====December 1, 2013
====A'lory, Trek
====A'lory shows he's not the yes-man some believe him to be, and Trek tries to figure out if she can trust him.

Who A'lory, Trek
What A'lory shows he's not the yes-man some believe him to be, and Trek tries to figure out if she can trust him.
When Spring, 7 months until the 12th Pass
Where Administrative Corridor, Igen Weyr

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Administrative Corridor

This hall must once had a glory about it, surely: there is a grand geometry to its graceful archways, and a grave beauty to its even stonework. Yet this hallway bears the veneer of disinterest as plain as the rest of the Weyr. The floors go unswept, the walls unwashed: a thin layer of green growth coats many a corner. (Moss, feeding off the light of the glows. Well - let's hope it's moss.) Grime clings to grout lines, spinner webs dangle from the glorious archways. Only the occasional footstep stirs the dusty floors, for most of the Weyrfolk have little occasion to venture here.

Angular, aesthetic, whip-thin, he's a hard-bitten Bitran through and through: no stranger to the rough-and-tumble of life, he exudes a certain quiet pride in hard-earned skills. The wiry strength of him is measured in strangely elegant limbs, the knotted cords of hard muscle plain beneath olive skin whose surface bears the crease of wrinkles across his high forehead. Thick and errant, his hair is dark and curling; the occasional spark of silver can be seen amongst the brown, left to its own devices to grow as it wills like a dark halo about his saturnine face. A broad hint of age crinkles the corners of heavy-lidded, unpromising blue eyes, while the ever-present, scruffy beginnings of a dark beard blur the sharp angles of his jaw.
Clad with a grim efficiency made near-poetic in the stylishly tooled leathers of a rider, his sleek ash gray riding jacket — whose inner lining is of softest combed wool — suffers no gaudy indignities: instead, the bright silvered stitching is a rich counterpoint on the seams of sleeves and the diagonal slant of craftily sewn pockets at breast and waist. A double row of white, gleaming ivory buttons lining the midline from hip to throat, roughly half left to dangle freely beneath the trailing ends of his gray wool scarf. Softer still, the cut of his trousers are of a deeper storm-gray and butter-smooth, gleaming softly with the exacting care lavished upon them. Calf-high, his gray boots show no signs of wear or abuse, an elegant framework for the long, masculine elegance of his legs and feet.
He is an adult of about 39.

At first glance, Trek might seem a bit on the small side, fragile and petite. Her long-lashed, hazel eyes are a bit heavily lidded, often making them appear somewhat demure, while her smile can carry anything from simper to smolder. Short wavy hair varies from sun-kissed blonde to dark auburn, the loose curls just long enough to tie back, but not long enough to brush her shoulders. Closer inspection would reveal more than her light tan, though few get a chance to see beyond that. Petite she may be, but with muscles toned as a dancer's, she's anything but frail.
Trek's hair flows freely about her shoulders. A navy blue shirt tightly fits across Trek's bust, and clings to her waist, accentuating her curves. A puffy, eggplant-purple scarf is draped about her neck, dusted with metallic, golden accents. A gray-purple jacket surrounds it all, the open garment falling to about mid thigh, where simple black trousers are belted at the waist, while black strappy sandals complete the outfit.
Trek's knot marks her as an unlikely wingleader of Igen Weyr, while a thin ribbon of navy blue winds its way throughout. A thin, braided strand of purple and white indicates her status as a dragonhealer. At the top, near the shoulder, the knot is now clasped securely in place by a new badge of leather, its embossed design showing her affiliation with Igen's Arroyo Wing.
She is a young adult of about 21.

Another day, another meeting: except for that shocking bomb laid amid the company of men: They'll be sharing their exalted positions with a woman. And as the meeting draws to a close, the weyrsecond escapes the group and into the hallway ere his amusement at their shock becomes too apparent. In the corridor, however, he promptly leans against the wall to observe the passing riders with something akin to malicious glee — and gleeful anticipation for the newest wingleader among them, all the better to congratulate her on her promotion.

Trek has been doing her song and dance, just as she promised W'rin a few days ago. This, her first real trial by fire, went according to script. Aside from weathering snarky comments, sidelong glances, and occasionally the outright hostility, her role was an easy one today. Female or not, she's the newest wingleader, and staying quiet just made sense. Now, though, as the very last wingleader to leave the chamber, the effects of that trial are showing. She managed to keep a polite smile throughout the last hour or so, but now her lips are in a thin line, and her jaw is clenched. Right up until she spots A'lory. Her hand is still on the chamber's door, tightly gripping it, possibly as she contemplates a good old-fashioned slam. But a couple seconds after spotting the other rider, she lets go of it. Lucky for the door. She brushes fingers through her hair, then plasters on the fake smile again. "Sir."

A'lory will play along, sort of, with a genuine smile for the woman. "Wingleader. A well deserved promotion, I think. Took him long enough." And then, he steps a bit closer, tilting his head slightly as he studies her strained face. "And, for the love of Faranth, stop 'sir'ing me. I have a name." Again, that gamine little grin, conspirational and inviting as he offers up a slouchy little shrug. "I don't require fawning over."

Trek's expression may as well be set in stone for all the impact A'lory's words have, at least at first. It breaks a tiny bit when he steps closer, her eyes tensing a little more. At the last, her gaze drops briefly to where his knot would normally be. Not that she needs that to know who he is. "Please forgive me for being blunt, sir, but I am following orders from your own boss. For all I know, this could be a test, and I do not intend to fail." Her hand tightens around the leather folder at her side. "If you'll excuse me, I'm in the middle of fifteen things, all of them annoying. Or important. Some flip back and forth at any given moment."

A'lory snorts wryly. "Right. There is that." His tone turns sardonic, gaze shifting back to that now-empty Council Chamber before returning to Trek, in all seriousness. "I don't believe you will, Wingleader." There's a brief flicker of pride in according her that title, a twitch of the lips that may suggest he is enjoying the shakeup a bit too much to be dignified. "I know you by reputation to be more than capable of this." As she starts to leave, he runs a hand over the back of his neck to rid it of the tickling sensation of way too many curls left uncut for too long. "Look, since we're being blunt, here, do allow me to respond in kind: I don't envy you the tightrope you're walking. And I mean to help you, however I can, even if it means going against the Traditions — " If disgust could have a physical body, it'd be standing in the Corridor with them at this moment, framed by the air quotes A'lory throws up with his fingers. " — that leads this Weyr right into decay."

A look of wariness remains, but Trek does seem to relax slightly as she continues to weigh and measure, hazel eyes appearing dark in the dim light of the corridor as she studies A'lory. Finally, she takes a deep breath and looks in the direction where the other wingleaders disappeared. "They like to blame Vergora and the former Weyrleaders. And maybe some of this lies at their feet. But they all…" She trails off, mouth hardening again. "Perpetuate it, and refuse to see. Refuse to even consider…" She takes another breath and shakes her head, eyes closing momentarily before she looks at the far taller rider. "I would… appreciate any help I can get, Weyrsecond. So, thank you, but I'll have to stick to 'sir'. Wouldn't do to slip up at the wrong time."

A'lory nods, leaning back against the rough wall behind him. "Yeah," He drawls softly, "I'd noticed that same tendency among my fellow man. As if… " He pauses, searching for the proper words, and almost failing to find them. "… doing the same thing over and over will net a different result this time." He chuckles, then. "Shame they don't know anything about that line about the meaning of insanity." He closes his eyes, briefly, shaking his head, before looking at Trek again, thoughtfully. "That's his idea, isn't it." It isn't really a question, more an assertion of some niggling suspicion he can't quite rid himself of. "It wouldn't do to forget 'your place', or some stupidity like that, I suppose."

Trek's lack of immediate answer is probably answer enough, along with another glance down the corridor. "It's… political economics," she says after the pause, going back to giving A'lory a searching sort of look. "We have an opportunity to prove their status quo is not the best way. In order to seize that opportunity, a price needs to be paid. If being subservient a little while longer will help bring about success, then I'll play the meek little woman. I'm already two out of the three. Meek is easy to fake." A corner of her mouth lifts then, threatening to grin, but it ends up as a crooked smile instead. "What can't be faked is success. Nor can it be hidden. I'm going to make sure of it."

A'lory delivers a cough that MIGHT be laughter, for the keen of ear. "Oh, yes," he agrees, amiably and with a hint of deepening admiration. "I know — and loathe — that tune, myself. All the better if they don't realize they're being retrained." His brow furrows briefly, though, at the price Trek will have to pay for this advancement in the game. "I suppose you're right. I just wish you didn't have to play along with the bullshit — it's insulting on so many levels I can't even begin to articulate it. They asked us here and then proceed to expect us to go along with what amounts to stepping into…. " He gives up on finding an appropriate analogy, beginning to grin a little. "Well. At any rate, I'm certain you're going to lead them a merry tune. It should prove very, very entertaining. Hopefully, I can push certain people into losing the attitudes before they lose more than they already have."

Trek arches a brow at that last, her crooked smile growing a little more so. She wraps both arms around her folder and takes another slow breath, much of the intensity gone by now. "They view us as chess pieces but never learned how to play with better pieces than the pawns. Turns out some of the pawns have teeth." The smile evens out into a wicked little grin. "Anyway… quiet suits me for now. I'm going for subtle success, not revolution or anarchy. I'll choose some wingseconds for starters. Start building the ranks. Teach them the new drills. Then drill until we have a hardcore working unit that will fly Whirlwind into the ground. At least, that's the plan."

A'lory's grin widens a little. "Mmm. I like the way you think, my lady." He straightens, then, listening to the grumblings of a certain bronze huddled in the back of his mind. "Well. Isn't that helpful of Eisheth." He rubs a hand across his face, sighing softly. "Hmm. At any rate, I'd pick three or four folks you can trust to watch your back. And all wing rivalry aside, I will want to see Arroyo do exactly that. We should have a drink sometime," He grins crookedly at her as he shoves himself off the wall as he starts to wander off in the direction of the Bowl. "Reminisce on Ista and all its lovely scenery. I've got to go bathe a certain idiot bronze."

Naturally headed in the same direction, Trek will walk at least some of the distance with A'lory. "Oh, don't worry, I already have some folks I mean to visit today for just that reason. W'rin demanded two wingseconds, but I'd already been planning on more than that. Along with some other ideas. They're not even all Oldtimers." She gives A'lory a casual sort of salute. "Say hello to your idiot. I have one of my own to visit. Good day, sir." She then takes a detour down one of the side corridors that will eventually end up in the infirmary, then the dragonhealing cavern beyond.

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