Fort Weyr - Weyrleader's 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.

Xanadu visitors have departed and things have gotten relatively quiet in the Weyr now. And, as stated before: Dtirae has now holed herself up on the Weyrleader's office. Perhaps even holding it hostage until the man himself comes to liberate his space from the determined woman. Zuvaleyuth has given Velokraeth the notice that her rider is wanting to see him, even going so far as letting Dremkoth know that Dtirae is speaking to the Weyrleader on a certain matter of which his rider might be interested in. The woman is settled at Th'ero's desk, but is entirely respectful: Nothing is out of place and her feet aren't up on the wood, making a mess. She is doing nothing but sitting… And waiting.

Th'ero is caught up in his own business, be it playing host to their guests until they have departed back to Xanadu or tending to some other emergency that requires his presence (or intervention). Velokraeth will relay back to Zuvaleyuth that the message has been passed along and that his rider will be on his way shortly. "Shortly" meaning several long minutes by the time Th'ero finally shows up to reclaim his office. He barely pauses to knock on the door before walking through, eyes instantly searching Dtirae when he finds the Weyrwoman sitting behind his desk. "You're in my chair." he drawls by way of greeting, but follows it with a slight smirk. "So what's this that you wanted to discuss with me that it couldn't wait another day?" He'll just stand there too, with his hands clasped behind his back.

D'ani,coincidentally, is headed towards the Weyrleaders' office when the communication from Dremkoth comes and he sends back via the bronze that he also has something - new - to share. The tone reflected in Dremkoth's twilight isn't grim, however. It is one of relief. And so a bare thirty seconds after Th'ero speaks to Dtirae, there's a knock on the office door after which it cracks open and the Weyrsecond pokes his head in. Annnnd there's Dtirae sitting where Th'ero usually does. "I'm not interrupting anything am I?" Then he smirks. Wise guy.

"Well, I was bored." At least she didn't turn everything upside-down! Dtirae smiles before her gaze is drawn to D'ani. Surprise? A little bit! But, she recovers with a smile directed towards both. "Oh, maybe a little something. But, you're free to join." She teases right on back before she's rising from the chair, and gesturing for Th'ero to take a seat before she's plopping herself down in her usual one. "It's about the thief… Or, thieves. It's possible that they're using the entrance from the ruins. We didn't see any adult footsteps, but plenty of children. Either the adults know how to hide their tracks and using the children's as cover… Or we have a bunch of foster children that are slipping between the cracks." There's a slight frown, "which, unfortunately, is quite easy to do if your foster parents aren't too fond of you."

He might not have been too surprised if she HAD turned his office upside down. Regardless, Th'ero is thankful that that did not happen and she is only choosing to take her seat in his chair. Something he'll allow to pass, as the Weyrleader (stupidly) thinks he'll only be here a few minutes. "So… you're bored and you come to the offices?" he muses, only to turn his head as the Weyrsecond arrives not long afterwards. "Interrupting? No, not at all D'ani." Th'ero's answer is SO much duller and Dtirae's greeting earns her a sharp look from him before he shakes his head and moves to take his usual chair. He has barely settled in before the Weyrwoman is giving her report and his brows lift up to glance between them both. "Shards. I had completely forgotten about that exit! It is so rarely used…" Th'ero begins to mutter, scrubbing at his lower jaw as he frowns heavily. "And only children's footprints? We caught those youths in the caves not long ago up to mischief. Just some stupid weyrbrat boys making enough noise to alarm the lower cavern workers. Maybe they are back at it?" Right? That's perfectly logical! He grimaces. "How long ago did you two discover this? Did you see how far the tracks led before vanishing?"

That look of surprise on Dtirae's face might be misread by D'ani, who will have assumed that Zuvaleyuth's tip to Dremkoth was prompted by her rider before being passed on. He's glad to see her too, is what his smile back means. At their assurances, he steps fully into the room, closing the door behind him, shaking his head in an amused tsk at the Weyrwoman seeking to alleviate her boredom in the offices, of all places. He's not doing so well getting her to take recess, is he? He'll just… refrain from teasing the Weyrleader and avoid those sharp looks, Dtirae is welcome to have all of those. His manner sobers appropriately as he hooks a toe in the leg of a chair, hauls it closer so he can sit and stretch his long legs out. He shoots the Weyrwoman a questioning look. She… hasn't told the Weyrleader yet?

Dtirae is used to those sharp looks by now, and she'll only smiles to Th'ero in response. "Only children's. If they were just making noise and making trouble, I imagine they'd be staying in the Weyr." She notes, "the footprints go all the way into the forests, however: that's where it becomes hard to track. Either they are taking paths that are hard to mark or something else…" The hunter in her is quite confused on those details, so that is saying something. D'ani's amused tsk earns him a teasing look, before returning to something a little more sober. That questioning look is met with a very blank one in response, not giving away why she hasn't spoken with the man sooner. Though, one can assume from her earlier statements: she went hunting.

Apparently she has not told the Weyrleader and he was very much in the dark… until now. Th'ero's eyes drift from Dtirae and then slowly to D'ani and all while the Weyrwoman continues with her report. His expression is difficult to read, though his mood does not seem to darken or any sign given that his temper has been piqued. "I had no idea you two had gone hunting at all for clues." he drawls with a faint smile. Leaning back in his chair, he folds his arms over his chest and frowns heavily. "Where the tracks both leading in and out of the Weyr? If they had just done a circuit of the ruins, I'd pass this off as nothing more than a group of children finding it and using it as a place to play for a day or so. That they wander off…" He grimaces then, not at all keen or pleased with that line of thought. "You two have theories? Anything that may explain it?" he asks, curious to see if they've come up with any logical answers — or resolutions. He's already formulating a few of his own but none does the Weyrleader truly wish to see put into effect.

D'ani nods, confirming the Weyrwoman's report. "Couple of days ago we went to check out the tunnels. I'd never been down there," he notes. "I'm glad Dtirae was with me; I'd have gotten lost." The tracks? He has no idea, clearly from the way he shrugs and looks to the Weyrwoman. He's no experience in tracking; he'll let her answer that one. Looking back to Th'ero, he continues, "The opening that emerges in the ruins has another entrance down into the tunnels - a stairway that enters at another point. I was thinking it was a couple of weyrbrats using store room supplies to play fort or camp out down there. We didn't get to search all of the tunnels and rooms, either. I was going to ask you if we could get a party to comb the rest of them, but I no longer think we need to do that." He shoots Dtirae an apologetic glance. He was coming to tell them! "I think I know who our thief is," he says calmly.

"I'm sorry we didn't tell you. But, we figured if we did some looking while we could, we'd find out more rather than waiting." At least, that's Dtirae's reasoning on it. "They were leading out. Maybe they are entering from the front of the Weyr and out through the hole? That seems like it is a little less suspicious. Especially if they're children, they'll blend in. No one really pays mind to what children are up to, especially if they make it seem like a game. But, if they're adults? It can be just as easy to blend in…" Lips press into a thin line at the question of theories, but then her gaze is turning to D'ani. The apologetic look earns a lift of her brows in question, but they're furrowing quickly with his final statement. "Who?"

"Those tunnels are very easy to get turned around in," Th'ero admits to D'ani, which of course probably condemns him right there: he has gotten lost down there. Probably more than once. He nods his head, still frowning as he mulls over the details given by the Weyrsecond. "I'd think the exact same thing. They find the ruins and then decide to play out some… child's game or fantasy." Or whatever kids do. Clearly, Th'ero is clueless to such trivial things. Children do that, right? Brows lift and then there is a slight smile turning the corners of his mouth at D'ani's suggestion of a party to comb the tunnels. "I could think of a few we could send. Kimmila for one. She's quite familiar with Fort Weyr and knows some of it's secrets. Anyone who's been here long enough really would be suitable for that. I could see if Breshir knows of any of his Guards too who may be familiar with some of the disused nooks and tunnels." Th'ero then nods to Dtirae, accepting her apology though he never was truly THAT upset over having this information delayed. It's concerning, but not enough to have the Weyrleader losing his temper over it. "Good points, Dtirae. But if the tracks are clearly children's…. then that is probably what we are dealing with. Which leaves us a few options. Do we seal off this exit? Or simply post more Guards to those tunnels?" he murmurs thoughtfully, only to focus all his attention back on D'ani. "Why didn't you say so from the start!"

"I was getting to it," says the Weyrsecond easily. He doesn't seem worried any longer - to him the mystery is solved and he's relieved. "A holdless young girl who goes by the name of Lyreh," Dani answers them both promptly, but without the heavy seriousness that a malicious renegade having intruded in their Weyr might have elicited. "She's been in the forests of Fort Weyr, having traced Rayathess here. Seems she knew him - under another name - in one of Laris' camps. She's frightened, hungry and rather desperate, but tries to come off tougher than she is. She's harmless though." He sliiiides a surreptitious look Dtirae then, the corners of his mouth quirking juuust the tiniest bit. Does she remind him of her? Oh yeeeeeees. She does. "She's with Ezra and Rayathess in the boy's quarters eating."

"They ain't that bad once you get used to 'em." Which means getting lost for a day or so, usually. Dtirae gives D'ani a curious look for his answer, lingering in silence at the explanation and quietly assessing it. Then? Then he's finishing his description of the girl and sliding her that look, which causes the woman's cheeks to turn a bright shade of pink. "I'm not harmless." She mutters, but, fortunately does not cross her arms and look like a disgruntled child. "Why would she be taking supplies for more than one person if it is just her?"

Little do they know too that Rayathess has just gone and bungled everything. Lyreh WAS eating in the room and talking, but the young man was a bit too blunt and harsh and now it is only Ezra and Rayathess there. The girl has fled, before anyone could stop her but may still be within the Weyr. Th'ero listens with rapt attention, though his frown now becomes a scowl. "It'd have been nice if Rayathess could have made mention of this… Lyreh. She must have been brought from the Drake's Lake camps. D'ani, do you think there may be records on her from that? How she managed to slip by unnoticed after the trials…" he mutters, a touch troubled. Not that it would be that hard, given the chaos of that day when the verdicts were given. The Weyrleader will cough when Dtirae mutters about being 'harmless' and it'll be "conveniently" timed too, along with that ghost of an amused smile. Is he agreeing with her? Who knows. "I think I'm with Dtirae on this one. As suspicious as Lyreh may be, it doesn't quite fit. Did she show any familiarity with the Weyr? And what of those tracks… Unless she's guarding a group of children." Th'ero quickly shakes his head at that though, dismissing it with a slight wave of his hand.

Yeah, right, get used to them! D'ani prefers to stay out of dark, constricting, enclosed spaces, thankyouverymuch. "Okay, not quite harmless," D'ani agrees with a smirk to Dtirae. His nose is a witness to that! "Let's say she's not… intentionally malicious. She shot Rayathess in the foot with an arrow, so." He still seems to find this a touch amusing, though he'd never let Rayathess know it. Looking back to Th'ero he adds, "Ezra's canine startled her. She's quite jumpy and, as all of the holdless who experienced Laris' particular brand of 'leadership', extremely wary and slow to trust." He doesn't know the answer to Dtirae's last question, but hazards a guess. "Ezra tended to hoarding up until recently as a means of coping with deprivation. Maybe it's something similar with this young girl? She did assure us she was alone and from the way she's acting, I believe it." He shakes his head no about the girl seeming familiar with the Weyr. "It could have been a ruse, but if she came in the back way and only entered the storage caverns…" He trails off with a helpless shrug. "Maybe she has small feet?"

Dtirae nods slightly with Th'ero's assessment, humming softly in her thoughts before turning her gaze to D'ani. When her threat level is raised from harmless to not so harmless, the woman is seemingly pleased with that, doing no more than giving a slight smile before tilting her head in thought. "It could be hoarding, but, I really don't think that is it. She must be hiding others, there wasn't one size of footprints… They're all different sizes."

Th'ero starts a bit. "She did what to Rayathess? How in Faranth's name did he mask an injury like that?" he asks, sounding both annoyed that it bypassed both his awareness and that of the Weyrwoman's and yet rather impressed that the older Stonehaven brother was able to hold off any knowledge of it. Until now, anyways. He frowns heavily then, reaching up to scrub at his lower jaw in thought. "Think Lyreh would talk if we… were cautious about it? I still am not certain that she is our culprit. Why go for the Weyr when there are easier targets?" he murmurs with a twisted grimace. Glancing from Dtirae to D'ani, Th'ero dips his head to acknowledge their opinions but only exhales heavily in the end. "Regardless… we need to explore all options and ends on this. Logical enough, right? I can ask Kimmila if she's familiar with the lesser known tunnels, nooks and hiding spots in the Weyr or knows of anyone who may be able to give us a clearer idea before we all rush down there and get our sorry asses lost for a day. Should we involve the Guard to at least patrol that quadrant of the forest?"

D'ani frowns slightly, considering the Weyrwoman's suggestion, "I don't think she was hiding others; her reaction was too genuinely chagrinned when I asked her about whether she was with a group. She'd have to be a superb actress and I dunno, I just… believe her somehow." His gaze swings to Th'ero and he nods slowly. He's not convinced his theory is correct but neither is he sure he's wrong. "I didn't ask her if she'd sneaked in and helped herself to supplies, though I did ask her if she was wanted for any crimes and she said no." Would she talk? He shakes his head doubtfully. "She's incredibly distrustful - like all the holdless Laris took." And he sighs his frustration and failure at his failure with that group; it still bothers him. His response to Rayathess hiding his injured foot, a snort in a soundless whoosh of air through his nose. It's a humorless laugh at best. "I just heard of it this morning; Ezra told me about it and Lyreh confirmed it as an accident. Rayathess has seen the healers," he tacks on at the end. Easier targets… yeah, this is true. That point changes his opinion quite a bit. "I agree; we should have someone like Dtirae and Kimmila lead the searching of those tunnels, though I'd like to go along." And he nods about the guards patrolling the forest, adding, "Have the sweep riders keep an eye out for activity in there too."

There's no comment about being shot in the foot, or the fact that the young man hid it so well. Dtirae is focusing on other things, playing with the hem of her shirt before attention snaps back to Th'ero. "I know the tunnels completely." Arms fold across her chest as she tilts her head back, staring at the ceiling. "We'll put guards on the entrance to the tunnels in the Weyr and the outside exit, while having guards on patrol and making sure that the forests are included in the sweeps." Overkill? Maybe, but, whatever gets the job done. Her gaze returns to the two, considering D'ani. "If you believe she's alone, then I'll go with your thoughts. However, that means that our thieves are still unaccounted for."

Th'ero mulls over his thoughts as his hand return to tuck under his crossed arms as he leans heavily backwards in his chair. When D'ani confirms that Lyreh would be incredibly distrustful, there is a look of regret that flickers across his features. "Pity. Shame that she should be so turned against us." Could be he feels some sense of failure too with the holdless they had to exile and those that remained. Having to see and witness how Laris' warped views had corrupted so many. He snorts then, "Good that he saw the Healers. And perhaps that'll serve him a lesson too." What lesson THAT would be, Th'ero does not elaborate on. "We could all go into the tunnels then? Kimmila — and Dtirae," There is a pointed look to the Weyrwoman then. He knows! "Leading. As for the Guards…" He frowns heavily, lower jaw working as he is no doubt calculating figures in his head. Slowly. "I'd have to speak to Captain Breshir about that, to see if he even has the men to spare for so much." he admits. He's seeing it as a bit of overkill. Yet, he doesn't want to dismiss it either. "Yes, our thieves are still unaccounted for. But that is why we are going to start with the searches and the additional patrols. See if anything more is turned up!"

D'ani's nodding agreement and relief for the precautions. He's more concerned about the thievery than he was before, now that he's aware of the back way into the Weyr. At Dtirae's comment, he sighs, "Yeaaah, unfortunately they are still out there." Then mutters, "I still think it's kids messing around, but I'd sleep better knowing." He rises preparatory to stepping out now that he's given his report, but his expression is a mixture of thoughtful concern. His eyes are troubled as he lifts them to first Dtirae and then Th'ero. "If I may make a suggestion? Whoever… questions Lyreh will need to take a delicate hand. She doesn't seem to trust weyr leadership but she might talk to Kimmila… or Abigail?" He still thinks she's down there with Rayathess, obviously. And then if there's nothing further, he'll murmur his need to head out salute and sneak another searching glance at Dtirae, eyes trying to say something before slipping off to finish his duties.

"But, expected. The last time she followed leadership, look where it got her." Dtirae notes idly, her tone not at all blaming the girl for her distrust. "We both don't have to go, if she wants to lead it, she can." The woman frowns with consideration, "I think we can manage at least one posted to each place as needed, then, if we cannot spare the men. We did post more than usual with Laris around." She reminds softly, "if we need to recruit some temporary guards, the Weyr can manage the funds just fine. We'll make up for it." There's a glance towards D'ani, a shrug for his statement. If it is a bunch of kids messing around, they'll find out. The glance given to her has her brows lifting in question, but then the bronzerider is gone. Her gaze resettles on Th'ero. "Keep me informed?" She'll rise to her feet as well, making to leave but waiting until she hears his response.

"I'm thinking the same thing: that we have a bunch of weyrbrats up to no good again. Could even be the same boys we dragged out of the deeper caverns the last time." Th'ero remarks dryly and then snorts, only to give D'ani a long and lingering look. "I think we'd all benefit from finding some answers to this. Before gossip breaks out and stir everyone up. Last thing we'd need." he almost grumbles, looking troubled again. Will they be able to? He doesn't seem so certain. Th'ero sighs, shaking his head as he agrees with Dtirae's idle remark. "True. As for who speaks to Lyreh… Kimmila or Abigail may be best. Neutral parties." Again his eyes will drift to the Weyrwoman and linger there as he ponders and picks over her suggestion, only to smirk. "Yes, I suppose we did manage before. Barely. But I'd rather not start pulling in temporary Guards. It'll raise suspicions. We'll see what we can do now with what we have. If no results are yielded, THEN we will expand." As they all begin to rise, so will the Weyrleader slowly push to his feet, giving a respectful nod to D'ani. "Thanks for your suggestions. Here's hoping we just find a bunch of troublemaking kids in the end of this and nothing more. Then our only worries will be if we need to hire new nanny's and caretakers." he drawls with a bit of odd humor. Returning the Weyrsecond's salute, Th'ero will turn to face the Weyrwoman and dip his head to her as well. "I will. And I expect you will too?" he asks, though may already know the answer to that. Still, he'll linger to hear it before giving the rest of his farewell and slipping out the door.

'The World of Pern(tm)' and 'The Dragonriders of Pern(r)' are copyright to Anne McCaffrey (c) l967, 2000. This is a recorded online session, by permission of the author but generated on PernWorld MUSH for the benefit of people unable to attend.