|Sparrow||The wasteland. Miles upon miles of mutated and damaged critters at near constant odds to survive. It's for this reason that skirmishes are so regular but short lives because eventually, they all need to do things to help them survive: Eat, Sleep, Heal..
Except Robots. Robots are relentless. Especially those that were made to be.
No one's sure how long 'The Voice' has been stuck in the low cave overlooking the Rosewell distance. But Rangers and Couriers have said that they've heard the faint cries for at least three days. None of them have been brave enough to go investigate themselves but some worried citizens got together and offered a small caps reward for anyone willing to go out and find out what's going on. There have been reports of glimpses of both Cyberdogs and muttering of a very distant, "You better run, you commie-loving bastard!" And the occasional eerier, "Identify yourself, maggot!"
|Jude||There are a few things that get Jude's attention and this job has a number of them. Robots? Caps? He'll be your huckleberry. He slinks out of the waste at the appointed hour, dressed in his sparse leather armor over his Vault 30 suit. The tool belt, wrench, and combat knife adorn his waist. In truth, he's here to optimize the scrap left by the wrecks more than actually fighting. Without a laser, he's not horribly effective.|
|Stockton||Stockton is a Merc on a mission, there's a home to save, a reputation to build, a point to prove. He's strapped up and lightened his load some in town today. He's also hobbling on a bum leg some, gimping out to the meeting point with a shadow behind him. Recognizing the Vaulter, he gives Jude a friendly enough nod, "Good to see yer still kickin', Blue." Double checking the rounds in his Desert Eagle, and then his 10mm, he leaves the 10mm in his waist while keeping the handcannon in hand. "Glad you two're here. There's bound to be decent scrap," he notes before seeing if anyone else is comin.|
|Tobias||Tobias is buzzing to and fro in Stockton's shadow, trailing along behind the taller man as he stops every so often to pick up a piece of shiny debris or squint at a thing in the distance. Tobias is a filthy high energy wrench goblin with a wide yellow tooth grin. He has a bit of filthy tattered red fabric puddled around his throat and he slides his goggles past his short dreadlocks to take 'em off and clean 'em. A permanent indent in the skin shows he wears those things a /bit/ too tight. There is a rifle hanging off one of his shoulders, "I don't think we got'chyer name last time, did we guy? Yer the one whose good with a wrench, right?" He's asking this of Jude as he scurries to catch up with he and Stockton's conversation.|
|Jacqueline||Robots... the thought's a little scary, considering what kinds of machines tend to survive a nuclear war. Jackie Wayne is a sucker for a good cause, and she could use the caps, but that doesn't mean she won't be careful. People stay away from mysterious noises and voices for good reason, sometimes.
She's sticking close to Stockton and the others, distinctive in her gecko-leather jacket and pants, her shotgun held ready in both hands. The 10-mike holstered at her hip is a backup, really, but it's loaded and ready to go. "So where are these voices being heard? Did the Couriers say for sure?"
|Sparrow||They had said out along the Clovis Highway, headed off towards Rosewell and near Jacks Town. The area is still being mapped out and so directions aren't going to be exact but they do assure the gathered group that as long as they're on the road, they'll hear the distant sound of the automation echoing off the desert rock.
Sparrow is coming along but mostly as usual as a Medic if folks need them and to offer cover.
It's a clear morning in the wasteland; the sky brightening and cloudless and the wind at a standstill. It's good beast hunting weather and bad for sneaking up on Robots. Thankfully, it's Tobi and Jackie who hear it first. Off to the side the dulcet call of the wild wasteland malfunctioning robot: "Are you afraid of me? Well, you should be, because I'm going to kick your ass when I find you!" Said in an old gruff voice.
|Jude||Jude eyes Stockton as he seems to have developed either a John Wayne walk or something's gotten him. His smile is bright enough that he knows most of the posse though. Stockton gets an upnod. "Same to you, Stockton. Good to see ya upright." He winks and then flits his attention to the wrench goblin shadow. "Jude," he supplies, nodding that he's the one that's fair to middling with the wrench. "Yup. We done moved that barricade yonder down the road. Good to see ya again, Tobias."
Jacqueline gets an appraising once over. He smiles and gives a little wave. "I'm Jude. Saw you at the saloon for a spell earlier, yeah?" He doesn't have a lot of details to supply her though. The new guy, especially the Vaulter, isn't usually the go to for the specific details.
After some more trudging along, Jude hears it, a bit after some of the more alert sorts. He immediately retreats behind the gunners, drawing his knife, just in case something gets too close to comfort to one of the shootists.
|Stockton||Stockton is going with the John Wayne walk, because the proud Merc wouldn't admit to having been injured by a fucking pig. Nope not gonna talk about it. Jude gets a nod and he checks over his shoulder at the 'medic'/backup on her high horse. There's a smirk and he turns to Jackie, "Hey, good tah see you again." He remembers her from the Merchant's! "Best to get a closer look at least yeah?" With that big pistol in hand he crouches a little low and starts to move slow and quietly as he can. Scouting ahead as it were. Or getting initiative started faster. Whichever.|
|Tobias||"Tha's right. Jude! You too, pal." Tobias bobs his head and slips his goggles back down onto his face to cover his eyes once more in dingy reflective black oil sheens. "I can talk anyone through the proper way to tune up a buick but I'll be damned if I recall yer name the first time ya give it... ain't got a head for names. Numbers, sure." Tobias prattles on as the others walk along in this loose knit group of adventurers but he trails off when they grow closer to the cave. He watches Stockton move in with stealth in his gait and the scavvy follows suit. His large pack tend to jangle but if he moves slow enough.. maybe...|
|Jacqueline||"Yesterday, right?" Jackie asks, offering a tense smile to Jude. She's a little on edge, what with being told about /voices/. After all, mysterious voices don't stay mysterious if they just walk alongside the road where anybody can seen them.
Like they're doing, actually. "Hello again, Mister Stockton... and if that's what you've got in mind, be careful!"
Jackie suddenly pauses, her body tensing like a pointer's as she hears something in the distance. She looks to the left...
"Take cover!" she hisses, bringing up her shotgun as she steps behind a large rock on the side of the old road. She quickly drops into a crouch so that it's between herself and the source of the muttering, trying to cover Stockton as he moves over to check. "That's our voice!"
|Sparrow||"Looks's like my Lucky Day." Opines General Dissaray from his post patroling around the mouth of the cave. There are a few other little shapes hovering in the area little blinking red lights monitoring the progress of the swarm fo eyebrows also keeping patrol.
Stockton's trying to move but that leg is bum and sometimes there are creatures out there that have some of the senses of their living counterpart.
It's the growl that Stockton hears first. As a dog launches itself at him with a vicious little snarl bouncing off his chest armor at velocity with a soft whirr of gyros and a canine yelp.
Jude is next as he hears a similar mechanical growl but the mecha-doge misses him completely.
|Jude||The dog might miss Jude, but the Vaulter tracks the canine cyborg and lashes out with his knife. He finds a chink where metal and flesh meet in the left rear leg, nearly taking it off the poor animal. With a twist and another slash taking the right foreleg nearly off. Spurting ichor, the animal gives it's last pained whine before it's released from it's eternal, half-mechanical torture. Chest heaving, Jude flicks his attention to Stockton's attacker and the small army of robots beyond.|
|Jacqueline||"Oh, fudge..." Jackie murmurs as the situation gets out of control in a hurry. The voice has help! The kind with nasty big pointy TEETH!
And two of the help are after Stockton and Jude! Jude manages a close escape, but Stockton isn't quite so lucky. She pops out from behind her rock just long enough to give his robot dog playmate a gut full of buckshot. "Hit 'em hard!" she calls, dropping back into cover.
|Stockton||Stockton thought he was being sneaky, right up until he had a robo-dog jumping up and pouncing against his chest. The thud of the weight of gears and metal is enough to leave ribs bruised as he stumbles back. A snarl comes and he watches the thing catch buckshot. Lifting his ten mil, he levels a bullet into the things rib area, leaving it to whimper and groan over the damage. He turns his attention to the floating Eyebots next. That handcannon barks when the slide kicks out a spent casing. That hefty calibur bullet smashes into one floating eye which then nicks another as it spirals down to the ground.|
|Sparrow||Sarrow had ducked behind a boulder but upon seeing the dogs, eyebots and General as they all wheel upon the group she steps aside. Lifting Reason to aim into the distance, her first shot goes wide and far and she frows and concentrates hard. Her shot hits the general and pings off the metal sending some debris off it but now he's a comin' for ya all, "Pain is just weakness leaving the body!" He declares defiantly oncoming and .. chargin up his laz0rs.|
|Tobias||Tobias leaps out of cover with his rifle held up and a riotous peel of laughter drawing the focus of several enemies as he peppers the General with bullets from the rifle set on full auto. Ratatatat! His sickly yellow smile chatters with the effort and some of the bullets even hit their mark as he bounces around firing madly in the General's general direction some more... laughing all the while.|
|Sparrow||The laser fires first, a red beam shooting from one of the General's arms and seering it's way through the early clear morning and directly towards the Wrench Goblin. Pew!
And then comes his second ar, the Revolver arm, he shoots at some imagined foe violently, "Take THAT, you commie bastard!"
|Jude||Jude eyes the situation and it's either eyebots or the laser wielding general. He looks at his knife with disappointment and then steels himself. He zips at the eyebots, shouting, "I'll distract these little bastards. Take the Gutsy down!"
His blade flashes out at an eyebot, but they're just to quick. He tries for another with similar, dismal results. "Hold. Still." he complains.
|Jacqueline||The situation's improving a little, with one dog reduced to scrap and one hobbling away, whimpering and leaking fluids. But there's still that Mister Gutsy coming their way, crazy and blood-hungry as any robot ever gets. "Go, Jude!" Jackie cheers as the Blue Man with the knife dashes forward to take the fight to the enemy. For her part, she's staying put with this rock between herself and the lasers.
Not that she's not doing her part: Up she pops again, triggering her shotgun at the oncoming robot. "Okay, tin soldier... eat THIS!"
Dropping back into cover with her empty fowling piece, she blushes at what just came out of her mouth. Robots don't eat!
|Sparrow||"Pin my medals upon my chest... Looks's's's's..eeee..." Eee? EEE?! What could that sound be?
Jackie's shotgun takes off the chatty general's tatterede armor leaving it destitute. All it had was it's mission you see. Just to sit here and tell it's maggots what to do. And what's a Gutsy to do when it's no longer fit to serve the good old U.S. of A?
Nuclear Meltdown of course.
Sparrow for her part is dumbfounded. Mechanical things someply confound her. They're inorganic and weird. Is it dying like a baloon? She has no idea so she lifts her gun to try and take Aim again.
The eyebots are swarming, all two and one droopy third, trying to get a lock on the group at large..
Those in the know are aware it's not wise but the general seems to have started charging towards them with a latch ditch effort to die for his glorious Uncle Sam!
|Jude||Jude sees Jackie's shot to the General and it stops him cold in his swatting at Eyebots. He huffs a little, "Oh shit." Then he gets loud and shouts, "It's going to BLOW! Don't let it get CLOSE! IT'S GONNA EXPLODE, Sparrow! RUN, STOCKTON!" He sort of assumes the other tech heads will cotton on to what he's yammering. The eyebots can do as they will, saving the Posse trumps personal concerns. Little bastards.|
|Jacqueline||The buckshot scours away a LOT of robot plating. Good!
Only... what's it doing? Jackie's eyes widen as she realizes just what that sudden change in direction means. She barely hears Jude's words as her own come out. "It's gonna blow... RUN FOR IT!" she cries, dropping behind the rock that's been her fighting position for the last several seconds and curling into a ball. If ever there's a time to duck and cover, here it is!
|Stockton||"Aw...shit." Stockton manages to mutter as he spits his cigarillo out onto the ground and turns around to start hobbling as fast as he can. It's less running so much as just scrambling away from the robot's general line of travel. If he can get to a place out of the way enough, he'll attempt to pop off a last shot to possibly halt the robot's progress, make it explode out there!|
|Sparrow||Sparrow blinks at Jude and is only spurred by Jaque's alert as well. Sparrow wheels and is running full tilt the other direction looking for anything huge and rotective that wont potentially get blown -onto- her as she flees. There are some things you just don't try and take on, you know, if you're a reasonably intelligent wastelander; unpredicatble possible mini-nukes? Not one of those things Sparrow is confident she can take..|
|Tobias||The insane goggle wearing Tobias sports only tattered rags and a sick motorcycle jacket, in addition to his huge steel frame backpack and wicked rifle, "Run yo-ou-ou-ou-ou Guuuuuys!" He shrieks as he puts himself directly into the path of the charging nuclear reactor and aims for that... one.. sweet spot. "Mother Ratchet full of gears." The guy in the suit falls over and Tobias turns around with a big stupid grin on his ugly face. "I got'em but we shouldn't linger... that suit's not stable."|
|Sparrow||Run indeed; because Mr. Gutsy's gutsies have turned glowing hot iron red and it's starting to shake the closer it gets. Incoming, in three..
There is no two or one because the rifle somehow aims itself center mass as Tobi wields it like an absolute madman sending the malfunctioning Gutsy into shrapnel that sears a small crater into the landscape around it...
Stock and Sparrow are already good and away and the three engineers managed to escape the blast being too closed to deal with more than the smell of burnt hair ozone.
But there are those pesky eyebots..
|Sparrow||the Eyebots are not impressed; buzzing their odd insectlike scrambled language of malfunctioning eyebots they fire little taser sensors at Jude but thankfully he's nimble and so the tiny eletrodes miss and fire off into the dirt.|
|Jude||After he sees Stockton and Sparrow are running and out of danger, Jude hits the ground to avoid the worst of the explosion. He's on his feet, disappointed that the eyebots weren't caught in the blast, in an instant. He tears off towards Tobi and Jacqueline, trying to stay out of their line of fire as well as he can.|
|Jacqueline||The detonation of the insane nuclear warhead is painfully loud.
With her ears ringing, Jackie hastily opens the shotgun's break action, popping the expended shells out and thumbing in two from her pocket. Snapping it shut, she peeks over the rock.
Still some trouble up by the cave, in the form of those pesky Eyebots! But Jude is fortunately clearing her line of fire. She counts a slow three, throws the gun to her shoulder, and fires a blast of buckshot straight into the milling swarm!
|Sparrow||Bits here. Bit's there. Ro-bits everywhere. One last sizzle and the scent of burning circuitry and the last eyebolt goes down in a hail of bullets. Littering the landscapes with mangled nasty debris and one dying cyber dog. All of these robots, upon inspection, will show signs of electrical damage in similar patterns. It's doubtful anything will be useful.
Sparrow pauses and turn looking in the distance as the last of the enemies fall in a hail of shot leaving the landscape, other than the echoes of their battle fading off into the rocks and desert, eerily silent for a long, long moment before there's a tentative: "Uhm, Hello?"
|Tobias||Tobias is already making quick strides away from the scene with his goggles and face scarf on, not his usual behavior following an outing peppered with dangers and bullets. "I'm heading back in, I don't trust that suit not to blow again." He grabs one of the fallen eyebots by a wing for parts and keeps moving away from the nuclear detonation he created with his clever shot.|
|Jude||Jude turns to look over his shoulder at the destruction that Jackie's shot levels on the the eyebots. It isn't quite the nuclear explosion that Tobi was able to achieve, but it deserves a long, drawled, "Daaaaaaamn!" His smile gets big as he closes on Tobi and pays proper respect to Mother Ratchet. He falls to his knees with a laugh and bows down. After that, he starts to pick over the remains for any bits he might be able to use. He's left unsatisfied, but hey, it's part of his job.|
|Stockton||Stockton managed to hobble himself into a place of shelter just before the manic wrench goblin pops up and does his best Commando impression. The Merc can't help but approve but he's only now popping back up to level the handcannon towards the battle. A kaboom of Eyebots doesn't even make him flinch, he just keeps his guns trained on the open space. There's a chuff when Sparrow pops up to ask her question and he just shakes his head. "Tobi, make sure you grab somethin worth while yeah?" he's nursing that leg and isn't about to race the mini-nuke. Instead he keeps his guns at the ready, covering his friend.|
|Jacqueline||Jackie sighs in relief, seeing the Eyebots blinded and eliminated. She clicks open the action again as she looks around for more potential danger, flicking out the spent shell and thumbing in another.
Wait... that didn't sound like another crazy robot. "Helloooo~ the cave!" she calls, stepping forward. The shotgun's in her hands, reloaded, but she doesn't aim it that way. "Step out and let's talk peaceful-like!"
|Sparrow||Tentative again there's another attempt at a psst. But where is it coming from? It's not close, it's fairly faint and definitely shaky.
Sharrow'/s head turns towards the cave and her brows knit a little and she looks towards the people around her. She looks a little reserved as she stares towards the shadows.
Those who'd caught the hand and the gun see it disappear into the cave again suddenly and the very perceptive hear a quiet 'oh shit, bandits'.
The nervous voice calls out, "How I know you're all gonna be....peaceful...like?" Young, male, nervous.
|Stockton||Stockton watches carefully as the gun peeks around the corner. He's got a bead on that hand and can probably blow the whole thing off if he tries hard. But then there's a nervous and tiny voice, "Cuz we're from El Dorado 'n we're gonna go 'head and put the weapons away all peaceful like..." he nods at Sparrow and puts his own guns down, slowly holstering them to be out of his way. That's not to say he couldn't snap one back to hand in the blink of an eye.|
|Jude||Jude catches some of the movement as he pauses in his scavenging. He peers at where the hand was pointing a gun in their direction. He flicks his attention back and forth between the group and the voices from the cave. He nods in agreement with Stockton, wipes his blade, and slips it back into his belt. "Yeah, El Dorado," he affirms. "Some Couriers and whatnot said there was some creepy voices and whatnot up around here. We ain't bandits. Just some folk that're tryin' to make this little spot of dirt a little safer."|
|Jacqueline||Jackie blinks, hearing that. "Well, there's the fact that I just said we would, and a Wayne's word has meaning. Then there's the fact that we came out here from El Dorado to find out what was making all the noise up this way that was scarin' folks. And then there's the fact that you've got to come out sometime, ya know?"
She lowers her voice, shouldering the shotgun. "Sounds like you've been up this way for a bit already. If it's the robots you're worried about, they won't be botherin' anyone else."
|Sparrow||"Aint so much the robots.."The young man's voice admits quietly before he pokes his head out. Probably not more than fifteen and a similarly aged young woman pops her head around him. "Not that we're tryin' ta say you're raiders or nothin'."
Sparrow's gun slowly holsters and she look sidelong at Stockton and nods. She's smirking.
Once it's confirmed and Jude and Jackie word things so convincingly the girl is quick to jump out and run over towards her rescuers. The boy.. well. No. Not so much. Y'See he'd just wanted to show Missy that she was the most special Girl and wanted to see a UFO with her. And he had this whole thing in his mind about how he'd say that she was out of this world too and she'd kiss him...
Needless to say, Jack is not looking forward to the scolding from either of their parents. Especially with a Vaultie and a WAYNE dragging him home by his earlobes. And whats even worse? His plan didn't even work!
|Stockton||Stockton is unarmed and standing up straight again with a little flinch from the effort. With the gearheads doing their thing, and the children safely in tow, the Merc just turns back to town and strides along side Sparrow and her steed. Course, if they let him, he might lean on the horse a bit as they mozy right along, having done the right thing. "How's yer day been?" he asks the blonde cowgirl, conversational like, as they stroll homeward.|
|Jude||Jude isn't much of an earlobe puller. Hell, he's not even an older brother sort. He's just chummy and talkative as they escort the teens home. Still a weird little vaulter, but at least affable and perhaps a little amusing at least. He even will help whisper some new plans with Jack concerning Missy and that kiss should it get -that- chummy.
Mostly though, he's just happy as hell that the nuclear explosion and eyebots and cyberdogs didn't just maul him completely. While his confidence in the wastes is growing, it still makes him nervous.
|Jacqueline||Jackie, glancing around the circle of civic-minded El Doradans, stifles a smile as Sparrow's thoughts make it onto her face. The presence of the /second/ person in the cave only confirms it. "I guess some things never go out of style," she quips, shaking her head. "Come on, Romeo, let's get you and your friend back to town. No doubt someone's missin' you both right about now."
Not without sympathy, she's gesturing for the two to come along as she turns back toward town. She can come back later and check on the damaged robodog, to make sure it won't be a problem in the future. But it can wait until everyone's home safely.