(2015-07-31) Pinned Down
Pinned Down
Summary: Dixie, Quinton and Piper in another encounter with the supposed enemy.
Date: 7.31.205
Related: Alien Tech, Enemy Among Us

Cedar Bluffs is a small little village southwest of Fremont. It's not much to talk about, previously having a population of 610. South of Main Street and east of King is a wasteland of charred buildings. Life, in the form of plants, is returning to the burned out section. In a few years it will resemble more of a wooded meadow than a burned out residential.%R%RMain Street itself starts out as a residential district but then flows into a small 5 block business district, containing a few general stores, a salon, a bar or two and the usual post office, American Legion and Senior Center.

In camp there is always need of something. The Matsons thought of a lot of things when they were prepping for the survival camp, but they couldn't prepare for every little instance. And with the influx of new comers and other issues scavenging is a necessity. And that's what brings them to Cedar Bluff, currently safer than Fremont, even if it is smaller. Piper leads the pack horse, with its basket like panniers. The light rain doesn't seem to bother her, as she walks barefoot down the empty street, flanked by victorian style houses in the section they are in. As she walks, she arches her back, adjusting the rifle held between backpack and back. She'll blame that for the ache in her lower back instead of the more obvious reason. Denial is only a river in Egypt.

It might be light rain now, but Dixie spent the storm hiding under a table in the canteen. While she might be tired, she currently has the stock of her rifle resting in the crook of her arm as she walks along. Orders are orders, and she easily agreed with the Matson's orders to go out to Cedar Bluff. With the light rain, she's now wearing her poncho over her uniform. While she does have concerns over Piper's 'condition', she doesn't air them, as she respects her shooting abilities. She mostly remains silent, unless it's on views or pretty flowers.

Pointing to one of the houses that isn't boarded up, she tends to avoid those if she can help it, and so far she has been able to. Piper heads over, loosely tying the horse to a shrub at the side of the house before heading up the porch and trying the doorknob. Locked. There is a hmming noise and she looks to Dixie with a questioning expression and a motion signalling going around back.

Dixie continues to follow after Piper, though she frowns at the build that she's being lead towards. As the other woman moves to the door, she grasps her rifle in both hands, and regards her direction curiously. She moves up to provide cover. She frowns a little when the door doesn't unlock, and when there's a motion to swing around the back, she offers a single nod, and slips her rifle over her shoulder in favour of her sidearm. She moves as quitely as she can, around to the back door. When she's there, she angles herself off to the side and tries the handle for the rear door.

For her part Piper isn't all that concerned about the locked door, she stays on the porch a moment, surveying the neighborhood from her new vantage point. After a few moments she begins to follow the woman around the house, for the most part she doesn't try to be stealthy, sometimes she just can't help it. Today it is a little of both, following the example of the southern woman. Her barefeet make no noise and she generally doesn't either, as she slips up next to the woman, peeking in a nearby window.

For the most part, Dixie wasn't aware that Piper scooted around behind her. It's only after find the door is unsecured that she glances back. Nope, she's not over shocked or jumping, but simply more puzzled. She just raises a brow for a few moments, and then gives a little nod. She doesn't say anything, as she carefully cracks the door. At first she carefully opens the door a fraction, and she takes the time to inspect the small portion of the room she can see. She raises a finger up to her lips, in an that most likely wouldn't apply to Piper. With one hand on the door knob, she carefully moves herself to the other side of the door and motions for her silent companion to move to where she was. If Piper does move to where Dixie once was, she'll carefully open the door to fully reveal the entire room.

The cautious behaviour of Dixie is found odd by Piper. She nor Quinton, whom she usually tags along with, are never this methodical in entering a house. This is probably made clear by her less cautious behavior and just walking in the house in a more casual manner and past Dixie, unless she is stopped of course.

Dixie might be rather shocked to react when Piper moves into the house, while not being as cautious. It's easy to read her eyes, despite the lack of a smile or frown. It's possible that she sees all buildings as potential danger when entering. "Miss Piper, you ain't going to start breaking the horizon are you?" she asks in a soft voice, as she moves into the building with her side arm drawn. She's still being careful, though her pistol never moves towards Piper at all as she starts to sweep the lower floors.

There is a light rain falling and Cedar Bluff is once more the location of some scavenging. Dixie and Piper have tied thier pack horse between two houses and just entered through the back door of one of them.

Piper's gaze sweeps the laundry room, not much be had there except a few empty bottle of laundry detergent and dryer sheets. Those are left behind. The expression she gives Dixie at the question makes it clear she has no idea what the other woman meant by that question, but even if she did there probably wouldn't be an answer. She continues into the kitchen, looking around and heading to the Fridge and it's large collection of alaphabet magnets. A grin crosses her face and she begins to collect them. Most would probably just leave them there to collect dust, but she pulls them off and starts to put them in her backpack.

Dixie does continue her sweep, being careful with her sidearm drawn. It's during a pass that she notices the questioning look. "Uh, it might be a little complicated," she offers, as she continues to poke around for goods and goodies. "If you approach a ridge, never go over the stop. Find a tree, keep low and use the tree to shield yourself. If you go straight over, you show yourself against the horizon." She takes the time to poke her head into a storage closet, and then holds out a canteen. She's quick to attach it to her belt, just so she can keep her hands free. When she finds nothing else of interest in the sparse remains, she ducks into a bathroom and does a quick check of the floor and drawers. Success! It's a sparsely filled bottle of anti-biotics, which she's quick to slip into a pocket with her free hand.

Quinton went out earlier, alone. Probably not the best idea, but he has a scavenge list a mile long. And seems to be doing well at it today, his backpack full already and a secondary camera bag slung on his shoulder. Most things he shares, but the two cans of soda? Totally hoarding those. Recognizing the horse he'll glance around trying to locate the people, or where they are. Not wishing to scare anyone he'll softly talk to said horse, "Hey…buddy…where's everyone at?"

Listening to the explanation, the woman gives a nod, the remaining magnets are scrutinized and get spells out "Got it" before pulling those letters off and dropping them into her pack. Seeing movement out of a nearby window, she eases to it and peeks out the curtain. Tap.Tap.Tap against the window with a fingertip to get the man's attention on the other side. She then gestures for him to come inside.

How did Dixie hear that? Maybe she's part bat or something, or is just really alert to her surroundings "Porkchop's talking to horses now," she says softly in amusement. She glances towards Piper for a moment, simply to read out the message on the fridge. She offers a thumbs up as she continues to search for things that might be useful. She finds two odd socks in the bathroom, and continues a search in case she might find another matching sock. It's most likely futile.

Tap tap tap, a pretty girl waving a guy into an abandoned house. If that isn't the start to every horror movie ever… Quin gives a small smile and wave, patting the horse once before heading to the back door. He looks around the entrance, but doesn't move to check the house, figuring the girls have already gotten everything useful. "Morning." He's got tow straps now to loop his thumbs on as he waits.

A frowny face comes to Piper's face, but it is mostly given to Dixie's back as she is walking away. Pulling to letters from the fridge she holds them up and I and and H, to show Quinton what she found and greet him. She quickly realizes they are backwards for him and crosses her arms so they spell "Hi" properly.

No matching socks to the two she found anywhere. One's also longer than the other, which doesn't please Dixie at all. She does poke her head out of the bathroom, unaware of Piper's frowny face. "Hey guys, you know I've figured out why we never had matching socks. They took them to spread chaos and discord. Also Porkchop, need antibiotics?" She offers a bright smile towards the man. "Also thanks."

Quinton chuckles at Piper's greeting, it's effective, at least. When Dixie comes back and gives her theory about how long the Aliens must have been here, Quin chuckles but it drops when she calls him that nickname again. A head shake, "Stop." His brow then furrows, 'Antibiotics? Jesse could, I'm sure." He nods, the bit of negative dissipates from his stance and she gets a quick smile back, "No problem."

There is a grin from Piper and the rest of the magnets are collected, even some of the decorative ones. One is holding a child's drawing and she gingerly touches it breifly but leaves that magnet there, to hold the drawing in place. Now a memorial for the lives that once lived here. The cohesive demand and follow up statement has her looking once more at Quinton. She's glad to see he is finally having a good day. She gestures to the front door, questioning whether they should move on.

Dixie notices first, the chatter of voices from outside the front. It's talking, but the exact words aren't easy to pick up. A few moments latter the other pair will pick up on the voices at about the same time one word suddenly does become clear "Teds!" it's not yelled, but it is louder. It's the same word used in the encounter before. There is sudden silence and then "You know what to do." boots on ground can then be heard quickly moving toward the house.

Dixie spends a few moments to dig the tablet of her pocket again. "Like I said, I'm just joking around," she offers, still cheerfully. "I know your name is Quinton. You did tell me you got shot, and I ain't certain if you've got a heap or nothing at all. You know, infections and such." She then falls silent, as she tilts her head a little to the side and she looks worried with the chatter of voices. She starts to shake her head as Piper moves towards the front door. "People are out there," she whispers softly, as she starts to step towards the back door. "They're coming. Same people as last time." She starts to quietly move back towards the door rear door.

Quinton's not going to just take pills Dixie hands him. He shakes his head, "We should save…" He trails off when he hears the voices too, his face dropping as he slowly pulls out his gun. He motions for Piper to follow Dixie, he'll take up the rear.

Piper drops from a seemingly happy persona to a serious one as soon as she hears the voices. A nod is given to Dixie and she is pretty much thinking the same thing as Quinton, that she is going to be rearguard. Her rifle is slid from its handy resting place and she takes a moment to check her ammo. When she is motioned to go first she looks about to argue, but realizes they don't have time for that and moves to quicklt follow the other woman.

Is Dixie a freak? Maybe. She rests her hand on the door nob to the rear door, and she listens for a few moments. "Two at the front, and it sounds like one coming up each side. Four hostiles." She takes a deep breath. "They're trying to pin us in here." She looks like she's trying to decide what to do. She's not special forces, and while she knows how to clear a building, she mightn't have an idea of how to get out.

Quinton will take it. Seems the only way he wins arguments, by lack of time for people to argue back. Either way, pregnant woman is at least a little safer in-between the two of them. He likes to believe, anyway. "Upstairs? Pick them off?" His voice is oddly hollow, like he can't believe he's even saying that. He's trying to keep an eye on the front door and windows.

Whatever is going to be done needs to be decided quick. Footsteps can be heard on the front porch and figures in BDU's can be seen trying to see inside through the translucent curtains that cover them.

The stoic face has fallen into place and the rifle is held pointed to the ceiling for the moment, but ready in case she needs to take a sudden shot at someone. The stoic expression goes away breifly to give an odd look at Dixie and her uncanny sense but then falls back into place. She nods a head to the back staircase, suggesting that Quinton's plan makes more sense to her, but leaves it up to Dixie to decide since she is the one with the military experience.

Dixie gives a nod to Quinton's suggestion, and the option that they fall back upstairs. "Engage on higher ground," she murmurs in agreement. "We fight on our own terms." She raises a hand up to lock the rear door. "You two, upstairs first. I'll be right behind you both." She keeps her side arm in hand, as she glances towards the back stair case. "They should sweep the lower floor first."

Quinton's got his gun trailing the windows, not wanting to start the gun fight that's surely going to happen. He's going to make an assumption, that they've already cleared out the top floor so he nods, motioning for Piper to go first. He'll quickly follow, trying to keep close. "Why are they doing this?" It's whispered, almost to himself.

The doorknob on both the front and rear door can be heard jiggling. Both had been locked to slow the enemy down, but the smashing of glass from one end and solid kick to the door on the other sounds loudly through the house.

Piper doesn't wait to be told, and this whole chilvary thing, while thoughtful isn't going to wash when they need to hurry. She takes Quinton by the good arm and begins to rush up the stairs, her eyes quickly taking in the layout and picking a room, seemingly at random. The whispered question isn't answered, and considering the situation, it might not even be noticed that she tries too and looks a bit frustrated when it fails.

Dixie is as promised slowly moving up the stairs behind Piper and Quinton. She's not fired, but she's flipped her weapon so it's ready to fire if needed. She might not have paid attention to the question, as she listens to the movement below. She has no idea what Piper tried to do at all, either. Her pistol is holstered in favour of her rifle. She moves, trying to put herself into a covered position that will let her cover the rear stairs.

Unfortunately, his good arm is the one with the gun. So it looks like Piper wins this round of silent arguments ?. Quinton follows as quickly as he can, although he stays in the doorway, crouched down trying to keep an eye in the hallway. Again his voice is whispered, "Windows." Maybe they'll get incredibly lucky and there will be a fire ladder or something.

The entry of the military forces is clear. Boots on carpet in the front, boots on tile in the kitchen area. Voices calling out "Clear" echoes through the house. There is a bit of brief silence then, though they are clearly still down there.

Piper knows she is the better shot when it comes to Quinton and her, so she isn't going to just hide in a room and let him potentially miss anyone coming up the front steps. She gets as low to the ground as she can, laying partially sideways, only her head and business end of the rifle out of the door that the pair are in. Her watch point and target, anyone that comes up those front stairs. A brief glance is given to Quinton though the message is unclear, apologetic? But what does she have to be sorry for?

Dixie remains perfectly still, the barrel of her rifle not leaving the rear stairs. Her breathing is slow and controlled, as she listens to the noises down below. Her rifle is actioned, and the safety is switched off. She spends a moment to glance out of the room she's taken cover in to find where Piper is hiding. She points down with her hand, but doesn't say anything, and she might be indicating the noises below.

Quinton's breathing has gone shallow, he's not a fighter, certainly not been trained in any of this. No natural instincts beyond protect the one's he's with. The poet locks eyes with Piper, unsure what she's trying to convey but then looks back Dixie and then the stairs. And waits. The longest moment.

Footsteps can be heard coming up the steps, both front and rear. The military enemy is trying to be stealthy but they are only doing a passable job at it, maybe because they aren't being particularly slow…or maybe they just aren't very good at it. The back steps go straight up so that enemy is spotted first, the front steps switch back so its a few seconds later that the enemy there is sighted. As before, the pair are teenagers, slightly older than the other group. One on the rear steps, one on the back.

Piper hears them both, glancing back toward Dixie quickly she taps indicating that she hears them too. The othe woman has been so accurate its just assumed that she heard them. She gestures toward the front stairs and holds up one finger. And get ready to fire.

Dixie offers a little nod back to Piper, as the foot falls come up the stairs. She'll go the usual route, tying up the hostiles with wounded to treat to allow for escape if it goes to plan. She waits until the teen sets foot on the top step of the stairs, and her barrel shifts towards his hip. It only takes a small squeeze, and then her rifle roars to life as a single shot is expelled. There's a cry of pain as the teen is hit.

Quinton didn't hear them, maybe he's trying to figure out a way out of this mess without more blood spilled. But that's not happening it seems, his gun levels again, on the toppling teen, waiting to see if he get's up or if more follow.

The only hesitation on Piper's part is whether to aim left of center or just wound the teen. There would be no hesitation on the teens part, she knows that for a certainity. It shows on her face, for a brief moment before she squeezes the trigger and the bullet flies through the air and embeds itself in the teens shoulder, knocking him backwards over the bannister of the staircase, where he thuds to the ground.

"Fall back! Fall back!" is heard from downstairs as two of the military teens are taken down straight away. Wounded, but not killed. Only two pairs of boots can be heard, sounds like they have retreated to the kitchen, which the backstairs lead to.

Quinton frowns, hesitating only a moment before slowly starting to stand to move. the man is trying to move across the floor, to possible get a better shot, or yell at them to go away. or hell….he doesn't know. But his gun is up and ready to fire.

Dixie chambers another round, and she keeps the rifle trained towards the backstairs. She listens to the sound of boots, and once again motions downwards, but this time towards the kitchen and the stairs. She slowly eases herself out, rifle help firmly against her shoulder. "Out the front and go?" she murmurs softly.

Getting to her feet Piper, but staying low, she nods to Dixie, glancing at Quinton a moment she begins to move toward the front stairs, looking down first and wincing at the body lying at the bottom thanks to her. The teen is still alive, but his leg isn't really supposed to bend that way. Taking point she moves down the stairs, rifle at the ready. The front door has been busted down and she pauses briefly to let the others go past.

Quinton shakes his head, unsure that leaving cover is the best idea. They may just end up getting the horse shot. He glances to the two women though and will follow their leads. Although Piper gets a head shake, he's not be chivalrous…Piper's pregnant. Two on board. her safety automatically is more important. How is this hard to understand? It's math. The teen soldier get's a look over, weather they go down the stairs or not.

Dixie moves down at the end of the group, and she does let Piper pick up the tail end of the group, while she moves to take up a position at the front of the building. Nope, she doesn't look towards the injured teen at all. She's still silent at the moment, and keeping a close watch over her surroundings.

There is some noise from the kitchen, a curse and a creak is heard the two teens that are left begin to head up the back stairs.

Piper has shown herself to have an overprotective streak, maybe it's evolving to include people besides her little flock of children. Whatever the reason she covers Quinton, rifle aimed toward the kitchen, as he searches the teens body. She does nudge the dropped weapons with a barefoot, indicating they should be taken.

Dixie remains out front, rifle at her shoulder as she scans the area. She most likely trusts that Piper has the situation under control while she looks for any other potential threats. She's breathing slowly, and occasionally glances back in.

Quinton crouches, just briefly, looking over the boy. Half making sure he's breathing, half looking for anything useful, like a unit patch or something to identify what they are, or even maybe why. His head tilts, glancing at a weird lump on the back of his neck…Did he break it? Either way, nothing helpful for what he was looking for, so he grabs the nudged the kids weapons, before standing to move to exit the front door with Piper and Dixie.

The woman frowns, but she leaves the teen alone. He'll probably live to see another day. And take this loss out on some other person in the future. Which is the saddest part really. By not killing them now they are putting themselves a risk later. She voices none of that, and she could be frowning about anything. She walks backward out the door until she reaches the porch steps and then hurries down them toward the horse. She makes a weaving gesture with her hand and points to the next street over. She is suggesting something.

Quinton can't think like that. he just…can't. he follows, keeping am eye on the house, going from the doorway to the windows upstairs. He let's Piper lead them, trying to take up the back again. She seems to have some plan, which is more than he does.

Cutting through the backyard, Piper cuts west hurrying between the backs of two houses, the horse is spooked because of all the gunfire, but she manages to get him to follow for the moment. She glances back to make sure that Quinton and Dixie in rear guard are following. She basically weaves through a few more houses, then cuts across the street to do the same, until they get to fourth street and they can make a run for it.

Quinton scans the area, taking a moment to try to get the gun strap over a shoulder. he's a little weighted down now…hopefully he doesn't need to run. And then the holy grail. A jeep, military, is clearly out of place sitting on a side street. Quin pauses, glancing back in the direction of the house before motioning for them to stop. "Let me go…" He motions towards the jeep. Even if they can't take it(If there's no keys) he can let the air out of a tire so they can't follow them.

The keys are in the ignition, they didn't think anyone was going to steal the thing. Just like they didn't expect anyone armed and dangerous to be around.

Quinton wins again. No argument from Piper, mostly because she doesn't know how to drive. She lets him jump in the driver's seat and she gives the horse a smack of the hindquarters to get him running away. Hopefully he will make it back to camp or Jade is going to pissed. Piper takes shotgun and the other woman hops in the back ready to fire in case they are followed. Then they are off heading south out of town.

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