An Afternoon at Harkins
An Afternoon at Harkins'
Summary: First meetings and an exchange of ideas consumes a Saturday afternoon at the lodge.
Date: PHD 14
Related Logs: Related Logs None

"No more than I trust you." Damon says with a shrug. He smiles quietly to her, eyebrows lifting once in a manner as if to say 'touche'. He ashes the cigarette and shakes his head. "…He's a marine. He's clean. He's knowledged. He's everything that people love. It's just the polite society bullshit that breaks down eventually and you start to see people for who they really are. If he maintains that same good attitude when he's hungry and losing hope, then maybe I'll trust him." Damon looks back to her. "There's a lot of honor system around here. Lots of people sleeping in corners."

Speaking of sleeping in corners, Phaistion chooses that moment to amble out of one the bedrooms, groggy eyes still half closed. He's clean now, and after about fourteen hours of deep sleep under a roof in a real bed, he looks vastly improved from the day before. He's already patting himself down for his cigarette, and on autopilot he pops one in his mouth and lights it up. For some people it's coffee. For Phai? It's definitely the nicotine that wakes him. He's not even entirely aware of who, or what, is around him, but he does manage to mumble out a gravelly, "'Mornin'."

Tempest nods in understanding, "With their backs to the wall and their eyes forward. Always wary, continuing to wait for the other shoe to drop as it were." As Phaistian enters, she offers a genuine smile of welcome, her body language easing, becoming a bit more trusting in its presentation. She nods gently in greeting, her own emerald gaze moving between the two men.

"Likewise." Damon looks towards Phai and nods as he himself is smoking a cigarette. Dragging off of it, he somehow manages to both pay direct attention to Tempest during their conversation and somehow manage to seem like he considers himself to be the only living creature in the room. Looking to Phai, he looks back to Tempest. "You're a psychology major. So you know what I'm talking about. It's an untested theory because we have food now."

Food. Phaistion's stomach gives an audible rumble at the utterance of the word, and a slight pink tint flushes across his cheeks, which is accompanied by a sheepish expression. Long legs carry him over in Tempest's direction, and once he arrives at her side, he leans in to apply a very chaste kiss of greeting to her cheek, "How you feeling today, Tempest?" It's then that his eyes shift over to Damon, and there's an odd way that he studies the other man, as if judging light and shadow, curves and lines, all viewed through an artist's lense. A greeting is nodded in that general direction as he hovers near the woman's side. Shy perhaps?

Tempest says, "But for how long? And if nuclear bombs were dropped, there is also the threat of contamination to the animals who survived, which travel and that we'll eventually need for sustenance as the other food sources are consumed." This was, in fact something that kept her up most of the night and caused her to awaken early this morning. And even as Frank opened the can, she could feel the stab of hunger impale her. Until she is told there is food enough, Tempest would force herself to be satisfied with the two squares of chocolate provided by Phai last evening. Her Gemenese upbringing, as must as she tries to leave it behind continues to mold and shape her life. "I am much better this morning, thank you, Phai. And yourself? I hope you were able to sleep comfortably?"

Damon takes the last drag off of his cigarette and stubs it out, exhaling as he does so. The moment gives them a little bit of privacy. When he looks back, he brings the can of beans with him, a spoon stuck inside of the can. He watches the two of them for a moment with an expressionless face, glancing up towards Phaistion and then back to her. He leans back a little, putting them both in his field of vision. "…a few days ago some escaped convicts came by looking for women, men, and supplies. There's a good amount of hard reality here, but there are people here that know a few things that can pull us through this as long as possible." He says, taking the spoon into his hand. "…either of you know how to shoot?"

"Like a log," Is Phaistion's first soft reply to Tempest, before he turns his attention back to the other man. "I know some martial arts, but I'm so not a combatent. It was all in a class setting, you know? I have my uses though." Phai's chin tilts upwards a bit as he says the last, a small display of defiance. "Anthem suggested I talk to someone named Angel, because I have a lot of ideas about food supplies and stuff like that. My father was a chef. Antonius Bray." Whether Damon is familiar with the rather household name, Phai doesn't know, "So I know a lot about cooking and stuff like that." The hand not involved with his cigarette drifts upwards to scrub through his 'hawk. "Matter of fact when we went down to the creek last night I saw a lot of dandelions," He states proudly, though why he's proud at finding a bit patch of weeds may not be clear. "Can do a /lot/ with those."

Tempest says, "I can should the need arise, but I am proficient in gutting and cleaning wildlife." She never would have thought she'd ever need that expertise ever again. She looks down at her hands, once so callused and work=worn, now soft and delicate. Her eyes then lift to Damon's, a resolution in her eyes, "If it means my life, I would have no qualms in using a weapon, Frank."

"Good." Damon says simply in reply to Tempest, nodding in her direction. "I believe Angel was handing out Harkins' rifles to people. Come to think of it, I need to get another myself." He throws in for good measure before looking in Phai's direction. Watching him for a long moment with an expressionless face, he speaks very directly to the man. "What…are dandelions good for?"

"Eating," Phaistion chuckles out. "Good source of iron and vitamins, though most people think of them as a weed. Cultivated varieties can be considered a delicacy in some culinary circles." It's clear that he seems to be on to a topic he knows, and there's passion about it there to boot. "If there's some oil and vinager they can be made into a dressed salad, or there's plenty of ways they can be cooked too, given the right spices and ingredients, you can get them to taste a lot like spinach. They're actually higher in some nutrients than brocolli is."

Tempest allows the refocusing of the conversation to afford her the opportunity to watch how each interact with each other. She remains silent, observant and unconsciously fragile as the events once more rush over her.

Damon nods his head to the side just a little bit as he listens, taking the moment to eat a few spoonfulls of the contents fo of the can. Leaning forward a little, he rests his elbows on his knees as he eats, resting the spoon inside of the can as he looks up. "…oil and vinegar?" Damon says with a raised eyebrow. He then shrugs and goes back to eating. "Basically what we have here is this. We have an old man that's got some sort of slave relationship with Angel, who's clung to him for some sort of security. Some people here are helpful, some aren't. There's a man named Achilles here that sniffs the air and will probably smell the both of you because that's apparently how he identifies people. He claims he doesn't sleep. I know this because the fool thinks it's a smart idea to remind people like myself that they have to sleep sometimes." Damon says quietly, speaking with them. "We have a warrior woman with a shield that lives in the forest somewhere near the three bodies that are buried because two men came with a woman, looking for supplies and for something to take their aggressions out on." Damon says, glancing up at them. He rises, taking the last few spoonfulls of his can of beans on his way to the kitchen. "…we have some rad meds, and we have food, et cetera as long as we follow Harkins' rules. It's that or the highway. But on the bright side, at least most of the women are attractive and you don't have a 9 to 5…" Damon says, emptying the can.

Phaistion senses the shift in Tempest's mood, and slips a comforting arm around her, offering a squeeze of support. There's a look of confusion on his face as he asks, "Wait, I thought the whole leash and slave thing was the bad guys that the wild woman I want to draw helped take care of?" Clearly he's heard a little bit of what's been going on from Anthem. "And I thought the old guy was kinda 'hands-off'?" He finds himself scratching the back of his neck in confusion as he speaks, digesting the various tidbits he's just been supplied.

Tempest digests the whole of this, reaching for her notebook to write down what Damon said so as not to confuse one with another, putting her thoughts in order. Emerald eyes take in the priestess who entered, her face taking on a passive mien while finding the entire situation overwhelming to her, until now restricted up-bringing. The situation that she and everyone else has been thrust into leaves her confused and very, very lost.

Achapri shoves her way through the door in her usual brusque manner. Her shield and quiver are in place on her back, and she's in full armour, breastplate with a pair of duelling Keyrs (Death Spirits) on the front, helmet with a terrifying bristling plume of red, greaves and a warbelt to protect her groin. She grunts out a greeting to the room at large, before her eyes fix on Frank. "How's the reservoir holding up?" She tips her helmet back to rest high on her head, her features glistening with sweat and telling of a long march in full armour.

"So far so good." Damon says, looking to Passryn as she enters. In the kitchen, he cleans the can, drinks from it, and then sets it aside to be used for later if needed. Then, he looks back to Phai. "…no, Angel has some sort of odd relationship with the old man which, in my opinion, should be the last person that's hand's off in a social manner. He's got all the supplies. This doesn't automatically make him my king." Damon says, glancing to Passryn as he makes that point and steps back over to them in the main sitting area. "…there's an injured man that was on the end of a woman's slave leash before she was killed. The slave leash woman was with the raiding party. They're all dead."

Achapri mokes a vague noise of acknowledgement to Frank's statement as to the reservoir's progress. About Harkins she says nothing, but meets Frank's eyes as he looks to her, green eyes flashing grey, assisting in the likeness she bears to Athena, all done up in the old-fashioned armour as she is. She passes into the kitchen area as he heads out of it, getting something to drink, herself. "I'll go out and check on it again. Did the rain touch you last night?"

The moment the armored woman strides into the lodge, Phaistion has no doubts who she is. To his eye, her appearance definitely lives up to the legend he's already created in his mind. Though he's staring a bit, drinking in the sight, his ears are still trained on Damon's words. "Wait, how does king enter into this at all?" Talk about confusing. Phai's distracted though. Distracted by sheer /need/, and he holds up a finger as if to say 'one minute' then trots off one of the bedrooms. A moment later he returns, sketchpad and box of charcoals in hand, and he flops himself down on the floor, flipping to a blank page. His gaze firmly trained on Achapri, a charcoal is plucked from the box, and already his hand is forming curves and lines on the white slate of the page. "You realize it's kinda confusing, right," He says to Damon as he works, "I mean, I thought there was only one slave. That's all Anthem mentioned. So the chick I'm supposed to talk to about working with the food is a slave too?"

Tempest hopes the one in the armor is not mistaken for a Cylon and shot dead, should the armor reflect too well in the daylight. Rather than asking questions, its best for her to simply take notes and get a visual on those not present; whether Angel is male or female, the temper of the old man, etc. As Phai speaks, her face reflects her distaste at the imagery of a slave in any form or function.

"Not all slaves wear collars." Damon says simply to Phai, grabbing his cigarettes off of the end table with a look to both himself and Tempest. "We're here by Harkin's graces. He's got the supply, the shelter, the couches, the food. It's kind of him, but I'm just going to be making sure that his kindness doesn't translate into him holding the reigns. After seeing how he orders Angel around…" Damon shrugs. "…it's in his blood somewhere. Then again, it's in all men's blood somewhere, right?" He adds and then nods to the two of them, looking towards Passryn. "…I'll check it with you."

"Uhm, you know," Phaistion starts to point out, wondering if maybe he's saying too much, "Not all apparent Master/slave relationships are an unwilling thing. It's a kink for some people. It's their relationship, and if no one is getting hurt, it's really none of our business what they do." All right. Apparently the artist might not be as innocent as his baby-faced appearance might suggest. "If it's safe, sane and consensual, who gives a frak?" Damon does have one point Phai can agree with though, "I haven't met the old man yet, but I dunno, I got the impression from Anthem that he wasn't the type that was trying to be the lord of the manor who we all have to scrape and bow to. I thought this was more of a collective effort between everyone living here."

Tempest is seated in a chair, legs tucked beneath her as she attempts to make herself small and unobtrusive. She writes periodically as each new face comes into view and by her mien it is evident she finds herself in a confusing and over-whelming position of survival with others, depending on their expertise in such situations.

"I'm only willing to be a slave on lend. Hour, maybe two." Damon says flatly, lighting a cigarette as he moves to lean near the door, waiting for Passryn while he cleans some of the dirt underneath his fingernails. He chuckles inwardly. "…safe, sane, and consentual describes nothing about life anymore." He adds, glancing across the room. "…the old man wants his rules followed. I'm not saying they're not good rules and for good reason. What I'm saying is that at the end of the day, collective effort or not, he's making the rules. He holds the stores. He's got the keys. Follow my train of thought?"

Achapri stares at Phaistion, then back at Frank. She knows, intellectually, that some people get off on that sort of thing, but her indoctrination into Enyalios' cult has inculcated a strong disdain for those who would be willingly debased. Slaves are won by force of arms. So the Scriptures tell. Looking back to Phaistion, "Mister Harkins has extended gracious hospitality to us. We owe him the respect due to a pious host from a pious guest. But if he oversteps the boundaries of guest-friendship, then the punishment for the trespass of xenia will be on his head, not ours," she adds, to Frank, letting him know that even in scripture the respect goes both ways. She's no one's slave— not without a fight, anyhow.

"I'm not into 24/7 either," Is the first thing that pops out of Phaistion's mouth, and wow is the blush that accompanies them spectacular in its nature. Streaks of deep pink paint his cheeks and crawl across the backs of his exposed ears. Even begins to creep down his neck into the collar of his shirt. That's what he gets for sketching and conversing at the same time: lack of verbal filter. Damon raises a good point though, "I see what you're saying. If it's that uncomfortable though, I'm sure something can be done about it. We can move to higher ground, there's enough hands to pitch in it seems like that we could make some kind of shelter, forage and hunt on our own. Seems to me like he's only got the real power if we /let/ him. There's nothing saying we have to stay. There's some nice clearings and shit up the mountain." Phai should know, he's spent two weeks out there on his own before arriving here. One thing's certain, he seems to be a team player. The scriptoral meanings of what Achapri say seem to fly right over his head, though.

The low rumble of an engine's heard outside the lodge, the sound of an approaching vehicle. A glance out the window would notice the faint dust stirred up by a ground vehicle, probably nothing larger than a truck. Tucked into the hills as the lodge is, there's plenty of time to notice it and react.

Tempest nods slowly at Damon's observation, maintaining her silence, though there is a small curve to her lips at his mention of his brief allowance at longevity of being a slaver. This is the one situation she reviles; that of the unknown and her she is, dipped into it in spades. She curves her body inward, eyes large, the beat of her heart reflected in the soft indentation at the base of her graceful neck. A sweep of her eyes encompasses the room even as her hand continues its notations. As for the armored woman's response, her face is a study in collected composition, having been the recipient of a religion's fanaticism. She says nothing and lets her speak as she chooses. It is not her fight. Yet. At the sound of the approaching vehicle, she is rendered motionless.

With the rumbling sound of the engine, there's only a small moment where Damon returns Tempest's smirk. Then again, it was only a sidelong one. Turning his head in the direction of the rumbling, he reaches to his side and flips the catch on his sidearm's holster and pulls out the pistol. Clicking off the safety, he moves to the side of the front door and peeks out, watching to see who's coming before making any quick judgements. Extending his left arm towards Tempest and Phai to get down, he watches closely.

At the noise from outside, sketch pad, charcoal and conversation go forgotten as Phaistion springs to his feet. That Achapri and Damon can take care of themselves is pretty apparent, and several long strides positions Phai firmly in front of Tempest. If danger is about to roll through the door, it's going to have to go through him before it gets to Tempest.

Tempest slips to the floor, pressing herself to the rug and trying to make herself as unexposed as possible behind the chair. Burying her head in her arms it seems all she can feel is the pulse of her blood throughout her body. She feels Phai's presence near to her, affording her a small comfort knowing that if they are about to die, then there would be someone with whom she made contact with. And on the other spectrum, the more bodies within, the longer her own death could be prolonged. A double edged sword.

The rumbling noise attracts the Maiden of Ares, as well, turning her from theological excursus to something more readily tangible. It doesn't sound like something that can get through the front door, so she's content to leave the non-combatants indoors. For her own part she pulls her shield from her shoulder and slips it onto her arm, heading for the door and out to see who's coming around this time.

Damon looks back to see Tempest go low and Phai stand in front of her. He's a human shield. Damon's lips flatten and his head tilts a little, giving him a disapproving look and points to the other side of the sofa. Rolling his eyes a little, he looks to Passryn end opens the door. "…awfully noble." Damon comments, heading out the door. New age alongside old school, pistol and archaic, they're some form of multi-era collaboration.

It's a truck, that's for sure. Internal combustion driven, rather beat up with dents and scratches all over the sides and bumper, mud-spattered, and painted in forest camo. There's actually camo netting spread over the sides and draped over the back, as well. It's just come out of the woods onto the road leading along up towards the lodge, and is steadily rumbling along in this direction now.

Achapri steps out and to the right— drops to one knee and sets her shield before her, unfastening her bow from its clutch near her quiver and fitting a shaft to the string, drawing the string halfway back and keeping it trained on the vehicle, waiting for a sign of intent.

Back inside, Phaistion turns his attention to Tempest, walking around behind the chair to kneel beside her, a palm smoothing its way over her back, the touch radiating comfort and reassurance. "Hey," He says softly, "I think we'll be okay. If something goes wrong, we'll hear it from here. We can head into one of the bedrooms and barricade ourselves in. I think it's gonna be okay though."

Damon is less ceremonial about it than Passryn is. Gun in hand, he casually strolls towards the truck with a few bloodstains forever in his clothes. Funny how the dark blue of his uniform is much darker in some splotchy places than normal. Walking up to the trunk, he waves his hand across his throat, requesting that the engine be killed.

From inside, Tempest hears the rumbling of the engine, though she remains circumspect that there is still no voices to be heard. Slowly, she stands and moves towards the window, keeping out of the periphery of those who could be combatants on the outside.

The truck slows as the man in the uniform steps out into the open and approaches without subterfuge, and finally comes to a halt with a low squeak of the brakes, shaking a little once it settles. The driver's side door is pushed open, and Dmitri hops down to the dusty road with a grunt, turning a bit to look over towards Damon, a shotgun resting up against one shoulder and a faint smile crook'd to his lips. "Well, well," he drawls out, "Looks like I'm _not_ the last man on the planet after all. There goes my chances of gettin' back together with my last ex."

Achapri lets Frank do the talking, the bowstring edging back a few more inches as she keeps the arrow trained on Dmitri, despite his so-far friendly-looking overtures. She waits.

Inside the lodge, Phaistion heads to the window beside Tempest, peering through it at the scene playing outdoors. "So far, so good, looks like." He offers the woman beside him a small smile, "Besides, looks like we've got numbers, anyway. You want to head out there," He asks quietly.

From inside, Tempest hears the sound of a wry response, the open window allowing for the carriage of voices to be heard on the inside. She whispers with a great deal of false bravado towards Phai, "I'm going out." And opens the door, slipping outside. One would imagine someone who decided to now not cower in the corner not to stand with her arms tightly wrapped around her body in the universal stance of fear, but there she is. Large eyes training on the man who came riding in on a Marine transport, complete with netting.

"You're the only folk I've seen, so no," Dmitri admits freely, leaning his hip against the truck's side and seeming quite unconcerned about the weapons pointed at him—of course, he's holding his own, but he's not pointing it at anyone. Finger's not even on the trigger. "Not actually that sure what happened, either, saw the light-show from the cabin but that's about it. I don't get out much. Name's Dmitri."

Achapri crouches still, stone still, like a statue on the porch. Frank's talking to the guy. She waits on his signal to let up, or else some sign that she ought to fire.

Damon nods to the man, pistol still in his hand but lowered at his side. "Allright here are the rules." Damon says, not taking his eyes off of the man. "…no fighting, no means no when it comes to the women. We all take shifts on watch and we don't hoard supplies. No psychotics, no bullshit, and no making too much noise." Damon informs flatly. "…any questions?"

Phaistion drifts through the door behind Tempest, he'd stayed behind for her sake, and now there's no reason to remain. Besides, he's curious about the new arrival. There's no fear or even concern to his posture, and he travels down a step or two before seating himself to see how things will play out.

Tempest bites her lip so as not to smile as Damon reads off the house rules. No doubt, once word gets out they'll be a lack of vacationers at this place. No means no…what a quaint phrase that too often she was not privy to. Her head tilts slightly as she carefully observes the new-comer and the interaction between both of the alpha males.

No means no. Or, in Passryn's case, no means hey, are these your intestines all over the floor? Her features remain serene, for the moment, however, simply maintaining that shaft at the ready, waiting for an accord or lack thereof.

Dmitri's free shoulder lifts in a careless shrug to the rules mentioned, replying in an easy drawl, "Nothin' I object to there. Pretty sensible rules t'put in place, all things considered…" One brow lifts, a slight smirk curling to his lips, "So, can I bring my truck in, or y'all going to shoot me?"

"It's too large for the front door. It'll have to sleep outside." Damon says with a nod, dragging off of the cigarette in his lip as he continues to watch the man. He glances to Passryn and gives her a shrug, letting her make the call. "So we're the first you seen? Where do you live around here?"

Phaistion can't help but chuckle at the conversation. The levity is refreshing, and the Lords know the conversation is going to turn dark soon enough. After all Dmitri seems to have been in the same boat as he and Tempest for the last two weeks: alone without a real clue of the holocaust that's occured. For now, he doesn't make any attempt to join the conversation. In fact, he rises, runs back inside, then returns once again with his sketchbook and charcoals before sitting down again. Then his right hand is once again furiously at work, his eyes drifting from Achapri to the page and back again.

Tempest notes the expanse of the truck and the narrowness of the door and a look of concern passes over her face. He certainly isn't serious. Her hand lifts to stifle her laugh as Damon's thoughts verbally reflect her own. She stands still behind Passryn, the woman having more testosterone than many of the men in her former colony. She also stands behind Phai who is now seated on the porch. Her incandescent gaze continues to rest on the man now known as Dmitri.

Achapri lets the bowstring slacken, and the horns of her bow relax apart from one another before she stands and returns the arrow to its space in her quiver, her shield to its hook on her right shoulder. She jumps down the porch steps into an easy crouch in the dirt, then stands tall and walks forward toward the pair of men meeting out near the drive.

A turn of the newcomer's head, and he brings his free hand up, whistling against his fingers sharply. "Hoo! Cerberus!" A black hound-dog with brown highlights scrambles out of the back of the truck, hopping down to stand beside it and trotting along over to stand next to Dmitri, where he reaches down to scratch against the dog's scruff. "I didn't mean through the frakkin' door," he drawls, moving then to approach at an unhurried stroll, "I jus' meant onto the property. I live out'n the woods. Da was always convinced the War wasn't really over, insisted we keep away from the cities."

Damon blinks at the whistling and turns his head to watch the dog move over to Dmitri. It doesn't look the venemous sort. "No room inside. I don't think there's a garage." Damon says, noteably the pistol is still in his hand. Shaking his head, his tendril like hair sways a little bit as the man approaches. "We've been here a few weeks, mostly licking our wounds. Had some trouble with some people raiding, so…all I can really say is behave. I don't like strangers." Damon says flatly, ashing his cigarette to the side. He then looks up to Phais and Tempest. "Looks safe to come down." He says simply to them, going back to Dmitri.

"Fine hound," Passryn notes. "The people here could use an animal like that. And the truck," she eyes it a moment, then looks back to Dmitri. "Are you here to stay or are you going to be protecting your own homestead?" she wonders, down to brass tacks, as it were.

Oh, she'd studied those who were constantly on guard and never really left the war behind. And for all of the scoffing, there really was a reason for their solitude, their preparedness and their vigilance; one who would always be cognizant of the impending doom ready to strike. More than likely he had researched their mode of armament and their structured fighting. At the sight of the dog, Tempest's face crumbles into a large smile as she asks, "Will he bite? May I pet him?" She waits for none of these questions to be answered as she moves tentatively towards the animal, the back of her hand to him in order for the beast to acquire her scent.

"S'alright," Dmitri replies with a broad grin back to Damon, "I don't much like police, so we're about even there." The hound trots along at the man's heel obediently, long tail lashing and head bobbing around to look at the new folk with open curiousity - well behaved as he is, though, he doesn't move away from his master's side. "Well, figure I should at least spend a bit here, make touch with you people an' find out what's going on — can't exactly go hit the city for supplies, looks like," he allows, before the question from Tempest brings a grin, "Oh, he won't bite 'less I tell him to. Go ahead." Cerberus lifts his head a bit, snuffling at the back of the offered hand. Then he licks it.

Damon simply smiles at Dmitri, nodding a few times. "Most people don't." He says simply, moving to lean against a tree. His dark blue officer's uniform is clearly stained with a darker liquid of some sort, to which he takes a look around and pulls at the front of his shirt. Looking towards the truck, he drags off of his cigarette and unbuttons his shirt. Barechested, he lets the shirt hang from his back pocket as he takes a quiet glance into the back of the truck.

At last, Phaistion has formed enough line, shape and definition to be satisfied with his preliminary sketch and he carefully folds the pad closed and sets it aside, rising to his feet. Hopping down from the steps, he ambles towards the gathering of people, offering a small smile. "I'm Phaistion, by the way," It's only just occured to him that only Tempest knows his name.

Achapri nods agreeably to Dmitri. "Are you alone on your property? Some of us should go with you when you return and survey the land," she proposes, looking, then, to Frank. "If we can secure a route between two bases and have patrol running back and forth between the two, we'll be able to control some good hunting territory."

Tempest kneels in the dirt, both hands moving to caress the dog's head, her arms wrapping around him as her fingers continue to scritch the animal's thick fur. "He's beautiful." Cerberus' exuberance gets the best of her however, as she's not exactly waiflike, though nothing of a hale and hardy, either and so she soon finds herself flat on her back, the dog licking her face, as though she was a toy to play with. Through her laughter she imparts, "Tempest Pompeo. Off Cerberus! Let me up, you beast."

"Good for you," Dmitri replies casually to the offer of the name, his head jerking towards the door as he asks of the gathering, "So. You got anything t'eat? Been a long frakkin' drive and my stomach's growlin' fit to eat a bear at this point." He tilts his head to Achapri, allowing, "Jus' me, ever since da died. Oh, I get people comin' through now and again, but I doubt that'll continue now—Cerberus! Heel!" A low chuff from the hound, and he pulls back over to his side.

Achapri looks back toward Phaistion, "Passryn Achapri," she introduces herself, "Maiden of Ares. Next time I come back from the sanctuary I'll bring one of our bitches. Get some pups from that good stock for these people, if you're amenable." Then, giving a laugh. "Looks like he's already picked his bitch, though."

Damon looks to Achapri and raises an eyebrow. Dragging off of his cigarette, he rests his thumb through one of the loops on his gunbelt and falls into a quiet overwatch. Looking to his shoulder, he flicks a bit of dried bark off of it, and then looks back to them. "…Don't know how we're rationing but as long as we keep bringing in more people, the faster it will go. But yes, we've got food." Damon says and then looks to Passryn. "Do you have just a little bit of everything down there?"

Phaistion is a fairly low-key and good natured sort, and he merely shrugs at Dmitri's dismissal. There's plenty enough to worry about without letting something so insignifcant get to him. He offers Passryn a smile at her introduction, an eyebrow quirking in mirth at her pun, whether it was intended or not. One thing he's noticed is that the assembled group is quite a diverse collection of personalities. To Damon, he states softly, "I'll make sure to go back to the creek and gather those dandelions later. Seems like we can use them."

Tempest lays on the ground a moment, regaining her breath, her bright hair splayed on the dirt from the momentary game play. She sticks out her tongue towards the armored woman before rolling upright and bending to run her fingers through her hair to disengage the twigs and dust from the strands. When she stands upright, her hair creates a vibrant auburn halo around her head. At Damon's question towards Passryn, whether intended or not, referring to food or to a multiplicity of sexual organs in the lower quadrant, it evokes a sharp crack of laughter from her throat.

"We live well enough off of the land," Passryn replies to Frank, "If the land goes dead, we don't have much in the way of rations in store. We keep no refrigeration and import no salt to preserve meat. We smoke some meat, but that only keeps it so long. We have some dried grain held up from last harvest, but it won't last much past next harvest, if there is a next harvest."

"That's what I was comin' up this way for," admits Dmitri, a brow crooking upwards at Passryn as he settles in with one hand scratching the hound's head, Cerberus's tongue lolling in lazy panting, "Was hoping to salvage some supplies from here before other scavs picked it up. You got plans to start hunting down supply depots?"

"Be careful. I saw some of them up the way armed with spears." Damon replies with Phai with a smirk, nodding upwards at him to give him a little bit of hell. Looking more thug than police now with his shirt off, he takes a final drag off of his cigarette and drops it into the dirt. Stubbing it out with his heel, he buries it with the help of his boots. The smirk remains. "I'll have to stay out of the precinct then. No telling what kind of tomb of horrors it is." He then switches to Dmitri. "We've talked about it. Some scavs came by recently. We're still in a plan forming period that I agree with the warrior here, is goin way too slow."

A soft snort erupts out of Phaistion, "I'm thinking anyone around here with spears must belong to her," a finger gets pointed in Passryn's direction. He's got his own ideas on how to contribute to their mutual survival, he just needs to speak to the seemingly elusive Angel and the old man about it. Combat is so not his forte. Then again, combat isn't the only thing of value to a group that seems to keep increasing in size. On a serious note he mumbles out, "Don't worry, I can take care of myself all right. Survived all this time on my own, didn't I?"

Tempest's skin flushes in embarrassment, her fingers pressed to her lips as she murmurs, "Do forgive me." She's usually far more subdued than this, though perhaps it's the circumstances which have emboldened her. She swallows slightly and moves up the stairs, ready to be tasked with those things others usually find distasteful or unpleasant. Her eyes move from one to the other, before she stands quietly on the porch, though there is a gleam of impishness in her eyes as she falls mum. Having just arrived, she has little, if nothing of knowledge to add to the current subject at hand.

"You will," Passryn affirms Frank's words rather more seriously than he first uttered them. "Nobody enters the precinct without the unanimous consent of the Initiated." She looks aside, then, to Phaistion, "The dandelions are a good idea. They're very nutritive. Also make a good tea." She nods in approval of his self-proclaimed self-sufficiency. Of which she's yet to see evidence, herself, but has no reason to think he's lying.

A low chuckle stirs from Dmitri's throat at Tempest's flush and apology, offering the woman a wink but no words either way before he looks back to the others, merely listening to their conversation around him. The words about the precinct from Passryn garner a curious look, drawing one brow up in a bemused crook, "Dare I ask?"

"Forgiven." Damon says simply, looking to Tempest to a moment to see what the problem's all about. Watching her closely, he then looks to Phai with a nod. "Well for future reference, bodies don't stop bullets like finding cover does. What we've seen so far, don't mess around with that. Wounds get infected. That'll kill us." Damon adds and then looks to Passryn. "There are initiated down there? How many?"

"My father had some great recipes for them, although none for a tea," Phaistion replies quietly to Passryn. Finally, someone else who knows that dandelions have a broader place in the culinary world than merely serving as weeds to be poisoned out of one's lawn. "Maybe you'll enlighten me on that one of these days," He smiles. Offhandedly he adds, "The violets should be coming up soon too, it's the season for them." He follows along the lines he'd tried to pursue with Anthem the day before, thinking perhaps Passryn might make a better audience for his ideas. "We need to find a way of testing the soil here, 'cause if it's relatively clean a garden would be a good addition. Especially since Anthem said one guy was finding vegetables here and there. We should be saving the seeds out of anything edible to possibly plant in the future." To Damon he nods, his demeanor serious, "Personally? I see nothing dishonerable about running and hiding if I get caught out there alone. I'll watch my back, don't worry about that."

Tempest seats herself in porch swing, moving it with her boot, though stops as the chains create a strident grinding sound which reverberates in the quiet of the surroundings and makes Cerberus' ears twitch in what she imagines would be pain. Simply content to watch the faces, she does just that as each speaks in turn, while brushing away an errant spot of lingering dust from her shirt whilst listening.

"Twenty seven, and two more who are still in the process of becoming initiated," Passryn tells Damon. "It doesn't take a college education to make tea," she then notes, in regards to Phaestion's comment. "But yes, I do wish we had a way to test the soil. Though the more rain that falls, the more likely the lands are going to become contaminated. At least… I wouldn't think that evaporation would get rid of radioactivity like it gets rid of physical impurities. But I don't know."

"So," Dmitri drawls casually, leaning against the porch's edge and arching a brow up at those who're speaking, "Someone want t'clue me in as to what the 'Initiated' are? Cabin, woods, recall." He scratches under his chin, frowning a bit as he observes Damon, Phaistion, and Passryn's conversation.

"I'm not sure of the exact definition but I'm pretty sure they're skinny, own shields, and wear swords." Damon says, leaning against a tree with his arms folded. Watching them as he speaks, he runs a hand through his hair to brush his dreadlocks aside for the moment. Not having much to add regarding the talk of testing the soil, his purpose is clear. He's muscle.

Phaistion seems to be considering Passryn's words, and comprehension dawns in his eyes. A quick trot back to the porch later, and he's got charcoal and pad in hand again, flipping through it to a blank page, where he quickly begins to sketch out an idea, which he holds out for Passryn's examination. "Raised beds, off the ground. Build a frame over it, like so," The lines forming themselves across the page are a rough sketch of something akin a support system for awnings. "If we can find tarps, we can stretch them and secure them across the frame to make a roof over it for when it rains, then take it off when the weather is sunny. Might work to keep any radioactive rain out of it." A shrug is the only exclaimation point to his latest offering.

Tempest's hands lift to lightly braid her hair then letting it fall over her shoulder while gathering information in regards to those labeled 'Initiated'. Being new here, she's still reeling from the surfeit of information thrown about, not knowing what even a third of it means. At Phai's suggestion she poses the question, "Though what will occur with the soil when the rains send the contamination downhill? What we need is a way to elevate the existing soil…keep it from further befoulment, though that would also raise the question of the rain water itself and the carrying of pollutants, hm?"

"Yes, but the area will still need water," Passryn points out. "You know, for plants to grow, and all. It'll either get it from the surrounding rainfall or from water we take from the streams and aquifers… which is all, in essence, rainfall anyway." She looks to Dmitri, then. "Those who have devoted themselves to the worship of the Warlord in His sacred precinct."

"Sound like charmin' folks." Dmitri's fingertips scruffle through the hound's ruff, and then he brings that hand up to push back over the crew cut, rough fingers rubbing at the nape of his neck. The discussion about farming is observed, and he states enigmatically with a shrug of one shoulder, "Mushrooms."

"If you're looking for charm, go among those who devote themselves to Aphrodite," Passryn suggests flatly to Dmitri.

Phaistion nods in Dmitri's direction, "Father worked with enough different varieties for me to have a decent handle on telling poisonus from edible." Clearly the one word was more than enough of a cue for him. "As for the water, thought there was a natural well here? That or, wonder if we can find a spring that originates from deep enough underground that the ground water table won't effect it? We've got to figure these things out if we want to survive long term. Boxed and canned supplies have an expiration date, eventually we'll just end up poisoning ourselves with them."

Tempest inhales happily, "Mushrooms! Phai, you could find so many delectable things to do with those. Saute'd, fried, chopped up into that…what was it you called that dish last evening? They would be quite perfect. Thank you, Dmitri. Where could we gather some and are they yet in season? Or, how long does it take to cultivate them? We'd need a great deal of dung, would we not?"

"Haven't stepped foot in a temple in years. Almost did once though." Damon says simply, looking back and forth from the conversation as he maintains a sort of silence. With little to say, it seems, he lights a new cigarette. Watching and communicating with his eyes, he falls into a silence.

Dmitri's head tilts a bit to one side, and he suggests in a casual drawl of voice, "Dig low, dig deep — soil won't be as susceptible to radiation underground, and you can grow some 'shrooms ad other edible fungus down there where you won't have to worry so much about the poisons seepin' into them." One shoulder lifts in a shrug, "'Course, you'll need some guys who aren't afraid of liftin' a shovel."

Dryly, Dmitri adds, "An' you got plenty of people. People make fertilizer too."

"I think everyone here knows how important it is to pitch in," Passryn replies. "We'll just have to whip the weaklings into shape," she supposes. "And those of us with the technical knowledge of how best to farm potentially irradiated soil will have to show us how to avoid the danger." Just so it isn't completely biased against those who work smarter rather than harder.

"If I remember some of the stuff my Mom said correctly," Phaistion nods in Dmitri's direction, "that kind of uhm… manure… would have to be /really/ well composted first, or it could make us pretty sick." Flipping his sketch pad closed, a soft sigh of consternation echoes out of him. "It's all pretty theoretical though, until I meet and talk to the old man. After all, it's his land, and he might not want me to go around digging it up. I'm not afraid of hard work though, if it means we all survive."

Tempest's eyes meet Damon's, understanding that something in his life made him lose his faith in the gods and to sublimate it in himself. The same that occurred in her life so many years gone. At Dmitri's comment, she queries, "Do corpses impact the use of them as fertilzer?"

Damon nods to Tempest slowly, going back to watching the horizon as he speaks and quietly smokes his cigarette. "…we may not be staying here for long. Never know who heard the gunshots the other day." He says simply. "I'm not a plan person. I'll shovel and dig, carry, but I'm not the man with the plan outside of the city limits." He pauses, dragging off of the smoke.

"…I'm not eatin' food grown on human corpses, lady, I don't know what the frak you're into," Dmitri replies with a rough snort of breath, giving Tempest a rather dubious look before turning his head to Phaistion— a nod of his chin upwards, noting, "Yeah, well, didn't say it'd be easy. But if you're that worried about sustainability an' rads getting into the soil, it's one potential source of food and fertilizer. Just tossin' out some thoughts."

"We have lands we harvest inside the precinct," Passryn tells Phaistion. "If you have any ideas on how best to manage the problem of contamination from water, we would gladly offer in return a portion of the harvest."

"I'm not really an expert on that kind of stuff," Phaistion admits, "my expertise is a little more geared towards getting the harvest into the pot and onto the table for hungry bellies. My mom was the one who loved gardening." Frankly, right now he's wishing he'd paid a lot more attention. "Honestly? The best idea I can come up with is on that sheet of paper already. Maybe there's some scientific types around here though?" Having only met Anthem and those assembled here, Phai's pretty clueless about the greater makeup of the group.

Tempest flushes brightly at Dmitri's accusation, responding softly, "I would not presume to use corpses as the only means of fertilization, but we must be cognizant that as the food runs out we'll be consuming the wildlife, cattle," her eyes dare to rest upon the beloved dog, "And other things. Also, there will be those who attempt to wrest our lives from us who will need to be exterminated. I, too, Dmitri am simply tossing out some thougts."

"There's a professor around here somewhere if you can understand any of the words that come out of his mouth. He talks too much." Damon replies to Phai. "Either way, we're going to have to start getting creative because I'm not interested in running out of food, period. Funny part is, in the cities there's all kinds of rad-shielded places that'll have food. Like those giant refridgeration units for cold storage in supermarkets."

"Mmhm." Dmitri's hand ruffles over Cerberus's ears, as he notes flatly, "Lady, you even look at my dog with a fork in hand, and you'll get a chance to test out your fertilization ideas first-hand." A tight shake of his head, "You'll only need to get that desperate if you get stupid. So. Don't get stupid." A jerk of his chin up to Damon, "How bad's the city irradiated? Survivable, or are you gonna need to find some gear before you can start scavenging?"

Phaistion pulls out a cigarette and lights it up, nearly purring with contentment as the smoke curls in his lungs. He exhales a long stream through his nose. "Just my opinion, but uhm, I'd hazzard a guess that finding food in the cities is a wash. 'Cause, I doubt we'd be the first people with that idea." Thinking about it, he goes on to ask, "I mean are there even any cities that /aren't/ rubble and ash?" He can't even bring himself to address the corpse topic for fear of turning queasy. He does add to Dmitri's words, "The dog's a serious asset. They have much better senses than we can ever hope to. He'll hear and smell danger coming /long/ before we will."

Tempest looks heavenward as though the answer to this man's impossible receipt of her communications would come from there. She does not deign to attempt to articulate further with him, never wanting to eat from a corpse-fertilized food product or consume his dog. And so she simply maintains her silence, letting those with more experience talk amongst themselves. In fact, it is at that moment she decides to go inside and investigate her surroundings, see what is available and seek out a much needed bathroom respite.

Achapri just gives a nods of acknowledgement to Phaistion, then one to Damon. "The professor has stated interest in learning to be proficient in Ares' arts. I may end up taking him for indoctination," she notes. "I'll ask him about the crops next I see him. Pardon me, I'm going to go check on the reservoir."

"Professor's wanting to become a man?" Damon asks, a little disbelief to the sound of his voice as he looks to Passryn. He tilts his head. "Got to give it to the man I've gotta respect that." Damon replies and then looks towards the direction of the Lodge where Tempest went. He looks to Dmitri and blinks. "Hey…" He pauses. "Ease up on the lady…she's had a bit of a shock."

Dmitri gives the dog's side an affectionate thumb, and he allows easily, "That 'e is. You ain't jus' a pretty face, are you, buddy?" Cerberus looks up at his master, tongue lolling with a vacant and probably hoping for some sort of treat. A look back up to Damon, and he grunts without shame, "Well, then she shouldn't be talkin' about eating my dog. Not much that'll piss me off, that's one of 'em."

"Dude, I don't think she was talking about herself," Phaistion is inclined to defend Tempest. "She does have a point, there's probably people out there who are gonna run wild, hells even feral at some point, and I don't think they're gonna give any thought to whether or not Cerberus there is some man's best friend or not." A thoughtful expression crosses his features, "I think Passryn's got some of the right ideas, too bad there's so much religion mixed up in it. I don't want to get into that, so I guess that counts me out of ever living up there."

Tempest exits from the lodge, in her hand a muffin which she carries as though it is sacrosanct and precious. Once more, she seats herself on the swing and begins to pick miniscule morsels from the surface in an attempt to make it last as long as possible.

"I could give a damn about what pisses you off. She wasn't actually saying we should eat your dog." Damon says simply. He ashes his cigarette and takes another drag off of it, looking up in Dmitri's direction. Exhaling the smoke, he nods to the man. "Show some respect. She's one of the people that took you and your hungry ass dog in." Damon says, stomping out the cigarette. Scratching his chest, he turns to head back towards the Lodge. "We don't have rad suits or meters. City's probably bombed out. We've got hunting and camping supplies, no more, no less."

A shrug of Dmitri's shoulder answers the words of the other two men, not seeming too terribly concerned. "It'll be enough," he opins, "If you wrangle it right. So long as the fallout doesn't entirely frak up everything out here, anyway."

"We have each other," Phaistion tacks on to the end of Damon's statement, as if that were the most important thing. Is he idealistic? Probably. Young? Definitely. His head and heart are in the right place though, and he's obviously a team player. A nod in Damon's direction, "You said earlier you thought things were going too slow. I think I'm kinda agreeing with you there. I mean, if we're not gonna stay here, then we need to figure out just /where/ we're gonna stick. Running aimlessly around the planet isn't something that's gonna work long term, I'm thinking, not if the food chain gets more and more contaminated." The one thing Phai is certain of all this uncertain craziness is— he wants to /live/.

Tempest's eyes seek Damon's as he moves past her, a tentative hand reaching out towards him as though to say both thank you and to intimate that it is not worth getting angered about her, for her.

Damon looks to Tempest with an expressionless face at first, but seeing her response, he smiles a little bit and shakes his head. "I do that for me." He says, nodding upwards to her with a look in his eyes that betrays a little humor over the situation. He stops at the door and looks back to them. "No one wants to do anything without Harkins' okay. No one wants to scout without the marines. We've set up posts, but the point is…more time we waste, the more time scattered food has to rot. For all we know there's a delivery truck on the highway."

It's hard to miss Achapri returning from the woods, the red plume on her helm still visible even though the helmet itself is tucked under her arm. "Are we going?" she asks Damon.

"Why does no one want to do anything without Mister Harkin's permission?" Tempest looks around to those present, curiosity on her face as she nibbles on the muffin. Looking down, she wonders if she'll be penalized for procuring the sweet without having to first ask 'father may I'.

"I don't know who Harkins is," Dmitri notes with a shrug of one shoulder, moving to step up onto the porch after Damon — not intending to stand outside all day — with Cerberus padding placidly along after him, "But I'm inclined t'agree with you there. You need a truck to do some scoutin' and hauling with, jus' let me know, flatfoot." A nod to Tempest as she returns, but that seems about as much of an apology as she's going to get.

"It's his land," At least that's the reasoning that Phaistion figures. A glance gets passed between Passryn and Damon, "Are you two going out scouting, then? 'Cause, like, I'll come with if you are. One more body to help carry shit if we find anything useful."

"It's harder to trust strangers when your life really revolves around it." Damon says, rushing back out of the Lodge after getting a sip of water. "We're going to start at it any day now. I'm not a trusting person so don't take my word as everyone's. For some people, this place is a vacation." Damon says and then nods upwards to Passryn. He looks back to Tempest and Phai, and then to Dmitri, considering. He then waves Tempest over towards him.

Tempest stands from the swing, letting the chains protest as she moves to stand near Damon.

"Let's go now," Passryn suggests. "People have been saying 'any day now' for weeks. Let's gather some provisions and go. Now." Battle Maiden? Tired of waiting.

"It's his land, maybe," Dmitri shrugs, noting, "But, not that I know anythin' about you people, but I don't see how that stops you from checkin' out the surrounding countryside."

"I'm up for anything," Phaistion shrugs. Not as though he isn't used to hiking long hours through the surrounding terrain. He'll leave it up to the others, whether they want him along for the ride or not.

Damon looks to Tempest and considers for a moment. He pulls something out of his belt and offers it to her, using her body for cover so that no one else can see what it is. He simply nods to her and then looks back in the direction of where the resevoir is. "I'm going to go check the resevoir. There could be rads, so be careful." He says. With that…he turns and leaves.

Tempest pockets what's given in the inside of her coat and steps back. "Be careful. The both of you."

Achapri eyes Tempest briefly. "Not coming?"

"If you wish me to, I will, yes." Tempest straightens and is ready to go along if wanted. She looks over at Dmitri, her own brow raising in curiosity to see if he'll accompany them.

Dmitri's head jerks back towards the truck, and he allows, "I'll go conceal the truck nearby so it's not so obvious. Guess I'll see y'all when you get back." That said, he turns, whistling softly under his breath to encourage the hound along as he walks that way.

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