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Old Oct 1 2012, 03:40 PM   #1
Vari
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Default Did Lessa need to go back?

Something I have been thinking about for a while (It's been bothering me a lot) is what would have happened if Lessa had not gone back to get the Old-timers? Would the Dragon riders have been able to survive and keep Pern safe?

I thought that if she didn't go back then there would have been six weyrs of dragons to fight thread. I was doing some calculations based on having six queens on Pern and my husband wanted to know what I was up to. So I told him. Not having read the books I had to explain everything to him (finally got him to read Dragonflight after being together for 13 years) He said that the weyrs wouldn't have necessarily been there even if Lessa had not gone back to get them. He said that diseases and low dragon production rates may have caused one of more weyrs to loose all dragons.

So I started with Ramoth and tried to make them survive knowing that they sent Prideth back to breed more dragons. If they don't send any more dragons back in time to raise they won't make it. If they send back the hatchlings they survive only if Ramoth and Prideth rise more often. I used a random number generator for the number of eggs and to tell if they have queen eggs or not. Except for known queens that Ramoth has per canon. I also decided that they lose 1-2 dragons per fall. It seems like a lot but they're new at fighting thread. I am only at 2510 but so far it seems to be working.

So my questions are:

1. If Lessa had not gone back to get the old-timers would the other five weyrs have had dragons suddenly?

2.If the other five weyrs were still empty anyway would F'lar and Lessa be able to figure out a way to keep Pern thread free? And how do you suppose they would have done it?

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Old Oct 1 2012, 04:49 PM   #2
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Default Re: Did Lessa need to go back?

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So my questions are:

1. If Lessa had not gone back to get the old-timers would the other five weyrs have had dragons suddenly?

2.If the other five weyrs were still empty anyway would F'lar and Lessa be able to figure out a way to keep Pern thread free? And how do you suppose they would have done it?

Vari

Well these questions are of the wibbly wobbly timey wimey variety. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe once something has happened on Pern, it's happened so they can both be answered in one shot. Lessa was predestined to go back in time and bring the Dragons forward, no other option exists.

If that didn't ever happen in a wibbly wobbly universe -- well you saw how the holders were reacting to have to support ONE Weyr during that long interval. It would have been pretty nasty were they supporting more. I bet war would have broken out.
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Old Oct 1 2012, 06:26 PM   #3
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Uh, nope, they all would have died. They certainly couldn't breed fast enough and they couldn't protect all of Pern. Not even when timing it to the past which resulted in their own problems (and I don't mean Kylara).

For the immense high casualty rate you need to go search out Pern Demographics. It is not a subject that we often talk about but the outcome of simple statitics will surprise you.
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Old Oct 1 2012, 09:11 PM   #4
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Default Re: Did Lessa need to go back?

Ignoring the whole thing where the Weyrs vanished because Lessa had gone back to bring them forward because they vanished because she went back because...

If the Weyrs never went forward, there would have been full Weyrs 200 Turns later, just in time for the next Pass - which never came. This was a Long Interval, and it would be another 200 years before Thread actually came. So all the problems and resentment facing Benden Weyr at the beginning of Dragonflight would have been multiplied by 6. The population of all the Weyrs would still drop to "barely sustainable" levels. I would expect that some Weyrs would consolidate once the population dropped that low. If Benden could only get tithes from three Holds out of all the Holds on Pern, how would all of them do any better?

Considering the casualties from that first flight in DF, and the utter hopelessness they faced without unexpected reinforcements from the past, I don't think it would have been much more hopeful if the Weyrs hadn't vanished.
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Old Oct 2 2012, 09:35 AM   #5
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Uh, nope, they all would have died. They certainly couldn't breed fast enough and they couldn't protect all of Pern. Not even when timing it to the past which resulted in their own problems (and I don't mean Kylara).

For the immense high casualty rate you need to go search out Pern Demographics. It is not a subject that we often talk about but the outcome of simple statitics will surprise you.
Well the only way I found to get their numbers up to an acceptable level is for both Queens to have been breeding at least two if not three times a year which is possible but they would have had to mate right after coming off the hatching sands. And we're talking at least 40 or more eggs each clutch. Then they would have had to send the dragons and riders back in time there would have been no other way to make it work. So they would have had a bunch of insane riders OR everyone would have died. Unless they were very lucky. They should have just sent Lessa back for the ten turns. She is stubborn enough to wait it out.

I will check out those demographics though Thanks!

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Old Oct 2 2012, 10:00 AM   #6
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Ignoring the whole thing where the Weyrs vanished because Lessa had gone back to bring them forward because they vanished because she went back because...

If the Weyrs never went forward, there would have been full Weyrs 200 Turns later, just in time for the next Pass - which never came. This was a Long Interval, and it would be another 200 years before Thread actually came. So all the problems and resentment facing Benden Weyr at the beginning of Dragonflight would have been multiplied by 6. The population of all the Weyrs would still drop to "barely sustainable" levels. I would expect that some Weyrs would consolidate once the population dropped that low. If Benden could only get tithes from three Holds out of all the Holds on Pern, how would all of them do any better? .
But if there had been six weyrs with six queens it would have been that much easier on the 9th pass dragons. Well I think so anyway. Assuming of course that they didn't consolidate their numbers and there were 6 queens. Then if Jora was an idiot (which she was) and didn't manage her dragon properly there would still be 5 other queens picking up the slack.

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Well these questions are of the wibbly wobbly timey wimey variety. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe once something has happened on Pern, it's happened so they can both be answered in one shot. Lessa was predestined to go back in time and bring the Dragons forward, no other option exists.

If that didn't ever happen in a wibbly wobbly universe -- well you saw how the holders were reacting to have to support ONE Weyr during that long interval. It would have been pretty nasty were they supporting more. I bet war would have broken out.
Yeah I have a feeling things would have turned nasty. On the other hand if the other weyrs had been around would the holders have even thought to stop with tithe? I mean wasn't the whole reason the holders thought there was no more thread was the fact that the other werys had been abandoned?
You are correct though according to the books if something has already happened it means it will happen again in the future there is no way to change it. But one of the things that got me thinking about this was when Lessa said to F'lar in Dragonquest something about regretting bringing the old-timers forward and that F'lar would have thought of something to keep Pern safe. Forgive me for not quoting it but I am not really sure how the quote thing works yet.

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Old Oct 2 2012, 12:10 PM   #7
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Default Re: Did Lessa need to go back?

If there had been more queens producing more clutches, the Holders would have gotten more and more angry...
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Old Oct 2 2012, 12:57 PM   #8
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I guess they could have tried Todd McCaffrey's expedient of sending the newly-Impressed greens back in time to breed. Lessa did ask F'lar why greens didn't breed, and those hatchlings wouldn't have used firestone yet. Rather a radical notion, though.
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Old Oct 2 2012, 01:04 PM   #9
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Default Re: Did Lessa need to go back?

I always wondered when the deterioration really set in, was it just after the oldtimers came forward or did it really kick in when the next pass didn't start on time? That might have an impact on what would have happened if Lessa hadn't gone forward.
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Old Oct 2 2012, 01:20 PM   #10
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But if there had been six weyrs with six queens it would have been that much easier on the 9th pass dragons. Well I think so anyway. Assuming of course that they didn't consolidate their numbers and there were 6 queens. Then if Jora was an idiot (which she was) and didn't manage her dragon properly there would still be 5 other queens picking up the slack.



Yeah I have a feeling things would have turned nasty. On the other hand if the other weyrs had been around would the holders have even thought to stop with tithe? I mean wasn't the whole reason the holders thought there was no more thread was the fact that the other werys had been abandoned?
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I'm guessing the other holds didn't tithe because they never had tithed to Benden Weyr. If the other Weyrs had continued in place, some kind of regular service for payment might have developed after the non-arrival of Thread, e.g. for occasional rides, rescues, emergency transport runs, etc. Or the Weyrs might have risked careful trips to the Southern Continent to feed their dragons (who were unaffected by the influenza plague), thus avoiding the major drain on the holds' resources.

However, I tend to agree that Lessa had to go back because she already had. Remember in TWD, when Ramoth's egg was stolen and then mysteriously returned, and the fire-lizards nagged Ruth to make Jaxom go back in time to get the egg because they knew he already had? Ow!! Brain pain.

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Old Oct 2 2012, 01:33 PM   #11
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I'm guessing the other holds didn't tithe because they never had tithed to Benden Weyr. If the other Weyrs had continued in place, some kind of regular service for payment might have developed after the non-arrival of Thread, e.g. for occasional rides, rescues, emergency transport runs, etc. Or the Weyrs might have risked careful trips to the Southern Continent to feed their dragons (who were unaffected by the influenza plague), thus avoiding the major drain on the holds' resources.
Eriflor.
I admit I didn't think about that. I always just assumed that the other holds switched their tithes to Benden once the others left, and then slowly just stopped one by one until there were just the three left doing it.

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Old Oct 2 2012, 01:40 PM   #12
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I guess they could have tried Todd McCaffrey's expedient of sending the newly-Impressed greens back in time to breed. Lessa did ask F'lar why greens didn't breed, and those hatchlings wouldn't have used firestone yet. Rather a radical notion, though.
See this is what I think they should have done. get a few greens to breed. If over half of the dragons would be the smaller dragons anyway, would it really matter? It would have helped them out greatly.

I also wonder about why Lessa had such a problem with going back in time when others don't. Fiona didn't she spent so much time in the past and from what I can remember didn't blink an eyelash at it. Kylara just wanted to go watch herself and from that it doesn't seem like she had a problem with it either. Jaxom did it all the time too and had very little trouble. It seems to me if they could have just gotten around the problems of going between times everything would have been ok.

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Old Oct 2 2012, 02:24 PM   #13
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Default Re: Did Lessa need to go back?

I think that with Lessa she timed it back to a traumatic moment and then timed it there again by accident. That would make things worse.
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Old Oct 2 2012, 05:49 PM   #14
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I admit I didn't think about that. I always just assumed that the other holds switched their tithes to Benden once the others left, and then slowly just stopped one by one until there were just the three left doing it.

Vari
That's also possible. But in that case they would have probably re-assessed the tithe and spread it over the whole planet, and then reduced the amount for each hold as the number of holds increased over the first 200 turns. Then when the Pass didn't arrive, there could have been a move to stop paying it altogether. Who knows, really? So much room for speculation.
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Old Oct 2 2012, 05:59 PM   #15
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I also wonder about why Lessa had such a problem with going back in time when others don't. Fiona didn't she spent so much time in the past and from what I can remember didn't blink an eyelash at it. Kylara just wanted to go watch herself and from that it doesn't seem like she had a problem with it either. Jaxom did it all the time too and had very little trouble. It seems to me if they could have just gotten around the problems of going between times everything would have been ok.

Vari
Todd ignored canon when it didn't fit his plot.

The dragonriders who went back 10 turns at Southern did have problems, enough that F'nor went back to warn F'lar that they couldn't stay much longer. And they could probably rest quite a bit, but eventually they had to go back to fight Thread, as far as F'nor knew at the time, and he was worried they wouldn't be in ideal condition for it.
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Old Oct 2 2012, 07:59 PM   #16
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Todd ignored canon when it didn't fit his plot.

The dragonriders who went back 10 turns at Southern did have problems, enough that F'nor went back to warn F'lar that they couldn't stay much longer. And they could probably rest quite a bit, but eventually they had to go back to fight Thread, as far as F'nor knew at the time, and he was worried they wouldn't be in ideal condition for it.
Yeah most of them had problems. Maybe not Kylara though. I don't think that wanting to go watch yourself means you have problems timing it. Other problems for certain. And I can see F'nor being really worried. I know I would be if I was in that situation.

Here is something else I just thought of though. How in the heck did the original dragon riders survive? There were 18 original (counting Marco and Duluth) plus what 6 out of the second hatching? Minus the death that would be 24 dragons and a good half were gold/gold riders who had to use flamethrowers. 9th pass they had 140 plus the 72 maturing dragons. If the original group could survive for the three years it took to start mating plus the year it would take for the first eggs to grow up why couldn't the 9th pass dragon riders? Was the original group that much more careful? What am I missing?
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Old Oct 2 2012, 09:58 PM   #17
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The first Dragonriders only had Fort Hold to protect. Yes, during training, they were memorizing Southern landmarks, but the implication I got was that with so few riders and dragons, they would only protect Fort. Plus, by the time of Mihall and Torene, still only part way through the First Pass, they had enough dragons and riders to occupy four Weyrs.
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Old Oct 2 2012, 10:44 PM   #18
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9th pass they had 140 plus the 72 maturing dragons. If the original group could survive for the three years it took to start mating plus the year it would take for the first eggs to grow up why couldn't the 9th pass dragon riders?
The key here is that the original group had a large number of queens - so when they did start breeding they got a LOT of new dragons, most likely including several more new queens. Pre-9th Pass Benden had ONE Queen. Even with an especially large clutch (which it was, compared to what hat been common) that only provided one more queen.
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Old Oct 2 2012, 10:50 PM   #19
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They depended on hydroponics and fishing for food at first. They just had to protect a small area around Fort and gradually extend it outwards from Fort as more dragons were hatched and trained, then repeat the process with each new Weyr. The dragons could go between to the southern continent and feed on wild animals and stray livestock, bringing back fruit and meat where available (see Red Hanrahan's Ford).

They would also have the use of sleds mounted with flamethrowers as long as the power-packs could be recharged.
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Old Oct 3 2012, 01:39 AM   #20
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What everyone else said. You guys know that I've already expounded on the first pass at length...

The first dragonriders wouldn't have fought full falls, they just protected the areas they needed to. They also had a larger population of fire lizards, and a handful of sleds at first - the equivalent of a single wing of dragons in total, so presumably they could cover a third of a thread corridor at least for as long as they needed.


The issues in the ninth Pass aren't the dragonriders surviving - it's the holders, and the croplands.

If Lessa's jump had failed, they still had the experiment of southern, and the protection of the grubs. Benden would have faced some hard decisions about only protecting the lands they COULD protect, and would have been forced to abandon wide swathes of the population. As for the south, that's where their hopes would be. They'd have had to visit the South to find out that it hadn't been denuded by thread - maybe by accident, a weyrling bred in the past there popping back, and finding out that the resources are still viable. Then, you'd be looking at a mass exodus from north to south - the favoured few to start with, then everyone with a boat and the will to live.
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Old Oct 3 2012, 03:38 PM   #21
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The first Dragonriders only had Fort Hold to protect. Yes, during training, they were memorizing Southern landmarks, but the implication I got was that with so few riders and dragons, they would only protect Fort. Plus, by the time of Mihall and Torene, still only part way through the First Pass, they had enough dragons and riders to occupy four Weyrs.
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They depended on hydroponics and fishing for food at first. They just had to protect a small area around Fort and gradually extend it outwards from Fort as more dragons were hatched and trained, then repeat the process with each new Weyr. The dragons could go between to the southern continent and feed on wild animals and stray livestock, bringing back fruit and meat where available (see Red Hanrahan's Ford).

They would also have the use of sleds mounted with flamethrowers as long as the power-packs could be recharged.

Ok I had forgotten about this. That they only protected Fort Hold and the surrounding farm land. And they did have the fire lizards and sleds to help out. Plus the extra food from fishing and hydroponics. Apparently I need to go back and reread Dragonsdawn again.

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The key here is that the original group had a large number of queens - so when they did start breeding they got a LOT of new dragons, most likely including several more new queens. Pre-9th Pass Benden had ONE Queen. Even with an especially large clutch (which it was, compared to what hat been common) that only provided one more queen.
Sigh, I guess there was just no way around bringing the old-timers forward. Why am I so disappointed?
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Old Oct 3 2012, 10:32 PM   #22
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The issues in the ninth Pass aren't the dragonriders surviving - it's the holders, and the croplands.

If Lessa's jump had failed, they still had the experiment of southern, and the protection of the grubs. Benden would have faced some hard decisions about only protecting the lands they COULD protect, and would have been forced to abandon wide swathes of the population. As for the south, that's where their hopes would be. They'd have had to visit the South to find out that it hadn't been denuded by thread - maybe by accident, a weyrling bred in the past there popping back, and finding out that the resources are still viable. Then, you'd be looking at a mass exodus from north to south - the favoured few to start with, then everyone with a boat and the will to live.

They must have been very surprised to find all that vegetation still intact, the first time they went back to Southern after Threadfall started.

It's strange that it took them 7 turns to discover the grubs. Maybe they thought the first Threadfall they encountered down there was the first that happened there in the Pass, and just fought Thread wherever they found it, assuming they'd simply done a really good job. Then when Thread started falling out of phase in the North, they realised they didn't always catch it, and something else was involved.
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Old Oct 4 2012, 02:08 AM   #23
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Default Re: Did Lessa need to go back?

As I recall, in "The Master Harper Of Pern", there was, then the beginning of one of the problems the dragonriders face, the belief that Thread would never come again. However, IIRC, when F'lon died, and R'gul became Weyrleader, he made the situation worse by only allowing the Weyr to go out to pick up tithes and Candidates, rather than mixing more freely with the holders as they had when F'lon (and presumably his predecessor, and his, and so on) was in charge. Meaning, from the Holder's point of view, the dragonriders only showed their faces outside the Weyr to take, and giving nothing back in return. A "we give and you take" relationship will sour most people over quite a short period of time. Add that to the gradual disillusionment, and fear created by lack of understanding. (Fallaronar (is that spelled right?) said something to younger Robinton about not having talons and a tail, soulds like the Holders had some extremely distorted views!)

And as I recall, in 'Moreta', after the plague, it was suggested that Southern be interdicted. Yes, records deteriorated durng the long interval, but the fact that Southern was still unknown territory by the 9th Pass suggests that the injunction on going to Southern, if not the reason for it, survived somehow - teaching songs, maybe, withdrawn before the events of 'Dragonflight' or distorted Records, the original reason corrupted or rendered missing due to copy errors, damage to the Records, loss of all or part, and so on.

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Old Oct 4 2012, 04:12 AM   #24
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They must have been very surprised to find all that vegetation still intact, the first time they went back to Southern after Threadfall started.

It's strange that it took them 7 turns to discover the grubs. Maybe they thought the first Threadfall they encountered down there was the first that happened there in the Pass, and just fought Thread wherever they found it, assuming they'd simply done a really good job. Then when Thread started falling out of phase in the North, they realised they didn't always catch it, and something else was involved.
They knew the grubs, but distroyed them when discovered. There was a quote in the records to "mind the grubs" that was misunderstood. So instead of taking care of them, they got rid of it.
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Old Oct 4 2012, 06:27 AM   #25
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1. If Lessa had not gone back to get the old-timers would the other five weyrs have had dragons suddenly?

2.If the other five weyrs were still empty anyway would F'lar and Lessa be able to figure out a way to keep Pern thread free? And how do you suppose they would have done it?
1. Time travel on Pern is the "Stable Time Loop" variety; where a time-traveller cannot change the past - the five Weyrs end up coming forwards simply because Lessa brought them forwards. The other form of time travel is the "Unstable Time Loop", where a time traveller can change the past - a good example of an Unstable Time Loop is in the Back To The Future series, while Harry Potter and the Prisoner Of Azkaban provides a good example of a Stable Time Loop, where Harry saves his past self and Sirius from Dementors.

Basically, what would happen would determine on which form of time travel was in use, and whether Lessa survived her trip or not - I recall musing over some possibilities in another thread: http://forums.srellim.org/showthread.php?t=8315.

Say Lessa's ride never happened: the Oldtimers would never have been brought forwards, and all six Weyrs would have remained occupied. I seem to recall that Benden Weyr's weakening authority over the years as the only Weyr - although I think the narrations indicate this also happened during the First Long Interval, where (presumably) the six Weyrs were all populated - led to hold expansion and craft innovation, as well as dragonriders being treated differently, which would result in a drastically different Ninth Pass - essentially, it's what Pern would be like if T'ron had beaten F'lar at Telgar Hold. Plus, the existence of all six Weyrs might not have resulted in a dragon shortage, which led to the establishment of Southern Weyr, which led to the discovery of Aivas and all the abandoned stakes. In addition to this - as Anareth noted on the other page - Fax probably wouldn't have been able to make his conquests - although I imagine Lessa could still have Impressed Ramoth; after all, it's known that Ruatha breeds strong Weyrwomen, and Lord Kale could afford to "lose her to the Weyr" as he had two sons to succeed him.

It should of course be noted that Benden Weyr's dangerously low numbers are not a fair representation of how a Weyr ends up during an Interval, rather, this happened due to the fact that they were the only Weyr left at this point in time; having neglected to recolonise the others for whatever reason, and suffering some unknown misfortune that led to them having very few queens - unlike the First Pass; where Fort Weyr had plenty of queens that bred quickly and soon dealt with the problem of low numbers. In any other Interval where something like this happened, a Weyrleader could call for aid from another Weyr, who would send a junior queen and some bronzes to help repopulate the Weyr - of course, that didn't happen at Igen Weyr in the Third Pass, but that's another special case; they were suffering from tithing problems due to a bad drought...plus D'gan somehow convinced the old Weyrleader to merge with Telgar; it probably made more sense to move their dragons to a Weyr that could house and feed them, rather then have the others send dragons to a Weyr that couldn't.

Of course, this set of events only works for a Stable Time Loop. If Pern worked by the Unstable Time Loop principle and Pern's dragons had somehow dwindled to dangerously low levels by the Ninth Pass, Lessa could hypothetically go back in time to get aid, although the "Question Song" wouldn't exist to clue her to do such a thing. Worse, going back to get the Oldtimers would change her past; removing more dragons from a timeline where their numbers were already failing, potentially jeopardising the timeline she came from - and potentially the existence of Ramoth (although this would create a paradox) or any other Ninth Pass dragons who could have been descended from one of the Oldtimer dragons! Unless the Oldtimer queens could lay enough eggs before old age set in, that Pern would have been doomed.

Of course, there is another scenario; the worst of all. Lessa goes back in time to get the Oldtimers, but they fail to make it to the Ninth Pass - this works with both Stable and Unstable Time Loops. What the remaining dragonriders would do - we do know that F'lar would have reluctantly made Kylara Weyrwoman - is your second question.

2. Probably just keep doing what they were already doing; send dragons back in time to various locations to grow up, and gradually start filling up the other Weyrs - it does occur to me that we are essentially seeing this scenario play out in the Third Pass books; the Weyrs have too few dragons, they are forced to send hatchlings back in time to grow up...perhaps this is where Todd got the idea? In a worst-case scenario, the dragonriders might even have ended up being forced to abandon certain lands, and shift holders into smaller areas where they could be protected better - although I can't see F'lar accepting that too easily.

However, as is noted on that page I mentioned, the continued urgency of this situation might actually have led to the discovery of the grubs sooner; since F'lar essentially stopped looking for alternate ways to fight Thread once the Oldtimers arrived to aid them. It could also be hypothesised that the Southern Continent would have been explored far sooner; with dragonriders needing more land to expand in - provided they didn't just recolonise the five Weyrs. This could have led to the discovery of the grubs, and perhaps even Aivas, if they made it to both Paradise River and Landing.

In fact, it could have even led to a Third Crossing; if too few Dragonriders existed to protect the Northern Continent, but the entire Southern Continent was largely protected by grubs, then a mass exodus to the Southern Continent could have become an option, which again, would lead to the faster discovery of the stakes.

(Hee hee hee, thinking about alternate history is such fun!)

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Old Oct 4 2012, 08:12 AM   #26
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Of course, there is another scenario; the worst of all. Lessa goes back in time to get the Oldtimers, but they fail to make it to the Ninth Pass - this works with both Stable and Unstable Time Loops. What the remaining dragonriders would do - we do know that F'lar would have reluctantly made Kylara Weyrwoman - is your second question.
Indeed. If I had infinite time and resources, this is an AU fic I've often thought of writing.

Someone has to go back, otherwise there wouldn't be a question song. But all you need is for one of those 20-odd jumps between times on the way back to go wrong, and *poof*, bye bye everyone.
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Old Oct 4 2012, 09:53 AM   #27
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Indeed. If I had infinite time and resources, this is an AU fic I've often thought of writing.

Someone has to go back, otherwise there wouldn't be a question song. But all you need is for one of those 20-odd jumps between times on the way back to go wrong, and *poof*, bye bye everyone.
I have often wondered if Lessa did die if Kylara would have been any happier with F'lar.
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Old Oct 4 2012, 10:20 AM   #28
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Then, you'd be looking at a mass exodus from north to south - the favoured few to start with, then everyone with a boat and the will to live.
Geez, that would be a great subject for an alternate history... Would be more of a war novel though, I suppose.
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Old Oct 4 2012, 02:09 PM   #29
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It should of course be noted that Benden Weyr's dangerously low numbers are not a fair representation of how a Weyr ends up during an Interval, rather, this happened due to the fact that they were the only Weyr left at this point in time.
I wonder what happened in the first Long Interval, when all the Weyrs were around and Thread never came?
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Old Oct 4 2012, 02:17 PM   #30
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Geez, that would be a great subject for an alternate history... Would be more of a war novel though, I suppose.
It would be very, very dark. Apocalypse Pern!
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Old Oct 4 2012, 08:13 PM   #31
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I wonder what happened in the first Long Interval, when all the Weyrs were around and Thread never came?
Would the Weyrs all be there? I'm looking at Dragonflight, on page 322 when Lessa has woken up after arriving in the past.

"Come? Come where my dear?" Mardra asked, confused. "You've been going on and on about our "coming", and Threads approaching, and the Red Star bracketed in the Eye Rock, and ...my dear, don't you realise the Red Star has been past Pern these last two months?" (Bold type - my emphasis.)

So, as they left not too long after that (Lessa notes that she wants to get back to F'lar and Mnementh before Ramoth is ready to rise again on page 328) we must assume that by the time the next Fall would be thought to be due, all but Benden Weyr had already gone ahead. However, as at Benden Weyr "only the Weyrleader himself was privy to these meetings" about the other 5 going forwards in time, (page 325) it is possible that in 200 years time, that that one Weyr is trying to ready itself to fight Thread, agonising over how to protect all that land...and then it doesn't come.

I would love to read that. In fact, if I felt equal to the task and wasn't suffering from writer's block, I'd try writing it. However, even with the genre I write in now (Transformers movieverse with G1 elements) I'm having problems.

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Old Oct 4 2012, 10:24 PM   #32
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No, no, not THAT Long Interval. There have been two Long Intervals - the one before the 9th Pass, and another (forget when.) Remember, two different explosions in the past in AtWoP.

We see what happened in the second Long Interval, with the Weyr becoming more and more isolated - but that was likely even more pronounced because it was just one last, lone Weyr. I'm wondering what happened in the first Long Interval, when the Weyrs remained in place, probably getting a population surge as the Red Star came close - and then Thread never started falling, and there would have been a crisis of faith...
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Old Oct 4 2012, 11:29 PM   #33
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I have often wondered if Lessa did die if Kylara would have been any happier with F'lar.
I don't know that she would have been happy/content with F'lar himself, but the two big issues she had (being second banana to Lessa and Ramoth, and being exiled to back-of-beyond Southern instead of a Weyrwoman in the North, as was the plan before the Oldtimers came back) would be resolved, so she probably would have been much less inclined to go looking for trouble. That, and with F'lar not besotted with her as T'bor seemed to be, less opportunity for her to run around making trouble without someone cracking down.

Of course some of that might have been solved simply by not sending Kylara back to Southern to run a hospital Weyr after the Oldtimers returned, whether Lessa was there or not.

One other thing they might have considered, that D'ram figured out on his own--why ten years back? The problem F'nor describes is being "two places at once", presumably from some kind of psychic echo/stress of their other selves, especially cases like F'nor and T'bor, who would not only have been doubled themselves but would have had younger Canth and Orth elsewhere on the planet ten years ago. So why not go back past the echo? D'ram, when he's in mourning and trying to hide, jumps back past a point where there would be two of him, so there's no 'echo.' Why not try the Southern experiment only up the distance traveled back in time (which also gives them a lot longer to breed up a population.)
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Old Oct 5 2012, 03:07 AM   #34
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One other thing they might have considered, that D'ram figured out on his own--why ten years back? The problem F'nor describes is being "two places at once", presumably from some kind of psychic echo/stress of their other selves, especially cases like F'nor and T'bor, who would not only have been doubled themselves but would have had younger Canth and Orth elsewhere on the planet ten years ago. So why not go back past the echo? D'ram, when he's in mourning and trying to hide, jumps back past a point where there would be two of him, so there's no 'echo.' Why not try the Southern experiment only up the distance traveled back in time (which also gives them a lot longer to breed up a population.)
Yes, I think that's the best explanation for why timing it affects people. I never understood how being in the same place as yourself twice could stress you, but it makes perfect sense if they're picking up echoes of their other selves. I think this was hinted at in one of the Third Pass books - Dragonheart, IIRC - where only dragonriders seemed to be affected by the "muzzyheadedness", and the headwoman wasn't - plus this would also resolve the problem of why Zist wasn't bothered by seeing his elder self treating an injured hatchling at Benden Weyr; it's only dragonriders that would be affected, and he didn't have a telepathic link with any creature that would become doubled.

Do you suppose that's how Kylara could afford to "spend all her time watching herself"? Neither she or her younger self would hear each other, although Prideth might have become confused by the conflicting thoughts...
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Old Oct 5 2012, 04:22 PM   #35
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Going back to where you weren't alive yet, isn't that the same as jumping forward to a time in which you are dead...? Remember Moreta?
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Old Oct 6 2012, 02:19 AM   #36
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Moreta definitely suffered less than the others did!
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Old Oct 6 2012, 06:34 AM   #37
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Well, yes, but we all know what had happened to her by that point in time...there wasn't another Orlith (or Moreta, for that matter) around to mix up her thoughts...

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Going back to where you weren't alive yet, isn't that the same as jumping forward to a time in which you are dead...? Remember Moreta?
You misunderstood me; I meant that (Future)Kylara wouldn't be bothered by timing it and watching PastKylara, since there wasn't a PastPrideth along with her whose thoughts she would hear alongside (Future Prideth). (Future)Prideth on the other hand would be hearing both FutureKylara and PastKylara's thoughts, so she would get confused...and Kylara didn't always pay much attention to Prideth's complaints, so she'd have been forced to hang around. Poor beastie.
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