Fallout: Louisiana

Discussion in 'ROLEPLAY GRAVEYARD' started by Grothnor, Apr 6, 2016.

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  1. "War, war never changes...."
    “I still think the poster sucks.” Sten grumbled into his glass. The ghoul was sitting at a table in the back corner with a clear view of everyone in the bar. Bob's Bayou Bar (and Flophouse) was a rather quiet establishment, at least at this hour, and usually host to the various passers-through the settlement of Cobb's Pier received. The local radio was playing some old pre-war country song that Sten loathed. He had been staying there for the past few months, working freelance jobs around the region and waiting for the inevitable day the people of Cobb's Pier would finally have enough of him and throw him out of town.

    “Well this way will save you money.” Sally the waitress was referring to his original plan of paying the guards to send anyone who looked like merc material to him. Sally was probably the closest thing Sten had to a friend in Cobb's Pier. It was her idea to start a merc group after she heard him talking so fondly of his days in the Yellowstone Rangers. Sten wasn't too keen on the idea, but went along with it, for lack of any better ideas. He was still half-hoping that nobody would show up, reluctant to be working with anyone, but Sally did have a point. “What's stopping you from reliving the good old days? Just go out and do it.” she had said.

    “Not only did that stupid poster open the invite to any two-bit loony with a gun, it made me look like a cartoony midget.” Sten grumbled under his breath, taking another drink. His regularly surly mood wasn't being helped by a brewing headache, much less this shitty country music. He had already taken one mentat a few hours ago and he wasn't terribly keen to have another so soon after. However, he was going to be meeting people sooner than later, and he didn't want any distractions. He popped a purple pill and sat back, waiting for people to show.
    #1 Grothnor, Apr 6, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2016
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  2. Okay. Deep breath. Keep calm.

    The haze of Jet floated around Scout's vision and time seemed to slow. Colours became brighter, sounds were sharper and everything seemed to just...click into place. The corners of her lips turned up a little as her pupils dilated. She took a look around her surroundings; the thick, murky swamps were always hot and humid, they always smelt terrible and you'd be lucky if you walked two steps without encountering a bloodbug or a bloatfly. Still, the spongy ground seemed to begin solidifying as Scout trudged through towards Cobb's Pier. As per usual, the guards gave her a nasty look; just because she was decked out in scrap metal armour and loosely held her gun in her left hand. And as per usual, Scout gave them a friendly wave because it was always better to try and not look like you're ready to gut the place and take what you can.

    Mid-wave, Scout's eyes fixed on the poster. She was still buzzed so the colours drew her in like a magpie as she inspected the crude illustration and then read the words underneath. Her shoulders shrugged on their own accord; more caps meant more clean water and more Jet, both of which Scout couldn't live without. Working on her own was arguably much better since she didn't have to explain her actions, but she needed the caps...Scout rubbed her nose, sighed and wandered inside. She put her gun away, hanging it off one of the pipes that make up her armour so it was a heartbeat away from her hand, just in case things went south.

    Bob's Bayou Bar (and Flophouse) was surprisingly empty, and the warbled country music filled up the otherwise grim silence in the building. It took a moment for her eyes to adjust to the gloom, but Sten stood out like a sore thumb in the bar and, as Scout imagined, looked just as grumpy as anyone else in the Wasteland. The thought of working for such a sour, bad-tempered ghoul filled her with disgust but Scout's done worse things for a few caps. She approached the ghoul and cleared her throat to get his attention. In a remarkably mild-mannered voice for an armoured merc, Scout asked "You're Sten Revna, right?"
  3. He hadn’t quite made it to the bar yet. He was in his shack still, a shack he had fixed up and made. It honestly was a ruinous building that he added a working door and a roof with a tarp over it to keep the rain out. Still had to worry about the “gators”, honestly that made them sound smaller than what they really were. That’s why tripwire was laced around the bridge. He was staring at an advertisement and a piece of broken mirror. He was practicing for what was normal in this situation.

    “I came because of this add,” he said as tough as he could, he curled his lip and pretended to be the grumpy ghoul, “Yeah and who the hell are you smooth skin?” He took in a deep breath “The Lone Atom, what’s it to you?”

    Frank raised a brow and looked at himself in the shard of the mirror. It sounded so force. But they were looking for Mercenaries. The only recollection he had of Mercenaries were tough sons of a bitches, who smoked cigars at least thought so, with tough gun slinging voices.

    Franky didn’t have a tough gun slinging voice, it was a lot more monotone and flat, but not from a lack of expression. From a lack of having barrel gunning tone. He sounded like what he was programmed as, a scientist. Not some straight shooting mercenary, who thought he was the man.

    He owned this bar. Not really. But that’s how mercenaries were. They walk in and they own this property. The booth they sat in, the stool. They even owned you. It wouldn’t matter. The gas mask tended to muffle his voice further anyway.

    Strapping it on, he headed out of the shack. Leaving the collection of interesting things he found behind. Taking the safe road down and taking the mile walk back to town. He didn’t like to stray too far from paths he knew were trade routes or had cities. It’s how he got work and got caps.

    When he finally rolled into town. He was thinking of a tune he had heard, maybe just once. He liked to think he had that kind of mystery about his presence. Seemed that way when people looked at him, only because they recognized him.

    He kind of slowly waved.

    “Hey Atom,” said One Wish, a dark skinned, except that he wasn’t a ghoul, with a white beard. He had saved the man’s Brahim once. Which sounds as lame as it sounded in his head right now. He entered Bob’s Bayou Bar (And Flophouse).

    The tune he was remember was quickly fizzled out by the country song being played in the bar. Was he the only one fighting to play an air guitar. Except that wouldn’t look professional so, he already saw someone in the corner of the almost always empty bar. Be cool Franky.

    He walked on over as well. Didn’t say a word, but sat across from table, closer to the bar.

    “Sten, right?” He said in a few short syllables, he pointed to the other person speaking to Sten, “Here for the advertisement too?”
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  4. Scout peered down at the newcomer blankly and nodded once. As per usual, Scout was the tallest one here. The man was considerably lighter in terms of armour, but the woman didn't quite like the look of the weapon he held and made a mental note not to get in the way of that thing...it looked like a sniper rifle. From Scout's experience, sniper rifles hurt considerably more than getting shot by something you can see, because at least then you could mentally prepare yourself from the pain. Snipers were arseholes, and he certainly had the look of an arsehole.

    For starters, he had an exaggerated swagger that made him seem arrogant. As if he owned the bar, or something...and the gas mask? One bullet close enough to the goggles and his eyesight would be ruined permanently. Everyone knew the gas masks these days were so out of date that they wouldn't even begin to help with any serious poison gas; it was about as effective as the bloodied rag that Scout wore around her neck. He probably wore it because he was wanted in these areas and didn't want to be shot in the middle of the settlement. The thought intrigued Scout, instead of unnerving her. What did this mysterious stranger do that needed him to hide from the wastelanders? What kind of monster was she signing up with?

    And then there was Sten.

    Sten the ghoul. Remarkably shorter than Scout, she felt like she practically loomed over the little brute, but short people were usually angry...uninhibited and uninvited, a memory bubbled to the surface of her brain - some spindly, short, balding man in slacks and a tucked in polo shirt. She attached a name to him - "Brian" - but had to shove the thought back to whichever murky depths it came from...the vault in her mind. She hated getting vault memories; they got in the way. Focusing on Sten, she noticed the sniper rifle-...ahh, two arseholes, okay. Twice as many chances to get shot in the back. As well as the sniper rifle, there was what might be a pistol at his belt and Scout thought she perceived the corners of a grenade, but the combat armour got in the way. Explosives with a sniper rifle? An interesting combination. He wore a bandana to cover his bald head - an army camouflage print...all signs thus far pointed towards Sten the sneaky arsehole. The sort of person who only has patience for revenge. The sort of person who, if you double crossed them, had more than enough time to track you down and kill you. After all, he was a ghoul; if there was anything Sten had, it was free time. Scout made a mental note to try and stay on his good side.

    Scout wondered what they thought of her; a hulking brute, enveloped in rusting, bloodstained pieces of scrap metal. Probably a foot taller than her new boss and broader than the mysterious gasmask man. Gun at her hip, some horrid contraption which looked like a small machete, a saw-blade and a javelin spike's freak child nestled rather comfortably behind the pipe gun. Little bags and satchels clipped to her armour, as if she was some sort of deadly piñata, almost taunting people to try their luck and grab something...as if she wouldn't reduce them to a bloody pulp and take it back, and then some.

    And yet...Scout never stood in a threatening way. Of course, it was difficult not to intimidate when you looked like you just won an arm-wrestling match with a supermutant, but she kept her shoulders down, she never puffed her chest out, her legs were tucked in closely instead of taking a sturdier fighting stance...despite her build and her choice of fashion, there was something very faintly feminine about her. She wasn't one of the 'she-beasts' which stomp across the wastelands and pick fights with everyone they see, although Scout certainly looked the part. Not to mention, she was as blank as a synth. There wasn't even a scrap of emotion playing on her features - no grumpy scowl, no smile, no furrowed brows. Absolutely nothing to play on and no way of telling what was going through her head.

    Her eyes flicked back to the Mysterious Gasmask Man, then over to Sten. "My name is Scout. I look forwar-" A crackling noise cut her off; she drew her wrist towards her abdomen as the pip boy clasped around it flickered green, displaying some information. Scout pressed a few buttons and turned a dial to switch it off. "Sorry, sometimes it plays up when it receives a new radio signal. I look forward to working with you both."
    #4 Ythania, Apr 8, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2016
  5. Damn, that raider chick's built like a Yao Guai on Buffout. Actually, she may actually be on Buffout, if her dilated pupils are anything to go on. And the other guy, a .50 cal? Looks like somebody's overcompensating. And the mask is a real great way to make a first impression. People may think they're cool by hiding their face, but I think it means they're doing it for other reasons. Eh, we'll see soon enough.

    He grunted at the two people who showed up. “So, let's tell a little about ourselves if we're gonna work together. I'm Sten, I've been a merc since before your grandpas took their first shits, and I usually work alone. I'm quiet enough to walk through a Yao Guai den unmolested, accurate enough to take out a bloatfly's wing at 800 meters, 1000 on my good days, and I know my bombs. These aren't idle brags either, I've done them all.” Sten then thought back to what he just said and relaized he could have worded things better. 'Things I have done: know bombs'? Yeah, nice going, Cicero.

    He sighed and leaned back in his chair, feeling quite foolish and unsure of himself. What the hell am I doing? He looked up to Sally in the background, who smiled encouragingly and gestured to 'go on'. Leaning forward to take a drink, he continued. “Anyway, I'm looking to start a merc group. It doesn't have to be large, I just wanna be part of something again.”

    “Now, how about you guys? Tell me something about 'Scout, the human Yao Guai' and...” he hesitated, realizing he didn't know the sniper's name. He gestured lamely towards Frank. “...whoever the fuck you are.”
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  6. Sten's response triggered a slight reaction in Scout - she looked down at the ghoul, perplexed, gently quirking an eyebrow. Scout, the human Yao Guai...? Perhaps she got it wrong; Sten wasn't half as grumpy as Scout had imagined it to be. Instead of him simply giving out the job and the details, he gave the two newcomers a proper introduction, told them a little bit about himself, and then actually encouraged Scout and Mysterious Gas Mask Man to talk about themselves in return. What really rung in Scout's ears was Sten's mention of wanting to start a merc group; that implied that the job wasn't a one-off. A steady income, some form of organisation to belong to with no worrying about when her next meal would be or what roof she'll sleep under...Scout didn't blame Sten in 'wanting to be part of something again'. She imagined the stability would be comforting.

    Scout felt a little proud that she managed to somewhat read Sten from first impressions; thrown off by his use of manners and active attempts to create a team instead of a group of mercenaries, yes, but at least Scout managed to figure out that he liked to sneak around and used explosives. Of course his accuracy would have to be something to be very wary about, but it meant there was a lower chance of her getting hit - unintentionally, that is. Nevertheless, the vault dweller hovered tentatively on the notion that she might trust him, since Sten wasn't looking to make any enemies here.

    She could hardly say the same about her silent co-worker. After a slight pause wherein Scout realised he wasn't going to talk first - of course not, he must be hiding something, that's why he's mulling over what delicate lies he'll weave - so Scout took the initiative. It was almost jarring, every time she opened her mouth to say something it completely went against her appearance. Her voice was gentle and polite, but self-assured; she didn't stammer and kept her voice level. "I'm not exactly built for stealth," started Scout; better to state the obvious and clear any false hope that she could ever even attempt to be sneaky. "But I've been told that I am a very good melee fighter, since I can take a few hits."

    It felt odd. Unnatural. She didn't like talking about her strong points like this, it felt almost like bragging. Still, it was important that her employer knew where her skills were so she wasn't sent out to do something she couldn't do. "I'm also quite experienced in first aid, so I can help patch up any wounds - if needed. My knowledge of medicine means I can at least diagnose and advise people on the best course of action if it's a bit too complicated for me to fix." She hadn't used that little skill too often, most of the time her wounds were self-treated and she hadn't come across something she didn't know how to cure. Still, time will tell.

    "And whilst I don't know a lot about repairs, I'm a scavenger - I make my money by selling scrap." She shifted her weight; a testament to her lack of stealth, the raider armour made a serious of clicks, creaks and groans as a myriad of small items jingled and tapped against each other. "So I'm pretty good at finding things I need - or finding things you need, so long as I know what they look like. Most of the time I probably have what you need on my person."

    Scout mulled it over a little and decided that was plenty of information for them to go on; they didn't need to know her life story. She didn't have to tell them about her chem habits or the vault. If they really wanted to find out more about her, they'd have to wait until she's good and ready to tell them. For a moment, the silence wasp pierced by the country song - was it on repeat? - before Scout intervened once more. "You said you're interested in making a merc group? I assume that means this isn't simply a one-time deal, then?"
  7. Franky was watching the two, the more he inspected the more details he discerned. Though the more concerning fact was that the woman of the team was built like a heavily built fortified truck and that was a little off putting. Not in the same category of intimidating, but off putting nonetheless. He listened to the ghoul speak, Sten. Speak about all his feats. Secretly Franky was impressed and excited like a child.

    The gas mask hid all of these expressions though, so Franky could simply focus on what Sten said without showing off any kind of excitement in his facial expression. He focused on creating a group. So, that meant this wasn’t just a gig. It was a team. He’d never been part of a team. That was also exciting.

    He turned his attention to the woman who announced herself as Scout. She sounded like a good asset to the team, he tried to not nod his head in acknowledgement of what she had to say. Remaining stiff and dry in this moment was becoming hard.

    Then when he realized the eyes and heads were on him. Now he had to try and impress them, though by the looks he was getting he was sure they weren’t impressed. He had made a small local name for himself, except it was becoming a realization with “whoever the fuck you are” from earlier meant that name hadn’t spread much.

    “My codename I go by is Lone Atom, I’ll treat you to my real name sooner or later, if we’re going to be a team,” he took a second pausing, “I’m the opposite of Scout here. I am a navigator, actually I’ve mapped out most of the area and putting red marks on the areas of higher danger. And I have skills of pre determining and assessing danger before entering an area.”

    He took another second, “If you need someone to squeeze into tight spots, that be me. I can hack terminals, open doors, use the cover of the night and sneak around. Like a really stealthy Yai Gao. I also have a pretty good eye with this.” He patted his .50 caliber. Which he had proudly modified himself out of pieces he found.
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  8. Sten replied to Scouts question first. “Yeah, that's the plan. Consider our first job your 'audition'. Just don't do anything stupid, keep your head down when the bullets start flying and don't get me killed.”

    “Ah, so you're the Lone Atom. I heard of you. I guess herding brahmin wasn't paying well enough, eh?” Sten snickered at his slightly mean-spirited joke. “So long as you aren't one of those radiation worshiping asshats, we'll get along fine.”

    After listening to his prospective teammate's strengths, he smirked. “A scavenger and a navigator, eh? At least we're flexible. Anyway, down to business. There's a new settlement a few miles off. Rumor has it they've been running into trouble, and in this line of work, trouble means work. I dunno what the issue was exactly, but bullets to brahmin steak says it's Raiders of Ferals. Sounds nice and easy for a first job, so whaddya say?”
  9. Maybe he didn’t recognize Sten was being mean spirited because he barked out a harsh laugh.

    “I guess herding brahim wasn’t,” Atom snickered again and looked at Sten. Focusing on the mission details. They didn’t see him frown behind his mask, but he was frowning. Something killing Brahim. Could be ferals. But to be honest, something easy always turned out to be the least than easy.

    “We should still scout the area, in my opinion,” Atom told Sten, “It might be Ferals. Could be junior deathclaws though too. Have you seen what those things can do. Tear right through flesh.” He added a sound effect and only realized how the others might take his, shrrrrp, sound decision.
  10. Scout doubted the...flexibility of the team from the get-go. She seemed like the only one capable of pulling her weight around here; the other two are clearly stealth orientated. It wasn't as if Scout minded being the meat shield, it meant her brute force would be appreciated...but she didn't like the thought of being the only meat shield on the team. Was she truly willing to put her life on the line for these two strangers if all they're going to do is sit in the bushes, taking pot-shots from their big fancy sniper rifles? Undoubtedly, Scout was the most expendable person on the team - and if she died, they could loot her cold, dead corpse and walk off with a bonus.

    For a moment, Scout considered walking out on the offer, but some monotonous inner voice called out to her and reminded her that she had nowhere else to go and no real reason to keep going alone. At the very least, if Scout got ripped apart by feral ghouls then one of those sniping cowards could put a bullet in her and end it faster than the other tormented creatures of the Wasteland would. The world seemed to speed up to a very minor degree, and judging by Scout's darker thoughts, she put it down to the Jet starting to wear off. Instead of taking another puff she simply left it; it wasn't urgent and she could last for a while longer, at least until they were at the settlement.

    At least the Lone Atom (what a pretentious title, Scout shot him a brief and blank look after he introduced himself) seemed a bit more enthusiastic. But honestly, a Brahmin herder? He wasn't living up to his mystery. "I think you're overcomplicating things," she responded dully. "If it was anything scarier than a few raiders or ferals, we would've heard about it - the funny thing about rumours is that they tend to exaggerate. The fact alone that this rumour isn't anything special is already a hint that there's nothing special to look around for."

    Scout knew that it would be much safer to check the area out before advancing, but what was the point? Whatever it was, it would probably spot her before she spotted it. Ironically, Scout couldn't be further from her namesake, and she foresaw a lot of waiting whilst these two sneaks played in the grass. She could already feel the boredom creeping up on her, and she could tell that her opinion would probably be in the minority. Her shoulders slumped a little in resignation. "Do whatever makes you feel safest," she decided. "We could probably get ample information from the settlers themselves, but if you feel like scouting, then I will remain in the settlement."

    The thought of having to hang around for them to make detailed schemes made her impatient. "If there's nothing else of note, shall we get moving?" she inquired politely. The change in attitude was incredibly subtle thanks to her overall emotionless demeanour, but she seemed to be ever-so-slightly sharper than she was a few moments before.
  11. Sten objected to Frank's idea of scouting ahead. He was starting to get frustrated with the 'Lone Atom'. “Listen, rookie: you always want to make sure you have a job before you risk you life. We're businessmen: we're skilled laborers doing hard work for others, not some friggin' 'people's militia', and all our work means jack if we don't get paid.” Idiot probably thinks it's all a game. Fortunately, Scout's suggestion to head out spared Frank any further lecturing. “Let's go.” Sten dropped a handful of caps on the table and headed out.

    The trek to the settlement was quiet and uneventful. After a few hours of walking in relative silence, they arrived at the settlement in question: a mostly intact, boarded-up pre-war motel surrounded by a few shacks curiously devoid of life, made of plywood and corrugated metal. One pile of charcoal and ash marked where one had apparently burned down recently. As they approached, a lookout on the motel roof appeared and demanded their business. “We're mercenaries.” Sten replied. After conferring with someone the trio couldn't see, the lookout said, “Hold on, we'll let you in. Jed wants to talk to you.”

    The trio entered and were escorted through the building. Walking through the motel, they noticed all the people were taking shelter inside the building. Must me at least twenty people living here. Wonder what we'll be dealing with for them. They arrived at one of the last rooms. One of the guards knocked on the door. “Hey Jed, got some folks here, say they're guns-for-hire.”

    The door opened to reveal a worried-looking balding middle aged man, pudgy and holding a sawed-off shotgun casually and non-threateningly. He gawped at the strange trio before him before regaining his composure and welcoming them in. “I'll cut to the chase, we have a serious problem right now and I'd like to hire y'all to deal with it.” He said through a thick southern drawl. “A week back, we had three drifters come through who started making demands and threats like they own the place. Natur'lly, we drove em outta town. They was making all kinds of threats but we figured it was all just bluster. Then two days ago, the Maders' shack caught fire in the middle of the night. They made it out alright, but it turns out raiders snuck into the Keyes' shack, murdered poor Mary and kidnapped her husband Sam. The-” Jed choked, “the ransom was written in her blood. We didn't even notice until the next day. 600 caps and half our crops before the week is out. Our crops were planted just two months ago and ain't due for harvest for another six. We ain't terribly well off and have only raised half the caps for the ransom.” His expression hardened. “I'm willin' to pay you the ransom money we got if you drive those filthy raider scum outta here. 300 caps. Show them that I own this town, not them. If you manage to bring Sam Keyes back alive, we'll scrounge up something extra for you. Whaddya say?” Sten looked to his companions with a raised eyebrow. 300 caps is a fair wage for clearing out raiders. I'm curious to see these guys' reactions though.
  12. It was as if Sten was trying to gain Scout's approval. Against her presumptions, the merc put his foot down and gave the Lone Atom a stern talking-to; if Scout didn't intervene when she did, there could've been a full-blown argument in Bob's Bayou Bar (and Flophouse). Some strange little emotion pressed feebly against her wall of jet-infused indifference, and as she peered down at the gas-mask for any sign of emotion, she realised that she might have felt a little bad if the mysterious Lone Atom got upset. After all, he seemed to be trying to do his best. Still, what did she care? When did she ever care for anyone aside from herself?

    The trip, as she imagined, was boring and uneventful. Trekking through the murky wastelands in relative silence, Scout almost forgot she had two other people with her. Only twice did she hum to herself, quietly - a few notes from a song long forgotten. She didn't imagine the other two were listening too intently, but either way Scout shut up after a few seconds because she was too busy waiting for the next godawful beast to leap out of her. When the trio arrived at the settlement unharmed, Scout blinked a couple of times in surprise - that didn't happen often, at least not to her.

    The motel made her feel sick to the stomach - it was always the case with pre-war buildings, she always got...distressed around them. Scout bit her lip and clenched her fist as the word 'Jet' popped in her head again; she resolved to have some later, when they weren't in the middle of negotiations and surrounded by needy, frail settlers. It almost disgusted her how they hid away in their safe motel and clung to the notion that one wall could separate them from all of the horrors of the wasteland, but whenever Scout looked at them, she simply saw nameless, unimportant people. Like looking at a herd of Brahmin; none of them stood out and none of them really struck a chord with Scout. It was as if they didn't exist.

    Jed struck a chord with Scout though, just not the right one. She hated people who stared. After narrowing her eyes and pulling the corners of her lips down a little in response to the gawping, the door was fully opened and the trio were allowed in. Scout listened to Jed blunder his way through the story, vaguely wondering when he'd get to the important part - the caps. When she found out the price, Scout did some quick maths; assuming Sten was as fair as he was grouchy, that'd make 100 each, maybe a bit less if he cuts some off for repairs, ammunition costs, the like. The 'little extra' needed to be considered; Scout didn't think they'd be able to pull any more caps out of their pockets if they tried, so perhaps around 25 extra - from the lot of them - then split again...that was around 8 caps going her way. Pocket change. So, in short, the life of Sam Keyes was worth around 8 caps and that's not worth enough in Scout's eyes. She saw Sten's nonverbal 'what-do-you-think' stare and responded with a blank, unreadable look. He didn't need to know what she thought, so instead she simply shifted her weight a little to denote that she was ready to leave if they were. She never said yes or no, that was up to Sten to decide to take the offer. However, why wasn't he-...? Scout shot him a questioning look, then let loose a light sigh and took the lead - again. "Where are these raiders and how many do you think there are?" she asked, then shot a look at Sten. Better to know what you're running into before you take the money, in her opinion.

    100 caps, give or take...not enough for Jet, but plenty for a meal, and maybe enough to pay for a night in a bed. Hardly the best wage in the world, but a reasonable one. What she was more interested in was how Sten would split it out, because that's what really mattered. Scout looked around the motel room and became acutely aware of the tightening in her chest - damn pre-war buildings - and then glanced down at the Lone Atom. She wondered if he'd be so bold as to ask for more than what he's getting paid for.
    #12 Ythania, Apr 14, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2016
  13. In the Flophouse, the moment Sten put a stern foot down he simply raised his hands up in little to no protest. “Okay okay, no scouting”. What Sten didn’t see was him roll his eyes behind his gas mask. It was people like Sten who died the fastest. Because they didn’t set out the terrain and “oh well why don’t you looky here, there’s a land mine”.

    Except that he was not the type of person to question the leader of the group. Atom was more than willing to give it to Sten. Considering a couple of factors. Grumpy ghouls were never really something he liked to deal with. Better to give them what they wanted, rather than piss them off. And well Sten was the one who placed up the advertisement.

    So he wasn’t one to put up a fight. Still this must be the most unorthodox group to grace the bayou Wasteland. Only he really knew his secret. A short gas mask man with a ghoul, that he thought the radiation permanently stuck a scowl on his face. And a big tall woman ironically named Scout. You’d expect someone smaller. But she was as big as a Super Mutant.

    Now that’s something he’d like to see. Her getting into conflict with a Super Mutant. Sure the walk wasn’t very eventful, yet using a radio, he provided some groovy tunes to listen to. And maybe perhaps he was playing the tune because he was making a poking jab at one of their new teammates. Not to annoy or piss him off. But because Atom found it amusing.

    ^For Sten with much love

    They finally entered a settlement. It was always the same, spare parts made from the spare luck of the Wasteland. And some monument of prewar. If the others could see, his eyes would be sparkling like he was looking at a beautiful jewel. He wanted to touch the prewar building and when they were guided into the motel. He took a sneak feel of the building.

    Feel that prewar ruined wood. Ah.

    He sat in the back, and simply listened to what the bald old man said. He watched Sten’s mannerisms and then Scout’s. Scout asked a question. A good question. He wondered if Now, Sten saw the purpose of a little recon mission.

    Raiders were known to create big giant walls and big giant areas of shooting. He called them combat zones. Except that it never caught on.

    “How armed is a better question?” he muttered to himself and hoped none of the other two actually heard him. He wasn’t so concerned about the pay. Technically he didn’t really need the money, because he didn’t technically need food, sleep, or human necessities. Yet, it dawned on him.

    If he was traveling with these two. He’d have to try extra hard to not be suspicious. When he was alone in his only little shack. He could restore radio waves on his radio and catch newer stations. He didn’t need to worry about sleeping.

    He looked between Scout and Sten. He’d let the bigger people take charge. But when lives were on the hand, it didn’t really matter how many caps they were getting. In the end it mattered about saving the individual.
    • Love Love x 1
  14. So, they ask where and how many guns. Good questions. Jed unfortunately didn't have a terribly good answers. “I dunno how many, it could be an army, it could even be just the three punks who visited our town. It won't change how much is on offer. Also, the morning after we found the Keyes we saw tracks heading northwest. We were more concerned with fortifying the motel after than than we were with finding where they were holed up. Sam ain't the first person I've seen kidnapped by raiders, so I ain't holding much hope for him.”

    Sten nodded knowingly. “Okay, you got a deal. 300 for driving them off, and a bonus for rescuing the hostage.” He reached out and shook Jed's hand.

    “So, how do you want it, half now half later?” Jed asked.

    “So long as your word's good, you can pay whenever, just know that we will get the caps one way or another.”

    Jed nodded and motioned for the guards to escort the three out of the motel. “Alright, Atom, you wanna scout? Take point.” Sten let Frank take the lead, not just to see how well he did, but because he was starting to come down from his mentats high and wasn't eager to burn through another. After an hour or two, as the sun was beginning to turn the sky orange, they heard a shot ring out. Sten reflexively dropped, pulling out his sniper rifle. Moments later, more shots echoed across the wastes. A firefight was happening not far off, and Sten pointed the group towards the noise. Cresting a hill, they saw a handful of raiders, shooting at and advancing on a couple of figures taking cover in a pre-war parking lot. “Bag one of the raiders alive. They may be part of the gang we're looking for.” Sten ordered, laying prone on the hilltop and readying his rifle.
    • Love Love x 1
  15. Scout wasn't too sure she liked the fact Sten didn't take an advance payment, but his threat hit home; Scout knew the type, she remembered her assumptions on Sten's character and once again tentatively followed his lead. After all, if he didn't provide, she'd take. Simple as. It was a shame Jed couldn't be much of a help but that meant she didn't owe him anything, and the less debts or favours she owed, the better. She followed the guards in silence, feeling the eyes of the settlers on her hulking form as she plodded out of the motel. For once, she felt glad to be out and facing the elements. Anything but staying in that motel and seeing the shadows of a world she vaguely remembered.

    Scout buried a smirk as The Lone Atom was forced into tracking the raiders. "I'd advise against playing your radio again," she warned; she didn't want to alert the raiders, whilst she almost smiled at The Lone Atom's little joke, she didn't think Sten would take that sort of sass again. In fact, even Scout kept quiet for the walk. She didn't want to draw attention to the mercenary team and didn't feel like singing, and since she was hardly a conversationalist that left her with silence and thoughts that rolled in and out of her head like mist over the bogs. Thoughts about what they will be facing and how the others would react to her headstrong combat style. She knew that they'd find out soon en-

    When the shot rang out Scout went down so quickly it almost looked like she got hit, her hand grabbing her pipe pistol. Whilst her eyes weren't wide with fear, she let loose little, barely audible pants; it was clear she was very used to getting a bullet or two in her, judging by the way she went on the defensive so quickly as soon as she heard one ring out. She followed Sten's orders and tried to be stealthy - well, she was crouched down as she rushed up the hill, but she still stuck out like a great big skyscraper of scrap and she wasn't exactly light-footed.

    A group of raiders were closing in on a couple of men in the carpark. Again, a little pang of distress bubbled in Scout's chest. If anything, it caused an adrenaline rush and the moment Sten gave the order and hunkered down to take sneaky potshots, Scout already started going down the hill, her response called out behind her carelessly as she cocked her pistol - "Alive? Got it."

    Scout tried to fire a shot or two whilst running and, naturally, she missed both times. Still, it had the desired effect; the raiders stopped rushing after the two hidden under cover and gaped at the 6ft wall of metal and pain thundering their way. Scout shoulder tackled the first raider she came into contact with, using her momentum from running down the hill to send him flying backwards whilst her left hand drew her freakish melee weapon. She buried the machete into the forearm of another raider who ran at her gripping a tire iron. Blood splashed over her clothes and armour as he hollered in pain, dropping his weapon and giving Scout enough time to bash her gun into his temple and daze him. Her knee slammed into the wounded raider's groin as she shoved him out of the way too, already starting to create a pile of injured people.

    Of course, one versus many was bound to cause problems from the get-go and Scout became painfully aware of that when there were various loud bangs near her person. Two of the shots ricocheted off the metal plates of her armour, but one split the skin just above her shoulder in a miss that was a little too close for comfort. Scout sucked in a gasp of pain and shut her eyes as a baseball bat thudded painfully into her hip; she kicked the perpetrator in the shins and began beating the crap out of her, too. However, that didn't stop the fact that the man she originally tackled was getting to his feet and reloading his rifle, and the fact the other raiders were closing in on her, readying themselves to rush Scout all at once and take her down.
  16. Atom simply nodded watching Sten take care of the conversation. He looked around. It seemed strange to him. He wondered how people felt, standing around in pre war relics. How it must feel to be surrounded by monuments of when your species was great? Did it hurt? Did they sometimes think about the “glory days”?

    It was a curious thought, but it wasn’t like he was able to ask anyone this question. It pointed him out too much. Made him too suspicious and he didn’t need that kind of attention. Except that he did have a postcard of pre war. He thought wouldn’t it be cool to explore that world. The things he could find out.

    When Sten order him to take point, all he did was quietly nod. Scout said something about, not bringing attention with the radio again. He knew that, except that he wouldn’t admit he had totally snuck around some enemies with his roaming radio. Really confused and the scared the fuck out of them.

    He liked to watch them squirm. He didn’t crouch as much as walked silently ahead. Looking out. He made clear notions when he knew it was clear. At first it seemed like it was going to be an easy task to find these raiders. Till he heard gunfire. Shit. Getting closer to the gunfire. He saw a group of raiders in a firefight with some individuals.

    He dropped to the ground, getting into a sniper position himself. Setting up his line of sight through his scope. Scout being the brute she was, simply ran towards the line of battle. She missed two individuals while running.

    “83%” he whispered under his breath and shot one of them straight through the head. He moved his scoped, shit “64%”. While scanning with his scope, “73%” he said as a shot rang out shooting one of the bastards in the leg.

    “Guess they know we’re here now,” he said, considering the loud bang from his gun ricocheting off ever sound wave.

    And if that meant what he thought it meant. While reloading his gun, he took on the second to turn on his radio.

    Turning his attention to the guy screaming out because of his leg.

    “Cry cry cry,” Atom whispered under his breath, raising his scope, and position a bit as he army crawled up a little more, “85%” another .50 caliber rung out in the air as the bullet went straight through the man’s head.

    He loved the sound of his gun. And furthermore, he controlled his breathing and danced the scope along the swaying of jazzy trumpets.

    “94%, got you” he said as another bullet rung out, striking another raider in the distance through the head. At least he provide Scout some cover and try to get as much of the heavy action off of her as best as he could.
    • Thank Thank x 1
  17. *Vectus Talon watchs through his scope on his sniper as a small group seemed to be taking on a group of raiders after watching the battle from a far he could see the raiders were going to lose.*"Guess I know what side I want to be on." *Vectus spots a raider behind cover aiming a gun at a person beating the other raiders with only there fist Vectus aims the sniper at the head and fired, and sees the raider go down with blood splattering behind him, Vectus then looks for more targets.
  18. Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit. Beau ran fast and hard, feet slapping across the uneven pavement, towards the only bit of cover in this twisted landscape. He hopped over a rusted car, the worn leather of his pants sliding him across the arc of the hood. He twisted funny, though, and it jerked his body his down towards the craggy pavement. He landed cheek first. Pain and warmth ignited immediately.

    Beau pulled himself up and compressed himself against the chassis of the car. Bullets pinged off the metal. He knew that he couldn’t stay here too long. One wayward shot and the raiders would ignite the nuclear engine. Beau was pretty sure that he had enough radiation in his body without the compiled interest of an exploded car. Not to mention, said explosion would probably kill him. He pressed his hand against his cheek and pulled back to see it bloodied.

    “Awe man, my face,” Beau said to himself. He wasn’t trying to be stealthy, they already knew where he was. He breathed deeply. “My money maker, shit. Well, I mean, I shouldn’t complain too much. Steven is dead. Pew. Brains everywhere.” He made a hand gesture of an explosion leaving his forehead, just to punctuate the point. “Steve owed me a shit ton of caps too. Don’t feel too bad, Beau, he probably wasn’t going to pay you back anyway. ” He exhaled. “Why the hell am I talking to himself?”

    A complimentary burst of shots rattled out from a different direction than the raiders. Bullets stopped raining against the side of the car as there was a chorus of grunts, screams, and the sound of bodies slamming into bodies.

    Beau grabbed his laser rifle and primed it. He then slowly pulled himself upwards, enough to get the barrel over the top of the car. He looked into the glass scope, magnifying the destroyed wasteland before him. There seemed to be a super mutant in the middle of a group of raiders. “Dad?” Beau said. “Wait, no, that’s a human.” Why would a lone, yet extremely terrifying, human be in the middle of a group of raiders? They were outnumbered and on the receiving end of a very deadly dogpile. That was when a few raiders fell to the ground, blood spraying from bullet wounds. Ah, so they weren’t alone.

    With the attention off him, Beau decided he’d get a few shots in himself. He lined one of the raiders up in his sight and pulled the trigger. He didn’t have his gun anchored and the shot fishtailed away from the ruckus. “Shit.” Beau pressed himself hard against the car, this time propping his rifle up. He lined up another raider, one at the periphery of the scuffle. He pulled the trigger, hoping to nail him in the leg. Instead, the shot lanced through something on the Raider’s belt and possibly the belt itself since the raider’s pants dropped. The raider was alarmed and tangled up in his own clothes so much that he fell face first into whatever Beau had shot off his belt. An explosion obliterated the raider and pieces of the earth underneath him. Oh, shit. Beau had shot a grenade.

    “Sorry!” he yelled at the super-mutant-esque fighter. The explosion wasn’t close to them at all, but it was probably surprising and more than a little bit loud. “I’m just going to go back to hiding.” Beau slunk back down behind the car.
  19. Scout was more than relieved that either the Lone Atom or Sten happened to be saving her behind; she didn't even bother checking over her shoulder as the raiders who were going to kill her started to drop like flies. Everything was a blur of fists, bullets, blades and blood; Scout was merely trapped in the eye of the hurricane. It was moments like this when she actually felt something; whether it was exhilaration, bloodlust, anger or simply excitement...she felt alive. How could the others on the hill possibly miss out on moments such as these?

    If Scout had her way, there wouldn't be any survivors. In fact, she was beginning to forget that they needed one survivor alive when an explosion ripped through her frenzy and left a horrid ringing in her ears. The fighting stopped; all heads, including Scout's, turned to gape at the crater of gore left behind by the grenade as blood sprayed over their outfits. Then Scout noticed the man behind the car, yelling something at her and ducking under the metal again...she didn't waste any time. Grabbing a female raider with a crew-cut, Scout head-butted the woman, dropped the her onto the cracked tarmac and kicked her in the temple to knock her out. She moved the sawblade of her stabber in an arc to rip open another raider's neck as she grabbed her unconscious target by the ankle and flung her unceremoniously over the car, quite possibly into the man hiding behind it. "Don't let her escape!" shouted Scout. There was so much blood; she pulled out her pipe pistol and shot another attacker in the guts, shoving him back. "And don't even THINK about running away unless you want a bullet in your head!" she added as an afterthought; Scout couldn't look after an unconscious raider in the middle of a fight, but with the threat of her snipers...perhaps that other man would be able to lend a hand, voluntarily or otherwise.

    Soon afterwards, there were only a few raiders left; there were more heavily injured and dead raiders sprawled out on the floor, and they started to withdraw. Scout paid them no notice; if they weren't after her or attempting to approach the car, then she was certain Sten or the Lone Atom would pick the stragglers off. Besides, she was wounded; a ragged cut had congealed on her shoulder, she was bruised, her knuckles were scraped and she had a sneaking suspicion that some of the blood on her left thigh belonged to her. She squinted up at the hilltop where her co-workers were hiding and shook her head, grabbing at her shoulder in the hopes they'd realise she needed some time to patch herself up. Scout started slicing rags of cloth off the nearest dead raider's outfit and looting the corpse, ignoring the caps in favour of his hipflask. She half-jogged behind the car and took a look at the poor soul who was trapped in the crossfire. Her eyes narrowed, she spat on the floor and snarled "fucking idiot, you could've killed me."

    Scout unscrewed the lid on the hipflask and poured a little of its contents onto a cloth. It smelt vaguely alcoholic, so she dabbed it onto her shoulder wound and used one of the longer strips of dirty canvas she sliced off the raider to bind the alcohol-soaked rag, grimacing at the pain. She pulled at the muddy trousers and armour plates until Scout found a hole in the fabric where some jagged instrument tore through the cloth and flesh; a large graze across her thigh, shallow and bloody but mostly harmless. A bit of alcohol across the cut and some careful dabbing made short work of any infection that could be lurking there, and she pulled one of the leather straps of her raider armour (which she washed using another alcohol-soaked rag) over the top of it to apply a bit of pressure. Finally, Scout rubbed the second alcohol-soaked rag across her bloody knuckles, leant back against the rusted metal frame of the car, and sighed deeply.

    Man, she could really do with some Jet right now.
  20. Sten laid out cover fire for Scout's mad rush, making sure to eliminate anyone that entered her blind spots. He was silently impressed when she deliberately incapacitated one raider and flung her over a car and out of the immediate melee. He had just hoped for one of the raiders to be not-dead enough to talk. He was also impressed with, and somewhat annoyed by, all the headshots Atom was scoring. Dumbass is aiming for heads, tiny targets, when his fatass gun will kill whatever it hits wherever it hits them. Impressive, but wasteful. Their swift ambush cut the raiders down faster then they could react, aided by an auspicious grenade blast caused by a lucky shot from one of the people the raiders were targeting.

    Overall, Sten was pleased. Their first engagement went almost perfectly, though he knew it was more through luck than anything. And everyone knows Lady Luck is a fickle bitch. Sten headed down the hill, issuing commands. “Loot the bodies. Share the ammo and caps, keep whatever else you find. And make sure they're dead first.” He caught the gaze of Vectus and immediately identified him as a mercenary, and ignored him. Rounding the car Beau was hiding behind, he walked past him and grabbed the unconscious raider by the shirt and dragged her to one of the cars. Breathing heavily from the exertion, he reached into his pack and produced an old pair of handcuffs. He threaded one of her arms through a broken door window and cuffed them, fastening her to the car. He looked at Beau and said, “She has information we want, that's all.”

    He squatted by her and drew his pistol, gently nudging her face with the barrel, waiting for her to wake up. He looked back to Beau and grunted, “What are you looking at?”
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