Log:The Ancients Were Weird
It is the evening of the return from the war Party. The initial unloading and stowing the bounty as well as the searching of War Kids for pocketed goodies has taken place. Xavier is in their hut trying very hard not to panic and taking minute measurements of the current batch of test plants to fill the time. They are wearing their purple gift tunic over their mushroom coloured loose trousers and doing more pacing than useful measuring. They are sober and keep glancing towards the bed under which their 'sample' box is currently stashed.
Faustina knocks on the doorway of the hut. "Xavier? Are you here?" Faustina is a bit dusty and there are some smudges of unidentified substances on her pants and boots, but looks unharmed, if a tiny bit tired. She clearly came here before going to bathe or change.
Xavier flings open the hut door and flings themselves into a hug, "Fausty! you're okay! I heard there weere wounded! I was really scared!"
Faustina blinks, but hugs Xavier awkwardly back. "I am well. I was uninjured. Kitten is alive, though they were bitten by one of the snakes. They are with the Healing Hands and should recover. Anchor Man was also bitten and had hit his head earlier when we fought off the raiders, but I believe he should also recover. It was very low casualty, given the number of snakes and the value of what we found. I am surprised Timmy has not already arrived to tell you." There's a small pause. "Rebar and the other person riding in his chariot died while helping save the wagon from a crash."
Xavier has just started to let go, smiling their relief when Faustina says 'bitten.' they actually cling, "Kitten is bitten? Are you sure they're gong to be all right? Is Timmy okay? Is Kisses?" This is more physical contact than they've had with their sibling all at once since they were six. "I am sorry about Kitten's friends, but I think... I mean, Rebar was having a really rough time of it. This may be... kinder."
Timmy was reluctant to let anything involving the glassware happen without her watching over it, coughing sporadically from the dust and she keeps begging people to be careful.
Faustina nods. "I believe Kitten had rigged his car to explode on command. It was very impressive, if not a tactic I would generally endorse in most instances." She pauses, clearly calculating something. "I am not sure of any future events, but I'd place it as extremely likely that Kitten will recover to their previous functional level. I can try to calculate specific odds if you would like. Timmy has been coughing, but was well last I saw her." Pause. "I think she may have stayed with the glassware. She was extremely reluctant to let anyone else handle it. Or the labeled chemicals. We had to take some pens away from KissThissThen. We will distribute some to him for work, but we were trying to get an accurate count before distribution." She's not pushing him away, but is still clearly not used to physical contact.
Xavier lets go, "there was glass ware? How much? It's so hard to get good equipment....Wait, chemicals? How much? What type? There are so many things I can't make myself.... Oh wow, come in. Tell me everything. what sort of ruins were they? Sit! Sit! Are you sure Kitten's really not too badly hurt?" They are ushering her in. The bed is still here, but there is aa rolled pad up against the wall, wide enough to raise questions as to how both will fit in here at once. They take a breath and look sad, "It's her lungs. They don't think she's sick, sick, but she is always ill and it's been a lot of...excitement and exposure to... things, which is apt to make it worse. If she were, um, more robust? Odds are she'd be Professor after me. Instead we're hoping to train up one of the students."
Faustina pats Xavier's shoulder before letting go. It sort of has the feeling of 'I have seen other people make this gesture in reassurance'. "It seemed to be some sort of educational facility. Timmy almost hyperventilated when she saw the glassware. There were also weights and scales and a number of largely undamaged books which had been locked in metal drawers which said they were 'Educator editions'. There were also medical supplies and cooking equipment and a large number of chairs and desks and tables. We're not entirely sure of the purpose of everything."
she shrugs. "It was a treasure trove we are never likely to see again. It seemed to have been buried under sand since shortly after whatever caused the old world to fall. There were also art supplies and instruments in cases and some more damaged books and all sorts of things we haven't identified, yet."
Xavier smiles at Faustina as if that was exactly the right ting, so her observations are likely correct as to shoulder pats. Then their eyes are going wide, "Educational facility? What sort of glassware? How much? Was it... was it a lab? Please tell me is was a lab. And books? Undamaged? Ones we don't... Oh! Oh wow!" They sit down heavily on the bed, too excited for their legs to properly support them. They hug themselves tight, "Fausty..." They look up, "Thank you. Thank you for coming back safe and bringing them all home to me. Especially you coming back safe. I... The idea you might not really freaked me ou.
Faustina nods, frowning again. "There were a few rooms which seemed to be labs. Others had stages or seemed to be for teaching or some other kind of presentation. Some we did not manage to identify. There were a number of shelves worth of the glassware. Timmy was particularly excited by a large flask with marks up the side and what seemed to be a sort of glass coil with straight sections at the ends." She comes over and sits on the bed next to him. "Xavier. I will always do what I can to return safe. Mark was there protecting us all. And Locke. And the War Kids did what they could to help."
Xavier's eyes go wide, "Can we keep them? For our lab? Did Timmy claim her share yet? Books or glassware.... It'd have to be books, but might we also get those two glass pieces?" They nod and look at her with those odd innocent brown eyes, "I know you'll always try. I also... know what you job is. I know that you don't take risks lightly but you will take them in the line of duty. I'm going to worry.... Between you and Kitten, and Kisses is bad at, um, remembering to be careful when he's excied I suspect. Were the... snakes very dangerous? I know the wastes are infested with them. The idea of them...."
Faustina says with the air of someone who has had to give this particularly speech far, far too many times in the last few days. "We are currently working on Counting and valuing all of the goods collected. Once that is done, I and the Counters and possibly the other Coppers will decide which items are Sanctuary's cut and how those items are going to be distributed. The remaining ten percent will be divided among those who were on the expedition as personal property. We may raise that to fifteen percent of the total, given the large number of people involved so that each personal portion is more reasonable, though given just how much we brought back that may not be necessary. Those who wish particular items as either their personal claim or for their Sanctuary-approved projects are to let me know. I will consider this your request for those items," Here the 'recorded' message ends and she continues, "But as they are likely to be counted in Sanctuary's portion and allocated to the Chemists, I think you will have them for the lab. Unless some of the other Etherites would like to make a bid for them for their projects. In which case we will likely leave it to the Professors or the Green Man to decide how they should be allocated."
Xavier makes a happy little squeak and manages not to hug her. They nod, "I think really only bio or people like the dyers would need them even close to as much as we do.... You must be tied of talking about it and I know you will be fair." They give her a bright smile, "Did you... see any wonders? Was it, um, fun?"
Faustina is, it should be noted, rarely upset about Xavier hugging her, just confused by it and not sure what to do with it or how to respond properly. She nods back. "There were a number of people attempting to claim things as we found them. And hiding things in bags or pockets or other places. The scavengers who were there had to be reassured that the would not be getting less than usual. It was trying. The bio people may get some of the items. Most are smaller than I believe the dyers normally use." She pauses. "I would not describe it as fun, but it was... stunning in the sheer quantity of things in the building. Tile and plastic and metal. So many chairs. Hundreds of chairs." She adds, "We may want to see if we can manage to keep and preserve the site. There is some sort of natural water source there. Though it may have been contaminated. Those tests will have to be run. The snakes were aggressive and not a kind we normally see. I believe at least one or two live ones were captured, though."
Xavier listens, mouth slightly open and utterly intent, "It sounds..." They look down, "I am too much a cowards to go, but I... I wish I could have seen it with you.... I wonder why so many chairs. and the instruments? Measuring or musical? I wonder why they were there. The ancients were strange."
Faustina considers the question. "Both. There were many implements for measuring things both small and large, but I'd meant the musical variety which were in hard cases which seem to have largely preserved them." She frowns. "It seemed like they were teaching people things. Many different things. All at the same place. I believe the chairs were for the students. There wree larger desks and nicer chairs for one person at the front of the rooms, often with boards on which things had been written behind them. Maybe some of the books we found will explain what was happening there."
Xavier gazes into the distance,trying to picture it all, "I have trouble imagining places that aren't here. I wonder if they raised their savvy and their fortunates in the same place and trained them side by side."
Faustina nods. "It is possible. Or that they divided people differently." She sighs. "We may not ever learn, but perhaps something we gathered will explain."
Xavier gives her a quick hug again, "I wish we had... so much more space and so many more people to study what you found. I wish there were five of me to study everything. I'm just... Wow am I glad so few did and so much was found. This could change everything....About kisses, he can be a little hyperfoced on his work. Is he in trouble about the pens?"
Faustina blinks a few times. "No. He is not in trouble. No one is in trouble. Except possibly one scavenger. It was just a minor annoyance. And he was helpful in other ways." She nods. "It really is... so much. I am... hopeful?" She nods once as if confirming that word. "Hopeful that it will aid all our survival."
Xavier smiles at her, "Hopeful. Hopeful is good. I... get really scared sometimes by how fragile this all is. Hopeful is good. Abundance is good."
Faustina frowns a little. "I am not used to it." She considers more. "Still. I will agree it is good."
Xavier says, “Maybe you will? Maybe this time the hop will prove out and cinder's kids will get a better world.”
Faustina nods slowly. "Perhaps." She sighs. "I will have to redo all my calculations." It's unclear whether this is a great suffering or a great treat.
Xavier knows their sister and asks with amusement, "Is that a trial or a treat, Sis? It's hard to tell sometimes."
Faustina considers. "Both. It is so much extra time when I could be doing something else, but I enjoy it." She frowns a little more. "Perhaps not enjoy, but I find it comforting."
Xavier says, “I feel that way about inventory of chemicals, and taking measurements and working with plants and doing some of the more routine work. There is something... really satisfying about things being orderly and doing something useful and precise.”
Faustina almost smiles. "Exactly. It... feels right. Making things neat."
Xavier nods agreement, "Making things neat. Turninga complex formula ointo one thing or two. It feels like... everything is in place on the inside too." Even when i isn't,
Faustina nods and takes a deep breath. "I should go work on doing a full assessment of all that we brought back. I may be busy for the next few days, but I wanted to make sure you knew we were back and that you were told where Kitten was and what had happened."
Xavier jumps up, "Oh! Thank you for taking time to tell me about Kitten before I heard, um, rumors and most especially for letting me see you really are all right."
Faustina stands and tentatively hugs her brother, then nods and heads back out.
Xavier is startled by the hug, but pleased as they hug her back. They understand better than anyone, how odd hugs are for her. "Have a satisfying time, sis."