Icarus 003: Wading


[Zeke has just seen the leader of the ‘alien’ visitors and it still cradling a baby.] -06:49 May 06
[Ava had a chat with Commander Dad, and it wasn’t as bad as she thought! She just has to take Zeke for an eval, and then she can go play..er… study the zoots!] -06:50 May 06
Ava: Ava was counting off a list of extra equiptment she’d need for spending a week in trees out in the wilderness. And now Erickson couldn’t complain about it, she had the Commander’s approval. She was looking pretty pleased by the entire conversation. "We’ll just have to get you checked over in the medical bay. I guess to see if living here long term has done anything strange to you. But that won’t take long at all." -06:54 May 06
Zeke: He frowned at her and stood up strait with the zootling scadled in the crux of his arm. "Healthy." he said looking down as he before the baby pulled itself into a sitting pisition and held out it’s arms towards her and buzzed it’s wings wantng to be taken by her. -06:58 May 06
Ava: She didn’t seem to have any problem reaching out to take the zootling, and was delighted to do so! How old was this one… did it come out of the egg like this? A new slurry of questions were lining up in a queue in her head as she gave him a curious expression. "Yes, healthy! But there could be changes too. Like DND restructuring or things in your blood we can’t see. I won’t let Doc Sam take anything more than a blood sample from you, though, otherwise we’d never get back to your zoots before dark." Ava rose too, with the zoot in her arms. He did look healthy. Better than most of Erickson’s soldiers, even with his hair wild and skin covered in dirt. "This way." -07:02 May 06
Zeke: He was confused by her warning but followed, she was alter all holding onto a zootling that was his to protect and they wanted knowledge… "If no changes, humans stay?" he asked looking at her. He still didn’t trust the visitors and neither did the tribe’s mother. -07:05 May 06
Ava: "Um, I don’t know, actually! Our ship’s mission is for mapping systems and finding worlds safe for colonization. But it’s not something that would happen immediately. And I don’t know what the rules are about sentient species. We’re not looking for worlds to steal…" Damnit, she should have talked to the commander about that, but chances were he was already working on it. -07:10 May 06
Zeke: Once again he didn’t grasp her full meaning but he remembered reading something long ago. "Law is, first man on island owner of island. He looked at her and then smiled. "My world, I say who stay. No one who hurt zoot may stay." -07:15 May 06
Ava: Ava stared at him with a baffled expression for a moment, until she broke out in to a laugh. "Sounds pretty reasonable to me, King of the Zoots. I don’t want to see them hurt either… I want to see how they live!" Ava was still grinning when she rounded a corner and crossed through the threshold in to the medbay. There was a lot of plain boring white, steel and that faint smell of disinfectant. A woman quite a few years older than Ava was sitting on an examine table chewing on a piece of jerky and flipping through some magazine. "Oh! There you are babe. I’ve read this stupid thing like ten times already, and heelloooo jungle man." Ava gestured toward the lady. "This is Doctor Sam. Don’t be scared, okay?" -07:25 May 06
Zeke: "Zoots have no king, only mother." He looked around the room and mostly ignoring the doctor stepped up yo a console and stared at it. It wasn’t the same as the ones in the icarus but seemed to have the same basic layout and he should be able to work out how to use it and get the knowledge within, if he wasnte to. "Name Zeke." he said turning back around and facing the doctor. -07:32 May 06
Ava: "Okay. King of Planet Zeke! That’s as good of a name for a planet as any." Ava took the zoot over to a table to set it down, and handed it a big cotton swab to play with. "Zeke, huh? I hear you dropped all of Erickson’s highly trained morons in two seconds. Here, have a seat on this little chair for me, while I feel you up. Hey, babe, you want a blood sample of that green thing too?" Doctor Sam was kidding about the feeling up, she already had her hands on Zeke, poking, prodding and examining. "This is a baby zoot, and nope! No touching the zoots, they won’t understand. Commander gave me a thumbs up to stay with them and study, though!" -07:38 May 06
Zeke: He sat on the chair and cast a wearly eye at the doctor. He didn’t want anyone touching the baby. "Men threaten Ava, Zeke, and baby. Disobey female command. They stopped, not hurt." -07:43 May 06
Ava: "Female command, huh?" Doc Sam cast one hell of a wicked looked towards Ava, who just responded with a roll of her eyes. While the baby was distracted with the cotton swab, Ava pulled out a tape measure to get a rough estimate how tall it was and the length of it’s wings. "The zoots have a matriach society, which is pretty neat. -And- they adopted him when they found him. This is the first time he’s ever seen humans before!" Doc Sam was busy cleaning up a spot on his arm, and now prepping a little glass tube. "Never seen people before, honey? No girls, no nothing?" -07:50 May 06
Zeke: He pointed at the console. "Seen humans on Icarus. Flat, not answer back. Recording?" he was unsure of that last work and rolled it around his mouth befor the babybuzzed at him waving the swab and he turned to buzz back. "Baby is hungry." he said looking at Ava and bemoving his bag and holding it out to her. If had food. -07:54 May 06
Ava: Ava took the bag and dug around in it, wasting a little more time than she should have simply because she was curious. But she pulled some bits of fruit out to offer the baby, grinning when it took it in exchange for the chewed on swab. "Honey, people on a screen ain’t the same thing. I’ll show you some boobs here in a second, this might hurt a little bit." Without giving any extra warning, Doc Sam pressed the tube against his arm and there was a sharp prick. A second or two later the vial was filled with red and she was whisking it away to a table. -07:59 May 06
Zeke: It stung but he didn’t flinch, in fact he was darely taking his eyes off the baby making sure it didn’t choke or eat too fast. "What boobs?" he asked leaning in his chair to lookagain look at the console. He was itching to try it. -08:07 May 06
Ava: "You are in for a treat, honey. Boobs are-" Doc Sam had put away the vile and was already unzipping her vest, despite the fact Ava was waving her arms at her to cut it out. Maybe the woman (or Zeke) was saved by the alarm, as Erickson’s non-too-pleased voice was practically snarling over the intercom. Addision. Your creatures are swarming near the ship. Unless you want me to shoot every last one of them, I suggest you get your ass outside and do something about it. Now it was Ava scowling. Why’d it always have to come down to shooting at things? -08:14 May 06
Zeke: Zeke didn’t wait, spear in hand he was already out the door and storming down the corridor, someone had threatened the zoots and he would see them safe before teaching them not to. He didn’t beed Ava as a guide he remembered the way having a excelent memory and sense of direction and when he reached the ramp down he discovered armed ben looking over the group of Zoots who were sitting in a circle examining the look they had gotten from the ruined campsite. He counted the gans pointed at them and his hand tightened around his spear. Maybe it was time for another reminder. -08:19 May 06
Ava: "Zeke…! Sorry, Sam…!" Ava had to pause long enough to drop that cotton swab in to a bag, but then she was scooping up that baby and running after Zeke before he got himself in to more trouble. He was apparently pretty damn quick when he wanted to be! Ava nearly stumbled down the ramp, and as expected there were a bunch of jumpy goons with guns… worse now that Zeke made a reappearance. Erickson caught her arm before she got much further. "The Commander has chosen to play favorites, that’s fine. Run fucking wild in the jungle, Addision, but keep them away from our camps. Show me where the Icarus is and get them out of here." Ava huffed and pulled her arm away. "They’re just worried about Zeke. And it’ll be dark soon, let me take them back home and then tomorrow when that predator isn’t out you can go get your stupid Icarus." -08:27 May 06
Zeke: Zeke pushed his way past the armed men and goined the group of Zoot who all jumped up and stoped off thier tn mugs, scraps of metal, foor wrappers, tools, and items of clothing that they had, one of them even climbed onto Zeke’s shoulders and buzzed excitedly while waving around a pair of Ericson’s boxers. Zeke was buzzing at them though and glanced back at Ava and the baby. "We go." he called back. "Mother worried about baby. Food soon and tonight very dark, no moons." -08:34 May 06
[Zeke is listening to the zoots while trying to convince them to take thier looted items back.] -01:25 May 09
[Ava does not want to go back up in to those trees, but it’ll be sunset soon… On the bright side, she is getting to explore a bit before the night grows dark and full of terrors!] -01:27 May 09
Ava: Places like the waterfall pond full of fish and weird creatures and plants! At least -now- she wasn’t jumping down in it from countless feet above. Ava looked up where she couldn’t even see the ramp through the trees and mist. "Baaah… So not doing that again." …she also did not want her clothes soaking for a second time that day. Seeing as she was left alone, it wasn’t going to hurt to pull off her clothes so she could splas around hunting critters and maybe clean up a bit too. -01:31 May 09
Zeke: Zeke was buzzing to the zoots when one of then hanging from a branch buzzed and gestured. Slowly Zeke stood and caught sight of Ava over the bushes and she was removing her coverings. Zeke was used to being naked, and seeing the zoots naked but ava was something new, she had lumps on her chest and nothing between her legs, squinting Zeeke cound see hair there but no protrusions… it was odd. Still he didn’t think to call out he just stared and didn’t even notice when she zoots climbed up him and cling to him also watching, then they buzzed and Zeke almost jumped out of his skin. -01:40 May 09
Ava: Everything tossed on the bank down to shaking her hair loose, Ava was pretty content to wade in the water and kick around for something interesting and alive. …There was the buzzing of zoots, though. So much for being alone. At least they weren’t going to be much of a bother unless they jacked her clothes and ran off with them. Of course that was enough to make her turn and prepare to shout or bzzzt at the thieving beasts. Only… it wasn’t just zoots. "…oh hell in a basket!" With a very quick and rigid turn to make sure it was her back facing him, Ava grumbled through her teeth. Why did she think this was a good idea?! She always had bad ideas! -01:46 May 09
Zeke: He buzzed back at the zoots and then scattered to catch creatures for Ava, since that was what she was looking at most. Then he was stepping forwards and out of the bushes towards her. "You red." he said not knowing he was too, and that furcher down there was a ridhed display of feeling too. "You wish to clean?" he asked digging the tip of his spear into the dirt and stopping a small distance away. "I tell zoots find animals for you, you can swim, with me." -01:53 May 09
Ava: Of course she was red! She was standing in a waterfall pond, buttass naked for no good reason other than wanting to keep her clothes dry! There was no way she was going to admit that. And from his response to Doc Sam earlier, it’s not like he knew what boobs were! …Ava struggled to stay as nonchalant as possible. "I uh… wanted to look for critters and thought washing at the same time would kill two problems with one stone?" Wait, what. Swim -with- him? She spied at him from the corner of her eye. "I supposed you’re great at swimming…" -01:57 May 09
Zeke: He shrugged. "Zoots swim, I swim, what good, what bad?" he had no reference to work from for human averaged in swiming strength. "You should wear less, normal for zoot. Hot, damp, bare better. You stay here no need clothes." -02:01 May 09
Ava: Yeeeaah, that’s when she slooowwly inched herself forward in to the water until it was good and up to her chin. There was that slight twist of her mouth where she was trying to decide whether or not she’d scowl or laugh at how absurb this whole situation was. Erickson would be flipping his shit. ..if it was Erickson she’d be prancing around naked on purpose just to piss him off! This was different. "Clothes protect your skin from things, especially in a new environment… Last thing I want to do is get lashed and nipped in weird places, a girl’s skin is sensitive, y’know." -02:06 May 09
Zeke: He made a face and then put down his bag and slipped into the water. "Not in village. Village safe." then he stretched out to float on his back and look up into the trees, anywhere but Ava. "You choose. You have different life. I like no clothes." he made a sound as a zoot jumped into his stomach and held out a small squid like creature with bony hooks at the end of each tentackle that were still wriggling as it’s gills dialated in the air. -02:13 May 09
Ava: Creature! Ava battled the urge to wade herself immediately towards the new wiggly thing. There were other wiggly bits she was overly concerned about now. And why? She had a very distinct advantage of culture and human awareness here! She was the one acting like an idiot. Ava ducked under the water for a moment and when she popped back out, she was much, muuuch closer. Eyeing the little creature the zoot held like some sort of skittish, weird predator. Awesome, now she was thinking of herself like a predator. "…and you are more than welcome to be as unclothed as you like. What is that thing?" -02:18 May 09
Zeke: He looked and then buzzed. "No human name… not have on earth?" he "Good food, tonight you eat?" he buzzed at the zoot who then carefully started to tear the hook off before holding it wowards Ava. -02:22 May 09
Ava: Ava eyed it, but wasn’t quite reaching for it yet. "No.. there are similar things on Earth. And sometimes things like it on other worlds. I’m just a little bit wary of them after getting tangled up with a much bigger and hungrier looking version." She iiiinched closer to take the zoot’s offering. "…you don’t eat it like this do you? No cooking?" -02:26 May 09
Zeke: "We cook." he said looking at the creature who was growing weaker and suffocating out of the water. "Take out insides and cook on fire. Eat crispy or stew." Another zoot scampered along a branch with a large insect in it’s hand, it looked like a much cmaller zoot only brown and having six wings and much smaller insectoid bead like a mantis’, and when he saw it Zeke buzzed at the zoot who buzzed back and geantly placed the insect on the end of the branch there it shook it’s wings, apparently perfectly tame. -02:38 May 09
Ava: "Good goooood, I am not a big fan of popping slimey things in my mouth." What was thaaaaat tiny thing! Her worries about naked swimming were completely abandoned in favor of wading closer to the zoot’s insect and standng in the shallower water to get a better look. "And what’s this thing! Is it like a pet? Do zoots have pets? The structure of it is so similar… I wonder if it’s in the same genus…" -02:43 May 09
Zeke: Zeke buzzed the the zoot on his stomach who jumped onto the shore and then stood on the bottom to wake out to Ava. "Precious, zoot keep safe, forbidden to hurt. Stories say sould of zoot become these when zoot dies. When zoot born, creature visits parents. Parents feed creature. More creature eats, story say stronger baby will be. Zoot respect creatures, story says creatures are zoots who came before… he searched for the right word. Ancestor." -02:49 May 09
Ava: "Ancestors and reincarnation… that is very neat! I bet I could figure out which is which if I could fossil hunt." Careful with the little things, then. Ava refrained from reaching out to touch it, to avoid getting it’s little wings wet. Precious creatures meant no taking live samples, fossils would be better. She looked very delighted to have acquired a new bit of info, to the point of rocking on her feet again. "There are more creatures that make a habitat around this waterfall, isn’t there?" Oooh, damnit. She had almost forgotten about the nakedness. Once she caught site of him, she was wary all over again. -02:55 May 09
Zeke: The creature watched her with it’s head tilted and then took off flying into the trees. "Many creatures. Water safe from predator… but …" as if on cue there was a banging sound and he looked up. "Dark soon, mother calls children home." he turned and waded towards the bank and his bag. "Tonight no light, we eat before sunset and go home. dangerous to have light after dark. Even in village." -03:01 May 09
Ava: "So I picked the best night to sleep out in the jungle when I have an irrational fear of the dark. This should be fun!" Ava didn’t sound -quite- convinced, and definitely looked more than a little disappointed that discovery time was all over. …but she was going to have a meal with a new society! While his back was still turned to her, she scooted as quick as she could to the bank and quickly dragged her shirt over her head. So much for not getting her clothes wet. "It can’t get up in the trees, though, right? You did say it was safe in the trees?" -03:05 May 09
Zeke: "If you think is safer in ground you can stay." he teased as he picked up his hide bag and slung it over his shoulder. Around them Zoot were heading in the direction of the village and he turned to face Ava. "You sleep in my house. You are safe." -03:18 May 09
Ava: Ava was shoving on her boots and looking up to give him a doubtful expression. "Boy, if I had a sapphire for every time a guy told me that…" she muttered. Yep, he just paraded around naked. Why was she just noticing this now? Ava snatched up her own bag, mumbling about pants and nightlights. "I’m not gonna sleep out here, anyway. I’ll take my chances with you and the zoots." -03:22 May 09
Zeke: He held out his hand for her while holding onto the breanch that would take them up. "Good, I don’t bite." Once he had a firl hold on her he took then up and they landed on the platform and already the zoots were eating. They appareantly wanted to get to safety well before the sun set. "You can sleep on mother’s house if better." he said taking a cowl of food and walking with it to a clear spot to sit. -03:27 May 09
Ava: Yep, she was going to spend the night in the trees in pitch black darkness. At least this time she didn’t cringe or gasp on the way up. Ava -was- more than happy to take a seat with him though. "That’s okay. I think she’ll sleep better not having to worry about a stranger near her babies." With a bowl of her own, she was very thurough about testing temprature and taste. Giving those thoughtful shifts of expression while she tried to pick out different flavors, and decide if she liked it or not. …it tasted a lot better than some of the crap they made in the cafeteria! Ava grinned at him. "I talk a lot and ask a lot of questions, but you’re the one that’s lived here alone, the only one like you for all of this time. I don’t mind answering questions. It’s fair trade." -03:33 May 09
Zeke: He looked at her again and then pushed a crunchy peice of fish between his lips and chewed. "Not good with language. Think in zoot, have to translate. Questions dificult. Learn english from Icarus. Read books, recording, many things do not understand. Tomorow I get book, you explain to me, after… festival." no that wasn’t the right word. "Initiation… welcome… ceremony." -03:40 May 09
Ava: "For learning from a spaceship, you’re pretty damned good at it. Like… exceptionally good!" Just about everything about him was exceptional, he really was a miracle to even be alive and in such a good shape as he was. Half the men on the ship couldn’t even boast that. …or maybe she had an unfair advantage after staring at him naked way more than was normal? Ava coughed and had to pause to catch her breath. Then she was casting him a curious look. "Initiation ceremony for who, what?" -03:44 May 09
Zeke: "You." he said pointing. "You stay with us, so you must be one with village." he looked at her and chewed on a ftringy vegitable and then picked up a water bowl and drinking from it. "Then you will be zoot and trusted by all zoot. You will be daughter of village, and daughter of white hair. Bridge between zoot, and earth." -03:50 May 09
Ava: "I will?" …he may as well have given her the entire planet. Her response was just instinctual joy, pouncing to throw her arms around his neck and hug him – completely forgetting that he probably had no idea what that was! Ava was practically giggling. "That’s awesome…! Great! I can’t wait. There’s so much I want to learn here and-" Hmm! …she should let go! A very sheepish Ava pulled back. "Sorry." -03:53 May 09
Zeke: He had spilled his water and was wet but he shook his head. "Not bad." he said "Zoot touch all time. You show happiness, that is all that important. Mother will happy. She worried I lonely. Only human in village." -04:00 May 09
Ava: "And now you’re not! Plus, I’m not Erickson, so you get much better company." Note to self, refrain from over-giddy poucing. Ava used use shirt sleeve to try and dry some of the water off him. Naked him. Great, now she was NEVER going to get through a thought without thinking about it now. "…um, what IS acceptable personal space boundaries for zoots anyway? Humans are pretty complicated about it." -04:04 May 09
Zeke: He blinked. "I…" he scratche his head. "No boundries." he said. "To zoot touching is trust. Trust important to keep village together. Strange humans not touch. Asuume you not know zoot, slow to trust. Understand." -04:09 May 09
[Zeke enters.] -04:13 May 09
Ava: "Well, it means the same things to humans too. Touching is trusting… But um… I guess we aren’t so likely to trust people as openly. Or at all. …Nevermind, it IS strange and complicated. I like the zoots way better. Being able to trust everyone and feeling safe that way." She shifted to glance around and watch all of the zoots and the way they touched and interacted. …of course it didn’t answer other questions. She’d save those for a time she wasn’t thinking like Doctor Sam. "I want to stay here. Longer than just a few days. Is that going to be okay?" -04:16 May 09
Zeke: "You will be daughter of village, you welcome to stay forever." he reached out and took an offered bowl and placed it in front of her. "Creature from today." he said taking out a fried tentacle and pushing it into his mouth and crunching on it. -04:22 May 09
Ava: "Now it looks edible." Staying forever. He had no idea how much she really, really wanted to. There was no way she could learn all she wanted to in just a few weeks. There was a lifetime’s worth of things to study. …and then there was him! He was weird. Ava pulled off a piece to pop in to her mouth and was relieved to find it tasted edible too. "This is good. You’ll take me to find more creatures tomorrow? And other foods! And the book you want to show me, I’ll look at that too." -04:28 May 09
Zeke: "Tomorow busy." he said "But if finished, we find more creatures, more food." he was peeling a fruit and popping a segment in his mouth. "Once you daughter of village, small test. If pass I talk to mother about fosil." he popped another segment into his mouth and smiled. "You really want be zoot?" -04:40 May 09
Ava: "I have been waiting my entire life to find somewhere like this." Ava grinned wiiiide, taking a very cheeky sip of water. It was really hard to contain that excitement, and so far the only people who wanted to hear it from her was him and her father! "To discover and study a sentient species is a one in a million chance. More rare to find one at this stage of civilization, and the weird and super strange circumstances of them adopting a strange alien species in to their tribe. It’s amazing and you’re amazing." …wait a second, he said something about a test! Ava was less smilie and little more wary. "…uhm, what sort of test?" -04:46 May 09
Zeke: "Secret." he said "I did it as child, you do it too. Not have to do anything, just test of acceptence. I say no more until tomorow. Dark soon, eat." he reached for a different bown and splashed some of the fragrent water it contained on his face and took a deep breath. "All you need do is stust, truse zoot and truse Ava." -04:54 May 09
Ava: Trust seemed to be a big part of their society, and she really liked that… Being trusting wasn’t quite as easy. ..then again, she did follow a bunch of strange creatures in to a jungle without a second thought. Maybe she was just over thinking it! Ava popped a piece of fruit in her mouth and finally nodded. "I think I can do that. You did promise I’d be safe here. …You do promise, right?" -04:59 May 09
Zeke: "I promise." he said. "Zoot never hurt zoot." he leaned back on his hands and unfolded his legs to stretch them out and sigh. "If you in danger. I will be there." he looked at her and smiled again, a gesture he didn’t fully understand and his hand went up to his lips to feel thier shape and his brow wrinkled. "Ava trusts me?" he asked looking at her. "If I am there, you safe." -05:09 May 09
Ava: Did he never smiled before? Ava could imagine him always having some serious somber expression. Now he was making her laugh and she was grinning wider. "Yep, I trust you. You’re not like those goon soldiers that’re suppose to keep an eye on my camp. They point guns and follow orders and don’t think twice about anything. And you’re different. You protect the zoots cause you want to protect them. You’re not afraid of strange new things. I wish everyone was like that." -05:15 May 09
Zeke: He looked at her and then tilted his head side to side. "Zoot not afraid. Zoot search Icarus. Zoot find baby. Zoot not afraid of fire, or dead humans. Zoot rescue baby. Zoot feed baby, zoot not afraid to try. If not try baby die anyway. Zoot culture is not be afraid to try. You not afraid. Tomorow you are zoot. Human man afraid. He will never be zoot." -05:32 May 09

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