Jump to content


Getting an "Insecure Connection" warning for Exisle? No worry

Details in this thread

Atomic Sunrise 10: Exploration Eastward:Sand, Sea, & Stars-Rated R


  • This topic is locked This topic is locked
285 replies to this topic

#81 Raeven

Raeven

    Having a Mads moment

  • Administrator
  • 24,343 posts

Posted 20 June 2015 - 05:58 AM

Nemo pulled a pair of socks out of the bag and sniffed them, they smelled clean enough so he shoved them in his back pocket and clambered back out into the main part of the truck....”I have socks for you, clean ones, I think” as he made his way over to Myka the truck shook and he was thrown forward, he collided with Myka...they stumbled and fell down, their fall cushioned by a thick layer of hay....when the shaking stopped he looked down, Myka was lying underneath him, he raised himself up on his arms “Sorry, sorry, I didn't hurt you did I, I could have squashed you” he blushed..”oh I...crap...” he rolled over taking her with him so she was lying on top of him, his face heated even more...even though they'd both made their feelings for one another clear and they'd kissed a few times, they'd never done more than that, they were taking it slow...he tried to shuffle backwards so he could sit up...”umm Myka, I think you need to move first, not that your heavy or anything, and it's not like I don't like you on top of me...oh shoot, sorry that didn't sound right at all” he sighed....”I'm going to be honest, it feels nice, it makes me want to kiss you” he took her head in his hands...”would that be ok?”

Before Myka could reply he heard a crackle and some static...”the comms unit..” he lifted Myka off of him and rushed back to the cab.....”that was Ishmael...we have to check in every hour until the storm passes”

Isabella was sitting in the cab of the truck peering out into the darkness, she frowned, she hated not knowing what was going on with everyone else, she didn't know if everyone was safe, were Myka and Nemo safe? Did Sophie make it to the command truck....

Rex draped a blanket over her shoulders and sat down next to her, he set the bag of food down onto the seat...”they're fine, it's just a storm, a bad one I'll grant you, but they've faced far worse, we all have.....let's eat and then we'll try the comms”

Just then he comms unit lit up and they heard Ishmaels voice telling them about hourly check ins....Rex smiled “great minds think alike” Isabella laughed “great minds?” Rex reached into the food bag and grabbed some bread and cheese...”Dr you can be so cruel......just for that I think I'll eat all this delicious cheese” he took a bite “mmmmmmmmmmm, mmm this is the best cheese in the world....so good...and all mine”

Isabella scooted closer and snatched the cheese out of his hand, she sniffed it and raised an eyebrow “you don't have a very sophisticated palette do you Agent” she winked and took a bite...”but that's ok, because I don't either” when they'd finished eating they settled back in to the seats....”what should we do to pass the time Rex...we could take it turns to sleep” she stretched her arms over her head and yawned....”how about I sleep first”.....the truck creaked and groaned as another gust of wind hit it side on, she shivered ...”or not”

Rex chuckled....”come here Isabella, we need to keep warm.....come on, scoot over a little more”

She studied him for a moment, then shrugged....he was right, sharing their body heat would keep them warm and she had to admit that she'd been wanting to get a little closer to him for some time now....she moved over and he put his arm around her shoulder. She felt herself relax “that feels good” Rex looked at her...”sure does....so now we're warm, how about you get some rest....I'll regale you with tales of my daring exploits for the department, Cass always says that they send her to sleep” Isabella laughed softly...”I like your partner...a lot....regale away Rex”

#82 Balthamos

Balthamos

    Once more unto the breach!

  • Islander
  • 2,280 posts

Posted 21 June 2015 - 02:51 PM

Amet nodded as his watch was allocated. He wasn't sure what you were supposed to watch for. There didn't seem to be much to be seen and he doubted anyone could be out there but this was a strange world that they lived him. Mutants like himself could be out there. Ones that thrived in the circumstances which sent the rest of the world in to hiding and he knew how many people out there were willing to take advantage of others.

In his double-bunk he stripped off his wet clothes and threw them in a corner. He dried off and changed in to clean clothes before laying down and listening to the relentless storm pounding on them wondering what it would really be like to be out there and trying not to think about the worst that could happen. The persistant storm did a good job of not letting you think about anything else.

#83 RJDiogenes

RJDiogenes

    Idealistic Cynic

  • Demigod
  • 13,503 posts

Posted 21 June 2015 - 04:16 PM

Enoch helped Alexander tuck Somphit into her small cot in her quarters, and everyone stepped back so the sliding door could be halfway closed. A guard rotation of two hour watches between the four of them...with Alexander going first...was set up  

As everyone went off to find a zone of semi-privacy for rest, Alexander straightened his robes officiously and stood by the door.  "And I'm watching," he said.  He paced back and forth.  "Watching, watching."  He realized he was talking out loud and lowered his voice to a whisper.  "Watching."  There was a brilliant purple flash of lightning outside, followed almost immediately by a boom of thunder.  He slid the plastic panel back from a little window in the door-- but the window was all fogged up.  He wiped off the moisture with his sleeve, but the rain was hitting so hard on the outside that it might as well have been opaque.  "Watching," he sighed.

Somphit snored softly.

#84 Nikki Peppermint

Nikki Peppermint

    Zen moment

  • Moderator
  • 16,755 posts

Posted 23 June 2015 - 03:29 PM

As Ishmael talked and changed clothes, Sophie couldn't help but watch. She listened, of course, and heard every word about the others' whereabouts and the agreed-upon hourly comm checks...but she couldn't help but admire the man...a sea captain of all things...that she'd ended up with in this crazy world that they lived in. The tattoos on his arms and legs always fascinated her...even the one on his left arm and shoulder of his former wife; while the flogging scars on his muscular back always made her angry at those who'd tortured him.

As Ishmael entered the cab of the truck, Sophie sat cross-legged on the bed half-listening to him contact the others in their respective trucks. And it turned out that Wynn and Dimitri had managed to make it into the cab of the sleeping truck where Wynn had his small quarters. They'd decided to just remain there. Sophie mused that it wasn't often that she just sat around like this, doing nothing. It was an odd benefit of the raging storm outside...even as the wind howled over them, rocking the command truck, and the torrential rain pounded down on them.

"With any luck the wind's so fierce because this is a fast-moving storm and we'll be out of it by the morning."

"Then that's what I'm hoping for," Sophie answered as Ishmael climbed past her on the bed yet again to re-enter the trailer through the small entry way. "If not sooner."

As was his way, he managed to tidy up where they'd strewn their wet clothes by finding a way to create a clothesline to hang them to dry. Sophie smiled to herself. She listened with interest to the story of the hurricanes in his birth place of Jamaica, a place that she'd probably never reach across the ocean.

She agreed with him on the subject of not powering up the computers. The risk was too great right now. Besides it was obvious where the storm was...and knowing where else it might be hitting really did them no good.

"Unless you want to take the first watch, why don't you try to get some sleep and I'll wake you at eight bells- sorry, in four hours."

Sophie tried not smile when she said, "Well, I suppose sleep is the better option right now, it does make sense to get some rest." She yawned suddenly and violently. "Holy crap! I guess that's me taking you up on the offer to take first watch," she said, flopping down on her back and wiggling into her pillow. "I'm even too sleepy to eat," she mumbled. "Come back up here where it's warmer if you want. Wake me in four bell...no eight hou...no...whatever you said...wake me then!"

Before she fell asleep, Sophie had a brief thought that Isabella and Rex were alone in the sleeping truck...and she smiled to herself. Then she realized that Nemo and Myka were alone in the livestock truck...but she was too tired to worry if that would lead anywhere.

#85 Nikki Peppermint

Nikki Peppermint

    Zen moment

  • Moderator
  • 16,755 posts

Posted 23 June 2015 - 03:48 PM

Myka silently cursed whoever had the bad timing of contacting them over the comm system. They were fine, thanks. She sat on the hay covered floor yanking on the socks Nemo had brought for her...and dropped when they'd collided and crashed down together.

His words kept playing in her head..."it makes me want to kiss you...would that be ok?” Oh that would have been more than okay, Myka thought to herself with a grin.

Suddenly Nemo was lowering his tall self back down next to her. She snuggled against him and crawled back onto his lap putting her hands on his strong shoulders. She pushed him backward until he was leaning against a hay bale. He protested slightly as something poked him in the back, and Myka had to lift one knee to remove a chewed dog bone. But by now she really believed that Nemo loved her and wanted her...wanted her. It was the best feeling in the world...in her messed up, crazy world.

"That was Ishmael...we have to check in every hour until the storm passes.”

Myka wrinkled her nose. "Every hour?" she protested, finding a heavy blanket they used for the horses and whipped it over the two of them. "That's a bit much, don't you think? That means we have to keep getting up and down!"

Myka leaned down, her long red hair falling over Nemo. "I think you asked me a question," she grinned. "And the answer to that is heck yeah, that would be very much ok!"

As they pulled the blanket over themselves with slightly nervous laughter and a bit of coughing from the dust they stirred up, Nemo and Myka didn't hear Varg whine to himself and turn the other way nor see the dog put both his paws over his head....

Edited by Nikki Peppermint, 23 June 2015 - 05:48 PM.


#86 Nikki Peppermint

Nikki Peppermint

    Zen moment

  • Moderator
  • 16,755 posts

Posted 26 June 2015 - 05:59 PM

The Next Morning:

By mid-afternoon the litter from the storm...branches, half-uprooted trees leaning against the trucks, other fallen trees, and some other bizarre forms of debris...were almost finished being removed. The five trucks had been returned to their circular formation, minus Amet's buggy which was now parked on the outside. A space was left between the command truck and the medical truck that led out to the road...the same road that wound its way to the coast. The animals had been given time to graze and stretch their legs after the storm.

During the cleanup...which included a break for a hearty breakfast...the discussion about visiting the fishing village had taken place. This time everyone, except the four guards, that wished to be a part of the group would be going. It had been decided to forgo the original recon mission, and simply head out there to see if the village needed help. Being so close to the ocean surely meant they had sustained substantial damage from the hurricane.

* * * * *

Sophie threw the saddle blanket over Willow's back, then hoisted the lightweight saddle upwards. The palomino horse was tied with the others to side of the livestock truck facing toward the camp. They were in various stages of readiness, with Mac eying the whole situation warily. Apparently he didn't appear too certain of his upcoming role by the way Myka was gesturing and talking to the mule with his ears twitching and rotating.

After stepping over her pack that she'd laid on the ground, Sophie headed back into the livestock truck. She glanced over at Ishmael near the two motorcycles that had been removed from storage. Then she paused and smiled at Enoch, who seemed to be studying the horse he would be riding.

“Don't worry, Enoch...you've ridden Connie with Nemo before, she knows you. You'll be fine by yourself. She's a good horse, and her mother...Willow...will keep an eye on you,” Sophie said encouragingly to the Librarian. “And so will I. We've only a few miles or so to go down the road. Now just cinch that a little tighter and you've got the saddle done.”

Enoch nodded and followed instructions then stood back to examine his work. Sophie slipped into the livestock truck in search of an extra lead rope to hook onto Willow's bridle. The settlement horses were sturdy, tough, steady, and used to the life they led...first being at the settlement and now having been traveling on the road for so long. But Sophie liked to have an extra measure of control should any emergency arise and the horses had to be linked together or held by another rider.

“Found one!” she mumbled triumphantly, then glanced down at the hay bale where there was a lone blanket crumpled up, a pair of socks shoved in a corner, and a great deal of scattered hay. She shook her head, not thinking about Nemo and Myka and the long night everyone had spent...alone. She'd decided to not even ask. “However, if Myka needs to see Isabella about anything...preventative...then I I hope she has the sense to do so,” Sophie muttered under her breath.

On second thought perhaps she should have a talk with Myka...see what, if anything, happened...or was going to happen...or might happen. Sophie put a hand up to her head and rubbed the middle of her forehead as if to ward off a headache that might or might not surface if she kept thinking about this.

Heading back out to finish with Willow, Sophie turned to study the pile of packs full of supplies for the village should their help truly be required...that was supposing everything wasn't just destruction and death.

* * * * *

“Look, we really need for you to cooperate and wear the dang saddle!” Myka pleaded with Mac as the mule shook his head for the umpteenth time, rattling the bit-less bridle he tolerated wearing. “Don't you want to go with us...with the rest of the horses? To see the sights and meet new people and...and just get out and stretch your legs?” she added, at a loss to what else to do to convince the stubborn old mule to get with the program.

Mac blew air out his nostrils and tried to reach up and nibble her long hair, which was contained in a ponytail down her back, which meant the mule's attempt to get his head over her shoulder nearly knocked her over in the dirt.

“Hey now!” Myka protested...dodging the mule and a tumble onto her butt. “You wanna chew my hair yet you won't even consider cooperating? I really don't think so!” she huffed, putting her hands on her hips. “So...how about just your special saddle blanket, the kind that straps on? Alexander and Somphit really need a way to ride with us...you won't carry any supplies so some of the horses...” the cooperative, nice, pleasant horses, Myka wanted to add... “have to double with a rider and packs. Besides those people might need help, Mac...if they're even still alive!”

Earlier this morning, she and Nemo had somberly discussed the possible fates of the people they'd only seen from on top of the cliffs...and both were worried about what might have happened to them.

Finally the mule inched closer to Myka and bumped her with his side. She slowly slid the saddle blanket on his back and cinched it tight enough to keep it on. At least it would offer Mac's two riders some protection against his spine. Maybe they could tie Alexander and Somphit together or something.

Edited by Nikki Peppermint, 26 June 2015 - 09:02 PM.


#87 Nikki Peppermint

Nikki Peppermint

    Zen moment

  • Moderator
  • 16,755 posts

Posted 26 June 2015 - 09:40 PM

Dressed in a light, long sleeved shirt and her thin leather gloves, along with sturdy leggings and boots, Cassie inched around in her small quarters in the sleeping truck to find her knives and sheaths. Once she was strapped and loaded with hidden weapons, as well as obvious ones, the Agent slung her satchel over her chest. She knew there were larger packs ready to load onto the horses with only one rider so she didn't need to take much.

Mostly likely, she thought as she slid the door shut of her small room and headed out of the truck, everyone in the village was dead anyway. Myka had looked horrifed at her earlier when she'd tried to bring up the subject, so Cassie had shut up. But she was just being realistic. A hurricane like the one they'd ridden out last night surely decimated a village so close to the water.

As she jumped down the steps of the truck she nearly collided with John. Cassie knew the guards were remaining behind to, well, guard while the rest of them were away. It made sense...but still she was somewhat disappointed. John jumped out of the way with a smile, something he rarely did it seemed like, but then merely nodded to her. As she turned toward the horses she paused...she hadn't been officially assigned a horse but knew she was doubling. Her gaze went between Ishmael's larger horse, Hipp...and Connie, Nemo's more reasonably-sized one.

Isabella and Sophie were taking most of the supplies, they'd decided earlier, plus some on the motorcycles.

"I've seen you ride. You'll do fine," John's deep voice rumbled from behind her.

Despite her surprise...and the feeling of electricity zipping up and down her spine and into her stomach..., Cassie casually turned around. She'd thought John had walked on already.

"Oh well...doing fine and liking are two entirely different space aliens, you know," Cassie said without thinking. She mentally slapped her forehead...she had to go and bring up her weird fascination with old world science fiction. Rex would have laughed at her for sure if he'd heard.

Which John did...laugh, that was. But he sounded more amused than mocking. "They are that indeed," he answered. "But you still have the skills to do what you need to do to survive. You...you're good at what you do, Cass."

John paused, looking slightly uncomfortable while Cassie tried to figure out if he had actually just complimented her.

"Well, you have a safe ride," he said more seriously. "I'll be here if you...I mean, we'll be here if you need us."

With that the handsome, smokey-voice man turned abruptly and walked off.

Cassie sighed. Why did she have to secretly like the most introverted man in the whole group?

#88 Raeven

Raeven

    Having a Mads moment

  • Administrator
  • 24,343 posts

Posted 27 June 2015 - 06:43 AM

Once the storm had abated Rex had returned to his sleeping quarters to change...he smiled, remembering the way Isabella had fallen asleep, her head resting on his shoulder, he couldn't remember a time he'd felt more comfortable with another person, other than Cassie.....After cleaning up and enjoying a hearty breakfast he'd checked and cleaned his weapons...now he had one gun in a shoulder holster, another smaller firearm tucked into a custom made sheath strapped around his lower leg, the loose khaki pants he was wearing hiding any telltale signs, two small blades were hidden in his jacket and a large one hung from a sheath attached to his belt.....like Cassie he didn't expect many of the villagers to have survived the storm, but he wanted to be prepared for anything, in his short time with Sophie and her 'family' he'd come to realise that danger was their constant companion. Hefting a set of saddle bags over his shoulder he headed over to load up Ishmaels horse Hipp....as he approached the sleeping truck he heard his partners voice

"Oh well...doing fine and liking are two entirely different space aliens, you know” he shook his head and tried not to laugh...space aliens? He'd never understand her love for all things 'supernatural' ...when he heard a mans laugh he paused...she was talking to John, he smiled and waited not wanting to interrupt...when he heard John walk away he came around the truck....”hey Cass you already to ride the giant bay horse?” he chuckled....”John was right you know, you'll be fine, just think of the view you'll get from his back....besides I'll be riding with you...what could possibly go wrong?...unless we run into some space aliens”


* * * * * *

Isabella stroked Gabes nose...because her horse would only be carrying one rider it had been agreed that she'd be taking some of the larger packs...”sorry about the extra weight Gabe, but we're not going far” she pulled a carrot out of her pocket and fed it to the horse. She made a final check of the packs and saddle making sure everything was securely fastened....she picked up her backpack which contained all her medical supplies, as usual when they were going to meet new people she had left most of the high-tech stuff in the truck which would be guarded while they were down in the village. She leaned against Gabe, a smile on her face as her thoughts turned back to the night before...Rex intrigued her, their first few encounters after she's saved his life had been 'difficult', but over time she'd learned that there was so much more to Agent Madsen than the cold, arrogant, aloof person she'd first met....she chuckled to herself, he sure was easy on the eye too and he made a surprisingly comfortable pillow. Shaking her head she mentally chided herself, she was reading too much into the situation, he'd simply been stranded in the med truck with her during the storm, or maybe she'd been on her own too long, either way now was not the time to be thinking about it, they had work to do. She pushed herself away from Gabe and looked around the camp....she walked over to Sophie.....”I think we're almost ready Sophie, the horses are pretty much loaded and ready to go....Myka seems to have convinced Mac to cooperate...for now, but Alexander, Somphit and Mac, that just sounds like a disaster in the making to me”


* * * * * *

Nemo was over with Ishmael loading up the bikes, he was having trouble concentrating all he could think of was last night, of Myka, her long red hair falling over his face as she leaned over him, soon she was would be sitting behind him on the bike, her arms wrapped around him as they made their way down to the village by the ocean....thinking of the village brought him back to the here and now, he hoped that the villagers and their animals were safe, but the storm had been so severe he couldn't see how they would have survived....he glanced over at Ishmael....”Ish....what do you think we're going to find down there? You've seen storms before, could they have survived....do you think they're ok?”


#89 RJDiogenes

RJDiogenes

    Idealistic Cynic

  • Demigod
  • 13,503 posts

Posted 28 June 2015 - 05:25 PM

When Somphit and Alexander walked over to Mac, ready to mount up and sally forth, Myka wryly explained how she tried to get a real saddle on him, but had to settle for the saddle blanket.

"Oh, that's all right," said Somphit. "I've been riding bareback since I was a kid. We'll be fine."  She swung easily up onto Mac's back, her duffel bag of medical supplies in hand, and hung onto the bridle, looking down at Alexander.  "Can you get up okay?  Have you ever ridden an animal before?"

"Oh, I've had experience with ungulates," Alexander replied warily.  "Not a great experience, but experience."  Hiking up his robe, and with some reticent assistance from Myka, he managed to straddle the back of the mule right behind Somphit.

"Put your arms around me," said Somphit.

"What?!"

"Put your arms around my waist.  You have to hold on or you'll fall off."

"I won't fall off.  That won't be necessary."

"This mule is a feisty animal.  The road will be rough and hilly.  You have to hold onto me."

"Not at all.  I've read many a book on equestrianism.  It's very simple.  You just have to be in tune with the animal.  Also, I'm very balanced. I'll just sit here and enjoy the ride."

"You'll fall off.  Put your arms around me."

"That won't be necessary."

Somphit sighed and gave up.  She started to think about what they might find and started to feel those claustrophobic walls closing in on her again.

#90 Nikki Peppermint

Nikki Peppermint

    Zen moment

  • Moderator
  • 16,755 posts

Posted 28 June 2015 - 08:37 PM

....”hey Cass you already to ride the giant bay horse? John was right you know, you'll be fine, just think of the view you'll get from his back....besides I'll be riding with you...what could possibly go wrong?...unless we run into some space aliens.”

Cassie groaned out loud and shook her head. "Don't make me hit you, Mads," she grumbled, turning to look up at her partner and the grin spread over his face. " 'Cause it won't make you look so hot and sexy to the doctor over there." Then she sighed, knowing Rex would only tease her but never betray her. "You know, I didn't want this...I didn't ask to...to, well, whatever the hell it is that I'm feeling...this thing I seem to have for...well, I just didn't ask for it. I don't know if I want it...and I keep saying things that make me sound weird."

Cassie held up a warning finger to her partner. "Don't you even say it." A growl escaped Cassie this time because Rex didn't have to say anything. She did sound weird. "Oh for cryin' out loud, let's just go get on the giant horse and see if we can't get everyone moving."

She and Rex walked side by side, falling into step automatically from years of working together.

"Uh...am I gonna need a step ladder or something here?" she asked, hands on her hips.

Cassie glanced over at Ishmael, impressed that he rode Hipp as easily as he did. Suddenly her brain was flooded with thoughts of John on the back of the horse...of her...of the two of them...of the powerful muscles of.... "GAH!!" Cassie burst out. She smiled in frustration as she received several curious glances. "I swear I'm getting Enoch to wipe some of my memories when we get back," she mumbled to Rex.

Not that the Librarian could actually wipe her memories, but the idea was tempting.

* * * * * *
Sophie loaded up Willow with packs behind the saddle as Isabella was doing the same.

”I think we're almost ready Sophie, the horses are pretty much loaded and ready to go....Myka seems to have convinced Mac to cooperate...for now, but Alexander, Somphit and Mac, that just sounds like a disaster in the making to me.”

Sophie couldn't help but laugh. "I know...we'll have to see what happens. Maybe that stubborn old mule of Nemo's will behave for once. Oh..here they come now. Somphit looks fairly confident about the situation...that's a good sign, especially after recent, uh, events. I hope Alexander can ride in that long robe."

An outburst behind them caused both women to glance over at Cassie and Rex. Sophie raised her eyebrows but said nothing. There didn't seem to be any problems, and Cassie merely smiled at them.

Sophie took Willow's reins and began to get the horse to back up a little.

"So...a whole night with Agent Madsen, huh?" Sophie said quietly to Isabella with a smirk. "Is there...anything you want to tell me...maybe? Because there was just a whole lot of sleeping going on in the command truck," she said, while at the same time keeping an eye on Mac and his potential riders as they began to get on the mule.

Edited by Nikki Peppermint, 28 June 2015 - 08:56 PM.


#91 Nikki Peppermint

Nikki Peppermint

    Zen moment

  • Moderator
  • 16,755 posts

Posted 28 June 2015 - 08:55 PM

Myka stepped back after helping Alexander up behind Somphit still trying to figure what the heck a 'ungulate' was. She'd have to ask Nemo, maybe he would know. The flapping robes that Alexander wore made Myka nervous...for one thing they weren't the most practical clothes for riding. And for another she hadn't wanted to see more than she was already seeing...skinny white legs hanging down and clutching either side of the mule. The whole lake incident was still burned into her memories.

Stealing a glance toward Sophie and Isabella, Myka found them watching. She waved a lavender colored hand to show them everything seemed to be going okay, even as the healer and Librarian got into some sort of argument.

"Uh...Somphit's right. Alexander," Myka offered as neutrally as she could when they seemed to have finished. "About hanging on to her, I mean. If you don't have a saddle to grip then it's best to hang on to something. But, well...I'll just leave you two to figure it out now that you're safely on. 'K...bye then!"

Not looking back for fear of what she'd witness, Myka squished through the wet ground over to Ishmael and Nemo. She leaned against Nemo's bike seat, crossing one muddy boot over the other. Her feet just barely touched Nemo's boots and a thrill went through Myka just from that little bit of contact.

"...”Ish....what do you think we're going to find down there? You've seen storms before, could they have survived....do you think they're ok?”

"Say, what's an 'ungulate'?" she asked. "Does it have anything to do with the storm? And who...the villagers? Please don't say you think they're dead, Ishmael," Myka added, her earlier worry sweeping over her again.

Edited by Nikki Peppermint, 28 June 2015 - 08:59 PM.


#92 Ishmael Autolycus

Ishmael Autolycus

    A wanderer, and a picker-up of unregarded trifles.

  • Islander
  • 1,333 posts

Posted 29 June 2015 - 06:24 PM

”Ish....what do you think we're going to find down there? You've seen storms before, could they have survived....do you think they're ok?”

"Say, what's an 'ungulate'? Does it have anything to do with the storm? And who...the villagers? Please don't say you think they're dead, Ishmael."


Ishmael shook his head. "I was telling Sophie last night, this area probably gets one or two big storms like that a year," he answered Nemo and Myka, "so the villagers probably have some form of shelter, some way of either hunkering down and waiting for it to blow over, or temporarily evacuating inland." He frowned grimly. "The biggest problem I see is that the storm seemed to be a pretty fast-moving one, so they might not have had a lot of warning it was coming." He shook his head. "Still, the only way to find out is to go down there." Turning slightly, he raised his voice and called, "All right, everyone, mount up if you haven't already!" Swinging his own leg over his motorcycle, he added, "There are lots of different, local words for all kinds of weather, ung- um, what was it? Ungulate? That isn't one I've heard before," he continued at Myka's confirming nod, "but that doesn't mean-" Ishmael paused as a thought struck him. He looked back along Myka's track to where Alexander and Somphit seemed to be having a discussion as they sat on Mac's back. "Was it something Alexander said?" At Myka's second confirming nod, Ishmael gave a small snort of amusement. "Probably not then, but you may have to ask him to be sure. Or Enoch might know."

#93 Ishmael Autolycus

Ishmael Autolycus

    A wanderer, and a picker-up of unregarded trifles.

  • Islander
  • 1,333 posts

Posted 29 June 2015 - 07:34 PM

“Don't worry, Enoch...you've ridden Connie with Nemo before, she knows you. You'll be fine by yourself. She's a good horse, and her mother...Willow...will keep an eye on you. And so will I. We've only a few miles or so to go down the road. Now just cinch that a little tighter and you've got the saddle done.”

Enoch nodded and followed Sophie's instructions, then stepped back to see if he could detect any difference in how the saddle looked now from how it had before. He couldn't see any difference, but then again this wasn't exactly his area of expertise. "How did you know-" he began, then realized Sophie had already left. Shaking his head, he eyed Connie once more. There was a reason he preferred working with computers and machines to working with people and animals. Biological entities had too many hidden processes, unknown subroutines that took seemingly straightforward inputs and altered them in unpredictable ways, generating surprising outputs. Just take how Cassie had reacted to his attempt at humor last night. They'd managed to smooth things over but still, if he could miscalculate that badly with someone he had known since they were both children, then how much worse-

"All right, everyone, mount up if you haven't already!"

Enoch jumped slightly, startled out of his thoughts by Ishmael's bellow. "All right, ah, Connie, I presume we both want things to go as smoothly as possible here, so I think if we just cooperate with each other, everything should be fine." He absentmindedly patted the pockets of his jumpsuit, double-checking to make sure he had all the tools he normally carried on him, including his laptop in its specially padded pocket on his back. "Left side," he reminded himself, "because people used to carry swords and most people are right-handed." Moving to Connie's left side, he placed one foot in the stirrup and mounted the horse, who stood patiently except for an irritated stamping of one hoof when Enoch failed to lift his leg high enough and accidentally kicked her in the rump. "Sorry," he apologized, patting Connie awkwardly once he had settled into the saddle. "Accident." He decided the horse's snort and head shake meant she had accepted his apology.

He looked over to where Alexander was seated on Mac, bare legs hanging down on either side of the mule as his robe bunched up above his knees. Enoch had tried to suggest to his fellow Librarian before they left Department 7 that while robes were a comfortable and practical garment within the confines of the Library itself, they weren't always the best choice outside of it. He still wasn't sure if he'd failed to get his point across, or if Alexander did understand, and simply disagreed.

#94 Raeven

Raeven

    Having a Mads moment

  • Administrator
  • 24,343 posts

Posted 30 June 2015 - 03:00 AM

Rex laughed…”you are not going to need a step ladder”…he put his foot in the stirrup and swung his leg over Hipp…he reached down and held out his hand…”come on Cass, give me your hand…foot in the stirrup and then I’ll swing you up behind me..at least that’s the plan…or I could get John to give you a hand?” seeing the look in her eye he smiled…”Sorry, please don’t hit me…I promise I’ll say no more, because you're right, I do need to keep looking hot for Isabella” When Cass was behind him he sighed “I didn’t ask for this either Cass, I never expected to meet anyone like her…I have a feeling that everything is going to get way more complicated…..we’re used to it just being us, comfortably rubbing along, we didn’t think we needed anyone else, heck we never really liked anyone else and yet here we are surrounded by people, most of whom we sort of like, some we like more than we should” he shrugged…”my advice….I guess we just let it all play out and see what happens” he swivelled in the saddle…”I know, I suck at giving advice”

* * * * * * * *

"So...a whole night with Agent Madsen, huh?...Is there...anything you want to tell me...maybe? Because there was just a whole lot of sleeping going on in the command truck,"

Isabella swung herself up into the saddle…”well…actually….” She grinned “I did some sleeping too…but I had a very..uh..firm, yet surprisingly comfortable pillow” she winked ..”no, Sophie, nothing happened, other than Rex in a pair of scrubs and a too small lab coat” she shook her head..”you know if anything did happen I’d tell you”

“All right, everyone, mount up if you haven't already!"

“Time to go…I’m going to have Gabe walk alongside Mac…I don’t trust him, Somphit may know what she’s doing, but she doesn’t know Mac and Alexander has no clue…we’ll take up the rear”

* * * * * * *

Nemo got onto the bike and waited for Myka to get settled behind him “I bet they have a shelter…they’ll be ok….they must be used to the storms, one or two a year, they have to have somewhere to sit out the storm” he glanced over at Alexander…he noticed what he was wearing…”he’s riding in that? Did no-one tell him…that’s going to chafe after a while…especially with no saddle…and that’s assuming Mac lets them keep their seat…you did tell Mac to behave didn’t you? Did you tell him there was extra food for him if he got them down there safely?” he felt Myka lean forward and put her arms around his waist….”yeah, you did, I know you did, thanks Myka, I don’t know why I even asked”

He started the engine and waited for the signal from Ishmael….”Alexander sure does know some strange words…do you think he makes them up? I mean what sort of word is ungulate?”

* * * * *

Isabella moved Gabe next to Mac, she smiled at Somphit and Alexander….”Looking good you two..although Alexander, perhaps you could hold”….the look Somphit gave her said it all..”Ok never mind, you just concentrate on staying upright, I am sure Mac will make it the smoothest ride he can for you”

Mac turned and looked at her, his long tail swished against Alexanders bare leg and he brayed loudly.

Varg stepped in front of Mac and barked twice, Mac lowered his head and sighed..Isabella looked over at the rest of her friends and held her hands up….”anyone speak dog or mule?”

#95 Nikki Peppermint

Nikki Peppermint

    Zen moment

  • Moderator
  • 16,755 posts

Posted 30 June 2015 - 02:16 PM

"All right, everyone, mount up if you haven't already!"

Time to go…I’m going to have Gabe walk alongside Mac…I don’t trust him, Somphit may know what she’s doing, but she doesn’t know Mac and Alexander has no clue…we’ll take up the rear.”

Sophie had settled herself on Willow's back just before Ishmael's call to mount up. She pulled her cap down over her eyes to block the midday October sun and slipped on some old sunglasses; but she could also feel how the weather wasn't so humid today. She turned the horse toward the motorcycles.

“Probably a good idea,” she said to Isabella, imagining all the horrible accidents that could happen. “I'll ride up front...Willow doesn't mind the motorcycles...and Amet will stay far enough behind so as not to spook the animals.”

Sophie rode away from the livestock truck with Willow following the lightest of touches almost before Sophie gave them. She laughed at Varg's communications with the mule. She was as confused as Isabella as to what they were saying to each other, but she hoped the two animals had come to some sort of agreement as to Mac's future behavior.

Enoch!” she called out waving a hand. “Why don't you ride with me? We can each keep an eye on one side of the road...never know what might be waiting. Rex! You come after us...you and Cassie can keep watch from one horse. Isabella, Alexander, and Somphit are in the rear. Everyone remember to keep weapons ready just in case...so far there's been no human threats here but you never know.”

She didn't have to comment about animal threats. They still had plenty of hunks of pork left over.

Everyone began to gather behind the motorcycles and each other and one by one exited the gap between the trucks and onto the road.

"And remember what we were told about not revealing ourselves as Department 7 agents...we're just a group of people out in the world," Sophie reminded everyone, although truthfully she never really thought of herself in any other way.

* * * * *

Alexander sure does know some strange words…do you think he makes them up? I mean what sort of word is ungulate?”

Myka hung on behind Nemo, not because they were going fast...they weren't yet, they were just barely maneuvering out onto the road...but because she enjoyed being close to him and was about to also enjoy the ride behind him. Despite the fact of where they were going, and what they might...or might not...find, Myka loved riding on the motorcycle. She'd been secretly glad, for Nemo and herself, when he'd been allowed to start riding one of the high-tech machines back when they discovered Department 7.

“I can't imagine Alexander making up words...he knows way too many real ones...although I have no idea what most of them mean...to have to make them up. I'll just have to ask him later...or Enoch.”



OOC: Rae and Ishmael...leaving it up to you two whether they are wearing helmets (I doubt Myka could fit one over her horns) or just have the bikes disguised as regular motorcycles!

Edited by Nikki Peppermint, 30 June 2015 - 04:53 PM.


#96 Nikki Peppermint

Nikki Peppermint

    Zen moment

  • Moderator
  • 16,755 posts

Posted 30 June 2015 - 04:01 PM

...my advice….I guess we just let it all play out and see what happens. I know, I suck at giving advice.”

"All right, everyone, mount up if you haven't already!"

Cassie had scooted up as close to the saddle as she could get so as to not put undue pressure on Hipp's back...and kept her legs relaxed. Holding on to the saddle behind Rex seemed to give her enough stability...at least while standing still. When Ishmael announced that everyone should get ready, Rex turned back around toward the front.

“Yeah, well it's not like we have much experience in the advice department," she said. "It sure was easier when we didn't like anyone else...except Enoch,” Cassie remarked with a sigh. “But he wasn't much better at being a people-person than we were, so that was alright. Now look at us...we've got ourselves some...friends...and we actually like people. It's all downhill from here, partner.”

Cassie banged her head a couple of times between Rex's shoulder blades as he started Hipp at a walking pace after Sophie gave them their position in the group.

Suddenly she nearly hissed in his ear. “I mean...imagine someone like John with someone like me! I'm not exactly “normal” now am I? I mean, sure, the man knows about my, enhancements, and he's seen glimpses of my arm...but REALLY! Who wants a woman who's part machine...it's freaky. I'm freaky...sure I'm use to being different, and it's got huge advantages and it's kinda cool in a way. I'm okay with the way I am...but would he be?”

Cassie was lost in a highspeed train of thought and wasn't paying attention to what was coming out of her mouth. “Imagine the two of us together...you know together...and him seeing...OH CRAP!”

Rex had turned his head part way around, with the one eyebrow that Cassie could see, raised in shock.

“No!...forget I said that...don't imagine anything. Oh man, look at what this is doing to me? You, of all people, should not be imagining any thing of the sort! Let's just drop the whole subject until...well, until never again. Back to work...I'll watch the right side of the road, you keep an eye on the left.”

Suddenly they passed by John who was waiting on the outside of the trucks. He glanced up at Cassie and smiled slightly, nodding to her and giving Rex raised-hand wave of good luck. She nodded back as they passed, then banged her head on Rex's back again.

“I wonder how long it takes someone to drown themselves in the ocean," she muttered. “That would pretty much solve all my problems.”

Cassie heard Rex stifle a deep chuckle.

Edited by Nikki Peppermint, 30 June 2015 - 06:41 PM.


#97 RJDiogenes

RJDiogenes

    Idealistic Cynic

  • Demigod
  • 13,503 posts

Posted 30 June 2015 - 06:12 PM

As the expedition set out, Mac began to walk very slowly and carefully, apparently mindful of his passengers, and yet his mule butt bumped up and down and swung side to side much more than Alexander had anticipated.  He put his arms straight out to the sides and bobbed his big head to keep his balance.

"I'm glad they assigned us to ride together," Somphit said, keeping her voice low so that Isabella, who was walking nearby, couldn't hear.  "I need to talk to somebody about what I've been going through.  Ever since I was sick back at the village and woke up to that terrible slaughter, it's like I've had a fist squeezing on my brain. It's not just that everything scares me, but I get paralyzed. It's like phantom walls close in and I can't see or hear or speak.  I was hoping you had come across something like this in your books and might know what to do.  When Isabella gave me that sedative, I felt great.  All the anxiety and stiffness just went away.  I felt like I could run naked through the hurricane and dodge lightning bolts. But now it's all back again. I know some species of mushrooms have similar effects to the sedative, and I went out and picked a bunch and have them with me. But I'm worried about taking them.  I've seen people get addicted to mushrooms just like they do to alcohol and it ruins their lives.  But my grandmother used to tell me that they used to give medicine to people with emotional problems to make the bad feelings go away.  So maybe I could experiment with just taking small doses of mushrooms to see if it helps.  But what if I end up taking too much and get hooked?  I don't know what to do.  What do you think, Alexander?  Alexander?  Alexander?"

Somphit turned around on the saddle blanket, but he wasn't there.  She looked a little further and saw him laying on the dirt path about fifty feet back, rubbing his head, while Isabella knelt next to him, checking him for injuries.

Edited by RJDiogenes, 30 June 2015 - 06:40 PM.


#98 Ishmael Autolycus

Ishmael Autolycus

    A wanderer, and a picker-up of unregarded trifles.

  • Islander
  • 1,333 posts

Posted 19 July 2015 - 11:39 AM

“Enoch! Why don't you ride with me? We can each keep an eye on one side of the road... Everyone remember to keep weapons ready just in case... ”

Enoch glanced behind him at the crossbow hooked to the back of Connie's saddle as he moved to join Sophie. He wondered briefly if he should be carrying it instead, but a quick glance around showed no one else had their weapons in their hands, so he decided the crossbow was fine where it was.

Another thought struck him and he began searching through his pockets, trying to remember where he'd put the bundle of crossbow bolts. He found them in the lower cargo pocket of his right leg. He thought for a moment, then decided to put the bolts in the pocket on his left upper arm, swapping out the Geiger counter he usually kept there.

"Sounds good," he answered. "I'll take the left side, unless you want it."

#99 Ishmael Autolycus

Ishmael Autolycus

    A wanderer, and a picker-up of unregarded trifles.

  • Islander
  • 1,333 posts

Posted 19 July 2015 - 12:08 PM

Ishmael stopped his bike, having seen the sudden flurry of movement at the back of the expedition in the bike's rear-view mirror. He looked back to see Isabella tending to Alexander, who was sitting in the dirt, rubbing his head. He sighed and shook his head, then turned to Nemo and Myka on the other bike. They had decided to forgo wearing helmets, both because of the relatively slow speed the expedition would be moving at and to avoid any sense of threat the villagers might feel at the sight of their blank-faced visors. "Mac would probably object if we lashed Alexander to him, wouldn't he?" he asked wryly.

#100 Raeven

Raeven

    Having a Mads moment

  • Administrator
  • 24,343 posts

Posted 19 July 2015 - 01:17 PM

Nemo smiled..."actually that's not a bad idea, I think Mac would find it amusing....at least for a little while and it's not far to the village...Myka jump off, I'll go and suggest it to Isabella while Myka stops Mac" Once Myka was off the bike, he set it on the side stand and he ran over to Isabella while Myka headed for Mac and Somphit.

Isabella checked Alexander over and then helped him stand .."you have a lump, a small lump, on your head, you'll probably have a nice selection of bruises tomorrow, but you seem alert and otherwise fine, you're good to carry on, if you want to" she looked over Alexanders shoulder and saw Nemo running towards them..."Nemo?"

Nemo glanced at Alexander then at Isabella "I had an idea, actually Ishmael had an idea..Alexander if you're happy to get back on Mac I think I have a way of making you more secure without you needing you hold onto Somphit, just until you get in rhythm with the mules gait..after that, I am sure you'll do fine...Isabella I think there's a lead rope in your saddle bags"

Isabella smiled as she realized what Nemo was going to do...she went over to Gabe and rooted around in the saddle bags until she found it.

Nemo explained to Alexander what he wanted to do as Myka led Mac and Somphit towards them..."I want to loop this around you and Mac...like how the saddle blanket is attached, but it will go over your thighs, it'll help keep you in place and you can hold onto it if you feel like you're going to fall"

Mac looked at the rope, snorted and flicked his ears. Nemo looked at Myka and sighed..."I think we're going to have break out the emergency mule bribes"


0 user(s) are browsing this forum

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users