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Enter Sandman

Posted on Mon Mar 1st, 2021 @ 3:27am by Captain Rhenora Kaylen & Lieutenant JG Sarah Wilson & Chief Petty Officer Ronson Mitchell & Commander Savar cha'Salik hei-Surak Talek-sen-deen & Lieutenant Dean House & Chief Petty Officer Remal Kajun

Mission: The Jungle
Location: River

The team took the time to rest and regroup, starving off exhaustion as best they could by eating what meat Ronson had managed to bring with them and taking sips of water from the canteen. Rhenora looked at her husband, unsure if she wanted to tell him about her dream or if it would only cause him more pain.

"This should be a good place to stop for now, but we need to keep moving. Out in the open like is is too exposed." He commented to the group. He had seen the look in his wife's eyes, but he knew if she wanted to tell him something she would. When it came to being there and being an attentive ear, she knew that was his duty in life.

Dean was thankful that they had already left, even if it meant that he had to track them down. Feeling like he was catching up. That was particularly true since they had stopped to rest. Giving him time to close that gap. Being very careful once he got to them so he didn't get attacked. Leaving the hood down as he approached.

Rhenora was on edge, fearing they had been flushed out of the cave for a reason. She kept a keen eye and ear to their surroundings, tuning her senses to the jungle around them.

"Shh, something's coming" she hissed to the team as she rose, motioning for Remal and Ronson to take the weapons.

Remal stood, placing himself inbetween the potential danger and his wife. If they wanted her they would have to go through him first.

Hopefully it was them and he wasn't walking into those reinforcements the one Hunter was talking about, because he didn't have the bow, dagger, or energy pistol off of the other two Hunters he killed, raised. Hands up as Dean came into view.

Rhenora sagged in relief, dropping back to the ground as she recognized Lt House under the hood.

"Lieutenant, to say it's good to see you is an understatement" she admitted, indicating Remal and Ronson to stand down as well.

Dean nodded as well, lowering his hands. "All of you as well. I've got some information I need to mention. First, though, is everyone still alright? At least as well as they can be." Flexing his hand, while it was about healed, it was still a little stiff.

"No worse than when we saw you last. This is Res, he had an altercation with one of the hunters" Rhenora gestured to their newest addition. "There was an earthquake and we thought the cave unstable" she explained, indicating for Dean to sit with them. "What have you discovered?"

Res nodded at the newest arrival but otherwise was silent, listening to hear what he had to say.

Ronson and Remal still held the blade and remained on guard, carefully watching the surrounding jungle in case House had been followed. He was sure they had been forced from the cave for a reason.

"Res," nodding a bit, "I'm glad you're alright." Dean looked back to the rest of them after he sat down. Setting the pistol, blade, and wrist device down. "Besides those. The Hunters are just as trapped as we are. I know it's pretty complex, but I think the one I let live set off the earthquake. As well as, with the trapped, they are being forced to do this. Their families are being held captive. If they manage to win, which would be killing you, Captain. Their families will be left free and monetarily compensated."

"Great, just what we needed," Rhenora grumbled as she chewed on a piece of meat. "Why is it that everyone's victory or freedom comes with the price of my head?" She shook her own, the blonde strands brushing her face as they broke free from her hairband. Prophets; she was looking forward to a long hot shower after this. Almost more than coffee.

"I have a theory about that." Dean wasn't going to claim anything he had put down, he was fine with the bow and the blade he already had. They've worked really well so far. "I think it's because we make more formidable opponents. I don't know if this is just for our captors' fun, or if we're being bet on, but something like that. If the head of the snake is cut off, they think the body will die." Knowing her question was more rhetorical was his theory.

"They underestimate us then. Whether they kill me or not Savar is gonna get that damn Idol and bust the rest of you out of here. Maybe this diversion will only aid his success. If they're focusing on me he should be able to travel unhindered" Kaylen extrapolated, wishing for once they had a mission that just followed the book. Then again, not following the book was why she was out here.

"With all due respect to yourself and Commander Savar, this isn't a solo effort. To the contrary of my going off by myself. It's still a crew effort. One for all and all for one." Dean gave a sigh, "Since he's already out there I take it from the way you worded it? Then we need to work on making sure to help that, not just have you as the distraction, ma'am."

" Savar and Aurora left for the Idol a day or so ago, under my order." The Captain replied, tossing up a few decisions in her mind. "You are welcome to stay with us. We will be moving slowly, however. If you wish to pursue Savar and Aurora and assist them you are also welcome to do so."

Dean nodded, "I was already aware it was under order. I apologize, by the way, for getting too far away from the cave." Rubbing his nose a little. "Only if you think I should, even then. It would be later, I need to rest at least an hour or two."

"We all need to rest, Res is recovering from a nasty back injury, and you know how mine is dating" she patted the strapped injury as though it were a long lost friend "what I wouldn't give for a fully equipped sickbay right now" beside her Sarah snorted in agreement.

There was an acknowledgment to that. "I do know." Sliding down off of the rock, Dean leaned back on it.

For the next few hours, the team rested, taking what food they could and keeping the noise to a minimum. Rhenora's gut clenched, fearing the game had just moved up a notch. She tried her best to rest despite the gnawing inside, telling herself they would deal with whatever presented itself and that worrying beforehand only wasted energy, something that was in short supply. Her leg hurt like nothing else, trying to divert her attention. Remal and Ronson spent the time making a more suitable crutch from some branches and the knife.

Dean was going to actually get the rest he should before they all were up again and figured out a plan. He did stay awake or woke up enough to suggest to Remal and Ronson to use that energy pistol. They could carve out some pieces of stone to make two braces, tie them, as well as the stone for the crutch instead of something that could break if Rhenora had to move fast.

Ronson took the weapon, careful to only use it as minimally as possible to conserve the charge. A hole was worn in a river stone, the end of the branch wedged and then fused in, a midline brace coming into a fork, then a horizontal branch to tuck under the arm. All fashioned with mostly rudimentary tools and supplies. Ronson tore a few strips off the bottom of his shirt to made it into some padding. It wasn't brilliant, but it was a damned sight better than nothing.

Resting on the river bank, the Captain slept, her breathing deep and regular as her body recovered as much as it could before they inflicted more on it.

About 40 kilometers away the Game Master entered the jungle, with one thing on his mind.

Hopefully, he wasn't talked about while he was asleep after that, after all, Dean was just trying to help. Just because they hadn't thought about it didn't at all in his eyes or mindless of them or their abilities. Though after long enough, he was awake again. Seeing who was still up, or woken up as well.

Res and Sarah slept peacefully on the soft riverbank, the late afternoon sun warming them. Rhenora was also still asleep as was Remal, who curled into her as though offering protection with his body. Ronson kept watch over everyone, having already taken his turn for a quick look earlier.

"Good evening," he said to Dean as he awoke. He dare not start a fire with Hunters about.

Dean wasn't going to start a fire either, though apparently, it didn't matter too much depending. Picking up the wrist device if someone else hasn't. "Good evening, Ronson." Giving a motion, "Did anyone try to figure any more out about this?"

Ronson turned the device over in his hands again. They had all had their theories but couldn't agree on anything definite.

"We've thought about it, but couldn't figure it out. It's obviously a control of some sort, but we have no idea what for" he admitted.

"Well remember I mentioned apparently, or I think it had something to do with causing the earthquake to flush yall out? It also was used to call for reinforcement Hunters."

Ronson pondered this and recalled the conversation. Turning the item over again in his hands " Was that a coincidence though?" He asked.

"It could have been I guess, or who he kept calling the Game Master may have done it by using their location close to us." Giving a thoughtful look, "Or the Hunter did do it. One of the three."

Ronson considered the options. "It would appear that things can be altered, it's almost like it's a huge holodeck and they can just change things on a whim. You can't tell me the cliffs were always there or the caves just happen to be nearby. I mean know what I mean"

Remal chuckled into his knees. "Sounds like they are cheating at their own game." Then he sighed heavily. "You know who could figure something out with that?" He pointed at the watch. "I bet Bonnie could, bless her heart, I hope she doesn't end up tossed in here. Poor thing is smart, but I've heard she can be a danger to even herself."

" We have no way of knowing" Rhenora said sadly, already having seen two of her crew dead. How many more would they find? "I think we spend another hour here then continue on in the during the night as best we can" She made the decision that staying in one place too long wasn't going to be good for them.


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