2010-06-03: No Promises (The Amazon)



Date: June 3, 2010


Cody takes care of Mark after he's shot by a sniper. Neither of them are good with words.

"No Promises"

Brazilian Rainforest

It was a long hot hike, the rain having seemed to refuse to fall and give them a moment of relief, when Wallace finally called a halt, everyone was too ready to settle in. Though sleep seemed to avoid the visitors in the strange exotic land. Wallace and his band of hunters seem to have no issues, with a few standing watch.

Away from the rest, a litter bearing Mark lays on the ground. The explorer looked bad, face pale and ashen, sweat clinging to his skin. The little hunters had removed his shirt so that he could be bandaged, but the make shift bandages were dark red with the blood that had been slowly seeping out front and back.

Not once has he awoken. "A small kindness." Wallace had murmured once along the trail, watching as the bandages turned red. "It will be a miracle if he makes it there." Living in the Jungle as long as he has, false hope is not something he can give easily.

Left in the deep of the night, with only one lone person keeping him company, Mark's life slowly ticks away, one heart beat at a time.

The first sign of any life at all in the man, is a soft groan of pain, his head lolling to one side, brows furrowing.

"Ssshh.. here drink this." Cody's voice comes in a hushed whisper at Mark's side. Holding the canteen of water to his lips, she pours a little mouthful to him, being careful not to spill too much. In the time that he's been unconscious, she still hasn't slept.

When they first made camp, she gathered just enough to eat to repair her own wound. It was a difficult and intricate process, growing one hair to a strong thickness with a pointed end able to stich her gunshot wound closed. Something that she had never thought to try before. The little hunters that accompanied them seemed fascinated at the process. Not as full of wonder as they were with Jamie and Alexandra, of course, but her power is much less understated than either of theirs.

At present, the arm is still painful to move but for Mark, she'll manage. Brushing his thinning hair back on his head, she tried to concentrate her power to purge whatever infections he might have had by growing it out in hair. It didn't work.

Throat moves out of reflex then anything else, swallowing the cool liquid, though he's not as conscious as one would hope and ends up giving a cough as a bit falls down the wrong pipe. It makes Mark cough, which brings searing pain. Enough to make him cry out and try to curl on his side, but he can't seem to manage more then his shoulders curling off the litter, before he falls back again.

His breathing is labored as he tries to think past the pain, his vision graying at the edges offering to take him under in blissful unconsciousness, but Mark fights it. His throat works as his eyes slowly open and attempt to focus, his glasses having fallen off when he was shot.

After a moment thy seem to find her, his mouthing pulling to one side in either a grimace or weak smile, it's hard to tell. "Hell of a trip.. hmm?" The words are sort of sighed out, eyes shutting again as they feel too heavy to keep open. "I… I think I will be asking for my money back."

The only coherent thought running through Cody's head since they stopped is for Mark. There's rage, so much of it. Enough that she wanted to go back and find whoever did this and do the same to them. That's only the first item on the list.

"I don't think this trip was as good for us as we first thought," Cody finally admits to him in answer. The stress, pain, worry, and guilt have driven them further apart rather than closer together. "It's not exactly what I expected anyway, I'm sorry. I should have been better, done more."

A bit of the water is poured onto a piece of shirt and used to dab at his forehead and temples. It's a good thing that his vision is blurred from pain and lack of glasses because her expression is ragged and heavy. "Promise me, Mark, you'll hang on. We need you, I need you."

"Not exactly how these things go." Mark murmurs softly, a sighs escapes at the feel of the cloth on his forehead head, the dampness left behind cooling hot skin. "Normally…." He trails off for a long moment, letting the heavy exhaustion weight him down.

Finally… "Normally, more relaxing… less being shot at." No one dying… but that doesn't seem to make it past being a thought in his head.

A hand moves to fumble for her own, fingers curing around it weakly. "I — I don't think I can make any promises." His voice rough as he adds. "I don't like having to break them." Mark really doesn't have much faith in his own survival, he feels worn out and ready to just sleep.

He shifts his head, so he can look up at her, eyes squinting slightly as he tries to focus on her. "I should be the one saying I'm sorry, Cody." Unable to really see her, he gives up and lets his eyes slide shut. "This was suppose to be like all the other expeditions, except… this time I had someone along who didn't think I was crazy. Royally screwed it up."

His hand loosen from her's, intent on letting go. "I guess this part of my life…. I guess it's over." Brows furrow and he suddenly tries curling up again, a sharp breath hissing between his teeth. When he drops back again he does with with a gasp of pain. "Can't risk anyone… not again."

There's something stuck in her throat, that's what it feels like. Cody tries swallowing, but it doesn't go anywhere after a couple of tries there's only the hiccup of a large gasp as she tries to breathe. "Promise me, Mark," she utters, trying to keep her voice low enough as to not disturb the others. "Just promise me you'll hang on. What would you tell me if I was the one that got shot? Would you let me go?"

She's hoping to play on some sort of bond they might have forged a while ago. A bond that's been strained in the short while they've been trapped in the Amazon. "You don't have anything to be sorry for Mark, except for not letting me take care of you. We're supposed to share stuff, remember?" Sharing, feelings, things that they've never really talked about. A soldier and a man. Neither of them sensitive enough to start a conversation like that.

"I'll make you a deal, Scotts, you get better… alright? Get better for me, Jamie, everyone else. If you do that, I'll — " She'll what. "I'll never wear that sombrero again. I'll force it on your brother's head and I'll have Micah post it all over the internet."

Laughing is bad… so when a soft huff of laughter escapes it ends up leaving Mark breathless from the pain. It takes a few more moments before he can talk again. "As funny as that would be, I want you far away from them." The voice maybe be weak, but there words hold an edge to them. There is a reason he's been distant. Distant means those he cares about are safe. "I want you safe."

"Being involved with me is dangerous now." His head rolls slowly to one side… it's so hard to keep his eyes open. "This isn't going to stop." Mark grimaces, hand moving to weakly grip at the stomach wound. "Not till…." He trails off not wanting to finish that sentence.

More then the intense pain from the gunshot wound, the pain that comes from known that your own family sees you as a liability that needs to be be disposed of, is a sharper pain that stabs at your heart, twisting it with dispair.

"There's only one way I'm going to stay away from them, Mark. You stay alive, you keep fighting." There's a sniffle from the woman as she attempts to stop the tears from welling in her eyes. Gently, Cody takes his hand and laces her fingers with his, a small attempt at reassurance. "If you give up on me, I'm going to go after them."

A promise.

"I'll go after them and I'll take them down." Or die trying, likely the latter. The cloth is brought back to the CEO/Adventurer's head and she wipes it down again, attempting to cool it. "The elders, Wallace said they're going to take you somewhere… ask the spirits to bless you or something. Said you'll get better, good news, right?" She tries to smile, squeezing his hand at the same time.

"I better try and not die then." The words are sound tired, as if it's becoming much more difficult for him to stay awake. "Too good a person… to let throw your life away." When her hand slides into his, his fingers give a reflexive jerk, giving her hand a squeeze. "Plus… others need you to protect them."

His head turns back to her then, brows tilts up with worry, "Can't get you to promise not to go after them, just like I can promise…" The words catch in his throat. "… I can't promise anything."

For once, Mark's faith in the unexplained falters a little. "Do you really think that some mumbo jumbo will fix this?" Then he realizes something, brows furrow, before his face relaxes some. He tugs her hand up to where he can brush the back of her hand across his lips, glancing up at the blurred woman above him so much he wants to say, but isn't even sure how to say… but he does offers softly.

"I'll try my best not to give up, Baker."

"Scotts, if there's something I absolutely believe… it's that some mumbo jumbo will fix it." Cody assures him, "We don't know that their sacred place doesn't have a healer in it… or some special plant… or something fantastic. You're dad is here for a reason, maybe that's it. Huh? Just think of the possibilities."

She inches a little closer and lays next to the litter, still keeping a hold of his hand. "You know you're my best friend, right? More than anyone else, I trust you. You've seen me at my best and my worst… and the funny thing is, you're still okay with me. You keep me safe from all that other garbage… You saved so many people, Mark. You're a bigger hero than anyone I've ever met. So I need you to keep doing that."

Head turning, Mark's eyes narrow as she lays down near him. The corner of his mouth tugs up into a tiny smile. "I'm no hero. You been smoking loco weed?" Normally, there would be humor in his tone, but it falls flat. "I'm just a regular Joe with an secretly evil family…." He trails off.

This time he sounds amused as he looks at her. "That sounds like a movie." He actually has to keep from chuckling, but just the act of his stomach muscles tightening has hims gasping in pain.

"God… I don't remember these hurting so much." Groaning out the words, his eyes twist shut. "What really amazing me, Cody." His eyes open again, his head turning to look at her, his grip tightening a little. "The fact, you know who I am… what my family has done… and will do… and you don't hate me.

"That.. Cody Baker… is a miracle."

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