Xanadu Weyr - Archives
The walls and ceiling of this large, windowless room have been fitted with wooden paneling and flooring to cover cold stone. Kept polished, the dark finish gleams, and the thick tapestry on the floor muffles footsteps and further insulates from unwanted noise. Those wooden panels are set with tall shelves that contain ledgers and tomes, maps and diagrams from the first founding of Xanadu to the present. The shelves encroach and fill the room, and one can find - arranged by topic - the records of domestic Weyr management, wing statistics, weyrling management, diplomatic efforts, weather reports, events and vital statistics all dating back over one hundred and fifty turns.
Though kept scrupulously clean and in glass-fronted cabinets, it's impossible for the older tomes not to have gathered some dust and mold over time, so the scent upon entering is of antiquity - musty, earthy and rich. Electricity provides ample lighting with which to see, tuned by spectrum to minimize fading of the pages. A large wooden table sits in the center of the room with several seats arranged around it. Placed on the polished top is a stack of paper, a container of writing instruments, a large magnifying glass and basket of emergency glows.
In one shadowy corner, there's a service access - almost invisible behind the panel that forms the door but given away by the brass key hole set at waist high in the wood. As it is kept locked, one would need a very good reason for wanting admittance and seek the appropriate person having the key to unlock it - the steward, the headwoman or one of the weyrleaders.
Of an afternoon, it's not uncommon to find Marel in the archives, either working on some of the paperwork assigned as part of her wing-related duties, or seeking quieter surroundings to get through some of the documentation required to keep her shop running smoothly. Today, it's difficult to tell just which she's working on, for she has an array of paper and texts out before her, the spot she's chosen one near to the end of the table in the middle of the room. She sits hunched over, pen in hand, her hair loose and obscuring her current document from view, her concentration seemingly absolute.
G'ir comes in with an armful of scrolls and such, looking rather frazzeld. He sighs and comes down to a table and sits them down, frumping into the chair. "Stupid paperwork."
Marel lifts her head a little to regard G'ir with a placid stare, icy-green gaze raking over her younger wingmate with something like distant, dry amusement. "No need to be quite so dramatic, I think," she tells him, before looking back down at her own work. "I'd offer to assist, but I'm not sure that there's anything you could offer in return, and it wouldn't exactly be helping you, besides." She twitches one shoulder. "Not when you have to deal with it in the future, that is."
"Oh, it's not the dealing with it." G'ir says as he looks up towards Marel with a wry smile. He sits it off to the side and unrolls one of the scrolls, "It's the inanity of the people /writing/ on the scrolls." He smiles. "I"m sure my father would be laughing at me now, knowing full well this is what he has to deal with every day." He looks down at the scroll and frowns. "Hey, I can offer lots of things."
"Well, you could always request a transfer to a more 'exciting' wing," Marel suggests with a hint of that same dry, low-key amusement. She glances up again for long enough to note the frown, yet doesn't immediately address it or his response, choosing instead to finish the sentence that she's writing and pause to let the ink dry. "Such as?" she enquires. "There's whether you mean material goods or favours, I suppose."
"I'm a lordling holder for Nerat. So, fresh fruit etc.." G'ir says as he shakes his head. "No, I don't mind this wing. I mind the idiocy." He laughs a bit as he sits the one scroll in a pile before he opens another and looks down at the new scroll.
"You mean you were," Marel asserts rather dismissively, her focus wandering to one of her open texts before she jots down a neat line of numbers in the margin of her piece of paper. "Not that I suppose that matters, given that we're not actually exchanging favours. If you had seeds for fruit that would take and grow well here, then maybe, but…" Another shrug, though she peers over at G'ir again, brows lifting briefly. "Do elaborate about the exact nature of the idiocy for me."
"I'm sure that I could find some. And yes, I was. My father is still Lord Holder, however." G'ir looks down at the papers before he turns one towards Marel. "This, this one is a request for tunnelsnakes to be banned from the caverns." He sighs. "Honestly. Do we send an ambassador to the tunnelsnake leadership?" He shakes his head back and forth.
"If you do, we might have a deal of some variety," Marel replies, lifting the heel of her palm safely out of the way of still wet ink. "Whatever it would be for." Perhaps she's feeling particularly pedantic today, for she keeps from writing for long enough to say, "'Still' makes little difference to any of us. I could say I 'am' a Weyrwoman's daughter, no matter that my mother is deceased." She can't help but stumble over that last word. "No matter: I'm a brownrider and a business owner first." Dragging her gaze over the offered paper, she remarks, "Headwoman's territory, not ours."
"I'm sorry about your mother." G'ir says, before he nods and motions to the pile he was beginning. "That's what I was doing. I don't get to answer them, I just get to /sort/ them." He gives a small snort. "That's why it's boring for me."
"…It was a long time ago," Marel murmurs, though given the awkward, deflecting shrug of her shoulders, maybe not really as long as she's claiming. "I can't help with the boredom, but, as I said, if you really find this sort of work boring, maybe you'd be better off in another wing. At least search and rescue might be more exciting." She reaches to close one of the books, letting the weight of the pages tip it shut. "Not that I'm trying to get rid of you or anything. I know I wouldn't be happy in another wing, but then I find this," the brownrider nods towards the paperwork, "interesting."
"I don't mind the paperwork, it's a part of it. I've done it from the time I was little and could read." G'ir says. "It's just that I wish I could do /more./ To help out more and not just be the seniors errand boy, that's all."
Marel wrinkles her nose a little, yet her expression remains largely unchanged from her usual calm. "Errand boy," she echoes, sounding as if she's trying out the words, or just trying to get a grip on some hidden meaning that she plainly hasn't grasped. "What do you mean?" she questions.
"It means I get these, I sort them. I don't answer them. Once they're sorted, I give them back and then I go get more and do the same thing. I deliver things." G'ir says, shrugging.
"That's not… entirely what I meant," Marel admits, shaking her head the tiniest bit. "But, to me, it sounds like the issue is less the work and more how you perceive it. Maybe yourself. Have you asked for anything more taxing? Have you asked to be trained to complete the more complex processing? To go with some of the rest of us to visit the Holds?" Slowly, she pushes her chair back and begins to stack her work into neat little piles. "And I wouldn't let anyone catch you referring to yourself as the Senior's errand boy."
"I guess that is true and not asked that." G'ir says as he smiles, nodding his head towards her. "Oh, you have to go already? Paperwork seems to do that as well. It never seems to rest in one place." He stands, the proper thing to do.
"I have a stock take to complete." It seems like that is all the explanation that Marel is going to offer, as she continues to gather paperwork and other assorted texts until she can pin the whole lot to her, arms around it all. "And, if I'm any good, my stock doesn't stay in any one place for too long either." With one hip, she nudges her chair back beneath the table, her arms being occupied, and delivers a polite nod to G'ir. "Have a good afternoon." Her progress from the room is swift, her steps only the slightest bit unsteady.