Overreaction (a.k.a How to Scare your Weyrwoman)

Fort Weyr - Weyrleaders' Offices
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.


Down in her office, Nyalle is indeed within. And puzzled. Curious, with the messages she's received from Kayeth. A Harper injured? Why is Fort called to respond? She stands behind her desk, tapping a stylus against its surface as she thinks, trying to figure it out. And part of her is also just waiting to be fetched. Surely if she's needed, someone will come get her, right?

She is needed and Th'ero has come to fetch her! The Weyrwoman will likely have wished it was anyone else BUT the Weyrleader by the time this all done and over with. He doesn't even knock on the door, he just strides in, expecting to find her ready and chomping to go… and then he remembers she's not Dtirae. "Have you heard then?" he says, his features twisted and stormy. The news has had opposite effects. HE is taking it much more strongly than she is and now it's time to see how they'll clash. "I've Kimmila out to meet with the Wingleaders. Weyrsecond D'ani is already on his scheduled sweeps, so if we need him, we can always call on Dremkoth later."

Nyalle looks at her Weyrleader and then she startles, the surprise clear on her face. "I did, I've…wait." What? "Why is Kimmila meeting with the Wingleaders?" Nyalle did not live through Laris. She does not understand.

Th'ero just stares blankly at Nyalle and in the mood he's in, there's no filtering. "Why wouldn't I have her meet with the Wingleaders?" Why is this an issue? He scowls, "This is serious news, Nyalle. While I realize that the incident happened on Hold ground, the fact that holdless could have been involved can only mean trouble… So of course I mobilized the Wings!" He lived through Laris and almost died twice by Laris. He's not about to sit idly by like they did before and see if all of it blew over!

Nyalle frowns, tilting her head as she takes in his outfit. "Is that a /sword/?" Barbaric! "What exactly are you planning on doing with the wings? Why is Fort involved at all?" she asks, turning to look at a map on the wall. "Where did it take place anyway? Have the Holds or Harper Hall even asked for our help?"

What would she say if she knew what he was wearing under his clothes? Th'ero looks down at his hip, where the sword rests and he scowls at her, puzzled. "Yes, it's my sword. I may need it." Very barbaric! Blinking again, his head tilts a bit to the side and he just levels her with an incredulous stare. "Fort is involved because we protect the people?" he states flatly. Obviously? "My plan is to organize them for grid searching. Sweep the land. See if we can't find those responsible and send word to the Holds if we do…" He's come to stand by the maps as well and he juts a finger at the correct hold, tapping it impatiently and then circling the surrounding forests (so much forests) around it. "Here. And why else did you think we got the news?" he snaps angrily. Why is she even questioning this?

Nyalle frowns at him, shifting away a bit when he stands so close to her. "You're not thinking of /engaging/ them are you?" she asks, looking at his sword. "I'll not have you endangering my riders so you can go off and play the hero in something that has nothing to do with us."

Th'ero takes a step back, about to protest again and is stunned to silence. Play hero? Endangering? His temper flares, anger and frustration flashing in his eyes, his mouth tight and grim as he stands tall. Filling the room, looming over her as he gestures sharply at the map. "Of course I am!" he snaps again and while his voice never quite rises to a full on yell, the heat behind it is enough. He may as well be raging at the top of his lungs but it's far more unsettling the way he goes about it. "They're MY riders too and THEY have all experienced this before! We cannot let this go unchecked! Do you SEE, Nyalle? We made this mistake before! We did it your way, we sat back and played it safe and look what it got us? Laris was able to dig his roots so deep we're STILL now free of his blight and damage! Normal holdless folk don't shoot and attempt to murder Harpers!"

Nyalle startles, her eyes widening in shock. Hand to her throat she takes a step /back/ from her Weyrleader, honestly frightened of him for a brief moment before she regains herself. On the heights, Kayeth shifts, rumbling warningly. Down in the room, Nyalle blinks a few times, too quickly, looks at the map and then darts a look back at him. "Fine," she whispers softly. Composed. Careful.

Th'ero's too wrapped up in his flaring temper to immediately catch the way Nyalle startles and the look of shock in her eyes. How frightened she is by him. Dtirae would have stood up to him, likely ripped him apart for his behaviour or called him out and called him down. He's not used to her as his Weyrwoman, not entirely accustomed to one who crumbles and yet composes herself so swiftly and resigned to obey. High Reaches taught her well. He'll storm about the room, muttering and growling under his breath about how they can't fail this time, that they won't blunder this and end it before it becomes a problem and bleeds out over the rest of Pern. He's venting and Nyalle's an unfortunate bystander to the darker side of the Weyrleader. One borne of fear and anxieties, but all because he is seeking to protect and keep his people safe. Weyr first, but those of the Hall and Hold too. If he were in better control of himself, he'd try to calmly explain this to Nyalle. Instead he's swept up in his fit of rage, pushed by her indifference to what he views as a serious crisis. "Nyalle," Th'ero says at last, turning to face her and with most of his anger burned off and simmering down, he actually sees her now. How cautious and composed she is. He swears out loud and curses himself in his head, striding forwards in slow, measured steps. Hands held up, palms turned out. He's not a threat! "We have to be unified on this." he says, his voice thickly accented and gruff. "And I mean truly unified." He levels her with a piercing look. Don't think he's fooled by that mask! He's the master at that trick.

Nyalle takes another slow step back. She does not yet know that she /can/ stand up to him. That she can assert herself, without damaging the weyr or putting herself in danger. As Th'ero rages, Nyalle watches, her jaw tight, her hands clasped firmly in front of her. When he moves forward she takes a few steps back, brows furrowing and a spark of uncertainty flashing in her eyes. Not fear, necessarily, but she's very unsettled. "I do not understand why it is /such/ a large issue," she finally says quietly.

Th'ero frowns when Nyalle steps back from him, not understanding why she is fearing him. It was just a little outburst? Surely she knows by now that he's harmless. He continues to hold his hands up in a calming way, as if trying to sooth a spooked and skittish runner. Easy. He blinks and then it sinks in. She wasn't here for the Turns of having to deal with the damage wrought by Laris and his men. Of course she wouldn't see… "It's because of our past… or the past this Weyr faced with Laris and his holdless. Nyalle… I don't even think I have time to begin to explain the damage done by that man and his people. There are very few here who weren't present for it and they remember. It was difficult times. Dangerous times. They'll not like the idea of this being a possible… resurgence. Some may panic."

Nyalle continues to frown. "I read the file, yes…" But reading an account is /nothing/ compared to living it. "So you must…act. And quickly. So the weyr does not think you're taking it lightly."

Th'ero shakes his head and has grit his teeth to keep from growling at her in frustration and going off on another tirade. His jaw works and he sighs heavily. "It's not quite that, Nyalle. We have to reassure them that we've doing all that we can to be sure that they're safe. Here, in the Halls and the Holds. I'm not looking to go and root out every single holdless camp and interrogate them." Yet. Faranth help them all if it comes to that. "We'll have the Wings organized to do coordinated grid sweeps. There… was a name mentioned too. Velokraeth told me that the greenrider who reported in said Ezra was insistent on it. Hazelon. A drudge?" Weyrfolk are Nyalle's department. "So we have THAT to either deal with or… hush quietly. Last thing I want is people to turn on each other…" He grimaces. Is she beginning to see now?

Nyalle frowns, still struggling with this concept. "Ah. They need a show of…of strength. Power." She nods at the sword at his hip. Surely he wasn't planning on /using/ it, right? It's all for show? "Hazelon? I can look…Fort has a lot of drudges. What is Hazelon's part in this?" She moves back to her desk, taking a note.

"Strength," Th'ero agrees but he shakes his head at her term of 'power'. "Strength, unity, loyalty, honour and justice. We don't seek power, Nyalle. We protect our own, we secure their safety. There may be no Thread anymore, but dragonriders were always protectors of all of Pern's people. We do not go out seeking glory or heroism. We go to find the ONE band responsible for this and bring them in… and Faranth help us with as little blood shed as possible… and bring them to Harper Hall to face their judgement by Hall and Hold." So the Weyr is involved, but only for a specific part of the whole puzzle. He looks down at his sword again and grimaces, eyes darkening with the memories of the times when he HAD to use it. How much blood that blade has spilled and by his hand… Th'ero shakes himself out of his brooding and returns her gaze. It's for show. Faranth help him, how he hopes it will just be for show. "Hazelon is the one who shot and wounded Sr. Apprentice Harper Rayathess." Oh boy, that'll be fun for Nyalle to clean up with the Masterharper, won't it?

Nyalle sits down slowly, her hands folded and resting on top of her desk. "I see," she says slowly. And she does, kind of. She can understand protection. Just not the /scope/ of emotions Th'ero is feeling. "That seems fairly simple, especially for Fort's riders." She's proud of their riders, and their skills. Then she is startled. "Our drudge shot a Harper?" That complicates things!

Th'ero stares long and hard at Nyalle when she takes her seat again behind her desk. Does she see? He isn't so certain, but it's a start. Maybe by the end of all this, she will understand. "It is, but it isn't, Nyalle. We have to be prepared for anything. We were too… relaxed with Laris and his men and it got away from us fast. I don't want that to happen again. Not with us about to host the Winter Games. This HAS to end now." he states firmly, stubbornly and his temper has gone back to simmering somewhere inside of him. He's calmer now, composed and more the man she is used to seeing every day, save for the shadowed look to his eyes. "Yes, he apparently did. We'll be waiting on confirmation on THAT too." It does complicate things. It complicates things very much but Th'ero isn't about to delve too much into it now. Focus. Priorities.

Nyalle lifts a hand and gestures. "Then take care of it," she says quietly. "What do you need from me, Weyrleader? I will ask about Hazelon. See what people know, if they've seen anything…"

Th'ero scowls for a moment and then sighs. No, he doesn't have time for this. Let it go! "What I need from you, Nyalle," And he stresses her name a bit, giving her a look. Will they ever get past that barrier between them? He extends a hand out towards her, "Is to come with me, just for now, to address the Weyrfolk and the Wingriders. Calm them and reassure them that we received the news and are working on it." Settle the tense atmosphere and then they can go about their tasks. Patiently he waits there, hand held out respectfully, for her answer. Will she go with him? Do what is 'proper' as she was taught and expected to do? Or will she brush him aside?

Nyalle looks startled. "Why do you need me there? The wings, the riders, that is your domain." She looks at his hand, not taking it. But she will stand, brushing down her skirts.

Th'ero's stubborn and keeps his hand out though not as raised as before. He frowns, "I know that. But we should be side by side to at least speak publicly from the ledge. Unity, remember?" Weyrfolk and Wingriders. "Then I will go to my riders and the Wings, to meet privately, while you go with your juniors to the rest of the weyr staff and her people." Does she understand now?

Nyalle moves around the desk, but she still does not take his hand. "United," she says quietly. Then she frowns. "What do you need us to do? What can the juniors do?"

Th'ero lowers his hand once it's obvious that she is refusing him and anger flickers in his eyes. Anger and something else. Guilt? Hurt? Does he even have the right to feel stung by her refusal? "You said you were going to ask about Hazelon," he says, trying to keep his patience with her. Trying to remember that she is a young and untried Weyrwoman. Maybe this is why Dtirae broke and snapped? "Nyalle, you have to take charge of your end of things. They're your juniors, not mine. But if you were to ask me for my opinion," Not that she would, would she? "I'd have them help you with figuring out who this Hazelon is. Inri is good with speaking to others, isn't she? Use that. Elara and Neyuni can be of some use too, I'm sure. And Jajen…" He scowls. "… best keep Jajen in the archives."

Nyalle is approaching him, she's just not taking his hand. She's going. But not arm in arm. Not after he frightened her. And not when she sees that anger in his eyes. She stands before him, hands clasped, and nods. "Very well then." She'll take his advice. She doesn't know how to handle this, or what she's expected to do. "Shall we?"

Th'ero curses himself seven different shades when Nyalle refuses to even take his arm, remaing distant. Just when he thought he was making progress with her! And he ruined it all because of his lack of control. He let fear control him. His mood turns brooding and dark and he will stride forwards to open the door for her and gesture for her to step through first. They shall! He'll walk with her to the administration complex ledge, where already a good crowd of mixed folk have gathered in the bowl below. By then Th'ero is a completely different man. He's the Weyrleader, but there is no anger there. He's stoic, reserved but greeting them in a voice that is calm and steady, reassuring and comforting. Most of all, he inspires them to keep on with their lives, that as upsetting as the news is, Fort Weyr will do their part, as they have for so many generations. It takes but a span of minutes and then he dismisses the crowds, still standing by Nyalle's side long after the last stragglers have shuffled off. "Weyrwoman," he murmurs, dipping into a half bow. "I will keep you informed." And then he's off to find Kimmila and the Wingleaders, leaving Nyalle to sort out what to do on her own.


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