Fort Weyr - Northeast Bowl
The northern end of the bowl can be an intimidating area, being that Fort is the largest weyr. The far north wall contains the gigantic opening to the hatching caverns, and to the west of that can be seen the sprawling ledges and carved stair cases that mark the way to the administration complex and the training grounds were candidates and weyrlings can often be found. The west cliff wall towers up, dotted here and there by darker openings that mark individual weyrs before it tapers to a point at Tooth Crag.


With folks dispersing after the meeting, Kimmila steps (stomps, marches, strides) out into the bowl, arms across her chest. From a ledge above, Varmiroth takes to wing and glides down to land near his rider, dipping his muzzle so she can gently rub his soft, powder blue hide. "We'll find him," she murmurs quietly to her lifemate. "We will, and we'll be safe about it too. I can't believe…" She trails off, gritting her teeth and cursing herself. Why didn't she trust her instincts? /Why/ didn't she? She could have /prevented/ this. Varmiroth rumbles softly to her but she doesn't heed him, she just scowls and continues to run circles in her own mind.

Who knows what it was that had Inri gravitating toward Kimmila; the fact that she's always taken some strength in the bluerider's friendship (down to practically clinging to her during Zel's maiden flight) or the fact that Kimm both had information and seemed distressed, or … coincidence. It could very well be any of them, but once Inri has made polite excuses and escaped, she's glad to see the back of Kimmila's head and picks her step up a bit to meet her. "Hey," she says, trying to sound neutral, "Just in case you're inclined toward self-blame right now, I'm going to emphasize how it isn't your fault."

"And I'll second Inri on that," Th'ero's voice drifts from behind the young goldrider. As Weyrleader, he's always the last to leave, lingering behind to answer any last questions (hurriedly). When he does leave, his steps are brisk and his whole posture stiff. No one needs to even glimpse at his expression to know that he's in a BAD mood. Not so much anger as it is frustration and the restlessness to just be DOING something. Anything! "Wingmate," he adds to Kimmila, after nodding to Inri in greeting. "It wasn't your fault. Seems we were all taken by surprise." Who suspects a drudge?

Kimmila grits her teeth, turning to glower at psychic Inri. "I could have prevented this," she snaps, adding Th'ero in on that, her own mood just as bad as his. If not worse, because for her, it's now /personal/. "I knew something wasn't right and I didn't act on it. Tell me that's not my fault." Varmiroth spreads his wings, fanning the air gently and rumbling low.

Inri is relatively unflappable, even if she does feel some degree of guilt for making the point that was bothering everyone in the first place. "Second-guessing instinct, wanting to see the logic in someone's explanation because of not wanting there to be a problem — that's totally normal, everyone does that. It's human nature to try to believe the explanation that fits the most with what would be easiest to deal with, or somesuch." She picked it up from a mindhealer, most likely, which is why she doesn't sound like an expert. "I thought he was a sweet kid. And what would you have done if you did anything at all — how could anything have been done in advance?" At least it's not a rhetorical question; Inri genuinely looks interested and willing to listen.

Th'ero doesn't even so much as flinch or grimace when Kimmila snaps at him, but there is a slight change to his expression, as though some of the tension is leaving and the grimness seems to soften. He'll try to reach out and touch his hand to her shoulder then, gripping firm and supportively. "It's not your fault," he states again, stubborn in this and not just because she is his weyrmate but because he believes it to be the truth. "Inri's got the right of it." Maybe she has a bit of mind healer in her? Th'ero seems grateful for her input, since she puts it in better words than he ever could. "You thought something was wrong, but you told me of him and I didn't think anything was amiss. Nothing to THIS scale! You didn't know. None of us did and if we jumped at every suspicious act folks do around here… we would never get any peace."

Kimmila continues to frown at Inri, shaking her head. "I could have restricted him. Kept him at the weyr. Told the guards not to let him go. Kept a closer eye on him. Sent him to another weyr on loan for a while…" Trade him off, he's just a drudge…right? When Th'ero reaches for her she doesn't flinch or move away, but she does stand straighter, stubborn beneath his hand. "This was more than just suspicious," she argues. "I /knew/ he was good with a bow, I knew he was hiding it, I knew there was no contest…" So why didn't she put it together? She's gotten soft in the peace since Laris.

Chewing her lip for a minute as everyone else speaks, Inri finally says, "There could've been. Weyr games had archery, yeah? It's not completely impossible there wasn't, so it's still possible that — you didn't want to think anything bad was going on so you let yourself believe there was a contest. Quieting the bad thoughts because it can't really be that bad. That's what I do, except unlike you I'm usually wrong when I worry about things. But the Weyrleader has a really good point. Like, if everyone listened to me anytime I thought something was weird we'd have real problems."

"All of that could have made him nervous and likely to run or act even earlier. What WAS he doing out in the middle of no where anyways with the Stonehaven kid?" Not that Rayathess is a kid anymore, nor Ezra, but they always will be in some form to Th'ero. His hand continues to grip Kimmila's shoulder and he gives her a long look as she lists off more reasons. He can only shake his head, "Not so easy to pawn off drudges like that. Kimmila… There's plenty of reasons why we dismissed him as not-suspicious in the end. Inri just pointed one out. The Weyr Games. I know he mentioned a contest but anyone would have just thought he had his information confused. You know how some drudges are." Slow, is what the Weyrleader is trying to imply without actually saying it. Th'ero looks up to smirk crookedly to Inri, nodding his head in agreement. "We'll find him, Kimmila. We've learned enough from the past not to let them get far."

Kimmila is determined to sulk and take responsibility for this, so let her do it. She continues to scowl at the both of them, shaking her head firmly. Deep breath in, long breath out. "We need to get in the air and start looking." Not really a subject /change/…more like a shift. "And Inri, you're taking that Harper to talk to Rayathess? Get his story?" If the Harper is even awake.

Inri has just about realized that, too, so she goes along with the subject-slide no trouble. "That's the plan. Talk to Rayathess, talk to Ezra, figure out what really happened. I don't know if Rayathess is going to be able to talk, but at least Ezra should be able to shed some light on why Hazelon would've wanted to hurt him. Not that we don't have sort of the outside edge of a distant theory, but — more details. They might also come with an idea of where to look."

Th'ero won't push Kimmila any further right now. He knows better than that and if she's determined to sulk about it, he'll leave her to it. For now. She gets a free pass for the current moment! "Agreed. The first groups have already gone out, spreading out westward and south. We can take a small group northward, towards the border." He won't even begin to delve into the concern that comes with that thought, though his eyes may betray him. If they cross into High Reaches territory… they're as much free men as they could ever wish and Hazelon would never be found. "Kouzevelth will keep in touch with Velokraeth?" Th'ero asks, not entirely an order but mostly a request. "We've an idea of where to start, but anything crucial that Ezra may know that could help would be good to know." Immediately. "And hopefully the Harper is well enough to speak." Doubtful. Th'ero doesn't seem hopeful on that regard.

Kimmila nods, frowning thoughtfully…and then sharply at Th'ero when he mentions north, that same idea occuring to her. "You don't think they'd let us search?" she murmurs quietly. She looks back at Inri, dipping her head in a nod. "Anything they can tell us…anything."
"Absolutely." Inri nods, making a mental note to Kouzevelth that right away does mean right away — and not when she gets around to it. The gold, for her sake, is mildly affronted at the idea she'd do anything other than that. "Anything I know, you know, as soon as I know it; if there's anything they ask me to keep confidential I'll just edit out the details. If it's relevant to a search I'm sure it won't be anything I can't ethically say. As a friend." Because Inri is Ezra's friend, and she counts Rayathess — who likely won't be able to speak to her, but there's a sliver of hope! — as one as well. High Reaches does not get any commentary from Inri; they are below her. Or something.

Th'ero had no doubts at all that Inri would let them down. He trusts her and always has, likely even before she Impressed to Kouzevelth. "Good. Velokraeth will likewise share anything that we may discover while searching. Be it from us or from the other teams." he explains and as if on cue, the pale bronze warbles from his ledge as he stretches out and flares his wings, only to launch from his ledge and glide down to the bowl below. Th'ero smirks, "The more we communicate, the less likely something will be overlooked." Lesson learned from all those Turns hunting Laris down! Kimmila's question has him starting a bit and his eyes narrow, only to then give her a lingering look. What does she think? "We would certainly have to speak with Pandara and her Weyrleader first to see how… charitable they feel to Fortian riders scouring their lands." he mutters, cryptic and yet not. Both of them should be able to read his contempt for the High Reachians but he'll leave it at that.

Kimmila frowns a bit at Inri, looking a bit puzzled. "Anything that will help us find Hazelon. We don't need to know the last time Rayathess peed." If that's her idea of something that needs to remain a secret. She looks over when Velokraeth joins them, Varmiroth rumbling a soft greeting to his ledgemate. "Right then. Thank you, Inri, for going to talk to them about this."

"I wasn't going to ask," Inri admits, keeping the laugh inside her head — too serious a moment — but still smiling a little. "There might have been personal things about the camps themselves I shouldn't go telling everyone — Kouzevelth's not always the best at keeping secrets — but I can't imagine that it would be important enough to make a difference. And really, I'm just doing my job." Playing interrogator gumshoe has always been a junior weyrwoman's job, didn't you know. That or it's always been Inri's; she was doing this when Laris' men stopped by her tavern before she Impressed, after all. "So there's absolutely no need to thank me. And if you'd like me to talk to Pandara," her expression says she'd really rather not, but not as much as Nyalle would rather not, so if they need a different goldrider. "We'll worry about it if we need to and not before." There we go.

Th'ero just sighs, though somewhere in his head he's laughing. "Kimmila." It's said in a tone that isn't quite a warning but is. She didn't quite have to put it like that? Not that it matters now. Inri's elaboration has the Weyrleader nodding, "Doubt there'd be anything too secretive or distressing Rayathess would let slip about the camps. While I'm sure he's got past he'd rather not share, I don't think he'd be the type to withhold if it meant catching Hazelon." Because surely the Harper wants justice done for the youth responsible for trying to murder him? Th'ero can view things so black and white sometimes. With his hand still on Kimmila's shoulder, she'll feel him twitch to Inri's next offer and he almost scoffs. Not because he doesn't think her capable but… he'd never, ever send her to deal with Pandara or even the Reachian Weyrleader. Especially not the Reachian Weyrleader. The leacherous jerk. "Agreed. Let's not worry about High Reaches." Please and thank you? Th'ero turns to walk away then, to where Velokraeth patiently waits. "Clear skies, Inri and we'll be in touch shortly! Good luck." And thank you. He doesn't say it out loud, but it's in his voice.