PHD #075: EVENT - Ursa Major
Ursa Major
Summary: An unexpected obstacle leads to difficult choices.
Date: 12 May 2041 AE
Related Logs: n/a
Alessandra Cilusia Covington Daphne Kai Kulko Laskaris Quinn Samuel Tisiphone Trask 
City Outskirts — Leonis
A forest shouldn't be this quiet. The loudest sound comes from the gentle breeze ruffling the canopies of this vast expanse of evergreens, their trunks groaning ever so softly — mourning, perhaps, the fate of the Colony's inhabitants. But the strange silence notwithstanding, this remarkably well-preserved stretch of land seems completely untouched by the destruction the Cylons have wrought. Wide clearings open into azure skies or starlit vistas; knee-high grass sways beneath pillowy clouds or the overhanging moon. A small creek snakes through leafy ground and loamy soil, its clear water burbling softly over a bed of weather-worn rocks. So peaceful is this bucolic place — a full eighty kilometers from civilization — that it might even dispel, if only for a while, the nightmares of the preceding months.
Post-Holocaust Day: #75

<OOC> Serpens says, "A quick summary - this event happens during the late afternoon. Your group is still moving forward for a few hours before it's time to camp. A few of you may have stashed away extra food, but the MREs are gone as of lunch. I understand there's a bear lashed to the back of an ATV."

<OOC> Serpens says, "There's the possibility of combat in this event - if it happens, I'm going to try what Polaris does, which is to have everyone PAUSE at the start of a new round until I've done a setpose. Then actions can proceed as usual."

It is late afternoon in the forests outside of Kythera - or at least that's what your timepieces say. Heavy grey clouds rolled in, this morning, and by noon the drizzle began. The trees provide some small measure of shelter, until a breeze kicks up and pelts everyone with all the thick, cold drops collected on countless leaves above.

From lunch until now, the ground has gotten rockier - bare patches of stones and boulders now appear amongst the trees, and the travel seems to head gently downward. This is all according to plan, as shown on the aerial reconnaissance photos. Unfortunately, the photos also show a thicker patch of forest ahead. More work for the clearing crews.

(OOC: Please pose a round or two of travelling, and identify which of you are in the forward group (3-4), and which are clearing / with the ATVs. If you all want to stick together, I'm fine with NPC-posing the scout group's actions.)

You paged Kulko with 'One other thing that you'll know - the ATV fuel is running very low. Assuming no jags in the current route, the vehicles will start running dry on Friday.'
Kulko (Kulk) pages: About what we planned for.

You paged Daphne and Samuel with 'As soon as it looks like nobody else is volunteering for forward duty, I'll give you guys more info. For now, you can pose working your way through some boulders and steadily thickening forest. Still room for ATVs, though.'

Tisiphone is hacking away at a small sapling that's blocking the passage of the ATVs with a small saw. An axe would be better, but Air Bases are strangely deficient in them. Go figure. "Fraksakes," she mutters, as the saw slips for the umpteenth time. "Any more luck over there?" she mutters — presumably to Alessandra, also clearing a path for the boys and their toy cars.

"…define 'luck'," Lucky counters after a moment, grunting as she tries to shoulder a small tree she's been trying to cut down for the last few minutes. "This frakking…gods, Tis. If we survive this, I don't think I ever want to see another tree for as long as I live." Huffing, she goes back to her own sawing, growing more and more annoyed and short-tempered as she does.

Daphne moves slowly and swiftly, scouting ahead as usual. In the time since she's been here, the viper pilot-turned-scout has undergone a few physical changes. The ponytail's finally gone, the wilderness having taken it. In its place are longer, wavy, frizzy locks. Her skin is dirty, her clothes are dirty, and she doesn't seem to care too much… probably the oddest thing about it. She crawl-runs, trying to keep sight of Samuel as she moves from tree to tree and where applicable (like now), from boulder to boulder, into lush greens that grow ever thicker and more resiliant with every footstep, though not stuffy enough to impede the ATVs behind her. She rests her back against a boulder, crouched with her knees bent and pointing out, and nods towards Samuel.

"Frak me," Cilusia grumbles to herself, working on clearing trees like the others in the forward crew. "Thought I joined the fleet to get away from this sort of landscaping. Thing is, shit on Scorpia you can slice down with a machete…" The sweat on her skin mixes indeterminately with water from the drizzle and the stuff dripping off the trees as she works at sawing down one more tree in the path of the big boy ATVs. Her hair too has been rendered a totally uncontrollable mane of frizz as well by the weather.

Samuel moves along between different obstacles, pausing once in a while to look around carefully once in a while. Pausing for a few moments as he ducks down behind a boulder, nodding in Daphne's direction as he sees the nod and pointing.

Lasher is at the head of the train, behind the wheel of the lead ATV. Oddly enough, he's not smoking, trying to ration the few smokes he has left. Squinting out at the rain-sprinkled landscape, he guides the vehicle down the gentle incline, occasionally swerving to avoid this bit of rock or that small tree jutting out from the ground.

There's a wet snap from the sapling Tisiphone is hacking at — as she's given up trying to saw the rest of the way through, and has taken to planting a foot against it for shoving. The sound makes her jump back a bit awkwardly, preparing for Toppling Tree — all she gets is a fresh shower of drops splashing down on those nearby. Her sour muttering doesn't make it past the back of her throat as she finishes twisting the tree out of the way. Over toward Alessandra and Cilusia she moves, to try and pitch in with their efforts.

Kulko follows along in Daphne and Samuel's wake - more methodical, with more focus on the forest's reactions to the pair than the pair's actions themselves. He's constrained by the armor he still wears, and the rifle slung across his chest, so he relies less on cover and more on simply moving slowly.

Alessandra's own efforts are not as forthcoming but she's steadily making progress once she gets past the halfway mark, the trunk finally starting to show signs of it starting to give up the ghost. "Push…" she says once she notices Money Shot is heading their way, indicating which direction she'd like for Tisiphone to do so by motioning in it with a flat, open-palmed gesture. "Think it's about to topple." She gives a quick look around to see how the others are doing but doesn't do more than make a single sweeping assesment visually.

You paged Kulko, Daphne, and Samuel with 'The trees are getting thicker. The ground is getting rockier. Your progress is getting slower - you can hear the ATVs and the sound of clearing brush not all that far behind you. There's a large rocky outcropping you have to clear, just ahead - but as you get closer, you realize it's not a hill. There's no downward slope at the other side. The aerial scan wasn't showing a thickening of the forest - it was showing a ravine.'

Riding shotgun in one of said ATVs — the one behind Lasher's — Trask is monitoring the radio waves and otherwise safeguarding the sleeping Quinn. When it starts to drizzle, he drapes his duty greens shirt over the electronic device. "Put your back into it," he quietly quips, poking as much fun at his injury as he is the grousing, tree-chopping pilots. It's then that the ATV goes over a bumpy patch. "Ow," is uttered with some annoyance. "Thanks, karma. So nice to see you have a sense of humor."

Daphne (d) pages Serpens, Kulko, and Samuel: We have radios to communicate with the convoy? And using them is not considered a bad idea?
You paged Kulko, Samuel, and Daphne with 'I believe the inventory +bbpost said everyone has a comms system of some manner, yes. It's up to Kulko if it's a good or bad idea to use them.'
Daphne (d) pages Serpens, Kulko, and Samuel: And if I look around, does it seem like there's a way around it, or any other way to go?
Kulko (Kulk) pages Serpens, Samuel, and Daphne: We have short range comms, but I think we are maintaining radio silence.
You paged Kulko, Samuel, and Daphne with 'From where you are standing, the ravine stretches out in either direction as far as you can see. With rope and some care, or no rope and extreme care, people can probably get down on foot. Uninjured people, at least. It's possible if you scout a ways to either direction, there may be easier crossing points. You can see the opposite side of it, and a stream down in the bottom.'
You paged Kulko with 'And for you, with the map - if that entire band of thicker trees is, in fact, a ravine, you're looking at an extra day's worth of travel to go around it.'

Let the pilots do the heavy work…sure, Cilusia can go with that. Alessandra and Tisiphone work at pushing a tree over; she stops to take a breather, straightening up and wiping her forehead off. The rifle that she has thrown over her shoulder (which has a habit of falling down around her chest when she leans over to cut) gets shoved back into place. "I'll help you guys on the next one," Cilusia calls out to the pilots. "Just need to get some of this damn sweat and wet wiped off."

Daphne continues along, trudging through the faintly muddy blacks and browns, avoiding the fallen branches as best she can, and then she stop, peering down. Way down. Daphne: A woman on the edge. She takes a few steps away from the sheer behind her, and then gestures to the others, while glancing around. "Check it out." This is mostly to Kulko, who's a bit behind. "Drops off into a ravine." She glances backwards, like the Master of the Obvious she is right that instant. "What do you think? Could get down on foot, but then we lose our stuff. Could be another way around, but that might get tricky. Could pick a direction or both of them, slip through, see if we can find a way around."

"Got it," says Tisiphone to Alessandra, grabbing the sapling a distance up from where the other pilot works with her saw. "Pushing now." Which she does — once, twice, and on the third time it gives a wet splintering sound. Yay, another tree cleared. Boo, another thick spattering of water. She blows out a frustrated sigh and rubs at her scalpfuzz while looking toward Cilusia, spraying drops everywhere.

Moving forward a bit as Samuel hears the others, moving over to the edge as well, a bit slowly. Glancing from the ravine, to the others, then back to the ravine. "Now that complicates the matter…" he mutters.

The droplets have Alessandra sighing, shaking her head which doesn't help with the water situation as her hair has come loose from its braid which has her rather wet-dog-shaking-like as even more water's sent to fly. "I had missed actual weather," she quips dryly to no one in particular, "But I think I change my mind." Cilusia's offer of help catches her ear and she turns and nods, giving the deckie a thumb's up. More help is more better.

Kulko closes the distance a fair bit quicker, stealth put on the back burner. He peers out over the ravine's edge. "Frak. Recon showed a forest, not a godsdamn canyon." A glance back from whence they came, as he considers the options. "We can't go on foot. We've got wounded, and supplies." Mostly wounded, as the supplies run low. He takes a knee, and digs around in his pack for the recon photos. "We can go around, but it'll kill an extra day. Might not have enough fuel to hit the suburbs."

Daphne nods, "Yeah. That's… lovely. OK. Then we've got to gind another way around. I'm not a physicist, but I'm guessing it would be bad if the convoy drove an ATV over the edge somehow. We should send at least one of us, if not all of us, back to alert them. Then we either split up and look for a way around, or move together."

Lasher slows his forward progress as his ATV begins to close on the bushwhacking group. "Wet isn't goin' anywhere, PO," he notes with a sardonic finger-point skywards. "Should be helping the sweat problem, too." The ATV rocks as one of the wheels hits a stealthy piece of stone sticking out of the ground, just above the grassline. He grunts in annoyance as he corrects, and the vehicle continues on without a hitch. "Frak," he mutters.

"Maybe it's a forest down there?" Samuel offers, gesturing towards the ravine again. "And driving an ATV over the edge would be… Something we wouldn't want to happen." Nodding a bit at Daphne's suggestion as he looks over to Kulko.

"I know, right?" Tisiphone snorts at Alessandra as she follows her toward Cilusia. "This was great until it started raining. We can bend this one back while you saw?" The latter sentence to the deckie. It's not the /safest/ way to do it, but it /is/ faster. More help, more faster == even more better. An impatient waving-forward to the ATVs behind them.

Trask remains quiet, waiting for a call he doesn't expect but hopes will regardless come. "Y'a'right back there, Magpie?" Quinn shifts a little in her sleep, which is good enough for him.

Kulko folds his arms and looks out over the ravine. Deep in thought. "Alright, you two split up. Real quiet-like, let's say a klick in either direction. I'll go hold up the convoy. Meet back here in twenty. Radio silence, unless you're in trouble."

"This weather isn't doing a godsdamned thing for my hair either!" Cilusia smirks to Laskaris as he calls out from his ATV. "Gets a little bumpier up here as well…so watch out. Few stumps and a few big rocks like that one to contend with. We can't cut down too low on account of the rocks." To Tisiphone, Cilusia just nods, setting the rifle strap once more and heading over that way to saw the bent tree down low.

Daphne levels her head, "Yeah. That's what I was thinking, too." She exhales, still crouched, and turns towards Samuel, "I'll go left, you go right." and then back towards Kulko. "Assume the worst in… what? An hour?" She moves away from her rock.

<FS3> Daphne rolls Alertness: Good Success.
<FS3> Samuel rolls Alertness: Great Success.
<FS3> Samuel rolls Stealth: Success.
Daphne spends 1 luck points on Sneaking.
<FS3> Daphne rolls Stealth: Success.

Samuel nods a little bit as he hears that, "Sounds like a plan," he offers, preparing to move off in the indicated direction now.

"Ten minutes max, then come back and report. Don't go wanderin'," Kulko reminds the pair, before he about faces and heads for the convoy, this time taking long steps and crunching the brush underfoot.

"Copy that. I'll keep an eye out." Lasher replies with a brusque nod to Cilusia. There's a thin smile at the hair bit, and he reflexively runs a hand through his own blond - but much more dry - hair. The Viper captain guns his throttle, the ATV heaving forward under the sudden jolt of thrust. He turns his head momentarily, looking back behind him as the other ATVs move to follow. "Get in a line, one after t'other, so close as you can manage," he orders. "Go where I go." That way, if something happens, it only happens to… him. Well. Not sounding like such a good plan now, is it?

Alessandra blinks and looks at Tis, her expression baffled. "Great. Yeah." She gives her right hand a shake, trying to get some feeling into the blistered flesh, her fingers and the crook between thumb and forefinger rubbed raw thanks to her tree trimming duty. "The only way any of this would be 'great' is if we had tents. And food. And sleeping bags and hot-as-frak guys to share the sleeping bags with." Hurting and grumpy, she adds, "I backed into something and I have a rash. A frakking raaaaaaaaash. Hopefully it clears before we get back to the Cerb because I sure as frak don't want to have to explain that to the gang in medical."

"Aw, shit? Poison ivy?" She's grinning at Alessandra, but there's sympathy in the tired eyes. "Okay. Here. I've got it." Tisiphone grunts with the effort of trying to bend the sapling back against the rocky outcrop to help Cilusia's sawing along. It's a little comical to watch — the tensile strength of the tree is nearly stronger than her, and her boots skid on the damp ground a little. "Hold still," she curses at the tree, as if it'll listen.

When his ATV moves to fall into the convoy line, it goes over a rocky bit of rocks. "Ow," Trask exclaims more loudly than last time, sounding more irritated than pained. All the jostling is not resting well with his back. An over-the-shoulder glance is cast towards the still sleeping Quinn.

To help Tisiphone and Alessandra's efforts, Cilusia slaps her boot down on the partially-sideways sapling. All of her 100ish pounds help to push the tree sideways so that she can lean forward and apply the saw right down low on the tree, right where the roots pull it one way, and the three women help to pull it the other way. She doesn't know a whole frakkin' lot about physics, but if you pull something in two different directions and then cut or poke right in the middle or whatever, that stuff shreds much easier.

You paged Daphne with 'The ravine keeps going. And going. And going. The stream at the bottom widens out toward a large pond at one point - coming right up to the edge of the ravine. There's a point where a knot of trees hang over the edge of the ravine, where maybe the group could rig up some sort of way to haul the ATVs down, using the trees as a pulley. From what you remember of the sizes of coils of rope, you'd have enough to do this.'

You paged Samuel with 'The ravine keeps going. And going. And going. You think you've found a good spot for scaling down the ravine, though - there's a point where the ravine is shallower and a huge rocky outcropping juts out of the ravine's bottom. A sort of two-stage descent. The ATVs might be able to make that, in two steps, if folks use rope to help slow their descent.'

<FS3> Alessandra rolls Reactive: Good Success.
<FS3> Tisiphone rolls Reactive: Good Success.

You paged Alessandra and Tisiphone with 'The two of you don't know your own strength, apparently - the sapling splinters at the sawing-point much sooner than expected. Luckily, you both manage to dodge or tumble out of the way without anything but a light scrape or two for your troubles.'

"Yeah. Right on my ass. And Jayden says crapping in the woods is fun. Someone needs to take away whatever he's smoking. At least Doc Hawke's not here asking to ogle it, huh…" Allie's venting and doing so at about MACH 3 which makes her almost unaware of the fact that the tree's going to give three seconds faster than is probably expected. Ducking, she pushes herself off in a semi-somersault which gets her out of the way with only a few scrapes to show for that close call. "Frak! Tis…Cil? You guys alright?"

Kulko moves past the trio of women sawing at the tree without a word. He raises two fingers to his mouth and releases a sharp whistle, the raises a single fist. "Hold up, y'all." Another few long strides take him to the lead ATV. "There's… been a change of plans."

<FS3> Cilusia rolls Reactive: Success.

You paged Cilusia with 'The three of you don't know your own strength, apparently - the sapling splinters at the sawing-point much sooner than expected. Luckily, you manage to dodge out of the way without anything but a few splinters and a light scrap or two to show for it.'

Cr-r-rack! Alessandra tumbles one way, and Tisiphone leaps away in the other with considerably less grace — a little like a gazelle trying to leap with combat boots on its feet. She stumbles into another tree, grabbing to it to keep from falling, and sheds her momentum as she slowly spins around it. "Fine. I'm fine," she groans wearily — then looks over toward Kulko with a frown. All this work to make a clear path for the ATVs, and there's a change of plans?

As Kulko emerges from the brush, Lasher puts on the brake, bringing the entire little convoy to a halt. "Get the park brake for me, Roach," he says to the pilot riding shotgun. Disembarking from the lead ATV's driver's seat, Laskaris steps towards the lieutenant with a frown. "What's the sitrep, LT?" he asks curiously as his uniform begins to get flecked with raindrops. He takes an instinctive step back at the sound of the commotion with the tree, eyes lingering on the trio of women before he looks back to Kulko.

Daphne comes out from the brush, herself. She takes a long breath, and then steps towards the group, shaking her head. "Keeps going for about as far as I could see it, but we might be able to lower the trucks down." There's some dirt and twigs in her hair, clearly the fashion statement of the week.

What happens to Alessandra and Tisiphone makes them look almost graceful; Cilusia isn't so lucky however! When the tree cracks and splinters, her foot slides on the wet bark a bit and she tumbles backwards, landing on the dirt on her back with a loud "OOOF! Ow…frak…" she groans and wheezes out. "Got the frakkin'…wind knocked…out of me…" she pants out, rolling first to elbows and knees, and then back to her slightly wobbly feet.

"Hit a snag. There's a ravine up ahead - can't cross it here, too steep. Daphne and Sam are lookin' for…" Kulko stops as Daphne reappears, turning to take in her report, and folding his arms under his hanging rifle. "Not a damn chance," he responds to her suggestion - without malice, but quite plainly.

Appearing from the brush at another point, Samuel pauses a little bit, as he hears Daphne's report. "About the same on my side. Got a place we could lower the vehicles, there's an outcropping down there, so two steps if we can lower them onto that ledge. Will be hard work for all of us, though."

As if Alessandra wasn't grumpy before. Now she's even more so thanks to the slightly bloodied elbow and arm she has received for everything. "At least it's the last…" she utters while stepping over to the felled Cilusia, offering her a hand up while checking on Tis. She is not going to comment on the sudden change of plans, nor will she be saying anything about how all their hard work will be for naught. Nope. She's behaving although she does give Lasher a look that sums it up nicely with the 'you gotta be frakking kidding me' pout that's leveled at the Captain.

Lasher does go for a smoke now, ducking his head back under the ATV's roof so he can get it lit. He takes a long drag, then cups his hand over it as he steps back to Kulko's side. There's a slow nod. "Not sure I'd want to chance tryin' to lower these buggers down a ravine," Lasher notes, chucking a thumb at his vehicle, "what with our wounded and equipment and such. Tain't any repair stations around here if anything gets fubared in the process." Another long drag; Lasher exhales, the smoke quickly being carried off in the damp, heavy breeze. There's a measuring look in his eye as he looks at Kulko next. "It's your show, LT," Laskaris continues, his voice almost too neutral as he speaks. "What're we doin'?"

"I love trees. I. Love. Trees." Tisiphone is reminding herself of this as she dangles tiredly from the one that stopped her fall. She pushes herself upright with a groan and moves over to perch on the nearby boulder, patting herself down for her cigarettes while Kulko confers with the others.

"We start goin' in there with ropes and counterweights, we are just beggin' for an ambush." Kulko looks warily back to the ravine. Bushy brows draw together with concern. "Rather kill a day goin' round it, even if it means we have to hoof the last day on foot."

Daphne nods towards Kulko, "Doable, though. There's a tight cluster of trees hanging over the edge. Dropoff is a pond. Could work, but we're sure not going around it. One way or another, we have to go into it…" She peers at the convoy in general, "Unless we can build a bridge, but it has to be…" SHe looks up, towards the trees in the forest, "Well made. It's a lot longer than our trees are. I don't even know how we'd do that." She raises a hand in mock, bitter apology, "Kolettis '39. Poli Sci. Dad told me to do engineering. I said no."

Bootstrap curiously peers towards the growing enclave in the near-distance. He's not within earshot of knowing what's going on, but that doesn't prevent him from saying, "It's a bit early to break out the guitars and start singing 'Kumbaya'." Instinctively, he starts looking about from where he sits, checking behind the convoy, just in case.

Kulko (Kulk) pages: Daphne is correct that we can't go around it?
You paged Kulko with 'I'm not sure how she's decided that, no. Perhaps she means - as far as she scouted, there's no way around?'
Kulko (Kulk) pages: Perhaps.
You paged Kulko with 'The previous info stands - if that thicker patch of forest is in fact the entire ravine, there IS a way around. It will just take an extra day's worth of fuel getting around it.'

"We could probably roll them down in that spot I found, if we use the ropes to help slowing them and keeping them from toppling over," Samuel offers, after a few moments. "A bit tricky, but it should be possible, at least." Glancing around for a few moments. "The other alternative would probably be trying to go along the ravine, trying to find a better spot."

"How much of our supplies can we even take along, on foot? How many more days will it take if we're walking?" Tisiphone calls this toward Kulko and the others gathered near him, frown aimed down at her cigarette, the middle of which is freshly-decorated with a fat, damp circle, courtesy of the drizzle. "What if it keeps raining the whole damn time?" That's a little petulant. Ensign, thy name is Whine.

Listening intently, Lucky looks over towards the one in charge, her brow dropping a bit while a hearty crease lines it. "Hey, you do realize that some of us can't walk, right? How the frak are we going to move them?" The suggestions that are floating around do nothing in the way of settle well with her but that kind of logistics has not been laid on her shoulders, a burden she's happy to let someone else wrest with.

Alessandra might be echoing a point that's already been made but she doesn't seem to care.

"Forget it, Kolettis. Don't have the time to figure it out," Lasher says with a short shake of the head. He sounds almost regretful, but them's the breaks. "That too, LT. Course — " Lasher trails off, turning in a circle to look at their surroundings. "— the hills, the clouds, and the trees could just as well hide an ambush on their own." He shrugs. "Ain't pretty however you want to slice it, wot?" A look to Samuel as the marine speaks. Lasher nods slowly. "Could work," he replies with a sideward glance at Kulko. "Better'n tryin' to lower 'em down with frakkin' pulleys like a crane or some such, at any rate. I'm all for saving time, if we can do it without killin' someone." He's mostly ignoring the conversation around the little group, but something said draws his attention. He turns to Tisiphone with a baleful scowl. "If it keeps raining, Ensign," he growls, "we will shut the frak up and deal with it." Glare.

Kulko breaks his stance to crack the knuckles on each hand individually. "We go till the fuel runs out. By then there won't be a whole lot to carry anyhow. We've only got one critically wounded…" Another glance at the ravine. "Problem is, we don't know when the Skipper's comin' back for us. And there ain't a damn chance they can land rescue birds in this forest."

Daphne nods towards Lasher, "Either way, those are our options. We lower them down, pull them down, build a bridge… or I guess we just go until the fuel runs out." She clearly doesn't like that last option too much. One can tell because her lips don't normally curl down like that when she's happy. "Unless someone's got a better idea."

"We could make a stretcher out of the tent canvas and some saplings," Tisiphone points out. "If we're walking, that won't slow us down too much. But, c'mon." She gestures with her cigarette at the group as a whole. "We've got enough strong backs we can lower an ATV down a hill. We aren't hurting for manpower."

Alessandra makes sure her fellow deforesters are alright before going to put the saw she had been using away, it laid to rest in its proper place before she goes to hunt down a few bandaids and, if she's lucky, some anticeptic swabs. Leave it to her to have the foresight to pack a couple protein bars in a pocket - not that those lasted long - but not think to pack some bandaids and frakking cream.

Samuel just keeps silent for now, frowning a bit as he looks around.

Lasher crosses his arms over his chest, cigarette dangling from his lips. It takes a couple of raindrops almost immediately, but he doesn't seem to care. "Lords help those who help themselves, Lieutenant. Best to assume no one's doin' a damn thing for us until we get out of these bloody trees and into the city." He shakes his head. "CAG knows we're out here, and she sure as frak won't leave without us. On the other hand, I'd rather not have to leave these things behind if'n we don't have to." He indicates the ATVs. Another drag is taken; Lasher removes the cig from his lips, shielding it from the rain once more. "Pullin' the ATVs down that hill he mentioned — " another wave at Samuel " — sounds like the best option I've heard so far. We've got all the frakkin' rope and strong backs we'd need."

"Ain't the manpower I'm worried with, Tis," Kulko flits his eyes her way. "S'the machines. The CAG said she caught our trail from the air - that means, as Daphne's been so damn fond of sayin', it's better'n even the toasters know roundabout where we are and where we're goin'. Lookit the way they been fightin' - only when it suits them. We get down there, reckon the hills open up with seven point six two rounds." Stephen looks to Lasher, falling silent as the Captain speaks. "If we're gonna try this, we need to secure the other bank first. Then we can start playin' with frakkin' rope."

Nothing but the rain. That suits Trask well enough. That just leaves some manner of dilemma in front of him, but he stays put in the ATV — and out of earshot. Even the radio waves aren't conveying something.

"Send a few of us to make sure the far bank's clear before doing anything major," Lucky suggests finally, the first time she has done more than just follow commands and do things like take her anti-rad meds and eat what she has been able to of the food they've had access to. "I'll volunteer for that…" she adds while looking down, taking a rather keen interest in a bit of muddy ground a few inches before her toes. "If the Captain allows me to," she adds lamely.

Taking a few minutes to catch her breath, Cilusia just mostly stands there listening to the ideas being tosses about. The one with the ATVs being lowered down the hill with some rope to keep them from tumbling or tipping sounds the best to her, but then, she has no say in it really. So instead, she makes a fruitless attempt to smooth out and tame her hair (the elastic tie long since lost), and fiddles with the rifle strap.

"Alright." Kulko shifts his rifle strap on his shoulder. "We make for the shallowest point. I'll take a team across, we'll secure a perimiter and attach a safety line to help haul things and people /up/hill if need be. Rig up one ATV as a test; if that goes well, we move em' on over."

"Yeah," Tisiphone echoes after Alessandra's suggestion. "Why don't we go find that spot that- uh-" Name. What /is/ that Marine's name? Frak. "-that the Marine found, and check from-" She stops when Kulko starts to speak, and just nods to him, instead. At least travelling along the edge of the ravine means no more tree-cutting, right? Right?

Lasher nods to Kulko, unsurprised by the younger man's conclusion. "Already figured as much," he replies. His grasp of tactics may focus on fighter combat in space, but there's some universal truths that apply to any situation. Allie gets a shake of the head. "You've been busy enough, Lucky… I'll go." He returns quickly to the ATV, pulling his rifle and a cap out of the back.

Indeed, with the ATVs travelling along the ravine's edge, there are no further trees to be cut. About three-quarters of a kilometer ahead is the spot Samuel located. The depth of the ravine is shallower here, though it is wider, as well - the price to pay for gentler slopes.

Near the bottom of the ravine, a large, rocky outcropping rises out of the earth. It turns the ravine's slope into two smaller slopes. The outcropping is large and wide enough for at least a half-dozen people to stand, carefully, with a single ATV.

Gods, how Allie would love to argue with Lasher and demand that she be allowed to go with those who will be scouting ahead but there's no way she can muster the energy to do more than nod in response to the Captain's answer. "Stay safe," she offers while turning away, continuing her quest for the first aid supplies. The past couple of hours have stripped her of anything like the common sense to ask where they are so she just ambles along once the party train starts moving again.

Kulko starts strapping on the remainder of his body armor, and buckles on his helmet. Not taking any chances. "Fasi, start riggin' somethin' up for the ATVs. Captain, Corporal, you're with me. Tis, can you tie us off a descent line?" Just so if they fall, they don't fall /all/ the way.

Samuel nods a bit at Kulko's words, getting ready, "Yes, sir," he offers, checking his rifle once more.

"Yessir." Tisiphone makes her way back to the ATVs for one of the many coils of rope, then doubles back with it, her boots squelching in the damp earth. She wrestles with the thick cord a bit, trying to get a slipproof knot secured, then throws the descent line down for the climbers.

<FS3> Laskaris rolls Athletic: Failure.
<FS3> Kulko rolls Athletic -12: Success.
<FS3> Samuel rolls Athletic -5: Good Success.

<FS3> Kulko rolls Alertness: Good Success.
<FS3> Laskaris rolls Alertness: Great Success.
<FS3> Samuel rolls Alertness: Success.

The descent goes smoothly - except for one moment where Laskaris's boots slip against rain-slick and mossy rock. He nearly spills himself down the slope, but the rope saves him and his companions - at the cost of a bit of rope-burn.

You paged Kulko and Laskaris with 'That giant rock outcropping you guys just descended beside? Looks like it's a cave.'

You paged Laskaris with 'That cave you guys just descended beside? There's something big moving in it.'

"Understood Elltee," Cilusia nods to Kulko. Then, she heads back to the ATVs, to get a sense of where the heaviest parts of the frame are accessible. That little cargo rack and roof might be easiest to get to, but it'd probably tear right off…that metal looks pretty think, and probably hollow, compared to the heavy solid chassis.

Tisiphone lingers at the edge of the ravine where the rope is tied. Is she curious, or is she uncertain the rope is going to hold? Magic 8 Ball is uncertain. She glances over toward Daphne, expression tense, and starts gnawing at the edge of her bottom lip.

Daphne glances back towards Tis, tense, herself, rifle in hand just in case. She's crouched by a stone, alternately peering over the edge at the three in the forward position, and looking across the chasm for signs of trouble. Her lip is… not bleeding.

Alessandra leans over as the others begin their climb down, her expression anxious. "Frakking sunuvabitch," she whispers, the concern she feels for the others easily heard. This is not fun. Not at all. Especially not fun when she notices Lasher slip like he does. Grimacing, she has to clench her hands into fists to keep from being infantile and covering her face although she's not utterly without some kind of reaction beyond that, her nails biting cruelly into her palms for as long as it takes her to be able to relax again.

"Frak." The muffled hiss comes from Lasher as he nearly slips down the slope and dashes his head out on a rock. The rope saves him, though; aside from a rush of adrenaline, a brief moment of mortification, and a not-insignificant rope burn, he regains his footing no worse for the wear. A quick look side to side… and he sees it. A cave opening in the outcropping. He starts walking towards it, only to freeze moments later and level his rifle at the mouth of the cave. "Step away from there, Lieutenant," he says to Kulko softly. "Somethin' in there. Big frakker, too."

Kulko has just straightened to his feet at the cave entrance at Laskaris' words. "Tell Raine to send down a couple more bodies," he calls up the hill, before picking his own rifle up from where it hangs. "Weapons free, gents, but easy on the trigger. Ammo won't last forever. See if you can draw it out; no sense givin' it home field advantage."

Meanwhile, on top the ravine, Cilusia is attacking the problem of how to lower the ATVs slowly with well…rather simplistic methods. Tie rope around the back chassis of the ATV, loop it around a tree, one of the big thick ones, stretch enough rope out, and play tug of war using the people holding the rope to slowly roll the thing down the hill. Should work pretty well!

Having gotten down the hill with the others, Samuel pauses for a few moments as he hears the other two. "Wouldn't it be a possibility to toss a grenade in there, or something?" he offers, just as he levels his rifle at the cave.

Tisiphone stops frowning at the knot and looks back over the edge of the ravine to see the men below levelling their rifles at the rock. "Whoa- what the frak's going on?" she calls down, voice cracking.

"Do it," Kulko affirms with a quick nod.

Alessandra might have been told to stay back but with the call for more bodies echoing up she prepares to make the same hazardous climb down that the others did. Settling her rifle better on her back, she steps closer to the edge of the dropoff, simply waiting.

Samuel nods a bit as he pulls out a grenade. Moving to the side of the cave, he leans forward to throw the thing in, after all the preparations have been done, ducking back to the side, and readying the rifle again.

Daphne mouths, "Grenade?" and takes a step backwards. Make that three steps backwards. She swallows, switches the safety to her rifle on, and crouches.

Laskaris was right - there is something big in the cave, and it's moving. It's hard to see exactly what it is - something dark, moving in shadows.

Samuel throws his grenade, and gets clear - a few second later, all hope of subtlety is quite literally blown away by the deafening echo of the grenade.

And, as your ears stop ringing - the basso profundo of an enraged, beastial snarl.

Kulko takes a couple steps backwards as Samuel lets loose the grenade, and drops to one knee. "Hold fire till you've got a shot," he shouts, lining up the ironsights on the cave mouth and awaiting the creature's appearance.

"Frack…this!" The explosion has her ears ringing to the point of hurting but it doesn't keep Alessandra from doing the heroically stupid, that being grabbing ahold of the rope and starting to scramble her way down, rifle securely slung over her back. She somehow managed to hear the roar of whatever it was the guys managed to piss off, it being the perfect motivator to be quick about this entire thing, it not taking too long before she's at the same level the others are. "Nice…" she half-shouts while getting her weapon at the ready, that being something that takes a bit of time as she has to do this while semi-tangled.

Lasher's face is drawn as he levels his rifle at the cave mouth. There's still roaring after Sam's grenade goes off, and he could swear he still sees shadows shifting about in the cave. Sensing the bear moving forward(or thinking he does, anyway) he looses a burst at the biggest of the shadows he can make out.

The boys have their guns out, Alessandra's down over the edge, and none of this is looking right. Tisiphone again slants a look over to Daphne before pulling her rifle around from its perch against her back, checking the safety before flicking it off. She starts to pace over to the side, frowning at the scene below.

Happily oblivious to what's going on down below, Cilusia is suddenly keyed in to something happening down there when there's a WHUMP through the ground that can be felt on top of the ravine's lip to go along with the sound of the explosion. "What the frak…" she hisses out. Sliding her rifle around to her front side, taking it in her hands, she goes to the edge of the ravine and looks down, trying to get a sight of what's going on down there.

<COMBAT> Ursa Major attacks Samuel with BEAR! - Moderate wound to Chest.

<COMBAT> Laskaris fires a 3 round burst!
<COMBAT> Laskaris attacks Ursa Major with Rifle AP - Light wound to Right Arm.
<COMBAT> Laskaris attacks Ursa Major with Rifle AP - Light wound to Abdomen.
<COMBAT> Laskaris attacks Ursa Major with Rifle AP - Moderate wound to Neck.

With the grenade going off, shouting is tame in comparison. "It would just be a lot less messier if I used the radio to transmit our location to the trashcans," Trask calls out.

Gods bless pain killers; Quinn's still snoozing.

It takes only a moment for that bestial roar to be given form - five hundred pounds of grizzly bear with bloodied, smoking fur barrels out of the cave mouth, straight at Samuel, the cause for all its suffering. The Marine is bowled over like a toy by a sweep of one massive, black-clawed paw, though the snapping teeth thankfully miss their mark - the man's face.

The onlookers above, at this point, can see the bear clearly for a shot - but dare they shoot with the animal so close to Samuel? That's a question left to them.

Kulko hardly moves as the bear bowls Samuel over. He simply rotates, sights in on center of mass, and squeezes off a single round. "Open fire!" As if it needed saying.

Trying to get out of the way of the incoming bear, Samuel is thrown back as those claws find their mark. It's sometime just after that, and purely by instinct, that he squeezes the trigger of his rifle, as he goes down on the ground.

Alessandra's got her weapon freed, the safety thumbed off and the barrel pointed in the right direction, that being at big, fuzzy and pissy that has just made its presence known to the general populace. "W..what the…shit!" Time to put finger to trigger and shoot-and-pray.

Somehow, all of Lasher's bullets found their mark; the thing's got bullet wounds in its arm and belly, and a bigger hole just under its neck. Hopefully, some of those growls and roars are of pain. Setting his jaw, he thumbs off burst fire, aims, and fires.

Well, frak that! A big motherfrakkin' bear, tearing out of the cave, all claws and teeth and singed fur. Problem is, Cilusia is on the lip of the ravine, and she's not that good a shot to pull the trigger with the monster so close to Samuel. So rather than risk it, Cilusia decides to head on down the slope as rapidly as she can to get a better shot.

<FS3> Cilusia rolls Athletic: Good Success.
<FS3> Kai rolls Athletic: Success.

<COMBAT> Kulko attacks Ursa Major with Rifle Ap - Moderate wound to Abdomen.

<COMBAT> Ursa Major attacks Samuel with BEAR! - Moderate wound to Head.
<COMBAT> Ursa Major attacks Samuel with BEAR! - Serious wound to Neck.
<COMBAT> Ursa Major attacks Samuel with BEAR! - COVER stops the attack.

<COMBAT> Laskaris attacks Ursa Major with Rifle AP - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Alessandra attacks Ursa Major with Rifle Ap - Moderate wound to Chest.

Kai (Kaj) pages: I want to Medicize
You paged Kai with 'You'll want to wait until the bear is no longer on top of him.'

Should the group investigate the cave, once this is all over, they will find two adolescent cubs - one very, very dead and one nearly so. This may explain the blind, unstoppable rage of the beast as it mauls into Samuel with fangs and bloodied black claws. At the end of its bubbling snarl, it finds the Marine laying limp, and raises its head, hateful black eyes narrowed at the last source of bullets - Alessandra - before barreling straight at her.

Hearing the cries of the crowd below, the perimeter breaks loose of one soldier - Kai - whose incredible awesome maneuvering athletic skills draw her scrambling down into the depths below, gun and everything. She'd be shooting, but frankly that'd be just plain stupid. Talking? Woman hasn't been doing a lot of it lately, actually, and she's not going to start shouting orders now.

Kulko notes the distinct lack of caring on the part of the bear, wherein the pinpricks of the rifle rounds have little measurable effect, and switches his rifle up to burst fire. "Medic!" he shouts as he squeezes off the burst, eyes locked on the furry foe.

"Muther frakker…" Allie yells while letting off that first single shot, uncertain as to if it hit the damn creature or not, the bear's fur and whatnot making it impossible to tell if she did. Of course the bear's in full maul-mode, making for a frantic Lucky who is going as far as to put a second round bear-wards, it combined with a warscream from Hades. If she notices people being hurt or not is anyone's guess.

Painkillers are nice, but they're on rations, Maggie has been bumped and prodded around enough just being in the back of the ATV, half slumped against Trask… and the sound of grenades, shots and shouting voices are enough to finally drag her out of her drugged sleep. She stirs her head, eyes suddenly jerking open at the sound of rifle rounds and the call for a medic. She gasps, "Frak… found us…?" She half assumes, half asks, adrenaline kicking her away and into wide green eyes as she reaches for her firearm on instinct alone. She might not have well functioning legs, but she can still shoot!

Having successfully slid down the slope to where the action is, Cilusia finds a shady spot. Something where she can get her footing well enough to take the rifle to her shoulder and try to draw a bead on the bear's head.

The only thing indicating that Samuel still is alive is the bit of a groan coming from the downed marine. No better part of a day than being on the wrong side of a raging bear. He's completely out of it for now, it would seem.

"Don't think so. Not enough gunfire." Because, thankfully, bears can't shoot. "Here," Trask says, swiveling enough in the shotgun seat to hand Quinn the radio. "You get to play secretary. I'm gonna see what's trying to kill us." With a smirk, the ECO retrieves a medkit, opens the ATV door, eases out, adjusts his armored vest, closes aforementioned door, and starts to make his way towards the ravine, gun holstered and kit carried. "Someone call for a medic?" It'd probably be quickest if he just tossed down the metal box.

Apparently, someone angered a bear. Since Davy Crockett is otherwise engaged, Covington peers down into the ravine just in time to note Samuel getting the East LA back alley treatment. Er. East… Tama back alley treatment. Whatever! She drops to her belly on the edge of the ravine, drags her rifle up, and takes aim on the angry wooly. "Couple more minutes an' shaggy's gonna be shittin' out dogtags…" She tracks the bear with the rifle, finger on the trigger, ready to take the shot as soon as it's clear of Samuel's bloodied form.

Lasher curses as Samuel is thrown down by the violent assault. His cursing is only amplified as it charges Alessandra, and he brings the rifle up, a cold glint in his eye as he fires after only the briefest attempt at lining the thing up.

<OOC> Kai says, "Is it possible to treat him this pose, Serpens?"
<OOC> Serpens says, "You'll be running through lines of fire if you do."
<OOC> Serpens says, "Though if you want to try, you may."
<OOC> Kai says, "What kind of danger am I looking at?"
<OOC> Serpens says, "Being shot by every single person aiming at that bear."

<FS3> Tisiphone rolls Athletic: Success.

"Oh frakking shit." Daphne brings her pistol down towards the enraged animal, driven more by the sight of fresh human blood than reason. Both hands on the gun, she barely notices that she's stopped breathing.

Tisiphone tries to line up a shot for only a moment before uttering something dark and utterly displeased. She makes her way over to the rope and starts scrambling down as fast as she can manage. A few scrapes and bruises are nothing at this point compared to what's going down, down there.

"Sharp shooting, get him off, let me in." Whispered words, but adamant, Kai's hands already gripping the med kit she keeps strapped to her back. "Comeoncomeoncomeoncomeon." Followed by a "YOU SON OF A WHORE, SAMUEL, YOU FIGHT GODS DAMN YOU!" Maybe that will keep him alive. Ahem.

<COMBAT> Laskaris attacks Ursa Major with Rifle AP - Moderate wound to Chest.

<COMBAT> Kulko fires a 3 round burst!
<COMBAT> Kulko attacks Ursa Major with Rifle Ap - Moderate wound to Chest.
<COMBAT> Kulko attacks Ursa Major with Rifle Ap - Moderate wound to Chest.
<COMBAT> Kulko attacks Ursa Major with Rifle Ap - Moderate wound to Chest.

<COMBAT> Cilusia attacks Ursa Major with Rifle AP - ARMOR on Left Arm stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Daphne attacks Ursa Major with Pistol - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Alessandra attacks Ursa Major with Rifle Ap - Moderate wound to Abdomen.

Full of grenade shrapnel, then riddled with bullets - the 500-pound grizzly surges forward at Alessandra in a blind rage. Teeth snapping, one paw already sweeping out toward her - before the hail of bullets send it stumbling, careening into the pilot as they both tumble to the ground. The beast is still breathing, though otherwise unmoving, while Alessandra is fine - except for the bear's blood leaking onto her.

Clearly, Trask is not going to be heard over all the gunfire. So, he stands there, watching, holding the medkit.

Kulko repeats his actions from the last bear - as soon as the thing drops, he makes safe his rifle and makes right for the body. His pistol is drawn and a single round fired right to the head. BLAM. This bear is no more. He has ceased to be. He's expired and gone to meet his maker. He's a stiff. Bereft of life, he rests in peace. He's kicked the bucket, shuffled off his mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the choir invisible. This bear is no more, and Kulko makes sure of it. He points to the new arrivals. "We're compromised. Get up to the other side and secure the top. /Move/."

Covington doesn't quite get a shot off before a deluge of bullets courtesy of a few other folks drop the beast. Her finger eases off of the trigger, and she leans up and over a little, to peer down to the Colonials below. "Good job, y'all!" She winces slightly as Allie gets trapped under the bear. She remains where she is, taking overwatch.

Daphne squeezes off a single shot from her handgun, which embeds itself right in the enraged beast's chest. It doesn't slow it down. It doesn't even seem to piss it off, though it's probably reached the apex of its anger already. She's drawing the gun for a second shot when the rifles drop it. She exhales, turns on the safety, and nods, in a hurry to get through.

Quinn blinks over to Trask as he hands her the comms and she swears lightly. "Thanks." She dead pans, not really being of much use since she can't easily get down to being in the action. She rolls over to the edge of the ravine, though, trying to look over as she keeps the radio close in hand…

There is no time to consider what is about. When the bear is down, the bear is down, and long legs and dark hair and Mariney Goodness comes racing in the form of Kai, catapulting forward until she is plopping down on knees, unraveling and wrapping and checking and taping and everything in between for one of her downed teammates. "Come on, Sammy, talk to me ok? Stay with me…" If Trask is in there too? More the awesome. Anesthetic, goo, wrappety wraps? It's a go.

If Samuel heard those words from Kai, he doesn't give an indication of it. As he doesn't move much, although his head moves slightly. And he's letting out a bit of a groan. Otherwise, he seems quite out of it.

Alessandra blinks as she shoots, eyes going wide as the shot is made just in time for Allie to see that she's the bear's next target. Thankfully the Lords spare her the same fate poor Samuel had visited upon him by the animal. "Hmmmmgggnnnn." She had herself sent ass-over-teakettle thanks to the bear's barreling into her and that has her eventually laying on her back, breathless, while she's also near deaf due to the ringing in her ears thanks to Kulko and the others. Ouch.

Tisiphone looks back and up toward the ravine's edge. Seeing Daphne on her way down, she quick-steps it over to the rope and stands nearby. There's not much she can do to help her fellow Ensign descend except watch her footing from below.

Wherever Cilusia's shot wound up hitting the bear, it doesn't seem to do much, if anything. The other hits appear to be the ones that bring the monster down. Then the bear goes down, and looks to be pinning and/or leaking on Alessandra. Switching her rifle back to safe, Cilusia throws the strap back around her shoulder and hurries to help the marine with…well, whatever basic medical knowledge she has (which isn't much).

Trask, alas, is not among those descending. No, he remains at the ravine's ledge, now joined by a wheelchaired Quinn. Now that it's gotten more quiet, he again calls out, "Someone call for a medic?" The medkit is lightly shaken for emphasis.

Laskaris slings his rifle over his shoulder, sending one last look of distaste the dead bear's way before looking up to the other edge of the ravine. Seeing as most of the others seem predisposed at the moment, he takes it upon himself to shimmy up the side and secure the top. Well, perhaps not just himself. "She doesn't need you hovering, Fasi," he snaps to Cilusia. "On me. You too, Apostolos."

"Dumbass. What'd you do Sammy, challenge him to a game of poker? Haven't you figured out wildlife tend to be sore losers?" Kai's words are soft and gentle, cooing almost and soothing, despite the choice in it all. Once she's got the bleeding under control, it's time for actual (non-sexual) healing. First a swab at the neck, cleaning, sterilizing, and then stopping the bleeding while a small injection needle pops into the site. "You know, I need a drinking buddy when this is all over with. I mean, of all the things, who calls this boot camp, right? You with me there, Sammy?" Should be numb now, superficially at least. Another needle pops out - this one unholy ugly, hooked looking thing that's clearly for stitches. Threaded carefully with wire, soon the stitches come. Someone better be watching out for her too, because her entire focus is on Samuel.

Tisiphone snaps a look over toward Laskaris when her name's called. "Sir-?" The syllable is tense and hesitant. She looks back to Daphne, up further to Trask, then around at the others already gathered. "Yessir," she amends, and takes off after the Captain, her rifle held in front of her.

Kulko holsters his pistol, and reaches down to offer Alessandra his other hand to help her to her feet. "Still in one piece, sir?" he asks, tone softened a bit. A nod to Laskaris as he moves off, and a glance up to the ravine's lip. Then, up to Trask, "Boots! We're good for now; see about the belay system." Since Cilusia's found other things to do.

"More like… a game…" Samuel begins, wincing at the words. "Sleepy…" He doesn't say much more than that, now…

Alessandra recovers from the impact from the bear as well as from her body hitting the ground faster than she does the sight of the blood that has been splattered upon her partially and semi-oozed on other spots, leaving her alright outside of feeling faintly nauseous. "Hmmmhmm," she responds to Kulko while letting him help her up, Allie still a bit dazed but otherwise fine and dandy. "Thanks." Now's the time she'd brush herself off normally but she is instead grabbing her rifle from where it landed when it flew out of her hand. "I'll feel this tomorrow. I'd kill for a hot shower and a frakking massage."

Daphne gets down in a hurry and hops off for the last few feet. She bends her knees when she lands, and stops towards Samuel, twisting her lips downward into a frown as she sees the man in his less than terrific state. Though she opens her mouth, the ensign thinks better of it, closing her lips and hurrying towards the other side of the ravine.

"Got it…back to work then," Cilusia nods to Laskaris. She sets out to start climbing back up, looking over her shoulder though to make sure that Samuel and Alessandra are both being looked at by someone! At the top, she starts back to getting the ATV prepped to go down that hill that was sucessfully claimed from the Bear Empire in the name of the Colonies.

"Hey Sam? I know you're righteous sleepy right now, k? But I need you to stay awake as long as you can. Can you open your eyes? Open your eyes. Just need to see how dilated your pupils are, k?" Kai's words continue, gentle and firm at once, pale eyes shifting from stitching to - with a stop here and there - Samuel's eyes, and if he opens them? Checking to see if blood is pooling within, how his pupils look, how responsive he is, and so on and so forth. At least the anesthetic works, right?

"On it," Bootstrap hollers back down, tossing off a jaunty, two-finger tap to the temple, scout-style waves. And then he's off to do as was asked of him.

Quinn looks down towards the depths of the ravine, frowning just a moment. The sight of blood, though rather far away, and the calling for the medics definitely tells her it's Not Good down there… but they still need to move. And she's feeling a hint daunted at that fact. She exhales through her nose, considering the trip down. Trask's trotting away to follow orders earns a bit of a smile, but she lingers with the ATV, waiting for orders herself.

<FS3> Tisiphone rolls Athletic: Success.
<FS3> Daphne rolls Athletic: Success.
<FS3> Laskaris rolls Athletic: Success.
<FS3> Cilusia rolls Athletic: Good Success.

You paged Laskaris, Cilusia, Daphne, and Tisiphone with 'There's a creek in the middle of the ravine, but you can find spots to cross to avoid getting too wet. The opposite side of the ravine is shallower than the first side - the ATVs aren't likely to make it up on their own, but with a tow rope from the top, it should be relatively smooth sailing.'

Samuel keeps silent, fighting to keep his eyes open at the moment. Doesn't look to bad, considering the boxing match he just lost. After a few moments, he grimaces, "Never go boxing… with a bear…" Was that a joke? Some people can't help themselves when it comes to telling jokes, it would seem.

<FS3> Daphne rolls Alertness: Good Success.
<FS3> Tisiphone rolls Alertness: Success.
<FS3> Cilusia rolls Alertness: Failure.
<FS3> Laskaris rolls Alertness: Success.

You paged Cilusia with 'You're the first up to the top of the ravine, and despite the others seeming to think it's safe, it seems unnaturally silent to you.'

You paged Laskaris, Tisiphone, and Daphne with 'Nothing but the rain, gentleman and ladies. Nothing but the rain. The forest is a silent over here as it was over on the other side of the ravine.'

Kulko shoots Lucky a grin. "I'll join you, once we're shipside again. When you're up to it, head inside and make sure nothing's still breathing." With that, he moves towards the far side of the ravine, watching Laskaris and his party scramble up the side.

A cuffed laugh, and Kai repeats with a bit of humor - and relief, but don't let HIM know - "That's right, Marine. Don't they teach you that in boot camp? I just assumed I hadn't got to that chapter yet, right?" Finished stitching the neck, it is still covered in protective, waterproof gauze with tape. Keep infection out. The gash on his head is likely the second highest bleeder, if he bleeds like most humans, and Kai gets to work on that, as well. "You did good, Samuel. You did real good, keeping yourself protected. Even bears in hats riding on a tricycle with a money and a balloon are no funny business."

"Wait…you want…me? There?" Allie points towards the cave with the barrel of her weapon but she doesn't wait for any kind of answer before she is moving that way, her steps slow and wary. "Gods…" Not knowing what she'll find, she steps around in a way that'll have her approaching the cave from the left side where she then peeks her head in. Anything that seems to be alive is kept an eye on for a moment.

Clamber, scramble-slip, heave, and Tisiphone slowly picks her way up the side of the ravine, using trees and rocks to help her along. Everything's sodden with the rain. It's slow going. She'll finally haul herself up over the edge and achingly straighten, giving a long look around.

You paged Alessandra with 'It takes a minute or so for your eyes to acclimatize. Once they do, you see the torn-apart remains of an adolescent bear cub (250 pounds to its mother's 500), as well as a more-intact corpse of its sibling. Actually - scratch that. The second one is still breathing, though it's horribly mangled.'

Lasher's ascent is slow, as he's simultaneously scoping out the creek and the surroundings. The quiet is almost eerie after the furious encounter with the bear. The rifle is again slung over his back as he uses his arms to assist him in the climb. He arrives at the top a moment after Tisiphone and does the same, turning slowly in a circle as he surveys the scene.

Meanwhile, on the original side of the ravine, Trask is setting down the medkit and picking-up the ATV rigging work that Cilusia had started.

Daphne works her way up the other side, one hand after the other. What goes through her mind is a battalion of centurions, guns ready to liquefy her and everyone else as they reclaim the high ground. She even adds the extra touch of animating it in her head, the bullets tearing through Lasher first, of course, tearing through his clothing and making his guts spill out to the floor. Cilusia's incinerated by an artfully placed flame thrower. The next thing in her dark fantasy is Tisiphone's head exploding like a melon. She never gets a chance to imagine herself die, because she's up the rope and nothing's here. She smiles, turning to the others. Yeah. No problem.

The path through the bottom of the ravine is pretty straightforward. Some brush and trees again, of course, and a creek in the middle. It's easy enough to cross without getting soaked, and should be ATV-passable quite easily as well. Moving nimbly through, Cilusia plays king of the mountain, and manages to scramble up the slope without a problem. At the top, she looks around, pulling her mouth up to think. "Looks ok to me…right quiet. How about you three?"

Quinn leans over the ATV just slightly, trying to gaze over to what Trask is doing. She still hurts, but the restlessness and uselessness rather makes things worse in the end. "Ain't much I can help with there, is there?" She murmurs to him. On a note, she's forsaken the Caprican accent since their rather uncomfortable landing. Her voice has been all Aerilonian lilt.

Samuel shakes his head, but doesn't say anything. Starting to drift off, after a little while.

Alessandra disappears for a second, doing only the Lords know what, her intentions kept secret for several minutes. Then one….two shots sound from inside the cave and Allie's scambling back out, rubbing the tears out of her eyes before they can get the better of her. She did the right thing by doing what she did but damnit, it still hurts.

Kulko looks askance to Lucky as she emerges from the cave, having heard the shots. "What's the word?" he queries upwards to Laskaris.

"Good Sam. You did good. It's ok to drift off. You just keep in mind you got your …. your family here, ok? Just keep that in mind." Awkward. Kai stumbles over the words, and near about pokes Samuel's forehead with that hooked needle -without- intent to stitch, and yet there's sincerity in that too. "Frak." Whispered. And? Finally Miss Talkyourearsoff is silent. Swab. Anesthesia. Stitches. Rinse. Repeat.

Tisiphone looks over at Cilusia, considering the deckie's expression, then following her gaze off in the direction it leads. "I don't hear anything," she says at length. "I mean- I hear the same /nothing/ I heard over there. I think we're okay." The corner of her mouth twitches as she looks between the others standing nearby. As if any of this is /okay/.

"All quiet," Lasher replies quietly, his eyes still shifting about as he looks over the ravine. "Shouldn't have a problem gettin' the ATVs up this hill. Noticed a couple shallow spots in the creek to cross. We need to get those vehicles down and move the frak on, afore anyone else out there decides to take interest in our little party down here."

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