12.25.3013: Lions, Fires, and Bears
Summary: Demos and Balius go out to the savannah to check on a drop stone, things get wild.
Date: 28th Oct 2013
Related: Next: On the Topic of Caring
Balius Demos 

Southern Wilds
Very Wild

It was out to the Southern Wilds. Not just Leonnida Castle, their holds, but the wilds. With growing Hostile activity, it was one of those moments that, when the opportunity presented itself for relative safety and a guide could be found, with some mercenaries to help - Demos and Balius seized the opportunity. The objective was a potential new drop stone, spotted through scanning technology, scene by the eye, now the trained professional was coming out to the field. One, to determing if it was indeed a drop stone; two, the relative age of the drop stone in relation to the top soil (would be nice to have Glenna around …); three, see if this favors a snowball Imperius theory or normal glacial movements; and four, avoid the natural wild life between jungles and savannahs' of the Southern Wild (and Hostiles, and rogue merc groups living between worlds/smuggling/rebels/etc.).

So aside from Demos and Balius (and possibly Roxy), there was a guide leading to the stones, a few mercs and a game hunter (the guide killing two birds with one stone while out in the wilds and doubling his paycheck for this gig). Leading out, however long the journey took, there is a camp set up and for this day of research, Demos and Balius are pointed to the stone while the rest of the camp goes after some big game, assuming everything is relatively safe. Out in the middle of hip-high grasses several hundred yards from camp itself is the monolithic dropstone. This is where Demos and Balius are traveling. Not far away, herd animals graze, if not for it being wildlife or Hostiles about, it would be generally an idealic setting. In field gear, Demos has a blaster at his hip, something like a utility belt with wizzamazos and science-whatnots. Along with a backpack to hold field gear for testing and reading of the drop stone, they also have a pack for scanning the soil around them (maybe based of the Adelstein magnetic top layer sensing drilling equipment perhaps).

"So, I've decided, women are still a mystery and I'm good with that," says Demos randomly as they walk through the grass.

The youngest Quellton has been moving a bit more slower than usual, and he's been carrying object with added care and rigidity. He's dressed appropriately, even scrounging up an overpriced safari hat from one of the touristy vendors that they passed by before heading into the depths of the wilds. There's a bow over his shoulder, along with his ever-expanding medkit, which he keeps on him at all times. Reserve supplies of course are with the rest of their gear as well. Striding alongside his mentor, Balius gives him the usual disbelieving grin in response. "Only you would choose that mystery to be the one to accept and not prod at it…"

Chuckling a little, Demos nods, "Its like polymer quantam physics, I don't need to know subatomic particale arrays, if it works, I'm not questioning it." So says the geologist, and geology never seems to break, unless Baluis hits ferrious metals with multiple magnets with polarized opposites. "I'll just be content to know its beyond my scope of expertise."

"So, needless to say, everything's good on my end. Its weird, Hostiles show up, and everything else in my life suddenly starts to work out. I never would of guessed that one. Hopefully with school worked out for you, things lining up, you've a little less to worry about so you can get on with the matter of living." What he means is, just enjoying life in general.

There's a shake of Bey's head as he laughs a bit at his mentor. His arm will reach out in a shoulder clasp, which will make the Quellton grimace just briefly as he does the gesture. "Dem, man, I'm just glad it's workin' for ya." His easy smile returns as quickly as it vanished.

"As for things workin out, let's just say I'm going to avoid any random offers to go on a free vacation, alright?" Balius says with a clearly forced chuckle. "So how confident are you that we're gonna unlock the history of the planet on this trip, anyways?" So much for 'never tell me the odds.'

"Well, it will be new history, but as for the whole history, no where close most likely," grins Demos at the ponderance. "This could give some new evidence on where we might be likely to find some new mines, as well as the extent of the glacial period. It could give us indication of another approaching ice period, or what effect we're having on the current conditions of the planet itself." A shrug, its up in the air, but lots of potential for new research perhaps.

"So you went on vacation, but not the sort of fun you were hoping for?" He asks curious about not taking random offers for free things, it seems there is a catch in that sort of offer by implication to begin with, but he's curious.

A raised eyebrow before the intern literally puts his palm to his face. Bey had told Demos he'd be on vacation…just apparently neglected the important details on that matter. "Well, the InfoSphere had this sign-up and potentially win a free trip to the Black Sapphire Hotel's reopening out on Lazarus Island…I won, which was great, until… well…yeah." He says a bit deflatedly.

He speeds his pace up a bit, as if needing the physical distance for a moment as his eyes focus rather pointedly on the plantlife nearby. "So, in the future, I take working vacations like this one." A turn and nod with a grin.

Not privvy presently to what all occured with Lazarus Island, Demos gives Balius the space as he walks forward for that slight physical distance. Still moving to the rock, the scholar says, "Okay, no more real vacations, only the working sort. I have no problems with that, I'll just have to find more field work to keep you busy then." He matches the others grins, perhaps some concern showing on his face, but a slight hint in his eyes, curious yes, but he's not going to pry or force the younger man into trying to figure out what he's missing.

Nearing the rock, Demos unslings everything he brought, starts setting up on a nearby rock. Pausing to take a canteeen from his side, he looks out over the grasses and wildlife a moment. "Beautiful, makes field work worth it, doesn't it." He looks out, notes the herd animals sort of running, away, in general. Like its natural for them to run that way, a trained eye might think they're sort of fleeing.

"Field work, good, yes." Balius nods in agreement and begins to see how he might assist with the set-up for the excavations. For a few moments, he's quite focused on the equipment and pressing down whatever silly emotions are traumatizing him from last adventure. Damn feelings. Hearing Demos' awe-inspired point about the beauty of the jungle, Bey realizes he's not really taken in the view properly yet. So, he looks up…and notices that several herds of animals, and the small mammals, and the birds…all seem to be heading in one direction.

Not prying, Demos is still there, and merely offers some supportive words at the emotions that are traumatizing the young student. "I'm glad your here Balius," he says for what its worth. "I know, not as exciting as contagions. This is its own freedom." Yep, for Demos, they're running gloriously, as all animals must do. Together, in a massive herd, away from the taller grasses between the two humans and the camp, oddly enough.

Not sure yet whether it's from the hunting party that went that direction…or maybe something inspired by the hunting party…but Balius was already on-edge before. He takes a few steps, trying to determine if there's the possibility of turning some items into a makeshift barricade for cover, if need-be. "Uh…Dem…" Bey motions to what, to him, are the obvious signs of trouble coming. It's just that Demos was staring at a rock, so he missed the giant herds of animals. Only plausible theory in the Quellton's thick skull.

"Ya Balius," ponders Demos, wondering what the giant multi-species herd running from them could really signify. Looking at the younger man, curiuos what's gained his attention. "Something wrong?

"Ya Balius," ponders Demos, wondering what the giant multi-species herd running from them could really signify. Looking at the younger man, curiuos what's gained his attention. "Something wrong?" He looks over the grass where Balius might be looking himself, as if trying to see something there that the other man want's him to see. Then again, he doesn't know what he's looking for just yet. His eyes are on the camp itself, and everything appears in order there. Then again, everything is in order there. In the taller grass itself, there is some movement, if one looked in that direction. Actually several movements. Slight bends of the grass, not wind, as if something is moving on a trial and the drop stone is somewhere in the middle of that movement and the fleeing herds as luck would have it.

"Dem, man, what're you doing?" Balius says to his mentor, simply standing there, just begging to be a target. The intern looks to Demos and to the camp site. "Alright, there's no cover here, we gotta climb - fast!" But from what? Bendy grass in the wind. The words are hardly uttered from his mouth as he goes to scale the nearest tree.

The trees are scattered, some in bunches, most by themselves. Not knowing what its about though, Demos goes right along with Balius, running for a tree. Just as he gets there, from the grass, "Roar," sort of like the meow growl roar of a large cat. Right as he's getting a hand into a tree, a large cat comes out of the forest, running for Demos' chosen tree. He's barely getting into it and to safety as another comes in. Balius isn't far away, he can see the large cats start to try and scrabble up, testing the tree itself. He might be able to guess, eventually, they'll figure out a way to climb up. Most likely, they were stirred this way by the hunters, and are seizing opportunity for some food most likely. There is probably a small pride, with only a few matriarchal huntresses going for the human.

Giving a loud, ridiculous yell to the catbeasts, Balius had made his way fairly high up the tree before he heard rather than saw the predators going for the obviously easier prey - Demos. He quickly knocks an arrow in his bow and releases one that at least renders one of the feline carnivores immobile for now. He continues the loud noises, trying to distract the animals, or spook them, or get them away from Demos however he can.

With a yelp, from the one that falls, the others consider Demos and his tree, then a few more come out and the pride seems to focus on Balius' tree as well. All told, its probably 6 to 9 females, not a massive pride, but not a random group of isolated cats either. Demos moves up, getting a better hold of his tree for the moment as another jumps at the tree casually. Though uncertain, as if determining where the threat came from as opposed to where a meal might come from. Maybe, in part, curious, if they can wait out the primates and their strength to remain in the trees indefinitely. Reaching to the hip opposite that canteen, Demos pulls out his blaster and simply fires a shot down at random cats.

Blast blast blast, good hits, they hit the limb below Demos rather solidly. Spark, the tree is dry, it starts to smoke, the wind sweeps in, ignition. A fire has started in Demos' tree.

And so the younger primate, feeling a sense of desire to protect the elder primate, continues using his projectile launcher to ward off the collective feline threat, injuring another matriarch. Even as he does this, the hairless ape looks to see that primitive tool and threat - fire. He makes a series of loud noises, as if the other might have missed it. Meanwhile, the circling carnivores have their own pride to feed and this kill is taking longer than anticipated. The primate finds himself running out of proper dodging space in his chosen fortress.

Not that fire bodes well for the primate clan in the trees, but in the same respect, it doesn't bode well for lions either. Even as it (the fire) moves up, bark flakes and falls down. Aside from the injured, the present matriarch yelps and starts to fall back, some of the youngers wanting to go forward but lured by the call and now noticing the fire. Food is one thing, fire another all together and they are deciding it is not worth it. Frying pan avoided, the fire remains. Demos calls over to Balius' tree, "Okay, I can't stay long, you're the animal expert, if I jump out will the come back for me, or can I get down now." He's moving up, pondering learning more how to aim a blaster if he makes it now.

"When you jump, grab a stick and make a torch out of it. A big one!" Balius yells from his tree, adrenaline pulsing, instinct guiding his actions. He straps his bow over his shoulder and grabs his dagger, hopping down from the tree with it in his hand. He starts searching for materials for making a torch…and supplies to put the fire out.

Nodding, Demos is on it, fire, stick, that should be easy. So he looks to make a jump for it. Instead of hanging then jumping though, he tries to be fancy. Blaster still in hand, he tries to jump directly from the branch. It looks good, until, crack, he snaps his leg. He curses, a real explicitive. Even as his hand goes to his leg, he looks around. "Stick … can't reach …" its like 20 yards away, but its a good stick, the dry sort perfect for getting a nice camp fire going even. Can't reach, he'd probably have to drag himself, and he's not doing that anytime soon.

"Demos, just…" The intern lets loose his own string of curses, including probably something damning all the Six to the Fifth World…really it's loud and unintelligible. He grabs a stick to make a torch, hoping that somehow the ruckus might bring the hunting party. Thankfully Roxy had taken the next caravan behind them. His medkit still firmly at his side, Bey's dagger hand slowly reaches in to swap it out for some quick supplies. "How bad is it?" He says, not even glancing Demos' direction.

"Its … good …" replies Demos, with a bit of blood showing on his shin. "Just … if, I could .. stand." He won't be standing anytime soon. Good thing is with fire and that control, that cats are off in the grasses and not coming near. Also, smoke rising up from the tree now might signal the hunters. Finally giving in for the moment, Demos decides to feel, this is followed by more explicitives … Its not all right after all, he's probably realizing its broken and might be approaching shock at the injury.

There's a quick toss of whatever was supposed to serve as a tent on top of the fire to smother it as Balius rushes over to Demos. He stabs the makeshift torch in the ground and takes a moment to turn his back from where the predators were to attend to his mentor. Pulling a flask that exists entirely for medical purposes out of his kit he hands it to Demos. "Here, drink as much of that as can, and don't try and move, alright?" The Quellton forces a grin.

Taking the canteen, Demos takes a drink, sputters on it a moment, then starts to force some down. "What was it … you were saying …" He ponders starting to not move, lying back even, "About … working vacation …" A chuckle, he sputters again, takes a drink. Then he starts catching his breath even. "Next time, we send drones first." Which would be redundant, drones have come out to do what they can already, its time for the hands on of a scholar with the drop stone, but doesn't hurt to try and joke about it.

Taking a wrap that's padded with some sort of foam, Balius sets to the gentle tasks of wrapping Demos' leg. There's bound to be some discomfort, but the youth's gained a decent amount of experience at setting bones lately. "Any day I can save your tail, Dem, that's an accomplishment. I still wonder how ya made it this far in life man…" But for real, think of all those poor, missing Interns before Bey.

Discomfort indeed, and Demos, stubborn, feels the pain despite the medicine from the canteen. Grunting through it all. "Field work," he responds, grimacing a moment as Balius works, "Not always, this difficult." Then again, one might speculate that with Demos, this sort of field work does tend to follow him. Bad luck or maybe more even, no telling, other than it followed him. As the leg is being worked on, their a cry of a cat, as if not knowing what to do, then a real gun fires. Not just a blaster, the sporting kind. As if it wasn't quite safe yet but the hunting party seems to be returning. Looking in that direction a moment, Demos gains a focus, "You can still change … your degree." As if geology might be more interesting now.

Once the wrap is done, Balius pulls it tight, which probably smarts quite a bit. He then raises a balled fist and punches the bandages with a strong bit of force. While this may seem like an alarming gesture, it activates the foamy material in the bandage and causes it to instantly harden. "Take a few more swigs of that, and we'll see if this insta-immobilizer is all it's cracked up to be." While there's still pain, the bone has been cushioned in place and won't be moving anytime soon.

Blinking at how this works, with the punch and all, Demos isn't sure what to make of it. Though it does its job, "Lets hope its not cracked up at all." Counting on it hardening and staying that way as long as need be at least. "Good thing for you and that bow," he continues, taking another swig of the medicine, "Otherwise I'd be medium well and cat food by now." Trying to push at the ground, he catches himself - that is, stops himself, "Can I get up yet, or … should it set more. Drop stone, samples …" He still wants to work, not sure what doctors orders would even be on this field wounding. By the loud voices off in the grasses, the hunter bagged his lion, the mercs are celebrating it would seem, unmindful of the one that Balius got with an arrow alone.

"Theoretically, you should be fine to put weight on it…but I fear that you're gonna feel more pain just from the freshness of the injury. This ain't a long-term care solution, Dem. We'll get to this rock, but you gotta let me do my thing too, alright?" The intern says in his combat-medic voice, the one where some silly knight thinks he's just gonna kill a few more hostiles with their intestines about to fall out. "You keep drinking that too, just until it's all gone. Now, where are those samples we need to gather?"

"Okay, I'll not put pressure on it, you tell me what I should do with it, I'll talk you through the samples." Demos stops trying to stand up, and offers over, "We'll need to get some of the surface of that stone, several inches of it, it will help identify where it came from. Then we'll need to get several samples of soil from around the rock. Set up the spectral analysis to, it can get readings from inside the stone. Once we can figure out its make up, we can check with satellite and drone readings for other stones." As if that explains it all, half the work is probably setting up the instruments.

"Alright, Dem." Balius takes some items out of his bag and puts it behind his mentor's back so he can sit up a bit. He hands him his datapad, which seems to be running some sort of XRay. "I need you to run this up and down as much of your leg as you can, well, both of them one at a time. Don't strain yourself. It'll give me feedback so I know what we're dealing with." He runs over to set up the various instruments and check for signals from the satellite before he begins to collect samples. While his bow is removed, the Quellton still has his dagger.

Doing his best to sit still and do the bone/leg scanning, Demos nods, "Does this qualify as continuing education credits, me learning how to use this medical equipment?" A smile, despite how bad his leap looked, he's still able to stretch and touch toes and all that, in good shape despite the slip of his jump. The rest of the group is starting to come back, their lioness in tow. Even as they make it to camp, they start looking at the scholars to figure things out, those things that transpired when they were hunting lions themselves. As scanning continues, both on rock and Demos' legs, it seems there is a small commotion at the camp, the lionness with the arrow has been noticed and now the would be game hunter is slightly jealous, bow hunting being more exotic than using a rifle it would seem.

The intern has no time for hunters and their congratulations or envy. There's a rock and an injured mentor to be dealt with. He scoops down low to get the proper samples and is successful at getting adequate sizes, even as all the equipment beams constant information back to Demos' files on his datapad and at the lab. Once he's moved on from the rock, he sets to work on the sediment samples, trying to be thorough yet efficient, knowing how particular the broken-legged man is about his sediment samples. "Only if I get to start Academ as a frickin Sophomore." Balius retorts with a laugh.

Chuckling himself, Demos ignores them as well. It might be a cold trip the remainder as Balius has done the one up, even if not on purpose, in regards to their bravado. "Not a bad idea, I don't know if I could get a full semester or two of coursework our of your way, but I imagine any science credits outside of your chosen field would be covered. I can speak to some of the scholars if you like about the geology you're learning." Funny, a joke, but a serious offer.

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