(2015-08-20) Herbs and Hotties
Herbs and Hotties
Summary: Harmony brings Piper study materials. Terry appears in camp.
Date: 8.20.2015
Related: None

First-Aid Building

This is the first stop for the ill and injured. Hopefully it won't be the last. The first large room is divided in half by a long counter. One side is the waiting area, while the other is where all the action happens. This place wasn't designed to deal with serious trauma so the newest occupants have had to make do. There are no exam tables, just cots and chairs for patients. The cabinets that line the wall are at least full of necessary medical things. There is a few smaller rooms, including a bathroom and a bedroom for the medic on duty. There is a certain antispetic smell that lingers in the air.

It's mid-afternoon and the first aid building is empty except for it's lone occupant, Piper. The doctor is probably off doing doctor things elsewhere. The children have been by, as evidenced by all the get well drawings tacked to the wall above her cot. The windows are open, so it isn't an oven in the building, but it isn't quite comfortable either. At least it isn't humid outside.

Piper sits on her cot, leaning against the wall, playing her flute to beat the boredom. Sure she was brought some books and stuff by Quinton, but she is tired of reading for the moment and there is something peaceful in playing at least for her.

Harmony has a wicker basket hanging off her arm as she walks, crossing the Administrative compound, her destination directly in her sights. She's got her hair back in a braid, flowers plaited within; Rose of Sharon. Big white and purple hibiscus blooms. Whistling as she walks, it's easy to recall the other evening when she was dancing around puddles and in them. No longer 'Singin' in the rain' but some random, wordless tune.

The closer she gets, Harmony can hear the flute, and taking those few steps up to the building, she pauses at the threshhold, listening, green eyes bright and a small smile in place. It's pretty.

Music, the only thing that hasn't been taken away from the woman, except her life, though parts of that are long gone too. Her love of music is no huge secret, but she rarely shares her own with others, some might not even know she plays. It's pretty yes, but also melancholic in its rhythm, and probably not familiar. When she plays she goes somewhere, mentally, somewhere nicer than where she is now, so the arrival of Harmony goes unnoticed until the song fades into an ending and she glances up to find she has an audience. She doesn't have much reaction to being watched, she just lowers her flute and after staring back at the other woman beckons her to come in.

Harmony listens. The notes that rise and fall does remind her of everything lost. That melancholic piece. There are days when she can easily forget that all she has to her name is a sleeping bag, some items and her plants. No family. No one to cry to in the middle of the night. Everyone has lost something. Some have lost more than others, but in all?

Harmony is glad to be alive, and is glad to be here. At this moment, in Camp Hope.

"That's pretty." Harmony smiles at the invitation, and she lifts the basket a little as she begins to cross the short distance. Finding a spot on an opposite cot, she gestures with a nod towards the flute. "Sounds like you've been playing that for a long time. Band when you were a kid?"

It's intrusive, and she knows it, which makes Harmony stop and chuff a soft laugh before she apologizes. "Sorry." Piper doesn't talk. (Other than that shriek that Harmony will hear for the rest of her life.) Lifting the basket in a gesture of show, the smile remains and she begins again. "Brought some herbs for you to try out. Even wrote down some recipes for you. Sort of like a starter kit."

She watches as Harmony crosses the room, setting the instrument down on the cot in front of her so she can grab the whiteboard and marker that sits on the table by her cot. Piper doesn't seem bothered by the question and she goes ahead and answers with a nod and in writing "Until hell happened." she writes down and shows the woman. So most of her life pretty much. She's mute, not anti-social. The offering has her giving a smile and she shows interest, looking from the basket to the woman, she gestures for Harmony to continue, to tell her what she has.

"The absence of God," Harmony murmurs. She catches herself and nods, her words somewhat embarrassed as her hands move in gesture as she explains. "'Hell'. It's what I learned when I was a kid. Hell wasn't really a place. It was being absent from God." Looking around, she chuckles, but it's not one filled with a great deal of humor. "That about describes it, huh."

No matter! Harmony isn't here to discuss philosophy, but to talk about her favorite subject: herbs. Plants that help, or conversely, hurt.

Setting the basket onto the empty cot beside her, Harmony opens one side and begins to pull out jars with neatly handwritten labels on them. One in particular is actually larger than the other and has lots of 'nickel bags' tucked inside it with various sorts of vegetative matter in varying degrees of freshness. Some dried, some fresh. Each of the baggies are also labelled.

"This," Harmony holds up the larger jar, "is yours." She pulls a well worn, well loved book out: The Herb Bible. Published in 1993, it covers almost everything one could want about herbs, including the lore and history. Inside the book are careful notes in the margin; probably Harmony's handwriting. "This is on extended loan. I've got other books, but this one is -the- one."

Piper tilts her head at Harmony taking in her words about God and hell, but neither agrees or disagrees with the woman's sentiment. She watches Harmony as the jars are pulled out, followed by the well loved book. The jar is looked at curiously but her attention is pulled to the book as it it brought out and explained. She nods and holds her hands out to take it, with the reverence such a book deserves

Harmony rises from her spot to hand the book over as well as to set the jar on the little adjustable rolly-table that every 'hospital bed' has. "There is a great line from one of my other books that pretty much is right to the point." She's memorized it. "'Seeing herbal medicines as either panaceas or as poisons blinds us to the reality that in most cases they are neither.'" Harmony grins after the recitation, "In other words, we're not supposed to go overboard."

She pauses for a moment and sits back down on the empty cot, her expression warm. Harmony's looking forward to this! "Now, the hardest part is knowing what to do and what to make with all this. It's like, um…" Green eyes search the ceiling around her, or rather stares off in the middle distance looking for a comparison before she continues, "Like going for a shopping trip out to your favorite Costco. You load up on ingredients, and then you get home, put it all away and then scratch your head, not knowing what to cook first." Her almost ever-present smile brightens and she says plainly, "How about something that'll make you feel better? So, you have to decide how. What hurts, or more, what do you want to focus on? Back? Stomach? Head? Leg? Then, depending on the part, that's where you start looking up what you've got to make that recipe. You have stuff to calm a stomach and a head. Something to help you sleep. Something that'll act as a low powered antibiotic."

Taking the book, Piper listens to the words being quoted and after nods her understanding. Placing the book on her lap she looks from it to the jar set down on the table, taking a closer look at all the little bags in it now that it is nearby. Harmony's smile is met with one from the pregnant woman and she nods, giving a small but light laugh at the head scratching part as if that is something she can relate too. When Harmony has said her peice "Like lemon and honey for a sore throat, or ginger for upset stomach." is written on the board. She knows a little, the common things, that everyone knows.

"Exactly." Harmony nods her encouragement. "Now, of course, there are different levels of herbs, just like in medicines. If a low dose aspirin doesn't work, a doctor might bring out the bigger guns. Same thing with herbs. Start with a ginger for the stomach and if it doesn't work, keep going. Depending upon your patient and what is happening." She pauses a moment before she laughs. "Ginger tastes good. My mother used to tell me that ginger ale was good for stomach aches. Ginger helped, and if you still barfed, at least it tasted the same coming up as it did going down." Important considerations! Particularly with children. "But like foxglove, too. Digitalis, for the heart." Or poppy seeds for morphine.

So far Piper is comprehending everything that has been told to her. It's all common sense really, something she has never shown to be lacking and since she doesn't speak, except to a certain few, no one can claim she is stupid either. At the anecdote about mothers she laughs, taps her nose with a finger and then points to Harmony. Signaling that her own mother did the same. Anything after that is lost as a hand goes to her stomach and then the book is quickly set aside and she struggles to get up from the cot. Hard enough with just the baby belly, harder with it and the wounded leg.

Harmony laughs and nods. "I think it's in the manual you get when you become a mother." As if!

True enough, it is all common sense, but who really pays attention to plants? And if one does, who really looks deeper and applies actual science and basic medicinal practices to it? Not a lot of the so-called hippies. Harmony takes her plants very seriously; there is also a very good chance that all her plants have names, as well!

The moment the hand goes to the stomach and Piper struggles to rise, Harmony is up on her feet, concern etched on her face. "Are you.." and in a single stride, the petite flower-child is beside the pregnant woman. "Lean… lean on me."

Outright terror fills Piper's eyes when Harmony suddenly is right there and suggesting that she help. Apparently though the other woman hits the solution without even realizing it. Music, songs, that is, was her world before the world ended and the song flows from her without her even thinking about it "When you're not strong." she has a clear voice, smooth and silvery it's all she needs to push away the terror and take the help offered. Of course she has to finish the song, so she sings as they go out the door. She does point towards the restrooms when they hit the doorway, but the song doesn't stop.

'And I'll be your friend… I'll help you carry on…

Harmony is surprised by this chain of events; Piper not only isn't mute, but what a lovely, melodic voice she hides from the world. She's stuck for the moment before spurred into action again, and actually helping carry the weight of the pregnant and injured woman outside.

Administration Area

Following the road around the curve in it leads to a large area cleared of trees. To one side of the clearing is a parking lot, where several dust covered cars sit, one with it's hood standing open, exposing the engine to the weather.

Several building are in this area: Admin building, First-Aid Building, Restroom Facilities, a hand water pump is near the rest room, a few pails stacked nearby, and a large pole barn, which is always guarded by well armed individuals. Beyond those is the first of many campsites that dot the camp as well as a trail that leads to the river.

Across the clearing the road continues and there are several foot paths that lead in various directions.

It's coming into later mid-afternoon. The sun is still out, but farther in the sky, and the warm air isn't humid any longer. Must have been the thunderstorms that came through the night before that cleared everything away.

Emerging from the First Aid Building are two young women; a brunette and an obviously pregnant dark haired lovely. Both barefoot. Harmony is dressed in flory, wispy skirts with a light sleeveless top, flowers woven into her hair that is pulled back and away from her face. She's supporting an injured Piper, and the pair are moving with purpose in a direction-

The port-o-johns.

Both now singing, while not at the tops of their lungs, loud enough to at least be heard.

Yes Piper is lovely, pregnant women can be that too! Her voice is as well, she easily compliments Harmony's own voice, taking either the octave higher or lower depending on if the other woman is an alto or soprano. They are singing Stand by Me. She leans heavily on the other woman the calf of one leg wrapped in bandages. She's dressed in a tanktop the straps bisecting a large tattoo on her shoulder and a pair of jeans that are made to fit her petite babybellied frame.

Taking care to keep his hands in view at all times, USMC First Sergeant Terry Collins approaches Camp Hope. As he figured would probably happen, he's soon intercepted by one of the guards, frisked for weapons, and marched into the camp. Not once does he think to drop his hands, rather enjoying the whole 'breathing' and 'living' thing, and not wanting to have his brain aerated. "I come in peace!" He says, more to the guard at his back than anyone else, his attention focused on the guard.

"Like a three-legged race, Piper," Harmony breathes during one of the 'natural' breaks to the song being sung. Bee-line! Port-o-john, here they come!


Word always travels just a little faster than the speed of light (speed of sound, maybe?) in a small collective. Particularly when it's about a potentially new person making a home in the Camp. The words in a distinctly masculine 'I come in peace!' reaches Harmony's ears, even if a little distance off once again. She pauses and twists her head around. "What? Someone's coming in…"

Which is it? The words from a strange male voice that make the song die on Piper's lip or the verification from the woman she is walking with? Either way the darker of the women stops singing completely, clamming up like, well a clam. Her equally dark eyes go in the direction the hail comes from and the stoic veil drops onto her face. She watches the man come in with his escort and glances to the admin building where usually one of the Matson's usually spend a lot of time planning and dealing with the day to day of running the camp.

"Hey, there's no need for— CUT THAT OUT!" Terry nearly takes a swing at one of the guards prodding him forward, but ultimately does not raise a hand. "I can move on my own, thank you very much." He tries to calm himself down. "I'm USMC. United States Marine Corps. First Sergeant Terry Collins." Beat. "Also Boston P.D. … Sergeant Collins, Boston SWAT. … I come in peace." He states those last four words deliberately, figuring if he says them slowly enough Pokey McPokerson back there will ease up on him.

Harmony obviously notices the veil dropping on Piper; she can feel it. "Oh, boy," she murmurs. When he hoves into view, green eyes widen, and she can't help a whistle. "Would you look at that," is in an equally sotto voice. There is distinct appreciation in her voice.

"Hey!" Harmony calls out, "He might be telling the truth!" She pauses for a moment, her lips rising in a smile, and it reaches those green eyes of hers, "He looks like he could kill us all with his pinkie."

Good thing the weight pushing on her bladder shifted or Piper would be in trouble. There is no telling if she would make it to the facilities with Harmony with a Hottie McHoterson around. Though if she thinks the guy is hot it doesn't show, nothing shows. She stares, at the guy at the guards then at the guy again.

"We were all someone once, you could have been the Queen of England and we would still be marching you in like this." one of the guards says in reply as the other sighs "I'll go get Matson. He'll want to see this one right away." that guard runs into the Admin Building.

"I'm flattered you think I'm such an invincible killing machine, but no. I'm here because I hear this is the last bastion of humanity, and sanity, around. I'd like to link up with you folks, if that's alright. I'm looking for… Sonny, if I remember correctly? He'll know me. I pitched in back at the food plant, and the hospital. Sorry I kinda ducked out, but.. I had to do some thinking." Terry continues, hands still up, field-goal-style, resisting the usual burning sensation.

Harmony can't help it, she can't. "We," pause, "are not amused." The laughter is easy to hear in her voice, though now she looks theatrically disappointed. Her tones drop and she looks at Piper, those eyes still dancing with amusement, "Oh well. Nothing to see here."

Oh! Port-o-john! "Did you still…"

"Wait, wait… the hospital?" Harmony looks at the guards and then Piper, "Didn't that fall to bandits? If he could get in, the doc could…" Oh, what amazing luck this could be!

Funny or not Piper doesn't laugh, so obviously she isn't amused for reals. She does glance at the woman she is leaning on but that's it except a shake of her head. A hand goes to her stomach and slides upward. Maybe she is signaling the baby moved. The next question gets a nod from the dark woman.

Almost as soon as the guard entered the building he is coming out again followed by the lanky older Sonny Matson. He hasn't changed in the few months since Terry last seen him. Maybe more gray in the beard and hair, but that's it. "Stand down." he commands the guard left "You both go take your posts. I have it from here." he walks forward, greeting the ladies as he passes them "Harmony." he frowns "You shouldn't be up yet Piper." he then notes their proximity to the john "Make sure she gets back in one peice and doesn't wander off when your back is turned." apparently this is common with Piper. Terry is then addressed "Terry Collins. You helped us a few months ago. Than took off. Change your mind?

"Yes sir." Terry responds, crisply, turning to face the man. "I hope my running off like that didn't seem like an insult or anything. I just needed to do some thinking. You've got yourself quite the group here." He nods to the gathered individuals. "First Sergeant Terry Collins reporting for duty, sir. Permission to come aboard?" He snaps to 'attention', and rests his gaze upon the older man.

Harmony's keeping half an eye on Piper and the other half on that (absolutely amazing bit of) man. "Oh, okay." She pauses for a moment and looks back at the other young woman, "There's still room in there to do that sort of thing?"

Sonny's appearance brings a broad smile to the flower-child's face, and she almost wants to curtsey, but she resists the urge. "Sonny." Beat. "Sir. That's why I'm here. To make sure nothing gets busted up." Again.

And now that Adonis has a name. "Terry Collins. Huh." She turns back to Piper, "Still wanna keep going, or back to the First Aid building?"

There is a hand wobble from Piper to Harmony. Probably not much, but enough it seems. The comment about her gets an expression change, she frowns at Sonny while Harmony is beaming at him. Yep opposites. She gestures then to the first aid building where they came from.

While Sonny maybe ex-military he frowns at the military greeting and bearing of Terry, "This is primarily a camp of civilians, so unless he are in the middle of fire fight or on some field assignment," for lack of a better word "we act like civilians. No use in making everyone jumpy and uncomfortable." his wife would chew him a new one for that. "But yes, you are still welcome to join us. With what's been happening lately, we could use another sharpshooter, especially with one of our best out of commission." he gestures to Piper, yes the pregnant one.

Sergeant Collins mentally kicks himself for making a mistake like that. "Understood, sir. Put me to work, and I'll put my best foot forward. I'll cut the military jargon." He pauses. "You need any hunters? I'm good with guns, bows and arrows, knives.. I like fishing, too: Pole or dynamite."

Could the women be any more different? Probably not. Still, there they are, and Harmony nods her head, and starts to make her way back. "Remember, three legged race is the best." She lowers her voice, "Maybe one day I'll ask Sonny if we can't have a little fair, and we'll sweep the competition. Maybe even practice potato sack racing." The young hippie seems to be on a roll.

As the pair make it back to the First Aid building, it sinks in, that last bit. Fishing with dynamite. "Isn't that cheating?" Harmony looks around, and then at Piper. "That's cheating. I know it is." Sigh.

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