==== December 15th 2013
==== El'ai, Th'seus
==== El'ai is studying charts, Th'seus has some advice.

Who El'ai, Th'seus
What El'ai is studying charts, Th'seus has some advice.
When There are 0 turns, 5 months and 18 days until the 12th pass.
Where Archive Library

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Archive Library
Where once books reigned supreme, this open space is now dominated by a stalwart skybroom reaching to the sky through a broken ceiling. What was once evidence of collapse is now ornately carved with engraved ivy, matched by a clever contraption of stone that allows the gap to be closed in inclement weather. A small garden occupies the space around the tree-trunk, all manicured bushes and flowering shrubbery enclosed by a grated gutter. The walls are lined with bookcases, while a spiral staircase leans on the western wall to wind upwards to the second level. Tucked in the corners and scattered in the main areas are tables and chairs, cafe-style, and comfortably worn overstuffed armchairs. It is the perfect place for individuals to gather, to enjoy the offerings of the food-cart or a spirited conversation.

This is El'ai. This is El'ai in the Library. This is El'ai in the Library with towers of books around him. Hides. Tomes. Whatever can be found, he's got it. Despite the bright, sunny winter day outside, this afternoon he's closeted himself away to study. Apparently. If anyone were to come close enough, they'd find the books and tomes all labelled in various topics around Thread, wing formations and what to do in the case of an emergency. However, the young bronzerider himself seems to be struggling to hold his attention to his chosen subject. Which means he's currently leaning his elbows on one of the tables he's consumed for himself with fingers threaded through dark hair. Eyes at half-mast.

"Hey, we're either going to die out there or we're not. You go through weyrlinghood, you go through all your training preparing for this. Sitting around in the library, passing out in a stack of books is not going to make it any better, kid." And that's Th'seus wisdom for the day, given to El'ai without any consideration about whether or not he really needs it. Meanwhile, the bronzerider checks back in a pile of hides that may or may not be on the exact same subject.

Jerked out of his reverie of misery (or possibly just a nap), El'ai blinks those blue eyes of his at the older bronzerider. "But I don't want them to laugh at me." Such an impossibly young statement to make, followed on the heels of, "I also don't want to get Thread to the face and the last time we even tried to fly Thread, Sekhaenkath came back like a Harper's nightmare of color." Further enhancing the bronzerider's youth, but also the fact that he's trying to come away with something from this. Maturity? Innocence may be tarnished somewhat, but the wide-eyed trust still struggles to reassert itself. "Looks like you are doing the same thing." Yes, Th'seus totally got called on that. "And I didn't really have a stellar weyrlinghood. They hated Bailey. So I got left out." (Of Fort's Reindeer Games).

"You think Sekhaenkath was bad? You must have missed Vossuth. I died about five minutes into 'thread'." Th'seus puts air quotes around the word before he drops heavily down into the seat across from the younger rider. It doesn't look like he's here for anything else, so maybe he's just killing time. "You're going to spend a lifetime hiding out in here if you're just worried about people laughing at you." As for himself, he grins crookedly, glancing back over his shoulder at the desk behind them. "It's my job to look at the charts over and over again." Such a convienent excuse to pull out! "I'm sure you didn't get left out of the lessons you needed to learn. And I think- I think that real thread is going to be something different. The dragons don't have those instincts peaked and turned on for painted ropes. They will for the real thing. Part of surviving all of this is going to be having some faith in them too."

"I was more worried about hiding from 'Thread'," El'ai's tone holds a bit of embarrassment for this, "than in watching what happened." Is that a shifty-eyed look? MAYBE. When Th'seus sits down, the younger boy turns those big blue eyes to the wingleader, who can almost see the gears moving: If he's worried about it… "I know plenty of people have laughed at me. I'm not so worried about them, cause I know Bailey would rip their balls off," there's even a nod here for emphasis, "But I don't want… I don't want to be that guy that gets someone else killed 'cause I was too stupid to pay attention." Oh, adolescent struggles! "You think so? Sekhaenkath isn't worried about what happened during the mock Threadfall. He's super confident, so maybe I should trust him." Letting his hands fall flat to the table, the boy-bronzerider leans forward, "And do you have them memorized? The charts?"

"People will laugh at you a lot less if they're afraid you're going to rip their balls off." Th'seus points out, albeit gently for the younger rider. "Or if they're not worried about suddenly being castrated at all." That part is added on with a thoughtful roll of his eyes towards the ceiling, considering the prospect. Grimacing he brings his gaze back down again. "People are going to die. They're going to die because the wind shifted the wrong way, because someone all the way at top altitude missed a cluster of Thread and it made it all the way down through the ranks somehow. They'll die because shit happens and life is dangerous. You're doing your best, but don't agonize over a mistake you might make. It's not good for you." The grimace turns crooked grin once more and he shakes his head. "Not as well as I would like to."

"Do I look like I could rip someone's balls off?" El'ai's question comes with the raised brows of incredulity, but he does continue to add with a smile, "But that's Bailey." Yes, he's proud of his sister. HIS SUN AND MOON. Ahem. "Yeah but I don't have to be a coward about it. If it's in the dragon cards for it to happen, it'll happen, but I don't want it to be because I was screaming in fear and forcing Sekhaenkath to do something he shouldn't. Especially, if it got my sister hurt." All the way down at the bottom of the layers. "So I'm trying… but maybe I could try a little less." Which isn't exactly being argued against, as the boy pushes his stuff away from him to focus on Th'seus. "Do you get quizzed on them?" Now it's the "All About Th'seus and Wingleader Show," given the intent way El'ai is suddenly eyeballing him.

Th'seus eyeballs El'ai, inclining his head towards him. "You're a young man, you're only a few inches shorter than I am, in decent shape and you have a big fucking bronze dragon somewhere out in that bowl. Now, you tell me if I gave that description to someone else and said, 'He wants to rip your balls off', that they wouldn't be at least a little nervous?" He waves the notion of Bailey off for a moment, "The real question, is whether or not you think that you could. If you had to." Because clearly people don't go around doing these types of things daily. Unless they're clincally insane. "Sekhaenkath isn't going to let you scream in fear and crash you into the floor of the bowl. Faith in your dragon, faith in the other riders you fly in. We work as a team not as individua-" And is this Th'seus show? He didn't realize. "Well, uh. No, not really. Maybe there should be some kind of bar that a person has to meet." He glances off to the side, thinking on it briefly.

"I would be terrified," El'ai confirms, "If you told me someone like that would tear my balls off." He might be unconsciously crossing his legs beneath the table. It's a squirrelly topic! "I don't know, but I imagine that anyone can do anything if prompted to." Which is a hint of that maturity coming out of the once-saccarine sweet teenager. Still, Th'seus's job puts him in the big glass El'ai-Fishbowl. "They don't? Huh, I would surely have thought that you'd have to be quizzed and spout all kinds of things since you're the wingleader. Kind of like weyrlinghood or harper classes." Right? It's totally like that. "Do you have to — well, what do you have to do?" He's a curious boy, see. "To lead a wing?" His own wing is special since Q'fex is the Wingleader but also the Weyrleader.

"There you go. Someone out there potentially thinks you're terrifying and could do anything. Now stop hiding behind Bailey. You're too tall for that shit now anyway." And that's the great Man Advice that Th'seus has for the younger bronzerider. He stretches his own long legs out under the table, looping an arm behind his head. "I think you're expected to know a certain amount of knowledge just because you managed to graduate from weyrlinghood. And also the Weyrleader watches you for awhile before he just hands out the knot. It's not just committing charts to memory. It's leadership and talking to people and getting them to do the things you need them to do without a whole lot of bullshit. It's looking like you could figure out a situation if it turned into a clusterfuck." At least maybe that's how Th'seus views the picking out of wingleaders.

For Th'seus's man advice, El'ai just smiles a disarmingly sweet smile but behind those pretty blue eyes, he's thinking. And that thinking will probably get back to Bailey in some format. "So." Because Th'seus is the most fascinating organism in front of him right now, and the boy's insatiably curious without a thought to whether or not his questions are really that appropriate, he asks, "So you get your wing to obey you and lead them? Do you think they think that you could figure out a situation if it turned into a clusterfuck?" The lack of guile in the question and the earnest honesty would make it hard to take offense at, but it is one of those 'not quite what you ask of other people' kind of question. "Isn't it weird that this 'leadership-y thing is chosen by a flight when it comes to Weyrleader? I mean. Sekhaenkath flew. First time ever he's chased after a gold," cue the rather fearful look, "and I'm just not sure I liked that chance." He could have been Weyrleader.

Th'seus is probably going to die for this, yes. But only if he sees Bailey at some point in the immediate future. Possibly. Maybe. Perhaps the younger man's questions are somewhat out of line, but he doesn't seem to mind for now. After all, he doesn't even really need to be here right now anyway! "Yes." He answers, seemingly confident. "I need to think that way or else they'll definitely doubt me. I'm not sure there's any room for that." There's laughter now, not a mocking of laughter, just genuine amusement. "Like I said about threadfall, I think there's a certain amount of faith that has to be had. The dragon that wins a senior flight always seems to be someone that the weyr at large is able to tolerate. There's some kind of pressure or influence. So I'm not sure we have to worry about anyone winning that would be… disasterous? Like someone that's twelve turns old or too infirm to know what's going on."

A glimmer of interest flares behind blue-fire eyes. "You think so?" El'ai questions, intensely curious for this vein of talk. "So you don't think that it's entirely the senior gold's choice? Who is picked?" At least this thread of thought diverges from the questioning of Th'seus's right to wing leadership. "What if no one could stand the choices? Or what if someone came out of no where to swoop in on our goldriders? In the middle of the flight — Some guy from Telgar comes and tries to steal her." El'ai's questioning gets a little muddled here, but the bronzerider still struggles to think of all the ramifications. "I can't imagine a twelve turn old as Weyrleader during Thread. We'd all die."

"I speculate so." Th'seus clarifies, sort of. Rubbing the back of his head, he takes a long look up at the ceiling as they continue with El'ai's line of curiosity. "I think there's probably always a variety of 'decent' choices. And the weyr pushes for that. From amongst them maybe she makes her decision? And there's exceptions to every rule and plenty of outside circumstances like a Telgar bronze blasting from between and dive bombing the other chasers. But I think those aren't necessarily all that often. How many of those instances have you ever actually heard of happening?" He wonders before bringing his gaze down again. "Me either. I think that's the point. No twelve turn old Weyrleaders, thanks."

"I've not heard of it happening at all," El'ai admits, but he holds up one finger and hastily, adds, "But it could. We could have interloper offspring in our clutches if suddenly the other weyrs tried to have their bronzes dive bomb our gold's flights. Like before the weyr opened, and all those other-weyr bronze riders were here to try to steal our Weyrleadership." As El'ai warms to this topic, he drums his fingers, "We should establish a no-bronzes-allowed rule when the Senior gets proddy. That way we don't have an interloper coming to steal our dragon's women." Right? Right. "We should be proactive on this. Moratorium on strange bronze and brown riders when things get too close." Wild, wild west style.

"To be fair, all of the dragons that showed up just prior to the flight were other weyr dragons. Not all of them may have been trying to catch our queen. They could have just been here for another start." Not that weren't quite a few out there for just that purpose, but surely there were others with innocent intentions. With a quick flash of a grin and shake of his head he responds, "I think that's an idea that you're going to have to float past Lendai. She's the only one who could even think about making something like that happen- And I'm not so sure she's going to appreciate you limiting her pool of prospective choices."

"Why would I have to put it past Lendai?" El'ai asks innocently, "When we could all just form a pact." Which involves no unnecessary Weyrwoman danger. "She scares me," he whispers, wrinkling his nose. "Like, a lot." Lendai, obviously. "Besides, shouldn't she want us to not want interlopers to come into our weyr? It may have been true that first flight, but now that we're established, it's different." Though the doubt in his tone can clearly be heard. "Anyway, it's just a thought." Although clearly one that El'ai's thought about a lot. "We've got Q'fex for a good long time now. I like Q'fex." He's El'ai's HERO. "He runs things well and he's super good at finding women." Or so he's been told.

"Because she's the Weyrwoman and she'd undoubtly hear about it from someone. And if she heard that you were part of it, not even Bailey could save you from her wrath." Th'seus explains, lifting an eyebrow at the younger man's next. "Yes, well. You'd think she'd appreciate all of that. But in reality, women don't exactly like it when you do those kinds of things. Make secret pacts to keep men that they don't know about from being able to be near them before they can decide they don't want them near them themselves. Something I've learned." In short, women are complicated. "Q'fex is alright. I don't have any complaints." He can agree to that much, certainly.

"But why would she want to have strange men from other weyrs coming to take her weyr over?" El'ai's question is innocent enough, so blind to the ways of the world. "Women don't? Even if you've got their best interest at heart?" Again the drumming of his fingers, "You'd think they'd be grateful that we thought about them! Especially since I know that no one would want some random bronzerider swooping our Weyrwoman." Drum, drum. "'Course, Talicanitath's last flight was my first. It was super weird to want someone like that. I didn't even feel that way for Maosa." He taps his forefinger to his chin, eyeing Th'seus like the older man has all the answers in the world. "How come women have to be so hard to talk to? They all seem to be so sharding prickly."

"You think that Lendai would let anyone come into this weyr and take it over? She's a lunatic, but there's no way some interloper is going to push her around and just do whatever they want. They'd go crying into the sunset. Q'fex is a stronger man than most." As his eyes sweep towards the ceiling again, Th'seus' gaze gets that typically glazed rider look, before he's now looking towards the door now. "You're going to feel that way again, promise. Just don't go talking to random men about it. That gets weird." Not that he thinks he's weird. But he is getting up. "Departing lesson. Don't surprise a woman unless it's to take her to dinner or buy her a drink or give her something nice. Women however, can surprise you however they want. Like when they fill your weyr up with pillows." Pillows? Pillows. Excuse him. As he's abruptly leaving without another word of explanation.

"Lendai is very scary." El'ai affirms this with another nod of his head, though his eyes watch as Th'seus gets that glazed look. "Huh." But as the wingleader makes his exit, it's with the wide-eyed look reminiscent of younger-El'ai mouthing the word, 'pillows'. As the elder bronzerider disappears, the younger bronzerider turns back to his books. And just sighs. And then lays his head down on the desk. Undoubtedly? He's probably getting Sekhaenkath to talk to Khalyssrielth to get Bailey to come and untangle the confusing details of life, of growing up and of being a man.

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