Linden, K'ane


K'ane finds Linden at the Igen Lake Shore and offers him a knot for Southern's clutch.


It is midmorning of the tenth day of the twelfth month of the first turn of the 12th pass.


Igen Weyr Lake Shore

OOC Date


Igen Weyr Lake Shore

Sprawled out beyond the Weyr proper's hustling activity and ambling roads, the cool, blue paradise of the Weyr lake promises escape from the oppressive hammer of Igen summer's cruel climes; the asymmetrical, sandy white shores hook delicately around the deceptively still waters running deep and sure, greedy peninsulas reaching white fingers stretching in crooked lines towards its center. A sturdy shack, weather-beaten and brown as cured leather, resides in isolated splendor upon one such finger, screened shelving offering a variety of brushes and fragrant oils housed in colorful tureens. Out beyond a small and dusty paddock ringed by a white fence, a long rocky pier stabs out into the lake, providing a panoramic view of the Weyr itself, while the southern shores provide varied shrubs and grassed for the massed herds in their pens.

The winter morning dawned clear and cold, and now that the sun has risen things are warming slightly as its rays reflect off the bowl walls and into the interior. Down by the lake a teen crouches on a boulder, a tiny gold firelizard sitting on his knee, creeling softly as he rubs oil over her hide with his fingertip. "Hold still, it'll be easier," the kid mumbles, brows furrowed as she wiggles and moves, trying to get him to oil /all of her/ at once and he just has a fingertip, delicately prodding at her as though she'll break.

"It's too damned cold," K'ane can be heard muttering to himself as he tromps towards the lake from the bowl. Dhioth is overhead, enjoying the chill thermals, but the big bronzerider is shaking his head. "Too damned cold. Kid, she ain't gonna shatter if you oil her quicker," K'ane's entirely un-asked-for advice as he comes to a stop right over Linden's shoulder, peering down. "She's a pretty lil' thing."

Both Linden and Aster are startled, one flapping and squawking, the other one jerking with a grunt. Up to you who did what. "But she's so /tiny/," the teen protests, "and just…like…her arms are so little! I've snapped twigs bigger than that…" He scoops her up though, holding her in the palm of his hand. Finally he looks up. "Uh. Sir. Sorry sir. Igen's duties. Well. Ista's. But." He stops rambling, clamping his mouth shut for a moment. But curiosity gets the better of him. "We're in Igen but I'm from Ista. Whose duties do I offer?"

"She's stronger'n you think. Not all babies are, but firelizards can take more'n most." K'ane crouches down, offering a calloused index finger for the gold to sniff. "You can be careful an' still get th' job done without worryin' about breakin' her." The bronzerider's half-grin is directed to the boy. "Ista's, if that's where y'actually hail from. Whatever th' color of your knot is — that's how they taught it t'me, at least." K'ane winks, "Dhioth's and Southern's to you."

Linden watches the man crouch down, gently extending Aster towards his finger. The little gold sniffs, then licks and then tries to nibble on that finger, before she recoils from the taste with a snort. Where has that /been/?! Linden laughs, pulling her back towards him. Oil on his palm now, he carefully smoothes it over her body, using his whole hand and the little queen arches her back and hums happily. Atta boy. "Ista's then," Linden finally says with a smile. "Well met, Dhioth's. I'm Linden. Of Ista, of Oldtime High Reaches, of…kind of of Igen, sort of, but." His knot is Istan.

"A kinded spirit, then," K'ane remarks, a chuckle rumbling for the little gold's recoiling of his finger. He withdraws his hand and transitions from a crouch to a full seated sit, squinting upwards at his lifemate. "I'm also from oldtime High Reaches. K'ane," he belatedly introduces himself. "Previously of Igen, previously of Inferno, an' Ista before that. Sounds like we've got a similar resume." Then there's a — pause. "Wait. Linden, y'say?" Why is that name so familiar…

Linden looks up in pleased surprise, watching the man closely. "You are?" He was younger then of course, but. "K'ane?" Blink blink. "I'm Linny and D'ren's son." He tries to avoid name-dropping, but…in this case it might be warranted. Even necessary.

"D'ren's boy!" K'ane's grin is broad. "I'd heard he'd make it out of oldtime, but I hadn't seen him. An' now your ma's out here, too." He makes a pleased noise. "Not that I was ever close t' either of them, but. Well-met, Linden. How do y' find this," he gestures about him, "Crazy place to your likin'?" By his tone he probably is implying the whole of nowtime, not necessarily just Igen.

Linden beams, his shoulders straightening and chest puffing out /just/ a tad. Yup, he's D'ren's boy. And Linny's. "We went to Ista pretty quick after coming forward, Dad and I." Continuing with the oiling, the teen's brows furrow. "It's real different. I like Ista way better than Igen, but with everyone in mourning there now…and I'm here to look after Mom, while she's healing, and Dad's busy with wing stuff. But it's not bad here by the lake."

A face grows somber at reminder of Ista's recent loss. "First Vienn," K'ane mentions the nowtime High Reaches senior that died in Threadfall a few months back, "Now Saree." A moment of silence passes, K'ane brooding over both of them, and then he shakes his head. "How is Linny? She got scored on.. it was th' hand, wasn't it?" A shade of sympathy for the boy. "Must be hard, face-to-face with all th' things you've had t' deal with since comin' forwards." And since before coming forwards — pre- and during-Comet Pern kind of SUCKED.

Linden nods with a sigh, glancing away for a moment, oil-free sleeve reaching up towards his face. Then he looks back. "Mom's healing. Her back and her left hand. The hand was…" He winces. "Bad." He saw. He'll never forget. "But it's healing." Ever the optimist. "And she can work again so she's happy about that." As for it being hard, he drops his head down and works the oil into all her crevices and her delicate wing bones. "Yeah, it's hard. I mean both my parents are riders, so…you never know. But I've still got them both and Dad survived his scoring and Mom survived hers so." So it's all over now, right?

"Th' healers here are great at threadscores," K'ane replies, his voice serious. "They thought I'd never be able t' lift a bag of firestone again, when my back was hit. I can do almost everything I did before, now. They'll take care of her." Certainty lies within his voice, obviously intending to try to be reassuring for the boy. "Well, y'have th' right viewpoint about it," K'ane states to that last bit, nodding faint approval.

Linden nods. "They kind of have to be right?" he says, a rhetorical question. Oiling done, he lets Aster go and the little queen climbs up to nestle herself into the lined hood of his jacket, her oily body up against his neck and his ear. The teen twitches, but doesn't kick her out. It's cold outside after all! But cold oil against your skin…twitch. "When did you get scored?" he asks quietly. "The back seems like a place lots of people get hit. Like…you need to have a way to see behind you." Rear-view mirrors on dragons! He's quiet a moment. "Does…everyone get hit, eventually?"

"Not necessarily. I've seen some weyrs where people are more likely t' die than not, after bein' hit." K'ane's voice is matter-of-fact. "But here, the healers… they care." He shrugs his shoulders about his own injuries, "It's been almost a turn, now, I s'pose. It was right at th' start of the Pass." His lips twist in a twitching smile. "Not everyone. There are lucky ones. But mostly everyone, yeah. It's a rough gig." His voice is blunt, honest.

Linden nods again. "Yeah it is," he says, glancing skyward for a moment, then back to the bronzerider. "Thanks. For…y'know." His hand waves vaguely up. "So what happened? How'd you get scored?"

As if Linden's gesture somehow summoned him, Dhioth's shadow grows — he is descending from the heavens. K'ane's smile is fond. "Dhioth has never been scored." He gestures at the bronze's belly, getting larger and larger. "Eh. I wasn't lookin', and th' guy behind me had his hands full with dealing with something, couldn't let me know quick enough. Just an unlucky shot. Well. Two unlucky shots, I guess," he amends. "You're right, though. Backs are pretty common. Can't see what's comin'." There's only a slight smile at the thanks, and K'ane inclines his head.

Linden looks up when the bronze dragon descends, the teen grinning in that excitement that never gets old at meeting a new dragon. He watches, captivated, as the bronze gets closer. "He hasn't? That's good. Maybe they can just sense it better than we can?" He frowns. "What if riders wore thin bits of metal on their back? Like a shield to protect them there? I'm sure the Smiths could do something…I mean…it's metal, but…if there's metal for jewelry then there should be metal for that."

"Huh." K'ane squints at that thought. "I wonder if they do." Life through fresh eyes; K'ane would have never thought about dragons having a better sense, himself. As Dhioth lands, kicking up sand from his backwing, the bronze maneuvers to swing his nose around, considering his lifemate and his current companion. "It'd have t' be.. jointed, somehow, so y'could still bend and move." Thoughtful. Riders in armor.

Linden ducks his head to one side when the bronze lands, and then he looks up at the beast with a smile and a little nod of greeting. "Not if it was just across the back? Like a cape. Only stiffer. But not, like…a /sheet/ of metal." It makes sense in his head. "You put it on when you're mounted, and take it off before you land. Even just a shoulder thing here," and he gestures to the back of his neck and shoulders. "That'd help…"

Dhioth is finding Linden more interesting than his lifemate — perhaps predictably. It's not like K'ane is anything SPECIAL after all this time together. The big bronze pads clockwise around the pair, ending up sniffing at Linden's neck at the little oily gold perched there. K'ane watches, a little distracted from the converstion, confusion over his face. "Huh. Like… uh, guard-mail, maybe? Or a neck.. covering. It'd keep ya from losin' your head, at least." His grin is sudden and goofy.

It's impossible to ignore a giant bronze dragon circling you, but Linden doesn't seem bothered by it. He lives with dragons after all. The sniff has him twitching again with a laugh, when Dhioth's sniff sends Aster chittering and flaring her wings, which brush up against Linden's neck. "Gak! That tickles!" he laughs, body wiggling until Aster pops out to chitter at the bronze and then dive for Linden's pocket to hide. Linden flashes the bronze a grin and looks back at K'ane. "Yeah, sort of? I just…I dunno. Maybe like a tent? Oh! You could attach it to the straps! Like…" His hands reach out, gesturing. "Like behind your butt there's a spot, and the metal latches onto that spot and goes up, at an angle, and it could even cover your head, but then you couldn't see…" Hmm. The gears are turning as he tries to work it out in his head.

"Huh. Well, you could go off t' the Smithcraft, with innovation like that," K'ane slowly states after following along with the idea of the rough 'threadshield' Linden's verbally sketching off. He's eyeballing Dhioth now, "But I have t' ask. What do you think about Southern?"

Linden shrugs with a little grin. "Nah, I'm not interested in Smithing. But maybe I'll tell someone about it." This is what he does. No followthrough. "Southern? I've never been there, but it sounds real exciting. All sorts of rumors coming out of there, of like dead people and ice caverns and wild beast men. Jungles and…beaches, right?"

All kids have no followthrough, though, right? That's what DRAGONS are for. Or… more realistically, what adulthood is for. Linden has TIME. To be a kid. Or he would, if K'ane wasn't switching from eyeballing Linden to eyeballing Dhioth. "It is pretty exciting. Dead people and ice caves and… I think they are callin' 'em yetis." There's a bit of a shrug for the end there. "Tons of beaches. Like Ista, almost, 'scept the water is way more… placid." He squints at Linden: "How would you like to live there, y'think?"

Linden's brows furrow. "What's placid mean?" To K'ane's question, Linden laughs. "I've already got two different homes, why would I live in Southern too?" Live in ALL THE WEYRS.

"Placid. Like… uh… calm, I guess?" It's sad that K'ane's voice is halfway a question — probably for Dhioth. "Well. Th' only reason I ask is 'cause Dhioth here seems to think you are Grade-A Candidate Material, an' wants me to give you this," K'ane extends his palm, a white knot coiled neatly upon it, "If you think that'd be somethin' you're interested in." His voice is patient, but there's a touch of trepidation there: of anyone, Linden is best informed of the risks inherent in taking such an offer.

Linden's eyes go /wide/. Of all his turns living in weyrs dragons haven't paid him much attention. Especially not during Search. Even Aikuonath hasn't looked at him twice. Brown eyes flick to Dhioth, then back to K'ane, and then to the knot. He gulps. "I…" He's lost his words. He /does/ know what it means. He knows, if he impresses, that /someday/ he'll be scored. He'll feel that threadburn fire. His hand twitches and he bites his lip. Roslin tried to make him promise to never accept Search. She told him /not/ to. His mother's hand flashes before his eyes, but it's chased away by stolen moments captured, when he'd peek in and see his dad and Aik resting together. He gulps again, and again, trying to make sense of it all.

There is a patience in the outstretched palm, in the breath of air that flows over Linden from the resting bronze. "You don't have to," K'ane replies, his voice steady. "But Dhioth's hardly ever wrong 'bout this kind of thing. It's a lot of danger, an' it may take your life away from you earlier'n than would otherwise." His voice lists the damages, then softens at the end, the next statement made so softly than it may be more for himself than for the potential candidate: "But I would trade a thousand lives without Dhioth for one day with him."

Linden glances at the bronze, swallowing again, blinking back…dammit, there's no crying in Search! It's just all so /much/, so fast, and he's scrambling - still - to get his footing. He looks up at the rider for that soft spoken comment, and then looks at the bronze, dipping his head slightly. "I'd be honored," he whispers, more for the dragon than the rider, though his gaze darts back as he reaches out to take the knot with a shaking hand.

The smile that blossoms on K'ane's face is a rare one. Not because K'ane doesn't frequently smile - he does - but this is a smile more frequently reserved for his children and very few of his closest mentees, gentle and… proud. "Well," his voice is rough for a second before he masters it, "We'll be honored to have you, Linden of High Reaches-Ista-Igen." A more humorous smile. "Would you like me to come back for you, once you've had a chance t' tell your parents an' get your things?" It's his option, K'ane's voice offering Linden the choice. "Else we can go now, an' you can come back."

Linden curls his hand around the knot and breathes in slowly, giving K'ane a look that's one of relief. "I need to tell Mom and Dad. Mom's…" He trails off, biting his lip. He doesn't think she'll be pleased. Dad…he doesn't know. "Or Dad could bring me? If that's allowed?" There's a pause and a hasty, "Thank you, sir. Thank you. I'll do good I promise."

"Absolutely," K'ane replies to Linden's last, nodding and moving to stand. His job here is DONE, apparently, and Dhioth's breath huffs as a benediction over the boy. "If he gets tied up, you can always ask someone t' bespeak Dhioth and I'll come get y' in a jiffy." Now standing, he grins down at Linden: "Oh, kid, thank you. I know you'll do fine. When y'get to Southern, just check in with Ardstelle, show her your knot an' tell her I sent you. She'll get you all set up."

Linden scrambles to his feet and hops down off the little boulder he's been sitting on, still grasping his knot in one hand, tightly. "Thank you sir. I will." Then he straightens and snaps off s smart, proper salute. "Ardstelle. Okay. Okay." He's all emotionally wobbly right now, but what wins out is a smile.

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