Day 025: Hail Mary - The Bridge
Summary: The Skaikru emissaries reach the Coesbur bridge and try to evade the Grounder scouts.
Date: 6/18/2016
Related: Follows Running the Gauntlet
Fiona Kai Elias Wren Britt Veks Rinnan Elian Grounders 


Coesbur Bridge
The Bridge
Dawn of Day 25

There's an unusual sight just on dawn of day 25 since the Skaikru suddenly appeared. Three figures running from the woods towards the Coesbur bridge. Not that unusual, possible. That those three are not Trikru likely in and of itself noteworthy. Repeat, those are not Trikru coming towards the bridge. The one at the back, commonly known as Kai, might at least be dressed in Gideon's old armor, and all of them have been inked to try and blend in with the woods. But those? Are Skaikru kids. Three of them. Not a rifle in sight. And from the way the one in the back twists about even as she keeps backing towards the bridge, hunting for sight of something, quite probably Skaikru kids who are not 'alone'.

Fiona is between Kai and Elias, and her weaponry is minimal; just a knife strapped to her thigh. She's focused on running, but her eyes are red-rimmed because of tears and not the application of makeup. Whatever caused her to weep is not apparent, she's simply focusing on the task in front of her. "<In Trigedasleng> I am Abassador of Skaikru, help please!" is called out to anyone who might hear.

Wren is on patrol, and this is his area that he happens to be guarding. Because that's what he does when he's not throwing around teens and trying to show them to fight. So currently, he's leaning against the bridge. It's been quiet, but the big man can pick out the sound of running footprints from a bit way off, turning to the sound, and picking his axe up in his hands, walking to the middle of the bridge, eyeing what might be coming. To his perhaps surprise, it's not what was expecting, blinking at the trio. There's a very deep frown at Fiona's shout. But he simply waits for them. Not going to bother talking until they're within talking distance.

Elias is right in front of Fiona, running quickly along with the girl. His face and hands have been inked so that he can blend with the forst better, but he's otherwise wearing his normaly clothing. He lets Fiona do the talking for now, but doesn't slow in his pace towards the bridge. Sweat darkens his shirt at the chest and wets his hair, though likely also irritates the ink to make it all the itchier. Wren is recognized pretty much straight away and he doesn't seem to have any problem with approaching him.

The sound of casual conversation from within the village grows louder until Veks, Rinnan, and Britt stroll out. Beside Veks pads a greyish-white wolf (or a very reasonable hand-drawn facsimile of one), staying politely at heel as the houndsman talks to his two companions. "<In Trigedasleng> …so he gets pissed, right? Kicks the log, it rolls down the hill. Hits a wasp nest and…" He's kitted up for a hunting expedition by the looks of it, bow and arrow slung across his back, and gestures with tattooed hands as he tells the story — until spotting the Delinquents on the bridge, at least. His words trail off, followed by his steps. "<In Trigedasleng> Skaikru," he mutters.

Kai doesn't spot what she's looking for and turns to jog the rest of the distance to catch up to the other two Skaikru kids. And hell, at least that's a face she recognizes,"They shot Tuan." she reports to Wren without asking for so much as a by-your-leave,"There was at least two behind us, but there was more following them and I can't protect them and deal with Sonia's people at the same time." added at least vaguely apologetically for the man as the skaigirl turns back to look behind them again, not caring about the smear of her own ink when she rubs a hand across her nigh bald head and sucks in a breath.

Britt carries her bow in her hand rather than slung. Old habit. Her chuckle at Veks' story is cut off by the shout from the bridge, quickly turning to a frown. She starts veering in that direction, mumbling. "What the hell?"

"He was trying to bring us to Coesbur.' Fiona explains, trying to catch her breath. "And then from here to TonDC. The camp named me Bandrona, and want me to speak to the kruheda and heda. But Sonia's people are stil after us…please."

Elian was already out in the hours before dawn, as is his wont. The archer wanders off on his own on the regular, so when he saw the small group moving toward Coesbur, he kept his distance, not yet having encountered the Skaikru personally. When he hears that Tuan was shot, however, his expression grows grim. "Tuan. Where is he?" he asks, coming out of the trees. His bow is not out, but on his back, for the time being, at any rate.

Perhaps had never seen real fire in Wren's eyes, but it's there now. "There are what?" he spits out. "It was not enough that you danger Tuan, one of our own, but you would bring war onto our doorstep?" he growls at both Kai and Fiona. "How dare you. It is not enough that you endanger your own people, but you would threaten ours as well? Who had no desire to fight you? And you would bring Sonia's people here." Oh, he's angry. But so far, he hasn't lifted that axe at either of them in anger. Instead, he puts two fingers to his lips, blowing a high-pitched whistle. A particular one that the warrior kind: it means to bring whatever warriors can hear it to come to the sound.

Rinnan flanking Britt and Veks was enjoying the story by the relaxed half-smile on her face, that is … until the incoming group came barreling in from further on up the road. They're running and running is never good. Her smile drops and her hand moves to one of her knives at her belt. "<In Trigedasleng> What now…," she mumbles, wary and slightly annoyed at having this at dawn hunting fest cancelled by Problems (tm). The who, what, where quickly unfurling, Rinnan lifts her gaze to look around the assembly. "<In Trigedasleng> Someone needs to tell Thesda what's happening…," she states with a surety, as Wren unloads on the three.

There's a moment of taken aback from Kai before she utters at Wren, "I'm asking you to take /them/." with a jab of her finger towards Fiona and Elias,"Tuan is near where the log straddles the two hills. When her people come tell them whatever the hell you want, that we showed up and you sent us on our way." from out of the armor is pulled a couple of rolled hide maps to be thrust at Elias, "Then your village is safe, yes? As long as they don't see them. Okay?"

Britt comes up to the bridge in time to hear Wren's tirade. "<In Trigedasleng> Wren, enough," she says sternly. "<In Trigedasleng> Tuan endangered himself when he took their side. Are you going to go to war with our own people now?" Then in Gonasleng for the benefit of the Skaikru, she addresses Veks, "Which way is our best chance of evading them, without going into the village?" He's the one with the best local knowledge, after all.

Fiona steps up to Wren, craning her neck to look up at him. "And what did you think would happen, Wren kom Trikru?" she demands. "Did you think that Oxfor honoring our treaty woudln't bring the war to your door anyway? Well if you need someone to blame, blame me. You keep Elias and Kai safe, and you give me to Sonia's people, and then maybe you can save your skin and everyone else's. And then Tuan will have - he's dead for all I know, and he told me that he loved me and it's my fault. So you want to give me to them you do it!" Fiona might not be thinking clearly, but at this moment she absolutely means what she's saying.

Elias stops short of Wren and watches the man for the moment. They're excellent points that he brings up, really. Looking back to Kai and Fiona, he gives a quick shake of his head. "We should go," he states quickly to both of the girls that he came with. "If we leave now…" When Wren whistles, he shifts his attention once more to him and looks momentarily perplexed. He doesn't speak a word of Trigedasleng. He looks to Fiona and Kai then, giving them both an inquisitive look. His eyes settle on Fiona then. "You don't know that. And there's no way in hell you're going on your own. Either of you. If we have to leave now, fine. But we're seeing this through."

Heavy sigh. Rinnan's reaction is followed by a slow scrub at her face for all the yelling. She seems instantly irritated by the cocaphony of Grounder and Delinquent emotion fueled noise. She looks at Elias speaking to Fiona, before her own gaze turns towards Veks looking for his pronouncement on Britt's question.

The wolfdog accompanying Veks starts up a low, thrumming growl, lips peeled back from rows of sharp-looking teeth. The animal's more leggy than stocky, but it doesn't keep her from planting her paws like she intends to defend the entire village herself. "<In Trigedasleng> Easy, girl. Sssh. Stay. Good." Veks's words are a distracted murmur, eyes on Wren and the Delinquents. His fingers curl around the plaited leather collar on the animal's neck, ensuring his 'stay' command is followed. He looks away from the confrontation to nod once to Rinnan and say, "<In Trigedasleng> I'll go." He starts backing up, pulling Smoke with him, as his attention darts next to Britt. After a very long two seconds of deliberation, he says, "<In Trigedasleng> Follow the river downstream a mile. Cut across if you can. It'll slow the dogs if they've got any. There's a ridge, south by southeast. Follow it until it heads for TonDC."

Elian looks immediately both baffled, and then angry, and then confused, and then angry again. Angry is winning as his attention fixes on Fiona. His jaw works a little bit, but Wren's whistle keeps him there, where he is with the others. His bow comes off of his back, however, and to hand, though not drawn — just ready.

There is a moment, where Wren looks at Fiona like she's little more than meat to be divided into cubes for Veks' dogs. "Our choices our own, and they will not be forced by you…you and your self-righteous indignation." the large man snaps back. "And I would love to blame you. Because if Tuan dies, I will hold you accountable for it. And giving you to Sonia will be a slow death. If you want to talk to Indra." There's a roiling amount of feelings going on. The, finally a sort. "The dice are cast, but you remember this day, Fiona. And you remember what you may have brought on someone not your own people." Then to all three of them, he jerks his head, towards the village. "Get inside, before I change my mind."

Other Coesbur warriors are starting to appear from the calling of the whistle. "<In Trigedasleng> Find Tuan, he's not far off." he tells to a pair of Coesbur scouts. "<In Trigedasleng> Everyone else, guard this bridge." the big man says, barking out orders.

Britt nods to Veks' directions but says, "<In Trigedasleng> You should come with us. Let the Coesbur warriors see to their own." Presumably she means Tuan. It isn't that she's callous - she actually likes the kid. But the mission comes first, and right now that mission is Fiona. "Feyona, martyring yourself does no one any good. if you want to help your people, you come with us. Now."

Plans, many plans, and plenty of words Kai doesn't understand, so she elects to focus on Elias and Fiona,"We cannot outrun them and they will kill us all." offered to the boy, then for Fiona,"And you, are the most important one of all. Everything's been a waste of goddamn time if you get killed." the whistling, she doesn't like it, she's heard it coming behind them, and raises her hands as if to say 'whoa guys, whoa' in the presumption that it might just mean 'kill them', not sure what to make any of it immediately but deciding that right this second standing still might just be her best choice.

At the bright whistle, the guards at the bridge look up from their scans of the surrounding forest, frowning, and a trail of warriors begin to come out from the village proper, still grabbing for weapons. The scouts shake their head at Wren, "<In Trigedasleng> No. If he faced Indra's warriors, he made his choice. We have duties here." Among the first of the warriors trotting up the bridge is a forty-something warrior high in the esteem of Oxfor, "<In Trigedasleng> What is happening here? Who is attacking?"

Fiona's clenched fists are the only display of Fiona being intimidated by Wren, but she nods to Britt, and begins to move where she is told to go, with a quick back look at Elias and Kai. "Please send someone to find him. He may be dead. I don't know." And she's terrified.

"<In Trigedasleng> Not Indra's. Sonia's." Wren clarifies for the scouts. "<In Trigedasleng> The Skaikru Ambassador is trying to get to TonDC to speak to Indra. They are being chased by Sonia's warriors." is the explanation given to the older warrior, perhaps who Wren himself was Second under. "<In Trigedasleng> I'm willing to take advisement here. Sonia will not stop and our treaty still stands."

Elias nods to Kai in agreement before turning his attention to Fiona as well. "She's got a point. Two of them. Stay back, please." He once more looks to Kai then. "I'd be a lot more comfortable if I understood everyone talking," he admits with a nod before looking around at all of the armed Trikru. "So what do we do?"

Veks looks from those on the bridge, back to the village and the arriving warriors, then to Rinnan and Britt. Priorities are obviously getting tangled in a several-way tug-of-war. "<In Trigedasleng> The four of us?" he asks Rinnan and Britt. There's a squint thrown toward Fiona, assessing her, before he detours, grabbing the attention of one of the younger (and less deadly-looking) warriors. "Thesda's Second has been wounded. Would you find her? A warrior should tell her." It's equal parts presumptuous and flattery — and it works. The warrior heads back into the village to locate her.

There's a lot of Tridegasleng swimming through the air and Fiona can only find bits of it. She looks to Elias. "We follow their instructions. Britt wants us to go with them, we go with them." What little she understands from Veks is enough to make her understand that yes, someone will go look for Tuan. "Mochoff." she says, thanking him. She's prepared to be guided as instructed.

Britt is not waiting for Wren and the elder Coesbur warrior to sort out who's doing what. If Sonia's troops are not far behind, then they don't have a lot of time. Unless someone tries to stop them, she will try to usher Fiona toward the Coesbur side of the bridge, intending from there to cut through the woods around the village in the direction Veks had indicated. "They will take care of Tuan," she assures Fiona, trusting that Wren or Thesda or someone will go and help him. She glances to Rinnan to see whether she's coming or staying.

Rinnan scrubs her hand with her face again, harder this time. Clearly annoyed with the volume and the cross talk. Britt and Veks are moving, and so— she is too, bringing up the rear with a nod and a whole lot of relieved silence that the yelling and she are getting a divorce.

"He was on this side of the ravine." Kai settles her attention on Elian, offering the information to him intently with her hands still up, not sure what to make of any of it,"And he was still alive when I took the ambassador away. I did not hear further sounds of fight, and they were not long until they came after us." before skittering her gaze over Britt, Fiona, up to Wren. There's a nod there, as well as a grimace,"Doesn't mean that we're not responsible here guys." offered quietly for the pair,"Look, I'm sorry." the ex-C offers to the warriors in general, "She needs to make it to Indra or my people are dead, but I made the call to bring them here. I will lead them away.. or whatever needs to happen to help your village. My mistake, my responsibility, not Fiona's." she offers, not following as Britt starts to move off as she waits for word one way or another.

"<In Trigedasleng> Sonia's warriors are Indra's warriors, as are we." The scout nods toward his post, "<In Trigedasleng> We have our duties." The man looks to Fiona flatly, but his fellow guard shrugs her shoulders slightly, speaking in Gonasleng, "When I am off duty, I will look for him, if he has not returned yet."

The elder warrior shakes his hoary head, "<In Trigedasleng> We owe the kruheda our loyalty, Wren. Even if the steheda chooses a softer path, we will not attack fellow Trikru. The Skaikru should continue their path to Tondc." Switching to Gonasleng, he speaks to the Skaikru, "You've come a long way in the wrong direction to bring trouble to our door." Britt's actions draw a nod, and a warning, in Gonasleng so that both parties can understand it, "We will not try to stop Indra's warriors, but we do not have to aid them either."

Conflicting emotions seem to be the order of the day for Elian, who observes the ongoing chaos with the eyes of a hunter watching a bunch of terrified animals scurrying around. "<In Trigedasleng> In or out, they better do it soon." He moves closer to the village then, seeming reassured that someone is going to go looking for Tuan. For the moment, however, his concern seems more for the village and those in it. When Kai addresses him directly, he focuses his attention on her, studying the Skaikru girl. After a moment or two, he nods, perhaps in thanks for the additional detail.

The whistles and cries continue to close from the woods to the south. The male scout notes, "<In Trigedasleng> Six minutes, maybe."

"You!" Veks barks this in Fiona's direction, pointing at her and making an impatient gesturing motion. Pantomime is universal, right? So he hopes. "Ambassador. We go for the heda. Now." He starts backing toward the river's edge, a scowl growing deeper and deeper on his face.

"<In Trigedasleng> Then I will drag Tuan's body back myself." Wren simply says. "<In Trigedasleng> And I'm not saying we attack them, but if their Ambassador can stop this war from truly starting, not only can we stop the innocent death of the skaikru, but we can prevent the death of our own as well. Is that not something honorable to strive for?" he asks. "<In Trigedasleng> They should have that chance before they are wiped out?" Perhaps it's a desperate of trying to reach an understanding, but he'll drop it at that. "Veks! I will go with you." he calls over to the wolfsman.

"<In Trigedasleng> Veks is coming with us," Britt calls back to Wren, thinking he misunderstood. She also offers a brisk nod of appreciation to the elder warrior for not stopping them. And then they're off at a trot at least - a run if folks can manage.

Okay, people are moving, no-one seems to be addressing Kai, she decides to assume this is about as good as 'get going' is going to get and drops her hands to turn and run after Veks, Fiona, Elias et. all, if only to leave the bridge clear of visible Skaikru. She doesn't reclaim her maps from Elias, but does grab his shoulder as she gets up to him,"C'mon Eli.. we've got a long way to go yet." and gives him a reassuring squeeze, not at all about to complain about a potential reprieve.

Elias returns the nod to Fiona with a look of understanding before shifting his gaze to Kai while she explains Tuan's situation. For the most part, he listens quietly to the parts he understands. There's an upnod to both Kai and Fiona, though. "We should stick together," he tells them both. "Are we moving then?" Indeed, people seem to be moving. Fiona seems to know better what's going on, so he is content enough to follow her lead.

The elder warrior shakes his head at Wren, "<In Trigedasleng> You measure your honor as you see fit, and I will too. I will not fight my kruheda's warriors though, unless my heda or — maybe — my steheda orders it." Turning back to face the forest before the bridge, the old man notes, "I think, maybe, the Skaikids fled north, looking to the Podakru for help."

Zip ahead a little bit after a long OOC convo about who's going where.

Across the bridge and into the woods surrounding the city, the not-so-merry band skirts around the edge of the village proper in the hopes that their trail might give plausible deniability that the village didn't directly aid the Skaikru. After a little bit at a brisk pace, Britt pauses to offer a frown back at the rather largeish group that's assembled. "All right, I have an idea. Veks, if you and Rinnan can lead the Skaikru ahead to where we talked. I will hang back and try to cover the tracks. You -" She glances to Wren. "You could go with them or split up and try to make a false trail. Or go back to Coesbur and try to round up some horses."

Wren may be big, but he's swift, loping through the woods in keeping up. He's not a scout, he doesn't have the frame for it, but he does have the physical presence that at least if the skaikru run into trouble, they won't be entirely on their own about it. When they start to stop, the big warrior scopes around the area, looking back at Britt. "I could do either. I would prefer to get horses, but I don't know if I'd be able to bring back so many. Maybe three, at best. Four if I include Roach."

Rinnan nods to Britt, the older of the two Warrior women in this group. A brief look is afforded the Skaikru way, one that doesn't seem to attempt to hide its rather bald attempt at assessing them before she looks at Veks, head nodding up the road in a fashion that might suggest she wants to keep moving. "<In Trigedasleng> We should keep moving," she suggests to Veks before switching to Warrior's English for the benefit of the Skaikru present. "Are you ready to keep going?," she asks, her manner clipped and slightly anxious to do exactly that.

"<In Trigedasleng> Horses won't be any faster unless we head for the road." Veks has been a bit of a taskmaster thus far, using his very limited English for motivational phrases like, 'Faster, Skaikru' and 'No resting'. He also seems barely winded by their brisk travel, though when he scrubs a hand through his hair, it's left in a disarray of sweaty spikes. "<In Trigedasleng> Which do we want? Road's faster with horses, but there's no stealth. Cross-country, we can shake them."

Fiona looks back at Rinnan from where she's been standing. "<In Trigedasleng> We wait for you." Her tone is determined, urgent. She nods to Kai and Elias, visibly grateful for their presence as she is prepared to press on.

Kai might be Skaikru, but the lean girl is athletic and more than a little relieved to have people other than just her and Eli's comparatively scrawny asses to keep an eye out on Fiona specifically. It doesn't matter how long she's already been moving, she's clearly not about to give up and sit down, offering a grim kind of smile,"As long as it takes." she asserts in a steady voice.

Britt nods to Wren. "Four would be good. We can't hold us all on three." Then she looks to Veks. "If we elude them as far as the ridge, then we can meet Wren there with the horses and go down to the road. We'll be able to outpace Sonia's band, and Rinn and I can get us past any others." Benefits of working for the boss-lady. Or so Britt believes. She's quite confident on this point. Whether she's right will remain to be seen.

Elias returns Fiona's nod with one of his own, though seems mostly content with walking along after the others. While he isn't particularly graceful, he's in decent enough shape and doesn't seem to have huge amounts of trouble keeping up.

"I will have to go in the opposite direction and then double back if Sonia's men are still in the area. I don't want them to see riding out of the village with three extra horses in tow." Wren remarks with a grunt. "It'll be a risk on the open roads." A look at Veks. "But it would be faster." He looks ready to leave, unless Britt has anything else to tell him. But perhaps as a second thought, he turns back, unblucking his back weapon, which is a sword from his belt, tossing it at Kai. "You need this more than I do." Then another look at Britt. "I'll grab Lark's old clothing while I'm there. Might be better if they blended in a little bit better." That's inregards to Elias and Fiona, not so much Kai.

Rinnan nods at Fiona and Elias with a dour sort of anxiousness. She's probably real fun at parties, this one. "I don't know if being on the road is a good idea, Britt. We might talk our way past one or two groups but probably not. It might have been easier before word got out about the…," Rinnan trails off there, speaking in Warrior's English. Her right index finger and thumb form the sign of a gun and silently kick back in a firing symbol.

Veks uncaps his waterskin and gulps down a couple mouthfuls, wiping his lips with the back of one tattooed forearm. He starts to re-seal it, eyes flitting from person to person as a dubious scowl grows on his face. "You. Skaikru. Drink," he says, holding the waterskin out to the nearest Delinquent, Kai. "Others, too. Hurry." He looks toward the warriors, the scowl turning heavy with consideration. "<In Trigedasleng> There's a concrete bridge on the road. We'll wait for you there," he says to Wren.

Kai's got the reflexes and alertness to catch, but can't help but stare at Wren in vague puzzlement before she dips her head briefly,"Thank you." offered his way without complaint in the slightest. It's going to get to be a bandolier on her, because she's way not his height nor width, but she doesn't elect to second guess them in the slightest, the grey-eyed girl watching the quartet of Trikru with attentive, intent eyes. The waterskin passed to her from Veks brings her attention his way before she accepts with a nod, takes a swig and then passes it on to Eli without a second thought.

Britt shakes her head. "We are not criminals, to be sneaking around through the forest." On this point Britt sounds firm. "We are the heda's representatives escorting the Skaikru bandrona to the kruheda on official business. They will not challenge us." She nods to Wren's suggestion about doubling back.

"They challenged Tuan." Fiona interjects. "He said as much to the scouts and they shot at him anyway." She looks to Britt worriedly. "I don't want anyone else to be put in danger like that again."

Elias takes the waterskin from Kai with a gracious nod of his head and takes a swig for himself. That done, he hands the waterskin back over to her. "Nice sword," he says, giving her and upnod.

Rinnan shrugs ambivalently, looking unconvinced as to exactly who is or isn't a criminal and over what. "<In Trigedasleng> We can say they're in our custody if it comes to it?," she spitballs, looking conflicted as her eyes skate over Skaikru members of this party. "…we should go though, worry about what to say I guess when it comes to it," she says, switching back to English and taking a few steps forward. Veks is the fun one. He gives out water. Rinnan is… probably not the fun one.

"Get used to it. You, for all intents and purposes, are the skaikru's representative. That means you accept whatever losses occur that happen on your behalf. Or even for you." Wren remarks at Fiona. "Count you blessings if Tuan is the only hurt in the process of doing this. Then a look over at Britt. "I will you you at the concrete bridge." And then he's off into the woods again.

"It's different. Those were Sonia's people blockading your camp," Britt says in response to Fiona. "And Tuan is a mere Second. As Rinnan says, we can talk more about it when we reach the ridge. For now, we must hurry. Go," she urges, intent on remaining to cover their tracks.

"Yeh, well, I should have just slit the throat of that archer when I had the chance, but I promised Tuan I'd follow his instructions." Kai grunts for Fiona quietly, accepting the waterskin back from Elias to pass to Fiona with a vague smile Elias' way,"Better 'n' mine." she murmurs, leaning over to bump her shoulder against his at least briefly,"Wren's right, Fi. Welcome to being the ambassador." with a wry and vaguely sympathetic smile.

Fiona accepts the water skin, takes a few swallows, and then offers it Veks. A glance is sidelong offered to Wren, but she doesn't reply to him. She nods to Kai, explaining, "The point was the fact that they don't recognize me as one. But if Britt says it's different now, I'll trust her."

Elias wanders off a bit after a fashion. Not too far, but clearly intent on being introspective.

Fade.

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