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Securing Aid (2/2)

Writers: Avery, Emma, Heather
Date Posted: 30th December 2017

Characters: Xeladrie, Ranni, K'dee
Description: Ranni and Xeladrie take a walk to speak to K'dee.
Location: Elsewhere on Pern
Date: month 1, day 14 of Turn 9
Notes: Mentioned: Bryvin, Saibra
Notes: Part 2 of 2

}:There,:{ Vatonth told his rider as the overflew the Turquoise Bay area.

**I see it,** K'dee told his bronze. **If you can find the little one,
let her know we are coming.**

Glimmer spotted Vatonth and cheeped excitedly. She got an image from
the bronze and she passed it to her mistress.

"He's here!" Xeladrie exclaimed. The time it took for Vatonth to land
seemed forever.

"My lady," K'dee said as he slowly approached the pair. "How nice to
see you here today."

"K'dee, my duty to you and your handsome bronze. I need your help,"
Xeladrie said, clasping her hands in front of her belly. She decided
to go all in with her request. "I want to smuggle my child to the Weyr
after she's born, and I can't trust anyone else."

The bronzerider blinked in surprise , this was not what he had been
expecting at all. Yes, she had asked for his help. but he'd assumed
that it might be to take a message or two to someone that her husband
might not approve of, or fetch her something from a gather that she
couldn't get to herself, or maybe even obtain a supply of the teas
used by female riders to prevent conception.

"Ma'am," he said after a moment. "Are you sure, absolutely sure?" The
question would give him a moment or two to think if nothing else.
There could be any number of reasons she'd ask that of a rider, and
one, the one crossing his mind was that the child did not belong to
her husband. "What of your husband?"

She cast a glance over at Ranni before answering, but her maid and
friend knew what she was feeling. She'd told her already. She had to
keep trusting her. It was only K'dee's discretion she had to worry
about now.

"I did not want to marry my husband and bear his children. It's one
thing to have a son, who can inherit the Hold, or Craft, or marry as
he wills. It's another thing entirely to have a daughter, raised to be
married off like a pawn or a thing like I was,"

"If I have a girl, I want her to go to the Weyr, where she could grow
up to be anything she wanted. A dragonrider, a Headwoman, a crafter.
Anything but a holder's broodmare."

"I see," or at least he thought he did. Being weyrborn, he saw nothing
wrong in the idea of women crafting, his own mother proudly wore the
knots of a Senior Journeyman Smith, and one of his sisters aspired to
become a healer if she didn't impress. "You want her to have the
choices you didn't? that's right, isn't it?"

"Yes. And we can't tell my husband this, because he'll want a daughter
to trade off. But I'd do anything for her to not have that fate,"
Xeladrie said, sincerity in her tone, willing him to believe her.

"If you'd agree to take her, then we'd say she died. Glimmer would
send you a message. Ranni would smuggle her out to you. You'd bring
her back to the Weyr, give her to a fostermother..."

"They'd think she was mine," his thoughts were spoken aloud. "And what
would I tell the Weyrwoman, she records every arrival at the Weyr,
whether it's a baby or a new crafter transferring in."

Xeladrie paused to consider that. "Would it get you in trouble to
bring her back? I could write a letter saying I was giving her up, but
I don't want your Weyrwoman deciding to send her back to Lord Bryvin.
She couldn't decide that, could she?"

If River Bluff hadn't been destroyed, Rhosyn would have been the
authority and Xeladrie was sure that she would have kept the baby
hidden. But Xeladrie had left Sunstone for her father's hold right
after the tsunami. She hadn't *met* the new Weyrwoman that was
overseeing both Sunstone and Turquoise Bay, now. What if the Weyrwoman
didn't want to run a risk of offending a Lord Holder?

"I wouldn't get in trouble, people would think that I wasn't the first
rider who's helped out a lady in distress, or that I was taking
responsibility for my actions. " More than likely it would be the
second option, and he'd be the object of gossip and speculation, until
the next gold flight, or big threadfall came around. "I'm sure the
Weyrwoman would understand, if you wrote to her and asked her to seal
the records of her birth. Tell her what you've told me, and why. No
Weyr will turn away anyone who needs help or a place to stay during
fall, it's always been our policy."

It sounded like K'dee agreed. That he'd steal away her child, bring
her to the Weyr, let her grow up safe from Bryvin and free. The surge
of relief she felt was so strong that Xeladrie swayed and had to sit
down onto the blanket she'd brought.

"Thank you for being willing to do this," she said.

"Only if you're sure, you can change your mind at any time."

"I know I'm sure," Xeladrie told him. "Glimmer will send you a
message. Will you be able to take her /between/ or will you have to
get her to the Weyr another way? I know babies are small..."

"If she's been fed,and changed, and she's well wrapped and asleep she
should be okay for one short trip." K'dee thought aloud. A wet, fussy
baby would protest, but a well wrapped, sleeping child, carried under
his warm flying jacket should manage so long as he kept it as quick as
he could.

Xeladrie nodded. Now that she knew K'dee was willing and able, she was
feeling more confident about her decision. Things would work out. "Thank
you," she said to the bronzerider.

Then she looked over at Ranni. "Do we need to be getting back to the
Hold before they notice we're gone?"

"Yes, milady, we should be returning," Ranni had been sitting just
behind her ladyship as she spoke with the dragonrider. The plan made
her nervous, but she would do anything to help Xeladrie accomplish it.

"I should return to duty also," K'dee said. "Please let me know if
there is anything else I can do."

"Glimmer will send you a message if we think of something," Xeladrie said.

Last updated on the January 1st 2018

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