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Endings and Beginnings

Writers: Len, Suzee
Date Posted: 13th September 2011

Characters: F'veas, D'arvn, Grumfin
Description: D'arvn's blue has a go at Searching
Location: Elsewhere on Pern
Date: month 3, day 2 of Turn 6

Pastrah glanced up in the sky when the dragon came into view. It was
a blue, not a green. His da rode green. Sighing, he returned to his
work, mucking out the poncine pen, trying not to wince when the rake
hit a new bruise on his shin, a parting gift this morning from his
still drunk grandfather.

D'arvn and Falzeth were on their way to find a supply train that was
late in arriving at the Weyr. Threadfall was only two days away and
the overdue train could be caught out of shelter. He flew along their
scheduled route watching for the tell tale plume of dust. As they
flew he watched the countryside below out of habit.

Falzeth was suddenly interested by something on the ground and began
to spiral lower toward a small farm holding. **What is it?** he
asked. }:I do not know... something interesting.:{

The boy looked up again when the dragon didn't keep flying overhead on
it's sweep. It was circling lower, softly blue against the sky. It was just as
well that his grandda was stone drunk, otherwise he'd have a fit at
the site of a dragon with a person like Pastrah's hated father on
board. The child, however, didn't care and held up his hand to wave.

Falzeth landed in a field and peered at its occupant. }:This one:{

D'arvn was a bit startled by his lifemates declaration. Falzeth had
identified potential candidates before but not like this. "How old are
you boy?" he called.

"I'm 12, sir." The boy watched the blue and his lifemate, wide eyed.
The only time he had ever seen a dragon on the ground was the one time
he and his
mother had gone to the Weyr.

**Old enough to stand** He slid down from his perch on the blue's
back. "Ever seen a dragon up close before?" he asked with a smile.

"I have, Sir. I was at the Weyr, once..." His voice trailed off at
that, as there was no point in telling this man who his father was.
All it would do probably would make his grandda beat him if he told.
He watched D'arvn with polite interest, wondering what they needed.
"Are you lost, sir? Can I help you?"

"Oh were you now?" He didn't miss the tiny bit of self importance in
the child's tone. "I'm not lost at all, I've flown over here many
times on sweeps." His eyes took in the surroundings, it was a smallish
hold and the boy in clothes that seemed a bit too small. "How did you
like the Weyr when you visited?"

"I liked it very much! My mother took me...to see someone. She's
dead now and..." He stopped when he thought that the rider wouldn't
want to stand here listening to some Holdbrat babble.

"I'm sorry about your mother." D'arvn knew there must be relatives
about though no one else seemed much interested in his talking to the
boy. "Would you like to come to the weyr to live?" He knew it would
probably be quite a leap but every candidate was needed with a new
clutch coming soon.

"Would I...WHAT?!" Was he saying what he thought he was saying? All
his plotting on how to get to the Weyr vanished..here was a free ride!
"Can I? How? Why? I mean..whow, are you serious?"

D'arvn chucked at the enthusiasm. "Yes, I'm serious. Falzeth here
seems to think you've got what it takes." He looked around. "Who
should I talk to to get permission?"

The boy looked startled at that and shook his head no to the rider.
"There's no one...please! Can I just get my things and go with you
sir? Please?" In desperation he pulled up the sleeve of his shirt
and silently showed D'arvn a nasty bruise on his arm where his grand
da had grabbed him the other day.

D'arvn put his hand on the boy's shoulder. "Look, we have to tell
someone you're going to the Weyr. You're not an adult yet." His eyes
narrowed at the bruise. The boys frantic protests made him think their
might be some resistance. **Keep an eye out.** "Who is responsible
for you now that your mother is gone?"

Pastrah sucked in his lower lip to stop from crying there and then.
"Sir! You don't understand! My grand da..he hates
me..like_really_hates me! Please, can't I just go with you now,

He squeezed the kid's shoulder and shook his head sadly. "We have to
ask if you can come son. Where is he?"

The boy glanced over to the small, shabby hold and blinked back his
tears. He knew what would happen; he knew his grad dad would never
say yes and would beat him once the rider had left.

D'arvn stepped over to the small cot and knocked on the door before
stepping back warily.

"What is it?" The words were slurred, and the action of the door slow as the
holder got to his feet, knocking over a cup of wine in the process, which
trickled slowly across the floor.

The noises inside didn't sound too promising so the bluerider raised
his voice. "Sir, a boy here was Searched and says he wants to go to
the Weyr."

"Which brat?" demanded Grumfin. Maybe it was that good for nothing brat his
daughter had brought home when she ruined herself. It would be fitting that
he showed them what he really was, that brat had to be as much of a pervert
as his tainted greenrider father.

D'arvn lowered his voice, "What's your name son?"

"It's Pastrah, sir. But please..can't we just go? He'll say no and
then beat me once you leave. Please sir!" The boy was crying a bit,
even though he had told himself he wouldn't. But what would happen to
him once this rider left? He knew the odds weren't in his favour.

He held up a finger to his lips to shush the boy. "His name is
Pastrah," he said in a voice to carry through the closed door.

"Then you can take him, we don't want him and the reminder of his mother's
taint here."

At that Pastrah did burst into tears. He wasn't sure if it was out of
relief that his life here was finially over or the cold fact that his
only family member left cared so little for him. There wasn't an
ounce of love in the old man's voice.

D'arvn spoke to the boy in a low voice. "Do you have anything you want
to take with you? I suggest you get it quickly. If not let's just go."
He wanted to be away from this place as soon as possible. Even the
air seemed unfriendly.

Unable to speak, the boy just shook his head no. There was nothing he
wanted to keep, nothing to remind him of his miserble life here. When
his mother had died, no one had given him anything of her's, so there
was nothing like that to take. Tugging on D'arvn's tunic, he stepped
towards Falzeth.

D'arvn followed him back toward his beautiful blue. "Don't you worry
boy. Falzeth says you have what it takes to be a dragon rider, and
there will be a new clutch on the sands soon." He talked as he
unpacked his passenger straps and climbed up into his seat. He quickly
attached the straps and then double checked them all the while keeping
an eye on the house.

Finally he leaned down and reached for the boy. "Up you go."

Pastrah nodded and, taking D'arvn's hand, settled onto the back of the
blue. Taking one last look at the hated hold, his only regret was
that he hadn't told the Headwoman what was happening. She had been
the only one to care for him. Maybe if what this man was saying, maybe
if he_did_have what it took to Impress a dragon like his da's or this
lovely blue, well then maybe he'd come back, just to see her. He
steadied himself for the flight and hoped that his da would love him.

The jacket he'd pulled out for the boy was way too large and he swam
in it but D'arvn had taken the time to make sure he'd put an extra
strap around to cinch it up. "Hang on to me Pastrah," he said. "Let's
go Falzeth," he said out loud so the boy would know they were about to
launch. A blink between and they were spiraling into the weyr bowl.

Last updated on the October 20th 2011

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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.