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The Woman With No Name

Writers: AL, Devin
Date Posted: 28th June 2008

Characters: Jerroll, Lerra, Rainia
Description: The crew of the Silver Sails comes across an injured woman in a shipwreck.
Location: Elsewhere on Pern
Date: month 10, day 9 of Turn 4


The sun was hot, so very hot. The water didn't help to despell the heat -
and heat was the first thing she felt. Then something hard, then something wet. Then something wet. Water, sun...something hard. Her eyes opened, her sight blurry. Bright light made them burn and she closed them again only to open them, but not as wide. Her sight was still blurry, but she could make out the blue of the sky and the greener blue of water. It surrounded her as far as she could tell, waves easing her up and down. There was brown beneath her - wood of some sort. A pallet?
She wasn't sure. Her brain was fuzzy and she couldn't think straight.

Then something else appeared, breaking the blue and green that stretched on endlessly. Something dark, something brooding. It was coming upon her fast. A ship? Yes a ship. Something tugged at her memory. Ship. Ship.
Was she on a ship? No, she wasn't on a ship. How had she gotten there?
Had she been on a ship? The woman lifted a hand in an attempt to flag down the ship that _was_ heading toward her, but her hand wound't move -
refused to move. She opened her mouth to call out, but nothing but an unintelligible gurgle escaped, not even loud enough for someone two feet away to hear. After a few moments of struggle, she stopped trying. Her head hurt, pounding relentlessly. She couldn't think. She watched as the ship drew closer, its shadow sliding by her, the tip of it just barely passing over her. Then she closed her eyes and her mind drifted along with the sea.

"Hmm ... what do you think?" Jerroll asked the Captain. "Anything worth saving? I don't mind going for a swim to check it out."

"Maybe ..."

They were interrupted by an excited deckhand. "Hey! Hey! There's someone down there! A woman!"

Jerroll and Lerra hurried to the side of the ship to look. They were practically on top of the woman. "Dead, do you think?" Jerroll asked.

"Better make sure." Lerra gave orders to bring the woman on deck.

She could hear voices, though they were only murmurs above the sound of the water slapping against pallet and ship. A few moments later, she felt something, arms touching her, lifting. She was rising. She opened her eyes, then closed them, the light far to bright to contend with comfortably. Where was she? Who were these people? The questions popped up and along with them they were joined by a headache that pounded at her temple.

"She's alive!" someone exclaimed.

"Let me through!" A young woman pushed her way through the knot of people and set a small bag down. "Can you hear me?" she asked, gentle hands examining the rescued woman's head.

Her eyes opened, though not far and she could just barely make out the figure of someone. Not a man, a woman. Hands were so careful with her, but she couldn't help but flinch. Her head throbbed terribly and she tried to turn away from the touch, as if getting away from it would help.
She gasped, trying to speak, managing a soft, weak, 'water'.

"Water!" The young woman barked. In a few seconds, a cup was thrust at her. She set it to the other woman's lips. "Drink slow."

The first sip went down the wrong way and the woman coughed and turned her head away. After a moment, she was able to gain control and she tried another sip, then another.

"Are you injured anywhere besides your head?" The young woman asked.

"What's your name?" Jerroll asked, hovering nearby.

Name...name...she had a name. What name? What was her name. The woman's head furrowed in confusion and she lifted a trembling hand to her forehead. "I..." She didn't know. She had one...but she couldn't bring it to mind.

"Do you need more water?" Jerroll asked, wondering if her throat was too dry to speak.

"I don't know." The woman squeaked out, a rise of panic building in her chest. Her head hurt and made it difficult to think. "My name...I have one...I think..."

The young woman attending to her frowned. "I think we should get her inside."

"Take her to my quarters," Jerroll said. He turned to Lerra. "I'd like to go with her, Captain, to make sure she's alright."

Lerra nodded and Jerroll bent to help the woman to her feet. "Can you walk?"

The woman struggled, but her legs refused to hold her weight and gave out from under her. Her head pounded and she squinted, the light making it worse. "I..I'm sorry." She rasped, trying to stand again but failing miserably.

"It's okay. I can carry you." He was getting older, but work aboard the ship had kept him strong. He lifted the woman easily. "My name's Jerroll. I'm first mate of the Silver Sails. And this is Rainia. She's a journeywoman healer," he said as he carried the woman to the back of the ship. Soon they were in the cooler darkness of the cabin. Rainia held the door for them and Jerroll stepped into his quarters and set the woman on his bed.

She wanted to give them a name and she felt as if it were on the tip of her tongue, but the syllables wouldn't form, the letters wouldn't come together. Dizziness assaulted her and the room spun as he lowered her.
She looked at her arm, the skin red from exposure to the elements. Why was she red? Why had she been in the water? Where was she going? She turned her gaze, still squinting despite the coolness of the light now that she was out of the sun's glare and managed to squeak a soft, "Thank you."

~*~

"So how is she?" Lerra asked.

"She's settling. I'm letting her have my cabin until she's up on her feet." Jerroll sat down and poured a cup of wine.

"How generous of you," the Captain said with a smirk.

Jerroll shrugged. "She's pretty banged up. I couldn't just make her bed down with the crew. Rainia thinks she has amnesia. That's her fancy healer word for memory loss."

Lerra nodded. "So what do you think we should do with her?"

He shrugged again. "We can't take her home, since she doesn't know where that is. Maybe that ship _was_ her home." In which case, she'd lost everything. They hadn't been able to salvage much. "When she's feeling better, I'll ask her what she wants to do."

Last updated on the June 29th 2008


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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.