Xanadu Weyr - Council Chambers
Effort has obviously been spent on this room and the result is understated luxury. The elongated room, situated between the Weyrleaders' and Weyrsecond's office, faces the clearing. Two large windows are flanked by heavy antique bronze jacquard drapes and further shielded by ivory-colored sheers that allow a diffuse light inside. The walls and recessed ceiling are of a polished granite that gleams a pale cream flecked with gold in the soft overhead lighting.
Much of the tapestry-carpeted floor is occupied by a long, heavy table of Lemos hardwood, stained dark and then polished to a brilliant shine. Hanging in the space above the head and foot of the table are heavy frames of that same dark hue with a finely painted landscape in each. They're signed by the artist, a scrawl that begins with M.
Each place at that table is made ready with an elegant blotter made of leather, along with a fine pen and a pad of paper. The cushioned chairs are fashioned from the same dark hardwood, the backs and seats upholstered with softly-tanned leather. The room seats perhaps twenty or so, but can be used for more informal meetings as well, and a potted palm in the corner reminds those meeting here of the world outside these walls.
It's not rare for Ka'el to find himself with an arm full of firelizard. There are plenty of them to go around in his household. But the banded brown that refuses to leave him alone isn't one that resides in the weyrbarn he calls home! Minimur is making a right fine nuisance of himself. Even with the note detached from his leg, the lizard won't leave him alone! And so it's with a squaking brown that he arrives in the council chambers, a rolled parchment in his hand. "Alright, alright, Minimur!" he assures the brown as he waves the lizard off as he takes a seat in one of the chairs at the table. "Off with you!" Be gone! Farewell! .. Please? The little brown doesn't seem convinced though, and he flutters onto the tabletop right in front of Ka'el. Bah! Like the little brown, Kanekith has been busy giving and receiving messages near and far, one of which likely was about this impromptu meeting!
Not that there aren't plenty of more promptu meetings, but… sometimes those just aren't enough. Sometimes new ones get added! …and sometimes those new ones displace old ones, which is why Soriana pauses in the hallway to be rid of a clinger of her own. This one isn't a firelizard. More a weyrstaff…erlizard. Except, without the lizard part. "-and you can send it to my office. No, no, I'm sure it won't go bad. I'll get to it soon. Of course. We'll continue this later. Later. Yes. I know. Yes. Later." So much later. For now? Soriana pats the arm of her cancelled meeting, just to push him asi- er, to reassure him, and then steps into the council chambers for her new meeting. Here she is. So's Ka'el, and she nods to him as she crosses to another chair, eyes lowering to that brown firelizard as she does.
Meetings are a thing which Innes attempts to avoid, occasionally with great success. However, today is not one of those days. Kairoikyriath is quite insistent that her rider show her face, and said face can't come up with any good reasons why she can't be at this meeting (why hasn't that plague reached them yet?) so… here she is. She passes by Soriana's abandoned meeting in the hallway, and promptly ducks her head and picks up the pace. You can't see her! She's not important enough to notice! She swiftly ducks inside the council chambers, then halts just inside the door with a look of dismay. Now there's really no chance of hiding from this meeting. She shuffles to her seat, glancing at the firelizard curiously as she does.
Hey! The gang's all here! Well, the gang that could make it anyway. And Ka'el is glad for it because maybe one of them can get this firelizard to leave him alone. "Sori, Innes," he greets the two, standing up as they arrive. "You know Mini," he says with a handwave to the brown, who chatters a bit more insistently now that there are more people here to listen to him. "You haven't firelizard treats on you, have you?" he asks with just a slight plead to his eyes as he looks from one woman to the other. Ahem! He gestures to his parchment, which he now sets on the table. "I've received word from Kera. Apparently, there's been trouble at Healer Hall during their Numbweed Boilfest today." Trouble indeed! Big trouble! This is probably what Minimur is saying, for he interjects with his rapidfire chirps at that exact moment.
…apparently the audience is having the opposite effect. Soriana gives that brown another look. Someone is having a bad day. And now that they're all here to listen to him, multiple someones will be having a bad (and firelizard-loud) day. Soriana shakes her head to Ka'el's question, though. She doesn't carry around firelizard treats! She just sends her firelizards to go fetch their own treats. So, Innes! You're the last best hope for peace(ful meetings). Soriana glances toward her junior, then back to Ka'el with a lift of her eyebrows. "Trouble?" she repeats, in real human words instead of firelizard chirps. "What sort of trouble?"
Trouble right here in River City? No, that can't be right. The curious expression on Innes' face clears when Ka'el calls the firelizard by name, and she finally places that familiar brown. Of course. She just didn't recognize him detached from Kera's side. The junior flops into one of the seats, airily offering, "You could've included that plea in your summons, you know." She carries no such treats on her person. Those creatures don't need any encouragement. "Don't be crytic. Did they spill a few vats of numbweed on themselves? Somehow set the place on fire?" Innes asks nonchalantly. Concerned about her friend? Her? Never.
"You try talking over this guy!" retorts Ka'el with a glance from Innes to Minimur, gesturing to the sqwuaking brown. Cryptic indeed. No treats are in his future, and with the thought of having each administration room equipped with an emergency stock of jerky for such occasions now in mind, he rips a scrap of paper (council rooms would be stocked with paper, yes?) and scribbles a quick note. "Here!" It's affixed to the brown's leg. A return notice. Hooray! Appeased the firelizard pops Between with one last chirp, and the council chambers is left in sudden silence. Exhale! He flops back down in his chair. "As I was saying.." no longer in an elevated 'to be heard over a firelizard' volume, "There's been trouble at Healer Hall. Kera writes that they're under a quarantine due to…" he unrolls the original note to quote, "one case of plague that has reached the Hall. She says they've been exposed and haven't been told when they'll be released." He wrinkles his nose a bit. "After getting this, I had Kanekith reach to Moncerath. She says that Kera herself is well and doesn't show any signs of sickness, but I haven't a clue about this .. plague or its symptoms."
And, as an added bonus, the firelizard jerky would serve as human treats during those extra long meetings. Far more useful than the paper and pens they're already supplied with! Soriana glances over to Innes at her suggestions, with a fraction of a smile that soon subsides as she looks back to Ka'el. If they did burn themselves, at least Healer Hall'd be a good place to… deal with… "Uh." Quarantine. Well, Healer Hall is also a good place to deal with that, being as how they're the ones who generally institute quarantines, but… Soriana frowns. She pulls out her chair and takes it, or at least a seat in it. "Do we even know the incubation period?" she asks. Of course.. if they knew that, they'd probably know when the riders would be released. "…and where'd it come from, anyway? I thought Half Moon was already under quarantine."
Once the noise level in the room has subsided significantly, Innes sinks down a bit further in her chair, slouching in a way that one probably shouldn't slouch at Important Meetings. "One case of plague and they're all quarantined? What were they doing over there?" Because obviously, the only way things like this are passed along is to get reaaaally close to someone, right? Her foot taps quickly on the floor, only to pause when she catches herself and then begin again moments later when her attention shifts to Soriana. "Incubation period?" The query in her voice speaks to her lack of knowledge on the subject. "So… can firelizards carry it? Do we know for sure someone hasn't come in from Half Moon lately?"
"Not sure," answers Ka'el, the two words really fitting for all of her questions and Innes' too. Incubation period? Where it came from? Are firelizards carriers? No clue! Which isn't the best position to be in, clueless, when one is dealing with what could be an outbreak of something serious, if not possibly fatal. "I'm not sure how much is known about this … plague," he says, frowning at the word. "Half Moon would be the best place to seek answers from, as … from the sounds of it, it's rooted there. Or, at least the first rumored case I've heard of was from there. If it's spreading though…depending on how serious it is, we may have to be a little more … aware of who's coming and going, and who is going where. Comet especially. If Healer Hall figures it's serious enough to keep all riders and visitors quarantined at their Hall from the one case Kera reports they found there, it may be a bigger issue than what we thought."
So much to be uncertain of. Soriana looks to Innes for her questions, shaking her head for the first of them. "Boiling numbweed?" Or at least, that's what they claimed. The rest… she frowns. Firelizards, like… the one that was just sitting right there in that spot on the table. Travelers, like… Her frown deepens, remains that was she she looks back to Ka'el. "If Half Moon's where it started, we're not going there." She lowers her gaze, thinking. "They may have the answers. They've certainly got infections." But then… so does Healer Hall, apparently. "If anyone can find a cure…" Soriana trails off, shakes her head. "They don't quarantine for sniffles." They do quarantine for… what? Her mind can conjure up boils and rashes, bloody coughs and all the rest, but how much of it is truth and how much just… imagination, fevered or otherwise. Facts… are hard to come by. Soriana glacnces back to Innes. "I don't know of any visitors. Don't know we haven't had one, either." People are always coming and going."Most things humans catch dragons can't." Or vice versa. Which is a small comfort, given… "They can still carry it." On hide, on gear… on the notes firelizards carry… "Redwort will deal with most germs. Handwashes and… scrubbing things."
Innes might very well resemble a small child out to dinner with the parents, kicking the table legs in boredom and frustration if it weren't for the words coming out of her mouth. "Is it safe to go contacting them? Can plagues be transferred via paper?" Her gaze goes to Soriana on this one. Out of the three of them, the other goldrider seems most qualified to talk about medical things. When the other goldrider says they're not going to Half Moon, well… she doesn't protest. Instead, she shrugs and wriggles a little in her seat. None of this sounds good. She can't even laugh off the misfortune of others now that Kera is under quarantine. "Yeah, but can Healer Hall find a cure if they're all… whatever they are? Plagued?" Her nose wrinkles as she glances to the spot where Minimur was a few minutes before. "So… if they can carry it, does that make us contaminated?" One hand goes to her head, pressing against her scalp. "How are we supposed to control a plague? We can't even guarantee that half the Weyr hasn't been exposed already by some letter or an unexpected visitor."
"We don't keep records of all visitors .. especially those who arrive by carrier dragon.." muses Ka'el with a small frown. For all they know, they could've had hoards of people who are infected crossing their border! But.. "We'd've heard something by now, right? Or at least seen something. It only took them candlemarks to realize that something was wrong at their boil. If there had been anyone here that was infected, someone would've reported something. .. Still, we could check the Infirmary records.." he says, thinking aloud. "Have someone see if there have been any outstanding cases in the pastsevenday? Two sevens? The healers are good at reporting anything unusual though.." And there's been nothing. Nothing to his knowledge anyway. He leans back in his seat, brows gently furrowed, causing creases in the forehead. Soriana's words regarding human/dragon cross contamination are encouraging, though there's still much that's discouraging to ponder. "We can deny visits to Half Moon for now. Temporarily. Same for packages going to and coming from, to be on the safe side. Though I think, if anyone, they'd have the most answers for us. If we don't contact them through paper.." a glance to that note, then Innes, "then, by dragon?"
"Depends on the plague," Soriana says ever so reassuringly, and her frown is just as comforting as her words. "Some can survive outside the body, others… can't." Not that she heals people, but… dragonhealing includes a brief overview of epidemiology, complete with the comforting words explaining how dragons and humans can't infect each other - save for a few cases which… seem unlikely to apply here. Nobody's mentioned claw fungus. Or… anything else that sounds suspicious, here in Xanadu, and she nods to Ka'el's words regarding that before letting her gaze drift back to Innes. Contaminated? She shrugs. Between the chance of dragons, humans, letters, packages… there are no guarantees. "We can't," Soriana agrees to Innes on that front, "But… we can work on the other half. Redwort rinses for hands. Anyone who's sick stays in their weyrs. No…" she hesitates, glances to Ka'el. "…no large gatherings." She frowns. "Not until we know more about what's going on." Which means talking to… Half Moon. She frowns. "We're likely safe enough to send a letter. We can wear gloves." Or douse the thing in redwort. "Dragons aren't good at details." They'd get a report like, « The angry man says it is a very bad sneeze. His head exploded. »
"Informing the Weyr then is a good first line of defense. Hand-washing like you said. General reminders of cleanliness with food handling and touching others and self. … Encouraging self-care." Ka'el looks to both women. "I think the less we use the word 'plague' the better. Might make people panic without reason. Sickness. Illness. .. Might be better when talking about it." Even if it's just pragmatics. He nods a little at the mentioning of gathers, or lack thereof, a slight downcurve of his mouth seen at that. "Agreed," he states, his frown deepening marginally before a drum of his fingers against the tabletop distracts his eyes enough that his frown lessens. "It's a good start until we know more. We'll contact Half Moon Bay and see what they know of this thing, if anything, and if their healers have any means of curing the infected and stopping the spread in general. We'll keep an ear turned to Healer Hall for any news on the lifting of the quarantine and question Kera when she gets back." Hopefully happy and healthy! Or… at least healthy if not happy. Ka'el lifts a hand to rub at the back of his neck, thinking. Thinking. What else? "If anything new is found out, we'll meet again here… Hopefully, this'll be the worst of it." Handwashing stations to the rescue? He looks to them both, smiles lightly. "Xanadu's uninfected so far. Faranth willing, we'll stay that way." Meeting adjourned? .. For now.