"15.12.09, Headwoman's Report was found today, I was worried my notes had disappeared for good. The rest of it is safely tucked away now, but I'm concerned that no won't be an acceptable answer for much longer. The supply train came in with no news and the goods as expected. They delivered..."
Emilia read the line over and over again, waiting till about the fifth time until she finally was starting to make sense of it all. Partially her confusion was due to feeling like this was a continuation of something, but most was because Nyneveth had started sending her worried thoughts and feelings again, uncomfortable with her lack of rider. Eying the woodrider heading for the bedroom, the greyrider walked out to where her Wingleader was with the Weyrwoman and some others, pulling on the taller man's sleeve as she had slipped behind him like a child trying to get attention.
She didn't really wait until she was noticed, she just prodded T'kar with the parchment, trying to get it to his hands. "....I think...I don't know, what does this all mean? Why...why would she be worried?"
Post by Ghost of Fire (Fëanáro) on Aug 6, 2012 8:37:55 GMT -8
T’kar had shuffled through papers, not paying much attention, his mind focused more on what Anclanath was seeing and hearing then on what he himself was seeing. This was no way to search, no wonder he hadn’t found anything. Glancing up, he noticed Emilia was engrossed in the loose papers, and decided that now would be a good time to slip out and find out if the Weyrwoman’s mood matched that of her dragon.
He slipped out, bypassing K’tar and another Weyrling, the Whiterider from Ayleneth’s clutch. He’d had to suppress a smile; it certainly seemed that the trouble-making youth had wasted no time in recruiting help with the search. No sooner had he arrived though, then Orlyth suddenly turned as close to grey as a Wood could get and started shuddering.
T’kar looked at Ancalnath, intending to ask the RR Flame what was happening, but then someone pulled on his sleeve. He turned slightly, enough to catch sight of Emilia just as she tried to place a piece of parchment in his hands. Opening his hands, he took the paper and skimmed it, roughly half his attention on it, and half of his attention on Emilia’s words.
He reached the end of it, and Ancalanath immediately shared what Ylara had seen. T’kar’s face paled slightly, not so much from the sight of the blood as what that sight implied. There was little doubt now that they searched for a corpse. Doubtless the reason she was worried, he thought, feeling resigned.
“Good find Emilia,” he commented, scanning the note once more. “Weyrwoman, D’gan, you both should probably look at this,” he stated, stepping forward and offering the scrap of parchment to them. Glancing over his shoulder at Emilia, he decided it would be better if she didn’t hear about what the Headwoman’s bed looked like.
“Emilia, can you look through the office and see if the rest of this report is there?” he asked. “Though you might want to take Nyneveth for some food.” His primary goal was to keep Emilia from seeing the bedroom with her own eyes, and preferably to keep Nyneveth from showing it to her either.
Despite the tension in the air, Mosiliath’s eyes flickered green at Archith’s compliment for D’gan, glad of the recognition. His Mine did have a sharp mind, as well as a level head – and at a time like this, he was glad at least one of them had a keen eye for detail. The sooner they found the Headwoman the better.
His instructions relayed from his dragon, D’gan made to turn and examine the Lower Caverns when T’kar appeared, a piece of parchment in his hands. From a glance, he could see it was the Headwoman’s own hand, but the words were difficult to read from this angle. With a nod, he accepted the note first from T’kar. He was quiet for a minute or two as he read over the parchment, then handed it off to the Weyrwoman. The ridiculous idea that the Headwoman was behind this event was turning into a more and more feasible option. But what could she be involved in that the rest of the Weyr didn’t know about?
D’gan looked to Rilora, his forehead wrinkled in thought. “My Weyrwoman, what sort of goods does the Headwoman actually purchase and handle? Would we be able to find purchase records from the supply train she mentioned?” For a moment, he felt entirely lost from the new information. What did she mean by acceptable answer, and who’s answer was she trying to buy? Folding his arms, he shifted on his feet, ready to help the search in any way possible.
Mosiliath shared the sentiment by positioning and repositioning his wings against his back. The sooner they were active, the better. She seemed to place a lot of importance on the notes mentioned in that parchment, D’gan.[/b][/color]
I noticed. Let us hope Emilia finds the remainder of that report.
Then he noticed something. It was small, and probably insignificant to the rest of the search, but it something nonetheless.
“My Weyrwoman?" D'gan moved closer to her side, standing near enough for their shoulders to touch. He bent his head and spoke quietly, "That note said mentioned more than one person. What if this crime was committed by the same people we tried to find in the jungle?”
Orylth's sudden change snapped Archith from her attentive listening. Was the Wood ill? Should they call for a LifeWing? The thought was half formed in her mind and she had almost begun her request for a healer when the Wood continued speaking. She waited for the dragoness to finish, still eying her with concern and trying to recall just which LifeWing she ought to request at this early hour.
Then Orylth shared the image and Archith reeled back physically. Her hind legs tensed as if reading to take off and her front wheeled back into the air. What madness is this? Shock and sadness stalled her typical shouting. Lindalyn had been a friend of her Rider, as they did work together often. And now...now this. This, her end? And for what cause? Archith stood still and eerily silent for the next couple minutes. The Gold set her feet back firmly on the ground, the initial nausea rolling back over her again and again as she considered what had happened and tried to block to alternative outcomes that plagued her further still.
Rilora stood silent as her dragon, watching Emilia and T'kar. What did she have there? She waited while the Flame Rider and then the Tiger Rider read the paper ahead of her. When offered, she tentatively took it and had a moment to get through just a few of the words that halted in her mind with each disconnected idea. She wasn't finished when D'gan spoke again. "Goods?" Rilora thought aloud. "She handles all the Weyr's supplies, with help. That's what her position entails..." she said quietly, still suffering from shock. Of course Lindalyn did many things and she worked most closely with the Weyrwomen, so she shouldn't expect others to know the intricacies of her job.
When D'gan mentioned his newest theory about the jungle murderers was when Archith started to rise out of her quiet shock. Finally the feelings converted into an emotion Architch handled much better: anger. The intense emotion converted itself into a bone rattling roar.
Rilora held her ears and shivered. She had seen the image, she should have known how Archith would react. With a crisis still to resolve surely now more of the Weyr would be in a crowd and, if she was unlucky, a panic. Would Isodae and Bylanath swoop in any moment now and start criticizing her? Not the time, Rilora...
Her ears rung and Rilora shook her head. The cold, the information, the clues, the confusion; it all had her head spinning. I can't do this today... she thought as her legs started to really feel the coolness of the air. "I need to go inside and sit down," she asserted and started moving into the kitchens to find a chair by the hearth. This could be dealt with somewhere warmer. "We have a lot to think about. Come with me," she wanted T'kar and D'gan's clear heads helping piece together what they knew. There were others searching, and with Archith's call surely there would be more soon enough. The finality of the bloody room, the urgency of the search drained out of her. Someone was surely dead, and all signs pointed to it being Lindalyn. It would take time to figure it all out, if they ever did at all.
Holt took in K'tar's report silently, a frown on his face. This did not bode well, like the dusk mist on the cold mountain trees. This situation and those crooked trees back home, both looked like they could be any number of grim things. Holt had kept searching and when he raised his head again K'tar was being dragged off by some girl. Hmph. Faranth knew now if they'd ever get a moment for his ill placed comment to be redeemed by several better ones.
Holt kept his eye on K'tar, not wanting to be left. He was glad for his friend's return, if not also surprised by his so positive reaction. "Do y'really think Lindalyn's, ah...alright?" he said, changing his question to the positive rather than negative one. He wasn't sure what to make of it all. Just how bad were things looking? A glimmer of hope that the bad in his life might pass soon, Holt supposed--
"When this is over, do you wanna go for a run?" Holt asked.
The Wood cowered before the great Queen's rage, shuddering violently in fear, disgust and revulsion for what she'd seen. Her tail was still lashing, and she shifted slightly, wings opening, then closing again as she fought the urge to jump into the sky and run away from the blood. Being a Wood, she was not one to stand for the substance, and having her precious Bonded in the middle of it only made her that much more nervous and flighty. She didn't want her getting HURT!
Ylara could sense Orylth's upset, and worked to ease her mind even as she searched, seeking some clue as to WHY someone would want to kill their Headwoman in such a violent manner. For violent it most assuredly had been, with all the blood, spattered even to the wall, and she shook her head violently, dismissing the image, though holding the thought to focus her search. There had to be something....
Post by Ghost of Fire (Fëanáro) on Aug 6, 2012 23:10:40 GMT -8
“I don’t know, it seems like they would have told us something more if they thought she wasn’t,” K’tar said, putting the decorations back and moving onto the next area of the search, a pile of old tables and a couple chairs. “Yes,” he added, shifting one of the chairs, “when we finish with this I’d love to go…”
K’tar froze. He’d just stepped to one side of the table stack and started to push the top table off it, and come almost literally face to face with what was underneath it. For a moment he just stood there, staring at the face and the unseeing blue eyes. The black hair, starting to grey was still framing it, though the skin was far too pale. The reason for the paleness was readily apparent too: a gash, still filled with congealing blood, was all that was left of the Headwoman’s throat.
With a sudden scream, K’tar shoved the table back into place and leaped backwards. He glanced over at Holt, his eyes widened and his pupils dilated until practically none of the grey-blue of his irises visible.
—— T’kar turned and followed the Weyrwoman into the kitchen, standing off her right shoulder, so that there was room for D’gan to follow closely. In truth, he would rather have gone in front, just in case, but they’d been searching for some time and nothing dangerous had turned up yet.
Anclanath, can you tell Nyneveth…
…to keep the bed-image to herself? Ancalanath finished for him. He got the impression that Ancalanath had already done so, so he ducked into the kitchen after the Weyrwoman, only to hear someone scream.
With a hiss, T’kar darted around Rilora and into the storage area. He swept the room in a glance; K’tar was standing there, as was another Weyrling from the same class, H’rarn, but there was no obvious danger. T’kar returned his belt knife, which he’d drawn as he entered, back in it’s sheath.
“What happened?” he demanded.
Wordlessly, K’tar pointed at the pile of tables in the corner. T’kar went over to it, lifted the top table, and let it fall with a muted curse. “Stay here,” he told the two Weyrlings, striding back out into the kitchen proper, and over to Rilora and D’gan.
“Lindalyn’s been found,” he whispered, not wanting anyone else to hear what came next. “In the storage, apparently whoever this was cut her throat.”
Even with the door closed Ylara's sharp ears picked up the shriek, and she wheeled, leaping towards the door and slamming it open, startling the poor woman outside it. "Don't go in there!" she snapped, closing it again, then darting for the kitchen, where she could have SWORN the sound came from, her hand dropping to the knife she, like most riders, had been given at her Graduation Ceremony. She didn't draw it yet, for aside from the one scream, she'd heard nothing more, but she skidded to a halt as she entered the Kitchens, hazel gaze searching for any sign of danger.
None was readily apparent, but she didn't relax, padding over to her Weyrwoman and the two Kingriders and inclining her head respectfully. "What's wrong?" she asked quietly, glancing towards the two Weyrlings in the doorway of the storage area.
Kokoro didn't answer Holt. When Ktar screamed, she urned quickly, catching the barest hint of pale skin before the desk fell back down. She gasped, then fell to her knees. When the Rider came in, she saw the whole of the body, and tears began to spill down her cheeks.
KokoroMine, what's wrong? Angeth asked suddenly. The white dragonet was already on the move. Two months old and she was still able to wander the halls of the Inner Weyr. Thus was the small size of a White.
Lindalyn... Headwoman Lindalyn is dead... Kokoro told the dragon softly. She sent an image of the body to her dragon, who was already by her side. "You move pretty fast when you want to," Kokoro said with a watery laugh. She wrapped her arms around Angeth's neck, nestlings her head in the space where the dragoness's neck and shoulder met. Angeth didn't care that her hide might dry out. Hers was much more important than her hide. An Hers needed Angeth.
D’gan stared at T’kar in horror. “So it has happened,” he breathed, mentally sharing the information with his Tiger. The Headwoman had been murdered. He leaned against the nearest kitchen counter with his eyes closed, already lost in thought, his face in his hands. The Headwoman had been murdered.
The Headwoman had been murdered here.
Inhaling sharply, he ran a hand through his hair, the other dropping to his side. “If you’ll excuse me, my Weyrwoman,” he nodded in her direction, “and Wingleader T’kar.” Leaving their company and the kitchen, D’gan strode swiftly to the storage room where the body had been found. He needed to see it for himself. They had already lost the Headwoman – they could not afford to lose time as well.
Death was something he was familiar with, and the scars on him and his dragon proved the point even further. Death usually did not bother him. Entering storage and moving back toward the tables, D’gan shifted around and pulled the Headwoman into the center of the room by her arms. Her body was stiff and heavy, the air was foul, and her chest was sticky with congealing blood. All in all, it was not a pleasant sight.
Positioning himself so that anyone looking in would only see his back, D’gan tilted Lindalyn’s neck back and peered down at the gash in her throat. Nose wrinkling, he dipped a finger down and ran it along the cut, the skin cold and slick – and yet, still relatively smooth. Hardly a rough edge to the cut.
You only call me that when you’re worried about me. What is it, Mosiliath?
What have you found?[/b][/color]
This is not the work of a mere trader.
With a frown, D’gan stood back up and sighed. Rilora should know. Exiting storage – and shutting the door behind him – he backtracked his way to the kitchen, grabbing a small dish towel on the way. Wiping his hand free of blood, he moved back over to the small conference of Rilora and T’kar, making sure to look at them each in turn before speaking.
“I just took a look at her…The cut on her throat is clean and precise. Not something you would expect from an upset trader missing his goods. Whoever did this was controlled, calm. I’ve learned, when we flew against Thread, that it was always best to leave emotion out of flying. It was just action and reaction. Whoever did this must know the same, or understand the same principles. This was calculated, my Weyrwoman,” he whispered.
He swallowed hard -- his throat had gone dry just thinking about it. “Unless the traders have knowledge about the workings of our Weyr, this means that someone who knows the layout of our Weyr has committed this crime. It’s possible that it was even someone inside the Weyr itself, and for that reason, my Weyrwoman, you should be very careful these next couple of days. We don’t know if this person could strike again. Today it was just the Headwoman. And as upsetting as that is, it would be a worse blow if it happened to you. I don’t mean to alarm you, I just want you to be aware of the possibility.”
Mosiliath then spoke to Archith. I do not know what I could help with as far as this search goes, but if need be, I could stay and protect you and the Weyrwoman,[/b][/color] he offered.
Post by Ghost of Fire (Fëanáro) on Aug 8, 2012 7:03:03 GMT -8
“Nothing unexpected,” T’kar told Ylara. His face was a polite mask, giving nothing away. If they didn’t find out sooner, he intended to tell the Wing what had happened when the search was called in. As D’gan left to go investigate further, T’kar slipped closer to Rilora. He told himself it was to offer comfort, but in truth, he was almost half asking for comfort, he had none of D’gan’s experience with the constant danger of fighting Thread, for he had been a mere child when Threadfall ended.
D’gan came back out then, and told said that not only had the Headwoman had apparently been murdered by experts. Not only experts, but experts with a working knowledge of the interior layout of the Weyr.
As could I, Ancalanath offered, curving his neck slightly. He meant every word, of course, for Golden Archith was the Queen, and as such was entitled to his service and protection, but there was also a slight friendly competitiveness there as well. It wouldn’t do to be completely upstaged by Mosiliath.
The Woodrider narrowed her eyes, but wisely said nothing, though she was annoyed at not being informed what was going on. Taking a deep breath, her head turned towards the now closed door and she resisted the urge to go over and see what it hid. Given what she'd found in Lindalyn's room, it could only be one thing, if they were working so hard to hide it from the kitchen and Cavern staff. Shivering slightly, she turned her head away, closing her eyes, but the sight she'd seen upon entering the Headwoman's room entered her mind again, burned into the backs of her eyelids, as the saying went.
Shuddering again, she moved to lean against one of the tables, her legs weakened by everything that was going on, all the horror, the fear, that had come along with it.
T'kar broke the news to her first. She lurched a little, a mix of pain, shock and nausea. She felt like throwing up. Lindalyn dead. Murdered. In her own bed. Lindalyn...
She watched in silence, mouth slightly agape, as D'gan left. Should she go see after? Would it be better to know so no one could question her knowledge or D'gan or T'kar's word? Her head and heart throbbed together. This was wrong. No, this was past wrong.
Silence. Awful silence. Shuffling in the other room.
I am sorry, Mine, Archith mourned, her head drooping and weighted with the feelings of her Rider.
"Ylara," Rilora said first, her order of response surprised even her. She motioned the other woman closer, "I see on your face you already know. Lindalyn's...been murdered," saying it herself just made it worse. "I don't want the Weyr in a panic. We must address this immediately and with strength." The fear that plagued Rilora made her feel as if she were lying. She didn't feel strong at all. She just wanted to curl up and hide and grieve. This last push of hurt induced control would end soon. "Please...if you would guide the weyrlings away, calmly," Rilroa requested, gesturing at the sobbing young White Rider.
Archith, if you've stirred the Weyr or when they do wake, please inform them there's a crisis we must address and I'll be speaking to them this morning. I'm hoping for a few hours to pull together, ok?
Yes, LoveRilora, of course, Archith said quickly. The role asked of her gave the Queen back the lift to her head and the glint in her eye. She could take this, move this burden away from her Rilora. She tensed her limbs and head her head straight and tall, peering at Mosiliath and Ancalanath. RiloraMine says we must address the Weyr of this. There is danger in this, one of our own killed in the night. We must not cause a panic. We must tell them with our heads high and our jaws set. We are not afraid, justice will come swiftly to these criminals. Rilora wishes we speak to them in a few hours, but we must let them know to gather. The Bowl, whomever is up let them know. And continue to tell the Weyr. We will do this well because we must.
Archith in control, Rilora started to lose it. Quiet tears welled up and spilled out over her cheeks as she tried not to alarm the others. She buried her face in her palms and let out a wail. Lindalyn was dead. D'gan said she could be next. Her stomach felt as if it would burst out of her and she would be left as a permanent heap on the floor. "Lindalyn's gone..." the moan escaped. "She's gone..." Her own hysterics gave her shivers.
Ylara started as she heard her name said in a female tone, and her eyes opened, moving to rest on the Goldrider as she was motioned over. Pushing off the table, she did as asked, listening carefully to the instructions she was given. Take the Weyrlings away calmly. Nodding, fighting back tears herself, she moved to corral the three younger riders, putting an arm around Kokoro's shoulders and motioning to the two boys. "Come with me, you three," she said gently. "We've been asked to keep this to ourselves for now."
It was hard enough listening as Rilora mustered the last of her strength to give orders, but the sound of her wail raised the hair on his arms. So this was it. He wasn’t quite sure what he had expected her to do when she received the news, if anything at all. She knew the Headwoman much better than he did. Perhaps that was why he felt little else, save for a sense of duty to the Weyr. Or maybe it was just instinct kicking in, and he would be able to feel more about the situation later, when he was able to consider his own thoughts on the matter.
Breathing out a hard stream of air, more restless than upset, D’gan stood idly by while Rilora cried. Manners told him to try and comfort her, console her, to take her by the hand and lead her back to her weyr for rest, but T’kar was already by her side, and he felt he did not know the Weyrwoman enough to be so informal with her. So unless she specifically asked for him to do that – which he doubted, given her current state – then he would do the only thing he knew how to do, was trained to do: protect the Weyr.
If he was unable to help the Weyrwoman, then the first thing to do was to have Lindalyn properly taken care of. They couldn’t have a body lying around and gathering dust, for multiple reasons. Next was damage control, which included cleaning up the blood, sorting through the Headwoman’s personal belongings (privacy no longer being a concern), and seeing to the weyrlings and other Riders involved. If all went according to plan, then by that time Rilora would be addressing the Weyr in the Bowl.
Were she not in such a state, D’gan would have asked her if he could be excused from the meeting. He was determined to find out more on this trading business, and if something could be found in Lindalyn’s office before the meeting, it would give him more of an idea on who they were facing. This was important, because if they were going against someone inside the Weyr itself, they would either try to blend in with the crowd, or take the opportunity to pack up and leave unnoticed.
If the former, then missing the Weyr address would tell him that the person was either a part of the crowd, or not in the Weyr anymore. If the latter, then it would be easy enough to find them.
But until then, there was still Rilora.
D’gan turned to face her, sympathy written in his eyes and on his face. “My Weyrwoman, I know this is a terrible shock to you, but I feel you should try and get some rest. There is no telling how much of it you will be able to get later on, and you should be alert at all times. You can’t do that half-asleep.” So it wasn’t the most understanding statement, but it was the truth, and it was something the Weyr needed the most right now.
"T'kar, you should accompany the Weyrwoman back to her weyr and check to see her own quarters are safe. There's no telling what might happen once the news is out."
Meanwhile, Mosiliath nodded to Archith, his own mission and sense of purpose clear. He would leave the guarding to Ancalanath, if he wished to take it on. He already knew D’gan was thinking a meter a minute, as it always did in difficult situations. So he did the same. Before taking off for the Heights, Mosiliath wondered, Queen Archith, will it be necessary to start chewing firestone?[/b][/color]
Personally, he hated the aftertaste, but as an intimidation factor, fire was one of the best – and who knew if they would need it today or not.