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.


Gunmetal tray clouds hang thick and low overhead and the day carries an ominous tension to it. It's been almost two days since the Lord Holder of Breakwater Hold sent his two sons to Fort Weyr to air their grievance concerning the priceless loss of the runners at the negligence of Roc Wingriders. Weyrfolk and riders alike have been treading lightly since that night and throughout the next day when the meetings continued behind the council chamber doors. When the brothers finally departed, it was the gossip of the night in hushed voices on how furious the Weyrleader looked and how shocked and withdrawn N'hon appeared. Opinions of the situation vary greatly through the Weyr and already a few scuffles have broken out when two sides clash. The weather does not aid things either and now the day drags on in an endless and miserable cold drizzle. Unpleasantly damp and cold, it's forced most of the riders and anyone not needed to be outdoors inside. With it now the late afternoon hour, the caverns are steadily becoming packed. Perfect timing.

Th'ero is seated at the higher tables for once and that should be indication enough that something Big is about to fall. Conversation drifts about the caverns but it's low and tense and the Weyrleader's continued scowled expression is not helping matters at all. He's been insufferable over the last few days, which is no surprise to many. Seated stiffly in his chair, his hands grip the ends of the armrests while his dark eyes scan the caverns. Barely heard above the din of conversation, he murmurs a single terse word to the one seated next to him. Always at his side, despite what some may murmur about that. "Now." Leaning forwards, he suddenly taps the hilt of his knife against the side of his (now empty) mug of ale as he begins to stand. Clearly, he demands attention without even uttering the words!

Kimmila is the one seated beside Th'ero, the bluerider looking proper in her more formal leathers, hair back in a braid and even wearing her unique knot for once. She just nods at Th'ero's word and watches him as he stands, though for the moment she remains seated.
Over at the Roc wing table, conversation dies swiftly as bodies turn, twisting to gaze up at their Weyrleader with shared apprehension. Even those who weren't directly involved feel the tension of their fellows, and the rumors of banning from Fort weyr have not eased those tensions.

Seated near the higher tables, Yhri might have caught wind of changes coming. Or maybe it was just intuition. Or dumb luck. Either way, her eyes turn towards the Weyrleader as he calls for attention, pausing in her evening meal to watch with curiosity in her eyes. The hush that falls over the room is almost palpable to the sensitive. Utensils are placed aside and klah mug is sipped, simply waiting now.

A lot of rumours have been circulating. Banishment, corruption and sabotage within the Weyr, the Wings and even outlandishly within the Holds. Folks have been swapping theories and heresy gossip for awhile now and it's hard to tell what is truth, if any of it is. Yet today, in the living caverns, with the atmosphere so tensely charged it has many wondering if they're about to find out and if they shouldn't plot their escapes now before the fiery explosion. Waiting until the caverns have hushed, Th'ero stands at his full height by the head of the table, dressed as well in his formal leathers. All black and trimmed in shades of brown. Fort's colours. He's every inch in Weyrleader mode now and there is no guess work as to his emotions. He's still furious as the day before and barely held in check now, which may also explain why Kimmila is there at his side. So he doesn't start flipping tables or something equally as embarrassingly scarring as loosing control. "Wingleader N'hon," he calls out in a low and heavy tone, just enough emphasis on the title to almost make it insulting. "Step forwards."

From somewhere tucked away where all the Roc Wingriders have gathered, a lean and slender man slowly pushes to his feet. N'hon looks worse for where, exhausted and troubled until he seems to shake himself from that stupor and promptly straightens his shoulders and lifts his chin. A few of the riders around him murmur their support, others hiss curses at him while others either stare in anxiousness and others openly scowl or glare. Even the weyrfolk get in on it, but N'hon walks by all of them with barely a glance. Only once does his gaze waver and that is when he spots Yhri there, recalling her from their brief meeting in the Roc Wing Lounge. There is no time for conversation, he only nods his head slightly and continues forwards like a man facing his doom. His unsettling pale eyes have settled on the Weyrleader as with each step he moves closer to the raised table.

Kimmila glances up at Th'ero as he rises, and her expression is serious as well. There is no 'I love this man' in her gaze. It's blank. Hardened. Support for the Weyrleader and that's it. Her eyes flick to N'hon, watching him approach with that same guarded expression.
At the Roc table, riders shift and fidget before stilling, even if they're uncomfortably twisted. No one wants to stand up and turn their chair around for a better view, so they twist their spines and wait.

Fingers wrapped around her klah mug, Yhri watches as N'hon passes, meeting his gaze with a modicum of sympathy but at the same time she's disapproving of the lack in discipline that led to this entire incident in the first place. Now responsibility must be taken and at present it seems to be squarely falling on the bronzerider's shoulders whether he likes it or not. Her head shakes imperceptibly at him, as if to say 'you're on your own' even as he moves past the point of eye contact. And then it's all eyes on the Weyrleader, silent and waiting.

Abigail isn't sure what all is going on in the caverns at the moment, but here she is wandering in after battling with the weather during her sweeps. She pauses near the door to get some water off and grumbles to herself in the process. At least the rain stopped, when she was on her way back to the Weyr that is. Voices are caught but she is on to get something to drink, and is getting herself a mug of klah before catches sight of the 'show'. There is a pause and she blinks while glancing around before catching sight of N'hon moving towards the Weyrleader. There is a slight pause and she moves on to a seat next to Yhri and settles down there, sipping at her mug as she goes.

Th'ero likewise keeps his expression hardened and while he will glance to Kimmila briefly, it's not in his usual 'this is my weyrmate and I love her' sort of looks. He's simply checking to see if she's there and assured that she hasn't for some illogical reason up and vanished, he takes a steadying breath and coldly watches in silence as N'hon makes his way forwards. He scans the upturned faces then, likely spying Yhri and Abigail there though the Weyrleader does not acknowledge them beyond just a half-breath of a lingering look. They may count their blessings that he seems so focused on the Roc Wingleader now. With the tension rising rapidly, Th'ero wastes little time in getting to the heart of the matter. "Wingleader N'hon. In light of the recent events brought to our attention, you stand here today to face the consequences for your actions." he begins in a voice that is so coolly detached and calm as to have a few of those listening instantly on edge. It's never good when the Weyrleader speaks like that and even N'hon has the decency to start to look apprehensive. The bronzerider opens his mouth to speak, but is promptly gestured to silence. "You've not denied the evidence stacked against you and regardless if you had, the verdict is obvious enough. So you do understand that you will now face punishment befitting such a grievous act?" Pausing while N'hon nods his head stiffly, Th'ero presses on, mouth set in a grim line and his posture taut now. "I hearby strip you of your rank, N'hon. You are unfit and incapable of leading a Wing. You will be docked in pay for however many Turns it takes for you to cover the losses Breakwater Hold has suffered and you will be demoted to Weyrling …"

It dawns on several watching the event unfold that they're witnessing poor N'hon's trial. Something usually done behind closed doors only now it's done public for all to see. The goal is, apparently, to shame but also serve as a very clear warning. While there was silence before, as Th'ero begins to lay out the verdict the caverns suddenly comes alive with the hushed sound of many voices reacting. Stunned and shocked, incredulous denial, cheering approval (though not true cheering but muttered agreement), it all varies. "… he deserves it…" "… but to Weyrling? A man his age and with so many Turns as a rider behind him? It's insulting…" "… should've been banished. Him and X'on…" Those snipets of conversation drift in and out and likely will be overheard by Yhri and Abigail.

Kimmila sits still and quiet as Th'ero speaks. Until he gets to the word 'Weyrling'. It's then that the bluerider rises as if pulled, brows lifting and eyes widening, leaning over to whisper softly but hastily to the Weyrleader. Contradicting him? Confronting him? /Correcting/ him? Kimmila mutters to Th'ero, "Sir,… on Wingrider…. Weyrling…. we'd be ruining… who… failed… Wingrider. /Not/ Weyrling."
Kimmila whispers "Sir, we'd decided on Wingrider. Not on Weyrling. It's demeaning, we'd be ruining a good rider who just failed at leadership. Wingrider. Not Weyrling."

Yhri's eyes widen slowly at N'hon's punishment is meted out. Surprise colors her hazel gaze almost amber as she hides her reaction largely behind her klah mug. Words fly around her but she doesn't take part in their sharing, simply watching and listening with her perfect memory to the drama unfolding before her, partly in disbelief and partly in the need to record it for later. More klah is sipped, just to give the brownrider the excuse to keep the mug there. A bronze lizards crawls onto her shoulder abruptly, eyes whirling yellow and orange in echo of his bond's inner turmoil, but he too is silent.

Abigail is listening in and taking a sip from her mug once there is the punishment being read. There is a pause and she even sputters, half coughing at the feeling of the klah that burns her throat and has to give her chest a sligh smack before able to breath right again. Her gaze flicks over the others and then glances to Yhri to see what the other rider thinks of this before her attention is sent back towards what is going on before them.

In the midst of the murmured voices throughout the caverns, Th'ero suddenly turns from staring down N'hon as he all but shames the bronzerider into humiliation and cants his head in order to hear what Kimmila whispers in his ear. Whatever it is, it only serves to prod at the coiled anger he's trying to keep restrained and colour mottles his cheeks and his dark eyes flash as he looks down at the bluerider. Ever faithful and loyal, but at the moment he looks fit to give her a good tearing into for her comments. He whispers something tersely in return, some of the words almost growled his temper is so high. "Why do you oppose me… That… We can't have such… or not. His… handling even… basic of Wing functions… not capable… performing… rider."

Meanwhile, N'hon had staggered in shock as his punishment was laid out before him and he could not even bare to look around him. Stunned though he is, he can hear perfectly fine and some of the comments just rub further salt into his wounds. His shoulders sag for a moment, defeated and humiliated until some spark seems to flare and the bronzerider straightens again. Boldly, he lifts his voice, "Sir, please! I ask you to reconsider. I know that I cannot undo the damage done… to Breakwater Hold or Fort Weyr but I promise you that I will make up for it in any way possible — as a Wingrider." That only has the murmuring in the caverns rising in pitch and a few brazen folk call out in jeering tones, only to be snapped at by others to stuff it. Now the atmosphere within the caverns is as unstable as the drizzly grey skies outside and with Kimmila standing to clearly intercept the Weyrleader on his decision and whoever threw the first jeer started a spark. Another voice calls out in favour of N'hon, while two more call for his immediate removal and side with the Weyrleader, only to be countered again as more and more volunteer their opinions. Who else will be daring enough to challenge Th'ero?

Kimmila swears under her breath as she reaches out to grip Th'ero's arm, hissing under her breath at him. Kimmila mutters to Th'ero, "… the tension in… You… this. NOW…. him… he… it'll be Weyrling… him…. /and/… Fort… be… and… will quell both… fist…"
Kimmila whispers "Feel the tension in this room, sir. You have to stop this. NOW. Demote him to Wingrider and say if he fucks up again it'll be Weyrling for him. Let him and you save face. Fort can not be divided and that will quell both sides before it erupts into a fist fight."

It does not escape Yhri's notice that even the Weyrleader's weyrmate is not a fan of the demotion all the way to Weyrling. In fact it might even have served as motivation to the brownrider. Another sip of klah and the bronze on her shoulders eyes are whirling rapidly now, but she shoos the beast to the rafters with a shrug, standing and starting to move through the crowds and the tables. Her short stature may cause most eyes to miss her as she makes her way boldly to the front, coming up behind N'hon and then passing the bronzerider up to stand before Th'ero, daring the brave the storm of his anger for the sake of the Weyr. "Weyrleader." Somehow her voice manages to carry clearly through the room, carefully enunciated. She offers a bow that concedes to him respectfully without losing ground. "It is true that N'hon's negligence has caused this Weyr great suffering and pain in recent weeks, and that of other riders as well, who should also rightly be punished." She pauses, letting her words sink in. "But by the same token, would it not be a waste of his experience and skills to make him a Weyrling again?" Another pause, accompanied by a long look up at Th'ero. "Inaction made this travesty possible. I ask, let us take action now to correct it." A beat. "Let me bear the responsibility of Roc Wing and ensure that its actions never speak ill of Fort Weyr again."

Abigail is quiet for a few moments as she listens to everything around her, a glance is sent towards the ones are speaking their minds, in murmuring terms mostly. Her gaze flicks over to Yhri once she is up and talking. There is a few moments as she looks into her mug, pondering it seems before she shifts forward, clearing her throat and sets her mug down. Sure she is not on Roc Wing but still, being Wingsecond she feels the need to speak up. "I agree with Yhri, Sir." This said while she looks at Th'ero. "He should be punished but… He has experiences and skills that could be better used instead of making him a Weyrling once more." There is a pause. "I'm sure… That there are other ways to make sure the point is driven home instead of such measures perhaps… Sir."

Th'ero's expression hardens as he continues to stare down at Kimmila, jaw clenched and stubbornly set. He is all prepared to continue to challenge her or order her to stand down and step aside for now until he can speak with her privately. Her grip to his arm is permitted and likely swiftly unnoticed as even in his state the Weyrleader is not deaf and oblivious. Those voices do not go unheard and with each call, his features grow harder and cold, withdrawn beneath so many layered masks. His eyes lock with N'hon, bristling at how the bronzerider is now standing in a posture close to defiant and assured as more riders come to back him and drown out those who call for more severe punishments. Yet the true shock doesn't come from the disgraced bronzerider but from the small form of Yhri as she brazenly steps forwards and lays out her challenge. The murmured voices suddenly stop and there is an eerie silence, broken only when Abigail and a few others speak up in favour for the brownrider.

N'hon starts, casting a sharp look to Yhri though he says nothing and his expression is so mixed it's impossible to read. Th'ero's however is clear as day: he's furious. Furious and caught completely off guard and backed into a very tight corner. His temper screams at him to tear Yhri down too and Abigail with her, but the logical part of his mind argues that THIS is the solution to save face. As he scowls at them all, Kimmila included, the silence continues to grow and build until at last one side wins out. Mercifully for all of them, it's his logical side that wins and not the primal. "Do you understand, Yhri, of what you ask in taking on that responsibility? That if you do step into this role, that you will be watched closely and all of this falls to your shoulders now. And should you fail…" Well. She has a preview? Th'ero takes a slow breath then, exhaling heavily as his gaze moves to sweep out over the caverns and lastly to Kimmila before he addresses everyone. "In light of this, I retract my earlier punishment and set it as thus: Yhri will become interim Wingleader of Roc and assume all cuties and responsibilities henceforth and be held accountable. N'hon will remain stripped of his rank, but demoted only to Wingrider status and placed on restricted duties or to duties as Yhri and her Wingseconds set fit. Does anyone object to this?" Judging from the reaction from the Roc Wingriders, they are in favour! What of the others?

Kimmila grips Th'ero's arm /hard/, staring at him and then down at Yhri for a moment. Then she withdraws her hand and stands straight, hands behind her, formal and stiff as she watches and listens. She gives no visible response to Th'ero's amended punishment. She just nods slightly.

If Yhri is phased by the Weyrleader's sharp disapproval she doesn't show it. Apparently the girl has grown quite a spine in the intervening Turns since her Impression. She waits, letting the room linger in a long silence at the shock of her sudden maneuver. No doubt their are thoughts among the ranks of a political coup, but right now the brownrider is eyes forward on Th'ero. Even N'hon doesn't get a glance. "I understand that this is an immeasurable burden, Weyrleader. Even still, it must be borne by someone and I am prepared to take any measures necessary" — her words take on a subtle stress to them, a warning to the assembled Roc riders that she will not tolerate more of the same from them — "to see that Fort's reputation is never stained so deeply again." She falls silent once more to await his answer. His explanation of the forthcoming punishment should she fail is met with an even gaze and then she spares a quick but subtle glance to see whose support she lacks, making a mental note before turning back to Th'ero again, save for a momentary gland at Kimmila in support and sympathy.

Abigail swallows just a touch at the look from Th'ero here is a slight pause but she doesn't take back what she has said. There is a slow nod seen, and she doesn't go about saying anything else while the rest is brought up. She knows there are other ways to save face, but really she can see why Th'ero would have taken this route. Her gaze flicks to Kimmila, a faint nod of her heard is seen to the bluerider before she lets her gaze turns to Yhri. While they are from different wings she leans over slightly. "If… I can help ye any let me know." This aid with a soft whisper of a tone when able to get a word in edge wise.

No doubt there will be rumours spread about a political coup, among other things. This is a Weyr, gossip runs rampant despite the Weyrleader's efforts to quell it. People will always talk and after the scene in the caverns on this grim and dreary afternoon there will be plenty of it to last them straight into the next Turn. Yhri's little speech earns her a few cheered agreements, as well as hands thumped against the tables to show support. She's no doubt got most, if not all, of the current Roc Wingleaders behind her, with some of Thunderbird swayed to her with Abigail seen whispering to her. Something to be said if a Wingsecond of another Wing shows support, right? Balance is slowly being restored, the tension lingering but not to such a distressing level. Narrowly has Th'ero avoided a complete collapse of the harmony between his Wingriders and some of the weyrfolk directly affected by this. The Weyrleader dips his head in a stiff nod to Yhri, his mood unchanged and his eyes fixing on her heavily. "I will hold you to that," Now his mouth twitches in the barest of smirks, so quickly passed that perhaps it never existed to start. "Wingleader Yhri. Then it's done! N'hon, you are dismissed. All of you are." Go back to your dinner! Th'ero is going to make his exit now, his time here done. Not truthfully done, as the Weyrleader should remain but only to those who know him well will understand that it's for the best that he leave and leave now. Better to make a small faux pas then another grand one. Stepping back, he grips Kimmila firm and tight by the arm, pulling her close to whisper to her ear before giving her a nudge forwards. No options for the bluerider, apparently, as Th'ero makes for the bowl and likely retreating to the solitude of his private weyr. Yhri will be left to absorb her change in position and perhaps weather being swarmed by her Wingriders and others too who come to offer their congratulations and offers of help along with Abigail. Once the Weyrleader is gone, the caverns will erupt in full conversation, no longer hushed and reserved.