A Task

This log follows immediately after A Great Plan Gone Wrong.


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.

Fifteen minutes later, in the Senior Weyrwoman's office…. Nicca is nowhere to be seen, though a second mug of klah sits, still steaming, on the table in the middle of the room. Niva, however, is most definitely there, standing straight behind the table, arms folded over her chest, the woman attempting at least to look imposing as she waits for a particular brownrider.

O'ric likely doesn't need the imposing stance to make him worried, after all those passing 15 minutes have felt like a lifetime and now he looks more like he's marching to his doom than just going to see his girlfriend's mother. His clothing is neat, his best leathers, his hair has been brushed to within an inch of it's life, and the expression on his face is one of pure dread. On the way to the door his palms start sweating, and suddenly his collar feels far too tight to breathe. He pauses, swallowing, trying to find some courage from somewhere. His knock is tentative at best, and unlike some he's not about to go bursting in uninvited.

"Come in, O'ric." Niva says evenly, her words likely carefully picked to unnerve him even further, slowly beginning to walk around the table as she looks him over, an eyebrow arching slightly as she catches the look on his face. "And close the door behind you." She says as she pauses, reaching for her mug to take a slow sip of it, eyes never leaving the brownrider as she does so.

O'ric may have been invited, but it's more like someone dumped a bucket of cold water over him instead. He actually glances at his hands, expecting them to be dripping but finding them vaguely dry. Turning his back for a second, a move her quickly regrets and half turns back to her (not so easy o get a knife in your back then) he closes the door as ordered. Turning back to face her again he tries to keep his face as neutral as possible, hands clasped behind his back.

"I hope you enjoyed your afternoon's activities." Niva starts as soon as the door is closed, moving to push out a chair for O'ric to settle in, the Weyrwomand remaining standing as the mug of klah returns to the table. "Fun time is over, though, O'ric, and the two of you actually need to do what the Weyr is supporting you to do." She flicks her fingers at a pile of correspondance on the desk. However, the rest of her words seem to take on a completely different subject, a subject that O'ric likely knows about even as Niva begins to give only the most basic, need to know, details. "Lord Toban has been looking, it seems, for a new wife. Including exchanging letters for the last many sevendays with Lady Ryeira's daughter, under the guise of an alliance with her brother, as best as I can tell."

O'ric mumbles something that is most likely "Yes ma'am." though to which part of her speech it refers is unclear. As she seems to change tactic he blinks at her, confused, expecting something far more wrathful. As he sits down, carefuly, having first glanced to see if one of the chair legs is sawn halfway through, he makes a point of sitting in such a way that certain appendages are blocked from access. "I… um… yes ma'am, I had heard his wife was no longer at home."

"I expect that the young Ryna is not the only one he has been playing such tricks with. And that his attentions will shift elsewhere, given the reception he received at Black Rock this afternoon." Niva smirks at little at the memory before she settles across the table from him, leaning just a bit across the table to look at him more closely. "I expect you to find out you he's been talking to. Any way you need to." And she straightens up in her hair then, shoulders pushed back straight. "I've already sent Nicca to pack."

O'ric tries to make his leaning back away from Niva look as casual as possible, "An..any way I need to . Yes ma'am." Nervously he nods, "Is there perhaps a list of eligible women that you know of that we can have access to? I know it's not Keroon since that's where his wife is." His mouth suddenly clamps shut, and he tries his best to hide the wince that follows to give away the fact he already knows more about this than he's letting on. When she mentions Nicca packing he blinks, taking it completely the wrong way. "Please dont' send her away. It's not her fault. She just… we were… it was my fault, please don't tkae it out on her."

Niva arches an eyebrow as O'ric mentions Toban's wife being at Keroon, the corners of her mouth curving up a bit as he winces. "Is there anything else that you know, O'ric, about Lady Johanna?" The comment of the list goes unanswered, particularly as O'ric goes rambling on about it being his fault, her mouth curving into a full-blown smile at that point as she shakes her head, getting back on her feet. "You need her, to have an excuse to talk to the majority of them, and she needs you to get there." She flicks her fingers at him, as she reaches for her klah again. "Besides, I refuse to have one or the other of you hanging around, sulking."

"Sulking." O'ric repeats after a moment of out and out staring, "Um… ma'am we're not… I mean, she's just a.. yes ma'am, no sulking." Deciding it's easier to just run with the idea and not try to explain the messy situation they're in he goes back to the other, far safer, topic. "The Lady's at Keroon, on her own it seems, the children aren't there so I can only assume they're still with their father til he can marry them off. She seems to have some new runners with her, and I think the one Nicca was sold was one of them, they're… not right. I don't know. Scared, almost."

Niva watches him, headtilted, as he seems to try and explain, but instead just goes in a verbal circle, shaking her head with a roll of her eyes, murmuring something akin to 'whatever you say' before he's going back to the topic of Lady Johanna at Keroon. "If they aren't right, I don't want Nicca riding it. Don't think I don't know that you were the one she ran to, either." She throws that in absently, before she turns to look at the map of the region up on the wall, one hand lifting, fingers resting at the bridge of her nose as she tries to think, to gather her thoughts. "I expect you to leave in the morning. You'll have your list."

O'ric nods slwoly, not entirely sure why this conversation is not heading in the direction he expected, "Yes ma'am. She was talking about wanting to send it back, but I think perhaps it might be better if someone with a little more authority took it back considering the circumstances, wouldn't want the Lady getting hurt if she tried to ride it or one of the others." Or worse, but he doesn't add that out loud, his expression does all the talking for him. There's a slight wince at the dig about Nicca running to him after her fall, and at the order to leave in the morning he nods. "Ma'am can I just…." He pauses, trying to think of how to word things, "Can I just check. We are allowed to come back, right?"

"I'll take care of it while you're gone. I'm not going to have that runner here, incase someone else takes it upon themselves to try and break it in." Niva seems to agree with his statement about it needing to be returned by a person of authority. However, its not until his question that she's actually turning around, looking at him confused for a moment, before she's actually chuckling softly. "I expect you to come back. How else am I suppose to know what you managed to find out?" She asks softly, leaning back against the wall as she does so, arms folded over her chest. "Letters? Letters go lost, or get read by people who they shouldn't be read by." Oh, she certainly knows of that little transgression of Nicca's.

"So you're not sending us away?" It sounds stupid to O'ric even as he says it, but he continues on with a clarification, "Oceleth and me?" He pauses, looking hopeful for a moment before trying to bring back that faked neutrality he was trying to work on. He blinks for a moment, trying to remember what else she was saying as his mind goes off on another tangent, then nods "Letters… letters are fine, but only if you havea code worked out before hand, then the most innocuous of things can be read in a much different way."

Niva continues to chuckle a little bit at his question, shaking her head. "Were you not listening, O'ric? One daughter sulking for months on end was quite enough." A little huff as punctuation, and she shakes her head. "I do strongly suggest discretion, though, while the two of you are at the holds. I'd rather not have a cross-continental incident." Rolling her eyes, she shoos at him. "Why are you still here? You have packing to do. I'll send the list. And tell them to leave it outside. Though I suspect you'll remember the lock from now on, am I correct?" And from the look, its more than merely a suggestion.

O'ric nods, but from the look of him he doesn't entirely believe the words coming out of Niva's mouth - as if any second now she might should 'gotcha' and then he'd really be in trouble. His "Yes ma'am." regarding discretion is quickly followed by a hasty standing up. "Um… the door doesn't actually close all the… yes ma'am." He sticks with the safer reply, then turns tail and flees before she changes her mind and does actually search for a gelding knife.

"And O'ric.." She calls out after him as he flees, a perfectly sweet - and certainly too sweet - smile on her face as she does so. "I would strongly suggest not hurting my daughter." And there's the mean part of Niva that he's likely been waiting for. "I would hate to hear that you upset her." And then, she's offering a little waggle of her fingers after him, waiting til he's cleared the office and the Hall before she's working on that list.

O'ric might not reply with words but the trip that happens as he leaves the office is perhaps enough to confirm that the message got through It's with a mix of joy and panic he heads back to his cottage with, running the whole way there until he feels safe - she can't reach there surely, even her arms aren't that long.

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