Ice Patrol

Xanadu Weyr - Forest
This broad path that leads from the main clearing into the forest has been designed in such a manner so as to be not only wide enough for wagons to travel through, but also providing ample space for dragons. The path appears only worn in the center though, as most of the traffic moving through this area is that of the two-legged kind. Flowers sprout up and speckle the lush grass with bright saffron and cheeky rose, creeping all the way up to the bases of the trees that rise upward in their aged magnificence, gargantuan limbs casting often welcome shade, the general atmosphere and scent of the path is one of freshness and wild abandon.

The path winds its way leisurely through the trees, deeper into the forest and a number of less traveled paths branch away from it. Southwest leads to the forest's edge near the base of the tumbled rocks that mark the wilder areas of the forest and the mountains that rise behind Xanadu. West leads to the Firelizard Theater, northeastward the path leads to the feeding grounds and beyond that the gravel road that bisects the paddocks leading to the bovine complex. East leads to the meadow where it joins both the road that crosses the bridge over the river leading to the clearing and the the coastal road that leads out of Xanadu bypassing the beach and the Caspian Lake. Here there are secluded spots where one might picnic.

Cold and snow. Ka'el hates winter. He's the type that gravitates towards heat, and winter? Ha! It mocks warmth by blatantly making things as cold and uncomfortable as possible. But Ka'el tolerates it because he has no choice but to. But now? Now it's cold, snowy, and icy! And not just your usual winter snow ice. The sort of sudden onslaught of ice that makes the boughs of trees hang low and causes the simple act of walking to become a dangerous event, indeed. Due to the ice storm, many Galaxy sweeps have been lessened or cancelled altogether, leaving only the most skilled of seasoned riders to take to the skies. The younger, greener recruits like Ka'el? Left with ground duty. Kanekith is not with him. The big bronze has enough difficulty trying to navigate through the forest on a normal day. Add ice and low branches? That's just asking for trouble! So this afternoon (which doesn't feel any warmer than it did at night) Ka'el makes his rounds…carefully. The young man is dressed in extra, extra layers. Shirt upon a shirt upon another shirt, all beneath his riding jacket. Leather gloves are on his hands, and on his head he wears a winter hat pulled down over the ears. A black scarf is around his neck, and below, boots crunch on the layer of ice that's coated the forest floor. He moves at a snail's pace, picking up one foot and placing it down carefully before the other is moved. It makes for slow walking, but at least he isn't falli- "Shards! Woooah!" Whoops. Spoke too soon! His boots scrabble on the ice, arms pinwheel, and *bam!* down he goes, landing straight on his bottom. All that is followed by a string of cursing. Cursing the snow and the ice and the icy snow patrol!

Cold and snow is foreign to another Xanadu resident as well and she's no fan of it either. Light snow maybe she can tolerate, but this? This is insanity! If it wasn't the passion she had for her Craft and duties, she'd be holed up in her weyr and not likely to come out till spring. Well, that's an exaggeration (sort of) but Kiena is certainly out and about and very disgruntled about it. Ujinath is not with her either, the lean and nimble blue sulking in his wallow and a ball of tense nerves that he cannot be close at hand. That could also explain the bluerider's temper, having to devote so much of her mental strength to keeping her lifemate calm. The rest of her focus is on her small, well placed footsteps and Faranth knows how long she's been at it. Scowling, Kiena is keeping close to some of the trees, using them as supports when she can. Right foot, left foot. Riiiight foot. Pause. Slowly drag the left. Wobble! Nope, she won't suffer the same fate as Ka'el, but she'll witness it and hear it. Blinking, it takes her a moment to recognize him under all the gear he wears but when she does, her laughter breaks out. "Why is it that every time I run into you, you're either falling on your ass or stuck? Should I be worried?" she calls out teasingly with a smirk. And will she go help? Pfft. No! At least, not right away. Though this time she DOES have an excuse! "You alright? I'd come help, but I'd liable to break my own ass too just tryin'." She goes to shrug, which even that seems to be a bad idea and she's shuffling a bit to keep herself steady.

Ka'el is well on his way to cursing the clouds and the sky that dare cause this much ice to fall as sleet for so many days when Kiena's voice penetrates his anger. He sucks in a breath, his last curse seen as a grey must in the air before it rises and disappears in the process. Blue eyes flit her way, and he lifts a hand to adjust the scarf from around his mouth in order to answer. "I should be worried," he counters. "You're right. Why's it that it's always you that sees me fallin' over myself like an idiot? You must've cursed me!" he proclaims, pointing an accusatory finger at her. Witch! A witch! … Owww, his bum hurts. Still managing a grin, he waves off her offer (or non offer!) to help and goes about picking himself up. Sloooowly. Caaaarefuuulllyyyy… "The stars..must've aligned in a way.. that whenever we're near… balance is compromised…" he says, daring to speak as he reclaims his footing. Almost up. Almost…. and there! He's up! He keeps his arms outstretched a little to find and keep his balance. "An' the worst part've this? It all could've been avoided. You've no business bein' out. No reason. Residents in their right minds are in their homes. Crafters aren't expected in til the extra freeze thaws!" Which doesn't mean that they can't go out on their own free will. "What're you doin' out here?"

Kiena tilts her head to the side, lips curving into a slow but amused smile that broadens into a grin and her withheld laughter is shown more by the breath that plumes out white and grey. Heh! She wears no scarf or hat, her hair left unbound today to fall in a thick and tangled mess to protect her ears and much of her neck from the cold, though the high collar and fur lining of her jacket likely helps too. At his accusatory finger pointing, she scoffs and feigns insult. "I'm the cursed one? Please! Don't go puttin' the blames on others that you're just a natural born klutz." she drawls, teasing him mercilessly because… well, he lets her. She'll watch too as he struggles, still grinning and actually claps slow and mockingly. "There you go!" Kiena only rolls her eyes for the rest of his statements, managing a few more awkward and slow (so painfully slow) steps forwards. Though it ends up with her going a bit more sideways in the end as the uneven ground makes a straight path almost impossible. "I've no business?" she scoffs at him, eyes narrowing. Pardon? "Last I checked, I can go out when I damn well please and I needed too, alright? I wanted to check in on the forges and then I got sidetracked to the caverns. It was easier going that way and I figured I'd get back…" Obviously not.

Ka'el would bow at that applause he's been given if the threat of falling on his arse again wasn't a factor. As it is, he only gives her a super sweet smile in response. "The forges aren't goin' anywhere, trust me," he remarks, arms remaining flared out for a moment longer before he trusts himself to lower them, balance fully restored. "They'll still be there when the thaw hits. And it's dangerous walking. My sore ass is proof enough of that, and I'm trained to navigate difficult terrain. My duty to you an' the weyr is to keep its people safe and educate you on.." Whatever he was going to say is clipped short as a step is taken and his foot slides on the ice. "Shardit!" *bam!* down he goes again, wincing. Hm. Perhaps he needs more training? He snorts and gives in to his face, falling onto his back with arms and legs splayed, as if preparing to make snow angels. "Don't you have a stove in your weyr? If you don't, y'should request one… You never know when you'll be iced in. Snowed in. Stormed in… And not make it out to the Caverns for food." He looks up at the sky through the glistening branches of ice.

Falling on his arse or on his face? Both Kiena so far has avoided… at least in front of him! Who knows if she's had a few spills or half-tumbles in her adventures from her weyr to — wherever it was that she was going. That super sweet smile is instantly met with a wary look, the bluerider now a bit on edge. Too much with her teasing? Oh, no. He's going to lecture her? She listens, though her brows lift and her mouth twists into a crooked smirk. May as well be falling on deaf ears! "Oh, I know they ain't going anywhere. But I've work to do? How's that? And I ain't letting no ice stop me. Don't want to be wallowin' at Apprentice level all my life." So the nutshell is that she's bored and restless? "It's only dangerous if you don't take your shardin' time at it." Kiena points out stubbornly, crossing her arms over her chest as she does. Much like a spoiled brat being told she can't have what she wants! "Educate me?" From her tone, she doesn't sound to thrilled by his choice of words but then Ka'el is going for another spill and Kiena winces this time. "Shards. Your luck is awful." she mutters and begins to half slide, half walk her way closer to the bronzerider. Carefully, awkwardly, she'll try to extend her hand to him. "No, I don't have a stove. I've a fireplace. Which is good, considering my bed is water based. Then there's the slide and the trampoline. Entertaining for the first hundred times you've used it." she mutters and then frowns heavily. "Request… one?" She can do that? As for the rest, well, her cheeks color a bit and her gaze slides down and away. So maybe it was food that brought her out!

"Bad luck follows me around like a shadow," agrees Ka'el at her assessment of his misfortune, still laying on his back upon the ice. At least his many layers of clothing prevent him from feeling the freeze of it, but laying there too long will likely leave him soaked! And cold. And that's the worst sort of cold. "Have any lucky charms handy in that weyr've yours? A bed of water. A trampoline. A slide…" He remembers these items from an earlier conversation of there. "Surely you have a .. lucky token or something that I could borrow? At least until the ground is ground again." He grins crookedly, looking up at her offered hand before raising his gloved one to grasp at hers. "You're mad for not wearin' a hat, by the way," he says as he hefts himself up, hopefully not pulling her down in the process! "And yes, educate you! On ways to keep yourself safe an' accident free. Though…now I feel like my words of wisdom wouldn't be taken seriously, so I'll spare you them. This time." Next time though? She shall get the full force of his warnings!

Kiena snorts again and shakes her head, which only causes more of her hair to tumble forwards that she has to push it back in order to see, her one hand still extended in offering to the bronzerider. "Maybe I do? And if I did, there's no way of getting one. My weyr is all the way out on the coastal road." How in the world did she make it this far? Sheer determination? "And Ujinath can't get to 'em and my firelizards are… unreliable at the moment. At least until Mockingjay quits with the glowin'." Fun times? With how her expression twists, not so much for her. Grasping his hand firmly, she will slide on the ice for a moment as she tries to gain some traction to brace on and for a moment she does begin to wobble again, swearing and almost letting go to save them both from falling. Her boot will catch on something or maybe she is lucky and she'll help haul him back onto his feet. "No, they wouldn't be. Cause I know how! I'm a big girl, I can take care of myself. And I was S&R before I came here." she points out with a smirk. Bring on the full force warnings! She'll counter them all! Sort of. At least attempt?

Crises averted! Thanks to Kiena's luck. Maybe the woman herself is a lucky charm? Maybe Ka'el could secure a lock of her hair or something to keep him from killing himself via ice accident this winter. It isn't as if she doesn't have much she spare! Too bad there aren't lions on Pern. That'd be a magnificent comparison! "Thanks," he says once he's on his feet for the second time, releasing her hand to give his body a few swipes to rid himself of clinging snow and ice. "Glowin' firelizard, huh? Makes me glad I've only the one bronze," he remarks, though his smirk soon turns thoughtful. "Although him chasin' everything in sight can get annoying. Less so now with Kanekith. Alloy's easy to put in back've the mind when he's .. showoffy." He adjusts his hat, which had somewhat slipped off of his ears when he laid back. "You live on the coastal road? Ha! Now I know and can come conveniently by to see your slide and trampoline an' all. You know you invited me, but never told me whereabouts you lived," he says, giving her a look. She did that on purpose, didn't she! "Why so far from home? S'faster from the Caverns to go through the meadow to get back to the road."

Don't ever mention such a thing to her face! It'd likely not go over well, as Kiena does not consider herself lucky. Just ask some of those who know her! Also cutting her hair would… end badly. Pern does have large, shaggy murderous felines though! Which — is not so nice of a comparison and if used would probably have her also very upset. Or flattered. "Mhm. Just the bronze firelizard, eh? Careful you don't wind up with a fair. Figured I'd only have my brown but… next thing I know I've got Mockingjay and then my blue. I can ignore her… mood. But the boys cling to her and shards if I can't get 'em to obey." She shrugs her shoulders. What's one to do? Taking a step back, she carefully puts space between them again, though almost ends up taking a spill. Slip-slide-wobble. "I thought I HAD mentioned that?" she drawls, giving him a sidelong look and a smirk. "And it's not like I'm the only one who does. So you just gonna come knockin' on all the weyrs till you puzzle mine out?" She quirks a brow up. Well? Then she smiles smugly. Oh, she probably DID do that on purpose. Then she rolls her eyes. "I know how to get back! I just… figured there'd be less ice up this way what with all the trees taking most of it. Dumb theory and so I tried to backtrack. I'd like to get home. But I wonder if I'll even make it by nightfall at this rate." Grumble.

Ka'el laughs. "Trust me. It's easy for me to say no to any firelizard eggs that're thrust at me. An' there've been a few. Between Alloy an' Kanekith? I've enough bronze ego to contend with." And that's not even including his own! "Bein' stuck with a green or, Faranth forbid, a gold would be a nightmare." He's not sure how others do it, with their firelizard menageries! Kiena's smirked at as she takes a step away from him (what, does he have rabies?) but starts as it seems as if she's going to fall. Is her good luck wearing off? His arm darts out instinctively, a hand grabbing for her arm in hopes of steadying her. "Alright there?" he asks, making sure she's steady (even if he doesn't manage to grasp at her). "I know you're not the only one on the coast," he remarks with a frosty snort. "But I know a handful of people who are, and I've done deliveries there as an apprentice. I could rule out the ones I knew weren't yours and knocked on the doors of the others til I found you. I could find a pamphlet or somethin' to pass out as my cover. They're always givin' out things in the craft wing, tryin' to recruit those of age." He grins then nods his head towards the clearing. "Would you like an escort to your weyr? I'm headin' that way anyway."

"It really ain't that bad, you know! Well. Maybe with a gold. But a green?" Kiena drawls with a shrug but simply shakes her head, letting the topic of firelizards slide. But not without a snickered remark. "All bronze for you, eh?" He doesn't have rabies, but the bluerider has always been flighty around males (maybe it's cooties?) and while she doesn't fall, she's not expecting Ka'el to reach out to grab her arm. If she had just waited and seen he had only meant to steady her before letting go, none of what follows would have occurred. She flinches and twitches when he grabs, then jerks her arm up and out of his hold, eyes flashing in a mixture of anger and surprise. Defensive, an automatic knee-jerk reaction. That of course has her feet slipping out from under her and she scrabbles to keep from falling on her butt like Ka'el has and while she doesn't wind up that way, she goes down on her side instead. Ow? She'll… just linger there and let her bruised pride settle for a moment. Ahem. "Got it all figured out, don't you?" she mutters, grimacing and uttering a few curses under her breath as she works on getting her knees back under her and slowly puzzling out a way to stand upright. So much for her luck! "You're headin' all the way out there?" she snorts, lifting her eyes to peer up at him suspiciously.

Ack! Ka'el hadn't expected that, obviously. The jerking away from him, that look in her eyes. And then the fall. "Shit.." He's left looking down at her, hearing her question but not acknowledging it immediately. "Hey.." He steps forward, but then hesitates, brows vaguely furrowed. "Kiena, are you alright?" Lips press and he succeeds in keeping himself still, resisting the urge to step closer to her as instinct tells him to do. Instead, he extends a hand down to her, allowing her to come to him instead, if she so chooses. "Hey … I'm one've the good guys, y'know," he says, voice uncharacteristically gentle. Or perhaps not so uncharacteristic of him, though it's a tone he's not used on her often. If ever. Jokes and laughs are his usual go to. Ka'el the clown.

Kiena has her knees under her now and slowly straightens up to test the one side of her that took the brunt of the fall. From her grimace, there's no doubt some bruising but otherwise she's whole. When he steps forwards, her eyes dart sidelong to watch him and her cheeks darken a few shades of red. Well, this is awkward and embarrassing. Which means the bluerider gets snippy. "Yeah, I'm fine. Taken harder falls than this." she smirks. There's a lingering silence when he says he's one of the good guys, her gaze settling on him and it's obvious what is on her mind without her even speaking a single word. She does not believe him and yet wants to. Otherwise she'd not be joking around or lingering that long in his presence. There's conflict, made all the more muddled for her jittery responses to something so innocent as a grasp for her arm to keep her from falling. Kiena blinks and then drops her gaze after darting it briefly at his extended hand. Ignored at first and then on further consideration she takes it and her grip is firm. Up she goes and once she's steady she'll let go and begin to brush herself off. "…Don't take it so personally." she grumbles. "It's… I just react poorly sometimes. To stuff… like that." Obviously!

His hand is grasped and Ka'el's gloved fingers curl around hers, holding onto her firmly while pulling back to help her off of the icy ground. The ice has thwarted them both this day, though his eyes betray concern for something far deeper than the physical hurt. His touch lasts only as long as it needs to, and when she's firmly on her feet his hand pulls away. "Can't help but take it personally when a woman jerks back from my touch like that. I don't have fond memories of that, either," he says with a smirk that lacks mirth. But the look of morose lasts only a fleeting moment, and afterwards he nods to the clearing once more. "To answer, belatedly, yes I'm headin' all the way out there to the coast. I'm on foot patrol. No flyin'," he says with a gesture to the ice. "Kanekith can't land on this without riskin' breaking something….or someone. Only the seniors are up today. So, the weyr is my playground. A big…slippery, wet, cold playground that I've to patrol for a few more candlemarks before I'm free to thaw out." The smirk that follows looks more genuine now. "I'd like the company. Plus, it'd look good if one've the flyers saw me escorting a resident on the ice," he points out, expression playful now. "I'd score brownie points."

Kiena is no longer lucky! As for his concern, she is unaware of it or simply brushes it off as concern for her fall. This time she does not twitch or jerk from his hold and simply allows it to end normally and naturally. His answer leaves her puzzled, brows knitting together as she peers at him. Did she hear right? For a moment, she almost blurts out some blunt remark but promptly bites it back and smirks instead. A smirk that also falters into a bit of a sheepish half-smile, which is about as close to apologetic as the bluerider will get. "I know now that you meant well. Just doin' what anyone would when someone's about to fall on their ass. Like I said, don't take it personally." She's got the issues, not him! Then he's explaining why he's venturing out so far and Kiena exhales, once again cursing herself for her stupidity at times. Of course! "Heh. Playground? Nice way of putting it. Alright. Though you may find my company to be gratin'. And I swear, if you fall and take me down with you, you best hope I can't get back up again or I'll…" She was going to say kick his ass but that falters. Probably not a thing to say and she coughs. "… get you back for it. Shove snow down your jacket or something." Actually, that doesn't sound half bad! She grins tentatively and then glances down the path and steels herself. Now or never? "Lead on then, escort!" Snort. "So what're you going to do after you trudge your way all the way out there? Trudge back?"

Haha, if only she knew his issues! But now's not the time for him to go sifting through the skeletons that hide in his closet. "I find your company interesting, always," Ka'el remarks. "I have since the first time I met you. You don't grate me." Even when she's threatening (or not threatening) to kick his ass! Or in this case, freeze him to death with snow down the jacket. The mere thought has him shuddering. "You do that an' it'll be the start of war" he mock-threatens. "Next thing y'know, you'll have a weyr filled with trundlebugs." And just how will he get those bugs in her weyr? Er … it's a trade secret! Or something. "But, fear not, I think I've met my quota for fallin' for the day. I don't think my ass could take much more of it, anyway." He gives his poor bruised rear a rub, but before long…away they go! Slowly. Very slowly down the icy forest path for a long trek made longer thanks to the ice to the coast. "Probably," he answers, nodding at her. "Doubt Soriana's home, even with the weather. She'll probably be stayin' in the offices with the other weyrwomen til things thaw out." Though that won't stop him from peeking in at her weyr, just to check. "Other'n that, walking my route. Making stop to check on the elders, then home once I'm done." He smirks a bit. "Sounds tedious but… I like it. Guardin' is kind of my thing."

Now is certainly not the time for sifting through skeletons in the closet, unless they are gearing up for a competition of who has the most or the most shocking! Not that it'd come down to it. Kiena's revealed enough of her past to him already for now. At his honest remark, she looks surprised and then baffled, but does not argue it. "Alright." Half the time her threats are just bluffs! Truthfully, she's harmless… unless she feels backed into a corner or threatened. Then things get interesting! "HA!" Another bark of laughter, but her eyes flicker with mischief. "That'd be an act of war for sure! Snow is snow, but trundlebugs in a weyr? That's low." Apparently? Slowly, so very slowly down the path they go and Kiena keeps her gaze focused on her feet more than the path ahead. Eventually it'll be familiar enough for her and she's relying on Ka'el too — even if she'd never admit it. "Her weyr ain't close to the offices?" Kiena asks, curious as she picks her way across the ice and her hands held out at times for balance. "In Western Weyr, the goldrider weyrs were all close by to the offices and council rooms. Guess so they could get there fast if needed. Weyrleader's weyr too." She'd know. No teasing remark comes when Ka'el mentions his route or his preference, though she just smile faintly. "My brother was a Guard. Somehow convinced the Captain in Torince Hold to take his sorry ass in. It doesn't sound tedious — not all of it at least. I can see the merit of it. Kind of like how I liked some of S&R work." But apparently not enough to remain in it. "So you like to protect folk? Keep 'em safe?"

Ka'el shakes his head. "Nah. Hers is out on the coastal road," he informs. "Has a big space for Luraoth on the side. Sort've like the place where runners are kept? Stables? But without the stalls inside." Apparently the word 'barn' isn't in his vocabulary, or he's just not thinking of it at the moment. He looks over at her briefly at her account of the difference between Western's weyrs and their own, but he looks ahead soon enough, not risking walking without watching where he's going. "Makes sense," he agrees with a nod. "Especially in times like these where walkin' far..isn't always an option. But from what I know, the weyrwomens’ weyrs are all over the place. Sorrin's is in the clearing. I.. think Thea's is in the woods somewhere. I don't know where the Weyrleader's is, though," he says, frowning a bit at that. Huh. Might be something he…should know. Ah well. Walking continues, carefully as ever, and the scenery around them gradually changes from forest to clearing. He listens as she speaks of her brother, nodding thoughtfully. "You thought of joinin' Search an' Rescue here?" he asks, lifting a brow. "If you have the experience, shards you'd be a great addition y'know. And..yeah," he confirms at her last. "I do. I know what it's like feelin' like there's nobody lookin' out for you. If people know that I'm around to do that for them, it makes me feel good. Like I have a purpose."

Kiena blinks for a moment. "Wait. She's out on the coastal road too?" She has a junior weyrwoman as a neighbour? That's news to the bluerider! And even more proof of just how little she ever explores much beyond her usual routes and paths. Tilting her head as Ka'el tries to explain, she chuckles dryly. "A barn?" she offers, with a lingering look. Was she close? "Have to admit, I've been at Xanadu for awhile now and I still get tripped up by the differences. Yet I find I like it. Disconcerting at first but…" Another shrug and she simply continues to walk on. Ka'el isn't the only one who isn't sure who's weyr is where! At the mention of joining Search and Rescue, Kiena's steps falter a bit though from the disgruntled sound she makes it could be the ice as the cause. "You've not seen me do anything in relation to Search and Rescue. How do you know I'd fit?" she drawls to him, giving him a sideways glance before looking down again. "Not sure why. I think it's cause I always chafed with putting my Craft aside. I was so proud of being accepted as a Smith. Barely was an Apprentice when I was Searched and then Impressed… not that I regret that! Never. But it was just more time set aside, right? Then we graduated and I tried to balance S&R with Craft. It — sort of worked? Then I…" She stops there, her expression growing clouded as she shakes her head. "Anyways. It's good that you find purpose and enjoy what you do. Only makes sense to do what you love, right?"

Ka'el smirks over at her at her surprise. Yes, she has a goldriding, weyrwoman of a neighbor! Better watch out? …Better not cry. Better not pout… Er, wait. No. Sori Claus is not coming to town. She's already here! "Barn!" he snaps his fingers, nodding. "That's it. Luraoth has a barn. I'll point out her weyr to you when we pass it. It's a bit off the road, but you can see it from it." Their slow and deliberate walk continues. At least no one is falling. Ka'el's eyes instinctively shift as they go, keeping an eye out, not particularly for any miscreants, but for any weyrfolk that may need help. But thus far, it seems as if most have stayed indoors. His brow quirks when he looks back at Kiena though. "If you were in Search an' Rescue at Western, I'd think that'd qualify you for here. You come with experience. That's more than what I came with when I was tapped in. You'd fit." Not to mention she has the attitude for it! But a look of understanding claims his face as she speaks of smithing. How he misses his crafting days too. "You're right. Do what you love. If you love smithing, then you're already in the right place." He grins at her before looking forward again, continuing to walk with her with easy conversation continuing. When they do come to the coastal, he indeed raises a hand to point to a cottage and barn some yards off the road down a pathway. Soriana and Luraoth's place. He'll also point to another cottage, Ol' uncle Grimes' place and share a story about a time when the surly old man chased him off his property, wielding a rusty pipe and cane during one of his apprentice deliveries. And eventually he'll walk her as close as she's willing to let him be to her weyr, say his goodbyes and lingering just long enough to make sure she gets in ok, then turns around to trudge on back, as he said he would … after making a quick stop to check in on ol' crazy uncle Grimes.

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