Over The River And Through The Woods I


megan_icon.gif muldoon_icon.gif noa_icon.gif quinn5_icon.gif

Scene Title Over the River and Through the Woods I
Synopsis The scout vehicle runs into a few hiccups, but it's nothing the Ferry women can't handle.
Date October 14, 2011

Adirondack Mountains

Over the river and through the woods is how the old saying goes; Brian’s convoy isn’t headed to grandmother’s houses, but it does need to carve its path through the forests of Adirondack Mountains in order to reach the Canadian border. The leaves still cling to trees in mid-October, providing nominal cover for the scouting party sent ahead to make sure the roads are clear and that the military patrols the Council warned them about haven’t set up any blockades.

Gray skies and a light, misting drizzle of autumn rain dulls the brilliant saffron yellows and burnt oranges of the picturesque, postcard-perfect landscape. To minimize drawing attention to themselves, the group has split into two vehicles: a rattling old Ford pickup and a Ferry transport disguised as a meatpacking truck with ample room in the back to comfortably hide the Lighthouse children and the orphans whose release from the Island Brian was able to negotiate with Eileen.

They’re only a few hours away from the destination, and so far their journey has been unimpeded with the exception of a flat tire on the Jeep that took only a few minutes to fix.

The meatpacking truck sits at an abandoned weigh station, waiting for the all-clear from the Jeep up ahead before the convoy begins the final stretch of their long journey.

Noa's taken shotgun — almost literally, holding an assault rifle at the ready as she peers out the window, scanning both the landscape and the airwaves for signs or sounds of trouble. "Thank god this is the last leg. I need a nap," she says with a small smirk to the rest of the people in the vehicle, though her voice is quiet — like speaking too loud might invite trouble, despite the fact the jeep isn't particularly quiet as it drives along the road.

Megan, though she's generally medical personnel and sticks to that role, is also a well-trained soldier. And for this run, it was possible they'd need both. So she sits in the small backseat, the butt of her weapon next to her while the muzzle points up, her eyes peeled outside. The quiet is both peaceful… and in some ways alarming. When you're always waiting for the other shoe to drop, you tend not find much comfort in peaceful silence. She adjusts her fleece headband over her ears and slants a brief grin at Noa. "I won't sleep again til we're home, probably. Makes me jumpy to be out here."

Robyn Quinn had never had a problem with this sort of weather, growing up in Ireland and Boston. So she's taking to this excursion a bit better than she'd honestly expected to, looking over and offering a smile to everyone else. She doesn't have a mp3 player like she usually does, choosing instead to try and stay focused without music. It's not working. "I can sing y' a lullabye if y' want, Noa," Quinn offers jokingly from the seat behind her. Eyes peeled out the window - mostly in case there's trouble but also just because she wants to - as she adjusts the holster under her jacket. Eventually, she was going to have to learn to use something besides this pistol, but for now, it was her best friend. At least this time she doesn't feel as antsy.

The Englishman in the front driver's seat has been exceptionally quiet the entire drive, which makes sense, considering the fact that he's only behind the wheel to get back into into Abigail Beauchamp's good graces.

James Muldoon, from behind a pair of mirrored aviator sunglasses, has his eyes on the road and both hands on the wheel. His closely-cropped gray beard doesn't do much to hide his identity, but it also doesn't have to. He isn't there to cross the border, just to provide an extra set of hands if needed. Because the Jeep's heater doesn't work, he wears his heavy woolen greatcoat with the collar turned up to trap warmth close to his body.

His attentiveness ultimately doesn't matter, however, as there's nothing he could have done differently to anticipate what happens next. A crackle of gunfire erupts from the road on the Jeep's left, followed by the concussive bang of the vehicle's front tire going out as a bullet tears it open. Muldoon swings the wheel around to compensate — too fast.

The Jeep swerves off the road and into the trees. At some point — it's impossible for anyone to know exactly when — it flips end over end, shattering windows and demolishing any saplings unlucky enough to be caught in its path.

It comes to a rest some two hundred meters from the road at the bottom of an embankment.

"So long as it's not The Cure's Lulla-" begins Noa but she's cut off at the sound of gunfire. There's no time to react, though, before they're sent swerving and toppling. Noa sits stunned for too-long a moment, her head having hit the window. A cut on her brow is bleeding, and accounts for the stunned silence on her part. Eventually she manages to send a quick radio message to the truck that's waiting for the all-clear. «We're being shot at.» It's terse, because she's already climbing out of the Jeep to hide behind it and aim for the treeline that the un-friendly fire seems to have come from. She swipes at her bloody brow to clear her vision with the sleeve of a too-large leather jacket, and begins to fire back.

One moment they're riding along in their automobile, the man in front behind the wheel…. the next moment they are rolling and being bounced around the Jeep. The sound of gunfire is really hard to mistake for anything else if you've ever in your life been shot at. However, when the Jeep stops moving, the sheer magnitude of the stun that the passengers are subjected to automatically means that time does that weird dilation effect where nothing quite makes sense. Squished between Quinn and the window, laying atop the rifle that she'd been holding, Megan's having trouble focusing her eyes. "Gotta move," she grunts, though, struggling to try to extricate herself from the Quinn/Megan pile. "Sitrep!" she barks automatically, needing verbal confirmation on whether other people are conscious. She can hear the crackle of the radio when Noa sends the message out, so they've got at least one other person. Getting out of the Jeep itself takes another several precious seconds, and disentagling her weapon without accidentally discharging it takes a few more. But eventually, head ringing so hard that she can't hear much, the redhead is crouched near the back wheel well of the Jeep bracing her rifle on the vehicle in the hopes of seeing anything.

"How about a Smiths song, I can-" Her words overlap with Noa's, but she's much more focused on the song choice than she is actually paying attention, and she's the last to react to the gunfire. She looks up just in time for the vehicle to veer, swerve and flip. When everything stops, she finds herself being disentangled from Megan, sitting up as best as she can with a groan. "Putain!" Quinn curses as she finds herself scrambling up, the gun pulled out of her holster. She's surprisngly quick to pull herself down, a hand at her head. "Can't we ever go anywhere without someone trying t' shoot at us!" It's a joke, and maybe not an appropriate one, but.

Noa and Megan spy at least two soldiers at the top of the embankment dressed in military fatigues. One of Noa's well-placed shots blows out a branch close to one of their heads, and they duck back again, out of sight.

«I counted four,» she picks up over the military's radio. «One driver, three passengers. No confirmation yet on what's in the truck at the weigh station. Sending someone to look into it now.»

«Think they're Ferry?»

«Affirmative. They're armed. Probably a supply run.»

Both audibly for those nearby and mentally so the others receive it in the truck, Noa's voice comes: «They are sending someone to check the truck! They know we're Ferry! Think we're on a supply run. Fuck.» The teenager is hardly official sounding in her communication, but at least it's quick and protected.

To those with her in person, she says, "At least two gunmen here. And whoever they're sending to look into the truck," she says over her shoulder, before peering through her scope to try to find a better shot. She squeezes the trigger anyway, to send a few bullets into the bushes that they've ducked into — she might get lucky.

Megan nods briefly to Noa. "Got it," she murmurs. Once Quinn is on the ground and seems to have her feet under her, Megan moves back around the back side of the Jeep, out of the line of fire, to check Muldoon's condition. If he's merely unconscious, he's better served on the ground than left in the Jeep to catch stray bullets. But she won't and can't delay long. "Let's worry about these two and hope their squad was only a foursome."

"If they get a bit closer I can blind 'em, but-" Quinn imagines they don't want them to get closer, and she doesn't want to give away what she can do unless she has to. "At least two. Okay." Quinn takes a deep breath. She should be sitting in an office, listening to the premier of a new single now or something.

Is it weird that a part of her is glad she isn't?

"How, uh, how do you want t' approach this," she asks looking to Noa. She might be younger than Quinn, but age doesn't matter to experiance. She leans around the side of the car and looks up toward where the men are, popping off a shot in their general direction from her pistol.

Muldoon's pulse flutters against Megan's fingers when she goes to check it. He's unconscious, but alive. His seatbelt is the only thing holding him upright, and also the only thing keeping him in place. Aside from brushing aside the broken glass, all Megan has to do is unclip it and hoist the man out of his driver's seat.

«Should we go down there?»

«Negative. Hold onto the high ground. Heller wants them alive.»

Again, Noa repeats the radio dialogue to those listening to her. Quinn's question makes her eyes widen a little. "I'm going to play interference so they don't get each other's messages, if that helps," she decides after a moment. "That they want us alive — we can use that to our advantage. Let's stay put, make them get closer so you can work your magic, yeah? Just stay under cover — hard to ensure you live if they don't have a clear shot."

Megan wrestles Muldoon out of the seatbelt and down behind the cover of the Jeep. Then she crouch-walks back to the other two women. "Interference with the radio is good." She points sideways. "We might be able to pull off the helpless girls screaming routine on them." She grimaces. "It might not work, but it's a stereotype for a reason. And it'll bring them closer. Just sound panicked — like oh God, this guy's gonna die if we don't get him help."

"Magic?" Quinn snickers. "Sure, that's a word for it." She looks up at Megan, then over at Noa. "If they know we're Ferry I dunno how well it'll work, but it's an idea, yeah?" She nods. "Better than nothing." She takes a deep breath, trying her best to keep hidden as the sound of another bullet pings off the jeep. She leans down, looking under the deep as she fires off another shot, keeping mental count of her bullets. "Is he- okay, at least?" As okay as they can be given the situation and all.

"Ugh," says Noa with a smirk at the helpless girl comment, but sexism can be used against the sexists, so why not make it a tool. "Okay, operation scramble is go. Quinn, you be ready to blind them once they're close enough and let us know when you do so we can open fire. Be ready in case they try to take us out with gas, though, yeah?" she says.

For the moment, there's no radio chatter, and the two soldiers are staying out of sight line, perhaps waiting for their opportunity to strike — or for something more assertive on the end of those down the embankment.

A game of Heller versus Ferry chicken.

"He's okay — unconscious but breathing. Pretty sure he just hit his head on the steering wheel." Then Megan grins at Noa and Quinn. "Never underestimate the power of being a woman, ladies."

With Noa's permission given, Megan lays her rifle down where if she has to dive for it, it's easy to get to. Then she staggers a bit out, not quite into the open, and looses the girliest high-pitched scream either one of them — or hell, maybe anyone in the world other than Meg's brothers! — has ever heard her emit.

"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAHhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Oh, my GOD, there's BLOOD!!! I'm gonna puke!! Help! Help, this guy is bleeding!" And she tops it off with a good imitation of retching off to the side.

Quinn nods to Megan, and she can's keep from smirking as the scream rings out. She peers out again at the men, before taking a deep breath, and following out with medium volume but shrill cry of her own. "Merde! il y a tellement de sang!" she shouts in French, which probably sounds rather weird in her irish accent. "Wh- how is there so much of it?!" she adds, trying to sound as clue less. "Oh god, oh god!"

Despite this and the panicked look she wears on her face in an attempt to play the part, she's still trying to keep track of the men's movements, waiting for them to just get close enough.

«Might be a bunch of scared girls, now the driver's taken out. Looks like a couple of teenagers» says one of the soldiers, which makes Noa smirk, but she doesn't relay this to her comrades.

«We're checking it out.»

Of course the two soldiers don't know that none of this is going to the other team they're working with, who's working with the truck.

"They're coming," Noa says quietly. She pulls out a smaller pistol, before creeping closer to where Muldoon and Megan are, setting her rifle down as if she's forgotten about it.

Her own thespian moment is simple: "Dad! Oh, my god, save him, please! Call 9-1-1!"

The pistol in the back of Megan's pants comes out, and she takes on the higher pitch of a woman terrified. "I don't have a phone! They told me to leave it behind! Oh God, doesn't he have one?" She pivots, looking back up the hill. "Hey! Hey, I don't know who you are, but … really. We don't know what to do!" She actually manages to sound… tearful. And tosses an extra retch on it. "Oh GAWD, is that… is that his brains?"

Quinn has some thoughts about the fact that this working, but she's not one to poke the bear, so she keeps them to herself, shifting a bit as she takes deep breath. She looks up, peers up just enough to see thier approach - she needs to be able to see them to pull the light away from their eyes. It's a handy trick, the first taught to her by Colette Nichols. A hand clenches into a fist, trying to well her her voice up akin to Megan. "Help him, S'il vous plat," she chokes out, before glancing over to Noa and nodding. Just the slightest bit closer.

One of the soldiers moves forward a little more swiftly than the other, the other holding his gun at the ready. It's somewhat reassuring to know they aren't meant to be killed, but that doesn't mean they can't be injured.

"We'll help him. We just need you to come with us. Hands up behind your head, please," the first soldier says to the three 'damsels in distress.' "Don't try anything stupid, all right? You'll be safe as long as you cooperate. Come on, step away from him. We have a vehicle right up here. We'll help him once you're all tucked away inside." And in handcuffs.

Noa glances at Quinn, her eyes a little wide, unsure if it's close enough. Is the nod the signal. Her hand twitches once but she manages not to go for her gun just yet.

The nod is the signal - something they probably should have established up front. Quinn lets out a long gasp, letting herself tremble a bit to keep up the act, "Merci," she adds with a nod, looking to them as they approach. One in, the other just behind, and she gives him another few steps as she raises her hands up behind her neck.

The flick of her wrist she gives is practiced, a far cry from the straining grasps from when she'd first learned how to do this. She reaches out, and rather than producing light, an explosively bright display someone might expect from her, she does the opposite. She takes the photons that compose the light that alows them to see, and she pulls them away.

To Megan and Noa, it's a little weird, almsot like a space in fron to them blacks out and vanishes. To the soliders, it's like being rendered suddenly and entirely blind. "Oops," she whispers, offering a shrug and satisfied smile. Hopefully this doesn't get her shot. Go! she mouths.

Megan waits and takes the nod as the signal, and then there's…. darkness. At least, darkness on their end. "Cool," she breathes. And then she leaves their cover, moving quietly to a spot where she's prety damn sure she can't miss, and fires at the face of the soldier nearest her as he swings in her direction. Then she drops to the ground, hoping the other guy doesn't shoot her!

"When she sees the hand do that flick, Noa's already reaching behind her for her pistol, aiming for the other soldier, when she sees Meg's gun point at the first.

The two men only have a second to register the sudden lack of light and visibility. One opens fire blindly, but luckily when a bullet hits the center of his face, the gun slips from his grip, falling quiet on the dirt. The jeep takes a few of the bullets, but luckily they seem to do only aesthetic damage.

The second soldier falls to his knees, a little slower to die thanks to a bullet to the throat. He's gaping for breath like a goldfish as blood pours out of the hole in his neck. He finally slumps over in the dirt as well, tumbling the rest of the way down the embankment.

Noa's eyes are wide, but she scurries forward to grab the guns, ammo, and other useful equipment from the soldiers. «Took down these two. What's your status?» she radios to the other group, before looking to Megan. "You guys know how to change a tire?"

Quinn lets out a held breath, the relief palpable as the tension in her muscles relaxes. "No," she remarks, drumming her fingers against the jeep's frame. "I have a Vespa, not a car, for a reason." She smirks for just a moment. "But I've seen done enough times that I can probably figure it out if this thing's got th' tools, I guess." She offers a shallow nod, leaning against the vehicle. "Get it goin' an' I can drive until he wakes up," she notes, motiong to Muldoon. "Either way, we should hurry before anyone else shows up." And before she has to do enough to get more of a headache that the crash already gave her.

Shaking her head just a bit, Megan sighs — it's a silent one of Jesus, kids these days. "Yes, I know how to change a tire. Make sure the others are okay?" She shoves her pistol back into the holster at her belt and heads for the back of the Jeep. The jack is in the side wall of the 'trunk' area, and it makes an appearance, along with the rest of the tools needed. She moves with an efficiency that speaks to experience, a quick glance at Muldoon to verify that he's still breathing as she drops the tools next to him and goes to haul the spare off the back. "You gonna be able to get us up this hill?"

"No answers from the others. I think they're in trouble," Noa says, running back the new weapons and ammo she's stolen from the soldiers and dumping them in the truck. "Quinn, let's get this guy in the back, yeah?" she says, opening the back door and then crouching down to take his arms and nodding for Quinn to take his legs.

"That was great, by the way. Totally perfect. You did great," she says. "The most I can do is disorient their hearing, but that's not as strong as blinding 'em out." She sounds maybe a little jealous.

"I try," Quinn offers back to Noa without even a shred of humility - she is a performer, after all. She revels in compliments. SHe bends over, helping Noa lift up Muldoon and get him into the car. "I can try at least. I know how t' drive like a crazy woman." She purses her lips, looking to the driver's seat. "We should head back, I think." She looks to the others for their thoughts, sliding Muldoon's heavy frame into the back seat.

Megan slants a look at both girls and adds her own praise quietly, "You both did amazing. Seriously. If they hadn't taken the bait and we'd had to try to get up there to them, I'm not sure we could have. It would have gotten ugly." She works on the tire while they work on getting Muldoon in the Jeep. "Just…. for God's sake, never tell anyone that I screamed like that," she begs lightly.

"Your secret's safe with me," says Noa. "Let's go help the others. Radio silence is rarely a good thing."

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