On the planet Pern, Lessa, the only survivor of a massacre led by Lord Fax, was forced to hide as a drudge in her home hold of Ruatha to escape Fax's notice. She spent the next ten years plotting the death of Fax so she could safely reclaim her birthright as Lady of Ruatha Hold. Meanwhile, Wingleader F'lar of Benden Weyr and his wingriders have come to Search Fax's seven holds for a woman capable of Impressing a soon-to-hatch queen dragon and becoming Benden's new Weyrwoman. When the Search arrives at Ruatha, Lessa uses the occasion to telepathicly manipulate F'lar into a knife dual with Fax, killing the latter. When Lessa reveals her identity at the rightful heir to Ruatha, F'lar convinces her to instead leave the Hold to the infant son of the late Lady Gemma (distant relative of Lessa) and come to Benden Weyr and stand as a Canidate for Impression. Once Lessa is on the Hatching Grounds, she witnesses how the other (male) Canidates fair in Impressing the hatchlings. She then Impresses the new queen dragon Ramoth, the last breedable female dragon left on Pern, and it's only hope for the future of dragonkind.
(Note -- this issue covers the first entirety of the novella "Wery Search", the first Dragonriders story to see print, and incorperated as the first part of the book Dragonflight.)