He didn't want to be here. Every muscle in R'tal's body was crying out to forget the sharding Weyr and get back to his dragon and stay there. Every minute he wasn't next to Talith was a minute when something else could happen and he wouldn't be there.
But some things you did because you were Weyrleader and it was your job. And right now his job was being alive - visibly and demonstrably alive in front of an audience so that there could be no rumours today that the Weyrleaders were in the Infirmary with the Weyrwoman. He could do this and N'shen would do something else visible and Weyrleady while he stayed on the Sands with Talith and the rumours would say everything was fine. Nykantiath called the riders, the Headwoman sent messages around everyone else and hopefully no-one blew up the Dining Hall before he was done talking.
Only the Weyrlings were excluded. The WeyrlingMasters could come up with their own way of breaking bad news to children, thankfully that was one job R’tal did not have.
He waited for people to arrive and for the noise to die down.
"As most of you know there has been an explosion," he said, once there was quiet to speak into. "We don't yet know what has caused it - it may simply be a horrible accident - but for now we are asking that everyone stays within the boundaries of the Weyr while we investigate. To this end gold Nykantiath will be asking dragons to stay within the Weyr for now, and guards will be stopping anyone who tries to leave on foot. If you have a truly urgent reason to leave the Weyr, please speak to Goldrider Andronda. Trying to sneak out will be taken very seriously at this point."
He cleared his throat. "Unfortunately, I have to report that in the.. incident, some injuries were incurred. While the gold eggs are safe, we have lost several of the other eggs and Weyrwoman Kassia has incurred minor injuries after some rocks fell. She will be staying in the Infirmary for few nights as a precautionary measure." Another throat-clearing. "Talith and Truenoth have also incurred minor injuries." It wasn't a lie. It was a half-truth and he forced it out because the alternative was panic. "Everyone should recover in due course but for now, understandably, the dragons are feeling very protective of their eggs and I would ask that everyone- including firelizards - stay away."
"For now, while Talith and Truenoth recover and because they would prefer to be closer to the eggs I will be asking Bronzerider M'gal to lead Fall. I have also tonight asked Bronzerider T'ryn to take on WeyrSecond duties whilst we investigate and he has accepted this role. Goldriders Andronda and Delysia will be handling Weyrwoman Kassia's duties while she recovers."
"The Candidates remain safe on their trip, and again I must request that they not be disturbed with firelizards. Right now it's preferable that they enjoy their holiday and the CandidateMasters will handle breaking the news."
"Guards may need to question some of you on what you saw before the incident. Please be cooperative and tell them anything you remember"
He considered asking for questions but he'd already been away from Talith too long. They only ever asked stupid things anyway.
"Please come to the goldriders, or to bronzeriders M'gal or T'ryn with any concerns. I hope this reassures you all and we will shortly be welcoming the Candidates for a successful Hatching."
Blackadder: I mean, what about the people that do all the work?
Baldrick: The servants.
Blackadder: No, me; *I'm* the people who do all the work.