Umbrella Surveillance System
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Isabel It's been a long week in Cabimas. Even with all the help TerraSave has provided, there's still more to be done. The town may never be a thriving metropolis, but it's on the way out of its most recent dark age.
The cost has been high, though, and not just in money and resources. Even the most dedicated volunteers are weary, filthy, and very, very tired of sleeping on the ground at this point. While the portable shower Isabel rigged up is a welcome relief from the dirt, that's only one of the problems. So the invitation from Eve to join her in her tent after dark might raise a few questions in Isabel's mind, but she's still going to go.
Freshly scrubbed, laptop in hand, the girl from Mumford is just getting to Eve's tent now. She pauses outside, frowning in faint confusion. How do you knock at the door of a /tent/?
Eve Eve reclines inside of the tent, in some sweats and a t-shirt, laying on her stomach on the padded floor. She hears someone outside her tent and she reaches over and unzips it in one fluid motion. "Come in!" She says, sitting up and crossing her legs indian style.
Tabitha Tabitha approaches the tent, raking fingers though her hair. It takes her a bit to get there, not really seeing Isabel at the tent flap door, coming around for the back.
Isabel "Gladly. Sometimes I think the air carries mud here," Isabel replies, pushing one side of the tent closure aside and slipping around the other. She pauses to take her shoes off, so as not to track in any more of the local terrain than necessary.
Clad in cargo shorts and her much-worn TerraSave tee, a variation on the local volunteer uniform, she drops onto the padded floor on her back with a sigh of relief, laptop case on her stomach. "Just a few more days... I don't even like Maracaybo, and I'm missing it." She tips her head back, looking at Eve upside down. "How are you holding up?"
Eve "Not great a few days ago, but much better now." Eve answers, a grin on her face as she lays back down on the tent floor. "It's comfy Isabel, c'mon down!"
Tabitha A fwapfwapfwap rustles the tent flap before Tabitha pokes her head in . "Hey, Eve! Did I leave my under--", words catchin in her throat. "Ohhh.. heyyyyy", grinning wide as she turns beet red. "I.. didn't know you had company.. ", the smile sorta plastered on her face as she almost dies of embarassment.
Isabel Just as surprised at Tabitha, but maybe a bit less discomfited, Isabel lifts her weary head and tries not to giggle at an expression she knows pretty well by now. "Come on in, Tabitha. There's room," she says, trying to put the doctor at ease. "And I brought chocolate."
Eve Eve scoots over making room for both women as she tosses pillows to both. "So how are you both surviving down here?" She asks, curling up against the side of her tent.
Tabitha Tabitha is in in a hearbeat at the mention of chocolate. she grabs a pillow, moving in to get comfy and getting close. "I've not had chocolate since the 2nd day we were here. First day, I ate all the chocolate I had.. it was a hot melted mess.. I never licked paper wrappers ...twice.. before. Good to see you again", she says to Isabel.
Isabel "Missed you, Tabi. And I think I said my piece already: Not easily," Isabel replies wryly, catching that pillow and scooting in closer to her friends. "I didn't even pack any at first. The cravings hit four days ago. That's not as bad as it sounds," she adds quickly. "After all the scrambling around looking for anything edible in Raccoon City, you just learn to live with cravings. But I was starting to feel a little sick by yesterday, so I picked up some Hershey's and Nestle on my battery run."
She opens her laptop case, pulling out about a half-dozen bars, still cool to the touch. "Better get 'em before the heat does. They came out of my Yeti. I think even that's straining to keep anything cold here."
Eve Eve is nice and comfortable, curled up around her pillow. She perks at the mention of chocolate and scoots closer to Isabel. She reaches in for a chocolate bar and nearly purrs with happiness. "I don't mind the earthy food down here, but I *really* needed some chocolate today." She quickly unwraps the bar and begins to eat, smearing chocolate on one of her cheeks. "I can't wait to be back at the house, and in an office. I miss my office, is that strange?"
Tabitha Tabitha drives for one of the bars.. not out of greed but despiration. She peels it, takes a bit and makes noises of pure and complete bliss. Still chewing, still making happy little noises, she falls over sideways against Isabel. "i wuff you.." she mumbles around a mouthful.. letting it melt on her tongue..
Isabel Suddenly being scooted into on one side and fallen on from the other, Isabel nearly matches Tabitha's earlier blush. Being the center of attention isn't a comfortable place for her. She does manage to laugh a little at her self-made predicament, making sure Tabitha doesn't land on her laptop but dropping the rest of the chocolate bars on herself in the process. "Oh! Thanks... I don't mind the food. I'm even getting used to the heat, some. But the little things..."
She rolls a little to one side, smiling a little at Eve. "I know it sounds weird, but I'll bet it's because you're used to it. Everything down here is different, and the work isn't something you're used to... it's not a comfortable place to be, in your mind. I feel the same way. Makeshift as it is, I miss my studio. Everything's portable, I can take it all with me, but somehow it's not the same without a worktable and a decent chair." She glances at Tabitha with a smile. "Miss where you work, too?"
Eve Eve glances at Tabitha, waiting to hear hr response while she continues to eat her chocolate. Her mouth is full when she speaks, but she doesn't seem to realize that she's ditched her manners. "I'm used to a lot of work all at once, so none of this is weird to me."
Tabitha Tabitha says, "I miss hot showers. I miss.. cold water. I miss ice.. not the block of dry ice in the med coolers.. but real ice.. like in a sweaty glass fulla sweet iced tea.. I miss real bar-b-que.. real fried seafood.. Why do I miss the stuff that I tend to shove in my mouth?" She rolls onto her back and takes another bite of chocolate.. closing her eyes and makes more happy little noises"
Isabel "I don't think it's the amount, really. When I'm working on something for the Journal, I can put in 16 hours a day just editing and writing, for days at a time. Sometimes more than that. But it's /different/ work. My second day here, I had soreness in places I barely remembered having," Isabel says, wincing at the memory.
She unwraps part of one of the Nestle bars and takes a bite, chewing thoughtfully as she thinks about Tabitha's question. "Food's a big part of our lives. I miss pizza, sometimes. I packed along a whole 12-pack of Coke when we came down, just because I thought it'd help. It made me feel so guilty when we loaded the trucks coming down here. Seven pounds of metal and liquid sugar and caffeine..."
Eve Eve chuckles at the thought of Coke and she sighs, laying back on her back and drumming her hands on her stomach. "You know, I don't miss the food from home so much. There is a feeling that you get when things are familiar and safe. This almost alien to me." She glances between the other two women and frowns. "Does it sometimes feel we're on an alien planet or something? We're so far removed from anything that makes sense."
Tabitha Tabitha says, "I feel that way every time I step out of the hospital", she offers with a giggle, rolling over on her side to look at Eve and Isabel. "This? This is almost easy. Paris? I was lost there. But it was familiar enough that things ..were almost the same, but not quite. Like a word on the tip of your tongue you can't remember. Here? Everyhthing is different. Bugs are different. Dirt is different. Life itself is different", moving to rake hair back and out of her face. "this? This is so strange and alien that it's almost a relief." She looks at her chocolate bar. "..World I was in 20 mins ago didn't have chocolate in it. Alien indeed", she says with a smile."
Isabel "Alien... the word fits," Isabel agrees, frowning at the tent's ceiling. "I've helped out on farms and gardens back home, before. This doesn't feel anything like the same. A truck patch was a hobby back home. Here, it's a lifesaver. Subsistence agriculture. That's right out of the history books, but here it's real. Cinderblock buildings with dirt floors. It's kind of surreal, but open up that tent flap and there it is, staring you in the face. I've got a whole new level of respect for the people who live here. I even understand siesta."
Eve "This place is so pretty, and it makes me sad that they don't have a lot of freedoms that we enjoy when we're in Europe or..even America." Eve says, eyeing the two women. "I hope when we leave that the people don't end up sliding back under the thumb of people who just want to take from them." She sighs softly and glances out of the tent. "What do you two think of Elliott?"
Tabitha Tabitha lifts her head., "Elliot? He seems nice enough. Friendly. Though, I've not sat down with him and chewed any fat, to speak of.. Why you ask?" Isabel's mention of 'there it is, staring you in the face' seemed to cast a shiver of Tabitha, looking away at a thought. Eve's question thankfully seemed to bring her back.
Isabel "I don't think I've done more than see him, really... if he was that guy who came over as I was leaving the lake earlier," Isabel confesses. "I thought I heard someone say his name. That's all I've got. It's not really enough to form an impression. Sorry, Eve."
She takes another bite of chocolate, chewing before she speaks again. "That really worries me. These people have been really grateful for our help. But they're not an army. This isn't a fortress, and this country's at war with itself. It could happen."
Eve "I have a feeling that we're going to have to leave behind security when we leave, which means we need to find more to keep us safe." Eve admits, shaking her head slowly. "Hopefully they'll be able to teach them rudimentary defense, something that might help them stave off the Government or the Liberation Front." She nibbles at her bottom lip for a moment and then admits. "But once we're gone for good, what then? Eventually we'll have to go, you know?"
Tabitha Tabitha sits up, moving to pull and roll her scrub pants legs up above the knee, then rolls her scrub top hemline up until its a sorta cropped-lenght top.. She then rolls onto her stomach. Clearly she knows scrub-fu.. "What about the Rebels? Cant hey help? I would hate to just shove guns in these folks' hands. They dont need to fight. They need to do all the other stuff, like grow crops and.. Live.. They're what the fighting should be for, not done by them. If Emma can get help from them, maybe it wont turn into kids with guns."
Isabel "Security can only do so much, and even hiring local folks who know how to fight gets expensive," Isabel says, thinking about the matter. "As for the Rebels, I think most of them are exactly these kind of people. But it's worth a look. We have to leave eventually. There's a lot more of this country that still needs help."
Eve "Have either of you seen these rebels? John is apparently one of them, or something, but all he's really done is drink a lot and shoot a round off at a guy." Eve frowns and shakes her head pulling a blanket towards her. "I just hope things look a bit brighter, security wise, before we end up having to leave."
Tabitha Tabitha says, "Well, from what I can put together, The rebels are the only ones that dont seem to have any real money or corporation behind them. I could be wrong and just too dense to see it.. but.. Right now, if it is a Company, Corporation or Business, and it aint TerraSave, then I dont trust it. Everyone else seems to have money behind them. I dont see pictures of rebels with really kickass equipment." She shoves the rest of the chocolate in her mouth, cheeks bulging a bit as she smiles in glee."
Isabel "I don't think I've even seen him," Isabel admits. "But if he's typical of the opposition to El Presidente, no wonder this country's going to hell in the proverbial handbasket. Maybe security would be the better option." She tries another bite of chocolate, but it seems to have lost its flavor.
Eve "I'll hope for the best, prepare for the worst. That's what I did in Paris. That's what I'll do at ...well wherever we end up after Bolivar." Eve murmurs, glancing up at Isabel and Tabitha. "I'm sleepy girls, you're welcome to stay and sleep here too, there's plenty of pillows." She turns and pulls out a piece of clothing, throwing it at Tabitha. "You also drool, bun-girl."
Tabitha Tabitha swallows, giggling. "prolly snore too", smiling. "I've already been seen leaving this tent wearing nothing but a towel already. sleeping over wouldn't shock anyone. Besides. my tent smells like sweaty clothes and neglect.", turning to Isabel. "You up for talking? I got some queastions you might be able to answer"
Isabel Isabel catches Eve's hand and squeezes it; she's covered in a laptop bag and three chocolate bars, and even if she weren't, rolling towards Eve would put her on top of the blonde. "Sleep well. We'll try to keep it down," she promises.
Tabitha's frank admissions draw a grin from the younger girl. "Suddenly what you almost asked at the door makes sense," she teases gently. "I've got time to talk. Ask away. Though I won't promise not to do any asking myself."
Eve Eve offers both of the women a happy, sleepy smile. She holds on to Isabel's hand for a few moments, planting a kiss on it before she releases her and turns over, rolling into her covers. "Thanks, both of you, for coming to keep me company tonight."
Tabitha Tabitha smiles to Eve an nods. "we'll try to be quiet", beaming. She scoots closer to Isabel so she can talk quiety. "..and ask anything you like.. truth or dare even. Gods, I've not played that in .. forever. Anywho, was wondering what you know about the Rebels? Am I'm cluless and wrong, or do they seem like good guys?", her voice not much above a whisper
Isabel "I've only heard about them, I'll admit," Isabel says, frowning thoughtfully. "I can agree with their goal, for sure: With what I've heard about El Presidente, a change of government would be an improvement. But their odds are the longest in this war. I think they know it, too. It might be why this John that Eve mentioned drinks so much."
Tabitha Tabitha nods. "that makes sense.", looking to Isabel's eyes. "I've been stuck in the med tents. What's the rest of the place like? My judge of the world outside is how banged up people are, how starved or sick., Old problems causing worse problems. We're doing good, right?"
Isabel "I think we are, honestly. I can't speak for everyone, but I do think Cabimas is doing better since we arrived. We haven't even had any fights at the food lines in days," Isabel replies. "What's been going on in the medical tent? I haven't been in there since the first day, except once to treat someone's foot."
Tabitha Smiling, "Not as much as there was. Lingering bit from the worst of the malnourished. Simple things. Nothing like when we got here. smaller problems, more managable stuff. I haven't heard much from the hospital other than they're taking less critial patients now. Hopefully that means they'll be back to normal before too long.", whispers Tabitha. She smirks, "So what questions do you have?"
Isabel "It sounds like it hasn't been 'normal' here for a long time. Not what we'd think of as normal, anyway," Isabel muses. "I think 'normal' here is what we found when we came in. I hope what we've done makes things better for a very long time... that the way things are now is considered 'normal' years down the line."
She smiles a little sheepishly. "None that wouldn't keep me awake all night, I suspect, and I've got to get some sleep. If you need some more chocolate later, find me, okay? I've still got some more in the cooler," she adds with an impish grin. "This time, I'm prepared!"
Tabitha Tabitha smiles. "Roger. You're my new pusher. I'll be back for a fix before too long." She giggles softly, then covers her hand over her mouth, not wanting to wake eve. "I'm gonna go get what passes for a shower. I'll catch up with you later."
Isabel "Walk soft. Don't forget to refill the kettle, either," Isabel reminds her teasingly. "See you tomorrow." She scoots back a little, rolling onto her stomach and sliding the pillow under her head. Sleep is calling, even if the phones are all on the ground.
Tabitha Tabitha gives Isabell a warm hug before pulling away, waving back at her before vanishing out of the tent. "Dammit! ow.. ow..", hitting her toe on a tent peg while she was too busy looking back and not where she was going. The sillouette of her form can be seen limping off, hand raking through her hair