Torshael and Tayne's Story: Between Missions

Chapter Nine


Tayne sat back from the computer terminal in his rented room with a little sigh. It was done, and it was ridiculously easy to do. Peruse the Ministry of Dragon Affairs web site for a little while until he felt like he knew what he wanted to do, answer a few questions about himself and his situation, send the email off to the representative who organized such things, and he'd signed himself up for a clutch. He still had to wait for notification of approval, of course, but since he'd been approved for the kirin clutch, he doubted he'd have any trouble being approved for this one.

Of the two biosynths at the Abstract Destiny-- and the four public clutches on the station itself, for that matter-- only one really appealed to him. However, really, it appealed to him quite a bit. The parents were a phoenix and a small, canine-like creature called a sira. There wasn't a lot of information on either species, but there was enough to make Tayne interested, and the picture of the firstborn in the site records was adorable. The phoenix blood appealed to him, as well, seeming like it would fit well with his element. That they were in the same hatching bay as Haiiro seemed portentous, but he wasn't sure if it was a good sign or bad.

So now he was signed up, and he had three weeks until the hatching. That... seemed like an awfully long time. Star City had lots to see and do, but a lot of it he wasn't sure he wanted to see and do, and it seemed like all of it cost more money than he really wanted to spend. His withdrawal was limited, after all, and he had to make it last. There was only so much wandering around seeing the sights, window-shopping, and people-watching one could do.

Besides, he'd have to be by himself all that time, unless he went back to the City while he waited, and he didn't really want to go back to the City. Especially if he was going to leave again almost immediately. His mother would never forgive him, and Torshael would probably want to come along.

He supposed he could get a job, but that didn't sound particularly palatable, either. While it would certainly augment his funds, it meant staying on the station, probably for more than just the three weeks until the hatching, and he wasn't sure he really liked the station enough for that. It seemed a perfectly fine place to visit, perhaps vacation at if he had more funds to actually enjoy it, but the thought of living there was a little overwhelming. Bigger than the City, much more heavily populated with a much wider variety of inhabitants, foreign magic and strange technology, often mixed in strange ways, the noise, the pace of it all.... No, he didn't want to stay on the station.

Besides, trying to get a job in the only place he'd feel comfortable, security, seemed like quite a chore, and required knowledge of all sorts of things he had no knowledge of. He had looked into it briefly, just in case.

After two days of that wandering around, seeing the sights, window-shopping, and people-watching, he was starting to wish he was somewhere else. And wishing for a bit of sky!

And then, sitting there staring blankly at the "email sent" notification hovering in front of him, he had the idea that he should have had a week ago. Kynn. He could go back to Kynn, to Shu-Riin, at least for a little while while he waited for the clutch. Maybe spend some time with the knights in the Sentinels: they'd seemed to get along with him well enough, and he'd enjoyed their company. Maybe spend some time with Tekasynos.

No, not maybe; definitely spend some time with Tekasynos. 

Who he'd promised to visit within two weeks if he wasn't immediately reassigned to another task, and it had now been almost two and a half. The funeral had taken up so much time and attention that he'd completely forgotten about Tekas. Well, almost completely. He'd at least been too wrapped up in the arrangements and the grief to think about when he'd see the infernal again, and certainly been too distracted to remember that promise.

And now he was late.

"Damn," Tayne grumbled to himself, hoping Tekas hadn't given up on him or been hurt when he hadn't shown up. Well, in the morning he'd see about returning to Kynn and seeing whether he'd messed up or not with Tekas.... He supposed he could go tonight, right now, but he'd already paid for the room through tonight, and he didn't want to waste the money....

... besides, he had one more thing he'd like to do before he left, and he had enough time that afternoon before dinner to do it. He shut off the computer, the glowing, hovering windows disappearing one by one, with an audible snap each time one flicked out. That was one thing he liked about Star City, anyway: the computers were fascinating.

Tayne didn't have any trouble remembering the directions to give the elevator, despite it being so long since he'd last said them. He sat inside-- lion-formed; he had a room almost right next to a handy elevator portal, so he hadn't bothered shifting for the interim-- and waited patiently the minute or two it took for the little room to whiz through the station, from the hotel sector of the light commerce deck to the flight deck and docks at the station's outer ring. The elevator door slid open on the familiar airlock that opened to the Abstract Destiny, and Tayne padded through when it opened for him.

He'd just signed up for a clutch without actually talking to anyone. Now he at least wanted to see it before he left....

The Bravo Bay doors let him enter, and he took the stairs down to the bay floor four at a time; it was just easier to bound than to step, with four feet. The bay floor housed only a few eggs so far, only four he could see-- the hatching date was still weeks away, after all-- and a guardian dragon seated just behind them. An ugly guardian dragon, his tail coiled protectively around them and his visage forbidding. Tayne resolved not to stare.

The guardian dragon glared at him, bright green eyes remarkably bright in his dark face, and Tayne offered a slight bow and spread of his wings. "Just stopping by to see the eggs, if that's all right," he assured him. "I signed up as a candidate just this morning."

The reply was immediate, suspicious, and entirely telepathic. ::And you are approved?::

"Haven't had enough time yet," Tayne admitted, but added hopefully, "But I've been a candidate here before."

::Ah.:: That seemed to mollify the dragon, and he heaved himself to his feet and backed off to let him approach the eggs.

"I won't touch any of them," Tayne promised, carefully holding back his amusement at the dragon's protectiveness. He got a snort in reply, and, hoping that this synth wasn't likely to have personalities quite like his in it, he was absurdedly careful as he picked his way over to the four eggs.

They weren't clustered together, like a supernal's clutch usually was-- not that he'd seen that many, but he'd seen a few-- but settled individually in the whorls and clumps of mossy stuff the bay was coated with, probably to distribute the heat best for each one. They were small, smaller than Haiiro's egg had been, smaller than supernal eggs, but then, the parents were both smaller than supernals by quite a bit.

Tayne, doing his best to ignore the guardian dragon-- who, though ostensibly trying to ignore him, as well, was obviously still paying attention to him-- sat down next to them all and just... looked at them a moment, breathing in the egg-scent-- also different than the scent of supernals' eggs-- and wondering idly what the hatchlings inside were like. He didn't have anything he wanted to do, or say, or see, he just wanted to have some kind of image in his head before he disappeared, so he had some idea of what he'd be coming back to. He did listen a little, with what meager telepathy he possessed, in case he could hear hatchling-thoughts, but all he could hear were vague dreams, as if they were asleep, or at least as if he wasn't skilled enough to hear anything in particular. Maybe eggs had afternoon naps, like young children did.

After a few minutes, Tayne stood up again with a little sigh. The dragon shifted at the movement, and frowned at him. At least, he thought it was a frown. With the mandible-things half-hiding his jaws, and the heavy brow, it was hard to tell. ::Are you leaving?:: He sounded vaguely surprised.

"Well, yeah," Tayne blinked up at him.

::Is that all you wanted?::

"Just to look at 'em," Tayne agreed, this time more openly amused. "Can't really do much else, at this point, right?" The dragon huffed, shifting again, and looked tongue-tied. Tayne took pity on him. "Thank you for letting me down here. I'll be back for the hatching."

As if that put him back on familiar ground, the dragon relaxed minutely and nodded curtly, taking up his guardian position again as Tayne, chuckling to himself, turned and trotted back up the stairs. ::Best of luck to you when the day comes,:: he heard on his way out, grudging and quiet but there nonetheless.

::Thanks,:: he thought back down at the dragon, then padded out.


Chapter Ten

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