|Oakley Anders||The trail of families and vehicles that are heading west from Texas to El Dorado is rather reminscient of the same trains that used to run in the late 1800s - except now instead of worrying about just dying from dysenterry on the El Dorado trail, there's also the threat of supermutants, raiders, Enclave soldiers, and event radscorpians.
One of the vehicles in the caravan had thrown a wheel and currently sitting off of the side of the road. The small family that was in the vehicle is hurriedly trying to make repairs so that they can catch back up to the caravan.
A lone figure is standing guard over the family at the moment. The power armor bears the markings of the Texas Brotherhood of Steel - a rare sight now in the sands of Texas; or anywhere for that matter, considering the massive losses that they had taken at the Alamo Citadel. Oakley's rifle sits on his shoulder as he only partially watches the stranded vehicle and it's work - his attention is more on the surroundings, a watch for possible threats.
|Sixteen||One could not say there is a treeline, out here in the wastes. Hell, was there ever a treeline, in the southwest? There's a scrub line, though, where several skeletal mesquite trees thrust boldly up out of the hardpan, and some stubby dirt hills beyond those. It is atop one of those dirt hills (okay, it's probably a four foot outcropping at most, but you take what high ground you can manage) that Sixteen edges her horse up to take a look at the passing caravan. She's a lone rider, to all appearances, bandana pulled down off her nose like a woman who hopes she won't look too much like a bandit. Her rifle is holstered on her back, and she's not attempting to be stealthy when she surveys the power armored guardian and his straggling charges. She tries to catch his eye, figuring a wave won't be necessary since he's obviously standing guard.|
|Oakley Anders||The helmet of the power armor is stifling, and really, it limits the view. It's why the man that wears it hates the damn thing. Sixteen's wave is not noticed by Oakley as he's turned his attention past her. He //should// be watching the flanks of the caravan, but that isn't his concern. His sights are clearly set on the rear.
Not of the rountound brunette mother of several children, but instead, further down the path they came. He knows that they don't have much of a head start upon those that would pursue and scavenge for the stragglers - and right now, the dull red car being pulled by a pair of mules is a ripe target.
|Sixteen||Sixteen rolls her eyes heavenward. Not that she thinks anyone up there is watching, or listening, or particularly CARES, but some habits are just...genetic memory. Taking reins in hand, and muttering to herself about how this is probably a mistake, she guides her horse down towards the highway a few steps, and calls out, "Hey! Hey, uh, don't shoot, cowboy. Y'all need to get down this road a piece or get off it! Got a few riders I saw a couple miles back."|
|Oakley Anders||Snapping to, the rifle that was pointed towards the sky comes down into a resting and guarded position as Sixteen approaches. Reaching up to remove his helmet, Oakley's bearded face is covered in sweat and he lets the helmet hang free from it's supports. Apparently he had been running with the air circulation on the lowest possible setting.
"Nearly shot ya, miss." he says as he spits out the side of his mouth, holding his rifle more to his side as he looks towards Sixteen. "Few miles? What type of mounts ya see?" comes the next question before he glances back at the family. The busted tire had just come off and they were just starting to replace it. "We ain't got much time." he warns.
The head male of the family looks up. "It's going to be at least 30 more minutes before we get this fixed!" he responds, which causes Oakley to shake his head. "Well fuck." he mutters, and turns his attention back to Sixteen.
"How many ya see? Armor? Weapons? Don't figure ya got to hang around, but I took responsibility for this group, so I'm sticking here til they get back on the road. Your choice on what ya do." he offers to her as he's already moving to start to usher those that don't or can't use weapons into the safety of the vehicle as he prepares to set up his own defensive point.
|Sixteen||Sixteen shrugs, eloquently, when he asks about armor or weapons. "Look like horses, to me. And I figure they're armed, riding down the road in the open like that." She pauses, watching him ushering people into the vehicle. After a moment, she scrubs a hand over her face. "This is not how I wanted to spend my afternoon. Look, why don't we send the little ones over behind that...pitiful excuse for a hill, so they can make a run for it if shit goes bad. Maybe we can set up some kind of ambush."
She looks Oakley over, in his armor. Thoughtful. "Or I can. You can stand here and look like a target."
|Oakley Anders||"Well, sweetheart, sounds like a date to me." Oakley grunts as he glances back towards the family. "Ya hear the shooting stop, ya run like hell. Me and the gal here are gonna go see if we can give these boys a reason not to come looking for you all." With that, he shoulders the rifle to start off in a brisk trot. "Take it ya saw a spot that would work?" he asks.
In this open area it's hard to find spots, but the flat land also provides the illusion that there aren't crevaces that could be used for cover, and drainage culverts that are still in tact that could be used to set up an ambush.
There's a pair of horses that are leading the group. There's another three on foot. By their ragged appearance and the wellworn use of their weapons, it shows that they are organized, if barely, as they are making their way down the main thoroughfare, the cracked and sunbaked concrete suffered from decades of disrepair but not yet completely reclaimed by nature.
|Sixteen||Sixteen shrugs her shoulders expansively. "I mean, sort of. Couple of wallows I can lay down in, anyway. Hopefully no one's looking when they have a big ol' Texas Brotherhood target to think about." For all her sarcastic drawl, she seems committed enough for a woman who just rode up out of nowhere, sliding off the side of the horse and setting it a bit ahead of the mules so she can jog off to the side of the road and wriggle herself down into just such a wallow. She takes all three guns with her, and falls quiet to wait. Patient, like a snake, not moving as the riders and walkers come into view. Or maybe the sun put her to sleep - also like a snake!|
|Oakley Anders||"Yeah. I just make a right nice target. Mebbe next time ya can sit in the too hot swamp ass armor and I'll be the nice sniper in the bush." Oakley responds with a snort as he clamps the helmet back into place. Sixteen may hear the slight whir of mechanics clicking to life as the Knight Captain takes off the standby mode of the armor and moves into the middle of the road. Locking himself into position, he lifts his rifle to his shoulder, and scopes in on the lead rider.
"Got the one on the right!" he calls out towards seemingly nothing. "Ya assholes are on the wrong path today. Better to turn around and move your happy asses back towards whatever sewer pipe ya crawled out of .. or.." There's a ominous click of the rifle to chamber the first .308 round. "Ya can keep on comin'. Which is just fine with me."
The response from the riders is that yes - they are going to charge down the man in the armor - after all, he's just a lone man, and they have the advantage in speed. The foot persons - the three of them, they are more cautious. Splitting from the group, they are moving away from riders to try to flank the group - and right towards Sixteen.
|Sixteen||Sixteen doesn't let them get much closer. The crack of semiautomatic fire rings out across the dirt and the pavement. Her first shot takes off a part of the head of the Jackal in the center of their formation, before they spot her and have time to scatter.
That shot announces her presence, and even if they don't process it immediately they dive for whatever cover they can find and her second shot just clips one in the arm.
|Oakley Anders||The first shot from Oakley's rifle rings true and smashes into the rider, knocking him from his mount and sending the Jackal sprawled into the middle of the road, his blood already starting to dry under the hot western sun. Oakely's twisting to adjust his fire to engage the second rider when the fleet horse slams into the power armor, knocking the armor aside for a moment and rattling the contents within. "Fucker." he grits as he twists his attention to fire on the last rider.
"Ya got it covered over there?" he asks, as he lifts his rifle. The horseback jackal isn't coming back to engage. He knows if he can keep the horse at full speed, he can get past the pair of defenders and to the sweet prize of the disabled vehicle.
Lifting his rifle, Oakley chews the inside of his gum for a moment, before squeezing the trigger. The sharp crack of the rifle rings out in the wasteland before a red splatter comes from the Jackale's back and bursts forth from his chest as he's pitched forward, the horse dragging the dead rider behind him, ripping his flesh along the ground.
|Sixteen||Not wanting to get ahead of herself: "Maybe!" Sixteen calls, shoving up onto a knee and taking quick aim at a diving raider. OF the two remaining, one has drawn a bead on her with a revolver, and the other seems to be breaking towards her horse. Damn the luck that she didn't wing his firing arm, as their shots ring out in near-unison. He's close enough that when her bullet takes him center mass he falls over..but she gets hit, too. The impact half spins her, shredding through her duster.
But whaddya know, she's facing the man who is now aiming to steal her HORSE and so with gritted teeth she fires off another round and takes him in the back. It's lucky the bullet doesn't hit one of the mules - or doesn't seem to, as in the eerie quiet following the shootout the animals are all just making anxious, foot-shuffling noises. Not, you know, screaming in pain and braying noises.
For a heartbeat or three, Six just kneels where she is, watching and listening. As the family and the children rush to reunite in the highway, she falls forward onto her palm, breathing hard and cursing under her breath.
|Oakley Anders||Pulling back his helmet, Oakley safeties his rifle. Noticing the blood on Sixteen's side, he makes his way over, reaching to his field pack. "Let me get a look at that." he grunts. "Don't worry, I'd offer to buy ya a drink first before I try to get ya out of yer knickers, just want to get a patch on that wound. The drink.." there's a smirk.
"We can square that up once we reach El Dorado."
|Sixteen||Sixteen mutters, "Supposed to be my vacation, Cowboy." He didn't offer, but she reaches out and grabs his armored arm, using it to pull herself upright and probing at her side, beneath her ribs. "Ow, ow, fuck. Went through. That's a blessing." She certainly isn't too proud to lift her shirt and let him slap a bandage on her, taking the opportunity to size him up with her dark eyes. "I got a thing to do, but yeah. I'll look you up in El Dorado. It's a good offer. The drink, to start with."|
|Oakley Anders||"Sounds good. Name's Oakley Anders. Knight Captain. Or was. Ain't a Texas Brotherhood left, so yer vacation is my retirement." Oakley responds as he works diligently to apply the patches to her side. He's seen a lot in that grey-blue graze. And probably appears older than he is - but that comes with the territory these days. "Let's get the family back on the road, I'll catch ya back at the barn." Stepping back, he casts a salute towards Sixteen before he hears the rumbling of a car being lowered back into place. "They're ready. I'll see ya around."|
|Sixteen||Sixteen hobbles over to her horse and pulls herself up with another groan. "Sixteen. You will, if you're lucky." Her lip is split (from her own teeth), and she grins as she turns the animal to ride off.|