Who Th'ero, Inri
What Weyrleader and weyrwoman get things done. They're cold. They might be drinking.
When Winter (1), Turn 2714
Where Council Chambers, Fort Weyr

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Fort Weyr - Council Chambers
A large table, spacious enough to seat all of the Weyrleaders of Pern simultaneously, takes up the majority of the space in this room. Comfortable chairs are placed at regular intervals around the highly polished table, and writing materials have been laid out at each place in preparation for the next meeting. Along the walls are a series of sideboard tables, meant to hold food and drink for longer conference sessions.

Winter in Fort means it's likely miserable outside. Freezing, biting winds and snow being driven everywhere and into growing mounds against the Weyr's walls. For once, Th'ero might be glad that their meetings take up most of the morning hours and INSIDE. Where a fire is now keeping the council chambers comfortable and a never ending supply of klah keeps him awake. He's still in his prime, but the Weyrleader can feel time creeping up on him a bit. Currently he's the only soul here, sitting in his usual chair by the head of the table. Brooding, as always and in a surly mood and not just because of the cold or the recent issues plaguing the area. Jajen's no doubt been by and gone already, which is to explain his foul mood. Nyalle is nowhere in sight, but that is likely not a concern either. They all have their routines that deviate from time to time and Th'ero's learned not to become immediately suspicious of every small change to patterns.

At least that surly mood isn't Th'ero's alone; he can share it with one of the other weyrwomen. Inri wasn't late; she was there when Nyalle was, then disappeared, then slunk back in. She's been minimally avoidant for the last day or so, and was especially trying to dodge confrontation with Jajen. Who she normally gets along fine with. Today is apparently not one of those days, because she's kept to herself. Now, though, she's run out of paperwork AND out of tea, so she's returning to the council chambers initially not making eye contact with anyone. Or just not making eye contact with Th'ero because he's the only one there and they're both working. She exchanges the finished work for new records quietly, then opts to sit and do some of the work in silent, surly companionship until someone breaks it. The silence, that is. Not the companionship.

"Too cold outside for your tastes, too?" Th'ero will break the silence after it stretches onward for an uncomfortable amount of time; which is to say, it'd be uncomfortable for anyone else in the room or witnessing it. Between him and Inri? It's probably the opposite. He's not completely oblivious, as he would've been, so many Turns ago. Velokraeth will confirm his suspicions too and so he just weathers Inri's current change of state better than he would if it were Nyalle or Jajen. He's RELIEVED it isn't the younger junior and he's even allowing himself a shred of confidence when Kayeth glows. When one is Weyrleader for so damn long, you begin to stop stressing so bad if this next flight will be the one to end your run. Th'ero doesn't even so much as look up from the records and maps spread out in front of him. Just a quick look up from under his lashes at Inri, to confirm she's actually there and then he's back to focusing on his notes, adding the delightfully and slightly annoying sound of scratch of pen to hide and paper.

"Too …" Inri trails off, acknowledging Th'ero's words with an expression that might have been a smile on a different day. "Something. It's not the weather exactly. Pressure in the air. People talking to me." There's an easiness to how she says it that indicates she means people, general, and not people, Th'ero, who is welcome to talk to her. He's one of the easiest people to deal with in this state because he isn't trying to get more out of her and actually has a remarkably similar personality! "I don't mind the cold much, except that I'd run out of something warm to drink." Doesn't she have a teapot in her weyr? Maybe it's broken. Maybe she broke it.

Th'ero won't question at all. That's one reliable thing about him! So her answer only brings a vague amused smirk to his expression, while he continues to gaze downward at his work. There may even be a brief scoff, but little else. Silence returns, stretching out for several minutes before he even thinks on breaking it again. "There's tea here, if you want it. Nyalle always leaves a pot behind. Or klah. No alcohol… have to hide that from Jajen." Inri would know that, of course. But it's Th'ero's way of cryptically hinting at a 'are you alright?' without actually SAYING it. They've been working together for so long, it may as well be an unspoken second language.

Only Jajen outdates Inri at this point, and how much of that was really working? At least Inri's able to get along with Jajen when nobody else can. Normally she sees the younger goldrider as a person rather than as an annoyance, and as a human she's not a bad friend. As a weyrwoman, well, her talents are probably suited elsewhere. Not every dragon's choice is a good one. "I'm not going to mix them," she says, considering; klah and tea together might be a little bit rough. Alcohol and tea would have been fine, but for the setting. Also, she's not even talking about spiking drinks so she must be okay. "Anything highly detail oriented that will take several days that needs to be done?"

Jajen was also exiled for a good portion of time. Th'ero does miss Dtirae though and wishes the trade would reverse, but at this point he doubts he'll ever get Jajen to leave and the goldrider is too smart now to pull the same stunt twice to get her ass exiled again. Jajen probably appreciates Inri's friendship… she really WOULDN'T be so terrible had she had a better start. Alas! "I can't imagine klah and tea being appetizing. But I won't tell if you want a nip of something stronger mixed in." Yes, that's Th'ero hinting to Inri that he'll lead her to his hidden stash if she wants something. Council room or work be damned! "Mhm. Yes, but it may be headache inducing. Here…" A small stack of hides slide over towards Inri, with his finger tapping the top one. "… tithe complaints, from some of the smaller holdings north of here, who are apparently unsatisfied with their Hold's answer and think we need to intervene." From the long suffering edge to his tone, Th'ero is tired of having to explain over and OVER again that the Weyr doesn't meddle unless it's a HUGE CRISIS. And even then…

"I've already got one. A headache," Inri confirms, in case that wasn't clearer: the way her hands are ever-so-slightly shaky and her eyes are squinting even with her reading glasses on either indicates some sort of migraine or, more accurately, the present state of Kouzevelth's cycle. "So .. maybe something stronger wouldn't be a terrible idea, but," first she's getting the lay of the hides. And making displeased pursed-lip faces as she skims. "Of course. I can definitely spend the rest of the day writing diplomatic absolutely-not notes. Please complain again when the problem escalates to something that actually involves me …" Technically, tithes do involve her, and often involve her specifically as the Weyr's math girl, but the minor holds' tithing directly does not. And this time it'll be diplomatic absolutely not notes from someone who isn't Th'ero!

Th'ero actually chuckles this time and then sighs, as he pushes back his chair and goes to just walk away for a moment. Again, it's one of those habitual things that would appear out of place to anyone else but is perfectly normal between them. When he returns, he has a small flask of some amber liquid; probably whiskey or rum, which he drops a small amount into a mug, fills it with klah and then prepares the rest of the drink how he remembers Inri prefers it. It's then settled beside her, wordlessly, in offer. She can take it or leave it — Th'ero doesn't care either way. He just returns to his seat and continues their conversation like he never left. "You know they'll just bitch later, when it does escalate, that we left them to starve?"

That thin smile broadens slightly — see, even Inri in the earliest throes of proddiness is capable of smiling at all! she's not a complete opposite of her normal self! — as she considers the drink before her with the briefest cant of her head before taking a slow sip. "Of course. At which point we will have to do damage control, but … it is their decision to deal with us at all. Much as the Fort region may not like it, there are some Holds and Weyrs that operate entirely independent of each other." And that's why Fort Weyr owns land. Just in case of people like this. "I can always make a couple of polite suggestions to various Lords, which I don't mind doing … though not this week," in case that wasn't clear, "and then I won't be able to between for a bit but many of these places are close enough to fly straight. I just have no delusions that they'll actually listen to me either. But I will tell all the whiners their bidding has been done by a queen dragon and her rider, because that is how the direction of authority works, is it not?" Definitely a little bit of bitey there, but it's directed at the papers.

"You know I've nothing against a few 'polite' suggestions. Even if they're sent in written form along with some of our more… trustworthy Phoenix riders." Th'ero could be suggesting Syn, Kimmila or Leia there, or even Abigail, depending on which 'flavour' works best for which holding. From the grimace that settles on his expression, he just wants it DONE! There are more pressing matters he'd prefer to focus on… namely among the riders here in the Weyr. He has his own headaches to deal with! Which is why he only acknowledges Inri's more toothy answer with a vague grin before delving back into his work. Conversation may ensue from there, but likely the Weyrleader will be content simply with the quiet between them… at least until someone comes calling on him and withers under the GLARE they receive, before he excuses himself to deal with this problem. IN THE COLD!

A promising idea; Inri's smile widens, along with a nod. "I'll make my nicest suggestions in my prettiest handwriting and send it along with my favorite riders." All four of whom are definitely on Inri's list; maybe she will make a nice note per choice Phoenix rider. The hold that hates Th'ero the most gets Leia, of course. Probably not in her Th'ero costume, even if a less serious-minded Inri would be tempted … "Let's see what I can come up with." And as they descend into working silence, Inri is writing some very polite screw-you notes, along with some very polite micromanaging-but-you-can-ignore-me notes and some I-tried-despite-this-not-being-my-problem notes. Unusually, she does not stick her tongue out at the messenger who comes to interrupt Th'ero, no doubt fueling Weyr gossip.

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