2010-06-17: If We Believe (The Amazon)



Date: June 17, 2010


The torch (Mark) is passed from one soldier to another.

"If We Believe"

The Amazon - Somewhere

It's a humid day. A freakishly humid day. As such, Jo has opted to remove the shirt she's been wearing over her tank, trading it in for the army green (which immediately elicited cracks in her own mind) tank she wears underneath; really, it's a good choice anyways. She's found a relatively quiet corner away from the village— into more of a jungle area. The busy-ness of packing left behind, she's here for other reasons. Vera— her gun of the week that she's named, meaning it's her current favourite— is left on a log in the centre of a very small clearing as she spars with the air.

With all the force she has, she gives a nearby branch a solid kick, keeping her hands up to protect her face.


The tree branch cracks.

Jo frowns. Probably better to use invisible targets, lest the tree huggers get upset…

"OH GOD I'M HIT!!" The cry comes from the same direction as the branch, maybe. Indeed, there is the sound of something heavy crushing through the underbrush. The booted footsteps of Cody are much noisier today than they have been in almost two weeks. Over her shoulder is a spear full of tarantulas, something they haven't eaten in quite a while.

She stops a few feet from Jo and dips the end of her weapon into the ground and smiles. "Care to join me in what could be our last taste of spider? Trying to get a full stomach without bothering the village." By now, Cody's weakness for food probably makes more sense to Jo. "I kind of want to plan our defense, I don't think we should be going into this blind and if I'm going to be making a lot, I need time."

Cody earns a smirk. "I like the spider." But then she lives on MRIs back home, nothing like dehydrated food designed for war as a healthy balanced diet. She bounces in place twice before pulling her arms back and drawing her shoulders into a stretch. "I'm really tight," she observes before adding, "Glad the kids are heading out. Zones like this… not meant for the kiddies."

She pads to the log where Vera is sitting and puts it into the back of her pants before sitting. With a small tilt of her head, she motions for Cody to join her. "I don't like not knowing what we're up against. Really, we could use a lot of things we don't have the luxury of. Like satellite images. And bigger weapons. I know ya'll are… well-equipped, and I can hold my own in hand-to-hand, but we're going at them with sticks. Literally, in some cases…"

"Satellite images wouldn't help out here anyway. All we'd see is the canopy," Cody says idly as she reaches into her pocket and pulls out a zippo. She scratches at the ground with her boot and makes a pile of dead leaves and sticks. "Here, help me make a little fire, we'll cook them right here."

It doesn't take long before there's a tiny fire in front of their log and the spiders on the spear are being turned over the flame. The little hairs on their bodies burns off quickly and soon the arachnids are blackened and toasty. "All we really need to know is how many we're going up against… If I could get Dee to scout with some of her little animal friends we'd be golden on information. Hell, I have a feeling she and Wallace could go up against them by themselves and all we'd have to do is sit back with tropical drinks."

Jo helps collect the leaves and sticks before plopping down on the log again. "Ha! That would be a first. I don't think I've ever had it so easy." She quirks an eyebrow. "This job is easier and harder than I thought it'd be." It's a quiet observation as she braces her hands behind her back. "Harder in that we ended up crashing and that was— " she shrugs. "But easier…" she glances down at the fire for a moment before offering a fleeting shrug. "Do they have the stuff to depower our folks? I mean, if they know about ya'll being with us. If they're half as smart as our colleagues, they'll come prepared."

Raising a hand, Jo shakes her head. "Sorry. Just thinking what I'd do if I was on the other side. And maybe it's an assumption, but… anyways." Her eyebrows furrow a little before she forces another smile, "The easy part is the company…" Her face returns to a neutral place before she asks, "What's gone on with you and Mark?"

"I have no idea if they have any solution or not… I don't know if Lane ever had a supply of it or if it was exclusive to the Protocol program." One of the spiders is peeled from the stick and handed off to Jo before Cody carefully pulls another one for herself. She begins by chewing on one of the crunchy legs as she stares out at the greenery. "Even then, the trick would be to stay out of sight. Unless they had the gas grenades, but I think those were Swan exclusives."

Jo's last question has Cody turning toward Jo and giving her a little grimace as she sighs. "Mark… He's one of my best friends. The first person I ever trusted outside of Pyle and Cool with my ability. I mean, we tried out…" She shrugs and takes another bite, swallowing before she continues. "We tried but I broke us."

"The less you and I have to do, the better," Jo quips. "No gas grenades means smooth sailing for us." Although secretly she'd love to use Vera for awesomeness. She accepts the spider and crunches on it; no fear or skiddishness here. Not about that, anyways.

The chat about other stuff though— even though she asked makes her uneasy. "You broke it?" she frowns just a little. "You're not like that. You might be the most emotionally-whole person I know." This is a reflection of the people Jo knows and consorts with rather than Cody's emotional health. She frowns a little before a faint smile curls her lips upwards, "He's kind of… awesome, isn't he?"

Turning toward Jo with a big smile, Cody nods. "He is, he's the best. Probably one of the people I'll always drop everything for," she pauses for a moment, "but he's already asked me to stay away so…" Her voice drifts off as the blonde shrugs and looks up at a few sun spots peeking through the canopy. As she takes another bite from the giant spider, she lets off a little laugh.

Turning back to Jo, she laughs a little more, her eyes twinkling like they haven't in a long time. "You know, Jo, instead of sitting there, quietly ovulating and beating around the bush about it… Why don't you just go for it?"

Jo's cheeks flush as she actually laughs. It's been ages since she's laughed so easily, "Dammit! I thought I was hard to read or something!! I don't get it. Like I can't get it— I haven't… I don't…" Her cheeks flush further as her smile fades just a little. "You know what I used to be like. When we met. Who I was. I… I lost that." The smile is gone. Totally gone for a few moments until it edges its way back, "But this place. This trip… it's like… like I'm coming back to life."

"This. Right now. Right here. This is the most honest I've been in… five years. And the most I've felt like myself in that time." She half-smiles. It's easy. Soft, even. With another shrug she crunches on one of the large spider legs.

"Well I'll tell you one thing, he won't keep pushing you away because he's trying to protect you. You have that in your favor." Cody leans over and shoulder bumps Jo; smiling, as they share the moment, the spiders, and the song of the giant parrots in the trees. "Plus, it'll get you away from Fugly… Seriously Jo, that guy… What was with that? I mean, you're hot, he's not. Mark though… hot, adventurous, not afraid to pull out a gun and shoot someone in the head. The total package. Plus he's got that voice…"

The thorax gets a giant bite taken out and it's promptly spit to the ground in disgust, "Okay, that was a bad one…" Peeling another spider off, she pulls a leg off and crunches on it. "You know… I'm getting to like these things so much I might start raising them just for roasting." Then her face falls and she looks down at the ground. "Just don't do what I did, okay? And if you hurt him, I swear to everything holy that I will go after you and make you wish that … I don't know… something I haven't thought of yet."

"It was easy. And safe. And I wasn't… I've been…" Jo stares at the fire again, the spider momentarily forgotten. "Have you ever lost everything at once because you couldn't deal with what was right in front of you? That was me. And the office thing… it's like… there, ya know?" She hmms quietly. "And the more I protected myself and controlled things… and threw myself into work, the easier it got to close myself off." Her eyebrows arch.

"What happened with Mark anyways? Like… what pushed you guys into the friends category? Considering how you're talking him up— "

Cody is silent for a long while, half listening to Jo's explanation, half running through her own mind with different scenarios and things. Her second tarantula is almost completely devoured before she finally shrugs and her face softens. "Remember way back when? I got drunk at the bar and you took me back to your place to let me sleep it off. I was telling you about Mister Borderline Illegal Sex with a Fringe of Conversation?"

She looks at another spider, considering (possibly quietly ovulating, who knows), then turns to Jo with a smile. "His name is Max Swan, the creator of the formula we used in Protocol. He came back about a week before we left. You know me, I always have to protect the sick and injured… Well he very much was, sick and injured. I promised him that I would come back to him. Doesn't look like I'm going to keep it though…"

As Cody explains Jo finishes her first spider and is onto the second. "I remember the borderline illegal buddy, but not the name Max Swan." Her lips purse a little as she crunches and considers the words. "I'd like to believe we're gonna make it through. Hell, you said yourself that Dee and Wallace could handle it. Hopefully. Besides, Mark," lips flicker into a smile, "said that we all have to believe in something. If we believe we can make it out, there's something in that. I think. Or something?" Now it's her turn to laugh. "Who am I kidding, I'll never be Zen or a glass-half-full-kinda-marine, but I keep trying to think we'll make it out."

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