Day 039: Catching Up
Summary: Khesu finally finds his niece Benning and she catches him up on a few happenings including Gideon's actions.
Date: 07/07/2016
Related: Oh Deer and The Wire Wall.
Benning Khesu 

Lake Arkadia, The Wilderness
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.
Thu Jul 07, 2149.

Benning is quietly sitting by the lake, off by herself and reflecting on life as she watches the wind play on the lake. The fires burn brightly in the Trikru camp but out here it's quiet, peaceful and dark. Her bow and quiver is on her back, but the girl is taking chances this close to the Skaikru, choosing to be alone rather than with the group. Even after Britt was attacked the other day by some disgruntled Skaikru.

There is a man out here as well, also alone. Or so he thinks. He has come down out of the trees to stand at the edge of the water. Khesu looks out over the water of the lake in the darkness but there's just enough light in the dimness to see a little light reflected off from the sky, faint as it is. He hunkers down to crouch and feel for a small, flat stone, his eyes well adjusted to the dimness. When he stands, he flips the small stone to make it skip out over the water several times lightly before it disappears into the dark water. It is barely a sound, a hint of movement at the edge of the lake. Then he stands quiet once more. A bow is slung over his back along with a long handled war axe but it lacks a big, heavy blade to make it slow. His bedroll has been left up at the Trikru camp.

After a long moment spent lingering by the water, Khesu starts walking slowly and carefully long it's edge and in Benning's direction, not yet aware of her up ahead.

Benning notices the man by the lake before he notices her. Perhaps it's because she's always been petite and not given much notice when she sits in the grass. She watches him throw the rock and start to make his way in her direction. He is clearly Trikru so there is no concerns. When the moonlight shows him to be her uncle, Benning gasps and murmurs loud enough for him to hear, "<In Trigedasleng> Uncle!" Then she gets up and moves swiftly to him, not quite believing her eyes because it's been so long.

The sudden voice makes him turn his head in her direction. He looks carefully to pick her out of the darkness, then starts up the slope to meet her part way at a walk. A rare smile eases his otherwise normally stern face, his baritone kept quite low in volume, "<In Trigedasleng> There you are." Soon as Benning draws near, Khesu will offer an arm to give her warm greeting in the form of a hug, if she'll have it. He's been told that she was hurt. Almost at once her uncle wishes to have a look at her, to see if he can see bandage or other sign of wound to her head, or else where about her person, "<In Trigedasleng> Are you all right? Pontus told me you had been injured."

Benning welcomes the hug from her uncle, clasping him close as she hugs him fiercely. She takes a step back and shows him the thin fine scar where the Reaper's axe grazed her hairline, "It's just a small wound…but bled a lot." She then takes his hand and shows him the bump that has gone down, "Really it was the fall from the tree that knocked me out after the world exploded around us." She looks so sad at that thought because her home, the only place she's ever know is now wiped away by the selfish actions of the Mountain, "I saw it uncle…I saw them bring fire to the village."

Unsurprisingly, a warmer welcome than Gideon gave to him. Khesu cups the back of Benning's skull and aye, he can feel the lingering lump. He thins his mouth as he listens, then faintly nods, "<In Trigedasleng> Pontus told me of that, also. I wish to go and see for myself. I heard rumors in the north." A gesture is made back up where she was sitting if she wants him to come and sit with her, or they might walk a little along the lake. Khesu does not seem to be concerned about anyone attacking him. "<In Trigedasleng> I heard about Reapers in Coesbur, so I went to Tondc, first for news. Tell me what happened?"

Benning chooses to regain her seat. While she is no longer getting the headaches, she still does not feel like moving about at the moment. She sits down and waits for her uncle to join her, "We evacuated because of concerns that the Mountain would stir with the Skaikru bring guns into the battle with our warriors." She pauses and then lowers her voice, "<In Trigedasleng> Feyona kom Skaikru negotiated a cease fire but the word did not get to our troops in time and we lost some men when the Skaikru used fire to kill more than thirty fires at their dro-p-sh-ip." She shakes her head, "We were lucky it was none of our men there because Oxfor was wise and kept our men back."

Khesu does take a seat with her and listens, though he stays watchful for anyone else who might be around in the area. "<In Trigedasleng> The mountain sent some kind of fire? I do not remember them venturing far from their stronghold." Benning's uncle frowns, "<In Trigedasleng> Guns. Those are the weapons the guards along the fence at Jahu carry?" He's seen them, if not in action. Khesu has at least heard stories of guns. "<In Trigedasleng> Oxfor is wise. Our Kruheda, she wishes us to work with these Skaikru?"

"<In Trigedasleng> Yes, I think so…and the Skaikru claimed it was a missle," Benning shakes her head because this technology is beyond what she knows, "<In Trigedasleng> And they came to Skaikru's other camp and took their people…" She frowns because Khesu know what that means. None that go into the Mountain ever come out, "<In Trigedasleng> And there are those with Trikru who plan to help the Skaikru rescue their people but uncle…I do not know if we should continue to court such trouble."

"<In Trigedasleng> An arrow is a missile. I do not understand. A giant arrow?" Khesu frowns in the darkness and keeps his baritone a very soft rumble, "<In Trigedasleng> I do not think it wise. But I do not know what these Skaikru can do." He lifts his chin back in the general direction of the camps, "<In Trigedasleng> They have a thing there with a kind of lightning that runs through the wire. A wall that will burn you without heat, and they have guns. Do they have a wise Skaiheda?"

"<In Trigedasleng> I have not met their Skaiheda yet," Benning admits to him, "<In Trigedasleng> But the Skaikru on the most part have been pleased to break bread with us." She pauses and then admits, "<In Trigedasleng> There have been incidents though. A few Skaikru guards were nailed to a tree…some claim we did it but I do not think our warriors would behave with such dishonor under Oxfor's eyes." She shakes her head, "<In Trigedasleng> And because of that the father of one of the guards attacked Britt."

Khesu gives a slight negative movement of his head at mention of nailing guards to a tree. Aye, he agrees he doesn't think their clan would do that if Oxfor had orders otherwise. His hands idly pluck a long stem of grass and slowly tear the leaves into very thin, long shreds like threads. "<In Trigedasleng> Is Britt all right? There have been deaths among our people? Were they avenged?"

"<In Trigedasleng> The Skaikru tried to shank her with a makeshift weapon in his hand like the coward that he is but another Skaikru jumped in and stopped him. They punished those that would skulk and stab without honor in the yard, whipped before all that would watch," Benning seems satisfied since Britt was only jostled, not seriously hurt, "<In Trigedasleng> They are very harsh here…they punish for many things. When they lived in the sky, they would kill those that would have more than one child. And then put the baby in captivity." She gives her uncle a look like that's foolish because neither one is a first born.

Aye, neither of them first born. Khesu frowns, noting Benning didn't answer part of his question, "<In Trigedasleng> That is foolish. You make your people half again fewer with each passing generation." Yes, he can do simple math. That doesn't make any sense to him. "<In Trigedasleng> They do not sound wise to me." The grass stem doesn't survive in his hands so he drops it and glances aside at his niece in the darkness. "<In Trigedasleng> What do you think of Wren's Second?"

"<In Trigedasleng> She has the heart of a Trikru even though she bears the body of a Skaikru," Benning tells him softly, "<In Trigedasleng> And her niron, Elias kom Skaikru…he is one of the land that tends rather than a warrior like her. He respects the land and wishes to preserve it. I would not mind having either at our table." She pauses for a little bit before working up the nerve to tell her uncle, "<In Trigedasleng> Gideon has taken a Skaikru too. She has left her duties to be with him at times and I even heard she traded her armor for some of their clothing." This worries Benning greatly.

Khesu does not look concerned about Kai too much though his face gives little away. At least until Benning tells him about Gideon's actions. "<In Trigedasleng> She forsakes our clan and family for one of their people?" Oh aye, he does not like that. "<In Trigedasleng> I remember a Mounon thing she had found that made sounds, music she called it. And Indra's anger. She has always been too easily influenced by things not of her people." Her uncle sounds disappointed in this news. Khesu sighs, "<In Trigedasleng> What do you think of this Skaikru she takes for mate? Nion or Houmon?" Has it gone that far already?

"<In Trigedasleng> He is not her Houmom yet…" Benning tells him and then gives an impish grin, "<In Trigedasleng> I took him on the tour of the marketplace and bathouse." Which means Benning would have disrobed in front of him, "<In Trigedasleng> He was respectful of our ways…and when it came time to take back our villiage from the Reapers…before the Mountain Men sent that missle…he was one of the Skaikru that volunteered to come help." She pauses and then tells him, "<In Trigedasleng> I think he is a good man with a warrior heart but if it comes to war, he will fight the Trikru and Gideon will be divided because there is no peace treaty yet. When the evacuation happened, she was not there uncle. I think she went to him instead."

Benning's uncle listens. Khesu tends to be quiet and think things through when he has that option, not one to make hasty judgement. He draws a deep breath and let it out slowly. "<In Trigedasleng> She is a woman grown. I do not care for her choices, but they are not mine to make. They are hers, and it is she who must live with the consequences of her actions. I hope at least he is a good man. If he betrays her, I will kill him." It is said low without heat, a statement of fact. Khesu looks out over the lake, "<In Trigedasleng> Many strange things have taken place since I have been gone." He says nothing of his own Houmon missing all these months and presumed dead.

"<In Trigedasleng> Did you find her?" Benning asks softly, not wanting to push but she knows why her uncle left their village and it bothers her that she is not there by Khesu's side. It probably means that the hunt did not go well but she doesn't want to presume. She even reaches out and lightly touch his arm and give it a squeeze.

Khesu gives a small, negative movement of his head as he continues looking out over the lake. "<In Trigedasleng> No, she is gone." The Reapers must have gotten her, or maybe the Mounon. He does not know. The touch turns his head to glance at Benning once more and he is content to say nothing. A companionable silence.

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