Day 007: Leverage, Says I
Summary: Grey discovers he has something that the Archer wants.
Date: 10 May 2016
Related: Smells Like Teen Spirit
Grey Archer 

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.
7 Days After Landing

It is the next day. Day 7 After Landing. Day 2 After the River. And now there are two Grounders in the top floor of the dropship. It would be pitch black if not for the couple of recessed ceiling lights powered off the dropship's batteries. Those will need recharging at some point. As it is, the room is dim, but not dark, even with the parachute-cloth curtain between them. There's a pounding on the hatch, a muffled voice that calls out, "It's Grey." And then one of the guards on duty moves over, pulls out a bar of metal from the rungs of the ladder, and hauls the hatch up. Grey ascends the ladder, patting the man on the shoulder, "Get some grub. Acer and I can handle it." Because the rules are, no one is alone with the Grounders, but somehow, three guards feels a little claustrophobic. Grey looks over the shaggy-haired man, the ash-streaked woman, and makes the latter choice, stepping around to her side of the curtain. Behind him, Acer smirks at the choice, shaking his head in amusement. Grey just stands in front of the woman for a long time, studying her — and letting her study him. He's washed the blood off his face at some point, but still has the wound at his left temple, and his pale shirt is a dark brown from dirt and blood beneath his jacket, now with two holes in it down around the ribs and hip. Eventually, he speaks up, "So. How do you like the spa so far?" There's a sardonic twist to his lips, "Morgan says you understand every word we say. I ain't so sure."

The Archer is fettered to the walls using harness straps and parachute cord, her arms spread out in a loose 'T'. They have been like this for hours, but neither Grounder has showed any sign of tiring of having to be on their feet with their arms spread so wide in their shoulder sockets. Her hair has been tousled and loosened from the thong that had held it — someone probably wanted the bit of leather, and why would the Grounder need her hair tied back at his point. The locks could be somewhere between golden blonde and pale brown in color, but ash and oil has darkened the mane. Her eyes are lost beneath the heavy wings of ash smeared across her face. Her wrists are a little raw where she is bound, suggesting she has done her fair share of struggling in an attempt to test the quality of the bindings and knots. Without her coat, it is easy to see the whorls of her tattoos on her arms and strong shoulders. Her dark eyes settle on Grey, shining with a predator's coldness. She says nothing, though the corner of her mouth twitches ever so slightly.

Grey studies the tattoos for a moment, even going so far as to step closer. Not close, because he's had some training with how to deal with a restrained prisoner, and rule one is 'don't get close enough to be headbutted or bit.' But he steps close enough that he can look down the length of her arm, looking over the tattoo work, "Nice. We don't go in for that much up on the Ark, but I know a couple'a people who have 'em." Stepping back again, he turns his eyes straight to her features, meeting that cold gaze with a hint of curiosity, "I'm sure someone's already given you a line about how we don't want war with your people, and how we'll let you go as soon as we can. Now, that's all true. But 'as soon as we can,' that's up to me." Well, sort of. Can't hurt to claim it though. "So we're gonna start easy." He reaches into the back pocket of his cargo pants and pulls out a slimline white case, one that is very dear to the Grounder woman, "Where'd you get this? It's yours, right?"

The Archer tilts her head ever so slightly, watching the sky boy with a kind of mute interest. When he starts to step closer, her entire body coils like a trap about to be sprung. She remains that way for a heartbeat, sending a silent warning to Grey that she is more than capable to do harm unto him if she wanted… or if she wasn't bound. But then he meets her eyes, and her body relaxes. Her eyes meet his steadily, showing little fear in either her situation or her captor. As produces his threat and establishes his status, the Grounder resettles into a stoic mask. Or starts to. The moment that slim little case is displayed, something about her changes. Her expression opens a bit, and she makes a forward step. The advance causes her shoulder joints to scream as she puts a strained pressure on them, and she quickly steps back to relieve the momentary flare of discomfort.

There's that first human moment. The first moment where Grey is interacting with a Grounder person-to-person, that meeting of eyes. And then the regret trickles into his heart like ice water. He hadn't meant to kill the second man. The first, he's not sure that he killed, and he'd meant to do it. The second, the second he'd tried not to, but hemorrhaging of the brain, that's what the baby-docs said. You hit a guy in the head hard enough with a metal rod, he doesn't get back up. Blinking hard and shaking his head — the motion only hurts his temple a little — he focuses his attention outwards again, on the Grounder woman. "Yours then." He gestures up towards the nearest dim light, "We got power, you know. We could make this play music." He doesn't know if she knows what it does or not, and he hasn't tried to see if the batteries are still alive yet himself. His left hand rises up to join his right on the pale case, placing both thumbs against the back, although he doesn't press with them, yet, "Or I could break it."

At first, the Archer gives little to no reaction when he mentions what the little device can do. Her expression remains oblique, but then he makes that threat. Her lips curl suddenly over her lips, and she advances again, ignoring the pain that shoots through her shoulders. There is no way she can actually close the distance between them, but she is definitely trying. Her arms look as though they are wings now, spread out and behind her. Her ash-smeared face betrays her anger as the sky boy dares to threaten the object. A single word is hissed through her teeth, barely audible, "No."

Grey lifts his thumbs from the case immediately. Threaten, reward. He got the reaction he wanted, even if his eyes widen in shock. Holy shit. They do understand. Or can speak. Or something. It's not all meaningless babble. At least he didn't start back from the prisoner when she suddenly leaned forward. That would have been embarrassing. He even lets his left hand drop off the case, still holding it up in his right as thoughts race through his brain. Why would that have been embarrassing? He shakes his head again, getting back to the subject at hand. "This is yours then." He almost waits for a nod of confirmation. "It's mine." Beat pause, "For now. Until we get what we need. Until we're know what we need to know to survive. Until we release you." The music player is lifted just a little, "Then, if you've given us what we need, it's yours again. Charged up, if I can manage it. I'll even show you how to use it." If he only knew that her own understanding of the device is at least as good as his own.

The Grounder seems to be testing her own resolve, pulling at her arms even more as she continues to strain toward the sky boy that has her trinket. She does not give in, and her fists tighten into balls of whitening knuckles. Her head lowers, turning her gaze predatory. There is even a soft growl that begins to grow from the depth of her throat. Her hips and legs start to flex, causing her body to crouch slightly.

Grey wasn't expecting the continued anger, and it causes him to blink in confusion, and then a smirk slips across his features and he shakes his head. The music player is tucked away in his pocket again, "Okay, so maybe you don't speak English like they thought." He snorts softly, "Because I just told you that you'll get it back if you're helpful." He leans forward just a touch, still staying carefully outside of headbutting distance but meeting her dark eyes straight up, "That's a good thing, Grounder-lady. You don't bite the hand that feeds you."

The Grounder relaxes backwards, but only after a moment. Her arms return to their normal spread from her shoulders, and her body seems to loosen. She can't stay that way for long, or the pain will start to cause actual damage. She watches him, head tilted aside. Her gaze travels past him toward where the parachute hangs between her and her companion, and then she fixes him with a narrowed stare. "Give it back," she hisses under her breath.

<FS3> Grey rolled Alertness: Good Success.

Glancing over to the Guard still technically watching both prisoners and Grey himself, the ex-C turns back to the Grounder woman, "I will." He glances behind him again, to the parachute curtain, then raises an eyebrow and lowers his voice, "Would yes or no questions be easier?"

The Archer does not seem obviously willing to participate in this. She just wants her trinket back. She sets her jaw, fixing him with her dark, mossy eyes. Her fingers continue to flex and curl into fists, but she makes no other attempt to intimidate the sky boy.

Grey apparently takes that relative docility for actual docility, because he steps closer, within leg-reach, but outside of headbutting or biting range. "Why'd you attack us? Was it just us bein' on your territory," and here a tightness settles around his eyes, "Or was it me knockin' over that pile of rocks?" And there's the crux of the first problem for Grey. Are all of these deaths, all of this pain, his fault? Or something else entirely.

The Archer carefully watches the boy approach, her head slightly tilted. Her jaw flexes slightly to match the tension that rolls through her hands. She doesn't respond at first, her gaze remaining fixed on his for a long moment. He has something she cares deeply for hostage, but she is also torn by her own loyalties. Even while his questions cause the smallest changes in her expression, she doesn't answer him, dropping back into a settled silence.

Grey watches the change in her features, tensing in return, as if expecting an attack. The lack of any readable response from her causes him to lean back gain, shrugging a little helplessly. "Okay." Disappointment shows on his features. "I'll be back tomorrow. I'm sure someone else'll be right up. Don't forget to drink even if you don't eat." Beat pause, "If you want to live long enough to get your player back."

The Archer just narrows her eyes at him when he threatens her player's livelihood once more. She says nothing as he starts to lean back, maybe even stepping away, swaying slightly against her bindings as she does.

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