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Old Feb 19 2005, 03:21 PM   #17
sailorchk's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2004
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Fan of: Nerilka's Story
Now Reading: Crown of Slaves by Weber/Flint
Default Re: Why was Lessa's talent at hearing dragons important?

Originally Posted by Hans
Say, sailor, an idea here... maybe we would need to look at how easy a concept or idea can be made clear using two dragons who are notoriously bad in some forms of communications (like abstract... tactics?) and who have difficulty with the concept of time and often puzzled (examples enough) by what humans think and do...
By the time riders engage threadfall, they're rather like an army in the air. They have to go where they are told to go, when they are told to, and that doesn't take a lot of abstract thought. If they did need to relay something complex, they'd have just as much trouble relaying it to Lessa or understanding it from Lessa.

Now if Lessa could tell a wingleaders dragon to tell the wingleader exactly what she tells him that would at least elimnate one dragon from the communication line which we could establish as an advantage.
But that's precisely my point. No dragons are eliminated from the communication line; in fact, another person is added--Lessa.

Here's an example using F'nor as the end contact:


That's three intermediate steps to get a message from F'lar to F'nor (and presumably his wing.) Having Mnementh speak directly to Canth eliminates one step and thus one possible point of message degredation.

As has been said before Lessa could also be someone who gathers information from others, collates, analyses it and then uses her sense and wisdom to give further instructions on what she knows.
I see. But it's F'lar who is supposed to direct the Weyr's efforts in fighting Thread. Not Lessa--and she has absolutely no training on how Thread is fought. It's F'lar who should be directing the Wings, F'lar who knows when and where he wants reinforcements and supplies--not Lessa. At best, she's a link in the fighting communications chain at the point in the story we're talking about. At worst, she does what she thinks is best based on her limited knowledge and experience.

And F'lar must aso have thought that, if Ramoth was the only queen and thus not allowed to fight thread, he would have a comfortable means of communication with his weyr while at the same time able to utilize ALL dragons including weyrlings, in the fight. I suppose he might have been thinking that Lessa could coordinate er... replenishment of firestone sacks for instance, in other words, as a go between, between the non riding (but essential) Weyr personnel and the fightin dragons?
But that's not what he said he wanted to use her for; he wanted much more. And replenishing firestone sacks doesn't take a whole lot of coordination, at least for the non-riders. Returned sack empty, fill sack. The weyrlings ferrying stone would have needed guidance, but still, it's F'lar and the fighting dragons who know where they are needed. Perhaps the only really useful thing she can do is decide which weyrling goes next so that Mnementh doesn't have to talk to them all.

Just a few thoughts, these. Remember F'lar was obsessed with numbers and getting everybody to be able to fight or contribute because he expected to have to defend Pern with only the Benden riders! Wen Lessa pulls of her stunt getting the oldtimers forward there were dragons to spare and dragons could even be stationed at advantageous points for communications etc.
Perhaps it's just that the records assumed Weyrleaders would always know how to communicate with their wings, and F'lar couldn't figure it out on his own. I suppose the oldtimers taught him when they came forward.
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