Hostile Hostage Situation

Xanadu Weyr - Observation Level

Dark blue seats form a semi-circle around the sands below, the lowest row separating from the sands themselves by merely a railing. The seats climb upwards, each row a bit higher then the previous, and they are broken up into sections by 3 sets of staircases. Lights are evenly spaced along the outer wall, lighting the seats and the sands easily, though they tend to be dimmed unless a major event is taking place. A large balcony looms overhead, darkening some of the seats, providing a place for observers of the draconic kind to watch without obstructing the view for others.

When one looks over the railing, the oddly hued sand below can be seen easily, the circle-shaped area of the sands spread out to the far walls, the sand itself a unique mixture of red and white grains.

It's midmorning the day after the Hannistan Hostage raid went down. Thea sits in one of the seats up where its a little cooler. She's set herself up a camp of sorts with a small cot mattress and a small table with necessities. Presently she has a pile of paperwork on her lap, but she isn't working on them. She's gazing with unfocused at the Sands, tapping her pen against her lips idly.

Kinseth is asleep on the sands, so X'hil is stuck in the galleries. Well, kind of. He's snuck out at some point, he's not here /now/, but on the whole he's been here. No, really. He enters from the gallery stairs, carrying a large wooden tray, carefully. On the tray, he has a pitcher of ice-cold juice, a refreshingly crisp salad, and a pile of paperwork. He clears his throat slightly as he approaches Thea, walking with a slight limp again all of a sudden.

Ice-green eyes turn, although Thea doesn't move her head, to note who's approaching; she doesn't look surprised to see the bronze rider. The hand holding her pen drops and her idle gaze sharpens as she turns to peer more closely at him, noting the odd gait X'hil is using. "You're limping! What happened to you?" She flits a look up, down and back up his length quickly adding, "Seryth said Kinseth told her there was some running and you gave chase." Her lips quirk in a half-smile, "Didn't pull open your arrow-wound did ya?"

X'hil grimaces, and carefully, oh so carefully, seats himself a couple of seats down from Thea, placing the tray on the seat between them. "I don't want to /talk/ about it." he mutters, to the first question, his face turning a bit red. He makes a small show of shuffling paperwork, anything to distract from his, er, injury. "We went to the Hold, to, er, pick up a few people." Understatement of the turn. "One of them … got a bit spooked. Had to chase her." Yep. "My arrow-wound is fine, perfectly fine." he assures the goldrider, though he does glance downwards at mention of wounds and injuries.

Thea notes that oh-so-gingerly seating of himself that X'hil does with a quick raise-lower of her eyebrows, but remains silent as he speaks, nodding, "The hostages to end the encroachment. Seryth heard Kilaueth's summons. We remained." Her expression and voice remain neutral about the subject. "Spooked." Not a question, rather a tone of mild disbelief colors her tone. "Seryth says Kinseth suggested the girl was a threat."

X'hil nods a little, glancing down at his paperwork as if it was suddenly the most interesting thing in the world. "Spooked." he repeats, with a shrug. "There were a fair few dragons out there that day. That many would spook most holders." And with good reason, apparently. "Anyway, I managed to corner the girl." He doesn't sound proud of that feat, rather the opposite. "And… She attacked." Not saying anything more. Nope. Kinseth stirs down on the sands, and X'hil looks a little uncomfortable. Kinseth isn't going to /blab/ is he? Well, probably not, not unless /asked/, at least.

Thea's eyes narrow just a bit and her lips curl in an unpleasant way, as she slides a paper under X'hil's nose. "And why is the Infirmary asking me to authorize restraints and mild sedation for the girl you brought back?" She watches the bronzer, daring him to look her in the eye, "Did she go mad with terror?" At his word 'attacked' she utters a bit of a frustrated growl, "Terrified holder attacking a big bronze rider! Doesn't that sound a bit strange to you?" Her low-pitched voice ripples with sarcasm, "Why can't you ever be straight with me, X'hil? How can I trust you as the Weyrsecond if ya can't just speak the truth? Shells!"

X'hil pours himself a glass of juice, and raises the jug in a kind of silent offer to Thea. Avoiding the subject at hand, yes. But, juice is nice? No? He lowers the jug, and scowls. "Sharding… Alright. Fine. You want the truth? … Fine." He knocks back a swig of juice, regretting not bringing anything alcoholic, then stares fixedly at the sands as he begins his recount. "She was heading for the guard tower. She'd been growled at by one dragon," M'iri's blue Kieranth, "jumped right over Kinseth's tail, and had made it to the door before I caught up. I… grabbed her, pinned her to the door." There's a flicker of guilt on his face. "Turned her around, thought if she could see my face she'd know I was telling the truth when I said she'd not be harmed…" He hesitates over the next bit, and drains his glass. "She looked me in the eye… and sharding /kneed/ me. Right where it /hurts/." Ow. "I… lost my temper a little then, slammed her against the door, knocked her /right/ out." And he's been feeling guilt and shame ever since.

That hard ice-green glare remains fixed upon the bronzerider beside her as Thea silently shakes her head declining juice, watching stonily as he drinks. The fingers of one hand drum softly on the paperwork on her lap. As the account unfolds, her brows relax bit by bit, she nods a few times, but doesn't interrupt. Silence hangs for a few moments after X'hil finishes. "X'hil." Thea says it quietly, gently, waiting for him to look at her and not the sands.

X'hil turns to face Thea then, and he doesn't look happy. "I'm no better than /they/ are. The boy from that caravan, got hit in the head, hadn't woken? He /died/." That was what precipitated the whole kidnapping thing, after all. "She could have /died/. I could have sharding /killed/ her!" he finally voices the thought he's been running through his mind since he knocked Aeryn out. There's guilt in his expression, sure, but there's fear in those blue eyes.

Thea looks directly at the Weyrsecond, eyes showing clearly a mix of emotions - understanding and support mainly, but also exasperation. "If you would only say-" Her lips clamp shut on that line and she sighs, beginning again, moving her hand with a sharp denial of what he has said and spits out, "Nothing like them! The difference is they marauded, we were asked to help stop it!" Her eyes watch, "Sometimes that takes a bit of force. The weyrs are pledged to protect. We did!"

X'hil mutters. "I wanted… I wanted to /hurt/ somebody… That's why I /went/. But, I… /She/ attacked /me/. It… It was self-defence." Against a seventeen turn old girl. "I…" he shakes his head, and looks away again, down to the sands. "I want to believe that… But we tore frightened women and children," well, some of them were genuinely frightened, "from their homes, their families, their lives…" He raises his head again then, fixing Thea with a desperate and uncertain /look/, asking, "How is that /better/? We didn't kill? We don't want their land for ourselves? Is that really enough to /justify/ … that? /Really/?" He's full of difficult questions today, it seems. Questions to which there may not even /be/ answers.

Thea expels a hiss, directed not at the man beside her, but towards the situation. "Better off frightened than being embroiled in a war, and killed. X'hil, you must know that." She takes a different tack, relaxes leaning back in her seat and eyes him almost casually, "Saw the girl today. Spoke with her." She waits to see how he reacts, then continues, "You did the right thing, X'hil," Thea says firmly. "She was going for the guard tower, your instinct was to stop her." She waits to see if he's thought it out, "If she reached the hut, gotten a weapon, or rang the bell she says she was going to, called in the Lord holder and his hunters, someone might possibly have died. You did the right thing," She repeats it forcefully, adding, "Like a bronzerider ought."

X'hil just shakes his head, and eyes the sands. "Never felt I was cut out for bronze." he mutters, glaring briefly at Kinseth, as though this was all /his/ fault for being the colour that he is, but he can't stay mad at the dragon for long. There's a sigh then, and the man seems to deflate, sinking back into the seat. "I just… I don't like to /act/ before I have all the facts." He rubs idly at the knuckles of one hand, still looking a little bruised from when he hit Eledri. "It almost never ends well." /Almost/ never. He seems to be calming down now, at least. His tone is a little more even, a little less strained. "Is…" He hesitates, then turns to Thea, with a frown. "Is she okay? The girl." The girl that he knocked out. Didn't /quite/ get around to introductions, what with the mind-numbing agony, and then her being unconscious.

Thea shrugs, "Kinseth knew." She says simply, mulling over X'hil's reaction as she regards him, quietly allowing the silence to stretch for several minutes, "You know, I think you've been at odds with your bond; haven't fully trusted his strength when you've needed it." She doesn't answer his question right away. Finally, as if the girl is her last concern, she waves an airy hand, "She's a hard case and a harder head; she's fine." Her eyes flicker down then back up X'hil's length and she adds, "I've left her restrained for now as she's spitting louder than a wet feline exactly how she's gonna get even."

X'hil just sighs, and looks worn out. It's entirely likely he was up all night, but it goes deeper than that. He's been stressed out a lot, lately. "Kinseth… Kinseth always knows." he murmurs, corners of his mouth twitching briefly in a feeble attempt at a smile. It quickly fades though as the girl's threats are mentioned, and he cringes. "Shards, hasn't she done /enough/ damage?" he mutters, glancing down at his lap for just a moment, cheeks tinging with red. He seemed a little relieved for a moment there, when he heard that she was fine, but now he's back to worrying about himself.

Thea just shakes her head, "If that doesn't reassure you, Kinseth knowing, then you've a bigger problem than I thought," she says with some asperity. "You don't trust-" she interrupts herself, whisking the paperwork on her lap onto the seat beside her as she stands. "Ruin's in the Infirmary." It's all she says, but her quick pace as she goes, says it all. It can't be a good thing. Especially with Aeryn in there.

X'hil glances up as Thea heads out, and frowns. He listens to Kinseth, sometimes? Never mind that trusting the dragon's judgement is what scared him from Xanadu in the /first/ place. He scowls at himself, and pulls the paperwork over to stare at it for a while, lost in thought. He has a lot to think about.

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