Xanadu Weyr - Rustic Treetop Cafe

Perched on the cliff overlooking Xanadus beach is a gnarled and massive skybroom. The bark and outer layers are sturdy enough to support the thriving, brushy top, but the hollow interior has been filled with a spiral staircase that leads to a cafe built on a high platform among the branches. With a panoramic view of sky, Weyr and lake, the treetop eatery offers both sheltered seating just inside the trunk and tables on the wide deck that encircles the old tree.

The cafe's decor is comfortable and rustic, but closer inspection shows the smallest embellishments to be artfully combined into one detailed masterpiece. The wood of the doors, floor and walls of the trunk have been stained a dark mahogany that lends the space a sense of intimacy. Tables in various sizes have been carved to mimic driftwood, the chairs and benches plushed with oiled sailcloth cushions to provide weather-proof comfort. Each table has an aged brass lantern filled with shells and agates gathered from Xanadus shores, the sparkling natural mosaics holding tapered candles upright in their embrace. Lamps hang from the ceiling on silver poles, frosted glass crafted into intricate pastel shells or swirling whitecapped waves. Though not as delicate as they appear, at night the colored glass softens the glowlight to enhance the ambience.

During the day, however, the retractable doors allow leaf-spattered sunlight to fill both the outer deck and the smaller interior with green and gold light, as well as allowing pleasant breezes to flow by. On clear nights, farviewers perch on the elaborately carved railing, free for use to enhance the gorgeous view of the stars in all directions over the treeline and the rock formations of the weyr beyond.


The day is bright and clear for the summer months, though the air remains quite heavy and humid as the morning hours tick on towards noon. Given the recent and ongoing events, the arrival of Fort's Weyrleader causes a bit of a stir, but not the usual one from before when his visits were few and far between, even rare. With a Fortian rider's brown having caught Yumeth and the discoveries found by the conjoined efforts between Fort and Xanadu, Th'ero has been frequenting the region enough that most are recognizing him on sight. Which may explain why when Velokraeth finally landed, along with an all too familiar blue and his rider, that the Weyrleader took his leave and left the hustle and bustle of the main areas of the Weyr in favor of somewhere more… secluded or not as populated. Joined by the bluerider flying with him, some will notice that neither seem to be in the best of moods and gossip may already be spreading that they stopped by the Infirmary first before Th'ero was seen storming off, the scowl etched into his features keeping most from even offering a greeting. Eventually, his unfamiliarity with the area has him stumbling on the rooftop cafe and once he's found a decently secluded table, he awkwardly settles himself down into a chair. Whatever is going on between him and the bluerider accompanying him goes on even then, in low undertones and harsh whispers, but the tension is sensed easily enough. All while they're emersed in their conversation (or is it a quiet argument?), Velokraeth passes on word to Seryth and likewise a summons may be sent to Zhaoth for their riders to join his and Varmiroth's up in the cafe.

Kimmila is, as always, the bluerider accompanying Th'ero. Following him into the rooftop cafe, she doesn't even spare a moment to enjoy the view before she's sitting herself on the Fortian Weyrleader's left side and ordering herself an ale. She doesn't know what /he/ wants. He can order for himself. Leaning back, arms crossed, she scowls and mutters under her breath to him. "We should have waited. Climbing all those steps was /stupid/." Beneath the table, her hand reaches for something (no, not /that/), and when her hand reemerges she looks at the tips of her fingers. "You're damn lucky," she mutters. "We are staying here for at /least/ a candlemark."

Thea isn't long in joining the Fort Weyrleader and the Western bluerider. Dressed for the office, though not as formally as she might normally be, she's wearing a loose-fitting sundress in a lightweight material of dark green that hangs from her shoulders to whisper about her calves. Sandals on her bare feet, dark hair coiled neatly up off her neck to stay cool, the heat has nevertheless teased tendrils from the updo to tickle the back of her neck and cheeks, some of which stick damply to her skin. She breathes a sigh of relief as she steps out onto the deck where there's at least a breeze, pale green eyes light when she spots the couple and she steps that way without hesitation. "Th'ero, Kimmila, hello. How are you both?" There's but a flicker of concern over their postures and facial expression and an added on, "I trust you are both well?"

As loyal as a Wingleader can be to his duty, Ers'lan has been where and when he needed to be, when times called for it. There was a stretch of days in which the command fell to another rider, when he had to deal with some family issues along the lines of sickness in one or a couple of his children, gossip not really clear on -which- one since he's bound by enough to confuse any that would try. His return to duty was evidence that the situation on the home front was resolved, to the point that he could function as expected if not beyond what was expected. He likely had a hand in coming up with some sort of rotation on the weyr hold, helping to organize and manage that one or two Galaxy riders were always present. Where ever it was he was at today seems to have been the cause for the press of his scarf to his damp face, of which the humidity of being on the ground rather than in the air was like to be the case. He's assorted in what leather's he's come to wear, the knot proudly boasted on his shoulder and the badge of his wing patched on the opposite side. As he's ascending the steps and finishes to dab off the sweat, he's unbuckling himself from his jacket, the heat despite it being autumn too much for a man whose spent the last few sevendays in the cool reaches of the forest or in the high scapes of the mountains. He's not too far after Thea, but slow enough that he fails to miss her greeting to them and so, the mutterings that pass between bluerider and bronzerider. Though never too slow to completely miss the tension that hangs in the air. He'll nod politely once he's approached the table, grabbing a nearby chair to turn it toward their daunting expressions, offering it first to Thea and then snatching a second if she takes the offer.

Th'ero orders an ale too and likely the strongest Xanadu (or the cafe anyways) has to offer. No coffee or tea for him. Once that's done, he keeps his eyes focused on the room itself, on the lookout no doubt. Doesn't mean he doesn't hear Kimmila at his side and he whispers lowly, his tone edged and cold. "I'm fine. We're waiting now, aren't we?" He barely muffles the grunt when she reaches across and he would have pushed her hand away but that would bring attention he doesn't want. "I don't see that being a problem," he growls at her. "Though I'd much be rather be home…" It's been a long series of days for the Fortian Weyrleader. Maybe that explains his black mood? Which he promptly tries to mask once Thea comes into view, along with Ers'lan not far behind and he does a piss poor job of it. His posture alone is too tense and rigid and even though he manages a faint smile, it never fully reaches his eyes. "Thea," Th'ero murmurs, nodding his head to the Weyrwoman. "We're well, thank you." Lies. "I apologize for the abrupt arrival again. Do you have a few moments?" And there's a welcoming nod given to Ers'lan as well, even if a little stiff, it's his cue that he is, indeed, to join them. And despite the summer heat, the Weyrleader is still dressed in his jacket, though he's rolled the sleeves up and unbuttoned half of it. Aside from that, nothing seems amiss save for the tension, which has now gone to a subtler undercurrent as pleasantries are exchanged.

Kimmila, by comparison to Thea, looks a mess. Her riding leathers and clothes underneath are rumpled and dirt smudged, as is her face, and truth be told she smells a bit, as if she hasn't bathed in a day or more. How appetizing. And, as is typical, she wears no knot, making her all the more ambiguous. Even her braid is messed up. As the heat begins to reach her, she shrugs out of her jacket and shoots Th'ero a level look. Too stubborn to apologize, the bluerider just snorts softly at the Weyrleader's answers, and takes a gulp of her ale. "Hey," she says, a bland greeting to both the Senior and the brownrider. "We're fine." Yeah, that's a lie.

Thea knows Ers'lan will be there and prompt also. So it's no surprise when she sees him out of the corner of her eye pulling that chair for her. Well-pleased with his duties as Wingleader of Galaxy and his handling of the added patrols and the manning of the mountain outpost, she gives him an approving look as she accepts the offered seat with a quiet, "Thanks Wingleader," and settles gracefully into it. Kimmila and Th'ero are awarded a faintly skeptical look, one dark brow twitching ever so slightly up. She's not buying the 'we're fine' bit but says nothing to expose the truth. They're adults, so she won't fuss but there's a curious light in her eyes that plainly tells them she'd love to hear it. Whatever it is that they've been up to. The waiter stops by her elbow just then and the Weyrwoman tilts a look up at him. "Something frozen, fruity and… strong, but not too sweet please. Be creative." Then she gives Ers'lan an enquiring look - what'll he have? "My treat," she coaxes. If she can get away with it, she'll sneak some marks to pay for those ales too. "For you two? I'm never too busy," she begins, waving away the need to apologize. "What news? Have you been in the Ranges searching?"

Ers'lan is often very obediant and respect of those who could be classified as his superiors and or guests, not prone to gest or laugh when there are serious matters at hand. And while this is not helped by the tension thick in the air, he puts on a grin that is raw and just as laced with lies as those stiff answers earned from their Fort-bound guests, "Glad ta hear it, given the heat 'n the way it melts ya." That's as he's pushing Thea into the table some, nodding at her and collecting his own to seat himself upon. The 'treat' by the Weyrwoman has him actually pull a sincere smirk across his lips, brow lifting as if anticipating some sort of trap at the end, too good to be true? Alas, with a nod, his eyes turn toward the server, ordering a nice cold iced drink, with more ice in it than anything else, "Aye, pour a lot of it in thar, good and thick pieces too, with the shaved bits on top. Aye aye… No sweets fer me, keep it straight." He tries to act casual, considering their location is much more casual than he would've liked, being summoned and all in such a matter. "Tis kind of ya Weyrwoman, thank you." Then, for the table mates, a facade of his false grin strains once more as he roosts there in his seat, flinging his jacket over the back of his chair, "Tis nice of ya ta ask us fer a drink," his tone indicating that he believes, nay knows, there is some bigger purpose to this summons than sharing a drink. He does not digress further, allowing Thea the lead in this conversation, blue eyes sharply attentive to both Th'ero and Kimmila, keeping his lips sealed from this point unless pressed.

Well, Th'ero isn't exactly pristine clean either and looks to have been roughing it over the days and judging by Kimmila's condition, he's been with her the entire time. He pointedly ignores her level look, keeing his dark eyes on Thea and Ers'lan instead, though it lingers on the unfamiliar Wingleader the longest. Sure, he may have seen in him passing, what with the ordeal with the hunt for Laris and the moutain outpost. But this will be his first ever sit down with the brownrider and so he's already begun to quietly size up the other man. Not the best way to start, really, but it's just the Fortian Weyrleader's way. Guarded and suspicious, even with other riders until he's formed an opinion or gains enough trust. Such as he is with Thea, as she receives a far more relaxed glance. "Ah, that's good to know then." He replies a touch awkwardly and when she mentions news and searching, he seems to tense again. "I'm afraid there isn't much to report on…" Th'ero drawls, his accent not too thick yet but his voice remains low and almost murmured. Again his attentions drift to Ers'lan and to the false grins and his behavior is noted quietly but not remarked upon. No sense ruffling feathers… yet. "Of course. Seems only fair when we're interrupting your day." The Weyrleader murmurs in return and feigns innocence obviously. Of course there's a bigger plot and of course they're dancing around the truth of it, all politeness and social graces rather then just quickly throwing it all to the table, blunt and open faced. "I take it there is no news from Xanadu either?" And it would seem he directs that question to both Weyrwoman and Wingleader.

Kimmila watches Th'ero as he answers Thea, but it seems as if the Fortian Weyrleader's reply is not good enough for this Western bluerider, so she adds a bit to the conversation. Leaning forward, green eyes flick between Thea and Ers'lan, eying the brownrider a touch longer than might be polite. "Searching, yes. Finding, no, other than rumors. Well, and finding a group of jackasses who think it's funny to lure a woman into the woods and make an attempt at their manly duties." She snorts, and would have turned and spit, but this is a classy joint and so she refrains. "There's a barkeep at a crossroads who gave us some information. Renegades in the area trying to recruit, but he didn't know where any of them are, or how we could find them. He said they only appear when someone shows up wanting to join." And she looks pointedly at Ers'lan, but then back to Thea, reaching for her ale. "He said he'd keep the weyr - your weyr - informed via his firelizard, if he hears anything else." There's a short pause, and then she clears her throat. "Thea, if I might impose, Th'ero is injured and needs to be checked by a Healer. We stopped by the Infirmary but they were too busy to look at him. Would you mind pulling rank and getting someone up here to check him out? I'm sure there's a back room or something…" And she glances around - but not at Th'ero. She's probably crossed a huge line there, but she really doesn't give a damn.

"No kidding," the Weyrwoman agrees with Ers'lan about the heat. She's got her clipboard with her, the thing used as a fan as she tells them all, "The air conditioning in the caverns and offices is off line, so we've been roasting in there all day." Poor, poor former High Reachian! Still after all these turns not used to the summer heat. As for all that male sizing up going on, she's aware of it, perhaps a little amused by it, but she masks that well enough in an easy familiarity as she quips, "I'm so glad you did interrupt. Otherwise I'd still be in the oven of a room I call my office." The drinks arrive just then - her glass a layered affair of deep pink, yellow and peach with a straw, set before her first then Ers'lan's tinkling with the ice he'd ordered is next. "The only report crossing my desk was after the noon sweeps were completed. A a few abandoned campfires along Xanadu's southern borders. Keeping well into the Barrier Ranges just below the snowline. Not," she says while giving the pair of them and their rough appearance a significant look, "the place most travelers would venture. It has to be Laris or his followers. They-" Kimmila elaborates then, about some of her - their activities and the woman receives a blink then a short laugh. "Did they survive the attempt on you?" By the look on her face, she thinks not. Clearly though, the bluerider's next words are no laughing matter. She'd been about to sip her icy concoction but instead the glass is halted while she gives the Fort Weyrleader a sharply assessing look - a look that changes to concern and almost anger. Ice green eyes snap fire and her voice is dangerously quiet. "They wouldn't make the time to see a Weyrleader?" The infirmary staff will hear from the normally serene Weyrwoman regarding this and she's half-rising from her seat as she says, "Of course. I apologise, Th'ero. You should have been seen right away." Her hand lifts and a brown firelizard, followed by a younger gold one glides to land on her arm. "Shep, go find Shelly. Find the tart-tongued healer for me. Bring her here."

Ers'lan is accustomed to the weight of eyes upon him, from Weyrleaders or less. So the sight of the Fortian Weyrleader now engaged in the act itself doesn't phase the brownrider, meeting him eye for eye for a time - only long enough to be polite, switching his gaze to Kimmila as she does the same as her tablemate. Ers'lan clearly is of the bigger kind of man, not fat, but made of bulk that looks to have been hard earned to come by. There is no quiet power about him, he shows it all in the span of his shoulders and the press of his barrel chest and thick packed abs. Slouching though, doesn't do him justice. Still, he's scruffy as any sailor ought to be, liking to live with curls of whiskers on his face than without. His own accent is clearly a seafarring one that even time spent in a Weyr hasn't completely erased, distraught as the Harpers are over that learning, the man has an ease about his tone, friendly and sometimes silly but with a subtle 'don't make me mad' roughness behind it. Ers'lan maintains his quiet ground, eyes flickering to Thea to see how she states it, unlike to challenge her words about the situation. To the spitted out words from Kimmila in terms of the thugs trying to conquest a poor lass in the trees, he remarks, "Reckon they be narh be havin much ta be doin that with anymore." All Pernese know the laws in -that- regard, it doesn't keep Lan from shifting in his chair all the same. The rest of it is acknowledged with slight chin drops and finally a finger that scrubs alongside his jaw, actively responding with body language than with words. There's not much to have of it but a soft thoughtful sound barely audible. The rest is all a matter of ice clinking and ice crunching as Lan takes the offered drink and immediately puts a chunk in between his teeth. There's not so much as a pity party on Lan's features as the infirmary fiasco is brought to light - must be tough being a Weyrleader - so says the slight crinkle at the corners of his eyes, slopping more ice into his mouth in the meantime.

"Off line?" Th'ero asks, tilting his head curiously to Thea though he poses the question both out of curiosity and ignorance. Being wary of technology and not it's biggest fan, he rarely pays attention to the lingo use. He grimaces though, when he puzzles it out. "Ah, that's unfortunate. Do they know the cause?" And that will be the last of the pleasantries exchanged on such neutral matters. Oh there was a line crossed, but more so concerning Th'ero's resolve on how much he can handle at once and his restraint of his temper. The Fortian Weyrleader's features tell all when he looks shocked when Kimmila begins to report all to Thea (and similarly Er'slan as well) and by the time he's buried it, along with the guilt for being caught trying to brush it all under the proverbial rug, he further digs himself a hole by out rightly glaring at the bluerider. "That was /not/ your right to say," he whispers harshly to her, but given the close proximity of the others, they're liable to pick up enough of his reprimand. He's flushed darkly now, from cheeks and down most of his neck and not entirely out of embarrassment but it's a tell tale sign of his anger and frustration no doubt. At Thea's anger though, the Fortian Weyrleader holds up his hand in a warding gesture, "It's not that they wouldn't make time! I'm fine, really." He says briskly, words clipped and flat as they're forced from a tense and clenched jaw. It could be that the bronzerider simply didn't /wait/. "There's no apology needed…" he begins, trying to keep his voice level and calm, glancing between the Weyrwoman and Wingleader, lingering on Ers'lan for his remark to Kimmila. All the fuss and from the stress of the previous day has Th'ero finally snapping. "Enough!" he says with some force behind his words - not quite yelling but it's enough for Velokraeth to make a vocal protest from whatever clearing the pale bronze has holed himself up in as his rider's emotions backlash to him. "Please," he adds after a heartbeat or two of awkward silence. "Thea I mean no slight against you or your Healer staff but there's more pressing concerns. It's healed and well bandaged already. It can wait." And he levels Kimmila with a fierce look. No arguing. "We have to move ahead with the plan," he tells the Weyrwoman, taking a slow and steadying breath as he does to regain some control. His gaze flicks back to Ers'lan, almost apologetically and then there's a questioning look to Thea. Does he know? Seems he leaves it up to her to break the news or concept rather to her own Wingleader.

Kimmila just grunts in response to the state of the men who tried, giving nothing away as to their current conditions. No, she's watching Th'ero and meeting that glare. "Secrets only give Laris more time," she hisses right back. "You know /nothing/." And then she's pushing up from the table, grabbing her ale, and stalking off to sit at the bar and seethe, before she does or says something she'll regret. She's still listening though, to be sure. She's just…over there somewhere.

"They're not working," Thea explains with that same sort of technology-wariness Th'ero shows. Her grimace seems to add a silent, 'Undependable machines!' "Our, ah, sands heating unit is also broken and with Yumeth due to clutch the techcrafter repairing those scavenged some parts from the cooling system since Landing won't have the proper parts for another two months." It's said with a weary sort of 'no big' sort of lie-tone that tries and fails to hide the slight frazzled edge to her demeanor. That drink is sipped from then because yes, it also means that the cooling system will be down at least that long as well and she needs the calming liquid. When Th'ero whispers to Kimmila, she pauses in her instructions to the lizards, which remain perched on her arm. His complexion is eyed, then the hissing Kimmila. On top of everything else this hissy-fitting and stubborn pride is what sets her off. Her glass is set down with a sharp thunk on the tabletop. "Sure you are," she grinds out quietly while rolling her eyes at the both of them then closing them and drawing a long breath (probably counting to ten). "Look, Kimmila. He's breathing and he's not pale with lack of blood. He's a grown man. And you-" Did The'ro think he'd get off scott free? Hardly. "If you love her at least set her mind at ease. Can't you see she's worried?" Both hands lift with stretched patience, placating and peace-seeking between the pair of them. "The healer can wait. At least take off your jacket so you don't die of heat stroke beforehand?" More quietly, "What happened out there?" The lizard pair lift off but they don't go far. They roost on one of the nearby branches of the tree the cafe nestles in. Mention of the plan has her letting that long breath out. Ers'lan is eyed, then bluntly she says, "We're going to plant spies in Laris' band." The wingleader is bright. He'll figure it out. But she waits to see if he's interested.

The banter is not one that interests Ers'lan, especially not when it gets to whispers and hisses. He's occupied in his drink and letting the cold tingle rest against the inside of his cheeks, helping to take his mind off the sweltering heat that was building underneath long pants and long shirt - items needed in *between* but not in the basking glow of the sun. At least they had the respite of the cafe's roof to shield off the worst of the heat. The 'snap' from Th'ero that causes some repercussions to be felt outside, as his blue eyes swivel that way, return to rest on the other man with a sharper interest in Th'ero than previously shown. Maybe it was the dramatics and the urgency in the tone, maybe it was the use of 'plan' in the other man's sentiments, but whatever it was causes a change in Ers'lan, his slouch completely disappearing as he straightens, brows edging upward as he senses the 'trap' that was to come of his free drink. Suspicious eyes flash to Thea. It seems he has no long to wait for his unasked question. Her response has him dart his eyes back to Th'ero, accusing him of foolery without speaking of it. Instead, with a tone quite steady and unrevealing he asks in hushed tones as he sits forward to keep his voice just between them, "How? When they be askin the spy ta prove 'emselves by rape or murder, whar then?" Did they think that far!! His eyes look between them, expression clear that maybe they hadn't and he's a ray of rational sunshine? Maybe. "I be dealt a bad hand by renegades befer, tis narh likely they be jus takin anyone…" it only takes a moment as he sits back to realize they intended to throw him into the mix, which makes his lips twitch and drop into a frown, "Whar ya intendin ta find out?"

He knows nothing! Th'ero doesn't quite flinch from Kimmila's hissed reprimand as she all but throws his own right back at him. He's heard it before and is no stranger to the reaction that follows. His eyes trail her as she seethes and storms off to sit elsewhere, not even making an attempt to hold the bluerider back. Not that he gets the chance, as Thea all but lays into them both without so much as raising her voice like his little outburst. That must sting the Fortian Weyrleader a bit, but he's careful to school his expression to one of stony neutrality, keeping his true emotions and his temper well under control. His frown though grows heavy and he stares longer at the Weyrwoman than is rightly polite. "Of course I can," he replies in a voice that is too soft and calm and his mouth quirks up into a twisted hint of a smirk. At the mention of his jacket, he hesitates. "I've my reasons. But if you insist." And really, it /is/ hot out and so he shrugs out of it awkwardly, clearly favoring one side. And hopefully no one can get a clear view of his left side, save for the two riders… with Kimmila gone it's clear as day that his tunic is bloodied and stained along his left side, almost from mid-drift to hip. The gash in the fabric doesn't help much, but the blood is long dried and there is the hint of fresh bandages beneath. Without skipping a beat, he continues: "As I was trying to say, it can wait. I can see the Healer's after matters are settled." Stubborn as ever and it's hard to say if Th'ero will remain good on his word of if Thea and Kimmila both, perhaps even Ers'lan, will have to pin him down. If it's not technology, it's Healers that he has a strange aversion to. "It's as Kimmila explained. We went on a whim to the borders, to see if we couldn't get at least a clue to go on before we went forwards with the plan. Got more then we bargained for. It syncs with the reports you received, does it not?" He points out, only to then turn his attention back to the Wingleader who's just been roughly and abruptly brought up to speed… to a degree. That accusing look is met with a narrowed one and the Fortian Weyrleader sits up a little straighter as if to accept some unknown challenge to his honor (which is equally questionable). "I don't think they're recruiting all in that sense. This bartender said folks with skills are being approached with nothing but sweet words and promises it seems. Laris isn't just looking for murders and rapists and the lowliest of thugs. He had /two/ camps in Fort. One of those men and one built of older men, green boys, women, children and those who's skills were valued for whatever reason and too prized to be lost." Th'ero explains coolly, as if having to school a wayward student rather then a respectable Wingleader. Right now his mood is leaving his attitude for wanting, but that is how the bronzerider is. Stung, moody he literally withdraws to himself and digs himself further into a hole by refusing to let go of his perceived notions. "Pitch the right hook and he may take the bait." He points out, gaze sliding finally from brownrider to Thea once more.

Kimmila turns to /stare/ at Thea when the goldrider attempts to scold her. "You-" she starts, but she bites back her words. Must not yell at a Senior Weyrwoman. Must not yell at a Senior Weyrwoman. She's just a bluerider, after all. She has to take a deep breath (and a deep swig of ale) before she calms down enough to not say something stupid. She does give Th'ero a look, though, but this one is openly concerned, almost pleading. And then, slowly, she slides off the stool and returns to the Weyrleader's side, wincing when she sees the bloodied tunic again. Lips pressed tightly together, she scoots closer to shield that from the rest of the bar. "Don't think you'd have to do that," she murmurs, glancing at Ers'lan. "But if you did…I'd run." Calm, quiet, the bluerider seems exhausted now, her previous anger and temper drained away. She glances at Th'ero again, expression still holding mostly concern, though there's some regret there as well, before she reaches out to rest a hand lightly on his arm. Tentative, as if afraid he'll snatch his arm away.

"So kill or rape one of theirs?" The Weyrwoman says almost flippantly in response to Ers'lan's question with an unconcerned shrug. This cold callousness, the indifference to snuffing out a life without a trial might be explained in her headtilt and intense gaze at the wingleader as she notes, "They're murderers and criminals. They didn't join Laris to be nice. They were up for the risk when they joined up." She returns the Fort Weyrleader's stare minus the frown s but with no less intensity than if she were staring down Seryth over a carcass during a Flight to blood only and not feed from the flesh therof. Th'ero's admittance that he can see the emotional vulnerability of Kimmila has her lifting a brow. Her silent question seems to be,'Then? What is the holdup here on the healer?' But she doesn't press or fuss or overrule him by summoning one. Instead a flare of respect lights the ice in her green eyes and with a gracious inclination of her head of his jacket and a respectfully quiet, "I do. Otherwise the heat will decide when you seek treatment. She eyes his shirt, gaze lifting to meet his. Hers silently, intently asks, 'really? You are alright?' If his complexion pales… She nods about the reports. Yes, understandable that foray they did. "The Weyrsecond won't let me out of his sight," she mutters rebelliously. She'd have given much to join them! As for Kimmila, the bitten-bac comment draws a wink and a hastily-smothered grin that hopefully Th'ero doesn't see. Her flashed look shared with the bluerider is full of understanding of what the woman is up against.

The brownrider is not a healer, but his eyes move to the stains nevertheless. The story writes itself in the bandages and the tattered fabric. He says naught. It was not for the brownrider to chastised the Weyrleader, however reckless avoiding proper attention to it was. He's busy observing however, the interactions between those who would goad on the ire of the Weyrleader when it came to concerns of his battle wounds. The quench of ice pressed between his teeth and the intermitten periods when he actually does crush it between his teeth are his only companions until Th'ero is dead locking his gaze on him and rising to the unspoken challenge. Despite the tone, Ers'lan is as easy to retort with his own question, as if again to give the fuming bronzerider pause, "N' whar of this bartender… Be he an honest sort or do ya reckon they be throwin us the bait?" Wait, back up, Ers'lan's falling into the role of being the typical brownrider?! Oh no! Reasoning out the problems that could be encountered and trying to help calm the bronzerider from his quick passion that both injury and insult have provoked. It is Thea's non-chalant response that has him aback, eyes blinking at her as if he had never before seen the woman in his life. Oddly, though, as it settles on him, even as he looks to be withdrawn from the moment, lost in some reflection of time, a cold vengence settles in his eyes, "Aye, reckon they did be pickin the life… Tho ya best be knowin I narh be." Meaning he will unlikely stoop to such lengths, instead, "T'will ride that storm iffin it hits." A better way to say the man will not dwell on it unless it happens. That doesn't mean he doesn't spend some time searching for answers in the ice crested mug held in his thick hand. Finally, with his head lowered and stooped, his eyes lift and search across the table for Th'ero, asking, "Reckon iffin thar is the right bait on the hook, whar we trying ta catch? Jus' one or the whole school of fish?" Incase anyone was eavesdropping, they'd be hard pressed to know the difference between just talk of fishing and what the real meaning behind Ers'lan's words were. But it is simple enough, just Laris… or him and the camps both.

Th'ero is a man who prefers to lick his wounds, both physical and emotional, in the solace and utter privacy of his weyr. Having all this aired out and publicly no less has set him on edge and left him in a far blacker mood then he was before. Granted, it was he who settled in the cafe to start, but the Weyrleader likely had some tactic in mind, some subtle way to handle affairs. Now he's finding the tables turned and nothing going at all as planned. "The bartender can be trusted. He's proven that enough and you've my word on his loyalty and honor." Big promises for so few words, but it must be the truth. The Fortian rider doesn't seem like a man to just toss that to Ers'lan carelessly. In fact he's leveling the Wingleader with a pointed look. Dare challenge him on that? Despite the brownrider's accent, Th'ero picks up enough to understand and he gives a bit of a snort. "Neither. Observing the school of fish, to learn their habits and motives, their strengths and weaknesses. Numbers, ranks, diversity." Why not continue with the code? It's a smark move on Ers'lan's part and Th'ero adapts it quickly enough. And the Wingleader's response to Thea's flippant remark is similar to that of the Weyrleader. Horrified for a blink of an eye, Th'ero coughs and clears his throat. "Even so, that is much to ask of anyone to just kill or… or rape. Very few can cross those lines and come back stable." Meaning he does not approve of that at all. He would not wish that sort of blood on anyone's hands. The rest of Thea's silent looks and questions are met with stone and cold response, if Th'ero even bothers to acknowledge it. He's doing his best to turn the attentions away from his wounds. Kimmila's return has him turning his head slightly to glance down at her, frowning and wary of her presence. Even in his state, he can note the concern and while he says nothing, his arm remains where it is and she'll succeed in resting her hand there. Instead his glance shifts back to Thea and Ers'lan both, "Regardless… we have to move fast. I spoke with Jaye, Maehwazeyeth's rider. She's willing to go, if we need another." Or a replacement, by the sounds of his tone.

Kimmila shakes her head at Thea with a frown. "Not all of them are evil. He has innocents among his…school", (fish terms, really? She sucks at this) "as well. Folks looking for a better life and getting swept up in his promises for such." It's like a cult. Only without the Nike shoes or the Kool-Aid. After her hand has rested on his arm for a moment, Kimmila removes it to return to her mug and take a long swig.

Perhaps it's because Thea sees Th'ero as a peer she can be so forthright but she also has the perspective of a woman who loves such a proud sort of man. Her chiding is subtle rather than chastising (or she tries to make it so) - it's meant more as a direct appeal mingled with the understanding that men are… or see themselves as… invulnerable. She back off only to the point where she doesn't harangue him but if he becomes waxy-complexioned, slurs his words or fails to remain coherent, she'll be forcing the issue without argument. Kimmila's return is greeted with a nod of quiet empathy. She's been in the bluerider's shoes often enough to relate. As for Ers'lan, Thea is not disappointed. Typical is not why she recommended him. His shrewd questions actually bring a forced but feral grin to her lips. "You'll do what's needed and pertinent for the situation, I have no doubt, Ers'lan." Th'ero's reaction and following comment about crossing lines draws a subtle uneasy shift from her. "I know," she says shortly, almost irritably. "But what we're asking will save another situation like the…entire depletion of the fishery." She SO sucks at fishing terms as well! It's supposed to mean the hold that Laris wiped out. She rubs a hand over her face, scrubbing at it in frustration. "I don't know. I'm not good at this sort of stuff." which is why she won't be doing the infiltrating.

"Trust be as murky as the waters of a sea, ya reckon ya know whar be on top of 'er or under 'er, but she be always surprising ya, with a swell out of no whar," slowly his mind calculates something before Ers'lan balantly asks, "Ya didn't speak ta the man who be providin yer bait direct, did ya?" As in, did Th'ero show his face to the bartender, because Th'ero's face was likely known and thereby a likely doublecross was in the works if marks were involved. Nine times out of ten they were, when dealing with renegades. He seems not to notice or stray to long on the nuisances of the weyrleader's mannerisms, since the brownrider himself was caught up in his own. His? He had his mission and his mind was already on it, especially when the directives were given. Except, he tries to lighten the mood, "I'll be makin the lot of you fishermen yet." He approves of their adaption of the terminology, since, it was likely the clustering has caused the curious to try and sniff out a morsel of gossip or two. It would blow their plan if anyone overheard the wrong thing. "Jaye… reckon I dun narh know this one. She have a stout fishin pole? Two are better than one." He would go and take Jaye with him. Eyes settle on Thea, nodding to her confidence, he regards the table, "Reckon dragons do be chasin off the fish… best keep 'em here, but they need ta be well firmed and kept, so they dun narh try ta be catching fish from us. Thar be risks fer fishing so deep out thar, but tis the only way…" his eyes hold to Thea, he would need her dragon's help to keep his own rooted in the Weyr while they were out 'observing.'

Ers'lan rises to stand not soon after his cryptic comments of what must be done, his drink nothing more than small droplets at the bottom of his glass, a ring of moisture left on the table where it sits. His head bobs to both Weyrleader and Weyrwoman, then to Kimmila, before he speaks, "I best be getting the fishin gear ready, iffin our trip is ta be so soon." Another series of gestures, "Zhaoth will be listenin fer further word. Thanks fer the drink." And as he's shimmies past Thea he puts a hand on her shoulder and ducks down to whisper something into her ear, something that the table mates may hear but no one else, "Let me know when I can further discuss these plans with ya." And then he's off, showing a good natured grin to someone whose sat rather close to their table and was staring intently, commenting on their shirt enough to snatch their gaze long enough to given them a hard look. That sets the individual back down into their cups. Lan moves down the flight of stairs, leaving his betters to further planning.


'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.