Day 024: Hail Mary - Running The Gauntlet
Summary: Team Hail Mary sets out in the middle of the night bound for Coesbur. And a long and hard night it is.
Date: 19 June 2016
Related: Option Three, The Best Laid Plans. Continued in Hail Mary - The Bridge
Cameron Elias Fiona Kai Tuan 

Forests Around The Camp — The Wilderness

This forest is a mingling of hardwoods and temperate evergreens, with towering oaks and cedars mixed with slender alders. The ground is covered in grassy mosses and thick ferns — some with sharp, sword-like leaves and others with tight spiraled stems that unfurl toward the crowded canopy. Beyond the trees and ferns, the forest also hosts arching, moss-draped vine maples and flowering blackberry bushes as just some of its flora occupants.

Toward the west, the forest begins to break as the mountains climb, revealing meadow balds and the broad web of the divided Potomac.

Late Day 24/Early Day 25.

<FS3> Cameron rolls Stealth+3: Good Success.
<FS3> Fiona rolls Stealth+1: Success.
<FS3> Kai rolls Stealth+1: Good Success.
<FS3> Elias rolls Stealth+1: Success.
<FS3> Cameron rolls Stealth: Success.
<FS3> Tuan rolls Stealth: Good Success.
<FS3> Orion rolls 7: Great Success.
<FS3> Orion rolls 7: Good Success.
<FS3> Orion rolls 7: Success.
<FS3> Orion rolls 7: Good Success.
<FS3> Kai rolls Alertness: Good Success.
<FS3> Fiona rolls Alertness: Success.
<FS3> Tuan rolls Alertness: Success.
<FS3> Elias rolls Alertness: Success.
<FS3> Cameron rolls Alertness: Good Success.

It's late enough in the night that with the need to move stealthily, it's entirely possible that the group won't reach Coesbur until dawn. The forest is not entirely dark, however, with moonlight filtering through the trees here and there. As the little group, several of them wearing local-made armor, and most of them bedaubed with mud and ash, slips through the trees, a few more sources of light become apparent… phosphorescent fungi growing in patches along and underneath nurse logs. It's actually quite pretty, if not for the mind-grating tension.

The party spots the first Grounder guard post easily enough, diverting around it, but about fifteen minutes later, it becomes clear, at least to some, that they're being shadowed by at least one human figure and perhaps more.

So. Cameron did his best getting them camouflaged, and it helped, er, a little bit, and so he's helping lead them through the blockade with their sneak on. Careful there. Don't step on that. Watch your feet. Stay low. That sort of thing. But he's leading the way, face dirty and inked, his pale skin masked by night so it doesn't glow in the moonlight, and then he says very, very softly, "We have company behind us, I'm pretty sure." Cuz he's been keeping his alarm on, "That's not good."

Per Tuan's instruction, Fiona is in the middle of the group as they move. She's got weaponry certainly, but she's nowhere near as comfortable with it as the others. She follows instructions without question, but she can't help but look over her shoulder curiously when Cameron speaks.

Towards the center of the group, Elias creeps along with the others through the forest and past the guard post. Unaware of any tail initially, the quiet announcement of such has a breath catching in his throat. Swallowing hard, he gives a nod over to Cameron. He also looks back to see if he can catch sight of anyone following them, but he doesn't speak a word.

Kai is bringing up the rear for reasons just such at these. Tuan knows where they're going, Cameron's her ninja brother, and Fi and Elias are the precious packages.. at least by her measure. So the female ex-C in her claimed armor and with her sword is playing tail end Charlie, particularly for the possibility of problems such as these. Still, when she first catches glimpse of their tail it can't help but make the back of her neck prickle anxiously. She's no hardened war vet, by any measure, and the knowledge that there's people behind them that may well want to kill them is anxiety inducing on the most primal level. But after all, this is why they didn't go alone. She doesn't endeavor to look back and tip their tail off that she's looking, rather she's looking as they move for a spot that she can try to use to their advantage in which to stop and draw her sword,"We do." the soft voice of the female ex-C confirms for the group,"I'll try to keep them busy." she's not sure there's a them, maybe just a 'him', but better to assume too many than too few.

Tuan catches some of the conversation taking place while he studies the terrain before them in silence. His steps and pace haven't stopped since they departed the delinquent camp as he warned would be the case, pressing the group as hard as he can while keeping them quiet. The first guard post had been expected, the lack of others however had not been, at least by him. The temptation to slow and think is fought down and instead he presses on, speaking very quietly over his shoulder. "We should be coming up to a stream in a few minutes. It will help our tracks."

When Kai stops, the tailing form stops as well, disappearing into moon shadows beneath the trees. There's a tense moment when there is absolutely nothing to be seen, no movement around the little group, even as the ex-Cadet falls a few steps behind… and then a shadow cuts between a patch of glowing mushrooms and the group, either there is more than one tail after them, or their follower isn't interested in being distracted by rearguards.

"At this point I don't think its a question of tracks, they're on us. Its a question of when they decide it's their chance to jump us." comes Cameron's measured reply, frowning, glancing back at Kai, and the stillness, "Shit. No, no keeping them busy alone. I can't tell how many it is. I'll go with you. We either make a stand or we get jumped at the worst possible time."

Fiona lets the quiet conversation flow around her without interruption. She may be a talker, but now is not the time for talk. She keeps low and moves as swiftly as the pace demands, staying alert to her surroundings and the decisions that are being made in her immediate area. She's basically keeping to doing what she's told until she has to do otherwise.

Elias gives a soft sounds of agreement to Cameron's words and gives a pointed look to Kai. "No. If we need to take them down, we do it together and we don't miss anyone." There's a nod of his head quickly to the others. His voice is a soft whisper. "We keep going and set a trap. Kai?" There's a look to her as she's the one who knows how to do such a thing. "Non-lethal if we can. Keep moving, though." There's a beckoning wave of his hand as he moves to keep walking.

Kai's not speaking, indeed, from the gesture she makes with her free hand it's very probably a 'shaddup', not that it's likely to be more than half visible. The delayed movement out there, she's not sure. One, or more than one? She backs towards the others in a low crouch, trying hard to attune herself to the noises around them and get her pulse to do something other than threaten to beat its way out of her chest. She doesn't make the mistake of concentrating where that patch of shadow crossed before the mushroom patch but endeavors to keep her eyes tracking for further signs of movement, wetting her suddenly parched lips as she tries to outfox people that have likely been doing this since she was conceived. She's moving, alright, but it's cat cautious, the flick of her fingers certainly a 'okay get moving' as she endeavors to try and anticipate which shadow might just disgorge an archer or other nastiness.

An icy glare is thrown over Tuan's shoulder towards the Sky People that are behind him, a look that is far harsher than anything he's displayed before. Muttering occurs, it is clearly Trig and very quiet; and very angry before he turns back to the route ahead and continues to press on.

Fiona's brow quirks as she doesn't catch what is uttered, but her hand does stray now to the dagger strapped to her leg. She finds herself wishing she'd brought her shovel.

For his part, Cameron pulls his sword from its makeshift sheath, holding it ready, and gestures for others to go follow Elias, and then he waits for Kai to catch up. Once she does he'll move slowly back towards the group as well. Apparently there's going to be two rear guards now that they have a tail.

A short nod is given to both Cameron and Kai, but Elias keeps moving along with Fiona and Tuan. Tuan is likely still taking up the front, so Elias brings up the rear. For the time being, there's no move to draw his own blade, but his jaw does tighten. Playing decoy is stressful work. For the moment he's content to be as silent as possible as he moves through the forest.

Tuan's pressing onwards does keep that pace up, his focus is on keeping silent in regards to what is ahead, now that the behind has been compromised. A stream or some other water lets them reset their path, deal with the shadows following them and get a reset of sorts on the path ahead. Although the Sky people would not know it, Tuan has been leading them not on a direct path to Coesbur; that would be to obvious and now especially knowing someone is behind them it is all the more necessary to make sure there is no tie to the village that could be known.

Kai reaches out to grab Cameron's shoulder briefly with a nod of her head towards the left, she trusts her brother wannabe ninja to know what she means as the girl endeavors to slip off towards the right. She's not going to lose the group or leave them minimally guarded, but she wants to make sure that they have eyes on their flanks even as she endeavors to put her faith in Tuan knowing what he's doing.

<FS3> Kai rolls Alertness: Great Success.
<FS3> Fiona rolls Alertness: Failure.
<FS3> Tuan rolls Alertness: Good Success.
<FS3> Elias rolls Alertness: Success.
<FS3> Orion rolls 7: Failure.
<FS3> Orion rolls 7: Success.
<FS3> Cameron rolls Alertness: Great Success.

There's a quick nod to Kai and without hesitation, Cameron makes his way off towards the left, keeping down low and serious, his expression one of intent coolness. He's ready to do business, but he doesn't bother with getting worked up about it. What's the difference between a guard and a tree? They're all just things that need cutting. He hisses, and says very quietly, "There's at least two, maybe more. This isn't good."

Fiona's eyes dart to the side, looking at a point from a short distance. "I think there's someone there." she murmurs under her breath, although her tone suggests she is doubting herself. She remains inclined to do as told.

As Elias creeps along with Fiona and Tuan still, he moves just a little quicker to catch up to the other two so he can whispers quietly to them. "Off to our right about thirty feet. At least one of them." Still, he does his best to remain casual about it all. Slowly, his hand moves to the hilt of his makeshift sword, ready to pull it from where he has it stowed on his back with some sort of twine. "Be ready."

Where Cam ghosts to the left, Kai ghosts to the right, and soon works out that she's on the wrong side of the group when she glimpses their shadow flanking them on the side she sent Cameron towards. The lean girl isn't calm and collected like Cam. Spotting them again calms her nerves somewhat as she endeavors to slip to a point where she can stalk their stalkers, having missed Cameron's words but assumed that he was aware too. Keeping moving is good. Very good if her ears aren't betraying her. For the moment at least she's going to shadow the stalkers as long as they're not drawing a bead on the rest of the group, less worried now that she can see them.

"Two." Tuan affirms to Fiona with a soft voice, a small smile that bares a bit of reassurance to it in the moonlight. Looking to Elias he inclines his head, "When they attack, take her and hide somewhere safe nearby. Protect her." There's a look given from the man as he steps over a branch, keeping his focus on moving them ever forward despite the surrounding threats.

<FS3> Kai rolls Stealth+1: Great Success.
<FS3> Cameron rolls Stealth: Good Success.
<FS3> Orion rolls 7: Good Success.
<FS3> Orion rolls 7: Good Success.

One of those watching figures might turn its head generally in the direction of Cameron and Kai, but generally, they keep their focus on the trio still moving together, walking through the woods in near-silence with arrows nocked on bowstrings. Really, it's not fair that they can move so naturally through the woods. Then again, Tuan's doing pretty well himself. Maybe it's something about actually growing up in the woods instead of open, empty hallways on a space station. The bows are undrawn, just held down and at the ready as the two apparent Grounder scouts follow the group. One stops momentarily, lifting a hand from their bow to draw a small knife and cut off a tiny patch of bark, exposing brighter wood beneath in a little patch of moonlight.

Fiona murmurs, keeping her voice low, "Maybe they won't attack if we keep moving. If we're not hostile, maybe they won't be." Perhaps their orders are merely to watch. She can't count on it, but she can hope.

Cameron continues following the group, but off flanking on his side, watching more back then forward, moving slowly and quietly.

A subtle shake of Elias' head is given to Tuan. "Unacceptable," he whispers quietly in his direction. "No one gets left. When they attack, we take them out quick and quiet." He makes his way forward still, glancing over at Fiona as well. "Maybe." He doesn't sound convinced, but he also doesn't draw his sword just yet either.

Kai grew up with open, empty hallways, but the girl's a quick study, not staying near her ninja brother in favor of ghosting further out. There's a frown as she notices the bark cutting. She might only be a novice at warcraft, but that's obviously a marker of some form. It only solidifies for her the kind of danger they are in, which seems to be having the opposite effect on her pulse, at least within her own mind. It no longer feels like a dangerously loud betrayal thumping anxiously in her chest like it's going to burst a valve.. but settles into a less erratic rhythm as she endeavors to silently keep up and ease into a position where, when the time comes she will hopefully be able to catch them unawares. There's a not small part of her that takes a visceral joy in the thought in fact.

"You agreed." Tuan states towards Elias with a directed look before he glances at Fiona and motions to her, "Possible, hopeful." Even as he offers those two words however he changes their course some, the path taking them in a different direction that skirts more towards the nearest bend of the river. Sonia's people may be Trikru, but these are his lands.

Fiona is reluctant but does as she's told, but not without a furrowed brow toward Elias. She takes a few steps closer to Tuan, her hand straying toward her knife strapped to her leg.

<FS3> Tuan rolls Alertness: Failure.
<FS3> Kai rolls Alertness: Good Success.
<FS3> Elias rolls Alertness: Good Success.
<FS3> Cameron rolls Alertness: Success.
<FS3> Fiona rolls Alertness: Good Success.
<FS3> Orion rolls 7: Great Success.
<FS3> Orion rolls 7: Good Success.

The pair of scouts seem mostly content to shadow the group, stopping here and there to blaze marks on tree-trunks where the pale wood beneath the bark can be easily seen. It may be baffling just why they're waiting as time stretches out, an hour into the walk, an hour and a half…

Elias keeps moving, aware of the group coming up from the rear. This time he doesn't whisper, but rather moves close enough to give Tuan's shoulder a tap. He then points vaguely towards their rear before continuing on. He looks expectantly, waiting for Tuan to issue some sort of plan. He had agreed, after all. Still, his other hand stays on the makeshift hilt of his 'sword'.

Crap, crap, crap. As long as Tuan keeps moving Kai's not going to open hostilities, but it doesn't mean that the lean girl isn't creeping through the woods, just waiting for either him or the archers to decide they've had enough. But now.. noises. And that's not good. Even Kai knows that's not good. Still she adjusts her sword with a flick of her eyes towards Tuan, Fi and Eli on the other side of the archers, checking for any kind of signal. She knows Cameron's out there too, and she's already picked out the closer of the two archers as her mark, but following Tuan's lead for her includes Thou Shall Not Shank without permission.

Tuan glances at Elias and shakes his head a little bit speaking quietly since he seems nervous. "They are following us so others may follow us." He explains it almost casually, reaching out towards Fiona to help her over a log that blocks the path they are taking. "We know they are there. They know that we know. Until advantage is found for either side, the best choice is for us to press on. The advantage is ours, we know our destination and plan, they do not." A small grin touches the man's lips then, a knowing grin.

Cameron's not especially liking this continue on plan, but he doesn't have a lot of choice, so he continues stalking through and keeping a look out behind them.

Fiona is fairly athletic and doesn't need the help, but lets Tuan do it anyway. It makes her feel safer. "When we get to where we're going, they're going to report back about it, aren't they?" she asks. Her tone is worried, she wants to keep the trouble to Coesbur at a minimum.

<FS3> Tuan rolls Warcraft: Success.

Elias issues a quick nod of his head to Tuan in response and lifts the corners of his lips into a bit of a smile as well. With no further need for words though, he leaves the conversation at that. Fiona's concerns bring a mild look of worry to his face, but he presses on. For the moment, he takes his hand from his blade and concentrates on keeping the same pace as Tuan.

Tuan continues walking, leading the group as he does. During that brief moment of helping Fiona over the log, he gives her hand a small squeeze and then speaks quietly towards her and Elias. "In a few minutes we will be where we need to. I need you to listen, and do what I say when we reach there. Keep your eyes very sharp, we must know where the scouts are at before we reach this point."

Kai's watching the trio from somewhere sort of behind the scouts. A creeping shadow for the creeping shadows. Watching, waiting, crouched low with her hand carefully wrapped about her sword hilt. The sword itself is held low to the ground in shadow and darkness to stop the gleam of its edge from betraying her presence. Muscles unused to creeping are at least used to exercise, it doesn't stop her from the need to flex her toes in her boots or the other pangs of staying hyped up and prepared, but as long as they're not aiming and Tuan is moving the lean ex-C is.. well, not content to play shadow, but at least not opening hostilities.

Soon, the noises from behind become audible to Cameron as well, and then to Tuan. Definitely a couple more beings moving purposefully through the woods. And to the others, who noticed the sounds before, getting closer. Beneath their boots, the land begins to rise, slowly and surely, and up ahead, a fallen tree can be spotted, the trunk a good meter wide, although its curve still makes for tricky footing. Where the tree stretches out, the ground falls away on either side, disappearing into the darkness. Moonlight reveals another hill on the other side of the bridge-like tree trunk, some ten meters further on.

Reaching the tree trunk that crosses the valley, Tuan stops and motions to Elias and Fiona. "We cross here. Any other point will take time to go around. It is a dangerous crossing and you will have to remain low. I will cover your crossing. The other two of your people will make sure the scouts do not use bows upon them. When all of you have crossed, I will." He nods towards them and then the trunk like bridge.

Fiona's expression changes, like what does he mean, he'll cross last? But she doesn't argue the point. She simply nods fretfully, fists clenching in anticipation as she waits for the order to cross.

Kai's going to watch, and wait for Fiona and Elias to get across the log, staying primed where she is for the slightest motion by the archers like they're going to take a shot at the trio up on the rise. All she needs is a motion, an excuse, really. She can't hear what the three are talking about, but she can assess well enough. It's a crossing point. A choke point. So if something's going to happen, this is the time and place.

Coming up to the bridge, Cameron glances around, and frowns, "I think this is where I start heading back. If I get over that then I'm stuck on the other side, and I need to get back to camp." To Morgan. "I helped get us here as much as I could, but now you guys need to get over that and maybe my slipping away will distract them." He's speaking very, very quietly.

Elias gives a quick nod of his head to Tuan and then to Fiona. "Let me go first. I can hold my own and I'm the most expendable." He doesn't seem to be willing to argue the point either. He pauses to look back to Cameron, though. "Good luck. Be safe." A nod is given to Kai as well, but at that point, he gets down onto the log and starts making his way across.

<FS3> Elias rolls Finesse+finesse: Success.
<FS3> Kai rolls Stealth+1: Good Success.
<FS3> Fiona rolls Finesse+finesse: Success.
<FS3> Orion rolls 7: Success.

A few feet after Elias, Fiona does the same. She keeps her body as low as she can manage, and while she's not exactly Legolas doing ballet on tree branches, she does seem to have competent balance and athleticism to make it across unscathed, unless there's interference from their uninvited guests.

The scouts slip up the hill with the group, but they stall as they see the expanse opening up over the little valley. It wouldn't be a far fall in the darkness, into those fern-blanketed depths, but it's certainly a good deal faster to go across the tree-bridge than it is to go around or under. Probably a good ten minutes' faster, in fact. One of the scouts studies the terrain, then the little group of sneakers, then gives two sharp, loud whistles, which is returned by three more from back behind the group.

<FS3> Kai rolls Finesse+finesse: Good Success.

Kai doesn't need to be psychic. Signals are being made. With the other two across she elects to circle around. There's the tail's tail, sword slid away as she approaches the rise. Log. It's rougher than the balance beams on the Ark. Broader too. She doesn't need to know how far down it is, all she needs to do is not fall off. It's about the timing, the lean girl slipping from the treeline to the log and along it with an ease that belies her Skaikru heritage.

<FS3> Tuan rolls Finesse+finesse: Good Success.

With the last of the Skaikru making their way across the log, Tuan hops up on it. He offers a nod towards Cameron, motioning a bit with his hand in a direction that should probably be safe before her turns and makes his own way across the log to the other side, landing on his feet there. "It will take time to go around this spot, but we must make haste."

With a quick nod to the others, Cam is dashing off to the side, neither back nor forward. He's outta here. Its quite possible he shoulda been outta here earlier then this, but with people tracking its hard to backtrack. So, it's now or never.

When he's finally made it across, Elias sticks close to the base of the bridge on the other side to help people across. In the meanwhile, he does keep his eyes and ears out for anyone else who might have made it to the other side of the valley. An upnod is given to Tuan then. "Help me push this over?" he whispers in regard to the log. "Ought to slow them down."

"They'll just go 'round the other way. It'll take longer, but won't slow them down as much as trying to get the log back in place." Fiona murmurs. At Tuan's crossing, she lets out a breath of relief, smiling tightly over at Kai and Elias. Everyone's still alive. That's good.

As Cam makes his run off to the far side of the group, the two scouts exchange a look, then one shakes their head, and then both start forward, moving up to the base of the log as Tuan reaches the other side, "<In Trigedasleng> Helping ones the kruheda has declared war on is a good way to get the Death of a Thousand Cuts." One of the scouts tucks their arrow away, preparing to clamber up onto the log, while the other steps aside and draws back their own arrow, aiming across the valley.

"No time." is Kai's judgment regarding the log as she hears Tuan, but more importantly, see's the archers, reaching for Elias' shoulder with a nod at Tuan. He says move. And move with haste, and from the way she's heading towards the treeline she agree's.

Tuan stands at the base of the log. "<In Trigedasleng> The Skaikru have elected a Bandrona, on way to Queheda and Heda herself. Interfering with this is not a good way to get the Death of a Thousand Cuts, it is guaranteed." He looks at the Scout about to cross the log. "<In Trigedasleng> Continue, and we will defend the Skaikru Bandrona as any Bandrona must be defended on missions of negotiation."

A nod from Elias is given to Fiona and then Kai. Really, the trunk looks a bit too big to move anyways in any sort of reasonable timeframe. "Right," he says with a quick nod before abandoning the idea to keep moving with the others. Kai's hand on his shoulder draws a brief smile, but then he's all set to move once again.

Fiona is faintly horrified. She wasn't expecting Tuan to directly confront the enemy scouts. Of course, to him they are not enemies. She lets herself be tugged along, though it's hard not to stop and watch how this plays out. Hopefully without an arrow to Tuan's chest.

Cameron's all escaping. Or trying to. Goal: Run awaaaay, then slip into the woods and disappear. Then sneak back to the camp.

<FS3> Cameron rolls Athletics: Success.
<FS3> Cameron rolls Stealth: Good Success.
<FS3> Cameron rolls Stealth: Good Success.

One scout finds their balance on the tree, although they stop briefly at the mention of a Bandrona, looking back to the scout with the drawn bow. That worthy shakes their head, speaking again, "<In Trigedasleng> No. This 'Skaikru' is not a clan of the coalition. They have no right to free passage." That has the sound of personal decision, however, more than orders passed down. And the archer shifts their aim to the one speaking Trigedasleng fluently, and launches an arrow across the divide at Tuan as their fellow starts forward across the log again.

With the pursuit coming up quickly, and the two scouts busy at the fallen tree, there is no one left to chase Cameron, and the Delinquent is able to slip away, find an alternative route, and slip back into camp without further molestation.

Kai figures Tuan's a big tough Grounder, he can totally take care of himself.. and well, Fi's more vital in any case. For the moment she doesn't worry about checking her map or what direction they might eventually want to go. She has two little ducklings by her measure that need to be out of arrow range as soon as possible and the ex-C has no qualms whatsoever about making it so,"That's a chokepoint." hissed for the other two,"We need to put as much distance between them and us as possible if we're going to escape them."

Fiona doesn't want to leave Tuan behind, but with Kai urging her onward, she has to obey. She only catches a portion of the Tridegasleng as she continues onward, and looks to Kai worriedly. "He's coming, isn't he?"

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Archer=7 Vs Tuan=Finesse+3
< Archer: Great Success Tuan: Success
< Net Result: Archer wins - Crushing Victory

"<In Trigedasleng> So scared of a Bandrona speaking on behalf of her people? How honorless of you." Tuan spits down on the ground as he steps up onto the trunk as the other scout continues to cross it. "<In Trigedasleng> If Heda does not wish to hear what is said, she will have us all killed. Unless you do not believe Kruheda or Heda are capable of making their own decisions." He smiles, coldly at the pair of others. "<In Trigedasleng> I will make certain that both know that Sonia kom Trikru is wiser than both to know what they want when we reach them." He stares down the scout that was starting to cross and then it strikes.

The pain is intense, very much so as it presses into his shoulder and into the depths of it. A grimace of pain erupts from him as he staggers and falls to a knee before pushing himself up, blue eyes going cold as he glares across the valley. Over the shoulder through which the arrow shaft protudes he calls out, "Go! You know your destination."

Elias looks back at Tuan, who seems to be intent on staying behind. "Son of a…" He starts to turn back around in an attempt to wrangle the Grounder, but he's too late. Words and then an attack is exchanged and it leaves Elias looking on in horror. He doesn't speak a word of their language, but it's pretty easy to see that they had a disagreement as to how things were going to proceed. Rather than going as Tuan orders, Elias starts back towards the Grounder quickly. "Throw rocks or whatever the hell," he says to the others before clenching his jaw. Unless stopped, he runs over to try to help Tuan back to his feet.

"No!" Fiona, seeing Tuan's body react to the impact and then seeing the arrow in him as he turns, goes pale and starts to shift, intending to reverse her course and head back to Tuan. Her mission is momentarily forgotten as she starts in his direction.

"No! Fi's more important!" this from Kai, to Elias, with the tone of a command. She knows what that sound means, why Elias wants to turn back, but the ex-C already anticipates what Fiona's going to do and dips a shoulder to scoop the other girl up onto her shoulder as she keeps moving away from Tuan with grim determination.

<FS3> Orion rolls 6: Good Success.

The scout on the tree continues to move forward smoothly, drawing a hatchet from their belt as they approach. Up close, Tuan can see that she is a young woman, barely older than him, with a grim set to her face. The archer shifts their aim toward Elias as the Delinquent steps forward, pulling another arrow from their quiver, nocking it, drawing back, and letting fly. It appears that they mean to force a crossing.

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Scout=7 Vs Elias=Finesse+3
< Scout: Great Success Elias: Great Success
< Net Result: DRAW

Tuan sees Elias starting to make his way onto the tree log as well. He hisses, "Follow commands. Do what we agreed. Obey." He looks back across the log and then picking himself up, words are called out. "Ah hod yu, bes'behod." Abruptly Tuan turns and charges down the log with fleet feet towards the other Scout that is making a crossing; the intent is quite clear when he gets closer. He is going to tackle them and take both into the ravine.

Elias almost reaches Tuan when he charges off down the log. Standing there for a moment, he hears the 'twang' of the bow and spots the archer. Thinking quickly enough, he manages to sidestep the brunt of the shot. Still, the arrow does manage to tear through clothing and cut his leg. "You damn…" Heaving a breath, he turns once more and starts running back towards the other two with a brief limp and a wince. "I tried. We gotta' go." This is addressed to both Kai and Fiona, but his eyes settle specifically on Fiona. "I'm sorry."

"NO!" Fiona is over Kai's shoulder like a sack of potatoes, her hand outstretched toward the log where Tuan was just a moment ago. There's about three seconds of a complete inability to process anything, and then she nods frantically to to Elias. "Put me down, Kai." She hiccups softly. "We need to go. Or he - it was all for nothing."

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Tuan=Athletics-2 Vs Scout=4
< Tuan: Embarassing Failure Scout: Good Success
< Net Result: Scout wins - Solid Victory
Tuan spends 1 luck points on If I'm going to die better at least be for something useful..
<FS3> Tuan rolls Athletics-2: Success.
<FS3> Orion rolls 6: Good Success.

Kai's not going to be able to carry Fiona all the way there, no, but right now it's all about putting as much distance between them and the scouts as she safely can. She doesn't know what Tuan's doing, it doesn't matter to her, truthfully. She recognizes that whatever it is, time is being bought in blood and pain. Even Elias is barely spared a look as she hauls the smaller girl away, ignoring any squirming protests. She keeps moving until she hears Fi's request and sets her down as they keep moving,"Do you know the way?" is demanded of Fiona,"There's more coming, we need the fastest path now."

The head-on assault from Tuan is not something that can easily be dodged by the scout, not on a three-foot-wide log, and so she actually waits for him to get close and launch himself forward, and then leaps upward, trying to hurdle the flying Trikru. She almost makes it, too, getting clipped by Tuan's foot as he goes by, and dropping her hatchet as she falls to the rough bark of the tree and scrabbles to catch a handhold. Her fellow Scout watches the Delinquents flee, and then turns back and gives those two sharp whistles again. This time, the response is much closer.

Arrow through the chest definitely makes everything in life more difficult, but damnit, Tuan was trained by the best and so he refuses to accept anything short of the best for himself. As he sails over the other Scout, he rolls and tumbles some skidding off the edge of the thick tree trunk until he is hanging on the side of it with the non-impaired arm. Looking up, his feet lift to grasp around a dried out branch to provide him some leverage. Blood drips from his shoulder now as he hangs upside down on the bottom side of the tree, hoping that he was presumed to go over; granted with the injury he has it may not be a presumption for long.

<FS3> Tuan rolls Athletics-2: Success.
<FS3> Tuan rolls Stealth-2: Good Success.
<FS3> Fiona rolls Survival: Good Success.
<FS3> Kai rolls Survival: Success.
<FS3> Elias rolls Survival: Good Success.

Fiona shakes her head. "This isn't the usual route. But I don't think we're too far away from the usual path." They don't have a lot of time to make a decision though, and now Fiona is less confident about bringing the war to Coesbur's doorstep.

Elias starts heading in the right direction. While he's never been to Coesbur himself, he is aware enough of where he is as to be able to discern the direction of the village. Fiona's suggestion gets a nod from Elias. "Sounds about right," he says quietly and moves with them rapidly as possible in that direction while not losing the others.

"Go." Kai isn't sure. Not like they are. What she has in her head isn't matching what she can work out of their surroundings, but right now she recognizes that their best chance is to get to Coesbur because she totally doesn't fancy her chances against the two archers.

The scout on the tree listens for a crash, doesn't hear one, and sort of assumes it got lost in the whistling and the sound of half dozen or so Trikru rushing forward from behind. Looking to the scout still on solid ground, she shrugs, looks down into the depths of the ravine where her hatchet fell, grimaces again, then starts across the tree-bridge with a most-grumpy set to her shoulders. The archer gets up on the tree at the other end, but seems ready to wait for the others to arrive before crossing. "<In Trigedasleng> We'll get you a new axe. And we'll catch up to them again as soon as the others get here and we make sure they find the crossing."

<FS3> Kai rolls Stealth: Failure.
<FS3> Tuan rolls Brawn+brawn-2: Failure.
<FS3> Opposed Roll — Tuan=Athletics-2 Vs Gravity=4
< Tuan: Failure Gravity: Failure
< Net Result: Both Fail.
<FS3> Tuan rolls Stealth-2: Good Success.
<FS3> Elias rolls Stealth: Good Success.
<FS3> Kai rolls Athletics: Great Success.
<FS3> Elias rolls Athletics: Good Success.
<FS3> Fiona rolls Athletics: Success.

Hanging as he is can only take place for so long. But Tuan waits until the cross bridge log is empty of bodies before he releases his grasp on where he is at, the exhaustion taking him and he begins the free fall into the ravine, slapping a few branches with his palms while doing so during the last of the fall to help reduce his speed before landing. It only sounds like a soft thud, easily missed by most people. There, at the bottom of the Ravine, Tuan sits back and then eventually lays back to catch his breath, looking down to his shoulder to assess just how bad it is in the darkness.

Stealth.. or speed? For Kai, speed is the essential component, apparently. Because the lean ex-C is certainly good at being fast, but maybe from fatigue, maybe from fear, she's the loud one now. She wont let herself get ahead of Fiona or Elias, they know the way better than her, and attacks are likely to come from behind. So the girl with the sword simply chases after the other two Delinquents as fast as their collective legs can carry them to Coesbur.

There's a bit of rerouting involved, and a few very brief stops to orient themselves. Fiona throws herself wholeheartedly into navigating them to Coesbur. She has to, because she cannot think about what is presumably the broken body at the bottom of the ravine. The only thought she can spare for that is the hope that Tuan somehow survived. And when they finally do see Coesbur on the horizon, she almost sobs with relief.

At the ravine, the scouts only have to wait a couple of minutes before the rest of the pack to catch up, five Trikru archers and warriors carrying a variety of weapons. Evidently, they do not expect the Delinquents to head directly to Coesbur, because they throw out a wide net after they cross the tree-bridge, searching for their trail — relatively easy to find — and then chasing after with the inexorable nature of a glacier. And so it is that the Delinquents reach the bridge to Coesbur just as dawn is breaking… and with the whistles and occasional shouts of the Grounders still audible behind them, perhaps fifteen or twenty minutes at most.

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