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In the Archives

Writers: Yvonne
Date Posted: 3rd May 2019

Characters: Jakin
Description: Jakin decides to look through the Archives -- his favourite place
Location: Sunstone Seahold
Date: month 10, day 26 of Turn 9
Notes: Taril, Polson/Olov


Jakin hated Archives. The smell of old hides, paper and ink might have been pleasant to some, but he found it had a soporific effect. The number of times he’d been yelled at or his knuckles slapped for dozing off in the warm, stale room when he was an apprentice at the Harper Hall…

The Journeyman grimaced. It wasn’t a good memory. But he was a Harper now none the less. Jakin adjusted his blue tunic and slouched into Sunstone Seahold’s archives pretending like he belonged there. It was true that sometimes he did a little side research for holders wanting to know more about genealogy or past trends in cargo and prices so that they could forecast their yields for the next Turn, so he wasn’t an unfamiliar figure there. Just an unlikely one.

Sunstone’s Archives weren’t that much different than those in the Harper Hall. Just smaller and not quite as well kept-- not that the state of Sunstone's Archives was bad. It just wasn’t up to the obsessively precise standards in the Harper Crafthall. **Got to keep those Journeymen Harpers busy somehow,** Jakin thought. **They don't do anything else.** His lips twisted into a mean smile.

His petty thoughts did little to distract Jakin from his discomfort at being there. Too many memories, too great a sense of failure. It made the flask he carried feel like it was burning a hole in his pocket. As soon as he entered, the harper shuffled behind the nearest of the stacks, slipped it out of his pocket, and took a surreptitious swig. The alcohol was harsh and burned all the way down his gullet, but it was a familiar, welcome sensation that chased some of the failure away. Jakin put the flask away and started to look forward to the delicious fuzziness that booze brought. It made boring tasks like this more palatable.

The Hold kept a decent record of comings and goings. Once a month or so the Harbourmaster and the Steward would send their records to the Hold for safekeeping. But this was a Seahold, and the Harbourmaster for certain couldn’t see everyone that came through. Still, it was a good a place as any to start searching for signs of Guardsman Polson for Taril. He pulled the ledgers with the appropriate range of dates off the shelf and settled himself on one of the high stools to go through them one at a time. Someone would have recorded Polson’s entry into the Hold. A giant, hairy beast of a man like wasn’t the sort to slip under the radar…

...still, better to start out with another drink first. **To steady the mind,** Jakin told himself. He looked around to see if anyone was watching, then made an imaginary toast to the Archivists who’d trained him. **Screw you, you bastards.**

Screw Taril, too, for asking him to do this. Jakin took another swig from his flask for good measure and then settled in to his task.

Four candlemarks later he emerged, half-sozzled and entirely unsuccessful. Whoever Polson was, his arrival hadn’t been catalogued by the Harbourmaster or the Steward’s office. Either Daric had gotten the date of Polson's arrival wrong or something else was going on.

Either way, Jakin had something to report. He belched, resolve wavering between going to speak with Taril and the lure of the tavern. The tavern won. He shoved his meager notes into his pocket and started weaving his way down to the docks for another drink. He deserved it for all the hard work he'd just done.

Last updated on the May 3rd 2019


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All references to worlds and characters based on Anne McCaffrey's fiction are © Anne McCaffrey 1967, 2013, all rights reserved, and used by permission of the author. The Dragonriders of Pern© is registered U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, by Anne McCaffrey, used here with permission. Use or reproduction without a license is strictly prohibited.