Day 019: I Will Find You
Summary: Tuan finds Fiona and Layla by the river and delivers a warning.
Date: 02 June 2016
Related: All logs related to Execution and Firefall
Fiona Layla Tuan 

The Northern Riverbank
19 Days After Landing

There's tension in the camp, with those left behind also left to wonder as to the state of things while some go off to investigate. Early enough Fiona decides she needs a break, and volunteers for water-carrying duty. Whatever Layla's reason is for coming along - be it to help or some other purpose - Fiona is amicable enough to the other girl's presence as they walk. And aside from just a natural inclination to be friendly, there's also some motive as she asks as they're approaching the river: "So did you know Faolan before he was sent to the Skybox?"

Layla had really just wanted an excuse to get away from camp. Water, being the invaluable resource that it is, seemed a great time investment on her part. With Fiona receptive to her assistance, Layla found herself back in the wilderness that surrounded their little den of faux-civilization. The shared silence was pleasing to Layla, who instead spent her time listening to the various birds that populated the trees. That is, until she found herself on the receiving end of a question about Faolan.

Her answer is slow in coming, but when it does, it's characterized by a certain…reluctance. "I did," and she said no more. Staring forward, hands clasped behind her back, acting as if nothing had been said in the first place. Talk about pulling teeth.

A day and a half of travel one way without real rest, seeing something that is indescriable in its horror, then another day and a half travel back. Minimal sleep, not taking time to really wash or clean beyond a quick splash of water. The mud, the dirt, the road weariness, all of those Tuan is wearing along with his normal grounder type clothes. Sanity says he should rest, fall down and sleep, but after returning to Coesbur he had spent only an hour in the village before setting out towards the dropship. Whether providence or design he approaches the river along the bank as Fiona and Layla are as well from the opposite direction, coming to a stop in clear view as to try not to startle the women.

Fiona can clearly tell when a conversation isn't going to move forward, and she keeps her disapointment to herself. As they step out of the treeline toward the river, it doesn't take much to spot the Trikru man. Fiona puts her hand out as if she can somehow provide a mom-seatbelt reaction on Layla's behalf, but is quick enough to drop it while her other hand reaches for her knife. That also drops when she realizes it's, "Tuan. What are you doing here?" As if there were rules as to who's allowed to come to the river. "I mean…are you okay?" She looks to Layla, "It's okay, I know him from Coesbur."

<FS3> Layla rolls Alertness: Good Success.

Fiona's mombelt was not required, though any other time Layla would have appreciated the gesture. She stopped abreast of the other girl, luckily not walking right into her outstretched arm like a complete loon. "Ah," she says when Fiona mentions knowing Tuan from Coesbur. "I see." A little wave is given to Tuan, then. You know, to be sociable. Which wasn't her forte, obviously, but hey, She tries!

Tuan's expression does little to hide his exhaustion as he walks forward towards the girls, mustering a steady pace as he does so. When he is within only a few feet, he stops and looks first at Layla to take her in before looking back to Fiona. "Ai beda nou don come disha quickly kom see yu ba ai had kom. Ai tombom ste aching en ai cannot stand em, disha ste why ai souda speak in trigedasleng first kom yu, Fiona kom Skaikru." The words poor out of Tuan quickly, then with a breath he speaks again, sounding weary. "Fiona kom Skaikru. You must flee."

"Em laik Leilah kom Skaikru - " Fiona starts to say, gesturing toward Layla, and as Tuan runs a river of words like rapids and Fiona simply isn't adept enough to understand it. She puts out a placating hand. "Chich op slau, Tuan." There's a blink, as she studies him warily. "Why do we have to flee? We have a cease fire. Is Coesbur planning to break it?"

What was that moon speak? People spoke Murcan 'round these parts. Jokes aside, Layla just squints her confusion at Tuan as he speaks, then, her gaze swings to Fiona, clearly hoping for an explanation. Flee? Flee where, why? "Hold up a minute," Layla suddenly protests. "Fiona, ask him if he needs to be tended to. He looks dead on his feet." She wasn't going to focus too much on the idea that Coesbur might be breaking its truce. It seemed silly that any Grounder would come to warn them. But then, what did she know?

Tuan looks at Layla when she is introduced and nods his head. "It is good to meet you Lailah kom Skaikru. I can speak and understand your words well enough. I will rest when time to rest or dead." He attempts to make it sound cordial despite his overall demeanor. He looks between the two women before speaking again towards Fiona. "I have returned from where the sky fire fell." A hand lifts up to motion, the arc that the latest Ark vessel went.

He squats down on the ground and starts drawing in the river bank mud after brushing leaves away. Dots are made and he looks up towards the two. "Coesbur." He points to one dot, "Skaikru metal walls." He points to their dot. Then he draws a line to about where the site was. "Trikru takes one and a half day to get there. Skaikru take two days to get there, so Trikru get back first." Squatting there playing in the dirt, the mud, he stops from looking up at the two now, staring at the mud. "Coesbur not all Trikru. Other Trikru may come for you. Blood must have Blood."

"He can speak English," Fiona says, right aroud the time that he explains himself. There's a pause as she considers his makeshift map. Her breath catches and she looks at Layla a moment before looking back to Tuan. "And where is it that you think we can go?" she asks resignedly. "We barely have enough to keep ourselves alive as it is. We have no place else to go."

"Oh," Layla remarks when it is made clear that Tuan can speak English. Her dark eyed gaze falls to the impromptu map, and, like Fiona, there can only be a sad shake of her head. "She's right. If I'm understanding you correctly, there are more clans that aren't affiliated with those who live in Coesbur. If we run away, who is to say we won't cross into someone else's territory? Won't they just slaughter us then?" Her hands went to her hips, and her mouth became a thin slash in her face. The situation was grim.

"And there's no guarantee that the weakest among us could even set a pace that would have them outrunning people who are fitter; healthier." She points a slim finger at Tuan, then. "We don't even know the what or why for this need for blood. But I can tell you right now, whatever reason they THINK they have, we didn't have anything to do with it. An accord was struck between your people and ours. You have to speak for us to these other people."

Tuan bites his lip, looking at Layla almost apologetically before his eyes cast to Fiona. "I did not mean all of you Fiona kom Skaikru. I can take you…" Then he stops. Shoulders slouch a bit then his head shakes as he realizes the path he is on. He taps the crash site with his finger. "Here, there is… there was a Trikru village. Two of Coesbur and more in number." Tuan straightens up still looking at the dot that represented the village of around 700. "All are dead, because of Skaikru." Solemnly he looks up at Layla, then to Fiona. "Do you understand?"

Fiona takes a step back. What he's offering…"No. No, I won't leave my people, Tuan. What we need to do," she looks to Layla then, "We need to fill these water jugs, get back as fast as we can, and talk to Grey and Quinn. We need to decide what to do, how to handle this." She looks back at Tuan. "Oxfor knows that we didn't do this, right? The dropships weren't supposed to start coming down for at least a week. And it came down out of control, without thrusters. Something went wrong."

"Those Skaikru are dead, too," Layla protests. "If blood must have blood, it already has it. Do you see that? If everyone on both sides has died, then why exact further vengeance?" She wasn't yelling at Tuan, rather, she was trying to see if her line of reasoning could convince him. If one saw it, then perhaps others could as well!

"And wait a second…" It just dawned on Layla that Tuan was suggesting to Fiona that he'd be just a-okay with other delinquents being left to die. He just had a chosen few he cared to get out. Her expression became closed as she folded her arms across her chest. Still…a curt nod is given to Fiona when she says the water needs to be filled, and that they need to return. In fact, Layla moves to start doing just that.

Tuan looks at Layla when she speaks of the Skaikru dying and he shakes his head, "No Skaikru were found." He says softly to her. "We do not know your ways. Your people have told you they were to try to land? What did they say of this situation?" The expression, the sudden coldness she shows, he is not a fool despite his exhaustion and he sighs softly. "I do not know what Oxfor knows or thinks of this. I came here. I came straight here. To you, to your people to speak." He looks at Layla's retreating back and speaks. "If the Heda views this as treason, for me saying to you what I have, I will be banished."

"Well then we just won't tell the Heda, will we?" Fiona says determinedly. There's a frown and she begins unloading her water containers, intent on working as she talks. "We talked about it with Oxfor. We were planning to pick sites to land just so we wouldn't accidentally land on a village or crop fields, or someplace we weren't supposed to." There's a set to her jaw as she works. "We lost communication with the Ark. Something…something's going on up there. We don't know what. There was some kind of interference in the middle of the Unity Day broadcast and we haven't heard from the Ark since."

"Then welcome to the club, Tuan," Layla suddenly shouts from where she stands at the water's edge. One arm gestures expansively, to Fiona, to the camp beyond. "We are the Banished." Her voice has a tinge of hysteria to it, which is unusual for the typical reserved young woman. What more can you expect from a person dealing with deprivation, stress, paranoia and fear? Not to mention plain ol' depression. Even tough nuts can crack.

Fiona's determination, though? That's what brings her back. She doesn't want to yell at this stranger, this fellow human who looks to have run himself ragged on their behalf at great risk. Layla focuses on the task at hand. "I certainly won't be saying anything to whoever the Heda is. But the problem remains: we're in trouble if we stay, and we're in trouble if we go."

The words cause Tuan's brow to furrow deeply as he stops standing, stops squatting and just sits down in the grass. "You do … you cannot talk to your Ark? Something is going on?" He's not angry, but there is certainly an edge in his voice, frustration perhaps or confusion. "Not all Skaikru like Trikru." He says it flatly and definitively, it is a given afterall. "If it is an accident, someone is held responsible even in your laws, yes? An accident that kills 700 must be answered." Tuan looks at Fiona, looks at Layla's back, then back to Fiona. "I.. I do not know how Skaikru can show Trikru it has answered for this loss. Even if it is accident." The last part has just the barest hint of doubt. "I know that you know nothing about this Fiona kom Skaikru." He looks at Layla, "I believe you know nothing of it Leilah kom Skaikru. But did you not just have to punish one of your own for betrayal? Is Trikru now paying price for Skaikru politics? These are thoughts that staheda and Heda will have."

"Layla," Fiona entreats the other girl. "He's trying to help us." Looking over her shoulder at Tuan, she pauses in her work efforts to straighten up. "I don't know." she says raggedly. "I don't know how we can answer for something we're not responsible for. We had to declare ourselves part of the Ark to get Oxfor to treat with us, and now being part of the Ark may kill some or all of us. We just need time to understand what happened. The communication loss seems to be on the Ark's end, but we have to know what's going on before we can answer for anything." Fiona starts to pace back and forth, wringing her hands though her mouth is set determinedly.

"Oh, here we go," Layla all but snaps. The execution of Mags? Bit of a sore subject. The water is cold around her ankles and hands where it washes over them as she fills the containers, but Layla endures it. "Fiona, I…" Her gaze slides towards Tuan, and she decides to dispense with any sort of attempt at shielding her words. "I don't know if it's gotten back to you, yet. I spoke with Mags before her execution, and she gave me a possible name. Kai was standing guard at the time, and she recognized that name. A sergeant in the Guard." She pauses to heft one of the jugs from the river. "I don't know if this knowledge will help, if it will matter. But it's all I have."

Tuan looks between the two women and shakes his head, "I do not understand Skaikru politics. But yes, you are tied to what happens up there." He nods to the sky, looking at Fiona. "You in particular Fiona kom Skaikru. You speak for Skaikru to Staheda. So you hold great risk if…" He bites his lip then. "Oxfor negotiates for Coesbur. But this village is not Coesbur. Families of those in village are not Coesbur, not to Oxfor." His attempts to explain may be a bit rough, the difference in politics is difficult. Sky blue eyes look at Fiona as she paces. "There is no way out of this, it is why I said what I did when I came here."

Fiona continues to pace, mind working a million miles a minute. "You're saying that since I - and Morgan, and Quinn - spoke for Skaikru, we'll be expected to pay for what happened to that village." That brings her to a standstill. "Until we know exactly what to expect from Trikru, and we know exactly what's going on the Ark, there's not a whole lot we can do but prepare." To do what, exactly, she hasn't made clear.

Layla remains silent, having filled both containers. They now sat in the mud of the riverbank, and she stood not too far away from them. A sort of stoic acceptance washes over her, then, from a deep reserve that Layla often wondered must surely be close to drying up. Face death once, and facing it again becomes a little easier. At least, that was what she privately told herself. "Can you stay to rest, Tuan, or must you return to Coesbur before you are missed?"

Tuan looks up from where he was staring at the mud at his feet, looking to Fiona. "I am saying that you are the clan leaders. That your clan is your responsibility. At least in the eyes of many Trikru." His shoulders lift a bit and he starts to push himself up before stopping and resting a bit. His blue eyes look to Layla and he shakes his head, "I will be going to a place I know to rest. The journey to Coesbur is not long but it is long enough that I should not make it as I am."

"I wish you could come with us. Come rest at the dropship." Fiona stops pacing, looks down at her water jugs. "But it's probably out of your way." Looking back to Layla, her brow furrows. "I don't know if we need to explain ourselves or be prepared to fight. Maybe both."

"I'd say both," Layla replies. "But our priority now is to return to camp…" Her gaze sweeps back to Tuan, and there's something of a grimace. "I'm sorry for snapping," she tentatively puts forth. "But thank you for coming to warn us." They'd have been caught completely flat-footed, otherwise. "I hope you don't catch any flak for it."

"I will face my consequences if they come." Tuan says towards Layla, offering a polite smile to her before nodding acceptance of her apology. He looks at Fiona then, tone going softer. "It is .. not possible for me to come with you. In many ways the same as you cannot come with me." Tuan reaches down and pushes himself up off the ground slowly. "Often I am near your camp, it is one of my assignments. If you need me hang the white flowers that grow near your camp up along the wall. I will find you."

It's rare that Fiona's speechless, but she's staring at Tuan like this is the first time she's seeing him. Quickly she nods, offers him a brief, wistful smile. "Thank you." she says. Taking a breath, she adds, "May we meet again." With that, she bends to pick up her water jugs, and tilts he head toward Layla. "Ready?"

With some effort (read: extreme effort), Layla picks up her containers and gives a nod (and a little grunt that she hadn't meant to escape!) to Fiona. "Ready." There's a final look for Tuan. "'Til next time." If there is a next time.

Tuan watches the pair depart, staying where he is until turning and starting to walk, or really stagger, back to wherever it is he is going to lay low at and rest. As he does, he begins singing softly in Trigedasleng.

Fiona doesn't have as much to say on the way back to the camp. With her brow furrowed, she leans forward as she walks, as if it will continue to propel her forward while her thoughts race.

It's some time after the two young women have been walking back to camp before Layla speaks again. Asking for a break, he sets down her two water containers, wipes her forearm across her brow, and then reaches out towards Fiona's wrist - which she'll grasp if the other girl allows it. "About…about Faolan," Layla begins, her eyes on the ground before darting to Fiona's face. "We've known each other since we were little. He…he has a good heart, Fiona. I trust him with my life." There's a nod, then, a slight chewing at her lower lip, as if Layla was considering saying more, but eventually decides against it. She returns to her water, picks them back up, and resumes the trek back to camp.

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