Fort Weyr - Living Caverns
This cavern, having been created by bubbles in the volcanic flow of this extinct volcano, has a breathtaking ceiling — a vast dome that arches high above the heads of the weyrfolk that scurry around beneath it. A hollow echo can be heard from loud enough noises, and the chatterings of various firelizards are consequently multiplied into a chaotic babble. All in all, the living cavern is a loud place.
Tables are scattered around the room, apparently in no particular order. Over to one side near the kitchens, two medium sized serving tables are constantly spread with snacks, klah, and other goodies. The tables look worn, yet perfectly fitted to the atmosphere of the caverns. In the 'corners' of the cavern, smaller two and four place tables are set up for more private talks or just a less chaotic atmosphere in which to eat.


Summer is slowly winding its way into autumn; though it may be several weeks yet before the weather truly begins to cool down and that, in itself, is a blessing. After the preliminary reports were sent in by the Minecrafters who came to assess the damage, it was determined that for everyone's safety, that the lower caverns be evacuated.

In a nutshell? It's been a nightmare. Haast transport riders were organized to help relocate those who wished to be ferried outside of the Weyr. Those who chose (or had no choice due to their position) to stay were housed in the Amethyst in the Pines camp but everyone knows that that arrangement won't last for long. Regardless, most have handled the situation well and done what they're instructed to do. Evacuation orders were handed out, largely overseen by the Weyr staff. Issues of supplies and goods being transferred out has largely been handled by the Weyrwoman and the juniors and the Weyrleader, along with a few other Phoenix riders, have been busy discussing options with the outlying Holds (to little good), leaving the Weyr often in Weyrsecond Abigail's capable hands.

Tonight though, Th'ero has returned late and judging from the expression he wears and the tension in his posture and movements, his last diplomatic visit was a waste of time. Or is there something else eating at him? So he comes to the living caverns, nodding to the guards on duty as they permit him entry. It's almost surreal, to be standing in the caverns and noting just how quiet it is.

Nyalle is standing in the caverns as well, her eyes looking up, and around, and then up the long staircase towards the kitchens above, and then casting across the empty buffet tables, to the slightly raised dais where the leadership table is. With a low sigh, she shakes her head, turning only when she hears another approach. "Weyrleader," she murmurs softly.

Th'ero had been too absorbed in his thoughts to immediately clue in that Nyalle was standing there as well. "Weyrwoman," he greets quietly in return and goes to join her at her side. "Unsettling, isn't it? Not hearing the usual bustle. The emptiness of this place." Shaking his head, he'll glance at her in silent inquiry. Does she have anything to report?

Nyalle shakes her head as well, scanning the room once more. "It's…saddening," she admits. "Hollow. I feel as if we've gone back in time and are standing in the abandoned weyrs before the last pass." She brushes her hands together, even though they're clean, and takes a deep breath. "I've heard rumors that some of our young residents are still sneaking into the lower caverns."

"It does seem that way, doesn't it?" Th'ero grimly admits, only to mutter some sort of oath under his breath. "The Guard Captain informed me of that shortly after my return here to the Weyr. Not only the young but that some of the families proved difficult to… convince." Which is cryptic code meaning that they were forcibly removed at some point.

Nyalle sighs. "I wonder why…I mean, I know it's difficult and I feel guilty that I do not…" She pauses, glancing sidelong at the Weyrleader. "Would it help if we moved out to the camp as well? Show solidarity?"

Th'ero frowns, "Feel guilty that you do not…?" he presses. Forgive him? He is tired (so very tired) and cannot pick up on the subtle things so easily. Her suggestion is not without the merit of a long pause of thought but in the end he only shakes his head. "I don't think it would help much but it may be worth a shot? You can always go, as can the other juniors — save Inri, perhaps. Kouzevelth will clutch soon." he quietly notes. "I'd prefer to stay here."

Nyalle smiles a little bit. "Truly?" she asks. "I'd have thought you'd jump at the chance to go camping. I just thought it might be a good show of solidarity with everyone, since it does seem awful unfair that they're living in the camp buildings while we're still in our weyr finery."

Th'ero smirks, "In most cases, yes. This isn't a normal situation, however." he points out again and steps forwards a bit with his gaze cast about the room. He doesn't go far. Just enough to stop and turn to face Nyalle again. "I'd hardly call this finery? And of course this situation is unfair. No one could have planned for this… and we're doing what we can. I will visit as much as I can, but I need to be here."

Nyalle still seems surprised, and honestly a bit disappointed, but she brushes it off quickly. "Fine," she replies with a dip of her head. "Kayeth and I will move out this afternoon, then, into a cabin or a tent, if that's all that's available. I'll have to check."

Th'ero has his reasons and they may not be the right ones. It could be that later his choice will bite him in the ass and Nyalle can savour a bit of an 'I told you so' moment. For now though he doesn't seem bothered by her disappointment. He's made up his mind, plain and simple. "I believe there are only tents left. They prioritized the cabins for those who required them." He gives her a lingering look. "Who will you leave to oversee matters here, then?"

Nyalle looks confused by his question. "Me, of course. It's not /that/ far of a walk, Weyrleader…" The camp is, after all, just outside the walls.

Th'ero appears just as confused by her response. "… I suppose not? But it'd still be advisable to have one of the juniors overlooking things here so that you're not constantly between one place and the other. Unless that doesn't bother you?" There's just a hint of irritability in his tone; just a small minute amount.

Nyalle lifts a brow ever so slightly. "I would still be here during the day, Weyrleader. I would only be sleeping in the camp. I won't force the juniors to move - that will be up to them if they wish to stay or join me."

"Ah, I had assumed you meant you would be staying in the camps throughout the whole day." Th'ero grimaces and lifts a hand up to scrub it tiredly over his face, trailing over his jaw as his hand falls back to his side. "Well, Inri will be unable to go anywhere shortly. So that will leave Thys and Jajen. I may speak to Abigail and see if she prefers to be posted here or the camp."

Nyalle shakes her head, a bit baffled as to why he would think that. "I'm not abandoning my post, Weyrleader. Simply sleeping with the people, instead of in my comfortable weyr."

Th'ero smirks, "And I'm not saying you are." he's quick to assure her on that, now that the miscommunication has been cleared up. Sighing heavily, he'll look away and across the empty caverns again. "We can only hope this won't be too long term. We have colder weather and the winter season coming soon. Our people cannot be living in tents when the snows hit."

Nyalle shakes her head. "No. We'll have to find other places for them, since the Camp can only house so many in its buildings and cabins…how did your meeting with the holds go?"

"Not well," Which probably explains much of Th'ero's mood and behaviour. "Not that I can truly blame most of them for being unwilling to harbor so many refugees. We'll figure out something but like anything it'll take time." Time which they very well may not have.

Nyalle frowns. "Why are they opposed to taking in a few folks or a family or two? We have offered to supplement their stores. It's not like they will have to house people without our aid."

Th'ero can only shrug his shoulders and spread his hands out in a helpless gesture. "Some of the Holds are stubborn and what was promised earlier has now begun to waver. We'll do what we can but I cannot force them into decisions, Nyalle. We know how well aggressive tactics work." Yet another jab at Mr'az's previous tenure as Weyrleader and how that all but led them to complete disaster.

Nyalle winces ever so slightly at that reminder, and all she can do is press her lips together and nod.

Th'ero catches that wince and realizing that his mood is starting to affect even how he speaks with Nyalle, the Weyrleader makes a decision. "I'm sorry," he starts with the apology first at least, "I should go. I'm exhausted and in a poor mood. If you need me, have Kayeth bespeak Velokraeth. I'll be in my private office." In his weyr, where he's guaranteed SOME quiet.

Nyalle dips her head. "Certainly, Weyrleader. Good day." Then she turns back to look at the stairs up towards the abandoned kitchens, sighing softly.

Th'ero dips his head in farewell. "Good night, Weyrwoman. We'll speak again in the morning." Since not even a partial collapse of the Weyr's tunnels will have him foregoing the usual morning meetings. He'll turn away and walk back out the way he came and keeping to his promise: if anyone comes seeking him at the odd hour, he'll be holed up in his weyr.


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