What Do We Do?

Xanadu Weyr - Caverns

A massive cavern in it's own right, this one has been skillfully adapted for human habitation. The high ceilings have been painted a light, soft ivory, as are the walls where numerous tapestries hang to provide brilliant color and insulation from the stone. The floor has been left in its natural state, pale pink granite speckled through with glittering mica and dark flecks of basalt, leveled carefully but kept sufficiently rough to avoid slips.

The cavern itself is loosely divided into areas, each one set up to be suitable for some segment of the Weyr's population. The most frequently occupied area, however, is the one near the Kitchens where tables of varying sizes provide a place to sit down and eat or chat and a buffet of consumables is almost always kept stocked. Its plain that on most days, this area wouldn't accommodate anywhere near the full population of the Weyr and equally plain that on such occasions when a formal meal is laid out, tables are appropriated from all the other areas.

A big fireplace is set into the wall near the Kitchens as well, several comfortable chairs nearby providing haunts for elderly residents or riders who like a good view of all that happens. Rugs cover the floor in strategic spots, all of them abstract or geometric in design and most in the softly neutral colors of undyed wool.

Exits lead off in all directions, a big archway the largest and that leading outside. Shallow stairs to the west lead to the offices and administration area while tunnels to the east lead to the infirmary, kitchen and resident's quarters. Southwards, a sloping tunnel leads down to the hot springs and southwest is a wide tunnel, carefully roped off to avoid accidents.

The middle month of winter brings with it the coolest weather, sometimes snow, but usually just that icy cold rain as the temperature lingers at just above freezing. Today is neither of those, however, for the sky is clear, though a strong wind is quickly chilling the Weyr. Inside, Niva has made herself comfortable near the fire while they attempt to fix the broken window in her office, and a variety of letters and notices have been brought with her, spread over her lap.

Bells, the jingling of metal work, Espenetta's already in the caverns her eyes focused on a smile pile of gems from a waist pouch and small set of brackets. She's working carefully examining the gems. "Hmm.. the miners wouldn't give me the best ones." she murmurs. "Well I guess this is what I get for being impatient." she says to herself holding the stone up to the fire-light. All the gems are very clear six,four,ten and twelve sized gems.

The chill day has driven Jessamin indoors, in a flurry of skirts, sewing basket, and firelizard wings. Two browns, a blue, and a green protest the foul weather in no uncertain terms, before winging their way to settle down near the fire. "Good idea." The seamstress is not long in following, flopping down in a chair near the hearth as well, and setting her sewing basket down nearby. With a nod and small smile to the other two women present, she plucks a few pieces of colorful fabric from her basket, all in the shape of elongated hexagons, and begins stitching them together in long rows—no one fabric seeming to repeat in the piece.

The sound of metal work and firelizards alike is enough to distract the weyrwoman, hazel eyes lifted from the letters, a scowl crossing her face, particularly as the firelizards settle nearby. But, after a moment, she merely sighs, shaking her head and going back to her letter. *That* however, doesn't last long either before its thrown to the table next to her with an exasperated sigh, and her attention goes again to the two noisy ones. Hm.

Espenetta raises her eyes as at the sound of the firelizards. The gems laid out next to her probably make could distractions but she keeps her eyes on her gems, knowing the proclivities of firelizards. She smiles. "Hello!"

Jessamin winces at the exasperated sigh of the Weyrwoman, and is quick to put her stitching away. With a soft trilling, she calls to her flits; the two browns respond, but the blue and green seem more inclined to stay by the fire. None of them seem interested in Espenetta's gems. As Jess gets to her feet, now it is her turn to look exasperated, sending that trilling call to the remaining two flits. "Come on, we'd better find somewhere else to work." She shoots an apologetic look to Niva—just in time for the flits to protest leaving the warmth of the hearth in no uncertain terms. Her cheeks pinken with embarrassment at the situation, and she looks as if she just wants to sink into the floor.

As Jessamin hurriedly gets up, Niva shakes her head hurriedly, flicking her fingers at the seamstress. "Not you." She mutters, before she waves her hand at the discarded letter. "Every right just seems to go horribly.. wrong." Niva tries to explain, gaze shifting to the girl with the gems, nodding, the slightest smile on her face. "At least one person is happy.." Her tone is a bit sad, hands resting one more on the pile of letters and notes.

Espenetta looks up. The knot catches her attention. "Weyrwoman." she breaths in a form of greeting. She moves to look at the woman. "Am I distrubing you?" she asks softly.

Jessamin simply nods, her chagrined look shifting more to one of concern. With cheeps of confusion, her two browns rejoin their fairemates by the hearth, the four soon trilling and singing softly amongst themselves. She settles back down in the chair, picking up her sewing again. A brightly colored pink and purple piece is the next to be added on to the row, pinned on with great care. "Weyrwoman… what's wrong?" Her tone is just as soft, a bit hushed as she voices her worry.

Niva glances at Espenetta, shaking her head, flicking her fingers. "Not at all." And the stack of letters are shoved into a neat stack before they're stuck down the side of the chair next to her. Jessamin's question has Niva tilting her head. "The Istan.. Weyrwoman.." It seems that its a title that Niva is hard pressed to say, "Is determined to prove that we are the ones to blame for the.. problems at Ista." And a shake of her head, and Niva flicks her fingers. "They're arresting our riders, for looting."

Espenetta sits back. "What?!" she almost stands up but keeps her seat. "That's crazy, why would riders loot?"

Jessamin turns white as a sheet, her sewing dropped into her lap. "You can't be serious? Our riders… Ista… they'd never do that! Ista…" She shakes her head, gone silent as she presses her lips together in a thin line.

"They aren't.. At least, not any riders that truly belong here…" Niva says, voice soft and frowning. "We've been sending food, medicine, blankets, anything the Healers need, and they accuse us of looting, of taking advantage of their troubles.." Niva's head shakes. A nod at the papers. "I've been promised casualty listings, once they're in, even if I'd not otherwise get them."

Espenetta thinks. "Do you think someone is perhaps 'framing' the Weyr, a few disgruntled people?"

"I think that… That disgruntled people are looking for someone to blame, and we're easy targets.." Niva comments after a moment of consideration, flicking her fingers. "I'm not entirely uncertain that people didn't just.. grab what they could, when they were evacuated.."

Grimacing, Jessamin nods, taking in everything the Weyrwoman is saying. "How could they think that of us, though… all we've done here is try to help my…" She trails off then, shaking her head and picking up her stitching again. Silence reigns for some moments, before she looks up again. "If riders can't go, can flits make it through?"

Niva flicks her fingers. "I don't hide the fact that.. Weyrwoman Ysa and I do not see eye to eye. Nor that those Istan bronzeriders are more trouble than they're worth. But people in need are, just that, people in need." Its a rather disgusted tone that takes over her voice. "To accuse us of taking advantage of that.." Niva shakes her head. Her gaze slowly drifts to the firelizards, a soft hum. "It would depend on who's there to see them appear. if they're banded. If.." And she shakes her head with a sigh.

Jessamin chews her lower lip for a moment. "What about sending flits to the Healers there with smaller supplies? I can't see even Ysa saying no to Healers."

Espenetta thinks. "Well groups of flits carrying baskets of items? You need to orchestrate it but with a few Queens to lead it.." she nods."

"We had been sending smaller things, through the Healers themselves. They.. They're saying that they're just leaving the things to rot. That, they don't need our help. Unless we had specific people, to make sure it goes into the right hands.." Niva shakes her head, with a soft sigh. "I'd be afraid it all goes to waste, until we have.. inside help."

Jessamin grimaces, her distress plain; Madder, the older of her two browns, crowhops over to her from where he rests by the fire, and climbs up into her lap, eyes whirling with sunset hues of concern. She strokes his hide idly for a few minutes, the soothing croon doing little to settle her. Finally, she seems to reach some sort of decision. Her gaze is turned full upon Niva, and the words seem equally as hard for her to speak, as similar were for the Weyrwoman just minutes ago. "I don't know if it will help… but I was born and raised in Ista. When I came here… it wasn't hard to see that my home wasn't exactly in favor here, so I'd kept it to myself."

Espenetta thinks. "Could you return to Ista?" she asks Jessa. "Perhaps play out inside person, though it'd look 'bad' in a way just returning to help out, do you have family there you could visit?"

Niva flicks her fingers at Jessamin's worry, shaking her head. "You are neither Weyrwoman Ista, nor an overeager Istan bronzerider spreading the flu to the far flung reaches of Pern. In fact, I would be hard pressed to believe that you were even *alive* when the rift began to form." Niva says firmly, trying to set worries to ease, before glancing at Espenetta. "I was told that Xanadu riders will be arrested on sight, I'd be afraid to risk it."

Jessamin just shakes her head to Espenetta. "I wish I did have family still there. My father passed about two Turns or so back in a runner accident, and my mother went the Turn after. The only one that might still be alive is my younger brother, but he took their deaths pretty hard, and took off. I've never been able to find him." Her gaze is turned to the fire, the hypnotic flicker of the flames keeping her somewhat centered for the moment.

Espenetta thinks. "Hmm.. what about sending someone who's not a rider?" she asks. "My family are traders, I can ask my mother to trade goods and supplies to Ista," she points out. "Get things on the inside."

"I.. would hate to put your family in danger, though.." Niva comments, with a frown spreading to her forehead, brow wrinkling as she considers the options. "I'm not sure what, beyond what Istan riders themselves are carrying, would be allowed in." A frown at Jessamin, and she nods slowly.

"Maybe I was fairly young when the rift began to form… if I was even around… but are you sure there's nothing either of us can do to help? You can't ignore people in need, even if you don't see eye to eye." Jess' worried look is shifting into one of determination, and one can almost hear the gears turning inside her head.

Espenetta thinks. "My family are traders, in a sense danger is apart of us." she returns. "Best to send us in, we can at least trade things with no allegiances attached."

Niva shakes her finger at each of them in turn. "For now, be patient. If.. you know anyone there, write them, and see what they'll tell you.." At Espenetta's offer, Niva nods slowly. "We'll arrange for passage for your family as close as we can, but.." Niva shakes her head with a sigh. "I hope it is okay, in the end."

Espenetta nods. "Thanks. My family will do what it can to help both sides."

Patient, nothing! Though Jessamin nods, one is perhaps left to wonder just how much longer she can be patient. "For now." The arm of her chair is the recipient of a firm blow from her fist, the most frustrated anybody has, or probably will, see her.

As a worker appears from the Administration Hallway, Niva carefully gathers up the papers from beside her, standing up to look at both of them. "I'll send a letter to your family then, miss." She says politely, gaze flicking back and forth. "Both of you, however, need not do anything stupid." She offers as a warning, the narrowed gaze of a mother, before she's disappearing to check out her new window.

Espenetta nods her head, Niva's gaze is enough to make her shrink back into her chair and furiously finish her stone setting.

Jessamin's frustration seems to simmer down somewhat at that look from Niva, even drawing something of a smile from her. "Oh, I won't be doing anything stupid…." The gauntlet has been thrown down. Just what -will- she do now? How long will she wait before acting? Appearing placid and calm for now, she returns her attention to her quilting, the one safe haven she has for the time being.

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