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A Special Request

Writers: Heather, Miriah
Date Posted: 23rd September 2019

Characters: T'kev, Karhal, Melandra
Description: T'kev has a special request of Karhal.
Location: Amber Hills Hold, Dragonsfall Weyr
Date: month 12, day 23 of Turn 9


T'kev
T'kev
Karhal
Karhal

"Is that it then? You're going to screw up one time and just quit?" Melandra asked with a raised eyebrow as she took in T'kev's slovenly appearance. After he had failed to show up for his shift in the infirmary she had been sent to check on him. It had not surprised her to find him smelling like booze, not when the whole Weyr knew what had almost happened to R'axe.

"I'm not a healer. I tried to tell you lot that before." T'kev said, rubbing a hand over the stubble on his face.

Melandra rolled her eyes and sat forward in her chair. "Quit being dramatic. What happened with R'axe wasn't your fault. You can't teach a newly blind man all the things that a person blind for life has known for Turns in just over a fortnight."

T'kev knew that, the reasonable part of his brain told him so, but the other part, the part that had been hurt by R'axe's anger was harder to persuade. "You didn't see him afterwards."

"No, but I saw him today. He asked where you were."

"He did?" T'kev's eyes flicked up to hers.

"Yes. He did. Just because someone gets frustrated or mad with you doesn't mean you quit," she said softly but firmly.

T'kev let out a slow exhale. "Fine, but I'm not going back to help him until I work a few things out."

Melandra's eyes narrowed a little as she tilted her head. "Like what?"

"You'll see."

--

It had been a while since T'kev had traveled outside of Dragonsfall,
and he had probably been half buzzed even then, so he had forgotten
the beauty of Amber Hills Hold. The trees and foliage along with the
beautiful river made the location ideal, he thought. Jeminath bugled
a greeting to the watch dragon that was patiently serving duty at the
hold. T'kev squinted and saw the dragonrider's rider was waving his
hand in greeting and so he returned it with a wave of his own before
Jeminath landed them in the courtyard.

T'kev pulled off his riding helmet and smoothed his hands through his
black hair before dismounting. He could tell from the shy look of the
boy watching him that this was probably the youngster who had been
sent to take him to his destination. "I'm here to see Captain Karhal?"

"Right this way," the boy said, although his eyes never left
Jeminath's blue hide.

"Thank you." T'kev said as he followed the youth.

Karhal stood waiting at post, his hand light on Livie's side. The
canine watched with intent interest at the approach of both man and
boy, eyes alert and watchful as they grew near; Karhal's eyes showed
little difference in their intensity, but was more outwardly relaxed.
"Karhal, Captain of the Guard. Blue rider T'kev, am I correct?"

"That's correct," T'kev said, extending his hand to the guard captain.
"Thank you for agreeing to meet with me."

"You're welcome." He took the rider's hand, shook it briefly, then
considered him. "I understand that you are interested in a trained
canine? I was a bit surprised; Weyrs typically don't employ our
canines. They've no need of them."

“Well, traditionally that is true,” T’kev conceded, looking down at
the canine’s sharp, intelligent eyes. “There’s a dragonrider who lost
his eyes in Thread and while his dragon his helpful to him outside, he
needs help getting around inside the Weyr where there are stairs and
other hazards. I know your animals are for protection but I was
wondering if you think they could be trained to be a man’s eyes?”

With his previous experience at the Weyr, Karhal was not inclined to
help another rider, but the thought of the request intrigued him. He
frowned, considering it for a long moment. "Canines that we breed here
are intelligent and learn well. But understand, I train canines to
track and guard, not to guide." He held up a hand. "However, I think
it could be possible. I just simply do not know how it would be done."

"Well, I have experience helping blind people, so I can lend
information in that area, if that helps. The canine would need to be
able to take the man from one place to another, or pull up and stop if
something comes in front of it. I'm not sure what kind of training
that would entail, but I'll pay you for the time and for the animal if
you think it can be done." T'kev promised, hoping that the man would
not refuse. He had not told R'axe about his plan yet, he was hoping
for it to be a surprise, if and when it happened.

"That would have to be worked out with Lord Zathris. Most are his
canines, except for my canine's get and bloodline and they're in high
demand from other holds. Any deal would have to be worked out with him
as well as any time I might spend on the task, if it can even be
done." Karhal sighed, rubbing the back of his neck. "If Lord Zathris
will agree, and you or the Weyrleadership might have to approach him
on this, then I'll need an exact list of duties that you are wanting
to have this canines do and what will be expected of it. Training like
that needs to start as a pup and it might take a turn or more to get
that done. It's nothing that will be immediate."

A whole Turn? R'axe did not have a Turn, T'kev thought, even though he reasonably knew that such training was not an easy thing. "Okay, that's something I need to think on then and consider." Maybe a firelizard would be better, T'kev mused, but unless they had the fortunate of getting R'axe a brown, bronze, or gold, then he wasn't sure if the green and blue flits would be intelligent enough to do what was needed. "Thank you for your time, Captain. If this is the best route then I will speak to leadership at Dragonsfall to ask permission of Lord Zathris." T'kev extended his hand for another shake, grateful for the holder's time.

Karhal took his hand and inclined his head, recognizing the disappointment. "I wish I could give you a better answer than that, but I've never heard of it being done. If Lord Zathris approves, then I'll do my best."

"I understand. Thanks, again," T'kev said inclining his head toward the Guard Captain before turning on his heel and walking back to where Jeminath was waiting.

}:Not the outcome you were looking for?:{ Jeminath asked, reading his rider's emotions.

**Not exactly but I'm not done yet. I'm going to send some letters out to all of the healers that I know and see if anyone else has done this.** T'kev said as he vaulted up to the blue's neckridge and strapped himself in.

Last updated on the November 1st 2019


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