Day 023: Seven More Walking Corpses
Summary: While the Delinquents discuss the seven sacrifices they are being asked to make, a Grounder arrives at the gate bearing seven surgical needles.
Date: 13 Jun 2016
Related: Follows Buzzkills and 7 for 700
Ariadne Cassandra Elias Jumar Kai Morgan Que Shi Stone Tink 

Grounds — the Camp

With the removal of underbrush and a half-dozen small trees, there is now a tiny clearing around the dropship. It has begun to fill with detritus from the ship, including all of the seating, padding, and removable plates or bulkheads.

Several tents have been set up within the clearing, set close together within the confines of the surrounding trees. A small collection of weapons sits under a parachute-cloth shelter by the door of dropship, open for community use. A three-holer latrine is set up downwind of camp in the prevailing breezes, and a rough wall stretches between trees at the edge of the clearing, dropship plates and felled tree-trunks stacked up and lashed together as best as the Delinquents can manage. There is a gate at the north end, a single panel that can be rolled aside at need.

The forest immediately surrounding the camp has been cowed into near-silence, but is still vibrant and green to a people used to stark metal bulkheads all around them.

23 Days After Landing

<FS3> Cassandra rolls Archery: Success.

Cassandra was never very good at following orders, even doctors' orders meant for her own good. With a bandage still wrapped around her head and the occasional bit of blood evacuating her nose — though it has slowed considerably — she's awake bright and early with the rising sun, a small, thin wooden bow held in her hands, just the right size for her scrawny and inexperienced form to handle. The ex-Cs will not let her near loaded rifles, but that will not stop her learning to shoot. Slow and patient, the soft sound of arrows firing towards a notched section of the wooden wall echoes around camp, a few of them landing at askew angles, while many more land in the ground, hit but do not sink, or fumble in her hands.

The asscrack of dawn. Elias never claimed to be a morning person and likely never will. The young man wanders out of his tent before grabbing his shirt from the short line he's rigged outside it. After pulling it over his torso, he makes his way towards the sounds of a bowstring twanging. As he approaches, he gives an upnod towards Cassandra and starts looking around for other bows and arras. "Morning, Bonheur," he mumbles sleepily, though audibly enough. "Couldn't sleep?" Dark circles under Elias' eyes probably belie a considerable lack of sleep on his own part.

Another arrow hits the wall and bounces. So-so aim, but not enough force. Cassandra breaks her death-stare of concentration to look distractedly towards Elias, but it's only after she's released that shot that she lowers her bow. If she is restless at this hour, it's hard to tell; her eyes are still swollen and bag-bruised as a result of her head-injury, so she always looks tired, even if the reason is medical and she's wide awake. "Slept just fine," she replies to her former Agro Station neighbour. "I'm always up early. Catch the Dawn Chorus. You okay?" There are more bows and a quiver of arrows laid out on a nearby severed chair from the Dropship.

There's a smile to Cassandra, though it's lopsided and kind of silly. "Aren't we all okay?" he asks in a mock-taunting tone before giving a dismissive wave of his hand. Taking a deep breath then, he gives her another upnod. "I'll be alright. I feel like a monster at times, at times in over my head. Both are true." He rolls his shoulders forward before bending down to swipe one of the arrows up so he can toy with it in his hands. "How are you holding up? Asher? I haven't seen him around at all."

Cass sends Elias a long, hard look as he speaks, creasing her brow beneath the misshapen bruise on her head. "'Course we're okay," she confidently assures, without a trace of sarcasm. "Look at me. I'm alive and kicking. Thanks in part to you, by the way." She takes a moment to sweep her gaze around the quiet camp, checking that their conversation is private. Most of the indolent teenagers are still asleep, but at all times a few of the so-called guard and militia patrol the wall walk. "Asher's alright," she adds placidly. "He's got holes in him but he'll be alright. Just don't let him go out to fetch water if he mentions it to you, and don't mention to him that I mentioned to you that he might." She takes a moment to size Elias up. Asher is a big, intimidating guy, after all, who tends to bully and knock heads when people stand in his way. Asking anyone to do that might be a tall order. "What's all this about being a monster, Lapointe?"

Elias catches the look and avoids it. Hard looks and making eye contact are not things he excels at these days. He rubs the back of his neck slowly for a moment and then shakes his head. "Naw. It was a team effort. If I didn't have Cameron, Silas, Kai, and Devin with me you know I would have wound up getting myself killed looking for you guys." There's a laugh then as he twists the arrow between the index finger on one hand and the other. There's absolutely no doubt that Elias would be no match for Asher in a fight, but he's no bum himself. "I'll keep an eye out for him. Promise." At the final question, he looks down again and stops twisting the arrow to study it closely. "Mags," he says simply. "How the fuck we became judge, jury, and executioner. It's ridiculous… and I hate it. I hate even the thought of sympathizing with Jaha's merciless tyrant ass. But maybe it's shit like that that made him an asshole." He gives a brief pause then and lets out a sigh. "I don't know. I just don't know."

When Elias looks down after his promise about Asher, Cassandra likewise looks away. Fortunately, he changes the subject swiftly enough, and she's able to look back towards him — albeit with a heavy set of her jaw. "Mags was bullshit," she liberally opines. "All of it was bullshit." So she doesn't just mean the girl herself. The living delinquent, who was also initially accused (but acquitted) of Evie's murder, steps towards Elias and then past him, towards the chair from the Dropship. She retrieves an arrow, and sets it under the bowstring with some fumbling of her fingers but a critical eye. "You vote to kill her?"

Elias doesn't deign to mention Asher again, letting that part of the conversation become dead silent. The whole Mags situation? It has him looking upset as well. For the moment, he remains in his current position and lets Cassandra move around him to retrieve another arrow. "I thought that people would have been a lot more reasonable," he says quietly. "Keep her on lockdown for a while and safe while we figured out what the hell was going on. Instead, all people did was react… call for blood." Another dismissive gesture is made towards the camp in general before he squints his eyes and looks at her again finally. "Nah. You know I didn't vote to kill her. I'm just the one who did it. Poorly. I didn't cut her free and tell her to run away from one of the most disgusting displays of 'justice' I've ever seen. And we're from the fucking Ark, Cass. It really begs the questions: what are we trying to survive for and do we even deserve to?"

<FS3> Cassandra rolls Archery: Good Success.

Cass Bonheur is not the most philosophical of teenagers, nor the most tactful. She is, in many regards, the worst sort of person to have the conversation that's on Elias' mind, and she fails to show the empathy he may need. The arrow in her hands gets drawn in the bow, and then she fires away: it's a surprisingly good shot, compared to the others she's landed in the ground, concentration crystallised with the morbid talk. The shaft quivers as the arrowhead pierces the wall, lined up straight. "All I saw is that you stabbed her in the neck," she coldly reminds Elias. "Didn't see you stand up for her when she needed it." The tense muscles in her arms go lax as she lowers the bow again, canting her chin. "Funny, isn't it. Cameron calls me a sociopath, but at least I'm not a murdering sociopath." Tell that to the Grounder whose sword she carries at her hip, having killed him. "Lots of our best moral standards 'round camp voted to kill her, or helped. I reckon we got seven more walking corpses on our hands soon. Only follows."

Tink comes walking out of the tech tent, and having finished doing some maintenance to the solar cells, is now starting to head towards the wall to do some maintenance there as well. However, she sees Elias on the grounds, and wanting to make sure that Kai is feeling better after that stupid dice game, she makes a detour to go talk to him. The fact that he's already chatting with someone else doesn't stop the little pixie.

Or maybe it isn't empathy Elias needs. Why would he strike up this conversation with Cassandra of all people? Still idly toying with the arrow between his index fingers gingerly, there is a slow nod of his head to her words, considering them very carefully. His jaw tightens, but he doesn't argue with her. His expression is resigned, though more genuinely sad than vaguely brooding. "You're right," he says, nodding his head to her. "I wasn't there when she needed me and I was too scared to stand up." Taking a deep breath then, he gives the arrow another twist while he looks down at it. The comments about Cameron's opinions bring another shrug to his shoulders. "You're pretty out there. Different. Most of us are pretty fucked up, though. Lockup isn't where you find well-adjusted people. Sociopath? I'm thinking less along those lines. You're gonna' do you." A pause is given then as he presses the arrow against his finger just a touch more. "Probably. That deal's about as sour as they come, though. Seven now so they can blame some other bullshit on us we had nothing to do with next week. What's it going to be? Regular sacrifices?"

At the very least, Cassandra manages a grin at the comment that you're gonna do you. She doesn't tend to take compliments well, but that one finds its mark. "Yeah, I say fuck that," she concurs, to his latter assessment. She shifts her weight, easing up and then adjusting her archery stance. A glance is sent towards the approaching Tink, before she fixes her bag-bruised gaze on Elias' hazel-grey eyes. "You listen to me, Reedy," she beseeches in a low yet sincere voice, despite the nickname. "You reckon you're a monster, fine by me. But don't you go letting guilt eat away at you right now. We don't got time for that. You did a bad thing, you recognise that, you move on. Do better next time. You got your chance right now with Fiona's black-stone white-stone bullshit. Not the time to get sentimental. We've all done stuff."

"Hey… is this a bad time?" Tink looks at Elias when she overhears a bit of the snippets of conversation on her way up. "I can grab you later Elias." She gives a little wave to Cassandra. The little pixie mainly sticks to Kai's shadow but since the looming attack and Cole needing all techies on deck… the girl hasn't been able to hide as much.

Cassandra's continued pragmatism does eventually draw a bit of a grin from Elias as well. There he gives her a quick little upnod. "Eden. You goin' soft on me, Bonheur?" The sarcasm really should be hard to miss with his tone, but he does give her a nod of understanding. "Yeah, I got you." It's 'thank you', but the wording is notably different. Looking back down at the arrow, he shifts it a little to favor one finger more and then the other. As Tink approaches, he looks over to the girl and lifts his brows. "Nah, it's cool, Tink. Cass was just showing me a thing or two with the bow while I bemoaned my existence like a pathetic child. What's up?" There is another glance towards Cassandra though and he smirks lightly. "The Grounders might be savages, but they follow a system. Systems have rules. Where there's rules, there's a way to cheat. So how do we cheat?"

Soft? Cass scoffs derisively, the work of that prior compliment undone. By her flagging posture, her arm is getting a little tired, but she flexes it all the same to make a trying point that she is anything but soft, sending her eyes back down the arrow shaft. The latter words spoken to Tink do placate her by dodging an impeachment of her delinquent rep — she may not turn back towards him for the moment, but her jaw is set at ease, and she doesn't look annoyed. It's quite a subtle read, but surely were Cass annoyed, one would know; she is seldom subtle when she is. "We talk to Giddy," she says, letting loose another arrow. This one, due to her thinly veiled exhaustion, flops unimpressively onto the ground two feet diagonally from hers. "Though we don't call her Giddy. I doubt she'd like that. I don't know the Grounders' rules, but she does. And if she doesn't help, well… burn that bridge when we get to it. I'm all ears if you've got better ideas."

Tink shoves her hands in her pockets and shelves the other matter to the side to consider what Elias and Cassandra are talking about. She doesn't know much the grounders, so… yeah… there's that, 'I have no idea' look on her face, "Find something they want… badly and then just make sure they don't think killing us is a good way to get it." She looks at Cass and Elias. "What do the grounders need? From what I can see… there are things we have… they don't. It's just a question of getting through to the right people who might want to keep us around."

A lack of sick people and a lack of injured people has become a novelty. Not that everyone is fine but those who aren't are recovering which makes Morgan happy. He wanders out of his tent, leaving his shirt behind since it's warm enough to not need one. And why get it sweaty when washing it isn't going to happen. Spotting the small group, he wanders over. "Hey. So what's the general attitude like? Tell em to fuck off?"

Elias is pretty good about picking up nuances, but he doesn't rib Cassandra any further. Again, Elias watches the shot go down range and he gives a nod of approval. Her idea is listened to intently and he gives his head another slow bob of approval. "That's probably the most sensible idea and I sure as shit don't have a better one. If we can get her word on the situation and find some possibility… some third option…" The sentence trails off thoughtfully, though he does once again turn his attention to Tink. Quiet for several moments while she speaks, he finally gives a shake of his head. "If we start to just give them things, we're still kneeling to them. They respect strength and utility. Having useful shit is only going to go so far unless we can convince them that trading for our useful shit is worth their while. You want to make peace, you make deals… not sacrifices." Upon Morgan's approach, he raises his brows and lets out a short laugh. "Fuck all that shit. There has to be a third option. That's where I'm standing."

There's some commotion on the wall, "Grounder!" one of the Delinquents on watch shouts, though another adds, "Just the one! One of those big ones though!"

Then there's Jumar, the formerly quiet mechanic slash builder who has been working on trap designs the last few hours. Holding a metal sheet and charcoal in one hand, his feet are easily heard as he drops from the wall walkway and onto the ground. "If those lunatics wanted to talk, they'd already been here themselves… and what's stopping them from simply trying to walk all over us anyway with a sacrifice like that? They'll know they can bully us, and I'm not about to help a bunch of bloodthirsty lunatics to kill yet more people with my designs." The musical bass voice of Jumar chimes in as the question is asked, with the white shirt and jeans already getting more dirt, a glance is given to the grounders in camp… not hostile, but definitely mistrustful. "Sure, some of them might not be lunatics, but that doesn't matter much right now."

By the time Cassie lowers her bow anew, she looks up and notices that the sky is no longer pink. Rosy-fingered dawn has retreated beneath the horizon, and it is now morning; more than a few delinquents are starting to open their eyes, emerge from their tends and slug their way to work, or what qualifies for it around camp; light, chewy fruit-leather and jerky breakfasts on the go, wooden planks being dragged back to the wall, and they're now interrupting the aspiring archer's concentration. It was fine with just Elias around, but now there's Tink, Morgan, Jumar, and some serious talk underway. Tired anyway, she lets her arm go slack rather than fire the next arrow she had lined up, and swings her boots to casually stroll towards where she'd let loose her arrows — just in time to hear the alert from the parapets.

Cassie squints, looking up towards the cry of alarm, then turns towards he others. "Looks like we got time to practice now, eh?" she says, starting towards the gate with narrowed eyes, her thin short-bow in one hand and a cluster of collected arrows in the other.

"Yeah… just a crazy thought… don't mind me," Tink tells Elias and Jumar when she gets the negative reactions. There she goes, back in her shell. She just turns, walks away from there to go see what the other delinquents are talking about. Just something to get the focus off her and her big mouth.

"A third option would be great," Morgan agrees. "Be sure to let me know soon as you come up with one. Till then, we're not sending people to die. Not even for peace but just for time. That's bullshit." Turning at the shout from the sentry, he looks toward the gate and frowns. "Just one? Messenger?" He starts walking toward the gate. "Open it up, I'll see what he wants."

Elias glances to Cassandra first and gives her a nod of his head. With the increased crowd, he does focus his attention more on Tink to further help uphold Cass' delinquent rep. "No, no. You're on the right track. I didn't mean to be an asshole about it. It's just… their demand of human sacrifices for shit we didn't do? It's got me pretty pissed. But we need to meet as equals, not as… bitches." He does nod to Morgan, though. "It's a shit deal. Not even a deal. It's a demand. So no, we're not doing that in any case." The sound of the alarm has him looking up as well then and tensing visibly. At the announcement that there's only one, he rolls his eyes and just gives a wave of his hand at the watch. "You don't… have to yell because you see people taking a morning stroll," he says with a touch of irritation. He nods then to Jumar in agreement. "Like I said: We're not doing human sacrifices."


This gets a brow furrow from Jumar. "Skaigeda? What's that?"

Kai is up on the wall, really, and well, it's Que, who is about her least favorite Trikru in the history of ever. Hence the squinting down at him balefully. There might be some debate there but finally the ex-C does give a 'open her up' signal for the guys in control of the gate to let him as she turns to make her way off the wall down towards the gathering in the grounds.

An eyebrow arches on Cassandra's misshapen head, and she turns to look towards their best (or at least most hard-working) on-site medic. "More-gan of the Skaikru?" she echoes his way. "Why you?" All the same, she doesn't stand in his way; if the Grounder is here to speak to him, she accepts that, but her bow is at the ready. Those who've been watching her practice know she's a poor hand with it as yet, but it's surely the thought that counts.

When Que is revealed on the other side of the gate, Cassie turns her head his way with some astonishment. "Que kom Trikru?" Why him? Apparently she knows the man, but it doesn't change the wary edge to her disposition.

Tink pauses as Elias apologizes and tells him, "Look…I wasn't suggesting that we be bitches… it's just…" Then that booming voice announces himself and she stops looking over at Morgan cause it might be him that this grounder is looking to talk to but it does sound weird to hear his name said in such a way.

"Pretty sure that's us," Morgan says over his shoulder. "There's a clan called the Azgeda so I think geda means clan too? Not sure why he used that and Skaikru." Fi might know. "No idea, Cass. But we'll find out. And don't point that thing at him." As the gate starts to swing open enough to let someone get through, he calls, "Come on in, Que. Be welcome."

Then Jumar turns in place, looking to the newcomer. His hands in his pockets, he watches the proceedings with a bit of interest. "Skaikru is their noun for us… Maybe Skaigeda is the plural?"

Que is on a horse, and the horse has a number of leather packs attached to it. Out of one is the obvious end of a saw. Otherwise, the maker is in his mix of leather and linens, with a belt that has a myriad of tools attached. As for no weapons, that might be a matter of definitions, as there's a pretty huge sledgehammer strapped to his back. But, he slides off of the horse and rolls his shoulders, pulling one pack in particular off the horse and stepping forward to look around. Despite the original shouting, his voice is quite soft. "Geda is being meaning gathering, come-togethering," he says, catching the tail end of that conversation. "Stegeda is being stay-gathering, is village. Skaigeda?" He shrugs, gesturing around. "It is being this place which I am not knowing a name otherwise of."

Elias is quiet for the moment, though he does look sidelong at Tink and nod his head. "Sorry. A bit later? I'll do more shutting up and more listening." A quick smile is given then before his attention is on the approaching Grounder and Morgan right now. He doesn't say anything to Que, but does give him a quick upnod when he maneuvers his horse closer.

Telling Cass what to do is always a bad idea; like the Rum Tum Tugger or any curious cat, she always ends up wanting to do the exact opposite. So when Morgan assures her that there's no need to point her bow at Que kom Trikru — that is exactly what she ends up doing. Fortunately for Que, her archery skills need work as much as her rifle skills, and he can probably tell that it is not actually pointing anywhere near him, even though it looks that way superficially. She might also be semi-aware of this, because she doesn't tighten the bowstring, wanting to avoid the risk of shooting her own team by accident. "Welcome to our village, Que," she calls out to the Grounder, her manner friendly enough despite the bow-shaped precaution. "What are you doing here?"

"Doesn't really have a name." This from Kai as she wanders up, eyeing the horse and it's load, but it's actually Jumar of all people the lean girl circles around to in order to reach for his arm and potentially draw him off at least a little way.

"And Azgeda? I know they're the clan to the north but what does the name mean if geda is a place where people live together?" Morgan asks curiously. He glances around and shrugs. "We just call it the camp. I suppose you could call it the Skaikru camp. So what can we do for you, Que? I'd offer some food and water except we're under siege and low on supplies."

Tink just quietly stands there, looking like she has no idea what is going on. She automatically takes the shadow position of Kai, eyeing the guy on the horse with interest. But there is no way she's going to approach him.

Jumar seems curious about Que… but that curiosity is soon replaced with an interest in why Kai is suddenly reaching for him… but goes with it anyway. "Need something?" The musical bass is still easily heard as he goes… Jumar does not have one of those 'whisper' voices.

"That is being Ice Nation. Geda is sometimes being meaning nation. Words are having meaning that is being different in context in Trigedasleng, is not quite same in Gonasleng." replies Que to Morgan with a slight shrug, before looking over to Cassandra, "Kaas. Andra." Que's voice is careful of the name, even though he doesn't do it very well. "I am being come to honor the treaty agreed between my steheda and the skaigeda. It was being agreed that you will be sharing the teachings of flesh-sewing, and for this you are being have need of seer-gee-cal needles. It had taken time for it was a new process to be discovering, but I am having forged seven." From his sack he pulls out a small wooden box, which he carefully grips and pulls open — the lid fits tightly, though inside is lined with a thin metal box. And in that, a clear clean oil, and in that, three curved surgical needles. He gestures them to Morgan. "These are being yours. It occurred to me that you may being of need sooner then later, no?"

Cass narrows her eyes at Que's words, then looks to Morgan questioningly. She looks about to start some kind of argument with the Grounder, but when that metal box is produced, she lowers her bow and warily steps aside to let the two talk without further intervention.

Wait. Did someone say 'forged'? He nods to Kai a moment… then his eyes go right for Que. Jumar steps away from Kai and heads right for the needles, inspecting them with his eyes carefully.

Ice Nation. Knowing what it means, it suddenly makes sense. Ice. Az. "I see. Thanks for explaining." Morgan says and then his brows rise as Que says what brought him here. Stepping over, he takes a look in the box then up to Que. "How did you get them curved?" But then he shakes his head. "I don't think we have anything to trade for them, Que. And under the circumstances, I might not be in a position to demonstrate it for your healers. You should probably hang onto them until we know that I'll be able to live up to my side of the bargain."

Elias's attention is drawn away from the exchange between Morgan and Que briefly by Kai's tugging of Jumar's arm. He gives a curious tilt of his head, but does eventually settle his attention back on Que. When the business seems to be trade, he steps back and lets them do business. Leaving the others to it for the moment, he moves back towards his tent to finally grab his boots. It likely wasn't the best of ideas to be going barefoot even this long.

Kai doesn't stop Jumar from returning to the gathering, nope, whatever she had to say she's completed, turning to give Tink something that actually resembles a smile for once she nods in the direction of the maker and elects to make her way around over near Elias instead. Totally not, other than being excessively nosey about things like the saw poking out of the horses saddlebags, endeavoring to interrupt or interfere with Que and Morgan, though of course Cass has to get plenty of shade thrown her way of the 'I'm watching you Bonheur' kind.

Que eyes Morgan levelly for a moment, saying in a very slow, deep voice, "You are not being understanding, More-gan kom Skaikru. There is no need for trade for these, this is a matter between my steheda and you. I am being honoring the treaty. If you can or do is a matter between you and my steheda. Here." He pushes his hands forward more, "And since I am being here, it is being occurs to me that I might trade for other services that may being of use, and which would bring no dishonor to my stegeda to provide. Such as providing service of three axes, two saws, and hammers and tools of many kind. I will not, of course, be making any weapons to turn against my people, but I am not being forbidden from trading. Why, it is being thought to me that this fruit-leather of yours being a valuable trade for my skills and tools." He lifts up his hand to show about an inch between his fingers, arching his brow a bit. "Perhaps this much, yes? That is being fair trade." He's come to help. He just needs an excuse to do so.

Tink murmurs, "I'm going to get back to work…" to no one in particular because trading, negotiation, even voicing her opinions that doesn't include a one on one setting is not her forte. She quickly heads back to the shelter of the tech tent, letting others barter with the grounders.

After a first glance, "These look well made… iron? I imagine that's why the oil?" He gets a confused look, "why not something that won't rust as easily? Aliminum or steel?" The mention of tools gets his interest even more. "Actual tools?" Jumar looks to the others. "Those would make my job a lot easier."

Morgan takes the box and glances down at it in his hand a moment before looking back to Que. "Cass? Do you think you could get some of the fruit leather please? So we can trade with Que for his tools? Kai? Do you know where Stone is? Or maybe Fi or Lip?"

Wait… what? There is no way that Kai saw that… heard that, correctly. Hell, she almost trips over her own feet she pulls up so fast to pivot and stare at Que like the guy just sprouted tentacles, and then as the gears in her head start working again her jaw clicks slowly shut like maybe, just maybe, if she was the affectionate sort she might just run over and give the big guy a hug, but instead limits herself to a reserved upnod of actual respect, distracted only by her shadow slipping away. "Fi was among tent city earlier, having seen the mouth all day, Stone either."

Cass might have an objection to raise when Morgan makes to refuse the offer of surgical needles, but when Que speaks, she stows them. Her raccoon-eyed gaze remains narrowed with suspicion before she turns away from the pair, just in time to hear the task she's being put to. She glances over her shoulder at the two and then at Kai, but her message is clear: she may have been about to walk away, but now she isn't going to budge. That's a no on the fruit leather. Someone else will have to snap to it.

After swinging an arm down to grab up his boots and taking his socks off the line as well, Elias plops down outside of his tent to put the protective coverage on his feet. When Kai approaches, he looks up at the girl and smiles tiredly at her. "Hey," he greets her, letting his eyes linger on her face a moment. He then resumes the slipping on of socks and lacing up of boots. When the task is finally complete, he stands up near Kai and shifts his attention briefly over to Cass as well. She's not budging, so Elias offers to Morgan with a brief glance to Kai as well, "I can get it."

"Go for it," Kai manages for Elias, with just a faint tone of 'before he changes his mind'.

"Use of my tools, please being understanding, when I am being done trading my tools and services, I will being taking them with him. Perhaps tomorrow. Or day beyond that, when my supplies are having run out. I am being clear?" warns Que with his soft voice, before he looks to Jumar and tilts his head. "The making of steel is being lost to us. So steel must being salvaged, reworked, forged yes, but with much more having difficulty. For first attempt at a new process it would being take much longer to work steel into this form then iron. If these are working I may being trade for steel needles." Then he purses his lips, and ventures to say cautiously by way of explanation, "Blood must have blood. It is being the foundation of the Coalition, the peace of the Commander. It is being known to every man and child that to kill is to be killed: and so we are being safe. But not just any blood will being satisfy blood. You did not destroy Thripoda. So it does not being dishonor the blood that calls for revenge to trade with you."

Ariadne approaches from the tents. She has her bow slung over one shoulder and she's kicking a small piece of debris in front of her. She seems to be thinking of something that has attracted her attention, at least for the moment. She looks up as she approaches the others and her eyes sweep the area carefully. She moves closer but doesn't approach anyone in particular.

Quietly, Cassandra starts to stalk back away, and it's towards the Cook Tent. Maybe she's changed her mind about helping fetch some fruit leather, or maybe she's just following Elias for whatever reason. By the glance she sends his way when she approaches, slowing and speeding her pace as needed to keep up with his, she wants to talk.

Huh? "You can't make steel?" Jumar's brows furrow briefly, then straightens up and crosses his arms. "That's too bad. You have a forge I assume? I've had practice with steel and various alloys. Your people are limited to iron, then?"

Indeed, Elias does move over to the cook tent after sparing a smile towards Kai and a good-natured wink. Once there at the cook tent, he starts his rummage. Only after a moment or so is he aware of Cassandra's presence nearby. With a glance back towards Que and the others, he settles his gaze on Cassandra entirely in silent expectation. Seeming to pick up on her somewhat nuanced body language, he can tell she has something on her mind. "What's up?"

Kai's standing a little ways off from Jumar, Morgan and Que, as Elias (and Cassandra) head towards the cook tent, and Ariadne lingers nearby watching also. The grey-eyed girl silent for the moment and not endeavoring to interrupt whatever trading is going on at the moment. For once, she's minus squint or scowl but rather watches the gathering with something between puzzlement and… hope?

Within the Cook Tent, Cassandra addresses Elias in a low tone of voice while watching him rummage. "Got a solution," she says, leaning the back of her palms against a makeshift shelf. "We agree to their terms. Sacrifice seven. Only we make a split from the Ark, and say we'll sacrifice seven when the Ark has come down. Seven Arkers, not us."

At one end of the camp, probably thankfully out of sight of this part with the gate, a young male voice, delighted, mocking, and proud is calling out loudly enough to carry widely. "WOOO! GO BOY SCOUT!!!"

And within about thirty seconds of that, a monstrously big shirtless, vest-draped ex-C is coming running into view, looking absolutely and completely horrified with embarrassment, an assault rifle in hand, and angling straight for the gate he thinks he sees opening. All in all, it's actually a fairly intimidating charge, manic and furious and so much momentum behind it, like he's not seeing anyone in his way and is totally going to plow right over them.

"Hey man, what the fuck?!? I didn't mean to interrupt!!!" The voice is crying out behind the charging giant, belonging to one of the less-commonly recognizable ex-C's, who must be promptly hiding rather than face whoever it was he 'interrupted'.

All in all, it could be a recipe for disaster when one of the Delinquent's soldiers accidentally tramples one of their Grounder allies, but for one thing. The horse throws Stone right the hell off track and he's suddenly skidding into a halt to exclaim in wide-eyed surprise. "What th' fudge?!" he rasps out in a horrible gravel-rough voice, followed up by even more wide-eyed realization. "What did I just interrupt?" Please don't be a peace delegation or something. That would really just put the cherry on this moment of his life.

"We understand Que. We're renting them not buying. You're welcome to retrieve them whenever you need them again. Or just let us know and we'll bring them to you," Morgan tells the Grounder, then says to Jumar, "They lost a lot of knowledge after the war. Medicine seems to have been a big one though their herbalism seems to be excellent. But suturing wounds is one of the things they've forgotten." He's pretty focused on Que, so wasn't really paying attention to random shouts in the camp. So when Stone shows up just when he wants him to, he just takes it in stride without really noticing his expression. "Oh, good. Stone, come here. This is Que and I want to show him your stitches." He's even shirtless. Perfect. So's Morgan for the record because it's warm out.

While Stone makes THE entrance of day 23 so far, a much smaller form is coming from the general direction of where he appeared, and if the truth becomes known, that other ex-C is probably going to be hiding from the tiny thing before the Stone mountain. This is a side that most people don't see of Shi, there is no covering over her pale loose hair, and her white on white skin shimmers in the early morning light as she pauses to take in the crowd and then heads towards Ari, though her violet eyes flicker towards Que as well.

Within the Cook Tent, Elias gives a raise of one brow and folds his arms across his chest slowly. The rummaging is paused for the moment. Still, Cassandra's solution isn't dismissed outright. "If we can get the ones who are guilty," he says, holding a hand up. "If I agree to trading sacrificing one group of innocent people for another, how is that being better?" He gives a shake of his head to her, but does still consider her words very obviously. "If we're going to make these calls, we do the right thing and we do right by our people. I'm not letting another Mags happen. Never the fuck again."

As Shi approaches she raises a brow in silent question, and gives her a little smirk. She lets her arm rest comfortably on Shi's shoulder as an armrest and she utters a quiet, "Hey." She is standing near those gathered, watching without really approaching. The hand not attached to the arm that rests comfortably on the shoulder of Shi is shoved into the pocket of her pants. She watches Stone with a quiet chuckle and gives Shi a brief glance. "You sure know how to pick 'em." She's teasing, of course, and that's pretty obvious.

Que eyes Jumar thoughtfully for a moment. "We can not being make new steel, but all of the tools I am having are steel, they were simply being remade from salvaged steel. Sometimes by grinding, sometimes by reforging." He pauses, and a certain avid interest shows in his features. "You are knowing the making of new steel? Yes, of the many powered mach-eens in my workshop is being a forge, as also saw, and… I am not knowing word in Gonasleng. It is being a powered hammer for pounding metal with great force. Made making of needles being much less time." Then comes a large guy with a gun charging forward and one can almost see Que's eyes go ice cold and his entire body tense. "You are being risking the wrath of the Mountain Men boldly, skaiboy. It would being wise to at least being… what is the word? Subtle? Being hiding your… guns?" The word drips with contempt.

Well now, running Boy Scout, trailed by a Shi, Kai folds her arms before her with a faint kind of smile but leaves the explanations of what's going on to Morgan it seems, though she glances towards the cook tent to see what's keeping Eli.

"Nobody on the Ark is innocent," comes Cassie's bitter reply from behind bared teeth. The ruckus outside is now a faint din, and she can no longer make out any of the words being spoken and negotiations made, though she does hear a yawping ex-C galloping past the Cook Tent at one point. "Offer our leaders. Jaha. Kane. You aren't a fan of them either, are you? It's a fair deal. I'll make you a fair deal. You choose the seven; I don't care. We just make the offer. You people are my people, and we can't afford to lose another seven percent when we've lost fifteen already. We need each other to survive. The Ark?" She pauses. "Can go float itself, for all I care."

"Well shit, that's rough. If I'd known that, I might have been willing to do a trade for fundamentals." Jumar tsks, then shrugs, the wannabe smith might not look like much muscle wise, but it's obvious his arms have at least some muscle to them. "Either way, I'm not a medtech, but those needles look solid to me. Even a week with actual tools would be a godsend." As Que speaks of guns, though… "We're on the verge of being attacked by lunatics looking to kill us for something we didn't do, and you want us to not use guns. Ha."

Stone is left staring at Morgan like he just grew a second head, a harried sort of expression as he's rasp-murmuring. "I… really kinda need to be…" His glance towards the freedom of escape shifts to a glance over his shoulder to see Shi approaching. Suddenly the giant is slumping, head down, a palm going up to scrape over his face, and a sigh escaping. "Fudge my life." He can't help but say as he's stalking towards the gathered, apparently recognizing he's trapped and so moving to let Morgan do his Elephant Man routine. Meanwhile, the big gun-toting soldier is trying for a semi-pleasant grin for the newcome Grounder, rasping to him in throat-through-arrow horror-movie voice. "Hey there. Sorry for the ruckus. I'm Stone."

A slow flicker of pink starts on Shi's cheeks, but she just grunts softly to Ari and leans against the taller girl and gives a tiny sigh. "Well, for all of that he is a good guy…" She mutters ever telling the truth even if her look and body languages seems the type to want to strangle the Boy Scout. But she does watch things well enough to catch Kai look and she offers the woman a half smile and a tiny shrug and then sticks her tongue out at Ari. That is all playful and fun till she catches the words from the Grounder and she stands up to her nothing height and now watches the scene a little more carefully.

"Something wrong?" Morgan asks, looking Stone over then over to where he came from but there's only Shi there so he shrugs. "This is Que. He's a smith. What they call a maker. He brought some surgical needles so I can demonstrate to their healers how to suture wounds." To Que, he explains, "We recently came across a sewing needle so I've been able to do sew up some of the worst injuries but the shape isn't ideal." Course, he explained that to Que originally. Reaching up, he starts unwinding the bandage around Stone's neck and ask, "Lean down a bit?"

Que turns a frown to Jumar, and tilts his head to the side. "My people are not being lunatics, and did I having said 'do not be using guns'? The time for you heeding that wisdom is being long past. Are you not wanting aide from this lunatic and his being lunatic tools?" There's a hint of a challenge to his voice, but then Stone is greeting him and he frowns slightly, "Ai laik Que kom Trikru." He pauses, and since he's in their territory, "I am being Que of the Woods Clan, a Maker of Coesbur." Still, Morgan is demonstrating, so he turns a curious look at what it is this flesh-sewing looks like.

"Me. I'm wrong. I'm so fudging wrong, I don't know which way is up at this point," Stone rasps, trying to keep it soft enough for Morgan only, but it's too sibilant a sound for softness and carries probably to half the group. Still, the giant gun-toter is bending down as instructed, eyes having gone a bit wider, more embarrassed at the revelation of who it is they're talking to, leaving him to rumble-growl back to the man seemingly sincerely apologetic, gun being kind of tucked behind him as if out of sight, out of mind were better. "Sorry about that again, Que. Having a fit of vast stupid." A glance shift briefly to Shi, perhaps apologetic, perhaps pained, and then back to the Maker. Grimacing a little as one of the bandages sticks a bit, he goes on to add with lopsided grin for Que. "Suppose this cuts out the possibility of me someday sweet talkin' you into working a nice axe or armor for me, eh?"

"But we don't punish people for shit that they didn't do," Elias counters Cassandra and holds up a finger to her. "We don't do it to our people and we don't do it to others. If that means that I vote myself on to one of those spots, then I damn sure will." Finally, Elias's rummaging reveals the fruit leather and he takes a good quantity of it from where its stored. "My parents are still up there, Cass. Those are my people too. If they want justice, we can discuss how to do it the right way and make sure the people responsible pay… though they may have already. I wonder what they found at the dropship." The momentary wondering is backed away from mentally to focus on the current conversation, though. "If Jaha and Kane are responsible? I'll absolutely hold them to task. Personally if I have to. If they want justice, though… let's give them justice. Not a fucking farce like Mags. That was all vengeful, reactionary insanity."

Ariadne lets out a sigh and lets her arm slide from Shi's shoulder. She approaches the gathering more closely this time and says, "We need these needles that badly?" She addresses this to Morgan. "In exchange for the needles I could go with him to his village. I can teach the healers." Her eyes move back to Que and she steps back again. She's made her offer and now she's willing to step back and let them make of it what they will.

This get a bit of a reaction from the bass voiced metallurgist, and he gestures outside, jabbing a finger. "Those whatever you call them surrounding our camp are refusing to let us be, and want to kill us for something we didn't do. You're being reasonable, and they're not. They're the bloodthirsty lunatics looking to kill us, not you. I understand that. That doesn't make them less of lunatics. If they were reasonable, they'd be talking to us instead of this insanity!" His bass voice booms at the last sentence, then Jumar deflates a bit. "Look, I know it's not your fault they're sieging us." Jumar looks to Stone, then. "Give me time to get a forge of our own, and I can probably make something for you."

Shi sighs softly, just enough that her shoulders untense, her eyes flicker to Stone and she finally gives him a tiny half smile type thing but then she glances towards Ari and her offer before she tilts her head to the side and moves a few feet towards the males, peeking to see what Morgan is showing and then she nods towards Que. "It is nice to meet you Que of the Woods Clan. I believe we are all a little on edge this day, and sometimes we say things that we did not mean. We are honored you are willing to help us work out a way that those truly responsible pay for what has happened…"

Cassandra already has her mouth open to interrupt Elias when he holds up a finger, but opts to respectfully shut it. She looks none too happy about biting her tongue all the same, eyeing Elias like a feral guard dog whose hackles are raised as she listens to him speak, until he gets to the point about Mags. Her shoulders go lax once more. "We could just… lie," she proposes. "Learn their system. Learn to cheat it. That was your idea, and it's not a bad one. It's better than giving up our own or waiting to die." She sidesteps towards the exit of the tent, in case he's thinking of leaving. This does two things: one, it blocks his exit, if barely — she's a small thing; two, it lets Kai see what exactly is holding the guy up fetching fruit leather. Though their conversation is inaudible, Cassandra's back is now visible at the entrance of the tent, gesticulating and clearly trying to talk to someone inside. "We tell them we're going to offer them seven of our leaders when the Ark comes down," she explains. "And when reinforcements come down, we use those people to fight. It buys us time. In that time, we can make contact with Mount Weather gear up, or figure shit out with the Grounders."

"We're all in agreement here that it wasn't our fault and it's wrong of them to blame us for it," Morgan points out. "We don't need really need to argue about it. Take a look, Que," he says as he the last of the bandages comes off. He puts them in Stone's hand then motions to the injury (which is pretty nasty too). But the edges have been sewn together using lots and lots of stitches since it's just cloth thread and they snap easily. But not when there's more than a hundred of them. There'd be a lot even if he had real sutures. Large, nasty wound.

Kai slowly prowls over, mostly towards Ariadne and Shi. "We need the needles, and the tools, and those are the maker's people, Jumar," the grey-eyed adds the last a little reproachfully before adding for Que directly, "You were being a dick last time you were here, but this? Thank you," is what the ex-C has to say with a dip of her head his way, respect. "Stone. We need to talk when you're done here," added for the tall guy before she turns to squint towards the cook tent like she's about to find out what's holding Elias up.

Tink has been freaked out since she heard about the 'sacrifices' proposal given by the grounders, so much so when Que arrived she had to get out of there. But sitting there, unable to concentrate on the task at hand and curiousity getting to the better of her, Tink slowly eases out of the tent to see if they're all killing each other yet.

Morgan adds, "He's giving them to us, Ariadne. We'll go teach them when this is over. But just seeing the end result should give him a pretty good idea of how it's done and he can pass it along."

"Uh, yeah, totally do things too that are full of stupid. Like charging guests with guns." Yeah, that's totally what Stone meant in his echoing of Shi's sentiment. SUB-TEXT! Anyways, to Jumar's offer, Stone arches a brow up and gives the man a thumbs-up. "Think we can build some sort of neck plating? If I never get shot in the throat again, I totally wouldn't mind." Others totally wouldn't mind either just to stop hearing his voice sound like that. He grins down to Que though as he's leaning over to let the other see the horrifically fugly wound, puckered, stitch-ridged, probably cut wider open to get at the internal artery cuts. And he has a matching set! one on the back side of the neck too! "Gonna leave a heck of a scar though, ain't it?" And yes, he sounds as pleased by that prospect as any young Grounder warrior would probably. Kai's commentary then, specifically the Talk (tm) part causes the giant to wilt again, eyes closing and pained look passing features. "Yeah fine. That'll be fun." Oh, so much fun. Why does he sound like a man being marched to his gallows?

"I am being here to offer trade of tools and services, in fair trade," explains Que to Stone as he glances to the Cook Tent, since he remembers where that is from the last time. "I will being stay and assist with makings for a time, in fair trade." He frowns at Jumar some more, "The more you are being throwing words such as 'bloodthirsty' and 'lunatic' about, the more fool you are making of yourself. You wish to be placing my people into a box and putting on it words such as 'bloodthirsty' and 'lunatic', you can then be dismissing us as beyond comprehension and — if you are doing that — then there can never being an understanding between us. Those are being warriors following orders according to our law. People." Then he looks to Shi and shakes his head, "That matter is being beyond me. If the kruheda calls to war, then Oxfor's hand can being stayed only so long. Only the Heda can turn Indra's will." He shrugs. "But I will being do what it is I can do. I will build defenses and being loan tools." Then he steps closer to Stone, and looks at the stitches, squinting and glancing at Morgan. "If this aides wounds, then this will be good thing to trade lore on, More-gan."

Que glances at Kai, and smirks, "You, Kai kom Skaikru, were being a dick the last time I was being here," he adds.

There is a nod given to Cassandra and a raise of his brows. Elias gestures with both hands even though they're full of fruit leather that he's putting in a makeshift container. "Exactly. What if there's a way out where no one has to die? We have to consider that as a possibility before we start thinking about who's going to get picked out of the herd for the slaughter. It's a bad deal no matter who we sacrifice. The deal needs to be amended." With that said, he gives Cassandra an expectant look. "We're reasonably intelligent people. We can figure something else out. We just need to do some digging."

Shi nods towards Que but she gives Moragn a very confused look and then shakes her head as she turns to look at Ari, she meets her eyes for a moment before she blinks and shoots a look to Kai when she asks to speak to Stone. It doesn't seems to be the to Stone part as much as the tone and she walks over to her and motions for her to learn down. If she does, a soft whispered question is offered.

A shrug of the shoulders is given as her offer is declined. She doesn't seem to mind one way or the other. She makes her way back to Shi, this time stopping to move her bow to her other shoulder to make it more comfortable before she rests her arm on Shi's shoulder as an armrest. She seems quite familiar with the albino girl. She leans in to whisper something in Shi's ear as she watches those gathered.

"It does," Morgan assures Que. "Having the edges of the wound held against each other will speed up the healing time. And with the wound closed, there's less chance of infection. It also scars less." Though that might or might not be a plus to barbarians. Such as Stone. "You can see how they're stitched together because I was using a straight needle. But with a curved one, there's no need to raise the flesh upwards in order to get a good, tight stitch. The curve lets you do it without having to pull and prod and poke and generally make it hurt a lot more than necessary.""

"I'm good at that." Kai's so not apologizing for that it seems, the offhanded comment offered to Que with a vague smile, and any discomfort from Stone totally passed over. It seems the grey-eyed girl's exhausted her social capacity at the moment, for all that she smiles vaguely in Tink's direction in what's possibly supposed to be reassuring, her eyes on the cook tent even as she leans down for Shi with a glance at Ariadne. Three girls with their heads together cannot bode well for anyone.

Tink finds a nice safe distance from Que as she studies him and the others. Que's retort to Jumar's insults has Tink frowning cause… cease fire… and they need more time to figure stuff out. She looks a little torn on whether or not to go toward Kai and slink back into the tent. The reassuring glance shows her that everything is okay and she takes the steps necessary to make sure she's with Kai. And now Kai has her shadow back.

As Que speaks, Jumars nostrils flare, "Making a fool of myself. Yeah, whatever." The mechanic storms off at that into the dropship. Yeah, he's pissed. "Someone let me know when you're all done with your lesson, I have work to do."

Cassandra pauses. She wants to say something contrary, but it almost sounds like Elias is agreeing with her, and so she is forced to manoeuvre her way around this strange new territory of disagreeing by agreeing. "Their terms are clear," she says. "Juice Train, Juice Town." Her Trigedasleng does need work. Presumably she means Jus Drein Jus Daun, or Blood Must Have Blood. "Why argue or negotiate when we can just accept their terms and lie? We tell them seven of our leaders will be sacrificed as soon as they come down… which will be a while away. And then we can just not." Hesitating, she holds her hand out to offer her former Agro Station neighbour a shake, but one look at the fruit-leather in his hands and she just meets his eye expectantly instead, willing to accept a look of assent as a proverbial sealing of the deal.

Stone continues playing Elephant Man on Display for Morgan and Que, looking vaguely discomforted, especially when he glances over to catch Ari whispering to Shi, but sighing, he looks back to Que to horror-rasp. "I admit, it feels a lot better like this than before Tink pulled a needle out of her magic belt. Laying in one place with promise it would break open and I'd bleed to death if I moved was less than id…eal." The pause at the end comes from Stone arching his brow to watch Jumar leave, resulting in a muttered. "Well at least I'm not the only one in a state this mornin'." A glance over to Morgan, then Que. "Seen enough of my pretty self you two?"

Shi nods to Ari after her little whispering match with Kai, and then a smile is offered to Tink when she comes over to join the girl group, as it were. The tiny woman seems at odds with the rest of the woman having inches or more on her, but they seem kind enough to make it so she can talk and everyone around doesn't have to hear it.

Kai gives another vague smile for Shi, though rather than reply verbally for the moment she reaches to squeeze the shorter girl's shoulder, announcing to the gaggle of women she finds herself a part of, "I'm going to see what's keeping your payment, maker," is what she elects to go with, sparing a glance for Tink with a head tilt of invitation before the ex-C elects to march off in the direction of the cook tent.

Que nods his head, seeming satisfied with Morgan's answer. "I am being no student of the healing skills, but what you are saying is being making sense to me. So. You have your three. My healers are having their four. At some point I am certain you will being honoring the terms and teaching them of the usage. We may speak of steel needles later." And then he nods to Kai, crosses his arms over his chest, eyeing Stone a moment — and finding it vaguely unusual to be looking up at someone quite this much — "Am having been seen enough of your pretty self, yes." He glances sidelong at Jumar with a mild expression. "My people are not the Reapers. We do not kill without reason. You may being choose to disagree with that reason, and perhaps I would make a different choice were I being a heda, but to dismiss us as being savages will not aide you." Not said to Jumar, since he's not here, but just in general.

Tink has no urge to stand there in Que's presence without Kai's protection so she nods back to Kai and silently follows her to the tent to find out what is taking so long.

There's a nod of his head to Cassandra and a light smile on his lips. "Now we're getting somewhere. If we're going to lie about it, we need to make sure it isn't going to bite us later, though." Elias gives a solemn nod of his head to the young woman. "We need to refine the plan and figure out how to pull it off, but we're definitely on the right track there. In fact, they might bring proof down that shows exactly who was responsible." There's a quick upnod to Bonheur then before he gives a quick glance around. "Careful, Bonheur. Your humanitarianism might be catchy." There's a smile and a wink from Elias much in the same way he used to air his cocky attitude towards people back on the Ark. "The most important part of the scam is going to be coming away with it clean. I'm a shit liar, so…" Elias gives her a look. A look like he doesn't want to insinuate that she herself is a liar, but this is totally her field of expertise.

Satisfied that Que's seen enough of Stone's neck, Morgan takes the bandages back and rewraps his neck. "Reapers?" he asks, choosing not to get into an argument with someone who's almost an ally. Once he tucks the end of the bandage under to secure he, he pats Stone on the chest. "Thanks, Stone," he tells him as he looks back to Que. "If I'm alive, I'll be there. And if you see Ginia, please let her know I still want that tattoo."

Stone nods to Que being done. "Catcha around then. Maybe even for trade sometime," he rasps his way, then glances to Morgan and with a gesture to the bandages, asks. "If I keep it clean, can I leave this open to air a bit? These things are startin' to fluffin' itch like mad." Then when Morgan starts rewrapping, he sighs and adds dejectedly. "Guess that's a no." As he's being done up his dark eyes are trailing Kai briefly, then shifting aside to Ari and Shi a little wincingly (totally the bandaging hurting). Kai's gone off to other work. Guess he'll have to catch her later. Darn! But that doesn't give him a route to escaping other awkwardness at all, does it? And then he's being abandoned by Morgan, who gets a grunt of confirmation to his thanks. He looks to the gate out into the forest for a moment after like he's contemplating if he can run and scale it in time.

If Cassandra is a witch, the word 'humanitarianism' is water, and Elias has just splashed it all over her. The look on her face makes it apparent that anguished melting is imminent, and then, hypocritically, she manages to look even more offended by the insinuation that she is a liar. A division by zero occurs in her mind as reverse psychology backfires, tangles in a knot, and then produces…

"I will volunteer to speak with Sonia and convince her, because it's the right thing to do," noble Cass declares. "I can sell the lie. And I've met her before. We have a relationship." That relationship actually involved being at the bottom of a pit for two days, gnawed by mice and dragged about, but that part can be left out. "Besides, the rest of you would probably mess it up." She starts to turn towards the exit again, just in time to see Kai approaching the Cook Tent.

Que's tone is deep, severe, "The Reapers infest the territory near to the Mountain, except when they are being roaming beyond to trouble us. They were being men, once, but are pure madness: they feed on what they kill, having not a care for if it is men or deer, and they be killing without reason or hesitation. That you live within their sight is enough for the Reapers to be hate you and wish you dead."

Shi gives a curious last look to Stone and well Moragn and Que with that move, those violet eyes curious about something or another before she turns back to Ari and leans up and taps her on the nose. "Enough of that. But I guess if I'm going to burn in the sun today, you can at least teach me how to smack myself up with that bow of yours…" She then blinks as she hears something Que says and her eyes flash back over to him again, a thoughtful look passing as she takes Ari and nudges her along, as they near Kai, she calls out, "I need to talk to you soon Kai."

"Not yet Stone," Morgan answers. "It's only been days. And we could be attacked at any moment." Regardless of what the lunatic said. "You won't have time to rewrap it if we are. Once this is over, you can if you stay in camp and take it easy when it's unwrapped." Que just gets a nod, filing that info away for when it might make more sense with further details.

Ariadne, even though Shi is the smaller woman, as she begins to move Ari's elbow slips from her shoulder and the lanky woman moves to follow. If Shi turns to look over her head, Ari does not. "I don't know if I can teach you much before they attack, but something's better than nothing." Once the decision is made to depart Ariadne commits to it by draping an arm around Shi's shoulders and walking with the shorter woman away from those gathered.

"Cannibals… there's cannibals," Tink murmurs to herself, "Why not? Burning rain, giant water snakes… let's just add cannibals too." She keeps her shoulders hunched as she follows Kai. "Just another fucking day in paradise… yeah!" Tink isn't too thrilled to hear about just another danger waiting to pop up.

Kai eyes Cass, but it's Elias that she focuses on. "Was beginning to wonder where that fruit leather got to. Let's turn it over to the maker and leave the crafty sorts to their thing. I need to talk to you." and from the laser focus on him, apparently that's kinda a 'now' thing, higher priority than poor mortified Stone even.

Elias is carrying fruit leather. Cass's plan gets a nod from him then as he considers it. "It's worth a shot," he says to her and thinks for another moment or so. "Yeah, I think you're onto something. How soon could you do that?" As Kai comes in to the cook tent, Elias looks in her direction and smiles lightly to one corner of his lips. And then she's serious and wanting to talk to him immediately. "Alright, but Cass might have a good plan here. Is this something the three of us can coordinate on?"

Speaking of poor mortified Stone. He's watching Ari and Shi go to archery with a look that's thoroughly torn. Whether to go after them or flee. He lasts like that for a few moments before apparently taking the cowards way. In point of fact, he's going where few people would think to follow him. Up to the sniper's perch high above to escape. Run away! Run away!

Que eyes the departure of Stone with an arched brow, and shakes his head. "<In Trigedasleng> The Sky People are crazy. They are ALL crazy." And then he looks around, frowning. "Is this fruit leather being something that is hard to being make? Can trade for something more readily available if getting it is being hard."

The eye that Kai casts over Cass is met with a grin from the scrawnier, lawless delinquent. "Soon as you like," she says to Elias without elaboration. "Don't worry, Kai," she then adds, slipping away from the Cook Tent to let him out and her in. "Wasn't showing Eli anything he hasn't seen before." A quick wink, and she makes to scarper.

"No," is Kai's blunt reply as the grey-eyed girl's attention flits dismissively towards Cassandra, not doing anything to stop her, but seemingly missing or not getting irate about the implication of her words. "G'on Eli. Take the fruit leather back to the maker, please? Then let's talk… at our tent." From the way she sets her hand on Tink's shoulder, meaning the girls', rather than his.

Tink has no idea what is going on, but it seems that Kai wants Tink to go back to their tent with Elias. She gives a distracted nod because she's watching Stone climb up to the crew's nest, away from the rest of them. Normally, she'd go and see what he's up to, talk to him if he needed a friendly ear but clearly something is up so she just follow Kai's lead.

A nod of his head is given to Cassandra, though it would appear as if Kai is wanting to drag him off somewhere. Kai's response does get a blink out of him, but he nods his head nonetheless. "Looks like I'm being summoned," he says to Cass. "We'll talk more about it later." With that, he turns to Kai and lifts his brows upward to the woman. "Fruit leather. Got it." There's another quick glance to Cassandra before he moves out of the tent with the container of fruit leather for Que.

Que only wanted a bite. So, when the fruit leather comes, he rips off a bite, and chews it. "Fair trade." he declares, and gets to work.

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