Day 044: Sparring Lessons
Summary: Cassandra gets a sparring lesson, Britt and Morgan argue some more, and Sev does some trading.
Date: 7/12/16
Related: Follows Stray Cat Strut and A Favour in Turn for Trade
Cassandra Britt Morgan Sev Khesu Starling 

Lake Arkadia
Surrounded by breathtaking mountains and rolling foothills, the Lake Arkadia — or known as Lake Audo to the Trikru — is a sprawling, crystalline body of water that joins the Potomac watershed. It is encompassed in low grasses and young alder trees. The forests start to thicken to the west, where the rocky peaks of this small mountain range poke up out of the groves of hemlock and cedar. Following along a newly flattened path is the road to Camp Jaha. The Skaikru city is what remains of the crashed Alpha station. The enormous ring stands vertical some many hundred feet in the air, and it has already begun to be salvaged for materials.
Day 44

On the outskirts of the Trikru camp, a bit away from the campfires and tents, an area of grass has become trampled from the abuse of being a makeshift training area. Because what else do Trikru warriors do when they're bored and in camp? It's early yet, and pretty deserted at the moment, but the dull clonk of wood striking against each other echoes from the area. Britt and her tall archer friend Erson are sparring with quarterstaffs. He has his shirt off and she's wearing a homespun camisole sort of thing, both revealing an assortment of old scars and inked markings. Although it looks from the outside to be a mad flurry of strikes and footwork, a discerning eye could see that they're both working very hard to avoid actually hurting each other - a contrast to some of the other quasi-brutal Trikru practice bouts.

It was Erson who arrived a bit before a wagon that contained Starling, her stuff and food for the camp last afternoon. Just in time to have the food cooked for the arriving scouts. But this morning she is awake and slowly makes her way towards the edge of the dueling field and simply curls into a tiny ball as she leans back against a stump and simply watches.

It should go without saying that Morgan did not sleep well. He didn't get to sleep easily, when he was asleep it wasn't restful, and he's up early. Lip was still passed out unconscious and Grey was reporting to whomever he reports to leaving Morgan with no one in Jaha to interrogate now that they're (barely) had time to eat and sleep. Leaving the station, he heads for the Trikru camp looking for someone to give the third degree to. Kai would be ideal. Spotting some of them sparring, he heads over to see if one of his intended targets is there.

Anyone who doesn't know Cassandra might presently mistake her for a hopeless romantic of some kind — emphasis on the hopeless. She's carrying three bouquets of leafy, flowering plants, with bright yellow and orange petals. They aren't particularly pretty flowers, but since casablanca lilies and damask roses don't exactly grow in neat little rows hereabouts, perhaps she's had to make do.

It's to the Trikru camp she makes her way on down to, and specifically she's headed towards the parked wagon belonging to one Sev kom Trikru, a non-local visitor. When she sees Erson and Britt sparring, however, she stops, gawking with open curiosity. Though dressed like a Grounder Warrior, their moves dizzy her, far beyond anything her scrawny limbs are capable of.

Focused on their duel, the two warriors remain oblivious to those watching. There's another quick flurry of moves, sticks thwacking with careful precision. Then Erson grins. It's a mischievous grin that causes Britt to squint and wonder what he's up to. He blocks her next high strike, then ducks down low. Shifting his staff to one hand, he snags her arm with the other and moves the momentum into an impressive spinning shoulder throw. It's the sort that could result in a bone-rattling fall if done for real, but Erson keeps his hands on her to arrest her descent. She laughs, asking with mock indignation, "What the hell was that?" Erson just grins back. "Gotta keep you on your toes." He helps her to her feet, and that's when she seems to notice the onlookers. Cassandra catches her attention first, and she offers a polite nod, still smiling.

Starling chuckles softly, a little shake of her head, "Erson, if you’re done trying to get Britt to the ground, you could let her know I’m here with her armor!" the hackling if done with a bright smile from Starling as she relaxes there against the stump, her eyes flicker from the pair toward the others, Cass she doesn't know but Morgan she saw last night and looks the teenager over, her eyes studying him for a moment before she turns back to the on the ground archers.

Morgan grunts to himself as he gets close enough to see that neither Grounder is one he's looking for. It's obviously going to be one of those days. Though all things considered, it's going to be no matter what. Debating whether to continue to the camp or not, he spots Cass with flowers which is unusual enough he's just gotta know so heads on over.

First shifting her floral bouquets into one hand, the curious Grounder-garbed Skaigirl raises her newly free gloved fingers to offer Britt a tepid wave. Cassandra's eyes settle first on the archer's, but then rise to assess her sparring partner, Erson. "You were on the battlefield next to Britt too, right?" she recalls. "At our first camp." It's been barely over two weeks since then, and how things have changed already. Cassandra had the dubious privilege of being situated on the Sniper's Perch on that battlefield, serving as a spotter to identify Sonia. She has the memory of quite a few Grounder faces burned into her mind from her duty in scanning each of them before finally calling out their leader.

Despite having just brought up the fact that they were recently on opposite sides, actively trying to kill each other, Cass then points a finger at her armoured chest before pointing in Erson and Britt's direction as well. "Can you teach me?" she asks. Last Britt saw her was at the training grounds in TonDC, where she was making a point to sit and watch without participating. Arlin informed her that watching will only get her so far. Time to get a bit further. An askance glance is sent to Med-Tech Morgan, as if to ask for permission. It's been a month since she fractured her skull, but it's still healing.

Erson casts a guilty-as-charged grin over at Starling. "Damn, she's on to me." Then he turns to Britt and echoes unhelpfully, "Starling's here with your armor." Britt smirks. "Yeah I got that, thanks," she says dryly, before calling out, "Thanks Starling. I'll get it from you in a bit." But that'll have to wait, because Starling's getting drug off somewhere and Britt's getting some water from a canteen she'd left on the edge of the training area with the rest of her and Erson's gear. She lifts a hand from the canteen to return Cassandra's wave.

Erson turns his gaze on the newcomer, sizing her up with an unsubtle once-over. "At skaigeda, yes. And many other battles before." This said with a fond smirk over at the woman archer. Cassandra's request causes him to cast a skeptical look towards Britt, dark brows knitted. He's going to let her take first crack at that one.

Britt takes a drink from the canteen and then hands it to Erson before answering. "I could. Tell me why you wish to learn." The glance toward Morgan brings the medic to Britt's attention, and she offers a polite nod.

"Depressed Cass?" Morgan asks, looking over the plants the girl's holding. "What's the other one for?" He nods back to Britt, glancing over toward the camp proper before asking "Any of them awake yet?" Them being the ones who got back last night.

Gideon kom Trikru once asked Cass and Morgan that very same question, at the start of their first archery lesson. Cassandra's answer this time differs at first, preceded by a shrug, but ultimately reaches an identical conclusion. "Looks like fun," she says, circling with cautious steps towards the fray. Even when she's in plain view, the delinquent Skaigirl always seems to be skulking, her shoulders presently hunched. "'Sides, I need to get fit if I'm to stop falling out of trees. And survive." Because survival's ultimately what it's all about.

Morgan's question gets a grin from Cassandra. "Barter, both of them," she replies. "How could I be depressed with your beautiful face here to brighten the day?"

Britt shrugs to Morgan's question. She wasn't around when the group returned, so who knows what she knows about that whole business. The mention of them does put a damper on her smile though. Cassandra's answer gets a thoughtful, considering look.

Erson seems to know that look, and his grin fades a bit as he warns in a gruff barritone. "<In Trigedasleng> Surely you're not considering training a potential future enemy. Remember what the kruheda said?"

Britt shakes her head to him. "<In Trigedasleng> I do not think she has any more love for the Skaikru than we do." The archer looks back to Cass, and says, "Pick up a staff, if you like. We'll see what you have, Kas-Andra." Erson just shakes his head disapprovingly. Britt looks to Morgan then. "I spoke to the kruheda, as we discussed. She said no. And if you think you're doing us any favors by trying to 'cure' them, you're not."

"Good point." Morgan agrees, nodding to Cass. The words play along but he's obviously not really into it. Britt gets a shrug. "In your opinion. We can do it without your help though it would have been easier. Just like destroying the Mountain Men. We'll do it without you but if you actually care about 'blood must have blood' against those actually guilty, you'll be right there alongside us."

Noting the dubious Erson shaking his head, Cassandra turns his way and flashes a bright, charming smile. Most days she's about as charming as a radioactive, two-headed toad that's contracted an amphibian-targeting strain of rabies, but when she wants to be, among people who don't know her well, it can be a rather different story.

Since she doesn't know the nitty-gritty of what Britt and Morgan are talking about, Cass offers no comment there. Disobedient to doctor's orders as always (in this case revolving round what, or who she should be doing), she's been keeping her distance from Camp Jaha for the most part, and hasn't yet learned of Philip's return. She moves to retrieve a quarterstaff as instructed, carefully hiding her herbal bouquets in her bag on the ground. "Watch my stuff," Cass beseeches Morgan.

Cassandra's smile seems to earn some measure of consideration from Erson, but whatever may have come from that is diverted by Morgan's remark. While Britt just scoffs and shakes her head, Erson takes it… less well. The tall beefcake warrior takes a threatening step towards the Skaikru medic, his expression turning to a hostile glare. "You skaikids folded like cloth in front of a tiny warband, and you think you can lecture us about taking on the Mountain? You are lucky that the kruheda is tolerating your presence - for now."

"Erson," Britt's warning is accompanied by her placing a hand on her friend's bare shoulder. Squeezing it, she murmurs something quietly to him in Treeslang. It does little to ease his scowl, but does at least stop him from advancing further. Then she addresses Morgan. "I'm telling you what the kruheda said. Cross her at your peril. You've been warned, but we all know how well you heed warnings."

"Folded like cloth?" Morgan repeats and barks a laugh. "After being on this planet for only about thirty days, we not only held out against the 'tiny' warband composed entirely of warriors while most of us had never fought anyone for most of our lives but we also killed their leader and many times the number of our own casualties." he informs Erson then looks at Britt. "So warned. They've destroyed your villages and killed your people. They've turned them into Reapers and set them against you. And then they made the mistake of taking our people. Well, we're working on getting through their acid mist. We've killed Reapers. We've found a door into the mountain. And we're going to go get our people back and kill the ones responsible. The kruheda can wait here till we're done if she wants. If we find any Trikru prisoners, we'll release them when we get our own back."

Erson scowls. "You ran from your wall, hid inside your dropship like frightened rabbits, and fought with guns and flame like the cowards that you are." Someone has a far different view of the battle than Morgan. "And the only thing that stopped us from coming in and finishing you off was the kruheda calling us off. Go - attack the Mountain. And good riddance." He then mumbles to Britt, "<In Trigedasleng> I'm going somewhere that has less of a stink to it." He shrugs off Britt's hand and grabs his shirt and other crap off the ground, looking like he might explode at any moment.

Britt just picks up Erson's dropped quarterstaff. And from the icy glare she levels at Morgan, one might be forgiven for thinking she meant to pummel him with it instead of Cassandra.

"Only a fool refuses to use the best tool or weapon for the job." Morgan counters then gazes flatly at Britt when she picks up the staff. "Blood must have blood, right? Well, we're offering you a chance to finally get it. Take it or not as you will."

"It doesn't matter what I want," Britt snaps back, knuckles tense on the staff. "We follow the kruheda. You think because you've faced the Reapers twice that makes you an expert? Just because the scouts got lucky — and might I remind you, a scouting party that was mostly Trikru — that doesn't change all that's come before. Finding a door doesn't mean you can get a force to it, or get inside it, or survive the fight once you do. Only a fool ignores sixty years of history against an enemy. And only a greater fool thumbs his nose at the people who could either be an ally or roll through this camp tomorrow if the kruheda were to order it."

If Cassandra has an opinion on the discussion between Morgan, Erson and Britt, she doesn't show it. Cassandra is an opportunist, not a political, and when discussion gets heavy, it's not uncommon for her to simply wander off, both physically and mentally. The full extent of her reaction to the debate about a battle she was a part of is to glance after Erson with some dismay when he departs — beyond that, she focuses on the task at hand. Armour, check; barter herbs hidden, check; quarterstaff, check. She gives the latter a curious spin, which she imagines looks cool, albeit being slow and ineffective. She starts to advance on Britt, a curious cant to her head, and a forward dip of the staff to show she's ready.

"And only a fool thinks that because they can't do something, no one can." Morgan fires back. "It's not been us looking with contempt at you. We've been trying to work with you since we got here. And working together, we've already learned more about the mountain in a week than the Trikru have in the sixty years before we got here. So who's thumbing their noses and refusing to cooperate?"

There's old rickety looking wagon that's appeared recently since yesterday. A tent has been put it with it, but it stands a bit off from the rest of the Trikru temporary housing, apparently it's owner valuing a sense a privacy. Or just doesn't like to be crowded. However it's owner doesn't seem to be around at the moment. Or well, visable. The splash from the lake, away from the shoreline, that's Sev, coming up for air, slapping a green wet mess of some kind of plant on a small floating platform, apparently been spending the last couple of hours diving for for a certain green, slimy looking plant.

That cold stare doesn't ease off any at Morgan's words. If anything, Britt's frown deepens and the muscles of her jaw stand out in sharp relief. She just points the tip of her quarterstaff at him and says flatly. "I'm going to walk away now before I do something we will both regret." Very deliberately, she turns her back on him and steps toward Cassandra. Britt has no armor, still just wearing that light shirt. She gives the staff a spin to loosen up and then nods to Cassandra. "Let's see what you can do, Kas-Andra." She waits for the Skaikru girl to make the first move.

"Yeah, thought so." Morgan grumbles at there being no answer. He'd actually enjoy a fight at the moment but knows it would be a bad idea. Folding his arms across his chest, he watches Cass. "Stop choking the staff." he tells her. "It's not a club where you just hit someone over the head. It needs to move around."

Grounders respect strength. This is something that Cassandra learned early on, and she's aware that strength comes in many forms. She has no intention to feint her oncoming blows or play around, even if given how little she knows and how young she is, that's exactly what it looks like she's doing. A hard, challenging stare is leveled towards Britt's green eyes, and then she charges head on, turning her staff to the side to try and sweep the archer's legs. No finesse, no nothing — she telegraphs her move plain as day, turning her gaze to Britt's feet rather than keeping stock of the opposing weapon. Her shoulders hunch heavily as she brings the weapon to bear down, considering Morgan's advice too late.

Britt stays on defensive at first, watching Cassandra's form - or lack thereof - with a trained eye while she blocks and scoots to the side. Staff is actually not Britt's forte, but she's decent enough at it. "Don't watch my feet. You'll learn nothing there. Watch my eyes. You'll see the move before it comes." Like that move she does now, intended to lightly tap Cassandra on the shoulder.

Sev floats in the lake, separating the plants he collected, laying them out on the little raft made out of wood that he's constructed together. He takes another dive vanishing below the surface. He's gone for around two minutes or so before coming back up for air, a little bit more of plant in his hands. Setting that on the platform, he begins to swim back, pushing the wood with it. Reaching the shore, he comes up to standing, wearing his pants, but sans a shirt. Shaking himself off, wiping a hand through short-cropped, hand cut hair, he picks up the platform, carrying it towards his tent and wagon.

Morgan watches the sparring but he's constantly looking toward the camp and station for one of the people he's waiting for to start moving their ass. How can they sleep at such a time? One such look spots Sev now he's out of the lake and he nods to the trader, eyeing the plants curiously before looking back.

Charging right past Britt and that blocked leg-sweep, Cassandra gives a wince and comes to a halt when she's lightly tapped on the shoulder — not because it hurts her body, but because it hurts her pride. "Do you fight wars with this thing?" she asks Britt, turning back around to brandish the staff and circle her opponent. She does watch the flame-haired archer's eyes this time, keeping her gaze fixed there, and this time focuses on defence. Rather than charge again, she tries to distract and wait for an opening. "Or is it just for training?"

"It's a stepping stone to other weapons, like spears," Britt explains. "And it's good for training reflexes and strength. Hold." She says as Cassandra circles, holding up a hand to pause the sparring. Then she begins to give some pointers about Cass' stance and grip on the weapon, patiently demonstrating. It may become apparent that Britt is not only a skilled fighter, but a skilled teacher as well. Once the pointers are delivered, she steps back. But before she gets into position, she slants a glance over at Morgan. "You sound like you know a bit about the staff as well, Morgan kom Skaikru. I wouldn't have expected that from a healer." Then she readies her staff again and nods to Cassandra to continue.

The nomad healer doesn't notice who's in the training area right away, he's looking at the plants that he's carrying. When he comes up to his wagon, he sets it down, picking through a number of objects in what amounts as his mobile workshop section. An old sheet aluminum baking sheet is plucked out. Morgan gets a single nod before starting to lay each long strip of green slimy plant on the sheet. That done, he sets it down in the sun to let it dry out. The small battered journal he keeps is picked out from his pack, along with the knife sharpened pencil he uses to make notes. Something is written down, then set away. Each task is done methodically, almost with a certain 'rhythm' to it. Task done for the time being, he grabs his shirt from his things. Finally, he turns his gaze on training and something catches his eye. Something about the redhead, and he tilts his head, as if trying to remember a memory for a long time ago. Years? Decades? No, has to make. So he steps away from his isolated little encampment, wanting to take a closer look, trying to make sure it's what, or who, he's seeing.

"Not really." Morgan admits honestly. "I've seen one used in… on the Ark." Totally not in the mood to explain what videos are. "When we got down here, I was making one to walk with. Figured it would be good to have in case a boar or something charged so I've played around with one is all. I prefer a sword, gun or bow." Once Sev comes over, he asks "What are you drying? Food or medicine?"

Cass blinks in confusion when Britt instructs her to halt, not having realised she was doing anything wrong. When pointers are given that make it clear to the Skaigirl that she isn't even standing or holding the staff correctly, she looks down at the weapon with some chagrin, but ultimately corrects herself. Britt is a good teacher, and Cass, as it turns out, is a good student. She was known as a bit of a teacher's pet on the Ark, for better or worse. She doesn't notice the approaching Sev for the moment, even though he's in fact the person she came to this camp today to see. Her focus is on the lesson. "Morgan's being modest," she makes mention, after an askance look up at Britt to check that her new stance is correct. "He nearly decapitated our head healer on the Ark, one time."

Britt does not seem to look down on Cassandra's lack of experience. If anything, there's a note of respect in her eyes at the way the younger woman takes direction. She also does not notice the approaching Sev. That is to say - she does catch movement out of the corner of her eye, but being in friendly territory she's not concerned enough to divert her attention from the lesson. "Oh did he now?" Britt remarks dryly. Giving a slight nod to Cassandra to indicate her stance is good enough, Britt gestures towards her own eyes as a reminder where Cassandra should keep hers focused. "Now attack," she says.

"Yes." is the one word response Sev gives Morgan. So both, maybe? "Lakegrass, I call it. Used for food preparation. Mostly goes with fish. And it has qualities for wound dressing to staunch bleeding. Also a good base component in making salve. Clings better to the skin. But needs to be dried before it can be used in any capacity. Useless when wet. Many healers don't use it simply because it's too much of a hassle to acquire. And you need to know what you're looking for. And a decent swimmer to get to it. Better quality grows in deeper water." he explains, using the say dry, neutral tone that he's always used so far since he's arrived. But his eyes are on Britt, only when he's getting close enough, does he affirm his suspicions. Hearing her voice helps too. He'll wait for her to finish before saying anything out loud, not wanting to distract.

Morgan isn't all that interested in discussing the Ark so gives Sev his full attention. "Interesting. How deep is the lake? And how quickly does it grow? We might be able to go down there with breathing equipment. I'm pretty sure no one knows how to swim." What with living on a space station and all. "Do you make a poultice just from it or combined with other things? The Trikru healers used a similar plant on our wounds. Something that grows near rivers."

Cassandra keeps her focus intently on Britt's eyes, and tries to also remember what it is she's really good at: not brute strength, but deception. This time she pauses, trying to make it look like she's hesitating, but she's not, at all — she's calculating. The lower point of her staff rises subtly as she shifts her stance, trying to be discrete, but ultimately the slow coil of her arm muscles still telegraphs her next move. With a sudden strike, she lashes out again at Britt's calves, falsely believing that she can sweep the warrior's leg. There's a faint sneer on her features, as inept as Cassie is, she's a hot-blooded fiend who's no stranger to violence. She seems well-suited to inflicting it, even if she lacks the training just yet to refine that tempestuous spirit of hers.

At the last minute, after lashing out, Cassandra is distracted and breaks eye-contact with Britt. She recognises Sev's voice, and turns to look his way from across her shoulder.

Britt sees the telegraphed move and blocks it readily, but she does smirk a bit at Cassandra's attempted ploy. Seeing the younger woman becoming distracted, though, she calls, "Hold. Good thought - but you must move quicker to pull that sort of trick off. Your eyes and arm betray it before it happens." She follows Cass' gaze over to the men and tilts her head curiously. "Sev?"

"Deep enough to drown in." Sev remarks at Morgan. "I haven't been to the middle of that lake, but I would suspect it goes fairly deep. Deeper than any of us can hold their breath. But there are deep enough parts where it grows. Besides, there needs to be enough sunlight for it to grow." Though he gives the other healer a strange look. "Don't know how to swim? Huh." Then a shrug, though his next question has him shaking his head. "A poultice is drink for illness, fatigue, or sickness of the mind. A salve is placed on the skin for wounds, burns, irritations, allergies. This can be used for either, though few enjoy it's actual taste as a poultice. Works better as component with salve, makes ingredients cling to each other better. Good side with fish though." When Cass looks at him, he raises an eyebrow. "I'd focus on her, if I were you." When Britt sees him, he nods his head at her, something other than a flat-faced look, what might border on a smile. "Britt."

Morgan turns to look at the lake and nods at the info. It'll be worth checking out. "There were no large bodies of water to swim in on the Ark." he points out. "All water needed to be rationed and used for productive purposes." Which fortunately included showering. "Once it's dried, could I get a piece? I'd like to have it analyzed."

An honourable woman would now hold when told to, but Cassandra is not an honourable woman. She decides to take Sev's advice for now, turning her focus back to Britt, and having clocked the look on both of their faces, she realises that these two know each other. Seeing an opportunity, she watches Britt's eyes and paces to the side, trying to quietly circle around to her instructor's back. She goes for the leg. Always the leg. Is the third time the charm? She strikes again at Britt's feet, furrowing her brow as she aims the tilted side of her staff's length at the archer's heels.

Yes, an honorable student would have held, which is why Britt does not particularly watch Cassandra as she starts to move. Her eyes are on Sev, clearly surprised. "Good to see you," she offers. She's oblivious to the staff being aimed at her leg until the wood is smacking into the back of her calves. It's a solid sweep, and it takes Britt's legs completely out from under her. The elder archer falls flat on her back with an oof. It might be comical, save for the wince and the annoyed glare she slants up at Cassandra.

"That's something you may want to learn, then." Sev replies simply. "Skill worth having. Though swimming is something that comes natural. Instinctual, considering most people float." At the request for a single slice of his bounty, he considers. "I would trade for a piece. I am looking for a new needle." A pause. "Not for healing purposes, I need to repair some of my clothing. The one I currently use is becoming very blunt." He may just been about to say something, but with the explanation to Morgan distracting, by the time he opens his mouth, Britt is already toppling over. "Wrong move." he notes placidly. He may not be a fighter save when he has to be, but a sucker punch isn't the best way to ingratiate one's self when someone offers a training lesson.

Morgan looks over at the sound and it doesn't take a genius to figure out what happened. "I think we can arrange something. A good needle is a bit much for an inch off a piece of plant. I think we could probably sharpen it back to a point though." Can they? It's not something he ever thought about. Jumar probably can.

Cassandra may have some diplomatic skill, but right now, she can't help but grin down at Britt when the Grounder lands on the ground. "Sorry," she says, so clearly not sorry, and echoes something that Erson said to the archer earlier: "Gotta keep you on your toes." She holds the staff upright to one side, and leans down to offer the instructor a helping hand. It's sincere this time, no tricks involved, although whether one can trust that at this point is another question. "…Aaaand there's no way I was gonna get a hit in without cheating. You're kind of awesome."

Britt does not take the hand up, rolling to the side and getting back up on her own. The way she frowns, eyes steely, suggest that Sev is very much correct on that point despite Cass' compliment. There's a slight hitch in her step when she turns back around to Cassandra. "He has earned the privilege of doing that, Kas-Andra kom Skaikru. You haven't." But Britt isn't finished yet, dirty tricks or no. "Come then, attack," she says sternly, readying her staff once more.

"You only wanted a small piece, not an entire stip?" Sev watches carefully the exchange between Britt and Cassandra, though he doesn't look at all concerned or worried. "That is a different matter. Yes, I can supply that free of change." he offers with a half-shrug. "However, something to sharpen the needle I currently have, I would certainly trade for that. Repairs done in the wild can only go so far, and eventually I have to return to populated areas.

"About a square inch." Morgan agrees, turning to watch Cass get a beat down. "Then how about a square inch or so of all your medicinal plants with an explanation of what they can do? Add in the needle and we'll replace it. We might need to figure out am efficient way to sharpen it so that could take a little time."

Fighting back her grin, and noting the poor reception of her prank, Cassandra raises her staff from the ground and starts to advance on Britt anew, circling again to find an opening. Third time was the charm, but she doesn't expect to get lucky with the same leg-strike a fourth time; this time she holds the staff higher. Though dishonourably earned, her one successful hit instills her with a measure of confidence — arrogance, even — plain to see on her face. Her motions are no longer hesitant, and she now moves as someone who expects to win, or at least to fight with no holds barred, having annoyed her opponent. She feints an attack, jutting her staff outwards at Britt's waist, but then swings the opposite end upwards, in the vague direction of the flame-haired Archer's neck.

Along the lake, coming from the western shore where it is rockier and more wooded, Khesu comes walking back alone. There is no obvious anger in him over last night's revelations though he had left camp last night and did not return until now. His bedroll and armor remained behind at Starling and Benning's fire in the Trikru camp where Gideon had fell asleep leaning herself against his things. Her dark haired bearded uncle's eyes catch sight of the sparring up ahead among the Skaikru. His interest in what they are doing draws him to approach, then hang back to observe their goings on, silent.

Britt and Cassandra are sparring with quarterstaffs in a makeshift training area, while Morgan and Sev talk and watch nearby. Before was a friendly lesson. Now Britt has decided to teach a lesson of a different kind, her face all business. And yet, she does not try to hurt Cassandra, even though she's certainly capable of doing so. Her anger is controlled, focused. She blocks Cassandra's strike and follows it up with a fast flurry of attacks, each aimed at Cass's staff rather than her person. After trying to drive the Skaikru off-balance and on the defensive, she goes for a twisting disarm, trying to wrench the staff from the girl's hands.

The art of the deal. Sev does love himself a good bit of haggling, even if he doesn't outwardly show as such. Or much of anything at all, really. "All of them…" That takes a bit of consideration. The offer is a new needle and boy would he really like a new one. "I will offer you a sample of all of my wares for you to study, for a new needle and…a compass, if you have one that's currently not needed." Might be a strange request. Then again, he is a trader, so clearly he's willing to debate price here. There's a nod at Britt's actions, and nods at such, whether he understands or approves is left uncertain. Or maybe he just learned a good number of years ago to not make the archer angry.

"A compass? The thing to draw circles with?" Morgan asks, glancing over at Sev a moment but really, he wants to see this so looks back at Britt and Cass so he can watch what Britt does.

Even now, after falling prey to Cassandra's cheat, the instructor still displays more honour than the Skaigirl does. Unlike Britt, Cassie was actually trying to hurt her opponent, not out of malice, but simply out of a misguided desire to impress. The twice-tested war veteran, in contrast, has no call to impress.

Cassandra's expression grows increasingly bewildered with every strike of Britt's that targets her staff. She shifts her grip haphazardly, believing that she's blocking hits meant for her body, but it may be that she hadn't quite realised to what extent the warrior was going soft on her. She backs up one step, then two, no longer even trying to attack, just focusing on mitigating the rapid onslaught. Before she even realises what's happening, she's leaning back and suddenly Britt's staff comes crashing down on her own, twisting the weapon from her hands and sending it clattering down. She raises her palms and eyebrows alike, splaying her fingers. "Yield. I yield," she says, keeping a firm handle on any due fright, even if she's unable to keep a handle on her weapon — which would have been more useful.

Khesu has no particular expression upon his face as he watches the sparring between Britt and 'Kasandra'. He stands relaxed, hip shot with his weight mostly on one leg but with a faintly flexed rather than locked knee and his hands lightly on his hips. His dark eyes roam over those who are gathered. As Britt disarms the Skaikru woman, Khesu shifts his position to retrieve his small water flask and unstopper it for a drink.

The lesson is far from effortless for Britt. She's an archer, first and foremost, and no spring chicken any more. Having already exerted herself earlier sparring with Erson, she's winded and sweaty by the time the quarterstaff is knocked from the other woman's hands. She stops, lowering her staff as soon as Cassandra yields, and lets out a soft, satisfied grunt. "Learn to fight with honor, and you can have another lesson," Britt says, still in that stern voice. She watches the Skaikru for a moment as she catches her breath. Then very deliberately she turns her back on Cassandra, offering a perfect opportunity for another cheap shot as she starts to walk back toward her pile of stuff. There's a slight but noticeable limp as she walks, and she tries to smother a grimace.

Sev shakes his head. "No, a small hand-held tool that tells you which direction is north." he describes slowly, finger trying to draw the shape out in the air. "It would be useful in creating a map for my journals past Trikru lands. What ruins and places of interest I have discovered in the past. Have done the best I can, but having a compass would be better in making the maps a little more accurate in case I ever desire to return to them." Cassandra yeilding seems to be expected, but his expression doesn't seem to give that away. Still just watching. "Would such a trade be agreeable?" Once the fight is done. "Excuse me." Then he's off towards Britt. "Over to my wagon." he states to Britt, brokering no argument.

"I… don't think we have anything like that." Morgan says after the explanation. "There was no north in space. I've seen north on maps though." He just never really thought about it before. North is the top of the map. Turning in place, he frowns as he wonders which is north. Though since TonDC is that direction and it was down there on the map… Huh. So that's why it's important.

Cassandra doesn't take that cheap shot that Britt offers, having evidently learned her lesson — although for how long, who can say? She glances down at her fallen quarterstaff before leaning over to pick it up, although this time it's to walk off and put it back where she found it. "Thanks!" she calls out to the archer. "For the lesson!" She herself doesn't realise how exhausting that was until it's over with, adrenaline having kept her running. Her movements to gather up her belongings, including the three floral bouquets she brought with her to camp, are more patient. Though she sees that Sev clearly has business with Britt, she follows after him, holding up her herbs. "Hei, Sev kom Trikru! We still have a deal?" Two of the leafy bouquets bear yellow flowers, the other orange. "<In Trigedasleng> Trade?" That's one word she knows in Trigedasleng, other than hei.

"Here I thought your science could make anything," Britt challenges snarkliy as she retrieves her shirt, canteen and belted daggers from the pile near where Morgan and Sev were standing. Sev's request to go to the wagon gets an arched eyebrow. "I'm fine, Sev." She'll see his 'brokering no argument' and raise it one 'stubborn archer'. Hearing Cassandra calling for the healer/trader, she motions him in that direction. "Take care of your trade. I will catch up with you later."

When Britt is finished with her sparring and limps away, Sev trying to summon her to his wagon, Khesu watches this as well - and how Cass doesn't take that cheap shot. The dark haired, bearded Trikru warrior is content in his silence, observing the others interacting. He drinks from his flask then stoppers it and heads into the camp to see if his bedroll and his pack are where he left them. Aye, they are. Khesu checks his things and opens up his pack to remove a pouch that contains dried slivers of seasoned meat and a portion of berries that he may break his fast. He settles himself to sit upon the ground at the edge of the camp where he can watch and listen while he eats quietly.

"No. You should ask instead of making assumptions." Morgan replies dryly. "We probably could make one if how it worked was explained and we had the necessary materials. But then, so could Que." Looking over at the others, he asks "What are you trading for Cass? Something for Asher?"

"<In Trigedasleng> That limp is not fine, Britt." Sev stalwartly remarks, though his tone is as placid as always. He eyeballs her critically, having an eye for someone who is trying to hide pain. Seen that plenty in his time. Though his nostrils flare just slightly more than usual when he exhales. But previous experience has taught him well. "<In Trigedasleng> Very well, but do not go far. Do not make me pin you to the ground and slater balm on you. Again." The idea of letting someone injured(however slight)go in lieu of trade doesn't seem to sit well with him, but the redhead archer may be an exception to the rule. Letting his warning stand, it'll have to be good enough, eyes swerving to Cassandra, extending his hand. "Let's see if they're quality."

Cassandra whips her head back towards Morgan abruptly when he mentions Asher, suddenly shooting him a very dirty look — and not the good kind of 'dirty', either! "I don't run errands for Asher," she replies with an ice-cold tone of voice, her eyes narrowed. "He's his own person. I'm here for me." With that out of the way, she turns her attention back to Sev, handing the trio of herbal bouquets for him to inspect one by one. She evidently trusts that he won't make off with them, or just doesn't care if he does, because she doesn't keep any kind of close watch. Once her hands are empty, she digs into her bag, producing a bundle of paper-thin, curling bark, which is red-gold on one side and silver-white on the other.

Britt ignores Morgan, and waves a dismissive really, I'm fine hand toward Sev again. Cassandra gets a brief look, and then she's limping off to the other side of the camp, probably to go vent at Erson.

There's a little wave to Cassandra, beckoning him over to his wagon, clearly needing to inspect what's been offered to him. Free hand grabs the back end of the wagon, unhooking a metal hindge, hemp ropes attached swing into action, letting back tailgate turn into a table of sorts. Which is where he places the bundles down. Hand goes into a pocket, producing a palm sized piece of glass, which seems a particular shape. Pretty evident what it is after looking at it, it's a magnifying glass. He holds it over each bundle looking them over. "Good color…proper orange/yellow shade…" he says to himself, only plucking two peices off and setting them aside. "Those have bloomed too early. Not the mostly yellow over orange. Would not be potent enough." Then he picks up the St. John's Wort. The process is done again, looking over each flower with a careful eye. "Good specimens." he notes, plucking three away from this bunch. "See these? They lack the 'fluffiness' these others lack. Wouldn't be as effective." He lowers his glass. "These are proper and proper. Though I did not ask for these." he points at the St.John's Wort. "Bark of the…ah, you have it afterall." he notes the bundle of bark she has there.

Morgan blinks once at Cass then smirks with a shake of his head. "When I said 'for Asher', I meant as a gift. Because, you know, that's the kind of thing people do when they care about each other. You might want to take notes."

Khesu eyes Sev over there over the herbs and bark that 'Kasandra' has brought the trader. This Trikru continues to stay aloof as he eats his small meal of dried meat and fruit. He could easily have something hot from one of the cook fires but doesn't bother anyone. When he's finished eating his light meal, Khesu opens up his pack to pull out his armor and start having a good look at it. It's taken some beating and is in need of some repair. There is a glance to see if Starling has come back to the camp yet. Not seeing her, he digs through his pack to find his oil in a small ceramic bottle. This Kehsu opens and those straps that don't look like they need to be replaced, he starts to clean and oil to maintain his kit.

Cassandra's skin is dark, but even that can't hide the flush of deep chagrin that's colouring her cheeks. "You don't know what you're talking about. You want to mind your tongue, baby-doc, or I'll cut it out your head," she calls to her fellow Skaikru over her shoulder, in plain earshot of the surrounding Trikru. Apparently Morgan's struck a nerve. She had begun to view him with something approaching friendship, but now she's back to firing the kind of threats she hasn't since the execution of Mags Trentin. Fuming, she then turns back to face Sev, though off her game, her expression's a little vacant and her chin is tucked towards her neck. She eyes the plants when he points out their flaws and merits intently, giving a slow nod of her head and watching him pick through them on the table at his wagon. "Pro bono," she says of the St. John's Wort. "You were asking Khesu for it. Said I'd find it, didn't I?"

"You're so cute when you don't want people to know you have a heart." Morgan's tone is dry. But speaking of hearts, his is demanding he do something more than just stand here. Time to see if Lip is awake yet. "I'll be around, Sev. Talk to you later." Giving the man a nod, he starts heading back to the station.

There's a partial glance at the underwater plants he collect from the lake, drying under the light of the sun on an old aluminum sheet Sev scrounged up from somewhere, tarnished and dented as it is. "I see." he utters at her listening in what he had asked Khesu about a day ago. Then bark is given a proper look over as well, but he seems a little less picky about that. Perhaps because that's valued a little bit more. He's silent a moment longer, nodding to himself. "I will have to prepare these for processing once they have dried. But you have fulfilled you part of the trade. I cannot give you a horse." He does only one and he doesn't look to part with it. "But language. I can give that. No more, no less. For as long as I remain here." He does not give a timeframe for how long he intends to stick around. "Agreeable?" Morgan is afforded another nod, suggesting he heard the man.

Though Cass is still a little prickly, mostly because Morgan just skewered her with the slanderous accusation that she has feelings, she manages a little grin at Sev's vocalised agreement to hold up his end of the deal. "Agreeable," she says, sounding a little smug. "You need more stuff, you let me know. I need to… take a walk, anyhow." She inhales a breath through her nostrils, taking a look around the area.

Sev doesn't seem too concerned on the status of Cassandra's heart. Not his buisness. There's just a single nod at the woman. "Very well." he utters, looking over his newfound supplies. Not a bad trade, and that's really what he's about. Personal motivations or the reasoning for needing to know their language isn't his problem. Besides, might make it easier for making deals.

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