Nobody Needs to Know

Ista Weyr Stables/Paddock
Acres upon acres of grassy plain make up this expanse of pasture stretching out almost as far as the eye can see. It sits half in and half out of the bowl itself, kept lush and fertile by the volcanic soil below. There is a break in the seemingly endless line of fencing around the corral, every hundred feet or so, to allow access to those in charge of tending to the area's varied stock. The nutrient-rich grasses are kept trimmed for the most part by the many grazing animals, the odor of green growing things and manure wafting subtly outwards to scent the air long before it comes into view. Fed by pipes from a set of underground tunnels, a pond more than a dragonlength wide lies toward the western end, and keeps the livestock hydrated. There's a man-made drainage system in place to prevent it from stagnating, so that the supply is always fresh and crisp. A stream has been cut across the plateau, and down to the beach below, allowing the water to escape in a small waterfall, its spray colored often with dancing rainbows beneath Rukbat's light.
Some space has been set aside near one corner, the area cleared and the ground packed hard. It seems there's been some construction on a little building, the workmanship clearly not mastercraft but with decent planning, the tools and spare boards still stacked nearby, along with the occasional bucket of paint or brush. It appears to be a vaguely makeshift chicken coop, and a small fenced-in area manages to keep the noisesome birds contained, though there's some indication that additional work has been done around the area.


With the addition of the egg watching duties to their usual routines, Aliona took quickly to wearing her eggpot in an odd harness contraption around her body. It was less than ideal, but at the same time it gave her a sense that she was obviously doing one thing that she was supposed to so perhaps people might not notice as much if she goofed off the rest of the time.

Days passed and with each time she checked on the little egg it became clear that the times was marching swiftly onwards and it would be hatching soon, the continued presence of her own Paislee only making the fact more obvious. Soon came the same day as the plan was hatched for how to get their own back on Montero, and it took her rather by surprise.

Aliona took her egg-sling off before rooting around in the back to Teba’s stall to find the hammock that had been resigned to idleness after the day she was Searched. The other things hidden there were checked quickly, a grin spreading over the trader girl’s face as all were still where they should be, and then the straw patted back into place around them. It was then she noticed the faint movement from the sling, the humming from Paislee, and it was then things started to go really wrong.

Her first reaction was to curse as she dived down to retrieve the pot, the hammock now forgotten, and as soon as she touched it her suspicion was confirmed. A series of cracks ran over the shell, it was hatching.

“Timing!” Her timing, or that of the egg? Either way it was clear that now was not a good time, for if there’s one thing that is not freely available in the stables. Another curse, this one of frustration, preceded her fleeing from the stables, pot in hand, aiming to get back to the kitchen before things go completely wrong.

Barely across the paddock things did indeed take a turn for the worse. The egg was twitching around so much that she nearly dropped it, and she was forced to stop and carefully place it down on the ground. A hunt through her pockets provided nothing but crumbs, and the egg’s movement was such that leaving it might mean missing it entirely. Panic set in just as a green foot pushed its way through the shell and everything went from bad to worse.

All in a flurry the green hatcheed, Aliona bent down to try to persuade it to come with her while she found food, the green wobbled towards the trader-turned candidate but with the intention of munching on one of those pink appendages that were close to it, and Paislee dived towards the hatchling with claws extended.

In an instant it was all over. Egg gone, hatchling blinked between, Aliona bleeding from one finger, and Paislee irritated and scolding.

“Crap.”

Perhaps if she hid she egg shards she could pass it off as her egg never hatching. Nobody really needed to know the truth. With her bleeding finger stuck firmly in her mouth she bent to scoop up as much of the egg as she could before heading back inside to hide the shards in the straw. Nobody needed to know. No matter how much she told herself that fact she knew she’d be asked eventually. She could only hope that by then she’d have thought up a reasonable story to tell them. Until then… nobody needed to know.


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