Day 075: Unless They're Azgeda
Summary: Oxfor meets with Wren and Kai to discuss her progress.
Date: Day Month Year
Related: None
Kai Oxfor Wren 

Oxfor's Tent
The steheda's temporary home at the New Coesbur building site.
Day 75

It is early evening when Oxfor invites Kai and Wren to his tent — a small, but comfortable single room living space that looks like it isn't often used for its purpose: sleep. Oxfor is seated on a mat of cedar boughs, a short table before him. It will shock no one that the steheda is eating — and eating quite well. It is probably a good thing that one of Oxfor's many jobs in New Coesbur is hunting, or he would be eating far beyond his fair share. He is mid-chew from what looks to be a small pheasant, holding the entire bird in his hand rather than picking off parts of it. He gruffs something that is probably "come in" when the two make their presences known.

Wren did ask for this audience, so it's kind of him to make sure that Kai is on her best behaviour. This entailed the entire short speech of 'do not speak until you're spoken to' and 'this man for all intents and purposes owns you' and 'you will be more respectful to him than you are to me' sorta things. So when they're invited, the big man, who even looks a tad small infront of the steheda says nothing at first, deciding that, like usual, it's respectful to wait until Oxfor wants to talk. But then again, he's the sort of respectful warrior who respects the chain of command. The sort of chain that some people can some times be beat with. "Thank you for seeing us, steheda." is all that he says at first.

Kai loiters behind and to the left of Wren, the lean grey-eyed girl filled out some from the creature that first arrived in Tondc through more regular food and harder work than, really, she'd known previously in her life. Skin mostly having lost the pallor of her Ark heritage and acquired a great many more scars in the process. The green halter top she wears is the color of spring grass and Trikru made, leaving much of her shoulders and arms bare. The brownish, leather-reinforced pants most usually a part of her armor, but those boots? Those boots are still Skai. For her, she's on her best behavior and arguably in her best clothes, endeavoring not to fidget as she lingers silently.

Oxfor nods shortly to Wren, and immediately gestures the two to join him across the table where he is enjoying his dinner. "You'll forgive me," he asks, despite the statement, "I have not eaten since the morning…" He looks at the two, asking, "Are you two hungry? Please…" He gestures to the food in front of him, offering the pair to make their choice of the dishes if they want it. He looks over toward Kai briefly, taking stock of her, and then he offers solemnly, "I am sorry to hear of the passing of those friends you may have lost in the Mountain. I am particularly mournful of the loss of Cookie kom Skaikru." Naturally.

When someone like Oxfor offers food, you're kind of obligated to accept, out of simple courtesy if nothing else. Nodding, Wren gives a nod at Kai before lowering his large frame down, sitting his with his legs under, pushing some loose strands of hair behind his ear. "Thank you." Deer meat and water will suffice for him. "Spent the better part of the day felling trees so I can't say I'm not hungry either." The matter of Cookie, one he didn't really know is left to the Second to handle. After a few bouts of silence, fingers tearing pieces of deer meat to be managed into something that can't be choked on, he speaks again. "I know it's a little…strange for a First to keep their steheda abridged on the progress of their own Second. But…" he casts a Kai a momentary look. "I suppose this is a particular case. So I thought the matter should be brought to your attention personally."

Kai comes to settle in the available space once Wren's settled, venturing that a,"Thank you." is possibly safe to offer to accompany both items, for all that mention of Cookie's name does elicit the ghost of a smile on her lips. She doesn't endeavor to interrupt further for the moment, however, in favor of collecting some of the deer meat and sticking it in her mouth because that will keep her quiet and that in and of itself is sometimes a miracle.

Oxfor rests his enormous elbows on the table, chewing a bit on the bit of pheasant still left on the scrawny bones. He shifts his gaze between Wren and Kai, and he grunts slightly. "I have seen no reason to be concerned for Kai," he says, though he turns his dark steady gaze to the older Second, watching her as he speaks. "Has she not acted as all Seconds act?" Now he looks to Wren, waiting to hear what the First has to say. He nudges a bit of bread toward Kai. "Fresh-baked… I stalked Ettev's fires. A little burned, but until a proper oven is built, this is what we get." And we don't throw a fit.

"I suppose I should simply give you a review of what I think, then. And let you decide." Wren states after a moment of thought. "Kai kom Trikru is is not like most Seconds I have encountered. She is older than most Seconds, which I think leaves her with a sensation that she has something to prove. In truth, she does if we consider her history. She tries and goes to very long length to be one of the kru. Admirable, her dedication is not in question here. I do think it gives her tunnel vision at times. It's my opinion she lets her anger and rage get the best of her. Uncontrolled. Undisciplined. It is something we're working on. Other shortcomings is perhaps a sense of inferiority, a difficulty understanding what family is, and particular lack of throwing oneself into combat, regardless the outcome. In short, she can be reckless. And can be incredibly stubborn to a fault." Wren lists off a bit clinically.

"But, that is nothing not expected from a young and eager Second. Reminds me of myself. Fairly certain my First said much the same. She has, however defended her kru, her First, and her fellow warriors again and again. She bled, she has toiled and suffered, and she has fought bravely. She has exceeded what initial reservations I had at first, and she has done better than I thought one born of the Sky could. She is learning our language well. She has made close friends with our new Gonaheda, no small feat. She still has a ways to go, but she has come far with what she has done. In essence, I am proud of her. So to answer your question, steheda; yes, she has." That all being said, he perhaps nods to himself. "It was…my error that I didn't bring her before you to have swear her loyalty to you right away. I apologize for that disrespect.

A beat. "Also, she thinks Roach smells."

Bread is a weakness, burnt or not. Kai isn't even going to pretend that in her eyes it's awesome judging from the grin she gives as she accepts the bit of bread and fidgets with tearing it into bite sized chunks,"Mochof steheda." and then can't help but just sort of stare at Wren. She's trying.. well, okay, she thinks she's trying not to, but really, bread. Bread is awesome. Especially right this second, though maybe smaller pieces might help with the choking sound she makes. She's furrowing her brows and protests,"I'm not undisciplined." as if that's the worst thing there,"Some people are just annoying." oh yeh, bread. She's not supposed to be talking, and there's a quick look towards Oxfor before she looks down at her lap. Bread is just so fascinating. Really.

Oxfor listens to Wren's report, stopping grazing to give it his full attention. He takes a cloth napkin, wiping at his hands. He does give Wren a patient look at the end of his report. "After fighting alongside the Sky People, I think that you may have to reconsider your own notions of the Skaikru. Their kruheda is… well… let's just say that I think the Commander was most impressed with him, and was not what she expected." He leans back slightly, large arms folded across his equally large chest. He glances toward Kai now. "The fact that you allow annoying people to needle you into action is evidence that you are undisciplined, Kai kom Trikru. But, that is something that can be learned, and something you will need to learn. A warrior should only clear steel, raise fists, or nock arrows to take down an enemy of the Kru." Then he gives Kai a look of an old Warrior with expansive experiences. Then he sobers slightly, and releases a chuff of breath. "And what about where you have come from, Kai kom Trikru? Do you miss your houkru?"

Wren isn't arrogant enough to ignore a point when it's made, and he bobs his head. "…that is true. I suppose it is not their Guard or their kruheda that trouble me. Truly, if the heda is impressed, that is enough for me believe it is so. His people…" he waves a hand. "Nothing that you have not already heard, steheda. But you are right. Perhaps more patience and temperance is required of me. I will…try." The matter of Kai being a bit undisciplined, he nods. "Even the most stubborn of metal can be tempered. Like I said, she's come far. I'm proud of her. Gave her fer first mark myself. And I think she is in line for another after the last Mountain battle that I haven't given her yet. I would never say it out loud or openly, but her skill with a blade, for the short time I've been working with her, is rather impressive. Though perhaps I should credit to the Skaikru Guard for that as well for laying down a certain degree of basics. Just need to work on her dodging."

Kai purses her lips regarding the Skaikru kruheda, carefully swallowing her bread before nodding somberly for Oxfor's words,"I did not strike them, steheda." she pauses,"The Azgeda at the bar, yes. But he swung first." she opts for in quiet protest,"No, steheda, I do not miss my.. houkru." that's one she doesn't know, and there's a look towards Wren as he speaks, shaking her head slightly,"Gideon kom Skaikru finished the one that shot you. It is not worthy of a mark." her attention returns to Oxfor to state,"I am where I feel I belong. I have friends still, among the Skai, fifty of those that first crashed near Coesbur still survive, not counting myself.. but.." she shrugs her shoulders a little,"we have different values. In some ways many of the one's I have spoken to have become even more.. obsessed.. with technology, and I do not feel that it is sustainable. This, more than anything, is what I argue with them about. There are those, particularly among the hundred that feel that technology is their.. birthright. That have taken offense to the idea that the Mountain should be reduced to rubble after it has been emptied.. and.." she purses her lips again,"I don't trust them for that, steheda."

She takes a breath before launching in to,"The technology of the Sky city was failing even before it crashed, to maintain what they have, let alone to build new things.. they will need facilities and resources. The facilities, they might be able to scavenge from the other portions of the Ark, and some of the resources in the short term.. but these things are finite. I do not know what agreement the Heda has made with the Skaikru's kruheda, and I understand that these are matters that are not of my concern.. but I worry that the Skaikru feel.. entitled, to their technology, that in time they will exceed the boundaries of land and resources the Heda and kruheda choose to grant them in the mistaken belief that land without a village on it is land unused. I worry more that when I spoke of these things to some of my friends, that the attitude I received was that if the other kru's said no, that adhering to that was somehow them.. enslaving themselves to the Trikru and letting us dictate what they can and cannot have. And that if they could not negotiate for what they feel they need, that they would.. proceed and 'deal with the consequences'. Granted, these are.. my peers, not those in leadership over there.. but it disturbs me, I do not want to end up in war against my.. houkru."

Oxfor arches his heavy brows, his scarred scalp moving with the expression. "Wren, you know better than to make generalizations… we do not belittle an entire people," Unless they are Azgeda, "we belittle a person. Individuals, while they can reflect poorly on the kru, are the ones who face judgment… not an entire kru."Unless they are Azgeda. His tone is even despite the intent behind the words. Learning is ongoing for all Warriors, and that is all Oxfor's intents would be. Or the Mountain, as most recent events have shown. He grunts slightly at Wren's words then, his arms tightening slightly at his barreled chest.

"Who don't you trust?" The question is asked seriously. "As I just told your First… to make assumptions about an entire kru based on a handful or more is a dangerous road to take, young Kai." Unless they are Azgeda. When Kai confirms that it is her peers, the steheda starts to laugh — a deep, rumbling laugh that fills his chest like thunder. "Ah… you mean those who are quick to violence," Morgan and his threats to Oxfor, "those who cannot agree with their own leadership," the Summit representatives unable to agree to speak on behalf of their leaders, "or the ones who brawl with one another over simply contacting their own people?" The fights Oxfor witnessed over the 100 contacting the Ark. "Young Kai… you can be rest-assured that those are people that the heda and the Skaikruheda are not listening to, nor allowing themselves to be bent by. But," and he holds up a hand, "I think you will soon find that Lexa and Chancellor Kane see more eye-to-eye than your friends see eye-to-eye with you. Kane, and other Skaikru I have spoken to, are quite aware of their own realities. If your friends speak in irrational insanity, then find those who are sane and speak to them about your worries, and be soothed."

Then the massive steheda intakes a deep breath, finally saying softly, "But, know this… if — and it is an if I do not see to ever come to pass — if the Skaikru and Trikru go to war, you cannot hesitate in following the orders of the hedas. If the heda calls for their blood, I expect to see their blood on your blade."

"Yes, steheda. It something I've said as well. Perhaps some of those in Tondc and their bitterness about the Skaikru I've listened far too much about." Wren admits with a nod to Oxfor, though he doesn't name names. Not like Oxfor can't figure out some of the loudest voices on his own. "Judge the person, not the people." Unless they're Azgeda. It's true though, even veteran warriors such as himself are still sometimes Seconds in their own right. Still learning. "I don't mean to belittle. But yes, a handful doesn't make the whole. If I truly didn't like the Skaikru, I wouldn't of taken one as my Second. And another as niron. I will try to do better by your words." And that's at least honest, even if he can't deny mild frustration with some of them. "I do rather like her Skai-brother. I'm amused if he thinks he sings better than me." That's at least said in jest. Everything for Kai, he just listens, silently eating. "That is one thing I do not expect or fear. Their kruheda has done too much good will and good work to turn to war now. One that he could not win. But, yes, I should keep a more open mind." Unless they're Azgeda.

"They may be quick to anger, but they are also resilient and resourceful." Kai reminds,"Chancellor.. Skaikruheda.. is not a position for life, steheda. And it is.. unlikely, that the Skaikru would accept one serving for life in the same way that the other kru's do." she grunts quietly,"This is why it is a matter of uncertainty for me." she pauses as she mulls over his words regardless before dipping her head,"I was there, when the stegeda was punished, steheda. It was.. difficult, knowing that in a way that it was for helping those of skaigeda, including myself, that you and the others suffered. I understand my duty to the kru and the hedas, this is why when I hear those who I consider my friends talk.. madness, that it weights on me." there's a glance towards Wren for his words, puzzled momentarily,"Oh Leo," he wasn't the brother that first came to mind given the current conversation,"Leo is smart. And not crazy. And hasn't managed to piss off any of the kru.. that I'm aware of, at least. And he's been singing since I was.. old enough to talk. He taught me all the songs I know."

Wren's words are given slight nods, but Kai has the majority of his attention now. Oxfor holds up a hand to stave Kai's worries. "You will be gray before you are twenty." The words are delivered with that flat, stoic Grounder quality. "Worry, Kai… but do not worry so much that it is all you do… I do not want you to feel dismissed, but these worries are for those who have the will and authority to do something about it… and that is the heda and the Chancellor. What we do now will resonate with how well things shape as the future unfolds… my advice," he says, offering out a hand in a sweeping gesture, "is to not allow those who are worrying you to have that power over you."

Then he grunts slightly, folding his arms once more. "We have seen, from the Splita, that insanity is a stain on the bloodline… take counsel with those who do no thave that stain, and allow yourself to take enjoyment in the here and the now… soon, we will receive our harvest gifts from the other stegedas, and then we will prepare for the winter ahead. The Skaikru will need us far more than we need them, and that is where friendships are made… in helping those who would, in turn, help us." He breathes out heavily through his nose, and he starts to smile. "One day, I hope you will see your houkru as part of who you are, Kai kom Trikru… just like a Trishanakru who becomes a Sankru, or a Boudalankru who becomes a Delfikru… their roots may grow in different soil, but their roots are still their roots. You are a Trikru… but that does not mean you are no longer a Skaikru. That, young Kai, will be your greatest strength in the coming seasons. Do not forget that."

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