Date: May 24, 2010
Mark and Laurel go in search of Cody and Dee.
Night settles in on the jungles of the Amazon and for once, the rain seems to have let up for a time. Not that long ago though, so the sound of water dripping fills the word around them, droplets still falling on them from the full canopy above them. Mark pushes through some of the canopy, with his flashlight moving over the greenery.
This isn't exactly the smartest move going out at night, but they waited at the camp as long as they could, not to mention they have a compass!
Only one other, walks a little behind him, Laurel. Everyone else, got to stay behind to take care of the feverish Jo. "Should have gone back sooner, but she swore to me swore they would be not far behind us." He's worried about both of the women, it shows. Mark glances back over his shoulder at the photographer giving her a small lopsided smile. "How you holding up back there?"
"I'm ready to go home and take a shower," Laurel answers honestly, moving along as carefully as she can. There's mud in places that she doesn't want mud to be, and her hair hangs around her face all stringy like. It's not attractive, the jungle. She knew they would be roughing it a little, but there was supposed to be facilities! "I lived in Africa for a while with nothing but rocks and animals, so this isn't that much different— except more bugs." And bugs that don't get the message to stay away from her.
Makes her wish they'd dragged Rudyard along as well…
"Dee can take care of herself, even if she gets lost, but— I'm worried too." Her best friend is out in the jungle with a walking furball.
The way back to the others has been long. Yossarian's been leading the way, though there's nothing a meerkat can really do for them other than be there. It makes Dee feel better, though, knowing she's got one of her very best friends with her. If only Laurel were—
No. It's a good thing Laurel wasn't with them. Two being saved by that net of vines was a fluke, but three? The liklihood of that happening would be infinitely small.
The walk has been quiet. Dee hasn't complained, other than the occasional grunt or exclamation of pain. Some time ago, she started using Cody as additional support, keeping the stick under her other arm. It's painful, but at least it allows her to walk. The injury is sapping all her energy, though, including the warmth she should be feeling from the jungle as the rain lets up. Still shivering, though, she hasn't yet requested to shed the fur coat that Cody spend her energy to give. And so, as they walk through the forest with her rather luxurious coat of body hair frizzing up in the humidity, she listens for any sign of their other traveling companions.
"We're getting close," she says quietly. "The animals… Hear them, close by." Her eyes narrow, and a moment later, she can hear them, too. Smiling, Dee allows the tension to go from her shoulders. "Mark. And Laurel."
Guilty, that's what Cody is… Had it not been for her, Dee would be just fine, and the two of them wouldn't have gotten lost in the jungle. Not that Yossarian isn't a big help, but he's a meerkat. "I'm sorry, again," for the thousandth time. The bald woman is dripping from all the rain and it's really wearing on her last nerve.
It was bad enough that they had to backtrack to get the rifle, just in case. Then there was the problem of keeping from falling into the same trap twice… Cody was extra careful to edge around the puddle this time.
It's blessed news when Dee makes her little announcement, "Really? Mark?" She pulls away from Dee a little, only to remember that the woman needs her support. "Shit, sorry…" Pause. "MARK!! OVER HERE!!"
"A shower would be nice." Mark murmurs softly, grabbing a branch, giving it a push, listening to it give a satisfying crack! "Sorry. I mean..you know… sorry you ended up out here like this. This was not in my plans." He gives her a small smile, before turning his attention to stepping over a tall root. Shifting a rifle found at the lab, more squarely on his back, easing it off of his throbbing shoulder, Mark ducks under another branch.
When Cody starts shouting Mark about knocks himself senseless on a branch. Crack "Son of a…." He rubs at the back of his head straightening. "You hear that?" He ask Laurel, tilting his head to listen if that faint yell of his name was real, or a result of about braining himself.
"Don't worry about it. Things like this happen, planes crash. Too bad you didn't pack a Sawyer on our plane, though," Laurel says, making a blantant reference to a plane crash show. Jo looks mysteriously like Kate, but alas, no Sawyer. It would have made the vacation a little better with more guys. As she's sure Mark would agree, in this case.
Did she hear that? Why yes she did! As soon as she hears the voice, she stops walking and looks around. "Dee!!! Dee is that you! We're over here!"
And Dee will say (Probably for the nine-hundredth time, at least) "I'm the one that led us up there." It's true. Granted, without Cody, she probably would have made it back down just fine on her own, but why lay the blame on someone else because of your own misery?
All in the past. Dee laughs out loud when she hears Mark and Laurel calling. "Thank God. Laur!!" She's not really afraid of animals hearing them and devouring them. At least that's one thing they don't have to worry about while they're here. As Cody pulls away, Dee supports herself with the stick. "I'm okay, I'm okay. C'mon. Cor, I thought we'd never … "We're over 'ere!" Points for repeating what Laurel just said, but, hey, it helps them pinpoint where the others are, so it doesn't hurt.
Limping along a little more quickly now, a… Mini-yeti pushes through some rain-sodden branches and into view!
Mini yeti and her completely hairless counterpart, Cody doesn't even have eyelashes or eyebrows. She's got a muddy rifle slung across her back along with her sopping pack. As Dee pushes the last of the branches away one of the large leaves slaps Cody in the face. "Careful…"
When she sees Mark, she can't help but release the injured woman and sprint forward. "Oh my god, I'm sorry Yossarian, I didn't have enough faith in your guiding skills." Yes, she's talking to a meerkat… even worse, she's comparing him to Poco.
"Oh good. It didn't knock myself wonky then." Mark comments blandly, hand pressing to the back of his head, checking it for blood, before calling out. "Heyyyy " ah!" Mark stumbles back a few steps as the flashlight moves over the hairy form of Dee. "What is that?!" Yeti all the way down here?!
Then he spots Cody sprinting towards them and he seems to relax. "Oh thank god." He moves forwards then, closing the distance between them. "What happened?" He asks as he grabs Cody into a hug. "We thought you were right behind us."
"AAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH BIG FOOT!" Laurel yelps, falling back onto her butt in the dirt, only to oof as she realizes that the yeti happens to be Dee and not a gorilla or something. "What happened!" She yelps, getting back to her feet and mouth open wide as she looks at her fuzzy friend. "We were worried and we— that is you, right, Dee? You look like— I don't even know! Like something from a…"
Oh hey. She starts to reach into the case against her chest to pull out her camera. Someone better stop her before she has a priceless picture of her furry best friend!
Furry best friend with a badly injured knee. Still, it's so good to hear Laurel's voice that she's still smiling, even as the camera comes out and she's raising a hairy arm to shield herself from the photography. "Yeh, I got cold," is the explanation given, as blue eyes look out from under her arm.
"Put tha' bloody thing away, Laurel. You're gonna let th'whole world know? Christ. That's th'last thing we need after th'Protocols." It's almost light-hearted, but it's still a warning. Hopefully it's enough, because the arm Dee's using to protect her face reaches out for support from the nearest tree.
Nodding back in the direction they came from - right now, all that's in the path is Yossarian eating a huge centipede - Dee says, "We fell off a cliff, back there." Well, Cody pulled her off a cliff, but that's beside the point. "I need to sit somewhere so I can splint this a little better before it starts healin' wrong."
Notably, in the light from Mark's flashlight, she looks remarkably like Chewbacca.
Almost the instant that Mark gathers Cody into the hug, she's pulling back and giving him a grim smile. "Yeah, I was falling… I grabbed Dee instead of something solid. Panicked…" Lowering her head, she looks over at Dee and takes a deep breath. "She'll need help with her knee, we should get back to the camp."
As Laurel starts digging for her camera, Cody reaches up to grab the rifle and holds it with both of her hands. Her eyes narrow somewhat and she reaches over to Dee, taking her hand and almost as instantly as they touch, the hair begins to shed away. Until the woman is left just as bald as she is.
Letting his arms loosen around her, Mark lifts a brow at Cody's explanation of what happened. "Well… at least you both are okay." He looks genuinely relieved, letting his arms drop away completely. "No more wandering off while we're traveling, okay?" Mark glances at Cody first then Dee.
"Let me help there, Dee." He steps around Cody, to moves towards the former yeti. "We'll get you back in no time." Mark glances down at Dee's legs, before looking at her. "How bad is it?" He asks seriously.
"I wouldn't share the picture. I have a special portfolio for that!" Laurel says with a thump of her foot, before she puts it away. Her best friend knows about her secret secret pictures of abilities in use, and the ones with that strange symbol that kept popping up in things here and there. It's not pictures she'd share with everyone, or— really anyone at all. But it would be fun to immortialize hairface—
And now BALD ALIEN BABY DEE. Or— not.
"How hurt are you? I wish my forcefields were mobile. I could carry you and Jo around."
Dee knows Laurel wouldn't show the picture. But it's the principle of having it at all! SUCCESSFULLY THWARTED!
At first, it's almost a relief as the hair falls away. Then, she realises it's trapped under her clothes like straw bristles, and it's already starting to itch. Gritting her teeth, she fights not to say anything, but every time she moves, clumps of dark hair fall from her shirt and shorts to the ground, with the rest of the pile. As well, the chill sets in again, and she starts to shiver.
The knee is at least double its normal size. "I can walk," she says first, reaching out a hand to steady herself on Mark's shoulder. She's not going to complain or otherwise slow the whole group down. They don't have enough resources to carry someone else around, and Jo needs the help far more. A black and blue pattern is quickly spreading from the lateral side. "I just need to splint it or… something. It should be okay.
The reality is, she should be resting it. And as soon as she's off of it for a few hours and resting - like she promised - it's going to be just that much harder to walk. As well, she laments - running a hand over her head - "And now I've no hair at all and I just want to sleep for a fuckin' year. It was already injured from the crash, I think this mighta… eff'd it up th'rest o' the way."
"I'll just… let you lead the way." Mark and Laurel know where they're going, unfortunately Cody's the one that's caused the hold up in the first place. Her hand drops away from the animal tamer to regain a hold of her rifle. She slinks in behind all the rest of them, wavering between ten and twenty feet.
The wear and tear is beginning to show on her as well. She's still realtively unharmed aside from a few large bruises and a few superficial scrapes from the fall but she's weary. Tired of the rain, tired of the endless walking. Tired of all the green. "How far away from camp are we?"
"You look like you have a basketball for a knee." Mark comments, exaggerating it a little… okay a lot. "I don't think walking on it is a good idea." He grabs the strap of the rifle and pulls it up off his head, pawning it off on Laurel along with the flashlight.
Then before Dee can protest or anything Mark is literally sweeping her off her feet, ignoring the burn in his shoulder, at this rate, he'll never heal that shoulder. At least he make sure to keep it where it isn't taking as much of the weight as his good arm, but he still feels something give. Uh oh.
"Camp isn't too far… at least an hours walk. I…." Oh crap… He moves towards Laurel, shifting his grip on the Animal caller. "Breast pocket is the compass. Follow a north… north east heading."
Flashlight and rifle handed over, Laurel juggles for a moment before she puts the camera away for good and reacies to carry it as much as she can, gaping in surprise at Dee getting princess carried by the boss. "Oh, don't worry. I know how to aim a little. I aim cameras a lot." It's sort of the same, isn't it? All about vantage and direction and centering. She figures pointing a gun at something would be similar. She'll protect them!
"You need to be okay, Dee. You're the closest thing we have to a doctor!" And she's an animal doctors. Humans are just hairless apes, anyway!
"It's not that bad," Dee says wearily, glancing down at it. Maybe softball-sized. Not the normal softballs, but those big ones they use for kids who are blind or something. Yeah, it's about like that. And painful.
"Hey— Hey!" is the only protest Mark will get before Dee realizes just how damned good it feels to be off her feet. In fact, she can honestly say that being carried has never felt so good. Ducking her head to her chest, she allows her eyes to droop. "Just this once, aye?" she mutters with a sigh.
Yossarian climbs up onto Cody's shoulder, snuggling next to her ear. The tiny creature hardly weighs anything at all… And it even seems like he's there for Cody's comfort, not his own. Sticking his nose in her ear, he almost seems to be saying 'no matter what, I still love you.'
"I'll be okay, Laur. Just… Need…" Before she even finishes the statement, she's sound asleep.
The rifle is once again gripped in one hand as Cody reaches up with her other to scratch the tiny meerkat on the head. She, for one, can't wait to find enough to eat to be able to drift off to sleep in a water tight cocoon. Absently, she lifts the little furball down from her shoulder and cuddles it close to her chest, nuzzling it with her cheek. "Hold still little guy and I promise I won't bite…"
Not that she would anyway, with his little rescue, the meerkat has proven himself a valuable member of the team. Not that she ever doubted him in the first place. This time, she doesn't let the others out of her sight. This time, she's a little more careful about what she steps in. This time.
And then they get back to camp and Cody discovers that she's stepped in jaguar poop.