Mika is very much


Mika is a native of Ista Weyr. She was born to a pair of lower cavern workers. Her father, Bykali, has risen to a respectable rank amongst the lower caverns folk, in that he is frequently placed in charge of larger repair projects about the weyr. Like wise her mother, Milara, is in charge of one of the groups of the regular menders down in the lower caverns. Both are very sensitive to rank and station, though not quite so much as Mika has become. Mika's brother, Bylaran, who is older by 3 turns, was always a firebrand, driving his parents to distraction with one escapade after another.

He was very fond of his shy little sister and managed to keep her out of the worst of his own trouble. He also went out of his way to shield her from the nastier minded of the weyr bullies, a protection that evaporated when he apprenticed to the Harper Hall at 11. The 8 year old Mika , only knew that she’d been abandoned by her only protector. Her parents, always worried when her brother landed her in trouble, were determined she would not turn out so disruptive. They redoubled their efforts in impressing proper behavior upon their youngest.

Her father was always the more laid back of the pair, but Mika’s mother was quick to jump on the slightest hint of rebellion or perceived discourtesy, not realizing that her daughter was cut from an entirely different cloth than her son. Mika did her best and retreated into a shell of absolute obedience and submission, which wasn’t helped at all by the fact she was still a target to the rougher elements of the lower caverns workers, who saw her as an easy target whenever they wanted to get out of something.

She managed to get away every now and then, though she didn’t see it like that. The Ista Hold wher handlers had asked for help at one point and she was sent. She found she actually enjoyed working with the animals. One of the old Aunties in the lower caverns made floral waters for and would tolerate the quiet girl, largely because Mika would actually listen to her ramble about the properties of this and that and speak wistfully of the stronger essences some of the traders bring back.

When she was 14, Kabrielle’s gold rose for the first time in 4 turns (after turns of recovery from a serious illness,) and Mika was searched for the clutch. She made a few friends, most notably one Ryskim who went on to impress a brown and became R’ki. The two grew close, though a few others she was less certain of, most notably Qiluin who became Q’luin after impressing bronze. She is still rather frightened of him, though it’s mellowed to wariness in the turns since the hatching.

She was one of a collection of candidates who stayed after failing to impress. Then Kabrielle died while Corana’s Naomith was still a weyrling and another long wait ensued. Most of the candidates drifted away, one by one, to other things. Mika’s life was little different than when she was growing up, still an endless repetition of chores.

She managed to find a firelizard clutch and on the advice of one of the old uncles, and in a rare spat of independence, she decided to sell them. The profit she turned from the 15 eggs was considerable, including some of the very oils that the old aunty had been wishing for. Unfortunately this drew the attention of one of the nastier branches of the lower caverns bullies (where there are people there will be bullies.) She took to hiding both her profits and the eggs until they were sold.

Eventually Naomith rose, and again Mika stood, and failed to impress. This time, between clutches, she found herself working with the headwoman Kezia, at first simply to keep the woman, one of her few friends, from overworking herself quite so badly, then because she came to enjoy it and to enjoy being useful. As time passed, others came and began to help as well. Asher, the weyrharper, discovered how much the Headwoman was overworking herself, and arranged for the Hall to send a few of their apprentice scribes to help at least with the basic record maintenance.

Clutches came and went and turns passed. Gold riders also came and went, and Mika alternated between candidate chores and the Headwoman's office. When Kezia also left, one of the assistants, a brassy woman named Blanche, stepped into the position, and, while never formally appointed, no one has yet challenged her right to give orders. Mika, for her part, has seen no reason to, though working under the pushy woman has had an unforseen effect, in that Mika learned how to push back, rarely with great force, but the circumstances have added a little spine to the timid little mouse that first stood seven turns earlier.

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