragons had seen each other. Surrounded by a sea of unfamiliar faces, they quickly took to talking about times long past, when Savat Aery thrived and Mythicalae was known throughout the Nexus.

The other Geperna that had shown up were also old blood, but none of them had known the 'good old days' of the Aery. Those that had come were mostly Wylds that had bonded later in life. Their riders mingled about atop the Healing Den's surface, weighing the good and bad features of their opposite sex opponents. Three of the five pairs, including Mystic and Aaron, seemed to already have their flight partners picked out. Jarfalon and Rhianwen clung close together, somewhat daunted by the amount of onlookers filing out of the Healing Den. Mica and Gwendolyn, while not offically a couple yet, stood stoically side-by-side. It seemed as if the pale-featured girl wanted to explore more of the world she had never seen before, but Mica, her ever attentive guardian, kept her in check. That left Victory, Chansua and Thailena, none of which looked very pleased with each other. Either the males would have to be passed around, more males provided, or those three females would find themselves experimenting in something that they'd rather not think about at the moment.

Mystic secreted away a smirk as she watched Victory start up an uneasy conversation with Chansua, the human girl from Avengaea. Neither of them looked very intent on talking, but both made the attempt lest they be left to contemplate the alternative. Turning her gaze around, Mystic looked down on the field of dragons, numerous chromatics milling about her solitary, shining silver. Like their bonds, three pairings were already distinctly visible. Myrah'Care couldn't take a single step without Blakoreth's hulking shadow following at her tailtip. Miuah'Kyil and Gweai'Urdi, friends long before bonding to their humanoid partners, bickered amongst themselves. Apparently, Miuah was too close to Gweai's personal space, and the black male just wouldn't take the hint to back off. The pairing of Rhuah'Kyil and Jauah'Kyil studied their fellow Geperna together, though it could be assumed that they wouldn't fly together. With a wide enough variety of suitors, neither had a desire to mate with their siblings. Chuah'Kyil and Thnai'Irkr, alone in the mass of paired dragons, began to eye each other in a predatory fashion. Of all those present, at least they were starting to size up the competators. The duo-bonded Viull'Ryxa and Virah'Care were too deeply caught up in conversation with Myrah'Care to notice the other participants right away. That would change soon enough.

"Is this all of them?" Mystic quiried, leaning closer to Baeris while her eyes remained rivetted on the small pack of dragons. Bit by bit, the Geperna males and females were beginning to separate themselves out into same-gender groups.

"Yes." Baeris responded after a quick check of her clipboard. "Five males and five females." She paused for a moment, staring intently at the marks and notes she'd made on her clipboard. A brief flash of confusion passed acorss her dark brow, quick enough that it attracted a curious glance from the red-robed woman beside her. "I don't think I've had a flight this organized since we were on the Old World."

Mystic threw back her head and laughed, delighted by her friend's bewilderment. It would take an organized flight to thoroughly confuse the Master Healer. By the time the two knowledgable women returned their attention to the flight grounds, two perfect circles had been formed by the females and their suitors. The fliers, lead by Myrah'Care, crowded close together by the pen of grazer beasts. The unintelligent creatures were very much aware of their fate, and so had increased their mewling calls to a volume that penetrated the long distance between themselves and the onlookers of the Healing Den. The second circle consisted entirely of the males, spread out in a loose line around the females. Their bass rumbles and catcalls to their mates provided background noise to the continuous drone of the grazers. The white noise was getting to a decible that clearly annoyed the females, especially the silven queen who had called this flight.

Myrah'Care swung her wedge-shaped head back and forth, shifting the target of her piercing gaze between her mate and the grazer beasts that were looking increasingly inticing. Her melon tongue flickered over rows of dagger-like teeth in anticipation, longing to taste the sweet, warm blood spilt by her next meal. Her own veins sung with excitment, the heated blood ringing through her body like a loved but long forgotten melody. It had been years since her last flight, and while some of the females present stood with a practiced ease, the silven dam held herself stiffly, self-conscious. Virah'Care, standing to her sister's left, looked just as axious to get into the air. Her green hide shimmered with pre-flight luster, mimicking the sheen of a cut emerald. She fanned her wings, ducking her head low and offering a taunting growl to the ring of males. Hints of sapphire danced in her eyes as she looked ceaselessly from one male to another, picking and choosing among them. The other females, Gweai'Urdi, Rhuah'Kyil, and Thnai'Irkr, preened their gleaming hides not five feet away from each other. None of them would dare set a wing in the air before Myrah', but the silven queen was starting to get a few impatient glances. Thnai'Irkr tossed her head and snorted, fanning her wings in a silent hint to the Warren's queen.

Myrah was feeling the pre-flight pinch of hunger in her stomach, and those beasts' mewling was getting on her nerves. Her tongue scraped the top of her mouth, tasting the dry ridges there and trying to moisten them with the saliva produced by her increasing famish. She swung her head around to fix a calculative look on the pack of grazer beasts, picking out the largest and fattest among them. Then, in one lightening quick swoop, she crashed through the make-shift fence and tore into her chosen meal.

Up above, Mystic blinked, her head swimming with flight fevor. It had been a few years since the last time, but she could tell there was a difference in her bond's actions. Myrah'Care was throwing herself whole-heartedly into this flight.

Gods, Myrah, just blood the damn thing! She projected at her ravenous bond. The silven dam responded with a wash of annoyed colours and the grudging acknowledgement of her words. In the back of her mind, Mystic could feel the faint tickle of four other women and one man telling their bonds to 'slow down' or 'blood only'. Victory seemed to be having the hardest time, as her white bond, Viull'Ryxa, had decided that he wanted to join the females' feast.

It took only a matter of minutes for all five females to ravage the contents of the grazer pen. By the time the first of them, Myrah'Care, shot into the sky, there was a bare handful of panicked beasts left for the males to pick off. Blakoreth led his fellow suitors into the pen with a snarling roar, landing atop one spindly-legged beast. He had drained the creature dry and leapt into the air in a few seconds, belatedly dropping the corpse back to the ground as his muscles began to pulse and pull with straining effort to bring his large bulk into the air. Chuah'Kyil outpaced him, as well as Viull'Ryxa as the males finished their feasting and shot up after the females.

The higher they went, the more organized the females seemed to get. One by one, they spread out in a line across the sky; silver, green, blue, purple, and red hides arching like a rainbow against the backdrop of the horizon. Their wings beat in tandum, forming an odd rhythm that passed from one to the other. Translucent wingsails spread taut against the bolstering winds, shifting their direction with the smallest dip of an outer tine. They reached level ground with the Healing Den and began to break off, those on the end swooping into a dive that brought them closest to the chasing pack of males. Accordingly, the five males parted ways to follow their female of choice.

Jauah'Kyil swung to the left, her long spine coiling around in a loop to avoid the imminent threat posed by Chuah'Kyil's closeness. She bellowed a challenge to her follower, pumping red-scaled wings to lift herself higher into the air. The deft blue followed with an ease that rankled her blood, making her all the more eager to get rid of him. Swinging her head around, she cast him a scathing glare, pointed tongue hissing between her sharp teeth. A surge of power in her shoulders sent her veering to the right, her spaded tail whipping across the tip of Chuah's nose.

That wasn't nice! The medium, ocean-blue male snorted as he swung his weight around to fly in her wake.

It wasn't meant to be nice. Jauah retorted haughtily. Now go away!

Much to her chargin, Chuah'Kyil did the exact opposite. Diving beneath her hindend, he used his falling momentum to push himself ahead of her. Pale blue wings flared against the wind as he angled upwards. With a quick twist of his body, he turned around and took hold of Jauah's shoulders. The female protested with an indignant screech, but soon allowed him his victory as they twined together for the fall.

On the Healing Den grounds, Jarfalon and Chansua had but a few minutes to get to know each other. While Jarfalon attempted to play the part of a gentleman, Chansua was tittering like a school girl. It didn't take long for the two of them give into their dragons' passions. To spare both of their prides, as well as the eyes of many onlookers, they were quickly shown to one of the tents that had been erected outside of the crator's inner complex.

Elsewhere, Gweai'Urdi was leading her suitor on a wild chase that took them all the way from moutain peaks to within touching distance of the lake. Her long, agile body twisted through the air like a fish through water, tauntingly close to Miuah'Kyil's reach, but not quite close enough. The black male let out a disgruntled growl as he reached for, and missed, the swishing end of Gweai's tail.

Hold still, dammit! He cursed as he followed Gweai through another loop-de-loop.

That's really not the point of a flight, now is it? She purred back, thoroughly enjoying his moods for once. This time, there was no need to hit him when he did something stupid. All she had to do was avoid him.

Another pair of flier and chaser swept close to the purple and black duo. Or rather... a trio. Myrah'Care shot up through the sky with a single-minded determination, heedless of the two males that had chosen to court her. One of them was, obviously, the giant blue Blakoreth. The other was Victory's delicate white Viull'Ryxa.

I mean no offense, Viull. Blakoreth addressed the snowy white with his rumbling, tenor mind-voice. His midnight blue scales rippled across his muscular build as he swerved closer to the smaller white, dropping an intimidating shadow overtop of Viull's back. A red blaze lit his eyes, as if dredged up from the core of the earth. The vibrant red glow was a stark contrast to his dark colouration. A low, warning rumble began in his chest and rolled up his throat, vibrating the air between them. But you are chasing MY female! The furious roar was coupled with a flash of his carnivourous teeth as he snapped at Viull'Ryxa's unprotected hide.

Viull let out a small, startled squawk as Blak's jaws closed inches away from his shoulder. He literally jumped out of the blue's path, instinct taking over and shrinking his large build to a smaller, more discreet size. Thus humbled, Viull streaked away to find another female to chase. The glorious silver dragoness that lead her mate arching towards the sun was not worth a missing limb. He turned his sights, instead, to a lone dragoness circling high over the rippling lake.

What?! Thnai'Irkr shrieked when she had the misfortune to look behind her and see empty air. Her jaws gaped wide in an enraged snarl and her wings churned the air to bring her to a dead stop. She swept a glare across the widespread field, pale talons raking the air in fury. WHY do I have no chasers?! Am I not good enough for you?! Her mind swept out like a flash flood, drowning any receptive minds with the indignace and humiliation that consumed her.

More than good enough. Viull'Ryxa retorted as he locked together with the hissing blue female. He had returned to his full size, thankfully, so was able to withstand Thnai's irked thrashings while he wound his wings around her shoulders. When she finally ceased her attempt to claw his eyes out, he wrapped his tail and neck around hers and started their plummet to the ground.

Meanwhile, Thailena and Victory were faced with a problem. Both of them were aroused by their bonds' antics in the sky, but neither was ready to experience each other in that way. Victory was doubly troubled, considering one of her bonds had yet to be caught and so was still pumping heated desire into her mind. All in all, it made for an uncomfortable situation that, until a welcome intervention, was loathe to be remedied.

Baeris had been diligent in looking over which applicants were which genders and what mates had already been assigned. It was a considerably easy job, compared to what she'd had with the X-Gen Frenzy, so she had quickly picked up on the problem. As always, there were a few helpful men hanging around the Healing Den waiting for an occasion just like this one. Their services were put to use for the two women, happy to lead them off to separate tents and indulge in their own pleasures. Victory got a niggle of delight from seeing the surprised look cross the face of her intended mate as he caught sight of her quadraped form. She giggled and, right before his eyes, shifted to a form that would be far more pleasing to a human male. Her furry hips sashayed back and forth while she and her 'boy toy' headed for the nearest tent.

Back in the air, Miuah'Kyil had finally caught up to the luminous purple Gweai'Urdi. While she sailed upwards on widespread wings, Miuah cut in beside her and swivelled around until he was facing directly across from her. Their mirrored bodies rose through the air, using up forward momentum when air currents had failed to catch their verticle wingsails. The sun glared from its high perch directly into their eyes. It was Gweai who broke first, arching over backwards and letting gravity take hold of her serpentine body. Miuah was one step behind, having anticipated the move, and cut his momentum by pulling his wings sharply against his sides. Stretching out eager black claws, he took hold of his purple mate and twined their bodies together. Gweai let off a pleased croon as they tumbled together towards the valley floor.

Their riders were not similarly taken by the passion of flight. Gwendolyn shot Mica an icy glare, wholly defiant of her bond's emotions. Mica would have taken the hint and left well enough alone, but something about his brawny black bond had worn off on him. Sucking in an encouraging breath, he returned Gwen's stare. Its fire was the thing to break the barrier between them. Mica tentatively held out his hand, waiting until Gwen laid hers on top. Together, they found their own tent and shut themselves off from the world.

The flight was beginning to die down with only two pairs left in the air. Myrah'Care, looping through the air like a thread of silver, took Blakoreth on a chase all around the mountain bowl. Virah'Care was being followed by the determined black blur of Rhuah'Kyil, and all her tricks seemed to only lose her ground. Tiring and annoyed, she started a sharp ascent up the cliffside. Her wingsails pulled taut against the pressure built up between herself and the rock wall, lofting her upwards at an increasing speed. A few paces below, Rhuah mimicked her move.

A long, ringing laugh bubbled up from Mystic's throat as the dichotomy of green Virah'Care and black Rhuah'Kyil surged over the Healing Den's lip right in front of her eyes. Those who had not been so attentive to the flight were startled enough to jump when the two dragons soared overhead before turning on wingtip and diving back into the valley. A fierce wind rippled across the crator's rim after their abrupt appearence, stirring clothes and scattering records. It was echoed by a faint stirring in Mystic's spirit she had yet to place, but it always elicited the same reaction. While her eyes traced the path of the mating dragons through the air, her hand moved unconsciously to her abdomen.

Aaron, on the other hand, was shifting uncomfortably beside his oblivious wife. He cast her a glance once in a while, restraining the urge to look back and see how many tents were left. A pink flush filled his cheeks and brought a rosie aura to his almond tanned skin. Feeling the heat suffusing his face, he tried to hide it by figetting with his hands, but that only served to draw more attention to him. Meanwhile, Blakoreth was washing his mind in the vibrant colours of his activty and growing impatience as Myrah'Care eluded him once more.

At last, Myrah'Care ascended through the clouds in a crescent arch, her wings spread taut across the azure sky. The tip of her snout turned back, ready to drop her into a dive, but Blakoreth was quicker. Like a blotch of night against the mid-day sun, he rose up beside his mate and twined his bulky body around hers. Blue and silver wound together, necks and tails, arms and legs, with his midnight wings overshadowing her slender back. A dichotomy of metallic and chromatic, they fell through the white layers of mist, tendrils trailing down like watery streaks into the painted blue of the horizon.

As Blakoreth bellowed his victory, Mystic turned a slant-eyed glance on her husband. Aaron's face was now a bonfire of colour, starkly bright against the onxy strands of his hair. From Baeris' vantage, the two seemed curiously mute for the looks they were exchanging. If she had been telepathic, she would have caught the taunting threads Mystic sent to Aaron, and his eager reply. The two Tris'Hathians soon stood (Mystic requiring a bit of help) and wandered off towards one of the empty tents. Baeris was left to stare after them, one brow characteristically raised to her hairline. She soon dismissed them with a snort and turned back to watching the last pair of dragons weave over the distant treeline.

Virah'Care coasted on a strong thermal of air in an attempt to regain her strength. Breath laboured in her lungs and her nerves twitched from overuse, but she was pleased to see that she was the last female still flying. Just because she was tired didn't mean she was going to give up, though. As Rhuah'Kyil arrowed into position below her, Virah soared straight upwards. Her wings beat furiously to keep her aloft, but the strain of it cut her speed considerably. Rhuah had time to rumble a warning to his intended mate before he was filling the air beside her. Strong, black claws closed around her shoulders and held her close as his neck and tail wrapped around her own. Virah didn't protest the embrace, she'd fought long enough, but crooned to her black suitor as his wings enfolded her and began their long fall.

Rhianwen was the last of the girls who had been left without a mate. She stood uneasily in the crowd of onlookers, shuffling her feet and looking anywhere but at her enamoured bond. A gentle tap on her shoulder startled the girl into looking up. There stood another of Baeris' 'filler boys', smiling at her warmly. Though he wasn't a rider, he was handsome enough for her liking. Rhianwen smiled back and took his hand as he led her to the last empty tent.

Winded dragons lounged around the cool lakewater far below the Healing Den's perch. Onlookers began to disperse, giving a wide birth to the tents that had yet to relinquish a single occupant. Already, murmurs of the impending clutch flitted among the various patrons of the Den, bets on how many from each mother and so on. Baeris remained long after the hub-bub had died down, making notes on her clipboard. She sat with one leg tucked under her opposing knee and the other dangling freely over the edge. The descending sun cast a golden glow onto her bent back, dripping highlights across the spread of her glossy, black hair. The single strand of white that fell down from her temple dangled in her eyes as she straighted her spine and stared in smug pride at her calculations. There would be more then enough room for the expectant mothers. Now she had only the problem of housing Mystic and her mood swings...

Myrah'Care and Blackoreth

Virah'Care and Rhuah'Kyil

Gweai'Urdi and Miuah'Kyil

Jauah'Kyil and Chuah'Kyil

Thnai'Irkr and Viull'Ryxa

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