The tension in the room was incredible, though by no means was it anything other than civil. It was perceived by a number of men and women; it was created by a number of the men. Most everyone was seated, save the one all the others were looking at.

The eldest of the gathering was ironically the newest of the group, and not yet even considered a ‘member' of that group. He stood somewhat stiffly, though not because of the tenseness in the air. There were others in the room whose postures were quite guarded, the apprehension they showed was obvious. Those others who weren't aggravated with their newest to arrive were reasonably casual, though by no means relaxed. With the specific people in this wide, round, stone-walled room, no one could possibly relax.

Well, there was at least one who was, visibly; chipper and smiling, her relaxation might be mistaken for distraction.

The room was broad, with a fairly low ceiling for its shape. All in light colored stone, marble decorated the upper portions of the walls and the stately pillars that divided the room further into a more or less octagonal area. The center of the room was filled with a large round table, also marble-topped, and had sixteen seats, though they were not evenly filled nor were they divided rigidly. Mostly they were clumped to one side, empty for nearly a third of the table's space, primarily – and clearly – to allow everyone to see the newcomer.

He appeared to be patient, though not entirely sure of himself, watching this double handful of disparate people looking back at him. It seemed they were waiting for something to happen, and shortly it was obvious what that was.

There was one more to come, who arrived through one of the dark, tall archways leading into the room. He was just as tall as that arch, the tallest of the entire group, actually. Also the darkest of complexion, a rich nearly-black brown skin, vibrantly black hair that had improbably yellow-gold tips, and equally bright yellow-green eyes. His smile seemed almost out of place.

“Ah, you finally made it. Good.” He said, breezing past the business-suit wearing other. Saxxon's voice was deep, but then half the men could say that. They didn't say those words, however. The Weyrleader made note of the responses from others in the chamber. His bright eyes moved carefully back to their newest and clearly showed sincerity. “Well, I think it's good. I was wondering when another like us would join in.”

“You're nothing like us, Kallah Vahh.” There was one who clearly disagreed: the slender blond-haired man who had seated himself close to an equally slender red-headed woman. Even she seemed a little put off by the blonde's apprehension, however.

“Well I have to say I'm … a touch surprised,” their latest and arguably most unlikely member said. “And no, I'm not like you, Etan,” he almost spat the word. “But I am,” he inclined his head toward Saxxon, “quite a bit like him.” His thin lips adopted a tiny smirk when he looked at a couple others, “and them,” to a strangely disparate blue man and the albino next to him.

“Can we get past the dodging and hissing?” A tawny haired and muscular looking woman sighed. “My Aerie's not going to run itself, you know.”

“Tirin, if you need to leave, just say so. We can do this without you if you give your blessing or your refusal now,” that fluffy-haired albino man stated. “If this was a full on gathering we'd need a different room for it. As it is,” H'lis shrugged, “it's not like a lot of others need to worry about it. I'm thinking… there won't be a lot of people remembering you coming to their Weyrs and Holds, hm?”

“I do hate that I've caused you such distress,” the still-standing man said, “I've only barely become… aware of the conditions surrounding our commonalities.”

“We're dragon riders, Weyrleaders, dragonry pioneers,” a white-haired man who had a faintly less formal version of Vahh's style of suit jacket on. No tie, but also no smile on his face. “And apparently the multiverse believes you're to become a rider.”

The weird look on Vahh's face turned to a smirk and chuckle. “It does seem quite contrary to everything I've ever done, really. It's not typical of my kind.”

“And what do your people say about it?” Etan was once more quite caustic in his mannerism. The woman beside him gently but not subtly moved toward the woman next to her, a darker skinned one with what looked to be a recording device running. The reporter glanced to her friend, frowned a tiny bit, and sighed.

“My people have as little to say about this … venture, as I want them to. It's none of their business what I do these days, Etan. Unlike yours, I wonder why that is.”

The woman with the recorder glanced from one man to the other, and her blue-skinned male companion put his hand on hers to silence any questions she might have. That blue man cleared his throat and the others looked his way.

“The only thing I need to know is whether you'll be needing any extra riders, or support,” Shard said, and his wife Rue beside him gave a tiny smile, echoed on the redhead.

“Extra, perhaps not,” Vahh said. “I have already… toured several of your sites, gotten an idea of what's needed for a good location's functionality. Some of those I did have to… relieve of their memories, H'lis,” his gaze went from that albino man, then to glance at Engel, “and it was a pleasure to actually know that you're one of the tolerable versions, Lord Holder.”

“Zekiran me's got an attitude,” the white-haired man chuckled. “It's just lucky you ran into the Carramba version first.”

“Everyone there is… quite helpful.” Vahh tapped his fingers against his thigh, thinking on those students and instructors he'd been working with for a number of years. Years that seemed to melt away, yet were experienced exactly as anyone else's who wasn't an immortal energy being. The strange overlap of times and dimensions in that world had been what attracted him to the place originally.

“Do you have a site set up? Need construction work?” Kalkin asked from his fake-casual slouch forward at the large stone table. He was faking it because he could see down his beloved not-quite-wife's dress that way.

“We have a site, yes,” Vahh looked at his fingernails, back to the blue-eyed man, and pointedly didn't stare at that woman's cleavage as it wasn't his to admire. “It's… well, I've taken the liberty of nullifying all of the radioactive elements and converting the toxic waste into fresh water. Something I'd love to happen with the rest of that world, but… I'm nowhere near powerful enough to do that myself.” He tossed his hand into the air, “plus it's not exactly my world, the other of myself there appears to be content with merely watching what happens.”

Etan gave a very faint but derisive snort. Vahh ignored him, pointedly.

“The interior of the place has been under some… renovations,” he spoke with an odd hesitation here and there as was his wont, but at times it did seem as though the right word might elude him. Too many words from too many languages competing in his mind, perhaps. At least H'lis and Triia, Shard and Rue looked interested in the efforts he was making. “And I'm afraid I'm entirely lacking in… architectural inspiration at times.”

“Hence your visits,” Engel nodded. “Well, obviously, you've got access to plenty of inspiration across the multiverse.”

“I would never steal your designs openly,” Vahh smirked. “That's Wilson's job. No, it's more a matter of… refitting the existing levels into something more appropriate. Since the… girls have begun finding their draconic partners, it seems only fitting to place them somewhere they can stretch out and relax while they're helping to save the world. We have… already got a wide variety of root worlds contributing to our population.”

His look dared Etan to say something. The blond did not.

Vahh looked toward the stunningly pretty but ever so slightly severe woman in violet, whose cleavage continued to be of interest to Kalkin. “I've been told your Den has a number of dragons who are… bored with their inactivity?”

Baeris Kshau nodded deeply, “you know they are – they've been lurking and slinking around for years. Some of them were originally bonded, abandoned, others never paired up with a bond. But I think they may be willing to move past their problems and issues.”

“Then they would be more than welcome to pick and choose from among our potential riders. I dare say there will be a steady stream of those. It won't only be a handful of colorful cloned and engineered teenagers there, after all. Refugees from around the world should be among their ranks at some point.” Vahh looked at one of his fellow instructors from Carramba, the mage Zora Domina. “And, your grin says you've got something up your sleeve, my dear, what is that?”

“Oh just a wand,” Zora said, producing one and swirling it around. Her hair turned green, to match her dress. “I wasn't sure whether you were going to need to have your place calibrated for multidimensional transit.”

Vahh blinked. His turquoise eyes gathered lines around the edges, as he couldn't keep from smiling at that. “Miss Domina, I am one of Carramba High School's Dimensional Travel and Teleportation professors. It's what I do best. I believe I can handle the dimension gates. However, if you have any short cuts, I would be more than happy to hear about them.” He glanced at the archways which led to each compass point from the center of the room. “Like these, though your Vortessence doesn't appear to be on the gateways here.”

Like the Healing Den and the Carramba Dragonries, then, this site of his would maintain connections to numerous off-world sites – and presumably to world-specific ones as well. After all, those cloned children hadn't been made where he resided, they were the product of GLaDOS and her genetic machinations. They had a ‘home' in Aperture, as much as their temporary digs at Carramba.

Though he'd been the only one remaining standing the entire time, Kallah Vahh, Keenan Lane to his Earthly companions, seemed to be completely comfortable that way. He saw the fidget of the Aerie Lady Tirin – her gryphons and eggs did need tending. He knew that plenty more of these leaders were out there in the multiverse, but this batch had a stake in his participation. She and the curly-haired man beside her were the leaders of an isle upon which a number of the others had intruded some decades before, from their own dimensional incursions. That they were included here was a matter of courtesy, neither of them were Genrehoppers as most of the others were.

With or without that skill, however, it appeared that with only one exception, the group of dragonry heads had fully accepted their newest into their ranks. Etan sat silently fuming, the sneer on his thin lips unhidden.

Before the brown-rider could interrupt the reasonably peaceful silence, Rue nudged Shard, and he again cleared his throat. “I suppose that all that's left is to give a full tally?”

“Aye,” Saxxon said, “and Kira also says aye, and hi.”

“Of course she does,” Vahh said with a laugh.

“In,” the Caerlord, Qalam said, echoed by his somewhat flustered looking female companion Tirin.

“Welcome,” Baeris said, and glanced at her own darker skinned cohort.

“In, and if you need more medical assistance you've got it from us, of course.” Kalkin pushed his fingers together and smiled from behind them.

“In trade of course,” Vahh rolled his eyes. Kalkin was little different from his Carramba counterpart. That they all looked so much alike, and all had dragons, and seemed to communicate to each other constantly, was something Vahh had originally been intrigued by. It was, inadvertently, because of ‘Crazy Doc' Sanger at Carramba, that he was here today. How could they all keep track of themselves? Well – they weren't close to two billion years old, they were just spread in great numbers across the multiverse.

“In,” H'lis nodded, followed by a similar nod by Triia the red head.

“In,” she said. She could sense Etan's posture stiffen yet again. Her expression of defeated sadness was obvious, but brief. Vahh's gaze softened when he met her pale brown eyes.

Zora waved her fingers and caused a little shower of sparks that read ‘yay!', “yay!” She said. Her friend Iris rolled her own eyes and waved her fingers in a ‘yes'. It was a touch odd that it was the paladin Iris that was with the mage; Lucas was normally with her – well, Lucas was normally found around either of these women, but the dragonmage version of Kalkin wasn't present today.

Engel likewise gave a simple nod and a “yes,” as Rue jotted these results down on a sheet of parchment as well as tapping onto a data pad.

Shard offered his thumbs up of support, and glanced at Etan with a sigh.

No,” Etan said, but obviously by that time, no one would be bothering to try and sway him. He stood and curtly left the room without saying another word.

Rue ground her jaw around, and since the formalities were essentially over, she looked back at Vahh.

“What exactly is his problem with you?” She asked.

“We don't get along,” Vahh said. He waited just long enough for her to attempt to ask something to clarify that, and added, “anywhere. Under any sun or in any dimension. We have… met in numerous worlds. Our purposes tend to be… either competitive, or contradictory.”

“Well that's true for me too,” Engel stated.

“Indeed, but you are at least kind about it, for the most part.” There would be those who could argue, but those present knew there was no reason for it. He looked at the empty ‘doorway' where Etan had vanished. To his eyes, his Vortal senses, the archways each had a unique frequency – they were magic of convenience, leading to different locations depending on who entered them. The one Etan exited led somewhere other than anyone else's could. Vahh had not used any of them, on his way in. He didn't have to, he among all of them was able to teleport at will.

There were Vortal traces of the blond still remaining – the taste of desert grit and anger lingering in minds. Triia's in particular. It seemed that both H'lis and Shard were concerned for her.

After all, Etan was the father of her son Tandri, on numerous worlds.

On Zekira, Vahh knew that situation was remarkably out of control. He would have explained further about their disagreement, how Etan's determination and quest for power had led him to cross the Convocation's path on more than one occasion. Vahh's people, in any dimension, didn't care much for how he behaved, how he threw his power around. Selfish power. If he'd been one of those Convocation, Etan would have been redacted. All this went through his mind quickly – and was picked up by Engel, H'lis, and Saxxon. They all knew already how Etan behaved when he wanted something. His poor brown dragon was proof of that. Run ragged through the dimensions and time, it was a wonder the creature still could draw breath.

Their faint and short reverie was interrupted. “Oh,” Rue said, waving her stylus in the air, “do you have a name for your place yet?”

The others perked up. They had dragonries and Weyrs, aeries and dens for their own colonies.

Vahh said, pondering. “Black Mesa.”

“We know that,” Saxxon muttered with a smirk. His own connection to Vahh was a bit complicated. He wasn't Convocation either. But he was certainly not as human – or as Zekiran – as he claimed to be. They'd met under… complicated conditions.

Vahh paused, realizing that, like his lack of ‘architectural inspiration', he hadn't devoted much creative thought to the name either, “as for what its name is, I suppose that the Black Mesa Dragon Rookery will suffice.”

“Ooh a rookery sounds neat,” Zora chimed in. Her hair turned black and she grew a beak.

“Well good,” Vahh said, “you can come help decorate it.” He might live to regret that… Ravens were fond of shiny things after all.


Black Mesa Dragon Rookery is located on a 'near Earth' which has common features to a number of worlds. The presence of two facilities, Black Mesa Research and Aperture Science, are on many of those worlds. The history of this specific Earth includes a Resonance Cascade which breeched dimensional barriers, leading to a number of alien incursions via "portal storms" which sweep across both Earth's countryside as well as another world at the same time. To keep the population safer, 'Cities' had been made, some on existing locations and others set between larger but ruined centers. The countryside was emptied, and the Cities contained threats more easily than individuals could. Some years after the Cascade event, another full alien invasion force arrived, the Universal Union, also known as the Combine, or in Vortigese: Ulathoi. Because the Cities had many of the remaining population, they were hit with massive structures, Citadels, that facilitated the 'Seven Hour War' - when most of Earth's military was destroyed, and where the surrender of the world was negotiated.

This world's Earth contains numerous non-native intelligent species, in addition to the existing Human population. Vortigaunts, escapees from Xen, aid the Humans against the presence of their old enemy Ulathoi. Ulathoi is composed of hundreds of different species that have undergone surgical and cybernetic alteration and all obey their 'Overwatch', under the direction of off-world leadership. Ulathoi treats itself as though it is one organism, with specific creatures filling cellular roles. Their eventual goal would be, as with any other world they've captured and used, to satisfy their own Overworld's replacement part needs; to gain weaponry or technology that can be used with their own forces, and siphon whatever is left as fuel. The presence of intelligent life only means the potential for new equipment, rather than any form of cultural exchange.

It is in this bleak, ruined world, that the series of color-coded genetically engineered clone girls and boys were made, at Aperture Science's Enrichment Center, located in Munising Michigan. Though they were sent out from that location to other dimensions for schooling, their return with dragons has complicated things for the facility's only other inhabitant, GLaDOS. Since she is unable to leave that location, and dragons are hardly fit to live in the strange underground locale (they could, if not for all the equipment in the way), another has filled the need. (At least... until that same Aperture facility is cleaned up!)


For more proper information about the variety of different worlds and dimensional variations among the Rookery riders, please see the Alternate Worlds page.

This page will show just how complicated the weaving of cross-dimensional lives can be, so... you're in for a ride...


A strict timeline is difficult to establish, therefore, but it can be boiled down to specific arrival points and developments after the Rookery's establishment. Years prior to the founding of the Rookery itself might seem a little compressed... They're not really 'years' so much as 'contact points' for a time line. Pax and the Vahh clan have spent nearly 150 years out and about in the multiverse, so let's not think about how those older Black Mesa personnel are still alive and kicking for this. This is as close to how Carramba teachers tell how long they've been tenured at that nexus location, it's all very, very muddy.

Rookery Year Event
-8 Rookery Earth Resonance Cascade occurs (May)
ARRISA sent out by Rookery GLaDOS
Repurposed Earth Paxton leads a bunch of his family to another dimension, randomly landing in Vault Earth, starts their jaunting
-7 ARRISA discovers Carramba and reports back to GLaDOS, notes something 'different' about her, continues interdimensional exploration
Repurposed Lane and family in Paragon City
-6 Jaeger, Mera, Boy10 synthetics sent by GLaDOS to Carramba
Aretha begins working at Carramba part time
ARRISA discovers Paragon City
Repurposed Lane begins using several cloned bodies in Paragon, because the Convocation cannot stop him
-5 ARRISA joins Convocation Supergroup in Paragon; Prods Lane to begin looking into Carramba, which he does
Lane loses a bet in Paragon; becomes Nachos California in Carramba High as well as the City
Wesson lapses from one Aperturth to the next and winds up at Carramba
-4 Color Guard 15 sent to Carramba; Jaeger, Mera, Boy10 graduated
Lane is Searched by Sixth at Carramba; also visits Rookery Earth's GLaDOS, Caroline is reborn later in the year
GLaDOS mixes more Carramba and Pantheon members up in batches
-3 Color Guards 30, 45, 60 sent to Carramba
Healing Den dragons begin looking for partners among the Color Guard
Some Color Guard offworld for 'proper' hatchings
-2 Color Guards 75 and 90 sent to Carramba, Color Guard 15 graduated
Lane actually Impresses Denhadarvahth, and apparently they spend a while together because the next time anyone sees the dragonet he's a full-grown - if tiny - adult. Notably, this occurred in the Healing Den
-1 Color Guards 30, 45, 60 graduated
Color Guard 15 members generally live in Crescent City, not returning to Aperture yet
Lane has been wandering the multiverse with Den, and taking notes
0 Establishment of Rookery - the discussion above with other leaders occurs at this time
Color Guards 75, 90 graduated
Locals are discovered holding out in the depths of Rookery Black Mesa while Keenan is fixing it up
First few Color Guard 2nd Generation ready for schooling, dragon bonding, and exploration
1 Rookery structure cleaned and physically ready for habitation
First major influx of original Repurposed-born riders, many of whom are bonded to Healing Den dragons
Baeris and Melissa work on producing the Rookery's cross-dimension search rider: Velasco Carver
Dry Cove set up below main Mesa area, work on power and communications largely finished
2 Exploration around the Rookery world, sites located that are in need of repair: Rapture, Borealis, Aperture itself
Paxton has impressed or bonded 4 dragons already and shows no signs of slowing down
CHS Amph-Toko nest hatches, hosts quite a few disparate generations of bondings... as all are hatchlings at bond
Late, Rapture is partially reopened, several locations fixed up by Local Lane, as 'his' Rhea wants to go back to it
Portals appear on other worlds, directly allowing influx of foreign dragons rather than having to go to them
3 Antlion Ranch established near Rookery
Lane Mansion gets a renovation copied over from Paragon
Color Guard 2nd Generation in full swing, some going back for seconds...
Baeris and Mel begin snapping up dragon DNA from Pyrrhans and other existing locals, in order to splice together Velasco's dragon
Healing Den hosts triple-clutch with some interesting repercussions
Shorepoint Rescue finds more than a dozen new potential riders in Europe, teleported back to Rookery
4 Ivan is rediscovered via opening Rookery's Lambda portal back to Rookery Xen, heads up salvage missions
Professor Lane's Field Trip kids selected for dragons
Vance Bayou Homestead imported from Paragon/Repurposed Earth
Borealis is finally protected enough to begin moving people there to refurbish and make it functional
5 Color Guard's full integration with Pantheon starts up as they dedicate effort to North Aperture's repairs
A small number of ELLs are created specifically for the Rookery
Rookery installs portal technology fit to attract other-worldly transmissions from those portals, to prevent Combine capture of newcomers
Journey arrives, hooks up with Local Lane, and she and Melissa spend at least a dozen years raising Peregrine
6 Melissa and Rhea begin creating Plasmid-Icarus mixtures particularly of use for bad-tag genes, and helping rescue Combine controlled or converted dragons as well as humans
Hallowed Silk dragon offspring in progress just to make sure that Peregrine gets the right dragon, lots of spares
Carramba High's 'CyberCourt' dragons are created
Aperturth's Resonance Cascade occurs 'their year' 2006 [equitable to Repurposed year 2036]
7 Rapture's facilities including entertainment and residential areas are fully fit to inhabit, ruins still being scoured
Levi Shindaerey takes control of the Institute on Vault Earth, an event that allows quite a few changes to be made in the Commonwealth, as well as bringing himself onto the radar of the Lanes
Multidimensional splices go into a group of ELLs made by Melissa and Rhea
Color Guard 2nd Generation start finding dragons
North Aperture surface offices and Shafts beyond the original Color Guard lab safe enough for refugees inhabit
GLaDOS is wondering what the hell is going on in there, because there's a couple dragons where she is, who she isn't really sure she likes even if they seem to be under Cave's control
8 Aretha formally bonds to Silence, bringing her into the fold of proper Dragon Riders, and thus the Rookery
Hippies and Carnies arrive, spawning the Coffee Grounds, with both Lanes moving whole chunks of mountains...
Another couple ELLs are made for very specific locations and uses
Local Lane is found by a dragon, and things just go downhill for him from here... and he loves it
9 Aperturth surviving employees brought by Local Lane
Professor Lane's Carramba Rookery kids find dragons, some of which are rather long holdouts in the Den
Rapturearth's rare Portal Storms bring a few folks, and the portals are normalized by the Lanes in order to keep those to a minimum
Ziva Ryan shows up from an alternate Rapture for the first time, not the last, as she bonds to a dragon...
10 Children of Hippies/Carnies given Icarus treatments over the course of the year
Aperturth SWAT, DEA, and Criminals arrive to Grounds...
Repurposed Lane taps Aretha back at Vault Earth to set up dimensional portals
Criminals are sent off to Mojave Conglomerate
Wesson's Finest formed among Carramba's superheroic student body, also, dragons
11 Nachos California... bonds a dragon. Literally no one was ready for that.
Vault Earth riders begin being Searched for MoCon
Melissa has a problem, she keeps making ELLs, but now they're geared for dragons and interdimensional work
12 North Aperture is considered 'Open For Business', Shafts are still being fixed and explored, but 3 are functional
NAp Shaft 8 is the new location of David Hoyle's Enclave
Third Generation Color Guard / Pantheon / Hippie Kids
13* *New Year's EVEnt 2021-22 this takes place ostensibly after some of the offspring are adults, but not necessarily 'in' the timeline properly, since the CyberCourt is also 2021 and definitely in RY6

Beyond these years, numerous other births and discoveries, dragon bondings, and events take place, which are detailed on their own pages as needed
The time gaps between births and adulthood for many born to Rookery individuals is shortened due to advances in download skill training and Icarus treatments, so some people born near the earlier portion of this decade are 'adults' in appearance and mood earlier than expected

15 The Carramba High / Crescent City Community College merge is complete, "2024" equating to 2027ish, and around this time a great number of other worlds are in regular contact, including Delos Earth's new Dragon Host Rider Training Initiative, part of their simulation park structure, which uses a reasonable amount of existing Rookery and Rapture-based tech for skills, and a fair bit of Vault Earth's Synth production lines
Black Mesa Dragon Rookery is (c) Lethe Gray / Droppin the Fork and is not to be reproduced anywhere. Do not take images from the site unless that page grants specific permission. Always link back appropriately.