Flights 7 and 8
Kalturtinocths and Undomissath's Flights


Kal crouched on the takeoff platform, trying to ignore the presence of her sister just one gate down. Even thinking about Undo's stubborn, spiteful insistence of rising at the exact same time as her larger, higher-ranked, much more beautiful sister, made Kal bristle with indignation. Still, Yellow had insisted, and still was insisting even as murderous thoughts drifted through her primary bond's mind, that it was only natural, given they'd been hatched and bonded at the same time, as well. Even so, it rankled. Kalturtinocth was a queen, and by the skies, she deserved to be the center of attention on the day of her first flight!

:Primary bond, my tail!: Undomissath's voice rang in her mind, shrill and malicious. :I'm just as primary as you are, you ugly, old goat of a dragon!:

:I am not old!: she shot back, forgetting about ignoring, whipping her head around to shoot a screech and a glare at the smaller, malformed little green she was supposed to be related to. :You're as old as I am, you stupid little mutant! Now go away and let my fly by myself!:

:Not a chance!: Undo sent back, furious and mocking, and took the initiative to launch into the air, two of her six wings arched high as stabilizers, two spread out to catch the air, and two sweeping downwards powerfully. Kal shrieked her own fury and leapt after her, not about to be outdone by a green, much less a green as horrible as her sister, Undomissath!

Undo, herself, though six-winged, was hardly malformed. True enough, compared to Kalturtinocth's pale starry beauty, she was pitifully tiny and dark, with a wild look in her eyes and a bitter expression. But she told herself that she never compared herself to Kal if she could help it, even though Kal always said she did, and even Yellow ganged up on her once in a while with that particular accusation. The rivalry between the two dragons, which with their current heightened emotional states resembled hatred even more than usual, was long-standing and never-ending and always would be, unless Kal ever deigned to come down off her high horse and show a little respect to her feisty sister. Since Kalturtinocth showed no sign of ever so much as considering such a thing, Undomissath knew it would never happen-- unless she proved that she was every bit as swift, beautiful, and desirable as her sister!

Which was, of course, why she was really here, in addition to simply wanting to show herself off. She was not malformed. She was a Raug, rare and beautiful in her own right, with fluid patterns of rainbows on her wings-- instead of that horrible confetti pattern! And after all the work it had taken to learn how to fly with all six wings, nothing in the sky would ever catch her-- unless she wanted them to-- and she would most certainly out-fly the massive, lumbering Kal in their first mating flight. Greens might have been small, but they were the fastest dragons on Danach or off of it!

:Bet you won't keep up with me!: she taunted Kal, racing off in one direction.

:Bet no one will even chase you!: Kal screeched back, before veering off the opposite way.

As it was, there were plenty of suitors for both of them. Both flights had been full two days before they were scheduled to actually occur-- they actually scheduled their flights here! Both dragons had been, for once, equally indignant about that, but Yellow had understood why and made sure they kept themselves contained until then-- and both dragonesses were rather smugly pleased by the turnout. Kalturtinocth more so, of course, but then, she was always smug about something.

Kal's biggest boast was that a bronze had signed up for her flight. A bronze! Named Chroquanth! A real, honest to goodness, Old World bronze, to treat her like the queen she was! True, he was unbonded-- but he was a bronze, that was enough! And he wasn't even the only halfway-descent chaser, though he probably would have been enough. Certainly his appearance as the fourth suitor made up for the fact that the first suitor was an arrogant little runt-- not even bronze, but copper, and not even a good, solid Danachian copper, but a half-breed Danachian-- named Mineath, who seemed far too confident that he would win a dragoness so far beyond him as to be a goddess to his peasant. The third suitor was almost as bad, a creepy, sparkly little blue, who didn't seem all that much bigger and seemed prone to laughing at random times, at nothing in particular. Kal anticipated that they would realize their unworthiness quickly enough and give up.

There were two dragons who were brown, as well, and Kal wasn't entirely certain where they stood in rank. Raihath was big and friendly, if a bit too shy, but did seem to show her the proper deference-- when she saw him, that is. Irothe, though, had wings as colorful as a Raug, despite the rest of him being brown-- a rich, dark brown, at least, rather than something thin, dull, and altogether boring. The great starry didn't know what she thought about the browns yet, but Irothe had made himself available to her in the past few days since he'd introduced herself, and though she might have chalked it up to trying to win her over for the flight, he treated her with a deference that quite suited her. Even so, she was suspicious, and not about to let him win her without proving his mettle first, if then!

All in all, she was satisfied-- and quite proud that she'd quite obviously outdone Undomissath! A more motley, strange, and altogether substandard group of males she had never seen, and she would never let one of those creatures even attempt to chase her! Undo seemed content enough, though, and wouldn't even rise to the bait when taunted on the subject.

For her own part, Undomissath was every bit as smug as Kal, she was just quieter about it. Kalturtinocth might have wanted someone to treat her like a queen, but Undo was more interested in having a good time and showing off in her flight, and with such a varied group of dragons behind her, it was sure to be interesting! There was a very pretty white dragon named Frux, such a striking color, with all that shimmering opalescence to him, and a yellow one, Aedelian, with the oddest head-crest that Undomissath had ever seen. The other three were brothers, some kind of half-breeds-- Kal had sneered even more at them, but Undo was gleeful at the prospect of leading these "wylds" on a merry chase. All five of them were unbonded, and all five of them had, of all things, fur! The only one Undo wasn't excited about was that Aedelian one. He was just so... old. And fatherly. And... old. The others, though.... This would be so much fun!

As the two sisters sped away from each other, the pack of ten dragons shot after them, and the chase was begun.


Yellow sat in the rooms attached to the flight deck, breathless with anticipation, her dragons' heightened senses, and yes, a little nervousness. This was something new and different for her-- she was a color, she'd never done anything like this before! Even so, it was very exciting, and honestly, she was looking forward to the whole thing. Even if her dragons were bickering horribly the whole time! That was hardly something new, after all.

She'd left the door to the rider-suite open, anticipating the other riders who would undoubtedly come. Well, the three riders who would undoubtedly come. Of all ten dragons who had signed up to chase her two, only three were bonded! Even though Danachians like her own two often went unbonded, it still seemed odd-- especially since none of the boys signed up were even Danachian!

Even so, with only three, there would be fewer disappointments, which made Yellow happy. The idea of turning someone away was rather sad, and she didn't want to have to do it to too many people. And two of the three she'd already met, and they were not only sweet and kind-- the stammery one had been so cute, telling her he'd sign up for Kal's flight!-- but they were both handsome, on top of it! If the theme continued, the third would be a knockout, too. Oh, but Orange would have been so jealous!

"I'm here, I'm here!" Yellow looked up and giggled at the slightly frazzled expression on Arnaest's face as he whipped around the corner and into the room, nearly skidding and falling but for a catch to the door frame. He was the stammery one, who'd come up to her, blurted out that he was signing up his brown dragon, Raihath, up for Kalturtinocth's flight, then run off again.

"I see that," she said, trying not to look too amused. "Come and sit down? Kal and Undo are just getting ready to go."

"Am I allowed in, too?" asked Evoryn, coming in on Arnaest's heels and smiling slightly. An elf, reminding Yellow of her brother Indigo, Evoryn was the last to sign up-- or, if he was to be believed, to have his dragon sign them up, for him. He'd been helping Yellow wash the two, Undo to be specific, when it supposedly happened. Anyone who could keep both Undo and Kal content and quiet like Evoryn could had to be talented-- or very, very lucky! And Yellow didn't mind either trait.

"Of course you are!" she chirped. "Come sit down, too. Kal and Undo-- eep, they're starting!"

The sight of both riders nearly falling over themselves to get the rest of the way inside and ready would have sent the personified color into more fits of giggles, but the feeling of two dragons rising, at the same time, was enough to distract her and save their pride.


The two dragonesses started on opposite courses across the flight deck, their respective males in hot pursuit. Kalturtinocth was just pleased that they decided to split into their stated groups, chasing after the sister they'd said they would. She did not want any of those mongrel dragons chasing after her, no matter how much prettier and larger she was compared to Undo-- and, of course, it would be unthinkable that any of her chasers change their mind and go after Undomissath. Completely unthinkable.

She swooped up the arch of the wall, or floor, or whichever it was, wingtips just barely avoiding brushing the surface in her downbeat. She could hear her suitors straining to keep up behind her, and glanced back at them. Chroquanth the bronze was, predictably, closest; she could see the fierce gold and green of his eyes as he tried to speed up. The two browns were neck to neck behind him, one paler and one darker, rainbow wings beside plain, pale eyes and eyes of a determined gold darting from each other to their prize. The blue partial-glitz Palydoch was struggling behind them, smaller than either brown and darting around in their wake, and the tiny Mineath was behind even him. Kal coughed with disdain for them both, thinking they could catch her, and angled her wings, banking sharply away from the wall and into open space.

The larger dragons hurried to change direction, too, but were too slow to keep on her tail. Chroquanth overshot her completely, bellowing indignantly at losing his position as first in line, and the two browns nearly tangled up in each other trying to avoid him. Kal could have laughed, if she'd had the ability to laugh-- but before she could so much as bugle triumph over males in general, the smaller two, more agile in the air and with more room to turn than Irothe, Raihath, and Chroquanth, came careening towards her.

:I've got her!: Mineath cried, arrowing towards the great starry with a pathetic little trumpet coming from his tiny throat.

:No, I do!: Palydoch countered, trying to bowl the smaller copper out of the way with a swat of his wings. Mineath screeched and ducked, avoiding the swipe and darting around.

:She's mine!: he protested. :Get lost, I'm the Danachian here, not you!:

:You're not Danachian enough for me!: Kal rumbled, sending both of them tumbling out of her path-- and almost out of the sky of the flight deck-- with one powerful double-blow of her wings. The wind itself from the strong down-beat was enough to send Mineath crest-over-tail. :Go find someone your own size!: Kal sent after them, winging away and leaving them both to regather their wits and their pride and escape to the gates.

Undomissath, on the other side of the deck, was hardly trying to outrace her suitors-- she was trying to outmaneuver them, and she was doing a fine job of it, too. She let first Auhato get close, then she would dart away teasingly. Then Frux made a grab with those clever hand-paws of his, but she slipped away effortlessly. Then Neinau called her something that, though she didn't recognize the word, was probably a cat-call, and she just stuck her tongue out at him and swooped away from him-- and, consequently, just under and out of Naitano's reach, jaw gaping with laughter. She'd been having so much fun with the younger boys, twisting around and avoiding capture by inches, that she'd completely forgotten-- and ignored-- the "old" one, Aedelian.

To her detriment, she discovered, as the yellow dragon dove into the fray quite suddenly and grabbed her hind paw in an unexpectedly tight grip. Undo shrieked with fury and panic, beating all six wings frantically-- it wasn't supposed to be over so soon! So fast! And it wasn't supposed to be with the old one! And if she was caught before Kalturtinocth, she would never live it down!

A deep amusement intruded on her thoughts, diffusing the panic and rage abruptly so that she could think clearly again, and the grip loosened enough for her to wrench free and race away, hovering just out of reach and glaring down at her would-be captor. She, and her other four suitors, all heard a mild voice say, :I'm not here to ruin anyone's fun, my dear, so I think I'll let you have yours with the boys.: And, without so much as looking back, Aedelian made his way to the gate.


Ral'gi'naan was running as fast as he could down the tunnel ringing the flight deck, already out of breath despite only having run from the lift. "Which gate was it?" he muttered to himself, "which gate was it?" The flight was already underway, Palydoch had told him that much, but the dragon had quite forgotten to remind him which gate it was at, and of course, Ral'gi'naan could never keep numbers straight when they weren't related to how many cubs the last pair of ojee had delivered.

Then again, Palydoch wasn't that good with numbers, either.

A rush of air from the nearest launching platform nearly bowled the frail anthromorph over; he managed not to completely overbalance, but did stagger against the far wall. A large, glittering blue form settled on the platform, blinking bright gold eyes at him. :Ral?:

"Palydoch!" Ral'gi'naan gasped, trying to catch his breath and make his heart stop pounding after the fright of nearly being knocked over by his own dragon. "Aren't you-- supposed to be-- chasing someone right now?"

:She didn't want me,: the dragon pouted.

:Outa my way!: another mental voice ordered from behind Palydoch. It was followed be a rather undignified squawk, and Ral'gi'naan could make out a much smaller, shiny rainbow-and-copper dragon being swept off the landing platform by Palydoch's tail. Ral'gi'naan couldn't decide whether to laugh or to scold, biting his lip with one canine and grinning. The copper climbed out of another gate down the tunnelway, looking quite put out.

"Come on, let's go someplace else," Ral'gi'naan suggested.

:Good idea,: Palydoch sighed, looking back out at the flight that was still continuing in the deck itself. Ral'gi'naan pointedly did not look, patting his dragon's shoulder and leading him away.


Kalturtinocth wheeled around again, ducking through a pair of airlock pillars, and her three remaining suitors wove around each other, vying for position and each trying to get closer to the prize. Kal rumbled smugly, soaring upwards and doubling back, drawing the three after her like they were on invisible leashes. It was the most heady feeling the starry had ever experienced, and she wanted it to last as long as possible. True, she was getting a little tired, after trying so hard to keep ahead of her loyal chasers, but if she couldn't outlast a pack of males, she didn't deserve to be called a queen! And since she most definitely was a queen, she would outlast them!

She took the opportunity to glance behind her again. Raihath was lagging farthest behind, now, looking tired after so long in hard flight. Irothe had cleverly caught Chroquanth's tailwind and was riding it, right behind the much larger bronze, with a charmingly determined expression in his pale eyes. Chroquanth himself was still doggedly on her tail, keeping almost close enough to grab for that tail, but she made sure he never got that close.

:How much longer are you going to lead us on, huh?: the big bronze sent, his mind-voice full of a grin and his eyes sparkling with excitement.

:As long as I can!: she replied coyly. :If you don't think you can last, better give up now-- I've got my second wind, now!:

As she soared with a fresh down-beat away from the three, leaving Chroquanth struggling to gain altitude after her and Irothe nearly knocked horns over tail in his wake. Raihath groaned from the back of the pack and wheeled away for the gates, too exhausted to give further chase. He'd given it his best, but Kalturtinocth barely noticed he'd given up, so he didn't feel too badly-- she'd probably get her bronze to make her feel like a queen, and Raihath, though deprived of her beauty, would at least not be subjected to her attitude!

Undomissath was still going strong, with three sets of wings to keep her aloft and the ability to alternate when one set got too tired, and still taunting her own suitors with her quick turns, steep dives, and sudden stops. The boys that remained didn't seem tired yet, either-- the four that remained, anyway. She'd staunchly told herself not to feel guilty for making Aedelian give up-- he could find someone more his own age to play with, he was certainly unique enough!-- and had determined to have as much fun as possible with the four left.

And they were certainly obliging! The three brothers were especially entertaining, as they bickered with each other in fierce but good-natured competition-- and they even included her in their taunting! It was such a novel experience, to be teased without malice, that she just drank it up, snapping shards of wit right back at them. By comparison Frux, though certainly prettier than the rough-and-tumble Wylds, was dead boring.

"C'mon, baby, give me a break here!" Naitano laughed as Undo slipped out of his grasp once again.

:Give me a break!: she tossed playfully after him. :As if I'd go easy on any of you!:

:You certainly don't seem to be,: Frux commented, circling around the darting cloud of red fur and rainbow wings, looking for an opening. He didn't even seem determined-- more like calculating.

:If you don't like a bit of fun,: she snorted at him in mild disgust, ducking under Auhato's clever attempt at pinning her from above with careless ease and rolling away, :then I suggest you find a more serious lady to court!:

:Perhaps I shall,: the pearlescent dragon sent with such an air of boredom that Undomissath, furious, made a stoop for him, swatting at him with all six wings. He avoided the assault and wheeled away. :Enjoy yourself with your remaining suitors, Undomissath.:

Undo bared her teeth after him, then gave an undignified little eep as Neinau took that opportunity to nab her tail-- but not strongly enough. She lashed it free, and was off again, Frux already forgotten, since she had three more, much more playful boys to keep her occupied!


The third rider had never shown, and now Raihath had given up, and his disappointed rider, Arnaest, was already slipping out the door. Yellow managed to draw her awareness back to the rider suite in time to make an apology for him before he shut the door behind him, and took a glance around. There was only one rider left, and two dragons left chasing Kal-- three with Undo. There would be a choice, or at least a catch, soon.

She looked almost shyly at Evoryn from beneath blonde lashes and blushed faintly. He was the only one left-- and she found that she didn't mind that it was him.

"I've never done this before," she admitted.

"I can't imagine that it will be too difficult to figure out," Evoryn said, smiling as faintly as she was blushing-- a smile that grew as his comment made her blush more brightly and giggle.

"Well, good. Then I think we should--" she answered, and he kissed her before she could finish her sentence. Since that's what she'd meant to suggest, she didn't mind a bit.


Undomissath didn't know whether it was Auhato's clever boldness, Naitano's taunts and bluster, or Neinau's fuzzy cheer that won out in the end-- perhaps it was a bit of all three, because all three had their chance, and all three took it.

Auhato caught her first, just as she was turning the flight over towards Kalturtinocth and her two suitors left-- two, how boring!-- to show off that she was still flying high and fast. The move that she'd so adroitly avoided the first time took her by surprise when he'd tried it again, simply dropping down from above her and pinning her current set of wings to her side. She'd roared at him, of course, in token protest-- but for a few moments they fell together, blissfully oblivious to Neinau and Naitano's disappointed protests and jeers.

Then he made his mistake. :You're mine!: he sent proudly, and possessively. Undomissath was not to be possessed! She unfurled her other four wings, the ones he hadn't trapped with his own, and broke away from him with a triumphant bellow.

:I'm no one's!: she shot back, and shot off again, towards her sister, calling after her, :But if you're willing to share me, feel free to try again!: Auhato fumed, but his brothers took off after her again.

"We're willing to share!" Naitano promised, racing up to nearly flank her on one side.

"Oh, def'nitely, yesh, we'll share!" Neinau slurred, laughing, coming up to her other side.

:Well, then, give it your best-- I'm all about the fun!:

The trio flew past Kalturtinocth as the starry was beginning a dive, and Kal let out a screech of rage. How dare Undomissath get in the way of her flight! And how dare she take two mates! Two of those half-feral half-breeds, too! Disgusting! The little runt was flaunting herself, flaunting her "capture", trying to prove that she was worth more than her starry sister-- that sneaky, rotten, prideful little mutant!

:And yet, don't you want to be loved, too?: a voice interrupted her fury. She snapped open her wings, shooting out across the rim of the flight deck, tired but defiant, ready to finish but not ready to be caught.

:I want to be honored!: she shot back, lashing her head around, trying to pinpoint the source of the voice-- Irothe's voice, but she couldn't see him!

:I can do that, too,: Irothe sent, and she finally pinpointed him, hovering beyond her, watching her and making no move to corner, herd, or interfere with her in any way. In the back of her mind, Kal realized Yellow had made her choice, and that broke down the last of her resistance. She would not be caught-- she would choose, and she would choose the one who knew how to treat her, with all the deference and respect she deserved.

As she surged upwards towards Irothe, Chroquanth dove right into the spot she had been, and let out a frustrated bellow when all he caught was hard metal. Kalturtinocth didn't bother to look back, or apologize, or even pay him any attention, and when Irothe swooped down to meet her, she forgot about the bronze entirely. This was what she'd wanted all along. This... was perfect.

Written byGayle