Q'fex, Cha'el


The young buck seeks the wisdom of the older stag.


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


Southern Weyr, Leadership Courtyard

OOC Date


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Leadership Courtyard

Nigh palatial, this gorgeous sweep of cultivated bowl: a courtyard proper, a fountain bubbles in the middle of a grove of orange-trees, next to a stone bench that has weathered many a turn. Rare metal stands out at the sweep of steps upwards to the landings of queens'-weyrs and other administrative personnel; handrails to prevent… mishaps, and sparse doors of spiraled cast-iron to lock out any vagrants.

Morning has broken and it’s promising to be another sweltering Southern day of clothing clinging uncomfortably. Perhaps this is why Southern’s new Weyrleader has chosen a combination of lightweight trousers and a billowing short-sleeved shirt with its ends only just barely tucked in as with klah mug in hand he stares into the bottom most bowl of the fountain. Perhaps he’s making a wish. Or maybe he’s calculating whether or not he could fold his brawny bulk into that bowl and call it a plunge pool. Sikorth, is currently nowhere to be seen.

Then there is the erstwhile weyrleader, coming from the upper bowl in the vague direction of the courtyard. He looks like he's walking on autopilot and only flags his feet when he realizes what he's doing; there's a wry glance upwards, as if he's acknowledging how amusing this must be for any watching beyond ::between::. He contemplates Cha'el for a moment, caught on the edges, and then moves towards the other man, his hands in his pockets. Q'fex is wearing fashionably sleek clothing - as always - though that shirt is probably Br'er's, it's a little tight through the shoulders. "Weyrleader," he comments in idle greeting, inclining his chin in lieu of a formal salute.

Usually one exceedingly aware of what’s going on around him all of the time, Cha’el is that deep in thought that the sound of another’s voice startles him into a physical twitch that sees him spilling a splash of klah over his hand. “Fuckit.” He grumbles more at himself than the man that had managed to sneak up on him, and swipes his against the thigh of his trousers. Blue eyes train to the older man, etched with unspoken respect. “Q’fex.” And from the current Weyrleader, there comes a smart salute. “It’s a wonder my cousin isn’t grayer with how you go sneaking up on people.” Faint the smile.

"Maybe a little less klah, hmm?" The skin around Q'fex's eyes crinkle at the corners. "It can wreck a man. Especially if you're drinking Yules' swill." There is unmitigated, unconcealed affection in his voice for his previous protege and her klah-brewing ways. "None of that," he gestures with his chin to the salute, "If anything it should be the other way around, now, eh?" A snort is his only commentary for Br'er: "Where in Faranth's seven hells do you think I picked it up? In a different life, your cousin was a feline."

“Not enough.” Cha’el dryly returns and then eyes the contents of his mug dubiously before throwing a wary look at the bronzerider. “Uh…Yules’ swill?” A pause and then a nod when something clicks into place. “Ocelot’s wingleader.” But his day started early. Real early and he needs that klah and so another drink is taken, Q’fex eyed over the mug’s rim. Swallowing there’s a quick smile. “Mmm. That’s a little like a master bowing for an apprentice.” The parallel not hard to figure out. And then a snort. “Br’er was always a devious little bugger.” Said with fondness. “You’re a brave man.” The mug tilted toward the older rider.

"Ocelot's, yes. She was a cook before she Impressed… she has some, ah, interesting takes on spice blends for klah," Q'fex relates. His smile deepens at the conversation around Br'er, and he shakes his head. "I suppose you could say that. Br'er's worth it, though." He'll leave that little conversational jewel RIGHT THERE before proceeding on, with a considering assessment of the other man, "How are you finding it?"

“I like to keep it simple.” Is the reply given. Meant to be about how he prefers his klah but Q’fex is welcome to take it however he wishes. As for the greenrider under discussion Cha’el allows for a short chuckle. “Aye. For all his fuckups, and which of us hasn’t fucked up, he’s good people.” Having glanced away when a fruit had thudded off a nearby tree, the brownrider looks back to find himself under contemplative assessment. There’s a long pause before he replies, Q’fex put under similar study. “Honestly? Some days I want to punch Sikorth in the face.” For having won, told in the wry pattern of lips. Dropping his attention down to the burbling fountain the next is quieter thought there is a hint of dry humor that still lingers. “How the fuck did you balance three such very different woman?” The goldriders. Four if you add a certain willful trader but he’s not about to get into that just now. “It’s like walking a tightrope over a river of flesh eating fish. One wrong step and you’ll be lucky to get out alive.”

"Hm. Well. You'd have to punch Dhiammarath at the same time - there's a gold that has never not been involved in the picking of her fellows." A gold that big, getting caught by a nowtimer *brownrider*? Yeah, there's some choice involved there. Q'fex leans back on his heels and smiles faintly at the younger man. "Are you talking about your female wingleaders?" he deliberately misinterprets, an eyebrow lifting. "I never thought they were too bad, myself," he muses. "But Arianne and Yules I've both known for quite some time."

There follows a faint narrowing of eyes, just enough to highlight faint lines at the corners brought about by turns of working in the sun and laughter at the notation made by Q’fex of Dhiammarath having made a deliberate choice. Suspicion deepens but Cha’el leaves that bag of fish alone for now. There’s a short shake of dark head. “Naw. If anything some of the male wingleaders could learn a thing or two from those two girls.” Women? It’s a term. “I meant the goldriders. I know they’re Hannah’s territory but if there’s one thing I learned from W’rin, its not to piss the goldriders off unless its absolutely unavoidable. I’m still trying to figure out their strengths and weaknesses.” Another pause, another drink of lukewarm klah and then a probing question. “You appointed Yules as your assistant. Was there a reason a Weyrsecond was never appointed?”

"Oh. Well, Lendai and I got along about as well as cats and dogs, so. I always left them alone… as well as I could. Bailey keeps to herself, so it's easy to avoid her. Tuli seems a little louder, but she knows her business. And Hannah…" Q'fex's expression shades a little bittersweet. "Just leave Hannah to her things. Don't interfere in the lower caverns and you won't have any reason to work at balancing anything." As to the last, Q'fex offers a simple, singular shrug. "I've never believed in them," weyrseconds, "Wingseconds never worked for me either." So sayeth the man who ran Sandblast for five turns - mayhap the composition of his riders had SOMETHING to do with all of that. "Just causes more gumming of the works. No offense intended." He's quite aware of Cha'el's past occupation. "If you can get it to work for you…" A rise and a fall of shoulders; "Personal preference. Nothing about Southern means that a weyrsecond couldn't work, hypothetically."

Close attention is paid to what is shared about the three goldriders with mental notes made and filed away, acknowledged with a nod of head. As for Hannah, there’s fond edge to the expression that crosses Cha’el’s features. “She’s a strong woman. She has what it takes. Not sure if she believes that yet.” Says he that hasn’t slept all that well since arriving in Southern. Though maybe that has more to do with very different set of night sounds to be found in the tropical weyr as against the near constant whine of desert winds at higher altitudes. On Weyrseconds, Q’fex is sent an amused look. “None taken. Each Weyr and Leader runs things differently. I’m still finding my feet.” Honest. “So I’m going to leave that one alone until things have…settled. Q’fex…” The brownrider slants a look the older rider’s way, hesitant to voice his request. “I know you’ve been through a lot and that you and Kraaken are still on the mend, and Br’er is probably going to punch me for asking but…I would consider it an honor if you would consider acting as my advisor. In an unofficial capacity of course. You don’t have to answer right away. Take some time to think about it.” The young buck seeking the wisdom of the elder more seasoned one.

"She's always had what it takes," Q'fex comments, his voice quiet. "Give her time, she'll figure herself out. Big change takes a lot out of a person." There is so much to that statement — so much. "I believe you will, too. It took me a while to find my own footing, fresh from Igen." There is that ghost of a smile again: "You'll work yourself out, weyrleader." It's not ominous at all when he adds, carelessly, "You won't have any other choice, after all." NO PRESSURE Cha'el, just a few thousand lives resting in your capability to manage a few hundred recalictrant riders. "My door is always open to you, if you need help. If you need to vent. I'm afraid that Kraaken and I will be out of commission for some time yet," his adam's-apple works on that, belying his calm expression. "It would be the least I could do for the weyr." The elder man inclines his chin. "I cannot promise Br'er won't give you atrocious advice at the same time, but he's good for looking at things through… a point of view I would never consider." Or outwardly SAY he would consider, at least…

On the same wavelength when it comes to the diminutive Senior, Cha’el responds with a short upward turn of mouth but sets the other rider with a long look when he says the same of him. Words of encouragement hit home though he’s careful to shield his reaction. Unconvinced though wearing a badge of easy confidence externally, the brownrider turns out a wry grin. “No pressure.” Respectful of the game face, Q’fex wears when speaking of his and his dragon’s recovery and with the contents of his mug cooled beyond drinkability, the Weyrleader half turns away and upends it over a patch of grass. “Thank you, that means a lot to me.” Sincere. A fond snort follows next for his cousin’s brand of advice. “Mmm. Like the time he once ‘advised’ me that putting fish oil in my hair would stop it curling.” Guess who walked around smelling like a fish for no purpose at all!

"Sounds like Br'er," Q'fex returns, his lips curving into a smirk that is reserved for ONLY talking about his weyrmate. "I've always assumed he's been contrary for as long as he's drawn breath." Not surprising. "I do mean it, though, Cha'el. Don't hesitate to reach out if you need — even if you think it's stupid." The bronzerider will take a hand out of a pocket, aiming to clap his successor's shoulder once. "Though I suppose I should now go to where I was intending on going in the first place, before Br'er thinks I've walked off a cliff somewhere." His lips twitch.

"Little shit." Cha'el responds with fond amusement. "Ask him to tell you about the time he woke up to find chunks cut out of his hair." Oh yeah, the brownrider gave as good as he got. At the clipped sound of boots approaching heralding the arrival of a skinny bluerider looking about as nervous as a wet feline, the Weyrleader exhales a sigh and then puts on that very same game face and returns the gesture of hand to shoulder. "Thank you, Q'fex. I'll be sure to bring booze." A rough smile as he steps back breaks through the facade so neatly wrapped into place now. "You tell that cousin of mine he'd better take good care of the Weyr's most valuable asset or I'll string him up by his underwear on a dock post again." And with that, and a two fingered salute to the temple, Southern's newest Weyrleader steps off and quickly falls into conference with the young rider seeking an audience.

Q'fex laughs aloud at the thought of ANYONE messing with Br'er's hair - oh, the HORROR - perhaps a bit too hard. "I'll do that." His face blanks a bit at the mention of booze but he doesn't comment, instead taking a full step back and delivering to Cha'el a full, formal salute, as crisp as the man is often not. "Weyrleader." A *snort* to the thought of most-valuable asset and he shakes his head again, moving off towards the ground weyrs and leaving the new weyrleader to his skittery bluerider.

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