(2016-02-29) Skunked
Summary: While out hunting Monica, Quinton and Piper run into a skunk
Date: 2.29.2016
Related: http://5thwave.wikidot.com/log:2016-02-29-deskunked

National Grasslands

So much empty land, all green grass, sparse in places, lush in others in the spring and summer and dry golden grass in the fall and winter. It's huge (230,000 acres), crossing into Oklahoma to the north and New Mexico west.

It is a haven for wildlife both large and small. It's not unusual to see Bison, turkeys, coyotes, prairie dogs or various other animals wandering around.

With the Arkansas group still residing in town, it means more food is eaten, which means more hunting needs to be done. With the hunting being better in the grasslands that's where the group of hunters went….and in one of the trucks that the Arkansas group had gotten working, without the help of a drone battery…it's an old truck though, from the '70's so that might have had something to do with it.

On arrival the group split up and went in different directions. The group consisting of Quinton, Monica and Piper have found turkey tracks and are following them across the dry grasslands and their bounty of both wild animals and plant life.

Quinton's having a bad day, no words spoken and he's mostly stared out the window as they drove. His pistol is strapped to him, along with a riffle and a bow and arrow. With the group trying to conserve bullets, he's gotten better at the reusable arrows. Turkey tracks are better than no tracks, so the poet walks, eyes scanning not only for the fowl, but anything else edible on the ground as well.

Piper is silent too, but for her that isn't anything unusual, mixed company and all. She gave up hunting with a rifle quite awhile ago and instead as her own bow and arrows with which to hunt. She does have her rifle though, just in case trouble of the two footed variety appears while they are out. She's already found some edible plants and has tucked them into her bag. The turkey tracks are fresh and easy to spot for even those that aren't skilled in tracking and seem to be heading toward a copse of trees in the distance "There?" she manages to get out as she points to the small wooded area.

Quinton spies something and blinks, surprised. He bends down and considers something before he collects a cactus. He'll need to check with his books, but that could be a really good find. For trade or maybe personal use. Who knows. Piper's word gets his attention and he follows her finger point. His jaw works itself briefly before he nods, seems like the way to go.

Seeing Quinton finding something worth collecting Piper pauses so give him a chance to do so as she studies the tracks. They are to scattered for her to figure out how many turkeys there are but there is clearly more than two or three. "Good?" she asks him, keeping the question yes/no, as she continues onward following the tracks. All she knows is that it was a cactus, but not what kind.

Quinton nods, wiping his hands on his jeans as he follows Piper. Seeing the number of tracks he starts to unsling his bow. He holds up 3 fingers questioningly and then motions to the tracks, asking her something.

The motion has her looking at him, the fingers, then the tracks as Piper pieces together what he is asking her. It isn't hard to figure out and she shrugs "More?" she isn't sure, but as they draw ever closer they can start to hear the noise of the turkeys gobbling at each other, sounds like more than three. If they are lucky they both may be able to get one.

Quinton nods and shrugs at the same time, kinda agreeing with the maybe she gave. The turkey noises get a soft smile and he pulls an arrow out of his quiver, getting ready to shoot when the birds scatter. Piper gets another nod, indicating he's ready. Seems he's going to let her take the lead on this.

The turkey tracks the trio of Quinton, Monica and Piper have been following across the grasslands, leads straight into small cluster of woods that break up the monotony of grass. By small it is a few acres big, so though the turkeys can be heard in the distance there are various trees shrubs and other woods obstacles that break up line of sight on them. Piper to notches an arrow on her bow, as she lowers herself into a slight crouch and begins to move through the trees, bare feet making no noise as she creeps along following the sounds of the gaggle of turkeys ahead.

Hunting from the pickup truck just seems wrong to Monica, after a year of doing it on horseback and on foot. On the other hand, it affords her a luxury she doesn't usually have: bringing both rifle and shotgun. This, in turn, means she has the shotgun loaded for bird in both barrels. Given that we're hunting turkeys, this seems to be the right approach. Mon's dug out her buckskins for hunting, the tan hide and fringe breaking up her outline amongst the tall grass. She keeps careful track of where Quinton, and particularly where Piper is, since if she doesn't glance that way now and again Piper keeps /disappearing/. It's kind of disturbing. In any case, she wants them out of the line of fire.

Quinton's having a rough mental day. It's probably been whispered to Monica that the poet is an odd duck. Some days he's talkative and sharp, other days he can't get people's names right , or literally can't get words out. It's only really sad, as folks also whisper that he was famous or something in New York for his poems and spoken word. Either way, he's here now, quietly mirroring Piper(Well, not quite as quietly) by moving forward and drawing an arrow, ready to let it fly at a bird.

Disturbing, creepy, these adjectives and more have been used to describe the petite beauty that is Piper. If they bother her, it doesn't show, she just keeps on being that way, and it has saved butts on more than one occasion so no one is complaining about her there and gone disappearing acts…anymore. As they move around a large collection if brush, shrubs and deadfall from which rustling is heard, they see the gaggle of turkeys. There are seven of them, scratching at the dirt, picking at bugs, seeds and acorns. Seeing the birds her own bow comes up and the string is pulled back but she waits, letting the other two get off their shots first, since she knows that once Monica fires they will most definitely scatter.

Monica takes aim with the shotgun, and draws the hammer on the right hand barrel back to full cock slowly, with a faint /tick/. She glances toward Piper once more, and concludes that Ms. Walks in Silence is waiting for /her/ to fire. Which isn't what Mon would expect at all. She glances toward Quentin to see if he's going to fire first, or if both the bow-users are /so/ good they're going to try and shoot turkeys on the run.

Quinton is //not that good, seeing both woman set he takes aim and let's his arrow fly. The man has gotten decent with aiming and killing things, much to the dismay of his poetic heart. The arrow pierces the bird , killing it instantly. Small favours. He immediately starts reaching for another arrow.

At the death squawk of the turkey Quinton impales the others start to run around in crazy like fashion. Piper is timing her shot to coincide with Monica's which she is pretty sure will be taken within seconds of Quinton firing, if not well, she was wrong then. She tracks one of the larger of the birds, but not the male of the group, there is a faint twang and whoosh as she lets the arrow fly straight and true, also killing the turkey cleanly.

Monica squeezes the trigger, and the black powder shotgun makes a very, very loud /BOOM/. A turkey drops dead, and suddenly turkeys are running everywhere. She clicks the left barrel's hammer back and takes aim at another bird, careful not to sweep Piper on that side, tracking the bird upward, leading it, and shooting it out of the sky before it really registers that it wasn't a turkey. Goose for dinner anyone?

That rustling in the bushes gets much louder and a very panicked black cat with a white stripe down it's back comes rushing out from the bushes…oh wait, that isn't a cat, it's a Skunk and in full blown spray mode as it too runs away from all the booming noises and noisy fleeing turkeys.

<FS3> Pied-Piper rolls Reaction: Failure.
<FS3> Monica rolls Reaction: Good Success.
<FS3> Quinton rolls Reaction: Success.

Quinton is a city boy. What the hell kind of chemical warfare are the aliens now unleashing on them? He staggers backwards, but it's not enough and the poor man looks green as the skunks defensive spray glomps onto his clothes (Which he will burn later).

The downside of muzzle loading shotguns is speed. Mon quickly pulls both hammers back to half-cock and pops the percussion caps off both the shotgun's nipples, then gets into her pouch for more cartridges. Aand then she sees the skunk, recognizing it immediately for what it is. She turns and runs away quickly, covering her face with one sleeve. If you have to get sprayed, not getting it in the face is preferable. She braces herself, thinking "Dang it, I took a bath today too."

Being the closest to the area where the skunk was hiding and so recently running from, even if Piper recognized the danger for what it was immediately, and who knows she could have, she is to close and doesn’t move fast enough to get the full brunt of it. Her eyes start to water and the bow falls from her hands as she covers her own face with her arms as she bends over into a harsh coughing fit struggling to breath with how strong the odor is. Someone will be riding in the bed of the truck back…or walking most likely.

Monica hears the groans of her compatriots and realizes that wow. She didn't get sprayed. She lets the hammers of her shotgun back down. "I'm gonna say we're done hunting for the day?" Hopefully the meat isn't ruined. "Do we have baking soda back home? Maybe some peroxide?"

Quinton's not dumb, he realizes what the creature is after the fact. Maybe today is a good day to not have words, because they would most likely be bad ones. "L-Lynette?" He's not inhaled as much as Piper, but his voice is a little shaky. After a brief hesitation he starts forward towards Piper, but looks back at Monica and waves a hand for her to go check the birds. There's no reason for her to come closer and get a nose full of this if she doesn't have to.

Fortunately for Quinton, Piper is to busy trying to not throw up and breath at the same time to even notice that he got her name wrong…didn't even get the right first letter even. Stumbling against a tree she leans against it still gasping, trying to get the noxious fumes out of her lungs. She can't imagine how many times she is going to have to wash her copious amounts of hair to get the smell out. Oh my will she have to shave it!? Tears are still streaming down her face when she looks up briefly as she finally things of the others and how they fared. And yes there is some of both those, baking soda and peroxide but Piper is in no condition at the moment to answer that question either.

Monica goes to check on the turkeys and the goose. "Come on, let's get the meat and get you guys home. If we have any basic household cleaners… shampoo, soap, ammonia, baking soda, peroxide, even salt water should work. The idea is you oxidize the thiols in the skunk stink.

Monica pauses, "Although sea water is basic because of the bicarbonates in it. So… baking soda water.

Quinton has no idea how to deal with this. Aren't they supposed to take a bath in tomato soup or something. Monica gets another nod, he's got some of that stuff at his apartment, being the pack tar that he is. Stepping closer, but he doesn't move to touch Piper, "…slow…even…" He may shave his head if it's in his hair! Already the hoodie he had on is coming off and tossed to the ground, away from them. He'd rather be cold then not able to breath.

Monica gathers up the dead birds and sets about cleaning them to make them fit to transport. She notices Quinton shucking his hoodie. "Don't… you don't have to leave that behind. We can get the stink out, I promise. Out of you, out of your clothes, out of your hair, everything. I've been sprayed before. At least we don't have to get it out of horses." She chuckles. "Once you get used to it, you can use it as scent camouflage. They actually sell the stuff…" She grinds to a halt and her shoulders arch forward and she seems to have to gasp for breath once or twice. "Well. Used to sell. To hide your scent. Nevermind." She probably winds up driving the truck home, in the interests of not stinking up the upholstery. "This feels… really weird," she comments as she gets behind the wheel.

Quinton's nose wrinkles and he just shakes his head no. He has other hoodies (The bonus of being a pack rat), he just has to find them (The draw back). The man will help Piper into the back of the truck, but sits opposite of her, hopefully so they can both air out some on the drive

Hunting and Foraging

3 Turkey
1 Goose
1 Peyote Cactus
1 Handful of Dollarweed
1 Nutsedge tubers
2 Sheep
1 Squirrel

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