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Katherine Caine While some had been calling for blood, Katherine had been calling for calm in the wake of the local crisis. She understood just how important what they had built here was and she intended to insure it survived, in her travels she had seen what greed could do; but also how quickly a fire could become uncontrollable and unable to be extinguished.

She feared such a thing would happen here if they were riled up, a fire that would burn all that was built in New Mexico down if the mutant horde to the south didn't beat humanity to it.

Sighing as she poured herself a drink, she noticed the distinct lack of people spending caps but needing credit and to keep them calm? She was giving out that credit without a care.
Rose For Rose, there was more of a fear of setting a precedent. She didn't want to be the spark that set people off and made life harder for the rest of the NCR party that came behind her, but nor did she want to be the one to fork over funds if the others were staying out of it. Life was...simpler when there wasn't a command structure right on her back, that was part of why she'd taken the path of a Lone Ranger rather then stuck with a squad. Dressed in her duster but still clearly feeling her wounds from the way she was walking a little heavier than her usual lightfootedness, the Ranger raised a hand as she spotted Kitty returned to the bar once more. "Suprised more folks aren't drinkin'," the blonde comments as she moves up to the woman with a smile. "Or is it just the 'not payin' thing?"
Tina Tina walks into the saloon from the street, pausing, blinking, at the side of the threshold to let her eyes adjust to the light difference. When her vision is clearer, she blinks more slowly. "It is so quiet," she murmurs at last, approaching the bar. The young nun is dressed in patchwork leather armor, well-fitted but clearly made from Gecko hides, and wears a long, sleeveless tan coat with calf-length skirts and a deep hood. Wonder of wonders, a pistol is at her belt as well. "Perhaps it is not such a surprise, with the taxes."
Katherine Caine "Most of them got no money to pay, it's not a thing. This comes and goes every tax season, this one is just harder than most. From what Manny told me, the money is definitely going where it should be so far, Militia just got a whole whack of new equipment so they can do a better job." Katherine said to the pair of women, "Just gotta wonder, how much of that is lining his pockets, because he can't steal it all."
Rose      "I said to the sister earlier," Rose comments casually as she gestures for a drink of her own when Kitty has a moment, although knowing the Ranger, it was likely just another soda. "I wonder if it's desperation, or fear. Something chasing him we haven't seen yet. Or perhaps it is simple greed. Hard to know, but folks don't like being strong-armed about it by goons rather then talked to in some town meeting or something." A shrug of her shoulders and she chuckles lightly, reaching up to brush a stray bang of blonde from her eyes. "But what would I know? I'm an NCR brat, grew up with the military families, not settlement towns. Doesn't exactly make me a political genius."

A glance back over her shoulder, Rose gestures for the Sister to sit near her.
Tina "Much, much harder," Tina adds, taking the offered seat with a little smile of thanks to Rose. "I had to pay almost half of the tax from the church's coffers, and now I am paying that back. It is a slow process. I earn only a few caps on a good week. The church is a very fulfilling calling, but it will never pay well."

She looks at Katherine, nodding. "Probably more than half. I question whether the new equipment actually came from the tax hike, or even how much of the tax money went toward it. Perhaps I can talk to some of the Militia and find out more about this sudden and seemingly convenient windfall."
Katherine Caine Katherine sighed and began counting out caps before putting them in a pouch and handing them over to Tina, "Here. I still remember when we didn't tax the church. Sorry that you had to deal with that unpleasantness. Truth be told, one of the big problems here is we have laws, but the Mayor may as well be a dictator. I think it was fine in the days of men like my Grandfather who had the interests of the people at heart, but now? That's a long time past and he's dead and everyone to come since, hasn't really done a good job of it, they been smart enough to keep things the same but, this Solomon, he's skirting on dangerous territory."
Rose "Lemme pay for her drink," Rose comments as she watches Kitty slide the money over, "least I can do since you came to back me up the other day." Talk of town history has the Ranger tilting her head curiously. She'd been around town enough now to know of the big families, but hearing it from Katherine's mouth was still a good source of infomation. Talk of Soloman and the naming of him as a dictator? That has Rose giving a little nod. "Or a Tyrant maybe..." she comments. Rangers tended to have a certain view on 'tyrants' pretty strongly. "Folks might react violently if this all keeps up. If they do? Someone will have to keep their eyes outwards or that Legion might take the chaos as a chance to pounce."
Tina "Thank you, Miss Katherine, but the church has not been taxed so much... only the people living there, which is quite bad enough. I borrowed the money from the church because I did not think the five very scary armed thugs at the door would be understanding if I did not have the money," Tina confesses, blushing. "I will not take your caps for my sake, Miss Katherine... I will repay, however long it takes. But if you wish to make a donation to the church itself, I will not turn it down. I have a feeling that people may be in need of our help if this keeps up."

She gives Rose a grateful smile. "Thank you. And I must agree about this Mayor Solomon. These men who are collecting the taxes with their bats and submachine guns do not look or act like civil servants, deputies... I do not think they are even townspeople. They are clearly thugs, and seem proud of what they are as well. Even a lowly nun like me can see it. As for violent reactions, I think some of the merchants may already be considering that. One is even hiring mercenaries to keep the tax men away from his door. It makes me wonder if he is the only one."
Zealot Shreya Zealot Shreya enters with an unhealthy gleam in her eyes. Spotting Rose she hurries in that direction. "Just the woman I saught to find! I have been so close to the shrine but the forsaken guard it."
Katherine Caine "However you want to consider it, if it being a church donation means you take it? By all means." Katherine replied to Tina, "Sounds like that idiot is asking for trouble though, Mayor can do this, something that needs to change but, something best changed when elections come up."

Nodding to the Zealot she poured the woman a glass of water and set it down for her with a smile, "Gotta go check on some stuff in the kitchen, but I'll be back."
Tina "Very well... I shall consider it a donation. Thank you, Miss Katherine," Tina replies solemnly, bowing her head. The comment that follows is met with a thoughtful look. "Perhaps Mayor Solomon does have that power, but I do not think the answer is so clear as that, given the manner in which he has used it. It makes me wonder if he might try to keep his office by other means than elections, when the time comes. In the meantime, there are heavily-armed thugs on our streets collecting exhorbitantly high taxes, paid for with our town's caps. One would think that we were living under martial law."

She looks up as the Zealot enters, and all but hides behind Rose at the sight of her, especially that gleam in her eyes.
Zealot Shreya Zealot Shreya doesnt get to Rose before the other woman bee lines for the bathroom. Must be something in the iguana meat. You can never really trust it." She sighs and moves to the counter to take the offered water. "Thankyou Catherine." Her bulging stare turns to Tina and just stays there. Awkward.
Sammy     You wanna know where everybody knows your name... right?
    Sammy does his usual step through the door, catch it on the open-swing before it squeaks, step side, and let it rock closed quietly trick that regulars will see him do on his way in, it's a rhythm. The warp aint on his helmet. The bones drawn on his chestplate, and the baked and caked blood on the bulletholes is new. But it's spring, and bullet holes are all the fashion this year.
    And the year before that.
    The helmet comes off, and his body language totally melts, softening around the edges. The weight of souls he's carrying. He's a little more pale, but that's just blood loss.
Katherine Caine "Never know, this could turn to the advantage of the people of El Dorado, even if the Mayor has something up his sleeve. Tax Men are people to, they're doing a job, that we probably needed someone to do awhile ago. Maybe not with such intimidation, but most people around El Dorado don't pay their taxes. If the Mayor tries to hold onto his position, then we've got something real to go after him for." Katherine said as she returned before smiling at Shreya, "Anytime." Looking to Sammy she asked, "You alright?"
Sammy     Always easier to look into a room and get a feel for it as feeling returns to you. Sammy gives a bit of a sigh as he walks first towards the bar, but then turns and heads upstairs for just a minute, "Let me put my 'tools' away." he gestures to the gun, helmet, and not even a whisper as he heads up the stairs, returning minutes later without his duster, helmet, gun, ore the bloodstained armor, and having swapped to one of his slightly less bulletholed fatigue shirts. "Mmm... could I get, some extra strong firewater? I used my whole flask up already." he sets the empty hip flask on the counter.
Tina Tina stares at the strange-looking woman, her eyes as wide as the Zealot's, albeit for different reasons. "What manner of woman are you, to be marked so?" she asks, her tone curious, but shivery with an undercurrent of fear. "I don't think I have ever seen your like before."

Sammy distracts her attention as he enters, disappears upstairs, and returns downstairs. "Are you all right? You look so pale..." she asks worriedly.
Zealot Shreya Zealot Shreya speaks as she continues to stare at Tina, like a scientist examines an insect below glass. "I am Zealot Shreya of the Children of Atom. The tattoos are symbols of my devotion to Our God. You have nothing to fear from me child. The Wasteland has monsters enough without me. I was wondering if you had met my people before...a bad experience or misunderstanding perhaps."
Sammy     Sammy leans over behind the bar and takes up an unused cleaning rag, from his pocket he pulls a Pip-boy 2000, and uncorks the bottle of high-test alcohol, taking a swig, and then daubing a corner of the cleaning rag with the solvent, he gingerly starts to clean the device up a bit, a little trail dirt mixed with dried blood in the unit, he sits on the bar stool next to Lilly's own 'out of service' stool, "I've felt lots better lots of different times. But I think I could be a lot worse." he nods to Kitty, and catches the drift of the conversation, "I've paid my taxes this round, but, I'd rather barter some of my extra hardware that's ... starting to accumulate." he glances up the stairs. He rolls his shoulders, plainly his ribs are bandaged beneath the shirt, and he's 'rode hard put up wet' levels of fatigue.
    Tina gets a benevolent smile, just about the time the belt of alcohol hits his system a flush adding a bit more color to his face. "It's just a flesh wond. Though I suppose I might have a chat with you and Neva one of these days about some pecularities I've encountered of a spiritual nature." he nods, and continues to detail-work the Pip-Boy, as Kitty glances his way, he palms a Holodisc onto the bar, and turns it so she can see the title, 'That Ain't Avatar!'
Katherine Caine Katherine gets a bottle of the local moonshine for Sammy and sets it down on the counter, "That should cover your flask for a bit." Once more she disappears in the back to take care of whatever was going on in that darn kitchen!
Tina "No, never... I have heard the name in whispered rumors a few times, but I have never seen any of the Children of the Atom before tonight. Such fearsome-looking people they must be," Tina says, shivering, but she takes a cautious step toward Shreya anyway, and another, until she is within arms' reach of the woman, trembling a little in spite of her efforts to calm herself. "I am glad you are friendly. There is enough to fear in town as well as the wasteland lately."

She glances at Sammy sympathetically, since she is apparently distractible by nature, noting his cleaning of the filthy Pip-Boy. "A spiritual nature? Please, do call on us about it. I will help you if I can."
Zealot Shreya Zealot Shreya reaches out a hand toward Tina. It is also tattooed with swirling designs of electrons on their tracks around the nucleus. "Take my hand. It is just like yours. Did is overhear correctly that you come from the Church of the Nailed God?"
Sammy     Sammy is almost completley done with the Pip-boy, and pushes the little power button, adjusts the screen a little, listening to it whirr slightly as it boots up, a little cheer goes into his features, and he begins ... typing! A report! so much faster than scrounching up paper and hoping it jives with your pencil or pen. When Tina looks to the Zealot he considers, and tilts his head, yeah, the one girl who was saying 'Atom Provides' a smirk curls the edge of his lips and he palms the holotape again, disappearing it back into a pocket. Probably best -not- let the religious types spy a pre-war porno about nekked blue aliens.
Tina Tina takes the offered hand firmly, though her hand still trembles a bit. "I did not doubt it... but a touch is proof," she whispers, nodding. "That one, among others... we allow a number of peaceful religions to use the church as a hall of worship, and sometimes we officiate their services. Others prefer their own clergy, and we allow that, too," she continues, in a more normal voice.

She glances over at Sammy, just in time to see the label of the holotape before he snatches it up and hides it away. She instinctively blushes and hastily looks away.
Zealot Shreya Zealot Shreya shakes her head. "We do not believe in the Nailed God. Do you find that it would be appropriate to hold services in your holy place that deny your Christ? I would find such to he sacriledge in one of our shrines. We could never abide it. No child, I will not come to defile your shrine. I am seeking to find my own. I saw it in a dream."
Sammy     Sammy hasn't had desk duty in ages, but he's fairly deft at typing, he uses the delete key a lot less than some might think for as much time as he's spent in the deserts. He has a sheepish grin as Tina blushes at the disc, and chuckles a little at the joke, then presses Save on the report a few more knobs on the Pip-boy and it's powered down slid back into a cargo pocket, "Speaking of dreams. I should put my map in here." he looks at the Pip-boy stuffed leg pocket, "That way I can work on it at night... in the rain ... on the move." he muses thinking of how nifty and convenient such a widget realy is.
Tina "If that is what you wish, then I will respect your wishes," Tina replies, her voice faintly shivery in spite of her efforts to control her emotions. There may be a suggestion of inadvertent relief in her tone. "I hope your dream will come true, Zealot Shreya."

Sammy's voice stirs her from her conversation once more, and she smiles faintly. "They /are/ very convenient for that kind of thing, and for other things. Just be aware of their limitations and you should have much better results."
Zealot Shreya Zealot Shreya smiles, letting her hand linger in Tina's a moment before withdrawing it. "One should know my dreams before they make such a wish but...I thank you. I hope so too." She chuckles to herself as she reaches for her water and drinks.
Sammy     Sammy nods about the limitations of the device, "It's great for recording things, though I think being solid, and electronics, it'd be a little less durable than my bendy leatherbound book. But I think starting the drafts in the book, then comitting them here, I can just send copies of the annotated map to anyone with the right RobCo terminal or Pip Boy." he always was thinking of ways of making things better.
    More to Tina with a nod to Kitty, "To get specific... I got run over by an Armored Personell Carrier yesterday, then it blew up, because a bunch of us put bullets where it didn't want them put... And then strafed by a Brotherhood vertibird." he takes another swig of the alcohol for himself and caps the flask, disappearing it into his medkit. "... and just made it through the cue of people waiting to get patched up... a few hours ago."
Tina "Perhaps I should clarify... I hope your dream of finding your own house of worship comes true," Tina replies gently, arcing an eyebrow. "The rest I do not know of." Sammy's story is met with a wide-eyed stare. "You have had a very violent day. I only hope that you do not find any more in the near future."
Zealot Shreya Zealot Shreya looks skeptically at Sammy. "Run over by such a heavy vehicle...straffed by brotherhood chain guns which I assume you mean to suggest is the holes in your jeans. You would be dead sir. Im calling fish story."
Sammy     Sammy tilts his head, and considers and asks of Shreya, "Have you found any more clues where in the region to start heading to find this temple in white sands?" he had large chunks of his map yet to draw in.
    To Tina he nods, "I'm on light duty till the medics say I'm good to go. That means no charging off to deal with things... " he murmurs, thinking to himself 'don't get caught.' "... so I'm going to enjoy a little paperwork, and soaking out the soreness, thanks to the moderns of indoor plumbing, and maybe have Lilly help me change my bandages a few times." Sounds like a hard life to live.
    Time will tell how the weight of those souls pulls Sammy to act thought.
Tina "It /does/ seem a trifle overblown, though the wastes are full of strange things. Perhaps he was simply ludicrously lucky," Tina suggests. "Fell between the treads or tires instead of underneath them, and was missed by the strafing vertibird, for example."
Zealot Shreya Zealot Shreya finishes her water. "Perhaps....but with those pants his legs should be ruined."
Tina "Well, I am /not/ going to suggest he remove them to prove one way or the other... I think that duty belongs to someone closer to him," Tina replies, shaking her head. And blushing in spite of her efforts not to.
Sammy     "Fish story?" he unbuttons his shirt, to show the bandaged ribs and freshly patched bulletholes. "Not so much. THre cracked here, two here." he shakes his head. "And yeah, strafed by a vertibird. The clinic in Shantytown's quite packed with survivors..." he gives a s-t-r-e-t-c-h and winces at the strain on sore wounds, as he then buttons the shirt back up, and takes another drink of the moonshine, Yeeees, muscle relaxer, painkiller, disenfctant, and grease-cutting cleaner all in one bottle. Sammy makes a face as it burns all the way down. "If you doubt it, next time you see Sparrow, ask her what color the sides of the APC was when I pulled her out from in front of it." he mutters, "... of course neglecting to get out of the way myself after the fact."
Zealot Shreya Zealot Shreya grimaces at the sight of the wounds. "Sorry I asked. In any case I dont want to see what you have under there. Just seems like your legs should be crushed and useless. But I am no warrior." She turns to Tina. "You...I should like to speak to more. Scholars from different faiths can have discourse...your rather easy on the eyes doesnt hurt either. Im hungry. Lets see what they have besides iguana. That stuff never tastes good. It ranges from bearable to revolting. I eat it if I have too but in a city is not that time."
Sammy     "One of the reasons to venture out of the city, is to find good nibbly bits and things to eat." he looks at the pocket with the pip boy, and suggests, "About five kilometers north of the north gate, two kilometers east from there, should be some prickly pears that are harvestable in a day or two." he buttons the shirt up and fishes out the pip boy again, and checks his notes on 'Where to get food' "Hardly any Gekos this time of day too." he notes, and starts thumbing through recrds. "And there's a chef who's migrated over or maybe he's got a food cart to pull, that does amazing things with sauces and wild game meat." okay, so Sammy had Geko on a Stick. It was still made infinitely better by the sauce.
Tina Tina stares wide-eyed at the bandaged wounds, rude though it may be. It is merely one of the disadvantages of a sheltered life. "Oh, my goodness... that looks just terrible," she says at last. "Do you need any treatment? I know some medicine."

Shreya's offer is met with a blink and a slow nod. "I am not really a scholar, but I could speak of what little I do know, if you like. Though I am not really hungry right now."
Zealot Shreya Zealot Shreya nods and orders something else of the brahmin variety. "Ahh forgive me I was not offering to pay for your meal. I can barely afford my own." She turns to Sammy. "Pears would be a blessing though Gecko tastes like iguana which I hate. I traveled here on foot. Ive eaten lots of things we could classify as revolting, lizards at the top of the list."
Sammy     Sammy shakes his head, to Tina's offer for treatment, "I shouldn't take any more painkillers... tonight." he swishes the moonshine around in the flask, looking at how the tiny bubbles line up just-so. Proof of grade. "... but I got treated, Iris and Sparrow patched me up on my way back in." he smiles a little more relaxedly, smoothing his shirt back down, but leaving the top outside his belt, almost concealing the low slung leather holster of the .44 Magnum. He stretches one leg, then the other, and looks down at them, "You know, Zealot, you may b right, my legs are really angry wit hme so I think I'm gonna ask they let me up the stairs one more time today and call it a night." he smiles a little, "There's part of Ranger training, where they drop you in the middle of an area with a knife, and your boots, but no laces, and that's it. you have to either escape the grid, or evade the hunting teams for 21 days." he wobbles just a little, but smiles and waves. "Good luck finding something palatable."
Tina "I had not thought you had, honestly. But the sight of such wounds, even bandaged and treated, rather conclusively finished off my appetite," Tina replies gently to Shreya. "Bon appetit, Zealot. I hope the Brahmin is good." She looks to Sammy and waves, offering a soft, "Good night, Ranger," before turning toward the door.
Zealot Shreya Zealot Shreya raises her glass to those departing. "Atom keep you." She receives her brahmin steak and tears into it ravenously before remembering silverware.