Part 17

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Missa paused for just a minute before she could bring herself to go into the meeting room. She dreaded seeing the faces of the people that were bound to be in there. A small pop sounded above her and Dawn swooped down and wrapped herself around Missa's neck. She took a deep breath and rolled into the room.

"Missa, please take a seat," K'van said. Missa pulled herself up into a chair at the table. K'van, Adrea, J'gol and another dragonrider she didn't recognize all sat at the table.

Tears welled up in her eyes. "I'm so sorry-"

K'van held a hand up. "We understand, Missa. We gathered here so we can talk about your future. The irresponsibility of what you've done is serious and worrying. It says that you are not mature enough to handle as much freedom as you've been given. J'gol and I take full responsibility for that. So the question is what do we do with you until you are responsible enough to handle the freedom that comes with having a dragon you can /between/ with."

"We've given a lot of thought to this. You will still do elevator duty. We may have you do transport duty depending on the circumstances, but the most important part of the rest of your training will be for the one part of your duties that will continue on after you've received your knots."

J'gol indicated to the older dragonrider that Missa did not know.

"This is R'veni. He's one of three watchriders we have here at the weyr. You will be assisting him and the other watchriders in their duties so that you learn what to do and what's expected of you."

"It is good to finally meet you, Missa," R'veni said. "Though I'm sure you'd rather had been under different circumstances. J'gol and I will come up with a schedule for you to follow. Being watchrider means you keep odd hours and experience profound boredom but all in the name of keeping the weyr and the surrounding areas safe. Do you have any questions?"

"No," Missa said. Her stomach felt sick. She hadn't thought she'd be doing watch duty so soon. It seemed so boring and R'veni just confirmed that. There was no use in protesting though. It was a punishment well deserved at this point.

"Join me after nooning meal so I can have you meet the other watchriders and we can talk about what kinds of things we'll have you do," R'veni said.

"I'll be there," Missa said.

"Now, as to the matter of weyrlings /between/ing without permission, that is a very serious offense. It was compounded by the fact that you helped another weyrling who had not been properly prepared for jumping," K'van said. "Kila or her dragon or both could have died, and had we not found her when we did that likelihood would have increased as we struggled to find her."

"Is she ok?" Missa said.

"Yes," K'van said. "But only just. Sucath came out too close to a treeline near Southern Hold and Kila was knocked unconscious as Sucath avoided a collision with a tree. Sucath herself sustained a wing tear. Thankfully or not, they were close to the ground and Sucath was able to land without making the tear worse or dropping her rider."

Missa covered her mouth with a hand. She didn't want to let out a sob in front of all these important people. Kila could have been killed, or seriously injured. And it was all thanks to Missa desperately wanting Kila's friendship.

"Missa, since you were the one who told us where to look so we could get help to her so quickly, we're going to set aside the usual set of punishments for behavior unbecoming a dragonrider. But I want you to learn this lesson well. Going /between/ is not something to take lightly. It has serious consequences for those that misuse their dragon's ability. No more going /between/ without J'gol or I's permission, which will probably not be until after you've gained your knots. If you've no other questions, you can go now."

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