|Lucette||It's dark by now, the blanket of night covering the Western Wasteland. Lucette had left another request out in El Dorado for those willing to do their neighbours some assistance in taking out pests that're cropping up further than militia patrols- that're being captured from Enclave control. The gathering point was not hard to find. A large campfire and flare leave bright white smoke in the sky, and a semi-accurate set of directions were provided on the post leading to the area. Lucette herself is perched atop her horse with her assistant, Quintis, seated nearby. Occasional glimpses of her mutant eagle can sometimes be seen circling around the smokepillar in the air..|
|Franky||Franky scanned the horizon under the glow of his night vision device. The optic humming as it passed over the campfire, threatening to turn off or risk damaging the image intensenifier. "I think this is us." Franky mumbled, flipping the device off then upward on it's mount to snap in rhino fashion on his combat lid. He glanced over toward Aris, "What's our cigarette situation looking like?" He mused, as he began for the light of the campfire. No doubt observable from those by the signal fire or he will be very soon as fast as he's strolling along. "Sup?" He calls out as he approaches.|
|Aris||A dark haired woman meanders behind Franky, dusty old boots walking lazily along the dark, dusty road to the gathering point. "Ya 'bout smoked me out of 'em," Aris muses in reply, fishing the pack out of her back pocket. One left. Lighting it, she takes a long drag then passes it to her companion. "You said bugs, right?" she asks as they approach the fire. "Que mierda, guapo. I'm choosin' the next adventure." Aris soon spots the brunette who seems to be waiting for them and tips her black Stetson in greeting.|
|Achilles||On foot is a giant, a familiar sight once again at this point. Achilles heads towards the meetup spot, a giant sword slung over his shoulder. Stopping short of the signal fire he takes a deep breath, looking around to see who all had gathered. "Y'all ready to party?" he asks once he's close enough.|
|Lucette|| Lucette turns her head over to the oncomers and gives a wave towards the three. "Howdy. Everyone loaded and ready to party? Some locals are spooked by what we're after. My assistant and Congress have about figured where the culprits might be." motioning to Quint and the Eagle in order,
"I hear it might be ants, and after how Quint described the place I'm inclined to believe it. Everyone alright for fighting in the dark, or." she pauses a moment to look everyone over, "I suppose I'll just mark the place on our maps and if anyone needs a light we're all covered." she chimes, holding up her right arm and fiddling with her pip-boy to update the map for everyone that isn't violating FCC regulations.
|Achilles||"As long as they aren't fire ants." Achilles chimes in with a sigh. "Though I suppose there'd be even more a reason to kill them. I'm set." The giant looks over to the others. "Ready for a little bloodshed? We're at a disadvantage in the dark."|
|Franky||Franky looks between the gathered group. The giant he's sure he met once, the girl arrainging this extermination exploration induces a lofty brow from Franky. He suddenly remembers that cigarette Aris offered to him. A nice long drag, followed by a bellow of smoke into the dark of the night. "Not sure I've ever shot at ants before." He shrugs, leaning over to Aris to pass her the cigarette and whisper sweet nothings probably.|
|Aris||The mountain of power armor that's presented himself earns a brief brow raise and nod in greeting from Aris before she's distracted again and stealing back her cigarette from Franky with a bit of a mumble. To Lucette, she offers, "Ain't scared a' the dark." She swipes her finger along her Mil-Pip, the green glow turning on and then off again. "Or at least, I ain't anymore. Vamonos."|
|Lucette|| Lucette hears fire ants and a notable shudder runs through her. "Ain't heard of any scorch marks or burned farms or the like. So probably not fire ants." she assures all, hopping off of her horse and nodding to Quint, whom replaces her.
Lucette waves to the group and turns, Quint riding ahead with Congress flying in his wake. "They're going ahead to find the place again. Our maps should be right. Quieter we move the less likely we are to get caught off guard." she mentions warily, then starts striding in the direction Quint left off in. She's easy enough to spot, leaving her pip's light on.
|Aris||With a nod, Aristide moves to follow Lucette. She's never met this lady, but she seems to know what the hell she's doing and where the hell she's going. Taking another long hit off that cigarette, she passes it to the dark-haired man beside her, quiet for now besides the clicking of bullets into her revolver.|
|Franky||Franky grins and sighs, "Sure do, I'm told its the best place to bury a blade." He winks back toward Aris, then watches as Lucette dispatches her vanguard. He lifts a hand to drop the his night vision option back across his eyes, the world turning into shades of black and green when he turns it back on. Lucette's pip-boy blooming in his tubes, pulls his pdw across his body letting it rest in the nook of his shoulder. He follows after, choosing to keep the banter lower for now.|
|Achilles||"Good, damn tired of them." Achilles nods at everyone and follows behind everyone. "If you're soft, feel free to hide behind me." he adds, looking between Aris and Franky.|
|Lucette||Lucette sighs, sweeping her head back and forth while trying to walk quietly. "I don't see anything specific." she comments, only stopping when she barely makes out Arro's bright colour in the distance, then looks around more to assess the area.|
|Aris||The dark haired woman stifles a chuckle at Achilles's words, turning to look at him over one freckled shoulder. "Tenemos un tipo duro," Aris muses quietly, barely audible over the sounds his power armor makes. Turning her face back toward the darkness ahead, her gray eyes squint momentarily and she offers just barely loud enough for the others to hear, "Gas station ahead... too dark inside, could be trouble lurkin'."|
|Achilles||While not exactly stealthy in his power armor, Achilles is at least somewhat perceptive. "Yeah, looks to be buried. Probably the nest." He takes a deep breath and nods. "There's for sure trouble in there. Or near it."|
|Franky||Franky marvels at the world of green, the quiet desertscape, giant ant hills on gas stations. A hand adjusts the gain on his tubes, "Mmm..Nest indeed. Wonder if they like the remnants of fuel?" He muses, eyes flicking down to the cigarette Aris gave back to him. He decidely tosses it after a quick drag.|
|Lucette|| Once everyone gets close, a single ant, easily the size of a bicycle, scurries from the gas station. Its antennae flick over the ground and sweep around in the air, moving in a broad zig-zag pattern!
Lucette immediately suggests that everyone should go still and be quiet, switching off her pip light and following her own advice. The ant is moving towards Achilles, albeit slowly, like it's looking for something.
|Aris||"Gross," Aris replies to Achilles's supposition that the gigantic dirt mound is actually an ant's nest. Watching aghast as Franky tosses that cigarette, she murmurs something aside to him before asking Lucette, "These things killed anyone yet?" As if being summoned, that ant comes barreling out of the gas station. Aris shuts up, hands frozen on her revolver as she marvels at the size of the thing. She doesn't shoot, yet, choosing to get a better look at it and see where the thing goes first.|
|Achilles||"Doesn't matter." Achilles says, dropping the blade down from his shoulder. "Look at that, they're already onto us." He pushes up to his full height and takes a few steps forward, putting himself between it and everyone else.|
|Franky||Franky is doing that thing where he breathes through his mouth again. "..Huh.." He grunts, maybe he's marveling at the size of the ant or it's weird ant parts being anty. Franky flicks his eyes over to Achillies whose already getting ready to cleave things. He shifts his weight and gets behind his gun, ready for a stream of giants ants to emerge from their hidey-hole.|
|Lucette|| The lone ant catches on to something it seems, spinning 'round and retreating back into the mound in a hurry. After no more than a handfull of seconds pass, another ant comes from the mound.. and then eleven more, moving in a single group towards Achilles with a series of hisses and clicking as they skitter forth.
Lucette, meanwhile, is reaching her left hand back under her duster and resting over the small of her back in preparation...
|Aris||The sudden swarm of ants has Aris scrambling for cover. Luckily for her (and perhaps unluckily for Achilles), that big suit of power armor looks to be the closest thing around. Ducking behind one leg, Aris calls to her companion as she aims her revolver at the nearest bug. "Get back, guapo!" She shoots without hestiation, hitting the nearest ant.|
|Achilles||As Aris takes a shot at the nearest bug Achilles rushes forward. Meeeting exoskeleton with steel. The giant cleaves through the horde, removing heads from bodies with a practiced ease. As one gets too close he runs his sword straight through it, splitting it in half.|
|Lucette|| The group valiantly defeats the formic swarm, with Aris' well placed shot from Achilles' flank and the armour-clad man's own mighty sword cleaving the survivers to unmoving husks.
With haemolymph pooling the ground, and the echoes of hissing and faint rumble of movement from below, it's clear that the job isn't finished for the group.
Lucette meanwhile remains on guard, keeping her eyes in the direction the ants came from and steadying herself. "When everyone's ready, we're gonna have to go in there." she remarks, "Make sure you're topped off on Juice before we move."
|Aris||The dark haired woman's mouth is agape at the crumpled ant bodies before her. "Franky, buy me some power armor," Aristide muses at him, one booted toe coming up to kick at a blown apart ant husk. To Achilles, she offers, "Good killin', stranger," before heading past Lucette toward that mound. "Well c'mon, the rest of 'em ain't gonna blast themselves."|
|Achilles||"Not the armor." Achilles says, cleaning the ichor from his blade before resting it back onto his shoulder. "Been killin' since I could walk. Also, it's Achilles." He nods to Lucette and stretches out. "I'm ready when y'all are."|
|Franky||A grin formed on Franky's face as the ant's emerged from their mound. He flicked the selector off on his gat, and shifted his body preparing to aim at the bulbous bodies. Only he doesn't get to, it seems Achillies is spreading ant butter on the wasteland floor. "Shiiit." Franky manages, looking toward Aris outlined in his NODs. He remanins stationary, a little surprised at the speed of the giant armor clad bug killer. He turns to regard Lucette as she mentions going in after them. "Great." He mumbles, stepping over the mangled bodies. "Heh, buy? Your silly, Aris."|
|Lucette|| Luce herself takes a moment to Juice up her colt, sliding it with a practiced hand from its holster, slipping the light magazine from it and sliding the second in with a satisfying thunk as it clicks into place. From there she reholsters it and starts feeding spare rounds into the previously-resting mag, then adds it to the holster and sighs. On everyone so far seeming ready, she starts going forward.
"I might suggest trying to be quiet, no clue if it's going to be cramped in there or what, but we don't want them to jump us in unfamiliar space before we're ready. And who buys power armour?" she says, standing just at the edge of the anthill's opening- taking up the wall of the gas-station and the mound as well. The opening's twice as large around as Achilles is tall, including his armour. A really big anthill. When people start going to move in, she'll go along with- as quietly as she can manage.
|Aris||Buy, beg, steal, borrow, ain't no matter to me," Aris grins, sneaking a quick kiss to Franky's cheek before joining Lucette at the brink of that ant hill. To her credit, she only hesitates a moment before moving into the darkness, switching the light on her Mil-Pip to a low glowing green. She's not particularly quiet, Aris, with those big boots. But she's trying.|
|Franky||Franky moves in to join the gathering on the ant hill. Turning off his nvd, unclipping it, and stuffin it into a pouch on his chest rig. Franky lifts a brow toward Aris as he feels lips on his cheek. He clears his throat as he knees down, "Can thief what you already own." He adds, looking between the ground. "Achillies you wanna go first? I'll pull you out if you get stuck." He grins.|
|Achilles||"I don't know. I see another kiss and I'll let you both run in first." Achilles grumbles, heading on in.|
|Lucette||The group moves into the anthill, everyone trying to go quiet.. Lucette atleast refraining comment about the kissing, and partly glad her suit covers her face, the heads-up display is quite nice. But the posse doesn't get far into the dark tunnel before the familiar hiss of ANTS becomes heard again. From the dark a second swarm skitters from all angles ahead towards the party, swarming hard and fast!|
|Franky||Franky follows suit behind Achilles into the den of ants. Stupid ants, two legs less scare than spiders....but still stupid. They must have heard his thoughts cause now it sound like their all over them now. He grits in the pip-boy lit tunnels, leveling his p90, and letting two volumes of tear out of the muzzle. Muzzle flashes making funny shadows on the nest walls.|
|Achilles||Anger. So much anger. Achilles lets a low growl rumble in his throat and buries his blade through the head of one of the ants, ripping it free he swings wide and just misses another, which just seems to piss him off more.|
|Lucette||Lucette was waiting for this, as the staccatic din of automatic fire erupts next to her and the sound of sword rending carapace is swallowed up by hissing, she whips her Colt free from its holster and fires off a single round into the swarm of ants, then aims the second shot at one of the walls ahead.. though, that second shot doesn't seem to do much of anything, making a plume of dirt fall from the wall in its wake.|
|Aris||Grinning at the banter up above, Aristide had continued her descent into the ant hill... at least, until they hear the sounds of a another scurrying ant swarm. "Shit," Aris breathes, backing up as much as she can and leveling her weapon toward the dark. Franky's gunfire behind her deafens her briefly, but she recovers and fires past Achilles into the swarm. She misses narrowly, and before she has the chance to get off another shot, ants overtake them and one rips a good chunk of meat off her ribs. She screams in anger. Nearby, it seems like Achilles and Lucette are attacked, but it doesn't seem to put a damper on their ability to squash some of the fuckers. She can't even see Franky back there in the darkness that is punctuated only by the light of gunfire, she only hears his guns.|
|Lucette||AAAAAGH ANTS! Even though Aris moved back to make space, the ants weren't having none of that shit! So instead they move in and harass Aris while also biting at Achilles and Lucette. Aris is bitten by one of the ants, thankfully her tactical vest spares her the sharp nightmares, but it doesn't spare her the crushing force, that'll leave a nasty bruise for sure! The bite on Achilles couldn't possibly do anything through his T-51's protection and he is unscathed, Lucette is quick on her feet and avoids being attacked... but now almost everyone's locked in with the ants.|
|Franky||Franky now knows what a target rich enviroment truely is. He lays heavily on the trigger, letting burst rip and connect with the dirt and ant muck covering the walls and floors. "Bullets cost money!" He yells, hearing Aris's scream off in the dark. Another rounds of fire erupts again from his pdw, turning the tunnel into some form of fucked up dance club with custom p90 strob light. A dance club of dodging ants and piles of expensive bullet casings.|
|Achilles||"Don't die." Achilles growls, lobbing heads off of ants. As one gets too close he grabs it by the mandibles, ripping it's head in half. "There's more'n this. We're just getting started."|
|Lucette|| As Franky's disco intensifies and Achilles makes his exclamation of not dying, Lucette grips her Colt tightly and fires off two rounds in a quick burst at the ant swarm, but the effect isn't noticible as dirt plumes from the stray rounds. Her third round, however, manages to fire right into one of those dang bugs and make it pop! By the time she's settled from that third shot, all the ants from the charge are dead on the ground.
The sound and sensation of movement continues from below, however.. there's more to go in the anthill!
Lucette sighs in her helmet and quickly pops out her magazine to check it, slacking it back in with a nod. "The little ants are probably hiding deeper inside or more are massing up for another attack. We goin' in to clear them out or retreating?" she asks aloud.
|Achilles||"Fuck 'em." Achilles answers in a growl. "You two holding up alright?" He doesn't seem to really care right this moment though.|
|Aris||Aris leans against the dirt wall, stripping open her chest armor to look at the damage beneath. Almost crushed her ribs. "Fine," Aris breathes in answer to Achilles, holding ribs and frowning. "But the bugs gotta die." Gray eyes search for Franky in the dark.|
|Franky||Franky looks around the now quiet tunnel, his boots shifting about the small brass casings at his feet. "Shit." He fumbles with his pip-boy, flicking on the light and searches the tunnel. "Everyboy green?" He calls out. Turning away as he moves to find Aris, "Ay, chica. How you feeling?" Navigating the dead worker ants to have a look see at Aris. He frowns.|
|Lucette||Lucette looks to Aris, holding her ribs... that's never a good signal to receive. She holsters her Colt for the moment and opens up her medkit, "Don't move. I'll see what I can do to help you out." she murmurs, taking out her healing powder and a small phial of mysterious brownish liquid. "Drink this." she says, offering the phial to Aris while going to apply a nice smattering of the powder over Aris' bruises if allowed. It tingles to the touch and numbs a little, and the drink is rather bitter and will help cut the pain too.|
|Aris||"Sentirse bien," Aristide answers Franky between clinched teeth, wincing as her fingers press gingerly along her ribs. She watches Franky's face, maybe trying to ascertain how serious the damage is by his reaction. Lucette's approach distracts her, though, and she takes the mysterious liquid that's proffered. Not one to turn down a good drug (or even a bad one, if we're being honest), the dark haired woman throws it back in one shot, grimacing at the bitterness. Whatever painkiller the brunette has applied topically seems to work rather instantly, the frown on Aris's face easing. "Thanks," she murmurs.|
|Franky||Franky steps closer to Aris and Lucette as Aris is doctored up. Trying to illuminate the affected area with the pip-boy on his arm. He frowns again, "This isn't penetrating trauma.." He seems a disappointed, stuffing away a sealed roll of gauze in a chest pouch. The light of his pip-boy shifts to guide him to a cargo pocket, pulling out a rolled up pair of socks. "Here, change your stockings too...I heard you'll feel better." He seems serious, and the socks look clean enough! If they fit Aris or not is another story.|
|Aris||The sudden but distant sound of ants crawling somewhere below captures Aris's attention for a long moment... at least until Franky's offering her socks. "The hell you talking about, varon?" She reaches out towards him, but doesn't take those socks. Instead, she flicks the light on her Mil-Pip, watching to see if Franky's pupils dilate like they're supposed to. "You rock your head on somethin'?" Her tone is concerned.|
|Franky||Franky pupils are a normal as can be, despite whatever release of adrenaline the last two waves of ant had on him. He squints and tucks the socks back from where they came. "Listen, all the cool merc combat medics say to change your socks, and take ensaid's." He shrugs, his demeanor changes to once of surprise now. "And hydrate." He snaps his finger, searching his chest pockets for the plastic water bottle he carries around. A grin as he offers it to Aris, the liquid inside is brown, if that's any indication of it's alcohol content.|
|Aris||The pain in Aristide's ribs is lessening noticably, likely by some combination of painkiller and Franky antics. "If'n a cool merc combat medic told ya jumpin' off a bridge would help, would ya?" she teases him fondly, sliding down the dirt wall slowly until she's sitting leaned against it. The water bottle is taken gratefully, its contents already known to her after hanging out with the sky pirate for this long. "Sacred fluids," she remembers aloud before drinking like someone dying of thirst.|
|Franky||A smile at Aris's comment, "Assuming a merc medic told me to jump off a bridge I'd assume the prognosis was grim." Franky's features relax, retrieving his P90, he releases the magazine from the top and swaps it out with another from his system of chest pouches. He toggles the safety once again, "Almost Sacred fluids." Franky corrects, "There's some whiskey in there too. If I remember correctly."|
|Lucette||Lucette straightens up post-assistance and closes her medkit, before turning to look further into the anthill. "Alright, let's go and see what's left to smack down." she murmurs, once again looking over her kit and doublechecking her magazines between her .22 and Colt.|
|Aris||Using the dirt wall and Franky as leverage, Aristide stands once again--with only a little grunting-- and moves to follow Lucette when she suggests they continue. "Ready or not," she muses, revolver in hand.|
|Franky||Watches Aris pull herself up, giving her a pat on the back despite the crush trauma to her ribs. He starts off along side Aris, "Bug hunts, man."|
|Rome||Rome follows the smoke signal amplified by the flare, eventually coming across the ant hole. He was late to the party, but that didn't stop the Knight from making an appearance. He descends into the main tunnel, finding the group just as they're about to head in further. "Heard there an infestation." The Knight offers the group, modified AER9 in one hand, Pip-Boy held in another. The Power Armored knight nods at Lucette, then Franky and Aris.|
|Lucette|| Lucette turns her head to spy a familiar presence... as familiar as a suit of power armour can be, but the voice is enough for her to recognize Rome. "Yeah, we're heading in to get the rest, we hope." and motions to the tunnel, moving in with as much quiet that she can mustre.
As the group advances into the anthill the rustling of the colony increases. Fortunately the descent into a large open expanse is quick. Unfortunately it looks like the remnants of the colony were here trying to escape, and are alert enough atleast to catch onto Rome and Aris's movement!
With a large collective hiss, the ants make their best attempt to swarm over the posse! There is a cluster of large ants around what would seem to be the queen, a singularly huge example of the ants and with a long abdomen that gives her away. A few drones begin dropping eggs to try and defend their home.
|Franky||Franky braves a glance behind them to the fresh set of Power Armor that trudged along. "Sup?" He greets adds in return, He pushes onward towards the growing sounds of the rest of the colony. Mumbling as their now in the thick of them, "This is the weirdest shit." He mumbles, side stepping he clear the arc of fire from those still behind him. P90 lifted he mashes the trigger, those familiar flashes from the end of his bad larry erupt. His first volley just seems to paint inner ant domain, he follows up with another string of fire. A grin as some effect is affected.|
|Lucette||As the group gets into their fight, Lucette hastily shoves her Colt back into its holster. This is a lot of big things! For situations like this, she has a special gun, pulling it free from her holster and firing modified revolver once in a single, smooth motion before getting it to proper grip, winging a single round into the Queen with a content sigh.. SHE DIDN'T MISS!|
|Rome||Rome braces for the shit storm to ensue as he engages in combat with the the swarm, priming two shots off at the Queen Ant. Both hit her, but mostly seem fucking ineffective at this rate. She's so pissed, screeching and hissing as singe marks her body, causing Guardian Ants to get right up in the Knight's shit. One impressively catches him in the face, doing significant damage, the helmet and the Knight's flow of rolling with things reducing most of the impact.|
|Aris||Aris is having a rough night. She has enough time to get a shot off, but suddenly those ants are on her again, pinning her against one dirt wall of the mound. Through some streak of freak luck, she maneuvers herself out of harm's way, not feeling a damned thing in her ribs when she does so. Thanks painkillers! "Franky!" she calls to him in the chaos.|
|Lucette||The ants are not pleased! The Queen is hurt and the guards move to the one that first hurt her, ROME!!! Rome gets his head bit, probably just jostling him around in his power armour more than anything. Then the workers swarm over the rest of the posse, though they can't seem to get a break at all. Focusing mostly on Franky with frantic jabs and lunges that don't seem to connect. A single ant moves towards Aris, but she's able to keep with it enough to avoid its bite. Lucette's no stranger to dancin' either and the worker after her can't land a bite...|
|Franky||Franky calmly backs away as the swarm of workers...well..swarm him. He grimaces. Legs already moving and hips a'turnin', "Haha! Missed me, ya bish!" He taunts, as mantables snap. This insult on the hive must have insulted the queen, as a dark mass of vomititus and mucuos streak throught the air. Franky calmly rolls left, the projectile vomit coating the cave wall somewhere behind him. He doesn't look, cool guys never look...A grin, and then he's off shooting that damn P90 again. A stream of lead connecting with some workers, the other stream gets returned to mother earth.|
|Lucette|| Lucette was expecting the ants to come hurt her, not friends! A stray round from Aris knocks Lucette in a hilariously sensitive area and makes her wince, doubling over from the shot and glad for her suit's protection. "Watch your fire!" she shouts as she takes aim at the queen again.. she takes another single shot but it goes wide into the earthen wall, then sighs and lines up a doubletap, both shots managing to connect right next to eachother, going clean through the queen! Then she hefts up the severed leg of another ant and tries to jab a worker with it, but she misses..
The guard ants attack Rome and Luce, managing to bite Rome but this time somewhere more guarded, doing nothing to him! Lucette manages to keep the huge ants at bay for now, avoiding their attempts to eat her too. Franky's spastic lightshow is met with truly impressive moves it seems, avoiding the full amassed enmity of the worker swarm.
The queen seperates her abdomen from her birthing pod and letting a loud chittering into the tunnels, charging savagely at the posse!