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 Bullseye

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Anza9996

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PostSubject: Bullseye   2013-05-31, 12:03 pm


The sun beat overhead and the humidity in the jungle rose
ever higher. Sweat rained from her brow like a waterfall, blue veins pulsed
under her skin. Even deep in the underbrush, the heat still suffocated her and
if she wasn’t accustomed to the atmosphere, she surely would have passed out.
Every now and then she purposely crushed vegetation under her boots, pulled
parts of the large fan leaves off, and made markings in the tree bark with a
crude, worn knife. Anything to leave an obvious trail.


This was ridiculous, the trek should have only taken a few
days. They were stretching it out over a week. The weather was fine, she was
used to it, but it was annoying. Insects flitted around to and fro, some daring
to land on her skin before she squashed or swatted them away. The weight of her
hunting bow became heavy as it rested upon her shoulder as time wore away at
her stamina. Her breathing came in quiet, slow gasps as her lungs fought
against the weight of the air in this humidity. Even now, she could tell they
would have to camp somewhere again and soon she would have to scout out a
decent place above ground.


A fallen tree approximately twenty kilometers away made her
perk up and put a spring in her step. If she could set up a camp now, there
would be plenty of time to hunt and find a water source to replenish their
supply. The weight of her pack suddenly felt lighter as she hurried ahead, only
to be drawn back to the truth that had hindered her journey in the first place.
Her sister. At the rate the girl was going, less than a mile an hour, it would
take another six hours to get there. Shelter was in sight and she could easily
reach it in less time, but if she didn’t keep an eye on her sister, the girl
would probably die.


A soft growl escaped her lips along with her panting as she
kicked over a rock. If the child couldn’t follow these obvious tracking signs
then she would surely whip her into shape when they returned home. That would
hopefully be in three months time. All thoughts of reaching the summit of the
floating mountains were dashed. It was a glorious sight, one few got to see
unless they flew by airship or helicopter, but standing beneath them was
completely different.


She really couldn’t hold it against her sister, it was their
first survival camp out and her sibling wasn’t nearly as fit as she herself
was. It had taken a century to develop the physique she had today and trips
like this were required to keep it up; along with vigorous training between
journeys. Still, she had trained her sister enough and she was doing much
better than when she first found her. This should have been… easy.


A snapping twig caught her attention and her reflexes were
fast, an arrow nocked and the bowstring tense, her eyes widened to enhance her
peripherals. Hope whispered that it may be her sister, but reason won and she
was convinced that the weakling couldn’t have found her that quickly.


“Who’s there?” she said loud and clear, but her head ducked
down and her knees bent slightly. Her aim was slightly lowered in order to hit
her target in the chest, but just in case it wasn’t hostile as well.


“I will say it once more, and you must reveal yourself. Or I
will shoot.” She said with a sharp tone. Life in the jungle had taught her to
never play games. Anything can and will kill you; everything had evolved to do
so.
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PostSubject: Re: Bullseye   2013-07-11, 3:23 pm

Twelve months of peace and quiet...if you discounted the nights.  Twelve months of talking about feelings and keeping dream journals and learning how to knit.  Soothing music and comforting colour patterns and comforting art of colourful landscapes with so very little red or grey anywhere to be seen.  Twelve months of yoga and other cockamamie low-impact workout techniques.

Three hundred veterans of the Patrian/machine fleet war were in that facility, learning to come to grips with the things they had seen or done during the war.  Some took to the treatment better then others.  He had all the checks in the box, but the doctors had their suspicions that he just knew how to play the system and hadn't actually committed to the program.  They were right, of course.  Hence why rather then being returned to active duty, he was being allowed to foray into the Alus wilderness for some alone time.

At least they had allowed him his rifle, but their techs had messed with the power setting, making it little more then a glorified stun-gun.  Enough to kill a small animal, maybe, but would do little more then knock a grown man on his arse for a few minutes and give him a nasty burn.

He had been in the...the jungle, was it?  for only two days so far, and had already come to terms with the fact that it was not for him.  The only reason he had not gone back to the hospital was because there were no people out here.  Just animals, and plants, and no doctors trying to talk to him.  He had sat against the base of a tree for hours now, just staring into the jungle ahead of him, at least some small part of his mind tracking the movement of the sun.

Animals came and went, occasionally stopping to stare at him, but he didn't really pay them any attention.  Such creatures didn't really exist in the Patrian solar system anymore, but he had lost interest not long after arriving on Alus.  Twelve months ago.

The jungle ahead of him opened up a bit and dropped away, sort of a lush green valley on a much smaller, closed in sense, a long wide avenue through the dense foliage, and the tree he sat against was at the top of the rise.  The human mind was a strange thing at times, able to make connections between things that really had nothing in common.  Most folks would likely look into that tunnel of foliage and see it for the beautiful view, and enjoy the wildlife and sense of life in general.

He was reminded of the view from the observation deck of the largest of the now dead colonies on the small moon, Infernus.  From behind nearly two feet of reinforced glass, looking down on one of the shuttle bays where colonists had fled to try and escape a nano-weapon.  Thousands of people rushing the taxi-ing shuttles.  The doors to the shuttle bay were kept open by the throng of people, all of whom had no idea that the quarantine for that section of the colony had been breached.  He was in the last team of marines to be pulled out before command had locked that area down.  

They had pressed one button the marines, safe within their power armor suits, had been given new way-points and objectives, moving them out of the breached zone.  One button had consigned those thousands to die.  Horribly.  One button, and he over-rode the safety protocols, and opened the shuttle doors, and let in the incendiary atmosphere of that hellish little volcanic moon.

There was a sound.  Nearby.  A snap of a twig?  He glanced down at his hand, and the broken branch that dug into his palm.  Where had that come from?  He brought his hand up and opened in, casually flicking the bits of wood and bark away to examine the mess of splinters that had bitten into his palm.  A few drops of blood.

Another sound.  A voice.  Female, and angry.  Or stern, at least.  He sighed quietly; had the doctors come looking for him already?  Judging by the time, he should have reported his status by now.  That was unprofessional of him; he would apologize later.  Shaking his head, Brenner stood up, and hoisted the heavy rifle up to drape the sling over his shoulder, before walking around the huge old tree towards the source of the voice.

He made no effort to be quiet about it, but was more interested in the feeling of long-tensed muscles relaxing and stretching.  He was dressed in grey cargo pants, tucked into now dirty combat boots.  A slightly lighter shade of grey t-shirt clung to his chest from the humidity and sweat, and he wore outdated Alus combat webbing with canteen and various pouches and knife.

A hefty backpack was carried in one hand, the other holding the strap of the rifle over his shoulder.  He clearly wasn't expecting much trouble, and once he spotted Eriel he froze briefly.  Not out of fear, or shock, or dismay.  There was a brief acknowledgement that she was certainly pleasant on the eyes, but it was her weapon of choice.  A bow.  And arrow.  He stood stationary for a long moment to really appreciate the ridiculousness of it.  After everything he had survived in a war of starships and robots, energy weapons and nano-machine plagues, he was being threatened by a lithe little woman with a bow?

He chuckled quietly and shook his head, dropping the pack and sitting on it heavily, rifle slid into his lap non-threateningly before he looked at her again.  "Calm down ma'am.  Just enjoying the view."
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PostSubject: Re: Bullseye   2013-07-11, 10:26 pm

Sounds of heavy footfalls reached her ears and Eriel wondered if what she heard wanted her to know of its presence and, even worse, wasn’t afraid of her. When the man appeared and stopped to stare for a moment she did the same, taking in his appearance entirely. While he gawked at her bow, she carefully inspected his rifle from her point of view. Guns. She hated guns. The metal, the smell they made, the noise… and the aftermath a single shot could do.

An eyebrow quirked upward slightly at the sound of his soft laugh, her lips formed a thin line as he shook his head. She had the uncanny feeling he was laughing at her. The moment he set his pack down she exhaled silently, having held her breath since the moment she called out. Eriel noted that he was non-hostile but didn’t move her weapon an inch. Her eyes never strayed from his, in fact they were locked together, as though she was trying to entice him with her gaze alone.

 Two heartbeats and it was over.

The arrow hardly made a whisper, and then a sharp crack as the pointed tip made contact with bone and wood; imbedding itself deeply into another tree only a few inches from his seated position. It was then that she exhaled slowly, a smirk forming at the edge of her lips at the sight of hitting her target, she stood then and nodded toward the twitching snake. “So was he.” She said with a shrug of her shoulder as she slung the bow behind her and held the string securely across her chest. Eriel took mindful steps around him now, aware that she probably agitated him, but her focus was now on dinner.

Watch out for these,” she said as she came up to the snake, its tail weakly flailing despite it dying on impact. She gently flicked her nail across the side of its neck until the membrane came free. A large fan-like appendage opened and extended over half the snake’s length; which was a little over two feet. “This one glides and eats well, as you can see.” She said as she held the snake behind its large head and snapped the arrow free of the tree. Eriel held the reptile at an arm’s length as she stroked the membrane back down before regarding him for a moment, “These have a long black line down their sides,” she pointed to where the edge of the membrane began, “There is another type that is the same color besides the line. Non-poisonous. But I suggest you don’t get comfortable in just any tree from now on.” She told him then minded her tone, “Ranger’s orders.” She added, so at least he knew why she was telling him all this.

It was rare, running into others in the wilderness and her social skills weren’t quite up to par. But her father at least made sure to teach her of her duties as Ranger. Otherwise there would be no point in living the way they had if she didn’t use her skills to help others. Her eyes flickered purple as they darted over his form again, settling on the rifle for a moment, before looking into his eyes once more. “So, are you here for the scenery? Or a poaching expedition?” she asked bluntly. While she didn’t mind if he was poaching, there was plenty to eat if one knew where to look, it was in the job description to ask. It also wouldn’t hurt to know if there was anything out here that caught anyone’s interest to hunt. She had trapped, fished, and hunted almost every creature there was to find in the jungle; if he was looking for something in particular, she was the person to ask.
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PostSubject: Re: Bullseye   2013-07-12, 2:17 pm

Poaching.  Now there was a foreign concept.  Then again, so were such things as venomous snakes.  There had been concerted efforts to save as much of the bio-diversity of the Patrian homeworld.  Great garden ships, or space stations that contained dozens of giant domes to mimic various topographies of their home world.  None had survived the war, nor the genetic records.  They had lived most of the past two hundred years on hydro-farms and vat-grown meat.  There had been less then pleasant and entirely embarrassing dietary adjustments when the first Patrian soldiers had arrived at the Alus facilities.  Two centuries of lab-grown foods had had an effect on the digestive track.

He turned his head when she loosed her arrow, staring at the weakly thrashing snake then paying attention to her instructions.  Good to know.  He'd read that in one of the required-reading pamphlets before he had set out into the jungle, but reading something and experiencing it were very different things.  There was no guilt or sympathy for the dead predator, simply another lesson to be learned.

He flipped open one of the pouches on his chest to produce a slender ID stick, which he held out to the Ranger.  "Warrant Officer Brenner, David.  Delta-Alpha-Fife, Seven-Niner-Eight, Six-Fife-Fife-Fife.  117th Patrian Special Operations.  Currently stationed on Alus."  His name, rank and service number would all be displayed on the small holo-image the ID stick would display, as well as his leave papers that gave him permission to be outside the mental-health facility, and to be armed.
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PostSubject: Re: Bullseye   2013-07-12, 10:59 pm

Her gaze nor tone changed but she seemed a little more comfortable. She simply nodded, only glancing at his ID, "At ease, Officer." she said gently, having high respects for those who've been in service, like her father. "Alus is still in peace, I hope?"she asked vaguely, though she really didn't want to think of what she'd have to go through if they were taking part in a war. If it was taking place on the planet, she'd have to haul ass and everything she could carry back to town. If it was off planet, she'd be drafted immediately; father's dying wish.

She found a hard spot of ground nearby and sat down, still in a conversation mood, but made it a point to multitask whenever possible. Eriel also put her gear down next to her, about to need some things from it in a few moments, but got situated and removed the rest of the arrow; then started de-fanging the snake. Her hand movements were deft and made little mess once she began skinning it.
"If it's not classified, then why are you here, Officer Brenner?" she asked nonchalantly.
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PostSubject: Re: Bullseye   2013-07-13, 7:54 am

There were rumors of an upcoming major operation off-world.  There was no word of it from the Patrian chain of command, but the staff of the mental health facility were not quite so tight-lipped.  He knew next to nothing of what was going on, not enough to actually do more then cause trouble by spreading rumors.  "Yes, at peace.  May it stay that way."

He tucked the ID card back in it's pouch.  His gaze would constantly sweep their surroundings now that he wasn't lost in thought.  A slow, methodical movement as if he were sizing up the area, watching for threats.  Armed threats, not natural predators.  He frowned briefly at her second question.  Why was he here?  A dangerous question, that was.  Why had he survived the war?  Why did he feel he deserved to keep living, instead of eating a bullet like so many others had?  Where did he fit in an age of peace?  "They call it Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.  An Earth term.  We are here for treatment."
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PostSubject: Re: Bullseye   2013-07-13, 12:16 pm

It was good to hear that they were still at peace, that meant she could stay in her jungle. Eriel's ears were trained to listen for anything approaching, from the hum of a dragonfly buzz to the scratching of rodents in the underbrush. She was, for the most part, the deadliest predator in the wilds; unrivaled by anyone unless they carried a gun.

Her hands continued their rhythm, though for a moment they moved a little more slowly at his last statement. They didn't have a word for what he described on Alus, but she knew of the symptoms. It was why her father took to the wilderness after her mother died; it became his new sanctuary.

Eriel nodded slightly, reaching the end of the snake, leaning over to get a folded plastic bag from her pack to put the rest of the snake in then back into her bag. "You found a good a place as any," she told him, "for treatment, that is. They have good doctors in the city, very good ones," she murmured then looked at him. "But the jungle is better. Keeps you limber, on your toes, and its... fun." she said the last word with a slight grin as she reached for her pack again; getting her own canteen and splashing some on her hands to wash off the grime.

She looked up toward the sky, the trees shielding her from the bright rays, as she located the sun and calculated the time. It was time to get moving. Eriel stood and brushed herself off, stretching a little since she hadn't let her muscles rest until then, and put her gear on under her bow. She took a quick look around and stared off in the direction she'd travelled from for a moment before turning back to him. "I've got to get a move on if I'm going to set up camp for the night. I suggest you find a safe spot too, unless..." she glanced over her shoulder then looked back at him, "Do you need to find shelter for the night?" she asked, worried he might rest in some creature's den.

Eriel suddenly put her hand up to tell him to hold that thought as she turned and, with the other hand, grabbed her knife. The blade seemed to disappear in her hand and land with a thud in the trunk of a tree about five meters away. In that same instance, a flash of copper hair disappeared into the foliage and a louder thump was heard. Her sister was trembling as she struggled to stand up.

"Y-You almost... k-killed me..." she stammered, having seen the glint of the blade and leaned so far that she fell on her back. Akela rubbed her sides and backside, sore from falling on her own pack full of supplies.

"Your reflexes are getting better," Eriel muttered, "Where is your bow?" she asked, like a scolding mother.

Akela fidgetted and tried pulling the knife out of the tree; to no avail. "It... uh... it broke..." she said with her back toward her sister, sweating much more profusely.

Eriel sighed and turned back to David, "This is my little sister, Akela. Ranger in training." she introduced them; the younger woman was still trying to pull the knife out which had sunk in to the hilt. "We have a lot of work to do..." she said as she sighed, looking back at her sister for a long moment, a slightly frustrated expression on her face.
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PostSubject: Re: Bullseye   2013-07-13, 3:00 pm

Brenner nodded slightly at her statement that the jungle was better then the hospital.  It had been a slow transition for many of the marines; open skies and abundant plant life.  There was an entire generation of Patrians who had been born since the loss of the nature and wildlife preserves.  The hospital had parks and gardens and many of the Patrians would find their way there way there to just sit and stew in their thoughts.

Her comment of setting camp was met without much response.  He hadn't actually used the tent he carried on his pack in the two nights he had been away from the hospital.  sleep was an elusive mistress, and as the sun set he became more restless.  He had no fear of the dark; he didn't sleep much during the day either, after all.

Her sudden tension caused him to perk up slightly, listening intently for any hint of sound that seemed out of the ordinary.  These sorts of things were far easier in his Special Operations armor.  The built in sensors and cameras and microphones and chemical detectors made it near impossible to sneak up on a Patrian marine, but it made some lazy.  So long as the suit's dummy AI was functioning, they didn't need to pay as much attention to their surroundings.  

He didn't notice anything till just before the dagger flew.  The commotion that followed was met with an approving nod; training needed to be dangerous.  There had to be risk, for the lessons to be learned.  Not too dangerous of course; if someone failed to learn the lesson the first time, it was all wasted effort if they were killed in the process.  He doubted she would have thrown the knife if her sister was actually in danger of dying from it, despite what that sister might have thought.

"Brenner."  He stood finally, the rifle slung instinctively and in a manner that it would be easily readied.  It took a moment for him to realize, then offered a nod, "David."  He decided not to comment about Akela's loosing her weapon.  It wasn't his place, after all.  He crossed to the tree, waving Akela aside and wrenching the knife free with relative ease.  He flipped it once to catch it by the blade, inspecting it for a moment before holding it back to Eriel hilt first.

"Haven't put much thought into where to set camp yet.  They set me up with some equipment to ward off animals though, and a good tent."  Not that he had actually used either yet.  He was more prone to short naps then actually sleeping.
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PostSubject: Re: Bullseye   2013-07-16, 12:05 pm

Akela shied away when she heard him approach, her hands fidgeting as she stood aside and watched him pull the blade from the wood. She stared at him and Eriel, feeling out of place among the two killers; she recognized the way he addressed and held himself as signs of military discipline.
Her sister nodded to him as she took her blade back and sheathed it back to her belt. In response to his answer about camp, she shook her head a little, “Now why would you want to scare the animals off?” she said with a rhetorical tone. “Actually, I’d prefer it if you wouldn’t use that equipment.” She suggested, “If it’s going to be the three of us, then we’ll need to find more to eat. We have rations, but I’ve learned that it’s best to save those for when we’re on the move and can’t stop to hunt and cook. Or if weather’s bad and we have to hole up somewhere for some time.” She told them, imparting further knowledge from her own experience.

Anyway, we need to get moving. At the pace the two of us have been going,” she told David, sparing her sister further embarrassment by not emphasizing any of her words or looking at her, “we’ll just reach the tree I picked out for camp. It’s in that direction,” she pointed out the way, starting to walk toward it, “You can see it up here,” she led the way and paused at the top of the slight incline that she’d been standing on when she first sensed his presence. The tree was huge, appearing to almost reach the clouds. Most of the vegetation around them grew to a lofty height but that one was by far the biggest.

It might be the most obvious place to seek shelter, but that means that there will be plenty to forage and hunt around there. Our best bet is to sleep up in the canopy after cooking dinner at the base.” She told them and without wasting any more time, Eriel began picking her way down the slight slope that led down to a narrow ravine.

Upon reaching the cavernous steps, she looked down and could hear water running far below, but deemed that it would consume too much time and energy to bother trying to get some now. With any luck, since their camping tree was so huge, there would be an easier way to get to water when they approached. “Watch yourselves here,” she said as she walked, sometimes hopping across the rocky ledges. This continued until they reached the bottom of the hill. From there, the terrain was mostly flat and it was as simple as walking straight toward the shadow of the unmistakable tree.

Akela stopped at the edge of the cliff, a discouraged look on her face as she saw the crumbly rock steps. “You can’t be serious, Eriel.” She called to her sister, already halfway down. “Can’t we go around?” she asked. Eriel paused only to turn and look up at her, “I prefer traveling where I can see what I’m standing on. If you want to go downhill blind in the brush then be my guest.” She said and simply turned to continue making her way down. Akela shifted weight from one foot to the other, glancing at where David was and his progress, and slowly started testing each and every step with one foot before firmly placing it. At the rate she was going, she was bound to be left behind again.
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PostSubject: Re: Bullseye   2013-07-26, 9:52 pm

(OOC:  Sorry for the long delay!  Been a touch occupied this past week or so.))


Brenner fixed Akela with a look for a long moment when he noticed she shied away from him retrieving the knife from the tree.  The lass was a jumpy one, it seemed.  Hadn't the confidence of her sister.  A matter of age, perhaps?  Or just simple disposition?  The delicate flower of the pair, perhaps.  He'd seen it before, to some degree or another.  Medics that cried if they lost a patient, or soldiers that ate a bullet when civilians were lost during an evacuation.  Some grew out of it, others never did.


He eyed the tree in the distance, then nodded in agreement; landmarks were an important thing, and high-points were defensible in ground-based warfare.  He just nodded his agreement and started to follow.  Moving cross country at speed was something he was used to, although the undergrowth wasn't something he had adapted to yet.  He was more likely to bull through obstructing branches, although it wasn't out of a dislike of or disrespect for the plants, it was simply that in his line of work he had been conditioned not to shy away from obstacles.


It wasn't till they reached the ravine that he really came into his own.  Desolate rocky terrain was far more his style, and he took what might seem a recklessly dangerous route straight down the incline.  There was no cart-wheeling of arms, no panicked flailing.  He had covered this sort of terrain many times during the war, and this was no different, other then that he was sucking real air and not something out of a tank.


"Experience builds confidence, lass.  More you do, more you learn, better you get."  He would wait at the bottom, watching her slow descent.  Patrian training conditions were far stricter then most were used to; serious injury was common place, and a batch of recruits made it through without at least one dying was almost unheard of.
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PostSubject: Re: Bullseye   2013-09-16, 9:03 am

((I should be apologizing! Sorry it’s been so long, there's been so much going on right now. I'll try to keep up with posting as best I can.))

Akela had a perturbed expression on her face and her brow furrowed more when he spoke to her. She didn’t think ill of him, but she was certainly getting frustrated with all of this. A new habit she picked up since living with her sister began to manifest as she worked her way down; one that he could probably hear easily since Eriel ignored it most of the time, so she wasn’t used to keeping the volume down.

"Family genetics, she said. I’d catch on quickly, she said." The comical little ranting began. Although, once she started, Akela inadvertently gave herself over to her own instincts and started moving faster. Just a tad.

"Camping… This is no camping trip. More like a hike to hell…" she sighed then took a decent leap from one rock to the next. Her footing was unstable but as she balanced herself she concentrated more on the muttering. Keeping her mind occupied enabled her to bypass the fear temporarily. When she got to the bottom, where he stood, she started trembling for a few moments; succumbing to the adreanline rush that her previously-occupied mind hadn't registered yet. "W-Wasn’t that… exhilarating…!" she tried to speak to him in a friendly manner, all too aware that she was coming off as being very... weird.

<<<

Meanwhile, Eriel scouted ahead when she sensed David hanging back for her little sister. She didn’t think he’d do anything to her, if anything his best tactic would be to take Eriel down first and then go after Akela. He didn’t seem like he’d do anything like that, not yet anyway, and if he did she’d just have to shoot him before he could reach his own weapon.

All this was processing in the back of her mind as she made her way toward their destination. As she’d anticipated, a stream about a foot deep ran between the roots of a portion of the tree. In some parts, the water got so deep it formed a swamp-like area. After taking precautions, Eriel continued to make her way up to the base of the tree, its roots like bridges leading up toward a more rigorous trek onto the trunk itself. The tree curved slightly toward the East, the smallest of its topmost branches disappearing into the lowermost clouds, forming a formidable staircase skyward.

Concentrating on finding a spot to camp, Eriel climbed about sixty yards high until she stopped and observed the wilderness around her. She had to determine that the wildlife that thrived at this height were not too difficult to contend with. Most likely, the further they traveled, the more behemoth the creatures grew in size. But they had to be high enough so that the ground-dwelling predators would be unable to reach them as well.

From her height, Eriel could scope out Brenner and Akela as they made their way from the ravine. Her sister’s copper hair flashing in the sun gave them away. Eyes narrowing at the thought of her sister’s hair simply getting them noticed by unwanted predators crossed her mind a moment before positioning herself in the nook between two thick branches. Her arrow was pulled snug against the bowstring, waiting patiently as she covered them from above until they were close enough to spot one another. Today there were few critters grazing along the moss covering the tree, those that saw the two fled immediately. Others, like large, alien-like elk stood quietly and watched the pair with caution; the calfs grew as tall as Akela, the oldest adult three times the size of David.

>>>

Akela had overcome her trembles now that they stood on more stable terrain. Her stride was weakened by the weight of her pack she was unaccustomed to carrying but she did her best to keep up with him. The stream flowed at a lazy pace so at a good angle, they could walk up. Akela spotted her sister with her enhanced sense of sight and pointed her out to David. Her hand twitching as she lowered her arm when she saw her sister aiming toward them. "There’s nothing behind us… is there?" she thought she’d ask him, she didn’t want to, it was so cliché, but she had to.

In a split second, a sharp cry sounded behind them, and they turned to see that she’d shot down something. Akela paled, grimacing as she guessed what her sister would do next.

"Say hello to dinner!" Eriel shouted, scaring off the last of the creatures that were frozen in fear. The dark bluish-purple colored calf thrashed its hooves a last time before all vitals shut down. Despite their size, the elk-creatures disappeared almost soundlessly. Akela looked down at the query, it was a clean kill through the ear that spared only a second of pain. She sighed, turned toward David, "Would you happen to know how to clean this? I haven’t even started skinning rabbits yet..." she said with dejection; not looking forward to more survival training at all.
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PostSubject: Re: Bullseye   2013-10-02, 9:05 pm

(OOC:  No worries, I've been a bit busy of late, and I in turn apologize for my post taking so bloody long.))

When Akela finally reached ground level, he gave her a congratulatory clap on the shoulder and turned to resume jogging after her elder sister, whom he had lost sight of while waiting.  To her statement when she did finally reach the ground, she received a somewhat dry 'Quite.' in response.  He didn't mean to seem rude, but after the sort of life he had lived, the climb down the ridge was met with about as much excitement as making a sandwich.

He had only an educated guess as to which direction Eriel had gone, and basically just followed the path of least resistance further onto the tree until Akela pointed out her sister to him.  He had no experience with natural, lush, environments.  The closest his people had were garden ships and hydroponics labs.  The garden ships had been built to house what little remained of the bio-diversity of the Patrian home world, and none had survived the war.  Billions of years of evolution in the Patrian home system had ended with the Patrians themselves; few plants or animals of their home planet remained.

When he did spot Eriel, and that she had her bow at the ready and aimed in their direction, his first instinct was to take cover, return fire, win the firefight, neutralize the threat.  However, long months of treatment at the facility had developed a much needed step between perceiving a threat and reacting.  That, coupled with a well developed understanding of trajectory and point of aim which allowed him to understand she wasn't aiming at them, but beyond, allowed him to remain calm.

Akela's comically cliche'd statement was met this time with an annoyed grunt and Brenner half turned to glance behind them, in time to see the animal dropping dead from Eriel's arrow.  The annoyance wasn't aimed at Akela of course, it was to the prospect of something having snuck on him.

He stared down at it for a long moment in silence, then glanced at Akela a moment before shrugging dismissively.  "My home system has no animals.  Everything we eat is grown in vats or hydroponics facilities.  Adjusting to real meat they served us at the facility was not a pretty sight, I assure you."
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