Dane's Dilemma

Western Weyr - Infirmary
This long, rectangular cavern smells faintly of antiseptic and strongly of pleasant medicinal herbs. The general atmosphere is one of orderly quiet and strict cleanliness. In addition to two sets of double doors which lead west, one into to the dragonhealing bay, and one into the surgical room, there are several areas partitioned off here. Recovery and birthing are both towards the northwest, while emergency is located towards the east. Directly behind the reception desk, surrounded entirely by glass panes, is the Weyrhealer's office and an ample lift. Cots used for checkups and simple outpatient procedures line most of the north wall, each paired off with a small bedside-table and separated by fabric screens that can be drawn closed for privacy. An immense circle of shining, metal cabinets is situated directly in the center of the room, and sealed, stone counters equipped with metal sinks and storage compartments above and below dot the walls. A wide nook between the Weyrhealer's office and the east wall contains rows of worktables and two large hearths used for preparing various innocuous remedies. Several bubbling cauldrons hang in each hearth, scenting the air both by day and by night with their soothing aromas.


It's been a few days since the dramatic rescue of the population of Riverside Cothold, and while the rain hasn't let up, at least it hasn't been raining steadily as much any more. Checking in on the injured still in the infirmary, Enka is definitely playing 'Lady of the Weyr' as she makes her way slowly down the aisle of cots, stopping now and then to chat with someone. Her ultimate destination though is one of the cots at the end of the room — the patient there is the little boy who was plucked from the flood waters, his mother seated in a chair beside his bed.

A'ven is on duty, making his rounds amongst all the patients. There are not that many, perhaps eight or so. Most of the long-term care is done at the Healer Hall. Still, the Weyr certainly has its fair share of scrapes, sprains, and breaks. It's always busy here. He too is keeping a special eye on the pediatric cases, as might be expected. He stops at Dane's bedside, offering some encouragement that it won't be too long cooped up in here like this. The boy looks skeptical but A'ven's smile is so disarming that there's a flicker of belief there. Unfortunately, the young man has learned, like many, that Healers often lie…. but if A'ven is lying, he's doing a marvelous job of it, and that's a comfort in itself. The boy smiles.

"Ah, Weyrleader," Enka finally reaches the young boy's bedside, casting a wry smile in A'ven's direction before she turns a gentle gaze on the boy himself, and then a quick reassuring smile for Dane's mother. "And how's our young patient here doin'? Enjoyin' the hospitality of the Weyr all right?" The goldrider settles heavily onto the empty cot beside Dane's, sighing a bit. "Had to get off my feet," comes her remark. "Bein' pregnant make's 'em ache so." She smiles slightly. "In any case, I'm just glad we were able to be of service to the people of Riverside Cothold."

Dane looks a little wide-eyed as the Weyrwoman sits down but he recovers quickly. This boy is apparently a mature sort, and he cocks his head, more in curiosity than in awe, "You were there, weren't you? I mean, on the day I fell into the…" He has trouble finishing his thought and then realizes he doesn't have to. "I saw your queen fly in… thought it was strange that the Weyrwoman herself would come and help little old Riverside.. but… of course, I'm glad now, that you were both there." "Stupid rocks… they got me pretty good as I was carried downstream." How old is this boy? Surely he can't be just… eight Turns. There's something … to uncover there.

"The point is…", says A'ven gently "You weren't carried downstream. Tyandrith got you out…" "… and now you're here and if you don't mind my saying, 'just relax' for the 14th time today.. then, "Just relax will do." "It was our duty and glad to do it."

Enka has that effect on people, apparently, if she's got Dane starting at her the way he is. What, is her shiny halo light on or something? "Mmm, aye, I was there," the goldrider grins slightly, resting on the cot and regarding Dane with equal curiosity. "Mir can carry an awful lot of supplies, and bein' the senior, she was able to coordinate everyone better right at the spot." Enka smiles mildly then. "Not that I was able to do much more than oversee the rescue," considering the goldrider is pregnant and all, "but when a place needs help, Western Weyr will be there." She's looking at Dane curiously as he's talking, before she mirrors A'ven's comment. "Now you just need to relax, and you'll be just fine. You were saved, and we can thank Faranth that Tyandrith is a nimble flyer. How did you fall in anyway?"

Dane considers that, "I don't remember exactly how. One minute I was working on a puzzle… you know one of those wooden ones. I must have slipped, Terisa was with me… but I haven't had a chance to talk to her."
A'ven frowns a bit. "Terisa was with you? Do you think she's still at Riverside or … did she come with you?"

"I don't recall that name," Enka nibbles thoughtfully on her lip as she listens to Dane's explanation. "I remember there were some lists that people gave me that named everyone that was brought here to the Weyr," she regards Dane levelly, and then shrugs, "Of course, as A'ven pointed out, she could still be at Riverside. Or slipped through the cracks here." Which means the Weyrwoman's likely to be annoyed with herself. "Can you describe her?"

Dane thinks, "She's twelve, and tall.. lots taller than me, and thin.. we call her The Pole behind her back.." He reddens a bit at that. "Brown hair down to her butt, she never cuts it. Kinda … dirty… I mean, she really should wash more often." He reddens at this too, but soldiers on, nodding.

A'ven nods, "You're good friends then? Or… maybe not?"

Enka nods absently, taking mental notes of the boy's description of the girl. "Hmm," the goldrider's back to gnawing at her lower lip, her gaze a little distant as she thinks. "I can't remember seein' a girl like that here when the dragons came back to the Weyr, so it's possible she's still at the cothold. I'll ask Miraneith if she can ask one of the dragons there to check." The goldrider's hands fold downwards into her lap — what she can reach of it anyway — as she communes with the gold. She tilts a brow upwards at A'ven's question, but waits to hear Dane's reply.

Dane winces, "We're not close friends." he admits. "She's friends with some of my friends and we hang out together." He shrugs. "I didn't think to look for her. Once the dragon picked me up I kind of forgot everything else." His eyes shine with the emotion of that. It's hard to tell if he's dragonstruck or just… happy to be alive. Probably a bit of both.

A'ven says, "Well, we'll find her if we can. I don't see much wrong with you other than what the rocks did to you. It won't be long before those bumps and cuts heal up. I wish I was young again… it's so much easier with people your age. You heal so fast, as long as the pieces are in the same room, it usually turns out well."

"Well, if she's a bit older than you, I can see why she wouldn't be really good friends with you," Not that Enka means it as any slur against the boy himself, it's just they're not at any similar enough age for the two of them to get along as best buddies or anything then. "But close acquaintances anyway," the goldrider nods. She knows how that goes. "It's hard not to forget anythin' when you're in the company of dragons. And he saved you after all, Tyandrith did." She chuckles, glancing over at A'ven. "You say that, but I'd bet you're shardin' glad you're in the prime of your life and not young all over again," she winks teasingly at him. "Still can heal pretty fast, I ought to think." She frowns, speaking once more with Miraneith as the queen bespeaks the dragons still stationed at Riverside Cothold. "Well, I've asked Mir to pass the word along. Ravareth's rider will ask the people at the cothold if they have seen Terisa."

A'ven blushes unexpectedly at Enka's comment. Being told you're in your prime by the goldrider has an effect on males, and A'ven's not immune as the notion cracks through his usually serious nature. "If you say so.", he says with a light smile. "Your mom is really worried about you… do your best to look healthy okay Dane? It'll make it easier on all of us." He smirks.

Dane nods knowingly, "She's… a panicky sort." It's an oddly adult thing to say.

Enka's sure to note that blush. Mind you, she's just teasing the man, and not flirting with him or anything, seeing as the both of them are happily weyrmated to other people, but there's definitely some amusement and good-natured working relationship to the leadership dynamic of Western Weyr. "Course I say so," Enka grins again, peeking sideways at the bronzerider. "Oh aye, Dane, you just make sure your ma doesn't panic and get all worried, and things will be fine." she smiles wryly at the woman in question. "And you just be sure to ask me if there's anythin' you need, ma'am," Enka addresses Dane's mother as well. "We here at the Weyr are a helpful lot." The goldrider glances away briefly. "Well, Mir says that C'dar is still lookin' around. He'll get back to me soon."

A'ven says, "Don't worry about Terisa. You just pay attention to getting better and you'll be back home soon enough." At that, Dane gets a curious look in his eye and curls his lip a little. "Home… yeah.", he says, trying to sound enthusiastic. His mother frowns and sighs, unable to hide just a bit of exasperation.

"Let us do the worryin'," Enka remarks, smiling slightly, before she nods reassuringly to Dane's mother, "your job, Dane, is gettin' better as soon as you can. And since you'll go home, that doesn't mean you'd have to be a stranger to the Weyr. Could come and visit us at any time." she glances quickly at the boy's mother again. "But you'd have to ask your mother first, of course."

A'ven rests a hand lightly on the boy's shoulder. "I think you're all set… let me know if you need anything." "… when you two are finished catching up I think I'd like to have a talk with your mom Dane… nothing serious, just… official stuff."

Enka heaves herself off the cot with another heavy sigh. "I'd better get back to my office," she remarks, "but it was good checkin' in on you, Dane." she nods again at the boy's mom, but makes no move to hasten away just yet. "What kind of official stuff?" the goldrider quirks a brow at A'ven. "Although if anyone were to deal with official stuff, it'd be us." How convenient, eh?

A'ven pulls mom out of Dane's earshot and motions Enka to follow as casually as he can. Dane's mom's no dummy she knows something is up too. But it happens quickly enough that she doesn't have time to panic.

Enka moves forward to pat Dane's shoulder, and nods towards some books nearby. "We can have someone bring those to you, if you'd like to read," she remarks, and then moves away, following along behind A'ven and Dane's mother. Just out of earshot of course.

A'ven tells mom gently, "Dane told me this morning he wasn't all that excited about going home. Is everything all right?" Dane's mother answers quickly and all-at-once, as if finally able to let all the air out of a balloon that's been held too long. "He's BORED… the Masterharper herself came last Turn to have a look at him, after his father and I separated. Moyrel said he was smart as anything… and I don't know what to do with him. You should see the way he can fix things…machines…puzzles… he's so quick." Sigh, "It's been hard keeping up with him with his father gone.. I guess… I guess Riverside just doesn't hold that much for him, you know? We're a small cothold and there's not much to… well there's not much of a future for a boy like that… things are simpler there." "Too simple for him." She looks relieved to have said all of that.

Enka rubs a finger across her chin, listening to Dane's mother explain the boy's situation, her expression rather thoughtful and sober all at once. "He certainly seems like a bright young lad," Enka puts in, "certainly a lot more inventive than when I was his age. And I was just a little weyrbrat bent on mischief when growin' up like that. I'm not likely to do puzzles or anythin'." If anything, Enka was at Dane's age, dying sheep pretty colors and getting into trouble. "Riverside aint the place for him though, if he's like that. He needs somethin' more." She does smile at the woman, after all, it probably took a lot for Dane's mother to spill out her feelings.

Dane's mother shakes her head. "You say he's a bright young lad. I'm telling you it's more than that. He doesn't get along with many people…its.. it's too much for most people the way he connects things. Moyrel suggested the Techcraft but… I just haven't been able to… to let him go." She sniffles a little.

A'ven chuckles, "If he had the same skill putting people back together as with puzzles I'd recommend the Healercraft. If he likes mechanical things though, certainly the Techcraft could use him." He shrugs, "Maybe he'd do well in either Craft, if he's really as smart as you say."

"Lettin' go is never easy," Enka says with a slight nod, "and I know how hard it probably is for people to give up their children into an uncertain future," she does smile a bit then, watching the woman closely. "But it's for him, doin' right by him, and makin' sure he's happy. And you could always visit him. At the Techcraft, or somethin'." she nods over at A'ven. "He's a bright boy from the little we've spoken with him."

A'ven considers, "What about this. I think Riverside is going to need some special attention for a while, because of the flooding and so on. We'll assign you a pair of riders, for the time being, kind of a special assignment. You know, to make sure that no more mishaps happen during the reconstruction… and if, by some chance there's a boy who needs transportation to a Crafthall of his choosing, to be less bored, you know, learn a few things during the day, and still come home at night…that might help you until he can become a full Apprentice." "It'll make it easier to let him go when the time comes, I'd wager… and I'm sure a pair of riders can find a way to fit the transport of one, particularly bright boy, into their schedule."

Dane's mom looks a little shocked at the idea, could it be that simple? She shares a look with the Weyrwoman. "You would do that?"

Enka all but claps her hands at the proposal that A'ven's laid out for them. "Why, it certainly could be done," the goldrider nods, turning her head a little to meet the eyes of Dane's mother. "Dragons can go between faster'n you can blink, and it won't be but a moment for 'em to go to the Tech Crafthall. And then back again by nightfall." she nods. "Excellent plan, A'ven."

A'ven grins, "Don't forget, their primary duty is oversight of the reconstruction. That's very important. It may take as much as a Turn before Riverside is really on its feet again… but, like I said, I'm sure the riders will be able to make a little side trip, now and then. Who knows, he might even learn a thing or two about dragons." "You'll have to check with the Crafthalls of course… but I'm sure they'd appreciate a willing student."

Dane's mom blinks again. "It would… open up his world so much. To travel, to meet other children…. even other students who like his confounded gadgets as much as he does.", she breathes.

Enka chuckles. "Of course. That's the main objective is to make sure the cothold is rebuilt, but then with riders bein' able to go between with their dragons, it wouldn't be too much trouble for them to run an errand or two durin' the day." Enka nods at the bronzerider. "Seein' as we're on the same page and all." she pauses, glancing briefly back at the boy before she nods at the mother of the child. "If you'd like me to inquire with the Crafthalls on your behalf," she offers, "I'd be more than willin' to do so. And aye, it would be good if he got to meet others with his talents and skills."

Dane looks at the people talking very intensely. Something's up. Official stuff usually doesn't take this long and adults don't have meetings about happy things, usually. He frowns.

A'ven grins, "I think we'd better tell him before he starts trying to read our minds." "You're right, he's very…. perceptive."

"Then by all means," Enka remarks, nodding to both Weyrleader and cothold mother alike. "Let's tell him now before he starts gettin' worried that we're plottin' something bad." she does glance back at Dane again, smiling sweetly in his direction so he can tell that she's not angry or anything of the sort. "If you'd do the honors," she nods her head to the other two.

Dane's mother looks at Enka. "You were born out of your time dear. That was as great and noble a thing to do for him as any of the Old blood. You sit well upon your stone chair, like those before you.'" she turns to A'ven, ".. and you sir, well I'm glad to know there's still Healers around who understand it's not just about stopping the bleeding." She starts toward her son to tell him the plan.

A'ven lets out a long breath, "Well, there's that…" he says, quietly to Enka. "That boy is still going to be a handful. We might have to have him to dinner, now and then, just to see how he's doing.", he chuckles.

Enka returns the look of Dane's mother, inclining her head slightly in acknowledgment. "Thank you," the goldrider says, simply enough, smiling warmly at the older woman for a moment, before she ducks her gaze away, blushing a bit at the praise. And then as Dane's mother moves away to speak to her son, Enka's smiling and nodding at A'ven. "Oh, certainly." she agrees, "he ought to come visit us here at the Weyr whenever he likes, lessons and such permittin' of course." she smiles. "Well, I'd better get back to my office."

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