Day 092: Bears, Horses, Raccoons, Cats, and Bull-Bunny-Panthers Oh My
Summary: A mysterious floral crown is worn, and Trikru describe one another as animals.
Date: 29 August 2016
Related: None directly.
Luther Fayet Benning Kai Khesu Afaye 

Center of Town, New Coesbur
This is a broad, open field of crushed grasses and meadow flowers. The first trees have been felled, and their stumps removed, leaving deep divots of open soil and naked rootballs. Wood has been gathered to be burned that could not be hewned into poles and slats. Crude structures have been built to house laborers. There is always activity around here during the day, and meals are served community style. There is a clear view of the lake and small inlet stream from the knoll, as well as the hulking mass of Alpha Station across the lake.
92 Days After Landing

After several weeks in the same location, you tend to settle into habits. And so after the lunch bell is rung, Luther gathers up a bowl of bread, cheese, and meat, a fresh apple, a handful of blackberries, and heads over to a remaining stump just outside covered area over the kitchens and tables. The stump is one of several that has been left because it's just the right side to be a seat, and it's been Luther's choice of lunch spots for more than a week now. As he arrives and looks down at the stump, he blinks. A little ring of twined flowers sits there, and he quickly looks this way and that, immediately suspicious, "Esmo? Trufan? Trist? Come on, which of you put this here?" His inquiry gets shakes of the head from the three usual jokesters, each of the three young men chuckling or snickering behind their hands according to their preferences, and Luther carefully sets down the spoils of his lunch and takes up the floral ring, "None of you? Huh…"

There is no sweeter sound than the lunch bell on a hot summer day. Fayet has her bowl and fruit, finding a place to sit. When she sees Luther and the floral wreath, she stops, grinning. "Feeling pretty today, Luther?" she teases, leaning back against a tree. "Go on, put it on."

Benning has been helping with gathering food and other useful materials around the camp. She has her own meal that she prepared in the communal kitchens and decides to head over where there is company. She gives a wave to all present as she finds herself a seat. Giving a smirk at Fayet's words.

Summer is made of evil. At least in Kai's opinion. Although the ex-Skaigirl endeavors not to complain.. she's so very not acclimatized to the whole hot, sticky, sweaty summer thing. And so when that lunch bell rings she's only too eager to go find meat, cheese.. her favorite bready gluten indulgence, and some berries.. and shade. Oh green eden the shade. Outside at least means there's hope of a breeze, and results in her electing to find a spot near Fayet and Luther to settle with her back against one of structures, folded as much into that blessed shade as she can,"Just makes me think of Ferdinand." she manages with a tired kind of smirk.

Luther looks over to Fayet at her question, shrugging his shoulders easily, "I feel pretty every day, Little Raccoon." Her challenge, however, draws his eyebrows up, and he hefts the ring, "You think I won't?" Lifting the flowers up over his head in both hands, he asks, "Are these from you, then? Just to see if I'd wear them?" And then he settles them atop his dreadlocks like a crown. Benning gets a tip of the new-made crown in greeting, and then Kai gets a curious look, "I don't know Ferdinand. Is he someone from Camp Jaha?"

"I wish I'd thought of it, but no, not my doing. I was working, not picking flowers." Fayet ambles over to a stump, sitting down and balancing her bowl on her thigh. She gives Benning a little wave, before shrugging at the question of Ferdinand. "I haven't met this person."

"Nah, it's a children's story." Kai grunts as she assembles meat and cheese on bread in order to munch on it, offering up between bites,"Ferdinand was a bull who liked to lay under tree's and smell flowers instead of butting heads with the other bulls. He was the biggest and strongest of the bulls, but while the others all dreamed of fighting, he just wanted to lay in the shade and enjoy the flowers." she pauses and looks towards the sky to consider, drawing her feet as far out of the sun as she can absently as she does so,"For some reason he ends up in a bull fighting ring? But instead of fighting he decides to sniff the flowers in the ladies hair and lay down in the ring to relax so they send him home instead."

Benning listens to Kai's story about the bull and smiles at the reference because yes, Luther is much like a bull. She flashes Kai a smile and then continues to eat, not staking claim to playing the prank but certainly enjoying the conversation.

"Too bad, it's rather fetching." Luther adjusts the lay of the wreath atop his dreadlocks, then picks up his food again and settles down onto his chosen stump. As he starts to tuck into his food, he listens to Kai's story, his eyebrows rising, and then settling into a satisfied look. "Yes, that sounds about right. Biggest, strongest… don't forget best." The bragging would probably be grating if Luther actually meant it. Might still be, although he says it with a grin and a chuckle, "Except now I've got flowers in my hair, and I can't very well sniff those."

Fayet raises an eyebrow as she works on her lunch. "So the moral of the story is to be incompetent, so other people will get frustrated and do your job for you, then you get to sit around? I know a few people who seem to have taken that one to heart," she remarks. She glances sideways at Luther and his floral adornment. "Don't go getting any ideas."

"That just means you're the prettiest lady." Kai can't quite manage to deadpan that delivery with the gravitas to be convincing, even if she tries to hide her smirk behind her sandwich,"And no, it's more don't assume that just because someone looks a particular way that they are a particular way.. and that old world people liked to murder animals for fun." she shrugs,"At least that's what I got from it when I was young." Fayet, Benning, Luther and Kai are all enjoying lunch outside the community kitchen, Luther currently wearing a crown of flowers in his dreadlocks.

Khesu has been easing back to work a little at a time. His recent head wound not as bad as when he got shot above his left eye at the Mountain, the back left side of his skull has been healing. His dark hair is cropped where Silver had to give him so many stitches but there is no longer a bandage. With the last of summer's sultry hot days winding down with a promise of autumn to come, Khesu's bronze skin has browned well in the sun. His days of working in the summer heat with no shirt are numbered.

His axe Khesu sets down head first to lean against a big tree they decided to keep for shade. He spits on his hands to wash them up, then decides they are too filthy. A cup of water must be found first so that he may rinse his hands and rub them clean. The last of the cup is poured over his head to cool him down from his work in the sun. That done, Khesu gets dark hair out of his face, his beard dripping, as he notes who's come up to the tables.

"Oh I don't think Luther could be mistaken as a lady," Benning tells Kai, taking her a little too literally. But then realizes after she says the words and laughs at herself, "Oh…I think I see now." She takes a few bites of her rabbit, "And is there a moral to the story? I mean…it could just be something to entertain the children."

The timing of Afaye's appearance coincides nicely with the lunch bell, and although she is coming from the woods, she is not straggling out from the same direction as the builders. She bears her quiver and bow as for a hunt, but carries no catch at her hip. Still, she is hot and sweaty and exhausted, and does not take with ceremony as she ambles zombie-like toward the gathering and sinks down onto a stump like a stick of butter melting in the sun. "Nice flowers," she mutters to Luther, uncorking her flask and taking several healthy swallows of water. She gasps following the final gulp and wipes her mouth with the back of her hand. "Luther as a lady? I must have missed something good."

Luther scoffs at Fayet, "Why not? That's the dream, isn't it?" Kai's near-deadpan causes him to shrug, taking a monstrous bite of the sandwich he tosses together from the contents of his lunch-tin. He chews, then grins around a still-half-full mouth, "Still the prettiest. Just means I can't pee standing up." Holding the crown of petals in place with his unsandwiched hand, Luther shakes out his dreadlocks at Benning, "You don't think so?" Then he nods, noting the moral he got from the story, "You don't always have to fight for what you want." He beams to Afaye, "Thanks. Know who left them for me?"

"Very pretty," Fayet agrees, not even bothering to couch it in sarcasm. She nods in greeting to Khesu and Afaye, waving them over into the shade.

Kai upnods in Khesu's direction by way of acknowledgment and smirks at Benning and Afaye both. She takes the strip of cloth from about her neck to resoak it with water and tie it back around her neck,"That, too." she agree's with Luther regarding the moral he got out of it,"I don't know, it just kinda.. popped into my head.. 's the way my brain works. But he is a very pretty bull.. I mean.. lady. Warrior. Whatever." she laughs,"I think I've been out in the sun too long."

Getting some food for himself, Khesu assembles some meat, bread, cheese and snags an apple. He manages to refill his cup of cold water as well and takes a seat between his niece, Benning, and Afaye. His plate gets set on the ground with his cup to free up his hands for him to draw his knife and start cutting his apple into pieces. An upnod for Kai, Fayet, and everyone else. His left eyelid sags and it may be hard to say how much use, if any, he's getting out of that eye but otherwise he's fairly able. A bite of crisp apple before he offers a piece of it on his knife to Afaye.

Benning smiles as her uncle comes and joints them, bringing his meal to sit among them. She does steal a small bit of cheese off his plate, "You have cheese." She gives her uncle a smile before taking a bite and then offering him some of the rabbit that she has on hers. She gives Kai a nod, "We have all been out in the sun for many hours…make sure you have plenty of water to drink."

Eyes glinting, Afaye looks away from Luther and watches as Khesu settles down between her and Benning. She reaches out mischievously to filch a piece of cheese from his plate, and barks a laugh of surprise as the other woman beats her to it. Snapping her fingers in mock dismay, she settles in her seat and rests her elbows on her knees. Casually tossing her flask from hand to hand, she lets the majority of the conversation wash over her; after a long morning's slog through thick underbrush, it is nice to simply sit and stare and do nothing. "Aye, she has the right of it, Kai. If you're feeling blown, definitely get out of the heat and take a rest."

Luther continues to demolish his sandwich, nodding his thanks to Fayet for the compliment. Kai's cause him to laugh, "I am fine being called 'Bull,' although you may have to fight Komfi Itl if you try to make it stick. She prefers 'Panther.'" Or, depending on her mood, Panther-cub, but he's not going to say that. Khesu gets a nod as the other warrior joins them, although Afaye's glance aside causes Luther to narrow his eyes at her in suspicion, gathering up a blackberry and tossing it at her in revenge.

Fayet eyes Luther. "I could call you bull-something," she teases, grinning and popping a few berries in her mouth. She glances over to Kai. "Drink more water. The last thing we need is you passing out. I'd be forced to draw on your face." She gestures broadly with one hand. "The town is starting to come together, isn't it?" she asks the group in general. "I've never worked on anything quite this extensive before and I'm pleased to see it starting to take shape."

Kai nods solemnly for Benning,"I have been, just y'know.. we didn't have summer. I can hack it, but yeh.. lunch and some time in the shade and I'll be good." she elects that maybe she should just eat, leaving the sentence unfinished in favor of shaking her head at Luther,"I don't know Komfi Itl, but well.. yeh.. I don't think you're at risk of me calling you Bull.. was just.. y'know." she shrugs her shoulders as she fidgets with her sandwich, smirking at Fayet with a twinkle in her eyes that suggests that maybe her brain went there too even if she didn't say it aloud.

Benning's thieving hand gets a pretend jab with his knife that comes no where near to touching her. One side of Khesu's mouth grins and he winks his good eye at her ere he rumbles low, "Have as much as you like." He can always find more. Wait! Afaye took some of his cheese too! Ah well, so long as it amuses them, it amuses him as well. Nevermind the offered apple that was ignored. Khesu eats the piece instead. Apples and cheese, excellent partners. As is often the case, this Trikru warrior doesn't say much. Instead he listens to the others while he eats.

Benning gives a mock hurt look when he tries to 'stab' her and giggles, ruining the look, "Now there…" She then smiles as he offers the food to her thieving hands and tells him, "It's more fun to take it." She does snag another piece of cheese from her uncle. Then she turns her attention back to the others, "Oh Luther has much in common with a bull."

"Luther has even more in common with a rabbit," Afaye offers, pausing to sip from her flask before flashing her teeth to the aforementioned man a polite small that carries with it all the implications of a sharp jest. "Maybe we should take to calling him Bunny from time to time, too." She never was one to turn down an opportunity to tease. Her eyes dart sideways, casually examining the array of lunch on Khesu's plate, but she opts for the time being to let him and his food alone.

"Hung?" is Luther's question in response to Fayet's teasing, but he laughs it off, "…or shit." He holds his hands out before him, letting them tip one way and the other like a scale. And then he finishes off his sandwich and picks up his apple, tossing it from hand to hand idly as he chews and then catching it to point at Benning and wink broadly. Once his mouth is free, he can respond to Kai, "Komfi Itl. Galle's grandmother. Stay on her good side." Afaye's comparison causes him to laugh aloud, and he shakes his head, "I don't have that much sex." Not nearly, really. And then he crunches into the apple, chewing happily.

There's a shake of Kai's head for the suggestion of the nickname 'Bunny' as she polishes off her own sandwich finally and takes up her water bottle instead,"I'll keep that in mind." she assures Luther before electing to rise to her feet,"I'm going to take a trip over to the lake before we get stuck back into it. S'cuse me." and off she slips in that direction.

Fayet snort-laughs, accidentally choking on a bite of apple. She gives a thumbs up, showing that she's okay. "There's always room to improve so you could actually earn the bunny-name," she smirks, once she rights herself. She catches her breath and starts on her cheese. Unlike the others, she's not making a sandwich, but eating the pieces individually. "He's a bull-bunny. I'm a raccoon. What do you think you are, Afaye?" she asks, playfully.

"A horse," Benning offers when Fayet asks what Afaye is because she can't imagine the woman being anything other than that. She gives a smile and looks at her uncle considering what he might be. Then she gives a wave to Kai as she heads off.

Laughing, Afaye lifts her flask and gestures toward Benning in acknowledgement. "A horse, that is generally the first thought that comes to mind. Or a bear. I'm fine if you stay at a distance, but get too close or try to fuck with me, and I will tear your arms off." She pauses with her flask halfway up to her mouth to reconsider how vicious her words sound, and then she smiles awkwardly. "Or something like that, anyway. But horse sounds better. What is Benning, then? A cat?"

Afaye gets a raised black brow out of Khesu, likely trying to -imagine- her tearing anyone's arms off. Yeah, no. Not buying it. He huffs a breath softly and bares his teeth at her briefly in a feral grin, "I'd like to see you try." He continues to eat his meal, lighter by some pieces of cheese than originally planned, and drinks his water. It's not unpleasant in the shade with a light breeze coming in off the lake. Luther gets eyed but no comments about various people's sex life. Kai left anyway. It's more fun if she's around to make her blush while the adults speak.

Luther glances over to Fayet as she chokes, sitting up in his seat until she gives that thumbs up, then nodding sharply at her own claim, "Greedy like a raccoon. Eating too fast." He chuckles, and then shrugs, responding to her suggestion, "I believe strongly in personal betterment." Lifting a hand in farewell as Kai heads down to the lake, he looks over to Afaye at Fayet's question, shaking his head at Benning's suggestion, "Too easy. I say horse-fly." His grin flashes broad and he takes another crunching bite of apple, looking back to Benning and lifting his eyebrows, waiting for opinions from the others.

Benning thinks for a moment and then agrees with Afaye, "A cat…I am definitely someone that enjoys their comforts but is a keen hunter and pulls their claws when threatened." She gives a smile and then tells Khesu, "You are a bear…definitely a bear." She gives a sweet smile with her uncle, "More of a bear when I was younger but still…I would not want to anger you."

"I'm not greedy. And my black eyes have gone away," Fayet replies defensively, though good-natured. She peers at Khesu. "Maybe a hawk."

Afaye blinks once at Benning and then laughs in true delight, nudging Khesu with an elbow and gesturing toward his niece with her flask in hand. "Aissh, she has the right of it after all. You would make the better bear, Khesu. And I will stick with the horse. Or, in Luther's case, to him I am a horse-fly. BZZT." She wiggles the fingers of her free hand close to Luther's face, leaning forward far enough to flick one of the flowers on his crown with a fingertip. "And I'm not afraid to hover around and piss you off and bite you if you swat at me."

"Hmmmm." Is Khesu's thought at being compared to a bear. Yes, that suits him fine. He finishes up the last of his mid day meal and gets back up to get another refill on his cup of water. While he's there, he tops up his flask as well to stay hydrated when he returns to riving more planks from logs. A good long drink before he sets the cup down. His baritone rumbles low, "I must return to my work." He looks to Fayet and then Afaye, "Perhaps this evening I will begin to excavate the floor for my home." He will need help with the planning, not being a woodcrafter. Khesu turns to head on out back into the sun.

Luther nods slowly at Benning's claim to her animal, but doesn't contest it. He shakes his head at Fayet however, "No, it's too late. You are a raccoon for life." Laughter bubbles behind the words, and it redoubles at Afaye's gestures, snapping his teeth just shy of her fingers… and then she's flicking at the floral crown, and he gasps in mock outrage, stuffing his apple into his mouth and grasping for the crown with both hands, "Mhph mphmhphmmmph." Grab the apple, bite, chew, and he tries again, "My pretty floral crown!" He upnods to Khesu as the man bids the group farewell.

Benning gives a smile as her uncle accepts the animal she gave him and then waves as he starts to head out. She's still enjoying her meal so she sticks aroudn with the others and keeps eating. She laughs as Luther talks about his 'pretty' floral crown, "You are never serious." At least from what the girl can see and it's nice that he isn't.

Fayet waves Khesu farewell, eating her apple much more carefully. "Fine, I will be a raccoon, and I will give you rabies. That'll show you." She curls her hands in front of her face and hunches over in a raccoon-like stance. "Who do you think would win in a fight between a raccoon and a cat?" she grins.

Fizzing with laughter, Afaye rocks back and settles onto her stump, looking sideways as Khesu makes to rise and head back to work. She lifts a hand to him in parting and smiles as he mentions the groundbreaking on his house. "It's about time, Khesu!" Her attention turns to Fayet, and she chuckles at the spot-on mime of a shifty raccoon. "They can be pretty vicious, so I put odds on the raccoon. Sometimes it might depend on the cat, but…" She winks slyly at Benning. "Mousers aren't a match."

Luther lowers his apple to pluck up several blackberries and toss them into his mouth one after another. The first two go smoothly, but he has to weave about to catch the third. "I am very serious about keeping life light," he responds to Benning. Fayet's threat causes him to laugh again, and he shakes his head, "Horseflies and raccoons both. Although it seems that the cat is too lazy to get in on tormenting me, unless she already struck first and delivered a floral crown." There is a hint of question to the suggestion, his split eyebrow rising.

"Oh I would place bets on the raccoon," Benning laughs and shakes her head, "I am not…that aggressive. Unless cornered or my loved ones are threatened. Then I would win." Because Benning has a look about her that there's a warrior hidden underneath all that fur and relaxed manner that the boyer gives off. She shakes her head at Luther, letting him know she didn't play the joke on him, "Oh no…not me. It would be too much for me. Not when I have my fur to lick."

"Wish I'd thought of it first. You look fetching in flowers," Fayet grins, working on her bread. She gets up, setting her bowl on the stump, and goes to pick some Queen Anne's Lace. She returns and starts weaving them together. "Your pretty floral hat is pretty, but I think you need something grander," she declares. She gives Benning a wink. "Don't worry, little kitten, this raccoon is more interested in garbage."

"Neither cat nor raccoon nor bear nor horse-fly can attest to gracing you with flowers, Bunny," Afaye surmises, rolling her flask between her hands and listening to the contents slosh about safely within. Not a precious drop shall be spilt on such a hot day. "Maybe one of the children did it? They do seem to like you for some very strange reason." She flashes her white teeth in a brief grin and her eyes grow wide at a thought. "Or you have a secret admirer watching right now from the shadows who is probably very put out that you're flirting with a bunch of ladies." She squints and scans their vicinity carefully, shading her eyes against the afternoon sun.

Whether Benning meant it as such or not, Luther's choked laughter at her response to him suggests that he definitely came down on the double side of her entendre. Fayet gets a grin once he has control of his faculties again, "I'm fetching in anything, or nothing." He takes another bite of apple, arching his eyebrows at Fayet's promise of something grander, and then nearly chokes on his mouthful of fruit at her comment. Coughing and swallowing, he points to Afaye with his be-appled hand, managing to wheeze out, "Is that why a horsefly is hanging around? For the garbage?" He nods at Afaye's statement, although he looks offended at the mention of children liking him for some strange reason. Her further supposition, however, causes his brows to rise up, and he glances around the lunching workers, "Well then she should show herself so that I can flirt with her too."

"Maybe Galle did it?" Benning suggests with a wink to Luther, as she takes a drink of water and finishes her meal. She takes the last few bites of her rabbit and gives a happy sigh, "Mmmm, that does taste good." She nods to Fayet as she mentions that her raccoon would rather hunt for food and treasures in the garbage.

"Galle is in Tondc. It's bit of a haul to come all the way here just to drop some flowers and leave again, although it's quite romantic. I like where your heart is at, Benning." Afaye smiles warmly at Benning before clapping her hands to her thighs in the universal signal of 'walp, time to get up.' "Well, time to get up," she announces, echoing the sentiment aloud. Rising from her stump, she secures her flask to her belt and stretches her arms overhead, eyeballing the distance between the lunch assembly and the stables. "I should get my work done early if I'm going to be helping Khesu with his house tonight. Work hard, everyone, but don't forget to drink your water. Sev will froth at the mouth quite like a rabid raccoon if someone is dragged back on a litter because they've passed out from the heat."

Luther finishes the last bite of his apple, then pushes himself up from his stump-seat. Benning's suggestion comes midway through his rising, and he hesitates for just a moment, then shakes his head, "No… I rather doubt it. Putting too much stock in pretty flowers is not really her style." The last few blackberries make their way into his maw, and then he tosses the apple core up and catches it again, "I'm off to get some more water and get back to work." Afaye's news on Galle's whereabouts cause his brows to rise, "Oh, she went back? Hm." Keeping it casual, and then he chuckles at Afaye's warning, "And that's why I'm going to have some water." He waves, and then heads back into the kitchen shelter.

Benning is a romantic at heart so it's not wonder she would think such things but as reality shows that was not the case, Benning just shakes her head and heads off to help clean up and see to other's meals. She gives a wave to others as she heads off.

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