Erissa retrieves the information she needs despite the price of heart and soul.


It is midnight of the seventeeth day of the ninth month of the first turn of the 12th pass.


Council Chambers, Igen Weyr

OOC Date




Council Chamber

However disheveled the corridor outside might lie, THIS room - the sole dominion of the Weyr's upper elite - is always sparkling, ever swept, ever dusted, its walls scrubbed free of the grime of ages. A certain spartan grandeur fills the Council Chamber, with its foreboding stonework and heavy wooden door. A round table fills the bulk of the space, an ancient creation of fire-hardened wood, carved with the three dune'd symbol of Igen Weyr. Chairs surround: hard-backed things (with thin cushions) for the most part, but two grandiose chairs, on opposite sides of the table, that seat Weyrwoman and Weyrleader. The walls are lined with elegant old tapestries, depicting scenes of ancient Igen glories.



A slip of shadow moves along the administrative corridor well past the hour that most weyrfolk are tucked into their beds, avoiding the soft circles of light from the few glows left open against the dark of night. Pausing at the grand wooden door to the Council Chamber the shadow glances back once, a flicker of light reflecting off near-white lengths of hair, then opens the door just enough to slip through and disappear inside.

Am I really going to do this?!?…………

Erissa’s brain throws the question into neon spotlights for the hundredth time, blazing behind her closed eyes no matter how hard she presses them shut. Leaning against the inside of the heavy door she struggles to breath as an internal war wages between her mind and body.

One insists with a pang of harsh reminder that if she carries through with what she’s about to do she will not only be betraying herself and everything she believes in but everyone who trusts her and the way of life that binds them all together.

The other wracks her viciously with physical ailments until her senses are overwhelmed and coherent thoughts scatter. Pain! So much pounding, throbbing, clenching pain ricocheting from her skull outward into every muscle and nerve ending within her lean frame.

She can’t bear it any longer! She has no choice!!

With sweat breaking out across her brow, Erissa pushes off the door and moves forward into the large room. Reaching into a pocket of her jacket she brings out a scrap of cloth and unwraps it to reveal two glows. By their light she examines her surroundings.

First and foremost she’s struck by the massive round table that fills its center, the carvings on it making her pause to admire. The chairs that surround it mock her though, as if those that usually sit in them can see what she’s doing and frown in disapproval. A heavy weight pushes down on her chest, making her swallow hard.

Steeling her resolve the bluerider moves to the far side of the table where a pile of neat hides are stacked. Quickly sifting through them she finds the ones she needs and slips them out. Unable to bring herself to sit in one of the looming chairs she stands beside the table as she pulls a tightly wound scroll of hide and a marker from the satchel slung over one shoulder.

It takes a while to copy the information she needs and every moment she lingers digs sizzling claws into her nerves. Stopping when she reaches the notations for Whirlwind, her own wing, she blinks several times as her vision blurs and for a moment the pain in her heart equals that of what flays muscle and bone. Swiping the back of her hand across her eyes she forces emotions aside and continues, biting her lip hard to keep focused. She doesn’t bother with names and uses a shorthand whenever she can to speed things along but eventually she has the sweep schedules copied to her scroll. Hands shaking, she tucks her things away again and replaces the official hides.

Moving swiftly to the exit she slips the glows back into her pocket and lifts a hand to the heavy door. Leaning her palm against the ancient wood she stops.

Once she goes through that door it will be done.

She will be doomed.

A small cry makes her lean forward and put her brow against the wood, pale lashes pressing down over her eyes. Guilt raises bile in her throat, her stomach in such tight knots it’s as if her whole body is writhing from the pressure.

It wasn’t fair! She didn’t ask for this! She didn’t seek it out! Goran had given her the drug without her knowing until it was too late. And now that he had his hooks in her she couldn’t see a way free. She had to have the tea he brewed to alleviate the symptoms that wracked her body, and she couldn’t ask for help or Goran would have his firelizard broadcast that horrid image of the two of them having sex to every dragon and thus every rider in the weyr. It would be High Reaches all over again. His word against hers, with the damning images to undermine her claim. It would be the end of everything.

Flame that trader to the Red Star and back!!

Anger gives her impetus enough to push off the door again and pull it open. Eyes deeply shadowed with more than just their blue-gray hue narrow with determination to see this through. Slipping through the door she shuts it carefully behind her and retraces her steps out of the weyr tunnels, as much a dark and devastated shadow of herself on the inside as her stealthy movements are on the outside.

Her fate was sealed.

No turning back now.

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