Thread: Fan Fiction: The Skyboom (v2 - rewrite)
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Old Dec 1 2008, 03:05 AM   #7
D. M. Domini
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Default Re: The Skyboom (v2 - rewrite)

Chapter Seven

Camolien was nursing a cup of klah sometime the next mor--well, actually it was noon. Drat. So much to do, and so little time. He stopped nursing the klah, gulping it down instead, and stared at his creation for the goldrider in disgust, before striding over to the scrap of paper he'd scribbled down that Harper's measurements on...

Oh. Oh! Well, shards. He had a mind like a sieve. He'd met a Harper last night, and Master Teslay was looking for a Harper in particular...

Camolien searched through his desk and threw some stray scraps of cloth into a bin, and found the note. Teslay's firelizard Sapho was nowhere to be found on the other hand, so he probably went back empty-clawed to his master sometime in the night. But the note...tall, dark haired, blue eyed...

"Well, I wouldn't be able to find my nose if it wasn't attached to my face," the man said to himself. Then he got a pencil and scribbled a reply underneath Teslay's words.

Yes, your Journeyman friend is here. I'm making him new pants. In green, mind you. Tell him he has no fashion sense. Also, now you owe me some very good words on my behalf when I apply for that costuming position at your Hall.

~ C


He set the note aside, thinking that Sapho would probably re-appear sometime during the day to nag him again, and ventured out to find some suitable green fabric. Pity that people thought green was a color of ill omen, but at least it made the fabric cheap and available.

#

"I never would have picked you as one having a subversive taste in music," Masterharper Sebell said to Master Teslay.

"It's possible I spent too much time in Landing," Teslay agreed carefully. "Listening to some of that music is like discovering that some people don't speak in words."

"Well, as I understand it, some people don't. It's called different 'languages'," Sebell said. "Quite interesting, actually..." Then he cleared his throat. "I don't think it will come as a surprise to you that I can't in good conscience give you the resources you need for this production."

Master Teslay was quiet for a moment. He'd been looking forward to a good attempt to persuade the Masterharper to approve this one, but after last night, the focus of his thoughts had changed and now it was like herding firelizards, trying to put together a pitch about music, when he was wondering what sort of strange political game this Masterharper was involved in. What had happened to force them to such desperate measures? Or was Master Sebell in as much thrall to the man's memory as half the planet? Teslay forced his mouth to move, and answer the man. "The music isn't intended to shock, actually, but pave the road for presenting all the other technologies we've re-discovered to the general population. Something to ease the integration." Of course, if it ever got out that Masterharper Robinton was alive and well and running around on this man's command, they'd likely have a far worse problem in the short term than ordinary people becoming confused and fearful of technology. The man was truly a legend now that he'd passed on.

"Yes, I saw your note. But the involvement of the Smiths will make the cost of production skyrocket, and I can't say for sure that...that music of this type won't start a riot at a Gather. And if that happened, Lord Groghe or whichever Lord that was hosting the Gather would be well within their rights to demand compensation, on behalf of himself and of any other Crafters that got caught in the crossfire, which, added to the already high production costs, would cause this production to run a very high risk of financially ruining the Hall."

"So I am prohibited from producing it?" Master Teslay said distractedly, jerking his thoughts back to the topic at hand, thinking he understood what the Masterharper was saying between the lines.

Sebell hesitated. "If you find Crafters willing to donate their time and materials, I will not forbid it, if you wish to go forward with production on your own time. But neither will I exempt you from your assigned duties as a Master to make time for it, nor will I shield you from any backlash you may get from the traditionalists in the Hall, should you succeed in producing it."

"But you will not forbid it outright?" he prodded the Craftsmaster.

"The Hall needs people not afraid to explore new ideas and themes, just as much as it needs traditionalists to give people the comfort of the familiar that they require to be secure in their lives. That being said...this is already pushing the line of acceptability. Use your good judgment, and I won't feel the need to interfere with the soup you're making here, to use a culinary term."

"Alright," Teslay said, bowing his head and accepting the restrictions for now, since arguing would only make his position worse, particularly when his thoughts were so scattered, and anxiety was starting to dog him. Then there was a flapping of wings, and Sapho alighted in his shoulder, greeting the Masterharper's queen firelizard Kimi with an appropriately polite chirp. The queen lazily opened one eyelid to look at him, chirped once in response, and went back to sleep.

"You have a message," Sebell said.

Teslay felt a chill creep up his spine even though it was an obvious observation, but hid it by nodding amiably. "I know a Tailor who wants to be posted here, Masterharper. He's probably asking for a good word," Teslay said. He did not retrieve the firelizard's message tube, however. Sapho, alert to his moods, made a little inquiring sound, and Teslay tried to calm himself and the firelizard both before their agitation became visible to the room.

"We should have a spot open up in a few months, if I recall correctly. Tell him to send us a few designs and samples; if we like them, we'll speak with the Mastertailor to see if he can be posted here."

Teslay smiled. "I'll let him know."

Sebell nodded, and gathered the score that was scattered over his desk together, and handed them back to him. "Good, good. Let me know if you do get any volunteers for it; I'd like to hear the music as you intend it to be heard, and I suspect I'm having trouble reading between the lines on this, judging from the key you have at the back explaining your non-standard terms and markings."

Teslay grimaced. "Many of the, ah, electronic sounds have no proper counterpart, although it is very possible or probable that I managed to snuff up the transcription on the more traditional parts too; I never expected to go into composition, and I daresay I slept through many of those lessons as an Apprentice," he said with a slight laugh. "Master Domick will get his revenge on me when I ask which of his Journeymen would be up to providing some remedial tutoring."

"Oh yes he will," Sebell said with a grin. Then he sighed. "It's nearly noon! I admit to being famished; will you join me as I walk down to the meal?"

"I have a few things to work on, Masterharper," Teslay said quickly. "I think I'll be taking my meal in my quarters today." But he rose with the Masterharper, and followed him out the door.

"Well then, I'll make note of that to Silvina," Sebell said, locking the door to his office and quarters behind him.

"That would be much appreciated, Masterharper."

"It's no bother. You have a good afternoon." And Sebell gave him a friendly clout on the shoulder, before turning to stride down the hall towards the afternoon meal.

#

If I hate being stressed so much, why do I put myself in these sorts of positions? Teslay thought to himself once he escaped the Masterharper's quarters and clutches with Sapho and, hopefully, a message from Camolien. There was a chance that the note was incriminating, and his heart was racing as if he'd participated in a sprint during some Gather. He hated the anxiety, and the feeling of fear that seeped through his veins lest he was discovered by one of those flashes of insight that men in power often had.

But really...finding a way to almost bring a man back from the dead was just wrong. The world needed someone to keep an eye on the people in power.

He wanted to rush back to his quarters to read the message, but knew if he did that, he'd be cooped up in there until his furious thinking subsided. If he stormed around the Hall in furious thought, someone would wonder, and really, he didn't want the Masterharper to think he was bent out of shape over his music any more than he wanted the man to know what he was really up to. So before braving the Tailor's findings, if any, he quickly grabbed a pot of klah from the kitchens, and amazingly a plate that was already being prepared, and, fortification in hand, retreated back to his temporary lair in the guest quarters.

Sapho was starting to pick up his anxiety again, so once he had secluded himself, he spent several moments calming down the twitchy little beast. Poor thing didn't need to jerk around and shiver on account of his moods. Only then, once Teslay had calmed himself and the little blue down, and taken a few stomach pleasing bites of food and a gulp of klah, he extracted the message that the firelizard has brought back to him.

A few moments later, he kindled a small fire in the hearth, and burned the note to ashes.

"Confirmed. Stupid, stupid, stupid people..." Although the fact that Camolien was making a new pair of pants for Masterharper Robinton without even knowing he was doing so--or at least, not letting on in the note--was by far one of the funniest things that Master Teslay could remember happening recently. The poor, ambitious, rank-climbing man--if only he knew!

And, a thought dawned on Master Teslay...if Camolien was making pants for the Harper, wouldn't he also perhaps be delivering them as well? And if that was so, wouldn't he be able to slip in a note with them?

But...what would Teslay say to Master Robinton? And what age was the man anyway? He couldn't assume anything when messing around with time. Was he Masterharper yet on his own timeline? Would he have apprentices yet? If not, perhaps he would seriously consider Master Teslay's thoughts. But if he had already Apprenticed Sebell on or Menolly, there was a large chance that Master Robinton would essentially rat him out if he provided his name or any sort of identification. But on the other hand, if Robinton didn't know who Sebell was, why would he trust someone who didn't even provide his name?

And...how long did it take to make a pair of pants for a supposedly simple Journeyman?

Teslay leapt to his feet again, and grabbed a sheet of parchment off of a shelf. Then he returned it, since it was awfully nice parchment, and found a scrap of paper--how ironic that something rather priceless not ten turns ago was now used so casually, he thought vaguely to himself, before finding a writing stick to scribble things down with. When you deliver the pants, can you take him a note for me? he asked. If so, let me know when you plan to make the delivery, and I'll have Sapho here bring you the note beforehand. There. Perhaps the man would then delay things a bit, giving him a little time to mull things over..."Come, my little man, I've another task for you," he said to his firelizard. The firelizard gave him what might be an indulgent look or maybe just a look of indigestion given the chunk of richly spiced meat he'd just stolen from Teslay's luncheon pie, and complied, and a few moments later, another note in Teslay's disjointed score was in progress.

#

"You again. That was quick. If the Harper boy was female, I'd suspect your Master has fallen in love," Camolien said, when a familiar blue firelizard popped into his quarters and made amazed sounds that Camolien was indeed there. Silly little thing. Camolien bribed the firelizard out of its flightiness and down to his desk with a bit of fruit. Camolien had no idea if the firelizard was short-sighted or just had a strange taste in foods for a firelizard, but it worked in luring the firelizard down, and shortly he had the bit of paper out of the tube.

"Mmm," he said after he had read it. "If you wanted to send a note, why didn't you include it, you daft Harper? I swear, you are sweet on the man or something. Just write the blasted note." And Camolien turned the paper over and wrote a patronizing reply. Then, since his mind was on the subject, he picked up the half-made pair of pants he had started working on earlier, and began working on them again. He'd finish them by this evening, just to mess with Teslay. Otherwise they'd be passing notes back and forth forever like two Apprentices lovesick over the same girl. "Here you go, Sapho. No need to take it back quick; go have a little vacation on a beach or something. Take some time off."

The firelizard gave him a curious look, as if it didn't understand him, and then launched into the air and disappeared.

"Right, then. I wish I had a timer..."
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Read my Pern and Talent fanfic on Archive of our Own.

Fanfic WIPs: The Day Benden Went to War (Pern/Talent); Slosh (Pern); Weyrbred Lads (Pern); When You Fall Asleep /Between/... (Pern)

Completed Fics: Flight (Pern), Flight v2 (Pern), Golden Glow (Pern)

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