Ugly and Awkward

Who: Isolwyn and C’aol
Where: Council Room, Fort Weyr
What: Isolwyn informs C’aol of Akemi’s confession.

No sooner has the Weyrsecond reported back to her and Eosyth has loosened her hold enough on Maozheth to permit him the run of Fort, if not the skies, than Isolwyn asks her queen to reach for Daeserath and pass along her request. << We have news, >> she tells him, her quiet voice full of midnight and ice. << She asks that C’aol meet her in the council room without delay. >> In the meantime, plainly uncertain as to just what might be wanted – if anything – the Weyrwoman has had tea, klah, whiskey and wine brought and placed in the centre of the table, where she sits perched on its edge, unable to settle to claiming a chair.

Daeserath and C’aol have been on business outside of the Weyr and as such, Maozheth has been spared the push of the bronze’s mental pressure when Eosyth grounded him. They return over Fort’s skies shortly after Eosyth’s request was sent. Daeserath’s mind is a field of ice, ready to be shattered with the finest amount of pressure. He takes himself to the Sands, moving to check on Eosyth and the eggs that she guards. He extends a wing to her, offering his body for her to tuck against. << We have come from Benden >> he tells her, << called there early this morning for a meeting with the Weyrleader. Stupid people. >> C’aol enters the council room, flightgear already removed and tucked away within his chambers. He eyes the array of drinks on the table and lifts a brow at Isolwyn. “Did Daeserath keep Eosyth informed of my meeting with Benden’s idiotic Weyrleader?”

Eosyth curls up beneath Daeserath’s wing, golden egg kept within in easy reach, and tucks her head beneath his. << Time is poorly spent on such ignorant beings, >> she shares. << Soon, they will be irrelevant. >> Isolwyn slips down from the edge of the table and answers C’aol’s question with a shake of her head, only to amend, “Well, I mean now, yes, but not before you arrived,” in a faintly awkward fashion. “There’s been an… interesting development while you’ve been away,” is what she settles for, pressing her lips together in a thin line. “Lady Silverfield’s wife and her blue requested a meeting, desiring political immunity for the Hold, based on the belief I intended to reveal Zinovia as the one who orchestrated the attack on you.” She pauses for breath, holding it for an instant before exhaling sharply. “I don’t believe she thought any of it through. Her intention was to reveal who it truly was. Once I knew that, I couldn’t let her go. She says it was her, in exchange for what state you left her wife in.” For an instant, anger simmers to the surface, only to be fought down. “She’s locked in the caverns, her blue grounded.”

“I would’ve asked you to join me if I thought the meeting would result in anything. As I predicated, H’ver had no intention of having a sensible meeting. Mostly he kept complaining that the Council has left them with no junior goldriders and his Weyrwoman has too much work to do. I think he wanted me to go back to the Council and reduce his idiotic riders’ sentences,” C’aol lets all the information out as he strides to the table and sits. He opts for klah to pour for himself and sips at it as he looks back to Isolwyn. He doesn’t interrupt her once she begins to explain how //her// morning went, his brows furrowing as she begins to speak about Lady Silverfield, then lifting towards his hairline as the immunity is mentioned, only for his brow to completely smooth into a blank expression as he registers the finality of the outcome. “So,” he manages to say, setting his klah down. “That’s why you had the whiskey brought in.” He shakes his head slowly and rubs the palm of his hand briefly against his forehead. “And now we’ve got her locked up.” His eyes are cold as he drops his palm. “Have you alerted Lady Silverfield to this?”

“His Weyrwoman is incompetent,” Isolwyn says flatly. “I would have thought he would have realised that when she raised and suffered two juniors to behave in the manner in which they did. I wonder that he’s not further questioned her as to whether the entire plan was, in-fact, hers.” Mention of the whiskey draws her attention to it and, whether she meant it for C’aol or otherwise, she pours herself a measure into a tumbler. “I’ve informed no-one of what’s transpired here, but there’s no telling who her blue has spoken to,” is offered over the rim of the glass. “She’s affiliated with no Weyr. We could let her go and have that be that, though she claims she’s ready to face the consequences of her actions.” Any desire to knock back the drink is suppressed, only a dainty sip taken. “It would be spectacularly foolish of her to be lying at this point. Ultimately, you are the one she wronged. The rest, what happens now… is your decision.”

C’aol reaches for the whiskey once Isolwyn’s poured herself a glass to splash into his klah. He sets the whiskey back down and then proceeds to take a gulp of the spiked klah. He looks away from Isolwyn and towards the far wall, his face falling into that cold mask he wears when his anger is a mixture of Daeserath’s and his own. He takes a few more sips of the klah as he slowly regains his composure, Daeserath’s attention turned (for now) upon Maozheth to ensure he has not ‘told’ anyone of anything. “If the Harper’s are involved she will face consequences. I’m not entirely sure those will be satisfying to me.” He looks back to Isolwyn, his gaze cold and devoid of any betrayal of emotion. “I would have preferred this issue to have remained buried. We have enough in motion now that I do not need this… reminder… of the past coming into play.” He taps his fingers upon the table and takes another sip of his whiskey. “That Zinovia is not able to control her wife does not help the matter at all. That woman should not be permitted around the daughter I gave to Lady Silverfield.” He looks to Isolwyn. “I am sure you have suggestions ready. Share them.”

Isolwyn colours a little, a pang of guilt momentarily claiming her features, the flicker one that she swiftly smoothes out as she squares her shoulders and tips her chin up the slightest bit. “It wasn’t my intention that this would happen, but I cannot and will not be sorry that she stands to pay for what she did,” she declares, following up her words with another sip from her glass. “She mentioned your daughter as a reason to show her mercy. Apparently, she’s concerned that her own fate stands to impact the girl negatively and cause her distress.” She strays a little way down the table and sits heavily on a seat. “My suggestions wouldn’t be considered politically acceptable, since most of them involve seeing that she suffers the same pain that she sought to have inflicted. However, to settle for both her and the woman she hired tamed might be an appropriate compromise. The Court is held from biting, presently. For her to be would make a pair.”

“I didn’t say it was your intention, Isolwyn. Only that I would rather this entire situation not be the matter we are discussing this very moment,” C’aol snaps back at Isolwyn, moving from staring at the wall to her with a sharpness he has rarely shown her in the last few months. “Contrary what people may think of me, or especially what they //used// to think about me, I do not walk around this planet wishing to harm others. Even if this woman is the reason why I was attacked, attacking //her// does not soothe what has happened to //me//.” He slams his fist down on the table and stands abruptly. He grabs his klah and chugs the remainder of its contents before he slams it down on the table. “I am not so scarred from this as you would have me be,” he tells her roughly, no matter the nightmares and the scars that are stark reminders that do little to give weight to his words. “Calling for my mercy while hailing my biological daughter as the reason is absurd. Knowing that I have to go and talk to Lady Silverfield about this entire matter angers me far more than any of it.” He stalks away from the table and goes to brood by the wall, his arms crossing in front of him as he turns to face her again. “Unlock her from the room. Tell her she is not permitted to leave this Weyr. I have no use for a bluerider who has been living a polished life of a Holder. We’ll put her in with the Court’s weyrlings and see how she enjoys being at their level. She can remember what it is to be a dragonrider.” His eyes are sharp as he adds, “I’ll tell Silverfield that if she wants to keep the Harpers out of this and prevent exile, she stays here. I won’t have her running around Pern soliciting my death again.”

Isolwyn sets her jaw and stares right back at C’aol, quite plainly biting back what she might have said to settle for, “Well, we are discussing it, and if you think absolutely nothing else good will come of it, at the very least you won’t ever again have to wonder who it was and whether they’re going to find someone more efficient than that greenrider to get the job done,” instead, with a chill to match the encroaching absolute zero of Eosyth’s touch. “You may have no desire to hurt her, but I don’t think so well of myself that I’m above admitting that I //would//. It wasn’t //you// who was attacked by that bronzerider, but we both know full well how you wanted to murder him.” And she has never asked what happened to him, in the end. “It has nothing to do with your being scared or scarred, but with your being //mine//, and if you want me to feel less of it, then you’re asking me to feel less for you.” She rises from her chair and heads towards the door, presumably to carry out his wishes. “Perhaps the next few days will be ugly and awkward, but then it’s //done//. One less thing to ever have to worry about. She wanted you gone and you’re not only still here, but you’re the Weyrleader who has half the Council under his thumb.” For an instant, she bares her teeth, only to settle herself and all too quietly say, “She’s nothing,” as she reaches for the door handle.

“If she stays, will it solicit such anger that you’ll feel compelled to send her permanently Between?” C’aol asks without a hint of anger in his tone, his eyes sharp on hers, the hint in his question delivered as an answer for what became of that bronzerider. He moves to follow her towards the door, abandoning their drinks on the table for someone else to clean up. He moves to place his hand over her own and stop it from reaching for the door handle. He holds her wrist tightly and waits for her to look at him. “It’s because we’ve control of the Council that we must take calculated actions on how we handle this matter. Her ill-attempt at offing me over a lovers quarrel is not something outside of normal for Holders. It may speak to a reason to not allow dragonriders to run a Hold. I’m not ready to have that matter before the Council again.” He takes a breath and releases her wrist. “I’ll go to Silverfield in an hour. Will you come with me?”

Isolwyn doesn’t have an answer before C’aol’s hand is around her wrist, and she chooses to study that hold on her for a time, her gaze distant, only for the return of her focus to coalesce as a satisfied calm that lingers closer to darkness than to light. She processes the underlying news of that bronzerider’s fate with a slow blink and lifts her gaze to his. “I would find it more satisfying to see her suffer the insignificance of her existence,” she replies. “For her to understand what her choices have led her to. Lost her.” Lifting a hand, she plants it down against his chest. “I’ll give her that hour to write any communication she wishes to her wife, to be viewed by us as well, of course. If she attempts to write to your daughter, whether she hears of it or not will up to you.” She straightens her shoulders and gives a single nod. “And then I’ll go with you.”

“I gave away my rights to dictate what my daughter’s mother will decide for her future. If Zinovia chooses to allow this woman to be in Zaimika’s life it is not for me to decide,” C’aol tells Isolwyn as he opens the door to allow her to proceed him into the hall. “I imagine the meeting with Zinovia will be less than pleasant,” he continues as he places his hand against the small of her back to guide her along with him. “However, we will prove that once again, Fort is a clear-headed leader. It’ll speak well for us.” He pauses as a trio of lower caverns staff walks by them. He reaches for Isolwyn’s elbow to draw her towards him. “Thank you,” he states simply, looking as sincere, “for handling this as well as you have. I know it is not easy to be clearheaded in these situations.” And then he moves to stride forward to tend to matters before they leave for Silverfield.

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