Day 072: Breaking Bread
Summary: Jumar and Benning have lunch together by the lake and discuss the challenges Trikru and Arkers face.
Date: 08/09/2016
Related: None
Benning Jumar 

Western Shore, Lake Arkadia
Surrounded by breathtaking mountains and rolling foothills, the Lake Arkadia — or known as Lake Audo to the Trikru — is a sprawling, crystalline body of water that joins the Potomac watershed. It is encompassed in low grasses and young alder trees. The forests start to thicken to the west, where the rocky peaks of this small mountain range poke up out of the groves of hemlock and cedar. Following along a newly flattened path is the road to Camp Jaha. The Skaikru city is what remains of the crashed Alpha station. The enormous ring stands vertical some many hundred feet in the air, and it has already begun to be salvaged for materials.
Day 72

With the Grounder delegation gone, the lakeside is a lot more comfortable for Jumar. Now, his lake watching activities include the rapidly clearing site for the new Grounder village at the other end of the lake, and his usual rock is being used to sit down as he uses his dataslate with flicks of his fingers. This time, his feet are not in the water.

Benning has been one of the many Trikru helping to clear the site for the new Trikru village. She decided to take a break and have her lunch in a quiet place away from the rest of her people. She comes walking around the lake with a small basket in hand. When she sees the Skaikru tech, she gives him a wave and calls out, "Greetings Jumar Beck-in-son. How are you today?"

What's one of the Grounders doing here? This wariness doesn't show in his expression though, and he looks over to you as you approach. "I'm fine. I thought most of the Grounders were over at the village site? Tired of the trees already?" Jumar smirks.

"I shall never tire of the trees Jumar, but I do wish to have a nice spot to eat my lunch and this side of the lake is quieter than the site," Benning tells him as she holds up her basket, "I have rabbit, greens and apple tart left over from the celebration. You are welcome to join me." Because it would be rude to eat in front of the man without offering, "Do you not sometimes wish to have time away from your people?"

Jumar shakes his head, "not especially. We're all that's left of the Ark after the rebellion and Arkfall, it seems… at least until we know what happened to farm station. 2700 of us… reduced to 650 in two months." The numbers are sobering for him, and it shows. "Would have been worse if the siege had gone on for days too." Jumar looks to the offer… then gives a small shrug. "better then soy all day."

Benning sits down next to the rock and nods sadly, "That is a great loss. You must have lost many friends and maybe even family." She takes a small blanket and then puts out the food so Jumar can help himself. She has two pieces of bark that she hands out for plates, one for salad and the other for regular food. Then she starts to put her lunch together, "I did not lose anyone I care for in the siege but I know others who have. It has been a rough couple of months for everyone." She points to the new site, "But it is getting better. We are setting up the village, I will have my shop again and being able to focus on being a maker."

"Both my parents were on Factory when it hit the cliff. I'm all that's left of the Beckinsons." Jumars eyes look back to the new village site. "At least we'll be able to salvage it, so not a total loss. Adria too." Jumar had been working on acceptance for a month as it is. "All of it because a bunch of terrorist assholes bombed the Ark and Mount Weather screwed with the dropships telemetry. We had to fire the rockets and burn your warrior people alive because of it, and now Cole seems to think that he is less human because we fought for our lives over something we had nothing to do with."

"Ahh, you have lost much Jumar," Benning nods in understanding and there is a kindness there, "And I believe your people did not mean to hurt ours when your ship crashed but yes…an series of events launched from that they took lives on both sides." She gives a half smile, "I have hopes for us…Trikru and Skaikru to find a middle ground, but it is for selfish reasons. My sister, Gideon, is now part of your tribe." She then notes, "And few Coesbur warriors participated in Sonia's attack. Which is why my people were punished for their disobedience."

"It took me a while to consider your people as anything but another war waiting to happen after the siege. I mean, we said time and again we had nothing to do with the dropship dropping on that village, but all we got was an offer to have seven of us tortured to satisfy a bloodlust that was meaningless. Unlike the others, I don't regret burning anyone after they tried to murder us, but I am glad we're finally able to rest." Jumar purses his lips as he watches the lake, "my mother would have liked this lake view."

"Trikru are different I think than your people. There are times your people do not make sense to me, but I try to keep an open mind and heart," Benning tells him with a shrug, "It does not mean either side is right all the time, but our Coalition put an end to much fighting…before my time. And there has been peace, just as there has been war. I hope for more peace than war but that is because I am a maker, not a warrior. I do not seek blood, I seek to craft, create." She gives him a smile, "So just like there are many different people in your tribe…there are many different people in Trikru."

"I'm still getting used to the idea of being a 'tribe'. We're Arkers from the Ark, this is all new to us. It was only us up in space. Now there are…. what, twelve tribes in the region besides us, in an alliance no less? We need to get our bearings, and now we have the time to do that." Then, finally Jumar looks down to his feet. "I have to admit though, I didn't think any of you would consider asking to join us. I realize Gideon has a strong reason to stay, and her hunting is really helping out, at least." He looks over to you, then. "If you're wondering, Gideon is doing fine. It isn't my business to butt into your family business though… so I won't pry about the relationship. I will say though that I'd be willing to talk to the Chancellor and see if you're welcome to visit, if you like."

"I would like that," Benning gives him a soft smile, "Gideon is my sister of the blood. I will always love her no matter where her life takes her." She pauses and then notes, "I do not know if my parents would wish to visit her. There are those angry at her choice but I understand. Her Houman is Skaikru…or Arker as you call it. It is good for her to be with her Houman." She points herself, "I am a maker of bows and arrows. I know the forest's secrets…where there are herbs and plants that help or hurt others. I know how to make pastes that heal. All of my skills are for living with the land, not apart from it." She gives him a smile, "I understand you are a maker too, of steel and glass…" She points back to the camp.

"We have two categories. Engineers and maintenance workers and other such people who know how to keep what is existing in good condition. Then there are the smiths, the metalworkers, the metallurgists, the electricians. Sometimes these professions overlap and the crafters can also do maintenance. I'm an Engineer, mechanic, technologist, and a metalworker. I'm also considering taking up carpentry… for the first time in a century, we actually need to learn carpentry." Jumar laughs at that, before he sobers. "When I was on the Ark, I wanted to make things with metals. We could only recycle what we had though, so making new things from ore was not an option. We needed people who could keep the stations running, so I became an Engineer." Jumar shrugs, finally. "once I get my forge up and running, I imagine I'll be a very busy man. From what I've been told, your people don't know how to make a lot of alloys, including steel, and we do."

"No…we do not make new metal, we recycle the old. That knowledge was lost by our people," Benning confirms with him, "And there are those like Que who would be very interested in learning." She takes a few bites of her food, "I might be as well. I can heat the metal, put it in molds that I made but I have never tried to make it from scratch." She gives a smile when he mentions carpentry, "I am not a carpenter but I do know how to craft bows and arrows out of wood."

Jumar gives a nod, "Que offered to loan me his anvil before that whole punishment thing happened. I haven't seen him since, so I assume that deals off." Jumar gives a shrug, then. "Your people don't seem very interested in learning from us regardless, and frankly with the attitudes I've seen constantly I don't want to bother with instruction. I'd have to see a lot less hostility from the majority of Grounders before I'd be willing to teach anything to any of your people. The only one with any real interest in what we might be able to offer that I've seen are the chief of your village-" Jumar points across the lake, "-and he wants a water and sewage system. I can't say I blame him for that -they are very nice- but I hope this isn't a case of being too giving too early." A beat, "we're sharing the lake now… so probably for the best that we give them a means to manage it well."

"You are making generalizations Jumar…and when you do, that is never a good thing. Can you name those that have been rude to you?" Benning asks with interest, "Because I know those in the tribe that have poor views of the…" She stops herself from saying Skaikru, "Arkers…and others that do not. I would say that there are those that like your commander, see him as a man of honor. Your guard are also viewed well. Really, most of the censor I've seen is towards the 100." She gives him a look of apology, "I know they are your friends but it is what I know. I do not dislike your people but it is a big disruption. Things are changing. I do not know if these changes are good or bad." She points to herself, "I am allowed to trade but not give freely because you are in the Coalition." She winks at him, "I bend that a little by sharing my food today but it is because I like talking with you."

"Luther, Britt, Que, Fayet. Hundreds of people in Tondc and in the delegation camp that was camped out here before, Kyler.. and those are just off the top of my head." Jumar observes, "I'm not making generalizations when people like you are the outliers so far. You don't automatically think that we are worthless because we somehow intentionally invaded territory that was long thought empty, and that is why I don't have a problem talking with you." Then Jumar waves it off, "most of the remaining people who survived the siege view me as hateful because I'm a realist, and don't think I have a right to be angry over everything that's happened to us." Jumar shrugs, helplessly, as he watches the lake, "I suppose they are more forgiving then I am… but after watching almost half of us die to that bullshit over what amounts to a misunderstanding that your people still haven't apologized for, I'm not letting my guard down again."

"I do not think you are hateful Jumar, but you are angry," Benning notes, "And those that carry anger in my people will not see your side either." She gives a shrug, "But anger leads to violence and I want peace so I try to listen and understand. Many may not wish to understand. Want you to bed because you are the ones that came down here." She shakes her head, "I do not know if either are right. Nor do I think you will get your apology. Should I apologize for my tribe? My people? Even those that do not like the 100? No…I do not because it is not my place. And your perception of anger might also be wariness. I would have to see to tell you. But regardless, I think you will find us difficult because of how you feel on the matter." She points to herself, "I will continue to keep an open mind and heart. Judge those that I meet person by person."

"The only thing I'll 'bend' about is that we thought the earth was mostly devoid of life when we were sent down here, and that we didn't mean to make anyone angry. What I won't apologize for is existing and our need to drop down here to survive. We're here, and can't go anywhere else because we dropped with very little resources… certainly not enough to do any sort of migration." Jumar grunts, "hopefully, in time, your people will be willing to actually talk to us instead of wanting to wish us out of existence." Then Jumars gaze looks to Mount Weather… or what's left of it. "As it is, I'm pretty amazed at how little gratitude we've gotten over ending Mount Weather. You'd think that being directly responsible for ending the Mountains threat would make more people positive towards us. Stripping the mountain will certainly help, but it's like your people are just tolerating us for existing at this point."

"I think it will be difficult to change things until there are decisions made regarding the Coalition," Benning tells him softly, "Or at least a treaty. These things take time. I do hope my people will see your people as allies not enemies. Sadly, there is little in between." She gives another shrug, "Many are wary to show friendship after what happened to our warriors in Coesbur." The cutting of Oxfor and others, "It will need to come from the leaders to show more and then the people will follow." She takes a few more bites, "I do more because of Gideon, and because I think that friendship starts on both sides. But my father was a healer and believed in mending…all sides. My mother is more rigid. I have seen both ways and prefer my father's way."

"I can't see us joining your Coalition without a rebellion in the camp. Your ways are very different and most of us will not accept your ideas of what is considered justice or punishment. I can see us becoming allies… trading partners. But members of your Coalition? I want no part of that." Jumar observes with a matter of factness, "we'll see what happened at Coesbur soon enough. Me and the rest of the engineering team will be going through their computers and seeing their data. I'm hoping to find reports on everything that's happened since we landed."

Benning nods thoughtfully, "Yes, perhaps it would be for the best if we do not bad together then if you see things so differently." She takes a few bites and muses, "Yes…Coesbur and Camp Jaha being so close, it will be a 'test' to see how we find ways to get along." She cants her head to look up at him, "It will be good to have my shop again. I miss sleeping in a bed." She nudges him towards the food, "You should eat though…I have too much here for just myself."

"So far, the only middle ground we've had is that your people needed our technology to get into Mount Weather, and are now requesting a sewage system for your new village. Everything else has been banter about how we're children, that we're worthless, and that we're arrogant beyond measure because we won't kiss Grounder ass all the time. So… I too am curious if your people can survive a year near us without getting into another war." Is that an attempt at teasing with a smirk? Perhaps. "I've extended my offer of helping with forge work for your people at the new village, and I extend that to you as well, once my forge is built. As a metallurgist, I know how to make all kinds of alloys, including steel. Though I imagine bronze will be in heavy demand for pipes soon enough."

Benning shakes her head and tells him in a sad voice, "I am sorry that you feel that way Jumar. Perhaps I should go…" She looks uncertain at this point. Sadly, sarcasm is not something that Benning completely understands. It's those little nuisances between teasing and harshness that doesn't also filter through based on cultural differences, "If you wish, I can leave you some food for the conversation and we can talk another time." Benning doesn't get angry at the words but it does make her see just how large the gap is between their people, "And yes, I would like to take you on the offer once the forge is built."

"I was just teasing, dear. While there are a lot of cultural differences, I think we do have middle ground in that we both want to survive and thrive, and we both want to respect our shared home. For my part, I'll be happy if your people just stop trying to kill us. The rest can come naturally as the Grounders realize we're not looking to kill everyone in sight and just want to live in peace." Then, finally, Jumar starts to eat. "if you want to go, I'm not stopping you, but you haven't given me any reason to be angry with you yet."

Benning flushes as she realizes she misunderstood his words, "Oh…I am sorry. English is not my native tongue. Sometimes I miss things." She's more than willing to admit that she didn't understand what he meant, "Since you are not angry with me, then yes, I would like to stay and enjoy a meal together." She takes a few more bites of her food and gets more relaxed.

"Some words were also lost after the bombs fell that we kept, so I can understand that. When I first heard that English was your war language, I just about jaw dropped. The idea never even occurred to us. Why would it?" Jumar gives a small shrug as he looks back to you. "For my part, I need to get back to work. I only came out here for a lunch break at the lakeside, and I need to get back to inventory for the Mount Weather."

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