Requiem of the Dragons

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.

After a morning of being posed and teased into smiling for the camera, Skyler is tired. So are his parents, for that matter. They've at least made it to the caverns, but a tour of the nursery is going to wait for at least a little while. They need a break! Which is why the three of them have made their way here, to the Weyrleaders' office. Thea's out on her restday, but that should be fine. It means the room will be quiet and they can take some time to rest their feet and figure out the next step.

Tocha launches herself from the Weyrwoman's desk with a shriek and vanishes.

Skyler starts wailing.

Images flash to the dragons of Xanadu, Luraoth and Kanekith among them. White. Pain. Black. Cold. White. Nothing. Silence from Seryth, as Skyler screams.

Who knew pictures would be so difficult? Exhausting? It was fun, in a way. The end results will be great once they get them. But Ka'el is just as glad as Skyler to call it done. On to the next thing, which ideally would be home to hang around in shorts and onesies, but they still have an agenda of things that need to be taken care of. The tour in which Ka'el will look at the nursery through new eyes. Are things safe? Are the nannies nice? Are the babies there happy? Do they look neglected and malnourished? But luckily, his critical eye will have to wait, for now they're in the office for a break. They all need a break. And Ka'el is just about to settle down onto that comfortable office couch when … things happen. The firelizard's screech and disappearance. Skyler's crying. Both of which startle Ka'el to standing upright again, having only halfway completed the act of sitting. But neither of those things startle him as fully as Kanekith's sudden rapidfire projections. Unannounced images to the brain. Confusing. Dark. The coldness is something he can feel gripping his spine with a sudden ferocity that he gasps a breath and exhales a curse. He takes a step. 'Stumble' would possibly be the better word to describe the single forward movement though, eyes wide as they flit to his hollering son, the momentarily silenced sound of that coming back slowly, as if someone is gradually turning the volume knob.

Onesies are the baby equivalent of shorts, because when you're a baby (or, uh, dressing a baby) putting on shorts is sometimes too arduous a task to be completed! It's definitely too arduous a task to be done now, but Skyler's already dressed up nice from those pictures. Undressing can be arduous too. It's on the list of things to be done, after nanny-inspection and visiting with Sorrin (okay, so that one's not arduous) and whatever else is… utterly, completely, entirely going out the window. Soriana was just putting Skyler down. He was maybe going to nap, like the firelizard who was on the desk. Napping… is now the furthest thing from his mind, just like the firelizard is the furthest she's ever- Soriana's arms lift Skyler even as her eyes widen with surprise. Her mouth opens, and then it just hangs like that as the shock of images and sensations burst, one after the other, across her mind. Chaos. Pain. Shock. Her arms tighten around Skyler, clinging as he screams his own response at the shock of sound, the screech that hurt his ears and the chaos of his parents' reaction to something more their son cannot sense. Nothing. There's nothing more from Seryth, though Luraoth's thoughts reach out for her. Outside, the dragons keen the loss of Seryth, while here in Thea's office Soriana shudders, her arms slowly relaxing from Skyler to hold him more gently. "What…" She trails off there. She knows what, because Luraoth knows. She doesn't know how, or why… but she knows what. "Shit."

How swift the day can change and in unimaginable, unthinkable and very unpredictable ways. While unexpected things happen, nothing ever prepares one for something quite like this. Kiena had been going about her day as usual, having spent most of it in her office before venturing out to stretch her legs and likely keep herself from going stir crazy. Maybe she had had plans to go see her girls once they were released from their Harper lessons or perhaps snag an early lunch in some relative peace and quiet somewhere outdoors while the weather is still warm enough for such pleasures. None of those thoughts are on her mind the instant those images flash. White and pain. Black and Cold. White… and then nothing. Kiena grunts as she shakes her head, her steps faltering and her expression twisting into a confused sort of grimace and only vaguely aware that other riders are behaving similarly around her. The hairs on the back of her neck begin to stand up, an all too familiar sensation of dread gripping at her, knotting her stomach and causing her to tense, jaw set firm and grim, eyes wide as she 'listens' through Ujinath, frozen now and not caring that she stands in the middle of one of the paths. The keening starts and Kiena's features twist as she swears out loud and mixed with a startled cry as she struggles to shield herself from the worst of the emotional onslaught, as futile as it is. For a moment she is too stunned, to overwhelmed to move and only when the keening ebbs just a little does the Weyrsecond find her feet. Stumbling, almost tripping, Kiena will dash down the pathways and back to the very administration hallway she had just left moments before, not stopping even when she's called to. She has no answers, save for what most know from the dragons keening. It's not to her office that she returns and her feet take her to the door of the Weyrleader's office instead. To a door she doesn't knock upon (who'd hear it, over the din and racket?), Skyler's wailing signal enough that someone is within, even if Kiena's mind doesn't register that it's an infant's cry and she'll just walk right on in to a different level of chaos.

Agitated is Kanekith. There is a void where there never has been. The presence of his Queen, vanished into nothing, leaving behind an empty silence that is alien to him. Gone. The dragons of the Weyr lament with Kanekith's voice threading through the cries of his dragonkin. He knows what they all know. Their Queen is gone. Gone now. Gone forever. Ka'el's recovery is slow, but he does regain his senses, and his ears are flooded with noise. Dragon noise. Baby noise. Noise from beyond the closed door of their office. Confused riders and bewildered residents, all listening to the same mournful cries of the Xanadu dragons. Ka'el blinks then blinks again, parted lips pressing as he moves quickly towards Soriana and Skyler, hand lifting to press against the baby's head, moving in soothing strokes. "Shh-shh.." he says, but his soothing sound isn't matched by his expression. His face is disconcerted. Mind a whirl even those images are gone, blinked out of existence. He reaches for Kanekith again, finding him to be cold. Unusually .. desolate. Ka'el looks momentarily pained, as if scorched by something hot, and he looks at his weyrmate with a growing feeling of dread. "What does Luraoth say?" he asks over the din of noise. Over the feeling of chaos. Maybe the gold knows something more. More than what Kanekith is able to report in his dirge. More than what Ka'el wishes to believe has happened to the Queen. The office door opens, swinging heavily to let Kiena through. He looks at her, that look of disbelief still etched across his face. "What has Ujinath told you?"

The dragons are keening. Skyler is wailing. Soriana starts jiggling him almost absently. Not that she doesn't want to soothe him, but it's a good thing she's had a month to learn how to do it, to let those gestures turn into habit and reflex. She doesn't manage to make the soothing sounds that go with the gestures, though. Ka'el has some of those. Enough to get things started. Enough that Skyler's wails start to recede into mere sobs, panic giving way to mere upset. He's no longer terrified. He's just unhappy… and so are his parents. Soriana looks up to Ka'el, and she doesn't even have to reach out to Luraoth to ask the question. The keen of dragons is unmistakable. The only thing it leaves in doubt is who… "It's Seryth." Her tone is flat. That's what Luraoth says; what Luraoth knows with draconic certainty. The door opens, and the sound of it makes Skyler's voice rise again. More noise, disturbing his rest! More chaos, and he knows with infant certainty that it must be bad, because his parents are upset. Even if they try to hide it, even if Soriana makes soothing sounds as she bounces him gently… Skyler knows, and so he wails with the dragons. Soriana glances to Kiena only briefly, her gaze going back to her son. "Shhh…" It's all (not) okay.

Kiena did not mean to startle Skyler again and renew his upset state and for a moment she can only stare, uncomprehending, from the infant to Soriana and back to Ka'el. Her head is filled with a tumbling mess of half formed and racing thoughts, of the echoes of those images and emotional feedback and though the keening has tapered away, her ears still ring with it. Stepping a little further inside, she'll let the door close behind her and then proceed to use it as support. Who needs locks when you've a Weyrsecond to block it? "I…" Kiena begins, her eyes lifting to Ka'el when he prompts her with his question, only to have her voice falter and lapse back into silence, her head lowering as she swallows thickly. Her expression is shocked and confused, but beneath it is the grief and barely held in check. Keening usually signals only one thing and Ujinath doesn't have to tell her that one of their own has passed. It's just a matter of who and it won't take long for that to filter through. Kiena runs a shaky hand through her hair, most of which has begun to escape the loose runnertail she'd twisted it in, her cheeks flushed from her rush to the office but her 'winded' state may have two causes, one of which has her gritting her teeth and blinking furiously. Not here, not now. "He said that one of us was lost. Seryth." Kiena finally manages to say the words and her eyes drift from Ka'el to Soriana with a sort of desperate hopefulness, despite knowing the truth. Please say it's not true?

But. It shouldn't be Seryth. It shouldn't be any dragon. Ka'el has never heard a sound like the sounds that emit from his lifemate now. It makes happiness seem like a distant memory. Something that could never be found again. It's a tragic sound. A heart-wrenching sound. A sound that he doesn't wish Skyler to hear. Or perhaps, he realizes, Kanekith's voice is heard only by him. The intricacies of his cry, the notes of his voice. All of that is lost to everyone but him, his lifemate. But … Skyler hears something. As does the entire Weyr. … The entire Weyr! Riders and residents. They'll want answers. They'll need guidance and assurances that things are all right. but are they, really? … This is their job. These three, Weyrleader, Weyrwomen Junior, and Weyrsecond. They have to assure everyone that things are okay. Even though…nothing sounds okay at all. Ka'el brushes his hand over Skyler's hair again. The red-faced boy is difficult to ignore, but so is everything else about this moment. Seryth's name is spokent again, this time by Kiena, and his expression darkens. It's a frown now as opposed to that look of confusion. Seryth is lost? That's … a fact that's difficult for his mind to wrap around, so he doesn't try. The inconceivable is set aside. "Thea," he says, frown remaining. "She…" Can't be contacted. Not without Seryth. And…Seryth… If she is gone…where is their Weyrwoman? "Skyler…Skyler..Shhhh lil' man.." He has to think. Think. Decide. What to do? What.. happened? "Thea. She's in Cold Stone. She went. We can send word to .. any rider they may have. Try to reach her."

Seryth. Soriana said it. Kiena said it. Kanekith's surely saying it as well. It's there, coming from the dragons. Felt by them, known by them… even if… it shouldn't be. Seryth, and her rider… Thea. Soriana nods to Kiena. That's it. That's the thing. That's what happened. That's who… betweened. She frowns, looking up to Ka'el. "Wasn't…" Cold Stone. "It's her restday," Soriana says, explains it to… who knows? It doesn't matter. She keeps up the soothing motions to Skyler. The jiggles. The pats. They're starting to work again, to make sobs recede. Something still wrong. Obviously wrong. Deeply wrong. But at least it can be wrong without crying. Not… right now, anyway. Not when there's other things that need to be done. Figured out. Thea went to Cold Stone. They know that much. "It's… High Reaches. It'd be a Reachian rider. If they do, but…" It's a small hold. Insignificant, except for the fact that Thea came from there - was going back there. Went back there? Is back there now? Or is… "She might have fallen off." That's hope talking. Soriana is hoping that Seryth's straps broke, that the carefully-oiled leather cracked and tore and her Weyrwoman went tumbling to the ground. "We can… send riders. Look for her."

It's true that the dreadful keening is uncommon, even when the passing of a dragon and their rider is from natural causes such as old age. Expected. This, however, is not and to lose a queen, a senior queen to an untimely end… is nigh on disastrous. Many will be seeking answers and reassurances. Questions too and ones that may have no answers. Nothing is alright and may not be alright for some time but this is what falls to the shoulders of Leadership. In good times and in bad times and times such as these, they have to remain strong… even if they feel anything of the sort. "I don't think High Reaches would bar us," Kiena speaks up again after a moment or two, her eyes darting between Soriana and Ka'el, over bright and still widen with shock. She scrubs at her face again, then her fingers run back through her hair in a restless fidgeting motion. Her mouth sets again into a grim line. Cold Stone. Restday. Of course… Soriana's glimmer of hope has Kiena turning her head to stare at the junior goldrider, seeming to latch on to it and then her expression darkens and her gaze lowers. "Even if she did… it's… the same…" End. Death. Kiena can't quite form the words but her silence may imply enough and the shaky breath that follows. "We could look." she agrees in a voice with a tone that holds no hope at all for a positive outcome, save to confirm what they already know.

Ka’el should be doing something. Something now. Something quickly. This is one of those emergency times that no one really thinks will ever happen to them. A between senior queen? Oh sure! It happens! Or rather, happened. In the past. In histories they’ve learned about during Weyrlinghood. In stories. But not in their lifetime, nope. Queens will rise and fall back to Pern and rise again. It’s a cycle. And then, they retire, and a new, younger Queen takes her place, and the cycle begins again. That cycle doesn’t just…isn’t supposed to just…end on some random, insignificant summer day. One moment here. The next, gone. How can Seryth be..gone? And Thea.. Ka’el’s eyes snap to Soriana. Thea .. might have fallen off. Seryth is gone. The dragons know, hence their keening. Their Senior is dead. Their Senior has passed. She is no more. But Thea. She may have fallen off. She may have fallen and greatly injured herself, but survival could still be a thing. Seryth could’ve died of major injury. The images were…a confused blur of cold and white. She didn’t have to die because Thea herself has. There is still…a slither of hope. A miniscule bit. “It’s not the same,” he says, eyes whipping to Kiena, hearing her. “She could’ve fallen low. Seryth could’ve tried to get her down before….before…whatever happened happened. She could be out there, injured.” But alive. He won’t give in to death yet. Not before fighting against it. He moves now, heading to his desk with a stride that’s purposeful. Angry almost. “We’ll head there. I’ll get Galaxy on the move. Head to Reaches and find the riders there. Someone will have had to..” He pauses mid-sentence. His brain has been moving already. Reaching to Kanekith, who reaches for the Galaxy dragons. But that reach has been paused. Blocked. Grasped on to by a grasp firmer than Kanekith’s own, like the tug of a leash to an invisible collar. “..What?” Ka’el’s eyes refocus, then unfocus again, the lines of struggle creasing his brows. “…Shit. Shards..”he comes out of his dragon-trance with curses. “Yumeth won’t let us fly.”

A tumble from broken straps, to land against unforgiving ground. V'dim terrified weyrlings - Soriana and Ka'el among them - with stories of what could happen if a strap broke. Always check them. Always oil them. Keep them in good repair. Thea surely did all those things, and yet it's still… Soriana frowns for Kiena's reply. Does she really have to give up hope? Ka'el says otherwise, and her gaze is almost pleading. Yes. Give her hope. Not much hope, but let her have at least a tiny bit. A low fall. Piled snow instead of hard ground. It's winter in the Reaches. Seryth would have tried to save her. Of course she would have. With her… dying breath, literally. It might not be too late for Thea. It might be, but Soriana nods to the hope Ka'el reiterates, the one that maybe, possibly, it's just barely concievable that they can find Thea, bring her back, if they go now, if Galaxy soars and - "What?" she repeats after Ka'el. Yumeth won't let them fly? Soriana frowns, reaching out to Luraoth, through her to Yumeth. To her mother's dragon, but Soriana's old enough that she doesn't have to listen to her mother, and certainly old enough to argue. Her jaw acquires a stubborn set, ready to fight this one out. Luraoth doesn't have to listen to Yumeth either, because she may be the younger of the golds but that doesn't mean she can't… "Shit." Soriana repeats that part too, as her jaw loses that set and her face edges more toward white. The white that flashed in their minds, the swirling chaos of… "Snow." Soriana closes her eyes for a moment, as Luraoth reaches out to support Yumeth, to reinforce the older gold's order instead of fighting. "There's a blizzard there. Yumeth recognized it." She was clutched at High Reaches. She had an accident of her own in a storm, one that injured her and sent her down to Ierne to recover. That's why Soriana was born down south, why… so much. "Reaches confirms." Like Soriana's reporting it from the radio, only it's from Luraoth from Yumeth from a dragon halfway across Pern. "We can't send them into that." They could. It would be asking them to risk their own lives for a dragonless Thea who might already be dead. No, Luraoth tells Xanadu's dragons. Stay here. Be safe. We mourn together.

Kiena shakes her head and her expression remains grim and though she opens her mouth to speak, the words on her lips but in the end she leaves them unspoken. Her hope is faint, but she has always been brutal with her outlook on things. To her, if Thea is alive, she would wish the goldrider blissful unawareness of the loss she just suffered. To the Weyrsecond, the idea of finding Thea dragonless and possibly stark raving mad because of it or an empty, mindless shell is far worse than she being gone with Seryth. Some dragonriders recover from the shock, many don't. Kiena would rather grieve for a Weyrwoman lost than to encounter the heart wrenching broken shadow of a woman she'd come to respect. Yet she won't breathe a word of this to Ka'el or Soriana, knowing they grieve in their own way and hold to their hopes. Kiena's eyes dart between them and then she jerks, head up and cocked to the side as she too listens to Ujinath again, after the Weyrleader begins to curse and Soriana confirms. Her curses soon join the others voice and she even goes as far as to smack her fisted hand against the door frame, though not hard enough to make too startling a noise, less she upset Skyler. From the way Kiena's eyes flash though, the bluerider would have hit a lot harder if she didn't have some shred of control left to her. That she is so quiet is… extremely out of character for her but who knows when she'll reach her limit. "So we wait then. Until it either lessens or stops. No choice." Kiena speaks in clipped and tense words. Her eyes drift back to Ka'el then. "Galaxy." she confirms, picking up on his earlier thread of thought, only to have her expression fall again to shock and grief all anew. "Mur'dah and Marel." she says and there need be no other explanation than that. Kiena's head is already turning back to the door but neither brownrider comes storming through and the Weyrsecond does not rush out. After a few seconds, Kiena turns back to face Soriana and Ka'el again, "They should be involved. Need to be. If they can… if they're capable…"

Stuck. Stuck on Xanadu. Stuck here while they are needed elsewhere. It’s a discouraging thing. A maddening thing. What else can go wrong today? Thea could be laying helpless and injured…in the midst of a blizzard? The news has Ka’el grimacing further, his expression a stormcloud. He curses again, under his breath this time, and turns to face away from the women and child, towards the window that looks out to Xanadu. Are the dragons still crying? Perhaps not as loudly anymore, but grief permeates his mind. Grief felt by Kanekith. Grief that he himself now feels. How could she survive? If she had made it through the fall, if there’s a blizzard….what are the changes that she pull through that? Slim to none. ….None at all. “Galaxy will remain posted,” he says, speaking only after a long moment of seething silence. “Ready to fly one the word is given that High Reaches can be navigated safely. I’ll have N’varre keep Niorlouth in contact with their S&R team, and once we get go ahead, we fly.” His jaw sets, and after taking a breath he turns to face them again, eyes flitting to Kiena at the mentioning of Marel. And Mur’dah. “Marel can’t go Between. She’ll have to stay here and help as she can from here. Mur’dah shouldn’t Between anytime soon. We know the results of doing so without a clear head. He’ll have a guide.” Much like when they were Weyrlings, tethered to a more experienced dragon. He moves to Soriana, pressing a hand to Skyler’s head again gently. Inhale. Exhale. “Kiena and I will brief the riders. Tell them what..little we know. You and the Weyrwomen….reassure the residents?”

The dragons are quieter now, in their grief. So is Skyler, though he doesn't know - can't understand - the reasons why everyone's unhappy around him. He's too young to know that Thea is lost. He's… too young to have known Thea. Oh, he met her, or she met him, but there's no way he'll remember it. He'll have nothing of her but stories, if she's… if this is the end. Galaxy will ride sweeps, as soon as they can. As soon as High Reaches says it's safe. Soriana nods to that as Ka'el says it, frowns at Kiena's mention of Mur'dah and Marel. Ka'el's mention of Marel draws a flick of her eyes to the Weyrleader, followed by a nod. She's quiet for a moment, fingers patting at Skyler's back, and her gaze drifts down to Thea's (former?) desk. "…we should take volunteers," Soriana says abruptly, looking up again. "From all the wings. People will want… they'll want to do something. And everyone practices sweeps." Will they be as good as trained Galaxy riders? No, but that's not the point. The same swathes of the Reaches can be gone over by those who do have the experience. The point is that it'll make people feel better than sitting and waiting… which is what they'll have to do, for now. Sit and wait for the blizzard to lessen. Sit and wait until they can go see… what's there. What happened. What went so very wrong. "The queens will keep them here." The dragons, while the riders are briefed. As for them and the weyrfolk? "We'll… do what we can to calm people." She's calmed a baby, mostly. She hasn't calmed herself, but she's pretending. She'll keep pretending at the rest of the Weyr. Maybe she can shoosh them. Or maybe… she can just pat their backs as they cry.

Don't jinx the day. One tragedy is enough and this one has all but brought Xanadu temporarily to its knees. The dragons may not be keening but the grief is still there. Quiet grief and Kiena can still feel it coming in slow waves from Ujinath even as she focuses as best she can on Ka'el's words. Her brows knit when he informs her that Marel cannot Between and something clicks in the bluerider's mind from a previous conversation with Thea. Her last conversation… Kiena swiftly shuts that line of thought down and buries it deep. She nods in agreement to Marel, not asking why or questioning. Ka'el's meaningful look has the Weyrsecond starting a bit and there's a twitch, a tic like motion to her mouth when it sinks in to what is implied. Oh, she knows all too well. "Let me talk to him." And from the worried look she swiftly casts the door, her mind is already beginning to wonder… A swift check from Ujinath to Kalsuoth and Kiena's brows knit but she does not react in alarm. If anything, she looks deeply troubled until she is focusing back on both Ka'el and Soriana. "But that's also my point. Let him volunteer if need be, like others will…" And she looks to Soriana now, nodding her head briskly in agreement for mentioning volunteers from all Wings. "Exactly. But in Mur'dah's case, he shouldn't be held back if he wants to go. I agree about the guide and I'll do it myself in need be." she murmurs with a grimace and then sighs heavily. "Briefing. Right." A plan. It's something. Something to focus on. It's a start. "It will be good for them to see you. Us. Reassuring. Just… shards and shells, we'll probably have to be on alert for — for any other upsets too. For those who find comfort in… certain vices and don't normally." Alcohol, mostly, is what Kiena is implying and not just in regards to a specific bluerider. Just what they need on top of everything else, right? "Folk are going to be edgy and not thinkin' straight… Weyrfolk 'n riders alike."

Ka'el nods in answer to Soriana. Volunteers. All dragonriders can ride and look. Sweeps are…yeah. In everyone's repertoire of practiced skills. Who imagined they'd ever be sweeping…due to this? They'll want to help. They will help. Those who are able. Those who can get there safely. They've already lost one rider. The loss of another is an unbearable thought. "Then we'll take volunteers. We'll prep them as well. For the weather. For the best formations to use. We'll study the terrain while we wait. Find maps of the area. We can communicate with the riders there to see if anyone knew or saw where she was last headed. We'll have a starting point, at least.." Not that they still won't comb over every inch they can regardless of that report. They'll..have enough riders to do so. Skyler is kissed, lips pressing to his downy head. Skyler, who has no idea what's going on. To whom death has no meaning. How could it, when he's only known life for a month? He has no idea that life isn't always a wonderful thing. Sometimes it's tainted with sad things. Bad things. Scary things like this thing he finds himself immersed in. Ka'el looks at his son, his mind randomly wandering to a jacket that lies in wait for colder seasons, ready to be shown off to its maker. Eyes turn after a silent curse in his mind for that thought, looking to Kiena with a look on his face that may be difficult to decipher. Pressed brows and vaguely squinted eyes. An expression caught between confused and something else. "No one has said anything about holding him back. If that's your worry, settle it." As for those other upsets? "The guards will likely be on high alert. I don't .. think Xanadu's had anything like this happen in recent time." They all have to be ready for anything, won't they? He'll have to be sure of it, as do the Weyrwomen. "Let's start, then. Soriana, with the Weyrwoman. Kiena and I with the riders." … He trails, looking to the baby. What about him? "..I guess Skyler will go to the nursery whether they're ready for him or not."

Soriana looks to Kiena, considering her as she discusses… Mur'dah. Talking to him. Involving him. It's enough to make one suspect that the bluerider cares far more than just the fact that he's another of Xanadu's riders and Thea's son. "It'll take some time for the riders to gather," she offers. They'll all be stunned, shocked. They'll be slow. "There'd be time for you to talk to him first. If you're quick." Don't keep things waiting, but… Mur'dah and Marel are likely to be taking this the hardest of anyone. If they need some extra support - if Kiena's inclined to give it to Mur'dah - good. That's part of her job. Only part, she'll be needed for the rest of the riders as well. Slotting volunteers into formations, obtaining maps, training and gathering data and preparing and all the rest, but… there's time, until the blizzard stops enough to let them between. Until they can go to the High Reaches in winter to search for a cold trail and an equally chilled hope… but they have to go. The alternative is giving up, and Soriana's not ready to do that yet. "The queens will keep the dragons down until it's safe." Until the blizzard stops. Until their riders are sober enough. Soriana nods to Ka'el. It's time to begin. Soriana and the other juniors (now without a Senior). Ka'el and Kiena. Skyler… she frowns. Not because she's going to argue, but… "I guess he will." The uninspected nursery! Which has been doing this for turns, but today - this topsy-turvy summer day where a blizzard rages and the dragons keen - it's hard to believe that everything will be safe. Still. They'll do it, because what choice do they have?

No more loss. There is enough grief. Kiena nods her head again to Ka'el's outline of the plan, at least in regards to organizing the volunteers from all the Wings and briefing the many riders who call Xanadu home. That look, difficult as it is to decipher, as Kiena tensing again and brings an equally as mixed reaction from the Weyrsecond, though her mouth will remain closed and pressed into a thin line as she nods briskly. Soriana would be correct in her assumption, though all anyone would have to do is ask and Kiena wouldn't lie about it, but the proof hangs around her neck these days. A modest necklace, at times partially hidden by the collars of her shirt and yet there all the same. Neither have they been hiding it. "I won't be long. I don't even know if he's… approachable. Ujinath cannot get through Kalsuoth's shielding, which is unlike him. For all I know, he's with Marel now." And that's just as good, if not ideal with the grief so fresh and raw. Still, Kiena's eyes flicker in a way as her expression softens just a bit, as silent a 'thank you' as anyone can manage without speaking out loud. For understanding. Kiena knows her duties and she'll be there for Ka'el too. first and foremost. Weyr and duty, dragon, then family and loved ones. Always. She's tried not to let her thoughts drift to think about her own daughters, how they may be handling this. Are they scared and frightened? They're old enough to understand. To remember. Kiena's only reassurance is that they were in their lessons and the foster family they are people she has come to trust. They know what to do and so the Weyrsecond can stay by Ka'el's side at this crucial moment. Later… there will be time. Not much, but hopefully enough. "Nothing… could prepare for this." Kiena glances back to Ka'el, her features grim and tense again. "Let's start. I could go and grab the maps we'll need… anything else too… while we… call them? Where will they gather? Outdoors?" Largest space at hand!

Wow. They haven't left their son on his own since he's been born, have they? Today's the big day, out of necessity. There will be no room to worry and fret about him. The Weyr needs both mother and father to lead and guide. Skyler will… be alright. It'll be his sink or swim moment, and the son of a Weyrleader and Weyrwoman is destined to fly, isn't he? They'll see, after the day ends…whenever it ends. If it does ever end. A day of planning and mapping. Of consoling and policing. Of answering questions and soothing fears. And later, possibly, a day of flying and searching a blanket of blinding white for signs of their fallen Weyrwoman. Of strained eyes and weary dragons still heavy with the weighty woe of loss. A day with so much in it can seemingly have no end. And if it does, the end that they're faced with … may not be the end that they had hoped for. Ka'el is quiet even as words are spoken to him or of him. Just thinking about what will transpire makes him want to crawl in bed and pretend that none of this ever happened. Life doesn't work that way, unfortunately. It keeps moving forward despite who it may have left behind. He's only half-listening. Something about the brownrider, still. Something about Marel. Something, something. They have their roles to play now. Weyrleader. Weyrwoman. Weyrsecond. The Weyr is waiting for them, waiting for their guidance and assurances and plans. They have plans, at least. Plans that need to be executed. He blinks back to the present, looking to Soriana first, Kiena second. "Training field," he answers. "Starting with Galaxy." They're a big wing. The smaller ones can filter in. Riders needn't be present to hear news spread by dragon. He leans to kiss Soriana gently on the cheek. "If you need me.." He leaves it at that, knowing very well she won't. Not now. Not during this. The office is abandoned not long after. Soriana to the Weyrwomen and, eventually, to leave Skyler in the nursery. Ka'el, along with Kiena, to gather riders and collect maps and share plans. It will be a long day ahead for everyone. Xanadu will not find peace through rest .. for a while.

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