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Small but Superior

Writers: Chelle, Devin
Date Posted: 16th February 2017

Characters: R'gelen, R'allo
Description: While on a sweepride, some DFW riders do some good.
Location: Dragonsfall Weyr, Elsewhere on Pern
Date: month 10, day 4 of Turn 8
Notes: Mentioned: G'nir

R'allo triple checked the straps on his brown before climbing up and
securing himself. With a short glide, they made it down to the Bowl to
wait for their partner. The boy they'd be sweepriding with was several
turns younger and R'allo couldn't help thinking how strange it was.
Someone hardly more than a child was supposed to be their superior.

Having placed the last few messages on G'nir's desk, R'gelen had
headed back into the Bowl to mount his dragon. Strapping his helmet
back on and putting his goggles where he could pull them down easily,
he then buckled his straps and pulled on them to make sure they were
snug. Satisfied, he searched the Bowl and found the brownpair waiting.
**Head over there.**

Ready for the sweepride since it meant getting out of the Weyr, Iroth
eagerly took to the air, making short work of the distance before
setting down next to the brown. The bronze was already at full growth
which dwarfed his still-growing rider for the most part. }:Well met:{

}:Well met, Iroth,{ Marroth greeted the older dragon. It didn't matter
to him how old the rider was. Iroth was full grown, and a bronze, so
it felt natural to follow him.

}:We go over the western section of Opal Cove Hold. Here is the visual:{
The bronze offered the image so they'd be sure to come out of /between/
in the same place. R'gelen made sure to check that his flight jacket was
zipped up and secure. It was going to be cool up where they were going to
fly. The bronzerider put his hand up to signal to the brownrider to see if they
were ready to launch.

R'allo signaled back and waited for the command to go /between/. When
it came, Marroth followed the clear visual and after a few breathless
seconds they were over Opal Cove Hold. R'allo looked over at the tiny
figure on the bronze's neck. Did this boy really know what he was
doing? Why hadn't they been paired with someone older?

After so many months of flying in the cool mountain air, R'gelen still didn't
enjoy it. Even with full flight leathers insulated with sheep's pelt, he was still
cold. Looking down at Opal Cove, he then looked to the sky to determine their
orientation by the sun. He put his hand up again, indicating the direction they
were going. The western part of the territory was what they were concerned with.

}:Keep your eyes out for any banners or signals or things that look strange:{
Hopefully it wouldn't be anything that a two-man sweep couldn't handle. If it
was, they could call to the watchdragon to bring help. And then Iroth began to
fly lower and slower, purposefully watching even as his rider was.

Marroth matched his pace to the bronze, scanning the land below them
carefully. He felt rather important, taking on a real dragon duty
instead of just practicing.

His rider, on the other hand, struggled to stay focused. His mind kept
drifting, listing off tasks he needed to get to in the next few days,
going over mistakes they'd made in drills, wondering if that cute
greenrider had been flirting with him or just being nice.

After going a few dragonlengths, R'gelen spotted a signal fire lit on
the heights of a small cothold. He didn't say anything, though,
waiting to see how long it would take for R'allo to see it.

}:I see something,:{ Marroth said.

R'allo snapped out of his thoughts and looked around. **A signal fire.
Let him know.** He felt a bit sheepish that he hadn't been paying

The young brown alerted Iroth that they'd spotted a signal fire and
they began to spiral down to investigate.

The bronze quietly followed, landing carefully. R'gelen didn't
dismount right away. He wanted to see just what was going on first. If
they needed to leave quickly to fetch a healer or for another reason,
it would waste time. His eyes scanned the area, searching for people.
Iroth let out a bugle to alert anyone to their arrival.

A man came running out of one of the larger buildings, waving at the

Seeing the man wasn't armed and looked as if he really did need help,
the bronzerider waited until he stopped some lengths in front of Iroth
before dismounting. Seeing R'allo follow suit, he started to approach.
"Well met! We saw the signal fire. Can we help?"

The man stopped, breathing heavily, his face flushed. "There was a
rock slide on the road. My uncle is trapped under the wagon and we
can't get the herdbeasts through to pull it off."

"Can you show us where? And do you have a healer here that can treat any
possible injuries?" R'gelen was already mentally considering the facts. They
couldn't take a heavily injured person /between/. They would have to bring the
healer there if one was needed.

The man shook his head. "No healer, bronzerider. We're too small for
that. But I can show you where." He turned and pointed. "Road's that
way. My uncle is about two miles out, in the pass. You can't miss it
if you fly low."

R'allo itched to take charge, but R'gelen was the senior rider and he
had to admit the boy was handling the situation well.

"How long has he been trapped? And how heavy is it?" He was mentally
calculating how long it would take to get a healer here and whether or not
they would need two dragons to lift the thing. "Is there room for two dragons?"
R'gelen saw the road.

The man swallowed. "I... I think. The road's wide enough but with the
rocks it might make things difficult. He's been there for about two
candlemarks. Thank Faranth you were flying over."

**Two candlemarks?** With it snowing and as cold as it was, that could
mean serious problems. If the man was able to get most of himself under the
cart, it might keep him out of most of the wet. **Ask Marroth if he and his rider
can fetch a healer here**

}:Marroth, could you and yours fetch a healer quickly? Mine says to tell the
healer injuries and perhaps frostbite and other problems. It is an emergency:{
Iroth relayed his rider's concern in his tone as well as the urgency to the brown
even as his rider hurried to get the holder mounted up to show the way
with himself behind him. Hopefully, Iroth could lift the thing himself.

}:I am strong-don't fear:{ the bronze reassured as R'gelen strapped
in, watching to see how fast R'allo could head /between/.

R'allo signaled that he understood. }:We go,:{ Marroth said. The
brownrider checked to make sure his straps were secure before they
took off. Although the urgency of the situation made him nervous, he
fought to stay calm and get to a safe height before going /between/.

Maneuvering carefully, the bronze lifted off and then headed in the
direction his rider indicated, following the holder's hand signals. It
wasn't long before the wagon came into sight. There were a few people
milling around. Thankfully, the man hadn't been left to fend for himself.
They were bringing him water it seemed and trying to deal with the wounds
they could reach with first aid treatments.

Clearing a space, Iroth landed slowly. When his claws hit the ground, the
bronzerider was dismounting and then helping the holder down. Now-seeing
the situation-he was hoping the healer came soon. The man needed to be given
some fellis quick. There was also the matter of moving him. If Iroth lifted the
wagon, he'd have to be moved out from under it. And R'gelen was afraid he'd
injure him further without a healer present. Looking up into the sky, he hoped
R'allo returned soon while he made a show of peeking around the wagon, testing
the weight. "We're to help you, sir. I've just got to see what the best way to move
this is."

"Thank Faranth." The holder's face was drawn with pain but he was alert.

Less than a quarter candlemark later, Marroth asked for an image from
Iroth and then the brown appeared overhead. A moment later R'allo
helped the healer down and the woman hurried to assist the injured man.

R'gelen waited until she had completed first aid and looked over his injuries
before approaching R'allo and the healer. "Mam, we need to move this wagon.
However....we need to get him out from under it. How can we do that without
hurting him?" Hopefully, she'd have a better idea of his injuries and the possible
consequences. They needed to work fast, after all.

"If your dragons can hold it for a moment I can stabilize his leg and
then slide him onto a stretcher for transport." She'd brought a
folding stretcher and other emergency equipment with her.

"Okay let's test it real fast. Get your things ready?" The bronzerider looked up
at the big dragon waiting quietly. Iroth moved forward, slowly and carefully.
His foreclaws came forward and he grabbed, testing the weight of the wagon
but not really moving it just yet.

}:I can get it:{
Still, R'gelen wanted to make sure everything was stable. And if the healer
needed help, it would be good for one of them to be by her side. "R'allo, can
Marroth get the other side, just in case so it balances better? And maybe you
can stay with the healer in case she needs help getting him onto the stretcher
while I watch the wagon?" After all, the brownrider was older and larger than
he was.

"Yes." R'allo nodded and Marroth moved into place. Between the two big
dragons this should be easy. R'allo stood next to the healer, ready
for her instructions once the wagon was lifted off the holder.

}:Marroth, lift slowly. Now:{ Iroth gave the cue as he put his strength into the lift.
He felt the wagon tilt a bit then moved to his right to balance it out carefully. His
rider was watching the scene, telling Iroth to hold it once it was high enough and
there was plenty of room to get the holder out. **Steady!** R'allo and the healer
had to get the man out.

The healer darted forward with a splint ready and quickly secured the
injured holder's leg. "Alright, lift under his arms and help me get
him onto the stretcher," she told R'allo. The man grimaced with pain
as his body was shifted but he let out a small sigh of relief once he
was fully on the stretcher. Then R'allo and the healer picked up the
stretcher to make sure it was well clear of the wagon, setting it down
on a level section of road so the healer could make a full assessment
of the man's injuries.

"Okay, you can put the wagon down now."

Iroth did so slowly after R'gelen gave him a swift mental reminder. When
the wagon was down with a bit of noise, the bronzerider headed towards
where the healer and R'allo waited, wondering if the holders could get the
man over to the cothold for more treatment if needed. Otherwise, they could
fly him straight to the main Hold if that was what was required. It would just
be awful cold. "What's the prognosis?"

"Broken, definitely," the healer said. "But it should heal straight.
I'll wait to set it until we get to the hold."

"I think we can get him through there," the holder's nephew said,
pointing to the section where the others had been working to clear
away the debris. "I'll get our strongest men."

Allowing the holders to to handle the transport, R'gelen realized
they would be needed to get the healer back to the Hold. As it was,
alot of the folk were keen to show the dragonriders a bit of hospitality
in thanks. Knowing that hold relations could use a bit of a boost at the
moment, he nodded and fell into step with R'allo behind the others.

Last updated on the March 2nd 2017

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All references to worlds and characters based on Anne McCaffrey's fiction are © Anne McCaffrey 1967, 2013, all rights reserved, and used by permission of the author. The Dragonriders of Pern© is registered U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, by Anne McCaffrey, used here with permission. Use or reproduction without a license is strictly prohibited.