Who: Nala and B’lian
Where: Weyrleader’s Office, Honshu Weyrhold
What: B’lian promotes Nala.
B’lian has not had much direct contact with Nala since he took over as Honshu’s Weyrleader. He has been having various meetings with the Weyrhold’s Wingleaders and set new expectations of the wings to do more than basic drills each day. He has Nala’s wingleader direct her this morning to go to the Weyrleader’s office, where B’lian has been receiving various wingriders since the early hours of the morning. He’s sipping klah and writing a few notes down, not in the least distracted by two fire lizards that seem content to nap in a pile of papers to his right.
Nala has left Jynth curled up in a feline manner on the outcropping that will serve as his ledge, the two of them now occupying a new weyr, being unwilling to face remaining in the junior weyr that was Rori’s without her. She’s tense, her features schooled to a severe neutrality, when she arrives at B’lian’s office, her stance one that all but screams that she is expecting some punishment or other now that she and Jynth no longer have their wife and mate to provide them with any semblance of protection. “Sir,” is a clipped greeting, though on the right side of polite, pushed out by one who would prefer silence.
B’lian looks up at Nala with a quiet assessment before he indicates by a quick hand wave for her to take the chair opposite his desk. He sits himself up a little straighter and gathers a piece of paper from behind his portfolio which he hands towards Nala. “Thank you for coming to see me on such short notice. I felt it was important that I talk to you directly. Normally, I wouldn’t think to interfere with the wings’ positions. However, as I told R’oul, I am taking a more active role at this time. I discussed with him at length that I felt he needed a new wingsecond. It has been consistently noted in files,” he waves his hands to the papers around him, “that you and Jynth are some of our most capable teams in Search and Rescue. With that in mind, I’d like to have you step into the wingsecond role. We will be having new weyrlings eventually, and that will mean new and young riders. I can see a lot of potential in Jynth and your role as a wingsecond.” He pauses, handing the paper over with the description of expectations for the knot. “What do you think?”
Though Nala sits and extends a hand to accept the proffered paper, she doesn’t look down at it, and instead keeps her gaze fixed on B’lian. “…Am I to understand that there are no… conditions… to accompany this sudden and rather conveniently timed assessment of my work?” she enquires, managing to keep her voice free of any particular inflection. “Only a fool would believe that that this has nothing to do with the fact that my wife has just been sent to Benden. Jynth is better at and more invested in his work than most of the dragons here, and that has always been his way. But I still have no interest in a promotion designed to keep me ‘busy’ or ‘occupied’ because you believe I am a problem you need to keep quiet.”
B’lian leans back in his chair and considers Nala with a calm expression, unbothered by her assessment of the timing. “It is unfortunate timing on my part,” he allows, “that I waited until Rori went to Benden to make the adjustment. However,” he indicates the paper in front of her and then gestures towards the stacks of documents on his desk. “Since I became Weyrleader I have been slowly going through each wing and making reassignments and adjustments. You may inquire about that later if you wish to confirm that this is not some… backhanded manipulation on my part.” He settles his hands on the desk by steepling his fingers together. “You are one of the few riders I have in my wings who has taken on various roles that are //specifically// a dragonrider’s duty. Some of our rank… have chosen to focus more on their crafts or other pursuits. I have given you this promotion because you are fit to the task and I need your help.”
Nala’s head tilts ever so slightly, though she still doesn’t look down at the paper she’s lowered into her lap. “If this is truly a situation in which you desire my assistance and not something which is designed to make me less of a problem for you, then I am to believe that, in theory, you would be in my debt?” She waits to let that settle for a moment, then presses, “Assuming I am not supposed to be overwhelmingly grateful in the first instance?” Again, she waits, only watching B’lian. “Grateful that you would make me something more than an abnormality?” She sits back in her seat. “How much you truly know of me, I am unaware. I was once a daughter of Bitra; I am Blood. If I am, honestly, helping you, then you might help me by having Honshu at my back when I demand to know what they did with the son they took from me at his birth.”
B’lian does not flinch at any of Nala’s questions and when she waits and watches, he remains calm and unphased by her pushing – he also does not offer immediate answers. At the conclusion of her request, B’lian reaches for another document – this time a blank one. He picks up a pen and glances at her. “I have no jurisdiction directly over Bitra. As a Hold, at least. If you believe they will treat you ill when you are in search of your son, I will have your back. I will not tolerate my people being mistreated. That includes denying you access to your child.” He makes a few notes on the paper, pauses, considers it, adds a few more lines and looks up at her. “I will document this conversation and I will discuss with our resident Harper the laws that we may be able to use to our advantage in your pursuit.” He notes that on the paper and then looks to her once more. “I would do this if you came to me and asked this of me as your Weyrleader. Regardless of the knot you wear. I would like to make that explicitly clear.”
“It is my understanding that Bitra believes that there is no-one, anywhere, who has jurisdiction over it.” If she means for it to be a slight against the Hold, Nala still manages to keep her tone perfectly even. “The boy would be hardly a child any longer. He would be of an age to be on the Sands, if he were to still live.” Her voice wavers only very faintly at further consideration of his fate. As B’lian states what he would have made clear, her gaze settles into something colder despite herself. “I have had to kill a Weyrleader in self-defence, while he tried to murder me. Your predecessor was intent on sexual manipulation of my wife. The one before him had a body left on his ledge. You will have to forgive me if I find it difficult to believe that you might do anything for me out of the goodness of your heart.” She clenches her jaw. “And before you promote me, you should be aware that, if anyone, ever, attempts to hurt me again, I will defend myself to the point of dispatching them permanently.”
B’lian stares at Nala with a slight crease to his brow that could be from intent listening or a subtle indication that he is beginning to lose his patience. “You realize that same person who manipulated your wife threatened myself and Priska?” his tone is flat and the further crease of his brow is surely from annoyance now as he adds, “And your Weyrwoman’s safety was jeopardized because your wife was unable to articulate the full extent of the problem S’ven had?” He leans forward, his elbows moving to settle on the desk as he adds, “I would not stop you from defending yourself. I will not let the past destroy this Weyrhold. Are you willing to move forward? Or will you allow the traumas you have faced continue to stand in your way?” He waits, clearly expecting an answer of some kind.
“Do you not think I informed my wife exactly what I thought of her decisions?” Nala questions, her eyes narrowing slightly. “I was kept as much in the dark as you were.” She straightens as B’lian leans forward, quite plainly trying to put more distance between them without leaving her seat. “You do not get to call any of it trauma,” she states flatly. “Nor use it to attempt to provoke me into doing as you wish.” As she gets to her feet, she keeps the paper that she still hasn’t looked at clenched in one hand. “I will take the knot, but be advised that, if I find a Wingleader who is not pulling their weight, it will be their knot I am after next.”
B’lian does not quite manage to hide his spark of pleasure at Nala’s answers. He leans back in his chair and does not immediately look at her when she stands up. “Very well. If you find one that is not pulling their weight, by all means, take that knot from them.” He looks to her then, “I am done harboring complacent behavior here. You will not find me stopping you from expecting others to pull their weight. And if they do not do so, we will demote them.” He offers her a brief, two-fingered, salute. “Thank you for your attention today, Wingsecond. I look forward to hearing from your wingleader on the changes you put into place. Have a good rest of your day.”