Day 073: Paging Doctor K
Summary: Kai takes time out during the Mountain acquisition run to meet with Doctor Sarah Kirschenfeld
Date: Day Month Year
Related: None
Kai Sarah 

Prisoner/Quarantine Zone — Mount Weather
The area where Sarah and the other Maunon are being held.
Day 73

There's Skai and Trikru in the Mountain, clearing out stuff. And mostly they're leaving the poor captives alone while about their looting. But Kai? Kai at least has chosen to come and meet the survivors. In order to come in, she had to change into simple clothing, as uncomfortable as that was, but the girl that at last steps through the airlock, barefoot and wearing a light dress 'borrowed' from the Mountain's clothing is an odd dichotomy. She doesn't look uncomfortable with the technology of the place, at all, and yet the spaghetti straps of the dress leave the array of cauterized and stitched fresh scars clear on her body, and for all that she's not built for intimidation this is obviously one used to hard labor despite her equally blatant youth. She loiters near the airlock door to observe the Maunon, silent and still, at least for a few moments while she endeavors to get her bearings in the quarantine area.

A slender redheaded woman looks up from the book she's reading. "Hello? Are you here for counseling, or just to sightsee?" The question is not asked with any bitterness or sarcasm, but with gentle warmth.

"Counseling?" there's some amusement in Kai's voice, she can't help it, though it does stir her to take a step or two, toes splaying on the floor as she endeavors to become used to.. well, walking barefoot, on a cool, flat surface, which after the last few months feels as alien as earth once did. Her attention flits after one of the children briefly as she elects to approach the redheaded woman,"I came to see the human face of the Maunon."

Sarah rises, setting her book aside. "I'm a psychiatrist and a therapist. I sent word out that I would be willing to see anyone who needed me," she explains. She extends her hand. "Sarah. Most of your friends know me as Dr. K."

"Doctor K." Kai see's the hand, obviously, she just ignores it, attention catching instead on the book,"I have heard that you helped some of my friends." it doesn't occur to her to question how she might have given away her heritage,"I also heard that more than a few of them stopped taking the drugs you assigned them when they realized what sort of place this truly was. So I am curious, councilor.. did you know what they were doing to my people? Was your assistance to bring them comfort in a difficult situation.. or to keep them compliant?"

"I was not aware of Dr. Montgomery's true intentions, nor was I considered essential to his plans, therefore I was not informed of his projects," Sarah replies, an edge of anger in her voice, though it seems it is not directed at the young woman in front of her. "I cannot speak to specifics regarding the medications I dispensed due to client confidentiality, but there was nothing prescribed that was not therapeutic in nature."

Kai gives a slow blink of her eyes at Sarah with a tilt of her head, grunting acknowledgment at least. It's apparently sufficient for her to elect to seat herself, even if she wont shake Sarah's hand,"It is an interesting dichotomy to me. The Maunon are not so different in many ways from the Skaikru, and yet what differences there are.. seem vast. What of my other people? The Trikru? Why were they being kept in cages? Why the Reapers, and the cannibalism?" at least she has the politeness to drop her voice on the last rather than speak so loudly that children might overhear,"Or were those also among the projects that you.." and the others is the unspoken acknowledgment,"were kept ignorant of?"

The red-headed doctor frowns. "Perhaps we should find some place to sit," she suggests, gesturing to a nook with a pair of chairs.

Kai dips her head, unhurried in her steps towards the indicated nook and chairs, even if perching there in the pale sundress against her sun darkened skin and scars is an oddity in itself between a warriors confidence and a teens awkwardness, hands tucked into her lap to keep them to herself, both in order to insure decency, and perhaps, just maybe, because she's at least endeavoring not to potentially contaminant the area with her presence more than necessary.

Sarah sits down opposite Kai. "I didn't get your name," she says gently. "And the Tree Crew… the Outsiders? You're with them? Or are you with the Ark?"

"Trikru." Kai corrects,"I am Kai kom Trikru. I was born to the Skaikru, but I do not belong to them." she elects to explain with a slow kind of smile that doesn't quite reach her eyes,"The hundred are my friends, and some of them have spoken with mercy regarding the survivors. So I confess my curiosity."

"We all know about the blood," Sarah begins, folding her hands in her lap. "I was never a recipient, but we all knew. I never saw it happening, so it was easy to ignore it," she says, a dark look of shame heavy on her face. "I have a question for you," she asks, looking up to meet Kai's eyes. "How much history did you learn on the Ark? Are you familiar with a period of time called World War Two?"

Kai grunts quietly, though the question in response brings a wry smile to Kai's face,"I was a student of military history, and am familiar with the conflict, yes." she acknowledges,"History from that long ago was not.. necessarily a broad subject on the Ark, but that happens to be one of my areas of interest."

"I am Jewish," Sarah says, hand holding up the delicate gold star around her neck. "Many of my ancestors were rounded up, murdered, and worse. Growing up, I was taught that the bystanders, the civilians who knew what was going on and did nothing about it, were just as guilty as the perpetrators." She takes a deep, slow breath. "With this in mind, I am just as guilty as Cage Wallace or Salvador Montgomery," she says. "If your people wish to bring someone to justice, let it be me."

Kai's eyes flit to the chain with some obvious curiosity,"Cage Wallace and this.. Salvador Montgomery.. have already met justice. As well as one called Grant.. something. I do not recall his last name." she doesn't find any qualms about stating,"I am not among those who decide the fate of those here, merely one who seeks to understand. That you feel so, speaks more highly that you should not be killed, than that you should. And I imagine that there are few enough people who recall the Jews, let alone their religion and the genocide which happened during World War Two. Such knowledge, to me, is worth preserving."

"And yet you admit you are not one who makes such decisions. I will do what I have to to to atone," Sarah says, pressing her lips together. "Tell me about yourself, Kai."

"If you face Trikru justice, as your president did, you will be cut, a thousand times, by the families and villages of all of those whom the Maunon have killed over the last four decades. Cage Wallace was revived twice during this process, and survived until approximately the six hundredth cut, after his hands, eyes, and tongue had been removed, and the balance of those who felt the need to affirm his death still carried out the remainder of his sentence." Kai's words are matter of fact,"Atoning for the acts of your government and military is not something you should wish to do, and in earnest, the bravery to live and find a different way takes far greater courage than an ugly and soon forgotten death. Bear this in mind, should my Heda or the Chancellor come to speak with you. These children, here, will need a home. And I understand that there is possibly a chance that they can be made able to walk the surface without dying. Given that which they have seen in these last few weeks, I dare say that help will be needed to integrate them properly into the world outside, and you will be in a unique position to able to assist them with that. In my opinion." yes, she isn't answering Sarah's question, deliberately so, all things considered.

"What about you?" Sarah asks gently. "Your friends have all been through unbelievable trauma. How are you dealing with it?"

Kai gives another one of those slow kind of smiles,"I do not consider myself traumatized, Sarah. I do not find it a situation that I need to.. deal with. The children that the Maunon captured were in a very different position than I. What have they told you of the state of things when they were captured?"

"They had been arrested, under threat of execution, tossed down to Earth, had to fend for themselves in a completely unfamiliar environment, were constantly under attack by the Outsiders…" Sarah waves a hand vaguely. "Does this sound familiar?"

Kai considers before dipping her head,"I would not say that we were constantly under attack from the Trikru. A second dropship was sent down from the Ark, and that dropship destroyed a village of some seven hundred Trikru souls. I rode past it's ruins, twice, within the last few days. In a way that was, to the Trikru, extremely reminiscent of attacks conducted by the Maunon. Given that in their eyes, we were adults, we seemed as young Warriors, spoke the warrior tongue, invaded their land, they understandably felt they were dealing with an incursion of a group just like your people. For the lives lost at Thripoda, they decided that skaigeda needed to be destroyed.. the concept is jus drein, jus daun.. blood must have blood. We were attacked with a biological agent that rendered the majority of the camp helpless, with the knowledge that at any moment we might be attacked by a force superior in knowledge and experience. And while much of the camp still lay bleeding from every orifice, some of us fought off that first attack, using that which we knew best from the Ark. Guns, we had taken from a supply depot. Guns which in turn convinced the Trikru that they were dealing with another flavor of the Maunon." clearly, she's barely even started, but she does at least pause to breathe and allow Sarah a chance to interject or ask questions.

"This is certainly reasonable, but were any of you aware at the time? That must have been frightening," Sarah says, resting her hands on her thighs.

"At that time? No. We knew that it had crashed. That the Trikru had declared war on us, and that we were sick. We felt that we were dying by measures. But even then? With the kru at war with us, some chose to take it upon themselves to aid us. To let us know that the blood fever would pass.. to provide their best estimate as to how long it would be before we were attacked again. They anticipated two days, and we received seven. During that time, I and others trained everyone who was willing to learn, how to fire a gun. We reinforced walls, dug traps.. sabotaged tree's. Mine's were created and one, final, trick, utilizing every resource we had available was formed. Because if we were to die, we were not going to go gentle into the night.. we were absolutely going to rage with every resource available to us." she unfurls her hands from her lap, then folds them again and consciously brings them back to her lap,"As I said.. I was a student of military history. My father was a Guard Captain. Tactics was one of the few things he and I shared an interest in. And when the logistics made it clear that even with all of our preparations, that skaigeda was doomed.. I traded with one of the Trikru for maps and the location of the kruheda, and with two others we crossed the lines of the camp and traveled, most of it by foot, all the way to her camp. And it was there that I learnt that the five hundred that we had thought likely was a poor estimate by half. And that our only chance in survival lay in making a deal with the kruheda. Unfortunately, the advance forces chose to attack the camp while we were still in negotiation.. though by the time your people arrived the Trikru had obeyed the call to retreat.. and myself and the others arrived in time to watch the Maunon gas our friends and spirit them away."

"All this fighting and death… how do you process it?" Sarah asks, leaning forward a bit. "You've lost friends and allies, and you may have even killed yourself, right? How does this fit in with your idea of who Kai is?"

"I was due to die on my eighteenth birthday, ma'am. My first night in the Skybox my cellmate stabbed me, twice, in order to make a name for herself, and because of who my father was. As a Cadet, on the Ark, the knowledge that people I arrested would be killed for their crimes was a fact of life. Even before then, I had an understanding of what it meant when one was arrested and the consequences thereof simply because of my father." there's a slight shrug of her shoulders,"I do not see it as something that requires processing, but simply a fact of life. An.. understanding and acceptance of what reasons there are to kill and the willingness to live with one's own actions afterwards. I am more comfortable with myself as a Trikru warrior, than I ever was as a Skaikru cadet."

"Everything requires processing. That is how we understand and interact with the world. What I was curious about is how you, Kai, do it. Indulge me?" Sarah asks, canting her head slightly.

Kai expels a breath and makes a small gesture as she purses her lips together,"Death is part of life, Sarah. Some people have or allow themselves the naivety to ignore that fact.. and in many ways I respect those for whom that is true.. but I am not among them. For me it boils down to.. what are the reasons for killing this person? Do they deserve to die? If so, why? I stuck my sword in the throat of your president, and it was only thanks to the intervention of another that he did not die where he stood. Do I feel guilty for his death? Not at all. I feel his death was justified, and although some of my friends consider it barbaric, I do not feel that there is anything wrong with the manner in which he died. He earned that death." she pauses,"However.. your president also dressed at least two children, younger than I.. in suits and armed them. One of them died very badly when he came into contact with the air. His death, not by my hand, bothers me. I do not know if the children felt that they had no choice and much as skaigeda, were unwilling to simply die without a fight.. but they should not have been there, and did not deserve to die. Does that answer the question?"

"It certainly gives me a lot to think about," Sarah says, nodding. "What is sky-gedda?"

"Skaigeda was the home that the hundred built when we were first sent to earth. After the battle, and the kidnappings, it was abandoned, those that were not captured were moved to a portion of the Ark that survived re-entry. In Trigedasleng those from the Ark are known as the Skaikru.. the Sky Crew.. because of where we came from. A geda, is a village. Skaigeda. The sky village." she purses her lips again, furrowing her brow as she debates whether or not she really wants to talk further and then grunting decision,"I separate the hundred.. those who were sent down first, from the rest of the Ark. Though these days many of them seem as alien to me as the Maunon, they are still my brethren in ways the majority of the Ark are not."

"And we're the Maunon," Sarah assumes. She taps her fingers together, before asking, "Do you know if Cameron is all right? The last time I saw him, he was injured." She thinks. "I also would love to hear how Tabitha and Reno are doing, as well as Reno's brother, Max. I will never forgive Salvador for what he did to Ruth. She was a sweet girl."

"Yes." Kai confirms,"Cameron has been reunited with his niron, and although he and I do not see eye to eye.. he is.. adjusting." there's a faint smile,"Tink is recovering from having been shot in the head by one of the Maunon. Reno and Max I have not seen since the first strike when we rescued them. They are at Alpha with the others." there's a quiet grunt,"Five of them. He killed five, in total. Ruth, Hanne, Cookie, Adam Itawa, and Rawlins. Reno insisted that it was unnecessarily and scientifically unsound. But, the details of such things are not my strong suit. Certainly, as I said.. they feel they might be able to adapt the principle in non-lethal ways to aid you and the others here. What that will mean in the future I do not know, and is not my place to judge."

"She was shot in the head? Is she all right?" Sarah seems genuinely concerned for the girl's wellbeing. Then, a thought strikes her. "Are you using Trikru words on purpose, to keep demonstrating that you are different from me?" she asks, curiously. "Has it been difficult to get your new community to accept you?"

"She was. She is recovering." Kai acknowledges, then furrows her brows, clearly having to pause and mentally consider or at least review what she has said,"No." is the eventual response,"It is simply what I am used to speaking. G.. English, is not the language of the people, and some concepts are easier to convey in Trigedasleng." it makes her uncomfortable, clearly, from the way she shifts and looks towards the door, as if reconsidering the wisdom of remaining, lips pursing before she finally concedes,"Any transition is difficult. Those conducted under tentative peace moreso than others. It is likely that if those here are able to be integrated, they will be integrated with the Skaikru, which will at least be a comparatively easy transition."

"That's a wonderful answer, Kai, but it's not an answer to the question I asked," Sarah says softly.

"I am aware." Kai casts her eyes in Sarah's direction with another slow blink of her eyes. Not like the evasion wasn't obvious and deliberate,"Usefulness is valued in every society. What can you contribute, what do you bring to the community that makes it richer for your presence. The children are, comparatively, blank slates. With care and consideration they will hopefully transition smoothly. You and the other adults will have more trouble, but the tone and approach of you and the others will also determine in large part how they will absorb the transition. The Skaikru suffered less than the Trikru at the hands of the Maunon, but until tested and proven there will always linger that question as to which kru they will ultimately choose to belong to in their heart. It is my hope that the children of the Maunon shall become Skaikru, and this place will be forgotten and left to crumble in ruin." it's also not an answer to the actual question posed.

"So why did you come here, Kai?" Sarah asks, crossing her legs. "And what do you think you have learned?"

"To assess whether in fifteen years I will be facing your children on a battlefield." Kai slides her gaze in Sarah's direction,"And I believe that you will have a large role to play in whether or not that is so. These children have every reason to hate the Skaikru and Trikru. Their parents have been murdered, their lives disrupted in a traumatic fashion. It is the sort of thing, as I am certain you know better than I do, that can shape their world to come. To understand how it is that a people who obviously were not.. saved.. here, and are clearly not fools.. can reach the point where what happened seemed.. justifiable. But also to see how you and the others might in turn shape whom the Skaikru will become in future. I do not have answers to most of my questions, but I do at least have confidence that you, Doctor Sarah Kirschenfeld, are an intelligent woman who may well form those answers in time."

Sarah raises an eyebrow. "So you knew who I was after all. I never told you my last name." She gives Kai a smile. "You're a very bright young lady."

"I had your name from my friends, yes." Kai acknowledges,"And the expressed concern that you are a medical doctor as well as a.. mental health.. doctor. That for many places you in a grey area between innocence and guilt. But I am curious. And given that all of your people I have.. met.. previously were at sword point.." she touches her shoulder, particularly near a round cauterized bullet wound,"while they were attempting to kill me.. I concede that it is not a fair position from which to judge the rest of them. More particularly.. whatever happened in here, between your people and my friends, appears to have had a profound impact upon them. If I am to try and understand who my friends are now.. understanding that change is also necessary."

"Well, Kai, I hope the next time we meet will be under better circumstances," Sarah says, seeming to mean it genuinely. "But unless you're planning to eat dinner with us, I'm afraid I'm going to have to cut our conversation short."

"If a solution can be found and your people integrated into the Skaikru, my village will be upon the opposite shore of lake Audo. I will be.. curious.. how you find the outside." Kai murmurs as she rises to her feet with a small wrinkle of her nose,"I'm led to understand the Mountain has very good chocolate cake, but I will pass. Enjoy your dinner, Sarah. Until we meet again." she's careful, when she moves off, she doesn't want to get too close to the children. She's been warned about their vulnerability, clearly, and for all that the scarred girl in the sundress expressed no guilt for those she killed, she doesn't want to be responsible for bringing harm to a child.

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