|Skittles|| Bright flashes light up the heavens as the continuous pouring of rain pelts the ground without mercy. Though the ground is sodden, and the tracks are fading fast, A group finds themselves in the surrounding lands of the Drake ranch hunting down the beasts of a recent attack.
"So what did they get at?", Skittles asks as she sinks one boot then the next into the mud in front of her. She had been ready and willing to come aid Sparrow when she had asked her, but she wasn't certain locating a pack of whatever they were out here would result in anything productive; it was a mess, an absolute mess. "I'm going to have to find someone to sell me a metal comb." she murmurs.
|Sparrow||Sparrow's out with Tobi. Working on mending a fence that needs to be up to help fix Grant and Martha's coup. Her duster and hat are soaked and rain splatters off them both but they're made for this weather so Sparrow, for the most part, is still dry save face and gloved hands which had been used earlier to keep the board in place while Tobias is hammering away. She has to yell to him over the sound of the thunder and rain; with nary a civilized anything to drown out the awesome sounds of nature.
Now, waiting for the reason for the fix on the coup. Those damned Coyotes. She speaks to them both just over a rumble to Tobi, "If it lets up after a bit once we've taken these varments out we can go seen Hanzhou for some of the 'Lurk Ramen. Get ourselves warmed up."
Sparrow sighs standing next to Skittles. "Ran to the east a ways, took off with a good layin' hen. "Should just try braidin' it up and puttin' it under a hat." She's no stranger to the horror that is moisture reactive hair. Where her hair's not in a braid it's in ringlet curls. It doesn't do much for her stalwart stoic image.
|Aidan Drake||Aidan is riding back in from a patrol around the town and has started a lap around the ranch to make sure that everything is looking secure here for now. Poor Cathal is drenched and looking like an oversized drowned rat as he darts about the fenceline stopping here and there to sniff at various things and peeing on others. When he spots Skittles, Sparrow and the Wrench Goblin he heads over towards the chicken coops, "'Lo there everybody."|
|Tobias||"'Ey dere, Aidan." The average statured wrench goblin known as Tobias wears a pair of unique looking goggles to ward off the rain from his eyes. The left lens is slightly larger than the right and tinged a shade of red whereas the right is reflective black. The water pelting from the heavens can do nothing to remove the greasy oil sheen across his black lens. "Ahyup." The man lifts a piece of wood for the fence and scuttles sideways with it to get the piece in place. "I can't say no ta' hot food after work like this... chills ya ta' the bones."
Tobias always wears a large steel frame backpack covered in a multitude of pockets, flaps and zippers. Now is no exception and the huge pack tends to give the fellow a stooped posture that sets him somewhere about Sparrow's five foot six. "I hate varmints.." He mutters after a beat, under his breath, to the both of them before hefting his hammer and getting back to work. The water doesn't seem to bother him and it does little to remove the permanent layer of filth.
|Skittles||Skittles nods to Sparrow as she lifts up one handfull of soaked ahir and let's it drop, an unamused expression clearly painted there. As Aidan rides up though, she waves and smiles over to him, "Heyas, there's been some trouble with a beasty, seems it's gotten one of the good hens. Though I think Sparrow just like to take walks in the rain.", this last bit is said jokingly and with a half smile towards the stoic woman. Gesturing to the east, "Out that way, I'm sure either one of you is better with tracking than myself if one of you want to take the lead.".|
|Sparrow||Sparrow sniffs and gives Skittles a dryly amused look. But she keeps the remark to herself because look who's here. A small smile touches Sparrows features and she nods, "Hey, Aidan. Coyotes or somethin' like it. Gettin' in the henhouse, took Martha's favorite layin' hen. Not going to lie, I really don't want to deal with coyotes in the rain but I'd like ruin' our coup every night until it lets up even less. So suck it up buttercup, we're goin' ta get wet." She winks at the tri-hair-colored woman with a chuckle and moves over to check the coup. "Thanks, Tobi. Ya done good." She drawls at him. "I'm not exactly a tracker." She doesn't even bother looking at the Gearhead at the coup so she flicks her eyes between her Big Brother and Skittles.|
|Aidan Drake||Aidan nods a bit from his horse and whistles the black and white form for Cathal (a hyper border collie), "Well we can't be having any of that." The cowboy's up on his horse and looks around a bit, "Hey boy think you can find the hen?" Probably not he's a herding dog not a bloodhound but maybe?|
|Tobias||Tobias isn't known for his tracking ability and so he sets to finishing up the repairs as everyone discusses the best course of action for taking out the thievin' coyotes. "I can' take along, not that ya need another gun to take out some varmint but... meat's meat." He shrugs and hooks his arm over his back to stash his hammer back in that cumbersome rig on his back.|
|Skittles||Skittles turns back to Tobias as he speaks up, the man's odd demeaner interesting to her. Maybe it was because he was so different, the enability to read the man, but she flashes him a smile whatever the reason. "Well, probably best that thing gets built first. If there's still more to be done when we get back I'll see what I can do as well.", she shrugs a shoulder and turns back to Aidan and Sparrow. The dog looks up at Aidan and sticks out its tongue, the rain clearly not paying him any annoyance on its journey to meet with the ground. He quickly bounds towards Skittle's gestured arm and begins to sniff at the ground. Barking once, then twice, he snarls and charges after the perceived trail.
"Whoa!", Skittles shouts as the dog darts forward. The first few moments she wasn't expecting anything, but hell, this was happening. "Alright, be careful in the mud, secure your steps before dislocking your joints.". The advice seemed sane in theory, but in practice maybe not so easy.
|Sparrow||Sparrow moves around to head for Bluebelle, striding over to the mare who's tucked under a small structure nearby the house, still saddled from their previous ride since she'd intended to take Tobi back in. But now it's Coyote hunting time and Sparrow's on the move. She mounts onto Bluebell and rides with Aidan but keeps pace with the Engineers, up til the point they have to jump. Bluebelle's all for the jump, having seen the eager pup bound off after the scent but Sparrow isn't expecting it before the mare bunches her hindquaters up and they both end up over the trench.
Sparrow glances to check on the toerh two and Elmer and her brother.
|Aidan Drake||Aidan is making his way following the hyper dog as Elmer yup that's the horse's name leaps over the little dip. Having bout grown up in the saddle he just rolls with the horse's leap. As he lands on the other side he turns to make sure the other's make it over, "Watch out dip there!"|
|Skittles||Skittles lunges across the debris filled obstacle with the heads up from Aidan. She looks a little surprise when she lands on the other side still on her feet, and for a moment this fact sends her forward. Leaning into the run, she regains her balance and manages to keep up a steady pace. If not close behind, she is well within a couple of minutes behind Sparrow and Aidan.
Eventually Cathal can be seen in the distance, paused at a small brook. Across the brook is a dense cops of old rotting trees. All is quiet in the forest, and even the previously incessant barking has subsided. Settling their rump down on the ground, Cathal makes it clear they are not heading any further, but it's likely the culprit is nearby.
|Sparrow||Sparrow isn't going too much faster than Skittles, Blueblee at a walk only having gone to a trot to get up the speed to cross the ditch. She's not the kind of person who goes into the wastes alone or leaves someone outside of sidearm range. Bluebelle's nostrils flare and she snorts into the rain. Sparrow smiles down to Skittles before glancing towards Aidan and towards the growing figure of the Border Collie.|
|Aidan Drake||Aidan points off towards a game trail, "See blood through there we should probably dismount and go in on foot from here." He keeps an eye on Cathal as he slowly dismounts from his horse.|
|Skittles||Skittles glances up to Sparrow occasionally as she jogs across the rough terrain, "I haven't seen my parents in some time. They usually go off scavenging this time of year but, I'm thinking they're not coming back this time. It's probably just me being paranoid though; it feels like this every time.". She slows to a walk as Cathel comes into view, using the opportunity to catch her breath. Spending some time glancing about, Skittles doesn't notice anything. At Aidan's prompting though, she unslings her laser rifle and begins to head down the trail with them once they are all ready.
The trail meanders through the cops, their broken and rotting branches looming like outstretched fingers. The blood follows the game trail for about 100 yards, then takes a sharp right into an outcropping of large boulders, a small shelter formed in a stack of stones.
|Nikki||Nikki is in her jeans and floral blouse as she wanders down the length of the brook, checking for shiny things. Dink hovers above her, making the usual beeps and bloops, and she's holding a casual conversation. With her robot. She also carries her 'Scavaging Box' with her - course it's likely also called such - but the rain was starting to wear on her. She gives a sniffle, even as she kneels down to grab something shiny from the edge of water and land.|
|Sparrow||Sparrow nods to Aidan and moves a leg, dismounting easily and folding Bluebelle's reins over the horn of her saddle. She pats the roan who nickers nervously but stays where she is. She's a well trained animal. Sparrow adjusts her hat and unstraps her gun gesturing for Aidan to lead on. "I've got your back. This is a lot of blood." She mutters to herself. "Guess we aint gettin' that chicken back." She shakes her head nodding towards the distance. "I'm gonna watch the horses, yell if you need me?" She seems to trust Skittles and Aidan can handle it.|
|Aidan Drake||Aidan nods a bit towards Sparrow, as he takes off down towards the blood trail as he glances over at Nikki and waves and if/when he catches her attention he puts a finger to his lips to tell her she should be a little quiet. And slowly draws out his revolver from his holster. "Lets go get 'em."|
|Skittles||Skittles nods as she stalks quietly alongside Aidan. Once they come to the outcropping though she gestures for him to circle around to the other side and says, "We'll rush it once we're in position.".
The shelter contains a large form within, with several smaller lumps around it. All is still however, and mostly imperceptible without lighting of some kind.
|Nikki||Nikki blinks, glancing to Aidan and then nods while they sort of motion for her to be quiet. So she silences herself and continues down the trail with the other two but she's not likely of much use at the moment, and gives another quiet sniffle.|
|Aidan Drake||Aidan nods as he slowly cocks the revolver's hammer back as they approach the little shelter. "On your signal then. I think I see somethin in there."|
|Skittles||Gesturing for Nikki to stay put, she says, "If the coyote runs, try and spot which direction it runs". She disappears around a tree and catches Aidan's eye as he settles into place. She raises a hand and lowers it signaling the rush.
Simultaneously, as she does so, a flash of lightning nearby lights up the interior of the shelter. Within can be seen a large coyote, though still skinny by the best of standards. Around them are 4 wittle baby coyote pups, all asleep soundly. A pile of bloody flesh, feathers, and bones lays in one corner, with several other remains of past meals. Already set to charge, Skittles launches herself forward, closing the distance to the shelter. The sight of the family gives her pause in the moments after though, and she glances over to Aidan with a reluctant expression. After another moment, she turns back to the shelter and levels her rifle at the opening, flipping her flashlight on within her PIPBoy in the same motion. The light illuminates the shelter more prominently, and the forms within are clearly visible now, though there isn't much movement.
|Aidan Drake||Aidan steps forward turning on his Pip-Boy's light as he levels his revolver on the form of momma... "Stinking pups." He doesn't pull the trigger yet looks over at Skittles and shakes his head, "Can't let 'em stay near here they'll keep going after the livestock."|
|Nikki||Nikki blinks, looking between Aidan and Skittles before she defies what Skittles says and moves to approach the shelter where the momma and her kits are. "Wait..." She says this and then kneels near the shelter. "You're not gonna kill them are you? They're just hungry..." She frowns as she listens to Aidan and then shakes her head. Looking to her box, she moves to dump it all out and then pulls some jerky bits out of her pocket and puts them inside the box. "Nikki will move them. Then if they're far enough away..." She gives a cough and a small sneeze. "Then...then maybe they don't have to die.."|
|Skittles||All of the sounds in proximity to the cave has not gone unnoticed. The forms within begin to stir, and small cries escape the wibble baby coyotes. As Nikki approaches and dumps out the contents of her box, Skittles looks to be about to say something to her, a sympathetic expression worn now. "They'll just end up dead any way. Without parents to provide for them, they won't", she begins, before suddenly being impacted from behind, sending her sprawling forward. A much larger coyote tumbles forward, his intended target having gone down far easier than it expected. It tumbles forward before getting to its feet. Awake now, the mother clambers out to meet her mate. Snarling and slavering, the two seem to ignore Nikki completely. Behind them, their cubs quietly wine and cry.|
|Aidan Drake||Aidan shakes his head, "I'd rather not kill pups... Moving them and destroying the den should work along with repairing the coop and getting a few more guard dogs." Then he spots movement and his face falls quickly, "Crap! Behind ya Skittles." Likely a day late and a dollar short but... He raises his pistol up snapping a shot Papa Coyote attacking Skittles before he switches to the other one quickly approaching and snaps another shot off at Mama Coyote since this went from relocate to don't die situation really fast...|
|Nikki||Nikki frowns and cowers as she hears the gun go off, sniffling and coughing as she's working on her own task. It takes a moment, cause the gun didn't help the kits any. "It's okay. Nikki's got you. Nikki won't let anything harm you..." Saying this as she continues to attempt to place puppies in box with jerky. A smile as they seem to finally settle down once they realize there is more food in the box.|
|Skittles||Skittles gets a face full of mud and rock as she hits the ground. She's momentarily dazed, but the gunshots bring her back. She rolls to her knees and swings her rifle around until she finds her target. A brief flash of blue lights up the only living coyote at this point, smoke drifting upwards from the well-done corpse, even through the downpour of rain. She glances over the scene once more and finally gets to her feet, looking miserable all the while. She nods to Nikki and Aidan saying, "Can you raise wild coyote pups to be guard dogs?". She looks over the pups and smiles to herself.
There's a dark gray patchy male, a speckled black and gray female, a tan male, and a pure gray-blue male. Shrugging, "Well. I suppose that's it then, yeah?".
Making one last check over the tree line, she turns about and makes her way back towards the game trail.
|Aidan Drake||Aidan shrugs a bit, "They'll still be a bit wild but we might be able to raise the pups to be guard dogs. It'll take somebody better at raising dogs than me though." He looks at the two dead parents and shakes his head, "I would have relocated them and just destroyed their nest so they wouldn't come back."|
|Nikki||Nikki blinks, looking confused before she gives a shiver and sneezes. "Nikki was gonna...gonna..." Another sneeze. "Nikki was gonna take them out further into the woods?" Saying this much before glancing to the box of puppies and then to Aidan and Skittles, not sure what she's doing. "So..Nikki destroy nest?"|
|Skittles||Skittles stops and turns back to Nikki, "Oh, no. they're harmless right now, I think there shouldn't be any problems raising them to be guard dogs, if not then I mean. Someone else can handle it.". The "It", in her statement going unsaid specifically. she shrugs a shoulder and turns back to head down the game trail, leaving the others to catch up or do otherwise.|
|Aidan Drake||Aidan shakes his head, "No not a waste Nikki and I'll take care of destroying the nest. Bring the pups back to the farm we'll find a place for 'em."|
|Nikki||Nikki frowns and nods. "Okies!" Moving to take the box of pups to the ranch, leaving her gathered stuff behind. Dink following close to her and she winds up sneezing a few more times as she reaches the house.|
|Skittles||The scene fades to black, as Aidan begins the work of dismantling the shelter and clearing away the other amenities this location provides for wildlife. The journey back to the ranch is without interruption. All is well as the group returns, their new found compatriot wildlife buddies in possession. Though their future's are uncertain, they're not complaining much as long as they're warm and fed.|