Winds of Change

Xanadu Weyr - Nature Gone Wild Weyrbarn

The victim of one of the major storms to pass through the Weyr this past turn or so, this weyrbarn stands amidst the majestic trees of the forest like a testament to rebuilding and carrying on. Though it used to be little more than a shack, with a lot of hard work and effort, this structure has been returned to its former magnificence. Broad boarded dark wood walls rise two stories to a slate roof, a stone chimney rising up along the right wall crafted from smooth river stones. Windows with shutters often stand open, glass panes also propped up to invite breezes, or closed and latched to keep out the weather.
A smaller human sized door is nestled within the larger dragon sized one, and walking in you are treated to the vastness of space. Much of it given to Kalsuoth's couch on the left side of the building, the worn stone comfortable and perfectly sized for the brown. The human part has been built up from nothing, with fresh wooden floors laid and new furniture brought in. The walls are left to their natural wood, though many of the cabinets have a fresh coat of blue paint, and fabric accents also hold hints of blue and green to soften all that brown from the natural wood. A sitting area on the right side is reached up a few steps, nestled near to the fireplace. Beyond, the open floorplan boasts a kitchen and a laundry room, as well as a spacious bathroom with a wide, deep tub. A spiral staircase leads to the top floor, where there are two bedrooms - only one currently in use - and an office.
Just the kind of fixer-upper Thea would recommend for her son, if indeed she had anything to do with assigning the dwelling. It builds character, right?

It's a morning in summer, rain pattering down across the roof of this weyrbarn. Falling down over the walls and to the ground, expertly dug to divert the rain away from the foundation. No longer does the rain pool in the corners, or trickle between mosses and mushrooms to nourish. No, inside the weyrbarn things are dry, fans moving slowly to keep the air moving. Kalsuoth dozes after an early morning sweep and delivery, and Mur'dah is dressed in loose trousers and a cotton shirt, having just taken a bath to wash off the morning's grime.

A restday for Thea means she's not in the office this morning. First order of the day, sleeping in - at least a little because a restday should include rest, then up and some whirlwind baking is done. She's got a basket loaded with warm apple-redfruit muffins and fresh sugar cookies tucked in for Alishe, who she hopes to spend a good chunk of her day with. She's planning to spend some time today touching base with her scattered family - a prospect that pleases her immensely and lightens both her mood and her step. Mur'dah's weyrbarn is closest to hers, so she gathers her things, tucks a large thermos of hot klah under one arm and grabs an umbrella and heads to his place while enjoying the sounds and scents of the rain in the forest as she goes. A brisk rap upon his door heralds her arrival.

A knock on the door? Hark, who goes there? At least he doesn't have a girl upstairs in his bed, as he walks forward to open the human sized door. "Mom!" he says, expression lighting up in surprise and happiness! "Come in out of the rain!" And he will happily usher her indoors, offering to take her umbrella, shake it out, and stick it in the metal can by the door that holds his own blue umbrella.

Fortunately, N'shen isn't worried about his brother having a girl upstairs - or, at least, the consequences of bursting in unannounced in such a situation. Of course, it could be a little bird told him Thea's already ahead of him. Make that a big lump of a dragon. Either way, the Weyrleader doesn't even bother with the ritual of knocking - he simply flings open the door and stands in the doorway in all his soaked glory. In a deep, resounding voice, he announces to all and sundry: "Thea! I have had a brainstorm!" Yes, Nash, you certainly have. Pronouncement made, he then turns bright green eyes on his younger sibling and positively beams at Mur'dah. "Hey, little bro. Lovely day, isn't it?" Brainstorm, indeed.

Chances are, a morning visit is less risky than a nighttime one? This could be Thea's plan, though if Mur'dah is anything like his father, time of day won't make a difference where women are concerned. In that case, the knock could always be ignored and Mur'dah none the wiser who was there. Unless he peeked out the window and then – moodkill! "Good morning Mur," says his mother cheerily, allowing him to relieve her of that umbrella. Hefting that basket, "I bring food!" Because he's still growing right? Seryth will definitely share her rider's destination with Taozyuth without alerting Thea, gleefully so because surprises rock her world and thus they must also rock her rider's. So it is when the door bursts open behind her, Thea is surprised. "My two favorite sons!" she exclaims, her pleasure in the rainy morning increased. But brainstorm? "And here I thought it was rain," she drawls with a teasing grin up - way up - at N’shen.

Mur'dah beams at his mother, peering curiously at that basket of food. "Food!" Yay! Yes, he is still growing, even if it's just his skills and his ego as he motions for her to move up to the living space and sit at the table. And then…"Big bro!" Sounds stupid, but he'll go with it. "Looks like I'm playing host to the bigshots of the weyr today. Come to promote me?" he asks, grin crooked. Teasing, clearly, as he goes into his little kitchen area. "I've got some juice and I could make some klah," he offers.

"Rain?" N'shen stares blankly at Thea for a moment before glancing down at his own soaked attire. "Oh, huh. Yeah. Rain. But! Brain, too." Mur'dah's gibe draws a sly grin from the bronzerider. "Maybe," he drawls slowly as he edges his way to the side to drip quietly on the stone of the wallow. "So, Thea, you know how I was talking earlier about how annoying it was to be so unprepared to be Weyrleader?" Talking? Bemoaning, bewailing, sobbing into his milk - you know how it goes. "So I got to thinking, there has to be a better way to prepare riders to take over some of the big knots. Not just Weyrleader, but Weyrsecond, wingleader, that sort of thing." Obviously, he has ideas in that direction, but he pauses there, focusing his attention on the Weyrwoman - though it might be he's still watching his sib out of the corner of his eye for any reaction from the newly-minted wingrider.

"Already done!" says Thea with a quick kiss to Mur'dah's cheek. The thermos clamped with one arm to her side is offered to him and now she has those arms free to hug him too. N'shen is next to be offered an affectionate greeting - even if he is wet. Rain is rain and she's oft wandered without an umbrella to let it fall on her She hasn't been here since the place was a gutted hulk with wild flora growing inside and so while the two half-brothers exchange comments, she peers around with avid interest and growing approval at the finished weyrbarn. "This is so nice-" she begins, only to laugh at the quipped question Mur'dah tosses at N'shen. Without missing a beat, she grins, "We still need a Weyrsecond." She's totally kidding, right Nash? With the way promotions have gone around here lately, you never know though. Nodding, "Hmmn," she replies in a semi-question, semi-encouragement for N’shen to go on. They've mentioned training, among other possibilities, but nothing solid has been formed, perhaps due to time constraints.

Maybe? That's not what Mur'dah wanted to hear, as he stares suspiciously at his older brother. And then suspiciously at his mother. "Oh," he says to his mother with a grin at the thermos, before he's returning the hug with a tight squeeze. "Thanks," he adds, looking around his weyr with much pride, beaming down at Kalsuoth, and then he motions for them all to sit around his dining room table so they can eat and drink and…be plotty.

Only mildly damp now, N'shen takes Mur'dah up on his gesture and slides into one of the chairs, tilting back as he continues to study his mother and brother thoughtfully. "So, we use the traditional wing set up, right? One wingleader, two wingseconds, and a bunch of itty bitty wingriders fluttering around. Wingleader and wingseconds are usually the more experienced riders, so forth and so on. Back during Thread, that made sense - the Wingleader was in charge of his wing's formation during Fall. But now, how often do we actually use the entire wing on maneuvers? Wingleader's basically a wingrider's job with a lot of additional paperwork. So, why not start cycling the wingriders into the wingleader and wingsecond positions. Stick 'em in for a time, let them get used to what it's like to lead a wing, make decisions, and fill out reams of paper - in triplicate," he adds disgustedly, "and just rotate 'em in and out. Everyone gets experience and the wings get a bit of a shakeup. They need it," he adds with a smirk.

Thea's eyes crinkle with mirth as she continues to smile at her youngest son. Surprise? No, not really. She heeds that hand motion, drifting to the table, giving both the Weyrbarn and her eldest son her attention on the way. "I love the color scheme," she says to Mur'dah, glass-green eyes turning to N'shen then, focusing on his words. She nods, following his train of thought, absently setting that basket of muffins and cookies in the center of the table. "Not often, except in emergencies," she says slowly, thoughtfully. She sits, also absently as her full attention is given to consider the idea, flicking a questioning look to see what Mur'dah thinks. She muses aloud, "This breaks with tradition, some weyrfolk might complain, but…" But, well, she's tossed tradition on its ear several times lately. "How would you plan to maintain consistent training for the Search and Rescue wing?"

Mur'dah is the last to sit down, once his guests/invaders are settled. Listening, his brows lift at N'shen's suggestion, clearly thinking it over as he gets a drink and a muffin. "So the wing would be in constant flux? Every…however often you'd have someone else giving the orders?" He frowns a little bit at that. "Doesn't seem…consistent." Looking around, he smiles. "Thanks, Mom. Marel and Darsce helped me with it."

"I would be overseeing all of the wings. Of course, that means I'd give up Quasar to the rotation, as well, but that's all to the good - after all, Quasar's leadership depends on who wins Seryth's flight, and how often have we had bronzeriders in that role who have no idea what they're doing?" He raises his own hand with a sunny smile. "Yes," he adds, turning his gaze directly on Mur'dah. "But that's all part and parcel of learning. People need to learn how to deal with the unexpected - the fact that we get so entrenched in what we always know that when something comes along that isn't part of our routine it knocks us on our asses… well, you get my point, I hope? Thea and I will still oversee the general duties of each wing, and I'll be keeping a dragon's eye on things to make sure nothing goes terribly wrong… but in my opinion, we need to get used to the fact that things change, and sometimes they change overnight. The point of all this is to prepare people for that point in time they might be called on to step up and do what needs to be done without warning."

"Oh did they?" There's no other mention of Xanadu's newest Headwoman, merely a benign expression on the Weyrwoman's face upon hearing Darsce's name. But a tinge of guilt passes over her expression at the mention of her daughter's and she murmurs, "I need to visit Marel and see her new place; I meant to do it long before today." But things kept coming up and… sigh. She plants both elbows on the table, lacing the fingers of both hands together as a chin rest and mulls N'shen's plan over while dividing her glances between the two of them. It's true that Quasar's leadership can result in an inexperienced and unprepared leader. "In that case, we should also rotate all of Xanadu's bronze and brownriders through Quasar Wing too," she says at length. "Kalsuoth could potentially win one of Seryth's flights," she elaborates, flashing Mur'dah a faintly troubled look, that clearly says: have a personal escape plan in mind, rider, we're related! Back to the topic at hand, looking to N'shen, "As long as you're overseeing the training of Galaxy's riders - people's lives depend on the competency and readiness of that one. And the goldriders should continue training with them, too." Because sometimes the larger dragons are needed. "So how often would you rotate them?" she echoes Mur'dah's question.

Mur'dah still doesn't look totally sold on the idea - not that they're asking for his opinion, but it is his house they're meeting in. "Yes, but…well I guess it would depend on how often they rotated. And how easy it would be to pull someone that was /definitely/ not doing things the way they should be done. I don't know," he shrugs, "I'm a fan of stability. Too much chaos can break things apart faster than stagnation." Look at him and his fancy words. Has he been hanging out with Jeth? And then he blanches. "He'd never chase her," he says firmly but…you never know. Yeah, if that happened he'd lock himself in a closet and suffer the mental anguish of being alone. Then, quietly, "Marel's weyr is stunningly beautiful. It's perfect for her…"

"Taozyuth chases Seryth every time she flies," N'shen remarks flatly to his brother, "despite the fact that I used to ask him not to. Our dragons love us and honor us - but they sometimes have their own mind about what they'll do. Not, I think, that Tao would chase if it caused me pain for him to do so," he adds, "and he's very careful about making certain I'm somewhere safe before he goes." He waves a hand. "Don't fret it, little brother. There are always options." Including taking a sabatical from the Weyr every time Seryth is close to rising. "I agree with you to a point - too much chaos can have a debillitating effect on morale. However, I'm thinking in terms of four to six month rotations. Additionally, I'm not going to switch people between wings - these will be the same riders you work with day in and day out, it's only the knot that is changing. I will be happy to work with the wings to set up a steady training schedule that will persist no matter who is wingleader."

Lookit all this precise language! Thea looks impressed with both of them. She doesn't appear to mind Mur'dah's input at all. She nods understandingly at Mur'dah's sentiment. She prefers security, though it's oft a rare thing where dragons are concerned. "I have every confidence that Nash will keep things running as smoothly as possible." However, pulling someone from wingleader if they don't cut it? Her smirk is a touch evil, "Nash is the boss, he'll deal with that promptly and effectively, I'm sure." She has no qualms about his leadership and diplomacy in managing the wings. She doesn't push the idea of rotating browns and bronzes through Quasar once the thought has been mentioned. It's meant as input for his consideration and she easily leaves it with him to decide upon. She nods after a few minutes of thought, "It'll keep them on their toes and give us a chance to evaluate who the potential leaders are." So the type of performance evaluation V'dim subjected them to in weyrlinghood will continue, in a manner of speaking. "Have you got anyone in mind?" she directs this one to N'shen.

Mur'dah shifts a bit. "Yeah…" But. But he doesn't say anything else on the issue of flights and his mother. He keeps avoiding that issue and he'll deal with it when Seryth starts to glow. Glancing at his mother, Mur'dah slouches a bit in his chair. "I'd vote for six," he offers. "It takes time to get used to new stuff. Too short and no one gets settled to even see if it'd work or not…" Glancing at Thea again, the brownrider nods. "I guess." He's still not a fan though.

There's sympathy in Nash's green eyes as he studies his brother. "Confusing, huh? You just graduate, and here I am messing up the world you've always known. It won't be easy at first, and I anticipate plenty of resistance, especially from the current wingleaders," and here he pauases, the glint in his eyes growing dangerous, "in fact, I look forward to it," he adds somewhat nastily. "However," is the brisk continuation, "I still feel this is the best available option, when you consider the alternative is all too many riders who are unprepared when the burden falls on them. Additionally," Nash adds thoughtfully, "it will give me a better idea of who has leadership potential and who is better relegated to the ranks - and… who might have the spark I need in a Weyrsecond." His eyes slide towards Thea, and he tilts his head. "In mind for…?"

Yeaaaah, Thea's mind has skittered away from the subject of flights and either one of them winning it as well. Even though Seryth is overdue to rise, it’s inevitable that she surely will sooner or later. Mur'dah's lack of enthusiasm is not dismissed. He's so like his father! D'had was a reluctant leader, disliking sudden change. She reaches a hand to pat his soothingly, if it's accessible. She then flashes a look at N'shen, lifting a brow at his tone and she chuckles, perhaps a touch wickedly. "Ers'lan has seemed to relish his position immensely," she says mildly, assuming that's who will challenge his decision since he'll be displaced by the new plan. Both are strong-willed men, so it wouldn't surprise her if there are fireworks. "To begin the rotation as wingleader and wingsecond of Galaxy," she clarifies with a widening of her smile, though she wouldn't mind knowing if he's been considering someone for Weyrsecond, either.

Mur'dah smirks a bit at his older brother. "It's fine," he says with a wave of his hand, which then settles down to be touched by Thea's, and he turns his hand to hold hers loosely. "I haven't had stability since -" he cuts himself off, glancing at his mother. "For a while. But it's good," he hastily says, "it's growth." Cough. "The /real/ important things are /always/ stable. Family and all that." Nice save.

"Ah. No, it's all going to be random. Drawn from a hat, as it were. How can I evaluate leadership and see how people step up to the unexpected if I'm hand-picking everything? Rest assured," Nash adds soothingly, "if the person chosen doesn't work out, I'll bring in someone who will to finish out their term. But I have faith that the wingriders of Galaxy - and of the other wings - understand the importance of their jobs. And I will keep an especial eye on Search and Rescue." There's a hint of bittersweet sadness in the bronzerider's tone - Thea might remember that a once too-young Nash cherished dreams of being S&R before V'dim got his hooks in the lad. "Though," he muses, glancing at his mother out of the corner of his eye, "this could all be moot before too much longer, I suppose." He's not unaware of Seryth's cycle, himself.

Since she put him on a ship bound for Cold Stone Hold, Thea assumes without the fresh stab of pain or sharp intake of breath such a reminder used to evoke. Instead it's a dull, heavy ache that never truly goes away and she's grown used to the regret so is able to press her fingers to Mur'dah's comfortingly. "I know," she says lowly, soothingly, those two words seeking to convey her understanding of his disquiet. As for N'shen, she does indeed remember his dreams and her smile echoes his, semi-sad but only fleetingly. He's Weyrleader now and can do as he pleases with S&R. Though, yes, that could all change overnight should Seryth rise and another bronze catch her. Meanwhile, "Random. That's… perfect." Because if Mur'dah winds up as Comet's wingleader and Marel lands Quasar's wingleader knot, they can't blame her. Hah! She nudges the basket towards her two melancholy sons. Because home-made muffins! They fix everything.

Mur'dah gives his mother's hand a firm, strong squeeze, before he lets it go to reach for a muffin. Nom. "Random is good," he muses with a shrug, glancing between the Senior and the Weyrleader. He doesn't really have much else to say on the matter. So he'll be quiet for the moment, picking at the muffin.

A muffin is plucked from the basket as N'shen watches his family quietly. Unlike the twins, he was never close enough to D'had to miss him much one way or the other - the true family tie for him is and will always be Thea and her unconditional love. Picking at the pastry, he studies both of them thoughtfully. "I'll toss it around in my head a bit more, but I think this is what I'm going to go with. Good point about the six months, Mur'dah, might well go with that number instead of my initial four. Half a turn isn't a bad run, I think." He lifts the muffin and takes a healthy bite, licking crumbs from his thumb as he mulls. "Yeah. I'll write it up and put it on your desk. For tomorrow," he adds sternly - as if having just remembered this was Thea's rest day. And, speaking of rest, "So, Mur'dah, got any lady friends of late? If not, I'm sure Natali has some friend or another who needs a hook up." Bland smile.

Thea allows Mur'dah's hand to slip from hers, pleased when they both take muffins. It's a mom-thing, always will be, the heartening sight of her sons feeding on her provisions. She nods agreement to N'shen's plan. "I'll look forward to seeing it." Pause. "Tomorrow." She grins cheekily back at him. Yes, she'll behave and abide by those enforced rest days. Presumably, they're all marked off on her calendar in the Steward's handwriting, perhaps because he supplies her with a new one each turn and has prior access. As the topic changes, although she's totally curious regarding the answer to the question N'shen poses to Mur'dah, she doesn't linger to hear it. As she rises from the table, she removes the muffins, takes the basket with the sugar cookies in hand. "I'm going to enjoy my day off by kidnapping Alishe for the day," she announces, bending to brush each of their cheeks with a fond kiss. "You two enjoy your chat - I'll see myself out." And off she goes to do just that, leaving them to talk about girls and…things. Things they won't want to discuss around their mother. Lalala. Just bring the gal home to meet her sometime, Mur'dah!

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