Thread: Fan Fiction: The Skyboom (v2 - rewrite)
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Old Sep 24 2008, 11:49 AM   #4
D. M. Domini
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Join Date: Aug 2007
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Fan of: Afra Lyon, and Robinton!
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Default Re: The Skyboom (v2 - rewrite)

Chapter Four

"Did we ever go through all of this?" Menolly asked Sebell, as she sat on the floor of one of the archive rooms, in particular the room dedicated to Robinton, scrolls arranged into loose heaps in a way that would make Arnor, the Master Scrivener, cry.

"We stopped, if I recall, shortly before Lessa was found on Search. Little that happened before then is relevant in an everyday sense these days. I've been poking further back when occasion warrants it, but that applies to Gennell and the Masters before him as well. I wonder if I'm going to generate half as much archive material by the time I'm done on this planet," Sebell mused.

"Some of these have blots," Menolly remarked. "We can probably consider any material I haven't cried upon as unread."

Sebell started to laugh. "Oh, Menolly..."

"I can't believe I didn't recognize him," Menolly said, and her voice broke so unexpectedly in the middle of the words, that her hand flew to her throat. "I'm sorry, I don't know why I'm reacting to it all now..."

"Don't worry, I feel the same way. And I'd say you recognized him well enough to bring him upstairs and come flying in to tell me just who you'd just found wandering the Hall."

"No. I mean...I stood there talking to him, like I might with any stranger who'd just had a startle from one of my fair," Menolly said. "I mean, the similarities are there--the voice should have been a dead giveaway, especially when he started making those eloquent little jokes."

"Eloquent little jokes?" Sebell teased.

Menolly blushed. "You know," she accused. "But it didn't really hit me until I realized he hadn't a clue what firelizards were, or why they were in the Hall, and that he thought the Masterharper was still Gennell. When he mentioned Gennell, that's when I saw, that's when I realized. I had a thought, half a thought before that perhaps he was...a son, a son we hadn't known about--"

"--that wouldn't happen," Sebell said confidently.

"I know that, but when you come across a young man who has physical similarities to someone you know very well, what is the usual cause of that? Time-traveler, or the man's offspring?"

Sebell's mouth twitched. "I would vote for time-traveler," he said.

"Ha. Well, you're Masterharper," she said. "From down here in the rank-and-file I would say offspring. I'd be wrong in this case, but how many other cases would I be right on?"

"You never knew him when he was younger, and still had dark hair, Menolly," Sebell said. "I did."

"White hair doesn't make that big of a difference," she pointed out.

"No, but twenty Turns do. Ugly fellow, these days, isn't he?" the man asked mischievously.

"He is not ugly!" Menolly protested, to Sebell's laughter. "He is not!"

"Silvina always said he looked better when he got older..."

"Be that as it may, he's not any uglier than you are!"

Sebell winced. "Ouch!"

Menolly relented. "Neither of you are ugly...but it's strange seeing him with such a young face. I kind of want to reach over and tug on it."

"Shards, Menolly!"

"Well, you know. So it's in the right shape. His cheeks don't look right. You don't want to give them a little tug, to sort of re-arrange them?"

"Not particularly," Sebell said, screwing up his mobile face to give her a look.

"Oh, you."

"Don't 'oh, you' me. You're the one that wants to pull on his face like it's taffy."

They both paused, after that, looking at each other, and almost immediately broke into laughter.

"Are you imaging his face if he heard us discussing this?"

"I am." Sebell laughed to himself again, the sound almost silent.

They dug through the old files for a while after that without saying much--mostly due to the specter raised in both of their minds...of Master Robinton, their Master, walking in on them during such a ridiculous conversation.

"He never said anything to you, during that thing you did with Jaxom, about this?" Sebell asked after a while.

Menolly shook her head. "Nothing at all. Not during, not after, not even the few times we again discussed going between time. He had...numerable...openings. It's unlike him not to take them."

"And, as far as you're aware, since he's here now, he had to have experienced whatever he's here to experience in his youth?"

Menolly nodded. "That's how I've always understood how it works. F'lar and Lessa didn't really say anything to contradict." She quickly unrolled some scrolls, glanced through them, and rolled them back up again. "Perhaps he had memory loss, and forgot to tell us."

"Perhaps it's not really him, but his son, coming between through time. Then, we'd both be right!"

"Ha. But we've already confirmed that F'lon is F'lon. Why would his passenger, whom he calls 'Robinton', not be Robinton? And anyway--young or not, even if I was uncertain at first or not--it is him!" Menolly said.

"Indeed." Sebell rubbed his chin, then rose from his own spot on the floor and started pigeonholing all of the scrolls and hides he'd found no clues in. "There is the thought that perhaps he meant not to tell us. Or that he planned to be alive when it happened, but hidden behind us so he wouldn't have to get close enough to himself to fall ill like dragonriders do when they get too near to themselves."

"That still leaves enough questions open--enough to make my head hurt," Menolly said. "Maybe they will be able to successfully go between in a sevenday. Maybe we will decide to ask them not to go wandering about, and they will agree. If so, if Robinton has spent less than a full sevenday here, without really learning much more than that Thread does exist, there wouldn't have been a reason for him to say anything to us about it, would there be? That would fit; he never told us, because it wasn't very interesting and he knew we'd ask him to do this anyway. No point in making it even more complicated."

"I hate leaving him in the dark on purpose, though."

"Yes," Menolly said. "But, Robinton told me a long time ago about Lessa's journey to bring the weyrs forward, and never once indicated that he had any inkling of how things would turn out at the time. Do you think Robinton could have been acting the entire time? With me, and with F'lar?"

"He might have the gall to try. But I'm not sure he could pull it off. I'm not sure anyone would be able to pull that off; lying to F'lar's face while everyone was simultaneously having a nervous breakdown, wondering if the only Queen left was dead or not? That would be very...dedicated...acting. I say he didn't know."

They were quiet for a while, moving hides around and scanning them to see if something about between or future events or anything remotely related was ever mentioned.

"So we keep him in the dark?" Menolly asked. "Unless we find something conclusive in this moldering pile of hides?"

Sebell sighed. "It's probably the best course. For his own good. And for the good of his future to come. And the simplest explanation would be that he just never saw much of anything. Not everything turns out to be a conspiracy."
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