==== December 3, 2013
==== Hannah, Q'fex
==== Hannah and Q'fex have a chance meeting in the council room.

Who Hannah, Q'fex
What Hannah and Q'fex have a conversation. They actually have several conversations, but only one is vocal.
When There are 0 turns, 6 months and 24 days until the 12th pass.
Where Council Room, Southern Weyr

hannah_moon.png fex_outside.jpg


Council Room
Spacious, this room is cut from the same scale as the living caverns:
vast and given to inspiring awe for those who enter. The floor is tiled in
a shining cross-hatch of dark and light, an ironic chessboard setting for
the looming and overlarge council table. Weathered it is, long and
rectangular, with a matching sideboard twice again as long as it is. This
is a room for meetings, for work, for decisions: such is evident by the
hearth in the corner, and the always-fresh pot of klah.
Q'fex is here.
Obvious exits:
War Room Office Courtyard

-- On Pern --
It is afternoon
It is 1:39 PM where you are.
There are 0 turns, 6 months and 27 days until the 12th pass.
It is the third day of Winter and 77 degrees. It is sunny and bright.
In the distance clouds gather on the horizon.

Autumn has given way to winter, unclenching the fist of rainy weather to
allow those first rays of beautiful, wintry yellow light to spill across
Southern Weyr. Though clouds gather in the distant horizon, for the first
time in months, the weyr is drying out. As much as a jungle weyr can
anyway. In the midst of this beautiful weather, just where is Hannah?
Tucked away in the Council Room, lingering past a meeting that's just
dispersed. Perhaps glaring daggers into the retreating back of the
pompous Neratian Holder. Or was it the Nabol Holder? Either way, the
man's an ass. Reluctant to move, she toys with the handle of the mug that
once held hot klah that's chilled into something cold and kind of slimy.
Dressed to impress, she's wearing a dress in corals and pinks that
highlights the fair complexion and fall of moon-pale hair that's woven
into a simple braid. The sisal materal falls well short of her knee, but
thank Faranth the bandages of not-so-recent accidents-with-flamethrowers
are long gone.

Oh, meetings. Q'fex luckily wasn't part of this one, and comes cheerfully
walking in as if nothing ever is possibly the matter. "Oh come now, it
couldn't have been that bad!" He is SO damnably cheerful, smirking merrily
over at Hannah as he manuevers over to the hearth and pokes at the coals.
"No warm klah? Really?" This is more of a hypothetical question-at-large
rather than anything else, and the man gets his business together for
putting on a new pot. "Oh," additionally, "I could use your help. If you
have some to give that isn't a hot poker to the kidneys, that is…"
Someone woke up on the cheerful side of the bed.

What has happened to Q'fex. Hannah's emerald gaze shifts from the
now-gone Holder to the Weyrleader, some tension releasing at the quips to
add mirth to the edges of the smile that struggles to form on tightly
pressed lips. "That man tried to slide his hand up my thigh," she
comments, sweetly. "I discouraged him when I nearly skewered his hand to
my knee with my fork," still viper sweet are the words that fall as she
tracks Q'fex's movements. Sitting up a little straighter, pale brows
lift, green eyes intent as curiosity plays across pretty features. "I'll
try to put away my hot poker. What do you need help with?"

"Oh, well. At least they did it to you and not to Lendai," Q'fex quips
back. "She probably would have mounted him right there in the middle of
the meeting." He's allowed to have a little derisive humor, isn't he?
Maybe just a tad. "Well. I think I've reached the end of my rope." He
moves to seat himself in a haphazard sprawl in his chair, one leg hooked
over the arm of said furnishing. "With paperwork. I need an assistant, but
I don't want a full-blown weyrsecond. I don't trust anyone enough for
that." Pause. "Well. I trust someone, but he thinks it isn't a good idea."

Hannah keeps her mouth shut when it comes to commentary about her
Weyrwoman. She's both a good friend and a self-preservation-seeking
junior, though Q'fex is given the hairy eyeball for that comment.
"Mmmmm. And you want ideas on who could be your next," her lips quirk as
humor is restored with this latest direction in conversation, "mini-Q."
Taking his derisive humor and turning it on its head, the goldrider pushes
her cup out of the way and belatedly answers his original question, "I
don't think there's any more hot klah. That fat holder sucked it all
down." Pushing to her feet, she starts pushing the hidework into a
semblance of a pile. "You should learn to convince this person with,"
pale lashes lower coyly, teasingly, "creative measures. Like wine.
Judiciously used sauce…" By the tone used, she knows exactly who
that ONE PERSON is.

Ha. Hannah KNOWS that Q'fex is right. It's just she can't say anything.
The man has a crooked grin for her hairy eyeball, the left corner of his
lips curling upwards in uncouth amusement. "Mini-Q," thoughtful, "I like
that." He airily sketches a gesture with one hand, just-so, "No, I'd
rather convince this person wi… that isn't a conversation we should very
well be having here, come to think. No. Hannah. Help me. I don't want to
make a horrible choice and then get stuck with some asshole until I've
given them a reasonable amount of time to hang themselves. You know me.
You know me better than most people here. You'd know who I could put
up with and who I couldn't." HELP ME OBI-WAN HANNAHKOBI, YOU'RE MY ONLY
HOPE… of a human relations manager on Pern.

"Mmmm," comes the smug, somewhat gleeful response from Hannah when Q'fex
adjusts to the OFFICIAL title of his assistant. Mini-Q. "If you're not
looking for a full on Weyrsecond," she hazards, laying both hands flat
onto the pile of hides she'd been gathering, "Then I'm assuming you're
looking for help with very little power?" Brow quirks in affirmation, but
she continues in the event that these are not the droids Q'fex is looking
for. "If you're looking for someone to eventually make into a proper
Weyrsecond… well. I have ideas for both, but one is obviously a little
trickier than the other." She pauses, green gaze steady (UP) on Q'fex,
"If it were me, I would start with a powerless position that could grow
into something more, shall-we-say proper over the course of a few turns.
One or two. Allow someone to properly grow into it." Which is a very
long game, here. Longer than Q'fex might actually have. "Or we can go
with something in the middle?"

"Hmm. Sounds like an excellent idea. If it starts out as a paperwork
position, even if Kraaken fails to catch Talicanitath the next time
around, the person has a better probability of sticking around than a full
weyrsecond, because who doesn't mind a little help with paperwork… help
that is familiar with what needs to be done without, hmm, challenging
the status quo." Q'fex likes this. He slouches down further in his chair,
going so far as to kick the other leg over that leg with the other so now
he is sitting SIDEWAYS in a fancy chair, looking like a teenager. "Maybe
they could technically be my wingsecond. My Ocelot wingsecond. That
would give them a little more rank without overwhelming them with
unnecessary responsibilities."

A somewhat sly look is cast towards Q'fex, lips briefly pulling into a
smile. "There's always Bailey's adorable brother," she comments lightly,
resting her weight onto the palms of her hands cushioned by the stacked
hidework. "Though seriously," now she nibbles the corner of her lip, "If
you go the straight paperwork route, you could start by grooming one of
the weyrlings, but that would preclude the wingsecond spot. Which…
let's see." Mirth dances behind green eyes at Q'fex's youthful position,
which gets the junior to come around and perch herself on the edge of the
table next to the Weyrleader. She even swings her feet. "You could go
with the male brotherhood and pick V'dean, but I am not sure how much
you'd be able to rely on him. He's like a fish. Easily slipping away."
A frown mars her brow as the humor is dropped to seriously consider the
proposition. "If you go with grooming the weyrlings, I'd go with Yules.
She's always had a good, reliable head on her shoulder. But no weyrling
is ready for wing responsibility straight from graduation." Finally, she
huffs. "Just make Br'er do it. He's really the best."

Snort. "El'ai? Maybe in a decade. Watch him spring up late, take all
the girls by storm." Q'fex pauses. "Or boys. Whatever." The Weyrleader is
good for that whole 'follow your arrow wherever it takes you' mentality.
He and Kacey Musgraves would be tight. "Br'er would be excellent at it.
But he doesn't want it." He sounds PLAINTIVE, he does. "Yules." The word
is a grunt of thoughtfulness. "If I had to pick a girl, she'd be the only
one I'd even think twice about." There is a sudden GLINT of amusement.
"Maybe I'll snatch up D'tri, set him on being my goldrider liasion." He
handwaves off V'dean: "He's…" not the droids Q'fex is looking for! "…
not my type."

Placing the majority of her weight on one hand, Hannah leans forward,
closer to Q'fex to offer a healthy amount of teeth in what can only be a
viperish smile. Like poisoned honey, her husky voice lowers with sweet,
dark promise, "If you use that boy, Q'fex, I cannot promise that his
— or your — manhood will remain intact. Pity, because I'm sure Br'er
would," her eyelids sweep downward, the golden-brown lashes gracing her
cheeks, "miss that." Teasing, so much teasing lurks within husky tones.
Yet promise too. D'tri is — not a favorite. Back to business, the
clarity of green gaze seeks Q'fex's to add, "Yules would do well. You
could train her without the, ah, misconceptions of a rider who's come to
Southern with a lot of baggage." A touch of sardonic wryness colors quiet
words, for her own baggage is well enough known.

"Oh come off it," Q'fex levels a Look at Hannah. "That whole poison berry
act doesn't work on me, peanut butter jelly girl." Let's be real here,
people. "You don't have to protect Bailey's little boy. She does quite
well doing that herself." Snerk, "Perhaps too well." Come on. The kid
is SHELTERED. "Think we're ready for the face-eating carnage?" God, what
is WITH cheerful Q'fex? It's kind of UNNERVING.

Hannah dissolves into quiet laughter. "I still have sharp teeth, Q'fex,
lest you forget." But still. Let us be REAL. Q'fex got her with a
peanut butter and jelly sandwich and there's no going around it. Crossing
one leg over the other, she wiggles that foot bouncing it off her calf.
"Bailey does a lot of things really well," idly stated that before:
"Q'fex, did Br'er ejaculate sunshine and rainbows up your ass or
something? You're like… glowing." By the smile that curves her lips,
this statement isn't a complaint. "No, we're not ready, Q'fex." Sudden
seriousness as shadows coalesce, "But we will be." Again with the

"I know exactly how sharp those little flesh-scrapers you have are." It's
a statement of amusement from Q'fex, and the man wiggles a little on his
spot. He's not as young as he used to be, and it takes him a moment but he
straightens up. There. He looks more like a respectable adult! … Just a
little bit. "Br'er's ejaculate is hardly true conversational material for
us. Unless you want to do a threesome?" Dark eyebrows loft innocently, his
most charming smile on display.

"Let us enjoy the simple pleasures of friendship, eh?" Hannah's tone is
easy, carrying no heat. "Besides, Br'er is close, but there's no spark
there. Never has and likely never will be. He's like a best friend."
Her token best GAY friend, see. "But…" She hesitates here, but the easy
camaraderie and Q'fex's good mood has cast a lull upon them. "… I'm glad
to see you happy. Even if it sparks inappropriate comments." But that's
because it's too good to pass up. "There's precious little time to be
happy, isn't there?"

"They are lovely things, the little pleasure of life." Pause, shift.
Slight, subtle change of expression. "The simple pleasures of friendship."
Q'fex's dark eyes assess Hannah, thoughtfully. "How's Th'seus?" It's a
MILD question. One with implicit loss hidden underneath all the layers of
ooey-gooey happiness. There's always a touch of bittersweet at …
opportunities missed. "Considering they say it could start at any time?
Aye. Precious little time."

"And so fleeting," Hannah's exhalation carries the song of melancholy to
it, husky and soft. Yet, she raises her eyes back to Q'fex, expression
underscored with hints of vulnerability, unvoiced beyond the pale shade of
an question of worth beyond the physical friendship they had before. "We
can, right?" The words come, startling Hannah as much as possibly Q'fex,
though the surprise fades to a rueful mien. Questions within questions,
layers within layers. "We're good," her own happiness is branded with a
small smile that yet carries touches of fear. Loss is a tricky thing,
woven through the patterns of the conversation, but yet so is hope for
something else. "I mean, you know as well as I. He's busy." That single
word carries no rancor, but a wealth of understanding and yet again shaded
by fear. "At any time… and there's nothing I can do…" To help? The
powerless feeling has the goldrider drawing her knees up and wrapping her
arms around her legs. "If such things existed, I would weave the
moonlight into a dome to protect us all, but." A careless shoulder shrug
touches upon a child's fancy that's haunted by memories that she no longer
talks about. A turn of the conversation to something hopefully sweeter,
she queries with shadows laced in emerald gaze, "You and Br'er?" Q'fex
may be the Weyrleader, though she does not view him as Weyrleader, but
as a man.

"So fleeting," Q'fex responds, his voice a quieter murmur than before. His
eyes settle on Hannah for a long moment — a long moment — and his
childlike good humor seems to evaporate in an instance, distilling back
down into that which has always been Q'fex: dark amusement, touched
faintly with an undertone of … regret? Some dark emotion turned inwards.
"Moonlight would be a poor protector against Thread, m'dear. Water would
be better. Spin the ocean itself." Thus sayeth the rider of the kraken; go
figure. "Br'er." His smile returns, albeit a little softer than before.
"Br'er is too good to me." Doesn't that sum it all up?

"Moonlight burns when it needs to," Hannah's comment is soft, but not
argumentative having no affinity over the waters of Pern. No less so than
she has over the mooons, but at least that cool, silvery light is
something she understands. Propping her chin up on the shelf of her
knees, the dress's hem falls to just about lower-calf from this position,
but it is enough to maintain some element of modesty. "You don't give
yourself enough credit, Q'fex." Simplistic at first hearing, her
statement carries shades of meaning not stated. "I think you well
matched, myself." Where Q'fex's childish glee has distilled into the dark
humor softened by feeling, Hannah's earlier sharpness is whittled down to
shadows and reflections, haunted. "Keep them safe," a whisper, a sadness,
a terror, a fear; fate is braided into an impossible statement followed
even more impossibly with: "And yourself too." Implicit beneath the
quiet, husky tone is heard: please.

"Uh huh." Q'fex has something of dubiousness in his return to the thought
of moonlight burning — not something that he can visualize. "You don't
ask for much, do you." His wry expression turns to her at that last.
"If I could shelter the whole weyr underneath Kraaken's wings I would. But
it isn't that simple, unfortunately." He rises, stretching with knuckled
fingers to the small of his back, shoulders rolling. Crackles emit
sporatically. Getting old SUCKS. "Not to worry, though. The starcrafters
say that the likelihood of an early pass is miniscule, given what we can
piece together of the last pass. It was erratic and late, which means
we'll probably also see erratic, but late erratic. Or that's the current
hypothesis, at least." A snort. "They say another six months."

"It's never that simple," Hannah's voice is quiet as the weyrwoman is lost
to the mire of her own thoughts. Though she pulls herself up and out of
them long enough to cast a shuttered look to Q'fex. "That's six months
for another one of us to go up and lay eggs. Six months to train the
weyrlings and the weyrfolk. So help me, if any one of our weyrfolk
decides that they need not obey the weyr, they will be cut loose into the
jungles and take their chances with the burn." Something feral and dark
glitters behind resolute eyes; she's done with the lippy back-talk of
those who succor on the Weyr's largesse. Hopping down from the table in a
vision of youthful grace to contrast Q'fex's old-manness, the junior's
gathered herself together and is once again as she was when he first
entered. "We'll make it. We have too." A dark, dark plea, that.

"There ain't no other way but up, kiddo." Q'fex's tone is… flat.
Deadpan? Flat. It's hard to tell, perhaps. "But for now… for now," his
tone turns THOUGHTFUL. So introspective, as if considering the deepest of
issues. Faranth only knows what it could be, given the complexity of the
conversation up to this point. "For now, I think I better go take a piss.
Before I float away on my bladder or leave a puddle on the floor, you
know?" His grin is rakish and sudden, and he winks at Hannah before he
turns towards the door. That's correct: Q'fex is an asshat.

Hannah's response is to smile, the sharp edges hidden away behind the
sweetness of expression. "Go, go. This isn't the place to puddle on the
floor," she teases, in contrast to his flat tone of earlier, hers is husky
and light. Waving the Weyrleader off, she holds her smile and easy
posture until the silence settles in like a weighted blanket. The
soul-crushing weight of a planet that edges ever closer, ever brighter,
ever redder. In the stillness left behind, she turns to look at the piles
of discarded hides that make up the notes of this morning's session. She
fingers the edge of one hide before flipping it over. The gentleness of
her nature melts away, leaving the core of feral intensity that gives that
hint of feyness to the pale junior. Taking up a stylus, she scribbles
down three words, and looks up at the ceiling; supplication to a long-dead
Faranth or a plea for more time. The eerie silence lingers, the dim
drift of laughter of passing weyrfolk no able to penetrate the gloom of
this chamber. The intensity, the ferocity doesn't fade from Hannah's
expression as she leaves it all behind, steps consuming the ground with an
all consuming energy that makes her slight body eat up the distance away
from this room. When she's gone, nothing is left but the silence.
Silence and promise.

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