2010-05-15: Tarantula Not Tarantella (The Amazon)



Date: May 15, 2010


There's no room for princesses in the Amazon.

"Tarantula Not Tarantella"

The Rainforest - Brazil

With the good news of tequila, Cody has been a busy woman all day. Preparations had to be made for the next day's travels, more wood had to be gathered for the fire, and everything salvageable had to be gathered. The good news is, there are more than enough hands to get it done.

After delegating all of the chores, Cody left camp for the remainder of the day and didn't come back until close to dark. Leave it to Medusa to shirk on the work.

It's almost pitch black when she returns to the camp, three spears slung over her shoulder and all of them loaded with food. Food that used to be moving. One spit has a bunch of fish laced onto it, another has a string of large spiders, and the last one is full of frogs. They're going to eat like kings and queens tonight. "Okay, anyone want to cook these after I prep them?"

It might be strange to those not used to Jamie (which is pretty much everybody present), but the girl doesn't get depressed, sad, or even loses the slightest trace of hope as Saul doesn't turn up. As long as his body isn't found, she doesn't lose any hope, even if the hope's changed from he'll come wandering into camp to he's found his own way back to the city and he'll be there waiting. So, rather than moping around, she's dived into the chores Cody gave her energetically and cheerfully. Given she's the only one totally uninjured in the camp, without even a bruise to show from the camp, she's probably got most of it done by the time Cody gets back, assuming that the chores were within her physical capabilities.

She's found some of her other clothes and changed from her sun dress to a more jungle-friendly tankini swimsuit top and a pair of shorts. She looks up from where she's sitting as Cody comes in, and comments right away, "I would, but I dunno how to cook. Unless it's mac and cheese in a microwave."

Suddenly, Laurel misses getting fed by the lions pride in Africa… "I guess no one found enough food rations, huh?" She says outloud, gulping, and suddenly feeling sorry for Dee, even if she gave up being a vegetarian a while ago. Living in Africa for a year did that to her. Packing away her sensitive camera, she makes sure it's set somewhere safe, before she moves over to glance at the food. "I'm not that great at cooking, but I had to learn when… when I was visiting Africa." And had to live away from the village for a month with the pride. "I ain't touching spiders or frogs those! I'll… do the fish."

Woozily, Jo had gathered supplies all afternoon. Very woozily. She's still suffering from that disconnected feeling she got when she hit her head in the crash. "I can do the frogs and the spiders," she murmurs as she slowly limps towards Cody. "I bet it's better cooked than raw— " she notes, remembering the insects Yossarian had fed her, even though she'd been a willing participant in the feeding.

Cody takes a seat near the fire and lays the three spears down. The first one with the frogs is given to Jo, the second with the tarantulas is kept, and the third with the fish is handed off to Laurel. Jamie is given a little smile and the former soldier just nods toward the box containing the liquor. "Grab me a bottle of that, will you?" Not that she needs it to eat any of the things on the spits, it'll just make everything taste that much better.

"Jo, I'm not sure if the frogs are actually edible, so when you cook them, make sure you burn all the skin off or something… I don't know what a cain toad looks like, not that it'd be horrible right now…" It really wouldn't. If Mark was happy about the tequila, imagine how happy he'd be with hallucinatory frogs.

Jamie looks to the box in question curiously, and stands up, stepping over to look inside. She wrinkles her nose as she sees the contents, but she shrugs and pulls it out, carrying it over to pass up to Cody.

The stick of fish is carried over to the fire pit that she made up, along with what passes as a chair. The plane didn't have the nicest chairs in the world, but they came out easily enough. Some of them came out with passengers still inside them. This one was actually her chair, which flew out with Laurel when they crashed. The fish need to be cleaned first, which she does with a knife, making a face the whole time. "We're heading out soon?"

One of the perks of being able to manipulate the earth? Well, it makes digging up stuff really easy. Combine that with the soft, loose Amazon soil? Alex is pretty much a one woman salvage crew all to herself. While the others are getting the fire started, getting the wood gathered, consolidating what supplies they do have, she's been off scouring the ground around the plane crash, down to the very earth under the thick surrounding brush.

Her return to the little merry band reveals her findings: she's gotten a few good lengths of wire, one big, semi-flat piece of the plane's metallic something or other (it might come in handy to haul something, who knows), a protein bar or two that slipped out of some bag and got hidden by some dirt, and a handful of smooth rocks that she just felt like sliding in her pocket. "Ok, not too much on the salvage front…but I figure you bits of wire are always in demand. How cliche, right? And for dinner?" Then she holds up the bars. "A little dirty, but…let me be the first to tell you that little bit won't kill you."

Alexandra's findings have Cody perking up faster than anyone else among the ragtag group of survivors. Immediately she jumps up and grabs the power bars, "Those are mine." Everyone who's been paying attention knows that the pilot had been looking for her bag of power bars since the crash.

She doesn't even wipe the dir off the package before tearing into the first one and practically devouring it in front of the rest of them. The other one is placed into her pocket for later. She flops down in front of her pile of tarantulas again and keeps eating as she pulls off the heads of the spiders and discards them. "These'll be good… I hear they taste like chicken."

Jamie blinks in surprise at Cody's reaction to the power bars, eyes a little wide as she looks to the others and then back. "Um… I wanted the fish more anyway, but bet even the spiders are good. Better than eating rotten stale pizza with maggots on anyway."

"Oh god, can we not mention maggots please? You don't want me to throw up all over the fish," Laurel says, making a disgusted face as she grimaces and cleans the fish. This whole thing is already hard on her! "It'll be fine, we'll be staying at a resort— damn planes falling out of the sky. I didn't sign up for Survivor." Cause that's what this feels like to her.

"Ooooookay. Yeah, I couldn't find anymore of those. Maybe they're underneath the plane itself…or maybe they're way out in the woods. I didn't go too far out. Made a circle maybe…50 feet in radius? With the plane wreck at the center? Something like that at least." Alex's eyes go wide as she watches Cody snag the bars and then tear into them like an animal. Her eyes stay wide when she watches Cody preparing those big spiders to eat. It's about then that her stomach does a little flip flop. "Ugh…I don't know if I'm going to be able to eat any of that. Fish, maybe…if at all…" She's definitely with Laurel though in her thinking. Instead of retching, she turns away from the food prep, and looks out into the jungle; an arm is drawn across her forehead, smearing some sweat and dirt. "It's not the heat, it's the humidity…" she jokes, wryly.

Cody places the last of the power bar into her mouth and chews slowly as she finishes pulling the poison sacks from the last of the giant spiders. "I hear people in Cambodia love these things," she says lightly as she laces them all back on the spear and holds them over the fire. "Too bad we don't have any sugar to go with them. Maybe some ants… They're kind of sugary…"

About five minutes after the last of the power bar is swallowed, Cody's hair sprouts into short angelic curls around her head. She's not bashful around any of the people she doesn't know well, or even Jo (who's attitude she's very well acquainted with). Running one of her dirty hands through the new growth, Cody definitely looks a little more relieved. She's spent nearly the entire week suffering from female pattern baldness and it's not exactly attractive.

Jamie ohs, nodding a little to the others, "Sorry. Just, when you get hungry enough you'll eat anything. And I'm *hungry*." Also sleepy, as she ends up lying down by the fire to wait for the cooking to be done, and soon drifts off.

"I'll leave the spiders and stuff to you guys," Laurel says, sticking with her fish, which she'll cook for everyone if she has to. It's not too difficult, she doesn't think, even if fish weren't what they had in Africa. They had a lot of hare (sorry Lucky), and a gazelle or two. But mostly the hares. The lions needed the gazelles more.

"Aww, kid fell asleep… I'll make sure to save her some." There's a pause, a lowering of her voice to talk and hope the kid doesn't wake up. "Did anyone find the man she was traveling with?"

"Sure yeah…when we get hungry enough. I'm not exactly that hungry yet. So, I'll avoid eating spiders if I can help it. Please save me some fish, if at all possible?" Alexandra reluctantly turns back to the group, but keeps one of those metal frame airplane chairs turned away from Cody and her spider head-popping. "I didn't see any sign of him. And short of an elephant trampling through the jungle here driving a bulldozer and listening to super bass music, I couldn't tell if anything's traipsing around. That trick only works on really hard soil, really dry stuff anyway."

"Dee'd be able to tell us if anyone was around… Close anyway…" Cody says as she lifts her spit of tarantulas off the fire and pulls it closer. "You guys sure you don't want to at least try them?" Experimentally, she breaks off a leg from one of the arachnids and brings it to her nose. After a small sniff, she licks it and then bites into it.

She chews, slowly at first and then she breaks off another leg to eat. "You guys, it's pretty good. Better than the power bars, at least." Pretty soon, the woman's inhaled three of the spiders.

"Ugh, no, please. I know the meerkat eats bugs, but I don't want to," Laurel says, closing her eyes a bit as she finishes cooking up the first fish, which she hands to Alexandra instead of herself. She'll eat later, when her appetite returns, cause she's really about to start dry heaving somewhere! "It's weird that— that you're so able to talk about— what you do," she motions at Alexandra.

"I-is it? I mean, a few people know about it. And look, after spending a few months in government custody, I probably shouldn't talk about it with anyone, right? But I mean, I can't turn it off." Nope, only drugs can do that, right? "But you can do something. She can do something. This whole expedition practically. And besides…it is who I am after all. Why do you think I hate flying, right? And…ow ow ow OW!" Alex says, taking the fish by the tail, hissing a little and dropping the hot-and-fresh fish into her lap. "That sucker's hot!"

Jo pads over to Cody and sidles beside her. "I'll try one of those suckers," she's pensive in her expression, however, despite being excited at the prospect of eating spiders (seriously, how awesome is that?!). She reaches over to nab a tarantula. After being force fed a centipede by a meerkat, a tarantula doesn't seem like a stretch. She bites into the spider and nods approvingly, "It's kinda good…"

"Not too bad huh?" Cody says as she munches the last of her tarantulas. The frogs are placed on the spit and directly into the fire, just to burn all the skin to a crisp. She didn't claim any of the hard earned fish, just because of the two unwilling to try the rest of the delicacies. "Did I ever tell you about the time Mark and I were held hostage and I was eating raw scorpions? These tarantulas are great compared to raw scorpion… They kind of taste like nuts…"

"Uuuuugggghhhhh, at this rate I am never going to get hungry," Laurel says, closing her eyes and trying to just focus on the yummy smell of cooking fish. It's really difficult. "And I don't do anything!!" She says overly defensive, glancing around at the other women, and then letting her shoulders slump. Okay, yeah she does, but! She never felt good sharing what she does with anyone. Except Dee.

"See here Laurel…if you talk about what you can do, you don't feel ashamed when you do this." With a little smirk, Alex moves a finger and constructs a little dirt wall between the two halves (mostly, the have-spiders and the have-fishes). "See? Well, really, don't see? Out of sight out of mind, I've always heard. Hey! What's it like on your side of the Amazon wall? Are you East Amazon or West Amazon?" Ahhh, Cold War humor. Excellent. The wall is only about three or four feet high, and not very thick, like a divider screen. Still grinning, she starts to pick at the fish in her lap, pulling a piece of meat off of here, off of there, offering some to Laurel. "Want some?"

"Man. Yossarian fed me raw scorpion yesterday," Jo wrinkles her nose. "Doesn't compare to this. Not in the least." With a small groan, she leans back against a tree and side glances Cody as Alex shows what she can do. That's very unsettling for the ex-AP agent. Especially because she still doesn't trust many evolveds. Maybe Dee; mostly because Yossarian is so darned cute. Finishing off a tarantula she looks upwards at the sky. "Where are we?" she asks in a hushed whisper not to anyone in particular, perhaps even to herself.

Running a hand through her hair again, Cody shrugs and looks in an Easterly direction and points. "As far as Mark can figure, we're about a day's travel away from … somewhere." She rummages around in her small collection of things and pulls out a map to show the other soldier. Pointing down at the spot he showed her earlier in the day, Cody taps it lightly with her finger and glances over to her friend. "We're going to head there tomorrow… It might be a camp, or a village. We're not sure yet." She gives the brunette a concerned glance and knits her eyebrows together a little. "You're going to be okay for the hike?"

The wall, while it might intrigue her, doesn't bother in the same way that talks of scorpions does. "Oh god," she says, setting the fish aside and moving to find a place on the edge of camp… Possibly to throw up. Maybe next time she has to eat, they won't talk about all the weird things they've eaten!

"Oh well…I hope it wasn't something I said," Alex says with a little shrug. Not so much needing that wall now, she lets it crumble away. When it comes down, Jo and Cody can see her licking some fish bits off her finger tips. "At least the fish isn't half bad. Kind of plain, a little bony, but pretty good. Just…please no more bug talk? And for Jo…well, there's that piece of metal I found. It's flat enough to fashion into a litter, if she doesn't mind a bumpyish ride. Her or Dee could get on it if needed."

"I can suck it up," Maybe. Jo knows she has sucked up a lot in the past. For now she'll rest and hopefully can handle the trek over the next few days. "I'm not a pampered princess, right?" she smiles wryly and closes her eyes. And it's a good thing she's not— there's not room for princesses in the Amazon.

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