alesa_ht (alesa_ht) wrote in htharpers,

The return of the missing apprentice

It's well known that Moria told many people of her plans to return to Harper
Hall should she not Impress at Ista Weyr's hatching. Letters were even
written to her mentor and friends, stating that very fact. She did not
Impress, and after seeing Sadaiya safely to the Infirmary, witnesses claim to
have seen her packing her belongings into a bag and leaving the Weyr, headed
down the beach, apparently intent on walking back to the Hall. That was the
last anyone saw of her.
No dragonriders from Ista Weyr admit to giving her a ride, and letters sent
by firelizard to her family in Ruatha reveal that she has not gone there,
either. What has happened to her?

MOO Time: 2009-12-21 15:07:18
Internet Time: @880 beats
And on Pern ...
The time is 13:07.
It is afternoon of the seventy-sixth day of autumn.
It is the fourteenth Turn of the Tenth Interval.
It is an autumn afternoon.

Players: Moria, Alesa,Kurt
Summary: Moria shows up at the Harper Office with some explaining to do.

Harper Office

The office is cheerful, the light reflecting off of whitewashed walls and ceiling. A pattern mimicking musical notation in colors runs along the tops of the walls, shelf upon shelf rising from the floor to meet it. Desks, cabinets and filing drawers are arranged about the room, workplaces for those whose job it is to keep the harpers and hall in order.

Watching from a high shelf are two firelizards.
You see Project Reference Book, Useful Facts for Harpers, Harper Progress Board, Art Lesson Plans, Staff Tackboard, and a large fishbowl here.
Fintan and Moria are here.
Obvious exits:

Kurt sits in the office with his feet propped up on the desk, looking annoyed as usual. When Kurt looks annoyed, it can't possibly be good. The Harper Master looks toward the door, then sighs and folds his arms over his chest. "Do we really have to do this? Why do they join the craft if they're going to just act like animals?"

On this autumn afternoon at the Istan Harper Hall, two administrative types have been deep in discussion in the Harper Office. Alesa, with her long braided hair draped about her left shoulder is reviewing some forms with Kurt, both at the harper desk, catty corner to one another. "Because sometimes, they do a really good job of pretending they are not a problem case, and then we have to clean up the mess afterwards. Anyway..have you read the new law class outlines that Journeyman Schmendrick left here earlier? I took a quick look, they seem fairly comprehensive. " She slides the hides over Kurts way, remarking, "Have a look and tell me if there's anything we should add or subtract from the curriculum."

There is a knock at the door. It's not exactly timid, but it's not precisely loud, either.

Looking over the hides, Kurt says "I think they need more structure. The apprentices have been given an awful lot of freedom, i think, and they're starting to take advantage of our generosity. If they don't knock it off, we're going to have to start cracking down with the rules and giving them more chores. If they have enough time to get into trouble, they have enough time to..." the knock on the door causes him to pause, then huff slightly. "Here we go."

Alesa nods, "He's done a good job laying the groundwork for these, I think with some guidance, we can shape them up in no time. Maybe here in the second bullet point-" Her train of thought is interrupted by the knock at the door, and so properly she says, "Come in! Do you have an appointment?"

The door opens, and there stands Moria. Her face is stark white, but she looks surprisingly healthy. And not dead. "No, I don't have an appointment," she says quietly, her eyes trained pretty much on the floor in front of her feet. "I... came back. I'm fine. And... I expect you'll want to punish me for just disappearing. I'm sorry." There is a bag clutched in her hands. She pauses, takes a deep breath. "Please take me back as an Apprentice."

Kurt points to a chair. "Sit." and that's all he says, or rather that's all he /needs/ to say with the tone of his voice and his expression.

Alesa rises to her feet suddenly, a big frown on her face. "Moria. Can you please explain to us where you have been? We have had Journeymen cancelling classes to join the Harper Search party and Search and Rescue riders searching for you for /days/ after you disappeared. Where did you go and what happened to you?" She gestures towards the chair infront of the desk. "Yes, sit." she says simply as she seats herself once more.

Moria moves as if her legs are made of lead, and sits herself in the indicated chair, clutching the bag in her lap. "I was on my way here," she says, her voice barely above a whisper. "I meant to come back straight away. And then... I... spoke with someone and... I had to think. I needed time, is all. I'm /sorry/." She bites her lower lip and tries to keep the tears in her eyes from falling. "I didn't realize I was worrying everyone so much. I just... went into the jungle. There's a little cave there. I should have sent a firelizard."

"Yes, you should have. And don't expect us to be all 'oh that's OK' because your actions disrupted this entire craft's operation. Maybe you need to retake some of the basic apprentice classes again and learn what being part of a craft is about. We're not babysitters, we're not your parents. Why didn't you send a message? Why didn't you think about your fellow apprentices?"...says Kurt.

Alesa sighs. "Do you realize how much trouble you are in? Do you realize that relations between Ista Weyr and Harper Hall are now strained because we have had to ask how someone at Ista Weyr let you out of their sights after the hatching and did not give you a ride back here immediately? When we received no word that you were to stay at the weyr, we then expected you back at the hall. It is...relieving that you are not hurt and that no harm befell you but what you did demonstrates a gross lack of common sense and responsibility."

Moria shakes her head. "No, sir, I don't expect that. I'm willing to take any punishment you see fit to give. I'm sure I deserve them." The tears spill over after all, and she reaches up to wipe them away with her hand. She finally raises her eyes to give Alesa a stricken look. "I... I never meant for /any/ of that to happen. I'm /so/ sorry." She wipes her face again. "I was just... so confused and..." she bites her lip again, lowers her eyes. "You're right, I was stupid. I'm sorry."

Alesa speaks quietly now, but with some inherent intensity. "We have, of course, been discussing what to do with you if it was to happen that you appeared back at the hall, and had disappeared of your own volition." She holds out her hand. "Your behavior is not befitting that of a Senior Apprentice Harper..we expect so much more out of those with as much promise as you /seemed/ to have. You are hereby demoted to apprentice for an indeterminate period of time until you have demonstrated that you can behave responsibly. Hand over your knot." A pause. "And of course, the standards, you are grounded to the hall for two months and will be escorted by a journeyman to and from your classes. In short, almost constant supervision. We cannot have apprentices disappearing and have them expect to remain in our craft."

Kurt frowns. "How do you expect to set an example for the other apprentices when you just blatantly break the rules? By rights we should just expel you from the craft and send you back to wherever you came from. In addition to Alesa's orders you will find yourself taking on extra chores to occupy what would be your free time. You will also attend my classes, as it seems you need to learn some discipline."

Moria's face, which had been pinking up again with her tears, blanches at Alesa's pronouncement of punishment. She bites her lip, but obediently removes the knot from her shoulder and hands it over to Alesa. "Yes, ma'am," she murmurs, eyes on the knot that she no longer deserves. She flinches a bit at Kurt's scolding. "Please don't expel me!" she cries, turning to him and lifting her eyes to look at him. "I know I was wrong, but I was so /confused/ and heartbroken! He was --" Her hands clutch at the bag in her lap, knuckles white, and she chokes her words back, discontinuing the sentence. She nods almost eagerly as Kurt pronounces his sentence. "Yes, sir. I understand."

Kurt lifts a dark brow. "You also know that relationships are forbidden until you reach the rank of Journeyman. You're not making this any easier for yourself."

Alesa takes the knot and places it carefully in a lockable drawer, rummaging to emerge with a simple apprentice knot to hand back to the girl. "You will also write a letter to Junior Weyrwoman Lanti with a two copies, one for our office, and one to Craftmaster Veldara indicating your contrition and desire to do your best from now on. This letter is due within one sevenday on the desk in the Harper Office. And yes.." she slants a curious look over to Master Kurt, "Relationships are forbidden, and its best that if you are with someone of the opposite sex, be in a public area, no one's private room. We've made this clear to Erikkhan as well as all our other Journeymen. Lately we have received word from the drudges that there's been entirely too much apprentice traffic into higher rankers rooms lately. But this is an unrelated matter to your disappearance, just one we want to remind you of. Can you please repeat to us what your punishment is so we know you understand?"

"No, that's not what happened," Moria says, hands clenching. "It was... before I came here. /Before/ I was an Apprentice." She's crying in earnest, now. "When I was a Messenger at High Reaches, there was... a man, and I loved him. But... he didn't love me. Doesn't. Never will. But he keeps showing up. Just when I think I'm /over/ him, he's there. He's a brownrider and his father lives here, you see. I feel like I can't /escape/ him." She sounds utterly miserable as she speaks, and looks at Master Kurt, her expression scared. "I swear, I have not carried on any relationships while I've been an Apprentice." She turns back to Alesa. "Yes, ma'am. I know they're forbidden. I really haven't broken the rules. Until just now when I disappeared. And I'm /sorry/, I really, really am." She nods and takes a few seconds to wipe her face again and collect her thoughts. "I'm not to leave the Hall." This is said almost with relief. "I'm to be accompanied by a Journeyman between classes for at least two months. I have been demoted to the rank of Apprentice until I can prove that I am responsible and trustworthy. I am to do extra chores and attend Master Kurt's classes to learn discipline. And, I am to write a letter of contrition to Junior Weyrwoman Lanti, with copies for Craftmaster Veldara and this office, to be turned in within the week." She wipes her face again and sniffles.

Kurt asks "Did this brownrider force you to go to High Reaches? Did he hold you there against your will? You didn't think for a moment that maybe you could have gone to the harper posted at the weyr to tell her you were there so she could relay a message? You have a long way to go before you earn that knot back again. You're part of a craft, not in a nursery. We have to work together. When someone causes a problem, it causes a problem for the whole craft. I hope you'll take the time to think about what we've said and make measures to improve."

Alesa is firm, now, "Unless this man was directly implicated and involved in your disappearance, this relationship matter is unrelated. Important to remind, which we have done, but unrelated. You said yourself that you delayed returning of your own choice and we have doled out a punishment befitting that action. Unless there is anything else you would like to share with us, you may go. I will escort you to the dorms personally and call a meeting of Journeymen to inform them of the need to have monitoring of your whereabouts about the hall. So, is there anything else we need to know, Apprentice?"

Moria shakes her head at Kurt, looking confused. "Wait, no... I... no. He didn't... I didn't explain it right." She chews on her lip for a second. "He only spoke to me. I was feeling very upset after the Hatching. Sadaiya getting mauled... and not Impressing. And then /he/ showed up. It was /too much/. I just needed some /time/, is all to think. So I went into the jungle. It's my fault. I was stupid and wrong and unthinking. And I'm /sorry/." Another face-scrub. She nods at Alesa's words, and hesitates, but then eventually shakes her head slowly from side to side. "No, ma'am. I'm just... sorry." She reaches out for the simple Apprentice knot and pins it to her shoulder, and then looks down at her bag again, white-faced and red-eyed and sniffling.

"I've said everything I wanted to say." Kurt says. "Obviously we're very disappointed. See to it we're not that disappointed again."

Alesa nods, "Are you ready to go? I can escort you back to the dorms so I can leave notice in the Journeyman lounge to call the meeting." She rises to her feet and takes a few steps towards the door, indicating that Moria should follow her if she is ready to go.

"Yes sir," Moria says, keeping her eyes downcast. "I won't let you down again. I promise." She rises to her feet. "Yes, ma'am." She falls meekly behind Alesa, ready to follow.
Tags: alesa, demotion, disappearance, harper office, kurt, moria, punishments
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