OOC: Set for later in the evening, the same day as M’ayan’s horrible lesson. (I believe, this is also the day all the approved girls saw the gold egg, and the day *after* Nayari laid down the law.)
After talking to Trifali, T’rif’s next stop was to look for Andreya. With so much going on, he wanted to make sure his other daughter was doing okay as well.
Everything was all happening at once, so many things that were just *not* good. Yes, she’d declined seeing the eggs with her cousin and had been told she’d have to wait until *all* the girls would be allowed to see the eggs (instead of just all the gold-hopeful girls). She’d accepted that decision of Kassia’s with grace, not letting the consequence of her decision bother her. The only thing that *had* bothered her about the decision was that it was going to mean longer before she could go back to assisting Kassia.
But then...but then a pair of *truly dimglow* boys had decided to feck everything up by deciding to get on the Sands during their egg-viewing and actually sprint toward the eggs! She couldn’t even imagine what had been going on in those boys heads that sprinting *toward* a broody gold guarding a clutch containing not just one gold egg but *two* seemed like a good idea. Especially when you remembered the history there was with regards to attempts on eggs, *gold* eggs, at this Weyr. Of course there would be dragons in full ‘protect mode’ watching over this clutch. What absolute *numskulls* they must have been to have done that!
Andreya was at least thankful that those boys hadn’t been killed by either Foreth or one of the clutches’ sire. That was a silver lining in the situation, that there’d been no fatalities like she’d expected when she’d heard the news.
But then just a few days later Nayari gets all the candidates together and the Candidatemaster had been furious as she’d talked about candidates having spread rumors of Kassia inviting some of her relatives to see the eggs first (which Andreya had made a point of not looking around when Nayari had made this comment), but then continues to announce that because of not just this incident with the boys but because of some candidates disrespecting the Weyrwoman that now *no candidates* except those girls who’d already been told they’d get to see the gold eggs would be allowed to see the eggs until Hatching day.
Andreya, on behalf of her cousin, was *furious* that some of her fellow candidates were causing Kassia and Foreth so much stress, not just while Foreth was broody but while Kassia herself was pregnant! I mean, seriously...how frecking hard was it to follow some bloody shelling rules?! Rules that were there for our own *safety* regarding broody golds!
So, Andreya wasn’t entirely surprised at Kassia’s decision, even if it meant that now Andreya wouldn’t get to see the eggs at all before Hatchling like she’d thought...and that she wouldn’t get to go back to assisting Kassia unless she failed to impress with this clutch.
But, that wasn’t the only thing CM Nayari had spoken of that morning. She’d gone strict with various things from an earlier curfew (fine with Andreya), to uniform standards (also acceptable with Andreya, as she’d stopped adding her accessories after realizing that the little bit of things like pretty scarves or hair-ties was unacceptable), to more frequent ‘cot checks’ (which Andreya wasn’t worried about as she always kept things nice and tidy). The strictness of these policies being followed didn’t bother Andreya, not with the behavior that had been exhibited already by some candidates.
What did bother her was that today there was a ACM she’d not seen before who was absolutely *horrid* and was taking advantage of scared candidates not wanting to complain or ‘put a toe out of line’ to speak up about this ACM’s clearly inappropriate bullying behavior. She’d not spoken up in class, although it had been hard, because she’d expected that confronting M’ayan to his face would have not been effective in the slightest. But there were other things she thought she could do, she’d just not had a chance yet to approach T’rif with the crazy whirlwind the day had been.
She’d just returned from dinner, stewing over the day’s events as she tried to eat, and had returned back to her cot to make sure everything still was how it should be, and to pick up some additional study materials. But before she went to study she planned to go see T’rif. With her bag sitting on her bed next to her, Andreya was flipping through some of her study notes trying to decide what she needed to look over most tonight. And that’s how T’rif would find her in her room…
T’rif smiled as he spotted his daughter. “There you are,” he said, glad to see her even if the reason wasn’t the best one. “Can I come in and we talk?”
At the sudden voice from the room’s open doorway, Andreya straightened up quickly and turned. But at seeing her father she smiled at him in welcome. At his question, Andreya’s eyebrow rose in surprise and slight concern but she said smoothly “Hello, and of course ACM T’rifoshe.” Shifting her bag off the bed onto the floor out of the way and putting her notes down on her side table, Andreya waited to see where he’d sit.
T’rif took a seat next to Andreya where the bag had been. He got right to the point. “I wanted to check on you to make sure that you’re doing okay with everything going on. I’ve already talked to Trifali as I found her first, but didn’t want to leave you out.”
Turning slightly to more face him once T’rif sat down on her bed, Andreya waited to see what had brought T’rif seeking her out. At his question of how she was doing, with *so* much that had happened, Andreya paused a moment to consider her words with a small frown between her eyes. She didn’t mind him talking with Trifali first at all, that didn’t even register with how she’d been wanting to talk with T’rif already.
First though, she wanted to clarify with a quick, politely spoken, soft question “Are you wanting to talk as...as ACM, or as Dad?” That frown of worry was still clear on her face.
“As a dad and Candidate Counselor,” T’rif said. “It’s hard for me to take that hat off, but I’ll try to keep it as fatherly as possible. Unless I have reason to otherwise.”
His response had her nodding her head a little in understanding even as she took an extra moment to rearrange thoughts around in her head.
Finally, she began with “I’m...well, I’m furious. Not at what the Weyrwoman decided, I totally understand that, nor at what CM Nayari said...but at some..” Here she clearly had to take a breath before she said with a different choice of words “Some specific candidates just not following *clearly stated* rules. Rules that are there so that we don’t get hurt by broody golds. I mean, Kassia’s so stressed already and being pregnant too...why in the would would *anyone* think it a good idea to try and test the rules now?”
After a moment, Andreya asked in a concerned voice “Is Kassia ok, with what’s happened? I’ve not seen her since she invited us to see the eggs early.”
“Some people just can’t think beyond themselves,” T’rif said. “Unfortunately that selfishness ended very badly. But Kassia is doing what she needs to in order to bring down her stress. She’s got a lot on her plate to juggle. I’m hoping she’ll take some time off, honestly.”
He wouldn’t have been as candid with normal Candidates, but he trusted Andreya and knew how much help she’d been to his niece.
Andreya nodded in agreement about ‘selfishness’, and that concerned look stayed on her face as she nodded again about Kassia having lots she had to do. Andreya didn’t see *how* Kassia was going to be able to take any time off once those twin golds hatched, but she hoped her cousin did get a little time to de-stress, as much as was possible anyway.
That thought actually had a wave of guilt wash over her, guilt that flickered over her face as she glanced down at her lap. She’d been so helpful to Kassia as her assistant, and now she wasn’t able to help her cousin because of a decision that *she’d* made, not one of Kassia’s decisions...and now Kassia was going to have *more* stress that she wouldn’t be around to help with because of declining to see the eggs with the other cousins and Trifali.
Instead of mentioning that though and anything relating to her guilt, Andreya said instead “I’m glad those boys who went on the Sands are ok though, even though one’s badly injured.”
“It could have been a lot worse,” T’rif agreed. “Hopefully this lesson will stick in people’s minds and no one will try that again with future Clutches any time soon. Meanwhile, things are getting tighter around here. How do you feel about that?”
“Yes, it really could have. I feared it had been worse when I first heard it happened. And yes, hopefully...otherwise future Clutches will be even more strictly protected, I’m sure.” Andreya responded with.
T’rif’s second question had Andreya’s thoughts turn back to M’ayan’s lesson (which honestly hadn’t been far from her thoughts) and she straightened up slightly as she looked back up at T’rif with that same worried look from before, knowing she should say something but wanting to make sure she said it right.
After a few moments, Andreya responded with “Uniform and curfew restrictions are understandable, if things were so...relaxed that those candidates actions were the result. And...disrespecting Kassia too? That surprised me hearing that, so I understand the new...strictness. Yes, it was only a few candidates actions who caused it all...but those things *should not* have happened at all.”
Andreya paused a moment, considering her next words carefully before she continued with “Some lessons though, like...one of them today. I understand detention and punishment for not following the rules, but...I know I’m a fairly new candidate, and never been a candidate when there was a gold egg on the sands, but some of the punishments don’t feel appropriate to the level of the rule-infraction, it feels...like excessive, unwarranted levels of punishment.”
Andreya was watching T’rif carefully now as she talked about the lesson today, trying to determine by his reactions if this was indeed *normal* and that everything she’d experienced before had been extraordinarily lax, or of these punishments were indeed as extreme as she thought they were. She knew now that she was probably less talking to ‘Dad’ and more ‘ACM Councillor’ now.
T’rif already had an idea who she was talking about, but held his tongue. He nodded and reached over to squeeze her shoulder. “I’m sorry to hear that you feel this. Did you want to talk about it some more?”
Reassured slightly by T’rif squeezing her shoulder, Andreya nodded at his question. But even though she nodded, she was silent several moments considering what to say first before she began speaking again.
When she did speak, there was a hint of guilt in her voice as she straightened her back even more and said firmly “I didn’t speak up during the lesson, didn’t try and stop what was happening even though I felt like it *should* have been stopped. I didn’t...didn’t help that younger candidate, neither of them, but I didn’t think it would do any good to confront ACM M’ayan *during* the lesson, like it wouldn’t have been at all effective in stopping his...his outright humiliating *harassment* of those candidates. But...even thinking it wouldn’t have helped anying I feel...guilty for not speaking up and trying to help them. That I just sat there unable to do anything but watch it happening...useless.” That admission, that she felt guilty, had been hard for her to voice…
T’rif looked concerned. “Exactly what happened?” he asked, already cursing that the other ACM had been brought back. He had a feeling he was going to see a lot more Candidates in his office, if they were brave enough to say something.
At his question, surprise flickered over her face. Was she really the *first* to go to a ACM and mention what had happened in the lesson this morning? Or...or was she going to be the *only* because anyone else was too scared to say anything bad about an ACM? Well...even if the other candidates were too scared, this was at least something where her family connections could help her out. Not that she’d be scared even if T’rif *wasn’t* her dad nor Kassia her cousin, as bullies are horrible and should be stopped.
Leaning forward to dig through her bag silently, she pulled out a hide of notes she’d made during the lesson, while she’d also been careful to take notes of the lesson material itself. But *this* page had details about the behavior that had happened in that class. There was also a small, neat diagram of the seating arrangements (at bottom of the hide, next to a series of names and tally marks, the diagram having been sketched out after class) but she was less concerned with the seating arrangements than what had happened.
Holding the hide of notes in her lap a moment, Andreya began with “Not very long into the lesson there was a boy, Garatt, one I’ve tutored as he’s a Harpercraft candidate. ACM M’ayan caught him napping in class, and the punishment while *would* have been...not horrible for a short amount of time became...excessive with how long it went on. ACM M’ayan had Garatt stand on one leg, without hanging onto his desk, for...the whole rest of the lesson. Every time the boy’s foot touched the ground he marked Garatt for 10 min detention. And when Garatt physically couldn’t keep standing anymore because of painful muscle cramps, as anyone would get standing on one leg for *that* long without support, and fell to the floor ACM M’ayan *yelled* at him to get back up despite Garatt clearly having trouble getting his legs to work right. Yes, apparently Garatt’s eyes had closed while he was balancing on one leg, but I don’t believe even an exhausted boy could fall asleep in that kind of a position, it was probably more closing eyes trying to get through the painful punishment without crying.”
Taking a breath, her frustration clear in her voice on behalf of the boy she’d tutored before, Andreya added “Yes, Garatt’s...uniform cleanliness leaves much to be desired, but I don’t think there’s any substance on Pern that could smooth down his wild curly hair for more than a couple minutes. But...that punishment continuing until he couldn’t even get back up off the ground was excessive, as was ACM M’ayen’s behavior toward him bordering on harassment of younger ‘victim’ candidates. At the end of the lesson, Garatt had somewhat over a candlemark of detention alone with just ACM M’ayen set for tonight during free time...right now actually, as it’s after dinner. ” There was clear worry for Garatt at the idea that the boy would be stuck with M’ayen in a room *alone* for that long...what punishment would Garatt earn then and how would he fare?
Glancing down at her notes page again for the name of the other girl M’ayen had targeted, Andreya continued with “Garatt wasn’t the only one to face similar punishment. A young girl named Lennaye was doodling instead of taking notes and was made to stand up with her arms outstretched and hold a heavy book on her palms until her arms literally shook.”
With that, she held her note page out to T’rif, saying “Here, I had this ready...as I was planning on coming to talk with you before beginning to study after dinner.” Her notes showed more details of what had happened than the brief bit she’d said, as well as each mark of detention each candidate had earned and showing the *excessive* detention marks Garatt had next to his own name at the bottom of the page and how many times he’d fallen with how long it had taken him to get back up again. She’d been...quite thorough in her description of the lesson events, as only a detail-oriented Harper could be.
T’rif’s eyes narrowed as he listened and then took the note. Detention was one thing, but not physical punishment like that. Garatt hadn’t been doing well before, but after this class he could only imagine how Garatt was doing.
“I’ll talk to Nayari,” he said, squeezing the note tight. “I’m sorry you had to witness that.”
Andreya noticed T’rif’s reaction as he listened, and was very glad that she’d intended to come talk to him and taken such good notes to make this report for him. She hoped that she wouldn’t be the only one to speak out, but if she was then that was that. She’d done what she could to fix this situation.
Nodding at his words of talking to Nayari, at his apology Andreya looked down at her now empty hands and was silent a long moment before she said “Thank you, for taking this up the chain to CM Nayari. During the class...just sitting there silently, making these notes, but otherwise being useless, helpless, and...powerless instead of speaking up and doing something to distract ACM M’ayen from Garett like that other boy who quite literally flipped his desk over...Do you think it *would* have done any good to speak up actually in class, even while staying as respectful as possible to ACM M’ayen? I heard he’s...that he’s from Fort, well Fort from before, so I just...I want to make sure I did the best thing by *not* speaking up then and coming to you with it now, even though everything in me wanted to speak up then and help Garett.”
As she talked, anyone would be able to hear in her words not just the guilt but the...self-loathing that she hadn’t spoken up and let the class get so bad as well as the anger from feeling helpless.
“I’ll do my best to take care of this,” T’rif told her, squeezing her shoulder again. “That shouldn’t have happened.” He pushed to his feet. “I should go do that now. Thank you for telling me.”
Andreya nodded at his words, agreeing that it shouldn’t have happened, and stayed silent as T’rif stood up. As he said he was going to go take care of it now, Andreya straightened up and said politely “Of course, thank you for listening. I hope my notes help.”
Still, as he got up and left her room, Andreya couldn’t help feeling...unsettled and unsure about her actions during the lesson, just taking notes on what was happening instead of speaking up to stop it. She’d *thought* she’d done the best she could, under the circumstances, but was doubting herself now...