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A Dragon, If I'm Lucky

Writers: Aaron, Avery
Date Posted: 31st October 2017

Characters: L'pin, K'don
Description: L'pin interviews Kedon about his expectations for the Hatching and considerations for post-Impression plans.
Location: Dolphin Cove Weyr
Date: month 1, day 20 of Turn 9
Notes: Mentioned: Cyradis, K'deren, K'sedel, K'reyel


It was true that L'pin was busy with his duties with the current weyrling classes, but he believed that knowing the Candidates before they Impressed would give him a better handle on what they'd be like and helped build their trust in him as their leader. And that was why the Weyrlingmaster Third liked to try to speak with all of the Candidates before the eggs hatched.

He wanted to make it clear this was an informal interview and that nobody was in trouble, so he made sure there was klah, juice, and snacks (cookies, nuts, and a few pieces of fruit) were sitting out on the table. He also sat in a chair in front of his desk, not behind it, so they'd be more like equals.

The next Candidate was due to arrive any moment now.

Kedon knocked on the doorframe and then poked his head in. "Hello?" he called. Seeing L'pin sitting in his chair before the desk, Kedon entered. "It's Candidate Kedon. You called for me, sir?" he asked, walking to stand in front of L'pin at a bit of a semi-formal position of attention.

"I did," L'pin said. "Please, take a seat, have a snack. I just want to unofficially chat with all the Candidates now that the eggs are on the Sands."

Kedon blinked a moment and regarded the snacks. His stomach rumbled audibly. The boy was always hungry, it seemed, and he was not about to turn down the offer. He took a cookie and then sat down, shoving half of it into his mouth. He looked toward L'pin for an indication of what he might want to talk about. It was all of the Candidates, or so he said. So Kedon had probably not unwittingly broken any rules. Probably.

"You've probably noticed that the girls are all abuzz with the news of the golden egg and their chance at Impressing a queen. We've been asked by the goldriders to pay attention to them and start marking out who we see as potential leaders. But I'm worried too much focus on the girls will leave the boys overlooked. So I wanted to chat, find out if there's anything on your mind," the Weyrlingmaster's Third said.

Kedon cocked his head to the side a bit, looking somewhat confused as he seemed to miss the point at first. He swallowed his cookie-half and said, "Well, I don't guess I'm going to Impress the little gold." What an oddity that would be.

"Should there be something?" he asked, wanting to give L'pin whatever it was he was expecting from him.

L'pin laughed. "No, I don't suppose you would. Do you know what you'd like to Impress?" he asked.

Kedon smiled, sitting up straighter with more confidence as he seemed to get a positive reaction from L'pin.

"A dragon, if I'm lucky, sir," said Kedon. "I hadn't thought about color much until the last little while. My dad, my uncle, and my granddad all ride the big dragons, you know, bronzes and browns. Course, I've got an uncle on green, though, too."

Kedon finished the other half of the cookie. "Maybe the little dragon that finds me won't care nothin' about all that, but I hate to disappoint anybody. You know."

Holdbred children would often see Impressing a blue or a green as a disappointment or shameful in some day, with their dragon's hide color a visible indication of their sexuality for all the Weyr to see. L'pin had dealt with enough upset weyrlings and furious parents to know that. Most weyrbred children grew up in environments more accepting of any kind of sexuality and so didn't have the same negativity. Of course, there were exceptions - holdbred folk with supportive families, weyrbred folk who had expected bronze and got blue - so L'pin was curious to see where Kedon would fall.

"Do you think you'd be disappointing anyone if you Impressed blue or green?" L'pin asked.

"Cyradis says blues and greens are the backbone of the weyr," said Kedon, eyeballing a second cookie. He decided against taking one. Best to leave enough for everyone. "But you know. Things get to be a certain way, like, from father to son down the line, and you don't want to be the one who breaks it. Nobody would say nothin' crosswise to me, and they'd all still love me the same, but... I just wanna make everyone happy and proud."

"I think that you'd make them proud no matter what you did. Whatever color you Impressed, or even if you stuck with your craft forever. How are you liking that, by the way?"

Kedon smiled. He was fairly sure that L'pin was right all along, but it was always nice to have a bit of reassurance.

"I like it," he answered. "It's not always rosy, of course you know apprentices don't start off doin' all the fun stuff, so there's plenty of cleanin' up and fetchin' and stuff. But I like learnin' to help." Kedon began to glance at his thumb, but he sat on his hand to keep himself from biting it.

"Of course. Harpers have similar tasks when we start off - anyone thinking they can jump right into performing is wrong," the bluerider said with a laugh.

"If you Impress, are you thinking of switching to dragonhealing?"

Kedon blinked and tilted his head curiously, pondering for a moment. "I don't guess I had thought about it before. Is that a thing I could do? Maybe I'd have to see how my dragon feels about it, but I don't see why I wouldn't, if it would help."

Threadscores were serious injuries. Dragonhealers were likely to be in far higher demand than beasthealers. It would be all the more work to do, but Kedon was not afraid of hard work. Hard work kept the world alive.

"Beasthealing may not be the kind of craft you can keep doing after you Impress," L'pin pointed out. Some crafts were easy to pursue as hobbies in your spare time (Weaving, Harping), or were directly related to life as a dragonrider (Tanner, Healer or Dragonhealer). Others like the Beastcraft were harder to weave into life with a dragon.

"I thought I'd ask if you were interested. As you probably heard in lessons, you can't progress to journeyman without Impressing. Some dragonhealers apprentice early and hope to Impress, and have to transition to another craft if they age out. Other people start as regular healers or beasthealers, Impress a dragon, and then shift their knowledge in that direction once they graduate," L'pin explained.

Kedon listened and nodded as he processed what L'pin was explaining. It made a lot of sense. He suspected his beasthealing teachers would have pointed it out to him once he Impressed. If he Impressed. They were likely to want to hold onto their students where they could, but the weyr was what it was, and anyone who could ride was needed to ride, first and foremost. Everyone knew that.

"I think that's what I should do, sir," he agreed. "If I Impress." It was never a sure thing.

"There's dragonhealing classes during weyrlinghood. If you like them, you'll be able to talk more with Y'gel," L'pin said. He scribbled a few notes down on his hide about what they'd talked about so far.

"Anything else on your mind, or did we cover it all?"
"I think that's everything?" Kedon said, his eyes still tracking back and forth as he tried to think of anything else L'pin might want to talk about. "Is there anything else you wanted, sir?" he asked.

"Not right now. If I don't see you again in classes, I'm sure I will at the egg touching," L'pin said, smiling at Kedon.

At the thought of the egg touching, Kedon smiled brightly again. He was not really sure touching the eggs made any difference on Hatching Day, but the opportunity to be so close to the precious baby dragons still warmed his heart.

"Yes, sir," he said. He stood and held out his hand to shake.

Last updated on the November 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.