The Only Easy Day...


candy_icon.gif claire3_icon.gif gabriel_icon.gif huruma_icon.gif sanderson_icon.gif

Scene Title The Only Easy Day…
Synopsis Team Bravo makes their way across the Malagasy wilderness to the plane's crash site…
Date November 26, 2009


The United States Marines have a saying, that "the only easy day, was yesterday." It's a somewhat pessimistic outlook, but one that ultimately is designed to inspire confidence in the face of adversity, to prepare for the worst and persevere. For the survivors of team Bravo, this quote has become something of a motto for their mission.

Having set out from the ruined ghost town of Analalava, Bravo's surviving members have found themselves plunged into a veritable heart of darkness, a sweltering and consuming jungle that besets them on all sides with buzzing insects and the damp mist of falling rain that manages to slip through openings in the canopy. Signs of the team's violent entry into the country have met them at every step along the way in the form of twisted metal wreckage that tore free from the plane in its descent.

"We're not far now…" Lieutenant Sanderson's voice has lost some of its edge since the firefight in Analalava. No longer does she seem fit to roar out a boisterous oo-rah to rouse the troops. Shoulders slacked and head down, her eyes have hardly come away from the screen of her SatCom device since the group started their jungle trek. Unable to use one of the captured AK-47s due to her right arm being bandaged and in a sling, Sanderson has stuck to the middle of the team, presuming the cover of Gabriel Gray and Candace Allard's combined abilities might just keep her from needing to fire a shot.

"Huruma," Sanderson calls to the head of the team, where the African native has taken point pathfinding through the verdant terrain, "we're almost on top of Ruskin's beacon. She's got to be around here somewhere, see if you can spot her up ahead. Bennet, sweep around the perimeter and keep an eye out for hostiles." Dropping to a crouch, Sanderson scrolls the screen on the SatCom and looks at the map. "We've still got a mile to go before we hit the crash site. Ruskin's tracker isn't moving anywhere, she might— " Sanderson shakes her head, "See what you can see."

Candy hasn't let her rain shield go down since they started the trek, and Candace is still high and dry as the moment she left the plain. Her eyes scanning the foilage as they move through the the jungle. "I would ask if anybody knew a good hiking song, but… I have the feeling nobody knows any," Candace remarks while she walks. Yes, the best way to get through situations like this is to attach some brevity to it. Or in the case of a sociopath, just always find things funny. As it happens, Candy does managed to pick up a tune to alternately whistle and sing:

"Always look on the bright side of life."

Maybe a bit too cheery for the rain, but then again, the rain tends to cheer the sociopath up. When you're surround by the tools of your trade, it tends to make you happy. And with the rain coming down, she knows she possesses a distinct edge over every one here. Well, except in the case of Gabriel. Speaking of Gabriel, Candy's eyes flicker to him in awe every once in a while. After all, its not every day you get to walk along side of a mass murderer who killed hundreds of thousands of people. Its really rather awe-inspiring. And here comes the refrain again:

"Always look on the bright side of life."

How does one escape from Madagascar? It's an idle question rotating around in Gabriel's skull for the past however long it's been. Find her and go. Somehow. It isn't, after all, the first time he's been abandoned in Africa and manages to make it home. The searing desert of Botswana is just a trifle different to the jungle he treks through with the rest of them, to be completely understated.

Then, also, there's the question of Eileen's memory, transplanted personality. His mind veers sharply from it when he distractedly swats at a buzzing insect zooming too close to his face, as if the thought were the winged creature itself.

"She might be injured," he pointedly supplies to Sanderson, chin angling up before he casts a brightly amber brown gaze towards Candy, meeting not the first glance the hydrokinetic has sent his way. There's a tilt of his head, one in doggish irritation at the sung song, but he'll not let it be the straw to break the camel's back.

Since they gathered themselves to start the trek through jungle, Huruma has been at the front of the small troupe. It is likely that the woman simply walked faster and more purposefully than the others, and so they just ended up assuming she knew how to get through everything ahead. A good assumption if so, if still slightly stereotypical. She stays at the head for most of the actual trek, at some points stopping the group to double her attention back- sometimes at noise, sometimes at tracks run through the ground that may or may not have once been a truck wheel.

In a way, that is how the 'herd' moves. Huruma and Sanderson's satcom device.

"If we are over her, I woul'probably feel her first…" Huruma mentions over her shoulder to Sanderson, eyes roaming momentarily over the rather rag-tag bunch before fixating once again on the brush and jungle to her front. "Stop singing, Candace. English is a giveaway." Well, not really. She just does not want to hear it, and they probably won't know any better than what she explains, right?

Soaked to the bone, Claire doesn't seem at all bothered by it, though she did change earlier into a shirt with fewer holes and lot less blood. Her back pack is still secured firmly to her back, an assault rifle hooked on her shoulder. Not her shotgun, but it'll do. A handgun tucked in the waistline of her BDU pants. Thank goodness for the training Mack and Liz were giving on various weapons, it might actually come in handy. Fairly quiet, she follows after everyone playing shield as she comes up the back.. If anyone is tracking them.. they would kill her first and of course… she'd survive.

Her eyes shift to Gabriel's back and she shakes her head slowly. The sharp sting of insects are ignored mostly, though she does watch a fly bite her with morbid curiosity.

Huruma's right, she should be able to feel Eileen's presence. That itself is a key to the unfortunate discovery not too far up ahead. One tree Huruma passes is scarred by the fall of a twisted and blackened piece of steel, further ahead one of the chairs they were strapped into has been deposited on the jungle floor, another rests up in the canopy tangled in the vines and branches — Corporal Copeland's mutilated body is not much further away, strung up in his parachute and straps like a fly in a spiderweb, torn nearly in half from the fire of the anti-aircraft rounds that perforated him on his jump.

Not too much further ahead from where Huruma stalks into the jungle, there's a black plastic ammo case tipped on its side marked with USMC serial numbers. The case looks to have been forcibly opened, contents removed while the case was left behind. On the ground next to the case, a small arc of black plastic and a coiled wire is the source of Eileen's beacon signal — her comm system, either stripped from her or lost in the crash. She's not here, maybe she never even was. Dozens of footprints depress into the wet ground, all of the tracks Huruma spies looking too big to be Eileen's petite feet. Maybe there's hope yet.

Around the perimeter of the spot Sanderson has chosen to take a knee, Claire doesn't find much in the jungle save for the constant buzzing of mosquitos in her ears and on her face and neck. Fog hangs like a filmy curtain between the moss-covered trees and their dangling vines, aloe plants bristle up like sword-blades fromt he underbrush and ferns serve as too thick obscurement in most places. Though something does catch her eye, a little outside of where she patrols, a machete discarded on the ground in its canvas sheath. Supplies from the plane, likely, that spilled out of it like candy from a pinata as it descended into the jungle.

Candy looks to Huruma and glares, before she merely goes to whistling it, that is until she sees whats left of Corporal Copelands body. "Ouch… that looks like it might have hurt," the hydrokinetic says as she stares up into the trees. "Do you think he felt the landing, or was he dead by then? I've heard that even if you're decapitated your head still managed to live for a while longer." She pauses for a moment, before saying, "HEY! Isn't that Bennet girl a healer?" Obviously her name skills are lacking. She then wanders off towards where ever Claire went, when she spots her she says, "Hey… Bennet-girl, have you ever had your head cut off? What was it like?" The sociopath is indeed full of wander at this lovely new topic she's found, and its best to make small talk with her companions, right?

Moving from where Sanderson stoops and where Candy antagonises the regenerator, Gabriel makes his heavy footed way through the jungle after the empath, his hands out to steady himself against trees so that the wet terrain underfoot doesn't have his soles slipping and gliding. The vest is uncomfortable and beginning to chafe even through the durable fabric of his clothing, but he dares not discard it, even with his vast array of powers that could potentially compensate for whatever equipment he has.

"What are you finding?" he asks Huruma's back when he's close enough, voice low but cutting through the silence to be heard.

One long dark hand trails softly over the bark of the tree scarred by falling metal, while Huruma pauses there to inspect her most recent surroundings. This includes her neck craning slightly to peer upwards at Copeland in the tree, then a tilt of her head to examine the hole in the canopy created by his entry. She takes this one steady step at a time, boots somehow retaining the grace and cautiousness of an animal amidst the increasing amount of debris over the ground and around their heads.

Huruma winds her way to the emptied ammo case, eyes taking its details down from up above as well as absorbing the sights of all the various footprints in the damp ground. Her head tilts a second time when her vision catches onto the plastic black of a satcom. Supposedly Eileen's, if they were personalized. The toe of her boot knocks at the headpiece, and the box to follow is knocked against with the same toe. Not like she expects something to fall out- just to wordlessly get attention to it for the others' sakes.

"Someone has been here." But she does not discount Eileen yet. Boots are boots, and even a tiny girl can wear big boots if she thinks she must.

The machete is noticed and Claire starts to head for it, when she hears something about Bennet-girl from Candy… Uh oh. "What?! No. I haven't had my head cut off… and I don't plan on finding out, thanks. Her words a just a touch bitter as she steps over roots and such. "And it's Claire…" She grumbles… "When you say Bennet I start looking for my dad." Once she reaches the big ass knife on the ground she picks it up… no reason to ignore too weapons… Lord knows they need anything they can get. It's pulled out of it's sheath some before she glances at the asian woman. "Dying over and over isn't all it's cracked up to be.. and before you even think to ask… I will not answer questions about the afterlife." Then she moves to start back after the others.

«Allard shut up before I let Gray shut you up.» Comes the chatter over her the headsets from Sanderson. Wincing, the Lieutenant reaches up and scratches her fingers over the white cloth bandages applied to her arm. Gabriel Gray may be lacking in bedside manner, but at least he knows how to dress a wound. Looking back down to her SatCom device, Sanderson's head shakes slowly and tiredly.

«The plane's still a mile out, if this map's right it downed near some marshland north-east of us.» Sanderson looks to the side, towards the sound of Claire's footsteps in the underbrush. «Local militia probably followed the trail, we're not going to beat them to the plane if they know where it went down.» Rising up to stand straight, Sanderson exhales a long and tired sigh. Several miles through trackless jungle already, the thought of pushing on further seems like a slavish thing to do. «We've only got one more mile to go. Grab anything you see that might be useful. Gray, take Ruskin's comm.» Blue eyes sweep the foggy jungle again, anxiously jumping at the slightest noise.

«Huruma, we're headed out again. Get ahead of us and check the terrain before we move. Allard, focus and try and keep the rain off of us a little more.»

"Those hadn't even crossed my mind… there is no afterlife," Candy responds as she follows the regenerator back over towards the others. "Claire. I'll try to remember that. And I wouldn't want to die over and over again anyway. Once is good enough for me," she says to Claire. She muses to herself, it might be fun to find a regen-

Then Sanderson's voice comes in, and she sighs, "I was just trying to get a conversation going…" Frowning, before she nods her head a little, and does concentrate, and before they know it, there is no more rain falling on the group. Candy even went the extra-mile and made sure that they were all dry too.

Gabriel's head twitches up to regard the way the rain lifts off them, slides out from hair, vanishes off skin. One, two seconds, before he's crouching down to collect up the scattered comms devices, rubbing a thumb along black plastic and silver metal to smear away damp dirt. At least it's reminding him to focus on what's important, instead of sneer about the use of the word let

«I could cover more ground, and quickly, if I didn't have to stay with the group,» he instead sends down the radio line, voice graveled, as he remains crouched on damp ground, twisting enough to glance back in Sanderson's direction.

«Do not worry about the rain.» Huruma's advice comes relatively softly, cut somewhat short by Candy actually making the moment less …wet overall. If she wants to, then fine. «Scavengers live as long as anything else- because they d'not get sad abou'being second o'third t'th'punch.» As long as they get there.

After her short submissions to the com, Huruma goes about thoroughly investigating what is left in this area- checking debris for loose supplies, gradually, until she gets to the point that she must move onward once more. And so she does, stalking silently out into the terrain ahead, the shade provided allowing her to disappear from sight at regular intervals. She is already moving on when Gabriel questions his orders, and soon Huruma's voice rumbles into everyone's ears.

«You woul'cove'more ground an'risk th'rest? No. If you must secede t'the ants in your pants, stay parallel wit'me- fan out t'th'far side- cover breadth, not length.»

Making a mental not to thank Sanderson later, Claire swings her pack off her shoulders and starts fiddling with the zipper, juggling the big knife and walking. «Keep an eye out for more body armor.» Claire adds over the com, since her's had holes blown through the back of it. It did the job though…. even if a part of her wished she hadn't had it on… a quick glare going to Gabriel's back again.

She gets distracted by the watering leaving her clothing, Claire feels a twist of jealousy at the ability. She might be able to survive death.. and might live forever… but sometimes she just wishes he had an ability so cool.

«You could also—» Sanderson's original rebuking of Gabriel comes clipped as Huruma gives something of better sounding advice. She's silent in her consideration, looking to the group's back and flank, then up towards Huruma's position. «Right. Gray, take point with Huruma.» Sanderson instructs, moving up the mossy slope awkwardly towards Gabriel's position. "Let's focus on having one less missing team member. We'll find her." The comment does seem a little bit pointed, even if it is sympathetic at its edges.

Coming to stand beside the ammo crate, Sanderson's focus moves up to the tree eyes wrenched shut as she looks down and away. "Christ…" She murmurs to herself, covering her mouth with one hand as best as she can without letting go of the SatCom.

Candy continues to move along, happy to be in an environment where she can literally summon up something to bluedgon and/or cut somebody in an instant. «Hurama, this is child's play. Don't worry about me.» Candy says into her radio as she walks on, heading out and to where ever the plan wreck has decided to make its very ungraceful landing.

Gabriel's jaw sets, silently wolfish in his irritation before he pulls himself out of his crouch in deliberation. The comms decide is sealed away somewhere safe after the brisk motions of a zipper, and Claire's glaring goes unheeded as she sends those eyedaggers his way. He might have sensed it, had he taken a peek with a certain ability of his — but it's used, instead, to put out psychic feelers around the space in one pulsing telepathic sight, one that goes unfelt by the team even as he feels their minds and basic locations around him.

No one else, however. Just some lemurs. Rubbing his forehead, Gabriel silently moves as suggested, coming up to Huruma's level and spacing apart from her in his dogged trek onwards.

The funny thing is, Huruma can feel the look on his face even without seeing it. Maybe she was a librarian in a past life, and now ended up with that empathy times a thousand. If they were still talking he'd probably be getting something like 'don't make that face at me'.

Huruma steps onward, eyes and psychic whiskers skipping over trees and past the animal mentalities of the lemur troop to the east. They are watching the group- little patters of padded feet can be heard in the following pause of commtalk. Skyward chatter comes next- someone may well catch an eyeful of another pair of eyes cocking to peer down out of the branches, perhaps a flash of brown, of white.

No longer bothered, Claire is happy for the moment to stay silent. She pulls a scrunchy from a leg pocket on her clothing, now that she's dry and works to pull her hair into a tight ponytail to help keep her a smidge cooler, then she goes back to picking up things that look useful. Now and then she glances behind her watching the where they have been.

The mile-long march feels short compared to the nearly ten mile hike out to the site where Eileen's comm and Corporal Copeland's body were found. With Huruma and Gabriel leading the way, the pair's superhuman senses are not impeded by the layers of thick, dense jungle fog and drizzling rain falling ahead of them. However, the simple pain and exhaustion of hiking for over ten miles in a single day has put the already wounded Sanderson on edge. Of all the people on the hike, it's Claire who feels the journey the least. Every so often something is briefly sore or tender, but regeneration keeps muscles from fatiguing and her feet from becoming painful from all of the walking in military-issue boots.

At the tail end of the last mile, both Gabriel and Huruma begin to pick up something at their fore. Emotions running a broad spectrum Huruma is used to finding in small gangs in New York's concrete jungle, while Gabriel feels his psychic sonar ping off of dozens of thinking minds on the edge of the fog.

Just a few more feet ahead, and the wet highlands drop off towards the sound of rushing water. The land itself falls away just a hundred feet ahead, where jagged and mossy rocks serve as an outcropped vantage point for a crescent-shaped grotto where three individual waterfalls crash down to a murky brown basin. Half sunk in the water and looking to have demolished a path of trees in its progression, the remains of the C-130 lay in that basin with the high cliffs and waterfalls serving as a natural barrier around it on three sides. A sloped and heavily forested hill where team Bravo approaches from and the adjacent river are the only easy entrance points.

Dropping to a crouch and holding up a balled fist in signal to stop, Sanderson can't quite see what Gabriel and Huruma can feel. Militia soldiers have secured the plane, a truck up on the falls level designed to transport troops looms overhead but unoccupied, while between Huruma and Gabriel's assessment, some fifteen soldiers linger around and in the crashed plane, sifting through the supplies and looting what hasn't already been stripped from it.

«Things are moving…» Sanderson calls out quietly over the comms. «The militia found the briefcase, it's tracking beacon is headed east by southeast, gotta be in the back of a truck, about two miles from us. I'm not picking up anything else but the plane from our side. No sign of Dixon…»

Candy looks at the waterfall, and stops to take a wonder if she could make it flow up… The thought is left idle for a tie, as she turns her attention back to the remains of the plan and the men who guard it. Her eyes glare at it while she stands there, before they fall along ot what men she can see. Her protection for the others drops, as she sees the men. She doesn't need a bunch of people standing in the rain not getting wet tipping folks off to the fact that they still live, and can do rather nasty things with the water that is streaming around them.

First the plane, then militia- and now these weird people! The lemurs take it upon themselves to have one or two adults follow the third event, and those couple happen to have a sit not too far from where Sanderson puts up the signal to stop. This is fairly new, and so it is a show.

Huruma is not too far ahead of Sanderson, lingering closer to the edge of the wood and trying to make out more of the figures from her current vantage point. To which men she can glimpse, there comes a fluttering into the pits of their stomachs as they sift through what is left of the plane's contents. Butterflies, in common terms- enough to make the nervous ones even more uneasy- though very slightly so. «…Shoul'we jus'go steal their truck?» Well, someone was thinking it.

The cluster of minds is like trying to count swarming fireflies in a shadowy bush, too many at once to focus, too shifting and dazzling. Gabriel pulls back on his power instead, focuses it, and peeks through the eyes and ears of one of the militia soldiers as he moves with his companions. It's only a heart beat of a moment before Gabriel is easily, painlessly snapped back into his body, gone still with the group as instructed.

First the plane, then militia- and now these weird people! The lemurs take it upon themselves to have one or two adults follow the third event, and those couple happen to have a sit not too far from where Sanderson puts up the signal to stop. This is fairly new, and so it is a show.

Huruma is not too far ahead of Sanderson, lingering closer to the edge of the wood and trying to make out more of the figures from her current vantage point. To which men she can glimpse, there comes a fluttering into the pits of their stomachs as they sift through what is left of the plane's contents. Butterflies, in common terms- enough to make the nervous ones even more uneasy- though very slightly so. «…Shoul'we jus'go steal their truck?» Well, someone was thinking it.

Coming to crouches down, not far behind Sanderson, Claire squints past them all to the scene beyond. «That case is important isn't it? Should we follow it? Maybe she's with it.» It make sense to the ex-cheerleader to take a prisoner with the case. As she continues to try to see what's going on in the distance, she pulls the rifle off her shoulder, just in case.

«We can't just go driving after it without knowing the lay of the land. These man have already killed all of the original Bravo team, they obviously are prepared for us. If we go roaring across one of the backwoods roads we could go right into an ambush. We know where the case is going…" Sanderson's eyes peer down at the plane, "We'll take it on our terms."

Creeping up behind Gabriel and Huruma, Sanderson lays down on her stomach and moves to the edge of the cliff, looking down over the edge, then out to the plane. Pocketing her SatCom, she withdraws a pair of small, folding binoculars from her belt and pulls them up, examining the crash site. «Looks like the plane's fuselage is high and dry, the tail is submerged though. Means there's only one way in and out above water, and that's the hole in the side, unless anyone plans on climbing up to the hatch door…» Scanning the area, she looks up onto the cliffs, then back down.

«We need those supplies, whatever's left. I noticed the soldiers back in Analalava didn't have radios on them. They're probably not part of Rasoul's army, just opportunists and conscripted militia. This means they aren't going to be noticed if they go missing, not right away.»

Climbing up into a crouch, she looks back at Claire, then over to Gabriel. «Gray, I hear your some sort've genius. We need to take the plane and ensure none of the soldiers escape. Think you can come up with a plan with Huruma?» Sanderson's blue eyes flick from one to the other, then glances back to Candy, then finally to the plane again.

Candy looks around at them, before she says into her comm, <You know… I could probably flood them out, maybe…?> Her eyes watching the water, almost entranced with the sheer power of it. Nope, she didn't get to see such waterfalls in New York, and she's pretty well just looking at it. Before her eyes go back to the men, and she contemplates making a couple of them explode.

Gabriel swings a flat, brown-eyed look from Sanderson to Huruma, before suggesting, «We could kill everyone.» Stating the obvious, but that is more or less the extent of his planning. He glances back where Candy is, letting thought creep into his expression. «Unless you can be precise, you'll take and damage the supplies along with them. If Huruma can affect them from this vantage point, Bennet and I could go in swinging. We don't exactly hurt easy.»

Huruma rubs one palm across her cheek, eyes glancing over to Sanderson and then into the direction of Candy's placement. «Exactly. Tha'woul'mean washing th'supplies out.» She turns her eyes back through the slats of light visible through the trees, searching the figures for any sources of new activity while literally feeling them out. With seemingly every scenario laid out for her- for them- only one seems practical. Huruma puffs a reply in a naturally nonchalant way. Dismissive, even.

«I agree wit'Sybrows here. Let's jus'kill them all. Easy enough…» Near the end she sounds pleased with the idea.

Claire head tilts a bit as she listens to the others, her eyes narrowing thoughtfully at their words. Keeping at a crouch she moves over closer to the others. There is a small tug of amusement at the corner of her mouth. Of course he wants to take her, better to shield him with. She sighs softly and shifts a bit impatiently on the balls of her feet. «Yeah.. we draw the fire and you all pick them off.» Though her getting back to her feet after dying might freak them out a bit, but hey… it would still do the trick. She reaches up to tug at her new if slightly bloody chest armor, disliking how hot it make her feel… It was nicer without it.

Disquieted by how comfortable everyone seems with the plan and how quickly it was formed, Sanderson gives an anxious nod and folds up her binoculars, clipping them back on her belt before unholstering her pistol. It's not much, and it won't be accurate from this distance, but she can't fire one of the rifles in her condition.

«Alright,» she calls over the comms with a nod, «Allard and I will stay up here as support. Huruma, you do whatever you need to do to use your ability, Gray and Bennet, you're on point. I can see nine men on on the outside of the plane checking the water, I don't know how many more are inside.» Six more, by Gabriel's count. «I'll support you best as I can. Allard, try and do what you did in the village, use the rain and the water to help pick off the guards from a distance. If you can help shield anyone in trouble with the water, that takes priority.»

Breathing in a deep breath, Sanderson flips off the safety on her handgun. «Let's go.»

"Uh huh," Candace says absently as she watches them. "Please put your seats in the upright position, and buckle in. Turn off all electronic devices until we have come to a full and complete stop," she mutters as she waits for Claire and Gabriel to start moving forward. Once they begin the trek upwards, Candy works with the raina nd the water to try and knock some of them nine men into the raging water, and then get a current moving that sweeps them right over the edge of the waterfall. Hopefully their screams turning into a delightly chorus while they fall to their deaths. She can do support, yep.

«Six in the plane. That's where I'm going,» is stated briskly, before Gabriel glances back to Claire. «Don't get shot in that pretty little head of yours.» And with that, he's moving, in that he suddenly transforms in that now familiar swatch of black cloud, pouring over the edge and directly into the churning water that Candy begins to toy with. Agile as anything, he lands upon the submerged hulk of the plane, sidearm in hand when he becomes solid.

Guns are fired, and they apparently pass right through him. No need, or desire, to use Claire as a meatshield this time, he only sneers a grin the soldiers' way, before he promptly disappears through the metal case of the plane to land inside.

The crack of gunshots fired within is instant.

«M'dear, they woul'no'think twice abou'killing us, so let us not attempt piteous courtesy…» Sanderson's moment of disquiet gives Huruma time to form an everyman reasoning for going along with the most practical of plans. Nobody said that they were all saints- perhaps the marines were intended to keep lines drawn, but there is only the lieutenant left with them now, and her words have been lost under Huruma's force more than once as it is.

Huruma slowly lifts herself to her feet and slinks away from the others, fixing her gun to ride her back before meandering in shade along the trees just inside of the jungle; for a short span, Huruma moves onto four limbs to ascend a fallen tree to its peak, eventually coming to a head and what she finds to be a perfectly high spot to crouch. Though the dark woman gives Candy enough time to ready her personal plan, Huruma's sights are set through the branches onto the group of militiamen gathered around the supplies.

Anxiety suddenly spreads out through the visible ranks, upending the already tense nature of their presence at the crashsite. And then, it is Candy's turn to start off, and she does it with enough finesse for the task. Cue Gabriel, set phasing to been there, done that. This is almost too easy- then again, these are likely the poor conscripted bastards. Untrained, largely inept.

Claire slings her pack off her shoulder and sets it near Sanderson. A bit uncomfortable leaving the pack, Claire can't really take it with her for this. The small blonde needs to be able to move easily. "Don't lose this." Claire hisses in a whisper as she leans close to the injured soldier, something in her tone says it's important that it stay with her. One arm is wrapped in the strap of the rifle, securing it some as her hand grips it in both hands.

She may not trust Gabriel, but she knows his plan is a good one. «Not that easy, Gabriel.» She snaps back at him as she starts to move after him, though her journey isn't as easy. As soon as she comes into sight, the petite blonde, who one would not suspect to have any warfare skill, is firing that assault rifle into those men. Thank you, Liz. Is her though as she continues advance on the soldiers. If she goes down… it's only a moment or so before she's on her feet again blasting away.

The gunfire is brief and intense, like any real firefight is. Unlike in the movies, gunfights are horribly brutal and brief things, punctuated by moments of protracted silence while everyone hopes they don't die. This fight lacks the latter, having only a sudden burst of violence as Huruma, Claire and Sanderson pepper the plane with gunfire onto the unsuspecting militia soldiers. Sanderson's aim is still off, given that she's firing with her off hand and one-handed with her pistol, but it at least serves as suppressing fire, keeping the men from being able to do more than fire sporadic bursts of AK-47 fire to the single target they can clearly see — the one who cannot die.

Inside of the fuselage, Gabriel catches the soldiers unprepared for a firefight. The screams the erupt from within that plane carry to the clouded and rainy skies before the interior of the demolished vessel falls silent. When Huruma's shooting takes out the last of the guards outside of the plane, dropping them down into the murky — now slightly coppery looking — river water.

«Alright, we're— » A bullet rips through the canopy from the south, sending Sanderson ducking for cover when it obliterates the tree next to her. Automatic gunfire comes from the direction of the river as a covered motorboat comes humming across the river, three men on board opening fire towards the cliffs. Sanderson drops prone, using the thick trunk of a tree for cover.

«The boat! It's a river patrol! Eliminate the targets on board but do not — I repeat do not — damage the boat, we can use it to cover more ground and stay off the main roads!» Sanderson's scream is barely heard over the sound of the three men shooting from the covered deck of the wooden boat, and they seem equally surprised to find their comrades they left here dead to the last.

Candy ducks herself as some wayward bullets splatter into the leaves above her. "Just another day in paradise," the hydrokinetic says, before she spots the boot. Her eyes brighten, and a feral smile spreads on her lips as she sees it. "Oh, you do not come into /my/ domain. No, you do not," Candy says, as her hands come up, and the side of the river comes up with them. Bringing them down, a wave comes crashing down into the side of the boat, spilling it towards the side. The boat's decking goes horizontal, and they're cries from the men as they find themselves being thrown into the water. The boat edges back into an upright position, not a single man left on the deck. She yells across the river, "DO NOT ENTER MY REALM!" Power trip.

Gabriel emerges from the torn up side of the aircraft once the sound of screams and gunfire within has ceased, blood painting a spatter against one side of his face, although it's quickly being dragged away by streams of water from the constant, misty rain, as well as his own perspiration. Holding up a hand to his ear as Sanderson rattles her commands, he sends a look towards the boat. Holstering his gun, a knife now secured in the other hand, he freely dives into the water, turning into that inky black once more - in that form, he only swims as fast as a human would, but less encumbered and less prone to drowning.

The shadow zeroes in on the flailing men within Candy's river, curling around the closest until black tendrils become arms and legs that lock around a torso, drag downwards, and a knife that punctures a soft belly and sends crimson billowing up to bubbling surface.

Huruma's shooting is more trained than the wild firefights- Sanderson should at least appreciate her not wasting of bullets. It's something she clearly learned a long time ago. Her fire is backup regardless. When fire comes from the south and the river, Huruma hops down from her perch and onto the ground, adjusting the stolen gun against her shoulder to steady it as a line of sight and move back towards where they had came; all the while she keeps the sound and flashing pale of the boat in her vision through the trees, waiting for the inevitable.

Such being Candy's keeping rule over her domain, as it were. The water is hers- Huruma has no disillusions about that fact. Her dark figure obscures some of the treeline as she moves ahead of Sanderson and to the direct edge of the jungle against the dropoff. Her gun trains on the riverwater below where Gabriel now dives- Huruma's face pulls into a pleased expression when he does, and the already murky water turns into a strange shade of rust. Bullets fire again from Huruma's rifle, popping into the surface of the water once the other militia men reach it. She does take care to aim away from Gabriel's last location.

«Soa, soa.»

Picking herself off the ground for a second time, Claire hear the shouts from Sanderson and turns towards the river, rifle raised in time to watch Candy do her thing. Seeing they have it all under control, the blonde takes a moment to look down at her bloody and bullet riddled clothing and sighs. "I should have packed more clothes." Especially, if this ends up a trend and she has to keep hopping out of the bushes going Boo everytime they need a distraction.

Rifle at ready while they take care of the people in the water, Claire does a sweep of the area, stepping over bodies as she goes looking for anyone they missed.

Tranquilizers. Sanderson considers, looking over to Candy, let there be tranquilizers in the med-kit on that plane. Blue eyes flick towards the hydrokinetic, then back to the river ferry as she watches the men swept off into the water. Tension runs through her, until she's certain the boat is fine, raising up her handgun again, trying to get a clear shot at the men in the river— that is until she spots the inky black form moving in the depths, and then the burbling red coming boiling up from the depths. The Lieutenant's eyes go wide in reaction. In all of her military career, she's never worked side-by-side with more than one other Evolved at a time. Seeing how an entire team of them works together is staggering.

Suddenly FRONTLINE makes more sense, and is more unnerving. The waterfall grotto has grown silent in that time to think, with Huruma having cleaned out the stragglers Gabriel's shark-like efficiency did not. Sanderson looks to Claire, watching her for a moment, and then scans down into the grotto. Silence hangs in the air, just the sound of rushing water, the idling motor of the river ferry, and the sound of her own frantic heartbeat.

«Clear.» Sanderson calls out by force of habit, despite no one else here having the same training she did. «We're— » She looks back down to the water, «We're all clear.»

Candy moves along down the bank of the river behind Sanderson and says, "Man, I hope they have some food on that plane, I am /starving/." The hydrokinetic totally didn't just do that, she just wants some food now. Stepping out onto the river, and heading towards the boat while she whistles. Wanting to make sure that the rest of the boat is clear, and to get any standing water out of the place while the rest of them go find breakfast.

When Gabriel flails a hand upwards through the water, towards the side of the boat, and when this doesn't entirely work, he surges out of the water in the shadow form, and comes to solidify on the decks— lying down, spitting water out from his mouth before letting his forehead rest against the damp deck. His clothing is heavy with river water, and he'll be lucky if his electronics withstood it, unless they're designed to. 8(a

He can fix it if not. Maybe. Least of his problems. Exhausted from liberally changing back and forth between bodies, Gabriel drrrags himself up to kneel when he'd rather sleep, wiping his face of water and blood. "It's empty," he announces, to the rest of his team, after a psychic flicker-blink to check. "Everyone is dead."

And then, as opposed to standing, he tips back enough to sit on his ass, arms resting on his knees as he breathes. Plan accomplished.

Huruma joins the others on the low ground with a spooky speed of doing so- she wants in that plane and in that boat as much as the others do. "If they'ad food, it is likely eaten by now, provided it was no'ruined." She starts towards the littering of bodies surrounding the supplies, falling into line to look for what has been scavenged. With one arm still around her gun, she inspects the makeshift supply space from above.

"So she is gone? It does no'look like they took her, in any case…" You know, the bunch of dead guys.

Rifle flung over her shoulder again, Claire moves to crouch at the bodies with out being told to start to rifle through their stuff. Oh if her mom could see her now… Claire would end up in a windowless room and fed food through a slot. This is not the cheerleader from Odessa anymore. She doesn't' even flinch when she reaching into blood soaked clothing of the downed man to pull out a few things.

Wiping the blood on her pants, Claire moves on repeating it all as she searches for anything useful. A glance goes to the boat where Gabriel sets… there is no way she's going admit he had a good plan. It's scary that it worked out so well.

Looking up at the sky as Candy makes her way down to the river, Sanderson furrows her brows and pulls out the SatCom device from her pocket. Following the slope of the hill down, and then over difficult rocks, she makes it to the dry side of the grotto. A furrow of her brows comes as she scans the area, then checks out the SatCom again. "We've got a major stormfront moving through the area according to satellite tracking, weather reports look like it's going to be strong winds and lightning too…" There's a tired sigh from the Lieutenant, eyes up to the truck on the hill. "It's getting dark…" she adds with a worried tone of voice.

"We should see if we can make a camp here on the shore for the night. There should be tents in the plane if they weren't taken already. We can make a camp here, these men…" Sanderson makes a path around the dry edge of the river, looking at one of the floating bodies. "They have different colored scarves than the ones in the village, probably a different militia. Soldiers like this tend to be gone for days at a time, we should be relatively safe if we camp down here and keep a regular watch." Which means someone gets to stay up while everyone else sleeps.

"We can probably use the plane for shelter too if the storm gets bad enough…" There's a look of reluctance on Sanderson's face as she checks the SatCom again. "This storm looks bad…"

Candy nods to Gabriel as she moves over to the railing of the little ferry boat. Her eyes looking at the bodies before she hollers, "I got that." With that, the bodies start making their way towards the waterfall. Decaying bodies smell bad. "Right so… camp here," she mutters, before keying in to the com, «If there is a bad storm coming this way. What are we going to do with the boat? Unless you plan on having me out here making sure the river stays calm… ish, around the boat.»

Huruma is most correct. Eileen isn't here. Eileen isn't anywhere. Gabriel remains where he is, for now, not rushing to get off the boat to the shore and put up tents, build a campfire, pat asses on a job well done. But he does, eventually, get to his feet, power-fatigue obvious as he crosses by Candy with a nod before offering a factually correct, to the rest of the group, "I need to eat and sleep if I want to be remotely functional. I'll take a graveyard shift afterwards."

With that, he hops down onto dry land, heavily, and starts unburdening himself, as well as taking off his comms device with a scowl, inspecting it wearily.

Though Huruma is going over the men and the supplies gathered with Claire, her head tilts up to peer at Sanderson when she suggests making camp on the shore. The woman's eyebrows meet in her forehead, upper lip curling and voice reprimanding. "What do they teach you in th'marines? How t'tie knots and shoot a gun?

"If there is a storm as bad as you say, this is not th'place t'stay. Don't get comfortable." Huruma's mouth snaps shut with a clack of teeth at Gabriel unburdening, hands now gathering together as much as she can into the emptied out packs lying strewn; somehow she trusts Claire to follow suit and get down to business with that as well. "We can tie th'boat down here, but w'need to go back int'th'jungle. As soon as possible."

Gabriel's nose wrinkles at Huruma's words, but he doesn't disputing it. He gathers his things back up once more, and— well. He shifts back into shadow, and quite abruptly, disappears into Sanderson's backpack with a slithering squirm, completely without weight or true mass. And there he stays, apparently determined to get some form of sleep - even in a shadow-phased form.

"Oh joy… More rain, just what we needed." Claire offers blandly as she finally moves to join the merry band, wiping blood from the final corpse on her pant leg. She looks a sight with her hole filled shirt stained with large patches of red blood. Watching Gabriel for a moment, "I can take first watch if need be." Claire might get tired, but she doesn't get as tired as quickly.

Huruma's words catch the tiny blonde attention and she frowns a bit, but she does move to help gather things into a pack Huruma has available. The woman does seem to know her stuff about the area, Claire can't dispute that.

Looking over to Huruma, Sanderson narrows her eyes and looks back into the forest. There's a scowl of an expression that comes. «No. No way, we've got three rock walls and one opening here, there's only one direction we can really be ambushed from. If we hiky back into that jungle, we're leaving ourselves open. Maybe if I had more people like you, but with the team I have, we'll make due here. I'm less worried about the storm and more worried about being wrong about the militia.»

Rubbing her forehead with one hand, Sanderson looks mostly to be arguing the point out of sheer fatigue. «We're camping here, making the best of here. If— » Gabriel then makes his squid-ink emergence into Sanderson's backpack, causing the Marine to stagger to one side in confusion, hesitate in silence, then look back to Huruma. «We're staying. We pilot it the ferry into the grotto, the cliffs should protect it from the wind Ideally I'd like to use that for travel, the Panantsova Bay…» She motions to the murky brownish-yellow river water, «…will lead us to the Ankofia river, which goes almost all the way to Mandritsara, where we're scheduled to meet the MLF. We can worry about the case once it pops back up on my SatCom. But until this storm clears, I'm not going to be able to use this much anyway…»

"Bennet, I don't know if regenerators need to sleep, but you're on first watch with Huruma. Allard and I will take second, and Gray you're on your own for last watch, but I think you'll be fine." Crunching down the loose rock shore of the grotto, Sanderson's eyes alight to the truck. "Probably want to salvage whatever they've got up there come morning, round up what guns and ammunition wasn't made worthless from the water." She settles down on the shoreline, taking a moment to catch her breath and sit for the first time all day. She's not budging from this spot — not anymore. Marine stubbornness.

Candy looks at Sanderson from the boat and says, "I'm going to stick to the boat, I think. That way I won't drown, and can keep track of the boat. Wake me when its my turn to watch," Candy adds, as she finds a nice place to curl up on the boat, and works on passing out.

"I knew I should'ave left you on th'plane, girl." Huruma snaps back, not so much tired as truly irritated out of pride for her survival skills. "Per'aps it is not too late t'take that back." Her voice growls out of the impending dusk, white eyes narrowed on Sanderson as the last zipper on the pack is yanked shut.

But to her credit, Huruma will end up sticking around; not to mention staying up and pulling her shift along with Claire Bennet. That should be …interesting.

"Yes, ma'am." Claire offers in the form of a mumble to Sanderson's orders. "And yes, I do need sleep… just not as much." After watching the marine stalk away, a glance goes to the cranky amazonian woman, as she finishes zipping up the pack she was filling up. It'll be an interesting night indeed, but at least she doesn't have to pull shift with Gabriel.. Yay for small miracles.

Staring up at Huruma wide-eyed and tense, the way someone might be around a large and unfamiliar predatory animal, Sanderson stays her ground on the shore not out of any misguided sense of bravery, but simple exhaustion. Once it's clear Huruma isn't going to tear her throat out, she starts carefully and delicately unshouldering her backpack, about to unzip it before hesitating and wincing.

"Actually… Bennet?" She looks from her pack to Claire. "Can— I borrow one of your MREs?" There's a tense furrow of her brow.

"Gray's sleeping in mine."

Sanderson's Travel Log

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