Digging In The Dirt


barbara_icon.gif huruma3_icon.gif megan_icon.gif

Scene Title Digging In The Dirt
Synopsis It's supposed to be therapeutic. Or so it's been said.
Date May 2, 2011

Outside Bannerman Castle

The weather is cloudy but it makes for a good day to be outside. Not too cold, not too hot. The rain hasn't come in yet. Megan has her hair caught back in a ponytail, the silvery streak prominent above her left eye and back into the bouncy curls. She's wearing a pair of very scuffed, comfy blue jeans, hiking boots, and a grey sweatshirt, as nondescript as it really gets. And she's on her knees in a patch of dirt that will be sunlit on good days digging with a trowel and her bare hands, a flat of strawberries sitting next to her. She's not the only person out here doing this today — people are spread all over working on similar patches. During a pause she raises the back of one hand to wipe her forehead, smearing dirt in a streak down one temple as she glances around with thoughtful blue eyes. Her emotions, like so many others on the island, are close to the surface today — last night's revelations have terrified many, and though Megan herself is not exactly frightened, she is certainly concerned. Worried. Perhaps even a little sad and confused about the entire situation. It's a lot to take in.

Huruma does feed off of radical emotional shifts, though not in the sense that some sort of psychic vampire might; it simply gives her something to pay attention to, something to watch, something to keep up with. One can suppose that is why some people watch daytime soaps. She was here when the handful of people came out to start cutting things out, and somehow parts of the heavy lifting have been accorded to her- how is that fair? Nonetheless, she's moved plenty of crumbling rocks so far. Huruma fully expects that at some point, someone will be asking her to help pry a big one out of the ground. Thankfully, right now, all that people seem to need a hand with are thick, frazzled looking roots. Rather than keep letting someone else hack at this particular one, Huruma has taken it upon herself to dig around it in order to take it out like a long, arm width cable. Where does it end? Probably nowhere, as the tree seems more than healthy enough to keep her busy.

The dark woman is slightly down the incline from Megan, and so catches her eye when she takes a look around. Nobody can really see the extent of the dirt on Huruma from afar, but when she is closeby there is a visible earthy texture to her bare arms, and even the top of her chest where skin ends and dirty tank top begin. Of all things to take completely seriously, digging seems to be one of them- because she abruptly stops the giant meerkat impression when she catches Megan's eye, sitting back onto her heels, knees in the root-twined dirt.

"I suppose this is a better idea than throwing anybody off of th'roof, hm?"

Megan shoots a grin toward Huruma, her amusement radiating off her along with the snort of laughter. "Oh, I don't know," she says, reaching for the bottle of water she's got nearby with dirty hands. "Considering what the little fucking idiot has done, I'm considering the idea of dangling him off the parapet and smothering him in honey so the fire ants eat him," she admits mildly. "Nobody really mentioned whose kid he is… Deckard, I gather, is his father, so …. in all honesty, it stands to reason that he's screwed up in the head, I guess. But…." There's no real heat or hosility to it. It's a relatively calm assessment — the nurse who has had to weigh 'do we have enough meds for me to try to save this person or do I just let them go?' has had all night to weigh the pros and cons of revenge. Because now that time has passed and the shock worn off, that's what it would be. "It'd be a waste of antibodies, though — I'd rather drain his retarded little body dry and see if we can work up a vaccine to the virus."

Uncapping the water bottle and taking a healthy swallow from it, Megan still looks thoughtful. "Barring any of that… I hope his friends get to him before Ben or Jensen do," she says softly.

"Neither of them can seriously be considering going themselves?" Huruma's brow kneads together, and she seems for a moment, angry. "They shouldn'go near him. Not them. Not you, either." She snorts once, lifting the back of her hand to rub at her nose. "If he's done it, he probably has it. Can't just let th'heads of S.A. expose themselves like that." Meaning that if anyone does go after Calvin, it can't be anyone in the shortlist of normals amongst them.

She puts her hands back down to tug at the biggest root, shoving the end of it aside so that she can scoot forward and pry more of it out. "They are nice children, and mean well, but they should not'ave brought anyone that could have went off th'reservation as he did." Meaning, it was a mistake to enlist someone not all there into something so complex as time travel.

Huruma's presence makes it had to sneak up on the pair as they work in the garden. Not that it had been Barbara's intention, but the anxiety from her likely palpable to the taller woman as Barbara approaches them, a bit of a weak smile on her face. "He may not have been when they came back," is offered almost in passing, though the gloves she has in hand says she's here to work. She's certainly dressed for it, even in teh slightly warmer weather, she has on a sweat shirt and sweatpants - an almsot stereotypical yardwork outfit. "Certainly seems possible, with what I've heard about other.That said, she turns to them, slipping her gloves on to her hands. "Hello, ladies. I didn't mean to interject. I'm glad to see I'm not the only one helping out with the garden." Well, she did, she just didn't mean to seem rude in doing so.

Megan starts to answer, but Barbara's interjection cuts her off and she turns to smile slightly toward the other woman. "Hello, Barbara," she murmurs. Glancing back at Huruma, the redhead says quietly, "It seems to me that if he's Evolved, he can't be carrying it. At least… not under usual conditions. I was under the impression he'd have been helping spread it some other way." She pauses and purses her lips, "Although… there are a number of cases of illnesses where carriers are not susceptible. Typhoid Mary is the most famous example." She sighs. "Still… they don't have to get close enough to catch it in order to put a bullet in his head if his friends are unable to reason with him," she points out. Her tone is calm, but the emotion that roils out of the composed-appearing redhead is anything but neutral — absolute rage and guilt and hurt is a black tidal wave. "He's no fucking better than the assholes that infected Hannah and scouting party that came back here." And thereby infected all the people who died here under Megan's watch. She sets her water bottle down after capping it again and begins once more to use the trowel to dig.

"There is always a sign." Probably one reason that nobody in her family aside from her grandmother and elder brother ever looked out for Huruma at all- maybe they could tell that something was wrong. "If he hopes to have had it spread as it does, Typhoid-like symptoms seemed th'most reasonable- and one should assume th'worst." She rips a piece of smaller root from the ground, tossing it aside into a pile of them. Easy kindling, when they dry.

"No better, no, but obviously they had a reason t'trust him in the beginning." Huruma looks at the two women she is exchanging with, fully self-aware that it's delicate talking about someone else being hostile; she herself is not exactly without past fault, and everyone who pays attention knows it. It at least gives her a unique perspective. "I think that only his friends will be able to find him, regardless. He won'put himself at risk if he wishes to move it upon th'people- what needs t'happen is someone needs t'find out how he did it, and who was helping." Fingers are weaker than the arms they are on.

Barbara almost seems to loom for a few moments before bends down, pulling her own trowl out of her back pocket. "if I may interject," and her tone says it is an option, if unappreciated then she's go work elsewhere in the garden. "I do agree that we need to do something about their Calvin. I don't know if a bullet in the head, up front, is the best solution." She clenches a hand into a fist for a moment, letting out a bit og a sigh. "I don't think it's needs to be a matter of… they handle it, or we handle it. I think they need to open up to us more and let at least someone from Special Activities work with the, when it comes ot this man, if nothing else. What he's done is awful."

Megan's trowel digs into the ground as she softens up the dirt for planting the strawberry plants in her flat. Her jaw clenches. "You know…. In general, I'm of a less bloodthirsty bent." Which is entirely true — Megan's pretty much always and ever been the one who has kept her cool and although she takes patrol routes she's one of the ones who only joins in the firefights when it's righteous or desperate. She looks at Barbara, though, and says quietly, "But for this? For this, I would vote for the death penalty." Her tone is tight. "In spite of who he is, in spite of what he's done in the past… the actions he's taken at this point may condemn 80 percent of the country's population to death. Many of them will be kids and older people, people who have allergies and asthma. People who have done not one damn thing wrong in all of this except maybe to be ignorant and stupid and have an opinion that makes them look like pigs to the rest of us who know better." She stabs at the ground, leaving the tip of her trowel in it. "Eileen was right about one thing — he's no better than Kazimir Volken. And we put him down like a dog and didn't feel the slightest bit guilty. This situation is no different. But I won't say that aloud to anyone but maybe you and Huruma, because we cannot afford to have that go on. It will shred the Ferry. And we must give a united front. Our concerns must be the protection of those who come to us and our operatives."

Huruma listens first to Barbara, and then again to Megan. She nods slowly, lips pursed and eyes downturned onto her hands working in the ground. She'll make sure to not break the main roots, as they need all the tree cover they can get- so when she manages to uncoil the thing from the ground, Huruma drags it across the span left to bunch it up like a sleeping snake nearer to the maple. Only then does she start piling on debris, tucking it back into the dirt.

"Any thoughts on where t'look for a sick house, if it comes to that?"

"There were some buildings recently scouted as safehouses. It would be unfortuante, but we had to, we could mvoe people to one before they get too sick. Any sort of sick house may be too visible, though," Barbara remarks with a shake of her head. Her trowl is shoved into the ground, beginning to dig as she looks between te other two women, settling on Megan. "I plan to speak to Eileen later, when tensions are lower. She did make an excellent point with that, I won't disagree. It wasn't something that even crossed my mind. I… everything I've heard about VOlken is third hand, at best."

Megan shrugs a little. It's a struggle for her — Huruma has the brunt of just how much a struggle. But her words are quiet as she starts putting plants into the trough that she's dug. "We'll do what we have to. But our bottom line has to be protection of our network." She pauses. "It may be that the GCT is the best option. It's underground, it's centrally located, and there are multiple escapes. The trouble is… no matter where we put it, it's going to draw attention." She grimaces. "There are places in Midtown that we could use, potentially. Large ones. And if the intel is right and those robots are looking for Evos, they may well just ignore a human flu sickhouse. I just don't know yet. I'll have something to propose for you by the end of the week, though."

"I did not know him, but I was with a man who did. In th'forties, no less." Huruma remarks on knowledge about Volken, but she shakes her head as she does so. "He didn'tell me much more than I have learned from Eileen and Jensen. There is always th'option of taking people out of the city. It will be hard, but it is not impossible."

"Otherwise, I think that per'aps underground would be workable, not necessarily midtown. It is always going to be a danger, there. Unless we deliberately do as m'son once did, an'make a bunker using someone that can literally move earth."

They have resources of abilities, yes, though it is tricky to use them like that. "I think that soon, regardless, these people will not be able to stay with us in th'city." Or country, goes unsaid.

"GCT I am torn on,"Barbara admits witha shake of her head. "I agree that locationwise, it might be our best option. But putting such a hub at a risk of further infection, particularly when word of such may take some time to reach some people in the network… it's riskier, if you ask mt, than even using Pollepel." A long sigh, and the councilwomann shakes her head. "But there may not be much of choice there in the end. With any luck, we can speak to Calvin before someone puts a bullet in his head, and figure out how he did this. See if that provides any clues to stopping it, particularly if it originates from their time."

A look over to Hooms, and barbara closes her eyes and shakes her head. "Taking people out of the city may not be a feasible option unless we act early. Our ways out of the city are precious, and risking spreading sickness along them, or to other locations, is a tricky risk."

"There are no good options," Megan retorts, her hands carefully putting the plants into the ground. She leans there, essentially sitting on all fours, and says quietly, "They came back because there were not enough people left to lose," she says softly. "They were losing." When she looks up at the both of them, there is a kind of weary pain in her gaze. "They don't want to tell us that they came back here because the illness finally basically decimated the world. Is there anything else that would drive children that this group raised to take this risk? Anything that you can imagine would justify the ramifications?"

"Th'Sudanese are a prime example of what we may need to do." Huruma warns that much, prying some dirt out from between her gloved fingers. "They faced an exodus, and they left for other lives, to different countries." She sighs and looks up towards Megan as she speaks, listening as the redhead puts out her own.

"No." Huruma's lips turn down at the edges. "I can only imagine that they are here because of th'sickness. Unless there is something that they have not told us. I think th'best chance anyone has is t'find one that will tell us what is going on in th'future. Outside of this Rosen and th'three."

A pause, and Barbara looks over to Huruma with a quireked eyebrow. "Have you spoken to Kaylee? Heard the… rumours?" Barbara shakes her head letting out a deep sigh. "It sounds much worse than a simple pague, I'm afraid. The meeting the other night was the first I've heard of it, even. I have ahd two of those dreams myself, and…" she stops, shaking her head. "There was much mroe at work than something so comparatively simple."

"In their time — where they'd had 10 years to work out a vaccine, and where they were at war with … God only knows who. The US government among others." Megan still doesn't move. "Whatever else is going on… they had nothing left to lose," she opines quietly.

"Yes, I've talked t'her, and I'ave had some of th'dreams." Huruma confirms this, watching closely for another few moments. "You're right. They didn'have anything t'lose. When fourteen have come back?" She is still shocked at the number. "And how did they get back? We don't know who is behind it, yet. The government is one reason that I think leaving is not out of th'question, at least for these people…"

"Fourteen…" is repeated. Barbara looking absently off into space. It still surprises her as well, a bit of a grimace on her face. "I am hoping that they are willing to cooperate enough with us to give us names. I'm not terribly worried about who their parents on. Just… if there are more of them we have met and are unaware of, I would rather find out now than have it sprung on us when another matter such as this arrises. Knowing as many as we do now is better than nothing, though I will be seeing about the Adel woman that came up."

The redhead finally moves to stand up, brushing her hands off on her already dirty pants. "Barbara, I'd like to make a trip to the mainland with the next group. Stock up the infirmary a bit more, and just… some personal shopping. I could use some clothes." Megan's woefully short. Like most who evacuated just barely ahead of the soldiers, she didn't pack much beforehand. "I have a storage shed that has a safe in it that has some weapons that I promised to retrieve for Ryans and Raith as well. Now's as good a time as any, before the flu starts up in full force."

"If you want, I can come with you." Seeing as Megan is a lead medic and traveling like that is probably sketchy, as is all of it. Huruma puts the offer is out there, at least. "If just for the extra hands, anyhow. We do need to sit down with these kids, as soon as we can. Awkward or no, it will be necessary." She does look to Barbara, after this.

"Take that as my offer for you and the council, too. I'm not the most perfect mediator, but-" Being able to force people to not get angry might be useful, right?

A bit of a smile at that as her trowl digs back into the ground, and Barabra shrugs. "You don't need to ask permission. If you need more help than Huruma, I'm open to coming as well. I don't mind helping, and I need to make a trip out to the mainland in some reasonable amount of time anyway." Drit dug out and set aside, she lets out a bit of a sigh. "We need tot alk to to at least some of them, I would imagine. It all depends on what names are given, and what they are willing to share. I don't plan on asking much, to be honest."

"The company'd be welcome if you want to go, Huruma," Megan replies evenly. "And while I don't need permission, it's always a good idea to run it past someone on the council when I'm not here — so that someone's keeping an eye on the infirmary," she tells Barbara. "And if you want to go along, that's fine too." The redhead glances at Huruma and tilts her head, offering a bit of a smile at something. "I suppose I should stop hiding in there so much."

"Really. You should. I think a trip would do you some good." It won't be the same as the trip Huruma made with say, Abby and Liza, but Megan does have her own charms- and while Huruma also has some things to bring up, incidentally she does consider Megan a friend first. And friends need to stick together. "Foster seems the most receptive to a clean, calm talk… If we talk to any in a personal meeting, it should probably be him… Th'girls have different emotions." Than an otherwise calm Benji.

"That's fair," Barbara replies with a bit of a laugh. "I guess being kept abreast of what the head medic is doing is a good thing, yes." Standing up a bit, Barbara wipes at her forehead, looking a bit off into the distance. :"I agree. We all have to get away sometime. Staying out here, secluded from civilization gets tiresome after a while. That's part of why I was thinking about getting away from the island."

A look over to Huruma, and she nods. "Foster- Ryans, I guess, is the one I was hoping to speak to anyway. He seems to be a sort of leader to them. Or someone to talk to, from how he led that conversation. So, I hope to seek him out before he leaves the island."

"Interesting sort, Benji Ryans," Megan observes. "Not precisely what I would have expected of Ben's grandchild, but… leader material clearly." She shrugs slightly. "I'm not sure we should ask too many questions, though. Their intent seems… far more personal than it is global, if you get my meaning. And sometimes just knowing the future changes it. Not always for the better."

"There's something different about him." Huruma notes largely to herself, patting her hands down on toiled dirt so that she can at least make sure it isn't lost before they have to actually put soil in. After this, she stands up and dusts only her hands. "We need t'ask just enough questions. That is all."

"Not exactly what I would have expected either," is ssaid with a hnt of amusement from Barbara, who angles a nod in Huruma's direction. "Just enough questions. I"m not worried about the future. I'm moer concerned about what we do now, and this Calvin boy, and who else is working with them, in the interest of the network. It's information that will likely remain to the COuncil, special activities, and immediayely concerned parties."

Megan simply nods, her hands resting on her hips. The months here have been… perhaps not as kind as they could have been in many ways. The lines around her eyes are deepening, stress and hardship honing some of the indicators of age. But it's been great for her weight — she's slimmed a good 15 pounds off what was a pretty curvy 145-150 lb frame when she first arrived. Maybe not the way anyone wants to lose weight! She steps away from the women, checking the direction of the slight breeze and pulling from the sweatshirt's pocket a single cigarette and a lighter. Cupping a hand around the end, she lights up and draws in a deep drag, holding it in her lungs for a long minute before withdrawing the cigarette gracefully from her mouth and slowly exhaling the plume away from her companions into the wind. "The fact that we have kids and even grandkids of Ferry members here is going to be an emotional hand grenade as the information gets out," she comments. "It's going to change the way people look at one another. Maybe for the better, maybe for the worse. The dreams are telling us some things, but… why? And are they coming from one among their number? What purpose do they serve?"

"Whatever purpose, they've served to change everything." Huruma is fairly sure that it is one of these kids doing it, but she has no clue which one, or if it is actually one. Coincidence is a bit much for it. "But you know, it is not such a grenade, in some ways…" The dark woman murmurs, sidling up the grass to hover nearer to Megan. "It tells people that there is going to be something, after all of this. After even some of us are said and done. A bittersweet kind of hopefulness, I can see it there."

"I think it depends on the people," Barbar remarks towards Megan, looking a bit down at the ground. "THe information's going tog et out eventually anyway. But it seems like by now, people who know may know. Ben and Joseph certainly seem to, as far as I can gather, and with fourteen of them I doubt they're the only ones. "I think I agree that is a sense of hope attached to this chilren. THe ones who arent' out releasing viruses, at least."

The redhead holds her cigarette between two fingers, the lighter still cupped in the same hand and held with her thumb. Crossing her arms, she studies the burning end quietly. Bittersweet is definitely the word for it, she reflects. "If that's all they sought to bring, then they've achieved that much, at least," Megan agrees softly. "Survival is a thorny business. And about now… it's looking dicey, at best." She raises the cigarette to her lips, drawing on it with a thoughtful expression. And then she grins in amusement. "Seems to me, aside from one bad apple out of fourteen, it's not such a bad ratio," she admits. "It'll be an interesting ride, that's for sure."

Got that right. Huruma gives Barbara a hint of a smile, and it grows with Megan's. "That is correct. Let one bad apple not ruin th'bunch. They seem at th'core, t'be good children. If anything, they were raised rightly." And with enough sense to want to change their world, even if it meant they couldn't go back. In some ways, that isn't much sense at all, is it?

"One in fourteen? I'm willing to bet that at times…" Barbara shoves her trowel into the ground, rising up to her feet. "Our ratio has been even worse, to be entirely honest. The weight of what has been done does need to come down on they're Calvin, but I have no intention to judge the whole on the actions of the one." A smile on her face, and a returned nod to Huruma. "In honest, if it wasn't thanking them for something they haven't done yet, I'd almost want to know their parents. Just to thank them."

On that note, Barbara looks over towards a bag set down on her approach, before reaching down to them and removing several pouches. "Alright, ladies. I think that's enough weighty discussion for now. I think it's time to have some fun planting seeds."

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