A Controlling Influence

Who: Isolwyn and C’aol
Where: Weyrleader’s Office, Fort Weyr
What: After calling a meeting of Weyrwomen, Isolwyn returns home less than pleased.

C’aol has made himself unavailable to any of Fort who would seek his input on matters while Isolwyn has been gone to the meeting with the other Weyrwomen. He’s locked himself inside his office and left Daeserath to brood on the fireheights. Neither he nor his bronze are comforted to know that Isolwyn will be with others that they trust.

Though she usually favours darker and more intimidating colours, Isolwyn consciously departed the Weyr in something brighter and arguably softer, her jacket thrown over a dress of summer sky blue with purple detailing that might better help her blend in. When Eosyth appears over Fort, she wastes no time in telling her mate, << No harm has come to us, >> in the moments before she dives down to her ledge to let Isolwyn climb down and remove her straps, allowing them to go their separate ways: she towards Daeserath and the fireheights, and her rider to the door of C’aol’s office. She doesn’t even try the handle. “I hope you don’t intend on me breaking this down!” she calls, dry of voice.

C’aol opens the door relatively quickly after Isolwyn’s announcement and waits for her to stride in before he shuts and locks it again. He gives her a quick, firm, hug with no indication for more before he angles her towards a chair across from his desk. He settles himself on the desk itself, propping himself up on it as he lets one leg dangle towards the ground. “And?” he prompts her, “What was the general consensus? Whom will be trouble-makers?” Daeserath’s mood is mollified once Eosyth settles against him. He curls himself about her and drapes his tail against hers in a clear claim. << It is better when you are here >> he tells her and then grows silent as he watches a blue take to the skies and disappear Between.

Isolwyn slings her jacket onto the back of the chair and smoothes her skirts across her knees before sitting back and looking up at C’aol. “Many of them feel threatened, but that they have no way out. They feel that to comply with what their Weyrleaders want is their only option, yet they appear to have forgotten that their queens are the ones who lead the Weyr.” She shakes her head a little. “More than one of them said I had no right to broach the discussion with them, citing that Eosyth is strong enough to strike fear into any who might hurt me, or that…” Closing her eyes, she murmurs, “…I’m already under the control of my Weyrleader.” When she looks up again, her smirk is not so kind. “I did my best to make it clear that that is not the case, but whether they believed me… Igen was unnaturally quiet. Telgar seemed… exhausted.”

“I believe we are going to have to take note of who is siding with whom. I assume the ones who spoke the loudest against you were Benden. Possibly Ista. Honshu, Southern and Fort are aligned,” C’aol’s eyes narrow as he goes right to thinking political strategy. He lifts his gaze to her at the mention of Telgar and Igen. “I was prepared for them to think ill of me. My reputation was made long before Eosyth was hatched.” He taps his chin briefly and shakes his head. “I wish we could trust them but I don’t know how to feel about Igen and Telgar. “Nalmi has not been the same since V’rel died. That would be expected, I suppose. He was one of the most outspoken against Rori and Nala’s relationship. Leona is older than N’colas. I had assumed Igen was well kept but perhaps they simply are quieter about their issues.”

“I can’t trust Weyrwomen who are willing to be ruled by their Weyrleaders and potential Weyrleaders,” Isolwyn states, her hands briefly curling in her skirts. “I wouldn’t be surprised if more than one of them has simply returned home and shared everything that was said.” The irony of that utterance doesn’t appear to be lost on her, her lips quirking in a wry grimace. “Some wished to listen and others were quiet in a manner that suggested they were afraid to speak. As if my intent was to lure them into a trap. I can’t say that anything that Benden had to say was particularly logical or well put – it was as if she was lashing out blindly. As if she //was// trapped.” Sighing, she says, “There’s no helping women who won’t be helped… but if they won’t be helped because they //can’t// be helped through no fault of their own, that’s exactly the problem we’re trying to deal with.”

“I cannot grasp how long this has been going on and no one else has spoken out,” C’aol answers with a flatness of tone and an anger to his gaze. “Weyrwomen are historically //not// weak-willed individuals. That so many of them have been Impressed to such women… I do not like it. Perhaps their use of Searching young people is part of the problem. They don’t know how else it should be because they joined the Weyr when they were still of an age to be shaped by them rather than try to see where changes need to be made.” He shakes his head and then pauses, his eyes narrowing. “Do you feel like this has made you a target to them?”

“It may be that they aren’t weak… Conditioning can make people everything that they’re not,” Isolwyn offers as what little defence she can summon for that which she plainly doesn’t approve of. “There should be a different age range considered for gold eggs. Emily and Priska had both essentially already been trained, and, more importantly, knew their own minds before Impression. It didn’t rob them of their ability to be objective.” As C’aol puts his question to her, she lifts to her feet and drapes her arms over his shoulders. “Their acknowledgement of Eosyth’s strength makes it unlikely they’ll try anything. Even if they got past her, there’d be Daeserath protecting the Weyr. And what I don’t think they’ve all understood about you…” a savage smile slowly blooms, “is that if anyone threatens me, they forfeit their life.”

C’aol looks up at Isolwyn as she places her arms about his shoulders. He reaches for her as he scoots his chair back and draws her into his lap. “Well, some may not understand the truth behind Daeserath’s strength either. He may not be of the strength of a gold… but there’s something to be said for his mental abilities as well.” He offers her one of his rare smiles in answer to her savage one, the hint of pleasure at her words lighting his eyes. “Yes, they would. Still, we cannot allow you to be caught off-guard as Priska was. I know you will say no to me were I to solicit guards to follow you… but you should consider making sure you have eyes on your back when you leave our Weyr. Until this all is settled.”

Settling into his lap with a content hum, Isolwyn murmurs, “I’m not sure that I have much call to leave Fort, of late. Unless it’s an official meeting or I have to see someone that I absolutely can’t summon here instead, I’m not sure that I… Well, that I’ve ever really been overly interested in seeing the world. Everything that I need or want is here.” She tilts her head and presses a kiss to the line of his jaw. “And leaving Casi in the nursery for a night is different to spending more than a couple of hours away from the Weyr. I wouldn’t like to be too far from her for too long.” Her focus drifts for a moment, then she supposes, “I could take a Wingleader with me if I have to travel. That is, if you truly trust them.”

“I would only send the ones I trust. I believe the majority of Fort is trustworthy, unless they prove otherwise. I have transferred most of the troublemakers since I took leadership,” C’aol tells her with confidence. His thumb trails along her face. “Those that I didn’t remove and do not enjoy our Weyr have already left on their own. Not all of them are capable of holding themselves to our standards. Daeserath does not make it easy on the males, as it is. Those riders that I have issues with, Daeserath is hyper-focused on their dragons.” He brushes his fingers briefly against her cheek and then moves his hand back towards the arm of his chair. “Casi should not be without you for long. Our staff is competent in her care. But she requires her mother.”

“Speaking of hyper-focusing, it won’t be too long until Eosyth is on the Sands and we’ll have to handle the both of them hating any visitors who linger too long,” Isolwyn says dryly. “I’ve little clue as to whether we’ll need to look for more appropriate girls for a queen; whether Yedrith’s absence will prompt anything. I don’t know whether how suddenly she flew will impact the clutch, but she seems… comfortable.” Closing her eyes, she rests her head against C’aol’s for as long as it takes for her to breathe in and out, then brushes her lips against his. “I suppose it’s just as well that I enjoy being her mother even more than I thought I might,” is a touch wry, her teasing quiet for all its edge of truth. “I should go and write down everything from the meeting while I remember it.”

“We should be considering more appropriate girls to bring regardless of this clutch having a gold egg or not. Greens need capable riders as well. And it may increase our pool of candidates long term if they choose to stay if they do not Impress,” C’aol comments with a smirk. “Holders will claim we are stealing their women eventually, since we are focusing on qualified candidates rather than their discards or vagabonds.” He pauses to enjoy their closeness and allows another smile, one without malice, to show at her mention of Isolwyn’s enjoyment of Casi. “Go and settle your mind. Keeping close documentation will be to our benefit.”

“I’ll try and refrain from adding personal commentary in the margins,” Isolwyn drawls, easing herself from his lap and straightening her skirts. “Whatever truth there may be to the myriad of less than pleasant remarks I can currently think of.” She hesitates for long enough to claim another kiss, then turns on her heel and strides towards the door. “I’ll be in the council room. It shouldn’t take me more than hour. Maybe then we can pretend that I was gone for a dreadfully long time and you missed me desperately.” Angling a smirk back over her shoulder, she unlocks the door and heads off to devote her time to documenting what she can draw from her memory and Eosyth’s.

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