Day 018: Responsibility
Summary: Grey and Que speak of responsibility and leadership as they walk toward the Seat.
Date: 31 May 2016
Related: None directly.
Grey Que 

Village Center, Coesbur
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.
18 Days After Landing

Late morning, with a faint haze of smoke still lingering far to the east. Lucian Grey has not been to Coesbur since the first day the Skaikru doctors arrived, but he's back now. His makeshift baton and knife were left with the warriors who brought him in without a fuss, and he even submitted to a rigorous pat-down, probably just another way to mess with the Skaiboy. Now he makes his way through the village toward the seat, pulling a Grounder-induced wedgie out of his crack and drawing his still-damp fatigue jacket back into place.

Grey has to go past Que's shack if he's arriving over the bridge, and as it happens, shortly after he's going past, Que emerges from the shack. He's dressed in dark leathers and linens, some black, some brown, all arranged in a haphazard way which ultimately would serve as fairly decent camouflage. More then that, he carries in one hand his sledgehammer, and hanging from a sheath at his side is a knife large enough that it has delusions of grandeur that it almost lives up to being a sword. And his brown skin is stained black by two hand-prints over his face. Instead of a belt of tools, he has a belt with a four leather pouches, two front, two back. He seems geared and ready to do something that's decidedly not making. But, his soft voice comes forth, "Greh kom Skaikru?" from behind the Skaiboy. He sounds surprised, "For what being purpose could you being here? The Summit did not make welcome the Sky People to being in stegeda Coesbur." Despite the fact that the question is a challenge, the tone is mild. More curious then anything else.

Grey recognizes that voice, more or less. Drawing a sharp, preparatory breath, he offers up a broad smile as he turns, although it freezes at the pair of black hand-prints on the taller man's face. Still he pushes it wide again, "Que kom Trikru." He's been practicing the 'kom.' He gestures off toward the east, "I came to tell steheda Oxfor what I could about what happened." There's something vaguely stiff about that line, almost as if he's been thinking about it for the entire walk up from the camp. "I didn't want there to be any misunderstandin's."

"You are being speaking of the fire falling from the sky?" inquires Que, his lips pursing slightly, his head tilted just so as he regards the skaiboy. Critically. But thoughtfully, too. "You have being spoken to your skaiheda? Is this being the beginning of the coming down of the rest of those being skaikru?" He purses his lips at that: /that/ idea he's much less kosher with.

"Yeah, a second dropship." At least, that's what Grey thinks. "But somethin' obviously went wrong. Not just the crash, it was a day and a half early." He gestures toward the Seat, evidently intending to start walking in that direction again, but making the gesture an invitation for the Grounder to accompany him, "But no, we haven't spoken to our heda about it. We're havin' problems with our comms. Probably the same problem that happened with the dropship."

Que is silent a moment, but then he inclines his head just so, and moves to follow Grey as he walks. "It is being different, this falling from the sky, then the falling being done by your … Drop. Ship." He frowns, "Do you be truly dropping a ship? It is being unknowable by me how you do not all break when you fall. But this one seemingly was being far more breaking then when yours did the falling."

Grey nods his agreement with the first point, "Yeah, this one was different." His own frown matches Que's, but he nods a bit more, "I don't know all about it, but it's a ship that's droppin' out of orbit. And there's supposed to be retro rockets… uh… rockets from underneath, to slow it down. Then parachutes. Like our tents are made out of. Slowin' it down more. That one… it didn't happen. And we don't know why." He nods in that direction, "I know there are other villages out that-a-way, and we've already sent a group out there, to help pick up the wreckage, and help however we can. I'm gonna go catch up to them after I'm done here. I just…" he gestures toward the Seat again, "I figured it'd be good if someone told the steheda face to face. So he knows we're not bee-essin' him."

"Bee-essing?" Que seems baffled by this, but speaks, absently, "There are being stegedas in that direction, but I am not having clear idea of where your drop. ship. was being falling, so do not know if it is being come near to their lands. If so, the steheda is being have no say in the matter. It is being the steheda of those villages that the concern is. Or, the kruheda." Que frowns slightly, "Indra is being a strong leader, a fierce leader. She is being the leader that Trikru needs. You should have caution, Greh kom Skaikru. The steheda is wise and kind. Trusting." … Trusting? After that summit? "I can not being speaking for kruheda, I am not being ever speak to her, ever so much as having heard her word with my ears. But kindness is not being a word spoken often for he. Loyal, yes. Strong. Fierce. Decisive. It is being better if the skaikru trouble no other stegedas, I am being thinking. You should being prove yourselves to this, and let Steheda Oxfor carry words of your being honorably obedient to the treaty agreed by Summit. This will being carry weight, with those less likely to being open to peace with invaders."

"You know, bullshitting. Lying." Grey passes that off easily enough, "As for where, I don't know exactly, but some of the nerds," all sorts of new words for Que, although this one doesn't quite have the scorn that it often does associated with it, "Said it was like, forty or fifty kilo — " he cuts off, remembering that Gideon hadn't know what a kilometer was, and starts again, "about double the distance between here and Mount Weather." He frowns thoughtfully at the description of the kruheda, "I think her and our Councilor Kane would get along like two houses on fire." Is that a good thing or a bad one? "We wanna help, both our people, if any made it," by his tone, he doesn't think that likely, "And yours, if any were close by."

<FS3> Que rolls Survival: Success.

Que frowns at first, glancing at Grey as if he were a crazy person, "Bull. Shitting. I am having seen bulls shit. It is not being a thing of note. It is not being a thing I am confused with you doing. You are not being a bull, though if it is being skaikru practice to being comparing their males to bulls, it seems overly much a brag. But we are assuming you are shitting. We are hoping you are knowing to bury or preserve this for planting, but that is being your business. What is having shitting to do with lying?" Baffled. He frowns then, looking off in the direction where the ship fell to, "That is being in the direction of Thirpoda, and of similar distance, though of course there being no way to make accurate makings of distances. Still, if that is being accurate, you will having likely angered another stegeda of Trikru. They will not being happy to have fire and explosions near to their stegeda." He adds, absently, "Is this Kane being your skaiheda then? I would not being bet against my kruheda in favor of any who would be challenging her."

Grey actually cracks a smile at the discussion of bullshitting, shaking his head and chuckling softly, "I got not idea where the saying comes from, Que kom Trikru. But I don't think it's exact. I've never seen a bull, let along seen one shitting, but I bet it stinks, just like lyin' does. And if you wanna know if we're hung like bulls, ask the guard at the gate, she gave me a real good pat-down." And then his good humor drains away, and he winces a little at hearing of a village in the general area, "Yeah, that'd be bad. Wouldn't want to damage fields or anything like that. But Kane, he's not our heda. That's Chancellor Jaha. Kane's…" He frowns, looking for a good analogy, "Well, he's in charge of the Guard, our warriors. But he's also part of the Council, the people who help Jaha make decisions."

Que's expression is strange: considering, disbelieving, and wondering, all at once, as he eyes Grey in a sidelong fashion. Finally, he huffs. Its sort of a half a laugh, and a half a grunt, that gets mixed together and confuses either half. "I am being certain if the guard were being impressed she would have being said so! And being made suggestions." That leads to a low, rumbling laughter, before he gets more serious. "Your people should being considering how it is you are to being buy peace from a second village you are having offended. I am not knowing anything of Thirpoda's steheda, but if you can being make a sign of good faith to Steheda Oxfor, he may argue — may, I note, I am not speaking for him — that you keep faith." Then Grey tries to process this talk of council and decisions, and he's bewildered, clearly. "The kruhedas trust those they are being trusting, they speak, as all people do, to those who advising them. But you are saying words like Council with weight. It is not being the first time I am having heard this. The closest I am to considering it to making sense is to consider the Ambassadors of the Clans that are advising the Heda in her being the Coalition. But that does not being make of sense, for there is only one Commander." He squints at Grey a moment, "Your… warriors all obey this… 'Councilor'? How is it being that he is not skaiheda? Surely he could being challenge the skaiheda then."

Grey offers up a shit-eating grin at the first bit, "She wasn't complainin'." Again, it fades fast, though, Grey nodding, "Part of why I wanted to come in person. Puttin' myself in your power. Good faith, all that. I told the steheda that I'd be personally responsible if the sickness was intentional. I figured it'd be good to look him in the eye when I told him that hundreds of my people might've died in that crash. It's already a tragedy even if none of your people died. If any did, that makes it even worse." He's silent on the point of Ark politics for a couple of paces, then explains a little more, "That… sounds pretty close. The Councilors represent the people to the Chancellor. They're usually… stehedas, maybe? kruhedas? I dunno exactly. Usually in charge of a certain type of people, like Councilor Kane in charge of the Guard. And yeah, we do. But up on the Ark, Guard are important, but it's the Makers who are most important. When somethin' breaking could kill everyone, Makers get real important real fast." Nodding up toward the approaching building, he inquires, "So if there was a warrior here who was a better fighter than Oxfor, he could challenge to be steheda? Even if Oxfor was better liked?"

Que is silent a moment, his steps even falling slower, "It is not being as simple as that. Indra is being supporting Oxfor. We are not being obedient to the steheda because he is being liked. There is no requirement being that we are liking those who lead. Indra is being speaking for the Clan— and she beings carries the will of the Heda— the stehedas answer to her and are being carriers of her will. It is true that we are honoring our warriors first, and that it is being more common for a steheda to be a warrior, but Oxfor will being choose his own Second. This may being a warrior. This may being not. But should someone being challenge Oxfor, if Indra is not being satisfied?" His expression is dark, "A short challenge it will being." That said, he sighs softly and shakes his head, "Perhaps coming in person is being the best thing, perhaps you are being show wisdom. But, if some of our people are being dead?" He shrugs slightly, "I am not thinking they will be considering that yours died a compensation in blood. You chose to be sending your drop-ships. The consequences are being yours. You have been heard our ways. Blood must have blood. It is being the foundation of the Commander's peace." Peace? That? As far as Que is concerned, yes.

Grey lets himself be slowed down as the other man's pace drags, listening to the explanation of Grounder politics as well. "Second, like a second in command. That sounds like what Kane is. If somethin' happens to Jaha before he's outta office, Kane's the new Chancellor. That's Jaha's choice too." He grunts softly, thoughtfully, "Maybe some parts that aren't so different after all." The last point, of course, draws a little sigh of breath, "Yeah. But there's already been blood. Even if it didn't touch a single Trikru, I'm willin' to bet there were plenty of people on that dropship, and there ain't no survivin' that crash. Probably as many people as are in Coesbur." It's a guess on both sides, and only off by like… 40%.

"Any may take a Second." Que responds, his voice serene at that, "I am being had Seconds, I am not being having one now. A Second learns. In the case of a maker, when I am being released my Second, they are of skill and training to being going to make their way with the skills I am having taught. It is not being second in command. Though, when you are Second to a Chief, you are being learning command, so that is different, I am being supposed." That said, he nods slightly, agreement on his features, "But still, if Jaha is your skaiheda, and Kane is being his Second, I understand why he may being leading your warriors. This is a duty of great important for a leader to being do." Then he goes more silent, thoughtful, taking slow steps as he shakes his head slightly, "The blood between Coesbur and skaigeda is being spoken for. We have sat Summit, made treaty. But if there is being new blood? That your people may being died meanings nothing to us. Yes, I, as a man, a simple man, I can being offer you honest sympathy. I am having no desire for your people to die. If they die, I am understanding your sorrow. But that is yours. If even one died, though?" Que shakes his head, "If a farmer happened to fall beneath your drop-ship, are you thinking the kruheda and steheda of that village will being accepting… but many of us died? That is not being blood. Your people being chose to fall, and in their choosing, may have died. That farmer being chose nothing. His blood soaks the earth is being calling out for blood. Are you seeing the difference? Blood Must Have Blood. The blood is being calling. The accidental being dead does not answer for the dead that died by your skyfall. Blood is what we are needing to exact in response. We are being need to answer blood to blood. It is not being the same." Though he sounds uncertain, as if he could explain this so much better in his own language.

Grey accepts the lesson in Second-dom easily enough, and nods his agreement with the political comparison, but the mention of the trouble causes him to frown, "Even though hundreds of our people might have died in an accident, something they didn't mean to do, you'd see that as a blood feud and…" he's about to say 'start the Juice Train running,' but realizes that that might not be politic, and instead goes with, "…declare that more of our blood's gotta be spilled?" The ex-Cadet shakes his head slowly, "That's hard, man. I won't say it's crazy, 'cause you grew up a whole different way than us, but that's hard, holdin' accidents against people."

"Yes." Que says, his voice seeming quite sincere in this, "I am not saying it being the will of everyone, but, blood is spilled onto the ground, and it is being calling out for retribution. This is being the foundation of the Commander's peace. This is being how the Clans who hate each other are being united." His expression darkens, "I am having lost friends to the war with Ice Nation." He spits then, and though just a maker, grips the edge of that extra long knife of his, as if he wished to draw it, "I, in my heart, am saying, Blood Must Have Blood, and that there is being retribution needed against they our bitter and most recent enemy. But. The Commander is being made peace. Azgeda stands the twelfth clan. Now they are being keeping the peace. They are knowing that if they cross Trikru, Trikru will being answer with war. The promise of Blood is being keeping peace in the clans. It is being our way." He gestures slightly, "Suppose it being not a farmer, but a village. Suppose it being not one, but families. Are you thinking we would answer different? But, if we would be answering the death of a village, why is the farmers blood not being worthy of answering? What is being an accident? It is being easy to declare accident. What is known is blood. Blood of my stegeda, blood of my clan, blood of the Coalition. Blood is being binding us. Blood holds being holding us. Blood is being defining us. And Blood Must Have Blood." He's almost fervent with his certainty of this. A true-believer, Que is. Even though not a warrior.

Grey is nodding right along with Que, accepting his words either willingly or reluctantly, until he gets to the point about accidents, and Grey frowns, "I'm pretty sure a crash that's clearly not like what happened the last time we did something like this, that kills hundreds of our people," his voice takes on a heat to it, a controlled anger, "isn't something we'd fake to just kill a family or a farmer or whatever else we could hit out there. At some point, Que kom Trikru, you're gonna have to accept that we're humans, just like you, not animals who are gonna throw their lives away just to kill."

"And yet, are you saying your people are not responsible?" Que turns, stopping, and faces Grey head on, "It is being a difficulty we are having with understanding you. You are excusing. It is being said between us as we hear of you. You are being criminals. But. There is being buts. But. But. But. You are being criminals." He huffs softly, crossing his arms over his shoulders, saying more firmly, "But. Your people did be choose to being falling from sky. The consequences of that choice is being yours. Accepting responsibility for that choice is being one path forward. Or attempting to being excusing how you are not responsible is being another. This is what I say, maker of Coesbur, stands being before you. Responsibility is being accepted, or excused. We will look to one in one way, and we will being look to another a very different way. Listen or not. But be advised that you do not suggest that you are being like us again. I am being a simple man and recognize you intend to forge bond of sameness. Others will being take this as grave insult. Your fathers and mothers have not died and had their ashes being placed into this earth your people now forage and hunt upon. Your greatfathers and greatmothers are not being ashes in the earth your people now invade. You are sky people. Your life was hard, I am being understanding, and I am listening to understand this. But it was being different. We are being walking upon the land the ashes of our people have fed and caused to flourish."

"I'm saying that they wouldn't crash themselves into the ground and die horrible, fiery deaths on purpose." Grey's smiles are long past now, although he keeps his temper pretty well in check here. "No. I take responsibility for my actions. Yeah, I'm a criminal. I killed my mother. She was a horrible person and deserved to die. I knew what I did was against the law, and I turned myself in after I did it. And there are more Skaikru like that than there are who aren't like that." And now he points up toward the sky, rounding on Que and stepping forward to close the distance within arm's reach — although not closer, "The ashes of my mother and father and their mother and father are up there. They all died thinking that their kids were the only chance the human race had to survive. So no, we haven't lived the same life, but don't you dare suggest that we've had it easier. Different, yeah. But not easier."

"I am not suggesting easier, Greh kom Skaikru. I am having very specific words. I am saying different. I will not be taking offense at you twisting the words I am speaking to you into as insulting a possible frame, and instead I am going to be accepting you are being in a difficult place and speaking from the heart." Que's voice is almost serene, though that undercurrent of severity is there, "The question of responsibility is being important, for on purpose is not being the deciding factor in what is responsible." He frowns though, "Though a child that kills his mother I am not understanding, but, yes, I am knowing there are those parents and people in a stegeda who are… wrong. Bad. I am not thinking it excuses murder, for if they are wrong, surely your skaiheda could being declare their fate. You again have a but. An excuse for being remove your responsibility."

Grey takes several deep breaths, even closing his eyes for a moment, and when he speaks again, his tone is certainly more controlled, "I didn't mean to offend you. I wasn't tryin' to do that. But if I was tryin' to dodge responsibility for killing my mother, I wouldn't have turned myself in. I take responsibility for it. That's what got me locked up, that's what got me sent down here. As for what my mom did," the sneer of distaste, disdain, hatred, and… yes pain, twists his lips hard, "well, you didn't ask, so I'll leave it at… I killed her, I turned myself in, expectin' to be floated when I turned 18. I'm real glad I got sent down here instead."

"Do the others?" Que tilts his head to the side, "Take responsibility. Because it is being a thing spoken between us, that you do not. That you are making of excuses. It is being a thing to consider. In future involvement with our people, I am being meaning." Que nods his head slightly, "Your people, I am to being understand, sentence to death at all crimes. We do not. The hedas decide. As appropriate. As such, we are not being judging your skaiheda the judgement of deciding death being the answer to all. That is your people. It means nothing to be those of us. BUT." And then Que raises a hand, and gestures to the Seat, "It is being a thing, a small thing, but a thing, a starting thing, to being simply say: I have this responsibility. I will be making amends. There being no declaration of excuses. No reasons. There being responsibility, without excuse. There is being respect. For dead, for not dead, for truth." And Que takes a step back, "Accept my wisdom, small though it is being, or not. I give it being freely because you honored our dead, Greh kom Skaikru, and because though I think you are being fools, you do not mean to being fools. So I am meaning you no ill will."

Grey shrugs slightly in response to the question, accepting the unsatisfactory answer to the question, "Some do, some don't. Wouldn't deny that there are some who are still kids in camp. And I don't just mean age. In the sky, any crime meant death. Down here, we've only got one crime that gets you death so far, and that's murderin' someone in cold blood. You probably heard, we had our first execution last night, right before the dropship fell. One of us killed another of us, not in self-defense. We executed her." His features go a little grey beneath his dark skin as he relates the process, but he holds himself tightly together. Drawing in a breath, he nods slowly, "I accept your wisdom, Que kom Trikru. I'll give the same back, because you honored our dead. The reason why always matters to Skaikru. It might not change anything, but it always matters."

"I am having heard of certain problems being in your camp." is all Que says, though his voice is somber, "It is being right, though, that your people are showing understanding, finally, that, Blood Must Have Blood." He nods in slight satisfaction, but to the latter statements of Grey he shakes his head slightly, "To the Heda, she who is the Coalition? She does what must being done. She is the Coalition. Her will is being the surety of the twelve clans." He shrugs slightly, and turns away, "To the steheda— chiefs— of the stegeda— villages— and to Indra? Why. Why. Why." He shakes his head slowly, "Why is being such a soft word. The clans can not being soft. Blood binds us, our ashes we are being honoring. Why. Why." Que sighs even as his back turns on Grey, "When Blood calls, 'why' is being such a small question. Blood must have blood. It is being the peace of the Commander: when blood calls, what is being matter the reason of why? The Coalition of the Twelve Clans is not being built upon whys, but hardness, but obedience, but responsibility for being consequences." He's going to be walking away then, but Grey may speak more if he wishes…

Grey doesn't have a whole lot to say in response to that, just noting, "Sometimes, Blood Must Have Blood is enough of a Why." It could even be agreement — it's certainly qualified agreement. And he does add, "Lat'eh." It's not pronounced correctly, but it's not that far off.

"On the contrary, Greh kom Skaikru." Que's voice is, as ever quiet, but it carries just loudly enough, "Blood Must Have Blood is always being enough of a way. It is other whys that are why we Summit, why we are being making peace. That is what is being different between Trikru and the Mountain. The Mountain has being launched its missiles at our villages at slightest being provocation. They are not understanding the value of peace. We, we recognize Blood Must Have Blood, but we are understanding that Blood Has Had Blood, and there is being need for peace. If terms can being had agreeable." And then, Que looks back, and nods to Greh, and gestures him into the Seat.

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