Freedom... With a Small Favor?

Fort Weyr - Small Prison
This old weapons shed has been converted to a small prison to hold the captured renegade. The walls are sturdy and metal bars have been set in place over the door and the one window to keep its ocupant in place. On this side of the bars there is a comfortable chair for visitors to sit in, while two guards are posted - one inside the door and one outside, and another one by the back window.


There really is a limit to how long a person can stare at a wall before they find something to occupy their time with. For Hazelon, after the brief visit by the Stonehaven heir the hours had drug by. Finally, a request to one of the guards had been aquested to, and a small pot of oil had been delivered to the teen and he is taking this time to sooth the bronze firelizard that has come back. The small creature seems to be enjoying the attention, the long cracks along his wings showing that it has been some time since the last time which oil was applied to his hide. "Aye, hopeful they'll be lettin' me out, or settin 'e trial soon, and I'll be lookin' to make sure you ain't dealin' with this no-more." His voice is just barely a whisper.

There will be something to occupy those long hours now, as on this day, Hazelon will have a visitor. Unnanounced, but not necessarily needing to forewarn the teen of his arrival, it will be Th'ero who steps through the door of the small prison, murmuring a few words to the Guards on duty while he brushes off some of the snow from the shoulders of his jacket. He cannot hear Hazelon's whispering, though the Weyrleader can see that he's awake at least as he approaches on quiet footsteps. "So the little one came back I see…" he says by way of greeting, being polite enough to clear his throat and stand visibly by the barred doorway so as not to spook Hazelon… or the bronze firelizard.
From inside the cell, Hazelon's murrmering custs off abruptly when the sound of a clearing throat breaks into his silent thoughts. Upwards his gaze is cast, falling upon the weyrleader. Instantly he clears his face of expression, though a slight flash of dislike colours those eyes before he does. "Aye." Simple answer, it wasn't really a question and Hazelon isn't really inclined to ask more of this man. Helooks around the weyrleader, perhaps to see if a particular blue rider has come along. Not seeing her Hazelon will put the cap back on the oil and set it aside, the bronze protesting the end of this work. A single finger runs across his head knobs to attempt to sooth him as Hazelon just watches the weyrleader.

Th'ero is expecting a simple response and when that's all he receives, he simply lets it slide. He's content enough to stand there, arms folded behind his back and dressed in his regular gear, looking freshly returned from some flight outside of the Weyr walls and Faranth only knows for what reasons. Renegade hunting? Perhaps. That or he's been visiting the Hall and hashing it out bitterly with a few Harpers and Fort Hold's Lord Holder. If that's so, given how calm the bronzerider appears, things must have gone well. Which means he won his argument. Dark eyes flick from Hazelon to the protesting bronze and his mouth quirks just the faintest bit at the corner. "You can continue to tend to him, if he needs it, while we quickly discuss a few things. Or, should I say, I'll discuss a few things? Namely… some terms…" For what? He doesn't elaborate further, content to slip into silence as he watches Hazelon closely.

From inside the cell, "I ain't goin' nowhere." A bit of spunk manages to edge itself out of his words as Hazelon continues to rest his gaze onto Th'ero solidly. As for returning to his work, he shakes his head. "I'd rather be listenin' close to these "terms" you're layin' out… sir." The respectful add-on to the end of his statement doesn't sound forced, but it lacks proper respect none the less. Perhaps Th'ero will excuse it since they're facing one another through the bars.

Th'ero brushes off Hazelon's attitude as smoothly as he did the snow from his shoulders earlier. If it irks him, he's not letting it show, though undoubtedly a poor bluerider is going to get an earful about it later when he has to vent all that he's suppressing down. However, the Weyrleader isn't against a few barbs of his own and he smirks at the youth. "No, it doesn't seem like you're going anywhere anytime soon, is it? Pity. I could remedy that." Was it terms he mentioned or is it bribing? "In fact, your freedom is part of the terms." Judging by how he slows on the word 'freedom', the term is likely used in a very loose sense. "Regardless, you're looking to be let out of here. The Weyrwoman has seen to it that the Headwoman found you a room. Small, on one of the quieter tunnels. It will be yours though." So what's the cost for that? Th'ero pauses, his weight shifting a bit as he allows Hazelon time to absorb that tidbit first before continuing in a low, measured tone. "… if you agree to help us?"

From inside the cell, He watches the barbs from the weyrleader and allows them to settle somewhere deep and out of the way, giving no apparent reaction to them. However, when Th'ero begins to speak of freedom Hazelon's expression will shift just BRIEFLY from that smooth exterior to a faint hunger before the emotion is shoved back under dark eyes. Far be it to be said that Hazelon is stupid though, when the words 'help us' are uttered he's already shaking his head. "You're goin' after Ustrr." Flat, unemotional is the response. "Meanin' no disrespect," except all of it, because seriously, who says that without giving disrespect, "you ain't knowin' what he's like. Nor them what follow him. Ain't no room and a life've a drudge worth none've that."

Th'ero doesn't quite catch that brief little shift, but he'll assume he's struck something in Hazelon, if not just for the teen's reaction moments later. It takes all his resolve just to not smile in a smug way for the answer he receives. "Aye, I am going to hunt Ustrr and his lot down. Hopefully capture them and bring them to justice. If not capture, then I'll kill him." He says it without a hint of hesitation to his voice, speaking only as though he's mentioning an obvious fact. "Just as I killed Laris." He doesn't brag either, keeping it to a simple truth. Th'ero is not unfamiliar with this and if he has any concerns about how dangerous Ustrr really is, he's keeping it well contained. A brow lifts then and he peers curiously at Hazelon as if surprised by his last statement. "Who said anything about life as a drudge? I said freedom, didn't I? Means you get your room and you get to choose what to do with yourself. Nothing saying you have to go back to drudgery."

From inside the cell, There's more than a bit of a muffled snort from Hazelon on what can only be a bold faced bit of bragging. Having kept to himself so much the teen wouldn't really know if this is a trait that all riders share, or just those at the top of the food chain. Other then that sound though, Hazelon keeps his other thoughts to himself. "And what am I havin' to be doin' to be gettin' this freedom?" He leans forward, his hands curling around one another as elbows rest on his knees. It would be slightly comical given the young man's shorter stature and lack of age if not for the dead serious look upon his face that shows every year and trouble he has been though. No, Hazelon may be sixteen, (at least he thinks he's around there), but he's not anywhere near childhood any more.

Th'ero wasn't bragging or at least never intended to come off as such. The Weyrleader doesn't boast about what he had to do in order to put a stop to Laris all those Turns ago. He brought it up to Hazelon because it was simply one thing: the truth. A harsh one, but a truth. He will kill (or not be upset if another does) Ustrr, if the renegade leader does not go quietly and judging already by Hazelon's confident claims (and perhaps bragging of his own that he understands these men!), he doesn't expect some meek surrender. Not by a long shot. "Helping us. Mostly by answering questions, looking at maps and pointing out where they may have gone or been going or have already passed. Anything that can help us narrow down where they may be. Winter's coming," he remarks dryly. "So I'd assume they're looking to hole up somewhere. I want to catch 'em before they do… or worse yet, leave for warmer climates." Again, he will wait for a few lingering seconds of silence, watching Hazelon closely as his hands drop to his sides. "Does that seem agreeable to you?"

From inside the cell, Not knowing the weyrleader except what people say (and who listens to gossip?) and knowing very well Ustrr, Hazelon will just continue to disbelieve any statements that Th'ero makes that make him seem the man's equal. (Sorry Th'ero). This is a rather unique position that Hazelon finds himself in. For once in his life he has something that someone else wants. And thus he has something to bargin with. Silence will linger after The'ro finishes his bold pronoucements. Hazelon's dark eyes are fixed upon the weyrleader, weighing silently. What does he want? His mind will flash just briefly to the bubbly goldrider that had asked him just that same question. He hadn't had an answer for her then, and now faced with having to make a decision he still does not know. "Ain't never read a map." He says this abruptly. "Couldn't be tellin' you nothin' looking at scribbles." It isn't acceptance, not yet.

Th'ero's dark eyes will just stare right back at Hazelon, his expression stoic and neutral, betraying little. He's patient while the youth figures out his thoughts and weights his options, appearing to be in no hurry and yet hidden he is impatient and growing frustrated with having to play this game. More time wasted, when they could be moving ahead! The Weyr Games are looming, as is a possible (no, more like probable) gold flight to occur soon. Idleness is never something he stomached well. "Doesn't matter, we can explain it if need be," he goes on to murmur about the maps and when no acceptance is forthcoming, he shifts his weight again. His hands move, lifting to the door and there's the sound of a key fitting into the lock and a bolt sliding back. With a firm enough push, Th'ero steps back as the door swings open, but he'll block any immediate escape route. Just in case Hazelon views this as a chance to run. "Come with me," he says, in a voice that makes it not quite an order but not a request either and he looks sidelong to where the Guards stand by the prison door before flicking back to Hazelon. "And I'll show you to your new room."

From inside the cell, The suddenness of the door opening does what Th'ero's arrival did not, it sends that small bronze firelizard upwards and between abruptly. Hazelon frowns when the bronze abandons him. Slowly he rises to his feet and eyes the opening and the sudden immediacy of freedom. The thought of running does occur to him for a split second, but is discarded swiftly because even if he did manage to get around the weyrleader and the guards there was no way he could outrun one of those dragons on foot. He steps forward, though he makes no remarks. Lead the way Th'ero.

Th'ero frowns, concerned as well, when the bronze firelizard takes wing and vanishes and for a moment the Weyrleader looks ready to apologize, only to say nothing. The glance he gives Hazelon however does hold a bit of an apology to it, before he's gesturing for the youth to step out first. He'll be placing him in front, but not entirely. Th'ero intends to walk alongside him as he begins to lead him out towards "freedom". A neutral position, not having them quite as equals but not at complete odds either. As they begin to approach the Guards, they'll move… but not to block passage and only to open the doors. A glimpse outside, to the ground just now freshly covered in a thin layer of snow and the sky a light overcast and it may seem unreal that Hazelon has been set free so easily.

From inside the cell, Hazelon falls into step, though he keeps a close watch on Th'ero as he doesn't take the lead as Hazelon had expected. Important people attempting to act less-important is suspicious. That flash of snow and sky sends a shiver down Hazelon's spine. It had almost been him living out of doors and without proper protection in that snow, and would have left him more than just feverish. A hand reaches up to settle on where his arm is still healing, and unconscious gesture. It does seem surreal, that the weyrleader would let him watch. His mind works overtime and finally settles on an assumption- Ezra must have found the arrows and cleared him completely. It doesn't raise the Stonehaven heir in Hazelon's opinion at all, but some of the anger goes down. At least he'd done the right thing in the end.

Those arrowheads were found and Ezra acted swiftly once they were. That may have been where Th'ero was after all, at a meeting outside of the Weyr that saw Hazelon's name officially cleared and brought the Weyrleader back home and down to the prison to set him "free". He doesn't have him follow behind because, despite the show of "trust" by letting him walk out of the cell, Th'ero's not about to put his back to him. That and he wishes to continue to quietly and unobtrusively observe Hazelon and he will take note of that gesture to his injured arm. "If it's bothering you, you need only to visit the Infirmary for the Healers to check on it. Also… do you have anything you would liked moved to your new room? Any belongings?" What few, precious things a former drudge may have? Th'ero doesn't linger. Once they're outdoors, he'll walk at a brisk enough pace, bringing Hazelon past the south and central bowl and to the northeast, up into the living cavern and straight for the stairs leading down to the lower levels and to the tunnels where the residents go. They'll walk for sometime, most of it likely in silence, as they venture farther to the more quieter ends. Less traffic here and privacy more than guaranteed.

Hazelon drops that hand from his arm, kicking himself mentally for the brief show of weakness without meaning to. "It's fine." Comes the terse reply. As for belongings, Hazelon blinks. Then tests the water, how far is Th'ero willing to go in these concessions. "Can I be gettin' my bow back?" Dark eyes watch the weyrleader for his reaction. "'n clothes?" Hazelon looks down at his feet, though he doesn't go so far as to as for a replacement set of boots, his having disappeared… probably because of the bloodstains on them.

Th'ero didn't consider it a sign of weakness but more of one of concern. He won't press Hazelon and only nod when he insists that he's "fine". As for the request, the Weyrleader pauses both to consider his answer and because they've arrived at the door that presumedly leads to Hazelon's new room. "You may have your bow back," he agrees but his tone implies that it will be JUST the bow he receives. No quiver or arrows — not yet. Those may come later but for now he can have the bow (and what good it'll be). "And yes, your clothes too." THAT shouldn't be denied him. "Is that all?" Th'ero asks as he reaches into one of the inner pockets of his jacket and pulls out a key. A key he doesn't quite hand over to Hazelon, instead he holds it where he can see it and his dark eyes watch him. "I can't force you to help us, Hazelon, but only ask again if you'd consider it. You've information that could possibly help us end this. You have your freedom now and your name cleared. You can go on with your life as you chose. All I ask is that you think on it. Fair enough?" Does this mean that the Weyrleader may visit yet again? Probably.

Hazelon watches the weyrleader consider his request. The tone of voice is caught, so he doesn't bother asking about his quiver or arrows. The undercurrent is more than clear- he still isn't trusted. Strangely enough that actually ticks up his estimation of the weyrleader- Haze wouldn't trust himself in this situation either. Besides, given the right tools he can fix the arrow probably, and probably will. It's not like he doesn't have an intimate knowledge of the lower caverns and where everything is. "Ain't go nothin' else." Bow, clothes on back, scared off bronze firelizard… yep. that's Hazelon's life in a nutshell. The door is eyed as the weyrleader stops in front of it. "What do you be wantin' me to be doin' while I'm thinkin?" He cannot imagine the weyr would just let him do nothing while they wait for his answer.

But who is to say he isn't being watched? That if he starts taking from certain supplies, that certain ears won't hear of it? Is it worth the risk or better just to be patient? Th'ero does not bring it further to light how little Hazelon has to his person, only nodding his head and holding out the hand that holds the key to his room. HIS room! It'll be all his own now and something for the youth to claim. "Whatever you feel you'd be best at and be able to do well enough to earn your keep. Doesn't have to be drudgery. As I said, you can choose and just let the Headwoman or Steward know when you've decided. You can go to the storerooms too and see if there is anything in there you can take, if you need anything more, for your new room. Or for yourself." Just nothing to make weapons with! A line has to be drawn somewhere.

Perhaps Hazelon hasn't quite thought it all the way through yet. He hadn't figured on the weyrleader saying yes to him getting back his bow in the first place. Whatever decision which is made will be done with careful thought. The key in Th'ero's hand is eyed, before Hazelon reaches out and takes it. "Thank you." With that last comment Hazelon will enter that door and in a test of how far the weyrleader will take things he'll shut the door behind him and wait. If it remains closed then he has one answer if not… well. Then he would know that this had all been a ruse.


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