Day 008: Headbutt
Summary: The King Blues have it right. Grey and the Archer talk. With foreheads.
Date: 10 May 2016
Related: Leverage, Says I
Archer Grey 


Secondary Passenger Hold, The Dropship
The top level of the dropship was once the secondary passenger cabin, hosting rows of seats, may against the dark gray walls. Emptied now of its seats, and stripped to bare metal, this level is much smaller and closer than the ones below. It has been refitted into The Box — the delinquent camp's makeshift lockup. The lighting here is dim, casting deep shadows in the far corners of the room. Some of the harness straps have been roughly knotted together to create shackles so that prisoners can be bound and fettered to the walls.
8 Days After Landing

<FS3> Grey rolls Electronics: Success.

The tomorrow that Grey promised has come, and the Archer and her companion are still bound in their respective corners. The woman's head is slumped forward, much of her weight displaced through the joints of her shoulders and her knees slightly bent. Her breath comes in slow and steady, almost like a sleeping breath. She has not taken food nor water, and her mouth is dry from dehydration. But, the sky girl in charge of the delinquents' nutrition has been relentless in her efforts to feed the pair, and food still arrives twice a day even if it goes mostly to waste. Mostly… the guards on duty have been nibbling on what the pair refuse to consume.

Once more, knock-knock, "It's Grey." This time it's the male warden that the ex-C relieves from duty, leaving the young woman still up there with them. He looks to the Grounder man, smirks a moment, then moves over toward the woman's side, unslinging one of the makeshift parachute water-bags from his shoulder and approaching close enough to hold it out for her. Yes, it's definitely within kicking range. Grey sloshes the bag under her nose, making sure she can hear it if she's actually asleep.

The Grounder does not immediately respond to the attempt to seduce her senses with water. Her shoulders shift ever so slightly, and there is a terrible ache that runs through her. She looks up toward him slowly, and then to the water sack. She makes no apparent effort to kick it away or to accept its promised hydration. She instead just stares at him with a low, dark patience. Though, her tongue does move ever so slightly against her lips.

Grey rolls his eyes and sighs at the the response — or lack there-of. Bringing the bag up to his mouth, he takes a long swig, swishes the water around in his mouth to prove that it's in there, and then swallows it. Maybe she's not worrying about poison, but she certainly shouldn't be now. Again, he offers out the bag, "You're not helpin' yourselves or your people by refusin' water. Besides, I nearly lost an arm to a river snake to get this crap." Okay, that's a bit of an exaggeration, but at least it's said with a crooked grin. "I'd rather not give you a bath to get you to drink."

The Archer flexes her arms in the bindings again, pulling the muscles of her shoulders, arms, and back taut. Then she relaxes once more. Her gaze remains steadily on his, weighing the sky boy who keeps coming to see her. Though, he isn't the only one. Her jaw moves slightly, and still she refuses to take his offer of water and instead remains stoic despite the smallest flares of curiosity in her features.

Grey arches his brows, then shrugs, "Okay. Have it your way." And then he lifts up the bag in both hands, pouring a slow stream down onto her face. He's aiming for her mouth, but, well, it's a bag made out of a parachute haphazardly holding water, and even if she were to hold perfectly still he's not likely to have very good aim. He pours out about half of the water, a little bit shy, then tilts the bag up again to stop the flow.

The Archer ducks her head, but water flows over her face and along her lips and chin. She carefully tastes the water, which is now flavored with her sweat and ash. It washes away the sharp smudges of blackness, clearing her face so it can be easily seen. She shakes her head out a bit, and then looks up to meet his gaze with a satisfying smirk. Then she nods her chin, which might even be a strange thank you.

Hefting the waterbag, Grey hesitates a moment, watching the woman, then he steps back, handing the half-empty bag to the other guard, "Why don't you see if the other Grounder needs a shower too?" And he carefully sets his knife down by the hatch to show that he's not going to do any violence to the prisoner — or at least not any permanent violence. Turning back to the Archer, he waits until the other guard is on the other side of the curtain, then murmurs, "Now don't damned well kick me, okay?" Gathering up the front of his shirt, he steps close, trying to reach out and steady her head with one hand and wipe the now-watered-down ash and smudge off her face.

Behind the parachute wall, the other Grounder does not put up the same degree of resistance as the Archer. He seems to either be less stubborn or has followed her lead — hard to say which. Suspicion flares across the Archer's face as he steps closer, and even more when he asks her not to kick him. That's when he is wiping off her face. She flinches away for a moment, but then still as he starts to clear away the water and ash. Her features are not fine and gentle, but also not terribly blunt despite her fierce behaviors. In fact, she looks a lot like a typical human girl under all that grime. She lifts her gaze to stare at him, her expression unchanged.

Grey doesn't even try to smother her. How nice is that? He doesn't get all the streaks off either, but he steps back in only a moment, looking down at his now even-dirtier shirt, shrugging, and letting it fall about his torso again. "There we go. Now you don't look like someone's idea of a Halloween monster." Because there are plenty of stupid movies left over about Halloween, even if it's no celebrated anymore. He studies the newly-washed features for a moment, tilting his head to one side, and then glances back over his shoulder at the curtain again. Reaching into his back pocket, he unwinds a little white cord, almost like a plastic garrote… except that it has little earbuds on the end. He offers out one of the earbuds to the woman, tucking the other one into his right ear.

The word Halloween actually draws a confused furrow to her brow, as though the concept is completely alien to her. The confusion turns to curiosity, and there is almost a moment where she asks after what exactly he means. But, then he is unwinding the white cord, and presents her with the left side of her earbuds. She actually looks momentarily unsettled, and her gaze shifts between the sky boy and the offered bud. Her face reveals just how quickly her mind is trying to work out where the trap is, and how he is going to spring it.

Grey shrugs a little helplessly at the wary look, nodding to the offered bud, "Carrot." And then his other thumb jerks toward his chest, "Stick." His voice is low, quiet, "Better hurry, or Katie'll be back. You've got info I want. I've got something you want. Batteries were nearly dead. I couldn't charge 'em up all the way, but I got a little more juice in 'em."

The Archer narrows her eyes, and her jaw sets slightly. Then she offers a small, slow nod. She flexes her hands in the bindings, and her feet shift slightly as another ache rolls through her body due to the tightness of the ropes.

Grey is warily close to the Grounder's face, his shoulders tensed as if ready to dodge or strike back. But he also realizes that he's rather close to an attractive, very fit woman. He brushes back a wave of her hair to fit the earbud around her ear, and then reaches down with his right hand toward his back pocket. He fumbles with the device there a moment, and then gets the music playing.

Her eyes remain fixed on his, and she is almost statuesque when he brushes past her hair and fits the earbud. She takes in a deep breath, moving her pained shoulders as she does. Then her eyes close, and she listens to the music flow between the two earbuds. There is a sharp and heavy drum that leads then into soft, almost eerie electronic music. Then it slowly blends into something with a consistent beat behind what sounds like a synth orchestra. Only with them being this close, and the music moving between them, does she finally speak in that soft contralto, "Ask your question, skaikru."

Her tension may fade somewhat, but Grey's remains on high alert. His eyes watch her features from inches away, waiting for an attack. But the music has its way with him too, and after a moment, his middle finger begins to tap against his thumb in time with that consistent beat. "Skaikru, what's…" and then he stops himself, giving his head a little shake, "Why'd you attack us at the river?" His words too are quiet, spoken under his breath.

"You were heading to the Mountain," the Archer offers in return, though she does not go into more specifics. She tilts her head, her expression curious beneath the predatory mask. Then she lowers her chin slightly as her feet shift a bit from side to side. The music remains as a steady sound between them even as she lapses into silence.

Grey frowns, looking for something further from her. When he realizes he's not going to get anything more right away, he grunts, a frown starting to gather. And then Katie speaks up from behind him, "What the hell are you doing, Grey?" Surprise and… perhaps a bit of guilt… flashes on Grey's features, and the ex-C's hand whips up, snatching the earbuds a bit violently out of their ears and tucking them away in a single movement. "Nothing." Katie wrinkles her nose, "Where you…?" Grey shakes his head hard, "I was asking questions." Which is actually true.

The Archer turns her head sharply aside when the earbud is wrenched from her ear and the music is left to softly pulse in Grey's pocket. She casts a dangerous glance at Katie, showing her teeth a bit in a small snarl. Then she steps back away from Grey, and she spits at his feet. At least that's a good sign that her mouth is not quite dehydrated as suspected. Then she turns her head away, and closes her eyes once more as if resuming a sleeping posture.

Grey's hand goes into his pocket, again fumbling blindly for a moment before the music is shut off. "And I was getting results." He flashes a sardonic smile at the Archer, "Because I'm so smoove." And then he snorts, making it quite clear that he's not suggesting he was romancing the Grounder. An impression that is no doubt readily reinforced when she spits at his feet. Katie smirks, "Yeah, you are so smooth, Grey. Asshole." Grey actually turns a slightly hurt look on the Grounder in response to the spittle, then reaches out to catch the now-empty bag of water that Katie tosses to him. "Fine. If you don't have anything more to say, Grounder."

The Archer maintains her serious stare at the sky boy despite the flash of hurt on his features. Her brow lowers a bit, and her lips twitch slightly. Then she is settling back into her half slump, giving into the great searing pain that is felt in her strained shoulders. For a moment, the ache flashes across her face before it is buried deep once more.

Grey watches the Grounder woman settle back into her painful stance again, and then he looks to the Archer once more, "That's closin' in on torture, isn't it?" A frown gathers on his brow, building over his eyes like a storm pressing up against a mountain range. "Grab your spear, Katie. If she twitches, stab her in the gut." And then he moves over to the straps binding her left arm to the wall of the dropship. The other Delinquent looks like she's going to protest, and then Grey reassures her, "I'm gonna tie her down lower, so she can sit." There's still a wariness there, but then the Delinquent sighs and fetches her spear, knocking on the hatch and calling the other guard up as well. Better to have two watching her than just one. As she does, Grey eyes the Archer, "You're not gonna try anything, are you?"

The Archer lifts her head a bit when Grey comes near to her again. She does not flinch away, though there is a flash of curiosity in her eyes as he does. It isn't until he explains his intentions does her expression become unreadable again. She makes no effort to reassure him that she won't just grabs his head and throw it into the wall, or any other such retaliation. He's just going to have to risk it.

Grey isn't a total idiot. Whatever music-forged bond he might or might not think exists between him and the Grounder, he waits until Katie is back with her fellow guard, and only then reaches for the strapping, untying it and quickly wrapping the end around his wrist to maintain some tension on the Archer's arm, bracing himself for resistance. Katie has a spear lowered at the Grounder from a foot or two away, while the other guard stands tensely between her and the hatch, a length of piping in his hands.

<FS3> Andromeda rolls Resolve 6: Good Success.

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Archer=8 Vs Grey=Brawn+Brawn
< Archer: Good Success Grey: Failure
< Net Result: Archer wins - Solid Victory
<FS3> Opposed Roll — Archer=7 Vs Grey=Dodge
< Archer: Success Grey: Great Success
< Net Result: Grey wins - Solid Victory

The Archer manages to not cry out in pain as the pressure is relieved from her shoulders, but the noise is still smothered into her shoulder and behind clenched teeth all the same. Her arms give a sudden spasm, and a numbing sensation roars down her arm's nerves to her fingertips. There is a moment where it seems as though Grey is going get away from this encounter scotfree, but the Grounder has other things in mind. Despite the terrible scream of pain, she suddenly yanks hard on the strap, sending the delinquent off balance. The next move happens so incredibly fast, but she is swinging her leg around his thigh to draw him in close so she can attempt to get him into a hold despite the fact that her other arm is still fetted to the wall. She is going probably going to damage something when all is said and done.

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Grey=Melee Vs Archer=7
< Grey: Failure Archer: Good Success
< Net Result: Archer wins - Solid Victory

Grey was mostly ready for that, but not for the sheer power of the bowwoman's arms and shoulders. He stumbles toward her, off-balance, as Katie lets out an exclamation of shock and starts forward with her spear. The other guard too lifts up his club, but stays where he is. For his own part, Grey gets his leg wrapped up, but he holds his ground there, twisting away from her grasping arm. He tries to choke up on the binding, calling out, "Wait!" But the slick material slides through his fingers, and he loses his grip on it, instead leaving the two of them hand-fighting, braced around entwined legs. "Knock it the hell off, damn it! I'm trying to help you."

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Archer=7 Vs Grey=Dodge
< Archer: Good Success Grey: Success
< Net Result: Archer wins - Marginal Victory

The Archer is in full out feral at this point. When Grey flails in his attempt to strike her, she takes the opportunity to attempt to grab at the boy's neck and shoulder so that her thumb can dig straight into the soft, nerve-rich point right above the curve of his collar bone. She cannot get the pressure behind the grip as her fingers continue to zing with freshly awoken nerves. There is a small growl in the depth of her throat, and she leans in close to snarl almost under her breath, "Jus drein, jus daun."

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Grey=melee Vs Archer=7
< Grey: Good Success Archer: Success
< Net Result: Grey wins - Marginal Victory

Grey bellows when she digs her thumb into his shoulder, then snarls, "Fuck this!" His left arm weakens under the pressure of her fingers, but he shuffles forward with his right foot, draws back his head, and then attempts to plant his brow into the bridge of her nose. It's clearly not going to be a perfect shot, not with his arms entangled with her one free arm and his left leg entangled with her right, but there's plenty of anger behind it. And with the impact, lights flash behind his eyes, and his brows go up as he rocks back. Shaking his head even more painfully than before, he growls, "Whatever the fuck that means."

Katie, for her part, has reversed the spear, and comes in, aiming to strike the Archer's right knee with the butt end. Grey may have told her to stab the Grounder, but she's got other people she has to worry about getting pissed at her too.

Grey's forehead collides with her temple as the Archer tries to wrench her head around to clear the threatening headbutt. Stars burst before her eyes, and she is already reeling when Katie lands the blow to her knee. She would have dropped, but her other arm is still bound, and so she is almost hanging from her shoulder socket when her weight gives out. Her vision is bright at the center, fading into darkness at the edges, and her entire body threatens to shake in the wake of, not only her wounds from the ambush, but this new mild concussion.

Grey throws out his left hand, "Stop it." And then he presses the heel of his hand to his temple a minute, "Ow… god damn it. Ow." Slowly untangling his leg from that of the Archer, he grabs hold of the trailing strap, staggering a little bit as he moves back to the wall, tying it tight — and significantly lower down. He steps back, putting a hand up against the wall to steady himself, "You're cute, but you're kind rage-y." The words twist his lips, departing with a snort in their wake. "You gonna sit there while I tie off the other one lower, or you gonna try to claw out my throat again?"

Katie and the other guard watch warily, ready to come in with their weapons again.

The Archer's brows go up almost immediately, but its a quick expression of surprise at his comment of her looks. Calling a prisoner cute is not exactly typical Grounder methods. Then her expression darkens a bit, and she sets her jaw. She does not agree to his words, but she also doesn't fight against the skaiboi when he starts to tie back her arms one more at a more comfortable level. She waits, her gaze holding steadily on his.

Grey rubs at his forehead again, then crosses around behind Katie, "Good thinkin' with the butt of the spear." He nods over to his knotwork, "You wanna check that, Jasin?" The guard with the club does, so moving over and tugging on the knot, then adding another knot on top of it, then moves back to his spot at the hatch. Grey waits until that's all settled, holding the Archer's gaze the entire time, and then looses the second strap. This time, he holds it loosely in his hands instead of tightly, watching the Grounder closely for signs of resistance.

The Archer makes no attempts to strike out again, perhaps wise enough to only test her luck once a day. She does wait for her arms to be reanchored before she releases a steady exhale out her nose. Her arms ache and scream as the pressure is relieved, but it is passing quickly. She draws her legs inward as she lowers into a crouch and then down
completely on her rearend.

Grey's an idiot sometimes, but not a total moron. He's carefully to tighten the strapping further now that it's down low on the wall, taking up the slack before tying it off. Stepping back, he nods to Jasin to check that knot too. And then he steps forward, carefully measuring out the length of the Archer's legs with his eyes, then squats down where he thinks he's just out of range. "I'll be back tomorrow." Is that a threat or a promise. "Maybe you'll actually drink some water instead of going for the wet t-shirt contest." And then he rises up, turning about and going back to the hatch. Grey glances over his shoulder, "Who knows, maybe I'll give you another kiss." He puckers up with that, but it's not a sexy pucker. It's a threat, if anything, especially since he taps a knuckle against his forehead where the a bruise is already rising.

The Archer's gaze remains locked on Grey, the challenge unfaltering. It is only when he makes his final departure does she sink back a bit, moving to lean more against the wall now that her arms have been given a bit more freedom. She taps her fingers slightly, looking over each binding with a thoughtful pause.

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