Mission Briefing

Xanadu Weyr - Council Chambers

Effort has obviously been spent on this room and the result is quintessal elegance. The shape is that of an ellipse, the ceiling a smooth dome of polished granite that gleams in the soft but powerful lighting. The walls are also smoothed down but the granite is covered by tapestries that display the badges of every Craft, Hold, Weyr and Weyrhold on Pern. The largest, of course, is the one opposite the double doors that displays a full color rendition of the Xanadu Weyr badge.
Much of the floor is occupied by a smoothly curving U shaped table, the top made of Lemos hardwood and polished to a brilliant shine and the legs carved from granite most likely taken from the Weyr itself. The chairs are also hardwood with tapestry cushions patterned with a soothing geometric worked in soft creams and ivories. The is room to seat perhaps thirty or forty people but fewer can cluster at the 'bottom' of the U and thus it works as well for smaller gatherings.

Late summer finds Xanadu quite warm- in fact it's downright sweltering outside and not much better inside the main caverns with the air cooling unit not appearing to be working at all. Lunch has ended in the caverns some time ago and Rukbat halfway between its zenith and the western horizon. Those who can, have taken their work outside to scatter and sit in the shade under the trees or down at the beach where there's at least a breeze, so the halls and inner Weyr appear fairly deserted. With the hour approaching Fort's lunchtime, there is a tray on the council table loaded with sandwich rolls and cold edibles like seafood salad, wherry salad and fruit salad. A small tub full of ice is set nearby on a low table with bottles of chilled fruit juice, water, wine and ale. That the leaders of both Fort and Xanadu are meeting is obvious in the maps and charts stacked at the head of the table but the room is empty save for the Xanadu Weyrwoman, who is pacing restlessly. Oddly, before the open window is a huge plastic tub with a giant block of ice in it - behind that a fan pulls air in from outside and blows a current over the ice. Someone finally took desperate measures to cool the room.

Haven't spent most of the night and half the day already under medicinal induced sleep, Th’ero hasn't had much time at all to enjoy the later summer heat or even reflect on it. The moment he had roused himself and reasonably refreshed himself, Velokraeth was passing on word that his presence was required at the Council Chambers. Reluctant at first, the Weyrleader grudgingly accepts that logically it makes sense to get matters done and underway as soon as possible. Changing into some fresh clothes thoughtfully brought to him by Kimmila, he informs the Western bluerider as well of the summons and together they make their way across the meadow and clearings to the common areas and into the council chambers. Th'ero's movements are slow but the Weyrleader doesn't seem as pained or in any great discomfort, simply awkward and cautious. Hesitating by the threshold, he clears his throat slightly before stepping forwards. "Afternoon," he says politely enough, giving Thea a respective nod and faint smile before letting his gaze drift about the room. Nothing no one else present yet, he quirks a brow in mild surprise but says nothing. The refreshments are noted, along with the maps and charts as he quietly selects a seat higher up along the tables and within clear view of them. If he's noticed the contraption set to cool the room, he doesn't bring it up. Likely he'll be glad for a bit of innovative technology for once, if he means they all won't be sweating and miserable within moments.

Kimmila walks in just behind Th'ero, the bluerider dressed for the tropics in loose tan trousers and a breezy white linen shirt. Hair in a braid, she is knotless as usual, and once they're inside and seated she goes to the refreshments table, getting an ale for herself and a glass of wine for the Fortian Weyrleader. "Afternoon, Thea," she greets as she's walking back to the table, offering the Senior a little smile. "The place you got for us is perfect, thank you again." And then she's sitting beside Th'ero, leaning back in her chair and popping the top off the ale to take a swig. Ahhhh.

Did someone call for a scarred brownrider? Well, obviously someone did because in steps Jaye, ragged and weary, strangely enough not wearing her usual wing uniform, instead the Fortian brownrider has on a thin light green tank top and a pair of shorts made from the lightest functional material the rider could find. Well, it's too sharding hot to be wearing full uniform, and besides, she hasn't been with her wing since, well, for a long while. She pauses just inside the doorway, tipping a bottle of rum upwards for a swig before moving in further to stand somewhere near the air-ice cooler, hey it's gotta be cooler over there, right? Well, she doesn't look like much, but she's here and ready to find out what she's going to be doing for the next short while. At least she still remembers her manners, and offers a brief salute to those who have entered before her. "S'up, folks?" She asks, her voice its typical bland emotionless sound. Hey, she's tired and hot and, well, she's allowed to be a little grouchy-ish sometimes, right?

The scruffy one time sailor actually looks more his part as he heads up the hallway toward the chambers. Ers'lan has grown out his whiskers out and where it hasn't grown as much stubble is marks that it will in a few more days. His hair is mussed up and left to 'shag' at the tips, curling more as if he hasn't had much care in the world to see to it, as if touched by the sea winds. His attire /fails/ to scream 'rider' what-so-ever. Instead, he's wearing a breezy sailor blouse and leather vest and some hard worked trousers, patched over where some holes were once. His shoes even seem more of the style a sailor would find wanting. Some might question why the sailor was in fact stepping into the council chambers, though, none would question it, inside or out. He does even -smell- a little of the salt water of the ocean. Ers'lan seems to belong though, the way he casually saunters in with bobbed head acknowledging those who have already come before him. He takes a seat, but only after he takes a mug of cold ale, sitting with it steadily enough to keep the contents from sloshing out about the rim. His eyes rove over the parties inside the chambers, making note specifically of the one he doesn't know. Chugging a gulp from the mug, he has to wipe some of the foam off from his growing mustache, getting comfortable by the looks of it.

Fort's Weyrwoman certainly not the first to arrive, so it is no surprise that she is entering after the others and is still peeling off her riding jacket off as she enters. Grey eyes briefly settle on Ers'lan, then to Jaye. The two are given the briefest of examinations before her gaze settles fully on Th'ero, inspecting his condition before moving on. "Thea." She greets with a nod before she is finding herself a chair, draping her jacket across the back of the seat she has chosen, settling herself down before she nods a greeting towards Jaye. "Jaye," and then to Th'ero and Kimmila. The bluerider is given a simple nod, "how are you two holdin' up?" Apparently, easier to include the woman in the question as well. Ers'lan, however, is the unknown and Dtirae's gaze briefly flickers over towards him once again. No words for him, for now, at least.

Thea herself is wearing another loose-fitting, sleeveless white linen shift that looks more like a beach-wrap than the sundress it is. Her thick, dark hair is done up in a casual twist and her feet are shod in the thinnest-strapped sandals she owns. It were any hotter she'd be tempted to work in a bikini. Her pacing (there's a method to her madness - she's checking the effectiveness of the 'iced breeze') stops as Th'ero and Kimmila enter, a warm smile given the pair. "Please, help yourself to the refreshments," is spoken while she decides if the Fort Weyrleader seems to be feeling any better. It's not in her nature to fuss, so after Kimmila's comment about their accommodations, she simply adds, "I trust you rested as comfortably as possible?" Jaye's entrance draws a brief stare - or rather that rum bottle does, then a rather bemused return salute and a quick, uncertain glance flicked towards Th'ero. Ers'lan also gets a salute and a grave nod as turns to follow just-arrived riders. Dtirae's arrival is acknowledged with another smile and a nod just as she settles into her own place near Th'ero, leaving the head seat empty. Where Xanadu's Weyrleader is, she doesn't say. "Xe'ter has been delayed. So he'd like you to lead the meeting, if you would Th'ero?"

Th'ero is likewise dressed lightly, in a light linen shirt and a pair of loose fitting pants. He's even given up wearing his usual knee high leather boots in favor of some sturdy sandals instead. If he's going to be stuck here, he may as well be comfortable, right? Unlike Kimmila though, he has his knot pinned to his shoulder. There's no point for him to try and blend in. As the bluerider settles herself and places a glass of wine before him, he murmurs softly for only her (and perhaps Thea) to overhear, "Just wine this time?" he says wryly and from his faint grimace it's obvious he's sick enough already of his "rest". "We have, thank you." Th'ero assures Thea quickly. Normally one to dislike meetings like this, he's welcoming the change. As Jaye enters next, he gives the brownrider a nod and a vague smile. "Afternoon, Jaye. Maehwazeyeth is well I take it?" Which also extends to her too, of course. He doesn't get the chance to give his piece on his well being, as Ers'lan is entering and Dtirae not long afterwards. The change in the Xanadu brownrider are noted by a lingering, long look and Th'ero must approve of the preparations as he gives the man a nod and then turns to greet his Weyrwoman with a simple nod in turn. "All is well," he tells her briskly, meaning he's in a better state then he was when she last saw him. As Thea takes her seat and addresses him, the Fortian Weyrleader turns his head and then blinks, a little surprised to have been put in the lead. Recovering, he clears his throat a little and shifts in his seat. "Ah, certainly… Before we begin, does anyone have any questions or concerns to raise?" And his dark eyes will shift from one person to the next, patiently waiting for a voice to be raised before continuing.

Kimmila leans back in her chair, crossing one leg over the other and sipping her ale. Green eyes travel around the room, from face to face, lingering the longest on Ers'lan and Jaye. Glancing back to Thea, she just smiles in response to her question, which Th'ero has already answered. And then she's shaking her head with another pull of the ale. Maybe she's just here as Th'ero's arm candy.

Jaye has never been the most proper or graceful woman, which could possibly be a good thing for this endeavor she's being debriefed about. The Xanadu man is eyed briefly, scarred arms crossing over her chest a bit as she sums up this unfamiliar man that has entered, she figure he must be her partner for this attempt and she gives him a brief nod. "H'lo Dei." The brownrider greets her fellow clutchmate and weyrwoman. Dark eyes don't linger on the Fortian weyrwoman very long and instead they creep over to Th'ero and Kimmila, arching a brow at the state of the weyrleader, but she voice no query. "We're nay bad, thanks." A brief shrug of shoulders. "Maehwa's off tryin' t'case th'place t'make sure 'tis acceptable fer 'is offspring, so I s'ppose he's doin' 'bout as good as one kin 'magine." Kimmila's presence beside Th'ero, she's used to, so again she doesn't question it. Arm candy is just as important as anything else, isn't it? Though it's a good thing her arm candy isn't here, or he wouldn't be so quiet through the debriefing. Bottle is tipped, again, and she shakes her head to Th'ero's query of any questions or concenrs. "Nay Sir, nay questions from me."

Ers'lan notes the way that Dtirae is regarding him, just like how Th'ero and Kimmila did upon first meeting him. He again, isn't bothered by it. The only Weyrwoman capable of making him shift nervously would be Thea and she doesn't hold him in her stare, so he seems to mark Dtirae's interest with a bob of his chin. Blue eyes hold to her as long as it is polite, quietly studious of the other parties in the room, lingering further on Jaye to tilt his head just the same to her as well, then back to Th'ero as Thea makes it apparent the man is to run the meeting in place of Xanadu's Weyrleader. Only a slight wrinkle about his eyes would suggest he's not approving of it, still, that look is gone as he vigorously gulps from his mug. Despite the subtle disapproval, Ers'lan's attention holds to the Fort Weyrleader, clearing his throat to make it obvious he has a concern, "Aye. T'would be pleased iffin I knew things would be in order iffin something be going astray out thar, for me family." His eyes flicker to Thea. He wanted to make sure his family didn't have to worry about anything should he fail to come back, that compensation would be granted. "Reckon ya be needin these jus the same-" he pushes some pages forward, for Thea, which are clearly formally drawn up by a Harper and would be his last requests. Apparently the man realizes the risks and dangers present, prepared for the worst.

There is no visible reaction to the fact that Xanadu's Weyrleader isn't present, but the Fort Weyrwoman does move from her seat if only to fetch a drink before returning. Eyes find Th'ero for the fact that he is directing thing and the fact that he has answered her question. A nod is all she gives in response to his assessment but her gaze does linger a moment longer as if trying to spot a lie. "We don't have anyone else going with them?" Grey eyes linger on the Weyrleader a moment longer, lips twitching downwards slightly before fading entirely into a neutral mask. Then she considers Jaye, smiling again for her clutchmate and perhaps for the thought of the woman's lifemate tending to the sands. Ers'lan is speaking and he draws her attention again. She listens, carefully to his words and her head tilts just so. Then, to the papers written up and the woman does little to hide this frown that settles into place.

Arm candy? More like not-so subtle emotional support and well, Kimmila /is/ involved in this and has offered some good council and advice before. So of course Th'ero keeps her there at his side. Otherwise these little meetings would likely dissolve rapidly if he loses his patience and temper. Which is not hard to do! At Jaye's update on Maehwazeyeth's behavior, the Weyrleader lips curve up into a bit of a smirk and he gives the brownrider another nod. Sadly, he does not have much time to chat it seems. While not clearly seeing the disapproval in Ers'lan, Th'ero must sense it and likewise understand the reason behind it. Where the tables turned, the Fortian Weyrleader would likely have the same feelings. He keeps his firmly under control however and proceeds carefully and with a serious and firm air about him. None of this he takes lightly, all of it weighing in varying degrees upon him and all silently hidden save for the frown that never quite eases from his features. The request given by the Wingleader, even if to the Xanadu Weyrwoman, has Th'ero momentarily caught off guard. "Of course, that will be taken into consideration." He says, glancing to the paperwork but leaving it for Thea to collect it. It is, after all, her Wingleader. Jaye however is spared a quick glance, and to see perhaps if the scarred Fortian brownrider steps forwards with her own. Dtirae's question has him giving her a long, neutral look before he turns to face the two brownriders and then Thea as well. "Dtirae brought it to my attention that perhaps it would be wise to have others assigned with you. Trained, obviously and most likely from the guards. Reason being is that in case you do and /when/ you need to contact us to report or for any reason, it may be easier for you to slip out and no one notice your distracted state. However," Th'ero pauses for a moment to gather his thoughts, exhaling slowly. "Larger group means more chance for suspicion and cracks in the story you two set. So I leave it for you two to decide, unless anyone else has objections or anything to add? If not, we can continue on…" And Th'ero gathers himself in preparation to stand, movement stiff and slow and it's obvious the man is trying to use either the table or his chair as subtle support. Even a casually placed hand to Kimmila's arm is a little more then the simple gesture it seems to be.

Thea hears Th'ero's comment about wine-only but other than a slightly curious look at Kimmila, she says nothing and most importantly, does not snicker. A quiet, "Thank you," acknowledges his willingness to lead this particular meeting and so the Xanadu Weyrwoman settles with a clipboard and pen to take notes while looking quite interested to learn something. Kimmila's insight is something she has come to value, so she accepts the Western bluerider's presence without question. When Th'ero asks if anyone has questions, she nods subtly, waits to catch his eye then gives Jaye's rum bottle a significant look. She's clearly a trifle worried about it. "Please reassure Maehwazeyeth that the sands will be hot again soon," she tells Jaye before turning her attention to her own wingleader. If she notices Ers'lan's disapproval, she ignores it and instead says evenly, "The Weyr will take care of its own, as has always been our way. I personally will be sure they won't be in want should anything happen to you, but-" She leans forward and takes the papers he slides her way, they're tucked under the notes on her clipboard. Her eyes shift to Th'ero briefly then back to hold the Galaxy Wingleader's eyes as she continues firmly, "I don't want you taking any undue chances. This is an information-gathering venture not a capture mission." She quiets as the Fort Weyrleader speaks, and remains still save to slide those maps and charts closer to him so he can have access to them.

Kimmila arches a brow at the papers Ers'lan pushes towards Thea, and she settles even deeper into her chair, taking a long pull of her ale. She glances aside for a moment, lost in her own thoughts, and when she looks back to Ers'lan again, there's a hint of respect in her gaze. Turning to listen to Th'ero speak, the bluerider pushes herself half out of her chair, lifting her arm when Th'ero grasps it to try and subtly help him to his feet. It's not that subtle, but at least she doesn't draw undue attention to the gesture. Once he's standing, she sits down and again picks up her ale.

Jaye is rather new to the whole family thing, having never had one before K'drozen and Kaylen, so she really hadn't thought about issuing her last will and testament, so she shrugs at the glance from her Weyrleader, maybe she'll get one in to him later or something. The suggestion of adding more to the endeavor has her frowning and tugging branded hand through her hair. "I dunna think 'tis such a good idea t'take more, they may nay n'tice a coupla 'dditions t'their numbers, but iff'n they're like th'group I knew, they'll get suspicious iff'n too many show up suddenly. But, then, I dunna know much 'bout undercover work so.." Another shrug of scarred shoulders. ".. 'tis jus' m'twomarks." Well, she really doesn't speak up too much, and when she does, apparently it's not for too much. She doesn't know about the Xanadu brownrider, but she's been trained plenty between her past and her wing training. She doesn't move from her spot near the cooling contraption, in a way she seems to be keeping herself out of things other than what she's required to be part of. Thea's look to the rum bottle earns a brief scowl, her rum, hers! But, well, at least she doesn't tip the bottle back for another drink at the moment. Well, didn't anyone mention her love of alcohol to the Xanadu Weyrwoman? Oopsie?

The Galaxy Wingleader notes the tone in Thea's voice and does assure her when he can, "Aye, t'would narh be takin any risks undue, aye, though ya can narh always be predicting when a rogue wave be hitting yer ship, but ya can be well prepared fer one by tying a rope bout yerself." Ers'lan allows his consideration to float systematically over Dtirae when her advice is thrown into the meeting via the Weyrleader, to which, while he addresses Th'ero, his eyes keep to her to watch for any reaction should his words slight her position. "Aye, larger groups do be bringin more attention… Whar I worry bout with tha suggestion would be thar loyalties. Ye can be rest assured tha we be havin our Weyrs at heart, but a man or woman without such 'grounded' loyalty as a dragon provides, can be swayed easily by greed. One man who be gettin caught in tha temptation be makin our chances ta get out alive entirely more difficult." He takes a moment for them to contemplate that before he adds, "Reckon t'would also mean more fer me ta worry bout gettin out. I be narh the type ta leave a man behind. Iffin thar be too many, could be like tryin ta nail a broken ship tagether in a swell." Another pause as he adds in his last remark, "Iffin ya be meanin ta keep this mission a secret, the less people who be knowin bout it, the better. Harder ta keep somethin quiet the more people ya be dragging into it." He pulls from his mug to wet his lips, waiting to hear their reaction or disputes with such a theory. To have Jaye also express much of the same causes him to note, "Aye. T'would be strange fer so many men ta happen upon the very bar in search of work. T'would look too fishy."

Dtirae gives Th'ero a single look, but, refuses to add in another comment but that displeasure is lingering in her expression, just a touch. Instead of letting her gaze stay, however, she turns her attention to Thea as she speaks and reaffirms the need not to take action but to gather information. There's a very slight nod in agreement though she doesn't entirely voice what's on her mind. Jaye's protest against bringing in another is noted with a single look before her gaze slides over towards Ers'lan. "I ain't sayin' a group. One other person. One non-rider. " While her tone is controlled, her expression isn't so schooled. Displeasure is clearly written in the gaze she pins on the man. It takes a moment for her to school her expression, but lips still twitch downwards with displeasure. "Just cause yer bound to a dragon ain't mean yer loyalty lies with a Weyr. Enough twistin' of yer own will can bring a dragon to leave a Weyr. A Weyrwoman can't always have her gold talk 'em down before they're gone. Those born in Weyrs tend ta show their loyalty a little bit better than that. 'sides, Laris has got dragonriders workin' with him, don't he?" Her mouth opens to say something more but quickly closes gain, lips pressing together as she lifts her drink to her lips and silences herself with that.

"I'll second Thea," Th'ero interjects, though by the time he brings his voice in to the matter, Dtirae has likely already said her piece on the matter too though it does little to deter the Fortian Weyrleader. "This is strictly information-gathering. You are not to engage them without undue reason," Read: Unless you're asked. The bronzerider is no fool to know that skirmishes may break out or challenges laid. "And to /not/ take on Laris above all or any of his closest men. Even if cover is blown and you must fight, fight /defensively/ and only to escape. Trust me on this. Laris is not a man to fight alone." And Th'ero would know, he tried and the experience shows in his eyes, haunted briefly by the memory before he can recover, lips drawn down into a grim line now quirking to a smirk. "If things go awry, get out. Even if you /suspect/ things are going south, get out. Don't risk your hides for a shred more of information if for a second you think either of you are in danger." Lecture done, he takes a slow breath again as he stands to face the group, hands clasped behind his back once Kimmila has taken her seat again. Jaye's remarks on the additions is given a respectable nod, followed by another to Ers'lan though he gets a narrowed look for his comment on loyalty. Before he can open his mouth though, Dtirae has stepped in. He shoots a pointed and disapproving frown to his Weyrwoman, a silent signal that she's likely said far too much. "True, but now is not the time to discuss those matters." At the mention of Laris possibly possessing rogue riders, Th'ero flushes and anger flickers briefly in his eyes, directed towards the younger goldrider. "That," he stresses in a tone that is now hardened and flat, "Has not been proven and is, for now, nothing more then a vicious rumor and /one/ reason why we are sending our own undercover to find out." Straightening and rolling his shoulders, he pauses for a moment to give all present, Thea and Kimmila included, a long and lingering look to settle the issue before he adds. "So it seems then we are to scrap the idea of additional members. It will be strictly Jaye and Ers'lan. Have you two thought up a possible backstory? Names? Rank? History?" Are they to work solo or in pairs? The Fortian Weyrleader quiets again, waiting patiently for each to speak up before they move on to landmarks.

Thea returns a bland look to Jaye's scowl, her concern not one whit abated, it seems. To Ers'lan, she simply nods. She understands his sentiments and accepts them, listening carefully to his thoughts and nodding in agreement. Both trust and approval are in her eyes as she meets his gaze. It's during that exchange that Kimmila assists Th'ero to stand and so when she turns back, he is upright. It's a very good thing she didn't see that - otherwise the meeting might have been adjourned to his guest quarters bedroom! She shakes her head about more people going with the pair, "I agree with Ers'lan. I think I'd rather not risk any more than we have to. Ers'lan I'll want you to check in via Zhaoth to Seryth regularly. Morning sweeps time, late evening sweeps time." Those would be ingrained in his mind by now, so that's what she goes by. Her attention shifts briefly to Dtirae when the Fort Weyrwoman speaks, "Unless you have a specific nonrider someone in mind?" Her cool green gaze returns to the pair of riders, "And I would prefer that no one, not even your families and partners know where you're going nor what you're doing." The last part is said firmly. She will not budge on that without very, very good reason. "So what-" the part about riders working for Laris is said at that moment and she's left staring at Dtirae, not trying to hide her surprise, "Laris has what?" She turns to send a questioning look at Th'ero. "Do we know that for sure? Do we know who it-?" But then Th'ero is clarifying and she relaxes - at least a little.

Kimmila's green eyes flick from person to person as they speak, while she sips at her bottle of ale. "No, it's not been proven," she says quietly to Thea, glancing at Dtirae with another frown. "I think it should be just the two of them, too. Shards, if they need to hide talking to their dragon they can always go take a pee or something. And loyalty doesn't come with being a rider. Loyalty is in you or it isn't, and Jaye and Ers'lan have been asked to do this both because of their unique skills /and/ their loyalty." Then she's taking another sip of her ale.

Jaye crosses her arms over her chest, a glance to Ers'lan as he voices his opinion at the addition of others to the party, perhaps a brief bit of respect flashing in those cold dark eyes. To Dtirae, "Y'know Maehwazeyeth would ne'er leave Fort perm'nently." Perhaps she feels the need to defend herself, afterall, she had heard some of the rumours floating about her. "An' y'know I kin d'fend m'self if need be, I dunna need no trained watchcanine lookin' o'er m'shoulder." Well, at least the scarred brownrider seems rather set on that, and that stubbornness is making itself known. "B'sides, iff'n Kal finds out yer sendin' someone else, he'll be e'en more angry that 'twasna 'im that be sent with us, y'know how pr'tective he is." This is spoken with obvious love for the man, and a hint that she's perfectly willing to put herself in danger but not her weyrmate. Crazy darn scarred brownie anyway, right? As for the mention of not telling anyone, she speaks flatly. "I will nay keep m'weyrmate in th'dark. But y'have m'word he'll nay utter a word to anyone else." And, well, she seems quite unmovable with regards to that fact.

Ers'lan settles back and respectfully listens to Dtirae as he would Thea, not showing a sign of defiance or disrespect. Instead, he battles her pursuit of the topic with a question: "Reckon ya be knowin who be yer non-rider inductee?" He takes note of her displeasure, clearly showing his disconcern for having ruined or perhaps derail her plans to include a third party. Yet, at the implication that a person could be drawn away from their loyalties to a Weyr makes his eyes darken and his shoulders straighten, "T'would hope bein a Weyrwoman, ye be havin more faith in those who be ridin fer yer Weyr." Yes, -her- Weyr, not Xanadu. In his tone, he is making the suggestion that Xanadu riders have strong loyalties for the Weyr they live in. At least he does, that's for certain, by the intensity of his gaze alone. To Thea: "Aye, t'will have Zhaoth report then. I be makin sure t'will be when I'm off makin a piss so they dun narh see me eyes-" he stops, realizing he just went a little back into his old self there with that terse comment, clearing his throat, "'scuse the language, tis me old life talkin through me." Hey, he had to get into character if he was to survive! The last of Dtirae's comments has Ers'lan forgetting himself, blurting out, "Whar? He be havin riders workin for him? Ya know this fer a fact? Who be it? Whar evidence do ya have of it?" Appalled at the idea, clearly. Even as Th'ero seems not to wish to discuss such matters, Lan doesn't settle easily back into his chair, he rises from the consequences of what such a thing could mean. The honor of all dragonriders would be in question, that's a fact, if they find out for certain that there are rider's out there who've gone rogue. In getting out of his seat, he makes it over toward the drinks and repours himself another ale, shaking his head down into it. Finally he turns back to the conversation at hand, leery over the comment about dragonriders involved…a hunt for enemies is one thing, a hunt for their brothers is another. Kimmila's words seem to be a mirror of his own, so for that he nods to her. Respect given back. The mention of families being left in the dark, he adds, "Reckon I did narh tell 'em of the nature, but I just be leavin on special assignment. I did be tellin 'em to keep watch over Zhaoth fer me, ta keep him clean, so I reckon they be knowin it has somethin ta do with the strong hold we be finding." He shrugs, not one to make his weyrmates terrified for him, instead speaking to Th'ero's question, "Nay. We be narh havin the chance to steady the details bout our story. We be thinkin ta be discussin it further after this meetin…"

Dtirae is meeting Th'ero's look with a frown of her own, but, she doesn't say anymore. She's holding her tongue and quietly indulging in her drink. Her gaze moves from the Weyrleader to the glass in her hand as she idly twirls the wine in it. She has clearly been outvoted, and therefore, needs not say anything more. As for Laris having riders? Her conspiracy theories are kept to herself. At least until Jaye speaks to her. "I ain't doubtin' you, Jaye. Nor Maehwazeyeth. Just cause yer in Xanadu now doesn't put yer loyalty at question. Xanadu and Fort get on well, ain't nothin' wrong with you bein' here or him sirin' a clutch." Her faith and and belief in the brownrider is put out for all to hear before she's distracting herself with her drink again. Lips twitch ever so slightly as Ers'lan speaks, a single breath is drawn and she meets his gaze. "Ain't doubtin' you, nor Jaye nor many of my riders or Xanadu's. Ain't the point I was makin'." The non-rider is not mentioned, namely for the fact that the idea already seems to be out of the window. The glass becomes her sole focus again, the corner of her bottom lip settled firmly between her teeth.

One would have to wish whichever poor unfortunate soul would have to convince Th'ero to retire back to his guest weyr now. Too stubborn and too proud, he is and if Thea put him in charge of leading the meeting, he was going to finish it, no matter how much his wound irritates him. As the Xanadu Weyrwoman instructs her Wingleader, the Fortian Weyrleader similarily turns to his rider, "And Jaye, you're to keep Maehwazeyeth in contact with Zuvaleyuth, both morning and night. If for some reason he cannot reach Zuvaleyuth, report to Zuhth or Wiyaneth. Barring the very rare chance that none answer, Thea… do you object if Seryth is to be reported to?" Th'ero asks, his gaze sliding from brownrider to Weyrwoman. He gives a nod in agreement to the mention of secrecy and then holds up a hand to Jaye, a mildly warding and warning gesture. "I know it won't be easy, but you cannot tell him all that you know. As it was said, the less is known the better. You can say you have important business or some other vague story but nothing more. Not where you're going and not for how long, or with whom and why. No exceptions." He will stand firmly by this and he levels the scarred brownrider with a heavy frown and steady look. That was an order and he expects her to comply. As the outrage breaks out over the damage done by Dtirae's remark on the chance of rogue riders, Th'ero holds his hands up for silence. "There is /no/ proof that Laris has riders at his disposal. NONE. Rumors abound but that is all they are… rumors. Until we have proof, there is no sense getting worked up. It's liable to be a ploy of his, to make it /seem/ as though he does. Imagine the chaos that would cause. So no… until we have cold, solid fact on the matter, there is nothing to support the claim." Th'ero's voice rings firm and steady, his belief strong on the matter as his gaze moves from face to face and ending with Ers'lan, as he nods to the Wingleader's answer. "That works as well. I'll leave it to you two then to sort it out." Which means he trusts them both with those details. Clearing his throat then, he turns to the maps and taking one of the larger of Xanadu's territory, he begins to set it out, gesturing for Kimmila for his aid, "Now, I am not familiar at all with much of the land here…" Which means he's silently opening the floor to Thea and Ers'lan here. "But Kimmila and I were here," And he points roughly south-east and to an area that seems mostly wilderness and nothing more. "Small trading hub out there, little else. Man there claimed that some of the folk passing through mentioned others being about, friendly enough to start and then start speaking of promises and the like. Trying to lure… So it makes it hard to see where to start." At least to his eyes. He knows nothing… of this range.

Thea nods gratefully to Kimmila's and then Th'ero's further stating they don't know for sure that riders are involved with Laris. That is a relief! The Xanadu Weyrwoman rarely glares, and she doesn't glare at Jaye now. Firmly but quietly, she backs up Th'ero, "There's no point in you going if there's to be leaks. The worry will be there on K'drozen's mind if he knows. What if he has too much to drink at the tavern? How do we know he won't let something slip? I won't have your safety - or that of my rider - and your mission jeopardized. Xe'ter already feels that it should be harpers going, not riders. He's this far from nixing the whole thing - at least Ers'lan's part in it." Her fingers make a pinching gesture. She gives Jaye's rum bottle - her other main concern - a significant look and a nod, "I hope you-" A glance includes Ers'lan in it, "-both of you will lay off that stuff while you're on this mission. Booze makes a tongue loose and reflexes slow. It messes with people's judgment." Ers'lan gets a quelling stare for his admonishment to Dtirae regarding her faith in her own Weyr. "Ers'lan," she says lowly, warning enough in that one word, but the brow lifted suggests silently that he apologize immediately. She reaches out a hand to give Dtirae's forearm a brief, reassuring squeeze then withdraws her hand back to her own space. She understands the woman's concerns and the rocky first-days of learning to be Senior all too well! She waves Ers'lan's language after that aside as a non-concern, adding, "I will be keeping an eye on Zhaoth myself and Seryth will, of course, keep in close contact to support him." She turns to Th'ero, "Maehwazeyeth is welcome to bespeak Seryth, of course." Then she rises to lean over the map, nodding to where the Fort Weyrleader points. "That's close to where our coverage area borders with Eastern Weyr. And it's mighty close to where our cold storage supplies are kept. That's where Xe'ter is, beefing up the guard there."

Kimmila gets to her feet and helps Th'ero roll out the map, using her now empty ale bottle to pin down a corner. She glances over at Jaye, and her look is…sympathetic? "It would be best if he didn't know," she says quietly. She's of no rank to make it an order, but she does agree, as difficult though it might be.

Jaye does glance down after Dtirae's comment, perhaps a bit of guilt there before she takes another swig from her rum bottle. "M'sorry Dei, s'jus', well, y'know. People a'ready think I'm a lil off.." She lets her voice fade out especially at the warning from Th'ero, though, she doesn't need to voice the rumours of her loyalties for everyone here to hear, really. "Maehwazeyeth will be in contact, s'nay like I'd be able t'talk 'im out of it e'en iff'n I wanted to." "But I really canna 'void tellin' Kal, he's a'ready been mopin 'bout since Maehwa caught Yumeth, iff'n I go without tellin' 'im anythin' he'll think I'm leavin' 'im or somethin'. I willna tell 'im th'details tho, jus' that I'll be workin' outta th'weyr fer awhile." But if he demands more details, Th'ero can bet she'll be bringing Kal to him for satiating, or something. The branded hand is tugged through hair again. "Dunna w'rry, I dunna get that drunk from th'stuff, Weyrwoman Thea, 'twill nay make m'lips loose or lower m'defences. I've plenty practice puttin' up a wall, been doin' it e'er since th'shipwreck that took m'memory." And, thankfully, they're on to new matters. Of course, the map reading has her moving, finally, away from the cooling unit and over to the table to shoot a cold dark gaze over it, nodding to the comments of the whereabuts of the trading post and the location where the guard is being strengthened.

Ers'lan regards Dtirae with an honest look of remorse for his implications once she makes it clear she'll defend her riders as strongly as Thea would. "Aye, I reckon I be takin yer point wrongly then. My apologizes." At least he was sincere about that, especially since it seems like Xanadu and Fort have both gone through much fuss to make amends for past leaderships. He doesn't want to rock the proverbial boat! It's a shame that the young Weyrwoman didn't blurt out any further information, because he still looked concern with the fact that there could be rogue riders involved. When Th'ero again puts down the matter, it doesn't seem to convince Ers'lan to shake off those troubling thoughts. Even so, he does not remark upon it again. It was his job, apparently, to find out what was fact and what was fiction. That was clear enough. Ers'lan is drawing himself toward the maps however as Th'ero starts to move more to known facts and away from lectures. The position is noted and somewhere along the line he sets his mug aside so he can lean over and tap a point on the map, "Aye, thar be a good trade harbor 'ere. Roads be linking this way up to yer hub-" he draws his finger in a winding line where no road was marked but he apparently knew there was one, "Tis narh well travelled from the harbor, since they be tradin by water-way mostly. This 'ere small fishin cothold only sees a good trade once every quarter Turn. But it be thar. This road be linkin back inta several forks, includin yer hub, runner trails mostly, but a few wide enough fer wagons." He nods to Thea's words on the matter, pointing to one spot distinctly away from where Xe'ter's set up guard but of course still on the trade route in question, "Further long 'ere be a good place ta start. Tis 'nother big fork along 'ere that sometimes traders stop at 'n gather. Narh often of coures, but tis a chance we be catchin up with one or another that'll lead us in the right direction. Once we get in proper with a few of the road folk, we be droppin 'nuff hints ta toss out our bait." His eyes dart up abruptly at Jaye's mention of a shipwreck, snapping his fingers at her to gain her attention, "-Thar be it!" he says almost with excitement of figuring out a missing link in their previous story, one they had briefly discussed, "T'was shipwrecked here in Xanadu, I be experiencing it. Perhaps…" he draws his finger back to the sea cothold, tapping it, "We can land 'ere… with some debris-" eyes to all, as if to imply they'll have to sink a ship or make some debris believable, "Washed ashore or some such thing. Taken in by the locals… We can be then grabbin a mount or two … and heading along the route…" he taps back up toward Th'ero's hub then across to the other open hub. Ers'lan stands back, observing what everyone else thinks. "Reckon we could even be stealin some supplies from where Xe'ter is setting up his post, ta give us some criminal credit…Long as we get away."

Dtirae looks to Thea in the support she gives, a brief nod of thanks and an even briefer smile as her form does begin to relax. Likely thanks to both the wine and the other Weyrwoman's support. The plans being made, however, draw her attention and she's leaning in slightly. "Ain't gotta worry 'bout what people say, Jaye. People always talk." She smiles again for her clutchmate, giving full support of the other woman. Ers'lan speaks and the Fortian Weyrwoman regards him again, the remorse on his features seemingly puts her completely at ease once more and she nods once for his apology before full focus is on the map and plans being made. She has no input on this, she doesn't know the land all too well, after all.

Now Th'ero has his turn to give Thea a reassuring look as the Weyrwoman speaks directly to Jaye. Unfortunately for the scarred brownrider, she's about to be outnumbered three to one as he takes the Xanadu Weyrwoman's side. There's concern for her mentioning Xe'ter's shaky approval of this plan and that only has the Fortian Weyrleader setting his jaw determinedly and now truly stubborn in stressing the point to his brownrider. "I understand how hard it must be," he says firmly, but gently and there's a notable pause as he darts a quick sidelong glance to Kimmila at his side. Yes, he knows all too well. "We're not saying you don't tell him nothing. But he can only know that you will be gone and nothing more. If he truly has issue, you can send him to me and I will talk with him to set his worries aside." Or make them even worse. Th'ero does not have the best reputation for putting others at ease. As for the rum, he only now seems to notice the bottle in her hand and that earns a frown that only deepens with Thea's concerns. "Even so, she has a point. Not that you should abstain but… caution may be best advised." And he leaves it at that for now, giving Jaye another long, searching look before his focus is brought back to the map. He steps closer to Kimmila's side, turning awkwardly so that one part of his body is twisted away, as though he fears being jostled by the others crowding around and is using the bluerider as a shield of sorts as they all examine the map. Ers'lan's input is given a thoughtful nod, though as the Wingleader snaps his fingers, Th'ero's attention locks on and his attention is fierce. Silence follows while the Weyrleader turns the information over in his head and then a slight nod, if not a faint, impressed smile. "That could very well work, if you feel both you and Jaye can pull off such a tale. We could have it that the "stolen" supplies are set. That will guarentee your escape while leaving none the wiser. That could work…" And he turns his expression, trying not to look hopeful or expectant, to the others. Waiting perhaps, for the vote that will likely seal the end of this meeting.

Thea is satisfied with Jaye's reluctant agreement to say nothing other than that she'll be working out of the Weyr and with Th'ero's further stressing of that she is reassured and relaxes. Her body language says that she trusts Th'ero to handle K'drozen if he demands answers, as she will be fielding Ers'lan's family should they come to her with any. As for the booze, her dark brows knit, "That drunk? Jaye-" she closes her eyes but resists the impulse to facepalm and just sighs instead, "I'm not suggesting you do without. Can you just… water it down half and half with some tea? Just go lightly, please." Her concerned gaze lingers on that bottle and the rate the woman is draining it. As he speaks to Dtirae, Ers'lan gets another look of approval that grows as he outlines his suggested plan. "We'll sacrifice a ship if we need to; I'll sign for it, just let me know. If you're going to stage a cold storage raid, set that up with Xe'ter," she adds. Catching Th'ero's hopeful look, she says, "I have nothing further to add except, please be very, very careful and safe return!"

Kimmila steps closer to Th'ero, reaching out to rest a gentle hand against the small of his back as she also looks down at the map. "Best not go down the married or romantic route, though, as part of your story," she murmurs. "Because they might want some proof of that, and unless you plan out your entire fake lives together, holes in the story would be too easily found. Perhaps shipmates, or passengers from different areas of Pern who happened to wash ashore together…" she says, thoughtfully tossing out some ideas.

Jaye nods to both Th'ero and Thea at their suggestions of her only telling the basics to her weyrmate. "I was a'ready plannin' on it." She flashes a bright, if brief, grin to her Weyrleader. And then for the comment on the rum. "Reckon I wwillna be able t'get rum this good anyways once we leave th'weyrs. Figured I should take 'vantage while I had th'chance." Well, if that was meant to reassure, it probably failed miserably, but it was a shot. "Shipwreck works fer me, least it willna r'quire any special actin' since I been through it b'fore." She smirks. "Good call, there." She compliments Ers'lan a bit. She peers at the map, perhaps trying to put to memory the routes the Xanadu brownrider points out, afterall, Xanadu's territory wasn't really any territory she was familiar with. "Speakin' of which. When do y'all want us t'get started? Cause I really should settles some things b'forehand." Like talk to her weyrmate and kiss her baby daughter goodbye and, well, drink more rum!

Ers'lan's gaze flickers to Kimmila at the mention of not making it romantic, eyes flashing to Jaye, then back, "Aye… Passengers, aye, too afraid ta go back upon the sea ta make travel." A finger draws up the side of his cheek, a ponderous expression holding his features as he debates upon what relationship they could have, "Could be… shipmates too though, reckon a few of my mates called it quits from the sea after our wreck… I dun narh want ta hazard it with holes by sayin we be related either by blood, but iffin we must…" He regards Jaye, "Think of it some more, something plausible that would be havin two shipwrecked folks departing together." His eyes dart to Th'ero and Thea in turn, "Aye, t'would have ta plan it with Xe'ter, but, less people know bout it bein planned, the better. Reckon I best be talkin to him as soon as I can be." No doubt there were things to do before they had to head out, reiterating Jaye's tones, "Aye, we be needin ta get a ship in order fer launching. Reckon we can paint a name on back of one of our ships 'n actually make it sail out of port with a fake list of names on her manifest, so our story holds… Then halfway cross her voyage, paint 'er name back." A beat as he thinks about this as he walks toward the tray of food on the table, grabbing one of the sandwiches, "Then we be takin care of makin a fake sinkin or sending out debris… Have sweep riders 'n all that… Jus so it's all comin off as legit. Maybe even have the harpers sendin out posts for missin folks. T'would be a little complicated, but the better our story holds, the less we be questioned bout it." He waits, to see if they have opinions on it, or if they just wanted to keep it simple. He was up for anything that would make the story real enough that the rennies wouldn't question it.

Fort's Weyrwoman is now entirely silent as they plan, but it isn't that she isn't focused. She's totally enraptured in what they say, And there are no protests, either, from the woman who seems to object to many things. She finishes off her wine and then nods. "Just got ta fine tune yer details and yer story, and it should be fine. If we're lucky, you'll get out without a hitch and we'll know more than we started with." Dtirae's lips press into a thin line, slowly the woman becomes lost in her own thoughts.

Th'ero snorts softly when Kimmila lays out the bare truth of the one downside to plotting back stories and acting as spies and mostly for Jaye and Ers'lan's responses to follow. "Kimmila has a point. Be sure to set lines. Play indifferent to each other if you have to, tolerant of each other just to work together to survive or some such balance. No need to be playing the bond too high if neither wish to risk it." He murmurs, and then falls silent as Thea gives her own advice and input. Again, his agreement comes in the form of nods and approving looks, listening intently to Ers'lan's plans as well though he leaves that primarily to Thea's discretion. To Jaye though, he glances first to Dtirae before answering the brownrider. "No doubt once all the details are set, you will be going. It could be as soon as the following day or the day after. So if you have matters to attend to, we can arrange for you to be excused from the rest of your shifts and duties for the day." He says and again his gaze meets the Fortian Weyrwoman again, likely for her approval. And while more may be left to be done before the official close of the meeting, Th'ero is suddenly wavering, subtle as he feels the onset before it can catch him off guard. So much sleep, on top of a body still healing and the tension and stress of the work to come and be done has him suddenly grateful Kimmila's hand was there. It'll likely signal her as well to his failing, even before he's speaking. "My apologies," he begins, with actual regret lining his voice and features. "But if you will all excuse me? I need to attend to something." Up until now, he had barely touched the wine Kimmila poured for him but now the glass is gathered in a not so steady hand and drained half way. "Dtirae, I trust you can handle the rest of the affairs. If my council is needed urgently, any of you can bespeak Velokraeth." That settled, Th'ero begins to step away, giving a low dip of his head in farewell to the assembled group and turns to exit before he can no longer mask his discomfort.

Thea coughs back a laugh at Kimmila's mention of the renegades wanting proof should they go with a 'we're lovers story'. "While you might enjoy that and be well able to pull it off, we don't want you sidetracked, either," she says dryly - her agreement with both Kimmila and Th'ero. She can only try not to groan aloud at Jaye's remarks about the rum, saying nothing further about it. "Good question," she says of Jaye's 'when?' Looking at Th'ero and Dtirae first, then Ers'lan. "I can have a fishing ship ready for you in two days. Ers'lan, you can sail it to the point you're needing it and let it run around on the shoals there and sink her. You never know who's watching where." So the more legit, the better in her mind. She has no doubts he can do that and so nods at him talking to Xe'ter because otherwise with all the extra guards he's stationed at the cold stores, they wouldn't succeed. She flickers an understanding look at Dtirae. SO much to be responsible for and some of it out of Thea's expertise, even after five plus years of being Senior. There's a lot to think about! Meeting pretty much adjourned with Th'ero's departure, she also heads out. So. A few days it looks like. That should give the clandestine pair time to spend with your families and taper off on the rum. Right Jaye?

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