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Fiona Brahmin attacks have been reported in the region, and worse yet by the standards of El Dorado, a horse. The patrol was requested to scout and do away with this threat. Large carrion birds circle under the sun in the distance marking a possible latest victum to the 'Devil in the North.' LT Cleo has the lead in the small group traveling to deal with this thing.

Survival, Investigation, or Alertness
Cleo     The militia has a lot of problems to deal with in these days, but animals are vital to logistics for the wasteland. Lieutenant McKinsey's taken on the assignment of hunting down whatever's been attacking the livestock in spite of her health. She's been in a bad state, with the physical attrition of daily patrols mounting, but she's attempted to at least hide the injuries she's sustained under her uniform and duster.

    "Those birds might be our best lead," she says as she pulls the brim of her hat down to peer out toward the fowl flying over the wastes. "Let's move forward as a unit. Ward, you and I will take point."
Lucette     Luce is quiet. Tossing her thoughts around and sifting them to something that makes sense. "Looks like something not-brahmin came by. Thinking claws. Would suggest we prepare for lunatics, yao guai, or I hope not a deathclaw." she remarks. "Point, suggest you keep eyes and ears open for movement." she considers aloud.
Matt     Militia Patrols. Matt gets brought along mostly because he had a weapon and nothing to do. Cleo gets a nod, and he moves forward to the front of the group. "Those birds aren't eating. They're waiting. Either somethiing isn't dead, or whatever killed it is still there." He wraps his offhand around the sling of his rifle for steadied firing from a standing position and begins approaching the site of the carrion birds.
Fiona Fiona travels along on the flank, walking at an even trudge. Her eyes glance between trail, LT, and sky. She draws out a massive monster of a gun, a bastard child of assualt rifle and shotgun. Instead on low ready, she holds the grip in her right hand and rests the barrel back on her shoulder. "Seems about right." The corporal comments in a seasoned confidence, "Keep low if you can."

As the squad moves forward, the birds remain high, the is a sweet stench in the air of death. Topping a hill, something can be seen in the distance, a dark splotch of movement. It would take a scope or some distance advantage to make out any thing but reddish low and black movement faintly. There is a heavy howling sound, more horn like with a reverbration to it than a coyote or wolf.
Cleo     Cleo's eyes darken at the mention of the possibility of a deathclaw. She had considered the notion as a distant one. "If it's a deathclaw... hell. We'll need to have a plan if we want to take it down without losing anybody. Weapons ready, everybody. Romero, watch our left. Squire, watch our right. Report any movement."

    She moves to the front alongside Matt, frowning and dropping down to reduce her profile at the appearance on the horizon of the red and black shape. "Got a visual on something. Probably our target. Anyone got optics to take a closer look? Otherwise, we're going to have to move in." She keeps her carbine up as she scans the area with her eyes for any forms of cover and vantage points that might present ourselves. "Best bet might be to lure it toward this hill if it's aggressive, so we have the high ground."
Matt "Nobody said anything about a deathclaw, miss. I think theres like. Hazard pay or something for that." Matt mutters off to Cleo before hunkering down and clambering up towards the location of said enemy. He glances back before scrabbling to try and catch a peek at whatever has vultures up in a hissy.
Lucette     Luce notes all the other observations and fiddles a little with her Colt, and checks her holsters. Everything good and charged, weight nice. Ready for a scary encounter, or hopefully a couple of geckoes. "This is also gecko country, so. If that helps morale." she considers aloud. Geckoes don't usually hunt alone though right? Keeping low, right. Not something she's the best at, so she'll... nah. But with 'claws about she takes a moment to peel off her goggles and get her glasses on instead.
Fiona Fiona glances around once when she hears Romero, oh that's her. She breaks a little further off left, stooping low to move in scouty way. The amber eyes tracking the movement, a hand of grass lifted and dropped to determine wind. She scoots to a cross fire position and crouching stance.

In the distance there is a spike in the mass, as they move closer: yes, it is huge, horned and bi-ped. It seems to scan in the direction of those approaching. A swipe at the brahmin carcus, and the blood splatter as it crunches meat and bone in mighty snaps. The other hand waves in the direction it feels competion from, probably not an invite.
Cleo     "First priority when it comes to deathclaws is making sure no one gets eviscerated, Ward," Cleopatra says as she checks her sidearm and shotgun to make sure they're ready to be fired on a moment's notice. She tilts her chin up, indicating a rocky outcropping along the hill. "Best defensive position I can see is there, behind those rocks. Gives us the high ground and hard cover. Lucette, go ahead and get in position and be ready to cover fire. Ward, you see where Fiona is? I want you on the opposite flank, higher up since you've got a longarm. Hold your fire until it's charging, we want it to rush into a crossfire. I'll take the first shot to get its attention, then fall back."
Lucette     Lucette hears words of wisdom and nods. Moving to get herself in a nice spot and grips her colt nice, as low as she can get and waiting.
Matt "Understood, ma'am." Matt comes down off the vantage point, psyching himself up before he considering Cleo's order and looks down at his see if one is longer than the other... Gah! No time for that! He meanders off to the right to settle into a nice spot to *not* get ran down by a deathclaw.
Fiona There is a roar, tingling at the spines of all creatures for miles, even the birds seem to soar higher as the nine foot abomination is hit by the militia officer. She is dead on in her assessment that it will come for her. Thankfully, it only mostly makes it after zeroing in. The Deathclaw bursting into the crossfire at a lethal dash. The ground thumping with each leaping stride.
Cleo     As her fellow patrol members take up firing positions on and around the hill, Cleopatra grips the handle of her carbine and lowers her head down near the stock, eyes peering down the length of the barrel and past the sights toward where the horned, bipedal creature is standing. "That ain't a fuckin' gecko," she mutters under her breath as she takes careful aim. Given that this is the only chance she's going to have to catch the thing off-guard, she decides not to be too conservative with her ammunition.


    The weapon goes off with a hail of fully-automatic gunfire, peppering the position of the bipedal monstrosity from downrange.

    And then it starts to charge.

    "That definitely ain't no fuckin' gecko!"
Matt Matt settles in for the wait, which isn't too long, for Cleo to start the fun by firing her weapon downrange at the deathclaw. His rifle gets tucked up into his shoulder and Matt mutters to himself, "Damn deathclaws, radscorpions. I miss Texas." Matt also misses the deathclaw apparently, both shot going high and wide since Matt didn't lead the Deathclaw very well during its charge.
Lucette     Lucette squeezes off a trio of rounds from her colt once the 'claw gets in sight. The first round snapping off into a good hit, the next two each go a bit wide and don't do anything useful whatsoever. Dang.
Cleo     Cleopatra lowers her carbine as the beast starts to rush across the waste toward her. The heels of her boots drag backward through the dust as she edges back slowly. Her eyes flit to the left, then the right, confirming the locations of her companions. Then, they focus back ahead, narrowing slightly. The firing lanes have been arranged, and the beast is charging straight into the point where they all meet.

    It's time to unleash hell. She raises one hand up into the air, holding up three fingers. Her voice is like sharp thunder.


    If someone could shout a deathclaw to death...
Fiona Fiona steps out as the Deathclaw rushes at the officer, leveling a full blast of thunder at the Deathclaw to intercept it. And shs staggers the mad charge at Cleo. The beast turning on her as Fiona shuffle a new magazine and back peddels from the looming doom. Another shot, how she missed. Well, a rock must have staggered her retreat and the deathclaw side hopped to clear a second shotgun kiss. Further shs stumbles, getting another mag in slot, but on the beast comes towards the corporal. Good thing, the Deathclaw is currently between her and others.
Matt Ah! Shouting! Stop that. Matt fumbles at his pockets for bullets, digging some out and slamming them into his repeater. Deathclaws he can handle, ladies yelling at him sends him to pieces! He will certainly not be joining some Militia. He pumps the lever and loads another round, aiming and carefully sending it on its final destination of the ground.
Fiona Fiona would tell most people she doesn't dance, apparently Deathclaws make inspiring partners. The beast slashes, claws, and bites. Fiona dives, darts, and weaves as shs alternates fast shots. The thunder comes again, then the shotgun is tossed. The carbine yanks out quickly. More shots, more slices. Her luck is burning away like a grease fire.
Cleo     The deathclaw is on top of Fiona faster than Cleo had anticipated. It's a flaw in the calculations of her plans - Fiona has been the most successful in tearing up the wasteland demon, and thus drawing its wrath. If the Marshal's wife dies out here, under her command, so soon after their marriage? That's the most unthinkable outcome that Cleopatra can imagine right now - even more unthinkable than the split-second plan that formulates in her mind to prevent it.

    "Keep firing! Fiona, stay out of the crossfire! I'm coming!" It's not 'Romero' or 'Corporal' this time. Cleo doesn't even notice; the carbine is already being slung as she reaches into her duster and reverses course, kicking up dust as she charges toward the deathclaw in an attempt to flank it. Her hand emerges from the longcoat, revealing the Lieutenant's double-barrelled sawed-off shotgun. It trails behind her, along with her flapping coat, as she calls out: "HEY, FUCKER!"

    She wants its attention - enough to give Fiona an opening. "Fio, I'm gonna try and give you an opening! Get ready!"
Lucette     Preparation, necessity. The things that led Luce to this moment have her paying painstaking attention to how Edward was moving. But even all of that preparation, she keeps track but when she fires her target was already out of the way. From there she settles frayed nerves from saturated concentration and brings one hand down to her right holster and gets ready to find a nice spot to slot her Colt in her jeans.
Matt Matt comes down the slight hill he was on for firefight as Cleo heads towards Fiona. He flips the lever out and back again, aiming downbarrel and down sightline in a running motion and *then* manages to make contact with his bullet, lancing into the Death Claw's side. "C'mon you stupid demon thing! Go down!"
Lucette     Nerves steady, attention bleeding back to the situation. Luce holds position and swaps weapons. First she puts her colt to fit snugly under the waistband of her jeans, unloaded, and pulls her laser pistol free for a quick shot that goes wider than far and does nothing helpful but help her. "Adjust the power for range and weather, no need to lead, keep the sights aligned, breathe." she lists everything she needs to do while she does it, fiddling with the dial on her pistol before holding it in both hands to prepare for her next opportunity to shoot.
Fiona Once again Fiona survives the Deathclaw's deadly claws. Weave fire, duck fire, just plain luck fire. Thanks to Cleo's aid, the militia corporal manages. It even snarls at her, that she takes, likely causing her to miss. Uuugh. Still, not dead. Either of them, more surprising about Fiona not dead.
Cleo     Cleo strafes to the side, her shotgun extended toward the Deathclaw as she tries to find an opening. It's difficult to focus, the sound of her own blood pumping in her ears drowning out even the gunfire as she turns the barrel toward the beast.


    Somehow, the reptilian terror senses the gunshot coming; the instant she pulls the trigger, it's gone, the spray of lead flying harmlessly into the air. The deathclaw's attention seems entirely focused on Fiona; in an act of further foolhardiness, Cleo presses in closer, flipping the shotgun around in her hand and swinging it like a club toward the creature's back - only to have it slip away again. "Shit!"
Fiona Welp, luck is out, the Deathclaw backhands Cleo for getting too close. But, what he really wanted, he gets in spades. A slash to the gut of Fiona, a chomp to her shoulder. The blonde wails and tries to return fire, but no good. Just loose bullets to the ground. The fight is quickly turning bad as the Deathclaw piles down on then patrol. Blood spraying and the crunching.
Lucette     Lucette winces as her compadres are being hit again. Her first shot moves crisply through the air and scores a direct hit on Mister Klaw, but the next two that burn afterwards both go a little wide. She sighs and centers herself and gets ready to move if she has to..
Cleo     The backhand swipe from the Deathclaw shreds right through the metal plating protecting Cleopatra's leg with a shriek of razor-sharp claws on steel, sending droplets of blood spattering across the dirt as it tears into the muscle behind her knee. The lieutenant buckles under the pain, toppling backward into the dirt, only barely managing to catch herself with her empty hand. The other hand raises the sawed-off shotgun toward the Deathclaw's back as it focuses its attention on Fiona, the gun hand trembling as she levels it toward the monster. "Fucking... hell," she grunts as she squeeze the trigger, blasting the deathclaw in the back. The recoil drives her fully onto her back.
Lucette     Ever seen a laser curve? Well now you have. Lucette's fiddling with the wattage on her laser pistol has yielded a result, aiming wide purposely and the beam arcs in the air and gets a grazing burn and then a solid impact on the Gojira wannabe, though her second shot goes wide, launching a red burst into the air. "That's the hard part. Breathe now, line this up, make it hit. Save lives after the dumbass lizard is dead." she mutters to herself. Hard enough keeping a solid bead on the damn thing.
Lee     Lee? He found out that the patrol was in trouble. Some sort of death claw or something. So he'd be sent along to help deal with the mess before anyone dies.

    Oh and was he going to deal with it.

    Lee would crest that area near where the patrol deals with the slippery beast. Drawing that sledge from his back, he'd tighten his grip on it and start to run at the group. It'd take a few moments before he'd get in range to leap over the others. "AHHHHHH!!!" It always helps to yell.
    Lee's sledge would slam with a massive concussive crushing force to the middle of that deathclaw's chest. The perfect moment for the power cell of the sledge to fire adding to that impact signifigantly. Perched as he is on the now cracked shell, Lee pivots and with that backhand swing of the sledge and another firing of it's pistons at impact, he'd snap that leg clean off the beast, finally riding it to the ground as the damage proves too much and it collapses under him. Panting softly in his helm a moment, he'd glance to the others before that comm clicks.

    "Lee reportin fer duty, LT. Anythin else yer needin smashed?"
Lucette     Lucette's first thing after the Deathclaw goes down is slap a fresh energy cell into her laser pistol, holster it, and bolt towards where Cleo was on the ground while snatching her kit free from her backpack. "Just in time, might have had to drag these two back with me if you didn't show up." she announces with a sigh.

    Then, to Cleo, "You alive down there? I've got stuff to help keep you that way but if you're already dead then yer kinda fucked." she murmurs hastily.
Fiona And down it goes, beast hits the ground with a thud. Fiona staggers a bit, bleeding from the shoulder and the side. But, it is dead. The militia woman lowers herself to the ground where she dropped the shotgun. She reaches for her flask, drinking a few sips. Then she pulls out a cigar, lighting it. Alternating sips, and smoke. Ths flask is offered to Cleo, and she draws out more cigars as she puffs. "Owwwww."
Cleo     Blood is running in slow rivulets down Cleopatra's thigh from the slash through her trousers as she lies in the dust, groaning quietly. When she hears the definitive sound of metal thundering down on meat and bone, the sawed-off drops to the dirt with a 'click.' "That... you, Private?" the lieutenant asks as she props herself up on an elbow, raising the other gloved hand to her head. "Just... maybe stomp on it a couple more times to be sure, and you're good," she says, her voice a bit woozy.

    "Still alive..." she reports to Lucette as she reaches for the flask from Fiona and takes a swig before offering it back. "Must be my lucky day. I dunno what the hell I would've told Manny, Fio..."
Lucette     Hearing that Cleo's alive, Lucette nods and opens up her medkit, tugging some supplies free. "Stay still so I can get you fixed up, no fussin about my knifework either. If nobody'll help you sew up back home get someone to send for me." Small knife to open trousers, or rather, seperate the leg from above the cuts and tugs the remainder down a small bit. And then gets a good scrubbing gone down on the wounds and gets out for suturing and then/or just application of healing powder as necessary, then begins bandaging tight to stop that bleed.

    "Anyone else need doctorin' while I'm up and at it?" Luce asks with a slow and shaky breath.
Matt Matt skids down the hill he was shooting from to rejoin the group after the Deathclaw finally goes down. His rifle still smoking a bit from the end and he stands just outside the cusp of the circle around Cleo. "Holy hells. You guys always find trouble, don't you?"
Fiona Fiona walks over and kicks the thing, cupping a press to her stomach. Then she reaches down and rips off a fang. Then repeats on the other side. "LT, Lee.." She says, and walks towards the two, "Your kill, Lee. Your command, Cleo." Offering the trophies.
Lee     Lee chuckles quietly and would do just as directed, stomping on the deathclaw's head to cave in that skull with the metal boot of that power armor before putting that sledge away. "A'right. All smashed.. Ya'll look pretty jacked up. How 'bout I uh.. keep hangin with ya'll ta make sure ya'll dun get fragged headin back? Least.. I think I should, eh?" Lee looks over at Fiona as she'd offer that trophy and chuckles, taking the fang. "Nice.. thank ya Corp. ya'll good now at least..?"
Cleo     "Always goin'... for the fuckin' leg," Cleopatra says before inhaling sharply as Lucette starts to peel away the bloody leather from her leg. The alcohol at least helps her stay relatively steady as Lucette starts to clean the wound. "That was the only one, right? Everyone keep your eyes peeled while she works. Pretty sure they usually hunt in packs." There's a lot of wincing and sucking through her teeth as Lucette treats her injury. Once she's been bandaged, she starts to push herself up to her feet.

    "Thanks, Fiona," she says to the corporal, wobbling a little unsteadily as she acclimatizes to the blend of pain and numbness produced by the powder-treated wound. She puts the fang away into her pocket.

    "And you two, too. That was a helluva lot closer than I would've preferred. Yeah, Lee, you can join us on the way back."

    She starts to stagger on the path they'd come from, stooping down to snatch her shotgun and tuck it away in her duster. "Hey, Matt. Thanks for getting the help." She looks around, brows furrowing. "Anyone feel like hauling the carcass back? Volunteer basis only, I'm not gonna order it." She glances down at the creature, "...Not that it'd make a great trophy anyhow, now that Lee went and smashed its skull in for some reason."
Fiona Fiona looks off to the East, "Home is closer for me, that's where I am going to head. Hope that was the last one of those up here." She brushes a hand through her hair after lifting the helmet. "Be careful, and look out for the LT."
Lucette     Lucette finishes up with Cleo and moves over. "We could haul it back, food." she states, "I mean it's better than nothing but we aren't exactly swimming in supplies at El Dorado." she mutters and straightens up. Medkit stashed in her backpack again and glancing around. A hand offered to Cleo to help her up. "Don't move that leg in weird directions, need stitches opening up as much as we need another deathclaw attack."
Lee     Lee rolls his shoulder, then shrugs. "I got it. As fer crushin the skull, well, ya told me ta stomp it a few times ta make sure, LT. I ain't gonna just ignore orders, eh? Best way ta make sure it's dead? Crush the skull. Fer sure.."