Aurora had scavenged some clothes that would suit to be her swim wear. Damn it was unfit. But she was in no mood for it. She stood in the spot waiting to hear Shaun. Not that she was interested in therapy but she want to finish this as soon as possible. Then she want to swim all alone. She had to clear herself off. She stood there in the water with her unfit swimwear with a grim face.
"Jesse, you don't really need this but by God do you need a bath, get in here too as everyone else is." Shaun says, seeing that Jesse seems hesitant to follow instructions, getting into the water wearing only his boxers.
When Jesse finished cleaning he striped off his shirt and just dunked in with the cargo shorts he was wearing. He had a little muscle but his ribs were very apparent. Even a good hunter/raider like him had a hard time. He swam to a position to make a circle like Shaun said earlier.
"Once we are all in, I will call two of you foreward at a time, they will stand either side of me, while I'm between them. I will proceed to ask them questions and help break down and remove the hatred of the two people through understanding each other. The reason im here is to stop arguments and direct talking to a person I'm trying to help them forgive." Shaun explains. "This is an old world practice called Their Repee."
"I understand your doubts Ethan, but don't take that tone with somebody whos doing you good, you think I didn't notice your change in attitude this morning?" Shaun pointed out to him.
"Come on you two we don't have all day."He said to Shisa who seemed to refuse eye contact with Aurora.
Aurora did not know Shaun was finished with Ethan so fast. "Are you calling me there?" She asked him. She hate to see that witch again. She had seen her face then and had looked into her eyes. She hated her. She did not know how she will control herself.
Shaun had supported Shisa on their way back to the Cistern. What was this about going into the water? Changing into their "skivies". Shaun explained Their Reepee. No. This is just going to turn into everyone yelling at her again. Though, what choice did she have.
Shisa did not change clothes, or take off her mask, but she slipped into the water, far from the rest of the group. Shisa stayed silent, leaning up against a wall of the pool. This is more of an inter ventilator, they're all going to corner her and make her change.
"And now we begin. Let me start by stating the obvious, we people are gathered here under a common hatred, the Nobility or its members. This hatred unifies most of us. Shisa is alone, as she holds No ill will to the Nobility but fights with us for her own personal reasons. She is here, because some of us want her here, and Jesse allows her. Shisa, Ethan. Step towards me." Shaun announced. Now to try and do a difficult mediating job with no experience or practise.
"Tell me about your youth Ethan, your home culture." Shaun asked, if he could get these people to understand each others backgrounds and cultures, he could draw similarities and comparisons, making these wildly different people seem less so to each other.
Ethan could not help but give out a derisive snicker at this request, but soon recovered and started to speak.
"My 'youth' consisted of learning from my father; learning to repair things, learning how to make things, and eventually learning to smith. And then there was reading and writing, of course." Ethan told the old man, "That was about all there was to it. My village was a fairly simple place. Everyone had family and a task to accomplish, and each family passed on their knowledge to their children. We had farmers, hunters, guards. Sometimes people had two jobs, like the hunters also the guards too. We mostly used simple weapons, swords and bows; simple to make and maintain, and not nearly as loud and dangerous as guns, even if not as powerful."
"Is this what you're looking for, Shaun?" Ethan asked wryly, "Should I go on?"
Shisa stepped towards Ethan and Shaun, looking away from both of them. This wasn't Ethan, and it was her fault.
In her gazing away, her eyes locked onto Jesse. Or, more accurately, a man next to Jesse. Most people had faint auras, but spirits and gods had stronger ones. The "man" next to Jesse had a deep dark black aura, like a black hole. Angelic but twisted beauty, a figure of death. She had to ask Jesse about him later.
Shisa turned her attention back to Ethan and his snark
This was definitely a trick question. But, she had to be truthful to get over all this.
"I was raised communally by the Bone Speakers. I was rather adept at rituals and herbalism, so that is what I was raised to do. From a young age children are encouraged to watch raids and help out, but take their first human life when they are 16. I was taught to hunt by the Grand Archer, some Falconry by the Feather Keeper. We don't uses names, only titles. Each child is encouraged to try any role they wish, to find their true calling. And through the use of our rituals and sacred plants, I found my calling. Divination, tarot reading, bone runes, haruspicy."
Shisa kept it to spare details, there was alot more to her childhood, but she didn't want to be attacked again for her lifestyle. Cannibalism was a big spiritual thing in the Bone Speakers, as was haruspicy (divination using organs of a corpse). But she wouldn't say all of that now.
"Thank you Shisa, that may be enough for now." Shaun said, he was now turning to Ethan.
"You both now know you have similarities you didn't realise before, you were both somewhat students to father figures. Your talents shone amoung your peers. Both your tribes or families had their own duties."
"Shisa was sheltered and somewhat manipulated by her tribe. This led to her beliving that cannibalism is a normal practice. However it should be stated she is primarily ritualistic, as where we say what she did to Ryder. She did that for, in her eyes, Ryders benefit. Te ensure she was remembered by somebody, like how you, Ethan, remember and still have passion for mechanics. It's your coping method and how you remember your people."
Shaun explained, gestturng back and forth between the two of them as he went.
"This morning Ethan, when you ate the Stew and discovered it was human rather than act abhorrent to the idea, you seemed calm if not placate. You have been changed by Shisa, or at least you think you have. To me, to Jesse, to Aurora, even Shisa...you're still the tech loving Ethan we met a few days ago. You're no different now than you were then, but you have forgotten your other links to your people." Shaun said, holding eye contact with the young man, Shaun really hoped he would realise what this means and come back from his dark, warped state.
"Coping method? My skills are needed and useful, Shaun. They're a benefit to all of us, that is why I use them." Ethan says, "I remember my village by hunting down those who butchered my family like they were animals. That is all that matters now. I will do whatever it takes to make that happen. Shisa even showed me that, in fact, with her nasty trick with the stew."
"My family is gone. Everything they were is gone. Even I'm not one of them anymore, thanks to your stew." Ethan looks over at Shisa, hollowness in his eyes, and he smiled at her, "And that's fine. I don't want to be one of them anymore. What they were, what they believed, how they lived; it held them back. Seeing that noble settlement, seeing how they were rebuilding, seeing how the Lords live; it's so much more than what my village ever was. We struggled all the time, fending off cannibals and negotiating with raiders, all so we could keep our miserable lives and that shitty patch of land we called home. We never expanded, never explored, and only left our village for hunting and salvage. Now I know there's so much more, a far better way to live."
"Cannibalism? It's just a method of survival. You showed me that, Shisa. I don't want to starve to death just because my people were too short sighted to understand that cannibalism is just survival, and taught me to be just as short tighted." Ethan tells her, "It's still disgusting, not something I'd do unless I had to, but I'm not afraid of it anymore."
"And I have changed, Shaun. Changed for the better. Before, all I thought about was killing nobles. Now, my mind is clear, I know what I want when all this is over." Ethan said, looking back to the old man, with a grin spreading on his face, "But first, I will avenge my family, and make sure Lord Todd dies screaming."
Hearing these words disappointed Shaun, he had to try and convince him of how he still keeps his people's memory alive, and how the Nobilitys methods didnt justify their goals in Denver.
"Your family is dead, but they are far from gone Ethan. Your father's lessons hold, I saw that when we were trapped in the Obsevatory, it was the look of innocent wonder in your eye." Shaun says, then gestured to a book on the ground by the pool. "I sketched the machine for you to look at better, knowing we wouldn't have much time there..."
"Is it really worth doing what was done to you, and many others for what you saw? Putting more small settlements under your boot so you may live in grandeur? Ask yourself, would your father want that? Were you not happy to be with your family, in you shitty patch of land working on machines with your father?"
Shauns eyes darkened a moment, his eyes looking at his own reflection in the water. "No one should be putting others through such atrocities for military power and security, it isn't fulfilling, take it from a man with first hand experience. It's not a better way to live"
"You can kill Todd and another will rise in his place, for better or for worse, they would still be nobility, and still commit atrocities against folk like your people. They were very moral people, choosing to starve instead of cannibalize. I agree, it's better now you have decided to accept it as a way of surviving in this cruel world. We now know why you treated Shisa with disdain. You feared ending up like her, a monster, which due to your fear, thought she is."