|Rexus||North of El Dorado, on one of the highways, it is about mid-day. The sandstorm hasn't quite gotten to full swing, but the hatches are starting to be battened down. That is, unless you're in the wastes and still struggling to get back to town before the big storm. The weather is starting to pick up though, visibility is dropping... but sound still carries.
Anyone within a reasonable distance can certainly hear the distinct crackle of gunfire. It begins as a smattering of pops.. building to a crescendo... like popping popcorn in a microwave.
|Cleo|| The sandstorm isn't overwhelming yet, which means Cleo is trying to do what she can to prepare for when it is. Right now, that means checking in with patrols that have been out since before the storm hit.
She's not having much luck so far, but the sound of gunfire from near the patch of wasteland she happens to be occupying is promising. In a... potentially unfortunate sense. "Well, that's just great," she mutters under her breath before pulling her collar up to shield herself as she turns her course toward the source of the shots - or at least where she's pretty sure they're coming from. Her militia carbine is held at a low ready angle as she picks up her boots and makes tracks.
|Fiona||Fiona walks along, feet digging and there is lean forward. Her face covered nose down in a bandit mask. The leather duster wrapped tight around her torso, flapping behind her as she trudges. Her rifle carried at the low ready as well, but cover all the way up to her right elbow in a burlap bag. "You are a stubborn woman, L. T. You shouldn't even be out here." Fiona says in gruff muffled tone. Of course, that doesn't mean the corporal doesn't respect the choice. "Easy ahead, I'll take left. Please keep your head down." She moves further out starting to creep along.|
|Rexus||As attention gathers towards the noise of shots, figures can be picked out on the main highway. What looks to be a small caravan of traders is under attack by Mutants! The traders are doing their best to hold off the mutants but... well.. they certainly aren't soldiers. Their little pistols barely do anything to the hulking behemoths. Two of the three merchants are down and out it looks like, the last putting up a final volley before the mutants close in.
There only seem to be four mutants so far, armed with clubs and pistols, but they are calling out into the storm... summoning reinforcements to help carry the loot? Irregardless, the last merchant is knocked aside, left on the ground for later as the mutants start to rifle through the caravan's goods. "Oye! Look what I found! Fizzy bubbly!" one declares, holding up a case of nuka cola.
|Cleo|| "You're probably right, Corporal," Cleo admits as she presses onward. She'd probably be off-duty right now if she were following the schedule, but nature isn't following the schedule, either. Not to mention she's still healing from an injury last week, but she's keeping that under wraps (literally and figuratively) for now.
"...Shit. Mutants," she says, loud enough for Fiona to hear as she looks for some make-do cover; perhaps a rock. "Negotiating seems unlikely at this point. Think we can take them if you can get a flank Cai-I mean, Romero?" In either case, she gets her carbine set to fire as she squints into the sand to try and get a closer look. "Storm might give us some cover if we can come at them from upwind..."
|Fiona||Fiona takes up a ground position, slipping the weapon sheath from her very briefly prestine assault carbine. Four, that's just awesome. "Romeer.. Oh." Fiona isn't sure how to react to the name first time she has been called by it. "Dig-in. Wait for the signal. Good plan." Then she scoots a little further out, till she can barely see the officer. Then she sights in and picks the one with the 'Fizzy Bubble' firing.|
|Rexus||The mutants seem far too interested in checking out their prize and gathering it all together. "We takes the beefy bits home for eatings.... and this one too!" one Mutant bellows, giving a booted kick to the nearly unconcious trader.
"Ho ho ho ho! That's a good'un!" is the reply from one of the other greenskins!
Their laughter is cut-short when another figure trudges down the highway. There's no pretense of cover or concealment, not even trying to be sneaky. The big, bulky figure is clad in power armor, his entrance heralded by the whirring of gears and whining or servos. The little headlamp he wears cast an eery glow infront of him, marking him out in the swirling sands. Held in both hands, right at waist level is a none-too-nice looking gatling laser, the barrels starting to rev up as the gun prepares to fire.... but the mutants seem to be able to shoot first! All four focusing on the armored figure with their pistols!
|Rexus||The one mutant manages to get a shot off at Rexus, the others struggling to drop their loot and pick up arms, not quite ready to fire yet... but all their attention is on the big galoot.|
|Cleo||The lieutenant is moving to enact her plan when the mutants start opening fire again. She shields her eyes briefly to try and make out what they're shooting at; she's not entirely sure, but the fact that who-or-what-ever it is isn't on the ground in a heap yet means that the opportunity is now. She starts to make for a vantage point while the mutants are distracted, aiming to put the wind at her back so that the sandstorm favours her and works against the mutants. She gives the signal to Fiona to fire at will once she's got the shot; the mutants are focusing fire on the pile of metal for the moment, and it'll give her time to get into position.|
|Fiona||Fiona aims, getting into position with the plan to align Six rounds into Fizzy pop has the bottle hit the ground, shook-up, don't drink that one first. She keeps low, but not quiet. "Hey Stupids, Nuka-a-Cola is for peeps, not muties." Frankly, she prefers Sunset. "Run or die."|
|Rexus||The mutants are caught in a crossfire, as it were. The power armored figure opens up with all barrels blazing, eliciting a deafening *BRRRRT* Like an A-10, laser beams cutting through the air, thick as water from a hose. They hardly even notice as the Fizzy-bubbly mutant goes down in a hail of bullets. One continues to fire at Rexus whilst the other two turn their attention to the one who was actually getting some kills, Fiona!|
|Rexus||The Mutants fire furiously at Fiona, well two of them do. The shots go wild for the most part... is it the sandstorm? the surprise? Who knows, but Fiona manages to evade the first volley from the now evenly-numbered opponents.|
|Cleo|| When confronted with the daunting might of a mutant while holding an automatic weapon in hand, it's tempting - real tempting - to just squeeze the trigger for dear life. Cleo's been in enough firefights to be more conscious of the need to conserve ammunition than to give in completely to the amygdala, though - especially in poor visibility conditions. Instead, she scoots down to a boulder that provides adequate cover for the moment and leans around the side. Two of the mutants are now firing at what she's fairly certain is Fiona's position; hearteningly, one is down.
"Nice shooting, Romero," she says before popping off two quick shots at one of Fiona's attackers in succession before ducking back behind the rock in anticipation of reprisal.
|Fiona||Fiona puts a pair into the one Cleo shot, hoping that would be enough, but he seems to move on. Her other coupled shot at the second starts the process on him. Costly as she ends up starting to dance with the return fire.|
|Rexus||The bullets.. and lasers, are flying! Cleo manages to hit one of the mutants, who is nearly finished off by Fiona. Meanwhile Feona gets off another shot at the second mutant, who takes a hard hit to the torso and staggers a bit. The mutants return fire vainly, peppering the Miltia and striking Fiona.
Rexus's gatling shreds the air infront of him, ripping down the mutant who had been shooting at him... overall, all three remaining mutants are on their last legs!
|Cleo||Shots are still flying in Fiona's direction, while Cleo's not hearing the telltale whizzing of bullets or ricochet from around her. "Romero! You okay?!" she yells over the sandstorm. It's time to lay down some covering fire - Cleo hits a quick combat roll out from the boulder, leaving herself exposed but giving herself more time to fire once she comes up from it. She levels her gun at the mutant she shot earlier and pops off a quick double-tap; her gun is already swinging to the next mutant for another double-tap before she can register whether the first pair of bullets found their mark or not.|
|Fiona||Believe it or not, Fiona has never been hit by a bullet before. She really doesn't like it. The selector on the assault rifle flipped to full auto, she chews the first up and fans the fire other till the gun clicks. Dropping it, she moves in a flash to calvary draw he revolver and shoot the mutie between the eyes. A smile as it goes down and she starts forward. "Hey.. We don't have to fight, do we?" She asks of the man with the auto cannon of laser doom. A look back to Cleo to motion to cover her. At her side, the revolver is down, but cocked.|
|Rexus||Rexus lowers his gatling laser as the last mutants go down. He trudges forward, each plodding step causing the ground around him to tremor a little. "Are we too late?" he asks, his voice carrying that monotone electronic buzzing sound. The headlamp on his helmet sweeps over the caravan.. indeed... three traders are dead.. one is still alive but... he will certainly need medical attention.|
|Cleo|| Cleo swings her carbine up toward Rexus as Fiona moves toward him, but her finger slips out of the trigger guard. It's mostly to keep Fiona covered in case the man in the power armor turns out to be hostile. She lowers the carbine when it looks like Rexus' posture is non-hostile, and starts to head down through the sand toward the wreckage of the caravan, the sleeve of her duster raised to keep her eyes clear.
"Sons of bitches," she says grimly as she sees that the traders that were down before they arrived don't seem to be breathing. "You hurt, Fio?" she asks, looking up to Fiona, before turning her head toward Rexus. Working power armor?
"Howdy," she says, sounding slightly sheepish. "I... don't think we've met. Lieutenant McKinsey, El Dorado Militia." She glances around, trying to see if she can tell at a glance whether it's a Lone Star caravan.
|Fiona||Fiona takes the revolver and flips it around, sliding it inside the duster. A frown towards the caravan, and she foots it to pick up her carbine. "Just a scratch, L. T." Dusty, she doesn't reload, just shoulders it. "That you, Abe?" She asks as she then double times it to the wounded man to kneel. "We are gonna get you help, let me check you out." She offers whether or not he is awake to hear it.|
|Rexus||Rexus looks at Fiona, tilting his head and shaking it. "Never met Abe...." he says, holding his gatling laser with one hand as he plods forward. "We should return the caravan to town.... before the storm...." he murmurs, trying to round up the cattle but.. they seem less than enamored to follow the big armored galoot. The caravan looks to be a lone operation, no Lone Star markings.. or any other markings for that matter.|
|Cleo|| "Doesn't look like Lone Star, or any other caravan I recognize," Cleo says as she traipses around the site. Poking around a bit reveals that the caravan seems to have been carrying foodstuffs and general sundry. "Hope the people who're waitin' on this shipment aren't starving to death right now. Priority's saving the one that's still breathing; he might be able to tell us where they were head - oh, is he awake?" Slinging her rifle, she heads up to the trader.
"Lieutenant McKinsey, El Dorado Militia, sir. I know this is rough, but we're gonna load your partners up so we can all make for civilization. You able to head up the caravan?"
|Fiona||Fiona turns her attention to loading bodies on brahmin. Her focus shifting between the power armored man and her officer. Talking is officer business any way, not knowing this one.|
|Rexus||Rexus doesn't quite introduce himself as of yet. He lends a hand in loading the bodies, being careful to keep any personal belongings with the bodies. "I.. don't think he is in a condition to lead. I know the way to town." he says. Once the group is gathered.. and anything of use from the mutant corpses is taken, the lumbering Rexus heads to the front of the pack to lead the group to El Dorado.|
|Cleo|| "Well, sometimes Brahmin are stubborn about who they'll let drive 'em. I think it's on account of havin' two heads. Makes it hard to come to a consensus," Cleo tells Rexus. She's mostly focused on helping the living caravaneer onto the caravan, ready to listen to any concerns until the group gets on their way. She ends up riding on one of the wagons.
"So... you with the Brotherhood, stranger?" Cleo calls ahead to Rexus.
|Fiona||Fiona draws the revolver once they are set to move. Really old tech, but much better at dust for its simple nature, reloading it is safe. She watches the man and her C.O., "Ready to move?"|
|Rexus||Rexus gives a little wave forward, taking the lead. He lurches into motion, his armor helping him keep slow enough for the brahmin and wagons to follow. He holds the reins of the lead bovine, walking down the highway, heading south towards El Dorado. "The Brotherhood... the Eastern Brotherhood, perhaps, but that was a long time ago." he says, eyes on the road.|