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In happier news, Senior Queen Kansk and Soldier-King Candesk have laid clutches, and as the eggs have hardened it has become clear that a joint hatching is to be expected.

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 Returning Home? [Oprierd]
Rekal
 Posted: Mar 11 2018, 01:06 PM
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Month 4 Day 6 Turn 2268
Rekal had decided to leave the weyr after the loss of Ta'ji and Evieth and so he had his wher and firelizards. He had asked Jeanal to take him and his group to Hilltop, she had obliged seeing as she wasn't injured. So she took her brother to the Hold and looked at him carefully, "Your sure?" She asked softly and Rekal nodded. "I need time away from the Weyr I'll contact you if I need you." He said softly as he pat Rekask who had her day goggles on and the pair walked away from Ceriath a short distance. Then he watched as the blue colored officer took to the skies, she was a beauty just like his Rekask as he pat her again.

Rekask rumbled as she walked with her human, she was much quieter than before and much more sedate. She could sense his pain and she knew why but she didn't fully comprehend if there was a reason so she stayed nearby. He walked to a place he could set his stuff down then quietly sent his firelizard Tali with the note of his arrival to Oprierd. He hoped the man could meet with him as he sat down on a bench next to Rekask, he'd also sent official word that he wanted to transfer here. He hoped they let him stay as long as he needed but he knew that may not happen as he focused on other things and he pet Rekask. The soldier laid her head on his lap as the other flitters landed on him, in the time they'd had together he'd grieved with them and he still did it was his fault their rider was dead after all. There was nothing he could do for that fact but he would try.

Stop thinking so much. Rekask told him as she looked at him for a moment then closed her eyes again. She was ready to sleep but she knew that her Handler needed her and that meant staying at his side as long as she could until he and Oprierd met up. She knew what that meant at least from Rekal's warnings and dreams but never had she experienced it herself, hopefully it wouldn't be too severe.

@KnifeSmile

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 Posted: Mar 11 2018, 10:16 PM
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Lord Oprierd was at his desk, in his office. He still had to make a point of thinking of it as "his" office. He was, generally speaking, fully adjusted to taking Hold by now. He did not have this problem with regard to Hilltop in general, the Lordship, or the Lord Holders' chambers where he now lived. Yet, on some level, deep down, he still thought of this one specific room as his father's office. Oprierd supposed it took at least as many Turns to break a habit as it did to build one. This room had been so much a part of his mental image of his father. It made sense that his sharp, associative mind might take a long time to break that connection.

His eyes and hands were occupied with Record hides listing amounts, dates, and comparisons - tedious matters of Holding. His father, the dearly deceased (heh) Lord Strierd, had been a hard-working man, but Oprierd liked to think he did the old man one better. While the Mentat-trained Lord worked on these trivial yet critical affairs (for they must be dealt with or the Hold would grind to a halt and nothing would get done), the rest of his mind, neatly compartmentalized, was processing other - far more important - matters.

He didn't grimace, frown, or even twitch his lips, as some might have, at the thought of his hated and now thankfully, deservedly dead father; but a little ripple of negative emotion went through his mind. Even that small failure of control was slightly irksome, but by this point in his life, he knew better than to expect perfect efficiency even from himself. He too was a man, after all.

And that was exactly the problem his overclocked brain was working on, in fact. It was a problem he'd considered many times over the Turns. He knew his history. There were others on Pern in the past who'd been bold and wise, like he. A few had even succeeded. These few men and women -
of whom Oprierd thought as peers - had shamed even the Weyrs themselves with their military prowess or brilliant political maneuvers that forced the Weyrs to stay out of their way as they conquered what they pleased. An example to emulate.

And yet, one and all, even these had failed in the end. Heirs could better their progenitors - after all, was he not an improvement on his own listless, ambitionless father? Too often, however, they were pale echoes of what had spawned them. Each time in Pern's history that it looked like the squabbling, petty fiefdoms would be replaced by a single, glorious, orderly empire... alas, each time, the remarkable man or woman who had forged that empire would die. Even if they defeated every other enemy, not one could ultimately defeat that final enemy: Time.

And once they were gone, their accomplishments fell to ruin, torn to bits by squabbling heirs and fools without vision. Things did not always go back to quite how they'd been before - new important Holds rose, older ones lost prominence, smallholds and chunks of land changed allegiance here and there. Yet in the end, the old, petty fiefdoms would return, each and every time, and Pern would go on as it always had, more or less.

Oprierd did not intend to repeat this mistake. Yet he wasn't sure how best to deal with the problem. Impressing a King or Queen dragon had sometimes crossed his mind when he was younger, but of course, that would have cost him Heirship, and he had no interest in Weyrlife. Besides, there were too many other problems with the idea. He'd abandoned it as a teenager. Whers and elain offered no similar advantages of lifespan, nor did the smaller beasts that people sometimes merged their minds with. (In passing, Oprierd wondered what that was like. He'd procured beasts for his people to use plenty of times, but had never thought to keep any for himself. People gave him eggs all the time, of course, to curry favor with him, but he'd always privately turned around and assigned the egg to some underling, according to where it would be most useful. Did it diminish one's mind to have another mind linked to it, Oprierd wondered? Especially a small animal mind? Or did it give one more space to use for one's own thoughts? It was an intriguing question, but it was also a tangent, so Oprierd set it aside for now.)

There were the new Worg-creatures, from the South. It was too soon to know if they provided any such benefit to their masters, but Oprierd suspected not. Still, he intended to keep an eye on his peers, two of whom kept such beasts. If they showed a suspicious lack of aging as the Turns crept on...

Oprierd's train of thought was broken as a fire-lizard swooped in through the window he kept open for exactly that purpose. (He may not have a lizard or wyvern, but plenty of his people did. Both his legitimate people, his own Holders, and the... others. It was necessary to keep lines of communication open.) Setting down the Record (Oprierd felt a small puff of relief, which he ignored as improper, but couldn't help feeling), the Lord Holder of Hilltop turned to regard the lizard, wondering whose it was and why it was here. When he saw that it was Tali, he did not smile - the corners of his mouth didn't even twitch - but he did feel a slight inner warmth, a tiny flush of positivity. Ah. Rekal. He knew, before he took the note from the lizard, what it would say. Rekal was back at the Hold. He didn't always know precisely how he knew what he knew - the calculating parts of his brain raced along unconsciously, oftentimes, ahead of his conscious mind - but he knew, without question, that the deductions were accurate. They almost always were.

Although he had no need to confirm his perception, Oprierd unfolded the note and glanced at it. Yes. It was Rekal's familiar scrawl, and it was a request for a meeting.

Did the man have something important to say? Or did he just want attention?

Oprierd hesitated. As heir, he'd been more inclined to indulge himself, having few real responsibilities. Now things were very different. He had achieved the first of his many goals - to take Hold here in his own home - and his Hold needed his firm hand to guide it to prosperity. If he took his hand off the tiller, so to speak, too often, he couldn't expect to achieve his goals. So he considered, briefly, sending a note back with Tali, scheduling a specific time and place to meet. Sometime later when he was finished with his business.

His eye wandered over the hidework in front of him. It did need to be dealt with... but not urgently. The Hold wouldn't fall to Thread on the morrow if he put this aside for now.

Dispassionate as always, the calculations ran, crunched, settled on a conclusion.

Turning the note over, Oprierd used one of his own quills to jot a quick reply in his own smooth, almost mechanical cursive: Join me in the meeting room. That written, he tied the note to the lizard's leg, precisely where Rekal had put it, and sent Tali on her way.

The office itself was a more or less public space, but it had a smaller side-room, intended to be used for private meetings between the Lord and distinguished visitors. Oprierd had paid well for that room to be upgraded to certain specifications. When the door was shut, no sound escaped its walls. This improved its security for its intended purpose, of course. It also gave Oprierd cover to use the room for... other things.

He had no idea what Rekal had in mind, but whether he meant to make a report or just wanted attention; either way, they would require security. And privacy.

Rekal had been at the Weyr for some time now. Oprierd did hope the man had something useful to tell him.

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Rekal
 Posted: Mar 11 2018, 10:38 PM
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Rekal sat nervously with Rekask at his side, then he sighed as he gently pet Kirral and kept the others in check. They were new to him and he looked at the others as he tried to focus on the fact he was going to hopefully meet with Oprierd. He wanted to both talk with him about Weyr matters and about matters more personal and closer to his heart. Rekal was nervous and scared about if Oprierd would agree or not after all he was a Lord Holder now not just an heir. Rekask rumbled softly in contentment as she looked at her bonded and tried to give him comfort from his nerves not understanding that it was from he knew that Oprierd could be painful.

He looked up happily as he saw Tali return, he was happy to have her back and he quickly read it. That was better than he had hoped would happen, he got up and went towards the office. Rekask at his side, Guard the door Rekask. Let none enter. Rekal said as he looked at her and then he turned to Oprierd with a smile. "My Lord. It is good to see you again. I hope the time has been good to you." He said softly as he looked at his lord, "I have some news you may want to know I've heard rumors that someone at the weyr knows things they shouldn't." He started off with as he looked at his Lord hoping that he could make him happy or at least tell him useful information.

Rekask turned her gaze on Oprierd for a moment then turned her gaze towards the door. She was going to keep her master and the other from danger or from anything else. She was going to keep her Master safe most of all, she wanted Rekal to be healthy. He seemed happiest around this man though even more so than at the weyr.

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KnifeSmile
 Posted: Mar 12 2018, 12:23 AM
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When the wherhandler and his beast arrived, it was like a switch was flipped. No longer alone, Oprierd automatically pulled on the persona he used around others. Even this other, who'd been allowed closer to him and his secrets than most. Some of his secrets, at least. "Rekal," Oprierd smiled, allowing the faint flicker of warmth he felt to spill into his features in a way that he would not have when by himself. If he then exaggerated the smile a little beyond what he really felt, the core of the smile was real, and that made it ring true. Oprierd never seemed to be faking because he wasn't... at least not completely. A lie with a core of truth is always more convincing. "Welcome home," the Lord Holder continued, taking Rekal's hand with one of his own for a firm, 'proper' handshake and patting the man's shoulder with his other hand.

The hand on Rekal's shoulder may have lingered a moment longer than would have been strictly usual, may have squeezed a bit more firmly than comfortable, but if so, it was for only a blink, a split second. So brief that one could almost convince oneself they had imagined it. Then the contact ended, and Oprierd was folding his arms over his chest, as if nothing had ever happened and he was simply settling himself to hear his subordinate's words. The Holder's cool greenish-bluish-gray eyes held Rekal's as the man spoke. At first, the gaze seemed warm, interested - but at the last, the familiar Mentat coolness came into them. Not angry, not anything at all. Calculating. Analyzing. Impersonal. Yet so intent, fixed, focused.

There was a brief pause, almost imperceptible. Oprierd thought more swiftly than most, so his hesitations, while they existed, were slight, within others' sense of time. The wher would guard the door to his office faithfully... but these walls were not as secure as those of the smaller meeting room. To Rekal, he said, slowly, "Did you pass anyone?" This would not be an unfamiliar question to Rekal - Oprierd's concern for secrecy about certain matters was not new at all. What the man meant was, 'is there anyone around who might overhear, or should we step into the quiet room now?'

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Rekal
 Posted: Mar 12 2018, 12:32 AM
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Rekal smlied at him happy to see him and that smile warmed him, he was happy to see this man the one he really wanted to have his own. He wanted to have him and keep him as a mate but he knew that wasn't possible he was a side thing for the Holder. He had a wife that would warm his bed every night and for a flicker of an instant he felt anger at that thought. "Thank you My Lord." He said as he greeted him in return he truly did care and that meant he wanted him in whatever way he could have him even in this professional capacity.

The squeeze was nothing new to him, he knew of other things that resulted from pain and he could take more than most and he kept his mouth shut. He was smart enough not to say anything about what he truly knew and that meant he was valuable as long as he kept his mouth shut and he listened. He was wise enough to watch Oprierd's features as he spoke to him and he also knew how to keep an eye on his firelizards. They all seemed keen on not liking him in the least however he did look at the man before him and he knew that Oprierd was not pleased.

Rekal looked at him and thought carefully over his question, he knew the answer and he quickly but quietly answered. "No person. But there was a Pegasi Mart not too far off." He said softly as he looked at him with a gentle smile as he looked at his friend and he knew that he'd get what he meant. Irmira had a Mart after all and she was known to be suspicious of him and she also had an idea of who he was too Oprierd. So he dearly hoped that they could talk more privately given the risk of having that Mart so close.

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KnifeSmile
 Posted: Mar 12 2018, 01:30 AM
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The Lord Holder grunted, his eyes twinkling with something that might have been a spark of anger, or amusement - maybe a bit of both. "Mm. Naturally." As Rekal anticipated, that news was not a surprise to Oprierd. My clever wife. My dear, he thought with a strange, sardonic sort of affection, you're a pain in the ass sometimes. Then again, were you more a fool, I wouldn't have wanted you to bear my children.

He'd have to do something about Irmira. What? What, indeed. That would have to be handled with extreme delicacy. He needed the Conclave to believe all was normal at Hilltop for now. Drastic measures would be imprudent. Besides, replacing her would be a pain. Some Lords who'd Held half as long as Oprierd had two or three more wives. Oprierd was not accustomed to settling, though. Irmira was the best match available, both for strategic and hereditary reasons. There were other suitable high-born women, but none were -as- suitable as she.

Besides, he did like her, in a way, as much as he could like anyone. She wasn't as much fun or as useful as, say, Rekal - but she was chosen for a different role in his life anyway. A role she had, he must admit, fulfilled well, at least in the public eye. If she had her own thoughts, if she perhaps suspected him - she'd been discreet about it, and in his own bizarre way Oprierd appreciated that. He even respected her a little more than he might have otherwise knowing that she had a mind of her own. He sincerely would have regretted having to get rid of her. He'd still do it in a heartbeat if necessary, but he genuinely hoped it did not ever become so. He had his children to consider, too. She was their mother. Losing her might have ... adverse effects on them. He needed his children to turn out as strong and capable as possible - and, ideally, to love and respect their father instead of hating him for getting rid of their mother (no matter how necessary it might have been.)

The matter of that great enemy, Time, went over a part of his mind again. Yes. She was part of his strategy. He knew he could not control how his children turned out, but he would do everything in his power to influence the result. He hadn't advertised the fact when looking for a wife, but he'd matched himself to Irmira with the same care he would have taken with one of his best studs in the beastfolds. Oh, of course, he'd allowed his old fool of a father to believe it was he who was choosing a wife for his son and heir, but Oprierd had applied his peculiar vocal talents as he'd done when securing the heirship itself, and, thus, had been in secret but complete control of the process.

With regard to beasts, of course, things were a little more challenging. He had to rely on others' expertise for that; much as he'd like to, with his controlling nature, Oprierd had to accept that he couldn't do every single thing personally. Hilltop Hold wasn't in the same league as the damn Keroonians with runnerbeasts, nor Skullstones' whers, but their Striders and livestock were top mark, and he was working assiduously to improve the other lines. It was one of his many projects to improve Hilltop Hold.

Of course, it was also practice for an upcoming new project, one with much greater purpose. But no one else knew about that. Not yet.

All of this flew through Oprierd's mind in the space of a second or two. As he thought, he turned and led Rekal into the meeting-room. Oprierd felt the stares of the fire-lizards on him, but ignored them indifferently. There were more than he recalled, and they seemed full-grown. He must have gotten some more eggs at the Weyr. No doubt the Weyrs were drowning in the creatures. Fire-lizards tended not to like Oprierd. He had no idea why, having never done anything to or for a fire lizard one way or the other - but he'd gotten used to it Turns ago.

When the door shut behind the two men with a soft click, there was a strange shimmer in the air, more felt than seen. It was like an invisible blanket suddenly dropped over the two of them, muffling sound. When they spoke, they could hear each other clearly, but the sound failed to echo at all, making their voices sound a little unusual, "off", to each other. Of course, having had many previous meetings in this room, neither man was bothered by it. It was just the silence spell working.

Now they were truly secure. Neither physical sounds nor thought-sounds - or whatever you'd call the signals that telepathic creatures like fire lizards (and more to the point, Pegasi) picked up on - could escape this small chamber.

Oprierd paced to the small window and looked out over Hilltop Hold's courtyard, as if to assure himself that nothing was happening that absolutely required his attention. Then he returned his focus to Rekal, arms folded crisply behind his back. With his dark cloak and regal outfit - Masterweaver-tailored, yet simple and refined - Oprierd cut a striking figure there in the soft light from the magically shielded window.

"Now," Lord Oprierd spoke, his voice a low, controlled, yet subtly dangerous hiss. It was like hearing a Tubberman cat speak - predatory, yet compelling, somehow magnetic even though you knew on some level you were being drawn in to your doom. Oprierd was not angry with Rekal, but he was concentrating intently, and aware of the potential import of what Rekal had to say - and that, while not angry at Rekal, he was probably about to be angry with someone else. "Tell me." From past experience, Rekal would know this as a command to issue a full report of everything he knows, whether it seemed like an important detail or not. Of course, Oprierd had no need to use the Voice on Rekal, but in his simmering tension, he lapsed into it unconsciously, permeating his voice with command and authority.

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Rekal
 Posted: Mar 12 2018, 01:29 PM
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His repsonse was enough that Rekal knew he was going to be doing the Mentat thing for a couple seconds at best. Rekal had long ago learned that there were times when he thought nothing was happening that Oprierd was thinking far more rapidly than he ever could. The thought of having his mind go that fast scared the ever living hell out of him, he didn't want to know what Oprierd was truly capable of since he already knew enough that it made him a little nervous.

As he knew his friend...lover? Lord? Rekal didn't know what word to use in his mind as he cleared his thoughts for a moment and looked at Oprierd calmly. He knew the man was going to do something and soon this long of an association didn't come without knowing things. But he also knew that there was no such thing as truly trusting anyone to Oprierd and he accepted that. But he also knew more than most of his other underlings and minions because he wisely kept his trap shut, he didn't allow anyone to know anything.

There were many things that Rekal had learned since being at the weyr that may be of use to him. So he started going over in his mind what might be useful enough to Oprierd but he decided if it affected anyone beyond himself and his siblings it might be useful. He knew that he'd have to take the plunge and explain everything that he knew even of the rumor than one of his bandits had fucked up. But he knew it was only a rumor but still rumors often had seeds of truth in them, or at least that was Rekal's belief as well as they'd finally figured who'd created the baby boom last turn. That would probably be useful to Oprierd, it had given him many children even if it had nearly killed his wife. Though now he had a culprit for who put his wife in that shape.

As soon as he saw him turn towards the meeting room he followed easily, he quickly sent a mental correction to the flits. Kirral and Tali had become accustomed to the Lord Holder and so they didn't stare as much as the others. He knew they were new and would grow used to him eventually, he also knew that meant he'd have to take care of the new foursome and ensure they kept their mouths shut. He'd have to train them the same way that he trained his other two to keep their memories and thoughts to themselves, if anything slipped it could be deadly especially with an untrained HAF in the former Weyrwoman and the Messagemaster being a fully trained HAF. Both were dangerous adversaries in this case as they could be down the charter on Oprierd and then where would he be? Groveling at M'kor's feet no doubt.

As usual when the spell went into affect Rekal shivered once, he'd never get used to that feeling but he knew it was no danger to them. The first time he'd come in here he'd thought he was going to die, but he soon learned this room served a different purpose and that was fine by him. They'd also have to go to other discrete places if he what he wanted after were to happen even if it was later in the day or night when it finally did occur. Rekal knew not to push Oprierd, the other man was in complete control and he accepted that as he knew anything else could be lethal.

There was something to be said about the figure that Oprierd cut, he was handsome and that made it all the more impressive to be this close to him. He felt an only too familar stirring in places that should stay down fro now, so he quickly tamped it down and suppressed the urge to kiss him. He knew better than to risk angering him he looked at Oprierd though with a gentle smile as he started working on getting the new foursome under control.

As soon as the first word was uttered Rekal's instinct to flee kicked into high gear and he had to suppress that too. He knew that Oprierd wouldn't take his anger out on him he'd find out who had done the stupid thing and take it out on them. Which helped a great deal to keep Rekal where he was as he looked at his Lord regaining his composure and putting his thoughts together.

"Well sir first and foremost is the rumor that there's some street brat who knows things they shouldn't and they weren't silenced." He said to him as he quickly got that out then focused on other things. "One of Lord Camiron's wives was released from the union leaving him with only Lady Anora. Lady Telai was released because she impressed to one of the new Hybrids a Queen in fact." He hoped that he was getting out what was truly important and not what was stupid and inane. "The last two threadfalls have been utter disasters for the weyr, they've lost a fair few. Last fall they lost three dragons and one rider, Ta'ji of Soldier Evieth was lost." His voice choked on the name as he fought back the grief at having caused that death and the four flitters eyes flicked gray for a moment then back to normal blue-green. "The other two dragons were my brothers own Knight Simaroath and the Scout Lorith. Both those riders were brought to the ground safely, my brother...isn't himself I expect he may try to take his own life." He added that as a person after note then he began thinking carefully over anything else that may be of import to him.

"Oh there's a rogue bandit out there with some promise, he is fairly intelligent and willing to serve if it means food for him and his whers. He actually has a brain but he refused to join with others because of his own reasons but he could be a useful free agent if you can make contact with him. I met him briefly once and had Rekask help bring in some food for them, also when all is said and done, sir. You should formally meet Rekask so she doesn't take you as a threat should you ever try to approach me." He said as he looked at him and he wanted Rekask to accept Oprierd for what he was and he knew she would but would she do it without formally meeting him? He wasn't sure at the moment and he was going to tell him anything he wanted to know and anything else that may be important.

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 Posted: Mar 14 2018, 05:05 PM
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Oprierd noticed Rekal's small smile, his general body language, and deduced that while the man may indeed have something of substance to report, he also wanted attention. As expected. Were Oprierd a lesser man, he would have been tempted to set business aside entirely and go have some fun. Rekal was one of his more compliant toys and he'd not gotten to play with hm for a while. But the Lord Holder was well past the days when he allowed the impulsive child in his heart to rule him. Discipline was the watchword of his life, anyway, but it had become even more highly emphasized when he took Hold.

Not that Oprierd wasn't going to play with Rekal. He would see to business first, that was all. Once he'd drained the man of every bit of pertinent information and processed it - then he would enjoy himself.

First things first.

"Back to the top. Start with the information leak," Oprierd ordered, crisply but not unkindly. Rekal would be used to this 'work tone'. As much as possible, Oprierd tried to mirror back to Rekal the man he knew Rekal wanted him to be, but Oprierd's self-mastery was not 100%. Or, rather, it was (Oprierd thought,) but there were things that were simply outside the bounds of even the most precise control. Irksome, but that was life for you. Oprierd knew even he had limits. He couldn't completely disguise the analytical, unemotive coolness that was Mentatism when the Skill was running hot, like now. He imagined he could physically feel his pulse quickening, energy racing through his Pattern at the demand of his brain. No matter how many times he felt this half-imagined inner rush, it never lost its cold thrill.

Recognizing he needed to soften his approach, Mentat or no, Oprierd (slightly belatedly) placed his hand on Rekal's shoulder - a genuinely gentle touch this time, a rarity, carefully doled out when they would have the greatest impact, such as now. And as usual, it wasn't -wholly- feigned. Oprierd did feel fond of Rekal in a possessive, controlling sort of way, so when Rekal was sad, Oprierd felt some degree of sympathy. Just not enough to be diverted. "I apologize. I'm sincerely sorry for your family's losses, Rekal," Oprierd added. His language was formal, but he held Rekal's gaze as he spoke. Neither over- nor underacted, Oprierd again used the tiny seed of genuine emotion he felt to put on a masterful performance, a chameleon's opus of emotional camouflage.

"I don't mean to seem uncaring. But the first thing you said... It.. concerns me," he enunciated crisply after a pause. "Depending on what 'things' this person may have told the Weyr..." Oprierd trailed off. He knew he needn't waste time explaining his concern. Rekal couldn't crunch probabilities alongside him, but he wasn't a dimglow. The angry spark in the Lord Holder's pale eyes which had flickered faintly earlier now flared brightly for a moment, like an ember fanned by a breeze, and now devoid of any trace of humor.

He gritted his teeth. It took a physical effort not to squeeze Rekal again. He wanted to. But taking out his frustration on the man would serve no purpose at the moment. Later. When he'll take it as part of the game, Oprierd told himself. Sternly, he forced his violent impulse down into the dark, hidden parts of his mind, without allowing so much as a trembling in his fingers to betray it. This time. He slid his hand from Rekal's shoulder to his forearm, as if gently beseeching.

Out loud, even as he was reminding himself to prudence and exerting his will to control himself, Oprierd spoke as gently as he could given the simmering tension he felt - he was as close to anxiety as he was emotionally capable. He needed every bit of information on this he could get. Immediately. "Please. Tell me everything you know about this rumor. What the Weyr might know," and there a growl escaped, low and subtle, almost imperceptible, but there nonetheless.

"Afterward, I shall be delighted to meet Rekask. I won't hold you responsible if she bites me," he added, and that humorous glint was back in his gaze - there was a sharp edge to the joke that most people would have found inexplicable, but which Rekal likely understood as a reference to certain private past activities. Oprierd thought of Rekal as a toy rather than a tool for a reason. "For now... I need to know." That subtle, silken edge came into Oprierd's voice again. It brought with it a seductive compulsion, so subtle that for Rekal, especially, it would be easy to mistake for his own pre-existing desire to please and serve this difficult man. Those eyes. Full of contradictions. Hot and cold, seemingly right there, almost terrifyingly intent... yet simultaneously remote, impersonal - no, depersonalized. And appearing, for the first time in Rekal's experience, genuinely (if slightly) worried.

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Rekal
 Posted: Mar 14 2018, 05:57 PM
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Rekal was very pleased in that he was hopefully going to have a chance with the only one who really understood him. He knew that his desires for pain were...off to some and he was sure that Oprierd would help with that he wanted that but only after his report. He knew the order of business with Oprierd and the things that were required before anything else was even going to happen.

He heard the words only after he'd finished talking and he nodded once he was careful to show he'd heard the man and that he knew what was being said. Rekal knew there were things about Oprierd none would ever understand save another Mentat and frankly Rekal didn't care he was drawn to the man and he didn't even know why he was drawn to him the way he was and with the desires he had in him, his own pulse quickened when he realized he may well feel the wrath of his Lord.

The touch however made his skin jump and his heart skip a beat, he knew what he was capable of and he wanted to feel what he had to offer. For now though he controlled his body as best he could but he couldn't help the slight flush that rose in his skin, he had to make his report then he'd get other things. The touch had a few things it could do to him but for now it was meant as a friend or more of a lover? Rekal never could figure that bit out as he looked at him, "Thank you for those words but it doesn't ease the pain any." He said softly as he met his gaze.

"I know, sir you need to know more so you can know if you need to act against the leak." He said softly as he looked at him and he was clearly showing the way that he knew things could go very badly for Oprierd, he liked the man and he really did enjoy his company especially when they were alone. Usually safely in a room of some sort but right now he had to tell him what he knew and ensure that everything survived the leak that had occured.

The continued touch while unusual was reassuring that he wasn't about to die for delivering the news of an information leak. He wished he'd told another bandit to deliver the news then they'd be facing his wrath and not him, he sighed as he thought about hiring Drecira as his underling but he decided against it. He wasn't into the whole politics side of things, he was more into the services he could provide.

The way he spoke was enough that he was a little concerned but he remained calm as he looked at the man. He knew that Oprierd was fully capable of doing horrible things to him, but he hoped he was doing all right in the fact he was doing his best to be helpful. He also was aware he needed to spill and fast or he'd end up in deep shit for not having the intel already at hand.

He smiled at the man and felt a little bit calmer and some joy return to his eyes as he looked at him. He did however supress it as he looked at him and he saw the worry that was alarming and every piece of his body was screaming 'RUN!' but he knew that was a response to ignore as he stood before him and met his gaze. "He was a streetbrat I believe here at Hilltop, from what I was able to gather he had no one and nothing, he wasn't particularly keen on sharing much information. The one I talked to was so scared of facing you with this intel he jumped off the Watch Heights rather than see this brought to you." He told him as he spoke of how he got the intel, "The leak from all I know was nothing more than you were behind the bandits who kidnapped the weyrlings some time back. Before Southern was discovered." He said to him as he kept his gaze on him and waited for further prompting afraid he'd face his wrath and not the bandit. "I don't even have a name as to the one who talked."

Rekask sent her reassurance to him as she felt the tremor of fear, What's scaring you? Rekask asked as she stood and was prepared to break the door down to help her bonded, she wouldn't let anything hurt him not if she was there. Easy Rekask, I'm fine, it'll be fine. It's a good thing. He told her as he returned his attention to Oprierd after reassuring Rekask that he wasn't being harmed so she'd not break the door down.

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KnifeSmile
 Posted: Apr 1 2018, 06:25 AM
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"Nothing could," the man stated, his somber tone seeming almost compassionate. Almost. He let the subject go, though, as Rekal moved on to other things. Oprierd made a mental note to himself, though, that Rekal had suffered losses recently, filing that bit of data away into permanent storage for future reference. He seemed mostly himself, but one never knew. Things like that could change a person. He'd best be watchful.

No sign of these inner calculations showed, though; the Lord Holder's gaze seemed steady, distant but alert - even concerned, in a cool sort of way. Though he knew full well that Rekal was aware of his... truer... nature, Oprierd's habit of masking, of presenting himself in a certain way to others, was too ingrained to be dropped casually or at whim. Those unguarded moments where Rekal got to see those parts of Oprierd that the man typically kept carefully hidden were more common when he was younger, more rash and impulsive. By this time, Oprierd had become deeply cautious and wary. He had big plans and couldn't afford to fardle them up - especially not by his own folly.

As Rekal went on, Oprierd frowned thoughtfully. Well, that explained that odd suicide off the Watch Heights. He'd heard about the incident, but no one had seemed to know exactly why the man had done it. Or if they knew, they hadn't wanted to admit it. This sort of thing was exactly why Oprierd had been forced to learn discretion even with his most trusted underlings. One youthful outburst. That's all it had been. He'd only recently been officially confirmed as Heir at the time and hadn't yet adjusted to the requirements of the position. Someone had brought him unfortunate news. The messenger had been involved in the ... unpleasantness... and that was why Oprierd had seen fit to punish him immediately. Unfortunately, that detail tended to get lost when the story spread, so that even now, Turns later, he found that even his best people were reluctant to bring him bad news. It was a serious problem. Oprierd may not like to hear certain things, but he could not, absolutely could not proceed correctly without having all the data.

When Rekal finished speaking, Oprierd grunted. "That would be enormous trouble. The raiders are still active, for one. Even were they not, you can bet the Weyr has not forgotten. The walking canine is no longer Senior, at least; she was a grudge-holder." Oprierd's mouth twitched to one side in a sort of irritable yet respectful half-frown. "Still, if the Weyr even suspects my personal involvement, things could go badly for us. Well. For me, but then where would you be?" A tiny smirk accompanied those words. They had multiple layers of meaning. They referred to all of his employees and underlings, but they also referred to Rekal specifically.

After a pause in which he studied Rekal in thoughtful silence, Oprierd spoke again. "I may not like hearing something, but I still need to hear it. I have failed, it seems, to communicate to my people" - Oprierd meant his minions rather than the people of the Hold at large - "that - however unhappy I may be to hear it - I nevertheless require all data. Especially unfavorable data. I cannot act on that which I do not know about." A slight growl entered his tone here. Oprierd noticed and forced himself to relax. Anger was counterproductive here. The man's voice smoothed out, became gentler, more understanding-seeming. "I fully recognize that this... reluctance... to be the bringer of bad news is my own fault. Nevertheless, this is a problem that must be dealt with. That, and the Weyr," he added, and the growl came back into his voice as he spoke the final word.

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Rekal
 Posted: Apr 26 2018, 12:05 PM
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There were things that could make Rekal feel even more nervous under the gaze of Oprierd and few of them were the fact that his..what even were they? He'd have to talk that out this ambiguous state of being was confusing him in his own mind but he was afraid to bring it up because what if Oprierd decided that his talk was too great a risk and decided to off him, even after all he'd done. Even though he was unflinchingly loyal to his Lord, he'd never betray Oprierd.

As the turns had taught him he finished his report and waited only seconds till Oprierd spoke again. It was clear that his Lord hadn't been *too* bothered by the news but bothered enough it concerned him. He stared at the man for a moment and nodded. "Of course she was but as she is not senior we have a different one. This one is much more cautious and her Weyrleader is also a Queenrider, which makes this even more dangerous a time for Plateau." He said to him softly as he then looked down for a moment his question though made his blood run cold as he looked at him, "I'd be facing whatever happened alongside you." He murmured softly fear tinging his tone but more the fear of losing Oprierd than any real terror of dying.

At the slight growl in his tone, Rekal's body reacted the way it always did when it thought of pain and he suppressed it to the best of his ability. He didn't need that right now, Oprierd knew what tones and inflections from him could do to him more easily than any other person ever had. "Whatever you need of me My Lord I'm here and willing to help, you know that I will do anything for you." Rekal had to think that sentence through several times before he was sure of what to say. He then reached up and gently touched his cheek for a brief moment before he pulled away, he knew better than to keep touches lingering when he was like this.

Rekask, however, was liking the feeling of Rekal's mind less and less, he was never like this with anyone else. Everyone else was the one cowering from Rekal, her handler was not one to back down like this easily. She was concerned for him but she hoped that he knew what he was doing and she crooned worriedly. What are you doing? She asked him and the slight annoyance she got back worried her more, I'm getting ready to hopefully play a game. Don't worry Rekask. He said to her trying to reassure her.

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