Wordcount: 420 words
Summary: Baron goes looking for a rider.
NOTE: This is the first draft of a story, so it will most likely contain plot holes, retcons, and other inconsistencies. I’ll come back and fix things once the story (or arc) is complete!
Of Hopes and Futures
They looked out across the sea of people and Baron was both encouraged and depressed about his chances. The other fledglings were chomping at the bit to get out and find their riders. Future trees were vague, lacking details that would tell them when and where they’d find their riders– but they all knew their riders were there, out in the crowd.
All Baron could do was hope.
“Don’t get your hopes up,” counseled Flame, “it takes time to find a rider. Not everyone who has the possibilities is chosen, and there may be someone out there whose hawk has not yet been laid. Look younger rather than older, there’s a reason that riders are riders and those that have not been chosen were not.”
“He’s out there, I know it.” Baron stubbornly insisted. “I can find him, I know I can.”
“You have time, they don’t.” Storm pointed out. “Don’t let your impulsiveness keep you from making the best choices. There will be other hatchings, other chances outside of hatchings. There are even riders who have outlived their hawks–”
“But not in Oak Ridge and not in peacetime.” Flame objected, reshuffling his feathers in annoyance. “Don’t give him false hope Storm, he needs to be realistic.”
“There is a reason you don’t mind fledglings.” Storm snapped, “Hope, even slim, is better than being too cautious.”
“I am going to find him.” Baron insisted, “I don’t care what you say, I don’t care how long it takes, I know he’s out there and I am going to find him.”
Flame sighed. “Just pick wisely, and remember– they can say no.”
“Flame!” snapped Storm, but Baron had already turned and stalked off. “I can’t believe you, why are you being such an asshole about this?”
“Because it’s not easy and he should not think it’s easy.” Flame said. “I saw what Minder went through, you might not have been here while Petra was in the service, but I was. If he does anything else he regrets more in his life than picking that horrible excuse for a human it will be something that kills the rest of us.”
“There are plenty of examples where it turned out better than Minder, so I will not have you crushing his hopes.”
“Someone has to.” Flame snapped. “If that really is a golden egg in the nest, we don’t have time for mistakes and daydreams.”
Storm looked out across the faire towards the hatching cave. “Let’s hope it’s not, for all our sakes.”
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