(2018-11-06) Ranger Danger
Local forest rangers come under attack by the cult.

Olivia has asked to meet both head rangers at one of the northern stations. It is early evening when she arrives in her SUV. Not a fan of the cold, she parks and then rushes into the building…at least stopping to kick off snow from her boots at the door. She is otherwise dressed in jeans and t-shirt, though she also has a big ski jacket on today. Pulling off her beanie, Olivia shakes her hair loose before looking for the pair.

Kris turns from the map that she'd been looking at as she hears the commotion at the door. A raised brow and slight smirk. "I told you that you'll need to invest in warmer clothing, Special Agent." She makes her way to the coffee maker and begins to make a cup for Olivia. "Anything new?"

The ranger cabin itself is simplistic in design, unlike a cabin designed more for civilian use. Other than a locked up storage room (presumably housing some of the more expensive supplies and equipment for ranger use), the only other separate room is a latrine. There's a stone fireplace already stuffed with logs that crackle and pop as the fire Julian previously set keeps the cabin comfortably warm. There's one glass pane window next to the front door, which is made of thick, old redwood that stands the test of time and insulates much better than the standard suburban door.

There's a pot simmering with a thick stew hanging from a makeshift spicket over the fire and several utensils and cookware spread out over the counter, having seen recent use, in the kitchenette. Of all important things to take center stage in the station, it's the coffee maker which is already in the process of brewing a fresh batch. Compliments of Julian, who spends an awful lot of time out at these stations and very rarely comes back into town.

Julian watches as Olivia shows up, in the process of chopping wood and stacking it next to the station, one of the many small preparations necessary. The responsibilities of the -few- rangers that are actually staffed in the four regions isn't always fancy and romanticized. There's a LOT of busy work and paperwork that happens behind the scenes.

Wearing the standard cold weather uniform, Julian stops what he's doing and waves a greeting for the agent, wiping sweat beading on his forehead away and setting the axe down. "Howdy, Agent…" He lets the greeting hang, a clear indicator in his questioning expression that he probably doesn't remember her name.

Stepping inside behind Olivia, Julian stomps his boots on the thick welcome rug while going through the motions of removing his outer layers and leaving them hung up on the hooks next to the door.

Olivia smirks to Kris, opening her arms to show off her ski jacket…and not taking it off. "Special Agent Lopez" she reminds Julian with a smile that shows she is not bothered by his forgetfulness. "But you can call me Olivia if you wish." She makes her way over to the map, peering at it as she tries to orientate herself with it. "It's still too quiet" she sighs in answer to Kris's question. "When does the weather get really bad here? That snow is already melting. Even up here. Oh, any of your deputies around or is it just you two?" She sniffs the air. "That smells good."

Kris pours a cup of coffee for Olivia and sets one up for Julian as well. She prepares Olivia's cup to known preferences and hands it over. "Another month or so. Late November, early December. The ski resort is already capitalizing on this storm and topping it with fake stuff." She looks around. "The deputies are on patrol right now. They should be reporting in in about 15 minutes."

Julian smirks and tips his hand to his forehead. "Olivia." He affirms, then moves toward the fireplace to check on the stew. The question about the weather elicits a shrug from Julian as he kneels down to attend to the food. "It depends on where you're at," He begins, continuing on Kris' thought and gesturing off to the north, then south to emphasize his words. "Up in the mountains, the season generally starts several weeks earlier than everywhere else. So we generally see things get crazy in early December up there. Down in the Mesa, late December to early January, and so on." He explains, finishing Kris' description while stirring the pot. "I just keep track of the wolf pack. They know better than the lot of us."

Climbing to his feet, Julian heads for the kitchen, gathering up bowls and utensils. "Food's almost ready. You hungry, Agent?" To Kris, he chuckles and waves a hand, "Someone put Barnes and Wilson together, so I'd say fifteen minutes is a stretch. A suicide bomber and a cult won't stop them from picking up their caffeine fix from the diner."

"I could eat. When I'm on a case, I tend to forget to do so" Olivia replies to Julian as she takes her coffee from Kris with a smile. A sip of it before she adds, "You remembered." She thinks about the weather information. "I don't think they'll take out the resort, not yet. They'll secure areas as they spread out. Have you heard from Wilson and Barnes recently?" Another sip of her coffee before she puts it down and braves taking off her jacket to hang on a hook. That will mean heading nearer the fireplace afterwards. "I take it you guys haven't seen anything unusual."

The first bullet hits the window, cracking it. The next shatters it. The third slamming into the wooden wall over the coffee machine. The monotonous pop of an automatic weapon as Olivia hits the deck. "Down!" she screams, though she probably doesn't need too, reaching back to pull her pistol from the back of her jeans.

Kris looks to Julian as he speaks about the deputies. She taps the microphone to her short range radio. "I don't care where they are, if they don't call in and report when they're supposed to, their asses are mine. I have zero time and patience for ass-fuckery right now." And of course, after saying that, ass-fuckery is afoot. She drops to the ground, pulling out her service pistol, looking for the shortest distance to cover.

"Actually, I haven't heard from…-" The thought goes unfinished as a bullet makes its grand entrance through the window. In a split second, Julian is down behind the counter top, desert eagle in hand and thumb flipping the safety off. "South side window! There's not a lot of hedge in that direction, just the road!" There's a rustling sound coming from the kitchenette as Julian creeps for the storage room. "We have smoke flares in storage, we could use them to provide cover." Pause. "This is probably a bad time to point out the irony here, Kris!"

More bullets thud into the walls above them. The sound of a ricochet from the pot of stew which sends it wobbling. "How many entrances to the cabin?" Olivia asks anyone. It sounds like more than one gun out there. Bullets coming from different directions, sending splinters of wood everywhere. Olivia scrambles across the floor to find some cover against the thick walls.

Kris rolls her eyes. "Yes, but that doesn't seem to stop you now, does it?" She shouts. To Olivia, "Front and back, but seeing as there are different angles, they probably have both exits covered.." She peers over her cover and starts to shoot back, giving the assailants something to think about. After squeezing off a couple rounds, she slips back behind cover and speaks into the radio. "Anyone on this channel? This is Northern Outpost Echo. We have an unknown number of shooters outside. We need backup. Get the PD here."

"You know me too well now, partner!" Julian calls out from near the storage door, which he is currently unlocking and swinging open. Inside are rows of shelving that are stacked with water, MREs, survival gear and, specifically, smoke flares. "It sounds like small caliber rounds! They shouldn't be able to penetrate the brick and wood." Of course, with as many rounds flying in through the window and bouncing around, it probably doesn't matter what sort of rounds are being fired!

Julian takes several of the smoke flares, sliding them across the floor of the kitchenette and out to Olivia. "Light them and toss them out the doors! I'll provide cover for the back entrance so you can slip out through the smoke. Immediately to your right is where my Jeep is parked. You can find cover there." He peeks his head around the corner of the island counter top, spotting where Kris has found a position and gesturing toward the front door. "Once she's out the back, I'm gonna go out the front and say hello. Sound good?"

"You don't think we should stay together?" Olivia calls back to Julian over the sound of the gunfire as she picks up a couple of flares. Which requires her to stuff her weapon back in her jeans for now, which she is not happy about. She wriggles across the floor towards the back door. "What are you two planning to do?" A deep breath as she realises what she says will make no difference. "Be careful out there." She looks at Kris. "Seriously." Olivia opens the back door a touch, rolling out the flares as they start to hiss and billow white clouds.

Olivia draws her weapon again, takes a deep breath, and opens the door wide enough to get out. She fires through the smoke even as bullets slam into the door. Once Julian opens up, she will run for the supposed location of the jeep.

Kris takes a last look to Olivia. "We're providing you a distraction. There's no answer on the radio, that means either the transmitter's been taken out, or our deputies are. You need to go back and get help." She looks to Julian and nods. "I'll cover you. If we make enough noise, she should be able to get through." She makes a quick run to the back, grabbing extra pistol ammo and grabbing a shotgun. "Crazy fuckers picked the wrong damn mountain." After loading the shotgun, she pumps it, ready to provide cover for Julian. "Go ahead, Sergeant. I've got your back." This is no longer a Ranger issue, this is now an active combat situation.

"Ma'am," Julian begins, crawling toward the backside window next to the backdoor and tentatively rising to his feet. The big-ass-pistol cradled with the trained, steady grip of a man who has probably fired that thing off many, many times. "We're gonna do what we spent the last decade doing across the pond. Fucking up some badguys." And it's pretty clear the man is very, very good at that.

The former Marine glances across the cabin at Kris, presenting the Navy veteran with a wild grin, the kind of look in a situation like this one would probably expect from a relatively unhinged war veteran.

"The northside of the cabin has a thick treeline, which is probably where they're firing from - if they're smart. Give the smoke flare thirty seconds and when I start firing, you button hook right and get down behind the jeep. Watch that tree line once you're in position. Shoot to kill. Because they are."

After the flare is tossed outside, Julian makes sure Kris is ready before he tosses her his keys. "Just in case." He turns and silently nods to Kris, steeling himself in that moment. "Wrong fucking mountain." He echoes, then turns to Olivia. "On three." With his elbow, he violently shatters the remainder of the glass from the window pane and then opens fire out through the smoke. *BLAM* *BLAM* Where the smaller caliber rounds sound more like angry buzzy bees, the rounds fired off from Julian's weapon sound like small explosions on their own. "GO GO GO!"

Olivia was never in the armed forces, but she was a cop before being an agent. She sprints for the jeep as bullets rip through the air around her. Though there are fewer than before with Julian's cannon booming behind her. She reaches the jeep, leaning back against the radiator, catching her breath, before rolling to the side and firing in the direction of the shooters. Is she hitting anything? Who knows, but it will keep heads down.

Kris uses her pistol for now, having better range at this distance than the shotgun. She follows Julian out the front at the count of 3, sticking to cover as best she can while she lays down covering fire for Julian who has a much more effective weapon. She tosses a few smoke flares out as well, looking to obscure visibility as well as confusing those who saw smoke from the back.

After providing fire superiority out the back window and ensuring Olivia makes it safely to her position, Julian is sprints across the cabin to the opposite side, next to Kris now as he leans against the windowsill. Again, his elbow smashes through the window, finishing off what the bullets buzzing through hadn't yet. He fires a couple shots that are so loud the sound waves that echo off them can almost be felt. "Keep your head down, 'Squid!" Julian's last words to Kris before he's kicking the door open, allowing time for the smoke flares to do their work, and then rushing out the front door with Kris, firing away as he moves!

Typical training would suggest the group stay together, but there is nothing typical about the Force Recon specialist as the trio snake around the sides of the cabin, spreading out to get a handle on exactly what the fuck they're dealing with outside.

It's 'Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid' all over again, though hopefully with a better result, as Julian rush out and blasts away. The smoke hinders both of them but there are cries of pain from beyond the white wall. The number of bullets whizzing past them seems to be reduced but who can tell in the chaos. A flaming bottle flies through the air and slams into the side of the cabin; a Molotov cocktail! The gas burning as it spatters over the logs.

Out the back, all alone, Olivia continues to fire with her service pistol. Blasting away and hoping for the best. Shots are returned. A ricochet off the jeep cutting open her right shoulder - which gets some choice Spanish words in reply. Another cocktail. This one right on the partially open back door, burning oil splashing inside.

Kris hears the telltale *WHOOSH* of a Molotov as it hits the wall. She ducks. "Fuck.. there's ammo in there. The whole place is going to blow!" She continues to move forward along cover as quickly as she can. "We need to get out of the blast radius. Good news is, there won't be many people who DON'T see it go up!" The wind on the mountain makes quick work of the smoke, dispersing it quickly once the heat source is exhausted.

"Yeah, but the stew!" Julian complains from behind Olivia's vehicle (Julian parked around back, as he always does, to unload supplies from the jeep and take them directly in through the backdoor, good thing too!). Leave it to the Marine to be more concerned about the food than getting blown up. As the man expected, he spots the amateur shooters along the tree line, wrapping around the side and back of the cabin. "Target fire, nine and seven o'clock, on your left!" Julian calls out, using his knife hand to direct Kris' attention appropriately.

Young and nervous or not, to Julian, they are simply the enemy. And they are not only trying to kill him, but his partner and a federal agent. As far as rules of engagement go, the way Julian is firing off his big-fucking-pistol, he's definitely shooting to kill.

It is obvious that they mysterious shooters are not that very well trained. They are more blasting at the general area of the rangers and agent. The vehicles are unlikely to work again, but the fire burning in the cabin is likely to do more damage. The shooters look so young in their oversized camo suits, mainly because they are very young. One of them is hit, dropping to the ground and not moving. Another shot in the arm, making him spin to the ground and breathe deep with their pain. The heat from the burning cabin starting to singe the law enforcement individuals, Olivia crawling further lest she burn to death.

The shooters start to withdraw, disappearing into the trees. They may not shot very well but they can certainly hide when they want to.

Kris turns as she's directed and gasps. "Christ, Julian, they're just kids. We can't go killing a bunch of kids. Scare them off real good… Once they run maybe we can follow. Maybe they'll lead us to the compound." She switches to the shotgun. Big, loud, and nearly ineffective unless you're up close. She starts shooting far above the heads of the targets. When they start to retreat… "Dammit, no.. Not yet!" She growls, frustrated. She still continues to advance.

Julian is stone faced as he takes shots with that cannon of a pistol, deftly dropping the old clip and replacing it with one from his belt. As the group begins to retreat, he immediately gestures in the direction of the back of the cabin. In his eyes, it's clear the man isn't seeing a bunch of kids. He voices as much a moment later. "They are NOT just kids. They are targets attempting to kill YOU. Now is not the time for moral indecisiveness. Circle around and check on Olivia, I'll call in their movement. They don't know this area like we do, they won't get far." And then he's on his radio, snapping off coordinates and information about their shooters while also requesting a bird for medevac of two injured assailants.

Kris grumbles. "It's not moral indecisiveness, it's civic duty. We have a different engagement protocol than the military." but she's wasting her breath. She nods. "With any luck she's long gone with the jeep." She says as she makes her way around the back, avoiding the flames from the cabin.

The shooters are gone…save for the wounded and the dead. Medvac in on the way but it will be at least thirty minutes - the weather is playing up. Olivia is still round the back, but at least away from the burning cabin. The jeep has been shot up, two tires deflated from bullet hits. The Agent is at the tree line, looking more than a little pale as she glances up at the approaching Kris. She is standing over the body of one to the attackers; dead with a bullet hole clean through the forehead. An attacker who is a girl that probably isn't even a teenager yet. Her assault rifle ridiculously oversized atop her tiny frame.

The cabin explodes. Waves of heat and wind buffeting those around it. Sharp chunks of wood and metal flying through the air. Olivia hits the deck again as shrapnel whizzes overhead.

Kris is knocked off her feet, not allowed to react to the sight of the girl, tossed over Olivia's form partly to protect her and partly from the force. Once the flames have died down for the time being, see carefully peels herself off of the Agent. "Hey, are you ok? Are you hit?" She sees the jeep didn't make it through and sighs. "Julian's calling in our position and that of the shooters that ran." She says, trying to keep this professional.

"I got hit by a ricochet" Olivia grunts as she pushes herself up from the ground, her right shoulder bloody from a deep gash. No comment on how good she is. It looks like she just shot a kid through the head. Olivia shivers a little but nods to what Julian is up to…assuming he survived the explosion. "Are you okay?"

Kris kneels on the ground in order to check Olivia's shoulder. "Besides almost being blown up by a bunch of punk kids, I'm hunky-dory!" She says, dripping with sarcasm. She checks to see if the bullet went straight through or if it's still lodged in her shoulder. "Sit still.." Either way, the bleeding needs to stop. She untucks her uniform shirt and rips a swath of the fabric. She takes it and starts to tie it around Olivia's arm, a make-shift tourniquet.

The bullet is not in her shoulder, just the groove it left on its way to who knows where. "They're brainwashed" Olivia remarks about the children - though that doesn't make her feel any better about shooting one of them. "Did you catch any of them alive?" She sits still though maybe Kris is more upset than she thinks, as it's not the greatest patch up job. "Thanks" Olivia smiles at the attempt. "We need to make sure Julian is okay." In the distance can be heard a helicopter approaching.

As to whether or not Julian is okay is answered a moment later when he comes trudging around the corner after the cabin has exploded, his desert eagle in one hand and his eyes squinting as he peers through the flames and calls out Kris' and Olivia's names. When he spots them, he comes over, callously stepping over a dead body in the process, rather than going around it. "Ya'll in one piece?" He has the radio to his jaw, occasionally chattering back commands and call codes as the dispatcher on the other end continues to relay information.

"We're only still alive because they were untrained." He shrugs indifferently though, then slowly turns to see his Jeep not only shot up, but parked next to the cabin so surely going to get burned up to. "Oh, hell." Taking a deep breath, he turns to Kris, whom is not only his partner, but a woman he grew up with, same graduating class. "Think you can give me a lift up to my cabin later?"

Kris nods to Olivia, doing her best, but she's not good with shoulders. "I told you. Warmer, thicker clothes." She says, more of a concerned order than a suggestion. At the mention of the shooters being children, Kris nods. "Yeah.. I saw. I changed tactics to scare them, not to…" She stops, seeing the dead girl on the ground. She goes to her radio. "Walker, we have wounded. Our visitor." She says, trying to keep details off of the open channel, and that's if Julian gets it. When he arrives, she waves him over and nods. "Yeah, no problem. We need to evac Olivia though, stat."

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