Day 009: Unforgivable
Summary: Cameron and Jaha have a conversation… though whether or not it goes well is a matter of opinion.
Date: 15 May 2016
Related: Various.
Cameron Jaha 

Tech Tent, the Camp
The tech tent.
9 Days After Landing

One of the tech nerds was sent running to find Cameron sometime before the party was meant to leave for the Grounder village. All sweaty and breathing heavily, the spotted boy explained that someone was on the radio for Cam, but wouldn't — or couldn't — go into detail as to whom. When Cam shows up to receive the call, the calm and tired face of Thelonius Jaha stares out. The skin beneath his eyes are dark, showing his tiredness, but he seems relatively at ease. His elbows rest on the table where the monitor on the Ark is kept, his fingers folded together before his mouth while he waits for Mr. Scott.

Cameron was expecting his father, or maybe Cookie's parents, or perhaps some other of his parents friends. He was expecting maybe even that Councilor who helped his mom die (of whom he is not sure if he is mad at). He was not at all expecting the Chancellor. His surprise is almost tangible as he skids to a halt in front of the com unit, "Jaha?" he says, disbelief showing. Didn't he threaten the guy like whoa? He's sure he threatened the guy like whoa. And insulted him a lot. That day is a bit vague in his memory, but he's sure of it. So: "… errrrr?" is added intelligently.

Jaha starts to smile, though it is a relatively tired smile. He waits for Cameron to sit down, if he will, and then drops his hands from his mouth, folding his arms in front of him. "Good morning, Mr. Scott." He pauses. "If it is indeed morning there… the circadian cyclers up here say morning, but have an actual sun to go by." He pauses for a moment, considering the young man. "Thank you for accepting my call." Not that Cameron knew he would be on the other end. "I was hoping that we may… talk."

Cameron hesitates, and then takes a seat. He no longer sounds furious and such, instead, his more typical coolness— not that Jaha probably knows much about his personality. "Okay. We can talk." He nods slightly, "But I still blame you for her death. It shouldn't have been needed. If you had just told us, enough of us would not have taken off the bracelets. If you had just told us, we wouldn't have had people bribing people to take them off just to fuck with you. If you had just told ME, I would have fucking VOLUNTEERED without a moment's hesitation. Your skybox almost drove me insane."

Jaha nods once in acceptance. "I take the blame," the admission is said softly. "Lydia acted when I hesitated… but, I hope you will see that sometimes, choices do not come easily. My concern was laying too much at your feet… to know that the Ark is failing, that our situation was far more dire than we anticipated…" He sighs heavily now, and his weary shows perhaps too easily. "It may have been a mistake, but I fear lingering on the could-have-beens do us no good. It is human nature to linger, and even suffer, in the past…"

It would be more satisfying if Jaha wouldn't accept responsibility. A lot more. Cameron scowls in a way only a teenager can, and crosses his arms over his chest, "Or, it could have motivated us. There's some sociopaths down here but most of us actually still care about you people — /our people/ — surviving, even though you deemed us /expendable/. Now we're going to make peace with the Grounders, you've probably heard. We're not going to be expendable ever again. What do you want?"

"Cameron… you were never expendable," Jaha says in a soft voice, sighing deeply. "You were… and are… what we need now. Youth has many advantages, as does anger." He shakes his head, but digresses a bit. "It is my hope that peace with the Grounders go as we all hope it does… you will be needed to help guide us in those relations." Then he pauses, considering his words. "Our time continues to dwindle… I had hoped that perhaps you would know if my offer has been accepted… that I stay so all the rest of those on the Ark may come down to join you."

Cameron tilts his head to the side, looking a little puzzled, "We weren't sure what to make of that. Morgan almost believed you, I think. I don't know if I do. But why are you asking? Jaha, we can't stop you. We have nothing. I have a sword I took from a Grounder I killed when we rescued the captives they took, and his armor which is bloody and has several holes where I stuck him with a makeshift spear. Every day we struggle to feed ourselves. Even if you had no guns, your numbers alone mean we can't -stop- you." He shakes his head, "The Ark is dying. You will come down when you need to, no matter what we say. The question is, when you come down, are you our enemies, our allies, or someone we tolerate? When you come down, does your Council still rule without the consent of the people, and does your Guard still kill anyone who disobeys, disagrees, or embarrasses your pet Council? I understand why the Ark's laws were harsh— I'm not a fool, the Ark's resource constraints defined everything about our society— but though we're struggling, we're *free* here. I'm free. We don't intend to ever be subjugated again. A lot of people think the first thing you'll do is box us or kill us, when you get here."

"Cameron," Jaha begins, offering him a small gesture of his hand. "Your are our children. I have often thought how I would have felt if my own son had been sent amongst you… if I would have stopped it had he done something to sentence him to such a fate." He rubs at his mouth thoughtfully, and then shakes his head. "When the Ark comes down, we come down returning to Earth, returning to a home that we have been waiting to return to for generations. I don't know what the Ark will bring… our lives, our laws have been they way they are because of necessity, but now our necessity is to find a way to live together on a world that may be more hostile than the sky we come from." He leans forward a bit. "Mr. Scott, I have no will within me to inprison you or your peers… you were pardoned, and these pardons have been announced… publicly now." He leans back, looking thoughtful. "Your fear for what the Ark coming down to you may bring is not without rational… but I must believe that the process… the sheer forward momentum of plummeting from the sky will in itself bring about change." He looks seriously at Cameron now. "I will no longer be Chancellor, which means that the Ark population will be required to vote in a new one… I will not name an interim."

Cameron listens, his expression looking skeptical, but not entirely naked with disbelief. "Personally, I believe the pardons are true, if only because boxing us is resources you won't be able to afford, and killing us wastes resources you can't lose. I don't like you, Jaha, I don't trust you, but I don't think you're an idiot. We'll need every person we have if we're going to survive this planet. But others don't trust you or the Council." He nods his head slightly, "And even if we elect a new Chancellor, you're mostly a tie breaker. The Council is unaccountable, and rules. As long as that happens, a lot of us will not join the Ark settlement. A lot are contemplating going native instead."

Jaha's shoulders then shrug, and a ghost of a smile touches his lips. "I have nothing to earn trust… or likability… though I always thought I cut a rather handsome figure." The smile pulls a bit, but then settles into a sober affair. He nods. "The Chancellor has the ability to dismiss the Council, and appoint his or her own… it is not unheard of, though often frowned upon." Then he tilts his head. "Though, for a glorified tie-breaker, I feel as though I have the power to help find peace amongst our people." He drops into a thoughtful silence then. "I cannot stop those who wish to depart from the Ark, nor would I…"

"We can't afford to be divided, even though I'm siding with the Independents faction. Morgan thinks our Ark heritage will fail, that we have to learn from the Grounders and just give up our tech and sciences, but I don't agree. I think we have to preserve our heritage, but we also need to learn from the Grounders. The point is, Jaha, we can't afford have a cold war." Cameron sighs softly, shaking his head, "I can't speak for the others, but I'd consider it a gesture of good faith if the Council was dismissed before the Ark comes down, and that it doesn't get replaced until a new Chancellor is elected. That's not a long term solution— but I'm pretty sure I can convince a lot of us that it means we'd have a say in the new Council, and the old leadership that's responsible for all of our grievances wouldn't be standing. It'd go a long way to showing that you aren't just keeping the old ways, but are willing to embrace the new reality of what it means to survive on earth."

Jaha is silent in the wake of Cameron's words, and he then slowly begins to nod. His dark eyes shift as if to look at something just beside the monitor, and he stares there for a few moments. When he speaks again, he does so in a thoughtful hush, "I will think about your suggestion, Mr. Scott…" He looks back at the boy now. "And I am glad we were able to have a conversation without… well…" He gestures, recalling to the amount of anger compared to actual talking happened last time. "Will you tell the others I have listened, and will think on it… but that it is an idea I am taking very seriously." He is still a politician after all.

"My mother isn't currently laying dead at my feet, having just died from the fact that our medtechs lacked anesthesia, a scalpel, sutures, the most basic kind of supplies that we should have had at least been provided with to give us a reasonable chance of surviving alone in the wild." Cameron might not be cussing a lot, but he's still angry. Its just cold and perhaps a bit acidic, at the moment. "I'll tell them, though."

Jaha winces slightly, and he nods. "Thank you, Mister Scott…" He reaches to end transmission, but hesitates. "For what it is worth… I believe Lydia did what was right… and her death will be one I will never feel I can atone for. But, I am ever so thankful she had the courage that I did not."

There's a dark look on the teenager, and Cameron reaches out to end the transmission himself. He isn't at all interested in hearing /that/. Not now, maybe not ever.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License