I had always thought Shy was flawed, because I was broken.
He made so many of our family who had a specific, unique purpose. And there was, me.
Handsome, yes. Attractive. But with no specific power or purpose. Not like you. Or Savas. Or Monique.
| Ishaan is average height with dusky skin and piercing hazel eyes. He is compact, and normally dressed in fitted, practical clothing made of rougher materials and sturdy leather. His hair is long, about shoulder length and kept away from his face in a loose bun on the top of his head. He has a short, thick beard that is kept neater in the summer and fuller in the winter.
Ishaan is dark and ruggedly handsome. While he might not be everyones cup of tea, many who know Shy are very certain they can identify just which genetic pool cough Sanger cough he pulled Ishaan’s appearance from.
|Ishaan’s most overt characteristic is how much he likes to complain about Shy. He can be found grumbling and sulking over any perceived slight from the geneticist, and enjoys nothing more than to try to cajole the other projects into taking a stance against their creator.
Despite his bad words and grumbles, Ishaan is a hard working and loyal individual. He enjoys his work, his large and oddly extended family, and is very passionate about making sure that things are done well.
Ishaan is not a new project: he has been around long enough to be comfortably considered an “uncle” by the newer generation of projects, but it is only more recently that he grew into his new title and ability. He is extremely motivated in proving himself as the best darn searchrider out there- and if that means butting heads with the geneticist, so be it.
| Ishaan has an innate ability of tracking down candidates and sponsors and understanding which world and clutch they are right for. Ishaan believes this is a glitch in his true gift- because what “leading geneticist” will try to build a searchrider on purpose, when there were so many real riders out there who could do the job?
He believes it has something to do with his telepathic ability of identifying people and places, regardless of world and dimensions: he has been the long time partner of Sidhu, a dreamscape walker, and wonders if maybe keeping an mental eye on her as she hopped dreams made him a little bit more susceptible to identifying and connecting candidates with their right worlds.
“I had always thought Shy was flawed, because I was broken.” Ishaan took a long swallow from a glass carafe, the amber contents gleaming almost gold in the soft light. “He made so many of our family who had a specific, unique purpose. And there was, me.” He splayed out his free hand and gestured to himself. “Handsome, yes. Attractive. But with no specific power or purpose. Not like you. Or Savas. Or Monique.”
His companion was a dark skinned, hazel eyed young woman dressed in an ornate white and gold sari, a head scarf beaded with sparkling white and silver beads glinting in the light. She cast her eyes down at the table in front of her, keeping her hands busy as she picked and chose from a small selection of tidbits to refill a small plate.
“Years. I had been awake already when Shy woke Monique. I helped design your quarters when you were brought back. Years, I had been around. But nothing. No spark, no purpose, no—” Ishaan took another long swallow, and then at the end of it let out an indelicate burp.
“Until now, no?” his companion’s voice was soft, lilted and full of amusement that wasn’t properly conveyed in her formal and controlled movements. She pushed the small plate into his hands and gestured for the carafe.
“Until now.” He smiled. It was a wide, cheek cracking, cat that ate the canary and the cream kind of smile as he let out a boom of laughter and popped a savory morsel into his mouth. “Searchrider.” His tone his smug. “I am The Searchrider.”
Sidhu shook her head. At her touch, the carafe refilled itself with dark amber liquid to the brim. “You drink the tea as if it is mead or wine, when it is only black tea.” Her words were full of amusement as she passed the carafe back. “And how has it been going? Being the Searchrider?”
Ishaan’s smile was so self satisfied that Sidhu threw a flaky croissant at his face. It landed with a soft ‘thump’, falling to the ground but not before leaving a smattering of pastry crumbs on his beard.
“It has been exciting. New.” For a moment his clear hazel eyes gleamed molten gold- a signature in Shy’s projects, and a sign that he was pushing out a little with his gift. “I have been busy. It has been interesting enough identifying which of our brothers and sisters need to travel, and where they need to go: but my gift seems to expand beyond that. I can sense people, figure out who needs to be searched and taken to meet their intended. It is…” for a moment, Ishaan was actually at a loss for words as he shook his head.
“I have purpose now.”
The soft sound of bells interrupted their reverie, a common melody that had both start with surprise.
“It is morning already here.” Ishaan’s smile warmed. “I’ll see you tonight?”
Sidhu shrugged. “If I do not have chores, and if you are asleep.” She smiled as she reached out to hold his hands over the carafe. “I am very proud of you, Ishaan.”
Whatever response Ishaan had been about to retort was lost as he blinked out of the dreamscape.
Ishaan’s steps echoed against the floor panels of Shy’s laboratory. Large and expansive with high ceilings, tall and slender individuals in white lab coats and eyes of molten gold moved between workstations, murmuring soft nothings as they tracked behavior and performance on tablets.
Ishaan ignored them, moving to the end of the lab where floor to ceiling glass looked out over into another, wider room. Set below the one he was in, he could see rows of glass containers, holding Shy’s projects in suspension. Some were fully formed and humanoid, floating in a gauzy, starry liquid, while seemed like fledgling dragons and giant birds. He touched the glass barrier, and with a *ting* of a bell, an interface glowed into existence. Rows and tables identifying the projects below, which, when manipulated, displayed full statistics and status of his extended family.
Ishaan wasn’t sure how his gift worked. What he knew was that as he randomly looked through the lists and rows of names and project codes, something vibrated in the back of his mind. A stream of thought that seemed to stretch out in attention.
He paused and selected each project that caused that unusual sensation. At the end of it all, he had four projects selected.
“Pigeon, really?” Ishaan had not felt Shy’s arrival, to his disconcertment. The scientist, despite being his creator, had ‘forgotten’ to instill the same sense of loyalty and blind obedience the other projects seemed to have. Shy bothered Ishaan, physically. He always had this odd, prickling at the back of the nape feeling.
This time for some reason, the feeling had been muted as he pushed his own talents.
Ishaan shrugged. “She’s been inactive for a few years now?” Pigeon had been a nickname to a cloned communicator that Shy had created at the height of the Vella Crean. Small, innocent little creatures he had used and distributed amongst his contacts, emphasizing their frailty and cuteness so that they could carry messages in safety. Shy had literally taken “don’t shoot the messenger” to another level.
The central, homing Pigeon had been a lanky, frail looking girl with large eyes and the tendency of following Shy around like a little shadow.
“Eight years.” Shy murmured, stepping a little bit closer to Ishaan.
Ishaan took a careful step back. “You won’t need to age her too much.” She, like all of Shy’s projects was ageless. But he remembered Pigeon looking younger. Ten, eleven of age, maybe.
Somehow, he knew that where Pigeon would end up would not mind a younger candidate. Not a bond, or an applicant, a candidate. The word tasted familiar in his mind. Many worlds accepted candidates, but he knew, almost where she would go.
“Very well then, we will make sure she is a little bit older when she wakes.” Shy’s eyes glinted with amusement as he took a closer step towards Ishaan and reached out, curling a hand around Ishaan’s cheek possessively. “You are doing a very good job, Searchrider.”
That same odd, prickly at the back of the nape feeling. “Thank you.” He responded tightly. “I’ll be off to see Atlas now.”
Ishaan did not consider it running away.
But Ishaan could not really deny it was some form of avoidance.
“I don’t think he could have forgotten to code you with loyalty, Ishaan.” The bassy, rough voice of his companion did little to ease his annoyance. “He sometimes makes… little surprises, but does not make mistakes that large. Besides- he could have always recoded the obedience at a later point.”
“Maybe he enjoys this.” Ishaan muttered. “Sadistic little-“
“Ishaan.” The bassy voice hardened, and Ishaan looked up from where he had been nursing a giant mug of black tea to meet eyes that had gone molten gold.
For a moment, molten gold eyes made clear hazel ones, neither party speaking.
Ishaan knew he could not take on his companion. Tall, broad shouldered and big boned in a way that filled the rather traditionalist room they were in, his companion could easily throw him out the window without breaking a sweat.
As the pause lengthened and the tension grew a little bit more palpable, Ishaan cursed once under his breath.
“I’m sorry.” He offered first. “I don’t know why it is I react like this to the man.”
A slow, considering look until the giant’s molten gold eyes shifted to clear dark blue. He nodded once sharply. “It is, highly unusual.”
A project of Shy’s who found his own creator uncomfortable, and had no qualms cursing him out, to the discomfort of other projects? ‘Highly unusual’ was one way of looking at it.
Looking to clear the air and changed the subject, Ishaan got up, placing the mug on the ruddy wooden table in front of him. He barely noticed as the giant winced and moved the mug onto a coaster.
“You could have streamlined minimalist technology at your fingertips, and you choose this?” he swept his arm out, gesturing to the large room that looked more like a captain’s den on a traditional ship of some sort. Even the windows had been treated to show the deck of a ship, the sky bright and sunny and just the whisper of waves and gulls.
“It suits me.” The man muttered gruffly.
Ishaan laughed. A great booming sound, the tension had he almost caused already forgotten and swept aside in his mind as he clapped a hand over the other man’s shoulder. “This is why I like you, Atlas.” He leaned into the other man and looked down at the table in front of them. “You are a traditionalist romanticist. Like me.”
Atlas blushed just a little bit, and scoffed. “Myself, a romanticist, yes. You? No.”
“Agree to disagree.” Ishaan responded smoothly, distracted now by the maps spread out in front of them.
“Where is that?” he gestured to an oddly shaped planet, tinted the same shades as Earth. The landmarks looked almost familiar, just a little bit- different.
“Pern.” Atlas answered swiftly. “We haven’t had much contact since we moved off world, so you might don’t recognize it.”
Something tugged at Ishaan as he looked down at the map. With a quick glance up for approval, met by Atlas’ nod, he reached out and pinched his fingers together on top of the map, quickly bringing them apart.
The map on what looked like old fashioned paper paused before zooming. He continued to scroll, hand hovering just a hairsbreadth above the ‘paper’. The feeling, that tug inside him seemed to know exactly what he was looking for.
“There.” He breathed. “What lies there?”
Atlas frowned. “Isla Weyr.” He muttered, looking around him for a journal. “You haven’t directed anyone there yet- is there a candidate we need to arrange transport for?” he frowned as he read through his notes. “We might need a little bit of a backstory, or some modifications. They seem, mostly human, and mostly non magic.”
Ishaan felt a small burn, a small need for urgency. “Myself.” He said, his tone full of amusement and a little bit of wonder. “I need to go to Isla Weyr.”
Sidhu looked around Ishaan’s temporary residence with admiration. “You, in traditional candidate barracks?” her tone was full of amusement. “It’s not too crowded? Too messy?” she teased.
Ishaan laughed. He stood with hands spread, gesturing around the room. “It is taking some getting used to, but I am enjoying the experience.” He grinned, a slow, easy grin as he pointed to a bed. “That’s mine. The other candidates, especially the Pernese ones, are sweet and innocent and so full of optimism.”
“Do they know you’re not from here?” the dreamcaster sat on the bed, bouncing up and down a few times as if testing the springs. “Aren’t Pernese candidates rather young?”
Ishaan snorted. “Physically, I am in my mid twenties.” He gestured to the beard. “Don’t let this fool you. Enough know, though- Shy was careful. He has been trying very, very hard to stay on good terms with the people at ICPC. Something about needing genetics and lineage.” Ishaan shrugged. “But I am human enough, no magical powers.”
“And your work?” she asked.
“Shy’s built me a temporary back door to Atlas’ office. So I can continue to do my work, when I don’t have candidate duties.” His tone turned amused. “Candidate duties. Sidhu, I do chores. Take lessons. It is really fascinating.”
“How fascinating.” She echoed, her tone a little bit droll. “How do you feel?”
For a moment, the amusement seemed to freeze and fracture. Ishaan took a seat on the bed opposite Sidhu, and stared a while at his hands.
“I have been alive for so long, with Shy. Watched him work on other projects and felt a little bit disconnected. Because I didn’t have the same purpose of objective. I don’t agree with him and I don’t like him- which is unusual enough. But this?” he looked up, and his hazel eyes seemed to waver between hazel and gold. “I know this is meant to me.”
Sidhu felt pride and joy to hear her oldest friend speak with such purpose and conviction.
“Will you make it to my hatching?” Ishaan asked.
Sidhu smiled. “Of course. I will see you at the hatching.”
From the Hatching Records
The blue that had toppled Jeyeth had been racing his blue sibling, and as Jeyeth was making her Impression, the blue looked up at Ishann with a grin akin to a draconic smirk as he pulled himself up and shook the sand from his hide. “Well, hello there handsome,” Ishann exclaimed, staging down in delight at the little blue who was clearly trying not to look like he had just face planted. Kneeling, Ishann whispered, “Would you like me to help brush off some of the sand from your hide?”
The blue wiggled in discomfort. Oh, please, it makes me itch so much! And I do believe it is causing great pain to my stomach as well, the little blue nearly whimpered.
Laughing as he leaned forward, Ishann used the hem of his robes and his sleeves to dust off most of the clinging sand. “Once you’re free of all this, why, you are going to be the most handsome hatchling, aren’t you?”
Of course, Pederth remarked as if it was the most logical thing in the world. Ishann laughed, then looked up to the stands where Sidhu smiled and nodded at him. “He thinks like me!” he called, then turned back to his dragon. “I am sure the sand is not causing the pain in your stomach, dear one, but I am sure we can find something to fill it,” he whispered.
Pederth rumbled his approval and quickly fell into pace behind his rider.
|telepathy: can speak using his/her mind only
teleportation: can travel to a different location instantly
telekinesis: can move objects with their mind
assisted fire breath: can breath fire after digesting firestone
|XgWdF Y RR bb C*cx TT iiKk PP OO SS*/R A1A2 UU Hh Mm+
Additional Appearances in other stories (in order)