After a quick trip to the privy, Kassia headed back to grab a glass of juice and then looked around. Wygelle was busy with the Fort Weyrwoman, but Cathern was free. With Brogan at her side, Kass headed for the Telgar Weyrwoman.
Cathern had greeted a few others, but mostly stayed by herself. Well, by herself with R'orsh at her side to keep him out of trouble. When she spotted Kassia headed her way, though, she murmured something to him (which didn't sound anything like 'go have a playdate with I'tri while the grownups talked'), sending him on his way.
"Kassia," she greeted the other woman with a nod, followed by a grimace. "I'm sorry about all this."
“It’s not unexpected,” Kassia said with a shrug. “It’s just been one thing after another. Can’t really blame the rest of you from being spooked though. It would have been nice to have some formal heads up though.”
"Things moved too quickly once Ista got the bit in their mouth. Only formal notice I got was a note saying they were going now. We knew it was coming, just not sure when." Cathern's voice was apologetic; even the informal notice she'd given the other woman hadn't been that long ago.
Kassia wanted to reach back and tug her braid, but luckily was prevented by having a glass in her good hand. “Ista and Benden are going to be trouble,” Kassia said, eyes on the room. “Not sure about Fort. We’ve done nothing wrong, but people get twitchy.”
Cathern nodded in agreement, taking a sip from her own mug of klah. "They've been standing in the corner plotting something. They clammed up as I walked by, but I think they've got some surprise planned." She took a surreptitious look around herself and lowered her voice. "I don't want to pry, but… is there anything, anything at all, that they might have found out somehow? Anything that they could use to ambush you?"
Kassia glanced in their direction before looking back at Cathern, debating in her mind. If the pair had somehow found out about Talith and Truenoth then letting Cathern know ahead of time would prepare her. On the other hand, if she didn’t know, she might feel obligated to bring it up. She took a sip of juice and then leaned in closer, hoping she was making the right gamble that the news had gotten out and that Cathern would be on their side.
“Talith and Truenoth may have taken some damage temporarily to their eyesight in the blast,” she said. “We have the wings taken care of with T’ryn, a previous Weyrleader and my weyrmate who was my last Weyrleader. Nothing we can’t handle, but that won’t stop people from causing trouble.”
Cathern's eyes widened and she swore under her breath. She managed to restrain herself from looking at the two Weyrleaders, but was glad her back was to most of the people in the room.
"Let me guess, they're still in the Hatching Caverns?" she ventured, quickly putting things together. "Yeah, that could definitely cause trouble. Are you sure it's only temporary?" Her voice held sympathy for the two bronzes, not calculation. "And Foreth, is she okay?"
“The healers seem adamant,” Kassia said, hiding her own concerns. She’d believe it when she saw it, but the Weyrleaders needed her strength in this. “Foreth’s fine. She got some minor burns and she’ll need a little while longer to get over her babies getting smashed, but otherwise she came out of it okay. Her hind end was to the blast.”
"That's good to hear," Cathern smiled, reaching out to rest her hand briefly on the other Weyrwoman's arm. Her eyes went thoughtful as she considered, and then she nodded sharply. "Right. If they do know this and trot it out and try to use it for something, I'll emphasize that it's temporary and point out how it's no different than a Threadscore which grounded a dragon." Nobody was likely to want to mess with that precedent. "And even if it proves to be permanent, it wouldn't be the first time a Weyrleader had to delegate Fall until the queen rose again."
The smile that came to Kassia’s lips was perhaps a bit too relieved. “We certainly have things under control here. We don’t need anyone coming in to mess with things. And certainly pregnant or not, I’m perfectly capable of being in charge so we have stable Weyrleadership even if someone else...who has plenty of experience mind you...needs to run ‘Fall right now.”
"Of course," Cathern nodded. "It certainly seems like you have things under control to me, and I'm sure Wygelle will agree." She glanced over her shoulder to where the High Reaches and Fort Weyrwomen were chatting. "I hate to say this, but have you considered talking to Maryl about this? They might have other methods than we do to treat the blindness."
“I’ll talk to R’tal and N’shen and suggest it,” Kassia said. Whether to go to the weird old timers from Fort was a personal decision the Weyrleaders would have to make, though she thought it was a good idea. “For now we’re just trying to get through this Conclave. Whatever support we can get to minimize the problems here and make this smooth is appreciated. We’ve got a Weyr to run and I’m sure the rest of you want to get back to your own Weyrs.”
Cathern made another grimace. "I certainly do. Much as I enjoy the warmth, I have my own business to deal with, and I can't wait to be able to pull my nose 9ut of yours. I'll certainly do what I can to do so quickly."
“I appreciate that,” Kassia said. “But my back’s starting to hurt so I’m going to see if Wygelle and Maryl need me before taking a seat.” Maybe having to sit would look like weakness, but she was carrying twins and she hoped that at least the women would understand the need to get off her feet.
"Of course," Cathern smiled. "With luck, you won't have to be stuck sitting here with us for long. I'll see you inside." The Telgar Weyrwoman gave the Arolos one a nod of farewell and went to find a bit of food.
LrdSlvrhnd on the Wizzy thingie, and also on Discord