2237-03-31 - Dirtying the Water

Living conditions begin to take their toll on the survivors in the jungle.

Date: 2237-03-31

Location: Jungle, Isabel Island

Related Scenes: None

Plot: None

Scene Number: 968

Jump to End

The problem with having moved everything, and set up a camp, and having managed not to get yourself killed while scouting your old digs, is that once all of that is done...there really isn't anything else to do besides clean your weapons and try to keep yourself as presentable as possible. Not so much for other people's sakes, but really because after a while, you can't stand yourself. So for the moment, Tamlin has ventured back down to the stream, and is doing her best to wash out her sweats and tank, though rocks and water aren't nearly as effective as detergent. Why doesn't the jungle provide that, huh? Stupid jungle.

You know what else the jungle doesn't provide? Mattresses. And the lack of pleasant places to sleep is starting to take its toll on even the Chaplain. Aldrich has just finished his turn at watch, and while there's probably plenty he could be doing in the way of foraging, he first makes his way to the stream. He notes Tamlin's presence as he approaches and makes a little signal noise to let her know it's one of the good guys, rather than a threat. As he emerges from the brush, he gives her a little nod and then heads over to the stream to wash up.

Tamlin perks up at the sound. Oh good! Company. of course, if it had been an enemy, she'd be dead, so either way, it might be an improvement over their current situation. She offers a smile, as the Chaplain comes into view, watching him as he comes down to the stream. When she sees him about to actually come into the stream, she shifts, turning her back, in case he wants privacy. "Nice to see you on one piece, Chaplain." Always Chaplain, never Ensign, or Aldrich, or Kavanaugh, or any variation or combination thereof.

Aldrich is either not in the mood to wash his clothes, or he's decided they're clean enough, because he contents himself with rinsing his hands through the running water, then splashes some on his face and the back of his neck. "Likewise," he replies. "Any news I should know about? Seems quiet on the home front today..."

Tamlin, no longer hearing the sound of water splashing, turns back, getting back to her washing. "Don't suppose you know of anything astringent we could use as some sort of soap, do you, Chaplain?" She looks down at the rocks, "This worked so much better when I saw it in the movies." A shake of her head, though,in answer to her question, "Unfortunately, there hasn't been any sort of news. I want to go back to the base, but that's probably not going to happen."

Aldrich shakes his head. "Unfortunately, I don't know of anything... Maybe try using a bigger rock? The locals beat their clothes with a big... paddle thing." He splashes some water up his arms, as much to cool off as to get clean, then scoops a handful and dumps it over his head, wetting his hair before shaking it out again, then brushes it back out of the way with his fingers. "You mean to rescue the people who were left behind? Surely there's /something/ we could do. Maybe create a diversion or something?"

Tamlin looks down at her hands, "They're already wrinkling." And probably the rest of her too, considering she's sitting in the water, like a toddler in a splash pool, "Yes. Or at least to get a better idea of what's going on there, patrol schedules, any intel on where else they've hit. Though I don't suppose they spend much time talking to each other in any way that we can understand. And I'd like to possibly consider scouting out Honnal." That's the first town further west. Well before Kona.

Aldrich glances across at Tamlin, with a sympathetic little smile, and offers, "You might have to just get used to being dirty..." He considers her proposals, and then lifts a shoulder a little. "Well, that's going to be up to the others, I suppose. I'm not a strategist. But if there's anything I can do to help, of course I will."

"Oh, I don't mind getting dirty. But there are different sorts of dirty. There's the sort that gets you greasy, like on the deck, or sweaty, if you took someone home after a night out, or...well, this is not the good sort of dirty. This is just uncomfortable. And it's dehumanizing." Oh, such a city girl. "Well, I don't know how much support we're going to get from the others." Tamlin shrugs, but doesn't elaborate, instead moving to wring out her clothes.

Aldrich tilts his head a little. "It's not inhuman to be a little dirty," he comments, with an amused by slightly sympathetic smirk. It's her last comment that really earns his attention, the smirk fading into something a little more worried. "Why, have you already talked to them?"

"It isn't just the clothes." Tamlin shakes her head, "Nevermind, it's not important." She finishes wringing out her clothes and goes to spread them out on a rock to try to dry, before she heads back to the water to start mixing up her usual mud bath. Her expression says that there's so much she should say, but instead, what comes out is, "No, but do I really have to? There's no much get up and go in them right now."

Aldrich considers this, and glances to the border of the flowing water, frowning thoughtfully. "We've all been through a great trauma," he offers, tentatively. "And we all react in different ways. I can't blame anyone in this situation for feeling a bit...adrift."

"You might not blame them, Chaplain, and maybe that's your kind heart wanting to be sympathetic. But the fact of the matter is, that we are going to die out here unless we get to work and start trying to save ourselves. Yes, we all want to hope that there are other survivors. Well, what happens if this is all there is? We have to get off of this planet."

"You might not blame them, Chaplain, and maybe that's your kind heart wanting to be sympathetic. But the fact of the matter is, that we are going to die out here unless we get to work and start trying to save ourselves. Yes, we all want to hope that there are other survivors. Well, what happens if this is all there is? We have to get off of this planet."

Aldrich shakes his head. "It's not my kind heart. It's part of my job to understand where people are coming from." He gives a crooked smile, "I agree we need to get out of here. Do you want me to feel the others out and see if I can help...?"

"Oh, so you're one of those fire and brimstone, everyone is going to Hades in a handcart Gemenese priests? I'll have to remember that." Tamlim begins the process of coating herself, looking for all the world as though she were putting on suntan lotion on the beach. Which, if she were only a few miles away, she could be. Clearly, she's gotten used to the routine. "You know most of them better than I do, from what I've seen. I only know Bullseye from seeing her on the deck, most of them only by sight. I think I met the doctor once. They're all strangers to me. Most of them appear to be your friends."

Aldrich rolls his eyes a little. "No. Quite the opposite, actually. I think religion is something you have to figure out for yourself... And I'm not actually a /priest/, as such. I'm just trying to help people." He splashes a bit more water on his face, then stops to stretch. "I know most of them, except for...Bullseye," he admits, adopting Tamlin's use of the nickname. "It doesn't mean they'll listen to me. But I can certainly try."

"So you're not a priest, you don't believe we're all going to Hades and you don't have set ideas about religion." Tamlin gives him a mildly amused look, "Are you at least Genemese?" She rinses off her hands before she comes to her feet, letting the mud dry to a nice coating. "Well, at the end of the day they're all going to do what they think is best for them. I'm just concerned that it's going to end up dividing the group. And those people back at the base aren't going to rescue themselves."

Aldrich shakes his head a little. "I /do/ have my own beliefs. But they're mine, and I don't expect other people to live by those beliefs," he clarifies. The question just earns her a little snort. "Well, not according to them. They basically kicked me out years ago." He takes a deep breath and lets it out slowly. "Well, we can't let it divide the group. Whatever we decide, we need to decide it as a unit."

"Well, you're welcome to tell people you're from Caprica, but I don't think that would make you terribly popular. Lord knows, it's gotten enough doors slammed in m face to make me wish I could get myself adopted elsewhere. But if you were in the Legion, aren't you Leonese now? That's part of serving, isn't it? Leonese citizenship? Smackdown, the old CAG, he was Leonese that way. By serving, I mean." She seems to be trying hard not to circle back around to the current status of the group.

Aldrich nods a little, "Yes, I think it's one path to citizenship. But that's not why I joined." He gives another little smile. "I am... only /occasionally/ ashamed to be Gemenese. I think many people fail to realize our good qualities." He looks a little more inquisitively at Tamlin. "Didn't you mention that you had money? Or your family did, back on Caprica? I would have thought that would hold a lot of doors open for you that might otherwise be shut..." Aldrich and Tamlin are sitting on the bank of the stream. Tamlin has just reapplied her mud makeup, and Aldrich's hair is wet as though he just bathed.

"Oh sure, the Dorns have money coming our of our ears, and it opens doors on Caprica and it opens doors with other Capricans. But considering most of the other Colonies hate us right now because we, as if we were all somehow in it with Greystone, created the cylons, we're all responsible for the deaths of every person the cylons have killed. Or, you know, that's the usual party line. Not to mention that Caprica is heading up the taskforce, as if it just has to have its oar in everything...being Genemese isn't looking all that bad, actually. Where do I sign up for that? I know most of the texts by heart."

Geoff is just coming down toward the river, holding a couple pieces of cloth in hand. They look like bandages that need cleaning. He pauses when he sees Aldrich and Tamlin, and apparently catches some of their conversation, too. He looks at Tamlin.

Aldrich chuckles a little at that. "Unfortunately, generally speaking it's something you're born to. I suppose you could try studying at the university. You might eventually get accepted by the more liberal-minded..." He glances up when he hears someone approaching, tensing just a bit, but he relaxes again when it turns out to be Geoff. "Oh, hello. Should I give you a hand with those...?"

Tamlin waves away Aldrich's suggestion, "I think I'll pass. You actually need to believe in a god to worship a god. Unless they have atheists on Gemenon. That would be amazing." She pauses, as she catches sight of Geoff, raising a hand in greeting, before turning to find a suitable rock to bake on as she waits for her clothes to dry.

"Yeah," Geoff says to Aldrich, handing him half the bandages to wash. Even if some of them are his, he must be washing other peoples', too. He gives Tamlin an upnod, but is his expression cool instead of warm? Maybe.

Aldrich smiles faintly. "I've known a lot of atheists who found religion in times of trouble," he offers, gently, but then lets it go at that. He accepts the bandages from Geoff, but a slight glance between him and Tamlin suggests he might have caught on to that coolness. He doesn't comment on it, but instead carries the bandages over to the water. "We won't be able to disinfect them like this, of course. But maybe we can get the worst out... So Geoff, Tamlin here thinks we ought to go back to the base and try to find a way to save the people who got captured."

Tamlin, although it would be impossible for her not to notice the standoffishness on Geoff's part, doesn't seem to take offense to it. Instead, she simply gives the Chaplain the same sort of look he gave her a few days ago. The sort that says, 'I told you so.' And then she settles for sitting quietly leaving the two men, for the time being to their conversation. A wince, as she gets brought up, but she doesn't offer a retread of her argument.

"I mean, it's sounding like we might be pinned down for a while," Geoff says. "Some people are gonna need bandages whether they're sterilized or not. Maybe we can boil them later, but we better get the blood out first." He nods at this suggestion of a rescue mission. "Maybe we should," he says, glancing Tamlin's way.

Aldrich nods a little. "Of course," he agrees, on the subject of the need for bandages. He starts by sorting his pile according to how dirty they actually are, and then starts washing the least soiled, first. "I was thinking maybe we could find a way to make a distraction, to give us a chance to move in and out quickly. But I was thinking one of you might have a better idea."

Tamlin rises, moving closer, but keeping a respectful distance from the pair, "If there are enough to go around, I could take a few, make the work go a bit easier." She considers Aldrich's comment, "I would have to be a large enough distraction that it would draw a good number of them away. The base was teeming with them. And I somehow doubt they have a need to sleep."

"It's hard to make much of a stir when we don't have, like, explosives or anything. We could fire off rifles, but that'd probably only draw off a few, right?" Geoff says. He passes Tamlin some bandages when she volunteers. "And we don't have that many people."

Aldrich passes a few of the bandages over to Tamlin, then goes back to work, rinsing and using rocks to try to work any of the more stubborn stains out. "Well, this is why I'm not in charge of strategy," he points out, with a little sigh, but glances toward Tamlin. "You saw it for yourself, right? Where were they being held?"

Tamlin kneels, getting to work, seeming, well, honestly just happy to have busy work to do. "The cylons built a makeshift cage, just by where the enlisted barracks used to be. Not many of the other buildings are standing, or they don't want them comfortable, since there's no cover for them, that we could see. But without binoculars, or a rifle scope, or anything, really, we couldn't get a good idea of who was in there, just a rough guess at the number. And the cylons clearly seem to be entrenching themselves, because they were setting up air defenses.

Geoff works at the fabric with his thumbs to try to get the blood stains out. He listens to Tamlin's report. "Did they look okay?" he asks. "Were they like moving around or what?"

Aldrich considers that in silence as he works on another bandage. He certainly seems to be thinking hard about something, but he glances up to catch Tamlin's answer to Geoff's question.

Tamlin pauses in her washing, clearly trying to recall every detail, "Yes, there was definite movement, we could make out...maybe two dozen or so? We considered going around to the other side of the base, but the whole place is patrolled, and we almost got caught on the way there. They're patrolling all of the hiking trails, the easy paths through the jungle."

Geoff frowns down at the bandages in his hands. "Why the frak would they do that?" he wants to know. "I mean, what, are they trying to negotiate or something?" He seems ill at ease about this behavior.

Aldrich keeps washing, and after Geoff weighs in, he comments, "I think we should consider the very real possibility that they might be trying to draw out anyone who escaped." He glances apologetically toward Tamlin. "I still think we should try to help, if we can. But I think we should consider that possibility."

"Oh, I have no doubt that they hope the prisoners will serve as bait. Not only for the people like us, who've escaped, but also for any military forces who might come in to try to liberate them. But Cate brought up an interesting point, when we were out there. Why is it, that any time the Cylons destroy an area, they never rebuild the area, but they do take away all of the casualties? They take every organic body they can find, strip the place clean." Tamlin goes back to washing, so as not to hold up the operation.

Geoff looks puzzled. "But they just...got some random prisoners? How many, exactly?" he wonders. Then he squints at Tamlin's question. "Well...we know they do experiments. Like with the mosquitos. Maybe they're testing, like...bioweapons."

Aldrich nods a little. "Isn't it pretty well established that you can't fight an enemy if you don't understand them? The cylons aren't biological, right? It makes sense they'd need at least bodies, if they want to understand us. Living prisoners are probably even better." He looks pretty grim about that idea, but he keeps scrubbing.

"Or they gathered them up, either during the bombing or afterwards, when people were trying to escape." Tamlin nods to Geoff, "Or they're just trying to pick us apart to see what makes us tick. It's sort of a mechanical way to do things, isn't it? I mean, you can take a machine apart, reduce it to its component parts. You really can't do that with a human being. The parts don't make up the whole. But if you were a machine, you might not understand that."]

Geoff stands up, maybe abruptly, with the bandages in his hand and starts to wring them up. "Look, there's no point in guessing about it."

Aldrich shakes his head a little. "Actually, I think the only way we can hope to find an answer is if we discuss the possibilities," he comments, swishing around a bandage in the water, then inspecting the results with a little frown. "I think they're capable of understanding a lot. They've at least developed the capacity to simulate religion. Or at least want us to think that they have. And they didn't just copy /ours/, so it must be something more complex than simple mimicry. They invented this crazy idea of a single god."

Tamlin, being far enough away from Geoff, isn't upset, physically, at least, by his abrupt rise. She does start to finish her owns et though, "It's not that crazy, Chaplain. It's, again, a very mechanical way of looking at the world. It's like...as a mechanic, I can fix a Viper's engine. I can fix any viper's engine because the engine only works one way. It doesn't matter what the body looks like, the engine is always the same. These cylons, they were built to do different jobs, but inside they're really all just one thing. One original set of programming. Wouldn't it make sense that they would also look for a god that was one thing, like they are?"

Geoff frowns, twisting the bandages to get the water out. "So when do we make a move?" he asks. "And who's volunteering? I'll go."

Aldrich blinks a few times, and then nods a little. "Yes, that makes sense. But only if you presume self-awareness, and maybe even consciousness." He clears his throat a little, and glances to Geoff. "I'd be happy to help. It might take all of us working together to succeed. I'm not much good in a face-to-face confrontation, but I could certainly provide cover fire."

"Well, it might stand to reason. They didn't all find themselves suddenly programmed to revolt and kill every human they could find." Tamlin finishes with her bandages, wringing them out and then looking around for something to hang them from. "Should we head back towards the cave?"

"Yeah," Geoff says. "We need to make plans. We can't leave those people in there when we don't know what they'll do to them."

Aldrich nods and stands, wringing out his own pile of bandages. "Yes, that sounds like a good idea... There's got to be something we can do, if we put our heads together."

Tamlin nods, as she shakes out the bits of cloth, rolling them up carefully, for the walk back. They can't disinfect them, really, but there's no need to be careless. She looks over at Geoff. "If we go, I'll go with you."

"All right," Geoff agrees with Tamlin, looking very solemn about it indeed. "But if you go, you gotta be /in/ it. All in. Yeah? Ready for however bad it gets."

Aldrich drapes his own bandages over his arm, possibly intending to hang them to dry later. He glances up and quickly between Geoff and Tamlin at the former's comment, but he says nothing and focuses a little more intently than necessary on arranging those bandages for carrying.

Tamlin doesn't back down from Geoff's response, just an edge of, not anger exactly, but determination in her voice, "And what makes you think I wouldn't be? Because I'm Navy and you're a Marine? Or because I'm from one side of the tracks and you're from the other?" Yep. They're both from Caprica, so man, even Capricans don't like other Capricans.

Geoff narrows his eyes a little. "What side of the 'tracks' are you saying I'm from?" he asks in return.

Aldrich winces a little at the turn of phrase, and clears his throat a little. "For what it's worth, I don't think either of you were trying to insult each other. We're all on the same side here..."

"The side that doesn't sound like every annoying politician you ever heard on every equally ridiculous campaign vid you ever saw. Although, in my case, I suppose rich bitch socialite would be more appropriate." Tamlin knows exactly how irritating upper crust her accent is. "The side that isn't filled with people who couldn't give a frak about anyone or anything except themselves, and who would happily let everyone else fry, if it meant they could still do as they pleased." Tamlin picks up her pace, following the meandering path back along the way to the mine. They have tried to carry the way they move back and forth, so as not to give away their location.

Geoff falls in behind Tamlin without making a reply right away. He just squeezes more water out of the bandages.

Aldrich blinks rapidly, but as Tamlin starts to hit her stride with her diatribe, he snaps a rather harsh, "Dorn!" He presses his lips together. He looks pretty irritated, but forces a quieter tone as he adds, "Now is /not/ the time for this."

Tamlin looks back to Aldrich, her tone not at all put out, "I love when you do that, Chaplain." Seriously. As for his comment, "Actually, I think it's a perfect time to do this. We don't have the luxury to get to know each other and work our way up to trusting each other. I'd rather get all of the shite out on the table now, work through it, and then never have to think about it again."

"So you think if you tell me you're rich and I'm poor and then criticize rich people we don't have to think about it anymore?" Geoff asks. "Glad that's all over, then, huh."

Aldrich looks toward the sky. "I didn't ask what you thought, did I? If you want to reduce people to shallow stereotypes and call it 'getting your shit out on the table', then you need to do it somewhere other than in my presence." He shoots a sharp, still annoyed glance at Geoff. "And /you/ can shut the frack up, too. That is not helping." Someone really needs to get a good night's sleep.

"No, you asked me to clarify what I meant by what I said and I did that. That was all. You didn't respond. That's your right. I don't expect anything from you." Tamlin sets a good pace, even with having to meander her way back towards where the rest of the team are camped out. She doesn't respond to Aldrich's dressing down, only offering a nod, before she turns to hand off the bandages and leave the two men to go wherever they're going. "Excuse me." And she'll go...well, in some other direction.

"I thought you had my back for a minute there, Preach," Geoff returns to Aldrich. He doesn't say more than that, but he doesn't alter his course for the cave, either. Not even when Tamlin goes.

Aldrich sighs and swipes a hand over his face. "Gods save us," he mutters to himself, but he slows his steps and leaves Tamlin to head off to wherever. He's silent for a few long paces, and then says, to Geoff, "I do have your back. I want us all to survive, including you, and we can't do that if we're bickering like school children."

"I was holding back," Geoff says. "What I want is to get those frakkin' people back safe, same as you. "But I don't see why I have to swallow some rich bitch's condescending bullshit to do it." And with that, he's making haste to get back to the cave.


Back to Scenes