Day 008: Dungeon Crawl II: Electric Pantherloo
Summary: Another group of explorers head out to the lost caves and find themselves…also a panther, a cave for bathing, a cave for shelter, and a grave
Date: 16 May, 2016
Related: Dungeon Crawl
Alison Cameron Devin Lip Martin Niner Silver 

Round Hill Caves
Room description
8 days after landing


After the unsuccessful exploration of the area the last time, a second group of teens has headed off into the forest to see what lurks in the caves and hopefully slay a panther. As they exit the glowing mushroom field and wonder through the trees with Cameron directing them where to go, since he has been this way before, they finally reach the point where the hill with the caves and the streaming running around the opposite side can be seen. Now it is up to them to decide how to approach the area.

"Okay, so, Dev and I scouted three caves— Alpha.." He points, "Beta." Point. "Gamma." Point. "The first one was large, and we couldn't see more then twenty feet or so into it. There's some bones on the ground and I swear something metal, but I couldn't see clearly, and we didn't have enough light to look farther." But, he hefts up the makeshift torch he made along with a firebow be brought from camp as part of the supplies. Then he continues, "Beta has a large trap hidden in front of it, so don't approach until I trip the trap. Gamma is where the panther lived, bones on ground, blood on the walls. Panther is target omega. The other cave we didn't have time to scout because there was running like yikes from omega." What, did Cameron read some military fiction in the last day or two? Either way, he's wearing his light grounder armor, has his knife, his sword, and a makeshift leather sack that's okay for carrying a thing. Maybe. If he's really careful and pays attention to it not falling apart.

Fighting is not Silver's talent. Really. Not even a little bit. But when there's a group going out presumably to take on a panther, it's a safe bet that they may need some medical attention at some point. So she's reluctantly tagged along, with a just a few supplies. Some scraps of clothing that can pass for bandages, some vines that will do for ropes or something to tie. And a makeshift torch to be lit with the coals she's carrying in a tinder-box. She's sticking to the back of the group, and paying close attention to Cameron's description.

Martin has decided to come along a second time, since he managed to stick the panther once the last time, so he might be useful this time. He spends most of the time next to Lip, making sure the curly haired teeen doesn't trip on a root or injure himself in any other manner. He remains quiet, letting Cameron be the leade rof this outting. The blonde teen carrie a waterskin, a little bit of rations, a small makeshift sack, and his trusty spear.

A snake-free source of water. Sweet-ass glowing mushrooms. Some sort of hidden shinies — otherwise why would there be a trap? Oh, yeah. And a PANTHER. Teeny little detail, there.

Niner's never seen a panther, other than in Arker tattoos, but they look pretty bad-ass even when they're only made of ink. It's been described as smaller than a horse, which is apparently his dividing line between 'okay, we can take this' and 'screw you, I'll watch from over here'. Horses, man. Bad news. He's wearing his patchwork jacket as a bit of added protection against the stone (and maybe panthers), and carries a waterskin across his back, a leather bag on his belt, and a Grounder sword in his scarred right hand. He started the adventure with a spear as well — a thick, straight branch with a fire-hardened point — but it's since been passed on to Lip, with the advice, "Point the sharp end at trouble and push." Hey. It's a spear. There's not much more to it than that.

Alison brought a waterskin again to gather water, this time though, she only half fills it from the stream. Big cats mean long swipes, this caused her to add a knife tipped metal rod, which she is using as a walking stick. The red head also carries a curved bladed knife in her belt. A stick wrapped with cloth that can be used as a torch and a twenty foot nylon cord from a parachute for rope.

"… and this has to be the best thing ever. Seriously. Like, I feel like, I don't even know. A master killer destroyer or something." Lip has been talking the entire trek. His mouth doesn't really stop unless there's a need for it to do so. And even then it takes some yelling and annoyance to make him be quiet. Or just showing him (and others) just how pointless he is. Anyway, for some reason, Lip has been given a spear. A makeshift spear. One that he has been looking at with both awe and disdain. "Well, let me take that back. Not the best thing ever but the best thing we could come up with on short notice, I guess? Ever? I dunno. I don't know if this will actually kill anything but maybe I can use it as like a really cool cane?" Lip tries to use the spear for a cane and almost trips himself. He stumbles and catches his footing again. "Oi! Scratch that. Nottacane. Ow." Lip stops the moment he gets combat advice. "Wait wait wait! Back up. Trouble? There's trouble?! Nobody said anything about any trouble! Nope! Nevermind! I'll catch you guys on the other side! Meetcha' back at camp!" Lip spins around to walk away and stops after about two steps. "… Yeah, I'm lost. Nevermind." He turns and runs back to catch and keep up with the group. "I'm in. Somebody's gotta' keep you idiots alive, right?" Fear. There is nothing but fear on his face.

Martin gives Lip an encouraging slap to the back. "You'll be fine, Lip. Just keep calm, be a little more quiet than normal, and stay near the middle of the group." He believes in Lip! "When you come back as the Panther Slayer, all of the ladies will be lining up to chat with you. Right ladies?" Alison and Silver, feel free to chime in with agreement to give Lip some morale support.

"Pretty sure the constant talking would be a mood-killer," Silver chimes in helpfully on the topic of Lip

"Oh, spears are great, Lip." Cameron nods his head, even as he hefts his sword out of its makeshift sling and tests its weight, "I keep thinking of trading my sword for one. You just point and poke. Worst case scenario, you help distract Omega so we can kill it like dead." He pauses, then adds, "But remind me to never, ever, take you on a mission that needs scouting." At that point, he glances around and says, "From here on in we should be quiet. Everyone go slow. Don't make a lot of noise. I say we go straight for cave Gamma and try to trap the panther inside if its there, that way it can't just run away. We can't safely use this water source as long as its there. Objections?"

"Pretty sure the constant talking would be a mood-killer," Silver chimes in helpfully on the topic of Lip's post-panther conquests. "What sort of traps are there on beta?" she asks Cameron, eyeing the area. "Any chance we can drive it into the traps and avoid actually having to run into it?"

"Anything worth having means a little bit of trouble, man." Niner looks back at Lip as he says this. Meaningfully. That means there's /stuff worth having/ ahead, see? "You'll be fine," he adds. The words are calm, almost light, in their certainty. His attention moves ahead to scan the forest in the direction of the cave mouths, then to Cameron as he pitches the attack plan. "Might just run anywhere if we try to spook it out of its cave," he says. He doesn't sound convinced of his own critique, though. Just spitballing. "I dunno if we could, like, /guide/ it into the traps. Might just try to go through us. It sounded pretty quick."

Alison listens, she isn't the loud type, unless she is on her soap box, but hopefully that was left behind. The red haired computer jokey and electrician smirks at Lip's comment, softly comment, "Go for it tiger, I am sure a tiger can beat a panther." The discussion of tactics just gets a nod, "We can go after the cat's cave, or which ever you think..?"

"Quiet? Quiet, right. I can do quiet. I'm always quiet. I don't /always/ have something to say about everything, right?" Lip blinks a little and just crouches down, trying to get his stealth walk on. He may not be that good at it but he's kind of managing to balance the spear as much as he can while getting his Crouch & Creep on. "Okay, since we're kinda' wingin' this, how about I throw this idea out there. Are you ready for this?" Lip clear his throat and raises his hands up in front of him, the spear leaning back against his shoulder. "We do /nothing/." His grin is as wide as if he had just killed the panther himself. "We just sit and wait for this thing to leave, yeah? After that, we go in, pick up whatever we came here for, especially if she's as hot as these two…" He thumbs at Alison and Silver. "… and then we run like water." Lip raises his hand high into the air. "Who's with me? Come on!" Lip pauses. "By decree of the Panther Slayer, I command us to doeth nothingeth!" Yeah. Quieter than usual? He forgot.

Cameron looks at Silver thoughtfully, "Its just one big trap, and this guy is fast and agile, I'd be worried we wouldn't be able to control its movement enough. But, that IS a good idea. I'm just worried that if we let it out it'll escape. It ran before. After I yelled boo." He shrugs slightly. He eyes Lip a moment, and gestures over to the water source, "Man, you fucking stink. I want a bath. Do you know why I want a bath? Because I want my boyfriend to give me a blowjob, and we're all too dirty to be putting mouths all over places. So my priorities are very clear. We need this panther dead so that we can start bathing and I can have some more blowjobs. Clear?"

"So, just thinking, but…" Silver looks around, then back to the others. "If it runs away when it sees people, and we know it's home is omega cave, then why bother taking it head-on at all? Why not climb some trees, scare the crap out of it, trap its home cave, then wait until it comes back and dies peacefully without any of us around to get killed?"

"It didn't run away until we hurt it and circled it and threatened it seriously." replies Cameron, shaking his head slightly, "It was quite willing to hunt us before that; it tried quite hard to eat Devin and I. We can't leave it here and use this water source safely. So either we find a way to kill the giant ten foot man eating snake, or we kill a panther. I like our odds here better. Also I'm a little afraid of snakes that are not ten feet long."

Martin leans on his spear and just listens to Lip go on and on. While the others talk strategy, he is busy eyeing the local fauna to see if he spots anything usable.

Niner grunts noncommittally, scratching at his chin and jaw as he thinks. "I dunno. If you saw a bunch of people messing around with your home for hours with rocks and ropes and sticks, would you wanna come back to it?" How smart are post-apocalyptic felines? Niner has no idea. "Someone might break their leg setting it up, or something, too." He shrugs, looking down at his Grounder sword, drawing a circle in the air with its tip. "Sounds like we gotta kill it."

Alison looks at the group, she starts to move closer to the third cave. There is a crouch, a cautious study. A look over the others and then back to looking around the cave mouth. Just cause, she does glance behind the group once. Then back to watching the panther's assumed home. Let the others make the call, she'll follow.

"Wait. Are you saying that killing this thing guarantees me blowjobs?" Lip stands up straighter and raises his spear into the air. "The Panther Slayer decrees that death of this… what're we after again? Nevermind. It doesn't even matter. The Panther Slayer decrees… oh! That's it! It was a Panther!" Lip coughs and raises the spear a bit higher now. "The Panther Slayer decrees that death shall fall upon this creature this day! May our feet be swift, our weapons strike true and our jobs be blown! Zodspeed to us all!" Lip has no idea if this is good or bad. He knows he can't fight so he's just going to talk a lot of shit and hope that gets him some cool points.

"Too much to hope, I guess," Silver grimaces, nodding to Cameron. "I'm not a fighter, though. You guys decide how to want to go in, and I'll stay back so if anyone tries to bleed out, at least I can help stop the bleeding."

"Its a plausible idea, Silver; I'm just not sure that we could move the trap successfully, I don't really know anything about traps, only spotting them. I'm also worried …" Then Cameron blinks at Lip a moment, and winces, "Man, at least like, whisper. Or … do anything but call attention on yourself and wake the panther up." If it's even still there. But he does nod to Silver, "Yeah, I know. Not expecting you to be a combatant. Everyone ready to get our sneak on?"

Martin leans over and picks a plant from the forest floor. Eyeing it a bit, he stuff it into his sack to take back to camp, having decided it is something with a use. Looking to those debating, he asks, "So, do we have a plan? Are we sneaking up to the caves? Are we charging the case? Are we attempting to get the trap between ourselves and the panther, hoping it will stumble into it?

"Lip." Niner stops looking over the terrain between themselves and the panther's cave, and looks back to Lip. "You want those blowjobs, we gotta get there quiet. Yeah?" His eyes flick from person to person before he nods silently to Cameron. /Let's do this./ He hunkers down a little to start moving forward. His progress will be slow, on account of him and the concept of vegetation and underbrush having a very strained relationship.

Cameron inclines his head to Niner, rolls his shoulders, and says softly in response to Martin, "We sneak on cave Gamma, and ambush the panther inside. If its there. If not, we backtrack." With that, he crouches, and gestures at himself, "Try to walk where I walk. Step where I step."

"Make with the sneaking, then," Silver nods, hanging back to let the others move first before she slowly follows after. At a safe distance. Looking for places to climb in the meantime.

"Right! Right! Silence equals blowjobs. Gotcha'." Lip drops down into the epic level of crouch that he can figure out how to do on short notice. He keeps his spear as ready as it can be. And the Creep & Crouch walk from earlier is revisited with impressive movements. He's actually quiet this time as he follows after the others. After all, he can't exactly get blowjobs if he's dead. Well, he can't enjoy them anyway.


As the group attempts to make their way silently towards the caves, being quite successful at maintaining silence with Cameron's help. Niner is the loudest of the group, but even his footsteps are muted well by the leaf litte ron the forest floor. Slowly they approach the side of the hill to go around to the side where the stream is, slowly revealing the four caves discovered previously. with the stream trickling into most of them. Still the forest remains silent, as they get their first looks at what lies ahead.

Alison is careful, and steps softly despite a total lack of previous ninja-ness. The spear ready, but she doesn't flinch, doesn't lock her attention, just keeps quietly moving forward. Well, one or two pauses to look back behind her, kitty sneaking up would be bad.

The dangers of staying back. Harder to see where everyone else has stepped when you're that far behind them all. Silver winces whenever she hits something, going very still, only to move forward again once there's no panther attack. As they come into closer view of the caves, she pauses a moment longer, brows furrowing as she takes a closer look.

Whose idea was it, putting all this noisy crap all over the floor? Seriously, Earth. Niner lags a little behind the others in his efforts to keep quiet, and extricate himself from every twig, leaf, branch, burr, and bush that has other ideas. Once he's in close ranks with the group again, his attention fixes on the shadowed interior of the cave, trying to pierce the gloom with his eyes. By the looks of the furrow between his brows, he's not seeing much.

All of them can see about twendty feet into the cave with the light that is available, revealing a somewhat fresh set of bones and old bloodstains are on the floor around the bones. You cannot see any further than that and unfortunately, there are no panthers within that tewnety foot range. Parts of the cave walls and floor are damp from the trickle of water from the stream.

Cameron hesitates, and glances over to Silver, whispering, "Light the torch, then we toss it in? Sound good?" His sword is held tense, ready, but he's cool and calculating more then either afraid or excited.

"There are six caves here, Cam," Silver murmurs to his question, tilting her head slightly to point out one between the first and beta, and another at the end, hidden by rocks and driftwood. "Entrances to a couple are blocked. Could be something in there leads to one of them. So it might just be…deeper in. On the other hand, if the whole system catches on fire, then yeah, it's gonna come out and it's not gonna be thinking, so…Sure." She lowers her unlit torch, reaching to her waist for the tinderbox.

Devin moves carefully along with the others, his spear lowered and at the ready as he glances around the area at the news that the panther is not there, looking to see if it may be stalking them from another area. He lets the others deal with the caves as he keeps watch for the others.

"Wait." That's in a whisper. At least Lip has learned how to whisper enough to be able to stay stealthy. "Are we sure about this? I mean, we have no other options, right? We've exhausted them all. I mean, I love blowjobs too but we're talking about a /panther/ here…" Lip is just whisper stalling. Either way, his spear is ready. Kind of. The pointed in is facing the ground. "It's not too late to just find another set of caves, right?" Nervousness. Epic Nervousness.

"Might spook it." Niner's points out in a low voice. He might fail at being stealthy, but years in the Skybox taught him how to keep his voice down, at least. "But won't see shit if we don't." His broad shoulders lift in a shrug before he nods. Good enough plan for him, it seems. His fingers shift on his sword's hilt before he glances to Cameron. "Me first? You first? Together?"

Martin gives another reassuring pat to Lip's shoulder, "We'll be fine, Lip. If the panther finds, just run back to cmp faster than at least one other person, and you'll make it." He then waits to see what the torch shows.

Cameron nods his head slightly to Silver, "I know. I don't actualy want it for catching fire, just to light up the cave, and distract it or scare it while we move in and take position." He glances back at Lip, "We need this water source. We can't have it with a panther here. Relax, breathe. You'll be fine. Or, Silver will patch you up good as new." Then he nods to Niner as well, "You first, keep center, then me and Devin; I go left, Dev, go right. Lip, Martin, come in after and move past to spread out; Lip, left, Martin, right. Keep your weapon up and ready. Silver of course, move back the moment you toss the torch. Questions? Objections?"

"Alison, you move in and take up with Martin last, sound good?" adds Cameron. Ahem.

Alison listens as she waits for consensus from the others. She doesn't offer her own vote though, her mouth is dry, every sound is louder as the instinctive nature takes over, fear versus territory. She glances at the others, perhaps seeking to confirm she isn't the only one terrified. The anticipation is tight, like she felt before the drop-ship ejected. Just follow, be ready.

Devin glances towards Cameron and nods his head. "Alright. Stay to the right." He confirms in a hushed whisper as he continues to scan the area before he looks into the opening of the cave. His grip on the spear tightens slightly before he takes a deep breath. Round two with the jaguar is something he's been ready for.

Martin looks over at Alison and gives her a pat on the back as well, since it seems she is heading to his side and she is looking a bit nervous at the whole situation. "You will do fine too, Alison. Just run faster than Lip."

"Sounds like a plan," Silver nods to Cameron, carefully pulling the hot tinder from its carrying case and holding it to the torch. Once it's lit, the smoke building into flame, she packs the hot coal back up, tucks it away again, then creeps forward. Here goes nothing. One good toss, and then she's retreating back to cover!

The torch goes flying into the cave light up an area that appears to be at least 60 feet deep if not further, as the light doesn't reach the far wall. Bones are scattered through the lair and a sleeping area appears to have been formed with bits of plants and the fur of other creatures. However, the occupant of the cave doesn't appear to be present. Perhaps it has fled or it is out hunting.

Alison grins at the old joke, "Thanks." She whispers, the techie moving forward, spear tip ready. "I wonder if panther is edible?"

As soon as the torch stops rolling, Niner straightens from his 'stealthy' crouch and barrels forward. No roaring shout, like he issued against the Grounders in the ambush, but there's no mistaking he's ready for violence.

Cameron moves in promptly, not yelling or being all loud either; he's cool and collected, lifting his sword, making ready, and… "Well fuck a bucket of toad balls." There was supposed to be a panther here. The panther was not supposed to be out doing whatever it is panthers do.

Martin nods to Alison, "No reason why it wouldn't be. It's made of meat like any other animal. Whether it's good meat or not if the real question." He also moves into the cave as the plan dictated but looks about as he realizes there is no panther. "Huh. Well, I guess that means we can look around a bit."

As soon as Niner is rushing forward, Devin is moving forward into the cave with Cameron, keeping towards the right of the cave. He keeps his spear ready, but stops as the others do at the sight of the lack of a panther. "This isn't good. It's got to be close by if it's going to be coming back." He looks towards the others. "Right?"

Silver is not convinced there's no panther present. Nope. The others rush in, and she stays back at the mouth of the cave, watching. Particularly, she watches the partially-blocked cave openings.

He is gonna get jumped by a panther — whatever the fuck a panther even IS — any second now. Any second. A-a-any se-e-econd. Or… not. Niner's charge slows down to a jog, then stops with a lurch as he spins, looking around behind him, then squints into the darkness ahead. "Fuck. Where is it?"

Cameron blinks at Devin a moment, and suddenly he grins, dimples showing. "I have no fucking idea. I don't now anything about animals, man. I'm a /botanist/." With a sword. He moves forward to pick up the torch, lifting it up to let the light spread farther, and slowly moving deeper into the cave, "I second the looking around suggestion."

The cave extends back several more yards but gradually comes to an end. If it is connected to the other caves, it must be through small cracks and fissures that people cannot fit through.

Alison takes advantage of the moment to look back toward healer at the cave mouth. She starts creeping closer to Silver and watches for signs the panther might cute them off.

If Lip was supposed to rush in with everyone else they will find that he absolutely did not. In fact, he's still crouched low and waving his spear above his head as if the panther is just going to run into it. When nothing happens and he doesn't hear people getting mauled to death he peeks out from beneath his SHIELD of ARMS. Soon as he's sure it's safe for the moment he's up on his feet and running into the cave with his spear held high! "That's what I thought! That Panther ain't ready to face me! The Panther Slayer!" He does a quick look behind himself. Just in case. "… yeah. So uh. Dibs on anything valuable we find, yeah?" He's all for looking around.

Martin also starts heading for the entrance of the cave, just in case the panther decides to return and pin them in. Joining the girls outside, he asks, "do you see anything?"

Having found nothing of interest, Cameron looks a little bit on the vexed side, "This is not at all how it was supposed to go." And so he turns and heads towards the cave entrance, too. "I suppose we should explore the other caves, then. Trip the trap on beta. Poke around alpha. Maybe the panther will come back and…" He pauses a moment and turns to eye Lip, "You didn't come in until /after/ the cave was empty." he accuses.

Devin moves his spear so he can lean against it as he looks around the cave. He looks around the rest of the cave, seeing that it ends not far from where they are and no other entrances into the other sections of the cave. He moves towards the bed that the panther uses, studying it for a few moments as he squats down for a closer look. He reaches out to move some things aside, frowning. "Nothing here." He calls back towards Martin.

Silver rolls her eyes at Lip's declaration. "Or it's out eating someone else. Or it's watching us. It's not like we were that quiet." She stays close to the cave's mouth, still watching things from the outside. "So if it's not here, maybe that means we have time to do something with the trap?"

"Yeah. Maybe we cornered it." Niner sounds dubious, but maybe they'll have some good luck, right? Right. He follows after Cameron, making a gesture at the torch. "Lemme carry that. You're the one with an idea about that trap." Whether he's actually the dimmest bulb of the group or not, he seems ready to settle as the brute force of the team.

Cameron hands the torch off to Niner, and then as he exits he looks over to where the trap is, his expression thoughtful as he responds to Silver, "I don't know almost anything about traps. Does any of you? If we try to move it or disarm and rearm it, I lay even odds we'll trigger it and lose an arm or a leg. I'd rather just trigger it and explore the cave beyond it then risk that. But if anyone else knows their trap-lore…?"

Devin shakes his head. "I don't know anything about it. I was going to use my spear and put it in the middle to see what happens last time." He admits as he exits the cave, looking out around the area again in search for the panther that may be in waiting.

"I know mechanics," Silver shrugs to Cameron. "I mean, assuming it's something that's been engineered, then it can be disarmed, and as long as we're talking about moving parts? Yeah, I can handle that much. I can't do anything about a pit trap, but I should hopefully be able to see how it fits together, at least."

Niner, aka portable light source, steps in near to the trap as the group moves toward it. Torch held high — with a mind for anything flammable-looking overhead — he studies the trap as best he can without crowding anyone with both hands free. "How are we gonna get it into the panther's bed without it noticing?" he wonders.

"Oh, I didn't realize, Silver. In that case, I leave it to you. If you can disarm it then we can move it over to its bed or something like Dev suggested." Cameron nods amicably about that idea, flashing some dimples. "Its something mechanical, not a pit. Sorry, wasn't clear. I don't really know any details, but I can show you where it is and you can say what you need." He shrugs, offering to Niner, "Put trap down, carefully — CAREFULLY — cover with bed-stuff. Cross fingers."

Martin moves over to the front of the other cave to look at the mechanical trap. "Huh. I wonder who left this here. How old do you think it is?" He steps back to let the expert at the device.

Devin lets the others deal with the trap as he moves towards the opening of another cave on the other side of the trap. He keeps his attention out on the area around him as he moves carefully, not trying to be silent as he's sure there's no jaguar around. Once he's at the cave's entrance, he stands to one side of the opening, peering inside.

As the group approaches the cave with the mechanical trap in front of it, they can easily see that the large branch from the stream flows by into the cave, dumping into what looks to be a deep pool of water. This pool extends past the light into the cave.

Alison makes her way around the cave, hunting for anything useful. Then she too starts out of the cat cave, working to ease along as the group works on the trap and exploring.

Silver follows the others toward the trap, crouching down by it to get a closer look at just how it works. "I'm full of…largely currently useless information," she murmurs to Cameron's comment, carefully brushing some of the detritus away from the trap to see clearly. "Mechanics, electronics, medical. All of the above. All mostly useless at this point." The last is mostly to herself. "But this, I think I can handle…" Tilting her head, she reaches in to pull a pin, getting a soft ping of a released screw for her efforts. "And we have our very own tetanus risk. Ta da!"

What is Lip doing through all of this? Who the hell knows? He's nearby and he's staying nearby so he doesn't get jumped by a Panther or whatever the hell. He's not too close and he's not too far. He's in just the right place to make sure someone else will get mauled before he does. He's being extra quiet even in the face of not having to be extra quiet. Because he's pretty sure that will keep him alive. His spear is ready. And the weapon Niner gave him is too.

Devin's brow furls as he looks into the cave, spotting something. He moves closer into the cave to examine a metallic object he spotted, looking to see what it is. He doesn't pick it up just yet, but just examining it and brushing aside any bones that are in the way.

"Won't trigger it now, yeah?" Niner asks Silver, before looking into the darkness beyond the mouth of the trapped cave. He takes a step or two in, trying to illuminate more of the cave. "Wonder what they were guarding with that." Whoever 'they' was.

The cave extend several yards before the back wall come into view. The water is still but doesn't appear to be brackish. There might even be a few small fish here and there in the deep water. The floor of the pool gradually dips further and further down as a person moves further and further from the entrance of the cave.

"Wait, that's it?" Cameron stares at Silver and the trap in bewilderment, "That's all it took to disarm it?!" He sounds almost offended. It should have been dangerous! Hard! Or at least complicated. Not ping-ta-da. Huffing, he follows Niner in past the cave that had the trap in front, looking around. "Man, I'm having dreams of baths and blowjobs right now like you wouldn't believe."

Martin walks over to Cameron and Niner to stare at the water. "Yeah, but what else might there be in the water?"

"That's it," Silver smiles crookedly back at Cameron, shrugging. "Makes sense, if you want to be able to reuse it. Someone want to help me drag this over to the mouth of the other cave?" she asks, tucking the pin into one pocket and nudging the trap with her foot. No blowjobs and baths for her, not until there's no more panther to worry about. Mood-killer.

Devin smiles to himself as he picks up the object he's examining and looks the shiv over for a few moments before he slides it into his belt and stands, looking into the cave again. After a few moments, he looks back towards the group and then to the torch Niner is holding and looks around the area to see if there's something he can use to construct a torch with nearby. Namely a stick.

Cameron opens his mouth, and closes it, and promptly takes a firm step /away/ from the edge of the water. But, then Silver's asking for help, and he promptly spins on his heel and goes back to help with the dragging, all gentlemanlike.

Devin smiles to himself as he picks up the object he's examining and looks the shiv over for a few moments before he slides it into his belt and stands, looking into the cave again. After a few moments, he looks back towards the group and then to the torch Niner is holding then to the unlit one Cameron has. He moves back to Cameron, motioning towards the torch. "Can I borrow that?"

Niner edges carefully along the steadily-dwindling dry ground at the edges of the pool, until he gets to a point where the path looks too narrow and slippery to risk. He pauses there, studying the pool with fascination. This 'wilderness' thing is pretty amazing, when it's not tripping him up. "Something in here," he calls toward the others nearby. "Metal. Coins or something." He crouches down, trying to carefully balance himself, before he shrugs one arm out of his jacket and reaches into the water.

Cameron uses his free hand to pull the torch from his sacklike, and hands it off to Devin with a quick smile and a nod. "Careful!" calls Cameron back with a warning to Niner, though he's occupied so isn't entirely clear what's going on back there. He's apparently abandoned stealth, too.

Silver is all too happy to drag the trap toward the panther's nest, still looking it over as she goes. "You know," she muses, "If we can manage to get this panther with this, we could re-use this trap. For defenses. Or for hunting in general." Finally, a sort of hunting she can be useful at!

Devin takes the torch from Cameron. "Thanks. I will." He says with a smile before he moves to Niner and the lit torch, using the flame from his torch to light his own before he starts back to the first cave's entrance once more, using the newly acquired light to get a better look inside of the cave.

Alison stares at the water as well, not far from Niner. In fact she all but makes a reach before seeing him do it first. Instead, she readies her spear in case this deep water turns out dangerous. "I have a rope you can secure." She says, speaking up only when it won't throw his balance off.

It takes Lip a second to realize that he's kind of alone now. Standing in the middle of a stream. "Uh. Guys? If this was just a plot to get me out here and leave me to die, that's fucked up!" Lip looks around as if he doesn't know which way to go next. Because he doesn't. Instead, he just kind of holds his spear tighter and out in front of him as he decides he should try to get out of this stream and off in the direction of the people he came with. "I hate all of you. I want you to know that. A lot."

"Yeah," Niner answers Cameron, distractedly, his attention split between the delicate affair of holding his balance on damp stone and muddy earth and not falling into the drink. The potentially lethal drink. His eyes lose focus for a few seconds as he gropes, before there's a splash as he pulls out a mittful of mud and shiny glints of metal. "Hey, Lip!" he calls. "Got something for you." He stops near Alison, nodding to her as he looks out at the pool again. "Ought to try and see how deep it is," he suggests to her.

"That's a great idea." Cameron nods his head encouragingly to Silver, dragging it along, "Should we leave it outside the cave or inside under the bed? I don't know anything about traps, as I mentioned. Well, not really. I know how to make a snare if I had rope."

Just as Niner pulls out his hand…nothing happens.

Devin continues to look into the cave for a few moments before he looks back towards the others to see what they're doing. After a few moments, he looks back to the cave before him and starts inside. His curiosity as to what lays inside taking over.

Martin stands next to Alison as Niner departs, shrugging as the other man suggests testing the depth. "Toss a rock maybe?"

"Let's try the mouth of the cave," Silver suggests to Cameron. "It might not want to mess with the bed if it smells like us, but it'll probably at least go inside to check things out either way, right? Maybe?" Worth a try, at least. She glances over her shoulder toward the other cave, listening for the others.

Alison is not really in favor of staying close to the water's edge. She steps back a little, watching cautiously. A rock is picked up, and she tosses it up in an arc, watching till it plunks in the depths, hands already set on the spear again by then. "How's that going to work, Martin?"

"I'm a botanist." says Cameron, tone fervent, his head shaking in bewilderment, "If you tell me you think it can walk on walls I have absolutely no basis to disbelieve you." But, once they have the trap in place, he takes a firm step back to let her re-arm it, "Don't lose an arm." he cautions.

Martin nods to Alison, "Hopefully it attracts the attention of anything big that might be in there, so we know it's in there or not. If nothing decides to see what's making rocks go in the water, we should be good. Right?"

Devin slowly and carefully moves into the cave, moving around the passage way as it continues to snake around. His eyes scans over the passage, looking for anything interesting or worth taking, but coming up empty. Despite finding nothing, he continues onwards.

The bear trap is re-set outside the cave where the panther sleeps by Silver as Cameron supervises. Niner holds a handful of something. Lip is freaking out that he is on guard duty. Alison and Martin are eyeing the deep pool. Devin continues to explore the first cave.

"I will try my best. I'm attached to my arms," Silver assures comfortably, crouching down to re-arm the trap. There are a few clicks from the device, and then she steps back, carefully dumping leaves and twigs over it to hide it. "There we go. Panther trap. In theory."

"Good job." Cameron's praise includes his dimples, though he steps farther away when the trap is re-set in an abundance of caution, and then turns to look around, walking over past cave beta, then blinking, "Hey, where's Devin? Devin?!"

As the rock hits the water of the deep pool, nothing once again happens. Perhaps it really is simply a deep pool of water with tiny, blind cave fish inside.

Niner doesn't move away too far — he's helping Martin and Alison see the results of their experiment, after all — but he does crouch down and try to rinse away some of the mud from his handful of coins. "Maybe we could tie the rope to someone and let them go in?" he suggests. "We could pull-" He stops short at the sound of Cameron's raised voice, standing up and looking out at the mouth of the cave.

Lip's ears perk up and his internal GPS kicks in. In the span of a camera pan, Lip is off and over near Niner. He followed the sound of that voice and not the fact that something was being offered to him. "I'm here! I'm here! What do you want me to kill?!" Lip raises the spear above his head. "GET AWAY FROM HIM!" Not that anything is actually there. But Lip is just trying to be helpful. It's probably bad that he's yelling too. Oops.

Devin is too deep inside the first cave for the light of his torch to be seen at this point.

"DEVIN." Cameron's got his hands up and cupped to shout. There's not like, a lot of caves, so Cam makes it towards Alpha, and shouts again, "HEY. DEVIN. NOT WANDERING OFF IS OF THE GOOD." Here panther panther panther. Heeeere panther panther panther.

Martin looks to Niner at his suggestion of tying a rope around one of them. "Well, someone is going to get all wet, doing that."

"Whoa, hey, easy-" Niner puts up his forearm to either protect himself or brake Lip's rush in toward him. "Check it," he tells him, and holds out an open hand holding a varied collection of wet, shiny coins. He gestures a little toward Lip, as if he's offering to turn the spoils over to him, but his attention is past him toward the outdoors, again. "Where's Devin? Everyone okay" he calls out, hoping the others can hear him.

"That's either good, or bad." Alison says focused on the water, "We can tie it to you." She adds to Niner, but then she hears the calls. "Wait, is somebody in danger?" She says, for now starting towards the exit to the cave.

"Maybe less shouting?" Silver straightens up from her place by the trap, staying near the entrance to that cave and keeping an eye out on the clearing.

Lip's eyes light up and the entire moment happens in slow motion. His spear is almost dropped as he cups his hands and moves them to try and prepare for the sudden application of coinage to his palms. "Oh My Zod…" That's it. That's all he can say. And the moment the coinage touches his hand? Lip may not need those blowjobs for a little while, after all.

Niner pours his entire fistful of coins into Lip's hands. "I wanna pick one when we're done," he tells him. With his now-free hand, he claps it to Lip's shoulder and tries to turn him around and point him toward the outdoors. "C'mon. We gotta go see what's up with Devin." A gentle shove is applied as he looks back to Alison and Martin and watches their progress. He's determined to be first one in, last one out.

Martin follows Alison out of the deep pool cave to see if he can spot Devin anywhere. "Did he head back to camp? When was the last time anyone saw him?"

Devin continues to move down the path of the cave, hearing a faint sound of someone shouting, he pauses for a moment to listen before he calls back down the path he came, hoping the echo will reach the entrance. "I'M FINE! NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT!" He shouts back before he continues down the cavern and towards another large pool… or maybe the same pool.

"Devin wouldn't do that." replies Cameron to Martin, even as Cameron moves to Alpha cave, glancing back, and waving Niner over, "Hey man, let me borrow your torch. Maybe he went exploring. Fuck. DEVIN." He sends an apologetic look back to Silver, "I have to find him, he's my /friend/." he explains, tilting his head, "Oh I heard him, little fucker's in there." He gestures into Alpha, and proceeds to enter the cave even before Niner gets to him with the torch.

"Be careful, guys," Silver calls into cave after the others. "I'm gonna…I'll keep an eye out here." Where it's rapidly going to be less safe as anyone who knows how to fight goes deeper into the caves, but hey. At least it's not dark there.

Alison is just exiting the cave, nodding as she walks with Martin, "Where..?" There is a mild groan when the party finds the lost sheep. "Okay, new rule.. No solo exploring caves. At least twos, and tell somebody where you are going."

Martin watches as Silver stays behind. "Are you sure you want to stick around out here by yourself?" He slows a bit, but he is still following the group into alpha cave, as Cameron has called it.

Glancing over his shoulder, Cameron hesitates, "Silver, do you *really* wanna be out there *alone* if and when the panther comes back?" Then he turns, cups his mouth, "DEVIN. GET BACK HERE YOU TWIRP." He sounds exasperated, but there's a quick nod for Alison, "Agreed."

"Fuck. Hold up!" Niner hesitates at the mouth of the cave Devin vanished into with Cameron now hot on his heels. He doesn't want Cameron blundering in the dark, but leaving someone outside, alone, is a bad call, too. Dilemma. Looking back and forth between Silver and the cave, he tries to compromise by taking a half-dozen steps into the cave. "Cameron. We only got the one torch. We can't split up."

"No, I don't want to stay out here alone, but at least there's somewhere else to run here," Silver grumbles, looking out into the clearing one more time before she hears Niner. "All right, fine, I'm coming. But someone's kicking Devin's ass when we find him for trying to get us all killed."

Silver remains outside the cave. Alison and Martin are making their way to the cave. Niner and Lip have entered the cave. Cameron is well inside the cave and likely can see a bit of torchlight from Devin around the narrow, snaky turns inside.

Cameron freezes as Niner calls to him, but the frustration is almost -tangible- for the usually calm and collected Cam. Man, he wants to go save Devin, one can see he's shifting from foot to foot. "Come on come on come on." he urges.

Silver is now entering the cave as well. The narrowness of the cave means that you have to go one by one or two by two if you like rubbing shoulders together.

"But but… I had dibs?" The coins get shoved away into the jumpsuit. Or at least that's where they look like they are going. Who knows where the deft hands of LIP really put those coins?! Hint: Pocket. So anyway, Lip has his spear again and he's following Niner out to help with whatever is going on out there. But not really. But kind of. He's just so giddy to have actually gotten something out of this DANGEROUS MISSION that he's ready for anything. Or something. Okay, lies. He looks like he's ready.

Devin hears Cameron's shouts again and lets out a sigh before he starts back towards the entrance, moving quickly using his spear and the torch to keep his footing as he moves along the path.

Niner hands off the torch to Alison, telling her, "Go take that to Cameron. I'll be at the end." He steps aside, letting the others move past him toward Cameron before he moves to start following after Silver. "So can you make it work again?" he asks her. The trap, presumably.

"The trap?" Silver quirks a brow at Niner. "Yeah, sure. We got it set up in front of the panther cave. So if we're lucky, it'll try to take a nap before it comes to eat us, and it'll get hit with the trap instead. The thing's in rough shape, but we can probably keep using it, honestly."

Alison looks off towards the other cave. Then she gets an extra torch to deliver. "Okay." She says to Niner and moves inwards, leading with the torch. "Cameron?" She calls as the flame waves ahead of her.

Devin is at the back of the narrow cave, then Cameron, followed by Lip. Alison and Martin make up the next group in the cave. Silver and Niner stand at the entrance of the cave. People will find it difficult to exit if the groups closer to the front of the cave do not move first.

Cameron's waiting, so easily found; once Alison is there, he's nodding and smiling, "Hey, I'm right here, I see some light up ahead— its faint— so the jerkface isn't that far away. Unless he dropped it when he got eaten by a grue." How does Cameron know what a grue is? Mysteries abound. So he moves off in Devin's direction.

"Where in fuck are we gonna find machine grease? Or something to get some of the rust off?" Niner glances back in the direction of the trap with a thoughtful frown, but doesn't wander off far from Silver and Lip. He understands the concept of jumping the straggler, even if it's been previously applied to other kids and not panthers. "Wish they'd send down an escape pod with a fucking toolbox. Or maybe…" He trails off, staring at the wilderness nearest them.

"Could just scrub it. Probably get some serious cleaning power out of the latrines by now," Silver muses. Only someone as dedicated to both machinery and medicine could contemplate using urine to clean steel that calmly. Following Niner's look, she goes quiet as well, though there's a distinct tremor in her voice when she calls softly into the cave. "Guys? I think we're gonna need something sharp. And fire."

Devin continues to move as quickly as he can towards the entrance of the cave, trying to get back to the others since they're clearly worried about where he is. Well, at least Cameron is at any rate. He tries to pick up his pace a bit to quicken the trip.

"I got somethin' sharp! Here! Look, right here!" Lip holds up his SPEAR as if it were the ULTIMATE WEAPON OF ULTIMATE DESTINY! And also because he doesn't want to be the one to have to try and do the stabbing he's hoping that someone with actual skill will take this damn thing from him! It isn't until this moment that Lip realizes he was supposed to be whispering and his hand goes to clap over his mouth. His eyes? They say? /SHIT/.

Alison turns about, starting to make her way back out. "What's going on?" She says as she starts to make her way out.

There is a panther. And it wants to eat Silver. And Silver is extremely not okay with that. "BAD PANTHER GO AWAY WE'LL EAT YOU!" she suddenly exclaims, waving her arms and jumping up and down wildly. "SOMEBODY NEEDS TO SPEAR THIS THING LIKE NOW!" Seriously, Silver is not a warrior. But at least it's one step short of panic. Mostly. Kind of. For the moment.

Cameron pauses, hearing people seem worried back there, and he glances forward and back, "Uhh." He turns around, following Alison as quickly as is possible. Which is not the most quickest, alas.

Niner has something sharp, at least. One out of two ain't bad, as long as we're rounding up, right? "Fuck," he says, with the sort of calmness that screams /trouble/. "Something moving." He glances toward Silver and Lip, and takes a step over, trying to position himself between the two of them and… whatever it is. The sword waves in a circular motion as he tries to get used to the weight of it. All things considered, he'd be happier with the shiv.

Devin arrives at the entrance and hears Silver. His eyes widen and he tries to move himself closer. "Out of the way! I need through." He says as he tries to get to the front of the cave. "Everyone who can't fight, get inside the cave!" He calls out.

As confusion fills the cave and the others try to figure out what's going on and move to the entrance, Niner and Silver turn to find a very hundry, red-eyed panther in pouncing stance. It licks its lips for a moment, before suddenly springing at the two.

Alison pushes outwards, leading from the cave mouth and trying to get around. "Hey." She calls out and tries to clear the cave mouth.

Attacking is not something Silver is good at. Not even a little bit. And the best she has is a piece of scrap she's been using to work on the bracelets and other mechanical projects. So when the panther pounces, she's mostly trying to get out of the way, with an extremely awkward swipe at it as she passes. "Panther, people! Panther! Stupid trap didn't…" She'll try to get back to it if she can, to at least make sure it's set. And be on the other side of it from the panther.

Well. So /that's/ what a panther looks like, when it's not a tattoo. Can he exchange this for a tattoo, please?

"HOLY FU-" Niner stumble-scrables back a step, trying to figure out just how far that pounce is going to carry it, and swings hard — and wild — with his Grounder sword. It's all claws and fangs and fur and ripping fabric for a second, before he staggers back, again trying to position himself between the panther and the others. There's a wide, torn gap in his jacket, and wet blood beneath.

Devin hears the fight starting and people's reactions, causing him to try harder to get up to the front of the cave so he can help defend the others with him.

The panther lunges at Niner with a roar, slashing across the man's right arm with its claws. It's jowls are pulled back in a sneer, showing all its teeth, as it bores into Niner's eyes with its own red ones, staring with hungry into its prey.

Martin runs towards the fron fo the cave with his spear at the ready. "This fucker again!"

"Oh shit. Oh shit oh shit oh shit. SHIT!" Lip doesn't even know what to do. He's got a spear but there are people in the way and he can't exactly get to anyone to do anything useful. He's freaking out. He's choking. This is a moment where he could actually do something but he can't. He's either too scared or just not capable of doing anything right now. He just starts flailing around in place. "WE'RE GONNA' DIE! GAME OVER, MAN! IT'S GAME OVER." Lip drops his spear and everything. "… Oh blowjobs. We hardly knew ye." Lip is just accepting his blowjobless death.

The panther lunges once more at Niner slashing his right arm a second time, while Niner digs his weapon into the panther's body. While this is occuring Silver is backpedaling away from the fight and Alison and Martina re rushing to join the fray. Alison plunges her spear deep nto the panther's underbelly, causing a greivous wound, whilst Martin manages to nick the animal's body as well. It's too much for the panther, which collapses from the combined assault. Niner, meanwhile seems to lose consciousness as well.

Devin continues to try to get to the fight, having seen Niner go down. "OUT OF THE FUCKING WAY!" He calls out, trying to keep his spear out of the way so he doesn't accidentally cut anyone with it. Though as the panther goes down and the sound of the fighting ceases, he seems to stop, looking at the beast. "Does it have a cut on the face?" He asks.

Go figure, the red headed princess manages a nasty gut jab the panther. She pulls her weapon back, "Meat is on the menu. We take it all, we'll make jewelry and use the fur." One stabbed cat and she thinks she is important. "It will maybe impress the grounders."

Cameron's trying to get out of the cave, and then, he's free! His sword is up, and… the panther is skewered. Cameron blinks, "Well, that happened. Good job?" A concerned look over for Niner, "How bad is he, Silver?" Worried.

Niner can see others approaching in his peripheral vision, but he can't tell who without looking away. "Fuck, get back, it's-" Yes, Niner. It's pouncing again. He swings, stumbles back a step from the impact of the panther, and goes down to one knee. "Shit," he breathes, looking down at the blood streaming down off his fingers from his wounded arm. A second later, he folds to the ground.

"Okay, if we never have to do that again, then I will be so, so happy." Silver gives the panther a wary look, but Niner took a hit for her, and he's down. "Someone make sure that thing is all the way dead, please," she says as she goes back into the cave, crouching next to the downed Delinquent. "Niner? Niner, come on." She's already pulling his jacket out of the way and the bandages out of her pocket. "And someone get me some water."

Lip dies.

"… Huh?" Okay, maybe not. Lip raises his head from his arms when he doesn't feel the claws of death taking his life from him. He blinks a couple of times and then just stares. "Oh." With that new knowledge intact Lip pops up to his feet, snatches up his spear and wipes the random tear from his cheek as he runs up behind the rest of the crew. "Shit. I got here as fast as I could. There were…" Lip looks behind him. "Things. In the way. And giant bugs! Or something. Anyway, I took care of it." Lip nods even though nobody's probably listening. "So. We good? Back to camp, yeah?"

Devin manages to get out of the cave and looks at the beast. "What a shame." He says before he moves towards the cat and takes a knife from his belt. He kneels down next to the cat and runs his hands over the fur before he sinks the blade into the cat's head. Just to be sure.

Martin goes over with his spear and makes sure the panther is dead by skewering it through the throat. "Yes, it's dead." With that, the group now has to get Niner back to his senses.

Martin adds to Lip, "We're not done exploring. There are still a couple of caves left."
With the panther slain, Silver tends to Niner's wounds. Alison, Martin, and Cameron watch the treatment, while Devin decides to head off with Lip back to camp to report the events.

Martin notes, "We will have to haul this animal back to camp somehow. Maybe we can ties its legs to a spear and have two of us guys haul it between us?"

Martin adds to Alison, "Yeah, maybe we can use this in negotiations with the Grounders. Offer them a panther as a gift."

"Thank you, I feel better now," Silver smiles weakly at the additional spearing. Because hey, now it's for sure dead. In the meantime, she's still getting a look at Niner's arm. "Could probably do with some sutures," she grimaces. "But that's going to have to wait for camp. I can clean it up and get it wrapped, at least."

While Silver gets Niner cleaned up, Cameron glances around, "I'm going to go scout out cave delta, I'll be right back."

Once Niner's arm is wrapped and he's no longer leaking blood everywhere, he comes around before too long. After a minute or two of sitting on his ass, he pushes upright and chooses the better part of valour, returning with Devin and Lip to the camp. One panther to the face is enough.

Martin takes a deep breath and makes his own way to the cave with the deep pool of water. "I'm going to wash off a bit after this." He might have some blood splatter on him after all. Niner is finally on his feet and he joins Lip and Devin on their trip back to the camp.

Alison watches the wounded get taken care of, her attention on them so that it registers late that Cameron is off breaking the 'new' role. "Are you alright, Silver? Martin?"

Once Niner's patched up, Silver settles back on her heels, some of the shock settling in. "Hmm? Yeah. Yeah, I think I'm good," she answers Alison, making a quick inspection of herself to be sure that the only blood on her is Niner's. "Sort of. Not sure what went wrong with the trap, it walked right over it."

It doesn't take long for Cameron to pad silently back, and when he nears the others he says, "Cave Delta is big, domed, and has some remains of campfires in it. It looks like its possible we might find some salvage there— or worst case scenario, a place of refuge if need be. Do we want to check it out now, or wait to get some more people to finish clearing the area?"

Martin is entering the deep pool cave. He pickes up a stone and gives it a toss into the water, checking again to see if it rouses anything. Once he is confident that things are safe, he begins splashing in the water to clean himself up a bit. He offers no opinion to Cameron or the two women with regards to where they should go next.

"I am good to finish, we may need it later as a shelter." Alison says, looks to Silver to confirm, but she starts that way tentatively.

"Cave base would be nice," Silver nods to Cameron. "Defensible. Out of the rain. Right by water," she gestures around them. "Though if it's habitable, then I've got to wonder why no one's already living here. The panther, maybe? But if we took it out, then the grounders should have been able to, too."

Martin exits the deep pool cave, feeling a little bit better and moves to join the group as they venture further into the cave complex. "Where to now?"

Cameron nods to Silver, a quick flash of his dimples showing his agreement with her assessment, and gives another quick nod to Alison, "Cave it is." And then he leads the way, padding off towards Cave Delta. Once they near the entrance, he'll slow down and go quiet, stealthy again. Just in case he didn't see everything possibly dangerous inside.

Alison follows along with Cameron, weary and apparently moving like a panther, maybe there is something to that totem magic? She proceeds with her spear prepared, glancing back to Silver and Martin now and again.

The cave is as Cameron described - a large domed cavern with a small hole where the daylight poked through. Burn markes in the middle of the room hint to the campfires that have burned there in the past. The room itself seems empty, stripped clean of anything of use, except for the room itself, which is quite the find.

Silver rinses her hands off in the water before she follows the others to the cave. "Wow," she murmurs when they get to the cavern itself. "Nice. Very nice. And it's not too hot or too cold in here, either."
Cameron pads over, crouches, and runs his fingers through the campfire, looking around thoughtfully, "This is a nice find, a refuge that might be useful. And these fires seem really old, so if the grounders used this place, I don't think its been in a long time. A really long time. This place alone is worth the effort we put into clearing out the panther."

Martin nods at the find, "This is nice. Put some beds in here and we have ourselves another place to settle." Thank goodness Lip isn't here to suggest an orgy den.

Alison strides around the room after a careful scouting, "Cool, we will have to tell the others. We did pretty good today. If we must, we can become cave folk. This plus safer water. The panther. We had a good day."

"I still want to check out those two blocked caves, but perhaps we should call it a day and come back later." Cameron seems reluctant about this, "How about we check out one and see about if we can clear it and find anything behind it?"

"Water's huge," Silver agrees. "Especially if this stuff is clean. Not having to go outside for it, not having to go far. No giant snakes. And if the panther's been living here, most of the smart things probably avoid the area. Smarter than us, at least," she says ruefully.

Martin shrugs to Cameron's suggestion, seeming to be fine with whatever the res tof the group wants to do. "Which one should we try to get into?"

Cameron purses his lips, "Follow me." And as he heads out, he's nodding in agreement, "This space is, all in all, almost completely superior to our basecamp— more defensible, closer water… But maybe it'll do as a secondary base, because losing the dropship as basic fortification would be a loss. Too bad we can't melt the damn thing down." He turns once they're out of the cave, heading towards the cave blocked by the assorted items.

"We brought you Silver, so we could make it back." Alison says and looks to Cameron, "I'll help you, but we don't want to take too long." She comments, looking between the three, then following Cameron.

As the group approached the first of the blocked caves, it become apparent that the items blocking it seema bit of place for what is in the area. Bits and piece are not natural material and they are stacked with care. It readily becomes apparent that most of the stacking took place from inside the cave rather than outside it.

As they get closer to the blockage, Silver frowns a bit, eyeing the material. "That's…a little weird, right?" she asks the others. "Maybe we shouldn't move it. Could be blocking something in on purpose, yeah?"

Cameron nods again, a quick smile to Alison, "Yeah, don't want to stay out too long, but between us we should be pretty safe. We'll be back before dark." And then he attacks the wall, pulling stuff out, moving it aside. He's pretty strong for his otherwise lithe seeming body, but, he's not so like, _good_ at this. But he doesn't hesitate at all. He wants through that wall.

It takes a good ten to twenty minutes to remove most of the material to allow easy access to the cave, as the torches are brought to bear, giving light to the darkness within, two skeletons in old tattered clothing can be seen slouching against the back wall. The glint of metal next to one of the skeletons can be seen.

Alison joins in, "Or something of value is buried?" She says, tossing and levering thing out of the way. When the find the gruesome sight, she swallows, "Oh goodie, do Grounders bury their dead?"

"Or that. Sure, could be…that." Silver grimaces at what she sees, not making any move to go inside. "Close it back up, guys," she shakes her head. "We've got no way of knowing what this is, or why. It could be a burial," she nods to Alison. "Or this could've been punishment for something. They could've had some sort of disease and the others closed them in to keep from getting infected. Whatever's in there isn't worth it."

Cameron steps into the cave without any more hesitation then he had in starting digging, and immediately goes for the glint of metal, crouching down to examine it, "Apparently, though this is a little weird for a burial. Its not like there's a lot of extra caves sitting around." He's shaking his head even as Silver's saying close it up, his voice downright cool and uncaring, "There's nothing but a skeleton left, and I'm not a medtech but I don't think a disease is gonna last in that. Considering we're a bad day from dying, /everything/ is worth it. What's this…"

"Yeah, unless the grounders think this place is cursed, or that evil spirits from the dead can infest you, or you're disturbing the spirits of the dead, or any of a thousand other things that other people can think, Cam," Silver shakes her head, taking another step back from the cave. "This is prime settlement space, you said it yourself. What if whatever this is, is part of why there's no one here now?"

Martin lingers outside the cave entrance, after having helped moved the barricade. He scans the area for any other predators that may be lurking, while the others discuss how to handle the situation.

Alison pulls back a little, letting Cameron slip inside, "We'll cover it back." The red head says, facing Silver. "They might have died in the Burn, as old as the corpses are." She adds, then turns to Martin and speaks up for Cameron, "Lets cover it up."

"Whoa the fuck diggity." Cameron lifts the metal— and its a gun. A GUN. He looks at the bodies, and blinks again, "They were shot. In the head. With a gun." Then he glances back at Silver, "Grounder superstition. If it benefits us, great. They're primitives, Silv. Yes, I am a strong advocate from learning from them what they know of the land, herb-lore, and primal crafts, but really, we're _scientists_. We aren't susceptible to the kind of possibly radiation-induced hallucinations and crazy superstitions these people have that make them wear skulls on their faces." He looks around, seeing if he can find anything else of interest in the cave.

Nothing else remains in the cave, aside from the skeletons, their tattered clothes, and the gun. Here is where they barricaded themselves, and, when they realized that they would not survive, here is where they ended their lives. But hey! Cameron found a gun! That's something to be happy about, right?

Silver eyes the gun, crossing her arms over her chest and staying outside. "Do me a favor, Cam," she says quietly. "Keep that thing under wraps, okay? You I trust. Morgan I trust. But there are a lot of hot tempers in the camp, and a lot of people I wouldn't want to have the only gun around." She turns then, heading back toward the water. Might as well fill a skin before they head back.

Alison waits till Cameron is finished, then buries the cave as quickly as possible. After that, she asks a minute, then heads to the pool cave. She shucks a bit and gets in to bath, washes her hair. Then, shivering, but happily far clearer, she dresses and rejoins the party. "After this long, careful you don't blow you hand off. Lets head back."

Cameron has absolutely no use for a gun with no ammo, but fuck is he not keeping it; it slips right into his belt, oh fuck yes it does. One can almost /see/ the 'fucks' based on his expression. Everything about Cameron that is Cameron: confidant, shameless, calculating and without hesitation, is /more/ when he's got himself a gun. Boys. Boys with their toys. He does add, and his voice at least is as clear, calm and measured as it almost always is— except that day his mother died. "But yes, let's cover it back up." He does nod more seriously, "I don't plan on telling anyone about it. It has no bullets, so its not a real danger, but no, I'm not going to go wave it around or run through camp pointing it at people. Most people aren't thinking things /through/, yet. They're still busy /reacting/, and having temper tantrums." And then he goes on and helps bury it up, "Don't worry, Ali. I am the most practical guy you'll ever meet. That also means /careful/."

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