Day 005: Weather to Take the High Road or the Low
Summary: The expedition to Mount Weather does not go as planned.
Date: 5 May 2016
Related: None Directly
Faolan Ruth Evie Grey Martin Cassandra Quinn Max Devin Cookie Fiona Morgan Lip Grounders 


A Riverbank to the West
In poses.
5 Days After Landing

At the crack of dawn, a small band of fifteen delinquents left the safety of the camp, knowing they may not return to it again for two or more days. They headed west, following the general direction that the map from the dropship indicates. Through the rough forests, it is going to be hard staying on the right path, but they know that the river lies to the west, between the mountainous hill where the ship had fallen and the climb of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Supplies had been rationed for the journey, but hunting along the way is going to be necessary, which will only further slow their progress.

It has been almost two and a half hours now, and the group comes to the river's edge. Those who were part of the river excursion yesterday will notice that this isn't exactly the same place on the riverbank, as this one has an enormous hemlock felled nearly across the forty-foot span of the river. While its enormous roots still stand like a giant, multi-armed monster at the eastern bank, its broken head had fallen — perhaps by luck — between two large boulders in the rapids, allowing the river to rush under its belly. There is about a twelve foot gap between the broken head of the fallen tree and the opposite riverbank. There is also a rise on the far side, giving what might be a nice lookout once they cross the river.

Some of the delinquents are taking a moment to catch their breath, enjoy the sun, and refuel on some of the provisions. Water sacks are being refilled, as well, as there's no guarantee that they will find another fresh water source as they head into the western side of the forests.

Faolan comes armed and prepped for the trip. He has his sharpened scrap metal knife, the one with the wooden handle he keeps trying to improve on that keeps falling off anytime he gets a bit too enthusiastic about his carving or stabbing. In his right hand he's got his spear secured. All the many pockets of his practical multi-pocket pants are stuffed with his share of the provisions. A rucksack would've been better, but them's the breaks. As they travel towards Mount Weather, he sticks close to the mapholder Evie, a big (and largely silent) self appointed bodyguard to the girl most likely to get them where they aught to be going.

<FS3> Cookie rolls Alertness: Success.

A hard-earned lesson was learned at the river not too long ago by a before-careless Ruth. For this, she wisely doesn't linger by the riverside than she has to. She does a quick sweep of it over her arms, hair, and collects more stones to tuck into her parachute-cloth bag before stepping back with some measure of haste.

Standing near the fallen tree, Evie glances between the river and her map, and then peers upward past the boulders. Her lips curve down into a slight frown, and her attention turns to the others who are either resting, milling about, or filling up their water containers. Quietly she folds up the map and tucks it into her jacket pocket, having assured herself that this may be the only time they can cross without losing daylight. Her mouth opens to speak, but she is distracted by a patch of dandelions near a tree. She stoops to pluck them up at the roots before turning to find Faolan still near her. "We have to cross here, I think, otherwise we'll have to go upstream to see if there's a shallower crossing and then circle back along the opposite bank. Input?"

Grey has added a sort of duffel-bag made out of a seat-cover to his attire, hanging down at his left hip from a seat-belt bandoleer. He walks with one of his sapling-spears on his right hand, and two more in his left hand, resting up on his shoulder. Using the butt of the first as a walking stick, he's tried to keep at the front of the pack for most of the walk. When they reach the river, he looks down at the water, then carefully takes a measured step back. "Remember what they found up north and be careful when you're gettin' water." He gathers all three spears up on his left hand, however, and crouches down at the water's edge, refilling the bundled-parachute bag of water that he's been messily drinking from along the trip. It doesn't hold a lot of water, and it leaks, but it's something. "Yeah, don't know that there'll be a better place to cross than with this tree. Anyone bring any rope or somethin' to get across?"

Martin has brought his spear along with his own set of rations and supplies. He stays near the front of the pack, being trained in Earth Studies as well. When the reach the river, he swallows a bit heavily and stares at the river. Deciding to test something he looks for a large to throw into the river. "Should we toss something in to see if anything stirs?"

<FS3> Cookie rolls Survival: Good Success.

In keeping with the ground of trailblazing Delinquents, Cassandra Bonheur wears a dour look. Likely this has something to do with the fresh red bruise she's sporting on the side of her jaw, and the obvious tension between her and one Ruth Mercer. "You didn't think I'd let you have all the fun, did you?" she hisses by her ear as they set out, but apart from that strives to maintain as wide a berth as possible throughout this expedition. Instead she lingers closer to Evie, fellow Earth Skills nerd, casting the occasional glance over the auburn-haired teen's shoulder to check the map. "We can cross it," she determines. "More worried about crossing it on the way back. Could rise if it rains." She's hardly a distractible sort, but the canopies and bushes do get her attention with interest.

The trip has been talked about, and thought about, and somewhat planned for. Quinn's made herself a knife and a spear for the trip, and has kept the items close to her as they've started out from the camp. She sticks close to Max for most of the walk, quietly speaking with him every so often, and when they have come to a stop she takes the time to rest and refill the containers that have been converted for water carrying.

Max follows along next to Quinn. He has a pair of makeshift knives and the bag that he tends to carry with a few bits of first aid supplies, ripped up bits of bandage cloth and the sort. He talks to Quinn off and on as they walk along, but otherwise quiet, mostly keeping his eye out around them, into the trees as they go.

A trip to Mount Weather has been something that Devin has been wanting since they landed on the planet and he realized they were not on the mountain. Has remained quiet during the trip, his knives tucked into his belt and he uses a spear as a walking stick as he travels in the middle of the pack. As they reach the river and the fallen tree, Devin takes the opportunity to fill his belly with water before filling up his water skin again. He looks around the area as the others study the tree and the other activities his companions are occupying themselves with. He glances towards Grey as he asks about rope before he looks around the area to see if there's anything they can use for rope if no one has brought any.

On today's menu: dried rabbit jerky that's been lightly seasoned; a golf-ball-sized ball of pemmican, with an excellent meat-to-fat ratio, made from deer jerky; and some raspberries and blueberries that have been transformed into strips of fruit leather. Considering the minimal, makeshift kitchen accouterments and the Making Meat learning curve, it's rather impressive. (<FS3> Cookie rolls Science -1: Good Success, y'all. Eat something delicious before you die.)

When you are the provider of yum-yums, amiable, and pretty damn chill, people tend to help you out, especially when you say you need some kind of sack to collect the food supposedly waiting at Mount Weather. And so it is that Cookie is collecting some of what catches her eye along the way. When she espies the massive hemlock, her eyes widen in an 'Ooh!' kind of way because she knows that hemlock shavings can be eaten immediately, or can be dried and pressed into cakes for preservation. Closer inspection reveals that the tree is Very Dead, thus useless. It's not the only one in the grove, though, so she tells the others, "We should shave off the hemlock bark before we cross."

Fiona has had a chance to have her (now torn) shirt dry, and she's rigged a harness for her shovel to rest against her back, the rest of her supplies tucked in pockets or rigged with makeshift straps. She's sticking near Martin and Lip of all people, eyeing the tree and rocks thoughtfully. "If we're careful, we might be able to cross one at a time. Jump to the rocks?"

Even though they're just starting out, Morgan's been very cautious about this trip. Aside from the expected possible dangers, there's the unexpected ones that worry him and Grey probably has a very good idea of what he's looking for. But how do you prepare for something you have almost no idea about?

"… And we're on our way where? And why? There's honestly no reason we should be /this/ far away from Camp, right? I mean, come on, what in the hell is the point of wandering away to our doom when there's enough doom back that way?!" Lip has been talking this entire time. He's nestled in between Fiona and Martin because that's where he always is. Whether they are walking or standing or anything like that, Lip likes to plant himself in the middle. Almost as if he were the HEART of the Tesla Three. "Do we even know where we're headed? Where'd we get a map from anyway? Can she even read the map? How did we get a map and we didn't even know we would be able to live down here? Oh oh! And hey! How long is this trip anyway? I think there's sex happening back at camp and I don't wanna' miss my turn…" Oh lord. He's not going to stop. He also hasn't sipped his water portion or his food ration or anything. It's all neatly tucked away for either a rainy day or someone else. Lip's too busy talking. "Why we gotta' jump? Ain't no other way? Like, I dunno, an elevator? Can we make an elevator? Anybody got a rope? Or a prayer we can live on?" Just pan away, camera. Pan away.

<FS3> Devin rolls Alertness: Failure.
<FS3> Grey rolls Alertness: Good Success.
<FS3> Faolan rolls Alertness: Great Success.
<FS3> Quinn rolls Alertness: Good Success.
<FS3> Evie rolls Alertness: Good Success.
<FS3> Cassandra rolls Alertness: Failure.
<FS3> Cookie rolls Alertness: Failure.
<FS3> Fiona rolls Alertness: Great Success.
<FS3> Morgan rolls Alertness: Good Success.
<FS3> Max rolls Alertness: Great Success.
<FS3> Martin rolls Alertnes: Failure.
<FS3> Ruth rolls Alertness: Failure.
<FS3> Lip rolls Alertness: Good Success.

<FS3> Morgan rolls Science: Success.
<FS3> Quinn rolls Survival: Success.
<FS3> Faolan rolls Survival: Success.
<FS3> Max rolls Survival: Good Success.
<FS3> Lip rolls Survival: Good Success.
<FS3> Evie rolls Survival: Good Success.
<FS3> Fiona rolls Survival: Failure.
<FS3> Ruth rolls Survival: Good Success.

"I don't know," Faolan drawls out to Evie. "One person crosses first, tests depth and current." He scratches at his chin. Absently he unhitches his makeshift water bag from his belt, takes a little sip, then sticks it back on. Its moist and wet and leaves his side cool. He doesn't seem to particularly care. "It's not that far, only about twelve feet. Still, someone strong in case the current catches them. Me, I guess." Because Faolan is a volunteer type. This with a nod towards Fiona. "Carries with him or her rope to stretch across to the others so they've got an easier crossing. If we have rope. Do we got rope?" Squint, frown, thoughtful rub on his chin. There were no cross country trekking to be had in the Ark, so its a learning experience. He'll remember rope for next time. For the time being, though. "Those'll work." As he looks around he spots those ropy vines over there! "Uh. Something about 'em.." Frown.

Strangely enough, Lip's commentary is the thing that causes Ruth's sour mood to lift, slowly but surely. She lingers by Fiona, Martin, and Lip as a result, though doesn't exactly attempt to join in on their conversation until Fiona mentions jumping. "Really?" She seems quite adverse to the idea, her wary gaze resting more on the river than the perilous rocks themselves. "What if there are more of those… death… ropes? What's the word?" She's likely trying to think of the word 'snake' or maybe even 'lamprey', falling brutally short.
Martin shakes his head to Cookie's question, "Can we note it on the map and come back for it later?" Still holding the rock in his hand with no one answering, he decides to act as he suggested and throws the rock into the middle of the river to see if anything comes up.

Clunk, clatter, clatter. After closing off his 'canteen,' Grey gives a little stack of rocks a nudge with his boot, sending it falling in disarray. Yes, he's that guy. Moving over to Faolan, he offers out his spears, "Hold these. I can make it." Shrugging out of his jacket to reveal the wire-wrapped hilt of a knife at his back, he holds the garment out to Quinn with a wink, "Someone wanna shut up the mouth before he gets gagged and get me a nice long vine to take with me?"

Max comes to a stop, studying the vines across the opposite shore. He glances in Faolan's direction and nods in agreement. There's something about them, but the look of uncertainty on his features indicates that he isn't sure exactly what. He shifts around to try and get a better look. "They're weirdly spaced, almost braided like.. what does that?"

As Morgan heads over to the river, he pauses when something catches his eyes. Some piles of stones seem to have attracted his attention, more than they really deserve at first glance. He gazes around then looks back at the rocks before taking a few steps backwards. "Hey. I think some kind of animals live right around here. Be careful, it might be in the water. Or maybe a den of some sort."

Quinn glances towards Lip when he just keeps….talking. She frowns a fraction, but doesn't actively do anything about the talking as she goes back to looking around. First, she takes the garment that Grey holds out, smirking very faintly at him before she glances at Max, "Animals, maybe?" It's just a guess, and not even an entirely certain guess. But it's the best that she can come up with.

Devin frowns as he doesn't see anything that can be used as rope and lets out a sigh. He looks towards Lip as he hears the constant chatter from him that has been going on since they had left the camp. He picks up his spear and moves towards the rest of the group, putting the water skin back in its place. He looks at the river, watching the rapids as the water flows beneath the tree before his attention is drawn to Grey as he announces he's going to cross. His brow creases as he watches the kid, waiting to see if he makes it or falls in.

Cassandra tracks the motion of the rock Martin throws when it goes sailing through the air, eyes eventually landing on the river water. Despite having recently encountered Big Dangerous Animals which might possibly respond to that, she steps on up to the bank to peer in, trying to assess the depth of the water at various points and to identify any vegetation or animals which might tell her something useful about the quality of the water or the region in general — frogs, for instance. The presence of frogs is always a good sign of water quality. This is so cool, she probably thinks. She doesn't say it out loud, though, because that would be less cool. But damn. How about that Earth, hey?

A wind starts moving through the trees, causing the thinner firs and alders on the opposite bank to sway slowly. Accompanying the sway is a soft whistling sound.

Fiona catches sight of the vines, but it doesn't occur to her that there could be any use for them. Maybe because Grey is threatening Lip. Her gaze narrows at the other boy, and she reaches out placing a gentle hand on Lip's arm. "Hey," she says, "Dial it down a notch, okay?" Her brow furrows suddenly, and she peers out across the river, shading her eyes with her hand.

Faolan takes the spears from Grey when they're offered. "Sure," he says when the other delinquent declares that he'll make the first move across the river. And just because Cookie looks like she totally wants to fill his water, he makes the gesturing towards her, shaking his makeshift waterbag. Its done more playfully than demanding, though, a charming smile briefly coming alive across his lips.

When the wind starts to pick up, Ruth steps closer to the water, taking a deep breath and spreading her arms out to catch it in her imaginary wingspan. "This feels so nice," she exults; after their two-hour walk, the sun has become a burden rather than a boon despite the light it provides. A rare broad grin is spared Martin and his stone, her eyes crinkling some. "There are fifteen of us, Worley. We'll be fine."

"I suppose…" Cookie replies to Martin's query about waiting to collect hemlock. In the meanwhile, she can refill what she drank from her 'canteen'. "Anyone else need a top-off?" she asks, smiling with some amusement as she accepts Faolan's makeshift water bag.

When Grey kicks the pile of rocks, they go scattering. But there is something beneath the rocks: those close enough to look, or curious enough, will find a strange… is that a skull? It looks almost canine, for those familiar with the species.

<FS3> Cassandra rolls Science: Good Success.

Lip narrows his eyes in the direction of people that don't like his commentary. "Hey, /somebody's/ gotta' be the voice of reason 'round here." There's some rolling of Lip's eyes as he keeps an eye on piles of rocks that are nearby. He doesn't offer any insight about it due to being threatened. He'll just keep what little bit he learned in Earth Skills class to himself! He turns his attention more to Fiona than anyone else. "How's my hair look? Is it okay? Since we're probably gonna' die out here, I wanna' go out looking as beautiful as I can." Lip's eyes are down at the hand of Fiona on his arm and his expressions softens. Just a smidge.

"I don't know what in the hell does this," Evie murmurs, standing beside Max and staring down at the pile of stones. She lifts a foot and makes as if to nudge the rocks with the toe of a boot, but decides at the last second not to disturb whatever it may be. "Perhaps a nest or something. I don't know. I'd focus on getting across on the tree." But of course, there is Grey going about it like a newbie. She frowns disapprovingly at him before looking across the river again. "Think you'll be okay on that thing? Go slowly, in case it's rotted. Hey guys, make it a long vine. We need to be able to haul his ass back up, after all." Her head turns to track everyone, trying to find someone who is bothering to make a rope. "Guys? Are you freaking serious." The last is muttered beneath her breath before she nudges Faolan. "Give me a knife or go cut a vine for him. I don't want to be here all damn day while everyone stands around and talks us to death."

The presence of the skull does draw Cassandra's attention away from the possibility of frogs. She creases her brow, then crouches down by the water, letting her fingers just barely graze the water for no other reason than she likes the feel. For a moment she hesitates, but then she reaches out to try and touch the thing beneath Grey's boot, morbidly tracing its eye-sockets and then its canines. She squints. "This is a… a wolf," she says, sounding both surprised and interested. "A dead wolf." That last part may have been more obvious.

Apparently, Grey's shirt is going to follow his jacket, as he grabs the base of his shirt, but only pulls it up a few inches to start unwinding a length of parachute cord from around his waist. "Okay, we'll do this the easy way." He's as impatient as Evie, or he's trying to get going before he loses his nerve. "Who wants to hold my leash so I don't go downstream before I learn how to swim? I'll cut a vine on the other side and bring it back."

Martin puts a hand on Lip's shoulder to try calming him just a touch. They don't need Grey killing Lip when one of the snake's can do it instead. At Ruth's comment, he nods, "There are, but we are going to be very vulnerable as we cross. It…or /they/ could pick one or a few of us off. Best to know what might by lurking down there first." Then Evie is annoyed at taking precautions and seems ready to go.

"Sure, boss," Faolan tells Evie dryly, and casually withdraws his makeshift knife and hands it to her, hilt first. AS long as she doesn't go apeshit with it, it'll not fall into pieces, and it'll cut just fine. With his hands full of spears and equipment, he jerks his head towards Quinn when Grey says he needs someone holding his leash. "You know its her thing, wouldn't wanna deprive her." He ignores the general chatter; trying to follow every stream of conversation and every delinquent's input would give him a headache.

Morgan steps over to the rocks to look at what's been revealed. "A wolf's skull? But how did it get covered by rocks? Why would an animal hide bones they've already eaten?" Stepping over to a second pile, he uses a foot to push the rocks aside and see if there's another one under it.

The commotion at the rock pile that has been unearthed draws Devin's attention and he moves over with the others to get a look at what they're looking at. He shakes his head for a moment before he looks back towards Grey again as the vein is procured and volunteers are asked to hold it and keep him from being dragged off. "I'll help hold it." He says, moving towards the tree again and sets down his spear and other gear down to make it easier to perform the role.

Quinn glances towards Evie, then towards Cassandra at the mention of wolf before she just turns her attention towards Grey, then Faolan. She laughs at what Faolan says, but passes her weapons and Grey's jacket to Max before she reaches for the cord wrapped around Grey's waist, digging her heels into the ground, "More than one person needs to hold it, just in case."

<FS3> Grey rolls Athletics: Good Success.

While the others debate over how to go about Grey not dying, Cookie collects water, tossing in a stone first because she has no desire to be a tasty snack for a lamprey. Once it's MISSION ACCOMPLISHED, she rises from her crouch, re-affixes her 'canteen', and seeks to return Faolan's waterbag. Seeing that he's currently occupied, she wanders over to the Tesla Three. "C'mere, Lip," she says, tall enough to muss his curls with her free hand. With a slightly sly smile and eyes full of mirth, she remarks, "Not quite the 'just rolled outta bed after sexy times' look, but close enough."

Disregarding the errant chatter, Evie reaches out to take Faolan's knife, which she then flips around to return to him hilt-first with a "Thanks, babe." Grey has discovered his own rope, apparently. "Make for the cleft in the boulders and check for footholds for climbing. If you can't get over the rocks, come down on the right side. The water is eroding away the land on the left there, see?" She points toward the opposite bank below the left side of the fallen tree. "You'll tumble right in and lose some hero points.

Ruth lowers her arms once the novelty of significant wind is gone, nodding once Quinn's way. "I'll help," she offers easily enough, watching Grey closely. The joy has gone from her expression to be replaced by a cool half-smile, her bony hip jutted to one side as a resting place for her hand. "Are you sure you want to do it? Maybe someone lighter would be better." A critical once-over is offered him. "Not that you're fat."

"I don't know," Cassandra admits, glancing up from the skull towards Morgan. For the moment she forgets all the petty quarrels that have been had around camp, solely interested in the potential application of Earth Skills. She addresses Morgan as an equal, a fellow amateur scientist. "I suppose it must have gotten washed down-stream." And because most of these people have not seen a stream before, she points up the river to make the flow of the current crystal clear for a quick refresher of physics. "I'm more interested in if this means there are live wolves around here. I read that after the mass radiation disaster in Chernobyl, back in the 20th century, they found wolves populating the radiation-soaked forests. So this could be a sign that we're not, you know… all going to die?" She glances back up to observe the proof of this, when Grey impressively demonstrates his ability to cross a river without dying.

"Shh." Fiona counsels Lip, not really expecting him to adhere to it, and seems intent on watching Grey make his attempt to cross. Despite a potential lack of shirt, she does not seem to be oggling, possibly because of death threats issued to her friends. It somehow makes the contours of seemingly rock hard abs less appealing. To Ruth, "He said he'd do it, let him do it."

Grey ties one end of the ten-foot cord to the back of his belt, gives it a tug, and then starts toward the base of the fallen hemlock, giving up the end to Quinn, Ruth, and Devin, "Let go as soon as you're sure I'm gonna make it. I don't wanna be splashin' around and gettin' nowhere 'cause you're holdin' on." He climbs up through the roots easily enough and onto the trunk. He stomps the trunk once or twice, nodding to Evie at her advice, "Seems solid enough." He takes the first half-dozen steps cautiously, but by the end, he's walking along the trunk, grabbing hold of branches to swing himself past. Once he's at the end, between the two rocks and on the now-swaying end of the downed hemlock, he looks a little more reluctant. Over the rushing sound of the river, he calls out, "This is a good idea, right?" And before everyone can tell him 'no,' he jumps with a wordless yell, splashing into the river. He comes back up to the top, starting to drive downstream, but he flops and flails, not looking particularly cool but managing to get to the shallows and then to the other side. Turning around in his wet t-shirt and cargo pants, he thrusts his arms into the air, "Fuck yeah!"

Morgan glances over his shoulder to make sure everything's under control then kneels down to see what's in the second pile. "Another skull." he tells Cassandra. "Want to bet they all have one? That can't be chance. Not if every pile has a skull in it."

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Grey=Dodge Vs GrounderArcher=6
< Grey: Good Success GrounderArcher: Success
< Net Result: Grey wins - Marginal Victory

Martin overhearing Cassandra and Morgan, he looks about and notes to them, "Except there are a bunch of them along the bank. Would a bunch of these have washed up in an ordered set like this?" He isn't paying much attention to those working on getting vines and crossing.

Lip actually smiles at Cookie in the middle of the hair ruffling. "You give the best hairjobs, Cookie." With that stupid line spat out with the goofy grin, Lip is feeling much better about the situation. And the fact that he's even here. "Alright! Let's do this!" Pause. "What're we doin' again?" Yeah, Lip has not been paying attention. He was getting a hairjob!

"No." Quinn doesn't speak up the answer, but she does mutter that answer beneath her breath when Grey asks if it's a good idea or not. She shifts forward, giving him as much of a lead on the line as possible, her heels then once again dig into the ground to brace herself until it comes time to let go of the cord.

Faolan gives Quinn a playful wink in response to her laugh. Apparently he's not in one of his moody days, because he's all wide grins. Being out and about, moving, being active, has given him a sheen of rub-off enthusiasm. "You might as well keep it. I was gonna make another anyway," he tells Evie. Then his attention is swallowed up by Grey and the crossing. He laughs at the jump. And he probably should be paying attention to what Morgan is telling Cassandra; their voices sort of float around him and he's half aware, and something about it nags him. But then Grey is cheering and he laughs and cheers back!" WOHO!"

Devin watches Grey as he jumps into the water and then starts to cross as he holds onto the vine, letting some slack out as needed. Once he's sure that Grey is going to make it across, he lets go of the vine as instructed and watches. As he makes it and cheers, he lets out a holler and a cheer. "Nicely done!" He calls out with a soft laugh.
Max takes the weapons that Quinn passes over to him, shuffling them into one arm and then Grey's jacket on the other, getting out of the way so that she can help. He watches as Grey jumps into the water and then makes his way across, eyes flickering along the bank, a slight frown as he contemplates the significance of the skulls. There's a breath of what may be relief when Grey makes it to the other side without incident.

"You have killer curls," Cookie casually comments, because truth is truth, y'all. That said, she turns around to witness Grey's triumph. The hand no longer in Lip's hair forms a fist and gets jutted into the air. "Fuck, yeah!" All grins.

Even Ruth is caught up in the hype, jumping once with a clap of her hands. "Woo!" she shouts over the din of the river and the other delinquents. "That's how it's done!" Her grin is fierce, her slack grip on the rope that had previously supported Grey tightening some.

Fiona may not like the guy, but Grey's triumph is one Fiona appreciates. "Yeah!" she cheers, thrusting her fists in the air like a cheerleader of ancient times.

<FS3> Quinn rolls Dodge: Good Success.
<FS3> Cassandra rolls Dodge: Success.
<FS3> Fiona rolls Dodge: Failure.
<FS3> Faolan rolls Dodge: Good Success.
<FS3> Devin rolls Dodge: Success.
<FS3> Martin rolls Dodge: Failure.
<FS3> Evie rolls Dodge: Good Success.
<FS3> Morgan rolls Dodge: Failure.
<FS3> Lip rolls Dodge: Success.
<FS3> Cookie rolls Dodge: Failure.
<FS3> Ruth rolls Dodge: Good Success.
<FS3> Max rolls Dodge: Success.

There is something terribly perfect about the moment when Grey's arms got up in the air and he is cheering his own success. There is another whistling sound, but this time it is from behind the delinquents. From the trees above and behind the group, an arrow comes whistling through the canopies and cuts right across Grey's side, barely knicking the boy. The arrow lodges itself in a tree behind Grey. And then more arrows come, though they fall short of Grey… or perhaps overshoot the other delinquents. One thing is for certain: they are under attack.

As soon as it registers that there are actual projectiles flying through the air at them Quinn is moving as fast as she can. Her hold on the cord is released, and she dives towards the nearest bit of cover she can find. It isn't until she hits the deck that she tries to figure out exactly what is happening.

One moment, Grey is triumphant, and the next, his eyes widen sharply, and he opens his mouth to shout something a lot less triumphant, even as he starts twisting. There's a whipping wiz of displaced air, and then he draws in a sharp breath in pain. "Look out!" And here he is with only his knife. Blood trickles from the graze at his side, and he puts a hand to it, wincing again. The arrows came from behind them, though, and as he keeps his eyes on the treeline on the other side, he starts beckoning the others on, "Come on! Jump and grab the rope!" That would be the parachute-cord that is still trailing from the back of his belt.

Still high-strung and hyper-aware from the perilous sight of Grey fording the river, it's only too easy for Ruth to jump to the most thrilling (if horrifying) conclusion when the man across calls warning. It has her quickly tightening her already-fast hold on the rope, though her form ducks into a crouch to make her a smaller target. "What the hell is happening?!" she cries, breath quickening as the volley whizzes past. "Is it the death rope?!" Well, not everyone is exactly bright and clear-headed in the face of danger.

Having taken back the knife, Evie finds herself gripping it fiercely as she watches Grey traverse across the log and through the water. When he hits the bank and cheers, she relaxes and loosens her grip on the weapon. She stuffs it into her waistband and smiles, moving closer to the edge of the water to shout across to Grey. "Stake it out over there, and we'll start crossing one by one."

The girl has enough time to half-turn back to the group before the zip of the arrow catches her attention; her immediate action is to dive around the upturned roots of the hemlock while screaming for the others: "GET DOWN! We need to cross one at a time, but hurry. Cookie, Quinn, Fao - you're up. Let's go, let's go!" Her hand flaps wildly, beckoning for someone to volunteer to get the group moving.

What? Arrows? Faolan watches the flight of it, how it cuts into Grey. But everybody on Earth died from the nukes and the wars and they're supposed to have paradise to themselves! Even as these confused and broken thoughts play through his mind, guard trained instinct is already making him move with speed towards cover on the other bank. "Go, go, go! Move!" Sprint shoving at whoever is closest who isn't moving, then straight at the tree and he JUMPS! Watch him sail through the air!

The amateur scientist that is Cassandra has no time to ponder the mystical forces of physics that might possibly have caused a bunch of wolf skulls to be washed down-stream one by one, just-so in such a way that they end up in a perfectly orderly line along the river-bank. That wouldn't make any sense, of course. But there's Grey, distracting everyone (including her) with his masculine form and his triumphant cry, and then there's the logical, non-scientific reason why there are a bunch of wolf skulls forming a damn boundary along the river-bank: because it is a boundary. A man-made one. She turns in the direction of the volley, her heart leaping in her chest, while nearly everyone around her seems to move and react quicker, except, unfortunately, for the other two amateur scientists she's distracted with her flights of fancy: Morgan and Martin. Perhaps Earth Skills theory is not as practical as she'd imagined. Though she does not dive in time for cover, she manages at least to state the obvious, eyes wide with shock. "We are not alone."

<FS3> Faolan rolls Athletics: Good Success.
<FS3> Cookie rolls Athletics: Failure.
<FS3> Ruth rolls Athletics: Success.

Turning just in time, Max suddenly notices the incoming volley, but has no time to dive for cover. There's a slight widening of his eyes, and a half turn, and a scramble, but he doesn't make it out of the way fast enough. What comes out of his mouth is a stream of muttered obscenities.

Arrows? Yeah. Cookie missed that. She was a too busy doing a celebratory rump shaking dance. The good news is that her sweet moves clearly have some kind of anti-impalement mojo. (That's how Lip's gonna recount the tale, AMIRITE.) The yelling, she hears. It leaves her confused, though. GET DOWN. (But she was! Oh. Right. Not that kind of getting down.)

It's then that Faolan shoves her — and she drops his not-quite water bag. Oops! Serves him right, really, seeing how his SPRINT SHOVE just landed her in the water.

Martin doesn't notice anything at all. Even as people start turning and shouting. It's only as the last arrows go whizzing by that he raises his head from the wolf skull. "Huh? Wha?" This is going to be a really long journey for him. By the time he turns to see what's going on, everyone else seems to have sprung into action.

"What the shell?! AW SOMEBODY SHOOTIN'! I told y'all! I told y'all! We gonna' die!" Lip is freaking out. His hands are in epic flail mode and he's looking off in the direction where the arrows have come from. He doesn't know what to do, really. He's not good with the conflict or the GETTING SHOT WITH ARROWS. "Oh my Zod. We're really gonna' die out here. Worst. Planet. Ever." Lip goes back to scramble flailing.

Devin continues to cheer for Grey until the arrow comes out from behind them and nearly hits Grey. His eyes widen a bit, but his mind works fast enough to allow him to turn in the direction the arrow came from as he tries to figure out what is going on, but not fast enough to get his feet moving as the next volley of arrows come out from behind them. Like everyone else must be thinking and realizing, Devin realizes that they are not alone on this planet. Something survived and is attacking them. His eyes look towards his spear.

Wolf skulls. Under piles of rocks. Multiple ones. No way could this happen naturally. Didn't people used to cover their dead as monuments? Did they do the same thing to animals? But there's no way the piles could have stayed like that after almost 100 years. This is what Morgan's thinking about and is probably why he doesn't actually notice anything out of the ordinary. Not until everyone is shouting and scrambling for cover. "What?" he asks, finally looking up from the wolf skull. "Oh fuck."

The horror reflected in Ruth's expression is tempered some by deep focus as she moves in an attempt to ford the river according to plan. "Quickly!" she wails back to the stragglers, her voice carrying well. Perhaps she'll succumb to tears or something /after/ the danger is passed. Yes. After. Now, though, her eyes are bright with a panic she doesn't allow to influence her in the heat of the moment. "We have to get across! If you can't, just get out of sight!"

<FS3> Opposed Roll — GrounderArcher=6 Vs Devin=Dodge
< GrounderArcher: Good Success Devin: Success
< Net Result: GrounderArcher wins - Marginal Victory
<FS3> Opposed Roll — GrounderArcher=6 Vs Lip=Dodge
< GrounderArcher: Good Success Lip: Success
< Net Result: GrounderArcher wins - Solid Victory
<FS3> Opposed Roll — GrounderArcher=7 Vs Faolan=Dodge
< GrounderArcher: Good Success Faolan: Good Success
< Net Result: DRAW
<FS3> Opposed Roll — GrounderArcher=8 Vs Quinn=Dodge
< GrounderArcher: Success Quinn: Success
< Net Result: DRAW
<FS3> Opposed Roll — GrounderArcher=8 Vs Ruth=Dodge
< GrounderArcher: Good Success Ruth: Good Success
< Net Result: DRAW

<FS3> Cookie rolls Athletics: Good Success.

When Ruth gets across the river with no injury incurred, she whips about to tightly grip the rope in order for others to attempt to ford, as well. Her breathing is anything but even, deep and slow in one moment and shallow in the next as her heels skid into the rocks and she attempts to ground herself in one spot. "Help me! Damn it!" she calls strainedly. Even as this occurs, her eyes are on the treeline, darting about for any sign of the likely camouflaged attackers. "Hurry UP!"

<FS3> Cassandra rolls Atheltics: Success.
<FS3> Evie rolls Athletics: Failure.

More arrows. They slice through the air with whistling accuracy, with some clunking off the boulders and others puncturing the hemlock. Some almost hit their targets, but only one actually sinks into flesh as it hits Lip's retreating form. There is movement in the trees, and one form drops heavily into sight. It isn't really tall if anyone takes a calm moment to analyze it — perhaps just over five and a half feet tall. It has wild, greased hair that has been pulled back and braided. While its leather-clad figure is human in shape, its face is a horrible, bony and wolfish visage. It has a bow in its right hand, and is reaching for an arrow at its back with its left.

There's a spear coming Grey's way as Faolan arrives, tossed clumsily as he stumbles onto the other bank, soaked through and wet and dripping, the weight of his clothes doubled. An arrow splintering against a rock next to him makes him flinch. He only barely dodged because he somehow feels the need to shift his trajectory in the last moment. The other two spears Grey had entrusted Faolan? They got dropped in the rush of getting across the water as fast as possible, something there's never been much cause to practice on the damn Ark. Those carefully crafted weapons are floating down, taken by the current. He looks back over his shoulder, his expression torn in a frustrated grimace. "Fuck!" Only now does he see that Cookie didn't follow immediately in his wake like he meant for her when he tried to shove her out of her stupor. And the first sight of the Grounder? That's a sight of nightmares.

Grey will worry about what or who is firing those arrows afterwards. For now, he's just worried about bracing his feet and holding onto the cord trailing from his belt into the water. It's too short to make it all the way across, but it's trailing out in the current, providing a last-ditch chance for those who can't quite make it on their own. "Come on, come on, let's go!" He can spare one hand to help those climbing out of the river after their leaps and splash-swims, but the other is locked on the rope to keep it trailing out there. He knocks down the spear tossed toward him, letting it clatter on the rocks beside him to keep a hand free to help others out, "Faolan, we're the rearguard until they cross. Shit!" That's noticing the early splash of Cookie, but he can't do everything, especially not when he sees the figure on the other bank, "Target!"

Fiona lets out a shriek of surprise when the arrows suddenly appear, and right next to her, Lip takes an arrow to the shoulder. "Lip!" she cries in alarm, and with a darted look this way and that, "Martin, we have to get him across…" She takes up one of Lip's arms - possibly the injured one, sorry Lip - and puts it over her shoulders, expecting Martin to do the same on the other side so they can help their injured friend across the river.

<FS3> Evie rolls Athletics: Failure.
<FS3> Max rolls Athletics-2: Success.

"Shit!" Quinn dodges one of the arrows that heads her way, barely managing to get by without being hit. She then glances around, seeing who might be left and trying to get them to get across the river before she ever makes a move towards the tree herself.

Oh dear. Cassandra does not want to cross that river-bank. She isn't built for this. She looks between Martin and Morgan and scrunches up her eyes, seeing them lagging in their reactions to the source of the wolf-skulls rather than the warning signs themselves, but there's no time to delay, and so she leaves them behind to save herself. From her crouched position she extends one hand forward to find a slippery rock… this seems easy enough. She even forgoes the rope, because who needs rope when you're an Earth Skills extraordinaire? This was a bad idea, and as she stumbles through the stream she gets absolutely every inch of herself wet, her legging-clad knees bruised against the rocks, and nearly up-ends herself several times into the river-bed. But eventually she makes it out to the other side, shaking like a wet cat with the current still dragging at her calves, and the threat of arrows from the other side still very, very pertinent. "I think that was a boundary," she cries. Belatedly. After she's breached it.

Martin looks to Lip as there is suddenly an arrow sticking out of the other man's shoulder. "Oh, FUCK!" At Fiona's words, he nods once in agreement with wide eyes, then moves to grab Lip's other arm. "You ready to go for a swim, buddy?" Well, that's where the are heading it seems!

Max is busy scrambling which isn't easy while carrying Quinn's weapons and Grey's jacket, all of which he's trying not to drop as he makes his way toward the tree and rope to scramble across. It's not easy progress with all of that stuff, but he does manage to scramble, not very gracefully or elegantly, across. It's only once he's on the other side that he realizes Quinn is still back there, and he has her weapons. Oops.

There's good news, and there's bad news. The good news is that there appear to be no lampreys in the river. (Or they just are doing Cookie a solid by letting her splutter-fail with the current.) The bad news is that she's wearing a wool jacket, and wool gets hella weighted when soaked, which it is. Back in the good news column, though, the Maker of Yum-Yums eventually comes across a sandbank, quite a ways downstream, but it's shallow and wide enough for her to somehow manage to find her feet and stagger-cough her way to the shore bank, where she quasi-collapses as her lungs protest the rudeness of water.

To run? To hide? Everything is so chaotic, Morgan's not really sure what the hell he should do. Taking cover is seeming like a good idea but then some… person drops to the ground. That is NOT one of the delinquents. And where there's one, there's got to be more. Of course there's more. They're firing arrows at them. Seeing the archer does make it clear they should not be staying on this side of the water though. Grabbing a rock, he throws it at the archer then takes off running for the stream.

<FS3> Morgan rolls Athletics: Success.
<FS3> Fiona rolls Athletics: Good Success.

"MAMA NO!" Lip is caught in the shoulder by the ARROW OF FATE and that's it. There's blood. There's pain. There's Lip looking like he's just been completely gutted without so much as a second thought. He looks like he's about to pass out even though there's just an arrow sticking out of his shoulder. "Ow fuck ow!" Lip is caught between the F and M to his L and he works to make their taking of his bleeding body to a place where he might not get arrowed again. "I knew it. I told you! I tol-ow! I told you!"

First the splash: this causes Evie to let out a volley of loud curse words as she dives out from behind cover. The sight of Cookie managing to flail her way through the water to the other shore is enough to turn her around. As the others get pinged with arrows, she races toward the tree, heaves herself up over the roots, and then slips on a damp spot in her damn flurry to get away from danger. With a loud HYUK! she windmills her arms before falling backward into the river. She bobs above the water for a moment, arms flailing at the rope, but it slips from her grasp and she is pulled under again to be carried away downriver.

<FS3> Devin rolls Athletics: Success.

One of the arrows narrowly misses Devin's head, opening up a nice little cut on his face. This causes him to stagger back and fall to the ground. He lands on his back, laying there for a few moments before he sits up just in time to see the figure appear from the trees. He looks around, spotting Lip who has an arrow stuck in him then back to the native archer. He tries to get to his feet as quickly as possible. "GO! RUN!" He calls out to the others before he charges for the Grounder, pulling out one of the knives from his belt as he does so.

<FS3> Ruth rolls Stealth: Great Success.

Once most people have forded the river, Ruth ceases helping Grey keep hold on the cord. This might have helped him before in doing both that and helping people to shore, but she sprints for the treeline without another thought given to it. She's had her hero moment, and now she contents herself in finding an absolutely AWESOME bush to make her temporary home. It's big, and it's very green, and it's hers.

<FS3> Opposed Roll — GrounderArcher=8 Vs Quinn=Dodge
< GrounderArcher: Great Success Quinn: Failure
< Net Result: GrounderArcher wins - Crushing Victory
<FS3> Opposed Roll — GrounderArcher=8 Vs Devin=Dodge
< GrounderArcher: Success Devin: Good Success
< Net Result: Devin wins - Solid Victory
<FS3> Opposed Roll — GrounderArcher=6 Vs Fiona=Dodge
< GrounderArcher: Good Success Fiona: Good Success
< Net Result: Fiona wins - Marginal Victory
<FS3> Opposed Roll — GrounderArcher=6 Vs Martin=Dodge
< GrounderArcher: Good Success Martin: Success
< Net Result: GrounderArcher wins - Solid Victory
<FS3> Opposed Roll — GrounderArcher=7 Vs Lip=Dodge
< GrounderArcher: Failure Lip: Good Success
< Net Result: Lip wins - Solid Victory

<FS3> Martin rolls Athletics-2: Good Success.

As she goes to try and cross the river Quinn is rather squarely hit with an arrow that flies towards her. This time she's not so lucky that she can manage to avoid it, nor is she lucky that it's just a glancing blow. Instead she's hit in her stomach, the arrow landing hard enough to send her to the ground in a tangle of limbs and blood.

<FS3> Lip rolls Athletics-2: Failure.
<FS3> Faolan rolls Athletics: Great Success.
<FS3> Max rolls Athletics: Good Success.
<FS3> Cookie rolls Alertness: Good Success.
<FS3> Fiona rolls Alertness-2: Failure.
<FS3> Fiona rolls Athletics-2: Good Success.

Another figure drops out of the trees. This one is massive, standing easily at a hand over six feet and impressively wide. It doesn't have a bow or a quiver to speak of, meaning it is not one of the archers. It draws a heavy sword from his back, and one edge is razor sharp while the other has been notched with jagged teeth. It also bears a grotesque mask, this one more like a bear than the wolfish archer. Just as it hits the gravel, more arrows go firing at the fleeing delinquents. The grounded archer is tossing aside its bow when its shot misses the charging Devin, and it looks like it is going for the knives on its belt, but Devin might get a strike in before that.

Martin gets an arrow in the back for his trouble, as he tries to help Lip across the hemlock. Lip is pretty much useless, basically hanging there as they go across, but he and Fiona are hulkin it out to get their teammate across. Then Martin gets shot in the back by an arrow. "Double fuck!" He begins coughing a bit, but somehow manages to make it across the log, before collapsing behind some cover.

<FS3> Lip rolls Alertness-2: Failure.

A very green bush on the right side of the river sounds a scream… wait, no, that's not right. Ruth is the one doing the screaming, though she's nowhere in sight. It's timed about when the Bear-Man decides to drop down from his perch of death somewhere above her head to deliver sword-slice justice to Devin.

To his credit, Grey isn't even worrying about his jacket now, but he'll thank Max for bringing it along later. He helps haul people out of the water, then looks up to the other side as there's a break in the flow. And there's Devin charging a man-thing with a wolf-skull head, and Quinn getting shot and tumbling to the ground. "Fuck!" He really doesn't use that word that frequently, all things considered. Except for very recently. Faolan going back into the water spares him having to, and he looks about frantically, snatching up his fallen spear, "Get the fuck over here, people!" His dark eyes flicker to Quinn and Devin again, to the stretch of river between him and them, and back. The consideration of whether he is going to swim back across is clear on his face.

Faolan follows the dipping shape of Evie. The problem is he can't help everybody, and there's Martin and them coming over injured, and at least Evie wasn't pinned with arrows. Plus she's downriver already. He waits on the other side of the bank, by Grey, offering his assistance to drag all the late comers; Lip, Max and Fiona the last few bit of the distance and up the bank and towards safety. He's not gentle, even though there's injuries. His hands are rough and his movements rushed. "You need to get people out of here," he tells Grey. He swallows. He watches Quinn go down. "I'll.. I'll stay behind on this side, try to give you a bit of a head start." He curses at MAX! "DON'T!"

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Devin=melee Vs GrounderArcher=10
< Devin: Good Success GrounderArcher: Good Success
< Net Result: GrounderArcher wins - Marginal Victory

Fiona awkwardly does her best to support half of Lip, a soft sound of distress coming out of her mouth as she realizes that the whistle awfully close to her ear is in fact an arrow that just barely missed slamming into her body. She lets herself get half-hefted out of the water, scrambling to the shore to seek cover and doing her best to drag her friends with her.

SO MUCH PAIN! "Whyyyyyyyyyy!" Lip is useless when it comes to getting himself across the river. But that's why he has Fiona and Martin. They basically carry him, which makes it easy for him to matrix out of the way of another arrow that he didn't even know was headed in his direction. Lip turns his head to try and see anything but his eyes fall on the arrow sticking out of his shoulder and he gawks. "OW!" It hurts worse when you look at it.

<FS3> Evie rolls Athletics+1: Great Success.
<FS3> Cookie rolls Athletics: Failure.

Devin lets out a shout as he dodges the arrow shot at him and closes the distance towards the archer that first appeared, seeming to not notice the larger sword bearing Grounder that suddenly appears as the next wave of arrows is unleashed. As he gets close enough, he lashes out with the knife, but the archer moves enough to cause Devin to only knick them in the arm drawing blood none-the-less.

Shoving Grey's jacket in his direction as well as Quinn's weapons, Max takes off back in her direction when he sees that she's been hit, clearly intending to get her out of harm's way even if that means putting himself squarely in it. He makes it about halfway, and anyone cursing at him is squarely ignored.

<FS3> Cassandra rolls Survival: Success.

Cassandra isn't a hero. There was that one time with the boy and the giant river-monster, she supposes, and as much as that was a fun bonding experience, she's decided she likes being alive. She looks at the people getting stabbed, shot and shanked on the other side of the river, and she surely feels a pang for them, but now is not the time to be sentimental. Once she's safe on the other side of the river, she turns her back on them — literally — and tries to run, far away as she can from the group, but in the direction of Mount Weather as recalled from Evie's map.

<FS3> Opposed Roll — GrounderAlertness=9 Vs Ruth=Stealth
< GrounderAlertness: Success Ruth: Good Success
< Net Result: Ruth wins - Marginal Victory

Once he's on the other side, Morgan finds a bush or tree or something that provides some cover so he can take a moment to see what's going on. He doesn't like it. "Devin!" he shouts. "Get your ass over here!" Shit shit shit! Looking around, he stoops to grab some stone and throw them at the guys Devin's going after. Maybe he'll get lucky and hit an eye. or at least provide a distraction.

Hey, lungs. Guess what? You're in much better shape than Quinn's stomach. And, really, it wasn't /that/ much water. By the time Evie solidifies in Cookie's vision, the Maker of Yum-Yums is back on her feet, still panting and coughing a little, but she has enough wherewithal to snag a piece of driftwood that she hangs out, while shouting, "EVIE! OVER HERE!"

Where Cookie, with her soaked wool jacket and slightly jangled nerves, is doing her best (which, alas, really sucks) to help pull the other girl ashore.

Okay, maybe screaming wasn't such a good idea. Ruth presses the heel of her left hand into her mouth, ducking back down into the underbrush in an attempt to flatten herself against the ground. Sitting down normally, no matter how quiet, would cause the top of her pretty little head to be spotted by any with eyes and sense. She's rather tall, after all.

Spotting Cookie as she comes up for air again, Evie raises her left hand to reveal a snagged spear - something caught in the tumult. She spots the proffered driftwood, and with a surge of energy thrusts out her right hand to grasp the wavering end of it. She cries out hoarsely in victory as her fingers clench like a vise onto the wood, and she kicks as she pulls herself in toward the sandbank. "Igota spear!" she cheers between coughing up river water.

<FS3> Opposed Roll — GrounderArcher=10 Vs Devin=Dodge
< GrounderArcher: Good Success Devin: Great Success
< Net Result: Devin wins - Marginal Victory
<FS3> Opposed Roll — Devin=Melee Vs GrounderArcher=10
< Devin: Success GrounderArcher: Good Success
< Net Result: GrounderArcher wins - Marginal Victory
<FS3> Opposed Roll — GrounderArcher=7 Vs Morgan=Dodge
< GrounderArcher: Great Success Morgan: Amazing Success
< Net Result: Morgan wins - Solid Victory
<FS3> Opposed Roll — GrounderArcher=8 Vs Max=Dodge
< GrounderArcher: Great Success Max: Good Success
< Net Result: GrounderArcher wins - Marginal Victory
<FS3> Opposed Roll — GrounderArcher=6 Vs Grey=Dodge
< GrounderArcher: Success Grey: Great Success
< Net Result: Grey wins - Crushing Victory
<FS3> Opposed Roll — GrounderArcher=6 Vs Faolan=Dodge
< GrounderArcher: Success Faolan: Great Success
< Net Result: Faolan wins - Solid Victory

<FS3> Grey rolls Alertness: Success.

Grey appears to make up his mind, glances to Faolan and Max, then reaches out to grab him and try to hold him back, "No. I'll go." He holds out his spear to the other youth, "Cover me, Faolan. Don't worry, I'm comin' back." He takes a breath to psyche himself up. An arrow comes winging his way, and he shakes his head, stepping away from the two and letting it whip past. "She's still moving. And I ain't leavin' anyone behind. I can make it. This swimmin' thing is a breeze." He's lying to himself. Quite a lot. Part of the psyching up.

After Devin's attack on the archer, the archer has their knife out and moves in for a slash attack at Devin's stomach, but Devin is quick enough to take a step back out of the reach of the attack before Devin moves in again for another attack, slashing downwards at the archer, who manages to dodge the Delinquent's attack.

The Bear Grounder is advancing on Quinn's fallen form, his sword still held at the ready. He doesn't really run, but there is a certain way he seems to cross the distance that spells excellent balance. He is within a pace of her, reaching for her head with his giant paw of a hand. More arrows come in from the tree, but those across the river seem to be at a good distance. Max is not so lucky as an arrow goes slicing across his thigh, leaving a deep incision.

"I don't wanna leave 'em, but they.." Faolan grates out with a great deal of internal conflict. Whoever and whatever those.. things are.. "The enemies got all the advantages right now. Greater good. Save who we can, warn the camp. Come.." Its hard to say these things. "Come back for them later, Grey, with a plan and weapons. Don't be an idiot! YOU KNOW I'M RIGHT! GO! I'll spear the first one who tires to cross after you guys, and then run." Another arrow nearly hits him. He winces when Max gets hit. "MAX RUN!"

"That's great! I've got wood!" Come on, Cookie. Make it longer. (This is not a problem she's had with 'wood' in the past.) As Evie grabs on, it's a struggle to pull her out of the water. Enough so that the cook quips, "I handle boners much better!"

As cries of pain and panic and discord sound from the river, Ruth remains in relative safety in her hiding spot. She could definitely go out and help, unscathed as she is; in fact, despite all misgiving and obvious-seeming defeat on the side of the delinquents, she tenses as if about to get up several times before thinking better of it. She borrows Grey's awful habit for a moment and starts to gnaw at her thumbnail, a low cry the only sound she allows herself to make.

As cries of pain and panic and discord sound from the river, Ruth remains in relative safety in her hiding spot. She could definitely go out and help, unscathed as she is; in fact, despite all misgiving and obvious-seeming defeat on the side of the delinquents, she tenses as if about to get up several times before thinking better of it. She borrows Grey's awful habit for a moment and starts to gnaw at her thumbnail, a low cry the only sound she allows herself to make.

Martin finally gets up from where he collapsed, even though there is an arrow in his left shoulder blade and he drops his spear. Seeing Morgan throwing stuff across the water, he nods and decides to join in. "I'm not sure I can hit anything at all, but might as well try, right?" He grabs some rocks, wincing in pain and gives a toss at the big Grounder with the bear ask.

<FS3> Opposed Roll — GrounderArcher=10 Vs Devin=Dodge
< GrounderArcher: Good Success Devin: Good Success
< Net Result: DRAW
<FS3> Opposed Roll — Devin=Melee Vs GrounderArcher=10
< Devin: Good Success GrounderArcher: Great Success
< Net Result: GrounderArcher wins - Solid Victory
<FS3> Opposed Roll — GrounderAlertness=9 Vs Ruth=Stealth
< GrounderAlertness: Amazing Success Ruth: Good Success
< Net Result: GrounderAlertness wins - Crushing Victory
<FS3> Opposed Roll — GrounderArcher=6 Vs Grey=Dodge
< GrounderArcher: Good Success Grey: Good Success
< Net Result: GrounderArcher wins - Marginal Victory
<FS3> Opposed Roll — GrounderArcher=6 Vs Faolan=Dodge
< GrounderArcher: Success Faolan: Great Success
< Net Result: Faolan wins - Solid Victory
<FS3> Opposed Roll — GrounderArcher=8 Vs Max=Dodge
< GrounderArcher: Good Success Max: Great Success
< Net Result: Max wins - Solid Victory

With others helping people out of the water, Morgan continues providing a distraction for those in real danger. He quickly ducks the arrow that was going to hit him and grabs more rocks, nodding to Martin as he throws them. He has lousy aim but he just wants to help the ones still over there to get away.

<FS3> Evie rolls Athletics: Success.

The Bear grabs Quinn by her hair and hauls her body up — ouch. His sword blade comes immediately to her throat, threatening an easy and quick death. Through the gaps in the skull mask, fiery dark eyes stare out at Max. "Ai will frag em op," he hisses in a strange language. There is no doubt in his tone: Come closer, and her death is absolute. The blade is so close to Quinn's neck that beads of red form at the edge of the dark, tempered steel.

The archers still in the trees are doing their best at a distance, but their arrows are more like distractions to the delinquents instead of actual threats, save for the one that marginally strikes Grey.

In the bushes where Ruth is hiding, there is a sharp rustle and then silence.

Ooooouch. Quinn has been fairly stoic through this whole thing, despite the arrow that is sticking out of her, but when she's hauled up by her hair the pain from both that, and the arrow causes her to scream.

The archer starts to circle Devin who does the same before the archer stabs at Devin, aiming for the chest. Devin manages to roll out of the way, landing in a crouch. He sits there for a split second before Devin launches himself at the archer, slashing at the grounder's throat who easily leans back out of the reach of the attack. The pair starts to circle each other again slowly.

<FS3> Morgan rolls Athletics: Good Success.

Evie absolutely refuses to give up her grip on the spear, and instead kicks wildly to try and push herself toward Cookie. The quip about boners causes her to bark out a sudden laugh, and she slips back a few inches. The laugh turns to a panicked cry and she flails her left hand, trying to use the spear to find some ground to hook into and give her leverage. She and Cookie are too desperate to escape the unrelenting flow of water to know what's going on upriver. "A bonerwould be uselessas fuck right now," she gasps in reply, finally catching onto the small rise of ground in the middle of river and closing in on Cookie. She lets go the driftwood and crawls ashore before flopping onto her stomach to catch her breath and cough up more water. "Thanks for saving my stupid ass. Gimme a minute, then we make for the other side."

"If we stay here, Grey, everybody dies or get captured. You know this. We're injured! If you don't start moving we'll never get away!" Faolan gestures wildly towards the group of delinquents gathered on the bank. "You need to drive them like the asshole you are!" He turns to the rest of the gang: "MOVE for fuck's sake! Find Evie and Cookie, they'll be downstream somewhere." He grimaces, hand around his spear, and uses it to shove at the Tesla trio and Morgan to get them moving and towards cover, away, to get distance going. He bites down on his feelings as he hears Quinn scream. "We can't rescue anyone if we're trapped, too."

"Devin, you fucking idiot." Morgan's stopped shouting. Now it's almost conversational. While Faolan's concentrating on the trio, he runs toward the stream, jumps in and easily scampers up the other side.

Max comes to a full stop when Quinn is dragged to her feet and a blade is put to her throat. He does nothing. The slice of the arrow through his thigh bleeds crimson into his jeans and brings the sting of tears to his eyes, but he grits his teeth and remains exactly where he is, looking the giant bear of a man in the eyes. He's not leaving Quinn. That much is clear. "Let her go," he says through gritted teeth.

Fiona can't help it, she half lifts from under her cover. "He's going to kill her!" She jerks her chin toward Quinn…but she also doesn't argue with Faolan. The soldier kids could leave them here to die, but they don't. "Martin! C'mon!" She grabs Lip's good arm to try and tug him up and in the direction Faolan indicates.

Grey watches the huge Grounder approach Quinn, hefts his spear a moment, then shakes his head, grimacing sharply but apparently accepting Faolan's reasoning, "Fuck. Yes." He shouts, "Devin, MOVE IT!" In fact, he's so busy shouting that one of the arrows whips past and spikes his left deltoid, "OwShitDamnFuck." If he wasn't decided before, he is now. Quinn's scream draws his eyes back across the river, and he shouts, "We're comin' back for you, Q. And you assholes, you'll get yours." Defiance thrown in the faces of the Grounders, Grey nods and turns away from the river. As he goes, he scoops up his jacket with his spear in his right hand, then tries to shepherd Max away from the riverbank, calling out, "Let's MOVE, people. We're going, NOW, so get moving or I'll kill you myself." Not that there's 'people' left to go, just the scattered remnants of a once-great expedition.

Martin is getting shoved by Faolan. After looking at the man for a moment, he turns and starts to head downstream to catch up to Cookie and Evie. He still has that arrow sticking out of his back and he winces the whole way, but
Faolan does have a point. They have teammates downstream who could use some help.

Lip goes where Fiona goes. He doesn't seem to be paying attention to anything that's going on around him because there's a huge arrow sticking out of his shoulder. He reaches up to grab it and just holds. "Why me?" And other quiet whining happens.

<FS3> Opposed Roll — GrounderArcher=10 Vs Devin=Dodge
< GrounderArcher: Great Success Devin: Success
< Net Result: GrounderArcher wins - Crushing Victory
<FS3> Opposed Roll — Devin=Melee Vs GrounderArcher=10
< Devin: Good Success GrounderArcher: Good Success
< Net Result: DRAW

Cassandra, bless her cowardly heart, is ahead of the bell-curve in this department. She started running the moment that bear-masked Grounder showed his face, or rather didn't, though she can only run so far. She leans down to grab her soaked and bruised up knees, catching her breath, and looks over her shoulder to see if anyone else in the group has started to get a move-on from the certain doom that lies with that river-bank.

A boner useless? "They often are," laughs back the cook and she HAULS Evie ashore. "Any time, girlie," Cookie pants, tossing aside the driftwood before helping aforementioned girlie. "You probably have more than one," minute is assessed, trying to espy what is happening upstream. "You'll need as many as you can get. Turns out that lungs don't like water."

<FS3> Opposed Roll — GrounderArcher=8 Vs Morgan=Dodge
< GrounderArcher: Great Success Morgan: Success
< Net Result: GrounderArcher wins - Solid Victory
<FS3> Opposed Roll — GrounderArcher=6 Vs Grey=Dodge
< GrounderArcher: Success Grey: Good Success
< Net Result: Grey wins - Solid Victory
<FS3> Opposed Roll — GrounderArcher=8 Vs Max=Dodge
< GrounderArcher: Success Max: Good Success
< Net Result: Max wins - Solid Victory

"Tel your kru kom chil yo daun. Osir will teik em live!" The Bear bellows this, and the blade presses deeper against Quinn's throat. Again, the words might only have the strangest hint of English, the tone says it all. "Go kom the maun men, skaikru! Emo will save yu!" There is something cruel in his words that play with the smile that pulls from beneath the bear skull mask. It doesn't seem like the Bear is going to let the girl go, but he also doesn't seem like he's going to just kill her out right. Or he would have.

Another series of arrows go zinging out of the trees, though only Morgan takes one and it is a very, very serious wound.

While in combat, the world around Devin had gone quiet, his whole focus being on his opponent. Somehow, during the fight Grey's shouting at him gets through, drawing Devin's attention away from the archer before him. He looks back towards Grey, a confused look on his face before he looks back towards the archer a second later. That was just enough time for the archer to take advantage, clocking the kid squarely in the temple. Devin's vision goes blurry as he staggers and drops his knife. This gives the archer enough time to grab the boy by the hair, pulling him close against their body and holding their knife against Devin's throat.

Faolan grips his spear with a white knuckled force. Morgan taking the arrow only underlines the points he's been making, the points he doesn't actually like at all. "Morgan!" With exodus beginning, the tall kid stays behind. "Max!" He doesn't even say run anymore, run is implicit in his desperate tone. He starts half scrambling up to find a bit of cover so he doesn't get arrowed. The plan is to remain behind just long enough to complicate any attempt to cross by the Grounders. Give the others some extra head start since he's uninjured and quick at foot. And perhaps provide some help for Morgan or Max if they actually change their mind and try to make it back over.

"What are they saying? They talk?" Fiona skids to a stop, turning to look back at those lingering behind. She's poised to keep running, but it's suddenly really hitting her that these are people. There are people who have been living on the ground, all this time.

"I only need the one," Evie replies quietly, coughing up a little more water before pushing herself up onto her knees and then eventually to her feet. She uses the spear as a cane, leaning against it as her head swims momentarily and she tries to get her bearings. The sound of fighting from upriver filters back, and she can see arrows flying and flashes of skin and hair and clothing. "Shit, what goddamn fool thing have they done." This is not a question but rather a grim observation. Sighing, Evie shakes wet hair out of her face and beckons for Cookie to follow as she sets off at a fast march, looking to catch up to those who crossed the river before they disappear into the undergrowth. "FAO!" she calls out, trying to locate him as her scramble along the bank speeds up; the cries of distress from the group ahead propel her forward while a cold ball of fear settles in her stomach.

Once on the other banks, Morgan runs toward Devin, stooping to grab one of the arrows sticking out of the ground from a missed shot. He needn't have bothered as one comes to him, taking him low on the shoulder and he cries out in pain, stumbling down to one knee. Struggling back to his feet, he starts forward again then pauses when he sees the knife at Devin's throat. "Leave him alone." he snarls. Sorts of snarls. Kind of gasps. He knows better than to pull the arrow out so leaves it alone.

It takes Grey physically shepherding him to get Max to take a step back, and then another. He's stubborn, but the longer that they don't kill her, the more his brain starts kicking in. He looks from the bear-masked man, to the others he can see, and back to her. He studies them for a good long time, and then finally he continues to ease back after Grey and Faolan, until he's back with them. Jaw clenched and white-knuckled, he falls back with them.

Martin notes Fiona's pause and reaches to grab her hand to pull her along as they continue running. "Not now, Fiona. Later." She can ponder the deeper bits of these events once they are all safe.

"Emo laik nou smart, Catoc." The Archer speaks in a low, almost feminine contralto. She draws back a step, dragging the dazed Devin back with her with the knife at his throat. Her eyes behind the wolf skull mask narrow, and she tilts her head slightly — almost curious. She takes another retreating step back, but the knife remains tight against Devin's throat as she does.

As Fiona stops ahead of him, Grey shakes his head, gesturing at her with his unwounded arm, the one with the spear and jacket in it, "Keep moving, think deep thoughts later." When Max starts moving, Grey nods and looks downstream, sighing with a little relief to see (and hear, thanks Evie) Evie and Cookie coming up from there, "Let's go, let's go. We'll get 'em back later. Faolan, lets move. Where's Ruth and… uh… Cassandra?" He doesn't stop, however, climbing up the hill on the far bank as quickly as he can with one hand full of spear and jacket and the other tucked close to his side, blood trickling down his upper arm. "Move it people. Move it move it. We're coming back for them." It's almost a chant now, a mantra to keep him going.

Morgan glances quickly over his shoulder at the other delinquents then back to the savage holding Devin. "Go!" he calls. "I'll make sure they're okay." He drops the arrow he's holding and takes a step toward wolf skull, holding his hands out to his sides. See? Unarmed.

Grey blinks and adds, "And… uh… Rees and Perry."

Martin hears Grey as he mentions Cassandra and Ruth. "I don't know. I don't see them." He scans the nearby surroundings and shrugs, "Did they run ahead?"

At the urging of Martin and Grey, she picks up her pace again. "I didn't see her." she says breathlessly, and picks up her pace once more. "We need to get the arrow out of Lip before it infects." Her job increases to a run, teeth gritting at the idea of leaving a fellow 100 behind.

Faolan gives one last look across the river. It's fair enough point that Morgan is probably enough of a distraction that he doesn't need to be a rear guard after all. With a gruff shake of his head, he starts moving. To Evie and Cookie he shouts: "To cover!" And then he'll be jogging so he can catch up to Martin and offer him an arm and a shoulder for support. "We gotta move fast! They might come after us. Evie! Can you find us a good way back to camp? We can't go to Mount Weather in this condition, and they need to be warned."

More Grounders drop from the trees, revealing three more archers in wolfish masks. One steps forward as Morgan offers up a surrender gesture, and he stows his bow as he approaches. The Archer holding Devin does not release him, nor does the Bear holding Quinn. They are starting to retreat into the woods with their captives.

<FS3> Evie rolls Survival: Good Success.

Max is moving. Reluctantly. Angrily. But he's moving. At some point the pain from that arrow is going to cut through the shock. But for the moment he's too full of adrenaline and seething to notice it. "We better get them back," he snarls under his breath to no one in particular.

Devin watches Morgan with his semi-glazed over eyes as the archer holding him drags him backwards, saying something. As he hears her voice, realizing he was fighting a woman, his eyes widen for a split second before his vision goes blurry again and his head spins for a second. "You fight… pretty good… for a girl…" He says as he tries to keep his balance, not sure if she can understand him before he gets dragged off again.

"Into the trees," Evie urges Cookie, grasping her sleeve briefly before darting into the treeline to continue their way up toward the group. She breaks from cover briefly as they make it to the spot on the bank where they wanted to be, pausing long enough to catch sight of the Grounders melting away into the brush with their captives. "What. The. Fuck."

For a moment, Evie can do nothing but stare until Faolan's question cuts through her daze and she shakes her head to clear it. No longer quite concerned with being nabbed by an arrow, she fishes out the sopping wet map from her pocket and unfolds it gingerly. It's liable to tear if manhandled, but the print is clear and not smudged. "We'll have to circle their territory. Go upriver more until we find some ground on the opposite bank that isn't marked with those—things. Cut across and around back to camp. It'll be a longer route going home, but maybe we won't stumble into another ambush. Make sure someone is helping the wounded. Keep in pairs, just in case, and try not to stray."

When Grey reaches the top of the hill, he turns back to the far side of the river, pointing his spear at the monster-people and shouting, "We're coming for you, you motherfucking jackholes. We're coming for you." Real scary when he's wet and bleeding and just got run off, but, it's all he's got for right now. And then he's dragging himself off with the rest, nodding at Faolan's request of Evie and her response, "We've got to get back to camp. Get more people. More weapons. Track these jackholes down." And then he raises his voice, "Ruth! Cassandra!" Grimacing, he shakes his head, "I probably should stop shouting. Half a klick, then we'll dress wounds."

"I don't know who or what they are," Faolan mutters under his breath. He may have been the one who blew the horn of retreat, but that only makes the black brooding anger that's seeping into his eyes all the more manic. "But we're gonna make them wish they just got floated." Its empty bluster right now, of course, but a seed of hate has just been planted. He just nods at Grey's suggestion.


With wounds tended to and the group scattered in pairs along the bank, Evie jogs to catch up to Grey. Her gaze drifts ahead to Faolan's back as the hothead storms off in a fit of gloom. "He's blaming himself for this, isn't he?" she inquires as she slows down at Grey's side, glancing up to him briefly. "We had no idea we'd find people on the ground. Actual people! When the Ark drops, they're going to be shocked as hell to find out." She pauses, inhaling through her teeth and doing her best not to gaze back at the blood-soaked ground where their companions were captured. "I don't have a map of their territory. How are we going to find our people?"

Grey has his shirt off, strips torn from it to bandage his side and his arm. At the point that Evie joins him, he is looking down at his hands, his fingers trembling with the aftereffects of adrenaline. Looking up, he blinks, then follows her gaze to Faolan for a moment, "We both are. We were trained for this shit. To be Guards. And we didn't Guard people." Where the other Ex-C is raging, however, Grey seems deflated, "There aren't gonna be people on the ground for long. We're gonna kill 'em for what they did. Those Grounders," he pauses, then nods to himself, apparently accepting the term, "are gonna know who they screwed with." Her practical questions are a little more important, and he grimaces before shrugging slightly, "Not quite sure. Figure'd we'd bring a war-party back to the river, then try to track 'em from there. If that doesn't work, then we're stuck blundering around 'till we run into another ambush, and that'll suck ass."

Evie holds out a hand to stop Grey, but only long enough to peek under the bandage on his arm. The bleeding looks to have slowed, so she drops the fold of fabric and continues forward. "They were many against our few, and even fewer of our number have been trained for fighting of any kind. I don't know about the rest of them—" she gestures behind her, "but I'm not blaming either of you for it. We ran right into an ambush, yes, but now we know a little more about how they operate, yeah? And how they mark their territory, kinda." Sighing, she reaches to feel along her back, and blinks in surprise at the knife still lodged firmly in her belt. Soreness along her lower back is a sign that the blade cut her on her way downriver, but she doesn't bother to check it. Not yet, not right now.

The butt of her spear thunks on the ground as she climbs a small ascent, and her gaze cuts across back and forth in front of her as she walks. Not but twenty yards ahead, the rock piles marking Grounder territory seem to drop off, and she gestures with her free hand. "There. See where the river bends away? It's shallow right there. I think we can cross." Another pause in conversation, followed by: "Track them, but carefully. Maybe you two should start training us in hand-to-hand. I wonder if anyone knows how to make bows and fletch arrows."

Grey shrugs slightly, "Yeah. In my head, I know it wasn't our fault. Especially Devin and Morgan." Tucking his spear under one arm, he taps his chest with his fingers, "In here… not so much." The gestures to the river draws a numb sort of nod, and then he grimaces and narrows his eyes, forcing his head up and for him to look around. "Yeah. I can do some of that. Faolan too. And maybe Asher. Bows… bows…" and then the lightbulb goes on, and his brows lift, "Zoe has a bow. She made one." And then he grimaces, "It'll take too long though. To teach everyone. To make more bows. I mean to get back out there and after them right away. As soon as I've got enough people with spears, and a couple of trackers."

As they approach the river, Evie prods out with her spear to check the depth of the water - just in case - but it doesn't look to go higher than mid-calf or maybe knee (depending on a person's height); being short herself, the water rises up to her above her knees as she wades in. The riverbank several feet ahead seems to be clear of the stone markers. "I meant as a long-term plan. Talk to the others about a plan for drilling, and Zoe about her bow. I could use one of you soon, too. I plan on going out to gather up plants to prep and store for medicine, something to keep us afloat until the Ark arrives."

She is quiet for a few minutes as she struggles through the center of the river and then back up the other side, slipping on the wet bank and scrambling with spear and hand to keep to her feet. Panting, she rests a hand on her hip and waits for Grey to catch her up. "You will get them back, Grey. You will. Come on, we can make it back to camp before dark if we don't stop. Everyone, watch your footing in the river! The rocks are slippery."

Grey finally, something settles into place, and Grey gives a groan, "Damn it. Cole's gonna give me an epic goddamned 'I told you so.'" Thankfully, that ranks rather far down his list of concerning things at the moment, and he moves on quickly, "Not that a wall would have helped with this, but it's definitely a good idea now." Grey actually moves out into middle of the river and waits there until most of the group has crossed and Faolan can watch over the second half of the little group. Then he catches up to Evie again, walking alongside her in silence again for a minute or two before he responds, "The folks from the Ark may never arrive, Evie. Not if folks keep taking their bracelets off." His is still on, but he doesn't sound too broken up about the idea of them never arriving, "But maybe we can get some folks out this evening to search for herbs. We'll need 'em when we rescue the others."

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