Report From Galaxy's Wingleader

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.

The choice was for the ready room, considering most of the information about the operation was currently sprawled out over the table and tacked onto the boards and walls of the room. There was still a platter of munchies on the table since his interruption from Darsce scattered his wing, leaving behind the food they didn't take with or munch on while they were in. There's a pitcher of water, nothing else. Ers'lan waited until Thea was in to close the door behind her, breathing a noisy sigh as if he had just undergone something that exhausted him. Maybe Darsce did? Or the matter of what she presented to him… unwavering faith? Whatever the case for the huff, he invites Thea to sit with a gesture and moves to fetch himself a pint of water. He downs it in less then four gulps, then begins, "We be needin ta issue a Weyr-wide warnin…" he states flatly, putting his cup down as he shifts to the maps where circles are drawn to indicate the approximation a man could get to on foot, "Reckon he narh be anywhar, leavin us narh a trace. Be it he double backed 'n is hiding 'ere or close by." He thumbs the Weyr and the areas around it, "Tis whar I would do. Hidin in plain sight be a queer notion, but it be workin iffin ya wait long nuff. Just long nuff ta get a ride on a ship or flinch a runner from the stables." He doesn't suggest anyone would give the man a ride on dragonback, however notes, "'N thar no be tellin whar those independent riders be doin, a fair is a fair to 'em. A man pay more fer no questions be asked." He shifts back to Thea, dropping his arm from the map, having gotten right into business but yet, not quite explaning the warning he'd like issued.

Having turned into the wingleader's ready room out of consideration for Ers'lan and assuming his papers and research will be in here, the Weyrwoman foregoes sitting for the moment with a half-smiled headshake. "Thanks, but I've been sitting all day," she says dryly, remaining standing - for the moment anyway. Her eyes drift over the table and that tray of leftovers with a faint dismay. "I'll order the kitchen supervisor to have a drudge check the room more regularly for you," she tacks onto that while sending him a puzzled look for that longsuffering sigh of his. She, of course, has no idea what else Darsce did other than sneak-wear his new knot, so her assumption is he's tired. "I know the extra sweeps-" But his comment about a Weyr-wide warning interrupts that. One dark brows lifts, "We've…been under a Weyr-wide warning since Laris disappeared. You knew that. Do you mean we need to issue a new one? I never assumed he's far away. He could be anywhere." He'd know, as all her wingleaders and wingseconds do, that the guards remain tripled since the child was found.

"An addendum iffin ya will it so," he waves aside her mention of the warning they already have, continuing when he's given the chance, "I reckon we ought ta make it a… recommendation tha folks be travelling in pairs, until he be caught. I reckon I be havin a bad feelin bout him tryin ta get back in and disguising himself as a guard. Tis all he would need ta do ta get a runner or some such thing." A beat, "'N I recommended ta the dock master 'n the stable master that they be vigiliant bout checkin the hulls before lettin them get away. Could be a man takes ta hidin in a box or somethin, stowin away." He considers, "Iffin folk be doublin up 'n watching out fer one another, then we be knowin who walks bout without a partner may be 'im… iffin he be in the Weyr. Iffin not, jus a precaution tha be ensurin people stay safe 'n accounted fer." Everything else, from his sigh, to her interrupted comment, to her advisory about the drudges checking the room - momentarily forgotten as he expresses his concerns.

Thea listens carefully, eyes on the Galaxy wingleader for the duration of his commentary. "If he's not lying dead out there half-eaten by felines - though my foresters haven't found his carcass - he slipped away before we knew he was wanted. So in truth, he could already have taken a runner or passage by ship or dragon easily enough. But he doesn't think like normal folk; he certainly could still be around." She lifts her eyes, nods about the shipmasters keeping an eye on their hulls and cargo. "Good thinking though, on that." She mulls his suggestion over, "We can do that, issue an addendum to the warning. And I'll go one further - travelers should be armed or hire a guard to go with them if they are able. But we can't make them do it, Ers'lan. Once they're out of the Weyr, they're beyond Xanadu's authority, really. But I still want the Weyr's children to stay out of the forests. That we can enforce." As for knowing who is who, she ahhs. "Hang on." She slips from the room, returns after a few moments with a stack of small, four-inch sketches, enough for each of his wingriders. "The harpers finally finished copying the pictures of Laris. Both Soriana and I knew what he looked like. And Laurali was invaluable in aiding the harper doing the composite. It looks just like him."

"Reckon he could be findin folks out thar who be knowin how to tame felines-" that unsolved riddle from long ago, the felines that seemed to not fear men as they should, who walked closer than normal to the Weyr. It still bothered the man that the feline problem had not been solved, as it should've been. By now, new cubs and litters have been born to replenish the ones they killed. "Aye, could be gone, could be 'ere… point bein we dun narh know, do we?" He does nod to the part of being armed, "Reckon I was bout ta get thar myself in me own recommendations, but, an armed man or woman who be narh knowin how ta use a weapon be jus as vulnerable as iffin they did narh have one in the first place. T'would be wise ta pull in some experts on weapon handlin 'n self defense." Always a good time to brush up on such things! As for the youngins, he does agree with another bob of his head, eyes watching as she slips from the room. By the time she's back, he's taken a seat, rubbing his forehead as he holds up a piece of parchment in front of him, likely some report by a sweep or another map. Either way, it's put down when Thea returns, eyeing the pictures that eventually are placed in his hands. "Ah, tis helpful this…Men can always be seein better with a vision of whom they be lookin fer." Not that descriptions prior to the pictures weren't used. "I will be passin this out then, see that these be makin the rounds…" and one likely to post up in the wingleaders ready room - for all the wingleaders of the Weyr to see.

Taming the felines? That's the look on Thea's face - one of perplexed horror. "From the stories I've heard, they're lovable for turns right until they unexpectedly turn on their tamers and rip them to shreds." She shudders, adding, "If he does find such crazy folk, they're welcome to him. It'll save our search efforts." But she doesn't completely knock the idea. "Best leave no stone unturned. As long as we are able to keep searching, we will." She begins pacing the room slowly, in deep thought. "No, we don't know for sure where he is, but Ers'lan, we can't go on like this forever. If we haven't found him by the beginning of Summer, we'll just have to assume he's fled the area. Our riders can't go on double-triple sweeps patrols without becoming exhausted. And S&R's main priority remains as it was. Should there be an accident, the other wings can keep looking." His comment about travelers knowing how to handle weapons finds her biting back something and instead mildly saying with a shrug, "Feel free to help the guards teach self-defense classes to those who want or need them? Many of our Weyrfolk already know the use of some weapon and all our Weyrlings get self-defense classes, but you knew that. The holders, well. I'll pass the suggestion along with the pictures they're going to get." All the wingriders will be getting pictures and poster-sized ones will be everywhere soon enough. She stops pacing to peer down at him, "Was there anything else?"

Ers'lan does seem aggrieved at the notion of not finding their man, though he consents to the end of the search nevertheless, "Aye. T'would be best iffin we could do it sooner, iffin that flushes 'em out into the open. He be stayin hidin fer as long as we be huntin." A shrug, "Tis up ta Xe'ter 'n yerself, upon when we be ending it." If it were up to him, he'd likely search until the man was stalked half way across Pern - unfortunately there just weren't any clues to go on. Nothing but the fact of a description, at any rate, and now a picture. For the weapons, he shakes his head, "Reckon I be narh havin the time ta teach no one how ta swing an axe or hold a knife. Best leave it ta the folks ta be choosin who be wanting ta learn." He steeples his fingers in front of him, left with a pondering look before he sighs, "Nay. Nothin else pressin. Thank ye fer hearin me out."

The Weyrwoman agrees heartily, "Yes, it certainly would!" There's an understanding glint in her eyes for his doggedness. The Weyr wouldn't run if they hunted down every criminal across Pern, however she does murmur, "It has always bothered me that the renegade murderer Kefai got away too." So she does know how hard it is to let things like this go. "All we can do right now is keep our lands as safe as we can and each Weyr and Hold does the same. If they need help, they have but to ask and we'll be there for them." Another glance at those maps of his and she nods, flickering a sly smile over at him at his word of thanks, "You're doing a fine job, Ers'lan. I have confidence in your abilities. Otherwise Darsce would be wingleader. Right?"

"Tis like they say, after the first forty eight hours be going by, tis a case gone cold…'n hard ta solve…" He tosses the sheaves of paper with the murderer's face upon it, to the middle of the pile of work they've been drawing up to see if they could hunt him down. "I reckon I wanted ta bring him in, ta do good fer you 'n the Weyr…" And his first mission as Wingleader is set to be a failure, another renegade slipping through unchecked, a humiliation that could cost them more than their reputation. Her last has him snort, adding to the remark of Darsce being the wingleader, "'N whar a fine mess we'd be in then, aye."

Even though she cares about it, Thea doesn't worry much about reputation. Lives are another story, however. "We'll do our best; that's all anyone expects, Ers'lan. We may nab him yet, one never knows." Said in attempt to counter that look she's seeing on his face. She does, however, chuckle a touch wickedly about his assessment of Darce. "Fine indeed." The girl would mess with the wing alright! She's heading out the door then, pausing right after she's opened it. "Oh, that reminds me. Xe'ter and I have a special assignment for your wing. When we were discussing Laris earlier, D'had reminded me that there's a place Kefai's renegades made into a hideout about sixteen turns ago back in the dry mountains across the plains. I'll get the map for you. Take your best half-wing and check it out, will you? Never hurts to keep an eye those remote places." They've all been giving this some thought and planning.

Ers'lan lifts his brow at the special assignment, taking note of it easily as he shifts in his chair, changing where his weight falls upon it. "Aye, can do…" he agrees easily enough, not much for him to do but that! The man at least has some interest working its way back into his person, his eyes flickering over toward the roster which marks the names of those in his.. yes.. his wing. That's new. "Reckon once ya be getting those maps to us, I be drafting up a team ta go see whar thar be, iffin anything."

"Right on it," the Weyrwoman says with a touch of the same sauce Darsce might have used. Same family for sure, even if it's step-mom here. She salutes Ers'lan as she steps out the door, "Come get them then. I've got Things to Do." And her list is long, much longer than his. Who needs sleep?

Ers'lan grunts as he pushes himself out of the chair - who needs sleep indeed. The man saunters along after her, sending a regretful look back at the chair he's not likely to see the rest of the night. Too much to do.

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