2010-05-16: Flying Thongs And Carrier Parrots (The Amazon)



Date: May 16, 2010


Risking life, limb, and rat; Laurel, Cody, Jamie, and Dee pick through the wreckage in preparation for their travels.

"Flying Thongs And Carrier Parrots"

Somewhere in the Rain Forest - Brazil

The night before was a successful feast for some, one of which has woken in the middle of a cocoon made of hair with two tequila bottles pinned into her hands. With no memory of the incident, Cody just chalks it up to a very good night. The fire has died down to a bunch of smoldering coals, something that will need to be remedied if they want to have some of those extremely yummy leftovers.

Shedding all of her hair, the woman peels herself out of the mess of hair only to find it lying in a puddle. It must have rained hard the night before, who knew that it was waterproof! For Cody, it's an amazing discovery.

Slowly, she managed to get herself up and check the cans for rainwater, there's enough there to boil for a tea made from some of the flowers and leaves she'd sampled on their first day. So she stokes the fire, adds some wood, and wanders over to the crashed nose of the plane.

Jamie would have woken up for a bit the night before, long enough to eat a spider or two (and seeming to like it), but then she was asleep again. She had no waterproof cocoon like Cody, but then she doesn't really need it. She comfortably slept through the entire rainstorm, and yet she seems perfectly dry except for a little damp clothes as she sits up now, rubbing the mud from the ground off of her face.

There's a rustle from inside the plane, as Cody will discover she's not the only one who woke up early. Rain water dried into her hair, making it stringy, Laurel's been exploring the wreckage with a stick. And her camera. Taking pictures every so often, there's a flicker of a flash to give it some light. Pictures taken from every angle, inside, outside, enough to fill half a memory card. She has plenty, it's something they might need, for insurance purposes! And it documents the hazards of their adventure.

There's a sudden crash, and she falls out of the door with a thud, caught by the mud. "Ow. Oh, hey, hairball." Someone has to give her a nickname. And that's what she looked like last night! "I think I found some baggage." And a mud puddle.

"Baggage? Is there some coffee in there? Because I could really use some coffee." All this time and they're still finding luggage among the wreckage. Cody is on her way to the wreckage of the cockpit, during her downtime, she's been fiddling with the various instruments and trying to get something to work. It's not easy with all of the rain.

She tears into the control panel like a woman on a mission, and she is. Without much time before they move out, it's important to get everything they can that poses a potential for use. Cody's mission is to get the defunct and antiquated radio to work.

"I'm thinking about making those chairs you got earlier into backpacks, we're going to need to carry at least a few days worth of supplies." Turning to Jamie, she points toward one of the metal boxes in their ever growing pile of 'useful' junk. "Kid, grab me the 3/4 inch ratchet out of the kit."
Jamie blinks a little in sleepy confusion at first, but then she's up and moving over to the kit. It takes her a moment to remember what a ratchet is, but soon enough she has the tool and she stands up again to run over to Cody to hand it to her. "Sorry, haven't done much with tools since the circus. That's the right one, right?"

"Looked like clothes," Laurel says, as she pushes herself up, dripping in mud. Now she needs a change, so, good find in her mind. Once she's up, she reaches back into the plane and pulls out the damp pack, opening it up and digging around, "Yup, clothes— oh hey, a comb! And…" Oh. Suddenly she pulls out a pair of underwear. Men's underwear. "This must be Mark's. At least we know he doesn't wear a thong." And then she spots the kid, blushes, shoves the underwear back inside.

"A few changes of guy clothes is better than nothing, though. And if we need to, we can use it for bandages." And a comb! Then she tosses it down away from the puddle, and steps back inside, still speaking. "There's another one. Maybe that one has some food, it was torn up a bit, though."

A few moments later, she pulls out a partially ripped bag that Ms Hairball would recognize… a bag that once held a ton of energy bars. Now it no longer holds a ton, but it holds less than a ton. "It was smashed under some panels." She had to put a forcefield around to reach down without cutting herself, but she doesn't say that.

Being that there was some major feasting last night, Dee went fishing again this morning. She's been out for hours, but there's really no need to worry about her; Not only does she have Bashir with her now, but she, on her way out, befriended a black jaguar, more commonly known as a panther in laymen's terms, and promptly named him Bagheera. Plus, Yossarian is always good for … biting ankles.

The end of a stick is in Bashir's mouth, while Dee carries the other end. Speared between them are a good number of decent-sized fish. Some look as if they might have been caught by the jaguars themselves. While Bagheera heads into the trees to keep watch, Daphne goes to put the food somewhere safe.

When she returns, she's without her animal companions - even Yossarian, who has to eat a lot in a day just to keep up his metabolism. "Goin' through the plane, aye?" she asks. "Where d'ya need me?"

Cody emits a raucous laugh when she hears Laurel's comment about the underwear. At this moment, she's imagining the explorer in a thong. Distractedly, she liberates the ratchet from Jamie's grip and promptly slips under the fuselage to begin tearing at the electrical panels in the console. "You were in the circus? Whad'ja do? I can sort of see you riding one of those little ponies around…." Her voice drifts off a little as she manages to rip one of the panels away.

She doesn't notice the bag of power bars right away, until it lands with a plop a few feet away from her. "Kid, check the pockets, I scammed some water purifying pills… See if there's any left in there. We won't have to drink rain tea if we have those." They will, just less of it. "And count how many power bars are left, will you? I packed about fifty, hopefully we have at least a dozen or so left…" By the tear in the side of the bag, she's not exactly optimistic.

Dee's return is heralded by a flock of squawking birds, Cody's gotten used to the sudden noise and silence as they work their perimeter alarm magic. No need for training, just the natural order of things. Peeking out from under the panel, she gives the woman a smile and a wave. "Hey Doc, I'm working on trying to grab the battery and maybe the radio. It doesn't work, but I figure if we can try to fix it." She has no idea how, but it'll keep her busy. "Maybe you can help Laurel with the luggage compartment? She finally found some of it."

Jamie nods quickly to Cody's question, and smiles, "I was an acrobat, like my mom. I still am, technically, 'cause I kept up practice, just haven't had a show since I was eight." She waves to the returning Dee, and then hurries over to the bag with the power bars to look for the pills as instructed. "What do they look like? Just big pills?"

"What are you doing with the— hey, isn't that dangerous?" Laurel asks, eyes widening as Cody smashes away at the panels outside. There were panels inside too, ones that she got pictures of, until she located some of the bags, finally. All the twisting and turning as it tumbled down from the tree tops smashed the compartments into the floor panels and— it wasn't pretty.

"Hey, Dee, maybe Yossarian can crawl into some of the crushed panels and tell you if there's any food or anything in there. And if there is we can take a that— axe to it." Or whatever it is Cody's doing with the plane and the axe like thing.

She sloshes over to put the camera way, looking towards the jaguars wearily, and then starts to walk back, ready to climb back in. It's not that she isn't afraid, but— she wants underwear. Non-dude underwear.

Dee looks over to where Laurel is covered with mud. She has just one response to that.

"Ha! Yer all muddy."

Mature. But it's important to stay positive. And face it, your best friend being covered in mud really is kind of hilarious. Heading over - her limp slightly less noticable than it has been in previous days - she gives Laurel a pat on the shoulder.

Peeking into the plane and looking at the ruined compartments, Dee frowns. She's not willing to put Yossarian in any possible danger just to find out if they have food. "Mmm. Yoss is a bit too big to fit in there," she reasons. "What we need is a rat." Sliding down to the ground again and wincing as she lands on her hurting leg, she rushes off into the trees.

A few minutes later, she returns with the cutest rat ever, with an extremely long tail. "I dunno what it is, but I think it'll fit in those panels better than Yossarian would." It looks up at Laurel, blinking its beady little eyes, twitching a pink nose that sits in the middle of a large white face patch. Dee puts it down with one direction: «Find food and tell me where it's at.» To Laurel, she says, "Nothing finds food better than a rat."

Pulling on a small assembly, Cody grunts, her body jerks, and then she twists and lets out a yelp! "Oh god! Ack! Heavy!" The cockpit instruments are starting to cave in, starting with the large battery that the woman is trying to wriggle free. It's hefted and tumbled out from under the plane and just as a long groan of metal on metal sounds out, Cody rolls out from the same place.

A moment after she's free the engine gives way and crushes the rest of the control panel. It's this that Cody stares at in dismay as she pulls herself to a stand. "Guess I'm not getting a radio out of there… At least we scavenged the battery. It's going to come in handy." She looks down at Jamie and gives a small shrug, "…right?"

Jamie, still in the process of sorting through the bag of power bars and water purifying pills, looks back up to Cody and nods quickly. "Batteries are always useful. Figure out *something* to hook up to it, probably."

"Oh that is so cute! Let's call it a little monkey instead of a rat," Laurel says, smiling at the white faced critter. "Maybe we can bring it along to help us find food while we travel," she suggests, obviously wanting to keep it as a pet if she can. If Dee can have a meerkat, she wants a pet too! It seems like fairness.

"I have plenty of batteries for my camera, but those are for my camera." And she still takes her job seriously, so no one better touch the camera case if they want to keep themselves safe. And they couldn't right now, anyway. It is encased in an invisible forcefield at the moment.

"Did Mark say how far he thinks we'll have to walk? If no one's seen the fire yet, and we haven't heard a single plane, I don't think anyone's coming to look for us." They're LOST.

As the 'little monkey' travels into the plane's wreckage, Dee follows carefully, using the irregularities and dents in the floor as stepping stones to get further into the cabin. She's pretty fit, but the idea of traveling through a somewhat unstable airplane isn't appealing in the least. Plus, with that knee… Well, she's done safer things in her life, like… Fighting poachers.

"D'ya know what all we brought?" she calls down, gritting her teeth as the plane makes a skeeeeerrhhh sound - but holds. "Just so's I know what I'm lookin' for." To a rat, almost anything is edible, from the containers the food came in, to, say, motor oil leaking out of the engine. Dee needs to be able to pick and choose.

Nearing a suitcase speared on a long span of the plane's architecture, she pries it free and drops it toward the way she came in.

As for walking… "We're in the middle o' nowhere, Laur. If animals could talk, I'd send one out to let 'em know we're… here." Parrots can talk. "Oi, Cody. D'ya think we could send a parrot out n'let 'em know we crashed? Wouldn't be too weird, would it?"

Cody's well fed, so she doesn't give the rat a second glance. Maybe later when the food's run out and she's getting hungry again. They make a great stew. "I dunno… y'think a wild parrot will be able to talk?" She's forgetting that Dee can probably make an animal do absolutely anything she wants. "As for how far… we've got a day or two of jungle to work through. I won't say exactly how far because this map doesn't have the hills marked." And with the trees around them, there's no telling how hilly the area is.

"First thing we gotta do is figure out what from all this we're actually going to take." Then she glances over at the large pieces of metal that Alexandra salvaged for the use of a sled. "And figure out how we're going to carry it. Dragging a big piece of metal around the jungle doesn't seem like a great solution to me."

Jamie finishes sorting through the bag, and hands it up to Cody, "Twenty power bars, and four of those pills." She steps back after saying this and looks to Dee, "How'll you know which way to send it? Just the same way we're going, or back to town?"

"Oh, oh, you could send a parrot with a note on it's leg! Or OR! One of my memory cards wrapped in plastic and stuff. That way they could plug it into a phone or a computer and see what— what we want them to see!" Laurel suddenly seems to have an idea as she waits for everyone else to share their ideas, and the rat (or tiny monkey) to tell them if there's food. "I have a notebook and pencil in my camera case too, we could write notes and take pictures of them and send parrot off with it tied to it's leg." The worst that would happen is no one would get it and it'd be wasted time and one less memory card.

But she thinks it's genius. "It can even record video. We could leave messages. Message in a bottle— or computer chip, carried by a parrot. How exciting!"

It wouldn't take too long to teach the parrot to talk. Days, though. By then, they could be well on their way; it almost wouldn't be worth it. Despite Dee's capacity to communicate with animals, she can't just make them do something that doesn't come naturally to them without some practice. Talking could take awhile to master, and complex phrases even longer.

Then, Laurel has a brilliant idea. "That could work," Dee says, carefully climbing down a couple feet. "Didja hear that, Cody? Send a parrot with a message tied to its leg. They can fly a lot quicker than we can walk through these trees. Maybe we can 'ave 'ooever gets it meet us 'alfway. We'd still 'ave to walk the rest of the way, but they could come with food and medical supplies." Not exactly a rescue, but the idea's a work-in-progress. "I know Jo really needs some care. No infection that I can see yet, but I'm nervous without any antibiotics."

The rat alerts her that it's found something potentially edible, and Dee climbs back up to where she was before, pulling at some of the debris in the way until she gets to the case the rat is sitting on. "This is bloody locked. 'Oo locked their suitcase!?" The rat is already starting to chew away at one of the tears in the leather.

"Hmm… A note on a bird leg might work…" Cody doesn't voice her concern about whether the people the birds find can read or not. Or even speak or read English. "Worth a try, at the very least." Turning to Jamie, she saunters toward the girl and bends down to scoot up the pack and its contents.

"Kid, you work with Dee to get the note ready? You think you can write small enough for that?" Might as well give her something useful to do, her strength doesn't give her much other use at the moment. Plus, it'll keep her out of the way of the collapsing airplane.

"Alright, you two make that happen. I'm going to see about rigging some of those chairs up as backpacks." She takes a couple of the power bars out of the pack and walks toward the pile of supplies. Calling out over her shoulder, she has a wry smile on her face. "Break the lock, it could be all the guns that Jo brought with her. I think she packed an arsenal."

Jamie nods quickly to Cody's request, grinning, "Easy." Then she looks up at the mention of the locked case, and says, "Want me to try to get it open without breaking it? I'm good with locks, as long as what's inside can take getting a bit wet." She stands there, waiting to see which task she's supposed to go to.

"Not mine, whatever it is. I was holding on to mine for dear life when we fell out of the plane." And she's happy it didn't do more than crack the casing on the camera! Or she'd be out of work and mourning her precious thing. "I'll go get the camera!" They can hear the cheer, before Laurel suddenly stumbles out of the plane and back into sight, sloshing through the mud toward her own locked case. The camera, the empty mem card— all of it. But first she takes the time to rub all the mud off her hands so she can hold it without worry.

It's worth it just to try. They can attach a map — or something — with their location circled and the word 'HELP' written on there in big letters. That couldn't possibly be missed! …Or carried by a parrot. Sigh. Well, they will come up with something.

Carefully moving whatever is holding the pack to the plane, Dee manages to free it, and the rat hops onto her shoulder. "You were s'posed t'find food," she tells the creature. Maybe Jo stored some food in there along with her guns. Not about to drop this one, Dee carefully climbs back down to the opening in the plane so she can set the bag down safely.

"Actually, I'm not too familiar with guns at all. Can y'get 'em wet? Will they still work?" She knows something about getting gunpowder wet is bad, but what about the weapons themselves?

"No, don't get the guns wet… We'll have to break the lock." If it is guns. It could be Saul's luggage for all they know. Just Laurel's luck to be stuck with more tighty whities instead of panties. Speaking of which…

The blonde digs around the luggage, specifically Mark's luggage, until she pulls out a men's button down shirt, a clean t-shirt and a pair of his cargo pants. It's obvious what Cody's thinking as she holds the pants up against her hips. Then she looks over to the rest of them with a smile and sings, "Back in a minute~"

Without another word, she's off toward the river with his toiletry bag and the clean clothes. Someone's going to have a bath and put on some deodorant!

Jamie ohs, nodding quickly at the mention of not getting the guns wet. "I don't know *anything* about guns, except they're really scary. Didn't know they weren't good wet. That's kinda cool," she adds in a softer voice. She shrugs and looks up to Dee, stepping over that way when the woman comes out of the plane, "What do you want me to write?"

It took a moment to check for a memory card that wasn't already used, and then Laurel's walking back, with the camera and a pad of paper, with a pencil sticking in the metal rings. "I wish I could create forcefields through things…" she says quietly, mostly to Dee, with the hairy one walking off, but she does glance a little at Jamie. She's still not sure it's safe to talk about her ability. "Who wants to be the star of the video telling how we crashed and everything?"

Okay, no getting the guns wet. If there are guns in there. A lock on a suitcase should be fairly easy to break though, right? She eyes the little thing, taunting her as it's hooked between the two zipper tabs.

After digging around for a couple seconds, she comes up with! A ROCK! A good-sized one, too. Her tongue sticks our from one corner of her mouth, and she closes one eye to get a good bead on the lock, and then!


The lock pops off. Dee unzips the bag to find no food, but… An orange-scented air freshener and Poco's thong collection. "Christ," Dee laments, slamming the suitcase closed and chucking it to one side. As it flies, so, too, do Poco's thongs. All over the place. "'Oo the 'ell brings thongs to a rainforest!?" There's a long pause as she rubs between her eyes. "Jamie, can you do it? Kids'r more appealing. We should draw out a small map of the crash site, and a meet-up point.

Jamie blinks, and then giggles as she sees the contents of the suitcase. "That's for sure not Saul's." She looks back to Laurel then and practically bounces forward, "I can! Please? I'm really good at videos! Well, nobody believed my last one, but think that was more because of what I did than how I said stuff."

"Maybe you should gather those up, we could use them as bandages!" Laurel suggests, though still looks surprised at the thongs. Not Saul's. It's good that the kid isn't crying too much about her missing guardian.

"Okay!" she says, trying to keep the same enthusiasm, as she sets up the camera and raises it up, squinting at the view screen and turning a bit until— "There, stand there. That should be enough light." The canopy blocks out a lot of the sun, but sometimes it slips through! Like where Laurel is pointing.

Dee has to smile at Jamie's excitement as she stretches her bad leg out in front of her and shakes her head. Dee's been in enough shows and commercials for the zoo that she has no desire to be in any more. Besides, the appeal of a kid asking for help is so much better than a travel-worn adult.

She sends the rat back into the plane to look for anymore signs of food. This time, she makes it clear - no sniffing out air fresheners. At least they've gotten Poco's thongs out of the picture, so there won't be that trauma to happen upon ever again - thank god.

"I think Cody 'ad the right idea, goin' fer a bath. Might do that m'self a little later, now that we're findin' clothes. Share and share alike." Even as she says that, she lays herself down in the damp dirt, tired from the morning's fishing.

Jamie is totally convinced that Saul is just fine, and finding his own way back to the city. So, of course she's not sad about it. And, starring in videos? She *loves* doing that. She quickly moves right where Laurel indicates, facing the camera. "Should I wash first too, or is being a bit muddy ok?"

"Being muddy makes it look more drastic. Like we've been through a lot," Laurel says, pretending to be a director, when she's really not. "And having you do it is perfect, cause you're a kid. They see you, it'll end up on youtube and rescue parties to save the cute kid trapped in the Amazon!" She pushes a button and it lights up with a red light in the front. "Okay, we're recording."

Dee, still lying in the dirt, turns her head toward where Laurel is filming. They should add some sort of dramatic element, like the howls and screeches of animals all around. Something that sounds dangerous… SOMETHING TO LIGHT A FIRE UNDER THEIR RESCUERS. Dee waves her hand dramatically, and just before Laurel starts recording, a whole orchestra of animal noises suddenly surround them. The dangerous yowls of big cats, the menacing roar of monkeys. It's not long before a snake drops into frame just behind Jamie, and while this one slithers away without hurting her, the implication is there - big snakes mean big problems.

Having expected a script, Jamie has to take just a moment to come up with what to say. Then she looks to the camera, and despite the cheerful mood she's been in, she suddenly looks scared as she starts to talk. "Hi, I'm Jamie and I was one of the passengers flying from Manaus to the Tropical Resort. Our plane went down, crashed in the middle of the jungle, and it's been almost a week and nobody's come to find us. So we're going to try to walk to be safe. The pilot and one other person died in the crash, and my foster dad's missing. We've got some people seriously hurt too. Please, if you get this, send help to find us. I don't know where we are, except somewhere between Manaus and the Tropical Resort. Please, we need help." She glances towards the adults, as if for some clue what else to say.

"There's wild animals all around, too," Laurel says, turning the camera to face her, so she is visible, all muddy with water making her hair look matted. "Please help us. I'm sending pictures of the plane, as well as landmarks along. We don't want to die out here! And I can't handle eating spiders again." Which she actually didn't eat the first time, but she's going to make it sound dire. WOMEN. CHILDREN. EATING SPIDERS. With roaring wild cats audible from the distance!

The light clicks off.

"We can ask Mark to make a statement too. Maybe get everyone's names, say that we're okay— for now." And pictures of THE GRAVES.

Not that they're in any danger from the animals with Dee around. Neither are they in danger of starving as long as there are fruits, bugs, tarantulas, and fish around. But things are definitely starting to wear on everyone, especially Cody who returns wearing a full compliment of Mark's clothing. Will he find a pair of underwear missing? Who knows.

It's possible, that in the animal ruckus, they didn't hear Cody coming back. What they might smell though is a man they want their man to smell like. Unfortunately, she's not on a horse.

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