(2019-01-29) The Drop
Four people (Hi Lucas! You're cute.) struggle through snow and ice to rescue a deputy.

The snow has been steadily falling all day long, and in the downtown parts of Calaveras, there has already been reports of at least eight inches of snow. People were being told to stay home, keep off the streets, let the plows do their job. Two kids snuck out, a day off of school and cabin fever lead them from the trailer park down to the gorge. A deputy was called when they were spotted and he went to take them home, maybe give them a talk about being safe and responsible. Unfortunately for all and sundry, during that talk, a piece of the cliff gave way and the deputy fell at least fifteen feet down the hill. The snow broke his fall, mostly, thank god for the soft stuff or he would probably be dead. As it is, he has a broken leg. The two teenagers got on the police radio, called for help, and that is where our story begins.

Cash wouldn't normally be the kind of person called in to this kind of thing. As it stands, though, he was on his way home when the call came in and with this much snow on the ground any help is being accepted. So there's help coming from outside the police, fire department, or park rangers. There's little way his car was going to make it through this sort of nonsense, though - It gets left a good way back, Cash still in his fatigues and with a good bit of rope over his left shoulder. It's not typically Marines that answer this sort of problem, but needs must, and he's got to take these roads out to work anyway.

In situations like this, of course you need a doctor. Sure, there are EMTs around, but it is dangerous down that gorge and so the call went out for someone with a bit more…survival…training. Someone who could get down to the deputy, do an evaluation, and be there by his side as they got him out. Enter Doctor Uma Campbell - ex-military. Bundled up against the biting cold, there was no way she was going to let the weather hold her back. At least it wasn't the kids. Spotting Cash there she offers him a nod of greeting and a smile…trying not to make her teeth chatter. A first aid kit over one shoulder, flashlight in one hand, a police radio on her belt. She listens to the officer in charge before peering into the gorge. "Have you sent down blankets? Hot drink?"

A big ass truck rolls up to the main entry to the area, and a large off-duty firefighter and Royal Kelly slide out of either side of it. Both are dressed in thermal attire, Royal in particularly garish red North Face jacket, and hiking boots. "I'm tellin' ya this ain't my fault. Just 'cause I said what's the worst that could happen when you said a Sunday drive on blizzard Tuesday wasn't the smartest thing I could do with my time…" Her accent is bigger than shit hills of Kentucky.

The enormous, dark-haired firefighter (you can tell because his thermal is embroidered with CFD emblem on the upper chest along with LUCAS under that) grunts a reply to Royal, "Your truck is a piece of shit and if I hadn't driven by you would have frozen to death on the side of the highway in your piece of shit." Lucas sounds like a local boy.

"You're kinda an asshole, you know?" Royal swings out of the truck carrying a duffel over her shoulder, while Lucas hefts a backboard and further rope. Looks like between the men, there's enough for a serious knot party.

The two kids who called for help look a little wide eyed at the people who responded, pointing to the gorge. "He fell down there, the cliff just gave way." The point to the left where there is a path, but of course it's snowed in. "There is a path that leads down to the gorge, but when we tried to go down there, he yelled at us." The kids have already managed to get the trunk open and there are supplies for warmth, and some water and an extra coat. "Some deputy on the radio said she's on her way as well." (I'll be NPCing Bonita Applebaum, a strong black deputy who don't need no backup, if we have too much trouble) "What should we do?"

Uma earns a nod in return from Cash as he shifts his pack slightly. "Well, this is quite the dog and pony show…" Cash mutters, his North Carolina suddenly not sounding quite as out of place with the present company. North Carolina certainly never got this much snow, though. As the kids explain what's going on, Cash smiles just a little and puts a hand on one young shoulder, "It'll be alright, you two. Get yourselves warm." Seems pretty confident of that. Which is when he moves closer to the gorge and investigates a little bit, at a distance. There's a frown that forms as he looks over the collapsed cliff, but he's not about to shy away from the problem.

"Anybody here already made a game plan or are we starting from ground zero?" He asks over his shoulder, calm as you please.

Uma might need her eyes checked. The 'officer in charge' was a teenage boy…but he did answer her questions. "Are you two okay?" she asks the boys before a nod towards Cash. "He's right. You two get into the car and stay warm." She can't help put her hand against each of the foreheads to check temperatures before she is shooing them towards the car and joining Cash. "If the path is impassable, then we need to go straight down the side of the gorge to the deputy's location. We should have enough rope." The arrival of another vehicle is welcomed…even if it comes with a lover's spat. "Over here!" she calls out to Royal and Lucas.

There's a lengthy pause from Lucas before he cuts a look to the irritated blonde (Royal), then goes into responder mode. "We might not need it, depends on the stability of the ground, but I'm gonna place some pickets to tie off from." He looks to Cash. "You got a harness in your gear?" Then he moves off to do just that, so even if somebody does slide into the fun zone, they can be hauled out. He hammers in one, then rigs it up, following with a second to back up the first with a little block & tackle to pull tension and equalize the load. Not that he's saying anyone here looks a heavy carry.

To Uma, the blonde says, "Looks cozy." She grins. Royal bends and pulls open the duffel at her feet, pulling out a harness to step into it, securing herself before she drags out some extra carbiners. "Who's going over the side? I have another harness and I think Lucas probably does too. But we just met, so he might not be as thorough as I am with my gear."

The boys give the group another look before they retreat to the car, slamming the door shut. Both are pressed against the windows, watching the shenanigans from a safe and warm spot. From below, a cry can be heard, "Hey! I can hear voices up there! My ankle is broken and it's fucking cold down here. Someone get me some help!" Yeah, that deputy is regretting all of his decisions in life right now. The edge of the cliff is not sturdy, so anyone going down should likely anchor down the path, if anywhere. Snow and some dirt crumbles from the edge of the cliff, just so that the narrator's words can be confirmed.

"I do, yeah." Cash answers with a nod, "Not much else in terms of climbing, though. I'm a pilot." It's a different for of kit. When the voice comes up from the gorge, Cash turns that direction and projects his voice down in that way really only military commanders ever quite manage.

"Hey there, Deputy - I'm Captain Montgomery-Reagan, USMC. There's a couple of us up here working to get you out of there. Sit tight for me, would ya? This gorge isn't being particularly cooperative." That's the tone of someone who has had to do rescue missions before. Patient, warm, a little bit flippant, but also entirely dedicated. "Down the side is asking for trouble," Cash says, nodding to the crumbling ledge, "We'll probably want to secure a descent down the path - More of an anchor-slide-anchor routine." A beat, "I'm willing to go down unless we've got a skilled climber in our midst. Or if anyone has a different idea."

Maybe not a lover's spat then if they've just met…though with the kids these days, you can't be sure. "I'll go down" Uma volunteers, even lifting her hand up. "I'm a doctor. Uma Campbell. I'll need to stabilize the break and check on his overall condition before he can be moved." She looks up at the falling snow. "Might be easier to build a hospital around him." Uma is happy to concede to Cash's expertise about the best way to get down there, just as long as they get down there. "What's your name, Deputy?" she calls down into the darkness, waving her flashlight around in his direction. "Can you see the light? I'm Doctor Uma Campbell. We'll have you set and out of there in a jiffy." Then back to the group with her. "No time to waste."

Lucas, being the conscientious type that he is, has several more anchors to place down the path, lest they pin all their hopes on the two up here. That's why he's going first. Also because he is expendable, if pretty with a nice butt. He loops his ropes and tosses an extra climbing axe into the snow for whomever knows how to use it. "Lucas, CFD. I'll anchor us down. Stay attached and keep a hand on when you move your anchor."

Royal has her own axe, and she's just about settled into her climbing gear. The blonde sighs as she's left to heft the backboard while Lucas is anchoring the path. "I wouldn't say skilled, but I've done this before. Royal Kelly, former CSFD. Doc, how's your climbing experience? If it's not great, I can go down and board him, then you can handle the rest up top. Up to you." Only one of them probably has insurance if the deputy dies in this rescue. And it's not Roy.

"My name is Deputy Getmethefuckoutofhere!" He calls back, and then after a sigh he speaks up again. "Deputy Kincaid. I'm off duty right now, I only came down here to check on those kids." Whoever is going down the path is in for a slick time, there is ice underneath the snow. Best to pound anchors in at the top, middle and bottom for leverage. (To pound the anchors in along the way, I'll need a body roll. If you fail, you slip (but you won't fall - unless you fail really bad) and you're gonna slide a few feet. Until we get 3 successes on the body roll, your anchors are not in position to retrieve.) Sirens can be heard in the distance, and it can be assumed that help is approaching, unfortunately they are hindered by the road conditions. (Help will arrive in five more rounds of poses)

<FS3> Royal rolls Body: Failure. (1 2)
<FS3> Uma rolls Body: Success. (4 7)

Cash nods. "Right, top team it is. Y'all get into trouble, give a holler." Seems perfectly content to mind the top of the ridge and haul people up if necessary. Though he does shrug into his own harness before people get moving. It's not unlikely he'll have to climb down after someone at some point, after all. But for now he's content, even as he stifles a laugh at the deputy's response.

"That was mighty good of you, Deputy Kincaid," Cash answers him as he settles in at the top of the path, "Now it's our turn. How was your holiday?" Yeah, he's going to keep the possibly hypothermic deputy talking.

Royal slips slightly down the path, trying to catch her footing. Uma manages to secure the first anchor, reaching out to catch Royal by hand before she can slip any further.

Uma slipped her harness on double pronto before heading down the slope and doing her Royal catch along the way. "Hey, you're the professional remember" she smiles to the other blonde before a nod towards Lucas and whispering, "He has a nice butt. Good catch." Then down into the darkness. "We're on our way, Deputy Getmethefuckoutofhere. Do you mind if I shorten that to 'Get'? Get Kincaid…exactly." She will now leave the jokes to Cash lest she cause the Deputy to commit suicide instead of listening to more of her humor.

Royal's turning to say something to Uma when her foot slips. Luckily she recovers, with Uma's quick hands. "Nice grab, doc." The Kentucky girl grins and hooks herself onto the line. "It's been a while. And a lot of sitting on my ass recently." She hmms? "Oh, yeah, he does have a nice ass, but he's not mine. Doesn't mean I won't look though." She grunts and double checks her anchor, so even if she does slip, she'll stay attached to the line, and have to get up off her ass instead of sliding down into the hole.

Lucas makes his way down in the lead position, checking and rechecking his footing. It's annoying to progress at a careful pace, it but does keep the responders from falling off the path (probably, hopefully). Lucas calls over the side, "Think warm thoughts, deputy! We'll be with you before you know it." That's a creative stretch, but on they go.

One of the anchors has been secured, and both women seem to be heading down to secure and bring the deputy top side. The sirens get slightly louder, and the man in the gorge groans audibly at Uma's puns. "The fuck is going on up there." He might be heard, he might not be. (Extra assistance will arrive in four more posed rounds) "I can't feel my hands anymore, please hurry." That is called out in a louder tone. (GIVE ME THOSE BODY ROLLS LADIES)

<FS3> Royal rolls Body: Failure. (2 2)
<FS3> Uma rolls Body: Good Success. (7 8)

Royal's feet are finding all the ice, but luckily the first anchor keeps her from slipping too far, and the snow she dislodges allows Uma to secure the second anchor. The cliff above them seems to crumble a little more, people topside should really stand back, so that they don't fall as well. Unfortunately if too much more of the cliff face crumbles, the deputy below might be injured further. Don't dawdle ladies.

"Sweet Jesus, do you mind?" Cash quips, though it's directed literally at the ground. Muttering, the Marine rotates his position a little to be further from the cliff and its continued crumbling. Can't exactly leave his position, though. "They'll be down to you soon, Deputy. I promise. The ground is continuing to be uncooperative. You know how it is." More of that personable nature shining through, even while keeping his attention focused where it needs to be.

Uma frowns at the crumbling cliff but she's not stopping…even if Royal is trying to do a slapstick 'walking on ice' routine. No dawdling for the doctor. She may even start pushing Lucas ahead of her. "Keep moving your hands" she calls down. "Even if you can't feel it. Keep moving them."

If Lucas has noticed his (former) colleague's failures on the ice, he says nothing about it, leading the way with the quiet competence of a man who grew up in the mountains. At least 2/3 of this dog and pony show can stay on their feet.

Royal mutters something colorful under her breath, nearly going down to her ass on the snow. She has the board tied loosely, so she doesn't lost that either, but it's a close on there that second time. "Lord in heaven. Stop trying to drop me off a mini mountain cliff." She makes her way down on the heels of the tall firefighter, with Doctor backup behind her.

The deputy below is staring up above him, watching the heavy snow weigh down the cliff face. He knows what's coming if they don't get to him in time, but he keeps moving his hands, clenching his fingers and releasing them. When the trio coming down the trail take another step, a heavy rock dislodges itself and rolls down. (Reaction rolls please!) There is a good anchor spot where the rock shifted, if they can get to it! (Body rolls too - Don't pose until I emit the result of your reaction rolls!)

<FS3> Uma rolls Reaction: Good Success. (8 5 8)
<FS3> Royal rolls Body: Failure. (6 1)
<FS3> Uma rolls Body: Failure. (1 4)
<FS3> Royal rolls Reaction: Success. (8 5 2)

The stone dislodges from the trail and it bounces down to the bottom of the gorge, shifting snow. Uma tries to take advantage of the clear space to anchor it, but it slips free and doesn't hold. Royal swears under her breath and tries to secure it, no luck. The noise from the rock seems to be loud in the preternatural quiet of the snow muffled ground. "It's so cold.." Can be heard below.

That wrestling training didn't go to waste as Uma does an artful dodge. Alas, she couldn't follow it up with getting another anchor in and she curses under her breath…and Uma does not curse often. But that was one mean 'fiddlesticks' to anyone who heard it. "We're almost there, Deputy! You'll be fine! Just another few moments."

Royal slips again, but has a hand and a carabiner on the line, so though her feet slip out from under her, she only goes down briefly, levering herself back up to complete the trek to the bottom. She slides down off the snowy trail. She hops down, tosses the backboard out of her way, and picks her way to the deputy to assist Lucas, who's already down, with stabilizing his neck while Uma checks his major injuries. "Got this end, Doc." She goes for the neck brace, tossing it to Lucas.

More earth and snow rumble down from above, and there is a noise as they reach the bottom. They may never be able to describe this noise to another person, but it's enough to rattle the bones. It looks like part of the cliff is giving way, and the officer will be trapped underneath unless someone can quickly drag him toward the trail. (Reaction rolls please, ladies. Royal, roll twice, add +2 to your second roll. I will pose the results and then we can first aid, if we get him to the trail. Assistance coming in two more posed rounds)

<FS3> Royal rolls Reaction: Failure. (3 4 1)
<FS3> Royal rolls Reaction+2: Good Success. (8 4 8 8 1)
<FS3> Uma rolls Reaction: Success. (7 6 4)

Lucas sees the danger, and once the neck brace is secured, he hauls the deputy toward the trail, by his coat, as the earth comes crashing down from above. "Shit." Is all he says, and the deputy's reaction? Well he's fallen asleep or passed out, which isn't good for someone who has been out in the cold. (First aid roll, Uma.)

<FS3> Uma rolls First Aid: Good Success. (3 8 4 4 4 3 5 8 2 3)

Uma dodges the falling cliff before hitting the gorge floor and immediately checking on her recently dragged patient. A gentle slapping of his cheeks. "Deputy Kincaid. Can you hear me?" She will check his breathing before grabbing some blankets from her bag to wrap around his head - but not cover the face. "We need to get him off the snow. Where's the board? We really have to move, people."

Lucas is on it, like the consummate professional he is, and while Royal holds the deputy still, he secures the collar and then hauls ass with that board, pulling, in the end, both the deputy and Royal out of the way of the crumbling rock face, and falling snow. Several huge chunks barely miss the blonde, and the trio ultimately finds itself just free of death from above.

"I need to do more strength training," Royal mutters, helping to secure Deputy Popsicle more thoroughly to the board, lest someone jostle him too hard, and/or drop him later on the ascent. She leaves Uma to do the leg doctoring, checking vitals while she kneels in the snow down here.

Now comes the easy part, the ascent. The board is secured with the slack rope, the two women on one side, Lucas on the other. (Athletics roll here, please) While above, Cash will be keeping the line secure, and taut. (Athletics roll from you too, Cash.) The deputy is off of the snow and on the board, and he's responding, but he's groggy His left ankle is bent at an odd angle, so it's imperative not to jostle him too much. The sirens are a lot closer now, and an ambulance will be the first to arrive. (Next pose will involve NPC rescuers!)

<FS3> Royal rolls Reaction+athletics: Good Success. (6 2 7 5 1 7)
<FS3> Uma rolls Reaction+athletics: Good Success. (4 1 8 7 4)
<FS3> Cash rolls Reaction + Athletics: Failure. (5 3 3 5 4)

He's worked in a lot of various conditions, but snow has actually been the rarest of them. So it's with slight cursing that Cash takes up this line. Not to mention that most hauls are at least two-man jobs and well… Cash stumbles a little, only managing to hold on to the line because he turns his wrist to wrap the rope around his hand. Muttering, he pulls himself up out of the snow, shakes the cold off of his knee, and resettles himself. "Once more with feeling?" He calls down, keeping himself in good spirits.

No jostling as they are heading back up would be a great thing, but Cash falling over while pulling on the line doesn't help. "Captain Montgomery-Regan, kindly get your act together!" It's not angry from Uma, more one Captain encouraging another while in a survival situation. "Sorry, Deputy", she asides to her patient, "Can you hear the sirens? Almost safe." She continues to haul the board and man upwards.

Apparently going down was the hard part. Isn't it always? Because on the ascent, with a body on the board, Royal's hiking and reaction time seems rock solid. She keeps her feet, adjusting to the terrain and the increased load with relative ease. Probably it has something to do with the shot of adrenaline from the near death experience at the bottom of the rock face. That does tend to put some spring in your step. Her boots crunch-crunch, crunch-crunch the snow, breath puffing out in little visible clouds, grip solid on the board's handhold. It's it's one thing she has a lot of experience in, it's carrying bodies on backboards. Muscle memory, y'all.

Lucas takes his share of the Deputy's weight, trekking up the path with an occasional grunt as he takes a little more weight bringing up the rear of the rescue. "Steady on." He adjusts his grip only once.

An ambulance arrives, and the boys in the squad car look at the flashing lights with wide eyes. A snow plow pulls in, turns around so it can escort the ambulance through the city. Several EMT's and a deputy step out of the vehicle, and others can be seen approaching. The deputy moves to help Cash with one of the male EMT's and they give some ooomph to the haul. They get the deputy into the back of the ambulance and start warming him, working on stabilizing his ankle so they can take him to the hospital. The deputy turns her dark eyes on the four who rescued the deputy. "Ya'll did a good job, leave ya names with this man here." She gestures to Lucas. "So we can thank ya properly when the snow stops." She levels a look at the start of this problem, the two boys in the squad car. "Best take these two back to their parents. Anyone else need a ride while I'm at it?" Bonita checks the cliff, frowning. "Probably need to mark this place as unsafe for now too."

"Aye, aye." Cash answers back down to Uma with determination that is nevertheless touched by a good nature. Once more with feeling, indeed - This time he manages to keep his footing, too. Once that haul is done, Cash gives the deputy and the EMT who came to help him brief, friendly pats on the shoulder. "Sweet fuck it's cold out here." He mutters, shaking his head and catching his breath. When they're told to leave their names, Cash just shakes his head. "That won't be necessary. I had orders." Cash says, begin to spool his rope back up before he heads out.

Uma looks to be itching to get in that ambulance with /her/ patient, though she has to admit that the EMTs are doing a good job…and her fingers are freezing. Reluctantly, she will step away and let them do their job. "No need for thanks" she smiles to the deputy - a little embarrassed about the very idea. Or are her cheeks just red from the cold? "I have my car…" A wave in a general direction though it is probably snowed under by now. She will thank her fellow rescuers though - Cash, Royal and Lucas with the cute butt.

Lucas nods in agreement with the Deputy Bonita Applebaum's commands of him as note-taker, dramatically pantomiming a clipboard after he releases the injured county property, er the other deputy, into the loving arms of his fellow responders. "Ma'am." He looks at Royal, and Royal flips him a one-finger salute. That prompts a laugh from at least one EMT who's watching at the time. He, of course, already knows the names from introductions, but he's just funnin' Applebaum a little bit, as one does. "My pleasure working with you." This to Uma, Cash, and presumably Bonita and maybe Royal too.

Royal makes her way over and closes the ambulance doors behind them, so the back warms up slowly with the patient inside. "Thanks for the brisk evenin', y'all." That would be the blonde's way of saying well met and see ya later. "I'll catch a ride back with Lucas. There's a blue and white Ford broke down about two miles up the road. That's me. I'll come for it when the weather clears a bit." Not that it's super likely to start then, as her truck is indeed a piece of shit. But it's also her piece of shit. "Just drop me at the Alibi. I'm gonna need to guzzle my weight in whiskey."

Thus the two bickering hens make their way off into the snow again, like a mirage that never was. "… You shut your mouth." Guess Royal didn't like whatever it was he said quietly to her as they were getting into the truck.

The day was saved, the kids got home, and the deputy will be fine in a few weeks. All is well that ends well, even if the town is buried in two feet of snow.

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