Day 007: Planning Session
Summary: Cameron and Morgan go foraging and make plans for the future.
Date: 10 May 2016
Related: None
Cameron Morgan 

Asphalt and Cedar Grove
As the forests spread east of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the thick hardwood forests become more temperate and filled with evergreens. This particular region of the forest is primarily cedars and firs. Once, this may have been the area of a major interchange between highways, but it is now filled with tall, thick cedars. Heavy chunks of asphalt lay sporadically throughout the grove, including several cement barriers and naked rebar. The corpse of an old rusted sedan is completely impaled by a juvenile cedar tree with the trunk growing out of the center console.
Day 7

Above the great trees and ruins of civilization, the sun shines; its pleasantly warm and the sky is clear. It's the day after the rescue, and Cameron has suggested Morgan go foraging with him, to get some light exercise after his captivity. For his part, Cameron brings his newly acquired machete and though he hasn't managed to replace his shirt yet, he has donned the light Grounder armor he acquired in the raid. Picking a new direction then he's ever gone before, they soon find themselves within the grove of cedar trees and the skeletal remains of a time long past. "Instead of doing some one on one trading of training, I was thinking of organizing some … classes. Try to pool our knowledge. One for fighting, one for earth skills. There's some things *all* of us should know, no matter what our job is." explains Cameron, his attention flicking around alertly, looking both for food and in case of danger.

Morgan wanted to get out of camp and get away for a bit so Cam's suggestion was welcomed eagerly. Refusing to put put on his filthy shirt after he used a little water to clean up, at least from the waist up, he's got on one of the Grounder jackets. One of their swords hangs at his waist stuck through a makeshift sling. "There shouldn't be any one on one trading, not at this point. We need everyone to be working for the greater good instead of being like Zoe, who's only out for herself."

Oh, and Cameron did manage to get away and get cleaned up himself in the morning. Which is good, because his stealth garb was basically him making a swamp thing impersonation. He takes a moment to pause, leaning against what might have once been part of an wall, turning to look at Morgan and nod his head, "Agreed, though we can't make anyone do anything. We can't even make Zoe do anything. We can only try to convince them. I'm offering to train people, to try to use it to entice them to come together. Then I get us in a group, and we share experiences and knowledge." He gestures towards where Morgan's wound was, "How are you healing up?" he asks, a brow arching and a concerned tone entering his voice.

"I'm healing." Morgan answers. He pulls the jacket to the side to gently prod at the bandage cover the arrow hole. "It feels right. Hurts but it's only been what, three days? I wish we had a painkiller other than willow. It's a blood thinner and not the best thing to use on people who have holes in them."

Cameron reaches out with his good hand to lightly touch near Morgan's wound, frowning slightly, but then shaking his head and pushing off the wall to glance around, "I know what you mean, about the pain killers. Having enough trouble sleeping in general, my hand's got a steady throb going on so its keeping me up. I've been looking for a substitute but haven't found one yet. I'm hoping for chili peppers, actually. I mean, I figure someone might have grown them in their back yard, and they spread. Long shot, but besides Cookie loving a bit of spice, capsaicin is good for pain management." He lifts his good hand up and runs it through his hair, mussing it a moment before patting it back into place, "If nothing else, I'll never forgive the Council for doing this to us with not even basic provisions." He sounds a bit frustrated, which is odd considering he's taken this being on the ground thing almost… cheerfully, usually.

"And yet idiots still trust them to do right by us." Morgan says with a snort but then he sighs. "Even the ones who don't trust them are are still assuming we're going to be working hand in hand with them as soon as they arrive, as if there's no other option. But there is now. The Grounders. That's why we need to make friends with them, no matter what. But they're all acting as if killing a couple of us was some major crime. How many of us have the Council killed for doing nothing that deserved death?"

"Too many to count." agrees Cameron, sighing softly and shaking his head, "I still don't think its a matter of choosing the Grounders or the Council. There's another path: choosing the Grounders *and* the people of the Ark. Our people, who are as subjugated by the Council as we were. And the Grounders, who we have to learn to live with unless we think we can survive an all out war with an unknown population who are native to this land… which is insanity to consider." Glancing around a leaning rock to the darkness below, he finds a patch of mushrooms and crouches down, picking one up and eyeing turning it over, examining it very carefully. "Don't judge them too harshly, Mor. They're not idiots. They just aren't thinking as clearly as you about this. They're afraid."

"I've got nothing against the actual people of the Ark." Morgan states. Obviously, the Chancellor, Council and Guards don't qualify as people. "Your parents are up there. So are others. I get it. I'd do anything for my parents if they were still alive. That just makes the Grounders more important. We need them." Morgan stops and turns to look at Cam. "They know how to survive down here. They've been doing it for a hundred years. Maybe - maybe - we can figure it out without them before we all die. But if everyone on the Ark comes down? They're fucked." He shakes his head. "Some of the kids, they sound like we'll have all the tech we had on the Ark. Except the Ark is staying in orbit. The supplies will run out. The food and medicine will run out. The bullets will run out. And then what? They die. We need to learn from the Grounders how to live down here so that we can make sure everyone's parents don't die once they show up. We'll be the experts, the providers, and too valuable to kill. You get that right?"

With a grunt, Cam tosses the mushroom down, reaching behind him to tug his jagged knife-ish from his belt, and scratch an 'x' in the concrete wall next to the mushroom patch. "Poisonous." he explains, then rising and turning to Morgan. He reaches out and tries to snag Morgan's hand and squeeze it, "I'm with you, Morgan. We make peace with the Grounders, and we can be the go-between with our peoples. And it protects us, and gives us power that partially nullifies the Guard's dominance."

Morgan twines his fingers with Cameron's. "I knew you would. Maybe you can convince them." he says, waving his free hand toward the camp. "It has nothing to do with liking the Grounders. I don't like half the assholes in the camp but I work with them. It has everything to do with doing anything we need to to get them to agree to peace and teach us. You can start with Grey. He should just stand there and look pretty. Every time he opens his mouth to talk, I want to shove something in it." Pause. "Not in a fun way." he adds as he realizes how that sounded. He looks down at the mushrooms to memorize what they look like.

Cameron laughs softly, squeezing Morgan's hand as his laugh fades into a grin, "I'll work on Grey. We get along fine, though I'm happy to hear that you don't have any ambitions for that mouth of his… besides punching it." He shakes his head, amused, "But you're right, its not about liking anyone, though I /prefer/ to like everyone. Things are easier when you can laugh with people. Still, I'll do whatever it takes so we can not just survive, but thrive. That's what I'm thinking about. I wonder who should get in there and talk to the grounders. How much… talking? were you able to get out of them while they had you?"

"Oh, I'd do him if he was willing." Morgan admits. But sex is sex and there's a lot of hot guys around. "And so would you." Though the curious look makes it half a question. "I intend to go talk to them. Grey's saying everyone who wants to should be able to. Which seems like a really bad idea to have as many idiots as there are, free to go talk to them. Asher wants to get information from them. What information? How many of them are there? Where do they live? Who gives a fuck? Lots and out there. Now's not the time for questions. Now's the time to heal them and make friends with them. Once that happens, then we can start trading info."

Cameron tilts his head to the side, "Would I? I don't know. I've never had a particular need for variety in partners. He and I are getting along as is. Messing it up with hormones might mess that up. In theory, if he were willing." He grins, a hint of dimples showing before he shakes his head more seriously, "I'm not sure everyone going at them from a different direction is a good idea at all. If anything, it might just confuse them. Make us seem disorganized, chaotic." He purses his lips, "We do need information, but not for tactical reasons: there has to be a whole society of them out there, the chances of us happening to land just where there happens to be the last remnants of humanity? Astronomically unlikely, so obviously they outnumber us. We need to know /about/ them, as a people. What they care about. What they trust. What they need. That way we can find a common ground and start building a bond."

"Exactly!" Morgan agrees and puts his hands on Cam's waist, smiling at him. "Why can't they all be as smart as you? No wonder I like you, handsome and insightful." Stepping forward, he gives Cam a kiss and a hug. "Is it selfish of me to be glad you're down here?" And after a moment, he asks "Would you prefer I not be with anyone else? Not that I have been since we landed or know if anyone is interested. But I don't have to be if, you know, you'd like to… be… more."

Cameron can't help but smile back, dimples showing in full force, "I'm a catch, I know." he says, voice light and teasing, even as he leans into the kiss and slips arms around the Morgan's shoulders to return the hug. "Not selfish, no. I'm glad you're here too. It's never selfish to want someone, especially in my case, when I'd have *chosen* to be here if they made a fair offer: Ark or Ground." Then he quiets a moment, tilting his head and looking Morgan in the eyes, "Up in the Box, I didn't want to take things… too far. We were all going to die in a year or so, you know? I mean, there's a slight chance they might have let me go, but I knew they'd kill you. But we have a chance of having an actual life here. So.. well, I wouldn't be mad at you if you wanted to be with someone else, we've made no promises.. but if you'd want to, we could try? More. Together."

Morgan leans back so he can look at Cam but doesn't let go of him. "It's just sex and means nothing by itself. It's fun and feels good. It wouldn't bother me if you were with someone else and if you also don't mind if I was… That doesn't mean there can't be more though." He bites his lip, suddenly unsure. "I should have been dead by now. Five months ago." he says, backtracking slightly. "I could be tomorrow. I'd… rather not die without… trying more." Pause. "Whichever way you wanted it."

Cameron's face is serious, his eyes like warm chocolate, "If we're just friends and… playing around, it wouldn't bother me if you were with someone else, but if we were more, then it would. If we were like, uhh… Boyfriends." He says it, though his expression scrunches up a little and he grins, "The word sounds ridiculous. Anyways, then it'd be about us being us. Loyal, exclusive, and who knows what else? That's what we'd have to find out." He reaches up, brushing a thumb along Morgan's lip that he bit, "Fuck, you're smart, intense, and the hottest guy on the ground, and every time you say my name I get goose bumps. I'm being exclusive with you almost by default, just because when you're around no one else is of any interest at all." He smiles, "So I'd be into trying if you could agree to seeing what we can make, with us just being with us."

Morgan smiles briefly. "It does sound dumb." he agrees then listens to what else Cam says. "I don't care about exclusive. Who we fuck doesn't change how we feel. But if you do, I can deal with it. So long as thinking about it is okay." he adds with a grin. "But yeah, let's do it."

"I don't expect you to suddenly never look at another guy, or see a nice ass and pretend to not admire it." remarks Cameron, laughing softly as his hand drifts around Morgan's neck again, lightly tracing his skin, "Heck, point it out, let me know so I can get a look. It's a loyalty thing: if we're together, something's just for us, you know? I don't know, I've never … been *with* someone. Maybe I'll change my mind. This is new to me." He smiles suddenly then, all dimples, leaning in to brush his lips against Morgan's, "So, do we go tell everyone we're uhh.. dating? The words for this all suck."

"You have my loyalty." Morgan says seriously. "Now and always, no matter what." Not counting betrayal, of course. At the question, he shrugs. "They'll figure it out. Or not." Who cares. He gives Cam a kiss and then steps back. "So to answer your question, they didn't say a word while we were prisoners. I did learn a lot though. Back on the Ark, I'd watch a lot of those old videos and these guys act just like the gangs in the videos did. We trespassed on their territory, we vandalized their markers, so they attacked. But once they won, they took good care of us. Bear Mask seems to be the leader, but the Archer we captured seems to be the next one in command. Of the ones we saw, anyway. She was curious about us, gave us warning looks to not do things, made sure we were fed and got medical care."

It takes a moment for Cameron's mind to float back to the practical, but he does blink, blink, and he's finally nodding, "I'm concerned that they didn't try to communicate with you. There had to be /something/ they wanted. I almost wish we could have trusted the situation to let someone stay with them and learn from the inside, but … we /couldn't/, not with them moving you, and us having the chance to do something about it. Have you thought of sitting in and trying to get the Archer to talk? Maybe a familiar face? I haven't decided if I should try, but then again I'm nto really in support of this everyone and the kitchen sink meet the grounders plan we have going right now."

"Of course I have. And I intend to talk to her. Or try to." Morgan says. "She was the one who showed the most interest in us. The one who seemed most concerned about how we were doing. She even gave me some willow bark when I asked her if they had any pain killers. That's why I'm more concerned about her than the other guy. We know her the best. Plus she's the higher rank and if we can get her on our side, she'll have more say than the other guy. Not that Grey gives a shit about any of that. All he goes on about is that we're taking their side when we insist they stop insulting them and talking about them as if they were savages. That kind of shit isn't going to help us at all. This is all about our staying alive."

Cameron blinks a moment, "Wait." He steps aside, reaching out to lay a hand on Morgan's chest, "When you asked for a pain killer, she got you willow bark? I missed this detail somehow. That means she *understood English*. Even if you were gesturing, that's too specific a response for it to be something she'd just infer." He shakes his head, his expression looking deeply thoughtful, "I thought we'd have to work on learning their language, or vice-versa, which would take *so* much time, but if the issue is their *willingness* to communicate and not their *ability*, …" He looks back off towards where the dropship is, seeming suddenly all energetic. He'd hop around if he were a spaz.

"Oh, she definitely understands English." Morgan agrees. "I guess you weren't there when I told people that. She didn't say a word to us in it but she understands just fine. I can almost understand them too." he continues. "It sounds like English just, you know, primitive. They call us 'sky something'. And when Bear Mask threatened me, I definitely understood his meaning if not his exact words."

"I might have been there, and the detail just evaded me." Cameron grins suddenly, his expression looking rueful, "Between adrenaline and pain, I was in mild shock and my wits weren't all about me. I've never been *wounded* before. Oh, I've been beat up and shocked by the fucking goons, but never had a blade slice through my flesh. It was an illuminating experience and will be quite motivating, in future conflicts." That said, he nods his head thoughtfully, "Sky something, makes sense, they clearly saw us come down. Were there any other words you remember catching them saying?"

"Which means they know where our camp is." Morgan points out. "It wouldn't have been hard to find when they heard and saw us landing. They could be watching us now." Which is why he's been looking over Cam's shoulder at everything behind him. He thinks about the question on language. "'I could' and 'You better' were two. Exact words are difficult but their meaning is pretty clear."

Cameron hesitates, glancing around, and nods in agreement, "If I were them, I'd have the best me's nearby, watching us." He hesitates, "Cassandra told me about Zoe's plan, to get dressed up like one and sneak into their camp and see what can be heard and seen. I don't like the idea of her doing it because I don't know she'd tell us anything without us buying it off of her. I'm thinking of doing that myself. Maybe not all the way in, but to try to learn something about them. I know it might be dangerous, but *everything* is dangerous right now. If we can find out anything that might help us communicate with our captives… What do you think?" He has a tone of seeking advice and counsel, but its clear he's not asking permission.

Morgan snorts at what Cam says. "As if they don't know what each other looks like. Zoe's an idiot." He shakes his head at the question. "What do I think? I think it's dangerous and won't learn a thing that's useful. She speaks English so we can already communicate. The hard part will be giving her a reason to. What would you see? You'd see them preparing to attack us. And as good as you are at sneaking around, how good are you at sneaking around a forest compared to them?" It's a rhetorical question since he goes on. "Let someone else get killed for no reason. If you want to help, I think you should talk to Grey and try to convince him about what we just talked about. Every time I talk to him, we just argue."

"If I don't want to be seen, I lay good odds, I'm not seen. Against goons and grounders alike, space station or forest." replies Cameron confidently, "I have no idea what I'd see, though. That's the point. It seems to me you're putting all your eggs in one basket: all of our information and all our hope on one chance, getting them to talk to us. I am with you on that, I said. But, I can do more then just talk to Grey and forage for food, which I'm going to do irregardless."

"We don't have many baskets." Morgan points out. "What options do we have? Attack them before they attack us? I'd lay odds they outnumber us and probably every single one is trained to fight. Even if they aren't, or don't, there's gotta be others. They marked their territory which means there's others to see it. Whatever they speak, it's damn hard to understand so I really doubt anyone would learn anything from overhearing them. What good do you see it doing?"

"More information." Cameron gestures around them, "If I were them, as I said, I'd be watching us. What do we lose watching them? I have no idea what I'd find out, that's the point — right now we have exactly one source of information, and you're relying entirely on the hope we can get them to talk, make peace. I share your hope. I'm with you, Morgan. But I don't like sitting here blind, either. I'm *not* saying we attack them, but we need more then one source of intelligence. Some surveillance seems only prudent. And who knows what would be discovered?"

Morgan shrugs. "I don't know. I don't think there's any point to it but I could be wrong." Doubtful but he could be. "I don't want you risking yourself. But it's your decision. And if you get caught, I'll come kill anyone who's hurt you."

Cameron snags Morgan's hand, pulling it up to brush a light kiss on his knuckles, "Every day is a risk. We live and do with it what we can. I don't intend to go /inside/ their village, or whatever it is, and just walk past them. That's reckless. But at the very least I think we need to be scouting, and have some situational awareness of what's going on past our little wall-thing. That's all I'm really talking about. I mean if I see two grounders talking while out… doing something, observing them might be enlightening."

"Like they're doing to us right now?" Morgan asks with a bit of a grin. "Do what you think you need to." he repeats. "Just remember, assume that as good as you are, they're better. This is their home. They live here. I'd totally bet on you in the corridors of the Ark. But here in a forest, when we've only been here a week, they're better. So be careful."

Cameron glances off to the forest at the side, "I wonder what they'd be reporting back on us. Strange ritual hand-holding behavior of the skyfallen, periodic lip touching that may signify cannibalistic intent." He grins broadly, dimpling, "I'll always assume I need to be careful, and there's no such thing as not too careful, but when it comes to sneaking around, the environment is just the environment. You use it. Sure, there's things that I'll not know. I didn't realize branches were so loud when you stepped on them, for instance. But that sorta thing I'll be able to pick up quickly. Besides, I need to learn it, anyways."

"I'd show them more but I'd rather be closer to the ship for that." Morgan says, returning the grin. "Not to mention dirty and bloody and stinky. I'd kill for a shower. Or even a big pot of water and a sponge. Or even a river where I didn't have to worry about getting eaten by a snake."

Cameron looks downright wistful, "Yeah, its a pain in the ass keeping clean. I've been volunteering to collect water, and wipe-washing down by the river after stripping, keeping watch out for the fucking snake beast. Its cold and unpleasant and only like sixty five percent effective. Seventy five tops." Then he shrugs helplessly, "But a man's gotta do what he's gotta do. Sanitation is just a convenience right now but its going to be important in the not too distant future." He pauses, "But not right now."

"But not right now." Morgan agrees then grins. "There's always hands though. Let's keep foraging and if we find a good spot where no Grounders are likely to be able to sneak up on us…"

Cameron's grin tilts towards the wicked, as he turns most of his attention back on actually foraging— wandering away, glancing about to look for berries, nuts, and all the like. "Oh, hands are good, but there's plenty that can be done without having to worry about the fact that we're not all clean. Yeah, taste buds are alas an impediment to some of my favorite things to do, but it doesn't much matter to me if my ass has a smudge of dirt on it or not." He gestures to the side, and heads off that way looking for food, "But you're right, we should get back to foraging."

While Cam starts looking in one place, Morgan heads off in another direction though not too far and not without keeping an eye all around them both. Eventually they'll finish, the foraging too, and take back what they find to the camp.

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