Protocol Particulars

Xanadu Weyr - Weyrleaders' Office

Office and retreat, this is the domain of Xanadu's Weyrleaders. The door is in the eastern wall, quite close to the southern 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 eastern 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 western 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 south 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.

Office day. Clean up day! Whereas past Weyrleaders's desks may have been adorned with hand drawn pictures from their children or photgraphs of loved ones developed right here on Xanadu, Ka'el's desk has accumulated a bunch of … what most would consider junk but he considers projects. Little things that the hands can fiddle and tinker with while thinking. A box of bits and pieces. Small tools of varying complexity. Unfinished pieces of..well, junk. Today, he's busy organizing all of this stuff, which is another way to keep the mind busy. He's thinking as he organizes, making space on his desk, plopping things down in boxes. Alloy lounges on a plush chair, watching on with a few flicks of his tail now and then the only sign that the bronze is awake. Ka'el lifts up a pair of broken glasses. Now why did he have these? .. "Oh, yeah. The frames…" Pliable. Useable, definitely! He'll just need to get the broken lenses out.. It's near lunch time, made clear by the yummy smells that waft from the kitchens, and outside, the day is clear.

Summertime. Overhead fluffy clouds drift lazily in blue skies. Underneath them, the midday fields are redolent of sweet grasses amongst which butterflies and birds flit and insects hum searching for wildflowers. The forest will be in deep shade, offering remnants of last night's coolness while the beach breathes away the warm kiss of sunshine with a brisk offshore breeze. Even now the Weyrwoman would prefer to be outside, though it's been turns since she lived on trail in the shadows of the towering peaks of the high reaches. Days like this recall her to trips to gathers… Thea abruptly pulls her dreamy thoughts back from the window and to the papers before her, moving naught but her ice green eyes from daylight to desk. Sigh. Where was she? Her pen scratches her signature after re-acquainting herself with the document she's likely read three or four times already. Her desk? Neat, with a few mementoes on it - a fired clay statue of a misshapen dragon painted blue, one wing drooping enough to give it some stability, a pink-framed hand drawn picture - a wild tumble of flowers from somewhere nondescript…and a small, empty dessert plate that's been there forever. The Weyrleader's cleanup doesn't bother Thea but he's mumbling to himself and she ducks her head to hide a grin. Without looking over there, she asks, "How's it going?" There's humor in her tone but not directed at him. Perhaps she's recalling another messy desk…

He's cleared off a small space. That's … progress, right? Ka'el sets aside those eyeglasses and steps back a little to survey his work. Well, he's put a dent in it! He has two boxes in which to sort things. The 'keep' and 'discard' box. The 'keep' box is near overfull, with those glasses laid delicately on top. The 'discard' box, on the other hand? Nearly empty. "Huh…" He glances from box to box. Somehow, this doesn't seem very helpful. Now how did this happen? He lifts a hand to idly scratch his index finger against his scalp, contemplating just what he should toss. Thea's voice pulls him from his thoughts though and blue eyes shift her way. "Swimmingly," he answers, glancing back to his mess of things. "I only have to …re-reorganize a few things…apparently." He shakes his head and sighs in a defeated way. Obviously this calls for a break! Lunch is an option but instead of excusing himself from the office to snag some of the available food, he instead turns his walk towards Thea's side of the officespace. "I hope you're havin' more success with your paperwork," he says with a glance down to those papers on her much neater desk. "You've a moment?"

Thea chuckles, a wry twist of a smile growing on her face. It might be for the near-empty box or for her so-obvious lack of success with her paperwork, maybe both. "Not so much," she admits needlessly, for her outbox is empty where it should have a least something in it after a morning's work. The question lifts her gaze from her papers to her Weyrleader. "Of course," she says simply, easily -and truth-be-told, eagerly desperate. Please! Distract her from the tedium that is her paperwork! "What's up?" She's has report from him last evening, it's been a quiet night, the morning uneventful, so she has no expression of concern on her face, just calm interest.

Ka'el draws a chair up closer to the Weyrwoman's desk to settle down in. Alloy looks on, though deems that his presence is not needed so happily curls up in the couch to take a snooze. Ka'el's eyes briefly turn to the window to survey the day. It's a lovely one. One that beckons the soul to be outside and lay in the sun. Summer! His favorite season. Maybe later, before the light of Rukbat fades behind the horizon, he'll escape with Kanekith to do absolutely nothing for a short time. His eyes return to her, and after a blink, he faintly cants his head to one side. "An apology first," he says. "A few weeks back, I stole Soriana away to Paradise River for a time," which is not what his apology is for, as proper steps were taken to ensure they weren't both gone for too long and the appropriate people were made aware! "I didn't think to research if there were … uh, restrictions that'd limit relationships between Weyrwomen and Weyrleader. I asked her to be my weyrmate, and she said yes," a fact which still makes him grin, though he fights it back. "And with what happened with Kiena and Betweening.." he shakes his head, "I hadn't thought to tell you, or to apologize for not speaking to you of the politics of it first."

Thea keeps her attention on Ka'el, tempted to follow his line of sight to that window where summer beckons, but no, she resists. She'll go all day-dreamy if she does and she'd like to get out of here while there's still some daylight left to enjoy. She waits patiently for him to continue, dark brows twitching upwards in surprise at the apologetic beginning. Her protest that he needn't apologize for taking leave dies unsaid as those brows pinch together, perplexed. Knowing cross-Weyr politics, there may, though each and every case is unique, be complications and things to consider in such arrangements. "There's no rule that I know of that limits the personal life of a weyrleader or weyrwoman-" she begins before she interrupts herself with a knowing smile that grows in response to both his stifled grin and his news. He may not have told her, but she does hear things as she interacts with the weyrfolk, not to mention his, for lack of a better term, mother-in-law is one of her juniors. Her puzzlement returns, however, with his next words. Politics? Her head tilts questioningly. She waits a few ticks, then says quietly but firmly mock-stern, "You don't owe me an apology as long as you keep her happy." Then she beams radiantly at him, "Congratulations, the pair of you." It's warm and genuinely-meant.

Yes, politics. Ka'el doesn't know if there would be any issue, but it's good to be cautious right? And if there is something to be concerned about, at least now it's all out there. He watches her and listens without interruption. His grin, the same one he's kept reined, finally makes a whole-hearted appearance at her congratulatory remarks. He dips his head to her in reply. "I aim to. For all of the days that she is my weyrmate, I aim to keep her happy." His fingers toy with his ring on his finger, turning it round and round as if by some miracle a wish will be granted that will have the walls of the office crumble away and transport him to wherever it is she may be. The honeymoon phase is still going strong! But with the happy, there's also concern. "Speaking of weyrmates…and Kiena.. I spoke with her not long ago. She's doing much better with Betweening. Passed her test with V'dim. I've been keepin' eyes on her, and she's gotten her confidence back." Thank goodness. "But, I'm worried about another thing with her, and I'm not sure the best way to approach it. Her .. ex-weyrmate and Weyrleader of Western, visits often. And his visits never seem to be the pleasant type for her…or anyone he crosses paths with while here," he adds in an undertone. "I wonder. What protocols does Xanadu have when a Weyrleader visits? Or, are there protocols?"

Indeed it is. The Weyrwoman of Xanadu appreciates the caution that prompted the Weyrleader's question and it shows in the approval of her gaze. "Good," she says firmly, almost briskly of his aim and now her eyes, in contrast to that steadiness in her tone soften as they drift towards that window while her hand raises to grasp a gold locket hanging from her neck on a chain. It's the concern in Ka'el's voice that breaks her reverie and draws her attention back to him. "Hm? Kiena?" Ah, the weyrsecond, yes. She nods, again unsurprised. She receives reports from V'dim, duplicates of the ones he gets, tries to keep the lines of communication open with her weyrleader; they speak daily, at least in passing and to give and receive reports. They haven't specifically spoken of Kiena perhaps because all has gone well - thank goodness, indeed! "Zi'on," she says slowly, needlessly, for surely Ka'el knows the weyrleader of Western Weyr. Her expression is thoughtful throughout the news of Zi'on's visits, neutral regarding the unpleasantness for Kiena but she does murmur, "That's natural for exes." There is a questioning lift to her brows though. For others he's been unpleasant? This is not voiced, for he's asking another question. "Ranking visitors announce their arrival," she says promptly. "Or the watch dragon on the starstones should announce him if he doesn't announce himself and bespeak whomever is on-duty for Quasar wing to meet them when they land." It's… in the weyrleader's manual but there was a lot of material to cover. Quasar shadowing wouldn't necessarily have caught Ka'el as that was intermittent and well, to Ka'el's credit, there hasn't been a weyrleader visit - save for maybe the hatching - to Xanadu since Kanekith won Seryth's flight. "I'm sorry." Now it's Thea's turn to apologize.

It isn't as if Ka'el doesn't know the procedure. He's been Weyrleader long enough to know at least that, regardless of whether or not he's been on Weyrleader visits himself. Hearing her say it is more of the confirmation he was looking for. He shakes his head at her apology. "I can guess that it's … hard to split up from a weyrmate, especially if it was on bad terms," he says, picking his words carefully. "I understand that. But, what I question is our continued level of hospitality towards Zi'on, when he is shell bent on showing little respect to our people. Kiena is our Weyrsecond. That alone I'd think would give him more than enough reason to tread lightly while here and attempt being civil. Kiena doesn't want to bring trouble, so she doesn't speak against him. She's my Weyrsecond, and I've no problem speaking where she refuses to. Zi'on agreed to have his daughters stay here and be fostered by a Xanadu family with the terms that he be able to visit them. He's come and gone at his leisure to visit with them, and .. for the most part, I've tolerated his coming and going without announcement, as his business here is, supposedly, for his children. But, when he's here, he harasses her. I've yet to see her act her usual self after he's been here. She tells me that he tells her things. Accuses her. Blames her for whatever it was that went wrong between them. Calls her a bad mother…" He trails, a frown creasing lines over his face. "Honestly speaking, I've never liked him. But, I've tried to keep my personal feelings separate from any dealings I have with him. But now he's bringing his drama here, and it's effecting my Weyrsecond. She's had enough trouble as it is with the Betweening issue."

Yes, breakups can be… problematic, Thea knows this firsthand, but though the sorrow in her eyes over the topic is there, it is brief and her fingers abruptly release the locket as Ka'el speaks of Kiena's plight. She says nothing, merely nods, encouraging him to continue. Her breathing is slow and her demeanor relaxed as Ka'el elaborates. She listens without interrupting, silent for a few beats at the end. Concerned, yes. Angry, alarmed? No. "Either Zi'on has arrived while I'm away from the Weyr, the watch dragon hasn't been notifying Quasar or Quasar hasn't been notifying us." That little detail she is sure Ka'el will - or has - taken care of says the slight lift of brows that asks the question. As for the rest of it, while her look is compassionate and she murmurs understandingly, "And Kiena is your friend," she does not comment right away on Zi'on's behavior. "I don't…get Zi'on. He's…odd." Obviously she's met him a time or two - either at hatchings or gathers and while her own personal feelings on the man go unstated, her expression remaining neutral, she muses, "This is of a personal nature, not official business, so we've hardly been giving Zi'on Xanadu hospitality. Do you… have a solution in mind?" She'll at least be willing to hear it.

Ka'el nods. She is his friend. He's not tried to obscure that at all from anyone. But if she wasn't, would he be sitting with Thea right now talking about this, or would he still be tackling organizing his desk? Good question. Luckily, it's not one that he has to answer. Fingertips press together as he rests his elbows upon his thighs. "Solution," he says, nodding again, "/I/ think should be a general one. Zi'on is reminded that his presence will be announced when here, regardless of his reason. He'll be reminded that this is expected of all visiting Weyrleadership, so the argument can't be made that he is being treated unfairly or given requirements that others aren't. Quasar will be refreshed on the expections of the watchdragon." Definitely so, says the resolve in his eyes. "With that done, we'll all be aware of when he, or any ranking official, is within our Weyr, and .. if there's a history of problems, steps can be taken to make sure those same problems aren't repeated. A dragon's eye can be kept on the Weyrleader, if it's needed. Any problems he brings to her while here, I'll approach him about personally. With tact," he ensures the Weyrwoman. "I'm full of tact. V'dim and the other assistants taught diplomacy well. I don't aim to have problems with Western."

For his Weyrsecond? Thea would like to believe that regardless of whether the person be his personal friend or not, he'd do the same. Perhaps it is because she does, that the question goes unasked. Tact he says and to her credit, Thea's expression remains the same, save for the fractional twitch of one eyebrow. No smirking, no recalling the first staff meeting in Ka'el's tenure. And… he's seasoned now - lots of practice at tact under his belt - so she nods complete agreement; he is indeed, full of tact. She's witnessed it herself. "I'll leave the refresher of Quasar in your hands," she says. There's a lift of one forefinger to clarify the rest, "Zi'on should know that, but he's likely assuming personal visits do not qualify; I have no problem with him being reminded - gently - of protocol." At his last, she says firmly, "Excellent! I would be pleased not to have disrupted Weyr relations with Western - or any Weyr. Pern has had far too much squabbling between the Weyrs in the past. It… was nonproductive." And distressing, by the look that flashes across the Weyrwoman's face at the recollection, however indirect, to that time. She lifts her eyes, seeking Ka'el's and asks bluntly, "Does Kiena mind you discussing this issue with me? She seems… fairly… to herself. We've never has a personal discussion, her and I."

Ka'el has no plans of being the catalyst for inter-Weyr problems. Nope. But sitting idly while something bothers him…doesn't sit well with him either. And while he has this Weyrleader gig, he'd might as well do things while he can! His knot isn't a forever thing, and he won't always be this … uh, influential. He smiles and nods to the Weyrwoman. Things seem to be in order! He'll need to do his part, which will require some back and forth between Western, unless he himself wants to travel there. But it'll be done. And hopefully without conflict. Weyrleader to Weyrleader … oh boy. Her question has him lifting his brows a bit. "Kiena? .. Heh. She's very … to herself, yes," he confirms. "I did tell her I would be speaking to you about his visits an' the expectations of them. She didn't have much comment on it, though she was against me suggesting that she have someone with her whenever he did come around. Didn't want to inconvenience anyone. Pull anyone into her problems," he says, wrinkling his nose slightly. "I offered myself, if I was available. I know Mur'dah wouldn't mind. He was with us on our trip to Western to get her daughters to make sure that went without a hitch. I know he considers her a friend. I reminded her that she has friends to help. Who're willing to help."

They are alike in some ways, Weyrleader and Weyrwoman. There was a day when… But the turns have taught the Weyrwoman some hard lessons. Someday they might share thoughts on that. Regardless, Ka'el should definitely do something with that knot other than paperwork. Something he believes in, something to make Pern a better place and dragonriders better people. It might be a gleam in Ka'el's eye that communicates his wish to be influential, but it receives a subtle nod of encouragement from Thea, accompanied by approval in her green eyes. If anyone can understand reticence, the Weyrwoman can. There are things she's shared with no one. "Good," she says with a singular nod of her head for the mention to Kiena. And then a question, "How do you think it would work to remind Ka'el of the protocol without mentioning his personal… behavior with Kiena? Do you think it would have as effective an outcome? Do you think mentioning Kiena to him would make things worse for her?"

"I don't doubt it'll come up," replies Ka'el. "He and Kiena, I mean. And I don't know if it'd make things worse for her or not, but if Zi'on's a smart fellow, he won't make it any worse for her. He's been at this Weyrleader thing longer than me, and even I figure aggravating another Weyrleader's not doing to end happily. Continuing to hassle a Weyrsecond? is likely going to aggravate a Weyrleader. What I hope to come from this is that he corrects his behavior. The agreement was that he's to come to visit his daughters. Not come and point fingers, lay blame, and accuse every time he's here. If he can't handle himself in a civil way, then we'll need to speak again, I think. But," he shakes his head, "again, I'm hopin' he shardin' mans up, leaves her alone, and none of this will have to be thought've again."

Thea actually coughs. Zi'on smart. She stifles her original comment, the one that rises to her lips. "He’s… different," she repeats in a strangled tone. "Exercise extreme patience." Advice, not instruction. "Good luck?" she adds with a touch of desperate humor. "In all fairness to Zi'on, he's likely thinking of her as Kiena, ex-weyrmate and mother of his children, not Weyrsecond." Heh, he may not even realize she is Weyrsecond? Whether that would make a difference is anyone's guess! "It's tricky," she mulls aloud. "They do have a personal relationship. Behavior patterns… are not always easily changed. Motivation is key. And he may consider your involvement as interference rather than intervention." Male egoes! Sometimes not so logical and reasonable! "You have my blessing to try. I trust you! But if it doesn't end well, my feeling is they need to meet somewhere neutral and work through this on their own." Then banning him from Xanadu perhaps may not become a necessity.

Patience? ..Patience! Got it. He'll make a memo and stick it in his brain for when the time comes. Will it be his first real test as Weyrleader? Swimming in the deep end without his Thea floaties? Let's hope the guy doesn't drown! But if having Kanekith in his mind 24/7 for the past however many turns has given him anything, it's surely given him confidence! Maybe a bit too much of it, at times. Ah well, that's what stumbling's for, isn't it? To learn from. "It's been turns Thea. Turns! And he… You'd think after…" He doesn't know. He doesn't have an ex-weyrmate. Shell, he barely has had a weyrmate for very long! He can't pretend to understand the actions and motivations of someone in Zi'on's predicament … even though he does think name-calling, constantly hurting her feelings, and lowering her self-esteem would be rather counter-productive of any 'getting back together' plans he may have. Whatever. He's …different. Yes. Dismissing those thoughts with a hand-wave, he smiles at her and nods as she grants him permission to try. "Good idea. Neutral grounds and lay it all out." Or something. His eyes shift briefly back to his desk, to the black-sand time piece he has on there, which twitches a memory. "Oh…crud, I'm late," he cringes, looking back to her. "Soriana and I are trying out this new thing of seeing each other during the day as opposed to crashing into bed and passing out and barely getting a 'goodnight' in." A smirk. "I'm supposed to meet her for lunch .. ten minutes ago." Oops? "Thank you for all've this. Your advice and..everything. May I be excused?"

Thea is diplomatic. And regardless of her personal opinions, reluctant to state them when they are less than complimentary. This might speak of her character and loyalty where Ka'el is concerned as well. Thea went through that stumbling phase. She understands it. She doesn't claim to like or approve of the Western Weyrleader and that should speak volumes. As for Ka'el's personal life, Thea prefers he has one. "You're Weyrleader; you hardly need to ask leave from me," she says with tart humor, a grin following. "Try out all the lunch dates you like. The paperwork will keep." Mostly. She dips her head in acknowledgement to the thanks though, eyes still sparkling merriment at lunch-meetings. Nothing implied…or is there? Ha. She's not saying if asked! Her paperwork is returned to. There's a sunset to catch! And a midnight rendezvous to make outside of the Tavern.

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