Bloody-Minded and Obstinate

Who: Priska and Rori
Where: Weyrwoman’s Office, Honshu Weyrhold
What: Priska tells Rori what the Council has decided.

Yedrith’s clutch of twenty that she now largely guards from sight has spread joy through the Weyrhold in the wake of a tense quiet following the news of what occurred at the recent meeting of the Weyr Council. Though Priska has mostly spent her time with her, this afternoon she sends a girl with a message for Rori, summoning her to the Weyrwoman’s office as soon as possible. Behind the door to that office, she sits at her desk, flipping through paperwork while idly watching two small firelizards, one bronze, one brown, sleeping in a half-open drawer. “You’re not much use yet, are you?” she murmurs, not without affection.

That Yedrith’s first clutch was so large has led to some idle speculation that it was triggered by the lack of Inaskashath’s last two clutches in numbers. Rori has not done much to quell the rumors and instead has kept a modest distance from the Weyrhold itself. Where she goes to when her duties are complete is not widely known – only that Inaskashath is not spending her evenings at the Weyrhold. It’s this reason that Rori believes is being called out as she enters the Weyrwoman’s office. Her timing must be particularly bad because of Priska’s words she immediately takes as aimed at her. Her body stiffens as she answers her, not noticing the two fire lizards. “I believe I have been useful, Weyrwoman,” she defends. “Though if you require more of me, all you need do is ask.”

Priska tilts her head and sets her pen down, not quite comprehending Rori’s words, until her own catch up with her and she makes a gesture to the desk drawer. “Not you,” she states. “My new friends.” She sits back in her chair. “Though if you want talk about requiring more, than that is the point we’re at. Not here, however. It’s been suggested that you ought to go to Benden to do what you can to put them to rights before a permanent senior queen is found or hatched.” Looking Rori up and down, she plainly awaits her reaction. “I don’t think this whole business with S’ven has gone well for you. Perhaps it would be best for you to get some distance.”

Rori moves further into the office and pulls out the chair across from Priska’s desk to settle into. She swoops her skirts from under her legs to settle them neatly at her side once she’s sat down. She takes all the news that is presented to her without much of an outward reaction. Mention of S’ven thins her lips and her hands move to clasp in her lap. “Benden has had one murder and one suicide in their leadership. I know I have shown the ability to help a Weyr as it awaits a more permanent solution. My only question is, who would be stepping up as Weyrleader? It might be best to put someone not of Benden in that role as well.”

“My suggestion would be to find a bronzerider that you can tolerate and suggest them to me, so that I can seek approval of your choice,” Priska supplies in answer. “I have to tell you now that I can’t permit your wife to be even an interim Weyrleader, especially in a place that’s already shown intolerance for just about everything any other Weyr does. Nala will remain here and see to her duties as assigned by her Wingleader.” She twitches her shoulders. “I’m saying none of this to be unkind, Rori. It isn’t as if this situation is ideal for me – I’ll be the sole goldrider at Honshu. But Benden needs you more than I do, which I’m sure you can understand.”

Rori does not immediately give Priska any answer as she leans back in the chair and moves her arms to fold in front of her. Her chin dips downwards as she considers her lap, clearly focusing on her thoughts. “Well,” she begins, looking up at Priska. “I would say J’len, Weyrsecond of Fort, is qualified and capable of stepping in as a temporary Weyrleader. I’ve worked with him before, when I was at Fort with C’aol.” She pauses, adding, “I would also say that Wingleader W’ndel from here would be a good candidate as well. I am aware that B’lian was given tutoring of some sort by C’aol prior to coming to Honshu. Would either of you know of any others to recommend?” She waits until she’s said all of that before she takes a breath and stiffens her shoulders as she addresses Priska’s other concern. “I do not believe Nala would want anything to do with being a Weyrleader. If you force Nala and Jynth to stay, is it the assumption that I am to take on Benden and go without seeing my wife for – what, one to two years?” She shakes her head. “You’re not being unkind but you certainly are asking me to do something I am not entirely sure you would ask someone else to do.”

“If it’s J’len you want, I’ll ask C’aol if he would be content with letting him step in as Weyrleader. Truth be told, it may be best for it to be a Fortian bronzerider.” Priska presses thumb and forefinger to the bridge of her nose before letting both hands fall into her lap. “Rori, you’ve given me no choice. I had to defend you and Nala both from the Council’s wrath when there was quite literally blood on the floor. They want a bronze to fly Inaskashath.” Her fingers curl and uncurl. “I’ve tried to do my best for you and distract them from fixating on their desire to split up Jynth and Inaskashath or drop their eggs Between, and keep them from whatever suspicions they have about S’ven and whether you knew what he was like. If you don’t want to do it, then refuse the post, but this is the best I can give you by way of delaying anyone’s intentions of meddling further in your marriage and your queen’s choice of mate.” Her sigh is less than quiet. “It isn’t as if Nala can’t go Between to visit you in an instant.”

“What I was asking you for clarification on is whether or not that would be restricted as well. It would not look good for me to come to Honshu to visit my wife. The way I was hearing you, it sounded very much like she would be restricted from coming to Benden if she so chose,” Rori answers without much emotion to her words. “So thank you for giving me that clarification.” She does not flinch at any of the other statements Priska delivered, though the touch of color to her cheeks would indicate some sort of internal reaction to the reality of what the Council would do. “If a bronze was capable of capturing Inaskashath they would. I have never closed her flights to Jynth alone. I would like the Council remember that next time. If they are going to threaten to keep Jynth away from her, we learned the hard way through Arlet,” she’s beginning to sound more heated now as she keeps talking, “when they sought to do the same to Akanyth. I thought we were getting past all this nonsense.” She shakes her head and curls her shoulders inwards for a moment before she takes a settling breath and straightens her posture once more. “I will work with J’len because he will respect me and has the skills needed to bring Benden together.”

“It isn’t nonsense,” Priska states, taking a deep breath. “Not with several of Inaskashath and Jynth’s offspring known to be so far from the norm. If that continues, the Council is unlikely to let it go and you’re going to have some difficult choices to make. If you’re going to go to Benden, I suggest you use some of the time there to consider what you’re going to do next, because there’s only so much I can say to these people before I inevitably get outvoted.” Ducking her head, she looks away from Rori as she says, “To be perfectly frank with you, it’s been nothing but a shitstorm of blood and suffering since I got here, so just go to Benden and do what you’re known to be good at and give them a reason not to pursue their current line of thinking, while I try and figure out how to keep them from forcing decisions on you.”

Rori’s lips tighten and she folds her arms tighter around her as she listens to Priska speak. “Yes, I’ll go to Benden as requested.” She stands up then, “Do not worry about the Council in regards to me. Focus on Honshu as you should. If you are going to keep Nala here working in a wing, it’d be best if you found a specific purpose for keeping her here. Otherwise, it looks like a punishment. I’ll let you handle that as you wish to.” She seems prepared to leave but waits for her dismissal as she looks to Priska.

Before she thinks to formally dismiss Rori, something close to fury flickers through Priska’s icy gaze. “And let me make one thing perfectly clear,” she enunciates all too slowly and heavily. “You don’t ‘let’ me do anything. Honshu is my Weyrhold. You answer to me. I had thought we might be friends, but if you are to be so bloody minded and obstinate about your situation, and ignore it as you did S’ven, then I draw the line now. You will address me as ‘ma’am’ and you will follow the orders given you. I won’t waste time on sentiment when none is required.” She gestures towards the door. “Not another word. You’re dismissed.”

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