A Reward for Lies

Fort Weyr - Gemstone Tavern
The dim lighting by the flicker of candles lining the walls is enough to offer a view of a room decorated in such a way as to be tastefully appealing. Each piece of furniture and decoration is chosen to accent another piece, and so on and so forth, matching and tying the whole room together in a theme that's separate, and yet at the same time unified. Tables line one wall, dimly lit by candles hanging in sconces all along. The bar along the far right wall is made of richly toned mahogany, tooled by a master and polished to shine with the soft glow of wood at its finest.
Candles strategically placed add to the atmosphere, accenting, punctuating. Towards the back is an open fireplace, constantly burning with a bright light, warming the tavern on cold nights and serving as a gathering place for patrons' story-tellings. Across the room, lush pillows and soft-covered floors promote relaxation at ease. Just before the pillows is a long stage, so full of its own vigor and memory - nicks here, marks there, scuffs from footware and other things - that it's possible to imagine the shows put on for the patrons without necessarily seeing the performances.


There's a dark humor that hangs around Ha'ze's visage these days, as if he knows a secret no one else can quite put their fingers on. It shows itself in the way he drinks a dark ale in front of him and taps his fingers idly along with the music the harper plays. He's waiting for something to happen and it keeps other patrons away from him at the moment. A second cup is filled, but untouched, across from him.

BOOM! It's no crack of thunder from a storm outside but a storm of sorts HAS arrived in the shape of one irate looking Weyrleader (and let's face it — unhinged). The door to the tavern has been thrown open — or kicked — but it has the desired effect. Dead silence, until Mr'az barks: "Everyone! Get OUT! Except you." Cue finger point to Ha'ze. YOU! It's an order few would ignore. Not even the Harper is spared … especially not the Harper. Standing aside, Mr'az will only move when satisfied all have (fled) left the Gemstone before he shoves the door closed behind him and stalks his way right for Ha'ze.

Maybe this was what Ha'ze expected, because he doesn't jump when that door slams open. In fact, he doesn't even miss a sip at his drink. No, the bronzerider settles back into his seat and watches in bemusement as the others scurry out. A finger comes up and points at the glass along from him. "Congrats on ditching D'ani."

Mr'az glowers and continues to do so even when Ha'ze greets him 'neutrally'. Clearly, the bronzerider is the target but not to rip apart. Settling into the chair next to Ha'ze, the Weyrleader just continues to stare at him from under a darkened look. "I did what had to be done." he retorts in a clipped manner. "It won't win me many favours but I have to ask… How'd you know?" Tell him. NOW.

Ha'ze doesn't fear Mr'az. Compared to Th'ero and Ustyrr? He's KIND OF a limp rag, and Ha'ze has spent the last two with little to do but lift lots of heavy things and do physical labour. True work builds muscle like workouts just can't. After a sip of his drink Ha'ze shugs his shoulder slightly. "You told me to listen around, and Kai hears everything." Because he's secretly the worst gossip and no one ever catches him because it's all under the veil of his 'stories'. "He was working with Th'ero anyway." Reaching downwards Ha'ze pulls up a notebook and tosses it at Mr'az. A nod towards it, "Everything I've found so far." All lies~~~ But Ha'ze is a pretty damn good liar and there's no hint of his duplicity in it.

Mr'az will grab that notebook without hesitation and while still keeping his gaze on the bronzerider, begin to open it. A quick glance, a few choice sentences (of lies) and that's all he needs! The book is forcefully shut and tucked into a pocket. "He denied everything…" But that was expected, wasn't it? Mr'az is too paranoid and off his cracker in some senses that he couldn't see the truth even if it punched him good and hard in the face. "You've done well." It's a compliment, even if it comes off like he's praising a well trained canine. "And what of Abigail? The others?" Are they in that little notebook too? Who else must Mr'az axe?

"Of course his did." Ha'ze, dismissive of anything, is just here to cause chaos and get a little bit of his own back from the world. Revenge is pretty sweet actually. "None of them are idiots. Th'ero, Nyalle… they're all tricky. Abigail isn't necessary in their plot, just disatisfied." So yes, there are some Abby words in there, because it would look suspicious if not, but they paint her as outside of the plotting. It's the least Ha'ze can do for his once-friend.

Mr'az frowns now, a sign that while some of Ha'ze's news is troubling, the Weyrleader feels "safe" enough around the bronzerider to ease up. Not by much and it's evident in the displeased way he looks concerning Abigail. "Still. If she continues to cause trouble… Just dissatisfied or not I won't be able to allow behaviour like that to go unchecked. It'd look weak." Of course it would. Not that he already hasn't painted himself as such so very well! "Th'ero and Kimmila have been oddly scarce of late but expected — I heard their boy Impressed in Igen." Is that where they've been going? He sounds suspicious even with the truth.

"You can't stop people from talking Mr'az." Ha'ze doesn't want to endanger Abigail, or those who are more-or-less innocently involved. "Punishing Abigail for chatter isn't going to get people to support you against Th'ero." And Ha'ze implies heavily that Mr'az needs that support. "And aye. Kyzen - K'vir impress a bronze over there. Innocent enough… but you know with Weyrlinghood there's precious little time they could actually spend with him." An upraised eyebrow implies heavily that Ha'ze believes their out-of-weyr activities are more than family visits.

Mr'az looks ready to argue or at least disagree with Ha'ze but in the end he says nothing. He has his own opinions on Abigail but he is appeased for now that she's not a major threat. "So you're thinking they're slipping off elsewhere under the ruse of a visit?" he mutters, speaking out loud what Ha'ze is implying. Cue some fidgeting, a sign that the Weyrleader isn't liking the thoughts going through his head right about then. "They've been cautious with their work here." Maybe TOO cautious now that he really looks back on it.

Ha'ze shrugs. He's here to spread rumors and send Mr'az off a deepend where he can be delt with, not actually cause an multi-weyr incident by outright saying that Th'ero and Kimmila are doing something like that over there. Instead, he's just going to let Mr'az speak himself into a hole while Ha'ze drinks slowly and watches the fires burn.

Well played, Ha'ze. Well played. The fires are burning and Mr'az is just that much closer to completely pushing the Weyr into action. It's already tipping with D'ani now demoted. Rather than let that insult heal, the Weyrleader will just charge on ahead and stomp some salt right into it. "Here," he says gruffly while tossing what looks like a fancy knot at the young bronzerider. "If you're going to continue doing what you're doing… You may as well have clearance." Yeah, because that's the ONLY reason why! In his head, he views this as a reward. Something to further tie Ha'ze to him. Poor Mr'az, thinking Ha'ze is not likely to put a knife in his back and yet is so unaware. It's hilarious — almost.

Reflexes come to Ha'ze's reward here as his hand flicks up and catches the knot in his hand. That sardonic relaxation fades to be replaced with an impassive mask. Ha'ze isn't letting anything go. Slowly his hand unfolds to reveal the Weyrsecond knot and he's just going to stay without talking for a moment as he takes it in. Slowly, "Aye… might make it easier."

Isn't it Ha'ze's lucky day? A promotion! He gets to be… Mr'az's second. Some just might pity the bronzerider too much to be outraged by the choice. "Good. I trust I don't have to explain what I expect of my 'second?" Mr'az asks dryly but there's a warning buried in there somewhere. Nothing like this could come without a trap, right?
"Oh yes. I know exactly what I have to do." See, Th'ero would probably hear those words and be instantly on alert. Ha'ze has never done anything without arguing first, especially something that threatens his freedom as badly as this knot does. Instant acceptance just isn't Ha'ze. But Mr'az doesn't know the bronzerider as well as he should, does he?

Nope, he doesn't know Ha'ze that well at ALL. Mr'az will see lack of argument as a good thing. Perhaps he figures the young bronzerider eager… or at least desiring the position. Not that he won't be watched, in a way, but the Weyrleader is pleased that this, at least, has gone as well as hoped. "Good," he repeats. "Enjoy the rest of your day then. I've got to see to Nyalle." And their newborn child. No doubt Mr'az will be reading into Ha'ze's little notebook too and have plenty to give him the following day.

Ha'ze doesn't affix that knot onto his shoulder just yet, instead he'll swing it around his finger slowly. To those who don't know Ha'ze it would look like he's enjoying the feel of the knot. Those who do? Would just worry. "Congrats." At least that sounds unforced in the slightest. Kids are awesome.

"Thank you," Mr'az sounds sincere enough in his reply. Enough that he nods to Ha'ze while he spins that knot, "And to you." Not quite as awesome has a newborn child but hey, what does the bronzerider know? Pushing off his chair, he'll run his hand through his already messy hair. It just makes him look all the more unbalanced — that and the unkempt, unshaven look he's sporting of late. "Until tomorrow." Is the only farewell he'll get before Mr'az makes his exit. It'll take awhile after that before the previously vacated patrons make their slow and cautious return. Is it safe now?


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