Day 070: A Skaigirl In Polis
Summary: Kai and Britt visit the capital. Talk turns to Kai's fitting in, the Skaikru threat, and Britt's troubles with the men in her life.
Date: 9 Aug 2016
Related: Dragonslayer Party (Kai plays drinking games), Not Over (Arlin and Britt fight), Give It Time (Britt proposes to Erson)
Kai Britt 

The Big City
Day 70

Morning in Polis' warrior barracks. Kai was too tired to even think about things like her ex-Skaikru ass bunking among warriors she doesn't know and might take offense to her heritage.. between the riding and the hangover, but when the warriors start stirring, by habit she can't help but get up too. She's schluffed into the community kitchen, eyeing the offerings before scooping herself out some of the gruel and some scrambled eggs and what's probably pork sausage and finding herself a spot where she has a clear line of the door simply so she can keep an eye out for Britt. In some ways it feels oddly exposed and yet, milestoney simply to be sitting among the warriors, completely unnoticed, with the excuse of shoveling food to avoid having to talk too much and potentially give herself away. At least the warriors of Polis seem a little less hungover than their Tondc counterparts.

There is something to be said for anonymity. When Britt had asked the senior warrior last evening to point her at a spare bunk for Kai, he had eyed the younger woman for a moment and asked who she was. "Friend from Coesbur," is all Britt said, giving no indication that Kai was a Second (which might raise eyebrows given her age) or Skaikru (which definitely would). With Britt's taciturn answer and obvious exhaustion, he hadn't pursued the line of questioning further.

This morning, Britt arrives at the dining area not long after Kai. Looking more rested, if not in any better of a mood. Still, she spares a slight smile at the sight of the ex-Skaikru sitting among the warriors. After grabbing a bowl of whatever for herself, she takes the open seat opposite Kai. "<In Trigedasleng> Morning." Usually she chitchats with Kai in Gonsaleng when they're alone, leaving the intensive language training to Wren and his family. Today, though, she sticks to Trig.

"<In Trigedasleng> Morning." Kai can manage that one, and does so with a furtive kind of grin. She might not look one hundred percent, but compared to the green creature that had clung desperately to the neck of her steed for the ride up, trying not to groan too audibly, she's downright chipper. And more alert. Which is why she's studying Britt's expression with those grey eyes curious,"<In Trigedasleng> Are you okay?"

Britt starts eating, troubled eyes lifting to Kai at the question. She hitches a shoulder. "<In Trigedasleng> Not really." Another spoonful is eaten. "<In Trigedasleng> You're feeling better? We can visit the bath house after breakfast and then see the city if you like." A wry smirk breaks through the gloom briefly as she remarks. "<In Trigedasleng> Won't stick out like a sore thumb now, with all your scars."

"<In Trigedasleng> What is bad?" Kai asks of her, working on her own food because, well, after yesterday where food was anathema, today it's necessary. There's a dip of her head in acknowledgment regarding 'better' and 'bathhouse',"<In Trigedasleng> I would like that." and then gives a broader grin as her eyes flit over the rest of the room,"<In Trigedasleng> Few marks, more words.. not seen." certainly with the sun she's gotten and the scars she's earnt she seems to be both more comfortable in her own skin and with her surroundings instead of feeling like a total alien.

"<In Trigedasleng> Later," is Britt's only answer to Kai's first question, though she does offer the Second a strained smile to show that she's not offended or anything by the question. It's just not something she wants to get into here among the other warriors, in Kai's not-quite-fluent Trig. Though still sad and reserved, she does allow that faint smile to linger when she sees Kai's grin. "<In Trigedasleng> You've found your place," she observes mildly.

Kai dips her head again in acknowledgment, though it does seem to mean at least in her case that she's not inclined to linger over breakfast,"<In Trigedasleng> Yes." the girl agree's simply with a deep breath,"<In Trigedasleng> Did know." her gaze skitters off at a passing warrior, she's conscious about trying to not expose herself at least. Though her jaw works as she endeavors to find all the words she wants,"<In Trigedasleng> Better home. You, Wren, the others. Knew it would be.. hard. But knew. S.. other place not home."

Britt offers Kai an understanding nod. "<In Trigedasleng> Couple more months, no one would even know." In the mean time, the language barrier is still a bit of a hurdle for true incognito-ness. Another warrior looks like he's about to pass by, but then stops to greet Britt with a hearty clap on the back that makes her wince. She didn't complain about her ribs during the ride yesterday, but they were clearly still bugging her.

"<In Trigedasleng> Britt. The heda finally let you escape the Sky People and come back to us," the mustached man of about forty says with a gruff laugh.

Britt tilts a strained smile up to him. "<In Trigedasleng> Only briefly. Indra's sending me to Coesbur."

That causes the warrior to snort, and then they start chattering back and forth, the Trig most likely a challenge for Kai to follow. The gist is the other guy teasing Britt about drawing the short straw, and her in turn teasing him about missing the fight at the Mountain. Then a few unpleasant words about Oxfor and more pleasant words about the rebuilding of Cosebur.

"<In Trigedasleng> Who's this then?" the other warrior finally asks with a nod toward Kai.

"<In Trigedasleng> Kai kom Trikru. One of Peake's, from Coesbur." One of Peake's what is left a little vague, to avoid a direct lie or awkward question. "<In Trigedasleng> This is Banek kom Trikru."

Kai can't help but watch, sure, it's guaranteed she can't follow it all, no doubt there's words spoken at such speed and not familiar to her. She elects that it's best to finish her breakfast. Though there's curiousity with regards to the unpleasant words that she can make out about Oxfor she doesn't endeavor to pry and certainly her expression doesn't suggest she's drawing grave offense about it. When she's finally introduced there's the dip of her head,"<In Trigedasleng> Banek kom Trikru. Good morning." she settles for with a brief flash of a smile, nudging away her plate and wiping her hands on her pants from habit without endeavoring to ask him any questions because it's just.. safer, that way.

Banek nods back to Kai. "<In Trigedasleng> I hope the day finds you well." Then he asks the two of them collectively. "<In Trigedasleng> How long will you be in Polis?"

"<In Trigedasleng> Tomorrow at the latest," Britt answers, with a glance to Kai.

Banek nods. "<In Trigedasleng> Well I'll be at the pub tonight if you like. You owe me a drink." For some unspecified reason in the past that gets a little smirk and a nod from Britt. "<In Trigedasleng> Or after," he adds with a suggestive grin.

At this, however, Britt's smirk falters a little. "<In Trigedasleng> I'll see you at some point," she offers a non-committal answer.

"<In Trigedasleng> And you." Kai responds with a dip of her head, sharing a look with Britt for her answer and dipping her head in apparent agreement, though the faltering has her tilting her head curiously. Pub. Tonight. Drink. Easy. After even, relatively easy. The gist of the last a little lost on her,"<In Trigedasleng> More drink? That will make the ride back… fun." she opts for, not quite the tense she was looking for, but well, the best she could manage while trying to sound casual at least.

The smirk rights itself a little when Britt turns it on Kai. "<In Trigedasleng> Only if you drink yourself silly again. Moderation works for a great many things." She goes back to her breakfast then. "<In Trigedasleng> Did you enjoy the party?"

"<In Trigedasleng> Break the Table." Kai utters, naming a game wherein the participants are required to stab the table with their dagger and then down a shot, the last one to drink is out, or the one whose dagger fails to stay upright,"<In Trigedasleng> Galle and I.." oh here's a word that's hard for her, she pauses and sifts through her brain,"<In Trigedasleng> opposite Luther and Rinnan. I failed." she confesses with a rueful shrug of her shoulders,"<In Trigedasleng> Danced. Threw drink on Khesu. Not clear some stuff." or maybe it's clearer than she particularly wants to talk about to judge from the faint flush of color that creeps up her cheeks,"<In Trigedasleng> You?"

Britt's eyebrows go up a bit at that. "<In Trigedasleng> You and Galle against Rinnan and Luther? Hardly seems fair," she observes mildly. Taking a sip of her water, she reads a little into that flush and asks, "<In Trigedasleng> Found that young fellow — what's his name? Nix?" Kai's question in return goes unanswered save for a crease in her brow.

Kai dips her head in acknowledgment,"<In Trigedasleng> Rinnan lost after. Luther won. Very strong drink." she wrinkles her nose and has to clear her throat. Oh hey look, water, water is awesome, as if that's not an answer in and of itself. Though there's also a shrug too,"<In Trigedasleng> Fun, but." she finally says at last with the wiggle of her hand, opening her mouth and closing it as she tries to find words and finally settles for,"<In Trigedasleng> Not niron."

"<In Trigedasleng> Well, you could probably all drink me under the table," Britt admits, trying to find some levity to balance her dismal mood. "<In Trigedasleng> Luther twice over." The hand-waggle gets a brief smirk. "<In Trigedasleng> Nothing wrong with that. Banek wasn't a niron either." But then, Britt's choosy about how she applies that word, even if others have a looser definition.

Kai snorts,"<In Trigedasleng> Not good, me." she settles for with a faint smile,"<In Trigedasleng> Luther, yes." her gaze flits to Britt's plate briefly, though she's not about to hurry the archer at all, dipping her head,"<In Trigedasleng> Too… close." not quite the word she was looking for, but close enough she figures,"<In Trigedasleng> Good, but. Not ready."

"<In Trigedasleng> Too soon," Britt supplies helpfully. "<In Trigedasleng> You have time enough. No need to rush." A light shrug is accompanied by a little frown, which she tries to shake off by saying, "<In Trigedasleng> I don't know him well, but he always seemed nice enough."

"<In Trigedasleng> Soon." Kai repeats with a grateful smile before offering a quiet grunt of acknowledgment, she's definitely watching, even if she's not going to try and question her in her pidgin Trig in the middle of the barracks. She settles for drinking some of her water,"<In Trigedasleng> Lots good. It is not them. It is me. Not in hurry. Too busy." finally she can't resist, she asks,"Erson?"

"<In Trigedasleng> Being Second is being busy," Britt agrees. "<In Trigedasleng> Perhaps when the village is built you will have some time to relax." Assuming no other catastrophe happens between now and then. The simple query earns another pained look that is answer enough. But Britt shakes her head a little. "<In Trigedasleng> Erson, Ibem, Arlin, Sev. It has been a shitty week." But she also is not inclined to get into it in the middle of the barracks. She pokes at her breakfast a little more before giving the rest up as a lost cause. Then she's getting up. "<In Trigedasleng> No hurry. You take your time and finish. I'll meet you in the barracks when you've finished." She gestures back towards the bunk area in case any of that was lost in translation.

"<In Trigedasleng> Yes." Kai agree's regarding being Second being busy,"<In Trigedasleng> Not good relax." the last word is clearly not one she's used to, given the bad pronunciation and tense, but still. She leaves her water where it is as she rises, grimacing as she elects to follow rather than linger any longer. If it was lost in translation it seems like she's not worried about it at least.

"<In Trigedasleng> You're not good at relaxing?" Britt asks, having a little trouble figuring out what Kai was trying to say there at the end. She'll take their bowls and cups to the drop-off spot and then head back to the sleeping area. There are a few more exchanges with other warriors of the 'welcome back' variety, comments about the Mountain falling, questions about the Skaikru, all of which Britt brushes off with the minimal response she can manage without being out-and-out rude. Eventually she makes it back to her bunk, and grabs a simple canvas satchel that was sitting atop her footlocker. "<In Trigedasleng> Spare clothes. You have some for after bathhouse?"

"<In Trigedasleng> Yes." Kai agree's after she's had a long moment to turn it over in her head. She elects to keep her mouth shut aside from mostly noncommital greetings and grunts as she follows,"<In Trigedasleng> Yes." she answers again at the question about clothing, even if it a pair of light pants Starling made. There's some debate mentally as she digs through her meager possessions, her under armor shirt only escapes being Skai-obvious because of the amount of grease and dirt that have beaten it into some semblance of unobvious, but for a touristy thing she pulls out the green halter top she had to soak carefully after having drenched it in alcohol at the party, offering Britt a tight kind of smile.

Britt waits patiently while Kai gets her things, not seeming inclined for further chit-chat in the barracks. When she's ready, Britt gives a brief nod and then starts leading the way to the bathhouse. "<In Trigedasleng> Is it bigger than you imagined?" she wonders idly as they emerge onto the streets. It was dark when they arrived, preventing too much of a glimpse of the city.

To judge from the quiet of Kai and that she falls behind.. yes. It's bigger than she figured, especially the tower,"<In Trigedasleng> What is that?" she can't help but ask in a hushed tone as she catches up,"<In Trigedasleng> It is huge. The all thing is huge." she elects to go with. And more people than she's used to, even in Tondc. She's had a while to get used to it's surrounds and numbers, but there's an art to following like a duckling without quite looking like you're scared to get lost in the milieu of things or gawking like a wide-eyed tourist, and well, maybe she can fool some of the people but, Britt at least isn't likely to buy the wide eyed expression with which she watches everything.

"<In Trigedasleng> The tower." Britt gestures in that direction. "<In Trigedasleng> That is where the heda lives." She smirks a little at Kai's reaction, slowing her pace a little to let the girl gawk. "<In Trigedasleng> My village was about the same size as Coesbur, so… it was a shock the first time I came here."

Kai can't help but whistle lowly at that,"<In Trigedasleng> How do you get high?" she can't help but ask, she knows how it was done in the Ark, but, well, Trikru are not Skaikru, after all. She's trying hard not to gawk with only minimal success, really. Trying with teenage aplomb to look manifestly disaffected by everything and just.. failing about as well as that, too,"They said it was the size of Tondc and Coesbur combined." she possibly hasn't even realized she switched in to Gonasleng,"But somehow it seems even.. bigger." she breathes wide-eyed, resisting the desire to spread her hands and go running through the streets,"It's amazing, Britt."

"<In Trigedasleng> There's a lift. Like the one in the Mountain, only it is controlled by people and not the (in Gonsaleng: electricity). And it's bigger than Tondc and Coesbur - much bigger, I think." Britt hasn't bothered to take a census though. The wide-eyed wonder is a little infectious, for once seeing her people viewed with wonder instead of fear and disgust. "<In Trigedasleng> I am glad you were able to see it."

Kai pauses to look down one of the side streets, it's not like she can see that far down it, but still, she's trying to get a grasp on how much she totally just missed in her exhaustion the night before,"Controlled by people? I mean.. the strength needed!" she has the grace to look apologetic when her exclamation draws a look and she strives oh so very hard to resume disaffected warrior and still, well, fails at it,"Mochof, Britt. It's.. amazing. I.." yeh she's a tourist, but there's a slight straightening of her, a delighted kind of.. pride, that something that huge and complex and filled with people could possibly be, let alone belong to her chosen people. And it's probably obvious in the broad, lopsided grin she gives,"<In Trigedasleng> The… others.. would shit their pants, if they saw this."

"<In Trigedasleng> I think there is some kind of machine that helps, but I never paid much attention. I have been to the top, for an audience with the heda. It is… breathtaking. Perhaps someday you can see it." Britt's smile thins at the last, and agrees with a nod. "<In Trigedasleng> We do not need the Skaikru to save us from savagery." She motions to a building they're coming up on. "<In Trigedasleng> Here is the bathhouse."

"<In Trigedasleng> I would like that." Kai murmurs,"She is very beautiful." at least, that's her opinion regarding the Heda. There's a wrinkle of her nose,"<In Trigedasleng> Stupid Skaikru." she grunts,"<In Trigedasleng> Even with friends, too high up." she presses her lips together, pausing and nodding for the bathhouse and turning her feet that way, because baths are totally awesome, and after the party and the hangover and the riding, so necessary,"I don't trust them." not exactly the first time she's said something like that,"The Heda is smart, but we will need to watch them. They may take land that is not theirs to take."

Britt nods briskly to Kai's assessment. "Me either. They do not act as allies, they act as those taking advantage." The bathhouse is not too crowded, it being a lull between the truly early risers and the after-work crowd, so Britt is more comfortable dropping back into Gonsaleng now that there aren't so many people around. The bathhouse here isn't so different from the one in Tondc, just bigger.

Kai goes to collect a towel and without her old embarrassment goes about stripping down in order to head towards one of the baths,"It's worse. They're entitled." she grunts,"They feel that technology is their birthright. That technology was dying even before the Sky City crashed. To maintain it, will take resources and machines that were in Factory and Mecha, which now they will look for. These machines will take room. To make new things will take material. Even my brother seems to feel like it is their right to use and take and did not seem to respect that this is Trikru land and they do not get to decide whether or not it is okay for them to use." she keeps her voice low, but sticks to Gonasleng, simply because it requires less mental translation and word searching for her. Which is also why she picks one of the furthest tubs from any other bathers to clamber in to.

Britt does not object to distancing themselves from the others, nor to switching languages. "I do not worry about the Skaikru now," she says. "The warband would crush them, even with their guns. I worry about them in the next generation, or the one after. Once they have had time to solidify their position. To expand their technology. Perhaps the heda means to make allies of them, but I would trust that about as much as I trust the alliance with the Azgeda." From her sneer, one can surmise that's about as far as I can throw them.

Britt also sets down her bath stuff and disrobes before climbing into the tub. Kai is given an entirely-clinical once-over, which earns a soft 'tsk' of concern. "You must pace yourself, or you'll be looking like me before you're twenty." Because yeah, Britt has a heck of a lot of scars. Mostly minor, save for the nasty one on her leg and a divot in her side where a spear nearly killed her. And two big swaths of bruises on either side of her ribcage from the Azgeda brawl and the Maunon battle. "You should get some ink. Veks does good work." Britt has some along her right arm.

"I worry about them now, and in the future." Kai grunts quietly,"I trust the Heda, but if the Heda says to them.. you may have this area here by lake Audo, and they decide that it's okay, no-one will notice, if they expand the Skaikru lands further than she has allowed.. do you think the kruheda will tolerate it? Because I do not think she would. If they decide that they need something in the woods.. minerals from the soil, say, and there is no village to see them take it.. I do not have faith that they would not simply take it, and not care about the effect on the land for those to whom it belongs. There has been a great many wars fought in the past over these things, and I think that too many have forgotten these things. They say that those who forget history are likely to repeat it, and I fear that's true. I hope that Kane is wiser than my brother, which is a thing that brings me no great comfort to say.. but.." she shrugs. It's easy to see that she must have found Nix, at least to judge by the fact that some of those bruises are decidedly of the made-with-teeth sort, not that she particularly even remembers they're there at the moment. There's a slow and broad smile,"I have been practicing avoidance.. hopefully by time we are sent out again I will not get hit so often.. but at least now.. people don't stare as much." she scrubs at her arms with a slight nod,"I have also heard of someone called Ginia? Who is from Coesbur? But I do not know her. I intend to get a memorial for those of my friends who did not make it. And I think, perhaps, a bird of some form. Seeing as Peake's children are all named for birds except Pontus, Rain and I."

"Indeed, wars have been fought for less, but they will not win the war now. That is all I meant to say. You saw the Coalition armies." To Britt, it is not a question of arrogance but simply as simple a statement of fact as saying that she and Kai alone could not take on the Tondc warband. "I do not know Ginia, but a remembrance is a nice thing to have. A bird suits your family." A tiny smile is offered there, then she says more seriously. "Avoidance is good, but also - I have seen you fight. You are strong, and fearless, but often you put your all into every attack. It is tempting, to want to take down the foe as swiftly as possible. Especially when you are eager to prove yourself. But you've done that, so now - spare a thought to the next foe. The next fight. Making sure you are still fit to fight." The smile turns grim, and then she starts freeing that long hair of hers from its braids so she can wash it.

Kai dips her head,"It takes a lot, to make bullets. Without bullets, guns are useless." it's in the way she says it, even in future guns aren't a concern for her truly,"I haven't seen Veks since we went to meet the kruheda, but well, yes. I would like to get some ink." she gives her own smile, then laughs a little, unable to deny Britt's words,"Too often if I am.. safer.. about what I am doing it seems impossible to actually strike them. As I get better, I hope this will.. be easier, but in a war of attrition they have the advantage. They expect caution, it is only when I invade their space that I seem to.. surprise them. But you are right." she pauses,"So.. tell me? Why have you been out of sorts? What new worry has come to burden you?"

"Does it? They seem simple, but I know little about such things." Britt shrugs. The doesn't touch on Veks, or how he's been doing lately. "Yes, it is harder to hit them when you are being careful, but that will come with practice. And you are never alone on the battlefield. Two on one becomes just as much a distraction as charging in recklessly." The latter question draws a frown, and there's a brief pause in the unbraiding when her fingers freeze. But then she starts up again, her voice softer. "Last week I lost Ibem. Erson is still pushing me away. Day before yesterday, I feel as though I lost Arlin and Sev." Her lips thin for a moment, and the elder archer exudes an almost palpable sadness. "It's been a hard week on friendships."

"There is a powder that has to be made, that propels the bullet, the metal is just the outer shell. If the powder is wrong, or the shell not perfect, it has just as much likelihood of not working, or worse.. injuring the gunner. At skaigeda we had that issue with the bullets. The powder was so old that some of the bullets wouldn't work, so we had to have people go through and check which ones would actually work. Remember how I said that we only trained them to fire a single shot at a time, that was deliberate. We didn't have the bullets for them to waste spraying them wantonly." there's a faint smile. There's then another dip of her head, acknowledgment for Britt's recommendation about charging and not going in alone. It's dropped in favor of listening, her own expression going somber,"I am still your friend, and have no intention of going anywhere. I imagine for Erson it must be hard, to feel as if you have lost your purpose. To feel.. useless and helpless. Even the kindest voice would seem.. aggravating, reinforcing one's pity when that is all that seems left. In truth it will come to what purpose he finds.. but how would you lose Arlin? Or Sev? I noticed he did not leave with us after all, but I assumed it was because he was even more hungover than me."

Britt nods distractedly to the explanation about bullets. "I am grateful for your friendship. And yes, it is very hard for him. I understand that. I did not lose my leg, but I was not much use for quite awhile after it happened." She lets that train of thought trail off with a shake of her head. "I asked him to come to Coesbur with me. To be my houmon. And he said no." She sighs, shaking out the last braid and then picking up a cloth to lather in soap. "I should have expected it, but I didn't. I honestly thought he'd see… that the future wasn't so bleak as he imagined." Obviously that didn't work out so well. "And I went to Sev, seeking a friend, and ended up in bed with him. Even though I'd told myself I wouldn't." She looks to Kai, guilt apparent. "I'd said no strings, no promises, but then he claimed to love me, and I had to put a stop to it. Now I don't know if he'll speak to me again." Arlin isn't touched upon.

Kai's not a deceptive creature, really, not when it comes to matters of emotions, so the flitter of emotions across her face is obvious, confusion and puzzlement and sadness. She's unhurried about washing herself as she finally murmurs softly,"I'm sorry." is what she elects to offer quietly,"I know you care for him a lot, and it is a shame that he cannot see that right now." she gives a slow blink of her eyes regarding Sev, unsurprised given their previous conversations, no judgment in her expression as she listens and finally grunts quietly,"I cannot say I would do different. I have been clear with Nix about the bounds of our… friendship, but if I felt like his heart was on the line I would.. have to stop it, too. Not that he is not handsome, attentive or otherwise perfectly lovely.. but simply that I am not ready to be another mans niron. And in that regard.. less.. complicated.. for me than you. But hopefully, Sev will come to understand in time. You care for him.. I feel, am I wrong? But.. not like you care for Erson."

Britt offers a soft thanks to Kai's soft sorry. "No, you're not wrong. I care for him as a friend, nothing more. I am not his niron, have no wish to be. I told him that from the start. But he would be mine, which… I suppose is kind of a twisted mirror on me and Erson." A rueful smirk touches her lips. "Erson asked me to be his houman, once. A long time ago. I suppose it's ironic now that he should turn me down the way I did him." A painful kind of irony. "And then Arlin…" She winces, shaking her head. "I fear he is being lost to madness, because of the Mountain, and I cannot help him. I tried, but… he made it abundantly clear that he had no use for my help or my opinions. Or my friendship."

Kai dips her head in acknowledgment,"I cannot pretend I have experience in that sort of thing. For a while, I was prepared to take Eli as my houmon.. but in truth.. it just would have made us both miserable. And when I realized I preferred to be on the battlefield than in his bed.. it was not.. ideal." she gives a faint smile,"I wish you luck, with the problem of Erson.. hopefully he will come around soon." she sighs softly, then falls silent again to listen with a furrow of her brow,"I.. in what way? He has always struck me as an odd one. And I remember you saying there are reasons for it.. but the Maunon are destroyed now. What kind of madness is infecting him now from that quarter?"

"Well, at least you are honest enough with yourself to realize that," Britt offers. "And I hope he does too. I miss him. Which is a strange thing to say since I hadn't seen him in two years before skaigeda, but… I do. I don't care that he can't be a warrior any longer, or worry about the other things he can't do. I just count it a blessing to still have him here." She offers a forlorn little smile, which fades when she gets back around to the topic of Arlin. She grows more serious. "I ask that you keep this between us." Although it might be a moot point, given the others who saw the first part of it. "I think… he doesn't know how to let go of his vengeance. The look on his face, when he kept the Maunheda alive to endure the cuts… it frightened me."

"I was without him for years, I had to learn to move on.. returning only reaffirmed that." Kai says quietly, nodding with regards to Erson and letting her take her own time about getting back around to Arlin,"Of course." is agreed without hesitation, listening with a slow frown that she can't quite keep off of her face,"He was.. very determined to keep him alive. Prioritizing him over some of our own wounded, though I thought perhaps that was simply.. location. When I collapsed, it was close to the maunheda, and he moved from my wounds to his right away. But that? I don't know. I chose not to go and take a cut. I had tasted his blood already, and there was plenty of people in Tondc who had suffered worse than I. But.. to keep him alive to suffer longer..? That seems.. a bit much. I have no doubt he suffered plenty.. but, yes. I was unaware that he was being actively revived." or well, she was also drunk. So.

Britt frowns in concern when Kai relates what happened during the fighting. But she nods to the last. "It is not normally our way, but the heda made an exception. That much was not Arlin's choosing. It was only the satisfaction he took in it that I worried over. And then after… he went with the group that took the body to the dumping place. I went with him, to be sure he was all right, but he wished to stay. To watch the insects feast." Britt has faced Reapers without flinching, has gone to the Mountain and back twice, but the look on her face just there… horrified disbelief.

"It is the thing, with working with the Skaikru, the first time we were there, both Rinnan and I went untreated. The second time.." Kai smiles faintly,"I took so much damage so fast in truth there was not the opportunity to reach me sooner. And no-one was harmed for it? I don't know. Perhaps it was simply my perception." she shakes her head a little and grimaces,"I.. why? To make sure he was really dead? I heard that by the time it was over there was really no.. mistaking him for alive, at all.. at that point he's just another corpse. I just.. that would worry me too. That's.. very disturbing."

"I would not say your perception is necessarily wrong, but I wasn't there. Though it disturbs me just as much to think that he would sooner save the Maunheda for execution than to save one of our own." Britt washes her other arm, taking care around the still-healing burn over the wound from a Maunon bullet. "I don't know what possessed him to want to stay. It made no sense to me. He had died four hundred cuts earlier. There was no doubt at all. I know the Skaikru consider our justice savage, but that is not how it's supposed to be. It sends a powerful message, to keep it from happening again, but it is not meant to drag us into cruelty." She sighs, then. "I tried to get him to see how fucked up it was, to get him to leave with me, but he wouldn't. He would have beaten the shit out of me if I hadn't left, of that I have no doubt." And saying that about the one that a few days ago she would've called a dear friend? That hurts. "As it was, he wounded me deeply with his words. And then I left him."

"The Skaikru have allowed ignorance to make them weak." there's genuine contempt in Kai's tone, though she endeavors to reign it in,"They consider themselves better because instead of bleeding their enemy they let them suffer hypoxia, the vacuum steals their breath and starts to circulate deoxygenated blood to their brain, their skin begins to swell and they develop frostbite on their extremities, this is followed by convulsions, unconsciousness if they're lucky, and cyanosis that turns your skin blue.. and you are still not dead. It takes a full minute and a half before their blood pressure drops low enough that the very blood in their body begins to boil.. and sometime after that point? They finally die. Ark justice was swift, but to act as if it was humane in any way just shows how detached the Skaikru are from the reality of their justice." she utters in a low scowl,"And I have tried to explain to them.. what, really, is the difference? A shock lash is not so different from a cut, except that you will remember what you did from the scar that remains after a cut. And delivered by those who you have wronged, people you will have to look in the eye afterwards.. as someone who has lived in both worlds, the Trikru world is much more peaceful and willing to work together without being worried as to whether they will get their share of a thing. Skaikru think that because their justice is bloodless it is more humane.. I say they're fools." not that the Second has an opinion about these things, not at all. Though at the idea of Britt being beaten there's a narrowing of her grey eyes,"If he wishes to cast away friendship and sanity, there is little you can do to stop him. And he is not worthy of your friendship. You tried, Britt. As a friend, you did what you felt was important and necessary.. if he chose to ignore you.. that is on his fool head. But.. we should perhaps keep an eye on him, even so. Perhaps now that it is.. over. He will find a way out of that place."

The description of death by hypoxia gets a wrinkled nose in response. "That sounds like a cruel death indeed. I have seen those men get their shock lashes, and I see it as no different. Fools." She bobs her head to Kai's words about Arlin. "I did try. I only wish I could have succeeded. Perhaps I should have just cracked him over the head and brought him home… perhaps that would have been more a mercy." She lets out a slow breath. "I hope that he finds his way back. He made his choice, though. I am not his keeper."

"I made a point, when I became a Second by their laws, to learn what floating actually entailed." Kai murmurs with a grim smile,"But yes, I say the Trikru way is more efficient, and better at achieving the desired result of making them not want to do it again." she sighs and shakes her head before nodding about Arlin,"And perhaps he would never have forgiven you. If he is mad with vengeance.. he would have simply transferred the blame to you for denying him what he desired. But.. there is no more Maunon. If he returns to the cooridors of the Mountain he will find them empty bar that small handful that were saved.. and if he can in clear conscience murder children.. true, children.. not even old enough to be Seconds.. then I suspect that he will find himself in the hands of the Heda soon enough."

"Perhaps you're right. I would worry, if he were to go back there." Britt would not rule out anything at this point, and that disturbs her. She shakes off the thoughts, and glances over at Kai. "Thank you for lending your ear. It is not something I would burden anyone with normally, but…" Well, everyone needs a sympathetic ear sometimes. She just shrugs, though, rather than finish that sentence.

Kai smiles faintly,"You have heard enough of my problems, it is.. nice, to be able to be an ear for yours. Though I think I'm beginning to wrinkle.. let's go see the marketplace, yes? If we're heading back tomorrow I shall have to make sure to get my gawking like a fool in now.. especially if we're going to the pub later." a long day, a full day, but perhaps at least a little distraction for them both given the long ride and all that's to follow tomorrow.

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