"Beyond Between" is a novelette by Anne McCaffrey that first appeared in the Science Fiction Anthology "Legends II" which was published in 2003 by Del Rey.
During the Plague in the Sixth Pass, Thaniel; the holder of Waterhole Hold, awaits the delivery of the vaccine. To his surprise, a dragonrider; Moreta, the Weyrwoman of Fort Weyr ends up being the one to do this. Thaniel notices as she leaves - traveling Between - that she is not riding her own dragon, but thinks nothing more of this, until the arrival of Masterhealer Capiam and several dragonriders later that night. They ask about Moreta, and Thaniel realities from their words that she has failed to emerge from Between and has died.
In Between, Moreta and Holth realize their mistake and find themselves trapped. Not long afterwards, they are guided out of Between and to Paradise River Stake by a mysterious dragonrider; Marco Galliani, who tells them to rest. The next day, Marco explains things to Moreta; he and Duluth retrieve the dragons that do not emerge from Between and guide them to Paradise River until they go “Beyond Between”. Since Holth is not Moreta’s dragon, the two are unable to go “Beyond”, and are stuck at Paradise River as spirits. Despite this, Holth is able to return to the last place she came from; Waterhole Hold, and Moreta decides to return there to attempt to signal Thaniel.
At Waterhole Hold, Thaniel notes his runnerbeast Rusty panicking, but is unable to find the reason why, as he cannot see the ghosts of Moreta and Holth. Moreta and Holth return Between, where Marco tells them old Earth legends about “ghosts”; suggesting the two “haunt” the hold until Thaniel realises their needs. Moreta and Holth return to the Hold over the next few nights, resulting in Thaniel sending word to Fort Weyr after he sees Moreta’s figure illuminated by the moon.
At Fort Weyr, Leri is comforted by the weyrwomen of the other Weyrs, while she waits for Orlith to leave her eggs and travel Between. In time, she receives a message via runner from Thaniel, describing the appearance of Moreta at his hold. When Orlith’s eggs are ready to hatch, Leri and her travel to Waterhole Hold, where they wait with Thaniel.
As evening falls, Moreta and Holth arrive, and the two dragonriders are reunited with their dragons. After hearing the news of the hatching, Moreta and Leri thank Thaniel, and travel “Beyond Between”; leaving Thaniel to wonder what may happen after death.
- Main article: List of characters in Beyond Between
Preceded By: Ever The Twain Pern Stories (In Publication Order) Followed By: Dragon's Kin Preceded By: Moreta: Dragonlady of Pern Pern Stories (In Chronological Order) Followed By: Nerilka's Story