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Rose      It had been a long and painful week. Mostly due to the fact that Rose had suffered more than her fair share of bumps and bruises. She'd left her coat in her room, helmet too. Instead the woman was wearing a simple tanktop and her usual pants, her banadages noticable on her form as she rested in the corner with a small bottle of Nuka Cola. She might have left her armor behind, but that gunslinger belt? It rests comfortably on her hips.
Jacqueline Jackie Wayne, fresh from a fruitless week of scavving and fixing, is just coming in, putting on a good show of cheerfulness. Her first stop is the bar, of course, for a Sunset Sarsaparilla.
It takes her a long moment of looking around the room to notice Rose, as she's used to seeing a lot more armor. But her face and manner are familiar, once Jackie puts the pieces together. She smiles and hops down from her stool, moving to join the ranger. "Hey, Miss Rose. Where's all your plating? Or is it a 'take it easy' night?"
Rose      "Dented, drying after being's had a rough week." Rose answers from her corner, giving a little chuckle and gesturing to her bandages. "I'm fairly sure the medic is going to throw something at me if I go out there again without resting." A wink at the other woman and the Ranger sips her drink lightly. "So this is me, resting."
Jacqueline "I seem to recall sayin' something about that a while back," Jackie teases, but slides into a chair at the ranger's table with a sympathetic smile. "It must've protected you well. I mean, you're all bandagey, but at least you're alive, and I'm glad to see that. Let me know if you need fixin' for it. I'll give you a discount."
Rose      "I got caught in a firefight down near that Vertibird crash in Roswell..." Rose comments as she shifts a little with a whince in her chair before shrugging. "Some of the others picked up a few things, I was too busy fighting for my life...but if you happen to come across a Pipboy or something that can play holodisks? That'd be worth my time."
Jacqueline "I think Roman has one for sale," Jackie recalls. "Unless he's sold it already. I haven't been by his shop for a while. He wanted 1000 caps for it." She shakes her head. "I've never even /seen/ 1000 caps, let alone held that many."
Sammy     Risen ... risen from the ... well. Okay it's just a bed, but the events in Roswell have given Sammy lots to think about. Was he really that much of an agnostic anymore? He rounds the second floor landing, and starts to descend the stairs, rifle shouldered, helmet on his elbow, gloves tucked in helmet, that 'drifting' smoothness to his gait restored, the whispers of the lower edge of his duster on the steps as he moves, even avoiding that super squeaky step #7 on his way down. "I ended up with some ... things from Roswell as well... Spare rifle, and a new trick up my sleeve as soon as I can get a buyer for the ..." he glances over Rose's injuries a pained 'ouch' and a bite of lower lip. Then a sweep over Jackie, and a smile and wave of fingers. "... well, spares." he finishes, drifting closer to the two.
Rose      Rose herself raises an eyebrow at the comment on the 'new trick' Sammy mentions after raising a hand in greeting to the man. Her own gear was still drying after its recent repair and cleaning, so the ranger was without much of the gear that identified her as such, but she was still sipping her drink. "I think Roman sold that one Jackie," Rose shrugs. "But I'll keep an eye out. There was a few things that others picked up." A pause and a smirk sidelong. "It's too bad I hit that core and blew up that Powered Armor wearing bastard. Can't use the armor, but the Minigun he was carrying would probably fetch one hell of a price."
Jacqueline "Context, Sammy..." Jackie hints, stifling laughter. She looks curiously at Rose. "You blew up someone in powered armor? Was this in the Vertibird fight? It sounds like I missed a pretty wild time."
Sammy     "What is it in this area... First minigun I spot, Douchenozzle-Mc-Thunderoos drops it in a vat of acid after getting his tighty whities shot to shit by Kitty's pistols... Then some goddamn Legion Centurion with delusions of adequacy gets his hands on a suit and experiences all the trigger control of a sixteen year old bought his first night in a brothel." he gives Jackie a wink and rummages in his duster, pulling out a metal box about 9 inches long, 2 inches wide, five inches deep. "Then some Brotherhood decide that it's easier to let civillians clear out ghouls and -then- come after people who are on the run from them? The miniguns from the Vertibird ... went down with it." he turns the box on it's side, pulling free one of the .50 cal rifle rounds he reloaded, bright gleaming brass, black-tip on the bullet, "Now I know, in certain circles Jackie, this -totally would- be a sex toy." he gives her a mischevious wink, and slides the massive round back into the magazine with a solid -KA-CHUNK- noise.
Rose      "Wasteland gets lonely, but not -that- lonely...Jeez," Rose comments from her position with a shake of her head, sipping her drink lightly before nodding. "The vertibird 'fight'. There was folks as armed as we were, maybe even moreso. Took down some big bastard in power armor with the minigun and some woman whom I swear was a poor-man's immitation of myself. But she was a slippery pain in the ass, good at avoiding gunfire. Just not good enough." A shrug and another sip of her soda, she leans back. "It's a shame about that Vertibird. My dad was one of the pilots for the few the NCR have running at any given time. He tried to teach me about how he flew them, but I haven't seen one since I was in pigtails."
Jacqueline "Please don't take this the wrong way, Sammy, but... I have /no/ freakin' clue what you're talkin' about," Jackie says, scratching her head. "Not the first part, anyway. But considering some of the people I've met in the Wastes, the latter makes some sense, even if it's depressing."
She turns back to Rose, her eyes widening as she listens. "Very wild times... I'm sorry I couldn't come. Maybe my shotgun would've come in handy," she says, more quietly. "I'd like to see a Vertibird sometime. I've only seen them in books."
Sammy     "This region, seems to be eating perfectly good miniguns, Jackie. Rather than letting them find their way into the hands of people who can use 'em properly." he admits, "... I'm not one, but I could totally see handing it over to Skittles and Lilly and Roman and having a really good security robot for downtown overnight... and a few pots of coffee." he tilts his head a little bit more at Rose's bandages, "Glad you made it back in one piece." he spins a chair around and mounts it, settling down, arms resting on the back as he leans forward. It's a practiced instinct, he picked a spot to let his back be to the bar, and can face the front windows. "I got buried in the rubble as we did the first evacuation, that resulted in the Vertibird going down. Seriously. Brotherhood pilots gunning for fleeing civilians. They deserve twice the death they got."
Jacqueline "They really did that? Shot at fleeing civilians?" Jackie's eyes widen again. "I'm really beginning to see the Brotherhood in a different light. Maybe the local chapter is different, or something, as I don't think they'd do anything like that, but if the rest are that cruel... I'm seriously rethinking my idea of becoming one of them, for sure."
Sammy     There's a graveness to the nod that Sammy gives, that carries as much weight as the words, "Yes, they did that." he sighs a little bit and flips his helmet off his elbow, looking at it, "I was waiting to see what they'd do, they decided, to turn raider. I don't know if it's the whole Brotherhood or not. That ... Abe kid, seems like he's glued together." he looks out the door, "But this bastard, opens his dialogue with a line like we didn't deserve our gearand that we should hand it over. Pulled right from the Raider 101 playbook. Shoul'd have face shot the fucker then and there..." and it's at this point that a keen eye might notice that there's a pale white paint brushed carefully over the front of the helmet, just to add color and definition and make it stand out. It follows down, highlighting the red lenses then down. Painted? Brushed with a finger. To make the effect that of an ashen red-eyed skull. No More Mr. Nice Sammy.
Jacqueline Jackie winces. "I'm not much for violence, but I'm with you there," she says. "You don't spend years pulling wires and gears and power cells out of the sand and then just hand it over to the first jerk who says he's got the sole claim." She doesn't have her shotgun with her, not now, but she pats her holstered 10mm pistol meaningfully. Though a sharp-eyed person might note the hints of nervous tension in that patting gesture...
Her eyes stray back up from the gun, seeing the change in Sammy's helmet. She shivers. "I only just realized... you've redecorated. That's a pretty drastic symbol you're using."
Sammy     "I like it. It was suggested by the crew that helped me with body detail... They claimed I looked like a grim reaper not an angel." he considers, and smiles, "I think it'll help me... put more seperation between the on and off duty time. Help me drive a wedge between being happy go lucky with friends, and being ... well... " he looks into the eyes of the helmet, holding it up like it was a mirror. "... the kind of ruthless killer that good honest nice people need out there, pushing back against the shit the wasteland is throwing at us."
Jacqueline "In that case, I hope you spend a lot of time with the helmet off," Jackie says softly. "Some of the books I've found say that soldiers from the time before used a lot of fearsome nicknames, but the stories about them aren't pleasant reading, unless you like blood."
Sammy     "Warriors of the tribes often do a thing; when a young man leaves, to become a warrior, and comes back, they have a funeral, as part of the healing process. The man who was, is no more, the warrior, is come home and is also no more, the healing can then begin." he muses and tucks the helmet down under his arm, "My funeral was after I came back from my first tour with the NCR before I re-enlisted. I returned home, and talking with the wise men decided that I would not be a good fit to return to the tribe, that I was already a ghost." he smiles, "But the funeral was very touching."
Rose      Rose had been rather quiet, but then perhaps she'd been lost in her own thoughts. The Desert Rose, the woman whom had survived so many times when others around her had all fallen. There were some thoughts that should only be saved for quiet moments and drink...and Rose didn't ever seem to touch alcohol for as long as she'd been in El Dorado. She was an 'Army Brat'. The NCR had been in her life the entire way through so far. It might well be there right to the end too should her luck ever run out.
Jacqueline "I think I can see it," Jackie says, rubbing her chin. "When I got home after I was in an incident in Roswell, I wanted to scream. I was thinking about what happened all the way home, just... wondering how I could've done what I did." She glances hesitantly at Rose, but in the end continues her story. "I broke someone's wrist with my bare hands. I didn't want to, but I didn't have a gun and he would've shot me if I hadn't. I was ready to strangle him if he hadn't broken free and run away." She shivers. "It was the most frightening thing I've ever done. Thinking about it still gives me chills. And it was far from the first fight I've ever been in."
Sammy Sammy watches Rose sit and brood, sees the stormclouds stirring in the air, and he ducks down a little bit, leaning over the table to bring his face in her field of view. He quirks his eyebrows to ask a silent question, and then sits back down to adress Jackie, "There's a duality, the people need sheepdogs, to go back about their lives, and protect them from the wolves... So you work on yourself, that you can be sheepdog-strong." he gives a flex of his bicep, and taps his head, "The headgames don't help until you learn to ... hide away the joyful happy parts of you, somewhere safe." he grins and thinks of people, okay, Strawberries. "Sometimes you hide the happy parts of you in other people."
Jacqueline "I don't think there's anyone I can hide my happy parts in," Jackie replies, shaking her head. "Mom and Wesley have enough problems of their own. So I guess I'd better start buildin' the soul bunker. The wasteland's not going to get any gentler. I'm gonna be a sheepdog, Sammy. We need 'em too badly."
Sammy     Sammy drums his fingers very quietly on the table, a definite rythm as he listens for a great while, thinking, "Get a bandanna to start. And a helmet." he puts his hand above his face for a moment, and smiles to her, "So that you can start this gesture." he brings the hand down, she's seen him do, ony there was a facemask to secure in place, there's a calm deadness to his features, and the emotion's gone from his blue eyes. He lets himself stay that way for a long, slow, metered breath, then, he speaks again, the calmness and professionalism in his tone, as if practiced to come across with absolute clarity through crappy radio gear. "So that you can take off the mask." he brings his thumb under his chin, and sweeps his hand up, over his head and back, tugging off his own headband, the emotion, smile, and warmth back on his features. If not just witnessed, it'd be super-duper-creepy.
Jacqueline "So... put on a mask, and remove part of yourself from the situation," Jackie guesses, frowning thoughtfully. "And do what you have to do. After that, take off the mask and bring your hidden parts back. I think I could make it work. I just need the proper helmet, or at least a good mask." She glances down at her bag, where the tie-on cap of her gecko-leather armor is stowed. "...I might be a while finding that mask."
Sammy Sammy smiles as he rummages through his pockets, and pulls out a sheet of leather, it's soft like buckskin, it's been tanned and scraped on the inside, the outside, fire geko. He slides it over to Jacqueline, "War paint and masks. Tools of the trade for thousands of years." he smiles a bit more. "This ... well this little fella was not happy when I caught him sniffing after some folks on horses. I think he'll make a lovely mask."
Jacqueline Jackie blinks in surprise, looking at the gecko leather. "Fire gecko? That's not easy to come by. Maybe you should keep that, Sammy. It'd fetch a good price, even in a place as surrounded by geckos as this one."
Sammy     Sammy shakes his head. "I'm out in the field too much to find a trader who'll make good use of this. I can skin 'em, tan 'em and haul 'em back all week long though." he grins. "Maybe it'd be easier... two of us lean on that fancypants tailor that reopened his boutique... to buy it from us regularly?"
Jacqueline "It's worth a try. And there's always a chance," Jackie replies, rubbing her chin thoughtfully. "Whatever this tailor sells, he'll have a use for leather of any kind. It's about the only natural material that lasts out here."
Sammy     "Yeah, and it's sometimes funny." he considers, "Okay so we hit some ghouls out of Roswell... and we took out some Brotherhood asshats... in the other direction." he draws a square on the table, and pulls out his notebook, with it's map-in-progress, "The Legion camps been sacked... Jack's Town is open for trade..." he looks at teh map, " So lets see ... the interesting things to the South need to be pushed, I think next." he twirls his pen across his fingers, He draws a crashed vertibird at the exact location over in Roswell where it went down. Well, if the map's scale can be used as a vague representation. Certainly could find your way there with the roads being more and more clear.
Jacqueline "Pushed? Sammy, forgive a poor town girl for being stupid, but I'm not followin' what you're sayin'," Jackie says, scooting closer so she can at least look at the map he's making.
Sammy "Well, pushed back against. The Wasteland it kinda pushes... critters get close, grow in number, squeeze a town into a tiny little area... Maybe the gekos so rampant are on the run from something bigger, meaner, nastier, farther out. So you push them back. Thin them out." he indicates the empty space on the map south of Shantytown, that has no notes yet, and no lines of 'good workable roads' "Like, having more people traveling between here and Jack's Town, means it's safer for everyone to travel, caravans and what-have-you." he pens in street directions to the med center in Shantytown while he's got that section of the map open.
Jacqueline "So it's like buildin' a fence made out of effort?" Jackie surmises, looking over the map. "And you have to keep patchin' it up?" Count on the fix-it girl to equate military strategy to a common product! "The more trouble you have on a certain road, the less people travel on it, the more the trouble pushes inwards? Towards El Dorado?"
Sammy     "Yeah, kinda, sometimes you have to patch it with motivatin a bunch of people to glare in a particular direction... " he grins, "You push the border of where it's safe for all the local kids to play. People see there is a bigger safe spot, it makes 'em think of settlin down. People don't stay where it isn't visibly safe, if they don't have nowhere else to go... " he scratches his temple with the pen, "And ... well ... the fence you can build out of refugees is teeny tiny." he uses hand gestures. People, Resources, Time, Effort. Yeah. That logistics stuff. "I'm just good at scouting and doing the ... wet work." he looks to the helmet sittign on the table.
Jacqueline "The bigger the fence, the more people want to get inside it," Jackie agrees, using her own metaphor. "So we need to spear back whatever's to the south to make the fence bigger that way. Any idea what's that way?"
Zealot Shreya Zealot Shreya looks interested. "Do we have people who build fences here. I need to learn from them. I have an idea that requires a fence and a cage." She was sitting at one of the back tables, perhaps not catching the eye or the others until inserting herself into their conversation.
Sammy "Big fence becomes someones' inner wall, like there's kind of line between El Dorado and Shantytown, you could argue, Shantytown with rather large amounts of cruelty, is the first line of defense... Whatever comes from the south has to make it through Shantytown." oh, why are you smirking like that Sammy, that's not even gallows humor, "But we're gonna find out soon." he taps the pen on the empty spot on the map. At the question, he blinks. His train of thought completley derailed. "Uhh yeah, pretty sure there's some people who can sling together just about anything flat into a fence or wall. I've even seen some people do it ... in the middle of a gunfight."
Jacqueline "I'd rather just use a line of rifles as a buffer. I have friends in Shantytown," Jackie says, wincing. "Some of them pretty good healers, to boot, and we need those as much as we need sheepdogs."
The question draws her attention to the stranger (to her, anyway) with the lime green lipstick. "I think there are several people in town who can build fences, but I can't remember who they are offhand."
Zealot Shreya Zealot Shreya frowns. "Well I will ask around." She tilts her head to one side to study Jacqueline for a moment with that intense gaze. "What do they call you?" She turns fully to face the two of you revealing her strange attire.
Sammy "And I hear that we're starting to raise the spirits of the Militia, which will be that line of rifles. I been pondering working up the time to go work out and train with them, see what they've got, see if the'll take help to make it better. Sure, sure, just a 'Consultant from the NCR' at that point but ... Knowledge is power." he smiles at the idea, of bein the squad leader on a patrol or two, where everybody gets to come back, and it's just the small time stuffs.
Jacqueline "My stepfather Wesley trains a lot of the new recruits. They should be up to most trouble," Jackie replies confidently. If she wants to be a sheepdog, it's he who inspired her to the calling. "If you want, I could come along, maybe help a little, keep things working." Rifles do have mechanical difficulties, after all.
She frowns thoughtfully at the woman with the green lipstick. "Jackie. What do I call you?" she asks simply, turning the question back to the asker.
Zealot Shreya Zealot Shreya smiles. "I am a daughter of Atom. I am called Zealot Shreya. Shreya if that is easier. I have come following a vison of a shrine in white sand. We are close."
Sammy "Some days it's all about teachin people how to react in the right way. I remember some of the live fire training we did. Sure, it was teargas grenades, and flash-bang grenades, but you got super motivated." he smirks, and grins, "I like having help, especially locally-grown help, when working with local people, they give things, local things, context that you don't get as you walk in from out there." he gestures out the door, and looks to Shreya, "My friends call me Sammy," he glances at the skull motif'd helmet, "My allies call on me when they need an avenging angel." he gestures to the NCR bear logo on the edge of his duster, "... the paper pushers nicknamed me the Sword of God."
Jacqueline "Shreya, then. Cool to meet you, and I hope you find your shrine," Jackie says with a smile. "Some shrines have cool stuff in 'em."
She grins at Sammy. "The paper pushers have been known to call me the Turner Of Wrenches, when they're feeling smart-ass. They're a lot less so when their radio needs wrenches turned inside. Speaking of which, I'm needed over there tomorrow. I'll catch you soon, Ranger." Finishing her sarsaparilla in one long pull, she stands and heads for the door, waving over her shoulder.
Zealot Shreya Zealot Shreya chuckles. "Your an angel then? So you work for the NCR? What are you doing here if I can ask?" She nods to Jacqueline. "I will, thankyou,"
Sammy The Ranger sits up a little bit, "I do work for the NCR. I'm a Ranger, that means I'm out scouting the Wastes, assisting locals, mapping out the dangers." he's got the map laid out in front of him on the table, been making updates to it. Little hand written pen notes, like the freshly inked wrecked vertibird over near the 'Roswell' section of the map. "And making the roads safer for caravans and traders. Pushing back against the Wasteland... Fighting off Ghouls, Raiders, Legion, Slavers, and the Brotherhood of Steel." he thinks of some of the other horrors he's heard, "And ... whatever else the wasteland can come and throw at us."
Zealot Shreya Zealot Shreya comes over to look at the map. "Hmm." She points to a spot west of the vertibird crash in the mountains. Did you find any vaults or bunkers in this area, old military installationa?"
Sammy     The map, is pretty vague, he flips the page over, and one can see it's a continuous map of everywhere along the way, from California's coast all the way through Flagstaff's ruins. completely detailed, and then, a few blank pages, and the map, starts being redrawn, fanning outwards from El Dorado. "I don't know ... but I know there's something over there... And I've seen some pretty janky shit go down in Roswell itself." the city where the Vertibird wreckage is now. "... lights in the sky at night, feral ghouls in red, green, blue... being picked up by these little green skinned guys after we'd gone through the expense of killing them..."
Zealot Shreya Zealot Shreya looks fascinated. "Blue and red skinned guys? Are you being serious? Some sort of mutants? I havent ever seen any ferals or ghouls in those colors."
Sammy "Ghouls... that instead of the normal, pale chartreuse yellow glow the really nasty ones get? These ones were green... and red... and blue." he curls his lip at the memory, "The Green ones, do this kind of acid and radiation spit thing... it is super messy and chews armor bad. The red ones, are super angry... and the blue ones, healed the big one. Which was like, What if a Super Mutant turned into a Ghoul, only, made out of teeth and spikes all blended together in the wrong angles."
Zealot Shreya Zealot Shreya nods and looks a bit grave. "We must have pity for the forsaken of Atom even as we return them to him. But you say they were healing one another. This suggests some intelligence and perhaps even...emotion.... Are they forsaken or are they meant to replace us?"
Sammy Sammy sits up a bit, and carefully folds the edges of the map in and tucks the notebook closed. "I don't know. I do know, they wanted to attack some civillians, a Lone Star Caravaneer. . . And thus, I answered the call for help, it's the big chunk of what I do." he taps the flag-bear on his shoulder again, "The NCR can't put a big resource pool out here, but we're trying to make it better for everyone. Becuase as the civillian population increases, it can lead to good relations, good travel, population increases. A vision of the peace before the big world-purge."
Zealot Shreya Zealot Shreya nods. "I like that you are so proud of the good you are doing for mankind. Perhaps you and your NCR will give some comfort before we are all reunited in Glorious Division."
Sammy "I'm here to help everyday people, just live their normal everyday lives. That takes extra-ordinary work. It takes people who deviatefrom the easy path." he tilts his head, and squints at the Zealot a little bit, "... I'm actually quite agnostic. Despite all the hilarity my higher-ups feel in inflicting the religious connotations of my name and callsign." he smirks. "I've been working my way East for about Four years... I've seen just about every cruelty humans can inflict on each other. And thus, I don't think there's a god, whatever name someone gives him, her, or it."
Zealot Shreya Zealot Shreya nods with some sympathy. "It is easy to make that conclusion. I felt as you do when I was the prisoner of Finn's Warlords, a raider gang back east. They took everything from me. They kept me for sport and..". She grimaces. "We found an old bunker. The Warlords went down into it and I was still in my cage. Thats a long story you dont want to hear."
Sammy     "I'm a soldier. I save lives. It's what I do," he looks to the helmet, like any other NCR ranger, save for the ash-white skull which is now finger-painted over the motif, much more sinister. "... If telling it eases the weight of it, and lets you come closer to being unchained from the emotional bonds, then I can listen..." he looks to the bar-vendbot and gestures '2' and then points to the table he's at, with a boot pushes out the seat opposite, indicating Shreya should come over and join.
Zealot Shreya Zealot Shreya joins you looking a little suspicious but continues anyway. They went into the bunker and managed to trigger some self destruct device. As Finn was running out, the explosion flung him into the bars of my cell and he died. I was able to take the key from his pocket and escape before the ferals got me. Unleashing the power of Atom saved me. As to the rest...I dont think so. What help would it be to tell you how they took a sixteen year old girl and made her the slave to their lusts and all the different humiliations heaped upon me? But I am not that girl anymore."
Sammy     "So that's a just end, and I think, they dabbled in what they ought not to have, and paid the price for their stupidity." he considers, "Now ... given that story I think you'd be the last person interested in setting up fences and cages of any sort." He looks out the door to where Jacqueline had departed. He looks back to her, "Well, it can be presumed they didn't have you there for any pleasant reason. But I've rescued slaves, and I try checking up on them from time to time, sometimes it does help to talk about it, to help bury the past, and unchain you from the hold it can have on your day to day lives." he watches as two waters, yes, waters, the good stuff! Are brought over and placed, and he places caps in the bot's receptacle and it wanders off back to the bar.
Zealot Shreya Zealot Shreya frowns. "The cages arent for people, they're for ferals. Im trying to minimize the risk of death. I cannot die and accomplish my task at once."
Sammy "Ghouls are people too..." he shakes his head, "If they can be reasoned with.... they're not my problem." he sighs, he draws back his duster and pulls his revolver from it, a standard NCR Ranger Magnum 44, save for tick marks cut into the metal, close together, starting at one side on the octogonal barrel, and counting down the barrel, four lines, and a slash through them. It's almost enough to give the gun the impression it was ornately checkered. "This puts them out of their misery. They deserve a rest, having died so long ago."