((Few days post hatching))
"Awful news from Benden today."
"I've been working down in the store caverns- haven't heard nothin'."
"You haven't heard? Well, a green died there. starved to death."
"...Well, that puts a damper on the hatching a few days ago- how? Did they not notice? I know the situation was dire there, but not THAT bad."
"It's been chaos, from what I hear. Riders transferring out right and left. They didn't think it was that bad either, though: from what I hear, the green and her rider kept to themselves, and weren't eating deliberately because they didn't want to dwindle the stores-- i guess they just got ahead of themselves."
"..I've never heard of a dragon dying from starvation."
"Neither have I. Neither have hte records. the really creepy thing is that she didn't even have the strength to go between. She just died. Rider suicided after."
"Faranth- oh Faranth. Really? I can't even imagine- what are they doing with a body that big."
"She was light enough for one of the bronzes to take her between. Benden-- what's left of it-- was shocked at it. I guess everything's been bad enough that the pair just slipped through the cracks. It spurned a massive check of all the dragons by the remaining dragonhealers- they didn't like what they found. There's only 150 dragonriders left at Benden. No one's close to dying-- not yet. The dragonhealers aren't that optimistic though; they think that green won't be the only one to go that way. I don't know what they'll do with the bodies then. Burn them, maybe."
There's silence, as both of them imagine it and shudder. Burning the bodies of dragons is as close to sacrilege as either can imagine.
"Or maybe bury them."
"There's more, though?"
"When it rains, it pours: what else could possibly be going wrong?"
"Well, they went to Fax to ask-- or beg, I guess- for the tithe to return."
"What was his answer? surely even he could've taken pity..."
"I'm told he laughed."