Questions Answered and... Not

Fort Weyr - Weyrleader's Offices

Aged by time, this office has lived through the ages of Fort though the dcor has likely changed time and time again as new leadership comes to fill the offices. The main set up is where the juniors work, three desks settled in the main office that is lined with means to house the old records and reports. Various potted plants are around the office to give a touch of color. From this singular area, the office branches off into two different sections: The Senior's office and the Weyrleader's office. Both furnished to fit the needs of the Weyrleaders along with small flares of personal touch.

It's just past the early morning hours in Fort, but it would be hard pressed to tell. The Weyr, along with most of the Fortian region is in the beginning grips of the winter months and the sky is overcast and gloomy, casting a rather depressing thin light over the ground below. To add further misery, the winds are up and biting, compounded by a deluge of steady rain that falls in large droplets that make any venture outside miserable and flight uncomfortable. Which would explain why the bowls seem near to deserted as almost all but the bravest (or under absolute necessity) leave the warmth and comfort of the dry indoor caverns. That is not the reason today why Th’ero has holed himself up in his offices. The Weyrleader has sent a polite invitation to Xanadu's Weyrleadership, knowing full well he'll be rousing them just after their dinner hour has likely passed. Regardless, he's had some light, fresh food brought in and of course, warm refreshments ranging from klah, to tea, to mulled wine, the latter of which he's already gotten into despite the hour of the day. There is a fire set in the small hearth for added warmth and the room carries only the basic of furniture, largest (and oldest) of which is his desk, kept decently organized. In front of and around it are several chairs for guests. On the wall hang a few Fort tapestries and one large map of Pern, joined by a smaller, detailed one of Fort's coverage area. Th'ero himself is pacing by the hearth, brows knit together thoughtfully and his mouth set into a grim line, though his mood seems reasonable. Outside, the desks where Fort's weyrwoman would be working are empty and likewise the Weyrwoman's office door is closed and the room dark. The Weyrleader isn't alone though, there is another within the office and seemingly by his invitation and choice.

Kimmila is that 'other', the +1 to this meeting of Weyrleadership, though she's hardly that. She's pulled one of the chairs to the end of Th'ero's desk, so while he sits on one side and Xanadu on the other, she's kind of between them - not taking sides, it seems? Lounging in the chair she idly picks at a loose thread on the hem of her long sleeved blue sweater, dark pants and dark calf high boots completing her outfit. She wears her Western bluerider's knot, as well as necklaces of malachite beads and a feline talon. Her hair is back in a braid, dry, which suggests she hasn't come from the outside. Leaning forward, she lifts her mug of klah and takes a sip, before setting it back on Th'ero's desk. "Think they'll show up?"

No doubt, dragons will report in before anyone on two legs can, as Romth announces his arrival with his golden queen in a deep, throbbing, pressure-wave of blackness spangled in stardust. « Xanadu arrives! » And any dragon who was hoping they'd still be napping is probably sadly disappointed. And then, loudly enough anyone who wants to can overhear the Istan-shelled bronze complain « And the weather is atrocious. Why don't they move somewhere warmer? »

Appearing in the cold and rainy skies above Fort Weyr is a silvery queen escorted by a rather handsome burnished bronze, the gold caroling an added greeting to the watch dragon as Seryth and Romth from Xanadu Weyr with their lifemates, Thea and Xe'ter. She leaves it to the bronze to seek Velokraeth and let him know they are there. Landing, even though there is mud below, must be done and Seryth does her best to make it a light one, folding her wings and padding as close to that stone stairway as possible so her rider doesn't have to slog through it in order to get to them. The Xanadu Weyrwoman foregoes her usual swing-round dismount today, opting instead for a careful climb-down, grimacing as her booted feet sink ankle-deep. When Seryth moves off to give Romth some space, her choice of perch is up on the rim in the teeth of that driving rain, muzzle turned towards it as if reveling in it - go figure! Thea waits for Xe'ter and the pair makes their way up the stairs together to arrive, dripping at the Weyrleader's office door. Thank Faranth for leather! The Weyrwoman is clad head to toe in flight gear, knee-high boots, trous that hug her long legs and hips, high cut jacket, gloves and helmet - which she is stripping off to shake out her dark hair while the wet that has beaded up on the buff-topaz finish silently drips to the floor. The rain has washed all the mud from her soles. See? The weather has an obscure upside.

From her watchpoint on her ledge, the pale gold Wiyaneth lifts her head and replies, « Because warmth breeds softness, honored guests, » she replies, her humor dry as the breezes that blow through her thoughts. Watching Seryth soar to the rim, the old queen unfurls her wings and pushes skyward to land nearby, no doubt to seek some news and gossip, should the Western Senior be willing.

Romth follows his queen's lead, and quickly allows his rider off…though Xe'ter's apparently possessed with a sudden bout of madness, and he makes a jump from Romth's lifted foreleg to land on the stone stairs…thankfully, only Thea sees the way he windmills to keep his balance. Ah. There. Mud avoided! Romth is not as pleased, and holds still until the riders are well out of the way before he flaps his way out of the mud and into the first convenient lee out of the winds. In this case, it's Seyrith's sheltered shadow. Heh. Romth will be soft, then. And Seryth can be all tough and horny.

"Of course they will. The hour in Xanadu isn't too late," Th'ero pauses long enough in his pacing to regard Kimmila with a long look, as if for a moment the Weyrleader doubts himself and his choice of time. At least he can control that, unlike the weather. Dressed in a long sleeved tunic and pair of dark pants and knee high boots, the bronzerider is also wearing his knot and for all purposes seems dressed fairly casually despite the meeting about to occur. He's just about to resume his pacing, only to stop when Velokraeth kindly passes on the notice that both Romth and Seryth have arrived. Taking a steadying breath, Th'ero briskly moves over to his high-backed chair and glances sidelong to Kimmila once more, "See?" he muses, though there seems to be very little humor in his eyes or expression. He figures the bluerider got the message along with the rest. As Thea and Xe'ter arrive, the Fortian Weyrleader turns serious, as though he wasn't already to that state before. Uptight is putting it lightly! Despite it, he manages a small smile for both, gesturing for them to step inside regardless of wet or dripping clothing. "I apologize for calling you both so late and into such miserable weather, but I figured now would be the best time before the snow and ice settle." And they run the risk of being grounded due to squalls. Wouldn't that just be peachy? He skips most of the formality, since this is not the first visit shared between the Leaders in the past Turn and likely not the last. "Please, make yourselves comfortable. There is food and drink, if you prefer." And then he gestures towards the small table by the hearth that bares all that there is to offer.

Outside, the ledge leading to the Weyrleader's weyr is empty, but Velokraeth is within and Romth's loud greeting is met just as enthusiastically by the pale bronze, though there is obvious sarcasm beneath his honeyed words and mellow tone, mind rippling in the golden and heady hues and smells of a rich and flavorful wine. «And we welcome you! Terribly sorry about the weather, I'm afraid but alas, that is not something we can control.» There's a pause as he adds a comment to the side, more likely for Romth then any other. «If the cold upsets you so, there are some greens I know would be /more/ then happy to stave off the worst of it.» Leave it to Velokraeth, of all to suggest that and it could all be in jest though it's hard to tell as the pale bronze also leaves the warmth of his ledge and soars up to join the rest in the rain and cold, though seems to stick closer to Wiyaneth's side then that of Romth or Seryth.

Kimmila just arches a brow at Th'ero for his 'see?', and the bluerider shrugs before she pushes herself to her feet and straightens out her sweater with a little tug. When the Xanadu Weyrleaders enter, the bluerider just inclines her head, not bothering with salutes for either of them despite being /far/ below them all in rank. "The klah is spiced with cinnamon, quite excellent," she offers, giving Thea a warmer smile than Xe'ter, simply because of the ease of familiarity. While the bluerider's bow is absent, she does still wear the silver and blue handled dagger at her waist, as she sits down once more. "I'm Kimmila, by the way," she adds for Xe'ter's benefit. "Western bluerider." And she's here because…?

Xe'ter nods to Th'ero with the tight 'ease' of pure formality…why is it the 'new' crop of young, youthful bronzeriders that have found their way to Weyrleadership in the past few turns all seem to be infected extreme formality, unease with their position, or uptightness? It must be catching. "Weyrleader Th'ero." And at the sight of the semi familiar bluerider and her greeting, he inclines his head formally as well, "Western bluerider Kimmila…I think we've been introduced once…and not to worry, it wasn't too late at all. I was doing paperwork." Some time ago, no doubt. At least he has the good grace to keep his slightly dampened dripping confined to one place for the moment, as he looks back to check on Thea, asking, "Would you like something warm, ma'am?" Nevermind this is very similar to her 'home' territory's climate…certainly closer than his!

Au contraire mon petit chou (yeah, Romth, you're either her little cabbage or her flaky pastry - take your pick), Seryth's hide is neither aglow nor spiked. She will, however, lift a wing for Romth to huddle under and shelter from the rain - which she loves, be it warm or cold. She, meanwhile stretches her neck to greet Wiyaneth with a pleased churr and green-sparkled eyes, sharing with a conspiratorial air her adventures of joining sweepriders in mountain skies that glow with blue light reflected from snowy peaks, of the furor over some fugitive, of the activity that hums about a once-deserted hideout and oddly, a very hungover, groggy-grouchy Weyrsecond, though why that factors in there, who knows? Normally Xe'ter's leap and arm-flailing might cause her to suppress merriment, but today she soberly reaches out a gloved hand to his elbow to offer some steadying assistance and then a light pat when he's got his balance. Their arrival at the office door coincides with Velokraeth's comment about the weather, so the river-like flow of a rejoiner from Seryth « Please, do not apologize for something that is hardly your doing; I like it! » comes in unison with Thea's smooth response, "No apology necessary, Th'ero. Your timing is perfect." Yes because back in Xanadu there's this irate Weyrsecond she needs to avoid for the evening. She's slipping out of her jacket as she enters, her manner relaxed enough even though the smile she offers the pair there is a touch formal. "How are you, Kimmila? I just had dinner, but perhaps some of the mulled wine?" The last added for Xe'ter's benefit, since he's asked. Though the ma'am he's called her elicits a small snort. Her curiosity remains in check about Kimmila's presence in this meeting; manners dictate she wait upon Fort's Weyrleader to reveal that. Out there on the rim, Seryth trills in the equivalent of dragon-laughter at Velokrath's offer then twists her neck, snakelike to peer under her wing at Romth with amused cajolery. « Two greens might keep your other side dry? »

Th'ero is silent for the most part as pleasantries are exchanged unless greeted directly. Otherwise his focus seems to drift to Kimmila and then over to the two Xanadu riders, as if bracing for some sort of response that never fully comes. That has him relaxing, but so little it goes unnoticed. "Weyrleader Xe'ter," he replies in an even and steady tone, nodding his head slightly towards the other Weyrleader, back to formality now as the young bronzerider sets the tone. It must be catching and infectious then, but at least they aren't so at odds that the meeting dissolves mere seconds in. Another slight smile is given to Thea for her comments, likely unknowing of her situation with an irate Weyrsecond but taking the polite compliment all the same. "I'm glad then that I did not catch either of you at a difficult time," he murmurs and then slowly moves to take his seat behind his desk, posture hardly relaxed as he sits upright and tense though the chair itself seems rather comfortable. Dark eyes watch the Xanadu pair carefully, his gaze never lingering long enough to raise suspicion or be rude though noticeable all the same. Rather then state the obvious, the Weyrleader waits patiently for the two to seat themselves, while he recovers the half-full wine glass he's since then ignored. No further explanation is given quite yet, either to why he summoned them both here or as to why Kimmila, a rider for all purposes one of Western's, remains in the office and at a 'neutral' position between the two.

Out on the rim, Velokraeth shifts a bit as he tries to make himself as comfortable as possible in the limited space, wishing not to crowd the visitors or Wiyaneth out of respect and politeness. There is a low and sweet croon offered to Seryth, «Then I rescind my apology. Enjoy the rains, my dear, to your hearts content.» And if the bronze could, he'd be chuckling heartily then, though it's obvious enough through the link.

Kimmila tilts her head slightly at Xe'ter, trying to remember… and she can't, so she gives up and just takes his word for it. Sipping her klah, she glances at the others and holds her silence - for now, at least - while they get settled and situated and (hopefully) comfortable. Leaning back in the chair, she crosses one leg over the other, cradling the klah mug between her hands. On the rim, Wiyaneth rumbles softly and settles down, shifting her bad wing until she finds a comfortable place for it, but she is otherwise quiet, content to observe.

Xe'ter moves with a sort of very practiced grace…precice without being entirely stiff about it: the mulled wine is carefully poured into an available mug, and then klah for himself before he returns to the side of Xanadu's senior. Hers is proferred with a gravity that dismisses any sort of his formality being a ruse OR a flourish. "The wine?" He missed his calling. He should've been a grim faced steward somewhere! Only when the goldrider relieves him of his burden does he move to find his own place to settle nearby to her, finally focusing his gaze fully on Th'ero, with one slight sidetrip to consider Kimmila again. Curosity, yes, but nothing approaching an obvious underlaying hostility or even any negativity…just a sort of neutral patience.

Out on the ridge, Romth is content to settle in next to Seryth, and doesn't even bother responding to the pale bronze that carries Fort's Weyrleader. He's apparently got no gossip of his own to share, or quick witted comebacks to snap after Velokraeth — he settles in to use his clawtip to dislodge small bits of frozen detritus off the edge of the ridge into the Bowl below. *chink* *chink* *crack-chink-thump*

While Xe'ter is pouring, Thea strides to the desk, drapes her jacket on the chair's back and sinks gracefully down into it. It's not hard to sense the tension coming from Th'ero and given what transpired in Xanadu's remote lands, it isn't surprising to her. She really isn't sure what he's got on his mind, as evidenced by her murmured, "It's never a difficult time if we can aid Fort. How can we be of help?" Though her eyes flick to Kimmila including her in the question, they return to Th'ero and she attempts to hold his gaze with gentle inquiry until she breaks it to accept the wine Xe'ter brings her. "Thanks, Xe." It's casual but still without her usual light tone and right after she sips, brows lift approvingly at the flavor. She leans back in her seat, relaxed but curious all the same. Questions yes, she has several, but though they're all on the tip of her tongue, she waits patently.

Even as uptight as he is, Th'ero is a patient man so long as his mood is favorable and his temper well in check. So while everyone makes themselves comfortable, the Weyrleader takes the reprieve as brief as it is to organize his thoughts. He seems thrown a little off guard though by Thea's murmured words and he shifts a little on his chair, hands coming to rest on the edge of his desk, fingers woven together. "Xanadu has already offered more then enough in the way of aid, not to mention been gracious enough to allow Fort within it's bounds and work along side it's riders and weyrfolk in an effort to bring Laris to justice." He says politely in return, some sincerity behind his words and not all empty eloquence and politeness. While his gaze remained focused for some time on Thea, it moves to Xe'ter as well, to include the Weyrleader under the same praises. He doesn't miss the glance given to Kimmila yet still no answer comes, though why Th'ero bides his time it's hard to tell. Searching for a good time? A good reason? Or both? "I've called you both here because first I believe I owe Thea an apology for my uncalled for outburst by the hidden campsite. That isn't the only reason, though it does lead into the bigger issues I was wishing to discuss with you both." He murmurs instead, expression betraying little of his true emotions beyond a neutral mask.

Maybe Kimmila is the entertainment. A meeting and then a show afterwards? All she does so far is nod in quiet agreement with Th'ero's words, glancing to Thea and giving the weyrwoman a smile. They're range weapon buddies, after all! At Th'ero's apology to Thea, the bluerider lifts her mug to her lips and takes a looooong sip.

Xe'ter is quiet, but not stonily so, as Th'ero begins to speak, though he does begin to slowly nod as Fort's Weyrleader speaks. At the mention of being 'allowed' to work alongside Xanadu's rider, the young man almost opens his mouth, then keeps it closed so as to let Th'ero continue his train of thought. The quirk of his dark brow at mention of an apology goes well with his glance at Thea, but still he remains silent until such time as the other's done. And then he politely demures in his own way, "As the offence was given to Thea's face…I'll let her decide if the sufficiency of that; as for being welcome within Xanadu's bounds and working with our riders — I have said so long as I've been Weyrleader that the Weyrs need to work together and cooperate more, not less. So long as behavior's not outside the bounds of decency and common sense, Fort's riders are generally welcome into the territory." Though he does raise one of his thick, ebon brows up and glance sidelong at Thea once more: Unless there is something I'm not currently appraised on? He doesn't speak it outloud, but the glance is easily read.

Thea tucks her chin and takes a deep breath, not hiding that she is a touch discomfited. Dark brows knit, but only briefly. "Is there such a thing as more than enough? I'm sure the shoe will be on the other foot someday." She returns Kimmila's smile, including the Fort Weyrleader in it, "But of course," she continues more easily, "it was our pleasure and Fort is more than welcome in our skies anytime. It was an honor." Her expression retains a subtle perplexity in it as she continues to regard the man. His repeated apology actually causes her to wince fleetingly, "Forgiven of course, as I said before. I'm sure this whole situation is frustrating and… messy." For more than just Fort, it seems, for she continues stiffly while dropping her eyes to her hands, the fingers of which are now intertwined about the stem of her wineglass and clenched in her lap. "I'm sure I would also want to know why such an inviting place for Renegades was left unwatched and open for their use for turns." Perhaps she can feel Xe'ter's eyes upon her, he gets a sidelong look - one of mute appeal though there are no words to express her need. A decision is made, a breath is taken and she lifts her head, giving first Kimmila a direct look, then Th'ero. Surely her expression is telling. She doesn't know how freely she might speak with a bluerider - and one from Western - present. Her tone is firm when she says, "It just was. And I take full responsibility for it." Out on the bowl rim Seryth rumbles disagreement and discontent but subsides with a grumble, likely at a word from her lifemate. "What other larger issues are we now faced with?"

Th'ero doesn't quite grimace for Xe'ter's choice of opening words, the Weyrleader does regard the other with the barest of smirks, short lived and then quickly does his face fall back to that stony neutrality he's so fond of when he's feeling out the general mood of a gathering such as this. There is a nod given though and a brisk smile, signaling his agreement to the Xanadu Weyrleader's opinion. "Well said and I agree that the Weyrs should work more often together. If anything to avoid…. similar situations such as we find ourselves now." Not that he faults Xanadu, but rather it could be a subtle reference to himself and for the foolishness he took in trying to keep the situation tightly silenced and controlled. It's a lesson hard learned and one he's still trying to stomach, along with his slightly bruised pride at such a blundering mistake. "And I'm sure that no Fortian rider will step out of line," Th'ero remarks dryly, but adds after a small pause. "Though if any do, they will be dealt with and I have no issues if the reprimand comes from you or myself." That seems directed mostly to Xe'ter, but his gaze slides to Thea all the same. Th'ero gives the Weyrwoman a long look then for her comment, but he says nothing, only dipping his head in polite acceptance to her words. "It was frustrating, but it does not excuse it." But he does let the matter drop, feeling it's been properly dealt with and delivered. "Yes, that is another small reason why I called you both here. Though now that the campsite is concern… it may be moot point." That look is telling and it has the Weyrleader sitting straighter, tense for a moment as he pieces the hidden reasoning behind it all, one brow arcing up as Thea takes the responsibility. He can sense that something is being left unsaid and he frowns, glancing over to Kimmila and then back to the Xanadu Leadership, "It's the matter of this Kefai and his… daughter was it? Luciath's rider? I realize this is part of Xanadu's history and Turns ago, but I feel it was important to discuss given the situation. I did not delve too much at the camp because I felt… there were some who should not hear." He says bluntly. And no, he does not mean the Western bluerider. It's likely still picking a bone over the fact the young teenagers were dragged along. To make it clear however, Th'ero adds, "Kimmila here I've invited because she has deep involvement in all this, despite her rank and Weyr. She was there from the very start and she can be trusted with anything we discuss today." And there's an edge to his tone, as if to say he will not be easily swayed from that decision, if at all, but he figures now is the time to clear that and let the discussions begin.

Kimmila sits up a little bit at the look from Thea, arching a brow in return and while she does not look defensive, nor does she look apologetic. Watching Th'ero as he speaks, she nods her head slightly. Then she looks back to Thea. "I've seen first hand the damage Laris can do," she says, and her voice is low and simmering with a long standing anger. Green eyes flick to the Xanadu leadership and she lifts her brows again, waiting to see if they're going to contest her involvement or not. "And yes, I can be trusted." That she adds with a little smirk, taking another sip of her klah.

Xe'ter considers Th'ero with his still bland expression while he stoically sips at his klah, waiting for Fort's leader to either explain himself…or get to the point. And when Th'ero does, he nods a bit, sitting up and putting his half finished mug down. Kimmila's sudden 'liviness' does make him arch his brow up again, but he lets her speak without commentary himself, and starts up only when she's done. One might think he was actually arrogant enough to be ignoring what she just said. "I've read many of Xanadu's history books…but I can assure you, they're written by men, Harpers for the most part, and thus are prone to subtractions of the things that the writer might have felt unnecessary, superflous, or simply not worth mentioning. Or embarrassing. Or things are neatly and elegantly embroidered with flowery words tha make the situation seem good when bad, or at least not so bad as originally encountered." He pauses to take a breath, leaving the lingering hints of his backwater upbringing at distinct odds with his surprising command of some extremely advanced verbage. "Perhaps everyone here will indulge me…Thea, Th'ero, and Kimmila included…" He nods to each in turn, "…and simply explain things. Go as far back as you need…but lay it out before us like a tapestry so it can be examined for wholeness of cloth…" It's that statement that draws his gaze back to the bluerider, who receives a nod from him…speak up!

Thea's fingers tighten around the stem of her wineglass; not the only sign of tension in her. She nods agreement with Th'ero, glancing at her own Weyrleader with approval. It certainly was well-said! After she takes the responsibility for the abandoned stronghold, she merely returns his gaze, stoic in the face of his skepticism and there's no comment or apology in her demeanor for taking those young people on the trip, though she does nod agreement; there was certainly no need for them to hear sensitive information. His assurance about Kimmila brings an obvious release of tension to her shoulders. She takes a moment to absorb the woman's comments, understanding the anger at last, "If you trust her, then so do I," she says to Th'ero simply and sincerely with a quiet sort of smile that includes her too. The mention of Kefai brings a subtle wariness back, "What do you want to know about the man?" Her wineglass is lifted, sipped from to moisten a mouth gone suddenly dry. Xe'ter's plea to lay it all out has her sending him another look of appeal. Really? Just… no she really would rather not!

Th'ero's tense posture and focus ease just enough for him to reach for that neglected glass of wine, which he sips while Kimmila chimes in after his statement regarding her involvement and trustworthiness. There's an approving nod for both her reply and for the way the bluerider responds. Another glance is spared to both Thea and Xe'ter and when neither challenge him openly in keeping the Western bluerider in their council, he allows the matter to drop with a parting nod to Thea for her open acceptance. Unaware of Xe'ter's possible arrogance in ignoring Kimmila, Th'ero frowns a little towards the other Weyrleader for other matters. Namely, the subtle request that the bronzerider is now assuming means he wants all the facts laid out - all of them. And that has Th'ero's jaw clenching a bit as his stubbornness kicks in. There are some secrets and knowledge, it seems, that the man is unwilling to part with. "I can see your point, Xe'ter." He remarks a touch coolly, "Where would you prefer me to start? With Stonehaven?" Now there's an edge to his voice, as if he's making it quietly known that he finds this backtracking to be unnecessary to a degree. After holding the other Weyrleader's gaze for some time, Th'ero then turns back to Thea and noting her wariness, treads a little lighter with the Weyrwoman. "As much as you'd freely give. Who he was, what he did, the damage he caused, his motives… And how his daughter came to be a Candidate, then later Impress." And so it begins.

Kimmila glances over to Xe'ter for a long moment, but in the end she holds her tongue and sips her klah. Best not burn /all/ the bridges at once. Green gaze flicks between Th'ero and Thea, and then back to Xe'ter. "Stonehaven was a massacre, done at Laris' hand and the hands of his men. The entire cothold - save for one - slaughtered, robbed, and piled in the snow." But lest the conversation go off into two different directions - Laris and Kefai - the bluerider glances to Th'ero and then to Thea, leaning forward a bit and resting her forearms across her knees. "Was she Searched? Or was she…placed into the ranks without a dragon's consent? With our clutch, Fort's clutch," she hastily corrects herself, "having hatched and Impressed in the midst of this, there are concerns about how easy it can be to infiltrate a Weyrlinghood."

Xe'ter's quiet is thoughtful, though is pale blue-silver eyes consider Th'ero for a moment. And then they focus deliberately on Kimmila, with an attentiveness that borders on draconic. Mostly because he seems to forget to blink. If the tale of the tragedy of Stonehaven isn't known to him, he doesn't show a great deal of horror at the story, though he notes with a quietness afterwards, "Some Weyrs still hold to the idea of an open invitation to Stand for those under their care, Search or no Search. And some take only those Searched, and some take those Searched before and don't bother them about the manner of how they got there afterwards. Dragon consent may be…inquired about, but it's nae the only way a person winds up on the Sands. Supposing she /were/ searched by a dragon, what then? Are we t'blame the dragon? Or the Weyrlingmaster for not instilling all she needed to be loyal to the Weyr? Or does it just make us uncomfortable that somehow, somewhere, someone without the best of intentions might still have what a dragon will accept, and will wind up flying beside us?" But they're almost rhetorical questions. The girl apparently wound up on the Sands, and impressed…it's water so long under the bridge now, yes?

In some ways the Xanadu Weyrwoman is easy. Not one to stand on formality or protocol where she doesn't have to, her dryly murmured, "Regardless of your personal life, I gather the two of you have been through a lot together, so." A shrug to leave just what the relationship between them is left undefined. Not her business. The woman can provide insight into Laris, so of course there is no challenge forth-coming from her. She remains silent in the aftermath of Th'ero's questions, shifting her attention to Kimmila. This information is not new to her though whether she's had time to debrief Xe'ter is made clear when she clears her throat, "Sorry, Xe'ter. I just found out about Stonehaven the other day while we were on the mountainside." And so of course with the whirlwind of activity to man that outpost and their separate tasks regarding that, they've barely seen each other. The concern she sees coupled with the questions asked about Search has her reserve crumbling. In a voice devoid of emotion she give the account almost woodenly, highly unusual for one who knows her usual warmth and expressiveness, "Kefai was a madman," she says staring at the top of Th'ero's desk without really seeing it. "Nothing he did made any sense to me. He gathered nearly a hundred men, women and children in some sort of bizarre cult-like following then poisoned nearly all of them in a cave near Ressac Hold. We took Kate and a few children he'd left behind. I don't remember if she was actually searched by a dragon or not, but she was asked to stand and permitted in the group of Candidates though some whispered against it. I was brand new to the Weyr and working as assistant headwoman. I'm holdborn and raised myself and so I really didn't pay much attention to those sorts of things back then." She pauses when Xe'ter speaks up but her eyes remain fixed upon the desk the whole time. When he quiets, she lifts her eyes to Th'ero's. "Kilaueth's eggs hatched and the gold chose her. Seryth hatched not long after out of Ellamariseth's clutch but though we were Weyrlings together, Kate kept to herself. One day she was simply… gone. And her gold would not hear or answer any of the queens. We tried."

There's an odd sound from the Weyrleader, but it's not long before it can be linked to a low, dry chuckle that is shortly lived before he sobers again. "We have." Is all he says to Thea, leaving his personal life and attachment to the bluerider unknown for now, left perhaps for another time, under more casual and lighter conversations that can be delved into but not this dreary and cold morning. Th'ero shoots Kimmila a quick darting look when she begins to share details even before the Weyrleader can receive Xe'ter's reply, not seeming to mind the details she shares at first until something she says has the bronzerider's eyes narrowing in warning. Maybe he feels she's alluded to too much? But about what exactly — the clutch? Hard to say. He holds his peace and listens carefully to the other Weyrleader's reply and by the end he's almost scowling. "I never meant to sound as though I was questioning long standing traditions or the choice of some Weyrs. I am simply curious as to how she came to Xanadu and her history with it for as long as she was there." Th'ero states quietly and defensively. Yes, it's all old news but something is driving the Weyrleader to seek more and it's probably something he hasn't gone about sharing. Thea begins her wooden retelling of the past and his attention shifts to her just as he exhales slowly to steady himself, easing back both some of the tension that's risen in him and likely his temper. He doesn't move, save to blink or cast quick darting looks to Kimmila and Xe'ter, but at one point he seems to be glancing more and more to the Western bluerider. By the end he is silent for some time as he digests all the information but also to carefully collect his thoughts. "I… begin to understand now. And I'm sure you and Xanadu's Leadership at the time did all they could. It must have been difficult to loose a gold so young and to never know why." He clears his throat then, lifting his wine glass and taking a generous sip. As he sets it back down, his gaze also turns downcast to where his fingers linger along the rim, drifting as they are idly along the surface. Finally, he speaks up again. "I wish I didn't have to dredge up such old news, but I suppose it is fair I offer my explanation. I ask because Laris seems to be working similarily to Kefai's methods…"

Kimmila meets Xe'ter's gaze without flinching or looking away, though she does frown. "All good questions that could easily wile away a few candlemarks over a beer," she remarks, "but I'm a believer in knowing everything I can about a situation - as you are, I gather," she says, pinning the Xanadu bronzerider with another look. "Water under the bridge or not, I'd like to know how /this/ particular goldrider came to be." And then she subsides, quiet to listen to Thea's tale. Leaning back into her chair once again, she finishes her klah and then rises, releasing some pent up energy as she goes to the little table to refill her mug. "So how do you know she went back to her father?" Might be the obvious question, but the bluerider asks it anyway as she grabs two muffins from the tray and walks back to her seat, choosing a path behind Th'ero's desk so she can set the muffin down by his glass of wine. Eat something. Then she sits once again. Listening to Thea's story, she looks over at Th'ero as well, brows knitting in a frown. "I'm sure they did," she is quick to agree with Th'ero.

Thea's eyes have dropped back to the desk while Th'ero speaks to Xe'ter. She isn't focused on the byplay between the two bronzeriders or the tradition of Search. And so she also misses that warning look he gives Kimmila, the bluerider's rebuttal to Xe'ter only vaguely heard. That the retelling of Kate and Kefai's story has brought to the surface long-buried feelings is obvious and she doesn't try to hide the fact. Her fingers have been slowly tightening on her glass stem and it's when Th'ero says they did everything, that she grinds out between her teeth, "No, we didn't." Loud in the silence, the stem snaps between her fingers, spilling what's left of her wine in her lap leaving her to blink at the mess absently. Lowly she says, "We didn't continue the search. We let him get away," then adds bitterly, "Those were our orders." Kimmila may have asked the question a few moments ago, but it only now sinks in. Her pale green eyes lift to the bluerider. "Where else would she have gone but to her father? Luciath clutched twice after she disappeared - once in that too-hot crater and once in Igen's hatching sands - the clutch abandoned. Twice a bronze flew her but she always slipped away afterwards. Then nothing, no bronze ever mentioned twining with her." She spreads her hands at the futility of it all until Th'ero's comment has her taking a sharply-indrawn breath. "Similar methods?" Troubled, very, "Do you think the pair… may have had some sort of contact?" This is the conclusion her mind leaps to: crazy meets crafty back in time, one jumps forward…

Th'ero likewise is focused on the conversations, keeping a careful eye on the reactions of the Xanadu Leadership and Kimmila as well. When the Western bluerider rises from her seat, he's distracted until he notices she's only gone for more refreshments. He can only nod a little to her questions, finding them valid and quietly approving of them. Her offer of the muffin and the silent command that goes with it though earns a slight twist of his mouth to a near smirk. Just as his hands reach to tear a small piece however, the sound of

Thea's wine glass snapping at the stem has the Fortian Weyrleader snaping his gaze up to the Xanadu Weyrwoman, shocked out of his focus on the details being laid out. In his head, he is likely cursing himself for not noticing the signs and pushing the goldrider too far too fast. But what is done is done. Food is abandoned, untouched for now as Th'ero rises to his feet and moves purposely to find a clean cloth. As one is found and then offered to the goldrider while he murmurs lowly, "Then you did as you were ordered, as any good and loyal rider does, regardless of personal opinion. You cannot fault yourself for mistakes that you had no control over. In the end, they may have escaped regardless." Now if only the Weyrleader would take that advice to heart, but perhaps the words are said not so much out of the need to comfort the Weyrwoman but to show in some way that he understands and yet not go into greater and awkward detail. As to Kate's whereabouts and then the grim news of Luciath's two clutches, Th'ero frowns heavily as he takes a step back from where Thea is seated. "Rogue bronzeriders then too?" It's not so much the color of the hide that has him sounding unsettled, but the idea that there could be /more/ then just Luciath. At the sharply-indrawn breath, he turns to look down at the Weyrwoman and his mouth draws down into a thin line, not bothering to mask the troubled emotions and thoughts brewing inside of him. "Not so much contact but that they two incidents are similar enough. Laris is… he's twisted in the head. Not to insanity but far enough. You've witnessed just how crafty he can be. And he's lured men to his cause and views before. I don't doubt he has again. To what gain I do not know. All I do know is he has no remorse for his actions."

Kimmila gets to her feet when the stem snaps, but Th'ero already has the cloth taken care of, and so the bluerider settles uneasily back into her chair. "Sometimes the best course of action in a hunt is to give up the chase," she says quietly, shrugging a shoulder. "Much as it might grate you to do so." She looks up at Th'ero, a bit surprised at his words, since they are spoken but not applied to himself so much. "What concerns me about that is the talk of abandoning clutches. Golds never abandon their clutch. The tale of Moreta speaks of her queen staying by her eggs even when Moreta had gone between on the other gold. So to just abandon a clutch… That does not speak of a healthy minded rider - or queen. Perhaps they tried to time it and did not make it." She settles back into the chair again, relaxing marginally into her thoughts. "He is good at placing spies. That unnerves me. Especially with such young and, pardon the pun, impressionable minds newly linked to dragons."

Thea's eyes track Th'ero as he's pacing to get the cloth, but the wine dripping down her leather trous has already been forgotten. Thus when he returns and offers the cloth it is with some bafflement that she takes it. Her confusion is short-lived though, "Oh! Thanks. I'm… sorry about the glass." Blotting the drips from her leathers first, then wrapping both pieces of broken wineglass in the cloth, she sets it on the corner of his desk, all the while mulling his words. "I don't," she says shortly about faulting herself. But she doesn't speak of blame. That part, buried as deeply as she can contrive to shove it, has and always will war with her innate loyalty and respect for her predecessor. "Thanks," she breathes with a hint of a smile a beat later but her dark hair tumbles about in the quick headshake she does right afterwards. "Not rogue bronzeriders. She would appear calling for males, fly them and then disappear *Between*. I don't think either of her two clutches resulted in renegades impressing them." Her eyes are as troubled as his, but hers are for different reasons because the thought she voices, "Who knows what he's done back there?" Meaning, of course, back in time. Could they have managed to attract a few males to them and started a band of rogue riders? Could there be somewhere on this huge planet a shadowy hidden Weyr isolated from all else? Kimmila's comment about them perhaps not making it to their destination *Between* - especially being of unsound mind, actually brings relief. "Maybe so," she allows with a long breath out. Though she does wince about Laris being similar to Kefai, "No doubt. The lack of remorse is… dangerous." As for infiltrating, "He's gotten access to or counterfeited knots and badges. Unless he's got an accomplice at the shop that manufactures them in Ierne." Troubling thoughts, those.

"No matter about the glass," Th'ero mumurs, stepping forwards again to carefully gather the two broken pieces in the wrapped cloth from his desk and set them carefully aside to be collected later. Thankfully for all the glass didn't just shatter. Noting Kimmila's surprise, the Weyrleader can only meet her glance with a questioning one of his own before the discussion turns again and his attention with it. "Ah, I see. So she was using stealth then, somehow, to just arrive seemingly from nowhere. If I wasn't so disturbed by her method, I'd almost say she was clever. Luring the bronzes and then disappearing…" And then he's shaking his head, his frown now one of confusion as his mind tries to wrap around so many theories, including one of multiple time lines. "/If/ Kate and Luciath had gone back in time with Kefai, it stands to reason they still live in /our/ time or their predecessors if any. IF where…when," He snorts a bit, already tripping over himself in the complexity of it. "They all vanished to they managed to survive… Faranth only knows how far back or… can you go forwards?" Judging by his tone, he sincerely hopes not. Th'ero seems to be entertaining similar ideas to Thea. Kimmila's addition brings another nod from the Weyrleader, agreeing again with her choice of reply. "Perhaps," he says along with the Weyrwoman. "And it could be that if she went too far, the distance to great and died, the others would not hear her or note her passing?" For a moment, he seems reluctant to part with more information, noticing Thea's wince again but Th'ero presses on all the same. What good will withholding the severity of the situation do now? So he swallows his pride and as he settles heavily into his chair, he fixes the goldrider with an even look, though it shifts to include Kimmila and the Xanadu Weyrleader as well. "Dangerous and… deadly. He has no fear. He openly challenged me in combat. Would have killed me, if one of my brownriders hadn't charged him before he could lift his sword again to finish it. His men will follow him too… enough to also challenge and kill a rider if need be." Now Th'ero's eyes linger on Kimmila and there's a change to his demeanor, subtle as ever but there: a protectiveness and something akin to sadness and concern. With a blink, his eyes fix back to Thea and his expression is neutral and grim set once more. "I've been meaning to visit Ierne. But he could have got those knots anywhere… Has anyone studied the knots and badges found? For a clue to whether or not they're truly authentic."

Kimmila shakes her head slightly, "Dragons do not keen when one of their own dies in the past," she says with a small frown. "Else they'd keen all the time, wouldn't they?" The nature of timing it has her shaking her head more firmly, fingers brushing against her temple as she wrestles with the possibilities. "Lessa brought the Oldtimers forward. So it is possible, but…you'd need a guide I'm sure, otherwise how would you know where you were going?" Sipping her klah, she pauses to take a bite from her muffin, and it's with her mouth full that Th'ero begins to speak of their battle with Laris. She frowns, posture shifting as well, scooting to the edge of her chair. "I took an arrow to the back during that fight," she says to the Xanadu riders. "And there were plenty of riders and guards. We were not a small group, and nor were we covert about who we were." Quiet again for a moment, she shakes her head. "I do not think Kefai and Laris are connected. IF they went back in time, we would have heard about it in /our/ times, yes? They do not strike me as the sorts of folks content to hide. Especially from what you've told us of Kefai, with his followers, such actions would have been noticed and written about. And those in the past would have dealt with him. As for Laris…I think we need to continue searching for him, but I also think he will make himself known again soon enough. He, like Kefai, is not the sort of man content to stay in the shadows. He wants followers. So we just have to follow the trail of missing people, and then we'll find him." Rubbing her fingers over her lips, she gives Th'ero a brief and questioning look, to see if he agrees with her or not. Then she looks curious. "/Is/ there a way to tell if they're authentic?" She glances at her simple shoulder knot, as if seeing it for the first time. "It's just thread and yarn…It looks easily faked."

Thea breathes another, "Thanks," about the glass before trying to follow Th’ero on the timeline thing but the paradoxes just leave her staggered. She simply shakes her head, "I suppose that could have happened," she says about the queen being too far away to sense if she got lost *Between*. Likely they'll never know for sure, but the comment from Kimmila about having heard something in present times had they made it goes a long way in helping her let it go. The release is a visible thing - the semi haunted look clears from her eyes and her chin lifts while the set, pinched look about her mouth relaxes. "True, we'd have heard about it." Th'ero's account of his fight with Laris draws her to say, "I was meaning to ask you about that. How did he get so close to you? What happened that he wanted to kill you?" Her gaze shifts to Kimmila, including her in the questions. As for those knots and badges, "I was weavercraft before impressing. One can compare fibers under a microscope, the way the twist of thread is done can be traced without much doubt to the person who made it. Not that I've had time to do that, but what little examination I had time to do, they certainly appear authentic to me. Though it's possible they could have been taken from bodies or stolen outright. It bothers me that he's thought to do this - try to infiltrate." Her eyes snap in withheld frustration until she muses aloud, "I suppose then, turnabout is fair play."

Th'ero makes a low sound in his throat, thoughtful again and lost within them though he dips his head in agreemement to Kimmila. Those same paradoxes that are staggering Thea are baffling him and so he's all to eager to let them slide. That will be something to muse over later, perhaps, when it's the only thing to think of. "Betweening requires guides no matter what." He murmurs softly and almost dismissively. They've reasoned out one possibility at least. There's an unlikelyhood that Kefai and Laris are of the same. More then likely they're dealing with ironic fate or a copycat. "The search for Laris will continue until he is captured or dead." The Weyrleader almost growls, glancing first to Kimmila and then over to Thea and from the way his hands tighten abruptly into fists, it's obvious he's wishing for the latter and possibly by his own sword. His anger until this point has been well hidden, but just as quickly as that tiny hint surfaces it's gone and his hands relax again. So the bluerider got her agreement, if in a rather roundabout way. Some of the tension has dissipated, likely helped by the fact by Thea's release, visible and noted as it is by Th'ero. He however still remains a little tense and his jaw clenches slightly, caught now in telling a story so few have likely heard and one he's not very keen on parting with, even in the presence of the Weyrwoman and Weyrleader of Xanadu. Not for lack of trust but more because he knows he'll be shedding light on several faults. "It wasn't my intention to get the Weyr so heavily involved but it seemed as more was revealed the deeper we became twined within it. One of Laris' men turned on him and sought asylum here with… well, Laurali. You know that part of the story." He clears his throat a little then, seeking out his wine glass and draining the last of it. "When we closed in on the camps, it was only supposed to be the representative of the Holds and a Harper who were to approach Laris and the Hold and Weyr guards to provide defense. We were there as support… not really to engage. But… the situation broke down rapidly into chaos, Laris and his men choosing to fight. I had to step in, he was closing in on unarmed neutral folk…" Th'ero can only shrug then, almost helplessly. "I'm not sure what was said or done that worked Laris into such a blood lust. Perhaps self preservation. His life or mine." Falling silent as Thea mentions the intricacies behind the knots, Th'ero considers the option and then shakes his head. "Too much work, I think. We'll have to assume they are real or very well done fakes. Regardless, they'd pass as a rank knot and badge." At the mention of some of those knots coming from bodies, the Weyrleader's expression turns dark and grim, unsettled by the possibilities. "And yet he has and may continue to be doing so. Cothold, Hold, Craft, Weyr… nothing seems to stop him or his followers. He's set decoys up too." There's a pause and with an almost weary sigh, he adds. "And this is where we should discuss what to do next. Do we put out posters? The other Weyrs need to be notified and they notify their Holds. If Pern goes on enough of an alert… it may disturb his web enough to make him stumble or out of desperation come out. As Kimmila said earlier, he's not likely to be one to hide for long." And he gives the Western bluerider a brief, but crooked smile.

Kimmila gets to her feet and walks behind Th'ero's desk once more, this time picking up his empty wine glass so she can fill it. "Thea?" she asks, holding up the wine bottle as offering to get her another drink. If so, the bluerider will pour and deliver, and if not, she walks behind Th'ero once again, setting down his refilled glass before she takes her seat. "The things he did within Fort's borders required Weyr action," she says, firm on that point. "But the Holds were included as well, since Stonehaven was a Hold matter, not a Weyr matter. But things got nasty very quickly." She shifts in her seat a bit, with a frown. "It doesn't matter if the knots are real or not. Regular folks won't be inspecting them that closely. They'll assume they're authentic, and so should we." She gives Th'ero a long look. She /told/ him this. And then she nods. "I agree with Th'ero. I think posters need to be sketched out and distributed. This man travels too fast and too far to assume he's going to stay in Xanadu territory for long." Then she pauses, giving Thea a thoughtful look. "Turnabout is fair play? Have you tried to infiltrate his network?"

Thea leans forward, listening intently to the account, the end of which finds her forearms resting on the desk she's sitting in front of. "Not much else you could do but get involved given the situation," she murmurs though her concern only increases with the telling of it. As for the knots and badges, she simply nods. There isn't much sense in studying them if most folks are going to accept them as real anyway. "He's got to know he's being looked for," she says matter-of-factly. "So having posters about won't tell him anything he doesn't know. The holds and Weyrs should know who he is if he shows himself. And if a big enough reward is offered maybe someone will turn on him again. If nothing else the man may stay away for fear of being recognized. Her lips part to say more, but Kimmila's question of wine forestalls the comment. "Yes please, if you will," she answers quietly, adding with a return of her usual humor as her lips twist in a wry sort of smirk, "I'll try not to break it this time, nor waste that lovely mulled wine on the unappreciative floor." She accepts with a gracious murmur, sips then shakes her head. "No, not yet. But somewhere, somehow someone clever enough might be found who can infiltrate and keep us apprised. Do either of you have anyone like that?"

Th'ero blinks, the spell of concentration broken again when Kimmila walks behind his desk and takes his empty glass to refill it. Touched, perhaps, for her gesture even in a serious time like this, he murmurs a gracious (and grateful) thanks to the bluerider before taking the glass in hand and sipping the contents slowly. It is, after all, still early morning for Fort and given how he was being silently pressed to eat earlier, it's doubtful the Weyrleader has any food on his stomach. Now wouldn't that make for a great start? A drunken bronzerider by noon. The look Kimmila gives him over the subject of the posters only has him looking a touch sheepish. Perhaps he forgot that detail, in light of all that has happened. "Some of the more remote cotholds may not. And he seems to mask his one key trait as best he can… Otherwise his features could be, well… most men I'd think?" Th'ero murmurs thoughtfully, one hand coming up to rub along his chin as he considers the use of the posters in light of Thea's comments. With the return of some humor, the Weyrleader's mood improves for a second before sobering again. "I'm afraid I don't know of anyone who would be suited to infiltrate," he answers honestly after a lapse of silence as he thinks long and hard over a few options. His gaze does dart to Kimmila though and there is a flicker of something past. Could it be more is being withheld?

Kimmila sits up in her seat, scooting to the edge, an odd brightness to her eyes suddenly. "I'll do it," she says, volunteering herself with a grin that can only be described as a touch feral. "Farnath, I would do that in a heartbeat." Oh, there are /so/ many problems with that, as she looks at Xanadu's goldrider and /not/ at the Fortian Weyrleader.

"Have them draw his full form. Not too many men have that barrel-shaped body. And his eyes…" The Xanadu Weyrwoman shudders, "The tunnelsnake creepy-cold of them might cause some to take another look and spot him." If Thea was going to say more, it's totally gone the moment Kimmila speaks. That bright look is not lost on her and she smiles despite the situation, "I should go with you. Right? Because he won't be expecting the person who tried to take him down and the Weyrwoman who housed him for the winter, eh? I could cut my hair off, maybe bleach it blonde, what do you think, Th'ero?" And here she's shifting a sly look at the Fort Weyrleader.

"Mhm. That could work. I'm sure we could get enough witnesses rounded up that an artist can sketch a close likelihood of him." The Weyrleader mumbles, half distractedly concerning those posters. Th'ero begins to sense what is to come even before Kimmila's has uttered the words just by the bluerider's reaction and she doesn't have to be looking at him at all to know his reaction. It's so strong and volatile it'd be next to impossible to ignore and while he's still trying to control his emotions and expression, some breaks through all the same. "Absolutely not!" he says, not yelling the words but saying it in just enough of a raised voice, tone edged and firm, hard and with authority. "I know you would and Faranth knows you're likely skilled enough to pull it off Kimmila but I'd be insane to let you go. Laris will recognize you and if not him, then one of his men!" Thea's sly look is met with one of absolute incredulousness from Th'ero, as if he hadn't quite expected the Weyrwoman to side in favor. Along with being uptight, he has a very poor sense of humor and already bristling from the conflicting emotions of Kimmila volunteering, his mood sours rapidly. "It'd be too much of a risk," he says, though from the way his eyes darken and flash, he was very tempted to say something far more insulting and potentially abrasive to both Weyrwoman and bluerider.

Kimmila glances at Thea, and then comes Th'ero's reaction, and the bluerider meets his gaze with a frown. Then with a low sigh, she sinks back into her chair, lifting a hand to her temple. No doubt Varmiroth is chiming in as well. "Fine," she murmurs. "Fine!" comes a second, more forceful time and probably directed towards her blue. "No, I don't know anyone," she says, a bit grumpy about it. Darn responsibilities. Darn having someone else care about you, so you can't go take unnecessary risks. Glancing again at Th'ero, she sees just how much her comment has riled him, and she leans forward from her seat to reach for his hand in a very rare show of PDA. "I won't, Wingmate," she murmurs. "Promise."

Okay see, living with the gruff, taciturn Weyrecond has prepared Thea for moments like these. You'd think that tone and look would have Thea stammering a soothing apology and backpedaling, but nope! She just twinkles right back at him, sense of humor or not. "That's what I thought you'd say," she says and no Th'ero, she doesn't even try to hide the SMUG in the comment. He's answered, and answered quite definitively a question that's been simmering in the back of her romantic little heart since they landed in those foothills back beyond Xanadu. She winks at Kimmila and says dryly, "Dosing his klah won't work either. Trust me on this." D'had would have had her sitting safely by the radio in crisis situations all these turns, but somehow that hasn't worked out so well for him, now has it?

Th'ero meets Kimmila's look right back, narrowed at first as though braced for a challenge and argument that he's all prepared not to back down from. Instead she's sinking back into her chair and he leans back a little too, watching her almost warily. At that very rare gesture, the Weyrleader's temper subsides, along with the obvious concern that had surfaced through his control. Not that he'd openly admit it. "It's agreed then. Neither of you or myself," Did he ever volunteer? "Can go for obvious reasons. Is there anyone else remotely close to being capable?" He expects no apology from Thea or any backpedaling as he has no true control over the Xanadu Weyrwoman's decisions, not that he seeks to control. Her smugness is met with a heavy frown and a displeased smirk, not bothering to hide the fact that he's not taken the little 'joke' well in the slightest. Knowing though that his continued behavior could spiral things into a rather awkward and abrupt end, Th'ero makes a slight attempt at some recovery. "Does my klah?" he drawls softly, "It should be her worrying over hers." Not that that would work either and never would the Weyrleader actually do it. But he proves that he /can/ joke a little when he feels like it.

Kimmila glances at Thea curiously, an arched brow adding to that questioning look. The bluerider then releases Th'ero's hand and settles back into her chair, and she snorts. "Try it," she says, but there's more wry humor than actual challenge in her tone. There's a pause, and she clears her throat. "I can't think of anyone. But I do think we need to get the posters out as soon as possible. Who knows where he is right now. He could already be trying to recruit more folks into his little band."

Thea is unfazed by Th'ero's ill humored response but then, she doesn't have to live with him, after all. She chuckles over his last comment and Kimmila's retort, but makes no further comment about it. The pair are getting a rather bright look though and there's a pleased quirk to the corners of her mouth as she returns to business. "I agree about the pictures. Search and rescue has been working with some rough ones one of our harpers drew from talking to myself, Soriana and Laurali's harpers." She mulls the idea of an infiltrator over in her mind before saying decisively, "Ers'lan. He could do it. He's got just the sort of rough upbringing and survival skills such a task would require. It would be a huge sacrifice for he and Zhaoth to be separated, but if anyone can do it, he can."

"Don't think I won't," Th'ero fires back to Kimmila, his tone quiet though and holding no real threat. The brief volley though breaks the last of his temper and the tension eases from his shoulders enough that the Weyrleader doesn't sit so stiffly in his seat. "If he hasn't already," he adds grimly to the bluerider's statement. Glancing back to Thea, he nods to the Weyrwoman as she goes into further details concerning the posters. Mulling over them, he speaks up again and slowly, as if still working out the idea in his head as he speaks, "Perhaps I'll see then if we can get some sketched and then see how closely it resembles the one worked by the Harper's currently in Xanadu. To be sure the details do not vary too much." At her suggestion, Th'ero quirks a brow as the name is unfamiliar, but then the Weyrleader wouldn't likely know it. "If he is willing to accept the task… you will inform us?" Suddenly, an idea strikes him though his gaze shifts towards Kimmila, as if expecting a negative reaction to the name he is about to drop. "Now that you mention select skills… I may have a rider too, who can go as backup or with Ers'lan if need be. Jaye. She was with us on the search." Never mind Th'ero is suspect about her past, but that is another matter entirely.

Kimmila doesn't have to live with him either. She gives Thea a baffled look at the goldrider's bright look. "What?" she asks, glancing to Th'ero and then back to Thea. She's missed something, clearly. Looking back to Th'ero, she nods along with his suggestions until he suggests Jaye, and then her brows lift. Then furrow, and clearly her emotions have gone from surprise/wtf to thoughtful/hmmmm, that might work. "Jaye, perhaps…though I really doubt her brown or her Weyrmate would let her go. But…if she's willing." Kimmila is still pouting a bit that she doesn't get to be the one going on this adventure.

Thea nods soberly about both the sketches and the rider mentioned. "I will ask him, but it also might be good to have him come for an interview and briefing with you both." The mention of a rider who was with them on their search perks the Weyrwoman's interest. "The rough woman who deciphered the scratches on the rock? Interesting." Very interesting indeed. "Nothing," she says innocently to Kimmila, that little smile still there. Oh she could say something like 'you two are so cute.' But that would hardly go over well with at least one of them.

"Maehwazeyeth is rather possessive of her and… I had forgotten about K'drozen. She is still a good rider to consider though, if need be." Th'ero murmurs thoughtfully, though it sounds as though he's voicing his inner thoughts out loud more then anything from his distracted tone. He's pulled back to relatiy by Thea's suggestion and the Weyrleader nods, "I think that would be fitting if we were to meet Ers'lan. Seems only fair." There's a nod to confirm the Weyrwoman's assumptions, though he levels her with a long look for her rather mild reply. He's missed that bright look from earlier and Kimmila catching on, so he only glances between the two of them, slightly puzzled but intrigued. What's going on? Clearing his throat, Th'ero is slowly getting to his feet. "I'll assume then that we've discussed all there is needed to be discussed? I've had my concerns and questions aired and answered and it seems we're on agreement with almost all matters. Is there anything more you wish to bring to light? Anyone?" And his gaze will sweep all those present, lingering only long enough to catch any affirmative or dismissing gesture.

Kimmila continues to give Thea a baffled look. Whaaaaat? But then the meeting is wrapping up and Kimmila rises as well, setting her mug down and slipping her hands into her pockets. She gives her head a shake at Th'ero's question, glancing to the Xanadu leaders instead.

Thea returns Th'ero's long look with a serene unconcern. What? It is interesting! Jaye would be the first to agree with that. The answers to those other questions - the unvoiced ones they both have - will have to wait for a future time after they've have all become better acquainted. For now, it seems for Thea is keeping her cards close for the time being. She just shakes her head; not important. Really. She too rises, "Nothing further at this time, Weyrleader. I'm pleased and relieved with the outcome of this meeting." Sending a look towards Xe'ter, she adds, "I'm sure Romth is ready to return to summer." But out on the rim Seryth would love to remain in the rain, visiting with dragons she doesn't see all the time.

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