Personal Responsibility - Clutch 47

Weyrlingmaster's Office
The first thing that comes to your attention as you enter the office is the large desk at the rear of the room. While it is by no means sloppy, it is cluttered with records and the bits and pieces that go with the training of many weyrlings. On one wall is a counter, flanked by sets of shelves which contain tanned hides, assorted containers of metal buckles and reinforcements, and the tools with which to work them. The counter itself, as well as a rack on the opposite wall, holds riding straps in various states of construction, some of them more expertly done than others.

R'ell walks in from the barracks.

It was the crusty brownrider L'nin who had told R'ell that he was expected in the weyrlingmaster's office. It is not that same old dragonrider sitting behind the desk. Rather, D'baji has come back to his former workspace, and has settled into the chair with all too much familiarity. The weyrleader has some hides before him, which he reviews absently, surely having gone over them in greater detail a bit earlier. Sleeves of his tunic are rolled up to expose large (and hairy!) arms, and his silver-and-red hair is a bit mussed, likely from the wind. Not terribly formal in his looks, and yet the way he sits still commands authority. And he waits for the weyrling.

R'ell was probably surprised to hear that it was the Weyrleader himself who called him into the office, and said surprise doesn't really dimish much once he actually confirms it. He enters and it's a hesitant moment, as if he suddenly realizes that D'baji's posture is none too pleasant, and he snaps to a sharp salute, holding it. "Sir! You wanted to see me, sir?" Yes, that's right, let's put 'sir' at the end of every sentance, we'll see if it helps.

D'baji is to his feet the moment R'ell has entered the room, offering back a crisp salute in return to the weyrling. "Yes, weyrling." There's the slightest stress on the title. He lets his arms reach down, leaning forward a bit until his knuckles have rest against the desk. A bit of an ominous loom. "You may sit." Despite the verb, it's quite clear that this is more order than invitation.

Only releasing himself from his salute as D'baji does, R'ell tenses as he stresses 'weyrling', sitting down as directed and sitting as far back in the chair as he can as if to escape that loom. He doesn't say anything more, eyes on the desk ahead of him for a few moments before they rise and meet the Weyrleader's.

D'baji takes a deep breath as the weyrling settles himself, eyebrows lowering just a touch to give him an outright stern expression. There's a moment, presumably for the gathering of his thoughts - or just to make

R'ell squirm a bit. And then, "So. You've been a bronzerider of the Weyr for just over a sevenday now. Tell me, what does that mean? What expectations come with that? What duties? What privileges?" The burly man's accent is all but gone, with careful enunciation. Eyes stay on R'ell faces, presumably keeping eyecontact, if the boy doesn't look away.

R'ell is suddenly confused at these unexpected questions, and it takes him a moment for his brain to formulate a response to hopefully placate this formidable man in front of him. With a tone that takes a few syllables to hold any confidence, he rattles off a list of some of the cliche expectations, duties, and privileges of weyrlingriders. He blinks as he speaks, but eyecontact isn't broken - he's not about to let this man know that he's being fully intimidated just yet. His list is concluded with a loud "sir!", gripping the armrests of the chair.

D'baji gives no sign of satisfaction of disapproval of the weyrling's answer. He still maintains that looming posture. "And then what is a dragonrider's chief concern? And you, R'ell, what - or rather, who - is your chief concern?" A better hint at what the bronzerider wishes to hear, perhaps.

"Sunevoth, sir!" R'ell says immediately, without hesitation. More gripping of the chair's arms.

Now D'baji changes his position. While no longer keeping that ominous lean, he does draw himself up to his full height. Bigger, if not so close. "Now tell me, weyrling, what are the restrictions that have been placed on your activities?"

There's a visible fall of R'ell's chest, a tiny sigh escaping him as the Weyrleader stops leaning towards him in such a frightful manner. A bigger D'baji doesn't scare him so much as an ominously-looming D'baji. Again, the newly minted bronze weyrling rattles off the entire list of forbidden activities, including "no drinking, and no relationships." L'nin has bellowed this enough times that R'ell should know it by heart, by now.

The nod of D'baji's head comes, however, when 'no violence' is listed off. Those big arms are crossed over that barrel chest. No matter how you look at him, D'baji is an impressively large man. He tilts his head just a bit, so as to view the young man's face full-on from his stand. "And how do these restrictions protect the youngest, and therefore most vulnerable, dragons of the Weyr?"

R'ell sees the nod, though no outward change is detected in his expression. "To keep them from emotional distress, sir!" It's a simple enough response, which implies loads more. His eyes start darkening after that though, as he tries to catch on why exactly he's in this office.

D'baji nods his head again to that - and then uncrosses his arms and sets back to leaning on that desc. His voice is a bit quieter, though for the increased proximity, chances are it's not in an attempt to be kind. "Go farther than that, weyrling. What consequences of these forbidden actions can cause your dragon to be distressed?"

R'ell is getting tired of the questions, and it shows as he shifts his weight in the chair. "If you're not careful, your dragon can go between forever, sir." There is wavering uncertainty at this point, as if he hadn't quite memorized this part of the instruction manual.

"Right." It's said powerfully, and D'baji's eyes have narrowed. "So if you start a fight, if you get knocked out, what happens to Sunevoth?" The weyrleader is unwilling to let up. A name has to be applied. Bring it home.

"He goes between, sir!" R'ell says forcibly, as if it's suddenly a hard question to answer. His knuckles are nearly white as he continues to grab the chair-arms with increasing pressure as D'baji presses on.

D'baji's face is stoney, serious, and he simply nods to the weyrling's answer. Slowly, the weyrleader straightens. And then drops back into the chair behind him, still sitting with the same authority, but certainly no longer on such an offensive of questions. He takes his time, allowing a good minute for the young man's answer to sink in. "Do you then agree, R'ell, that the loss of a dragon must be avoided? That it is the duty of every rider to protect the dragons of the Weyr?"

The point sinks in fast until R'ell's short attention span tells him that the uncomfortable silence is becoming suffocating. He shifts his weight in the chair again, "Yes, sir!"

"And if you were to hit M'cai - again," the slightest inclination of his head - oh, D'baji knows, "- and if he were to go unconscious, and Giavistoth were to go between, would you be respecting this duty, weyrling?"

R'ell's eyes narrow suddenly and claims, "It was self-defense, and over a week ago." Whatever nervousness he held is suddenly gone - so /this/ was what this was all about.

"It was against the rules of candidacy," comes back sharp, quick, and loud. "You well should have been thrown out, and you can consider yourself /extremely/ lucky to have been on those sands when Sunevoth found you." D'baji is up on his feet again. "You have been impressed only a week, weyrling, and I have heard of your attitude. You will /not/ threaten any other dragonriders. You will not threaten anyone. You will not risk a fight. I have no punishment for you for what was done in candidacy - the reason the rules are there is to keep hotheaded people who will lose their dragons immediately because of their idiocy out of weyrlinghood. But mark my words now," and a thick finger is pointed to R'ell. "If you so much as suggest violence, you and Sunevoth will be grounded and under weyrlingmaster supervision up until well after the other dragons have begun to fly with their riders. You have no special claim that exempts you from the rules; you perhaps even have /more/ of a responsibility to follow them, as a bronzerider who may one day /lead/ a wing, or the Weyr. You will begin to act appropriately as of /now/." And D'baji draws himself up, tugs at his tunic, and gives a low, "Understood?"

It's a long minute as R'ell grinds the information with sudden loathing. "Understood," he says tersely. "If I'm going to get blamed for all of this, you look into M'cai, too. He's runnin' around and kissin' boys." Vindictive to the last moment, he's determined to bring the other boy down with him as he dares continue to talk.

That comment has D'baji bending over the desk to bring him nose to nose with the younger bronzerider. His voice is kept low. "If even once I made you think that you could shirk personal responsibility for your own actions, you had best change your opinion on that /now/."

"Now," D'baji withdraws a bit, back to his knuckle-lean behind the desk, "you go back to your Sunevoth. And you remember what you risk losing when you lose your temper. And you remember your duty, to your dragon, and to your Weyr." A moment, in which he stares pointedly at the weyrling's eyes, to make sure the point has been got across. Words are sharp and quick when D'baji barks, "You are dismissed, weyrling."

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