Isla Aukate
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Boot camp Training Day 1 Base Ops department
The tigress listened silently to Cobalt's response, her round ears perked up, her tail laying almost completely still, save for a very slow swish of it's tip. His answer wasn't what she expected at all, and, in her opinion, he was twisting her words and twisting the rules set forth one hour ago, before they began their foraging in the forest. But discussing the matter further would serve nothing, except maybe put a definitive end to her career before it even began, or get thrown out of Boot Camp right of the bat, thus she kept her muzzle shut. She just nodded when he explained that the next task would be a group task and they'd need to elect a leader, and the advice and responses he gave to her comrades.

Then she turned to Ara, echoing what Charon said. "They're right, better to be safe than sorry. Get to Medical, and we'll be waiting for you at the tent," she said.

"We sure started that on the wrong foot, didn't we," said Tamara to Charon in reply to his comments, but her short-lived laugh was without any amusement. "I'm used to my island too, my cold wintery island, very different than here. We do have lots to learn, and that will take time."

Then she turned to Freya, and nodded at the dragoness. "Thank you," she told her with a warm smile. "It's very nice of you to share with us." She paused. "And I agree too, we should discuss this leadership thing together at the tent. We'll wait until you are back, Ara," she said to the vixen.

She gave a quick salute to the two Captains, and followed Freya out and back to the Base Ops tent.
Once Cobalt dismissed her, she crisply ended her salute, ears wilting and then turned her black and luminous dark blue eyes from one to the next of her companion recruits.  She was going to reserve the obvious thought until later: she was surely no one's leader and she'd certainly be happy to have one of the others take that role.  She smiled quietly at Freya's generosity and bowed her head in gratitude to her, then nodded quietly to each one of her compatriots all telling her to go to the Medical tent.  She slipped out of the Base Ops tent and walked quietly towards the Medical tent as it was shown on her tablet's map before putting it away and musing along the way. Captain Cobalt had said ask for Doctor Silver, and wasn't he the one whose disastrous hugging had put her here in the definitively wrong place?  And yet, she remembered the General's ashen look at reading her file.  Had he not wanted her in R&D for some reason?  Was her exuberence merely an excuse to not put her there?  But why?  No, that made no sense to her.  Her grades and letters of recommendation alone should have put her there - not that she'd read any of those letters, of course.  She assumed that the three letters she had gotten from her professors would place her quite well into the Overlord's service.  But what if those letters weren't entirely praiseworthy?  She knew she could swiftly outpace people with her mind's jumps from one point of logic, science or math to the next and that her excitement usually led to leaving people guessing as to how she arrived at her conclusions until after she'd gone back over it again more slowly...but still, those were good things?  Weren't they?  Oh, how she wanted to go and free run right now; Masi and Paolo would be around off their father's boat, and it would be good to go Running with them, just to sort out her mind and her discomfort.  Even without them it would be good to go Run, and to go out and watch the stars and...

She was so deep in thought she didn't see anyone as her feet followed the path to Medical and into the tent, bumping into a tent pole.  The young white vixen squeaked and stepped back quickly, halting herself from 'bracing' - the practice of instantly standing at rigid attention and saluting a superior when they happen by - thinking it would look ridiculous for her to be saluting a tent pole...though at the moment, the pole had better bearing and probably more sense than she did!  She slipped aside from the pole and entered the tent, calling out cautiously, "Um, hullo? Doctor Silver, sir?"
Dexter rubbed his temples as the recruits were dismissed. His empathy was giving him some very rich insight he wasn't sure he wanted. He decided with his troops dismissed for the day, he would go check on Darius to see how he was faring.

In the Medical Tent Silver was taking a break from his charges in the R&D tent, Cobalt had sent him a message telling him of Ara's arrival and was already preparing something for her to take when she entered. "potential poisoning, right, we always get at least one." He muttered to himself. He tried not to look at her too much and instead focused on mixing up something soupy and black in a glass. A minute passed and he handed her the cup with a glass of water to wash it down. "Activated charcoal, drink this it should stop or prevent any effects." There wasn't a lot in the glass, perhaps a few ounces as best same for the water, and was about a mouthful each the black charcoal tasted exactly as such. "And that's that, go on back to your tent."

Silver straightened briskly, but did not offer any sort of handshake, just a slight shooing motion as if this whole thing was a fairly usual thing for him to do and not worth more than the barest of attentions to accomplish. "Good luck on the rest of your assignments" He said absently before returning to his paperwork.
The pretty little white-furred vixen chewed her lip with a fang, noticing the not looking at her, the muttering, the shooing motions and her pit of negative feeling yawned ever wider and deeper.  She took the proferred mix and water..activated CHARCOAL? Activated with what? Was it radioactive?  Charcoal wasn't for ingesting, charcoal was what you got from a failed lab experiment - that or a glass-lined crater, depending on amount and composition of materials!  She tucked her tail between her legs, watching the pale, red-haired human as she held her two drinks and eyed them, then said, "Doctor Silver, sir?  I have made some pretty big mistakes in the past twenty-four hours, sir, um, starting with my terrible judgement in hugging you or touching you at all without any permission regardless of procedures, sir...I offer no excuses but my sincere apologies, sir, I reallyreallyreally needed to say that to you, sir.  I didn't mean anything other than to express my joy at being allowed to try and participate in what I felt were my best chances to pursue my studies sir - only I'm not really good at expressing my emotions to anyone, sir and I often find myself confused and feeling very badly because I have never really been good at these social things.  If you know of any way that i might be able to learn, sir, I would appreciate your insight and suggestions?  Also, do you think anyone would be minding if I could Free Run here, sir?  I find that it helps me think and process and um, or perhaps dancing, only I don't think that's quite so military save at a Ball or somesuch...and um, I didn't know humans could be empathetics.  I don't even know what empathetics are! And could you please tell me why Captain Cobalt smells of frog or eel all the time, sir?  Is that part of a particular diet for him? Did you put him on that?"

The vixen finally stopped her rambling and downed the charcoal, then the water quickly, gulping and instantly looked like she might turn green down to the tips of her fur. She coughed and carefully handed over the cups, trying not to be or look as sick as she felt. UGH!!

Silver blinks up from his work and just stares at Ara for a moment while she unloads. He was just ordered to have some kind of neutralizing solution on hand, not play camp counselor to one of the recruits and he’s not quite sure how to handle this. He fidgets for a little while after Ara unloads herself on him until he realizes that he’s let a long uncomfortable silence hang in the air and will probably make things worse if he doesn’t say something.

“Um…” he begins, glancing around as if he dearly wanted the tent to collapse or a tree to fall on them and give him some kind of escape route. “Apology... accepted? And I really don't know what to tell you about everything else. I can tell you how to suture a physical wound, but I’m not the kind of doctor you sound like you need to talk to.” He grabs his microscope and tries to look busy. “I’m sorry I can't help, but you should really discuss this with Captain Cobalt since he’s your reporting officer. I have some samples to run and have to finish my evaluation paperwork before the sun goes down for my own group of recruits.”

He shoos the vixen out of his tent. “The charcoal should do it's work. If you think you still feel any ill effects, come back and we’ll take more drastic measures. But for now, you should report back to your own group. Have a good evening, recruit Ara.”
Charon knew these were going to be rough days ahead if the recruits did not work together. He wanted to say a lot more but bit his tongue until the return of Ara. He walked towards the tent and lifted the flap for Tamara and Freya; smiling as he did so. As they both entered he sat down on his cot and sighed. "I do agree with you, Tamara," the cheetah said. "We certainly didn't start off in the good graces of our commanders on day one. I am hoping, no, we will do better on day two, I'm sure of it."

He looked at both of the other roommates attempting to size each of them for any obvious strengths and weaknesses. He certainly knew his own, especially after today. He wasn't good in long distance running, his confidence was shaken to its core and he had to stop take over situations as they occur and let others figure things out on their own.

He looked towards Freya and smiled softly. "There is no need for you to share of your bounty, Freya, but I will accept as little as possible if you do force it down our stomachs," he said, as his stomach slightly rumbled at its own emptiness.

His thought still wafted back to when Artemis, no Captain Artemis brought back the chital. "Yes, we need to learn of this island's own cornucopia of foods and medicines if we are to survive and help others as well."
Ara blinked, coughed, looking at the human staring at her as though she had suddenly started to glow...although she was pretty certain she had always been in compliance and through decon procedures after being in contact with radioactive materials, so she really shouldn't be glowing. As it was, she felt absolutely ill with the gunk she had tossed down and hopefully not back up again..gahhhhhh. She blinked her interesting eyes at the human and how he seemed first of all, at a loss, and commented that she should see a different type of doctor. Then she visibly flinched as though slapped in the face as Silver mentioned his 'own group of recruits' and who she should be asking, completely missing the fact that the doctor had sidestepped the last question about that very person. She swallowed, ears flat into her ebony waterfall of hair as she listened to him, her long usual babbling effectively silenced. Tail limp, she slowly and stiffly saluted the doctor, crushed as she was reminded very firmly she wasn't in his group of recruits as she had thought she would be. "Y-yes, sir, Doctor Silver. Thankyouforyourhelp, sir. Goodevening." She couldn't speak or exit the tent fast enough at that point, her babble going to lightspeed as she quickly turned and slunk out of Medical.

She let her feet drag her back to her new 'home' of the Base Ops Barracks tent, her heart and chest filled with ice and lead. She was thoroughly miserable now, inside and out, physically and mentally and as far as she was concerned, emotionally as well. Worst of all, she just plain didn't understand the things she was doing wrong - not that it was unusual for her, but nobody except her elder siblings were blunt enough to tell her why what she did was unacceptable, or wasn't proper behavior until now; although so far that was in military protocols and foraging, both things she had no strengths with. In school she had been teased ceaselessly, but since she didn't understand and responded to taunts with questions and different interpretations, they fizzled fast and it just wasn't fun to torment the 'weird girl'. Even her human Free Runner companions were not very forthcoming with explanations and she needed data to process things properly.

She slipped into the tent and past her new bunkmates as she listened to the end of the cheetah male's confident poise on the subject of doing better. She felt the statistics so far (at least in her view) did not support that hypothesis. She slunk to her cot and oozed into it onto her belly, feeling sick to her stomach and disenheartened. She felt pretty sure the others could manage to figure out who would be capable of leading this haphazard team without her input: she obviously was the worst choice.
Freya entered the tent, and headed for her cot.  She set the fruits she had brought with her on a nearby empty cot before she flopped down on her own.  She sighed heavily, letting her wings hang loosely folded as she looked at Tamara, then Charon.  

She frowned as Charon tried to dissuade her from sharing, though she didn't understand why.  "Please don't make me try to force it on you.  Don't think of it as charity if that's your hang up.  We're working as a team tomorrow, and we're all better off if everyone is in the best physical shape we can be when the time comes.....that means as well fed as possible too.  If you don't want to take the food for yourself, then do it for the sake of the team."  She insisted

Her thoughts dissipated as she watched Ara walk in, looking like she was spiritually crushed.  She got up from her cot, the talk of leadership forgotten for the moment, and made her way over to Ara's.  She sat carefully on the edge of the cot before she spoke to Ara.  "Hey, how you doing?"  She asked with obvious concern for the vixen's emotional state as well as physical.  In the back of her mind, she knew that they still had to choose someone to lead their group tomorrow, and there was also the officer's meal looming over her head.  Right now though, she perceived that one of her teammates needed some help, and she was more than willing to offer.  "Doc got you all taken care of, and tomorrow's a new day, a new chance to shine."  She offered the gentle encouragement with a slight smile, hoping to bring back at least a little bit of Ara's energy. 

She figured she would let Charon, and Tamara start the discussion on who should lead the group tomorrow, she had already tossed her name in the hat so to speak, and if nobody else wanted to volunteer, then she would probably end up with the position by default; unless they decided to foist the position on someone else.
Tamara wasn't in the best of mood either. As far as testing and learning, this little test had been an utter failure for her, and their officer in charge didn't looked like to be of the very helpful sort. She sighed as she walked into the tent, thanking Charon for holding the flap open so Freya and her could step in, and sat at the edge of her cot before letting herself fall back on it, staring at the ceiling and remembering the lessons given by her mother.

How she would show her the various plants they could find around, some hidden under the snow and flourishing all year round, some sprouting only during the short summer, when the snow melted and the top layer of soil warmed just enough to allow the quick growth of herbs and flowers. How she'd take time to explains the effects, good or bad, of the consumption of roots or berries found in the wild, how to prepare some, mix them with other products to make salves, bandages, or even sauces to sell at the butchery, along with the meat prepared by her father and brothers.

"Freya's right, Charon," said Tamara as she sat back up on her cot, her tail dangling from the side. "If we are to work as a team, we need to start doing it right now, and to be a team in every aspect of the word, whether we're on a test or not. Besides, I guess this is a test of some sort as well, to see if we can chose a leader and then follow their orders. And you won't be of any help to the team if you're not feeling too well tomorrow because you went a whole day without food in your stomach. What Freya brought isn't much when split in four, but it is still better than nothing," she finished before getting up.

"Thanks for sharing though," she said to the dragonness as she picked one of the fruits that she brought back, just as Ara stepped into the tent.

The vixen looked even more emotionally crushed than before, and the tigress frowned a bit, pondering what had happened in the Medical Tent to make her sink even lower. She joined Freya, sitting on the cot on the other side of Ara, and looked at her.

"It's ok Ara. We all mess up, but the important is to learn from the mistakes and go forward. Like Freya said: tomorrow is a new day and a new chance to shine and forget the mistake of today."
While the recruits are discussing things the white feline who brought in the chital enters the tent carrying a pitcher of water with some ice cubes in it, Charon’s empty canteen, and some bowls and eating utensils so the group can eat the fruits and items the dragon brought in.  She arranges everything at one of the larger work tables and then steps back to examine her handiwork.  There’s a bowl, silverware, and a cup for each person present.  Once that’s done she clears her throat to get the attention of the four recruits.
“As captain Cobalt said, you need to pick someone to be temporary group leader for tomorrow's exercise.  You’ll get details after breakfast.  The position will not be for the whole rest of your time here but only during this specific exercise.  Which means that if whomever you choose does not work out, you won't be stuck with them for the remainder of Boot Camp.”  Artemis bows crisply.  “You have until morning to decide, so feel free to take your time or come up with whatever method you feel is most comfortable to use to pick.”

She reaches into a pocket and holds up two coins.  She walks up to Freya and hands her one.  “Your token for passing.  It takes two if you want to board the ferry to Aukate.”  Then she walks up to the cheetah and hands him one as well along with his now empty canteen.  “There’s some irony in giving someone named Charon a coin for boat fare, but you probably hear that joke too much as it is.”  The cat smiles without flashing any teeth.  “You were awarded half a point for bringing in and identifying the water, and another half for handling failure constructively and positively.  Sometimes the way in which a person handles failure and rejection is as telling of their character and their ability to serve as much as their success.  Congratulations to both of you.  You’re halfway there.”

“See most of you in the morning.  I’ll meet you in the officer’s tent at sundown, recruit Freya.”  Artemis turns to leave, her deliveries made and her speech given.

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