Day 067: Garden Chatter
Summary: Various Trikru (and Silver) discuss various subjects, including their Maunon prisoner and Skaikru teens.
Date: 3 July 2016
Related: None directly.
Sage Luther Galle Rinnan Silver Afaye Khesu 

Public Garden and Orchard, Tondc
The public gardens of Tondc inhabit a long, narrow strip of land between the marketplace and a narrow babble of the divided Potomac. They are divided up by narrow footpaths that have been here since before the bombs, and help create a variety of garden beds to host primarily edible plants. The garden is tended by the citizens of Tondc, which also means it provides for the citizens of Tondc. Those who work the gardens are given permission to harvest from the vegetables and fruits in exchange. Toward the back of the gardens, near the riverside, are many fruit-bearing trees that are heavy with apples and cherries in the summer and autumn months. Toward the midway point is the large building used for the Warrior Barracks — all crafted from stone, metal and wood.
67 Days After Landing

When Sage is within the village, she always helps out her sister by tending to part of the grove. This means today the warrior is kneeling in a patch of veggies and picking out the weeds. Her hair is back in one single braid and she has decided with the heat and sun to be sleeveless. A basket to one side has the weeds and another smaller basket holds a few late summer squash like things.

Luther may still be gimpy after the collision between thigh and bullet in the Mountain (the bullet won, clearly), but he has determined that he can still do work, as long as it doesn't involve his leg too much. And so he works with a shovel, transferring dark, rich earth from a hand-cart into a new box bed. With the summer sun blazing overhead, he's doffed his shirt, trickles of sweat rolling down his bare chest and back, and his dreadlocks hanging loose about his head.

With the celebration looming, Galle has put aside time from the healing house to gather cherries from the orchard. She has several large baskets she is filling, carefully plucking and dropping them from her place on the ladder. She has noticed Luther, and has paid close attention to him, but she is also concerned with her own task. When he takes a pause, the woman speak to him. "You cannot rest, can you?"

Rinnan cannot help, alas. Her left arm is in a cloth sling, the parts that peak through still a bit on the swollen side. It likely has something to do with jumping into the nasty business of Level 5 after securing Level 3. Not to worry, Rinnan is spending this time wisely. She's got a bottle of dandelion wine in her hand as she sits on the remaining stump of a felled tree and observes those who are chopping wood. Closely.

Silver is exhausted. She hasn't complained, but she's spent a great deal of time practicing her stitching skills as people continue to return full of holes. It's not the stitching that's the problem, though. The problem is that washing her hands between all the patients has left them chapped to the point where they're starting to crack. She's tried a few different remedies, but making salves is not something she's particularly good at. Which is why she's seeking out Galle at a time when she isn't working.

Sage had been lost in through, one weed dropped after another and then there are voice. Those pale eyes flicker over behind her and only then does she note first Luther and then Galle. Silver is given a curious look as she wonders into the area as if Sage is trying to place who the girl happens to be. Finally though she stretches and stands up, gathering both baskets as she walks closer to the slowly forming group of people.

"No." Luther's initial response is quick and easy, as he scoops up another shovelful of dirt and settles it into garden bed before he continues the response, "If I did that, some healer might catch me, and my wardrobe couldn't survive." He grounds the point of the shovel, leaning idly on it.

When Galle spies her Second, she slowly begins down the ladder. At the second to last rung, she hops down with a light flounce of her skirts. She glances over toward Luther, smirking slightly. "As if the whole of Tondc needs to see you without your shirt and your pants." Yes, please. Her eyes do linger on Luther meaningfully before she turns away from him. She focuses on Silver, however. "You look ruffled," she comments idly. She gathers up a basket of cherries, offering it out to her.

Rinnan takes a long swing on the sizeably-full bottle in her good hand, watching Galle with the cherry basket and her aside to her second. "What'd you suppose its going to be like?," she asks, her chin lifting and pointing in the vague direction where the Cuts are likely to be given. "How long do you think he'll last?," she asks those present, with a uncertain tone that seems undecided if it'll last a while or be over all too quickly.

"I'm all right," Silver replies to Galle with a small smile, despite the fact that she actually came to ask for help. It's like a reflex or something. Just like taking the basket and tucking it under her arm, falling into step with the other woman. "Actually," she flushes, realizing she's just entirely undermined her mission. "I was wondering if you had a recipe for a hand salve of some sort. I'm getting a bit…" She holds out her hands, red and cracked. "Chapped."

"Well, not all at once." Luther wipes his brow with one forearm, then lifts up the shovel and drives it into the ground so he has both hands free to bundle back his dreadlocks. Rinnan's question causes Luther to look over toward where the post is going up, and he grunts softly, "Fifty before he passes out. They'll have to wake him at least four times." Apparently, he doesn't have a high opinion of the Maunheda. Silver's arrival causes Luther to frown a touch, "This is your Skaikru Second, Galle?" Trikru do neutral very well, and Luther's doing as well as any Trikru could right now.

The sound that escapes from Afaye is well and truly a laugh - rare, but not entirely fabled. "More likely you will do the falling, and little of that will be due to the horse. I promise not to laugh, though." The tall Trikru slides out from the bar, using her foot to nudge the door open for Khesu as he follows. Light and jaunty steps carry her down one of the winding footpaths and off toward the orchard where she is certain she can snag some low-hanging fruit to finish off her makeshift supper. Her gaze flicks ahead at the sound of other voices, and she offers Luther a little wave as she passes on toward her newest friend.

As Afaye nears Galle and Silver, she reaches out a hand as if to snatch some cherries from the basket, but its taken up by Silver before she can do so. She yanks her hand back as if scorched, and veers off to the left to stare up into the leafy branches instead. Doo-dee-doo. "Can you reach that?" she inquires of Khesu, looking away from the tree and appraising him from head to toe.

<FS3> Khesu rolls Alertness-2: Good Success. (5 5 7 8 8 6)

"Do horses have a sense of humor?" Khesu rumbles as they come out of the bar, "Laughing is good, sometimes." He too looks amused though a light bandage yet covers his left eye and brow. The left side of his face isn't as swollen as it has been but it's still puffy with too much blood from his broken skull where the bullet struck him. He has a handful of nuts and a piece of jerky as he walks into the grove with Afaye. It's a little harder for him to see who all is here. Khesu turns his head to take them in with his one good eye, then gives his fellow Trikru and up nod for greeting.

A dark brow is arched when Afaye snatches her hand back from Galle's basket when Silver takes it. He eats a few more of the nuts in his hand and pauses to try and see the cherries Afaye asks him about. Khesu dusts off his hands and reaches up to see if he can snag her some of them. His depth perception isn't fantastic, or maybe is non-existent so it takes him a little touch of a frown to judge the distance of what he reaches for.

Sage is not to far from the group around Galle and Silver moving to dump a basket of weeds into the compost heap, or wherever such things are placed. The other basket has some type of squash. When she notices Afaye and Khesu she can't help but smile as she moves her way towards them, "Afaye kom Trikru, I was wondering if you were here.." This is the greeting offered in that low husky tone. Of course she notes Khesu reaching for the cherries and whispers towards him, "Two inches to the left.." Those are the ripest!

Silver is, it turns out, rather good at neutral herself. Luther gives her the eye, Afaye pulls her hand back, and Silver simply watches Galle, watching for a sign of how she ought to react.

"One hundred cuts," Galle says in response to Rinnan, hardly missing a beat. "The Commander will be cutting a corpse more than likely." Then she steps forward, abandoning her baskets. She looks over Silver's hands in her own, carefully turning them over to get a good look. She nods then. "Yes, we can do something for that." She looks at the girl, frowning. "Why have they gotten so roughened?" She does not let go of the hands as she looks over toward Luther, and she nods slightly. "Silver kom Skaikru, this is Luther kom Trikru… bitter warrior. Do not listen to a thing he says."

Afaye opens her mouth to offer Khesu help in locating the fruit, but her attention is diverted by a cheerful greeting. Her gaze flicks around quickly before landing on Sage, and she bobs her head in acknowledgement. "Sage. Yes, I have been around. The warriors would have ridden our mounts into an early grave if I were anywhere else but here." Her lips curve upward into a faint half-smile as the woman advises Khesu. "Were you looking for me?" She is steadfastly avoiding looking over in Galle's direction, but instead sidles around so that her back is to them and she can take in both of her companions without turning her head.

Luther nods to Afaye, offering up a right smile, and then gathers up his shovel again, apparently having gotten all the breather he needs for now. He shovels more of the rich earth from the handcart to the new boxbed, listening to the conversations around him. As he twists and turns to deposit the earth in its new home, the claw marks on his back are clearly visible. Galle's introduction of him causes him to snort, "I'm sweet as fruit preserves." There's a pause, and he adds, "Strawberry or cherry, not the sour sort." And then he lets out a little breath and nods to Silver, "Silver kom Skaikru."

"Washing between patients," Silver explains to Galle. "I was always used to using gloves, which made it easier to prevent cross-contamination, but honestly, we just…never had to treat fifty people in two days," she admits, some of the weariness seeping through her carefully crafted neutrality. She turns it to a small, tight smile of greeting for Luther, dipping her chin respectfully. "Sir. And I was usually alternating between clinicals and equipment, so. Machines are nice, you can't really give them a virus from not washing your hands." It's funny if you know about computers. Which no one else does. Joke fail.

With the tip off that the cherries to his blind side are more ripe, Khesu shifts his stance so he can find them. If he can reach them, he does so, plucking a handful or so to hand to Afaye, and several more to offer to Sage. He is content to say nothing and be of some use, if he's able. One cherry only he retains to taste for himself as he observes the others and listens. The injured Trikru warrior allows his dark eye to linger on the Skaikru speaking with Galle, then he watches Luther briefly.

"I have a tincture we can use to help keep your hands clean," Galle says in that matter-of-fact tone. "We will work on it tomorrow." Then she sighs slightly, and nods. "You can take the rest of the day to see to your hands. Doing more harm is not going to help you complete your duties tomorrow." Her words are sensible, and delivered as such. She then looks up to catch the passing glance from Khesu and she offers him a small smile and a nod. Luther's words do cast a dubious look in his direction. "We shall see… I am making preserves for the feasting."

Sage rests the basket on her hip and can't help but chuckle at Afaye, "Of course, and with you here they just follow you around like puppies.." She winks at the horse-breeder before she wrinkles her nose. "I am hoping you might have good news for me. Did Ski and Lan make it back here? I had sent Lan on ahead, but knowing him he turned back around.." She frowns before shaking her head and trying not to look hopeful.

When the cherries are handed to her the woman blinks once before a true smile touches her lips and she nods towards Khesu, "Thank you. The little one is taking a nap, but if you want to join us for dinner?" As she offers this she puts most of the cherries in the basket but does pop one into her mouth.

Silver nods to Galle, though she still shifts just a bit, moving so her chapped hands are a little less obvious. She knows enough to know she doesn't want to look soft in front of curious Trikru. "Thank you," she smiles faintly back to Galle, finally looking back to the others as she picks up pieces of the conversation.

"Thank you." Afaye accepts the offering from Khesu and raises an eyebrow quietly as he takes only one cherry. With a faint shrug, she yanks the stem off of one and pops it into her mouth, chewing carefully around the stone until she can pry it loose with teeth and tongue. This she spits casually into the dirt as her focus returns to Sage. "Ski? The horse with the blue eyes?" She seems startled by this question, and she looks around as if trying to figure out who she can blame.

"Yes, someone found him not too far from here, but that was a while ago. Nobody told you?" Frowning, Yeye ponders the quandary in momentary silence as she downs a second cherry. A faint *pth* sound follows a second stone into the dirt. "I do not know about Lan, though. You would have to ask Veks." She rolls the remaining fruit around in her palm before offering it to Khesu. "Him I have not seen, though."

Luther chuffs a laugh as he's called 'sir,' shaking his head, "I am Luther." And then he looks back to Galle, "Make them sweet. No one likes anything that is too sour." Mischief dances in his eyes, for all that his smile is faint, and then he's looking back to his handcart of dirt, shoveling more of it into the box bed. Finally, the cart is empty, and he sets the shovel in it, then retrieves his shirt, although he doesn't put it back on right away, instead flapping it between his hands to get a little breeze onto his chest.

Khesu eats his cherry and like the others, spits out the pit. All the little cherry stones, some of them are apt to sprout eventually and get planted elsewhere. He considers what Sage says of the infant and the invitation to supper, "<In Trigedasleng> Perhaps. I am restless." If Afaye will offer him the last cherry, knowing full well he can reach up and easily pluck more, Khesu eyes her but accepts it. A faint incline of his head before he rumbles low, "<In Trigedasleng> I shall walk a while. Enjoy the grove." Taking the cherry with him, Khesu quietly slips off to wander around Tondc for a while and think.

Galle snorts slightly at Luther's words, and then she gathers up a basket of cherries. She regards Silver, brow arched slightly. "What do Skaikru do for enjoyment?" She gestures the girl to join her, stepping toward Luther and his cart of dirt. "When you are not working, what do you do?" She glances over toward Yeye and Sage, eavesdropping casually.

Sage relaxes as she hears the horse made it back but she can't help the little frown as she shakes her head at Afaye, "No, but they just got me out of the mountain. So that I can forgive. If someone hasn't taken him already, let me know? If so, well I will need to start trading with you for the use of another. If I am to help at the new village, I need to be able to move fast when I am called.." It's clear she has no doubt that she will be called off on duty soon enough. As for Veks, she nods slowly, "I'll see if I can find him then. She then nods towards Khesu, "Walk well.." she offers in parting, watching him as he leaves and then turns her attention back to Afaye.

"I…am a bad example for that question." Silver smiles ruefully back at Galle, shaking her head. "I fix things for fun. In my spare time. Small machines, bits of electronics. I take broken things and make them work again. It's…relaxing. But we also read, listen to music, watch movies. Movies are like…people acting out a story, except they're old recordings of them. Different people have different hobbies, though, like here. Some draw, some design clothes." At Luther's reiteration of his name, she nods again. "Luther."

Afaye offers Khesu a smile as he departs, and she watches him walk away even while Sage is speaking to her. With a slight shake of her head, she looks back to her companion and blinks owlishly. "Taken him? No, no. Ski is still yours, of course. It would not be any other way." Yeye dusts her hands on her pants and glances around, offering Galle a nod of her head but refraining from interrupting her work with her Second. "Come by the stables any time you can, and you will find him. I am sure he will be very happy to see you. He was not injured; a little malnourished, perhaps, but otherwise whole. I warn you, though: he has been spoiled a bit. Those pretty eyes are hard to resist." She rests her hands on her hips and nods firmly. "Yes, come by the stables after you see Veks. I must be going."

Much in her usual fashion, Afaye departs abruptly and heads westward. Her steps slow a trifle as she passes by Luther, and her head turns so she can check out his backside. Again. And, again, it delivers. She sighs.

Luther dabs the sweat from his face and chest with his shirt, then flaps it out again to dry out some of the sweat before pulling it on. Drawing his dreadlocks from within the shirt, he listens to Silver's description of Skaikru fun and frowns. "Fixing things, I understand. Like what Makers do, often in their spare time. But movies?" The word is apparently as foreign as the concept, "I do not understand that." As Afaye passes by, he glances over, eying the Horsemistress' riding-honed physique. He nods with idle approval, then looks back to Galle and Silver, "There is much about the Skaikru that does not make sense."

"Mmhmph," Galle remarks wordlessly. She glances to Lurther at his questions, and then back to Silver. "All strange things… I like to cook… my houman was very fond of my cooking. I teased him that I was just making sure it tasted good so he wouldn't notice the poison." Which sounds so totally like a Galle thing to say. Her smile does falter slightly, but it is a passing collapse into long-term mourning. She lets it slip away. "There is much about us that don't make sense to them either, Luther."

"Not that much, really." Silver shrugs, shifting the basket from one arm to the other. "I might not agree with everything, but I can understand most of it. It's just different. Understanding people isn't hard if you can take the time to see where they're coming from. Why they do the things they do. And most of the time that's just a matter of listening." The words seem…almost like a prayer. Something oft repeated, oft heard. Something her parents used to tell her.

Now, if Luther were an asshole instead of a tease and a flirt, this is where he would make a joke about Galle's cooking or her houmon escaping it. But, since he's not, he just stretches out his healing left leg, grimacing as it pulls. He grunts softly at Silver's hopeful words, "I think it takes a good deal more than that with some people. Podakru and Trikru, we life in the same world. The Skaikru, you lived in another. I think you must understand this world before you can understand us or we can understand you." Or he's just grumpy. That's highly possible too. He's certainly not being sweet as preserves now, although he's not being sour either, just dour.

"They will get there, Luther… but things take time to mature," Galle says gently to the dour warrior. She shakes her head slightly, but she does offer the warrior a small smile. "Just as I'm sure you are still taking the time you need to mature." She then releases a soft sigh, gathering up her baskets of cherries. "And now, I should tend to these… Silver, do not let Luther bully you… and make sure he rests that leg." She offers a small nod, preparing to step away.

"Well, that's the difference, really." Silver passes the basket back to Galle when she goes to leave, finding herself a place to sit where she can lean against a tree trunk. "We know what this world was. Not what it is now, of course. That we didn't know. But we understand the basic principles of what life here might be like. You, on the other hand, don't even have a frame of reference for living in space, which makes it much harder to imagine what our lives were like. Which was far from perfect, by the way."

Luther is already responding, "And some things never…" and then Galle offers her smiling words, and he snorts. It's not fun when you're ready to be all self-deprecating and then someone steals your thunder by suggesting the exact same thing. Still, he chuckles softly, "I do not bully people, unless they are Seconds who deserve it." Dark eyes flicker over to Silver, perhaps even teasing the Second. Her words draw another thoughtful grunt, "From what I have heard Skaikru talking about, life on Earth before the fall was nothing like life on Earth now, Silver kom Skaikru. Perhaps it is time for the Skaikru to accept that this is no longer the world their ancestors left?"

Silver smiles crookedly back at the talk of bullying. Nothing to see here. "I think that's pretty clear, really." she laughs, looking around. "And we knew it wouldn't be the same. We just didn't know the details about what it would be like. We didn't even expect there to be survivors, let alone entire nations worth of survivors. I think they probably would have done things differently if we'd known. Maybe."

"That sounds like a whole new world to me, Silver kom Trikru." Luther seems satisfied with his leg by now, and moves around toward the handles of the handcart, "It might be wise… and respectful, to assume that your side is starting from zero as well."

"What can you imagine about living in space?" Silver doesn't argue. Not really. But she doesn't really surrender, either. Stubborn, which should come as no surprise given that she's still here, despite being viewed with suspicion. Or maybe it's just that insatiable hunger for knowledge. For understanding. "Where would food come from? Water? Air? How would you make sure there weren't more people than could fit in a finite space? When would you be awake, when would you sleep?"

"Nothing." Luther admits it freely. "I have said I am starting from zero. Except there are people there, and food to be eaten, and there will be Warriors — or people with weapons — and there will be leaders, and there will be places to piss and shit. Those are constants. I am certain that all of them were true in your sky city. There are constants that fit down here. But if your Skaikru stopped assuming they knew everything, they might understand us — and Earth — a lot better a lot faster."

"There's a difference between something and nothing." Silver draws her knees up to her chest, watching him. "We have people who know how plants grow. Who know how to build things. Who know what plants are good and what plants are bad. They also know that there are plants here now that are nothing like the plants our records talk about, the plants we had."

She crosses her arms over her knees, gaze steady. "Saying that people know nothing is an excuse. It's something to say when you don't like what they think about what they do know, or how they interpret what they don't know. You know nothing, so I don't have to think about why you think something. You're wrong by default. Neither Skaikru nor Trikru can know nothing. Wherever we live, wherever we come from, we're all still people. That doesn't change. So by virtue of being human, none of us know nothing."

Luther listens, but he shakes his head, snorting loudly, "More Skaikru arrogance. Your adults, they are okay. But you teens? You think you and your people know everything. You pick at words, but avoid the meaning of them. Yes, some things are known. Of course. You are right in that. But you can know something, and still know nothing about a situation." He shakes his head again, "Galle has her work cut out for you. If you act like this with her, do not eat her food, for there may well be poison in it." And then he gathers up the handles of the handcart, evidently meaning to move on.

Silver tilts her head, quirking a brow. "I'm here to learn," she points out. "By definition, I've admitted I don't know everything. I've said in this very conversation that I don't know everything. We have so much to learn from you. Do you think I'd leave everything I ever did know if I thought there was nothing for me to learn here?" Her brows furrow as she frowns, shaking her head. "I don't know everything. But I won't pretend to know nothing to make you feel better. That's no way to build mutual respect. And I don't think Galle would have a problem with that." She pushes up from the ground, brushing herself off. "Nice meeting you, Luther."

"Then learn, Second. Talk less about what you know, and listen more to what you may not." He points off in the direction that Galle went, "Do you know what it takes to grow cherries like those? Do you know what their pits may be used for? Until you ate one, did you know what it tasted like? There is always something to learn if you close your mouth and listen." Says the man talking more than is even his norm. Grunting at himself, he hefts the handcart's handles up, testing his leg again under the weight, and then adds, "If you do this, you will learn much and be valuable to your people upon your return."

"I spend a great deal of time listening, warrior Luther," Silver sighs. "Listening. And watching. Forgive me for thinking it might be beneficial to actually process some of the information through an exchange." Is it sarcasm? If it is, it's the most resigned sarcasm ever.

"You wouldn't expect a hunter's second to learn to hunt just by watching, would you? You'd expect them to practice, too. So how can you expect any of us to learn understanding only by watching, always staying silent? Understanding is listening, yes. But it's also talking. I've been silent here for weeks. Almost months." Now there's a touch of something else in her voice, a hint of heat. "But you haven't heard me, because I've been listening, silent. So you haven't seen me. So I must know nothing, and my thoughts must be empty of meaning. Listening is important. But it means nothing if you never use what you've learned to speak."

Weary, she waves her hands. "Believe what you want. You will anyhow. I'm still not leaving or giving up on learning what I came here to learn. Even if every single person in this city looks at me like I've got the plague."

Luther halts in his departure as the Skaikru teenager reacts with resignation and then anger, "Or, perhaps, I haven't heard you before now because I haven't met you until today. And what you showed me was that as soon as Galle had left, you told me how wrong I was. How much your people knew of Earth and how little we know of your space." He shifts his grip on the handcart, grimacing a little as his moves weight to his right leg from his left. A smile flits across his lips, "In the time since I first met the Skaikru, I have gone from thinking all of them bragging, over-proud children to thinking that the adults among them may be alright. Good progress for a few weeks, don't you think? Who knows what tomorrow will bring. Enjoy the rest of the day, Silver kom Skaikru."

"If you were listening you would have heard that I said none of us knows nothing," Silver snorts, shaking her head as he walks away. "What little we know. How I asked what you knew, or could imagine. But apparently listening is for everyone else. Or maybe just for strangers. I hear you, Luther kom Trikru. I hear the words you don't say." As he walks away, though, she leans down to pick up a fallen cherry, quiet dissecting it with her nails. One piece at a time.

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