Technology is a Matter of Tradeoffs

Xanadu Weyr - Weyrleaders' Office

Office and retreat, this is the domain of Xanadu's Weyrleaders. The door is in the eastern wall, quite close to the southern end while the northern wall is dominated by big, expansive windows, framed by sumptuous deep blue drapes edged with a brilliant gold braid and tied back with a thick rope of braided gold and blue cord. In between, the eastern wall is covered floor to ceiling with shelves that house all sorts of records, manuals and supplies that are used on a day-to-day basis. The southern wall has the Weyrleader's desk — plain fellis wood, well polished and masculine. From behind his desk, the Weyrleader can look straight through the windows and out onto the main airspace of Xanadu. The western wall is where the Weyrwoman's desk resides: a lovely piece of furniture made of warm cherry wood. From her seat, a glance sideways gives her an equally good prospect out the window. There are a few other seats, some comfortably arranged around a low round table for small, informal meetings while there also some that can be drawn up to one of the desks.
On the south side of the door, the space is occupied by a low oblong table where refreshments can be set without someone needing to intrude. There is also an 'incoming' tray where incoming correspondence or similar items can be left.

The afternoon wears on in a day shimmering beneath a humid summer sun and though the caverns are cooler than the out of doors, they're not a whole lot cooler being that the air conditioning system is rudimentary at best. Thea's prepared for the heat by dressing in a loose sleeveless shift suited for a tropical island, her hair coiled up loosely at the back of her neck and somewhere in there she's kicked off her sandals allowing her bare feet to breathe. There's been a lull for awhile now in the folks coming and going from the office and, not bothering to put her sandals back on, Thea's slipped out to bring a pitcher of iced fruit juice back, just now returning. The sound of ice tinkling pleasantly against glass precedes her as she enters, offering the Weyrleader, "Something cold to drink A'dmar?"

The Weyrleader seems untouched by the heat, as a scarf still dangles about his neck - made of a fine thread of fabric which is thin and not wooly in nature. Even so, a shirt falls with sleeves half way down his arms, layered in a stylish manner, a soft lime green undershirt overlayered by a white one, sleeves of which are shorter than the underlayer, on top of which the scarf of purple settles, trousers sand brown - all which seem too much for the heat but he isn't even sweating. Since the lull in business, his attention has shifted to the computer, finishing up on work that's been pending or maybe even unrelated matters, truth is, he's been rather silent in between interactions with those who have been petitioning for their attention, hinting at nothing of what his thoughts are. Still, his attention on the computer is fleeting as the Weyrwoman returns with a pitcher of something pleasantly cold, "If you are offering, then I accept. Thank you."

The focus in the caverns is placed primarily on ventilation. Given the presence of the kitchens and the density of people, the movement of air takes priority over its temperature. Technology is always a matter of tradeoffs; why, even that iced fruit juice Thea is offering was made with ice produced by exploiting heat transfer, thus making the external environment warmer (albeit diffused over a larger area). Now, equilibrium is striving to reassert itself and melt that ice. Eventually, all these spikes and dips will even themselves out, but for the moment, the world remains interesting. In this interesting moment prior to the heat death of the universe, Jethaniel strides down the hallway briskly. His concession to the heat is short sleeves and light fabrics, but he's fairly unconcerned by it. Under one arm, he carries a large sheet of paper, rolled up and tied neatly with two bits of string, set at even thirds along its length to balance efficiency with materials strain. He enters the hallway shortly after Thea departs it, and given his stride length, it's mere moments after her arrival that there's a knock on the open door. Knocking is, after all, standard procedure for announcing one's presence.

Thea is being stalked! Or something like, using layman's terms. Turning her head over her shoulder at the knock, she seems surprised… and maybe a little alarmed to see Jethaniel - and his schematic (is that the right word?) standing there. "What's broken now?" she asks with a touch of foreboding in her tone, pausing to snag three glasses from the table by the door, she beckons with her head, "Come on in. And yes, A'dmar. I'm offering. I wouldn't have asked you if I wasn't. Juice, Jethaniel?" She pours A'dmar's while waiting for the techcrafter's answer.

A satirical upward curve of his lips is what initially greets Jethaniel from the Weyrleader's desk, as the expression was poised at the Weyrwoman though in plain view of techcrafter from where he stands. It's an expression that is quick to drop, draining away from his features in time with the Weyrwoman's pouring. Absently, he turns toward the computer on his desk, flicking the screen off to avoid his work from being observed as it does appear they have yet another petitioner of their time. Settling the last documents, privacy ensured, his actual attention does meander to Jethaniel, a pensive consideration for the approach of the crafter and the items held under the man's arm.

"Seven radio handsets, the plumbing in two cottages, the pilot light on one of the ovens, and three fans," reports Jethaniel promptly. He did glance at the ongoing repairs list, after all. "However, none of those are the reason I've come to see you today." He enters, inclining his head politely to A'dmar, then returning his gaze to Thea. "Yes, please," he says of the offer of juice.

Thea turns her head in time to see A'dmar's expression and gives him a pointed look. Just what is he smirking about now? Her eyes only remain narrowed for a second, she opens them to pour his juice, then Jethaniel's and lastly, her own. "I'm glad you're on top of that," remarks Thea, perhaps a touch relieved that she won't be asked to input on complicated repairs. Right? Right?? "Please. Sit." Then a thought occurs to her and she has to know, "Is this about Darsce then?" She's just waiting for the other shoe to drop here. It always does.

Maybe there's hope that his input won't be desired as A’dmar earns only a nod from the crafter and with the familiar way that Thea is on speaking terms with Jethaniel, it seems that maybe the woman was anticipating his visit or deals with him directly. Until his attention is therefore called upon, he makes to be reading a document now returned in front of him, ears on the conversation surely, yet, he's displaying no obvious signs he's listening.

"Thank you," says Jethaniel politely, accepting the juice. "Indeed. The situation is under control, at present." So why is he here? He seems to take A'dmar's ignoring of him entirely in stride, taking a seat. It's as though nothing at all is exploding, except in the mundane and everyday sense that Rukbat and a great many engines and fires are constantly doing. Not to mention the miniature explosions at the cellular level which provide them with energy to move. Business as usual. At the mention of Darsce, Jethaniel's eyebrows (they're not currently singed) rise slightly. "No, not at all. She is a quite pleasant young woman, but her interest in the techcraft is merely casual." Though, Jethaniel hesitates for a moment, considering the matter. Is there something else that… ah, well, he'll consider it later. That's not why he's here now. He takes a sip of his juice, and when he lowers the glass again, he says, "I'm here in regards to the most recent power outage."

And nerve endings. Don't forget those, Jethaniel! Like Thea's are firing now regarding her children's half-sister. "Don't be so sure about that!" fires Thea back regarding Darsce being casual about anything, least of all the young woman’s interest in the craft or is that the techcrafter? But then, she knows a few things about that young lady others may not. The Weyrwoman is just an informal sort, as the new Weyrleader is fast seeing for himself. And as they're still standing at his desk, the Weyrwoman sits in one of the chairs right in front of it, gesturing for Jethaniel to join her. It seems she's set on including A'dmar in this little meeting. "Oh! That." He fixed it. Whew! She actually looks relieved. "I'm sorry! I forgot to issue the extra commission you're due for all your overtime. Let me just…" And she hops up, ready to go grab her ledger.

While Thea is informal, A'dmar is the opposite, perhaps why he hasn't said a thing if he's failed to be introduced, allowing the journeyman and the Weyrwoman to go through their verses, speaking of a person he doesn't know other than hearing her name now. There is a scratching of something upon a page he was half considering while their conversation went about him, dull to his ears. Until, Jethaniel explains what he was really there for and Thea is about taking a seat right in front of his desk. Ahh. So he is to be included in this apparently. Finishing with a few details on so manner of business, he sets it aside languidly, dark emotionless eyes flipping up toward the crafter. Reports he has read but faces he has not seen, not personally, not this crafter, "Excuse the interruption," he says with casual politeness, "You are?" Pointedly bringing attention to the fact that he doesn't know whose looking to deliver some news to him, but he's likely read the reports, though assumptions are always a risky business. His eyes follow Thea as she moves to settle the debts owed, then back to Jethaniel, studious and expecting, bluntly mentioning as an addendum once names have been exchanged, "I would recommend you state it clearly and without hesitation the manner of your business. I have an appointment set before the hour."

One of those eyebrows remains raised. "Perhaps so," Jethaniel concedes to Thea. "She is quite intelligent; I am certain she could do admirably if she so chose." His tone is as factual a report as the one he just gave about outstanding repairs. Now that all three of them are gathered for this little meeting, he moves on to the matter at hand. "I- hmm?" Overtime? He blinks. "Oh. Yes. I suppose there would be. Ah. You hadn't?" Jethaniel blinks again, then shrugs, giving a small wave of the hand holding the glass. "Never mind that." His gaze turns to A'dmar, and he gives the Weyrleader a slight nod. His gaze is steady, his voice is clear and calm. "I am Journeyman Jethaniel. I was in charge of repair after the incident, and I believe ultimate responsibility for it rests with you and the Weyrwoman. Therefore, I should like to explain to you how to avoid such incidents in the future."

He's sitting IN the Weyrleader's desk in the Weyrleader's office wearing the Weyrleader's knot. Why would Thea think she needs to introduce him? As for Darsce, it's likely she assumed they clashed- er, ran into one another while both were living in Ierne. Living a risky life, she is, assuming things like this! She pauses on her way to her desk to smirk at A'dmar, amused when he asks who Jethaniel is. The man is going to have to learn fast that she's not his babysitter and take control of learning the ropes! Her ledger is right there on the top of her desk where a computer should sit if she'd only use one. It's swept up and she returns. "We didn't cause the accident," she says slowly, perplexed at Jethaniel's comment.

That accusation is perhaps the most stunning thing that A'dmar's ever heard since he arrived here. A'dmar lays a level look on Jethaniel, "When I last checked Journeyman, Weyrwoman Thea nor I are wearing craft knots. We hire and contract our work to craft Halls who send us craftsmen who are supposed to be capable of handling matters, such as the incident we are speaking of." He pointedly takes a moment to let that sink in by sipping some of the juice, while Thea does too make her remark about not being the cause of it. Setting the glass down casually, his tone is cool and business like, though there is a subtle tightness in his pitch that wasn't there before. "If you wish to speak of responsibilities, then we will address it accordingly with the Hall." A beat, "Of course, we'd be interested in hearing how your craft is prepared to prevent such accidents from occuring again."

"You are correct," Jethaniel says to A'dmar. "You are not crafters. You are, however, the leadership of this Weyr." Jethaniel turns his gaze back to Thea. "Proximally, no. The incident was caused by a member of the woodcraft. He was digging for construction of a cottage and encountered a buried wiring conduit. While the incident-" not accident, incident, "-could have been averted by him, his is not the sole responsibility." Back to A'dmar again, and his tone is just as calm. Calmer, perhaps, because there's less of that subtle tension. "As you say, you contract your work to craft halls. Even in cases of external financing, new projects are required to come before you for authorization. The job site was authorized. Therefore, had you not provided authorization, no incident would have occured."

"Stop it!" This is irritation at the haughty tone A'dmar takes. The Weyrwoman rarely gets riled, but perhaps more often now that she's working with A'dmar. The poor Iernian businessman is going to learn diplomacy someday. "Be nice," she adds under her breath before returning her attention to Jethaniel and ask politely, "What did we do?" And then she's silent while the journeyman gives them the nutshell explanation. "Oh. Well yes, we did. Or I did." A quick, cool look is sent towards the Weyrleader, daring him to comment or point the finger. "I signed off on that one. But it was previewed and signed off on by the journeyman of his craft." She's not understanding here. She did her job?

A'dmar is not like the other Weyrleaders, who may have more tact on diplomacy, where as A'dmar sees only business. "On the matter of authorization, indeed, it would not have occurred without a signature from either of us," the Weyrleader concedes a point, hearing Thea's admission, but he does not fail to add, "However, had the site been properly inspected in the first place and the information fully disclosed as to where the wires lie, we would've realized it was unsafe to authorize." He can play at this, his tension abating if for a quick glance at Thea, trying at heart to be 'nice' as she put it, though his tone continues to be the same as it was before. "Respectively, these requests for builds should be seen by all the relevant craft heads in the Weyr to minimalize risk to life or limb, and if they are not," a look to Thea, "Then that is likely to change, considering we have immediate worries that wires are haphazardly burried." There is a glance now to the item Jethaniel had brought along, "Perhaps it would be best if your craft adequately mapped out where these wires are located and provided the Weyr a copy, to ensure the safety of all on any future projects." The man wasn't a child and he would prove that to Thea, one way or another, adding, "Communication is likely why this incident happened. I hadn't heard of the woodcrafter, did he survive?" After all, power lines were deadly - that's why one is supposed to call before you dig.

"Doubtless the woodcraft portion was well-designed," says Jethaniel with what passes for diplomacy from the techcrafter. "However, it was located too near a power line." he sets his glass down with a clink. "No consultation was made with the techcraft; in many cases, our input is not required, and the added overhead would create inefficiency for all concerned. It is far more optimal for oversight to be provided by a designated coordinator, with additional consultation called in as required." At A'dmar's use of the word 'haphazard', he frowns. "The information is present in your archives. Every wiring project has filed an updated schematic. However," he unties the bits of string, and begins to unroll the paper. "I have taken the liberty of preparing this for your use."

The sheet, unrolled, has a wall-sized schematic drawing of the Weyr, done in ink with neatly printed labels. Most things are left in broad strokes of black ink, but what is detailed is a set of bright red lines. There's a thick one going past the site of the accident and to a spot near the caverns with the label Primary Power Conduit, and smaller ones branch out from it, each with their own label. To either side of these red lines are dashed ones in blue.

"This," Jethaniel says, "-is a current map of the underground power system. Anything outside of the dashed lines is in the safe zone. If there is to be work within them, the techcraft should be consulted immediately. If there is any doubt, the techcraft should also be consulted."

Thea sighs. This is not getting any better, but her patience is being tried by A'dmar rather than the report Jethaniel brings. Her eyes shut tightly while both hands rub her temples the entire time the Weyrleader lectures the journeyman. At one point she growls, "Let him speak!" But it goes unheard or unheeded. She bristles at the word haphazard, snorting an indignant protest, "Xanadu was well-planned!" Though she objects to his assumption, she is silent for the duration of the Weyrleader's speech. Her irritation eases while Jethaniel speaks but there's both trepidation and confusion as she stares at the 'map' Jethaniel unrolls. "This is… really thoughtful of you, Jethaniel," she says slowly. You can almost hear the "but" hanging in the air as she lifts questioning eyes to him. "Most of Xanadu's cottages and buildings use electricity, so these projects should have to be signed off by the techcraft." Surely they're not expecting future projects to hang on her - or their - interpretation of a schematic? "I need a steward," she mutters, rubbing her temples again.

"If that is truly the case," A'dmar responds to the mention of no consultation, "Adjustments in our practices and processes will be changed accordingly, in a way, we, deem necessary. Efficiency is not the only thing we are discussing here," he reminds Jethaniel neatly, "It is life and limb as well, a responsibility as you put it earlier, of those who authorize the projects. However we decide to manage it, we will ensure your Hall is kept aware of the matter so that we can all prevent unnecessary misfortunes." He refers to the Hall rather than Jethaniel directly, no, indicating his intent to direct this concern to whoever the master of the area is, whoever is in charge above and beyond the Journeyman, to rightfully remind Jethaniel of his place, in the most respectful and 'nice' way he can. His attention is diverted thereafter to the unrolled schematic, "A well thought-out idea and simple for us to read, as going through the archives would be entirely inefficient, no doubt useless to those of us who do not bare a techcraft knot to understand how to interrept the records." Back and forth, back and forth, as good businessmen can do. He does nod as Thea also includes a good point, that new cottages and buildings should include electricity, which earns a slight hitch in the curve of A'dmar's mouth, as if he caught a mouse. It disappears when he stands from his desk, retreiving a few paper weights to help uncurl the electrical blue prints on his desk. He does say, after a moment, "Well done, Journeyman," and a compliment at the end of it! Won't Thea be so proud? "We will take your advice on these matters seriously, as no doubt, we could have had a funeral to attend to, had things gone differently." And boy that would've been fun explaining to the woodcraft Hall why a journeyman fried on the spot. As for Thea needing a steward, he clears his throat, "A matter we can discuss later, I am sure." Meaning, not in the crafter's earshot.

"The procedures are, of course, up to you," Jethaniel says to A'dmar. "Since, however, the current practices permitted an incident which threatened a life, I applaud your willingness to reconsider and improve them." He's even smiling as he says it, though the smile is a small one. "I am certain the techcraft will be pleased to hear your decisions." Thea makes him go, "Ah." Apparently some people don't read schematic natively. How interesting. He considers that for several moments before returning his attention to A'dmar. "Consultation can, of course, be provided on whatever projects you see fit. Some changes to procedures may require additional staffing, but that is a matter between you and Hall." He inclines his head slightly. "Once more, I applaud your willingness to go however far is needed in order to provide for the safety of those under you. I shall look forward to seeing the new procedures."

Thea isn't concerned about teaching anyone 'their place' since most residents of the Weyr already know it. Doubly so for the crafters. "No!" she says sharply, overruling A’dmar about the Hall becoming involved. "No, that will only complicate this. This is a Weyr procedure, not a craft matter. The masters don't need to be involved." She doesn't understand A'dmar's cat-mouse expression. All cottages already have electricity is what she meant, not that all new ones need it. She does, however, give him an approving look for the mention of safety. That is important. "We change Weyr policy," she says to the both of them. "All construction and digging is to be approved by a techcrafter journeyman or higher before we sign." She is too busy to learn a new craft! She nods at Jethaniel. Such a nice young man! But she snorts at A'dmar. Later indeed! "Hey Jethaniel. Stay right there!" And she walks over to her desk, yanks out a drawer and blows the dust off of a knot. Then she walks over to him, reaches for his hand, turns it over and plops the knot into his palm. "Congratulations Steward!" Now HE can pre-approve all the outdoor projects. Oh joy??

Was this all some stupid test? And did he just fail it? It's likely that is what it was! Thea's firm 'NO' on the matter has him considering her with a hard eye, only the slight narrowing showing his discontent with getting another brow beating, this time in front of a crafter. At least Jethaniel earns a nod, following Thea's immediate decision to change policy. His dark eyes follow her movement to a drawer, of which he notes the knot and immediately knows of her intent. His only reaction is to pile his work together, fit it in his own drawer and close it. "Evidently I was not needed for this consultation. I have other matters which do need my attention to see to." A pause as he finishes up his juice, "Pleasure to meet you Journeyman Jethaniel. I should look forward to seeing your approval on our projects-" which means yes, Thea just handed over the power to the crafter, "Excuse me," as if -his- time was wasted with this little game. He doesn't even glance at Thea as he takes his leave, off to speak with a beastcrafter, which, is on his calendar, available to the Weyrwoman at anytime as it's in his scheduler.

Thus is policy made. Jethaniel glances back to Thea as she denies the Weyrleader's intent to contact the Hall - not that he seemed overly concerned about it in the first place. His conscience has the clarity that comes with submitting reports in triplicate. When the decision is made, he nods his assent to it, and he's just staring to rise when Thea's words stop him. He settles back into the chair, glancing to the schematic again - no doubt there's some technical question to be answered about it. Why else would he be asked to remain? His gaze is on A'dmar as the Weyrleader speaks, and so he doesn't notice that knot at first. There's a moment of perplexment at A'dmar's claim he wasn't needed, and then Jethaniel nods about other matters to attend to. He's got some of those too! There's that class he's supposed to teach. There's also, a moment later, his hand being lifted and a knot being dropped into it. Blink. His expression now is significantly perplexed. Perhaps entirely so. He looks at the knot. "Ah." Up to Thea's face. "Uhm." Over to A'dmar. "Oh." Back down to the knot. It has shown a remarkable consistency, which, in a chaotic universe, is to be applauded. Of course, its consistency seems to have come at the price of a significant addition of chaos in his own personal life. As with refrigeration, really. It appears his hand is currently acting as a chaos coil. "I… will… get on that." He sounds maybe just a little dazed. "Perhaps a review of the procedures is in order."

Thea will give A'dmar glare for glare. But no, this was not a test! She does, however, object to his high-handed treatment of HER Weyrfolk. A'dmar still has a lot to learn about leading a Weyr and being here for this meeting was important for him to learn stuff. But does she yell that to his retreating form when he huffs off like a child? The Weyrwoman does not. Nor does she follow him begging him not to leave. She knows where he's going. Already looked at his scheduler. And his computer screen before he flicked it off. To Jethaniel, "Uhm, there's a manual around here somewhere. I'll get it to you. Meanwhile just… do your normal things and don't be surprised when crafters and workmen come to you requesting pre-approval for construction projects? And oh, send us your signed forms for final approval, k?" He gets a meltingly sweet and sincere smile. He's her new hero.

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