2010-06-11: Learning To Relax (The Amazon)



Date: June 11, 2010


Jo and Mark discuss whether she will stay or leave. Mark tells her she needs to relax. Is that even possible?

"Learning To Relax"

Brazilian Rainforest

The laughter of children fills the clearing, the Yomamami woman are already slaving away at preparing for the evening meal, sitting in circles chattering away about this or that. Many stare over at the hearth that is currently occupies by the white skinned people. They had the one living in the village for awhile, it's odd to have so many there. A novelty even.

One of those in particular is crouched by the packs, searching through them. Marks Scotts is currently hunched over one of the packs, hand deep inside it, searching. The tattoo on his arm plainly shows against his paler skin and the scar of the bullet wound that is so close to his spine.

It had been a miracle that allowed him to be there at that moment.

"Finally." Mark murmurs pulling a white tanktop out of the pack, he immediately sets about pulling it on.

While some of the crew may not be so vigilant, Jo hasn't been parted from her gun although now it's in the back of her pants rather than held in her fingers. Despite this more relaxed form, she has been patrolling the area, watching the perimeter of the village, not allowing her own guard to come down. Not yet. Although… the laughter of the children has its effect. Rather than its stoic position, Jo is smiling, just a little, and not just in her lips, it's something slightly deeper, reflected in her eyes. No matter what her colleagues would say about her, she had a love of aid missions in particular, not just combat ones.

She pads towards the hearth and catches Mark and the tattoo. Her lips curl up a little further, "You're inked." She inches a little closer to admire the pattern, "I like it…" her nose wrinkles, however, "wouldn't have thought you the type…"

"That's how most of them happen, you just wake up. That was the case with this one…" She's grinning a little broader now before turning around and exposing a tattoo of a scale— the scales of justice— on her lower back, what some might call a tramp stamp. Jo chortles lightly before pulling her shirt down the whole way.

Jo's eyes scan the village at the question. "I'm a marine and this is paradise compared to where we've been, but…" She winces just a little. "The gunmen. We may have guided the gunmen here— we weren't exactly discrete about covering our tracks. And fighting them with spears…" she cringes again. "It's not a tactical advantage is all."

There is a chuckle as he tilts his head a bit to check out the tattoo he's shown. "Nice one. Woulda expect I dunno 'Semper Fi' or something. Must have been a hell of a night to get something like that." Mark gives an amused shake of his head before glancing out again.

"You'd be surprised what you can accomplish if you have the home court advantage." Mark comments lightly, Arms folding over his chest as he props his shoulder against a thick pole of the long lean to that houses them and many many other families. "Think about it. They've kept everyone away for so long… but I think your right. I think it's only a matter of time before those gunmen find it.

"Dr. Wallace says that the Elder's are willing to escort people to a nearby village that has communication to the outside world." Mark's arms unfold so he can point in a certain direction. "A day or two walk that way." The hand drops and arms are refolded. "Cody and I are stickin' around for awhile, to make sure these guys don't get the Mother, I — wanted to give you the option to leave… to get back to civilization." The words trail off a bit as he watches her.

"You're right," Jo says fleetingly. "But spears against guns. Home court or not, he who has the bigger gun often wins. Particularly without tactical thought." After several moments, her lips curl into a very soft smile. "I don't think I've ever shied away from a fight." Her lips twitch a little, "And I don't think I've really lost a fight to date either."

Swallowing hard she glances around the area. "Besides, you'll need someone who can actually deliver a punch. Baker is tough, but…" she smirks and then winks. "And I hope you tell her that for me." The pair haven't sparred in ages, and there's no denying Baker is a formidable opponent, but there are few people Jo teases like this.

"Besides, I think I kinda owe you one." She swallows now, her face turning somewhat more serious. "I'm not used to… I mean it's never happened that…" her cheeks flush, she's never been on this end of a chat like that. "…what I'm tryin' to say is…" the flush further. "Thanks, I guess…"

"Oooh no." Marks hands come up in a defensive gesture. "I am not delivering any messages." Mark states with a big grin. "Getting between you two, I think it could be rather deadly to my health and I just got it back."

Pushing his shoulder against the pole, Mark straightens. Reaching out, his hand rests on her shoulder gently. "You don't owe me anything. I owe you… I owe everyone for getting them into this mess and then getting them drug down into my family issues." Fingers tighten a touch on her shoulder. "So don't feel you owe me.

"That said, I'd be thankful for your help." Mark flashes Jo a big ol' grin as his hand slides away. "All these beautiful and sexy women on my team, I can't lose. Bad guys will be too busy staring and feeling envious of me."

"We all have our family issues," Jo virtually whispers as she catches Mark's gaze and maintains it. "Some can bring families together; others… tear them apart." Her eyebrows furrow. "And you couldn't have seen this coming— don't wear that guilt, it's not worth it." She swallows before forcing a weary, almost-knowing smile, "Believe me." Her eyes soften a little before she shakes her head. "You can't be responsible for your family's actions. The bloodshed is only on your hands if you don't try to stop them." Her face pales a little as her lips twitch and she finally looks away, actually turning a away just a little.

"I'm a good shot. And I'm not about to let you and Cody have all of the fun— I'm in. But as far as beautiful women go on your team… I'm afraid your hired guns aren't it. Not this one anyways." She smirks and winks before adding, "In another lifetime you'd have made a good marine." Beat. "That's a compliment coming from me. Note that if I wanted to insult you I'd have said the army…"

"You sell yourself short there, Jo." Mark comments lightly, before letting it drop. "And thanks… I mean for the compliment…" Gaze moving to the village, hand tucking into the the pockets of his cargo pants, Mark turns thoughtful. "It's hard not to feel responsible when their actions have helped to try and enslave people… kids even.

"Did some soul searching — I guess you could call it — while I was in the Mother's care." Brows furrow, a hand slides out of his pocket and he runs fingers through his hair. "More like Twilight zone acid trip… but you know… and I made the decision that I need to stop them, but I know hitting him head on won't work. If anything my dad is resourceful."

There is a heavy sigh from him. "Work for my dad during the day, thwart his evil plans at night." He's quiet for a beat before adding, again sounding amused. "I think I read that comic book."

"Their actions aren't yours. You're not accountable for what they've done— what they're doing, but they need to be stopped. You're responsible for what you've done alone." And then in a softer tone she adds, "Or what you didn't do." Now a hand is lifted to her forehead before she combs her fingers through her hair and draws it into a tighter ponytail.

"Resourceful or not, we can stop him. Baker's a good fighter. I've still got some fight in me. And judging from what I've seen of you, you can hold your own. And these people, they want to defend their home. We've got a shot. A good one, I think."

"And comic books, huh? Did you hide them under your mattress? One of my brothers did." A reminiscent grin plays on her lips, "My mom, of course, thought it was something untoward once when she was making his bed…" Her smile fades all-too-quickly.

Glancing at her, Mark grins. "Hey… what can I say. I wasn't the typical rich kid." His shoulders lift into a 'what can you do?' shrug. "Dad hated it. Between that and my love of mysteries and myths. Use to go ghost hunting in the attic. Searched for big foot in my backyard." Brows tick up just a touch in memory, smile playing over his lips before it fades. "Guess I'm just a big kid now."

"Anyhow… I am glad to have you aboard." Mark gives her a soft smile, "I mean it."

His gaze drops away suddenly, tongue brushing against the back of his teeth. "And try to relax some. Wallace assured me they have people watching the gunmen and look outs around the village. We'll know when they are close." He glances towards her, but not at her, something unreadable in his expression. "Enjoy what down time we have before we have to risk our lives again."

"It's a pleasure to serve. Besides, these people deserve better. No peaceful person deserves to be attacked. You'd think that's a simple principle, yet somehow…" She learned it the hard way. Jo suppresses a chuckle now, "I don't think I've really relaxed in years, but I'll try." The chuckle lasts only a moment before she tilts her head curiously at him, "You too. You probably still need rest even if the wound is healed…" Her nose wrinkles a little. "Even Batman needs a break now and then."

She hmmms a little before glancing around the horizon, "What's life without risk? It makes us remember what it means to be alive." She issues him a lopsided smile.

"Wise words." Mark says softly, glancing up at her again. "It also makes us appreciate what we do have, especially when we risk it all for that." He studies her for a long moment, he looks like he's about to say something else, and in fact, he starts too.


His mouth snaps shut and Mark turns towards the sound of Dr Norman Wallace's voice. Once he has the adventurer's attention the old man waves to him, beckoning. "Great." Mark says softly, giving Jo an apologetic smile. "Duty calls."

He starts to move away and stops, "From what I hear there is a big feast coming up. Dancing, bonfire the whole shebang." Mark glances at the rifle, letting his brows lift slightly. "Think you can put the gun down for a night and just have fun with me…" It takes a tick of a second, before, "…and you know… the others.

"One night, that's all I ask." Mark gives her a somewhat embarrassed look, before he turns to head for a meeting. Even in the jungle he can't seem to avoid them.

"Duty always comes first. And it's always there." The invitation, however, is met with a mischievous grin and flushing cheeks. Jo's grin broadens considerably as she quirks her head to the side, her eyebrows arching slightly. Slowly, carefully, and still smiling she answers almost unsure of herself; work and duty always at the forefront, "Y… yes. Yes. I'll take a night off. I'll even leave it behind. For once." Her smile softens considerably.

As Mark disappears, she absently chews on her bottom lip, still smiling. Her cheeks flush a pale pink before she shakes her head a little and turns back towards the perimeter, unable to wipe the now sheepish grin from her face.

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