Day 061: Of Family, Of Life, Of Paperweights(?!)
Summary: Kai and Pontus have a long talk about what it means to be family, what it means to take care of one's people, & how to placate a 10 year old child when you go off to do war.
Date: 29 Jul 2016
Related: None
Kai Pontus 

Public Garden and Orchard - Tondc, Trikru
The public gardens of Tondc inhabit a long, narrow strip of land between the marketplace and a narrow babble of the divided Potomac. They are divided up by narrow footpaths that have been here since before the bombs, and help create a variety of garden beds to host primarily edible plants. The garden is tended by the citizens of Tondc, which also means it provides for the citizens of Tondc. Those who work the gardens are given permission to harvest from the vegetables and fruits in exchange. Toward the back of the gardens, near the riverside, are many fruit-bearing trees that are heavy with apples and cherries in the summer and autumn months. Toward the midway point is the large building used for the Warrior Barracks — all crafted from stone, metal and wood.
Day 061: Night before bringing down the Mountain… for good?

Pontus was uneventfully out cold for a good long while. On the good note getting skin to grow back when silver and sulfur are employed? Actually only takes about a week! The rest would take time. As it was the Scout was bored as shit and Rain was driving him up a wall. He loved it even if he didn't admit it. He was taking a walk though his face was still patched together. As it was Mr. Big-bad-spear slinging scout was giving a piggyback to a tired ten year old coming and looking for Kai in Tondc. Once found there was a faint grunt in lieu of an upnod.

Kai's making her last minute preparations for the trip back out to the Mountain. Hopefully the last of such trips, Eden willing. But it does mean that the Second is trekking through Tondc in search of something.. or someone she first catches sight of the ten year old and her noble.. uh.. steed. And though her eyes flitter away she elects to return the upnod rather than simply stalk or slink out of sight. To add to the list of currently healing wounds, there's a shallow, bandaged cut on the palm of her right hand, not that it appears to bother her at present,"Peake said dinner will be ready soon, if you're well enough." she notes in Trigedasleng,"I was looking for her." meaning Rain.

Pontus arched one tattooed eyebrow and glanced slightly back over his shoulder at the affectionate lump that was playing koala hanging there on his back. He still was having trouble turning his head. Truthfully he wanted to go. Realistically? He'd quickly risk becoming a liability and endangering others if he tore up his injuries before they were done healing. Wasn't a risk worth the payoff. Rain, however, was not reserved about being vocal, "<In Trigedasleng> Heya, Kai! When you go bring me back a piece of the mountain? I want it for my collection. Pontus brought be back ice from the last war but it melted. When do you get to go?" Yes the kid was enthusiastic about her war heros like kids used to be about football.

"Sha, Rain. Of course." Kai agrees,"We leave in the morning. But grandmother Peake has said it is dinner time." some of those words have to be English, simply because the Second's still not perfect in her Trigedasleng, the expression she casts Pontus still reserved given the look last exchanged at the healing house,"I brought her some fine fat rabbits for it." her gaze flits up,"Though I am certain she has made sure that there's something suitable for your injuries, too." tagged on for Pontus.

Rain threw her arms in the air with so much excitement that she flopped backwards, and upside down with a laugh. Pontus' eyes got larger and locked his elbows so she didn't fall off his back onto her head. Kai got a half-smile in return; his face not back to all responsive yet. "Actually I'm glad you came by. I have something for you to take with you." He glanced down and said "<In Trigedasleng> hands" to which Rain put her hands in the dirt and he let her legs go letting her tumble back to her feet. Kids are amazingly buoyant. What he had to offer her he didn't say. he did nod towards Peake's house though.

Kai smirks for Rain, waiting for the girl to get up so she can reach out and ruffle her for all that she arches a brow at Pontus for his words. A nod of her own agreement as she turns back towards the guest village, folding her hands behind her carefully between the stitched up left and the bandaged right,"It is a pity that you and Khesu won’t be able to come with us. But it is better that you stay and heal." she opines quietly.

Pontus pointed to the ground and said "<In Trigedasleng> We stay for next battle. Maybe they send secret raid? Who knows. Funny thing? I almost miss that gona who shot me." he didn't speak particularly fast and it was just easier for him to think in Trigedasleng than anything else. He walked with her but didn't look at the injuries. "<In Trigedasleng> What happened to your hands? Need your tools there." Apparently he noticed them anyways.

Kai can't help but snort,"<In Trigedasleng> A worthy enemy, then?" she grunts in inquiry, though at the question she unfolds them,"This one's from when we opened the tunnels." she notes of the left and it's still healing mass. It'll be useable, but not pretty. Swords are not kind to hands after all,"This one." she notes of the right,"Is from where Peake sealed her agreement that I am her granddaughter. Wren's daughter." his niece. Though the tone and the look that accompanies it fired his way speaks volumes of being prepared for him to be displeased about that news.

Pontus nodded just a bit still healing that giant hole in his face. That's all connected. Oh boy. "<In Trigedasleng> The best I found in a long time. That he had the brass to stare me down and shoot me in the head, get blown up and come back when others would have run? For that? I respect him." He listened to the news and stopped and looked at her. An eyebrow arched and he held his hand out. Rain watched on curious and confused. He turned his hand open slowly to show her a faded scar across his palm that should look suspiciously familiar to her. All he said was "<In Trigedasleng> Then, it would seem, we are family." Unexpected things happen. Apparently he was not Wren's brother by blood. Good. That made his news the other day significantly less creepy and weird. "You. How old, Kai?"

"<In Trigedasleng> We have always been family." is Kai's grunt in response, rather than address the information about the Maunon, though there's a smile where her eyes dip to his palm,"Seventeen. Eighteen at the end of the year." she shrugs a little. Mollified at least that there wasn't whatever reaction that she was expecting to judge from the shift in her shoulders and the way her jaw loosens again.

Pontus took the hand and clasped her shoulder giving it a squeeze of reassurance. A hard-ass but not with a complete hate-on apparently. Ogres. Layers. Onions. Something like that. He took his time walking and said actually talking in whole sentences, though it was slow because his face and neck were healing and tired easily. Still, the poet saved the shit worth remembering for times when it ought be shared. "I was fifteen summers when Rain was born. Our mom died having her. Our father only a year later." He paused and said "So I was just younger than you. Became a parent, not her father, but same. Didn't know… what to do with a baby. She was sick, and winter was very hard." He looked down and said "<In Trigedasleng> Rain, tell Peake we are coming. They leave tomorrow. I'm bringing something for the table if it fucking kills me." She nodded and said in that way Peake does, "<In Trigedasleng> Ok. Don't die." There was a nod given to her in return before she ran off.

Kai is comfortable with letting him pick the pace, smiling anew at the squeeze of her shoulder. There's a dip of her head in acknowledgement,"<In Trigedasleng> I wont be having children for at least two and a half years yet, and maybe not ever." as if the first part at least she's absolutely certain,"<In Trigedasleng> But Rain has turned out to be a fine girl. And it will be fine, there is no need to die to add to the table tonight."

Pontus cracked a wry grin and tilted his head with a cocky grin wry with amusement, "<In Trigedasleng> Kai, you should know better. I dunno how to die." He winked and walked casual enough His thumbs found the corners of his back pockets and he admitted, "<In Trigedasleng> Either way I was your age. On my own. Kid. I was still a second and my First? Told me 'Figure something out, son. If a Scout can't keep their own alive then they ain't a scout." He looked at the house. Rain made it in fine. He knew she would and could bite and claw like a feral weasel in her own right, but it wasn't for lack of trust he kept an eye on her anyways. "<In Trigedasleng> My mom and Peake were real close. She didn't even question it but came over and invited herself in and simply asked "Why aren't you at the table? Dinner is in fifteen minutes.' And I was confused and stubborn and proud and pissed as a rattlesnake. Angry at the world for up and leaving me with all the shit left behind. She took that dagger out and said no children of hers will dine alone in the cold." he actually laughed and grinned, one side of his face anyways, like an amused serpent, "If you noticed we don't get much of a say in it."

"<In Trigedasleng> Death likes to remind us not to get too big." Kai snorts as she listens to him, smiling faintly as she dips her head,"She asked me where my heart is. She already knew the answer, but she wanted to hear me say it." she grunts quietly,"I told her words are lies. Wren has been more of a father to me than the man whose blood is in my veins. And though you and the others might not see me as Trikru, this is where my heart is. I value her approval, as I do that of the entire family.. but I don't need words to tell me where I want to be."

Pontus arched an eyebrow and said "<In Trigedasleng> I am a man of my own mind, Kai." Apparently he was and wasn't a blind follower. This was not an act of war and in civilian matters he tried to keep his own mind about things. He wasn't particularly politically inclined as some. "<In Trigedasleng> Skaikru don't belong here. You are not Skaikru. Frankly I have more respect for you being here than some of the others that choose to wander back and forth over there. At least you are trying to respect the traditions that have kept us alive instead of shitting on them , showing up, and deciding you know better because your house can fly. No." Apparently that's where the sore part came in. Maybe it took him this long to realize she was hurt or had a feeling on their last meeting. He took a deep breath and cut to the straight of it in her own tongue. "Elias? Doesn't know. Not from here. He doesn't get to come, ignore our culture, and change and tell us how we are to live. We have been doing this longer than he has. Our home. not his. Help is help when asked to help. Help is invasin when not asked. he didn't ask. He's still Skai. You are not and that? That is a problem. not for me, for you." His jaw set and he shook his head walking over to the side of the dwelling that they all shared somewhat connected. His things were an unceremonious pile. THe room had one bed given up to Rain to have. He had a pile of furs and things piled against the wall on the floor. It was to the small dresser he walked though. "<In Trigedasleng> I don't like the people I care about getting hurt, Kai. it matters."

Kai grunts quietly as she listens, though those shoulders of hers shift at the acknowledgment that she is not Skaikru to him,"It doesn't matter anymore. Elias." the last added on after a moment, when she realizes the first might not be clear,"He is no longer my niron. I have sent him to his home." she elects to utter in a flat tone, loitering nearby rather than invade what she considers to be his space by holding up the door frame with her shoulder.

Pontus nodded simply and motioned for her to come in. Hey there was some funny plastic crate that survived and was flipped over like a lattice made box (or a milk crate for the thoroughly educated in Earth Studies). He dun something out of his belongings. It looked like a small wrench of sorts on a beaded metal chain. He turned and handed it to her. "When I became a second my dad gave this to me. He told me while I work to make my First proud of me? That her success though my actions are for the strength of protecting what is ours. Our bruises, and our blood should go towards fixing things for us and taking apart those that would harm those we protect. I have carried it into every battle since. When you go to the Mountain you will. And you will bring it back. I mean if you want to borrow gear you can but you're outfit pretty good. It is what we can do for you so you come back and continue protecting all of this, your home, again and again and again… And I want the details of your journey to remember with the others. Rain… certainly will want to know."

Kai does come into the room at the invitation. There's a dip of her head for his words,"I will carry it for you, Pontus. But you are correct, I want for nothing, and you will have the details of it. Slightly modified for Rain, perhaps." there's a wry smirk from her as she carefully settles it over her head,"When it lays in ruins, we will be able to rebuild in peace. That's what I want, more than anything. Though I've already decided that when it is rebuilt, I will stay in the barracks.. though I.. misinterpreted your look.. you are not wrong. If I find a new niron, it shall be among my people, not the Skai."

Pontus shook his head and said in an earnest tone, "Spare her no details. Next year my kid will be a Second. Likely to Thesda because I make Rain eat her vegetables. But our family has a duty to our people to remember so our stories and the stories of those that go before us are not forgotten and those after us know what happened. Your story in there and after you will become one of them." She was Trikru.

Kai inclines her head,"Very well.. I shall spare her no details. I have not fought with Thesda much but she seems like she will be a good teacher for her. I have requested, of one of my skaibrothers to create some art. That will hold the names of the forty-nine of the hundred that have died since we were dropped here, and then, when I find a tattooist.. I shall have it tattooed upon myself. In this way, at least.. I will never forget their names.. or the names of those of our gonakru who die, also. To remind me of those who have gone before."

Pontus reached down and while he was creepy he wasn't that creepy. He pulled up the side of his shirt and his torso was a swirl of ink and tiny rune marks along his skin. It was only a part but he cracked a half-grin. "I think it's a very good idea. I'll take you to the old woman that did mine. You'll have to trade her a story for each though while she does it. It's a good price to pay. I think, though, she's up in Polis after the collapse of Coesbur."

Kai can't help but eye the ink with an absorbent attention to detail, nodding slightly,"Yes. Please. Not that it not likely to be marred if I keep catching blades while making friends.. but that it is important to me." she chuckles wryly,"Though Peake wants me to grow out my hair. I like it the way it is. I haven't had it long since I was.. fourteen? Thirteen maybe. But well worth the price to have that reminder. Of where we come from and who we fight to protect."

Pontus was scared but he was an art canvas in great fucking shape. Having his face torn off aside there was interest in the details. He snerked and said "<In Trigedasleng> She tells me to do that too." Says the cueball. He noted, "I'll share what I've been using to keep my head from getting sunburned if you decide to go shorter. She's going to find something new every day. Get used to it." He winced. His face hurt, but he turned and stood akimbo sizing her up finally nodding. "You did the right thing by coming here. If anyone… says anything about you not being Trikru?" He arched an eyebrow at, "I'll hand you my knife while you carve out their tongue. Deal?" He was not the sort to save others when they could damn well show strength and mettle and do it themselves.

Kai can't help but laugh as Pontus mentions he's had the same order, though she grunts,"I like a little hair, I just don't want it in my face." there's a dip of her head though she drawls,"Wren put them in their place. Mostly I ignore them. I have bled for my kru, no Maker can take that from me. Her words might annoy but she is of no true concern. Tomorrow the Mountain will burn, and I will be there to help light the match, what does a Maker know of such things?"

Pontus snickered shaking his head as she laughed. Hey he could open up and chill out when he was off duty apparently. Miracle, there was an off switch. At the question of what does a Maker know? He paused and both eyebrows went up. "Peake… knows her raft and ours. Just because she chooses to hold down the hearth don't mean she don't know how to do what we do. She's been in as many wars as we ever will and will continue to see us surviving that many more. She has our respect for a reason as much as Britt does for other reasons… give her the benefit of the doubt. She'll fight to the grave to protect her flock."

"Not Peake." Kai grunts,"Peake has my respect. No. This one a carpenter. Fayet. Who without knowing me finds fit to judge what I have done. If I did not have Peake's respect, I would count that as a thing I have not yet earnt, she knows me, she has seen me leave for war and return, but this other in one breath seeks to aid, and then insult."

Pontus set his jaw trying hard to remember not to tighten it like he does. "I do not know Fayet. But no. you can't let some Maker define you. It's… going to happen. I get alot of bias too." He wasn't happy to admit that a dn admitted, gesturing to his face, "Have to be careful. Traveling. Too easy to mistake for a Wastelander. Thesda got on me about that. When we did the recon I got out disguising myself as everything I'm not. They will judge me. THey will judge you. Always. Let your actions outlive their voice., then you have nothing to defend. In that you're doing very well… just know when to fall back." The more working half of his face quirked a faint grin.

Kai grunts quietly and dips her head,"When the jobs done, of course." she utters with a wolfish grin,"I have more scars.. or.. will be scars.. in the last month than my entire life.. and as much as I respect you, I shall endeavor not to wind up passing for a Wastelander." she chuckles lowly,"But I go with Wren. I promised to stay by his side, so I will retreat, when he does. And not one moment sooner than that."

Pontus cracked a wider grin on the one side nodding slowly, "<In Trigedasleng> I'll take the respect. Enjoy the scars. Each one?" A finger traced where his blown off face was slowly recovering with a expression of amusement, "is one more piece of evidence than we are stronger than our enemies. Much pride among our people. This one?" He turned his hand over and held up that one that she also now has on her palm, "This one is the most important one."

"Sha." Kai agrees,"And you are right, it is. Though I am also proud of the one on my shoulder, too." her kill mark, not the other one already torn up with axe and bullet,"I keep my scars, all of them. Proudly. The Skaikru think that scars are ugly, but as you say.. they are all the evidence that we are stronger than our enemies."

Pontus tilted his head, "Yeah. People have bothered me to talk to the Skaikru about fixing some of the damages. I dunno. I'm fine with it. Anyone who can't handle it? Fuck em. I don't do this for the praise." Okay he did a little bit. He reached over and dropped the beaded chain with the flat wrench on it around her neck. ":Whatever. Get the job done. That's the important part. Be the person they can depend on, even if glory doesn't come. You got this."

Kai ducks her head, letting him settle the chain about her neck,"You have a niron that loves you, the pride and respect of your people, Skaikru vanity is as petty as everything else about them." not that the grey eyed girl has an attitude about the people she was born to, not at all. She reaches out her hands to grasp his shoulders carefully in acknowledgment,"I know." she grunts,"I will make sure the job is done. After all, there's the family's reputation to be considered. They will know that Peake's brood was there to tear down the Mountain."

Pontus relented an expression of agreement. "<In Trigedasleng> That I do. And you will too." he responded to her affirmation of being family and her commitment to destroy the mountain saying, "Bring a rock back for Rain. It helps her accept the things going on. Reminder that the biggest things can be overcome."

Kai grunts acknowledgment,"Peake says 'sex is war', maybe she's right. Right now.. doesn't matter. But I will see if I can bring her something better than a rock." she grins wolfishly,"Maybe I can bring her their kruheda's ear." not that she knows where she'll end up being right that second, but still, it gives her the opportunity to tap her own and grin at Pontus wolfishly.

Pontus curled even the bad side of his face in a grin dipping his head. "Bring her something with a story. Mostly come home though after we get the job done. He put your people in the ground. Then the favour is repaid. But first? Dinner. Let's go get something to bring to the table at least."

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