Day 013: Pride Goeth
Summary: Cameron and Afaye briefly compare philosophies.
Date: 22 May 2016
Related: None
Cameron Afaye Roose 

Village Center - Coesbur, Trikru
The village of Coesbur is a middling-sized settlement of the Trikru clan. It has two major entry points, both of which funnel into the village center. The first entry point is from the west, and is across the Cioesbur Bridge which stretches over one of the branches of the divided Potomac. The other entry point is from the east, and provides a direct route to the road to Polis. The village center is really nothing more than a large dirt courtyard surrounded by a variety of structures. While most of these are Grounder-built, there is one that survived the apocalypse. It is a tall, octagon-shaped stone building made of brown and red brick. It's roof is domed, and made of tarnished, greened copper with inlays of colored glass. Broad, white steps lead up to the two-door-wide entrance to the building.
13 Days After Landing

It's mid-day, day 13 from the landing— though Cameron imagines that most of the people around him don't really think in those terms. "I wonder how long it'll be before I start having a calendar that doesn't date from then." he asks of the air, and the air has no particular answer for him. He does have an apple for lunch, and its half eaten— and he's very carefully picking the seed out of it. He's all clean (having taken great advantage of the communal bath with no shame at all), and in an Ark-style tank top and work pants. He finds himself leaning against the Steheda's Hall, watching GRounders curiously as they go about their business.

Midday means Afaye has been at work for several hours, having risen before the sun to set about her chores. With no immediate need for her presence in the stables, she spent the morning afield in pursuit of game, and thus she has a heavy deer carcass in tow on a makeshift sled behind her as she enters the village. This offering is greeted with pleasant cheers, and someone cuts her loose and takes up the burden, leaving her to trudge through town. On her way through, she pauses by the main building and mops sweat from her forehead, gazing at it intently as if waiting for someone to exit. Nobody makes a surprise appearance, however, and her gaze shifts to take in the obvious outsider loitering against its walls. Afaye squints, scanning the area for the Skaikru's subtle escort, and her glance is greeted by a lift of a chin from a woman two doors down seated outside of her home cleaning vegetables.

It is enough. Finding this a suitable guard, Afaye slumps down on a bench in front of the building and sprawls out in a posture one would most often observe in men. She uses one hand to fan her face while the other periodically wipes away perspiration from her neck and forehead.

"Impressive deer." Cameron offers, a quick and warm smile that shows his dimples, "On day four, I killed my first deer— a smaller one, for certain, don't think I'm bragging. There was a lot more blood then I expected, but, we don't have animals in the Sky City, so the experience was… novel." That said, he lifts a hand to scratch at the back of his head, his expression thoughtful for a lingering moment before he adds, "Al leek Cameron Scott kom Skaikru."

Afaye's head is tilted back and her eyes partially closed, but they open when she hears the foreigner speak. Her gaze is focused skyward, and for a moment after Cameron's greeting she is silent. Finally: "I remember." She straightens in her seat and swaps sweat-wiping for finger-cleaning, trying to carve out the blood from the crescents of her fingernails. "Com'run. Asked me questions meant for the healer, you and that slippery girl." A faint *tck, tuck* accompanies her movements as she cleans her fingernails, frowning thoughtfully at the backs of her hands. "How many more deer?"

"Only the one. A few smaller animals, rabbits, squirrels." Cameron pauses, seeming to try to work something out in his head, "I'm a botanist. That means a scientist of plants, a… /scholar/ of plants. So I don't hunt very often, I usually forage for plants for both food and medicine usage, but I'm one of the people who is going to be helping establish our farms, as soon as we find suitable seeds for cultivation." That said, he does grin a bit ruefully, "Right, sorry, if you gave me your name then, its slipped, because I heard a lot of names then and everything was so hectic. I don't mean any disrespect."

Afaye's reply comes in the form of a grunt, at least while Cameron is listing off the various species he has hunted. His patient explanation of his expertise in plantlife is greeted with a deadpan stare that turns away so she can begin wiping down her forearms. Most of the blood from her quarry ended up on the ground, thankfully, and very little on her person. "I did not give you my name. The steheda did, maybe." Her character can easily be summed up in a single word: taciturn. She is a woman of few words, or tries to be, but for some unspoken reason she fails yet again to provide a proper introduction. "You forage and farm. Who are your hunters, then?"

The deadpan stare has him blinking: if he was someone else, he might figit, but Cameron doesn't really lose his cool. But he does blink, and after that he smiles again, rueful once more, "I have no idea." He shakes his head, "There's been plenty of meat, so someone's doing it. Whoever it is knows what they're supposed to do, and does it. I'm not in charge so I don't exactly keep track of other peoples duties. Cookie is head of our kitchen, and by extension everyone who gathers food reports to her, so I'm sure she's on top of it. She's my cousin and takes food /very/ seriously."

"What about your healers? Do they forage as well?" With her forearms cleaned and her fingernails tidied, there's little left for Afaye to do but slouch back on the bench and resume the conversation with Cameron. Her arms rest loosely against her legs, a rag dangling from one hand. Her gaze drifts to and fro, taking in the busy activity of the village; people are moving back and forth with purpose, although occasionally one pauses long enough to greet her with a smile or a deferential bob of the head. "Do your warriors do the hunting, then?" Her tone is one of polite curiosity, although her expression is faintly puzzled. Perhaps she is trying to figure out just how Skaikru society is organized.

Cameron has to quiet then a moment, thoughtfully. "Some healers forage, some do not. It depends. We have two healing arts. One uses plants as medicine— they forage. One uses the science of medicine— they know nothing of plants, and don't forage. There are some things the foraging healers can do that the medicine healers can not, and some things the medicine healers can do that the foraging healers can not. They are related, but different arts. Does that make sense?" That said, he adds almost absently, "The Guard remains in the Sky. We have several who you could call Guard-trainees, but they are not full warriors. I think they probably at least help in the hunting, yes." He doesn't seem unwilling to help her learn about skaikru society, if that's what she wants to know.

This lapse in logic leaves Afaye squinting at Cameron suspiciously as if waiting for an obvious lie. A quick scan of his face reveals nothing but a polite mask, so she lets down her hackles long enough to attempt to stumble her way through his explanation. "You heal two ways. Some do one way, some do the other. Some in one way know things that some in the other way do not. Hmm. That is not so different from a warrior. Some know the sword, some know the bow, some know both, none know everything." Her lips split into a sudden grin and she flashes her teeth - stark white in contrast to her dark skin. The expression fades quickly, however, at the aforementioned lack of warriors. "Your people sent unfledged scouts? Pah."

Leaning back, Afaye barks out a loud laugh rich with humor and perhaps the tiniest flicker of scorn. Her thumbs and forefingers rub together as if testing the mettle of Cameron's words. "Like young birds falling out of the nest, your leaders make you vulnerable to predators. Unwise."

Attempting to explain, Cameron says gently, "In the Sky, if you are wounded, they have the knowledge, tools and medicine to put you into a deep sleep where you feel no pain, and then they cut you open and find your injury, and then repair it, close your wounds, and then close the cut they made to reach it. This is the science of medicine, which allows some to survive wounds that no amount of medicine plants could save you from. The skill of herbalism— of knowing which plants can be used as a rough kind of medicine is something that's useful, especially down here, but much less likely to save those who have taken wounds." That said, he nods slowly and says with a soft sigh, "Yes, they sent … 'unfledged scouts'. But we were not without training or skill. I do not say this to anger you, but even I, a forager and farmer, was able to take on one of those you had guarding our people you held captive and were moving them." That said, he does nod again and spreads his arms, helplessly, "The decision was one of need, not desire. The Sky City is dying, and there is no saving it. Soon its great machines that make clean air, water and heat will fail, and it will die, and anyone who remains will die as well."

"You are a man of mixed words," Afaye observes, turning to look at Cameron though half-closed eyes. "You say 'I do not boast' while you boast, you say 'I do not anger' while you speak of killing, and this does what? Does it free you from consequences of your words? I do not think so." While she speaks, her expression remains positively neutral, and her tone bears only the faintest undercurrent of warning; she is not in a particularly bad mood, but neither does she seem to be warming to the Skaikru. "You will learn to speak directly, though. Eventually you will maybe learn that I am not stupid, and you will stop using small words like speaking with a child, yes? Maybe so. Sometimes little birds learn to fly if nothing eats them right away."

Cameron shakes his head, "I'm attempting to speak carefully so as there's no misunderstanding, in light of us having different cultures. I am /not/ attempting to remove responsibility or acknowledgement from the facts of what I have done. I'm proud I was able to contribute to my people by killing that beer, but to you a hunter of skill I expect to be far beyond my own, it would be arrogant and prideful for me to expect you to find it notable, so I wished to acknowledge that. Further, while I regret that there was the /need/ to do what needed to be done, I do not regret /doing/ it, as I was protecting my people; but I am not trying to take on the airs and honors of a warrior, either." He shrugs, and even if she seems immune to his smiles, he smiles anyways, "I suppose my attempt at humility— something I've never been very good at— might seem its own kind of arrogance to you. Sorry. I don't think you stupid, I simply think you and I, we know differnet things. I expect there is very little I could teach you, though."

Roose has arrived back at the village with Casandra, carrying a buck between them. He directs her where to place it so it can be prepared, before letting her wonder off on other adventures. Seeing Afaye talking with one of the skaikru, he approaches them and begin listening in on their conversation quietly.

Afaye laughs again, low and rich, and leans forward to rest her elbows on her knees. She twists the spare bit of cloth between her fingers for a moment, staring straight ahead with a faint grin as she listens to Cameron stumble - at least in her mind - through his explanations. "Humility? It is for the weak. You pretend it, which makes you look weaker, for you cannot hide your pride. But I think your pride misplaced, birdling, with no understanding beneath it. Warriors do not have airs or honors; they are warriors, and they serve either as a good example or a bad example, but even the worst do not shy away from their deeds. Face everything openly, Com'run kom Skaikru, or do not face it at all. There is nothing in between that will serve you well. Not here."

Catching sight of a familiar face, Afaye's expression lightens considerably and she holds out a hand for Roose as he approaches. She remains within the conversation itself, however. "You will teach, little bird, if not me then someone else. You will learn as well. We all do. Roose." The final word is a verbal greeting for her friend. "<In Trigedasleng> The little bird, Com'run kom Skaikru, is learning new things today, I think. Congratulations on your catch; it will go well with the doe I caught today."

Tilting his head to the side, Cameron listens to Afaye, and for awhile is silent, his expression thoughtful. Its only when Afaye addresses Roose is he roused out of it to notice the grounder, and he gives a friendly nod and a dimpled smile by way of greeting, but he does turn back to Afaye, "I accept your criticism— thank you— except the implication that I shy away from my deeds. I may have attempted to frame it in a certain way, and I may have tried to state the truth as I know it in a way that would be least offensive— and I can see that was a mistake— but I do not hide from what I have done. Hiding would have been never mentioning any of it. I do not know if I am prideful, but I know one thing I am not: ashamed. Those are not two sides of the same coin. What I have done, I have done. They are simply facts, experiences to be learned from one way or another."

"<In Trigedasleng> An interesting combination. A shame we cannot mate the and produce already hunted deer to eat." Roose takes the hand in greeting, as he chuckles at his silly joke. He then turns his brown eyes onto Cameron. "Ahhh, Cameronscott. A pleasure to meet you again." He grins some more as he continues to jokingly butcher the name. "Are you coming to understand how a village is a family in itself?" What Cameron says is a bit deep and Roose nods, "Well, it sounds like you are learning something, at least. Though what I am unsure." He looks back at his hunting partner and continues, "<In Trigadesleng> I tested Kasandra kom Skaikru after her boasting to me. She was surprisngly effective at finding game; though, I had to bring it down and brings it back. She seems eager to learn and help." He grins a bit and continues in his native tongue, "And she wants to talk to you about acquiring a horse. I laughed."

Afaye grips Roose's hand for a moment before leaning back on her bench once more. She gestures for him to be seated should he wish, laughing at his small jest about mating dead deer. "Com'run is interested in the finer points of our philosophy, that is all. He was saying about his people that they are dying, or will die, and must return from the Sky now. Was that not so, Com'run? But there is little else." She assumes her pose of casual relaxation as if conversing with a close group of friends, although her expression hardens slightly when Roose reveals his whereabouts. "<In Trigedasleng> She is a worm, Roose, like the ones that crawl into the heart and eat it from the inside out. I can see it in her face. She does not hide her thoughts so well. Be wary when you are out with her. As for a horse - no. Unless the steheda demands I empty the stables for these little birds, the horses remain with us."

Afaye's attention shifts away from her friend and toward Cameron in an attempt to end the subject. "When will you go back to your people? If this was said, I was not around to hear it."

At the grin from Roose, Cameron grins right back, his dimples showing. Since its clearly a tease, he doesn't bother correcting the butchery. "I'm starting to, I think. Its taking some time, your people are so very different then ours." He turns and nods to Afaye, "Yes. Well, close. The Ark — the Sky City — is dying. Its great machines are failing as they were never intended to last forever without resupply from the planet, and our ability to repair them is no longer sufficient. When the city dies, life within will be impossible, so anyone remaining will die. That is why the 100 were sent down first as scouts, and why the rest will follow. We must return to the earth to survive." That said, he goes silent and listens attentively to them speak their language, but he clearly doesn't understand a word of it, "As long as Morgan is here I will be here with him." is his immediate answer, without any hint of hesitation or thought.

Roose takes the offered set and blinks, "A worm? She seemed truly interested in our ways and was willing to help." He grimaces, though, for, if Afaye says it, he will accept it as true. "Well, that is why I laughed when she suggested it. I told her that the answer would be no, but she can ask if she wants. If that is your opinion of her, though, I wish I hadn't suggested it." Cameron earns the man's focus then, "So you are all refugees then? You and those who remain but will soon join you." He pauses then nods, "I sympathize."

"<In Trigedasleng> I will not be rude. My suspicions are only just that, and she has yet to prove me correct. I do not trust any of these people, however, I will simply tell her no." Afaye shifts on her seat, frowning deeply now, and gazes intently at Roose. There is something to be said, something lingering just on her tongue, and her lips part as if to reveal it. After a moment's consideration, however, she shakes her head slightly and waves her hands dismissively. "Yes, well, sympathize together. Teach each other something new today, will you both? I have loitered long enough, and have much work to do. Be well, Com'run kom Skaikru, if I do not see you before you go. Roose, we will speak soon, yes?" She pauses to glance up to the sky and note the sun's position. "I think very soon." Rising from her seat, she tucks her cloth into her back pocket and stretches before heading off abruptly toward the stables.

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