Day 047: Goal Oriented
Summary: Lexa comes to speak with Kane and Fiona about the Mountain and Reapers.
Date: 15 July 2016
Related: The whole Reaper storyline
Kane Lexa Fiona 

Command Station, Camp Jaha
A small room adjacent to the Chancellor's quarters, the Command station is used not only for meetings with the Council and the Chancellor, but also for planning and strategy sessions. a high table runs down the center of the room, tall enough that there is a collection of stools around it rather than chairs. The walls are brilliantly lit by glowing computer screens, including resource allocation plots, ancient satellite photos, and a clear screen with a topographic map of the area drawn on it with glowing dry-erase marker.
47 Days After Landing

Now that the Grounder Commander is no longer incognito, it's much easier to get an excuse for Kane to talk to Lexa kom Trikru, and so an invitation has gone out to the Commander, and a much less formal one to the Skaikru Ambassador. Kane met the former at the gate and walked her (and whatever companions she chooses to bring) into the Station and then the Command Station, "Lexa kom Trikru, Fiona Kattegat. The steheda and kruheda know her well." Or at least well enough. "Please," he gestures to the seats around the table at that. Unlike the first time, there is no table full of food, just a few snacks and glasses of water.

Gustus kom Trikru strides alongside his Commander, easily dwarfing the shorter woman as they enter the Alpha Compound. The pair are awarded several looks as they walk through the halls, and some are looking at the Commander with confusion as some swear the girl is familiar. Her youth might even surprise some, but she seems unaffected by their stares. She is in full Commander regalia from the crimson cloak tucked under her pauldrons to the woven braids of her dark hair and the wings of oil and ash drawn from the corners of her eyes out into her hairline. She is armed, but only with a knife on her belt.

Her guardsman is without his skull mask, leaving his surly expression for all to see. When they enter the Command Room, Gustus silently takes up a space just to the right of the door. He clasps his hands together, grunting something inaudible as Lexa sweeps forward. She glances to Fiona, nods her head. "Yes, I have heard. Risked it all to appeal to Indra kom Trikru even while her army was bearing down on the Skaikru camp." She then looks at Kane, stepping forward to pull out a chair. She will sit last, unless her and the Chancellor enter a stalemate.

Fiona offers a nod of her head that borders on being a bow. When she gets a good look at Lexa's face, her eyes widen in surprise. She starts to grin, tempers it, but can't help but greet, "<In Trigedasleng> Chis. Lexa kom Trikru. I am very honored." When it appears that the appropriate thing to do is sit before Lexa rather than wait to assume a seat until she or Kane do, she moves to take a seat, fingers twining together and resting on the surface of the table.

Kane waits a moment for Lexa to sit, but when she does not immediately, he settles down without making a fuss about it. When Fiona responds in Trigedasleng, a mixture of pride and frustration flickers over his face, but he controls the expression carefully. "We wanted to share the information we have discovered about Mount Weather and the Reapers, Commander. I'm certain you've heard your own reports from the scouting mission, and I would like to compare notes as well, if that would be suitable to you."

Lexa claims a seat now, nodding slightly. The Commander makes it a point to speak in gonasleng, glancing from Fiona to Kane as she does. "We want the same things… the Mountain undone. It has your people, and apparently mine. These things can't stand." She then nods slightly, gesturing. "Tell me about what you know so far, Chancellor. Is it true that we may have found an entrance beyond The Door?"

Fiona wasn't witness to the operation, and only knows what Tuan told her. But the idea here is shared perspective, so she awaits Kane's explanation of the contract. She also knows how it may stick in some Trikru craws to be proven wrong in the belief that once someone goes into the Mountain, they never return.

"Definitely your people, Lexa kom Trikru. We have explicit data on one, and an eyewitness report of dozens more." Kane reaches over to pour glasses of water for himself, Lexa, Fiona, and after a moment's consideration, Gustus as well. "And yes, we have found a door from old tunnels beneath the Mountain that we believe goes into the Mountain. There was certainly a Mountain Man present. We can show you." He gestures behind him to one of the vid-screens.

Lexa frowns slightly, but then offers a small nod. "I will watch your video… in time." She raises her hand. "I would rather talk… I understand your technology is impressive, but, I am more concerned about what the Skaikru plan to do with the knowledge they now have, and how they can assist the Trikru in destroying the Mountain." She glances to Fiona, and then back to Kane. "These tunnels… can they be used as entry points?"

Here's the problem; Fiona isn't half as well briefed as Kane is. "My understanding - which granted, is second hand, is that they were spotted at the entrance they found." Fiona offers fitfully. "Which may prompt heightened security on the part of the Mountain Men, but I've also heard some talk worth exploring concerning the air circulation and water supply that might aid in finding other means of entrance."

Kane's brows raise a little at Lexa's phrasing, but he turns his attention back to those at the table. "They might be able to. They're full of Reapers, and the door is almost certainly locked." He gestures to Fiona, "And yes, they were certainly spotted. We've also considered the dam nearby as a possible means of entry. It almost certainly provides them with power, and cutting that would be useful, but to maintain that power source, they would need access." Bracing himself for a sharp reaction, he goes on with, "We believe that not only are the Mountain Men controlling the Reapers, they are also draining captured Trikru of their blood, although we don't know why."

Lexa waves her hand dismissively. "No. We know the Mountain is sealed." The Commander looks between Kane and Fiona. "We have been fighting the mountain for almost six decades. We have done what little we could to explore the outside of the Mountain before that." Before the Mountain Men knew there were so-called Outsiders. "There is no evidence that there are any exterior points of entry… beyond The Door… and now what you have found in the tunnels." The Commander then looks back to Kane. Mention of what is happening to her people draws her lips back slightly. She glances to Gustus, who has shifted in his stance as his shoulders tighten. Then she looks back at Kane and Fiona. "I have heard about your Morgan kom Skaikru boasting that he can cure Reapers… and that you wish to capture a live one for experimentation."

Fiona's eyes slide to Kane at. She knows about the Reapers who were captured, but she doesn't know if he wants that advertised. She does look back to Lexa though, mouth pressing tightly as if she's keeping something back behind her lips.

Kane's wince at the mention of Morgan's words is subtle, but it's there, "Doctor Li, our head medical officer, believes that it may be possible. We do have a pair of Reapers in captivity now, and Doctor Li is overseeing their study and attempts to cure them." He gestures across the table, "We will absolutely welcome a healer of your own in to watch the process if you would like." His brows lift, "With a single guard as well, if you wish it."

Lexa's brow arches slightly at the news that a live Reaper is in their custody. She leans back slightly in her seat, crossing her arms at her chest. She studies the pair carefully, and when she offers up the question, she does so casually, "And if we do not want them to be cured?" Her head tips slightly. "A Reaper is nothing more than a dead Trikru still walking and feasting… what would it mean to cure them?"

At this, Fiona leans forward at the table. "If they're cured, and they're able to communicate? We can find out exactly what made them that way in the first place. If we understand that, than maybe we can keep it from happening to anyone else. It would mean finding a way to make this end, it would mean no more Trikru have to fear losing their loved ones to becoming monsters, and possibly getting them back. I don't think anyone volunteers to become a Reaper. Which means it's an accident, or it's on purpose, but either way, it's without the consent or control of the people who become them. The mistake we've been making is that these aren't the enemy, they're victims." She frowns. "If you think the best thing is death for them…that may be a choice no few of them consider, once they realize what they've done, regardless of whether they had any control in the first place."

Lexa's reaction surprises Kane, that much is clear, "You wouldn't want your people back?" And then he settles back on his stool, taking a sip of water as Fiona speaks. He nods at her words, setting the glass down again before he puts in, "Doctor Li says that while some of them are too far gone, the 'newer' Reapers might be able to be brought back without any long-term effects. We don't know if they will remember their actions, but if we're able to cure them, they can tell us. Our motives are not entirely selfless either. If our own people become Reapers, we want to be able to reverse the process." He makes a little gesture with one hand toward the Commander, "Would you prefer that we not make the attempt?"

Lexa arches a brow at Fiona. Then she glances at Kane once, and then back to the bandrona. "And what do you think happens to a person when they are no longer monsters, but are human once more?" She shakes her head slightly. "It would be kinder to kill them, would it not? To bring them back from that…" Then she breathes steadily out her nose, nodding slightly. "You wish to cure them in order to gain more information from them?" Then she leans back in her seat once more. "I want my people back, but sometimes it is more kind to end a tortured life than it is to ask someone to live with memories they feel are not their own."

Fiona meets Lexa's gaze directly, her hands gripping the table. "Is it kind, or good for your people, to live in a world where the threat that someone could become a reaper and be ripped from their loved ones to become a monster, while knowing that an opportunity to try to stop it from happening anymore was ignored? Either these people are dead anyway, as you say, in which case it doesn't matter what happens to them, or they're people, and they won't want what has happened to them to happen to anyone else. Whether out of a desire for revenge or a chance to atone, and then they have the choice to either live or ask for death. But at least you're giving their choice back to them."

"I would say that that is your choice, after you have spoken with them, Commander." There's a flicker of amusement in Kane's eyes as he uses the title that he held two titles ago, but it is gone again quickly given the serious discussion at hand. He nods at Fiona's words, "Shouldn't the choice be available? And if new Reapers are made, shouldn't there be hope for their loved ones and friends that they could be returned to them before they became a monster?"

Lexa narrows her eyes thoughtfully. She glances over her shoulder slightly toward Gustus — he is, of course, one of her loved ones. Her gaze lingers on him for a long moment, and then she looks back to Kane. "Very well… but I want to be present. If I feel there is too much pain, too much suffering, I will give them a merciful end." Then her expression darkens. "And if a cured Trikru cannot return to their loved ones, I will order that no other Reaper be cured. I will allow you to do this, but they are my people and their well-being is my concern, first and foremost…" She looks seriously between Fiona and Kane. "Agreed?"

It's for Kane to agree or disagree. Once again, Fiona's working her jaw like she has something sharp to say to the Heda, but also knows she'd be out of turn. Her eyes drop to the table until her expression smooths over and looks to Kane expectantly.

Kane glances over to Fiona, studying her for a moment before he looks back to Lexa, "I ask that you wait slightly longer than you want to. The cure may not be pretty. But yes, agreed. We have no wish to torment these people. They were the least-affected that our people could find, so they are our best hope." He settles back, "So we have details of a Reaper tunnel leading into the Mountain, several possibilities for methods of entry or exit, and the hope that we can cure Reapers. I would like to suggest three goals: the rescue of the Trikru captives, the rescue of our people, and the destruction of the missiles. The death of the people in the Mountain… Blood must have blood, but there is time for that. There may not be time for our people. Do you agree?"

Lexa narrows her ash-framed gaze, and she nods slightly at Kane's words. "Very well… I will show… patience." The word seems almost taboo to the Commander, but she allows it all the same. Then drops her chin slightly, listening to what Kane has to say about the tunnels. She listens dutifully to his suggestion, and she nods slightly. "The kruheda's warriors have thought similar, but…" She rests her forearms on the table, fingers crisscrossed together. "There is another possible access that Britt kom Trikru has brought before the kruheda… the tunnel that the scouting mission found are not the only ones… there is one, in fact, close to Coesbur. It would allow greater numbers to approach the Mountain, and perhaps without being seen. The problem is that, until now, those tunnels have not been mapped…" Then she nods slightly with Kane's objectives. "Yes, I agree… and the acid fog. If the acid fog can be disabled, reinforcements are more possible."

"Is it possible that the Reapers who attacked Coesbur came from that tunnel?" Fiona asks, somewhat skeptically. "If that's how they got there, that tunnel might not be viable." She looks to Kane, "But still worth exploring."

Kane nods his thanks at Lexa's allowance, then focuses in on her plans, his brows lifting slightly, "Mapping tunnels filled with Reapers that may lead toward the Mountain. It doesn't sound that appealing, but I do see the benefit of avoiding an entrance that the Mountain knows has been discovered." His lips tighten slightly at the addition to the objectives, but it's in consideration, not dispute. "That means at least three teams. It would be four, but I'd like to suggest that we use Mister Wylde's escape route as our exit, so any successful teams can rescue the Trikru prisoners on their way out." He thinks a moment longer, then adds, "We won't be able to get reinforcements in unless we find or create another entrance, but even getting them close to the Mountain would be helpful." He shrugs slightly at Fiona's words, then nods, "Filled with Reapers doesn't necessarily mean not viable. It just means a fight to get in there. And a great deal of danger for the scouts."

"Very well," Lexa agrees to Kane's suggested exit, nodding slightly. Then she gestures off-handedly. "The Trikru army can range well past a thousand if she calls up her villages again… if the army comes close enough, that alone will cause the Mountain's eye to look their way while the smaller groups are finishing their objectives." She then arches her brows slightly. "I will speak with Indra, and with Britt, and see how many scouts that can be set to this task." She presses her palms to the table, beginning to stand. Her eyes travel to Fiona again, and then back to Kane. "A group will be remaining outside your camp… do not forget the deals we have made, Chancellor." A subtle reminder that she has not forgotten… Thripoda's blood has not yet been satisfied.

Fiona waits for Lexa to get up before getting up herself. "We haven't forgotten." she says quietly. "The Guard has it under investigation. We're looking for anyone who was complicit in the hijacking, and anyone we find will be dealt with in accordance with your deal with the Chancellor." She inclines her head again before taking a step out.

Kane nods his agreement again, "Such a distraction would be useful, if dangerous. I would like to avoid getting the fog or a missile directed at such a collection of warriors." And then he offers up a tight smile, "But you know far better than we do what it's like to deal with both dangers. The oblique threat might rattle another man, but Kane simply nods, agreeing with Fiona, "I haven't forgotten. Just as I'm sure that you have not forgotten your side of the deal either, Commander." He rises from his seat as well, "We'll provide you with the images of the scouting mission to watch when you like it. " He moves around to the door to see the Commander and her bodyguard out, then looks back to Fiona, "Miss Kattegat, if you could stay a moment?" Once Lexa is gone, he nods toward the door, "So, what do you think?"

"I'm getting tired," Fiona admits. "Of constantly being told by Trikru that we can't do this, we can't do that, of their dismissing our technology, and then us doing their proclaimed impossible and them still looking down on us. It feels less like an alliance than us placating them, and it feels like it's never going to end." Surprisingly dark words coming from the young woman.

Kane moves back to sit down, and he nods slowly, "Then I think we had best hope that Mister Blackwood is right when he says he thinks he can cure a Reaper. Doctor Li thinks that it may be possible as well." Which clearly carries more weight with him. Then again, she is the Medical Officer. "This isn't like the lung infection that they could help but not cure, this is something they think impossible." Letting out a breath, he changes topics, "We have an election due in less than two weeks. Doctor Li has suggested that I postpone it until after this crisis. I think that sends the wrong message. What do you think?"

"I think if you postpone it, it sends the wrong message and all the people who are waiting for you to prove that you're a power hungry bastard will feel justified in whatever type of anarchy they're prepared to bring the moment you give them the opportunity." Fiona says frankly. "The only thing that's giving people pause to consider is the fact that you've been consistent, honest, and have given them hope. Don't crush it."

Kane smiles a little wryly at the description of him, "And there are a lot of those people?" He doesn't wait for a response, going on immediately, "Anna did bring up a good point that if someone without security training, or without a willingness to talk to the Grounders were elected, we would be hard-pressed to rescue the captives. Her counter-proposal to my opposition was an election on whether or not to delay the vote," which draws another of those dry little smiles.

Fiona lets out a laugh. "Well, that would make it fair." Fiona says. "And possibly draw people out of the woodwork, but it would probably also draw criticism. People will always complain." She pauses, her smile dying. "I pushed for a vote. When Sonia kom Trikru offered to maintain a ceasefire before Indra's arrival in exchange for seven of us. I pushed for us to vote between that and taking a stand. Because I wanted it to be fair. Was that wrong? Or should it just have been unthinkable in the first place? To me it was, but…it had to be fair."

Kane grimaces a little at the mention of Sonia's deal, "I don't envy any of you that decision. If it had been for more than a few days, it might have been something to consider. As it was, from what I hear, the vote was nearly unanimous, which suggests that it might not have been necessary… except as a rallying cry." He studies the tabletop for a moment, then nods to himself, "If I call for a vote on delaying any campaigning… say until… one day after the captives are returned to Camp Jaha, and the election until one week after that, can I say that it is on the advice of my Councilors? I don't mind taking some criticism it it means a greater chance that the rescue is successful."

Fiona grimaces in turn. "You promised two weeks. We need to rescue the others sooner rather than later. God only knows what's happening to them in there." Fiona says. "We know the Mountain is willing to hurt people. And we know that they're not giving up ours. So something bad is most likely happening to them. There's no point in trying to postpone until after an event that should be happening soon anyway." There's a sudden thought. "We have access to their channels…what if we gave them access to ours? If we made them think they were listening to us, we could leak false information, and that would make invading a lot easier, wouldn't it?"

Kane nods slowly, "It's a good point. And I'm doing everything I can to get them out sooner rather than later," He gestures to the departed Lexa, "But my main concern is getting nearly there… and then an ambitious station rep calling for immediate elections, or even just starting a campaign." Again, he looks down for a moment, "Maybe I'm getting overly concerned over nothing after the Rees' attack. I know there are some hateful people in the camp, and many who are not pleased to be working with the Grounders." The idea about the radio causes him to chuckle a little wryly, "Honestly, we don't have much of 'our channels' any distance from the camp. The interference is too strong for any communications outside of a kilometer unless we found some way to boost the signal. If we could spread false information, it could definitely be helpful. I'm hoping that some information comes from our own intercepts at least. Anything to help." And then he stops, blinking, "Eden… I didn't even think about that. We can test their defenses and listen to their responses."

"I'll mention it to the heda, maybe see if she has any suggestions for how we can utilize their communications most efficiently? If I understand correctly, she's an expert in military strategy." It boggles Fiona; Lexa seems so young. Definitely in command, but young. She purses her lips. "I think any path you pick is going to result in campaigning and grumbling. I think the rescue effort will prove itself the best evidence of why you should be Chancellor. Do you know who's also standing up for it yet? I know some people hate the Trikru, but they're idiots if they think we can sustain ourselves while at war against superior numbers who know the land. And there are seasons here. People forget that winter is coming."

Kane's expression is somewhere between a smirk and an indulgent smile, "She's certainly young. Very young. But she's certainly got a way about her." The question about possible opposition draws a shrug, "Atsuko Eda, most likely." One of the Alpha Station reps, and even more ambitious than Kane, and more frustrated in her ambitions. "But if anyone is going to assault my positions, the Grounders are about the only one there is to choose. They can't oppose rescuing our children. They can't oppose building up the camp. It's really just the Grounders."

"Trikru." Fiona corrects. "Best get used to calling them that. The name they use for themselves. "I'll go talk to Lexa tomorrow and report what she suggests." Her mouth scrunches, and she absently tugs at her hair. "She's so closed off. Normally I can get a line on people, but she's almost impossible to get a feeling for." She adds earnestly as she heads for the door, "I really think you should leave the election as it is. Ever get the feelin that no matter what you do, a wrench will get thrown in the works? At least this way you stay honest."

"Yes, Trikru." Kane accepts the correction with good grace, "At least, this clan is. I wonder if they have a name for all of their clans together besides the Coalition." He nods at the description of Lexa, "I think I would not want to play cards with her." He nods again at the suggestion, "Well, I think that at least people see me as honest. A…" he calls back to the ambassador's previous words, "power hungry bastard, but an honest one. I wouldn't want to do anything to change that view of me." At least not the 'honest' part. "Thank you, I look forward to hearing her suggestions." He hesitates a moment, and then finally notes, "You might be wary of how people see you, by the way, Miss Kattegat. Some of the Guard have started to talk about you spending nights in the Trikru camp." Whether it's true or not… apparently talk has started. "They may not take well to listening to a Councilor who does that."

Fiona sets her jaw. "It's true." Fiona works it out for a moment she had best tell him. "We're not sneaking around. We're not hiding, but we're not shoving it in people's faces, either. And it won't get in the way of what I need to do for our people; it never has. But I'll be more discreet until things are more settled." On one hand, it's nobody's goddamned business, but on the other, people will make it their business. It's an uglier side of politics she'll just have to deal with. "Let me know if there's anything else you need, Chancellor." IF he doesn't have more for her, she'll head out.

Kane nods his head, "If we form an alliance with the Trikru, there isn't likely to be a problem with it except for a few bigots. For now, however, we only have a ceasefire, and a tentative one at that." He nods again as she starts to leave, "We both have plenty to do. Good luck, Miss Kattegat."

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