Rilora stood atop one of the field's hills, skirts whirling about her ankles. It was a strikingly peaceful day. In the crook of two hills rested her Gold, Archith. Her hide shimmered lightly. The sunny, humid afternoon drifted aimlessly along as the clouds above. She scanned the skies for one particular cloud. Things had become particularly tense since the Flight a little over a month ago. She sought R'le's council, or at least his friendship. He was one of the Riders she knew best. So until they spoke, she relaxed on the hill, blessedly away from the Weyr and its problems for a moment.
R’le slipped out of the weyr proper and just started to book it. He didn’t want to be roped into anything else now. Quiorith was waiting and too moments later they were in the air.
Where they belonged.
Too soon they spotted their destination, but a little loop was put into place before they landed at least. There was at least time for a little daredevil stunting. At least for a moment. They were on the ground in a moment, and Quiorith left R’le to chat. He looked around, appreciating the scenery for a moment before giving his hail.
“Yinaire is good, she’s been asking for me more often.” He grinned. The look of a man just loving being a parent. “I’ve been singing for her and she sings along, she’ll be a natural, you watch.” Not that R’le was the best singer, but he hit good enough most days.
“Retny’s fine. This whole thing though, well you ask her if you want to know more about that.” Or Retny would have already told Rilora. He wouldn’t be surprised.
“How goes with you?” He kept his tone light. He’d not dive into the recent evens until asked for it. He’d rather not break into it. He had just ducked away from work after all.
Rilora smiled at his news of his daughter. She was a darling little girl and she hoped she would make a beautiful singer, among other things. R'le looked appropriately proud.
"Retny knows," Rilora waved his comment away. Her council, her weyrwomen were always the first to be dragged into such politics. It was, by definition, their jobs. "I am managing. I would be content to be perfectly content if not for this bloody war, whatever cursed souls brought it upon this world. I am somehow hopeful that it will end soon. I'm not sure what people will think, perhaps except that the majority and those not constantly plagued by plots will simply be glad that it is over." She had strayed into work talk. So soon. Rilora sighed. Maybe they could get this work related chat over with and simply enjoy the rest of the time she could afford away from her office?
"You're a good judge of characters. What do you think?"
R’le nodded in agreement as far as the war went. As for the other part, he took in a deep breath.
“Well I know he’s gonna be a fiery thorn in my side personally. I don’t know if ya didn’t pick up on it but he’s about as proper a dragon rider as there was and that’s just grand but now he’s gonna have an opinion on me and that’s where things go sideways.” R’le let out a long sigh. “He’s infuriatingly organized, don’t ya think? I’m going to have to do so much more work.” He groaned. He did snap right out of it though. “By the way, don’t you dare things you can get outta this by not making someone else Weyrleader because I swear if you try to shove that my direction I will show you exactly how much I have been holding back playing hooky.” Just because the statement was funny, didn’t mean he wasn’t dead serious about that.
"R'le, I'm sure I don't know what you mean," Rilora laughed at her friend and gave him a tight smile. He could be annoyed to have more work, that was granted. But what was this business about someone else being or not being Weyrleader? If Rainbow Mists wasn't already marked enough as having some wild progressive agenda when it came to laws, declaring someone other than the winner of the senior Queen's Flight the Weyrleader would certainly brand them with that label for life. Well, perhaps more so. They were already noticed as different. "I'm sorry V'lan gets on your nerves. I hope you can be cordial for the sake of Weyr relations, though I know you already are." She regretted now bringing up work.
"I'll make sure you still have time for your family. Please don't fret so."
R’le gave a little smirk before speaking again. “I don’t actually hate the guy, he seems alright for an Igen rider. Just if I had a choice we wouldn’t have to actually work with him. That ain’t how it works though.” He shrugged and then gave Rilora a pat on the back.
“If you didn’t I would. Thanks though.” He gave a grin. “What do you think about him? You’ve been doing most of the talking with him after all. You obviously don’t think he’s a complete dimglow if you are asking me about it.” It could be complicated though. Or he had a script? He’d let Rilora tell it.
"Thank you, R'le. You're a good friend. If I had your little one, I'd want all the time for family too." She relaxed an inch with the pat on the back. She was lucky to have an ally in this cloudy day Cloud Rider, as he liked to be known. No one could accuse him of being a workhorse, but he was loyal and honest and all the traits that really counted in supportive leadership. It wasn't like the slack couldn't be picked up elsewhere.
"Ah, well," Rilora blushed when he inquired about her opinion of V'lan. "I'm not sure I'm the best judge. Archith has thoroughly biased me." She excused her personal feelings through her Gold. She had taken quiet a liking to the BronzeRider. Her attraction to him had not faded in the least after the Flight. Though she would be embarrassed to be public about it, with politics as they were. "I quite like him."
“Ah.” R’le nodded once. Complicated it was. Flights were certainly something. He thought about it for a moment then grinned.
“Queen dragon interference or no, I take your opinion over most riders.” He chuckled then let out a sigh. “Doesn’t make it much easier about the rest though. Still, could be worse I suppose.” He let silence linger before reluctantly asking, “Any word about Igen’s next move?” Minimally, he expected a new diplomat. He kinda hoped the weyrleaders were flummoxed about what to do next.
"Well, thank you for that, R'le," Rilora smiled. Perhaps her fondness of the BronzeRider wasn't entirely misguided then. Not that she had much thought so, but as she had said, judgement...
"Honestly, Doramath took them quite by surprise. It's been an effort merely to get the letters flowing again, and that took no shortage of direct meetings at Fort. Faranth thank them for inviting the talks. Being the oldest Weyr they're good for that, though sky save us all should they ever fall into some mess again like all those Turns ago. But you're right, we could certainly be worse off. V'lan might be a bit of a traditionalist by southern standards, but he's rather moderate, hence why he was sent as a diplomat in the first place. And that may help us in negotiations, honestly, with securing the peace. Though I imagine we'll all be making concessions we don't much care for."
R’le listened, chuckling a little bit. A surprise all around then. Rilora continued to talk and he nodded, as Rilora was quite correct. Didn’t change his opinions of the man, but it was all quite true.
“Well it’s something. Movement at least.” He shrugged. “I do wonder about it all though, I was kinda hoping we would figure something out at this point. Well anyway, I will let you know what I hear from the other riders, I have been getting my ear talked off when V’lan’s out of earshot.” Most of which were just the sort of complaints that R’le himself had so nothing new there.
"Well, it's all very well they tell you, as long as I'm informed of it. The concerns, mind, those are the specifics I care for. It helps also that time has continued on, and the growing cycles and the weather are correcting themselves. We all had a hard time of it when this conflict started, food being short all round. But as it always does with time, it's being righted again. Talks are easier when folks and their loved ones have food in their bellies. I hate it's taken so long, but the factors are coming around that I suspect good progress this Turn. Not to mention I'm sure we're all tired of scratching each other up, going home to lick our wounds, only to do it all again."
"The Igenese have insisted a seat at the Hatching, you know. It's not without precedent when the sire is from another Weyr. The conflict makes it awkward, but diplomatic eggshell walking is preferable to Anaela aiming for my eye again. If you've my meaning. Of course I would like to have you and Retny at my side, should you be available." An invitation that was just as much one as not, for it would look best if they had all their company of leaders present. "Can I count on your levity and good humor in support?"
“I’ll let ya know.” He gave a little bit of a smile as Rilora went into it, sorta Weyrwoman Rilora mode. It was still Rilora, but she did act talk different when she was in business mode. Well work talk just sounded different he guessed.
“Heh, don’t worry, you got me in your corner. See if I don’t give a good show. I ain’t hall trained for nothing!” He joked but such things never really left him. “You’ll have me and Retny there, no worries.” R'le said it, so he'd make it happen.
"Good," Rilora let out an honest sigh. "Thank you. I get a bit stiff about all of it. But that's really the news for now. Unless you've other questions. If not, it's remained a rather nice day, and I'd like to go for a walk. Care to join me?"
Archith remained a lump between the hills, soundly asleep.