Campfire Introductions
Campfire Introductions
Summary: Several of the Lodge's newcomers finally get a chance to meet its proprietor.
Date: PHD 15
Related Logs: Related Logs None

It's been a long day and a half out in the field with interesting company, to say the least. On the whole though, the trip has been productive. The thought of spending another night out, color blind and night vision impaired as Phaistion is, didn't seem like a good idea. Despite Passryn's physical conditioning, Phai hadn't been willing to have the woman standing watch over him two nights in a row with no sleep herself, so he'd headed back to the psuedo familiarity of the lodge. The young man is bearing a pack on his back, and several small bundles of herbs hang from the bottom of it, already in the process of drying. It's with great relief that he walks up the path and spots the building he's starting to identify as 'home'.

There's already a small cooking fire going. The Old Man is parked on a log near the fire. The smells of cooking venisen waft on the evening breeze, a dutch over probably the source of such scents. A military-grade rifle is sitting beside him, leaned against the log. Altogether its a quiet night for the man. But with the sound of someone approaching, the man turns his head to face the approaching figure.

The appearance of the old man doesn't seem to threaten Phaistion in the least, and the way in which he walks up might even suggest a familiarity with the place. The scents from the fire waft over him, and his eyes close as he inhales deeply of the aromas. The venison is easily identified and cataloged. "I can smell the pepper, a bit of mace might add a nice compliment to it though," He states with a little grin, "if you have any, that is." The pack comes off of his back and he sets it down on its side, careful not to squash the drying bundles tied to it. "My guess is that you must be Mister Harkins?" The young man is definitely good natured, with a dash of polite on the side, "I'm Hephaistion Bray, thank you very much for letting us stay here, Mister Harkins, sir."

Harkins looks the man over as he approaches the fire, hand still not going for the rifle. "You must be one of the ones to come in over the past week." He sounds about as tired as he looks. "Dunno about mace. Got some pepperspray I use to dissuade coons from raidin' the trash hold I bury the refuse in." He probably doesn't know the difference. Harkins doesn't exactly seem like the kinda guy to know much about herbs, either. "But you'd be right with your guess. Monty Harkins. No reason to call me sir or nothin' but I appreciate the thanks. No trouble as long as nobody is any trouble. You hungry, son?"

"I am, thanks." A grin skates itself across Phai's features as he takes a seat near to Harkins. "My mother always used to tease me about having a hollow leg because I'd eat so much all the time. Hazard's of being a chef's son, more than likely." Phaistion isn't certain what he was expecting Harkins to be like, from what he'd heard. The mind has a tendency to embellish upon what it's told. He pleased to finally meet the man in the flesh, and find him so welcoming.

Tempest comes out of the lodge from a nap in one of the rooms. Her hair is sleep tousled, even now her fingers trying to place the strands into some semblance of order. There is a crease from a pillow lingering on her cheek as she simply stands, staring out at the dusk. A yawn overtakes her and she places her hand to her mouth, yet to see anyone near.

Monty chuckles. Its a deep sound that comes from the man's chest. He smirks to Phais and looks back towards the dutch over thats cooking in the coals at the edge of the cooking fire. "Don't get too hungry. But I know what you mean. I knew a guy in the Corps who could wolf down two of them packaged meals in one setting. The guy was a beanpole, too. We used to take bets on how long it would be before his stomach exploded or refunded his mouth of the offering." He picks up a long stick on the ground and begins poking at the coals. "So where'd you come from? Just hikin' or did you try and make it out of a town?" He doesn't sound unfriendly, but there's a gruffness to the man even despite his nearly seventy years.

"I'm from Caprica City originally," There's a slight undercurrent of pain to the admission. Not surprising considering what's occured. "I came out here to the mountains for my spring break to sketch some nature studies that I could paint once I got back to campus on Picon." Presumably an art student, then, or at the very least an artistic type. "I guess I was pretty lucky to be where I was when… well, when everything happened. I was up there on my own for about two weeks until I found your lodge two days ago and met Anthem. He and Frank explained the rules to me. I'm just glad to be here, now." When Tempest comes out the door, he offers her a wave, "Good evening, Tempest." Clearly the two have met before.

Tempest turns at the sound of a voice, backing into one of the large sculptures which grace the porch. Stepping nearer, her eyes adjusting to the light, she sees the welcome sight of Phai, to whom she gives a smile. Next is a gracious inclination of her head to the older gentleman, "Sir."

Harkins doesn't look up as Phaistian explains himself. "Yeah I imagine we've got some pretty damned lucky people up here. Its a good place to relax. I love the peace and quiet and being away from everything. I've run into a few guys like yourself before. Though I had one attack me and my customers once because we were buck hunting. He tackled the lady customer and didn't stop until I put the muzzle of a shotgun at the base of his skull." He chuckles, probably not expecting Phais to be like that. Or if he is, then possibly warning him. Its tough to tell with this guy. "Good that you have the rules. Any questions about them or the place in general that I might be able to help ya with?" At the greeting to Tempest, he looks back to the woman. "Another of the lady folk. Pleasure, ma'am. No need to call me sir. Just Monty or Harkins. Though I think Anthem insists on rankin' me." He chuckles and motions to the logs for her to sit.

Tempest takes a seat next to Phai, her chin resting on her hands as she observes Harkins in the firelight. She doesn't say overly much, speak when spoken to and is content with just watching those around her.

A little shrug is Phaistion's answer, "Me? I probably would have asked if you wanted help cooking it." A chuckle bubbles out of him. He knows the type Harkins is talking about though. Animal rights activists who find any form of hunting cruel and out of line. He's not such an extremist. After all, animals are meant to be food in his book. "I do have some questions, though I think a few people around here think I'm a little nuts for thinking about stuff like that." He shrugs and picks up a stick to scratch around in the coals, enjoying the way a spark dances up towards the sky here and there.

Harkin's short laugh returns, the man nodding in the firelight. "Glad to hear you're more about eatin' than stoppin' me from eatin'. If those peopel cared anything for the welfare of the animals, they'd talk rather than act like godsdamn trespassin' fools." He lifts his eyes towards the lady. "Your name's Tempest? When did you roll in?" He then averts his eyes back to Phais. "Ain't no shame in askin', son. Though I won't feed you bullshit about there bein' no stupid questions." He cants his head in a good-natured warning.

Tempest delights in the comforting scent of the campfire and the undertones of cooking food. Harkins' voice sounds robust and even somewhat comforting in this atmosphere as she listens. Apparently, a former military man who is stern, though kindly in his way. At his question, she straightens and responds kindly, "Shortly after Phaistian did. I wandered down from the resort, thinking I was alone and quite thankful to not have that be the case. And thank you for your hospitality, Mister Harkins."

"The last thing I'd ever do is stop someone from enjoying their food." There's an ammendment there, "Unless I knew it was was going to give them food poisoning, I mean." Phaistion casts a glance at the dutch oven and ventures to lift the lid up a smidge, almost purring at the aroma that releases from it. "Smells just about done." It's got his mouth watering. truth be told. "Anthem said we all have to pitch in, and honestly, my most useful skill to the group would be cooking and helping with the food supply. So any way I can help, I'd be glad too, Mist… er, Monty."

Tempest is seated near the campfire, listening the Harkins and Phai talk about food.

"Oh its no trouble, Miss Tempest. Just as long as everyone minds their manners then you all are welcome to enjoy the roof. Money isn't any good so its not like anyone needs to worry about bein' paid either." Harkins' smile is warm with his reassuring inflection. "And please.. Monty or Harkins. Don't fret over formalities or titles." He watches as Phais reaches for the pot, waving the stick lightly near the iron container. "Don't be liftin' it too much. I like to let it marinate in its own smells as much as possible." He's an old man and he likes his theories, probably. "But cooking and food supply? The offer is good. But from how we voted a week or so back, it looks like we're going to be getting into some trouble with whoever nuked us." He's very serious here. "A lot of people here think that our first priority oughtta be preparing for war. I think that's a load of bullshit, myself." He looks between Tempest and Phais. "You don't fight an action on an empty stomach or without medical care. Which is why we need to get prioritized on things like that. I've got food to last us for now and we can hunt. But if you have suggestions, son, I'm all ears."

Finally someone of a like mind. "I'm in your camp, Monty. Honestly, the way I've been seeing things, if we're what's left, we need to start thinking about the long term, not go throwing ourselves on the sword. I mean, Passryn, I understand. It's the nature of her people." Phaistion falls quiet for a moment while he thinks about how to phrase what he wants to say, "Canned and packaged food supplies are only going to last us so long. They have a shelf life and eventually they'll just poison us. With the amount of people we're gathering, we have to start thinking about some sort of sustainability. Even if I've taken some heat for thinking that way." There's an intellect behind the edgy looks Phai sports. "The way I see it, let those who are minded fight go ahead and get themselves killed, and let those of us who want to /live/ go about the business of figuring out how we're going to do that long term."

The quiet steps of one of the newcomers to this area might be overheard as Dmitri approaches along the trail once more, the droop-eared hound dog that he brought with him trotting along contentedly at his heels. At the sight of the fire and the sound of conversation, he approaches at an unhurried stroll, voice lifting to offer casually, "'ello folks."

"You're talkin' about that religious type from that camp? Met her up here a week or two back. Seems like she's got somethin' in for vengeance." Monty smirks and looks back to the fire, continuing to push coals around. There's probably a method to the madness. "There's a saying that I'm fond of, son. 'Amateurs talk tactics. Professionals talk logistics.' The canned stuff will be good for awhile and the packaged food is military surplus. Nobody touches that here at the lodge. Those go to teams when they head out on recons. They're lightweight and heavy on caloric intake. Anyone treatin' themselves to those is going to find life difficult courtesy of me. People wanna go on suicide missions, they are welcome to. But I won't have them returning here afterwards." He looks between the two. "I'm speakin directly to survivability there, too. There's no point in fighting if you only die of starvation. Nobody even knows who we're fighting yet. Heard some scuttle about Cylons. But we need hard information before we go doing something like launchin' attacks." With Dmitri's arrival, Harkins looks to him. "Hi there. You another new arrival?"

"I've done some scouting with Passryn over the last day or so, but my eyes were on the lookout for for possible food sources." Oh the irony that Dmitri arrives right when Phaistion is talking about food again. He nods in the man's direction, then calls out to the hound softly, "Heya buddy." Seems like he might have a soft spot for the dog, judging by the affection in his voice. "This is your land, so ultimately it's your call, Monty, but I'd really like to explore the possiblity of trying to put in some sort of garden, try to find a way to provide some fresh foodstuffs we can depend on." To underscore his words, he reaches into his pack and pulls out a soaked and dirt-stained towel. He unwraps the contents to reveal a clutch of live alpine strawberry plants. "Found these last night, and brought some back with me to transplant, if you give your permission."

"Rolled on in yesterday," replies Dmitri as he approaches, his step casual and slow, "Met a few've the people around here, Frank ran down the list o'rules an' all. You must be Harkins." At the call to him, Cerberus's tail wags lazily, ears pricking up a little bit. The dog's master nods over to the other pair, "Ladies, evenin'."

Tempest hears the sound of steps, quiet though it may be and she turn her head towards the newcomer, "Mister Alexandros. Welcome." She returns her attention to the two other gentlemen, considering the older man's warnings for the future and knowing them to be valid. Patting her leg, she calls to the dog, gentle laughter cascading from her as the cold nose nudges her nearly off the log. Though at the sound of strawberry plants, she uprights herself and looks. At the view of another joining the firepit, she nods and smiles a greeting.

"Appreciate the askin'. But yeah, go right ahead. Start a garden. Just be aware.. About two months of the year this place is a blanket of around two or three feet of snow. Plan for that. And I don't think you were in much danger. That huntress looks like she'd sniff out a threat before it even knew it was a threat." The Old Man looks up to Dmitri. "Yep. I'm Harkins. Glad people are passing around those rules I set-up. That's good to hear. You got a name?" There's a dutch oven cooking what smells like spiced venisen on the coals of the fire with a large military-grade rifle sitting on the log beside the old man.

"Thank you," Phaistion tells Harkins with great meaning attached to the words. "I'd pretty much figured you'd get a hard winter up here. I've been batting some ideas back and forth about ways to keep radioactive rain out of the beds." He'll leave the subject be for now, though, in order that everyone can make their introductions. Suffice to say that he's pleased that his idea hasn't been summarily shot down.

"Name's Dmitri," offers the man with a nod down to the hound that's settled in sedately beside him, "This's Cerberus." The dog drops down to sit beside him, tail thumping against the earth a couple of times at the call from Tempest, though he remains faithfully at his master's side. "Angel speaks well've you."

As she steps out onto the porch from the lodge, Tessa is wrapping a shawl around her shoulders - orange, which doesn't at all match with anything else she's wearing. There's a faintly tentative look in her eyes as she starts towards the fire, her pace slow enough that she can easily turn should she be interrupting. She doesn't immediately call out a greeting, but she does raise her hand should anyone look her way.

"Well Phaistion, go ahead and work on the gardens. When you've got something hard about protecting the plants, we'll chat again and see what you've come up with." Monty lets the disappearing Tempest go with her question.. to wherever she went. Monty looks to Dmitri, then. "I'd hope she does. Paid her good money to spread positive rumors." He chuckles. "Just do me a favor? If the dog needs to leave his mark or do a number, take him outside the camp. We've gotta worry about disease now." Its not angry or unwelcoming. Hell, Harkins looks like he might even welcome the dog. There's a quick glance to the arrival of yet someone else he doesn't know. "Just uh, I want to apologize to everyone. I've been ill the past week or so and trying to recover which is why I've been reclusive. I'm trying to conserve the medications for you younger folks so it took me a bit longer." He cuts a smirk, but doesn't readily address Tessa, letting her make introductions when she is comfortable doing so.

Phaistion nods his agreement to Harkins' words, though doesn't pipe up at the moment. That can wait for another time and place. For now he's got the permission he needs to start observing the course of the sun across the property to find the best possible site to use. No sense in digging up the lawn until he's certain just where the most sun is going be.

"You don't do your business where you sleep," affirms Dmitri, a single firm nod to Harkins, "He knows that; never had a problem with him around the cabin, won't have any problem with him around here." He drops himself down to a crouch beside the firepit, ruffling his fingers down Cerberus's ruff before the door opens. A turn of his head, gaze cutting over to Tessa as she emerges.

"Gardens?" That certainly seems to catch her attention, and Tessa glances between the men with sudden interest. "I could help with that— if someone wanted, I mean. Plants are kind of my thing." Pause. "They're less my thing than patching people up, though, but I'm good with them just the same." Ducking her head almost sheepishly, she adds, "Don't think I've met any of you yet. Not any more than seeing you in the lodge for a second or two, anyway. Tessa."

"Somebody want to grab some bowls from inside?" Monty continues poking at the coals. "I think this is about done." The man's probably done this more times than he can probably recount. "Glad to hear the dog knows. Fair enough." He then looks to Tessa. "Monty Harkins. I won't mind someone else helping out. But you know about patching wounds? You have trauma experience, Miss Tessa?"

There's grace and balance to the way that Phaistion raises to his feet without the aid of his hands, suggesting that perhaps, artist though he is. there's some athletic ability there as well. It doesn't take him long at all to head into the lodge and return with bowls and forks, which he hands to Monty. "Here you go, Monty." Once he settles himself back down, he beams a grin in Tessa's direction. "I'd /love/ the help, if you're willing. I figure this is pretty much a volunteer type project. I don't want to draw away from important resources that could benefit the group." A team player, then.

"Dmitri," is one name offered up with a nod of the man's chin to the woman, "Good t'meet you. I'm new." That said, he scratches under his chin, listening to the others as they speak, watching their movements and expressions more than listening to words.

"I'm a paramedic," Tessa clarifies, flashing a swift smile in Monty's direction. "Or… was. Before. Still getting used to that. Anthem says I'm the closest you have to a doctor. I can't work miracles or anything. No open heart surgery, you know? But I can keep people alive." Rolling her shoulders in a shrug, she glances back to Phaistion, a warmer smile cast to him in response, then to Dmitri. "I'm new, too. Think you're newer."

"Thanks." Monty takes the bowls and moves to the dutch oven, squatting beside it. He takes a multitool out of his pocket and lifts the lid off with pliers, setting it aside. He slowly begins doling out servings and passing the bowls around before getting on of his own. "We're probably going to be facing serious injuries before long. I have a basic medical kit and some over the counter drugs but nothing expansive. What would it take to get you ready for something like blast, shrapnel, and gunshot wounds? Because the Gunnery Sergeant is correct. You're the closest thing we have to a Doctor."

"Thank you," Phai murmurs out quietly to Monty when he's handed his portion, and before long he's tucking into the stew with gusto. Half of the time he eats it slowly, savoring the rich, meaty taste, and the other half is spent all but inhaling the portion. He remains silent in the face of such serious discussion, not wanting to interupt, since he hasn't any expertise with such things. This is Tessa's realm of knowledge.

"Congratulations at your promotion, Doc," Dmitri drawls out in good, if dry, humor. Then there's a bowl being passed his way, and he gives a bit of a startled glance over towards Harkings; just a moment long before he relaxes, reaching out to accept the one passed in his direction with a murmur of thanks.

Flinching at the mention of shrapnel or gunshot wounds, Tessa winces as she takes the bowl. "Thanks," she says, though it's unclear just who she's speaking to now. After a moment, she looks back to Monty. "Dressings, tools, medication, fluids for IVs, a defib. If… if you're expecting things to be like the other night was, then having somewhere we could keep lots of this on-hand would be good. Is it going to be really bad, you think?"

Monty waits until everyone has their bowl before he settles back beside his rifle, sitting on the dirt forest floor. He ponders Tessa's requests for a few moments while he eats. "I don't know about the other night. I've been in and out of dead for the past week." A few more bites. "Okay. So we need medical supplies pretty bad. I don't even know where we can get that shit outside of venturing to Paros." He sighs, pausing on his eats for the moment. "And yeah, I think it will probably get bad. But that will depend on what we are facing. I've anti-rad kits.. but the more people we take on the shorter the time they will last. We need a geiger counter, too." He grumbles the last and goes back to eating.

"We do need one," Phaistion agrees, finally piping up since he has something to add to the conversation of worth. "I do have some good news though. Passryn and I found a colony of honey bees up the road a stretch. As she pointed out, bees carry their dead out of the head. There weren't a bunch of bug corpses, so the colony seems to be intact so far. I know it doesn't /sound/ like much, but it seems to be indicative that the radiation levels up here aren't too bad. We're going to keep an eye on it and keep checking. But yeah, a geiger counter is probably a really high priority."

Dmitri digs into the meal, silent for a bit as he eats — and he eats quickly, efficiently. A pause here in the eating, and he swallows, noting, "Unfortunately, I don't have any've those laying around. Never really figured radiation'd be a problem, living away from civilization." The last third of his bowl is offered up to the hound, set down where Cerberus can eagerly slurp it up.

Tessa considers Monty's words for a short time, her gaze growing distant as she takes several bites herself. Finally, she says, "I should test everyone's blood type, too, so we know who can give blood to who if we need to. Just to be safe." She looks back to Monty with an apologetic expression. "We could get most of it at the hospital, if no one else had the same idea and beat us to it. Homer said something about going scavenging there. Probably wouldn't have a geiger counter there, though."

"Good way to tell. We used to use rabbits outside our chemical weapon bunkers like canaries in a coal mine." Harkins sets his bowl down, not quite empty. "I'd say we should get some bee's up here but I imagine anyone allergic would take offense." He takes a long breath and leans back against the log, looking to the sky overhead. "You didn't expect to need one. I never expected to have vistors like this. Life is full of fun surprises, isn't it Dmitri?" He listens to Tessa and bobs his head. "If you can field test for it, get it done as soon as possible if you would? Everyone. If people refuse, tell them they won't be doing any fighting with this group unless they are tested. If people want to be stupid, they can. But not with other people's lives. As far as the hospital goes.. we could try. But Paros is probably a four day hike each way at this point. Depending o nthe route, that's a lot of open terrain, too." He grunts and wipes his hands across his face. "Okay, we need to plan some action. I'm gonna go put some things together. You guys need anything before I turn in?"

While Phai doesn't say it, his eyes cut to Dmitri, knowing that timefrime could easily be improved upon. That's Dmitri's story to tell however, so he keeps his own council on the matter. To Tessa he says simply, "I can give you my bloodtype, I know it already, but I'll be happy to let you test me as well, just so I'm following the rules and all."

"I've got a truck," admits Dmitri with a shrug of one shoulder, "S'parked a fair walk from here, camouflaged, but there it is. 'Course, you'd risk moving in the open with that if you headed for Paros, and if we don't know if there's occupyin' forces lingerin' around it could be a risk." A nod to Harkins, then, "I'm good. Sleep well."

"No, sir. Got all I need right here." Tessa offers him an almost awkward smile now, raising her bowl slightly. "I'll get started as soon as I can, with the blood typing." The news of the truck garners a raised eyebrow, but she says nothing, leaning forward to set the bowl down in front of her. A couple of bites, and that's it? "Sweet dreams."

Harkins scoops up his rifle and tosses the sling over his shoulder as he rises.. slowly. "Yeah, we've got a bunch of cars and trucks abandoned down at Gladwell too. Some Billy Badass that claims to be ex specwar.. I think his name was Balaya.. Said he was going to go scout in a car." The man takes a long breath. Its obvious he doesn't believe anything about what Balaya told him. Much less like the guy. "Hold off on the truck for now. In the future, it might make for some good use. I appreciate knowin' about that. But if something is out there watching, all it takes is them to follow the truck back in this general direction. Once we figure out our situation then it might be prudent to look at motor transport. Like I said. We need a recon on foot first." He nods to each in turn. "Have yourselves a good night, kids." With that, he turns and heads for the lodge and a late night with maps.

"Goodnight, Monty," Phaistion calls towards Harkins' retreating back. Funny, the man was far more warm and engaging than what he'd heard seemed to indicate. "I kinda get the impression he's a wiley old fox. Knows his stuff, you know?"

"Seems like he's been around the block," Dmitri admits, settling down to sit on the earth, ruffling Cerberus's ears as the hound's head drops to his knee.

"I'm kind of starting to feel like everyone around here knows their stuff," Tessa notes, scrunching her nose slightly as she looks between Dmitri and Phaistion. "Especially when it comes to shooting things. And no one's really panicking."

"I know a bit of martial arts, but seriously, I'm not actually a combatent, and I don't plan to run off and make war." Phaistion states quietly. "Seems like there's enough people who are willing to do that. I'll stick to worrying about feeding that masses, that's just important. Empty bellies don't make for strong bodies or good fighters."

"Give 'em time," Dmitri replies grimly, looking over to Tessa seriously, "Once the shock's settled, and the basic 'creature comforts' start to run out… then you'll see folk panicking."

"Well, we'll just have to make the creature comforts last, then," she replies, knowing all too well they won't last long. Her tone is optimistic just the same. "And maybe try to make the transition as easy as possible, yeah?" Raising her hand sheepishly as if she were in a classroom, Tessa looks to Phaistion now. "Can— can I make a request? When you're feeding the masses, think you could leave the needlessly slaughtered living creatures out of some of it for me?"

Phaistion cocks an eyebrow in Tessa's direction. "I still have to talk to Angel about the actual cooking stuff, but you're a vegetarian?" The idea doesn't phase Phai, being an art student he's known many with the same preferences. Had he been the son of anyone else, he might have been one himself. "I can try, but I'll be honest, Tessa, meat based protien is likely, for now, going to be the most abundant food resource we've got. I won't sugar coat that. There any protiens you do eat?"

"Needless?" Dmitri arches a brow, regarding Tessa with a bit of bemusement, "We can't afford to keep vegetarian out here, girl. Not without all those vitamin supplements'n such."

Wrapping the shawl around her shoulders a little tighter, Tessa shrugs in response to the criticisms. "I have some left," she says, shaking her head. "I'll wait 'til I know I won't be able to find any before I think about changing my habits. I'll eat eggs if I have to, but that's not going to help unless someone brought a pet chicken with them."

Phaistion's manner is far more diplomatic, "I'll see what I can do, I promise. If you can help me with the garden, that might help make it easier to accomodate your lifestyle, but obviously, I can't make any promises. And as I said, I have to meet and talk to Angel as well. I think she's been in charge of the cooking and food so far, yeah?"

Dmitri reaches down to gather up the bowl that Cerberus'd just finished eating from, and pushes himself up and to his feet. "In the end, you'll do what you need to survive," he says with a shake of his head, "We all will. Anyway, I'm gonna crash out for the night on the couch, folks."

"Good night, Dmitri, rest well," Phaistion offers with a smile, then grins over at the hound, "You too, buddy." Standing, he edges around the campfire to seat himself closer to Tessa since everyone else seems to be headed towards bed, it will help keep their conversation to a quieter tone.

"Good night, Dmitri." Tessa raises her hand once more in a short wave to see him off. As she turns back to Phaistion, she smiles again. "Thanks for trying to respect it, anyway. I don't know about Angel. I only just got here the other day, so I don't know much about this place. I met Angel, but she's… quiet."

"I've heard… things, but it's through Frank's filter, so who knows?" Since Tessa shares a common interest in gardening, he pulls the towel from his back once again to show Tessa his score. There's a mass of alpine strawberry plants still rooted in their soil, nicely moist and ready to be transplanted. "I found these yesterday and dug them up. Our first plants," There a bit of pride to his tone.

Tessa all but lights up at the sight of the plants, sitting up straighter as she admires them. "The climate here's not great for growing anything that'll die in the cold, but maybe we could keep a few things inside, too," she suggests. "Nice score, though. I was out hiking when the bombs fell. I was keeping a journal. I'll look and see if there's anything else I saw that we might want to grow."

Phaistion nods his agreement, there's a bit of excitement there now. Finally, someone who understands! "Found a thicket today about a half day's or so hike. It hadn't leafed in enough to tell everything in there, but there might be blackberries, it was that type of environment. Then there's the honey stash too. I'm more of a cook than a gardener, my dad was a chef," If Tessa paid any attention the culinary world the last name 'Bray' might jog recognition, "but any good chef knows exactly where their ingredients come from… not the supermarket either." He has to chuckle at that thought. "I think maybe Passryn's people might have seeds, though I'm not sure, I'd have to ask her, and we need to make sure if anyone brings in any fresh veg or fruit, the seeds are carefully saved." He falls into thought for a moment, "I should ask Angel or Monty if there's any potatoes in the stockpiles, maybe a few could be spared to be chited and planted." Oh yes, he's warming to this topic rather quickly.

"There's a few plants that would be good for medical use, too," Tess says, allowing Phaistion's excitement to bolster her own. "If we can find the right ones, they'd be good to have around in case we run out of medicine or someone has an allergy. It won't be as good as the pharmaceutical alternative, but if our other option is nothing— " She tips to the side, nudging him with her shoulder as a grin appears on her face. "I was starting to think I was the only one around here who wasn't just waiting for the next big ambush."

"Someone needs to be thinking about /living/ rather than just suviving or going out to get killed." That's an argument that Phaistion had had long and loud the day before. "My Mom was huge into the healing properties of herbs, I wish I had paid more attention, I know some really basic stuff, but not much. It sounds like you do, though. Which is awesome, because I agree on that. Why waste a painkiller when willow bark tea can help sooth a bad headache, you know?" Phai definitely seems to be happy to have found a kindred spirit who isn't about to tell him he's crazy. "I have some ideas for the garden itself too." He carefully wraps the plants and lays them aside then grabs his sketchbook to show Tessa his idea. "I was thinking raised beds, then if we build rudimentary frames over them like so," He points to the picture. It shows an awining like frame support spread out over the area, "if we can get together some tarps, when it's going to rain we can stretch the tarps over them and lash them down securely to make a roof to keep the radioactive rains out."

Tessa turns her attention to the sketchbook even before it's open; when he flips it to a garden plan, however, she grins once more. "I like it. I'm not sure how we're going to keep them healthy once the radiation makes it up this far, though," she admits, shaking her head. "But we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. We'll figure something out." Holding out her hand to her new green-thumbed acquaintance, she smiles and rises to her feet. "I hate to leave you all alone, but it's late and I want to get inside and fall asleep before all the good sleeping places are gone. If you go out scouting again, let me know. I'll tag along, if you want."

"I will. You sleep well, Tessa. We can talk some more tomorrow, I should hit the hay myself." So saying, he gathers up his sketchbook and pack and stands up to follow his companion into the lodge for some much needed rest.

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