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    Mawgrim
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction that combine worlds created by the original content owner with names, places, characters, events, and incidents that are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, organizations, companies, events or locales are entirely coincidental. Authors are responsible for properly crediting Original Content creator for their creative works. Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 
Dragonriders of Pern series was created by Ann McCaffrey in 1967 and spans 24+ books published by Ballantine Books, Atheneum Books, Bantam Books, and Del Rey Books.  Any recognizable content in this story is from Ann McCaffrey, Todd McCaffrey, Gigi McCaffrey or their representatives or inheritors.  Original content provided by author of this FanFiction story without monetary compensation.

Canon-typical violence, character deaths

Threadfall - 46. Turn's End

D'gar keeps his promise to Valli

Snow covered the ground at the Weyr, although the icy winds had dropped. It was a still, calm, bright day. The last day of the fiftieth Turn of the Eighth Pass. Tomorrow, the first Turn of the Interval began. Two hundred odd Thread-free Turns lay ahead of Pern.

In the sevenday since M’rell’s party, D’gar had spent some time with J’rud. He’d not realised how much he needed someone to talk with about the past. About S’brin. Someone who just understood, without any explanation. J’rud was a good friend right now. Maybe, at some point in the future, they’d become lovers again. Most likely after Zurinth rose next time. Herebeth wanted to chase her and it would be unfair to stop him. Although there was a portion of his heart that would always belong to S’brin, he could make space for J’rud. Maybe you could only love one person in a lifetime the way he’d loved S’brin, but that didn’t make it wrong to be with someone else. At least, that was how he rationalised it.

He wanted to talk things through with Zalna. She’d not been back to Fort yet, but that was understandable. Gold riders, even junior ones, had duties to perform and with the time difference it wasn’t always easy to snatch even a few hours away. Maybe they could spend an afternoon at the cove in Southern Boll? Gemalth would be glad of a respite from the damp, grey Benden winter.

Herebeth blew snow away from his ledge. It fell through the crystal air, sparkling in the sun. Ramoth is in her favourite place again, he commented.

D’gar looked up toward the Star Stones, where the great golden dragon perched. The early morning sunshine made her hide gleam. Her usual entourage of bronzes accompanied her.

From R’feem, he’d learned that Lessa had been waking more often and for longer. She was still distressed, he said, babbling about Thread and danger.

‘Well, maybe where - or when - she’s from, Thread is falling?’ D’gar had suggested.

‘Still hanging on to that theory they jumped between times?’

‘Until something more likely comes up. Or until she can tell us herself.’

R’feem smiled. ‘I’m glad you’ve not been tempted to try it out.’

‘I wanted to, but Herebeth refused.’

‘You have a sensible dragon.’

D’gar considered the possibilities, as he watched steam billowing from the vents above the kitchens. Why would someone take that risk? Had Ramoth been reluctant, as well? Maybe it was an indication of how desperate times had been that had persuaded the gold dragon to try it? On the day he’d asked Herebeth to go between times, there hadn’t been any real need, beyond his own curiosity. Therefore, Herebeth had been reluctant. If they had been in some kind of life-threatening situation, might he have acted differently? D’gar thought about how he might phrase the question in a way Herebeth understood.

Do you remember when I asked you to go between to meet Toth? he began. The day you caught those three wherries?

They were tasty.

Obviously he remembered it, if only due to his stomach. Before you caught the wherries, I gave you a coordinate and you said it didn’t feel right.

Herebeth was quiet for a while, as if thinking about it. It was not right, he said eventually. It was a place that had been, not a place that was.

D’gar felt he had to push a little harder. But would we have ended up there?

I do not know. It is not good to jump between with uncertainty.

Let’s suppose Thread had been falling and I’d given you that picture so we didn’t get scored. Would you have tried it then?

But Thread is gone.

Why were dragons so literal? Let’s suppose it had happened while Thread still fell. Imagine there was a big clump coming right for us and I’d given you that image. Would you have gone between?

I suppose so. There was still doubt in his mind.

Maybe his earlier theories had been correct; only a few dragons could safely travel between times. Herebeth wasn’t one of them and his natural caution prevented him from trying something he knew to be dangerous, even if he couldn’t express why. It’s all right, he said. I won’t ask again.

We can go and hunt wherries again though?

Of course. Not today, though. Today is Turn’s End.

D’gar cast an eye around his weyr as he went back inside. He’d tidied it up a bit, but there was no denying it needed a good clean. Once the new Turn had begun, he’d start on it

Thinking about the new Turn brought back the promise he and S’brin had made to Valli on the morning she went between on Kadoth. On the first dawn of the new Turn, say a few words in our memory, she’d asked them. And even though it was only him left, he fully intended to do it. Not here, though. He and S’brin had talked about it a few times and decided the ice lake would be a fitting place, particularly as visiting there had become one of their customs after Turn’s End. It would be cold, but spectacular, watching the sun rise over that frozen landscape. A fitting place, too, to remember S’brin.

First, though, he had to get through today. It didn’t fill him with quite the same amount of dread as it might have done a few sevendays ago. There would be many names for T’ron to recite. The last Turn of the Pass had been a cruel one. Most weyrfolk would have lost friends or family. He wasn’t alone in his grief.

The morning dragged. Turn’s End was traditionally a rest day. Some riders visited friends and started to drink early on. Others helped to decorate the dining hall. He didn’t really feel like doing either of those, so he ended up sitting next to Herebeth and looking out over the snow bound Bowl. Beast handlers carried bundles of dried grass to feed the herdbeasts in their pens. A couple of children dragged a sled toward the old rockfall. Launching yourself down the incline had always been popular, once it had a covering of snow. He thought of the hectic preparations in the kitchens right now. Back when he’d been a weyrbrat, Turn’s End morning had always meant peeling a seemingly never-ending amount of tubers and root vegetables. Doubtless there were a few grumbling over that task right now. Weyrmates would be having a leisurely morning. Some were probably still in bed. Their dragons snuggled together on warm couches, or took to the crisp, clear sky to burn off energy in wild aerobatics.

Herebeth made comments on them. Leneth is due to rise soon. She favours blue Tinith. Tenrolth’s wing damage has healed well. Look at him turn.

D’gar lost himself in watching the dragons. When he’d been a kitchen brat, he used to stare up at the sky, wondering if he’d ever Impress a dragon of his own. Most of the kids who’d grown up in the Weyr had done the same. Well, the boys had, anyway. He remembered feeling sorry for the girls, who’d never have the chance, except on the rare occasion of a gold hatching. Now, with clutches further apart and smaller, there’d be less opportunity for anyone.

His stomach rumbled, reminding him that breakfast had been a while ago. He’d not eaten much anyway. Everyone saved themselves for the feast. It was time he thought about what to wear.

His weyr seemed gloomy after the winter brightness of the Bowl, where light reflected up from the snow. He took a basket of glows over to his niche and sorted through the folded shirts. He’d worn the green one a few times at Hatchings, but was it gaudy enough for Turn’s End? Then how about the cream one with the ribbons stitched through the yoke? Perhaps not. S’brin had said it made him look like a performer at a Gather. It had been gifted to him and he hadn’t liked to refuse, but it wasn’t his favourite by any means. He sighed. It was a lot more difficult without someone to help you choose. Finally, he went for an ochre and dark brown striped shirt, which he’d had a few Turns now. It wouldn’t be the most garish garment on display, by any means. He’d leave that honour to the greens.

By the time he’d finished dressing, a glance outside showed that people were beginning to converge on the dining hall. Herebeth flew him down, then went to chase the sun up on the heights.

The transformation of the dining hall always amazed him. Old decorations had been brought from storage to hang alongside newly created ones. The tables had been dressed to match. This Turn, ‘C’ Wing’s table was draped in a mossy green cloth with a red runner down the centre. It was intended to give a festive effect, but the colours reminded D’gar of dragon ichor and human blood. He’d seen far too much of both.

Extra trestle tables had been brought in for the weyrfolk and children. Weyrmates who weren’t dragonriders squeezed in next to their partners on the Wing tables. Hebiri was with R’feem at the top of the table, with M’rell and D’gar either side. Nissadni was wedged between M’rell and T’garrin.

J’rud came over and looked at the place beside D’gar. ‘You don’t mind me sitting here,’ he asked.

‘Not at all.’

Delicious smells began to waft from the serving tables as trolleys were unloaded. However, before the feasting began, it was time for the traditional Weyrleader’s speech. T’ron waited until the noise had subsided before he stood. ‘Riders and weyrfolk,’ he began, as always.

D’gar had been fine up until that moment, or at least, able to put it to the back of his mind. Now that the time had almost come, he felt himself shaking slightly. J’rud must have noticed too, and put a hand over his. The contact helped to steady him.

The Weyrleader continued. ‘We are about to celebrate the last Turn’s End of the Eighth Pass. For the next two hundred Turns, Pern will be blessedly Thread free and for that we give thanks. However, we must not forget all of those who aren’t here to celebrate with us today. The past Turn was a tough one in terms of losses, as you must all be aware. No Wing escaped unscathed. So now, join me in remembering wingmates, weyrmates, family and friends.’

The roll call began with those who had died in the early months. N’rir and Jalolth were the first from ‘C’ Wing to be remembered. Then it was Is’ish and Panruth. That had been close to D’gar’s birthday. He thought back to the summer; trips to the sea and the ice lake, attending that Gather with S’brin and J’rud. Names blurred into background noise until T’ron came to R’xel and Lath.

J’rud squeezed D’gar’s hand a little more firmly. They both knew who was next.

’S’brin and Zemianth…’

There. That was it. Having S’brin’s name read out seemed like the last step toward finalising his death. It would be officially entered into Fort Weyr’s records for the Turn, just as Serebrin’s birth, twenty-three Turns earlier would have been.

The litany ended with the names of older folk who had succumbed to winter illnesses. T’ron raised his cup as everyone followed suit in drinking to those who wouldn’t see the new Turn in.

D’gar drained the cup. He wanted to feel slightly distanced from the noisy celebrations, the clatter of plates as people began to serve themselves and the rising buzz of conversation. He almost wished he was still sitting on his ledge with Herebeth.

J’rud nudged him gently. ‘Shall we go and get some food?’

‘I’m going to wait for a while, until it calms down. They won’t run out, never fear.’

‘Not a bad idea.’ J’rud refilled his own cup. ‘I keep thinking of this time last Turn.’

‘I’m trying not to.’ For the last ten Turns he’d sat with S’brin for the feast. Although the room was full, he was acutely aware of all the absences; all the folk who had died before their time. ‘We’re the lucky ones,’ he said, softly. ‘The survivors.’

‘Let’s drink to that.’ J’rud touched cups and they made their own toast.

The wine warmed D’gar’s stomach and drove that little piece of cold between he carried in his heart further away. It was all right. He’d be able to face the feast now.

By the time he and J’rud fetched their first plateful of food, some folk were already getting refills. Wine and ale flowed copiously. M’rell fed Nissadni morsels of wherry, after which she licked the juice from his fingers somewhat suggestively.

‘Bet that pair will be sneaking off early,’ J’rud said quietly.

Quite a few always did. Not everyone wanted to listen to the traditional ballads following the feast, although once the dancing began, many would return. Most would come back to see the new Turn in, when fires were lit around the edge of the lake and dragons bugled into the night sky. ‘Bet they will,’ he agreed.

‘So what will you be doing tomorrow. Apart from nursing a hangover?’

That reminded him he shouldn’t get too drunk. ‘Well…’ Would it sound silly, honouring a long ago promise? ‘I can’t have a hangover. I’ve got to go to the ice lake at dawn.’

‘For Valli? I remember you talking about it, last Turn, when the three of us went there.'

‘It’s for Valli and S’brin now.’

‘Could I… could I come along?’

That had been the plan, back then. ‘I don’t see why not.’ J’rud might want to say his own goodbyes and he couldn’t deny he’d be glad of the company.

They ate well, going back for several slices of the Turn’s End cake. As the musicians - two Journeymen from the Harper Hall - set up, J’rud leaned against D’gar. ‘I feel as stuffed as that time Zurinth ate a whole herdbeast by herself.’

D’gar knew what he meant. It was good to sit here, warm and well-fed. The ballads and instrumental pieces were there for a good reason; to give everyone time to digest their food before the dancing began. They played all of the old favourites, including the slightly melancholy ‘Ballad of Moreta’s Ride’.

‘Wonder what it’s like to have your deeds recorded in a ballad?’ J’rud said, his voice slightly sleepy.

D’gar felt as if he was nodding off, too. ‘It’d be nice,’ he agreed. Of course, Moreta’s heroism had resulted in her death, so she’d never have heard the song. ‘Ordinary folk like us will never do anything worth writing a ballad about, though. Especially now.’ It would be a quiet life, going into the Interval. Quiet and safe.

That was the last thing he remembered until J’rud shook him awake. The extra tables had been stacked at the sides of the dining hall as space was cleared for the dancing to begin.

‘Was I asleep long?’

‘Only a bit longer than I was. We must be getting old. Still, I feel better for it.’

‘I need klah.’ It would help wake him up.

‘I’ll go and fetch us some.’ J’rud yawned and stretched.

D’gar sat up. His left foot had gone to sleep from the awkward position. Looking down the tables, he saw a few riders still dozing. M’rell and Nissadni had disappeared, as J’rud predicted. Hebiri and R’feem had too, although evidently not for the same reason. Glancing around, he saw them talking with T’ron. I’grast had come across from his new Wing table to chat with some of the green riders. V’chal stroked his Wingleaders knots and smiled invitingly. No need to guess where that was going to end up.

J’rud returned with two steaming mugs of klah. They sipped and chatted while the first few dances got underway. He realised he didn’t want to sit like some old uncle, looking at the young people enjoying themselves. ‘Fancy a dance?’ he asked J’rud.

‘Why not?’

The first few were group dances; the kind where people wove in and out in time-honoured patterns. Everyone had learned them from a young age, so even after a few drinks, mistakes were infrequent. The musicians then slowed it down, allowing people to get their breath back. D’gar found himself dancing close with J’rud. It felt comfortable. He didn’t allow himself to think too much about any implications. It was Turn’s End, after all.

In contrast to the earlier part of the day, time passed quickly. It didn’t seem long at all before T’ron announced the countdown to the new Turn. D’gar let himself be carried outside with the flow of people. The icy air woke him up; cold stars sparkled in inky blackness while Belior sailed high over the Weyr. The bonfires blazed, flames reflected in the surface of the lake and dragons’ eyes glowed around the Bowl. The countdown began, more and more people taking up the chant. As they reached zero, the dragons joined in, celebrating an event with no real meaning for them except that it made the weyrfolk happy. A few took flight, swooping low over the glassy water and fanning the flames with the downdraught from their wings.

Happy new Turn, D’gar sent to Herebeth. Although he couldn’t pick his dragon out among the others, he knew Herebeth was one of those flying. Brown hide never stood out well in the darkness.

Gradually, people began to file back inside. The musicians struck up a merry chord.

‘Want to dance some more?’ J’rud asked.

‘I don’t think so. Early start in the morning, remember? If you still want to, that is.’

‘Of course I do.’

They stood arm in arm. D’gar stared up into the clear sky. No more Thread would fall from it until long after he and Herebeth were gone. ‘Better turn in,’ he said at last, sensing that J’rud was waiting for an invitation. He wanted it, too, but it wasn’t the right time. Tonight - and tomorrow - was for looking back. After he’d done his duty to Valli and S’brin, then he could begin to look forward. ‘I’ll get Herebeth to bespeak Zurinth when we’re ready to go.’

‘Good night, then,’ J’rud said, hesitantly.

‘Night.’ D’gar gave him a quick hug; like any friend would, as Herebeth swooped down, his dark wings blotting out stars and moon.

It was like waking up on a Threadfall morning; one of those early ones that started near dawn. D’gar almost expected to hear the sounds of preparation down in the Bowl; dragons crunching firestone and low voices rising up to the level of his weyr. This morning, though, all was quiet. Doubtless the celebrations had gone on into the small hours. He dressed quickly and went out to get Herebeth ready. It was still dark outside, although the first fingers of dawn were visible in the eastern sky.

Let Zurinth know we are getting ready, would you? D’gar wondered if J’rud would be so keen to get out of his warm bed. It was a cold morning. He packed his kettle and some dried klah bark, then hung a skin of water from the flying straps. Once they got to the lake, they could start a small fire and brew up, ready for the sunrise.

Zurinth is ready. So is her rider. Herebeth turned to look at him. Where are we going?

To the ice lake. He sent Herebeth a picture of the beach where they always landed.

I like it there. We can slide a long way.

D’gar climbed aboard on the ledge and clipped his straps securely before Herebeth stepped off and unfurled his wings. They circled a few times as Herebeth informed the watch dragon where they were going, until Zurinth came alongside, her green hide appearing grey in the ashen light. J’rud waved briefly, then D’gar sent Herebeth the image again and gave the signal for them both to transfer between.

It was even colder in the mountains. Had there still been Thread to fight, most of it would have undoubtedly frozen to fall as black dust. They descended to the beach, dragon wings sending up flurries of snow. It was hard to tell where the land ended and water began, as snow blurred the margins. It was utterly quiet and still. Only a few blurred tracks in the snow showed that any other creature had been there before them.

So many memories were evoked by this setting. The time he and S’brin had swum with the dragons, while J’rud watched from the beach. The tag games, to strengthen Herebeth’s wing following his injury. Summer picnics and winter visits.

’S’brin found this place, you know,’ he said to J’rud as they dismounted.

‘Really. I didn’t know that.’

‘He spotted it one time we were fighting over the Ruathan uplands.’ D’gar fed Herebeth a couple of chunks of firestone he’d brought along. Having a dragon around was always the fastest way to get a fire going. J’rud found the wood and kindling they’d brought previously, still stashed inside a cleft in the rock. Thread fell here unchecked, so it was the only way to be sure there would always be fuel available.

It wasn’t long before the fire was burning steadily, while Herebeth used up the rest of his flame to melt away snow where they intended to sit. By then, the sky was much lighter, the clouds beginning to be tinged with a rosy glow.

‘What are you going to say?’ J’rud poured water into the kettle.

‘I’m not sure.’ He’d thought about it for a while, but all the words he’d composed came out as too stilted or formal. He hoped that when the moment arrived, he’d be inspired.

What are we waiting for? Herebeth asked.

The sun. Do you remember the morning Kadoth and Valli went between?

That was a long time ago. He sounded uncertain.

S’brin and I made her a promise. That’s why we’re here.

He seemed content with that and settled next to Zurinth. Meanwhile, D’gar watched the eastern sky with the same concentration as all those times he’d waited for the first sight of leading edge. Would there be too much cloud for the sun to break through? He hoped not. The glow turned a warm pink, then amber. The quality of light changed by the second. Finally, a sliver of sun broke through, illuminating the craggy mountain tops. J’rud moved to stand next to D’gar, obviously waiting for him to say something.

He cleared his throat. ‘This is the first dawn of the Interval,’ he began. ‘Seven Turns ago I made a promise to Valli, who knew she wouldn’t see the end of the Pass. Well, here I am, along with Herebeth. S’brin didn’t make it either, but J’rud and Zurinth are with me, from Kadoth’s last clutch.’ His eyes blurred as he recalled another sunrise; the golden dragon shining brightly just before she and Valli went between forever. ‘Fly well, Valli. And fly well, S’brin. I’ll always remember you.’

He bowed his head, briefly. It was enough. When he looked up again, wiping away the tears, the cloud had parted and it seemed, for just a moment, that the strengthening sun reflected off golden wings. Beside her, a smaller dragon, whose green hide glowed as the pair of them flew into the cloud bank, disappearing from sight forever.

‘What are those two looking at?’ J’rud pointed at Herebeth and Zurinth, who were staring at the exact point where D’gar thought he’d seen the two flying dragons. If they’d seen it too, surely it hadn’t just been his mind playing tricks? But when he asked Herebeth, he merely replied that they had been watching the sun rise.

J’rud poured out two mugs of klah as they sat on a folded blanket, as close to the fire as they could get. As the sun rose higher, making the snow sparkle, Zurinth led the way onto the lake and soon the two dragons were sliding this way and that, leaving huge, serpentine trails behind them.

‘Should have brought some breakfast, too.’ D’gar’s stomach was rumbling.

‘Ah well, we can go back soon.’ J’rud cradled the mug between his hands. ‘It’s not very warm here.’

‘No,’ D’gar agreed. He was glad he’d done it, though. ‘Wait until the dragons have finished their game and we’ll head for the Weyr.’

Zurinth and Herebeth were trying to push each other off course. Most of the time, Herebeth, with his larger bulk, won. Zurinth didn’t seem to mind, though.

By the time they returned, there was a little more activity in the Bowl, although nowhere near as much as there would be on a normal day. Tonight’s meal would be cold leftovers, giving the kitchen staff a chance to relax as well. There was usually some more dancing and the Weyr’s musicians brought out their instruments to entertain. It wasn’t as polished a performance as the Harpers gave, of course, but everyone enjoyed a sing along.

R’feem and Hebiri weren’t at the table. D’gar supposed they had chosen to stay in R’feem’s weyr for this one day. He was usually a stickler for turning up to eat with his Wing.

M’rell looked bleary-eyed. He was sipping strong klah and nibbling on a sweet roll. ‘I feel terrible,’ he groaned.

‘Did you have a good night, though?’

He gave a weak smile. ‘Not bad. How about you two?’

‘We turned in early,’ J’rud supplied. ‘And not together, if that’s what you’re asking.’

M’rell looked confused. ‘Oh.’ He took another bite of the sweet roll.

From the look on his face, D’gar imagined M’rell must be feeling similar to the way he used to on a Threadfall morning. ‘Try some porridge,’ he suggested.

‘Maybe later. If I can keep this down.’

A few more riders trailed in, R’feem among them. He fetched himself some klah and toast with eggs on top. ‘Morning,’ he said. ‘Sorry I couldn’t get here earlier.’

‘It’s the day after Turn’s End. Quite a few haven’t made it to breakfast yet.’

‘Hebiri was called out early this morning. The weyrwoman has finally woken up.’

That was good news. ‘So we’ll know a bit more about her soon?’

‘She’s still weak. But at least now she can begin to get her strength back. Didn’t you hear Ramoth earlier?’

D’gar shook his head. It must have happened while they were at the lake.

‘Some of those with hangovers won’t be thankful, the noise she was making. Poor dragon was overjoyed. She tried to get inside Loranth’s weyr to see Lessa, but Loranth wasn’t having any of it. You know how territorial queens can be.’

That would be another mystery cleared up. Would his theory be proved right, or was there a far more simple explanation as to why Ramoth and Lessa had been found in such a sorry state? D’gar mused as he ate. He felt slightly drained, as if he’d spent half the night drinking and dancing. Perhaps it was the relief at having finally done his duty to Valli and S’brin?

‘Anyway, it’s back to work tomorrow,’ R’feem said. ‘We’ve a meeting first thing to discuss the new patrol routes and Wing duties. Plus, the Weyrleaders will be getting together soon to start planning the Spring Games, I expect. Welcome to the Interval.’

Only two more chapters to go now.

©1967-2022 Ann McCaffrey, Todd McCaffrey, Gigi McCaffrey; All Rights Reserved; Copyright © 2020 Mawgrim; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction that combine worlds created by the original content owner with names, places, characters, events, and incidents that are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, organizations, companies, events or locales are entirely coincidental. Authors are responsible for properly crediting Original Content creator for their creative works. Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 
Dragonriders of Pern series was created by Ann McCaffrey in 1967 and spans 24+ books published by Ballantine Books, Atheneum Books, Bantam Books, and Del Rey Books.  Any recognizable content in this story is from Ann McCaffrey, Todd McCaffrey, Gigi McCaffrey or their representatives or inheritors.  Original content provided by author of this FanFiction story without monetary compensation.

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It is with great sadness I must announce the death of Mawgrim, Promising Author on GA. He had been in declining health for some time and passed away on Christmas Day. Mawgrim worked for decades as a cinema projectionist before his retirement and was able to use this breadth of knowledge to his stories set in cinemas. He also gave us stories with his take on the World of Pern with its dragon riders. He will be greatly missed and our condolences go out to his friends, family, and his husband.
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Chapter Comments

Hmmm.  He thought he saw a golden and a green dragon flying off into the sunrise?  Interesting.  Dragons may have a few secrets like Companions do! (Or could they be firelizards?) It was a lovely way to say farewell and give him closure on a painful issue.  He’s not ‘over it’ by far, but maybe he can now really start the healing process.

Lessa is awake!  Now come the discussions, arguments and decisions.

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1 hour ago, Clancy59 said:

Lessa is awake!  Now come the discussions, arguments and decisions.

Unfortunately D'gar won't be privy to any of them, although Weyr gossip will do its worst. 

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As a current wingsecond, why would D'gar not be in on at least the peripheral of the discussions?  I realize he would not be in the forefront; but the wingseconds are the second tier of the leadership in the weyr.  

I found this chapter really hard to read.  It took me a good twenty minutes to stop crying and sniveling to write this review.  You knew D'gar would keep his word to Valli and now he had S'brin to honor as well.  I am glad that he let J'rud come with him.  I don't think he needed to be alone at that moment.  

The emotions that this chapter evoked were wide ranging and truly heartfelt.  I was caught off guard when you said only two chapters remained.  This story has been one of your best, I truly believe that.  I do hope that you plan on continuing with your saga in the future.  You are one of the few that have used the Pern tales in an effective manner when trying to create your own take on this wonderful world.

Bravo...

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2 hours ago, centexhairysub said:

As a current wingsecond, why would D'gar not be in on at least the peripheral of the discussions?  I realize he would not be in the forefront; but the wingseconds are the second tier of the leadership in the weyr.  

I found this chapter really hard to read.  It took me a good twenty minutes to stop crying and sniveling to write this review.  You knew D'gar would keep his word to Valli and now he had S'brin to honor as well.  I am glad that he let J'rud come with him.  I don't think he needed to be alone at that moment.  

The emotions that this chapter evoked were wide ranging and truly heartfelt.  I was caught off guard when you said only two chapters remained.  This story has been one of your best, I truly believe that.  I do hope that you plan on continuing with your saga in the future.  You are one of the few that have used the Pern tales in an effective manner when trying to create your own take on this wonderful world.

Bravo...

I can't say it any better than above. I had to stop several times and go to the box of Kleenex....I thought the following was poignant and well crafted...kudos to you!

He bowed his head, briefly. It was enough. When he looked up again, wiping away the tears, the cloud had parted and it seemed, for just a moment, that the strengthening sun reflected off golden wings. Beside her, a smaller dragon, whose green hide glowed as the pair of them flew into the cloud bank, disappearing from sight forever. 

Like @centexhairysub, I hope you find a way to amaze us with your craft and the tales of Pern that must reside within you, you truly are a master and it is gratefully appreciated!

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9 hours ago, centexhairysub said:

As a current wingsecond, why would D'gar not be in on at least the peripheral of the discussions?  I realize he would not be in the forefront; but the wingseconds are the second tier of the leadership in the weyr.  

I found this chapter really hard to read.  It took me a good twenty minutes to stop crying and sniveling to write this review.  You knew D'gar would keep his word to Valli and now he had S'brin to honor as well.  I am glad that he let J'rud come with him.  I don't think he needed to be alone at that moment.  

The emotions that this chapter evoked were wide ranging and truly heartfelt.  I was caught off guard when you said only two chapters remained.  This story has been one of your best, I truly believe that.  I do hope that you plan on continuing with your saga in the future.  You are one of the few that have used the Pern tales in an effective manner when trying to create your own take on this wonderful world.

To answer the first paragraph, it's partly down to custom and practice. Prior to each Threadfall, T'ron met with his Wingleaders to discuss tactics, weather etc. They then met with their Wingseconds to pass on the information and decide how best to deploy their Wing.  He's doing the same now. It's also to do with secrecy. In 'Dragonflight', even after Lessa wakes, she's not really in the public eye until she leads the Weyrs forward that night. T'ron's instinct is to discuss the plan with his fellow Weyrleaders initially, only bringing his Wingleaders in when they get to the stage of actually planning the big move.

I was teary as I wrote the scene at the ice lake. I’m glad I succeeded in making it as poignant and moving as I wanted it to be.

I will definitely be continuing, firstly with a few shorter stories, then onto a third part, taking up from where 'Gone Away, Gone Ahead' left off.

Thanks for your comments, as always.

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7 hours ago, drsawzall said:

I can't say it any better than above. I had to stop several times and go to the box of Kleenex....I thought the following was poignant and well crafted...kudos to you!

He bowed his head, briefly. It was enough. When he looked up again, wiping away the tears, the cloud had parted and it seemed, for just a moment, that the strengthening sun reflected off golden wings. Beside her, a smaller dragon, whose green hide glowed as the pair of them flew into the cloud bank, disappearing from sight forever. 

Like @centexhairysub, I hope you find a way to amaze us with your craft and the tales of Pern that must reside within you, you truly are a master and it is gratefully appreciated!

I knew that was going to be an important scene and wanted to get it just right. Looks like I succeeded!

There are more Pern stories to be told. It's just a pity it takes so long to write them. I average about 3000-6000 words in a week, then I leave it for a while before editing. So it's not as quick a process as I'd like.

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Two more chapters...sigh.  Then it's a wait for more, but that's okay because you're continuing with this wonderful series.
I have to say that I've enjoyed your Pern stories as much as those by Anne herself, and find them better than the later volumes put out by Todd who began with promise before cashing in on the franchise....A couple years ago I got an email from an old high school friend from 10th grade, and she attached a scan of a drawing I did for a Hold hall from my first reading of the original books...I'd given it to her because she liked it, and I could draw another if I wanted.  As it turned out, I didn't, and she left school before the next year.  Just after drawing that, my art teacher let me paint a green dragon on one of the classroom windows, and it remained there for several years. The year after I graduated in '77, that building became the middle school and the high school moved into the new building next door that looked like a prison with white facades and only very narrow vertical windows rather than the banks of horizontal ones of our late 50s home.

Can someone email me a notice when a new Pern story begins?  I often miss things in the queue with my vision problems now, and don't want to missany thing...actually, Mawgrim, pm me and I'll give you my email as the one on the profile may be wrong if it's not a hotmail one.  

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50 minutes ago, ColumbusGuy said:

Two more chapters...sigh.  Then it's a wait for more, but that's okay because you're continuing with this wonderful series.

Not too much of a wait as I’m just finishing up a (relatively) short 6 chapter story about Benden Weyr after all the others disappear. Zalna is the narrator for that one.

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The tribute to Valli and S'brin at the ice lake was brilliantly written.  It was a very bittersweet moment for me.  I was glad that D'gar and J'rud were there to share the beautiful scene.  I hope it brought closure for both.  

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