Nothing Right

Who: Priska and B’lian
Where: Weyrleaders’ Weyr, Honshu Weyrhold
What: After Rori leaves for Benden, Priska is… aggravated.

The day that Rori leaves for Benden is one that nevertheless has Priska looking rather haggard, despite the fact that such a move supposedly gets one of the issues impacting Honshu out from under her feet. After spending much of the afternoon with Yedrith in the hatching cavern, she finally emerges with an armful of paperwork and books in addition to the bag slung over her shoulder, and dumps the whole lot onto the nearest table she can find when she gets back to her weyr. Unluckily for her, her aim isn’t so good in this instance, and half the papers go fluttering to the ground, followed by one book, then another, leaving her to stare at the whole affair and curse profusely at it.

B’lian has not said much since Rori has departed, though whether Priska is aware of it or not, he has restructured the wing that Nala was in and tasked her and Jynth with being the new wingsecond. He’s a step behind Priska it would seem as he happens to be entering her weyr shortly after she has. He moves right to picking up the papers and the book without comment, giving a glance up at Priska as he does so. He tucks them all neatly together and settles them on the table they were intended for. “Tea?” he queries and then adds, “or something stronger?”

“Sorry,” Priska mutters, in a manner that doesn’t make her sound particularly apologetic at all. Sighing, she puts the rest of her things down on the table and requests, “Something stronger,” under her breath, unconsciously drawing one of her knives into her hand to absently twirl. “You would think that I’d treated her in the worst possible way ever!” she exclaims. “I’m trying to protect her! I told her that before I even got here! You would’ve thought she might’ve wanted to do the same for me, but she let S’ven roam around, knowing his intentions, and hasn’t considered in the slightest that that wasn’t the thing to do! She put //us// in danger and still nothing I can do for her is right.”

B’lian looks at Priska with a fairly closed expression, unwilling to let his true emotions display as he shakes his head. “I don’t know her well, Priska. She’s young. Perhaps she didn’t understand the risk she was putting everyone at.” He walks away from her then towards the kitchen where he goes about producing the ‘stiffer’ version of a hot tea for Priska. He returns and hands it to her and then he places his hand on the small of her back and guides her towards the couch to sit down on. “Distance from Honshu will be best. Did she decide on who would be the Weyrleader? Certainly no one from Benden should be stepping up at this point. Their entire leadership has been put to question.”

“She’s older than I am,” Priska lowly protests, murmuring her thanks for the drink on the heels of another few, muttered, curses. She doesn’t resist when B’lian guides her towards the couch, nudging her blade back into its holster as she sits awkwardly, the tension in her making her a bundle of sharp angles. “She requested Fort’s Weyrsecond, which I’m not sure anyone in Benden who wants their ways to continue will like, but that’s the whole point. The sooner that lot are stamped on, the better, and they can stop thinking about hassling Vesoviath and anyone else they set their sights on.” She takes a large gulp from her drink. “I’m sorry,” she says again, this time more genuine. “I’m angry. I wanted to do this right. All of it. But I can’t help someone who won’t help themselves!”

“Maybe more went on between her and S’ven than she has even said. After all that he did, I would not put it past him to have had some threat posed against her or Nala to try and keep her quiet. I don’t know if we will ever get the whole truth from her. She’s at Benden now – and it’s best she took Fort’s Weyrsecond. He seemed like he had the right head on his shoulders to take others to task. It also will allow someone else to step into the role. People need opportunities like that/ To show they are capable of leading. It’s why I gave Nala such a push.” He sits himself down next to Priska and tosses his arm over the back of the couch as he angles himself to face her. “You are doing this right. You’ve shown good leadership. You’ve helped steer Honshu in the right direction. Now that the Council has mandated rules, we will all be safer. And hopefully, things will get better. Our wings are remembering what it is to be dragonriders’ again. A few crafters have put in transfer requests. Some have even hinted that they would rea ch out to Silverfield. They would prefer to focus on their craft than their dragons. I don’t know how I feel about that.”

“I don’t think she’ll ever tell me the truth,” Priska sighs, staring down into her lap. “If she didn’t trust me before, she doesn’t trust me now. I had to draw the line and make it clear that I was in charge, and I may have to do so again when she returns from Benden.” She takes another drink, then leans forward to set it down on the low table in-front of the couch. “The wings are all down to you,” she says quietly, a small smile flickering at one corner of her mouth. “…And… I suppose if someone wants to put their craft before their dragon… they don’t belong in a Weyr. Or a Weyrhold. Their dragons should be their priority and who they want to put first. Though I don’t know how Silverfield will cope with a large influx of dragons, if that’s what’s on the horizon.”

“For all we know, she may find Benden suits her and she will remain there,” B’lian notes with a shrug. “She keeps getting put into the Senior role. She should find a Weyr she can stay at and hold on to it. How many has she taken care of now? Fort, Honshu… now Benden. And if she can’t find a way to navigate being a junior anymore, she needs to move on from here. We do not need that added stress.” He reaches across to gather up what’s remaining of her drink and takes a sip without asking her if he may take some. He takes another quick sip before he sets it back down. “If crafters want to be able to craft, they need not Stand on our Sands. It is one thing to add it to our income, but it should not be their main focus any longer. I do not see how it has helped Honshu to try and allow them to have it all.” He looks to Priska. “Would you be opposed to that though? Regardless, we have to consider this as a partnership.”

“I wanted…” Priska gives an audible sigh and hangs her head for a moment. “I wanted to make sure that Honshu remained somewhere that people who are perhaps a little out of the ordinary felt… safe. Wanted.” She barks out a single note of laughter. “It isn’t as if I’m entirely ‘normal’ for a goldrider. I don’t see the other Weyrwomen carrying knives and being quite happy to spar with their Weyrleader.” She fetches both hands up into her hair, working her fingers beneath the braided crown. “I wanted Rori and Nala to feel safe, but she just wouldn’t give any ground… I don’t want our riders to think that we judge them. I want them to have their own lives; that’s why this is a Weyrhold and not a Weyr. It straddles the line. There needs to be a balance.”

“Honshu has lacked discipline for some years now. I can see that clearly. How I get them back to that, the only thing I can consider, is back to the basics. Dragonriding. Sweeps. Drills. Once I see more discipline from all our riders, I could see it reasonable that they may also wish to practice their crafts. And those that have proven themselves capable of the basics, and juggling their crafts, should be allowed to do so. I do not want it to be their only focus, if that makes sense. It limits their interactions with their dragons. I see a lot less stunt flying here – not that I want injuries – but it seems that drills are group exercises and then people go about their days.” He sighs and shucks a hand back through his hair and offers Priska a smile. “See? You are not the only one weighed down with their decisions. I don’t know what is the right approach. All I know is, something has to change. People can have their personal lives, of course. But this knot,” he taps the knot on his shoulder, “has to matter to.”

Priska shakes her head. “No, you’re doing the right thing,” she insists. “They need to remember what it means to be a rider. Even if some of them only set foot on the Sands in search of a companion, they should have expected to be a rider proper. It’s what we are. None of us knows what might happen in the future or whether we might be desperately needed again. If they don’t learn, then our descendents don’t learn. Yedrith and Imahdth’s babies and our children’s children.” Freeing her hands from her hair, she knots her fingers together. “Fort protects Vesoviath because she is who she is, not because they //agree// with who she is. I don’t… want that to be a distinction we make. If someone feels they don’t fit, I want to give them a home, provided they will work, uphold our values and follow orders.”

B’lian is quiet for a moment as he considers Priska’s words with the full weight they carry. “Well, I’m sure that Fort protects Vesoviath because of who she is but also because of Safiye. I do not know Isolwyn well, however — I don’t see her choosing to help Safiye and Vesoviath because of some political gain. Perhaps I am being naive. I also believe that it would have to be Isolwyn who sought to protect them and not C’aol. C’aol is too,” B’lian pauses, splaying his fingers out in front of him, “traditional to do something like that without Isolwyn’s pushing. At least, that is my thought.” He rests his elbow on the couch and rests his chin along the palm of his hand. “I am not concerned about people’s feelings so much as the later part of your statement. If they do right by Honshu, we will do right by them.”

“I’m not operating a Weyrhold for people to hunker down in and get comfortable without being a productive member of the community.” Priska picks up her glass and drains what’s left after she and B’lian have got through the rest. “If Rori had showed even glimmer of understanding of the moral quandary that her choices leave us with, I would’ve not been so angry with her. But she can’t see that, in putting people to Inaskashath and Jynth’s eggs, we’re asking them to risk their future happiness and potentially lose their lifemate before their time. It’s a complete gamble. It’s ethically… If they breed again, we’ll have to ask for volunteers. I won’t actively Search and promise anyone anything.” She pushes back to her feet to pace. “I want to the right thing, for all of us. But if doing the right thing invites stupidity and sloth, then it can’t be done.”

B’lian shifts his angle on the couch so he can better watch Priska as she paces. “Well, if Jynth and Inaskashath breed again, perhaps their eggs can be given to those who… want the companionship of a dragon more so than becoming a dragonrider. We haven’t even addressed the issue of that Lord Akio over at Silverfield yet. I am hoping that Aerishani and O’rlen are training him, however… what sort of training he may be accomplishing? We would not know. It’s as if Silverfield is going to turn into some version of a Weyrhold themselves. Perhaps that’s the place for those who enjoy the concept of a dragon mroe than the responsibility of one.” He shakes his head and shucks his hand through his hair again with a sigh. “Let Rori go. She will either figure herself out or she won’t. We cannot worry about her at the moment. She is her own problem at Benden now.”

“If what happened with him was true, then that whole thing was reprehensible. All the rumours I hear are that he //took// the bronze and didn’t so much Impress as force him to choose him.” Priska shakes her head and winds her fingers back into her hair. “If there were an emergency, I don’t think we can rely on Akio and Silverfield. Lady Silverfield may seem to try to put her green first by bringing her here to mate, but we don’t know the extent of how they feel about their dragons or if they keep up any proper training.” Her arms flop back to her sides. “We should send more Search riders to Holds and hope we find some young people who are less likely to believe a dragon is a free ticket to do as you please for the rest of your days. Our weyrlings need to be a symbol for the rest of the Weyrhold.”

“Yes, we should broaden our Search outside of Honshu. We may even consider reaching out to those candidates we encountered at Fort. Fort’s screening process seems to be working for them. I’m not of a mind that we need people on the older end to be Searched. A reliable fifteen turn old has as much a right to join us as someone who is more established in their twenties.” He sighs and kicks his feet up on the table in front of the couch. “Looks as if we will have a large enough weyrling group to go about seeking changes. I have not spent much time with our Weyrlingmaster. Have you? I haven’t had any complaints about her training, still. You never know.” He rubs at his jaw briefly as he looks at Priska and adds, “I also believe she was with Nala once as well. It would seem… Honshu enjoyed some romantic dramas in the past.”

“A Weyrlingmaster, then a junior weyrwoman,” Priska drawls. “Maybe Nala is trying to sleep her way up the chain of command. Though I suppose at least she married the weyrwoman, for all the trouble it’s brought.” She knots her arms around her middle and simply paces back and forth in silence for a few moments. “…At least Yedrith is happy, provided no-one gets too close to her eggs,” she says quietly. “I think she’s quite pleased to be the only queen here, for now. It means Honshu is undeniably hers. And if she’s going to be the only breeding queen for much of time, I guess we’d better assume that all her clutches are going to be this large.” Her footsteps slow and she slants a long look after at B’lian. “Considering I won’t be opening her flights to another.”

“I don’t believe Nala is that sort of woman, however, I am not always the most aware when others have other motives that aren’t immediately apparent to me,” B’lian drawls in answer to Priska’s crisp assessment of Nala. “It is not as if some bronzeriders do not apply themselves the same way she has.” He smiles at the reference to Yedrith’s happiness, “Well, Imahdth may not be as… aggressively minded as Daeserath… but he is devoted to her. He told me he has been collecting flowers and bringing them to her on the sands. How he doesn’t just deliver scraps of color and grass is beyond me.” He shrugs and angles a look at her with a lifted brow. “You are welcome to open her flights if you decide that is what is best for Yedrith and Honshu. My affection for you and my place by your side is not dependent upon the knot I wear.”

“She loves flowers.” Priska ducks her head to hide her smile. “And she has a temper of her own that wouldn’t have been well-suited to something similar in a mate.” Guilt pales and tightens her features as she utters, “She chose Imahdth. Isolwyn said Eosyth chose Daeserath. Who’s to say Inaskashath didn’t choose Jynth in the same way? That I’m failing them because I can’t yet think of a way to make it work?” Before she can turn down that path again, she closes her eyes and shakes her head, then reaches out a hand towards B’lian. “You could always remind me that you’re not only my Weyrleeader.”

B’lian rises without further prompting at Priska’s reaching hand. He closes the distance between them and takes her hand between both of his. He draws it up towards his lips so he can kiss her fingers and then he steps close enough to press her palm to his chest. “One thing about being a leader, love,” he tells her as he brushes his hand against her cheek and tips it up so she may look at him as he speaks. “You’ll realize that when you worry about failing, you’re probably doing your best. It’s those who never doubt themselves that worry me.” He leans forward then and kisses her lips gently. “Come,” he says as he loops his arm over her shoulders to guide her. “Let us remind you why you chose me in the first place.” He doesn’t bother to close their bedroom door after they’ve entered.

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