Who

Cha'el, Hannah

What

Hannah and Cha'el linger after a weyr meeting where Cha'el gets brought up to speed. They start to learn how to work together.

When

It is midmorning of the first day of the second month of the second turn of the 12th pass.

Where

Council Room, Southern Weyr

OOC Date

 

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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.


Timor: moon8.jpg
Belior: moon8.jpg

-- On Pern --
It is 10:58 AM where you are.
It is midmorning of the first day of the second month of the second turn of the 12th pass.
In Igen:
It is the thirty-first day of Winter and 34 degrees. It is a bright, sunny day.
In Southern:
It is the thirty-first day of Summer and 99 degrees. It is sunny and bright. White fluffy clouds drift lazily across the china blue sky.
In Southern Mountains:
It is the thirty-first day of Summer and 21 degrees. It's really damn cold out.




It is hot. Summer's iron fist has Southern firmly in hand, gripped by the neck with the heat and humidity settling everywhere. Even the cooler confines of the Council Chambers are not immune; while not quite as hot, the very little air flow causes the heat to stick to the body. Discussions of flight formations, wings, the state of the weyr; all of that took place with a singular purpose of informing Southern's newest Weyrleader on the state of affairs here in Southern. As the meeting winds down, and people trickle through, Hannah's eyes track their progress, eyes caught in a glimmer that's at odds with the aloof reserve she's come to affect. Dressed in a high-necked garment with a fitted bodice, the skirt falls to a respectable length; the fabric a blend of green and black, purposefully cut in Southern's colors. Her eyes are wider in her face, the delicacy more enhanced with the starkness of her attire and her hair is carefully arranged; a tepid glass of water sits off to the side, the condensation long gone as even the single floater of ice has melted. In a pique, she flicks it with her finger, sending it a half inch forward. At least she leaves this for when most of the meeting folk have left. A weight has settled, rounding shoulders and drawing a mask of neutrality to expression that hides her thoughts.

Even for one Istan born and bred, Cha'el is feeling the cloying humidity of Southern climes with nary an island breeze to bring relief. Dressed in smart, black linen pants tucked into knee-high boots and a white shirt with sleeves rolled up to his elbows, frontal lacing has been loosed to catch what air there is available exposing a dark smatter of chest hair. Exhaling a sigh, Southern's new Weyrleader finishes making a note in the journal before him, lefthand cramped at an awkward angle so as not to smear fresh ink. Leaning back in his seating hands lift and palm over his face and then fall with a faint slap to this thighs. "This…has got to change." No explanation given. Blue eyes slip sidelong to Hannah, assessing her attire and then narrow slightly. "You…have got to change before you're nothing but a puddle on the floor."

The abrupt sound of a voice where she expected to find silence as everyone leaves has Hannah whipping her eyes about to fix them on the Weyrleader. For a moment, her expression is partially startled, which removes the aloof reserve to leave her mouth slipping open in a silent 'o'. But she recovers quickly, giving the Weyrleader a sidelong look. "What has to change? The heat?" That's what Hannah would change, honestly. "Southern is… always this hot," she murmurs quietly, her voice a husky sound of neutrality. When he tells her that she has to change, the Senior Weyrwoman turns her eyes to the Weyrleader and narrows them right back. Midnight is the tone that slips out, though conversational as it is. "My attire is perfectly acceptable. I hardly think I'm going to melt any more than you are." Beneath the table, she might be swinging her feet to stir up airflow, but what people CAN'T see, they can't comment on, right? That is the disadvantage of being so tiny, it is harder to be taken seriously. The sleeves are three-quarters long, ending at the elbow and tight to the skin. In the hollow of her throat, hangs a gold dragon on a gold chain, jewels for eyes.

With a headache starting to throb behind his eyes from the strain of concentrating in thick soup for air, Cha'el hikes a brow. "No. The meeting place. This isn't going to work. I guarantee you," a finger lifts and points toward the door, "that only about a third of what was said went in. The rest just oozed right out of their ears. We either find somewhere with better ventilation or…" At least he has an 'or' to offer, "we grab one of those new stonesmiths hanging around and give them a challenge." Sly the smirk. Drawing his legs in, the Weyrleader tilts his head against the high back of the chair and closes his eyes. "Aye, if you're a Lady Holder wafting about the cool corridors of Fort or the Ice Hold." Observation underscored with concern rather than accusation sifts through his baritone. Within the neat frame of beard, his mouth tilts lopsided. "If it were up to me I'd be wearing shorts. Set a new fashion trend for meeting attire. You on the other hand." Eyes unlid and he slants an intent look Hannah's way. "This isn't the Hannah I know from before." Quietly stated. "That Hannah could have come in here wearing nothing but a sarong and still commanded the entire room." Another bout of silence and then: "You have what it takes, Weyrwoman. Clothing is incidental."

Cha'el's initial explanation knocks Hannah out of her reserve with a sputter, once again eyes widening. "You can't just move the meetings, Cha'el." It's just not done. Besides, she likes their council chambers, thankyouverymuch. "We have been using this chamber since we renovated it." Eyes narrow dangerously upon the "new" Weyrleader, something darker sliding through her thoughts, yet she turns her eyes back to the table. Another thought surfacing, "I suppose we could do with some inventive air flow devices in here." It's not grudging, nor melancholy, but husky voice is soft, contemplative. "Shorts would be unwise," she councils, a hint of warning to her voice. "If only because… because…" She's reaching, wandering through the morass of entanglements that the leadership had been before. "We need to be different, Weyrleader. Different than it was before." Pushing aside the lazy notes she made, she turns on her chair and affixes Cha'el with a serious stare. "You were only here for a short while, and only at night for the eggs. That my flight happened in the middle of the living caverns…" She shrugs. "It is different," but this causes a quiet look to be given Southern's newest Weyrleader, "now. Isn't it?" Because she doesn't speak for her own self. It's a retreat to the cooler confines of reserve.

Cool as cucumber in demeanor (internally he just lost another pound through the pores of his skin), Cha'el regards his Weyrwoman's sputtering return. "If we have the people with the skills and means at our disposal, it would be remiss not to offer them a chance to…" a hand lifts idly in the air as he searches for the right word, "impress, hmm?" Amusement surfaces, lingering in calm blue eyes on the matter of shorts. "Because?" The brownrider will boldly prompt, seeking to find a chink in this new reserve of Hannah's. "Is it my knees? Are they too knobbly? Too hairy? I can shave…" Straightening and then curling forward into a lean with forearms set to the council table and hands laced together, the diminutive goldrider is set with a small smile. "It is different." He agrees. "Last time I was a visiting Weyrsecond that you made feel welcome in your home. Now, this is my home. To watch over and protect, with you. We're gonna make mistakes and trip over a feet." Stated with acceptance thereof. "But if we lose who we are at our core as people, we remove ourselves from the people and that in itself, will breed an air of uncertainty and mistrust."

Cha'el's cool demeanor aids in firming the grasp to cool reserve quelling that brief moment of sputtering to die in the ashes of an iron will. "Impress us," Hannah's voice is quiet, lilting a little at the hint of a joke buried within. "We could let them build a few prototypes and see who brings the best to the table." The intensity of her eyes is leveled on the Weyrleader but she sees beyond him, calculating the cost of such endeavors. "I have no idea what your knees look like, Weyrleader," she affects primnes, though they both know that is a false statement. "But no…" Hesitance creeps into her tone, firming the stony countenance. "Q'fex and Lendai." That thought is halted, brought to bear with a frown before she's turning it around to answer instead, "I don't want to be too formal, but control is important, too, and it would remind me too much of what was before. I don't want to feel as if nothing has changed." Stated with that cool, midnight voice. The feralness of eyes no longer masked, the otherness hinted at in the demeanor. However, when he makes comment on mistakes, that is waylaid by his finishing comment. Pushing to her feet, the Senior Weyrwoman stalks the Weyrleader, a dangerous intent to her eyes that never leave his face. "This is who I am," a hissed whisper, "It has always been who I am, but now with Dhiammarath's shift…" It's a change not just in name, but as if something has shifted. A pivotal point of a life's change. Close enough to touch Cha'el, but not. "… You can just see it now." Surely, though, somewhere the other girl exists.

"A little competition is healthy," Cha'el responds with a short smile as the Weyrwoman latches onto the idea. "Especially amongst the crafts. The cost for the prototypes will be theirs to carry and must be submitted with a quote for the actual installation should it be chosen. If we find something that will suit our purposes, then we take it from there and inspect the viability of the finances that will be needed." Expressive eyes light with a flare of private amusement on the matter of knees and then draw serious again. "We are not Q'fex and Lendai." The brownrider observes quietly. "We can never be. We can only hope to do right by their legacy. But…" and there's always one. "In our own way." When she stands and stalks over to where he sits, Cha'el follows her path without flinching, gaze quietly watchful, still assessing as if he's looking for a way behind that thick veil drawn about Hannah. "Bullshit." He calls it quietly on her last. "I'm not buying it, and neither are you." He's seen glimpses before of the woman behind the title, shadows of what she's trying so hard to hide, little slips allowed by pregnancy's hormones and casual conversation while sitting it out on the sands.

"Bailey," Hannah's voice warms at the mention of fellow goldrider, hinting a chink in her armor, "and Tuli are the liasions to the crafts," because Southern does it differently and it's something he'll come to know. "Bailey is over the smiths, now." Given Tuli's farmcraft associations, and all. "Their legacy?" Green eyes never blink while looking at the Weyrleader. "I don't want to honor their legacy, Cha'el, not as a team. They weren't a team, and I want to be — I want to work together. I am tired of being scorned by the male population of this time. I will never try to take over command of your riders, but I would have us work in tandem rather than at odds." Hannah falls silent, regarding him. "Cha'el." Her shoulders hitch upwards, eyes closing. "It is the truth. It is who I've always been, on some level. And you know that, because you've now attended two of my flights." Which prompts a reminding look. Still she struggles and turns her eyes towards the door, lost. "But I don't have — have time to be frivolous, nor can I afford to be frivolous." She bites her lip, "I want to be taken seriously. When I arrived in this time… two jumps ahead of when I was born…" A little shake of her head, "… I will be different." A lot is left in the pauses of her statements.

There's a nod of dark sweat dampened head when Hannah lays out the areas of responsibility overseen by the other two goldriders. "I'll leave it to you to suggest to them then." For Cha'el is a wise enough man to know when to stay on his side of the boundaries and when to risk crossing over. In silence he hears his Weyrwoman out, expression inscrutable. "It's going to take time for the men of this time to overcome their prejudice, Hannah." He finally notes quietly. "But I won't tolerate a lack of respect for title and ability. Gender, is not enough in its own right to establish a pecking order." So sayeth the Nowtimer male. Features relax and a smile is allowed to show itself for working in tandem. "Together we were set the responsibility by our dragons and together, we'll see it through. I don't want for us to be at odds over stupid shit. All that does is waste time and resources so…" The Weyrleader pushes his chair back and rises to his feet then holds out a hand to Hannah. "Deal!" Apparently he means to shake on it. "We do this thing together. As a team. On one condition." His hand lifts out of reach. "You promise me that you're going to make time to be frivolous at least once a seven. Go away to do it if you need to. But for your sake, your family's sake, mine and that of the Weyr. Take some time to just be Hannah. Laugh. Love. Be kind to yourself. And then, you come back and be the Weyrwoman you want to be." Dropping his hand within reach again, there falls to the Weyrleader's mouth a strange smile. "Recently, I've had the good fortune of meeting someone that has taught me that hiding from who you are, will destroy who you want to be."

"We will discuss," Hannah answers with a little smile, something breaking through the layers of reserve. Tuli and Bailey are strong, independent women. Cha'el would be eaten alive were he to step into that territory. By all three women. "I've heard that before, Cha'el," she answers with a sigh that's heavier than the aloof reserve that she's woven around herself. Distance; she needs it to regard the mismanaged decisions of her life, but then Cha'el is standing. Another slip of smile appears, though she gives him a narrow-eyed stare when he takes his hand away, backing up a step or two to avoid a broken neck. "You think to dictate conditions?" She arches one pale brow, that midnight sepulcher voice vibrating with something that could be humor. A dangerous, dangerous humor. "I will try to take some time," off, away, details are not agreed to, "once a sevenday if our business allows. We've got a lot on our plate, Weyrleader. A murder — nay, two murders. Bailey's in the Hold with her Candidates to ensure they don't get picked off one by one by whomever has the audacity to off our riders." A reminder of the darkness that plague's Southern's shores, her eyes shutter to darkness, once again unfathomable green depths. "If you want me to not hide from who I am, you've only to look into my face, Weyrleader. I may not allow for frivolity, but I have never hidden myself from myself." Some truth lingers yet in husky tone wound with dark intent, but then she's slipping her smaller hand into his. "Deal." And because he wills it, Hannah-the-woman makes a face. "You look like you're constipated, Weyrleader." Hey! Strange smile is strange.

The matter of adequate ventilation for the council chambers left in Hannah's capable hands. Nay, the hands of three capable women, the Weyrleader moves on features charged by an unapologetic cast. "I think to ensure the health and safety of the Weyr's most valuable asset." Her. "Weyrleaders come and go." Truth without seeking reassurance to the contrary. "But you are what will be the constant for turns to come. I think we can find a way to manage without you for a few hours a seven." A teasing wink is boldly sent her way. Humor sloughs right off at mention of the most recent murder and a shadow darkens the Weyrleader's features. "I plan to meet with the Captain of the guard as soon as possible. See how far they're getting in their investigations." With her small hand slipped into his, Cha'el gives it a light squeeze and then utters a surprised laugh. Hannah made a funny! "Must be the change of water." He quips and then releasing her hand turns to gather up the rather daunting pile of journals and ledgers. "I still think we should meet somewhere cooler. Maybe set up shop atop that glacier up in the Ice Fields." He's kidding right? Maaaaybe. But sometimes the new broom sweeps in strange patterns. Everything gathered together, a dip of head is given. "Until later, Weyrwoman." With that, the brawny brownrider makes his departure, dropping the endless volumes of reading matter in his weyr and then heading off to address the wings before drills.

"Pfft," is Hannah's response to the teasing wink, but a smile peeks out. "Weyrleaders do come and go, and sometimes they are good, sometimes they are great, and sometimes they make one want to dive into between and never come back." Those last, however, do not survive long in a strong weyr with strong wingleaders and weyrwomen. "You will bring me with you," all business again, as the guards are within the limits of her weyr-influence, shared with his limits of weyr-defense, "Because it's time I've taken a deeper look into these murders." A dangerous gleam in her eyes, now that the freedom's come, she can delve into these matters. It is the perk she grasps onto with the tightest of grips. Finally, a chink in the reserve that surrounds. For there is no distance held when prompted with that: the mysteries of Southern Weyr. "Until later," she answers, watching as the Weyrleader takes his leave, not even dignifying his response to the glacier comment. When she's alone, the silence falls around her. The guard at the outside of the door can be seen, a shadow'd figure that ensures none may enter who shouldn't. Flicking the tepid water again, she sighs and falls into her seat. "Sharding males." And that's it. Hannah springs back up, already having Dhiammarath bespeak Khalyssrielth.
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