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Dragonriders of Pern
The Skies of Pern

by Anne McCaffrey

p.48-49 It was expected that the diners would join in the chorus of the ballads. When F'lessan opened his mouth to join in, she was astonished. He complained about fire-lizards? They could harmonize, and were supplying descants from wherever they were perched. He couldn't even find the melodic line! He wasn't quite a monotone, but so near to one that she hoped the lusty voices around them drowned him out. Yet he was--well, not exactly singing, although he bellowed out the right words--carrying on as if he didn't care. He merely waved to those at the nearest table, who were grimacing at him and vigorously indicating that he should either shut his mouth or go elsewhere.
     Should she try to drown him out? She had an alto range but at least she sang on pitch and with reasonable musicality. He was gesturing broadly--urgently--for her to sing. His merry eyes caught hers, and from the mischief in them, she suddenly realized that he knew very well how badly he sang and didn't care. That he was willing to show such a defect in a culture that apotheosized music, and certainly encouraged vocal talents, astonished her. Mirrim might criticize his fickleness and breezy attitudes to weyrmates, but why hadn't she mentioned his flawed voice?
     Now, still lofting his hearty non-tone, he cupped his ear to indicate that he couldn't hear her singing. Out of pique, she took a deep breath and joined in--hopefully loud enough to cover his performance. Vigorously, he approved her efforts, amiably marking out the tempo with both hands. He did have a good sense of timing. At the rousing end of the final chorus, he closed his mouth but applauded enthusiastically.
     "Why do you sing, when you know you can't?" she demanded in a low voice.
     "Because I do know all the words," he replied, not at all abashed.

p.332-333 Twenty-two riders, three men who should have been enjoying their last decades in leisure, two Masters, and a Lord Holder: twenty-eight men and women to solve what she felt in her bones was impossible. But then, killing Fax had been--once. And ending Thread. Why should she consider this crisis to be beyond their capabilities? She gave her shoulders a little shake and took her place beside her weyrmate. She heard his sigh. Then he, too, stood straighter, to address the assembled.

p.354 Talina listened in the way she had of being of a group but not part of it.

NAMES: Joetta, Ballora