Day 036: Tactical Value
Summary: Kai and Britt discuss difficult choices and different tactical perspectives.
Date: 4 July 16
Related: None
Kai Britt Elias 


Public Garden and Orchard
The public gardens of Tondc inhabit a long, narrow strip of land between the marketplace and a narrow babble of the divided Potomac. They are divided up by narrow footpaths that have been here since before the bombs, and help create a variety of garden beds to host primarily edible plants. The garden is tended by the citizens of Tondc, which also means it provides for the citizens of Tondc. Those who work the gardens are given permission to harvest from the vegetables and fruits in exchange. Toward the back of the gardens, near the riverside, are many fruit-bearing trees that are heavy with apples and cherries in the summer and autumn months. Toward the midway point is the large building used for the Warrior Barracks — all crafted from stone, metal and wood.
Day 36

It's early yet, the village still waking. Britt's been up for awhile, though, a persistent headache wrestling with exhaustion in the struggle for sleep. She decided to go for a restless walk, and it's brought her down to the riverfront paths. She nibbles on some sort of root as she walks slowly along, a thoughtful frown lingering on her face.

Kai should be in bed. Really, she should be, and she's not entirely sure where her armor ended up, which is why the Skaikru Second is currently not dressed in it, even if the light tee feels a little weird. She set out with the intention of a jog, and it rapidly became a walk, and she had just about decided to give up and go back to the healing house when she spots Britt,"Heyo, Britt kom Trikru." the girl calls out to try and catch her attention rather than make another abortive attempt at destroying Silver's work.

The voice calling her name causes Britt to snap out of her musings, looking around to pinpoint the source of it. Her head tilts curiously when she spots the younger woman, turning and pausing her stroll to let Kai catch up to her if she likes. "Morning, Kai kom Trikru," she greets evenly. Then her brows lift slightly, offering a skeptical challenge, "Shouldn't you be in bed?"

"Should be." Kai agree's when she gets closer,"But apparently the steheda wants my First and I to go with the delegation to Jaha." it doesn't stop her from pressing a hand to herself with a grimace, but well, mobility,"I wanted to.. speak with you, if you don't mind? About skaigeda and.. all of that."

"I see. I've been asked to go as well." By Arlin, though, not by any of the leaders, so it remains to be seen if that actually happens. "I am curious to see your Sky Camp." Seeing the Second's grimace, she motions to one of the old stone benches that dot the path. It's a few steps away, but Britt heads that way, "Let's sit." Apparently that's her way of saying she doesn't mind.

"Good." is Kai's opinion on that, expression flickering grateful at the gesture to the bench as her head dips and she limps in that direction,"Jaha, is what they are calling it. Camp Jaha. It'll always be Alpha station to me, but well.. naming it after the asshole that sent us here in the first place doesn't exactly give me warm fuzzies." she opines before sinking onto the bench with a grunt,"How is your head, by the way?"

"Jaha." Britt echoes the name curiously. "He is your skaiheda?" Apparently she's heard the name in passing before. "Is that where you were from? This Alpha station?" The latter question elicits a wry smirk from the archer. "Better than your chest, I imagine." She's not one to complain. Her face is getting better, but it sure still looks painful.

There's a nod in the affirmative from Kai,"Was, the Skaiheda." she clarify's, hunching over to rest her elbows on her knee's, not that it feels any better, but that nothing feels particularly awesome right now,"Yes. There were many stations, Alpha was just one of them.. but it is the one that I was born on." there's a wry smile for the other woman,"It was.. sort of hard to tell, but I think I've got you to thank for him not having a third attempt, yeh?" she asks with an expellation of breath,"Anyways.. I wanted to say to you personally that I'm sorry for what has happened. All of it. Let's start from there, yeh? I'm not sure I've actually told you that yet."

"Was?" Surprise and curiosity rolled into the implicit question about Jaha. It takes Britt a moment to realize what Kai is referring to when she speaks of 'him' not getting a third attempt… she realizes that Kai means the Reaper, and not Jaha. A corner of her mouth quirks upward, and she shrugs lightly. "I try to keep an eye on all the Seconds, as much as I can." Sometimes it's hard in the heat of battle. "You were holding your own until the second one piled on." The latter apology causes a confused frown. "Sorry for my head? You weren't even there."

"Yes, he apparently decided to stay on Go-sci and it's all very noble and tragic and they're all very grateful for the sacrifice that allowed them to survive." Kai can't even hold back the sarcasm in her tone or the roll of the eyes that accompanies it,"Yeh, he sort of came out of nowhere." she acknowledges about the second Reaper,"And no. Yes, the Trikru warned us about the guns. And yes, we made the call to keep them anyways. There's reasons for that which probably don't particularly matter. We were agreed that they were to be left in camp and not used, right up until we found Cassandra and Asher and found out that we were at war for reasons we didn't even understand at the time. So I made a call. And in the bigger picture of things it was the wrong call."

Britt's brows knit a little. "Why would he stay and not come down with the rest?" Apparently the concept of noble sacrifice doesn't add up in her head. The words about the second Reaper get a nod. "It's easy to get tunnel vision in battle, to see only the one you're fighting. Even experienced warriors fall into the trap sometimes. But it's important to keep your wits about you, so you don't get blindsided." The lecture is gently delivered, and then she moves on to the other subject. "Aah. I see." She doesn't look angry or anything, but her lips purse in a frown that seem to be considering a further response.

"The people who destroyed Thripoda crippled the Ark when they detached that dropship. I don't know whether or not that had something to do with why it crashed and the investigation isn't something that's my concern unless the kruheda is unsatisfied by Skaikru's answer. But the Ark itself? Alpha and the other stations? They were never designed to come down from the sky. I'm not even sure how they managed to do it, but apparently he stayed behind to detach Go-sci?" she shakes her head,"Go-sci's a station, too. I should explain." she sits up with a nod of acknowledgment, listening to Britt's advice and falling silent at the purse of the other womans lips, clearly waiting for any potential further statements from the archer.

Britt nods to the explanation about the Ark, though the whole thing is still pretty hard for her to grasp. Cities floating in space? What? She listens, though, taking it all in. But having put her thoughts in order, she finally ventures. "I understand why you would decide to use your guns. You were alone here. Outnumbered against a superior foe." There's no trace of rah rah ego in her assessment, just a raw statement of fact (as she sees it). "I would not lie and claim that no Trikru has ever been tempted to use guns to gain an advantage over a foe. But we don't, because we understand the consequences. It would be putting our lives above the innocent." She sighs, and shakes her head. "We all make choices that are difficult to live with sometimes."

Kai grunts quietly,"Guns are a cowards weapon." is what she chooses to state, not disagreeing with Britt's assessment,"Under the circumstances, it was the best option for our survival, and in that regard I feel the choice made was necessary. But at the time I.. did not know the Trikru as I do now. I did not understand the nuances of the issue with guns down here other than that the same people who were trying to kill us were also the one's trying to say we shouldn't use them." there's a wry smile,"Didn't exactly make us listen terribly well." she starts to shrug and works out very swiftly that it's an extremely bad idea,"It is what it is. I wanted to be mad.. I fought hard to try and save the hundred, and I wanted to be mad at you.. but I'm not. I'm not mad at the guys who hate me, either. Trying to piece together two completely different worlds is.. hard. But from listening to you guys, from being here.. from Coesbur.. I understand it better now and yeh.. if it were up to me I'd destroy them all."

"No more than a bow is a coward's weapon," Britt disagrees, though she doesn't seem to take offense by the implicit comparison. "I understand why you would not trust us. And yes, you had your reasons, but do not mistake reasons for necessity. Choices are rarely necessary, or they wouldn't be choices." She blows out a soft breath. "I had my reasons too for leaving Indra's camp to join the battle, but I would not insult you by claiming that I had no choice. I wouldn't blame you for hating me for killing your friends." A resigned look is leveled at the former-Skaikru, a bit dubious about the whole 'not mad' thing.

"That's where you're wrong." Kai utters with a small shake of her head,"Skaigeda was manned by children who barely knew which end to point at their target. Half of them barely understood how to use the sights. We deliberately didn't teach them how to burst-fire or go full auto because we didn't have the bullets to spare. A bow requires the strength and skill to draw and fire it at a target, a gun just requires you to know how to pull the trigger. I admire the skill of you and the other archers.. I doubt I'll ever be that good, but I appreciate that it takes more effort than a gun does." she reaches to rub across her entirely too fuzzy for her liking hair,"The survival of one's clan is a necessity in my book, Britt. Trikru is now my clan. And some day I might well have to make the same choice."

Britt shrugs a little. "What does skill have to do with cowardice? A bullet will strike you as dead as an arrow. I would not call any skaikid who stood on that wall with a gun a coward just because they had no training. If anything, I think it showed more bravery than a hardened warrior." To the latter point, she purses her lips thoughtfully. "So if you felt your warband's survival depended on flattening an entire village, like Thripoda, that's a choice you're willing to make? You would send that dropship down and wipe out elders, farmers, children so that yours might survive?"

"No, no." there's a laugh from Kai, it hurts, but still,"The hundred are brave. I do not consider them the same as I consider Alpha and their people. Not that the Guard can truly count as hardened warriors by the measure of the Trikru, but they are trained adults who still refused Wren entry and stood watch over him for fear of what he might do. Who stood there and watched over Pontus and I as the wounded were offloaded, lest we prove a threat. I do consider them cowards. Those who came to Coesbur are the same ones who defended skaigeda, and they chose to come and fight alongside Trikru, without guns or reservation.. there's hundreds of people at Alpha, and the only one's with the guts to show up were a bunch of kids." she touches her ribs lightly, testingly,"It wasn't a warband. For us. We had lost contact with the Ark. The only other ship to come down was destroyed. As far as we knew, we were the last of the Skaikru.. but no, even if I had a weapon capable of similar effect, it is not a choice I could make. And it would be a fool's choice. Any tactician with half a brain would recognize that as a tactical target Tondc is more valuable than Thripoda. That a soft target with minimal military value would simply elicit the response that almost got skaigeda wiped out. Which is another part of why I'm not mad. If I thought I'd been attacked by someone willing to do what happened to Thripoda.. I'd have slaughtered us too."

Britt nods her agreement to the first part. "Bravery has nothing to do with the weapon in your hand. It's about the choices you make. Though I understand why your adults would not wish to help us. Why would they? We are not allies, we have only an uneasy truce standing between us and war." She chews her lip for a moment before venturing, "The Azgaeda - they would not hesitate to do what was done to Thripoda. My friend adopted a boy who was the only one who survived an Azgaeda attack on his village. The only one." Her voice hardens at that. "And Thripoda wasn't so different from Tondc. Smaller, yes, but not so much smaller. Do you see much of 'military value' here?" she asks, arching a brow and motioning towards the gardens and - by implication - the surrounding village. "There was no military value in the villages destroyed by the Mountain. They strike to make a point."

"I consider it short-sighted of them. There's maybe five hundred people roughly at Alpha. Possibly more? But that's one village. If they understood the greater tactical situation they would understand that forming an alliance with the Trikru is their best chance for survival." at least, that's Kai's opinion on the matter, eyes sliding Britt's way,"I know very little about the Azgeda. I remember the ears that one warrior has, and that they are Azgeda ears, but I have not had much opportunity to learn of them beyond this." she offers with vague apology before grunting,"The kruheda is here. By proportion there are a higher number of trained combat personnel here than the other villages. As such it's military value is higher." she rubs her face,"And that is what bothers me. The actions of the Mountain. There's an element there I'm not seeing because from a tactical standpoint what happened to Coesbur makes no sense to me."

"I believe your people about Thripoda being an accident. It simply makes little sense to wage war in such a way with your people on the ground." Britt shakes her head to that. "But I disagree that Tondc has a significantly greater value. Every village has its own warband. The one here only seems big right now because there are still some, like me, lingering around after the battle. As for the kruheda? Surely it would be a blow, but we are not ones to fold for lack of leadership. Someone would step up." The question of the Mountain causes her to purse her lips again. "What makes you think the Mountain's actions have tactical value? It was a reprisal. A punishment because Coesbur allied itself with you and your guns." In her mind it's as obvious as 2+2. "The only curiosity is why they waited so long to do it. We never had the luxury of having time to evacuate before. The last strike was before I was born, but my uncle told me stories of the destruction." Unpleasant stories, judging by the set of her jaw.

"That's a tactical difference, however. You are Trikru, you understand how Trikru think and fight. I do not believe the Mountain thinks like Trikru anymore than the Skaikru does. Right now I can only extrapolate what the Mountain's tactical thought might be based upon what my experience with the Skaikru. In the most simplistic terms if one were fighting a war, and I cannot think of what the Mountain has done as anything other than wage war against our people.. the largest target on the field is the one most likely to cripple your enemies response." she pauses as she listens, brows beetling and lips pursing,"Would there be someone, who knows where the villages are.. were.. that the Mountain has attacked in the past? That might provide insight. Maybe they don't attack Tondc because they can't reach it. But it doesn't answer is this.. the destruction of a village as a response to the use of firearms is a suppression movement. If they have a stockpile of missles, why would they be afraid of guns? If they have a significant number of missles, there is nothing tactically to be gained by not simply striking every village within reach. Why, if their usual pattern is to strike immediately, did they wait? And not attack the place that utilized guns, but the next closest village? If it was simply about guns, they would have simply blown skaigeda. There's more to it, Britt.. and I simply don't have the knowledge to understand what that something is. And that? Bothers me."

"I don't deny that our tactics are different," Britt says agreeably. "But I've heard your people say 'Why would we attack Thripoda?' as if its lack of tactical value is a defense in your favor. I'm just pointing out that - by our standards - an attack on Thripoda makes as much sense as an attack on Tondc. You were allied with Coesbur, so it makes sense why you would not strike them. Thripoda was the nearest, biggest village. A village of seven hundred could send a sizable warband against you." She listens to the rest of the bit about the mountain. "If we find a map, I could show you where the other villages used to be - the ones destroyed by the Mountain. It wasn't immediate, but it was faster than Coesbur. Nobody knows what the Mountain Men are thinking. But what I do know is that they do not wage war in the usual sense. They seem to just want to be left alone. As long as we don't cross the river or use guns, they leave us be. As for why they didn't attack your skaigeda - perhaps they didn't see you as a threat. Perhaps they want you for an ally. Who knows?"

Kai grunts quietly,"Tactics is.. I'd like to think that I'm reasonably good at it. That's why it bothers me that I don't understand them." she sighs softly and dips her head again towards the other woman,"Well, first, we didn't even know Thripoda was there. Except for the hunters that got horribly lost and died before we ever found them." which merits a tired smile in and of itself,"Tactically for us it is different. Not since the stations came together to form the Ark has there been a 'them' for us to be opposed to. The Trikru are pragmatic in this regard in ways that the Skaikru are not. Decentralized leadership response is one of the differences in tactical approach. And unfortunately I gave the maps I had to Grey, but yes.. if we can procure maps and you can show me, it might give me an idea of their range. If we understand their range it gives us an idea of what villages are under threat by them, in the least. I would like to go there, I want to try and find my friends. But moreover.. I want them to pay." she expels a breath,"But instead I'm going to go to Jaha and smile nicely at Kane and keep my mouth shut for the sake of peace."

Elias arrives from the Healing House.

Britt nods. "Arlin probably knows better where the villages were." Mr. Mountain Obsession. "I'll see if we can show you." Britt considers that for a moment before getting back to the Thripoda issue. "And yes, you say you didn't know about Thripoda, but since your hunters were found there Indra believes you did know where it was. Yet another reason to strike there and not Tondc, which none of you had been to before now. Anyway, as I said… I believe you. But when it comes to negotiations, it's important to understand the other side's point of view. Your skaiheda still to convince Indra, not me." She presses her lips together, and admits. "That is partly why I went to join the battle. To show Indra that not everyone who argued your side was being disloyal, or had some personal agenda - unlike Wren and Gideon. The other part… " There's a thoughtful pause. "My… someone important to me was being sent in with the first wave. Someone had to watch his back." A sad, almost apologetic half-smile accompanies the explanation.

Britt and Kai are sitting on a bench along one of the river walk paths. It's early morning.

Kai gives a nod for Britt and gives a flicker of a smile,"I understood why Indra didn't believe us when she said that." she grunts,"But I'm simply saying for the record. And he's not my Skaiheda." she points out with quiet firmness,"It is up to him to prove it to Indra, yes." she agree's with Britt, listening before she nods her head,"If Eli was being sent to the front lines, I would have made that choice too." the Second admits,"I hope for the sake of the Skaikru that measures are agreed between him and Indra, but my word was given in that matter before I even became Wren's Second."

After working out that Kai was no longer laying down as she's supposed to be, Elias does eventually emerge from the healing tent. The wandering he does is very cautious of course and takes one of the river walk paths in an attempt to locate the missing injured one. He also has his pack slung over one shoulder and appears to be walking just fine after a fashion. When he spots the two on the bench, he starts making his way pointedly in that direction. He really isn't supposed to be wandering off, but waking up to a room full of injured strangers warrants a little wandering at least. "'Morning," he says sleepily in greeting and then casts a look back towards the gates. Finally, he does turn his attention fully back to the other two. "Front lines. Won't happen. I'm not a soldier. I was going to forage outside for some food if either of you are hungry, though?" Hazel eyes settle on Kai first and then Britt.

"Indeed." Britt offers a faint smile when Kai points out that it's not her skaiheda any more. The correction pleases her to some degree. She also nods when Kai expresses understanding of the reasons for her choice. "It brought me no pleasure, fighting your friends." It's the closest she can give to an apology, even if it isn't strictly one. Elias' approach causes her to look in that direction, acknowledging him with a polite nod. "Outside?" she echoes curiously.

Kai stirs at the sound of Elias' voice,"I know it wont, but it doesn't change that I wouldn't let you fight alone." she makes a noise when stretching pulls on things unpleasantly and opts instead to reach a hand towards him,"Stay here for now." she elects to go with, nodding her head towards Britt and accepting the not-quite apology,"Britt's going to be coming to Jaha with the rest of the delegation, Eli. So she'll be able to see Alpha for herself. And I'm glad that you're not a warrior, for the record. I prefer the thought of you being safe."

Elias nods to Britt and then points back towards the gate. "It's a kindness that I'm here to be able to see my Niron during her recovery. Not a kindness I'd repay by being a drain on your resources." Turning back to the two of them then, he shrugs his shoulders. "I figured I'd find someone and then…" At Kai's words, he nods and lifts his shoulders in a tight and subtle shrug. "Sure, I mean…I guess I can just wait." To Britt then, he lets a small smile cross his lips. "Well, I'd hoped you'd visit when I actually had some work /completed/. But welcome in advance. I'm looking forward to showing you what I've been working on. Hopefully they'll let me share the technology and the supplies to build one for you as well. A hothouse, that is."

Britt shakes her head. "Nonsense. You are here as Pontus' guest. He would skin me alive if I sent you out to forage for your breakfast. If you're hungry, we can go over to the marketplace and find something." Her tone is too matter-of-fact to be considered warm and inviting, but it's better than nothing hopefully. Or they can wait. She leaves that much up to Kai. Elias' remarks get a curious look. "A… hothouse?" Clearly the concept is foreign for the Grounder woman.

There's a grateful smile for Britt from Kai as she takes Elias' hand for a gentle squeeze,"You're going to get to play host soon enough." she notes softly for him, before asiding to Britt,"Don't eat the soy. Or, well, do, but understand that the food here is far better." she wrinkles her nose before asking,"Are you hungry Eli?" of him, not endeavoring to try and explain hothouses in favor of tipping her head in the skaiboy's direction,"Eli is from Farm station. In the Ark, they were responsible for food production."

Canting his head at Britt a moment, he gives her a mildly worried look before shifting his attention towards the market. "Well, I brought a change of clothes I could trade. I just…visiting or not, I feel like I should be pulling my own weight. After everything." A gentle shrug of his shoulders is given, but then the subject changes and his face lights up again. As much as it can with how tired he is, anyways. "It's a structure that uses the energy from the sun to heat the inside so that one can grow crops even through winter. It may help your people a little." With a look then to Kai, he nods his head fervently. "Well - we ate nothing but soy for…all our lives, pretty much. For all I know, it might be someone's favorite thing." Another shrug of his shoulders is given before he reaches out to gingerly touch Kai on the shoulder. "Well, I know /how/ to grow food. I mainly grow medicine."

"You needn't trade your clothes for breakfast. As I said, you're a guest. Will you expect me to bring along something to trade for this 'soy' if I visit your Sky Camp with the steheda?" Britt arches her eyebrows mildly. If the answer is 'yes', then apparently she has some extra packing to do. The explanation of the hothouse gets a slight nod. "Growing food in winter? That is interesting. My parents were farmers," she offers off-hand. "I learned a little about it." She gestures towards the market. "Do you want to go and eat?"

Kai gives as soft a laugh as she can manage without hurting herself worse,"That's Elias for 'yes', he's hungry." she stirs slowly to get to her feet,"Green Eden I'm glad I no longer have to eat soy. I'm not going to pretend I understand hothouses, and yes, I remember that you grow medicine specifically Eli, but it doesn't.. change things. There's not that much of a difference between trying to grow them, right? Just different plants?" she knows how to find edible stuff.. grow it? Yeh, nah,"My father was a Guard." which doesn't count as a Warrior as far as she's concerned, even if the word might not translate well,"My mother.." she grimaces,"well, you might get to meet her."

"You'll probably want to trade in your gag reflex," Elias informs Britt with a steady nod of his head. "I see your point. I'm just having trouble accepting kindness that by all rights I really don't deserve." Again, he furrows his brows a touch and gives a shake of his head. "So thank you," he says, nodding to Kai's words. "Yes." He does put on the best smile he can manage, however. To Kai, he raises a brow slowly at her questions and blinks a little bit. "You know…as much as you pretend to snore when I go into the science behind hybridization and fertilization techniques, you sure like to provoke me." He wrinkles his nose at her briefly before giving her shoulder a very gentle squeeze.

Britt also chuckles softly at Elias' joke. "Perhaps we should bring a deer along then, for our own safety." She considers his words. "Deserving has little to do with it. It is guest-right. But you haven't done anything to make yourself undeserving of it, so…" A shoulder hitches in a light shrug, and then Britt rises, apparently ready to escort them to the marketplace. Given Kai's grimace about her mother, she just nods and doesn't inquire further. Eli, though, gets a curious look. "So how do you grow food in space? Do you have land?" so asks the farmer's daughter.

Kai cants her head back, wincing as her stitches totally don't like that motion but still goes for a deliberate snore on cue, only to slant a look up at him with a smile as she tilts her head forward and touches her stitches with a grimace,"That's because I am in love with your brain, and I don't have to understand what it means to appreciate your work. But it also means that when it comes to organized growing I'm not even going to pretend I know." she loops an arm about Eli's shoulders regardless of the way everything's unhappy about the idea,"We should." she recommends to Britt,"Believe me, we so should. Soy will.. keep you alive. But that's about all that can be said for it."

Elias helps Kai up when she seems like she's ready to stand up herself. It won't do good to have her straining too hard, after all. The young man nods his head to Britt then, chuckling a little as well. "It might be wise. Honest. Soy will keep you alive, as Kai said, but it's taste is…I can't even compare it." A brief 'yuck' face is made then before he shakes his head again. Again, he looks to Britt and smiles. "Well, in the soil there are nutrients that the plants use for food. Those nutrients come from…a variety of feces and plant waste. So we would extract these nutrients from the waste and create a liquid mixture to grow them in. We also used um…lamps that generated heat and light like the sun." Elias looks to Kai as she speaks and smiles at her adoringly. "Yes, but you're smarter than I am when it comes to things like tactics, so…there's that. And hey - I'm glad I know what I know. I just hope your people will let me assist. It feels like it's the least I can do."

Britt gives a small, wistful smile at the banter between the lovebirds. "Well, I'll see if we can hunt something on the way there. Who knows, it might be a good peace offering." She listens with interest to Eli's explanation about the crops as they walk along. "I hope so too," she offers to Eli's hopes for peace.

"I'm good at thinking up ways to kill people." is how Kai translates Elias words, in a wry tone,"I'd offer to help with that but I think that I'd just guarantee that nothing got caught, right now. 's so frustrating.. but will remind me next time to not step into some guy's axe."

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