Determined to stand up for herself and protect the things she cares about, Deitra learns to fight. Age 10

They avoided her, once the bruises faded from purple, but were still tender. Her friends? The ones who avoided making trouble, were good kids? They avoided her. Abandoned her. She made new ones… Ones that weren’t afraid of some trouble. Who were bigger troublemakers than herself. She never went and made trouble, trouble found her. These friends, they taught her how to punch properly, taught her how to duck and weave, to avoid the hits.

She would sometimes (more often than not), skip harper lessons to fight — and maybe she was becoming a troublemaker. She wanted to improve, to get better. To fight back. And her friends? They never took it easy on her just because she was a girl. But, they didn’t beat her mercilessly when she lost, either.

It took months for her to even win a single fight. The thrill was more than she had anticipated. Winning. Fighting. It was a rush that this girl of ten Turns had never felt before, had never encountered. Her first fight, clearly, did not go well. The rush was different. She was losing. She was afraid. There were none of those feelings. And winning? It just added to the feeling. It made her feel proud. Made her feel confident. Made her feel strong.

They, however, kept her from being reckless and picking a fight with the group who had hurt her. They were, at least, that smart and that wise. She was headstrong. And she was cocky, after she felt she could fight.

Her fostermother started lecturing. Chyhi asked what she was doing (and she told her she was learning to fly without a dragon. She believed her, for a short time.). Her fosterfather said nothing.

'The World of Pern(tm)' and 'The Dragonriders of Pern(r)' are copyright to Anne McCaffrey (c) l967, 2000. This is a recorded online session, by permission of the author but generated on PernWorld MUSH for the benefit of people unable to attend.