Day 035: Branwada Skaikru
Summary: Two Skaikru, a trio of Trikru warriors, and a healer with a wooden leg walk into a bar. One of them says… you will have to read the log to find out the punchline.
Date: 4 July 2016
Related: Takes place the night after Reapercussions, and the night before Oxfor Comes to Camp Jaha
Cassandra Elias Gideon Hyatt Marta Pontus 

The Pub — TonDC, Trikru

This public house is a mixed construction of old Earth brick walls and new Trikru metal. The entrance is from a preexisting structure — perhaps an old church based on the double-wide doors and steepled roof. It leads into a sprawling area that is far longer than it is wide. A long metal countertop runs the length of the room against a brick wall, and old stained glass windows are neatly spaced behind it, letting in color streams of light when the sun is high. Behind the countertop are shelves kept low of old bottled distilled alcohol and wooden casts of wheat beer and honey wine. The stools and seating at the bar are random and mismatched, and not all of them comfortable.

Opposite of the bar and at the back are the two newer walls made of metal and stone framing. The windows on this wall are cut roughly and inlaid with salvaged glass. The rest of the room is filled with random tables and chairs, creating various sized arrangements. Their is a door in the back wall that leads to the boarding rooms, and the shared common area for those using the public house for longterm stay.

35 Days After Landing

[ Note: Missing some stuff from the beginning, if anyone has it to add in. ]

Pontus noted of the child, "<In Trigedasleng> She wants to be a second come Spring. More now since they took our home. She wants to fight for this place so they don't do here that they did to Coesbur." He arched a tattooed brow-ridge, drinking his wheat beer and admitted, "<In Trigedasleng> Think I did something right." It was an off the books mission and not the first ever. Still it meant less support and more independence in it. A nod followed. "<In Trigedasleng> Tuan can hold his own well enough. Thesda? Thesda's good. We were seconds together a long time ago. She's a strong pick." A scarred hand rubbed at the weary muscles of his neck and finally he said, "<In Trigedasleng> I'm in. Let me know when ahead of time so I can have my gear in order and Attrition saddled." Noting Elias, he upnodded to him. He noted to Gideon, "My guest. Brought him as a favour to Kai for helping me move the not-dead-kid without complaint."

"<In Trigedasleng> I would take her on," Gideon offers, but her smile is thin. "<In Trigedasleng> But she deserves a First who is respected and valued… not me." The woman is so hard on herself, but she has a long track record. Then she takes another swallow of beer, nodding when Pontus accepts her offer. She glances over toward Elias when he joins them, and she offers a gentle up-nod of greeting. Then she looks at Pontus with a small smirk. "Favor to Kai? My, we are awfully kind to the Skaikru Second…" Speaking of course to the gruelling parts of life that is a Second. Then she offers Elias a more familiar smile.

Pontus creased his expression into a relaxed, scarecrow grin. "<In Trigedasleng> I have more faith in you than that. If I'm still breathin' I might, and she might hate me for it, but if she stays alive then I done my part." His other boot went out to nudge the leg of the chair and a look to the house keep with a nod asked for one for him and one for the kid. This was non-optional. As the conversation turned he chuckled, "I reward doing one's job. She didn't question me, she didn't grouse. She thought ahead, tired and bleeding, and put herself last and the mission first. It's what I would ask out of my second. When seasoned warriors can't do as much at the time and a second does me a solid for the sake of things? Yes. I'll be nice." He was reluctant to admit it, enjoying the face that he was by nature a hardass, but he was fair.

A nod is given to Pontus, but Elias resists the urge to smile at him. Can't go cramping his mean-mugging style, after all. "She's getting some rest," he says, but then adds to that, "Finally." There is a smile in general, but he just shakes his head. Turning his attention to Gideon then, he offers her a more familiar smile as well. "It's good to see you safe. And well…" Elias shifts his attention to Pontus once more and gives him an upnod in return finally. "And well… thank you for recognizing her. I like to think I have pretty good taste." A brief smile flashes on his lips before he endeavors to join them a bit more fully.

"<In Trigedasleng> Do what you need to, to see she is looked after, Pontus… Will Starling watch her while we are gone?" Gideon then drops out of the Trigedasleng entirely, showing some respect to the poor Skaikru boy hanging around them. She rests her elbows on the table again, eyes fixed on Elias. "Drink?" She offers, and then gestures for the person behind the bar to bring another glass of wheat beer. She has never seen a Skaikru drunk before… but she maintains an honest, wry little smile. "Kai will do fine… her journey will be far steeper than ours to become warriors… but, if this is where she wants to be, she will find her place."

Pontus answers entirely common out of consideration. "As if she were her own." Starling and Wren's parents adopted him at 16 with her when his family died. He trusted his ward with them in the same care and respect it seemed without question. The beer arrived and his grin went faintly wry with Gideon's. He never seen them drink either and was apparently amusing himself with finding out. To Elias he said, deadpan, "I like to think she has good taste." Either that was a compliment… or a warning. His face gave no notion to which.

Elias nods to Gideon graciously as she orders him a drink. "I appreciate it," he says with a nod. That's right — Gideon wasn't there for Unity Day, was she? For a moment, Elias does try to place her in other instances beyond weapons training. "And well — she won't give up," he says with a shrug of his shoulders. "I know she'll find her place among the Trikru." Swiping his tongue over his lips to wet them then, he takes the glass of beer in hand and actually… studies the glass. "Thank you," he speaks up to the one who made the drink as well. "Your people blow glass?" he wonders aloud. At Pontus' statement, he laughs quietly. "Well, we've known each other almost our entire lives now. I have pictures. Pictures I will happily embarrass her with."

Gideon looks thoughtful at Elias and his question, and she shrugs. "Perhaps in Polis… I don't think Tondc has ever had a glassier. We often get our glass from trades." She looks at Pontus for confirmation, as it has been many moons since she really explored Tondc. Then she looks back to Elias, and she looks serious. "What is it… about your people… that some of you dislike? It confuses me, sometimes… how many of you have no desire to go back."

Pontus settled back into his chair and turned all his attention to Elias very curious about this. It's never occurred to him to question his people much less want to leave the Trikru nation. He drank from his mug and set the empty one aside making room for the old glass that was set in front of him. It was a long, long ride and the parts of him that objected to two days of fighting and travel started to quell their anger slowly.

A little wince is given to Gideon from Elias and he gestures vaguely in the direction of Alpha. "I don't know. Without hearing the whole story, it'd be pretty easy to hate them if I told you. There's a lot of… complicated context one has to take into consideration." Taking a breath then, he considers his words carefully. As he considers, he takes a sip of the wheat beer and looks… rather surprised. This is better than Unity Juice, at any rate. "Basically? We come from a society that would kill you for breaking pretty much any of the rules. Except for the children. We were locked away until our case would come up for review and then released when we turned eighteen if the panel doing the reviews thought we learned our lesson." He goes on to explain, idly holding the glass still. "We thought the earth was poisoned and we might die if we tried to come down. So they sent us down to see if it was safe. If we died, they knew it wasn't safe. If we lived, they would have known it was safe to come down." Another sip of the beer is taken then before he inhales deeply. "Where it gets complicated is… all of our people would have died without us doing this."

<FS3> Cassandra rolls Stealth: Failure. (2 2 5 1 5)

A stray cat of a Grounder comes roaming into the pub, treading with cautious footsteps and a wary eye. Given the scarf wrapped over her injured head and the well-fitting, brand-new TonDC fashions clothing her form, she might think that she blends in rather well, but she does not: hole-ridden, synthetic-fibre boots give her away, and she's followed at every turn by the suspicious eyes of local patrons who do not recognise her.

"Skaikru filth," spits one drunkard who does recognise her: a large, strong-armed warrior of Oxfor's seated at a table near the entrance. The identified Skaigirl narrows her swollen eyes his way, but moves quickly past without indulging him in a retort. The incensed fellow did, after all, just lose his entire village to a missile that would never have fired had her people never landed on their lands.

"Friendly lot," murmurs the stray, otherwise known as Cassandra, when she takes a seat at the table shared by Gideon, Pontus and Elias. She keeps her scarf up, but her face is visible, and she gives the trio a nod of recognition.

Pontus encouraged unhelpfully, "I never liked any of you to begin with so it's not like we're losing ground here." He shrugged. Hey, he was honest about it without rancor at least. Maybe his mind changed, or maybe he's got a weird sense of fairness, who knows. His tone lacked accusation and he did bring Elias here as a guest. It was what it was. His inked brow ridge furrowed listening. His thoughts on it seemed to take time to marinate.

It was then a plucky, somewhat smudged 10 year old came trotting over the Mr. Puzzlefaceman™ with a grin and five completed arrows that were fletched by hand to show him. He leaned back, and invited or not, she hopped up onto his lap almost taking his right eye with one of the arrows-to-be waving around. "<In Trigedasleng> Look, I think I finished em!" The good news was they lacked arrowheads presently. Pontus moved her onto one leg and took one from her, checking the alignment. There was no idle praise in his family. He noted, "<In Trigedasleng> One side's shorter than the other two on this one." She admitted, "<In Trigedasleng> I know. It broke, but it's good practice. Maybe." He replied, handing it back, "<In Trigedasleng> See what the squirrels think of it." He gave her a hug with one arm and kissed her temple finally showing a thoughtful approval. "<In Trigedasleng> It's good work. Make sure you show Starling and Britt too. They'll want to see. Pretty soon you'll get good enough with those you'll even be able to hit me with 'em." The little girl laughed and gave him a hug, shaking her head and asking, "<In Trigedasleng> They back yet?". He pointed to the direction of the Healer's lodge. "<In Trigedasleng> They're back with the healers, but people might be sleeping. Bring them to first meal tomorrow and show them." She hopped down, nodding and went back to the table she occupied for her work. Archer-in-training was practicing hard.

Pontus watched the kid proudly go back to her work and noted the overtone shift. He looked over idly and arched an eyebrow, curious to see gravity-girl back. He said to her in common-tongue, gesturing to the seat across from him, "Have a seat, Acorn."

Elias shifts his attention in the direction of the hurled insult and winces just a touch. He's not been getting much different save for a handful of those that at least know him in passing. Hazel eyes then focus on Cassandra and squint. Rather than speaking up to her, he inclines his head in a nod of greeting. To Pontus, he gives a slow nod of his head. "Eh. It's an understandable point of view. Honestly. All you've seen are the bad things we've brought. I really can't say I'd have a different opinion." Sipping the beer again, he takes a moment to really savor the unique flavor before ticking his gaze to Gideon again, raising his glass.

"Thanks," says Acorn Cass to the scarred-up oak of a warrior that is Pontus, giving him an appreciative nod of thanks. He may have explicitly stated he never liked any of her kru to begin with, but at least he's not openly hostile — and like Elias, she expected no different. "How do I order a drink in Trigedasleng?" she asks, glancing between Pontus and Gideon. "And with what?" After all, she has no currency. Similar to Elias' greeting, she offers the Agro-Tech a nod, but nothing for now in the way of words. Her curiosity is evident, and she meets his gaze with wordless questions.

Pontus cracked a wide grin and leaned forward, forearms against the table, and said slowly for her to follow, "<In Trigedasleng> Sir, just the dishwater for me." He looked to Gideon and said with a smile, "It's ok. It's on me. It's what we started Kai off with, wasn't it?"

<FS3> Gideon rolls Resolve: Success. (6 1 4 5 1 2 7)
<FS3> Pontus rolls Resolve: Failure. (6 6 6 6 5 6)

Gideon glances to Pontus, coming out of her reverie… perhaps because he just told Cassandra how to order dishwater. The archer coughs, and a passing ghost of a smile touches her mouth. She shakes her head a bit. "I don't know, Pontus… perhaps she is not ready for that." She looks to the bartender all the same and offers a small nod of her chin. Not that the bartender needed her permission — pranking the Skaikru is bound to be a well-loved pastime.

Elias raises a brow as he looks between Pontus and Gideon. Then to Cass. He then glances down to his drink. Really, he couldn't be more confused, but as Pontus orders for her, he gestures over to the warrior. "Like that, I imagine," he answers Cassandra. The fact that he's completely serious about it and not even in on the joke probably makes that statement all the funnier. He lifts his own wheat beer to his lips and takes a drink from it.

<FS3> Cassandra rolls Wit+Wit: Failure. (6 3 2 1 3 3 3 2)

The precocious Skaigirl that is Cassandra Bonheur has learned many Trigedasleng phrases through her interactions with the Grounders. She can fluently say: My name is Cassandra of the Sky People; Hello; Good Morning; Please; Thank you; Woods Clan; I am sorry for the death of your friends; and even My fight is not yet over, though she doesn't yet know what that last one means. So when Pontus leans in to offer up a new phrase for her to follow, something so few of his people have been willing to do, she meets his gaze keenly and slowly nods her head. "<In Trigedasleng> Sir, just the dishwater fight," she tries to repeat. Her pronunciation is terrible, unfortunately, even of this. Since she still doesn't know the meaning of the word gonplei, but knows she's heard it before, she confuses it for gon ai – for me.

The doubt placed in Cassandra by Gideon only strengthen's the Skaigirl's resolve. With a determined look in her eye, she looks up, juts her chin at the bartender, and asserts with a brilliant, indomitable smile, "<In Trigedasleng> Sir, just the dishwater fight."

The bartender looks confused, and turns expectantly to Pontus. "<In Trigedasleng> She wants to start a brawl?" he asks in a puzzled tone.

Pontus looked to the barkeep and shrugged. He looked back to her and was helpful to correct, "<In Trigedasleng> For. Me." He nodded to Cass to help correction and said, "Ya let it stand the other way and he'll think you want to fight him for the dishwater or somethin'." He said this as if one little thing could do all that. He drank his beer. Aside Rain was at her own table giggling like 10 year olds do. She was working on fixing that one 'funny' fletch, because slightly off wasn't good enough for her. "<In Trigedasleng> Oh hush. You'll spoil it." He winked to the child and went back to his beer without ceremony. "Thank you for listening the other night. You got a name, Acorn?"

<FS3> Cassandra rolls Wit+Wit: Good Success. (6 6 5 3 7 7 2 1)

While he may or may not pick up on the amused undertones, Elias is completely unaware as to what's going on. Again he shifts his attention to Cassandra and lifts a brow at her. Sounds good enough to him. The young man continues to drink from his own glass. He glances over to the giggling Rain and gives the girl a curious look, as if trying to figure out what it is that's so funny. Meanwhile, he does listen carefully to the words being spoken and tries to figure out the context.

"Gon. Ai." With Pontus' help, Cassandra corrects herself, giving a patient nod of her head. "<In Trigedasleng> Sir, just the dishwater for me," she repeats, looking up at the bartender. This time she manages to speak the phrase with impressive fluency, and he immediately understands.

"Ahhh," says the bartender, giving the whole table, even Elias, a big, toothy grin. "<In Trigedasleng> Dishwater!" He nods his apparent understanding, because far be it for him to spoil the joke. "<In Trigedasleng> On the house!" he even declares before turning away to fetch the Skaigirl her drink — but since she does not understand this last phrase, and the fact that payment is no longer required, she looks to Pontus with gratitude.

"Mochof gon buying ai a drink," says the Acorn sincerely, in a hodgepodge mix of Trigedasleng and Gonasleng. "Ai laik Kasandra." She extends an open palm towards him, unsure if the Trikru do handshakes, but willing to offer one all the same. The kom Skaikru part is left off intentionally — even though she can't fool the Grounders here, she's sensible enough not to speak too loudly of her origin.

Pontus had a relaxed smile, enjoying this sensibly. Helpfully (or not), he translated, "He says no charge." He gave her a wink and hand with a side alteration. "<In Trigedasleng> And one for me just. Charge it to me. I'm gonna try to get a run back and if I can bring back any signage for you I will." The bartender nodded to him. Aside from messing with Skaikru, he had a solid enough reputation on integrity and follow through, and recoup the man's losses he would. He took the drink and watched Cassie get her dishwater. They were both dark but not the same. He said to her, setting the third drink down next to his second that's only half done, "Ai laik Pontus." He pointed around. "Gideon." He pointed to the grinning rugged little girl making her own arrows, TRYING darn it to be good. "Rain kom Trikru. That one's mine. Taught Kai how to ride. Your friend catches on quick."

The big toothy grin has Elias raising a brow once more at Cassandra, wondering exactly what it is she's going on about. Trigedasleng really isn't something he's gotten a grasp of yet. Presumably, she's ordering a drink. The young man ticks his attention from Cassandra to the bartender, who looks all too happy to provide Cassandra with the drink. What could go wrong? With raised brows, he once more takes a sip from his wheat beer and casts a sidelong look to Pontus. "No charge?" he asks, tipping his head in the warrior's direction. For a moment he looks a little befuddled. "Do you barter normally here as well? How does that work?"

<FS3> Cassandra rolls Resolve: Good Success. (4 1 2 6 8 2 3 8)
<FS3> Cassandra rolls Deception: Good Success. (7 5 7 5 6 1 6 2 3)

"Branwada gon branwada Skaikru!" the bartender cheerfully declares, setting the pint-glass down in front of Cassandra with a flourish. The girl looks surprised at his warmth, but does not question it. Perhaps he has heard how nobly she fought for his own people. So she nods her head, raising her glass to him as well.

"Mochof, Pontus," says Cass, as he steps away. The liquid in front of her is misty and brown, smelling faintly perfumed, and she inspects it with interest before looking across to Pontus. "What is it made of?" she wonders, but doesn't wait for her answer to take up the glass and raise it in toast. "To new lukot." Eyes meeting his with sincerity, proud to be making such high acquaintance in the echelons of Grounder society, she takes a long drink… And ew.

Cass has two options here. She could immediately spit this vile concoction out, whatever the heck it's made of, and risk insulting her hosts… or she can put on a brave face and swallow that mouthful, the same way teenagers always do when tasting the burn of whiskey and tequila for the first time. This stuff is disgusting, but is it more disgusting than it's supposed to be? Grounders must have strange tastes. She chooses to swallow, slowly nodding her head and making the kind of thoughtful face that suggests she's savouring it, tasting the drink's curiously complex, soapy notes, mingled with scrubbed off and unknown leftovers. It's an interesting flavour, and certainly an acquired taste, but she makes it seem like she likes it.

Pontus shrugged to Elias and said truthfully, "He's got a couple favours into me." A day and a half ago he's watched his hometown get blown off the map. Pontus kom Trikru, human pumpkin, was enlightening Cassandra on Trikru ale. Honestly he replied to her, "Ya know, I never ask." He arched one tatted eyebrow as she drank it, and more-so looked impressed when she kept drinking it. It was to Gideon he said, impressed, "<In Trigedasleng> Gideon, check the stones on this one!" And ya know he said nothing. NOTHING! Finally he slid that extra beer over and said to her, "Try this one. You might like it better. I dunno."

The footsteps give her away every time. There's hardly any hesitation anymore — nearly twenty years of practice will do that — but there's definitely a difference between the sound of a boot and that of a wooden leg.

Marta strides in, her hands freshly scrubbed, her eyes weary but bright. She's making a beeline for the bar, not giving any particular notice to anyone else. Pontus, at least, gets a brief nod as she rests her elbows on the bar and catches the eye of the bartender. "<In Trigedasleng> The strongest you have, thank you. Just a small glass."

It's only then that she looks around herself, nodding to Gideon and looking over the Skaikru with cautious interest.

Elias watches Cass chug down a glass full of something he wouldn't ever put into his own guts. Just the smell from where he's sitting is several shades of 'not good'. He actually does recoil just a bit, but watches on anyways. "I honestly don't want to know what's in that," he muses, giving a slow shake of his head in Cassandra's direction. He then gives a look to Pontus and squints his eyes a touch at the man. Seriously, he doesn't want to know. Finishing off his own drink, he settles the glass back down and smiles to Pontus. "So one can barter with favors as well. I suppose whatever two people find valuable to each other?" So many questions regarding trade, but he holds up a hand and laughs a touch. "More on that later. I should really check on Kai." Shifting his hazel eyes to Cassandra then, he grins at her as well, wrinkling his nose. "Hope it didn't taste anywhere near as bad as it looked," he says before looking to the one making the drinks. "No offense." As he rises then, he gives a dip of his head in a nod to Gideon, Pontus, and Cassandra. "She'll come looking for me, injuries or no." Marta is regarded momentarily as well as he stands, and a pleasant smile and nod of his head are conveyed.

There's only so much dishwater that Cassandra can stomach, even though she doesn't want to make it too obvious how disgusting she finds what she's drinking. In fact, she still doesn't realise that she's being pranked, and considering she's seen the Grounders bartering for and eating live beetles, she has no reason to suspect this isn't something they find perfectly palatable.

"Try it," Cassie generously offers Elias, pushing the third-empty pint glass over towards him. From the look in her eye when she offers it out, it must be really good. Way better than it looks! "Tastes like, mm… a bit meaty?" But then he's rising up from his seat, and she just settles to leave the glass there for now, so that she can enjoy that drink slowly. Real slowly.

It's only when Cass reaches over for the second drink Pontus offered her that she furrows her brow and looks up at him suspiciously. This one tastes surprisingly normal. Like beer. She stares him down, waiting for an explanation.

Pontus lifted his glass to Marta in greeting. His eyes floated to a nearby chair that could be pulled up if she wished in invitation. Explanation? No. There'd be no explanation. Maybe it was respect for her taking the prank well that he wouldn't call her out in front of the others. But there was a wry twist in his grin and a nod lifting his glass. "To the reaper rider then." Nickname #483 for Cassie. To Elias he said, "Tell that Second if she gets up I'll throw her ass back in that damn cart." That'll keep her in bed where she can heal.

A tiny nod from Marta in response to Pontus, and she looks back to the bartender. The first glass he gives her she takes between two fingers, tossing back the contents into the back of her throat. Setting the glass back down, she indicates that she'd like to follow it with a pint of beer; taking this, she ambles over to the chair Pontus offered. As she approaches, the Skaikru might notice the shape of that leg: it's not just a stump of wood. It looks, in fact, very much like the business end of a Louisville Slugger.

Settling herself in, she snorts at Pontus's last words. "Warriors are all the same. Strap them into bed or they'll split their stitches. I tell them they're no use bleeding like a stuck pig in the middle of a fight, but do they listen?"

As Elias passes by Cassandra, he lifts a hand at the brown liquid that she offers him. "Nooope. Beverages should never taste meaty, I'm fairly certain," he says and gives that hand a slow, refusing wave of the drink. He ticks his gaze from Cass to her drink and back again. "That stuff is good, though. I'll have to figure out how to make that one of these days." He does look down to the glass of brownish-greyish water and makes another 'yuck' face, shaking his head rapidly. There are likely stagnant ponds he'd rather drink from. He's making his way towards the door then, still wincing a little at the memory of the sight of the strange, gross-looking drink. Looking back to Pontus, he offers a quick smile and dips his head in a nod to the warrior. "That'll keep her in bed, at least," he replies, snorting a quick laugh. "Or threaten her with more bedrest." Smiling lopsidedly then, he turns once more and makes his way back towards the exit. With a smile, he lifts a hand to wave once to Gideon and he nods a parting to Marta, as well as a chuckle. "I'm glad you're accustomed to dealing with Kai's type," he tells her with a dip of his head. "Ah laik Elias kom Skaikru," he says, getting better at the pronunciation indeed. It's also the only Trigedasleng he knows. "May we meet again."

Cass opens her mouth to protest Elias' refusal of the beverage so kindly offered to her by Pontus and the bartender — on the house, no less — but seeing just how certain he is that he doesn't want to taste the meaty dishwater, she settles to make a face. "May we meet again," she says to him, all the same. Her tone is sincere and hopeful, but heavy enough that the words actually mean something, and imply the unfortunate possibility that they won't.

"Can't all be open to trying new things," the Skaigirl says to Pontus and Marta with a raise of her brows, once the Skaiboy has departed. Despite his superior wisdom in not tasting the concoction, she makes it seem like hers is the superior choice, for daring. The suspicion with which she fixes Pontus doesn't abate. "That's really good stuff," she admits, making a finger-gun and pointing down at the beer he's offered her, but then she pulls the cloudy, greyish-brown liquid back over and pushes that one over to him. "I like this one better, though." She indicates the branwada, expression enthused. "Try it. I think it's the best beer I've ever tasted."

At the healer's words, Cassandra smirks. "Sounds about right. Ai laik Kasandra. Nice to meet you."

Pontus said simply to Marta in agreement, "No, we do not." He knows this from experience and from Marta yelling at him more than once about this very thing in his lifetime. He stopped the glass and pointed to Cassandra. It was to <arta he noted, "This kid fucking rode a reaper into battle to deliver to me an' Arlin. Damndest thing." Was that actually a compliment? He added objectively, "Can't stay in a tree for shit, but being a squirrel ain't for everyone I guess." He eyed Cassandra and said simply, "Nah I was already a Second once and had to drink shitty drinks. Maybe someday you'll wind up on the same path and not upside-down in a tree." Well at least he gave her props for it.

Marta's clearly pleased — fairly pleased, anyway — to see that Elias and Cassandra are managing Trigedasleng enough to introduce themselves. "Ai laik Marta kom Trikru," she replies, sipping at her own drink. To the comments, though, specifically about the reaper, her eyebrows shoot high: "That was — " Is there a polite word for stupid? "Brave. Insane, but brave. How did you do this without being eaten?"

"I knew it!" Cassandra didn't actually know it — well, not until she had already drunk a third of the glass, but at least she got there eventually. "You cock. You are worse than Tuan kom Trikru!" And despite this, she manages to burst out laughing when she realises that she's been played. She voices her insults just a touch too loudly, and the patrons around can all certainly hear her. As she points into the brown-grey glass of dishwater, she reasserts with a big grin, "That was the most disgusting shit I have ever tasted. What did I actually drink?"

Having been prescribed antibiotics, Cass then reaches into her back and retrieves one now — her last one — before she pops the tab and downs it with another sip of beer. Alcohol shouldn't really be taken with antibiotics, but nobody told her that, and so she is liable to spend the next two nights vomiting. Looking then at Marta, she simply hitches a shoulder and shrugs. "The Reaper was attacking someone I…" There's a pause as she reselects the word that was on the tip of her tongue, her face impassive. "Was fighting alongside. I was trying to distract him."

Pontus cracked a grin at Cassandra and said unapologetically, "Of course I'm worse. Kid had to learn from someone." Bastard preened just a little. He chuckled and seemed unupset by this, so no one was running as backup just yet and he sipped his beer. "Dishwater. You won't die. It IS terrible. I'm honestly damn impressed you didn't cry." At the other table Rain's face was buried in her elbow on the table. giggling, "It had bubbles!"

"You know the buckets they keep under the casks to catch the dregs? They all get dumped into one bucket at the end of the night. Don't worry. It's too strong to be unhealthy." Marta's eyes crinkle at the corners as she grins, bright teeth gleaming in the light.

Cassandra's explanation just makes her shake her head. Oh, she caught that pause. Her chin lifts lightly as she considers it. At last, though: "We all do foolish things for our crew. Whoever they may be."

When the Trikru at her table explain just what it is that she drank, despite reassurances that she won't in fact die, Cassandra looks appalled. This is no longer quite so funny. "I thought it was just a local delicacy, or something like that!" She resits expressing the horror that would lead to this belief, which involves watching others of their kind happily munch on live beetles.

Marta's words give Cassandra another pause. She gives another slow nod of her head, reaffirming, "Crew. Yeah."

Pontus gave Cassandra a nod. He was done giving her shit. She took it like a pro and it seems he could respect that. He noted to Marta, "Another one that doesn't want to go back there. She might have more common sense than given credit for." He looked to The Skaigirl and seemed curious. "Didn't get Elias's explaination. Why so many trying to leave? Why you?" He was content to drink his second beer and not the dishwater, sitting at the table with fellow refugees and a Skaikid dressed as Trikru as she could muster.

"You lived," Marta replies without much apparent sympathy. She's still grinning.

But wanting to leave Skaikru and join the Trikru? Marta doesn't look as pleased about that as one might think. "Hrm. They will think we are stealing their people," she mutters, taking a long drink of her own beer. "Especially if you have a mother living." But she, too, is interested to know why Cassandra is so eager to join them.

Hyatt makes his way into the public house after some settling in. Showing an exceptional knack for looming, he does so near the bar for a moment. Quietly, he nods his regard to Pontus, recognizing him from days before. Being a local, he has worked it out with the one serving drinks here so that he doesn't have to use words as much. With a quick upnod to him, the server goes about the business of preparing his drink. Quietly, he looks between Pontus and Cassandra for a long moment before then offering a nod to Cassandra. Marta is regarded with a nod of greeting as well, but this one doesn't seem terribly outspoken.

Cass shakes her head at Marta's comment on the possibility of her mother being alive, but leaves it at that. "They won't fault you for stealing me, I promise," she says, sounding tranquil about the whole affair. "Skaikru who want to assimilate into your societies are those who know what's best for them. You've lived here longer than us and know how to survive. My people can be stubborn about seeing it like that." But she leaves it there. Unloading personal baggage, no matter how curious the Trikru are, doesn't seem like the best of ideas over drinks. "If I can find work here, and if I can earn your respect and trust, I'll stay, as long as you let me, and won't look back to my people. There ain't no debts between me and them." She pauses as Hyatt wanders in — a local who would surely recognise that she is not, despite her local-bought clothes — and looks up to tepidly return his nod in greeting, since he doesn't seem openly hostile towards her. Her face is still impassive when she tacks on, as an afterthought, "After I check in on my injured crew. If they're still alive."

Pontus sat quietly listening. At Cassandra's story he nodded slowly. "You all have skill-craft. What do you know?" He didn't have all the words for it, but made do. From the other table, the 10 year old cleaned up her little bits of pheasant feathers she'd used to make her own fletches for her arrows, and brought the 5 untipped projectiles with her over to the table. Without asking, she climbed into the lean, scary-looking man's lap and set them down. Without complaint, he made room for the kid as she tiredly curled up, muttering something to him in her first-tongue. He didn't answer her, but put a hand on her head that rested on his shoulder and tousled her dark hair. "Since you seem you'll have time, maybe we'll have to teach you how to climb a proper tree."

"Your people can be stubborn." That's the bit Marta's stuck on. "If you have kin — mothers, brothers. I would not want to see any child of mine run from me for the Skaikru." But she's less hostile and more… concerned. She listens, though her eyes are more on little Rain and her fletching. Her face softens and she smiles, settling herself a little more comfortably and glancing up to Hyatt with a faint nod. She glances to a nearby chair, but the invitation is not a demand. He can or not, as he pleases.

Hyatt moves to seat himself at the bar in silence, though he does cast another look to Cassandra briefly. The look isn't a particularly welcoming one, but he does acknowledge her at least. The conversation between her and Pontus does seem to draw his interest for a moment, but he says nothing. Instead, he shifts his attention to Marta and her invitation. With a nod, he moves once more to where she sits and takes the chair near her. Keeping his eyes on her for the moment while he seats himself once more. Again he nods to her, but is content to stay quiet and enjoy the wheat beer he's been served.

Cass is never going to live down that harrowing defeat at the hands of an inanimate object. She can climb a reaper, but not a tree. She can even gain a positive reputation for the former, but not eschew the latter. All the same, when Pontus suggests he might help her rectify her ineptitude — if not her shame — she does flash him a grin.

"Yes, they can be." Although the Skaigirl already said that, she reaffirms it when Marta agrees, sending a brief glance to the Grounder healer's eyes before turning her own gaze to follow Rain. "My family were botanists — farmers. But they passed." This must have been a long time ago, giving her time to process it since, because her expression remains rather blank when she says it, in the manner of someone who is disinterested in sympathy. After a pause she adds, "It was because of a failure of my people. So, you know. No love lost." Perhaps that answers why she is so keen to leave the Skaikru.

"My craft is, well… specialised," the pardoned delinquent continues. "It's what my people call Earth Skills. You know, skills needed to survive here on Earth. Like planting food and shit, but also how to start a fire, find shelter, track wild animals, stuff like that. So, stuff your people already know, but I'm pretty good at it, and I know the science behind it. I can do it real efficient. I can make medicines from plants, too."

Pontus sat listening curiously. For as much of a hardass as he was, and yes, Cassie did see him tank a pile of people before two-shot decapitating one, he seemed totally at peace with letting the kiddo use him as a sleeping chair to curl up on. They say everyone fights for something, you could suppose. He finished his drink and finally said, "Yeah. Lost mine when I was younger than you too. Changes your perspective don't it?" If he had thoughts on the failings of the Ark, he didn't share them at present. He eyed the Acorn for a while and rested his chin atop Rain's head thoughtfully. "Good skills to have. No wonder you live in spite of them. Still Marta's not wrong, but you may have a point." He glanced to Hyatt and tilted his head up. "<In Trigedasleng> You missed a hell of a hunt. Good to see you in one piece."

Marta too nods — it's not unusual around here for a young adult to have no living family, but it's no less of a shame. Her smile is still fondly on Rain, though her mind is ticking away.

At Cass's explanation of her skills, though, she looks up with a slight tilt to her head. "If you bring us skills we already have," she says, "those are skills you do not need to be taught. Perhaps. We will see what you know. If you prove yourself knowledgeable and capable of learning… we will see. You are staying tonight?"

The young girl tiredly smiled and wiggle-waved her fingers to Marta. A lot of people got mixed up in the move and she was continuously happy to see a familiar face. Pontus said simply, "Be foolish to head back now. They'll eat a tree trying to ride in the dark." Notably, Pontus was NOT a diplomat. It was an observational means of looking out for the visitors in an oblique manner though.

While the conversation between Pontus and Cassandra is listened to with a perked ear, Hyatt doesn't endeavor to interrupt them in the least. Instead, he keeps his attention on Marta for a moment until he hears Pontus voice speak up towards him. With a nod of his head, he gives an almost regretful look. "<In Trigedasleng> I was needed elsewhere at the time. I am sorry." Once more, his eyes settle on Marta. "<In Trigedasleng> Hyatt," he introduces himself very simply before following her gaze to Rain. The stoney expression on his face doesn't change, but he nods to acknowledge the child.

At the query about her sleeping arrangements, Cassandra hesitates. She glances over her shoulder, to where Elias kom Skaikru was last seen departing the pub, before she turns her attention back to Marta. "Well, yeah, if you'll have me," she says. Her short, practical fingernails drum on the circle-stained tabletop. "I was hoping to arrange for a horse, at some point, to check on my wounded crew." Although she initially referred to that crew in the gender-ambiguous plural, she now clarifies, eyes on the wooden surface, "It's just one crew. One person, I mean." Given who Pontus saw her ride a Reaper for, and who she defended when Arlin got violent, before he himself helped carry said wounded back to Camp Jaha — it would be easy to guess who that 'crew' is, or was. Given his condition last they saw him in, it's entirely possible that Asher is dead. "Don't know who to see about that. Horse, that is." She looks up between Pontus and Marta, gauging the possibility that they might offer one.

The Skaigirl sends a glance towards Hyatt, but since she does not speak the language, she cannot tell that his name is an introduction, rather than an unknown word. She soon finds herself pensively watching Pontus' sleeping daughter while the Trikru exchange amongst themselves.

Pontus nodded at Hyatt's lament. They were from the same stock of having 'needing to do their job' ingrained in their DNA. There seemed to be a silent conversation there that took place. Slate grey eyes glanced back to Cassandra with that expression that was unnerving at best, which admitted, "We got him to Jaha Camp no thanks to the assholes arguing but there's that. We got in midnight. Healers and that medic kid got him inside. Kai and I waited to hear what's what. They said he's gonna be alright. Maybe not smarter, but alive." Pontus was thoroughtly disenchanted with everyone's performance that almost led to that kid's death via neglect and inaction. Inaction was unforgivable to him. Still, he gave the report to abate her concerns. "We can put you up and then you can see your person."

"<In Trigedasleng> Marta," the one-legged healer replies, inclining her head to Hyatt. "<In Trigedasleng> Well met." She shifts a bit then, reaching into a pouch hanging from her belt. When she draws it out, it's a small disc of sanded wood. On one side has been carved the rough shape of a leaf. A hole has been punched into the top, and through this has been laced a length of braided threads to make a thick string that can be worn like a necklace.

She hands this all to Cass. "If you decide to stay with us, bring this back to me in the healers' hall. We will see what you know and if you can be taught."

<FS3> Cassandra rolls Resolve: Failure. (2 4 3 1 5 3 3 5)

The words Cassandra speaks about a horse do draw his attention as well as a fair amount of amusement in the girl's direction. He studies her a long moment before his attention then shifts to Pontus once more. The silent conversation happens for a longer stretch of time than he regarded the skaigirl with, but his attention ultimately falls upon Marta again. "<In Trigedasleng> Me as well," is his simple response, though he does look for ways to engage in further conversation. He just doesn't seem the type. "<In Trigedasleng> Generous," he then says, indicating the items she hands to the skaigirl.

Cassandra tries not to show it, really, she does. Love is weakness: the Grounders know that, and so does she. But when Pontus starts talking about the status of her crew, her eyes lock onto his intently, every bit as unnerving in their attention, and it's obvious she's hanging onto his every word with needful hope. Tightly contained relief immediately floods her face when he relays that Asher will be alright. Her concentration is only broken when Marta's hand manoeuvres towards her, and distracted, she glances down.

"What is it?" the Skaigirl asks, reaching out to thread her fingers through the necklace and lift it up with interest. Noting that Hyatt is making comment about it too, she flicks her gaze toward him briefly before settling back on Marta's gift.

Pontus answers the question with one word, "Opportunity." He looked from Cassandra, noting the emotion welled up and uncontained. He only reacted with a nod giving her the truths she needed. He didn't do the shit he did for gratitude, but because it was what needed to be done. It was the right call at the time, but still he was satisfied that someone cared that that kid was alright. Speaking of which, the lump of child in his lap had grown sleepy, and then heavy. That he fought like hell and then rode all over the former state of Maryland without rest yet for himself didn't matter either. His glass was pushed away and the arrows Rain finished gathered in hand; she in his other arm like a large sack of potatoes. "When there's time we'll get you in a tree." Maybe he was offering to help? Why though he didn't say. He looked to Marta and Hyatt with a nod. "<In Trigedasleng> She waited up all this time for me to get back. I'm gonna get her squared away. Kid might be braver than any of us." She didn't cry. She didn't fret while they were gone, but she was too relieved to see her family come back. Warrior someday maybe, but for now she was still 10 and did as best as she could. Without any preamble he simply carried her back to the common-house they were sharing with Wren's family.

"<In Trigedasleng> If she is trained as an herbalist, she's worth it. The child wants to belong. Few enough these days want to be healers." Marta tosses off the statement in Trigedasleng, eyes, flicking to Hyatt. There's possibly something she isn't saying, even in the private language of her people.

To Cass, then, she nods: "A token. I rarely take apprentices. If you bring that back to me, it says you are willing to be tested. If you pass my tests, then I will vouch for you to our leader. In a word, yes," she adds, nodding to Pontus. "Opportunity."

She rises as well, draining the last of her pint. "Rest well. You have much to do." Walking up to the counter, she passes the mug to the barkeeper and starts heading to the door—with one more nod of farewell to Hyatt.

When Pontus leaves and Marta leaves after giving the token to Cassandra, Hyatt shifts his gaze over to the skaigirl who is… now here all alone. As he sips from his wheat beer, he does keep a watchful eye on her. Sure it might come off as somewhat creepy. Despite it, he casts a glance to the others present to make certain that there won't be any trouble. While he doesn't talk to Cassandra, he does regard her again with a nod of his head. This one… he's not big on words, see? As he isn't spitting insults or trying to stab her, he might just be alright, though.

The prospect of opportunity fills Cassandra's eyes with wonder. As Pontus and Marta both depart, she turns the the gifted token over in her fingers, and clenches it tight, wary that she might lose her prize. "May we meet again," is all she offers when they leave, even letting the jab about her admittedly awful tree-climbing skills rest unanswered.

It's not long before her gaze goes roaming around the taproom again, as she takes stock of her now less friendly surroundings. It settles on Hyatt, who unlike a scowling warrior near the door who commented when she walked in, manages not to be openly hostile towards her. Nonetheless, she clocked his less-than-welcoming regard of her earlier, and with the sharp instincts of an animal who is too used to being cornered, she watches him with a notable lack of trust, angling to spring at moment's notice and calculating her escape routes — of which in reality, there are none.

"Heya," she greets him, trying to be friendly. "Don't suppose you know where I could arrange for a horse and bed?"

Hyatt isn't capable of mortification. Really, he's not. The chipper 'heya' from the girl, had the iron-sighted warrior had one iota less composure about him, would be sure to elicit a look akin to the last given by a suddenly suspecting murder victim. Dark eyes do widen noticeably, though he doesn't react to her straight away. No. The warrior takes his measure of the girl for a longer moment. "Both harder to come by," he answers her quietly, shifting his gaze then to the healer's tent across the way. "Marta." She was gifted with that token, after all. By his measure, she should be using it to start her journey towards both goals. Another long drink is taken from the glass of wheat beer in his steady hand.

"Okay," says Cassandra. Her eyes do not leave Hyatt's, still on high alert, as she slowly inches her way across the bench she was seated on to depart the now otherwise-empty table. She is fully aware of the unfriendly looks she's garnering — some of them more openly hostile than others — and angles herself towards the door as she collects her weapons, Marta's token held fast in her fist.

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