Day 008: Wake Up and Smell the Debate
Summary: Early in the morning, Cameron, Grey, and Quinn have a difference of opinion on… most things.
Date: 11 May 2016
Related: We Are Grounders arc
Cameron Grey Quinn 

The Grounds, Dropship Camp

With the removal of underbrush and a half-dozen small trees, there is now a tiny clearing around the dropship. It has begun to fill with detritus from the ship, including all of the seating, padding, and removable plates or bulkheads. Several tents have been set up within the clearing, set close together within the confines of the surrounding trees.

An armory has been set up by the entrance to the dropship, covered by a makeshift shelter. A three-holer latrine is set up downwind of camp in the prevailing breezes, and the rough beginnings of a wall stretch between trees at the edge of the clearing, dropship plates and felled tree-trunks being stacked up as quickly as the Delinquents can manage.

The forest immediately surrounding the camp has been cowed into near-silence, but is still vibrant and green to a people used to stark metal bulkheads all around them.

8 Days After Landing

Day Eight. It's been two days since the captives were rescued from the mutants— who turned out to be humans, must to the shock of some, one most handsome of the 100 in particular. Two days since captives were taken in turn. The mood of the camp is, for many surely, on the rise — they won a victory, after all, perhaps the first real victory since they were cast out from the Ark and left abandoned on the Ground. Speaking of the handsome one, Cameron was up before the dawn; despite the fact that he seems almost content, if not outright cheerful, with the difficulties of their situation, some may have noticed he's not sleeping very much. He stays up late, he wakes up early. There's a purposeful energy to him, but this morning its even more acute, almost palpable. Cameron has things to do, and those things need doing. He looking a bit on the wild side, considering his grounder light armor, and the grounder sword hung in an improvised sling at his side, with his makeshift knife in his hand.

The rising sun graces the grounds, and has been rising higher and higher for last half hour or so. For the moment, Cameron's gotten himself a stone and is sharpening the sort of jagged blade of his 'knife' with it. Its not ideal, but its something.

Grey spent his night with the weapons, under the makeshift shelter. His tent, after all, is now home to two girls that he tried to or tried not to sleep with, depending on which rumors you believe. It's not a comfortable night's sleep, and he's up a little earlier than usual, groaning as he straightens off his cot made from dropship chairs and seat cushions. He glances down himself, then rolls his eyes, sighs, and shoves the jacket he was using for a blanket down to his feet. His pillow, of course, is the leather shirt he stole off a dead grounder. Gingerly rising to his feet and giving his pants a morning shake-out, he rubs his bruised brow with the palm of one hand, "Caffeine. What I wouldn't give for caffeine." His morning gripe given, he slings his jacket over his shoulders, gathers up his homemade knife, Grounder sword, and steel-rod club, and then heads for the nearest fire where he gives Cameron a nod, "You're looking way the hell too cheerful for this early in the morning."

Having acquired the tent, not on purpose, Quinn has taken some advantage of it. In addition to a tent she also acquired some clothes from the Grounders, so is wearing a new shirt that is not covered with her blood, and has been cut down to better fit. Over that she's got one of the Grounder jackets, a belt wrapped around her waist with a sword attached to her hip, and her hair messily tugged back into a ponytail.

"Grey." Cameron turns a smile over towards the young man, his dimples flashing briefly before it fades into one of his more subtle smiles, "To tell you the truth? If His Highness had told me the exact situation we'd be in, and offered me the choice, I would have volunteered. That doesn't mean I don't hate him or his pet Council, in fact, it makes it worse. But I wasn't born to live on the Ark. I am meant to be here, on the ground. I know, we might starve, we might die, we might get slaughtered, but its a fight I can /fight/. You can't fight the Ark. I'll do whatever it is I need to do to survive, and I'll enjoy being *free* while I do it." He shakes his head slowly, "I love it here, despite everything. Of course, I also want to /fix/ it, fix us, make us better, stronger. I have so many ideas and so many things I'm trying to do at once. But, today, I'm going out scouting for this leaf. It was in the poultice they put on Quinn, and though I haven't seen it before, I can tell its a water plant, likely grows in pools or places where the river calms. If the Grounders use it medicinally, we can use it, so I'm going to go get us some." He glances up at the sky, tilts his head, "In a couple hours." He glances over and notices Quinn, offering her a quick smile by way of greeting.

Grey blinks in the face of the torrent of words, blinking another two or three times as they wash over him. Too. Early. For. Big. Talk. It's clear on his face, but he muddles through, following Cameron's glance behind him to the approaching person. Quinn gets a nod, and then he looks back to the other young man, "I'll take this over floating, yeah. Hate… eh. Every day I'm down here I start to think how much I could put up with Jackhole Jaha if it meant indoor plumbing, caffeine in the morning, and guns, lovely guns." And then he takes the time to process the rest of the statement, "Water plant, in a pool. Watch out for the river snakes." And then he flashes a grin, "You know what'd get rid of them right good? Flashbangs. Lovely, lovely flashbangs." Quinn gets a narrow-eyed look, "Looks like someone slept well in her new tent."

"We've found flashbangs?" Quinn questions as she moves over to where Grey and Cameron are, her hands tucking into her pockets as she glances over towards Cameron for a moment, tilting her chin in greeting. Then she looks back at Grey, a brow lifting, "You didn't have to give up your tent. I'm sure some arrangement could have been made…plus? I wasn't asking for your tent. Just a tent."

Cameron is an energetic sort. He claims he doesn't burn hot, but he still burns. It just might translate into fast talking. "I miss being /clean/. And that /only/." He pauses, and is taken back by the mention of flashbangs, looking to Quinn like, ooh. Interested. "Is there any way we could rig a flashbang, if not? Because I swear on old earth, if I could spend two minutes submerged in water I'd blow the ugliest person you could find." He shakes his head slightly, sighing, "So, I wanted to talk to you. About.. the future. You have to understand, I don't hate the Ark. My parents are up there. I love them." Cameron's expression is intense at that, emotion clear on his face, one hand rubbing along his still-attached bracelet, "But I won't submit to a Chancellor or the Council again. The Council appoints the Chancellor, the Chancellor appoints a Councilor, the Council approves the appointment. The Guard crushes any resistance. Now look at us, here. We're at best, anarcho-socialist. We're all doing our own thing, and many of us are working together. Some aren't. If some crisis happens, there's no way we can cope. If and when His Highness comes down with his Guard, we'll dissolve— if we survive to then. I've been talking about the Senate idea, but what I really think is important is we start thinking about what happens by winter. And next year. And if-when the Ark comes down. Do we stand independent? Do we submit? Those are our two options, though perhaps there's a gradient between where we straddle either side."

Grey shakes his head mournfully at Quinn, "No. More's the pity. We'd have a lamprey-roast and safe drinking water all in one go." He waves off her response to his griping, "Come on, Q. You oughta recognize a Guard's right to gripe." It's one of the few times he's referred to himself as a Guard since… well… since he was 'Boxed. Cameron too gets a shake of the head, "No, but there's gotta be something down here that goes boom." Hydrazine, for instance, like the stuff that fuels the dropship's rockets. Not that he has any clue about that. And then Cameron gets heavy, and he rubs his eyes with the heels of his hands, groaning, "Toooo eeearly for this." The gesture shows that he too still wears his bracelet, along with a narrow braid of colored thread alongside it. But the ex-C nods slightly, "We'll have to think about that eventually. I'm more concerned about tomorrow, but you're right, we can't fuck up the day after that just 'cause we're focused on today." Blowing out his breath, he shrugs, "For me, it depends on how they greet us. They give me a real pardon, which I still kinda doubt, I'm good, so long as they don't try to 'Box me again. But if they come down, they'll bring down equipment that'll make life — especially winter — a hell of a lot easier. I mean, shit… blankets. We'll have the expertise, but they'll have the stuff. It'll be a tough one."

"No one left up there I care about." Quinn replies with a shake of her head, eyes flicking briefly upwards, then back down to the pair of them, "While there are plenty of things that'd be nice…these Grounders are proof you don't need it. We don't need it." She pulls a hand from her pocket, waving it around the camp, "Look at everything we've accomplished so far…and if we just want instant nice things, kill the Grounders, keep the spoils of war." As for the rest? She shrugs at Cameron, "Not a science type…might ask one of them. They might know." Her hand slides back into her pocket, weight shifting forward onto the balls of her feet for a moment. "We need to stop looking to the sky for the answers. Find our own, here, then, if they make it down…we deal with them then."

To Quinn, Cameron tilts his head, "You think it that easy, just kill the grounders, keep the spoils? I killed one, I wear the spoils. You think we, ark-bred, ark-trained, with our ark-instincts can just survive like the Grounders do, those who are the descendants of the population that survived a century that we believed wasn't survivable?" He shakes his head. Cameron regards Grey a lingering moment, thoughtful; he doesn't relent in the least to his complaints about its early. Cam's been up awhile. "Let me ask you this. Do you think it a chance we landed here and there was a Grounder settlement within less then a day's walk, that it might be a remnant of a remnant of the world that was? If you do, I have a bridge to sell you. Therefore, they populate this world we thought devoid of humanity. They outnumber us, because they populate this planet or we are so astronomically unlucky as a god exists and mocks us. The question of their tactical composition is irrelevant: this wall, meaningless. We couldn't withstand a siege for three days before we start dying. The Grounders thrive. We must thrive. Do you disagree with anything I've said here?" Cameron shakes his head slowly, "We must understand them, Grey. We must learn what they care about— what they want— what they trust. It doesn't matter how many they are, what matters is who they are. Because if we are to coexist on this planet, we must be as friends. And that is the key to both questions." Cameron makes an expansive gesture up, "My family, the families of the Ark, they're just people. They are also our heritage: we can't lose our heritage, our birthright, the knowledge and skills that the Ark has maintained through to today. We need a path between two extremes, a path where the people of the Ark — and us — survive and thrive, and where the Grounders are our neighbors, and, hopefully friends. And, more importantly, a place where the Council can not dominate and destroy us. All of these are linked, because if we— in the body of, for lack of a better word, the Senate of the One Hundred— make alliance with the Grounders, learn what they know, trade with them, then the Council and its Guard's absolute dominance by sheer firepower will be blunted. There is no way two thousand with how many Guard can stand against the Grounders, unless you are imagining the natives we've encountered as the happenstance of the last remnant of the survivors of the apocalypse. The 100 can be both the bridge, and the bulwark against the Council's tyranny."

Grey shrugs a little uneasily at Quinn's words, nodding at Cameron's initial response, "I don't know. These negotiations with the Grounders don't work out, we're gonna damn sure wish we had guns, Q. And flash-bangs. And shock batons. And real armor." He gestures toward the get-up Cameron has on, "Not this stuff. We might be able to take them one-on-one in a straight-up fight. Maybe." He gestures up to the bruise on his forehead, and then again to another one at the left side of his throat, "The girl up there," he nods toward the nearby dropship, "She did this shit one-handed. Well, okay, I did the forehead to myself. With her head. But seriously, maybe we can take 'em one-on-one, but they know the woods better'n any of us, and they've got better gear." He shrugs a little, "And yeah, maybe the Grounders could swamp the Guard. But they'd loose hundreds doin' it. Maybe thousands. People break before that happens. As soon as the Guard hits the ground, they're the biggest military power in four hundred miles." Well, theoretically. "Even if we had enough to offer the Grounders for a real alliance, we couldn't stand against the Guard. And unless they really went fuck-all nuts, I wouldn't want to. I got friends in the Guard." He pauses, then shrugs, "Not many of them, but I do. And not in the Guard too. We're definitely gonna have to figure out what we're gonna do when the Ark comes down, but we gotta survive 'till then too."

"To be honest, I don't give a shit who they are, and where they came from. They are here, and they've clearly been here for a really long time." Quinn replies with a shake of her head, rolling her eyes, "I'm also not suggesting we actually wage a war against them…I'm saying we should learn to stand on our own two feet, figure shit out. You're both agreeing with me, you realize. Or me with you. I ''am'' pointing out the stupidity of whining for luxuries handed to us from gods on high or thinking we should steal and pillage. It might come to a fight, and we'll either run or fight. But I hope that we instead figure out how to make our own blankets, figure out our own weapons….there's enough knowledge here that we can make the needed starts…just because we're not old fucks on the Ark doesn't mean we're any less important."

"I don't advocate planning a war against the Guard, Grey." Cameron shakes his head, wincing slightly, "I know Morgan has stronger views — he's certain the pardons are a false flag, and they'll kill him — and I'll kill anyone who tries, don't question a moment I won't — but what I want is independence for the Senate and the People's Republic that both give that Senate legitimacy and provide the check against its power. Legitimacy and checks the Council do not have. For us, and for anyone who signs on with us, I want freedom. I don't think we and the Grounders can break the Guard, I think we can make them pause. I think we can make the balance of power not overwhelming in the favor of the Guard's guns." He does nod to Quinn, "I do believe we should learn to stand on our own, but I think the best way to learn is to be the bridge between the Arkborn and the Grounders. I don't know if the Ark will be able to preserve much of its tech when they come down, but I believe in being pragmatic: I won't plan for that tech being available. I want to plan for the worst case scenario, and look for a way for us — you two, me, the rest of us down here, to survive and have a say on our own. That will take power. We have none, right now. Absolutely none. If we form a bond with the Grounders, even if its as simple as a trading agreement, that's power we don't have now. Its a start."

Grey nods along with most of what Quinn's saying, but he snorts at the end, "I don't know about you, Q, but I can tell you that I'm the most important damned person on the Ground." But he says it with a laugh, his smile flashing wide across his features. It fades, however, at Cameron's mention of Morgan's plans, "I'm sorry man, but your boyfriend, he's bog-ass nuts." Grey shakes his head at that, "It's my job to be a suspicious asshole," or it would be if he had made it through his years as a Cadet, "But he makes me look safe and sane. And really, People's Republic? People's Republic of Fuckoffistan?" That comes with a snort of laughter, for all that he's otherwise serious, "We're The One Hundred, and that's enough of a name for me. I don't want to be no damned People's Republic. And I think you're really underestimating what trained soldiers with automatic weapons can do." 'You two' referring to him and Quinn causes Grey to look over at the young woman, shifting in his seat on the log by the fire, but he doesn't say anything on the subject, turning his attention back to Cameron, "I'm all for peace with the Grounders if we can get it. The big thing's gonna be though, what do we trade 'em? What do we got that they can't get for themselves?"

"Morgan is more radical than me." Which might be her median. Crazier, or not crazier. It's a very skewed way of looking. "But he took care of me when I couldn't even sit up…so I owe him for that." She smirks faintly at Grey's words, rolling her eyes at him before she reaches over to pat a hand on his shoulder before pointing out to Cameron, "Sad to say, though….five men with guns can take out twenty without…the math doesn't add up in our favor in a straight fight. Plus, Grey's right…unless you're talking slave trade, what the fuck do we have they don't already?"

Cameron's turns a flat stare at Grey, "Use whatever words you want." he says, tone even, "I don't care what its called. I'm not interested in semantic games, Grey. I read a book that spoke of old Rome, of the Senate and the Republic, so I'm using those words as placeholders: let's not get pedantic with meaningless details, okay? They're meaningless to me. I don't care what anything is called. We are the 100 now, but what about my parents?" He gestures up to the sky, "When they come down, do you think I'm going to be OK with them being them? I'm going to start recruiting the Arkers for us, our Republic, I'm going to start talking them to accepting the Senate's authority and disavowing the Council. I don't intend our movement to begin and end with the 100. If you do, your sights are disappointingly shallow. You are practically accepting the tyranny of the Guard and the Council as fact." He shakes his head, gesturing to Grey, "That's the point, who knows? We don't know anything about them as a people. We need to understand them to know how we can find common ground. But too many people are talking about tactical issues with the Grounders, instead of cultural ones. We need to find out what they care about, and what they fear, then we can evaluate what common ground we can find with them. We lack sufficient information." He turns and eyes Quinn a moment, "I'm not convinced five vs twenty is a valid ratio. For the 100, yes, the Guard will absolutely dominate. How many grounders are out there? Do you really think we just happened to fall next to the last remnant of human civilization? That's astronomically unlikely. There could very well be thousands of them. Tens of thousands. What do we have that they don't, though? Knowledge. The Ark preserved skills, sciences, that can be used as leverage to do amazing things. And that's just off the top of my head. But we won't know until we understand who they are better."

Grey's shoulder tenses lightly as Quinn extends her hand toward his shoulder, but once it actually touches, he relaxes again. It's a momentary thing, barely noticeable, but it's there. "Twenty? Try fifty. A hundred or more if they bring out the squadies." Squad automatic weapons. Totally not practical on the Ark, but boys do like their toys. He considers Cameron's words, letting them roll over him and slowly soaking them in. Only then does he ask, "You want to bring the rest of the Ark in. That's fine. What happens when The Hundred are a minority, and we lose all say in the Senate? Do we go back to being kids again?" Drawing his shoulders up tight, he shakes his head, "And you're underestimating how bloody guns get. Call it twenty Guard," and there are a lot more than that, "If they each kill just the twenty Grounders Q suggested, what's that?" He does the mental math. It's not quick, but he gets there, "You think a thousand Grounders are gonna keep comin' after four hundred of them are shot down? You think the next bunch of Grounders are gonna get anywhere near the people who did that? Firepower kills, Cam. Seriously." And then he shrugs again, "And if you think you can sell knowledge of how to repair a space station, or grow plants hydroponically, or maintain a power generator to Grounders… more power to you, man."

"There are people here…that is astronomically unlikely. But they are here…I don't know if they are few or many, but I can't bank on them being many. You say it's shortsighted to say the Council's power is everything…Thinking you have a shit chance in hell of getting more than maybe a handful of people from the Ark to your way of thinking is short sighted. They are….lemmings. Mice…sheep…whatever word you want to use. They've been taught to look to the Council, listen to the laws, or be floated. Just because they hit the ground doesn't mean that indoctrination is going to go away. You'll be fighting an establishment that we've all been raised to not question…so some of us questioned, and have been punished. It's not going to be a very easy sell. But if you think that's the way you want to do it…fine. Waste time and focus on thinking about the what ifs of when and if they land. I'm going to try and focus on the hows of surviving right now. Today. Tomorrow wont come if we don't solve today first. Fuck winter, we can't even get access to water without apparently some seadragondolphinsnake thing getting people." There's a flicker of a smirk before she adds, "Not to mention what faith will they even have in science and technology? They've lived this long without it, it seems….maybe they'll distrust it. They can already feed themselves, clothe themselves, function here seamlessly. Radios and fancy lights aren't going to be something these guys want. Maybe guns, but then we just'd be giving away the advantage at that point. If ''we'' even had them."

Cameron regards Grey seriously for a lingering moment, and then Quinn in turn. "You can't imagine even trying, can you. The Guard are victorious, you're trained to be certain of it. You can't imagine a realignment, that there are factors beyond gunpowder. You won't even entertain the idea that Guard guns have limits, that Arkers can be an asset, that there's a path before us for independence and a way to fight for it. If you both decide to give up before you make a plan, what do you expect but the failure you see as inevitable? If I'm the only one who cares to fight for independence, so be it." Cameron shakes his head and gestures away, off towards the river, "There's a plant there, one that likely has medicinal properties. I'm going to go find it. You do… whatever it is you think you need to do."

Grey shrugs a little at Quinn's words, listening without comment at first, "Might get a few folks. Might even get a couple hundred. Life down here, it changes a guy." He snorts, "Hell, I'm proof of that, and I've only been here a week. And I get what Cam's sayin' about lookin' forward, but I think I'm somewhere between you guys. I wanna keep my focus on the here and now, but," he gestures to Cam, "I also think we need to look at least a little ways forward." His brows lift thoughtfully, "I bet they'd love walkies. But I'd love a couple of them first. So far all our knowledge is theory, without the parts, yeah?" He shakes his head at Cameron's words, "I'm not givin' up, because I don't see that it's got to be a fight. If I can avoid bein' downrange of assault weapons, I'm gonna do it. But if they push me too far?" He shrugs, "I'll find a way. But only if it's life or death." As Cameron gestures towards the river, he jerks his head toward the latrine, "Me, I'm gonna go see a man about a horse." And then Grey pauses, considering, "Huh. Horses exist. That's just weird." Shaking off the wondering thought, he adds, "And then I'm gonna go take my turn guardin' the Grounders, and see if I can get anything useful outta them. Somethin' to save our asses in the short-term, so we can argue about what to do in the long-term."

Quinn's brow arches upwards at Cameron, "I'm talking about being independent of the Ark, of the way life used to be. I'm talking about looking to here, and now. Just because my plan is different than yours do not accuse me of giving up or making no plan." She shakes her head just a fraction, "I'm going for a walk."

"Without the Grounders, there's no chance we can be independent of the Ark." counters Cameron to Quinn, "We need their knowledge to survive here, we aren't only just going to make it up and imagine it on our own. That's pure nonsense. Its also completely short-sighted and inhuman: there are hundreds if not thousands of families up there, you want to abandon them?" Cameron grunts, rubbing his bracelet, "My family is up there. They're coming down. These are innocent people. Talented, skilled people trained in sciences the Grounders can't imagine, surely. And their knowledge is our birthright. Not to mention they're our people and we're human beings. There is no path that is survivable that includes us abandoning the Ark. Rejecting the Council? Yes. Rejecting the Chancellor? Yes. The Ark, though? Our people? No." he looks to Grey, "I didn't say its not going to be a fight, I said lets frame the fight we create. The Grounders are not our enemies. They know things that are invaluable towards our survival. We can embrace change, nor reject change. We can choose to learn, or choose that we don't need them."

Grey holds up his hand to Quinn, palm inward, "Then gimme a hand up, Q. 'Cause I'm an old man," eleven days older than her, "and you need to lift some weights." Whether or not she helps him up, he groans his way to his feet, "You're a dreamer, Cam. And that's okay, although you should talk to your boyfriend about the Ark, 'cause he's crazy enough to think that we're golden without them. But we aren't gonna be able to force the rest of the Arkers to do anything, even if they make it down here, and there ain't anything we can do short of building a big-ass radio, or keepin' these bracelets on, to help them get down here." He pauses, "As for the Grounders, yeah… anyone who's tryin' to kill me and mine, they're my enemy." He holds up a hand then, "Now, just 'cause they're my enemy now doesn't mean they always gotta be, but until we got a peace, yeah, they're the enemy, and if you forget that, you're gonna get yourself killed, and maybe other people too." He nods toward the man's attire, "You're wearin' a Grounder's clothes. A Grounder we killed 'cause they had our people, and it was us or them. That's the definition of an enemy — until they're not."

"Once more, listen to me." Quinn starts to speak more slowly, more carefully, "I never said to ignore the Grounders. To ignore their knowledge. I, in fact, pointed out that they have survived here without the need to technology. Translate that into your little hyperactive politico mind to this…their knowledge is vastly more important in our current situation than those on the Ark. I don't give a fuck if the Ark comes down or not. They abandoned me…they abandoned all of us when they dropped us here without any idea what we'd be walking into beyond hypotheticals. They can learn like we did and kiss my ass. I don't trust them to turn on the only government they know." When Grey asks for help she reaches out to help him up, gritting her teeth against the strain on the healing wound, but she's not sweating or looking like she's going to pass out today. Bonus. As for the rest of what Grey says, she just finds herself nodding slowly along with it, "Face the reality that they might not want to deal with us, or we might not be able to trade. Try for the best, plan for the worst…and keep learning about our environment as we have been. Best we can hope for is to be able to feed and clothe ourselves."

Grey doesn't really hang that much weight on Quinn's arm, doing most of the lifting himself. Mostly it's just flipping her shit, trying to prove to her — or to himself — that nothing's changed between them. It's not altogether successful on the latter point. "Might be somethin' we gotta agree to disagree on for a bit. It's gonna make this whole Senate thing real interestin' though." He shifts where he stands, "And that horse is gettin' real loud." With a nod, he gives Quinn a light thump between the shoulder blades, and then he's off toward the latrines.

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