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The Hunt for Boss Hawgg, Part 2
A Somewhat Hellish Interlude

Monday, September 12, 2005
Sunday, September 18, 2005

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *He's awake before she is, come morning. Could just be he's an early riser, but most likely, judging by the bloodshot eyes, it's just that pain has keep him awake most of the night anyway. By the time she wakes up, with the blanket over them and the cold that caused her to curl up against him still in the air, he's lying somewhat peacefully with his good arm around her waist and his right hand absent-mindedly caressing her cheek.*

Montana James: The caressing of her cheek is likely what made her stir... Granted she an Kyle slept in the same hut after the party at the Fianna Sept, but nothing happened... as nothing happened here with Lance... she stirs a bit more and begins to wake up, sitting up a little quicker than she should have, especially after the hit to her head she took the night before. "M....Morning," she says through clenched teeth as she rides through the pain in her head.

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *Nods.* Mor--aw, dammit. *Knows by the sound that can't be comfortable, and he sits up himself.* You al--*And dammit, he woke up his shoulder.* Alright?

Montana James: "Just a spltting headache, nothing that'll kill me." After a moment she opens her eyes again and looks over at him.. "I guess I don't have to ask how you're doing.. Gotta get that thing out of your shoulder."

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: Still could be better. *and at least has the decency to turn red; he knows why she did it.* We're going to need some pliers, and I don't have any.

Montana James: "I don't have any either... I think we're gonna be hiking a while.. The nearest gas station maybe? Or maybe a cabin here in the woods."

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *Nods.* Do you have the map? I didn't think to grab it. *Scoots a little bit away, and reaches over to his pack, digging through it carefully.*

Montana James: "I had it under my leg when we were in the car.. I was pretty dazed when we left the car. Seems like I doing a fairly good job of screwing up then doing good." Her jeans should be dry now so she goes to put them on.

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *And despite earlier--or maybe because of it--he makes sure to be facing the other direction when she stands, finally digging the beef jerky out of the pack, then picking up the knife and making his way, slowly and very clumsily, to his feet.*

Montana James: "Where you going?" seeing him with his knife.

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: I'm gonna need some kind of walking stick, or crutch, or something... *Leans against a tree a moment, getting his bearings--and catching his breath.*

Montana James: "I'll get it.. You need to save your strength." walking over to him after putting her boots back on and taking his knife from him.

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *Sighs, but leans against the tree, letting her find one.* There's some jerky there, too... ain't much more than dried bologna, but it's somethin'. I should have put out some snares last night, or a fish-trap, or something like that, but...

Montana James: "I've gone without food before, Lance... You do ~not~ need to be doing that sort of thing with your shoulder like it is."

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: While wounded? With who knows how much walking ahead of you? Once you're ready, we can split up that jerky and get started... I figure if we follow this *gestures to the creek.* Downstream, we're bound to come across something soon-that's where people build, after all. And it's away from the highway, which means if those bastards have a vehicle left or stole another one they won't be able to cruise right along and pick us up. I... *damn, does he hate to admit this.* I'm just... not in any shape for a fight right now.

Montana James: She nods, "You eat and I’ll go find a walking stick for you." And off she goes, looking for a branch that will be strong enough for him to use as a crutch. When she finds it she goes to cutting it from the tree, cleans up the edges and heads back to where he is.

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *And he does eat--although, as can be expected... as should be expected, really... he leaves a little more than half of it for her. Once she returns he takes the staff in his left hand, offers the bag in his right, and then looks at the pack, wondering just how the hell he's going to carry that thing on one shoulder.*

Montana James: She chuckles when he starts picking things up... "You're too much of a gentleman... I'll carry the pack." she smiles’ folding up the blanket and putting it into the pack, she eats just a couple pieces of the jerky and the rest is returned to the pack as well. "Ready for this?"

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *And that phrase almost physically hurts him, as his face turns red.* Uh... speakin' of which... I'm sorry about... *his hand raises towards her cheek, but not quite close enough to touch her.* I didn't think--I mean, literally, I didn't think it would be... something offensive...

Montana James: Her turn to turn a bit red in the cheeks... "No... it wasn't.. I was, just a little surprised is all. It's not you it's me. Things from my past just keep me on guard and well, my guard was down." she offers him a little smile. "No worries, okay?"

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *Smiles slightly, although he's still at least a little ashamed--not that he'd be any good at hiding it anyway, but he's most definitely not at top form today.* ...Alright... Ready to go?

Montana James: She nods, "Ready." she stays close to him, just in case he needs or wants a shoulder to lean on.

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *And that he doesn't take--at least not often, seeing as she's quite a bit lighter than he is and her head's obviously still hurting (BTW, the damage from that should be gone by this time, too.)). But it's a long, slow, miserable day, with Montana mostly waiting for him to stumble, stagger, and limp along... at least in part because the damn fool won't stop to rest until he's about to collapse. The average human can walk 2 to three miles an hour. 4 if they're in a hurry over flat ground; a fairly steady 2 over rough ground like they're on now. But Lance should be ~crawling~, not walking, and even the staff isn't really enough to make up for that. By the time ten hours have passed, they have maybe six miles behind them... if they'd decided to go upstream, it might have been three.*

Montana James: She doesn't force him to lean on her, but when he need it she's there... convincing him to stop and rest? She finds that a fruitless effort so she trudges along with him until he is ready to stop... both of them are too darn stubborn.

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *Finally he nearly collapses, leaning against another tree--if they were out on open prairie he has no idea what the hell he'd do.* If we... stop now... we can get a... a fire going... and some snares... fish trap... *Nevermind that he looks about to pass out, or that walking at a slow pace has his chest heaving like he just ran a marathon....*

Montana James: "You rest.. I'll see about something to eat." She starts to gather up twigs, dry leaves and such for a fire. She really doesn't have a clue how to trap an animal, but she’s fairly decent at fishing.

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *Smiles.* If you insist on it... Can you bring me a few of those willow-branches? I can work on that sitting down....

Montana James: "That I can do," she smiles and does just that.

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *And the trap's easy to make. A cone out of five or six willow withes, more tied into circles around it to make a cone-shaped cage, then a trap that's basically a smaller cone with the end cut off. It can even be done with one piece of string instead of one for each knot.* They bump along the bottom.. When they get in here, they come up over this slant just fine, but then it just doesn't occur to them to come up a few inches to clear it comin' back out. They'll be right in there in the mornin'.

Montana James: She watches him work on the trap.. "You're a handy guy to have around," she grins.

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *Chuckles.* Thanks. These are easier than they look... We leave 'em out, and it'll hold onto them without actually hurting them like a leg-trap or a trotline or something....

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *Come the second morning, Montana's up first--Lance's shoulder probably hasn't made sleep any easier, but he's so exhausted himself over the course of the day that she could probably saw his arm off and he'd sleep right through it. His left arm is around her waist again; seeing as the way she'd curled up with him away from the cold, if he'd left it at his side his arm would be running down her front, but she may be amused... or saddened, or pissed, I've given up trying to figure her out... to see that he's got the thumb of his right hand firmly jammed into his belt--apparently it would keep wandering towards her face, at least half of its own volition.*

Montana James: She doesn't sit up quickly like she did they first morning, in fact she very carefully moves to sit up so he can sleep a while longer and she'll go check the traps he made the night before.

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *His breathing hitches a little bit, and his arm pulls as if to pull her back down to him, but only for a moment before it falls back to his side and his breathing evens out again... which isn't terribly even, actually, and a little hoarse. This boy's hurtin', and his shoulder is still a mess. But they're in luck this morning--between the four traps Lance made and let Montana stake down in the stream, the three of them have two nice-sized fish and one smaller one. The fourth one probably got something as well, but the trap is half out of the water and pulled apart, with raccoon tracks around it.*

Montana James: She pauses when he moves, watching him for a few minutes to make sure he's breathing alright or as alright as he can be. Then off to the tarps she goes, grinning when she sees they will have something cooking. – Of course a fire needs to be made first so off she goes to gather the needed materials and gets a fire going. All the while trying not to wake Lance up.

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *At some later time, he'll probably start wearing the knife or at least a knife on his belt, but for now he keeps it in his pack. Last night's fire is down to coals, but a little breath and tinder is enough to get it going again--a good thing, since they've only got about half a book of matches left after Lance wasted so many trying to get the first fire started. The fish is almost done before he stirs.*

Montana James: "Good morning," she says softly... Standing up and getting the cup/bowl from his mess kit and goes to get him some water to drink.

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: Mornin'... *Sits up, carefully, and turns red. Fire's already started, traps already checked, breakfast nearly done; she's been busy working while he layed around on his ass. Stands slowly while she goes to the creek and shakes out the blanket before folding it up.*

Montana James: "I can do that.. conserve your strength and drink some water." Handing him the cup and taking the folded blanket and putting in his pack.

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *Sighs.* I guess... *Takes the cup. Getting wounded seems to be a matter of pride for him--~being~ wounded, on the other hand, doesn't appeal to him at all.*

Montana James: "Come on over and have some breakfast... We're down one fish since it seems a forest creature helped himself to one of them before I got up."

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *Smiles and heads over to the fire, sitting down gingerly.* Feels like it's gettin' better, but that's probably just wishful thinking... What did the tracks look like?

Montana James: She describes the tracks to him, "Raccoon... I think. If I remember them correctly, had some up in Maine where I lived for a short time."

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *Nods.* Probably. Clever little fellers. The raccoon-spirit's a decent pack totem, too. *Forks out one of the fish onto the single plate and waits for her to eat.*

Montana James: "Perhaps the raccoon spirit will smile favorable on you since it was your trap that fed him." she smiles and dishes up some fish for herself.. taking a small bit.

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *Chuckles.* You'll need more than that. It's going to be a long day. *Or maybe not. she'll be poking along at a snail's pace again while he staggers and slips and hobbles, but....* And it might be... They keep stuff like that in mind, sometimes. And the spirits are more raccoon-like than the raccoons. If one of them was around we'd probably find everything shiny missin' and our shoelaces tied together...

Montana James: "I'll eat more if you do." she looks at her work boots, "Laces still there and not tied together. Guess we don't have a spirit friend with us." she eats a bit more of the fish.

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *Nods.* I'll probably eat whatever's left, but if you go too light I'll end up carrying you. *Grins.* Which normally I wouldn't mind, but at the moment...

Montana James: "I've survived on less." she chuckles, but eats more nonetheless.

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *Once she's done, he finishes up the rest, taking the plate and fork down to the stream to rinse it, then scour it with sand before rinsing it off again, then takes up the traps and breaks them apart--and gets plenty to drink while he's at it.*

Montana James: "You know I could do all that... you are the one injured." Helps where he'll let her.

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *Smiles.* You're workin' too much already. *STuffs them back into the pack, after taking up the string he used for the packs and threading it around his waist, through his belt-loops.* It'll dry out like this--if I just ball it up and stick it in the pack it'll mildew.

Montana James: "I'm ready..." she gets a bit to drink before they head out and she'll carry the pack again.

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *It doesn't help that the days are unseasonably hot, and while the ground doesn't get any rougher, it certainly feels that way--especially to Lance, who stumbles and hobbles and labors his way along, sweating and panting and grimacing and heartily embarrased at his speed and the noise he's making. With a bit more rest the night before, though, he insists on pressing on until almost nightfall--he cleans up in the stream again, falls asleep lighting the fire, and nearly falls into it, leaving it necessary for Montana to almost literally put him to bed.*

Montana James: She lets him do what he can throughout the day, but there are times she will help him along, even if he doesn't want the help.. That night she'll put him to bed. and tries to set some traps like he did the night before. She doesn't sleep too much tonight, she’s really beginning to worry about him.

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *She's definitely up before him again--in fact he'll sleep 'til a couple hours past sunup, if she'll let him. The Garou body has plenty of remarkable qualities, but in this form he's physically at least the same as any other human. To make matters worse, there's nothing in the traps, and they've already eaten the jerky he brought along.*

Montana James: She lets him sleep, while going off to see if she can find anything else edible. Though not really finding anything.. a day without food, it’s going to be a long one... hopefully they will come across a cabin soon. She’s by the small fire when he finally wakes up..

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *Besides a few hazelnuts that aren't quite ripe, there ain't much. He finally sits up and looks around again, embarrassed.* How late did I sleep?

Montana James: "As late as your body needed... Unfortunately, we don't have breakfast this morning. So I guess we can get underway rather quickly."

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *Smiles.* Saves some time, I guess... *He lets her do more too--maybe realizing he can't do so much himself, maybe just in worse shape, and they press on. The day's longer and more miserable than the last--for Lance, at least, although Montana finds her stomach growling consistently and when the two find a small blackberry patch they manage to pick it clean of the few berries remaining. Once they stop Lance staggers out of the stream where he bathed and is asleep in moments. Like before, Montana's up quite a bit earlier than he is--and sees in the morning sunlight what the light from the west yesterday evening didn't reveal--sunlight slanting off a windshield.*

Montana James: She gentle wakes lance up, "I'll be right back...I'm going the check something out." speaking quietly to him. "You stay here." And off she goes to investigate the windshield she sees--she decides she should probably approach with caution so she sneaks toward the vehicle.. Gun in hand and praying it isn’t more bad cops.

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *Lance nods--although of course the SOB isn't gonna stay put while she's gone--and Montana finds the truck less than a quarter-mile away. If they'd made it to higher ground last night she'd also see the frame of the Bobcat it was hauling, but it's obviously for a construction crew, and apparently too early in the morning for them to actually show up this Friday morn.*

Montana James: She sighs with relief, "Pliers, there should be some here some where." She goes to check the truck first. Construction site way out here, they may not be too worried about thieves, wishful thinking on her part.

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *There's a big ol' toolbox on the back of the truck... Unfortunately, it's locked, but fortunately, it's not big enough to hold the crowbar, which is laying in the bed of the truck.*

Montana James: "Breaking and entering time.... I'll leave a few buck for the owner." she takes up the crowbar and wedges it under the lock flap using her strength and body weight to try to break, bend or whatever to get the box open.

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *It's not uncommon for people to try to break into these things, and the box-makers keep that in mind... On the other hand, they don't expect those people to have a five-foot crowbar on hand, and with a squall of metal, the hasp eventually doesn't bend or break but tears, as if it were very strong leather. A little more work and she's able to bend it enough to get the sucker open, to find what might otherwise be considered a treasure-trove. A surveying unit and tripod worth a couple hundred bucks, three or four levels worth 20 or 30 apiece, three five-gallon drums of fuel--which is probably why they locked it up to begin with--and in a compartment on the side, the smaller tools. A few wrenches, two spare belts, a few extra bolts, hammers, screwdrivers, and... Jackpot--at least three pair of pliers.*

Montana James: Lot of money there, but that's not what she's after it's just the pliers she wants and she grabs all three of them. They're not very sterile but he can at least heal after the silver is removed. She heads back to where she left him.

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *Just one fish in the traps this morning, but at least it'll be a decent meal for the both of them--and it's cooking over the small fire by the time she returns, the blanket already packed up.*

Montana James: "You really dislike just resting." she says with a chuckle after seeing the fish cooking and the blanket put away. "Construction site over there.. I got some pliers... don't ask how I got them." She grins.

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *Chuckles.* Picking up Gnawer ways? Besides, I was restless. This is just my idea, but if that's a construction site--this is Friday, so it won't be long before they show up for work, so we might want to move a little back upstream and find a good spot before we try this. When they find it missin' they may come lookin'... *turns red.* And besides, I got a feelin' this is gonna be noisy...

Montana James: "That's not a bad idea... damn, I forgot to leave some money behind for repairs or replacements," she shrugs a shoulder. "Eat on the way or eat first and go or take the food along with us and eat later?" she asks with a grins.

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *Pauses, thinking.* Well, to be blunt, I dunno if I'm gonna be able to keep it down, so feel free to have some yourself but I think I'm gonna hold up on mine until after. Then, if we can rest for the day, we can make a ~lot~ better time when I can actually walk...

Montana James: "Lets' take it to go.. I can eat later."

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *Nods and digs through his pack. Normally they're for tinder or if he needs something to write on, but sure enough, in the bottom are some clean wrappers--at least, as clean as he could get them--that once held O'Tolley's burgers. Wraps up the fish, setting it in a side pocket of the pack, then lifts the pack with his left arm, almost falling over because his right just can't hold him up with that staff, and winces as he wakes up the nerves--as if they won't be woken up plenty in a few minutes--in his macerated shoulder.* Sorry... I still can't get it...

Montana James: "Lance!.." but it's too late as he causes himself some pain. "I'll get the pack.." taking the pack and hoisting in up on her shoulder after making sure the fire is out. "Time to get our selves moved." and again she stays close to him for the offered shoulder and help when he needs it.

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *Not that he needs it... Yeah, right; not that he'll ~take~ it. It's uphill now, and much as he knows it needs to be done he's not at all eager to have her yanking at his shoulder again--but he figures if he's tired maybe that'll dull the pain, or at least let him drop off to sleep quicker. He's also tied the two traps to the pack, so they hang behind--maybe an extra pound of weight between the two of them, but it'll save her some time since he knows full well that he won't be up to making them. All in all, they make fairly good time, and by the time the construction crew shows up they're a good half-mile away. Not good considering that was almost an hour ago, but good time for Lance in this condition, at least. It's another hour or so before they pass a spot where the stream deepens to a decent pool, with a thick stand of young trees to the side that'll be enough for fuel and shelter both.*

Montana James: She steers him in that direction..."You sit and rest, I'm going to gather some wood and such for a fire... I think we'll be spending the day here."

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *Nods, too worn-out to even be embarrased, and leans against a tree for a moment before he slides carefully to the ground. He is ~not~ looking forward to this part.*

Montana James: She's not exactly looking forward to this either, but she knows she has to do it so he can heal. She gathers up the things they'll need, and even starts up a fire before they get to the unpleasant part of the day.. She'll go clean the pliers as best she can and returns to his side... "I know I'm not ready for this, but it's got to be done.."

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *Chuckles.* Well, this'll hurt me moren' it does you... *He's even got the stick ready.* Ready?

Montana James: "Ready as I can be." she looks over the wound before she attempts to find the barb with her finger.... then she guides the plierss in along her finger to grab hold of it.

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *Jams the stick in his teeth, hissing in air; human flesh just ain't meant to be treated like that. But the flesh hasn't healed any, almost as if it were cringing away from the moon-metal, and it's fairly easy to get a good grip on the thing. Lance reaches back to wrap his good arm around the tree for leverage, and nods.*

Montana James: She nods slightly, causing so much pain to him isn't helping her any.. She grips the pliers as tight as she can so they don't slip out of her hand and starts to pull.

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *And for the moment, at least, she's only pulling against bone. Not painless by a longshot, but not nearly as bad as when she tried to pry it loose with the knife. On the other hand, it's still enough to make the cords stand out in his neck, and the thing still ain't movin'.*

Montana James: "Shit.." she mutters, she’s not a doctor, but she's got to get this thing out and she pulls harder.. praying the pliers don't slip off.

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *They're good pliers, and the dart's barbed. Lance is biting back a groan, but the thing is ~stuck~ in there. She's not just not getting it out, it's not even budging, and Lance mutters through the stick, voice hoarse.* Have... to yank....

Montana James: She almost winces, instead she carefully shifts her position and without warning him does as he said... yanks will all her strength and will.

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: NNNNnnGH!!! *No, that's not a happy-sound, and Lance's left arm tightens convulsively around the tree-trunk he was holding on to. And maybe--maybe--the thing gave a little, but certainly not enough to actually move... It's a few moments before he's able to speak.* Right... shoe...

Montana James: She shakes her head... she doesn't want to do this now. she needs leverage, like her knee on his chest. "Right shoe?" not sure what he mean by that.

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *Nods, finally taking the stick from his mouth, teethmarks punched deep in the hardwood.* Take off... your... right shoe....

Montana James: She takes off her right shoe..

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *Nods.* Lever... Leverage..... *Still panting, with his chest heaving and his heart jackhammering crazily in his chest and his shoulder screaming at him that it's on fire, but he puts the stick back in his jaws and leans over to lay on his left side, his right shoulder up, and taps his arm with his left hand, wincing as he does so, the words muffled.* Foot... Here....

Montana James: She takes a breath and places her foot where indicated... this time she does warn him... "Ready?" when he indicates that he is... she's yanking again, grunting with the effort, she wants this to be the last try and for it to be successful.

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *It's not going to be the last try, but between the leverage and the angle, she's at least able to make the thing ~move~; one more like that'll do it. Lance makes a sort of half-strangled, high-pitched grunt that can't be anything other than a bitten-back scream, sunfishing in the dirt hard enough to almost trip her up, and it's only with a massive effort of will that he's able to remain still--or for that matter, not try to crawl away.*

Montana James: She exhales hard, keeping her grip on the pliers.. "Hang in there Lance, it's coming out. One more time, okay." she hopes, at least. Each pull/yank is like tearing her own heart out. Miss Tough-as-nails isn't so iron-clad and again the pulling begins, pulling with all her might, if it comes free she’ll be propelled backward with the effort.

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *The second one's almost enough--this time, with almost a sense of triumph, she can feel the thing easing out. The third ain't so good--it comes out, but as the poor bastard is twisting and writhing on the ground those wicked barbs catch on flesh and tear another groove. He's beyond even screaming now, flopping on the ground like a fish tossed off the hook. One heavy boot catches her on the hip as she falls, leaving a bruise that she knows damn well he's going to apologize abjectly for as if his shoulder were nothing, and he convulses for a few minutes more before unconsciousness is merciful enough to claim him. It's started bleeding again, although at least not so bad, and the sweat that was pouring off him mingles with the tears that he was far beyond noticing.*

Montana James: Ungracefully falls backward, taking the boot to her hip with a muffled grunt of pain, which is followed by another louder grunt of pain when she actually hit the ground. Pliers released as she gets up, at least up on to her knees to move back by the time she gets there he out cold, she cleans up the wound and bandages it while he’s out. Once that's done she moves him to a more comfortable position, covering him up with the blanket near the fire and wipes away the sweat and tears. She collects the pliers and the barb, putting them away only then does she let her own tear fall. She checks on him once again and goes to get herself cleaned up, bathing in the small pool of water.

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *His breathing his hoarse, chest occasionally hitching, but he appears to be at least somewhat calm. No telling if he'll wake up in a few minutes or sleep the rest of the day.*

Montana James: She sits beside him while he’s out, checking on him now and then to make sure he’s breathing and he's not going to bleed to death. The fish will go uneaten at least for now, which will remind her to set the trap in the stream, she'll do that and come back to watch and wait.

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *He brought both the ones she made last night--and it's possible he could set some snares or something like that, were he conscious, but her vigil is a fairly short one, before his breath hitches and his eyes snap open, jaws clenched.* Damn... silver... ... When we... get back... Gonna.... drive over that bitch again...

Montana James: "I'm just glad it came out," she says quietly and checking his shoulder once more. "I'll warm up the fish and get you some water." She set the fish to warm over the fire and goes to get him some water.

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *And while she crouches over his shoulder his left hand rises, still trembling with pain--be just his bloody luck to jab her in the eye, but he doesn't--and wipes that one tear away.* I'm... sorry...

Montana James: "There's no need for apology.." she smiles a little bit. Reaching up to touch his hand. "You're going to be fine now, with some rest."

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *Squeezes her hand.* Couldn't... couldn't have done this... alone. Never... made it this far... I owe you my life.

Montana James: "You don't owe me anything. You'd of done the same for me, if the shoe was on the other foot." She smiles again before she moves to get him some of the fish, "We need to get some water and food into you and you will rest today.”

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *Smiles and kisses the palm of her hand before he lets go.* Thanks... *And of course, the bastard tries to sit up while she's getting the water. Manages too, actually, although it's not easy by a long shot. He leaves the fish be for the moment, instead taking a slow sip of water.*

Montana James: Color rises in her cheek at the kiss to her palm, though she says nothing...... Then sitting beside him again she'll pick at the fish eating a little bit of it. "Think you'll be ready to head out in the morning?"

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *Nods.* I'm sure I will... You'll be surprised... how fast this heals up. *Still drinking slowly, not so much swallowing the water as letting his tissues absorb the stuff.*

Montana James: "It hasn't gone unnoticed, just how fast a Garou can heal."

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *Smiles.* Oh, I'll still be in bad shape.... And I'm going to have to shift. I don't heal in this form.. That's why the silver had to come out--any other form with that in there and it'd kill me... *But he starts on the fish first, taking a careful bite and waiting a moment to see if his stomach will hold it. It tests the food, grumbles about it a few moments, then decides 'why not?' and he takes another bite.*

Montana James: "Is that how that works.. I wasn't sure how the healing thing was for you guys."

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *Nods, finishing the fish fairly quickly--not quite bolting it down, despite his urge to--and finishing off the water.* The form we were born in, it's the same as any other human or wolf. except mules, they can heal up like that in any form. *Pauses, concentrating, and nothing happens. Again, with a grunt of frustration, as he's obviously trying to do something, and still nothing. And then a third time, before his pain-wracked brain comes up with the idea to use his Rage and he almost bursts into the Glabro form. He's not leaning on her like this--more than 420 pounds of muscle, and while he was never exactly pretty, he at least normally looks... well, normal. Not in this form, with its heavy, overhanging brows, pronounced teeth, rough hair, and jutting neanderthalish jaw.* Ahh... *Grabs up the hickory stick he had in his teeth, and grins as he crushes it in his left hand.* That's ~muuuuch~ better....

Montana James: She sudden shift does make her lean away and her eyes are fairly wide; seeing a Garou shift still shocks and awes her. She blinks several time and clears her throat, "You can take care of the traps now that you’re feeling a little better." She chuckles.

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: Sorry. Shoulda warned you. *She's seen this form before too, and the voice will be familiar--rough, as if from the throat of some primitive man whose only speech to date has consisted of monosyllabic grunts, with the softer sounds slightly cut off around the overlarge teeth.* Yeah, I can check them. *Smiles.* Your turn to rest.

Montana James: "Just a little extra rest." she grins.

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *Chuckles.* Wait'll we get back on the trail. We'll actually be able to make some time now...

Montana James: "I'm ready for it.. I'm a Strider Kin after all."

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *Nods, sitting back. Between the healing actually starting and his greater stamina actually able to hold off the pain better--and his reserves of willpower being completely spent--he's out like a light in minutes.*

Montana James: She grins... covering him up with the blanket once again, eating the remaining fish before cleaning up, looking around the area and coming back to get some need rest herself. Again she sleeps close to him sharing the warmth of their bodies.

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *Come morning he's actually up first--a good 18 hours or so of sleep will do that--and lays where he is smiling at her for a few minutes before he lightly kisses her forehead and gets up carefully so as not to wake her up to check their traps and clean up. By the time she wakes up, he's in Homid again, and obviously in much better shape, two small fish roasting over the fire.*

Montana James: She stirs slight at the kiss, but remains asleep... she was pretty worn out after the last few days and yesterday's event sapped her of most of her energy.. physical and mental. The smell of the fish cooking brings her out of her dreamland and stretching, "Morning." blinking, "You've been busy."

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *Chuckles.* I was hungry.

Montana James: "I'm not surprise by that..." and it’s her turn to fold up the blanket and put it away.. "I'll just go wash up.." Which she does and returns several minutes later. "So which way are we going today?"

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *Smiles.* Well, it's not a random search for some poor human to steal from, so I figured we'd head to Everfull Cup and your truck. *Grins.* Not that I couldn't enjoy a couple weeks out in the woods with you, now that I'm not about three-quarters dead, but I think they'll be waiting on us, and you've probably got bills pilin' up.

Montana James: "Everfull it is... Yeah, bills..." a hint of worry in her eyes then it’s gone, "..It's nothing I can't handle."

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *Nods.* We'll figure something. *How, he's got no clue, but damned if he won't find some way to help.* Anyway, we should be able to make some good time today.

Montana James: She nods, "Shouldn't take us too long."

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *Nods and dishes up the food.* And I don't know about you, but fish is gettin' a little old... *Grins.* Keep that gun handy, and if we come across a deer, *or the scent of one, for that matter* you can pop it.

Montana James: "I still have it.." She goes so far as to show it to him before she takes the food and begins to eat.. "I surely wouldn't mind something different, but at least we have something to eat."

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *Nods.* True. I've certainly gone enough time without even that... *Eats up himself, once she's finished, and dons the pack with a grin after taking apart the traps. With a little effort, he shifts to Glabro, then to Crinos, then down to Hispo, making sure not to be right next to her when he does so. Once in Hispo, more than half a ton of deep-chested, heavy-shouldered wolf, the pack and even his clothing no more than patches of color on his tawny brown fur, he crouches down and gestures with his head towards his own back.*

Montana James: She chuckles, "Tell no one this happened." She's too eager to get back and try to save her job to argue that she is quite capable of walking, even running, so she climbs on to his back.

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *Snorts in amusement, but waits until she's on before he starts. And they do make good time during the day. He spends little time running--which is probably a good thing for Montana, since with his shoulder his gait is still horridly uneven--but even his walking speed is nearly as fast as a human can jog, and with four legs matters such as hills, brush, large rocks, and other things that would require detours are simply walked right through or over. Rather than staggering five or six miles a day, they've managed to put a good 30 or 40 miles behind them by nightfall despite the, to a Hispo, slow pace, and were he not basically still hobbling along he'd probably be able to double that.

Montana James: Once they stop for the night, "There are times when I wish I could do what you Garou can do."

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *Chuckles, finally having shifted back to Homid.* Like catch a body full of silver? *Smiles, no longer laughing.* What you are already is pretty damn good, Montana.

Montana James: "I'm just me, Lance... can't change who I am." She smiles.

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *Nods.* I wouldn't anyway. *Digs his knife out of his pack, looking around for something to make more fish-traps out of.*

Montana James: "You might think differently had you known me when I was younger."

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *Nods.* That's always possible. *Cutting a few roots from where the stream eroded away the dirt.* Although I doubt it.

Montana James: “Perhaps some day I'll give you a sample of what I was like when I was a teenager." She chuckles and goes to help him.

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *Bites his tongue, although he starts laughing as he puts the traps together. They end up going to sleep hungry that night, but at least there's likely to be something come morning.*

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *With the traps put together and the fire started, it's a pretty peaceful night, although they haven't eaten since breakfast. Lance sits down beside the fire, obviously feeling much better despite the day's exertion.*

Montana James: Montana sits by the fire as well, "I'm glad to see that your are feeling better.. I can admit it now, that I was rather worried about you."

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: You shouldn't have been. *Smiles.* And you're the reason you shouldn't have been. I wasn't--I knew you'd pull it off.

Montana James: "I had my doubts we'd find what we needed." She picks up a stick and pokes at the fire a little bit.

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *shakes his head.* You know? I'm glad it didn't come to that, but I think you'd have carried me if you had to... *Grins.* If I'm wrong, don't lemme know.

Montana James: She chuckles, "You're not wrong, I would have gotten you to back to Everfull Cup some how."

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *Chuckles.* Well, we should be back tomorrow night. I'll be able to cover more ground by tomorrow. *And indeed, while his shoulder is obviously badly injured, it's not the completely torn-apart mess that it was just yesterday. He stands and stretches.* It's gonna be a long day, but before we turn in there's somethin' I want to try...

Montana James: She nods, looking up at him when he stands up.. "Okay.."

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *Grins.* And put the gun away--it's not that... *Gestures towards the stream.* Just do me a favor and have a seat over there--and don't be scared any, I'll have to shift and make some noise for this...

Montana James: She chuckles and shakes her head at the first comment, then gets up and goes to sit where he indicated. Having not a clue as to what he's going to do.

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *What he's going to do is obviously some sort of ritual. he picks up a burning branch from the fire, and one of the willow withes he was making fish-traps with in the other hand, and starts moving in a counter-clockwise circle around her, chanting softly under his breath as he waves the stick in random patterns. Or apparently not so random. The lines of fire on her vision seems to lengthen, until she realizes that they really are doing so, creating indecipherable patterns in the air, as his voice continues in a soft mix of the garou tongue, english, and some obviously otherworldly language--the few words of the Spirit-Speech that he's learned for this Rite.*

Montana James: She watches, her eyes following the fire, awed by the movement and pattern. She's never really witnessed a rite in action, least not that she was aware of. She remain still and quiet.

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *He continues for a good ten minutes, until it seems the two of them are wrapped in a lacy wreath of flame, occasionally dipping the willow stick into the stream to flick water over the both of them. Then he starts moving faster, until he suddenly leaps into the air, bursting into Crinos before he hits the ground, and lets out an unearthly howl from a huge, fanged maw. The fire collapses in on them for a moment, burning away all impurities without and within, and although Montana feels no pain or even heat she can feel the few drops of water evaporate immediately from her skin and clothing before Lance shifts back to Homid, smiling.* That one comes in handy....

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *And while she didn't exactly stink, hot days of long exertion followed by bathing with no soap don't leave anybody smelling perfectly clean, nor does it leave them feeling too terribly comfortable. But she's clean now; cleaner than if she'd spent hours scrubbing.*

Montana James: She's a bit startled by the howl at first... she blinks and blinks again when the flames collapse and shivers when the water droplets dry up... "What was that?"

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: Rite of Cleansing, they call it. *Moves around her to toss the willow withe into the stream, then leans his nose over her shoulder and inhales deeply.* Smell.

Montana James: She lifts the front of her shirt up a bit and inhales.. "Handy, rite." she smiles.

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *Nods and inhales deeply again before he steps away, grinning.* Sorry, couldn't help it. You smell good. *Has a seat, tossing the stick into the fire.*

Montana James: "No one has said that to me in a very long time, but it's usually when I'm all dressed up and ready to go out." she chuckles.

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *Chuckles slightly, although he turns a little red.* Well, I haven't gotten to see you like that, but after you spend some time livin' without 'em perfumes and such don't make so much difference. And people have their own smell--I don't mean when they've been working or they haven't bathed or something, but just all on their own. A wolf--or a Garou in lupus, I guess--can tell just about anything by the smell of someone; man or woman, how old, how healthy, scared or angry or confident... but even the human nose can smell a little bit of that.

Montana James: She nods, "I knew what you meant, just messing around with you. Now that we can relax some."

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *Shrugs, then chuckles again.* Didn't mean to lecture. *And finally sets down the pack. Ahh, the wonders of dedication--the blanket he pulls from the pack is just as clean as the two of them, which is a good thing.*

Montana James: "It wasn't a lecture, in fact I like it when you explain things, because I don't know everything there is to know about the Garou."

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *Shrugs.* I talk too much, sometimes, is all. Somethin' I try to avoid. 'Specially around beautiful women. *Has a seat again, thinking.*

Montana James: "You might be surprised at how many women like to have a man that talks... One that listens is high on their list too." she stretches out near the fire, trying not to notice the ‘beautiful women’ comment.

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *Grins.* I don't do enough of that either, then. *Lays down himself, relaxing. It's perhaps a full minute before he speaks.* ... wrong of me, I know, but I keep wishin' this trip would last a little longer...

Montana James: "I suppose it wouldn't be so bad. Except for the fact that I'm missing work,” A hint of worry in her tone.

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *Nods.* I know... I'll think of something. I know Pa knew a few folks that weren't exactly on the up-and-up, but they might be willing to work out a deal or two... *Smiles.* I can work out the details while I'm running tomorrow, I guess. For now, how about some sleep?

Montana James: "No worries, I'll work things out." Then she moves, closer to him, survival instincts kicking in like the nights passed. "I can imagine you’re pretty tired." She settles down next to him as comfortable as she can be so they can share the blanket.

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *Nods, yawning. He's tired enough, and once she lays down next to him he's asleep in less than a minute.*

Montana James: She remains awake for a while, listening to him breathing and watching the flickering flames.. finally she drifts off to sleep as well.

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *She's up before him again--despite the fact that her weight was as nothing in the Hispo form, he did a lot of travel over rough ground in bad shape--and his shoulder is, again, noticably better--it seems if she keeps watching she'll be able to see the flesh knit and close. His left arm is around her waist as usual, and while it'd be hard to tell if he was stroking her cheek again, he may very well have been doing so in his sleep—his right hand is on his own chest, one finger almost touching her nose.*

Montana James: She wakes up and thinks to herself she's been getting a little too comfortable with him--he's so young.... She carefully gets up trying not to wake him and going to check the traps.

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *Nothing in the traps. Fortunately, he had enough presence of mind to set a few snares as well, though, and the one rabbit is plenty for two people, along with the few chestnuts she's able to find. with more time and in better shape, they'd probably be able to live quite comfortably, but this is enough for a meal. Lance is up by the time she's back, stoking the fire.* I can clean that, if you want.

Montana James: "I may have gone camping when I was younger, but skinning an animal isn't something I'd learned before my dad died." She hands the rabbit over to him and sets the chestnuts down near the fire.

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *Nods.* It's a bit gruesome, but pretty easy. You cut here... then down here and across... around... *And explains the process--which is indeed a touch gruesome--as he does it, using the skin to hold the head and innards. Puts the rabbit itself on a stick, then wraps up the skin and wings it and its contents out into the woods.* Normally I'd hold onto the skin, and scrape it later, then let it dry and trade it off to someone who can cure it, but we're lacking the time, and it'll feed something else this way. *Washes off his hands in the stream while it's cooking.* And chestnuts too? *Grins.* I shoulda slept in--by noon you'd probably have come up with some filet mignon.

Montana James: She watches and learns, thankfully not squeamish as he cleans the rabbit for cooking. "Yeah, some chestnuts." She chuckles, "I'll see what I can get for the filet mignon."

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *Chuckles.* This will do. But I think next time we go fishing, we ought to see if we can find a deer. Then gorge until we can't stand up for a few ours, and let ~them~ eat the fish. I've had enough of it for a good long while.... *It cooks quickly enough over the small, hot fire as Lance digs into his pack again, getting out the plate and fork.*

Montana James: "We'll be out of here soon.. I'll buy you a dozen burgers when we get back to the city." She grins.

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *Chuckles.* That works for me. *Cuts the rabbit almost in half, with the bigger piece for her, and pops it onto the plate, hissing slightly as he picks his piece up in his fingers.*

Montana James: "I think I'll have to invest into a second plate. Sorry." She is hungry so her digs in. Not wolfing down the food, but eating most of what was given to her, what's left she offer to Lance.

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *Chuckles.* I'll dig one up somewhere. This here's almost an heirloom. There's actually a Gift we have, that makes all this unnecessary. Take trash, newspapers, whatever, and turn it into food. Completely tasteless, but it'll keep you alive. *Does indeed take what's offered—he won't admit that he's still running hungry, but he may very well eat all dozen of those burgers--then cleans up the plate as usual, washing it in the stream and scouring it with sand.*

Montana James: "You are an unusual guy, Lance and I don't mean that in a bad way." She smiles, getting up to help clean up and get packed up so they can get moving again.

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: Me? Well, I guess you don't mean the whole nine-foot-snarling-deathbeast and fade-into-a-world-that-doesn't-exist way, so what would be unusual about me? *Packs up the plate and silverware, after cleaning the knife somehwat more carefully and sheathing it as well.*

Montana James: "For one thing you keep your things very clean and neat. Most guys that I've known are slobs."

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *Shrugs.* I don't mind being dirty if I have to be--and hell, I'm a Gnawer, sometimes it happens... but I figure if I have the chance I might as well. *Grins.* Nothing like livin' on the streets to show you that sometimes being clean is a priviledge....

Montana James: "I do know what you mean there.. I've had my times of being less then clean. Especially when you’re hiking across the country."

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *Nods.* That's one reason I picked up this Rite, although I tell you it was a headache learnin' it... You ready?

Montana James: "Oh that's the one you were learning." She grins, "yeah, I'm ready."

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *Smiles and takes a few steps away before he shifts slowly--most times she's seen him shift he skips Glabro and goes to Crinos, then Hispo. This time, like yesterday, he shifts first to Glabro, then to crinos, and finally down to the pony-sized wolf form that he'll need for this job. Crouches down and waits for her.*

Montana James: "If anyone find out about this.. I'll never live it down." She jests before climbing up onto his back once again.

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *Snorts in amusement as she climbs on, then once she's sure she's got a good grip he's up and moving. Today he's in much better shape, and she can tell simply by his gait. While he slows down to walk occasionally, he spends most of the day at a steady lope, a smooth, ground-eating pace, and when dark comes he keeps going despite growing tired, his eyes and ears sharpened enough in this form to easily pick out his path before he curls huge black lips back from bigger fangs and breaks into a full run.*

Montana James: She feels guilty that he's the one running and she's along for the ride... but she knows there's no way she could keep up with him if she were on foot. -- And holding on tight is what she's doing when he picks up speed. Trusting him to get them were they need to be.

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *While it would be faster were he unwounded, it's still plenty fast--especially when he growls with the effort and starts to let the Rage fly, his own thoughts providing enough frustration to allow such movement, and while before he was going rather fast, in a few moment he's simply ~flying~ through the woods, crossing rough and smooth ground with equal ease. Were anyone able to measure they'd clock the two going at better than a hundred and fifty, but all either really knows is that it's ~fast~.

Montana James: She doesn't try to stop him, she trust he knows his limits and to be truthful, she's getting more and more worried if she'll have a job when they get back.

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *And once he slows to a walk again--perhaps six seconds and a quarter-mile later--he's a bit tremble-legged, but otherwise fine. He stops for a moment in front of a tree, making a small sound to get her attention, and gestures with his nose at the mark cut into the trunk. Then he backs up a bit onto his haunches, takes a deep breath that she can easily feel where she's at, and looks back to make sure she's got her ears covered.*

Montana James: She doesn't have to be told twice after seeing the marks on the trunk, she covers her ears.

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *And once that's done he belts it out, a howl that echoes across the moonlit trees, reciting name but not lineage and naming his guest as best he can in the wolf tongue. Then he crouches down so she can hop off, and once that's done shifts instantly back to Homid.*

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *It's Sucks-his-Thumb who shows first, and by the speed he showed, he was probably in the general area--or else the spirits alerted him that something was approaching way too fast. He too shifts to homid, frowning at the two.* Back? What took you so--Damn, that's one fucked-up shoulder....

Montana James: She hops off quickly stretching out her legs, arm, hell her whole body as they wait for a reply or someone to show up.--- she waves, but remains quiet letting Lance do most of the talking.

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *Nods.* That's what took so long, Rhya. If it weren't for Miss James I would have died out there.

Montana James: "I can say the same, that shot was meant for me."

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *Lance shrugs, turning red, and Sucks-his-Thumb smiles.* Sounds like it'll be one hell of a story to tell. You up to tellin' it?

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *Lance shakes his head.* We can't tonight, Rhya. The shitmonkeys demand my attention, and if Montana doesn't return soon she won't be able to keep her truck. My apologies, Rhya, but we've got to leave as soon as possible.

Montana James: She nods in agreement with lance. "Sorry.'

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *Sucks-his-Thumb looks at the two a moment, then shrugs.* Well, long as you didn't fuck up the hunt, I'm happy. Come on back sometime, then--this ought to be a story to hear. *Lance nods in agreement.*

Montana James: She nods again and smiles.. more then ready to get to her truck and on the road back home.

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *Sucks his Thumb nods and heads back to his patrol or the sept or a bottle or whatever it was he was at, leaving the two to make their way to Montana's truck. Lance opens the door for her, and speaks quietly.* I'm pretty sure I can get an arrangement or two... You put your truck on the line to save me, and I really don't want to see you lose it...

Montana James: "If I can't work things out I'll let you know and you can see about those arrangements." she doesn't say anything about him opening the door for her she just climbs into her truck and starts it up waiting for him to climb in as well.. "Try and get some sleep.. I'll be driving a few hours before I stop to rest..."

Lance "Rides-the-Storm" Kilkenny: *Nods.* Well, at least don't turn back west for my account until you finish this run.... It'd be poor repayment for your helpin' me if I caused you to go out of business. *Climbs in, and sure enough, he's soon sound asleep, conked out in the passenger seat as the miles unroll behind them.*

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