Day 002: Philosophical Hunting
Summary: Max and Cameron chat, and go hunting
Date: 08 05 2016
Related: None
Max Cameron 

Outside the Dropship, along the paths beyond into the wilderness.
2 Days after Landing

It's approaching noon, just time for a meal— except they aren't really having regular meals yet, so that's that. Still, there's some people around outside the dropship, some training with makeshift weapons, some digging latrines, all the various little pieces of survival that is consuming the 100's lives these days. For his part, Cameron has spent the day foraging, and as he steps around a tree, he has an expression on his face that looks both satisfied and pleased. Downright content, even. He's shirtless at the moment, since he's using his shirt to carry a nice sized bundle of something or other. Strangely for him (if one were to notice and know him well enough to know his hair is somehow always on point), his hair is on the disheveled side.

Working on trying to cobble together a couple of makeshift knives, Max has a couple of sharp looking pieces of metal which he is wrapping handles onto, seated under a tree off to himself. He works on one for a bit and then he sets to working on the other, watching people coming and going, studying how they act, interact, react to one another. He's always watching. As Cameron comes around the tree he looks him over and says, "What'd you find?"

Heading over towards Max as he's addressed, Cam's grin is small as it usually is, a subtle, almost mischievous look, and he pulls open the shirt. There's a nice little bundle of berries, and a good sized bundle of dandelions. "I got lucky." he says, and there's something in his voice which implies innuendo, "I found the berries this morning, and later ended upon a patch of dandelions. They used to treat them as weeds, but the whole flower is edible. A bit bitter, but I'm sure Cookie can do something about that. They're good for you." He squints at the knife, and sets the bundle down, pulling a metal rod out of where it was tucked into his belt, "Any chance you wanna trade a rod for a knife-like-thing? I need something sharper."

Max leans over to look into the bundle and then nods when he sees what it contains, "Pretty sure she can," he agrees before settling back, smiling just a little bit amusedly at the innuendo in Cam's tone. He goes back to wrapping, until he finishes up the one he's working on. "Found some herbs.. medicinal, otherwise. Had Hanne check them to make sure they were what I thought they were." He then glances over at the rod and at his knives and shakes his head, "Don't want the rod. But I'll make you another knife. There was some scrap I kept aside to trade."

"Dandelions also have a variety of medicinal properties, but I think right now nutrition is probably the priority for them today." He pauses, thoughtfully, "Maybe I'll pick the seeds out and keep them and cultivate a dandelion field." Then Cameron's shaking his head, and smiling; its different then a grin, for when he smiles, he dimples. "But good on you. What did you find?" Cameron pauses, and grins again, "Professional curiosity. If his Highness hadn't boxed me, I'd be a junior botanist today." Slipping the rod back into his belt, "Thanks. I admit, its not purely a practical request. I'm hoping for a sharp enough edge I can carve something. I have trouble sleeping in the ship, and until we get more shelter out here, …" He shrugs, "So I want carve something. But I also want something sharp for practical purposes, so its win-win."

Max watches Cameron as he talks, head tilted a little to one side. The dimpled smile has an odd effect, it's contagious, and it makes Max smile just a little, almost until he realizes that he's doing it, and then he stops, nodding. "Some moss to pack poultices. Some willow." He then says, "I just know some first aid. Not a botanist, myself." He finishes off the blade that he was working on, and then considers Cameron's words for a bit. He then flips the knife over, handle toward Cam, and offers it to him to take. "Take it."

"Oh, that'd be useful." approves Cam at mentioning of the moss. Setting his shirt-bundle aside gently, Cameron takes the knife with another dimpled smile, holding it carefully, feeling its balance. His fingers seem deft, but he has only basic defense training, but still, he handles it nimbly. "Thanks. I owe you one." Then he's nodding, "I have some /very/ basic training in first aid, but its not much better then just keeping someone from dying from obvious wounds until a medtech gets there. It was one of those things Mom insisted I learn, though. Said its something everyone should know something about." He glances up, his expression darkening slightly, and after he slips his knife into his pocket, one hand goes to rub along the monitoring bracelet.

"My mom was a medtech," Max says. "That's what I would have been.. if I hadn't gone in." He nods when Cameron seems to at least know not to stab himself with the pointy bits, and then sets about finishing up the handle on the remaining one. He'll make himself a second later, it seems. He shifts his shoulders against the tree that he sits under. Looking up, he looks out over the camp and then back over to Cam, "Thinking of going hunting soon. We saw a bird.. there's animals down here."

"Mom's a zero-g mechanic, she just always said, you never know when someone's gonna get hurt." Cameron pauses, glances, and then suddenly grins, "Hey, let me go drop this off with Cookie's cooksters, and I'll go with you. I'm not an expert hunter or anything, but I can sneak up on a ghost. I won't scare the prey away, at least." He pauses a moment, head tilted to the side, "Unless you'd rather go alone? Won't take offense."

There's something grim in Max's expression for a moment and then nods. His dad had gotten killed in an accident, a mechanic. He then nods his head in the direction of where he'd last seen Cookie. "Think she's over there," he indicates with that brief nod then says, "Sure. We can go scout it out, see if we can find anything." He doesn't seem to mind the company at all, finishing up his knife. "I'll see if we can borrow one of Lucian's spears, too."

"Worst case scenario we know where not to look for a couple days." And Cam's lifting up the food, and heading off. A couple minutes he's coming back, pulling his tank top over his shoulders and down. He's got his rod out in his left hand and new knife-ish in his right as he approaches, and already he's falling into his natural walk; its not exactly slow, but careful, with each step tested a moment before his weight's put on it, and he deftly moves from foot to foot without pausing to let his weight rest. At least, that's how he imagines it in his head, the boy who defies gravity. It usually works for him. "Ready?"

While Cameron is off bringing the food to Cookie, he gets up and goes to borrow one of the spears. This, he takes with him, as well as the one knife that he has affixed to his waist. When Cam returns, he looks him over as he approaches, "Usually if you're going to sneak up on someone, you should do it from behind," he offers helpfully. Then he nods. He's ready. With a tip of his head in the direction of the woods, he begins to head off toward the trees and away from camp.

Cam stalks off after Max, grinning as he goes, "I wasn't trying to sneak up on -you-, spacebrains. I was just getting into the rhythm. I evaded the goons for a /year/ after I put up that painting of Jaha in a clown suit, not to mention the rest of the my Exhibition. Its all about rhythms. You listen and you hear and you follow the patterns in the air." He shrugs, "Or I do, at least." His voice is much softer, just so like, it doesn't involve scaring off any happy meals.

"I was teasing," Max says, though with the dryness of his humor, it's hard to tell sometimes, the slightest smirk quirking his lips. But then he nods and says, "I remember that. The clown suit. Hearing about it, anyway.. didn't see it." Because he was boxed, if it happened in the last five years, anyway. His own voice is almost always low, quiet. But he makes it moreso as they head out onto the trail and start creeping about looking to see what might be edible out in the woods.

"It was the start of a beautiful tour. Of course, I knew they'd catch me eventually. I just couldn't stand it, being confined up there. It was worse in the box, I thought I'd go insane, almost every day it got worse… Morgan and the other friends I had pulled me back, and I kept a balance… but even /before/ the box, you know? I wasn't built for being up there." And he smiles again, dimples and all, "I know we might all die here, but… For the first time in my life, I'm free."

Max moves quietly through the woods and trees, apparently having some experience sneaking around, or some sort of instinctive ability to do so. No point in scaring everything that might be in the area by gallumphing through the forest. He holds the spear against his shoulder, leaving the knife at his waist for the time being. Glancing sidelong over toward Cameron he nods and says, "Good you had someone. To ground you. Good that we got sent down here, then.." He doesn't seem too concerned about the dying. "Every day's borrowed time for me."

"Borrowed time?" wonders Cameron softly, his focus slightly more on his feet then where animals are, but he isn't completely focused. His eyes dart this way and that, alert. "What do you mean? We're all free now. Its not borrowed, its earned. We earn every day and its ours to claim and say: this is mine, I survived it, and tomorrow, I'll survive the next. We'll decide to live and /making/ that decision is as important as anything else we do to make sure we /do/ live. And fuck anyone who tries to take our freedom from us again."

"You think that they're going to let all of us stay that way when they come down?" Max asks Cameron as he looks over at him again, failing to actually search for something to hunt as he gets distracted by the conversation. "There's no way I was going to pass a review." He looks back out then into the trees and begins to make his way around the side of a dip in the terrain, skirting some fallen trees. "I figured I was dead before I got here. So.. borrowed time."

"There is no review." counters Cameron with a slight shake of his head, "That all ended when they sent us on this suicide mission. This is our review. We survive, we live, we don't, we don't. If we survive, we're individually more valuable then any of them— no matter what we did before. The old law would be broken. Besides, if they think we'll /let/ them take over again when they come down, they'll be in for a rude awakening. The power dynamics of the oxygen-space-scarcity paradigm that kept the High Lords and their King in control don't apply. Yes, they'll start out with superior armaments, but that's solvable. No, man. Up there, every person is a hindrance: down here, every person is an asset. They can't /afford/ to kill like they did on the Ark." He shakes his head, "I'm not nieve, Jaha and his goons will try to maintain control. He'll fail. I'll kill him myself if I have to. Why do you think I'm spending so much time foraging and hunting? Yes, we need food, yes, its the best use of my talents.. but I'm thinking ahead, too. We'll be ready." He hesitates, uncertain a moment, "Morgan thinks we should take off our bracelets, to delay them. Give us more time. He thinks they'll just kill him out of hand, too." A hint of tension to his voice.

Max looks down at the bracelet on his wrist thoughtfully for a moment, and then shakes his head nad looks back out into the trees, seeking some movement, some indication that there might be some creature out there. "Morgan's right. Probably should take them off, let them think we're dead." He eventually slows and comes to a stop, turning back around to look at Cameron and says, "Could always just take off.. into the woods. Go find someplace far away. Just keep going. Leave them Mt. Weather. They wouldn't waste many to come looking."

"My mom and dad are up there." says Cameron, his voice even softer. He seems.. pained. Conflicted. "I love them. They're my family. Most the rest, they're just families, too. I hate Jaha, I hate the Council, but most the people of the Ark are just people, surviving. They're families. Mothers. Fathers. Sons and daughters. They didn't send us down here because they were bored: they wouldn't waste a dropship. There isn't that many. They wouldn't release us all with a pardon just to screw with us and kill us later. I don't know what's up, but these monitors are important… They're the only link between me and Mom.. and dad.. and that's my /family/. What if they /need/ to come down? What if us messing with the bracelets mean they all die? What if we, the 100— 96? 98?— are the last of humanity? Stuck here, with nothing, none of our technology, none of our libraries, power, just here, reduced to abject savages, because we sabotage the plan that is tied into this bracelets?"

There's a long period of silence as Max just listens as he walks, his eyes scanning the trees around them, but he's listening. One can tell that he's listening by the subtle tightening of his jaw, the downward tug to his lips and then the slight bunching of his shoulders that releases again after a while. "Then don't take it off," Max says finally, looking over at him. "Keep the connection to your mom and dad. It's important to you. Wasn't saying you should take yours off.. just.. I was thinking about it." Not about the grand plan or about whether the people on the Ark lived or died, just pure personal survival. "I could deal with being the last of humanity here.. as long as I can find something to eat and drink."

"Don't you feel any responsibility? For all that we had, all that we were, all that we lost, and all that we're the only hope of it being again?" wonders Cameron, and though the question might sound challenging, his tone is soft, gentle. Just questioning. Wondering. "I'm never going to have kids, that's fine, but I'd like to build something, and one day someone tells their kids, 'Cameron Scott, he did that.'." He nods slightly, "Something beautiful. Something that inspires them to do better, be better, better then we are now— better then we were in the war— better. I'd like to imagine a world that I can leave being proud of what I left behind. For my mom and dad, my gramps and gran, and their parents, and their parents, and their parents back to Africa when we found fire and learned to make tools. We've been standing on eachothers shoulders for thousands of years. I don't want to be the one that doesn't stand higher then I got coming in. I can be more. We can be more."

Max's eyes linger on Cameron's features for a long time, just listening. He doesn't bristle even when the words are challenging, though he does look away, his eyes shifting to the ground, not back into the trees, not looking for prey, just at his feet and the ground beneath it. "No," he says finally, "I don't." He reaches up and runs a hand through his hair, rubbing at his neck lightly. "You.. I don't know. You've given it a lot of thought." For all the time that he spends in his own head, this particular question isn't one that he's given a lot of consideration. "I've never thought about leaving anything for anyone to think about. Never figured that'd be an option."

Cameron reaches out and touches Max's arm lightly, "Maybe its time to think about it. We're almost literlaly on a new world. Old world, but from our perspective, new. I won't tell you what you should think, but maybe this is something you should think /about/." That said, he pulls his hand back, rolls his shoulders, and crouches slightly, "So. Let's get serious about this hunting business."

Max looks back up at the touch, attention pulled from his shoes, and then nods silently. After a few moments he says, "Yeah.. maybe." But then Cameron is moving away and crouching and getting serious about the hunt. It takes him a moment longer to shift gears before he turns back to where he had been headed before, and begins to make his way further into the trees, spear once more at the ready rather than lazily leaning against his shoulder.

For his part, Cam's wielding both weapons, though the way he holds the rod is more defensive then the knife. He steps lightly, moving forward, his eyes intent and focused. He might have started them on being more serious on getting this hunt going, but he's not leading, deferring instead to Max slightly. Keeping a step behind. Still though, up ahead, they see a small deer. Its maybe a little deformed, but hey, meat's better then rocks, eveyone agrees with that.

<FS3> Cameron rolls Survival: Good Success.
<FS3> Max rolls Survival: Good Success.

Max sees the deer as well and glances back over his shoulder to make sure that Cam sees it as well. One he knows that he does, Max begins to circle, making a wide arc around the deer to get a feel for what might also be in the woods nearby, checking to see if there is more, and slowly narrowing the spiral to bring them closer.

<FS3> Max rolls Stealth: Good Success.
<FS3> Cameron rolls Stealth: Great Success.

Cameron is a shadow upon the leaves, low, slow, and completely and utterly silent. There's surely some faint marks left in his movements, but only the most skilled trackers would find them— and any hope that poor deer has of detecting him, is largely a figment of some old pagan god's imagination. Looking aside to Max, he makes a gesture, suggesting he go this way, and Max go the other, all in utter silence.

Max makes a little bit of noise in his movements, an unseen twig underneath some leaves, a bit of unsure footing in the direction that he takes, but it isn't enough to frighten the deer off. It lifts its head and looks about, ears swiveling and Max stops where he is. Freezing, he looks over toward Cameron and doesn't move any closer for the time being. It seems he's going to let Cam get as close as possible before he even attempts to make more progress.

<FS3> Cameron rolls Melee: Good Success.
<FS3> Max rolls Melee: Failure.

Cameron nods slightly to Max as his hesitation and intention are made clear, and he stalks ever closer to the unaware deer, taking slow and steady care so that every single step is measured, every single motion is precise, exact. And then he's moving like a flash, slicing forward and quickly and cleanly slicing the deer's neck opening. There's some brief thrashing, but the lil' guy bleeds out before it can move more then a couple feet. This covers Cam's hands with some blood, but hey. All in all, though… Cameron stands there looking … stunned.

Max comes around from the other side but by the time he gets there, Cameron is already in motion and slicing and the deer drops before his swing even connects. Instead, he swishes and gets only air, and then stands there for a moment, both a bit surprised, and yet impressed. He reaches over and gives Cameron's shoulder a firm clasp and says, "Good job."
You paged Orion with 'I dunno, where do you live? I've lived in deer country; it takes a lot to diminish a deer population. Those beasts breed almost as bad as rabbits and are a

Cameron's sort of … just… still. "There's so much blood." He shakes his head a moment later, blinking, and sliding his knife-ish between his belt and pants, "Thanks for the knife. I've.. never /killed/ anything before." This is said without any sort of awareness, it seems, that Max has. For a moment he just has to stare at the stain of dark blood upon his pale skin. He's not freaked out, he's not panicking, but he's… something. Thoughtful.

Max doesn't react to the blood. Instead, he reaches for Cameron's knife and cleans it off before putting it back in his belt, carefully. He then gives his shoulder another squeeze and studies him for a moment, making sure that the other guy is actually okay. "Gonna be alright, there?" he asks, and for a moment there's genuine concern there. For all that it doesn't bother him, he knows that it's not something that most folk have any experience with. The fact that the first thing he ever killed was another person is, well, it's a thing. He doesn't voice it though.

He's calm. Cameron is thoughtful, hesitant perhaps, but calm. There's no sign of emotion in his features, except perhaps a hint of distaste, but after the shoulder squeeze, Cam blinks out of it and shakes his head. He's practical. "I'm fine. Its just … I don't know. I didn't think about what I'd feel, and am not sure what I feel… I don't know. It needed to happen." Max's taking of his knife-ish and cleaning it has an appraising look: something it clearly shows he won't need that to happen again, he pays attention. After that, he crouches down, digs his hands into the dirt, and uses it to clean off the blood. It doesn't leave his arms /clean/, but the grit from it cleans off the blood and gunk after some rigorous rubbing. "I have no intention of dying here, Max. Whatever it takes. Not now, not if they come down, not anytime after. Whatever it takes. I'll live and make something that they'll remember Cameron Scott made. No matter the stakes."

"It's.. yeah. It's taking a life. Even if it's for survival," Max says, acknowledging that having feelings, or not being sure of what feelings Cameron is having, is pretty much expected in this sort of situation. He lets Cameron work on getting himself clean while he goes about prepping the deer for transport, which includes getting more messy. This part he had some experience in from the previous evening's hunt. He keeps an eye on Cameron out of the corner of his eye though. Crouched there by the fallen body he looks up and over and says, "You're going to be fine. You'll survive. And you'll make your mark. Pretty sure anybody who'd like to try would have a hard time stopping you."

After Cameron has himself 'clean', by some definition of it, he watches Max preparing the body of the deer. Its something he has no idea about, so he studies avidly. At a couple points, he asks what's going, what's doing, why there, why that. But by the time the main preparation is done, Cameron is nodding, "So will you, you know. So can you. I don't know the details, but I know you were boxed for murder. You might think you're first on the block if the Lords come down, but remember, I mocked them. I knew they'd box me, I knew they'd kill me before they let me out, because my Exhibition was all about how I didn't respect them. Who'd you kill? Someone? I tried to embarrass the powers that be. I'm not trying to make it a contest, I'm making a point. I'll be fine. You'll be fine. Because we will be fine together. Let's start thinking not of dying or our borrowed time, but preparing to not escape them, not endure them, but /win/. It can happen, Max. First you have to believe. Two days ago, I thought I would die in the box. I thought I would claw my eyes out and scream and scream and scream. Now I'm free. Maybe the chance isn't great, maybe its a long shot, but fuck it, I'm going to *do it*. Or die trying. At least, then, I'm dying /trying/, not dying submitting. Give it some thought."

What he does is rough, rudimentary, trying to follow what the others did on their previous hunt. Trying to get the thing in some manner of being able to carry it however is an unwieldy process and he struggles. Perhaps bringing another ES person along would have been good planning. Beginning to show signs of frustration, he steps away from the carcass for a moment, hands still bloody. When his crime is brought up, it doesn't add to his mood, brow furrowing and gaze darkening a little, but it's like a heavy raincloud rolling by. And eventually it passes. Instead he just looks up from where he is crouched and says, "You really believe we can win." It's not a question, it's more just a statement, an acknowledgement perhaps of what had been said. Finally he says, "Yeah… I'll think about it." It's more than he's done thus far, so, progress perhaps.

"I refuse to submit to the idea I can't win." counters Cameron, his voice almost fierce, "I'll never submit again. I'll never be locked up again. Put in a box. Made /small/, told I don't matter. I'll do whatever it takes to stand. I am Cameron Scott, and I will *not* accept defeat. To my dying breath, and if I die, so be it, I'll challenge with that breath to the last moment." That said, he shrugs, gestures tot he beast, and he recognizes Max isn't quite doing things right, "You take the front, I take the back, we haul it to camp and watch as someone cleans it and does… whatever you do." He flashes a sudden smile, bright and with full dimples on display, "Think about it. What's the alternative? /Giving up/? Fight. Learn. Build. Grow. Or accept, and fade, and wither, and follow unto death. I know the path I'm picking, Max. They might kill me, but I'll fucking take them with me and I'll fucking make them earn it, and even if that's the only thing I can leave behind, someone will say: Cameron Scott, he /fought/."

It's quite the impassioned speech, and one eyebrow raises just a bit as he listens to it, and he can't help but ask, teasingly, "What was your name again?" Then he ducks, the faint flicker of a grin dashing over his features. But then he concedes that he's not going to be able to do anything useful with the deer there. So he bends down and picks up the front, and begins to help Cameron haul it back to camp where someone can do a better job of prepping it. Hid own expression eventually drifts back to concentration and focus on getting their kill back.

To the ducking, there's no hitting, but there is a dimpled grin, "Cameron fucking Scott." he declares, without even a vaguest hint of hesitation or shame. "Don't you forget it." He's got a grin then, a bit wicked, teasing, all mixed in one. That over, though and he focuses on carrying the deer back carefully, with effort.

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