|Bavin was young when the idea first came to him to be a dragonrider. Being five, the idea fell into his mind with an ease that usually doesn't accompany children when making plans. From that day forth he always counted on making his living as a dragonrider.
So Bavin spent his days living in the Dolphin Hall being tormented by older, bigger boys who antagonized anyone with a dream. Bavin took his lumps, and vowed that when he was "bigger" he'd get even. But Bavin didn't get bigger, if fact, he seemed to pretty much stay the same size. At fifteen he was only 5'8, a short height for even women on Pern. He looked up to his three older sisters, and realized with heartfelt dissappointment that he would never be a dragonrider.
Dragons liked the strong, the willful. But Bavin was a helpful sort, always trying to make everybody else's lives run smoother, and having barely a thought for himself, save being a dragonrider. So when he decided that no dragon would want a scraggly, pleasing, fifteen year old, he quit dreaming.
His father, the dolphineer, noticed the change in his son immediatly. Seeing that Bavin no longer had ridiculous dreams of Impressing a dragon, he pushed Bavin to choose the DolphinCraft, where at least he could be satisfied by bonding a dolphin. Bavin had always loved the water, and the dolphins, so it seemed an appropriate choice for the lad. But Bavin threw this idea away with an uncharacteristic show of will. Bavin wanted nothing to do with the dolphins.
Bavin's sisters began to harrass him, showing him up at every opportunity, trying to replace him as their father's favourite. One of the girls, Nadaly, even used the opportunity to become a dolphineer, to try embarress Bavin. Bavin didn't even notice. Without the dragons, his world was dead. Until the day he found the dog, roped to a tree, left to starve.
| Bavin had been out gathering the bark to make klah when he heard a noise in the distance. Ignoring it, he began to peel some more bark off the tree. But the noise persisted, and Bavin was sure that it wasn't human. Swinging the his bag over his shoulder he trotted a few dragonlengths, trying to find the source of the noise.
I wonder what that is? You can't hear the ocean echo all the way over here, so it can't be a dolphin..... Bavin's thoughts were suddenly stopped short when he saw what the noise was.
Someone had tied a dog to a tree. Since this was in the back of the grove, Bavin knew it wasn't likely to be found here. The canine was brown, skinny, and whimpering as it layed helplessly in the dirt. It had obviously been out here for several days from it's condition, and was obviously in a lot of pain besides. Without thinking Bavin dropped his sack and went to help the canine.
He went up and crouched beside the dog, letting it sniff his hand. When he got no response, he talked to it, and tried to get it to sit up. The canine continued whimpering. Bavin scrunched his forhead, confused. Finally he took the rope from around the creatures neck and carefully lifted the animal up.
I can carry her easily. Bavin thought. She's not that big. The dog was obviously female at inspection, and Bavin wondered if she'd done something to her pups. Usually when a female didnt' take care of her pups, she was killed so she wouldn't pass the trait to her young. Pups who weren't cared for by their dams always died. Bavin thought this was a cruel practice, there was ways to keep a female from breeding if she wasn't a good mother, there was no reason to kill her.
Crouching down, canine in his arms, Bavin picked up the sack of bark with three fingers and tucked it under his arm so he wouldn't drop it. The bag was only half full, but that wouldn't matter, he could get more tomorrow. So, canine in arms, he began to walk home, soothing the animal all the way with his voice.
It was amazing how good the dog looked after only two days of care. Bavin glanced at the female, laying next to the warm kitchen hearth, a bandage around her waist. When he brought her home he found several diaganol cuts along her flanks. They were still raw, and some were deep, so he got one of the Healers to sew them up and bandage them. After that most of the kitchen women took great pains to care for the dog. They fed her a mushy gruel filled with all sorts of nutrious ingrediants, they changed her bandages and made sure she had plenty of furs to sleep on. They were even wary to let Bavin close to her, until he insisted that she was his dog now, and they were all so pleased to see Bavin out of his state of depression they didn't have the heart to deny it to him.
On the fifth day Bavin named the dog Trust, because even after all that had happenend to her, she trusted Bavin. Bavin's father was glad to see Bavin acting better, and began to push the idea of becoming a Dolphineer all the more heavily on him. Bavin still resisted, but showed an interest in other things so his father wouldn't worry.
Trust was starting to show her talent as a herder. She rounded up the flocks of herdbeasts with an ease that even the other, herding, canines couldn't manage. Bavin loved his dog, and was beginning to think that raising canines, breeding them specially and selling them might be profitiable. People always needed good dogs, and would pay by the purseful for a good one. Bavin thought on that, learning about breeding runners to help him learn genetics. Bavin was actually happy, until his sixteenth birthday, when his whole world died again in front of his eyes.
| Without warning three dolphins in the pod took sick. They wasted away with something even the other dolphins couldn't name. Within a sevenday they were dead. Bavin's father's dolphin was one of them. His father spent days sitting and staring at nothing. If it weren't for Bavin and his next-oldest sister Maula, his father would have had no meals and no sleep. All four children were worried about their father, and even more so when he began to talk to his dead dolphin.
It came as no surprise when the Sr. Dolphineer came to their building, into their rooms, and asked them to leave. All except for Nadaly, of course, because she had already bonded a dolphin. But anyone who didn't want to make dolphins there life, would have to leave. The dolphineers, and their dolphins, were frightened by Bavin's father, and made their work harder for them to accomplish. Bavin's father killed himself shortly after this request, and the children were sent to live with their mother at Fort Hold.
It was an uncomfortable adjustment, as their mother had abadoned them after Bavin was born. She showed no interest in her offspring, other than that they stayed completely out of her way and behaved themselves, and made sure they found suitable careers so she wouldn't have to support them past their nineteenth birthday. This upset Bavin's sisters more than him, and he spent most of his time comforting Maula and Aladla.
Trust settled right into Fort Hold, proving good competition for the present herding dogs. Bavin had many offers to buy her, but he was would never sell her. He did consider breeding her, and said if she ever had pups, then he'd sell those. The prospective buyers quickly offered up their best male dogs for free service. Bavin said he'd consider it, and left it at that.
Days turned into sevendays, and those into months and before he knew it Bavin was almost seventeen. Only three months to go, Bavin thought angrily, and I still look like I could be twelve! He'd been thinking more about his appearence, especially after he tried in vain to impress a girl he found he liked quite a lot. She'd treated him nice at first, and then Bavin realized it was because she thought he was a child still. He immediatly corrected that, telling her his age, and that he liked her. He was handsome enough afterall, just not terribly tall. The girl had stared open mouthed at him, and sighed, smiling sweetly. She told him that she didn't like him like that, and disappeared from his life forever. Bavin had been heartbroken, until he realized Trust was pregnant with a litter.
He dreamed of the money he would make from the pups, and wondered who the father was. He was disappointed when only three pups were born, but they all were stark white so there was no question as to their parentage. They'd been sired by Marks, named so for the trademark white coat all his offspring bore. He was the only dog in all of Fort capable of siring white pups, and Bavin knew he'd make good money with these.
Life was beginning to settle into a routine. Bavin spending his days working around the farms in the Hold, hiring himself out and making plans for his "dog farm". He helped his sisters out with their kitchen work and even managed to impress his mother with his knowledge of geography and mathematics. He thought life just might be bearable the way it was going, until the day the dragons came.
All morning dragons had been fighting Thread in the sky, and Bavin sat in his room looking at them through an open window. He watched as the greens and blues darted in and out, quickly covering ground, missing clumps. Then he saw the brown and bronzes go in, clearing the rest of the clumps and staying place where the greens and blue shifted ranks quite often. Then he watched the queens, soaring in low, catching the clumps that the other riders missed. Bavin thought of all the dragons, he'd like a blue the best. They certainly had the most beautiful colour, and he thought the most important job. Along with the greens, they were the only others capable of catching Thread as it rained strongly down. The other three colours were forced to wait for the Thread to be thinned before they could catch it at all. Yes, Bavin thought, I'd definately want a blue dragon if I could choose.
After the Thread was done, Bavin sighed and got up to join the ground crews. He left Trust sitting in his room, sleeping with her pups, and headed down the steps into the courtyard to find out what group he was in today.
But today was different, every young person, and some that weren't, were assembling in the courtyard, chittering excitidly. That's when Bavin saw the two draogns sunning themselves in the back of the huge courtyard. A blue and a green, with their riders talking to the Lord Holder. Bavin went up to Kepilan, a boy he knew.
"What's going on?" Bavin asked. Kepilan stared at him increduously.
"Don't you know? They're here on Search. Lord Holder's sent riders all through the place announcing for everybody of age to get down here for the riders. Lord's a might crazy, but I'm glad they're Searching us!"
"Which Weyr are they from?" Bavin had to ask.
"I'm not sure, although, yeah. Someone said they was from Falas Weyr. That's a might good Weyr to stand Candidate at if you ask me." Kepilan thought himself an expert on Weyr's, so Bavin ignored his companions moment of arrogance. But the flow of people filing in stopped, and the bluerider shputed above the noise.
"Everybody listen! Form two lines! One men and one women! Quickly now!" People rushed about to form the lines, Bavin on of them. He didn't see the smile on the blueriders face as he watched the excited young people and their desire to be chosen. Bavin refused to let himself hope that the dragons would choose him. He felt the crushing despair of that once, and wouldn't put himself through that again.
The dragons suddenly began to look among the people in the lines. They weaved their great heads up and down the "ranks", sniffing the occasional person, and sending some people into convulsions of fear. Bavin thought it was funny somebody would be afraid of a dragon, until the green's head stopped right in front of him. Bavin stared at her, not daring to breath, and she snorted a gust of air at him, causing his musty brown hair to fly back. The green warbled, and her rider rushed up to stand beside her.
"You've been Searched lad. What's your name?" The greenrider's words went through Bavin like a sword of ice. Him? Searched? Was it possible? He looked into the green dragons eyes, and thought he saw laughter there.
"I...I'm Bavin." He stuttered, in shere amazement at what was happening to him. The greenrider laughed.
"Would you like to join us Bavin? At Falas Weyr?" Kepilan's suspicions were confirmed, the riders were from Falas. Bavin's face lighted up as he nodded.
"More than anything Greenrider, I've always wanted to have a dragon." Bavin couldn't believe he'd admited this to a complete stranger, but then again he'd been Searched, what did it matter!? The woman smiled and led Bavin to her dragon, who offered a leg for mounting. The greenrider helped Bavin scramble up onto the green's neck, and swung easily behind him.
"I'm Serzone, and this here," She said patting the dragon's neck. "is Aphorath." Bavin smiled nervously.
"Hello Aphorath." The dragon bugled loudly, and Serzona laughed.
"She likes you Bavin. She says you'd make a good rider for any dragon." Bavin shifted uncomfortably, and suddenly shouted.
"Trust! I have to go get...." Serzona looked confused.
"Trust?" She asked.
"My canine." Bavin explained. "I have to go get my dog. But she's got pups! I've already promised them to....and I can't leave them behind!" Bavin was concerned for his dog. But the greenrider had a solution.
"Will someone else take care of your dog when you're gone?"
"Of course, my sisters will, but I won't leave her here. She's my dog, and doesn't really Trust anyone but me." Seeing the greenriders confused face he continued. "I rescued her you see, someone left her tied to a tree, I saved her, and she knows it." The greenrider smiled.
"It's good to know you have caring feelings. Dragons like that."
"They do?" Bavin couldn't help but ask. He'd always thought dragons liked the strong-willed, determined, unemotional types. But he ignored the thought; Trust was more important now.
"Yes, although it really comes down to the dragon. But anyway, you say your dog's got pups?" Bavin nodded. "Alright then, we'll leave her here for awhile. We'll let your sisters feed her, and then you can come get her in a little while. You can have her and a dragon at the same time." The greenrider seemed to understand Bavin's desire to keep Trust, and Bavin was grateful.
"Yes, of course, that's what I'll do. Thank you so much." The rider looked surprised.
"For everything." Bavin answered her. Serzona's face lit up with unmistakable pleasure as she patted Aphorath's neck and said.
"Come on girl, let's take Bavin to stand Candidate at Falas Weyr!" The dragon promptly launched herself to go home.
Family- Father is a dolphineer, mother is a kitchenworker at Fort Hold, has four sisters, in order of birth Nadaly, Maula, Aladla, and Bavin is the youngest.
Appearance- Very, very short for his age, Bavin appears to be a boy of thirteen. He has bushy brown hair and startling blue eyes.
Personality-Bavin loves to help people, and finds he's best at making the world run a bit smoother. He has a good sense of humour, and likes to see other people happy.
Pets-a brown canine named Trust.
|B'vin woke up with a start. He stared around the dark place, trying to focus his eyes. Where was he?
Here. Came a sleep filled voice from nowhere, and a gentle touch to let B'vin know everything was alright. B'vin sighed. How could he have forgotten where he was? As if Aireth wasn't....Aireth. B'vin couldn't help but be filled with joy and wonder every time he thought about his beautiful young dragon. He smiled. He still couldn't believe Aireth had chosen him. Out of all the boys, and girls, on the Sands that day, Aireth had wanted him! B'vin snuggled deeper into the blankets on his cot in the weyrling barracks and sighed, slowly drifting back to sleep.
When B'vin awoke the next morning he was surprised to see Aireth already up, and looking at him, eyes whirling with hunger. Of course. Aireth was always hungry.
Is that a bad thing rider mine? Aireth asked sweetly, and B'vin stroked the brown's headknobs.
Of course not love. I was just thinking..... B'vin reassured his dragon, and stood up to put on some clothes. As he got dressed he noticed that his funny little dragon wasn't butting about his legs like he usually did. He asked Aireth about it.
You had that nightmare again. Aireth stated, and B'vin grimaced. Yes, he'd almost forgotten. He had had that nightmare, the one where he was lost somewhere, and couldnt' find his way back. It was dark, and lonely, and even when he woke up he was still in the nightmare. Only Aireth could bring him back. For being just hatched, Aireth was remarkably calm throughout the whole thing. He would wake up just enough to reassure his rider, and then go back to sleep.
"Yes. But I'm having them less now. I suppose having you around scares them off!" B'vin tried to laugh it off, but his normally humoress dragon didn't find it appealing. He was worried that his chosen had these nightmares. "Listen Aireth, I know you're worried, but there's nothing either of us can do about them? Would you like me to be that worried if you had bad dreams?" Aireth eyes B'vin doubtfully.
Yes. He answered, but B'vin could tell he was getting more playful. Then Aireth sent a loud mental "sigh" B'vin's way, and butted his legs. Let's go. I'm hungry! B'vin laughed and hugged his dragon.
"Come on then. Let's go!" Aireth crooned happily as they left to go get something to eat.
|B'vin looked at the anxious Aireth and smiled wildly.
"You're too young to fly her Aireth, you might as well not think much about it." B'vn told his dragon, who was staring off the weyr's ledge at a proddy green, launching herself into flight. B'vin could feel Aireth's tension as several blues and a couple of browns swarmed around her in a vain attempt to catch her. B'vin knew Aireth wanted to be out there. He was remarkably mature for a young brown.
Why not? Aireth asked childishly. I want to fly her. We've flown together, my wings work, I know I could catch her. B'vin laughed outright at his dragon.
"A mating flight's a bit different than a short glide to the pool love. When you're older, then you can chase. Right now you're just too small." B'vin knew that was the wrong thing to say to Aireth before the brown's loud protesting even started.
I am not small! I am a perfectly sized brown. Why would you call me small!? I am large, B'vin, that's what I am. Aireth scooted about and snorted at his rider. He rustled for a moment and then just glared. Small indeed! And with that Aireth went back to watching the mating flight.
"You are a constant amazement Aireth." B'vin told his dragon, who ignored him. B'vin couldn't understand Aireth's preoccupation with being "large". Every time anyone made a hint that Aireth was small-not for his age, but because of his age-Aireth would throw a tantrum. Poor Aireth, poor funny Aireth, it was the only thing that really ever bothered him.
She's so beautiful. Aireth murmured to B'vin, seeming to have forgotten all about their "arguement". B'vin sighed and nodded.
"That she is love. That she is."
| B'vin took a step back and looked up at his brown.
"Yeah." He said to the Weyrwoman. "I see it now. Right behind his left knob. What should I do about it?" B'vin looked worridly at the reddish mark on his dragon, and was horrified that he'd neglected Aireth somehow. But the Weyrwoman, Amera, just smiled and patted B'vin reassuringly.
"Don't worry B'vin, lots of dragons get it. It's just from going between so much-especially in the larger dragons. Something about neck strain, especially on the growing ones. It's common enough"
"How?" B'vin asked, stroking Aireth's foreleg, trying to reassure his dragon.
I don't need reassuring. Aireth said calmly, and then he swung his massive head around to get a better look at his rider. It's just a scratch. You're not worried about it, are you? And now Aireth's voice sounded troubled.
No. B'vin told his dragon silently. I'm not worried at all. I'm just upset that this had to happen to you.
Aireth snorted, blowing the Weyrwoman's hair up around her face, and forcing the short B'vin back a step.
"Well." Amera said after a moment. "At least he's in good spirits! More than I can say for you though; for Faranth's sake, don't look so worried B'vin. It happens to one out of three dragons anyway, and it's not dangerous. We'll keep him out of Fall for another sevenday, and put plenty of herb oil on it. It'll clear up."
"If it's not dangerous, why keep him from fighting? We need every dragon we can get, and Aireth shouldn't be made to feel like he's hurting everyone by not being there."
"I said we'll keep him out for a week. I don't want that scratch to split open any further." And Amera took out her small clipboard, the one she carried everywhere, and made a small notation.
"But if it's not dangerous," B'vin said again, "then what does it matter if it splits more" B'vin knew he was being whiney, his Weyrwoman had given him an order, and he should listen to it based on respect for her experience in the field.
"Because," Amera stressed, "the cut is like patchy skin. It's fine on the surface, but going between? He could get sick that way. Plus, if it breaks open, he could get an infection. You wouldn't want Aireth to get something he could spread to other dragons, would you B'vin?" Amera narrowed her eyes at B'vin. "I'm surprised you'd even ask, usually you're the most careful of all the brownriders."
"I know." B'vin said, ready to start another arguement, but someone called to the Weyrwoman from far off, and she scooted away before he got a chance to protest. Shardling woman! B'vin thought. She doesn't even care that Aireth will be Weyrbound during Thread.
I do not mind. Aireth said calmly, and then arched his neck proudly. I will have other things on my mind anyway.
Like what? B'vin thought angrily at his dragon, but Aireth lifted his head and roared loudly instead of answering. B'vin rolled his eyes and patted his dragon. What was that for? He asked, after Aireth had finished, but Aireth stretched his wings instead, showing his good build.
I have my reasons. Aireth said calmly, and then sniffed the air deeply. B'vin was getting angry, what was the matter with Aireth? The brown should be upset that he was being kept out of Threadfall for a sevenday, instead he seemed almost happy.
Oh get over it B'vin. Aireth told his rider testily, and began to prance about. You wouldn't understand.
"Understand what, creature?" Aireth grumbled with annoyance, and then heaved a great sigh.
I'm sorry rider mine, but if I told you we needed to go to Moon Shadow, would you be angry?
"Why would we need to go to Moon Shadow?" B'vin asked acidly, still annoyed that Aireth was keeping things from him.
Because, Aireth stressed. There are things that I need to do at Moon Shadow. Please B'vin?
"What we need to do is get up there and fight Aireth, why go to Moon Shadow? We should be here, getting Amera to let us fly Thread. That scratch you have isn't anything."
A dragon who is chasing is exempt from fighting, remember? Let's go to Moon Shadow. Aireth grumbled happily, and continued to prance about. He looked rather comical, and B'vin finally got his dragon's meaning.
"You want to chase?! Why didn't you just say so? Who do you want to chase? Whose the rider?" B'vin was more anxious about his possible future bed partner than which dragoness Aireth wanted to fly. Aireth crooned happily, and bumped his rider with his muzzle.
The dragon is Caiith. Aireth said proudly, obviously expecting praise. But B'vin just recoiled a bit.
"Caiith? Aireth, she's green!" B'vin hurridly searched through his mind to remember who Caiith's rider was.
So? Aireth said, looking at his rider with distaste. She is green-it will be more of a challenge to catch her, green's being naturally fast and agile. What's the matter with greens? You didn't mind when I liked green Tiszarth.
"You liked Tiszarth when you were a weyring, I assumed if you liked greens then, you'd like golds now." But B'vin was relaxing. Of course it was more natural for a brown to like greens; afterall, browns hadn't been regular contenders for golds until recently. And Caiith's rider, Elisa was it? Yes, Elisa was quite pretty.
Exactly. Aireth said, and then bugled again. Now can we go to Moon Shadow? Caiith is rising soon-and I want to be there to catch her!