Prelude: Don't Drink The Water ((Trace, Katy))   Posted by The Stray.Group: 0
Catherine Hays Cox
 player, 229 posts
 Texas Ranger
 P5 T6 W0 F0 Cha0 W5R0B0L1
Tue 21 Feb 2017
at 19:46
Prelude: Don't Drink The Water ((Trace, Katy))
OOC: He didn't take some out of the keg and put it in canteens? Silly man. Still, back to tracking something bigger than a breadbox, I guess.
The Stray
 GM, 2036 posts
 The Marshal
 'round these parts
Tue 21 Feb 2017
at 20:09
Prelude: Don't Drink The Water ((Trace, Katy))
((OOC: I suppose it's a possibility, but I'm thinking that's probably best covered in a wrap-up, since the major plot thread is over with. And I think I can now start moving Trace toward the actual game.

So, give me some things you two would like to see wrapped-up before I end this thread, and we'll cover how the aftermath plays out. Sound fair to you guys?))

Catherine Hays Cox
 player, 230 posts
 Texas Ranger
 P5 T6 W0 F0 Cha0 W5R0B0L1
Tue 21 Feb 2017
at 20:21
Prelude: Don't Drink The Water ((Trace, Katy))
Sounds good to me. I just want to have one more conversation with Trace before we put a bow on this thing. Preferably over a drink. Assuming Trace is amenable to such. It would involve a small time skip and probably after most of the wrap-up narration.
Trace Hargrave
 player, 95 posts
 Drifter
 P5 T6 W0 F0 Cha0 W2 R1 B1
Tue 21 Feb 2017
at 21:02
Prelude: Don't Drink The Water ((Trace, Katy))
OOC: Hargrave's primary concern would be ensuring that Earl, Caroline, and Conner are reunited, receive any medical care they require, and have somewhere safe to stay while they puzzle out how to move forward with their lives.

Once that's resolved, Cox is free to send Hargrave off to prison for trafficking in black magic. :)

The Stray
 GM, 2038 posts
 The Marshal
 'round these parts
Wed 22 Feb 2017
at 04:54
Prelude: Don't Drink The Water ((Trace, Katy))
Trace, Katy, Joseph, and Earl leave the cave, taking Bill's body back to town with them. While on the ride back, Joseph mentions to Trace that there was a $400 bounty on Bill, and asked Trace to split it with him and Earl.

Back in Socorro, Earl and Caroline joyfully reunite, and it looks like Connor came through just fine. Aside from some scraps and bumps, Caroline's fall didn't leave her the worse for wear, and Earl was seen to by the local barber (the only person with medical training around without going to El Paso). They're put up in the Mission for the night by Father Ernesto.

And so it is that Katy and Trace find themselves back in The Feral Dog...
Catherine Hays Cox
 player, 232 posts
 Texas Ranger
 P5 T6 W0 F0 Cha0 W5R0B0L1
Wed 22 Feb 2017
at 07:46
Prelude: Don't Drink The Water ((Trace, Katy))
Katy helped out Joseph in whatever way he thought best, including speaking with any of his people and his son about his deeds. She also helped out some with the Johnson family, which allowed her to gently correct any notion that Bill was a walking dead. It was really the part of the job she most detested - lying straight-faced to good folk never sat well with her. But it was for the best, she'd been told.

Katy also spent some time trying to cover up the fact that there were walking dead in Socorro  and trying to keep any sort of suggestions that it was anything but weird Cajun grave robbers from taking hold. Fortunately, her well-timed and stated lie the previous night seemed to hold enough water with folk that there weren't rumors of black magic.

In addition, she searched for the remaining brew that Bill Johnson had stolen, hoping to find another keg like the one that they discovered in the graveyard. This whole thing would feel incomplete if she couldn't locate it.

She also spent some time drafting her report. She mentioned Trace in only the most glowing terms. Her report would contain mention of his lost sister and ask that Rangers far and wide let Katy know if they came across Sibley or heard rumors of a travelling Englishwoman with a remarkable singing voice.

Before heading to the Feral Dog, Katy cleaned up, taking a nice, hot bath. She braided her hair when she was finished and wore a black skirt and gray blouse. She left her duster in the room she'd rented, though her pistol was still on her hip. The badge was tucked away out of sight as well. The well-worn sombrero she was so rarely seen without was also left in her room.

Katy entered the Feral Dog and found an empty table. She ordered a pair of beers and sat down to wait for Trace's arrival. She didn't touch her drink while she waited, her thoughts far away from where she was.
Trace Hargrave
 player, 96 posts
 Drifter
 P5 T6 W0 F0 Cha0 W2 R1 B1
Thu 23 Feb 2017
at 05:01
Prelude: Don't Drink The Water ((Trace, Katy))
Hargrave had kept his word to Earl Johnson. Beyond making certain that the rancher and his family had all that they required he rode the surrounding flatlands with a handful of vaqueros from neighboring ranches, all who had volunteered to help the family in their time of need. Hargrave enjoyed the work, the roaming of the open range, and the cheerful camaraderie he established with the other riders. With some persistence, they were able to locate most of the scattered steer, and even built a makeshift corral, an effort that became an ongoing source of humor due to its crude workmanship.

Despite the successes involved in assisting the Johnsons in rebuilding their lives, Hargrave sensed a familiar restlessness settle over him, a need to move on now that his task was done. It was a call he'd grown to resent heeding. Part of him wished that he had been willing to simply let the tragedies in Colorado lie, to not have yielded to his brash thirst for vengeance, and instead found a place like Earl Johnson's spread, where he could be part of something, have a hand in building a lasting home. But it was a pointless longing, he realized. The decisions he'd made had shaped his own nature now, led him to become a rootless drifter who was most content having no lasting ties to anything. That itch to ride on would overcome him soon, lead him elsewhere. Maybe west, to New Mexico. In a few days at most, he would obey its call. Perhaps when he found Sibley, had the answer to where life had taken her, his outlook would change. But he doubted it.

After punching a handful of cattle from the east back onto Johnson land, he'd headed into Socorro proper, hitching his mount in front of the Feral Dog. When he entered and spied Cox, he approached and tipped his hat politely. "Evening...Ranger," he said, still uncertain precisely what to call her, "Almost didn't recognize you without your hat. Socorro is certainly much calmer than it was a few days ago. I imagine that the folk here have you to thank for that."
Catherine Hays Cox
 player, 235 posts
 Texas Ranger
 P5 T6 W0 F0 Cha0 W5R0B0L1
Thu 23 Feb 2017
at 15:08
Prelude: Don't Drink The Water ((Trace, Katy))
Katy smiled when Trace showed up. It wasn't like that was guaranteed, and it wasn't like she hadn't been stood up before. "Evenin', Trace. Please call me Katy - I think we're on a first name basis by now?"

She looked around at the interior of the saloon, then back to Trace. "I think the folk mostly have you ta thank fer that. One Lone Ranger against what ya saw - wouldn'ta worked so well, would it? I ain't sure ya realize how grateful I am for what ya did here. You've gotta really good heart, Trace, ain't the kind I see in most men nowadays."

The Ranger tipped her head to the side slightly and gently pushed the beer furthest from her a fraction of an inch. "Have a drink with me?"
Trace Hargrave
 player, 97 posts
 Drifter
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Fri 24 Feb 2017
at 16:20
Prelude: Don't Drink The Water ((Trace, Katy))
Hargrave sat, accepting the offered beer. "Thank you," he said gratefully, "I'm still not accustomed to all the dust out here. At least in Colorado there were grass and trees, something to stop the wind."

He took a sip and shrugged. "I think you're giving me a little too much credit though, Ran...Katy. I'm really just a shootist, someone who hires himself out to people who are having trouble keeping what's rightfully theirs. But...I'd like to think that most people, especially confronted with what Bill Johnson had done, would do the right thing, if nothing else to protect those they cared for from...what he brought with him."

He lowered his voice. "Growing up, my Da told us stories of the dead returning to haunt the living. But, those tales were always about gests...restless spirits. I never thought such things would come from liquid in a barrel that could be bought and sold."
Catherine Hays Cox
 player, 237 posts
 Texas Ranger
 P5 T6 W0 F0 Cha0 W5R0B0L1
Fri 24 Feb 2017
at 17:06
Prelude: Don't Drink The Water ((Trace, Katy))
Katy smiled at Trace's acceptance of the drink and a chair, then nodded at his commentary about an excess of dust. "Yeah, West Texas is like that. There's a little more green further east, but ain't much out this way. Just brown, off-brown, tan, beige, chestnut, khaki, russet, and taupe."

She raised an eyebrow at Trace's attempted deflection of her praise, but she really wasn't going to have any of that. "Trace, ya sliced open yer own body ta try ta distract somma what we faced. I don't think I've ever seen somethin' so selflessly heroic as that. An I've worked with a lotta folk that've done heroic things. We were a bit busy at the time, but don't think I didn't notice whatcha did - don't think I ever thanked you proper fer doin' so, though."

She tapped a finger on the table for a moment while taking a drink from her mug, then leaned forward a little. "Folks ya care for - Trace, ya also have a big heart. Ya were a hired gun, and ya treated the Johnsons like they were family. And close family that ya loved. I know they were good ta ya, but trust me when I say yer a cut above. Way above."

Katy's voice also lowered in response to his comment about the dead. "Yeah, about the dead, I asked ya before if ya can keep a secret. That promise still good?"

This message had punctuation tweaked by the player at 22:54, Fri 24 Feb 2017.

Trace Hargrave
 player, 98 posts
 Drifter
 P5 T6 W0 F0 Cha0 W2 R1 B1
Sat 25 Feb 2017
at 08:15
Prelude: Don't Drink The Water ((Trace, Katy))
Hargrave turned his mug his mug slowly in his hands before taking a sip. "Well...I guess family took on a different kind of importance to me after what happened to mine. I just couldn't stand the thought of the Johnsons being separated, or coming to harm, over something as empty as jealousy."

He took another drink. "Makes you wonder, doesn't it? If Bill had just sat down and talked with his brother, I imagine things would have turned out completely different. Earl probably would never have had need of my services."

He nodded in response to her question. "Yes, ma'am. It is. I won't speak a word of whatever you tell me."
Catherine Hays Cox
 player, 240 posts
 Texas Ranger
 P5 T6 W0 F0 Cha0 W5R0B0L1
Sat 25 Feb 2017
at 08:29
Prelude: Don't Drink The Water ((Trace, Katy))
Katy nodded at what Trace had to say. "Seen some folk get bitter and resentful in yer circumstances. But instead ya turn yer love of family ta other folk." Katy smiled, hoping she had made her point. She'd probably over-made it, truth be told.

The Ranger did press her lips together when Trace mentioned Bill's shortcomings. "That mebbe true nuff. But I do gotta say that sometimes stuff like that goes both ways. Sounds like mebbe Earl, nice a man as he is, mebbe shoulda reached out ta his brother 'fore it was too late. Along those lines, I'm glad yer tryin' as hard as ya can ta find yer sister. For my part, I can't ask Rangers ta go lookin' for her insteada doin' other stuff. But I can ask 'em ta keep an eye out. Let me know if anyone happens ta cross her path."

She now smiled more broadly. "Course that means ya gotta find a way ta stay in touch, Trace." Her eyes twinkled a little for a few moments before she stood and moved her chair so she could sit it right next to Trace. It gave her an opportunity to lean in and speak very quietly to him.

"Ain't th' first time I've seen folks what're raised from the dead, Trace. Sometimes it's some sorta liquid, sometimes it's stichin' together body parts and joltin 'em with electricity. Sometimes it's voodoo. An' sometimes some folk jus' refuse ta stay in the hole where they been buried. So we gotta put 'em back down again. Ya ain't goin' crazy, yer jus' seein' what's really there. Not a lotta folk know even parta the truth. But that's parta the job 'o the Rangers. Keepin' folk like Bill from causin' problems, and keeping folk like those in Soccorro from gettin' scared by news o' walkin' dead. S'why I asked ya ta keep it all a secret."
Trace Hargrave
 player, 99 posts
 Drifter
 P5 T6 W0 F0 Cha0 W2 R1 B1
Sun 26 Feb 2017
at 08:35
Prelude: Don't Drink The Water ((Trace, Katy))
Hargrave nodded in humble gratitude. "That's really kind of you, Katy, asking them to be on the lookout for her. I truly appreciate it."

He was silent as he listened to her speak of the things she had faced, shaking his head a couple of times in wonder. "I don't have a lot of struggle, believing in what you've seen. Where I was raised, in the Severn Valley, there's a lot of respect for ancient tradition. Taking steps to honor the spirits of the land and forest, of the animals that give their lives to see people fed. It's positive, for the most part, acknowledging our dependence on nature."

"But...there were some places that had a bad reputation. And there were persistent stories of terrible things going on there. This town called Brichester in particular and the area around it. My Da would never let any of us trade there. Said the place had been overtaken by dark spirits. That's where he insisted that he'd encountered some people who were long dead. Much as I loved England, there was some very real evil there."


He shrugged. "But I haven't seen all the sorts of things you have. I imagine a lot of people can't remain in your job. They can't handle confronting what you have to. That you can is pretty remarkable, ma'am."

"But where I come from, the sort of darkness we're talking about only occurred in pockets, certain specific locations. But it sounds as though here, in America, it's widespread, even if most folks aren't aware of it."

Catherine Hays Cox
 player, 242 posts
 Texas Ranger
 P5 T6 W0 F0 Cha0 W5R0B0L1
Tue 28 Feb 2017
at 05:51
Prelude: Don't Drink The Water ((Trace, Katy))
Katy thought for a few moments, still leaning her face close to Trace's. "Ain't nobody mapped 'em all here. But there're definitely some places more susceptible ta, er, hauntins' than others. Kinda like whatcher sayin' bout England."

She considered his compliment about her toughness for a moment with a smile. "No, prolly ain't alotta folk that can handle seein' all I have. More ya see, the tougher ya get, though. Don't usually run across folks I think can necessarily step in and handle the job. But I met one here in Socorro. Fella by the name o' Trace. Ain't never seen someone so ready as ya are." A slight smile underscored the twinkling in her eyes as Katy regarded Trace and wondered how he might respond.
Trace Hargrave
 player, 100 posts
 Drifter
 P5 T6 W0 F0 Cha0 W2 R1 B1
Thu 2 Mar 2017
at 02:55
Prelude: Don't Drink The Water ((Trace, Katy))
It took Hargrave a moment to process what Cox had said. When he understood, he chuckled and shook his head. "Katy, I appreciate you calling me brave, but...I would make a terrible addition to your ranks. The way you calmed that crowd outside of the mission, kept this town from turning on itself. I don't have that in me. I'm not that patient with my fellow man."

"I'm a loner. I guess I have been since my brother passed. I don't suppose I ever intended it that way, but now, it's how I've become accustomed to living. Long days and nights keeping watch over someone's herd or property, never bothered by another soul. It's gotten comfortable. In a different life, I imagine I would have made a decent cowhand."


He took another sip of beer. "If you ever need a deputy, someone who's a fair shot with a rifle, I'll gladly serve. But I don't think I'd be the best choice to wear a badge."
Catherine Hays Cox
 player, 247 posts
 Texas Ranger
 P5 T6 W0 F0 Cha0 W5R0B0L1
Thu 2 Mar 2017
at 05:13
Prelude: Don't Drink The Water ((Trace, Katy))
Katy sat up a little straighter and twisted her torso so she directly facing Trace. "Ya may say yer a loner, but ya really ain't. Ya like a family, an ya like protectin' folk that ya feel such a kinship with. Rangers are like family, Trace. Once ya jine, yer a brother or sister in arms. And ta top it off, ain't so many of us, so we work alone a lot." She sighed, lightly. "But I know ya gotta find yer sister first, so I ain't expectin' it'd be soon. Once ya find her, though, ya might find ya don't feel that sense o' purpose. Hope that happy day comes soon, and when it does and if ya end up not settlin' down wherever she's at, well, consider joinin' up. We could really use some men like ya."

She tapped a finger on the table for a moment. "As fer future endeavors, I hope ta cross paths again, tha's fer sure. My path is takin' me west inta New Mexico, and beyond the borders o' this fine state. I can only officially deputize here, but, well, ya seen what we're up against. I may haveta ask ya ta help again. Glad ta hear ya might be willin'."

She looked down for a moment and then back at the man. "As fer yer shootin, I ain't seen many better. And I ain't seen many what got blue glowin' bullets, neither. Might be awful useful fer a deputy, truth told. Or a full on Ranger."
The Stray
 GM, 2082 posts
 The Marshal
 'round these parts
Sun 5 Mar 2017
at 01:31
Prelude: Don't Drink The Water ((Trace, Katy))
((OOC: Waiting for some sort of wrap-up here...unless you want me to just skip ahead.))
Trace Hargrave
 player, 101 posts
 Drifter
 P5 T6 W0 F0 Cha0 W2 R1 B1
Sun 5 Mar 2017
at 20:59
Prelude: Don't Drink The Water ((Trace, Katy))
Hargrave set his beer down and let his gaze fall to the floor. "Saw that, did you? I'll confess, Katy, most of the time I don't...rely on such help, but we weren't facing a group of hustlers or claim jumpers. They were the dead, who refused to stay in the ground."

"My family, not just my father, but the generations that came before him, have a close relationship with the land. As people who rely on the growing of crops, the raising of animals, we have to. We have a...partnership with the spirits of nature, the land wights, as we know them. And one of the ways they have aided us, over the centuries, is in defending what we hold from those who would abuse it. People who are content to do harm in order to take what they want."


He picked up his beer again, then set it back down. "What you saw was a manifestation of that assistance. Generations ago, my ancestors asked for blessings on their swords and bows. Our weapons are different now."

"It's not something I've discussed with many outside my family. And it's not a power I call upon lightly. But out there, at the Johnson's home, I think it was warranted."

Catherine Hays Cox
 player, 251 posts
 Texas Ranger
 P5 T6 W0 F0 Cha0 W5R0B0L1
Wed 8 Mar 2017
at 21:06
Prelude: Don't Drink The Water ((Trace, Katy))
Katy nodded at Trace's response. "Ain't much better time ta ask fer help'n what we faced. I seen some weirdness be thrown about in the last few years, mostly by bad folk. Glad ta run 'cross someone usin' such fer good. An' I hope ya continue ta use it ta keep yerself safe, Trace. An' if ya ever do decide ta become a Ranger, well, whatcha c'n do'll jus' make ya more in demand."

She looked around briefly, then back to Trace. "That said, I ain't puttin' anythin' about the power of land wights in my report. Far as anyone'll know, yer just a crack shot with heroic tendencies that's friendly ta the cause o' the Rangers." Katy took another drink, glad that everything had ended up pretty well. It could have gone so very, very wrong.
Trace Hargrave
 player, 105 posts
 Drifter
 P5 T6 W0 F0 Cha0 W2 R1 B1
Thu 9 Mar 2017
at 22:34
Prelude: Don't Drink The Water ((Trace, Katy))
"I'm obliged to you for that, Katy," Hargrave said, "I'm not eager to be famous for those skills, much as I'm thankful for the help they provide, I'd still like to remain just a drifter in the eyes of others. Just a fellow who's good with a rifle."

"I was actually thinking about heading west myself. Over towards Lincoln, San Patricio. Little bit of a cattle boom that way. Thought I'd look for work, see if there were any rumors of my sister."

Catherine Hays Cox
 player, 252 posts
 Texas Ranger
 P5 T6 W0 F0 Cha0 W5R0B0L1
Fri 10 Mar 2017
at 06:47
Prelude: Don't Drink The Water ((Trace, Katy))
Katy smiled and nodded at the agreement they seemed to have reached about how much Trace wanted his powers known. And that is to say not at all. Katy pulled her braid over her right shoulder and idly played with the end of it for a few moments before she spoke again. "My path takes me ta El Paso next, Trace. Then ta Roswell - I gotta report ta Captain Ayuso there 'bout what I been findin' out about Bayou Vermillion. Then I should be headin' back west through New Mexico, eventually makin' my way ta Arizona."

The Ranger paused for a few heartbeats. "Don't s'pose ya'd wanna share the trail with me fer a bit since we're headin' the same way? I don't gotta be in El Paso fer long, but if nothin' else it'll be safer ta ride as a pair."
Trace Hargrave
 player, 109 posts
 Drifter
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Mon 13 Mar 2017
at 21:39
Prelude: Don't Drink The Water ((Trace, Katy))
Hargrave nodded. "I'll be glad to ride along with you to El Paso. It will be a lot safer traveling together. Especially that direction. That journey cuts through some pretty desolate country."

He grinned. "Well, I think it will be safer. Now that I know the sorts of things you track down all the time, that might actually be a poor assumption on my part."
Catherine Hays Cox
 player, 254 posts
 Texas Ranger
 P5 T6 W0 F0 Cha0 W5R0B0L1
Mon 13 Mar 2017
at 22:51
Prelude: Don't Drink The Water ((Trace, Katy))
Katy looked chagrined at Trace's mention of the sorts of quarry she chased. "Ya know, I don't ever think I rightly apologized fer draggin' ya so far inta my mess. I weren't tryin' ta trick ya inta helpin', jus' couldn't tell ya ever'thin' up front. I am really sorry bout that, Trace. I'll be glad of the company on the trail, and mebbe lemme know how I can make it up ta ya?"
Trace Hargrave
 player, 112 posts
 Drifter
 P5 T6 W0 F0 Cha0 W2 R1 B1
Tue 14 Mar 2017
at 22:35
Prelude: Don't Drink The Water ((Trace, Katy))
Hargrave raised a hand and smiled. "I'm sorry, ma'am," he said sincerely, "It's an English habit. Or, more to the point, a family habit. Making light of difficult circumstances. It's how we handled those years we faced a failed harvest."

"I was just teasing, honest. You don't owe me a thing. I truly wouldn't change what happened. Not any part of it. Having a hand in putting a stop to something like that, it helps me know that once in a while, I can actually accomplish a little good here and there. So maybe all this wandering isn't in vain, even if I never find my sister."


He took another drink. "But I'll never understand how you manage to face such things day in and day out."
Catherine Hays Cox
 player, 255 posts
 Texas Ranger
 P5 T6 W0 F0 Cha0 W5R0B0L1
Tue 14 Mar 2017
at 23:54
Prelude: Don't Drink The Water ((Trace, Katy))
Katy smiled and nodded at Trace's response concerning his appreciation for being able to do some good. "Well, mebbe you'll have ta be a wanderin' do-gooder. Ya've got the wanderin' part down. And ya like ta do good."

Katy looked down at her own drink when he asked about how she handled it every day. It was a good question. She took a drink herself. "Drinkin' helps. But only a little. I guess like many things, ya just get tougher the more ya deal with this sorta stuff. And ya gotta sorta come ta grips with the fact that yer life might be terrible short, and that what remains of it's gonna be pretty rough. Helpin' folk like the Johnsons or savin' the town from gettin' overrun, well, that's what keeps me goin'. My work has already saved a lotta lives, an' I plan ta keep savin' more. Honestly, that's what makes me able ta face such horrors. I don't think of what's in fronta me. I think 'bout those that're behind me."