|Elsie||It's a warm day out on the dusty trail for those that work for the Lone Star Caravan. There's lots of jobs for the caravan; guarding, scouting, mapping. And the radio dispatchers are responsible for keeping track of them all.
That's exactly what Surelda, AKA Lady Silver or just Silver to her friends, is doing today. While no one out in the wilds of the wilderness can see her, she's sitting in a ramshackle hut that sports a giant antennae to allow for long-range communications. The radio crackles every so often with her sultry voice.
"Tato, this is Silver, sweetie. Can you let me know any major landmarks you see and in what direction along your route? Mmmmmhmmmm. Thanks sugar, looks like you're a little behind schedule but nothing to fuss about. You take care now." Every caravan gets a code name. The most recent bouts appear to be food. A few minutes later, the radio will crackle again.
"This is Silver lookin' for her big slice of Mireluk Meat. You there, boys?"
|Lowry|| Atop his charcoal grey mount Lowry slowly makes his way through the waste. His hat is pulled down and his hankerchief is pulled up tight around his face covering that dusty beard. He looks a little uncomfortable with the head set and keeps readjusting it. He slows his horse and reaches in his suade coat pulling out a flask. He takes a drink and sours his face, spitting it out and whipping the thing. "Damn mud!" Grumbling he continues on.
"Moldy Mutfruit coming in. Runnin' into a helluva dust storm. Can't see a durn thing except...." He squints his eyes, "Looks like an ole' gas station, red and white sign. Thinkin' I'm about twelve miles east. Any help would be appreciated, Silver. Mold out." He continues on making way for the possible filler station.
|Elsie||"Roger that, //Multifruit,//" Silver says over the radio, making a point to use the man's assigned call sign and not his personally embellished one. "Looks like the dust storm gets worse the further north you go. Recommend you make for the gas station and wait for it to blow over. Got reports of increased rads from a station up that way." Ah, a dust storm that becomes a rad storm. That's never good. "Gas station is...." she pauses, reviewing her maps no doubt. "Unscouted. Like as not to be some danger up that way, but if you clear it out it might make for a good waystation down the line. Please advise on your supply status, Over." The button releases, and a light static can be heard over the headset. Just like that, Lowry's ear is quiet once more.|
|Lowry||"10-4"" It's obvious Lowry is not accustomed to communcation via radios but he's a quick learner. Worse. "I gots, a....about fifty rounds o' ammo. Zero booze an' an awful disposition. Almost hope it needs some clearin'. I'm good on water an' rations though so should be just fine." He pulls his revolver and slings it to the left, checking the chamber and giving it a spin before slinging it to the right. He re-holsters and adjusts his seating. Spurring into the horse he picks up the pace as much as one could. The station is getting closer, about fifty yards away, tops. "I see a bit a' commotion to the north though. Could be about anything from molerats ta' mirrages."|
|Elsie||"Roger that, Multifruit. From what other folks is sayin, the storm seems to be pretty quick moving. If you get hunkered down I don't expect you to lose but a day." There's the sound of crinkling paper as Surelda makes notes on the map from her far-away spot, and then she speaks again. "Multifruit, if possible report any landmarks you see as you move in. They might be covered or distorted after the dust storm. Recommend a dose of Rad-X too once you get settled. If you get any injuries report them immediately. No being a stoic hero today, alone in the middle of a dust and rad storm, alright?"|
|Lowry||Once she chimes back in he is arriving. "Copy." He dismounts and draws his gun with once hand taking the reigns with the other. Approaching slowly he decides for element of surprise since visibility is so low. Wrapping his stead around a pump temporairly he kicks the door in thundering through....Empty. He re-holsters and grabs the horse who reluctantly follows him inside. No sense leaving his companion out in the storm. "Multi fruit comin' back in. Station is surely deserted." He kicks over some debris and looks around. "Nothin' valuable at first glance." He checks his pack now. "Shit, Outta 'x'. Didn't see nothin' comin in, I'll have a better idea when this blows over. An' don't worry. No glory in shootin' rads an' a wastin' ammo. Multi, out." The crackle over the radio comes through before going silent.|
|Elsie||The radio earpiece that Lowry wears crackles once more with Sultry Lady Silver's voice. "Roger that *crackle*. Storm might disrupt comm-*crackle*. Talk to you soon, M-*crackle.*"
And just like that, Multifruit is alone.
It might not be so bad. Sure, some of the windows are missing in the front room, allowing the storm and the rads to blow in. But there's a back office with only one small window that can be blocked, or a bathroom with no windows at all. There are places for Lowry to ride this thing out in relative safety, though it will be dark. As the storm rolls in, the dust gets darker, and then tinted with the orange of rads blown in from the depths of the wastes.
What, oh what, will Lowry decide to do?
|Lowry||Lowry takes the horse to the back room, keeping from breathing all the garbage in. But he will remain in front himself. Easier to know if someone or something approaches but still most likely hidden. He puts his back to a corner near the front with the broken window to his right and slides down the wall trying to get as comfortable as he can. As it get's darker it gets a little cooler and he pulls the collar up around his neck. He was just getting the lay of the land and doing some basic scouting really. Despite what he said he is relatively low on supplies. No shotgun ammo, no med kit, no rad-x..and worst of all...No whiskey.|
|Elsie||Lowry decides to ride out the rads like a sober champ. Not only does this mean he's exposed to the radioactivity of the storm, but the noise and the dust as well. It means his visibility is low, and his hearing ain't crack either. Hunkered down as he is, he has little concept of the fact that he is not the only creature in this wasteland who wants to get out of the storm.
If it were quiet, he'd hear it. The skittering of hard exoskeletonal feet on the nasty was-once-linelium-but-is-now-a-chemical-fossil-floor. Yet he doesn't. The radroach, however, senses Lowry. A large, warm creature that is a danger to his new safe-haven. Like Lowry did when he first swept the gas station to clear out any baddies, so this lil radroach does the same.
It's time to clear out Lowry. He lunges, pincer-teeth gnashing at air in preparation for the taste of flesh.
|Lowry||Lowry was nodding off, perhaps bored, maybe tired who knows but it's a rookie mistake. His eyes snap open at the last second, "Shit!" He slumps downward and the teeth purchase the wall. Rolling out from under he quickly pops off a round, drawing his left hand across the hammer to assist the trigger and gain mad style points!|
|Elsie||The shot from the hip fired by the limber Lowry strikes it's mark, burying itself into the meaty flesh of the radroach, which explodes with goo out the other side. There's a crunching sound as the exoskeleton fails in its duty, and the creature flops on it's bag. It's dead, but one leg doesn't know it yet, and continues to twitch.
It's about that time the radio crackles to life again.
"Multifruit, this is Silver. *crackle*. Reports of small radroach hoarde approaching from the ... uh ... *crackle*. East? From the bathroom side, the bath*crackle* side!"
And lo, it's true. The sound of the gunshot has brought some fresh new hell from the back, where other radroaches have made their way in. Two smaller ones and a larger one that glows a sickly green color. A Radiated Radroach, if that's not a contradiction in terms.
|Lowry||Lowry smiles after the close brush and blows the smoke from the barrel. The encounter must have snapped him back into because he turns quickly as more approach, Surelda's warning pry helps too. "Copy!" He doesn't have time to reload so he just sights down the barrel, picking the most illuminated target first. BOOM BOOM! He pops off two before turning his aim and letting loose another, BOOM! "Piss OFF!" He roars as the toothpik flies from his mouth with a good amount of spit.|
|Elsie||The critters charge. Lowry is wise to go after the largest, greenest of the bunch. Much like the first, the bullets crunch through the shell, spraying neon green goop as they go. The first through the body, lodging into the floor. The second blows off the critter's head, and it continues to move a few steps before dropping helplessly to the floor, bleeding radblood.
In another second, the one beside him explodes in a shriek and a yellowish mist. His corpse tumbles back across the room, landing in a pile of radsand kicked in from the storm outside.
But there's one last radroach. He's the smallest of the bunch, but he's fierce. He lets out a warshriek and leaps upward, chomping in Lowry's direction.
|Lowry||With a sly grin the man gives a grunt of satisfaction as the little roach flies at him. At the last second he somersaults underneath flinging the gun and exposing the cylinder. "Damn." He mutters. Miscounted, still had three left. With seemingly no time he spins it allowing them all ot hit the floor as he calmly begins ot re-load. When done he levels the revolver and cocks back the hammer. "Really wish I had some rad-x now." He says before cracking off another shot at the last one.|
|Elsie||The last radroach goes down with a pipsqueak's squeak, his speed and velocity quickly reversed from his leaping //toward// Lowry to being blown //away// from Lowry. He tumbles across the floor.
By now, Lowry must be in the worst of the storm. His radio crackles once or twice, on and off, as Lady Silver tries to get through to him, but only a few words ever really manage to make it.
Once again, he's alone as the storm and the rads pour freely in through the missing windows.
|Lowry|| The little roach flies past now spraying goop on the cowboy. He doesn't even flinch. He leans over and goes through the shells on the ground retrieving the ones that hadn't been fired. Now he wipes the crap off him and listens to the radio crackle. "Silver, this is Multi. Do you copy?" He frowns as his stomach starts to hurt. "Nice!" He shouts now seeing a half filled bottle of whiskey in the rubble. You can guess what happens next as he leans against the counter. The drink and the bloodletting seem to improve his mood as he starts to sing..
"Rads, rads, take me away,
Just let me be drunk, is all that I pray!"