And the Tensions Build

Xanadu Weyr - Caverns

A massive cavern in it's own right, this one has been skillfully adapted for human habitation. The high ceilings have been painted a light, soft ivory, as are the walls where numerous tapestries hang to provide brilliant color and insulation from the stone. The floor has been left in its natural state, pale pink granite speckled through with glittering mica and dark flecks of basalt, leveled carefully but kept sufficiently rough to avoid slips.
The cavern itself is loosely divided into areas, each one set up to be suitable for some segment of the Weyr's population. The most frequently occupied area, however, is the one near the Kitchens where tables of varying sizes provide a place to sit down and eat or chat and a buffet of consumables is almost always kept stocked. Its plain that on most days, this area wouldn't accommodate anywhere near the full population of the Weyr and equally plain that on such occasions when a formal meal is laid out, tables are appropriated from all the other areas.
A big fireplace is set into the wall near the Kitchens as well, several comfortable chairs nearby providing haunts for elderly residents or riders who like a good view of all that happens. Rugs cover the floor in strategic spots, all of them abstract or geometric in design and most in the softly neutral colors of undyed wool.

The evening rush as settled down and there's not as many people in the caverns now. A few stragglers here and there can be noted and the food tables aren't quite as full as at the start of the dinner hour. Keziah is seated over near the fire as she goes through paperwork, and more paperwork and wait is that more paperwork? She seems disgruntled and interested in it at the same time. One paper sits a little off to the side and seems to bare notes and annotations along with a schedule of sorts. A plate sits near her, half touched. On it is a several slices of rare herdbeast that's only lightly seasoned. A glass of juice sits nearby.

The brownrider has been 'off' personality wise since B'rdian was suspended and he landed with a temporary (he assumed) wingsecond position. Some of the Galaxy, no all of the Galaxy, had tried to question him about it. He dismissed their concerns with a simple 'Weyrwoman Thea forbid me to speak of it' … and carried on. Though they still eyed him sideways and Keziah too. It was a hard adjustment for the team to take. Ers'lan had been the omega in the Wing and for him to rise so far overnight, unsettled the pack, as it were. Some left, while others joined. It was an odd mixture of disgruntlement and enthusiasm. Yet, for Ers'lan, he has taken on a stone cold persona. Some even believed B'rdian had groomed him to replace him through and through, before B'rdian had taken leave.
The bottom line was, there was many people saying what they believed and no one really left knowing what truly happened. It left Ers'lan walking oddly among his fellows, no longer head down, but no longer in stride with them either. Such a thing that translated him to eating late, without the wing. His plate showing only a meager portion, his glass with mulled wine. With so few in the caverns now, he would be an easy sight to see, as would Keziah. He does indeed see her and without hesitation walks right over toward the table, eyes down on the paperwork, mouth pulled tight. Disapproval.

Of course, Keziah hasn't been to helpful either in quelling rumours or in setting facts straight. Course, in her case there is still some snickering that she finally went and got herself drunk. Most believe it in celebration and she's done little to set things straight on that score. She does look up when Ers'lan and then see's that frown of disappoval. She sighs a little and then goes back to the paperwork after spearing herself a bite of the rare meat, though it's nearly raw. Someone just walked the herdbeast past the kitchen. "Still pissed at me I see." She notes quietly.

The plate he was holding gets set down with a bit of a clamour, not that he did it on purpose but that he did nearly drop it. The reason? To move out of the way for someone attempting to by pass their table for another. The mulled wine sloshes in his hand because of it, sending a stare down at the back of the passer by, drawing his hand up to his lips to lick off the bits which spilled over. As for Keziah, once he has properly seated himself and taken a good bite of his meal, he notes with a stabbing gesture with his fork to the paperwork, "Reckon ya got an office fer all this. Could be sensitive info ya got thar, dun wan the wrong hands getting at it…" another point with the fork, to the schedules and rotations of the wing riders.

Amazingly enough, Keziah doesn't make any smart remark about clumsiness or the like. She does glance up briefly at the plate, at Ers'lan, at the wine, at the licking. Eyes shoot back to the paperwork. "Reckon I do and reckon I ain't got it disinfected enough." she notes after a moment. "Nothin' too sensitive in this lot. I left the dossier's on everyone behind." she notes as her nostrils flare just a bit. Though she doesn't go into any details on that and instead snags another piece of meat. She's just a little twitchy, or maybe she's just annoyed.

Ers'lan gives a mild shrug when she ignores his warning about doing paperwork in the caverns, continuing to eat his fill, while his eyes idly roam over the pieces of paper he can see. He takes a long while to contemplate anything else to say, eating and drinking to fill the gaps. Minutes go by, one at first, then two, then five… nothing. Until he's nearing the ten minute mark, does he say anything further: "Reckon we do need ta talk to the wing, bout whar be happenin."

Much of the paperwork seems to be things that really actually don't seem to be connected with the wing itself. The schedule itself doesn't have names of anyone in the wing at all, but instead seem to be shipment dates. Though why Kezi would have a schedule of shipment dates could be anyone's guess. Some of the papers seem to be letters, one even going into some detail about the birthing of someone's child. Still other's asking about a harper that doesn't have a sensitive nose. "Suppose you're right." she notes as she doesn't even look up at Ers'lan, and instead just spears more meat. "Reckon you know just what needs to be said."

Ers'lan pushes around a bit of the food on his plate, taking his time to scoop up more onto his fork. The papers are considered again, in fairness, he is curious of what she is doing, to a point. Then his snooping wanes and he settles back in his chair, not eating all too quickly, as if lacking a real appetite. For her response, he nods, if slowly, swishing around the mulled wine with a hook of a finger on the stem of the glass. "Reckon so…" a lack lustre response, the silence filling awkwardly the space between them as he sets to eating once again. Maybe he's being polite and doesn't want to interrupt her thoughts?

Keziah arches a brow a bit at the continued laconic responses. She stabs the meat on her plate and then leaves the fork standing upright. "Look, if you've got a problem. Spit it out. I know you hate me. But I expect you to deal with it. I have no problems keeping things between us on a professional basis. We don't have to be friends to work together. Sure, it'd be easier if we were, but don't worry. I don't expect you to return any friendship. You made yourself quite clear on that. "But, this is now a partnership and I expect to hear your input." The fork just stays there, still wavering a little at the force of impact. Poor plate, it never did anything wrong.

Ers'lan flicks his gaze up from his own plate at her outburst, settling his fork down in exchange for his mulled wine yet again. Her accusations don't bait him to rise to his own defense or to change her opinion on the matter. Instead, he lets her get it all out in her own ways, before he answers carefully, "Professional be the wise thing. Dun narh wan the fellas thinkin anythin but…" He enjoys a good slurp of the wine, sets it down and continues after wiping his mouth off, "Reckon you made it quite clear, when ye were last me boss. T'will narh work ta do anything else but be havin a professional partnership." A look down as he pushes the fork around, "Reckon I jus tell 'em that B'rdian be movin on ta Ierne whar his wife be…That he done made a mistake that endangered Zhaoth and Thea seen it." A shrug.

Keziah is certainly twitchy tonight. There's a flicker of some emotion in her eyes at his response, pain or misery perhaps, and then it's gone. Maybe it never was there. But, she doesn't divulge any information on that and istead shifts over to concern for the wing. "No, they deserve the truth. Though I don't have leave yet to give it to them. I would rather they not be lied too." she states. "They deserve better than that." There's a quiet pause and she retrieves her fork and starts in again on the rare meat, steadily eating it for several bites and then sighs. "Darn K'ael and not bein' around to do up some of his rare steaks." she says out of the blue as she pushes the plate away. Sliced is just not cutting it for her "I do want you to remember I consider this a partnership. I expect you to be open about your thoughts and concerns about the wing."

Where Keziah is twitchy, Ers'lan is just sitting there like a boring bump on a log. He finishes his meal, since he really didn't take a big portion, and for the moment is babying the last of his mulled wine. "Aye…" is all that he says about the truth being given to the rest of the wing, adding in, "Reckon we jus narh tell them so much bout whar be happening ta me… directly…" He would rather leave B'rdian's lessons alone and private. As for the remark about K'ael, Ers'lan says nothing, knowing the man for all of two minutes one day in passing. Her last, has him nod. A nod. An agreement at least, then: "When it be comin to the wing, ya can expect me ta be blunt and honest."

There is silence. None of Kezi's usual yelling or screaming or carrying on. She just eyes Ers'lan a moment and then all of a sudden from where she was twitchy she's suddenly laughing. Seemingly for no reason. Or maybe there is? "Aye, I can't see ya bein' anything but blunt." she shakes her head a little as she takes a breath and then she's quiet again. "Would you like anything more to drink? I'm thinking I'm need more juice. All this talking is making more thirsty." she states as she swallows the rest of her juice. "I wouldn't surprised if your mouth is dry from all talking you're doing.

Ers'lan sits mute against her laughter, placing his glass down now empty of its contents. For all her laughter, it really hasn't changed the outcome of his response. There's still a flat level deadpan tone to him as he has seemed to left all emotion out at sea, "Nay. Reckon I be best getting home…" He salutes her in the way a wingmember would to their wingleader, "Best of the night ta ya. Dun narh be burnin the oil too long on that…" a flicker of a point to her spread of paper. Then without any further ceremony, he's heading out.

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