Day 044: The Foolishness Of Youth And Skaikru
Summary: Britt requests a chance to talk to Indra about the current Skaifoolishness.
Date: 11 July 2016
Related: Questionable Choices, Gone A-Reaping, Reaper Science, and others.
Indra Britt 

Indra's Tent, Trikru Encampment
It's a tent.
44 Days After Landing

Since her arrival at the collection of Trikru tents outside of Camp Jaha, Indra has been publicly not happy, and privately, still not happy. When Britt requested to speak with her, she was given a monosyllabic assent, and then allowed entry to the hastily-put-up tent of the kruheda. Indra herself is sitting on her bedroll, sharpening her sword and, apparently, thinking. She looks up as Britt enters, nodding a greeting and gesturing to a 'seat' — a collection of hides in place to cushion the floor, "You mentioned something about the Skaikru mania for Reapers, Britt kom Trikru?"

"Kruheda," Britt says, giving a respectful nod to the leader. She moves over to the indicated pile of hides, sitting down in a sort of half-Indian-style with one leg tucked under her and the other stretched out straight. "Yes. I assume you were aware that Wren led a raiding party the other day to bring back two more Reaper bodies for the Skaikru doctors to study." Just checking, though, since these days she's not sure who knows what. "They wanted to bring back a living one, but I thought it madness so I made sure they were all dead."

"Your knee, right?" Indra gestures down to the still-extended leg. Then she gets down to business, the frown that her face is so suited for settling over her features, "Yes. So long as the bodies are burned afterward, I do not care what the Skaikru do with them, and dead Reapers are the only kind of good Reapers." And then her lips tighten even further, "Good. Live Reapers though, that is madness. Why do they wish to study them, do you know? Do they mean to make more?"

Britt nods when Indra gestures toward her leg. "Yes. It is hard to complain, though, when I'm lucky to still walk on it." She shakes her head to the latter point. "They claim that with their science they may be able to make a cure for the Reaper's madness, at least on one who was recently turned. And they want a living one to test the cure on." There the archer sighs, frowning. "I do not approve. Even if such a thing could be done, which I doubt, I feel it would be wrong to do so. Their fight ended the moment they were turned into monsters. It is more a mercy to kill them. And I would not wish to risk our warriors - or the people in the Sky Camp - trying to capture one alive. I doubt they have the sense to keep such a monster safely contained. But… the Skaikru healer would not be dissuaded so I said I would seek your counsel on it."

"They claim a lot of things," is Indra's sour answer. "And I agree with you. I don't plan on allowing any of my warriors or scouts to try to captured a live Reaper." She is still in her seat, not fidgeting like someone younger or less sure of herself would, "I think as you do. Reapers are already dead. One who eats another human ceases to be human."

Britt bobs her head in solemn agreement. "I think of my friend Ibem's daughter, the one taken by Reapers. That girl was dear to me. But if she were turned…" Her mouth thins, pained crinkles forming around her eyes, and she shakes her head. "There is no coming back from that." There's a somber pause, and then she shakes it off and continues. "I fear, though, that they will move forward with this on their own. As they are fond of reminding me, they have their own warriors with their guns." The latter word is spoken with derision.

"If we cannot make war on them, and they will not listen to our warnings, we cannot stop them from using their guns." Indra sounds very sour indeed there. "At least no more of our villages are closer to the Mountain than the skaigeda." That is very cold comfort, of course, after Coesbur, "Do you see any way to stop them from following this path without war?"

Britt nods to the first bit, her frown mirroring Indra's sourness. "I don't know, but… I think they feel if they can cure the Reaper madness, it would ingratiate themselves to us. If you were to make it clear to their skaiheda that the opposite is true, perhaps they might be dissuaded. Then again, they seem to seek out knowledge for knowledge's sake, whether it is useful or not."

Indra lowers her sword to the floor of the tent, then sets the whetstone down as well, "There are some who would be happy to have their family members back, if it was soon enough that their actions did not demand justice. But for most, the only cure for being a Reaper is to be returned to the earth as ashes." She shakes her head, "But not even the Skaikru can cure a Reaper. Our best healers have tried and failed. Repeatedly." Of course, the other woman knows that, but it doesn't stop Indra from saying it anyhow.

"Is there any way to know, though? I mean, unless someone is rescued before they're turned, who knows what blood lies on their hands?" Britt shakes her head, shifting her weight a little on the pile of hides. "But the Skaikru healers do things differently than ours. They have machines that can look under the skin, to see if a bone is cracked." She gestures toward her still-healing face for emphasis. "They have different medicines. They can cut a corpse open and learn things from the organs. It is not impossible that they might be able to make a cure, but I'll believe it when I see it. The thing is… I don't really wish to see it." Taking a breath, she shifts the topic slightly. "Kruheda, forgive me if it isn't my place to ask, but I do not understand this whole business about the scouts going to the Mountain."

Now, finally, Indra shifts somewhat uncomfortably, "Sometimes, we all have to learn something new. Others, things should not be learned, or spread." To Britt's question, she responds, "It isn't." Still, she relents somewhat, "But I think it is a risk. Not one I would have taken by choice, but one that it is too late to stop. If they bring down the wrath of the Mountain, they will pay for their actions."

Britt looks down, chagrined, when Indra affirms that she's stepped out of line. But after the further explanation, her eyes drift back up to the leader. "But I don't understand what we hope to gain. No one has ever come back from the Mountain, so the chances of them succeeding seem infinitesimally small versus the risk of provoking another strike. We are not yet allied with the Skaikru, but it seems we risk much in the hopes of rescuing their people."

"I agree." Indra's words are low now, flat, "And it is not a risk I would have taken. Things will be interesting if those who went return." Which is not entirely certain, or even likely, as far as she is concerned. "We have little to nothing to gain from anything short of wiping out the Mountain entirely, which would cost thousands of lives, warrior and maker alike. It is not worth it."

Britt looks less than reassured by Indra's words. "I am loyal, Indra. I will march straight into the fog if you say that will help our people. But this…" She shakes her head gravely. "I do not understand why the heda is sending us down this path. I know it is not my place to understand, only to obey, but… I am troubled all the same."

"As I am loyal to my heda." Indra shakes her head, "I give my advice, and that is all I can do. I am still not convinced that the Skaikru did not destroy Thripoda on purpose. Until Thripoda has justice, I will continue to advice against further involvement with the Skaikru."

Britt offers another tiny nod. "I do not believe they did it on purpose, but I still have seen little from them that makes me wish for more involvement with them. They are arrogant; they feel that with their science and their technology that they can 'save' us or something. Like with this foolishness about curing the Reapers, as if that's doing us some great favor. And they are reckless. Their warriors go into battle against the Reapers with sticks that pain instead of kill. They use their guns heedless of the consequences." She sighs, shaking her head. "They are not all bad. But overall, it seems they have little to offer us."

Indra scoffs loudly at the mention of the Skaikru 'saving' them, "Without Oxfor's kindness," and yes, there is something sour there as well, "their children would have been dead already. When a clan's warriors are as Seconds to yours, there is usually little to fear from them save foolishness. I will continue to advice the heda to be wary of the Skaikru's foolishness."

Britt nods. She's quiet for a moment, then says, "I feel at loose ends here. The heda had asked me to help Arlin when all this started, but we did what she asked and she's had no further instructions. Reporting for her is probably pretty moot now that she's here herself. I would aid your warband if we were at war, but… we're not. How can I be of use?"

Indra considers that for a long time, then shrugs slightly, "Help the Trikru getting caught up with the Skaikru to remember what it means to be Trikru. When I say something, they snap to, and although they obey, they do not always listen. More sensible words spoken another way may make the difference between keeping our distance from the Skaikru and being dragged down into disaster by them."

"It's easy to get dragged down when you or your friends are bedding one of them, and your steheda is treating them as allies," Britt comments with dry disapproval. "I will do what I can, though, kruheda. If there was nothing else you needed of me, I'll take my leave."

Indra rolls her eyes at the first point, "Are there no good young men or women in the Trikru that everyone must bed one of these newcomers?" She gives another scoffing snort, "Fools, chasing after something shiny rather than looking for something proven." She hesitates a moment, "Before you go… which of the Trikru have chosen Skaikru lovers? I presume Wren?"

Britt snickers as well. "They are exotic and new, a change from the villagers they've known all their lives. I hope I would not have been so foolish if I were their age when the Skaikru came." Indra's question causes her to pause and think for a moment. "Wren, yes. Gideon. Tuan. I think that's all. Oh, Kai still has a niron among her old people." She pauses there to add, "I did not approve of Wren's choice at first, but I have to say … that girl has promise. She is sincere about learning our ways, and she held her own against the Reapers at Coesbur."

Indra nods at the name she suspected, but the second one causes her to widen her eyes in surprise, a look of distaste crossing her face, "I thought I had taught her better than that." Shaking it off, she nods, "Thank you, Britt, for your honest counsel and concern."

"The heart can cause the head to forget even the wisest counsel," Britt comments dryly. Not that she would know. She was always too serious to be given over to lovestruck foolishness, even in her youth. Then her voice becomes more grave. "I fear what would happen if they were forced to choose sides." A fear, but also a foregone conclusion. She rises then, a tiny hitch in her step when her leg - stiff from immobility - takes her weight. "Thank you, kruheda. I am at your service if you need anything else."

"I don't think it's the heart that's thinking." Indra nods at the further warning, "They will accept the consequences for their choice either way." Because that's what Trikru do, or what they're supposed to do. But there's nothing more to be said, and Indra just nods her acceptance of the promise.

Britt lets out a brief snort at the first, but then inclines her head and takes her leave.

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