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It was a radio broadcast heard all throughout New Mexico, spread thanks to the still functioning radio-transmitters that dotted the area; but mostly amplified by the powerful signal tower the New Mexico Brotherhood of Steel had erected.

"We need help at Hope's Crossing, if anyone can hear this, please. They're killing everyone, we can't fight back. There's nothing we can do. Please, help us. Oh god, I think they've found me. No, please, no! -Sounds of snarling followed by screaming and then static-"

Hope's Crossing was a small settlement located almost 100 miles away near the Mexican Border, it was a settlement of several hundred people that could only exist because of El Dorado supplying it with food and using it as a waypoint for Caravans into Mexico which had not been sent out or returned in months.

It was too big of an issue to ignore. The people of Hope's Crossing depended on El Dorado and with the blessing of the Mayor, a rescue party was organized to make haste to Hope's Crossing with no time to spare.

Horses would have taken 2 days travel, 2 days those people may not have had. The Militia had several working vehicles though, at least two of them sturdy trucks that would prove more than enough to take a few squads down South along with a group of local good Samaritans.

For some of you? It may have even been your first time reading in a vehicle.


The trip had been fraught with difficulties, the trucks had required fixing several times but thankfully Apostle and several other tech savvy individuals were among the group.

Not far in the distance, the red-orange glow of fires burned. Smoke filling the horizon as you approached Hope's Crossing.
Sparrow Sparrow had heard the radio call while working on a construction project in the Wasteland. So she's ridden quick to find the Militia headquaters to volunteer and quickly enough, left the big stuff she didnt need behind and packed her medical supplies and helmet. For the most part she's been quiet, keeping to herself and listening to the cross talk around her. The Cowgirl's weather aged face set in a Stoic mask as she occasionally grips the bench she's on to keep herself from bouncing around too much.
Apostle     Arms crossed, her down, hood low.
    Apostle is settled into her corner of the truck, eyes closed and stance relaxed -- with this many people, it's unlikely she's done anything more than raise her head when the truck breaks down, or if Vector happens to ask her something specifically. It appears that, to her, the vast majority of others simply do not exist, and she has found her peace in her cramped little space, half-asleep. If she is at all concerned for those that so pleaded for rescue, it certainly doesn't show, and she's not one to talk about it even if she was.
    Her mechanical kit is somewhere nearby, ever ready to repair what needs fixing when the time comes.
Manuelito Manuelito, Marshal of the Militia, led the militia aspect of the rescue operation. He could found inside one the loaned vehicles. He was directing his subordinates as they went, but also keeping out for any suspicious activities; like distant glowing fires.
Vector     Vector is having a lovely day. What a lovely day. Knuckles white behind the raggedy gloves that grip the steering wheel with an almost overly passionate grasp, the truck rumbles and jitters, bucking and coughing, spluttering and puttering - kept alive by the repairs of the engineers while simultaneously slowly being killed by the fact that the truck really doesn't have the suspension to be driven the way that the man is driving, but at least he hasn't pushed the engine too hard, yet.
    Nobody has been thrown off, and the truck hasn't crashed or burst into flames yet. The veil that is attached to the man's turban is fluttering - especially as he has the window cranked down. With every occasional harsh flutter, the man's manic grin is visible, as happy as can be behind the wheel, he is.
Doomguy doomguy sits in the back of one of the trucks loading his assult rifle one bullet at a time basicly doing somthing acin to a rosery exept with bullets as he finishes he pops the clip in a slings it over his back hes tense it been a while since hed done battle looking over everyone he said "i cant promis everyone will make it out of this unscaved but i will not leave anyone of you behind dead or alive"
Kasumi     Kasumi got her gear on the way. She was told that she would need the gear. She takes a deep breath as rides in the back of the truck. The asian woman with black hair, and a long blue streak that goes over her left eye focuses her mind as she checks the ammo on the service rifle. There's a dark focused look in her eyes as she waits to hear what is expected of her. She's hoping its mostly just a sniping job though.
Sammy     Sammy has been rather still, in the back of the truck, sitting with a certain calm, one might even think he were asleep, except for the relaxed, non-stressed way he holds his rifle, the long barrel of the gun pointing towards the night sky, through the top of the truck, and the slow rock that he gives with each bump and jostle, like some creepy NCR Bobblehead, with the bone white skull catching up the gathering gloom standing out against the dark black of his armor, and the freshly retouched skeleton ribs across the chest in that duster, definitely a grim picture.
    For some who've seen Sammy cavorting around the change in posture, in movement and body language is pretty severe. He's still. As the truck starts to slow, his hand reaches to his waist, flicking the power-line for his helmet and radio, then touching near his temple, the red eyes come on, drawing in the night with an angry red glare. *fwwweee*
Iris Lark Iris gazes out the window of the Vaultmobile, her eyes on the scenery. She glances over at Alice and then puts her attention to the road, as the driver can sometimes get distracted. She watches the other vehicles around them and then pulls back into the highwayman, trying to keep out of the dust.
Vuk Vuk is settled grumpily in the car, since he didn't want to bloody well leave his power armor behind, and he expected -any- minute for Alice to make him end up actually strapped to the hood. "Rabbit!" He shouts out and points at it, apparently, expecting Alice to run it over. These things happen right? Dinner? Lunch? We need that right? "Think it's raiders, or the Super Mutants?" he suddenly asks Iris in a quiet tone. "You know I've met them before, yes?" He asks her.
Kaydin     The call for people to volunteer and help deal with what was happening in a nearby settlement drew the attention of the ranger and thus Kaydin was sitting in the vehicle looking to the various people. Wearing his NCR ranger gear he simply watches everyone from red optics. "Alright what are our orders?" Kaydin asks Sammy as he grips his service rifle, keeping his magnum holstered for the time being.
Emily Riding in the back of the bouncy, beat up militia truck is Emily, a Wastelander who had only just recently drifted into town, and a professional companion (In many senses of the word..). She has kept largely to herself along the trip, glad in a hodgepodge of armor and gear, and hidden behind a scarf that functions largely as a dust mask for most of the trip.

When evening arrives and the convoy pulls up to that distant sight of the settlement ablaze, Emily takes a moment to rise and peak at their destination. "Wow, looks like whatever band of raiders did this sure did a number on that place." She observes out loud, reaching to check that her big revolver is still tucked safely into the webbing of her chestpiece.

"That's pretty noble of you." Emily says after a moment at Doomguy's words, "I bet most people out here would be just happy to leave someone behind if it meant they got out alive." She says with a little shrug before she settles back down into the bed of the truck.
Jacqueline This is the kind of emergency call you just don't turn down, not if you're civic-minded. Hence Jacqueline is here, shotgun and all. She's just behind the cab, leaning out occasionally to watch the surroundings. When she's not fixing the broken-down truck, anyway... which has happened several times.
But right now, she's not paying attention to anything but the horizon ahead, where Hope's Crossing should be. "Oh... oh, no..." she murmurs seeing the vision of Hell and the pall of smoke ahead.
Theodore     Theodore cuts a striking, if slim, image in the back of the truck. He keeps his musket in hand, but low as he struggles to stay alert for the journey. New faces are observed by his examining eyes, but he pulls his gaze away when people look back. It is clear why he is here. The militia uniform, armor, duster and hat are a badge of office that he wears proudly. The single, pointed stripe on his shoulder identifies him as a private, but he does not seem afraid of riding into danger. He does, however, seem distracted by the Vaultmobile; sneaking glances at it or one of its occupants often.

Frank sat across the desk from the withered old lady at Lone Star's offices; he was leaning back, acting casual, smiling across at her. "Now Gina, I think there's a huge misunderstanding. That cup-and-ball game I ALLEGEDLY was playing is pure conjecture. I most certainly did NOT take away several dozen caps from ALLEGED players." He looks at his pair of geckoskin boots propped up on the table and quickly assumes an upright posture. He laughs nervously. "I trust we can let this matter slide and go about our daily lives, right? I mean, it's not like there's anything else going on. Whaddya say, darlin'?" His smile spread into a toothy grin.

The old woman wordlessly spat tobacco into a nearby spitoon.


Frank sits glumly in a militia truck, looking decidedly out of place among the weathered, armored militiamen. Lone Star has assured them Frank will help defend the colony. He turns to a particularly grizzled militiamen. "Wow. Vehicles, right? I!" He is met with a piercing stare and so he sinks back into a pouty slump, one hand placed on his holstered revolver. He had a horrible suspicion he was going to be using it. A lot. He wished he had a stiff drink right now.
Ashur What speed! Ashur has never in his life been accelerated to such an extent-- the wind whips his cloak and makes it billow around him, the black and red feathers of his crested helm vibrating. The constant thrumming of the engine and the wheels as they hit every bump and rock in the road makes his bones shake and his teeth chatter until he slams his jaw shut beneath his face-obscuring helm.

His hands grip the side of the truck where he sits in the back. The hulk would not fit in any interior, taking up far too much space-- indeed, his sheer size demands a certain generous berth be allotted. And so he sits, glittering shiny, in the wind and the sun, until the fires dotting the horizon crest the gentle hills and flat plains.

His right hand clenches, the metal gauntlet of his power fist creaking. He folds the arm around Kurokumo's midsection, seating her on his lap the whole ride.

"If my wounds need tending, I will fall back to you," he tells her, voice a metallic filtered growl. "Otherwise, my Kumo, your safety is the top priority. Take no risks; stay with the other medics behind cover."
Alice "This is pretty cool." Alice said to Iris, Vuk, and Achilles within the Vaultmobile which was towing a Sentry-Bot attached to a trailer hitch, a very well-armed sentry bot at that, picking up the CB Radio she said, "Breaker Breaker, this is... oh my gosh, I don't have a cool name to Vector. What do you think this all means?" A long pause, "Oh yeah, Over!"

She actually seemed to be paying attention to her driving for once, keeping her car behind the pair of trucks with some fairly steady driving.
Kurokumo Mibojin      Despite the panicked call, despite the sense of urgency of this catastrophy coming to call, Kurokumo finds herself leaned up against solid bulwark of Ashur's armored form. She's nodded off, the Doctor taking a catnap with the safety on the shotgun. Kurokumo doesn't sleep as well as she used to, shifting against the turbulence. "Yeah, stay behind the other Docs..." She mumbles to her husband.
Achilles Something was up with Achilles. The giant had changed a lot while he was in El Dorado, but you wouldn't be able to tell it by looking at him today. That ebony power armor that had saved him so many times was nowhere to be found, neither was his bumper sword. "Raiders or super mutants, they'll fall before us." His tone was quiet as he adjusted the fur on his wrists. "Everyone who crosses us or betrays us will."

"Keep Iris safe." This is directed at Vuk, not actually looking at his girlfriend this time. No room for second thoughts. "Today is a very important day."
Doomguy doomguy hand rest on his bfg that rests on his lap looking over to ashur he says "hey big guy if shit gets bad ill fall back to the medics and aid in making sure them and the wounded are protected" he states noting how close him and kumo seem
Sparrow Sparrow glances over the gathered rag tag group of Do-Gooders from El Dorado. Some she knows and so she inclines her head to them before leaning back and grabbing some jerky from her pocket to chew on. She's not used to vehicles and not used to moving while not moving so her body isn't exactly adjusted. She listens to people, head tilted as they make their plan, checking her medkit and backpack while she waits.
Apostle     One eye opens, like molten steel in the shadows of her hood as it flicks toward Doomguy to offer him a long glare of open appraisal. Apostle sniffs, grunts, then lifts the tattered crimson of her scarf to flick it over her shoulder, burying her face in the mass of fabric as she sidles down into herself like a pidgeon.
    "You may plainly perceive the traitor through his mask; he is well known every-where in his true colors; his rolling eyes and his honeyed tones impose only on those who do not know him. People are aware that this low-bred fellow, who deserves to be pilloried, has, by the dirtiest jobs, made his way in the world; and that the splendid position he has acquired makes merit repine and virtue blush." Her voice comes, filtered through the rebreather she wears, the idle 'hssk' of intake punctuating her tirade at all-too-even intervals, her eye slowly closing again. Whatever all that means.
    There's a drawn exhalation, and a pause without renewal, as though she had simply... turned off.
    ... HSSSSK!
    The sudden gasp of breath causes her chest to rise sharply, then deflate again as she shuffles back more securely into her corner. "Collect them well, keep their bodies clean, I should take them to see what I might glean from their mangled remains -- perhaps of use yet to the city still, so long as they are fresh from the kill." A tinned, mechanical voice speaks her words, without sacrificing their sing-song quality.
Manuelito Tapping on the top of the truck roof, the convey slows to a stop as Manny appears to have seen something. He calls out "Village is being burned to the ground and someone was shot." To anyone who could hear him. "Militiamen, ready your weapons." He taps on the truck again and the vehicle starts moving forward again at a faster pace.
Alice "Why is today an important day?" Alice asked of Achilles while she kept her eyes on the road and both hands on the wheel, trying her best to be very serious in such a grave crisis situation.

She was excited to hear back from Vector to, she was pretty sure he was the best driver in the world maybe and she hoped he could teach her all about cars just like Hanzhou taught her about Katanas.
Jacqueline "I'll try to stay close to the medics," Jacqueline promises, looking to Sparrow, doomguy, Ashur, and Kurokumo. "Something tells me I wouldn't be much help on the front lines, anyway. If anybody's got something to put over their face against the smoke, now'd be a good time." She pauses to dampen a bandanna with her canteen, quickly tying it over her nose and mouth and pinning it in place with the chin strap from her earflapped Gecko-leather cap.
Theodore     Private Gespard-known by some as Teddy-keeps his head on a swivel, but whether or not he is noticing anything is anyone's guess. "Look at the dust spreading behind us," he says to no one in particular in the back of the truck. "It is a smoke signal that can be seen for literal miles. A beacon. A sign that people will help each other. No matter the distance. No matter the inconvenience. No matter the cost. Simply because it is right. We, my compatriots, are the righteous. See it in the dirt that takes flight in our wake." He grows quiet as he watches that very dust.
Sammy     Sammy drops down from the truck and does a bit of a soft tuck-landing, his duster splaying out, he drifts up to the rise looking down on the facility, taps the back lens-cover of his massive rifle, the green of the 'Mr Yuk' symbol on the inside of the lens cover just about white in the dim light. He sweeps the rifle over the scene, giving a nod of affirmative, "Confirmed, no survivors visible yet. We're going to have to confirm it though. Everything's burned out." he grumbles into the throat-mic on The Agreed Upon Encrypted Frequency shared to the Militia and in this case, VT6's radio.
Ashur "Good man," Ashur rumbles, that great armored head swiveling toward Doomguy to appraise him. The man's expression is unreadable-- his face is mere plates of metal, a salvaged T-45 helmet with plumed spike in Roman fashion. He's a white knight from a fairy tale, all oversized and incandescent. He reaches over and claps Doomguy on the shoulder, while his other hand shifts over Kurokumo's stomach possessively. "Her safety is paramount; the injured must fall back to the safety of the trucks."

A look toward Jacqueline next, and the warrior nods in acknowledgment of her words. The women should stay back.
Emily "Someone was shot?" Emily asks, glancing at the others in the back of the militia truck, "Is that what I heard?" she reaches to grip her fingers around the heavy revolver tucked away on her person, leaning to peer out towards the direction of the flaming village once again before ducking back and looking at the others seated in the back with a little shrug, "Probably raiders, yeah?"
Kurokumo Mibojin      "Aww, fuck..." Kurokumo blinks her eyes open, Manuelito's announcement cutting her napping time short. She struggles to push herself up in the strange position of riding in a truck, in her own gear. She pats the White Knight's arm in affection, before making sure that she keeps up with Jacqueline's position.
Doomguy doomguy makes his way from the back to the driver cabin the ride is shaky but he can manage "hey Probably best to keep the trucks outside of town to avoid risking them and also so they can be used as a fallback if need be to escape ok driver"
Manuelito Picking up the receiver, the Navajo calls out to the vehicles in the convoy "Listen up; when we approach a half-mile outside of the town, we will come to a halt. All vehicles will stay there to escape and of course, this will avoid the risk of them getting damaged. I will have militiamen standing guard. Over and out."
Kasumi     Kasumi doesn't feel right about things, but she starts to move carefully a bit. She's taking a few moments to gaze to her sides, watching her flanks. Something about how she moves seems to go counter to her claim of just being a diplomat. And her knowledge with her weapon isn't normal either. "I don't like how things look to be honest."
Vector     Vector's attention is momentarily diverted to the mysterious device called a CB radio.

    "WHAT?" He shouts at the device. Then he finally decides to reach over with a hand, the other still gripping the wheel, and there's a fumbling squaking and static noise as the man attempts to make the device work. Eventually, he figures out that the button being pushed on the side does something or other.
    "What?" He states again, "Why are you talking about breakers. Drive. Get there. Park." And then the CB radio is shoved back into it's place, given an angry glare from the man who doesn't really understand it all too well. He's too busy driving. "Wonderful drive. Wonderful." He mutters to himself over the gutteral noises of the engine, concentrating on that rather than anything else. Then, there's Doomguy talking, and then there's someone else. "Yes. Drive. Park. Understood." He replies, voice raised to be audiable.
Frank Frank turns to listen to Apostle's words, a smile frozen on his face. Inwardly he is calculating how the hell he is going to survive among these nutjob militia people. He draws in a deep breath, and lets it out, now cradling his revolver in his lap. It's a fancy thing, pearl handled with a black spade on said handle, gold engraving along the barrel and cylinder. He has practiced a lot on shooting ranges to the point where he's comfortable with it, but actually firing it at others...he can count the times half of a hand. Now what the hell was he getting into?

He feels the truck speed it. Well, here we go. He listens to Manuelito's announcement. He could feel a knot in his stomach, and reaches into his jacket pocket for a cigarette.
Sparrow Sparrow shakes her head, "Stick with Kumo, Jackie. I'm not going to be holdin' behind and knowing Doc Iris she'll probably be cappin' the Raiders right along side the rest of you'll. I'll find what cover I've got but I've got to be out there keepin' our fighters up. But if you want to keep me covered I wouldn't mind at all. Usually, the deal me and the Crew has. Keep me covered and I'll cover you if worse comes to worse."

Manny's words being Sparrow's bright blue gaze around and her lips draw into a thin line causing the early aging around her eyes and mouth to be seen in her sun-kissed features. She stands and moves out after Sammy and waits for Jackie, crouched low and under cover at first. To Kasumi she nods, "Probably should listen to them instincts. Stay visible, I'll heal ya if I can find ya." Yup, no illusions that everyone's not about to get injured in some fashion.
Achilles "It's the day we remember our people." Achilles reaches over and grips his axe, knuckles turning white. "It's also the day my father died, and his father before him." That meant that he'd likely be in the front, even though his chest was bare and he carried no supplies. "We'll find honor or death today."
Alice "If you guys want to get out, speak up now." Alice said as she drove the Highwayman up towards the trucks where Manuelito had called for them to stop, "Yay!" She cried out excitedly before replying to Vector, "I read it on my Pip-Boy, people would say these kind of things before the war I think to let everyone know they were good to go and they say the over so that you know you're done talking. Also, did you know that a CB Radio is only a one-way transmitter? That's why they need to say over, because if you press the transmit button, you can't hear anyone else talking to you and they can just hear you. ALSO! Did you know, that in 2077..."
Apostle     "Too far to see how things look."
    Apostle speaks without looking up when Kasumi speaks, but when the vehicles begin to slow and people begin to depart, a sigh is heaved. She did, however, resist the urge to roll her eyes at Teddy so hard that they turned white and stuck there. ... Somehow.
    She shuffles to her feet, straightening the patchwork material of her 'armour', freeing a laser pistol from its hidden location as she slinks her way out of the vehicle, glancing around at those gathered with all the contempt that can fit in one person, her shoulders hunching up as she skulks onward toward the town and the smoking horror that may await.
Kaydin     "It would be best recommended we keep the airways clear for important communication." Kaydin says into his own radio which is linked to the radio Alice is chatting into as well as the rest of the militia. He keeps his rifle close and he looks to Frank. "Remain calm and you will get through this. A fight aint no different then anything else in life." He says to the man to try and re-affirm the gambler before looking out to where the others are looking.
Kurokumo Mibojin      Kurokumo huffs, the level of overprotective instinct is suffocating to deal with. She says nothing, though, as Ashur's attentions and concern should focus on keeping himself alive. Watching as everyone around her comes alive with their chosen purpose, the Doctor follows suit.
Doomguy as doomguy sits back down and heres ashur say that kumo safty is at the top of his list he notices when ashur puts his hand on her abdomin he got the hint "then consider her protected ashur, i wont let you bloodline end tonight"
Emily Emily settles back in the bed of the truck once more, "Well. I think it's raiders." She says to herself as her speculation goes unanswered. She eases that revolver out of her armor, taking a moment to actually check that it's loaded, and settling in for the rest of the ride to the dismount point.
Vector     Vector stares at the CB Radio as the voice keeps coming through it, and then sets his vision back on the road - as it may be - that they rattle along. With the newfound knowledge that it's only a one-way transmitter, there's a heaving sigh from the man as the voice keeps coming on through. Thankfully, the end is in sight - or at least his decided parking position.
    The acceleration of the vehicle begins to slow, going from the hearty thrum to something of a less angry tone. The gear is shifted as the vehicle is carefully slowed to a halt, and then fully parked. Vector's hand gives an audiable *THUMP THUMP* to the metal behind him, indicating that he's parked up fully, and people can get out now.
Kasumi     Of course, everyone but her has a radio it seems. Kasumi shakes her head a little bit, wondering whats going on as she starts to make her way towards the city. She doesn't say anything. Kasumi is extremely focused.
Frank "One time I crossed a member of the Omertas in New Vegas. If you don't know, they're one of the tribes up there running things...and probably the most vicious. I got worked over pretty bad with a pair of brass knuckles out back near a dumpster...I thought that was the closest I ever came to dying," Frank says to Kaydin. "I reckon I'm going to be breaking a new record tonight." He then flashes the man a winning smile.
Iris Lark Iris listens to the conversations as the car starts to get close to its destination. She's focused on what's to come. The people to help, the raiders to drive off. She'll do what she can, and let the rest of the chips fall where they may.
Jacqueline "I think that'll depend on what Kumo does," Jacqueline says to Sparrow. "This shotgun doesn't have amazing range, but I'll try to keep you covered."
That's when she sees Ashur's hand on the Japanese woman's middle. She'd almost forgotten about that. She busies herself checking her shotgun, making sure it's loaded for the job ahead. A gun this antiquated, you don't want to travel with shot in the chambers.
It feels like the truck's stopping now. The knocking on the back of the cab confirms it. "We're there yet," she says, moving to vacate the vehicle. Her eyes, though, are on the town. "Just... I hope there's something of /there/ left to save."
Vuk Vuk will get out when Alice does stop, and they don't end up plowed into the back of a truck and begin to stomp towards the town, brazenly, no fear, trusting in his armor. Already the minigun is spooling up, ready to begin spewing death. "Lets try to find the survivors." He shouts out, since it seems unlikely, most would have a radio unit like power armor seems to have.
Kaydin     "I fought at hoover dam the first time, know full well how things work in New Vegas." Kaydin says as he nods to the man. "I will keep an eye on ya while we are here. Cant have you dying without swindling the rest of El Dorado." He says with a smile which is hidden by his helmet. When they stop he moves to get out and looks around. "What are your orders?" He asks into his radio.
Theodore     As soon as the truck stops, Theodore is informed of his promotion. He simply acknowledges and gets to work, as this is hardly the time for excitement or lamentations. He makes sure that the vehicle guards know what is expected of them, and places a pockmarked young private in charge of the group. He carries his musket at the low ready as he tells them, "You are important. Your duty is important. Without vehicles, it is going to be a long way home. But you are worth more than they are. Be smart. Fight smart. Survive." He nods to the private to take over, and heads towards a place that seems to have had Hope ripped right out of its name. His expression is grave, and it does not match the conflict in his big, blue eyes.
Sparrow Sparrow nods her agreement to Jackie givin' the Wayne woman a light smile before turning back to the rest. "Me too." She breathes out, "Stay safe yourself, all right Jackie." She smiles at the other woman before reaching down to unstrap and waits for the fireworks of first contact.
Doomguy doomguy gets out of the truck his boots making a thump as he connects with solid ground looking around he takes a knee with his bfg aimed downrange taking up a position as a makeshift fireing line as others get out of the trucks
Iris Lark Iris slips out of the vehicle and she walks behind Alice and Vuk, checking the pistol to make sure it's loaded and ready. Her armor gets a tug to make sure it's strapped on tight and then they're moving, trying to get closer to the carnage when it's human nature to flee from it.
Manuelito Mulling over a thought, Manny sighs as he flicks on the CB Radio and the speaker system attached to the truck. "Listen up everyone. I've received intelligence a few days back. the Horde down south are being led by a nasty strain of Super mutant Whom may have been created by Enclave Research from old South America." He pauses. "What is attacking Hope /could/ be this, so be on alert.. and weapons hot."
Vault Girl Once the trucks and car are stopped, the lower-ranking militiamen (redshirts) take over watch duty so that the group can approach the settlement of Hope's Crossing which is more of an inferno than a town at this point.

The flickering shadows cast by the flames dance across the desert sands as you approach, the sun slowly and inevitably beginning to disappear in the distance as the day gave way to night.

At this distance, you could smell the death amidst the burning buildings, the acrid smoke blowing through the air and into the ether.

There were at least six townsfolk running towards you and they were pursued by grotesque figures. Abominable horrors that ran around on four to six legs with the partial torso of a human with deformed features, men and women who no longer looked as they were human moved with them after the creatures chasing the townsfolk while even larger supermutant shaped figured loomed behind them at nine to ten feet tall.
Emily Once the trucks come to a stop, Emily shifts a little, standing up and clamboring over the edge, her hands going to brush off her backside, and she reaches her hand up to tug the scarf down from in front of her face. "It's been a while since my ass has been this sort." She states, her hand going to reach for her pistol as she eases it out of her garment once again, looking around a little as she just sort of mills around nearby the truck, for the moment anyway.
Sammy     There's a certain stalking motion to Sammy's approach on the scene, apart from the main groups, he disappears into the shadows, stalking with the feral predator's grace of a mountain lion or jungle cat, moving among the husks of trees and rocks, moving cover to cover as he approaches with deliberation. He pauses a tick at the radio announcement, because it's important to figure out what kind of ammo to prepare. He's looking for wreckage or somewhere that might give him a good vantage point a little closer in... crouching he sweeps the area and flicks the front cover off his rifle again. "Walkin in a sniper's wonderland...."
Doomguy doomguy sees the horrors "i got contact weapons free" then doomguy proceded to unload green hell on them
Manuelito For his part, Manuelito leads the militiamen up to about a third of a mile out. "Okay, break down into squads and be fucking careful. Stay in touch via radios." With that said, he moves off to find a location for perfect scouting and discharging of Betsy; his Anti-Material Rifle. Finding a good spot, he sets up and looks outward. "Alright. Here. We. Go." With that, he takes a shot to the Supermutant, the bullet slamming into its head ... and stands "What the fuck.." He mutters before swiveling the rifle to a swarm of mutants and discharges his rifle again. Supermutants will need to wait it seems.
Vault Girl Like a tide of living flesh the 'centaurs' swarm all over the entire battle line moving into close range with surprising speed and attacking several members of the group who were not just at the vanguard but also the rear as the over a dozen animalistic humanoid freaks tried to take down anyone they can.

A young militiaman named Thomas screamed out in terror as three of the centaurs grabbed him and began ripping him apart!

The Supermutants moved up with their miniguns and unloaded into the most obvious targets in front of them; the men in Power Armor trying to be heroes like it was still the Great War.
Vector     Vehicle has come to a stop, bullets are flying already. Vector is pretty damn sure that there's blood on the truck. He's not really looking at the moment, as he's currently got one hand on his turban as his boots pound sand as he runs through the already errupting gunfire.
    Reaching out towards one of the fleeing villagers, Vector's hands grasp at the poor individual - but give no respite - instead, he lurches back towards the truck, dragging the unfortunate with him all the way until he's roughly shoved the survivor into the vehicle itself. Only then, does he look at what was the militiaman named Thomas. "Bloody hell."
Theodore     In the chaos-the screams and the minigun fire the din the other noises spike out of-Theodore sees a man sitting there dumbly. Shock. The young militia corporal sprints over to that villager and hooks an arm under his armpit. "Wake up! It's time to get out of here, sir!" He bends, hooks a heel, and throws the man into a carry across his shoulders. "I'm taking you somewhere safe!" Theodore tries to run back to the truck, oh how he tries, but his hustle is like a sluggish struggle with all the weight he carries. Despite it, he manages to get the man back and calls out to his team, "Take this man and check him for wounds!" Without taking a moment to catch his heaving breath, Theodore starts to run back toward the fight.
Sparrow Sparrow is moving as soon as she sees noncombatants fleeing from the monstrosities that only serve to add more fuel to the nightmares she's been having since she visited Dunwich. She barely has time to recoil because her instincts are kicking in and instead of running away she's booking towards the civilians reaching to help herd one towards the truck giving them all a quick look over. Thankfully they're unwounded enough to flee. reaches down to put her hand on her gun, prepped for covering fire in the next few breaths if she has too well aware she's putting herself in the line of fire and compensating for it.
Frank Frank's smile relaxes a bit, and he nods at Kaydin. "You're alright, fella. Provided we both return alive and with most of our limbs intact, I'd buy you a drink." The trucks stop. Frank gripped his revolver; it was go time.

He finds himself approaching the burning town, feeling REALLY out of place now that he's among the main fighting force. He is worried he is going to scuff his boots out here, or an errant flame will light his hair on fire - he puts enough grease in it that it is perhaps a legitimate concern. It's only when he sees the villagers that he begins to focus...and then he sees what is pursuing them.

"Oh SHIT!" he cries. Centaurs and Super Mutants, the Marshal wasn't kidding. God, why did it have to be THEM? Frank becomes nauseous at the sight of them; he feels he is going to throw up from a combination of the sight, the heat and general nerves. He breathes through his nose, closes his eyes briefly, then focuses on the villagers. The militia had better guns then he did; let them get the ball rolling and perhaps get snacked on. Help escort fleeing villagers? That he could do.

"Hey, over here folks, please evacuate in an orderly fashion and remember...Lone Star Caravans works for YOU!" He cries like a casino barker, moving to the first person he sees.
Sammy     Sammy leads with his almost perfect deadpan, "Did you ever notice how in the Bible, when ever God needed to punish someone, or make an example, or whenever God needed a killing, he sent an angel? Did you ever wonder what a creature like that must be like? A whole existence spent praising your God, but always with one wing dipped in blood. Would you ever really want to see an angel?" Sight the target, pull the trigger.
    "BOOM" sayeth the rifle. Deadly white fire lights up the night from the muzzle brake on the M107, drawing a line at the SuperMutant squad that had raked the recovery teams with their effective minigun fire.
    Calm as could be, he lines up the next shot deciding where else needs a little Long Range Service.
Theodore     Running back towards the fight, Theodore makes a confused expression as he feels like someone just kicked him in the lungs. He looks down as his legs falter, sees blood, and makes a quick calculation of location, impact velocity, and potential rate of loss. "Fine!" He declares to himself out loud as he forces himself to run once more. "I'm going to live!" This is shouted as he cranks his laser musket to life and looks around with wide, adrenaline-pumped eyes. "I'm fine!" Awkward laughter spills from him.
Iris Lark Iris clutches at her abdomen as she runs to help a villager towards the trucks, she sees O.V.E.R 9000 rolling in to do some work. She can't spare him or anything else going on much attention as she tries to lead the friendly back towards safety.
Alice Alice rushed in alongside Iris and recovered the last of the villagers only to end up under heavy gunfire, "WHAT THE SUGARSNAPS!! OWWW! IRIS HALP!" She cried out before ducking behind O.V.E.R. 9000 who was unloading hell on the enemy and taking the bullets for Iris, unfortunately for the poor robot, it didn't look good.....
Apostle     There are bullets flying everywhere; the sounds of impact, the scent of blood in the air, the burning sting of smoke in the eyes -- this is what the world has become. This is all that Apostle has come to know, what home looks like, what freedom costs.
    When the gun of one of the mutants is turned in her direction, she rolls to plant her back against the truck she had arrived in, giving it a calming pat with one of her rust-and-grease tainted hands ever so soothingly. "We wait, gentle scourge of rust, iron-hearted hero of the civility lost..." She murmurs to it, before poking her head out around the side of it, keen golden eyes squinting against the twisting, acrid breeze as the skin above her nose wrinkles unseen beneath her masking.
    Her pistol is brought to the offensive, her body swinging out from behind the truck to aim up and take a few on-the-fly shots toward the super mutants, a satisfyingly sci-fi 'pew'ing the only evidence of her firing.
    Pistols. So unimpressive.
Kasumi     Combat is going crazy, and Kasumi is confused as all hell at first. She's never been in live combat! She suddenly finds herself being shot at! The woman ducks behind a rock as she's being shot at. The woman comes up, taking aim at those...things with the minigun. The hell are those? Well, either way, DIE! The woman takes the shot, aiming for the center mass of those things in hopes of taking them down!
Emily "Those aren't raiders!" Emily exclaims loudly, about the same time as a bullet goes whizzing right past her, close enough to reach out and touch practically, she barely moves out of the way as she crouches down to make herself a smaller target.

As she watches several of the townsfolk go out to rescue the fleeing villagers she mutters, "Eff that? I ain't going out there." While lifting her big revolver, raising up and firing off a couple of shots at one of the squads of mutants, "Eat shit you ugly bastards!" She calls out. BANG. BANG.

The shots go wide, however, she may not have really even been looking where she was shooting, maybe?
Kaydin     Kaydin runs off the truck and was looking to the civilians and once they were all accounted for he raises his service rifle and fires at the centaurs. It was then he felt his armor stop a bullet and tries to look smaller as he fired at the centaurs.
Ashur The mutant hordes charge the convoy as a throng of degenerate cowards flee rather than defend their homes; rising to his feet, Ashur steps off the back of the truck, and strides forth. The mutants sow the wind with base lead aggression, and the initial volley harmlessly whizzes past him. "Come, impure things," he thunders, voice projected from his helmet's rebreather and speaker. "I will cleanse your rot from this earth."

The response is a storm of minigun bullets that smash into his chest; the damage is trivial. He laughs, hefts a fist--

And hears behind him Kurokumo crying out in pain, as the group is rushed and flanked by a crowd of those inhuman Centaurs.

"You will not!" He snarls, and the white-painted steel titan hurls himself bodily into the swarming writhing masses. He moves with a speed his size seems to contradict; there's thunder in his footsteps as he pounds dirt, and his fists hit like lightning when they do, energy cells driving the monstrous ram of his power fist.

Crush the bone, split the flesh, thrust fingers into the soft spots to torture and cripple; he wears their organs like a second skin.
Vuk Vuk is inoxerably moving forward, his armor showering sparks as rounds slam into it, and then he drops to a kneel and the minigun begins to kick out lead in a torrent of spent shell casings. "These are not the ones I met before Iris! They are much more aggressive!" There is every possibility, Vuk is retreating into senility as they engage. "I suggest using the car as cover!" He reminds Alice and Iris.
Kurokumo Mibojin      Normally, it's the nice tall gentlemen covered plates of bulky armor that get the beatings. Oh no, not this time! Kurokumo takes a hit to the back from one of the hideous Centuars, the field erupting into chaos as she brings her shotgun to bear. The crack of shells fire twice, but the pain keeps her from making contact after all.
Sparrow Sparrow needed that arm, to heal, the Villagers are safe at least but Sparrow's caught by a sudden hail of fire and she finds that her good arm is now hanging lifeless at her side. She looks around, pulling her kit from where she'd had it held and works on getting herself tended while she moves for the next nearest person she can see that's wounded. Nevermind that she's a lovely shade of grey right now or the gritted teeth and tears in her eyes.
Vault Girl For many of you, this was your first time encountering honest to god mutants, but these mutants were quite different than those who were once part of the Master's Army. They are blueish-green in color and covered in boils and pustules which ooze from their skin.

The regular mutants are reminiscent of humans with mutations and some early signs of exposure to FEV that make them all fairly unique if even in a uniform measure.

From within the village the screaming has stopped. It has grown far too silent.

The Supermutants who Achilles had charged began to laugh like they are all thinking in unison, "Hahaha, you become part of Horde. You Strong. You become Brother." They all spoke as one to...
Sammy     "He watches from the ageless Void... Enlightened Shadow of His former Self," Sammy continues the litany, leveling the rifle one more time, "...waiting for the time He'll take Human form again..." he lines up his next shot, resting his head on the cheek relief and letting the anger well up in him, letting it give him fuel, fire, smouldering. They shot at his medic team again.
    If anyone was close to see, they might have seen the moonlight gathering the dust around him in a particular, peculiar way, that there might be a ghostly figure behind him, long arms with translucent reach, pointing down to the little town of Hope. A tall, pale figure ethereal with a blindfold that obscures it's facial features and wings made of the blackness between the stars.
    "... to avenge the victims of the War Machine. and vanquish the Evil that gave it Life."
    Then again, it could just be nothing.
Alice "HARLAN!" Alice screamed from behind the heavilly damaged O.V.E.R. 9000, "We could really use some heavy fire support, could you hurry it up.. OLD MAN!"
Vault Girl The Mutants focus their assault rifles on the crazy ninja girl who just killed their Centaur Pets and Vuk who looks scary as all hell in his power armor and well, they manage to punch through his armor in a few places!
Kasumi     Its not long before the mutants start shooting at her again. Kasumi quickly moves back behind cover of her rock, taking several deep breathes. Things are definitely a lot different in real combat versus just taking out a target. The woman blinks a few times, rubbing her eyes. She looks at those centaur things, and takes aim. The woman breathes out, firing the rifle, watching as things go down, but not come back up. Somehow, she's putting things down! Maybe she should charge a little extra for each kill at the moment? Nah, better not. Karma isn't that nice...
Sammy     "BOOM!" sayeth Sammy's rifle, and he fires another shot, this time the second batch of Supermutants, already supressed by the minigun and a supervelocity .50 caliber sniper round does a thorough job at ear-cleaning, in one, out the other. But that exit wound? Yeah, shrapnel from one skull hits the others as the squad groups, staggered by continued fire.
Vector Bullets are flying. People are dying. Vuk is currently giving everyone a headache with the sheer amount of minigun fire..
    But Vector's super. Thanks for asking. He has infact decided to hunker down somewhat beside Apostle, as he most likely considers anything that woman would decide to get near as suitable cover for the general situation. Watching out and over where Vuk's storm of minigun rounds are currently keeping a group of already quite battered supermutants, and then there's a .50 caliber round, and Vector decides to add some of his own fire to the current storm.
    *BOOM* *Click-click*.
    *BOOM* *Click-click*.
    Two rounds are fired from the marksman rifle, striking the remaining supermutants in their already wounded torsos - sending them slumping to the ground as soon as their brains /finally/ register that "Hey, my body is dead."
    "Nice weather we're having, right?" He asks aside to Apostle.
Vault Girl One of the only remaining mutant squads who Achilles is in close combat with try to writhe and grind and.. wait, they try to kill him and they fail miserably!
Manuelito Watching the movements of the team and the different groups going down, the Navajo takes aim on a particular Mutant squad dubbed 1. Taking careful aim, he discharges the rifle twice taking out the squad. He nods in approval before scanning the battlefield again.

"All units, report in please. How bad is our casualty count?" He calls out over the radios to fellow militiamen.
Apostle     She's feeling pretty satisfied with herself right about now; Apostle hadn't used her pistol before, and it did the magic she hoped it was going to. She's distracted by the thoughts of what a fantastic shot that was, taking a moment to look over the pistol in her hand, her eyes moving toward Vector as he goes about his silly people-rescuing. How horrid that we should seek to preserve that which knows nothing but consumption and decay.
    She's mid disappointed headshake when she maneuvers to take a second shot, only to make the sweet acquaintence of bullets in her chest.
    There's a sharp HSSK of her mask, before a wet coughing begins -- those with education in the medicinal or triage arts might recognize the sound of a collapsed lung sucking desperately at the reclamation of air to no avail. Her brow creases sharply, a look of confusion on her features as though she simply didn't understand what was happening here, one of her hands slapping against the rapidly bloodying hole in her jacket.
    Frantic, she begins to paw about for anything flat she might use to block the hole, tiny bubbles of frothy red forming at the brink of her mask as the blood that has begun to creep from her lips makes its way to escape the confines of her rebreather. Another sickly wet HSSK from her mask, brows still furrowed as she stops her seeking, pressing her palm hard against the wound, that tinny, canned voice crackling out once more; "So fragile--the human body. Just one prick and it will draw blood. Just one bullet and the bleeding will never stop..."
    One might assume this is her way of asking for help.
    One may also assume she should just say so.
    Still, it appears as though if she's going to die, she's going to do so with a gun in her hand, dragging another kicking and screaming with her into the deep, dark places; somehow hotter and more hellish than this place, though at this time she could not tell you how. "Victory is won not in miles, but inches..." The human element spills through those words as her crimson scarf is clutched at and pressed into her wound all the more solidly, sunset gaze settling upon the super-mutants that have had her attention since the start, a momentary pause given to Vector's all-too-amiable enquiry.
    "It is a good day." She agrees.
    As long as it takes her to respond to him is about as long as it takes for someone else to steal the glory of taking down those mini-gunning motherfuckers before she can. Put out and full of vengeance, she heaves that disgruntled sigh, as though she weren't slowly bleeding to death in the wastes, taking aim anew before firing off another couple of shots, the first scoring a leather-burning, muscle-biting shot into the thigh of the closest target, his sudden screaming jarring her just enough to have the second shot go wide.
Harlan     "Here's PAPA!"

Harlan is summoned by Alice! Where did he come from? Who knows? Who cares. He came packing some serious heat! His big bulging blacksmith biceps holding up the m60 light machine, he gives a boisterous roar as he unloads a wave of lead upon the super mutant. "Die you rotten mutant son of bitches!" RA-TA-TA-TA-TA-TA-TA. "Here's lead in your eye, ugly fuckers!. RA-TA-TA-TA-TA-TA-TA. "Oi. This one has your name on it!" RA-TA-TA-TA-TA-TA... HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Harlan was a peaceful man.. until he was in a fight... that and he really hates muties. The mutants of squad two receive his full prejudice as a gale of lead mows them down almost to the last FEV inflicted fool.
Achilles The death on the battlefield was something Achilles was used to, in fact he almost seemed to thrive in it. Without his usual armor weighing him down the giant's speed is on full display, allowing him to scramble away from the incoming bullets and clash with the super mutants. Without missing a beat be buries the blade between one of the monster's eyes, growling at them as they intone at him. But thankfully an angel with a sniper rifle was watching over him, thanks Satan.

With nothing left to fight there he breaks off to engage the unchallenged group of mutants, sweeping one of them before dancing away from their attacks. "Today we take glory! Long live El Dorado!"
Vault Girl The Mutants continue to fight with single-minded purpose and it is perhaps Doomguy who is the hero of the hour, fiercely protecting Kumo from any attacks as per his promise to Ashur.

Kaydin is hit but the bullet is little more than a concussive blow but Doomguy takes a round to the skull, the man flying backwards and hitting the ground with a thud.
Alice Alice seemed very upset that O.V.E.R. taking all those hits and screams out, "LEAVE MY FRIENDS ALONE YOU STUPID MUTANTS!" She was actually rushing in with her katana and a power fist nerd raging hardcore but despite it all she only managed to slash apart a single mutant.
Vuk Vuk is starting to advance forward again, his HUD informing him that his armor has been penetrated and minor trauma has been detected. Rapid eye movement dismisses the notifications on his HUD and he briefly cycles through the various optic modes as the Minigun continues spew out casings. "Disregard future notifications of Operator Blunt Trauma force injuries. Disable notifications concerning medical conditions AI interface detects. Divert secondary power cell to enhancing optical resolution." He begins to intone, relying on his Enlightment to overcome the pain as he keeps tracking his Minigun back and forth across the super mutants.
Doomguy doomguy lays on his back blood leaking out both the back of his head and his eye socket he dare not move as he afriad yes afraid that he may cause himself to bleed more in a shaky voice he calls out "m-medic, h-help"
Frank Frank hurries the villagers into the safety of the trucks. He reluctantly turns away, resisting the urge to jump in with them. Steeling his resolve, he rejoins the militia in the midst of the chaos; mutants dying left and right, militiamen getting shot or torn up. He turns to the remaining squad of mutants and assumes a duelist stance, one hand on his hip, turned sideways from his target, pistol held out as he fires once...the shot misses. Damn it, his hand is shaking. He fires another one, missing a mutant.

"Come on, Lady Luck, don't let me down now. I've been good to you before..." he whispers. He concentrates, and fires...plugging a mutant at last. "Thanks darlin'," he says, looking up.
Emily There she was, in the midst of a firefight with a horde of weird mutant things, half of them oozing stuff, and trying to grind on people in a most unpleasant way while bullets fly, lasers zzzzzt and general pandemonium occurs.

Emily does her best to stay out of the immediate line of fire of the various creatures, while firing off another pair of shots into the mess with her heavy revolver, another pair of 'BANGS' echo out into the wasteland night, neither actually hitting anything.
Iris Lark Iris couldn't find cover but when the mutants start to charge in again she raises her custom laser pistol and quickly fires off two shots. One goes wide, and the other hits straight in the right in the torso. The mutant keeps moving and she mutters to herself, moving closer to Vuk and Alice.
Kurokumo Mibojin      Kurokumo is having no luck actually taking out the Mutant Menace, but Doomguy heroically takes a shot to the head. "Fuck..." She's work on him herself, but Sparrow is already moving through. Kurokumo aims this time, only firing once, but gaining no ground.
Sparrow Sparrow does a quick patch up job on herself, wrapping a bandage sloppily around her arm in record time. She grunts and sways in pain but using her teeth and off hand she ties it off before she scans for the next. She'd been headed for Apostle but mid run she hears Doomguy's scream and skids as she hangs a sudden turn and heads for him, down low and swinging in close to try and get Doomguy to hold still for a moment. Sparrow is at the end of the day a pretty good doctor and sometimes she can whip something out in the field that seems surprisingly efficient and useful? Even with the wing down, she manages to make it work. In this case? A ball of gauze and some pressure along with the quick work of bandaging over his head as she moves along. Slipping in behind a high rock and crouching behind it, she gives Kumo a quick glance to make sure she's not hurt before she scans the field again for anyone else in need of aid.
Vector *BOOM* *Click-click*.
*BOOM* *Click-click.*

That's the sound Vector's rifle makes as he keeps firing on the groups while remaining beside Apostle. It's nothing horrifically difficult, to aim and shoot at something that's trying to kill you. It's more difficult to hit anything, especially in higher stress situations. With the veil covering his features, it's not entirely sure what Vector's face is twisted into. Probably a grimace of some sort. He takes a glance oer towards Apostle, and the growing red wetness that emergies from the woman's torso. "You keep some pressure on that. I'll take a peek in a second. Don't bleed out on me. Not worth it to die here, blackfingers."
Kaydin     Kaydin gets shot once more and rubs where the bullet was. "That stung!" He complains as he raises his rifle, takes aim, and opens fire at one of the supermutant's head only for him to turn and make the shot miss completely. "Fucking mutant." He growls out as he tries to avoid being shot at.
Theodore     Theodore cranks his musket an extra two rotations before taking quick aim and blasting red light towards a mutant. And missing as it steps in a dip in the ground.

Or did he? Theodore compensates for his prediction by dropping the muzzle down and to the right at the last moment; causing the blast to strike the creature in the chest and staggering it back. He takes the opportunity to move and rushes towards farther cover.
Harlan      Harlan bellows after unloading on the mutant squad and then charges into the fray to smack one of the remaining FEV sods with the butt of his m60 knocking him to the ground.. and then proceeds to boot stomp the creature in the face until he stops moving. A final stomp summons a satisfying 'SQUISH' as skull cracks and gra y matters leaks out onto the field of battle.

The grizzled old man spits on the defeated foe for good measure then turns toward Kasumi to toss her the chinese officer's sword from his hip. "Show me you deserve a katana, missy!"
Vuk Vuk doesn't keep advancing, for others with small arms can flank far easier and he can review potentional damage reports his armor is feeding to his HUD as he begins to link a new belt into the Minigun's drum. Wonderful, the armor is still functional and mostly, not leaking hydraulic fluids. Nor is he leaking biological goop from his spleen! These things are good. "Iris! Alice! I don't think it is wise to press into the town it self until we've secured a perimeter." He says, worried about them, not him self.
Sammy     "Through the field he was walkin, through my scope, I was watchin..."
    *BOOM* goes the rifle.
    "One shot and one kill, from the top of the hill... Walking in a Sniper's Wonderland..." is it a mantra? Maybe. Complete and absolute deadpan, breathing slow, measured. He sights the next target. "In the village there 's a lady, In her arms, she held a baby..."
    *BOOM* goes another shot."... I chambered a round, mutant hit the ground..."
Harlan      Harlan slings his m60 over his shoulder and strokes his beard liked a wizzened kung-fu master as he awaits to see Kasumi's feats of daring sword-play.
Kaydin     The service rifle barks out some more shots and takes down the one which he missed. "For the NCR!" Kaydin' calls out as he heads back to Frank and the others to see if he can help them out.
Iris Lark Iris walks across the killing field and comes to a stop near Vuk, shrugging up at the man in power armor. "If you say so." She says quietly, stowing her pistol until it's needed again. She gazes at Alice and moves closer to rub her friends back gently. "Will we be able to fix Deathbot?"
Apostle     As the last of the mutants goes down, Apostle sinks down the side of the vehicle she'd been pressed against, her head lolling to one side to stare toward Vector in soundless retort to his statement about bleeding out. If looks could kill, his eyes would have exploded just then. Her arm is lowered, the pistol with it, slinging it away for a moment as she takes a quick look at what she's dealing with wounds-wise.
    Her head shakes, casually pressing a grimy finger into the wound to feel around for a bullet in the most rudementary of medical discipline. When mention of fixing the Deathbot is made, her attentions quickly flit that way, "... Iron hides and innard inwards make most sense to me. I can help him."
Kasumi     Kasumi catches the blade, after letting go of the service Rifle. The woman just grins evilly, and slides out from behind the rock. The woman is effeicent in her sword strikes. She catches one of the mutants from the side, and then moves around it, slashing at its joints before dropping it to its knees. The woman lifts its head up with the tip of the blade before spinning around, and removing the head with a clean upper slash. The woman snaps her wrist, sending the blood towards the ground, and cleaning the blade. The woman walks over to Harlan, and cleans the blade before returning it to Harlan.
Ashur Ashur is an alchemist; his hands are vitriol, and purify all they touch, until the life twitching on the ground beneath him melts into component atoms. He stands, turns, and walks back toward the truck, eyes on Kumo.
Vault Girl "Help me." The first person to stumble out of the burning village says before collapsing to the ground.

"Just run!" Another cries out before some kind of fleshy mass of tentacles grabs them and pulls them into the smoke.

Moments later the villager who had stumbled is also pulled into the smoke.

You see something massive, easily the size of one of the trucks slowly moving out of the smoke and into the illuminating light of the fires that have begun to reduce Hope's Crossing to a charred husk of buildings and a collection of memories.

It is a gestalt nightmare. A horror. You can see faces in that blob. That truck sized blob. Faces and arms. Legs and other appendages. It was a giant tumbleweed of bodies, fusing together into something else.

It was rolling towards you, threatening to consume all in its path.

It was a terror unseen by even the most seasoned of veterans and yet Ashur, Vector, Manuelito, Theodore, Emily and Kaydin alone manage to avoid the fear that grips everyone else; the deep seated and unnatural terror that fills them.
Harlan      Harlan accepts the sword back with a slight bow. "Good job, kid." His eyes then bulge out of his head as he seems the 'Horror'. "What.. the...fuck... is.. that." He bellows as points..his finger.. not his m60.. So helpful Harlan! Grow some balls!
Frank Frank's plugs a mutant directly between the eyes with his six shooter, then gives it a spin and quickly holsters it. "Great, looks like we're mopping 'em up real good," he comments. Now he hopes they can just go home and have a celebratory party. IF they just...his train of thought stops when the thing comes shambling out of the burning village.

He feels a giant ice ball formulate in his stomach; he breaks out into a cold sweat, the fight or flight response goes firmly to flight, and he swears he can feel his private parts retract like a swiss army knife into his person. There's only one proper response.

"Aaaaaaah!" he screams as he unloads his pistol in the thing's direction.
Vuk Vuk just..sort of stares, he might want to run, but let us be honest, Power Armor isn't as fast as a car, and when the torrent of gunfire begins..he'll join, his Minigun suddenly screaming with unrestrained firing, this isn't even him doing his normal attempts to pin things down, cut them to ribbons with others, it's just a torrent of lead and spent casings as he begins to -advance- with Ashur. "Divide and Conquer." He barks out at Ashur, starting to slip to the opposite side of the Legion Hulk. "Suffer not the demon of Satansoft to live. Destroy that which holds the face of Be'alza-Gates!" He barks out, though Vuk keeps a healthy distance as he tries to flank opposite of Ashur. He doesn't need to get eaten.
Emily "What. Is. That." Emily says as a horror from a pre-war Porno cartoon erupts from the ground that was the village of Hope's End. She isn't scared, perse, but boy is that thing gross, and she takes a few steps back instinctively.

When people just start shooting and shooting into the giant blob creature, she gets a pensive little look on her face and starts to shoot too.. of course only two shots fire off from the revolver before the gun just makes empty clicks.
Doomguy doomguy looks up at the creature fireing everything from every gun into it then gets to his feet and charges at it with his chainsaw
Iris Lark The blob rolls towards the group of people and Iris doesn't even wait for Vuk or Alice to yell to run, she simply turns and flees. The thing comes closer and it's fight or sink so she turns and starts to fire quickly, popping off a laser shot over and over again until the pistol clicks empty. That's when she trips, falls and waits for death, but it doesn't come so she opens her squinted eyes to see what happened.
Sparrow Sparrow stares, gulps, and here's a few times, already in pain and mental horror and now Dunwich has a new buddy in Sparrow's life. Thi thing. When the suggestion is made Sparrow takes her gun from its holster and starts unloading finally shaking herself enough from horror to call to those near her, "I'm down for shooting this thing while someone drives me away from it. Far away.." CLICK. Sparrow turns while digging in her pockets for her reloader.
Harlan      Harlan shakes his head, gawks, and then bellow flops.. deploying the tri-pod of the m60. He then adds to the hail of gunfire, his calloused finger holding down on the trigger while he braces the butt of the weapon. RA-TA-TA-TA-TA-TA-TA.. DAKKA DAKKA. His beard wisps in the slight whomps of released gas from the machine of war, his eye squinting, crow's feet highlighted as he keeps the sight trained on the monstrosity.
Alice "I hope so Iris...Oh sugnarsnaps!" When the monster appears, Alice begins firing off her beloved alien blaster pistol and its precious ammo as she screams, "RUUUUNNNNNNNNNNN!!!!" She's sitting in the driverseat of the vaultmobile desperately trying to get it started but she's panicking like crazy, "Pleasepleasepleasepleasepleapleasepleaseplease." O.V.E.R. 9000 is firing his laser while he reverses to attach himself to the trailer hitch of the car looking like he could shutdown at any moment.
Ashur What Ashur sees is unholy! An eldritch beast, some thing conjured by dark magic and all the horrors of science that once led Mars to purge the world in apocalypse fire. The ground shakes, rumbles, roars as the gestalt nightmare flattens the land. Its wretchedness, by all rights, should paralyze a man with fear.

Yet Ashur is enraged, and bold, besides-- when the penalty for flight is execution, you learn to swallow any fear, until it builds up inside you in such great volumes that afraid becomes your default; then comes the numbness.

It's that numbness now that sees him stride toward it. When others fire, or flee, he challenges it, cracking the knuckles of his power fist. He has faced giants, before, steel behemoths and bygone relics-- but he is Ashur, and like any god, must take part in Titanomachy.

He rips and tears with savage fury. This is almost certainly an absurdly dangerous position to be in, risking crushing at any moment, but he is compelled to twist and break the amalgam faces.
Apostle     For all her pithy quote-spewing nonsense, when that thing rolls out with those people in it, true horror comes to mind.
    What if they wanted to touch her?
    What if it HUGGED her?!
    Misanthrope Apostle takes that moment to flip her shit, "No!" She barks at it, voice completely artificial, staggering to her feet as she clings desperately to the side of the truck, scampering inside, "If there be any among those common objects of hatred which I can safely say I doe contemn and laugh at," A great gulp of breath, a brief pause amidst her fear-bourn tirade, eyes wide and scarf clutched tight as she begins blindly firing in the thing's direction, franticly slapping a hand against the metal of the truck as though she would spur Vector into action.
    "It is that great enemy of reason, vertue and religion, the multitude! That numerous piece of monstrosity, which taken asunder seeme men, and the reasonable creatures of God; but confused together, make but one great beast, and a monstrosity more prodigious than Hydra; it is no breach of Charity to call these fooles; it is the stile all holy Writers have afforded them, set down by -Solomon- in canonicall Scripture, and a point of our faith to beleeve so!" She howls, still shooting, eyes wide and pupils little more than a pinprick of black amidst the sunkissed iris.
Kasumi     Kasumi blinks a little bit, and stares. "....Unko...", she says, staring at whatever that is. She just lifts the rifle up, and stares firing like crazy, swearing in Japanese, looking dive into the truck, screaming at the drive to get his ass in gear in japanese! NO! SHE WILL NOT BECOME A MIDNIGHT CARTOON! No Tenticle beasts!
Sammy     "EVERYBODY OUT OF THE POOL." comes Sammy's yell into the microphone on his throat, but he's rattled, he's seen centaurs, but this is like a super mega centaur behemoth. It's a shambling horror of abominations. And the problem is with it, there's no CLEAR target in that undulating rolling blob of not nice things. But it just grabbed another Civillian. Well maybe he can pick out faces, and put a bullet in each one. Maybe. "Get those trucks turned around and moving! We'll help distract it." he barks into the radio. "Everybody move! Wounded priority seating, everyone else grab on and hold..."
    *BOOM-BOOM-BOOM-BOOM-BOOM-BOOM* The rifle screams righteous fury into the night, each shot making the barrel hotter. Flaming smoke and oil from the recoil and supression systems, belches of fire ten feet long out the sides, twenty out the barrel's tip.
    The magzine is falling and Sammy's hand is up under reloading the next box with a solid CHA-CHUK.
Vector     The look from Apostle is given a quick rise-and-drop of his eyebrows, before Vector's attention is then promptly grabbed by Ye-Beastie-That-Should-Nay-Be. What would one do in such a situation, Vector considers, while he promptly begins opening fire with his rifle. *BOOM* *Click-click*. Is the sound of the rifle being fired, a sound that promptly repeats itself as the man begins advancing towards the cab of the truck. "In you get, Apostle." He calls out, "Everyone else, too, I think."
    Then comes the audiable *CLICK* rather than a *BOOM* - ah. Thankfully, Vector is already at the cab, so rather than attempt to reload and fire again, the man is already clambering into the cab and trying to coax the engine back into life. "Oh sacred engine of combustion. Do not fail me now. Blessed is the pistons that work. Blessed is the oil that lubricates.." He trails off as he mutters his rampant prayers, working the ignition.
Doomguy doomguy joins ashur in meleeing this abomination with his chainsaw "well freind didnt think wed go out like this huh" as he keeps ripping and tearing into it he says "it was an honor fighting with you"
Theodore     The moment that the hideous demon of a lifeform appears, Theodore lifts his weapon, cranks it, and shoots while backpedaling away. "Evacuate the wounded!" He shouts as if he has any amount of authority. Maybe he does. Maybe a mixture of common sense and the bravery has earned him the right to speak in such a manner. "It's too massive to fight here!" He looks around wildly as he backpedals; ensuring no living are left behind. "Withdrawing fire!"
Vault Girl The gestalt-abomination cries out in pain and anguish as it is shot, stabbed and punched repeatedly as it rolls towards the group faster than something that size should be able to move. It was no longer just a ball, those limps and appendages were forming together and mutating.

It was disturbing and fascinating perhaps to see many arms and legs and tentacles begin to take shape into forms better suited for locomotion.

The villagers you had rescued were terrified, a young boy crying out, "Please don't let us, like it got my Papa."

The vehicles were started and while it seemed like you may have done a great deal of damage to the beast, standing and fighting was not enough.

Kaydin     Kaydin just watches. The creature is massive and blobby and the man's face is hidden by NCR ranger helmet or else people may just see the WTF look he gets which looks a little obnoxious in it's own right. Still, the thing is coming for him and he begins to back up, raising his service rifle and opening fire. He doubts it does any serious damage but god will he go down fighting this abomination.
Vuk Vuk has seen enough of such things in his time, to know if it was allowed to remain, it's corruption will spread, and thus continues to remain, lifting his minigun again despite bad logic of remaining as others left. "I shall not retreat." He announces over radio before killing the comm array completely.
Harlan      Harlan hops off his belly and hauls ass to the vault mobile right before it peels out. Flopping into the back seat, he pushes the barrel out the rolled down window and continues fire, his boots braced around the outside of the m60. He roars largely out of fear as he sends another hail of lead at the monstrosity.
Frank Frank was already running like an Olympic sprinter, if the Olympics still existed. He leaps into the back of the truck and whaps the side of it so they can get going.
Sammy     "And we shall know..." Sammy's litany is kind of angry, breaking the calm of his dead pan. " fear. For we are the meanest son of a bitch in the valley."
Iris Lark Iris gets to the car just before it takes off, and she clambers in the backseat, pounding on the seat in front of her. "Go Alice go! We've got to get *out* of here!" She cries out, afraid to look out the window at the thing behind them.
Emily With that *CLICK* from Emily's revolver, she is quickly on her way back towards the vehicles as well, "Wait for me!" She shouts, running and jumping to clambor up into the bed of the truck she came in, the revolver stuffed down between her body and her chestpiece.
Alice Alice realized Vuk wasn't retreating but when everyone else was inside the car she cried out, "Vuk won't come! We can't leave him behind, we'll drive around and try to distract it to buy the truck time!" She seemed super pissed about this whole thing and O.V.E.R. 9000 had detached himself from the trailer hitch, "Damnit, not you to Over900.." Vault Team Six never left a person behind, especially not their mascot: WILD BOY!
Ashur The damage is immense, but it doesn't seem to be working much-- Ashur scowls, and realizes that more power than his fists is needed to fell this beast. Even when the power fist sputters and ceases to drive that punching ram forward, he's accepted the need for a different sort of armament-- and he turns, dashing toward the truck he came in to keep moving before all go.
Doomguy doomguy stays and fights this out the best he can giving others time to get the hell out
Vuk Vuk has seen enough of such things in his time, to know if it was allowed to remain, it's corruption will spread, and thus continues to remain, lifting his minigun again despite bad logic of remaining as others left. "I shall not retreat." He announces over radio before killing the comm array completely. Then he begins to fire the Minigun in a constant torrent, the barrels will glow red hot, and yet Vuk finds it all..calming to begin relying on Enlightment to see the world again, even if it is through the senses of his power armor. Then he begins a Mantra. "May Saint Di-ode grant me his protection against the Spawn of Satansoft. May Saint Sony Guide my aim true to deliver another Avatar of Be'alza-Gates. May The Electric Father of Creation look upon me with favour as His Capacitance guides me to the sides of my Elders and allow me to witness the great works of Panasonica." Then when the Minigun runs dry? He lets it hang by it's strap, moving to draws his CAWs. "For the Electric Father of Creation! For The Holy Ohm! For The Heavenly Ampere! I will see you destroyed Spawn of Satansoft!" He snarls out.
Kaydin     Click. Kaydin really hated that sound...slinging the rifle along his sling he pulls out his magnum and just fans the hammer trying to shoot that thing while heading for the truck. Once he reaches the truck he jumps in and calls out. "RANGERS WE ARE LEAVING!" He yells into the headset.
Vector     The engine comes to life, and as people clamber in, Vector shifts the truck into gear. Wheels spin until they gain traction, and dust is kicked up as the vehicle begins to accelerate. With hands grasping at the wheel and turning it with a swiftness borne of natural aptitude and the desire not to get horribly devoured by some giant amorphus blob with the features of a multitude of people that now flows directly into the Should-Not-Be realm of creation.
    With people running to the truck, or far enough away to be picked up, Vector swings the truck around in a long semi-circle, doing his best to permit people to catch up and get in. As Vuk marches off to go face-to-face with the Thing-That-Should-Not-Be, he raises his right hand up, pointing his fingers at his eyes before pointing them in Vuk's direction.
Theodore     "Load up!" Theodore is shouting at his team as he runs back to the truck in between shots. "Go! Go! Go!" He jumps into the back, slaps the truck, and fires another laser beam into the massive alienesque blob.
Vault Girl As the Truck and Car race away from the beast, it is Doomguy and Vuk who remain behind to fight the beast, whether through insanity, self-sacrifice or psychotic bravery; none can be too sure. The minigun tears through the flesh of the mutant abomination even as Doomguy is hacking it apart with his archaic chainsaw.

It's the end for poor Doomguy or so it would seem as the intrepid warrior is swallowed whole into the gullet of the beast.

As Vuk's minigun is emptied, the beast rushes towards him and him alone prepared to claim another victim to be part of its gestalt consciousness and form.
Alice O.V.E.R. 9000 rushes forward with his laser blasting to help Vuk as he lets out a mighty, "*BZT*!" He was side by side with his potential part-robot buddy know and the pair seemed to have an understanding.

When the beast moved to strike Vuk... O.V.E.R. 9000 moved in the path and was smashed into the ground....

Alice stopped the car dead when she saw what happened and could only stare as O.V.E.R. 9000 was basically reduced to scrap by the beast in order to save Vuk..

"Over9000..." Alice whispered as she began to cry.
Sparrow Sparrow is on the truck, looking over the injured who'd made it back. One wing and Sparrow's still careful and her off hand is not as talented but thankfully just as steady as her right. Trying not to listen to the unpleasent and worriome sounds in the distance.
Vuk Vuk was entirely giving into the Englithment, connections unused for well over a decade flowing through the PA, flesh scorching as he begins to fry out his own neural connections as he forces things to work that were never intended to do so again with out a Priest involved. For a few brief moments, his eyes are washed with a burning sensation as his natural vision is torn asunder by that of an active pinging sensory system. And the CAWS tracks the detected objectives within. Disregard organics, organics compose the bulk. Energy Cells detected. Weapon fired. Blood flowing down his face, Enlightment improperly awoken. Combustion Fuel source, engaged. The Beast had overdone it self by taking the living and what belonged to them. System Failure Imminent, neurological damage imminent. Fusion Cell. Engaged. Then Vuk stumbles back as his Power Armor's HUD system overloads along with his own Enlightment and he has to rip open the Helmet, blood flowing from his eyes. "I release you from Sufferance." He says, beginning to blast the faces out of the now immolated, radiation soaked body. Plasma slowly burning through it from that which it consumed..and then Vuk slams down and tries to force the radio to function again. "Iris? I think I burned out my optic nerves." He says in a shakey voice.
Sammy     At the extreme of his senses, the extreme range for his rifle, Sammy looks back through the scope on the chasing monster watching as Vuk stands his ground with the insane guy with the chainsaw. He's hanging on the side of the truck with one arm, the rifle sling over his shoulder as he looks 'downrange' watching it unfold, knowing that really, he's got to work on getting his own motorcycle project running, because he could if it weren't for the wounded, envision a two or three person team kiting that amorphous blob every kilometer until it wears itself out.
Vault Girl In a battle of man vs abomination. Man had triumphed. Even the battle against Mayor Solomon's enforcers had not been so costly in terms of lives lost or even ammunition expended. Over half of the poor militiaman who had come on this trip had fallen to centaurs and mutants.

O.V.e.R. 9000 who was a hero of El Dorado in his own right was little more then scrap.

Yet Vuk had managed to with some great sacrifice to himself, overloaded the power core outside of his own armor. Within the rapidly disintegrating remains was a badly poisoned Doomguy.

Vuk, blinded by the radiation he had exposed himself to so directly could not see a thing.

Hope's Crossing burned.

There was no doubt the truck could stop now, the threat was over. You had stopped some tendril of the mutant horde and at least, saved a few people. People who would have been dead if not for you.

In Mexico, there was no doubt thousands, if not hundreds of thousands or maybe millions more of these mutants waiting to sweep across North America like a plague...