Day 082: Meeting Mom
Summary: Britt goes to Camp Jaha to meet Katherine, Kai's mother.
Date: Day Month Year
Related: Happy Birthday Kyler indirectly
Britt Katherine 

Western Shore, Lake Arkadia — The Wilderness
Surrounded by breathtaking mountains and rolling foothills, the Lake Arkadia — or known as Lake Audo to the Trikru — 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, where the rocky peaks of this small mountain range poke up out of the groves of hemlock and cedar. Following along a newly flattened path is the road to Camp Jaha. The Skaikru city is what remains of the crashed Alpha station. The enormous ring stands vertical some many hundred feet in the air, and it has already begun to be salvaged for materials.
Day 82

Britt had arrived at Jaha on horseback. It wasn't a far walk, by Britt's standards, but her side is still bugging her so she decided to take it easy. The horse is tied to a tree a little ways back from the gate, near the remains of the Trikru camp. Britt had walked up to the gate and asked the guards to pass along a message to "Something-with-a-K Adams… Kai Adams' mother. Please tell her that Kai is fine, but I would like to speak to her if she is willing." And then she found a rock to sit on within view of the gate. Waiting patiently to see if the other woman is interested in talking.

It takes a while, for Katherine to come; the older woman's brunette hair is streaked with sun and traces of white older than her forty-something years would suggest, and though like her daughter her complexion lends itself to a comfortable tan more than scorching red, the addition of it has only make the wrinkles she's starting to develop all the more obvious. In a sweater clearly too large for her and some jeans the electronics tech comes to the gate hesitantly, tucking a stray lock of her hair behind her ear and peering through the gates as she waits for it to open,"I.. hi? I'm.. Katherine Adams. Kyler's mother?" she offers the redheaded archer as she approaches cautiously.

Britt rises respectfully when she sees the woman approaching, just a faint wince creasing her eyes as she does so. "Thank you for coming. I wasn't sure that you would. I am Britt kom Trikru. I am…" she hesitates, knowing the title will mean nothing to the Skaikru woman. "The leader of the warriors in New Coesbur. Kai is one of my warband now, and also my friend. She is well," she reiterates, just in case that part of the message got lost when the guards were playing whisper-down-the-lane.

"I know, she.. came by yesterday." Katherine says with a brief flash of a smile,"You.. came by with her, the other day, didn't you? I didn't see you, but they mentioned a redhead.. and you're.. you're injured, too, aren't you?" the slender woman comes over and hesitantly offers,"You should sit, do you need some help? I'm Katherine.. some people call me Kathy. She.. she didn't mention, being a warrior.. but I.. guessed. From the.. scars.. and those.. men, your people brought in."

Britt nods slightly. "I didn't realize she had come. But I am glad to hear it. How would you like me to call you?" she wonders when Katherine offers multiple choices. She's never sure with Skaikru. "I am called just Britt. But yes, we brought the renegades here the other day with one of our other warriors. They were the ones that killed your guards. That is where we were injured. We are both all right, though." She does sit down, but this time on the ground, leaving the rock for Katherine should she want it. She tries to find a comfortable position to sit in.

"Oh?" Katherine gives a brief laugh,"She's always been.. bad about that. Her father was, too." when Britt sits on the ground, so does Katherine, studying the other woman with searching eyes,"Just call me Kathy, Britt. She mentioned friends over there. As the leader, I imagine that.. you must be very skilled.. it's.. it's good that she has friends like you. And.. thank you.. for bringing them in? I imagine the Chancellor and the Council already thanked you, but… still. We weren't sure what to think. Things have been.. so unsettled here it's been hard to adjust to. And then finding out that Kyler was alive but had chosen to.. to leave. Without even.. talking to us. I wasn't sure what to think at first." she worries at her bottom lip briefly,"I.. it must be dangerous work? My husband.. her father.. he was a Guard, I don't know if she told you, but I don't know that they would really.. qualify as warriors. Certainly Tyler never came home with.. injuries like that. I think the worst was the time he got a bruised rib in a riot."

Britt could go with the modest route, but she figures that honesty might be more reassuring. "I am an archer. I began my training as a Second - an apprentice, I think you would call it - when I was twelve. So I have a lot of experience." She nods a little. "We were only doing our duty, but you're welcome. She told me that her father was a guard, and that you were a maker of security things. It can be dangerous, yes. We have faced true wars, and I understand the Skaikru have not. But with the Mountain defeated, and a truce with your people, I hope that we have seen the last of fighting for some time." She hesitates for a moment, then ventures. "I know that many Skaikru do not think much of my people. I can imagine what worry that may cause you. I thought… perhaps if I spoke to you…" She trails off with a sort of what-can-you-do gesture of her hand.

"When you were twelve. My goodness. And with a bow and arrows. I.. forgive me, it's amazing and at once.. hard to imagine, for me." Katherine dips her head briefly,"A.. maker of security things.. I suppose that's.. a fair enough description. I saw the injured come back from the Mountain, and I've.. heard the stories, from the others. Kyler said that you can't trust the stories, but she.. didn't.. say much, about that sort of thing. I think.. she doesn't want to worry me." there's a brief ripple of laughter,"Which I thought it was my job to protect her from. Do you have children, Britt?"

Britt nods to Katherine's amazement. "We do not allow Seconds into battle that young, but that is when we begin our training. I do not know the stories you've heard, but I will not lie - the Mountain was a brutal fight. But it is behind us now." She shakes her head, a sad smile showing briefly. "No, I have no children of my own. My path was always with the warband. And I'm sure Kai did not wish to worry you with details, but I think perhaps also that means you do not know of her accomplishments. She organized the defenses or the 100's camp, and was one of those who met with our clan kruheda - our chieftain - to broker the truce between the Trikri and Skaikru. Against the Mountain, she was with the group that discovered the way in, and helped to plan the attack." There's a note of fond pride in her voice. "She was with the group that captured their leader."

"Our children, usually they start at fourteen. Though most of them learn from their parents, younger than that.. if it's something they're interested in. I always wanted Kyler to go into electronics.. but no, she was always her father's daughter in that regard." there's a tiredness to the smile that Katherine gives as she listens, the worry clear enough on her face for all that she nods,"I'm grateful to you, for telling me. I've been.. imagining the worst. The guards in particular, I guess they thought they were honoring Tyler's legacy, but they were.. unkind, in what they had to say of the Tree Crew. Not all of them, not Lionel, he has spoken of the respect that he bears for your warriors, and has said before that Kyler was okay, even if he wouldn't tell me.. the details." it flickers again as she brushes some of her hair back behind her ear and pushes up the sleeves of her sweater with a small shake of her head,"She did not mention those things, no.. but that's.. amazing. I.. can't say I wouldn't prefer she stay home where it's safe, but I.. I'm glad to know, that if this is the path she wants to walk, that at least she has good people looking out for her. She mentioned that they.. you, had been trying to get her to come and talk to me for a while now. It has been.. years.. since we've spoken much. With Tyler dead and her.. gone. I just.. wasn't sure what to do with myself."

"Lionel is a good man as well," Britt says when the guard is mentioned. "I am glad to have either of them stand by my side. Kai is one of the more promising Seconds I have seen." And she's seen a lot. Seeing that worry, Britt offers the other woman a sympathetic look. "I may not have children, but I know the worry that comes when a loved one goes into battle. The waiting and wondering, imagining the worst. She walks a hard path, but she has proven that she can take care of herself." Her jaw works a little there, restrained sadness seeping through. "I cannot promise she will always be safe. No one can. But I promise I will will guard her life with my own. And so will her First. He is a good man, a strong warrior."

"A Second.. that is a trainee? Would it be equivalent to our cadets?" Katherine asks quietly, giving a sad kind of smile for Britt's words,"Thank you. It's not something that I would.. or should, ask of you, but that's at least.. something. It feels.. so strange, to hear about her life and know so little about it. I still see her, as a child. It seems like only yesterday that she was worried about boys and bra's and whether she was going to fit in with her peers.. and now it's.. war.. and injuries.. and helping bring in dangerous criminals. And I would still rather know than not know."

Britt nods. "Yes, I think they are similar to the cadets. An apprentice, in training. Among the Trikru, you start off as a Second when you are about twelve, and usually finish when you're eighteen, though some take longer. Then you take your place as a full member of the clan. I was my uncle's second. The man who took on Kai as Second is named Wren. Kai lives with his family - his parents and his brother and sister." A corner of her lips quirks up when Katherine mentions yesterday. "She is still young, still worried about fitting in, but in a different way now. Boys, well… I think that is one constant among girls in both our peoples."

"Goodness." Katherine offers quietly,"I imagine that Kyler has quite the path ahead of her then. A man named Wren, you say? She gave me.. no names. Just let me know she was okay and that she had.. a different kind of family, out here. That is.. going to take some getting used to. The thought of siblings. Of larger family's. If I were younger and Tyler still alive.. perhaps, but.." she sighs,"the people that took the second ship. The one that destroyed a village? As I understand it? They set off a bomb up there, and many people, including my husband and the former Chancellor's son, died in the explosion." her expression falters briefly before she laughs softly,"Is it.. common then, for the Seconds to shave their heads like that? And does she.. have a boyfriend? I thought.. as long as she and Elias were together that I could at least be certain she was still alive, but I understand that they aren't together anymore."

"I am sorry for your husband," Britt says with genuine sympathy. "And yes, that ship crashed into a village -Thripoda - and killed seven hundred of our people. There are many who blame your people for that. It is what brought our peoples to war. If it weren't for Kai and Feyona and Elias negotiating with the kruheda, our warband would have wiped out the 100's camp, and then your ark as well when it landed. Your… Chancellor… promised that he would deliver those responsible for the dropship if we delivered those responsible for killing your guards." She shakes her head a little to the question about the hair, puzzled. "No, Trikru can wear their hair how they wish it. It is not really my place to speak of her love life," Britt says with an apologetic half-smile. Then she turns more serious. "I promise that if she should fall in battle, I will tell you. So you needn't worry about that."

Katherine gives a small smile of acknowledgment for the sympathy, expressing her own with,"I am sorry for your village. It was our people, ultimately. Though they were rebels, they were still part of the Ark. The old chancellor, Jaha, promised that once we were here, that there would be elections held, and the entire council replaced. I'm.. I'm not sure what they were thinking, really. They blew up the Unity Day celebration and killed a lot of our people, including the former Chancellor's son, and then stole the dropship. Only, it wasn't properly detached, so when it tried to leave the Ark.. it tore it apart." she pauses,"Not that it excuses, what happened, to your village, or your people, not at all. Just that it.. we've had troubles, up there, sure. But enough to blow people up? To try and kill the rest of us? It was.. unimaginable to us. And having seen those who were unlucky.. my heart breaks for all those who lost people in Treepoda." she's trying, at least, though she can't help but press the sleeve of her sweater to her mouth as she listens,"I had.. heard that. I think that's why the guard was so adamant about the wall when we first arrived. I'm afraid I don't know anything about the hunt for the rest of the conspirators, but I am certain that Chancellor Kane will stand by his promise." there's that wobbly kind of smile again,"I just.. is she happy, there? Really? I mean.. I suppose she must be, she didn't seem interested in coming.. home, at all, but I just.. it's so hard for me to picture, even now. But… thank you. Hopefully it wont.. wont come to that. I don't want to outlive my daughter, Britt.. it has been hard enough, in the last couple of months since Tyler passed. I just.. want her to be safe and happy."

Britt listens quietly to Katherine speaking of the Ark troubles. "It was not clear to us at first, whether the dropship had been an accident or an attack. Those renegades that we brought back - they were part of a warband led by a woman who was from Thripoda. Many of their comrades were killed at the 100's camp, before the ceasefire. That is why they killed your guards. But in doing so they broke the heda's truce, and so they must be punished." At the last bit, Britt looks apologetic. "No parent should outlive their child. I'm sorry if saying that upset you. I only meant… I didn't wish for you to be always wondering if she was alive and well." As for the rest… "She has had a hard road since she came to the Ground. But she seems… it seems as though being a warrior was the life she was born to. I hope that she will find happiness there, once things are not so much life or death every other day." Perhaps not the answer Katherine was hoping for, but it's the best that honest Britt can offer.

Katherine blinks a couple of times, her surprise and confusion obvious as she opens her mouth and then finally goes,"I.. imagine things are very different down here on the ground. I've heard them talk about missiles but.. I suppose it would be quite different to see that sort of thing, and to know the people who were killed by it. What happened to those guards seemed.. monstrous.. it frightened me, but I am.. glad to know that it was not your people but.. rebels. I truly wish such people wouldn't resort to death for their own ends.. whether ours on the Ark, or those down here." there's a shake of her head, hasty enough to cause her hair to slide back into her face,"No, no, it's.. better to know. I just.. wish she was happy to stay safe. And she did seem.. healthier. Stronger. More certain of herself, and if I have you and this Wren and others to thank for that, I can only be grateful. Kyler wasn't always a difficult child. She was an old soul even when she was young, but it wasn't until.. after Elias was arrested by her father that she became.. resentful and angry.. and she.. wasn't. When she came. I have learnt with Kyler that it is the small things, she's just as Adams as her father was in that regard."

"The Mountain destroyed villages like that, as punishment for my people using guns. So it seemed at first that it was something like that. I cannot speak for all Trikru, but I think most in Coesbur, at least, believe that it was your own rebels responsible, and do not blame you all for it. But yes, I agree with you. I have seen enough death for two lifetimes." A sad frown is offered there. Britt then listens to the rest quietly, before nodding. "She was already strong when she came to us. I think she has just found her confidence. I take no credit for that, though. That must go to Wren's teaching, and more to Kai herself."

"I don't know how much you know about our history.. when the world.. when it burned, there were twelve stations up there, from different parts of the world. And at first, they were all separate. But we.. they, chose to come together.. to make one ship. One Ark. One people. I imagine that.. this Mountain.. at least, something like it.. might have been the path that might have come if our people had not decided to join together. I understand that the mountain did horrible things to your people, and our children. And I cannot help but be grateful that it is no longer a threat. Thanks to you and the others." Katherine offers quietly,"But seeing you, and seeing that you are a good person with a good heart, it helps. I think as long as my Kyler is around people like you that she will be okay. While it's not the life I would choose for her, it's.. she's doing what she wants to. And I have to be okay with that, for her."

"I have heard a little, but I still don't know much about your people, or your ark. Only what Kai has told me, mostly." Britt smiles faintly when Katherine says she has a good heart, but then grows more serious. "Thank you. There are some among the Skaikru, particularly the 100, who hate me for having fought against them at skaigeda — at their dropship camp," she clarifies. "It was before the ceasefire. I did not wish to fight them - Wren and I were among those who had helped Kai and the others get to our kruheda to talk peace." Britt's lips press together in an unhappy line. "But I answered the kruheda's call to war, and I don't fault them for being angry about that. So I try to avoid your people, for the most part, to avoid causing more bad blood." There's a slight pause, and then she offers, "It is not my place to invite you to our village. I do not doubt Kai's care for you, but I think she is still leery of things that remind others that she was born Skaikru. But know that when she is ready to have you there, you are welcome. In the mean time, if you have need to contact me, you may send word through Feyona."

Katherine isn't even going to try and pronounce skaigeda,"I heard what happened to those who did not go to fight, though I'm… not sure I understand it. They were cut? For refusing to fight? I don't know your justice system.. or what… happened, in that regard. They are our children, and I am fortunate that mine is among the survivors. But I know that there are many who are angry still, and angry at Kyler, too, for that matter. I.. wont ask you to explain it.. I'm not sure that it could make sense to me if you did. But if I know my daughter as well as I believe I do, if she can forgive you, then I am not going to hold the past against you, either." she worries at her bottom lip with her teeth,"Could I do that? Visit? Do you think? I.. tried to see what I could from the wall, earlier, but from here it looks.. so small, still. And yes, I don't know the councilor very well, I confess I was surprised when the Chancellor named her to his council, even as a non-voting member.. but I will, certainly do so." carefully the tech rises and offers her hand to help Britt rise also,"Next time, perhaps, you can come in, and have tea with me. I know what you said about avoiding, but.. someone has to try, right?"

Britt gives a slow nod. And although Katherine didn't ask for an explanation, she gets an attempt at one instead. "We are honor bound to follow our leaders, whether we agree with them or not. Those who disobeyed the kruheda's call to war were punished for it. Your people do the…" She searches for the word that she's heard, and eventually comes up with it. "The shock lashing. Pain as punishment. Mine do the same, only with a blade. Not deep, not enough to injure with just a few of them. But enough to remember." After a beat, she notes, "Wren is one who was punished for not fighting. He is a man of strong principles. Kai is in good hands with him." To the question about the village, she nods again. "Of course you could. But yes, we are still building so it is small right now." She accepts the offered hand up, smothering a wince as she does so. Then she offers a rueful smile to the last. "It may be too soon still. Last time I walked in Jaha, someone tried to kill me. But someday I would like to, Kathy. Thank you."

"Really? Doesn't that become confusing when they change?" Katherine asks,"The Chancellor and his council, they can set forth and alter laws, and we are required to follow the law or we'll be.. punished for breaking them. With shock-lashing, now, yes. On the Ark they were sentenced to die instead. I would.. like to meet this Wren, I think, if he would be willing to meet with me? Could you.. would you ask him? I would.. like to get to know Kyler's.. people. Her friends. It might.. help to make things easier for me to understand. Perhaps I can bring tea out to share, sometime, instead. Though I am certain that the Chancellor would not let you be harmed."

"Change?" Then Britt remembers something that she heard once. "Oh. Our leaders do not change like yours. They lead for life. And we have laws too." The mention of the Ark laws gets a little nod. "It always struck me strange that there were those among your people who would condemn us for punishing with cuts crimes that they would punish with death." She shakes her head in confusion before moving on. "I will ask him. And you're right - the Chancellor has offered us safety in Jaha. That did not stop two of your people from coming after me with a knife the last time I was there." Despite her frown, Britt doesn't seem too angry about it. Just resigned. "But they were punished, so perhaps that is enough to discourage others. At any rate, I would be glad to share tea sometime, even if it's out here. It was good to finally meet you."

Katherine blinks a couple of times,"I… can't even pretend to imagine that. A bad leader could do so much harm, but at least where they are replaced, it's not.. an entire lifetime's worth of harm. But, I can hardly fault what works for your people. As to why.. I suppose because hurting another was considered such a crime in and of itself.. it's almost.. incomprehensible.. to inflict deliberate harm upon another in such a fashion. But, down here.. most of those same crimes we punish with the lash, instead. So I suppose I can see where it would seem.. strange. I was never among the guard, but I know it weighed heavily on Tyler, having to float people. It was an unpleasant business. Necessary, but unpleasant." she steps back with a nod of her head,"Thank you, for asking him. And I am certain, that they would make sure you are safe. We are not used to being an armed society. We weren't allowed to have.. knives or that sort of thing, up there. Some people I think mistake having weapons for having power. I don't.. carry a knife. I don't see the need for it, but I watch the young people in particular and it seems like most of them prefer to go armed these days." she shakes her head and folds her arms before her,"It was good to meet you too, Britt. Please, be careful. It.. seems like you should be resting. So I thank you all the more for making the effort to come and see me."

Britt squints a little at the incomprehensibility of cutting compared to death. She still doesn't get that one no matter how many times Skaikru try to explain it to her. So she just lets it go. "A bad leader can be replaced, but they are chosen for merit so it's rare." Britt smiles a little at Katherine's concern, touching the knives at her belt. "I am not worried for my safety, Kathy. I can look after myself, as I did that day." OK, with a tiny bit of help from Fiona and the guard after that suckerpunch. "I just don't want to be the cause of more strife between our people." She starts to move back to the horse. "I can only take so much resting before I go mad, so this was a welcome distraction."

There's a laugh from Katherine,"We like to think ours are too, but sometimes they don't quite live up to their promises." she dips her head in acknowledgment, a motion Kai clearly picked up from her,"I can understand that. And thank you again.. I should.. get back. One of the doors was on the fritz and they asked me to take a look at it. Until we meet again, Britt."

Britt actually smirks at that too. "Well, ours aren't always perfect either." *cough*Oxfor*cough* "Be well, Kathy." And then she's mounting up and riding back to the village.

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