2010-05-18: Truth Or Leech (The Amazon)



Date: May 18, 2010


Because more than just lawyers are blood-sucking little bastards.

"Truth or Leech"

A Puddle of Mud - Brazil

Once upon a time, there were two girls who had never met before in their lives. In their youth, they did some girl things, like painting their nails, or playing with plush toys or hanging out at the beach. They went to high school. Played sports. Made friends.

Today, they're hanging out in a muddy hole near a river, digging for leeches. Oh, if only their friends and family could see them now!

Who knows what's in this mud? Worms? Likely. Parasites? Most definitely. All that can be easily treated when they get out of this rainforest. What can't be treated is the infection that's starting to set in on some of the wounds they received during the crash. It might be medieval, but Cody's idea to dig for leeches was actually nothing short of brilliant.

And so, Dee is up to her elbows in sticky mud, slogging through a combination of dirt, clay, and stuff she really doesn't even want to think about, as she searches for little annelids. Worms.


Digging for leeches isn't prooving as fruitful as one might hope. It's a slow process that isn't getting any quicker. So far, they've found two…

"This isn't going according to plan," Cody says as she hitches the strap up on the sundress that she scavenged for the trip. She wasn't about to muddy her own clothes and this thing seemed to be about the best option from the piles of clothing scavenged earlier in the day. Right now she's got one side tucked into her bikini bottoms to keep it out of the muck. "I have an idea…"

Quickly, she strips off the sundress to reveal the rest of her bathing suit. Without another thought, she wades into the mucky water until she's waist deep and then she sinks to her neck. "This is going to be soooo much faster…"

Pulling her arms out of the much, she has in her hand exactly one small leech. No, wait. On second glance, it's some sort of old leaf rolled into a strip, and hardly helpful at all. You can say tha' again," Dee mutters, heading over to the water so she can at least wash her arms off a little. As she's by the river's edge, she eyes Cody. "Y'gotta be kidding me. What, you think they're just gonna— "

Swim to her in droves, because she's cut up from the crash, too. Of course. They'll be hungry.

She grunts. "Look, I've been through a lot, but I kinda like me blood inside." At least Dee isn't quite as girly as Laurel. Though she makes a face, she does stick her arm into the water, rolling back her sleeve so she can sink almost up to her shoulder. "Honestly, this shouldn't even be necessary. Where we should be is safe in a resort somewhere."

Glancing down at her clothes, seeing that they're already filthy, Dee rolls her eyes and lowers herself to her belly, arm still sticking in the water. Kind of awkward, but more comfortable. "We'll still be here awhile. We should play truth. Get to know each other."

"Where we should be and where we are is two different realities. Somewhere in an alternate universe, I'm laying on a beach and sipping something alcoholic and fruity… with an umbrella in it." Somewhere in a different reality, she never went into the Air Force, never joined Delta Force, never killed more people than she has fingers and toes.

Laying in the murky water, the curly haired blonde puzzles through this new revelation for a while before actually speaking again. She can't feel the blood suckers clinging to her, but she knows that eventually they will come. Hopefully before anything else decides that it wants a piece of her. She can grow hair, not new body parts… Maybe body parts made of hair? New thought to ponder.

"Sure, you get the first question."

Dee has a whole bunch of little scrapes on her arms, so she's sure they'll be attracted to her, too. She just doesn't want them where the sun don't shine. "You'd think they woulda just been layin' out in the mud," she mutters. "Ah, well."

The first question's always an easy one. They get tougher as they go, and as you think of more personal things to ask. Resting her head on her arm (And feeling absolutely gross while doing it) she asks, "What d'you do for a living? Or, I mean, what were you doing before you got stuck here?"

Impatiently, she raises her arm out of the water. Nothing yet, but she's not about to wade in further. The arm reluctantly returns to the water. "An' how'd you meet Mark? I get to ask two, 'cuz I'm going first."

From her position in the water, Cody glances over toward Dee and raises her eyebrows. "Stay at the edge, I can get more than enough. You just get the joy of picking them off me." Picking them off everywhere. Then she turns her head again to peer at the birds in the trees on either side of the swimmin' hole they're in. She's going to think of it as a swimmin' hole and not the leech infested sesspool that it really is.

"I work with Mark, at Lane Industries. I'm in the lab as an assistant to Dr. Ray, with Alexandra." Though Alex is known as Libby there. Cody doesn't actually reveal the hows or the whys, the simple answer is enough. "As for how I met Mark, we met overseas.. We were prisoners together."

"Trust me, you don' 'ave ta tell me to stay 'ere. I'm happy out of the water." She can imagine there's a whole mess of other things in there she can't communicate with besides the leeches. Things actually have to have the capacity for free thinking in order to speak with her, and most things in the mud hole run on instinct.

The whole Lane Industries thing is new to her, except for the sign she saw yesterday, she doesn't know anything about it, but apparently, they're interested in the potential to use rainforest resources to make drugs. A lot of people are, it's just that most don't build their facilities in the middle of nowhere and not tell anyone. Filing the 'prisoners' comment away for her next question, she says, "All right. Your turn."

"How long have you and Laurel known each other?" It's an easy question, rather trivial. Raising her arm to do a spot check, she's pleased to see at least four fat suckers clinging to her bare skin. "You know… I think we have enough. How many leeches do you need to get rid of an infection?" Because they'll need quite a few before they finally get back to civilization.

So far, Cody's looting of the abandoned encampment had only produced clothing and some personal trinkets. She hasn't gone too far into the other areas, taking things slowly until Mark feel better about digging into the open graves.

Standing up from her position, the soldier looks down at her trunk and arms with a rather pleased expression. "So far I count ten. There might be more on my back and legs though." Then she begins to wade out of the water. The black things are feasting on her, gorging themselves on human blood rather than the fishy carrion that they've been confined to for so long.

"For a few years. I started working at the Bronx zoo an' she did a publicity shoot there with the animals." As Cody stands, Dee examines her arm again. She's got one, sticking to her finger for dear life. Poor thing. Scraping it off gently with a fingernail, she places it in the sawed-off bottom of a two-litre pop bottle she found in the facility. "This should be good for now. Technically, the more y'ave, the less time y'have ta leave 'em on." Pushing herself to her feet, she finds another one stuck to the bottom of her other arm. "Oh, lookit that, eh? All we had t'do was stop workin' so bloody hard, huh."

That one goes into the makeshift bucket, as well.

"'course, when I met Laurel, I didnae know I 'ad a power. Kinda came after that. Scary at first. C'mon over 'ere. Sit on this rock and I'll pull those things off."

Hopefully no one is that bad off. Dee really can't see leeches as a cure-all to their ills.

"My turn, then. Why were you a prisoner?" Reconsidering, as that might be a personal and traumatic thing to answer, she adds, "Or you can answer this one. When'd you learn about your ability?"

"We were a prisoners because we were white in the middle east. Mark is the son of a weapons contractor, so no big surprise that he was the target of terrorists." It's a simple enough question to answer, much better than the one about her ability. That one is a little more involved.

Turning her back to Dee, Cody doesn't flinch one iota as the other woman begins gently pulling the leeches off her skin. There's almost two dozen all over her body, that's not even counting the ones that might have attached under her swimsuit, as tiny as it is. "My turn, what part of Australia are you from?"

"Mmh," Dee says, making a face. There's too much bloodshed going on in the world. People fighting people - hell, Americans fighting Americans, up until recently. She's not going to be the one to ask why they all can't just get along, though. "Sorry. M'glad you got away."

Pulling leeches off isn't a difficult process, but it does require some care, so as not to leave parts of the leech behind. Scratching them off one by one, Dee drops them into the bucket. "They weren't on long enough to really bite. You should stop bleedin' pretty fast."

The question about Australia earns a pause. "Actually, if you can believe it, I'm not. I 'ad a run-in with someone with an ability… God, three… four years ago now? S'hard t'remember. She could play with languages. Long story short, I can't find 'er to fix it. No' that I mind. Official story is 'ead trauma, which isn't completely a lie."

She starts working on pulling the leeches off Cody's arm. "Remember now, we're playin' Truth," comes the almost mischievous reminder. "Mark's pretty hot. Y'ever, you know." Dee smirks, before finishing, "…go out to the movies together?"

It's the question that has her wincing more than the pulling of the leeches. "No, we never went to the movies together." They were too busy… eating. "Went out for Valentine's day though, for the anniversary of our escape. Things were looking pretty good." They were, until things got complicated.

She turns her head toward the trail back to the encampment and frowns lightly. "I don't think he's interested anymore though, it's fine, we're just a little too… in trouble… to think of anything along those lines." He's also too distracted, guilt ridden, perhaps angry at his father. "We'll figure something out, maybe later."

Dee's story gives the blonde a lot to think about though, it's interesting. "Four years huh? So where are you from really?"

Aw, that's almost sad to hear. Well, everyone's destined to find someone, as far as Dee believes. To that end, she just gives Cody a pat on the shoulder… Before removing a leech from it. "Okay, that's all the ones I see. If you've got any elsewhere, I'm no' responsible." Picking up the little bucket, she looks inside. "This'll be enough for now. If we need more, we'll just throw ya in the river again."

Now they just have to get back to their camp before all the leeches crawl out of the container. Easier said than done; next time, they should bring something with a lid. "I'm from Montreal." Not that she lived there very long, but, hey. It's where she was born.

She notes the look on Cody's face. "C'mon, maybe it's not— Hah, I should set up a romantic dinner for y'both 'ere in the rainforest. 'ave Bashir as the waiter an' Yossarian can check coats. Hope y'like fish."

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