(2015-06-17) Night Time Visitor
Night Time Visitor
Summary: Sam happens across Camp Hope and its most silent guardian
Date: 06.17.2015
Related: None

River Bank

The bank of the river gently slopes downward toward the flowing waters of the Platte River. Near the shore the current is sluggish enough for wading, but get out to deep and the current picks up and could carry a person much faster and farther than expected. Jutting out into the river is a dock where the boats available at the boat house can be secured. A path follows the river.

A good spring night, stars covered by the grey clouds that had lingered all day, a drizzle still falling. Earlier there was a spring storm, but now it was a cool steady drizzle. It was perfect for moving about, especially for a lone individual such as Sam. He had enough of roads and from what he remembered of the river, it was a good way to double back, get some distance, re-evaluate things. Thus, he trudged on into the night, prefering it to move versus open daylight it seemed. Not that it was overly dark, the clouds thin enough that some moonlight trickled down beneath it and him far enough out of any tree covering that he wasn't surrounded by the dark so much as the light along the river. Near enough to shore, hugging the bank nearest the camp up ahead. Not that he knew of the camp, simply he learned the main channel along the Platte was closer to the opposite bank here, and he could wade about mid-shin deep at a slow pace. Out here he could still see enough and travel by moonlight. Of course, if anyone was in the darkness he would know either, he was more hopeful in that. Any such someone who watched would see he's unnarmed other than the stick he carried with him which could be a baseball bat if needed, but was more useful to keep moving up current, traveling northeasterly up river from the nearest interstate, quite a few miles away, and towards the vicinity of the camp.

With the camp area being so large, and it's population so low, everyone gets a turn at patrolling at night, even young women who would rather be secure in her tent watching over her flock of children. Piper understands, probably a lot more than others, that safety and security are far more important at the moment than comfort, so here she is, moving through the woods like a ghost and she is alone, a rarity for Piper who is often accompanied by children. She doesn't even have the infant that is so often carried on her person. She saw the interloper as soon as he came within a mile of the camp borders, not armed doesn't mean defenseless, so she started to follow him, keeping at a safe distance, deciding she would just follow and watch, if he got to close to camp, then she might do something about him.

Everything is well in order, for him to look like he's just moving right along. The one thing that changes that is, rounding a curve, he starts to catch sight of that shadow which is the dock and boathouse. Moving until the house itself is more clear, he pauses to study it. Looking for any hint of a light or smoke or something. And, not seeing that, he gives a few more thoughts on the idea, standing in the cool water, flowing down from winter melts off in the panhandle or Wyoming, depending on which branch out that far west. Scartching the back of his head for a moment, he decides on that. To go look further, shelter for a rest would be a good thing. He proceed cautiously through the water and he'll get close enough that if there is a ladder out of the river, he'll take that, otherwise he'll go towards shore. Getting closer to camp, as it were.

As stealthy as she wants to be fate has other things in mind and despite her keen night vision and ghost like movements it isn't enough to prevent her from scaring a few sleeping ducks from there cattail nests. The sudden beat of bird wings flapping as they take to the air fills the nights silence and the young woman freezes in place, bringing the rifle hanging across her back in front of her, the birds startled her as well. With the thick woods, she probably can't be immediately seen, still being a few yards away from where the stranger walks through the water toward the dock.

Nearing that point he can get on towards the dock to examine the boathouse, the flush of ducks taking to the air catches him as well. He startles, no sound from him, but splashing as he moves back form that area with teh cattail nets. Both hands up, partially to guard, partially to show palms, he blinks at the darkness. "Who's there?" Not even sure if it was a someone, but feeling if there is no answer, it could be animal as well. Still, he kepts skepticism up and backs away for the moment. Not that its a great effort, he's moving through water in general, and there is a current that forces concentration on balance too, even if its not deep enough to be dangerous in this part of the river.

Now she has a choice to make, disappear into the forest and let him thing a nighttime creature flushed the ducks, or make herself known. Both have pros and cons, but he is to close to the camp for her comfort so its an easy choice. Rifle up Piper moves forward, no longer moving for silence, though it seems that she is naturally light of foot, because it's not her footsteps that are heard but instead intentional rustling of leaves as she passes low bushes. As for appearance, it's hard to tell what she looks like in the dark, only that she is dark as well. She gestures with the business end of her rifle, indicating that he should step slowly from the river to the bank itself.

As she moves, even in her naturally light foot steps, he eventually gets a silouhette at least. Sam holds his hands up more catching at least enough in what he can see to notice the business end of the rifle point at him. He follows her lead, or that of the rifle pointing from him to the bank. Moving with hands still up, sidelong glances in her direction as he so moves. "I don't mean any trouble here, just didn't think it was occupied, thought I'd get some rest in there." His head turns, jutting to the boathouse.

As she continues to move forward more of her features can be made out. She's young, that much can be noted, not to far out of her teenage years. Piper's eyes stay locked on him as he moves from water to dry land. He may move his attention way from her to the boathouse, but hers stays right where it should be. A hand leaves the weapon breifly, two fingers point to her eyes and then to him. The classic 'I'm watching you' signal and she points back the way he came from.

Sam seems to take the watching sign to suggest she's been watching him. He turns to look back down river from where he came. As if thinking that to ask why he's here even, why he came from there, he gets to the bank and pauses. Hands still up, he'll move if she points the rifle around. "I was with a group that way, they were going to try and go by Omaha, towards Kansas City. We met bandits on I-80, don't know what happend to the others, decided to follow the river instead." Then not sure if she's mute, or simply doesn't want to engage in conversation, he says, "I don't have anything worth taking, but if you want to look through my pack, you're welcome to it." As if to say, he'll hand it over in favor of not being shot.

Her head tilts as he explains himself, then a nod and she gestures with the gun toward the ground and then moves forward once again. It would seem that in her case looks can be quite deceiving. Beauty queen appearance, but holding her rifle as if she were born with one in her hand. It's also easy to see why she is light of foot, no shoes at all. There is a bit of a shrug and what he has or doesn't have, but when he puts the pack down she will nudge it with a toe and look from him to it a few times. Perhaps she wants him to open it himself.

Sam follows her gestures, first to his knee as she gestures to the ground, the pack brought off his shoulder to between them. So she can see as well. "This works easier if you talk," he says, opening it as she nudges it with a toe, and he moves hands to open it. Slowly so she can see. A few changes of clothes, all in the same state as his current ones, come out first. Then a few other items, a couple MRE's that could last him a few more days, showing he'll need to scavenge himself soon, some thread and a sewing kit, and a compass. That's about all he's managed on his own. Then again, he was with a group, probably was more shared until the bandits and he set out on his own. Its all laid out, then he turns it upside down to show no more is in there. Letting her decide what to do from this point for the moment.

Piper has been pretty stoic throughout this encounter, her face pretty expressionless, the mention of talking just causes her to making a hmphing noise as she watches him unpack. When the MRE's are produced she can't help but wrinkle her nose in disgust and she gestures for him to put it all away and lower the gun so it isn't pointing directly at him. The boat house is pointed to and she shakes her head and then points to a trail barely seem in the dark, and gestures for him to follow as she begins to move toward it.

Putting his pack back together, Sam shrugs bout the MRE's. At his stage, food is food, and more safe in an MRE than picking random berries or something that could poison him as well. He gets it all back in, then stands and follows again to where she points, finding the trail and then moving for the boathouse. "I really don't want any trouble, just tell me what you want …" Though silence might be what she's after for all he knows, reslinging his pack, he moves off towards the boat house properly as she pointed out.

The only response is more silence as she looks over her shoulder to make sure he is following. Piper leads the way down the trail, past the boat house and in a few minutes they are on a dirt road. She occasionally looks over her shoulder to make sure he is following. As they clear the woods onto the road, two buildings can be seen in the distance as shadowy shapes. She moves a few feet down the road and digs into her own small waist pack. Two things are withdrawn, a round thing which she takes a bite of and then tosses to him. It's an apple, small, tart and green, picked to early. The other is a brochure, several pics on the front along with Camp Cedars on the front, only Cedars has been x-out and Hope written above it. That is handed over, she then makes a gesture to indicate their surroundings. She then beckons again and leads the way toward the buildings.

He follows right along, surprised when they pass the boathouse, but he follows the trail just the same, easier to follow her, and learn the trail that is. Sam almost misses the apple, but reflexes from earlier life kick in, heightened to catching things. Even after she took a bite, he goes with it not being poisoned is what she was showing him, and takes a bite himself. Eyes closing, glad for fresh food even versus MRE. Then the pamphlet, looking it over as he takes another bite and chews. Looking at it, then up and around, he nods. "This isn't just you or a couple people," he says sort of stunned and looking around wondering if there are more guns on him. "Its an entire outfit?" Hoping more the latter actually, unless they mean him harm.

There is a shake of head and then she continues to the buildings. Which question she was answering…who knows. As Piper gets closer she lets out a whistle, from the sounds it seems like a signal, and it is answered back with another. Then a shadowy figure seems to come out of the buildings shadow, moving forward, toward the pair. "You bringing another stray in Piper?" a masculine voice comes from the darkness to be followed by the man himself. Much older, with long graying beard and hair. His eyes then narrow warily and he brings his own rifle up, but not all the way. "Not your typically stray then. You usually don't bring adults." he then looks at the man again "You're lucky she didn't shoot you on sight."

Just starting to relax, he follows towards the building until a new figure comes out and half raises a rifle himself. Looking between the quiet one that led him and now the one with the voice, he lifts hands again. "I don't know how lucky I am just yet." An admittance, the other man has a rifle now too, "I told her I didn't want trouble, she could take anything she wanted." Not that he honestly has much in his back. Still hands up, he looks more at the other guy, "There quite a few of you here?" As the question wasn't wholly answered by Piper.

"Well you are still alive aren't ya?" the older man says gruffly. A bit of a scowl comes to his face "We're survivors and refugees, not thieves." a nod is given and he glances at Piper. "You sure of him." that is only met with a hand waggle on her part "Still refusing to talk 'eh?" he ask though doesn't expect an answer "Probably for the best, I'm not good at listening, or so Bea always tells me." that draws the barest of smirks from the young woman "Trouble or not, it usually finds you whether you want it or not." he goes back to talking to Sam "There are a few dozen that have found thier way here. You can put your hands down, boy." he lowers the rifle a bit.

A nod from Sam, still alive, good point. Letting the two discuss the situation, or at least the older man talking to the woman that brought him up here, he keeps his peace. That conversation at least confirms the girl can talk, the silence self imposed. Which makes it curious, but he's still there, hands up. Until he can put his hands down, which he does. "And another can be allowed?" To the few dozen that have found their way here that is. "I lost the group I was traveling with …" And could use the safety in numbers theory. So far, it seems good, the Camp Hope name, he hasn't been shot or looted yet even.

"If a person passes muster and they are willing to pitch in they can stick around. Otherwise they are given a hot meal and then escorted to the camp boundary to be on thier way. We don't get many passing though anymore. You're the first since Piper," he gestures to the young woman, "and her flock of youngens come in. And that was weeks ago. You have a name?"

Glancing to the woman, if she's still about in the darkness, he nods. Putting her name to his mind, then he's asked for his own, no time to consider the flock of youngens even. "Samuel … or Sam. I'm out of Lincoln, but originall from up near Rapid City." Figuring Deadwood is only know to those who have been there, or maybe watched that old series. Then again, not certain veryone knows where Rapid City is, unless they ride motor cycles maybe … just the closest big on in that area.

Piper has lingered listening to the conversation, watching the stranger with her stoic expression and hooded dark eyes. If she is interested in what they are saying it doesn't show. Maybe she is just waiting to be dismissed.

"Don't need your life story…not yet anyway. Time for that later. I'm Sonny Matson, I founded this place." he doesn't come right out an say he is the man in charge, that bit is implied.

A nod given to Sonny, he focuses more on him for the moment as he's the one speaking. Sam responds, "Sure, I imagine you've done well." Though it still being towards night, he can't fully comment on that either. "If the hot meal and a shower, then shown the door, is what happens to those who don't work out, I'd like to see if I can contribute. Make a stay of it." Though no definite indication that it would be long term or what, just a stay, a few nights, however long they'll have him. But the apple might of helped with his growing interest, fresh food.

"Well enough." Sonny replies gruffly as he did before "No one is starving at least. And thier roof may be a fabric tent, but it's better than having nothing over your head at all when it's rainy out." simply put, apparenly he doesn't do complicated. "Hot meal we can do, as for the shower, well we have hand pumps, pails and we can scrounge up some soap and a towel for you. Bea should still be in the dining hall. She can set you up. Piper can show you the way."

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