(2015-12-02) Ranch Findings
Ranch Findings
Summary: A day trip leads to both good and grisly findings
Date: 12.2.2015
Related: Related Logs (Say None if there aren't any; don't leave blank. You have to use full URLs, like http://mushname.wikidot.com/logtitle)

Not knowing how long of a trip it would be to the closest ranch, the group set out at dawn. The plan was for a day trip, but it is better to be prepared so they are equipped for an overnight one. Just in case.

South was the direction the horses they rode were pointed, one pulling the ATV trailer in case goodies were found. It's been two hours of straight riding through flat overgrown fields with nary a house or building to be seen. It's the panhandle of Texas. Flat, boring and mostly treeless, though there are ocassional streams flowing through and manmade ponds here and there…remnants of pasture where cows were probably kept, but none have been seen.

The saddle is where Isabeau is arguably the most comfortable. Her two horses in tow in pack gear, she's been strangely quiet the entire trip. She watches everyone as much as possible, wary of the fact that they are so far away from Stratford, and even more wary of the Camp Hoper's mounts and the general condition. She remains quiet, checking a faded old map against the sun's position. Lips pursing thoughtfully.

It's a good thing that Isabeau is leading the group, all this flatness and no discernible landmarks is throwing Piper's usually unerring internal compass off, so she just follows humming to herself or perhaps the infant snuggled to her chest. She rides in the middle of the group, most likely. Despite the fact that she has proven she is fully capable of protecting herself, others still feel the need to do so. She still finds it annoying at times, but has ressigned herself to the inevitable. Her rifle is in its saddle holster, but her bow is in hand, and arrow loose but ready in case a deer or other game animal makes an appearance. "Well…?" it's a single questioning word offered to Isa as the map and landscape is studied.

"\"Rome wasn't built in a day." But so far they seem to at least be on the right track. "Hey be patient, no telling if there's going to be some unstripped goodies around" Shifting in her saddle with a sighs.

Piper cants her head at the woman, wondering if the comment was for her or if Isabeau was saying that mostly to herself. When isn't the quiet, seemingly gentle soul not patient? Gently prodding the horse she moves up to ride beside the other woman. "Staying now." she speaks to the decision of the group not run but stay and defend "Will you?" she isn't going to assume that just because Isa is on this little venture she is sticking around.

Isabeau seems as uneasy as ever, at the question, a quiet purse to her lips. "Don't know yet," She answers slowly as Bandit moves onward. "Not that many options left really." As the continue south. "Seems like the best solution now though. Running's easier though. "

"Prey runs." Piper for a moment looks quite predatory as she says it, the pupils of her eyes flaring. In combination with the old and new scratches on her face it could be kinda creepy. The look is there and gone quickly, but clearly noticeable, and the its back to her usual stoic expression.

Isabeau turns to ''stare'' at Piper under that predatory stare. "Even wolves find out they aren't on the top of the food chain every once in a great while." A sharpness to the words that was likely unintended. "We don't find something soon though and this whole trip will be for nothing." Maybe it's the heat and lack of sleep making the Vet irritable.

The small group left at dawn and started heading south on horseback, ATV trailer and a few other pack animals in tow. It's been about two hours of nothing but flat overgrown farmland and the occassional stream and manmade pond to break up the monotony. It's been a relatively quiet trip, the only noise besides birds has been Piper's humming, mostly likely to keep the infant snuggled to her chest pacified.

Piper at the moment is riding beside Isa, and there has been what passes for conversation for the petite woman, which means one or two words from her in response to what Isa's more verbal replies. "Not prey." she says to Isa calmly, choosing to ignore the tone.

And finally after too long in the saddle, at least for certain members, a cluster of buildings come into view. One is definitely a barn, the others could be smaller sheds and possibly a house.

Quinton's been taking up the rear, quiet as usual. Or maybe just deep in thought form last night's meeting. His pale eyes keep scanning the are, a rifle on his back and a pistol in his holster.

Isabeau is at least relieved to see something of their intended destination in sight, a soft exhale of breath and change in her expression melting some of her irritability. Bandit snorts and Isa fights the urge to go charging on ahead willy nilly. "Longer ride south than I expected." It's almost apologetic as she searches for a stretch of fence to tether her animals to, not wanting to risk them closer until they've checked the place out. She pulls her Rifle with her, dismounting, "With any luck … " She doesn’t finish the sentence, instead looking between the members of their party. "Anyone see signs of tracks or anything that we should be cautious of?"

As the buildings come into view, Isa isn't the only one looking releived, Piper is certainly ready to get off her horse. She aches in muscles she didn't know she even had. As the group stops the arrow is put back in its quiver on her back. "Uh-huh." she lets out, agreeing that it was way to long really…but at least it won't necessarily have to be an overnight trip like the packed for. Grimacing she begins to dismount taking a look around a moment, but focusing most of her attention on the buildings.

Quinton doesn't say anything at first, he dismounts and walks over to the other two. He'll offer a hand to Piper, dismounting with a baby is probably more difficult than it seems. But then he'll quietly offer, "There's…game around. Some larger …mayeb cat. Didn't get close…enough" Seems the poet's eye for such things has gotten better. Or maybe the scare with the lions had something to do with it.

Isabeau chambers a round into her Rifle at Quinton's words, checking the sight. "Horror movie style, or the smart way?" Which must be her bizzare way of asking if they want to split up or go together building by building? She checks the ties one more time, making sure they are secure. Barn first? Or the sheds? Pulling the green bandana up over her nose like an old outlaw's mask, likely to protect against the smell of dead things that they may run into.

Yes, dismounting with an infant is almost as awkward as dismounting when hugely pregnant and Piper both accepts and appreciates the assist with it. The mention of game has her glancing into the distance and tightening her hand on Quinton's a moment..or maybe it was the mention of the cat that made her do that. Either way the way Isa phrases the question gives her the heebie-jeebies and a small, noticeable shiver goes down her spine. "Smart." is her one word answer.

Quinton frowns, glancing at the buildings like he's almost considering them splitting up, but the Piper hand squeezes his and he just nods. Smart it is. He points to what ever structure is the closest. "Just make our way…." He leaves his face uncovered, kinda gross, but he depends on his sense of smell a lot. It's the only sense that hasn't let him down yet….yet. "One should stay….at the door. Lookout." He's also having a much better words day today.

Isabeau nods to the both of them, bandana in place and her steson pulled down. Quietly and with brows drawn together, she looks at Piper and the baby, thoughtfully. "Be careful." Is probably unnecessary but tiny human in the middle of who knows what just makes her uneasy. The path to the building Quin indicates is the one Isa takes off down, at a very light jog, probably meant to stretch her legs more than anything.

Piper nods at both the suggestion from Quinton on the path and the words from Isa. The days of reckless behaviour from the woman are /mostly/ behind her, but today is not a day for recklessness. The bow is replaced with her rifle, which she hangs from a shoulder and then follows at a slower pace after the jogging woman, keeping an eye on the surroundings.

A large barn, a few sheds, a large sprawling ranch style house and a tall windmill, whose turbines creek as they slowly turn in the breeze. There is a dusty tractor sitting beside the barn, and a couple of pickup trucks and a older sedan sitting outside the house, all dusty as well. There doesn't seem to be a soul insight besides the three approaching the place.

The windmill gets Quin's attention, especially after what he said last night and he quietly points it out. He doesn't job after Isa, choosing to stay closer to Piper and baby Quinn. His rifle is out though, and he's giving the surrounding area as much attention as the buildings. He will mutter softly, "Dusty is…good." For them, at least.

That Isa's eyes go directly to the windmill and there's a look of 'I'll come back for you later baby.' Given the thing. She is moving in the direction of the barn first Her intent to get a better picture of everything that's in the place. "Yeah, hopefully. I wonder… anyone tried to recharge drone batteries?" She calls back over her shoulder.

For Piper she is more focused on the house itself. She has less interest in the farm equipment that is the main purpose of this trip then Isabeau does. The woman sticks to the plan though, the house will still be there when they are done searching the barn and sheds. "No tracks." she gestures to the ground as the come within the area of the buildings. Save a few small animal tracks, there aren't any that mar the weedy dir that makes up the space between buildings.

As the large barn door is slid open a strange sight meets the eyes. Several light bulb hang from the barn rafters, most are dark, but one flickers fitifully as if it can't get enough power to shine consistently. There is power here…probably due to the windmill. There is a small tractor, shovels, rakes and hoes. A rack hangs on the wall with a variety of seed packs, mostly vegetables, but a few herbs as well. Bags of grain that have clearly been feeding mice and other small creatures are stacked in a horse stall and saddles and riding gear are in another. These are just some of the items that can be found in the barn.

Quinton lets the two woman go first, he can watch the door (It was his idea). But his breath does catch at the sight of the flickering bulb. He answers Isa though, "Don't know. Think they…burned up…" The poet stays in the door way, glancing back outside, "No signs…of people…"

"Well the only other option is dismantling the thing, and I've been electrocuted enough times to know better. But the fact that it's working at all…" Isa mutters eyeing that lightbulb, but the seeds and the grain, the girl may as well have died and gone to heaven. "Everything we need to get our food started growing." Stepping back outside to start toward the sheds. If she's moving faster, well that's a good sign.

"Lightning." Piper follows up to Quinton's explanation of what happened to the drone batteries they were using. Without the drone batteries no electricity, with no electrify no recharging…Catch-22 there. The bulb has her staring at it for a long moment and then she glances back at the windmill and then to the house. Wheels are turning. "Anymore." for the windmill to be still generating power it had to be repaired after the first wave and maintained since then. As Isa leaves the barn she once more looks at the lightbulb and it's flickering glow and as she follows Isa out she heads over to flip the light switch to the off position, ending its fight.

The sheds have other various farm equipment as well, some antique, like a horse drawn plow and a ramshackle wagon in need of new springs and some boards here and there as well as other odds and ends. No surprises.

Quinton looks over his shoulder briefly, his voice dropping in respect, "The Gomez' had small farms…spread out. We should look for them." Or talk to the two survivors when they're ready. Seems a waste to let them go. Quin frowns softly, but will follow, something about how Piper says anymore has him on edge and he tightens his hold on the rifle,but he follows them. His bandaged thumb seems to be holding up ok, so far. It's not busted the stitch, at least.

A wild maniacal cackle can be heard from the sheds, and Isabeau can be seen running back to the horses and dragging Snow and Lady over. In a few minutes, a squeaking creaky mess of a wagon is pulling out hitched to the two mares, and Isa herself is grinning. "Needs a little repair work but nothing I can't fix once I get a forge set up." Isa nods firmly to Quin's comment for the small farms. "Might be merit to that idea. If you think they'd be willing to tell us." Hopping down from the wagon's driver seat as she pulls it up to the barn. "We should probably check the house too." As she starts loading up the grain and seed. That she finds a knobby-kneed foal in the stall next to it has her frowning again and looking at the light that Piper turned off. "If you have to have batteries for electricity period, that windmill shouldn't be working at all."

The woman raises a brow at the cackle, but when the reason for it is brought out there is a bit of a smile. Maybe she won't have to ride a horse back after all. Give her leg muscles a break. She watches a moment as Isa hitches the horses up then looks from barn to house. The fact that it shouldn't be working is what has Piper looking worried and a bit nervous. With her own rifle in hand she gives a nod and heads into the house. It's less than a minute before she is walking out, her face ashen, which can only mean one thing…

Quinton starts to follow, but Isa does a Joker impression and his eyes widen slightly. He's torn, piper's gone one direction, Isa the other, "…wait.." But then thankfully (not?) Piper's turning back. He sighs, nodding, "I'll….take care of it…" Whatever it is. Or the better statement is How ever many bodies it is. He starts moving, but then there's a noise from behind the stables. Noise is more important than the house, currently, so he starts moving, rifle coming up.

Isabeau halts loading long enough to look between the pair quizzically. "Handle, what?" She starts to ask, but then quin is moving behind the stables, and so she looks to Piper. "You ok?"

From the looks of it Piper won't be going back in the house at all. A deep breath is taken and she starts to nod at Quin, but distractions happen and she looks to Isa when questioned "Fine." she gestures back to the house, "Blood…everywhere." but that's not the part that bothers her, blood she can handle, it's the bodies that the blood came from that is the issue for her. "Sacked."

Quinton's only vaguely listening to the women's conversation. He's on edge with Quin being there, and now there's rustling. His rifle comes up all the way and he moves away from them to peek around the corner of the building.

Isabeau frowns at the last, ceasing her loading efforts and going up to the house proper. "House is ransacked, semi working electricity." She echoes, none of these are good things. "Bandits you think?" She almost sounds hopeful, because that would be the safer answer. One look inside and she's back outside, her efforts on loading redoubled. anything that's useful, the plow, the equipment, seed and feed, is getting loaded into the wagon.

Well the way the small group was lined up and killed execution style it would almost have to be bandits. The Kamo Kids don't kill people that way…or ransack houses for their contents "Yes." it's going to take awhile to get that image out of her head, and as usual when she is feeling shaken she glances around for the missing Quinton…"Where…" oh there he is, acting curiously but he hasn't disappeared at least.

Quinton's body is tense from the peeking position, but he doesn't fire. In fact he slowly disappears around the corner, the noises getting louder. Not only is it movement , but now grunts of some kind can be heard.

Isabeau arches a brow watching as she loads up the horse drawn wagon, still keeping an eye out for various tools and bits, sadly it would seem the irrigation line for the showers was a bust, but she'll soldier on. "Not a good sign." Is all Isa manages as she continues loading up the wagon.

She is listening to Isa but she is watching where Quinton disappeared. The noises are heard faintly and she frowns "Isabeau…" Piper rarely uses peoples names, mostly because she is hardly in conversations that require the use of them. A head and hand gesture is given to where the man disappeared and she begins to move on silent barefeet around the opposite side of the shed. She doesn't know what is on the other side but whatever it is will at least having people coming at if from two directions.

Quinton disappears around the corner, but when Piper (And possibly Isa) sneak around the other side he's easy to find. there's a pen, with 2 fair sized hogs inside. He's frowning though, which is odd, because…2 hogs! That's good for them, if they can get them back to the petting farm. The poet takes a step closer, so he's at the fence. Inside is clearly the remains of a large horse, and saddle…although most of it's been eaten. the Hogs themselves look starved and are grunting and trying to get Quin's attention in hopes he'll feed them.

Isa's powers of perception are zilch today. Piper's call of her name has the Rancher quieted down in between moments of loading tack and tools into the wagon. Eventually She meanders back there just to make sure the pair of them haven't fallen in a ditch. The two hogs are eyed. "Pigs. Lovely. They eat anything." Somewhere between disgust and mild curiosity.

Oh, it's just a pair of pigs Piper seems relieved at first though when she sees what's in the pen with them she turns positively green and a hand goes to cover her mouth. First the murdered bodies in the house and now the horse and rider as a meal for farm animals…it's to much for the woman. A few months ago the sight would have had her puking, at least that isn't happening now. There is some rapid walking back around the shed though and she parks herself in the back on the wagon. She's done with this place. She'll just sit there and entertain baby Quinn while her stomach stops churning.

Quinton groans softly at Isa's words. "Do we have… can we bring them?" He'll frowns, looking around to see if there's anything food wise he can toss them. They were just doing what they do, no matter who gross it is, he guesses. He pauses as Piper steps away, his frown deepening. poor Piper. Poor baby Quinn. Back to the hogs, "Can they eat feed?" Maybe they should give them some, before moving them.

Scavenging Rolls

1 Hog
10 Boxes of Nuts & Bolts
1 Piglet
1 Lawn Umbrella
1 Large Ice Chest
1 Collapsible 10 foot by 10 foot Pavilion
1 Sheep sheers
6 Adjustable Wrenches
1 Large Ice Chest
1 Foal
1 Car Maintenance Manual
1 Rooster
1 Pruning Shears
1 Will Work for Food sign
1 Sheep
1 Sprinkler Head

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