2020-03-17: Honeysday Aftermath

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  • Log: Honeysday Aftermath
  • Cast: Riesenlied, Noeline, Jacqueline Barber, Kaguya, Avril Vent Fleur
  • Where: Honeysday
  • Date: March 17, 2020
  • Summary: The Outreach -- plus a few extra -- assist in Honeysday in the aftermath of the bandit attack on the village; discussions of the possible machinations behind the attack are discussed.

<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

    Honeysday has been the target of a bandit attack over the last couple of weeks, and this rather naturally means the presence of the Outreach after Riesenlied has caught wind of what happened.

    Not that... the main force of the Wayside Outreach is actually here -- with the Fereshte still somewhere back in Spira, left to the devices of Janey and Mikaia running free enterprises over it, along with the brunt of its workers, but... Riesenlied has organised something of a temporary force -- several familiar Tainted Hyadeans who've made the journey to Aquvy, as well as some hired laborers that she's utilised the proceeds from some Digs.

    Today, she's continuing with her physical therapy on a burnt-out field, helping clear some of the debris with some work gloves and protective apron. The leg braces shine softly as she hobbles on over, picking up shreds of wood carefully and putting them in a wheelbarrow. "That makes twenty," she beams.

<Pose Tracker> Noeline has posed.

    Noeline has done what she can to reach out to the people she knows, not content to leave it up to Riesenlied. In a way, she's especially thankful for the pilgrimage the two of them have been making - not only has it been a heartwarming and recuperative time and a chance to rekindle some old friendships, but it's also given her a collection of contacts in the region, and she's been eager to spread word of the Outreach in asking for assistance.

    She's been putting her strength to work hauling lumber for the builders, having left the more careful and delicate work to Riesenlied; it's been a while since she's really exerted herself in this manner, and there's a brief grimace as she grunts with effort and gets her muscles back to work. It's a little while later that she returns to Riesenlied's side with a satisfied look that matches that of her partner.

    "They're getting to work replacing the barns now," she reports, offering an arm to lean against as she scans the field. "It looks a lot better, I have to say. Does the soil seem like it will be alright? ... I wondered if we could just ask some of the towns for fertiliser." The quietly amused look on her face suggests that's not something the older her would ever expect to say.

<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

Jacqueline had been there for the initial bandit attack. Following it, she had volunteered the Caravan Kinship's help in repairing and cleaning up after everything that had happened. And so, they've been around, helping out where they can.

While the damage wasn't as bad as it could've been, it was still a lot of work that needed to be done - it was a relief when Riesenlied arrived along with her Outreach, as temporary as the force she'd gathered might be. Having them around would make things much easier.

At the moment she's finished up the work she had assigned to herself today - moving around some of the debris with the help of her Gear - so she's going around and checking on the others to see how they're doing.

"Wow, good work!" Jacqueline says, noting Riesenlied's work so far. She sends Noeline a smile and a nod of greeting, looking back toward Riesenlied.

"How're those braces of yours holding up?" She asks. They appeared to be functioning normally, but it was important to keep an eye on them. Jacqueline doesn't know if they're used to taking this kind of exertion.

She looks toward Noeline, then.

"That might not be a bad idea. I don't think the damage is too severe, but it's better to catch these things early while it's still planting season." She comments.

<Pose Tracker> Kaguya has posed.

The truth of the matter is that Kaguya doesn't spend a whole lot of time in Honeysday. There are a lot of reasons for this, some better than others, but they don't count on an actual attack--with Gears, no less--on the hub of this network of communities.

Not that she's advertising her reasons, but one Kaguya Alathfar, secret(ish) Veruni and member in good standing of Althena's Guard, is perhaps more relevantly connected by family ties to the Outreach. And today? Well.

Today she walks out onto the field thoughtfully, a few nervous looks in town the main evidence of her passing, even in ordinary 'civilian' attire as opposed to her containment suit. Her breathing mask is down at her collarbone, and her casual saunter takes her over to... a pile of debris. She crouches down and picks up an extremely large piece that rightfully shouldn't be mobile except to a group. It's still unwieldy enough that she has to carry it carefully, or maybe that's just her not in her best condition.

When she walks it over to the group, she may be something of a surprise. "So, walking," Kaguya says, "Those look cool." A beat, "You probably could ask those around--there's a lot of these towns out in this area. It probably isn't a bad idea to do some tests and see if the debris's hurt the soil or anything, but most armaments wouldn't."

<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

    It's a fortunate thing, really--

    No, not the attack itself. Rather, the fact that no one was badly hurt, and even the injuries that had occured among the townsfolk had been minor. That only one building had been destroyed, that damages to others were relatively light...
    The damage to the fields are perhaps the worst of it -- apparently the bandits that caused this had used flame ARMs.
    One of the Gears, half-gone and scorched, still stands in the field. Apparently its weapon had quite literally blown up in its face.

    "Are you alright, Riesenlied?" Avril asks. Of course, once the call had gone out, she had come over as soon as she had been able.

    "Hmm... I wonder if it might be viable if it were plowed under," she muses, on the topic of the farms. "The burnt plant matter, that is. There was something I recall about... burnt materials... and fields..."

    Something about the nature of carbon -- about fields left fallow and the contents thereof then churned into the earth. Two facts, but she's not entirely certain whether they actually ever aligned.

    She's in the middle of considering this deeply, one hand on her chin as she gazes over the ruined field, when Kaguya arrives.

    "...!"

    Avril turns.

    "Kaguya. What are you..."

    She trails off, because even for an amnesiac girl, this is a deeply silly question.

    The answer is as plain as the nature of this village.
    It -- and the people, and the farmland -- belong to the Veruni.

<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

    There's a tired huff of exertion coupled with a satisfied smile of a work well done as Noeline appears, and Riesenlied accepts that arm to lean against as she unsteadily hobbles on out of the soft loom and towards more solid ground.

    "They need to dig the surface soil, I think," Riesenlied assesses. "The earth is resilient, so the ground beneath should still be okay..."

    Jacqueline appears as well -- there's a brighter smile and a wave from the Hyadean. "Ehe, thank you... mm, I think they're low on power. I might ask you to recharge them this evening, if that's okay...?"

    Kaguya arrives too! "Oh! Kaguya!" Her daughter mentions walking, and she perks up as she does a little twirl and smiles. "Do you like it? The scholars from Sielje created these braces for me, and Jacqueline has been resupplying it for me."

    Avril arrives as well, asking if she's all right. "Tired, so I might take a break... but I think I did well today," she nods. "Are you doing all right too, Avril? It has been a while..."

    She glances between Avril and Kaguya for a moment, but seems to have faith in the both of them!

<Pose Tracker> Noeline has posed.

    Of course Noeline expected Jacqueline to be here; she returns the nod with a huff of breath and another amused grin. "Suffice it to say I know very, very little about farming. That's Riesenlied's speciality, after all, and as much as I read about it that isn't much of a replacement for practical experience," she chuckles, shaking her head.

    She does blink in quiet, pleased surprise as Kaguya walks past them with a large chunk of burnt-out wood, her eyebrows slowly going upwards. "Hello to you too," she grumbles good-naturedly, letting her expression soften afterwards. Whatever their concerns about Kaguya's situation, she's prepared to recognize when they should be set aside. "It's good to see you."

    For all her reading, even the amnesiac girl is better at revitalising the land than she is! Noeline puffs a little again, but she takes it in stride with quiet laughter, shaking her head. She's long since accepted she's more of a city person. "Ashes, I suppose, but I'm not sure how much of this is going to burn easily. A lot of it is damp and softened."

    She's more than ready to accept Riesenlied against her side - though at the same time, when the other Hyadean attempts a twirl for Kaguya, she can't help herself as she turns it into a bit of a ballroom spin. "I don't think there's much more that can be done today, at least," she suggests to the idea of a break. "Like it or not, we're only going to be able to do this bit by bit."

<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

"Ah, Kaguya!" Jacqueline greets. She's a bit surprised to see her here - she hadn't expected her to stop by. Still, it was good to see her.

"And Avril, too - hello!" She greets, offering her a smile as well. She pauses, considering her words.

"Hm...I hear in some cases ash can be used as a fertilizer, but I'm not the most knowledgeable when it comes to situations like this, or how much is tolerable." Jacqueline admits, then looks toward Riese as she informs her the braces are low on power.

"Of course! I always have time for that - just come grab me when you're ready, or swing by the Carakin and I can get you sorted." She replies with a nod.

The prospect of taking a break is raised, though, so Jacqueline nods.

"That's a good idea! I think I could use one - I've only been sitting in a Gear for the past little while, but that still takes it out of you too." She agrees.

<Pose Tracker> Kaguya has posed.

What is she doing here? "I'm not here on official V business or anything," Kaguya cautions. "But what with the attack, I wanted to look into what happened, and why." Pause. "And maybe I thought the people deserved a little break considering."

She smiles at Riesenlied and at Noeline's twirl. "Hey," she says. "I wasn't sure if you'd show up for something like this or not, but I guess I shouldn't be surprised, huh?"

"I'll do a test on the soil where most of the debris was. I can probably help out a little, if I don't make it super obvious or make a big deal out of it."

Kaguya sets down the large piece of debris, then, and grimaces slightly. "Gotta admit I don't really feel like a ton of manual labor anyway..."

"But don't get me wrong. I don't have any particular authority over this spot. I'm not the Duchess of Honeysday or anything."

<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

    "Jacqueline, it has been far too long," she addresses the young apothecary, ducking in a shallow (head and shoulders only) bow. "I am glad that you and the Caravan Kinship are present here. The more people that we have here to assist, the faster the town should be restored."

    "It has," Avril agrees. "We have been..." Not busy, per se. But preoccupied, with living. With finding one's own reasons. With the ghosts of the past that cannot be easily exorcised. "...Here and there. Dean, Rebecca, and myself," she clarifies. "I see that you are walking now. I think they would be happy to hear that."

    She then considers the matter of the fields -- of the burnt material and what to do with it. "Yes... the ground beneath should be whole," she says, her gaze distant a moment. She continues on her earlier thought, as if consulting some decrepit wing of an ancient library, where half the pages in the books are missing. "Perhaps, if what was turned to ash were buried..." No, it wasn't the same as tilling under plantlife -- this is dead and but carbon. But perhaps best buried than left for the wind to carry?

    She feels nearly as if this were approaching the right track, but not quite. "Is that right? I cannot entirely recall..."

    And then Kaguya makes five.

    "Official... 'V Business'?" Avril echoes, as if trying the sound out for the first time. "...I am afraid I cannot provide any assistance. I know only that the town was targetted by a group of bandits and little else."

    A long pause follows.

    "Are you here alone?" The 'or' is not stated, but hangs heavy in the air.

<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

    Riesenlied lets out a little yelp as Noeline pulls her twirl up into a ballroom spin, looking a bit bashful as she says, "I agree. We should pack up and take a break..."

    Can ash be used as a fertiliser? Her knowledge of botany has increased a lot since Wayside (the first)'s days, but even she's not certain about that. "I will go and study, surely someone would know..." There is a bigger smile towards Kaguya as she reassures, "When we heard of what happened, I knew we needed to arrange something and come down here."

    Jacqueline says it's okay, so she nods and says, "Just after dinner, perhaps? We can eat together, if you had no other plans. And a Gear..." Riesenlied pumps her hands a little and says, "That would come in very helpful in rebuilding the town, I imagine?"

    Avril mentions they have been here and there, and her expression softens a little. "I am sorry to not reach to you earlier. Noeline and I have been finding our footing as well... proverbially, but also I suppose literally," she remarks. "I would love to see Dean and Rebecca again..."

    V Business...

    "I wonder for what reason they did," Riesenlied ponders herself. "But the wellbeing of the townsfolk is important too..."

<Pose Tracker> Noeline has posed.

    The thought of Jay sat behind the control panel of a Gear is still one that Noeline isn't completely sure what to do with; her gaze drops and her expression turns rather flat as she tries to imagine it, wondering just when and how the Carakin went from what it started out as to what it is today. "... at least it's a chance to use them for something other than fighting, I suppose. The heavy lifting has certainly come in helpful - I'm not about to pretend that I could begin to match something like that."

    "Even without the Fereshte, we'll do what we can," she promises their daughter with a quiet smile, but Kaguya's first admission makes her pause. "Anything you can do will be welcomed, I'm sure. ... did you have reason to believe there is a 'why'?" she can't help but wonder, old habits rising to the surface. She does have to admit, the idea of bandits deciding to attack a Veruni province is not something she'd expect.

    She blinks towards Avril, but Riesenlied says much of what she's thinking. "Are the two of them doing alright, at least? And yourself? ... I have to admit, it's been quite unusual trying to deal without having the Fereshte at hand," she grumbles, and there's a note at the back of her tone that suggests she's taking its lack of presence harder than she would have expected. It's not like she stops to think about it too often, but they're missing a big chunk of family.

    She briefly considers trying some subterfuge - as far as she's aware, the bandits are still out there ready to be infiltrated. But... at the same time, that isn't really who she is now, and she discards the idea about as quickly as it came. "I did at least organize a watch. If they try to come back for another run, they will find the place rather well protected," hums Noeline in pride as she supports Riese in standing.

<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

Kaguya was looking into what happened and why? Jacqueline thinks this over, though she does feel a little relieved that it isn't Official Business.

"I've been looking into it myself, but I haven't been able to find anything out yet." Jacqueline replies with a shake of her head, on the matter of why Honeysday was targeted. "My main concern is that whoever went after Honeysday might send another group after them, or another settlement. I get the feeling we might not have heard the last about this."

She looks toward Noeline, then.

"They will a pretty chatty bunch, if ill-mannered - they made it clear that someone had hired them for it." Jacqueline explains. "...And, that someone had assured them that none of the Veruni would be around when they did. The Veruni themselves weren't responsible for it, which means that whoever it is has some details on their movements - or, at least, that's what I'd assume."

Jacqueline returns Avril's greeting, then, with a polite bow of her own.

"It has! And, I'm glad to be here - we ended up right where we needed to be, thankfully." She replies with a nod. As for the situation with the burnt farmlands...

"I have friends who would know, but..." She says, shaking her head before nodding to Riesenlied as she says she'll study it. "Good idea."

She smiles, then, as Riesenlied suggests she join them for dinner.

"That sounds great! I'd like that." She says brightly. She beams, too, when she comments on her Gear, which Noeline also comments on. "Right? It's nice, being able to use it for peaceful purposes too. It's better that it isn't just something to fight with. They have so much more potential than just weapons."

<Pose Tracker> Kaguya has posed.

"Saying the word makes the townsfolk antsy." Kaguya accompanies this statement with a sort of vague motion with her hand to Avril. "...It's fine. I don't expect a lot of leads on why except maybe by investigating what's left of the Gears that attacked here." She looks to Riesenlied and Noeline. "I'm willing to get rid of some of the scrap, for that matter, move it and pay to have it moved myself. Scrap is useful to me and disruptive to their lives."

"But I am here alone. Neither the others of my people nor the Guard are involved, at the moment." She lets that hang before turning to Noeline with a shake of her head. "The location is kind of suspicious, but that's all. You don't see a lot of Gear robberies in this locale. Did they just get unlucky on their target, or are they targeting this territory for a reason? You can bet that my people would ask that question." She considers Jay's thoughts. "Hrmm... Okay, thanks. So they probably weren't targeting us, but knew of our presence. That's kind of interesting."

Details on their movements, is it?

"...I probably shouldn't stay too long," Kaguya says instead of directly answering the matter of Gears' other potential. She stops, then, and looks over Avril. "You know why."

<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

     She shakes her head. "It is no matter, Riesenlied. Once we heard, we came out here." Or at least, Avril certainly did -- and if she's here, certainly the others cannot be far behind? "To tell you the truth, that was also part of the reason that I wanted to come. I thought that, surely, you would be here."

    She glances over at Noeline, then ducks her head in a nod. "Yes... we are well enough after our escape from the Shrine of Water," she explains. "There have been things to which we have had to adjust," perhaps she is referring mostly to herself, here, "but nevertheless, we are all as well as can be."

    Even if... she has tucked some of the feeling of trepidation deep inside her heart. As she had said to Dean and Rebecca both -- she goes forward without hesitation.
    But that does not mean there is not doubt.
    Or fear.
    Or a strong desire to go no further.

    As if for the first time, though, she processes what it is that Noeline has just said. "--The Fereshte? Then, is it in Spira still?" she asks, her blue eyes widening.

    Perhaps the sole remaining bandit -- the one that didn't escape or get killed -- might be able to answer some questions.
    Assuming the villagers haven't been too rough with him, that is.

    (Probably they're just making sure he gets the stale bread with meals. It's Honeysday -- no one is a monster here.)

    "I see..." she murmurs, at Jay's explanation of the situation. "Then... Odessa, perhaps?" Is this somehow a goal of theirs? But, what is it that they were attempting to do by damaging or destroying the town? Most of the food here feeds the Veruni.

    Can ash be used as a fertilizer? ...That's something that Avril is trying to inquire of herself, without much gain for the attempt she's making. Largely, knowledge like this is at her fingertips -- as much as everything else remains utterly removed -- but perhaps there's something particular about land management that eludes her.

    "I... see," she hazards, when Kaguya mentions that this 'makes the townsfolk antsy'. More than likely they'd be more on edge now, in fear perhaps of potential retaliation for the damages. Or perhaps simply of closer scruity from their landlords than they would prefer, being generally off the 'leash'.

    "..."

    At length, she nods.

    "Yes, I do."

<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

    As Jacqueline shares a little more about the bandits' motive...

    "It is bold for bandits to come into a Control Zone, I agree... at the very least, from the one I am used to in Elru," Riesenlied admits with a quietly ruminating look on her face. Noeline's grumble about the lack of the Fereshte makes her each for her hand and squeeze hers, though. It's clear she misses Janey and Mikaia and the rest of their family day after day too.

    "A watch... that would be really useful," Riesenlied nods, appreciative.

    "Odessa... or perhaps even-- mm--" she frowns quietly. "... I was... reminded of how the local gang in Ignas, the Black Ties, a long time ago, was employed by Solaris. They seemed to have a habit of hiring local help. But that might be my bias making me jump to conclusions."

    Her bias... as she thinks about her father a little, and the link between her and Noeline darkens just a bit.

    She overcomes that feeling, though, and focuses on more pleasant things. Kaguya mentions the metal debris... "Getting rid of the scrap... Muni-Muni is around too. She has an unusual relationship with eating metal and fuel, I think, so she should definitely come in handy. She once shocked a bandit into surrendering by eating bullets!"

    Avril updates them on how things have been since Lefay, and Riesenlied pauses for a moment as she senses just a little bit of the doubt. "Avril... let me know if you want to share anything off your chest, okay?" is what she offers, not wanting to be too intrusive.

<Pose Tracker> Noeline has posed.

    Noeline raises her eyebrows all over again at Jacqueline's tale, glancing towards Kaguya. The fact that someone hired the bandits and apparently had information on local Veruni movements leaves her uncertain but distinctly curious as to their identity, and she pauses for a moment as she digests that. "... I'm not sure if it would be Odessa. Their style is very loud and brash - if it came down to it, I would definitely agree with Riese. Keeping that sort of distance sounds a lot more like Solaris," she wonders for a moment... but lets it go, because dinner sounds a lot better at this point.

    She takes a moment to offer her partner a reassuring smile, patting her on the arm when she feels the trepidation over their link. "I don't think you're wrong, looking at it from where I stand. It's alright," she offers gently.

    She does at least pause, nodding quickly and solemnly at Kaguya's estimation of events - but then she snorts brightly and shakes her head. "You can at least stay for dinner, surely? If anyone has any problems with your presence, we'll smooth things over and talk it out. We haven't seen you in more than long enough, after all."

    She offers Avril a quiet smile that looks kind of odd on her face, too gentle and sad for the faux Crimson Noble. "We do not know for sure," she admits, "But it seems so. At the very least, Wayside hasn't heard anything from it since we arrived back on Filgaia. ... but we've gotten very good at having faith, and we've got no end of trust in our daughters," she puffs pridefully.

    The fact that Kaguya is here to hear that is not lost on her.

<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

"...Ah, right, sorry." Jacqueline says, as Kaguya points out that the word makes the townsfolk antsy - even if the statement wasn't directed at her specifically.

And then there's the matter of the attack on the town.

"Odessa... I'd thought about them, but like Noeline says, up to this point they haven't been particularly shy about wearing their allegiance on their sleeves - literally, in some cases." Jacqueline considers. "It's a possibility, but-"

She pauses, then, as Riesenlied brings up another solution. Solaris... back during her run-ins with them, she still thought they were just 'Gebler'. She didn't realise, at the time, just how deep they went.

"...Yeah, you're right. I remember that. That's entirely possible." She says with a nod, thinking it over. The Black Ties had been in Bledavik, way back when... Now she definitely needed to have a chat with that bandit.

Riesenlied mentions a certain name, and Jacqueline brightens up a little.

"Ah... Muni is here, too?" She asks.

<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

    Somewhere in Honeysday, the children have a distraction from the horrible attack on their village (as if the children aren't going 'wow, cool robot!' anyway) because a certain bouncy castle has appeared...

<Pose Tracker> Kaguya has posed.

"It's fine," Kaguya says to Jacqueline. "Or I mean, it's not like not saying it is going to make them suddenly feel great about being attacked." It's a small thing, she'd say. Meanwhile, Kaguya looks at Avril a little too long when she talks about adjusting. She doesn't say anything about it immediately, though, about what she says, what that look is...

The matter of the Fereshte gets comment, instead. "If they're together, then the people left there are fine." Kaguya looks at Noeline at the talk of trust, opens her mouth and closes it again. "I guess you are good at having faith," she allows after that, and then, "Well, okay. Dinner's cool, I didn't wear the suit or anything." Maybe a little praise works on Kaguya. Maybe.

"I admit, it's not the worst idea; attack sparsely enough and avoid my people, and hope that they don't care enough about a few humans to intervene. It's possible it's just some well-organized jerks. ...Ugh, though. I don't need that headache," she says of Riesenlied's idea, which isn't saying she can rule it out, either. "You've got good reasons to be biased that way anyway," the small Veruni points out.

"Aww, Muni. Well, that's okay. Between the two of us we can get rid of the most dangerous stuff, anyway. ...Kinda wish I'd seen the bullet-eating though..."

<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

    "If I knew perhaps better of Odessa's means and intentions," Avril hazards, her expression pensive. Even between what has happened in Spira and more recently in Filgaia, she has at best a broad appreciation of what it is that the organization is capable. Then Riesenlied and Noeline offer up another: "The Black Ties," Avril murmurs, her gaze darkening a touch. "..."

    And Solaris -- and whatever they might mean, if they are involved, for the events already playing out on the world's stage. She, again, has encountered members of that organization hardly at all, and only in conjunction with Lydia--
    (Or so she thinks.)

    "I... see," Avril says, on the subject of the missing Fereshte. "They are good children. I do not doubt that they are safe, even so far from us." Even if she can understand why they might be frightfully worried.

    Muni is here? Avril turns her head--

    And at just the right time to spot, distantly, a certain bouncy castle.

    She, the Ice Queen of the Veruni, giggles.

    Before, in silence, her gaze returns to Kaguya.
    To, in particular, the suit the Veruni girl wears. "..."

    Riesenlied would be perhaps the second person to have asked her, in about as nearly as many weeks. "Perhaps I might," she answers diplomatically. Can her heart become truly at ease again, though?

    You can't unring a bell. She cannot forget what she knows -- and what it implies.