Day 019: Thripoda War
Summary: A group of Delinquents arrives on-site at Thripoda, and is forcibly ejected from the area.
Date: 7 June 2016
Related: Follows Eastward Bound.
Grey Lark Lip NPCSonia Grounders Delinquents Max Gertie 

The Thripoda Crater
In emits.
19 Days After Landing

It is early morning, the sun having only crested the horizon a couple hours ago. The early summer heat is mild at best, with mists lifting from the forest to create a low-grade fog near the ground. As the group of delinquents trudge in from the west, the forest seems surprisingly quiet with only the modest series of birdsong. The trees here are a bit younger than those that surround the dropship camp, and there are more leafy canopies than evergreen. They know they are close to the crash site, but there is still quite a tall climb to go before they will be able to see what remains of the crash.

Grey is flat-out drained. It's hard to stay alert when you've been exerting yourself for nearly twelve hours the day before, and sleeping on the ground with a waterskin for a pillow and a jacket for a blanket. Still, he walks purposefully, one hand grasping the strap of his bandoleer, the other pumping at his side as he ascends the hill near the head of the group. Grunting softly, he gestures into the underbrush, noting grimly, "We're gettin' close. Hull platin' over there." His gestures shifts upward, pointing toward a nearby hole in the canopy, "At least I hope it's hull platin'."

"Metal," says Lark, kinda lifting a hand and making a wide gesture towards a hunk of fallen something in the trees. She was pointing out a little shard of something in the trees, embedded in the trunk as they pass it. Bringing up a hand, she gingerly brings her hand near the shard of something, as if to check for tempurature. It's been a few days, it's probably long cooled.

"I think this is the sort of stuff we used on the Ark," she says, her tone of voice going a bit distant. "We're close, definitely close, and double good news," she says, glancing from Grey back over her shoulder towards Lip. "I don't hear any Grounders?" she asks. She didn't sound certain about that. But her imagination held the idea of like… war drums, horns, and guttural shouting all over the place.

And she was doing just a hair better than Grey. Circles under her eyes, a bit dirty, her container of water a little lighter, at least, she was clearly unused to long treks through the woods. But there was something… excited in her demeanor. They were drawing close to something from home.


Lip looks more tired than everyone else combined. He may even have a few scratches and bruises just from the trek itself. He's not good at being in nature and now he's stuck being in nature for the rest of his bound-to-be-short life. He uses his spear as a walking stick, as usual, in his efforts to try and keep up with the rest of the Dellies. "There has to be a better way to travel. Horse? Deer? Monkey? /Anything/." Yeah. He's tired as hell and he's going to continue to complain this entire time. He looks like he could be a damn zombie or something. A zombie with the best hair ever.

As the group start up the hill, the trees begin to thin. There is an entire cluster of trunks that have been splintered, collapsed onto one side, and already creating new habitats for birds and what looks like the fattest chipmunks ever. It probably feels as though the uphill climb is like scaling Everest to these tired teens, if they had any idea what scaling Everest felt like.

"Suck it up, butter-cup," At least Grey's words to Lip come behind a tired grin, but he nods to Lark, "You usually don't." His eyes scan the ground and the trees alike, and he looks back along the column, gesturing up to the lowest branches, "Keep an eye up there too. At the river, they were in the trees." Because even after only two years of Cadet training, the institutional paranoia is in place. Or maybe that's from growing up with his parents, and being picked on for two years in the Box. "Maybe a clearing up there?"

"Well, you made it, at least, Lip. And you're not dead yet, right? So. You're doing okay so far?" offers Lark to Lip, pursing her lips as she considers the other briefly. Drawing a gloved hand through her hair, she glances to Grey, briefly, and starts forward. She was… letting him go first.

And she lowers her voice to a whisper. She doesn't consider the fact that if there were Grounders around, they were probably long alerted to their own presence. But at Grey's guidance, she lifts her eyes from ground to treeline, scanning it back and forth in a horizontal fashion as they approach.

"…I think I'm done with long-distance hikes, by the way."

"Yes sir, Colonel sir." Lip pauses to give a horrible version of a salute but it's more so that he can actually take a moment to rest. It's not a long rest but it's long enough for him to plaster on a simple smile that makes him look even worse than he should. "I made it. Yeah. For now. If shit hits the fan, just leave me behind. I'm gonna' be too tired to run." Lip moves on from having his rest and tries to do the thing where he looks around to see what's up with the trees and the stuff. He doesn't even know what he's looking at or looking for. He's just looking.

"If I get shot with another arrow…"

As the group nears the top of the hill, they get a whiff of the air that had been dissipating over time, but still lingers: the scent of chemical afterburn, the last hints of wood-smoke, and the more pungent smell of dead fish. When the group crests the hill, they suddenly realize why all those scents have come together…

It is a blackened wasteland where the dropship had fallen. It has burned all that stood around it into ash, and it is almost hard to tell what had once been there save for what looks like an old foundation toward the center, and the last remains of docks that had once stretched over three beautiful lakes. The lakes themselves have been burned off to mere puddles in the centers, and dead fish lay in heaps on the now-dry beds.

"Don't call me 'sir,' I work for a living." Apparently, Grey's seen some of those old war movies too. Or his dad, Sergeant Paris Grey, was just really a dick. Even money, really. At least Grey doesn't mention that they only made it here, and that they still have to go back. Or maybe he was going to say that, until he crested the hill. He stops and stares, his mouth dropping open, "Oh shit." His eyes sweeps over the devastation, and he licks suddenly dry lips. Three lakes, docks, the foundation, "Of all the unlikely, improbable, impossible, no, no, no, please tell me it didn't hit Thripoda."

There was a flash of metal in Lark's hand, now, her thumb running over the blunt side of her knife. More like her spike, really.

Drawing in a long breath, she releases it as the clearing comes into further details, her brows furrowing. "…I hope there was no one in that dropship. It looks like it landed /hard/, and took out basically everythi…" she begins to say, when the weight of Grey's words sink in. "…so wait, there were Grounders here?" A beat, and she glances back over her shoulder towards Lip, as if he might know. "Is that what a Thripoda is?" she asks him, before looking back towards Grey.

"Thripoda?! Thripoda?!?! NOT THE THRIPODA!!" Lip throws his hands up into the air and even flails around with his spear a little bit. He realizes he's probably being overdramatic and all of that but he certainly does seem to be laying it on a little thick and maybe even a little too loud. "… What the fuck is a Thripoda?" Lip shrugs a bit back in the direction of Lark because he doesn't know what in the hell any of this is. Pause. "Wait. So does this mean we came all the way here for nothin'?! Oh bloody hell…"

Grey draws in a breath, and only then does the lingering stink register. He brings up the base of his shirt in his left hand to cover his mouth and nose, "Ugh… that stinks like hell." Swallowing down a sudden urge to vomit, he gestures downward, "I might be wrong… I hope I'm wrong. But if I'm not, that's where hundreds of our people, and hundreds of Trikru died. A whole village, called Thripoda." Not even Lip's antics are going to stir him from horror to irritability at this point, "Not for nothin', Lip. Now we know we got big trouble. Unless we can convince the kruheda, the Clan chief, that this wasn't intentional, shit got real bad."

Drawing in a long breath, Lark releases it in another sigh, bringing up her hand to kinda wave in front of her nose. "At least it smells a little bit like home - like the Ark," she says, bringing up her hand to kinda tug her shirt up over her nose as well. "With fish. And death," she adds.

What Grey says takes a moment to sink in. But she gives her head a swift shake, glancing back towards Lip.

"Worst case scenario, there's parts we can use back at the camp - best case scenario… there's supplies. Or people left alive."

<FS3> Lark rolls Alertness+1: Success.
<FS3> Grey rolls Alertness+1: Good Success.
<FS3> Lip rolls Alertness+1: Success.

"Alright, alright. So this is what I'm hearin'. I'm hearin' we accidentally killed some Groundhogs and the only way we gonna' maybe live through this is if we go an' talk our way outta' it witht he Big Kahuna or whatever?" Lip doesn't really feel any kind of way for the people that may be dead or even the fish. He's just kind of letting things sink in too. "Let's go. Let me at 'em. I can't do much but I can fuckin' talk. So let's go do this thing." Lip doesn't even know what he's volunteering for but if it makes Lark think he's awesome then he's going for it. Or something.

That is when the small unit of Grounders come into sight down in the black crater of the dropship crash below. There is about five of them all together — two on horseback, three on foot. One of the Grounders on horseback is a tall, amazonian woman astride a blood bay gelding. The horse looks monstrous, particularly for the rider, its black and red tail thrashing idly. If the Grounders have spotted the delinquents on the hill, they have not indicated that yet. They are well armed and armored, and thier ashed and oiled faces are pretty typical for what the delinquents have seen for the warriors and scouts of the Trikru.

Frowning thoughtfully, Grey says distractedly, "I don't even know where the kruheda'd be. TonDC or Polis?" Not that he knows where those are, not really. The appearance of the patrol down in the crash causes him to blink, and he licks his lips uncertainly, "But… uh… they'd be able to tell us how things are runnin'." He looks back to the rest of the ten Delinquents, then down to the five Grounders again, "Question is… are they willin' to talk in the middle of a bunch of their dead?"

Not that… Lark knew anything of what Grey was saying.

Almost as soon as the Grounders came into view, Lark ducks, hitting the dirt rather roughly - and maybe looking the fool as she does so. A beat, and she glances between Grey, and then the rest of those that came. "Well, we outnumber them, at least," she says, somewhat unconvincingly.

A beat. Lip seemed brave enough to want to talk to them.

"…maybe? I don't think there's a good way to find out."

"Only one way to find out. My way." Lip stares down at the Grounders that have arrived and he doesn't even take a moment to think. Well, that's a lie. He's thinking super hard because he's trying to figure out why he's even doing this. It certainly can't be to impress a girl. Except, well, that's why he's here in the first place. He was trying to impress a girl. And that seems to be what he tends to fall in line with so that's what he's going to do. "Watch and learn, kids. Watch and learn." That was another moment of stalling because he needs to psych himself up and he just tosses his spear off in the direction of Grey. "If they kill me? Run. Fast." Lip nods to Grey and takes a moment to look at Lark as if to say: 'Remember Me For This.'

Lip's hands immediately go up and above his head. He doesn't even know why he's got his hands up but he doesn't want to startle anyone or anything into shooting him with an arrow. And somehow he's going to try and walk/climb/skid down so that he can be on a more firm and level speaking ground with the Groundhogs. "Hey! Don't uh, y'know, throw any sharp objects my way! I come in peace and bearing, uh, gifts! For your, Chief Kruheda!"

This is probably not going to go well. That's even if Lip can get down there without, oh, falling or some crap. Nature sucks.

The woman on the blood bay turns her head around sharply at the approaching lanky Skaikru. Her black hair — more from the ash combed through the braids rather than it being an actual shade of black — whips around her face, and cuts into her visage, making her appear quite savage. Her lips peel back over her teeth, flashing a predatory snarl. "SKAIKRU!" Her voice is a harsh bellow, and she draws her sword immediately from the sheath at her back. Her fist works around the leather-bound hilt.

The other rider is pulling around his horse, and the three foot soldiers are pulling out their own weapons. Oh look, one of them has a bow.

The people on either side of Grey take the exact opposite approach from one another. And there he was thinking so hard he didn't take either approach. He catches the spear, fumbles it a moment, and then corrals it, eyes the quintet of Grounders, mutters, "…this is probably a bad idea…" and starts down the hill after Lip. He spreads his arms out to the sides, trying to make it clear that he's making no aggressive actions, despite the spear in his hand and the hilt sticking up over his right shoulder. He calls out, "Ai laik Greh kom Skaikru," that, at least, he's practiced plenty of times. "We come to speak peacefully." That's just to reinforce what Lip said. Out of the corner of his mouth, he murmurs, "Lip… get ready to run."

Lark crinkles her face as Lip throws himself in the face of danger like that, her eyes nonetheless tracking his forward motion - and looking to the Grounders when they ready their weapons. Setting her jaw forward - she was grateful when Grey charges up beside him. "Wait…" Lark glances over her shoulder, towards the others. "He speaks Grounder?"

A moment.

"Guys, this might go bad - we should get ready to try to cover them if they start attacking," she says, drawing herself up to a kneel atop the little rise, drawing in a deep breath - and sliding her thumb over the flat of one of her spikes.

One of the Delinquents behind the ridgeline snorts at Lark's question, "Grey? Naw, he's too dumb to speak Grounder."

"No. We run, they chase. They chase, we die. Gonna' try talking. Like normal people would." Only Lip can manage to say all that quietly and without moving his lips and even without looking at Grey. He doesn't even know why Grey followed him down here! They really should've planned this out better.

"I am Lip, Speaker of Skaikru." Lip makes sure he's not going to invade any more personal space and keeps himself at a good enough distance to be able to talk and be looked at. "We stand in the aftermath of tragedy. With you, not against you." Lip's eyes gloss over into a full on non-aggressive gaze. "We seek an audience with your leader. Will you bless us with an opportunity to alleviate the need for blood to be shed? We seek only peace." Lip doesn't even know if they can understand him but he's just going to keep talking. Usually, when there's talking, there's not killing. That is what Lip is counting on right now.

The Grounders do not seem at all keen on this idea of stopping or peace. In fact, they seem to be very much in a Tybalt from Romeo and Juliet — Peace, I hate the word, as I hate all… Skaikru. The blood bay is charging first, leading the fast approaching horses while the two foot-soldiers are racing along. The bowman though is drawing back her bow, looking down the length of the first arrow, and is aiming right at Lip.

Grey nods his wary acceptance of Lip's response, managing not to laugh (thanks tension) at the taller teen's claim to be the Speaker of Skaikru. His eyebrows rise slightly at the words themselves, and he nods to himself… and then the horses are spurring forward and the archer nocking an arrow. Shoving the haft of the spear back toward Lip, and grasping for the Tesla-teen's shoulder to start pulling him back with his other hand, Grey notes, "I don't think they're in the mood to talk." Once Lip has taken back his spear, Grey reaches up to pull the narrow baton from his bandoleer, snapping it out to his right side in a crisp gesture that would have snapped the weapon out to its full length and sent it crackling with energy — if it was an actual shock baton, and not just a metal rod with a disc in the right place to serve as a hilt. "Move it, move it…"

A smirk from Lark at what the other delinquent says.

And her eyes return to Lip. And she quirks her brow. "That was… actually pretty good. Do they speak English? I think Grey said they spoke English," she states. Grinding her teeth with the increasing anxiety she felt, her face was otherwise a mask of calm, but that goes… totes mcgoats out the window when they start charging.

In an instant, she was standing up, her eyes opening wide with fear, her entire body tense, as if she was going to run.

"No! Don't!" she calls, her voice betraying the fear she was feeling. As if that were going to stop their charge. She was tired - exhausted… and her hands were shaking as she readies one of the spikes into the palm of her hand. "Just like the tree back home," she murmurs to herself. "You're just throwing it at the target on the tree back home…"

"Oi! See! See, that's why nobody likes you people! You're so judgey! And violent! It's like those old films I used to watch back on the Ark! What do they call 'em? Presidential Debates?"

Lip has turn to run like motherfucking hell. Yeah, Lip can manage to actually talk, taunt and retreat all at the same time. His spear in hand and given an almost possibly useful spin (because he's not really thinking about it) before he's off with the running. Zig zag style. Because he is trying not to get his ass shot with another damn arrow. He's been down that road and it sucked. Horribly.

"Goonies! Scatter!" That's to the Delinquents on the Hill!

<COMBAT> Lip attacks Grounder20 with Spear but Grounder20 DODGES!
<COMBAT> Lark attacks Grounder22 with Thrown Knife - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Lark's weapon clicks empty.
<COMBAT> Grounder20 attacks Lip with Sword - Serious wound to Chest.
<COMBAT> Grounder23 attacks Grey with Bow - Light wound to Chest.
<COMBAT> Grounder21 attacks Grey with Club and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Grey attacks Grounder21 with Club but Grounder21 DODGES!
<COMBAT> Lip has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Lip spends a luck point to keep fighting!

The Grounders plunge ahead, though the blood bay seems to pull back a bit, letting her warriors take point. An arrow comes slicing through the air toward Grey, its fletching causing a low whistle of precision. But while Grey is trying to dodge an incoming arrow, he does neatly dodge the incoming club that attempts to knock him clear across the shoulder. The sword-wielding foot soldier is barreling toward Lip, and slices his sword clear across the delinquent's chest, but gallops past.

There's not much you can do about an arrow speeding at you when you're trying to fend off a horse-person with a real, purpose-built club, but Grey does his best to put the horse between him and the archer, and when the arrow comes whistling in, it puts a hole not only in his Ark-made faux-leather jacket, but also a neat line across his back below his shoulder blade, drawing a cry of pain from the ex-C before the arrow passes beneath his left arm and thumps into the hillside. He crouches low under the swing at his shoulder, and then lashes out at the swordsman attacking Lip, only to have the metal bar deflected away, "Damn it!"

Horror mixed with focus on Lark's face as she looses the spike, the thing tumbling end over end towards the grounder…

And just like that, the spike was neatly deflected by the other's armor. With a hiss, she pulls another spike out of her left pocket now, smoothly fixing her focus upon one of the other Grounders proper. With an overhead toss and a step forward, she throws again. "Nonononono," she murmurs to herself.

Spear of Flailing.
-100 to Lip.

Lip's attempts at actually doing something useful and combative are so far behind that being in the negatives is a positive thing. His attempt to fight against the attacking Grounders is cut short when a blade of Grounder Hate slices through his jumpsuit and his chest with a deep enough gash that has Lip reeling from the impace and the slicing motion. His entire body spins, the spear slipping from his fingers as he goes down.

There's blood. There's pain. And there's a distinct lack of words coming out of Lip's mouth. Yup, this is pretty damn serious.

<COMBAT> Lark attacks Grounder20 with Thrown Knife but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Lark's weapon clicks empty.
<COMBAT> Grounder23 attacks Grey with Bow - Serious wound to Chest.
<COMBAT> Grounder22 attacks Lark with Sword but Lark DODGES!
<COMBAT> Grey attacks Grounder21 with Club but Grounder21 DODGES!
<COMBAT> Grounder20 attacks Grey with Sword but Grey DODGES!

The Grounders are successfully — as if that is their intention! — to cause the delinquents to flee. Sonia still stays back, perched on her blood bay. She barks an order in Trigedasleng, drawing her horse in closer as she adjusts her grip on her broadsword. The archer immediately adjusts target, drawing back her bow as she focuses on Lip despite the fact she landed a superior strike on Grey.

"Lip!" Grey forces himself forward, stepping between the fallen Delinquent and his attacker. "Come on, man. Get up, get movin'." And then he aims to use the trump card, "There are girls watching." With the horse gone, Grey suddenly doesn't have any cover from the archer, and he catches an arrowhead between his lower-right ribs. He grunts in pain, staggering back and barely fending off a strike from the sword as well. Starting to retreat back up the hill, his breath comes short and quick, pained as the arrow shifts and moves with every motion. "Blood's had blood, damn it!" He winces in pain again as he continues to retreat, "We're sorry your people got killed, but ours did too!"

<COMBAT> Grey will spend luck on defense this turn.

The second spike - the Grounder Lark was throwing at ducks under her spike, and it was at that point that out of the corner of her eye, she sees the second Grounder approaching her - she notices the way the sword was swinging, and instinctively falls forward unto her knees, realizing how terrible a position this was in just a moment more.

Hand dipping to her inside pocket now, she pulls out her knife. This was a knife knife, a long, jagged thing of scrap metal that had an edge to it.

With a tumble forward, she holds to draw herself out of the man's range, and come out of that tumble in a sprint. Running with knives - a terrible idea. But she wasn't thinking about that yet.

Lip's eyes open. "Ugh… I'm not dead?" Lip reaches up to touch his chest and there's, y'know, lots of blood on his hand now. He's lost a lot of it already but he's also trying not to freak out. He lays there for a moment as the world spins around his head but he manages to get himself up to his feet. "Fuckin' assholes." Lip is somewhere between angry and light-headed already. But he clutches his chest and starts to run. Away from all this craziness. It's the worst run he's ever done because he's tired, bleeding, probably about to die and he doesn't even have his spear anymore!

"Useless. Fuckin' useless, pretentious, all talk, motherfucker…" Yeah. Talking about himself while stumble-running for his life? Probably not helping. Whatever.

<COMBAT> Grounder23 attacks Lip with Bow - Moderate wound to Chest.
<COMBAT> Grounder21 attacks Grey with Club and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Grounder20 attacks Grey with Sword but Grey DODGES!
<COMBAT> Grounder22 attacks Grey with Sword but Grey DODGES!
<COMBAT> Lip has been KO'd!

It is Sonia that speaks after Grey, her warriors still attacking after the fleeing Skaikru, "There are not enough Skaikru in all the sky to bleed enough to satisfy the amount of blood spilled on this ground." Her words are bellowing and laced with anger, and the vein in her throat is bulging with her rage. She snaps off an angry order at the Warriors, and they begin to head back toward the saddled woman. She tightens her hand around her sword once more. "Run, Skaikru, run! We are already at your doorstep! You will come home to your people's graves!"

Two Grounders are coming after Grey this time, and all he's doing is focusing on keeping their swords away from his body — without jostling the arrow sticking out of his ribs. "Not yet, Lip. So let's move." He knocks aside a thrust with his left forearm, taking a glancing cut along the bottom of his arm, but keeping his stomach from being perforated. The other sword-stroke is parried up and over his head with the makeshift baton, the raising of his arm causing Grey to grunt in pain, and sending another little wash of blood down his ribs beneath his shirt. He stops at the top of the hill, shifting his baton into his left hand and curling his right at his side, "Bring it, bitch." Probably not the most intelligent thing to say, but didn't one of the other Delinquents already call Grey dumb, "You come for our camp over an accident, we'll stack you up like cordwood." He's still making sure that he's the last one retreating, but there's nothing he can do about the arrow snapping over his head.

Lark steps forward - shaky and panicking. The other delinquents were no doubt in a state of retreat at this point, but she dashes forward, towards the fallen Lip. Holding her knife up, she keeps her eyes narrowed - brow furrowed - stance wide - the knife held at a diagonal angle in front of herself with her left hand, her eyes barely flickering over towards Grey. She was still unwounded, more or less. "Don't be dumb, Grey, get /out/," she hisses.

Her right hand? Going down to pat Lip's shoulder, hoping to drag him up to his feet - or, at least, onto her arm. "Grab my shoulder, grab my shoulder. Wake up," she hisses down at him, her focus entirely on the Grounders. "We're gonna get out, you'll see. It'll be okay."

"Leave me—- just fuckin'… go?" Lip doesn't even know what the hell is happening anymore. He doesn't even know how he's managing to get on his feet and use people as crutches. He doesn't want to but they are trying to save his life. Why are they even trying to save his life? Lip doesn't understand. "Oh fuck. Not again." Lip has managed to glance down at his already sliced open chest and there's an arrow sticking out of it. He almost passes out again. He doesn't even have enough energy to witty banter back at the Groundhog Bastards. It's time to go. Quickly.

<COMBAT> Lark attempts to rally Lip and FAILS

Sonia's smile is mocking — sharp as the sword she wields. "We have already brought it." She points her blade to the west. "Stack us, boy… if you can." She whistles then, and her warriors starts their retreat, but there is a certain level of dread around the other delinquents as they come scrambling down the hill to help Lark grab Lip, hauling him between two boys to begin the rather stumbling climb up the hill.

"What hell does she mean," one gasps, "that they already brought it?"

"She said shoulder, Lip." Grey hasn't even looked back, still backing up with his weapon in his off-hand and his dominant hand curled in close to his arrow-pierced side. He stumbles over a shattered sapling, but manages to get his balance before he goes all the way down to the ground. He waits one more moment there at the crest, long enough for Lark to get help with Lip, and then… communicates… with the Grounders. Keeps up foreign relations. You know, flips them the bird. And then he's gone into the woods, moving gingerly, each steps tugging at the arrowhead in his side. "Gonna… need a hand here. And… ow… we're gonna have to hurry back too." The Delinquent's question draws a shake of his head, "They got horses. Faster than us. Probably already attacked." He pales with more than just pain then, and whispers, "Or got Coesbur to do it."

<FS3> Lark rolls Brawn: Good Success.

Maybe it was the adrenaline - but as those two boys come down the hill to help Lark with Lip, she manages to tug the young man up on her own, dragging him a handful of steps in spite of the fact that she was doing it one handed - just as afraid to drop the knife as she was to release him.

Still breathing heavily, it was at that point that she notices… "…Grey! Oh my god - you're bleeding all over too!" she says.

"If… right now is any indication, I hope… we figure out a way to fight. If they fight us like this… we're all dead."

"jus'… jus' let me go… put me down… dead- weight…"

Lip's gone. Not dead but not alive. He's out into the world of bleeding unconsciousness and doesn't even know what the hell is happening now. He's done. That's a wrap. Lip's Out of Service.

Grey's features harden even pale like they are, "We use the rifles." The words are quiet, murmured rather than spoken aloud, in case they're being followed. And then he admits painfully, "If the camp's still there." His eyes close as he leans against a tree-trunk for a long moment, "Nice job with… Lip." Getting him out of there, that is. "Need to… get the arrow out. Then I'll be good." Okay, so he could probably do with a bandage or cauterization too. But cauterization requires a fire be made. "Gotta keep movin'. Got one last ace in the hole if we can make it back before the attack."

"They could have killed us both at any time," murmurs Lark back. "I got lucky. You got…" Lark's face twists in pain again as she notes his wound. "It took /so/ long to get here, and are you going to bleed out on us? Is Lip? How… how can I help you?" she says. He said she needed to get the arrow out.

She doesn't try.

"Come on, do you need to lean on me, big guy?" she asks. "I think you can still do it."

"They tried." Grey pushes off the tree, staggers a few more steps, but with the adrenaline leeching out of his system, he has to put a hand on Lark's shoulder, leaning a good portion of his weight on her, "Isn't that sweet, little Lark." Is he… flirting…? Or snarking…? It's hard to tell with his pain-roughened voice. "Thanks. I'll survive. I think. Better — " his words stop as pain clamps down on his throat, but he forces himself to stagger onward, leaning on Lark and looking at the straggling line of Delinquents carrying Lip and doing their best to hurry back toward the camp, "Better'n last time we got jumped. Takin' everyone back with us."

Max comes down with some of the others toward Lark, Lip, and Grey, and says, "Let me take a look at them. Let me get the arrow out if I can and get them bandaged up before we make them walk much farther." He looks gratefully over at Lark as she helps Grey along.

Lark makes a sound in the back of her throat. It was an annoyed sounding chuff at his snark, or flirt, or whatever - but a smile follows after. A step forward with his weight on her - then another - she brings up a hand to support his shoulder. "Yeah, yeah. But when they swung a sword at me, they missed. Less of a target," she says, bringing up a hand to tap the tip of her nose.

He staggers her way with that clamp of pain, and her eyes widen, one eye closing as she resists his weight a bit. "Yeah," she says, to no one in particular. "We gotta make it there, though. You need help, and Lip…" Lark glances back his way. Max is spotted. "Max, am I glad to see you! I uh… come on, Grey, let's go his way."

"That's twice a chick archer's shot me now." Grey's rambling a bit, "Don't think I should try the same trick this time." He lets Lark lead him over toward Max, "Lip's got it worse. Should check on him." Then again, Lip's also being carried by two people while two more work on putting together a stretcher, and Grey is the stubborn idiot trying to walk with an arrow slipped between his ribs on his right side. And the slash across his back from a semi-miss, but that's not really so concerning at the moment, despite the blood trickling down his back and the hole in his jacket. "Good job, Lark. Really. They're good. Nearly clipped me too."

<FS3> Max rolls First Aid: Great Success.

Max looks Grey over, but since he's standing, he goes over to Lip first and steps in once they get him onto the stretcher and goes to work assessing and tending to his wounds, making sure that the bleeding is stopped and that pressure is put in the right places to stabilize him enough for the trek back. It even manages to bring him back around. He's pretty focused on what he's doing, working quickly but diligently, and says to Lark, "I'll be right over for Grey in a sec." He shoots Grey a sidelong look as well. Don't argue. Resistance is futile.

"Maybe I should get a bow then. It seems to work for Grounders," says Lark with a wryness. She was still shivering a bit with the exhilaration of the fight, but her breathing was beginning to stabilize, the young woman closing her eyes and letting out a breath. "They've spent their entire lives learning how to fight like this - so we're playing catchup in a couple weeks. I think you're right - we shouldn't try to fight like them," she says, bringing up her free hand to brush her thumb across her lips, considering.

"Do you know, offhand, if we have any hydrazine back at the camp?" she asks, before she glances towards Max. "Wow, he is going to be a doctor. He's already got that 'no nonsense' look down, right?" jokes Lark a bit, voice still a touch anxious.

"Got two back at camp. But without Zoe to teach…" Grey isn't going anywhere without Lark's assistance at the moment, so he just stands there and bleeds, "…not that she woulda anyhow." Closing his eyes against a wave of pain from his side, he tries to breathe shallowly, "I'm not goin' anywhere, Max." Lark's question causes him to open his eyes again, looking back over his shoulder. He raises his voice as best as he can, beyond just conversational, "Oh yeah. Tons of hydrazine left at camp." And then he lowers it again, and completely reverses course, "Not a clue." He glances back to Max a minute, "Docs get all the chicks. But some of us can fight 'em one-on-one. The ex-Cs, a couple others. The rest… time to learn, I guess. Or do…" His free hand makes a wave-y 'I dunno' gesture, "…fancy stuff with hydrazine and traps."

"ugh… th' hell?"

Lip blinks a couple of times but doesn't really seem to be wanting to move that much. Even though, well, it seems like he's going to be okay. Or, well, he's not going to immediately die. He doesn't even want to think about infections and there's still the actual /pain/. He blinks again. "… did anybody die? Please tell me I didn't get somebody killed. Where's Grey? Lark? Grey! Lark!" And there's the wincing. It only hurts when he talks.

<FS3> Max rolls First Aid: Success.
Max spends 1 luck points on Let's not puncture a lung, shall we?.
<FS3> Max rolls First Aid+3: Good Success.

A little snort then.

"My dad was in the guard - he taught me how to shoot, but it's been years for me. I think I could handle a rifle sorta okay, if I get a little bit of practice time," says Lark. "But don't we have like… a couple ex-cadets? They might be better shots," she says.

"I don't think they're going to let us fight them one on one, though - because… well…" Lark lets herself trail off, rolling her shoulder and bringing her spare hand up to rub it. "If people aren't already on it by the time we get back to camp, I'm gonna help with that. Blast these howling apes back to the forest, right?" she says, a bit more confidence entering her demeanor.

It was at that point that Lip wakes up, her eyes blinking as she looks to him. "Lip!" she calls to him. "You made it, we both made it. It's totally fine," she says. Taking a step nearer to him, she pauses. "I swear. Grey tries to do the 'save yourself I'll hold them back' thing, and you actually kinda pull it off," she says. "Is that a guy thing, or what?"

Max smirks over at Lark and says, "I'm not a doc. Not like our baby docs. I just make sure nobody bleeds out on the way home." With Lip both conscious and, well, Lippy again, he focuses his attention on Grey, moving first to take a look at the wound on his back and getting that tended easily enough. Then he settles in to examine where the arrow went in and came out. "This is gonna hurt," he points out. He then breaks off the fletching of the arrow as close as he can to Grey's side, because it's going to have to go through to come out. Directing Lark to help put pressure over the wound on one side and then the other after making sure to be certain taking it out wouldn't be worse…he pulls it out, with neither warning nor ceremony. Better not to anticipate it. Once Grey has been bandaged up on both sides he says, "It's a dumb guy thing." Though he can't keep a straight face when he says it, not really, grinning a little sidelong.

Grey looks up as Lip calls out, providing a nice distraction for Max to work on his wounds, "Hey, Lip, you're alright, man. We're all just f — " It would be more convincing if he didn't strangle a scream when Max snaps the shaft of the arrow and pushes the head through his back. He's silent for a good minute then, breathing hard and trying to remain conscious. Finally, he manages, "Easy on the… you know, talkin' too much. The Trikru," he's still using the clan name, rather than the term 'Grounder,' apparently, "got good scouts. And… except for the raging bitch back there, they've got some good people too." He looks down to his side, over to Max, "Just shred the shirt if you need bandages, Max. But yeah, we gotta fight like us, not like them, where we can." And then he glances to Max, correcting, "It's a smart guy thing." Liar.

And there's Gertie. She's actually managed not to take an arrow or get hammered on in any form by the Tikru, probably thanks to the others getting themselves in the line of fire ahead of her. "Shit. Shit shit shit." She drops to her knees and hunkers down next to Lip. "Hey. What about, 'Where's Gertie?' I'm not feeling much of your famous love right now." she says, twisting her head to pull a comedic face at him. There's a kind of cracking to her voice as she says that, something akin to concern, worry and relief revealing itself in both the tone of it and the expression that sets upon herself. And her smile? That infamous smile of her's that's rarely off her face? It's kind of muted now, a ghost of it's former self. Pinned in place, rather than being naturally there.

Lip blinks a little bit at everything that's going on right now. He wants to move but he doesn't want to move. There's all kinds of movement that could actually make things worse probably. Instead, though, he just kind of moves the only things on him that actually work. His eyes cut over to the nearby Gertie."… sorry. Blood loss. I hear kisses make everything all better." Lip's just kidding, probably, as his head turns to the side and his eyes open up wider. "Shit. Ow." Yup. still hurts when he talks. "We gotta' get back to camp. Those bastards are gonna' slaughter everyone. We gotta' go. Now." Lip hops up to his feet and does a somersau— okay, not really. That's what happens in his head. In real life? He raises his hand.

A nod of Lark's head towards Max. "You're better than me, that's for sure. I spent too much time in vents and things, and not enough time with…" There was a morbid curiousity on Lark's face as she watches the man work, her nose crinkling, her face scrunching up. "…people," she says.

"Gotcha. A /dumb/ guy thing," says Lark, glancing with a roguishness towards Grey briefly, before her eyes tilt skyward. A moment, and she slumps against a tree. "I'll take your word for it, Grey," she says. "You know so much about 'em," says Lark. That's when Gertie comes in. Eyes track across the other woman briefly, reading her face, her demeanor, and Lark loses a bit of her own smile as well. At least, until Lip says what he does. That draws a smirk from her.

"Mum was a medtech," Max says with a slight shrug of his shoulders. "Before I went in, that's what I wanted to be. Never quite made it there." He shoots a smirk back at Grey followed by a grin and a clasp of the uninjured shoulder. "Sorry," he says, genuinely, for the sudden and awful pain that was removing the arrow. "Better not to tense up for it and all. You should hold together til we can get a real doc to check you out." Once he's satisfied that Grey is good to go, he straightens up and with blood-coated fingers, waves to Gertie. Gruesome. Then it's like the distraction of blood and needing to tend to others falls away and one can see the curtain fall across his features as realization hits, "Fuck.. Quinn is back there.. I'm.. going to check and see if anyone else needs immediate attention.. we gotta get moving. They're going to need our help back there."

Grey nods his acceptance of Lark's roguish correction, "Yeah, sure, that too." He tests the movement of his right arm after Max has finished bandaging his side, then nods a little tightly, "No, it's good. Thanks, man." His face is still drawn and pale beneath his dark skin, but at least he can move his arm without stabbing agony. Looking back to Lark, he adds, "I know a couple of them." And then he finally slips his baton back into his bandoleer, "Yeah. She is, Max. But she can handle herself, and the others. Adams, Greery, Stone, Brandt, Wolfe. They're all there." Well, most of them. Kai went off to the southeast looking for the missing hunters. "You're right though, we gotta get movin'. Yeah, you're right too, Lip."

Gertie's nose scrunches, a hand lifting with fingers curled around the cuff of her jacket to trap it in place as she rubs away dirt from her face with the back of her sleeve. "Sure thing," she says to Lip. "… when we get back to camp. Lots of kisses to make it better. All the kisses. Just, you know, let's get back first." She pushes to her feet and extends a hand down to him, ready to haul him to his feet as soon as he takes it. She worries at her lower lip, looking between the others. "Sure they'll be alright," she says. "I mean, we're us. It'd be kind of shit for everything to end like this when we survived up in the Ark all this time. I mean. It's be really shit. Shitty shit."

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