(2016-04-17) Gunpowder
Summary: Monica and Piper test the gunpowder is made. Boris and Margaret enter the scene.
Date: 4.17.2016
Related: none

It's that time. A fresh batch of gunpowder, still a little stinky, and a fresh batch of percussion caps, and it all needs testing. Likewise, it's time to re-hone the skills. For all that, Mon starts out by popping the loaded cylinder out of her pistol and loading in a bright blue painted one. She starts out practicing a trick draw, where she reaches to her holster, grabs her pistol around the butt the wrong way, and appears to offer it safely, butt up, to someone else. The catch? That index finger hooked in the trigger guard. She practices the motion, straightening her hand and lifting it, fast enough to roll the pistol over her finger and plop the butt in her hand, ready to shoot. Snap. She does it again. And again.

<FS3> Monica rolls Firearms: Success.

<FS3> Pied-Piper rolls Firearms: Good Success.

<FS3> Pied-Piper rolls Mind: Failure.

Piper isn't one for the use of firearms. Sure she carries a pistol and when she is hunting her Springfield rifle, but she rarely uses either. Even when hunting it is bow & arrow. And she certainly doesn't practice with any of them. She was willing though to help when she was asked, though she might not have been the first choice. The woman has been pretty silent today and she watches Monica practice her fast draw in the same manner. Testing must be done though and she picks up the Sharps rifle, her attention shifting to the weapon that is nearly as long as she is tall. Turning it over in her hands a few times she holds it up against her shoulder, aiming across the creek, looking down the sights. A nod as if everything looks good and then she is bringing it down and loading it with a percussion cap as if it is something she's been doing all her life.

Monica watches Piper and grins. "Good… just like that. This thing's going to kick. It's not a huge charge, but it's a big slug and the kick goes on a long time." She switches the cylinder in her pistol to a live one, holsters it, and gets her shotgun. "Fire when ready," she says. Nonetheless, she'll wait for Piper to fire.

<FS3> Pied-Piper rolls Firearms: Good Success.

Nothing the young woman doesn't already know, but Piper doesn't express the sentiment just glances up briefly as she loads and then in the direction of the beer cans that are lined up in the distance. It's about all they are good for now. Planting her feet properly, the rifle is once more brought up, she quickly lines up the shot and fires without hesitation. The beer can goes flying as the slug hits it solidly.

<FS3> Monica rolls Firearms: Success.

<FS3> Monica rolls Firearms: Success.

Monica nods. "Nice. Damn, they train you music majors for serious mayhem, don't they? Go ahead and reload, I think you've got it." She brings her shotgun to bear on another can, and blasts it with the bird shot load, and another still that she hits with the buckshot load. She then picks up the Sharps Carbine she usually uses from horseback. Unlike the sporting rifle she loaned Piper, the carbine isn't a reproduction. It's a Civil War relic, converted back to firing paper (nitrated linin, really) cartridges. She's recently replaced the unreliable primer system on it with a standard percussion nipple. The disk primers were fine for reenactment. Bloody frustrating when hunting. She swings the lever forward, stuffs the linen cartridge with a miniball and powder into the open breach, levers the breach block closed again, slicing the back end of the cartridge, and slips a percussion cap onto the nipple.

You will no longer hear messages on channel <Public>.

<FS3> Monica rolls Chemistry: Good Success.

"New York…" Piper starts to say in reply as she lowers the rifle to reload the rifle in her hands "dang-er-ous." her tone suggests it might be a joke, probably to deflect more questions about things she shouldn't know how to do. Before she lifts the rifle to aim and fire again she gives Monica her quizzical look "How…" she frowns as she has trouble with the words "Many?"

Monica raises her carbine. "Mm. Three or four each is probably enough. It'll give us a good idea how much the new batch fouls the gun after that." She chuckles at New York. She's heard it's dangerous. Was dangerous. Now it's probably under water. She raises her carbine and fires, sending the next can flying. Raise, aim, fire. She's obviously been shooting this particular weapon a long time. "Don't want to go too many. This is bad for your hearing.

Piper nods, thankful that Monica understood with just the two words provided to the woman. The rifle is lifted once more and aimed at the next can. Trigger pull and the can goes flying. She may have never used this rifle before, but it doesn't seem to make a difference. Cupping a hand around an ear she makes a 'what'face at the other woman then another nod and then reloading.

This afternoon the two woman are using muzzleloaders to test the black powder that Monica whipped up. They are firing at cans lined up across the creek. The testing is good so far.

Monica laughs at Piper and reloads the carbine. The Sharps carbine and rifle are one of those weirdo pre-metallic cartridge breach-loaders, so they load and fire much faster than muzzle loading. Which is probably why Mon hasn't reloaded her shotgun yet. It is a muzzle loader. Mon loads and fires several more rounds, then digs into cleaning the carbine, seeing if the new batch of powder runs dirty.

Boris has only been here for a few hours. Enough for supper and a nights rest. But soon enough he is walking down alongside the creek with his Boar Razor. He didn't want anyone to accidently think his only family was food! Sides, he wanted to check out the crater and perhaps clean up.

As he walked along he heard the firing of guns, and the singing tune of metal. Curious he make his way towards where Piper and Monica are making a zzzzipin zzzz sound as he walks

Piper only watches what Monica is doing for a moment, then sets the rifle down to give her ears a break. It only takes on shot to get them ringing, and she has fired a couple now so they are definitely ringing. This may drone out the noise that Boris is making but there is nothing wrong with the woman's eyes, so the movement draws her attention to the strange man and his unusual pet. Once more she doesn't offer greeting, just watches him the same wary expression on her face she had when they ran into him the first time.

Boris finally stops walking once near the girls. He lifts his hand and offers an easy Smile "Evenin Piper, Monica. Hjerek" he says not missing a beat. He looks from the guns and than around him. No dead animals, he can only concur they have either been hunting and failed or had been practicing their shooting. He gives razor a pat and the boar heads to the streams edge for a drink "How have sie been?" he asks

Maybe she put the rifle down to soon, she would certainly feel more comfortable with it her hands right about now. Lacking that a hand comes up to tug at the braid hanging over a shoulder. A glance is given to Monica but she is so focused that she guesses the greeting goes unnoticed by the other woman. Dark eyes with there too large pupils dart back to Boris and she lifts a hand in a sorta wave, at least acknowledging his presence.

Boris seems quite fine with the the small wave, and dosn't seem to mind the quietness. He than makes his way over to the edge of the pond and open his pack. His own shotgun was slung on his shoulder muttering in his heavy german accent "Now where did I put it? Know tis in here" before pulling out his canteen with the hole in it "So! Out here hunting, or getting practice he asks?" perhaps not realizing Piper is mute, or not feeling it makes a difference or assuming Monica might answer if she stops cleaning.

Monica winces a little at the canteen. "Practicing. Testing the new powder and cap batch." She nods toward Piper. "She's taken to that Sharps like an old hand. Already shoots better than I do." Mon doesn't sound especially miffed. Lots of people shoot better than she does. She's found she shoots well enough. "You know, I can probably weld that up for you." She finishes cleaning the bore of her carbine and looks at the cleaning cloth and smiles. "Dirty, but it's black powder. It's not abnormally dirty.

Piper just warily watches the man as he moves toward the pond, her hand clasping the braid almost like a lifeline. She's certainly skittish today. The question has her glancing to Monica again and when the woman finally speaks some of the relief at it appears on her face, though it is replaced by a Huh look at the comment about her shooting. A shake of head then as she looks between the pair.

"Aha!" he says with a thunder voice "Figure as much. It would be odd if you were shooting at nothin in particular" he notes. Boris was about to dip the canteen into the pond but stops at Monica offer. He looks to her "Oh? Perhaps sie can weld this one shut and make a new one higher up? Tis a fair round canteen, no good with thick rope, but I hope to sling it like my gun" he explains.

But than his eye suddenly lock onto piper and the way she holds her hair. His look wasn't malicious, but curious. But instead of asking a question, he touches a hand to his forehead and says towards her "Sorry I be makin you uncomfortable my Lady. Hopefully I will be oot of your hair in a few days" he says trying to lend her a bit of comfort. He wasn't sure if these folks could afford to keep him around, he hasn't exactly proven he can do anything useful.

Monica says, "Okay, if y'all wouldn't mind, could you put your guns down so I can go set up new cans? Just 'cause the world's ended is no reason to give up range discipline." She grins. What a difference a day makes. Yesterday she was prepared to shoot Boris. Today? Trusts him not to shoot her. Well, she's working on it, anyway. Besides. He's still here. He's in the camp. That makes him family. Or something. She sets her carbine down, and does some mental calculations. Yeah, she has enough powder for a while. Having tested the new batch, she can shoot the old batch off for practice. And with friends."

The skittish Piper isn't currently holding a gun, which is just as well because the thunderous way Boris exclaims makes the young woman jump and makes a surprised sound at the sudden noise. Who knows what or who would have got shot if she had a gun in her hand. She could probably handly malicious a lot better than curious. Curious means questions, and she doesn't like strangers and most non-strangers asking questions. Needless to say she keeps her distance and stays mute.

Boris shakes his head when Piper jumps. Clearly he didn't mean to startle her. But than he looks to Monica, and his gun and back. The way he places his hand on his gun suggest it doesn’t leave his person very often if at all. But he none the less honors the request and unshoulder his gun placing it on the ground, with the barrel not facing anyone, and the safety on. He says in his heavy accent "Well, I wouldn't say the worlds quite ended yet. We're still around!" he says with a chuckle. He then dips his canteen into the pond as Razor, the boar continues taking a drink. "So do you fellas have areas for perhaps, bathing or washing clothes?" he asks. He didn't go poking around. It is one way to raise suspicious that he didn't want on his back

Downstream and on the Stratford side of the creek, about forty yards away from the others, the underbrush thickens. Margaret had been walking along the bank trailing the voices, and she had quickly squatted down when those voices were raised. Now, as things seem calmer, she hesitates, then stands and starts walking toward the others, hands out and up and calling, "Good afternoon!" in a voice that cracks only slightly. She has a pack on her back that looks large on her small frame, and perched on her head a straw hat that looks more like a souvenir than anything practical shades the upper half of her face.

Monica says, "Mostly we haul water up and heat it, you know? The old school way to bathe. Or just wade into the reservoir, but it gets deep fast. I'm working on a bathhouse with flush toilets and whatnot, but it's kind of mushroomed insanely. Should be pretty soon though." She sets up some beer cans on the fence. "Okay, I gotta ask, why a pig? Backup food supply?" When she has the cans set up, she walks back toward the impromptu firing line. "Thanks, by the way. And yeah, a sling might work. Have to see what the canteen's made of. If it's aluminum, it's tricksy stuff to gas weld."

Monica stops when she sees Margaret and lets her right hand fall to her belt. But it's a friendly greeting. So far so good. "Hi."

Bathing in the reservoir, that gives Piper an involuntary shiver at the thought. That water is cold. It will be great in the middle of summer, but it hasn't gotten quite warm enough for her to go in that water willingly just yet. A bit of a wince breaks through wary expression she carries on her face at the tactless question from Monica, but then a new voice calls out and her attention locks on the older Margaret.

Boris perhaps for the first time seems almost malicious. He hisses angrily at the thought of his boar being food "No! Are sie crazy! Razor here be family! Put a damn bullet in anyone head that even tries to eat him" he actually draws a bit in front of Razor as if protecting him "Had him since he was a piglet. Since before the first wave." well to be fair - Razor might end up being back up food supply if it was REALLY needed. But he would have to be pretty close to starving before that happened. After a moment he calms and pats the large boar, brushing the bristle "Sides. He is GREAT at finding food and water! Mushrooms, freshly killed animals, edible berries. So on and so forth. Quite a valuable companion!"

But than he notices Margaret coming with her hands up. His first instinct would have been to grab his gun and take aim. But he kept his calm and instead raises a hand back to his relaxed safe "Greetings!"

Margaret stands still as the others turn to her, but when they don't do anything more threatening she takes a few steps forward. "Please… do you have any food? I can trade a little bit for it," she adds quickly. Her hands are still held up, which is likely why she stumbles slightly, feet dragging in the underbrush, then recovers as she continues toward them.

Monica chuckles and raises her hands. "Easy, easy, I get it. I feel the same way about my horse. Just never saw anyone have a pig companion." She looks at Margaret, and her heart goes out to the woman, even though she should probably be more wary. "Not here, no. But I'll go get some." Yeah, starvation. She wouldn't even wish that on a silencer or a camo kid. She looks at Piper. "You ok here if I run back and get some food?"

Margaret's eyes close as she draws and exhales a shallow breath, then says to Monica, "Bless you, dear. Thank you." Her shoulders droop as she lowers her hands and, struggling slightly, works them under the straps of the pack, eases it off her shoulders, and sits heavily.

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