Day 030: Gift Of Knowledge
Summary: Tink, Cameron and Reno run into Truman in Dining Hall, and they talk about books, languages and Trikru.
Date: 06/28/2016
Related: President Circumstances
Tink Reno Cameron Truman 

Dining Hall - Mountain Men

This is main dining halls on Level 5. It has an arched ceiling, the curve sweeping up almost immediately from the floor, giving it a low, half-cylindrical look. The room is constructed of three of these half-cylinders, jointed together by short hallways beneath arched buttresses. The walls are made of heavy concrete, but possess inset lights to illuminate the otherwise dim hall. Each portion of the dining room is laid out in the same manner:

Along the center line of the room is a pair of bright, tulip-shaped chandeliers. The back of the room is decorated in three stained-glass arches that look like they may have come from an old church. The glass is colored in blue and green shades with what appears to be a forest scene. Hanging from the ceiling at regular intervals are eight flags of United States' origins, including the old Thirteen Colonies flag. The room possesses several tables, most running parellel along the length of the room with one table running perpendicular before the stained glass windows.

The tables are done in high-class finery with ivory table runners, gold-rimmed china, and elegant centerpieces every three feet along the long tables.

Day 30

It's between meal times, but the dining hall sort of becomes a common room when people aren't eating. There's always snacks and hot beverages for the taking. Truman Cooper is currently sitting at the end of one of the long tables. He's got a pile of books in front of him and a notepad. The books each have different kinds of writing in them and he seems to be comparing them. There's a cup of tea by his elbow that's long since gone cold.

Tink slept past the regular dining so she's coming in to grab some fruit and bagels with some hot tea. She focuses on heading to the food first but once she has her tray loaded up and Reno is ready, she'll start to make her way to one of the tables to find a seat. Books…a stack of books. Tink stops for a moment and nudges the other two she's with. She hasn't really seen a book since she left the Ark so she starts to pad over in Truman's direction.

Reno was slowly getting use of his right arm back. Today he was using it to hold a whole tray with a few things on there. Let's be real about this, anything heavy or that spilled he likely entrusted to Tink to carry on hers. Where Tink went, Reno followed it seemed. Catching her look though and the -woah! Books? That was cool. An eyebrow arched curiously over his slightly scuffed frames and responded to her curiosity with a nod following with. He wasn't good with people that he thought but he still offered to Truman as they approached with earnest smile, "Hullo. Is it okay if…?" He let the question trail off leaving the suggestion of sitting at the table hang.

Truman is so wrapped up in what he's working on that he misses the initial approach of the visitors. When he looks up, he startles for a moment. His brain really isn't used to seeing new faces. He blinks. "Oh, hey. Hi. Yeah, sure," he scoots a book down to make room for their trays. "How're you both settling in?" He eyes Reno's arm. "Healing up, I hope?"

Cameron is following Reno and Tink along in. He's dressed in the simple 'new' outfit they gave, but he has augmented his appearance with… paint. The right arm has a smear of yellow, then his fingers are nearly blackish green, and there's a couple different shades of green smudges on his cheek and jaw. He doesn't seem entirely aware of this fact. As he wanders over, he blinks at the books as well. "Hi." he ventures a greeting, "I'm Cameron Scott. Botanist, Farm St—" Pause. He's not on the Ark. This is that underground type of civilization, ahem. REno and Tink might notice a distinct increase in the tension from the other room: it's just like a pressure is building in and around Cameron, and he can't help but look up at the ceiling a little warily.

Tink gives a look to Cameron, letting him know it's okay and then takes a seat with Truman, trying to see if she can read the titles. She loves learning and at the moment the fact that they're there even overrides the need to eat. She gives a 100-watt pixie smile that is just blinding in it's power as the old Tink is starting to resurface in light of knowledge being present, "We're doing good…"

Reno nodded to a seat for Cameron. Reno wasn't practiced in many things, but he seemed to speak timid really well and was willing to look out for others struggling with it. The tray was set down when Truman gave the okay and a modest grin followed the question. "Yeah. yes. I , um, Dr. Montgomery was pretty amazing. Can't almost tell some of the damages were there. Never seen anything quite like it before. Inspiring really." Okay he couldn't help geeking out a bit. lil bit. He sat down next to Tink and started to poke at his snack.

"Truman Cooper," he says to the gathered visitors. He can't quite hide a dopey little smile. "Please, everyone, sit down. I uh, apologize in advance if I ramble or make a fool of myself. When you live your entire life with the same three hundred-some people, the fine art of introductory conversation sort of gets…lost." The English title they can read is The Epic of Gilgamesh. Each book has a similar cover - that of ancient etchings, but they're all in different languages. He smiles at Reno and scratches the side of his neck. "Yeah, Uncle Sally is something." A beat, "Uh, that's not…a nickname. Well, the Sally part is. But I mean, he's my actual uncle." Ahem. See aforementioned warning of impending awkwardness.

"Tabatha Imogen Nimue Kinsey," Tink offers as she looks over the book, not recognizing the title or the other books that are in other languages. She only learned English on the Ark, "Oh and I don't think rambling is a sign of foolishness, it's just an idea making a circle." Yep, Tink is a nerd so other nerds are fun to talk to, "Epic of Gil…ga…meesh?" She takes a moment to read the title, having trouble with the last part because she's not familiar with the character, "An epic story? Oh that does sound fun." She compliments Truman in his choice of reading, "And I didn't realize the doctor was your uncle." She didn't have an uncle on the Ark…cause that would have required one of her parents to have a sibling, "How does that work? That means that he's a sibling of one of your parents, right?"

"That means your parents have siblings? That means you have siblings." Cameron seems somewhat amazed by this, even though intellectually he sorta knew they did. "Don't you have resource constraints? I mean you have to be at least a semi-sealed environment with a maximum amount of space, food, water, air. Wait, not water. Clearly you have some sort of unlimited supply of water." Unlimited Supply is said as if it were magical. A little of the tension fades away from Cameron, "Siblings… I think I'd have liked to have a sibling." He glances sidelong over at Reno, eyes full of sympathy. "On the Ark, if a family breaks the one child rule, the parents are floated. We don't have… Uncles. Siblings. Cousins." he explains.

Reno seemed confused a bit by the uncle thing, but Tink was at prime-Tink and he let her do the talking. At Truman's apology he winced a grin and offered, "It's ok. Up until recently I was used to only talking to the same three people ever." Odd. He considered and looked to Tabitha saying optimistically, "Cool. I could get to be one of those someday." The thought was weirdly satisfying. Was something he could do that others wouldn't: be an uncle. Advantage 2! He actually preened a littlebit at this revelation. Not being hunted to extinction for sharing a mom(stupid as that was to him) was a new enw things in a civalized society. He grinned to Cameron proud of his defiance for survival, "Well one of us does." And the smile flickered and for the briefest moment, there was a pained flicker of an expression. The conflict started to snowball and he shook his head, "Where is this 'Gil-gam-eesh' place? What happened there?" The book. THe book was. yeha. Not thinking back to the Ark and the result after. His chest tightened and as calm as he could drank his water.

"Yeah. It's one of the oldest stories in the world," says Truman to Tink. He pushes over the book for her to have a look. There are etchings throughout from the story. "I'm working on translations. See, this one's in French, and this one's German. The other is Arabic. I'm really bad at Arabic, but I'm working on it. It's tricky because they aren't perfect translations. The German one, for instance, was translated into Greek first." He head-wobbles.
Then there's the family talk. He grins a little. "Well, uh, yeah. My mother is Salvador's sister. I have two half-siblings." A pause, as he realizes that might not compute, either, "My parents divorced and then married other people. And uh, the mountain can hold more people than we have. The Outsiders have taken their toll on us."

Tink looks confused as he mentions French, German, Greek and Arabic, "Umm…there's other languages?" She flushes a little and feels a little foolish but she never came across other languages in the Ark, "We only have English at the Ark." She pauses and asks, "How many languages are there on Old Earth?" This is very intriguing, although not as interesting as the concept of divorce and remarrying and then having more kids, "So you have siblings that only share one parent with you." She muses on that one and then adds, "My parents are still married. They met when they were about my age and just things…thing were good." She gives a smile as she tells Truman, "My dad used to tell my mom that he loved her from the Earth to the Sun and then back around to the Ark…that's a really long distance so that means he really cared about her."

Cameron hesitates, suddenly looking a little green, "UHh, hey, I'm actually changing my mind on food a bit. I need to… go to … See you later, Reno. Tink. Mr. Cooper, I think?" He waves a hand and then pads off.

Reno got very still and nodded to Cameron. He got it. He let him have some time alone. Reno didn't ask Tink to stop. She was curious for knowedge and she sould have it. He wasn't about to let his issues impede on that. He did set his fork down and loop two fingers in the last two fingers of her near hand listening to Truman explain. Okay not-english languages were different? That was entirely interesting and yet. He boggled asking quietly, trying to pull back to center, "How'd they talk to one another?"

"Oh, hundreds," says Truman to Tink. "I only know a handful of them, and we've only got samples here of the major ones. Africa alone had tons of dialects." He flips a page over and spins them around to compare the French and English. "These were translated from the same source. See? If you look, you can figure out the similar words." Then he reads out, "Life, which you look for, you will never find. For when the gods created man, they let death be his share, and life withheld in their own hands." And then, he proceeds to say the same line in French, with (were there any native French speakers around) would sound quite good. He watches Cameron go, but doesn't move to stop him or otherwise interrupt. The questions bring his attention back. "They uh, they didn't. Not unless you knew multiple languages."

Tink cants her head as she listens to him talk, "Oh…that is an interesting book. I have to agree with the author that life isn't something that you expect." She looks around the dining hall, "I never thought life would bring me here but it did." Yep, fates are a bit smarter than good old Tink. "And I like the way you say…French." She pauses and opens her note book to show some of the translations she's take of the Trikru, but it's not in just written English, she's drawn stanzas to work on the inflection, tone and pitch, "I was trying to teach myself the Grounders…" She pauses, "Outsiders language…putting it to music because the beat, rhythm the conversation sounded important."

Reno listened but boggled and asked with some enthuasm bringing him back from that funk. "Wait, they built prosthtesis?" THIS had his every interest. How he got that out of what Truman recited was anyone's guess. He leaned to look and paused turning a tad red on teh top of his ears warming a grin at the 100 watt pixie between them. She was figuring out languages. That was something he'd never even thought to touch and took a lot of pride in her for, To Truman he asked, "How'd you learn do they teach that here?"

Truman is clearly not used to people being so interested in languages. His eyes light up when he sees Tink's notebook. "I've been trying to decode it, too. But it's tricky. I think it's obtuse on purpose, and doesn't seem to be based on any existing languages other than English." He taps a spot on her page. "I think that's the word for uh, not hut, but home. Though the context and placement and also inflection affects it a lot. That's what makes it hard to penetrate." You can almost see the gears turning. He glances up at Reno and shrugs, "Yeah, well, see, our job is to try and preserve the world that was. So everyone's sort of encouraged to take up something archival. I chose languages. I listen to old tapes to make sure the pronunciation isn't lost."

Tink is in her element now because she's been at this since she first heard the Grounders speaking, "Gideon kom Triku and a few others were kind enough to offer some of their inflections which I wrote down here." She shows him the English translations underneath the stanzas, "At first it was so confusing what they were trying to tell me but then I got this idea to break it into music, because when I have a formula that I need to memorize, it's always easier if I can associate it with music. So I started writing down their words and using music to express their inflection and cadence. It's been going a little bit easier. I did ask them about the grammar…but they didn't seem to get what I meant." She frowns because her work is incomplete, "But I was hoping once I got ahold of Cole's computer at camp that I could input this in and then write a natural language processing algorithm to help me practice and then have them speak into the mike to speed up translation, cause once the computer understands it down to the 0s and 1s, it can actually make this all go faster and then I could start trying to write my own music…well sentences."
Reno senses: Tink gives his hand a squeeze as if asking if she should stop.

Reno got lod on the God made man quote. He was under the impression that God was the doctor's first name and 'made man' fell into replacement parts. A thought occurre to him and he asked Tink, "Did Cole's computer survive?" An eyebrow arched and he glanced to the door. The idea lit him up and then there was a pause as he realized everything was probably ruined by savages who cared nothing of the world's future. He thought and said to Tink, "I got my notebook back. Just the one though. I didn't have the others on me. If that's helpful to ya, Tabitha, you're welcome to it." He liked her name. No one ese used it, and maybe it was Truman's point that words and thoughts and pronounciations weren't lost that he was motivated to do so. "I'll say this much, you've a real gift, Mr. Cooper."
From afar, Reno gave her a squeeze of assurance rubbing a thumb over the top of her hand that all seemed ok.

Everything that Tink is saying is fascinating, but what Truman gloms on to is the part where she spoke to a Grounder. "Wait…you…actually interacted with the Outsiders? And they didn't just…slit your throat?" This seems unfathomable to the young translator-slash-security officer. He scratches his temple, then shakes his head at Reno. "Aw, no. I'm actually not that good at it. There's some folks here who can speak, naturally, multiple languages. We do conversation clubs to try and keep it alive."

"No, I don't think the computer made it," Tink says glumly because she would have loved to have tried to use it right now, "And they've been offering us more papers so I'll probably just unbind the notebook and then add the pages and then try to figure out a way to bind it back together." She looks to Truman and explains, "The cover of my notebook was made by me…I do some things with leatherworking. Binding a book isn't that hard." She pauses and then goes back to the Outsiders, "And yeah…most of them weren't friendly but there were a few that gave us a chance…mainly because we're borderline…" She pauses and then explains, "Children…they tend to give youth more leeway I think. Anyway, Gideon was showing me how to use a bow…" She makes a face, "I was terrible at it and had better luck trying to write down her language."
Reno senses: Tink squeezes his hand again, liking the way his fingers feel on hers.

Reno wasn't a language buff before. He was a technician, but seemed to be entirely onboard with soaking up whatever knowdges he could lay eyes on. "That's fantastic that we have clubs of learning here." We. Everything he's dreamed of life potentially being. He owned it. He bought it all in apparently. There was a warming grin, "Had to be self taught from most of the books my brother could steal for me and hide." He gave Tink a look and the smile softened. He was happy. Genuinly happy.

"That's…amazing," says Truman to Tink. He seems to mean that. He shakes his head to clear out an errant thought, then moves to stand. He starts to gather up his books. "Look, I have to go, but if you want, you can borrow this." He slides the epic forward towards the two of them - the English version. "Just…don't read it while you're eating and be careful with it."

Tink looks at the book like he's just given her a very sacred thing. She nods to Truman and gives him a bright smile, "Yes…thank you. I will definitely read it." She looks to Reno, "We can read it together…" Since they seem rather close based by the telegraphed signals between them. Tink is clearly very happy that Reno likes it here. "But if you want to meet up again, to let me loan a few more stories…" Tink looks hopeful, "Or talk languages let me know." She clearly likes Truman because this parting smile is a lot warmer than before. Her whole face lights up when she does so.

Reno looked astonished and was at a loss of words. "Mr. Cooper this is… thank you! This is, we'll be happy to keep it in as good or better condition then lent." It was the tech in him. He considered and furrowed his brow nodding to Tink in staunch agreement. "We'll find a way to repay your generosity. Maybe make a gloss for you from what Tink learned." Really was proud of her giving her a side grin.

"It's not a huge base. I'm sure we'll be seeing a lot of each other," says Truman with a likewise warm smile. It takes a little effort for him to gather up the remaining books, but he manages. He shakes his head at Reno. "No need to thank me, really. And it's just Truman. The book doesn't belong to me. It belongs to all of us." And on that altruistic note, the short young man rocks a step backwards. With a nod in lieu of a wave, he turns and makes his way for the exit.

"All the books I ever saw were just manuals," Tink tells Reno in an excited voice as Truman starts to make his way out. She doesn't touch it right now because she does have her meal to eat but clearly she's excited to get started once they're not with their meal, "Epic…I bet it's a story…a real story that has an adventure." Tink has always had an imagination but it's never been fed by anything creative. Instead it was funneled in more practical things.
Truman senses: Tink definitely has a bit of a hero worship for Truman now. He gave her a book!!!

Reno bit his lip watching it and considered, "Ya know… wonder if reading it to Cole would help him out? Maybe Max too? I… I dunno." He squeezed her hand and nodded with some enthuasm, "They ones I ever read before were mostly programming and engineering, some architecture- oooh wonder if they have books on old world architecture, Tink. We should find some so we know what's happening in the story maybe? Pretty sure it wasn't inbteween floors. I'd kinda like to see it. I mean-" He stopped . He was excited and was rambling in free flowing thought. He stopped and took a deep breath. "If it's good maybe we share it with some folks and see if the distraction will help them. They been going through some stuff too." He was worried about Cole. And Max…. Cam… their gaggle was a mess.

Tink nods at Reno's words, tells him, "I wrote Cole a note. Kinda wanted him to hang in here with us and thought if he knew how I was feeling it would help." The letter is folded in her notebook and she closes it, "I'm going to give it to him when I see him up and about. And yeah…I think everyone would get a big kick out of reading this story. We could all sit around and listen to someone read." She nudges him with her shoulder, "You have the best ideas. Come on…let's eat so we can finish and get this book back to the others."

Reno arched an eyebrow "Awww, that'll do him good." At the compliment his ears and the bridge of his nose turned flush. "Sometimes I remember to use my brain for things." This was a good day. It wasn't work and it could take the worry out of the masses. Forget the lost family, and forget the dead, and focus on a new future for a while.

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