War of the Knots

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 door out in the admin hall slams shut, running footsteps in the hallway abruptly halt as two feminine voices have a Girl Moment. At least that's what it sounds like because one is a high-pitched squeal the other breathless. There's a brief, hushed conversation out there and some sort of agreement is made - and quickly for the whole thing takes less than 30 seconds. The sound of another door opening and shutting is heard before the Weyrleader's office door opens and Thea walks in looking vastly relieved. The Weyrwoman walks straight to the klah pot, pours herself a mug and then heads for her desk, lets the woven grass bag on her shoulder slide off onto the floor and sinks into the chair with a long sigh.

A'dmar lifts his attention from his computer, paying the noises outside not too much of mind, until the sound intrudes into his bubble by the way of the Weyrwoman. This causes him to level a gaze at her, flicking those dark eyes briefly at the door, hearing some high-pitched noises out there that signify to him, to refrain from entering into that affair. Business between women is nothing to ever stick a nose into. He simply, tracks the Weyrwoman across the office toward her own desk and chair, lingering there in silent observation. Only for a moment. As long as it takes to study the process and the woman's immediate mood. Such as it is, the keyboard clacks away as he continues plugging away at one thing or another. The man could as well be mute and deaf, for as much attention as he's given Thea in the last few sevendays.

Smart man! To not have gone out there and for more than the reason he thinks. He just might have wound up attached unwillingly to a demanding green firelizard. Thea is in the process of sipping her klah with her eyes closed. It's been a long day and she's been quite busy. If she is aware of A'dmar's withdrawal, she hasn't let on in the slightest whether she's bothered or even noticed for that matter. Perhaps she's just letting him sulk! Hearing the click of keys, it's quite clear that he's busy, so she doesn't interrupt him now either. Humming softly to herself, she works on her mail, reaching for the stack in her inbox and setting it in front of her, she begins to read…

Unlike some folks who have a heart to a creeling wretched and hungry little beast of a firelizard freshly hatched out of the egg, A'dmar would let it *wild* before he did anything with it, if it was forced on him. He's stubborn as a mule when it comes to those winged mini-dragons. Useless if he were to be asked. Radios have better use and do not screech and hiss, only pop and cackle when out of range. Best he not bring up that defense! As it is, the man isn't going to be the one to break their… silent… partnership. He's got better things to do than argue himself out of a position. Eventually, the keyboard clacking ceases, he eyes the windows outside, checking the time via relationship to the sun, which is about mid-day for the most part. If the clock tower is in view, he isn't straining his neck to see it. Instead, he stands, serves himself up some water from a pitcher and waits, free arm swinging behind him and resting his wrist on the small of his back.

Now that's something the Weyrleading pair in Xanadu might actually agree on - that firelizards are a pain. Sometimes though, things are not within a person's control (as A'dmar is rapidly finding out working with Xanadu's Weyrwoman) and firelizards might impress despite a person's aversion to it. With so many whizzing around the Weyr, the chances of that happening go up daily. Good luck A'dmar? Thea? She's still humming over there and for all intents and purposes has forgotten A'dmar is even in the room.

Zahleizjah approaches the Weyrleader's Office with caution.. there's something nauseating about that sinking feeling when called in by your superiors, even if one just so happens to be your father. A few deep breaths are taken outside the door, hair fussed with and pulled to one shoulder, courage gathered for whatever might be awaiting her on the other side of that door. She *KnockKnocks* before pushing her way in to the entrance of the office. It's true, she was called for, but her sweet sweet awkwardness and reservations remain as she stumbles slightly. Must be nervous or something! Is she in trouble? Is this about that Beastcrafter? Problems with the Stargazer's Gala? Her mind is running a mile a minute.. this whole 'answering to someone' thing is nerve-racking! She's sure she's gotten their attention through reverberating knuckles on wood and less than elegant entrance, but she stands right there, in the entrance, speaking up with soft "A'dmar.. father.. Sir.. and Thea m'lady.. your request for my presence? Is um.. everything ok?" thanks to those pesky firelizards her summoning was delivered post haste, and voila, here she is.. shaking in her boots!.

"The Weyrwoman has no part in why I called you here," and that creates a sudden boundry, a line in the sand, being the first thing out of his mouth to his daughter, to this starcrafter. He's a hard man to deal with on the best of days and this may not be a best of days. He's formal and quite rigid with the girl in public and in private, not knowing exactly how to handle an adult child that… is an adult. He wasn't a part of her upbringing and there could be a squint of disapproval in his gaze for the girl's soft words and nervous appearance. "Can I offer you any water?" he asks, denying any other option but that at the moment. Thea can keep her klah to herself! And yes indeed, while she's forgotten him, he's made it clear in his first sentiment that he doesn't desire her advice or voice on whatever reason he's called Zahl in on. Accusations and bogus charges? You'd think a father would handle this more discretely? Instead, he points her to a seat in front of his desk, beginning with a deadpan tone, as if he was part of an inquistion and Zahl was the victim of it, "Tell me about this Stargazer Gala." A pointed look strays toward Thea, a flicker of a challenge, brief as it is.

Thea looks up from her mail at the knocking on the door and out of habit calls a pleasant, "Come in." She doesn't look overly surprised to see Zahleizjah enter the office, her father works here, after all and her own children pop in now and then. Absently, though not unkindly, she responds, "Just Thea," when the girl calls her m'lady. Her eyes have dropped back to the paper in hand, skimming her mail, lips moving silently even before A'dmar speaks, already assuming it's a father-daughter chat they're going to have. His comment draws a flicker of eyes up not to A'dmar, but to Zahleizjah in silent agreement - she's not in trouble that the Weyrwoman knows about anyway. She's taking no offense in the slightest at A'dmar, as she assumes the comment was meant to reassure the girl. Isn't he sweet? The Weyrleader, as if he's sought her blessing, gets a beam of approval for his fatherly concern in response to that pointed look he sends her way.

Annndd… more awkward.. Zahleizjah sees the boundary quite clearly and acquiesces with an "Oh.." sure their relationships is.. odd, and she too has no idea how to deal with not only a man that is hard to deal with on the best of days, but one whom she is genetically tied to at that! The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, even if that apple spends the next ten turns away from that tree, it still came from that rigid, formal, tree. She's certain there's plenty if disapproval in the way she was not raised in any type of a sufficient upbringing, and how unrefined her demeanor is because of this. Zahl sees it, like the time where she inappropriately spoke about their familial mishaps, and now, with that squint as she fears reprimand or worse. The offer is, distraction enough, add Thea's pleasant greeting and the young(ish) Starcrafter is smiling and nodding "Yes.. water.. please.." *gulp* she hides that plum-pit feeling in her throat with a few steps closer. Honeyed pools of eyes accompany the bowed head to the WW as she does what she is told and takes a seat, making mental note as she confirms "Just Thea.." Accusations? Bogus charges? Zahl=pleasantly aloof.. for the most part, except when it comes to the Stargazer Gala. The girl beams innocently and asks "What about it father?"

It could very well seem that everyone is in trouble when dealing with the Weyrleader. That's just the brooding sort he is. Pensive, with those calculating desive eyes which seem to know more than they should, his stance which is almost always held to perfection, no slump in shoulders and back straight, even now, his free arm is left pinned to the small of his back, the other holding the water glass. His expressions are flawless, at least, for a man who has schooled the art of a poker face. One emotionless man stands in front of Zahl and works hand in hand with a passionate Weyrwoman. How'd that happen? Either way, the challenges he's facing are further pushing him into this walled up castle of emotions and defensiveness. His eyes, as they catch Thea's, narrow at the approving look he gets from the Weyrwoman. Maybe he should have a wall built, right between their desks. His attention reverts back to his blood and kin, even if she's the exact opposite of him - timid and reserved, unsure of herself and awkward. Maybe if he wasn't trying so hard to be a hard ass around Thea, he wouldn't have made the mistake to sigh with some exasperation at the girl's lack of an answer to his question, moving toward the water pitcher instead and pouring her a decent glass full. Upon bringing it to her, he asks her slowly, as if she were dimwitted, oh isn't he nice! "Perhaps it is asking too much for official details?" He must not have gotten an invitation, poor old guy, so out of the loop, crusty as he is!

Thea hasn't lived for 14 turns with D'had for nothing. She's well-used to ignoring the grumpy-pants men in her life while blithely going on with her day. Or simply not seeing their moods, allowing them their space to silently implode and seethe. He looks fine? So Thea treats him as though he is, remaining serene and relaxed. For all she knows he IS fine, so the beaming approval given is completely genuine, which must gall the Weyrleader all the more to be so misread. Hey - if he's got something to say, she'll be happy to listen. Walls now, would have to be approved by his squeaky-new Steward and her signature would have to be on the order since it involves her office too. She leaves them to their chat, immersing herself in her mail, reaching for the next envelope and hey, whaddaya know? She rises and trots over to his desk with a cheerful, "This one is yours." Oh look. It has Zahleizjah's name on the return corner.

Zahleizjah should be used to it by now, she's always known this side of A'dmar, even before their lineage was realized, but all that hype that floats around a Weyr when a new WL is knotted can really freak a girl out! Fortunately, there is water, which equals distraction and so the raven haired gal takes the proffered glass and sips with a "Thank you.." following the imbibing of clear liquid punctuations. She is.. less flawless than he, and that expression of sheer horror that plagued a pale face has given way to tinted complexion and a middle-of-the-road smiles. It is obvious there is.. something.. going on between the WW & WL, but Zahl's not one to ask, even if she catches on to whatever underlying tension is brewing beneath the surface. As A'dmar's expression narrows back in on her, lashes blink and she tries to look more self-assured, knowing all to well the many ways she is nothing like him yet cut from the same cloth. Maybe someday she'll rise to the occasion, and this whole family and relocation thing really seems to be helping. Magic doesn't work overnight, and with someone like Zahl it could be turns before she comes into her own. A few wayward glances are sent to the 'pleasant just Thea' though she is obviously content in taking care of business with that beaming smile of approval shot A'dmar's way. She's beginning to answer with "Official details? Father didn't you get your invitation.. I made one 'specially for you and had it delivered yesterday. It should've made it with.." she's about to say Thea's invitation, but just then she approaches and silence falls quickly as eyes fixate on the letter she hands him.

A cheerful tone. That's what ignites it as his eyes take one long seething look at the invitation Thea plunks on his desk while Zahl informs him he should've received it yesterday. The ire in him unravels as he shoots Thea a condescending look, apparently the Weyrwoman likes to control every aspect of Weyrlife… including the mail system! Which, he, is certainly NOT used to. The disrespect quite a fierce knife into his ego and his pride, which, turn unfortunately upon Zahl as she's sitting across from his chair. He's still standing mind and as he settles the glass down, he apologizes to Zahl, "I apologize for the Weyrwoman's mishandling of important documentation. Next time, use a reliable service to carry your mail. I'll ensure I speak to the Wingleader of our transport wing, perhaps replace him so we can find more astute carriers." Indeed, as if her Weyr intermail system failed completely! He takes the letter and pins a stare on Thea, "I would hate to be a day or two late to important events, because of Comet's failure to deliver." OH indeed, he knows where the Weyrleader's domain is … and it's with the riders. He can easily fire someone and replace them and he's threatening now, in earshot of Thea.

Tension? What tension? Thea isn't aware of any such thing. The Weyrleader's apology triggers sudden and highly amused laughter, the light, musical sound filling the room. "Don't bother. It's not his fault. It was stuck to the back of mine," she says lightly, clearly not worried in the slightest for the mail system or Comet's wingleader. She hands that envelope over to A'dmar and then taking a casual perch on the edge of his desk while he reads it. He's busy, right? So she chats to Zahleizjah easily enough with a perky, "It sounds like your event is going to be really nice. I love studying the stars. Have you ever been to the Yaokohama to use the big telescopes from space? The view is fantastic."

Zahleizjah gets it! Yey! She's not completely half-witted and doth surmise that maybe Thea knew that letter was there all along. As unkempt as her mannerisms are, she's at least learning to not stick her nose where it doesn't belong. What happens in the WL Office stays in the WL Office right? Or between WW & WL at least. If Zahl knows anything about Weyrlife it's, DO NOT under any circumstance mess with a goldrider, while they can be the greatest component of a happy existence they can also be the bane of your existence if you're not careful! So, she sits there as disrespect's dagger plunges in to A'dmar's self-worth, and now it seems they're not so different at the core of things in some ways. So.. that glass, is sipped from as the tete-a-tete unravels regarding her choice of mailing options. "I um.." she's not sure what to say besides a firm "YesSir.. won't happen again and you need not replace anyone. I should've reinforced the importance of a timely delivery for all of our sakes." Not so docile after all! Then Thea chimes in, so matter-of-factly and with all that nonchalant sticky-sweetness. She knows better than to shoot any tell-tale glances, and A'dmar's caught on so there's really no need to discern the WW's invitation intentions. The words that she shares next pique her interest and she's falling right in to the trap, responding to her with stars already in her honeyed eyes "Oh me too, I'm looking forward to this event very much. We will never see a meteor shower like this again in our lifetimes.." There is a bit of a frown as she continues on "..n'I haven't had the opportunity to go to Yokohama, but I've heard it is astounding how much you can see from there.." Oh, supernova-filled dreams, head in the clouds, night walking thaumaterge.. maybe some day!

"Could you imagine if this letter was some urgent matter and it was -stuck- to the back of yours?" he says matter-of-factly, including, "I'll see to the Wingleader as I see fit and he will hear of this." Without her leave or without her permission in other words. Better yet. He moves about the office and comes up with a few knot boxes as he opens one of his cabinets, different ranks and the like, spares, as you would, -which- he has collected since that day Thea handed over the steward knot to Jeth. Maybe he's picked up a sudden inkling to just hand knots out to whoever he wants as well! Wouldn't that be something, promotions caused by the Weyrleader, not approved by the Weyrwoman who most likely will try try to take them back? Oh the politics over that, he just has to hand out enough to make sure he has majority or something. He grabs down a box, a plain looking box, stepping back over toward the two women. "There are some things worth doing, being a Weyrleader isn't one of them," he notes, jaw jutting out, before he hands Zahleijah the box. Did he make her a Headwoman? The Weyrsecond? Or did he hand off his WL knot to Zahl? It has to be something important! He's on a path of revenge! "However, ensuring one's family is given the best of opportunities, that, is a perk worth the squandered hours…" he patiently waits for her to take it. Too bad he's not paying attention to the 'girl talk' … he's done. He's leaving the box for Zahl to open as he goes back to his computer, frustration hid behind the simple clack of the keyboard keys. Yes, he's busy, so take his stupid gift and get out, before Thea's chattering makes him grind his teeth away to nothing.

Actually, Thea doesn't have a deceptive bone in her body, so no. She just found the invitation a moment ago while reading her mail. If it's disrespect they see, then they're seeing things that don't exist. Her conversation about the stars is simply that - a conversation about something she is genuinely interested in. "I'll take you up sometime," she offers easily. She turns a look over her shoulder to A'dmar and shrugs, "Won't happen," she says. "I go through my mail daily. But if you want to rearrange the wings, by all means, do." She's really not worried about whether he does or doesn't. She's giving him permission? "Wing shuffle is an excellent way to keep skills fresh and stretch folks. Might do Ers'lan some good to try Comet and learn something about customer service." She's not worrying about power struggles in the least, smiling at him and approving his idea with a casual shrug so when he says Weyrleading is not worth it, she's totally baffled. Ahh! His business over there must be suffering! "You can go back to Ierne if you want," she offers kindly with a puzzled headtilt. And aww, look! He's giving his daughter a gift! She claps approval once more and hops down from her desk. "I have to go see about something," she tells them both, heading for the door. She calls back, "Happy Turnday, Zahleizjah?" Where's she going? Maybe to find out who she can nab for Acting Weyrleader.

For the most part, Zahl sits there quietly, delicious respite of water to be drowned in while A'dmar scolds about the importance of timely mail delivery. She will continue to keep her trap shut, brow raised with silent inquisition as the bronzer paces about while shuffling knot boxes. She isn't sure this unspoken plan of a knot free for all would work out in a desirable manner, but she'd never second guess or doubt her father's inclinations. Nope! Not even for a second! So, that glass of water is looking mighty friendly right now. Zahl knows very little about the WW-in-question and makes no assumptions about her demeanor, deceptive or not. She does however pick up on the way things seem and figures she'll probably have to ask A'dmar about this whole male female dynamic thing where people do weird stuff to each other when they like each other. Whatever boat she jumped on with A'dmar's suspicions has quickly set sail as she's enamored by talk about the cosmos. Whatever it is between those two, and that searing offer to go back to Ierne, Zahl thinks it best she stays out of it, and well, that box that is apparently now hers has the girl puzzled. "But.. it's not my.." she reaches for it and removes the lid slowly, glaring white nearly blinding eyes that were fixed on discovering the contents. "Wait.. is this? Me.. here? Really?" That's a yes, right? It'd be absolutely illogical to turn down a knot of such nature, but this definitely stirs up some unresolved issues for the formerly left on the sands Western Starcrafter. She can't help it, but tears start to stream down her face. Thea's too quick to depart, the only female teary-eyed empathy she'd get is walking out the door and so it's Zahl and A'dmar and that stark white knot, staring her in the face as salty waterworks pour from her eyes.

A'dmar tilts his head to regard Thea from underneath a deadlock set of brows, which are now pinched with his show of ire. He's showing emotion! As if the frustration wasn't building quickly enough to be palpable before this instance. He's being given permission to go through and rearrange wings is he? And she's especially hitting on a certain rider and the wing he was speaking of. Further thought must go into this rearrangement before he manages it. His drops back in his chair, hands folding neatly, eyes drawn sharply over at Thea, "Ierne is none of your concern." In a tone that suggests you wanted this so you're stuck with him, grump and all. Still, he turns back to his desk, working away at the keys, nearly punching them with his hard press of finger tips. Stupid keys, each one is the Weyrwoman's cheerful smile. Zahl's reaction, is noted, only -AFTER- Thea has left. It's something about his tell. Yes, he has a tell. Everyone does. With Thea gone, he looks resolutely to the teary-eyed raven haired girl, ugh she'd never make it out there in the heartland of all Quoin's. But he's supposed to be a dad here. Didn't he spend most of his life looking for her? This sopping eyed teenager turned adult? Something like that. "You have the honor to stand for…" oh what's her dragon's name, that other goldrider whose become a little pain in his backside, "Xanadu's clutch. Take it, it is my gift to you." Easy way out wins again. He simply reaches for a napkin from the emptied tray and hands it to her, "Clean yourself up. You're representing now. Do well to obey the rules, that's all I ask." Yes, don't humiliate him.

This may not be exactly how one would picture the ideal situation involving the handing of the white knot from rider to unsuspecting vitc- er future Candidate, but considering the last time involved being doused by a bucket of water, being caught in the middle of some 'friendly-fire' doesn't seem so bad upon reflection. It is.. strange.. whatever it is that is happening between Xanadu's leadership, but she takes A'dmar's warning to Thea like it was meant for herself in relation to the situation brewing between them. And, unfortunately that water is gone, now pouring from her eyes as she sits there with /that box/ uncertain how to respond with the mishmash of emotions floating about her insides. Sopping eyed is right on.. the adult part is still questionable and the girl likens herself to the maturity of a 16 turn old on a regular basis. No, she'd never make it out there in the heartland of Quion, and she almost didn't make it off the Sands last time this silly agreement cast her out on to that stuffy incubator where slimy creatures claim poor souls to wait on them hand and foot, but she survived a wretched life after a devastating accident and even lived to see the day where she was reunited with her memory and her father. She hopes, that someday, she'll do him proud and this is apparently the only way to go as that ominous offer still stands despite her whimpering. She definitely can't make any promises about humiliation, but she does as told, taking the knot, affixing it to her blouse and wiping away those tears with a sleeve. The girl stands, bowing her head, sucking it up (even though she'll be bawling back at home while she packs) "YesSir.. representing.. thank you.." It's settled then, Zahl will Stand, even if rather apprehensive, and she is quickly whisked away to go over those really awesome and oh so fun rules, leaving A'dmar to his work and thoughts of Thea.

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