Logs:Big Bad Evil Gator

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Big Bad Evil Gator


Characters: Roland, Nia as ST
Date: 2020-06-27
Summary: Roland gets called to deal with some supernaturally enhanced critters in the swamp.
Disclaimers: Language, snakes

Bayou.jpg



Late afternoon in the bayou is a sticky, sweaty, humid affair. The pungent smell of rotting things is ever-present, and even the most devoted stalker of unnatural things is going to find himself a little distracted by the whine and sting of mosquitos and midges. No matter how good the clothing, they always seem to find some tiny bit of exposed skin to snack on.

The guy who contacted the Fixers gave a general location for where he saw the snake, describing a particular large clump of cypress trees that have been twisted by wind and water into the rough shape of a group of wacky-waving-arms men. From a certain angle, anyway.




Roland doesn't enjoy swamps. He's spent his fair share of time out in the fringes of the world, but one of the beautiful things about being a Wetworks man for the CIA? Most of the people that particular agency want dead are in urban environments. Mozambique, for instance, has some lovely cities. Prague, as well. And don't get him started on the nightclubs in Dubai. But a paycheck is a paycheck, and here he is -- tromping through the muck, as quietly as he can. He's crouched low, his pistol already drawn, silencer threaded onto the muzzle.

Discarding his usual Hawaiian shirts or profane T-shirts for a tiger-striped uniform and camouflage face paint -- complete with a boonie hat -- Roland looks the part, at least. His jungle boots are an old pair, well-worn and scuffed. As he approaches the cypress trees, he slows, gazing at them thoughtfully. Something makes him look down at his pistol, frowning slightly. "Oh, shut up," he mutters. "How can a dead snake set a trap?"

As he draws even closer, the supernatural bounty hunter eases down into a crouch and moves forward at a slower, more stealthy, pace.




Inamuch as it is a swamp, and therefore full of things that crawl and creep and slither, nothing seems overtly out of place as Roland approaches the stand of cypress trees. There are rats scurrying, frogs and toads croaking and plopping, and almost certainly a gator somewhere amidst the flotsam floating along the surface of the water. Nothing that might be described as undead.

As much as the bayou can be, all is quiet. Maybe too quiet.




"Alright, listen, do you wanna drive?" Again, a hissed question at the firearm in his hands. The pistol twitches slightly, apparently of its own accord, in the direction of the trees. "Yes, I know," says Roland, still in that soft whisper. "Now shut up and let me work, okay, Gun?" No more twitches from the sentient weapon, at least. No more conversations.

He draws nearer and nearer, keeping to cover as he goes, his pistol at the low ready -- pointed at the ground in front of him, finger loose off to the side of the trigger well. The man doesn't seem too concerned, as yet, by this silence. If the creature within is elsewhere, then perhaps he can even lay an ambush of his own before it returns. Gun is almost never right about this sort of thing, anyway.




As it turns out, Gun is right to be concerned about some kind of trap or ambush. Something stirs the hairs at the back of Roland's neck - the sound of scurrying things in the undergrowth might have been perfectly normal, but it's coming from _all around_ him. Just as he's thinking it might be trouble, the sight of two or three large rats in front, to his side and behind him proves the point..

ROUS.jpg



Rats. It had to be rats. Roland had felt that sense of impending combat before now -- many times, at this point in his life. The wolf-lean killer comes to a complete stop just as he sees the rats ahead of him. And where there are one or two, there are likely more. "Ah hell. Princess Bride moment, huh? Alright, Gun. Work with me here." And then the mayhem begins.

His pistol comes up with almost preternatural speed as his finger finds its way to the trigger. Roland is using an isosceles firing stance, leaning forward to absorb the recoil, but these rats are just coming from everywhere. And now he's being flanked by giant rats. Flanked. By. Giant. Rats. He begins to back up, targeting the rats individually now.

Ten more rounds. Let's count 'em, kids.




With a squeal, the first rat is blown to bits, bullet-holes riddling it's body to the extent that it is basically cut in half. The two halves fall apart in a burst of internal organs and blood, twitching briefly and then falling still. The second rat has narrowly avoided the same fate, lunging in to try and bite at Roland's leg, but teetering off-balance and snapping at thin air.

The third rat moves itself around to the right, so that it is directly opposite the second rat. It likewise tries to bite, getting a mouthful of boot rather than any skin, but it also chitters a loud, staccato series of chirps and squeaks into the otherwise quiet swamp.




As Roland backs up, he targets the wounded one next. "I hope you wore your brown fur." What is with this guy and the Deadpool quotes? Both his eyes are open as he sights down the barrel, the suppressor turning the sharp crack of a high-caliber round into, instead, a pop like a car backfiring. And no more rat.

He begins to swivel his head from side to side as he continues to back out. He can hear them out there, the other rats... Encircling him as though they were a pack of wolves. How many are there? Did he remember to get his vaccinations updated? It's frighteningly distracting, the number of questions that begin to occur to him.

He begins to wish he'd brought backup.




The second rat goes down, while Rat #3 lunges at Roland's legs again. It manages to sink little ratty teeth into the back of his calf, drawing maybe a few drops of blood and leaving what will probably be a painful bruise. Rat #4 appears from the opposite side, the rats again moving into flanking positions, but does a little jump-and-bite thing which falls short of actually connecting. Rat #5 appears to one side, launching itself at Roland's knee and biting down, clinging on like some kind of evil little burr.




"OW! Fuck! Come on, man, they said snake! Don't snakes eat you little shits? What am I, Carey Elwes?" Even as he's spitting rather lame invective, Roland is maneuvering and firing. One rat is clinging to his knee, and it hurts like hell, but he's going to need to take his time to get rid of that thing. The other two, however... He just needs a bit of room. Pop. Pop. Pop.POPOPOPOPOPOP. Click.

Gun's slide is locked to the rear, smoke pouring out of the silencer. The smell of cordite is heavy in the air. Roland depresses the magazine release, watches the empty mag drop to the mud. Grabs for a reload from his combat webbing. Tries to kick the rat free from his leg at the same time, slowing the process.




With a flurry of bullets two more rats drop, twitching and squealing and then falling still. The fifth rat continues to cling onto Roland's knee, but doesn't manage to dig any deeper.

Off to the side, though, there's a somewhat concerning sound of something lifting out of the water..

BBEG.jpg



Roland slams the new magazine home, racks a round. The rat is still trying to bite at him, and his first consideration is squirming his leg around like he's trying to do some sort of ridiculous dance. But he can't dislodge it. Time to put the damn thing down. He begins to level Gun down at the rat, carefully, but then -- there is a splash off to the side. A big splash.

Roland turns -- in a movie, it would be a slow-motion movement -- to see a two-headed alligator crawl free of the swamp water. His jaw drops open, spittle flying out of his mouth as he screams. Just screams. Like a startled ten-year-old in a Haunted House. But fortunately for him, training takes over. Or Gun takes over. Or a combination thereof. He raises his pistol, begins to fire, concentrating his blasts on the center head. Five rounds. Ten. He stops shooting, the rat still squirming on his leg forgotten, to stare at the thing in horror. Is it...still moving?

Roland takes the Shaken condition




Lurching out of the water like some kind of scaled, too-many-limbed juggernaut, is a _big_ alligator. Two heads hissing at the interloper, six legs pushing it forwards somewhat faster than a normal beast would move, it advances on the man.

A hail of bullets and a loud SPLASH later, the alligator falls back in several pieces, the parts of the body beginning to float away along the bayou waterways at a sedate pace.

A hushed peace descends on the swamp.




Roland stares at the corpse of the multi-headed, mutilated, alligator as it begins to float away, watching its lower mandible begin to sink below the surface. His eyes, usually so clear and focused, are wide and startled. It takes him a few moments to remember the rat. Reversing the pistol, he leans down and thwacks the overgrown thing hard between the eyes. It drops and rushes off, skittering, into the brush. "Oh, I am so calling to complain about this bullshit."

Long habit dictates that he change his magazine once more, slamming a fresh one home. The call had specified a three-headed snake. He may not be done yet, after all. And then there's the question -- an increasingly relevant question, as the fear continues to rile him toward anger -- of who created these things. "Complain. And demand a raise." He stays still until his heart rate begins to drop again, closing down toward normal from its earlier tachycardic levels.

But there's a job to finish. He begins to advance further into the cypress trees.

Roland chooses to fail a perception check to resolve Shaken, thereby missing seeing the freaky-animal-creator hiding in the trees




When the hunter makes it into the cypress trees, what he finds is perhaps a little anti-climatic. There is a nest of snakes under one of the trees, in the hollow formed by the roots and shifting mud. Most of them are regular coachwhip snakes - they sense him coming and begin to scatter into swamp water like a disturbingly wriggly bath bomb dissolving in hot water.

One snake however does seem to have the three heads that the guy described to the Fixers. Three different species of snake no less; the main body and central head is that of a coachwhip, the left head was once attached to a cottonmouth, the right to a copperhead. Despite the heads being active however, they seem disoriented and confused, the reptile remaining near the nest and trying to bury itself in the mud.




The nest of snakes dissolving into the water elicits a little tap-dance of horror from the muscular hunter. "Bleeeeeh!" He shudders, staring after the little critters as they slither away, watching with somewhat wide eyes. "Swamps. I hate swamps. Why the fuck did I think this city sound good, Gun? Why didn't you stop me?"

Ah, but there's the target. Roland produces his cell-phone, snaps a picture of the disoriented, three-headed snake. "Poor little critter," he says, his earlier wroth forgotten at the sight of the thing. Despite any pity he may be feeling, he keeps his distance. Those venoms could be really nasty, and he didn't bring any antivenin along. He levels his pistol one-handed and blows off the central head. Snaps another photo.

"Now who've I got to thank for this particular payday?" A thoughtful beat. "And am I gonna get hired to whack 'em?"