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Log Title: Once Upon A Joe In The West Part 2

Characters: Baroness, General Hawk, Katie, Kilroy, Major Bludd, Over Kill, Tele-Viper 742, Temera

Location: Woods, 1848

Date: 11 August, 2007/March 4th, 1848

TP: Gold Rush TP

Woods, 1848

A light dusting of snow has fallen during the night, the morning still and chilly as the sun just begins to peek over the treetops. What's left of the wagon served well as shelter for the wayward travelers, and the remnants of several campfires send wisps of smoke into the air as their last embers burn.


Hawk stands from his sleeping area, stretching as he tosses aside the piece of tent fabric from the wagon he had been using as a blanket, and heads back to the remnants of the wagon. Within stand the old wooden trunks, and he looks through their contents. The travelers are in luck, for they contain the clothing the family had brought with them. Hawk divides them by size and gender, offering them to each member of the group as they begin to awaken. "I strongly recommend we change into these clothes. Our uniforms are going to attract a lot of attention, and that's something we do not need right now. I also recommend we choose names for ourselves, as our various ranks and names may confuse anyone we meet." Choosing a likely set of jeans, a white/red/brown flannel button down shirt, and boots Hawk goes to change into them.


Pennington unhappily looks over the clothes she's given. They look to be about her size, so she can't very well argue the point. Trying not to think of the lice and other bug-sized vermin making their cozy home within the used clothing, she wanders off into the nearby snowy woods to get a bit of privacy while changing.


Temera has stayed in the camp, quiet in the blanket. She's stopped shivering, though. Which could either be a bad sign or a good sign. She starts waking up after a while, peering around and starting to slip out of the blanket some, trying to get herself better acclimated to the climate. She looks around and frowns at some of the clothes, raising her eyebrows slightly at them and peering in distaste.


Baroness peers at the clothing some as well, considering some of it, and trying to find something in her size. Not too difficult, for her. Nope.


Kilroy nods "Right. Well it figures we'll be left with wooly britches." he says. "Gonna take some gettin' used to itchy underwear." h e tries to make light of the situation. "I'm gonna go change." He grabs some clothes that look like the right size and goes someplace private to change.


Sometime during the night, Bludd awakened from his sitting position, and, grumbling to himself about neck pain, curled up in the blanket mysteriously placed over his shoulders. In the morning he casts off the blanket and gazes around at his impromptu compatriots in the midst of wandering away from camp to dress in local garb. "I'm not going to enjoy this," he mutters, "I can tell already." He accepts a set of clothing from Hawk and follows the herd. "Shoulda hit that brandy harder..."


Katie pokes through the woods. She didn't land with the group, so didnd't initially find them. She peers around at everything and starts working her way towards the nearest location with a burning fire. Assuming it a campsite, she nods just slightly and slips for it, to see where and what might be going on.


Over Kill finds some tiny clothes that look like they might fit her. She scowls a bit. "This is embarassing. I'm shorter then that Joe pilot." she smiles a bit as she finds a scarf. "First things first. I'm going to go out and find my laptop and my girl. After I put some clothes on. This body is so short."


Sometime after the clothes are handed out, Pennington returns to camp. She thought it was strange that she'd been handed a married woman's conservative garb...until it occurred to her that had she lived in this century, she probably would have been married for nearly 10 years already at her 'advanced' age of 24. People had shorter life spans, they tended to live in a hurry in comparison to their future counterparts. (There's so much to remember...how on earth are we going to survive in this primitive era?) She spots Hawk on her way back, blushes, and looks away, feeling foolish in the elaborate getup.


General Hawk comes around the wagon, dressed in his set of clothes. "Not too bad. Fairly warm, should help ward off the cold." he says, looking over at Over Kill, raising an eyeridge at his.. er... her.. form. "If it's around here, it's a useless lump of plastic now." he says, turning to look down into the valley where Snake-Eyes scouted ahead. "With that number of chimneys, there's likely a settlement out there. Perhaps we might get a chance to discover where we are, now that we have a rough idea of when."


Major Bludd returns to camp, frowning and scratching at his scalp. "I suppose it could be worse," he grumbles as he approaches Hawk. He glances toward the smoke in the distance. "You reckon we should go have a look-see?" he asks, indicating the area with a jerk of his head.


Temera just... keeps looking around, frowning and considering the clothes, trying to see if she can fit something at least on over her current clothes. She doesn't want to lose her own clothes. She then looks at them, at herself, and shakes her head slightly. She bites her lip, and considers her current clothes, shrugging just a little bit and not trying too hard to cover what she's wearing.


GAME: Kilroy FAILS an INTELLIGENCE roll of Average difficulty.


Katie slips closer to the group at large, for a moment, then looks down towards the settlement. She ponders for a moment, walking towards the ones she /knows/ are Joes, frowning just a little as she approaches them, frowning hard at the wagon. She peers around it, and shakes her head very slightly, glancing around a little.


Kilroy considers something for a moment. "So what year do ya figure this is anyways?" He says, coming back with his clothes on. "Ya think I should stay back here and guard the camp? It might not be safe for me to go inta' town without one of you guys with me. I don't got papers an' all. I mean if someone asks if I'm a free man, I can't prove it."


General Hawk nods. "We're going to have to eventually. We have no food, no water. Without a source of rations, we're not going to last long, especially in this weather." he says, looking back down the hill. "We must be careful, and not raise suspicions." he looks back to Kilroy, and nods. "A good point. I hate to ask it of you, but if it comes down to it, you may have to pose as a.. well.. a slave." he says with a sympathetic look on his face, turning back to Bludd. "We should keep the initial group small."


"Maybe we should all go as one group...if not, we risk losing someone, we don't even have a map and it's still snowing," Pennington suggests.


Temera frowns just a little at that. "If people stay behind, I should probably be one of them as well. I won't be appreciated a whole lot more... Probably get called a one girl war party by someone thinking they're either funny or being overzealous."


Major Bludd gazes around the assembled group. "Where's the medic?" he asks suddenly. "Where's Steen?"


General Hawk looks around, raising an eyeridge. "I don't know... he was with us last night.." He looks to Temera, "Did you see him leave during the night?"


Over Kill considers "Food and supplies would be difficult to obtain. Does anyone have local currency or will we have to obtain occupations. I could scout ahead for things that are salvagable, things that people may wish to part with in town.."


Kilroy pauses. " I'm not sure.. and I'm willin' to pass as a slave as well. Whoever wants to own me can, I guess. I don't take offense, really. I am what I am in this time period ya know." He looks around "I Hope he didn't go too far in this weather.."


Pennington smiles, as she catches sight of Over Kill. "Oh man, what happened to you?" she hcuckles. "Revisiting the childhood you never had?"


Over Kill bliknks. "Childhood? What's that? I thought the synthoid shrunk."


Major Bludd turns to look at the child. As Pennington and Over Kill discuss the matter, his mouth drops open in surprise. "Over Kill?" he says incredulously.


Katie steps closer to the rest of the group then, frowning as she listens, and looking around, considering all of it. She then /blinks/ as OVer Kill is identified, shaking her head just slightly and looking around at others. "Did I come at a bad time?"


Over Kill nods "Yes?" she says "That's me." Her voice is higher then before. She pulls her scarf a bit closer "This outfit is freezing."


General Hawk frowns. "I hope he didn't go wandering off by himself..." he mutters. "We'll have to keep an eye out for him, and Snake-Eyes as well, although I know Snake-Eyes is fully capable of looking out for himself." He looks back to Pennington, grinning a bit. "The idea is sound, but you also have to realize that a large group just waltzing into town on foot is going to raise a lot of eyes. A few homesteaders, coming into town to buy supplies, is far more believeable." He walks back over to the wagon, and after a bit of digging, brings out a small box, on which the lock has been physically broken. "It appears that Jeb Carpenter brought his savings with him, but there's not much. They must have spent everything they had on this wagon, bound for a new life." He pulls out just a few dollar coins and smaller change. "It may be enough to get us food to last us, the rest we may have to barter for."


Kilroy murmurs "We'll need names.." He says, trying not to snicker. "Aww. Little ginger nut. She's cute. Looks like her momma." he can't help himself. "Anyways...yeah man.. we'll have to find us some jobs won't we.."


Major Bludd walks over and bends to pick up the journal he'd forgotten he'd laid down last night. "Speaking of whom, might be something noteworthy in here," he says, running a hand over the book's cover. He flips it open and begins to peruse it, looking up occasionally as he listens to the conversation around him.

Pennington nods to Hawk, and glances at the shivering, diminuitive Over Kill. In a remarkably tender gesture, she locates a nearby unused blanket, and drapes it around the child. "You know...the Joe has a point," she says, glancing at Kilroy momentarily. "You can't be headstrong and independent in this body, Over Kill. Children have parents as guardians of their actions. Since it seems feasible...I'll pose as your mother."


Baroness listens quietly to the conversations, peering around at some of them. "Vork as vhat? That is the question. It vill take observation and time to figure out exactly how things vere being done, in this time. And if ve deviate from that, ve vill fall under suspicion, or lose jobs, depending." She just... chuckles at Pennington, shaking her head at the view of Over Kill.


General Hawk nods to the Baroness. "I've got fairly decent grasp of American history to give us some pointers. However, we'll need a source of income. Even if we can just get some tools, then we can build anything else we need." He looks to Bludd, nodding as he begins to pour through the diary. "Maybe we can find out exactly what happened to them."


Over Kill glares a bit at the ginger nut comment, but takes the blanket gratefully. "Hmm. Very well. I'll accept that. Mom." she says dryly. "I'd research how this works, but. No internet access."


Katie just listens quietly for now, slipping closer to Hawk and frowning just a little bit. She glances around as she considers building things, looking around for trees and whatnot. "In this time...." She sighs at the implications. "Another thing to consider is where, realize... If this is as far back as I'm guessing from the apparel and wagon, people are territorial enough to shoot first if someone is setting up on their property, in this kind of area. So anything built will have to find somewhere unoccupied, if done."


Major Bludd pretends he didn't hear Pennington offering to pose as Over Kill's mother, focusing instead on the journal. "Looks like the Carpenters had some bad luck," he says, glancing at the torn-down wagon. "Wagon broke down, bad snowstorm, they decided to hoof it," he continues, flipping the pages to the relevant entries as he speaks.


General Hawk nods to Bludd. "That explains why it was left here with everything in it. They couldn't have taken it with them. It's likely their animals died as well, if they had to leave on foot."


General Hawk nods to Katie, looking up from Bludd. "Agreed... this is frontier land, lightly settled, and definitely little in the way of law. We'll have to be very careful."


Over Kill hmms "Would there be natural predators then? Things that would be looking for their carcasses? Things that could destroy us in an instant that we would be unprepared for? Perhaps the family would have ways to protect themselves that we wouldn't. Maybe we need to check the bodies. If there's bodies." a 4 year body scavenger. Nice.


Temera shakes her head at Over. "For all we know, they made it out on foot, and just haven't been back for the wagon, or simply couldn't find it later. Or didn't want to look in the winter."


Major Bludd closes the journal and tucks it under his arm. "So what's the plan?" he asks, gazing again at the smoke in the distance. "If that is a settlement of some kind, someone needs to check it out." He looks at Hawk. "Who's going?"


Baroness hmms just a little, peeking around and considering. "If there /are/ natural predators, those of us who can vight hand to hand vill have to simply keep watching for them."


Over Kill scowls. "I can always handle a confrontation" yeah. Right.


General Hawk turns to look at Bludd. "I plan to go. Any others who want to come, I'm open to volunteers, but I want to keep it to six or less. At the very least, I want to get a glance at a newspaper."


Katie glances down at Over Kill and rolls her eyes. "Somehow, I doubt you've been confronted, in the condition you're in." She glances to Hawk and considers, folding her coat inside out and putting it back on, zipping it up and hiding her hat. "Suppose I should hide my hat, probably my coat as well." She considers


Kilroy murmurs "I might draw unnecessary attention. You might need me to guard camp..and keep an eye on things here." he looks to the settlement a bit with a frown "Good luck out there guys. You'll need it."


"I'm going," Bludd states. He looks over his fellow Cobras with a smirk, but makes no further comment.


Baroness coughs very slightly, adjusting her voice to sound more 'east coast aristocrat', as a disguise artist and intel agent really needs to do. She's done it plenty of times. "I will come along, certainly... Unless there are objections to it..."


Over Kill scowls. "No, I haven't but.. I can take care of myself. I've never needed humans to support me before." she moves to stand. "As a matter of fact, I could come along. Scout ahead. I'm tiny. I'll scout ahead and relay back what I see if needed." she offers.


Major Bludd grins at Over Kill. "You'll find you'll be treated in a manner quite unlike anything you've experienced so far, Over Kill." He glances at Pennington. "And if you're posing as," he coughs, "mother and child, if you're found wandering about without your parent, you could get yourself and ... others ... into trouble with the law." He glances to Hawk. "And right now that's the last thing we need."


General Hawk nods. "Agreed. It's best that she remain here, until we're more familiar with where we are." He then looks towards the smoke beyond. "It's high time we found that out." Adjusting his hat, he heads into the woods.


Over Kill considers "Allright. Until I have researched this form I will stay put." she moves back to the camp, curling up in her blanket. "Contact me if I am needed." with that she simply turns to watch the snow on the horizon.


Major Bludd glances at Over Kill, surprised the former cyborg didn't put up a fight. He shrugs and heads off after Hawk.


Baroness moves to follow alogn since she's dressed up, peering around slightly at the others, and frowning just a little at the recon mission.


Katie digs for a shirt or jacket or such from the wagon, herself. She figures her jeans look all right. Little does she know... She tosses the closest sized button-up shirt she can find on, and adjusts it some, to hide the t-shirt, and tosses her hair back out and finds a coat.


Over Kill is actually behaving. Maybe that's because she's even more confused in this body then she was in the synthoid. She lowers her cap over her face and seems to tune out the world as much as possible, curling herself under that blanket. She's oddly silent.


Temera frowns at the camp, watching outward for any predators or any other potential 'problem' that might head towards it. She closes her eyes, breathing through her mouth softly as she's turned towards the area at large.


The hike to the town takes several hours, the distance having been deceptive. The woods empty out onto a narrow dirt trail that leads towards a frontier town up ahead. A crude sign hammered into the ground around the 'city limits' has the word 'COLOMA' painted on it. Beyond, is a town with a pair of streets. One has a hotel, with a sign of 'GREEN PASTURES' above it, a saloon, a blacksmith, and a general store. The other street has mainly tents, shacks, and a couple decently built homes. The population doesn't look extensive, perhaps in the neighborhood of only a 100. Waving in the breeze is the American flag, sporting 29 stars, flying from a flagpole in front of the hotel.


Major Bludd pauses on the threshhold of the little town. "Coloma," he reads from the sign. "That name mean anything to any of you?"


General Hawk thinks. "Coloma... that does sound familiar.. but where..." he trails off, until he looks down the street, and spots another sign on a large building along the river the town is built beside. "Sutter's Mill..." he says, with a bit of awe in his voice. "1848.... Dear Lord... "


Baroness shakes her head just a litle bit and considers the sign, and the surroundings. "Means nothing to me at leas..." She blinks a little at Hawk. "If you're right...." She frowns and looks around. "Depending on the exact date, this could get really messy, really quickly."


GAME: Major Bludd FAILS an INTELLIGENCE roll of High difficulty.


Major Bludd wasn't taught a lot of American history at school, but he has the sneaking suspicion the name "Sutter's Mill" ought to mean something to him. "What?" he asks, frowning, annoyed he isn't making a connection the Baroness obviously is. "What's 'Sutter's Mill'?"


General Hawk turns to look at the small group with him. "In January, 1848, James Marshall, an employee at Sutter's Mill owned by John Sutter, discovered gold in the water feeding the mill. Two months later, the rumors began about the discovery, and the Gold Rush as we know it begins. If so, yes, this could get messy. Best to stay out of it if we can. For now, let's do what we came to do, and see if we can get a better idea of when."


Baroness nods just a little bit at that. "If the rush is on, more people would mean easier to hide ourselves, but it could also mean more danger of exposure if something goes wrong, for certain." She nods to Hawk.


General Hawk nods, looking back at the town. "However, it isn't... This certainly isn't bustling with people as if the rush was on. The rumors haven't started yet. If we can find out a date, then we'll have a better idea of when that will happen."


Major Bludd makes a quiet noise of interest. "I thought the gold rush didn't start until later," he comments. "But I could be thinking of the Australian Gold Rush." He shrugs. "Let's go see what we can find out, eh?"


Baroness nods just a little bit at that, considering it quietly. "If it does catch us here, though, we will have to consider who might be most dangerous in terms of potentially exposing us, too."


General Hawk nods. "The rush actually begin in 1848... it was well underway by 1849. You have to remember that in these days, trips across the country took months by land or sea. No canal to shorten the trip, no motorized vehicles, no planes. Horses, wagons, or your own two feet. Once the rumors got started, it took nearly a year before everyone was here." he says, looking towards the town. "Best to... eh.. slip into character now." he says, as he begins to walk into town.


Major Bludd gives the Baroness a resigned look and follows after Hawk, into town.


Baroness nods just a little to Hawk, trying to stay in character already, moving towards him just a bit. She glances around the town, trying to make it look like she knows exactly where they're going, considering the people.


General Hawk heads towards the street containing the general store, stepping up onto the wooden 'sidewalk' that runs along the front of the buildings. The 'thump' of his boots on the wooden planks makes him grin a bit. He offers smiles to everyone he passes, along with a slight tip of the brim of his hat to the ladies. "Mornin' y'all." he says to a couple that walks past.


Major Bludd follows along behind Hawk at a slight distance, glancing about but not making any particular attempt to be either friendly or unfriendly. He takes in his surroundings attentively.


Baroness follows as well, glancing towards the people Hawk talks to and smiling at them, considering them quietly. She tries to look as friendly as possible as she takes surroundings in, and figures out how she would disable any given person on the street should they cause a 'problem'.


General Hawk heads towards the general store, but before he gets there, he passes a newspaper office. Tacked to the bulletin board outside is a copy of the day's paper. As casually as possible, he steps up to read it, making certain to get a glance at the date printed at the top: March 4th, 1848. He glances to his companions before looking back at the various headlines on the paper. Nothing especially out of the ordinary, just local interest news.


Major Bludd steps up behind Hawk and peers at the newspaper. He leans an arm against the wall of the office, skimming the other articles but glancing occasionally at the passersby in the street.


Baroness keeps herself next to Hawk,frowning at the board in the office, considering that. "Hmm..." She tries to act totally interested in the paper as well, though glances around once in a while, thinking that something might go bad any moment. But that's just a mature of a suspicious nature.


General Hawk takes another glance at the paper, then continues on towards the General Store, attempting to look like he just wanted to get the latest gossip before getting down to business. Opening the door to the General Store, their arrival is announced by the tinkling of bells hung next to the door. The shopkeeper looks up, an elderly gentleman in an apron, and greets them. "Mornin' folks. Just got opened up so I'm kinda busy, but feel free to look around, and call me if you need anything." he says with a smile, and Hawk nods with a smile of his own as the shopkeeper gets back to some paperwork, writing various totals into a heavy bound ledger.


Major Bludd enters the store after Hawk and moves off to one side, nodding to the shopkeeper as he does so. He looks around at the various items the shop has for sale, calculating in his mind what they might need and what's available... and for what price. A few dollars are likely to get them a lot farther in the 1800s than in the 21st century, but it's still not much money.


Baroness moves into the store as well, behind the two 'men'. She glances around after calming herself from the bells, and keeps looking up and down the shelves, raising her eyebrows and considering the products. She looks them over slightly and smiles just a little bit, looking up at Hawk and letting him do the talking. Not proper for a lady to say a word, in this time period, after all.



General Hawk goes over to the food stuffs, and looks over several small barrels of salted beef. He mutters quietly to his companions. "This would supply us with food for a while. They're small enough that the two of us can carry them." he says, with a nod to Bludd. "Water we can get from the river we followed in." He too does some rough calculation. A couple dollars should get them the meat.


Major Bludd comes over to Hawk. "Artemis is doing a fine job of hunting for our food," he says quietly, with a glance to the shopkeep, who appears not to be paying any attention to the group. "And I doubt Steen, wherever he's got to, would partake of anything that used to walk around, from his outbursts last night."


General Hawk nods, frowning slightly. "Good point. If Artemis can hunt enough to keep us all fed, then perhaps we can use this money for better things." he says, putting a hand to his chin as he thinks. "It's not nearly enough to purchase a new wagon, but it may be enough to fix the one we have, and purchase a pair of animals to pull it. I'm sure this store sells the supplies we would need, and there are tools in the wagon. although they are a bit worn. I believe the main frame of the wagon is still intact."



Baroness listens quietly to Hawk, nodding to the Major's comment, and considering it. "If we have the tools for fixing it, we should be able to build oter things as well. And how good of an animal you think we'll get?" She ponders just a little bit.


General Hawk thinks. "I'd say mules, it'd be the cheapest thing. Horses or oxen are out of the question, they're too expensive." he says, looking at the small stack of coins. "We have at most ten dollars. The wagon wheel and axle will likely come to about 4, that leaves 6 to get a pair of animals."


Major Bludd rubs the back of his neck. "Tools might be the more important items ... did you check the condition of the ones in the wagon, Hawk? Are they useable, or should we look into getting newer replacements?"



General Hawk looks to Bludd. "With a little sharpening, they could be back in working order." he says. "I believe that we can get it fixed and at least have transportation. Then we can establish a more permanent camp site, and get jobs. Sutter's is one place, but I believe there is another mill near by, run by a man named Jenkins. Would be better to get work there, and avoid Sutter's to help minimize exposure to the events that are about to take place." His voice lowers. "The discovery is already made, but Sutter is keeping it a secret because he doesn't want his plans for agriculture in the area to get ruined. However, the word is supposed to leak in two weeks from now."


Major Bludd nods. "So what d'we need here?" he asks. "Shall we save our pennies for a rainy ... er, snowy day, then?"



Baroness listens quietly about the tools, nodding just a little and pondering it. She glances around just a little, considering the situation. "Were there any weapons in the wagon? I'm assuming not. It would certainly help if we had one or more, at least for use in getting enough food without recourse to t he store."



General Hawk shakes his head. "Likely the Carpenters took them with them when they set off. If we get employment, we can begin to afford such items. Until then, we have to make do. I say we get the parts we need, repair the wagon, and find a place to set up permanently. Then tommorrow, we will approach the Jenkins mill to get work."


"Well, let's do that, then," Bludd says, glancing to the other two. "Sounds like a fine plan to me, Hawk."



Baroness nods a little to Hawk. "You mean you two will. They won't let a woman work at such a place, not in this point and time. If any of the women work, it'll need to be in some other way."


General Hawk nods to the Baroness. "Ah, yes.. that is true. Still, two incomes are better than nothing." he says, making a mental list of the parts they're going to need, and walks through the store towards the shopkeeper. "Let's get what we need and get back to camp."



Major Bludd grunts, nodding at the Baroness' comment. "It'd be three if we could find bloody Steen," he grumbles.



Baroness nods quickly to Bludd. "True enough. Where /is/ he, anyway?" She glances to Hawk. "I didn't see him since I got up. If he's gotten lost or had trouble..."



The shopkeeper looks up as Hawk approaches. "Can I help you folks find anything today?" he asks with a smile. Hawk nods with a smile. "Yes, we'd like to get one wagon wheel, a replacement axle, and a box of nails. Also, could you direct us to a place where we can purchase mules? We've just arrived and we're not too familiar with the town."


The shopkeeper writes up the order real quick, and sends his stock-boy out back to fetch the parts. "If you're lookin' for mules, ol' Frank up at the livery stable should have some for ya." Calculating a bit, he writes a total on the slip and looks up to Hawk. "That'll be 4 dollars please." Hawk pulls four dollar coins from his pocket, and hands them to the shopkeeper, who place them into a drawer. "Thank y'all kindly." At that moment, the stock boy returns with the wheel and axle, offering them up to Bludd.


Hawk nods to the shopkeeper. "And thanks to you as well, have a good day." Hawk says to the man as he turns around. "I'm sure he'll turn up, if not, we'll have to look for him as best we can. We'd best get to the livery stable."



Major Bludd accepts the wheel and the axle from the stockboy, frowning somewhat but managing at length to flick the boy a smile. He fidgets with the items, trying to work out how best to comfortably carry them.


General Hawk picks up one end of the axle and gets it onto his shoulder, and motions for Bludd to get the other half. He takes the wagon wheel over the other shoulder, and begins to head out the door.


Baroness watches the shop work quietly, raising her eyebrows and following the group along out the door. "The livery stable, right." she ponders just a little, following along, assuming one of the others knows where that is.



Major Bludd follows Hawk out the door, adjusting his pace and watching his surroundings - and the location of the Baroness - so he doesn't hit anything with the unwieldy wagon axle. "Where's the livery stable, then?" he asks Hawk's back.



General Hawk looks back to Bludd with a grin on his face. "Follow the smell." He takes a deep whiff, looks down the street, and heads for a likely cluster of buildings near the blacksmith's shop. When they get there, he spots the building with the 'LIVERY' sign swinging in the breeze. Carefully setting down his end of the axle, he looks to them. "I'll head in and take care of business. Best if you watch our belongings." Opening up the door within a door on the barn like building, he steps inside.



"Charming," snorts Bludd. He sets down his end of the axle as Hawk sets down the front and dusts his hands off on his trousers. "Right," he says, watching Hawk disappear into the building, "we'll just ... stay here, then." He frowns, looking toward the Baroness and rolling his eyes.


Baroness glances over to Bludd and laughs just a bit. "Be glad of it, actually." she shrugs just a little and watches the stuff. "At least this way we avoid the... end products of things in the stable. Which is another thing to watch for if we're off the sidewalks."


Major Bludd snickers. "Yeah, watch yer step."


Baroness nods just a little to Bludd and grins. "Wonder how much Hawk will have on his boots, when he comes out of there. At least /some/ almost certainly."



General Hawk emerges several minutes later, with a length of rope over one shoulder and leading a pair of mules by a rope. "They aren't pretty, but they'll do the job. Let's lash that axle to one of them and the wheel to the other, and save our backs." he says, picking up one end of the axle and getting ready to set it across the back of one of the mules. And yes, his boots have a good coating of Eau de Product Of South Bound End Of North Bound Mule.


Major Bludd lifts the other end of the axle and helps Hawk lash it to the mule's back. "Best idea I've heard all day," he comments. Once the axle's secured, he picks up the wheel, moving toward the second mule.



Baroness glances down at Hawk's boots, nodding just a little at that and checking the strappings on the mules, for the stuff. "Hmm..." She considers. "Need somewhere to clean off any boots needing it as well, of course." She grins and glances to Bludd, rolling her eyes. "Told you so..."



General Hawk helps Bludd get the wagon wheel lashed to the second mule, and holds onto the box of nails as he grabs the lead rope and sets off down the street. Glancing at his boots, he looks to the two of them and mutters. "Watch your step... "


Major Bludd walks around to the side of the pair of mules, chuckling to himself at the ridiculousness of the situation.

(To be continued...)

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