Mayte, Va'os


Mayte and Va'os attempt to "discuss" and decide the final outcome of Laeiva… and it only ends with them clashing when neither are willing to budge.

talk of death sentence


It is evening of the nineteenth day of the ninth month of the thirteenth turn of the 12th pass.


War Room, Southern Weyr

OOC Date 14 Apr 2018 04:00



"We have to make a call on this…"


War Room

Within this room there is a constant buzz, a low-pitched thrum of activity no matter the time of day — or night. Here are the records for the current leadership, and pertinent information for the time: inventories and star-charts, ledgers and tithe manifests and wing records. Such valuable information is kept twice-watched by two disparate forces: a guard at the door and the archivist at his table, and none quite sure which of the two is more dangerous.

After the dinner crush has passed and weyrpeople go about their evening business, it turns out the War Room is a rather unpopular room to be in. In fact, it's just Mayte and the Archives harper, a contrast in temperament. The Archivist wiles his time away quietly, stamping returned books and sorting them. The Weyrwoman on the other hand, paces: down the length of a table and back up the other side. The table she's circling (rectangularing?) is bare but for a few historical rolls and a tattered missive. Hair slightly askew in its ponytail like Mayte has been pulling it from side to side and her face is a little flush. Somewhere, elsewhere, Rhiscorath is nervously filing returns, quiet and solid in her weyr where no one can see whirling eyes - that the queen is discontent, though, hums in the way only queen dragons have.

Tsiroth hums his own little discordant tune, but his is far more private and kept, for the moment, to himself. The bronze is tucked away in his wallow, not unlike Rhiscorath, where none can see the tension and unease in his otherwise “restful” state. Va’os’ approach is likely heard and well heralded in the quiet of the War Room; hard to mistake the heavy footsteps coming down the hall at a steady pace. Footsteps that only slow to a stop near the doors and warn of his imminent entry. One that is stalled purely by his own will, as he closes his eyes and makes a valiant attempt to collect himself. Has he been dreading this? Maybe a little… okay, a lot. But there’s only so much delaying that can be done! So with one last deep breath, Va’os makes a few last fidgeting adjustments (futile, really, he looks as bedraggled and stressed as before) before pushing open the door and immediately shutting it behind him.

Mayte pauses in her fretful tread when the door opens and looks over at the incoming Va'os. Her back straightens and she stares at the Weyrleader, lips thinning into an unhappy pink worm, those lines your mother always warns you about daring to outline her tension. "Va'os," she says, fingers twitching before they curl into balled fists at her sides. Eyes carefully avoiding the paperwork on the table, she continues, "We have to make a call on this," like it's an ongoing conversation that's seen too many pauses. And really, 'we' is a courtesy: "In that, I have to make a call." The archivist hasn't looked up from his desk but the stamping has paused, as if he's trying to avoid being noticed and thus, in the line of fire.

Don’t worry random Archivist! You’re safe so long as you make no sudden movements or loud noises. It’s like Jurassic Park, only minus actual velociraptors! Va’os should know the warning signs of ‘when not to be an idiot’ but he’s had way too many days to get his hackles up and the bronzerider is in no mood to play nice anymore. Not that he goes in guns blazing and while Mayte is all tension and disapproval, he’s echoing back the first half of that. He’s still going to throw sass (maybe shade) however, by smirking her way and scoffing for her claim. Done, of course, when he’s placed himself on the OTHER end of that table and her well away on the other. “You? Since when is it just your call? This isn’t just for you to decide, Mayte!” He could’ve ended it there, but he doesn’t. No, he just has to go step right off that ledge without so much twitch of hesitation. “We’re not discussing record keeping and rubbing shoulders with the high ranks!” Low shot. “This is someone’s life hanging in the balance!”

The way Mayte's eyes widen in surprise when Va'os smirks just makes their narrowing that much more pronounced, eyebrows pinching together. The archivist is quietly shrinking behind his desk, gathering anything sharp that could end someone's life (including that spoon he used at lunch), preparing for an evacuation. "It's my call when she was my Headwoman, Va'os!" Mayte goes from 'librarian-shushable' to roaring by the third word. Then the Weyrleader brings up the Weyrwomanly duties and Mayte's eyes bulge, her face purpling. "You think I don't know that?" Mayte's hands snap open and flat at her sides, knuckles still white with how tight she was holding them, "That putting someone out to Thread is something I do lightly?" The Archivist flees. Frankly, he's the smartest man in the… well, out of the room, now…

Va’os’ is ballzy enough to adopt a rather ‘come at me bro’ like stance, given the way Mayte is posturing. Normally he’d have attempted to placate her with some humour here or back down a little so that they could politely agree to disagree and get on with their day but… not tonight! No, he’s digging his heels in hard (and digging his own grave, yet again but without D’wane here to save his ass). Tsiroth’s not even tap-tapping on the mental shoulder and stage whispering for him to SHUT UP, either! Which is helping this little confrontation to dissolve into an all out clash in three, two, one… “Well she isn’t,” Now he’s raising his voice (yes, folks, Va’os can yell) to match the sarcasm laced in there. “Your Headwoman anymore!” Light decision or not, Mayte’s rehashing of what could be has him sputtering a moment in indignation. So much so, that he can only gesture with an aggressive point of his finger until his words catch him with him. “WE,” Heavy emphasis! “Are NOT going that route! It’s not up for discussion! She’s ill.” Tap of his fingers then to his temple. Batshit crazy, in fact! “Had she been declared sane? Fine. Whatever! Feed her to Thread or to those out with a blood debt against her and let ‘em tear her apart but I cannot stand behind condemning someone who isn’t even mentally aware of what she’s done!” And so here they are, going around and around endlessly!

A clash of the titans, this one; if Tsiroth isn't holding Va'os back, Rhiscorath is helping Mayte with facts (she's a secretary, okay). Coiling like a spring, Mayte shouts, "But she was! I had her in my confidence!" Holding her hands up in the wide-spread helpless position that still somehow intimates that Va'os is that much closer to getting punched, especially if he keeps waving that finger at her, Mayte's voice drops: "If she were a mad canine, you wouldn't have a fucking problem with putting her out of her condition!" The crescendo of tone has her nearly spitting, if not spitting mad. Especially when she repeats: "She killed people, Va'os! Our people! Our friends, our subordinates!" She's not done yet, "She killed them, whether she meant to or not, and they deserve better than us turning a blind eye to what she did!"

Clash of the Titans is right! And Mayte just struck nice and hard below the belt. Any other argument (especially not directed at him!), Va’os would’ve been very impressed! He still is, only it’s buried deep down beneath the bristling temper he’s now sporting. Congratulations, Mayte! One of the few who have truly pissed him off! “Even a mad animal is quarantined for everyone’s safety!” he shouts back. “Shitty life but as horrific as her crimes were, she’s NOT an animal either! We’re better than that.” And for the rest? Va’os is tossing caution to the wind, because he’s going to move alarmingly fast around that table and close the distance between them. Looming over her is going to make this SO MUCH BETTER, right? Glaring down, his jaw is locked and tense, mouth grimly set. “I’m well aware of who she killed!” He explains, each word clipped with restrained anger but no longer yelling in volumes to be easily overheard. “Kind of personally experienced her work and it’s not something I will ever forget! But we’re not going to murder someone not right in their head! This ISN’T about grudges or paying blood for blood! We’re better than that.” Here comes that finger again! Only Va’os is going to attempt to broach personal space and prod it right to Mayte’s shoulder. “YOU’RE better than that! Don’t condemn someone to die when they probably have fuck all understanding of the ramifications of what they did. HOW do you run a trial for someone like that?”

Mayte grits her teeth and glares up at Va'os: "We can't just lock her up until she dies!" she yells back, and no, looming over Mayte just means your balls are that much closer to getting punched, "We put mad animals down, you fool! And so did I! Rhiscorath, and the Weyr, mourned each and every dragon lost! I was in the Infirmary!" AKA, where people sometimes go to die. Mayte stabs a finger downwards and shouts, "It's not about grudges, Va'os! We lost //people! Lives just gone, because Laeiva couldn't deal!" Because let's boil the complex and delicate topic of mental health to a simple phrase. "They're dead and what, we just sit like we condone it? Like anyone can come to Southern and just start offing people?" Let's forget all about Southern's history for a moment, please. "There is no trial for something like that! We can't just let her go free and hope she doesn't do it again!"

“YES, we can!” Va’os is going to counter Mayte right then and there and matches her in raising his voice again. Anyone walking in right now would probably walk right back out, given the way Va’os is looming over the goldrider while they have a go at it and the atmosphere of the room in general! “And I never said we’re going to let her go FREE!” he exclaims, hands lifting to gesture as a means for him to express some agitation that doesn’t involve further broaching of personal space. He’s not going to pull a F’lar here either and shake her! “Do you think I’m that stupid and incompetent that all this is me petitioning her freedom? Fuck, no! I KNOW ABOUT THE LOSSES!” And they haunt him at night with the rest of his nightmares. He may have angrily shouted that, but the other raw emotions are there too for Mayte to pick up on. Why do people think he’s picked up a drinking habit? Or seems to joke around a lot more, lately? He’s an asshole by nature, but even HE needs coping methods! “WE,” Va’os is going to throw down his terms now! “Are going to exile Laeiva from this place after she’s condemned for her crimes. Lock her up somewhere far, far away and under the care of Healers qualified to handle her crazy ass! And if that’s where she dies, well…” His shoulders shrug and his voice takes on a grating, sarcastic edge. “What’s the problem with that?”

Mayte is happy to shout back, "No, we can't! We don't have the manpower to hold her! And what kind of life is that," because this is the embodiment of compassion talking, "locked away in a little room? No sunlight, no one talking to her? It's kinder to take her between or leave her to Thread!" Remember: embodiment of compassion. Speaking of Lessa, the way Mayte's balling her fists and eyeing the distance between her reach and where Va'os is standing is a good warning that F'laring is always a bad call. One hand unwraps just enough to wave a finger at the Weyrleader, "So you're saying we're still running a trial for her!" Triumph is a sour pill and Mayte's eyes look a little red and watery: "If we're condemning her, we have to have a trial for her first, right? Who's going to defend her? Who can even get her to make sense!" Whirling on the spot, Mayte takes two steps away before dramatically whirling (thankfully her ponytail does not slap her in the face) back to face Va'os: "Have you even talked to her? She doesn't make sense! She thinks nothing has changed! And telling her every time… It's just cruel!"

Va’os won’t pull a F’lair and shake her! He does mime his desire to strangle her though (or maybe just the whole discussion and not so much her neck), for a fleeting moment of frustrated rage. So rare are his outbursts that what manifests is a random spin and after that little display? He’ll back off a bit — just a teeny tiny bit. Because now it’s his turn to start pacing, but in a tighter, more agitated track than what Mayte was doing earlier; he doesn’t feel like stalking across the room if he feels the urge to round on her again. “I don’t know!” he snaps back. “My experience is not from this side of things and my trial was a fucking joke…” Riled as he is, Va’os is rambling and moves on so swiftly to the next bit to throw at her, along with another daggered glare. “Isn’t this what you wanted? To have her tried and charged for her hand in the deaths? Cause I’m not saying she’s innocent by ANY MEANS!” Just in case he has to stress that, again! “My issue is with her sentence ending in her immediate death. And what’s this bullshit about no sunlight? She’s not going to the mines!”

That's not an uncommon gesture around Mayte. Her eyes narrow at Va'os' back when he turns away. Seemingly disregarding his first statement, the short spitfire focuses in on the second: "And what fucking good would a trial do, Va'os?" In about five seconds, she's going to use his full, pre-Impression name. "To scare and confuse her? A trial is meant to figure out whether she'd done it! And it's pretty damn obvious that it's her, isn't it!" Heaving a long breath, Mayte spits, "In all my years as Weyrwoman, from Igen to Benden to Southern, I have never wanted this or advocated for it. But!" Dark eyes sharpen on Va'os again: "I have never, in all my years as Weyrwoman, ever had this situation! She doesn't need a trial, because we know it's her!" One hand waves to the pathetic missive amongst the other rolls of information. And then, "Well we can't just let her go!"

“FINE!” Va’os will toss back, as he rounds on her again. His gesturing is becoming heavily animated again and while he gets close to Mayte’s space, she’s still under no threat of being physically struck. “Scrap the trial then!” Because let’s face it? She’s got a damn good point. They BOTH do! It’s just one of those terrible situations where they’ve had too much time to pick at it and far, far too much emotion invested. Tsiroth by now is miserable and that’s starting to bleed into the bronzerider too, making his thoughts all the more jumbled with the gradual onset of a spectacular headache. “We’re not letting her GO!” More shouting! They’re probably loud enough to be heard in the hall and the library by now. Is there an audience? Better not be. “But we’re NOT killing her, either!” And so, they remain in this stalemate! Rational minds would say they could ask their counterparts to weigh in but no. No, they’re stuck doing it the hard way (for now)!

It would not be Mayte if she admitted right now that Va'os might be even 1% correct. Instead she yells back, "Then stop fucking saying you'll just let her go without punishment!" Regardless that that's not what the Weyrleader said. Stepping up to Va'os again, Mayte hisses, eyes red and angry, one finger pointing up under his chin: "If we lose one more weyrperson we could have saved, if we lose so much as a child because Laeiva didn't know better, that will be on you, Va'os. Just one more death." Stepping away for some breathing space, Mayte tells him, "And I will never, never let you forget it." Spinning in what is otherwise a perfectly executed military turn, Mayte storms out; the resounding crashes in the library is probably the noise of people who didn't get out of her way in time or in one clanging case, a tea caddy that didn't know better.

Va’os opens his mouth to protest Mayte’s twisting of his words but promptly closes it when she goes pointing her finger under his chin. Which has him merely standing there and glowering. Something she says strikes a cord, his eyes narrowing but his expression falling from anger to… another emotion too conflicted to pinpoint. “It’s a risk I’m willing to take!” he grits out, even if to her back as she storms out. Let her vent on the library, he’ll stay in the War Room awhile longer and take his anger out on the hides and reports left on the table (don’t worry, he’ll pick them up later) before storming out himself.

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