Into The Trailer

8.3.5 SW
Earlier that evening
Wombwood > Mobile Research Camp

The three scientists jerked their heads around at the sudden noise. It was Montana, the seasoned survivalist of their team, known for his expertise in navigating treacherous terrain and his keen observation skills. And apparently stealth movement when he wanted.

“Jesus, Montana!” said Grace, as the man emerged from behind the ferns. “You scared the shit out of me!”

He approached the group holding a crossbow at his shoulder and a serious expression etched on his face.

"Y'all feel that? There's somethin' off about this place. The silence ain't right, and my gut's tellin' me there's a predator lurkin' around."

His words sent a shiver down everyone's spine, heightening the tension in the group.

"This thing might just be a little busted up," Vail said trying to calm everyone, but more trying to calm her own nerves. She lifted the motion tracker from the mount, carefully she removed the screws off the back panel. Everything inside looked ordinary, so she gave it a pat and put it back together again. "I can't see what's wrong with it..."

“Let me take a look at it, Vail. Maybe it just needs recalibrated… but I’m thinkin’ it’s workin’ fine. Really does seem to be nothin’ out there for several hundred meters. And it would make me more comfortable if y’all got in the trailer for now. Dev, why don’t you grab the weapons cache from the roof for us.” advised Montana as he headed toward the mobile research lab trailer.

Vail nodded with a sigh. "If you think that's what's best. I'm more than happy to go to the trailer. Better than standing out here all day." She started to exstinguish her cigarette with the tips of her gloved fingers. "Who else is coming?"

“Yeah…” said Grace, a little reluctantly. She had hoped for a brief rest before getting back to work but it was probably better if she got the radar terminal up and running. “I’m coming.”

Devereaux was already headed to the ladder that led up to the trailer’s roof. The rest of the group headed into the trailer and closed the door behind them. Devereaux grabbed the long case that carried the spare weapons and then entered through the roof hatch. He bumped it into Barden as he made his way to the couch.

“Whoa! Hey, watch where you’re going, kid!” said Barden, grumpily. He was in the middle of looking through a microscope at some sort of rock. “Important samples here!

Resetting the motion tracker, Montana got it to beep as it detected all five of the team members inside the trailer. Then he recalibrated it to ignore their signatures and hone in on anything within a few hundred meters. There were a few pips of movement at first, that all seemed to be headed away from the area. Then it was silent again.

“You got it to work?” asked Vail.

“Yeah. Happens sometimes. Just needs a reset every once in a while… but it may have been working just fine. There really ain’t nothin’ out there. Somethin’ scarin’ ‘em off.” replied Montana.

Looking up from her terminal which showed the weather satellite imaging, Grace interjected. “Oh, great! Just what we need! More rain.” She looked to the others. “We got a storm front coming in again… Less than an hour away. Heavy rain. Not looking like there will be any lightning though. So that’s something! Happy end of summer.”

Opening the bench along the right side of the trailer, Devereaux took out a cache and laid it out on top of the bench. It contained 2 small, high-beam flashlights, 2 Stun Grenades, 2 Smoke Grenades, a Flare gun with 2 flares, and 1 Stun Baton. There was an empty slot in the foam where a second baton had once been.

Vail had been carrying the baton at her hip for the last week after encountering a pack of Viper Cats. Unfortunately, she had used it to scare them off. She also carried an experimental Stun Pistol but had not yet made use of it.

Devereaux closed it and laid out the longer cache that he had retrieved from the roof storage. It contained an Armat Pump Action Shotgun, a Scoped Tranquilizer Rifle, each with reloads of ammunition.

“You think we will have to use this stuff?” he wondered aloud.

“Hope not” Montana said, glancing over his shoulder at Dev. “But I’d rather have you armed with somethin’ just in case. You know how to use any of that stuff?”

“I can figure it out.” he muttered back, taking the tranquilizer rifle and darts before closing the lid.

It had been quite a while since Devereaux had gone hunting with his father and the last time he had used a gun was on a field research mission a few years back on Tientsin Colony. He was recovering samples of a carnivorous plant when the team was threatened by a rather angry, large, indigenous herbivore.

“Grace, your equipment gonna survive another storm?” asked Devereaux.

“Ugh… I don’t know.” she said in exasperation. “…but I do NOT want to spend another night out in it. Last night was just shit. I’m still wet. Everything is just damp.” Grace sighed. “Looks like an all nighter in the trailer for me. Who’s with me?” She headed to the small kitchen area to brew a pot of coffee.

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