A Funeral for Mint
Funeral services are held for the murdered dibbun Mint, and Aibne's emotions make him do something he may regret...
Participants: Aibne, Zephyr & Zocalo, Raina, Rorri
~~Camp Willow: The Graveyard~~
It is a fitting afternoon for a funeral. The clouds are close and gray, a slight breeze rustles the leaves. It isn't raining yet and the temperature is lower than normal. The camp's little graveyard is packed full of otters, all of whom are here to pay tribute to the little kit that was only briefly one of them. Zephyr stands at the head of a small hole that has been dug in the ground next to which a little wooden box rests - closed. No one is going to be allowed to see the body. A newcomer, Zocalo stands at the fringe of the crowd, awkwardly watching the proceedings. He knows he needs to be here but it's still tragic and he wishes he didn't have to be.
The body, or... the lack thereof. Rorri is huddled under a poncho, just another face in the crowd. His face is drawn from a blend of negative emotions: two parts sorrow, one part anger, and one part shame. He had been part of the rescue effort, after all, and failed to save poor little Mint. Her refreshing personality will be missed.
Aibne had left for a while, he knows what’s in the box and had since before hand. But he was hoping he was wrong and a note from a camp runner just confirmed his fears that he was right. He has changed his look after a couple day rage to hunt any vermin in his sight, a sting of teeth and claws hang from his neck and he has some chainmail, and a new blade of some sort, where he got it he isn't saying and in fact has avoided any one at camp since he walked back last night, only now does he come out of his cabin.
Raina stands off to one side, careful not to tread on any of the other graves or bump against any of the markers, her big rectangular instrument case clutched to her chest tightly. She looks around, feeling the mix of emotions in the crowd. She's upset, sure, but she's left feeling a little awkward, not knowing how to feel, as she didn't know the girl personally, had only seen her a few times. However, if any of the whispered tales she hears are true, the grisly death of the child is enough to rouse anger in even a stranger.
"Friends." Zephyr only barely raises her voice over the quiet murmurings of the crowd. It is very somber and to get any louder would just be inappropriate. "We are gathered here today in sad circumstances. One of us, a kit named Mint, has seen her life brought mercilessly to an end." For what it's worth, Zephyr has never overseen a funeral in her entire life and therefore has absolutely zero idea what to say. She's thought a little bit about it but, really, what does one say at the funeral of a child? "I do not know exactly what to say in this sort of situation but I think we can all agree that this was a tragic event and one that anyone here would have prevented had we been able." She pauses and looks down at the small coffin. "While we cannot go back and prevent what happened, we can do our best to prevent it from ever happening again in the future."
Picking at the wood of her case with a claw anxiously, the younger otter stares groundward, eyes coming out of focus slightly. Raina’s still listening; in fact, the skipper's words are echoing through her introspective thoughts. She can't cry or be mad and feel like it's genuine, so she just nibbles her lip a little, trying to stay out of the way of the more aggravated mourners.
Zephyr ignores her fidgeting brother who she keeps catching out of the corner of her eye. It's annoying. "But today we remember Mint. As we should. She will forever be in our hearts." Zephyr glances around and, much to her relief finds Aibne. "Aibne, is there anything you would like to say?"
Aibne takes a deep calming breath and then wisely shakes his head, not so good thoughts are going through his head right now and it seems he rather not speak, least too much, "Not...not much...Skipper." He controls the tone of his voice, a hint of something cold and depression is heard the little he does speak.
Rorri fidgets as well, but has the decency to hide it under his poncho and the cover of the crowd. Funerals are always a bit awkward.
Raina looks over at Aibne, eyes focusing one something other than her toes or the dirt as she looks him up and down. He looks.. dangerous, she thinks. Her eyes dart to Zephyr, then back to Aibne. One of those 'at least he's on our side' moments.
"Very well." Zephyr bows her head dramatically and then looks back up, her gaze sweeping over the gathered crowd. "We cannot let this happen again. Mint's death cannot be forgotten nor its cause abandoned. We /will/ find who did this and we /will/ have our justice. /Mint/ will have justice." On the outskirts, Zocalo raises an eyebrow and shakes his head. His sister has definitely got a dramatic side. Then again, he has no idea what went on here so maybe he should take this more seriously. "Who is with me?" Zephyr's last question is a risk. If the crowd hasn't warmed to her speech then the reaction will fall flat. Nevertheless, she throws it out there to see what happens.
Rorri waits to see how the crowd will react, not wanting to be the first to call out their desire for blood/willingness to put themselves in harm's way.
Aibne narrows his eyes and makes a fist at each of his sides,"We...we hunt down the vermin, we kill the vermin....." He tries his best to control his anger, and seems to barely be able to do so,"In fact kill ALL vermin we see, that’s the only way to stop this from happening again!! And if they beg for mercy, well I don't plan to show it..they didn't show my sister mercy!!!" A fearsome look clouds his eyes, he looks ready to leap into danger at the drop of a hat.
Raina's lips purse anxiously as she looks around, expecting someone else to say something and then- Aibne's declaration jars her from her thoughts. "I-Isn't that a little, y'know, extreme?" she ask quietly. If Aibne can't hear her from his side of the crowd, at least Zephyr or one of the others near the front might.
Rorri watches the rage-induced rant spill out of Aibne, shrinking back a little. That sounds almost like something he would expect a vermin hordeleader to say. Justice is one thing, but indiscriminate slaughter is another. "I'm wid ye, chief," he finally manages, putting his paw up in the air, palm open. "For justice. Not revenge."
Zephyr holds up her paws for silence which immediately falls. "Aye." She isn't about to disagree with a bereaved otter. No action has been taken at this time and things are still under control. "But we will talk about it more later. For now..." She nods her head at four previously selected otters who gingerly grab the ends of ropes that were placed under the coffin in order to lower it into the hole. As the coffin sinks into the earth Zephyr does some sort of improvised blessing. "May the sun always be shining and your path easy. Wherever you go, let your friends be many and your troubles few. Thank you, Mint, for the blessing you were while you were here with us. We will not forget you. Rest in peace, friend." When she finishes she drops a sprig of mint into the coffin. It seemed fitting. Also, there were no flowers readily available.
Aibne folds his arms over his chest, anger still shows as he takes a couple deep breaths to calm himself and prevent him from saying anything rude to anyone in the camp, he looks at the ground as the coffin is lowered.
Alright, good, the funeral is over. Rorri nods as everything settles down into the dirt, glad at least for the air of finality and closure.
The body will be buried later. For now the ceremony is over and otters begin to drift away in clumps of two or three, each of them sadly murmuring, a few of them commenting on the mint that the Skipper dropped onto the coffin. It is almost time for the otters involved to start prepping dinner and life returns to somewhat normal for most in the camp. Zocalo waits until most have left and then sidles over to his sister who is still standing at the head of the grave. "Nice ceremony. You're quite the drama queen." He smirks. "Oh, shove it." Zephyr rolls her eyes and walks away from him towards the main grounds. The otters assigned to bury the coffin are standing nearby waiting for everyone to leave. If Aibne wants to spend more time there he is more than welcome.
Aibne eyes still look cold, dark, dangerous and full of cold hate as he unfolds his arms and walks over to the grave and looks down, fists are made at his sides and in fact he draws some blood on his paws as he mutters something online the lines of death to all vermin or something like that. He then drops to his knees and starts sobbing loudly.
Cooking time? Cooking time. Rorri manages to clear the depressing thoughts and feelings from his mind with the repeated forced imagination of frying up big pans of tiny shrimp. Shrimpy shrimp, one might even say. He rubs his paws together eagerly at the prospect, tromping along behind Zephyr. "Everyone is gonna feel a hundred per cent better after they get some'a my grub inside 'em, Skip," he assures her with a weak attempt at a smile.
"I'm sure they will, Rorri." She smiles sadly, genuinely mourning for the small life that she couldn't save. What's worse is that they might have been able to do something about it if action had been taken sooner. "I'll be along in a little bit." She turns back to the grave, watching from the edge of the clearing.
Raina hangs around a somewhat unnaturally long time, attributing her sloth to waiting for the crowd to go down. She watches Aibne, able to feel his rage and grief. Nervously, she steps over. "If.." she starts, flushing at her own awkwardness, "If there's anything I, or, y'know, the camp, can do, you know we'll try.. Right?" she says, sounding wholly unconvinced.
Aibne stands and goes to shove Raina away, "Back off" He growls, yes he growled and he walks over to the skipper,"You...YOU!" He yells, he controlled it till now and he may regret this action but he makes a fist and goes to punch the skipper in the jaw, "YOU FAILED HER!!!"
Zephyr easily and quickly ducks the paw and reaches out to grab her attacker around the neck and hold him away from her. Zocalo, while fairly laid back, moves quickly across the cemetery towards his sister and Aibne. They're all otters so no weapons are drawn but he does manage to grab a large branch as he goes. Like a baseball bat he swings it as hard as he can at the back of Aibne's head.
Rorri glances over at Zephyr as she passes, not wanting the Skipper to get away from him just yet, and then suddenly Aibne is charging her, taking a swing. "Not /my/ Skipper," he growls, springing at the bigger otter, intending to tackle him, shove him away, anything to stop him from hurting her, and likely pushing Aibne right into that swinging branch.
"Aah!" Raina yelps as she's shoved backwards roughly, the stronger otter easily able to knock her flat on her tail, her instrument case going tumbling away as she holds the back of her head. "W-w-what was that-" she winces as the branch collides with Aibne's head with a crack.
Aibne gasps as he is fully surprised at being grabed by the neck, he mutters a couple choice choaked words and then the limb hits him in the back of the head and his eyes roll to the back of his head, seems he is the one out cold instead of the other way around.
"Take him back to his cabin." Zephyr releases her hold on his neck and Aibne falls down limp. She wipes her paws off on her pants and Zocalo drops the branch. The twins exchange a glance and then quickly look away. Some otters gingerly recover the unconscious otter's body and carry him away. Someone should probably check his head but maybe later. "So...dinner? Or late lunch?" Her voice is shaky but she steps away from Zocalo's proffered hug and holds her head up. "Maybe just some tea." And then she's gone down the path, leaving the rest of the bunch to figure out what to do next.
"Or we could jus' toss him in th' grave too," Rorri mutters, glaring darkly at Aibne's unconscious form as it's carted away. He watches the skipper take off, probably for longer than he should, before realizing Raina's still on the ground. "Oh." He hurries over, offering her a paw to help her up. "Are you alright down there?"
The slight ottermaid takes Rorri's offered paw thankfully, getting to her feet, the back and sides of her dress dirty from her fall, which she wipes at sheepishly. "Y-yeah, i'm alright, thank you for the help." she smiles, then her face seems to drop into a look of fear and she darts over to her case, kneeling over it and working at the rope straps hurriedly, murmuring to herself soothingly.
Zocalo stands and observes the chaos going on around him. This group is full of strangers and his sibling has disappeared down a path. Unsure exactly what to do, he follows his sister.
"Sorry about all that," Rorri apologizes, wiping his own paw off on his poncho. Aibne was wet and kind of... dirty. "I hope your... your thing is okay."
She doesn't respond at first, cracking open the case to reveal a makeshift violin, a square body to reduce the level of skill needed, and worn strings. "Yes!" she hisses softly, stroking the fingerboard gingerly. "Oh, um.." she glances up, looking not unlike a thief caught digging into someone's chest of valuables. "It's alright, wasn't your fault or anything and... it's fine, thankfully."
Birds chirp romantically in the trees.
The true love between Raina and her violin is palpable, and has indeed set the birds singing. In the rain. Rorri shoves his paws into his trouser pockets beneath the safety of his poncho, turning back towards the main grounds. "Well, I'm cookin' up a big batch'a shrimp f'r dinner tonight," he mentions casually over his shoulder. "So don' miss that."
Glancing skywards, Raina wipes a few droplets from the worn wood and shuts the case, making sure the straw padding is in place and the ropes secure the two halves tightly together. "That sounds nice, I'll, well I'll see about stopping by." she says, the rain wetting her ears.
"Sounds good!" And then Rorri is off, eager to get to the cooking and forget about the unfortunate events of the day. Funerals. Why is the word 'fun' even in there?