(2015-07-19) New Blood
New Blood
Summary: Piper and Gabriel meet Jade and bring her to camp
Date: 07.19.2015
Related: None

OOC: If anyone has the rest of this, feel free to add to it

Road 19

This road runs in a straight mile north and south. It cuts large abandoned farmland. The occasional farmhouse, barn and grain silo can be seen. This section of the road is only about two miles until it dead ends and only one other road crosses it. At the dead end is an orchard, berry farm, where people could pick the fruit themselves.

It's a hot summer night, humid and muggy, with a storm brewing in the air. Occasional rumbles of thunder in the far distance promise rain to ease the sticky atmosphere. Still, that thunder is getting closer - except wait, it's not thunder at all. The sound of hooves on hard-packed ground; at least three animals, possibly more. Immediately to one side of the road rather than on it, heading in the direction of the orchard.

Drones came through again this morning. They have been increasing the last week, and where drones lead, Silencers follow, and the patrols around the camp spread out and are more frequent. Despite her obvious condition, which might not be so obvious in the dark, Piper is on such a patrol. She wasn't seen anything or anyone that doesn't belong since she started though and it's about time she headed back and get relieved. She is clearly armed, rifle slung across her chest, one hand resting idly on it as she moves north toward the dead end. The sound in the distance though has her pausing, looking in that direction, when she realizes what it is she has two options, stay where she is or jump into the flooded ditch beside her. She goes for the former, she has no desire to get soaked…again. So she grips her rifle, ready to defend herself should it be more than some spooked animals.

There are animals, but not spooked. Their pace and direction remain consistent, and the reason for this is visible from a little way off, in the shape of a figure riding one of the animals. By the looks of things, there are four beasts; the person is riding a horse, and leading a second horse and two cows by various lengths of rope. One might assume they've been travelling together for a while, since the animals are following without a problem, nor are they trying to agitate each other.

Why a blind man would have been brought along for patrol might be a question asked by several outsiders it seems that it might not be an odd one for the camp. While he isn't part of camp, he is a neighbour. Ending up helping out. Feeling the rumbling in the ground soon before the sound is heard. Gesturing for Piper as he moves to hide some. Letting her look to see what it is exactly. Not getting soaked though, hearing Piper readying her rifle. Holding his walking stick himself.

Piper doesn't mind Gabriel being along. Not like she would some of the others that have an incessant need to fill silence with incessant chatter. She isn't much of a conversationalist…which in itself is an understatement. Her eyes narrow as her pupils dilate outward, not that it would be noticed, nor has the fact that she can see perfectly in the dark. It's just chalked up to her being young. She gives a nod to Gabriel as he takes cover. She is pretty sure that a lone female with that many animals is harmless but safety first an all. Shouldering the weapon into position she puts herself in the oncoming path of the woman.

"Steady, steady." The woman with the animals can be heard slowing them down as she spots a person-shaped shape in her path, gradually reining in the horses, the cows slowing by default, then turning all four onto the road so they've got space to mill around. She dismounts maybe fifteen-twenty feet away from Piper, keeping hold of the reins, the lead ropes quickly trussed to the pommel of her saddle. "Evening." Cautious but friendly enough - after all, the other woman has a gun, but hasn't shot her.. yet.

Gabriel does just listen and react to the shifting bodies as dust and other things swirl a bit. When the woman comes a bit closer he will shift so he can stand to the side, just in case she tries anything against Piper. Keeping his attention on the woman. Following Piper's lead.

The young woman's rifle follows the movement, appearance wise she seems to be more the type that would be more skilled with a makeup brush than a firearm, but she seems to be holding in with competence. Piper's countenance doesn't change, just continues to watch the woman with a narrow eyed gaze. When Gabriel comes to her side she clears her throat and gives the man's foot a nudge with one of her own as if asking him to speak up.

"I ain't here to hurt anyone," Jade offers as the gun remains in place, keeping her posture relaxed, her hands visible - one holding the reins, the other empty and by her side. "Map said there's a farm this way - I was looking for somewhere to stable these guys overnight, out of the rain." In fairness, both she and the animals look pretty filthy - the constant rain and storms over the last couple of days have made travelling an exercise in mud-wading.

Gabriel does react to Piper's nudge. "Good to hear." He offers about not hurting anyone. "Though first and foremost it would perhaps be wise to introduce yourself. This place isn't really abandoned." He offers as he seems to be studying her. "I can start. Gabriel." He offers. Most likely the smell and the change of atmosphere against his skin, due to dust and other things that might be caught on the animals. Whispering to Piper. "Could bring them back to Sonny if you want." He offers, since he lives outside he will let her decide for now.

The barrel of the rifle lowers as Gabriel speaks and Piper's eyes finally move from the woman to the animals she has with her. She studies them briefly then they move back and continue to study the woman with similar intensity. She remains perfectly quiet though.

"Jade. Jade Williams." The newcomer gives her name easily enough, though her gaze remains on Piper for the most part, only flicking over to Gabriel once or twice; he's not the one with an obvious weapon after all, even if the rifle has been lowered. "If it's taken, I'll move on. Don't want no trouble." She seems set to get back on the hoss, half-turning slowly, though doesn't mount up until there's been some acknowledgement from the armed woman.

Gabriel does perhaps notice Piper's behaviour well enough, at least her studying the group. "Good, good. There might be a place to stay though. If you can convince the young lady here that you are a good addition." The animals could come to use after all.

Proving that she can hear at least Piper nods to the man's words and the rifle is lowered completely, held across her chest and no longer in such a threatening fashion. Her head cants slightly and her expression though, a bit shadowed from the light of the crescent moon. Given a name her expression would be curious if anything.

"Being human and alive ain't fuckin' good enough any more?" Jade's tone is a blend of frustrated and resigned. "I could tell you anything. I could promise to be doctor or a builder or a farmer or a scientist - or shit, why stay small? Maybe I'm an astronaut, or a nobel prize winner, or an olympic medallist. All you'd have is my word to go on. I don't really figure how me telling you what I'm good for amount to shit these days."

The tirade from Jade washes over Piper like water and flows easily away. It seems that its the style of answer she is looking for. She gives a smirk to the woman and reaches over to tap Gabriel twice on the arm. A pre-arranged signal most likely she then beckons the woman to follow.

Gabriel to listens to the woman go off, he's an easy going guy though and after a moment of surprise at the vehemence of it "I guess that was convincing enough." he says after the tap on his arm, "There is a camp east of here. Follow us."

There's a faint frown from the newcomer, then she turns to mount the horse she'd been riding, clicking her tongue a few times to bring the other horse and two cows into order, then gently heels her mount to follow Piper and Gabriel to the camp, whatever that might be.

Piper leads the way north to a T intersection and turns east at it. Her bare muddy feet barely make any noise on the muddy ground. It's a few miles down the road before they turn again onto a more wooded road. It seems there was a sign at the corner at one time, the posts are there, but the sign long gone.

As the walk Gabriel gives a few details about the camp. Population, a couple dozen, give or take. The leaders are Sonny and Bea Matson. The Matson name may be familiar, Sonny owned a large chain of Sporting Goods stores in the mid-west. They have a some animals, cows, horses and chickens mostly and a couple of large barns and plenty of space for them to roam.

"Glad the guys'll be in company, then. This is Haze," Jade voices, patting the grey mare she's riding. "And that's Tate." A motion to the chestnut gelding walking beside Haze. "And those fine girls are Miss Bluebell and Lady Marigold." The cows, of course. "Couple dozen; all adults, or..?"

Gabriel shakes his head about all of hem being adults, "Nah, though I think most." He suggests. Using his walking stick easily enough. Setting down it a bit harder once in awhile. Perhaps to judge the ground they walk on, or to keep anything that would sneak up on them away, like snakes or rodents.

Piper continues to lead, down the wooded road and up to a stockade gate that crosses the road. She lets out a whistle and after a few moments there is a gruff voice from the other side "Hold your horses." though he has no clue there are actual horses in which to be held. The gate slowly opens wide enough to let the walkers in, but when he sees the rest the gate opens wider and his surprise is apparent "Just your luck Piper..finding more of them." he waves them in "Sonny is out on patrol still, but Bea is in the admin building with your flock." the woman nods her acknowledgement to the man letting them in, but still says nothing as she goes through the gate and continues down the road.

Administration Area

Following the road around the curve in it leads to a large area cleared of trees. To one side of the clearing is a parking lot, where several dust covered cars sit, one with its hood standing open, exposing the engine to the weather.

Several buildings are in this area: Admin building, First-Aid Building, Restroom Facilities, a hand water pump is near the rest room, a few pails stacked nearby, and a large pole barn, which is always guarded by well-armed individuals. Beyond those is the first of many campsites that dot the camp as well as a trail that leads to the river.

Across the clearing the road continues and there are several foot paths that lead in various directions.

Nodding slightly to the guy who opened the gate, Jade and her equine/bovine entourage continue to follow Piper and Gabriel through into the camp, her green eyes moving around to try and take everything in. "Can we get these guys stabled up first?" she requests of the silent woman and blind man leading her.

Gabriel does move into the camp with ease, offering a nod to the people around. "I am going to need to head back later." He offers, mainly to Piper. Meaning, he need to go home. Though for now he walks with them, nodding about getting the animals stabled. Letting Piper lead. He's usually only used to coming in and going to the dining hall.

It's about another quarter or so down the dirt road and now that they are on the other side of the gate Piper swings her weapon around so that it hangs from her back. She makes a motion forward, almost as if to indicate they are almost there.

The woods thin slightly and then open into a large cleared area, complete with parking lot with a few abandoned cars and real buildings. Apparently the camp was actually a former camp of some kind. It appears that at least Gabriel and Piper were expected, a much older woman comes from the largest of the buildings, second only to the pole barn, carrying a hurricane lantern in one hand and an infant in the other, she is followed by five other children, ranging from what could be seven to three. Her eyes take in Jade and her animals, "Who have you brought us this time Piper?" she asks, but doesn't wait for an answer "Welcome to Camp Hope young lady." she's in her 60s or so so everyone is young to her "You look like you could use a hot meal, a bath and a good night's sleep."

"Jade Williams, ma'am," the newcomer offers to the older woman, dismounting. She offers her hand for shaking, then drops it a moment later given her greeter has both hands full. Awkward. "And hell yes please to all three, though I need to get these folks settled down first." A wave to her animal family, even as her green eyes settle with marginal confusion on the retinue of children.

Gabriel doesn't interrupt much. Just offering a nod to the old woman before letting Jade introduce herself. Leaning on his stick a bit. Giving the kids smiles and a wave. He did warn Jade after all. Listening to Piper as he tries to know what she's up to as well.

As soon as Bea is spotted with the children Piper is moving quickly to take the infant from the older woman, gently as the boy seems to be sleeping, the rest of the children move to crowd around the her, the youngest hugging a leg while sucking her thumb. The youngest is the only one that looks like she could be related, similiar hair and both with darker skin and eyes.

When the infant is taken, Bea grins at the young woman "They wouldn't go to sleep for me, like usual. Didn't have that problem with my own grandkids. Go on and get them settled and I'll take care of Ms. Willams here." she animals are looked at a moment "Of course. Have to take as good care of them and we do ourselves, don't we." she says "If you head down that path," she points in the direction of the foot path, only a darker shadow from here "It will lead you right to the animal barns." she offers the lantern "You take this, you'll need it. I'll get you a kit made up and meet you down there shortly."

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