Honest Hearts(Fallout NV RP)

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Ms.Ezra, Aug 10, 2014.

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  1. Utah. New Canaan. Those words had triggered in Ezra an almost nauseating series of memory flashes the moment she re-connected with Ringo at the Crimson Caravan Company. The last time this had happened was when she retrieved her pistol from the Khans at Boulder City. She had remembered unwrapping it from a box, and the shock from the first time firing it and feeling the recoil. At these words, she'd had flashes of a man, old enough to have a greying beard, laughing as he helped her up from the ground. And a leather-bound book being thrown to a dusty floor.

    Now that Benny was dead, Ezra was intent on digging deeper into why Utah and New Canaan had triggered such a reaction. House and his plans had been brewing for decades, so she figured they could wait another month or so while she finally took the time to sort herself out.

    Which was why she was now part of a caravan headed to Zion Valley. Jed said they'd be meeting up with the New Caananites, if not reaching the town itself. She didn't know what to expect. Would one of them recognize her? Or was she going to walk away and be disappointed to learn New Canaan had just been one more stop on the journey she'd taken before coming to the Mojave?

    ED-E hovered above her, his sensors scanning the area around the valley where they'd made camp after the sun came down. It wasn't likely a Deathclaw was skulking around the rocky landscape of the pass, but it was better to be safe than sorry. The robot had come along at her urging, citing his sensors as a way for all of them to sleep easier. She took off her hat and leaned against the rock to look up at the clear sky. The only light for miles around was the camp fire just coming to life, allowing the stars to shimmer in all their glory. She sighed and tried in vain to search for a radio signal on her Pip-Boy. But they were too far to even pick up Mr. New Vegas, so she'd be forced to listen to the inane things the others talked about around the campfire.

  2. Dermot wasn't exactly a social butterfly, but he enjoyed the company of the travelling caravan on their way north all the same. He was a man, still young for a caravan guard, and with a fire in his belly besides. With an Irish lilt in his voice, and a gun on his hip, he'd become something of a local legend around New Vegas for taking on some of the less desirable missions, with fantastic results.

    He favored one of the older six-shooters over some of the more common semi-automatic pieces, although he backed his iron up with a 10mm submachine gun, which hung on a sling just under his right arm, and over his pistol. He had curly brown hair, and it looked as if it was just shy of another trip to the barber, turning up over his eyes in a curl. He sported a goatee on his chin, and he'd twined it into a short braid that hung no more than two inches from his jaw.

    He wasn't wearing any armor to speak of, but he had a pair of riot shields strapped to his Bighorn's back, over his saddlebags. He'd tended to his bighorn, and made sure that it had been fed and watered well before joining the others at the campsite. There was a girl with a Pipboy on her arm in the group, and that concerned him. Where there was old world tech, the Brotherhood was soon to follow, and Dermot wanted no part of gunplay with an up-armored supersoldier with a plasma rifle, and a twitchy trigger finger.

    Even so, he wasn't about to be standoffish. He approached the woman. "May I sit?"
  3. "Yeah, feel free." Ezra responded, giving up her search for something to listen to. ED-E had beeped to indicate the man approaching her was showing no signs of aggression, but Ezra knew from experience there was no way for the robot to screen for someone looking to get lucky. Which she didn't mind at all anyway, as she was aware in spite of the scar on her left temple she was quite an attractive young woman. From time to time she'd even enjoyed a tryst or two.
    And maybe this guy had stories to kill time. She liked stories, and had ED-E ready to record them for future listening.

    Meanwhile, the others had ignited their fire and were pooling their resources to make a stew. It was likely to taste awful. But all the same, the woman's stomach made an audible growl. ED-E beeped, and hovered lower so that she could access the storage compartment on his back. "Thanks ED-E, you take such good care of me." She smiled and took out a couple Banana Yucca fruits, giving him an affectionate stroke like one would for a dog. The eyebot trilled its acknowledgment of her statement and resumed its sentry duties while Ezra unwrapped the fruits from their paper.

    "I know it's just a machine, but it's only cold where it matters." She said to the man who had just joined them as she held one fruit aloft for him while starting to devour the other. Both were fresh and cool to the touch.
    #3 Ms.Ezra, Aug 13, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2014
  4. Dermot smiled his thanks, and eased himself to the ground, not far away. Of course, he also wasn't close enough to invade the woman's privacy. He'd learned the lessons of personal space early, from a woman who preferred knifeplay to warnings. He had an admirable scar, just beneath his collarbone where she'd stabbed him.

    He felt his brows hike up quizzically when the woman offered him the fruit. He took it, and his smile turned into a grin. Leaning to one side, he fished a hand into a pouch at his hip. Out of it came a bottle of Nuka Cola, and he set it on the dirt between them, as he tucked into the cool fruit. After the first mouthful, he paused to speak.

    "It's good to have a companion out here. Someone, or something that won't get greedy and stab you in the back. That's why I picked up Redlist there." He nodded towards the bighorner. "My name's Dermot, by the way. You've got some mighty interestin' tech. Have the Brotherhood given you much guff over it? It doesn't seem like the sort of stuff they'd let slide."
  5. At the mention of the Brotherhood, Ezra thought immediately about Veronica, who was back at the Lucky 38 probably tinkering with something to pass the time. She really wanted to bring her along, but it had been quite a lengthy negotiation to convince ED-E wasn't a member of the party, but another piece of equipment.

    "I've given them a pretty wide berth." She replied, swigging her soda and finishing off her fruit.

    "Hey, you two wanna join us?" Jed called from the campfire. Ezra shrugged and put the empty soda bottle in her pack before going over to join the rest of the caravan. ED-E continued to hover overhead while she sat cross-legged in the circle around the fire, though a little farther from the others out of habit. At the first drop of Joshua Graham's name, Ezra's left eye twitched and she put on her hat to shroud her eyes in darkness as the rest of the story progressed. There were more flashes; a man at a podium in a small church, and small hands fidgeting with the constricting cloth of a dress. When the story was done, Ezra feigned a yawn and excused herself for the night.

    As Ezra set up her tent and bedroll, her face was contorted in angry confusion as she tried to make sense of what had happened at the fire. Had those been her small hands pulling at the dress? Or was she just noting it while waiting for the service to end so she could complete a job? These were questions which made her all the more anxious to get to Zion. She could really care less for the money and more about answers. Maybe one of the traders would recognize her and give some clarity to the confusing life she'd been leading since that fateful shot in the dark by Goodsprings.
  6. Dermot watched the girl rise to move towards the fire. She was distant, but nobody was particularly warm out in the Wasteland, even when they were traveling the caravan routs. It took much longer to wash bloodstains from the mind than it did from the hands, and anybody old enough to run the routs was old enough to have been betrayed. Humans were a fickle sort of people.

    The young mercenary waved his hand dismissively towards the fire. "I'll be around soon." He called, his voice taking on something of a thicker-than-average Irish lilt to it. "I'm going to stretch my legs, and see what there is to see. If I'm not back by morning, tell everybody a Deathclaw ate me." He said, merrily. To Dermot, death was something of a running joke.

    And so he took up the remainder of the fruit, and his soda in one hand, and he wandered off into the darkness. An observant onlooker might notice that he kept his gun hand free of encumbrance.


    The young merc showed up some two hours later, and relieved the fellow on watch. He didn't do a whole lot of sleeping, and there was no use in stealing rest from the rest of the party that could sleep.
  7. "Hey, wait up for me." Ezra had snapped out of her own thoughts at Dermot's announcement, and though Jed's story was far from over she decided it would probably be better for her to get away. She could feel her head throbbing slightly already. She hoped a walk would diminish it. ED-E started hovering behind her, but she told the little robot "Hang back ED-E, you're the camp alert system after all." The robot beeped confirmation of her order and stayed in place near the others as she came trotting behind Dermot and up to his side, falling into step with him.

    "You'll need light." Ezra said, flipping the switch on her Pip-Boy to illuminate their path through the rocky terrain. The voice of Jed faded behind them, and Ezra sighed in relief. "I was never much for story time myself." She said without prompting from Dermot as to why she had decided to join him.
  8. Dermot didn't stop, but he did slow his pace for Ezra to catch up. When she did, he cracked a lopsided smile, and worked the fruit into a pocket. He took a moment to crack open his soda, pocketing the Cap, and tilting the bottle of sweet, lukewarm nectar to his lips. When it came away again, he nodded briefly in thanks for the light. The moon was only a sliver in the sky, and going would have been slow with the moonshadows swallowing the ground. "I don't mind a good yarn, long as I haven't heard it afore."

    "Problem is, my feet get to itchin'. Especially when I take one of these damned escort missions. Dancing to someone else's tune on a caravan run chafes like a hemp harness. So I walk." He gestured with the bottle to the surrounding wasteland. His hand had settled casually on the butt of his revolver, now that he was free of the campsite, where people might take it the wrong way if he were to go about fondling his weapon.

    "Where'd you come up with that Pip Boy? If y'don't mind my askin', of course. Say the word, and I'll stop flappin' my gums. It's rare enough to find a pretty girl on a caravan run, that I get a bit giddy when I get to have a conversation with one." He waggled his brows, teasingly. He didn't seem like a horribly serious sort of fellow.
  9. "Why thank you." Ezra said, having learned to take the cat-calls and welcome the less vulgar compliments she got from the men she encountered. "This thing? I got it from a kindly old man who came out of Vault 21." She took out her .45 pistol and made sure it was loaded before putting it back in her holster. It was capable of stopping most anything smaller than a Deathclaw. The fire of the caravan camp faded behind them and disappeared as they rounded a large rocky hill. Normally, her instincts told her to be on guard not just for a radscorpion, but for this man as well. But Dermot didn't give off the usual air of aggression most men put out when around her. And she was also fairly certain her hand was faster, and her gun's caliber bigger, so if he tried anything it would be over fairly quick.
  10. "Strange thing to give up, a pip-boy. Powerful tech." He mused, tilting his bottle to his lips, and scanning the darkness. "Is there more to the story, or was he just a generous sort of fellow?" The mercenary slowed, as he swept the surroundings with his gaze. Up his hand moved to the grip of his submachine gun.

    He squinted, and eyed the darkness. "Turn that thing off, if y'don't mind." He suggested, in regards to the light on the pip-boy. He stepped slowly towards an outcropping of rock, and dropped into an easy crouch. "I don't think we're alone."
  11. Ezra quickly shut off the light and drew her pistol in one quick and fluid motion, then leveled it at the ready towards the rock outcropping. Her body was tense and ready to spring into action should whatever had put them on alert turn out to be hostile.

    She also mentally retraced her steps back to the camp, just in case this thing turned out to be too much and had to make an escape. Dermot had endeared himself as a nice guy, but she was okay with allowing him to be the bait and meat shield.
  12. Dermot -for his part- didn't relish getting into a fight at night, but if whatever he'd heard was hostile, he'd need to handle it before returning to camp. They were still too close to evade it without risking the chance of it following them back. Whatever it was. What had triggered him? He tried to call back his subconscious, to replay the sound in his mind.

    He crept forward easily, his booted feet silent on the broken, dry dirt of the Mojave. He still had his bottle of cola in one hand, in an almost comically casual grip. He began to swing out wide to the left of the outcropping, where a rustling noise came from. He sidled around a waist-high boulder for cover, crouching low to disguise his profile in the night. Men stood out against the brown-and-grey of the desert.

    A sense of grim realization dawned on him, as he poked his head out from behind cover. He saw big horns, and bigger claws. What was a Deathclaw doing this far north? Tension grew in his shoulders. It was big. Not an alpha, but no baby either. He didn't see any others. Back around the rock he slipped, waving low to catch Ezra's attention. She didn't have an angle on the thing, and he couldn't tell if she'd seen it's horns over the outcropping yet. He held a finger to his mouth to encourage silence.
  13. What is it?

    Ezra heard the familiar crunching sound of a scorpion being cracked open, followed by a snarling that made her neck hairs stand up. She looked above the rock outcropping just in time to see by the light of the moon the horned outline of a Deathclaw. It snapped its jaws as it scarfed down a mouthful of radscorpion then dipped back down for another. Her demeanor went immediately from alert to 'Oh Shit' mode and instead of poised for action, she now stood frozen with terror.

    Of all the creatures she had encountered, even the horrific sight of a Centaur or their Super Mutant masters didn't compare to these overgrown lizards. She had a flashback to her first unfortunate try at taking the shortcut to New Vegas. If she hadn't led it into the Super Mutants of Black Mountain and left them to deal with it, it was likely she'd just be literal pile of crap baking in the desert sun by the end of the day.

    Did she run? Let Dermot be her shield? Running was, for her, the only option because her .45 would have been a minor annoyance unless she got right behind its head and fired the clip directly into the back of its neck.
  14. Dermot was still motioning at the woman to come to his side. Deathclaws were tricky. They were fast, strong, and their hide was as thick as armor. There was no way they could let it wander around near the camp. It would make short work of the caravan, even if the fellow on guard managed to rouse the rest before it came upon him, camouflaged as it was against the night, and the desert.

    Finally, he broke his eyes away from the woman. She was frozen. He cursed under his breath. All it would take was a glance in her direction, and the Deathclaw would find a fresh target. If he wanted the both of them to walk away from this alive, he'd have to capture it's attention before it noticed Ezra.

    The mercenary licked his lips, and the thrill of adrenaline pulsed in his veins. His palms began to sweat, and a plan formed in his head. The beast was eating, and not on guard. He was lucky. He'd have to catch it by surprise, if he had any chance to take it down. If the battle lasted more than a few minutes, he'd be dead for sure. No time for reinforcements from camp.

    His left arm cocked back, bottle of nuka-cola still at hand. It swept forward, spraying sweet sustenance in an arc through the air as it spun over the Deathclaw. Time seemed to slow. The crunch of Dermot's boot grinding the dirt of the Mojave beneath it's toe was disguised by the crunch-crunch-crunching of the Deathclaw with the radscorpion. The 10mm submachinegun was nestled in the crook of his shoulder even before the bottle of 'cola hit the ground.

    Glass shattered.

    The Deathclaw's head snapped up from it's meal, gore dripping from it's mouth.

    The night exploded with light and noise as the Mercenary's gun belched it's clip into the Deathclaw. Or more specifically, the back of the Deathclaw's rightmost leg.

    With a roar of pain and fury, the great horned beast rounded on Dermot, as his first clip ran dry. It ejected from his gun, dropping to the earth below as he fished into his hip-pouch for the second clip. The Deathclaw's leg buckled under it's weight, and it staggered.
  15. The roaring chatter of the SMG snapped Ezra out of her frozen state, nearly causing her to stumble. This Dermot had some balls to go at the thing with just an SMG. When she rounded the rock and saw through the gun smoke that the Deathclaw was staggering from the injury Dermot's gun had inflicted, Ezra realized he had balls and real tactics to his actions. Her first thought was to run and warn the others, but her quick mind informed her they had likely heard the ruckus and were on their way.

    The Deathclaw roared again in anger as it's wounded leg failed to support his great weight again and made a few swiped at Dermot, but the man was spared a fatal swipe by a few precious inches.

    Emboldened by Dermot's actions, Ezra decided to try and hit two small but vital areas: it's eyes. She braced her arms for the recoil before unloading half the clip directly at it's head. The heavy bullets hammered into it's skull and caused it to snap it's attention to her, putting her targets literally right into her cross hairs as she unloaded the other half. Her bold move paid off as the beast filled the night with pained howls. Ezra quickly reloaded and back-stepped away from the now blind and wounded animal. She could feel her heart punching the inside of her chest, and it was taking all of her willpower to not run for the camp rather than stand her ground and help Dermot.

    "Go for the other leg!" Ezra yelled, running for a different position as the Deathclaw lurched forward and swiped in the direction of her voice.
  16. Dermot grimaced, as the noise of the .45 roared in his ears. In the time it took Ezra to crack of seven well aimed rounds, his clip had found it's way back into his sub-gun, and his finger returned to the trigger. He was already circling 'round the blinded beast as Ezra shouted at him. His ears were ringing so badly from the rattle of gunfire however, that he could hardly hear himself think. The beast could still hobble after them however, and that just wasn't going to do. He drew as close as he dared, and began firing short, controlled bursts into the rear of the thing's knee-crook.

    He had just enough time to throw himself backwards as the Deathclaw swung about, it's namesake whistling through the air. It cleared him, but that was the second close call. He didn't want to get any closer to the wounded beast than he needed to.

    He rolled into a crouch from his dodge, and fished into his coat. He shouted over the ringing in his ears, and he hoped it would carry to the kindly lady.

  17. "ROGER!"

    Ezra had already done a combat roll away from the lizard and back around the outcropping. She covered her already ringing ears with both hands, her left still holding the pistol. She felt the BOOM of the grenade going off and saw the resulting cloud of sand. The Deathclaw must have been severely wounded by the blast, as it was now howling and kicking up more sand as it thrashed around. She hoped at least one of it's legs had been taken off as it would be a much easier target.

    "You alright?" Ezra heard, just barely, through her ringing ears the voice of Jed before looking up and seeing him come running up with the rest of the caravan close by. ED-E played its fanfare music as it charged past her and towards the Deathclaw.

    "Eddy!" Ezra called after the robot, reverting to the more affectionate form of its name as she chased after it. The night was lit up once again by laser fire as ED-E fired at the writhing Deathclaw, repositioning itself after each shot so that the still-lethal claws only swatted at empty air. Ezra kept her gun up, but could see once the dust settled that the thing had torn apart its meal and was now on its side, her wish of it losing a leg having been granted.

    Ezra almost felt sorry for the lizard as she watched it writhe. Almost.
  18. Dermot suited his own words by diving behind a rock outcropping nearby, after he'd rollded his frag-grenade beneath the Deathclaw. The explosion rattled him, and all he could hear was high-pitched ringing. Hoping that he hadn't done himself any permenant damage, he hazarded a glance over his cover just in time to see the cavalry charge down the hill. Unfortunately, he was on the far side of them from a deathclaw, and they were coming in guns blazing.

    He glanced down at the subgun in his hands, and cursed quietly to himself as it cooked off a round in the chamber. The barrel was hot enough. He ejected the clip in short order, cleared the breach, and waited for the lasers and bullets to finish flying. He'd done his fair share to take the beast down, and Ezra wasn't in any more danger than he was.

    Slowly, he peeked back over the outcropping. The shooting had apparently stopped. Ezra's little floating eyebot was there, along with most of the caravan. After the hell he'd raised, he was surprised the whole of the Mojave hadn't come down on them. But that was the way of battle sometimes. He got up slowly, waving his arms, free of armament to show that he wasn't a threat. It was no use surviving a deathclaw just to get tagged by a ranch-hand with an itchy finger after the shooting had finished.

    Once the caravaneers had acknowledged him, -and begun speaking at him- he waved them away and went back to retrieve his weapon. He gestured vaguely at his ears, and pantomimed an explosion when they kept talking.

    His eyes sought out Ezra however. The Irish mercenary gave her a lopsided grin, and a thumbs-up.
  19. Ezra met eyes with Dermot and returned his thumbs-up after standing and holstering her pistol. ED-E came back to her side and made a low hum as he gave her the once-over for any serious injuries.

    "I'm fine, Eddy." Ezra confirmed the moment before he beeped at the end of the scan. She gave the robot a few affectionate pats. Jed and the others also tried talking to her to no avail, but she could only catch every other word in all the ringing. She went back to the Deathclaw with ED-E in tow. It laid on its' right side only a few feet from the radscorpion it had been chowing down. After retrieving a bone saw from ED-E she started cutting at one of its horns. With the excitement gone, Ezra was eager to collect this things' horns and claws. She cut off a section of horn about the length of her index finger, then moved on to the claws. She wasn't expecting any profit from these little items, only the ability to show them off when she told this story in the future. She smiled, imagining the scene in her head of sitting at the bar and showing off the necklace of horn and claws she intended to make.
  20. The next few hours passed in a blur of ringing noise paired with infuriating silence. Dermot wasn't much use for watch presently, and a fair portion of the camp were too riled by the deathclaw's sudden appearance to think about sleeping. So the battle-weary Dermot took the time to curl up near his Bighorner, and catch up on sleep.


    The sun returned early, along with Dermot's hearing. He was happy to hear the distant sound of voices approaching, as the light of day spilled over his face. Dragging his eyelids open felt like a monumental effort, and he spent five full minutes working up the energy to roll away from his mount. When he finally did, he made his way first to his knees, and then to his feet. He had a bruise on his hip where he'd fallen asleep on his revolver, and a crick in his neck from sleeping crooked, but he was happy to find that the last night's battle had left him no worse for wear.

    His eyes swept the camp, grainy as the were, and he made his way to the cookpot on the center. Someone was heating stew. He dished himself a bowl, and returned to his bighorner for a meal.

    "I know boy, you don't like it when I go off killin' deathclaws without you." That earned him an irritable bleat, and a nudge that slopped stew over his fingers.

    "I'll take you on patrol next time, I promise. But next time, I'm not hurling my last bottle of Nuka either. Deathclaw or no."
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