Artemis, The Hunter

(08:35:52 PM) Laito: Artemis draws his hood up as he follows the trail where he'd led the stag to the crest. Flashlight in hand and instincts in mind, it was only a matter then of recalling where he saw the stag wander off to, and looking for signs of its passing the further out he walked.
(08:41:28 PM) Laito: He journeys forth, tracking the stag to a nearby stream, partially across a flat meadow, and deeper into the forest by identifying hoof prints, rack scrapings on trees, intuition, etc…
(08:48:25 PM) Laito: He keeps the trail most times, but loses it others, finding his way back to it by chance or skill. It is difficult to know. Soon he starts to see signs of the herd as the stag must have rejoined with them at some point. Tracks, broken sticks and branches, disturbed creek beds… Artemis follows them for what must be a few miles.
(08:57:27 PM) E4D: Perception, Artemis.
(08:57:45 PM) Laito: 4df+3 Survival
(08:58:17 PM) Glacon: Artemis: Survival: 3 (4df+3=+, -, +, -)
(08:58:39 PM) E4D: There's not much stealth to be had on the animals' part, given the snowfall. Due diligence leads him to exactly what he's searching for as he crests a shallow knoll.
(08:58:49 PM) E4D: The herd itself is about…
(08:59:41 PM) E4D: Maybe 150 yards away through a bit of increasingly heavy foliage. Even with the snow weighing down on the vegetation, it's not *too* hard to pick out flits of movement.
(09:00:34 PM) E4D: 4df+4 Most of them are rather close together, with a lone male out against a tree, angrily grinding his horns.
(09:00:34 PM) Glacon: E4D: Most of them are rather close together, with a lone male out against a tree, angrily grinding his horns.: 3 (4df+4=-, -, +, 0)
(09:00:44 PM) E4D: Artemis, stealth.
(09:01:14 PM) Laito: 4df+3
(09:01:14 PM) Glacon: Artemis: : 3 (4df+3=0, 0, +, -)
(09:01:49 PM) E4D: The *snap* of a twig alerts the animal. It jerks its head up pointedly in his direction, unmoving.
(09:02:41 PM) E4D: After a few moments, it turns broadside, moving to a different tree.
(09:03:48 PM) Laito: Artemis leans himself against a tree trunk, waiting. He sighs softly, regretting the mistake. Behind the tree he readies the rifle and peers around the trunk, sighting in on the angry male, making sure it isn't -his- stag with the bloody, matted fur on its legs.
(09:04:37 PM) E4D: The scope makes it easy enough to tell it's not. This one appears to be a slightly younger male, not quite as large or heavy.
(09:06:24 PM) Laito: Artemis utters a short prayer of gratitude to his wounded friend, then slowly, quietly racks a round into the chamber, pulling and pushing the bolt as subtly as he can.
(09:07:20 PM) E4D: It slides quietly, smooth as oiled glass.
(09:09:52 PM) Laito: Artemis takes a moment to wait for the heart strike to open up (Survival maneuver). Artemis falls into a zen-like focus, doing what he enjoys. Out in the crisp wilderness where he is his own man. Tagging Enlightened Spirit.
(09:09:52 PM) Laito: Slowly, he depresses the trigger.
(09:10:45 PM) E4D: The heavy-caliber rifle rocks him back with the impulse, shattering the silence of the night.
(09:14:52 PM) Laito: He heaves a great breath and lowers his rifle, trekking forth to claim his kill. "[Thank you for your sacrifice this day, creature of the Earth.]" He looks out at the scattering herd, looking for his fellow conspirator on the chance the alpha has stuck around.
(09:34:01 PM) Praetor: It has - maintaining a distance from him, it has. It watches him with something akin to - respect? It is difficult to translate to body gestures, but that is the feeling Artemis receives.
(09:36:52 PM) Laito: Artemis salutes. "[Prosperity, friend]," he says quietly, sitting down on a rock near his victim. He would smoke now, if he smoked. Instead he just hangs out and enjoys the night. Also listening for signs of curious Chinese who may have heard the shot and come looking for the source. Ya never know.
(09:41:53 PM) Praetor: There is a small noise from an undergrowth to Artemis' left flank, after around 20 minutes from the moment he killed the stag.
(09:42:25 PM) Laito: 4df+3 Stealth…
(09:42:38 PM) Glacon: Artemis: Stealth: 1 (4df+3=-, -, 0, 0)
(09:43:04 PM) Laito: Thanks. Artemis crouches behind the rock and levels the rifle that way, searching for the source.
(09:53:32 PM) Praetor: There is a pause, and a Chinese girl in a very simple white dress wanders out of the brush. She looks to be around 16 or 15, but still fairly tiny for her age. Her long black hair almost reaches the ground as she actually sniffs like a bloodhound towards Artemis' camp.
(09:55:29 PM) Laito: Insta-panic. ~I am going to be eaten by a vampire and Jason will -laugh-.~ "Hold, girl, please do not move, let us not frighten eachozher…" That safety comes off quick.
(09:59:28 PM) Praetor: That head comes up quick, her brillant green eyes widening.
(10:02:17 PM) Laito: Artemis stands up slowly, rifle trained on the girl's body. "What is your name?" He doesnt honestly know what to ask, so maybe simple questions are better than silently pointing a gun at a child.
(10:06:32 PM) Praetor: She blinks. No compre hablo English. In fact, her gestures are strange, as if she simply can only comprehend the gun as a danger, rather than a threat that she knows precisely what will do.
(10:08:14 PM) Laito: Artemis lowers the rifle and holds out a non-threatening hand. "It is okay, I will not hurt you, [provided you do not try to disembowel me.]"
(10:09:18 PM) Praetor: Her head shifts a fraction of a inch. That is the only response he receives.
(10:11:05 PM) Laito: Artemis lets his arm drop, to stare the the girl. Dear Metal Lord: what do. He thinks about his radio but decides against it this moment.
(10:12:45 PM) Praetor: She hesitantly takes a step towards the slain stag, unsure of Artemis as if he were a large animal himself.
(10:14:19 PM) Laito: Artemis takes a slow step back, but otherwise appears visibly unthreatened and welcoming for her to go to the stag if she wants.
(10:14:50 PM) Laito: He subtly flicks the safety off on his pistol and rests his free hand on its grip.
(10:15:41 PM) Praetor: As soon as she is sure the monk is a threat, she /pounces/ on the animal in a swift movement, rapidly tearing open his hide with her bare nails and digging through his organs.
(10:17:52 PM) Laito: Artemis frowns and steps back a bit.
(10:18:31 PM) Laito: He takes a deep breath. at least he doesn't have to drag it back now.
(10:19:00 PM) Praetor: She digs for awhile, shifting the meat out of the way, before making a tiny noise of excitement and holding up the stag's liver. She holds it up above her head…
(10:19:23 PM) Praetor: and unhinges her jaw, letting the brown organ simply slide down her gullet.
(10:20:48 PM) Laito: Yep, she's a monster. The moment of truth: to shoot her in the head or not. Artemis watches with great consternation.
(10:21:50 PM) Praetor: She turns and looks at the man for a moment, blinking her eyes separately. Then she tilts her head in a gesture of "Oh, are you still here?" and then dismounts the stag.
(10:22:24 PM) Praetor: She rapidly shuffles back towards the undergrowth, cradling her flat stomach as if she were with child.
(10:23:30 PM) Laito: He watches her go and keys his radio, hoping it will reach camp.
(10:24:45 PM) Praetor: Artemis might notice the four black concise points in the back of her dress, in a square formation. Either precise bullet wounds, or…something else. She disappears into the growth.
(10:26:22 PM) Laito: Suddenly the radio sparks to life with Artemis' voice. «Th-.. rtemis….»
(10:29:56 PM) Laito: Artemis fiddles with his radio. He must have mussed the signal.
(10:30:16 PM) Laito: A pause. «Zis is Artemis, I ah…. have encountered somesing…»
(10:30:34 PM) E4D: «Send your traffic.»
(10:32:24 PM) Laito: Here. «I tracked zhe herd zhree miles north and west. I made a kill. Ah… a girl came out of the brush… she looked feral… I discerned she would not hurt me, but…»
(10:32:49 PM) Laito: «She tore into zhe stag and ate its liver…»
(10:33:04 PM) Maddy_Out: Alice looks at her radio, then at Jason. O_o
(10:33:18 PM) E4D: «Did you engage the target?»
(10:34:06 PM) Laito: «Ah… no. She seemed satisfied and… left.» It sounds as if he really isn't sure if he should have engaged or not, or is maybe regretful that he didn't.
(10:34:24 PM) E4D: «Stand by, I'll be there shortly. I need you to face north, and key your radio three times. Hold the remote for 5 seconds, with a 5-second pause.»
(10:35:04 PM) E4D: «Back of the radio to the north, please.»
(10:35:14 PM) Laito: «Oui»
(10:35:26 PM) Laito: Artemis does as requested, following Jason's instructions.
(10:40:59 PM) Laito: He sets the radio down and sits on the rock. As an after thought, he ejects the cartridge in the DSR and chambers another. He was -hoping- he'd only need to use one on this trip.
(10:44:08 PM) E4D: Jason takes off from the camp at a sprint in Artemis' direction, hauling ass with a solid range and direction extrapolated by the suit.
(10:45:44 PM) Laito: He ponders if the he should track the herd again and take out another male. The alpha would like that, he's sure.
(10:46:05 PM) Laito: Who knows if this desecrated stag was even healthy to eat anymore.
(10:51:51 PM) E4D: Jason's been putting good work in on the ship, and it's not like Oxide does anything but help. He should be there in about 10 more minutes at full tilt.
(10:56:05 PM) Laito: Artemis stands up as he hears the tromping Jason barrel through the woods. He flashes his flash light briefly in that direction.
(10:56:49 PM) E4D: Jason flashes back three times.
(10:58:08 PM) Laito: He slings the rifle as Jason nears, gesturing to the disemboweled stag he killed.
(11:00:24 PM) E4D: Jason ambles up, slowing as he approaches, whipping his head forward and flicking the visor down. He slows to a walk for just a moment to affix an enhanced night optic device over the faceplate and draws his rifle to the alert as he closes the last few feet.
(11:00:32 PM) E4D: <Where is it?>
(11:01:48 PM) Laito: "Went off zhat way," Artemis points. "Seemed drawn here like any wolf would be, ate zhe liver, zhen left. Her… jaw… was unnatural. Ate zhe liver whole."
(11:02:11 PM) Laito: "She knew zhe gun was a threat as long as I pointed it at her." He pats the rifle.
(11:05:49 PM) E4D: <Was there a reason you did not report? Did she say or do anything? Threaten you in any way?> Jason looks to his left and right, then glances warily behind him as he stretches a little to unlimber the shotgun from its sheath behind his left shoulder. He holds it out to Artemis. <SPAS. Dual mode. Set to semi at the moment.>
(11:06:16 PM) E4D: <Recoil's a little intense outside of a suit.>
(11:07:19 PM) Laito: Artemis takes it, not worried about recoil after handling Emilio. "She said nosing, did nosing accept make it clear zhat she wanted zhe stag. I did not want to make any unnecessary movements or have zhe radio sound frighten her." He shrugs.
(11:11:17 PM) E4D: <Very well. You're still in one piece. That's what matters.> Jason turns, giving the area another look, then heading over to the dead stag and kneeling beside it.
(11:11:56 PM) Praetor: A log that seemed still when Jason looked at it twitches as he moves away.
(11:12:44 PM) E4D: 4df+4 Perception. He leans around, flicking his helmet lights on and folding the NOD out of the way. <You said she pulled the liver o- Christ!> Jason backpedals/stumbles/reverse-duckwalks back and away as his handgun comes up.
(11:12:45 PM) Glacon: E4D: Perception. He leans around, flicking his helmet lights on and folding the NOD out of the way. <You said she pulled the liver o- Christ!> Jason backpedals/stumbles/reverse-duckwalks back and away as his handgun comes up.: 3 (4df+4=0, -, 0, 0)
(11:13:24 PM) Praetor: Nothing else happens, but what sounds like a hissing sound comes from the log.
(11:13:30 PM) Laito: Artemis does the same, leveling the SPAS over there.
(11:13:42 PM) Praetor: It is a rather large breech in the underbrush Artemis indicated.
(11:14:53 PM) E4D: Jason holsters the handgun, transitioning smoothly to the rifle, glancing over at Artemis and nodding toward the log before taking a tentative step toward it.
(11:15:37 PM) Laito: Artemis advances slowly on the sound, opposite Jason.
(11:16:25 PM) Praetor: The hissing sound does not cease from the log. It is akin to a rattlesnake's tail, a warning to predators.
(11:17:10 PM) Laito: Artemis hesitates, looking at Jason in a kind of, 'should we just -go-' query.
(11:17:38 PM) E4D: <展示自己!>
(11:20:02 PM) Praetor: The hissing sound stops, but no acknowledgement of Jason's call comes from the log either.
(11:23:21 PM) E4D: <Show yourself!>
(11:25:49 PM) Praetor: "Go…away…my…place. My woods." Says a very strained female voice.
(11:26:45 PM) E4D: He glances over at Artemis, then back to the spot they're observing, blood running about 1 degree cooler all of a sudden.
(11:27:00 PM) E4D: <May we take the kill?>
(11:27:27 PM) Laito: Artemis shrugs at Jason. Simple territory dispute, it seems.
(11:29:32 PM) Praetor: "My children. Take…st - stag. Do not break my children…"
(11:30:28 PM) Laito: Artemis looks about for…children. Or eggs. He won't if he knows where to avoid them.
(11:30:41 PM) E4D: <Where are your children?>
(11:31:43 PM) Praetor: "…Look, log. Do not break. Eggbreakers will…die."
(11:32:42 PM) Laito: "Very well." Artemis starts to back away from the log.
(11:33:19 PM) E4D: <Have you seen our camp? Where the rest of the ones like us are?>
(11:34:23 PM) Praetor: "Know smell. Know black dogs. Know bearthings." She hisses. "Bearthing steal eggs. Eggbreaker." The log trembles slightly.
(11:35:06 PM) Laito: "Bearthing?" He looks at Jason.
(11:35:36 PM) E4D: <We kill eggbreakers.> He looks to Artemis. <Bear thing. Bearthing. The one we can't see. Crocodile bear.>
(11:36:04 PM) E4D: Jason lowers his weapon. <Will you come out so we can see you?>
(11:36:10 PM) Laito: He nods. Heard that strangely from her raspy voice. "Oui, we kill bear thing."
(11:36:15 PM) Praetor: "Ate eggs." Lord, that's a lot of hate in her voice.
(11:36:32 PM) Laito: Artemis lowers his as well.
(11:37:42 PM) Praetor: The log trembles slightly, and the girl from before crouches out…a green pod in her hands.
(11:38:06 PM) Praetor: The skin of the pod is clear and plantlike, and inside seems to be some sort of same colored liquid.
(11:39:20 PM) E4D: Jason holds his hands out, showing her his palms, and letting the rifle hang.
(11:40:27 PM) E4D: <Is it good for us to stay where we are? The others?>
(11:40:40 PM) Praetor: She watches the gesture closely, and then slowly reaches over, and spins the log's opening towards them. There are at least a hundred of those pods in there, attached to the inside.
(11:41:25 PM) Laito: Artemis peers in, thankful that he didn't shoot her.
(11:43:33 PM) E4D: Jason slips the faceplate of his helmet up, showing himself. <We won't hurt them.>
(11:44:10 PM) E4D: <And… uh, I mean is it okay for the others like us to stay where they are.>
(11:45:11 PM) Praetor: "You kill bearthing?"
(11:45:41 PM) Laito: "We killed a bear thing," Art confirms, nodding.
(11:46:05 PM) Praetor: She nods once, resolute. "Stay in woods."
(11:46:35 PM) E4D: <Thank you very much. You said it is safe for us to take the stag? To eat it?>
(11:47:59 PM) Praetor: "Take stag." She shuffles forward slightly to peer at Artemis.
(11:49:05 PM) E4D: <If we see any more egg-eaters, we'll kill them. They're our enemy, too.>
(11:49:57 PM) E4D: Moving slowly, he reaches back and unzips his assault pack, removing a tightly-rolled waterproofing bag and holds it out to Artemis. <It'll be easier to field dress it and get the cuts here.>
(11:50:12 PM) Laito: Artemis' eyes widen with interest at the approach, but makes no other movements. As a side thought, the lance on his back may still smell of bearthing's blood, depending on her sense of smell.
(11:50:58 PM) Laito: He reaches out and takes the bag, nodding, eyes not leaving the girl.
(11:51:50 PM) Praetor: She peers silently, unblinking for a long time…and then holds the pod out to him.
(11:52:07 PM) E4D: O_o
(11:53:32 PM) Laito: He blinks and… drops the bagroll to reach out and gently accept the pod. He kneels down, too, just in case something awful happens and he drops it or something. It will have a shorter distance to fall.
(11:55:13 PM) Praetor: "I know all eggs." She touches her chest proudly. "Bearthing or dogthing come, hold egg, think of me." She bares her teeth in a grotesque reveal of several rows of needles. "I will come."
(11:56:02 PM) Praetor: "Ah, but do not take out of woods. Egg die if not left in woods."
(11:56:25 PM) Laito: He brow heightens, but he nods. "Ahh.. of course. I will take care of it until you come for it." Bow nod.
(11:56:57 PM) E4D: <We'll keep it as safe as we would our own.>
(11:57:28 PM) E4D: <I'll dress it.> Jason again moves slowly, collecting the dropped WP bag and begins slicing on the stag.
(11:57:35 PM) Praetor: She nods once, pleased. "Go then. Do not step on eggs." She sniffs and turns back to her log.
(11:59:25 PM) E4D: He works quickly, slicing out several massive chunks from the chest, both legs and sections of the shoulders and flanks, and a few meaty portions around the ribs.
(11:59:42 PM) Laito: He gently sets the pod down on the earth so that he can adjust all his gear, what with the heavy rifle and shotgun hanging off his shoulder, then wraps the eggpod up in his cloak safely.
(12/24/2011 12:00:52 AM) E4D: Each gets dumped into the unrolled WP bag. Speed-dressing for the win. He twists and ties the top, then laces the cords before slinging it over his shoulder. <Artemis, shall we?>
(12:01:58 AM) Laito: Artemis nods and starts back with Jason. "You are right. Zis rifle izzhe best I have ever handled."