IC Thread. CoC. "I shall show you fear in a handful of dust."

The three troopers atop the burial scaffolds scan the box canyon, adjust their rifles sights and make sure extra ammunition is close to hand. None are convinced that they'll actually see anything due to the deepening shadows...

Below them the rescue party prepare themselves. Higgins fixes a bayonet, whilst Quezada smokes a foul smelling cheroot, that causes him to cough and stub it out underfoot with a curse.


Blue Blaze Irregular
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"Not that hard Sarge" Scott replies before completing his awkward ascent and then laying on the platform and pulling the spear free to rest it on his lap as he sits there readying his rifle.
"That's what I thought," Summers commented back. "Don't be afraid to use the damn thing if you need to, it got you, against the odds, maybe you can make it hit someone else...against the odds."

"I'm in the lead, Higgens, Quezada, I'd like you on my left and right, about five feet either way and to my rear just a bit. Kimball, bring up the rear." The Sergeant looked at all three. "We'll move as quietly as we can, as quickly as we can. Don't go off alone. Stay ready, we go out, we find the woman and the kid, we come back. Easy. Fast. We all come back. Questions?"

Once everyone was ready, Zeb started off, his pace far more sure than he felt, but hey, that was the nature of command.
Higgins falls over almost immediately, his foot catching in one of the large holes in the floor of the Canyon. But he's up again and goes exactly where Sergeant Summers told him to be on the left of the small group. Quezada shows himself to be anything but a soldier as he bunches up next to Kimball, an uneasy look on his face.

"Nothing to worry about Senor Kimball eh?"

Back at the burial scaffolds the three troopers there keep their rifles pointed towards the small rescue group, eyes scanning left and right. It's Private Scott who sees movement. About 50ft from Quezada and Kimball something moves in the shadows, a flash of something pale. But it's gone before the Trooper can bring his gun to bear.

Summers reaches the Lean-to first, and as he does the child's laughter stops, quickly followed by the rattle.

Quezada bumps in to the Sergeant and Higgins moves from one foot to the other, his rifle shaking as he points it out in to the darkness. "I heard something…"

He's right, a small cascade of rocks falls down the canyon's side somewhere out in the darkness, but was there something else?

OOC: Kimball and Summers can both make a listen test.


Blue Blaze Irregular
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OOC: Kimball and Summers can both make a listen test.
Summers shook his head at Quezada's words. "Must be your imagination," he said softly, barely audible. He eased back the side of the lean-to, pistol down, but out of the immediate line of fire, such as it is.

OOC: ...and there goes my dice roller. {99}=99. Go figure.


The Man of Talis
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"Yessir" Kimball says in answer to Summers, scrambling after him. He keeps his shotgun ready, glancing left and right constantly. One might think this business of walking skeletons and crazy suicidal Indians had gotten him on edge.

OOC: Listen 06/45, success
Sergeant Summer's appearance in the opening of the shelter is greeted by a woman's scream, quickly joined by that of a young child. His eyes already adjusted to the shadowy canyon, Summers can see a Mexican woman with her back against the canyon wall, holding a bundle of rags from which protrudes the head and limbs of a noisy infant.

In it's hand is what looks like a gourd, which as he cries begins to rattle, just like a Rattlesnake.

Quezada, crouching down tentatively asks through the opening "lupi?" which elicits a nod from the woman who stops screaming.

Outside the shelter Kimball's head spins around to face to his right as he heard something moving across the ground. But it's drowned out by the rattle sounds coming from the shelter.


Higgin's rifle fires.

"There was something there....It's the Snake again...The one that did for Thockmorton..."

A dark stain spread's across the front of his trousers.

Those up in the scaffolds see the flash of the rifle and suffer the echo of it as it rebounds between the walls of the canyon. But of the mythical snake they see nothing...
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Blue Blaze Irregular
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Thibodeau shouts: "Sarge! What's going on?"
"HOLD FIRE HOLD FIRE!" Summers looked at Higgens and bit his tongue. A moment later, more calmly, "It's all right, son, let's get these folks into the perimeter."

More loudly, "We have the lady and the child, we're returning to the perimeter!"
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