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May 15th
It was supposed to be a week long trip.  One planned by Elias, with one instructor, Mr. Landis, being the one watching to make sure this didn't go belly up.  It was a hiking survival trip through the Pine Barren in Wharton.  So the potential was there.

Given the intent, all the students were told to pack rugged, and since more didn't have camping gear, it would be provided.  Given the nature of the Pine Barrens scavenging would be tricky, but there would be an effort for it.  A return to simplicity that the students needed after the last year, or so.  SOme more than others.  They were completely helpless, but they were not oing full scavenge, the Pine Barrens wouldn't allow for it, and they had to account for water too, after all.

Also it would serve as a senior project for Elias, who he had to come up with the study, as well as teach some of his skills to other.  So he was being graded on this, as well as him being watch to see if he was truly socialized, as Mr. Landis argued the kid was ready to... whatever awaited him after graduation.  So with the van parked, packs were taken, ameneties were kissed goodbye.

There wasn't much lead in to, but those familiar with Elias knew that would be the case, as the telepath always seemed apt to go off half-cocked and do things.  So him packing a machete might be a concerning, but he waited for everyone to get ready, and he glanced to Mr. Landis, who shrugged and gestured back to the kid.

"Okay...  Camp site is five miles."  And he moved handing each of them a map and compass.  "It should be an easy hike, there is no change in elevation.  Try to avoid powers if possible, and unfortunately we can't really hunt, but we can do snares when we get settled, but the seaon is bad for it.  I know some of you don't really need any additional survival stuff, but..."  He frowned a little bit, and then he moved to pluck a pale green lichen from the tree, "I guess we have to start somewhere, this is Old Man's Beard.  It will work as wound packing, and the stretchy semi-clear interior," he said as he rubbed at the outside of the plant so it will show, "This had some anti-septic properties.  It's not much, but if something happens it'll do in a pinch."  And with that he stuffed it into a pocket.  "Alright let's get going then."

And with that he turned and started out down the trail.  Clearly not at ease with the task at hand.

A couple hours later and some kids more tired than others, they were at the spot, though it wasn't finished.  "I'll work on the firepit.  We're start here by looking for sufficient stuff to make a lean to.  So you want groundfall limbs, several of about six feet or so"  And with that he set his stuff down, and then started on working at making a centralized fire for which they had could be set up.  It was needed, given rain was likely.  "And pine boughs will be useful too, we wont really have anything else."

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To say that Vicki had been looking forward to this trip would be an understatement.  While she had moved around a lot as they transferred from base to base one thing had remained constant, her love of camping.  This had certainly been helped by the rural nature of many of the bases as well as her fathers tradition to camp with his girls for a weekend every time he came back from deployment.  So when Elias had announced this trip, Vicki had enthusiastically signed up.  

There was multiple ways to camp, from the back of a car to survival, and she enjoyed all of them.  It was something about being out in nature and seeing the splendor of creation.  Nature was amazing and if you looked there was always something to amaze.  Dew on a spiderweb, sunlight streaming through a canopy of leaves, majestic and stately pines; she drunk up the sights and smells every time she went out.  This was no exception.  The hike itself had been pretty reasonable and about two and a half hours by her estimation they were looking at a small clearing that was to be their home for the next week.

As Eilas instructed them to start working on shelters, she shrugged off her pack looking around at the site and taking a mental note of what was available.  She wasn't sure if they were going to be sharing shelters or required to build their own.  Sharing made more sense, as body heat was something that you could use to remain warm if the cool summer nights turned cold as it did occasionally.  Although, she had a pretty good mummy bag, rated for the 20s, so that wasn't likely to be a huge issue.  She still wasn't entirely sure of the ground rules on the campout and what they could and couldn't use.  She had packed her typical backpacking kit, yet it seemed that he wanted them to go more rugged, which was fine enough.

So, first order of business was to see what was available.  She stretched and shook out some of the kinks from carrying a pack, pulling her unruly hair back into it's functional ponytail, before walking around the perimeter of the clearing, looking for materials that would come in handy.

(There is no OOC thread so putting rolls here:  Survival Roll to find appropriate materials for shelter building 1d20+7 = 24)

Edited by Hestina
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Tona Baudin wasn't looking forward to a hike through the woods; she was looking forward to a vacation. Living in Freedom City was not something that came naturally to her; she had grown up in forests and in the wild. She was almost jubilant at the prospect of spending a week away from 'civilization' and sleeping among the pine barrens. Of course that just meant she was humming almost inaudibly to herself as they set off to the campsite.

Tona wasn't very used to sleeping under lean-tos. In the Terminus, sleeping on the ground made you easy prey for any searching Omegadrones, so mostly they slept in natural caves or they slung hammocks up in the trees. Still, she'd made a few temporary structures in her time and so she knew they needed a few sturdy limbs, and a lot of smaller, flexible limbs and pine branches. She picked Cerys out of the group. "C'mon, Cerys," she said, "we should find the roofs. It's going to need some flexible branches, which means some that are still wet." The archer knelt and shifted through her pack, coming up with a knife that had a curved edge on one side and a saw on the other. "We might need to cut some down and trim them," she said.

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Endeavor was loving this. A chance to put some of her skills to use. As there was no powers allowed she couldn't wear her suit here, it was stowed in her back pack, but she was in the Claremont uniform, modded to her liking. Her mission vest had the basics she normally did, swapping out her parachute which took up most of the back of the vest for a tent and a two-person raft. She had studied the area prior, looking at it like a space exploration mission. She even submitted a report to the biology teacher from the initial analysis she made of the area. Of course on the final inspection of her kit last night she was admonished to strip down her kit to the bare bones as they would be living off the land. There was just some directions she wouldn't go so compromises were made. She could only carry what would fit in her small backpack and on her mission vest. Not that she was officially a part of the trip, as a underclassman, but it would give some unfair advantages having "Sailor Prepper" among any group unless she was put on a leash. Of course her disappointment on getting vetoed on taking a few students to The Lighthouse allowed a little more play with what she could take.

Of course what she really wanted to do was get away from the city. She stretched out, setting her backpack on the ground at the camp site, looking at the clearing. "Hmm... wasn't allowed to look at the weather forecast... but knowing how to make a lean-to is important. I'll start on collecting the wood and if I find some quality fire-starting material I will bring it over too."

She humored the concept of living off the land for now. Once this exercise was over she was going to spend a couple more days out just being out here. This beat simulations hands down.

"At least I can use some of my skill when not having to deal with a disaster."

She sighed. "Too bad Cerulean wouldn't come. Knowing how to rough it would be of use if something did go belly-up with the yacht trip this summer."

Sakurako started out into the woods to look for some proper materials. The sailor-suited genius didn't seem out of her element, even without her technological know-how, and her suit and EM Wand stuck in her backpack. "Who wants to come with? First rule being in the wild is never go alone. Well that and never get stuck in the woods."

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Thaelia was looking forward to the trip for about as much as she was dreading it.  Whenever one said don't use your powers.  What they really meant was, be comparable to a human.  Which, while not outright insulting, wasn't always an easy task.  Even her pack she wasn't sure exactly if it was light enough.  When something felt light enough that she could chuck it out of the state, it wasn't exactly easy to judge how inconspicuous it looked to carry that something around bystanders 

Plus her idea of nature was different than the rest of the class.  Involving a whole lot more water and a whole lot less trees.  Not that there weren't underwater forests.  They simply weren't viewable at every turn.  Plus tents seemed an odd sleeping arrangement when she could simply find a large body of water and sleep in there.  The plant information was interesting.  Though if someone had to deal with an infection in the middle of nature, she hoped the no powers rule would be relaxed enough to get them out of there.

Thaelia almost volunteered to go with Sakurako.  Seeing as the youth wasn't what one would call strong.  But, seeing as Casey was practically inseparable from her (from Thaelia's understood) she thought otherwise.  Actually, the princess didn't even know what a lean-to was.  Just that they were picking up lumber since it was what Elias described.  Running at what felt and exorbitantly slow place towards the girl with the ponytail.  

"Where should we start?"  Thaelia asked with a smile.  The boisterous teen clearly volunteering herself to aid the silent girl in her scouting of the perimeter.

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Vicki wondered if the ban on powers included her communication abilities.  If it did, then she was going to have a very hard time.  Although, no worse than most times, she reflected.  It was just that she was getting used to people not freaking about her mental communication and perhaps she was getting lax about maintaining her communication abilities.  While she had her phone, it would last perhaps a day or two at most.  She had already powered it down, saving the charge for an emergency.  Turning to face the girl who had approached her, Vicki took a deep breath and prepared to go back to her attempts at signing to folks who did not know ASL.

First, she tapped her lips and then shook her head while giving a thumbs down with her other hand.  She repeated that motion a few times hoping to get across the fact that she could not speak.  Before the other girl could acknowledge it, she tried to answer her question.

Picking up a small straight stick and one with a fork in it, she pointed to the one with a fork and again shook her head, giving it a thumbs down and then tossing it behind her.  Pointing to the other straighter stick, she nodded yes and gave it a thumbs up.  Pausing between the next gesture, she put her hands together and then stretched them apart as far as she could, hoping the universal sign for so big translated well.  Doing that gesture twice, she then pointed back to the straight stick again.  Finally, she pointed to the tree line and put her hand out flat using the fingers of her other hand to make a walking gesture before pointing deeper into the forest.  There would be deadwood out there, and with any luck they would find what they needed.


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Thaelia at first mistook the lip pointing to be an sign that the girl wanted to kiss her.  Or that she was rejecting kissing advancements.  Either way it seemed an odd thing to just sign in the middle of nowhere.  It wasn't until sticks were used as conversational aids that she got with the picture.  Sort of.

Perhaps this girl has some sort of sonic based ability?  If she speaks, she would have released a powerful sonic screech on everyone nearby. Perhaps it is catastrophic in nature...I wish to see it!  Despite her complete misjudging of the situation and poorly placed interest in seeing a power the girl did not in fact have.  Thaelia had gathered what they were supposed to be doing.

"Big smooth sticks only.  To which we must venture into the woods in pursuit of this quest."  The teen nodded in affirmation before returning her own thumbs up.  While the important details such as why the girl was not speaking were lost in translation.  Thaelia at least put two and two together about the minor stuff.  

Such as, where they would be getting the wood from.  And the type of wood in question.

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Blodeuwedd put down her well packed backpack, she done this before in much worse conditions. She tended to wear her costume even in her civilian identity, it helped that it could alter to appear as anything she wanted, but she had a few emergency clothes for situations like this.

“It’ll be Blodwen soon, Cerys was a rush job and never really official, once we leave Claremont I’ll need more substantial identification. And it’s close enough to my real name that people can use either.”

She drew out a rather wicked looking machete something she’d picked up on her last journey to Patagonia.

“I thought about maybe Gwen or Eve, but I don’t think I look like either. Let’s go get that wood.”

She deftly threw the machete end over end catching it by the handle, ready to go help her friend.

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Observing Hestina's communication issue, Sakurako sighed. "I would think not being able to talk and having to use a psychic link for communication isn't part of the banned powers list." Sakurako said, tapping her foot as it seemed everyone was grouping up. But not with her. "In fact, I'm a little perturbed Hestina wasn't allowed her smartphone as that is her primary communication method. with us... then again that thing has limited power..."

Sakurako was a little annoyed with the apparent oversight. Someone was sleeping on the job setting the obvious training mission up.

"Casey... looks like it is you and me out there getting supplies. Night's coming and from Elias' estimate, there's rain coming. I need to get the lean-to up, and see if anyone needs some assistance."

Sakurako stretched a little, adjusting the yellowish-gold sailor collar of her customized Claremont uniform. "Now let's try and have some fun... tomorrow if we get near one of the small lakes or rivers in the area, maybe I'll take someone on a trip on the water. I need to take some samples of the water in the area for looking up pollution levels."

Sakurako was implying picking someone from the group... she was thinking Hestina... but she wagered everyone thought Casey would be her choice.

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"We're hunting for tree branches," Tona said, eying her friend's machete, "not wild boar." She picked up random sticks as they wandered through the woods; one was too small, one snapped too easily, one was too crooked, one too thick. Finally she found a particular branch, something that still had shreds of bark from the tree it came off hanging from the back edge. The archer sighted along it, and after a moment drew her knife and began trimming off spare twigs. She seemed engrossed in her task, but she did spare a glance or two for the Welsh ninja. "So, what do you mean you're not going to go by Cerys anymore? Isn't that your name?"

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“There are boar in this forest? They can be dangerous creatures good job I can prepared.” she held her machete in a way to allow it to be used quickly in defense, with her deadpan manner it was difficult to tell if she was serious.

She stalked along beside Tona seemingly aware of possible danger her footfalls not making a sound.

“I have always been Blodeuwedd, and just Blodeuwedd, since the day I was adopted by the Order. Cerys is a cover identity they use if they have to place someone in a place quickly, getting to create my own identity is a very big thing. It means I can stay in Freedom City and do what I like, as long as it doesn’t clash the Order ideas.”

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Vicki wasn't sure of the initial strange glance that she got from Thaelia, however she seemed to understand what they were doing, so perhaps it had been nothing.  However if Vicki had to place a bet, Thaelia had looked at her like she was either a little crazy, or a little dangerous, or both.  While looking, she found a few sturdy boughs which would work find for parts of the structure.  It wouldn't be the first time someone had thought she was nuts, although usually it took a little longer before that happened.

As gathered some sturdy pieces it dawned on her that perhaps Thaelia didn't know what they were building.  She looked at the other girl and then had an idea.  Kneeling down in the soft loam of the pine floor she scrounged for some small twigs.  Sticking a couple in the ground, she quickly added more until she had a pretty decent model of an A frame shelter.  One half she covered with pine needles and grasses, the other she left uncovered so that Thaelia could see what she had in mind.

Sitting back on her knees, she waved over Thaelia to take a look at her model, hoping that it would better convey what they needed to do before dark.

While she waited, she looked around the clearing at the rest of the group, giving a finger wave to Saku as she caught her eye.

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Elias said little as he had selected the site for the lean to, and he was finishing up digging out the fire pit, before he straightened up and then kept working on moving the rest of the stray duff away, so there wasn't a risk to them later.  He was efficient, practiced.  He knew Tona would be able to get what needed, just like he knew Cerys would be able to follow along without too much help.  If he could feel Sakurako's take, he didn't show it.  In fairness they had different operating methods, as Elias tended to not plan things out too much.  In his experience real survival situations were not something you could really plot out ahead beside the most basic efforts.

And yet...  He moved over to Vicki and Thaelia then.  "Vicki can't speak.  She is telepathic though, if that would be easier.  This is supposed to be things that would make survival easy, like being able to make fire or things like that.  But if this works..."  He shrugged a little bit, he knew how exuberant Thaelia could be.  

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"Oh!  Deaf.  Thank you for clearing that up Elias."  Thaelia said perhaps too enthusiastically.  Turning her head to make sure she kept eye contact with Vicki.  The last thing she wanted was to talk about someone instead of to them.  "I do not know of any deaf Atlanteans.  Blindness is more common."  She explained.

That wasn't to say there weren't deaf Atlanteans.  But, the royal had personally never seen them.  A loss of hearing was far more critical than sight underwater.  As the fact that there was no known naturally deaf marine life underwater would attest.  At least none that the surface knew of.

"If you wish to use your abilities to communicate, my mind is an open book."  Thaelia added.  Openly not caring about letting her telepathically open the door so to speak.  Elias did so commonly enough by her measure.

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Vicki was about to try and explain using sign that she wasn't deaf, but mute and that she couldn't read minds, but trying to convey that using gestures was a lost cause.  Instead she stood up and reached over to touch Thaelia, <"I can hear you fine, I just can't speak... and I can't read your mind, I can only send and hear anything that you wish to send back.  There are times that I'd love to see what's in people's minds.  I mean, like to find out if someone likes you?  That would totes save some embarassment.">

She flashed a thank you sign to Eilas, not being able to communicate easily would have made the week very difficult indeed.

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Sakurako sighed, starting to head into the forest on her own. "I won't go in too far." She said as she starts off.

Sometimes Sakurako felt some people just didn't want to be around her. Casey hadn't said anything, and she noticed she was getting her stuff together, so Sakurako didn't count her among that number, but still... why wouldn't any one else come out with her?

She found a good collection of sticks and branches, although she couldn't carry a whole lot, this could take several trips... So on the way back she'd blaze a tree, leaving a small mark of some bark cut off a tree using her multi-tool to mark her way as she walked back to the encampment, depositing her found wood on the ground near her position at the camp.

Each trip she seemed a little more depressed.

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As she was communicating with Thaelia she looked over to Saku who was wandering off into the woods looking rather dejected.  Wondering what was the matter with her, she looked up to Thaelia and flashed a message to her, <"I'm not sure what the matter is, but Saku is going off on her own and looks like she's upset about something.  Let's catch up too her...">

Walking back through the small clearing, she dropped the small pile of branches she had found and jogged over to Saku catching up to her quickly.  She wondered why her friend was walking with slumped shoulders, but perhaps one of her inventions didn't do what it was supposed too.  Or maybe she was stumped by a hard math problem.  Vicki assumed that things like that tended to consume her, given what she had seen of her work in the engineering classes.  She caught up with her on what looked like one of Saku's return trips.  Having already found a decent armload of branches.

Touching her shoulder she grinned and communicated, <"Hey!  What's the matter?  You look like someone ran over your dog... is everything all right?">

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Thaelia moved to follow after Vicki.  Stopping a few fee before leaving the area.  She made sure to flash Elias a smile.  "Thank you."  The Atlantean then continued off after Vicki.  At a pace that Thaelia could only describe as glacial.

As she wasn't in direct contact with Vicki and hadn't gotten the full explanation of requiring contact for said powers to work.  She didn't overhear the ask questioned.  Thus far the telepathy sounded as if it worked similarly to Will's.  Similar to some sort of mental radio system.  

Looking at the cut notches in the tree Sakurako had made Thaelia openly asked.  "Do you wish to cut down this tree?  Put your weight into your-"  She then looked Saku over again.  Her build and powerset, or lack thereof, didn't exactly call upon the image of a lumberjack.  "Would you like help removing the tree?"

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"N... No. Thaelia. I was marking my path to a spot that had a bunch of branches and stuff. I was "trailblazing" for navigational purposes." She said. "It's what scouts did in the past and it's where the term "trailblazing" comes from." She said, adjusting her outfit. "Also, Vicki, I wanted to get enough dry wood for the lean-to construction exercise, and to prepare a fire before the night and potential rain set in. This Claremont uniform might be waterproof, but it's got no insulation. I'm not allowed to reside in my tent for tonight and tomorrow But that is it. I'm not allowed to otherwise interfere in your class outside of participating in it via it's rules. Probably because of prior experience and the fact this is Elias' lead. I'm only to follow and assist in an emergency."

She massaged her arm. "To be honest sometimes I feel like a fifth wheel. And have no luck."

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Vicki nodded to Saku flashing her a bright smile <"I guess, but you're here and we're camping!  I mean, you don't need to interfere... except for like s'mores and ghost stories and all that cool stuff!  Come on, it's not so bad!  I like roughing it.  You kind of can let everything go, you don't have to worry about what time it is other than light and dark.  It's kind of romantic... not like kissy kissy romantic, but romantic, like a simpler time.  You know, rose colored lenses and all.">

She realized tht she was leaving Thaelia out of the conversation.  That was going to be the downside to the weekend.  She wished for the millionth time that ASL was mandatory.  Oh well, serial communication could certainly happen.

Leaning over to touch Thaelia she flashed her a message, <"I don't think we need to take the whole tree, for now just things on the ground.  The more you can find the better.  We'll make both a shelter and a reflector for the fire.  It'll be nice and cozy when it's all done.">

Then moving back to Saku she gave her a warm friendly hug, <"just remember, it's High School and I think we all feel out of place some times.  Well more than sometimes.  You can always hang out with me, and if you want we can make a shelter together.  You know, the three of us?">

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Thaelia looked up at the tree with slight disappointment that she would in fact not be getting the opportunity to take an axe to it.  Moving past that disappointment.  "I assumed trailblazing was the act a fiend commits when setting a hiking path on fiire.  Nature based arson."

 "Six arms are better than four."  Thaelia added.  "I do not even hail from the surface.  The leader of this excursion comes from a land most foul.  One of us from a secret order of warriors who oppose gods with nothing more than artifacts and wits.  Everyone is an outsider."  That wasn't even going into Tona's history, or what little Thaelia knew of it.  Plus, if Sam had come along there would have been a skeletal cat running around.  They were an odd bunch.

The underclassmen had a comparatively more regular childhood as far as the American Education system was concerned.  But, not fitting in was something every high school student could understand on some level.  "Now, worry not and let us live only once."  The Atlantean princess exclaimed.  Poorly butchering the word YOLO.

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Sakurako looked at her two classmates. "Sometimes... I'm too intelligent for my own good." She said with a sigh with another load of wood. "Also I should try to take whatever load I can. It'll help strengthen my arm muscles." She said, adjusting her pink data glasses, although they were offline for the exercise. "Then again I've been having several disappointments weighing heavy on me... but... I think my luck is about to change soon."

She smiled. "At the very least barring any sort of disaster here for all of us, I still want to invite people on my little sailing trip this summer. I'm still working out how many though I can take along and my folks are demanding I take an adult chaperon. I'm looking through my address book."

"Just sucks I couldn't take some of the class to the Lighthouse. After it's refit I heard it looks really, really neat."

She closed her eyes. "At this rate I might over-engineer... I'll help with the lean-to assignment, but only if all other avenues of assistance are exhausted. Last thing I want to see is people developing hypothermia."

"Oh who here was allowed to bring a rain poncho with them? They can provi..." Sakurako held her tongue suddenly. She was about to break a rule. She was being tested... her need to help versus her orders not to interfere.

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