Day 022: 7 For 700
Summary: Arlin, Britt, and Tuan bring Sonia's offer to Fiona and Grey. Tempers flare and warnings are issued.
Date: 2016 Jun 12
Related: This log follows Buzzkills (a deal is struck with Sonia)
Arlin Britt Fiona Grey Tuan 

Outside the Skaikru Camp
Grass and stuff.
Day 22

It's late afternoon by the time they make it to the Skaikru camp. Three Grounders, riding two horses (Arlin is on Britt's). They have weapons, of course, but they are not brandished in any way. At a casual pace, they ride into view of the camp's gate. Britt pulls her horse to a stop a fair distance back. Hoping that the guards may recognize the red-headed archer who spoke to them after the attack. "Skaikru," she calls. "We bear a message, if one of your leaders will come out and hear it." Apparently she doesn't wish to be shouting it from the perimeter.

The rest of the ride for Tuan is rather quiet. Far too much thought going on in his mind as they make their way to where the camp lies. Finally, before he can finish really coming up with any true thoughts that he wants to they are at the camp and he is sitting astride the horse while Britt calls within for some leaders to speak with. A glance is given towards Arlin, the first words from Tuan in a couple of hours are spoken. "<In Trigedasleng> We will need to either rest before pressing on or I will need the wake leaves to chew on."

There may or may not be a squabble going on about how identifies as a 'leader' amongst the delinquents. But at some point, the gate opens, and Fiona steps out. She looks behind her as if expecting someone, and then turns her attention to the riders. There's a visible stitch scar peeking over the neckline of her tank top, but she appears fairly ambulatory. Her mouth starts to curve in a smile as she takes in the faces of the riders, but it's barely a twitch before it disappears."

"<In Trigedasleng> We'll rest," Arlin decrees, in part because Tuan has exerted himself so much when still not fully recovered, and in part because the medic has had his fill of horseback riding. "<In Trigedasleng> You should drink some water." Not in the mood to brook an argument (is he ever?), he even fishes out and pointedly proffers his own canteen.

It's probably not terribly politic to greet a group of Grounders wearing Grounder-made armor and carrying a slung rifle, but the Delinquents are at war — so say the Grounders — so Grey's not going to take chances. He tucks the rifle between his legs for a moment, and then painfully pulls the looted armor over his shoulders and buttons it up over his bare chest. Only once that's settled and he loops the sling of his rifle over his shoulder again does he step out from the gate, stepping up alongside Fiona, "Heya." That's called out to the Grounders, and he grins over to Fiona before he adds, "Depends on how you define 'leader.' I laik Greh kom Skaikru." He pauses for Fiona to introduce herself as well if she's going to, "What can we do for you?"

When the gate opens, Britt slides off her horse. She nods to Tuan. "<In Trigedasleng> We will as soon as we can," she promises, agreeing with Arlin. Her bow stays in its saddle scabbard, and she steps forward with empty hands to meet Fiona and Grey. The girl gets a slight nod and flash of recognition, but no smile. Britt's expression is grim. Not hostile, just not happy with recent events. "I am Britt kom Triku," she says in response to Grey. Like him, she leaves the others to intro themselves. "We have met with the leader of the war band that attacked you, but I'm afraid the news is not good." Yeah, that's not ominous at all.

Tuan looks at the canteen offered by Arlin and accepts it, lifting it to his lips and within four solid gulps it is emptied before he apologetically hands it back towards the medic. "<In Trigedasleng> I am sorry, the thirst was greater than I realized." His eyes then look back over the Skaikru that have come out, shifting from Grey to settle on Fiona to watch her reactions to the news. Where he would normally smile, he does not, a somber and sad look on his features at what Britt is speaking.

"Feyona kom Skaikru." the young woman in question introduces herself. Let's just say her accent is hella better than Grey's, okay? Okay. Britt's words definitely cause her to pause, but it's Tuan's expression that sells just how bad this can be.

The moment Britt dismounts, Arlin's a microsecond behind her in getting boots on ground. At least he doesn't glare at the steed. Retrieving the canteen from Tuan, he smirks a little as he shakes out the last clinging droplets of water, then reseals the cap and re-affixes the thing to his rucksack. "<In Trigedasleng> S'aright. Can always get more water. Can't get another you."

That done, he turns his hazel gaze, which is presently shading more towards green, upon the Skaikru. A soft grunt of greeting is offered along with, "Arlin kom Trikru," in that distinctive baritone of his.

Grey's accent is really, really bad, so Fiona doesn't have a whole hell of a long way to go. That's not to say that her accent isn't good, it's just that his is really, really bad. He nods as each of the Grounders introduce themselves or don't as they choose. "Usually isn't, is it, Britt kom Trikru?" His right hand brushes over the metal receiver of his assault rifle unconsciously, "How bad is it this time?"

"We spoke on your behalf, but she still believes you are responsible for Thripoda." There's a somber note of apology in Britt's voice. "She has orders to attack, and will not sway from that course, unless.." Here Britt pauses, her mouth working as if chewing on something unpleasant. "She wishes seven of your people to come to her camp. To stand trial for the seven hundred dead in Thripoda." Her frown deepens. "They will almost surely die. But… for their sacrifice, Sonia has agreed to hold off the attack until our leaders can hopefully stop this war. Those seven may save the rest."

With the other two having dismounted it is a bit awkward for Tuan to sit astride the horse so he very carefully, and slowly, moves to dismount. He leaves his hand on the animal for a few moments to rest before straightening and looking at the Sky People with his somber expression that does, over time soften a bit when his eyes fall on Fiona when the terms that were given are repeated. Tuan opens his mouth to speak, but instead he finds no words and just closes it.

Fiona's head rocks back as if someone has slapped her. "That's…that's barbaric!" Her usual self-control is completely out the window for an instant. Taking a breath, her eyes close, and she turns her head to look at Grey, sizing up his reaction.

Full disclosure: for all that Arlin is attentively listening, as evinced by tacking on, "The deadline is nightfall tomorrow," he's not so much (okay, not at all) looking at the talking Skaikru as he is intently eying Grey's rifle. The sight of it conjures a potent and ambivalent reaction deep in his viscera, but the end result is some manner of emotional white noise infusing his features, which means, by default, he has Resting Jerk Face. At Fiona's outburst, though, his attention flits to her, gaze flat and unmoved. "You will lose far more than seven when the kruheda unleashes her full wrath." It's a simple statement of fact. "Give seven now and it may be viewed as proof of honor. Enough to wait for your Skaiheda to appear and pay the remaining balance."

"And Sonia kom Trikru can stop this war? She speaks for the kruheda?" Yup, his pronunciation is still horrible. But Grey seems to be taking things relatively in stride. At least on the surface. "So seven of our people die for an accident," okay, there's a bit more of the venom in his voice now, "so that we can delay a war until the rest of our people come down, then it starts again?"

"Your dropship destroyed her village," Britt says flatly, glancing at Fiona. She nods in support of Arlin's words, then shifts her attention to Grey. "No. She cannot stop it any more than we can. But she can stop her fifty warriors from attacking you the day after tomorrow, while she waits for word from the kruheda. We have sent runners to our leaders, but it takes time for word to get there and back. I believe our Heda will see the value of peace, but I cannot speak for her." Shaking her head, she admits. "If what you say is true, and it was an accident, then this is not just. But either way, it is your reality. Lose seven, or lose them all. You cannot take on the entire Trikru, not even with your guns."

Tuan pushes away from the horse and staggers a step, taking unsteady paces until he is by Arlin and he places a hand on the man to steady himself before straightening and looking between Fiona and Grey. Something said has sparked ire in the youngest of the three Grounders and he speaks in slow English, his voice weary. "Your accident. From your Clan. That killed 700 of ours." He looks between the two delinquents. "You are not directly responsible. But those you are tied to are. I know we are just barbarians," he pointedly does not look at Fiona when he says that, "but some of us still do not want to see you all suffer."

The look on Fiona's face when Tuan's face is - well, her heart may not precisely be broken, but it's certainly cracked a little bit. "We'll…talk to our people." Because what else is she going to say? She looks again to Grey. "Arguing about it here and now isn't going to do anything but waste time."

"Our accident. From our clan. That killed hundreds of ours." Anger sparks in Grey's voice, "A tragedy. And if this Sonia's so outta her damned mind that she wants to kill us all over a tragedy, well…" He bites his tongue then, looking over to Fiona and letting out a little breath, and nodding, "Then we'll tell our people her offer. And we'll give her her answer." But he can't let it go without some fire, and so he racks the slide of his assault rifle, chambering a round with a harsh, mechanical sound, "But if she keeps up this false revenge and comes for the camp? Move the people from your villages closest to the Mountain, because we won't go down without a fight, and we'll fight plenty loud enough for the Mountain to sit up and take notice." He holds up one finger, "That's not a threat. I don't want anyone in Coesbur hurt. So. When we have our answer, where do we find her?"

<FS3> Arlin rolls Resolve-3: Success.

Arlin actually snorts and somewhat incredulously looks at Grey. These Sky People really know nothing is clear upon his face. But then Tuan is there, at his shoulder, and the medic shoulders the weight like someone well used to shouldering even more weight. "The choice is yours: seven now, with your Skaiheda to settle the balance later, or far more than seven."

But then Grey opens his mouth and says things that really shouldn't be said to any Trikru, and especially not within earshot of Arlin. For a moment, there is the most dreadful, searing kind of stillness, and the involuntary clenching of fists, and the tremors of mounting rage. Eyes grow gimlet sharp and bright while his lips curdle into something foul, and his jaw clenches so tightly that his teeth just might crumble. "You listen, Skaiboy," the words are spat out in a scalding growl that claws its way out, "when the Mountain Men come, you best pray they come for you and yours and your guns, for I SWEAR, if they rain their wrath on my people, I will bleed you dry, drop by drop."

And to drive the point home, he swiftly unsheathes his KA-Bar knife — the Sarge — and slices his palm, squeezing until his Oath is sealed with blood and earth. Which, admittedly is probably bad for poor Tuan's precarious sense of balance. Pointedly, and with a look of unmitigated malice, the blade is re-sheathed, and Arlin is then hitching himself unto Britt's horse. "You have less than 24 hours to decide your fate, Skaikru."

"We have only your word of that," Britt replies cooly to Grey. "If you had something more than tales and a burned village, it would be a different story. But you don't, do you?" Her eyes narrow at the perceived threat, and then Arlin is over there whipping out a knife. The swift movement startles Britt, and she shifts position to step between him and the Skaikru with an outstretched arm. Not so much because she expects him to attack, but moreso to convince the guards on the wall of that. Assuming nobody shoots her, she looks back to offer tersely to Grey. "I will return tomorrow before midday and lead you there if you choose."

The outburst, the quick turn of things has Tuan spinning momentarily. He looks over at Grey and Fiona as Arlin heads to the horse and Britt moves to Arlin as well. He opens his mouth to speak but instead, Tuan just shakes his head and turns to head towards the horse he rode in on with staggering steps to make his way there, starting the process of climbing upon it with struggle.

Fiona reaches out to try and briefly touch Grey's arm, as if to caution him not to get in Arlin's face. She nods to Britt. It's not exactly a thank you, but there's recognition, acknowledgment of the woman that's respectful. But she does lift her voice to request, tone careful. "Before you depart, I would like to speak with Tuan kom Trikru. In private. Beja."

At the reaction from Arlin, Grey takes half a step forward and to his left, putting himself in between the Grounders and his fellow Delinquent, the butt of his rifle snugged up against his shoulder but the barrel still pointed down at the ground. "What the shit, man?" Still, at Fiona's touch, he steps back again, although he continues speaking, frustration clear on his face and in his voice, "Will you listen to what I'm saying? I'm giving you a warning so if Sonia and Indra do this stupid-ass thing, your people don't get hurt." He lifts his left hand from the barrel-shroud of the rifle, tapping his chest hard with his fingers, "I'm tryin' to do the right thing here, but if you expect us to roll over and die without a fight, you got another thing comin'." He glances to Fiona at her request, but doesn't comment on it directly.

"No," Arlin snaps, loud enough to carry across the distance, "you have been warned." It's a far cry from the petulance and bravado he's been known to throw down in the name of pride and testosterone. This is a legitimate single tick from Murder Time. "The Mountain already knows, and they will come within a week's time." If they are keeping to the same time table they used the last time they retaliated. "We warned you when we first came to you camp. You and your Mimiya kom Skaikru, but you did not listen. And now, one way or another, you will pay the price. For Thripoda and for drawing the attention of the Mountain."

"<In Trigedasleng> Arlin, take it easy," Britt warns softly. Fiona gets a slight nod in return, but it's Grey who draws her attention. "You do not understand, Grey kom Skaikru." Her voice is taut but not angry. "Sonia. Indra. They are Trikru. They are our people." She shakes her head, mouth pressed into a thin line. "Your bravery against these odds does you credit. But if you think that continuing to use your guns when you know it invites the death of hundreds of innocent villagers is 'the right thing', well…" She lets that thought trail off with a disapproving frown. The archer moves back to her horse, prepared to leave but still listening in case the Skaikru have anything else to add. She doesn't comment on the request to talk to Tuan - he can decide that for himself.

Tuan hears Fiona's request when he was just about to make his way onto the horse and he stops. Half on, half off he looks over at the woman and then gives a very slight nod of his head. Turning to Britt he speaks towards her, "<In Trigedasleng> I will be along shortly." Setting his feet upon the ground and moving to tie the horses' reins to a nearby branch, another looks is given towards Fiona with a nod as he starts to walk towards the forest since she wanted to speak in private.

Fiona looks back to Grey. "This isn't helping." she tells him firmly. "And this argument will just go back and forth and won't get us anywhere. I'll be back in, in a little while. Please." The silent request is please, go back inside. With another stiff nod for those Trikru who remain, she starts to follow Tuan into the forest.

Grey turns his dark eyes to Arlin as he snaps back, shaking his head. He bites off proud and spiteful words, clenching his jaw tight to do it. Britt's words gain more of his attention, and he nods slightly, "Indra and Sonia wrong us. Any court you've got, any authority over them, I'll face 'em there." He nods his head down toward the ground at his feet, "Or I'll face 'em here if they come. Move your people, Britt kom Trikru. Please. I don't want 'em hurt, but I'm not gonna let my people die." He starts to turn back toward the gate, then hesitates a moment, glancing to Fiona, then back to the Grounders, "Is there any chance that the seven convince Sonia or Indra that they're in the wrong, and to call off the attack for good?" Fiona gets a pat on the shoulder, a stretch of his arm across his body that draws a wince, "Be careful, Fi." But he's not going to stop her.

Arlin says nothing. He simply glares at Grey the same look generally reserved for horses.

"Sonia will not stop without an order from the kruheda or heda. Your seven may be able to talk Sonia into sparing them, but I doubt it. And even that would not stop the war." But Grey's words do cause a thoughtful look to creep across Britt's face. She chews her lip for a moment. "The heda may yet call a ceasefire once word reaches her. Failing that, you can try to plead your case to Indra directly." She shrugs. "Think on it." With that, she finally gets back on the horse that Arlin loves so much - a teensy bit awkwardly since he's already there.

Seriously, guys. Arlin is so DONE. He's already on the damn horse. His hate for the animal is currently overshadowed by his hate for other things. People. Whatever.

Grey nods to Britt, "We'll lay out our case to anyone we can, 'cause we're innocent. The whole Skaikru is. I already staked my life on it with steheda Oxfor. I'll do the same with anyone else who'll listen." He nods once more, "Thanks for tryin' though. Lay-don." We've mentioned his pronunciation is terrible, right? He can't even get 'leidon' right. But at least he knows what it means, since he's turning once more to walk back into the gate.

A somber frown settles on Britt's face at Grey's protestations of innocence. "Good luck," she says simply in return, then turns her horse to ride out.

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