The Grand Tour

Xanadu Weyr - Administration Hallway

Neatly curved, this rough hewn tunnel that continues well beyond this section holds a rustic look oddly incongruous with the handful of doors that open onto it. Several, all on the north side, are single doors of polished fellis wood and carved with stylistic representations of knots, knots which give a clue to who occupies the office beyond. A more easily understood identification would be the delicately painted stone plaques fastened to the wall at about chest height beside each door, the lettering done in the Weyr colors of orange and blue.
On the south side of the tunnel, a slightly wider section is the home of an impressive set of double doors. Of highly polished fellis to match the others, these doors are each carved with a skillfully rendered depiction of the Xanadu Weyr badge and the big, fluted handles are brass. Those doors lead to the Council Chambers, a meeting room for all the Weyr's staff.

Winter has deepened it's hold on Xanadu with heavier snowfalls than is the norm. The Weyrlings are coming along. All are working through the adjustment of sharing a mind with another entity, those first few months of balancing friend with parenting a dragon-child, some doing better than others, of course and all at their own pace. Since the Weyrling Grounds are a rock-hard icy frozenness, ground-hunting exercises have been taking place on the Weyrling Beach where young dragons can pounce, drop and roll without hurting themselves… much. Rumors have been whispered about just what the uproar was all about last evening when a bronze and a gold from Fort arrived in Xanadu - the Weyrleaders Th'ero and Dtirae, no less, summoned by Thea and closeted with her in the Weyrleaders office for some time while everything about Xanadu Weyr… changed. Dragons trumpeted, wings went aloft. Foresters and woodsmen headed for the outskirts of the Weyr. The AWLMs, looking grim had rounded up the Weyrlings and herded them into the barracks but other than ordering evening meals in and keeping them all there on lockdown, nothing was said.

Classes in the Barracks this morning have been preempted for an announcement that there is a Weyr-wide interdiction against going into the woods and that they are not to go anywhere isolated or alone with or without their lifemates. They’v also been informed that the Weyrlings will be assisting in watch duty - not alone but in pairs - by patrolling afoot the perimeters of the Weyr proper and they are all to alert the AWLMs should they see the rough-looking, muscular barrel-shaped man whose sketch was passed out to all of them. What's it all about? Nothing has been said, classes resumed and then dismissed for lunch. All Weyrlings assigned to various tasks for the afternoon with Esiae the only one getting the slip instructing her to report to the Administration Complex to see the Weyrwoman. Ut oh!

'Coming along' is certainly one way to put it, considering most of the recent pouncing and rolling injuries consist of self-inflicted damage by a certain goldling who shall remain nameless. It was hardly her fault, what with limbs growing faster than they could carry her, but it's still lucky for the purveyors of said rumors that Sonyxaeth had managed to bruise her side in earlier exercises, or the adventuresome pair might have attempted some clandestine reconnaissance to find out more. As it were, assistant weyrlingmasters had rounded them up in time, and had likely received such a barrage of questions over the ensuing hours as to make them /happy/ to see her summoned to the Administration Complex the next day. Ut oh indeed! The slip of paper is more than enough to take the fiesty wind out of the weyrling's sails, and by the time she slips into the hallway from the caverns, the paper has been crumpled and flattened back out again so many times that it's hardly recognizeable. Gold-brown eyes flicker around nervously as one door is eyed, then the others in turn, before her gaze finally lands on the council chamber doors at the far end. Gulp.

Instead of coming from the council chamber, it is the door opposite the one from the caverns entrance that the Weyrwoman exits, closing the door to the archives quietly behind her. She looks tired and it certainly has been a short night but she's neat as always though her focus is on the yellowed folder she's carrying rather than where she's going. The woman is definitely preoccupied and doesn't look up as she sets the envelope down atop the shortwave radio in the alcove. She's talking under her breath to someone not visible, perhaps herself but more likely Seryth. "…nothing yet from…try the south…" Some small sound - maybe it's the crackle of that crinkled slip of paper draws her attention and she's back to the immediate task at hand, a quiet smile forming in welcome for Easie. "Ah, Esiae. Good, you're here." She's relaxed enough despite the undercurrent of tension hanging over the Weyr. The girl gets a keen look. "How is Sonyxaeth?" V'dim is nothing if not thorough and she's gotten his reports on them all - in more detail than they'd perhaps like.

Esiae jumps ever so slightly when the door she least expected opens, eyes tearing away from the carved Xanadu badge to fasten on the weyrwoman like a wild firelizard in lamplight. Gosh, guilty much? Esi sighs at her own excitability, fist indeed crumpling about her paper again, drawing the goldrider's attention. She straightens into an appropriate pose, doing all but saluting as she offers a crisp greeting. "Ma'am." Lips can't help but twitch just a bit for Thea's welcoming smile, but she tries awful hard to be all proper and stuff. It lasts all of a minute. "Ah, uhm, she's… well, you know, one thing heals just in time for another thing to break, so she's pretty much the same as always," the weyrling says, eyes rolling in that teenybopper manner she still hasn't shed. "Dragonhealers keep saying she'll grow into herself, but I think we'll run them out of redwort and numbweed, first." There's a smirk for her own joke, but Esi soon sobers, gaze taking in Thea's tired countenance. "Though I feel like I should be asking how you are. Er, ma'am." She's so good at this.

Never too tired to tease subtly, the Weyrwoman maintains eye contact as she slowly raises a hand and salutes the Weyrling in what would be a grave gesture of reminder if it weren't for the dance of silent laughter in her ice green eyes. With a wry smirk, "She'll be our most patchworked queen, at this rate but the upside is she's developing a tough hide. Not in pain, is she?" Again the level look, seeking and perhaps a bit of Seryth seeping inquiringly into Sonyxaeth's mind as gently as wisps of cool evening fog rise from the river in the meadow to curl amongst the grasses. « Not hurting, Little One? » The weyrwoman's smile grows, "We'll make sure the pair of you help harvest and process enough to keep the supply up then, eh?" A wink follows and then she becomes almost brisk, "I'm tired, to be honest, but I'll survive." She exhales a long breath and adds, "Thanks for asking." There's a little pause and she says, "Today we'll begin your training as a Junior Weyrwoman. You'll be having some classes with myself, some with Weyrwoman Briana and some with Weyrwoman Sorrin." Her eyes slide over to Esiae, "Before we get started, do you have any questions for me?"

Esiae immediately snaps the indicated salute, sheepishness and amusement warring across her features. "Sorry," she says, equally wry as she issues a slight snort. "Patchworked indeed. It's true though. She's tough, and she learns her limits fast, right up until some part of her grows huge again. Not much pain, though, no. Doesn't even want the numbweed much anymore, but my brother's a dragonhealer, and when he insists, so do I." Warm summer storms meet Seryth's cool mists, thundering softly where the fronts meet. « No, I am well, thank you. Mine makes sure of it, » Sonyxaeth rumbles, casual jocularity in her tone. The dragon apparently finds her human's attentiveness awful amusing. Esi shakes her head, laughing for Thea's idea for harvesting, but the girl keeps her silence and hears the weyrwoman out before speaking. "I'm glad you'll survive, then. If there's anything that we can do…" She sort of lets that offer hang, not understanding the situation well enough to add more. She visibly brightens for the idea of lessons with the goldriders, though. "Really? I mean, I was told I would have them but I didn't know it'd be this… soon?" Her head shakes for the offer to ask questions, all the morning's badgering out the window with her excitement for the moment. "Not yet, anyways, though I'm sure I'll have some eventually."

Wheels are turning, gears are grinding and things slooooowly clicking into place. Brother. Dragonhealer. And Esiae is from Ista Hold. Pale eyes squint until they are veiled by dark lashes. Hmm. Slowly, "Your brother wouldn't happen to be named… S'gam would he?" Because the obvious hadn't occurred to her yet, because if he was in the observation level watching, Thea was oblivious (thanks Seryth), because she missed most of the hatching feast (yay summer storms that fry sands-heating generators!!) and because life has been a wild whirlwind of activity ever since and if he's come visiting she's missed it while being off on some task or other. At that meeting of stormfront and tranquility Seryth's mists are carried aloft, shooting skyward to rain down in a patter of approval. The unvoiced thought as she withdraws seems to be 'Good - let's keep it that way!' "There is, actually, something you can do to help. While the others are learning security measures and doing night patrol, I'll be going over some of Nova wing's emergency procedures. The first of which is-" her hand gestures to that radio alcove. "-learning to operate that contraption." Yah-hooray-whee-fun seems to be her semi-sarcastic tone. Though she works at keeping the grimace off her face, she does shoot the younger woman a glance of sympathy. To be stuck here when the action is all 'out there'…

Esiae launches a concerned eyebrow for that squint, worried she had perhaps said something wrong. Eyes dart left, then right, and then focus on the weyrwoman's face when she finally clicks all the pieces into place. Cue a wide, roguish grin that could only have been learned from the man in question. "Yeah, that's him. Why, do you know him?" The dragonhealer has probably mentioned or asked about Thea more than once, but such things fly over the heads of oblivious teenagers, especially when they are new impressees. Sonyxaeth's mind thrums at the rainfall with good humor, a thin hum of violins reassuring the older gold as the connection between them wanes. "Oh?" If there's one thing she does better than causing trouble, it's being curious. She leans slightly to one side to better regard the indicated alcove, eyes switching from Thea to the radio and back. "It probably isn't too difficult to prod until it surrenders." Ah, the old beatings-will-continue-until-functionality-improves method. Good. The notion that she'd be stuck inside doesn't really occur to her until Thea makes a face, and even then, the weyrling takes a long moment of pause before shrugging. "Between you'n me, we'd probably sneak off and do something dumb during a night patrol anyways," she says with her own personal brand of blase, farcical frankness. Besides, this can't possibly be without its own rewards, if the too-casual offhand question that follows was anything to judge by, "Just what emergency are we supposed to be… contraptioning about?" Smooth.

Does she know him? Hah! In a very droll tone, she says, "The first time I met him he was drunk." Then she deadpans, "The second time, he was drunk and wearing a skirt." She grins back and says, "I missed him in all his nekkid multi-colored striped glory, thank Faranth, but yes. He's one of my best friends." Aaaaaaaand subject chaaaange! Before they start hearing things they both don't want to, she turns, picks up the envelope, opens it and removes a plas-sheet coated instruction manual. "Briana or Jethaniel will give you your first operator's lesson, but you may look the guide over." She'll just pretend she didn't hear those words 'sneak off' and let her little bubble of security remain as intact as it could be after Laris has demolished it. "It's more of knowing the correct way to phrase requests and tone of voice to use than which buttons to push when." Teenagers are adept at the latter, aren't they? Their parents would certainly say so! What emergency? Thea goes general with this one, "Well, as you know we can communicate quite well between Weyrs via dragonspeak but with the area beholden to Xanadu, that isn't always the case. The holds that don't have a watchrider use a radio to contact us in emergencies. Like when we had those terrible forest fires several turns back. Or floods or if they fall under attack like Rubicon did long ago."

Esiae loses all sense of propriety and laughs outright not once, but twice, slapping her palm against her face in a mockingly disappointed gesture. "Aye, that'd be my brother," she says in a similarly sotto voce tone, complete with a wince and gag at the idea notion of him naked and rainbow-fied. "Oh, uhg, Faranth, things I didn't need my mind's eye to see." She flashes an amused look at the weyrwoman, though, head a-shaking. "I'll be sure to tell him you say hello." Like… immediately, probably. For the moment, though, she accepts the plas-sheeted instructions, eyes flicking over them for a second before peering up again. "Alright, fair enough. They'll give me lessons on that, then, or is that your end of the business?" See! Sometimes teenagers don't push them…! Instead, she listens on, nodding idly to Thea's proposed scenarios. "Always wondered about that, or why we didn't just send a rider to live with them and the like. I know we're not celebrated and welcomed everywhere, but you know." Shrug. "Either way, doesn't sound like it's needed too terribly much. Probably a good thing, yeah?"


Xanadu Weyr - Weyrsecond and Jr Weyrwomans' Office

Office or study? Perhaps this room is a little of both. It is spacious and airy with the big windows opposite the door looking northwards, a perfect aspect when one is this far south. Those windows are framed by dark forest green drapes, soft ribbons and braid in dark, rich gold sewn along the edges to give them a sumptuous look. The back wall is covered by shelves that hold a variety of things - mostly records and reference material as well as writing tools and sheets of hide and paper. Tapestries, including several lovely scenes of the terrain around Xanadu Weyr, cover the rest of the wall-space while a soft, plain off-white rug hides the stone floor. A small, low table sits by the door and usually has some refreshment set out on it.
Several broad desks are arranged around the room, each one set so someone sitting at it doesn't look directly at any of the others. Small screens can be set up on each desk to give a little more privacy and each has one comfortable chair that goes with it. So far, it looks like one desk has a permanent claimant. There are also several other chairs, which can be used by visitors.

"Please do and tell him to get his- himself over to visit. Doesn't that boy ever take a vacation? Weyrleaders are busy but…" She trails off, giving the aging equipment a dubious look. "Some of the holds won't allow a rider to remain others can't afford to pay them. I will definitely be coaching and testing you the first time you use it to speak to the holders." After that, she'll be on her own and ha!!! There may be some interesting convos as a result. "In here…" She's walking to one of the closed doors as she speaks, opening it and gesturing the younger woman inside. "… is the office you'll be sharing with the other Juniors and the Weyrsecond. Those two are taken and the big one is D'had's." Ut oh!!! She'll be sharing an office with the Weyrwoman's weyrmate. There's nothing intimidating about that, is there? Her hand indicates the desks - there are seven in total and each one is different. Some are girlish, with carved and elegant handles, while others are sturdy and austere. "You may chose any one of the vacant ones you wish. And we'll begin afternoons teaching you the basics of the paperwork." She gives Esiae a mock-stern look. "And don't let D'had try to tell you you're supposed to do his paperwork. Trust me, he'll try. He'll do anything to get away with not doing it if he can." At least being younger than some of his daughters she'll probably be safe from his flirting? Maybe? Maybe not.

Esiae smirks for that pointed change in wording. "That I can do. He's not weyrleading anymore, went back into dragonhealing after that pup landed the senior gold, but that doesn't really change things. He makes use of his free days, but doesn't much believe in vacations, no. Once a turn around his turnday and that's about it." She shrugs and rolls the eyeroll of someone that isn't quite so serious about work. Luckily for Thea, she's not going to goof off any time soon, but, well… interesting future conversations with the holders, indeed. Ahem! For now, though, she trots obediently after Thea, peering about the lightly decorated office with a contemplative look. "Alright, well so long as you coach me. Maybe leave me a few phrases they'll expect me to say and the like. Somehow, I don't think studying duties covers how to talk on a radio." She shoots a glance back when the weyrwoman mentions that D'had also shares the space, but if she feels intimidated, it doesn't really show. Instead, she considers the desks, especially one with a certain affinity towards flair against the wall there… And then snickers. "Pardon my saying, ma'am, but considering who I was raised with, there's no way anyone can push work on me that isn't mine, no matter how hard they may try." Granted, she's never met D'had, but satirical indolence has its perks.

Right. He's not Ista's Weyrleader anymore. She hadn't really wanted to say that but hooray for little sisters who don't mind speaking the harsh realities of her big brother's life? She does look a little squicked out at the mention of that 'pup' winning Nziekilth's flight. Ugh. "There's one reason right there I'm thanking Faranth that one moved to when Is'rie left," she mutters half under her breath before shooting Esiae a look. "Pretend you didn't hear that." Okay, so today's lesson isn't exactly Diplomacy 101. "But yeah, I remember he was always pretty dedicated to his dragonhealing." With a handwave at that manual she's given Esiae, she returns to the subject at hand. "The most common ones are all in the back and there's another book in the archives that you'll need to study." There will be quizzes! "But mostly we just talk normally, slowly, clearly and calmly. We tell them only what they need to know, when they need it, which is usually bare bones otherwise they'll keep you answering endless questions." She sounds like she's been there before. There's a laugh about her not being a pushover and a nod of approval. "Alright then, do you see a desk you'd like to claim?" Not that there's any rush - there won't be any new goldriders fighting for them anytime soon. "I'll show you the archives and the council room next."

Esiae coughs back a laugh for the weyrwoman's slip, if one could even call it that, waving the concern away with one hand. "Hear what? I know not of what you speak," she says in a droll tone. She doesn't really even know the riders she's talking of anyways, so it hardly mattered. "Heh. Dedicated is a strong word, but I suppose one has to be, in a profession where lives and livelihoods are on the line. Reasons I was a harper…," she says, trailing off with widened 'that's why' eyes. "Excellent. I'll copy them down and work on remembering them," the weyrling says, tapping the guide against her hand and nodding to the idea of books to study. That much she had figured on. "Keep the holders on a need-to-know basis. Gotcha. It'll be exactly what we always cranked about back at home," she jests. "Though to be fair, there /are/ endless questions from them, so no blame." As for desks… Esiae sidles over to the empty, fancy-ish one she had been eyeing and sets her manual down none-too-subtly. "This one, if that's alright." And tell her who to fight, if it isn't? Maybe. Either way, she was ready when the weyrwoman was, if her interested expression is anything to judge by.

Thea blinks at that droll comment. "You even sound like him," she says after a moment with a chuckle. "I suppose so," she says of S'gam and his dragonhealing. Still, her next comment is a good-natured c'est la vie, "I'd prefer to think of him not burning himself out, but I don't think I was ever one to influence him." She shrugs and notes those wide 'that's why' eyes of Esiae's for a moment, then shakes her head. "Why do I get the feeling that innocence is skin deep and I'm going to be wondering what you're up to in the future?" It's rhetorical, that one and she waves her on to choose her desk, waiting patently while she does so. There's even a reminiscent sort of half smile on her mouth as she leans a shoulder against the doorframe and watches her. "It's fine. Feel free to decorate it - and your area however you like." And so then, on to those chambers where austere and important people have meetings that shake and move Pern - or put it to sleep. The archives are next and Thea gives Esiae a generalized breakdown of who will be covering what (such as Sorrin working with her in the Annex and Briana in the paperwork and archives, Headwoman Ocelara on the Weyr Management and oh yes, you and M'trin will begin attending Weyr meetings from here on out - whee fun?)

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