Gazelle *

Gazelle **

Gazelle ***

Gazelle Always' tent was always a little seperated from the others. Not because she wanted it that way; just, when people set up camp, no-one seemed to want to be too close.

Gazelle Respect, I guess.

Gazelle clears her throat noisily, outside the main flap.

Gazelle "Always?"

Always "Come in, please. What can I do for you?"

Officer watches her approach, presumably, though her face isn't visible through the riot mask. Her head shifts minutely from side to side as she casually cradles her rifle.

Gazelle smiles as she enters the tent, casting a slightly nervous glance at Officer.

Gazelle "Sammy returned. He says we should be able to reach Westhaven with a few hours travel."

Always "Oh, good." Always flashed a wan smile. "Hopefully they've forgotten the.. unpleasantness.. last time we were at their door. Or forgiven it, at any rate."

Mojave flips open the tent flap. Mojave is a lanky, flat-chested woman with blotchy rashes up and down her arms. "Sir, the horse ran away."

Officer reacts as Mojave approaches the tent, maintaining readiness and shifting to include her in her field of vision.

Always furrows her brows. "Is anyone following it?"

Mojave "I think it had the ...those round clear shiny things... on it."

Mojave bites her nails. "Leg Bone was chasing it, in a matter of speaking."

Officer "Is he all right?"

Always "Tell Picket to find the horse. And Leg Bone." She chews her lip thoughtfully. "But someone needs to come along to bring the horse back, if Picket's driving.. Did you see which way they went?"

Gazelle "I don't know what that horse thinks it wants." She sighs, and tries to make herself comfortable on some cushions.

Officer "It's a horse. It wants to run, and it wants to eat."

Gazelle "Right, but... it must be unhappy with us, somehow..." She frowns.

Mojave "Out to the salt flats. I'll go with Picket." Mojave stilts out toward the main campsite.

Officer "Can they handle it?" Officer directs this to Always.

Gazelle "Wait...."

Gazelle "I'll go..."

Gazelle has a glazed look in her eyes.

Gazelle "I think I SHOULD go."

Gazelle "I..."

Mojave Picking through a whorl of sensations, Gazelle finds the thread of the horse's desire, which winds through the salt flats and runs to a place where green springs from the earth and there is a gentle, continuous thunder of hoofbeats.

Gazelle "It's headed for green..."

Always "Well, then we can meet it there." Always smiles tiredly. "Why don't we all go?"

Gazelle staggers slightly.

Gazelle clutches her skull. "We should follow."

Officer "Ah."

Officer "Yes. Let's go."

Picket is hanging out in HMS Bagel's driver's seat.

Picket "Boss! Off! Gaz! Where's the fire? Mo said she and i were going to go get the horse."

Gazelle "We're all going. The horse knows something." She smiles a little weakly at Picket.

Always "You are. And we're coming with you."

Officer pushes the mask up on her forehead, and nods.

Officer slips into the front seat, sliding the barrel of her assault rifle out the window.

Gazelle "We're not going to shoot the horse, are we?"

Always "I, um, think it would be best if we got the horse back alive, wouldn't you say, Officer?"

Picket "Um, okay." He revs up the engine and they trundle out. There's the splashy hiss of a campfire being doused as they go, unseen behind the plume of salt.

Officer "There are things out there that aren't horses. You know that."

Gazelle clutches something beneath her dress. "Yes. I do."