Day 032: Yellow Canary In The Mine Shaft
Summary: Benning gets to know more about Wren's Second and her Niron. They negotiate some trades. Tuan pops by and she ends up lending him her horse.
Date: 06/29/2016
Related: None
Benning Kai Elias Tuan 

Gates of Tondc
A well-worn road of old asphalt leads into a small lowland that marks the entrance to the Trikru capital of Tondc. The hemlock grove thins, leaving young trees and saplings mixed with tall shrubs instead of the staggering giants that dominate this region of the forests. The canopy breaks, giving full reign to the sky and whatever weather it brings. While the asphalt has disappeared, a weathered road of dark dirt leads horses and pedestrians up through the lowland on the opposite side and between two enormous white pillars that mark the entrance of Tondc.
Day 32

Kai borrowed a horse! To go and visit her boyfriend at skaigeda. And finally, she is back. With a skaiboy riding pillion on the back of the poor put upon pony. Slowly making her way up the darkened path to Tondc until she can see the statue and halting the Broukas so that Elias can get a look at it for himself. Her eyes sliding his way with a smirk.

Benning is also on the road, having returned from a hunting trip. In this case it was for deer, not a skaiboy. She has the deer on the back of her horse as she approaches from another direction towards Tondc. She does pause when she sights Kai, Wren's second and calls out, "<In Trigedasleng> Greets Second to Wren. How does the day greet you? Was your hunting trip successful?" She nods in Elias direction.

Elias is fresh-showered, shaved, and just all-around clean-looking. The young man is saddled on the back of the horse behind Kai with his arms around her middle. When she points out the remains of the Lincoln Memorial, he blinks his eyes a few times and then just shakes his head. "Didn't hold up well at all," he remarks. The language spoken by Benning is recognized, but he doesn't understand. To the best of his ability, though, he tries to piece together what Kai taught him. "Uh. Ah laik Elias kom Skaikru," he says, waving a hand in greeting. This makes his balance a little precarious and he has to quickly readjust himself.

"Benning!" Kai calls as she comes up with the slightest shake of her head,"Wren I can make out.. I'm guessing there's a greeting in there? Too?" there's a quiet sigh,"I'll get there." she assures, only to smirk as Elias introduces himself,"This is my Niron, Eli kom Skaikru.. Eli.. this is Benning kom Trikru, Gideon's sister." she gives Broukas a nudge with her heels,"I wanted him to see the garden here. Talk to you guys, maybe if possible organize some seeds? The merchants wont talk to me.. even the one's that speak English. But that would help him grow some crops.. and he can explain the sciency stuff better than I can."

Benning switches to Kai's tongue, "I said…Greetings Second to Wren. How does the day take you? Was your hunting trip successful?" She sits back in the saddle, "I was teasing you…but it may take some time for you to get used to our humor." She gives a nod to Elias, her manner is rather open for a Trikru, "And I am also sister of the heart to Starling, who is Wren's sister. You will find our families are very close." She pauses and looks to Elias, "If you tell me what you are looking for, perhaps we can trade for some seeds." She looks back at Kai, "But I will have to make sure it is okay to do so. I do not know my Steheda's mind in this." And clearly if he says no, her hands will be tied.

For a moment, Elias lets Kai take care of the introductions for the sake of not embarrassing himself further with a completely foreign tongue. "What she said," he adds to that with a nod to Kai. "Sorry. I haven't had a chance to learn your language yet." He does give a look around and then. Ticking his gaze to Benning then, he curls his lips upward in a smile and nods his head. "I get it," he says in response to her joke. "But like Kai said. I should be able to grow enough to share too. Resources must be tight and I already told Kai that I would help if I can."

"Hunting's something I definitely have to get used to. Involves learning how to shoot a bow first though." Kai chuckles wryly,"It's true, Wren warned me about the two of them." there's a nod for Benning,"Of course, it would not do to anger Oxfor unduly." she agree's with a faint smile,"He's really good at growing things.. remember how I said my.. village.. was Alpha? The one that crashed? His was called Farm.. it handled all of our food production up there." she reaches behind her to offer Eli a hand down from the horse, mostly so that she will be able to get off too,"That was some nice shooting yesterday, by the way."

Benning gets off her horse so she can speak with them as her horse grazes, "Thank you. If you need to learn the bow, you had better seek Gideon, Britt or even my assistance in the matter. Wren prefers his axe." She gives Kai an assessing look, "I may even have a bow that would fit you…I will have to check my supplies. I was not able to bring everything from my shop but I had already made some bows that might do." She gives a smile to Elias, "And thank you for offering the hand of peace, I shall endeavour to do the same, since you are Niron to Wren's Second."

Accepting the hand down, Elias drops himself from the horse and lands with a somewhat graceless stumble. At least he doesn't fall over, though. Instead, the young man regards Kai with a raised brow and then nods his head. "I'm a…scientist. I don't know if Trikru have those. We study the world to understand it and then pass that knowledge along so that everyone can benefit." There's a pause then and a squint of one eye. "Well. The good ones, anyways. Not all ideas are good ones." Finally getting his bearing and wincing a little from the saddle sore, he endeavors to stretch his legs a little more. "I study the soil, the plants, and things like that to come up with solutions for problems, if that makes sense?" There's a glance to Kai then and he gives her one of those 'am I embarrassing myself?' looks. He gets a rather oddly warm reception from Benning then that seems to take him a bit off-guard. "Uh…yes. Thank you." The smile is returned before he gives her a sympathetic look. "There isn't anything I can offer to help you get your villages back, but I hope I can help feed hungry people at least."

"It's on the list." Kai assures then furrows her brows,"Wait, there's different sizes of bows?" and can't help but look at Elias like 'damn, totally didn't even know /that/'. She slithers off the horse with a sigh of relief before giving Elias a reassuring kind of smile,"He's not a warrior." she explains for Benning,"But he is mine." she reaches over to touch his shoulder lightly with a smile,"And of course, being able to feed people is going to make a difference long-term."

"I am not a farmer," Benning tells Elias with a regretful look, "I do know one but I do not know her mindset in parting with her seeds. Considering the state of our villiage you might find it hard to negotiate." She pauses and then tells him, "But if you indulge me, I can show you ways to find seeds for your people in the forest, bounty that is there for all. For I have lived in these lands my whole life and I do not need crops to feed myself if I wish." She turns to Kai and smiles, "All my bows are custom to their owner. Your string would draw in the right stretch so that it does not strain. The bow is set to your strength so if you are stronger, you can benefit from that extra pull."

Elias gives a sidelong glance to Kai as well and shrugs his shoulders. Apparently he didn't know there were different sized bows either, but he's also in no way a warrior. The young man takes a pen and paper from the saddlebag and tucks them both away in one of his cargo pockets. He then slings his pack over his shoulder. When Kai touches his shoulder, he looks over it to her and smirks. "Yep. Good thing Grey's not here yet. I would be spending an eternity trying to live that one down." He cranes his neck then and presses a gentle, but quick kiss to Kai's lips. "I'll do what I can." When Benning speaks up again, he shifts his attention to her and offers a smile. "Of course. I'm still a little iffy on what's edible and what isn't. And I understand someone had some questions about the Ark?" In case she doesn't get the reference, he points upward and then in the vague direction of where Alpha station now lies.

Kai laughs softly as she returns the kiss from Elias, nodding for Benning regarding bows and the offer to help him find seeds out there,"That would probably be even better, Benning, if you would? I'm still.. learning that sort of thing too. And there's a lot of people there. Between the population here, the evacuee's, and Alpha, the local resources might become taxed if they don't have something they can grow there. So it'd take the straing off of everyone." she starts up the path towards the statue,"That was Kiera. I couldn't explain the thrusters to her properly, she thought I was lying about a city that turns."

"I think I can appropriate a bit more space to grow extra," Elias says with a nod to Kai and then another light smirk. "At least this time I'll be taking advantage of people who aren't as smart as me for the right reasons, I guess?" There's a helpless shrug then before he laugh, winking to her. A little old skool Delinquent humor there. "Anyways, they won't know the difference. I'll make sure that I can grow extra so that I can get it to Tondc to help the people who are needing to flee their villages right now." This is spoken more for Benning. "So if you can help me out with finding things in the forest, that would be great." Squinting his eyes a little then, he tilts his head curiously to the Trikru woman. "Now…Treeslang, right? Is that spoken only or do you have a written language for it?"

"Oh I have no curiosity about your Ark," Benning tells Elias with a shake of her head, "Nor do I wish to ever be within it's walls." She motions to the sky above her, "I will under the sky and with grass under my feet. When the rains come, I dance to celebrate the life it brings. Old Earth was almost destroyed by weapons of fire and I have no urge to learn of things that are driven by metal and glass." She looks at both of them, "But Kai is Wren's Second and that makes her one of our own. I do not leave my own to starve so for your Niron's sake I will show him what he needs and he can repay me by bring me a part of his harvest."

Kai dips her head,"And I will happily learn the bow from you Benning, and share my kills in gratitude for it." she murmurs with a glance at Elias and a flash of a smirk,"Tri-gedas-leng." she enunciates for the other Skaikru,"As far as I know it's oral only, isn't it Benning? Wren mentioned Moby Dick but I don't.. I didn't get the impression it was in the language." she let's Eli worry about any negotiation with regards to a potential harvest,"Do we know when we'll return to Coesbur? I'd like to make sure I return Eli to Alpha before we leave, but I understand if that's not possible."

Oh god, they're breeding. Okay, well, not really, but there's another skaikid at the entrance to Tondc at the moment. Elias. With Kai. Next to Broukas, who, like his name suggests, is the crappy pony they let kids who can't ride play on.. which is probably why the skaigirl is holding onto him at the moment. Nearby is a Benning, whose much nicer horse has a deer lain across it, clearly talking in the darkness of the early evening.

"Such decisions are not in my hands Kai. I am a maker, so I tend to worry about making bows and arrows for my people so they will hunt. I leave matters of politics to others," Benning tells her with a smile, nodding as Kai offers to share her kills for learning the bow, "But the Reapers will have to be driven away and with that large of a force there, it will take a warband. I may not even have my shop when I return and that pains me." She sighs and shakes her head.

Dark, evil things lurk in the evenings. And so does Tuan in this case. He's making his way from inside of Tondc to the outside, a small pack over his shoulder holding a water skin and what looks to be a pack which may contain some food. The scout is rather distracted looking, his eyes pondering the ground in front of him while he is speaking something quietly to himself, moving his hands as if making explanations of something to his invisible associate. The path he is on will bring him directly into Benning in just a few moments should he not be alerted or she not move.

Elias gives a nod of his head to Benning at that. "Yeah, I don't blame you. I was stuck in metal walls for eighteen years. Not about to make it a habit." He gives a quick wag of his brows to Benning at that which is accompanied by another smirk. "I understand. Well, I don't make machines of metal and glass, but I do study plants, soil, rocks…those sorts of things. Believe me, I've become a big fan of having sky over my head and earth under my feet." Looking to Kai then, he nods his head to her correction and tries to mouth it. "Okay. Got it." Returning his attention to Benning then, he nods to her. "That sounds like an excellent deal. And any methods that I find with my studies to make it easier to grow crops, I will also share. Soon I will have a way to grow through winter as well."

"Nor in mine. Just rather be back there sooner than later." Kai grunts,"We could have done it." she insists,"And if you don't, I'll do what I can to help rebuild.. after all, Coesbur's my home too now." it's the mumbling and movement that draws her attention to call out,"Ho, Tuan.. I'm glad to see you made it." she slides her arm about Elias' shoulders,"I leave that sort of thing up to you." she assures him,"Hunting.. killing things, hell, building, those things I'll work on.. but farming? I've got two brown thumbs and shouldn't be allowed near plants."

Benning gets a smile on her face and breaks her conversation with them as Tuan approaches lost in his own thoughts. She gives Kai a flashing smile before turning to Tuan and grabbing him by his tunic so she can plant a kiss on his lips. The manner in which she does so indicates there's definitely some history there, "Scouts who walk without looking deserve to have things stolen from them…" She gives him a wink, "But since you are my friend, I shall be lenient this time."

Kai's greeting is enough to pull Tuan's attention upwards before Benning grabs him. There is definitely a look of surprise on the Scout's face as his eyes widen, but she pulls away before he does leaving him standing there, a hint of blush on his cheeks. "Scouts who walk without looking are doing so because of deep mind." He quips back towards the woman, speaking in the common language so all can understand. His eyes look up to spot Kai and Elias, offering a nod at the pair who abandoned him to die.

Elias smiles over to Kai in a somewhat dreamy sort of manner, clearly fond of the girl. And apparently, it's been a few days since they've seen each other. Reaching out, he takes Kai's hand in his and leans over to press a kiss against her temple. The other hand is lifted in greeting to Tuan as he approaches, recognizing the man. "It's good to see you, Tuan kom Trikru. I'm glad you survived." Looking sidelong to Kai, he nods his head a little to her. "Oh, I've got this. Definitely."

"Fiona's back with the Skaikru safely. And it was successful, in no small part thanks to you." Kai offers for Tuan somberly,"What you did bought the time that was needed, and it's not something I'm going to forget." a pause,"Did you find your way to Coesbur? Or did they find you? I told them where to find you but Sonia's people were close enough behind us that it was a narrow thing." she then chuckles at Elias,"Well, you always were better with your hands." she quips.

Benning falls silent for she was not aware that Tuan had befallen any accidents or that Kai and Elias had a part in such things. She looks between them to see if any would tell her the story.

Tuan glances at Benning and speaks plainly for her, recapping the situation. "I aided them in getting through Sonia's blockade. During it, one of her archers shot me with an arrow at the Ravine. You know, the one outside of the village a ways, where we used to go hide when we got caught stealing the eggs?" He pauses so she can recollect. He looks up then at Kai and nods, "I did not expect any less from Fiona kom Skaikru than success."

"Care to test me on that?" Elias asks Kai, quirking a brow and looking at her sidelong. A light, lopsided smile is on his face as well as the glint of something suggestive in his eye. Straightening up again and retrieving his mind from other places, he looks over towards Benning then. "Well, we were spotted on the way to Coesbur and were attacked where the, ah…log bridge is." There's a look to Tuan to confirm that. "Tuan was injured in the attack and instead of fleeing with us, he covered our escape." His eyes settle on Tuan then. "Which we will be forever grateful for. We could not have done it without you. Thank you."

"She wanted me to make sure you knew, and to let you know she's at Alpha station." Kai pauses,"Which is the bit that crashed off that way near the lake." and she points off in the direction she came,"For the record.. I would have shanked that archer, but it turned out that it was best that we didn't. So. That was also a good call." there's a squeeze of Elias' shoulder,"I have to return the horse, first, and let Wren know that I'm back and that you're visiting. And then? Then we can.. worry about other things." not that she's worried at all.

Benning gives a look of concern to her friend but eases as the whole story comes out. She shakes her head and murmurs to Tuan, "<In Trigedasleng> Your Feyona is much trouble. I hope she appreciates the dangers you go through to support her." There is no judgement in the tone, just a friendly reminder to not allow this new woman to take too much of him. She switches back to English for Kai and Elias benefit, "It sounds like you took great risk for your tribe. I hope they honored your deeds in story or song."

A nod is given to Benning when she speaks, apparently Tuan is agreeing with whatever she said as he responds, "<In Trigedasleng> What good things are not much trouble?" The playful grin that he usually carries touches his lips again before he moves to pass by Benning, hand swatting at her backside before he looks at Kai and Elias. "Are you coming to Tondc as well Elias kom Skaikru to join Kai kom Trikru?"

A smile is given to Kai at her response and he dips his head in a nod to her. "No rush," he says with a quirk of an eyebrow and then casts a look to Benning. "I tried going back for him while he was being a big damn hero, but he yelled at me for being stupid and then charged the enemy." Elias gives a helpless shrug of his shoulders to the woman and then casts a smile towards Tuan. "Mm. I'm not playing the tribe game. My game is study and knowledge. Knowledge belongs to everyone. I have to take care of my people, but I do think I may have ways of helping yours too. If you'll let me." With another look to Kai, he nods to her words about the good call, having had that bit recounted to him. "Yeah, it was a good call."

Kai shrugs at Benning,"I did it because I didn't want a whole bunch of people I like to die. And as it is, the Mountain has a bunch of them." so she doesn't exactly count it as a win, to judge from the frown that crosses her face, snorting vaguely at Eli,"And he was right. You were just going to die going up against two archers. And he's just here visiting, Tuan, I wanted him to see Tondc, but he has work to do at Alpha, and we still have to go clear Coesbur. Training. All of that."

"I will not be returning with the warband to clear the villiage," Benning tells Kai with a sad look, "I do hope the fires do not cause much damage. It took me some time to earn that shop." She gives a shrug of her shoulders and then gives Tuan a look,"<In Trigedasleng> Do not be reckless when you meet the Reapers. You mean to much to me and Starling…and this Feyona."

Tuan looks at Benning and shakes his head a bit, "I am not heading to Coesbur. I am heading to the Skaivillage." The last part, the admission, is made a bit more quietly. "It is not a terribly long journey from what I have been told. By starting now I should arrive with time to rest. Conduct what I need to in the morning then return here for midday exercises." It sounds like he has it all planned out. "But to make it, I must begin my journey." He looks to the others and nods his head politely before starting once more on his walk by foot to Jaha.

Elias nods his head to Benning a little bit. "I've been learning a little bit of woodworking and carpentry. Building. If any of you need help rebuilding in Coesbur, I'm happy to volunteer my time. It's the least I can do for all that you've been friendly…" He pauses. "Well…for all that you've tolerated us and helped us out." He flashes a quick grin then before shifting attention to Kai. "Well, forgive me for seeing it as a responsibility to keep allies alive," he says before giving her a playful nudge. "He /literally/ did do the same for us." Tilting his head to Tuan then, he squints. "Are you trying to go see Fiona?" he asks curiously. "Because she's on her way here. On foot, though."

"I will be." Kai grunts for the two Trikru, in the vein of 'totally volunteering for that one',"One way or another, Benning, it will work out, I'm sure of it." there's a smile for Tuan,"Alpha. Station. At least that's what it was up there. I heard someone call it camp Jaha?" she looks to Elias,"I don't know. It'll always be Alpha to me. If you're going up to the gate just go slow and easy. They weren't real happy about it when I turned up, but part of that might just be that as far as some of them are concerned I'm a traitor to Skaikru." which from her tone she's not particularly concerned about, leaning in to Elias,"Oh no, I wanted to stop too, I just knew that he would probably survive and we would die."

Benning sighs and looks at her friend, "If you take the deer to camp and drop it off, you may borrow it to find your Feyona," Benning tells her friend, not wanting to make him walk too far, "But be kind to Rain. She is not one of swift foot but steady gait. Which is good for pulling my wagon but not for traveling quickly." As she waits to see if he takes her up on her offer, she turns to Elias, "And helping rebuild could also be another way you repay me for my knowledge."

Tuan stops midstep, looking at Elias's words as his eyes narrow some. "Reapers are in the woods. She should not be traveling on foot. How many were sent with her as escort here?" Well, the normally playful Trikru suddenly took a turn down serious road as his tone changed quickly. Eyes shoot over towards Benning and he reaches out to take Rain's reins, starting to walk back towards the village, "<In Trigedasleng> Thank you Benning. I will leave the deer near our tent camp."

"Camp Jaha, they're calling it," Elias confirms, inclining his head in a nod once again. The young man gives a playful sneer and a roll of his eyes at the name for Kai. "Still, everyone seems more or less happy with the name." He reaches out once more to give Kai's hand a brief squeeze before turning his attention to Benning once more. "Tsk. We already made a deal, though. You can't welch on a deal. It's bad manners. What I will do is help you rebuild because you're a person that might need help and I'm willing to help." As he watches Tuan walk, he raises a brow to him. "I don't know. I didn't see them leave, but Kai and I warned them. They should be taking enough security to get them here safely."

"This far out?" Kai asks of Tuan,"Before Coesbur we'd never seen them at skaigeda. But she has an escort." there's a shake of her head for Elias,"Green Eden, a man dies and suddenly they want to raise him in effigy." she sighs before she offers a nod,"Grey has the maps I got from Bruns, he's not stupid. Well, not about that." she's not going to stop him from going, though she doesn't volunteer to turn around and head back, either, at least not immediately.

Benning laughs as Elias catches on to her trying to change the rules on him. It's in her nature to test the man to see if he understands the rules. It's clear that bargaining is not something foreign, "Ahhh…you have a heart of a merchant and I respect that." She gives him a wink. Then sobers as they talk of the safety of Feyona. She is glad to find that the girl has an escort and doesn't say anything further on that manner, letting Tuan take her horse. She knows he will return her when he is done.

"A map is not the same as one who knows the forest well." Tuan says over his shoulder as keeps walking Rain into the walls of Tondc. "I will go out the other exit Benning, so that I can speak with Ginia so she does not worry. If I am not back in two days… wait longer." The last bit is said with the barest hint of grin towards the smaller girl before he heads into Tondc to presumably follow through on his plans.

"Yeah, I know," Elias sighs out to Kai in response to her own reaction. "I certainly wasn't his biggest fan, but I didn't wish him harm." The young man finally lifts his shoulders in a shrug and then laughs. "Raise a man up for sending a bunch of children down as the proverbial 'canary in the cole mine'. So brave, so brave." With that, he lifts a hand, sniffs, and wipes a fake tear from his eye. Turning to Benning then, he winks at her in return. "I've done a little, well…merchant work. Yes." If that's what one can call selling illegal recreational strains of marijuana to their peers. Elias then lifts a hand to Tuan in a wave to the man. "Be well," he tells him in parting.

"No argument." Kai calls and slides a look at Benning,"If they range that far in a group of thirty, it would take a full warband.. you know better than I.. should I go with him?" she's not exactly eager to to do, she's been on the road already for a long way and can only look between Benning and Elias, merchanting? Not in her blood.

"No…Tuan can move swifter if he is alone," Benning tells Kai, not worrying about her friend, "He is more liable to hurt himself for others than take risks by himself." She looks to where her friend goes off to and calls out, "Make sure that Ginia gets some of the deer." She is always mothering those about her even though she is the same age as Kai and Elias. She doesn't get Elias reference on the mine so she doesn't say anything to that.

Elias gets that the reference was missed by Benning, so he helpfully weaves the tale. "A long time ago, back before there were Skaikru or Trikru, people used to take something called coal from the earth. They used it to make things go. Like metal boxes on wheels that would take people long distances more quickly than horses. So that people from one part of the land could see people in other parts of the land and bring them together." Clearing his throat then, he tries to go on to explain. "The problem with mining coal is that it could be dangerous. Poisonous gasses and things like that. So what they would do is send a canary down first. If the canary lived, it was safe to go down. If the canary died…they had to wait, find another canary, and try again later." Pausing a moment, he shifts his attention once again briefly to Kai. "It was safe along the road when we came. They weren't far behind us. We would have heard something on our way here if the Reapers were anywhere close to Camp Jaha."

Kai nods in acceptance of Benning's words only to smile at Elias in amusement,"That's why they sent the one hundred, basically. We were the canaries. They figured if we died it was okay. They weren't losing anyone important." which maybe, just maybe, might explain her attitude regarding a fair few things,"C'mon.. let's go introduce you to the family and see how mad Wren's going to be."

"Your leaders are fools treat you like abused birds," Benning tells him darkly, not liking these odd leaders that would kill their generation to run a check the surface, "They do not seem to value life if that is the case." Here on the ground where life can be fleeting, Benning can not comprehend sending anyone, much less one hundred to their almost certain death on purpose. She bites her tongue to keep her consul. Letting the two say their goodbyes as she starts to head back to the camp so she can take care of that deer.

"I was dead anyways." Kai notes grimly,"I was boxed for assault, and made no pretense that I felt guilty about what I'd done, so come December they would have floated me anyways." and then drags Eli off to go introduce him to people.

"They made a bad call and now they have to live with it," Elias says to Benning with a nod and a nod of agreement with Kai's words. "It is a little more complicated than that. Up there…" He points up, gesturing. "Outside of the metal box, there was no air and no heat. We were contained like in prison with the resources that we had." Pausing a moment there, he holds up a finger to her. "I think it would be better if I began at the beginning of our peoples' story. I feel like I am painting them in a negative light when it isn't all of them. I'd be happy to tell you sometime so that you have a fair opinion and not one painted negatively by me because I'm bitter." He turns towards Kai again and grins at her, nodding once. "Of course," he tells her, reaching out for her hand so that she can lead him away.

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