Eyes and Ears

Fort Weyr - Weyrleaders' Office
Aged by time, this office has lived through the ages of Fort just as its counterparts have. But unlike the Weyrsecond and Junior Weyrwomen offices, this cavern is spacious and formed in a rough semicircle of three conjoined caves that were carved and modified Turns ago. The middle portion acts as a waiting room of sorts, holding only a few modest chairs and a simple tapestry to otherwise brighten up the plain stone walls. There are no windows here and the only light comes from well placed glow baskets.
To the right, the smaller of the two adjoining caverns has been set aside for the Weyrwoman, a large desk situated in the middle and a bookshelf pressed against the wall. A small hearth allows for some warmth in the colder months and another cabinet rests across the room to hold various supplies, as well as several books, reports and records. More tapestries have been hung there, lending some color to room.
On the left, the larger cavern belongs to the Weyrleader's office and the walls here are littered with a vast array of maps, as well as a tapestry hung behind where he would sit. The desk is large and the wood aged, looking old and a bit worn, but well tended too. Shelves and a bookshelf line one wall, crammed with rolled hides, other maps, books, reports and records and all arranged in an organized chaos. A small hearth has been built in here as well and various well placed glow baskets are hung to offer just the right amount of light in this windowless office.
Both offices have stout wooden doors that have been carefully worked into the stone. They can be closed and locked if privacy is needed but are often left open.


Winter is settling in and the Weyr seems to be quiet — yeah right. When is Fort ever quiet? Never. There are always the little things to keep everyone busy. Th'ero has had his fair share of work to keep him in and out of the offices and often the Weyr itself but with Kayeth glowing now, Velokraeth is difficult to budge. So the Weyrleader is staying out of the cold and seated behind his desk, catching up on reports while he has his bronze call on Tovihasuth and ask that his rider come here to the offices at his earliest convenience. At least it doesn't appear to be a critical emergency?

Winter is often a time for slowing down, except for Br'enn. Indeed, it seems to be the season that yields the most life changes for him - coming to Fort, getting Searched, getting weyrmated, and the like. So it's little surprise when Tovihasuth - thankfully not too distracted with cavorting around in the snow - relays a summons from Th'ero via Velokraeth. Such summonses don't come too often, but Br'enn always looks forward to them. They mean something to do - not that life on Phoenix is ever boring, mind. He's just gotten used to the routine. So up the bronzerider comes to the council chambers, a stout few raps given on the door to announce his presence before he opens it and slips inside, giving the Weyrleader a crisp salute. "Afternoon, sir. What can I do for ya?"

Th'ero looks up from his work and though his expression barely shifts from the neutrality its settled in he seems pleased enough to see Br'enn standing there. "Afternoon," he greets in return as he salutes and then gestures to the empty chair. "Please, have a seat. Can I get you anything to drink? Klah? Ale?" By now, most riders should know to carefully sip the Black Damnation the Weyrleader likes to serve. It seems too that the Weyrleader isn't going to waste time with too much pleasantry. "How familiar are you with Southern Boll Hold?" he asks and while he phrases it as a casual sort of question it is never the case with Th'ero. He's up to something…

"Some klah'd do me," Br'enn answers with a nod, plopping down in the offered chair. When Th'ero gets right to the point, the bronzer certainly doesn't mind, settling back in his chair with a raise of eyebrows. "Southern Boll? Not too familiar with the Hold itself, but I ran around the region for a while some Turns back. Been a while, though. Somethin' goin' on out there?" Something that needs their attention?

Th'ero nods and pushes his chair back, standing slowly to his feet as he takes the few steps to the little side table with the klah pitcher. Checking to be sure it's still acceptably warm, he'll pour Br'enn a generous amount into a mug and then offer it to him, along with a small platter with the necessary cream and sweetener so the bronzerider can prepare it as preferred. "Not sure if there's something going on out there but I've my suspicions. I was just down by the docks not a few days ago and someone had the gall to pickpocket me of my marks while I was with Kimmila. We'd been at one of the dockside food stalls for a quick meal and the owner said they'd had problems with thieving children but that the Guards had seen to the matter — or so he assumed. I just find it… peculiar. Wouldn't you agree?"

Br'enn accepts the klah from Th'ero with a nod and goes about fixing it up just as he prefers, pausing and raising a brow at the news of pickpocketing. "Yeah, 's a little odd," he agrees, finishing up and taking a stirrer to his mug. "'specially if the guards shoulda dealt with it. So if y'didn't see who, it isn' the kids, and the guard's clueless… A professional or two workin' down there, maybe?"

Th'ero doesn't sit back in his chair, but stands behind his desk with his hands clasped behind his back, thoughtful and quiet while Br'enn works up his answer. His mouth quirks into the barest of smirks, "Maybe a professional or maybe they really do have some holdless children and riffraff skulking about. Truthfully, it's not a Weyr's matter is but Southern Boll Hold, if proper political reasonings are to be adhered too. Correct?" What is he getting at? Or is this another one of his cryptic tests?

Br'enn nods, then takes a quick sip of his klah, wincing a little when it hits his tongue with a bit too much heat. "Right," he answers, clearing his throat a little. "Not our concern…'less there's a bit more to it, eh? Maybe the affect's a bit more far-reachin'." He gives the Weyrleader a knowing smirk, blowing on his drink a few times and sipping a bit more carefully. "Gotta be somethin' a little deeper if it's in your sights, Th'ero. That, or you're testin' me." Because Br'enn is quite aware that the cryptic tests could come at any time!

Th'ero's smile is a little more genuine even if still vague and it widens ever so much more by Br'enn's last comment. "A little bit of both, Br'enn. A little bit of both." Looks like the bronzerider has passed, as the Weyrleader no longer stands by his desk but settles back into his chair, fingers now tented over his lap. All business, all seriousness. "Not all share the same opinion as I that there's something a little deeper going on but in all my Turns as a rider and Weyrleader, something isn't sitting right. Just can't quite put my finger on it and can't very well go sniffing around myself without getting everyone's hackles up. So that's where I'm going to need you… much in a similar way that I had Ha'ze out and about. You're duties often have you visiting the Holds but now I want you to be… hmm. More my eyes and ears?" A spy. "We do a lot of our trade with Southern Boll and the warmer climate holds along the southern tip of our territory during the winter. If you can, on the time that you may be there, see if you can't… carefully work out something from the locals. Without raising their suspicions. Think you'd be up for the task?" Because his work isn't stressful enough!

"Eyes and ears," Br'enn echoes, smirking again and idly turning his mug a bit on its base. Hunting has taught him to use a number of things well, his eyes and ears foremost among them. If he needs to use those as an extension of someone else… "Yeah. I think I'd be up for that." His expression turns a bit bemused after that, however, a number of questions rising. "How long y'gonna need me to be there?" he asks to start, one eyebrow quirking as blue eyes settle curiously on the Weyrleader's gaze.

Th'ero's eyes meet Br'enn's without hesitation and neither do they waver. The Weyrleader is a man that is certain in his plans once he's had the time to mull them over. If he has doubts, he's masking them very well. "Good. As for how long… a month at best. Perhaps two or however long you may feel is necessary." Who knows what the bronzerider may find? He leans back in his chair, his gaze finally drifting from Br'enn and to his desk for a moment, brows knit in thought. "And, as always… Not a word of this to others. Don't want there to be gossip." Luckily for them both, there will be more interesting topics at hand in the next few days. A Hatching, Kayeth's glowing and the lack of fish (hmm…).

A month. There's a flicker of distaste that crosses Br'enn's features at that, though it's quickly covered over, his expression going neutral again. Loathe as he is to be gone that long from his home and his weyrmate, he isn't about to refuse this; he trusts that Th'ero wouldn't be assigning this if it wasn't necessary, and he's also grateful for the trust the Weyrleader is placing in him to do this. "Course I'll my trap shut," he promises, "though I'm gonna have to let Rynn know I'll be gone that long for somethin' or other. I'll tell 'er it's somethin' you don't want me talkin' about…" Though he might have to be prepared for a lot more than that simple explanation. "So if y'want me spyin', what am I s'posed to do with Tov? Have 'im hidin' somewhere…or waitin' here?" Being separated from Tovihasuth for that long, mindlink or no, makes his gut clench outright.

Th'ero quirks a brow and then chuckles dryly, "Sorry. Perhaps I wasn't clear… you won't be staying in Southern Boll and the southern cotholds. Consider it more…" He lifts a hand and rolls it slightly as he works through his thoughts, trying to lay out his 'plan' a little more clearly. "… a change in your regular duties? While normally I'd have you go to any Hold or Hall necessary, now I will have you conveniently in those areas more often. Cover and a reason for you to be there in the first place. At most it will make your days a little longer but I do not see you being absent from the Weyr for a month-long stretch. You won't have to leave Tovihasuth either. You're essentially still a rider, a bronzerider and Phoenix Wingrider. It's… complicated. But if you're careful in handling the right folk, they'll open up to you." Is anything EVER easy? Nope. Th'ero shakes his head, "I'd not ask it of you to separate yourself from your dragon. Not for this."

The obvious amount of relaxation that trickles through Br'enn's frame as Th'ero clarifies might just be enough to be labelled 'comical'. He seems to shrink a full inch as his shoulders fall and he lets out breath he didn't know he'd been holding. "Oh. Good," he says, clearing his throat slightly. Is that a slight flush of embarrassment coloring his cheeks? It might be easier to tell without the scruff. After taking another, longer pull from his mug, he takes a steady breath in and out and continues on. "So I'm not really hidin' who or what I am; I'm just…bein' a real good student of the environment down there, eh?"

Th'ero certainly doesn't laugh but the way his mouth quirks and the faintest twitch to a brow may betray that the Weyrleader is trying very hard not to grin or snicker. "Exactly. As far as they're concerned you're just there on your Weyr business and maybe curious about a few things, as some riders are." he goes on to add, mood sobering again. "For all I know, Br'enn, I'm sending to chase nothing but shadows. Call me old or paranoid but after all the Turns of problems we had with Laris… I'm going to take precautions."

"Gotta trust your gut; yeah," Br'enn says, nodding, and he smirks. "Never a shortage of excitement, eh?" For better or worse. "Well, just gimme all the details about where, when, who, all that…an' I'll see what I can learn." Hoisting his mug at the Weyrleader, he gives one more nod and drinks. Mission: accepted! Especially now that he's got his head on straight about it.

Th'ero dips his head and for once he does smile to show his gratitude in knowing that Br'enn has not only accepted the task but seems at ease with it. "I'll have that report and information given to you by tomorrow morning. You can go about your usual duties as they were scheduled for today…" he murmurs as he leans forwards in his chair and reaches for the paperwork on his desk that has, until this point, been ignored. A sign, perhaps, of the dismissal to come. "If at any time you feel it may be easier to have more 'eyes' to help you as well, let me know. Does not have to be another Phoenix wing rider but a wing rider you may find is… trustworthy." Yay, teamwork? "Clear skies, Br'enn." And now he may escape!

Now that his klah is substantially cooler, Br'enn downs nearly all of it before, setting it back down on the desk, running the back of his wrist over his mouth to catch the bit of liquid that's escaped to his upper lip. "Definitely will," he affirms, pushing to his feet. "Thanks for comin' to me with this, sir. I'll do my best. Clear skies, Weyrleader." He snaps off a salute…and then reaches out to down the last bit of klah, returning the mug to the desk with a smirk and a nod of thanks before turning to make that escape.


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