Date: May 17, 2010
The unknown location on the map holds a surprise for the group and brings about many questions.
“In the jungle… the miiiighty jungle… the lion sleep toooonight!”
“Poco… Shut it! And shut up that dog too.”
“In the jungle… the quiet jungle… the lion sleep toooonight!.”
“Poco I'm warning you…”
“Ah weemba wah ah weemba…”
“Ow! Hey, that wasn't very nice. Those water bottles hurt when they are full you know.” The scraggly man, stumbles through a clump of brush, rubbing at the back of his head. “You sir… are a very mean person.” Poco is oblivious to just how off key his singing truly is, especially with how loud he's singing. He personally thinks he sings very good…
Following behind him, the tall form of Mark, steps out of the jungle, leaning down to scoop up the water bottle with his good arm, he had chucked at Poco's head, to get the torture to stop. “Only when my ears are threatening to bleed from bad vocals. Not unlike nails on a blackboard.”
“You are just a hater… Like that Simon Cowell, gringo.”
Glancing over his shoulder at the others following him, Mark can't help but smirk a little as he spots Dee. Idea! “Yeah well… I probably saved your life from being eaten or something.” Head twisting back around, brows lifting at the skinny man who blanches a little.
Leaning a little to look back the larger man to the woman in question, he whispers to the explorer, “Do you think she would?” It's taken Poco a lot to relax some around all these strange people with special powers. He has been very sheltered from such things, so it's a shock. Chances are if he didn't need to stick with the group to survive, he would have headed for the hills by now.
Patting a boney shoulder, Mark stops and pulls out his map and GPS again. They started traveling just as the sun started hinting at rising. Though it hasn't exactly rained yet, the distant rumble of thunder and the scent of ozone hints to the fact it is on it's way. Turning back to face the others, map in hand, Mark raises his voice so that they can all hear him, all except Cody who hung back to bring up the rear of the group. “Getting close to… whatever the hell it is. Some sort of facility.”
With a parrot sent off with a message, hopefully someone will find them before they all starve or get water poisoning or get eaten by gian tarantulas. Hey, Dee can't control the animals when they're nowhere near her! She's honestly surprised they've managed to make it this far without anyone being mauled.
Smirking as Mark looks at her, she looks up into the trees, where Bashir and Bagheera are, somewhere, keeping watch. At the moment, she can't see them, but she can hear them. "Even now I'm in communication with a pack of 'ungry velociraptors. I wouldn't start that racket again, 'r I'll just 'ave t'make sure they're well-fed b'fore we continue on."
Approaching Mark - as Yossarian appears from under her ponytail and onto her shoulder - Dee takes a look at the map. "Bet we prolly coulda waited," she mutters half-heartedly. She doesn't actually mean it, because the longer they wait in the middle of the jungle, the worse some of their injuries are going to get. No matter how much care they take, infection will set in sooner or later. "'opefully there's some supplies in there."
Jamie comes following the others out into the sunlight, and plops down on the ground as Mark stops to check his map. She's got pretty strong legs for her age, so the first while she was fine, but she still is nowhere near an adult, and the heat doesn't help. The girl sits catching her breath for a few moments, watching the adults, before asking, "What if this place is some spot where they don't speak English?"
"Don't even joke about that, Dee," Laurel says with a whiny sound to her voice, as she carries the camera held up and flicks a few pictures of the jungle. No video right now, no one wants to have to listen to Poco, even in low quality video and sound. This isn't at all what she imagined her job would be when this started— a chair strapped to her back for a backpack, some supplies they'd gathered in them, to be carried, along with her camera case. It's the camera case that's the only reason she insisted on having one of the makeship backpacks.
"Whatever the facility is, I hope they have food, or water. Do you think they'd have a shower or something." Oh man, kid has a point. And not only that… "We're mostly women… what if they try to… take advantage of us or something." She looks at Mark. Pause. Looks at Dee. "The cats will protect us if they try to take advantage, right?" Cause apparently she doesn't think Mark is that tough.
"Well, I don't know about you Laurel, but I'm not in a mood to be taken advantage of that way. And this soil is just right…nice and soft…" Alex is…well, she's hanging back a little, on account of her relatively short stature. When the group stops, however, she gets the chance to catch up. Her face is still a little smeared with dirt, maybe some dried blood that a splash of river water didn't get (or that she was unwilling to splash without sanitizing, and why waste good drinking water?), and her hair is tied back into a ponytail with one of those wonderful bits of wire that she found! "If they don't speak English, I doubt they speak French or anything…those are the only ones I know."
Poco stares at Dee for a long moment, even backing up some as she approaches, him and Mark. "Don't you dare! You crazy animal talking lady." The chihuahua in his bag, growls a little. Protect the master!
"Stop it, Poco. She's not gonna hurt you. Safer with her then me… that's for sure." Mark eyes the little man, before glancing at Dee. "I couldn't risk sitting there. It's been a week since we crashed. You heard Cody, no box." Which kind of bothers the man.
Shifting the map to one side, so he can look at the little girl in their group and then the others, Mark smirks a little. "Actually… that's what Poco here is for. Good for something at least."
The protest from Poco is ignored, for looking at Laurel. "Thanks, for the vote of confidence there." Mark can't help but grin though. Of course, only Cody has seen him in action. "Come on… Look at what all you girls can do… and tell me men can touch you." Brows lift at them in a questioning manner, an amused smirk on his lips. "Hell… I'm just a plain human, I'm probably safer with you all."
A check to his GPS, eyes scanning the thick foliage. He motions off into the thick brush. "That way." Tucking things away again, he takes a moment to shift his backpack, teeth gritting as he eases the pressure on his injured shoulder. With a heavy sigh, Mark motions the group forward. "Daylights burning."
Dee just smirks at Poco, pointing a finger in his direction in a gesture that says, 'Be good, or else.' Not that she'd do anything unless she had to; she certainly feels safe at the moment. Still, she can't help remembering how, even with all her abilities - and Jasmine's - they still got captured, and one of them died.
"Yeah, better get somewhere," she says, looking up again. It's better to be somewhere than nowhere when night falls. Their last place was a crash site, but at least they had defenses set up.
As she's looking up, she stumbles on her bad leg, grabbing onto Laurel for support with a grunt of pain. "Remind me t'never be in a crashin' plane ever again, aye?"
Jamie looks just a little confused at the talk of taking advantage, but she gets enough to say, "Nobody can touch me if I don't want them to, unless they have those stupid guns that zap you." She shivers a little at that memory. Making a face, she stands up slowly and starts to follow along again.
Laurel shivers a little when 'what they can do' keeps getting mentioned. They're all human too! She doesn't say anything else, though, just keeps clicking pictures with a flash to make sure they come out when everything is over. The canopy makes picture-taking a little difficult at times. "I don't think anyone wants to be in a crashing plane— we can take a boat back once we find out way to civilization. New York has a ton of ports, so we could probably find one going there!" It might be like— a cargo one, but after this, even a cargo ship would seem like heaven.
"I'm sorry but, even if you all fly first class on a luxury airline, I'm not flying back with you. I was hesitant to fly before, but now? I don't think you'll ever get me back in a plane. Sorry. I'm done with flying. Noooo way I'm going back in a plane again." To emphasize, Alexandra claps her hands and makes like she's dusting them off of the whole matter. Anyone who was looking at her in the plane even before the crash could confirm that she was a ball of nerves.
"Yeah… I'm sure we can find some sort of alternate transportation, even if we have to drive all the way back." Sounds like Mark is about as thrilled about flying as everyone else, especially by the dark tone.
Poco shakes his head and comments. "I will not have any problema getting on a plane." The chihuahua seems to huff an agreement, even as it shivers with them thin mans bag. "You need to learn to use that word… " He looks t Dee and points at the meerkat. "It is in that movie… El Rey Leon… ah.. The Lion King…"
"Poco… if you break into song… I will have Dee sic something on you." Grouses Mark as as he pushes aside another branch.
"Oh come on! You need to loosen up… Hakuna Mata—"
"Hijo de puta!!! See if I translate anything for you, senior."
Mark continues on with a please smile on his lips as Poco gets the branch in the face. It'll sting, maybe a small bruise, but not much more then that. Of course, it's fades as he can see something ahead. He pauses suddenly on the trail ahead. The shogun is swung off his shoulders, and he motions them all to stop. "We're here." He glances back at them for a moment, before turning back to what he sees beyond.
Carefully, Mark steps out of the bushes, a hand lifts to brush a branch out of his face. "Whoa…" As he sees the scope of what they are facing, that one word escapes him. Glancing back he calls. "It's alright." He tone is soft with wonder. "If there is anyone here, I'd be surprised."
As they step out they are faced with a scene of… well… destruction. It looks like there once was a good sized complex. It's odd to look at, it looks like someone dropped several large red cargo containers into the middle of the Amazon. All set on Pylons for the flood seasons, solar panels for power and popouts for added space. It looks almost self sufficient.
Or… they were. It's like the jungle decided to reclaim the area as it's own. Thick tree branches wind around and even through the containers, one completely crushed like a coke can in the thick woven lengths of wood. One container nearly standing on end where a tree has grown up under it, branches wrapping around it keeping it in place.
One one of the cargo containers has escaped the destruction, but even it is over grown with thick ropes of vine plants. The strangest thing… they look rather modern… no more then a few years old.
There is a low whistle from Mark, as he slowly walks to one of the containers that has been crushed in the middle. Eyes squinting, he reaches up and grabs at the thick foliage clinging too it. Looping his shot gun over his shoulder, he tugs at the vines, ignoring the burn in his shoulder.
The tugging works and slowly a sign is revealed.
Lane Industries: Pharmaceutical Labs.
"Look, you're in one plane crash n' now yer worried about all of 'em crashin'? I gotta agree with Poco on this one. The chances o' that happenin' again are slim t'none, especially if it's not on a pile o' shit junker like the one we left back there." She jerks her thumb back in the direction they came from. "An' with an 'alfway competant pilot n' maybe a stewardess 'wat doesn't 'av a little yappy dog as a companion, we'd be all right."
This is Dee's angry face.
She trudges past Poco, despite the slight limp, in order to catch up with Mark. She has no shotgun, but the two jaguars are already climbing out of the trees, just in case.
"What the hell…" Dee wonders to herself, eyes narrowing at the destruction before her. It's impossible to even fathom how something like this could happen. Maybe over the course of centuries, and even then, it wouldn't look this bad. "Well, it's gotta be old," she says, taking a step toward it, even when she knows it's not. The paint looks too new, not chipped enough to indicate age from the constant amazon rain. Being someone with an ability herself, she has to wonder…
"Y'don't think there's anyone there, but people s'prise you. Lemme send somethin' in there t'see, just in case?" It'd be suicide to go in blindly, especially with those eerie plants having utterly crushed the complex. Jesus.
Dee looks back toward Laurel, giving her a half nod. "You'll wanna take pictures of this, mate," she says grimly, as she glances at what Mark is doing. Lane Industries means little to her; Pharmaceutical means a whole lot more. "Well, if you're gonna research drugs, the rainforest's the place ta do it."
Jamie follows Mark and Dee forward out of the jungle and into the odd facility. "Wow, this place is weird," she comments, looking around. In fact, she doesn't even wait to see what Mark uncovers, she's quickly walking ahead, already looking for a way into one of the containers.
"You know they say the tropical rainforests are home to tons of undiscovered medicinal compounds. Chemotherapy drugs, painkillers, all sorts of things. Maybe they were just out here researching that sort of stuff?" Alex sounds like she's trying to convince herself more than anyone else in the group. The state of affairs is suspicious, however. The juxtaposition of newish-looking modular housing equipment with advanced forest regrowth lends an eery feel to this partial jungle clearing — like, it feels a little like civilization, but only just.
"Son of a Bitch…" Mark whispers out softly, eyes on the sign. The sign means a lot to the explorer. "Even in the Amazon I can't get away from it…" His eyes move down the length of the container, he backs up slowly.
"What?" He asks, finally realizing people are talking to him. "Um… no…. I don't remember this being even proposed." And that kind of bothers Mark, he tends to know about stuff like this. "At least… dad never mentioned it." He adds for the rest of the group that might not know. "When I'm not doing this I work for the family business.. Lane Industries." A sheepish look is given the others. "Mark Scotts is only a traveling name."
A hand it waves to Dee, to go head and send a search party inside. "Have it checked out. I want to see if we can get into a part of it and look around." Jaw tightening, Mark looks exceedingly unhappy about what they just found. "One thing I learned recently, whatever my dad does… isn't always what it seems."
Poco is already trying to look through various windows and stuff, dropping his bag on the ground, he grabs clinging branches and uses it to get to the window. "Whoa… I think I see something in there." He glances back at everyone. "All kinds of stuff all over. Lots of glass… so be careful."
While he's busy, Poco's chihuahua slips out of the back and starts searching around, making little huffing noises.
As the final stragglers finally come into the clearing, Cody lets off a low whistle. Her blue eyes flit over the site before she takes a few steps further to join Mark. Slinging her rifle over her shoulder, she makes her way toward what could be a window, though there's little room to squeeze through.
Looking around, she turns her body to hide it from the rest of the traveling companions and from one arm, sprouts a magnificent bunch of sharp quills from her forearm. Very slowly, she begins to cuts through the smaller of the vines, wincing each time one of the thick hairs breaks off. It takes a lot of effort and in the end, there's a few rivulets of blood dripping down her arm and it is bare of the 3" razors.
Managing to make a hole just big enough, she pulls away some more of the growth and begins to crawl through the window.
There's no visible signs that Dee's sent anything in there to look around. It's almost like the normal movement of animals in the trees. However, there are now a few birds and a couple monkeys in there, scoping the place out, looking for any signs of trouble or help. Animals are kind of notorious for seeing 'help' as something other than what people need, though.
As they're looking around inside, Dee takes a few steps forward. "Mark… Lane," Dee says. And yet, he didn't know anything about this place. That makes the sign mean a little something more. "Crazy coincidence, eh? We just 'appen t'crash near this place here, an' it's got yer name on it." There's a beat, then, "I'm sick of crazy coincidences. Wouldn't be surprised if someone crashed that plane on purpose."
Hey, even cheery people can be pessimistic at times!
She calls to Jamie, "Be careful — " And is about to say more when her eyes go wide, and her hands cover her mouth. "Jesus Christ, it was a fucking bloodbath in there!" she exclaims.
Jamie has found another opening. Way too small to fit her, in this form, but she's starting to transform (in full view of the others, even Poco) even as she calls back to Dee, "I will!" She stops and pulls back at Dee's exclamation, though, blinking as she makes her way back to the woman, once again fully human. "Don't think I wanna see that," she comments softly.
"Don't… even joke about that." Mark says in dead seriousness to Dee. "And it's actually Marcus Lane the third." His tone flat, as he surveys the wreckage not moving to investigate, yet.
The exclamation, however has him moving for one of the doors sitting ajar. "Jamie… you stay there." Mark says in agreement to the little girl. His hand goes to the door and gives it a jerk open, only to get hit by the sickly sweet smell of rotting corpses. A hand goes to cover his nose and he wrinkles his nose. "What the hell…?"
Cody as she crawls in, is graced with the appearance of a badly decomposing body, slumped over a desk, the back of the individual is decorated with arrow shafts plumed with bright colored feathers. Beyond the white coated form, vines and thick branches lace through the open space. It'll take time, but a person can move through it.
Something went on here, nothing good by the looks of it.
"What's the plan here boss? Are we all going on in? Only a few? Only you with guns and vicious flesh-eating animal pals?" For what they're worth, Alex pats the pants pocket where those smooth stones are kept tucked away, the idea being to use them as projectiles as a last resort. "But…it's suspicious, don't you think? A bloodbath? New lodgings, but overgrown? Lane Industries secret drug research locale? This is not adding up."
"Uhm… everyone stay out!" Cody yells from the inside. Heedless to her own advice, she butts the rifle against her shoulder and points it ahead of her in true soldier form. Slowly, she picks her way toward the body, even going to far as to pull it by the arrows back to see what he or she was working on at the time of his or her death.
The papers scattered under the body are scooped up with the same hand she used to pull the not quite zombie back and then folded in a hurry and placed in one of her side pockets. Then she's holding the rifle up again and shuffling through the vines and debris. She doesn't leave the room she's in, not just yet. First things first? She's looking for a first aid kit and some medical supplies.
Dee might be staying out, but the animals are already in. And judging by the way they're looking around, Dee has some control over them as they go through the broken laboratory. From the outside, it looks as if she's staring off into space. In reality, she's just listening to what the animals are telling her.
«Sharp stuff hurts my feet.»
«Good perch for perching.»
«scared here death scared scared death»
Et. cetera. Each creature has its own voice, with some being more helpful than others. "I can't keep 'em lookin' at one thing," she says, narrowing her eyes. "They don't like it in there 'cuz it smells like death. Sometimes I can see… Bright colours, but I don't know what they're seeing." Because the animals don't know what they're seeing. The parrots seem to be interested in the feathers on the arrow shafts, and it's only because they're looking at them that Dee even knows about the colours inside.
Approaching, though staying outside, Dee peers through a window.
Jamie stays well back from the crates now, finding a spot to sit on the ground, and for once not objecting in the least at being told to stay behind. Hugging her knees to her chest, she says, "Maybe the colours are computer screens that are still on? Or maps? Something that'll help us?" She sounds hopeful.
"Going up," Alex comments under her breath when she finally gets the nerves to peek inside herself. Rather than try to climb up the plant life growing on the sides to get up to the height of the window, she makes herself a little platform of earth. With little effort, she lifts up to peek inside one of the windows. "Shit…" she says, trying to knock out some shards of broken glass from the window pane with the heel of her hand.
"I don't know…" Mark murmurs from behind his hand, backing up a few steps to let fresh air in. "This… whole thing is crazy." He says in exasperation, a hand waved at the complex. "Completely and utterly insane." He slaps a hand down on the thick length of tree. "This isn't Ents… that's for damn sure."
He looks up the thick trunk with a frown, he glances at some of this team members. "I think our mystery just got deeper, ladies." He moves finally to yank the metal door open the rest of the way to look through the door, a body sprawled out on the floor, more arrow shafts sticking out of it's back. "These… " He reaches down and jerks one out of a body and steps back holding it up. "…look like natives… but this…" He jerks a thumb at the trees looming above them. "…doesn't seem natural."
Dee's words grab Marks attention. "Go ahead, Dee, and let them leave, no reason to make them stay there… I don't think we'll find anyone alive."
The papers that Cody finds, are mostly print outs of graphs and other such nonsense. Nothing damning. So far it just looks like a standard lab. A standard issue first aid kit with the basics, is attached to the wall close to where the tree crunches the container.
Poco seems content to just let them look inside. The tall thin man moves to drop next to Jamie. "If it is alright with you, I think I'll just stay here with the nina." Digging through his stuff he pulls out a bag of jerky and offers some to the little girl.
The kit is pretty much torn off the wall and she scuttles over to the window to toss it to Alex, "Take this, give it to the doc." Medical supplies? Gold, better than gold. Then she's off again to join Mark. As he jerks one of the arrows out of the body, she wrinkles her nose in distaste and scowls. "You think that maybe… I dunno… they're working with the plants or something?"
Picking her way through, she glances up to him, "Mark, you want me to go ahead? Just in case?" The woman begins sprouting long braided whips from her head. When it's finally finished, the long dreadlocks wind themselves into a nicely gathered knot at the nape of her neck.
"Yeah… I… Yeah." Dee pauses, and lets the animals filter out of the complex. Though some of them stay behind, namely scavengers, the vast majority hurry to get out of there, back to the fresh smells of the rainforest.
Dee can't talk to trees the way she can talk to animals, but… Would it be possible? "Maybe someone did this on purpose," she says. "Not ents, but someone who can control trees." It's a logical conclusion, considering what she, Cody, and the rest can do. "Why th'arrows, though?"
Though she's getting a little more curious, she listens to Cody's directive to stay outside. "Oi, you want us t'find a place ta set up camp?" she asks. The animals didn't see anyone around, so she's not afraid to speak a little louder. Of course, they might have missed someone… "Y'all right in there? Need backup?"
Jamie comments to Dee, "More like someone who could do that went nuts. Sorta like the way the woman at the warehouse you rescued me and Trent from went nuts, and everything started flying around." She smiles as she looks up to Poco and takes the a piece of the offered jerky, "Thanks. And thanks for not being scared of me 'cause I can turn into water." She pops it in her mouth, and starts to chew, which means she's quieting again. She'll probably be quiet a while, now.
For what it's worth, Alexandra just continues to peek inside through the window, looking at the bodies, the carnage inside. "I wonder what sort of research they were doing here to warrant this? I know industrial espionage is bad, but not this bad. Must've been one hell of a something!" Her stomach turns a little at the sight, so it's maybe a good thing that she hasn't had much of anything to eat lately.
Eying the way the branches curl and weave around each other, Mark frowns slightly. "It… would not surprise me anymore. If I saw this before I knew what I know… I'd think this was supernatural or something." He sounds a touch amused.
"It's a good question, Alex." Mark murmurs, eyeing the body and then beyond. "This one looks like the living quarters." He points the the bunks lining the walls. "Might be able to find some salvageable stuff in there."
He gives Cody a sidelong glance. "I really hope they were not doing what I think here." His words are low, only heard by those close to the pair. "If this was an escaped special…." He trails off and moves to step into the storage container, only to stop. He huffs out a breath and steps back again, swaying slightly on his feet.
"I — ah — think Dee has a good idea." He turns glances to Cody, before glancing at the rest of the group. "Lets set up camp. Cody…" He looks back at her again. "Go and open up what you can of the complex. We're going to let it air out overnight before we step in there. I'm sure after a day of walking we could all use the rest." Turning slightly to look over his shoulder, his brows furrow slightly. "I don't know what all chemicals and all are in there. I'd feel safer if we give it some time."
Nodding to Mark, Cody butts the rifle to her shoulder again and steps through to the living quarters. "I'd suggest somewhere inside the clearing… just on the outskirts of it. As for the salvageable, we need to find a radio or phone. Something we can use to communicate to the outside world."
Very carefully, she tiptoes and winds around the thick growth of branches. Every once in a while, she pauses for a moment, letting her hair travel just ahead of her to pull away some of the branches at the windows to shed a little light on the situation. "Since everyone is dead we're going to have to scavenge what we can. We need clean socks, labcoats will make good bandages."
Dee backs away from the lab. "Stay safe in there, Cody," she calls as she heads toward the treeline. Yossarian makes a very brief appearance, blearily peeking out of Dee's pack, before diving right back in. Why walk when you can be carried?
Well, at least they got somewhere. Not eactly a paradise resort, but there's probably something in there that can make the stay more comfortable. "I'll be lookin' at everyone's injuries, so strip if y'need ta. Not like I 'aven't seen it before." She's carrying a good deal of their remaining medical supplies, and now she has the ones that Cody found in the tree-destroyed lab. Well. Assuming there's much of anything in there, of course. Dee has to look through it herself still. And some medical supplies do expire, or become unusable if they get wet.
Finished peeking in through the window, Alex lets herself down from that little earth stepladder, and makes herself useful in making camp. One fire pit, coming up! It takes just a moment to get a nice, deep, earthen fire pit setup at the edge (?) of the clearing where the rest of the gear can be setup and stowed. Want a cave to hide out in? She can do that too!
"We'll deal with all that in the morning Cody." Mark states with a nod, "For now rest." Rest sounds really good to him. He thumbs his way back down the stairs heavily, The hand holding the arrow lifts and he uses the back of it to rub at his forehead, smearing sweat and dirt across his forehead.
A rumbling of thunder rolls across the clearing, followed shortly by the hiss of rain as it surges across the clearing. They can literally see the sheets of it marching across the area, before they are hit by it. Mark lifts his face to it, savoring the cool drops on his face.
Dee gets a sharp look and Mark shakes his head. "I'm fine." He lies, "Lets just get the tent up under someplace covered." He move to grab the relevant pack from Poco, motioning for the thin man to help.
Today has given Mark a rather big shock. What is a Lane lab doing there… and why didn't he know about it.
Hopefully, tomorrow he can find answers.