A little slice of post-apocalyptia... (Nivansrywyllian, Ms.Ezra) (Fallout themed)

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Nivansrywyllian, May 30, 2014.

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  1. Alexander was a lean man, narrow and tall. He had dark, curly hair that shadowed bright, blue eyes. It was not unattractive, despite it's messy sprawl. He had an angular jaw, and he'd been called handsome a time or two. When he had the time to find a quick wash, and a night's sleep. He wore a long, brown greatcoat that blended fairly well into the sands of the Mojave. Beneath it, armored plates pressed uncomfortably into his chest, and stomach. His feet were clad in well worn boots, that looked cared for despite the state of the world. A man had to love something, after all.

    He adjusted the strap of his rifle over his shoulder, ignoring the rumbling in his gut. The mushrooms he'd found -and eaten- that morning were nothing but a pleasant memory. He eased himself forward on his belly far enough to see over the low rise, to the broken road that wound between the hills, glowering ferociously through a pair of old binoculars.

    As far as he could tell, the caravan hadn't seen hide nor hair of him since he'd taken up their trail three days back. Down went the binoculars, and backwards scooted the man as quietly as he could, until he had enough clearance from the top of the hill to move into a crouch. Quietly, he made his way down the hill, well out of sight of the road. Caravan guards -he knew- tended to be twitchy on the trigger for any surprises out in the Wastes.

    Not for the first time, Alexander wondered at the remains of the world from before the War. They seemed to be everywhere, no matter how rural the surroundings got. Men tended to gravitate towards the bones of the Old World. The mysteries. The memories.

    Alexander lost himself in thought as he passed a long-dry gas-station. For a moment, he pictured what it must have been like when it was functioning. Cars would drive up for fuel, or food. People would hand over some of that pre-war cash, and just like that, they'd get what they needed. What would it be like, to hand over some paper, and get some fresh food? Alexander's attention snapped back to the present, and he grimaced. Hunger was dulling him. It was dangerous to let your mind wander in the wasteland.

    Pulling from the holster at his side his revolver, he approached the long-abandoned waystation. Entering the pre-war buildings was always a gamble. Some had valuable stocks of food, drink, and munitions, untouched since the Great War. Others were full of men, mutants, or beasts that would kill you as quick as look at you.

    Alexander didn't see any immediate signs of habitation however. Cocking the hammer on his revolver, he tested the door handle gingerly.
  2. Though the heat itself wasn’t much better inside the gas station, Darcy was glad to at least escape the sun and rest a bit. She sat behind the register and against a wall, wiping down her sun-kissed skin with a cloth and taking sips from her canteen. She let her dirty blonde hair down and made a mental note to get it cut once she returned to the Thorn. She checked her duffle to be sure the Gecko eggs were still intact. The Thorn may have been dirty, loud, and downright dangerous when people got to drinking too much, but at least it was cool down there.

    “Dear diary,” Darcy said as she opened her work diary and started writing about her thoughts and exploits from yesterday. Geckos, and their eggs, were getting harder to find, so she’d been forced to look into the farthest southern mountains of the Mojave. They seemed to be all but gone from the area around Goodsprings and Primm, according to other hunters who had been out that way.

    Others would have been glad to see the vermin gone, but Darcy and other hunters were finding it harder to supply Red Lucy with Gecko eggs, one of the higher priced items she requested. Not many were brave enough to venture into a Deathclaw nest for a bigger payday, but at least Geckos were manageable.

    Darcy had her sniper rifle across her lap as she wrote. Being physically smaller than most hunters, she relied on sniper training from her tours with the NCR to get her caps. The uniform had to be turned in, but she’d been allowed to keep the helmet at least, and the custom-fitted leather armor was more comfortable anyway.

    Her keen ears picked up a testing turn of the door knob. She quietly put down the diary, and got a caravan shotgun cocked and ready, aimed at head height.
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  3. Alexander wasn't anybody's fool. He wasn't exactly upright as he came into the gas station. That was a good way to get your head blown off. He moved in a half-crouch as he entered, his pulse quickening. There were some old shelves along the walls, and a cooler that had seen better days. The counter still held a cash-register, long out of use. And there was a woman, with a shotgun pointed right at him. Or near enough that it didn't matter with a shotgun. She wore fitted leathers, and a combat helmet. Was she NCR, or had she picked it off a corpse?

    All this ran through the Wanderer's mind the moment he stepped in. There was no pulling up his revolver quickly enough to make the shot. The man held up a forestalling hand, and lowered the barrel of his revolver. It was a .44, by the look of it, and well-cared for despite it's age. The metal shone, and the grips had been recently refurbished. "Whoa," He said, cautiously.

    Straightening up -and not daring to move so much as an inch under the barrel of the shotgun- he gave the room another sweep with his eyes. No, the gas-station didn't look like a long-term home, even from the inside. Additionally, it didn't smell like death. The odds were good that he wasn't dealing with a raider. "I'm gonna put this 'slinger away nice and slow. Then we're gonna have a little talk, without you painting the door with my brains." He said. His voice was deep, and gravelly. A soothing sort of voice that wouldn't be out of place in a small-time settlement. It had the twang of southern speak about it.

  4. She almost made that deal with the man, and was about to lower her gun, but then she remembered another 'deal' she'd taken and almost didn't walk away from later. There was a phantom pain in her right arm from where the man had twisted it. Darcy had been damn lucky the guy was drunk, dull in the senses, or else he would have had her at his mercy instead of now being just another stain in an abandoned motel.

    Still. Didn't sit right with her to kill someone just because she was scared. To be safe. This guy would just have to do better.

    "Oh, you can put your gun down," Darcy began, eyes poised on the newcomer "but a girl needs to keep her gun trained in the wasteland." She readjusted her aim to be centered on him. "You understand, right?" She hoped he couldn't see the slight shake to her lip. Weakness like that got you killed.
  5. Alexander didn't have any qualms about shooting a woman out in the wasteland. Some of the more vicious raiders he'd come across had been women, and they weren't shy about using preconceived notions to their advantage. This particular woman had him dead to rights however, and he didn't like his chances against a load of buckshot. Or a slug, whichever she'd loaded her shotgun with. Slowly, he returned the revolver to the holster on his hip.

    "I can hardly argue," He said, the corner of his mouth tugging upwards in a slanted smile. "You have me. I'm quick, but I can't beat a finger that's already on the trigger."

    He glanced over his shoulder, through the still-open doorway. He'd be able to pick up the trail of the caravan quickly enough once he was out if he survived, but he had an itch between his shoulders, standing as he was with his back to the open wasteland. "I'd be much obliged if you'd allow me to step out of the doorway." A dark brow quirked upwards inquisitively, and his thumbs hooked themselves behind his belt, pushing his greatcoat back from his hips.
  6. Now that she had taken some time to examine him, Darcy lowered the shotgun and relaxed a bit. This guy seemed on the level. That encounter, she had to admit, still had her on edge.

    "Sorry, you know how it is out here." She said to the man, putting the gun down and leaning against the wall. She let out a sigh. "If you're looking for supplies this place was gutted before I got here." Darcy held out her canteen, which still had plenty of water.

    "Peace offering?" She asked, hoping to defuse the tension further with a smile.
  7. As the muzzle of the shotgun dropped away, the wastelander sidestepped out of the doorway. A measure of tension left him visibly, and he lifted a hand to his head, as if to tip his hat. Realizing that he hadn't one, Alexander instead ran his fingers through his medium-length dark hair. "Mighty big of you not to dust me with lead on principle," He said.

    "I figured it must've been, but a man can hope." The offer for water lifted his brows in surprise, and his tongue eased out to dampen his lips in anticipation for the liquid. "I'll admit, I wouldn't mind wetting my whistle." He found himself smiling right back at the girl. "The name's Alexander." He walked slowly, casually, close enough to accept the canteen.

    Unstopping the lid, he canted the flask to his lip for a brief swig. Mindful of the scarcity of clean water, he kept the drink short, before capping and returning the container. "Now it's none of my business, but since you seem more inclined to talkin' than to shootin', I'll ask anyway. What brings you out here alone? It's a dangerous way to travel these days. Even heavily armed as you are." He said, offering the canteen back to the girl.
  8. "Makin' an egg run is all." Darcy replied as she took the container back and put it a pocket of her duffel. She had this..sometime bad...sometimes amusing...habit of affecting accents she encountered in conversation. When it was noticed, people either thought she was making fun of them, or got the mistaken impression they had come from the same background. The woman couldn't, for the life of her, explain what it was all about. It was as much a part of her as the beauty mark, a small black dot, on her right cheek just an inch from the corner of her lip.

    "And, I used to have a hunting and travel partner but...you know how that story goes." She explained. Moving away from the wall and looking outside, she saw one of the Brotherhood's floating scavengers float on past, and wondered what it was doing way out here. Usually you only saw them north of Goodsprings on the other side of the Mojave. Were the Brotherhood searching for something/someone out this way?
  9. Alexander felt his quirked half-smile spread into a full-on grin as the girl affected to take on his accent. She was good. He couldn't tell if it was natural, or if she was pulling his leg, but it was oddly comforting to hear the lilt of a familiar accent. His eyes tracked her as she moved on towards the door, and he moved farther into the store. He began to poke around for anything useful. Casings were often overlooked, and were valuable to a man like him.

    "Mmm," He said, suggesting that he knew that particular story all too well. Over to the doorway his eyes flicked. The woman was easy on the eyes, even if she was armed to the teeth. Alexander enjoyed the view for a moment, until he caught sight of a familiar shape through the doorway. He cursed, and threw himself behind the counter, and out of sight of the scavenger.

    When the little gas-station didn't light up with laser-fire, he peeked an eye over the countertop. "What's Brotherhood tech kickin' about all the way over here for?" He wondered, more to himself than to his newfound companion.
  10. “Maybe one of their patrols went missing.” Darcy watched the Eye-Bot disappear down the road. She had seen one of them stun a man for his laser pistol, though the voice that came through its speaker said they were ‘confiscating’ it. This one had looked more heavily armored than the others.

    “Whatever it’s doin’ out here, don’t look like it’s set to scavenge, else it would be right in my face.” She went back to her things, put on her helmet and goggles, but turned back to the man.

    “Now where are my manners?” She extended a hand and smiled “Darcy D., Varmint Hunter and Egg Collector from West Vegas, at your service.” Darcy prided herself as a businesswoman, and had honed her skills since her days on the streets as a crier for various businesses.
  11. Alexander rose from his cover as the woman extended her hand, and favored the doorway another glance. It seemed that he had no love for the Brotherhood. He took her hand in his own. It was rough, and his grip was firm. "It's a pleasure t' meetcha, Darcy D.. My name's Alexander." He gave the hand in his own a firm pump, before releasing it.

    "Though most folks call me Pockets. Call me what suits you." He said, clearing his throat. "Egghunting's a dangerous living. You must be pretty handy with that street-sweeper."

    He eyed her up and down. "I've got some spare shells, if you're in a trading mind." His stomach rumbled, and his cheeks mantled. "I've got no use for buckshot in my sixer, or my rifle. They're good rounds. Picked 'em up from a military truck some days back. I wouldn't mind parting with 'em if you've got a bit of spare food on you."
  12. "Always in the mood for trade." Darcy took off her goggles and put all of her gear down again. "Food....food." She murmured to herself while searching.

    "I got....beans....and plenty of corn from the West Vegas fields left." She took out the items in question and set them on the counter, then bent down to keep rummaging. "Oh and a Nuka-Cola." She carefully put the bottle with the rest.

    "So how many shells you got to trade?" Darcy asked, hands on her hips. Looking at the food, she felt her stomach rumble but ignored it for now. She had food to spare, but was running short on ammo for the shotgun.
  13. Alexander kept an eye on that vacant doorway, just in case that damnable tech decided to float it's way on over. He hadn't survived as long as this without being a little paranoid. The listed foods made his mouth water, and he let his eyes flick to the items as they were produced.

    Not wasting any time, he fished into the pouches along the rear of his belt for the shells, standing them on their ends along the counter. All told, there were twenty-three 20 gauge shells, looking to be in fair condition. "Twenty three, by my count." The wanderer said, his attention now wholly on the food she'd produced.

    Honestly, he was glad to be free of the weight. Ammunition was a whole lot heavier than most folks thought, unless they'd had reason to handle it. Unfortunately for a traveler, they were also as good as gold. Or caps. "You settling down here for the evenin', miss Darcy?" He asked. "Or will you be on your way once our business is complete? If y'don't mind me askin', of course."
  14. “Well…” Darcy said, looking at her food and the slowly setting sun. “I was gonna see if I could hoof it to the 188 before sundown but I was mistaken, so I might as well make camp here for the night.” Darcy eyed the shells. Those would last her a while. And she had more food than what she presented: it was wise to only put out what can be spared.

    “How you feel about a straight trade? All the ammo for the food?” She took out a red apple from her pocket and started to bite hunks from it.

    From outside there came gunshots, followed immediately by the distinct echo of explosives, then silence. Darcy wasn’t too alarmed, but had her hand ready to pick up the shotgun just in case it was more than just someone repelling an ant attack.
  15. Alexander favored the woman with one of his most winning grins. "It's been a good, long while since I've had pleasant company for an evening." He pulled the strap of his rifle off of his shoulder, and leaned the weapon against the counter nearby.

    He was about to agree to the trade, when the sounds of combat made the hair on the back of his neck rise. For a moment, he was far away, lost in the ghost of combat. Battle danced in his eyes, as he remembered racing across broken ground. The broken rattle of gunfire, and the high-pitched beeping of frag-mines as they blew men to pieces. The moment passed, and his smile broadened, although it seemed forced.

    "A straight trade sounds fine by me. You'd have the better of it if we were near the city I think, but that ammo was gettin' heavy, and my stomach was gettin' empty. It's fair in my eyes." He paused, listening to see if the sounds of combat were drawing nearer.
  16. "I like the way you rhyme boy." Darcy smiled, scooped up the shells, and started inserting them in the pockets of her bandoleer. "I may look like a whimp, but trust me I'm stronger than I seem." She had always liked it when people could make their speech rhyme the way he had just done. Now she felt a little worse for nearly taking off the head of someone who turned out to be decent and even likable.

    Once done with the ammo, the young woman had a listen. All was quiet again, save the crows that were perching on the roof. She pointed out the door with her lips. "You wanna sit outside a spell and heat up them beans?" She fished out a harmonica and gave it a quick blow, producing a clear note that said she took good care of it. "I'd even play us a song or two." She giggled and went on to say "People don't seem to like harmonica where I come from; always say it's sad even when I play my happy tune."
  17. The wanderer slung his rifle over his shoulder once again, and scooped up the beans and corn he'd traded for. The cola, he pocketed for later. "I wouldn't mind settin' for a spell. I've always rather liked the way the harmonica hums. I've even been known to sing along a time or two, if the song's familiar." He confided,with a wink.

    When he was outside of the building, he unlimbered his rifle, and rested it against the shell of an old vehicle. Nearby, he found an old hubcap that would serve as a firepit. He took off his greatcoat, and laid it on the ground for seating. On it, he set his food, before casting about for enough brush for a small fire.

    A moment's concern crossed his mind. If Darcy were the malicious sort, she could be well into the hills with his food, and his rifle before he could wonder where she'd been. Better to be safe, than sorry, he figured. So he kept right on making amicable conversation. "You sure seem to know your way around a street-sweeper. Mind if I ask where y'got your training?"
  18. Following her new companion outside, Darcy got out an ear of can of cram and her bottle of Rad-X to prepare for the meal, setting down on a flat rock. She had been thinking about what to play soon as the man expressed his opinion on the harmonica. When he asked about her training, she hopped up and performed one of her favorite routines. It wasn't often people were curious about her training, so she liked to make a bit of a show of the occasion. She stood straight as a board and gave a salute, but broke the military demeanor immediately with a wide grin.

    "Private Darcy of the New California Republic Army, reporting for duty." She sat back down on the rock and laughed at herself. "Well, former Private anyway; been out of the Army since we got kicked off Hoover Dam." She grabbed another apple from her bag and, after finishing a big bite, shot him a question in return.

    "How 'bout you? Got some military background?"
  19. Alexander bent to the task of starting the fire with what he'd gathered, although he kept an eye on the woman as she put on the militant display. His grin echoed her own, and his eyes sparkled merrily. "A private with the NCR? There are worse ways to get your trainin'." He mused. The tinder he was using began to smoke, and he bent to blow life to the flames.

    When he straightened, and small flames licked the air, he responded. "I've never been with a military outfit as such," He admitted, "But I spent some time as a law-man out east." He set the now flaming tinder on the hubcap, and began to pile small, dry sticks over it. Quickly enough, they caught, and a small fire crackled merrily.

    "My pa taught me most of what I know about shootin', trackin', and huntin'." He let out a sigh, and retrieved his rifle from the nearby shell of the car. He sat, resting the weapon across his knees. With a knife he'd had in his belt, he opened the can of beans. "Eventually, my feet set to itchin', and I took up bounty work." He glanced across the fire, to Darcy again.

    "Were you there? When the battle for the dam went down, I mean. Did you see the Courier?"
  20. "Yeah, bout the same with me before the Army." The woman finished her apple and chucked the core behind her.

    At his question, Darcy paused for a few seconds. Her eyes were vacant as she got flashes of the Second Battle of Hoover Dam. The roar of chainsaws as the Legion literally cut through her detachment. She came back quickly enough, and replied “Yeah I was there. It was getting dicey so thank God the Courier brought help.” She laughed “Even if she gave us the boot later.”

    Darcy, to take her mind off the memories his question had brought up, put the harmonica to her lips and played a song with slow, lilting note progressions meant to mimic the pace of a caravan on the move. Then the notes came faster as that caravan started running from a Giant Radscorpion, and finally ending on its arrival to Mojave Outpost and safety.

    “What did you think?” Darcy asked soon as her song was finished.
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