Situation: Critical

Fort Weyr - Weyrsecond's and Jr. Weyrwoman's Offices
Aged by time, just like the other offices carved into the stone, these ones have lived through the ages of Fort with the only change given to time being subtle ones to the decor as new staff come to fill the space. Situated next to the Weyrleader's Office, the small cavern leads into a spacious alcove of sorts before branching into two separate directions. On the right it leads to the Weyrsecond's personal office, a modest sized room complete with all the necessary furnishings required, along with a few shelves, a book shelf and storage for records and reports. On the left, it leads to the Junior Weyrwomen's offices and this larger room is set with three desks rather than one, along with all the other necessities needed. Both offices have small hearths built in to offer some warmth in the colder months and as there are no windows, several glow baskets have been installed to offer enough light and a few tapestries hung to offer a touch of color. Doors have also been painstakingly worked in, allowing some privacy if needed, though often they are left open.


The Weyr is in a hushed state. The evening prior saw an unusual and rare sight for such late winter month: lighting storms. No rain, just the dazzling effect of lightening and thunder that lit up the snow covered Weyr in a display of beauty that was both unsettling and eerie. Night was peaceful and the morning on which the current hour stands is blissfully quiet. Now it feels more appropriate to winter as the sky lightens gradually, heavy with clouds and heavier still with the thick snowfall that drifts in fat, lazy flakes from above. Most are tucked away indoors and in the warm and those that do trudge outside do their business swiftly. If Weyrs could have snow days, today would be one! Not that it gives the excuse for laziness. Others are busy at other forms of work. The boring, mind numbing administrative details that sees a few riders holed up in their offices or the lounges. Th'ero has spent most of his pre-dawn hours on patrol before returning long enough to thaw out from that, wash up, eat (likely on Kimmila's insistence) and dress again before trudging down to his office. He's in there but for a scant few minutes before he's approaching the offices next to his, hoping to catch one of the weyrwomen. There's a brief glance given to the Weyrwoman's office, dark and with the door closed and there is a moment where he frowns, concerned before it passes and he knocks on the other door.

Meanwhile, Velokraeth is busy stretching out in his wallow and nursing the aches out of his twisted and malformed limbs. As he uses his blunt muzzle to nuzzle and massage out the kinks, his mind is still sharp and as active as ever as it extends out to find a certain young bronze. « Good morning, Sharuth! » he'll chime in a warm enough tone. « Sorry to wake you if I have, but is yours available? The Weyrleader would like to see him. If he could come by the offices? He is currently seeing if he cannot speak to one of the weyrwomen, but So'l's presence would still be appreciated. »

Nyalle is working in her office as usual, sorting through the winter's tithe reports and making note of the shortages that will quickly be upon them. She works meticulousyl and carefully, sure not to make any mistakes. The room is warm with a fire in the hearth and a pot on to heat water for tea, though at the knock Nyalle is swift to rise. It's just her in the office this morning, the other juniors on other tasks. So she is swift to move to the door, smoothing the skirt on her heavy wool dress before she opens it. "Weyrleader," she says, blinking in surprise before stepping back and dropping into a low curtsey, and then a snapped salute. "How can I help you?" She takes a few more steps back though, eying him. The last time a weyrleader surprised her while she worked, things did not end well.

Sharuth's reply comes quickly. « I was not asleep, but I appreciate your consideration, Velokraeth. So'l is on his way but hopes there is hot klah to be found there. » And indeed, the young bronze rider is making his way swiftly through the weyr, though it will be a few minutes before he arrives. The snow is, indeed, an inconvenience — especially after the beautiful weather of Southern. But eventually he'll arrive, knocking on the outer door before being slipping inside.

« Excellent! Mine will be pleased that he is available. I'm not sure if there is klah, but I am certain that that can be arranged? » Velokraeth assures Sharuth with his usual warm, mellow and richly honeyed voice. Klah is a very small request to honour! But it's passed along. Th'ero will linger in the threshold of the doorway even as Nyalle answers and he has his hands clasped behind his back and his usual stoic look set to his features. "Junior weyrwoman," he greets in return, dipping his head respectfully in response to her curtsey and echoing her salute. It takes all his effort not to grimace or twitch under such rigid formalities but he goes through the motions. For the short time he's known Nyalle or their brief meetings, he's learned that the gold rider takes some comfort in that familiarity. Even if it strikes him as odd and unusual. "I am here because I would like to briefly go over some of the recent news and reports. A… "checking in" as some put it. I didn't mean to interrupt your work." he murmurs. His eyes have drifted to her desk as he steps inside, noting the papers and likely glimpsing enough of what is written for him to form what it was she was working on. "How is our status?" he asks quietly, only to cock his head to the side and adopt that distant look when one is conversing with their dragon. "And I hope you do not mind another joining us," Th'ero begins in a close to apologetic tone. "Should I send for some klah?" There's the knock on the door then and So'l arrives just in time. "Morning, Wingrider." greets the Weyrleader in the same formal tone given to Nyalle moments ago.

Nyalle moves back to her desk with a slight inclination of her head, pushing dark hair behind her ear. "Yes, sir," she says, gesturing to a chair. "Please make yourself comfortable. I was just about to make myself some tea, shall I serve you?" Then she looks at her work and a frown creases her brows. "Not well, Weyrleader," she says honestly. "Our stores in the basics are running low. Flour, sugar, yeast, meat. I do not mind another joining us, whatever you would prefer, sir." As for klah, she's making herself tea but whatever he wishes is fine with her. She does perk up just a tad though when it's So'l who arrives, and she offers him a smile along with a salute, if one is offered to her first.

Stepping inside, the bronzerider nods to Th'ero's greeting and snaps a formal salute back. "Good morning, Weyrleader," he smiles, the formalities over. Or perhaps not? Because as he approaches, he realizes they are meeting in the Junior Werywomen office and spies Nyalle there. She's smiling at him and so he'll smile back but not before offering her a salute as well. Such things are customary, after all, especially since the woman can from a more formal weyr like High Reaches. "Good morning to you as well," he nods before rubbing his hands together for warmth. "Any chance there's some klah up here? After two days in the South, I think I've lost some of my natural defenses to the cold," he chuckles. He'll look then to Th'ero, obviously curious as to the summons.

"Thank you, Nyalle. And if there is no klah, that is fine. Tea will do." Th'ero murmurs as he turns to take one of the vacant seats and settles himself into it. His jacket he'll slip off and fold into his lap and the clothes he wears are sturdy and thick, ensuring warmth against a Fortian winter but also speaking the truth about his plans for the day. He's not about to be spending it holed up in his office or anywhere within the Weyr. The Weyrleader is up to something but for now he's playing the game of formality and procedures. Nyalle's honesty is met with an approving look before her news has him frowning and troubled. Mouth drawn back, he makes a quiet frustrated sound as his worries are confirmed. "Damn. How long, do you think, before we are at critical? Or are we almost at the point of rations?" Turning his head to So'l as the Wingrider enters, he'll gesture for the bronzerider to sit as well, while Nyalle is left to being an impromptu hostess in her own office. "There is tea, if that'll serve? And I heard of your venture south with Abigail and K'drozen. Would you mind going over what you discovered there for Nyalle and I?" Maybe more for the junior's benefit, but his request may (or may not) entirely answer why So'l had been summoned. Th'ero is getting there, honest!

Nyalle pulls the pot from the fire and pours three mugs for each of them before adding small tea satchels, offering a cup to each bronzerider before she takes her own and settles carefully into her chair. "A few sevendays, sir, before we are out. Rations…I can not speak to the intelligence of those." It's not her place to make a decision or a suggestion, she's saying. So'l is given a curious look, the goldrider studying him for a moment. Is that envy in her eyes?

Nodding to Th'ero, So'l claims a seat and as the mug is handed to him, he offers a warm "Thanks" to Nyalle. And then, while talk of dwindling foodstuffs is discussed, the bronzerider hesitantly sniffs at the tea. It is… Sniff again. It is… One more sniff. Oy, it's definitely tea and not really the kind he likes. But hello, So'l! Remember how supplies are dwindling? Make do, bronzerider! He sips at the concoction carefully — it IS hot, after all — before frowning at the talk of only a few seven days of crucial foodstuffs being left. "Not good," he offers quietly before Th'ero is asking him to go over what they found down at Drake's Lake. "Of course, Weyrleader," So'l nods, his eyes catching that peculiar look from Nyalle. What is she thinking? He doesn't know, sadly, so he'll soldier on. "Abigail led a group of Thunderbird Wingriders down there to assess the island's current condition. We scouted around to see if the local wildlife had reclaimed the island and, unfortunately, that seems to be the case," he sighs, taking another sip from his tea. Ugh. Tea. Focus, So'l! "We encountered a pack of felines that attacked us. Abigail was injured — her leg was raked by claws — but she's fine now. We were able to kill the pack save one, which ran off back into the woods. Before we can use the island for crops or bovines, we'll need to do some /serious/ hunting down there."

Th'ero isn't a fan of tea either, but as it is all Nyalle has to offer he will be polite and accept it though he is very slow at sipping it. Maybe it's just too hot? The Weyrleader could be foregoing with the klah because of the very discussion they're having concerning the stores or it could be because there is no time for them to send for some and wait. "Why not?" he asks, frowning as he gives Nyalle a curious look. "Even if it's just your best guess, I'd appreciate the insight." It may not be her domain to say, but she must have an opinion, right? "A few seven days." he murmurs with a grimace, his frown troubled again. That does not give them much time. Not nearly as much as the Weyrleader had hoped for. "Then it would seem our options are limited. Wouldn't you agree, Nyalle? So'l?" Th'ero will pretend not to notice the bronzerider's hesitation with the tea and take a little sip of his own. Don't grimace! Don't grimace. Truthfully, the tea isn't that bad. It's just not klah though. "Abigail is fortunate and I am glad she is mending. You're all fortunate and lucky. We will have to look into arranging to have hunters and those skilled in tracking and handling such dangerous creatures brought to Drake's Lake then. Perhaps permanently, if we're to have our herds settled there to ensure their protection from predators. So I agree, So'l. We will have to look into the hunting aspect first." he admits and then adds after considerable pause. "Which is why I am going south today. To see for myself the condition of the site." He's not asking their permission, it's stated as fact, as a decision he's already made and intends to see through though it's clear he expects protest. "I'll be taking Kimmila with me. So'l, you may come as well if duty permits. Which reminds me… Congratulations on Sharuth's flight win to Xanadu's gold Luraoth." he murmurs with a light smile and leans forwards enough in his chair to attempt to clasp the younger bronzerider on the shoulder. As he settles back, he turns his head again to Nyalle. "Do you think you could look into the records of our herds? Speak to the Beastcrafters, perhaps in my absence? Or you may seek D'ani's counsel on the matter. If we're serious on looking into alternatives… We need to get started now." Or else they're facing a very tough winter.

Nyalle sits up straighter, noticing how So'l doesn't seem thrilled at the tea. Well, it's what she has, so tough. There's a soft gasp of shock and concern for Abigail's condition, and she's eying So'l more closely now. "You killed the felines?" she whispers, fine boned fingers pressed against her lips, her jade green eyes widening. Glancing back to Th'ero, the goldrider seems to balk, looking at her notes. "I…I do not know, sir," she murmurs. Then she settles in to listen, only to gasp again at the Weyrleader's plan. "Sir, do you think that's wise?" she asks, before shrinking back slightly with a blush coloring her cheeks. "Do…I…Do you feel it is the best use of your time, to leave the weyr in such a crisis? With your weyrmate?" That bluerider! As for looking into herd records and seeking D'ani's council, the goldrider nods, lifting another sheet of paper to write on. "Yes, sir. Of course, sir," she murmurs.

So'l isn't ungrateful for the tea and when he sees Nyalle taking notice of his dislike, he smiles wide and pretends it's the best tasting klah /ever/! Mmmmm. Gag. Mmmmm! See? Stores /are/ short and it's no time to turn his nose up at something different. As the food situation is even further outlines, the bronzerider gets a much better feel for why things are happening around Fort with such urgency lately. "We definitely need to take action," he nods in agreement. And then Th'ero is discussing his plan to go to Drake's Lake and So'l can't help but agree that it's wise to act swiftly. "I'll be happy to accompany you, Th'ero," the bronzer says, dropping rank — as Th'ero has himself instructed in the past — to fall into their familiar rapport, especially once his shoulder is clapped. Smiling nervously — his face flushing — the young man says, "Thanks…it was a new experience, that's for sure. Hoping to help out here as much as I can before we have to spend most of our time in Xanadu." Nod. But then Nyalle is questioning the wisdom of Th'ero going — purposefully highlighting that his weyrmate is going too — and So'l tries to head things off at the pass a little. "I'm glad Kimmila is going. She's quick and an excellent tracker. We're going to need people with her skills to get this done. The island isn't overrun but it's dangerous."

Th'ero's attention drifts back to Nyalle once more when she shows such shock about Abigail's condition and the fact that the felines were killed. "They would have to have been," he explains. "Felines are notoriously dangerous and aggressive." He's likely misunderstood the young gold rider's reaction and comment. His eyes narrow when when she questions his decision but as she shrinks back his expression eases and he gives her a faint smile that is more of a smirk than anything. "Perhaps not entirely wise, but it is necessary. I must be certain that it is safe for our riders and weyrfolk to be there. I'd not be much of a Weyrleader otherwise." Nor is he about to send others to do it, not after the first party to go met with such luck concerning the felines! "Wingrider Kimmila," Th'ero stresses the blue rider's rank. "Is in fact one of the better riders to be down there. She has spent a few Turns in southern and she has hunted felines before. If there is anyone who knows the dangers of those wilds, she does." he points out as his gaze shifts to So'l once more. Formality has indeed dropped, at least between them and may be yet another shocking thing for poor Nyalle to absorb. "I'm glad, So'l. You'll be able to show us then where the attack occurred. It'd be nice to get an idea of the distances…" he murmurs thoughtfully, lifting his free hand up to scrub along his jawline. He chuckles dryly then, "A new experience?" That's one way of putting it! "I suppose it is. And it's true, you will be bound for Xanadu Weyr soon. All is settled, then?" And he doesn't mean with the other Weyr, as Th'ero's eyes now sweep between bronzerider and goldrider. Looks like their little meeting is coming to a close and the Weyrleader finishes the last of his tea.

Nyalle shakes her head once at Th'ero with a frown. "It is for the dragons and riders that I am concerned, sir, not the felines." She also struggles with Th'ero and So'l being on a first name basis, her fine boned fingers gripping her mug tightly. Then she is quiet, since there's nothing else she can say. She is the woman here, and the men are off to hunt. "I will have klah for you when you return," she promises, eyes downcast.

Trapped in a snow storm several days before, Nyalle had mentioned her…curiosity…about Kimmila's role in all things Weyrbusiness. But it's clear that the bluerider's involvement in such matters is possibly becoming a point of contention between the Weyrleader and the junior Weyrwoman. Which, you know, is kind of a shame since Kimmila does so much for Fort. But old habits and learnings are hard to look past and So'l can empathize with the goldrider's misgivings. He offers the woman a supportive look before his eyes go distant for a moment. Shortly after, though, he is nodding to Th'ero's words. "I can definitely show you where we ran into them. And Abigail's canines and our firelizards were very helpful in helping us deal with the felines. They were able to track them by sent or spy them from above," he notes. As to being bound to Xanadu for a while, this isn't something So'l is exactly excited about. He loves Sharuth and is glad his lifemate has taken such pleasure in the mating and interest in his progeny but…yeah, people there haven't been so friendly to So'l. "I will represent Fort Weyr very well in this," he promises. "And things are settled, yes." He almost has more to say on the matter but perhaps now is not the proper time.

"Your concern is appreciated, Nyalle." Th'ero is honest in that respect to the gold rider and noticing how tensely she grips her mug and her downcast look, he looks almost sorry for her. He likely IS but is trying to mask that. Her promise however brings a confused frown but he does not correct her and only pushes to his feet to stand. "You are too kind." he murmurs at last, after scrambling through his head as to what could be appropriate to say. "I apologize for dropping all of this on your shoulders so abruptly, weyrwoman but I am glad you are willing to help. When we return, I would like to see what, if anything, you discover in the records. If I am needed, have Kayeth bespeak Velokraeth. Sharuth and Varmiroth as well, if need be." Gesturing for So'l to rise as well and join him, he offers the bronzerider a crooked smirk. "Excellent. And I've no doubt in my mind that you will represent Fort well during your time in Xanadu." Th'ero has no idea how the reception was in Xanadu, having not had the time until now to speak with So'l. Maybe once they are south and done with their business the time will arise. For now though, the Weyrleader's mind is wrapped up in politely dismissing himself from Nyalle's office. "We'll keep you informed, Nyalle. Thank you for your time and the tea."

Nyalle glances up a moment later, her eyes focusing on So'l for a long moment. Then she clears her throat and sips at her tea. "Clear skies, sirs," she says, eyes flicking from one to the other before she nods and pushes to her feet. "I will see what I can find before you return."
So'l rises as well, then, having been signaled that it's time to leave. He takes a deep sip of the tea before placing the cup on the desk and saying, "Thank you for the tea, too. The circumstances weren't the best, Weyrwoman, but it was pleasant to see you today." He'll snap a salute her way — formalities observed — but there's warmth in his eyes that transcends such things. Turning to follow Th'ero, the younger man walks behind and once they've left Nyalle's officer proper, he chuckles. "I appreciate your confidence, Th'ero. Ready to head south? Abigail and the others are still down there." If Th'ero needs time to send messages and organize riders, So'l offers to go ahead and return with Th'ero so that he can fill Abigail and the others in on the plan.

Th'ero dips his head low and politely to Nyalle once more. "Clear skies, Nyalle. Our thanks, again. We will not be gone long." Famous last words! The Weyrleader slips on his jacket then, one of his heavier ones and the least formal of all his gear. Fastening it shut, he'll reach for the door then and pull it open so that So'l can step out first while he will follow with a last parting look to the young goldrider. Once they're out in the corridor leading to the council chambers, Th'ero will speak again to So'l. "I'll be ready once I have Velokraeth's straps set on him. And is she?" That seems to surprise him. "I thought she had returned with you. Are her wounds making it that she cannot Between?" Did he misunderstand that part of the report? "Let her know that we're coming then. I've Kimmila out gathering supplies, but I would suspect she'd be close to finished with that by now. Meet us in the north bowl when you and Sharuth are ready to depart."

So'l nods, then, glad that they are leaving sooner rather than later. In regards to Abigail, though… "She and the others are still down there. Clearing what they can in small teams. Her leg is much better today, I think," the bronzerider offers. "I'll return to Sharuth and pack a few more supplies, then meet you both in the bowl," So'l nods. He departs, heading out of the building and threading his way towards where Sharuth will pick him up before returning to their ledge for supplies.


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