|Jackson||The journey to the California line had been a long one. Over the course of the last two days, the hastily arranged group had spent the majority of their time driving, riding, or walking their way along the sun-baked highways of the Mojave. They travelled as far as their consciousness could carry them-- when the day bled into night, they were lulled to sleep by the haunting, whispery winds of desert air rattling the nearby stones and sand. Though their travels were absent of any palpable danger, it was still entertaining enough in it's own right. Jackson was never one to leave home without a sizeable supply of booze, and between the lot of them, they certainly had a few good stories to toss around the fire. At least, most of them did. Aside from that? Their lives had been the road, and what radio signals they could tune into as Jackson's motorcycle led them onward.
In time, the sand began to give way to soil. Their road took them higher and higher, until the rocky, familiar sands of home were a distant memory, replaced by more soft and malliable dirt and dust. The roads they drove on now were in none other than the NCR's territory. The sun had long since begun it's descent through the cloudless, orange-pink skies, and cast long shadows along the barren, lightly rubble-infested lands flanking their highway. Jackson's motorcycle hung a right turn down the highway's exit ramp, and took them up a cracked, pummeled-looking gravel road that guided the group a ways away from the road they'd been travelling. It curved, dipped, and zig-zagged over miles of seemingly unfamiliar territory, until finally, a large industrial building breached the darkening horizon.
It was massive in scope and scale, dwarfing many a standing structure in the New Mexico wasteland that Jack had seen. Titanic, aged walls of cement, brick, and steel composed it's visible exterior as they made their approach, and eventually, they reached a battered steel sign with white block letters that read, 'Chryslis Manufacturing Unit 6602'. Before they drew too near, Jackson signalled his companions to halt, and parked his bike behind a bundle of rocky rubble on the side of the road.
|Jackson||Jackson says, "So, this is the place," The armored man began, pausing only to remove a screwdriver from the tool kit strapped to his back. He removed his Pip-boy from it's housing, propped it against a stray brick from the rubble pile, and activated it's flashlight, which he pointed down at the sand at his feet. As he continued to speak, he drew a rudementary map with his chosen tool.
"If the information my source gave me is accurate, this facility should still remain largely in tact. Most would think it's your typical pre-war factory, likely used for putting cars together and the like. Pretty standard stuff-- but there's a catch." As his southern drawl filled the air, Jack drew a large rectangle which was divided with a horizontal line seperating the center. Then, he drew a vertical line which seperated the upper-most rectangle into two squares. After doing this, he labeled the three quadrilaterals with a 1, a 2, and a 3, respectively.
"The Enclave-- I'm sure you've all heard of them-- Has been gutting these facilities out left and right, stripping them of all of their manufacturing equipment, terminals, everything, and the kitchen sink. I've encountered just that back home in New Mexico, and outside of New Vegas, on no less than three seperate occasions. Long story short? Verifiable and consistent reports have been brought to me which show They've been gathering schematics, design blueprints, and a ton of raw material, all in an attempt to roll out their own armored fleet of vehicles." As Jack spoke, he looked at each of his volunteers in turn, then drew a tiny little square next to the sizeable rectangle he'd originally drawn.
"That tiny square is what these facilities normally look like. The big square next to it? That's this one. It's on a bigger scale than i've ever seen in the wasteland. And the last Enclave buckethead who was drooling on my pistol's barrel decided to tell me all about it in exchange for his life. Corvalis was a pre-war car manufacturer, they built this site. They also happened to have connections with the pre-war U.S military, who's descendents now supposedly make up the Enclave's ranks. Anyway-- this place has a basement. That's the big section." At that, he pointed at the lower half of the big rectangle he'd drawn earlier.
"That's where all the good stuff is. If i'm right, we should've beat the Enclave here. So, if we play our cards right, we should be able to keep them from getting their hands on it. Either that, or break their legs on their way out the door. So, we gotta get in here, get access to the sub-level, and figure out what in the hell to do from there. Before I go on... We got any questions? Because if so, now's the time. Whether it's, what're we getting out of this, why are we doing this, a suggested plan of action-- Speak up. Because time is of the essence.""
|Ashur|| Ashur is as a spirit in their travels -- fleshless, black-gold steel wrapped in white that shimmers resplendent like the sun, eyes red hell-glass and face that stern war-mask of Mars, his neck adorned with red silk, two massive gold-plated bull horns sweeping around his head, with a crest of black and red feathers atop it. Every step of that laviciously decorated and burnt Hellfire quakes the earth; such is only right, the planet itself shivering in fear of the ostentatious warlord that walks across it.
His presence is often absent during the trip. Alcohol never graces his lips; he hunts and relieves himself in private. He has the occasional story of war and women, the only two constants in his speech -- halting speech, low, near-feral, darkened by the unnatural modulation of the helmet's speaker.
And, perhaps due to his survivalist habits, he's always the one to start the night-fires, to keep beast and desert chill at bay.
When desert faded to asphalt faded to yielding earth, the air thick with the stink of NCR, the stories went silent. To be immersed in the home of his ancestral enemy puts him in a lethal mood. That mood clings to him like a jealous lover, batting away any and all approaches, and it remains severe even when the concrete-walled factory looms on the horizon.
He stares impassive at the three-way split rectangle, soaking in the knowledge of the factory, the plans. "The time for words is past us. We are here; seize the basement, and when I am finished with the Enclave, there won't be a heart left beating."
|Yah||Yah has kept his peace except where required through the journey. Introductions were made, but little in way of explanation or motivation. His near-total silence broken to make the occasional noncommittal grunt in reply to proferred stories or anecdotes. Betimes, about the fire, his features would slacken and pale; one hand fondling the tiny mammal skulls embedded in the braids of his weapon, he would excuse himself and return with his color back.
Waiting patiently, he watches Jackson now while he outlines the plan. A simple nod is offered toward the metal-encased giant's words, dwarfing even Yahweh himself. Reaching up to scratch the cheek beneath his ruined eye with one dirty thumbnail, his shoulders rise and fall, layered outer garments exaggerating the movement. In a rough, dry tone, he offers simply, "Let's hit it."
|Jackson||"Ah, right. Talkative bunch. Almost forgot." With that said, Jack rose to his feet, deposited his screwdriver and pip-boy, and kicked a thin layer of dust over his hastily scratched drawing. Regardless of how they felt, he knew his plan was a sound one. For once in his life, the deputy actually had a decent feeling about this. They'd finally have a chance to catch the Enclave with their pants down, before they had a chance to lay the pain down on the good folk of the wasteland.
The walk wasn't a long one, by the standards of the travelling they'd just done. After preparing the scrap-metal coated motorcycle in the event of a hasty escape, Jack led the group down what remained of the road, and toward the factory's entrance. However, it seemed as though that good fortune Jack had been feeling had abandoned them. As they tread the loose gravel and dirt composing the road, the tell-tale whoosh and hum of a Vertibird's engines reverberated through their surroundings like drums of war. It was unclear whether their little group had been spotted or not, but the message the vessel sent was clear. The Enclave was here, and they planned on staying for a while. The VTOL cut through the air like an elegant, metallic bird, and came to a hovering halt above the factory's front entrance, where it deposited two groups of lightly armored Enclave troopers. Then, as if to challenge them, it performed a slow, flashy horizontal roll as it spun around to face them, and enveloped them in a halo of blindingly bright light from it's spotlights. Then, with a crackling discharge of static and feedback, a metallic sounding voice bridged the gap between them.
"SURRENDER OR DIE, COMMIE SCUM!" At the announcement, the Enclave troopers which it had deposited fanned out into a specialized combat formation, brandishing their laser rifles and focusing their sights in on the group. As they did so, Jackson withdrew a New Vegas menthol, pulled up his gas mask, and propped it between his lips with an irritated huff.
"Just my luck." He deadpanned, giving his compatriots a questioning look and a shrug of his shoulders. Then, he turned his head back to the enemy, looked up toward the Vertibird, and pressed his tongue into his cheek, making a lude, jerking gesture with his right hand and loud sucking noises. After doing that for a moment, he just screamed toward them at the top of his lungs.
"FUCK OFF!" and with that, their standoff began.
|Ashur|| The roar of the vertibird and the rush of wind from its engines fills the air with clamor; Ashur's white-gold cloak billows around him like a bat's wings, curling and whipping in unpredictable fashion. All the while, the man stands, still and stoic as the black mountains, staring the Enclave presence down with silent menace. The red lenses of his eyes gleam in the light. "It will fall," he informs the others, bending at the knees -- and there is a sudden gout of flame from the jetpack, working its way through the coiling chambers downward to propel him up as he jumps. Higher, higher, the smoke and fire like a dragon's mouth, until in defiance of proper form the unarmed behemoth has ascended over the flying machine; then at last do the flames gutter out and gravity reasserts itself, pulling him down with bone-breaking force atop the vessel.
His landing is loud as thunder, and rocks the whole of the ship, denting the metal architecture of it beneath plated boots. And there now Ashur stands, horns glittering in the light, cloak a maelstrom of sun-thread around him. The machine pitches to the side, twists, and he stumbles, righting himself.
This will be fun.
|Yah||Yah watches the enemy array impassively, "Oh, these fuckers." is uttered quietly to no one in particular in a low tone. Sighing, he follows after Action Jackson on his suicide run, sword trailing behind him in a two-handed grip. Smashing into one of the groups of troopers, he commences to slashing about with smooth movements accompanied by the whistling of his blade.|
|Jackson||Ashur's words filled Jackson with an odd, tingling feeling of confidence and power. He normally didn't enjoy the concept of walking into battle-- especially when they were outnumbered on a scale of this magnitude. But when one stood beside a man in golden power armor, and a one-eyed man with a sword, it was kind of hard not to feel a little bit pumped. They were the strong silent types. He, on the other hand, was the boastful, bragadacious type, and the Enclave discovered that in full force as he advanced. His steps were light and methodical, and his figure briefly disappeared hazily into his environment as his armor's stealth module activated. The deputy bridged the gap in mere moments, and as suddenly as he disappeared, he reappeared before the first group of five soldiers with a roar.
"I'll SHOW YOU COMMIE SCUM!" As his shout rang out amongst the crowd, he leapt skyward, planting his right foot firmly between the first of the troppers' eyes as he instintively yanked on the handle of his shotgun. With one arm, he extended the barrel outward, squeezed the trigger, and winced as the recoil shook his body with exertion. but The buckshot exploded out of the barrel in a haze of white, the spray peppered the upper bodies of a duo of troopers with ease, and then sent a combination of crimson arterial spray, yellowish bone fragments, and pieces of lung and esophagus flying out of the other side as the rounds kept travelling.
|Yah||The first group of troopers laid low, Yahweh's attention turns toward the second group. A pair of swings whistle past their designated targets, and he takes the butt end of a gun to his chest for his troubles. Grunting, he stumbles back momentarily to catch his breath, while his one-eyed gaze roams calculatingly over the gathered troopers in a split instant before he has committed himself back to the attack. No words accompany this, only a low, animalistic and guttural roar.|
|Ashur|| The air resounds with the explosion of grenades around him; shrapnel and flame sizzle and scorch the wings of the vertibird, but fail to find purchase on Ashur himself. He's flattened himself upon the back-most ridge of the vessel, fingers slipped into a top-mounted exhaust port and crushing it in their grasp, holding on tight as the VTOL spins around to buck him off. The movements rattle his brain and inspire a momentary nausea, reminding him of his time on the ancient water-ship on the Epsilon..
But he grits teeth, his stomach settles, and when the machine levels he rolls to the side and drops off, catching the upper rim and swinging past the minigun, landing with a crouch on the padded flooring. As his cloak settles about him, the bull-horned tyrant twists his head and shoulders, fingers brushing the ground, pushing off in a momentous charge as the pilot leaps from his seat to engage him. "You're insane, you're a--"
Ashur barrels into him, shattering the visor of his helm with a quick left hook, crushing his ribs with the right hand's follow up. "I am the reaver!" He bellows in response, staring at the man's frantic eyes and bloodied, crushed nose. "The measure of all men!"
He smashes his hands into the man's torso and grasps huge heaping fistfuls of torn, broken flesh. Without shame, without honor, he indulges in pure violence -- smashing him side to side, throttling him, bashing his head into the controls, into the glass windshields. As the man begins to go limp, Ashur drives a knee up, crushing his balls and ending his family line, before simply strangling him in both hands as he purples and dies.
He flings the husk aside, where it tumbles and spills out the side of the vertibird. He seizes the controls, looking for what seems to be.. well, a control. He's seen steering wheels in cars, has to be something similar, right?
Push the buttons. They don't respond -- he blames shoddy craftsmanship, not the ripped wires, the dents in the metal, the damage that sends sparks everywhere.
It crashes into the facility with a howling roar that echoes across the landscape. Fire, fire, everywhere.. and moments later, Ashur emerges from the wreckage. Glowing, super-heated, somehow not burning, stalking like Judgement back toward the group.
|Jackson||As Jackson prepared to act, the hairs upon the back of his neck suddenly stood at stock-straight attention. Rather than betray his instincts, the young man allowed his legs to fall out from under him, and as he did so, a rocket-propelled grenade flew through the air where his head had been, slamming into the side of the building with a 'BLAM!'. Another came behind it, and the deputy rolled out of the way and onto his feet, diving free of the explosion's radius an instant before it had encased him completely. But his next assault was much more conventional. He did his best to ignore the lingering ache from his weapon's recoil, and brought it up to fire at the second group of troopers. However, a slight tremble in his arm caused by the one-handed shot from before threw his aim off, causing the handfull of supersonic shrapnel to fly wide. He was ready for the next shot, though-- with a decisive squeeze of his trigger, the next rounds reduced one of the men's left legs to splintered, crimson mush, annihilating his femeral artery and forcing him to bleed out in a matter of seconds.
It was then that Jack realized the last of the first group still had a bit of fight in him. He spun on his heel, and allowed his body to naturally pivot with the increasing momentum, cranking his foot mere inches above the trooper's head. Rather than halt his spin, he continued his arc, using the velocity he'd already built up to complete a second spin at a lower arc, and drove the armored plates of his greaves directly into the soft spot in the back of the trooper's head. Almost instantly, he seperated his brain stem from his spine, and left the trooper to suffer a painless, though vividly terrifying death.
In the midst of the lawman's assault, the battlefield was madness. Lasers and grenades flew wide of their targets with reckless abandon, the whistling of a sword echoed through the air, and above all else, everything went completely and totally mad when the Vertibird crashed. The front-most portion of the building collapsed, and gave way to a violent explosion which sent fire, shrapnel, and god-like force flying outward in every conceivable direction. Without giving the man time to take the risk himself, Jackson suddenly and forcefully sprinted through the battlefield toward Yah, tackled him to the ground, and shielded the brute with his armor as the flames and force of the explosion rolled over them. He didn't know the man well-- but that doesn't mean it was worth letting the explosion send him flying. In spite of his attempt, the duo was sent rolling several feet backward, and regained their footing just in time to see the glowing, flame-wreathed Ashur treading back toward them from the wreckage of the vertibird. As Jackson saw him, he rose to his feet, removing his mask and fixing the man with a bewildered stare.
"We've had our disagreements, monster. But when you fight at my side, you never disappoint."
With that, the group did their best to gather themselves, and plan for the future. One of the power armored brutes had escaped-- which inevitably meant that the Enclave would return. Likely sooner than later. They didn't have time to head back to El Dorado-- they'd have to call for reinforcements, and wait it out. Until then? They'd just have to wait and see what came and found them. Ic ouldn't be anything good.