You Can Count On Numbers!

Xanadu Weyr - Weyrsecond and Junior Weyrwomans' Office
Office or study? Perhaps this room is a little of both. It is spacious and airy with the big windows opposite the door looking northwards, a perfect aspect when one is this far south. Those windows are framed by dark forest green drapes, soft ribbons and braid in dark, rich gold sewn along the edges to give them a sumptuous look.
The back wall is covered by shelves that hold a variety of things - mostly records and reference material as well as writing tools and sheets of hide and paper. Tapestries, including several lovely scenes of the terrain around Xanadu Weyr, cover the rest of the wall-space while a soft, plain off-white rug hides the stone floor. A small, low table sits by the door and usually has some refreshment set out on it.
Several broad desks are arranged around the room, each one set so someone sitting at it doesn't look directly at any of the others. Small screens can be set up on each desk to give a little more privacy and each has one comfortable chair that goes with it. There are also several other chairs, which can be used by visitors.

Something has happened to the Weyrsecond's office. It's probably for the best that he's been away and Bethari has been with the healers, because their poor, poor office has been transformed. Three desks have been pulled to one corner, along with their screens, to approximate what might have been called a cubicle - if that name had made it down with the records from the colonists. As it is, it's a nameless faux-room within the room, and Meion is half-visible inside it, with the faint sound of snoring even though its midmorning. Papers are arranged all over the desks - records from the weyr archives, and her own notes. The only table that isn't a mess of papers has a large map of the Sea of Azov on it, and a collection of alphabet blocks and other small toys set on it. Has she been pushed into babysitting again? At the heart of all of this, wrapped in a big blanket that D'lei can recognize as belonging to Risali, Meion is asleep, while a bar slowly fills up on the screen in front of her, and incomprehensible-to-the-untrained messages scroll along beneath it.

D'lei has heard this tale of tangle and chaos, and he's here to… investigate the rumors? Maybe just to marvel at the impromptu construction skills being demonstrated. The door opens, and he steps in - then pauses. Amber eyes sweep from one tangle of cables, to other nest of papers, to… the heart of it all, where Meion dwells in her elaborate structure of concepts and hardware. A cocoon! …oh, wait, no, that's the blanket. Easy mistake to make. But she's asleep, so D'lei closes the door - quietly - and investigates on his own before he disturbs her. There's that map, where A and Q join other, less scrutable symbols to define… something. There's the papers, which… he recognizes some of, yes. But… mmh. D'lei approaches closer, stepping in to where he can actually see those screens, and is enlightened that… those sure are computer-craft messages. He recognizes the species! Just… not the individuals, really. His head tilts, from screen to the individual sitting surrounded by them, and there's a sideways tug of his mouth before he clears his throat. "Hey." It'll be followed - not too many moments later - by a light touch to shoulder as approximated beneath the blanket.

That sound elicits a slight response, but Meion's eyes jerk open at the first hint of touch, quickly scanning the area until she's confident it's just D'lei. She hadn't meant to fall asleep, exactly, and hopefully no one snuck in while she was resting and… somehow… comprehended all of this bewildering mess as the investigation it is. "Mmh. Must've dozed." A glance to the screen. "Oof. For a while. What time is it?" She looks up, extricating shoulders and pushing that blanket down until it's only covering her from the waist down, revealing her usual clothes beneath, rather the more rumpled for having been slept-in. She glances past D'lei's shoulder, but can't quite see the door with how she's arranged furniture. "You closed it, right? Anyone with you?" Those questions carry implications - which will remain merely implied, until she's quite certain of who's listening.

Just D'lei. That's all it takes, just one D'lei, and… "It's okay." Sleep is not only acceptable, it's recommended! Not that D'lei doesn't know - as wry smile admits - just how easy it can be to miss, sometimes. He follows her gaze to the screen - though it's no more nor less coherent to him the second time around - then hehs. "You've missed breakfast, but not lunch." Insofar as Meion keeps to that sort of reliable schedule, anyhow… but it's at least a commonly-understood measure of the standard day. That wry amusement-sympathy vanishes as Meion shifts to other questions - more important ones, given the circumstances and those implications. D'lei nods. "Just me. Risali's having a very boring meeting." One set as a droning zone of distraction between the caverns and here… with an open doorway, so she can also see just who's going past.

A nod from Meion, then. The adrenaline from when she was afraid someone else had been here has her quite awake, quite quickly. "I can show you what I showed Risali, but the summary is that there is definitely a change in the rate of incidents with merchant ships on the Sea of Azov, and that I have good reasons to think it isn't weather." She lets that sink in, looking at the screen, as if she could will that bar to fill up faster. The random statements flicking by on the bottom are glanced at, then paid no mind. "I can go into more detail on any of that, of course."

D'lei grimaces, a sideways shift of his mouth - but he did already get the headline, and so there's not surprise, exactly. He nods, with a glance behind him to make sure there's a solid surface - and then a lean back against that bookshelf, his hands tucked to his back. "And if it's not weather…" he says, with a frown as it trails off and then… "Okay. First thing." His gaze refocuses on Meion. "Do you think anyone is onto this and might be after you, or are you just being careful so they don't?" Please to assess personal risks, highly skilled analyst who is terrible at doing so for herself!

Meion gives a nod of acknowledgement, as it seems like D'lei gets it. She grimaces a little at his question - the look of someone who's already been considering that. "If I were trying to figure out if someone were investigating this, I'd be able to figure out that someone was researching something with the evidence I've left behind." Which is sort of an answer, but she clarifies. "I had to check out a lot of records to figure it out." And then, a devious grin. "But I checked out a bunch I didn't need, too." She gestures to the bookshelf D'lei is leaning on. "And I apologize if anyone needed the agricultural records for the last eighteen turns, or the audit records from trades earlier than three turns ago." She sinks back into that blanketed chair. "So, I think it's implausible anyone has figured me out from that evidence. I know some folks have a sense that there's tension" - she recalls her conversation with Cielo, the night before, but doesn't bring him up - "but I think there are lots of reasons people might feel that around this hatching."

Good, Meion's already worried about it! Not that worrying is good, exactly, but - when it's necessary - it's better than not. D'lei nods, then hehs as he turns to glance at the bookshelf. "Poor insomniacs." Deprived of those anti-thrilling stories of how many bushels of barley were gathered from what fields! But… there's another nod, a somewhat reassured one, and then a grimace. "There are." His mouth shifts, chewing on an unpleasantly-flavored set of words, and his chin tucks, just a bit. "I could thank certain people for the camouflage, but I won't." Nor will he say anything more on that - and those people - at this particular moment. Back to the current terrible topic! "You said the Sea of Azov. Is that because it's localized, or because it's where you checked?"

There's a little grimace back from Meion at the mention of distraction. "Yeah. Distraction." She seems slightly unconvinced that it's all unrelated. "So.. both. I was looking at the overland routes and the ocean routes as well, initially. But… well, most of Xanadu's trade comes through Azov, it turns out. I could probably make a very interesting report if you have some sort of committee on trade or whatever." She does not look like she would actually like to make this report, but she can't deny that she could. "Even a lot of the overland stuff ends up running along the coast on the stretch between Ressac and here, and a lot of that shifts to small boats for ease of moving when the weather permits. So, it looks like the non-Azov things aren't particularly different - though, really, I don't know if I have enough data to say if that's a real conclusion or not." Statisticians, and their standards of proof.

D'lei grimaces, because yes, he sees that unconvinced and… he's not exactly sure he could argue against it in his own head, let alone coherently enough to make sense outside it. He's not even sure he could make the argument that he's doing the right thing in letting it be that distraction, but… yeah. Whatever of that isn't said on his face will remain unsaid, because it's time to talk about the disruptions of trade. He listens, with small nods that range between things he vaguely knew and things that he never thought of that way but make sense, then a larger one at the conclusion that's followed by a lift and drift of his eyes - and a check of that door, while he's at it. Still closed. "So. I've got two theories for what changed." D'lei looks back to Meion. "Theory one, less competent seacrafters." Implausible, but possible. "Theory two… more pirates." A grimace. "Any others?"

Meion sits back and listens through those theories. "The data doesn't seem to support theory one. If it were the boats, I'd expect it to be like the usual weather-related problems, only worse. Even a bad boat can make it on calm water, right?" She doesn't really have a good sense of her boating, but it doesn't feel right to her. "The big thing I noticed is that the increase has been steady, and totally independent of the usual weather-related increase during some seasons." Which she hadn't known existed until she started this project, but… the things you learn! "So, I also arrived at your second theory, and I've been having trouble coming up with any others." Which comes back to that distraction, and the suspicious timing of when it started…

"Depends how bad the boat is," D'lei says with a wry smile, but also a nod. "But yeah, they'd be worse with bad weather." He can say it with certainty, at least once it's pointed out, which leaves them with… one theory. "Right." One solitary theory, that correlates to a loner in black and silver… "So how is it hiding?" Because - while the numbers reveal it - the reports haven't. "Azov's not that big… and if it's related, then they've been haunting near here, or at least coming in close enough…" So how does a pirate ship pretend to be innocent enough to escape suspicion, while still bristling with enough weaponry to threaten and take those merchants?

A slow, unhappy nod from Meion. "So, this is the part where I got stuck, too. I know the data I want, but…" She pauses, takes a breath. "It's like you said at the beginning - is anyone on to me?" She gives another paranoid glance toward the door - not that she can even see it, but it's an ingrained habit now. "The next data I'd want involves sweep flight records. But the most plausible guess I have… for how they're avoiding detection…" She trails off, looking meaningfully at D'lei, not quite able to say you have a compromised rider to the weyrleader, to whom that rider would certainly report, be known.

D'lei listens, and… a grimace. He leans back against that bookshelf, his gaze lifting up, searching the ceiling as if he might find some sort of answer in the aged stone that's been scrubbed of crawler-webs and smoke-stains so many times the scrubbing itself has left patterns. "Riders are as human as anyone." It's a grim acknowledgment, the fact that vices are as much a part of that human condition as virtues, and his voice is almost flat as he says it. "The sweep routes change, but the schedule's posted ahead of time." So a ship would have to move, to evade detection by ensuring 'careless' eyes, but… it could know where it had to go. "So." D'lei's lips curve, just a little, with a wry almost-smile as he asks a probably-rhetorical question. "Who do we trust?"

The chair creaks, as Meion lifts herself out of it, leaving blanket-cocoon behind. "I've been trying to figure that out. I don't have the sweep routes yet, but…" She gestures at the map, with its collection of toys. "I've been marking the regions where events have been happening on here, to try to get an intuition for it." From her slight frown, it looks like intuition is still being elusive. "And I've got the computer running a regression analysis on the full routes. Once that's done, I'll have a sort of… call it a probability cluster." She gestures at the map. "It's sort of a collection of all the guesses of where each ship might have been when we lost contact. If I had the sweep records, I could maybe figure out what riders don't… line up with what the data tells us." Which is a very circumspect way of saying which riders are lying, but she's still a little squeamish about actually saying that part out loud. "It's slow to process, though."

D'lei pushes himself upright from the bookshelf, following to study that map with its scatter of marker-toys. A stare, as if he might find the intuition there himself… but then a small shake of his head. Not this time. "Like electron-clouds," he says, mapping one kind of uncertainty-zone to another, and gives Meion a nod. "I review the schedule, but I don't make it." He frowns, the corner of his mouth tugging to the side, and casts his eyes down to that map. "That's the Wingleader." Who… well. D'lei has been running on a presumption of trust, but it's not so deep-seated that he doesn't have to review it now and ask himself if he really believes what he hears. And… well… "Let's not involve him, just yet." It's not that he has evidence against, it's just that… it'd be an awfully convenient position if one did want to hide something… and it's not like D'lei appointed the man himself…

A nod from Meion. "The fewer people involved…" She agrees entirely. "So, how could I get those records without raising any suspicions?" She gestures at her strewn papers. "I mean, nobody particularly notices when I go into the archives, but I think that's just because that means the boring things aren't their problem. The sweep flight records… are less boring." Lots of interesting ramifications, if you can figure out who's stationed where, or who was where and when. "And there's one more concern I've got. The amount of this we're seeing… it feels implausible that it's just one wingrider that's looking the other way." She frowns, looks at the pile of toys and dolls and map that are standing in as data. "So, imagine this. One rider wants to sweep a certain area, because they've got a… let's say friend there." All sorts of reasons someone might want that. "So, they swap with someone - whether or not it's on the records. And if you're our problem rider and you see this, you can make a pretty good guess that the rider who swapped going to be a little more cursory, so they can take some time to do… whatever. So now that's two sweep regions that are less-than-properly covered." Meion has managed to make a minor virtue of paranoia. "So, there might be riders who have something to hide that isn't a secret affiliation with piracy… and if I were trying to cover something up, I'd make friends with them, so I can deflect suspicion that way."

D'lei nods, then lets out a slow exhale. How, indeed? It's a great question, and… that's not all. His gaze lowers again, head tilting as he observes Meion - and the corner of his mouth quirking. SURE, let's imagine things are even worse than they might seem! WHY NOT. D'lei nods as Meion lays out her story, the pieces of it that… certainly do fit together to make a plausible-enough set of potential outcomes. "Secret lovers and tasty snacks." Which are fine enough things for riders to be doing, on the whole, but would certainly contribute to some guilty consciences and a culture of secrecy if done while allegedly on duty. "There's some of that for sure." D'lei reaches for one of the alphabet blocks to the side of the map, turns it over in his hand. "I rode with Galaxy after my transfer." And before he turned into the big boss. "Not everyone really believes in sweeps." Aren't they just busywork in between disasters? Yeah, D'lei doesn't think so either. "So." He sets that block down again, and focuses gaze on Meion. "If we can't do it subtly, we'll make a distraction."

Meion's eyes follow that cube - and when it's set down, she nudges it gently back to where it was, without really thinking. "A distraction?" She's smiling now. "A distraction." Not that she has an idea for one, yet, but it's a good idea. It could work. "So, there's a ready-made distraction coming up on the sands, but…" She laughs a little, sadly. "I think we're distracted by that one, too. So we need a different distraction."

"Quite thoroughly so," D'lei agrees of that sandish distraction - though hey, it might mean that Meion can apply her full-time effort to this problem! …then again, it might mean she has approximately zero time for it, at least for a while. It's a bit of an uncertainty toss-up, that one. "Something that'd get those records opened… or moved, or…" He stops. He blinks, does it again, and then… he laughs, lifting up a hand and putting it against his face. "That's a terrible idea," D'lei says to himself as he shakes his head in against his palm, then lowers it again. "Even if getting them sick would be a good excuse to bring in someone new."

A look from Meion to D'lei: you can't say something like that and not elaborate. So she just looks expectantly at the weyrleader until he shares this terrible plot - even if it's nothing that should actually be done. After a moment, she realizes there might be a reason not to share - without breaking that look, she asks "Is this the kind of terrible idea where I should be considering on plausible deniability and not asking you to explain more?" She's not sure which answer she's expecting - or which she's hoping for, if she's honest with herself.

D'lei laughs again, at Meion's question in amidst her look, and gives his head another shake. "I don't know exactly how. I just know a dragonhealer with a lot of obscure books." Surely in one of those, there's a combination of herbs that were discarded for medical use due to their negative side effects! Ideally, the sort that are mostly cosmetic - like bright red splotches - without actually doing anything to make things unpleasant, let alone dangerous. "But no." D'lei tugs his expression more serious again. "It's a bad idea." In addition to being a terrible one!

A slow nod from Meion. "Amusing to think about, but not a good thing to actually do, yeah." She considers. "What about the threat of something bad? Like, say there were rumors that some sort of pest had gotten into some part of the weyr, so they needed to be closed off and treated to make sure that they don't spread?"

D'lei nods, somber now. "Yeah." Just because he thinks terrible things sometimes - and is amused by them - that doesn't mean he'd actually do them. (Which is maybe part of how things go wrong, sometimes, as he thinks that the claims of others are as much jokes as they would be when coming from him.) But… Meion's suggestion gets a hmm from him, a tilt of his head and a crooked smile. "Like, say, the part that just happens to be holding certain records…"

Meion grins, with a half-conspiratorial amusement. "Not just those, though. You need something else that seems like a good reason someone would have wanted to do this, so even if someone realizes it's a ruse, they get the motive wrong. And you need to inconvenience a few people so that their annoyance throws everyone else's routine off enough." She considers. "If I were doing it, what would I target…" She considers. "What's close to the records? Anyone have a weyr near them? Someplace with food, someplace with less-maintained structures…" She shifts back and forth on her feet, pacing in place. "If I could go over to see… but the whole point is that I don't want to go near that area, because that's suspicious."

Trust the person with an eye for the patterns to have ideas on how to disrupt them without making it obvious. "Of course," D'lei says, nodding to the need for enough disruption to… obscure the trail, as it were, so they can investigate all those previously-obscured bit of trail. "Most of the records should be around here," D'lei says, with a gesture to the hallway just outside - the one that holds the various offices, the archives, all those sorts of important administrative tasks. "Which I suppose makes us the most obvious target." A crooked smile. "We're not entirely popular, these days." It probably has something to do with their attempts to enforce rules and keep people from hurting each other! "Not so far from the springs, either… or the kitchens."

Meion grins. "Ah, excellent. In that case, we just need someone to report a pest that's plausibly food-related in the hot springs. That means we need to clear the area between them, because it might be nesting anywhere in there. And we need to put the kitchens into a deep cleaning, because we can't shut them down exactly, but we can make them do a serious sweep of the pantries. Which… will be terribly inconvenient but it's probably good for them, right?" Justfy, Meion, justify! "And if it forces you and Risali into some sort of awkward work environment while your office is shut down, then that will make the prank-at-your-expense theory look better." It's an elaborate scheme, but it's hard to think of anything simpler. At least, on three hours sleep and an obsessive focus on the task. "And we shut down the hot springs, which is an annoyance to everyone, so that should disrupt some routines."

D'lei hehs, with a nod and that sort of face that is both running the amusement of chaos and also … the one who'll be dealing with many of those inconveniences! And being complained at about the rest of them, he's sure. But… "We can find a drowned rat." Or maybe just something that looks like one! "Say it looks diseased, and then… we've got even more reason to shut everything down and scour the place. Which… well. When word gets out that it was actually just shaved funny and drawn on with marker, that makes it clear it was just a prank… though in rather poor taste, I must say." He grins, in that crooked way where this is, in fact, the best (terrible) idea he can come up with either. "Risa and I can sit in the corner of the caverns and glare at people." And/or keep an eye on the alleged decontamination - and actual comings and goings - of that hallway.

A grin from Meion, even as she's shaking her head. "This is the worst best idea." She pauses. "But when do we do it?" There's the hatching that could be any day now… and after that, all the chaos of not-knowing who will be pulled into the tight orbit of dealing with it. "It… could add a lot of chaos, if it's in progress when the eggs decide it's time." Which, if she judges by Leirith, could be as early as last week.

[DTU/Project] Leirith senses that Garouth slips in amidst the crackle of ice, tender snowflakes with winter's cool in contrast to the sands. « D'lei wishes to know the best time for a terrible disaster to shut down half the caverns. Ask your Risali-minion. »

"Pretty much," D'lei says, with a laugh of who is he, who lets him do this. A grin, and then… "Mmh." It's a good question, and he follows it by a tilt of his head up and a look away, out into the middle distance of dragon-thoughts to pass a message along there before returning to a more level gaze and his own thoughts. "It'd make a shambles of the hatching feast, for sure." He does not actually sound all that regretful. It's like familial congratulations and consolations are not exactly the most amazing thing he could do with his day! "But… hmm." Ponder. Ponderponder.

Meion nods slowly. "I think… you and Risali can decide when the moment is right. If you have the records moved out so they're not damaged while everything is de-pested, I can probably get what I need." She considers. "I just need a place where I can copy them without too much unwanted attention."

D'lei nods about the timing - yay, terrible idea responsibility! - and half-smiles. "That part would be simpler if we knew exactly whose attention we didn't want…" Not that he's seeing enemies in every corner, of course! Just… potential enemies, in most of the corners. It's completely different! "Hmm," he says, considering… and then tilts his head to Meion. "Where would it be easy for you to show up? Unsuspiciously, I mean."

That question gets due consideration. "The craft complex. The candidate barracks." A self-deprecating laugh. "The healers." Meion considers more. "I've been working out in the garden from time to time, but not since I got such… clear data." A frown. "Am I really that predictable? It's those spots, the main cavern for meals, and here. And since I've started working here, I've basically stopped using the computers in the craft rooms." The analyst, forced to admit that she makes a somewhat dull data-set.

[DTU/Project] Garouth senses that Leirith makes those snowflakes dance in the wubwub of her voice, those shapes that crack, and shape, and shatter ice ever-cheerful, as exuberant as that rush of sunbright warmth that comes as it always does when their minds meet. « My minion says to tell yours that now seems perfectly reasonable. Or, you know, whenever. Terribleness waits for nobody. »

D'lei nods, considering… then tilts his head up with a distant-listening posture and a slight laugh, before re-focusing his attention in on Meion. "So. The purpose of being here," a gesture around, "was to get out of the craft complex." So that's not exactly an ideal option… and neither are the barracks, though he's not even going to say that part out loud. "The healers, then?" D'lei considers it. "They're near enough to be convenient, far enough to be out of pest-range…" Or at least, plausibly so, for purposes of what excuses are made while moving boxes. "And they can always sterilize the room afterward." Not like the healers don't do that regularly, after all.

Meion considers on the option. "It's not a terrible plan. Though, when I'm there, they usually don't exactly permit me to be working…" A laugh, but the problem is real. "We'd need someone there to be in on it - at least enough to know that I'm not actually ill, and I shouldn't be checked-on in the usual ways." Which isn't impossible, is it? "It's… I can't see many plausible angles for one of the healers to be our culprit, at least. So it's just a matter of who can keep a secret."
"Fair," D'lei admits, because he too has been given the healer-ly glare of REST, NOW. "I suspect most of them are… well, the glares they give to the people who need patching up are nothing compared to the ones they give the people who cause it." A wry smile. "But yeah, find one who can keep a secret, pick a night when they're on shift…" And then they just have to stage an accident, as well as a prank!

Meion thinks for a few moments. "It's easy enough for me to say some food disagreed with me, and I can just wander there on my own. And if they decide I might have come down with something, and should be isolated just in case it's catching, then that gives me a room to myself." She's distressingly good at this lying thing. Does she have a lot of prior experience? "And it's hardly a secret that I'm, well… not always as good as I should be at taking care of myself." Understatement, she's good at too.

Food poisoning and/or stomach flu! Everyone's favorite friends. "And with the, ah… infestation…" Such as it is. "…that'll be even more plausible." Such a convincing set of lies, and D'lei grins as he nods - but then he looks down at that map again, and the amusement slips. "The eggs are getting close." Even if not at the rate Leirith might suggest. "We should move fast." Because afterward, everything might get a whole lot less convenient… and right now, there are ill-considered candidate 'pranks' to be blamed for the chaos they're about to perpetrate. "I'll find us a healer. And a rat."

Meion gives a sharp little nod. "I'll get this project cleaned up, then. All the most important information is in the computers anyway. And I've got that locked so only I can read it." File security - one of the many little-used features that the computercraft makes sure its journeymen know, even if it doesn't always advertise them widely.
D'lei nods, with a thoughtful look - for a moment - and then a deep breath in as he stands up all straight and tall and Weyrleaderish again. "If you need time, take it." Which is not to say that haste is bad, just… not so much that it makes waste. He saw that analysis still creeping along! "Maybe return those agricultural documents last, too." Just in case someone is snooping about at the unsecured part of the archives. It's not paranoia when they really are out to get you - or the ships headed for you, at least.

A nod to that. "I'll let the analysis finish, of course. But I can start returning the more recent records, in particular." Meion laughs a little. "I've transcribed nearly everything in them into the computer anyway, to be able to do the analysis." And she always thought, while doing data-entry as an apprentice, that she'd be able to have apprentices of her own to do that sort of tedious work for her. The perils of secrecy. She pauses, thoughtful. "An idea for you to consider, by the way. Are there other problems like this that aren't getting solved? Maybe not here, but…" With all those young, fresh-faced candidates she's been among, it's easy to start making plans for the eventuality where the eggs find them, Impressing the impressionable. But when all her new friends have dragons, maybe Meion can do more of this helpful analysis-work. "If this works, and all. If we're right."

Maybe this is why they have the apprentices digitize seemingly random things. If the work is divided between enough hands… and with enough noise mixed in… who even knows the purpose for those decrees of what databases need an update? The conspiracy could go far, and wide, and deep… or be just as random as it might seem! "Good," D'lei says, and he's just about ready to head out… but first, an idea. He tilts his head to Meion, listening to her… then hehs. "There might be." He can certainly think of a few things that… well, that he's not going to spread the secrets of until there's a clear reason, because he's heard of a little concept called operational security - if not under that name. "Though… it may be hard to get some people to trust the data." Instead of their own opinions, that is. Or… traditions.

A little grin from Meion at that, just as D'lei is starting for the door. "Well, then. I suppose someone will have to speak on the data's behalf, won't they." It's amazing how one can pronounce the word they and have it so clearly mean I. She starts gathering up toys from the map. "I have some things to return, I think. But thank you for the conversation." A beat, and she adds. "Weyrleader."

"Suppose they will," D'lei replies, with an amusement on his face not because he disagrees, but because he agrees so hard that he just appreciates it like that, okay? He nods to her farewell, though his lips twitch at the salutation at the end. "Likewise, Computercrafter." D'lei lifts his hand in the most perfunctory of things that might be a salute - a vague visit of his hand to the vicinity of his temple - and follows it with a grin as he opens the door. "Thank you for the attempt." See, anyone who might be lurking in the hall (but probably isn't, but shh). It was an attempt, which implies failure. Don't worry about any of those secret meetings, nope! Everything is fine. Maybe. Hopefully. They're trying to get there, at least… but the next step, for now, has D'lei going back to his office… and after that, maybe to the infirmary. He has a headache, you see… can't imagine why.

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