(2015-09-21) Ransom Exchange
Ransom Exchange
Summary: Bob, Holden, Quinton, and Terry head out to rescue two of their own from the clutches of the bandits.
Date: 09.21.2015
Related: Abduction, In the Still of the Night

The bridge over the Platte river is congested with long dead cars. Mostly due to the fact that when the lights went out it was under construction and the fourlane bridge was down to two.

The side under construction is particularly hazardous, with gaping holes in it where they were having to do major repairs on the support system underneath the surface.

It was a long night for everyone. Planning, strategizing, gathering the food supplies for the exchange. It's doubtful any of the Campers on the Exchange mission got much, if any sleep. It's finally time and the group heads out into the freezing morning air. It's a bit of a cart train though. There was enough food supplies that the horse trailer is completely full and there is the ATV trailers filled up to. All pulled by the camp horses. As they arrive at the bridge, with its abandoned cars and construction vehicles, they can see in the distance a similar group of bandits coming into view on the other side.

"Eyes and ears open, folks," Terry whispers into his radio, positioned a fair distance from the meeting sight, but still having it within visual range. He's got his usual sniper perch decked out with locally-sourced camouflage. Hopefully he won't be easy to spot. He runs through a few quick checklists to make sure he's ready for what's to come, loading his rifle, dialing in the scope, and checking his logbook to ensure his calculations are on point. The shooters he conscripted for the gig are probably doing their own variations on his activities, and picking their targets. Finally they check in, one after the other, on their respective radios, and after all's said and done, Terry settles in.. and waits for his cue.

Quinton's been quiet. Not a terrible uncommon thing, but prolly very frustrating, given the circumstances. he didn't sleep, that much is clear, his hair is mussed, and his holster is on top of his sweater, in easy reach. Any questions he answered shortly, and any that know him can tell he's , understandably, having a rough brain day. because of his current condition, he's letting the other's take lead for now.

Holden rides with Quinton. He doesn't say anything the entire trip until they arrive. He hops off the cart, looking across the bridge at the bandits. Finally, he speaks, muttering, "I got a bad feeling about this…"

The bandits see the group of Camp Hope people, at least the ones that are at the bridge, Quinton, Holden and those with him. There are eight all together, and as promised the woman are with them. The group pauses at the bridge, talking amongst themselve for a moment before they start heading across the bridge toward the group. They are in some semblance of formation, but they aren't military about it. Each woman is flanked and held by the arm, at gunpoint. They aren't taking any risks. The one Terry and Quinton will recognize as the leader, steps forward. "I see your leader decided not to join us this morning." he calls out, stopping half way across the bridge.

Kayla is flanked by two sizable men, each holding one of her biceps. Her arms are held behind her back, and it could be assumed that her wrists are tied since most people don't walk that way naturally She looks as exhausted as anyone from Camp Hope does; dark bags accent under her eyes and her steps are a lacking any sort of pep. As she sees the group from Camp Hope, her eyes latch onto her brother.

The petite and pregnant Piper doesn't have the same honor guard as the other woman. She only has one brute holding onto her. Her arms are similarly behind her back. She is visably trembling, but besides a bruise on her face she is unhurt and looking exhausted as well. She is pretty much just going through the motions at this point. Her face expressionless, her eyes the same. The lights are on, but nobodies home.

Holden takes a few steps out onto the bridge and then stops. He inhales deeply, glancing at Quinton, then looks back at the bandit who spoke. He stares at him a moment, and then looks at Kayla. "Are you okay, Clutch?"

Quinton doesn't respond, glancing at both woman to make sure they're physically alright His jaw tightens, but he looks back to the leader. He's trying very hard to not lose his temper. He internally winces, knowing the leader's going to reacted to Holden not answering him. Seems like the type that's going to demand they don't talk to the girls. He follows behind Holden and just nods, "..We're…here." Another internal flinch, he knows he must sound weak, which is probably not going to help anything.

Alright! Showtime. "Everybody lock a bandit…" Terry whispers into his radio. He continues the battlefield layout, and sizing up the opposition, before returning to his target: the leader. Kayla and Piper's bandits likewise have their own personal 'physicians', ready to administer high-speed lead injections on cue. With any luck, Camp Hope will soon have its girls back, and the world will be less a few bandits. Of course, that's assuming everything goes as planned.

"Never better," comes Kayla's flippant reply to Holden as he calls to her. Her gaze flicks to Holden as she speaks before returning to her brother - when she meets his gaze, she offers a brave wink and a faint smile. It's not so bad, see? Everything is fine. "Everyone here?" she wonders. She's pretty sure they didn't come with just those that she can see, but she wants to keep things vague enough not to tip off the bandits.

Ex-Sheriff Bob has taken up a sniping position as well, not far from Terry, but not so close as to create a convergance should their position be discovered. He keeps his rifle shouldered and the scope lined up on the bandits as they emerge. A quick sweep and he smirks mildly to himself. At least the ones he shot aren't up and around. He grunts once into his radio, and then mutters, "Been locked since they showed up, young gun."

"I also see he is sending boys to do men's work." Frank the bandit leader says to the other group "I'm not sure if I should be insulted or flattered." the talk between Holden and Kayla is largely ignored. To him it is just child's noise. He nudges the bandit beside him "Carlos, go check to see if it's all there, and it is what we asked for." the bandit named Carlos looks at Frank and then the Camper dubiously, but does what he is told. He knows Frank will kill him if he doesn't, the Camp people, they may at least give him a running start.

Holden furrows his brow, squinting a bit at Frank. "Judge me by my size, do you…," he finally offers to the man, sighing. He stands a little straighter, and very seriously continues. "Nevertheless. I'm taking Clutch and her friend. You can either profit by this, or be destroyed. It's your choice, but I warn you not to underestimate my power."

Quinton blinks and can't help a small WTF glance at Holden. Maybe he should have just been the front man. Too late for that now, the poet lets out a small held breath and ,moves to stand shoulder to shoulder with Holden. He doesn't say anything, instead glances between Frank, Carlos and the women. He doesn't make eye contact with the girls though.

Besides the whole shaking like a leaf thing, Piper hasn't acknowledged anyone's existance or really moved at all since they stopped. She seems pretty much catatonic for the most part.

She might not understand the source of half of what Holden said, but Kayla never the less can still see the humour in his statement - mostly because she's so tired everything is getting funny, when it isn't terrifying. Kay actually bites down on her lower lip as she tenses.

Frank might not know where Holden's brave speech comes from, but one or two of his men do, and they really don't look all that impressed by it just as Frank doesn't. "Well you have a pair of steel gahones, I'll give you that much." Frank looks to where Carlos is examing all the stuff and nods when Carlos calls out "It's all here." Carlos then runs back to join the bandits. "Well then," he glances back to the women and then to Quinton and Holden "I wouldn't want you two trying anything stupid, so I'll give you one of them now, and when me and my gang have secured all the supplies and gotten safely back to your camp we will release the other one." he gives one of those smiles that means nothing but bad things "I'll even be nice and let you pick which one goes with you right now."

Bob keeps his sights lined up on Carlos as he inspects the cart from his vantage point. Then the deal gets more complicated. Into his radio, he mutters, "That aint gonna end well. They keep one, we aint gettin her back." Still he doesn't shoot, not yet. "I say we take Piper, then take out the guards on Kayla and grab her." That's his plan anyway…

Holden swallows, tilting his head just a little. He looks at Quinton, then looks back at Frank. Holden takes one step forward. "No." He sniffs, brow creasing a bit, "Both girls, or you and your people don't eat."

The air is electric, at least for Terry. Maybe some of his guys feel the same way. Terry remains calm, however, and focused on the mission. "You take the one eyeballing Piper, the guards on Kayla drop, I plug El Jefe, the bandit problem goes away." At least, that's how it works out in his head.

"Wait, what?" Kayla's head snaps around, eyes flashing, as Frank changes the deal. Not that she knew what the deal was in the first place, but…she's fairly sure the Camp wouldn't have agreed to that. She looks back to Quinton, mouth hanging slightly open, and then to Holden. "Take Piper." It's not a suggestion, the younger Wells sibling tensing and eyes flashing as she speaks. "They're taking her," she clarifies for the bandits, chin jerking towards the pregnant woman. She can't hear what other plans might be being cooked up, and so that's the best thing she's got.

Quinton tenses. Damn it. Damn it all. He opens his mouth to offer a different trade, but the Holden opens his mouth. His jaw tightens more, but now isn't the time to contradict each other. As much as he'd like to.

Frank chuckles at Holden's bravado. "Take our guests back to camp." he tells the men holding the women, not taking his attention off the men in front of him. The three securing the woman are quick to comply and begin to force march them back across the bridge, leaving five bandits, who start pulling thier own weapons out. "Guess we do this the hard way." apparently though not all of the bandits have been lax, one is alert to thier surroundings and calls a warning. "Snipers!" he begins to fire in the direction of the closest one he sees, there is a sharp cry of pain as the bullet hits its mark. (Not Terry or Bob, unless they want it to be.)

Well…shit. This was going to go smoothly. They release one of the hostages, the snipers take out the guards, badda bing, badda boom. Now there's a volley of fire incoming and while bullets whiz past Bob, none of them land home. This time anyway. He takes a breath, holds it and squeezes the trigger. The bullet finds purchase on one of the guards nearest Piper. Bob doesn't waste time, he doesn't look to see if he took the target down (he did), he doesn't wait to see if he's being shot at. He just rolls about four feet to his right, loads another bullet into his hunting rifle and takes aim again. Over the comm he calls out, "Start picking off those guards, we aint gonna have much time before they just start shootin the hostages."

When things start to go south, fast, Kayla reacts with a sharp, "NO!" first..and then she starts to fight back. No longer is she going along quietly with the two goons holding her arms - instead, she digs in the heel of one foot while bringing the other up, and then down, sharply, aiming to drive her heel into the foot of the one on her left. She'd wanted to shoulder check the one on her right, but stomping on leftie's foot threw her just off balance enough to not manage it.

One of the Camp Hope snipers goes down hard, hit in the clavicle. No time to grieve, Terry locks and loads, and begins sending hot lead injections down-range, making sure to stay out of Bob's line of fire. The air comes alive with the sound of rifle-fire from Terry's guys. Inhale, exhale. Fire. Reload. "Copy!" Terry responds. Two of his guys immediately begin picking off the thugs guarding the girls, while Terry works his way toward El Jefe Bandito. No damn way that guy's leaving without a party favor.

Holden ducks a little at the sound of gunfire, and then when the campers start shooting, he snarls, and just runs as fast and hard as he can toward Frank. As he runs, he pulls what looks like a silver and red battery from his pocket. Lifting it up, as he gets to Frank, he just stabs the end of the battery into Frank's arm.

Quinton vision goes red and lunges at the nearest bandit, pulling out one of Holden's home made tasers. The weapon sinks into the man's chest and that distinct sound that many volts of electricity discharging into a body can be heard. There's a look of rage on Quin's face that is completely unnatural on the poet.

Bob's bullet bites deep into the side of Piper's guard. He goes down, taking her with him. Thankfully with the gunshot wound and her bulk on top of him he isn't going anywhere. She must be more cognizant than she lets on because she pretty much ducks and covers.

Poor Frank, timing worked against him. As Holden charges he lifts his gun to fire only to have Terry's bullet send him stumbling so his bullet hits a nearby car instead. Holden's weapon ends up in his neck instead and Frank convulses as the electricity courses through him.

Kayla choose well. She stomps on the foot of the man with the gun, he's got a twitchy trigger finger though and his gun goes off, the bullet grazing down Kayla's leg. That's going to hurt.

Quinton's bandit gets a shot off but misses, only to find a homemade taser in his chest. That bandit starts to convulse as well and goes down, still twitching as the battery starts to loose juice.

It's not a crippling wound, long term, but it burns like fire, and Kayla bites back on a cry of pain as the bullet slices through the meaty part of her thigh. Her footsteps stumble, and only Righty's grip on her bicep keeps her from going down (which is actually a good thing, given her arms are still tied behind her back and she can't catch herself if she does!).

Quinton is already drawing his gun giving the twitching man a harsh kick as he turns towards where the two woman are. seeing Holden running to his sister he almost misses the wet red on her leg. almost. A low, almost guttural noises escapes him and he shoots at one of the men that had his sister. he doesn't know which hurt her, and honestly doesn't care. they both deserve to not be breathing anymore.

Once he's re-positioned himself, Bob is quick to focus in on Kayla, as she's just been the recipient of an untimely bullet to the leg. How rude. Where Bob comes from, you don't go around just shooting women that you took hostage all willy-nilly. Bob takes aim and fires, the bullet slamming into one of the two men who had Kayla pinned down. Between that and Quinton's shot, Kayla is clear to be removed from danger. Bob then gets to his feet, brings his rifle to his shoulder and sweeps the bodies of the bandits through his scope to ensure no one is getting up.

Holden has now spent all the fight he has, and so he turns and runs to Kayla's side, wrapping his arm around her to help support her. He doesn't wait for anything else, and unless she fights him, he starts hurrying her toward the horses and cart for cover.

Kayla is snagged by Holden moments after both of her captors go down. With his help, she remains upright and, with limited limping (adrenaline is a miracle worker!), she is ushered to safety. "Quinton?" She strains to see her brother, and then "Piper!?"

Holden deposits Kayla at the cart. "I'll check on them…" And he turns, heading back to the firefight - which seems to be over. He looks around, and then just asks, "Everyone okay?"

Quinton keeps moving, trusting Holden to get Kayla to safety. he'll have words with him later about the bravado. gun still draw he hurries over to where the pregnant Piper is hunkered down, "…Piper…Piper…" His left hand reaches out to touch her shoulder, "It's…Quinton…"

Piper is keening to herself, laying atop the bandit in as close to a fetal position as she can get. The touch has her flinching until the words wiggle their way through her ears and into her brain. Opening her eyes it takes a few more moments to focus she is then struggling to get up, but doing that while pregnant and with arms tied behind the back, impossible.

Kayla drops less than gracefully when Holden deposits her at the cart. Her leg has begun to burn, and a day without food or water has left her lightheaded, and her hands bound behind her back make catching her balance difficult. She can't see from behind the wagon, not clearly, and so she simply sits, and listens…no more gunshots That's good.

Someone needs to maintain the look out, so Bob lets Holden and Quinton deal with the recovery of their people. He'll just wait until a bandit moves and shoot said bandit again. Sometimes it's fun to not be bound by law and order. He calls out this time, instead of using the radio, "Let's get moving. Once we get the girls clear, I'll come down and and make sure the others don't cause us more trouble." Yup, if they are awake, it's best they hear that.

Holden shouts back to Kayla, "Everyone's okay." And then he begins hopping over the bodies, gathering up all of the guns. "These two aren't going to be out forever," he says of the ones they shocked. "We should get back."

When piper starts moving, Quin drops his touch to start working on her bound hands. "Need….to…go…"He's again struggling with words, having used up what little reserve he had stored already. Once she's fretted, he'll help her up, if she allows, glancing back in the direction of Kayla.

Holden's words bring Quin's attention back to the tow forms they dropped and he check his gun as Piper gets her feet before walking towards the ring leader, clearly getting ready to shoot him in the head, unless he's stopped.

It's like the leg wound all over again, the way Piper is clinging to the poet, only this time she has full use of both legs. When he moves away to check on the bandit, she stays put for a few moments becoming a bit more aware as she comes to her senses. Seeing Kayla she begins to walk over toward where the woman is sitting, stepping on and over the other electrocuted bandit in the process. She isn't going to stop Quinton, if she was cognizant enough she might, but she isn't there yet mentally.

Seeing that the girls are taken care of, Bob slings his rifle over his shoulder and moves down towards the men on the ground. He pulls his pistol from his holster and looks to Holden and Quinn, "Get them back to camp." He's gotten into his cop voice now. Calm, cold and authoritative. "I'll deal with them."

Kayla is behind the wagon wheel, on the ground, arms still behind her, and so she can't see what's going on When Piper finally makes it over to her, though, Kayla smiles up at the other woman, relief clear on her face. "You're okay," she murmurs, her head leaning back as her eyes begin to drift closed. "Quin…" She hasn't lost nearly enough blood for it to be life threatening, though her pant legs is thoroughly red now, but between the wound, blood-loss and her sheer exhaustion, blackness is coming to claim her. And she still can't feel her hands, dammit.

Holden stops moving when Bob gives the command. He looks around, and it's as if everything that happened just catches up with him. His face pales, shoulders slump, and then he bends over and throws up. It's a disgusting wretch lasting a minute, emptying his innards in discomfort.

Quinton struggles with letting Bob do the deed and making sure it's done. Without Frank, the bandits may disperse. His finger twitches, but he finally nods, before heading over to the two women. Seeing Kayla's condition he mutters something under his breath, it may more just be a noise than anything else, and eh'll untie her before starting to try to get them to the cart and horses, so they can get home. Holden's throwing up is ignored. Quin will do that late, he's too worried about Kayla and all that blood currently.

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