Unlikely Adventures of David Tuttle Ch 2 - The Search

Cast: David Tuttle, Leo Messina, Kotedia
Premise: David hires some local talents to guide him into the jungle!

rating: 0+x

Not caring that he sticks out as a new arrival in Maracaibo, David Tuttle, looking the part of the tourist in his still-pressed khaki attire, spends his first night in town enthusiastically - and clumsily - recruiting for local help. What for? Why, an exploratory jungle expedition, of course. He doesn't say what exactly he is looking for, but judging from his scholarly appearance, the lanky Bostonian is probably looking for some ancient ruins in the jungle.
Unfortunately, David Tuttle also looks quite unaccustomed to the rigors of a safari. Even the two local porters he hired snicker behind his back when he clumsily stumbles through the thick undergrowth of the rain forest.

Leo is running a little ahead of David Tuttle as he wields a large machete menacingly and hacks through the overgrowth. Cheap cigar in his mouth and with a swift hack of vegetation, he carves out a path for Tuttle and his porters. "So what are we lookin' for again, Sir?" Leo asks, looking back and unable to hide a smirk as he glances over at the snickering porters.

A fat parrot starts chattering up above. It soon sounds like it's laughing a weird and totally unwholesome sort of laugh. Maniacal, really. The kind of laugh that would put a shiver up the average person's spine.

Quite unaware of the snickering, David glances up at the brawny Italian he hired as his guide. "I'm looking for, uh, a…." He pauses to push the glasses up the bridge of his nose, then spreads his hands to indicate something of a significant size. "…jaguar. Not just any jaguar, but one that's hu…." His words are cut off as he promptly trips over a raised root, falling on all fours and scraping his hand. "Ah dammit!"

"A jaguar?" Leo asks before pausing and sort of picking up David off the ground with one hand, "I mean, are you expectin' one to just pop up?" He asks with a toothy grin before he squints and looks up, "The hell? Hear that?" he asks quietly as he tries to figure out where the laughing is coming from. He idly twirls his machete like it's a toy as he takes a deep pull of his cigar and rubs his bearded chin.
[Public] Wolf says, "Good stuff."

"Thank you, thank you, Mister Messina." David Tuttle shakes his head to Leo's question, taking a moment to check his scraped hand. Dismissing it, he gives his satchels a heft and squints up at the forest canopy. "Ah, yes. I believe it's a Hyacinth Macaw, one of the largest parrot species found here in the Amazon basin." Well, he may not be an adventurer, but he /is/ a scholar. "And no, I actually saw this giant jaguar yesterday. It ran… thataway." He points in the general direction of the jungle, and… what's this? There seems to be a river a short distance away through the trees.

Something startles the parrot from its perch. It flaps away, punching through the leaves with a loud rustle and caw. Soon, it has disappeared into the jungle, lost in the mist.

Leo chuckles softly as he lets out a plume of smoke, "Thataway? Well, all righty then…" He says with a shake of his head as he chops up vegetation and steers the group towards the river. "Are we goin' to… like shoot it?" He asks as he looks back a moment, "Or are you paying me to wrestle it down to the ground?" Surely in the midst of the vegetation he's hacking away, he's made a few wild plants go extinct.
[Public] Jock says, "Goodnight!"

"Dear God, no. I don't intend to shoot it!" David protests, moving to follow the burly guide. "I intend to study it, Mister Messina." Again, he adjusts his glasses. "I have never seen a feline that big before, and it has to be documented for further study." Behind them, the porters trudge along wordlessly. Unless Leo decides to shut David up, the scrawny scholar from Boston will continue to regale the Italian with information about the local fauna, until the group finally makes its way to the banks of a fast-flowing river. While David frowns at the river, clearly not wanting to get his feet wet, he suddenly perks up and gestures at something on the opposite bank. "There! Look!"
Half hidden in the trees, barely visible in the shadows, seems to be some ancient ruins. Why David would think that has anything to do with a giant jaguar is anyone's guess.

Leo rubs his bearded chin again, sniffing the air as he says, "Huh. Don't remember seein' that out here…" He says as he looks up at the sky and his watch as if trying to figure out where they were, "Huh. I'll be damned…" He says as he starts to hack their way towards the ruins.

There's a pause as Leo reaches the river, looking about to see if there's a way to cross it. "None of them porters are carrying around a canoe, are they?" Leo asks, jokingly.

Harry and Joey, the, uhm…. porters shrug. Nope, they don't got no canoes. David Tuttle looks at Leo expectantly, since he's the local guide. Don't expect the scholar to figure this one out!

Leo raises his hands in the universal 'I don't know' sign, "Uh. Um." He roots around, kicking at some logs and seeing if they'll float… He scratches his head as he looks at the river banks to see if there's a place that one can cross, without some of the native wildlife killing them or just simply avoiding the threat of drowning.

Kotedia comes out of the darkness of the foliage then, walking stick in hand, a western style hat pulled low… He stands there, watching the white people in the Jungle. The white people are so clever sometimes, and yet, sometimes, they are as babes. It is the responsibility of those who can, to protect those who cannot. He steps forward then, holding up one hand. "Ka'i uni Kashi, pale ones."

Oh! There's the native guide! David Tuttle adjusts his glasses yet again, huffing a bit as he figured the savage has run off with his money. "There you are!" He gestures at Kotedia. "So how do we cross? I don't think it's wise to get into the water with man-eating fish swimming about." Behind him, the two porters nod in silent agreement.

Kotedia munches on a jungle-fruit of exotic and unknown qualities, eyeing the water. "Half sun to the source, there are rocks. Three suns to the great waters, there is a bridge. Here? You distract fish and swim fast."

Leo assesses Kotedia and says, "Uh, yeah. Cross the river… Yep." Not the most erudite of men, but people don't hire him for his eloquent oratory. Scratching his head idly as Kotedia explains, "Well, beats losin' one of them porters to crocks or somethin.' Or d'yall know how to swim?" He asks in a lazy drawl that would make a gentleman from Dixie proud.

David pales noticeably, even if he's quite pale to start with. "What? Wait." He lifts a finger to make a point. "Let's not be hasty." Clearing his throat, the lanky scholar turns to the native guide. "Can we, uh, ford the river further upstream?" With a worried frown, he gazes at the rushing water. "By my estimation, we will lose at least one person if we attempt to cross here. And it's quite likely be me."

Kotedia shrugs then, looking in to the water. "Sharpteeth are hunger." He says, waggling his figners over the surface. One sharpteeth, what would be called a Pirahanna, jumps out of the water at his fingers… "But." Says the man then. "Kotedai knows way."

Leo scratches his beard, "Uh… um. What?" Leo asks, blinking as he looks incredulously at Kotedia. "Oh boy. Okay, well, y'all know how to swim?" He asks as he looks at… whatever Kotedia is intending to do.

"Oh dear." David Tuttle murmurs when he sees the leaping piranha; this is starting to look like a bad idea, but hey, he's committed. "Well then, please, lead the way, my good man." Despite his bravado, David gulps visibly.

Kotedia gestures to Messina. "You. You there, paleone. You have Assiti, yes?" he asks, then reaches to his lips, miming pulling a hunk off of some sort of food. "Toughflesh, yes?"

"An Assiti?" Leo asks with a squint, "Uh, yes?" He asks not really knowing what the local guy is saying. He looks over to Tuttle and then back to Kotedia, as if trying to get an explanation that is on his level of brightness, or lackthereof.

David coughs a bit, and explains to Leo. "Tough…. man. Strong man." He wrings his hand a bit. "He meant you, Mr. Messina."

Kotedia shakes his head. "Toughflesh!" he says, now miming masticating. "Assiti!"

That parrot begins to laugh maniacally in the distance again.

Leo looks around one last time before he steps up and asks, "Um, what do you want me to do then?" He looks up at the canopy, "God I hate them parrots…"

A lightbulb goes off in David's head. "Oh!" Hurriedly, he digs into his satchel and pulls out his snack, a paper-wrapped packet of jerky. Hey, it's a small price to pay. Stepping forward, he holds the packet towards Kotedia. "I hope this works, and not just you being hungry."

Kotedia seems confused, but takes the meat. He tosses it on the ground then, stomping on it with a boot. He grinds it down, then zips down his fly.

Yeeeeeep. Oh yeah. Releaving himself on to the food product, Kotedai uses his boot to grind the jerky in to the urine. "Make taste better." he explains, reaching down to pick up the now wet, muddy meat.

"Hey!" David exclaims when the native stomps on his meal. Ironically, he keeps his mouth shut when Kotedia pees all over the jerky; there's no way he will want it back now. "This is quite disturbing." He observes coolly.

Leo just sort of smokes whatever is left of his cigar as he watches Kotedia do whatever he intends to do with the jerky, "Well then." He squints as he sees what Kotedia does with the jerky and says, "So do I need to carry you, Sir, or can you make it yourself?" He asks David Tuttle, although his eyes don't wander from curiosity of what Kotedia intends to do.

Kotedia moves to the water then, withthe bits of meat. He tosses one up stream.. A good hard toss, landing a hundred feet up stream. Then another bit. The water starts to froth as the fish go for the very smelly food bits. When the froth drifts past, on the current, Kotedai nods and dives in to the water.

"Gah!" David Tuttle has a look of horror on his face as the native guide dives into the river, with the feeding frenzy happening just upstream. Blinking, he looks back at Leo. "Uhm, no, no need to carry me. But if you don't mind, can I hang on to you? I'm… not a strong swimmer."

[OOC] David says, "Roll Athletics?"

Kotedia: Good Athletics + (0 - 0 0) [Final: 2]

David: Fair 2 + (- - - 0) [Final: -1]

Messina: Good Athletics + (+ + - +) [Final: 5]

David: Fair 2 + (0 - 0 +) [Final: 2]

David: Mediocre Athletics + (0 0 + +) [Final: 2]

Leo nods as he says, "Just hang tight. Shouldn't be too difficult…" Leo remarks as he throws away the cigar stub and gets into the water. "Easy!" He says with a grin, not really caring that a bunch of meat-eating fish are in a frenzy up the river.
David grabs hold of Leo's shirt as he too wades into the river. It is through pure luck that he doesn't get swept away by the strong currents, sputtering and struggling when he starts to swim. The porters follow suit, but halfway through, Joey Porter disappears under the rushing water…. and doesn't resurface!

Kotedia makes it to the far shores ahead of the others. He steps up on to the bank, one hand holding that fruit again as he casually munches it. He waits, without compassion, for the others to make their way out of the water.

Leo manages to get out of the water, helping pull David out of the water as he looks around, trying to wipe off some of the water. "Shit, we're missing one…" Leo mutters as he tries to see where poor Joey Porter disappeared to.

The banks on the other side of the river is a steep slope leading up to the jungle. As the surviving members of the group pull themselves out of the water on to land, they need to crawl up the slope as well before the ruins make themselves visible. This is not a particularly impressive archaeological site at all, merely a smattering of broken stone statues and pillars overgrown with vines and plants. But there /is/ something eyecatching here….

…..There appears to be a camp here, complete with cooking pots, knapsacks and tents. Except everything is in disarray, the tents torn and wrecked. In the center of the camp is a safari hat, and next to it is a torn boot. And there are several dark spots scattered about… which may very well be bloodstains.

"The flow takes its due." Says the native man then, looking over the camp, but not really particularly caring about it. THis is paleman goods.

Leo is about to jump into the river to go after the missing porter, but his eye catches where the pirannha swarm was… and where it is feeding now downstream. "Shit…" he mutters as he looks about the campsite. He shakes off some of the excess water, digging out his shotgun and sighing as he shakes the wet instrument of death. "Well, this ain't helpin' here…" he mutters as he tucks the shotgun back in and kicks a rock.

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