Day 086: Lake Dredging
Summary: Pontus requests Kai's help dredging the lake while talking about family.
Date: Day Month Year
Related: None directly
Kai Pontus 

Eastern Shore, Lake Audo — The Wilderness
Surrounded by breathtaking mountains and rolling foothills, the Lake Audo— or known as Lake Arkadia the Skaikru — is a sprawling, crystalline body of water that joins the Potomac watershed. It is encompassed in low grasses and young alder trees. The forests start to thicken to the west, beyond the looming broken torus of the Skaikru's Alpha Compound on the opposite shore. The eastern shore is more grassy than forested, possessing more of a meadow in the mountain valley. The road that leads into the valley divides off, one fork leading to Camp Jaha, and the other this way toward the Trikru settlement of New Coesbur.
Day 86

There was so much building going on in New Coesbur that even the beavers looked at the Trikru and went 'Dam, son!'. As it was it was one of the younger scouts who found Kai and told her that Pontus was requesting her by the lake. It was hot and rank had its advantages. When she got there, though, there was a large metal sheet that he was hammering holes in methodically by the water's edge, and bent up at the edges making… what an oversized cookie sheet?

Kai bribed Sev into letting her back on the building roster because another day of childminding was quite possibly going to result in someone being tied to a tree.. and the Second had a feeling it might just have been her. Still, between heat and the nagging tug of her wounds she wasn't about to complain about her presence being requested. At least the Baltimore MMA Club shirt was getting life as her work shirt, the underside hem of which is lifted to wipe over her face as she comes over. The piece of metal is eyed with curiosity as she approaches, upnodding towards Pontus with the inquiry of,"You wanted me?"

Pontus explained what was going on in Pontus' true fashion. He said nothing, pointed to one of the rocks able to be employed as a hammer and the other few nails rescued and being used to punch holes in things. He gestured from her to the rock on the shore there where the thing was set up. Oh. Was she supposed to work on the other end? Helpful man. Totes helpful. Storm grey eyes squint at hers and then over all of her like he was taking inventory before taking rock and nail back to sheet metal. He didn't need words to greet people. It was the fun part about working with Scouts. The conversation was very efficient, but he did take the time to assess her condition at a glance which was both interest, giving a shit, and sparing her dignity by not bringing it up in conversation. He knew now what he needed to know.

Kai eyes him for a long moment. Rock. Nails. She doesn't just immediately set to, bur even after collecting her apparent tools eyes to see where he's placing the holes on his end. Really all things considered she's not in bad condition, everything's been seared or sewn shut, and really if she hadn't been insisting on hauling heavy stuff around it wouldn't even twinge. But well, she never was very good at taking it easy. Once she's reasonably sure of where she's supposed to put holes in the darn thing she smooths the rock over in her hand to test for weight and possibly destructive flaws before lining it up and then asking,"Like this, yeh?"

Pontus nodded and plunked holes with an easy rhythm. He didn't make her talk and in fact for a good while didn't actually say anything. There was a quiet zen to just letting people shut up and have their thoughts to themselves, and it was hot and while no Trikru would ever complain it was something they all acknowledged. Weirdly the Scouts seemed to thrive on discomfort. Cannot take from you what you do not need. When they were 80% finished he asked without looking to her, "<In Trigedasleng> They said you have no water in space, you learn to swim at all?"

Kai's content to work in silence, even if she's slower about using a rock to smack nails for the possibility of smashing her hand instead if she gets it wrong. When he does ask a question she gives a small nod of her head,"<In Trigedasleng> We had water. It was just not much. And used.. a lot." not all the words she was looking for, but really she doesn't even know if there's a word for 'recycled' in Trikru, so she goes with the next best thing she can manage,"<In Trigedasleng> I learnt to swim in the river, after we killed the snake. The lake is easier to swim in." she dips her head that way.

Pontus was taking his time finishing his work. he was no craftsman, but he got by. There was a quiet nod to let her know he heard her and after another long moment looked up and asked, "Know how long you can hold your breath for? Swim under it?" An eyebrow arched. He was up to something here.

Kai can't help but eye him for that question,"<In Trigedasleng> No idea." she grunts,"<In Trigedasleng> Mostly only done it for bathing. Don't need to hold breath for that." she's curious, obviously, given the arch of her brow as she regards him,"<In Trigedasleng> What is this for anyways?"

Pontus arched one tattooed eyebrow and chuckled, "Well that too depends." He could think of three solid reasons one would need that skill. One still was that crazy shit lived in the water and he didn't elaborate on the other reasons that came to mind. At the question he looked up and a rare, wry grin creased his scarred face from one ear to… well only half of his face creased into a smile, the more scared half was left faintly sinister, but that was more circumstance than any reasons of his own. He answered simply, "We're gonna go see what's at the bottom of the lake, Kai." Ooh exploring mission

"<In Trigedasleng> Oh, so we are going to get eaten by snakes." the aplomb with which the Second utters it is certainly in the tone of wry and not seemingly particularly concerned about the idea,"<In Trigedasleng> Khesu said the big one's like the deeper water. And I think Sev? Was gathering some kind of water weeds out there at some point? But.. healers." she shrugs her shoulders,"<In Trigedasleng> But why this thing, then?" she asks of him with a tap of the metal.

Pontus paused and looked entirely bewildered as if trying to come up with something and then just went back to work eyeing her with a doubting suspicion. "There's another way to spend an afternoon? Get up, feed horse, prep gear, dig hole, build house in hole, have lunch, get chased through water by wild snake trying to kill us, get our face torn off, heal up for dinner, turn in. I wasn't aware we were missing something in the daily routine. Well-" He paused and tilted his head to the side tap tap tapping holes. "Not since the Azgeda deprived us of them being our enemy for the time being." Treeboy shrugged and was simply amused by the truths of the crazy shit that sprung up regularly in their day.

Kai chuckles,"<In Trigedasleng> So that is where I am going wrong. Too many men and not enough getting my face torn off by snakes." she grins broadly,"<In Trigedasleng> You think they are dumb enough to turn against the Coalition?" she.. possibly doesn't sound upset about it, curious, more than anything. She eyes her work and judges that maybe she's done, raising her tools and eyeing him in silent inquiry.

Pontus paused. His hands came to a full stop and he thought about that question. When it came to tactics he wasn't Wren. His brother-and-friend always had the more tactical mind of knowing how any one thing can affect overall outcome. Pontus' specialty came in the form of how can we survive right now and get what we need. It was an entirely different sort of cleverness that never really factored politics from the moment to moment basis of things. The scared Scout's lips pressed together and he glanced around before he at all answered her. Quietly he rasped, "They were late to the battle. Not the first time. I seen em. They say to know your enemy you must meet him in battle to really know who they are. Being late to the Mountain? Makes no sense to me. Makes no sense at all."

Kai's curse is that tactics are as natural to her as breathing, so she can't help but assess situations based upon the information she has and can extrapolate. She tilts her head as she watches him silently, grunting acknowledgment,"<In Trigedasleng> Two of them were insulting and chose to attack Sev, at the Mountain. Britt and I caught them in Tondc. They seemed.. full of themselves. And though they were happy to take on a healer, I had to imply they had injured one another while faking to look for Reapers to get one to try and punch me." she itches absently at her cheek,"<In Trigedasleng> I know there is no love lost. Rinnan has her collection of ears, I have heard about the wars with their kru. But I know very little about them overall."

Pontus frowned and said with a shake of his head "<In Trigedasleng> Never waste a good healer. Without them no one gets out alive." Having lived in that war for two years and before and after he studied her words. While Kai and Wren studied events, he was very curious in persons. The expression was still. "That so." More a statement than a question. He went back to discussing the art of trolling though, "Big things eat smaller things which eat… well something. We are going to find that something and see what value there is in it. Sometimes good things left in the bottom of the water waiting to be found. Never know. Alpha dropped a lot of pieces on its way in."

"<In Trigedasleng> Right? That is why Britt and I beat them. Though apparently Indra was not happy about it." the Second grimaces,"<In Trigedasleng> I was not going to let Britt fight them alone though." she shrugs her shoulders as her attention goes to the lake, nodding her head for his words,"<In Trigedasleng> Lots of pieces of the Ark around, the Farm fell in Azgeda lands." which does worry her, at least a little, even if she's not exactly hopping on a horse to ride out there.

Pontus pursed his lips thoughtfully letting Kai do all of the talking. He wasn't even waiting for her to be done, but letting her share the details in her own way and drawing his own image of the event. He considered and offered to her, almost reverently, "Indra may not like it, but it is the core of our people. We will survive anything and anyone. We do not watch one another fight alone. We do not stand idle while there is war to do. Up north the ice turns cold and drowns us all. it has few loyalties and at most you can work with it, but it never works with you. Where we come from? Everything works together. One wood. While I respect them as my enemy I would not be quick to trust them as a friend. We will see where this goes. But you did well. Britt would do the same for any of us. She deserves our respect to not make her stand alone." It seems that decision won her another brownie point from the older Scout.

"<In Trigedasleng> She did, in fact." Kai confirms,"<In Trigedasleng> Sonia's people offered to send three of theirs peacefully, if she would leave me with the other five. She refused. In the end five died. And one only survived to be turned over to the Skaikru because of Sev." she smiles wryly,"<In Trigedasleng> But she has my respect. In fact, all of the kru do. Azgeda so far seem like a lot of hot air.. probably to keep them warm up there." she pauses before adding with a gesture at the metal piece,"What are these holes for? How do we use this thing?" she inquires of him.

Pontus tilted his head to teh side and confessed, "Fought with Sonia. Definitely different from Indra's lead I'll say that." More things he never talks about apparently. From the faint expression there seemed to be a deep contrast though he never commented on what he did with them. The side of his thumb rubbed at the side of his cheek to capture a bead of sweat off of it and he brought hand gestures to explain the concept. "We find where the shells live down there. Scoop. the holes let the water and sand fall through. Anything worth bothering with stays in the pan."

"<In Trigedasleng> Fought her people. Not her. Her home one was the one who was leading the traitors." Kai grunts quietly, from the lack of reaction in her probably assuming he means at some point other than the fight at skaigeda itself, though she ahs softly for his words,"<In Trigedasleng> How do we find where the shells live?" she hasn't put much thought into things like simply opening your eyes under water. She continues to regard the water, asking,"<In Trigedasleng> What else do we need?"

Pontus opened his expression into one of genuine amusement and laughed, "You just go look. Depending on where you swim? Can burn your eyes. Other places not bad at all. You get used to it. You hold your breath, swim down there, and look. What we don't want to do is go too far down. We ain't Podakru. They can go deep-down for a while. Water is strong there. Pulls you in. No armour. Too heavy."

It's logical, and yet at the same time it's the potential for eyesearing pain that makes Kai eye him curiously,"Burning eyes sounds bad." she grunts wryly,"How deep is it, do you think? And usually I don't swim in my armor.. are we going to need to?" always best to ask and risk looking silly than not and drown yourself, or something.

Pontus looked down at himself and tilted his head summing up an idea of it. Over my head in some places. Well over my head in others towards that end it looks like. More towards the middle from my swim the last few days. I like knowing what is living around me. Also if we can take out the larger things in there we have more fish that can build up and that… may help us out some because there's a lot of folks on this lake."

"<In Trigedasleng> Last snake, there was a lot of us, and we were on the bank, we baited it and four of us anchored it and dragged it to shore so that the others could stab it. A lot." Kai pauses,"<In Trigedasleng> That was just before Unity Day." though the last two words obviously get said in Gonasleng,"<In Trigedasleng> feels like a life ago." there's a wry smile,"So what is the Trikru way of doing it?"

Pontus grinned and said with some amusement, "<In Trigedasleng> Wait for some Skaikid to fall in and land on it and take it out?" Jackass. There was a half-impish grim that somehow waited to get slugged for that one. The rest was curious though and his head tilted to the other side, last of the holes in the pan. "<In Trigedasleng> What is Unit E Day?"

Kai reaches over to swat him even as she drawls,"<In Trigedasleng> Depends, do I get to pick who?" with widened eyes that aren't nearly as innocent as she's trying to pretend, rising to her feet in order to peel off her shoes in the assumption that's the next step,"Unity." she corrects,"<In Trigedasleng> It means.. all together. It is a party for the day all the sky crews joined their villages together to make the sky city. That is the day we lost contact. And my other father died."

Pontus chuckled and said "Sure. Why not. Not Morgan though. I dig that one. Actually, he's supposed to bring his Niron over to learn about some family customs." Pontus socialized with Skaikru now? Wow anything was possible this year. The history lesson had him leaning forward with elbows on his knees taking in the details carefully. "<In Trigedasleng> Your villages made their own coalition? That how you got a Skaikruheda?"

"Good." is Kai's opinion on that,"<In Trigedasleng> His lover is one I consider a brother. At skaigeda, we were matched in blade skill." she pauses,"<In Trigedasleng> We yelled, because he is too interested in technology. But if he changes his mind, he would make a very good scout with time." is her opinion on that, considering her usual reticence about Skaikru and combat skill, perhaps high praise indeed from her. There's a dip of her head,"<In Trigedasleng> Many years ago. Before my father was born. The story goes that long ago when the land was on fire, the stations flew through space all alone. Then one day, Mir floated by Shenzhen, and they realized life would be better together. The others saw this, and they wanted to be together, too. When all the stations were formed, they called themselves the Ark." there's a cadence to the way she says it combined with a flatness of tone that suggests that although she has to think of the Treeslang words to use where possible, that it's something she's probably heard since she was old enough to remember,"<In Trigedasleng> Alpha was one of the stations." she gestures in it's direction,"It was made by America. Which is what this land used to be called once."

Pontus shook his head, "Morgan's a healer. Can't afford to be Scout too. Too valuable." Or maybe she meant Cameron, but the clarity was blurred there. He listened to her fable of the past with a curious attention rarely seen in Trikru. The present was too dangerous a place to worry about what was and no longer fell relevant, but keeping the past was an odd habit in his family, and the stories still interested him anwyas. "Huh." He looked around arching an eyebrow. "Land has many names. Podakru have 7 names for water. Azgeda more for when it is cold. Interesting.

Pontus considered, "<In Trigedasleng> So Unity day is the day the Skai-coalition was formed then?"

"Cameron." Kai notes with a grunt,"Morgan can fight. He can defend himself, but he's not Cameron. Cameron managed to cross back over the blockade, alone, avoiding all of Sonia's people. There are a few, very few, who I feel would make good warriors if they ever decided to join the Trikru.. Cameron specifically would make a good scout." she opines,"And yes. It has had many names. I remember that one because I was born on Alpha, and a lot of the history of my family comes from the before time of this land. But in the end, it was sort of it's own coalition of kru's. That, I feel, is the natural way of things for people."

Pontus says, "It's hard to survive on our own. Harder anyways. No one person can be strong in everything. Wren is no healer. I am no farmer. Sev is not going to survive in Reaper territory on his own for a day. It's why we form tribes. I think it's entirely natural thing to recognize the strengths in others. Stronger for all. Strong survives. As for Cameron? Heh, maybe. Maybe. You know how hard it is. As a Scout second? You're dropped on your ass in teh middle of nowhere and you survive or you die. And that is where it starts.""

"It is. And that is part of what I admire about the kru. In some ways, the Skaikru behave the same, but in other ways.. it became.. wrong. Being down here, they have a chance to see and hopefully become a stronger kru in time than they are now." Kai shrugs slightly and then smirks,"You know me. And I know him. And I tell you that if he chose to become Trikru, he would be one who would make a fine Scout in time."

Pontus tilted his head and pressed his toes into the bank of damp earth around the rock and considered that without comment for a bit thinking on it before nodding. "Accepted." There was a trust that she had earned from him and in that was willing to give her the benefit of doubts and not argue the point. "<In Trigedasleng> That'd be a hell of a thing. Rain tells me you're not terrible with the children of the village. It's… a weird thing to adjust to. Important though. We build our village for them. We are their example. It's good practice. If you can be a hero in the eyes of a child you can do anything. That is what brings you the fuck home. Makes a difference."

"<In Trigedasleng> Granted, I think there would probably be a lot of kicking his ass between the decision and earning his place in the kru. He likes to argue even more than I do." Kai smirks lopsidedly, only to grimace when children come up,"<In Trigedasleng> I am pretty sure Wren assigned me to watch them, because we spoke about the Maunon children." she opines,"But they are excellent training in situational awareness and biological agents." she adds drily,"I think male warriors have the advantage, there. Even if I retain the ability to have children once I am capable of being fertile, I cannot say that I consider the idea of pregnancy to be of any interest to me."

Pontus said only to her with confusion, "Scouts don't talk." He listened to the summary and said staunchly, "I'm gonna find out if that kid survived. I should do that." He thought about ti and rubbed his jaw. "So don't get pregnant. I didn't." He paused and was going to elaborate and clarify the point, biology aside, and decided it really didn't need to be. She was clever and would get to the point of it.

"Hence why I said probably a lot of kicking his ass." Kai notes,"There was a lot of children in the locked down area. They are still working on reducing the risk of infection from donors to attempt to heal them so that they will be able to leave that place without dying." she then smirks wryly,"As I said.. male warriors have the advantage there. But I mentioned to Wren that it had crossed my mind to adopt one of the children. But given my age, having no houmon, and being a Second.. it would likely be.. difficult, even without the added complication of it being a Maunon child."

Pontus blinked at her and boggled. "Why would be difficult at all?" He seemed to understand why none of those factors would factor into it. "I was younger than you. I had no houmon. Many of us don't have one. Being a second? Yeah I can see that. That's a hurdle. We got Peake though. Shit, I left for a total of 3 years. I happens. Kids know that."

Kai can't help but snort,"Yes, Pontus, but you are you, and I am not you." she slides a look his way with a lopsided smirk,"It's not fair to claim such a responsibility and then dump it on grandma Peake, especially when she is already pregnant. And could be mitigated if I did have a houmon, which, well, isn't going to happen, so is neither here nor there. But yes.. who knows how long it will be until Wren will actually consider me ready to be released? As it is I'm going to be a Second far longer than most, it feels like."

Pontus held up a finger, "Yes and no. I was a Second from… he counted quickly on fingers trying to balance out when. "I was nine. I was released at seventeen. So like 8 years a second. Kinda long but there was some stuff going on and being a Scout isn't just standing there looking impressive with projectiles. Wren was ten and got out around the same time. So like 7-8 years. You started later and have been a second a very short time. You wnat to be a first? Do it. Don't argue it though, let your actions speak for you and you will never have to be the one to raise your voice. My first pointed that out to me when I was… I don't even remember. Doesn't matter."

"You realize, that if I am a Second for eight years.. that I will be twenty six before I am released. When most are eighteen or so. When Wren spoke with Oxfor he said I was uncontrolled and undisciplined. That I was reckless, had no sense of family, and a sense of inferiority. None of what he said referenced my skill or ability, and I do not consider myself to be those things.. so how am I meant to prove that I am not a thing I am already not?"

Pontus chuckled and shook his head. "Not saying that it'll take 8 years. Just saying that you've been a second for a very short time and you've accomplished much in that short time. Don't be too hard on yourself. Just continue to be. I used to put a lot of thought into that growing up. I was pretty reckless honestly. My First told me those years would be valuable. You need them for experience. To develop leather skin. So I got started. Of course along the way you stop thinking about being tough and being a first and all that. It stops being the point. You get past the silliness of it all. But then, after, you realize that's what you are. You can survive and more so? You are now good for the understanding of what it takes to be responsible for the life of another.."

"No, I have been a Trikru Second for a very short time, while the Guard and Warriors are not the same thing, I did not come without training or experience." Kai points out with a nod towards the water,"All I have to go upon is the words that my First spoke to the steheda. Most of which I do not feel are accurate, and some of which do not have relevance as to my ability as a Warrior. I have already been responsible for the lives of others.. that is why I sought out Indra when Sonia had skaigeda surrounded." she shakes her head and purses her lips,"But we have a task you wished to complete, and it is pointless to complain."

Pontus leaned forward and rest his elbows on his knees where he sat squinting at her intently with sharp, dark grey eyes. "Kai?" H e waited for her to gather her thoughts. "You know what i'm going to tell you right?" A tattooed eyebrow ridge arched patiently.

Kai just grunts, casting an eye over towards him silently as she waits, choosing to rock forward onto the balls of her feet before settling down again, as if the small stretch might have any kind of relevance to wading or diving in water.

Pontus just stared at her in that hawk-like, unnerving way Scouts do when they perch. That was rarely good for anyone else. He said in a quiet rasp, "Let your actions prove him wrong, not your words. Words can be argues, actions cannot. You can do this." Which might have been a bit odd. one might think Wren the diplomat, to be the softer hand in this, not the mercenary. Sometimes it was the way it need to be.

Kai bobs her head briefly in acknowledgment despite the grimace that accompanies it,"Likelihood of us really encountering a snake down there? And if so, what should I do?" she elects to ask instead.

Pontus gave her the answer she needed, not the one she wanted to hear. The only way she was going to prove them wrong was to be contrary to the claims against her though discipline of action. It was not at all the easy answer. Either way he didn't seem to take her state of being as a sentence to last for forever, though he could commiserate. He looked at teh water and said to her with a deadpan tone, but a faint grin, "Throw a Skaikid at it." Oh we were back to that again. He slapped a hand to her shoulder and stood up. "We get attacked we do the same thing we always do. We win." He paused and said with a grimace of his won, "Without getting Silver mad at either of us this time." He nodded and grabbed the sieve to take with them.

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