A Man I Can Trust
"Would you like some klah? Juice?" Kaphrad asked as Uegot entered his
office. The Hallsecond studied the man, wondering if he was making the
"Klah, please," the big, blond secrafter replied with his customary
He was slightly curious why Kaphrad wanted to see him but not so
curious that he would open his mouth first.
The Hallsecond poured a mug and set it in front of Uegot before taking
a seat. "So you have dragonriders in your family? I hope they're
well." The life of a dragonrider was highly dangerous in this
"Yes. They're both fine. My sister just had a baby," Uegot replied
with a tone of proud uncle. He took the mug.
"Congratulations." Kapharad poured himself a mug and wrapped his hands
around it. "Boy or girl?"
"A girl. She named her Sabia," Uegot replied. He blew to his mug
before taking a drink.
"What a lovely name." Kaphrad considered his next move. "With family
at the Weyr and a crafter wife, am I correct in thinking you're not
the hidebound sort?"
"You're right," Uegot replied. "Our family has had connections to Weyr
for generations back," he told the hallsecond. He was proud of the
Kaphrad smiled. "I'm rather open-minded myself. The North seems to get
on just fine with female crafters, doesn't it?"
"Yes," Uegot replied to his short style. The look he gave to Kaphrad
did show the intelligence he usually hid before his curt replies. "And
they have no shortage of babies."
"Indeed. And the Weyrfolk of both continents are quite fruitful as
well." Kaphrad tapped a finger on the desk. "Alas we do live under
"Yes," Uegot was agreeing with him a lot. He was thinking his own
sister. Uetia had wanted to become a seacrafter. But she wasn't
allowed because she had wrong parts inside her pants. Becoming
dolphineer had been second best solution.
Everything the seacrafter had said gave Kaphrad hope, but he had to be
cautious. "And of course there are even more unpleasant things than
being denied a craft. Women forced into marriages, mistreated by their
"Boys beaten because they happen to like other boys," Uegot added and
looked Kaphrad with narrowed eyes.
"That too." Now it was time to move into more delicate territory. "Do
you ever wish you could do something about it?" Kaphrad asked.
"Of course I do," Uegot replied with soft tone. He could see which
direction this discussion was going to and felt intrigued. Still, his
face told nothing when he drank from his klah-mug.
It was like standing on the rail of a ship. Would he drop into calm
waters or be swept away on a stormy sea? "Would you be willing to risk
your position, perhaps even your knots?"
"That depends what for. If the reason is a good one..." he
deliberately left it tangling there. He was being cautious. While he
didn't worry about himself, he did have wife and children. Although,
knowing his wife, she would want to help. If Kaphrad was going to
suggest what Uegot suspected.
Kaphrad kept his outward appearance calm, though his heart beat
double-time. "Sometimes opportunities arise to help. People who need
to get out of a situation for safety, or simply for a better life. And
you have a ship..."
"_I_ don't have a ship," Uegot corrected, "my family has. My father
has whole frigging fishing fleet at his command. Of course, those are
small ships, two- three men crews." He gave the hallsecond a small
Kaphrad knew that -- he'd done his research -- but he wanted Uegot to
bring it up. "And would some of these small crews perhaps be
"Some of them, yes, but not all of them," Uegot replied with
cautioning tone. His father would know who were trustworthy and who
"You and your father would know which men to trust." Kaphrad took a
sip of his klah. "If I were, perhaps, to hear of someone in need of
discrete transport, would you be interested in providing them safe
"Of course, if they have valid reasons for that need," Uegot replied.
Neither he nor his father would agree to smuggle out criminals
escaping the law. They would be quite willing to help abused women or
gay boys who need a safety.
"You can decide that for yourself." The Hallsecond spread his hands.
"Certain people might come to you with information, and you can choose
to help or not."
"That sounds good to me," Uegot said, knowing that nobody in his
family would refuse to help a person who really needed aid.
"Excellent." Kaphrad smiled. "I want to emphasize that we need to keep
all of this unofficial. The Hallmaster would be very upset if he found
out." As much as Kaphrad didn't want to disappoint the man that had
hand-picked him to be Hallsecond, he would rather have Relik feel
angry and betrayed than continue to let people suffer.
"Of course," Uegot answered and leaned to place the now empty mug on the table.
Kaphrad stood and offered his hand. "Thank you for your help, Uegot. I
knew you were the kind of man I could trust."
Uegot nodded and shook the hand. "In cases like this, I'm happy I can help."
Last updated on the November 15th 2015