A Hero's Welcome [Timers Return] Jan 7, 2020 3:53:53 GMT -5
Post by Zen on Jan 7, 2020 3:53:53 GMT -5
Rukbat hovered just over the horizon, casting a glowing crimson reflection across the water. Dusk was approaching. A’zael and Fath had returned to the place the Timers had left from, the place they were to return to, and several other riders had followed after them to see the success or failure of this mission themselves. B’rax had remained back at the Weyr, to try to hold things together if… if the worst happened. Fath’s repeated, excited, happy, they’llbebacksoons echoed in the back of his mind. The bronze had complete faith in his rider’s assurance of that. A’zael himself had managed to hold onto the resolve he had found to believe that for most of the day, but now that the moment of truth was nearly at hand, doubts began to slip back in, worries and what ifs.
S’fin’s voice crept in again, warning against the what ifs, but then he remembered the look on his brother’s face when he’d made the announcement, and after… after, when he would have expected S’fin to be there for him… he wasn’t. Since his brother’s arrival at Mavros, he had always been there for him, sometimes even when he didn’t want him to be, but this time…. He reached up to lay one hand on Fath’s leg, taking what comfort he could from his dragon’s presence as he looked over to where S’fin and Rusath stood waiting, a clear distance between them. His brother watched the sky, didn’t once look at him, and he had no idea why. Of all people, he thought his brother would understand… he always understood. His gaze shifted back to the sky, hoping against everything that this had been worth it. Come back to me, he thought, not for the first time that day, watching the sky with a hungry desperation.~~~
No’va couldn’t be more excited, or more proud, because the tiny white dragon he had helped Joia save from his egg was the one taking point as the entire group of time travelers prepared to return home. Something about his time traveling abilities being ridiculously good or something. The whole time travel thing was all a little over his head honestly, but he was more than ready to return to their own time. He hadn’t been able to so much as send a letter to his family since they’d left and he couldn’t wait to show his father how he’d Impressed the best dragon ever. His future was secure, he’d never have to go back to Tidewalk and settle for anything less. He and Alduntulath were forever.
There was a bustle of activity as the last of the supplies were secured to various dragons and passengers climbed up to be secured. He would have liked to have been with Joia and Tellamuth, but she was with the goldriders, preparing to take the lead. He wondered if she was nervous - they weren’t even graduated yet - but he was sure she could do anything with Tellamuth at her side. He grinned to himself, thinking back to how he’d managed to convince her to come back in time. She’d definitely been a lot happier since, that was for sure. Of course who wouldn’t be after Impressing a dragon?
Alduntulath, for his part, wasn’t quite sure just what they were about to do. He understood on some level that they would be traveling to a different time, a tomorrow far into the future, but being that he had never been there before it mattered less to him, other than being a new adventure. He was not returning to anything, he was going there for the first time. From what No’va had chattered on and on about, it would be a lot different. There would be far more people, far more dragons, and they’d be able to actually go to different places around Pern instead of just the islands around Mavros. Alduntulath’s world was about to become much larger. And there would be Thread. The young brown had hatched into an Interval, no Thread had fallen in his lifetime, and yet when his rider had spoken the word he had felt a simmering hatred bubble up inside him, instinctive. He did not know exactly what it was but he knew he had to destroy it.
At long last the signal was given and each dragon lifted into the air. Every dragon was supposed to get the returning point image from Tellamuth and No’va was half relieved it wouldn’t all be on him. He was still working on maintaining his visualizations properly. Alduntulath shared the image with him when it came. A red sunset over the far side of the island. No’va clung to it, focusing on that bright scarlet that seemed to pervade everything, and then the signal to Between was given.~~~
A restlessness was spreading through those that waited, an uncertainty. A dull murmur had started, though everyone was too spread out for A’zael to make out what anyone said. He couldn’t help but imagine they reflected his own thoughts. Should they have appeared by now? Had something gone wrong? Rukbat had just begun to sink below the water on the horizon, still nearly a perfect circle floating on the sea. It seemed simultaneously as though barely any and far too much time had passed already. He tried not to let the panic rise in him. There was still time.
Dragons burst forth into the sky above them and A’zael felt weak with relief, leaning heavily against Fath’s leg as the bronze bugled an excited welcome to them all. There were far more dragons than they had left with. Immediately he scanned the sky for Danovelith’s pale hide, spotting her quickly near the front of the group with Sularenth and…. He squinted, sure it was just the light. The golds had a small, pale dragon with them in the lead. He would find out what that was about soon enough.
SHE’SBACKSHE’SBACKSHE’SBACK!!! Fath bugled again, wings lifting as though he was about to join them in the sky. A’zael forced him to wait and pulled himself up to the bronze’s back. They would all head back to the Weyr where the real reunion could happen. He didn’t stop Fath from rising to join them, however, settling himself into the airspace beside Danovelith and babbling nonsense at her nonstop. It felt like they had been away for so much longer than a day… even though it was only on their end that that was true.
There was cheering as the group landed back at the Weyr, crowds gathered on the cliffs and the beaches. Though A’zael knew it would not erase everyone’s anger over the secrecy of the mission, he was glad at least that most seemed to be celebrating its success, that after the stress and confusion of the day everyone was still coming together in the end.