Oh, privacy. Hakoda didn't want to be alone with his daughter-in-law right now. Not because he wasn't incredibly fond of her, of course, but because of the news. He paced across the otherwise empty room a couple of times, absently stroking his beard.
"When did you get word?" he asked absently, for once at a loss for precisely what he should be asking. But then a few more came, phrased at an even pace, but without much pause between the end of one and the beginning of the next. "Where have they evacuated to? Is there anything we can do? Have you heard from Bato?" Bato was perfectly capable of leading the Tribe; but the tribe probably wouldn't have felt even the waves. Had a letter arrived?
That was a valid concern. Hakoda had had to hear about Aang through Suki. He grimaced at the recollection, stopped in his tracks, and turned abruptly to face Suki, but his voice was suddenly a little softer. "Is there anything I can do for you?" The poor girl was dealing with a long, exciting day; she ought at least be comfortable.
Suki could tell he was taking the news just as well as both she and Sokka had. Both had been a wreck after officially finding out. From the island they had been able to see just a bit of the smoke that day. No quake feelings for them but the smoke was still visible. They didn't get many waved either, it was amazing really.
She sighed. "Just the last week. About a day after it happened." Really it hadn't been that long ago but it felt like it had been months since the disaster. Though true Hakoda had been traveling and wasn't able to be reached until now. "Shu Jing, or most of the capitol had been really. I'm sure refugees are just about everywhere." Surprisingly they hadn't really gotten any on Kyoshi but they weren't a place people went normally.
"There is a letter from Zuko, Bato sent it here as soon as he received it from the looks of it." Suki handed over both a letter from Bato and the one from Zuko. "Of course Zuko isn't out right asking for help but I doubt he'd say no." She rubbed her forehead. "I sent some of my warriors to help however they could. I wish I could do more." Kyoshi wasn't know for providing help when it came to many things, but her warriors would good peace keepers.
She was already sitting down and shook her head. "I'm fine, or as fine as I could be after that news." Nothing much could make her feel better. She was more concerned about others at the moment. "Will your Tribe be helping them?" Or really the question was how.
"So some of the islands are safe. Good." It didn't solve the problem, but Hakoda, already deep in thought, nodded vaguely in response. The letters received more focused action. He took them quickly, but politely, and opened Bato's first, then Zuko's - which, apparently, was two separate letters rolled into one. One from the Fire Lord, one from Zuko. Begrudged family member Zuko. He frowned while he read the letters, standing silently and acknowledging Suki's words with a little nodding and a thoughtful grunt.
"Good. Disasters only ever cause chaos among evacuees," he muttered, fisting the letters with a relieved sigh. He knew - not through Suki, but from the mouth of Zuko himself - that they were alright. That in spite of the disaster, his family was okay. Even in the face of disaster, there was that. That was enough. He wished Katara had written too. "I'm sure your girls will be put to good use." In fact, he was sure that they were perfect for the job. The Kyoshi Warriors had always reminded him of a sort of... aggressive brand of pacifist, which was an oxymoron in and of itself, but... well.
He was two steps ahead though, or at least, it seemed, his actions were a couple of steps ahead of his words. Admittedly, he was a little distracted. But then, didn't he have a right to be? "Brush? Ink? Paper?" he asked, but was already heading over to a table, eyes flashing across the room as he did so. "We'll send whatever can be spared. They'll be needing goods. Food, medicine... Healers. Yeah... they'll need Healers." He trailed off, apparently speaking to himself more than Suki. He did seem to notice it though, and when he did he stopped in his tracks, snapped his head up, and frowned more deeply, dipping his head in apology. "Sorry. It's just... well. Important." Where Leader Hakoda and Father-in-Law Hakoda met, things got a little awkward.
Suki nodded. "Yeah, the further away ones were fine but most of the close ones ..." She sighed again and waited for him to finish reading the letters. Suki only received one herself but also got other updates from various people. There was just so much news, all from different sources for different reasons. She did wonder what the second letter said but wasn't going to pry.
Again she nodded. That was all she could do to help. If she hadn't been about to pop or was very much less pregnant, she would have been there to help. Though all she could do was send some of her warriors. Suki did know, or hope, that Katara and Lei were alright even before having read that part of the letter. They were in the North Pole when it did happen. But hearing from Zuko did make her feel better. "I know they will. Or Zuko knows what they'll be able to handle." That seemed to be their main specialty, helping when they were needed and keeping the peace.
There was already paper, ink, and a brush sitting out from a letter she had written earlier. She motioned to a desk. "Over there." He had seemed to notice it as she was talking. She grinned a bit noticing he was in thought about it all. Healers. That was one of the specialties the water tribe was able to spare. Suki waved a hand. "It's fine. I'm still figuring out what else Kyoshi can help with too." That was a good thing about Suki, she understood the importance of being a leader. She was almost always distracted with something related to her warriors or the island.
"Shu Jing is relatively affluent if I remember correctly." It was somewhere between a statement and a question. He frowned again, thoughtfully. "Hopefully, they'll have the means to accommodate for a short time." Of course, that didn't speak to all the people on boats, or settling down. Then, while he'd like to think that a bunch of people moving on to Shu Jing would prove to have a smooth transition and end quickly, he had a feeling that just wouldn't happen. Peoples' way of life got shifted around, things happened. Besides, how long would they all be there? By the sounds of it, the Caldera would be quite unlivable for a good, long while.
He did smile briefly when Suki confirmed his statement regarding the Kyoshi Warriors she'd dispatched. "It won't be anything glamorous. But they're perfect for the job." He had to say it out loud, and had to broaden his grin at Suki; it was like a silent I'm proud of you. He'd been impressed when he met her on the Boiling Rock, and he'd remained impressed ever since. She was a good woman, a good leader, and cultivated values he could respect in herself and her girls - her warriors.
But now wasn't the time for fawning over his daughter-in-law. She definitely deserved it, but personal matters couldn't be tended to until the more far-reaching ones had been attended. He did an about-face, located the desk with the writing supplies, and was quick to start the letter, making sure the vellum was well-stretched before dipping the brush into the ink. "The island and village are so small," me said distantly, eyes pinned on his writing, "I don't imagine you have much excess... We don't have much excess!" He tossed his free hand in a general southerly direction, indicating his tribe. "It may be that manpower is the greatest asset we can provide." This time, the 'we' indicated Suki and himself, and their respective peoples. "We always stockpile excess in the way of food in preparation for anything that might happen, but just how much can we afford to send away? And even if we send every last bit of it, how far can they stretch it?" He shrugged, placing the brush to the side and turning to face Suki again. "The good news is, jerky doesn't take up a whole lot of space, and it's very good for assuaging hunger for a while." Hey... Hakoda needed humour in his life. He winked before allowing his face to fall somber again.
"I believe you are right, I think that Touda, one of Zuko's friends, has family from there." Suki couldn't remember if Hakoda had meet him before, she'd only met him a few times herself. She then remembered the personal letter from Katara she received saying that was who they were staying with. Kyoshi was already preparing to receive any sort of refugees. Few had come in already but they were suspecting they'd receive more soon.
Suki grinned a bit. "Thanks, I know they will do well." They never did anything half of a job, they tended to exceed expectations most of the times. She nodded. It was true they were small but they had been gaining people since the war had ended years before. There had been record numbers wanting their daughters to join the Kyoshi warriors since then as well. Though it was true there wasn't to much excess at all. "They'll need it all though, healers like you said are something they tend to lack." Not that they didn't have healers but water-benders were an amazing asset to have.
Again she nodded, she didn't have to speak any response on the food since they both knew what he said was true. Suki did chuckled softly at the jerky statement. "I'm sure they'd be glad for any help they could get."
"He did mention something in... the letter..." Touda was a familiar name, but for the life of him Hakoda couldn't remember whether he'd met him or not. He used one hand to shuffle at the letters delivered to him for a moment before shrugging and giving up. Touda's name had been mentioned, he thought, as Zuko and Katara's current refuge, but there really wasn't time to go mulling over specifics. Not just yet, anyway.
"That they do." And even an intermediate waterbender studying healing seemed to lower recovery time for all manner of illness and injury exponentially in many cases. He worried about people going hungry though. Really, really worried. In a place like the South Pole, going hungry or thirsty was deadly - thus the stockrooms full of dried fish and meats, and whatever other foodstuffs they could save up in case of storms. Would the recent disaster change the tides enough to send blizzards their way? Hakoda's frown deepened as he finished off his letter, leaving the ink to dry and crossing his arms over his chest.
"The tides may make it unsafe to navigate through the Patolas, and I'm not sure I want to take that risk with precious cargo, so they'll have to sail around as it is. Do you want my men to stop on Kyoshi and pick up anything else you have to send?" He scrubbed his chin thoughtfully for a moment, then cocked his head to the side. "If word's sent ahead, we might be able to elicit additional help from Chin Village... maybe even Whale Tail Island. Chin's Earth Kingdom, but it's too far from Ba Sing Se to have received word yet." And probably too small to worry about sending ships out. As for Whale Tail, the island that had served as a Fire Nation outpost during the war had taken on at least a village's worth of people, he knew. It might even be a good place to look at settling refugees, eventually.
Suki just nodded in response to the letter. She didn't need to respond any more on the matter of where Katara and Zuko would staying. If he hadn't already, she was sure he'd meet Touda at some point. Same for the point on the benders. Enough was said. She too was worried about the food though. Since there had been time to evacuate there really wouldn't be that many injured people. Food was always a problem with any sort of disaster. She sighed.
"True, really shouldn't take any risks with this." Risks at this time were unnecessary and would just hurt helping. Though he'd know that already. Suki took a moment to think. "If we aren't that out of the way we would have items to send with you. Whatever we can spare." The island still had to figure that out some still. Hmm, Chin Village as well as Whale Tail Island, would either be able to help? "Both might be able to help I think. I'd send a letter today if we can, to see if they can send anything." If they could hear from them quickly, they'd know whether or not to send ships.
"You're not too far out. In fact, there's not that much difference between sailing west and east. And if we can pick up more cargo, all the better to come this way." Leaning on the desk, Hakoda nodded. Yep; trust Suki to get things done. On the other hand, he wondered if he should offer to make sure it got done on her behalf. "You're probably more familiar with these people than I am, but you've had a long day. If you'd prefer that I write it..." He held his hands up in a motion of surrender to indicate that he was merely offering. No harm, no foul, right?
"Either way, I'll have my men sail through here, with plenty of extra space. If they have to bring a spare ship to do have room, so be it. I'll be leaving the ships near Shu Jing for a while anyway. I imagine they'll need the space for now, and if they can escort refugees away from Shu Jing on their way back, all the better."
Suki should have know what the waterways were around the island, heck it was part of their history. She blamed the fact that she had a long day and was tired. Of course she wasn't showing that she was tired. She nodded. "Be sure to stop by here then, there will be something to take." Or someones. Possibly a few more of her older warriors were interested in going to help too. "Go a head, you are already at the desk." Nor did she want to get up to write.
Again she nodded. "Good, good. I know I heard they are running out of space so ships are helpful." Was that all that needed discussing? Well for now at least. "Probably shouldn't leave GranGran alone for too long, right?"