Liutenant Robert Granger’s Journal
h2. Day 7 PA (Post-Awakening)
With the first rays of dawn, Team Echo readied itself alongside the group of locals. According to the discussion held the previous evening, both groups would go their separate ways; distrust and fear permeated of Gerald and both senior NCO’s. However, Mike’s curiosity continued unabated.
We offered to share food, water and treat them for injuries, and Mike commented on my novel approach to dealing with these. It was then that I noticed what wasn’t obvious at first glance, something which this whole group had been hiding for some reason: Mike was a woman. I decided to keep this to myself for the time being, until such a time where I could broach the subject with Mike. Obviously he (or she, might as well keep it in mind) was important to some degree, and the group of soldiers were doing their utmost to keep her identity a secret.
As Team Echo prepared to make its departure, Sebastian notified us that a large group of people, being led by a couple of these so-called Hill People, were scouting out the camp where we picked up the trail of our erst-while cave-dwelling companions. These humans, by the look of them, wore green cloaks over mail armor; and according to Sebastian, were quickly back on track following the trail left by the four people we had decided to save.
When we asked Gerald who they were running from that would have forced them into Hill People territory, he was very reticent, but Mike sensed that this was a way we could help, and started telling us about how the Green Wardens had been chasing them for being part of a group of people who were a voice of dissent against the ruling of Kingdom of Montana, and apparently these Green Wardens were meant to capture them, as leverage or bargaining chips. Either way, they did not hold Mike, Gerald or the other’s best interest at heart.
Seeing as that they apprently represented a group with a more moderate outlook, and being a bit more open to the weird circumstances which led to their salvation, after some brief consultation with my comrades, I made the executive decision to help them reach a safe destination. This would be the Town of Cascade, which happened to be North of our current location. This, however, presented the problem that we would cross paths with the hunting party, and right now we could not afford to let our new “allies” be aware of our technological prowess, lest we reinforced their ideas of our employment of witchcraft.
In the end, John Doe managed to convince them that their best chance lay with following us out of Hill People territory, crossing the river ford, and then hug the Lake northward until we reached the river mouth that would lead us to Cascade.
As we set out towards the place we built our makeshift rope-bridge, we avoided tracing our steps and made a beeline towards the designated crossing area. We reached the location with the onset of nightfall, only to be rewarded with dire news: the hunting party was only half a day’s march behind us, despite being more than a day’s time from our initial position. They were gaining on us, and quickly!
This time, our agitation must have been more apparent, for Mike and Gerald demanded to know what it was that we knew. Despite the real possibility of them turning against us due to fear of the unknown, I told them that we had learned, through methods beyond our ability to explain to them, that the Green Wardens were closing in on us. We told them that their only chance to survive and be free was to help us defeat them in an ambush (this would also help us from being tracked back to the Ark).
Throughout the current and previous day, Sebastian managed to isolate an apparent radio signal of some sort coming from the Green Wardens, emitted at set intervals during the day. Apart from this, he managed, according to what he reported, to up his security clearance with Athena, which enhanced our inventory, through smoke bombs and night vision goggles, which he air-dropped from a jury rigged drone.
The next day, as we prepared for the ambush, we laid out a plan of attack, in which the men with crossbows would shoot first, in order to keep our firearms secret for the longest possible time, and prevent the hunters from crossing the bridge in large numbers.
As one of the Hill People crossed the river, he set up the rope thrown by one of the green wardens, and quickly two others crossed. As they finished crossing, I signaled the start of the attack. Gerald and the two crossbow men managed to down one of the soldiers and scathe the mutant. However, this immediately triggered the apprearance of the rest of the Wardens, who began shooting at us. As soon as they became visible, Team Echo joined the battle. The roar of rifle fire, the hiss of a smoke grenade muffled the shouts of the Wardens, but most of them held on to their discipline when faced against our strange weapons (save for one who ran quaking in fear). We quickly dispatched 6 Wardens and the mutant, but not before some of our own were injured (both NCO’s and O’Kerrigan). At this juncture, the enemy leader rang a retreat. Mike stood still for the duration of the battle, petrified by the destructive and unfamiliar power of our weapons.