|Ashur|| The crumbling edifice broke apart with all the suddenness of the world it once was part of; all around the group, plaster dust and a choking grit-smoke plumed upward like tailfeathers, as hard bits of wood and concrete and metal rained like lead hail. Those clouds glitter in the pale moonlight that casts a dark glimmer over the crumbling ruins of this residential district in Roswell.
It was here the tracking devices led. This coordinate specifically, latitude and longitude, down to the inch -- Ashur's Pip-Boy confirmed it with a beep-beep-beep as they drew close. Minutes ago, it had been an old three-story apartment complex, the roof partially caved in, holes here and there; when the dozen or so members of this expeditionary force came in, something happened, and it all fell apart.
Ashur had gathered Tibbie and Eden beneath him, wrapped in his massive cloak, and shielded from the debris by the giant's duraframe power armor. As the air clears, he inhales deeply, his mask's filters leaving him unbothered.
"Careful," he booms, standing back up. "There's--"
The floor begins to crack.
|Eden||"He does seem to like to wrap us up together, doesnt he?" Eden laughs, trying to calm her nerves after all the crumbling and crashing stops. "Do you tjink that was bad timing or a trap?" Eden looks over Tibboe briefly for injuries. She knows Ashur is fine in his armor!|
|Tibbie||The young Shantytown gal Tibbie was safe from harm thanks to the mother hen move from the giant Ashur, she coughs for a solid minute before finding her voice again and smiles to Eden, "Hooo-boy am I glad though, at least we're both small enough for an Ashur burrito without bein too cramped! Where's everyone el-ooh shit!" Tibbie had tried to leave Ashur's perimeter to seek the others, but one step out and the floor aches, sending Tibbie back to the heavily armored man and Eden. It may not seem the best choice logistically, but Ashur's saved her hide more than once so he'll always be the safe bet in Tibbie's eyes.|
|Ashur|| The cracks in the floor rapidly spread and the floorboards split with a fearsome shudder. As one, the group of three falls down a floor into the darkness of the building's basement complex; Ashur, balance righted by the auto-gyro system of his Hellfire, lands with a thud on his feet, shock absorbers soaking up the kinetic energy.
Tibbie and Eden, unfortunately, land a little harder. Eden falls in a long-abandoned laundry hamper and bruises her butt; Tibbie lands spryly, seems like she'll be perfectly fine, and then stumbles into the corner of the adjacent washing machine and bangs her shin something fierce.
Down here, the darkness devours all. A quick tap of his helmet flips on the flashlight, along with a tap to his Pip-Boy to follow suit, and he becomes as a torch in the night.
He yells up a floor, trying to get the ear of the two squad leaders from the militia that were with them. There is naught but silence.
"Damnit," he says, turning and stalking toward Eden to help pluck her from her folded-in-the-laundry-basket trap. "We cannot turn back. The Enclave will surely know we've come if we leave now, and the mission will fail."
"The two of you need not come. I will go forth myself."
|Tibbie||"CRICKETS!" Tibbie curses as she's now running the pain off in the dark, again not the smartest in the gaggle but she's got some dumb luck as she finds a hatch a bit further off from where Ashur's lights shine. "C'mere y'all, looks like I found somethin, I think." She says and taps lightly on the hatch to hint at what she's found. When both Eden and Ashur near, the hatch seems to be locked by technical means, "Hmmm, maybe you oughta take a crack at this one Eden, you're sure as hell smarter than me and Ashur with this sorta thing." Tibbie says and returns to what Ashur had said previously, "Now if you went on by yourself, who'll bend over an pick up after all the thangs you might leave behind Jefecito!" She says jokingly with a smirk as she rubs her shin now.|
|Eden||Eden steps over to look at the lock. First thing she sees is two wires, red and black, leading into the wall. "That can't be good" she mumbles. She takes out her knife and cuts a hole around the cords. drywall is all and cuts easily. Following it to the floor, she finds exactly what she expected. A trap that can be triggered if lock signals it.
Eden uses her toolkit and goes to work. First disconnect trap, then open lock! "so, um, if you see anything gassy looking come out if those grates on thr floor, could you let me know right away please?" she says absentmindedly as she works. "luckily, its not terribly clever of a trap. disconnecting it from the lock is easy. still, she holds her breath for a moment after cutting the connection.
When nothing happens, she continues on the lock itselg. she may not know the codes, but there has to be a mechanical shofting somewhere to open the lock. Eden rips the interface out of the wall to look for whatever it is set up to trigger. Sure enough, behind the little onterface is a moveable switch
|Ashur|| Both the women refuse to leave when Ashur proposes it. He momentarily considers ordering them out; he suspects at least one of them would sneak in after him regardless. "This is not a game," he criticizes, voice tinged with metallic disgruntlement through the almost-insectoid mouthpiece of his helmet. "But if you insist, stay near me." He is, after all, a mobile safe zone.
With his feet crushing debris and detritus beneath plated heels, the giant moves forward, spying that hatch and shining his lights on it to illume the darkness for Eden's work. His mouth presses into a thin line, unseen, as she works and warns, muscles tense and ready to spring into action should she seem to trigger a trap --
But then she cuts in, disconnects the lock, and identifies all relevant parts. Ashur lets out a small breath, hunches over, and after grasping the handle rips the hatch clean off its hinges, revealing a rather large hole they can climb down. Even he can fit through it, strangely!
"I will descend first. Step aside."
Saying so, the brute will turn, back up, and begin the downward climb, waiting for the girls. The climb takes.. a little while, as they go down a handful of stories beneath the earth. Eventually, the basement's darkness becomes bright and clean, powered by electric lights set into the walls, and when they step off the ladder they're in what seems to be a laboratory of some sort -- or it once was. The walls are white, the floors some sort of polished linoleum, and everything is sterile.
A single closed door separates this emergency access tunnel from the main facility. It probably isn't even locked. The Pip-Boy on the Legionnaire's hand indicates that the militia men are held within.
|Eden||Eden knows she'll hear about it later for not staying behind, but is not about to be left out and alone away from Ashur. He's no one to talk about getting hurt, and hasnt she proven herself useful by now? "well down the hatch!" and dhe follows Ashur into the depths. when she lands at the bottom her eyes widen at the lab|
|Eden||Going over to the door, Eden sees that this one is quite different. seeing no eyebrow raising wires this time, she just tries the handle. it cant be this easy. It is unlocked. "well not locked, should we just go for it?"|
|Tibbie|| The brown-eyed gal nods to Ashur's instruction, then fist pumps triumphantly as she watches the door pry off effortlessly by him. After the long climb down Tibbie fluffs leftover dust from her hair, though her plaster dust covered clothes are a lost cause for now.
She whispers, "I guess we bust in blazin through this door, less we got some sort of plan cookin' up. We got any sort of, uhhh, flash thingys we could toss in before we barge in?" She pats her pockets as if she'd actually have something, but all she carries is her assault rifle strapped to her back and her trusty slugger hung from her short's belt loop.
"Awwh skrew it! Let's fuck these guys up and save our chums Jefecito! You first!" Tibbie announces and steps back close to Eden, allowing the man ample room to charge the door.
|Ashur|| Ashur reaches a hand toward the door and is bathed in red light. A glass-encased hollow above the door glows. "New arrivals detected. Hold for scan." The light flickers and becomes a thin red stripe which moves down each of them like a cashier checking a barcode. After a minute, the voice -- pleasant and generically feminine -- speaks up once more. "FEV-damaged genetic structures detected. Hellfire Armor #47 identified. Corporal Alexander Rhines. Killed in action at the siege of El Dorado."
There's a moment's pause.
"A security escort has been dispatched. Please drop all weapons and wait. Thank you for your compliance."
The light fades, and, assuredly, a silent alarm has gone out.
The duraframe behemoth shatters the doorway with a thunderous kick, and the group comes face-to-face with three armed guards in a long T-shaped hallway, coming down from the intersection toward them. With a crouch, and a press of his fingertips to the ground, Ashur squares himself like a lineman waiting for the snap..
And then he barrels forth.
|Eden||Eden hugs the wall and aims. gor a moment she looks wistfully over her shoulder at all the chemicals she wont get to play with. Focus, right. With Ashur to one side she has a clear shot and she fires into the enemy, pleased as pie to see him drop. She tries again to hit the next soldier, but her shot fires wide and hits the wall instead.|
|Tibbie||Tibbie is watching the fight before her in the cramped hallway, bullets and lasers flying past , and blood staining the linoleum has Tibbie feeling a bit wild. She pulls her slugger out and charges at the Enclave soldier Eden has missed with a high-pitched battle cry, swinging with all her might, but no aim at all as she hit's the soldier right in his armor plating doing nothing to damage him. Tibbie's eye's widen as she realized this and books it behind Ashur, not feeling as brave as she was a moment earlier!|
|Ashur|| These three soldiers were off-duty and relaxing in the radio room when the silent alarm went off. They're not in their power armor, and have a variety of laser-based self-defense weapons, whether rifles or pistols; they pack a hell of a sizzle, though. They open fire on the Hellfire-clad golden bull, but despite their well-aimed shots the ablative defenses of the armor send their beams ricocheting uselessly all around.
"It's no good, he's got Hellfire!" one of them shouts, moments before Eden's bullet clips him in his bare arm. It chips bone and he twists aside, raising his gun to fire in retaliation -- only to be literally crushed beneath the weight of the charging Ashur, his leg snapped backwards by a forceful boot-stomp before a gaping hole is left in his chest.
The two survivors begin to back up toward the intersection, firing bolt after bolt. One even manages to angle a shot such that it bounces off Ashur and hits Tibbie at his side, who'd been using him as a human shield! Ouch -- that's a mean ol' laser burn.
"Shit, fall back, fall back," the veteran says, turning to run. "Get to the security room! Activate the defenses, lock us down!"
|Ashur|| Tibbie opens fire like a woman possessed, shredding the younger soldier with a hailstorm of lead; he tumbles backwards, bloodied, against a wall, in time for Ashur to grasp him with a hand on the crotch and shoulder, heft him into the air, and slam him against the opposite side of the hallway with such brutal force his skull caves in and his neck shatters, spine going limp. A scarlet flush paints the once-pristine hall as the final soldier takes a right at the hallway and books it. He'll get his armor and meet up with the others. The alarm did go out, after all.
"They mentioned a security room," Ashur remarks, dropping the corpse and walking forward. The white tips of his cloak drink the blood. "And we must find the men of the militia, too. I will go first and draw their attention -- Eden, Tibbie, I want the two of you to avoid combat best you can. Find the soldiers of El Dorado, find their security systems, find whatever is useful. Remember the mission."
Silent now, the bull stomps off to the right, in pursuit of the soldier. The facility is not safe, but it is open to the trio.
|Tibbie|| The wounded gal nods along to Ashur's orders and buddies up next to Eden, she unshielded her hand from the laser burn on her upper waist, showing her wound and the damage done to her trashy tee.
"Sounds like a plan Jefecito, I really aint wanting to get back into that again, that's fer sure. Those sonnsabitches is gonna pay though, me and Eden'll git on that." Tibbie says to Ashur and Eden with mischievous grin. Tibbie looks to Eden as she's now in charge of her while Ashur is readying his distraction.
|Eden||Eden nods at Ashur's words and gets to work. so, heart of this place, would it be in the center or on the side? "I think we need to head for a central section. if we can find domeplace that shows a grib or map or something, it would be in the heart of the base, right? best protected area"|
|Ashur|| The group moves on. Ashur's passage is loud, and when he hears the trampling of footsteps in power armor in the distance, he takes a turn and lets out a fierce battlecry. That melee will take some time; it also buys the girls the freedom of mobility. They wisely move in a different direction than their war-mongering partner.
Eden's intuitive sense of directions, along with a small wall-mounted facility map, help her find the security room. It was actually rather close to the tunnel they entered from! It's a decent-sized room, stacked high with computers, radio technology, and monitors to see the bunker from all angles, as well as a few watching Roswell proper. A bedroll is on the floor next to a footlocker, and a half-eaten bowl of stew is on a small table next to a magazine. Whoever worked in this room rarely left it, it seems.
|Eden||"oh man alive. look, they've been listening to everything. But now that ee know that, mwybe we can feed them some false stuff!" Eden sees exactly what she needs to do. Sitting at the terminal she finds the mapping of the building she needs. "gey Tibbie. look at this. if ypu go fown this longer hallway, i bet that pur friends are being kept here! you want to go fetch them? i can make sure all the doors unlock and other such things!" she is actually already working on that part" working as quickly and quietly as she can, doors everywher click to unlock. "alright i thinkbive got that handled. in gonna head nack to the lab and see what i can cook up fron there!":|
|Tibbie|| "Those assholes!" Tibbie declares as Eden tells of their nefarious spying, then she nods and preforms a couple of lunges as she warms up her legs while studying the directions to the holding room,"I'll get our guys back and bring em right back here boss!" Tibbie salutes and sprints out of the security room, if it's one thing being a busy cook helps with is cardio!
Dashing full throttle she runs past a few straggling and surprised Enclave soldiers right as they get the radio alert to assist with the power armored brute on the other side of the facility. They didn't stand a chance against her short lightning legs and decide to listen to their commanding officer than bother with some scrappy gal.
Once she's finally in the holding room she finds the real soldiers, the El Dorado Milita members they've been looking for! Luckily all the doors were unlocked by the clever Eden and it takes no time at all to untie them.
"Cmon chums, let's get the fuck on outta here and get home!" She rallies them up and as they make their way back the resourceful men take out any leftover Enclave and take their weapons, Tibbie's heavily protected now and isn't sprinting as hard, but at a leisurely jog.
They all make it to the security room and wait there, listening in on the racquet Ashur's making not too far away with a victorious grin on their faces.
|Ashur|| The air burns with the slag of plasma and the wall-scorching heat of lasers; pew, pew, the sound effects fly, a storm of noise as Ashur engages in a level of berserker ultraviolence rarely witnessed in the wasteland. With the armor to protect him, he can sacrifice defense and focus purely on the primal aggression that fills him -- and, oh, is there aggression there, the accumulated stress of pain, disappointment, and raw fury that wakes him up each morning.
That his enemies all bear power armor means nothing to him. His hand is gold and rips through alloy and ceramic like paper, rending it, blasting it apart, caving it inside the squishy human parts.
His cloak is aflame. He lifts a man of similar size to him and smashes him through a wall into the Enclave's sleeping quarters. They tumble down, and the bedsheets ignite; Ashur rips off the man's helmet and thrusts his thumbs in his eye sockets and squeezes, squeezes, squeezes until it all pops.
There are more to kill.
The militia men are bloodied and bruised. "Hey, little lady," one says, as Tibbie undoes the bindings on his wrists. "Ain't you a sight for sore eyes?" He rubs his wrists as his friends are freed, and together they pick up whatever spare weapons they can from the dead, regathering at the security terminals.
As for Eden? Oh, she'll find the lab is.. disappointingly small, for an Enclave facility. There's a variety of chems and chemicals available, a surgical table with high-quality technology, and a computer terminal filled with information on the nature of mutants, the Horde, and chimera anatomy. That bit is especially interesting -- did you know that if you hit them right here, near where their multiple heads come together, you can disrupt whatever bond the amalgamate has and set it off balance?
That little tidbit and more exists to be downloaded!
|Ashur|| The armed militia reinforce Ashur after a few minutes of combat -- luckily, one of them was an egg-head, and knew enough to adjust the automatic defenses Eden disabled to help them fire on the Enclave troops! Laser turrets in the walls, and a single close-combat robot, enter the fray. There's blood, there's battle, and after more conflict, there's silence.
This is, again, a luckily small facility, made mostly to house a dozen or so soldiers as they monitor El Dorado and do a handful of experiments. They were not expecting to be assaulted, and are not the cream of the crop in the first place; eventually, it all ends.. only for all the lights to turn red, and a warning klaxon to sound out! Eden or one of the militia men triggered a defense in the system, and the facility has begun to fill with a terribly flammable gas.
"Evacuate!" Ashur bellows, leaving the bodies and coming to the security room. "Get back to the tunnel and climb! Make haste!"
He'll scoop the girls up if they don't run fast enough, as ventillation shafts begin to fill the air with colorless, faint-odored gas that makes the eyes water. Best not breathe in too much of it.
As they all climb, Ashur lifts up the door he kicked in earlier and tries to make a.. shield, of sorts, over the doorway. He winds up laying it down horizontally. He's the last up the ladder, rushing everyone on, even as a spark is struck at the bunker's heart and the immolation begins.
They just barely make it out, with Ashur throwing himself on the hatch and sealing it with his body as the whole ground shakes.
While no good equipment was recovered, and the tunnel leading in has collapsed, Eden did download all relevant information from the computers to her Pip-Boy: stolen radio transmissions, tracked troop movements, information on Enclave and mutant forces, and a corrupted, half-garbled message from Solomon.