A Trial In Itself


huruma3_icon.gif liza_icon.gif megan_icon.gif

Scene Title A Trial In Itself
Synopsis The morning after meeting a padawan, the master tries to make more sense of it; Huruma begins the precarious work that is Salem by writing her own Obi-Wan first.
Date July 7, 2011

Bannerman's Castle: Dining Hall

The room converted into Bannerman's dining hall, although long and narrow, can accommodate up to one hundred people, but despite the amount of use that it sees, it isn't hooked up to the castle's electrical grid, which means that after dark it's lit up by gas lanterns strategically positioned on the wooden tables with bench-style seating that occupy the space. A giant hearth set into one of its walls provides the hall with additional light and warmth, as well as a place for the castle's residents to convene when it isn't in use during the hours when breakfast and dinner are being taken.

The walls themselves are bare stone with no decoration except for the four windows opposite the fireplace, and these are covered with heavy pieces of plain canvas cloth at night to prevent the light from leaking outside, where it might be visible from the shore or the air. During the day the canvas is pulled back to brighten the room and make the gas lanterns unneccessary, but on mornings and afternoons when the sky is overcast, there is very little to combat the gloom and so the fuel is burned anyway.

Even after the dinner hour wanes and the evening starts, there are stragglers in the Dining Hall; up til about the middle of the night, the halls are not totally empty. There is somehow always a span of time wherein nothing happens whatsoever, and the peep of frogs outside is able to be louder than anything on the inside. Morning begins at about five, when one or two adults will get up to start coffee or begin any number of morning routines. At around five-thirty, a few more, here and there. Most of the place don't subscribe to early rising, however, and so there is a lull until people wake up, wash faces, and go off to late breakfast.

The boat back into the castle takes advantage of this many times in its travels, parking and unloading in the wee hours, and giving anyone on it at least some time to get settled in before anyone really begins to wake. Huruma got in with this morning's ferry, and finds herself skulking around the dining hall until these hours where people are up for coffee, or washing. The night was cool, and while the day will become warm and humid, the coolness stays stuck in the castle walls. Her night was an interesting one, and she did not seem to get much sleep; meeting and giving a first lesson to someone like Salem was a trial in itself, really. At a point, though, she had to catch a few hours of sleep before leaving for the boat back. She has time to catch a council member up after breakfast about it.

But, breakfast has not begun yet, and so she is sitting alone at one of the tables, a white legal pad in front of her, and a pen in her fingers. Huruma is stuck in the midst of her writing, which may or may not be a letter; she also has a closed notebook under it, the sides warped as if with script on at least half of the pages.

Megan is one of the early risers usually. Old habits die very very hard — unless she's up until way late, 5:30 usually sees her awake. The redhead pads into the dining hall heading for the coffee pot to either make some or get some, depending on who beat her to it. Huruma's presence in the room is noted and she grins slightly. "Morning. Working?"

You can sleep when you're dead! Or really, really tired. Liza is neither, which means she's one of the few already up. Somehow, she manages to be somewhat chipper despite the morning hour, but that's most likely because she's already had a cup of coffee. Ever the bearer of energy, she's doing such quite literally this morning, bringing hot caffinated beverages to those already awake. Megan manages to sneak past her while she delivers coffee to one of the few early risers, and she wrinkles her nose as she's denied the pouring of yet another cup. She'll still try and be useful anyways. Following Megan's gaze, she notes Huruma and stops short of her, far enough away so as not to intrude on the woman's writing. "Coffee?" She asks with a smile.

Huruma's mug, pale yellow and chipped on one side, sits off, away from the paper. If the swallow left in there was hot once, it is not anymore. She looks up at Megan as she comes past, eyes distilled from looking down at the notepad. A stain of white and lines obcscures the light for a second or two, and she tilts her shoulders in a shrug. "Sort of."

"Sure." Huruma catches Liza's gaze before she even asks the question, and knows that the girl is about to talk- the coffee pot clue gives her an answer for her, almost immediately. "I had a restless night on a sofabed." Huruma wrinkles her own nose a moment, lips drawing. "Needless t'say, they are not kind t'tall people." Legs in jeans and torso in tank top both seem a little too rigidly set for sitting quietly at a table.

Megan brings her own cup of hot caffeine to the table where Huruma is and lets Liza go about filling Huruma's mug. "Do I want to know what sorta means?" she asks with a smile of the fierce warrior woman. She sends a grin to Liza. "Morning to you too." She seems awake and alert enough, though she's not overly cheerful about it.

"That's unfortunate," Liza agrees about the sofabed, pouring the hot liquid into the mug before moving to put the pot back where it belonged, safely out of the way. She drags her own mostly-still-warm mug with her as she moves to sit down, glancing between the two. "If you're busy I can find something else to do," she offers, trying hard not to peek at the legal pad too much.

"I was told about a child at one of our houses." Huruma begins, peering at the stream of dark brown into her cup, before she picks it up. "It is fine, Liza." And even if she can see the writing that Huruma is working on, she won't be able to read it; it seems to be written in something that isn't English script. "They found him hiding out underneath of it. Turned out that he was an empath. He drove his father t'suicide, an'his mother t'leave him behind." Already a sad story, hopefully it doesn't ruin any mornings.

"So they came to me. I went out to meet him, last night." She finally takes a drink of the coffee, mouth pursing around the rim of the cup, and her eyes finally noticing that she has drawn others to her with zero personal effort. When did that start happening, exactly?

"He is a good boy, though guiltridden."

"Aw Christ," Megan breathes out. "No doubt." She watches Huruma worriedly. "Is he going to be okay? Can you help him?" Not just with his power, but … perhaps also with the sadness the boy must be drowning in.

"So he doesn't have anyone," Liza muses, frowning a little bit. "I can imagine that would make him feel pretty guilty. It's a little sad. I think if anyone can help him, though, it's you." She brightens a little bit. "He's got a chance to be okay now. It'll be hard, but… I'm sure he'll do okay."

"I can help him learn control- what he does, he does unintentionally." Which somehow makes it that much worse. "He thinks of himself as an evil little boy, now- that he can do no good by anyone. I cannot change what he thinks of himself, but I can make sure that he knows what he is doing. I suspect his healing will come later. For now, he is going t'live with th'other kids."

Huruma writes a sentence more, glancing between the paper and the two women. "They keep him away from th'others, b'cause of what he does. When he learns the necessary tricks, he will be able t'be with them without influencing them."

Megan nods. "The most important thing is obviously control. Can't have him influencing other kids to suicide." She flinches at the very idea. "That said, perhaps also helping him understand the good part of what he can do will help too. And you're definitely the right person, Huruma." She smiles slightly. She can see the other woman quite easily in the role of caretaker, using compassion for the child with a good dose of practicality.

Kids killing themselves? That isn't quite something that Liza likes the thought of. She shifts uncomfortably in her seat for a moment, staring into her coffee. "I'm sure he'll learn quickly. Being around the other kids will help him a lot, I'm sure, and help him realize that he's not evil, he just needs control… poor kid."

"It feels strange. I've picked up several people in this line of work that need help like this." Now, Huruma is apparently a Tutor figure. "I may not be th'right person. The only person." She lifts her brows at Megan in particular. Her hand moves down the page to sign the letter, and tear it from the pad. She begins a second one, after putting it underneath. This one is in English, at least, so Liza in any nosiness she may have, will note it being written out to a 'Brother Joseph'.

"If he does not learn as quickly as I would like him to, I may ask that he be reassigned t'stay with me somewhere. But he is a smart boy. Nervous, yet clever enough. He had lived on his own for months before they found him."

"I'd say play it by ear," Megan agrees, sipping her coffee. "He's managed on his own a long while, so his ability to control exists. He just needs a more unconscious hold on it."

The petite blonde isn't trying to be nosy, and she diverts her gaze soon after noting the header of the paper. Liza looks back towards Huruma. "If you're the only person, it means you're the right person. If no one else can help, you're the best option. He's got to be a pretty capable kid to deal on his own without anyone else for months… that's admirable. I think it might take some time to undo the damage that sort of thing might put on a person, but I think once he trusts a little more it shouldn't be too hard to move on."

"I used to hate children." Huruma does not mask her sneering about this, either. "Now they are not so bad." What a world, right? She turns her head to Liza, eyes half-downcast. "He trusts me. I asked him to do as much, and he said that he did. He did not feel insincere about it. Only wary. Not insincere." The dark woman takes a longer drink and sets her mug down, giving Liza a second glance when she sees the girl's attention pry away from the paper. She smirks.

"Writing letters. One to my family, th' other to th'man that taught me. I think that I may need some guidance of my own."

Megan smiles faintly. Huruma's sneering kind of amuses her — because for all her annoyance, Huruma seems good with them. She moves to stand. "If you need any help, let me know, okay? If there's anything I can do, I will." She drops a hand on Huruma's shoulder and pats it briefly on her way out.

"I think it just depends on the right kids. Sometimes it just takes some time to understand them and then you might change your mind. And I guess you did," Liza points out, though she nods in regards to trust. "Well, if he trusts you, I think that's the most important thing. That's a step in the right direction." She sips her coffee, although she almost spits it out when Huruma remarks on her snooping. "Oh, I mean, it's not that I'm trying to pry or anything. I was just curious."

"You may have known him, from when you worked with th'Company. I only know that there was an incident, little more than that. It was after Ben left, and b'fore he came back." Huruma pauses her pen hand, thinking on how to begin. After a few moments, she writes out a flowing 'I hope this letter finds you well.'

"He was much more kind than I think I will be, with Salem. But I was older, angrier. He had to be kinder. I do not have the luxury, quite yet."

"Sometimes there needs to be someone a little less kind. Sometimes there needs to be someone firm," Liza says, eyes scanning her coffee. "I should leave you to write your letter, I don't want to be too much of a distraction and I know I can be pretty distracting at times."

"Not an entirely unwelcome one." Huruma is okay enough to admit that. "I will be around later on." An open invitation, also. "I should be done with this by breakfast, I hope." If she isn't, she's probably going to end up sitting there in the way anyhow. Hopefully without getting toasty buttered crumbs all over her notebooks. "See you, Liza."

"Good luck with your letter. I hope you end up getting the advice you need…" The blonde gets to her feet, puttering to go grab the coffee pot and refill Huruma's mug, unbidden, before she starts to move away. "I'll come find you later."

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