Who: Jet and M’tan
When: Month 2, 204 AT
Where: Tavern, Honshu Territory
What: What to do about the Fort situation.
Some months have passed since M’tan placed trusted people amongst Fort Weyr’s caverns. One of them has managed to Impress – though upon the news that the blue was born with only one wing, M’tan has had no desire to check in on the man he’d dumped in the hopes of collecting shortly after the Hatching. He’s at that dark tavern, the one where he appears and holds court to those who would never be allowed to grace their Hold’s halls. A glass of brandy is idly swirled as he stares out, bored, from the table he’s settled himself at. For the nearing of dawn, the tavern is relatively quiet – those in attendance having already bid tithe and collected new assignments.
Though it cannot be denied that Jet has been more and more tired of late, either she isn’t sure as to the outcome of Kyramith’s last flight and all that followed or she hasn’t quite threaded any signs together herself. Tired or not, Kyramith brings her to the tavern in the early hours of the morning, dawn’s first light only just beginning to paint the sky as naturally muddied paws touch down outside. As per usual, Jet dresses to intimidate outside the Hold and the immediate comfort of the Court, her cloak and leathers her favoured black and her sword at her hip. Upon locating her husband, she sends her firelizards up into the rafters and goes to take a seat at his table, her back to the wall. “Anyone you’d like me to make sure doesn’t come back, my love?”
M’tan’s smile is as wide as his paralysis can allow as he looks up and consumes the full sight of his wife moving into the establishment. Her appearance sends more than one patron scuttling for the door, money tossed or promises made to pay tabs the following evening. “You have a way about you, my love. That scares off the sorts who need scaring,” he drawls to her, hand moving to grab for hers to lift to his lips. “I’ve got a list,” he tells Jet as he nudges a chair out beside him with his knee for her to settle into, “Of people needing disposal. But please, remind me?” he asks, tilting his head in a cat-like fashion as his crooked smile hitches higher on the one good side, “I thought we paid people to do such acts now. We save our strengths for ruling.” Once she’s seated, he tips forward to kiss her cheek and then he moves his own chair close enough to make it easy for him to toss an arm around her shoulders and look out at those who have paused movement to stare at the two dragonriders, some frozen in fear, others knowing the respect is due. “Go on,” he tells them in a voice that carries without projection, “Drink on.” Slowly the din of voices picks up enough that M’tan feels comfortable to whisper against Jet’s ear, “What news from the north?”
“It’s not prudent to let people think you’ve gone soft.” Jet relaxes in her chair in a manner that seems deceptively casual, leaning enough against M’tan that she can claim the comfort she wants without it looking to others that she needs it. “Rumour has it that Fort’s Senior queen will rise soon. She may not be glowing, but she’s flirting with anything male that looks at her. I don’t know how they’re going to enforce the ban on browns chasing or whether Arlet is going to fight it. Even if the Weyrwoman is as besotted with her as people say, Arlet’s late in her pregnancy to try and fight and win and be okay at the end of it.” She wrinkles her nose. “Though I suppose I did get rid of Jana while carrying Khyrisan. Not the same as a Weyr of angry bronzeriders, though.” Sighing, she admits, “I don’t like it. There’s no outcome that is good for Arlet or female riders of male dragons.”
“That ban on browns is a waste of time,” M’tan says with a shake of his head. “It limits the viable males and it makes it very clear that it’s a ban on //women//.” He glares out at those gathered, gaming and drinking, around them. “Our lot knows better than to do that – why can’t other Weyrs?” He pauses at the knowledge that Arlet was pregnant, having forgotten that detail. “They’d toss her out with a babe and all huh? Back to where she was before? Honshu?” He shakes his head and reaches for his whiskey to sip. “Angry bronzeriders, huh, how easily they can be broken.” He reaches to sling his arm around Jet’s shoulders, glowering. “What can we do? How can we be more effective in the North? I’ve placed the young man there but his… struggles will not help us much I’m afraid. Would’ve been better had he actually Impressed bronze, and eventually won the leadership. There’s no chance of that now.”
“Depending on when that gold rises, I wouldn’t put it past them to toss her out before then. If she goes Between now, it could bring on labour and they could both die.” Arlet may be her daughter, yet Jet manages to deliver that assessment in a practical and matter of fact manner. “I’ll keep watch. It should be clear within the next fortnight or so whether we might need to get her out of there. I don’t see anyone else supporting her.” She tilts her head slightly. “Do we need to get that new rider out of there too?” Briefly, she closes her eyes and touches her forehead to M’tan’s temple, leaning there for as long as might not be perceived weariness by those who watch them. “More Candidates of ours on Northern Sands for the time being, I would think. The more we know about the inner workings of each Weyr, the better our advantage.”
“We should fetch her now, then. I’d rather not see her risk her child. We could send someone to escort her and her brown to our holdings in the North,” M’tan muses, hugging Jet to his side so it looks like he’s holding her against him rather than offering support to her. “It’s late,” he tells her, moving to rise and then gather her up with him. He keeps his arm slung around her hips, hugging her against him as he angles a crooked smile at her. “Why are we wasting our time in here with these idiots?” he says that loud enough for those nearby to hear him, knowing that such comments draw laughter from those who understand, and gives those who need to be wary pause. “I’ll not draw the boy out. He hasn’t reached out to us, I’m not going to push him. He still could be useful, you know, especially if his treatment is different than the others.” A kiss is delivered to Jet’s temple. “Shall we go home?”
“…It’s her decision to make,” Jet says slowly and with some reluctance. “If she wants to fight to hold Fort and defy the Council, it’s her choice. If she can do it, it could change everything. If she can’t… We need to be ready.” She takes the support her husband offers her, a hand resting on the hilt of her sword in-case anyone should see through what he does, her features not so far from a scowl as she scans the room, expression softening only for him. “Let’s,” she agrees, moving for the door and for the dragons beyond it, Kyramith lowering her muzzle to nose at her in a rare display of outward affection. Once safely home and safely inside, when they reach their quarters she does nothing more than strip out of her clothes and set her sword aside before crawling into bed and reaching for M’tan to curl up against him, her head resting over his heart.