Fort Weyr - Weyrleader's Offices
Aged by time, this office has lived through the ages of Fort though the dcor has likely changed time and time again as new leadership comes to fill the offices. The main set up is where the juniors work, three desks settled in the main office that is lined with means to house the old records and reports. Various potted plants are around the office to give a touch of color. From this singular area, the office branches off into two different sections: The Senior's office and the Weyrleader's office. Both furnished to fit the needs of the Weyrleaders along with small flares of personal touch.

It's the morning after — barely, that is — the previous night, where a wintery ice storm had set in motion a rather heated exchange in Shenanigan's, with unexpected results as tempers flared and hasty decisions made while patrons looked on (or pretended not too). Now several hours have passed, the night diving way to the first pale light of dawn. It's a rather miserable time to be up, but Th'ero is no stranger to it. And sadly, on this morning, the Weyrsecond won't be either as Velokraeth bespeaks Irelanth with his rider's request that the brownrider join him as soon as possible in the Weyrleader's office. At least the bronzerider had thought ahead enough to set a fire in the modest hearth so that the room isn't freezing cold and even sent for some klah, though sadly there seems to be no food. Taking his seat behind his desk, Th'ero has the reports that were given to him the night before in a neat pile to one side but he barely glances at them. Instead, he simply waits, sitting back in the chair and staring off thoughtfully under a heavy frown.

M'lo shows up a scant few minutes later, still rubbing sleep from his eyes and having not had time to braid his hair. It's almost strange to see it unbraided, hanging in a straight black curtain to his waist, slightly tangled from the winds outside. "Shards, the sun isn't even up," he rasps out. "Do you have —" but he spots the klah and pours himself a mug. He drinks, and then presses his fingers to his eyes. Apparently he's anticipating unpleasantness.

Th'ero makes no comment on M'lo's unbraided hair and if it's surprised by the length, he keeps it well hidden and masked. Not that the Weyrleader should comment. His hair, though shoulder length, is a wild mess of black waves and curls every day of the week. Straightening a bit as he comes back to the present with the Weyrsecond's arrival, he simply snorts at the rasped out greeting. "My apologies for waking you so early. But I figured we'd get this… unpleasantness over with before the rest of the Weyr rouses." It may not be as bad as M'lo thinks, as Th'ero seems… calm. But calmness in the Weyrleader can be as dangerous as a full blown temper. "Please, sit." No need to mention the klah, as the Weyrsecond found that easily enough. "I reviewed the reports you gave me. In detail. And I believe… we /both/ made quite the erroneous mistake. A rather, ah… complicated one. It wasn't for us to deliver punishment to Pnali, but rather the Headwoman or Steward." he says, cutting straight to the chase as it were. "So even if I overruled the punishment — which I do wish to do — it doesn't hold to begin with."

"Yeah," M'lo says, rubbing his face a bit. There comes that sandpaper rasping sound. He hasn't even shaved, yet. "I haven't gotten any sleep over this. I don't know what…" he shakes his head. "No. I know exactly what I was thinking." He looks up at Th'ero guiltily. "I was imagining Kimmila slipping on the stairs and breaking her neck. Or Ely. The thought just…" he shook his head. "It may not be my place to dismiss him. I admit I got carrid away. But I /still/ think he needs to be dismissed. No matter what his history is, he did neglect that duty and he put a rider's life at risk. A pregnant rider, at that."

Th'ero smirks a little, but it's almost sympathetic in nature. The Weyrleader hardly looks rested either and who knows how late he slept or if he slept at all. As M'lo looks up at him guiltily, the Weyrleader simply stares back with a neutral look, no judgment cast. He does grimace though for the example given, not thrilled of being reminded of that but biting his tongue. Instead, he simply exhales heavily and leans forwards to rest his elbows on the edge of his desk and fix the Weyrsecond with a level and serious expression set on his features. Grim, almost. "Kimmila being pregnant is beyond the point. Never should have been the main reason. Anyone could have slipped on those stairs, it just happened to be her. Poor luck. But that is moot point. Yes, he… mishandled his duty. Not neglect. He never claimed to have wholly forgotten. The man clearly has some backwards thinking on managing his time. Or so I have surmised. It wasn't as though he was caught drinking in the taverns and shirking all his work… he got overwhelmed." he murmurs and then shakes his head, brows knitted together as he stares at the surface of his desk. "We both let our emotions rule us and no decision should be based wholly on emotion. There needs to be a balance of logic and level headedness. If I had been thinking clearly, I would have remembered… But it is too late now." At M'lo's decision to still have Pnali removed, Th'ero lifts a hand up in a slightly warding gesture. "I'm afraid that is where I disagree and regardless, it is not our decision."

"He wasn't caught shirking /this/ time, but he's certainly done it before," M'lo points out. "And all we have is his word on the matter. Of course he'd say whatever made him look best." He sighs a bit and sinks into the nearest chair, and sips his klah. "Not our decision," he agrees glumly. "So… when is the wrath of Dtirae descending on our heads?"

It's not Dtirae that descends on them, but rather Lycander, the Steward. A kind enough knock on the door before it opens a crack and he pokes his head in. "Sirs," the man says - serious at the best of times, and he looks remarkably put together despite it being so early in the morning. "Pardon me, I saw you both come in and there is something we need to discuss." He's a good Steward to have serve with Th'ero, since the men are much of the same no-nonsense attitude. Though that might lead to head-butting at times, as well.

"True," Th'ero acknowledges, but from the set of his jaw it's clear that the Weyrleader is unmoved from his previous opinion. "Even his past records of minor infractions do not make me doubt that he did this intentionally. Not… entirely." But M'lo thankfully echoes his last statement and the Weyrleader relaxes by the tiniest fractions. Smirking, he's about to answer that when instead there is a knock at the door. Th'ero's brows lift up in surprise, giving the Weyrsecond a look that seems to read: speak of the devil? But even as he begins to rise and the door opens, the Weyrleader looks surprised again but in a relieved sort of way. "Steward Lycrander," he greets in a low and reserved tone. "No need to apologise. Please, come in. Have a seat." And while Th'ero knows full well what the Steward may "need to discuss" he seems to leave that for the man to begin on his own while Th'ero retakes his seat.

M'lo just seems resigned to this, so he sips his mug, and follows Th'ero's lead by letting Lycander speak first.

Lycander steps inside and closes the door behind him, glancing at the two men with a frown. "I would like to know why," he says, voice level but cool as he walks in, "one of my handymen came to me this morning and told me he was fired by you," and the 'you' must mean both of them, as his gaze shifts back and forth, "and then quit, and requested I put in a good word for him at Fort Hold." Crossing his arms over his chest, the man stares at them both. "All because he says a bluerider fell on the ice?"

Thankfully Lycander is a calm and reasonable man and for that reason Th'ero only regards him coolly and with obviously controlled emotions. "M'lo and I were just discussing the matter." he begins, speaking in a low and level tone. "And Pnali is correct, we did confront him on the matter of failing to follow a request that the stairs leading to the administration complex be salted, as the ice and lack of rail had made them treacherous. And yes, a bluerider did fall and injure herself. A bad bruise to her elbow, but nothing severe." Th'ero reports, pausing only long enough for the Weyrsecond to add his own side of the report to Lycander before he'll speak up again. "As for Pnali's… firing. That I would like to discuss, as we've both realized our mistake, now that tempers have cooled."

M'lo takes that pause as an opportunity to chime in. "Luckily, nothing severe," he says. "She could have been killed, and we would have lost her, her dragon, and her baby." He lets Th'ero finish and nods his head. "I'm afraid he's right," he tells Lycander. "I let my… horror at what might have happened carry me away. I should have brought the matter to you. I apologize for that."

Lycander listens to Th'ero, and then his eyes shift to stare at M'lo. "But she was not," he says, unmoved by the 'what ifs'. "Yes, the matter should have been brought to me. He is not your man to command, or punish, or fire." The 'for Faranth's sake' is there in his tone, but he does not speak it. And then his gaze finds the reports on Th'ero's desk. "And what are those?" he asks, voice dropping all the more into a cool, insulted anger.

Th'ero's gaze slides to M'lo again as the Weyrsecond adds his own words to Lycander, but the Weyrleader keeps quiet respectuflly. Hidden beneath the desk, he's begun to fidget a little. Already the bronzerider is restless and on edge, even though the meeting has progressed… relatively calmly. He frowns a little for the Steward's implied tone, but simply nods his head in agreement. "And for that I apologize as well. I did not step in, as my own emotions had me compromised at the time. Which is why I wish to undo as much of this as possible." he says slowly and at Lycander's sudden coolness, Th'ero bristles but in a wary and defensive way. "These," And he places his hand over the paperwork and slides it closer for the Steward's inspection. "Are Pnali's records. All his past recorded infractions. I asked M'lo to retrieve them."

"Excuse me," M'lo inputs, keeping calm as the other two are. "But need I remind you that everyone in this Weyr is Th'ero's to command? He is the Weyrleader. His orders take precedence over everyone else's." He pauses. "And I'm his Weyrsecond. My orders take precedence overy everyone else's /but/ Th'ero's and Dtirae's. I gave Pnali an order to salt those steps, and he chose instead to devote his time to other tasks, which resulted in the injury of a rider which could very well have been fatal. You are his direct superior, and handling the matter myself wasn't in the best of tastes, perhaps, but it was well within my responsibilities. And I've already apologized to you personally for not bringing you in."

Lycander frowns as he reaches down and picks up the records, nodding to Th'ero. "As do I, sir," he says to Th'ero's wishing to undo things. "Pnali is not perfect, no, but he is a highly skilled worker, and one we can not afford to lose. Training new handymen takes months, and I don't need to tell you that in the middle of winter things are even more difficult, and breaking down even more frequently." And then he turns to frown at M'lo. "Aye," he says, stiffening slightly, "and you gave him an order and he did other things instead, and you've a right to be upset over that, but you do not have the authority to pull his knot and tell him he's going to be physically removed from the weyr. Not without bringing me in on the decision /or/ even notifying me after the decision had been made. /That/ is why I am upset. Pnali is /my/ man, and my concern, and it should have been to me that you reported his infraction. I do not think it was within your responsibilities. You handle the riders. I handle the rest."

Th'ero listens intently as Lycander describes Pnali and if the Weyrleader agrees or not with the Steward, it's hard to tell. He does, however, nod his head to the other man's logic. "I can understand that. Which is why I'd like to see this… undone, if possible. In terms of his position being returned…" But he is wanting /some/ form of punishment on the handyman. He won't say it outright, but Th'ero implies it well enough. M'lo's input has the Weyrleader turning to give him a long and lingering look, a little tense as he's more or less put on the spot. "In a sense, yes I am in command…" he begins, grimacing a little. "But there /are/ ranks, protocols to follow… And that is the main issue here. Certain respects. I cannot go about stepping over everyone else, yourself included, M'lo. That would be an…" And he pauses for a moment, frowning. "… an abuse of power, almost. Pnali did overlook a direct order, but /we/ are in the wrong for overstepping Lycander in the process. Had it been done properly, /I/ should have ordered Pnali to report immediately to him and then /we/ could have brought our concerns and grievances to him and punishment given by Lycander's hand, with our agreement. Do you see?" he says firmly, but gently. He's not trying to step on the Weyrsecond's toes or fault what he said, as not all of it is wrong. But the Weyrleader knows the truth of it and he is trying to also be respectful to Lycander. It's a tricky balance he has to hold, but he's trying, despite the headache that signals his rising frustrations. "Know this, I do not wish to see Pnali removed," That, he says directly to the Steward.

M'lo sees. M'lo agrees; he's not an unreasonable man. M'lo sips his klah but otherwise keeps his trap shut.

Lycander listens to Th'ero and then nods as the Weyrleader explains. Eyes shift to watch M'lo, and when the man is silent, Lycander just blinks, and turns back to Th'ero. "How I would normally handle this situation, sir, is I would speak with him about his error - which you've already done - and suggest some ways to keep it from happening again. Did you do that? Note taking, or delegating? And then after that I would give him his punishment. Usually completing the task - which he's already done - and some restricted freedoms during his work day. Obviously I can't tell him what to do when he's off the clock. I could extend his hours, though, for a sevenday or two."

Th'ero to watches M'lo carefully as the Weyrsecond goes silent, but he soon has to turn his attention back to the Steward as Lycander addresses him again. "We did speak of him about his error. But no, we did not follow through with the rest. My judgment was clouded last night and I should not have allowed it to be." How many times will he apologize this morning? Clear and subtly? He nods his head. "The task has been completed. But I understand and… agree to your decisions. However," And he holds up his hand for a moment, to gesture for both Steward and Weyrsecond to hold off until he finishes and then he reaches forwards to tap the edge of the reports. "This is not his first infraction. Apparently the man has a history of behaviors like this. I'm not trying to sway your decision, Lycander. Only that I am a little confused as to why he has… not received a stricter punishment for his actions, given how many have piled up over his Turns here."

M'lo raises his eyebrows inquisitively at Th'ero's question to Lycander, and keeps his peace. He wants to know the answer to that, too.

Lycander looks down at the reports in his hands, and nods. "He does have a few, yes, but weighed against his usefulness to the weyr… And he has received a few stricter punishments. He was," and he flips through the notes and shakes his head, "it's not here, but I remember my father - Steward before me - suspending him briefly when flirting with a laundry worker made her a bit too uncomfortable. He was drunk at the time. Most of these were earned when he was drinking, though I see that's not noted here. I'll correct that, it's important to know. He's since sobered up, but he struggles with decision making at times, as you saw. He's a good man, and bright in some ways but not too bright in others." And he shrugs. "In the end, he's honestly too useful to the weyr to let go over such minor mistakes, even though he does make them from time to time. I suppose I should start looking for another person to fill his position - or at least help him out with it, so he's not stretched too thin. I'll check to see if there's room in the budget to hire another handyman."

Th'ero makes a low and thoughtful noise, one of understanding almost. The Weyrleader has had to make that call before or one similar. Weight a rider's infractions against his usefulness. It is not an easy decision to make. "And you are certain on his sobriety?" he asks, giving the Steward a long and lingering look. Again, no judgment is given but Th'ero is curious to know as much details on Pnali as he can gleam in such a short time. Glancing to M'lo again, he will wait to see if the Weyrsecond has anything to add then before speaking his part, "As I said earlier, I do not wish to see Pnali removed from the Weyr, as that punishment was not ours to hand down. Extend his hours, if need be but the decision is yours. I /do/ agree with having another handyman hired. One responsible enough to be paired with him or… as his replacement. Either outcome is favorable."

"Hmph," M'lo says very quietly. "There are a couple of lads with nothing much to do who are getting to be too old for the Brat Caves. Seems one of them might make a good handyman's helper."

Kimmila nods, "As certain as I can be, sir. He had to report to the Healers for random tests at the beginning - another punishment - and the bartenders know not to serve him. And he's been honest with me about it, I see no reason to think he's drinking on the side." He nods, "I'll see to it that he's punished, you have my word on that. And I will look into hiring another." Glancing over when the Weyrsecond speaks up again, he nods slightly. "I'll look into it," but makes no further promises. "Sir," he says, looking back at Th'ero. "Would you like to be the one to return his knot to him? Or would you like me to convey your apologies and give it to him myself?" And he glances at M'lo as well, to include him in that offer. Awkward.

Lycander nods, "As certain as I can be, sir. He had to report to the Healers for random tests at the beginning - another punishment - and the bartenders know not to serve him. And he's been honest with me about it, I see no reason to think he's drinking on the side." He nods, "I'll see to it that he's punished, you have my word on that. And I will look into hiring another." Glancing over when the Weyrsecond speaks up again, he nods slightly. "I'll look into it," but makes no further promises. "Sir," he says, looking back at Th'ero. "Would you like to be the one to return his knot to him? Or would you like me to convey your apologies and give it to him myself?" And he glances at M'lo as well, to include him in that offer. Awkward.

Th'ero turns to give M'lo's suggestion an approving nod. A good idea and a good start. Lycander too gets a respectful nod for his reply and the Weyrleader presses him for no further information. What lingering concerns the Weyrleader had seem to have run out. But for the awkward offer, Th'ero leans back in his chair and scrubs thoughtfully at the underside of his chin. "I would be okay with either method, though I am a bit more partial to having our apologies conveyed. M'lo? Do you have a preference?" he says, turning his glance curiously to the brownrider.

M'lo puts down his klah and starts patting his pockets. Then he produces the man's knot and puts it on Th'ero's desk within easy reach of Lycander. "You tell me," he says to Th'ero. "If I have to apologize to him, I will. As long as he doesn't try to rub it in or anything. More than a few of those reports are about beligerance, and that's something I won't suffer, the mood I'm in."

Lycander nods his head at Th'ero, but as M'lo speaks, he frowns and reaches out to pick up the knot. "I will see to it myself," he says firmly. "Sirs, if you'll excuse me, the day has begun." Indeed, there are sounds of folks moving around outside the office doors, and the Steward takes a few steps towards them to make his exit.

Th'ero grimaces and hesitates in making his decision, though he nods to acknowledge M'lo's reply and likely in no mood either to deal with a man prone to being belligerent to riders. Lycander chooses for both of them though in the end and the Weyrleader can only accept the Steward's choice. "Of course. I've matters to attend to as well," he murmurs and slowly begins to rise from his chair, which is the signal for all that the meeting is thus dismissed. "My thanks, Lycander, for coming to see us. Hopefully some of this can be mended and I assure you… oversights like this will not happen again."

M'lo stands as soon as Th'ero does, and drains the rest of the klah. He nods in agreement with Th'ero. "I'm going to shave," he murmurs once the steward has left. "What a morning. Need anything else from me?"

Th'ero probably needs to shave as well or probably sleep for the next fourteen hours. The Weyrleader looks positively exhausted now that the Steward is gone and promptly coughs. Clearing his throat? All that awkwardness was bound to build up, after all. "Indeed," he says in a drawling tone, once his throat is clear. "And not at this time. Thank you for coming so early… At least now we can go about our day without /that/ hanging above our heads. Good day, M'lo. Hope the rest of it is… a little less stressful." Farewells given, Th'ero inclines his head and then strides from the office, looking all to eager despite his tired state to leave the small room.

'The World of Pern(tm)' and 'The Dragonriders of Pern(r)' are copyright to Anne McCaffrey (c) l967, 2000. This is a recorded online session, by permission of the author but generated on PernWorld MUSH for the benefit of people unable to attend.