2010-06-14: Validity (The Amazon)



Date: June 14, 2010


Jo and Mark talk about faith and belief or the lack thereof.


Brazilian Rainforest

"Don't drop the ball— " Jo balances her makeshift hackey sack on the top of her foot, demonstrating to the children around her "that is… the way you play the game," she kicks her leg in the air and the sack flies into the air only to be balanced on her other foot amid several oooooos from the kids. They can't actually understand her instructions, but play is an international language. With a broad grin, she kicks it into the air again— only this time towards one of them. The child misses, but tries his best.

Leaving the kids to the toy, she backs away from the circle the kidlets have formed. Crossing her arms over her chest, she backs up even more as she leans against a tree and watches her handiwork. The kids aren't good by any stretch, but they're picking it up. Thanks to their life and livelihood, their balance is amazing and it shows in the simple game.

"Next thing you know they will be hanging out in malls and drinking Starbucks." Comes the amused tones of Mark Scotts, who comes up along side the tree, his forearm moving to rest on the rough bark.

The world explorer looks like he's on his way to going native like a lot of the team members. Orange-ish paint has been dabbed on his face. He's actually moving around barefooted as well, but he's still in the white tank top and cargo pants.

He flashes Jo a tooth grin, "Hey Jo." He offers quietly in greeting, before looking back at the kids. "Thought I'd tell you that us normal people will be going in with more then sticks to protect us. Seems Wallace took just about all the weapons from the Lab… and some from the various vehicle and such he sabotaged in the lumber camp."

"Orange is definitely your colour…" Jo half-smirks. "You're starting to blend." Bemused, her smirk extends, "Seems like you and Cody were made for this kind of thing. I was always more of a protect-the-people-don't-get-to-know-them operative." She knows this isn't her strength; it's obvious, really.

The smile fades at the mention of guns, and her business face takes over, "We'll need it. I've been looking around and our biggest tactical weakness is if we focus too much on ground troops. Defenses are better from higher up. Offenses from lower…" She moistens her lips, "I've always been a bit of an offensive gal… but the spears and the sticks could be useful up high… hidden in the trees…"

"Stick around me and you'll learn to blend." Mark says with a hint of a chuckle in his voice, "But thanks… one of the kids did this." He motions at his face with his free hand. The explorer studies her for a moment, before he looks out in to the dense foliage around them. "Tomorrow we starts planning and getting ready." He says softly, "Alexandra says she's staying… so that will be a… positive for us."

He goes quiet for a long moment, just watching the kids learn the new game. "The village is really bustling getting ready for their feast… from what I understand it's to get the spirits favor for the battle ahead. Should be interesting."

"What exactly do they do at the feast… other than eat? I just don't want to disrupt whatever's going on. I mean, I'm going. That's not a problem, just… it's nice to know what to expect," Jo shrugs a little. "And to make sure I don't interfere in… things." She holds up her hands, "All I know is if someone went into Granny's church and did things wrong she would be pissed and I don't want to do that when they've been so good to us." With a dimpled half smile she shrugs.

"Do you think there's validity to these spirits of theirs?"

"Is there any validity in God… Allah… any of those?" Marks shoulders give a slow shrug. "It's all about the power of faith and belief. They believe that is enough for them." His voice is soft with thought. "It's a celebration. I imagine there will be dancing. Many civilizations believe in the power of dance. Stories maybe."

Mark's head turns slightly to look at her, his expression grim. "I think it's celebration of life and family. A lot of those warriors won't come home. It's a last family get to together before some of them give their life."

"Maybe these people understand something we don't." Jo's jaw tightens. "How many men and women have I served with never came back? And rarely is there any real transition to that. Maybe a weekend leave— more if they're lucky— before shipping out." Pushing herself away from the tree, she takes a slow step forward. "I've served the government for years, always knew the risks, but I haven't talked to any of my family in forever." She forces a smile, "But that's no one's fault but my own."

And then slowly, quietly she asks, "And what about people who've lost faith?" Or hope, for that matter. "But you're right, I guess that is the important part."

Mark studies her quietly as she talks, his head tilting to one side just slightly. "Well," He starts softly, his arm sliding of the tree as he straightens "I think in someways, Jo, we all have faith and hope… sometimes we don't always see it. It's a case of where you put that believe in. Hopes, dreams, faith and belief… it's all in the eye of the beholder.

"We all hope that we'll make it out alive. Some of us hold the belief we will." There is a touch of hesitation, before Mark moves to rest a hand on her shoulder. "I look at tonight as… a night to learn about these people, to be with the friends I've made on the trip." His fingers squeeze her shoulder gently. "Look at it as a last bit of fun before the vacation ends." He gives her a gentle smile.

The touch softens her face again, yielding another small smile as Jo reaches up to where Mark's hand is on her shoulder and she gives it a squeeze of her own before opening her mouth to say something, "It's been an adventure, I think I'd li— " but the kids break into her thoughts as they wave at her excitedly; they've lost the makeshift hackey sack, up in one of the taller trees. "— how do you suppose they did that?" she chuckles and wrinkles her nose. She motions with a craning of her neck and small turn of her head towards it, "I should go help… or something."

Mark is issued a large, toothy dimpled grin as she backs away, but doesn't face where she's going, not yet. "It'll be fun tonight… I'll be there for sure… and Mark… if you want… if's not too hard… you can call me Kate…" As she's still walking backwards, she bumps into said tree before she turns around and begins to disappear into it.

"There is a lot of things that don't make scene here," He offers, before letting his hand slide off her shoulder, lingering on her arm for a moment, until she's out of reach. "Kate?" Marks brows lift high on his head, a small bemused look at the name. "I… ah… okay."

When she bumps into the tree, he can't help but chuckle, he gaze dropping, before he slowly turns to heave back where he came from. Pausing, he glances back to watch her climb with an amused and thoughtful look, before he slowly turns to continue on his way.

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