It was finally, finally time. Jessa was twelve Turns old. She was almost thirteen Turns old, really. She wasn't allowed to get to thirteen without touching dragon eggs, it wouldn't be fair.
(Seeing is another matter. But that's a secret.)
But now, finally, there were eggs on the Hatching Ground. Jessa hadn't even noticed that the most recent flight was a queen dragon and not a green, though in retrospect it must have been, for there to be eggs. (Jessa had found out recently exactly what happened during mating flights, and had felt very Worldly and Important ever since.) This clutch was supposed to be decently sized, even, which Jessa thought would work to their advantage; the smaller the clutch, the closer the eggs would be watched.
Not at all conducive to a group of Weyrbrats sneaking onto the sands to get a closer look.
The Weyr had no few 'brats near Jessa's age, but enough of them had gotten to see the last round of eggs that it wound up just Jessa, her best friend Jokanon, and their friend Mirnel (minus one other girl who'd lost her nerve at the last minute, to Jessa's disgust). And so, prepped with glowbaskets and carefully reviewed directions from the older 'brats, they headed down the old tunnels in search of the back entrance to the Hatching Ground.
Jessa and her friends had just rounded the bend of the first tunnel when they heard a voice Jessa really, really didn't want to hear.