Day 012: The Right Thing To Do
Summary: Kai and Stone discuss Jenks, criminals, and the right thing to do.
Date: 08 June 2016
Related: Captain Buzzkill, Flame Broiled Tink.
Kai Stone 


Grounds — The Camp

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

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

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

Day 12

Earlish morning just outside of the cook tent, and Kai has dredged herself up from the corner she's been hiding in for the last twelve days. The lean girl hasn't gotten any less so since the day he pulled her off of Jenks, if anything there's just that little bit of extra cynicism in the lines of her face and something even more casual in the way she prowls towards the tent in search of whatever passes for food at the present moment, shaking her head to herself at those diligently working on trying to make the camp function.

Billy Stone, ex-Cadet mockingly nicknamed 'the Boy Scout' back on the Ark for an old phrase that stuck through the years meaning 'do-gooder'. Called by others 'the Giant' given the poor tall bastard really was entirely ill-suited to the occasionally cramped confines of space station living. A giant who was one of the best trained Cadets to ever come into the program, and who put that training to use early on with his goody two shoe way of trying to protect people here on the Ground. That protectiveness got his ass nearly chopped in half by a Grounder axe during the Rescue, and it's whispered to be something of a freaking miracle the big guy pulled through.

Yet as the lean girl he once tried to stop from pounding a guy into a deserved pulp is entering that tent, she'll be greeted by the sight of his familiar towering self, broad back turned to her, body a little hunched forward with one hand pressed against stomach of dirty old long-sleeve grey and white shirt, while the other is holding a makeshift bowl of food he's just then quietly thanking Cookie for (or whoever else serves up the rations).

Oh Kai recognizes that back, even if in her limited knowledge of the tall ex-cadet she'd probably consider him 'the bastard that stopped me from face stomping Jenks'. She can't quite help the way her lips curl in a sneer as she takes in his injuries,"Man, another few inches north and the Grounders would have done us all a favor." she can't help but mutter, it's intended for herself, really, but volume control possibly not her strong suit on that fine morning as she leans over, nonchalant about getting in his way in order to procure not one, but two lots of food. The naturally objectionable look from the servers at least meriting the explanation,"For Tink." from her in a less irritable tone.

The voice turns the big man fast enough to draw a little wince across his dark features and the bandaged arm clutching a little more to stomach. The wince turns to a faint grimace as the words themselves register about the time Stone's dark chocolate eyes are flitting to her face, recognition dawning, followed up with something a little furtive and unreadable. The eyes drop almost instantly away from her as he's always been prone before with his shy sort of way, combined with the avoidance of her he's sort of been giving way to since Landing, probably wanting to avoid situations just like this one. As she's moving up to the food, he's turning to start slowly limping towards the exit, apparently not even going to give her a retort. Then though, about two steps away, a deep resonance of soft baritone rolls out gently, but with a surprising touch of sardonic. "Guess there's always the next battle to kill me."

Kai hates the tent, and dealing with any of them, really. For all that she at least keeps her tongue when it comes to those manning the food tent. She's not patient about it at all, despite the muttered 'thanks' offered as she turns away,"Yeh well I'd line your pal Jenks up before you, but he aint here." there's a drop of her eyes over him with a shake of her head,"Must have pissed him off but good to wind up here with the rest of us." she looks like she's going to shove her way past him, but waits with only marginal patience until he's at least outside of the tent before she adds,"You know that girl he set up for the fires, right? She's stuck down here with the rest of you lot. She didn't deserve that."

Having paused with his quiet attempt at rejoinder, Stone turned to watch her getting her food, eyes dropping away again when she turned back with her trays, that flicker of grimace touching his face, pursing full lips with a hint of irritation, brought on this time with mention of Jenks. The eyes that look back up then for the rest of her words, meet her gaze with a bit more fire in them than she might have expected of him, but quickly the irritation is bleeding into confusion with her talk of fires and some girl. The confusion in turn falls away to a kind of weariness and a small shake of his head as he lets eyes slip away again, clearly contemplating retreat from the volatile girl again. For whatever reason though, the giant ends up murmuring back in that low rich voice, a hidden edge of steel adamance to the tone, even if the words themselves don't quite make sense in context. "He wasn't, you know."

"Wasn't what, guilty?" Kai was going to walk away, but that brings her at a pivot, hands fortunately full between her bowl and Tink's,"Yeh he was. Not that it makes a damned difference in either case." she utters with a shake of her head,"We're all fucked down here either way."

"No, I got no doubt he was guilty." Stone's rumbling back, thick dark brows furrowing with flash of that irritation again that draws his eyes to her, seeming to grow with that nihilistic final remark. Whatever irked him about that though, he doesn't poke at it right now. Instead he's just answering with a gruff sort of growliness. "He wasn't my pal. I hated the weasely little…twit." Wow. In a land of miscreants and delinquents, still the Boy Scout avoids swearing. Regardless, with his surprising bit of info growled out to her, Stone's turning promptly away and stalking out of the tent to the much less confining outdoors. Even injured and slower than usual, the big bastard's got legs a hell of a lot longer than hers, so if she's planning to pursue him for elaboration as to why he saved someone he hated, she might have to hussle. Or else just throw some more snark at him to get a rise. That seems to be working so far better than might be expected.

Kai looks dubious as hell, for a few seconds while he's walking away before she elects to actually chase him down,"Don't try and tell me that. You're the one that stopped me from stomping his face the rest of the way into the floor, which.. by the way, if I /had/ then Tink wouldn't have been blamed for his shit." the girl states when she finally manages to catch up again,"I mean, I don't give a shit about being down here. I did it.. I'd do it again, too, but seriously. What he did to Tink was just wrong." at least in her opinion. Apparently a strongly enough felt opinion that she's not giving it up.

"Believe what you want. You're going to anyways." Quietly rumbled reply back over a shoulder as the big guy's minimally slowing stride for her, either for pain of his gut wound, or politeness for the shorter girl chasing him. He seems to be heading towards a big log 'bench' area across from Cookie's tent. As he goes, he's glancing back over shoulder, seeing her still there, letting out a sigh and adding. "It was the right thing to do." As if that explained everything! It must be weird to see the world like that. "Being a weasel isn't worth a death sentence, and that's where it was headed." He pauses as he's reaching the bench, turning to face her again as he wincingly lowers himself down to it, dark eyes flitting to her with that hint of something furtive again in them. "Besides…" A grimace, dropping of gaze, a shrug of thick shoulders, and then a shake of closely-shorn head, apparently thinking better of saying what he was going to say to her.

At least she seems set to leave him in peace. Shame it wont last. Kai heard his words, but she has a promise to keep to Tink, and she disappears off to take the other girl her food onto to wind up circling back, just when he thinks he might get some peace,"Assault or murder, I still would have wound up here." apparently she feels the need to point out when she steps over the log and plants herself right next to him,"At best they would have just waited until my birthday to float me." she points out as she picks at her food with a sidelong glance his way.

The thick shoulders relaxed significantly when she let him be and went off with her food, and so he set to the task of methodically tucking into his food, head down, away from people the way he always was up on the Ark. When suddenly she's there again though, he doesn't quite jump or anything, but she can definitely see the roll of muscles under the thin shirt and the way his wide jaw tightens. For well over half a minute, it looks as though he's going to pretend she doesn't exist, slowly eating his food, eyes down on the makeshift plate. Then though, that stolid rumble replies wearily. "That's what I was trying to stop." Again a pause with his odd out of context phrase, but this time Stone elaborates without prompting, still not looking up at her. "I figured if I could pull you off in time, I could scare Jenks and his band into keeping it quiet, and you could get away with it. Didn't know Guardsman Sylar was watchin' the whole thing and ready to snatch you up." Wait. So he's claiming he was trying to save her?

"Wait.." Kai utters with a frown between bites of her food,"Y'trying to claim you were trying to help me, not Jenks?" she sounds dubious as hell about that,"And it wouldn't have mattered anyways. I stuck my foot in it, totally without yours or anyone else's help." she notes with a grunt as she scans the grounds,"Sylar hated me anyways."

Stone gives a small nod to her first question, a second small one to her mention of the brutish Guardsman, as if it was common knowledge, and then, still picking at his food, not looking up at her, he's adding in quiet rumble. "It was the right thing to do." But there's something there in the way Stone says that. The way the dark chocolate eyes flit at her briefly sideways, a certain discomfort to the set of thick shoulders. He genuinely believes that it _was_ the right thing to do, but it also wasn't the only reason he did it, and he's not at _all_ good at hiding things.

"So you say." Kai grunts in sour disagreement, eyeing him dubiously from the corner of her eye,"Look. Okay. In that case.. I'm sorry I popped you one." she at least offers,"Jenks had that coming, for a long time. But you're right, having murdered him I might actually feel guilty for. Maybe." she expells a breath,"So okay, Boy Scout, what the hell did you do to wind up here?" she enquires, hunching herself forward and scanning the grounds again. Not often that she bothers to seek people out for conversation, maybe it's just nice to talk with someone, even if she's not sure she can trust them.

It's not often people have particularly sought out Stone either. Most are either wary of his size, weirded out by his ethics, or put off by his odd shyness. So it's not often he gets asked that either. As such, there's another gap of conversation as he pauses before answering that, chewing up another little piece of meat before glancing her way with a hint of smirk pulling at one corner of his lips. "Did the right thing." It's clear he's amused by saying it, even though it's seemingly the simple truth.

Kai casts him a flat-eyed look,"Y'know how to say anything else? What the hell is supposed to be the right thing anyways, huh? Just following the law blindly? Well fuck that served me real well. Ask Eli just how well that worked out for him, too. Right thing aint so cut and dried as that, Boy Scout." she opines, hunching in on herself before she shoves another mouthful in her mouth, grimacing at the taste.

The smirk actually spreads a touch as he gives her a big, unapologetic shrug. "Is for me usually." Seems as though he'll leave it with that yet again, not one for a lot of words usually, but with another sideways glance, he's going on after another nibble of food. "Ain't about law either strictly, or I wouldn't be here with you. But right's…right." A faint snort acknowledging he knows that sounds hopelessly naive. A small shake of head, a bit of a leaning upward, stretching his pained middle with a grimace, and then the chocolate eyes are shifted to her again, more solidly this time. This close, she can catch the hints of caramel gold threading them. "You know about the Tesla protests? Happened while you were in the Box?"

"Right's right.. well that's helpful. Cos you see as far as I'm concerned.. beating Jenks was right." Kai points out with a gesture, pointing vaguely out away from them both as she lays that one out, the grey-eyed girl watching the grounds like at any second she's waiting for someone to randomly decide to come pick a fight with her,"Vaguely. Yeh. Something about the Tesla Three. They're here. Somewhere. Heard one of them talking about it, at least. What about it? You go all protester?" she asks of him, content to keep her eyes on the camp rather than actually look at him.

"Heh. Not quite." Stone manages, shaking his head mirthlessly to the thought. Apparently that wouldn't be 'right'. After a moment's thought, he's going on in his softspoken rumble, still looking to her, big body leaned over, uninjured arm leaning elbow into knee, plate mostly empty. "I was assigned to Guardsman Fan that night. You know, the one that liked to bully so much? Shake people down for their resources?" Oh, there's a lot of dislike there. A LOT of dislike. "I'd been poking too much into the stuff he and his sort were gettin' into. The one's that didn't deserve their uniforms."

A grimace at some thought, maybe regret for having went so gung ho against those sorts as he did. "Anyways, we got called up with the detachment to go break up the protesting kids that chained themselves to Tesla, arrest them if they didn't come quietly. Fan goaded one of them. Mouthy little guy who mouthed off just a bit too much and got 'detained with extreme prejudice'." One handed air quotes for the euphemism for beat the protestor thoroughly. This deluge of words having apparently taken up Stone's quota for the moment, he's ending quickly with eyes downcast to his food again. "I stepped in and stopped it." Of course he did. "He accused me of aiding the protestors." Of course _he_ did too. "I got sentenced alongside them for Treason." Yes, because clearly he is rebel incarnate. "Appeals hold cut in day before my eighteenth. And…here we are."

"Lip." Kai grunts with a slight bob of her head before she shakes her head,"Okay, fair enough.. Fan and his goons are almost as bad as Paris Grey.. or Lin over in Mecha." at least there's one thing about being the captain's daughter, she knows about most of the problem ones,"Y'were a cadet though. Odd place to be trying to do this thing you've decided is the right damned thing, you know. What do you even consider to be the /right/ thing if it isn't the rule of law? I mean, the previous generations decided those laws for the betterment of everyone, y'know? To help us survive for coming back here.. even if they were completely wrong about the whole last bastion of humanity thing."

"Law is a starting point. How you uphold the law is just as important. And how you act without it." Stone offers back with the serenity of belief backing it. Simple fact as far as he sees it. Moving to pick at the last scraps of his plate after another shrug, he adds before taking a bite. "I once read about people in the Old Earth kinda like the Guard, or what I thought the Guard should be more like. Police. Some called 'em cops. There was a group of them in the old U.S. that had a motto I liked. 'To Protect and Serve'. To me, that's pretty close to right."

"How you do it is important." Kai agree's,"I never went into the Cadets to be like Jenks and his team. I used to be proud of my dad, wanted to be just like him." she elects to confess, for all that it's unlikely to be a surprise to anyone,"I'm not saying that what I did to him was legal. It wasn't. But it was still right. He makes the lives of everyone around him miserable for his own benefit." at least as far as she's concerned, not one to waste food because well, a lifetime in the Ark teaches one not to waste it,"I know about police." she mutters around a mouthful,"And that all too often they were just as shitty as Fan and the rest of them.. motto or no. But like.. here.. look at this place.. look at them." she gestures towards the grounds,"They're all criminals, every last one of them. A few of them like Tink are just dumb kids that got fucked hard by people like Fan.. but most of these guys are violent offenders. Murderers. Not rehabilitable." at least by her assessment, never mind that twelve days on the ground and so far at least no-one's actually killed another in the camp,"Who are you going to protect here, Boy Scout? Who do you serve?"

"Them still, asked for or not." Stone retorts without any pause, setting his cleaned makeshift plate almost delicately aside on the log and leaning back some, turning towards her with a wince, starting to lift the thin fabric of his shirt showing thick, red-stained bandages wrapping his middle below impressively ridged abs, matching the bandages on his left arm. An arm which he proffers up to her, flexing fingers in a way that shows they aren't moving quite how they should. "I nearly got a quarter of my arm chopped off and an axe buried eight inches into my lower guts, and doin' that, a couple of those murderers and thieves are alive. And I'd do it again in a heartbeat." He lets the shirt drop, the caramel-in-dark-chocolate eyes fixing her with a solid gaze, shyness apparently forgotten in face of this talk she's opened up from him. "These are our people, chosen or not, good or bad. We're their best chance of surviving here, maybe the best chance of the whole of the messy, dysfunctional race surviving. So yeah, I'll protect them and serve them. Cause in the end…" He makes an open-handed gesture to her, smirking a bit, but letting her supply the words she knows he'd say to that.

"Why?" that's the bit Kai's stuck on, obviously,"You were a cadet. Same as me. Don't think for a second that these guys wont knife you in a heartbeat." says the voice of experience, a fair number of people in the Box heard her first night in Kai beat the shit out of her roommate, fewer are the number of people who heard that her trip by solitary included a trip by medical for stab wounds. She eyes flick towards his arm with a grunt before her attention shifts back,"They're not our people." she insists,"They're a bunch of fucking criminals." never mind she is too, apparently she's conveniently forgotten that in her effort to draw some kind of line in the sand,"And protecting them isn't right, it's stupid. And it will get you killed."

Stone seems unfazed by her anger, albeit his smile fades a bit when she doesn't pick up the phrase, if even to throw it back to him sarcastically. At the end of her words, he just gives a nod, as if she's absolutely right, and offers up with placid acceptance. "Maybe, but for me 'because it's the right thing' is sufficient. Besides, you don't mostly get to choose your people. You get the ones you're dealt. We've got training they don't, so to me, we should use it. It's not a complicated thing, Kai. Unless you make it that way."

"Not my people." Kai grunts insistently, she knew the phrase he was looking for, she's not going to say she had to bite back responding to it sarcastically, which is perhaps why the sour look sits on her face right now as she rises to her feet, then after a second extends her hand for his empty bowl, too,"'s a dumb idea. You've going to get yourself killed for a bunch of crims that will shank you soon as look at you. Gimme." she insists with a belligerent jut of her chin, either oblivious to the fact that she's doing him a favor by saving him the trip back, or just ignoring it for her own reasons right now.

Despite himself, Stone actually laughs to that, giving her a surprisingly pleasant, lopsided sort of grin even as he offers up the bowl to her. Another shrug as amusement glitters in the dark eyes in equal contrast to her belligerence, and he's offering up. "Maybe. Or maybe people will surprise us." Rising up with her, grimace-wincing as he does, hand on belly, he adds wrly. "Either way, I think I've proved I ain't going down easy, so maybe I'll still manage to do a bit of good before I'm gone." Cheerful with that grim thought, he gives her a nod before starting off back towards the dropship where he's been convalescing, adding as he goes. "Thanks, Kai. I actually enjoyed this." And, as if a bit embarrassed at having said that outright, he's quickly turning from her to start off in his long-legged gait.

Kai accepts the bowl,"Don't hold your breath Boy Scout.. bodies don't Float down here." she offers with regards to surprise and then shrugs,"Yeh, you better go lay down before you wind up doing good by imitating a floor rug." apparently she's content to not offer a goodbye, or comment on enjoyment, instead sauntering her way back towards the cook tent to return the bowls with a shake of her head to herself.

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