Day 006: The Rescue, Afterchat
Summary: After the rescue of the captives from the Grounders, the Delinquents discuss lives, dangers, politics.
Date: 08 05 2016
Related: None
Morgan Cameron Grey Cassandra Layla Hanne 


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 three-holer latrine is set up downwind of camp in the prevailing breezes, and the rough beginnings of a wall stretch between trees at the edge of the clearing, dropship plates and felled tree-trunks being stacked up as quickly as the Delinquents can manage.

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.

6 days after landing

Morgan walked into camp using the spear as a walking stick. Looking around, he snorts softly and says 'Home'. But it is, especially after being captured by the Grounders. And he's hurt and utterly exhausted, sinking down by a fire and then lying flat on his back.

Cameron comes wandering in, having stashed his stuff, carrying with him only his sword; he's still covered mostly in dirt, and shirtless, and looks rather exhausted, but he's alive. He keeps his hand clenched tightly to his chest almost out of habit. He heads over to where Morgan's sat, and sits down next to him, leaning a shoulder lightly against the other guy's. He sighs, "Well, that happened. I'd kill for soap." He pauses, and winces, "Okay killing jokes aren't funny anymore."

Grey has had a busy day. He's run several miles… twice, fought in life-or-death combat… twice, gotten in an argument with a theoretical ally… just once, and helped to strip and hide several bodies. That doesn't include the struggle to keep his altogether-too-light lunch down the entire time. At some point, someone wrapped a bit of shirt around his head-wound, and his side has scabbed over, but he's looking… weary is far too light a word for it. He stops one Delinquent, "You see where the people we rescued went?" He's given a vague wave in the direction of the dropship, and the ex-C staggers in that direction. The next person he asks is the prone Morgan, "You see where any of the people we rescued went?" And then he blinks, recognition slowly dawning in his eyes, "Shit. Morgan. Sorry." He glanes at Cameron leaning against Morgan's shoulder, nods something that might be approval, then continues, "Didn't…. I don't know. Sorry we left you there so long." Thirty-odd hours.

Cassandra can be found on the fringes of camp, as usual, being anti-social. What isn't usual, for anyone who happens to notice her tucked into her little corner of the nearby woods, is that she's showing real emotion: she's crying. She's managed to get the scent of vomit cleaned from her clothes, but is no livelier upon her return than she was prior to her brief departure, once the wounded were brought back and the loot divvied up. What happened to the Grounder clothes she insisted be stripped and retrieved remains a mystery, but she's still refusing to let go of that machete she claimed from the man she and Asher killed. Its point now sits half buried in the dirt, its grip held in two coiled hands that are interlaced as if in prayer. There's one person at camp she is keeping an eye on, though, even if she makes no move to approach: Morgan. As he limps about with his spear as a walking stick, she follows his movements silently with her gaze, lips pursed pensively.

Morgan is just starting up into the sky. He's exhausted but his mind is going and going. "It's fine." he answers quietly, mostly because he can't manage to talk any louder. "Not even two days. Learned a lot." Sort of. "We need them. Badly." And they just killed about ten of them. Not an auspicious start. He moves his hand over till it finds Cameron's. "Maybe it won't be too bad. We showed strength. They should respect that more than if we'd done nothing." How to spin this with the Grounders so it doesn't end up the Chicago Way.

Layla appears, having seen to those who had sustained injuries once more, even those Grounders of whom they had taken hostage. Of the few things she had carried away from the field of battle, they'd already been either squirrelled away or give to Faolan with the direction that he give them to those she deemed worthy. She'd even managed to clean herself up as well as any of them are able. Upon her arrival, the diminutive young woman casts her gaze about, almost furtively. The reality was, the girl was something of a loner, now, and found it hard to just…up and approach people.

"I don't know if we could possibly have gotten to them any earlier, Grey. It took awhile to find them, but we attacked within a couple hours of actually finding. You have to have … I don't know, /reasonable/ expectations of yourself, man." Cameron grins slightly up at Grey, though the grin is a little bit strained. His wound is relatively minor compared to some others, but its paining him. He looks thoughtfully to Morgan, "What did you learn? Is there any chance of … I don't know, cooperation, if not just peace?" That said, he slips his good hand into Morgan's searching one and gives a squeeze. As his eyes dart about— they tend to do that when he's tense, and he's gonna be tense for awhile— he sees Cassandra and nods to her slightly, curiously.

Grey nods to Morgan, swaying a moment on his feet, and then dropping down to one of the logs around the fire. His reclaimed spear is dropped behind him, and he leans forward, his forearms on his thighs, "Yeah." That's in response to the brushing off of the apology. The mention of learning causes him to blink, and he starts to respond to Morgan's words, then just shakes his head. "Yeah, but I made a promise, Cam." He's trying out the nickname, watching wearily for a grimace or a smile or much of anything, "I ain't gonna leave anyone prisoner, and I mean to keep that promise as quick as I can every time." There's something in the firelight, an atavistic comfort to the heat and light, and Grey slumps forward off the log he's sitting in, digging the knife from his back and setting it down, and then leaning back against the log and letting himself relax. Cameron's question to Morgan has him lifting an eyebrow, interested as well.

Cassandra returns Cameron's nod, in the spirit of common courtesy, but that's all she offers for now. Eyes rimmed and red, she shifts in her seat, and glances away for a moment before resuming her spying on the rescued and rescuers. For now, it seems, she isn't likely to approach.

"Bear skull is their leader." Morgan says. "Of those we saw, anyway. He growled at everyone and they did what he said, including wolf skull. She spent the most time with us. Curious about us. Didn't want to see us get hurt. She understood us though she never spoke to us. Gave me willow for the pain so they know herbs. Also what they put on me and Quinn. Need a medic to come take some samples. Don't think Quinn would have lived if we'd treated her. We need them to teach us if we want to survive here." Pause. "Water?"

Well, with Cassandra lurking over there and being somewhat…creepy, Layla thinks to herself that she cannot also be a creeper. It did not help that she was already seen as being an unapproachable ice queen - not that Layla really cared to dispute that, but still. Battles did weird things to people. It made them puke and cry.

In Layla's case, it made her want to be social, and so, quite boldly, she approaches the trio of boy-men-folk and plops herself right down beside them. Of course, she doesn't say hello. That would just be too plebian.

"And you kept your word, Grey." asserts Cameron firmly, but at the look after the nickname is used, he smiles, showing a bit of his dimples. Just a bit, cuz his face is dirty. But then he's listening to Morgan, intent, expression thoughtful. He looks a bit regretful, "Almost makes me wish more we didn't have to kill them, but I just don't see the choice. But, they killed us first. There has to be a way to put an end to the bloodshed. We bear no ill will towards them, we have to find a way to make them understand that." When Layla comes over, he smiles at her, dirtied dimples again, "Hey." And then he blinks, looking to Grey, "Hey, I have a sword now. You think there is a way to stick it to the end of a stick to make me a spear? I liked the spear. The range combined with the fact that I'm quick on my feet works well for me."

Grey frowns as he listens to Morgan's description, raising up one hand to nibble at the nail of his index finger. "What we need is Ark-tech. Minus the Council and Jaha." And then something else thuds its way through his brain, and he grunts, "Understood you. Shit." He lets out a long breath, "Damn it. Maybe we should have…" shaking that off, and then grabbing his temple in pain, "Good thing the next plan is diplomacy." Cameron's reaction to the nickname causes a ghost of a return smile from Grey as well, and he nods a bit, "Probably some way. I'm worried about what happens when the Grounders see us usin' Grounder weapons though." That didn't stop him from doing his best to lay claim to one of them, of course. Layla's approach gets a nod from Grey, "Hey. Thanks for the support out there."

Hanne Keats had gone scattering out of the dropship when the prisoners were delivered, causing her to have to find somewhere in the actual tent village to camp since her place has now become the new Box. Whether or not she's found someone to bunk with is still unknown as she comes cautiously near where the others are gathered. She hesitates upon seeing Grey, but then swallows, steels herself, and approaches with her hands deep in her pockets.

Morgan closes his eyes. "Fuck Ark tech." he says bluntly. "You said you think something is wrong with it so they'll be coming down no matter what. The Ark is staying up there. The tech is staying up there. What little is coming down, they'll be lucky if they can keep repairing year after year with supplies they can't make more of. We need to learn to live here, not on the Ark whether they come down or not. Then anything we manage to keep working is a bonus."

Finally, Cassandra gets up. She's done with the private waterworks and is back to her usual steely self when she makes her way over to the gathering outside the Dropship. Grey gets something of a mild yet dour glare for no apparent reason before she turns to Morgan, her hand still coiled around a dead Grounder's machete. "Are you alright?" she asks the wiry blonde. It's meant with concern, but comes out as a snappy demand.

When Cameron greets her, Layla returns the smile with the ghost of one herself. Always ultra expressive, is our Layla. Still, she isn't a total stick in the mud, and finally says, "Hello," too. Because nothing can begin to bring a people together like the shedding of blood against an enemy force. Most especially after the ordeals the delinquents have been forced through thus far.

So Grey earns his own nod from her and an airy, "Naturally," because ''of course'' Layla would have lent her aid. In fact, she perhaps was even about to ask Morgan about his own state of affairs except that Cassandra was already on it. Why shoot for the same bird, hey?

"I agree, we could learn a lot from the — clansmen? earthers? landers? What do we call them?" Cameron shakes his head, "But don't discount the fact that we *do* know a lot that they don't. Don't throw away our heritage, Mor. Yes, they might have amazing herb-lore, but I'm a trained botanist, do you think I can't improve upon what they pass down and learn by accident? We can teach them, too. We are Ark-born and believe me, when the others come down, they'll bring as much tech as they can. I plan on making the best of both worlds. We can learn from the natives without going native entirely." He blinks at Cassandra's question, but its a curious blink, then turns a friendly smile to Hanne.

Grey shakes his head at Morgan's words, but does not volley back, evidently too weary at the moment to argue. Cassandra's glare gets a blink, and he turns his head to look behind him, as if there might be another person being glared at behind him. "Grounders. I've been callin' them Grounders." He adds on to the query of Morgan, "And Q's okay?" Half a beat pause, "Devin? Ruth? Everybody's as good as can be?" He gestures to Cameron to emphasize the man's points, then looks up, spots Hanne, and licks his lips, drawing the lower one between his teeth nervously a minute, then nodding an invitation for her to join them.

Morgan opens his eyes and turns his head to look at Cassandra. "Me? Yeah, I'll be okay." Judging by the hole in his shirt, the arrow missed his lung. "Except Cam, do you know what the radiation did to the plants? Which are still safe and which aren't? Yeah, we have a lot to teach them too. Like how to stitch wounds. They didn't do that and these are going to scar horribly. Which reminds me, we need needles. And some kind of plant fiber to use as sutures. Quinn was badly hurt but I think she'll make it. They used shit on her I have no idea what it is. You should look at it, Cam. Some kind of plant. Devin's not too bad off and Ruth is fine. Or she would be if she'd eat the damn meat. She doesn't want to eat the fuzzy animals."

Hanne draws her oversized jacket in close around her, offering small nods to everyone — except Grey, who a bit of a cold shoulder. She listens to the reports, and then she nods a bit. "Grounders seem to be what everyone's been calling them." When Cameron offers a friendly smile, Hanne sort of melts into it and offers one in return, though it doesn't carry the same weight of happiness it normally would. "Everyone come through okay?" She glances to Morgan, and blinks at the mention of his wounds. "Some kind of plant?" The ES nerd edges forward, like a mouse cautiously approaching a bit of cheese.

Cassandra isn't really angry at Grey; she's angry at herself, but here's an ideal target for that. She waits for Morgan to relay the safety and survival of the other captives before she retorts, eyes fixed on his. "Good." Was that a retort? The word is positive enough, but she sounds it with the finality of someone who's just won an argument before she rounds back on poor Grey, who seems to be incurring the wrath of all the woman in his vicinity right now. Except for Layla, at least. "We killed the damn Grounders. You were right. I hope you're happy."

"I don't know, but that's the point of botany — its the /science/ of plants. Its not facts, what plants have what properties. Its a discipline, a methodology, a practice." counters Cameron with a confidant tone, "My instruction is out of date, but that's fine. What I know about plants from old earth is static knowledge, but that's not what botany is: botany is about new knowledge, about new things. I can apply the science I was taught, to studying the plants and their properties and then doing things the… Grounders… can't even imagine. Such as cross-breeding, grafting, splicing, genetic engineering without the need of test tubes or computers. You want a better pain killer, it might take time, but give me a sample of what the Grounders think is a good one, and let me perform some experiments, and I bet you I can improve on it." He looks soberly at Hanne and says, "Joe died. We took some injuries. Two captives." He sighs, and for a moment leans over and rests a head on Morgan's shoulder. For a moment he won't argue science, just feel close.

Grey relaxes a little as Morgan reassures the group that all four of the former prisoners are alright, although one report — Quinn's — makes him relax a bit more than the others. If he were less tired, he would probably be quite offended at all the venting going on in his direction, but as it is, he shrugs a little, "We got four people back from who-knows-what. I'm not sad." Hanne's utter disdain, or disinterest, in him causes him to sigh faintly, shaking his head and letting his eyes close where he's sprawled out with his back against a log and his feet toward the fire. "Joe died." That's news to him, and he grimaces, "Shit. I tried to get there in time…"

Layla gives Hanne a nod of her head as well when the other girl approaches, because once you open the valve of salutations, well, may as well let it all flow out until it's exhausted. Otherwise everyone is just disappointed and perhaps even a little bit weirded out.

She draws her knees up to her chest, and wraps her arms around them, before finally resting her chin upon her knees. The lids of her eyes fall to nearly closed as she begins to lazily listen to the talk going on around her. After a few moments, she ventures, "We took some of them captive." She had personally tended to the pair of them, and so her comment echoes Cameron's own. "There's always a chance that we can learn something from them, if we can figure out their jibberish." Speech, Layla. Speech. "In any event, there's likely a great deal we can all learn from one another, unless we cleave to our nature as human's, and slaughter each other outright." Her eyes opened wider, and there was some sort of dark gleam within them. "Who here has remained an optimist? Anyone?" Her lips stretch back into a death-head's grin.

Morgan looks over to Hanne. "Plants, yes." he says, his voice growing softer as he yawns. "And some kind of paste made of them, holding the wound closed." The hand not holding Cam's starts fumbling with the buttons of his shirt, opening it up to reveal the bandage. "Get a sample. Check the pouches and bags we took from them. Might have some in there. Show Cam. Need to du…" Exhaustion finally catching up with him, he falls asleep in mid word.

Hanne finds a place to slump down, taking a seat and folding her arms up around her knees as she does. She listens to Morgan as he starts to drift, and she then offers him a small, twitching smile. "I'll have to check it out," she murmurs. But then Cam as her attention, and she snorts. "You're such a nerd, Cam." Says the kettle to the pot. The girl releases a heavy sigh, dropping her chin to her knees as she does. "I'm sorry to hear about Joe…" The words are soft. Then she frowns. "Do you think it is safe having the Grounders here? I mean… what if they know we have them…"

Well, Cass was looking for a fight, but it's no fun fighting those who won't fight back. So instead she fights the dirt, staring daggers into the earth while she prises tiny mounds of it with the tip of her machete. Layla's question about optimism gets another little glare for her, but now that she's found a new opponent, she needs not verbally unleash. She listens idly to Cameron's theories about botany and genetic engineering, but though she's known to love studying plants, evidently altering them isn't a topic she currently has anything to contribute to.

As Morgan falls asleep, Cameron shifts a bit, scooting over, and very gently letting Morgan sorta lay down a bit in the crook of his arm, reaching said arm around him. The gesture is proective. He speaks softer then, "Of course, there has to be a way to show them we have no reason for conflict." he says to Layla, "Human nature destroyed this world once, and against all odds at least two groups survived and in their own way, thrived… if in a limited way, on the Ark. Surely we can find some common ground. We're still human, aren't we? And war took so much from us." He sighs softly, rubbing very carefully with his bloody bandaged left hand at his head, wincing as he does so, "_Fuck_." he hisses, "Getting stabbed sucks. Remind me not to volunteer for that again." Not that anyone could have stopped him from going, or could later. He grins weakly to Hanne, "Takes one to know one." is his wise, mature retort that's a century or so out of date, but clearly survived. He adds to her, "I don't know if we have any choice. We have to find a way to talk to them, and they attack us on sight. The captives are our only chance to make an understanding."

Grey grunts at Layla's question, "I still got hope, if that's what you mean. But I don't think I've ever been accused of bein' an optimist." Morgan falling asleep mid-word and mid-taking-his-shirt off causes him to pry his eyes open, look at the man, then chuckles, "Man… I get that." Hanne's question draws a little shrug, "Don't know. We scattered the bodies, I'm hopin' that if they don't find two, they just think they haven't found 'em yet." Looking down to his hands, he pokes one of the blisters still remaining from burying Tide, Kellie, and Grecco, "Guess I got another grave to dig tonight." He shifts just a moment, then groans, "Maybe in the mornin'. Gettin' cut ain't no picnic either, Cam. But you handled yourself real well out there." He looks over to Cassandra, "So'd you, from what I heard. I… uh… didn't really see."

Layla did, in her own, private way, share Cameron's hopes. The trouble was, however, that she believed she had no means of telling him as much. Something inside of her held it back, and if the young woman wasn't careful, then she might just one day find that hope strangled. She plucked at some invisible bit of dander upon her knee, not quite looking at anyone as she said, "Yes, we're still human." But still different.

Hanne sticks her tongue out in the most juvenile gesture here — maybe even tops Cassandra's ever-growing need to glare. Cameron has her smiling though, and that is something. She shakes her head, dropping her chin back to her knees. "They don't really sound like the understanding type…" Grey gets a passing look, but she doesn't really say much else in his direction. Is that an icy wind blowing through, or what? She sighs after a moment, and then she opts for a small subject change. "If you want to give someone a hard time, you can get Wallace to stop stealing my herbs. I don't know what he's doing with it, but I caught him swiping some of my stash while you were gone."

Praise from Grey. He really is making it difficult for Cassandra to hate him, in between this and the failing to vent back at her. "I'm keeping this machete," she says to that, eyes fixed on the dirt she's disturbing. And though she still sounds defensive, it's at least a wind-down from being offensive. "We need to divvy them up between the Earth Skills nerds." That's her, but she does send a glance up and sideways towards Hanne, who is every bit as good as her, if not better, in different sub-fields. "They're going to be vital for anyone going out into the forest, especially alone. For clearing pathways, self-defence, and the like. For a change I'll be able to head out scouting without getting thorn and branch scratches up my arms." And indeed, for anyone paying attention, she does have plenty. Surprisingly, she hasn't taken any physical injuries on the field of battle despite being untrained, though she did have an excellent meat-shield. "We'll keep the spears for the Guard. The ex-Cadets, I mean. You and whoever else goes out hunting."

"I do what needs to be done." replies Cameron to Grey's compliment of his handling the situation, with a simple, uncompromising tone. "Stress sets in, I get clearer. Everything slows down. I speed up. Though I've never actually been *hurt* before, not really, so that … uh, surprised me." He looks vaguely embarassed, "And I dropped the spear. Anyways, I lose my cool when I can't do anything. If there's something for me to do, I do it. I'll probably freak out later when the adrennaline wears off. It hasn't yet. That's how it goes with me." He shrugs slightly. He has to laugh softly at Hanne's tongue sticking, though its a soft rumbled near-cough as he tries to restrain it carefully so it doesn't disturb Morgan. To Hanne he asks soberly, "Got anything for pain?" Because he lifts his hand, and wiggles his thumb— nothing else quite works. As Cassandra speaks of divying, Cam says firmly, "I earned my share. I'm keeping what I have unless someone can give me a real, reasoned argument why someone else needs it more then I do."

Grey is too tired to be an asshole. His parents would be so disappointed. Hanne's news draws a groan from him, however, and he starts to haul himself up, "God damn it. Can't people be ya know… not total dicks for like five minutes?" Or, you know, hours. "You know where he is, Hanne?" He manages to get himself sitting on the log around the fire instead of sprawled before it, and he slowly nods at Cameron, "Playing speed. Somethin' like that. Old football players used to talk about it." Since they've now officially seen more real action than most Guard have in their entire lives. Cam's claim draws another nod from Grey, "I'm happy to lend my weapon out, no charge." Let the dirty jokes begin, "But I'd like somethin' better than a metal rod the next time I have to fight."

"Not the trophies," Layla interjects. "I, myself, saw several people picking up light, loose items that could probably be pooled amongst the community to see who might make best use of it." Because Cold Stare Sister has to stick up for Mean Glare Sister! "If anyone thinks those of you who fought and earned a simple reward should give it up, well, you know what you can tell them." Except Layla won't say, because she doesn't have a potty mouth, oh no!

"Of course I do," Hanne says, and her wry humor emerges without much effort. "Here, give me your other hand… I'll hit it really hard, and that'll distract you from your pains." Even while she jokes, she is rocking up to her knees slightly. "Come by my new tent, and I'll make you up some tea that will help… came across something that will help." Then she looks over at Grey when he immediately offers help, and her mouth thins considerably. "You've done enough, Grey." Gosh, that could have a lot of meanings, but she tries not to deliver it harshly. She shakes her head. "Someone else can handle Wallace. You should, I don't know…" Big breath. "Go check on Quinn or something." Then she looks over at Cass and Layla. "I could actually use a real sharp knife… I'm getting tired trying to gather herbs with the half-assed sharpened dropship shard."

Cameron grins slightly at Layla, and gestures at himself. He's shirtless, which might have just been a fashion statement (in addition to the fact that he's covered in dirt), "I lost my shirt trying to save a grounder. I need a new shirt. So I also took the clothes. Now, I don't /like/ their clothes, so I'm going to trade for a regular shirt, … and again, for the little items? I'm happy to contribute anything to the community that needs it. But we have no leadership. For right now, I'm the best person to decide what the best use of the things that I have are. That's … cold, I know. But, until we have something more, where there's something I trust who isn't trying to set themselves up as Chancellor of Earth, someone who we establish is accountable to the whole while being entrusted with decisions like allocating resources… Anything not /needed/, I'm keeping. Food, I'm giving every bit I hunt and gather to Cookie. Anyone who doesn't, anyone who hordes food themselves, is in my opinion practically a traitor in their own right. Water. Medicinal supplies. But those are managed by people I trust. Cookie. Evie. There's no one in charge right now who I'm handing my sword to. If you honestly think someone needs it more then I, I'll listen. We're operating in a sort of quasi-anarchy-collective, and that's not ideal, but its what we have for right now." He frowns, "Seriously, I took no trophies. I'm not proud of anything I did today. I did what needed to be done. I killed a man. I've never /killed/ a man before." And yet, he seems… calm with it. Serious about it, but not seriously disturbed. For whatever reason. "That's not something you take a trophy from unless you need to be put down." He then nods to Hanne, sighing wistfully, "I'd probably trade my sword for a real knife without hesitation."

Cameron's self-professed coldness doesn't seem to bother Cassandra, who continues to twist her blade in the dirt; a very therapeutic thing, which helps her forget about her worries and her strife. The Ark did fail to send down stress-balls, along with machetes, so she's forced to improvise. "We don't need leadership," she challenges nonetheless. "Our leader is whoever comes up with the brightest idea in the moment. And one day maybe your idea's going to be an idea worth listening to, one day it isn't. Unless you guys are planning to start floating or boxing us, there's no way you're forcing anyone to do what they don't agree to do." She looks up, eyes still fiery, but at least now she isn't glaring at anyone specific. "Those clothes though. I didn't strip a fucking corpse naked for trophies. If we want to learn about the Grounders without killing them —" she does not like the taste of that word. Grounders. It sticks in her throat, colours her palate with a film of red, but she forces herself to say it anyway, in hopes it will get better every time she does. Grey was right, and this is no time to be lovey-dovey. "— We should start thinking about a scouting mission. Zoe will be good for that, if someone can talk to her. She's a decent sneak, like it or not. We can send her in camouflage to find out what's what."

"Faolan gave me one before the fight. If it's sharp enough to cut somebody," which she had done, actually. No, seriously, Layla had ''cut a bitch''. She wanted to be inordinately proud, but felt as if doing so before the others would earn her some sort of scorn, and Layla was cautious about the image she was cultivating. Let good ol' Crazy McEatYourFace Fae be known around camp for his brutality. His heart's in the right place, after all.

As to Cameron's response to her, Layla shrugs, and offers the hint of a smile as she says, "I didn't mean to imply something too deep when I used the word 'trophy,' nor would I accuse you of being…" She twirled her hand idly about upon her wrist. "Anything other than you are. In fact, I understand necessity." Ye gods, she should retreat from this. She didn't want to talk politics. She just wanted to lurk in her medtent corner and fix people who were broken. Her hands could do what her words most often could not.

Grey lets his shoulders slump again at Hanne's words, like a puppet with its strings cut by cutting language. "I should. And I should check on Devin. And Ruth. And Niner. And Silas. And Max. And… shit… I don't even remember the names of the other two, the girl and the guy." He goes quiet as Cameron starts up, although his words are in direct opposition to Cassandra's response, "We do need leadership though. Maybe not just one person, but a group. What we've been doin' so far? It ain't sustainable. We've got people runnin' off on their own and hoarding food, supplies, gear, whatever there is to hoard. And Zoe," he nods over to Cassandra then, "is the worst. She won't do nothin' without payment of some sort. And that just doesn't work. We all gotta pull together."

"If we send her, I go too." says Cameron firmly to Cassandra, "I don't know what her problem is, but what I hear is, anything she touches— and anything she knows— is hers first, and ours for trade. I don't trust mercenaries. I trust people who depend on people and know they need people. You want to send her, fine. But I go too. Separately, of course. I evaded the Goons on the Ark for a year: and the ark is a lot harder to sneak through then the wilds. I'd match myself against anyone in getting where I shouldn't be." Says the botanist of strange, complex talents. That said, he turns an understanding eye to Layla, and smiles— showing full, if dirty, dimples— and nods. He adds in support of Grey, "No social order exists without leadership. It needs to be accountable: at he very least, it maintains against a vote of no confidence by the whole. We don't need a Chancellor and its Guard, we need someone who can decide between two things in an urgent need. We can't put everything to a vote all the time." He pauses, "Though we /should/ put /most/ things to a vote /most/ of the times. I won't accept some closed Council and imperial Chancellor. But there's other models. What we have now can't work, especially not in a crisis, and every day is a crisis."

Hanne's temper kind of flares when Grey goes lumping everyone in with Quinn, and she rolls her eyes. "No, Grey… just go fucking check on Quinn. We all know that's what you want to do, stop hiding it. It is annoying." Or at least annoying to Hanne. That said, she turns her focus to the whole concept of leadership. "I think we need leaders, but I don't think we need dictators. We should all have a say, but someone has to do something when people go against the group and cause trouble. We are a bunch of criminals, after all." She shrugs a bit, though she ultimately agrees with Cam. "Yeah, I like the idea of everyone having a vote."

"Yeah okay," Cassie cedes to Grey, or makes it sound like she has, for all of two seconds before she says something ridiculous. "I'll be your leader then. If that works for you?" She shoots him a pointed look. "You can all do what I tell you. And if it doesn't, then I'm thinking, hoping, you're going to understand why I'm not so eager to follow orders from any of you ex-cons and killers either." Hypocrite, considering she's murdered two today. And oh, she knows it; and oh, it bugs her. It's going to bug her for a while. She looks back aside at Cameron, but again, isn't bothered by what he says. "Don't have a problem with you not trusting Zoe or sending her alone. I'm just saying putting her to a task she's interested in might get you better results than trying to fight her."

"Others may not like it, but the Ex-Cadets are the go-to source for our martial abilities. I'd have no problem deferring to them during such matters, so long as we don't then delvelop into a junta. As for voting?" Layla gives a slight nod, her eyes lowering and her lips pursing together slightly as an indicator to all that she's giving it consideration. "It has its merits, but it also has its drawbacks. But that's the root of all of this, isn't it? No one of us feels comfortable with authority, any sort of authority, any longer." Because each, in their own way, likely felt betrayed by the adults who were meant to be their guardians, protectors, and loved ones. "Even so, a democracy might be what suits us best." As for talk of Zoe, Layla has little and less to say.

"Yeah. Leadership should always be accountable." Grey's grumbling by now, "I think we need a couple people in charge, to make day-to-day decisions, and all the big stuff can be handled by a group vote. Hell, I don't know. I just know that we need some people who can enforce order, and keep us focused." He turns his gaze to Cassandra, "And if everyone else wants that to be you, great. I think we should have a group with an ex-C or two, a baby-doc, a techie, an Ee-Ess Nerd… I don't know, maybe one or two more. An odd number. And any one of 'em can be voted out by everyone else." Someone with any background in political science would probably state what percentage of the populace that has to be, but Grey… is Grey. Finally, he looks back to Hanne, sighing, "Look. I'm tryin' to do what's right by the camp first. Then I'll do what's right by me."

"No. You don't work for a leader, no offense, as far as I'm concerned. But, if you get fifty percent of us to agree, though, then you carry the will of the people. And as long as fifty percent don't vote to object to you, you carry the majority." responds Cameron to Cassandra thoughtfully, "Though we should write into the charter some things that even majority rule don't cover. Some rights that the leadership does not have, no matter what. Or maybe we write what rights they have, period, and none others. I don't know. I'm not an expert on governance. I'm against the Council and the Chancellor, but not against the /idea/ of leadership. That's… nonsense." That said, he turns a frown to Layla, "I don't have anything against any Ex-Cadet in particular, and I always judge people by exactly what they do: I trust you. Until you betray me, and then I do not forget. But the Guard of the Ark abused us and served as a willing arm of the tyranny of the Chancellor and his Council. Asking me to accept the Cadets opinion alone by virtue of them /being/ Cadets is… asking a lot." He gestures to Grey, "He asks me for my sword, and says he has real need, I'll give it to him. He doesn't return it, I remember. But I've seen him act and believe he will." There's a certain implied threat in his tone, a 'but…'. Yet, the assumption of trust is given, at least. To Grey though he says firmly, "I don't think the … Senate, should be made up of people of certain paths. Leadership doesn't come from your job. The Senate should have a ministry of experts that /advises/ it on all technical fields— we shouldn't raise one technical field to leadership over another. The Senate should lead by virtue of its support of the people, /period/. I have no ambitions towards leadership, but if people think I should be? A botanist? Why not? I'm not a doctor, not an earth-sciences expert, not a techie. The point of leadership should be /trust/. And they should be advised by the experts in the field."

Hanne is trying to follow this conversation, but something has her frustrated and unable to focus. She shakes her head, rising up to her feet. "I think Cameron is on to something, but I'm too tired." She casts Grey a baneful look, and then starts to stalk off. "I'm gonna go back to the tent before Mariah starts touching my stuff." Because Grey's scorned girls have to stick together, it sounds like. She starts to move off, offering a slight wave. "I vote Cameron to represent the nerds. He's my Senator." Then she stuffs her hands in her pockets, starting to stalk off.

Politics. Bane of Cassandra's existence. And apparently Cameron is right about her not working as a leader, because she shows no interest in it once talk on the topic gets heavy. "You're against the Council and the Chancellor, but not the idea of leadership?" she asks, sceptical. "Y'all need to take a motherfucking history class." She turns her back on the group, hitching the tip of her machete out of the dirt it's been twisting in for the last half an hour. And unless someone cares to stop her, she heads out with it back into the forest, probably to take her feelings out on some unwitting briar vines.

Layla pushes to her feet, stifling a yawn as she does so. "I'm not asking you to trust them based on profession alone, but to trust what they've likely been taught, and judge from there. Also, it is extremely hard to view them all too harshly when it's much easier now to look in on our former lives from an outside position. All too often, in all walks of life, in our own histories, do people who are otherwise decent individuals get swept up in what is an otherwise nefarious force." Layla offered Cameron a smile before beginning to shift away. "But you're right to question, I only ask that you consider: how far can it be taken before it becomes a hindrance, and how many question not because they genuinely want better, but because they want to be roadblocks. Now," she ducked her in farewell to those gathered. "Today has been really draining - for us all, no doubt. I'm going to get some rest."

Grey may have dozed off there for a minute. He's trying to pay attention, but right now there's too much lactic acid pooling in his body and too much dead in his brain for him to think too hard. He sort of nods and sort of shakes his head at Cameron, frowning over at Cassandra, "Too much power in one person's how you get bad shit. But a group that's gotta watch what they do from the people? I think that's good." Layla's words draw another tentative nod, and then he looks back to Cameron, "I was just tryin' to make sure that everyone had some voice. But maybe you're right, maybe advisors'd be enough." Hanne's grouching at him causes him to drop his head back against the log, thunk-thunk-thunk. It really hurts his scalp wound, so he stops after three thunks. "Night." Theoretically, that's for Hanne, Cassandra, and Layla alike. "I think you've been officially welcomed by the Ee-Ess nerds though, Cam."

Cameron stares at Cassandra a moment, and shakes his head slightly, "I have taken them. The Chancellor is a tyrant. There are many examples in history of leaders who are /not/ tyrants." He turns his eyes to Layla, "I simply refuse to trust someone based on their profession. I will consider their personal acts, and what they do in their profession, as a part of the case why I'll support them, but if I do not trust any of our doctors, why should a Doctor sit on our Senate?" he asks, though this is said to the air, rhetorical. He looks about for support, "And if we support two doctors above others, why should our Senate be comprised of but one and not the wisdom of the other?" To Hanne's declaration of him being the Senator, Cameron makes an expression of abject distaste and waves it off with a quick laugh. Clearly: no thank you! Then he grins at grey, "Invitation politely declined. I'm a botanist. That's all I am."

And for his part, Cam is shifting a bit, carefully, and going to sleep curled with Morgan right there by the fire. Content with it, too, as everyone heads off. Maybe they get cold later, but for now, they'll be warm.

Grey pushes himself up to a standing position slowly, like an old man, then groans and bends down again to pick up his spear from behind the log, using it to push himself back upright again, "Well, all the fancy folks can talk it over. I just figure we need a couple of someones in charge so people start workin', and not just when they're bein' motivated by fear." Gingerly touching the slash at his left hip, he adds, "But… I gotta find someone to bury Joe. And see to the prisoners. And check on Q and the others." Because apparently, he and Fiona have pretty much fallen into leadership positions already, even if they're not official. "Sleep tight, you guys."

"You too, Grey. You did good today doo, you know. Time to start believing it. We don't have time to regret. Tomorrow, they might come for their hostages like we came for ours." replies Cameron from a comfortable place by the fire, despite suggesting a dire future, "We will live or we will die. Doesn't matter, really. Matters what we do with what we have."

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