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Dantrag
OOC: not sure where the settlement is, so I conveniently left out details regarding it.

Keara

Keara held binoculars to her face with one hand, while the other rested on Lucky's head. She saw the settlement, but there was nothing to note. No movement, no nothing. It was quiet. She would have to get closer to know anything for sure, but Laura made it absolutely clear that she not move beyond the ridge she sat upon now.

Keara felt that she was being watched, but in the back of her mind, she knew it was Gramps peering at her through a scope from some unknown position. He always was. It made her feel secure on the one hand, but something told her that it was Laura that made him do it. They were as much keeping an eye on her as they were protecting her. It was why she was never privy to Raymond's location; she could never tell if he could see her or not. One wrong move, she knew, and she was toast. It was why she chose to report back instead of learning more.

They don't trust me, but that's fine. It'll be Laura's fault if we all die just because I couldn't do a proper scouting.

"I really thought I'd won 'em over after Springvale," she said to the dog while scratching his ear, "Oh well. Let's go, boy, before I lose my head."

Keara hung her binoculars around her neck and brought an inhaler from her pocket. She breathed in deep, holding the tainted air until she felt the familiar rush of jet moving through her mind and body.

She left the ridge and returned to the others with Lucky at her heels.

"Miss Laura," she said with an oft-used, sarcastic salute, "I couldn't spot a soul over there, but I was pretty far away. I'd need to get closer to find out more."
grif11
Raymond

The old sniper was keeping a watchful eye on there newest member. Really, what does Laura see in her.
He thought to himself. I suppose we do need some sort of scout, and she did have to pay for her theft. but she's paid now, why stick around? She could easily slip away while we sleep, and it's not like were holding her prisoner.

The girl had turned back now, returning to the group with her dog at her heels. Raymond was always amazed by her speed, even if she was using jet. I've killed many fiends. If she doesn't stop taking that filth she's going to turn into one!
Ahrenil
Laura was knelt nearby. They'd set up camp near their target town, a small ramshackle collection of huts around a larger central warehouse. It was in there that she'd been told they'd find their target. The job had sounded easy enough on paper, get in and get out with the item. But something scratched at the back of her head, if it was a pick up why did they need such a heavily armed group, and why go through a small merc channel, and not someone more trusted. All in all though it didn't matter, they needed the caps to keep going and Laura wasn't ready to give up yet.

"It's late, they might all be inside..." Laura muttered, picking up a nearby stick she tossed it to the scout. "If you can draw us out a decent map, I want routes in and out in case we need to cut our losses and run. I want a count on the huts and any their layout if you can, I want to know what we're walking in to."
Dantrag
Keara

"Cut our losses? I thought this was just a delivery job. You're acting like we should expect trouble."

The look on Laura's face told her to shut up and do as she was told, and Keara suddenly remembered that her boss always expected trouble. It was Laura's job to plan for the worst, and Keara knew firsthand that it had kept the five of them alive all this time.

"Okay, okay. Forget I said anything," Keara said, squatting to draw a rectangle in the dirt, and talking a million miles an hour, "There's an old pre-war warehouse here, surrounded by shacks. Most of those are just built from scrap."

She drew a few of the huts before pausing to think. Then she drew one more. Then she drew a squiggly line below the warehouse.

"That line there is the ridge I was just on, south of the warehouse," she explained, putting a little dot to represent herself, "There's five shacks that I could see, but the warehouse itself blocked my view of the north side, and I wasn't high enough to see over it. There are probably just more o' those shacks, but you may want to ask Raymond if he saw anything over there."

She kept scrawling in the dirt.

"Oh! And there are two guard towers. Not too tall, maybe twenty feet high. And there's a fence around the whole compound. The gate is here, on the east side, but it was damaged in two places; the southeast corner, here, and another on the west side."

Keara stopped drawing to look Laura in the eye, and slowed her speech, "But I'm telling you, I couldn't spot anyone. No guards on the towers, nobody watching the broken patches of fence. Are you sure they're expecting us to pick this thing up?"
ureniashtram



The ghoul sat directly infront of the mercenary leader, cleaning his RPD and maintaining the bullets. His old mentor always said that the last minute preparation would always save lives. The contract they were given sounded easy enough, but Alexei kept wariness on his side. Something off kept ringing the alarm bells on his head, but he supposed it was only the pre-battle anxiety. He returned on cleaning his favorite gun. It was always warm to his touch. The youngest member of the group returned, along with a sarcastic demeanor. Alexei shook his head. She was a thief and Laura still recruited her. The stunt she pulled at Springvale . . . that was one thing Alexei would remember. And then she began drawing the crude layout of the settlement, talking about the LACK of guards and patrols. Once she finished, Alexei became uneasy.

"Maybe we need to plan this thoroughly. Lack of guards, lack of anything.. It speaks the dialect of suspicion, comrades." His voice was parched and sonorous. He looked at Kaura, dropping his chin slightly to meet her eyes. "What would our leader do?"
grif11
Raymond

Well, no point staying up here, Raymond thought, glad he could return to some company. Raymond was used to working with another, whether a spotter or just another soldier. Snipers are lonely people most of the time, but Ray had gotten used to it.

Once he had returned, he found Laura and Alexei discussing the job. "Well, your map there is pretty good," He muttered to Keara, kneeling down beside her "May I add a few details?" With that, he got to drawing a few more buildings. "Behind this warehouse, I could make out a few more of these shacks, and a medium sized building here," and drew it a small distance from the warehouse.

"I would guess this is being used as some sort of barracks. However, No lights were on and no signs of life through the windows. they could be waiting there for ambush, so I suggest our plan is to surround that building first, and rush them. Still, You're the scout, you would probably have a better idea. We both see far, but you come up with the plans."
jack cloudy
Jonathan

When Jonathan heard the signs of Keara's return, or more accurately, the signs of everybody else responding to an approaching entity, his hand slipped to the small revolver he kept within his coat. When he saw that the new arrival was Keara, he simply nodded to her and returned to the task of replenishing their supply of clamps, straps and hookups for Laura's explosives. After Springvale, they'd ran dry on just about everything and Jonathan would have preferred to take some time out to restock their equipment. He doubted he was the only one with that opinion but a vacation wasn't an option. They needed the caps, and they needed them now.

The balding man listened with only half an ear to Keara's report of her findings. It was when Alexei worded his worries that Jonathan turned his full attention to the report. As he looked up, he caught a glimpse of the ghoul and suppressed a shudder. It was that shudder of unease that Jonathan hated most. He knew Alexei was a good man, hell he even liked him. Not to mention that up till now, Alexei had never come to Jonathan asking to fix a gun for him. He was reliable and good to have by your side when it mattered. One more thing Jonathan learned at Springvale. But somehow, he just couldn't get rid of that subconscious revulsion whenever he looked at the irradiated giant.

"Hmm, sounds fishy indeed. Good shelter wouldn't be abandoned for nothing." he mumbled as Raymond returned. The man was the oldest of the group which had earned him the nickname of gramps, despite not being all that much older than Jonathan himself. Without wasting time on salutes or greetings, gramps knelt down next to the young thief and completed the map. Jonathan looked at the crude drawings of the two and realized that he had absolutely no idea what to make of it. Oh, he could see what the squares and lines meant, but he wouldn't be able to form that into a tactically sound plan of any sorts.
Dantrag
Keara

"We all got a weird vibe, right?" Keara said to everyone before turning to Laura, "So let me and you go in first, and the others can wait on the ridge. We'll at least sneak a peek into the warehouse and those barracks. If we've got time, you can plant some strategic explosives like last time, and if there's an emergency we'll send out a signal."

"No doubt Gramps will see it," she said sourly, "Then him and Alexei can back us up if we need it."
Ahrenil
((OOC:Considering most of us are ex-Megaton i'll go ahead and assume we're based near and work primarily from there))

Laura studied the map, there was good cover all the way around the warehouse from those shacks, but it also screamed of a killing floor. However, she knew Raymond and Keara were good, not the best but damn good at what they did. If there were people still down there then they'd have seen at least some decent sign of them, and she doubted that the place had been tipped off about their arrival.

"Hmm, I don't like the idea of going in alone. Especially not if we have one point of entry and escape." Laura muttered. "Jonathon, if you have any form of wire cutting tool I want you to make a breach on the other side of the fence, get Alexei in through that so he can take up a covering position behind a shack." Larua declared, indicating the westernmost shack on the map.

"Raymond I want you to find a good spot and keep an eye on that warehouse door. If it looks like it's about to open I want to know about it. Keara, we'll head down and take a peek inside. If it's clear we'll breach the warehouse and get in and out. If push comes to shove i'll blow us a hole through the fence and we leg it. We'll meet up back here after the jobs done, and then head back to Megaton and meet our employer."

Laura looked around the group, her eyes meeting each of her teamates in turn. "Any questions, any changes, any complaints. Now's the time people. If not lets get to it, we're wasting time"
jack cloudy
Jonathan

Jonathan took out a pair of pincers and gave a demonstrative snap.
"The fence is chainlink I hope? If so, I can make a gap with these in a matter of minutes. If the fence is made of something more solid though..." He said and then trailed of for a moment.
"Well, as long as we're not looking at brick and mortar, I've got the tools to get through it. It would take more time and be considerably noisier though. After letting in Alexei though, where do I go? Should I stay with him, wait outside the fence in case I'm needed, or head back to the rendezvouspoint?"
Dantrag
Keara

Keara loaded a microfusion cell while Laura gave instructions. She winced a little at the mention of returning to Megaton; whenever the company stopped to rest, Keara rarely went into towns for fear of being reported to or seen by the Regulators. She usually just gave Jonathan the caps to buy ammo for her. On the occasions where she did go inside, it was always quiet and usually involved jet.

I'm tired of sleeping outside while they get beds, but at least I'm staying alive.

Her gun was getting a bit finicky, so he had to whack it with the palm of her hand a couple times just to get the thing loaded. Jonathan had been too busy with the explosives to mess with her rifle, besides, it was a small enough problem to overlook for the moment.

She didn't even bother with her plasma pistol; she hadn't had the required energy cells to use it for some time now. The plan was to get enough caps for a good resupply after this job.

"The fence is chain-link for sure," she said to Jonathan, slinging her rifle over her shoulder once more, "It should give you no problems."
grif11
Raymond

"OK, I'll get moving then," Raymond said, and with that, he got to looking for a good spot. up near where he was before while "Protecting" Keara, there was a small ledge with a clear view of the warehouses front and side doors.

"One last thing," he said before leaving. "If I see a door open, what's the signal?"
Dantrag
Keara

"The signal is to shoot the sly bastardes," Keara answered. Nobody argued.

They all waited for a few moments, to give Raymond enough time to get settled in his spot. This was the worst part for Keara. Her jet-screwed mind didn't handle suspense very well. She fidgeted, glancing back and forth until finally Laura began to move.

"C'mon, Lucky," she said, sounding relieved to be moving, "Let's get this thing and get paid."

I'm running low on jet.

She and Laura made it to the ridge she scouted from earlier, and then it was time to wait. Again. They waited until Jonathan and Alexei reached their positions. Now it was their turn.

"Alright, Laura," she said, resisting the urge to take another puff of jet, "Are we just walking straight through the gate, or taking the stealthy route through one of those gaps?"
ureniashtram
Alexei stood up, casting a giant shadow on everybody. He loaded a drum on his RPD and checked if his 9mm SMG was easy to reach. Everybody was in position now, the only ones left were him and Jonathan. He motioned the other man to follow him where their position awaits.
Just like what Gramps and Keara said, the settlement was a conspiracy of huts and the warehouse, guarded by the chainlink fence. Alexei kept an eagle's eye on everything, particulary the barracks. While he knew Gramps had his All-Seeing-Eye stuck to the barracks door, it would not hurt to keep extra watch. He waited while Jonathan did his part. The man sure knew how to handle mechanical things. Perhaps he could create a robot? Once this contract was finished, Alexei would ask.

"Jonathan, I want you here, on the other side of the fence, while we search for what we came for. You may not be combat-skilled but I would trust you to watch over my blindside. Tell me if the enemy tries to flank and smoke me out, yes? 'C nami Bog."
Ahrenil
Laura looked over Keara, the girl seemed eager, a little too eager for Laura's liking, and ready to head off. She was usually against rushing into things, but something about this whole mess made her uneasy right down to her bones. It wasn't just how empty the town was, it was how convenient the job was, how readily she had accepted it. No one came to them with simple retrieval tasks anymore, something seemed so dreadfully off.

"We'll waltz right in, if theres anyone in there I don't want them to start shooting at the shadows, especially with Alexei and Jonathon over on the other side. I'd prefer to seem friendly rather than shady." she said, rolling her shoulders and sliding one of her few grenades into a pouch on the belt across her chest. "I want you to keep your rifle pointed down, unless someone actually pulls a trigger we're going no casaulties and no wasted ammunition."

The earth crunched beneath her boots, the wasted and dry soil giving way easily to the thick rubber and metal. Here and there pavement and concrete survived from before the war. So far she couldn't see anything that threatened rads, but you never knew out here.

"Take us in, keep it slow, visible and determined. If you can guess where he is make sure Raymond has line of sight to us."
jack cloudy
Jonathan

With one last snap, Jonathan finished cutting a gap in the chainlink fence. For a second, he examined the work he'd done before letting Alexei pass through. Different from what he'd originally planned, Jonathan had decided to cut the fence in such a way that an entire section could be folded away or back into place. Like this, they could easily pass while leaving the gap almost invisible for someone who didn't know where to look.

" 'C nami Bog." The mechanic had no idea what exactly Alexei's last two words meant. But it didn't really matter.
"Probably just his way of saying 'good luck and stay vigilant'." He figured as he crawled through the gap himself. Exchanging his pincers for his revolver, he made sure that the one last bullet he had left was not in the firing chamber. An accidental disscharge was the last thing they needed.
"Alright. I'll tell you if anything moves behind us." He whispered as they moved behind the shacks. With his back pressed against a wall, Jonathan could see anything not within Alexei's line of sight.

"This place really is quiet. I hope it isn't the silence before the storm."
ureniashtram


The ghoul, with his back against the wall, studied Jonathan's weapon. It was a .32 revolver. He began to think that maybe the technician shouldn't be here, but then, he really do need extra eyes and security for flanks. He decided that maybe Jonathan needs a new weapon to defend himself. The 9mm SMG was useless to one such as Alexei anyway.

"Listen, comrade. A .32 revolver wouldn't do much harm to hostiles, let alone kill 'em. Unless you have incredible aim, that is. What you need is a gun that packs a punch and fires rapidly," he whispered. He reached for his 9mm SMG and handed it to Jonathan. "Here, take this as a present AND precaution. Using that pepper-spray should be easy. Take ample cover and just point and shoot. Easy as making Brahmin stroganoff."

He then quietly laughed at his metaphor. Then he turned serious and looked at the ridge where Laura and Keara was. He signalled them that all was well with a thumbs up.

He was ready to wake sleepers with his RPD, oh yes.
Dantrag
Keara

Keara did one better than keeping her rifle down; it never left its place hanging from her shoulder. She'd watched the settlement for some time earlier; it would be surprising indeed if someone popped their head out. The warehouse had no windows, so there was no way for anyone inside to spot them. Keara figured she wouldn't need a weapon until they went in. If even then.

"Nice and friendly it is, Boss," she said to Laura, following her instructions by heading for the main gate on the eastern side of the compound. It was closed, but not locked.

"Hail!" she called, glancing up at the guard towers once more. Again, not a soul to be seen.

"I guess we'll just head inside then," she said, moving the latch and sliding the gate to the side, "I'd check the barracks first, make sure they won't ambush us from there, like Gramps said. Then we can move to the warehouse."

"Based on what you told Gramps, he's mostly focused on the warehouse doors. Our side of the barracks might be obscured to him. We need to go at that building from the west side to stay covered."
grif11
Raymond

"Still nothing," Raymond muttered to himself, still uneasy.

hold on, somethings not right about that warehouse. There seemed to be large groups of flies gathering at the doors, some entering through small holes.

Oh god, this might have something to do with the lack of life here. If only I could warn Laura.
jack cloudy
Jonathan

"Ah, thanks. Doubt I'll be able to hit anything though. My eyes are as bad as my cooking. Suppressionfire would be the most I could offer." He muttered without averting his eyes from the area he'd been watching. He reached behind his back to take the weapon Alexei offered and quickly checked where the safety was, how quick he could switch it off and that it was on. Jonathan was the man who preferred to rely on mechanical precautions instead of thrusting his own fingers to stay away from the trigger when not needed.

Behind him, he heard a voice call out from far. Keara?
"Damn, this place really is quiet. If no one responds to the young lass, that means two things. One, no one is around to respond or two, they're not planning on responding with words. Both mean trouble" He whispered, more to himself than to the ghoul. He could feel his hands become slick with sweat from anxiety and his hands trembled slightly. The mechanic took a deep breath before steadying his grip on the gun.
Ahrenil
Laura looked around her as they moved further into the compound. The shacks were nothing but a loose collection of nails, plywood and corrugated iron sheeting. Then again, that's what everything looked like in this part of the wasteland. Far away from any of the large hubs of "civilisation" the people relied on what they had. Deeper into the site the loose gravel and dry earth gave way to cracked concrete paving around the warehouse, too thick to lay foundations in the locals had left it well alone giving a clear field around the looming structure.

"Good idea, if it's quiet there i'm calling everyone in to search. This place is a ghosttown for now, and i'd rather not be here longer than I have to be..." Laura muttered to Keara, keeping her hands away from the pistol at her hip.

The barracks was easily the second largest structure in town, and almost qualified to be called an actual building. It looked less rickety and more well used than anything else in town, probably doubled as a general meeting hall as well. Laura doubted it's use as a true barracks, this place looked more like everyone would have chipped in to fight when raiders arrived, a dedicated military branch would have been a bit beyond them.

"Okay, head around the back, see if you can get a look in through a window. I'm gonna see if anyones home" Laura said to Keara, moving towards the front door of the barracks.
ureniashtram
OOC: Do we really need a brute (unarmed, melee guy)? I mean, we got a three hundred pound of pure muscle right here.


Alexei

"You know what is stranger, comrade?" The ghoul whispered back, nervous eyes suddenly concentrating on the barracks door. "The flies. A group of the little bastards are circling at the door." While he didn't completely see them, the little black points flying around confirmed it. Plus, the buzzing of a hungry swarm. What it could possibly mean? Are the wasters here completely unhygienic to the point flies gather 'round them? Or did they left something rotten behind? Probably just rotten meat. The thought of meat made Alexei's mouth water, until he got to the rotten and flies part.

Hmm. Rotting. Flies. Rotting. Flies... Alexei's eyes suddenly widened and his breath took rapid momentum. And then the smell from the shack the two took cover wafted in through cracks and into Alexei's nostrils. Metallic. A residue of sudden death. Blood. Things just got ... interesting.

"Jonathan," he whispered. "I just smelled something that was not meant to be smelled. Blood. Inside this shack. What do we do? Should we tell Laura?"
jack cloudy
Jonathan

Jonathan's worries deepened when Alexei mentioned the smell of blood. He himself hadn't smelled anything that seemed out of place. Just the usual stench of rust and random garbage. Then again, if Alexei said he smelled something wrong, there was a bad scent in the air. Jonathan trusted the ghoul well enough to believe him especially since they had both agreed something was off since the beginning.

"Hmm, we would have to give up our cover for that though, wouldn't we? If it ends up this shack is just an unclean butchery, we would blow the whole plan out of the water and Laura would be none too pleased with that. Then again...I think we'd better confirm the nature of this shack for ourselves first. If I can just find a crack big enough to look through." He whispered back.
"Let's do this. I take a quick peek through this crack right here next to my foot. I probably won't be able to see the whole place, but I won't need to. Stuff like an animal carcass on a table, or some butcherytools lying about, no problem. If I don't see something offering a good explanation, we'll have to call Laura's attention."
ureniashtram
Alexei


"You do that," he whispered to the man. Then out of the blue, Alexei whispered his true opinion.

"I'm beginning to think that we should get the hell outta here. Regroup with the others at Megaton and find another contract.. Think about it, comrade. The miraculous appearance of that damned contractor during our time of need, the seemingly easy task for such a handsome reward . . . Can't you just think that maybe, just maybe, that contractor was just too good to be true?"

It was, at least in his point of view. At first, he contemplated on voicing his feelings about the contract to Laura. But at the time, things were going downhill for the Company. They were dwindling on both general supplies and ammunition. So in desperation, Alexei dropped the subject, ignoring his inner gut warning.

But now, he was staring to regret it.
Dantrag
QUOTE(Ahrenil @ Jun 18 2011, 01:06 PM) *

Laura looked around her as they moved further into the compound. The shacks were nothing but a loose collection of nails, plywood and corrugated iron sheeting. Then again, that's what everything looked like in this part of the wasteland. Far away from any of the large hubs of "civilisation" the people relied on what they had. Deeper into the site the loose gravel and dry earth gave way to cracked concrete paving around the warehouse, too thick to lay foundations in the locals had left it well alone giving a clear field around the looming structure.

"Good idea, if it's quiet there i'm calling everyone in to search. This place is a ghosttown for now, and i'd rather not be here longer than I have to be..." Laura muttered to Keara, keeping her hands away from the pistol at her hip.

The barracks was easily the second largest structure in town, and almost qualified to be called an actual building. It looked less rickety and more well used than anything else in town, probably doubled as a general meeting hall as well. Laura doubted it's use as a true barracks, this place looked more like everyone would have chipped in to fight when raiders arrived, a dedicated military branch would have been a bit beyond them.

"Okay, head around the back, see if you can get a look in through a window. I'm gonna see if anyones home" Laura said to Keara, moving towards the front door of the barracks.


Keara

"All clear," Keara said after checking the windows. She hadn't spotted anything, except a spatter of blood that had slowly dripped its way down...

"Wait!" she said to Laura, before she could open the door, "There's blood here. Kinda fresh."
jack cloudy
Jonathan

"You do that," The ghoul whispered his consent.
Jonathan took one last glance at the area he'd been observing before dropping to the ground and presseing his eye to the crack in the wall. Above him, Alexei who had now taken on the task of covering Jonathan and himself as well as his previous task of covering Laura and Keara, continued to whisper. Something about how he had felt since the beginning that the job Laura had found for them was too easy considering the promised reward. Jonathan didn't catch all of it, focussed as he was on observing the inside of the shack.

"Well, I just thought we were lucky at the time. We need the caps, and a hefty reward like this, it would solve all our problems." Jonathan whispered back. The interior of the shack was dark, lit up only by a grimecovered window. The stream of light from the window didn't even reach the spot where he was, so he could only make out vague shadows near his position. Mostly furniture judging by the shapes. A cabinet, a table and three chairs. Some small junk scattered about the floor and something just at the edge of his view.
"Got to take off these glasses, can't get my eye close enough with it in the way. Alright, I can see some more now."

As his eyes acclimatized to the darkness, he began to see more. His view still covered less than half the room, but that was more a matter of limited field of vision than lack of light now. The scattered junk wasn't junk, but shards of pottery lying in the dust. At the edge of his view, he saw a pair of legs lying flat on the floor. Jonathan groaned. Could it be?
"Maybe I just wanted to be lucky so I refused to see the situation for what it was."

He gestured at the Ghoul, forming a pistol with his hands as a sign to be ready for trouble.
"It's official. I've spotted at least one person in there and considering the uncomfortable posture, he's not taking a nap. There's also broken bits of pots or ceramic dishes around and..." He craned his head to look as far up as he could.
"Half a dozen bulletholes in the wall. This place has seen a fight and I bet it wasn't years ago."

He pulled himself away from the crack in the wall and put his glasses back onto his nose.
"It looks like you were right, friend. Let's get moving. Sooner we're done here, the better."
ureniashtram

Alexei

The ghoul hissed and looked around his surroundings in sudden alarm. It is possible that the attackers might still be here, looking and lurking. He had his RPG in a battle-ready position, ready to fire at any moment's notice.

"We need to inform Laura," he said after something dawned on him. "The barracks might be filled with the murderers!"

How could one call another with one not comprosing his position? By mimicking an animal and hope that they understand. Alexei removed his mask, placed his fingers on his lipless mouth and whistled like a singing bird.
grif11
Raymond

"dammit!" Raymond muttered to himself. He had seen and heard Alexeis warning call, confirming what he had heard. Part of him wanted to call everyone back and ditch the job, but the other part told him not to disobey his orders.

Raymond pulled his silenced .22 from his duster and made sure it was fully loaded, before sticking it in its holster, just in case.
Dantrag
Keara

At Laura's signal, Keara moved behind her boss, covering her while she opened the door. Immediately, the scout had to put a hand over her nostrils as the stench of death filled the air. Three stiffened bodies lay in the corner, piled on top of each other, as if they had been moved.

"I don't like this," she said to Laura, "This didn't happen all that long ago."
Ahrenil
((OOC:Sorry about the absence guys, computer troubles.))

Laura fought the urge to slam the door shut and retch in the bushes. The wasteland's numerous scavengers had already got to work, but the corpses remained fresh enough to tell that they couldn't be more than a few days old.

"You're right, but whoever did this isn't here now. Or else we'd be dead. Back off, lets head over to Alexei and Jonathon, theres no one here and I want use out of this place ASAP" Laura declared. She took one last look at the bodies, the dried blood splatters on the wall indicated that these people were taken unawares, probably sitting down, maybe eating dinner, talking about friends and family...

Laura shook her head, it was not use thinking about the dead, she had her own team to worry about first. "Keara, run across and tell them to meet me at the warehouse, I want to look through the warehouse. This contracts a dud, things have gone from bad to worse and I bet we were meant to be here when all these other saps got taken." Laura spat bile and hate into the bushes. "But we need caps, and we need them fast. And if theres anything in that warehouse we can loot we should damn well loot it. But I am NOT going to ask you all to go in there if you don';t want too. If you want to head back to Megaton that's what we'll do."
Dantrag
Keara

"I'm with you," she said, "If we have to stoop to scavenging for our caps, then we'll do it. Let's get inside that warehouse."

She moved towards Alexei and Jonathan, following the ghoul's bird-call. She found them by one of the shacks, examining yet another body.

"We found much of the same," she said to them, "This place is a ghost town. Laura thinks this job is no good. She wants us to regroup and get in that warehouse - we're thinking there might be some loot in there."
jack cloudy
Jonathan OOC: The body was inside the shack while Jonathan and Alexei were outside, so I'll have to make some slight changes to make things fit.


Alexei sent out a signal but other than that he stayed put, as did Jonathan. It was too risky to run across the open expanse that separated them from the warehouse. Not when they weren't certain they were alone. What they could do however, was open up an entrance into the shack they'd been hiding against. Jonathan had concluded after his peeking that the shack was empty apart from some flies and maybe a rat or two. He needed to get inside however to get some more clues. Most important on the list, gruesome as it might be, was to get a good look at the body he'd spotted. Depending on the state of composition and the location of its injuries, he would be able to make a better guess at when the poor fellow breathed his last.

"I'm no doctor, but I think I'd be able to make a rough guess. Preferably, I hope it is long gone. The less intact that man or woman is, the longer it's been here and the greater the odds that the killers have left the scene as well." He whispered at Alexei as he explained his plan.
"Can't get in through the door of course, that one is in plain view. Fortunately, this little building is barely more than some scrap plating crudely bolted onto a wooden frame. Shouldn't be too hard to remove part of the wall and make a gap I can use to get inside. Hell, it's half a miracle it didn't fall apart on its own."

In little more than a minute, Jonathan had managed to remove part of the wall and crawled inside. Now he could see the body properly. It was old, like the useless meat the butcher in Megaton tossed out behind his shop. Flies and their offspring gorged themselves on the rotten flesh and the mechanic felt the urge to vomit rise within his throat.

"We found much of the same," Keara said as she poked her head through the hole in the wall.
"This place is a ghost town. Laura thinks this job is no good. She wants us to regroup and get in that warehouse - we're thinking there might be some loot in there."

Jonathan sighed and shook his head.
"Personally, I just want to get out of here. But if we're the only ones here, I say we do some looting and at least get something for our efforts. Although, I doubt we'll find whatever it was we were supposed to pick up. It was probably something valuable so whoever did this must have made off with it. Still, can't hurt to check."

He crawled out of the shack and leaned the loose metal plate back against the gap it had covered.
"Let's go."

jack cloudy
OOC: I'm not sure about the doubleposting, especially because I'm taking a bit of too much freedom with the last two posts. On the other hand, I don't want this rp to die yet and maybe this will keep things going. (This is the point where I realize that everybody has been moving/without internet/otherwise been too busy or unable to post)

Jonathan Guntherson

Alexei, Keara and Jonathan returned to the warehouse. On the way, Jonathan stopped for a moment and looked towards the hillside where he assumed gramps was hiding.
"Should I call him over? The place seems abandoned enough, but one can never tell. No, we're probably best off if we leave him up there where he can observe most of the town." He thought to himself. He did wave though in what he hoped would reassure Raymond that the situation hadn't detoriated into a shootout yet.
"Ergh, if only I could whistle like Alexei or knew some real signlanguage. Communicating across large distances is to vague like this."

Laura was waiting for them at the door. As they approached, she stepped aside just far enough to clear the opening. Jonathan only had to take one glance inside to see that Keara hadn't exagerated. The warehouse was indeed more of the scene he'd encountered inside the shack. Much more. Again the urge to relieve himself of his last meal made itself apparant and the mechanic clamped a hand over his mouth as he forced the bile back down.

"Ugh, how horrid....but I think I can manage. Anything in particular we need to look for, boss? I personally would like to look for a radios or components I can use to build some. It would improve our ability to co÷rdinate with Gramps for example." He asked and took a second better look now that he had calmed down a bit. If he just ignored the origin of the rotting flesh, it wasn't too bad. What was somewhat dissapointing was the role the wharehouse had filled in the settlement. Jonathan had hoped it would be a place where goods and equipment were stored, as its name implied. Instead however, it seemed to be a community hall of sorts where everyone gathered to eat and socialize.
"There's probably a kitchen in the back though."
grif11
Raymond

Jonathons "OK" wave had made Raymond sigh, relieved it wasnt an ambush. Jonathon was a good man, and could fix & make just about anything they needed. At least when it wasnt his turn to cook.

As the rest of the team entered the warehouse, Raymond activated his old portable radio and found a weak signal from the Mojave. Ah, one of Eagles favourites, He thought.
Ahrenil
Laura looked up as they approached. It seemed that most people were in favour of doing some scavenging. The death and decay hadn't fazed Laura as much as it had before, after the initial shock back at the barracks this had been roughly what she was expecting from the warehouse. The putrid smell and buzzing of the flies was relegated to a back section of her mind, locked away to be dealth with later. Right now there was work to do.

"Radios and equipment are definately to be taken. Remember people, we have no heavy lifting. Take what we can carry. If you find a better weapon dump the current one. We want stuff we can sell as well, not something that takes your fancy. We're not in this for personal gain. Jonathon, if you find anything you think you can use grab Alexei and start hauling it out, we'll be needing it to keep us afloat since this jobs a dud. Otherwise, check the dead for caps and cola. Lets get to it." Laura declared.

She turned and made her way into the warehouse, she didn't check to see if anyone was following. It was likely they'd have misgivings, but they'd get over them. Looting a civilian wasn't far off looting a raider. And a damn site easier. She checked the pockets of a nearby man, or she though it had been a man, collecting a handful of caps and lint, a lot of it still blood stained. One cap still have a piece of lead shot wedged in it.

"Bastards came in here with heavy shotguns, tore the place to shreds. With everyone so tightly packed I doubt they even needed to aim, spray and pay." She muttered to no one in particular before moving on to another corpse, heading for some crates on the far side that looked fairly forgotten.
jack cloudy
Jonathan Guntherson

Jonathan nodded after receiving Laura's commands.
"Right, got it." He muttered and followed her inside the warehouse. He considered rifling through the pockets of the nearest corpse but decided against it while there were still other items of value around. As long as he kept his distance, he could mostly ignore the stench and the sight. But actually touching one of them would take him to his limit.
"They're worse off than Alexei. At least he moves which takes the edge off of his corpselike appearance." One of the corpses however was still wearing a backpack that looked in serviceable condition. Judging by that and the random bits of makeshift armour the man was wearing, Jonathan figured he had been one of the guards on a break. The backpack would come in handy, so with some effort and much looking away, he managed to slip it off.

"Alright, let's see what's in here. Canteen, bit dented but doesn't have leak. A clip of bullets...looks handmade." Jonathan weighed the clip in his hand and looked at the corpse again. Whatever gun they belonged to, it wasn't there. Probably either stored somewhere else or taken by the raiders. He bet it was the latter. There was always a demand for working firearms, no matter how crude. Regardless, later on he would check to see if he could make the clip fit any of the guns the company had.
"The rest is useless junk. Alright, moving on." The canteen and the bullets went back in the backpack while everything else was discarded on the floor.

Meanwhile, laura had moved over to some crates in the back. Jonathan rubbed his chin as he looked at her back for a moment. What would the crates contain? Food perhaps? Guns, caps, cans and bottles? They looked like they'd escaped the ransacking so maybe the raiders didn't have time to stay for long after the initial shooting. Finally he turned his attention away from the crates and looked for anything else that might catch his interest. The food on the tables wasn't any good. What hadn't been splattered all over during the shooting had long since decayed into a mess as rotten as its late consumers. They couldn't take the cuttlery either. Too heavy and their value wasn't all that much.

Resting on a wooden board mounted on the wall he found what he'd been hoping to find however. A radio, an old one. It had probably been used to liven up the place, or maybe to communicate with other nearby settlements. Too bad the plastic casing had several gaping holes in it. Jonathan drew nearer for a closer look.
"Well, here's a radio. Took a blast in the fight. It and the entire wall around it are peppered with holes. Looks like it could sent as well as receive which is probably why it's busted. They didn't want to let anyone call for help." He said aloud so.

"The sent/receive switch is still intact and still on receive. Flicking that one would take less than a second. More than enough to get something out if these poor sods had any chance to react..." On a whim, he stuck a finger in one of the wall's many holes to figure out a rough estimate of where the bullet had come from. He didn't like what he found.
"Damn thing got blasted from the door. Either the bastards have better eyesight than I do and the habit of ignoring all the people in front of them, or they knew where this radio was and had planned the whole operation...."

Jonathan shook his head violently. Now that was one thought he didn't want to finish. Not now at least. Swiftly, he unscrewed what remained of the casing to expose the radio's innards.
"Microphone, parts of the speaker and battery are salvageable. I'll grab those and leave the rest to the rats." Again he looked around, but couldn't see anything else right away that caught his attention. So he resigned himself to his fate and started sifting through the pockets of the corpses near him. He found a few caps, a watch that was still ticking and a pocketknife, but mostly dirt and useless pockettrash.
Dantrag
Keara

Keara rummaged through the random bits of scrap that these people once called belongings. She found a carton of cigarettes in the kitchen, lying in a metal box. Laura said not to take personally attractive things, but Keara knew that the things were like gold in towns, so she would keep some and sell some.

A bit more digging revealed some energy cells, which she loaded into her plasma pistol immediately. More scavenging revealed little; a handful of caps and a single unopened Nuka-Cola.

"I'm gonna step outside," she announced to everyone, yet no one in particular, "Smells in here."

She grabbed Lucky by the nape of the neck to get his nose away from the dead and exited the warehouse. Cracking open the Nuka-Cola and taking a cigarette from her new stash, she sat on the ground and enjoyed a short break.

Keara was halfway through her smoke when she saw figures appear on the horizon, moving in their direction. A look through her binoculars horrified her; she could recognize those dusters anywhere.

What should I do? They must be coming for me. If I told Laura that I was a criminal, she'd likely turn me in; she's an honorable sort. If I just run, they'll think they were right about me all along, that I'm nothing but a lying thief.
grif11
Raymond

"Regulators?" Raymond muttered to himself, spotting the men (and a couple women) through his scope. "Someone must of called for backup. This isnt going to look good for us."

It was obvious he would be of no more use up on the ridge, and slung his rifle on to his back."Best not let those regulators spot me," Raymond murmered before sneaking (which isnt easy when your 45 and in ranger combat armour) down the ridge, making sure the regulaters weren't watching.
Dantrag
Keara

Keara sat motionless for a few long moments, unable to decide on a course of action. Her heart was pounding like a super sledge, and she could feel the reverberations from it as far down as her toes. She'd been this scared a few times before, and each instance involved the Regulators. She'd heard rumors about their treatment of criminals, and it wasn't pretty. Wasteland justice was the harshest kind.

Lucky looked up at her curiously, as if he could tell something was amiss. Keara ignored him, wrapped up in her own worries. She decided to tell Laura that she was leaving. Her boss deserved that much at least.

What if she turns me in?

She took a deep breath, tossed her cigarette butt, and walked back inside the warehouse. She found Laura searching through some crates.

"I think we need to talk," she said, "Now."
Ahrenil
Laura made an audible noise of frustration, throwing a handful of cloth rags back into the crates. Looks like they had been filled with jumpsuits for the workers that must have been at the plant pre-war, but some moths had gotten in and between them and general age the clothing was no longer useful for anything but rags.

"Tell me you've got something good" Laura said as she turned towards the younger woman. But when she saw the girl's face, and recognised that tone of voice, she knew something was wrong. She put a hand on the girl's shoulder, as much to reassure her as to stop her running before she spoke.

"What've you seen?" Laura asked, one hand resting on her revolver.
Dantrag
Keara

Keara didn't like having Laura's firm grip holding her in place. It made her think that it wouldn't be hard at all for them to detain her for the Regulators. Keara reminded herself that Coldshort had always been fair before explaining, "It's nothing good, Laura. I've got to go."

She took a deep breath, "I spotted Regulators outside and I'm pretty damn sure they're after me. I never told you this, but I've been on the run from them since before we met. I'd rather just go than get all of you in trouble for my problems."
jack cloudy
Jonathan Guntherson

When Keara went outside, Jonathan considered following her. The smell and especially the sight had been getting to him as well. He didn't think he could keep going for much longer before cracking. But he stayed behind.
"The more stuff of value I can find the better. Besides, I know that once I step through the door, I won't be able to force myself back into this place."

The two corpses he investigated held nothing of interest. Then Keara stormed back in, far too soon to have taken a breather. That was the first hint something was up. Her rather blunt way of stating she was leaving was another. Up till now Jonathan had figured that Keara still had a decent amount of fear of Laura which kept her from simply disappearing on them. So was there something which frightened her more than the idea of desertion?

The mechanic interupted his search, nodded at Alexei and approached the two women. If it was important enough to risk pissing off Laura, it was important enough for the rest of them to hear as well. What the ex-thief mentioned after a deep breath pleased him.
"Regulators? Well, I've got no beef with them and it's a good thing they're here. We should inform them about the possibility of a major raider gang being on the loose. Those guys are upholders of wasteland law after all and the destruction of a settlement like that would surely...." Jonathan started rambling but cut himself off when his thoughts caught up with his words.

"Scratch that. They'll probably be in a shoot first, reload second, ask questions third mood when they see the bodies. A quiet retreat might be a better plan. Your problems are going to be the least of our worries if they catch us here, Keara."
grif11
Raymond

Raymond made it to the warehouse doors without the Regulators spotting him. Keara? He thought, seeing the young woman dart into the warehouse. Whats she up to?

Raymond popped through the door just in time to catch everyone arguing. "So, you know then."

"I spotted scopes and assault rifles, so this doors going to be being watched now, and I bet there going to storm this place soon. These guys have us pinned down."
Dantrag
Keara

"Damnit, damnit, damnit!" Keara shouted, violently throwing her soda bottle past Laura and into the wall. It shattered and fell to the floor in pieces. Nuka-Cola dripped slowly down the corrugated steel.

She'd been evading the Regulators for this long only to have them find her now? It was almost unbelievable, but for the fact that she'd seen them coming with her own eyes. And now she was trapped in this warehouse like a fish in a barrel.

"How the hell did this happen?"
Ahrenil
There was a ringing in Laura's ears. Keara's words felt like a blow to the head and her mind was still realing with the possiblities. Regulators were about as chivalrous as a kick in the teeth and not much smarter than the boot itself. They'd see corpses, no matter how old, and open fire immediately. But what got Laura's hackles up more was the fact that the regulators were here now. This was a few days old at least, and she doubted any signal got out for them to be responding too. And with the heat they were packing that left one option.

"We've been set up" Laura hissed. Then she repeated it a bit louder, accompanied with several well known expletives and a few she made up. "It's gotta be, and now we're gonna take the rap. God damnit I shoulda seen!"

She looked around at her team, panicking would do them no good, and she was glad to see the majority of them had not flipped. "We've got about 10 minutes if they're careful going through the town, and we need a way outta here right now. Keara, get to looking for ways out. Alexei and Raymond get to the windows, if they're making too good time getting here I want them to reconsider, but don't kill anyone, if we get caught we'll say we thought they were raiders.. Jonathon, with me, we're rigging the back wall. If we find a door, we'll use it as a distraction, if we don't find a door. Well then we'll make one."

She looked around at her team. "We've got to make the choice, we can run and just be falsely accused, or we can stay and get into one hell of a firefight. I doubt they'll want to negotiate but i'm open to suggestions."

Dantrag
Keara

"I don't have to look. There's no other door," she said matter-of-factly, "It's the main door or a window. Either way they'll see us. My vote's for the firefight; I got no qualms about vaporizing Regulators 'cause I know they'd do the same to me."

Keara realized that the rest of her party probably wouldn't agree with her, for obvious reasons. Personally, though, she had nothing to lose by killing the lawmen, and everything to gain. Their lives for another day of freedom seemed a good trade to her. She could only hope that her companions would ignore the possible blow to their reputations and see things her way.
jack cloudy
Jonathan Guntherson
OOC: We're still up for the 'everybody except keara gets captured' plan?

The situation went from bad to worse. Now Raymond had abandoned his position to come repeat Keara's warning. While Jonathan appreciated the man's loyalty, he thought it might have been better for him to remain hidden. Then at least one of them would have had a good chance of getting out unharmed. Keara said she was willing to fight instead of run. While the sign of loyalty was nice and did chance Jonathan's opinion of her for the better, he disagreed with the idea of fighting the regulators.

"compassion...this place is a deathtrap. Gramps just said scopes so poking your head will lead to bad things, and we can't rule out them having grenades either. Either way, fighting here won't do us any good. This place isn't a bunker, it's a worn-down ramshackle warehouse." He grumbled then looked at each one of his companions in turn, even the dog that always followed Keara's heels.
"No reason to make matters worse. I say we run through a wall if they're watching the door. Ok, boss. I managed to fix up some hookups and detonationwire for your bombs. Not as much as I'd like, but enough for a good boom or three. Make the most of it cause I won't be able to get you more right now."
ureniashtram

OOC: The Morning Star shines again. Tremble, ye of the Faith, the Prince of Perdition walks prouder than before! ... Err, yes. Too much stress from this monstrosity called Emperor RL, particulary its nasty assistant named 'Schoolius Julius Caesar', has driven too much pain in me that I have to turn to the occult for help. Sorry for me absence. Anyway, I'm up for that plan. I'm the one who suggested it, or am I wrong?

Alexei

Things went so wrong very fast the ghoul had trouble keeping sense at this surroundings. It was just like Fort Bannister all over again. All became blurred as the lines between past and present thinned in Alexei's mind. His fellow mercs' face became like disturbed ink, he does not know who they are. Their outfits morphed into that black-painted CA with the claw. He pointed his RPD at each of them, ready to send a pullisade of hate into their heads, but something in his warned him not to.

They are not enemies. But their outfits tell another tale! They are comrades. Kill them all, leave no one alive! They are the ones who gave you a goal when you were directionless. DESTROY EVERYTHING! Calm yourself. GIVE IN TO YOUR RAGE AND SHOW THEM THE MEANING OF FEAR! Think rationally. KILL!

He became confused. The world was spinning, voices roared over each other, and there was no sense in direction. No south, no north. He wobbled on his feet and his gut proclaimed its oncoming rejection. He resisted that urge.

But the sharp voice of a woman penetrated through his chaotic mind. Lana? Maria? Lania? Lara .

The mist disappeared, along with the chaos inside Alexei. All was normal now. But this certain experience he endured worried him. Was he finally going feral? Or is this a product of his broken mind. Nonetheless, he obeyed his leader's command and took up a position on the windows next to the entrance of this shack.

"I am ready. Say the word, Comrade Lara, and me and Grandfather Raymond shall hold them off for as long as we can."
grif11
Raymond

"I don't like this," Raymond said, taking position by the other window and making sure the regulator snipers couldn't see him. "I'm always fighting for the law. I know were innocent, but it still feels weird, aiming at authority."

When Alexei aimed at Raymond, along with everyone else, he was reminded of a similar event with an NCR soldier. PTSD, he muttered. The big guys been through a lot. "Just so you know, if this turns into a firefight, I'm not firing a single bullet. Sorry, but I'm not killing Regulators."

"We probably only have between 2-5 minutes before they find us, so we need to work fast."
Dantrag
Keara

Things weren't looking good. Keara nearly wet her pants when Alexei pointed his massive gun her way, and now Gramps was playing the pacifist. They had both just become unreliable in her eyes, and at the worst possible time.

"Gramps, you're no good there if you won't shoot," she said, readying her rifle, "See if you can help Laura and Jonathan with the charges; I'll take over here."

Keara wasn't one to give orders, as that was Laura's job, but she felt like she needed to have some control of the situation. If they wanted to live through the next few minutes, firing at Regulators could be necessary.
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