A'dryn sat down next to his wingmate. "I got another letter from my
sister, so I suppose that mean she got my message that I moved to
Dolphin Cove." His parents had never tried to contact him, not even
after the disaster. Certainly they would have heard about the
destruction of an entire Weyr, and the fact that they didn't even care
enough to ask if he was alive...
No, best not to think about that.
"What does she write you about?" A'vel asked.
"How she and her husband and chlldren are doing. Notes about the crops
and animals, the weather, things like that." A'dryn sighed. "It's all
a bit distant, but at least it's _something_."
"Have you gone to see her in person?" The distant letters sounded
better than none, he thought.
"No, I don't think I'd be welcome. She's never offered and my parents
don't know we're writing each other. If I showed up news would
certainly get around and I don't think it would go well." Sometimes
A'dryn wondered if it might be easier not to communicate with her at
all so he could try to forget about his family.
"I know the feeling. Do you hate that your family doesn't seem to
care? Do they not write?"
A'dryn shook his head. "Only my oldest sister. She married a minor
holder so she's not completely under my parents' thumb. My parents
created a quite a scene at the Hatching and I haven't heard from them
since." His stomach turned just thinking about it.
A commonality they had between them. A'vel felt his chest tighten as
he remembered his father's scene at his own Hatching. He knew the pain
A'dryn felt; he'd lived such a scene as well.
"My father did that, as well. We haven't spoken since. I sent letters
home, just to tell them I made it...nothing. Sometimes I think they
hoped I died in training or 'fall so they don't have to live with the
shame of having a greenriding son."
On impulse, he reached out for A'dryn's hand. "But we know we're
better than that."
A'dryn nodded and managed a faint smile. "I'm sorry you had to go
through that too."
"It was really rough, but I lived. I'd rather have Tsogath and not my
father, than not have her. Though I was thinking of dropping in to
visit my parents..." He half-shrugged.
"Just showing up?"
"Yeah. There's something I have to investigate. I can only find out if
I go home."
A'dryn tilted his head. "Oh? What is that?"
"My father might have had another child besides me. My mom wouldn't
know about it. I don't know for sure yet..." he said.
"Your father might have been unfaithful?" A'dryn asked. Not long ago
he would have found something like that shocking, but now he only
considered it deeply disrespectful to those it hurt.
"I've got no idea. See, I found someone here who might be a
half-brother of mine. We found out our dads have the same name. So I
want to know if the timeline matches up, and if it's just a weird
coincidence in the name and I'm making too much of it. But I can't
find anything out if I don't ask him, and doing that means I have to
_see_ him, and..."
A'vel then realized he was babbling, and said, "Sorry, I didn't mean
"Oh, no. This is very interesting," A'dryn said. "If you'd like
someone to go with you, I'd be happy to help. As moral support, I
"Would you really?" A'vel asked. T'kala had offered to go to a concert
with him and that was one way to go back to the Hall. But going back
to see his family would be different...
"Yes, absolutely. This is quite important. You could have a brother at
the Weyr, which means you'd have a family member that would talk to
you. That would accept you," A'dryn said. "You must find out."
"It would be a good outcome. But I need to find out sensitively,
because I don't want to break my ma's heart by telling her about it,
you know? She was so sad she only ever had me." A'vel sighed.
"I did always want to have siblings, though. I wondered what they'd be
"Good and bad." A'dryn said with a shrug. "Siblings can be your best
friends or your worst tormentors."
"Was your sister the best friend kind? The one you're writing too?"
"She used to be." A'dryn looked down, pain squeezing his heart. It had
been hard when she married and left the hold. It was harder now with
awkward, infrequent letters the only thing between them. It was
obvious that she disapproved of him riding green and what that meant.
But she was also writing to him against their parents' wishes.
"She's still talking to you, so that's something, right?" A'vel asked.
"Do you have others who don't write?"
A'dryn nodded. "My brothers, my other sister." It was hard to be
suddenly cut off.
"Maybe over time they will." Hope could spring eternal, right?
"Perhaps your family will come around, too," A'dryn said.
"Maybe. And until then, we can be friends and family if we want.
Weyr-family." Which would be good.
That made A'dryn smile. "Yes, I'd like that. We can't choose our blood
relations, but we can choose each other."
"I think that's my favorite thing about the Weyr, is being able to
choose anything I want. Who I want to be friends with, who I want to
court, who I want as my family. I never could have imagined this in a
A'dryn nodded. "I wouldn't give this up for anything. Even if I didn't
have Nalarith, I still wouldn't trade Weyrlife for my family's
"That's a good way of thinking. I don't think I would either."
Last updated on the December 23rd 2017