So Nice to Have Met You
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Xanadu Weyr - Stables
The Stables of Xanadu Weyr are composed of one long building, lined with box and standing stalls that are kept thoroughly clean by the resident grooms and stablehands. Runners nicker and neigh at everyone who enters, save for the obstinate ones that just flicker their ears in indignant curiousity that they dare not make visible. The foremost stalls near the door to the Barn Yard are the grand box stalls which are home to the prized runners of Xanadu, as well as the most pregnant, those which are so far along that they require constant observation by the Herders, so as to ensure easy foaling.
However, the primary design of stall which lines the broad pathway that is covered in saw dust which is the main avenue of the Stables, is that of the Standing Stall. Many runners are in the standing stalls, with ropes strung across the front so as to keep the runners from leaving their designated containers. A few hay bales sit here and there along the avenue, some of which act as seats for the stablehands and grooms on their breaks, others as snacks for those runners who can reach out their necks far enough. Buckets and baskets of grooming supplies, brushes and combs, and the like also sit here and there, occassionally knocked over by a wayward hoof or inquiring muzzle.


A hot, humid summer afternoon. The flies seem to keep buzzing around the stables no matter how often the stalls are scrubbed, and the runners are restless, tails swishing to try and flick them away. Some of the human occupants of the stable are nearly as restless. Jarse sits in a small office tucked away near the tack room that seems to be even hotter than outside (hay is a good insulator). He mops his forehead with a cloth borrowed from cleaning tack, and accidentally leaves polish marks on his already-shiny forehead as heglances to the door once more - still empty - then returns his gaze once again to the document in front of him. Can't be wasting time, after all. He selected this form he's reviewing specifically for the occasion, because it shows what good lineages the runners here have. Just the thing for a Weyrleader to catch a glimpse of on his visit.

A'dmar is on time, precisely arriving when he indicated upon the request to the journeyman. For the Weyrleader, being on time was a matter of principle and dominated the last couple decades of his life. Therefore, he wasn't going to start getting tardy now that he was a Weyrleader and it did well to keep to his obligations. The glance in one moment that Jarse takes to see the empty door way would be filled in the next, by the Weyrleader, dressed in desert hues and lighter fabrics in the heat, seemingly unaffected by it regardless. The agenda written in message to the Journeyman entailed a general introduction, to help fill in A'dmar as he is new to the area and therefore has no inkling of how some procedures come into play within the Weyr. "Good afternoon Journeyman," he says to announce his presence at the door, taking no mind of how long it takes for the other man to respond before he's moving into the small furance of an office, "Jarse, if I am correct. I must apologize for not attending your office sooner for introductions," even though it was -odd- that a Weyrleader would bother himself with crafters, when stewards and headwomen can see to it, even junior weyrwoman. Ahh, but as he scripted in his letter, he wanted to simply understand for his own comfort what people 'do' and what responsibilities the beastcraft had with the area.

For all Jarse makes himself out to be so very busy, he's looking up instantly at the sound of a voice, and rising to his feet to smile broadly to A'dmar. "Oh, good afternoon!" he says with far too much cheer for how hot and uncomfortable he looks. He nods at his name. "Yes indeed. I shall be honored to answer any questions you have about the Beastcraft here at Xanadu." There's that smile again, but his expression gets a little sharper as he asks, "Now then, did you have any specific questions first, or shall I just begin at the beginning?" The smile's still pasted on, but there's a trace of suspicion in his eyes. Sure, the Weyrleader might just be curious, but… it pays to never trust the easy answer.

"I am grateful that you've time to receive me," clearly, the paper shuffling was not lost on A'dmar, who makes sure to recognize the fact how busy the journeyman was in the simple and most polite way he could. He'll take a seat, across from the beastcrafter, if there is one available in that dusty office. It is rather hard to keep the dust down when working with animals after all, maybe why the Weyrleader took to wearing browns rather than whites or other colors that would show a smudge of dirt. A'dmar displays nothing unusual, his same cool expression, poker faced as some would claim, telling narry a thing to the journeyman, even his tone is well controlled, "It is extremely difficult to come into my position and have little bearing on what occurs in a Weyr, as you know," he's trying to comfort the man, spotting the change in expression and the over excitement heard earlier, "I spent most of the last two decades in a Weyrhold, running a business that dealt strictly with transport. While I had a chance to work with your crafter brethren in some instances, I only took on enough of the knowledge to efficiently transport what ever it was at the time required. So perhaps, the beginning of your operations here would be a place for us to start or I suppose anything particular to Xanadu that I ought to know of. I do not have Turns to spend reading the archives after all."

There is indeed a seat across from the desk. The regulars of the stable might note it is, in fact, a nicer seat than is usually there. The rickety off balance chair has been replaced with one borrowed from someone's quarters. Jarse settles into the one at the desk, and slides his papers away (but of course the Weyrleader has his full attention now!) before nodding to A'dmar. He appears somewhat reassured by that explanation, nodding again. "Of course, of course. You must be a very busy man." He smiles in a way meant to express camraderie. "The Beastcraft is, of course, a vast and complicated affair. There are many kinds of beasts, after all. As this is a Weyr, the largest focus of our work here is on the various herdbeasts raised for meat. We have bovines, wherries, and some ovines and caprines - though, of course, not all the herds here are meat animals."

The Weyrleader seems to be a willing student, such is the inclination of his head toward the matters being flurried away in a quick sweep of Jarse's papers. "Such as it is, I have limited time to learn," he replies back to the remark of the beastcraft being complex, "I appreciate a summation in the best parts and perhaps the worst as well. Tell me of current projects, your successes and your problems or disappointments. I have already heard of the death of several of the herdbeast from some experiment upon their hormones from Turns back. What else?" Here he might be trying to get to the meat of the matter, harhar. The last earns a nod, "Yes, the runners. They have their purpose," not in his eye, but he's a dragonrider afterall, but he waves for the man to continue in lue of A'dmar's interruption. "Oh. I suppose I would like to meet your staff at some point, brief introductions one by one or a group introduction, it does not matter which. It is good for them to see the faces of the Weyrleaders' personally."

And if Jarse can just run out that limited time, he'll have a Weyrleader out of his hair! "Of course, of course," he says with a smile that borders on the unctuous, then frowns at the mention of those hormones. "Yes, that was a rather ill-fated project. Not one of mine, I assure you!" He shakes his head briskly. "No indeed. But some people will do anything if they think it will let them get ahead. I'm sure you know how it is." There's the knowing smile again, before he lifts a finger. "Oh, not just runners. There's also the herds of bovines and caprines for milk, the ovines and caprines for wool… they're different breeds, and must be kept seperately. It'd hardly do to have a dragon scare the milk bovines off production!" He smiles wide, like he just made a joke or something, then pauses. "Introductions?" That seems to catch him off guard, but he nods after a moment. "Of course I can arrange for that, no problem at all." He smiles again. "I'm sure they'll appreciate the chance." Then it's back to current projects again. "Well, we've been having some good success with breeding from one of the Honshu lines of runners - never mind the details, you're a busy man, but it's a sturdy line and will do well for the plow. Journeyman Keziah is having some success with a caprine herd, if you're interested in that sort of thing." His smile grows a little patronizing on that one, and then he continues. "There's been some issues with predation by the wild felines." He frowns. "I've sent in reports, but nobody seems to actually be doing anything about it." Please Mister Weyrleader? Make the bad puddy tats go away! "With the limited funds available-" not that he's asking for more money (not directly, anyhow), "-we're intending to supplement the herds with some wild-caught beasts."

As a good student would, A'dmar has grown quiet, intent on hearing not just the words that Jarse is saying, but what he isn't saying either, with cues from body language even though the desk prevents much of that from being seen. A'dmar gives a single nod for the part of introductions with the staff, watching carefully how the journeyman responds to that request. Then, it's off on the list of projects, one single finger tapping on his knee for each project listed, a silent count perhaps, or ticking off a tally sheet stored in his mind, or maybe he's counting away the minutes until he can leave this journeyman to his work, as if this were all for show and political correctness. Really, without any telltale signs on his facial expression, Jarse could be left guessing and sweating as it were. At the last, nearing around a point in the conversation that he can safely interject, A'dmar soothes the journeyman of the felines, "I have seen the reports drawn in by Galaxy, our search and rescue wing. They have referenced the mention of felines as well. I hope you and your betters keep that in mind when searching for wild-herdbeasts." But, he does not allude to doing anything in particular about the animals, maybe waiting for the journeyman to suggest something further than what the Galaxy wing and Weyr hunters have already been doing. Felines were a part of the world like swordfish and deepfish in the waters with sharp teeth. "That seems all and well," the summation he was hoping for, or so he puts it in his voice, "What of your apprentices? I've heard a few things, not that I put much stock in rumors, but sometimes you see, rumors have a bite of truth to them. Any problems with your apprentices? Issues that the Weyr should know about, in particular, behavior problems that the headwoman can help sort out?"

Jarse is definitely sweating. Of course, it is a rather hot day, so maybe it's just that. Still, this part of the report is at least one he's prepared ahead of time. "I assure you we wll," he says. "They're not my field, though… I've heard one of your riders is supposed to be an expert on the felines. Jeniosa, I think her name was." He frowns slightly, presumably because he's not certain if he's remembering it properly. As A'dmar calls things well, the smile returns, and Jarse nods happily. Report: finished! Now for… wait. What's this now? A'dmar has just deviated from the script drastically, and Jarse frowns for a moment before trying to recover. "Oh, well, you know how apprentices are." He laughs a little. It sounds forced. "Always trying to get by with doing as little work as possible. And it's worse at a Weyr, so many of them have their heads off in the clouds, dreaming after dragons." He shakes his head, looking rueful and maybe a little nervous. "Still, I think we have things in hand. A few extra chores, a little reminder that they've got things good, and they usually fall into line."

A'dmar had the jump on Jarse, hearing from his sources of what the man was like, which is why he deviated with such brilliance away from the scripted part of the conversation to the one matter he was truly interested in. The apprentices. He watches Jarse squirm for a lack of a better word underneath the dark gaze of the oh so curious Weyrleader. The little mannerisms such as the frown and the forced laughed are not unseen, though unacknowledged, save for a slight upward lift of the corners of A'dmar's mouth - cat caught the mouse look, or of a man who knows he has the royal flush sitting in his hand. "Dreaming after dragons," he reiterates as if that were some new concept, tapping his finger on his knee again, "All the same, with rumors of fornications and laziness, I would like you to draft up some reports on your apprentices. They are hosted by Xanadu Weyr and we like to ensure that they are following our rules as much as your own. If an apprentice is not abidding by Weyr rules and expectations, no doubt your Hall is better suited to handle their redirection." There's a curious lift of a brow, "Jarse, is there something bothersome about this conversation? You look as if a runner with the scent of feline in its nostrils." To quote a beastcrafter reference. Oh he's slick.

Oh, yes, dreaming after dragons. Jarse nods, over-enthusiastic in the motion now that A'dmar seems to be agreeing with him. See? It's all good. Off balance now, he doesn't seem to register the tell. Distracting your opponent may be impolite in poker, but they're not actually playing. "Fornications?" he repeats, then scowls as he looks out at the stables, as if expecting to see something right there, right now. "I've no proof to the rumors, mind you. Still, if I've said it once, I've said it a hundred times, it was a bad idea to allow women into the craft. They distract a man from his work, then go and get with child and neglect their duties." He shakes his head, frowning. "I'll be keeping a closer eye on all of them, don't you worry." He pauses, then. "Reports? Ahh… certainly, if you like, though I'm sure you have many more important matters to attend." The smile appears, though it's a fragile thing, and it fades at the question before being pasted back on double-strength. "Oh, no, not at all. It's just… well, I do try my best with the apprentices, and it really… it gets me when they still don't behave." He puts a hand against his chest. "It really does."

A'dmar slips a hand up onto his jawline, thumb underneath the curve of his chin, index finger straight up his cheek, and the others curled up before his mouth, simply watching in awe as the Journeyman steps in one big pile of runner dung with his words. A'dmar doesn't react immediately as some would perhaps, more alike in thinking with the Journeyman than others would be. He allows the man to topple over his own words and crumble before the ebbing silence, a tactic used now to leave the poor fellow wondering. A'dmar is pensive, continuing to watch the man's fine display, gestures and motions alike, a local windbag as it were. Finally, his hand drops, his tone sharp and cool, "Do the Weyrwoman and the Headwoman know of your opinion toward women?" One question, for now, all others can wait while he baits his little mouse in further.

And then there's silence, and Jarse isn't sure which expression he should be wearing. Should it be the smile? Should it be the heartfelt frown? He'll go whichever way the wind is blowing, but A'dmar's face gives little clue of which direction that should be. Jarse settles for the earnest one, but by the time A'dmar finally breaks the silence, it's looking a lot more like worried. As well it should be, perhaps, because that question makes him flounder for a moment like a fish who's suddenly found air in his gills, mouth opening and closing rapidly before he pulls himself up straight and tall. "I'm sure I've no idea," he says, face as stiff as he can make it. "I keep to my duties."

The response keeps A'dmar rooted in his chair more firmly than before, no inclination of moving just yet or leaving the journeyman to his other business. "And your duties include apprentices, some which are women," he notes absently, a thoughtful baiting of words, as if to challenge Jarse to correction, "It worries me Journeyman Jarse, that you should carry such obvious biases towards women and yet live in a Weyr, predominately ruled by -a- woman, or a couple of women." The Weyrwomen and the Headwomen. "Further still, it worries me that you have this attitude and are yet responsible for the training of those whom by your words, shouldn't have been let into the craft." There's a cant of his head, "I would fear that your female apprentices are being neglected or treated unfairly because of your sexist beliefs and this would cause unwanted trouble in the Weyr." He sits forward, his weyrknot proudly displayed, "Let us say I never heard that remark and let us say that if I hear any evidence at all, from your fellow journeymen and journeywomen or of your apprentices, that you are not treating them fairly and appropriately like a man of your rank, then your tenure with Xanadu will be over and upon your dismissal record, the reason written loud and clear for your Hall of Masters to address." The Weyrleader stands casually, like a cat stretching from some lazy nap, "I require those documents of your apprentices by morning. Please include who you have on disciplinary duties and the cause of. After all Journeyman, we require them to be here, as apprentices, not to be drudges, so if they are a continued problem, I would rather see them back at the Hall where their betters can see to their training." He extends his hand toward Jarse, to offer it to shake, another off-setting gesture, "I hope we have an understanding. I would hate to see what would happen if the Weyrwoman got wind of something… unfortunate." A beat, "Oh… One more thing. It was a male apprentice rumored to be a target of this fornification matter, which, is cleared up, as far as I am concerned."

Jarse does his best, his very, very best, to keep that stiff face as A'dmar speaks. Unfortunately for him, he has a few spots of difficulty. Oh, the slight nod at the mention of apprentices is intentional, though the set of his jaw isn't. He manages to keep his mouth shut, though. As for living in the Weyr, he frowns at that despite his efforts. An inspection of his record would show he didn't ask for the posting here, but he has been here several turns. So apparently those women in charge haven't been enough to drive him away… or maybe the Hall just doesn't want him back. Further still, and he reaches for a pen, turning it in his hand before putting it back sharply into its place, frowning. Unfairly? He'll treat them exactly as they deserve! In his perceptions. Which may not exactly align with anyone else's, but… ah. But apparently, he's not going to have a choice in that. His jaw sets further as A'dmar makes… call them what they are. Threats. Very loud and clear threats. But, Jarse is good at seeing which way the wind is blowing, and right now, it's blowing a pile of runner manure straight into his nose, with the promise of more if he doesn't pretend to smile and like it. So, as A'dmar rises, Jarse glues a smile on his face that, to be honest, looks a great deal more like a gritting of his teeth. "Of. Course." He rises to his feet, then gives a sharp nod before extending his hand to give the Weyrleader's a short shake, like it's a dead fish or more of that manure. "So nice-" funny, that's the tone people usually use for the opposite, "-to have met you." Another moment of that forced smile, and then, "What?" A male? Oh, well, "Boys will-" and he manages to shut his mouth before he digs himself even further.

A'dmar has watched everything and missed nothing, from the tension in the man's mouth and jaw, to the way he makes a nod at the right mark, or frowns, eyes narrowing or whatnot. The exotic looking Weyrleader has spent a great manner of his life learning how to read people, watching for their tells, as you will. His life depended on it. Even the attempt at a handshake, well, Jarse is in for a surprise as A'dmar's grip is rather strong and tightens like a vice grip, "I do hope your frustrations at no one heeding your sage advice for the hundreds of times you've preached it, does not become ill placed in -my- Weyr Journeyman. Birds… have a funny way of nesting in barns," a little clue that Jarse would be watched and that little birdies will keep A'dmar informed. Then just like that, his hand is removed from the Journeyman's, and perhaps the Journeyman will be one of the first in the Weyr to see A'dmar smile. It's not a smile that anyone would want to see, particularly aimed at ones self. There is nothing in that smile that resonates happiness, it is the eptiome of dominance and ruthlessness, letting his tone darken, "A pleasure that is surely mine." With a final hard look, A'dmar turns swiftly to the door, walking out with a gait that will announce his coming, hard steps that get boots clicking, a swagger of authority that is expected to be seen from a Weyrleader.

Jarse's smile wasn't happy to start with, but it gains that certain special something as he tries not to wince from the crushing grip A'dmar has. "Sir," he says, the last refuge of those who don't trust their own words, and his gaze lowers in silent and sour submission in response to that predator's smile from the Weyrleader. When the click of heels informs him that A'dmar has left, Jarse sinks back down to his chair, scowling at the desk in front of him for a long moment before he starts moving again. The Weyrleader has asked for certain reports, after all, and it's time for Jarse to do what he does best: Cover his ass.


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