In this scene, the captain's second-in-command/husband travels to one of the ship's tribes to speak with the chief about his daughter. There are several tribes, and this was the first one I played around with. They are the Jururei, a nearly-extinct Amazonian tribe. Backstory is there's some racial/sexual tension with the high schoolers, and the smaller tribes are getting to know one another and carve out their individual spaces on the ship (and for some, a shared island). There's some slightly vulgar language, but otherwise it's just a bit of a character study. I'm not posting the entire scene due to length, but this is what I'd consider the main portion involving Zinta, who is the victim of some unflattering graffiti at the school.
Fires glowed from three hearths stretched across the length of the hut. The one farthest left was where Esther had a whole little section to herself, and the one farthest right was Louis and Iemartin's area. The middle fire was a communal hearth. Log posts supported the roof and were spaced to hang hammocks between them. It was mostly a large open circle divided only by the supports, although there were a few woven screens providing privacy areas. Louis emerged from behind one of the screens on his side. In his own home, warmed by the three fires, the chief went in the traditional dress of simple grass gardão. The gardão was made of a sacred grass, twisted into cord and worn as a necklace and belt. Women had various styles of skirts made from garda grass, but men only wore a simple belt that tied to the foreskin to support the penis. Because Louis was a chief and medicine man of his people, his gardão necklace had three long braids hanging from it, the middle one reaching all the way to his solar plexus.
Zinta had been lounging on a hammock against the far wall, opposite the communal hearth. Jackson saw that she'd been reading something on her pod. Likely working on homework. She and the other women, but especially the younger ones, tended to wear western style skirts. Zinta was in a short pink denim skirt, and her mother wore a longer blue jean skirt with large pockets. They seemed to prefer denim in winter. Grass curtains hung from the women's gardão necklaces, acting as shirts. Zinta, who was a maiden, wore her grasses loose, simply knotted around the gardão. Because Iemartin was wed, her grasses were braided. Hers came to a point, like a 'V', in an echo of her husband's gardão.
Jackson suddenly noticed a small wooden shoe rack beside the door, so he removed his boots and crossed toward the central fire where Louis and Zinta waited. There were mats on the ground to conserve heat, but thicker rugs were provided near the fire for seating. Jackson shook the hand Louis offered. “Thank you for seeing me. I'm sorry to intrude like this.”
“It is always nice to see you, Colonel,” Louis said in his thick voice. “Sit, and Iemartin will provide us fallma.”
They waited until the drinks were served, a clear, fiery liquor whose origin Jackson didn't quite know. It was smooth at first, but sent a fire growing up the belly a few moments later. Fallma was always served before any business was conducted. Iemartin served Zinta a cup as well, but then she retreated back to her mother's corner of the hut where they had been working on a tapestry together.
Louis finished off his mug and set it upside down in front of his mat. Only when all three mugs were overturned before the fire did Louis turn to Jackson. Resting his arms on his knees, his face a mask, he asked, “What is this problem, Colonel Mills?”
Jackson suddenly saw Louis as a concerned father. His mask never faltered, but Jackson could suddenly, here in his home, catch a glimpse of Louis the man. “It seems that one of the students at school has vandalized a wall by carving derogatory statements about another student. The graffiti in question disparages Zinta.”
Louis stared at him intently. “You mean someone wrote something bad about Zinta?” Jackson nodded. “Well, what do they say?”
Jackson glanced across the fire at Zinta. “It's vulgar.” She raised her brows, and Louis nodded at him to continue. Jackson sighed. “They said 'Zinta is a feral cunt.'”
To his surprise, Zinta laughed. Louis frowned and spoke sharply, asking something in Jururei. A quick exchange followed, with the two of them seeming to speak over top of one another. Jackson couldn't speak the language except to say hello, but he was fairly sure that Zinta was translating what that phrase meant. It made him squirm uncomfortably, mostly because Zinta had always been very formal and polite.
Their hurried discussion ended with her laughing again, though Louis was noticeably upset. “She must defend her honor,” he said to Jackson.
“We're not sure who did this yet, and we're hoping Zinta might have an idea. I know I don't have to remind you of the warring clause.”
“Of course not,” Louis said, indignantly.
“And we certainly won't have anyone slandering another crew. Audrey is prepared to deal with this very thoroughly, I assure you.”
The chief nodded. “She is still required to defend her honor,” he said of his daughter. Zinta chuckled.
“Zinta, do you know why someone would do this?” Jackson asked her.
“Because I am a feral cunt,” she said, her white grin flashing. Jackson couldn't help but grin in response, if only because she said it with such pride. “They are intimidated, Colonel. I am a woman and I don't play their English rules.”
“Who are 'they'?”
“All of them. All of the white girls, they are threatened, and the white boys make jokes. Not all of them.” She shook her head. “They are used to some kind of school games, and I stopped playing games long ago. They don't like me because I think they're silly and vapid.”
“I'm a fast learner, Colonel. They just don't know what to do with a breed like me.”
Jackson sighed. “All right. Well, who do you think might have carved this in the men's room?”
Zinta shrugged. “I told you, I don't play those games. I ignore them, for the most part. I could probably tell you who didn't do it. I don't think Kara or Misty would have. They are friends.”
“All right.” That wasn't much help.
Zinta must have noticed his discouragement. “Don't worry, Colonel. I will not start an honor war.”
“You must do something,” Louis reminded her.
She thought about it a moment. “I guess that depends on who did it. I don't think any of the silly white girls are a threat.”
“What if it was a boy?”
“Then I will gut him.”
“What?” Jackson cried.
Zinta laughed again. “Loosen up, Colonel. You tell me who did this, and I will talk to them.”
“Audrey and I will talk to them first, but we'll definitely keep you apprised. You really don't know who might have done it?”
She shrugged again. “I don't think tribespeople would have carved into a wall. They would have fought me as this person should have.”
“Audrey is very strict with the no violence policy.”
“Not all fights are violent, Colonel. You English forget that.”
“I'm not even English,” he informed her. “And Audrey is Langrangian by birth but was raised here on Akupara.”
“It's...more subtle than saying white folk, Colonel. That is Kara's doing. Those Amish have some good ideas, if you can look past the silly ones.”
The girl apparently thought all 'white folk' were silly. This had to have been a new development since arriving on the ship. Such racism would have been flagged in the screenings. “Audrey will want to speak to you herself at some point, and I know she's going to want you to discuss this with your doctor.”
Zinta nodded. Louis leaned forward and jabbed at the ground. “I will want to speak to the Captain too. Do you know what she plans to do to the person?”
Jackson sighed. He wondered that himself. “Honestly, she will probably make an example of them.”
Louis grinned fiercely, much like his daughter. “Good.”