Though his plan hadn't worked quite as he'd anticipated, it had succeeded in getting Galeyrin Searched - and him too.
Tenziri quickly found a niche to call his own at Ryslen -- after all, he was right about dragonriders. Some of them were very studious brewers in their spare time... but that's a story for another time.
This bright and sunny morning found the dark-haired Tenziri and a load of other lads and young ladies picking fruit in a wild orchard south of Ryslen. The fruit were smaller and more tart that the cultivated variety, and were prized by the headwoman for sauces, spreads, and they made a nice addition to ciders. With a grin that just wouldn't quit on his face (and thoughts of cider on his mind) the 20 turn old Journeyman Vintner organized the troup.
Tenziri was a natural leader, and was quite skilled in his craft, but had a tendency to take advantage of certain situations, and to plot things out. He wasn't a troublemaker, he was just ...
"Tenziri!" a girl called from in a tree. The journeyman hurried over. She had a full carrisack in her arms, tied closed securely about the neck. "Catch!" she called, tossing the heavy sack down. Tenziri caught it, letting its weight swing in his arms before he set it down. Grinning, she climbed down, and then the pack of weyrbrats headed back.
After the fruits of their harvest had been stowed, Weyrlingmaster D'lrik called Tenziri to help him in the barracks. "They're sending you and that Galeyrin over to Talor Cliff tomorrow." The Weyrlingmaster said. "If you don't impress, we want you back, for good." he continues.
Tenziri was puzzled. Why was D'lrik saying this? Did they suddenly think that he wasn't dragonrider material? Surely this was just a test. "Of couse, Weyrlingmaster D'lrik. Ryslen's a fine place, and I'd love to stay." he said.
"Good." said D'lrik. He had a good feeling about this tall athletic young man. Being a Journeyman Vintner at his age spoke of dedication. That he didn't shirk his duty, no matter how dirty, disgusting, or totally unrelated it was to his craft spoke volumes as well.
Together, D'lrik and Tenziri moved the chests of riding gear from storage to the teaching room of the weyrling barracks. Soon enough, these things would be needed. "Ok, Tenziri. We're done." D'lrik said as they set the last chest down. "You're free until evening meal."
"Thank you, sir." Tenziri said, and turned to go. If they were leaving for Talor Cliff tomorrow, then he'd need to pack tonight.
The hatching came sooner than either Tenziri or Galeyrin expected. The sands were unbearably hot, and the eggs seemed to hatch so fast! A green picked Galeyrin, who looked so very very happy. Egg after egg hatched, and yet no hatchling even stopped to look sympathetically at Tenziri. The Journeyman Vintner wondered if Amitath had 'fingered' him for sending Galeryin out like that... sending him to the Sands to NOT impress as punishment?
Then; suddenly, it was over. Tenziri was the only one left standing on Talor Cliff's sands. Defeated, and ego-deflated, Tenziri just stood there, looking at the empty shells as everyone left, unaware of the heat seeping through his boots. Eventually, someone came to get him, but they couldn't cheer him up. D'lrik knew I wasn't going to Impress.... he knew it... and let me go anyways... Tenziri thought.
Tenziri was taken back to Ryslen Weyr, and he still went through the motions of being a candidate; but his heart wasn't really in it. After all, he'd stood, and no dragon picked him. His 21st turn-day came and went, nearly unnoticed, except for the sudden increase in the number of bubbly pies being served at dinner.
After a while, Wingleader A'ndo sidled up to him while he worked. "Tenziri... We're sampling A'lik's latest brew tonight, and we want you to come give your expert opinion. After all, we're to encourage your craft in any way we can." he said with a wink.
Tenziri was a bit startled. Was the Wingleader inviting him to a drinking party? "Isn't that against policy, A'ndo?" Tenziri ventured to ask. It was risky to imply that he was breaking regulations, but Tenziri had to be careful.
"For candidates to drink? Yes, it's a violation of weyrling rules, but being a Vintner, you're granted exception. Tiyanni and J'kosh have okay'd it, and Weyrlingmaster D'lrik will be there." A'ndo explained. "And if you can't be responsible with dealing with your own craft, then you're not the responsible young lad we thought you were." As an afterthought, A'ndo added, "and everybody knows you don't swallow when you're Tasting... that's no way to be credible... so it's not really drinking."
Tenziri thought this through. "I accept your invitation, A'ndo. Tell A'lik that I'll be glad to critique his latest batch."
At the 'party,' Tenziri gave a favorable report of A'lik's brew, and was permitted to stay, though he drank soft cider all evening while a few select riders proceeded to get overly drunk. At one point, some rider asked Tenziri if he was going to Stand again at Talor Cliff... a Queen's clutch this time... Tenziri shook his head. "I stood. I walked away alone. Why bother?" he responded dejectedly.
L'ken scoffed. "Shards, Tenziri. If A'ndo, Dri and I had had attitudes like YOURS we would've never Impressed. I stood at four Hatchings before I was asked to go to Wu Weyr and Impressed Relieth."
A'ndo nodded. "Five for me before I Impressed Alivirth at Rose Circle. And Drikara stood at five as well... and look at her lovely Kulerth!"
Tenziri sat silently. "Do you think Falora would let me come back? I mean... I failed once on their sands..."
A'ndo smiled softly. "Don't be so hard on yourself, Tenziri. Of course they'll let you try again. Just because your dragon didn't hatch from the first clutch you Stood for doesn't mean you won't Impress ever." A'ndo reached out and touseled his hair in a friendly manner. After all, A'ndo was only three years older than Tenziri. "Cheer up, ok?"
Tenziri smiled. L'ken grinned. "I'll take you over to Talor Cliff in the morning -- if you don't mind riding a white dragon."
Now Tenziri grinned. He got a second chance and he got to ride Relieth... what a day.
Does Tenziri Impress?
Note: I do not endorse the consumption of alchohol. In real life, I am too young to drink. On Pern, there IS NO LEGAL DRINKING AGE. If you're responsible in the eyes of others, then you're okay. Tenziri is a Journeyman in Vintnercraft. He's qualified to teach brewing and vinting (winemaking). If he can't drink it, he's not going anywhere in his craft. Tenziri started as a 20-turn old Journeyman, and reached 21 due to his Standing and NOT Impressing. Falora of Talor Cliff has OK'd the reference to him standing at the last hatching and NOT impressing, so don't panic.