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Vault Girl The specially modified Vertibird-II known as The Thunderhawk had departed from the 18th Battallion's base of operations at the former settlement of Hope's Crossing hours ago with Esscast, Ashur, & Caldwell onboard along with a team of 18th Bat members who would be deploying directly from the air.

Everyone except Caldwell, Ashur, and Esscast had jetpacks on their power armor and all seemed to know each other. As rookies and outsiders, the trio from El Dorado were mostly ignored by the veteran soldiers who resented the company of 'amateurs'.

Below the Vertibird, the landscape raced by as the group passed over Nevada... for the three men, this was nothing more then a ride-along to see how a more advanced faction handled business.
Guardian Caldwell Caldwell was here for the ride-along. He was wearing his standard T-51 complete with Arnolds helmet. Poor Arnold..such a great man. Caldwell missed the poor guy. He watched the desert of Nevada go by, simply enjoying the view as he waited to see what was in store for the trio of men.
Esscast Esscast whatches asthe ground passes him by before looking to his two freinds "thank you for choosing the thunderbird as your transportation for today, if you look to the left theres the wastes and to our left the land" esscast says with a chuckle trying not to bust out laughing as he tries to sound like a flight attendant.
Ashur Ashur barely knows any of the men aboard; to be fair, he never tried to get to know them, only falling in with this group to have asked them about his power armor and the Enclave. He looms in his spot silently, wrapped in his cloak like a babe's swaddling clothes, gazing out over the land. He's only been on a vertibird once before this.

It crashed.

And then mutants ate him.

"There is a lot of waste," he agrees with Esscast. "And land."
Esscast Esscast nods to Ashur before saying to the two of them "hey dont worry guys ill make sure will get out of this alive" meanwile scorpio is riding on the top of the vertibird.
Guardian Caldwell Caldwell looks over to Esscast and nods "We'll be fine. We have the best of the best with us." he says, knowing that shit was very well going to hit the fan, because in situations like these? Shit hitting the fan happens all the time.
Fern     There are crates on such vehicles, right? At least a few. Maybe some to store ammo or whatever they need on board.. right? Maybe there's even one that's empty, or at least half empty, cause that's probably the only way Fern was able to sneak herself onto the vertibird.

    The kid shows up as casual as ever, like she'd been there the whole time, stepping up behind the trio to chime in, "Pretty cool view from up here. I wonder how hard they would hit the ground if their jet packs failed." Fern has her hands on her hips, and she's looking off to the side, watching the ground far below.
Vault Girl An 18th Battalion Officer slammed his fist against the bay doors of the back of the Vertibird and called out, "Listen up you maggots." He was looking at the new recruits, "Your job is to observe and watch. I want the three of you manning the gun turrets in case of trouble, the Enclave has a heavy presence in this region. Snap to it."

He walks over to Fern as the bay door begins to open and guides her to the fourth gun turret, "Nobody gets a free ride kid, do good here and maybe we'll let you join." Every military unit needed a mascot, right?
Guardian Caldwell Caldwell nods to the Officer "Yes sir." he responds and proceeds to get on one of the gun turrets, readying himself for the inevitable shit storm. "Grats." he says, smiling underneath his helmet at THE BEST PLANT.
Esscast Esscast follows suit getting in another gun turret "so anybody know the last few bars to dixie?" he says knowing full well things are about to go tits up real quick
Ashur Ashur looks first to Fern. Behind his helmet, the man's mouth has become a hard line, curling to a frown. "Fern, girl, this is no place for you," he chastises, despite her swaggering casualness. But he's interrupted in his walk toward her by the officer's call, turning slowly and lumbering toward the gun. There is nothing romantic in using guns; there's nothing good about them. All the same, he knows how to obey.
Fern     Fern quickly glances to the officer when he arrives, and at first she flinches. Caught! She glances over to Ashur with a smirky, lopsided grin, and as she's guided to a turret she starts to hum innocently. "Fuck yeah," she grunts, a little more pep in her step on her way over to it. Has she ever handled one before? Guess we'll find out.

    The kid gets behind it, looks it over, then narrows her eyes as she looks out below, whispering little 'pew pew' noises to herself. She ignores anything Ashur says about how she shouldn't be here!
Vault Girl 18th Battalion Soldiers move to the edge of the ramp, leaping hundreds of feet out of the air from the Vertibird at predetermined points. Whatever orders were being issued? Recruits were NOT privy to them!

This was for Esscast and Ashur their chance to prove themselves though, it had been almost three months since they had signed up and within a week or two they would see themselves promoted if they were lucky.

"Our men are deploying on advanced recon and search'n'destroy operations to help pave the way for the Expedition from El Dorado. We'll make contact with possible local allies, secure some points of operation, and send back whatever information we can to El Dorado." The officer explained for the four, counting Fern as a soldier in this situation, "We're expecting opposition in the air, the Enclave has control of a radar station in the region that they've been operating."
Esscast Esscast says from his turret "well if that was the case sir shouldnt we have taken out their radar arey before heading this way?"
Ashur Being treated as a recruit again is, in many ways, simultaneously comfortable and uncomfortable to Ashur; in the Legion, he was a soldier, and a hierarchy makes things easy. On the other hand.. he's been through all this shit already, and is beyond any of these men. To condescend to him like that, champion that he is.. !

He grits his teeth, focuses, and takes a position with the gun. Fern's stupid dumb mocking face will have to be dealt with later. Still, he relaxes -- they must not expect any real trouble if they're so comfortable with the girl on board.

So he is silent. Silent and brooding.
Guardian Caldwell Caldwell nods to the Officer "We should probably do something about that radar station. I assume we have no jammers otherwise you'd have not told us about this, unless we're seizing it at the moment?" he asks curiously, swiveling about on his gun turret looking for THE BAD MENS
Fern     Fern is keeping an eye out, but for what she might not know. She's just keeping busy by looking! Lots to look at from up this high.. They're really high.. Really, really high. Fern's eyes begin to squint a little and her face begins to go pale. She swallows hard and then closes her eyes for a moment. Phew. It passes. She manages not to hurl.
Vault Girl Caldwell's turret was a hefty Plasma Gatling, while Esscast, Fern, and Ashur found themselves in .50 Caliber Gatling Turrets, the four of them located on the edges of the large Vertibird-II. They were the only defenses the troop transport had, so everything was depending on the four of them.

"Incoming enemy Aircraft at 12 o'clock. Take them down before they can report back, or engage us. This is it, time to earn your stripes boys." The officer informed as he guided the men and women out of the back of the aircraft at various points.

There was six enemy Vertibirds in total pursuing, you would need to destroy them quickly.
Guardian Caldwell Caldwell began to shoot at Vertibirds and downed them like his name was Iron Dong...oh wait..IT WAS. After he had downed 2 vertibirds he began to yell "How many of these things are there?! Jesus!" He grits his teeth as the recoil goes straight through the power armor and into his arms, shuddering with each shot.
Ashur The recoil of the machine gun is barely felt through Ashur's armor; positioned behind the gun as he is, sweeping it through the sky and tracking the enemy airships, he doesn't even feel like he's doing anything. Just back and forth, trigger pulled, unleading countless rounds into the air.

His heart breaks. There's no fun when you can't feel someone breaking under your hand!

"Fern, shut your mouth when you fire," he instructs her. "If you keep chattering your teeth like that, you'll bite your tongue off."
Esscast in a blaze of copper fire esscast tore threw 2 enemy vertibirds "common i got plenty of bullets for you!!"
Fern     And Fern? She's just holding on as best she can. If they weren't about to all die, it might be a bit funny. Picture Fern's skinny-ass self hanging on for dear life, trying to shoot things. Yeah, it looks as one could imagine!
Vault Girl One by one the six pursuing Vertibird's are destroyed, with Esscast taking out two of them in the most spectacular explosions you've ever seen as he hits fuel lines and ammo storage compartments with ruthless efficiency as if the spirit of Arnold was guiding his actions!

The pilot reports back, "All enemy birds taken care of, we're clear now."

The officer moved to pat Ashur and Esscast each on the shoulder before handing them a little medallion that signified they were now full members of the 18th Battalion, "Congratulations you two, we're brothers in arms now."

"We're headed back to New Mexico, mission is a success. Great work Gold Squad, looks like you guys got a mascot to." He gave Fern a thumbs up!
Fern     Fern is finally able to move from the gun, and as she wobbles her way to the edge of the vertibird she hangs on tight and barfs over the edge. Look out below!
Esscast esscast smiles before looking to caldwell and speaking in anolds voice "ill be back when you need me again" then esscast looked around "uuh did we come in contact with air hostiles yet?"
Ashur With a silent sigh, Ashur wanders over toward Fern, clapping her on the back with a heavy hand and rubbing in small circles. "Get it all out," he says, "there, there. Breathe deep through the nose, hold it for three seconds, and let it out."

Motion sickness. Poor girl.