Oh, he is small: unimpressive in length from evenly proportioned nose to the tip of his well-turned tail. Oh, he is dainty: the curving arch of neck, the conscientious drape of delicate wings over perfectly proportionate haunch. Oh - oh, but he is unremarkable: while his hide contains a range of shades from sun-bleached beige to olive-toned umber, they have been blended by an overzealous hand. At any reasonable distance, his multi-hued hide appears anything but variegated, and the cumulative effect is a muddled, muted affair like dusty, damp concreted. But oh, oh! how deceptive that all these signs seem surely set for brown: there is an omni-present, subtle, barely-there sheen to his hide no matter the lighting. In full sun, his true nature is unmistakable - pale-bronze hide seems lit from within, his metallic birthright a million brilliant, scintillating points of unexpected, shimmering light.


Egg Name and Description

Last-Second Tiger Costume Egg
There is an overarching thematic note to this egg’s mis-matched shell, at least: stripes. Black stripes, haphazard in their placement, over patches of — white, mostly, intermittently intermingled with uneven shades of orange. In one quadrant, the color shifts to — interestingly near-metallic gold, over eye-searing pink as near to florescent as Pern can possibly come — in nature, at least. The quality of the stripes over-solids varies: here, professionally perfect; there, an amateur hand at finger-done face paint at best.


Hatching Message

Last-Second Tiger Costume Egg splits into pieces, leaving behind the egg-wet hatching. (FIX IT, A'STER. <3)


Impression Message

And, suddenly, bang. With the sound of rhythmic heartbeats in the background — and they're definitely not yours, because your heart is going a LOT faster than these beats are — the sands have changed into an expanse of … white nothing. Except you aren't between, because it's not cold. It's not as hot as the Sands, though, either. It seems to be remarkably comfortable, as if it were made just to suit you. « Is it just me, V'sri, » a voice cuts in, a voice that is neat and precise and smooth, if a little bland in its delivery, « or do the stars shine a little brighter with our minds connected? » He doesn't bother telling you his name, instead choosing to paint it, star-shaped, into the empty (but pleasant) chasm of mindspace: D-I-Q-T-H.


Personality

Oh, Vossrik. V’sri. You came to us and you said, I trust you. You came to us with nothing but a song, and we took that and ran with it.

He is going to be your best friend, V’sri, forever and ever; a little over-eager, a little young even after seven seasons of deve— even after turns of growth, even after years of playing. But constant through it all? You’re his best friend, and you’re definitely invited to all of his birtday parties.

His mindtouch may have scared Vossrik on the Sands, but that’s just because Voss never went back and gave him a second chance: all that frenetic energy and indecisiveness just needed some more time to cook, to come to a definitive — if often frustratingly last-minute decision.

Eagle flew out of the night
He was something to observe
Came in close, I heard a voice
Standing, stretching every nerve
I had to listen, had no choice

He is something to observe, your Diqth, but as much as that passage can apply from the perspective of you to him, it also applies from the perspective of him to — well, to everything. He is an avid observer, your lifemate. He possesses incredible wit and startlingly keen intelligence; he makes connections that would take other dragons — other riders — days to get to. He is possessed of an incredible drive to know, to solve; whether the puzzle be man-made or made of man. He — oh.

His brilliance is undercut by a need to be liked as staggering as his intelligence; he shares, over-eager and over-whelming. He is baffled, when this doesn’t immediately win him friends. He is hurt, when this results in a rebuff — especially a repeated one. « Could you just — be quiet? » is something he will hear early, and he will hear often, and oh! how it will sting … until the memory fades, and he rolls up, cheerful and exuberant and a little bit overbearing. He doesn’t mean to be a know-it all, not really — he just knows so much, and sometimes he just can’t help himself.

He is young, V’sri, oh! He is young, and he is handsome, and he knows this about himself; he knows, with that great intellect of his, that these should be things that make him a charmer. These should be things that make it easy for him to integrate himself, to ingratiate himself with any group at will. It will take time, though, before he learns the right ratios of smarts to charm to wit that get him the best results. During this, well, you’re going to be going through the same thing, aren’t you? V’sri and Diqth will be able to shore each other up, to put their heads together to consult over any badly-fumbled social interaction, and then go — try again. Or try something else. You are the Miles to his Julian — just a little bit older, a little bit more world-wise, but also full of your own measure of faking-it bluster.

You’ll always know what he’s capable of. You, V’sri, can see the full scope of your dragon’s potential, even when he can’t. He’ll be a surprise, to people who only know ridiculous puppy-grin, fumbling over his feet and words Diqth, when suddenly POW, all that competence you knew was just waiting for its moment to shine comes through. The reverse is true: for someone who is only used to seeing him at his functional best, the socially-messy failbot bitty-bronze can come as quite the shock.

If I was born beneath a tree
Would I be the man I’s called to be?
Caught in the net of pondering’s tide
I realize
Would the poor be on my mind?
Would the wretchedness I try to hide
Carry me away, would I be saved?

The genetic engineering in Diqth’s life is generations on generations in the past; his intellect is entirely his own, and his confidence in it unsurpassed and unsurprising. His impostor syndrome manifests itself in insecurity over the physical, rather than the intellectual. It’s hard to miss: he is diminutive, your lifemate, smaller than his clutch-brother browns, smaller even as a full-grown dragon than some of the browns in the weyr. His hide is — drab, compared to most bronzes. With this lack of size coupled with his more muted hue, he might even begin to question if he’s /truly/ a bronze. « I am smaller, and I am not metallic. Are you /sure/ I am bronze? » Sure, you say it sparkles, but he can name you half a dozen browns with glimmers or shimmers or flecks in their hide. It isn’t something he brings up to others — ever, or very near to it. It’s as if he’s afraid that if he says something out loud, too much or too often, he’ll be found out. The mistake of his categorization will be corrected, and he will be forever known as that impostor-brown, who tricked the weyr into thinking he was bronze for turns. You will know, because you know everything in his heart, but he trusts you to keep this secret safe between you.

As he grows, the anxiety will ease, but it’s always something he overcompensates for a little bit more than he would otherwise. If a clutchmate comments on his size, he doubles down on aeronautical acrobatics to distract from it. If a green comments on his coloring, he just so happens to work through pre-flight calisthenics in full sun, where the light catching his wings casts nearly-blinding sparkles unerringly her way. Don’t be surprised if you find him reflecting on what might have been, had he been born definitely, definitively brown. Would the poor be on his mind? Would he be so invested in knowing everything, in applying everything? If you let him, his thoughts will spiral down into a swirl of self-doubt that is common among those with more brilliant minds, as he questions everything about himself and about the world around him. He just has to trust your imagination there, V’sri. But, don’t fear: he is actually bronze. In time, he’ll learn this. It may never be with the unshakable certainty that most dragons have from their hatching date, but it will do. Eventually, he’ll come to the conclusion that it’s his mind, the friends he keeps, the lifemate he’s found that make him who he is, not the unpredictable nature of dragon genetics. It just takes him a while to get there, though

In everything, V’sri, you are his anchor. The two of you will pull each other through the trials and tribulations of adolescence, weather successes and failures the likes of which neither of you has dreamed. You will whisper your secrets hand in hand, and son? He has come to take you home.

justjulian.png

Physical

Blame A’ster. Blame A’ster and his art, and Julian Bashir and the need to come up with a draconic corollary to his unsanctioned intelligence tinkering. Blame these in equal measure for Diqth being small, being dusty silver-bronze. The darker hints in his coloring — that you can only see if you get up close — hearken back to Bashir’s coloring, and so does the long and lean and a little bit dainty.

He is a dragon who moves quickly, whether it’s on land or water or air: that lack of size is his advantage, and he not only knows it, he uses it. Let them scoff: the first time he uses bronze strength and brown size to squeeze in somewhere his larger compatriots’ bulk keeps them out of, see who’s laughing then.

DRAGONORNAMENT.jpg

—i actually didn’t make this specifically for vossrik, just when i was looking at available metallic clays i had to smush together into a bronze to take inspiration from, i realized this actually worked really well? Sort of muted, not precisely dusty but not really a strongly bronze-y bronze either; could be mistaken for brown when it’s not getting hit by light. Looks kind of uniform at first glance, but on closer inspection it’s actually a range of colors in the same family.

diqthpalette.png

Flights

So, Vossrik. Vossrik, Vossrik, Vossrik. Somehow, despite no effort on his part, V’sri became the sought-after hearthrob of his candidate class. All that budding ability to make friends, that lanky teenage Smithiness was just irresistible, much to his — much to everyone’s — consternation. Confusion. Is patented lack of smexiness the new sexy? Well.

V’sri’s lifemate can only hope.

See, he’s got that as an example, he’s got all these smarts and charm and everything works out perfectly when it’s just the two of you, rehearsing in his head. He’s suave, he’s sophisticated, he’s sexy, and all the greens — maybe even a gold or two — desperately want him.
It’s when it comes to real-life application that it all … falls … apart.

Oh, he tries, he genuinely does, but attempts at being suave and sophisticated come across as smarmy and superior. Charmingly interested? Creepily over-invested. Effortlessly eloquent? Exuberantly over-eager. It’s adorable … if it’s not directed at you.

This extends to the flights as well — as a young dragon, it’s his enthusiasm that is his downfall. He’ll be too absorbed in a witty repartee to realize he’s missed his chance to catch; he’ll have used up all his energy it acrobatic displays meant to catch his quarry’s eye, and have to drop out early.

Eventually, he gets his feet under him: his hit-or miss attempts at charming start hitting the mark more than they miss. He even, shock and awe, manages to adequately woo. It won’t ever be anything but over-the-top, but the kind of over-the-top that has the ladies groaning, or swearing at themselves for the fact that it’s actually working on them. Coupled with this, as he grows and gains more experience, his flight technique will improve as well. He’ll actually, astonishingly, start to get good at catching — he’s a diligent observer, after all, and there’s no better way to get good at something than to have been bad at it first.

Once he’s gained some confidence of his own, he might start encouraging you to try out some of his techniques when there isn’t a flight on the line. A litte voice in your ear, a little encouragement to break out of your comfort zone — but then again, you may not need it. ;) Besides, if one or both of you strike out, well — there’s always a long flight home, or imagined epic Thread battles to re-live together.

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Mindvoice

But what does it smell like, V'sri?

Answer: nothing.

People are actually wont to ask you that, as their lifemates, well, their mental spaces sometimes do have smells. Smells happen within spaces. Within most spaces, but not all

“But what does it SMELL like, V’sri?”
“Nothing. His voice is…I don’t know.”

Now, you might be laughing (and you know why as well as we do, even if it's a mystery to most everyone else) but it's also a very accurate answer. The inside of Diqth's mind has a very specific scent of nothing to it; it is an absence of smell, a recycled-air void of nothingness as if it were coming in and out of a circulator designed to keep a very clean space isolated from the outside.

And there you have the rest of his mindspace.

A very clean space isolated from the outside, that is. Everything about Diqth is clean, both in the sense of cleanliness and the sort of 'clean' you would use to describe a drawn line or a precise cut. While there's clearly no smell, what it does have is the hint of a soundtrack. It's the one you asked for, even if you didn't quite realize it …

I was feeling part of the scenery
I walked right out of the machinery
My heart going boom, boom, boom

See, it's right there in the song. Within the perfectly clean space-station-infirmary of his mind, sometimes there's the sound of heartbeats in the background. And he's got a lot of 'boom' to him, too — some of it in sounds, some in image conjuring.

Diqth’s voice is as smooth and clean as the space around it; not lacking emotion, but without the vibratos and frills that other dragons’ voices tend to have. Were his voice a font, it would be Times New Roman. Classic, smooth, and easy to understand. His sentences are well thought out and organized, except in times of high excitement. When he’s excited, which is often, he will tend to talk over himself, as if his mind is moving faster than his words can keep up. « But then I thought, well, actually, no hold on a second, oh, wait, yeah, that would be, well, no, except there’s THIS thing… » And so on. His voice will change slightly as well, adding in a tang of adrenaline that will probably get V’sri’s heart racing. V’sri will need to learn to be quite patient and just wait him out until he figures out what he actually wants to say. « OKAY. Here’s what I meant… »

And, and — okay, let's be fair. The lack of smell thing has a corollary. An exception. You may remember that when you Impressed him, Diqth did introduce a smell: that really, really clean smell. Alcohol pads and astringent. This happens only when he is either very excited or suddenly alarmed; when that whirl of his eyes changes to orange or red. When this happens you'll also feel as if your entire body has been jolted with adrenaline and you are VERY AWAKE.

His mindscape will be similarly smooth and clean. When V’sri ventures into his dragon’s mind, it will initially be a blank slate. White, stretching to infinity in all directions. Until V’sri has a thought.

“Food would be nice.”
BOOM. There is a huge table of food.
“Dancing girls?”
BOOM. Dancing girls.
“Damn. This is amazing.”

Diqth’s mind is whatever they want to make it, though it always remains that acrid-clean. Sometimes this will work in their favor, such as when they want to go swimming on a tropical beach surrounded by beautiful people and dragons (all of whom are, of course, perfect in their clean lines). Other times, though, it can be a literal nightmare. In times of stress, anger of fear, those things will manifest themselves in Diqth’s thoughts. It could prove very distressing for V’sri, not knowing what to expect when he touches upon his dragon’s mind. It can be distressing for Diqth as well, especially when V’sri’s strong feelings hijack his mind and turn his own thoughts into whatever his rider is feeling.

The pair of them will have a lot of give and take over the true owner of Diqth’s mindspace, and will hopefully in time learn to share and respect it.

As time passes, V’sri might discover that Diqth’s mind is the perfect place to work out any fears, any regrets, and any issues that he might have (with Diqth’s permission of course). What better way to confront a fear than to actually confront it, in the safety of his dragon’s mind? After all, nothing in there is really real, but the emotions V’sri feels while there are. It could be the perfect place to work through heartbreak, or fantasies, or practice that speech, or pretend to be riding against Thread. It would be a perfect place to practice pick-up lines without the actual sting of rejection.

He tries to make it easy on you, too, make the creations in his head nice when they're letting V'sri down … even if that isn't always very helpful. It's a start. And it feels real, so he wouldn't want to make it all that painful for his lifemate.

It is his space of clean, blank-space perfection, but it is V'sri's space to make. Over and over for as little or as long as is desired.


Inspiration

V’sri! We love you and we are SO happy that you applied at Fort and are going to be with us through Weyrlinghood! We hope your bronze, based on Julian Bashir from DS9 (with a splash of A’ster’s kid thrown in for spice, and on whose halloween costuming misadventures the egg and its inhabitant were based.) is a joy to you and a lot of fun to play! Other bits of his personality came from Solsbury Hill (as requested!) by Peter Gabriel, and America’s Son by Air Review.
Our egg theme was Halloween! Your egg’s theme is pretty obvious - those last-second costumes right before heading out to get candy.

The name went through about ninety permutation of A’ster’s exhaustive pull-apart and combining mechanix, but it was Thys that found the right one, after all. Diqth, pronounced deek-th, which comes from the last syllable of the more widely used transliteration of Siddig — siddiq. As in Julian Bashir’s actor, Siddig el Fadil. We also thought you’d get a kick out of having a dragon whose name kind of looks like a dick joke. XD

Credits:
Egg by A'ster
Dragon by A'ster, Nyalle and Inri


Credits

Name Diqth
Dam Gold Kayeth
Sire Bronze Velokraeth
Created By A'ster, Nyalle, Inri (name by Thys)
Impressee V'sri (Vossrik)
Hatched December 2, 2016
Fort Weyr
PernWorld MUSH