Log Title: Once Upon A Joe In The West Part III
Location: Woods, 1848
Date: 12 August, 2007/March 5th, 1848
TP: Gold Rush TP
Summary: Due to a time anomaly, the Joes and Cobra are stuck in 1848.
Artemis sits near the remains of the lunch fire, idly nibbling on some Deer Steak. She seems off in her own world, and a slightly dreamy smile is on her face. An odd sight for any Joes that might see her, and likely for most of the Cobras, as well.
General Hawk meanwhile is working on repairs to the wagon, having made progress since their return. The wagon is up on a series of logs for blocks, the axle has been fitted in place, all that remains is to fit the wheel. Hawk carefully examines the hole in the axle for the cotter pin, making sure it's still in good shape to hold up to the rigors of the wheel turning.
Pennington has created a few essential areas around the camp for sanitation's sake: the cooking/prep area; the 'dishwashing tray' made from sturdy wooden sticks which makes it relatively easy to lug the pots and pans down to the river; and the wooden hamper for cleaning clothes. Let the men dig out a latrine, she isn't *that* handy. Currently, she's quietly seated near the campfire, mending someone's torn coat by hand.
Over Kill wakes up late in the afternoon after a nap. She'd been playing most of the morning if you call it that. She was patrolling the outskirts of the camp, looking for the people who had gone after lifeline or the people who had gone out to town. Her patrols start to turn into a little game. She starts to skip, dragging her blanket behind her like a security blanket. She seems to be falling right into the role of child, singing a song softly to herself. Something about sailors and a ship coming in, and fathers coming home.
Determining that Hawk doesn't need his help repairing the wagon for now, Bludd makes his way over to Pennington. He crouches beside her. "Howzit?" he says quietly, watching her work with the needle.
Artemis doesn't watch the camp goings-on. She does however, snap out of her daydream, and finishes eating quickly. Her jacket is pulled closed and buttoned up, and laying next to her, is the remains of a ripped shirt, where all the buttons seem to be missing. Once she finishes eating, she pulls out a set of Deer antlers from her pack, and her knife, and starts working on carving new buttons from the Antlers. She aks, off handedly, "Anyone have a whetstone? My knife is getting dull from all this carving, and I seem to have lost mine. One of the Joes probably stole it."
"I don't have anything like that," Pennington admits to Artemis. "Are they difficult to find in the woods? There's all kinds of stones we could probably use for different purposes." She keeps an eye on Over Kill.
General Hawk heaves up the wheel and maneuvers it over the axle, flushing it against the wagon as he catches Artemis comment. Frowning slightly, he looks back towards her. "Highly unlikely. However, there may be one in this toolbox. You're welcome to look." he says, as he grabs a mallet from said box and proceeds to whack the cotter pin into place.
Over Kill looks up from her game and runs as fast as her little toddler legs can over to her mom's side. "They're back!" she grabs onto Pennington's skirts for a moment and smiles brightly. "I'm glad. Mistah steen's still gone. Some locals kidnapped him.." she looks worried.
Major Bludd frowns. "I've time-travelled back to 1848," he says, "have I become invisible as well?"
Artemis smirks at Bludd's comment, and says simply, "Major, we just figured you were being rhetorical... Men in the 1840's tend not to pay attention to women." She rolls her eyes, "Although, I swear I saw that Joe's eyes bug out..." She shakes her head, than says to Heather, "Hard to find flat, smooth Stones Naturally... but perhaps down by the river, I hear mention of." She ignore's Hawk's comment, cause, well, she is going to blame G.I. Joe for everything.
Over Kill gives a polite courtsey "Hello sir. Welcome home." she says softly, with a emotionless tone and leaves the area. Children are meant to be seen, greeted and then scurried off to places where the men dont have to deal with them. Especially little girls. She moves to greet the general too with the same courtsey. Greet all the returning men. Maybe offer them some meat. "We gots deer at the table. It's warm, sirs." she then goes to get out of people's hair.
Pennington glances over, looking a bit startled at the Major. "When did you get back?? -- Maybe I missed it, I've been back and forth from the river with chores...I'm sorry..." She reaches over to scritch Over Kill's head before she skitters away once again. "Listen, I wanted to talk to you...I thought up a plan of sorts."
Major Bludd gently lays a hand on Pennington's arm, smiling. "'Salright. What's this about a plan?"
Over Kill pauses, and looks up at Pennington. "Hmm a plan is it?" she says distantly. "What did you have in mind, momma?" she says softly. Her eyes don't look very focused at the moment.
Artemis glances at Heather, than shrugs slightly, "A Plan? Does it involve waiting until the Joes are sleeping, killing them all, and than taking over the world? Cause you know... I almost like that idea..." She sighs, "Not of course, that I would do so, without the Major's approval...."
Over Kill holds her head a bit. "Yes..killing Joes. Not a child, really. Thanks, Artemis." she says softly. Whatever that means.
Major Bludd glares at Artemis. "Settle down, *Corporal*," he growls.
"Well, I'm not sure how well this is going to work, but honestly, I think it might be our best bet, especially if we have to interact with the people in that town or other townships." Pennington explains. "Unfortunately, this plan has more to do with survival in this era than with returning back to our own time, because none of us are certain that the latter is even possible." Artemis and her comment makes her smirk slightly. "Our hand is forced out here, in this survival situation, to cooperate with them for the time being, so unless we get some sort of upper hand, it would be foolish to do such a thing. With all due respect."
Artemis sighs dramatically, ands shuts up. She goes back to carving her new buttons.
Major Bludd sits down beside Pennington and draws his knees up to his chest. He gazes at her expectantly. "I'm all ears."
General Hawk gets the cotter pin knocked tightly into place, and tests the rotation of the wheel. "That should hold up for a while, at least." he says, replacing the mallet in the toolbox. As he stands, he catches Artemis' comment, frowning slightly as he turns to look at her and Bludd. He chooses for now not to say anything, since Bludd is handling it.
Over Kill tilts her head. "As am I. I'm always willing to listen." she curls her knees up, and gives Pennington her utmost attention.
"Anyhow...Hawk's idea to choose alias identities is sound. I was thinking we might be able to pass as a travelling family unit. Extended families stuck together in these transitory times. Now before you guys complain, please hear me out." Pennington gestures toward Hawk. "He could be a father. Possibly: my father. Baroness could pose as the matriarch." She gestures toward Artemis. "You and I are sisters." Turning toward Bludd, she remarks, "You're my husband, an Australian gold-panner who decided that the California rush had potential much like the Australian one did, so you came here to chase that dream." She glances toward Over Kill. "And you're our child." With a sigh, she looks around. "Questions, comments, complaints?"
General Hawk nods. "The only problem there is that the Rush here has not fully started. The rumors haven't been confirmed. We don't want to introduce more rumors by claiming there is a rush, or broadcasting that there is gold."
Artemis shrugs, "Other than the General being my father...."
Major Bludd glances to each of the people as Pennington indicates them. His gaze lingers on the four-year-old Over Kill. "Hawk's right. The Australian gold rush won't begin until 1851." He looks up at the General. "I *did* learn my *Aussie* history," he grins. "But other than those details ..." he frowns again at Over Kill, "I'd say that's a pretty sound idea."
"Oh...yes, there is that..." Pennington's shoulders droop. "Well, we could alter the story to suit us...I wasn't sure of *exact* dates of the Rushes, only that they were circa 1850. I suppose the stories would need retooling. However! Once we have the stories perfected...then we need to understand our roles and act them accordingly." Artemis and her disgust make Pennington smile. "OK, we found you on a doorstep in a basket, then."
General Hawk smirks to Pennington. "Agreed. I believe the better course would be to say we simply came West to stake out a new home and perhaps a new life. That's more believable in this time period, as many were crossing the country, fascinated by the new frontier lands."
Artemis shrugs, "I'll follow orders, if the Major tells me I have to call the General, dad... I will." General Dad... Wasn't that a TV Show? Oh no, that was Major Dad. Artemis' brain sometimes works in odd ways.
Over Kill murmurs "Well if you guys want your relative could have died and left you with me." she rolls her eyes a bit. "I could always go off and fend for myself."
"I'm suggesting details, because there *is* the excellent chance we'll get someone with a good eye for details and memory interested in our 'family' unit, and wanting details or wanting to interact with us. We have to look just as convincing as other 'families', or else we risk being shunned -- or even worse, pursued for being strange and not like other frontiersmen," says Pennington.
Over Kill mutters "If havin' kids around makes everyone uncomfortable, you know I can just jog on." she hefts her blanket and starts to wander off. Wow. Some things don't change across the timeline.
"Get back here," Pennington says in her MOMMY voice, patting her petticoat authoritatively.
Artemis frowns at Over Kill, "Don't make me spank you... You won't like it." She pauses, and glances around, "So, how do we explain the Oriental, and the... well, in these times, he'd be considered a slave..."
"How well do the names have to fit, then, do you reckon?" Bludd asks. "I've been thinking about alternate names since Hawk first mentioned it. The Sterlings are an old Australian family ... and distantly related to me, if I remember right." His expression grows vague for a moment. "Always meant to research some more geneology," he mumbles. He somehow keeps from rolling his eyes at Over Kill, then raises his eyebrows in amusement and surprise at Pennington's reprimand.
Over Kill snarls. "You guys think you have power over me? I'm still Over Kill you know? that's right you heard me. I'm still Over Kill. Central Node of the BAT network, leader of the BRA, future ruler of the planet Earth and I don't have to take this crap from any of you. ANd furthermore, I don't take well to spankings. Now if you'll excuse me I'm leaving!" with that the four year old ex cyborg starts to stalk off. Temper tantrum.
Said Oriental steps out from behind the Wagon, and Jinx calls out, "Just don't ask me to be the Governess to that unruly child." She walks up towards the group, and says, "We are a little too early for me to be considered anything but a common Laborer, a Whore, or someone to do Laundry, and that will not make it easy to explain me. Most frontier families could not it."
"Details are good, because we'll need to make sure our presence is as least disruptive as possible, and leaves little trace on the timeline." Hawk says. "Just another family looking for a better life. The more the names fit, the better. Still, we're coming from the East, so naturally we'll have some strange tendencies that can be explained away by simply saying we're from New York."
"Well, we don't have to be 'blood' related...sadly, the African-American man will need to 'pose' as a slave, as completely distasteful as that is. It's a sign of these primitive times, no one would be able to accept him otherwise," Pennington remarks to Artemis. "As for the Joe Ninjas...hm. Tougher. Somehow, their identities would have to tie them into this extended family. Either as relatives or otherwise." Bludd's comment gives her pause. "Well, your name, my name and Over Kill's would be the same, and then the others could --" She pauses, gathering up her petticoats and standing as Over Kill begins running off. "I'll be right back," she sighs wearily, as she begins chasing the child. "If you don't come back here RIGHT NOW, I'm going to spank you with a wooden spoon!"
The sight of the cyborg-turned-toddler shouting about being the ruler of the earth is too much for Bludd, who bursts out laughing, falling back onto his elbows, watching Over Kill stalk off.
Artemis shakes her head, and mutters, "Why... O why couldn't my Rifle have kept working?" She sighs softly and says, "Although, I guess this means I am going to have to wear a fricking dress, eh? Daddy wouldn't want a daughter to wore mans clothing..."
There's a rustle nearby and the black-clad ninja moves toward the group from some underbrush. His mask is slightly off kilter, but other then that, there's no visible change in the Ninja. He nears the group, looks at Over Kill, then gestures for General Hawk to come to him.
The scene is around the campfire in the makeshift camp. Everyone is having a discussion regarding how to proceed with the situation, such as it stands.
General Hawk dusts off his hands and heads over towards Snake-Eyes. "Good to see you back."
Snake-Eyes starts to signs then puts his hand down, "General," he says in a low voice, out of earshot, "there's something i need you to see."
Over Kill snarls "I don't see what's so damned *&^king funny?" oooh potty mouth. She crosses her arms "I'd think it would be a good idea not to cross me right now. I'm still fully capable of killing a man with any amount of sharp objects.." She shouts suddenly. "And did anyone else notice the *&^ing medic is still *&^ing missing or is that just *&^ing me?"
"Oh my god. Shut up," Pennington remarks, scooping Over Kill up and carrying her back to camp. "Seriously. I'm not kidding. Shut your potty piehole."
General Hawk nods to Snake-Eyes. "What did you find?
Artemis says to Major Bludd, "Sometimes I wonder about Over Kill..."
Snake-Eyes turns his back to the group, "Nothing to much sir, a homestead down in the valley. Small, single family. It's... it's something else, sir,"
Major Bludd sits up slowly, still grinning, his back to Pennington as she carries Over Kill back toward the group. He looks at Artemis in surprise. "Only sometimes?" he laughs. "I'm so glad Pennington is handling him. Her." He shakes his head. "Whatever."
Over Kill is scooped up. Oddly enough that quiets her down. Maybe it shook out all the F-words. "Um. Allright. I think I'm done." she looks around. "F--k." oops. One more.
General Hawk raises an eyebrow. "Allright.. let's take a look then."
Artemis frowns, "Over Kill, if you can not keep that Potty Mouth away, you can not go hunting with me anymore."
Pennington has a seat beside Bludd, holding Over Kill in her lap with an iron-firm grip so she can't go wandering away again. "Thin ice, kid. You're treading on it," she warns.
Snake-Eyes nods and reaches up, slowly pulling off the eye mask, then pulling down the face mask. He mearly looks at the general, flatly.
Artemis glances at Major Bludd, "That reminds me Sir. If I am going to continue providing food... We need something that will take less time than stalking the deer, and slashing it's throat with a knife. A Long Rifle of the time would probably be best... I think after a few shots, I could figure out how accurate they are, and how to lead the deer enough." She shrugs, "Hunting with only a knife can take too long, and uses up alot of energy. Better for survival if we had a rifle... or I guess even a pistol would help."
General Hawk raises both eyebrows. "That's... amazing. It must be the same effect that altered Over Kill and Chatterbox, old wounds are healing." he says, not pondering too much that the effect may be reversed if they ever get home. "We'll be getting jobs at one of the local saw mills to bring in some income for supplies. The more hands we have bringing in income, the better."
Snake-Eyes nods, "And this will make it easier." he nods, "I'm... going to keep it off for now. It's been a while since i've seen the world directly." A quick salute is snapped.
Major Bludd nods at Artemis. "I know. But our funds are limited at the moment. Now we've got the wagon repaired, we can go down to the sawmill and start earning some money. Well," he adds, looking about at the group, "the men can. Don't think they'd employ a woman in a sawmill, somehow."
Artemis sighs, "And the only job I could get in this time period, I won't do. The first person that suggests I work in a whore house, gets my knife shoved up their as.... where the sun don't shine." Can't encourage Over Kill. NO!
"They won't employ women anywhere," Pennington pouts. "These were terrible times to be female." She gives Artemis a sympathetic look. "...Maybe you could pass as a guy," she suggests. "An adolescent boy or something. Just throw on a lot of shirts to cover up the chest..."
Over Kill blinks "A nocturnal assasination? Why wouldnt we encourage that?"
Artemis shrugs, "Oh, teachers could be female in this time... Or governesses... Or work in their Husband's Shop, if he owned one... but that is about it." She sighs again.
Over Kill pauses. "I wonder something. A female could come into property if they married a wealthy male is that correct?" she rubs her chin.
"That's correct," Pennington tells Over Kill, busying herself with braiding up the child's unruly hair.
Over Kill sits still while Heather braids her unruly curls. She seems to be allright with staying still for the time being. "We have many women who are posing as single here. All we'll need to do is marry them to up and coming men. Then kill off the men. We'll get wealth upon them becoming widowed."
"One problem with that, we would be messing up the timeline if we removed people from it," Pennington counters.
Snake-Eyes turns around toward the group. The man who turns around is blond and pale skinned, as though he hasn't seen the sun in quite some time. He's quite handsom and doesn't bare the scars that have made his mask so famous, and so needed. He crosses the snow to the female ninja and nods to her, as if nothings changed.
Artemis sighs, "I'd really rather we not have this to worry about something like that. I want to go home..." She takes a deep breath and the unflapable Range ViperSniper looks a little shaken. Delayed Shock? Depression finally setting in? Or does she just miss shooting?
Major Bludd watches Pennington tend to Over Kill with a mix of intrigue and distaste. "We don't want to make more trouble for ourselves than is necessary, Over Kill." He glances up to the unmasked Snake-Eyes and blinks, staring. "What happened to *you*?" he asks.
Jinx, who knew Snake-Eyes before his injury, smiles at him, "Nice look..." She leans against him for a second, taking all the comfort she needs from her old friend, than sits up, and glances around again. She has made it her job to watch the wagon, so no one, like that Artemis chick, steals it.
General Hawk heads back over to the wagon, and looks over to Snake-Eyes. "Want to give me a hand here? We need to lift the wagon a bit so I can kick out these logs and get it on all four wheels. Then we'll hook up the mules for tonight's trek to find a better place to set up camp."
Over Kill frowns at Artemis a bit around her braids a bit. "I do too. I miss my girls. The BATs. My guns.My Earthquake. My HUD. The network. Being useful. Being able to do more then just sing and cry every five minutes." she shakes badly again, paling. "Its too quiet. Maybe we shouldn't kill no one. Maybe.. oh I don't know." she curls her head to her knees again. If the synthoid didn't break her this sure did.
Snake-Eyes nods a little, not bothering to answer Bludd before moving over to join him. He spreads his legs wide and lifts, the wagon lifting evenly, comming smoothely off the logs. He nods to Hawk.
Jinx watches the men work, for a few seconds, and than turns to watch the area around camp again. She seems to be fine, of course, she always is.
General Hawk gets his hands under the wagon as well, and once it's off the logs, kicks out the supports, and helps to lower it to the ground. He watches with a bit of apprehension to make sure the axle holds, and thankfully, it does. "Now we can hook up the mules. The bridles and such still look to be ok."
Artemis starts to walk towards the woods, her one hiding place. What good all the work around camp does, when she wants to go home, is really, beyond her at the moment. How long can they be trapped here in the past? Forever?
Snake-Eyes relaxes and looks to the General, "If we're going anyware, i'm going to need new clothes." he gestures to the black protective suit, "I'm not sure this is period."
General Hawk nods. "Take a look through that trunk over there, that's where we found ours. There may be some in there that will fit."
Snake-Eyes nods and gestures to Jinx, "Comeon. Let's find something else. We are a bit inconspicuous," he says with a small smirk, and moves tot he back of the cart to find soemthing to wear.
Pennington plants a little kiss on Over Kill's forehead, then hugs her. "It'll be okay," she says. "We stick together, we'll be alright."
"Sure, Snake-EYes..." Jinx says, and than says, "Of course, I'm still not sure what the point is, for me. Kilroy and myself are not White, and honestly, are both pretty much, considered worthless in these times." She shrugs, "Not that I'll worry about it. Someone will come up with a reason for an Oriental being with the group." She follows after Snake-Eyes, to look through the Clothing.
Over Kill returns the hug "We're not goin' home, are we Heather?" "I don't know, I really don't," Pennington admits sadly. "We might be able to, but we have to plan as if we can't."
Major Bludd raises an eyebrow at Pennington. He slowly gets to his feet, brushing his trousers down with his hands, glancing off in the direction Artemis has gone. He takes in the wagon Snake-Eyes and Hawk have finished repairing, and set off after Artemis. No point in letting the group get more separated. Besides, she's one of his troops; his responsibility. Without a word to anyone, he walks into the surrounding wood.
Snake-Eyes finds some pieces he puts over the ninja suit, which he's not planning on ditching, thank you very much. He finds a pair of soft, leather boots, a woolen shirt and a long cloak, which easily hides his weapons. He nods to the other ninja, "We'll figure something out, Jinx."
Artemis is probably glad she didn't hear the words spoken by Heather, as well, they might make her cry a bit. Not something she would like doing. She stops a short way into the woods, and just sits down, resting her back against a tree.
Over Kill considers. "Allright." her eyes almost glaze over for a moment. She almost seems to retreat from what she was, shaking softly for a moment. She never really cries or anything, she just sort of distances herself for a second. "I'm ready to become what I need to be for this new life...momma." she says softly with a smile. She leans her head against Pennington, her fingers playing with the edge of the blanket. Her shoulders relax, and she loses that edginess that seems to follow her around. She almost looks like a whole new kid. It's frightening how quickly she can reformat.
Pennington smiles. "We'll survive, no matter what," she promises Over Kill. "I'm not sure how, but we made it this far, right? So we'll get through this, even if we have to re-invent ourselves."
After walking for a few minutes, Bludd calls out to Artemis, hoping she'll respond. After all, if a Range-Viper wants to remain hidden in the woods, there's little save napalm that'll flush her out.
Over Kill nods "Ok. Hey momma? you think there's any socks left that no one's usin' I was thinking of making something if there's any left..." she says softly.
Artemis clears her throat, brushing her eyes quickly, "O...Over here, Major." She is sitting under a tree, just a few yards from Bludd. She stands up, and says, "Did you need me for something, Sir?"
"Well, let's take a look," Pennington says, placing Over Kill on the ground as she gathers up her petticoats and proceeds over to the area where Hawk went through the wagon's contents. "Here's a couple of mismatched-size woolen ones, will they work?" she asks.
Bludd looks in the direction of the voice and sees Artemis. He holds up a hand, shaking his head. "No," he says, "I just wanted to make sure you hadn't decided to leave us behind." He offers her a slight smile. "This situation's hard on us all," he says, lowering his voice as he approaches her. "It's important we stick together."
Snake-Eyes shakes his head, "Remember, disapline (ooc yea, shitty spelling), Ninja Jinx. If you have to be... that, because of this time, i'll make sure no one touches you, however," he looks pointedly at her, "You cannot retaliate."
Over Kill smiles brightly "Oh yes.. yes that will work." she says softly. "Thank you maw." her accent even changes a little bit. She sits down on her knees. It's hard to tell if she knows she's not really a child right now. Something may have snapped. She starts to roll up the sock into a ball and attaches the second one to the bottom. "See? It's a baby." she says. "I think it's a baby girl." she wraps it in the blanket. "I'm gonna be a momma too. You take care of me. And I'll take care of her. Then we both don't have to be afraid."
Artemis nods, very slightly, "I know. It's hard... for me to work with the Joes... I'm sure you've read my file..." She sighs, "And I... I just want to go home, Sir. Get back to the time where I can expect to be treated well... by the average person... And get drunk when I want to." SHe forces a smile, "I'll be fine. Although, I'm not sure Hawk is short enough to have a grown daughter of my size." She has not looked in a mirror, and seen that the harshness of her face has been removed, by the same wonder that let Snake-Eyes recover his face, meaning she could pass for younger than she truely is.
Jinx chuckles at Snake-Eyes, "I know that, Sensai," Falling back to her training, because it is easier, especially when Snake-EYes don's the 'Teaching' hat. "I wouldn't react emotionally, and I can be quiet, when I need to be."
Pennington smiles at the manner in which Over Kill is coming to terms with her new identity. While Over Kill is no less insane, it's better to be a 'happy' insane than an unhappy-insane. "OK, it's a deal," she says with a wink.
"That's what we all want, Artemis," Bludd says softly, "to go home again." He chuckles at the height comment. "We'll make do," he says. "If you need some time to yourself, I won't rob you of it," Bludd continues, turning to walk back toward the camp. "But don't stay away too long, alright?"
Artemis nods, "Yes Sir." She responds, "I'll be back shortly."
Over Kill smiles brightly "Ok. Her name is Sarah." she says softly. "Maybe I'll show her to Artemis later. She seems sad." she continues to rock her sock doll and coo at it. She seems to be a rather dotting mom, following her mother along. She's not any more detached from reality then she is at home, really.
Snake-Eyes moves back to the group, pulling the hood of the cape up, "How do i look?"
Kilroy watches from his own corner of the camp. He's a man of few words, keeping more or less to himself. "Lookin' good there." he says with a nod. "Fittin' right in."
Pennington smiles as Over Kill plays. "I'll give Sarah a face later if you want," she offers. "We have some buttons and yarn, it wouldn't be too much trouble." As Snake-Eyes comes over, she stares at his face with some surprise. While she had no idea how disfigured he was before, she'd certainly heard all the rumors. "Very...good, actually," she admits. "How did that even happen?"
GAME: Over Kill FAILS an INTELLIGENCE roll of Average difficulty.
Major Bludd emerges from the woods, a pensive but sour look upon his face. He glances around the group, his gaze lingering on Pennington and the child Over Kill. He stops at a distance from the camp and simply stands there, observing, his arms folded across his chest.
Snake-Eyes shrugs slightly, "The same way the autobot is now a man," he looks down at the woman, "That is to say, i have no idea." He falls back into silence, watching the cart as Jinx dresses.
Over Kill looks up. Way up at Snake-Eyes. Instinctively, she hides her right arm and tucks her left leg behind her. "Who is that anyways?" she asks. "He's pretty tall. I'd like it if Sarah had a face." She moves behind Pennington, hiding in those skirts. She peeks around the corner at Major Bludd, almost as shy around him as she is around Snake-Eyes.
"I wonder..." Pennington stares at Snake-Eyes with her mouth slightly open, as a thought suddenly occurs to her. "Huh. I'm wondering. Honey, stay right here, don't leave the camp, alright?" she says to Over Kill. With that, she hikes up her petticoats, and begins tromping through the snow toward the Major.
Major Bludd stands still, his gaze on Pennington as she approaches him.
Once she's close enough to carry on a quiet conversation with Bludd without shouting, Pennington says, "...You know, that Joe Ninja's entire face has regenerated, as well as his voice. I'm not sure what's at work, here, but it seems to be constructive in nature."
Major Bludd glances in the direction of the ninja in the distance and back to Pennington, his expression unchanging. "Your point?"
Over Kill is left alone with the ninja. She suddenly feels quite exposed. She bites her lip a bit and shuffles her feet. "Um. Hi. I um. Know you're from um. Our time. Um. WHo are you?"
Snake-Eyes looks down at the girl and smirks slightly, "Are you sure you really want to know?" He questions.
Over Kill erms. "Well since we might hafta get stuck together sometime and momma's busy an'...um. yes sir. I do."
Pennington leans closer to Bludd, more out of conspiracy than affection. "...My point being that this phenomenon may also include you." She looks at him pointedly, raising an inquisitive brow. "Might be worth a look...to see if this is the case."
The Ninja bends over slightly and comes face to face with the little girl, "Snake eyes." He says.
Over Kill says it out loud, while grabbing her right arm. "Oh *&^T!" she pulls back a bit. "It's mine!" she grabs her right arm.
"No cursing," Pennington calls across to Over Kill, then turns back toward Bludd.
Over Kill points "But I have a very good excuse!"
Snake-Eyes looks up at Pennington, "That one was deserved," he says, straightening to his full heigth, "I've taken his... her... it's arm more then once."
Over Kill chimes. "See? He agrees.."
"No *more* cursing, then. Can't have you looking like a baby and swearing like a sailor," Pennington grumps.
Over Kill rubs her head and backs away. "Maybe it would be best if I was ninja'd..." she says. "I swear, it's like having a split personality."
Bludd leans away from Pennington and takes a step back, scowling. "If it does," he grinds out, "it's my business, and mine alone." He levels an imperious stare at her, straightening. "Pennington." The name, when he speaks it, bears no warmth, no affection. She may recognise the tone as being one he uses to address those troops under his command who have earned his wrath.
Snake-Eyes smiles slightly, "Come on, shorty," a little ammusement in his voice, "let's go away from the grown ups for a while," he gestures toward the cart.
Over Kill murmurs. "There goes my arm.." she says, following Snake-Eyes away from the cart. She seems to have resigned herself to her fate.
(What the hell did I do THIS time??) Pennington thinks to herself. "Alright, fine," she says, deciding that if the Major wanted to bust her down for something she did wrong, he'd do it when he was good and sour about it, and not a moment sooner. "Just saying." She scoops up the petticoats, and begins making her way down toward the icy river, where the lovely task of washing and scrubbing all the camp dishes awaits her.
"Why would i cut off your arm again, Over Kill?" Snake eyes asks the girl, "You aren't a threat to me."
Major Bludd growls, staring at Pennington's retreating back. "I hope you're all very happy together," he mutters darkly to himself. He stalks off, heading along the edge of the treeline away from camp briefly before disappearing into the woods.
Over Kill murmurs "The organic arm is generally the left arm so.." she holds out her left arm. "Here it is.." she holds out her left arm. "Let's go ..." she blinks. "Of course I'm a threat. My mind's still Over Kill's. I might look like a child but I'm still.... you know. You're about hte only one who calls me by my given name." she says "I still have my training. I'm still a BAT. I have still been trained in melee combat. I can still fight with a edged weapon and there's sharp items everywhere. My muscles might not be strong but I bet I can still kill a man..."
"What are you talking about?? I don't even know what you're talking about!" Pennington wails -- probably loud enough for the whole camp to hear. "How am I supposed to know what I did wrong if you won't tell me?? Huh?? How about it??" Moodily, she picks up a twig, and flings it roughly, watching it crack against a tree branch. "I'm just doing the best I can with what we have...with what we can do...what's wrong with that??" She trudges off toward the water's edge, sniffling miserably.
Snake-Eyes bends down again, putting his nose almost touching Over Kills, "Do you think you can kill me?" He asks in a voice that's part words, part growl, before standing again, "You are not a BAT, you are a little girl and i do not kill, or harm, little girls."
Over Kill glares at Snake-Eyes. "I think I could." she says back. "But you know..I.." her voice creaks a bit. Is that fear. "I don't think it's the right thing to do. This body is weak. And we need all the hands we can get. I think a truce might be the best idea until we'reback home. If we ever..." she lets her voice trail, shaking badly. "Yeah..if we ever.." she grabs her head, wincing as a headache seems to be coming on strongly. "So what do you propose we do. My skills..as limited as they are in this body. Are yours to use."
Snake-Eyes sighs and sits on the edge of the cart. He grabs OK by the back part of her clothes and lifts her up to the top lip of the cart, resting her there, "Truce it is, and we'll make it back, don't worry," wait... what? Why would he comfort her. He rolls his eyes inside and looks back across the field.
Over Kill is picked up easily. She looks around "If not, I've already started to adjust. All I need is a few minutes, and I'll tune out the world. I can honestly clear my mind of my past life and start over. It wouldn't be difficult." she starts to scan the horizon herself, almost imitating the ninja with her. She seems to be enjoying being on watch. It's something familiar and grounding.
The ninja leans against the cart with the girl-child over kill sitting on the ledge above him. The Ninja has removed his mask and is, well, healed. No scars. He's blond with pale skin and light blue eyes all set in a hard chissled, handsome face. He's wearing soft leather boots, loose leather pants, a wool shirt and a cloak over all of it to hide his weapons. His hands are covered by leather gloves to cover the black ninja suit.
Major Bludd didn't think Pennington would hear his grumbled words, but perhaps he was louder than he intended. He pauses, turning briefly back toward the camp, his face reddening. "Voyons!" he shouts rapidly, his hands clenched into fists, "si tu me ici ne veux pas, je mette-les. Fous le camp!" He punctuates this outburst by holding up his left arm, bent at the elbow, and slapping his right palm down on his bicep. Then he turns and stalks off into the woods.
Baroness just keeps herself quiet, shaking her head and peering around at everyone, and the general din of the camp.
Over Kill turns to the ninja "Has the party returned that went after Steen?" she asks. Already back into business mode. It doesn't take long for her to switch from child back into BAT mode. THere's something wrong with her. She's psychologically between two people almost.
Katie frowns towards people at large, listening to everyone, though she says nothing quite yet. She glances towards Over Kill, Snake-Eyes, and Hawk. "Nothing known about it yet."
Temera, meanwhile, is following along the river, after heading into the woods earlier. Trying to figure out where Edwin might have been taken, trying to stop and sniff at the air once in a while, and keep walking.
General Hawk looks up from getting the two mules hitched up to the wagon, and frowns a bit at both the report regarding Lifeline and that Bludd has walked off. "Damn... I don't really want to split this group up if we can avoid it."
Pennington situates herself down at the bank of the icy river, dipping dirty dishes into a crack in the ice and then cleaning each dish off with a cloth. "Are we all going mad? Have we all gone completely, utterly mad?" she murmurs while weeping softly. She seems to be talking to herself to sort things out, Temera can probably hear her. "I feel like I have to be the one to be strong, in control...the caretaker...sorry if that's not quite good enough. One crisis at a time."
Over Kill sighs "I guess peopel are used to having radios.." she moves off of the cart and offers. "I could always go after Steen while 'mom' and 'dad' have their lover's quarrel over thereor whatever..."
General Hawk looks to Snake-Eyes. "I plan on approaching Jenkin's Mill soon to see about work for myself, Bludd, and you if you're interested. I think at this point, we've decided that we will pose as a large multi-family unit."
Snake-Eyes shakes his head, "Bad call, half-pint. Let the big kids worry about such things," yes, this is going to be fun.
Snake-Eyes looks up to the General, "That's fine, sir. And, with your permission, i'll keep my eye out on Jinx. Don't want any natives getting ideas."
Over Kill scowls. "Hrm. Once again feeling useless. Well. I suppose I can clean things around here or..something." she shakes her head.
General Hawk nods to Snake-Eyes. "Indeed. Her appearance will present some difficulties, but we may be able to explain it as a.. charity case of sorts. She's along for the ride because she owes us for saving her life or something of that nature. WEak, perhaps, but still plausible enough to be palatable."
Temera is beginning to approach Jenkins Mill by waterway, she isn't too far from it. There aren't many signs pointing toward where Edwin might have gone.
Once she's finished with the dishes, Pennington (still sobbing quietly) loads up the dishes onto a wooden tray, and begins miserably hauling them back toward camp.
Snake-Eyes nods, "I'll keep thinking. Maybe something will come up." He looks toward the trees, "excuse me." off to the little Ninja's room.
As Temera makes her way along the riverbank towards Jenkins Mill, she comes across a 15' dorie boat, which has been dragged ashore. It's empty, save for several inches of accumulated snow...and what appears to be Lifeline's trademark red-and-white jumpsuit.
Major Bludd storms through the forest, swearing under his breath in French, heading toward the river in the opposite direction Temera is headed. He breaks out into a run, brush and small branches clutching at his clothing. At least here he has all the space in the world to run off his frustration and anger.
Over Kill starts to move off a bit slowly by herself with her doll. Maybe there's something more to her fluxuations. She starts to cough a bit harshly. Utoh. the barefoot and dampness around camp and her young age has probably led to a bad combination.
Pennington returns to camp, busying herself with putting away the clean dishes/pots and pans neatly. She's worried sick about the Major, but doesn't know how to reach him when he pulls himself away like this.
Temera frowns a little at the jumpsuit, swearing softly. She looks around promptly to see if she can find any tracks where snow has filled in depressions that might be foot prints.
Unfortunately, any prints that might have been around the boat have been erased by the snowfall.
Katie just keeps watching the camp quietly, frowning at things softly. She glances around at the campsite, considering it and settling into a spot, quietly.
Once all the dishes are put away, Pennington sighs worriedly and takes her place by the campfire. The firelight flickers in her moist eyes. She wants to go after him, but she can't get far in snowy woods in her petticoats and ladies boots. Feeling frightened, she clasps her hands together tightly and closes her eyes, almost looking as if she were praying.
Over Kill Seems concerned about Heather. She moves by her side quietly, and just curls up there. She doesn't say a word at all. She just moves and puts her head in her so-called mom's lap and kneels there, offering silent support. The young girl frowns quietly and stays as long as Pennington allows it, keeping herself still.
Temera glances up towards the mill, frowning very softly as she smells of the jumpsuit, and tries to sniff around again, quickly.
General Hawk checks the hitching of the mules, and sets the brake on the wagon as the mules happily begin to munch away at the grass below them. He heads over to where Pennington has set herself up by the fire, grabs a box, and sets it next to her and settles down. "Penny for your thoughts." he says, in a fatherly style. Tensions are running high, he's rather used to this, and perhaps it's time to play counselor.
Eventually, Bludd becomes winded and slows his pace back to a walk. He sits down on a boulder and runs his hands through his hair. "God, how did I ever get into this mess?" he mutters. He reaches into his pocket and takes out the small notebook that's about the only thing from his equipment that survived the time journey. "Thank you, Moleskine," he whispers, clutching the little black book to his chest. "But I've got nothing to write with," he frowns. "Wonder if I could whip up something that'd stain the pages enough to be legible?"
Baroness walks towards the wagon, checking it over now that it's fixed again, and frowning softly, considering it.
Pennington hugs Over Kill to her, stroking the little girl's hair in an effort to remain calm. As Hawk approaches, she seems reluctant at first, but his easygoing approach soothes her nerves. "Oh, it's nothing, really, just tensions running high," she admits to him. "The Major's really upset about something, and it's nothing he wants to tell me about. He went off on his own, after telling me off in French. Not sure what he said, but I'm pretty sure that hand gesture wasn't meant to be kind." She glances toward the fire morosely. "I want to go find him, but I can't go far in this ridiculous getup...just worried, that's all."
Artemis steps back out of the woods, finally. When she gets back to camp, it will be easy to tell what she was doing in the woods for so long. Her eyes are red rimmed, and there are clean streaks through the soot, and dirt, that has been on her face since she was shoved, rudely, back to the Dark Ages of America. She walks slowly, and for once, upon her return from the woods, is not carrying anything edible.
"I think I can speak for us all when I say I'm worried to death. Will we be here for a long time, will we find a way back?" Hawk says with a nod. "Will we damage time and end up making it so that we don't exist? Is anything happening to our people back in the present?" he says with a sigh, taking off his hat and running a hand through his hair. Replacing it, he hesitates for a moment, before putting a hand out to put it on her shoulder. "I realize how difficult this is for all of us. Everything we believe in shoved to the wayside for the sake of survival, having to rethink the concept of allies and enemies."
Over Kill looks at the General, her quiet, tired eyes taking in the new face warily. She gives a rather wet sounding cough from Heather's lap, and her forehead feels more or less clammy. She starts to curl up in her mom's lap a bit. "I understand why he's upset. He has no sense of control here. I mean..everything's chaos. There's nothing to hold onto." her voice is a little raspy. "There's no control and a lot of the people he's in command of are like me. A buncha idiots. I'll try to shape up, for him, you know."
Katie nods just a little bit at that. "We have to be careful what we do while we're back here. Even working at Jenkins mill or such could cause issues of some kind." She shakes her head and considers.
Artemis says softly, her voice barely carrying to everyone, "Why should we even care? We'll never get back home to our own time. What can we do here, that will change the future for us, when our future, is now?" Yup, maudlin Sniper, and she can't even shoot anything to make herself feel better
Baroness peers at Artemis and shakes her head. "Ve don't need that attitude at the present. It helps nothing."
"The very best we can do is try to fit in," Pennington says, feeling Over Kill's forehead worriedly. "I mean, that's all we can do right now. Eventually, we may find exactly what it is that sent us here, but until we do, we can't freak out, we have to pull together for survival's sake."
Artemis clears her throat and looks at Baroness, "I'm just being a realist..." She shrugs, "But I'll shut up, and follow orders, like I always do." Of course, she could also sepperate from the party later on, and strike out on her own. Sure, a woman who looks 14, trying to make it in the 1840's and 50's without a man to do all her business dealings... sure, that'll work great for her.
Over Kill's forehead is quite warm at this point. Ah the era of childhood illnesses and a kid who just doesn't wear much clothing and doesn't know how to take care of herself. "Yes. That's why I agree..we should have a truce." she says distantly.
Major Bludd looks at the little journal longingly for a moment, then replaces it in his pocket. "What's it matter, anyway?" he mutters to no one. "Time travel's supposed to be impossible, but here I am. Only in the movies do time travelers get safely home and live happily ever after." He snorts. "Who am I kidding? I'll never live happily ever after, no matter *when* I am."
He pauses a moment in his grouchy monologue to pull off his eyepatch and rub at the patch of scar tissue hidden underneath. "Stupid itchy thing," he growls. "just another -- ow!" He drops the bit of black fabric in surprise, feeling the spot with his fingers. Where for thirty years there have been the scarred remnants of his left eye, now resides a healthy eye, eyelid and all. He rubs it more gingerly and blinks rapidly. "Holy shit." He leaps up and runs toward the river, hoping to get a glimpse of his healed wound.
General Hawk nods. "I'm sure we'll find the key to getting ourselves home, but until then, basic survival is the order of the day". He nods towards Katie, "True, but if we assume believable personas, then getting jobs to supplement income will at least keep us alive, and reduce the chances of getting things out of whack. I believe we can't go second guessing ourselves, and at the most, interact, rather than alter anything."
"Now look at you," Pennington says to Over Kill in disappointment. "This camp's without a medic, and now you're sick. You do know that children have a high mortality rate in this era, don't you? I'm going to put you to bed."
Temera keeps sniffing the jumpsuit, breathing in with her mouth even. She pauses, look around again, and just.... sighs. She tries to take note of where she is, though, before turning back to hurry to the camp.
It's not that Temera isn't picking up *any* scent, but the scents aren't very strong or particular beyond the scope of the small boat.
Over Kill murmurs "Sick hmm? Is that what this is.." she tries to sit up a bit. "I'll try not to spread this around camp. Been feeling run down and cranky all day."
"Yes, you're sick," Pennington insists to Over Kill. "Now I'll get you some water, and I don't want you running around here without your coat and boots on, or you'll only get sicker." She glances over at Artemis, and gives her shoulder a squeeze as she passes her on the way to get some water.
Artemis sighs softly, and considers heading back into the Woods. At least there she could vent her frustration without pissing off the dominatrix. Instead, she slips close to where the fire normally burns, forcing a smile for Heather, and than lays down. Why expend more energy than she needs to. It is not like expending energy will get them home. Besides, you never know when she will get the order to do something fun, and she might need the strength
Over Kill murmurs "Allright." she seems quite agreeable to whatever people are telling her. She must be feeling under the weather. She curls up in that blanket she carries with her and just looks over at Hawk "Thanks for talking to her. They'll be fine..."
General Hawk nods to Over Kill. "I think we all will, once we realize we're in this together. Our differences are over 150 years away as far as I'm concerned."
Major Bludd reaches the edge of the river, moving around until he finds a location where the sun's light reflects his image back to him. The moving water distorts the image considerably, but he smiles as he lifts a hand to his face, regarding his reflection. "That's just ... well, I'd say it's impossible, except I'm standing on a riverbank in 1848," he chuckles. He snorts, frowning. "I need a shave. And ..." he runs a hand through his dark hair, which appears to be showing some grey around the temples. "Hell." He sighs, rising to his feet. "I guess I better head back," he muses.
Over Kill murmurs "I wish I could chip them. You know. So we coudl keep track of them. How did our ancestors do it? without huds and chips.."
Artemis looks at Hawk, "Easy for you to say, General. I still remember burying my father, whom one of your troops killed. Our differences, as far as I am concerned, anyways, are in my past, present, and future." She looks at Baroness, "Before you can order me to cooperate with the General, do not worry, I already told the Major that I follow orders, and I will cooperate with them, until we get back to our own time."
Pennington returns to the campfire with a flask of water for Over Kill. "I want you to drink all of this," she says. "I'm going to make you some hot tea, and I want you to drink that, too."
Baroness simply gives Artemis a look. "I said nothing. At the moment, however, he is right."
Over Kill shrugs "You know. The Joes try to kill me as often as the Cobras do so to me It really doesn't matter." she takes the flask of water and scowls. "That's a lot of water. It'll make me pee again and the first time was a bad experience." she takes the water any ways and drinks softly. So much to learn.
Katie glances over to Over Kill and actually laughs very softly, shaking her head just a little bit. "Just remember what you have to do before peeing, and it will be far less of a problem." She winks. "It isn't as though the rest of us don't pee."
Over Kill blinks "What you mean there's a pee protocol?"
Katie bites her lip just a little bit, slipping over to OVer, to whisper more quietly.
Katie shakes her head softly. She mutters to Over Kill, "... any... pants or... down.... did you?"
Pennington puts a metal teakettle on the fire, and sits apart from it while sewing some furs together to make gloves for the men. She's already managed to make a couple of pairs...it's her hope that they'll stand up to daily wear and tear. The sewing helps her to take her mind off everything else.
Over Kill blinks "Well if I knew that I wouldn't be so uncomfortable!" she says out loud.
General Hawk frowns a bit as he looks back to Artemis. "I can only offer my sympathies, but we do not kill anyone without reason. I've lost friends and comrades in various wars, I've had my share of loss. You are not alone in that regard, in this company, rest assured." he says, rather calmly. Grabbing a stick, he pokes the fire a bit to get it burning a bit better.
Major Bludd walks along the riverbank, lost in his thoughts. He avoids thoughts of their situation and how, if it's indeed possible, they can get back to when they belong. He considers Pennington and Over Kill, but drops that line of thought quickly, as it makes him uncomfortable. Knowing he arrived at this location at a dead run, he starts jogging, so as to get back to camp before dark.
Over Kill pauses. "Do you know how many BATs I've lost to both sides..." oh here we go.
Artemis shrugs at Hawk, and refuses to reply. Every time she opens her mouth, someone yells at her. Maybe Snake-Eyes has it right... be mute.
"Thank you," Pennington tells Hawk as he stokes the fire. It doesn't take very long for the water to boil, and she prepares some orange pekoe tea for Over Kill, sweetening it with a little bit of honey. "Here you go, now sip it slowly or you'll burn your mouth," she warns.
Temera just keeps glancing around and frowning where she is, shaking her head just slightly, and slumping down, feeling just a bit defeated. She starts walking back for camp, as such, not wanting to disturb where the mill is. Not without more backup.
Over Kill offers "You guys want some?" well. It's a compassionate gesture as far as she's concerned. She sits indian style. "I think I heard the Major return. Think I'll let him come to us if he wants to. I don't think he'll come to me. I kinda scare him now." she takes the tea. "Thank you, Heather." she starts to sip it, wincing at the warmth on her throat. "I think I'm going to have to take a dip in the river soon." the ice cold river? Is she nuts? tactile sensation is a new thing. That'll be a quick lesson.
Artemis sighs softly, and looks around. She is rather quiet, but at least she has her emotions under control again. Yes, hate broils in her, at the forefront of her emotions, followed by a simple coldness, that will let her do her job, without any hesitation. She sits up, reaches for the buttons she is carving, and her knife, and restarts working them into the right shape. Three done, three to go, than she has to try her hand at needle work again.
Pennington gives Over Kill a look. "No, you're not going to swim or bathe. Normally I wouldn't mind because it's a good practice, but not when you're ill and the water's freezing cold." She glances over toward Artemis, holding up the gloves. "Artemis, do you think this is a good size for the men's gloves?"
Artemis glances at Heather, and says softly, "Looks about right... Call me Diana... Better get used to answering to it, before we interact with people from the time..."
Over Kill murmurs 'Humans smell, that's all." she says. "Maybe when I wake up. Feeling rather tired right now." she lays back, with a shiver. "And cold." her cheeks look a bit rosy. "Think I'm going to shut down." she lays against Heather, curling up against her sock doll. Within moments, she's sound asleep.
Major Bludd slows his pace as he nears the camp. He walks up to the group gathered around the fire, sans eyepatch. He wears a slight smile, but it fades as he nears Pennington and Over Kill. He sits down beside the Tele-Viper and mutters to her, "... shouted... you."
Baroness simply settles quietly around the fire, frowning around towards everyone and everything, considering it all.
General Hawk nods as Bludd returns. "As soon as Snake-Eyes returns, the three of us need to consider approaching the mill and inquiring about work, if you're feeling up to it."
Artemis asks Hawk, "What are we going to do as a permenant shelter? Shall we start building a house here? Simply put, we a young child, who needs the shelter a home can provide. I can't see us moving into town, and staying together... Or are we going to try buying something, after you men start working?"
"She's also sick," Pennington points out, as an addendum to what Artemis said.
After tucking in Over Kill, Pennington takes her seat at the campfire once more. The Major's quiet, unassuming return gets a frosty reception from her at first... but eventually, her concern for him outweighs her annoyance over getting flipped off in French. When she looks him in the eye, she suddenly realizes that she has *two* of them to look into, and she gasps in surprise. "I *knew* it," she says with delight.
Major Bludd grins despite himself. "Yah," he says quietly, looking away for a moment, his cheeks colouring slightly. He glances back at her. "Just wanted you to come see me for more than just the freak factor," he mumbles, scuffing at the snow with his boot.
Baroness frowns just a little, considering Artemis' comment. "Ve cannot afford more permanent shelter until they start vorking, I do not believe."
General Hawk nods to Pennington. "We have a couple of axes, and hopefully enough muscle grease to consider building a shack to serve as shelter. A simple log structure should suffice." he offers. He nods to the Baroness. "Unless we find some land that hasn't been staked. The worst land, the better, since it will be least desirable."
Katie hmms just a little bit at that, considering. "If we're apparent in seeking out the worst unclaimed spot, someone might start wondering why. It would seem to deviate a long way from normal for this time."
Pennington nods at Katie's observation. "You're correct, it will make us stand out more," she says, "And that's something we don't want." While she's speaking, she hands a pair of hand-stitched fur lined gloves to the Major, and passes another pair over to Hawk.
Artemis says simply, "We can use logs, make a log cabin... I have an idea how to make it work... or we can build a home out of Sod... There are many ways of *making* shelter, Baroness." She glances at Hawk, "Where we currently are is probably not desirable... The land is not good for Farming... And far enough from town, and the mill, that it'll not be wanted in the near future,"
Bludd looks at Hawk. "I'm ready to get started as soon as you are," he says. He looks to Pennington meaningfully, accepting the gloves with a gentle smile. He whispers something to her.
Pennington blushes, smiling for the first time that evening. Maybe everything was going to be alright, after all. She didn't much relish living in a cabin with the Joes, but if it was a choice between cooperating with them or freezing/starving to death in the winter woods, she'd certainly take the former over the latter.
General Hawk looks to Katie, and nods. "However, if we're working rather than farming, it may not be as inconspicuous. It's true, this site may be just what we need. If so, we can begin building here. There's enough patches of land to use for growing a small portion of our food, let the income take care of the rest, and it may be believable enough."
Pennington begins working on another pair of gloves, stitching the material in her multi-petticoated lap as she listens to the fireside conversation.
Artemis nods slightly to Hawk, "I'll look around tomorrow for the best place to Cabin or three... Might have to sepperate them a little bit... And I assume we'll want easier access to the water..." She looks thoughtfully around.
The group is assembled around the campfire, making plans for survival.
"We're stuck here," Bludd says from where he sits beside Pennington, looking around at the group. "Maybe not forever, but for the forseeable future." His gaze drops and he contemplates his boots for a long moment. "Life's too short for coulda-beens," he says quietly. He lifts his eyes to Pennington's face. "Don't you think?"
Temera slips herself closer for camp, trying to make a good pace, frowning as she follows the bank of the river again, back northward.
Pennington stops what she's doing, and looks toward the Major with a slightly surprised smile. This sort of heartfelt candidness coming from him, and especially in addressing a group, isn't something she expected from him at all. "Oh, I definitely agree," she says with a smile. "Completely."
Artemis tries to ignore the lovey-dovey chat going on, because dammit, she's pretty much out of luck, when it comes to anyone for her to have a love interest in, back in this time. She stands up, replacing the finished buttons in her pack, and walks around a little. "We could build some kind of water trough... or I'm sure a well would work too..." She considers, "We are going to need more tools though. Saws, Hammers, shovels..." She is mostly talking to herself, although, it would be audible to the others.
General Hawk nods to Artemis, standing from the camp fire. "I think it's about time we started arranging for the ability to get such items." he says with a look to Snake-Eyes and Bludd. "I think it's time we head to Jenkin's mill and see about employment."
Major Bludd stands up as well. "I'm ready whenever you are, Hawk." he says. "Speaking of which... we should share whatever names we've chosen for ourselves, shouldn't we?"
Snake-Eyes nods toward the general, "We're going to need a cover story. Three men walking out of the woods asking for employment isn't going to go over very well," he nods, not mentioning that there's no way he's going to give up his weapons.
"Let's be consistent with the names we choose, including the surnames," Pennington reminds. She half-grins at Bludd. "Are we the Sterlings, then?" Snake-Eyes gets a pensive look from her. "Well...it wasn't entirely unusual for people to cross the frontier at this time to resettle. With the right story, this mass quest for employment could be plausible."
Temera keeps walking and walking, glancing towards the camp, trying to slip back to it quietly, as soon as she can smell it in range. She just walks and walks, keeping to the outer perimeter initially, listening to the conversations.
Bludd smiles at Pennington. "Long's you like it," he replies.
Artemis calls out, having noticed movement, "Someone is approaching." She doesn't seem concerned, however. She continues to walk around the camp, and look for likely places to build. Sure she said she'd look tomorrow, but what the hell, early bird gets the worm.
Snake-Eyes snaps to attention, comming to a crouch, his hand wrapped around the hilt of his knife, looking toward the movement.
Katie glances around and over as well, to see who might be approaching the camp.
Major Bludd directs his gaze similarly, though his posture seems to indicate he's not overly concerned.
"I would suspect that we're the Wheelers." Hawk says, with a nod towards the Baroness. Looking towards Snake-Eyes, he says. "Perhaps it would be best if you posed as my brother. The Major could be my brother-in-law perhaps, tying the 'families' together." he says, as he turns towards the activity in the woods.
Baroness nods quickly to Hawk, considering it quietly and listening. "Hmm.... That could work, yes." She smiles just a little bit. "Should be interesting to see how much we can build of a cabin."
"That would work just fine -- so long as we're all on the same page about it," Pennington chuckles. "Wouldn't want to call someone my brother if they're supposed to be my uncle, that might be bad." She glances toward the area where everyone else is glancing, wondering who might be approaching the camp.
Artemis chuckles at Heather, "Unless we said we were hillbillies, too... Than it would make sense. No forks in the Family tree.."
Temera keeps approaching the camp from the woods, glancing to Hawk quickly and holding up the red uniform, unfortunately. She heads for Hawk almost immediately. "Found this in a boat well down river, sir... Hate to say, but it looks like two people made off with Lifeline. Their stop was close to the mill... I didn't notice a trail, and didn't want to get caught out without more backup, but..."
Snake-Eyes stands, looking at the suit then the woman carrying it, "That's not good," he states, the looks to the General, "What do you think, sir?"
Major Bludd looks from Hawk to Pennington and back. "Wouldn't that make Pennington your sister?" He looks at the uniform Temera's carrying. "But maybe we have bigger problems."
General Hawk looks to Bludd. "Actually, it would make her the Baroness' sister." he says, before looking at the uniform with a frown. "Indeed.. this does complicate things. Perhaps a search party is in order, but I think it best we get started in the morning. All of us have had a rough day, we all need time to think about our roles. When we find Lifeline, then we'll get back to business."
Baroness nods quickly. "Getting him back would mean four people to work in the mill, as well..." She ponders. "That, and confirming land claim, are definitely all important at the moment."
Snake-Eyes looks over to the General, "Sir, i'm probably the best equipped to go after Lifeline. Not only am i trained to survive in harsh climates, i'm also the only one wearing body armor that could stop a period round," he looks around, "Also, when the mask is on, and I go with just the suit, there would be plausible deniability for the rest of you as far as associating with me."
General Hawk nods to Snake-Eyes. "Agreed. Work with Temera, see if you can pick up some sort of trail that we can follow and find him."