From Sophar Away


bf_kara_icon.gif sophie_icon.gif weasel_icon.gif

Scene Title From Sophar Away
Synopsis Something Someone comes rolling into town.
Date May 22, 2019

Providence: The Kessler Farm

"They said there's something out here burrowing and messing with the crops, so it seemed best to see if…" Kara is saying, looking over the field of budding green with a shake of her head. "You were able to see anything. Spook it off, or tell it to go dig somewhere else." She looks down to the mousish girl by her side, resting one hand on her hip as she waits for a verdict.

The Kesslers aren't standing out in the field there with them, but they're nearby, in their home. As much as they appreciate the sense of security that the Remnant bring, they're not keen on being around people who openly carry weapons. Which, almost at all times, Kara is. Today is no exception — she has a rifle slung on her shoulder in the event she spots vermin of one type or another. She's shed black for warmer colors in favor of the changing seasons, a faded red-plaid button-up worn open over a white tank top, wearing tired old jeans with stains at the knee.

She looks every part the country girl today, and it doesn't seem to bother her one bit.

"Do you need time? Need space?" she asks the animal-whispering teenager by her side.

While the small woman doesn’t exactly carry a rifle, Clara Winters does always have a large knife on hand for whatever she may need it for. The handgun is at Max’s, hidden under the mattress she has taken over until she finds herself a proper house of her own — she doesn’t feel it necessary, it seems, while Kara carries a rifle with her.

A trio of minks perch upon the young woman, one on each shoulder and the last one, the largest of the three, sits atop her head. The little creatures bob their heads as Clara’s eyes rove between the three of them; after a moment, each of them lets out a squeaking chirp, and promptly climb down her and into the grasses of the field, each one taking a different direction. Two of them were found in the woods on the way to the Kessler’s home, while Minerva is almost constantly with her.

“Nah, I’m good,” she replies to Kara’s offer of time or space, a small grin appearing on her face. She too looks the part of a country girl, with a pair of slightly dirty bib overalls worn over a faded t-shirt, muddy work boots completing the ensemble. It’s much better out here than it is in the city — she can look filthy without catching stares for it.

There’s a moment of quiet from the girl, before she turns those dark gray eyes up to Kara. “I hope everyone wants some rabbit for dinner. There’s a whole warren in the roots over there,” she points toward a lone tree near the edge of the field.

Kara glances in the direction the girl points, brow lifting as she considers the news of the rabbit warren. "Could make for some good dinner," she concedes, gaze shifting back to the crops. "But only if you're sure the rabbits are the culprit behind the plants. Otherwise, netting the whole herd sounds like overkill." Still, her head cants ever so slightly at the thought. "Definitely enough mouths to feed we'd make use of it, though."

Seeing as she neither sees nor hears what the girl does, she turns back to observe the field better, along with the house on the whole. Catching her gaze on the wire-covered pen surrounding a coop on the far side of the house she didn't see when they were coming up, Kara looks to Clara for just a moment. "You make sure they don't bother those chickens?" It sounds like a question, but she's telling her to make sure.

“Oh, I can’t kill all of them. There’s too many of them, too many holes, and I don’t have enough minks for that,” Clara explains, quietly eyeballing the tree. “What I can do is drive them out. Kill enough of them that they flee.” She squints a bit. “Wish I had a badger…” As if that makes sense to Kara. She shakes her head. “The minks can collapse the tunnels well enough to keep them from coming back, in any case.”

Dark gray eyes turn toward the chicken coop, and the girl smiles knowingly. “They won’t,” she assures the woman, quite confident in her control over the creatures. Then, she’s back to examining the tree from afar. “I can definitely tell you it’s the rabbits burrowing. The minks smelled them when we were walking up,” she points out. “Can’t tell you that they’re doing all of the damage to the crops. There might be some deer sneaking around and eating, too.”

Suddenly, Weasel’s head turns, right as the three minks suddenly pop their heads up on their way to the tree; all four heads, human and mustelid alike, turn to look.

The western treeline, towards which the slinky-cute creatures had been heading anyway, is the direction to which all eyes have been drawn. At first the morning light seems to break and bend around the rolling roots of several trees. It’s a subtle thing - likely to have been overlooked had the tiny, fuzzy predators not alerted Clara. As it is, the splintered, bent light effect starts to coalesce into a more obvious fog. Whispy, white tendrils condense into thicker gray streams. The still morning air makes it unnervingly clear that the unnatural, low-hung clouds begins to move with clear purpose. They divide wide and give the fuzzy, little predators a wide berth before trickling in towards Clara and Kara.

What the animals quickly identify as unnatural is noted a few moments after by the remaining human in the field. Perhaps she realizes it so quickly because she has experience with seeing something like it before. Kara takes in a start of breath, eyes sharpening. "Get them back. If it gets close, don't breathe."

Useless though it might be, the gun is quickly slung off her shoulder and a round confirmed as racked. Her eyes start for the treeline, trying to assess if they're dealing with a mimic or some kind of manipulator. In either case, she gruffly calls out, "Show yourself."

While her hand rests on the knife at her hip, Weasel knows for a fact that she can’t do very well fighting a cloud. Gray eyes turn to the little minks, who quickly run off toward the tree — might as well get to work, and maybe the fleeing rabbits will help distract.

She gets a little behind Kara — the woman probably stands more of a chance with her gun than Clara does with her knife. All the same, the knife is pulled out and the tiny girl dips into a ready stance, knife up. Just in case.

The gossamer wisps begin to crochet themselves together, weaving and winding and knotting. Most importantly, this process is done a respectable distance directly in front of Kara and her defensively, expertly trained weapon. The sentient cloud first arranges itself in a relative humanoid shape - with its arms raised non-combatively. Slowly the foggy molecules start to take on an obvious weight as if they are forced together under some invisible, exponentially increasing pressure. The droplets start to bleed into one another and then darken, becoming solid, until it’s more obvious they are taking on the shape of a young, mocha-skinned woman.

The details of her visage are still hazy as her hair starts to form like a the froth at the bottom of a waterfall. Her voice is garbled and breezy the mid-transition, threatening to be stollen up and carried away by the slightest breeze: “D̸̙̗͑ō̴̮͠n̶̟̱͎͈̓͜'̸͓̖̯͕͊̿͒̿̕t̷̯͈̕ ̶̩̿̉s̶͍̜̟̲͉̋́h̴̛̥͋͠o̴̤͖̰̎͒̂ǫ̷̘̽̊̄̂ţ̴͗̊̎̕.”

The last details are molded and the final pigments of brown eyes and dyed green-black hair seep into place. It’s a quick thing, only about five seconds from start-to-finish. But tension and a raise firearm have a way of making several seconds feel like a dangerous eternity.

Newly tangible, Sophie’s smile is a bright crescent below her winking septum piercing. “D’awww. This kinda greeting never gets old,” she coos warmly, nudging her chin towards Kara’s rifle. “I’ve missed you, too.”

The realization that the behavior of the coalescing mist was more than similar, it was familiar, brings Kara to train her weapon slightly off of the condensing form in front of her. She's taken off-guard, and it shows in the relaxation of her posture. It couldn't be… Could it?

Kara laughs as she catches sight of that familiar, cheeky smile. "Jesus, Sophie!" she exclaims, tipping the point of the rifle at the ground now. "It wouldn't have killed you to call ahead, would it?"

She's joking, mostly. There wasn't exactly a clear line of communication from West to East, and Kara didn't have a phone, besides.

"God," Kara practically breathes out, everything about the current events forgot about in a moment as she marvels at the young woman's reappearance. Her voice lifts to a more conversational level as she asks, "What are you doing here?" After asking, she realizes just how odd it is indeed and her brow starts to knit. "This far East?" she adds a little more cautiously.

Was there some business out this way? is the additionally asked question, silently passed in a meaningful look.

Apparently satisfied that Kara knows who the smoke person is, Weasel drops out of the fighting stance and gives the knife a brief twirl, before resheathing it; her attention turns again towards the tree and the job at hand.

From the direction of the tree, muffled screeching can be heard, and several rabbits suddenly burst from several holes in its roots, fleeing in different directions. A few flee toward the trio, realize what they’re heading towards, and change directions.

“Got four…no, five rabbits for dinner,” she remarks, mostly to herself — she’s not trying to interrupt the surprise reunion.

Kara's laugh seems to spark something warm and friendly in the short, dark woman. Sophie's grin reveals a flash of white as a chuckle joins Kara's. Her dark gaze dances briefly to Clara as her old friend whips out a friendly chastisement, a little peace sign of greeting waved the young girl's way before Sophie turns back to Kara. "Can't I just be visiting my bestie?" Sophie inquires, moving a hand up to ruffle her own springy, perpetually windblown locks.

"For reals, though - I thought it was time to come see what the hype was 'bout…” Now Sophie turns her face to consider the farm, the field, and the treeline more attentively. “Huh. There’s more, right?” This question she directs to Weasel with a grin, followed quickly with: “Did you just kill five rabbits with your brain?” She juts a thumb at Clara and turns her arched brow on Kara.

An initial look of unguarded skepticism is reserved for Sophie alone, but Kara relents. For now, she'll accept the truth at face value, maybe save asking for the why behind wanting to leave the West behind for a separate, more private conversation. Preferably around either a fire, more guns, or a drink.

You know. For old time's sake.

She lets out an amused hmph when Sophie asks if this is all it is. "It's no Sedro-Woolley, that's for sure." Kara remarks in reply, turning to look down at Clara. There's a wry twinge of her lips before elaborating, "She's an animal telepath, and has about as many names as she is tall." With a tip of her head, she suggests, "You just tell her what you prefer to be called, Kit." Clearly, she'll be sticking with Finn's/her own nickname.

Looking back to Sophie, she adjusts her grip on her weapon, not replacing it over her shoulder quite yet. "They're good to the Evolved out here, Providence," Kara finds it important to clarify straightaway. "Nearby militia, not so much." Her gaze hardens with a tightening of her forehead. "Pure Dirt ilk."

“More specifically, I’m a musteloid telepath,” Weasel clarifies, a small smirk on her face as she turns, watching the trio of minks bring the five rabbits out and place them into a pile a few feet away; after the fact, the tiny creatures disappear under the roots again, ostensibly to collapse the tunnels. “I talk to stinky and slinky things, mostly. Weasels and minks and the like, skunks, raccoons…pretty sure Red Pandas are included, but I’ve never met one to find out.”

She then chuckles. “Some call me Weasel, others call me Kit,” she gestures to Kara, “And only a few people actually call me Clara.” She shrugs. “I kind of like Kit, actually.” She looked up the person on her last trek out to the Safe Zone, and decided she was definitely okay with that one.

The tiny, dark wisp of a woman holds Kara’s gaze a moment - as if she, for just a moment, could telegraph her thoughts, as well. Whatever message makes its way between old friends does not change her warm, smiling expression. She opts to address the matter of Clara and the choice of moniker’s first. “Stinky and slinky, eh? Quite the tagline. Think you can come up with one for me, Kit?” She props her hands on her hips and turns her visage to present a smiling profile with a dark side-eye for ‘Kit’.

After a short pose, Sophie adjusts one of three belts slung at various angles low around her hips supporting a variety of small compartments, knife sheaths, and at least two canteens. “Pure Dirt, hm? Land in need of some harrowin’?” Her spirals bob as she tips her head.

Kara inclines her head by way of response, a quiet hmph to show she thinks they could use it. "Might be," she concedes politely. "But there's other things that need culling first."

She shifts her gaze sidelong at the smallest of their three amigos, thoughtful of her presence. She too seems to be waiting to see what nickname or super-saying Clara might come up for Sophie.

In reality, she's trying to be mindful of saying too much around the young girl. Like the critters she was fond of, Kara wouldn't past her to dig well past what was safe.

Her head turns to consider the twitchy pile of rabbits and her thoughtful look only deepens, feet carrying her in that direction. "We should give the family one or two of these, if they'll take them. Figure out what to do with the rest." Only then does Kara slip the gun away so she can grab one with each hand.

“I’m not nearly as witty as you might think,” Clara replies with a smirk and a shake of her head. “But let me get to know you a bit, and I’m sure I can figure something out.” She grins, and jerks her head toward Kara. “Kara is Cool Bitch With A Gun, though.” Clearly the title she’s given the woman is one of admiration.

Stepping over to the pile of rabbits, she picks the remaining three up by the feet, giving them a good looking over. “I’ll skin and gut two of them for the family, so all they have to do is the cooking. I give most of the organ meat to the animals, anyhow.” Though usually she reserves the muskrat meat she gets in the creeks here for them. “Only currency they really talk in.”

Then, she turns to the other two women, pulling out the large hunting knife at her waist. Little time is wasted before she sets about skinning the two animals right there on the spot. Hopefully the other two don’t mind the bloody affair — this is clearly old hat to the strange animal telepath, who seems like she could probably do this blindfolded.

“Other things.” Sophie replies to Kara in an agreeable fashion, a lack of pause revealing a trust built on years otherwise unnoted. “S’fine by me. Culling is culling. Besides, I could really use a wash and a proper shuteye.” The young woman laces her fingers and brings them up overhead, a languid stretch allowing for a few hollow, quiet pops and cracks from her spine and shoulders.

“Cool Bitch with a Gun - dead ringer.” Approval of the highest degree is sealed with a bright, toothy smile Kit’s way. “Need a hand?” She offers casually, crouching down next to the slinky, little huntress. From her hunkered pose she lifts her pierced face back to Kara. “What’s the deal with the fam here?”

"They're Amish," Kara informs. It's a fact, rather than stated like it's a defect on their part. "Plenty of Amish around here, actually. The settlement belonged to them first, before the war."

She's pointedly not looking their way as Kit's internal nickname for her is voiced out loud. There's a twinge to her expression as she avoids letting out a derisive, if amused, huff of breath, only looking back as she hears the knife begin to tear through the skin of the hunt spoil. Her weight shifts as she turns to half-face them both, boots sinking into the soft earth.

"Some are more accepting than others of outsiders, for all their various reasons. And everyone's a little on edge these days." is added with a near-instant return to vigilance. Kara lets the pause that comes after linger only for a moment before she tips her head toward Sophie. "You've come a long way. Let's be done here and figure out where you're sleeping." She imagines the business with the rabbit won't take long at all.

Clara works fast with her knife, making expert cuts here and there and quickly pulling the skin from the rest of the rabbit. She pauses mid-tug to reach into her boot, pulling out a spare hunting knife. She flips it in her hand once, and offers it, handle out, to Sophie. “If you can skin without harming the fur, it’s better. I preserve the pelts and make things from them.” She did first show up in a ramshackle but warm-looking rabbit fur cloak, after all.

Dark eyes turn to Kara, nodding along with the woman. She’s personally happy for the amish folks around here — anyone who lives off the land is good in her books.

“If she wants, she can stay with me for a while ‘til she finds her own place. If you don’t mind helping me fix it up.” She glances to Sophie. Found an old campsite with a cabin north of here, and I’ve decided to move in and stick around,” she murmurs. Gray eyes turn up to Kara, a small grin on her face. “Thinking of talking to your boss and seeing if I can help out a bit.”

Gaze interrupted by a few green springs of spirally hair, Sophie considers the direction of the described family and settlement. “Everyone has an opinion.” She side-eyes Clara with a mischievous smile that silently fills in the end of that common turn of phrase. She accepts the knife and sets to work easily but without all the obvious mastery of Kit’s style.

Crouched with her rump on her heels, knees wide, she works as she replies. “On edge?” She sounds skeptical, the bitter-amusement of one who really hasn’t known anything else. “Cabin sound nice. I’m going to follow Kara-and-Team’s lead on this one.” She looks up to her old friend. “Like you said, it isn’t Sedro.”

Even with the casual conversation on hand, the little carcass is effectively skinned, disemboweled, and prepped according to Kit’s neat little piles. Sophie stands, wipes the blade on a rag at her belt, and gives it a little spin to hand it back in the same handle-first way it had been offered.

Kara looks back in Sophie's direction in shared commiseration at her almost-sarcastic echo. She knows. The people here, even, know what it is to live life on-guard. But the threat they were facing now was different than just life on the new frontier. With these robots, it was almost like living back at the end of the war. With the way some of these local militia were acting, it was almost like the war never ended.

"We'll get you taken care of," she promises Sophie, and that includes getting her up to speed.

Kara waits from afar while the offering of garden-ruiners is made to the family, aware that distance in the danger she carries with her is just as much of a gift as the rabbits. When the two come back, she attempts a small smile for them both before nodding back toward the road. What to do with both of the bright-eyed women would be a question crowd-sourced to another day.

For now, there were spoils to enjoy.

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