An Offer of Assistance

Characters D'lei, N'sir, R'sner, Risali
Synopsis N'sir and R'sner travel to Xanadu with an offer of assistance from Igen.
Out-of-Character Date March 10, 2019

Xanadu Weyr - Weyrleaders' Office
Office and retreat, this is the domain of Xanadu's Weyrleaders. The door is in the southern wall, quite close to the western end while the northern wall is dominated by big, expansive windows, framed by sumptuous deep blue drapes edged with a brilliant gold braid and tied back with a thick rope of braided gold and blue cord. In between, the western wall is covered floor to ceiling with shelves that house all sorts of records, manuals and supplies that are used on a day-to-day basis.

The southern wall has the Weyrleader's desk -- plain fellis wood, well polished and masculine. From behind his desk, the Weyrleader can look straight through the windows and out onto the main airspace of Xanadu. The eastern wall is where the Weyrwoman's desk resides: a lovely piece of furniture made of warm cherry wood. From her seat, a glance sideways gives her an equally good prospect out the window. There are a few other seats, some comfortably arranged around a low round table for small, informal meetings while there also some that can be drawn up to one of the desks.

On the west side of the door, the space is occupied by a low oblong table where refreshments can be set without someone needing to intrude. There is also an 'incoming' tray where incoming correspondence or similar items can be left.

Spring in the South/Autumn in the North - Month 9 of Turn 2720

The upside of having a nosy former healer turned greenrider as a son-in-law? N'sir and R'sner hear about all the interesting/scary/gross things going on all over Pern long before most do. In this case, the scary/interesting/gross thing is zombie children in Xanadu. Of course, N'sir had immediately wanted to help. But really, he's a tailor, not a healer, what can he do? While Tailor he might be? He's a clever little git and had immediately struck on the notion that people are likely to want to protect thier uninfected children. Given they don't really seem to know how the illness is transmitted, getting the aforementioned children away from the dangerzone only seems wise. Better still, Igen is dancing on the brink of having an army of Candidates at their disposal, and, with the desire to lend a hand being echoed by the leadership, N'sir and R'sner are off to Xanadu to drop in— Unexpectedly as heck— on Risali and offer housing in their glorious desert weyr for the unaffected youth of Xanadu, and any other weyr that might desire such a thing.

So it is that N'sir comes striding down the hallway with R'sner in tow, a determined glint in his eye as he heads directly for the office door. "It's the least we can do," he murmurs as he brushes his curls off his face and wraps on the door. "I mean, we have /all/ that space around the weyrlake, we can set up tents, get the dragons out there to entertain the children.. It'll be like summer camp, only better." Cause really? Children panic in the face of things like Zombies. Summer camp? Way better option then mass panic and fear, right? Right!

R'sner isn't so sure he wants to be anywhere near a plague-ridden (and apparently, child-zombie-infested) Weyr. But N'sir will not be discouraged, and there's no way he's going to let him go alone. So he is here, shooting side-eyes at anything that looks like it might be infected with the plague (or a carrier of it) … which means he's pretty much glaring at everything and everyone. Nothing new. Pretty much his M.O. And rather than comment on the 'least' that they can do, and all that space, Res opts for an apprehensive "Did you tell them we were coming?" Do the Weyrleaders of Xanadu even know they're here? Was this meeting schedule?! And really, standing outside the door to the office is *probably* not the time to be asking this question.

WERE THEY EXPECTED? Well, no. No they were not, which might be why showing up now finds Risali seated most unceremoniously on the Weyrleader's desk. Yep, she's turned facing D'lei in his seat, with her feet settled on his lap and her body bowed as if she's talking to him about something very important. BUT DON'T WORRY: the door is, in fact, opened. That means that they're ready to receive company - or, perhaps, resignation to the fact that the stream of interruptions just doesn't seem to stop lately. Regardless, Risali is whispering something with the kind of look that says she's angry (even if that anger is not aimed at the Weyrleader, but more likely one of their Lord Holders) seconds before the sound of conversation right out in the hall draws her attention up. So HERE WE ARE, with Risali turning to look over her shoulder with a downward pull of lips and a scowl set on her fact that takes a moment - two, three - for her to clear away with the soft clearing of her throat. "N'sir," she says to the more familiar face, though R'sner gets a dip of her head before she hesitates. "Did you… need help?"

D'lei has not been turned into a zombie by disease. You can tell, because - while he does have a unfocused look to his gaze - there are no red spots of rash. He's just tired from dealing with the infections and their consequences, not actually infected himself! Or at least… he doesn't seem to be. Bacteria and/or virii are sneaky, though! They're hardly going to limit themselves to the over-full infirmary… at least the relatively empty caverns mean fewer animate disease vectors for R'sner to glare at? And there's no active outbreaks of zombieism on the way. Everything is- uh- it could be worse, okay. D'lei leans his head back against his chair, resisting the urge to close his eyes and sleep by keeping them focused on Risali. His hands are tucked around her calves, lightly rubbing there as she uses him as her personal footrest, and he answers her anger-face with his wry-grimace one. And so they would have continued, except… D'lei turns his gaze to the unexpected guests as well, with an arch of his brows to echo Risa's question as his face shifts toward a pleasant neutral.

And N'sir? About the most informal person on the face of Pern. That much is clear when he immediately flashes a smile at Risali and walks right on in to the office with the intent to hug her. "You shouldn't frown like that," he chides. "You'll get wrinkles." And, of course, unless she's going to physically stop him? He's gonna hug her and plant a kiss on her cheek. "You look so tired," he draws back just enough to study her face. She's not walking dead, so that's a good thing, but still he's worried and it shows in the glimmer in dark eyes as he studies her face. Course, his attention is sweeping to D'Lei just as quickly, a frown dancing on his lips at the clear exhaustion written on the man's face. "Have either of you eaten? You need to remember to eat." Really, one would think N'sir was here to mother hen them into taking care of themselves. "Tch." The sound of very maternal frustration is promptly followed by his hands giving an airy wave at the thought of him needing help. He's /fine/. He has the very best protector on the face of Pern—and her Rider helps, too. >.> "No.. No.. We heard about what was happening in Xanadu and I spoke to Neyuni about it. If you are interested, Igen is offering to house the uninfected children for as long as is necessary for you to get this undercontrol. I thought we could set up more tents around the lake, campfires, make a summer camp out of it to make it fun for them." And not scary and horrible. "We'll have Candidates in the barracks soon, so lots of hands on deck to help tend to them and keep them distracted." And, of course, it means a plethora of little darlings for N'sir to dote on. Win/Win.

Well… woops? At least they come barging in with an offer of assistance rather than demanding help. Or, rather, N'sir comes barging in, and R'sner issues a too-late, "wait…" and makes a too-late grab to try and wrangle him back a bit because he sees those angry-and-wry-grimace expressions. But, well… too late. N'sir's off to try and give hugs and kisses and basically defy death, and R'sner is left looking thoroughly awkward and scowl-y and just altogether not happy to be here. But he follows, flashing not-happy apologetic looks at both D'lei and Risali, and offering a much more subdued, "Weyrleader, Weyrwoman," in greeting. A grimace, and there's suddenly a hand on N'sir's back and a low murmur of something along the lines of "leave them alone and get to the point" (only nicer) because there is a point. And then he does, and Res can maybe breath a small sigh of relief that they're not about to get thrown out of Xanadu (maybe?).

Risali doesn't hesitate, but it might be slightly awkward because the Weyrwoman doesn't exactly move either. Still, she leans sideways into that hug, wrapping both arms around the Igenite's chest and tilting her head into that kiss to her cheek right before the inspection of her face starts. Risali holds N'sir's gaze for a heartbeat, and then breaks eye contact at the same moment that she draws away from his body to look at D'lei. "We've eaten," Risali offers up softly, tilting her head back towards N'sir. "Soriana keeps bringing us food." All said with a half-pull at the corner of her lips that bespeaks affection. Apparently N'sir isn't the only mother-hen in their midsts, more evident one of Risa's hands comes down on N'sir's face as if she's inspecting him before asking, "Have you?" Because SOMETHING MADE HIM HAVE A LAPSE IN JUDGEMENT TO COME TO THE PLAGUE WEYR. Then there's R'sner, and while Risali's smile (and that second dip of her head in hello) are both muted, there's no agitation or heat behind them. She's just… tired, even if D'lei is the one who looks to be resisting the lull of sleep. "R'sner," she says softly, because she does remember his name, and then she's listening to the offer that N'sir brings forth to their table. She stares at him for a moment, as if maybe she didn't quite hear him, and then stares at D'lei, as if maybe she got lost somewhere in translation and needs help. Slowly though, Risali breathes out, "Did Neyuni… you are aware that we cannot guarantee that just because some of the children aren't showing symptoms yet, it doesn't mean they aren't sick, and therefore taking on our burden could still well mean a spread of it in Igen?" Because, truth be told, the healers are still dumbfounded. She's not trying to be cruel, of course, but when those grey eyes focus back on N'sir, it's painfully evident that the Weyrwoman isn't exactly sure that Igen knows what it's in for.

Apparently frowns are also contagious, because N'sir telling Risali not to do so makes D'lei do it, a slight tuck of his chin to go with downturned lips and a sharpening of the contours around eyes. "Hff." Which is not exactly an answer about his dietary habits, even if it is in response. Risali's answer is more word-ful, and D'lei… does not add to it. Instead, he just continues to regard the Igen pair with amber eyes slightly shadowed by the tilt of his head, his main attention on N'sir but shifting to R'sner long enough to give an acknowledging nod. N'sir gets a faint nod for his mention of this… situation… followed by an arch of D'lei's brows. His head tilts up, and his mouth starts to open… then closes again… and his jaw sets for a moment before he forces a smile. "We appreciate your desire to help." Buuuut yeah, there are definitely some concerns to be talked about, and he nods as Risali expresses one of them.

"Of course I am," N'sir assures in quiet tones. "They're children, though, and from what I hear it's already spreading." There is a risk, but he's confident that Igen's dry environment will prove stronger then the plague. "Xanadu needs help, Igen is offering help. You'd do the same for us." Of that, he is absolutely certain. "We've healers and precautions can be taken." It's a risk, but then all of life is a risk. Glancing between the weyrwoman and the weyrleader, his expression softens. He cannot imagine the stress they must be under, but that is not going to stop him from making the offer he came to make. "I realize you will have to think about it," he assures. "And you should take all the time you need to do so. The offer is there. We'll sure that they are comfortable and entertained and that we do what we can to make this whole situation easier on them. And you both."

R'sner is just here to be a body guard. What, exactly, he thinks he can do in the fact of illness? Who knows. Maybe glower it to death. He's certainly giving it his best attempt. There's a clench of his jaw at the mention of spreading it to Igen, and his hand tightens at N'sir's back. Whether it is in warning, or support, is left unspecified. But he certainly doesn't look happy, or like he is at all interested in arguing the merits of letting potential-plague-carriers into his Weyr. But N'sir is. And so R'sner stays silent. Stoney-faced and scowling at the wall, his hand fisting in N'sir's shirt as if he might yank him back at any moment (He won't), and his thoughts kept well within his own head. It's that 'do the same for us' that has his gaze sliding back to his weyrmate, eyebrow cocked in a very sarcastic expression of 'would they now?' that definitely goes unspoken. "I don't think it's the comfort of the children that makes them hesitate," comes in a low drawl, the weyrlingmaster's gaze lifting to regard D'lei and Risali at the desk. R'sner, at least, is taking that warning about spreading the infection to Igen very, very seriously.

"It is," Risali whispers, "but I don't have anything official yet to confirm that." Meaning: yes, but not that she's willing to throw anybody under the bus about. Just unofficial word-of-mouth from one of the people who'd definitely know. As for Xanadu doing the same, Risali's gaze shifts to D'lei's, holds for a long moment, as if she's searching for an answer in her Weyrleader's expression, and then looking back in just enough time to catch R'sner's expression. There's a pull of her lips to the side that's lacking in humor, but Risali answers with, "We would." Because of course Xanadu would provide aide, and then those grey eyes are jumping back to R'sner and there's a brief smile that comes, a flicker of something that's amused despite being not. "Actually," she continues with, "I am, and I'm sure D'lei is also, concerned about their comfort as well. Igen is… very hot. It's… coming from Xanadu to Igen will be a bit of a shellshock, so I am concerned about a few things. Are the tents going to have something to help keep it cooler? And, if the children do develop fever, dry and hot isn't exactly the most… conducive for combating that, so would our sick children be moved to the infirmary?"

There's an inward tug at one corner of D'lei's mouth as he meets Risali's gaze, one that edges toward grimace as she speaks to R'sner… then shifts to overall concern as she moves on to another of theirs, giving a nod as she speaks. "I've been to Igen," he says, leaning forward a little as he does, and one corner of his mouth twitches wryly. "Most of these children haven't. They won't be used to the heat, or the dry air, or the risks of sunburn and heatstroke. I know you're used to candidates… but those are old enough to have a little sense." A crooked smile, because D'lei has met candidates, and he's not going to necessarily claim they have a ton of it, but still. "These kids aren't." And besides, they'll be stressed by the disease and evacuation, not excited and eager to learn about their new potential home. "Even if none of them are sick," which, as already established, is very far from a certainty despite best efforts all around, "they're going to take a lot more attention than your own children to keep safe, healthy… and comfortable." His eyes shift to R'sner for that last, then return back to N'sir as the speaker-of-ideas.

N'sir knows R'sner /hates/ the very thought of it. He does. Even if his beloved's hand was not tightly gripping his shirt and even if he were not glowering the fiercest glower to ever be glowered, N'sir knows. But he also knows that doing nothing is reprehensible and it is a thought he cannot, and will not tolerate. "I am aware of the risks," he states flatly to R'sner. Clearly, there has been some bickering, or at least, disagreement on the matter. But at the end of the day, the mental health and well being of children is far more important to N'sir then any risk to himself. "If need be, we can always sequester them away from the general populace." N'sir provides. "There are camps just outside the weyr that could be used for such a purpose. But if the feeling is that the risk is to great," he adds to Risali and D'lei. "Let us know what Igen can do to be of assistance." Looking back at Risali, his expression softens, dark eyes completely sympathetic to the concerns. "There is no way that sick children would be untended, Risali." He would tend them, himself, if need be. "And yes, Igen is hot, but the tents are designed to keep things cool. It would be a change, undeniably, but I have always found that children flourish when things are presented as an outting. Fortunately, it is considerably cooler near the lake." And, as much as he wants to help, he understands the concerns completely. Unfortunately, he cannot make Igen cooler. "If it is not viable, I understand. But please do know that we want to extend what help we can.. If necessary, perhaps," he adds with a glance toward D'lei and a firm nod of understanding. "Perhaps the weyrs wanting to lend aide can determine a suitable spot for such a thing. One that would not stress the children out as much as Igen might? It does not have to be Igen," he stresses. Falling silent for a long moment, he shifts his weight, stepping in closer to R'sner as he glances between the two. "Let us know what we can do?"

It is no secret that R'sner is not here to argue for this idea. But he is also not about to engage in an argument against it. Not while he's standing in Xanadu's office, with their Weyrleadership present. Whatever arguments he might make, they will be made in privacy (and likely, have already been made). It is the concerns voiced, and N'sir's return, that has him grimacing again. And it is for the love of his weyrmate and the knowledge that this is incredibly important to him that he adds, "We're moving into autumn in the north. Although Igen will remain hot, it will not be as hot as it would during the summer." And of course, the hope is that by the time summer rolls around, this plague is under control (Res can dream!). "There are also plenty of vacant caverns and empty hallways that could be made into a temporary barracks, if the tents on the beach prove unfavorable. If—" and here he hesitates, jaw tense and hand tight once again, "If any of the children show signs of infection, they would receive immediate care. Whether that means a return to Xanadu, or that Igen's facilities take up the task, the child would be treated as best we can." As much as they are able, given their limited knowledge of this plague and its treatments. "This is not an illness that has confined itself to Xanadu. As much as I might… dislike the idea," hate-hate-HATE the idea, "sitting idle does nothing to prevent the spread of infection to Igen. Your infirmaries are stressed. Your people are stressed. Igen is offering a safe harbor for the children that are, so far, unaffected by the illness as a means of trying to… relieve some of that burden."

Risali is silent as she listens, first watching N'sir and returning his softening expression with a muted smile, and then listening to R'sner, as he points out what more they'd be willing to do to assist with keeping the children comfortable outside of their own home weyr. "You have sandstorms," she says with a hush. "And we have children that are showing remarkably capable of getting lost when nobody is looking. Maybe even right into the water," where they might keep going until it's too late to find them again - not before they've already drown. "I would feel more comfortable agreeing to their displacement if the vacant caverns could be used. I would feel even more comfortable if we could send some of our healers to Igen with them, and if Igen, in turn, would send some healers back - so that they can learn and train without leaving either of us more understaffed in the event that the unthinkable finds its way to Igen." A beat, and then she finds R'sner's eyes, holds them for a moment, before looking to N'sir, "And Xanadu will provide supplies to help with the understanding that our healers have told us the sick shouldn't be moved once they're showing symptoms." A heartbeat, and then she's looking to D'lei, reaching out to catch one of the Weyrleader's wrists, "Unless you have any more ideas. We can take time to discuss it together before we give them an answer." It's almost rude, except that Risali isn't going to dismiss the Igen riders for five seconds of conversation.

D'lei shifts his gaze between the two Igen riders, listening to them and… thinking, with little twitches of brow and lips as he does. His gaze shifts to Risali as she begins to speak, the remembered worry and the nod for more-secure caverns instead of tents it's easy to wriggle out of, for healer cross-training (a fine idea even when there isn't a crisis to spark it!) and… now Risali's gaze is back on him, and he curls his fingers up to catch her even as he looks away to N'sir. "We'll speak with parents here. They're the ones who'll know their children best, and whether they're likely to do well in the heat and adventures or… need more familiar circumstances." Some kids thrive on outings. Others throw tantrums for the disruption of their routines! "Perhaps some slightly older ones, as well. We… have our own eggs on the sands, but we could send healthy candidates to you until they're nearer hatching." The eggs, that is, not the candidates. "You might find some willing to stand for yours, as well." There's always more candidates than there are eggs, after all, and who wouldn't want an extra chance at finding their lifemate? "They'd be there to help, of course. As candidates do." Which would also help reduce the worries about taking care of the other kids, by bringing along some Autumn-Camp Junior Counselors!

N'sir closes his eyes when R'sner steps in and salvages his arguement, one arm slipping around his weyrmate's waist in a show of unspoken gratitude. He is, however, listening to what is being said, his arm tightening around R'sner's waist. "I am sure that any caregivers that are symptom free would be welcomed, Risali. The more familiar faces around the more comfortable the children will be. We would never offer to take the children into our care and leave them unattended. As for healers? I have no doubt that more then a few would be willing to affect an exchange, I am sure they are eager to learn as much about this illness as they possibly can." And the exchange of information, not to mention fresh eyes on the problem, could be invaluable on all fronts. "Of course," he assures both Risali and D'lei. "Take all the time you need and let us know when you reach a decision. If you feel it is not in the best interest of the children, please, /please/ let us know what we can do to help?" He is, however, glancing up at R'sner, his head tilting to momentarily rest his cheek against his weyrmate's arm. "Elianneth and Toith will relay any messages right away," he assures as he draws back a step to depart.

"We cannot speak for the Weyrleaders," adds R'sner, whose gaze slides briefly to his weyrmate. "But my understanding is that they were amenable to Igen's lending aid." Translation: Res has no idea if Al'dru and Neyuni will go for the idea of allowing Xanadu and Igen healers to cross-train, but he's pretty sure they will. HE, on the other hand, is not looking so thrilled at the idea of bringing more people to Igen. Especially people who have been working with all these sick children and potentially carry the virus/bacteria/rash/whatever-it-is. But while his expression goes sour again, he won't rescind any of his former statements. But he will say that, "Those of candidate age would be welcome," because he is the Weyrlingmaster, and at least has authority over those that wear a white knot. And those that end up being unsuccessful on the sands here at Xanadu would then at least have experience in Igen and be more willing to Stand for them, which Res can only consider a good thing.

Risali looks between N'sir and R'sner and… she smiles. It's genuine, despite how tired she looks. "We understand," about things needing to be cleared with Neyuni. "So you also, please, let us know - or have your leadership reach out to us. And we will reach out with Xanadu's decision as well." And then she's reaching out to catch N'sir's hands with her own, to squeeze. "Thank you." DON'T GET EMOTIONAL. RISA IS TOO MUCH OF A BADASS FOR THAT. SHUT UP. And then she's nodding to R'sner. "Both of you," even if she doesn't reach out to touch the much more prickly man. SHE SEES YOU, PORCUPINE IN DISGUISE (which are like, the cutest, so it's fine). "If you will both excuse us, I… need a moment with my Weyrleader. Shut the door on your way out, please?"

"We all seek what is best for our Weyrs, and for Pern." D'lei smiles, to N'sir, and then to R'sner, where his gaze remains for a moment. "Sometimes, it is challenging to know the right balance of those… but that's our goal. It's just getting there that's the trouble, because there's no shortcuts between when it comes to doing the right thing." A wry smile, and then he nods. "We'll talk again soon." Whether it's in person, or… the less infection-risking draconic option. "Thank you." And then they get to flee, flee, fleeeeee from the plague-ridden Weyr, and can scrub their hands as many times as they like… while D'lei and Risali get back to their serious conversations at his desk, now with an entirely (okay, mostly) new topic to discuss!

N'sir smiles as he takes Risali's hands and immediately steps back in to hug her. He can't help it, he adores the woman. "There was no chance that I would not do everything I could to help you," he murmurs. Course, she's a tough gal and he lets her go almost immediately. He's a hugger, it's just his nature. Offering a more reserved smile to D'lei, he lowers his head in a polite bob. "Thank you for taking the time to hear us out. It means a lot." Without missing a beat, he's moving right back to R'sner's side, letting the weyrlingmaster guide him out the door. Course, he makes a point to pull the door closed behind him and slants a grateful look up to R'sner's face. He KNOWS the weyrlingmaster hates this whole thing, but he still supported him and that means the world to N'sir. "Home?"

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