"I don't like it, but we need parts. And if there's any dragons around then whoever's behind those walls will know about it." He pointed to a spot on the map that was in the direction of the community, "move out and hold here until we rendezvous. And an hour's no good, half it. We need to move with a purpose." With that he folded up the map and downed the rest of his drink, handing the map back to Stihls. "As for the kid, he goes with you. We were all that way once and leaving him behind isn't going to show him anything. Keep the channels clear unless you spot something."
Connor accepted the folded chart back and nodded to Canter. "Understood." The sniper glanced at the younger hunter and sighed. Christ, this is gonna be a long sweep. He did have to hand it to Canter though, despite the difference in their years, experience was something that the two of them were in good supply of, though Canter kept his perspective a little more intact. In the end, he agreed, that leaving the boy behind on the morning scout run would do more harm than good. They would be less efficient, for sure, but the training would be invaluable. Not to mention the fact that he'd be focusing on a goal rather than picking fights.
"Alright, boys." Connor said evenly, coming to a halt in front of the other three members of the scouting squad, Abel included. "We're going to sweep up this road here," he continued, laying the chart out between the four of them. The other three members pinning down the corners with empty magazines, a rock, and a cup. "Two man teams, either side of the road. Abel, you're with Giera. He'll scope, you spot. No mistakes, you hear?" Connor said, focusing a little more on Abel than Alonso.
Next he turned to the fourth member of the squad. "Marqui, you're with me." The French tracker nodded and slapped the magazine to his FAMAS home. "We move to this spot here and hold," Connor went on, pointing to the spot where Canter had directed him just minutes prior. "Keep the radio channels silent unless we see anything, just bring water, weapons, and ammo, leave everything else in the trucks, and we move in thirty. Any questions?"
There was a collective shaking of heads and Connor dismissed the scouts. "We form up on that road. Abel and Giera you two take the west side. Stay within sight of the main road. Go."
Alonso Giera smirked and slapped Abel on the shoulder. "Let's go, buddy. Time to get ready. Best not to let 'Gramps' get upset." It was his nickname for Connor though not quite out of disrespect as it was genuine deference. Stihls had taught much to him over the years from marksmanship to tracking. The Spaniard finished his breakfast and hoisted his rucksack over his left shoulder.
With that, Connor turned towards his own small pile of belongings: a single rucksack and a beaten and battered ammo box, all packed after his morning weapon cleaning. From the ammo box, the sniper retrieved extra magazines for his Barrett and Jericho as well as a Mr. Goodbar from his rucksack. Finished, he loaded the two containers onto the back of the Slayer's transport truck.
Along the way, the sniper passed Tony Collins, who'd just finished his daily routine and was currently busy cycling the magazines for his weapons. Connor nodded as he passed the elder soldier. Collins was the oldest of the Slayers, and by far the most experienced. Many times in the past, Stihls would consult with Collins and Canter on various anti-dragon tactics. Really, the only true weapon we have against these beasts is experience mixed in with a healthy portion of luck.
Thirty minutes later saw Connor and his squad formed up on the northern road. "Remember, stay within sight. Radio any sightings, but other than that is silence, yeah?" The squad nodded and they set off. Giera and Marqui both had binoculars out and at the ready, a pair of excellent finds from two months prior. One of those, Giera handed to Abel and hefted his sniper rifle easily up to bear. They set an even pace, only stopping at a few intervals to check the surrounding tree lines for movement. One of the many needs for an advanced vanguard was that the beasts tended to attack larger groups rather than isolated patrols. Then again, if one does ambush us, worst case we'll only lose the four of us rather than the whole company. It was a grim thought, he admitted, but it was the harsh reality of their current situation.