1964-10-23 - Ad Astra: The Questioner and the Questioned
Summary: Time to ask what's up with people who want Maximus dead.
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triton rogue 


The culmination of the assassination of the Mad King, or attempted assassination, was by none other than a 17 year old young woman who called herself Gh0st. In the wake of the near fatal shooting of not her intended target she led a sympathetic Scarlett to one of the safe houses that the resistance, calling themselves Vox Populai, were using.

It is just a simple home of any of the lower caste. Inside there was a blind imprinter of images Lagra, and an older man, hale and hearty as ever named Pahvu. The young woman didn't take her helmet off at first but announced to the smal tribe gathered, "It is done. Maximus moved at the last moment. I think I lost the shot, but he'll know we won't sit quiet. And I brought a friend." She gestured to Scarlett and then the gathered. "That's-"

She was cut off by Phavu who said "No names, Gh0st. Who are you, young lady?"

It was Gh0st that replied, "Hey, cool it. She doesn't talk okay."

That's who.

The nameless one offers the diminutive inclination of her head. Both hands touch together in a near universal gesture of greeting. More than a little Tibetan and Buddhist teaching goes into the effortless bow folded forward from the waist, giving proper respect to those of unknown status and maybe a smidge more than necessary. It's a diplomat's art to avoid those unwelcome and unwanted transgressions by showing too little or too much deference. Fire-saturated braids flash in the dark when sliding over her shoulder, netting the left side of her body. They'd be helpful to snag, impractical for war, unless someone had the least idea how dangerous that is.

She plucks the pen and paper brought with her from a pocket, moving very slowly and greatly exaggerated to demonstrate what she has. Oh, the conceit of a spiral bound notebook may seem hopelessly primitive in this city of computers and screens, but the fact remains, it works. She makes a gesture, miming scribbling or writing. It's a request for permission, clearly.

Lagra sat tilting her head putting ear towards Rogue while she wrote. She heard the scratch of stylus scratching on paper. Pahvu said"Go ahead. We're not trying to be rude. It's a dangerous time."

Gh0st made her way in and set her weapon down and started to field strip it to clean and hide it. She was efficient and trained by someone. The woman making the posters on the floor got up and went to the larder where they did not have a lot but brought out something to share with their guest. These were not crazed cultists, they were the clay of the earth in an extreme situation of distress.

«Hello. Scarlett.» A neat level of underlining follows the ink racing across the page. Scarlett gives the slightest wave, and no doubt might be grateful no one has decided to field strip her at the moment. She will not turn down the offerings, though her own is relatively slim; a few pressed bars of granola and high energy protein. Broken up, they make for a reasonable offering, but she lays out her gifts to be taken as they will. Never be caught empty-handed is a prevailing standpoint, at the very least. She mouths «Thank you» in her broken grasp of Tibetan; English, obviously, isn't so helpful up here. Fortunately her fluency is entirely derived from someone who speaks the Attilan dialect natively, or close enough to count as native.

«You are safe? I worry for the city.» That makes a pretty simple description of matters.

Phavu read the note and dipped his head gesturing to the small assembly of food as she contributed to it as well. It was a good offering. "Nice to meet you, Scarlett. Please, share a meal with us and be welcome. The city is hurting. Over the last year adaptation has been hard for all of us. Those o high do not listen. Maybe there will be a time when our voices, yours too, will be heard. You lost someone from all of this too?" Had he only known how it was, technically, true. "Our families and many of us were torn apart by the Mad King. They have come back and done nothing and still he walks free and he brings the Kree with him. Again. And it does not change. Now they will know, and the Mad King will know he can bleed too."

«What kind of ways have you tried to be heard?» Scarlett employs a combination of sign and written words, reinforcing what she 'says' in flowing hand gestures with actual literary additions upon expecting no one to understand her. The lyric rhythms present in the movement appeal on a tactile level, for all that she kneels before them at the table. «My extended family suffers still. These divisions cause pain and friction when society needs to mend.» The infinite compassion of a woman forcing herself down the path of non-violence, if imperfectly, shines out through her troubled brow and burning ice-blue eyes. Oh, there's the tell for anyone who knows what to see, for the serenity of a monk blessed to the disposition of someone trying to bridge the gap might make her a junior bodhisattva in the making. «The disruption and change make even everyday living hard. How would you approach this? Would speaking to the Council or the authorities give a forum to air your grievances? I do not think anyone has held open audiences for a very long time.» Knows it, too.

Phavu took a patient breath. The question was emotionally charged in response but he pushed himself to remain calm. "When the Kree came last time my brother went missing, and I was sent away to live among the exiles sfor 'speaking out'. We spoke out. They don't listen. Maybe the council will. Maybe it's too late. Regardless? THe Mad King needs to stand for what he's done."

For all her other flaws, Scarlett in silence plays an audience of one. She reads all the may from Pahvu and Gh0st, almost greedy to recognize their expressions and postures. Lagra may be blind, and thus incapable of acknowledging her, but every she opens her mouth, the reminder snaps back into place. No sound. Not so much as a sneeze. They'll all be the gladder for that.

«Then is not now. The decisions to make today come from experience. We all know what silence and sitting on our hands means,» she writes out in precise, sharp cursive. «Has someone spoken out now and suffered? Many roads lead to hope. You can walk them all at once.»

The older man looked to her and was patient. "No, thankfully, but in the last year the Madman hasn't been held accountable for what he's done and it won't bring our family back from the dead. He must stand before anyone else gets hurt and we have been silenced and the Royals are not hearing the people."

«Accountability,» Scarlett writes down the word at the dead center top of her next piece of notebook paper. Her elbow rests on the table and she partakes of whatever nourishment they've kindly offered, largely unconcerned about the possibility of poisons or toxins. It takes something sufficient to down a blue whale to penetrate her hyper-accelerated and modified stamina. «The first concern would be halting him from doing what? Usurping the Council and the other leadership? Then putting you in touch with that leadership?»

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