Galaxy's New Wingleader is... Darsce?

Xanadu Weyr - Wingleaders' Ready Room

Attempts have been made to brighten this windowless room by painting the walls white and installing overhead lighting, but the fact remains that it is rather a utilitarian, sparsely furnished and cramped room. The center is taken up by a large wooden table finished in a pale, natural hue around which a dozen chairs are pulled. Pen holders and stacks of paper are placed at intervals down the center of the table, while small locking wall cabinets provide a safe place for wing journals to be kept. On one wall is a large whiteboard with a calendar on one side and a corkboard on the other to which various notices have been pinned. Around the room's perimeter are another dozen chairs of the same make as those around the table - metal-framed and armless, the wooden seats and backrests finished to match the tabletop. They allow for the wings, the leaders who share this room, to take turns holding meetings inside, but leave little room for maneuvering.

The only saving grace to this 'no frills' workroom is it's proximity to Xanadu's Council Room, which is right next door and the access to the library of scrolls, hides and books kept in there. It's quite possible this was once a closet for the overflow of records, for the lingering scent of ink and hides assails one the moment upon stepping through the door

Of course since this whole renegade thing came about, Galaxy has been non-stop in their sweeps and searches. The wingleader is determined and too stubborn to declare the search a failure. Currently, there's a small gathering of wingriders sitting amongst the tables, while Ers'lan is standing at a relatively big copy of a map posted to a wall, with several circles drawn, each one larger than the last, each marked by 'days' that have gone by, each growing as days slip by. There's also dockets of each ship that has left port since the incident and reports on caravans and runners that have left the area. Ers'lan finishes muttering something to one of the wingriders, pointing on a section of the map, "Reckon iffin he be takin a ship, he can be this far…" he streams his finger toward some of the islands and boarders of other land masses, "Iffin he did. We be havin dragons be stoppin each of the ships that left port, 'n searchin their hulls, only fer nuthin…" He shakes his head, "We need to issue a warning." The brownrider states to the room of listening ears, the most experienced of the Galaxy wing by the looks of them, "We be havin no hide nor hair of 'em… He still be here, I reckon…" There's some agreement amongst those at the tables, though protests as well, some saying the search was futile with all the jungle, others chiding those thoughts. Each voice is heard and opinion carried in some thoughtful appraisal, a frown on Ers'lan's brow as he considers.

Darsce strolls into the wingleader's ready room without so much as knocking, her voice barely giving warning as she pushes the door wider and strolls right on in, "Hey if anyone in here is mid-makeout, look alive - you're not alone!" Pause, "Anymore." Well you never know about these people around here, right? She's just been in the Weyrwoman's office - perhaps interrupting a visit her father and Thea, so maybe that explains her comment? Oh and will you look at that? There's a meeting going on! "Sorry I'm late." Not looking the least repentant for interrupting about that, she continues further into the room, finding an empty seat and drops into it like she belongs there. "I'll just… sit here," she says casually to Ers'lan with a negligent flip of her hand for him to carry on and a sunny smile given to the room in general.

The chatter that was going on between the wingriders seems to dim somewhat when the young woman strolls in and denounces anyone for making-out, if they were. A few of them show scowls, a few of them seem to not care, and some look to their current wingleader. Ers'lan regards Darsce with a level look, his blue eyes following her as she tracks in and finds a seat at the table, as if she belonged to the meeting and the discussion. Needless to say, he hadn't seen her since he for some reason earned that punch in his stomach and then got the apology for it later. Well, he doesn't hide the look of suspicion that crosses his features now, asking bluntly, "Can I help you?"

Correction: Darce apologized to the dragon not the rider. Though given the translation, perhaps Zhaoth softened that somewhat. The blonde looks not one whit uncomfortable to have eyes upon her; she's reveling in it if anything. The question from Galaxy's wingsecond appears to be seriously considered for several long moments. "Nope. Carry on. I'll catch up," says the young woman blithely. Her seat is pushed back a little in the close quarters of the stuffy closetlike room so she can lift one shapely leatherclad leg and rest one of her fancy high-heeled boots on the tabletop, followed by the other and tip her chair back a tad. Ahh! Better. Her hand is pulled from her pocket, forefinger raises and there's a blur of blue, gold and silver as something is twirled around rapidly just below a red-lacquered nail.

Ers'lan tilts his chin in a stubborn defiance to continue with the interruption of an additional person not normally privy to such conversations. The others at the table can sense it just as well and their chatting seems to diminish to the odd mutter or slurp as they nibble on the platter brought in for the duration of the meeting. "Reckon ye must've mistaken us fer weavers… I reckon they be a few doors down 'n they'll be talking of more suitable things fer a model ta hear." He watches her, the arrogance of the woman now scathing at him, prickling underneath the flesh like he never knew anyone could… it must be D'had's blood in her or something. Ers'lan steps over toward her, walking around the table to where she tips her chair back, "Unless ye'd be so kind as ta offer us a good reason why yer 'ere ta grace us with yer presence? Enlighten us…"

Darsce snorts. "I am not a weaver, nor are there crafters offices in this administration wing," the young woman answers him a touch haughtily, but mostly with unfeigned amusement dancing in her iceblue eyes. "I was a designer/merchant but now-" She interrupts herself to allow what's on her finger to slow down and stop spinning, revealing a Galaxy knot. But not just any Galaxy knot. This one has a silver cord and tassle. The knot is pinned to her shoulder, with exaggerated care, taking her time while doing it. "Now I'm your wingleader. So." One hand flutters him back to the head of the room, "You may finish giving me report." And she beams first at him very sweetly, then the room in general. There are a few snorts of muffled laughter following that. Yeah, right. The girl doesn't even have a dragon.

That's right, Ers'lan was just an acting Wingleader - the swirling knot that gets pinned to the girl's shoulder declares as much, but more than that, the insult from the Weyrleaders for not coming to tell him his lead was at an end. Of course, the snorts and the muffled laughs and the bug-eyed stares seem to make him come back to the room instead of where his mind was. One of the wingriders in fact stands with both hands slapping on the table for the insult, demanding with a haughty voice, "Just what do they think they're playing at, sending us a girl without a dragon to lead? The Weyrleader must've-" Ers'lan sends a casual glance at him and signals for the man to sit. There's a bit of grumbling from the gruff rider, who is very much graying and very much traditional in his roots. Ers'lan notes to the room, seemingly ignoring the young woman's askance for the meeting to continue, "Reckon we be finishin this later. Ye know yer routes, see to it tha' the sweeps are kept double fer now." Most of the riders get up and go, some grumbling, others giving salutes to both Ers'lan and Darsce, some straggling… In the end, Ers'lan waits for the last member to walk out, his eyes returning to Darsce, "Iffin ye really be the wingleader now, t'would hear it from the Weyrleader himself or the Weyrwoman. Anythin else be an insult."

"Meeting adjourned, you may all be dismissed!" Sings out Darsce on the heels of Ers'lan's ending to the meeting she's so casually interrupted. Oh and SU-WEEEEET! They're saluting her, so she flips a casual salute back to the ones who do. When the room is empty, she tilts the brownrider a long look, then snorts and rolls her eyes, "Who put that stick up your behind? You need to get over yourself. Insult my foot! You aren't nearly as important as you think you are. And you-" She rises languidly, one manicured nail tap-tapping the center of his chest while a slow smile curves her lips, " Can be replaced, Wingsecond. But I think I'll keep you - your dragon's a handsome devil." And then she lifts her hand, the finger coyly tickling the underside of his chin while leaning in and giving him a sultry, smoldering look while they remain eye to eye just before she presses her lips to his in a smoking-hot kiss. Not waiting to see his reaction to this, she spins out of his reach, dances to the door, pauses there to blow him a saucy kiss, "Bye!" Then she ducks out with a waggle of fingers. Darce - and the knot are gone.

Ers'lan notes the ones saluting the young woman, with a casual flick of his eye, but he'll remember their names and clock them later for it. For now, he has to suffer Darsce making a show of taking the lead. His lips thin as she starts to concern herself with him, saying nothing to the fact that she was absolutely right in the fact that he could be replaced, easily. He had no doubt. He's about to say something in response to it, truly, his mouth looking to move and open slightly, but that's when her manicured nail taps the center of his chest and that smile seems to take him off guard. It's easy for him to forget what he was so angry at when she's tickling that finger underneath his chin and giving him that smoldering gaze. Eye to eye, he doesn't get much a chance to do anything as she presses her lips against his - well, except for return it! Only a fool would stand there star-struck! Maybe he's a little dazed and all he can think about are those lips on his! His eyes widening and his fingers twitching as if meaning to grab a hold of her… Well, before he can get his hands solidly on her hips, she's spinning out of his reach, leaving the poor man to watch haplessly after her dancing form. His lips remain parted in his shock, his eyes tracking her to note the saucy kiss and waggle of fingers. Well, she doesn't stay behind to watch what he does, but he's following after a time. The base of his instincts currently overwhelmed everything else, he even forgot the anger and perhaps even the care of responsibility. A smooch like that had promises of something else… or so this man thinks? He'll go and find out…

Continued in The Probability of Death and a Nonrider-Wingleader's Mutiny

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