Mail Call (Vignette)

Xanadu Weyr - Steward's Office
The office of the Steward is a place for things to pass through. On the side of the wooden desk nearest the door are a pair of boxes labeled In and Out. The center of the desk provides a place to process those papers, with a set of draftsman's tools - pens, pencils, rulers and compasses - tucked in a small wooden box. The computer, as it receives fewer messages, is set off to the side of the desk.
One thing that stays in the office is the Steward himself - at least, so long as he holds that office - and so there's a comfortable chair behind that desk, as well as a pair of plain wooden ones in front of it for those passing through.
Bookshelves line the walls, crammed with tomes ranging in topic from weather patterns of the southern continent to crop output for the last one hundred turns. They are some the many things of which a Steward must have a passing knowledge - one sufficient to let him delegate the rest. To record the events so delegated, there are a pair of file cabinets full of paperwork not yet so historical as to merit relocation to the archives.

Jethaniel had already left the office for today, but now he returns. There are a pair of documents which require his attention, delivered to the office of the Steward but intended, not for the office, but the one who holds it. A pair of letters, still sealed. He sits down, and the green firelizard on his shoulder slips down onto his lap, curling there with her head on her tail. Jethaniel brushes his fingers over her back, settling back in his chair for a moment before opening one and beginning to read.

It's a letter from Cove Hold, written in a loose, gracious script that spreads it over two sheets of paper.

Dear Jethan,

Your father and I are sorry we couldn't make it to the Gather at your Weyr. It would have been so nice to see you, but it's so hard to take time away this time of year. It's such a long trip, and I just wouldn't feel right taking a dragonrider's time. Perhaps you can come visit us sometime soon? I'm sure you can arrange a ride for yourself some restday.

Things have been going well here. Liessa and her boys are visiting for the summer. Perhaps the two of you can catch up, if you come. It's been so nice having her, and it certainly does nice things for the kitchens! Even if the cook complains about things changing. Well, you can't have everyone happy all at once, and Liessa's sweetcakes can soothe a great many ruffled feathers.

Do you remember Teraya? You two had such fun together when you were a boy. She's a harper now, and still not married, either - but she's asked for a posting here. Maybe you two can catch up?

The renovations on the far cottages are nearly done, though we're still waiting on the new furniture to arrive before we reopen them. If you wanted, you could stay in one for the night. Just let us know!



Jethaniel regards the letter for a moment once he's finished reading, then sets it aside and reaches for the other.

A letter from Landing, written in a quick, messy hand.

Jethaniel -

There's a stellar alignment next month. Should be a good view. If those lenses don't arrive in time, I may yet come to Xanadu to see it. We did get the shipment, but the degree of impurities was too high, so it's back to the crafter again. Rush jobs and hope.

- Azliet

P.S. Have you told your mother?

The postscript makes Jethaniel frown. He sets the letter down, and raises his eyes from his desk to wander the familiar contents of his office. A wide variety of information is contained here, but none of it seems inclined to assist him. He spends a moment or three in thought, then sighs and reaches for a clean sheet of paper and a pen.

Dear mother,

I am glad to hear things are well at the hold. Perhaps I will find time to visit; give Liessa my best.

I have met someone.

I love her.

- Jethaniel

He folds the paper with a swift motion, sealing it for delivery and addressing it. A touch of his fingers wakes the green firelizard from her sleep, and Stardust flutters to Jethaniel's shoulder to curl her tail against him and croon softly in his ear as he strides from the office, depositing his letter in the outgoing mail along the way.

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