T’rif made sure that Kassia’s family was all transported home, then went back to look for R’tal at the Caverns.
There were guards outside now, and no-one coming in or going out. It took a few minutes for one of them to find R’tal, and a few more minutes before he actually came.
“What now?” he said rather wearily, seeing T’rif.
T’rif wasn’t surprised at the look. The Weyrleader probably just wanted some quiet time, but there were things yet to deal with.
“I got Kassia’s...my...family back to the Weyr, but there are still the Candidates that we’ve left in the dark,” T’rif explained. “I want to know the plan for telling them and getting them back to the Weyr.”
R’tal looked at him blankly a moment. Clearly this had yet to occur to him as a concern.
“Can’t they just stay there?” he said after a moment. “They were meant to stay longer weren’t they?”
“For how long?” T’rifoshe pressed. “They need to know what happened and no one’s going to want to stay out once they’re told.”
“Faranth, I don’t know, they’re safe out there, aren’t they?” A flash of frustration for a minute. Surely this at least was a decision that could wait. “Safer than here at least.”
T’rif raised an eyebrow. “Are they? Do we know what for sure? And do you know how badly they’re going to react if we keep this from them? I’d rather have the fall out now before they get to the Hatching and Impress with the new knowledge. This way we can control the reaction and see if we need to pull anyone from Standing.” T’rif may be long away from the days he was in charge of the Candidate program, but he could still think like he was in charge.
“Fine!” R’tal sounded snappish. “Bring them back then. They’ll run around and get in the way and get themselves hurt trying to get into the Hatching Grounds, but fine!” For a moment he sounded almost like Kassia when she was at the end of her patience with Candidates. “Just keep them away from the sharding eggs.”
T’rif didn’t even blink. He was used to Kassia. R’tal wasn’t going to scare him. “I can add Kasheth as an added protection if you desire.” Get enough dragons in the way and no one was getting in.
“No!” That reaction was quick and instinctual. “No-one else on the Grounds. Thank you.” The less pairs of eyes there were looking over and reporting back the better. “Besides, genuinely, there might well be risk around the Barracks. If they couldn’t get rid of the eggs Candidates might be the logical next step.” He rubbed a hand against his forehead. “You sure they won’t be safer out there?”
“Trust me,” T’rif said. He’d seen enough of what was going on to think it’d be better to get them back under one roof. He’d be getting back to at least make sure no one died or hopefully did something that might get too out of hand. He was ignoring that he doubted that at least some of his family were staying in the Barracks for the night. Let them have their moments until reality set in. “They’ll be better able to be watched here.”
“Yeah, like we already did a fine job of watching so well in here,” R’tal’s voice held a touch of bitterness and he glanced back over his shoulder towards the entrance to the Grounds. “Do what you need to. Get the guards to go over the Barracks with a fine tooth comb first though.”
“You can’t stop everything, sir,” T’rif said sympathetically. “But I’ll get it taken care of. Let me know if you need anything or hear more about Kassia.”
“Kassia..” For a moment he’d been so caught up thinking about the dragons he’d almost forgotten. “When I get to talk to K’ren I’ll let you know.” He wasn’t asking Talith to carry messages, not today.
T’rif nodded deferentially. “Thank you, sir. I’ll go help deal with the Candidates.”