Day 006: Geek Talk
Summary: The Delinquents pool their science know-how together and get to talking about practical solutions to their dearth of food and water.
Date: 7 May 2016
Related: Follows If We Don't Live Together, We're Going to Die Alone
Hanne Cassandra Cole 


With the removal of underbrush and a half-dozen small trees, there is now a tiny clearing around the dropship. It has begun to fill with detritus from the ship, including all of the seating, padding, and removable plates or bulkheads. Several tents have been set up within the clearing, set close together within the confines of the surrounding trees. A three-holer latrine is set up downwind of camp in the prevailing breezes, and the rough beginnings of a wall stretch between trees at the edge of the clearing, dropship plates and felled tree-trunks being stacked up as quickly as the Delinquents can manage.

The forest immediately surrounding the camp has been cowed into near-silence, but is still vibrant and green to a people used to stark metal bulkheads all around them.

6 Days After Landing

Cassandra comes climbing out of the Dropship, and she is not the stealthiest of sorts at this early hour. The concept of 'early' is still something she's getting used to, but at least she's on her feet, which is more than can be said for some of the more indolent teenagers, especially those who choose to sleep inside and out of view of the sun. She has that look about her that says she's off somewhere, and given she hasn't lifted a finger to help with any manual labour, presumably that somewhere is the forest.

Hanne really hasn't been sleeping well. She may have had intentions to go crash after her comfort session with Grey — a totally PG-rated session, she would add if anyone asked about it! But, really, she just stayed awake during most of the night, staring at the ceiling and wondering what was to come next. Eventually that was too much for even her mind to bear. So, here she is, in the early morning, fussing with what looks like a tied off shirt stuffed with fertile peat. She is kneeling before one of the dropship chairs, and the seat of the chair has been totally ripped up and unstuffed to create a rectangular box within the seat. She is making a planter, it looks like, based on the dirt she is piling into the hole. She looks up when Cassandra comes out of the ship, and she offers her a faint nod of greeting.

Cassandra has no time for dilly-dallying, no sir, there's work to be done. Or perhaps open spaces to be romped around and conquered, or radioactive butterflies to chase. And so she continues with that purposeful stride of hers in the direction of 'away' from the camp, hoping to beat the morning rush, by which she would mean social interaction. She does, however, slow down when she spots Hanne's project, head slowly turning over her shoulder to take in the peat-stuffed shirt and inexorably drawing her to circle back. "What are you doing?" she asks the fellow Earth Skills nerd, her muddy boots stopping short of proximity to ruin the girl's efforts when they send up a small dust cloud in the soil. The question may be rhetorical. Already her eyes are roaming over the ripped up box, taking it in and digesting the details to come to her own conclusions. But she nonetheless waits for Hanne to explain it, because what nerd doesn't like hearing sciencey-ness being presented by another?

Hanne stands, brushing her dirty hands together. She takes a small step back, looking at the planter, and then her brown eyes turn up to Cassandra. She smiles slightly, gesturing to the now-destroyed chair. "Well, we gotta have places to plant things that can be controlled… and we are totally lacking in containers, so… I had a thought about all these jumpseats we're not gonna need anymore… they'll mkae good containers for growing stuff, because they are going to be shit for anything else." She stuffs her hands in her pockets, worrying at the inner seams. "Besides, I need something to do… otherwise I'll be worried something is going to jump out of the trees and spear me."

Cole has been here the crack of dawn, but he didn't come from any tent. Looks like he came in from the outside of the camp. Wherever he's sleeping now, it's not in tent area. Still, that probably doesn't matter, because he's still directing traffic with the construction of the wall, giving examples for how it should be set out, and how it's sections need to be put together, because he does have a particular vision for it. Not doing as much work himself, as suggested by the limp in a leg. Like he twisted his ankle or something. Instructions are written out on the side of the dropship with charcoal, in very basic terms. So all in all, he's looking like some kind of supervisor overseeing a project while other teens busy themselves with metal, branches, vine, and whatever else would make decent building materials for the wall.

Hanne's humour is a little too much for Cassandra. The notion that something might jump out of the trees and spear her is, for the cowardly teen, a serious concern, given she recently took flight from that very physical threat. She scrunches up her expression and slowly nods her head, trying to look serious, which she feels is better than looking worried or shaking in her boots. Perhaps she can rock that Stoic Badass thing they had going in bad old action movies — entertainment was scarce on the Ark. "Why not just plant in the ground directly?" she asks. "I don't know what for, but resources are scarce. Someone might want those seats at some point." The sight of Cole limping back to camp has her glancing his way curiously, along with other Delinquents. Entertainment is less scarce here, but it remains human nature to rubberneck others' injuries.

"Better control," Hanne replies to Cassandra. "Plus, the chairs aren't terribly hard to move around." She glances over her shoulder at Cole, and she tilts her head slightly as she watches him fuss about with the wall. She chews a bit at her inner cheek, looking thoughtful. Then she breathes out a heavy sigh, leaning down to tie the knot back in her sack of dirt. "Evie has found some good plants, and I'm gonna try to do some planting of seeds or small bulbs of some of the stuff she's found… start our own medicinal garden." Then she tilts her head, thinking more. "I should ask Cookie if she wants her own garden too."

The tools that Cole has found, real tools, has helped in the construction of the wall sections. Every now and again, he'll tear off a very small strip of duct tape from his roll, handing it over to one of the teen who needs something affixed, then telling them how to do do, because the stuff is so rare, he's not letting to let it be used unless absolutely needed. For the most part, unless he's needed to inspect something over, make sure the work is adequate, he takes a seat, unable to stand too long on his twisted ankle. But at least the pain isn't as bad as yesterday.

At Hanne's explanation, Cassie nods her head in mute acceptance. "I found some yarrow and goldenrod. Can be used for clotting. Gave it to Martin to give to you or Evie, though I have a feeling he just gave it to Lip. Hopeless, those two, but maybe someone can find some more." Someone not her, apparently. As Cole takes a seat, she lets her gaze drift back towards him. "What's up with him?" she asks. "Did the Princess's bride get injured trying to do Agro Station work?" Apparently she doesn't know that far from sharing his girlfriend's privilege, he's a worker-station kid too.

"I don't honestly know," Hanne says when Cassandra points out Cole. She tilts her head slightly, hands still stuffed in her pockets where she continues to worry at the inner seams. Though she does smile ever so softly at the Princess comment. "You know, this is really a crappy kingdom for a Princess." She inhales and then raises her voice a bit to shout at Cole. "Cole! Stop looking so glum!" Then she shakes her head a bit, sinking back into her heels. Her voice drops back to conversation level. "I hear there's another group heading out today to track where Quinn and the others got taken." Her throat tightens a bit.

Good luck with that. Cole usual expression is usually pissed off. "You call that a fuckin tie-down?" he grunts, getting up to limp over to one of the sections that's being put together. "Look, you think that one fuckin vine is going to be able to a load-bearing structure? I could slap this shit with my dick and it'd crumble. So take it apart, do it the fuck again, and next time, use four lengths of vine and some scrap metal as structure support. There are no fuckin half-jobs with this shit. If you don't know, fuckin ask someone who does. The only stupid fuckin questions ate the ones that aren't asked." He shakes out his ankle, barking out comments like a man who spent his entire life in Mecha Station. Because he did. "Alright! Take twenty, get a drink of fuckin water, take a shit, or go fuckin rub one out on your girlfriend's tits. I'll be checkin all your work, and I want to see some goddamn glorious work." That all taken care, he glances over at Hanne. "I will be when I'm fuckin satisfied this shit is getting down right."

Cassandra looks sceptical of Cole's claim. "Anyone ever seen him look satisfied? Ever?" She asks this of nearby Delinquents who've just made ready to take a break from their labour on the wall, loud enough for the man himself to hear.

Hanne just sighs as Cole goes about yelling at people again, and her shoulders slump slightly. Cassandra's comments draw a small smile on her lips, and she shakes her head. "I somehow doubt it." Then she draws her hands out of her pockets, and considers the wall as it continues to come up around the camp. "Think it will do us any good?" She asks, though it is hard to say just who she is asking.

One of the teens passing by shrugs at Cassie. "He's not a slave driver or anything, he just expects a high standard. I figure better that than someone who didn't care. I know I'll feel a whole heck of a lot safer with a wall that can reply than one that can't." He rubs at his hands, likely having never work like this before. "Still. He's an asshole, but he's fair." Then a pause. "And yeah…gonna go see my girl." he adds, trotting off. Apparently Cole knows the best ways to destress his workers.

As for Cole himself, he limps around the work done, checking each part with a clinical eye, poking and prodding, as it testing their makeup. "The moment you start feel satisfied, you start getting fuckin lazy." he remarks towards the other two. "You improve, you get better, you never fuckin stop. Ain't got time to be lazy here. Too much to do, not enough fuckin time to do it. Get lazy, you get dead. Nature is a nasty, fickle fuckin bitch. And she don't give two shits one way or another. So I'll keep these fuckers alive, kicking an screaming if I have to." But somehow he seems actually pleased at what he sees, nodding in approval. "Good, they're not fuckin hopeless."

In response to Cole's assertions, Cassandra raises an eyebrow and smirks. She looks like she's fighting hard to hold back a laugh, and folding her arms against her chest, leaning her weight to one side, she looks the picture of self-satisfaction. Exhibit A, the Satisfied Teen: note the telltale signs of laziness wrinkling at the corners of her eye. She is, in fact, doing nothing right now. "You should take a break," she calls out to him. "Really." A glance is sent Hanne's way, in attempt to exchange a knowing look.

Hanne blinks owlishly at Cole, tilting her head slightly to complete the look. "Cole…" There is a moment where the girl seems deeply unsettled and more than a little uncomfortable. Then she decides against it, slumping her shoulders a bit and looking down at her feet. When Cassandra suggests a break though, Hanne nods in agreement — knowing he won't, but at least she has said hes hould. She chews at her lip slightly. "You should take a break… we really don't know what's gonna be happening in the next couple days."

Cole rolls his eye, seeing the look. "Right." he grunts, the one word reply as if that he just completely decided to never rely on Cassandra on anything, besides taking up space. Which increases when Hanne joins her. Waving them both off, he goes back to caulkboard, marking on a drawing of the camp of where the sections of wall is going to. "I'll take a break when I'm fuckin dead, Hanne."

Hanne looks very despondent at Cole's words, and even flinches a bit. Then she offers a small nod, and starts to shuffle away to find some clippings to plant in her new flower box. "See you," she says in a quiet sorrowful note. Sad puppy, there goes sad puppy.

Cassandra isn't one to state her piece twice. She gives her advice, watches Cole decline to take it, and is swiftly moving on. As the mousier Earth Skills nerd scarpers off, she makes her approach towards the workaholic at a leisurely pace, whereupon she creepily lingers near his chalkboard and simply takes it in. That can't be good for his concentration. "I looked at your solar stills, by the way. There's nothing wrong with them." And then she goes ahead and breaks it.

Cole's caulkboard is mostly the side of the dropship. One of the larger flat panels that he's been drawing on. Equations on weight, length, and dimension are scribbled on side, while a drawing on the camp is on the other, a dotted line suggested where he's putting wall, more solid lines and the note 'trenches?' written in above that. And he was just in the process of writing out a longer equation, writing out the math for it when Cassandra starts talking. The bit charcoal stops scribbling. "Huh, they should be collecting more fuckin water than that." he ponders aloud, then starting to write again. "Then I don't know what the fuck is up with them. I'll look them over again later. Maybe I missed something. Or someone has just been stealing too much water. Wouldn't be fuckin surprised about that."

"You're expecting too much out of too little," claims Cassandra over the sound of scribbling charcoal, following the equations with her eyes as he writes them up. Most of them, in truth, are above her paygrade, but she makes the effort all the same. "Stills aren't going to collect enough water to sustain the whole camp. Your materials are bad and the soil's too dry." Blunt, this one. "You could try moving them closer to some trees, since where there's roots, there's water, although you'd need to make sure the…" She raises a hand over her head, miming the thing as she starts to ramble, "…foliage doesn't block out the sunlight or the rain, and that's some physics or just lots of patience that I can't help you with, and some thinner sheets would help, but even then…" It wouldn't be enough. "What you need is trenches." She glances up to where the word is marked on the board, nodding her head at it. "I was thinking we could get some of the Goon Squad to dig some from the river where we found the giant eel thing. Small enough that it can't swim here, hopefully."

"No, they never were supposed. At the fuckin best they were a stop-gap measure to keep from dryin of dehydration. It was never meant as a fuckin solution to the problem." But it looks like he's actually listening, so let it never said he doesn't listen to people of other areas of expertise. On another section of bulkhead, he starts writing again. 'Solar stills: needed, replacement(possibly be trees), thinner plastic(dubious, but check), better positioning in correlation to light'. "River is about over an hour away by foot. That's a lot of digging for fuckin trenches. Not saying it wouldn't work, convincing people to do, that's the fuckin issue. Right now, the purifier is set between the camp and here. People will have to carry the water from the river, run it through the purifier an carry it back. Making a better fucking transport system would be ideal, but I don't have any solutions for that right now. Still considering ideas for it. The purifier itself is sitting upright in one of those bigass totes. The idea is that there will always be water there for someone who needs it. Refill what you take. Whether that fuckin works or not…the whole idea of relying on other's generosity is fuckin sketchy at best. But it's there, just takes effort to get it."

Cassandra keeps staring at the board, the wheels in her mind near visibly turning as Cole talks. "You can't expect people to spend two hours every day carrying water. At best, they'd be able to draw enough for two people, so we'd have to divide the camp into pairs. It's a waste of time, and it's dangerous out there," she says, then turns to give him a pointed look. "And you I can't see leaving camp at all. What happened to your leg, anyway?"

"Purifier is larger than you think. I've calculated, that if it had a constant steady source of water to it, it could filter a gallon of water in about an hour. Shit, it's made out of one of the exhaust bells from the dropship. So it's pretty damn big. My initial thought was to take to the river itself, divert a small flow of water so it'd be continually flowing through it but… there's the fuckin river snake with that." Cole says. "It's not a waste of time, it just takes effort. I've offered a solution, for now, to get ourselves clean water. So until someone wants to start digging for fuckin well water, that's the we've got. At the moment. It's possible there another water source closer to us than that river, but no one has fuckin found it yet." A sigh at the end, using the heel of his hand to scrub at his face. "Stepping in a fuckin gopher hole." he comments about his ankle. "Light ankle sprain. Be fine a couple days."

A snort emanates from Cassie's nostrils. She doesn't want to laugh at his expense, but she does, albeit mutely, and looks at him with a gleeful smirk as he regales the tale of his misfortune. "Get Grey and Faolan to dig a well," she suggests, unable to hid the mirth from her tone, but striving at least to stay on-topic. "Might keep them from killing us and themselves, but the manual labour will help them keep those giant muscles at use so they don't feel deprived. Make sure you really drive home the point of how much we need them to do this so they feel important. Or if you want, I can do it." She looks like she relishes the idea.

There's a shrug from Cole. "I'd laugh too if hadn't been me." he notes idly. "Was trying catch a rabbit I speared, ran after it, tripped on a gopher hole, and that was it. Just one of those fuckin 'oh well' situations." Doesn't seem to of really slowed him down the point where he can't work, though perhaps most injuries wouldn't. "Feh, all they fuckin want to do is kill Grounders, got fuckin tunnel vision on that. I could point it out to them, but digging a well, we don't know how deep it is to the goddamn water table. Could be twenty feet, or over a hundred. Have to build shovels or something that could fuckin dig." But it's a least an idea worth considering, because he writes it down. "For now, we got water, but it'll just take some walking to get it. What we need is get some decent large animals, skin them, tan their hide and have someone be able to stitch together water skins. That's not really my fuckin area though." Then a shrug. "If you want to tell them, go ahead. But I doubt they'll even consider the fuckin idea until they get the others back. If at all. An pending they don't start a fuckin war that gets all of us killed."

Cassandra shrugs. "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em." That's an odd thing to say. She doesn't elaborate. With one last look towards the chalkboard, she turns away and smirks. "With any luck, maybe we'll manage to dig our way to China, or unearth a giant, mutant naked mole-rat that will kill us all." Boy! Good thing no one's planning to go back to sleep just yet. And leaving Cole with that lovely thought, she stalks off towards the forest.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License