Day 027: Two Recluses Weave A Conversation
Summary: Ariadne and Ruth find a spot of peace amidst the camp's building tension. They relieve it with talk of spiders and sensible weaponry.
Date: 21 June 2016
Related: None
Ariadne Ruth 


Primary Passenger Hold
This was once the main passenger cabin of the dropship, holding rows and rows of seats and a small communications console along one wall. Since landing, the seats have been removed, and it has been turned into a combination sick-bay and storage. The deck, ceiling, and walls are all bare metal, and several "wings" jut out from the main area, forming little cubbies that still provide exactly zero privacy. One of the cubbies has been repurposed as a makeshift medbay, with an equally-makeshift table and several small bundles of supplies. There is usually someone sitting around here tending to the medical supplies or just watching over them. Two ladders descend to the cargo hold below, one of them also rising up to the top level of the dropship through a hatch that can be locked from below.
May 25, 2016

Ariadne is sitting on the floor, in fact she's curled up there against the wall near the bed where Hanne is sleeping. There's a bundled up blanket underneath her to cushion her behind slightly, and legs that are proportionately too long for the rest of her body are folded up against her chest and her arms are wrapped around them. Her chin rests on her knee and she stares blankly at the wall of the drop ship. She's gone from avoiding medical altogether for the first few weeks after landing to hiding out there when she needs quiet time. She usually stays near Hanne's bed, and has paid no attention to the other patients.

If Ariadne's legs are too long for her body, tall Ruth has no chance whatsoever. It takes her a good while to ascend the ladder, taking it slow in order to focus on breathing. She brings with her the scent of morning and mildew, only one of which clings to her person like a disease. "Is there any water left up here?" she wonders, clearing her throat once it's apparent that her voice has dwindled back to a croak. It's been an arduous past few days, but she's been trying to get out as often as possible without overexerting herself.

Chocolate brown eyes snap to Ruth with alarm as she enters, seemingly startling the thoughtful woman. She blinks as her eyes focus on Ruth and she pushes the small makeshift cup that's sitting near her on the floor toward the woman. "No, but you can have the rest of this if you want." Her legs lower, and cross in front of her as she sits up properly and follows Ruth's movements. "We're running low on water. I'm going out later on a water run with Stone and some of the others. Hopefully we'll have more soon." She lets her hands fall to her lap and says, "You're Ruth, right? I remember you vaguely. We studied together for a little while, didn't we?"

"Yes, and I've been here every day for weeks now," Ruth responds, grabbing the cup without protest to down its contents. She picks a spot against the dropship wall and half-collapses against it in a flurry of limbs, her sigh one of vivid relief. "Eden. It's hot out there. Do you…?" She was likely about to say 'mind', but she doesn't even finish the sentence (or wait to hear the answer) before she's tugging her shirt up over her head and casting it aside. A sports bra is underneath, thankfully. "I don't know your name. Why did you give me your water?" The underlying meaning being… 'what sort of favor are you looking for?' She's not all that subtle.

The shirt is already removed and tossed aside before Ariadne chuckles and says, "Nope, go for it." She turns her eyes back to Hanne, though she doesn't look for long. "My name's Ariadne. Most people just call me Ari, it's faster." She drops her head back against the wall behind her and says, "I don't want anything from you. Don't need anything I can't get for myself." There's a bow next to her, and her hands are calloused and blistered from practicing with it. She's a new face in the medical part of the ship, so Ruth's not likely seen her here before.

It's not like Ruth would know all the current med-lites. She's been sleeping for most of the time she's been here, wracked with fever. "Ariadne, like the daughter of the king from Greek mythology." She rubs at her nose with the back of her hand, casting her own gaze aside to her discarded top. "I sometimes get her confused with Arachne. I'm kind of glad you weren't named Arachne. Spiders are disgusting looking." She hugs her knees close to her chest and presses her forehead against them to mask a yawn. "I'm Ruth. Are you really going on a water run? Now? With all this mess that's going on?"

A subtle nod of the head is given and she says, "Yeah, unless you want the grounders to win the war without even trying. You can live weeks without food. Water not so much and it's only gonna get worse as the temperatures climb." She turns her head slightly so she can watch the girl. "And be careful what you say about spiders. If this keeps up we'll be clamoring for anything edible and they're a great source of protein." She's half joking, but that's hard to tell. Her lips twist into a small smile and one eyebrow shoots up.

Annoyance flits across Ruth's expression and her lip curls just a bit before she retorts, "I know. I know how long you can last without food or water. We were in the same class." She starts to list to the side, her head coming to a gentle resting place half on the shirt. "Ohhh. Nooo." She hides her face in the crook of her arm, half-hearted laughter following. "Now why'd you have to go and say that? I don't even eat mammal meat. It's disgusting, too."

"You ok over there?" There's concern in her voice, but she doesn't get up from where she's folded against the wall. She lets her head leave the wall as she leans forward toward Ruth to get a better look in the dim lighting of the drop ship. "You're sick." She says this as a matter of fact, as though she's just noticing. "Just starting, or getting over it?"

"Tired," Ruth responds, reticent as all get out. She flops onto her back and presses her fingers just underneath the band of her bra to allow her mammaries some air. "I'm getting over it, I think. I'd better be." She eyes the other girl's bow, apparently more interested in that than her current state. "So do you know how to use that or what?"

Ari's eyes turn to the bow and then back to Ruth, "Yep. I played at it a little when I was younger, up on the ark. One of those hobbies my parents picked to try to get me around more kids my own age. Hadn't done it in years, til I got down here. I've been practicing. Getting better, I think." If her hands are any indication she's been practicing a lot. They're quite battered. She reaches a hand involuntarily toward the bow, as though she finds comfort in touching it.

"Huh." Ruth's nose twitches a bit as she fingers the bag at her side, a shrug offered Ariadne. "I know how to use a sling. Maybe doesn't go as far as a bow… doesn't hit as hard… it's still a totally cool weapon to use." This is her opinion, and by the look of her frown, she's obviously going to stand by it. "I remember you now. You were the one who was good at everything."

"Yep, totally cool weapon." She doesn't argue with the girl as she pulls the bow closer. "Even so, if you ever wanna learn. I could probably show you. Once you know the basics it's more a matter of practice, anyway - same as the sling. Projectile and all that." She lets her hand leave the bow now and folds her hands in her lap. She makes no comment on being good at everything, but she does glance up at Hanne briefly before returning her attention to Ruth.

"So what do you do around here, anyway?" Ruth wonders, abruptly changing the subject. Now that she's been reminded that her bag exists and is in close proximity, she presses it flush against her person and takes a deep breath like she hasn't had a proper one in days. "Since you don't recognize me, definitely not here." She sweeps a free hand across her forehead and manages a friendly sort of grin. Naturally, it looks stale on her expression, kind of like a noh mask. "Are you on watch duty, too?"

"Watch duty, yeah… at night mostly." She lets her head fall back against the wall again, though her eyes remain on Ruth as she does. "Haven't really been hanging out here, but it's quiet." She asks curiously, "So what have you been sick with? Thought everyone was pretty much over that virus that came through. I had it, but luckily it was a pretty mild case."

"I think mine started before the blood thing did." Ruth rubs at the corners of her eyes before massaging her temples. "If I had a name for it, I probably would have been able to find some way to… you know. Neutralize it. Our immune systems are fucked, Ari." She lets her hands fall limp to her lap. "We have no protection against anything out here. At least… if it comes around again, I won't get it. Maybe."

"You remember what we studied in earth history? About how lots of the native americans died off from diseases that were brought over from Europe? Makes me wonder… are grounder diseases gonna wipe us our, or are our disease gonna wipe out the grounders?" She grins as she looks at Ruth and says, "Let's hope we're around to find out which one survives, huh?" She gives the girl a comforting smile and nods her head toward her, "If you need anything, let me know."

"Right now, I think there are more of them than there are us," Ruth murmurs, discontented for a moment by some thought that makes itself clear in the crinkling that occurs at the corner of her eyes. "Ari, do you think…" She rubs at her mouth with her fingertips. "Are you scared? I know a lot of people are." Definitely not me, she means to say. It's written in the challenging frown she dons after the actual words are spoken.

Ari's voice is matter of fact when she answers, "If anyone here isn't scared they're a damn fool." She shakes her head and says, "I'd like to see a lot more people taking the threat seriously? I mean, it's all fine and good to hope for diplomacy, but you still need to prepare for the worst." She crosses her arms over her chest. "I went to a lesson on shooting guns. They spent the entire class trying to get Gideon to tell them how they could negotiate with the grounders. I mean, I do hope we don't have to fight them. We're gonna lose a lot of good people, even if we win - but we're gonna lose even more if nobody takes this threat seriously."

Ruth keeps her eyes closed for a beat before rubbing at them once more. "How many of us have died?" she wonders offhand, her mouth flattening in deep thought. "We weren't… well, we were prepared, but not as well as we could have been. I think we're all tired." She slides her neutral gaze over to Ari. In this lighting, the dark circles under her eyes are thankfully not as pronounced. "How long can the camp stay at one hundred percent? I think people are taking it seriously… but hoping for the best isn't bad. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst."

"I don't know… we've lost a few." Ariadne watches Ruth and says, "Yeah, they sent us down here to die. I mean, they might have had all sorts of ideas about us making it to Mount Weather, but that's not what happened is it?" She sighs and says, "The camp's not at on hundred percent. Most of us are dehydrated, exhausted, hungry. You need protein to build muscle and every time I see someone come out of the cook's tent it's with fruit leathers, not meat." Then her look gets slightly more stern as she says, "That includes you, Ms I don't wanna eat meat."

"Eden, are you going to start on about that too?" Ruth's expression makes itself right at home with a scowl. It looks quite natural on her. "I don't want to eat meat. Why does that get everyone so pissy about that? You're eating something that used to…" She wrinkles her nose and wiggles her fingers jerkily near her face. "Move around. Exist. Eat. Drink stuff. Basically do everything we do except talk and reason. Like, excuse me." She quiets a bit, her tizzy winding down in the process. "Sorry," she mutters harshly, her eyes shutting tight. "I'm tired. Sleep is hard to come by. I guess my body's saying that I've had enough of it."

"I've said my piece. I'm not gonna harp on about it. It's about survival down here. You don't wanna survive then fine. Don't eat meat. You'll end up protein deficient. It's not like we've got beans growing somewhere." Ariadne says idly, "Ever heard of Kwashiorkor disease? It's like.. when you don't have enough protein and it screws your body all up. Your belly pokes out. Hey, might be fun making people think you're pregnant though." She says this matter of factly, but she means it. She lets her eyes leave Ruth and she says, "Either way, it won't matter much if you end up with a spear sticking out it. Which could happen when your muscles start to waste away from lack of protein." She shrugs, "Your choice though. I'm all about not forcing anyone to do anything they don't wanna do."

Ruth mutters something into the crook of her arm that sounds a whole lot like 'float yourself' before turning onto her side to face Ariadne. "If Morgan wasn't gay, I'd think you guys would go well together," she observes, her voice rather sour. "I get that you think I'm an idiot. That's totally fine. Me being sick had nothing to do with protein, though." Not that she would know; she has a certain talent for sounding confident about something that could easily be a load of hokey. "Anyway… I feel well-rested. Maybe I'll go scouting for water with you and your friends."

Ariadne actually cracks a smile and a short laugh escapes, "Yeah, I'm sure he'd love that visual." She shakes her head, "I don't think you're an idiot. I think when you get hungry enough you'll eat whatever you can get your hands on. Including spiders." At this, she snickers. "I'd imagine they'd be sort of crunchy. Maybe a little hairy. If you close your eyes you can imagine they're something fried." Her voice has morphed into something teasing and she raises a brow at Ruth suggestively.

A disgusted whine sticks to the back of Ruth's throat; Ariadne's visual wins, obviously. "Oh. Wow. I'm not going to puke, but thank you for trying to make me do so." Her tone is caustically gracious. "You sound exactly like someone who has eaten a spider. Are you sure you haven't?" Now that Ariadne has laughed, Ruth seems more at ease, one arm flopped to one side while the other's hand supports her head. She stares at the other woman without blinking. "What if weird chemicals made some spiders bigger while we were on the Ark? Or what if they were really big to begin with but the scale we learned was wrong? What if they get really big again if that's the case? We could die without the Grounders' help."

"Nah, but they make a crunching sound when step on 'em. Don't they? I imagine they'd crunch like that when they're chewed too." She shrugs and gives Ruth a lopsided grin. "But hey, if they're bigger here then that's more protein, right?" She swallows, as the talk of eating spiders is turning her face an unhealthy ashen color. "I think there's a lot of things down here that could kill us, you know. The grounders are just the most obvious." She glances up at Hanne and mentions idly, "I believe that human nature is to scrape and scrap to survive. That's how humans survived down here in the first place. We can do the same, if we can keep the grounders from slaughtering us." She grins and adds, "Though death by giant spider has a certain ring to it."

Ruth's laugh is contained, just barely audible. She allows her eyes to slide shut as she considers Ariadne's reply. "I mean… my point is, people understand the threat. I understand the threat. We just want a few minutes of peace. I personally don't think that's too much to ask for." She gives her shoulders a lofty shrug, her fingers tangling then in her filthy hair. "Ugh. Yes. I'm going with you to get water. I need to go for a swim."

Ariadne's hair is tied back tightly, but she grins at that. "Tell me about it. I stood in the rain the other day just hoping to wash some of the grime off." She looks down at her clothes and says, "These clothes could stand up on their own and walk away I bet." She stretches her legs out and arches her back, rolling her head on her shoulders. "And I get you with the peace and quiet. Why do you think I'm hiding out in here?" She lets her legs sink to the floor of the ship. "I mean, I've been avoiding this place since we landed til our tent got a new … occupant."

"What tent were you in before? Who joined?" Ruth leans towards Ariadne, turning onto her stomach and resting her chin on the back of her hands. "I don't have a tent yet. I don't think there's even enough material…" She gets a pensive look on her face. That doesn't bode too well. "I'll figure it out."

Oh, I was sharing a tent with Shi." Ari sighs, "Stone's moved in. Don't get me wrong. He's a great guy and all but… " She shakes her head. "It's complicated." She forces the smile to return to her face and she says, "It's a lot quieter here than down in the tents." She says this comfortingly. "If I were you I'd just hang out here til you're better." This a more relaxed version of Ariadne as she begins to acclimate to speaking to the strange girl.

"I don't really know either of them," Ruth confesses blithely, her shoulders shrugged almost to her ears. She looses another yawn, this time not bothering to cover it. "You like him, don't you? Stone. But he likes Shi or something. That must suck." She sniffs and rubs at her nose. "What do you think I've been doing? Why would I be in this smelly place for longer than necessary?" It's true. Though the med-techs do what they can to sterilize and remove the stench, sick people don't generally exude an enticing floral scent. Ruth herself included.

The laugh escapes again and she shakes her head. "Nah, it's not like that with Stone. I mean, sure I like him. I like her too. It's just.. a third person always complicates things, you know? You think things are one way and then add another person to the mix and suddenly you don't even know what way things are anymore. Then you're all trying to figure stuff out and…" She shrugs. She's been speaking too fast, and she stops to take a breath. "Anyway yeah, wayyy off on that one."

Ruth doesn't look convinced, but she doesn't push it. "If you say so," she murmurs, almost sing-song, as her mouth slants curiously to the side. "You're not awful. I thought you would be, but you're not."

Ariadne's brow furrows and she says, "Why'd you think I'd be awful?" She's shocked at this revelation. "I mean.." She stammers out, speechless. She's looking at Ruth like she suddenly grew a second head.

Now Ruth is the level-headed one. This doesn't often seem to happen. She seems a bit perplexed by Ariadne's response in turn. "Well, I mean… you're sort of…" She gestures vaguely to Ariadne. "You know."

Ariadne seems more confused than ever and she tilts her head while looking at Ruth. "No, I don't know. I have no idea what you're on about." She leans over and lets her hand snake out to feel Ruth's head. "You feverish again?" She pulls her hand away and can't help but grin a little as she leans back against the wall with an audible 'whump'. "No seriously. I have no clue. Explain."

Guilt is the next thing to seep into Ruth's frown. She rubs it away with the side of her thumb, flicking it to the side as if it's a dead fly or some such thing. "Well, no…" She starts to shrink away when Ariadne feels at her head, shaking the other girl away. "I'm not. You were just… pretty much something in my…" She mirrors Ariadne's grin, but hers is more sheepish. "Nevermind. Forget about it. You're cool."

Ari's right eyebrow shoots up and she asks more seriously, "Something in your what?" She narrows her eyes supiciously and sighs. "Nevermind. I'm sure lots of people have their opinions on me. Float 'em. I don't care." She begins to gather up the bow and quiver, pushing a few of the arrows in more securely. She flexes her calloused and blistered hands before she leans forward and slings the quiver over her shoulder.

Ruth's mood has dampened considerably. "See you around," she murmurs, turning onto her back with one final yawn. "I'm going to nap… um, tell me when you guys are gonna go? Maybe I can help you get Stone to fall in love with you." She has to fight to keep a sleepy grin from forming. She's losing.

Ari was preparing to leave, but she doesn't just yet. She stares at Ruth and her jaw drops open. "You'll do no such thing or I won't even tell him you want to join us. Got it?" She reaches over to pluck up her cup and she ties it to the quiver with a piece of string she's attached for just that purpose. "Shi's with Stone. I'm happy with that. I got no desire to mess that up for either of them." She sighs and says, "I said it was complicated. You wouldn't understand."

Ari's reaction has Ruth's first boisterous laugh emerging from nowhere. "Fine! Fine, I won't. You can stew in peace." She shoos the other girl away with an imperial gesture of her hand. "Go, then. Go, go, go. Actual sick people have actual resting to do." She certainly doesn't sound like she's joking, but her mouth is curled just so. She's still hiding that grin. "It was, uh, nice to meet you." The words come out stilted enough that they sound foreign on her tongue.

Ari's stewing for sure, "Yeah, wish I could say the same." She unfolds from where she's sitting, reaching her full height of 6'1". She's taller than she looks while sitting, due to the length of her legs. She moves toward the hand and begins to climb down. "I don't know what you heard. Well, maybe I do, but getting Stone to fall for me is the least of my concern. Same with Shi. Maybe the opposite. Hell, I don't even know." And with that, she's gone.

Ruth briefly watches Ari as she departs as if attempting to judge whether she's taller than the generously heighted girl. "Me neither. I'm sure we'll both figure it out." If Ariadne were to give the prone Ruth a departing glance, the sharp-featured girl would be caught examining her nails with a discomfited gaze. "See you around."

As Ari's head is just about to disappear through the hatch she does call out, "Yeah, I'm sure you will. If you decide you want that archery lesson let me know." She does give one last glance to the girl, and then to Hanne before she leaves. "It was nice meet you too. Til the whole insulting thing… ya'know." Then she goes the rest of the way down, disappearing from view.

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