Xanadu Weyr - Weyrleaders' Office
Office and retreat, this is the domain of Xanadu's Weyrleaders. The door is in the southern wall, quite close to the western end while the northern wall is dominated by big, expansive windows, framed by sumptuous deep blue drapes edged with a brilliant gold braid and tied back with a thick rope of braided gold and blue cord. In between, the western wall is covered floor to ceiling with shelves that house all sorts of records, manuals and supplies that are used on a day-to-day basis.
The southern wall has the Weyrleader's desk — plain fellis wood, well polished and masculine. From behind his desk, the Weyrleader can look straight through the windows and out onto the main airspace of Xanadu. The eastern wall is where the Weyrwoman's desk resides: a lovely piece of furniture made of warm cherry wood. From her seat, a glance sideways gives her an equally good prospect out the window. There are a few other seats, some comfortably arranged around a low round table for small, informal meetings while there also some that can be drawn up to one of the desks.
On the west side of the door, the space is occupied by a low oblong table where refreshments can be set without someone needing to intrude. There is also an 'incoming' tray where incoming correspondence or similar items can be left.

It's Risali's next office hours after the cat-tree incident (however long that is), and two young herders show up in the administration area of the weyr. Teinon is accompanied by a young woman about his age, who has androgynous short-cropped brown hair, field clothes to match Tei's, and rather large eyes. The large eyes /could/ be due to the fact that she's never actually dared venture into this part of the weyr before… Everything is so shiny and clean! They get about as far as the hallway before she stops and tugs at Teinon's sleeve. "Hey, I don't think this is a very good idea…" she murmurs, in a nervous soprano. Tei signs something emphatically, and it seems to do the trick. She resists the temptation to run away, and trails behind as Teinon walks down the hallway, reading plaques on the doors. Once he's found the Weyrleaders' office, he knocks politely and waits.

THERE IS ONLY ONE WEYRLEADER IN ATTENDANCE AT THE MOMENT, and that would be Risali. D'lei's desk is revealed to be curiously empty (excusing the paperwork that awaits to taunt him upon his return), and the Weyrwoman herself is looking just a little tired (and a smidgen agitated), but it's swept from her face almost as soon as grey eyes find Teinon and his androgynous companion. "Ah…" A soft draw inward of brows that denotes confusion, an inward pull of lips to shape words that don't form and are instead shaped into new words. "Hello. Come in." And she's standing aside, moving towards her desk to seat herself behind it and clear a couple of things from on top of it by shoving them into drawers before gesturing towards the chairs opposite. It's the same day, Risali's office hours having only been interrupted to rescue felines, but likely a few candlemarks down the line, when Rukbat is starting for the horizon and those office hours are hinting at their close. "Please, sit. How can I help you?" And look at that smile. It's almost painful, really; there's nothing unfriendly about it (though there is a bit of tightness at the corners of her mouth), but it is certainly forced. It's that awkward kind of smile you find on people who don't really know how to deal with people and are expecting the absolute worst outcome, but strive for something friendly and welcoming anyway. Risali is just awkward, and it translates.

Teinon is looking pretty awkward himself right now. His smile is also forced, and he's having just a smidgin of trouble making direct eye contact. He follows the instructions to sit down, tugging the girl along with him, and once they're seated, he gestures an encouragement toward the girl. /She/ looks absolutely terrified. But she clears her throat, and speaks tentatively, though her words have the feel of a script she's memorized. "H… hello. My name is Adora. I-I'm going to be translating for Tei." Belatedly, she decides that's too informal, and adjust. "For Teinon." She glances toward him, and he nods gratefully. He glances to Rinian, then starts to sign. "He wants to know why you did that to him." He glances toward her, brow raised. She blushes, and corrects, "He means the cat the up the tree thing."

Grey eyes shift towards Adora and Risali waits in patient silence as the girl works through her words to reach that explanation, a smile and a soft, "Hello, Adora," offered at the end of her introduction before, as is only polite, her attention strays back to Teinon. It may not be his voice, but it is him speaking, and even when Adora translates the meaning behind cryptic messages formed by a herder's hands, Risali's gaze remains on Tei. A beat, and Risali's shoulders shift, her gaze dropping towards her table and her own hands before she pulls them backwards and hides them behind her desk - probably so he won't see the way she fidgets when she answers. "It was not an order or a command, Teinon, so I suppose the better question is why you chose to stay." But note that it's less a question and more a suggestion, her eyes lifting again to find the herder's as she waits.

Adora does relax a bit when the Weyrwoman's eyes are off her, but she still keeps her eyes on Teinon, or more specifically on his hands, whether he's talking or not. For his part, Tei's eyes widen a little at that response, and then he looks down, his brow furrowing. He thinks carefully a moment, then starts to sign, and his words are voiced in Adora's sweet soprano. "Because you asked me to. Because…" She frowns slightly and tugs his sleeve to get his attention. They sign back and forth a bit. Risali might or might not know that Tei resorts to finger-spelling, then Adora is back on track. "Because Leirith asked. How could I refuse?"

Risali listens, her attention straying to Adora only when there's a pause in her words, watching the conversational back and forth that she can't understand but is no less fascinated by. It's like they are speaking a completely different language - a novel concept, by Pernese means, when you consider that they all converse in a common tongue. But as soon as the Adora finds the right translation, Risali's eyes jump back to Teinon's face, and the smile that comes in answer to his reasoning is not unkind, but it is certainly wry. "Very easily," Risali answers. "You say, 'No.'" And this time the smile that comes halfway across her lips is a little softer, a little warmer, a little more open even if the rest of her remains closed off. It's soft, on octaves just barely above a whisper that Risali continues with, "But I have a feeling that isn't why you're here." Or, more to the point: what his problem with the cat-in-tree incident was. "Or am I incorrect?"

Teinon's face darkens to a fascinating pinkish hue underneath the tan that comes from working out in the sun all day. He rolls his lips in and blinks really hard at her suggestion that his problem is different. He takes a deep breath, and launches into a quick series of signs. Adora has to speak a little quicker to keep up. "Someone could have been badly hurt. It was /not/ a good plan, and the Candidates did /not/ work together well. It was s— Tei!" Adora seems scandalized and alarmed. Tei signs more emphatically, and there's another of those brief silent exchanges. Adora reluctantly continues. "He says it was… ill-conceived and…" Tei grabs her shoulder and finger-spells something emphatically. Adora swallows hard and looks down at her hands. She says in a tiny voice, "He says it was stupid. Sorryweyrladyma'am." Tei taps her on the shoulder to get her looking at his hands again, and continues. "If we… If herders used those techniques, there'd be none of us left. Mathis is a child, but N… Sorry…" More fingerspelling. "Oh! /Nessalyn/ should know better. They will be—" The poor girl stops with a scandalized gasp and claps her hands over her mouth. She shakes her head, and then through her fingers, she explains, "I can't /say/ that!" Teinon tries to sign more emphatically but Adora seems to have reached her limit.

Adora's hasty apology has Risali's eyes shifting towards her, a pull of her lips as they form one word in correction: "Risali," then, "and it's alright. Continue." But she is silent for the duration of that translation, watching the persistence of hands and the refusal to say words that Risali doesn't need Adora to speak to know; the omissions are easily found within the context of conversation. There. There's that shift from awkward, unsure, stumbling-through-life woman that jumps, and dances, and sings at the top of her lungs to this. Whatever this is. There is steel in her eyes, in the set of her lips, in the sudden set of her shoulders that says she will not be cowed. "Are you finished?" Risali asks, no hint of humor in the dry delivery of that question offered as, when grey eyes lock with Teinon's.

Teinon shakes his head to indicate that /no/, he was very much not finished, but then he looks over at Adora. She still has her hands over her mouth, and she's staring at the floor in horrified silence. Teinon's shoulders slump, and he gives up. It's not unlike the moment he had out there under the tree, and he also looks at the floor. He blinks hard, but nods to indicate that apparently, he /is/ done, after all.

Risali's eyes go back to Adora, to the girl's unwillingness to be Teinon's voice when there is clearly more for him to say and no. Risali is not a coward. "I trust that you can write?" Risali asks, and before he can answer, she's pushing paper and writing utensil across her desk to him. "Your voice shouldn't be silenced merely because you cannot speak."

Teinon glances up, then back down at the paper. He blinks very hard, considering it for several moments before he sighs, grabs the paper, and starts writing. He even stops a couple of times to scribble things out so he can choose better words, and when he's satisfied, he passes it back to her. "They wouldn't have listened to me if I _could_ speak. They went with Nessalyn's plan because she was the biggest bully in the group. That will make them _bad_ riders. It will put their dragons in danger." Once she has the note, he very carefully stares at the blank paper still in his possession.

Risali pulls the paper closer, eyes darting over words, expression unchanging even when it seems she's reached the end of Teinon's writing and… pushes the paper back towards him. "All due respect, I do not believe that their ability to handle a dragon falls within the constraints of your purview." Translation: you are not a Weyrlingmaster, nor an Assistant. "It is for the dragons to decide who is worthy, it is for our Weyrlingmaster and his assistants to ensure that they are released to wings when they are ready, and it will be the jobs of their Wingleaders, and their Wingseconds, and our Weyrleader to ensure that they are capable of handling what comes next." Grey eyes remain steady, her words soft but firm. "I do appreciate your concerns on the matter, Teinon, but our job is not to coddle them into complacency. It's to prepare them for what happens when they do become dragonriders; for when they are forced into situations that demand they stare death in the face and say, 'Not today,' or are met with the impossible choice of choosing which evil is less. People they meet aren't always going to be nice at them," a pause, as grey eyes lock onto Teinon, as if she is making her point in this very interaction. "They will treat them like they are not only better, but that they know better. We aren't setting them up to fail, as much as you might believe we are; we're testing them so that we know their weaknesses and strengths before there's any real danger to them." And then, more softly, "Now. Are you done?"

Teinon is already scribbling on his paper while she talks, but by the time he's done, he scribbles it out thoroughly enough to make sure it can't be read. Then he tears it up, wads up the pieces, and shoves them into his pocket. He writes something else, but then tears it up again. On the third try, he manages to actually finish it with a hasty scrawl. His handwriting is shaky, but legible. "I apologize for bothering you." He waits patiently to be dismissed, staring down at the next blank page with an expression equally blank.

Risali watches Teinon's war with words and paper, watches as he tries, and tries again and - relents. The paper that is pushed her way is glanced over, eyes lingering longer than what might pass for comfortable before she pulls the paper backwards and… she looks exhausted. There's a lot to be read there, too much in the way she says, "Have a nice evening," without looking back up. She's digging through her desk for papers instead, pulling them out to splay back across her table top leaning forward, elbow on the desk, not bothering to stop hair as it races forward to frame the hand pressed to her forehead and hiding her face. But that's it. No more pleasantries. Unless Teinon attempts to say anything more, the weyrwoman works on in silence.

Exhausted is not the right word for how Teinon looks as he drags himself to his feet. Defeated would be a good one. Adora wastes no time in jumping to her feet to make her escape. As they're going out, Teinon makes a sign with his fist against his chest. Adora wraps an arm around his elbow and murmurs something like, "It's fine…" And then they're gone, shutting the door behind them.

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