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Old Apr 7 2008, 09:25 PM   #1
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Default What if. . .

Now here is a question that I've been wondering about for a while. . .


What if someone who had already Impressed a dragon sustained an injury bad enough to disable them physically? Obviously, the dragon would still be with them. I realize that the original colonists who came to Pern were genetically screened, so there is little chance of a baby being born with a disability. However, life on Pern in general, and dragonriding in specific isn't exactly the most cushi-est occupation going, so what if? Accidents happen! I'm currently reading All The Weyrs of Pern, and I think that post-AIVAS, the Pernese could have the technology to help someone with a lower- level spinal or head injury make it.

The reason that I ask is that I myself have sustained a head injury. It mostly affects my motor skills, including balance, but NOT my ability to think or comprehend (I'm very lucky). I use a lightweight titanium wheelchair for speed, independence, and grace, but I can walk with crutches or other assistance. My wheelchair allows me to dream, to put it simply! Some things are slower than others, but basically I live a regular life. Since there is no question that adversity has hidden advantages (and I've seen plenty of that in my life!), I hope that maybe, if I was really on Pern, I might have what it takes to Impress a dragon and be a real rider. I've found that most people with so- called physical "disabilities" are also incredibly mentally strong, due to all the adversity we face! F'lar says in the very beginning of DF that adversity and uncertainty made the qualities that he was looking for in a Candidate. Would he be willing to look at someone with a physical disability? He might!

Some things would have to be adapted, of course. For example, the process of getting on and off of the dragon would be different- no vaulting, but what if the dragon lowered itself briefly to the ground? The bond between dragons and riders is so strong, I'd guess that any dragon would be willing to help their rider be successful. Also, in looking at the Atlas of Pern, I noticed that some of the lower weyrs have ramps going up to them from the bowl, and that the kitchen does, too. (Nit-picky detail I know, but I notice things like that.)

I can hear the arguments already. .. "someone with a physical disability would just be a liability to a working Weyr" But really, we are not talking full-body total paralysis here; someone like me, there's not a lot I can't do, either on my own or with a little help. The way I envision it working, the dragon would be happy their rider is still alive to love, and could provide all assistance needed. Their teamwork would be enhanced, not detracted from!

So, just looking for your opinions?
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Old Apr 7 2008, 10:13 PM   #2
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Well I think a person in that situation would be fine, as long as they weren't moping around but instead focusing on what they could do, and ways to deal with the disability.
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Old Apr 7 2008, 10:40 PM   #3
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To me it will probably depend on how great the disability is, or rather isn't. I would think that Kitti Ping coded the dragons to look for the most healthy rider. (she coded a lot of things into her dragons, right)
A young dragon takes a lot of work and it's the rider who does the work, traditionally. But who's to say that coming up on an interval a dragon wouldn't choose a rider with a slight disabilty? There would be time and hands to help the rider with the tasks they couldn't complete themselves. If a rider is injured and ended up with a disability then the dragon would be a wonderful help and I'm sure that was fairly common during a pass. Again, there are probably those in the weyr who would assist an injured rider with the care of their dragon.
Having said the above, I would hope that a small disability wouldn't hold a dragon back from Impression with a rider.
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Old Apr 7 2008, 11:00 PM   #4
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Look at what happened to F'lessan and his dragon Golanth, after they were attacked by the big cats, when they were at Honshu (read *The Skies of Pern* for reference). F'lessan didn't think he was capable of being a dragonrider any longer, until Lytol came to visit and F'lessan rethought his ideas again. So if the disability occurred during a dragonrider's lifetime, he/she would be able to cope with his/her dragon as the dragons have discovered new capabilities that is beneficial for both sides. If it happened before the dragon was Impressed, then it's still possible but dependent on others' help until such time as when the dragon is older and what the "disabled" rider can/can't do whilst they're learning to be a dragonrider. Room for thought here........Hhhhmmmmmmmmm! After all, if "disabled" horse-riders can ride, why can't they ride a dragon?
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Old Apr 8 2008, 12:38 AM   #5
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F'lessan didn't think he was capable of being a dragonrider any longer, until Lytol came to visit and F'lessan rethought his ideas again.
I thought part of that thinking was the fact Golanth was worse off; he couldn't fly any more. Or did I misread that? (looks for copy)
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Old Apr 8 2008, 12:43 AM   #6
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We have effectively two different cases here:

1) Would a dragon Impress a person with a disability?

2) What would be done with a rider disabled after Impression?

There isn't much to go on in canon regarding the first case...except possibly the situation with Nemorth and Jora. As described, Jora is either a complete idiot or she suffers some sort of mental disability. If the latter, then apparently, a dragon would Impress someone with at least that variety of disability.

Given what dragons key on (to all appearances: telempathic ability and sex--or sexuality barring a same-sex candidate--first, personality second, strong emotion third and possibly other factors) it would seem that the dragons would be more likely to shy from a damaged mind than a damaged body. If Jora was, in fact, mentally ill, that might mean that mental illness would not be a discriminating factor, or that perhaps some dragons are mentally ill as well. If the latter, then perhaps they gravitate to similar humans.

That doesn't seem likely. An argument could be made that Kylara was mentally ill, and maybe even Brekke, yet both Impressed. Weyrfolk remain mystified at draconic choices after 2500 years. Neither Prideth nor Wirenth seemed to have anything misfiring mentally. And there is a precedent for countervailing personalities Impressing. Uber-disciplined F'lar Impressed smart-ass Mnementh. Queen-puppy-bitch Amaranth Impressed mild Breda. Easy-going Debera Impressed feisty Morath.

So was Jora just stupid? Did Kylara go nuts post-Impression? We don't really know. These mental derangements would seem the most likely, and easily discriminated means of weeding a candidate out in the first few seconds or minutes of a dragon's post-hatching life.

Physical disability would certainly be less apparent, especially if the individual did not mentally dwell on the condition. A one-armed boy who has been one-armed for years, might no longer think of it. Would a dragon pick up that he is disabled? Would a dragon notice by vision? Would a dragon even know enough about a person by looking at them in those first few moments to realize that they were different?

It seems doubtful. K'van Impressed Heth, despite being "disabled" at the moment of Impression due to injuries. Hopping along with a crutch, he might well have appeared to be three-legged to Heth, and for all Heth might know, this could just be what a human looks like, or one way a human can look. Also, being freshly injured, K'van would certainly be mentally aware of his injuries for Heth to pick that fact up. So it seems unlikely that a dragon would discriminate on this basis.

So, why don't we have disabled people Impressing? Well, maybe we have, if we look at Jora and Kylara in the mental category. Maybe not. With respect to physical disabilities, frankly, the physically disabled are probably never accepted or presented as candidates at the Weyr.

Why? Completely human and completely reasonable prejudice. The Weyr is a fighting organization, a military organization, and all human personnel are expected to be physically and mentally fit. A person obviously deficient in either category would be unacceptable to the Weyr, because they would represent a handicap in action, and a drain on resources in other respects (additional training time, special harness, etc...).

Is this "fair?" Not even slightly. But neither is combat. This is the same reason that women might be permitted to fly combat jets, but not be permitted to be infantry or tank crew. A jet, with electronically and hydraulically assisted controls doesn't require a great deal of physical strength to fly, except for pulling Gs (something that studies prove women have a measurable, if slight, advantage at). Being part of a tank crew, however, requires the physical strength to remount a tank-tread that is thrown or blown off in the field and most women simply don't have the requisite upper-body strength. The same thing goes for infantry combat. Take a male and a female and train them to the same degree, and the female has little chance of defeating the male in any hand-to-hand action. On average the male will simply be too much larger, and stronger.

Note: All of these are physical restrictions, not mental. And unfortunately, they're the restrictions likely to govern a Weyr's selection of candidates. Can you throw a fifty pound sack of firestone? Can you catch one? Can you mount and dismount a dragon? Can you care for a dragon? Can you stay seated on a dragon if you catch that firestone sack if you don't have leg-strength to keep your seat, even if you have the arm-strength to catch the sack? It does no good for you to catch the sack, be entirely dependent upon the strength of the straps to keep you mounted, have one snap and lose you and the dragon.

So the odds are that if you have any obvious disability of mind or body, the Weyr will not intentionally present you as a candidate.

Does this mean you can't Impress? Not necessarily. You could always hack open a smallish egg with your belt knife to rescue the hatchling. Or you might simply be minding your own business watching from the tiers with your fire-lizards. Or you may stumble into the hatching grounds unbidden. Others have done it--why not you?

Of course, once the deed is done, what the heck do we do with you? There's probably no way you're going to fly Thread. It's just not acceptable to put others at risk either protecting you, or perhaps not being protected by you at a critical moment because of your disability. Only if you could somehow prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that your disability would in no way ever be a danger might an exception be made on this score. So perhaps your legs could be strapped to the sides of the dragon's neck by special harness, such that you won't be knocked off by that firestone sack catch. Alright, maybe we let you fly Thread. Maybe. Mentioning frequently that "dragonriders must fly when Thread is in the sky" might get you points with traditional or sympathetic Weyrleaders. Even so, you're likely to a serious PITA for the Weyr, because somebody's going to have to help you get into that rig and out of it. But hey, if you're useful, and you're well-liked, or you've got an understanding weyrmate (either flyer or ground-pounder) that might be ignored.

A more hard-nosed Weyrleader might still say "no." So...what do we do with you? Ferrying firestone during Fall...maybe. You'll just be tossing, not catching. Might work. Sweep-riding and coordinating with ground crew? Certainly possible. Messenger work? No problem. Watch-dragon at Weyr or Hold? No problem.

So, in the unlikely event that you do Impress, useful work could certainly be found for you, and it might even involve flying, and possibly even combat. But if you ask to be a candidate...the answer will be "no." So, you better hope there's a Path out there looking to the stands.

This brings us around to the second case. If a rider is injured/disabled post-Impression, the Weyr will certainly stand by them and try to find them useful work. If the pair can no longer fly Thread, they might still fly sweeps and messages, work with ground crews, and stand watch at Weyr and Holds. If not even able to fly, the rider might take up duties as a Weyrhealer, Weyrharper (whether player or records-keeper), or assistant to the Weyrlingmaster.

I realize that's a pretty long answer, but I tried to be thorough. In a nut-shell, I don't see any reason why someone like you could not Impress. I don't believe a Weyr would deliberately sponsor you as a candidate. In the event you did Impress, I believe a Weyr would seek to make the best use of you possible, but it might not involve flying Thread.
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Old Apr 8 2008, 07:58 PM   #7
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Well said. Definitely a good point to distinguish difference between pre-Impression and post-Impression disabilities.

I think Jora and Kylara both got much, much worse than they were originally. Even though Jora was afraid of heights, most of the girls would have been scared of the whole situation, and R'gul wasn't the most sensitive type to begin with.
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Old Apr 8 2008, 08:01 PM   #8
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Thank you all for your answers! The way I see it, a physical disability is just like any other '"problem" that a person may have, that means they don't fit the tall-athletic-handsome-amber eyes stereotype (not that there anything WRONG with the stereotype, before I get pounced on!)

Focusing on the positives is so crucial, both on this planet, and apparently, others, too! I see here what maybe an interesting fan fic possibility. . .
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Old Apr 8 2008, 08:16 PM   #9
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It's not a matter of whether the person could Impress, but whether they would be allowed to stand as a candidate. Of course if the hatchling decides they want someone, that's that.
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Old Apr 8 2008, 10:28 PM   #10
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It's not a matter of whether the person could Impress, but whether they would be allowed to stand as a candidate. Of course if the hatchling decides they want someone, that's that.
Exactly.
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Old Apr 9 2008, 08:22 PM   #11
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Thanks for reminding me of K'van- I had forgotten about him! He had numerous "problems", and still Heth chose him. Dragons are just cool that way; they see "the diamond inside, and polish it until it shines."

So what I'm hearing here is that this really a discussion of a Weyrleader's character, whether he/she could see beyond a persons' physical issues and see the potential within. Does he trust his Search riders and dragons enough to let them make that decision for themselves about whether to allow a person to be a Candidate, or does he have to be there to decide himself? That's doubtless why some Weyrleaders don't search.

Anyway, this is just my personal opinion, but I think as a Weyrleader, F'lar & Co. could do it. And I say "F'lar & Co." because it is not just him, there's lots of others involved. He thinks differently, and that's what it takes. :-)

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Old Apr 9 2008, 10:54 PM   #12
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Quote:
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Thanks for reminding me of K'van- I had forgotten about him! He had numerous "problems", and still Heth chose him. Dragons are just cool that way; they see "the diamond inside, and polish it until it shines."

So what I'm hearing here is that this really a discussion of a Weyrleader's character, whether he/she could see beyond a persons' physical issues and see the potential within. Does he trust his Search riders and dragons enough to let them make that decision for themselves about whether to allow a person to be a Candidate, or does he have to be there to decide himself? That's doubtless why some Weyrleaders don't search.

Anyway, this is just my personal opinion, but I think as a Weyrleader, F'lar & Co. could do it. And I say "F'lar & Co." because it is not just him, there's lots of others involved. He thinks differently, and that's what it takes. :-)

Feel free to tear me apart!!
It's not a matter of the Weyrleader's character. It's a matter of the Weyrleader's responsibility. And honestly, no Weyrleader should put someone on the hatching grounds who is not completely fit, both mentally and physically. You will note that K'van invaded the hatching ground; he was deliberately left out because of his injuries.

The imperative here is not a moral one, and the prejudice is not immoral. The imperative here is survival, not just of a disabled candidate (and dragon), but of all who might seek to protect them, or might need to be protected by them. If a Weyrleader accepted a disabled candidate either out of a moment of soft-heartedness, or out of egalitarian feeling--commendable although both might be--and that candidate (and dragon) and/or other riders (and dragons) were injured or lost as a result of that decision, it would not be the fault of the disabled rider. It would be the Weyrleader's fault, and rightly so. There is a difference between coping with a situation that is forced upon you, and deliberately courting a situation fraught with the potential for disaster.

For the record: This is not "fair" to a disabled candidate. It never will be. But it is necessary to the "safety" of fighting formations. For a very good movie scene that addresses the point, watch the scene in 300 between Ephialtes and Leonidas, where Leonidas explains to the hunchback why he cannot stand in the Spartan line of battle (he physically can't raise his shield high enough to protect the next man to the left). Leonidas does not want to deny the man, and even suggests ways in which the man can serve in other capacities. Leonidas is being a good leader. He does not give in to sentiment and weaken his line, and he also tries to make the best use of the deformed man. By rights--and Ephialtes acknowledges this--Leonidas doesn't even need to consider the plea because Ephialtes should not exist. By Spartan tradition he should have been left on a rock to die as a baby. However, his parents broke the tradition. But again, Leonidas is being a good leader and making due with what he has, rather than just dismissing the man. (Sadly, for purposes of the plot, Ephialtes repays Leonidas' consideration with treachery, but that's beside the point. I only address it because someone else will be sure to raise it with the notion of showing that Leonidas' decision was "wrong" due to the ultimate outcome. That's not correct, because Ephialtes decision counts against his own moral rectitude, not Leonidas'.)

Such exceptions as are made, are usually made when someone who is already trained is disabled. A prime example is Douglas Bader. Already trained as a pilot, and quite renowned already, Bader crashed in the early '30s, losing both legs. He was invalided out of the RAF. However, he rehabilitated himself to the point that he could drive again, and eventually fly, so the RAF permitted him to return to flying when the crisis of World War II came. He fought in the Battle of Britain, claimed 22 kills, and was eventually shot down and captured by the Germans. All-in-all, it was a good choice to let him fly in combat. However, had he never been trained to fly in the first place (and had he not exploited certain personal connections) he would never have been accepted back, and rightly so. Better to spend the effort training someone able-bodied.

Now, as I said, this is all completely "unfair" but so is battle. We're not talking about the right to be employed, or to have free access to a restroom or entertainment venue, or to be educated, or park someplace a wheelchair can be accommodated. We're talking about a life-and-death struggle where the capabilities of the next person to either side of you may directly bear on your survival, and theirs on yours. If you're sub-par, you're placing them at risk. And that is most certainly unfair.

Understand, I say none of this out of any desire to say that disabled people wouldn't be able to Impress, or in any way diminish what disabled people are capable of. I'm just pointing out that the Weyrs are fighting organizations and will work on combat imperatives, not civil imperatives.

But all of that said, there's absolutely nothing to prevent a hatchling from taking a shine to someone on crutches (regardless of whether the condition that put them on crutches is temporary or not). So, don't think ill of the Weyrleader's character when he tells you "no." Just think really strong, loving thoughts at that hatchling from the stands...

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Old Apr 10 2008, 12:04 AM   #13
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To Quote ElectricDragon - "But all of that said, there's absolutely nothing to prevent a hatchling from taking a shine to someone on crutches (regardless of whether the condition that put them on crutches is temporary or not). So, don't think ill of the Weyrleader's character when he tells you "no." Just think really strong, loving thoughts at that hatchling from the stands..."

Well, said! I know that I'd be thinking those strong loving thoughts from the stands, if I wasn't a candidate!
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Old Apr 10 2008, 01:06 AM   #14
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Quote:
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Thanks for reminding me of K'van- I had forgotten about him! He had numerous "problems", and still Heth chose him. Dragons are just cool that way; they see "the diamond inside, and polish it until it shines."

So what I'm hearing here is that this really a discussion of a Weyrleader's character, whether he/she could see beyond a persons' physical issues and see the potential within. Does he trust his Search riders and dragons enough to let them make that decision for themselves about whether to allow a person to be a Candidate, or does he have to be there to decide himself? That's doubtless why some Weyrleaders don't search.

Anyway, this is just my personal opinion, but I think as a Weyrleader, F'lar & Co. could do it. And I say "F'lar & Co." because it is not just him, there's lots of others involved. He thinks differently, and that's what it takes. :-)

Feel free to tear me apart!!
I don't think you need a dragon, Weyrlady. I think you've 'impressed' enough humans to earn your worth.

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Old Apr 10 2008, 12:18 PM   #15
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The Dragon Choses!!!!!
Mirrim wasn't even on the grounds when Path was trying to get to her.
Heth was leaving the grounds to get to K'van
I guess if you're in weyr you have a chance to impress
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Old Apr 10 2008, 01:20 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Weyrlady View Post
Thanks for reminding me of K'van- I had forgotten about him! He had numerous "problems", and still Heth chose him. Dragons are just cool that way; they see "the diamond inside, and polish it until it shines."

So what I'm hearing here is that this really a discussion of a Weyrleader's character, whether he/she could see beyond a persons' physical issues and see the potential within. Does he trust his Search riders and dragons enough to let them make that decision for themselves about whether to allow a person to be a Candidate, or does he have to be there to decide himself? That's doubtless why some Weyrleaders don't search.

Anyway, this is just my personal opinion, but I think as a Weyrleader, F'lar & Co. could do it. And I say "F'lar & Co." because it is not just him, there's lots of others involved. He thinks differently, and that's what it takes. :-)

I agree with most of ED's sentiments with the following exceptions.

1. While Golds do fly thread (with flame throwers), that is not their main purpose on PERN.
2. A Gold's main purpose on PERN is to help keep the species going by reproducing.
3. A gold rider's main purpose is to be able to control their dragon when breeding time comes (and to not throw them off of their cycle), so that they do not gorge, and they get a good breeding flight.
4. A gold rider's secondary purpose is to run the Weyr. That needs a clear mind and a presence of personality. An ability to do the work to show and lead others is helpful, but not required.

I think most people that have seen Weyrlady's messages could easily think that she would have been a better gold rider than Jora. Her mental disabilities hurt her dragon far more than your physical disabilities would have.

So, if the dragons thought that you had enough empathic abilities, I could possibly see a Weyrleader letting you stand for a gold impression.

Howerver, for green dragons, their main purpose is to fight thread, and physical disabilities would be harmful to the whole wing. I could not see a Weyrleader letting you stand for a green (or any color except gold) impression for the reasons that ED stated.

As others have mentioned, if you are exeptionally empathic and anywhere near the hatching grounds, it is possible for a dragon to find you.

Weyrleady, for some reason though, when you mentioned your disabilities, Oldive came to my mind.

GH
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Old Apr 10 2008, 05:45 PM   #17
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For the rider of a fighting dragon, so long as you can get lumps of firestone out of a sack and hold them where the dragon can get them, any physical disability can be worked around.
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Old Apr 10 2008, 09:29 PM   #18
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For the rider of a fighting dragon, so long as you can get lumps of firestone out of a sack and hold them where the dragon can get them, any physical disability can be worked around.
There's rather more to it than that. You need to have enough mobility to see all around to maintain your situational awareness. You have to be able to toss and catch firestone sacks. Frankly, you also need to be able to catch another rider if necessary. You have to be able to mount, dismount, and strap on, unless the only place you're ever going to land is your own Weyr. You need to be able to pull someone up on your dragon. You need to be able to care for your dragon.

I'm certain that people with disabilities can also attest to just how difficult some things we take for granted can be. Just consider the issue of dressing if you can't use a couple of limbs.
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Old Apr 10 2008, 09:41 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by GHarris View Post
I agree with most of ED's sentiments with the following exceptions.

1. While Golds do fly thread (with flame throwers), that is not their main purpose on PERN.
2. A Gold's main purpose on PERN is to help keep the species going by reproducing.
3. A gold rider's main purpose is to be able to control their dragon when breeding time comes (and to not throw them off of their cycle), so that they do not gorge, and they get a good breeding flight.
4. A gold rider's secondary purpose is to run the Weyr. That needs a clear mind and a presence of personality. An ability to do the work to show and lead others is helpful, but not required.

I think most people that have seen Weyrlady's messages could easily think that she would have been a better gold rider than Jora. Her mental disabilities hurt her dragon far more than your physical disabilities would have.

So, if the dragons thought that you had enough empathic abilities, I could possibly see a Weyrleader letting you stand for a gold impression.

Howerver, for green dragons, their main purpose is to fight thread, and physical disabilities would be harmful to the whole wing. I could not see a Weyrleader letting you stand for a green (or any color except gold) impression for the reasons that ED stated.

As others have mentioned, if you are exeptionally empathic and anywhere near the hatching grounds, it is possible for a dragon to find you.

Weyrleady, for some reason though, when you mentioned your disabilities, Oldive came to my mind.

GH
Please note: I was not necessarily speaking to our fellow poster's specific disability, but to disabilities in general.

You have a good point about golds, to a degree. Where it fails is, again, with the Weyrleader's responsibility. He has a duty to see that his Weyr has the maximum possible capability in all regards. As the duties of the golds include fighting low, and also rescues, if given a choice, he must choose potential riders that can both wield a flame-thrower and twist about in the straps to help secure an injured and/or falling rider or dragon (or avoid being injured or killed by their dead weight). He can not responsibly and voluntarily accept having only four queens capable of rescues when he could have five if that could mean the difference of survival for one of the pairs in his Weyr.

Only the most extraordinary situation might over-ride this and you happen to have hit on exactly the one: Jora and Nemorth. If one could demonstrably prove that the benefits of a physically disabled person to the Weyr would so vastly outweigh the benefits of having a person like Jora as Weyrwoman, then you might be able to get the Weyr to accept putting that disabled candidate forward. But the Weyr would have to be absolutely desperate, and share the perception that the disabled candidate was really the only good choice. Unfortunately, that would be extraordinarily hard to do. There were, after all, other able-bodied candidates offered up even at Nemorth's Impression. The alternative would be to dictatorially force the issue and that would breed other problems.

Granted foreknowledge, yes, a Weyrleader would take someone like our fellow poster over Jora...if he knew that none of the other candidates could Impress. Otherwise, he would be compelled by duty to prefer an able-bodied candidate.
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Old Apr 10 2008, 11:56 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by ElectricDragon View Post
Please note: I was not necessarily speaking to our fellow poster's specific disability, but to disabilities in general.

You have a good point about golds, to a degree. Where it fails is, again, with the Weyrleader's responsibility. He has a duty to see that his Weyr has the maximum possible capability in all regards. As the duties of the golds include fighting low, and also rescues, if given a choice, he must choose potential riders that can both wield a flame-thrower and twist about in the straps to help secure an injured and/or falling rider or dragon (or avoid being injured or killed by their dead weight). He can not responsibly and voluntarily accept having only four queens capable of rescues when he could have five if that could mean the difference of survival for one of the pairs in his Weyr.

Only the most extraordinary situation might over-ride this and you happen to have hit on exactly the one: Jora and Nemorth. If one could demonstrably prove that the benefits of a physically disabled person to the Weyr would so vastly outweigh the benefits of having a person like Jora as Weyrwoman, then you might be able to get the Weyr to accept putting that disabled candidate forward. But the Weyr would have to be absolutely desperate, and share the perception that the disabled candidate was really the only good choice. Unfortunately, that would be extraordinarily hard to do. There were, after all, other able-bodied candidates offered up even at Nemorth's Impression. The alternative would be to dictatorially force the issue and that would breed other problems.

Granted foreknowledge, yes, a Weyrleader would take someone like our fellow poster over Jora...if he knew that none of the other candidates could Impress. Otherwise, he would be compelled by duty to prefer an able-bodied candidate.
A plea to you, ED. Try not to be so literal in your translation of this thread?

I dated a gal in a wheelchair for a year, and she was just as capable as me in everything human. We just did things differently to the same end.

It's one thing to literally translate how the Weyr would do this and that, or how a dragon would think this or that, or how this and that must be considered before this or that was even considered a possibility....

Meantime, a human with a disability and a dream is reading your words. She's hearing how you consider her condition in fictional terms. She's living her life as full as she can in the manner she's learning to do so.

In fiction and dreams, all things are possible, and canon be damned to that. Feelings are involved, not just contrived facts about a fiction.

I might have overstepped my bounds by posting this, but experience and compassion compel me to post.
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Old Apr 11 2008, 04:29 AM   #21
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I like the point about Oldive, he's a MasterHealer, basically the top person (in this case a man) of a craft, so why can't Wyerlady be a dragonrider? There are also going to be quite the opposite cases (as an example, Camo) where it's an obivous choice not to include them as dragonriders or mastercraftsperson because it would be detrimental to the rest of the population but if in Weyrlady's case, it's comparitively mild so I don't see why not aim for something high!

I could say the same thing for myself as I had speech/learning problems when I was a kid but I've since "grown" out of that spectrum, even though it comes up every now and again. (As I said on another thread, I have "blonde" moments, nuff nuff on the jokes okay).
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Old Apr 11 2008, 04:28 PM   #22
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Thank you for ALL the good things everyone had to say. You've left me speechless. . .

You too, ED!!!
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Old Apr 11 2008, 05:53 PM   #23
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A plea to you, ED. Try not to be so literal in your translation of this thread?

I dated a gal in a wheelchair for a year, and she was just as capable as me in everything human. We just did things differently to the same end.

It's one thing to literally translate how the Weyr would do this and that, or how a dragon would think this or that, or how this and that must be considered before this or that was even considered a possibility....

Meantime, a human with a disability and a dream is reading your words. She's hearing how you consider her condition in fictional terms. She's living her life as full as she can in the manner she's learning to do so.

In fiction and dreams, all things are possible, and canon be damned to that. Feelings are involved, not just contrived facts about a fiction.

I might have overstepped my bounds by posting this, but experience and compassion compel me to post.
The thread is titled "What if . . ."

ED is answering the "what if . . . " with logic.

Yeah, in dreams and fiction anything can happen. But if that's the case, then there wouldn't be a reason for this thread in the first place, because the question has already been answered and the point is moot.

And this thread would be boring since every answer to it would have been "yes".
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Old Apr 11 2008, 10:47 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Weyrlady View Post

Thank you for ALL the good things everyone had to say. You've left me speechless. . .

You too, ED!!!
Thank you. I had thought I was answering your originally posed question, but apparently some felt otherwise. Regardless, feel free to sit in the first tier on my Weyr's hatching grounds. And if you tell anyone I said that I'll disavow all knowledge of this conversation.

P.S. No luck on the telepathy thing on my end either. My LNBC remains impervious.
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Old Apr 13 2008, 01:22 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Shalyn View Post
The thread is titled "What if . . ."

ED is answering the "what if . . . " with logic.

Yeah, in dreams and fiction anything can happen. But if that's the case, then there wouldn't be a reason for this thread in the first place, because the question has already been answered and the point is moot.

And this thread would be boring since every answer to it would have been "yes".
Place found, thank you for finding it for me.
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Old Apr 13 2008, 05:35 PM   #26
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There are, as usual, two sides to this, just like everything else in life!

First of all, I have a little leadership experience myself- not, obviosly, in a warfare satuation, but the basic principles of leading Are the same wherever you go. So I thought like a leader, and asked myself, "If I were a wingleader or in a similiar position, would I allow a candidate with a significant physical disability to to Impress a fighting dragon?" And the answer was no. Quite. Firmly. No hesitation- nothing- just no. The reason behind that being that a wingleader is very responsible for every last person and dragon with them, and since something like fighting Thread is risky enough, they need to be able to depend on all those dragonpairs so everyone comes back alive. See there?? I really can do this Spock-like-all-logic thinking. Leadership is more than screaming orders across large spaces; anybody can do that!

On the other hand, we're all human here (Spock was a Vulcan, remember- he he!), and what's cool about humanity is that we also have emotions. Empathy, if you will, the ability to feel things for others. So, with that in mind, back to my fictional wingleader- "Would I allow someone with a physical disability to be a Candidate for a queen egg?" Yes. Maybe- it depends on any number of things. This would have to be on a case-by-case basis; definitely not a one-size-fits-all sitch. Me, personally, not talking fiction here, either have or could build the physical strength needed for rescues (I'm not trying to brag here!) With me it is really more of a balance issue than a strength one- That's just me- and in the world of daydreams and dragonwings, I want what many other female Pern fans want: a queen dragon and the awesome partnership with her. Like I said, I'm very lucky- that particular daydream has never quite gone away.

So, it would appear that I just answered my own question- thanks for helping me get started thinking in the right direction! However, I have another one- and maybe you all can help- say we are in the Ninth Pass on Pern. So, F'lar is a Weyrleader, and something terrible-but-entirely-possible happens, and someone who's in the higher-up-leadership gets hurt. We're not talking a week-down-at-Southern-flirting-with-your-nurse here (sorry F'nor), we're talking permanence, forever, they're always going to be that way. Very harsh, yes!! Whether it is good or bad depends on how you look at it.

Sorry, back to my question: So someone in the "in crowd" gets themselves a disability, a life-changing one. With the Pernese culture and that of a Weyr in mind(that influences decisions too), how do you think a Weyrleader might react? Not neccesarily F'lar himself, he's just the first one I thought of.




P.S. No telepathy, Electric Dragon. I went to K-9 drill team practice this morning (and that's where it would come in handy), and still had to do it the "old-fashioned way" Hmmmm. I'm not saying that's a lost cause, just we unfortunately aren't there yet on this planet, as far as I know. :-)

P.P.S. Oh, and TheDarkHorseOne, you have a way with words! ;-)
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Old Apr 13 2008, 08:17 PM   #27
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<snip> thanks for helping me get started thinking in the right direction! However, I have another one- and maybe you all can help- say we are in the Ninth Pass on Pern. So, F'lar is a Weyrleader, and something terrible-but-entirely-possible happens, and someone who's in the higher-up-leadership gets hurt. We're not talking a week-down-at-Southern-flirting-with-your-nurse here (sorry F'nor), we're talking permanence, forever, they're always going to be that way. Very harsh, yes!! Whether it is good or bad depends on how you look at it.

Sorry, back to my question: So someone in the "in crowd" gets themselves a disability, a life-changing one. With the Pernese culture and that of a Weyr in mind(that influences decisions too), how do you think a Weyrleader might react? Not neccesarily F'lar himself, he's just the first one I thought of.
I was going to ask if you meant a rider or a non-rider, but since you mention F'lar, I'm assuming you mean a rider - most likely the Weyrleader, Weyrwoman or a Wingleader.

If it is a horrific injury, such as losing a limb, losing their sight, or even getting whalluped upside the head (ears) and causing an issue with their balance, I highly doubt that they would be put into their same position. I do think that being dragonriders, that they would want to continue to be of use to the Weyr, so they would be given some type of lighter duties.

Maybe helping with Weyrling/Candidate training.
In many RPGs, the Weyrlings are given the task of 'elevator service' - i.e. ferrying non-riding Weyrfolk to upper-level weyrs for cleaning and such. That could be a task.

Someone mentioned watchrider earlier. I can see that happening.

Mending harnesses. Maybe they have a talent for something - they could become a Harper, or Weaver, or something.

The ones you are talking about were in a leadership role, but aren't any longer, correct? Then even though they could not be put into the same role, depending on their injury, they could be placed in the position of teaching. That would make the most use of their abilities.
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Old Apr 13 2008, 10:17 PM   #28
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No matter how much a person is disabled they can still contribute to the Weyr. Even if it is telling weyrlings how to do things. If he can not walk then he can show them how to make harnesses. He can tell them the best way to advoid getting hurt. If he can not talk he can show them.
If the weyrleader can not find someone for a disables rider to become useful than he should not be leader.
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Old Apr 14 2008, 06:11 PM   #29
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I COMPLETELY agree with you! What's with the US military, then??

Sorry, I know I'm not supposed to discuss politics here, and I am not! I have a friend who was in the Army and was injured during training, and was discharged after, even though there were (and are) plenty of things that he could do for them, and he had the desire to stay in. However, more recently, people that are disabled while they are in service are staying in the military, sometimes even going back to their former positions. That's so much better- I'm happy for them! But why the change?
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Old Apr 14 2008, 10:40 PM   #30
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I COMPLETELY agree with you! What's with the US military, then??

Sorry, I know I'm not supposed to discuss politics here, and I am not! I have a friend who was in the Army and was injured during training, and was discharged after, even though there were (and are) plenty of things that he could do for them, and he had the desire to stay in. However, more recently, people that are disabled while they are in service are staying in the military, sometimes even going back to their former positions. That's so much better- I'm happy for them! But why the change?
Limited resources (money) is the answer. Better to spend the money on a person they can get the maximum out of, and Congress is notoriously parsimonious. If Congress funded military commitments responsibly (and cut back on entitlements and pork-barrel projects) we'd win our wars more easily. The current conflict in Iraq, for instance, would have had enough boots on the ground from the start to prevent the mess that had to be counteracted by the so-called "surge."

Once a person is trained, it makes sense monetarily to retain the investment in their training. But if their training is incomplete, it is not worth retaining them and the money is better spent elsewhere. It's a case-by-case thing.

A Weyr is not a 100% analog for a present-day military establishment as the Weyr also constitutes a permanent social class in a way the U.S. military does not. You don't Impress an F-15 for life.
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Old Apr 15 2008, 06:36 PM   #31
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A Weyr is not a 100% analog for a present-day military establishment as the Weyr also constitutes a permanent social class in a way the U.S. military does not. You don't Impress an F-15 for life.


That's true- I like the "Impressing an F-15" part! I haven't Impressed my car, for instance. . .

(Sigh) What can I say?? *rubs fingers together in the 'purse strings' sign*

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Old Apr 15 2008, 08:12 PM   #32
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Quote:
A Weyr is not a 100% analog for a present-day military establishment as the Weyr also constitutes a permanent social class in a way the U.S. military does not. You don't Impress an F-15 for life.
That's true- I like the "Impressing an F-15" part! I haven't Impressed my car, for instance. . .

(Sigh) What can I say?? *rubs fingers together in the 'purse strings' sign*
Well, if I was forced to Impress a USAF product, I'd be happy with an F-15, although I'd prefer to have Impressed an F-14D... Although I must admit the TA-4J was a hot ride. Nimble little Scooter.

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Old Apr 16 2008, 02:19 AM   #33
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P.P.S. Oh, and TheDarkHorseOne, you have a way with words! ;-)
I just chop their heads off and watch them wander around indiscriminately until they flop to their death.

Then I eat them, heheheh.
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Old Apr 16 2008, 11:42 PM   #34
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I just chop their heads off and watch them wander around indiscriminately until they flop to their death.

Then I eat them, heheheh.
Words, I meant, heheheh. I'm a shepherd of words...

Sorry if that made some sick impression. I was imagining chickens as my words, and lopping them off into the ether to wander out here until they finally flop.

I was too brief. Sorry for the graphic analogy with no explanation.
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Old Apr 18 2008, 01:49 AM   #35
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OK, words, cool- got it! Don't worry abouty making a bad impredssion, but I do have to admit, I started at first. ;-)

And speaking of making an Impression, I was thinking about what inanimate object I would if obligated to do so (even typing that feel funny!), and since you mentioned hot rides, the sweetest ride ever is my wheelchair. I'm serious!! It's a dreamboat; super-light, nimble and fast. It is freedom, and it looks good to boot. *big grin*

Can we maybe get back on topic here? I feel bad if we stray too far off, and I started this thread. . .
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Old Apr 18 2008, 02:38 AM   #36
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There's a young lady at church who has C.P. and rides an electric chair. Hers has a button to raise the seat up so that she's at adult talking height!
It has another one to recline it.
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Old Apr 18 2008, 10:54 AM   #37
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Anne has been pretty categoric about a few things, one of them being that a fighting dragon doesn't impress a mentally or physically handicapped candidate. K'van wasn't handicapped, only injured, and apparently hatchlings can tell the difference.

Jora is a special case: during the 8th Interval when Benden was the only Weyr and there was usually only one queen dragon at a time, there was no need for the Weyrwoman to ever mount her dragon. For about two hundred years, the only time a queenrider needed to be a-dragonback would be when she got to the Weyr for the first time, given the queen dragons' insistence of mostly impressing the Holdbred, stupid given that the Weyrbred would be so much more adapted to the culture of the Weyr. So the Weyr probably didn't see Jora's reaction to her first flight (didn't she panic?) as much of a problem.
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Old Apr 19 2008, 09:58 AM   #38
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I think any Impression of a non-ablebodied person would be an unusual event, but I don't know as I'd rule it out. At the start of the 9th Pass, the idea of a female green-rider was an absurdity. Also, over 2500 years, whatever imperatives were programmed into the dragon genome will have varied to some degree, so it's not beyond conception that some dragon might "malfunction" or have evolved beyond the original programming.

I'm also dubious of the ability of a newly hatched dragon to conduct a complex psychoevaluation of the person being Impressed. If they did, the latent problems of Jora, Kylara, T'ron, T'kul and a couple of other riders would have precluded their Impression. I doubt the "evaluation" goes beyond a favorable "impression" of mental and physical health.

So let's say you have the proverbial one-armed boy. If he has always been that way, and functions perfectly happily, and doesn't perceive himself as in any way flawed, how would the dragon know? It could easily be "tricked" by circumstances into Impressing that person.
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Old Apr 21 2008, 08:54 AM   #39
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What if there was a plague or such-like that limited the amount of ablebodied candidates. Would a rider with one eye, no arm or some other disability be better than letting dragonets die?
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Old Apr 21 2008, 08:00 PM   #40
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What if there was a plague or such-like that limited the amount of ablebodied candidates. Would a rider with one eye, no arm or some other disability be better than letting dragonets die?
A plague that devastating would constitute an unusual occurrence and precipitate such a thing. I'd say 6th Pass, right after the Great Plague would be prime-time for anyone contemplating such a fanfic if so inclined.
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