Day 019: Eggs And Oats
Summary: The Grounder expedition team, over some early morning breakfast, discusses the destroyed village and the Skaikru.
Date: 2016 June 01
Related: The Destruction of Thripoda and Smoke Break
Veks Arlin Rinnan Thesda 

Trikru Campsite
A temporary campsite somewhere between Coesbur and the obliterated village of Thripoda.
Day 19

Splish. Splish-splash. Drip.

In the still of early morning, even small noises carry — in this case, the sound of someone washing up at the water's edge. That someone would be Veks, crouched with his head forward, splashing water into sleep-bedraggled hair and rubbing it through. He makes a noise halfway between a grumble and a yawn as he lifts another double-handful of water, splashing his face with it. Whose bright idea was it to make morning so /early/?

While Veks is kvetching about being up at the asscrack of dawn, Arlin looks like he might well may not have slept at all. He emerges from the tent rumpled, a little dark around his bleary eyes, his just-long-enough-to-get-mussed hair just so mussed, and with lines on his face denoting every hour he was awake to watch over and tend to a fitful girl plagued by nightmares. That little shadow of his doesn't follow, so maybe he finally up and drugged her.

Rinnan is up, with the general resentment one displays when you've likely been up for hours already. She had been sitting on her bedroll when Veks got up and slipped by on his way to the river with a nervous bouncebouncebounce to one knee that matriculates her impatience for all the sleeping that others get to do. She lifts her head upwards at him in a silent greeting for the morning to go with that slightly inquisitive look she's been throwing him now and again, like she's puzzling out some as yet displayed thought. With Arlin up, her attention shifts his way with a smirk for his generally bedraggled appearance. "Enjoying parenthood?," she ribs with that same smirk.

There's a faint rustle of the leaves in the tree that Thesda climbed into the night before, and soon enough, she's lowering herself slowly out of the tree. As her feet hit the ground with a very muffled thump, she pushes back at her hair before digging into her jacket before gingerly producing a trio of eggs she must have stolen from a nest. An inquiring brow is pitched in Arlin's direction.

'Tis the season for odd looks, maybe; Veks has been shooting them Rinnan-wards since they first came upon the blast crater where a village once was. Maybe it's just general new-dude weirdness. He flips his head back, flicking water from the end of his scattering of braids, and gives his face a final scrubbing before he looks around. "Grnh," he says. It's kind of like /good morning/, if you squint and look at it the right way.

Arlin stretches and lets out a groan, but his shirt is too long to offer much glimpse of stomach. (Yet somehow no one is so devastated that life no longer seems worth living.) After the cursory neck and shoulder rolls, the heels of his palms grind into his eye sockets for a weary moment before he considers Rinnan and her quip. The final answer is an expression that is too sullen to be prickly, and too afflicted to actually be a glare, but easily a first cousin, twice removed. The look that Thesda receives is something more flat. Veks warrants little more than a flick of a glance. Good morning greetings thus conveyed, the medic rounds his tent and commences clompy-stomping to the backside of a nearby tree.

There's a certain… professional silence that some, or well at least maybe just Rinnan, extend to scouts? Their job being essentially to be silent and the eyes that see all, it seems basically impolite to make noise when they drop out of trees. Definitely not shout things like 'WHEN YOU WERE SPYING ON THE ENEMY DID YOU COUNT HOW MANY ARCHERS THEY GOT?!' or 'WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU HAVE TO PEE REAL BAD WHILE YOU'RE UP THERE?!'. So, as is Rinnan's general custom, she offers Thesda a silent wave and a raised hand in greeting and a thumbs-up with two raised, questioning eyebrows aimed at her.

Rinnan's head turns towards Veks' inelegant noise, confirming for a moment that this is not the sound of being punked at the water line with a shiv. It turns out her casual snark has some sort of upward ceiling since she seems to forgo further verbal picking at Arlin's state. Instead, she watches him disappear behind a tree and stands up, offering to take the eggs off Thesda's hands with a gesture before she finally speaks, "Since you did the hard part, I can cook them?"

There's a smile at Rinnan through Thesda's lashes, the corner of her mouth curving just so. She willingly surrenders the eggs, then surveys the state of the camp with everyone waking up. Without further word (wait, has she actually said a word?) she heads for the horses, beginning to check them over.

Veks stands up and lifts his hands above his head, stre-e-etching toward the sky with a gritted, breathless sound. As his hands slump back down to his sides, he juts his chin in a wordless greeting to Thesda, shoots a meaningful look toward Arlin's retreating back, then says to her, "Kid woke up 'bout a dozen times last night." Pale eyes flicker toward the tent, mouth squirming into a sympathetic frown. "I got boiled oats an' honey. She oughtta like that."

Rinnan had wondered what scouts do when they really need to pee up a tree. Arlin has no answer for that. He does, however, really pee against a tree. There's no mistaking that sound, and it sounds like he's been holding it in for a long time.

Rinnan exchanges a brief grin with Thesda, the eggs for horse welfare handoff complete as she pulls out a cast iron pan packed for this very morning time purpose. Proding the fire back into something more than sluggish, early morning life, Rinnan looks up at Veks with an agreeable nod. "If you put honey on anything, I think a kid will eat it," she offers up in theorizing agreement, mid-breakfast prep and only tosses Veks' a ever so brief 'vegetable, animal, or mineral' look of regard. She politely opts not to remark on the sound of Arlin's personal time, this time.

"If he starts singing, we'll be here a while." remarks Thesda from her spot near the horses. She's making sure they're fed and watered, checking their legs to make sure none of them are likely to strain or buckle.

Cue a wry snort from Veks, his pensive frown twisting back around toward a grin in Thesda's direction. He cocks his head to the side, making a small production out of listening to Arlin. "Sounds like his back teeth were floatin'." Keeping it classy, Veks. He ambles toward the fire, giving Rinnan a quick look before pointing his chin at the fire. "Save me some room for the oats." He's off to his own bedroll, then, digging through the saddlebags with muffled rustles and clanks.

Funny enough, Thesda, there was a point during the night that Arlin actually was softly singing 'Wild Mountain Thyme' to the wee one. Might account for why no songs are forthcoming at the present moment. He doesn't even bother to syncopate his piss stream as he often does for giggles.

Eventually, though, Arlin reemerges, tucked away but not fully laced up if the way the top of his pants flop against the bottom of his shirt is any indication. Clompy-stomp. Clompy-stomp. He's heading towards the pond, plodding steps counterpointed by the faint metallic clank of his web belt's buckle, his boots unlaced. "Smells good," is remarked about breakfast in a tone raspy with lack of sleep on top of the usual grit and embers quality. One more yawn punctures the air as he stands at the water's shore, sliding out of his boots while he starts peeling off his stinky shirt.

"You should ask him about that time he accidentally peed on Saedra the Cumber camp who-," Rinnan begins amiably in response to Thesda, but her eyes shift towards the tent containing the child at the last minute. Pull up. Pull up. Mountain ahead. "…interpersonal relationships professional." She shoves over, at Veks' behest to create more space for his oats at the fire with a lack of biting commentary. Hostilities are scheduled for 9:00 a.m. immediately after breakfast, it seems. She watches Arlin saunter by, heading for the water line, as she goes digs into a saddle bag.

Thesda is gonna look. She's not going to bother to hide the fact that she's looking. But it's a brief indulgence, and then it's back to business. To Rinnan, without missing a beat, "And she charged him extra?" Her tone suggests this would be appropriate justice. But no matter as she finishes with the horses and goes to take her turn at taking care of business. En route, she passes Veks, and is unable to resist gently touching his nose. "Boop." Off she goes.

A little grumbly, a little glib. It's about par for the course with Veks. Nothing too out of the ordinary. The fixings for oatmeal and honey get pulled out — a shallow, dented pot with no handle, an old wooden spoon, a little bag of ground oats — and set down beside him, but he doesn't pop back up to his feet. Instead, he sits there, staring down into the saddlebags. Thesda's drive-by noseboop startles him out of his thoughts, and he looks up in momentary confusion. "Huh? Oh." The breakfast fixings get scooped up and carried over to the fire, where he sets to work in abject silence. Maybe he and Thesda are trading off vocabulary privileges.

Not that anyone's watching, but Arlin isn't putting on a show. (For once. Maybe the end truly is nigh.) Quickly dispatching the rest of his clothing, he eases into the pond and starts padding outward until the water laps against his lower ribs. Then, he dunks — SWOOSH — and he stays there for quite a moment, submerged, before he's splashing back up, sending rivulets in all directions. The way he shakes his head and scrubs his hands through wet hair probably was a scene in one of those movies another pre-nuked world ago. Letting out a heavy breath, he sinks back to float a bit, and glides further away, eyes closing.

Soon enough, Thesda finishes taking care of biological obligations, and she'll take a moment to drift to the water's edge to scrub at her hands and face. But that's all she'll bother with for the moment. The downside of being a Scout is oftentimes smelling natural. Over her shoulder she calls out to Rinnan, "Anything I can do?" She'll shake Tuan out of his tree when they're ready to go. It'll be a good exercise for him to have to be ready promptly, and he'll also get more sleep. Moving back from the water to the center of their little camp, she considers what chores might be needed while waiting for breakfast.

"She mostly just kicked him in the head," Rinnan grins over at Thesda, her grin warming at the apparent memory. "Short woman, impressively short. You would think she couldn't get a roundhouse kick off like that." She sighs a little, warmed by the memory of Arlin's momentary suffering. So good. Her head turns though to observe Arlin in his bathing ritual, a mild sort of notice that might suggest she's seen him in displays of… this magnitude before. "Almost… ready," Rinnan says with a shake of the head, reaching across Veks to grab at a small snuff box that holds the pepper and pulling the eggs off the fire. There's a mumble that allllmost sounds like 'excuse me' for the action.

Water. Oats. Stir. Oatmeal's about as tricky as tea — which is to say, not at all. Veks keeps fussing with the oats like they're going to explode into a glutinous monster the instant he looks away, fallen back down into some particularly stormy thought or another. He glances up when Rinnan reaches across him, frowning defensively for a moment — you calling his oatmeal-cooking skills into question? — before realizing she's after the pepper. He leans back a sliver, looking toward Arlin's tent again.

The flap of aforementioned tent is closed. Considering a lack or panicked cries, Aldria is probably still sleeping, which probably is best for all involved.

Further, Arlin goes, propelled by the fluid motion of arms and legs, floating and decompressing. Lulled by the sun on his face, the sound and feel of water lapping against him, sinking into his senses and casting aside his thoughts.

Veks is left to his own devices, as is Arlin, and Thesda focuses her attention on Rinnan. She unabashedly settles into a squat next to the cookfire, grinning up at the younger woman. "I imagine you have to be pretty limber in her line of work." There's a sleepy yawn as she watches Rinnan with a sort of lazy enjoyment. "Did you all come straight from the Skaikru camp? I wanted to go, but Tuan needs to start going out on watches on his own. He wanted to very much." Wow, that's chatterbox levels of verbage from Wantoppa.

"Yes," Rinnan replies as she offers Thesda her egg portion. "Yes," she confirms with an air that seems uninterested in honeying the lay of things. "Nothing left, nothing even left standing or alive I mean except for…," she continues, her chin upnodding towards the tent and the child therein. "Terrible smell, like dead fish and rotten eggs and it wasn't from the impact or the fire from the ship. And that metal with the half-word. It's not for me to say but with the village being completely gone, I am personally wondering if this truce will stay in place," she summarizes with a light shrug, that seems to suggest that she's probably not here for her to say. Her mouth pulls into a slight if thoughtful frown. "The scale… being what it is."

In light of recent events, Arlin's spirit weighs heavily, yet his body continues to drift and float.

"I don't know." is Thesda's honest, musing answer. "Something is not right about it. But that may not matter. I'm not sure if it does matter." She is neither willing to commit to the idea that the peace will hold, nor that in this case, blood must have blood on the scale that might be called for. Some things are just not problems that Thesda wants to deal with, and she can allow herself to simply do as she's told. She accepts her eggs gratefully, blowing on them to cool them before using her fingers as a makeshift spoon to convey them to her hungry hungry maw.

"For being in the sky, the sky people don't seem to have reliable ways to stay in the sky," Rinnan opines, gathering up a seat on the grass near the fire but not before pulling snuff boxes between she and Thesda that contain the seasonings. "But I don't know that falling to earth clan has a nice sound to it, either," she adds, spooning some oats on to her plate.

Reprieve can only last so long, and the end of Arlin's is signaled by another splashing sound of diving deeper into the water, followed by his cresting through the surface with a gasping for air and a buoying of his body. Once more, he shakes his head, blinks a few times, then starts swimming back to shore.

"I was told they ran out of what they needed to survive." Thesda notes, briefly noting Arlin's Little Mermaid impression before returning her attention to her food and conversation. As she finishes her eggs, she notes, "I don't even know whether wiping them out is the best or worst idea to have. They could be like a hammer. Build a house, or bash in someone's skull. You know?" Rising up she says, "I need to go get Tuan up, but once he is, I'll help break camp. Thank you, Rinnan." Damn, she's verbose in the mornings. Maybe it's the company. She heads for a tree, scrambling up it like she just naturally defies gravity.

When Arlin finally reaches the shore and emerges from the water, it is nowhere near as iconic as Phoebe Cates getting out of the pool in Fast Times at Ridgemont High. There is no slow-motion sexy saunter, no smolder. He simply rubs his hands through his hair, vigorously scrubbing his scalp, then uses the edges of his hands like squeegees to dispel some of the water from the rest of his body before toweling off with his shirt. That done, he functionally goes about the task of getting dressed. "Breakfast ready?" At least he sounds less flagged after his much needed dip.

Rinnan frowns a bit, reflecting on Thesda's information before her expression seems to take on a more surprised: really? Whatever information that Rinnan possesses about the ways and customs of the new sky clan, it may be safe to say that a lot of it is liberally sprinkled with absurd speculation. The lived in the stars but could breath air! They are all mutated with secret tails! Their arrival has for many miles far and wide been likely the revitalization of the locally sourced gossip market.

Her eyes track Thesda's, note Arlin's lack of moving in stereo to getting out of the pond. Rinnan picks up Arlin's plate, holding it aloft for a moment to signal that his food is waiting for him. "Maybe they could be taught things," Rinnan concedes, uncertainly as though the whole of the society is probably deeply untrainable but she'll maybe give it a whirl. "And no problem," she nods with a acceptance for the thanks from Thesda, before spooning a taste of oats in her mouth.

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