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.

It’s a bright summer morning, the birds are singing and things are going smoothly – at least as far as the Weyrwoman knows. Her inbox is first and she takes the stack out, places it before her and begins to read the first item… How long the Weyrwoman sits and absorbs the note the headwoman left is debatable, but this one requires immediate action. Taking pen and notepaper, she writes a few crisp lines, peels Shep off of her shoulder and sends the faithful brown off with it. She’s waiting, expecting a response, but busies herself on those other papers while waiting.

It’s morning. HOURS before her normal rising time. So why is there a firelizard sitting on her pillow, poking his cold muzzle at her cheek? Darsce doesn’t have a firelizard? Must be a dream. And so she swats at it, manages to deflect it from her pillow, which is then pulled over her head with a mumble. She’s back to sleep in a matter of seconds, if indeed she ever truly woke up.

The irate chatter might be somewhat muffled by the pillow, but Shep is nothing if not persistent. The brown tugs it off of her and kicks it with hind feet, sending it to the floor. Back to poking – but this time it’s right in her ear while scolding her with loud and screechy ‘get up!’ noises.

Darsce is awake! “AUGH!” Iceblue eyes open wide, but are remarkably unfocused as she flails wildly away from the sound, falls off the bed to land on the carpet atop her discarded pillow. She pushes up on her elbows and glares up through a curtain of silvery-blonde hair to see just who has the audacity to send a firelizard in here instead of a quiet knock on her door gently summoning her from dreamland and a mug of hot klah to ease the transition from sleep to wakefulness. One hand fumbles on her bedside stand in the darkness causing a small cascade of nail polish, lipstick, bracelets and the like as the glow is sought and opened. Shep is squinty-eyed peered at. She knows that firelizard! Wonnnnnderful!

Shep keeps up the scolding, hanging over the edge of the bed while glaring right back with his neck outstretched to make sure he’s in her face enough that she gets the message. Get up lazybones! Someone has a message for you! Which he pushes at her, so it rolls off the side of the bed and lands on her stomach. Message delivered, he makes no move to depart, remaining crouched on the bed and watching her. He does atleast stop scolding so she can read it.

Blessed silence! Darsce has a pillow. She’s lying down. So what if she’s on the floor? Her eyes close. Blanket. She needs that and with a yank pulls it down atop of her without opening them. “Go ‘way!” she mutters.

Not going to read it? Well then! Shep starts the screeching, scolding and keeps it up until he runs out of breath. There’s a brief span of silence while he inhales another lungful and the screeching, chittering resumes while bright eyes, whirl yellowly at her. I can keep going!

Darsce is stubborn. But she likes her eardrums to work, thankyouverymuch. And so with a longsuffering sigh, she opens her eyes, unfolds the note and reads it. And then rolls her eyes, sits, pushes to her feet and glares at the brown firelizard. “Okay, okay I’m up! You can shut it, already!”

Shep does not shut it. She needs to be more than ‘up’. So he inhales mightily and turns it up a notch. His pitch is ear-gratingly loud He (and his lungs) are prepared to wait.

Darsce can’t avoid this summons – and not because the firelizard is making such a racket. She can drag her feet, though. She stuffs her ears with cotton balls and begins dressing – slowly. She washes her face, applies her makeup with careful precision. A visit to the weyrwoman’s office requires some preparation, after all. Her outfit is one of her Ierne drumming-up-business types – not businessLIKE, mind. Because her business is modeling jewelry and clothing design, what she’s got on is, perhaps, not befitting to the occasion but it looks sharp, if you ask her. Plunging neckline, high hems, so what? Hair brushed to a silken curtain, nails touched up, she’s FINALLY ready to go. And so makes her way out the door without a glance at the pesky firelizard. In fact, if she can shut the door in his face, she will.

Doors?! Shep doesn’t need doors! He pops Between, re-emerging mid-shriek, circling her - herding her to the office awaiting her. He keeps his volume at full the entire way, alternating between chittered scolding to exasperated, berating squawks. He won’t stop until they’re both finally inside the Weyrleader’s office. Then he’ll shut up, glide to the Weyrwoman’s desk, land and flip his wings closed with a pleased chirrup and a smug, ‘Who did good? I did, that’s who’.

And they wonder why Darsce doesn’t want a firelizard! Her trip to the office is traversed in serene disregard for any looks she gets from other people, ignoring the firelizard and taking her own sweet time getting there. Even though there’s no need – the pest of a brown has announced her arrival loud and clear – she knocks before entering. A longing look is cast towards the Steward’s door, but there’s no point in taking a detour. Conversation will not be had in any way, shape or form until she gets the monkey off her back.

The Weyrwoman looks up from her paperwork at the knock, “Come i-” She’s entering already and the muted din from out in the hall is ear-piercing instantly before silencing altogether. Thea leans back in her chair, idly stroking Shep with her fingertips while watching Darsce with a benign expression. “Good-” a glance at her clock “-afternoon, Darsce,” she says mildly, gesturing to a chair languidly.

Thea’s lips are moving. That’s all Darsce knows. The Weyrwoman gets a blank look. She’s gone deaf!!! Another glare is spared the firelizard. Ohwait. She lifts her hands, scrutinizes the backs of them, ticking one fingernail against the other to test the ‘doneness’ of her manicure, which is deemed past the marring stage. Then she uses her nails to pluck the cotton balls from first one ear, then the other. “Whut?” Hi! I have no idea why I’m here.

Thea sighs. “Have a seat, Darsce,” she says patiently. She pushes her current paperwork to one side and centers a document in the cleared space on her desktop. “This is a letter of complaint from the weyrling staff regarding your usage of an AWLM knot. They are not-“ A look is leveled at the young woman, “-necessarily protesting you covering the mating flights. They are objecting to the way you went about it.” A breath is taken, “If you had asked V’dim for permission to give a non-rider’s point of view on mating flights, he feels that would have been an appropriate class and would have scheduled you in - with supervision. But you didn’t.” She allows that to sink in for a beat, then finishes, “So I’m left with little choice.”

The cotton balls in Darsce’s hand are wadded into a clump, but she strives to convey nonchalance as she glides forward to flop in a chair. The mention of that ill-fated class gains her full attention, her mind darting in several directions, none of which are voiced right away. Instead she feigns indifference, her shoulders lift and drop in a shrug of unconcern; she really doesn’t care that she pissed of the weyrling staff, even though she rolls her eyes at the supervision part. That last bit though, gives her pause. Her eyes dart to that letter on the desk, but she can’t read it upside down. They lift to the Weyrwoman warily. “So…what? You’re kicking me out?” Like, totally not worried! THIS is what she was awakened early (before the crack of noon) for? Boooooring!

“Luraoth’s mating flight was not without problems,” Thea says bluntly, then holds up a hand forestalling questions. She will not go into the matter. How does the Weyrwoman know about this? She hears bits and snippets here and there, receives a daily report from the infirmary, puts two and two together. Her gravity suggests that what happened isn’t trifling in her mind as she fixes the young woman with a long, somber look.

Darsce pales in spite of her resolve to appear unruffled, dropping her act. Her iceblue eyes darken with uncharacteristic remorse and concern. “Are they- Was anyone-“ Hurt. Of course someone was, or the Weyrwoman wouldn’t have brought it up. “I’m…to blame?” Her question is genuinely puzzled. She knows the Weyrling class information she hacked into on the computer and she included ALL of it in her lesson.

Thea doesn’t answer the question about injuries or whether anyone will be ‘all right’. Instead she assures, “V’dim tells me that all of the Weyrlings knew they could approach him – or their mentors with specific questions. And that you seem to have covered their lesson syllabus adequately, since the group all passed the mating flights quiz. And as every dragon and rider handles flights differently, each must find their own way to deal with them; it’s tradition.” Her face is carefully neutral as she imparts that comment, and her tone is deliberately dry of emotion. Regardless of her own opinions of the weyrling staff’s methods, she firmly supports them. She drops her chin to more directly meet Darsce’s eyes and says firmly, “Regardless, N’shen and I agree that this cannot happen again.” And she holds the young woman’s eyes until it might elicit a squirming awkwardness. “So to ensure it doesn’t, you’re taking this.” A knot is slid across the surface of the desk at Darsce with a nod to pin it on.

Darsce’s pink-glossed lips part to say something but the words are never spoken. It’s too late for ‘I’m sorry’ and besides that would be a lie. She had her reasons and she believes they were good ones. Ka’el is an ass who could have had his questions answered if he hadn’t attacked her. She couldn’t see past her own turns of hurt and confused loneliness to- But what’s this? A knot? It HAS to be an Ierne one, she’s sure of that and sudden tears blur the thing as she reaches for it blindly with one hand, while slipping her Xanadu resident knot off with the other. It takes a moment for her to see that the colors of the new knot are not quite right. And there are two gold tassels hanging from the thick, triple braid of blue and orange cord. This is… a Steward’s knot? At least, it looks like the one she’s seen on Jethaniel’s shoulder. She’s totally confused, flustered and upset. She manages to gasp, “You FIRED Jethaniel? Butbut! He didn’t DO anything!” And wait – there’s no way in hell they’d make her steward in his place.

Thea chuckles despite her stern manner. “I didn’t fire Jethaniel,” she says. “That,” she nods to the knot with the tassels, “Is the Headwoman’s knot. And you’ll be needing your resident’s knot too, so put it back on.” And to help shut Darsce’s mouth before a v’tol flies in, she says, “Ocelara’s needed at her home holding. She’s taking an extended leave. You, my Dear, are headwoman while she’s gone.” And then she makes a shooing motion with her hand. Dismissed! Her previous paperwork is pulled back in front of her. Now, where was she?

“What?!” The disbelief in her one-word question is clear, the volume nearly a shriek. “You can’t DO that!” Well, she can. She IS the Weyrwoman after all, but. Darsce has had no training! No experience being… headwoman! She’s speechless, that’s what she is, both knots gripped in her slim hands.

Thea looks back up. “If you want to remain in Xanadu, you remain as Headwoman,” she says implacably. She gives no reasons save, “You keep ‘borrowing’ (yes, the emphasis is one of marked sarcasm) knots that don’t belong to you. So you might as well experience that comes with wearing them. Your office is right across the hall with all of the records and notes you’ll need to learn how to do… headwoman-ing.” Better get started now? “You’ll draw a salary and have your own quarters." At least it comes with perks? And she's not complely heartless: "You may continue your business at Ierne on your off-time and restdays.” The discussion is now closed, as evidenced by the fact that the Weyrwoman resumes her work, ignoring the new headwoman.

Darsce just sits there aghast. What. The. Hell? The Weyrwoman has lost it, she’s convinced of it! In a daze that she rises and walks out into the administration hallway with a knot clutched in each hand. Whyyyyyyy is she being punished? Her wide-eyed stare drifts to the closed headwoman’s office door, but that’s not the office she heads for.

Thea is smiling as she attacks that paperwork. It’s a very small one, but totally smug. Satisfied? Oh, you betcha!

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