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.

Evening finds the Weyr enjoying a somewhat unseasonably warm night. Most won't complain about it either since Fort has been all but drowned out by rains for the last few days. Warmth and clear skies are welcomed, so it's no wonder that even with the sun set most of the Weyr's occupants are out and about. Not surprising, Th'ero is still about but not outside. He's holed himself in his office and is currently at his desk, idly pouring over some of the documents spread over the surface. At his side is a large mug and from the vicious looking color of the contents, it's his usual poison of choice. The door to the office remains open enough to signal to any that he's within but not against being disturbed. Velokraeth is about somewhere in the weyr too, likely on a ledge somewhere and undoubtably in the company of more than one receptive green. Getting his attention will prove to be difficult, unlike his rider.

Ashwin isn't really in an especially talkative mood, but he's climbing the stairs towards Th'ero's office anyway. He's been back on duty for about a month now after his sabattical to deal with his family issues. It's given some time for the dust to settle over the whole living caverns incident but, well, he's not above blowing that dust off. Which is sort of exactly what he's come to do. For a moment or two, he stands outside the door mutely and then pushes it open and walks rather boldly in. "Weyrleader." He says, by way of greeting and then not to preamble goes directly into the reason that he came. Post salute of course. "Wingleader G'rar, who you promoted after you promoted Abigail, had an accident today. He'll be all right, a broken thigh, but it's going to be months before he heals. He's expressed some interest in retirement. He and I have been in discussions as of late as to some changes I would like to see and he informed me, politely and in no way an argument that if I was able to do better he invited me to do so. So, here I am. I would like his job." Ashwin smiles, a very reserved smile, but continues. "Furthermore, I'd like to change what Thunderbird wing does a little bit. There has been less and less need for pure emergency services. I'd like to expand the security training and contract out to other locations as police forces, conflict mediation and arbitration services."

Th'ero looks up as the sound of the door opening and movement draws his attention away from whatever it was that he was reading. "Ashwin." he returns in greeting. What a surprise? It doesn't show on his features but he does lean back in his chair, causing it to creak a little from the sudden shift in his weight. He remains silent during the brown rider's entire report and suggestions, barely a twitch of an eye brow or a quirk to his mouth to betray anything he may be thinking. His eyes remain fixed on him though and do not stray. Maybe Ashwin's in luck? The Weyrleader seems to be of few words this evening and seeing as they're getting right into business, he won't bother bringing up a few things. He probably wasn't going to mention the living cavern incident at all or that he spoke with Kiena and that the whole damnable idea might have actually worked. No, he just gestures for Ashwin to take a seat and then towards the small shelf lined with various bottles. Drink? "I'd heard of G'rar. Shame. He's a good rider but if it's retirement he's wanting…" Th'ero pauses, before continuing. "I'll speak with him tomorrow." As for the rest? Now there's a hint of a smirk, just a twitch, to his lips. "What makes you think you're capable for the position? G'rar's recommendation aside." Go on. Sell yourself, Ashwin. Brows knit thoughtfully, but it's obvious enough that he's not entirely buying the proposed changes. "Bold of you to suggest changing a Wing, before you even have the knot. Some might even say cocky and arrogant." He'll let that sit for a moment while levelling him with a look that is difficult to read. Th'ero isn't one to believe in the latter reactions to voicing ideas and so his next prompt should come to no shock or surprise: "Why?" Explain further, please.

Ashwin shrugs. Once. Unlike most people who shrug as a dismissive gesture he seems to mean it more in a 'this really isn't bothering me's ort of way. First though, he shakes his head. "I'm attempting to be neither irritating nor ungrateful of hospitality, Th'ero." He begins. "But, I don't drink. Thank you though, genuinely." For that moment, long enough to make the next statement his face softens away from the business. "I decided a year or so ago that I really don't like how I am when I'm drinking and I've found that it's easy to not want to go back there." He pauses; waiting a moment, eyes looking at Th'ero's face to see if he asks any more or inquires any further. Luck, though? Probably not. Like anything else, if Th'ero wanted to ask him about his personal relations there's no fear on his part. He half expects it to be honest.

"If you knew me outside of this office and the living caverns, you'd find I'm one of the least cocky or arrogant people that you've ever met. I've been in the wing long enough to know how it works and what the workload is." No fear in his eyes, nor discomfort in his voice. "I see half of the rescue riders sitting idle and the police riders overworked. The times are changing, sir, if you don't mind me saying and as times change you find people who struggle with modernity and the ability to fit into new roles. Civilians and riders alike. It's not the same as it used to be. Pern's changing. Economies are changing. Fort's changing. There's all kinds of rescue riders, all over Pern. But what there isn't are people who are trained at mediation and conflict resolution. Policing is still done the old way. Little compassion and understanding. Little attempt to understand why things are the way that they are. That's the essence of conflict resolution and it needs to be as much a part of police work as clapping someone in irons. We need people who, if the irons are going to come out, have an understanding of how things have changed and what is motivating people beyond 'this person needs to be clapped in irons."

He hasn't sat down yet and he leans over Th'ero's desk, thoughtfully. "I don't mind standing in the middle of frustrated parties and encouraging them to talk. I'm usually able to talk people down before it turns into a problem, or before it turns into an armed issue. I've no formal training, I never studied anything like this. I don't really have any education. And yet, it's what I'm good at. I've been on the bottom of society long enough to understand it intimately. I can do this. I don't have much else for you than that."

"You could have just said 'no'," Th'ero's tone makes it clear, for once, that he's joking. He might not smile or even chuckle, but it's delivered with just enough ease to make it obvious for what it is. Ashwin's reason behind the refusal of the drink is what intrigues him more than what could have just been a natural exchange. Not to mention the bald faced honesty. He's owed nothing to have it explained to him but he can appreciate it and acknowledges it with a nod of his head. "I can respect that choice. Not everyone can make that sort of change… let alone admit the fault." Is he talking about Ashwin then or himself? Knowing Th'ero, it could damn well be both. He doesn't inquire further, leaving the brownrider to his secrets just a little longer. Again, as Ashwin steps up and delivers, Th'ero will just remain quietly seated in his chair, elbows propped on either side while his hands fold together and his chin drops along with his gaze. Not out of disrespect but because he's honestly listening and thoughtfully at that. Normally silence follows, but Ashwin's reward with a dry chuckle from Th'ero as his hands lower and he lifts his head to fix his gaze on the brownrider once more. "Education rarely has anything to do with a ranked position. It helps but it's not the heart of it. I believe it's more experience and skill, as well as an understanding of the workings of not just the Weyr but the Holds and Crafts that make a rider fit or unfit for a higher rank. Others would bemoan that it should be strictly experience and that none should achieve Wingleader before holding Wingsecond for at least half a decade, if not more." Lifting one hand, he'll wave it dismissively as he reaches for his drink and takes a slow sip of it.

"But," he points out. "I'm of agreement with you that, yes, things ARE changing. Have been for a long, long time. Originally our Wings were of the older format before I reworked them. Now you're asking me to approve this. What if you are challenged? Not everyone is as agreeable to change… even here." Th'ero tilts his head just a bit, his expression almost shrewd as his eyes study him again. His mouth does turn up into more of a visible smirk too. "You've already shown that you don't mind stepping in as mediator." A lot is left unsaid but he figures Ashwin is clever enough and leaves it to him to pick what, if anything, he wants to bring to the surface. "So I've no doubts of your skill — formal training or no. That can be… remedied." He exhales heavily near the end, a hand now scrubbing along his jaw line. "So you think you can handle not only the stress of Wingleadership but also the added stress of learning as you go along? And are you prepared to own up and accept the mistakes you'll make — because you WILL make mistakes."

Ashwin listens mutely, expression not changing much. The joke is appreciated, though, because when it's all finished he responds with one of his own. "I'm aware I'll make mistakes. We all do. Even Th'ero does." His eyes are flashing with something like humor as he says. "The only person *I* know that doesn't make mistakes is Kiena." While yes, it is a little bit of a dig into uncomfortable ground for them both the play at her legendary stubbornness is fairly likely to at least be understood if not actually appreciated it. He actually seems to be relaxing, that's the strange thing. Whatever tension he had going into this is slowly coming out as his posture relaxes and becomes less rigid.

"If you don't mind me speaking freely, the traditionalists will bitch and piss and moan no matter what you do. Nothing is traditional anymore. But understanding their points of view is fairly vital to making the weryr work. Bluntly, though? I don't expect everyone to like me. I'm going to have to earn my respect through merit which is just fine with me. Figuring things out as we go will be part of that." So, in a nut shell, in much shorter form? Yes, Th'ero, Ashwin is quite willing.

Th'ero can sometimes succeed when it comes to humour and he DOES get better at it the more comfortable he is (or in some cases, at least a bit into his cups). "It's true," he drawls with a visible smirk. "I won't say I'm anywhere near perfect as a Weyrleader." Yet is he insinuating that he is as a man? Could be he's adding a little more humour before his sister's name is thrown into the mix. It throws him off for a moment but he doesn't scowl or coldly brush it off. That smirk becomes a vague smile before disappearing to neutrality. Even if his question is the complete opposite. "You've known her for sometime, haven't you?" Th'ero doesn't mind that Ashwin speaks his mind. If there's one good thing that he does as Weyrleader, it's that at least. Most of the riders in Fort know they can speak up. Not many will but those that do are given respect for it. He'll hear them out and he does so with Ashwin. "You make a strong case and present some good points," Th'ero admits. "And while I've half a mind to let you have the position and send you off, it's not that simple. You understand, don't you?" He'll wait a moment, for him to give an answer one way or another. "… for now, consider yourself acting-Wingleader in G'rar's stead. By the end of this week, it will be made official." Which from the way he words it, he's made his mind already to accept him, but will do the whole proper song and dance before fully promoting Ashwin.

The loose, comfortable posture doesn't go anywhere. "Known each out for a long time. Sort of seeing each other for over a turn now. Neither of us especially like to air our dirty laundry out for everyone to see but there was pretty much a time that it was going to start to be noticed anyway." And that, it seems, is all the explanation that Th'ero is going to get. Nothing more need be said, really. A little bit of silence will drift between them inbetween what he and Th'ero say and Ashwin paitently waits for it. "I do. A week is fine. I'll do my best not to fuck it up before that and put you in an uncomfortable position. I think we'll be all right in regards to the command structure of the wing. B'ron, the Wingsecond is a bit of a laconic fellow who really doesn't give two shits about anything and doesn't have the ambition to feel slighted. That will probably be one of the things that I will look at changing a few months after taking official command." He nods, once or twice at the finality of it all. "I appreciate your listening to me. I'll do my best to make my actions follow my mouth."

Th'ero smirks again but there's no further prying from him. Kiena told him enough (very little) and he's more or less formed his own theories. He's not here to judge or confront him and the answer he's given earns a nod. "I noticed, that day in the caverns, because she would not have…agreed," He almost uses the word 'submit' and promptly catches himself before that blunder. "so easily if she didn't care for you, in some form. It wasn't so difficult after that to pick up the rest." Where is he going with this? He must have a reason and it's not long before he gets to the point. "I'll say this? It's none of my business. Whatever it is, between you two… however far it goes? Will not affect your position as Wingleader." Meaning he'll keep things well separated and as if to take this to heart, he'll switch the subject back to finalizing what Ashwin came here to do. "Just remember that if you are about to shuffle the Wing that I'll need to be informed. Normally I don't meddle too much, but there are some riders who are… best not to be put in certain ranks. Even if just Wingsecond." Even Weyrleader's have blacklists. With things coming to an end, Th'ero will stand and extend his hand to Ashwin. Last order of protocol? "If I had doubts, I'd not have accepted your suggestions. So take that to consideration… and best of luck. We'll speak again soon enough."

This time, it's business that draws a response from Ashwin first. Though it's the briefest of the two. "I'll make sure to come and find out who is on the shit list first." He offers, with the most amused twinkle in his eye. "Thank you." He turns to go, and pauses for a moment with his hand on the doorknob. "For what it's worth? We treat each other well. It's not the most traditional of things but in the end, if she and I are happy with it? Who's business is it to tell us otherwise? I wouldn't expect it to affect work in any way. Just like whatever you two talked about is none of my business." Once more, there's that amused twinke. "As long as it's not in the living caverns at full volume. Sir." And with that, he throws another salute and is gone unless Th'ero has more to say.

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