With his long dark hair pulled back in a leather thong, he looked quite a bit like his older brother, such that visitors to Ryslen did not always realize that he wasn't Jetiyan until much later. Just then, young Jeyann bounced into the playroom. "Jeky!" she said in a joyous childlike laugh, and flung herself at him. He was five turns older than she was, but he got along with her much better than with Tiyoshi, who was a mere turn older than he was. It was ood, but he didn't mind much. "Mother wants to see you in her office." Jeyann said. "Better hurry. Father's there too."
Jekyann hugged his little sister, and headed for the door. "I'll be back to play when I'm done with whatever they want me for, Jey."
In the Weyrwoman's office, Tiyanni and J'kosh were chatting idly until their youngest son walked in. "Ah, there you are Jekyann." J'kosh said, greeting his boy cheerily.
"Hello Father, Mother. Jeyann said you needed me?" He said, standing still and straight there before Tiyanni's massive desk.
"Indeed. One of the riders brought this back from Navi just now, and we thought you might enjoy having it." Tiyanni said with a smile, lifting onto the desk what was clearly an egg pot from where it had been obscured from view.
Jekyann stood quietly. "A firelizard! For me?"
J'kosh smiled. "We couldn't think of anyone better. You're a responsible young man, and we thought a small winged companion might just be the right sort of 'badge of honor' for someone your age."
Tiyanni held out the clay pot towards him. "It will be hard enough to hatch in a few days - you know what to do with it until then, don't you?"
Jekyann gingerly took the pot, which was heavier than it looked. "Keep it by the hearth so it stays warm, and turn it often so it warms evenly. And have meat handy when it hatches." He said calmly. Oh how he'd wanted a firelizard! A little critter... 'I'd wager Jetiyan knew about this!' he thought to himself.
He did. a voice said softly in the back of his mind. In his excitement, Jekyann didn't register that he'd heard the dragon speak at all.
"I'll go put it in my room right now." He said with a happy grin. "Is there anything else you want, or may I go play with Jeyann?"
"Go play." Tiyanni said with a smile. "Childhood ends so fast."
J'kosh smiled secretively. "Perhaps you could read a story with her?"
Jekyann smiled. "If that's what she wants to do. Thank you ever so much!" And then he was off.
* * *
Jeyann was still in the playroom when he returned, playing with plush runnerbeasts. "Hi! What was it?" She asked cheerfully.
"A firelizard egg." Jekyann said happily, and sat down near her on the floor.
"WOW!" Jeyann exclaimed, forgetting all about the toys. "What color is it?"
"It didn't hatch yet, Jey." Jekyann said with a smile.
"Oh. Okay." She said, feeling a bit silly for not realizing it wouldn't hatch the instant he got it. "Will you read me a story?"
Jekyann grinned. "I'll read a story with you, if you like. Go pick one."
Sure enough, Jeyann returned with a battered copy of a story they'd all loved when they were young, about a young man who was always kind and helpful who grew up to be a dragonrider. Along the way, he'd had quite a few adventures, and those were always exciting.
* * *
A few more days passed, and Jekyann was writing a letter to his sister Tiyoshi, to tell her about his newly acquired firelizard egg, and to find out if she still was feeling down like she'd been that day in the lounge. Noise by the hearth brought his attention away from his careful writing. The egg pot on the hearth was rattling! Jekyann quickly and calmly took the meatrolls remaining from his midday meal and moved to the hearth. He quickly poured out the sand and the egg, and just watched in stunned silence as the smooth creamy ovoid danced there on the hearthstone.
After a moment, the shell seemed to decorate itself in lacy patterns, and then fall to pieces. The tiny green flit complained shrilly, and Jekyann offered a piece of meatroll to her. He was delighted! He had a firelizard. The thought of disliking her because she was green never crossed his mind.
With a contented hatchling cradled in one arm, Jekyann finished his letter. 'She just hatched; a darling green. Her name is Keepa - for a keeper she certainly is.' Laying Keepa gently on the bed, he folded and sealed the letter, and tucked it in his belt before picking up the new green flit again. Now to find a messenger...
* * *
Jekyann stormed back into the Weyr with the runner laughing at him. What did he mean, Abri Weyr didn't exist? If it didn't exist, where was Tiyoshi? He almost ran into J'lenn in the hallway. "Sorry..." he muttered angrily, and made to keep moving.
"What's wrong there, Jekyann?" the searchrider asked.
Jekyann looked up at him then. "You lied. Tiyoshi's not at Abri! I want to know where she is!"
J'kosh was taken aback. "Of course Tiyoshi's at Abri. I took her there myself."
"The runner says there's no such Weyr! You made a joke of me J'lenn! I hate you!" He yelled in a childish fit of rage.
"No, that was your doing." J'lenn said calmly.
If his arms hadn't been full of hatchling firelizard, Jekyann might just have hit the bluerider. "Prove it then! Take me to where Tiyoshi is!"
J'lenn had no other option. "Go pack some things then. Likely the searchdragons of Abri will want you to stay once we get there."
Jekyann stormed off without another word - without indicating that he'd heard. J'lenn sighed and went to tell Tiyanni that her son would be leaving - the fourth child to leave Ryslen in a fortnight. He was sure she would not be pleased.
* * *
As Scith circled to land at Abri, Jekyann looked around. "J'lenn!" he yelled over the wind. "Is this the right place? The dragons here are the wrong colors!"
J'lenn didn't answer, but Scith did. It's the right place, Jekyann. Trust me.
J'lenn dropped him off with D'ari, whose black-blue Myth confirmed he would be a good candidate, and then J'lenn was off. Before Jekyann could find out that his sister wasn't there yet. It was all very confusing. She'd left a sevenday ago, why wasn't she here?
* * *
Jekyann was feeding Keepa in the dining hall when D'ari announced the arrival of another candidate. He looked up to see his sister there dressed in the same clothes as when he'd last seen her. He was on his feet in a moment, with Keepa cheeping protests at him the whole way. Tiyoshi was a bit dazed, but since she knew they'd been taken forward in time, she quickly explained it all to her brother, and they both were secretly pleased that they weren't alone in this future time.
Of course, one question lingered in Jekyann's mind: What would become of Jeyann with them gone ahead?
* * * Jekyann and Tiyoshi @ Abri
Jekyann is a candidate at Abri Weyr.
The fantastic flit is from Cy Dragonstake.