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Topic: Searched / Long Walk  (Read 4504 times)

Pages: [1]


on: December 17, 2013, 07:05:58 AM Searched / Long Walk

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When I was younger, I remember rumors that thread would never fall again.
But now, well, those rumors have been proven to be false.
Thread falls now in its 9th pass.
I remember being found by the Tanner and his family as they were returning home from the Hold.
They took me in, loved me, raised me with their own children as if I were one of their own.
When I became older, I left home and journeyed from the northern end of the island to Gianfar Hold.
At the Hold I secured part time work at the Runners Rest and eventually became an apprentice in the Healers Hall.
And now I am here, standing in front of the Rest, pondering what has just taken place.
Earlier, while going about my normal task in the Rest, a crowd was gathering inside and out.
Nothing odd about that for the time of day it was.
My firelizard, Stelth, was sitting at his normal spot near the ovens and watched the people coming and going.
Trilling when a firelizard or dragon would appear at the window or doorway.
Then I heard the wings of more dragons arriving out front.
I looked up and saw several weyrlings, riders and the Weyr Leader, M'thos enter the Rest.
They all took a seat and I began setting out food and klah for them.
Cynianne came strolling in behind them, reached behind the bar, and produced a container of spirits.
She began filling cups for the riders and poured some for herself while they all talked about how their training went.
A green dragon, I just recently treated, came into the Rest and went to a corner.
I came from behind the bar and walked to her wanting to check how she was doing.
Her nose was still sore, so I applied a little numbweed to the area and assured her that she will be fine.
Ayla, the Gold Queen firelizard, was being herself for the most part and I walk over to her and gave her a little skritch and a smile.
I stood between Ayla and Cyn, blocking Cyn's view, while I slipped a small piece of meat to the Gold Queen.
Didn't want to catch hell from Cyn again for it.
I looked out the window and noted by the way the shadows fell on the porch, that thread fall would still be some time away.
I began to pick up the empty food plates from the table the riders were at and checking if they had enough to eat.
I was half way to the back of the kitchen, with the dirty plates, when the dragons became agitated and the firelizards started flying around.
I looked at Stelth and he planted a vision of "thread" in my head.
It was thread fall.
I was stunned.
At this time of day? There was still some time to go yet.
What happened?
I set the platters down and started for the doorway as the riders and other ground crew scattered and went outside.
As I reached the door, the Weyr Leader, M'thos, shouted for me.
I stopped and turned to look at him.
I was irritated about the unexpected thread fall and now being held up by M'thos.
He told me to come back in and have a seat.
I looked at him and began walking back inside and took a seat across from him.
All the time looking at him and wondering why I had to sit in here on my ass while others outside flamed thread.
I absentmindedly skritched Ayla as I looked at the closed door to the rest.
Listing to the dragons taking to the air and the ground crews starting to flame.
I can just hear Cyn shouting instructions to the ground crew and fought down the instinct to just get up and go get an agenothree canister.
I looked at M'thos and saw he was in a silent conversation with an old blue dragon that wandered in earlier.
Sitting next to me was another person I didn't recognize. A man who looked slightly older then me.
At that moment, M'thos said to the blue, "Really, you think so?".
He then looked at me and ask me straight forward, "Would you be willing to stand on the sands, as a candidate, for the next hatching coming up?"
I was taken aback by the question.
I thought quickly.
Thinking of my work here, my apprenticeship....
I knew I had to answer quick, so I looked M'thos in the eye and plainly said, "Yes".
He reached into his tunic and produced a scroll and handed it to me.
I opened it and it stated that I had just been "Searched" and instructed me in what I needed to do.
I sat there stunned, but held my composure, and thanked the Weyr Leader.
Then M'thos asked the same question to the man sitting next to me and he agreed also and was handed his scroll.
I continued sitting there listening to the ground crew outside.
Hearing that they had moved farther east in the Hold and still flaming.
M'thos stated that I need to clear all this with those involved with my staying in the Hold.
I told him that I would inform them of what had just happened and get my clearance to leave to the Weyr.
When the "All clear" was sounded, I went to the door and window and opened them back up.
I stepped outside and saw that a dragon was scored and my heart fell a little for it.
I saw a Healer was already tending to the dragon's wound, so I felt a little better.
The smell of burnt fire stone, burnt thread and the fumes of Agenothree was heavy in the air.
Thread ash swirled out on the ground and around my feet as the ocean breeze pushed it around.
Ground crews and dragons began coming back towards the Rest as I looked for my mentor.
I saw him in the distance, talking with Cyn, and began walking in that direction.
When I reached him he was checking everyone to make sure they were alright.
I gave him a moment and then told him that I had to talk to both him and the Craft Master Healer.
Rodney said that the Craft Master Healer will be here shortly and asked if it had anything to do with the dragon I just recently treated.
I said it did have something to do with dragons, but not that one.
Then I started to explain what had just occurred at the Rest.
I stood quietly for a moment letting it sink in.
"Master Rodney, I am torn between this".
"I know that the Weyr needs riders and dragons and understand that if it is where I need to be in my life, then so be it",
But I still want to keep working on my apprenticeship as a healer also."
Cyn was standing close by and listening.
She agreed with the Master Healer that the Weyr needed more riders, but could always use a healer in the Weyr also.
Just then Craft Master Healer John came up and I began to explain to him what had happened.
After listening to what I had to say, both him and my Mentor agreed to give me my leave from the Healers hall, but to continue my studies as  healer in the Weyr.
I felt both glad and heart broken.
I did not want to leave those that I had come to respect and love so very much.
But I also knew the importance of this search.
I stood there, looking around the Hold, trying to keep from crying in front of them, and barely succeeding.
And I thought of how a small stone can begin to tumble down a steep cliff face, bouncing off another and causing that one to fall and so on and so on.....
Until there is a major slide happening.
I thought of how my life has been so similar to that.
The events of growing up on the northern side of the island, to making that trek to the Hold, to becoming an apprentice.......
The land slide of my life is not over.
And another journey begins.


Long Walk

I took one last look around Healers Hall before I put on my back pack and headed for the main entrance.
There I looked out into the new night sky, to the east, and across the Hold.
Earlier I had arranged to have a trunk, with the rest of my belongings, to be delivered to the Weyr by a merchant that owed me a favor.
All was set and I began walking into the night.
I traveled east, along the shore line until I reached the river.
There I hiked up river to a bridge and crossed.
I remained inland as I hiked on.
Drawing myself closer to the peaks that surrounded th Weyr way off in the distance.
They looked so very far away and I could just make out the tops of them on the horizon.
Judging by the time I had already walked and what was left of the night, I decided to set up a small camp and get some rest before sunrise.
I sat there eating the hearty soup I made with grains and dried meat and listened to the sounds of the night.
Stelth would fly off and return after checking out the area.
I watched him as he sat there cleaning himself and listened to him croon with contentment.
Before falling asleep, I had instructed Stelth to make sure I was awake before sunrise.
We settled in and I slept deeply.
Before sunrise, Stelth woke me with Trills and chirps.
I smiled at him and felt the soreness of the previous nights walk throughout my body.
I made a pot of klah and warmed up last nights supper and ate my morning meal.
I was finished securing all my gear and had it on my back as the faint glow of sunrise began to meet the horizon.
I looked to the north of where I was and saw the ridge line of the peaks in the distance.
I knew I had to be closer to them before any thread would fall.
I hiked at an angle towards them and by early morning was there walking due east again, following a ridge.
As I walked, I noted every over hang and what could possibly be caves along the way.
Knowing that if thread did start falling, I would have a place to take cover.
After a few more hours of hiking, I started noticing thin clouds to the east.
I watched them closely and knew that my staying close to the ridge was my safe bet.
It wasn't too long after that, that Stelth alerted me that thread was coming.
I had just passed an over hang and backtracked to it.
There I found it to be nice and deep with plenty of space to sit out the fall.
The place I had chosen shown no evidence of greenery, so I knew my wait would not be long after the thread fell.
Besides it was close to the midday meal time anyway.
From my vantage point, under the natural shelter, I watched as the leading edge of the fall began to reach my position.
Stelth sat with me, agitated, while I gave him skritches and munched on a piece of dried meat.
I was taking a sip of wine from my bag when I started hearing dragons.
Stelth confirmed it by sending me a mental image of dragons and riders flying thread.
Just out side my shelter a tangle of thread had barely hit the ground when everything there suddenly lit up in flames.
I ducked back instinctively and just caught the glimpse of dragon and rider swooping past.
I stood there slightly shaken by the closeness of it and took another pull from the wine skin.
I looked at Stelth and said, "Shards, that was close".
After sitting and listening for a short time, I could tell the leading edge had moved away.
I gathered my things and went out into the open and looked around.
All I could see, was the remains of burnt thread ash and that was being scattered by the breeze.
I looked to the east again, took a drink of water and headed out again.
Stelth would fly ahead and about looking for anything that would capture his attention.
He was happy to be hiking with me.
It was all new stuff for him to see and explore.
Later, as evening drew in, I stopped again and set up my fire pit with some drift wood I gathered from the beach earlier that morning.
I was glad to have it, but also glad to be able to use it.
Less to carry now.
I started a pot of more grains and dried meat along with a small pot of klah.
It had been almost 24 hours since I had left the Hold and I decided to send Stelth to the Healers Hall to tell Craft master John of my progress and that I was well.
I watched Stelth "pop" out to between as I started to eat my supper.
Within the hour he was back and relayed to me an image of him and the Craft Master in the Hall along with Orion, another blue fire lizard.
We both sat there as the night went on and we both drifted off to sleep. Tired from the long day.
Early, before the sunrise again, Stelth woke me with his crooning and trills.
I heated up the left overs again and made a fresh pot of klah.
I sat there drinking the welcoming warmth of the klah and watched as Stelth worked hard on a dried piece of meat.
Again, just as the sun began it's climb into the eastern sky, we set out east again.
At this time the peaks that surrounded the Hold were towering above me as we traveled.
I considered my routs I can take and decided to head south east towards the main entrance of the Hold.
It did cross my mind to go up and over the rim of the Hold, but my already aching body made the choice for me.
The sun was at the high point of the day as I was walking past a water fall.
I was so close to the end of the trip and was glad of it.
At that moment, I heard oscillating bellows of dragons far off in the distance and Stelth sent me an image of thread again.
I looked around for shelter and only saw the fall.
Water was ok if your a fish, but sucks if your not.
I headed for the cliff where the water was coming down and thought that maybe there might be an overhang there.
I got to it and made my way along the rock face and up under the falling water.
I was right, an overhang.
It's wet, but it's protection.
It was hard to hear what was going on beyond the falls. But I could still see through the sheets of water, as the leading edge of thread reach my position.
I looked around where I was standing again and saw a small hole in the rock face.
I looked closer.
It looked just big enough for me to crawl into, so I sent Stelth in to check for me.
After a few seconds I got an image of a space large enough to where I could stand, stooped over, but a short crawl to get there.
I also was relieved that there were no tunnel snakes to deal with either.
That would be all I needed, a tunnel snake in my face while thread trying to burn my ass.
I squeezed in and came to the small opening.
There was just enough light coming through the entrance that I could make out what was in there.
It was not as damp as I had expected it to be, but I was soaked and muddy.
I sat there waiting for the leading edge to move away, while examining the rock walls as best I could.
Occasionally I would hear something hit the water outside and could only assume it was thread.
I thought to myself, "drown you bastard, fish have to eat too".
After the leading edge moved away, I tied my back pack to my ankle and began crawling out of the small cave I found.
When I reached the entrance I secured my gear and went out from under the falls.
There on the bank, Stelth had caught himself a fish and was sitting in the sun with it looking at me.
I stood there, wet and muddy, and I could just imagine what he was seeing.
He went back to eating his fish while I stripped down and began cleaning myself in the pool of water.
After cleaning myself and my clothes, I put on some dry, clean cloths and took stock of what I had with me.
Rearranging what I had to help my load ride better on my back.
By then Stelth was already laying in the warmth of the sun basking and watching me with mild disinterest.
I said it was time for us to walk some more and he took to the air flying around my head as I headed towards the Weyr again.
It still took a couple more hours of walking before I saw the entrance to the Bowl of the Weyr.
As I approached, I saw a dragon high up on the cliff watching my progress.
But did not stir from his ledge.
I proceeded to the far end of the bowl looking to see who it was I needed to talk to about being there.
I stopped a drudge and ask if she knew where I needed to go and she pointed out the entrance to the weyrling barracks and said I could check there.
I thanked her and made my way there.
I also instructed Stelth to find the Healer Craft Master and let him know that I had made it safely.
I sat my bag down by the entrance and sat on my bag as I waited.
My mind went to the other night as I stood at the main entrance of Healers hall.
Those steps I had taken out of there were the heaviest ones I can ever remember taking.
That first night seemed to go on forever and weighed heavy on  me.
Each step feeling like I had a stone tied to my feet.
But as I traveled, the weight seemed to lessen as I grew closer to the Weyr.
I took another drink from my wine bag this time and thought of the coming days ahead.
Knowing that I will see those that I have come to respect, care for and love soon.
Seeing the few possible paths in front of me and not know what one I will be set on.
I'll know soon enough.

Last Edit: December 24, 2013, 07:21:04 AM by Varian

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