IC- Chapter Three: Lone Wanderers

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  1. Rogue Hex

    Rogue Hex Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    353
    Apr 10, 2003
    IC-

    A chilling echoe ran out into the distance, before slowly fading out till it was but another memory. Another followed closely in its trail.

    Each round stuck its target with distinct precision, with such force that any man receiving the rifles sting would have been slammed to the dirt. But this was no man; in fact the abominations resembled nothing the men had ever laid eyes on before. There was a disturbing resemblance which could be noticed in all the creatures but each had its own distinct characteristics and traits.
    They were a new breed of creatures, but whether they had naturally come to be was another matter.

    Luciel trained the rifles sights on the remarkably quick abomination trailing closely on Studly’s heels.
    With the abomination breathing down his neck, the gunner ran like shit of a stick through the wreckage.

    Under different circumstances, it might have been amusing for Luciel watching such hefty, muscular man clear debris over four feet high with single agile leaps. To see a man of his size run faster than a sprinting tribal fleeing from slavers.
    It just goes to show what the human body can be pushed to do when being chased by half a ton of genetically modified killing machine.

    Up in front, the line defending the universities entrance awaited. Consisting of the two wounded guards still able to fight, Sarge, Duke and Cleary, they were the wall between them creatures and the fleeing wounded inside.
    They watched as Studly sprinted home, closing the final few meters between him and hopeful safety.

    Luciel brought the trigger back again, slamming another round into the speeding creature. The shots failing to even tear the abominations attention away from its slayer pray, there was little more the young one could do except hope, pray…

    The monster hard on his heels, Studly could here the beast’s heavy panting, the loud patter of its feet as it hurtled after him.

    Shouting with all the strength the slayer could muster, Studly launched him self over the concrete wreckage clearing the others fighters positioned behind. Hitting the deck with a dull thud, he rolled over clenching his chest tightly whilst gasping for much needed oxygen.

    The abomination drove its head down and charged to where its pray would be found waiting but was met with an uglier surprise as the fighters in defence suddenly appeared from behind the large bolder, unleashing an intense volley of fire upon the beast.

    Even the abomination which showed little signs of fear seemed stunned by the attack as it shuddered, stumbling unsteadily as rounds tore into its slick brownie flesh from the defenders rage.

    The abomination’s chaotic charge finally came to an end as Cleary discharged a storm of rounds which neatly found the creatures head, tearing it a new face. The huge muscular carcase slid to a stop where it took its last breaths before finally giving up.

    Studly lay on his back, still gasping for air.

    “Damn it…those things…are…fast.” He gasped.

    Duke extended a dusty hand in the slayers direction who took it promptly.

    “God thing you can shift when you need to.” answered Cleary placing a sturdy hand on the gunners shoulder.

    One of the wounded appeared from inside the university and yelled towards the beaten defenders, “We got everyone.” Before turning swiftly back in the elevators direction and heading off.

    Luciel, from his vantage point was peered round the universities perimeter. Through the sights on Rogue’s rifle, he was able to make out shapes of more abominations approaching from the west side.

    “Fuck, how many of these things are there?” He cursed quietly to himself.

    “We got more incoming.” Luciel yelled once again taking up aim with the sturdy rifle. The young shooter was positioned high on the universities ledge where he could purposely observe the universities surroundings. From there he could see the creatures burst out from somewhere behind the university and towards the direction of the rescuers.

    “Retreat back to the elevator.” Cleary yelled. Upon on arrival outside, the slayer sergeant had almost immediately taken control of the small group, assembling them, organising them into a team as they fought against the abominations.
    Hell, they were even starting to look like soldiers.

    Luciel saluted and retreated back to the lower levels leaving his watcher position.
    As he turned, he thought for a brief moment that he saw something, a creature, or maybe a man far in the distance. A lone figure standing against horizon and the rising sun.
    No, it couldn’t be.
    The young sniper dismissed the idea and headed for safety.

    Cleary took a last glimpse at the bloodied carcasses littering the ground in front of them.

    Sarge had been right by expecting more of the abominations. In fact, the creatures had attacked soon after the first beast had been put down.

    Attracted by the smell of blood and death, the beasts had charged the universities outer grounds, yet this time they had come in force.

    Serge aided by the two guards had brutally slaughtered the first abomination to show its ugly face and easily beaten back the second but the creatures didn’t stop there. More followed closely behind the first two, a lot more, too many for the mutant and two guards to stop alone.

    The scav’s, scared and still panicking after the first attack heeded little attention to the mutants words and were the first to be taken, easy targets for the abominations as they picked them off one by one in a gruesome killing fest.

    Unable to help the doomed people, Sarge had concentrated on getting their own wounded into the elevator, leaving the scav’s to occupy the abominations.
    They were still getting the wounded to safety when the freakish beasts had turned their attention on large mutant and his doings.

    If it hadn’t been for the arrival of Duke and the others, the abominations would have taken the mutant and the wounded with ease.

    Fleeing back to the elevator, the ground defence turned in fright as they heard the shrilling screams of a woman from just outside their position. They watched in horror as a lone scav rounded the corner and pelted forward in their direction. She barley got five paces before being pulled to the ground be the pursuing abomination. The first dragged her down as the second dropped from the wall above landing atop of her. The creatures snapped at each other, scrapping over the fresh kill.

    Sickened by the sight, the men turned and ran for the elevator.

    As they headed for the stairs, Cleary glanced back to where the creatures were tearing away at the lifeless corps only to watch as more abominations appeared over debris and wreckage to feast upon the remains of the fallen.

    OOC- I know this aint much and i applogise if its not up to standards...
     
  2. Prudence

    Prudence It Wandered In From the Wastes

    176
    Dec 17, 2003
    I have come to help thee... and the introduction of Charlyn

    OOC: Rama and I collaborated... He wrote most of the first entrance and I added my intro. Yes, we're using the same comp... Hows that for love :P


    IC
    The University was swarming with activity and Stryfe could feel it. He could even almost taste the accrid stench of blood and violence as he walked along, intrepid, sword in hand, two live grenades in the other.

    One creature reared its head only to hear the clink of death.

    CLink!

    A resounding bangw as heard and shook the grounds, only to be followed by a second.

    Sword beared like the samurai of old, Hannibal charged passed them, delivering slashes and thrusts through the larger bull abominations that were too dazed to know what cut into them.

    The first two lost their heads but the third merely got slashed at the hip before recoiling like a serpent.

    Both Stryfe and the abomination locked eyes. As it snarled, ready to ounce, the dark stranger merely grabbed his Desert Eagle and squeezed the trigger to let off a slug.

    BAMM!

    The slug hit the beast between the eyes and it feel like a sack of lead as its entire bodily functions ceased to function. The next sensation felt was his side burning and his reaction was a thrust that landed the end of the Slayer's Edge through the windpipe of a smaller abomination. It was trapped, its attack blunted by armor and perhaps dumb luck.

    It made a hissing sound of a bubbling kettle before the sword was removed from the cracked windpipe. In one swift arch motion the head of of the beast was sweapt from its broad scaly shoulders. Holding the wound, Stryfe made for safety.

    More growling... Hannibal made a run as he held his wounded side. The blur of silver hair and a black trench coat were seen and the glint of a drawn sword of the ancient world.

    ______________________________________________

    Chapter 1: Showdown... With the past.

    "Now, now, Charlyn... Put that foolish toy away and hand over the boy." A cultured, yet sinister voice said from the darkness.

    A female figure, brown skin and cold copper eyes shot back a sneer of defiance, a M16A2 in hand. She was bleeding from a leg wound, her lip was cut and she was sweating. Not from fear, but from the heat in the room. Between her legs lay a child.

    The pale figure brought his hand in a calm jesture to make the reluctant female lower her weapon.

    "The last time we met Essex, you treated me like nothing..." The switch being set to full automatic was her reply. "The only way you're getting the kid is over my dead body."

    A smile formed on his palid almost lifeless lips and his glowing red eyes seem to dilate. "If that is the price I must pay..." The smile got uglier. "Than I would gladly pay that coin."
     
  3. Zoe

    Zoe Where'd That 6th Toe Come From?

    451
    Dec 5, 2003
    Moving

    OOC: Well unless I overlooked something, time to move on...
    I am taking some liberty on Joey

    IC:

    Zoe turned to look what made the tiny noise. She had still her rifle readied, so when she saw the man that was a few steps away, he showed his palms and said:
    "Easy, I dont wanna hurt you!"

    Still with hematoms in her skin from the interrogation at Oprezky, she snaped back: "Why is that?

    "You just put down one Opreski. That makes you all right in my book!"

    For a moment, she smiled and even lowered her rifle. But suddenly her expression changed to one of tension, and she said: Dont move!
    "What?"
    Quickly she put up the rifle and shot. Shot to something behind him. Joey was shaken but when he turned back he saw another Oprezki down and a horse wandering.

    He was not alone! Darn!
    Zoe stood up and ran to the man, Joey following her close. The Oprezki was still alive but he was bleeding profusely. She stopped and with the rifle pointed at him, said: I will let you live if you...
    The man shouted back something that even though Joey did not understand, sounded like a curse. Even wounded, the guy was trying to kill her, pulling his gun up with the wrong arm since the right shoulder was useless from the shot he took.
    Zoe got down to the sand so not to be hit and Joey ran to the man.
    Joey kicked him in the head. The Oprezki passed away.

    Zoe stood up and looked at Joey. "I figured you did not want to kill him straight."
    "
    Thanks. Say, is there some safe place nearby? Cause maybe there are more of these scum Oprezki nearby, and I dont think this old building would stand siege."

    "Yes, there is an old fort, just nort of here."
    "Please tell me you are not kidding.
    "I am not." He lent her his binnoculars, even though she had too she took them and looked at the direction he pointed.

    "Perfect! I just hope they dont shoot us on sight!"
    She gave him back the binnoculars and holded the reins of the oprenski horse that was wandering nearby. Another voice was heard:

    "Good, for we are going there too, miss!"

    Zoe looked: there was a group of people, from different ages, they looked to have endured quite a hard time for their clothes were tattered and their skin sunburned. And many seemed hurt.

    " Fine by me. Hi, I am Zoe.
    "We are the survivors of a village the raiders took. "
    She reminded the crosses. "I see. Lets get moving!
    Joey asked, looking at the new horse she stopped: "Say ZOe, can I have that Oprenzki horse?"
    She mounted her own horse and said: Be my guest. Now lets get moving!

    And so, slowly but evenly, the group moved towards the old spanish mission....
     
  4. welsh

    welsh This ghoul has seen it all

    Apr 5, 2003
    The surviving scout galloped through the canyon, riding the horse hard. Other Oprezki men were quick to get out of his way.

    Only when he neared the command post did he stop. Standing around a table Gregor, Otto and Anatoly were going over maps of the area and planning their attack. They all took notice of the private but it was only Otto that spoke.

    "The girl?" He asked.

    "Escaped Number one. She went to a building to the South and West. Not very far. She used a rifle on us and killed one. The corporal is watching. She has company."

    "Show me." said Anatoly, taking charge now, his finger pointed to the map.

    The private dismounted and went to the map. Traced the step. "Here" He said, pointing to a site of an old factory building.
    Anatoly stretched his finger from the fort to the mission-fort. It was close enough that they could ride for it.

    "What is the composition of the opposing force?" Asked Otto.

    "We are unsure. Most are in the building. Many scrambled inside when they saw us coming. But it wasn't only men, but women, children. Civilians."

    Anatoly shook his head and looked sharply at Otto. "You think the League would bring civilians on such an operation?"

    Otto ignored his superior and questioned the private. "Did you see horses?"

    "No Number One. Only people."

    Refugees. People who had been in the villages to the South that the Oprezki had raided. There were always refugees. Such was the expectation of Oprezki doctrine. Refugees would spread word of the terror inflicted upon them, and terror was a weapon.

    "Give me the order and I will destroy them." Spoke Gregor. Gregor thirsted for revenge, for the red blade. But his men were not even a column strength and were still in need of organization for the night's attack.

    "You will have you revenge tonight, comrade. Where is the Fifth Column?" Spoke Anatoly, reassuringly. Then to Otto.

    Otto pointed to the village near the river bank. "Here, according to last reports." Otto was pointing to the village that had been sacked two days before. The Fifth column would be spending much of the day looting and raping before joining the others for the attack at night.

    The Fifth column was a bit unusual. Unlike the others columns, the Fifth was a lancer column, it's troops specialists with both lance and rifle, whereas most Oprezki troops used carbines and swords.

    The village was close to the factory site. Anatoly looked at the private. "Tell the communications people to contact Nicolai. He is to split his column. One is to level the building with his mortars. Then his lancers and rifles can pick off whatever survives. He has the afternoon to destroy the site but must be here at nightfall. Bring the other half of his column here."

    _________________

    At the Mission, Raoul thought about the Tyler's strategy.

    "Excuse me Senior Bellford" taking the time to pronounce the double 'll' carefully, "But you have not seen the Oprezki attack. I have seen one column destroy a well defended stronghold, the way a funnel storm sometimes wipes clean a village. Let me explain what we can expect."

    The others listened. Raoul had fought alongside the Don, through the long run up from their hacienda and lands. It had been Raoul who had helped plan the escape, and who had taken the battle to the Oprezki at first, while the De Silvas had prepared their escape.

    "The Oprezki fight with terror. They come the devils at night, and they frighten the morale of those they prey upon. But when they attack they are like a mighty wind. A few handgrenades or mortars will not stop the wind." He spoke. Isabella nodded her agreement.

    "When they attack they will come upon us very quick, in the night. So we can not use our range to it's best advantage. First they will hit our walls with mortar shells, to make a breach. THen they will begin to fire within our walls. Some shells will explode high, sending down a shower of fragments. This is meant to break open our defense and rob us of initiative. To keep our heads down while they come in very fast."

    Talon was listening carefully. "Ok, so first they use their artillery against our walls and to sow confusion."

    "Yes" Continued Raoul. "They will come in fast with their horses like a tornado with the defended place being the center. The horseman closest will throw into the fortress explosives that will further break up the walls and defenses. The horses will kick up much dust and move, so it will be difficult to see them. But they will know where we are and will attack our positions, destroying machinegun nests, shooting posts, emplacements. Then when the walls are sufficiently open they will come through with their swords and kill us very close."

    Tyler spoke, "But a column is how many men?"

    "About a hundred. I have seen a column destroy a many emplacements. There were at least two columns out there last night. We hurt both very badly. But they survive. They are outside us and reformed. We also see other colors, so another column is near. At minimum, there is at least one and a half, perhaps two columns. But there are probably more. Perhaps an entire regiment!" Raoul looked to the others who didn't seem to understand. "500 men."
     
  5. Ed Collins

    Ed Collins First time out of the vault

    17
    Dec 5, 2003
    Tyler grinned. "I've had worse odds."

    Raoul frowned, not amused by Tyler's bravado. "Señor, I do not believe you understand the severity of the situation..."

    The cowboy smiled at the Latino freedom fighter, who was obviously only trying to protect his people. Tyler respected that, but the people he was with had no idea what he was capable of. "Let me tell you a story... Raoul, is it? About five years ago, I signed up for a martial arts tournament out along the west coast, near Idaho. The organization funding the event was known far and wide as the 'Empire'."

    Tyler paused for effect, but no one seemed to know much about the criminal organization, and stared at Tyler blankly. Figures.

    "Well at any rate, the folks at the Empire... every one of their operatives was trained in at least two deadly martial arts forms, and was highly skilled with firearms. As far as evil guys went, these sons of bitches were at the top of their game. To top it off, they used terror in ways that would make the Oprezki look like a fuckin' church."

    "You make it sound as if the Oprezki are a bunch of amateurs, Bellford." Grim added.

    "Not at all. On the contrary, I know exactly what you people are feeling right now. I mean, how can a handful of civilians fight off five-hundred highly trained warriors?"

    Tyler stood up. "Five years ago, I saw the best fighters in the wasteland gather at that tournament, and only a handful of them were brave enough to stand up to the Empire. But each and every one in that handful had something to fight for, a score to settle. They were all convicted against those fuckers, and that's what brought them through."

    Tyler put his hand on Raoul's shoulder. "¿Por qué carrera? ¡Lucha!"

    Isabella and Raoul both looked at Tyler in amazement. Isabella asked, "Señor, dond-- where did you learn old español?"

    Tyler smiled at Isabella; a flirtatious, but kind-spirited smile that made her almost blush. "Latinas are excellent teachers, señora..."

    Grim interrupted. "Yeah, this is all very nice, but did you have a point to all that, Bellford?"

    Tyler looked at Grim and said, "It doesn't matter how many men they have. Sure, the Oprezki have numbers and firepower on their side, but they're not fighting for their home. A single man defending his home has more potential than ten career soldiers."

    Tyler looked out over the wall, and back at the others. "It may not scatter them to the winds, but it'll give us a few more kills than they're prepared to take. I'll take the passage and distract them while you concentrate on artillery."

    "Señor, don't be a fool! You will be killed out there alone!" Raoul warned.

    "You have so much faith in the great Oprezki killing us all, Raoul. Maybe it's time you had a little faith in me."
     
  6. Zoe

    Zoe Where'd That 6th Toe Come From?

    451
    Dec 5, 2003
    Zoe and Joey were riding, leading the survivors to the fort. Few people stayed behind, stubornly, even though the pretty brunnete and the new guy tried to explain to them they were in danger because of Oprezki.

    After a few miles, Zoe smiled: The fort was so close!
    We are almost there!
    "Zoe"
    "What?"
    "I think we have company."
    Already?
    The sound of a mortar and a huge column of smoke rising from the factory left no doubt. She shouted loud and clear for the refugees to hear:
    The Oprezki! Everybody, run! We must get to the fort before they reach us!

    And so she galloped along Joey, the refugees runing along as they could.
    Zoe's heart beat fast. What kind of people would be inside the fort? How would they receive them? Would they give them sanctuary?
    She could only hope... She was not worried about her, was rather thinking about the children, other women and the old people that recently got their vilage distroyed and now were runing for their lives....

    I gotta save them!
     
  7. welsh

    welsh This ghoul has seen it all

    Apr 5, 2003
    OCC- Ed- I think your character's strutting is fine for a young character. One has to expect such pissing contests. The older characters probably won't put up with it though, so I will write that up?

    Ok, Zoe, I will try to bring your character in.

    ICC-

    Raoul was about to say something, and Talon could see the anger on the man's face. Before he spoke, Talon put a hand on his shoulder, restraining the old fighter. Rogue had also turned away, unwilling to listen to the word of a man she thought was a murderer.

    Talon looked at Bellford and shook his head. If this was about one man being brave, than Tyler would be on his own.

    Grim had listened patiently while Bellford had puffed up his chest. He had been around long enough to have heard it before, so much so that bravado didn't bother him. Maybe Bellford was that good. But Grim wasn't about to trust the lives of nearly 200 people, mostly women and children, for the bravado of one man. Such displays wounded the egos of other men and thereby distracted from real, more urgent problems. There just wasn't time for this.

    Furthermore an overdose of macho was potentially dangerous. Grim vividly remembered when the pissing contest between Caleb and Gabriel had almost led to their deaths in Wainwright Park. The willingness between the young assassin and the old gunslinger to show male dominance had blinded them to the dangers of a horde of deathclaws, quietly surrounding them.

    Furthermore, Tyler had yet to prove himself, either as a fighter or a man to be trusted.

    "Tyler, I'm glad you got all that piss and vinegar and it's good that you feel up to the fight. Crooked Christ but you will probably see enough by the time this night is finished. " Said Grim, "But if you go out there alone they will just run you into the ground. We need to come up with a plan."

    Now Grim looked to Raoul and Talon, recognizing their maturity and leadership.

    "Well we got more firepower then they might be expecting, but if they throw in mortars against us, it will raise all sorts of hell with these folks." Said Talon, looking behind where the DeSilva carts were scattered about, surrounded by the Brahmin from the DeSilva and caravan.

    "Perhaps not." Said Isabella. "While you were out on the raid I inspected the camp and the buildings. Under the church and school are large basements. I think they were used as warehouses once, but are empty now. We can keep many of the carts and people, even the Brahma, if we are careful."

    "If they hit those building with mortars though..." Started Grim.

    "... yes, but those buildings are made very strong. The floors are very hard, made of stone and concrete. Very thick. It will take much to break them." Said Isabella.

    "Yes, but then that might make it easier for them to kill us." Said Raoul.

    "Better that then being in the open when the artillery comes in and sends fragments everywhere." Said the man whom Grim had seen speak with Isabella the past night.

    "Yes, better. The fighters must be ready, but the women, the children, or the brahmas. These we cannot afford to lose."

    Ibis, who had come up to listen but had not yet spoken nodded. "We are too low in medical supplies to take many casualities. What ever you plan, you must try to win decisively. Otherwise, many will die of their wounds."

    Raoul looked from the man to Isabella, and it seemed he was concerned as to who to take his orders from. "We will still have to do something about the artillery."

    Talon nodded. "Maybe we can use that tunnel. Raoul, how will they spread out the mortars?"

    Raoul stood up high, and looked over the area. "I would expect them either from the North or the East. They will keep the mortars together to make them easier to defend and to concentrate their fire. These will destroy the gate and the wall. But they will also leave a few to hit the buildings as well, perhaps fearing we will you those buildings as a keep."

    Grim thought about the prospect of the mortars dropping shells inside the compound. To be hit against the walls was one thing, but the mortars offered the Oprezki the chance to cause causualties from above. "We will have to take them out before they do much damage. You heard Ibis. We can't take many casualties."

    Talon was thinking about this carefully. "What about the buildings."

    "We have fortified them." Said Isabella, rather proudly. There are many firing holes both llow and high. The buildings each have two floors. Walls very thick. The doors to each have been blocked or rebuilt so they will not be breached easily."

    Tyler was also looking at the walls. "These walls can also be used not only for defense but to trap, like a cage."

    Talon nodded. "Yes, that was what I was thinking as well. If we let them in, they will not have much room to escape."

    Rogue had been quietly cleaning Syphon's rifle as the others spoke, but also looking out, and sighting. She half listened to their conversation. One thing for sure, it would be a desperate fight.

    Through the sight she saw a plume of smoke far in the distance, south and west of their position. Keeping watch on that direction she had noticed nothing unusual. But then she saw them. Figures, moving in .

    "There are people coming in." Rogue said.

    But the others, caught in their planning, hadn't listened, so she said it again, louder.

    "People coming in, from the Southwest."

    Grim and Talon heard that. Could it be the small party they sent to the University? "Where?" demanded Talon.

    "There." Said Rogue, pointing. She resighted. Now she could see a small group of people, on foot, and two others on horseback, coming in their direction.

    She turned her eyes back to the group of horseman waiting to the North. They had yet to notice. But when they did, they would certainly attack.

    Isabella was thinking the same thing. "We will need a distraction for them."
     
  8. Ed Collins

    Ed Collins First time out of the vault

    17
    Dec 5, 2003
    Tyler was irritated. He had dealt with stubborn fools before (his old friend Damien Wolf came to mind), but the people around him were rapidly catching up to the coveted spot of "Wasteland's Biggest Morons."

    Easy now. They don't know you. They have no idea what you're capable of, and they certainly have no reason to trust you.

    They're fucking idiots. They're throwing away a fighting chance just because it might hurt some stupid wetback's ego.

    Just go with it. We'll get out of this soon enough.


    Tyler scowled, and looked out at the Oprezki riders waiting to the north. If his new "allies" had their way, they wouldn't even live to see the women and children in the town get slaughtered. If there was ever a time to prove himself, this was it.

    As Rogue finished fastening the last section of the rifle, and slapping in the clip, Tyler took action. He swiftly snatched it from her grasp, and took to higher ground quicker than she could yell out, "Stop!"

    The others shouted, confused, angry, but Tyler ignored them. He adjusted the sights on the rifle, deftly sidestepped someone who had attempted to tackle him (he wasn't exactly sure who), and rested the rifle along the wall, lining up with the Oprezki riders along the rim.

    "He'll never make that shot!" cried Isabella.

    Grim frowned, but saw Tyler's point of view nonetheless. "Even if he doesn't get them, it's still a distraction."

    Tyler, meanwhile, ignored everything but the nearest target. Distance was a factor, but it didn't matter at this point. All he needed was a shot, just to throw the Oprezki off. The man who tried to tackle him got up, sore from smacking his chin against the ground when he failed to bring Tyler down. Tyler breathed slowly, taking his time, lining up sight with target, until...

    *CRACK!*

    Off in the distance, at about a second delay from the shot, Grim saw the Oprezki rider fall off his horse.

    Lucky shot...

    The sound of the bolt quickly followed, and a second shot rung out after that. This time, a horse fell over just as the Oprezki group was checking on their fallen comrade. Tyler sighed, stood up, and walked back, tossing the rifle to Rogue. "There's your fucking distraction."

    Tyler walked away. He needed time to think, but more importantly, time to cool down. He had dealt with enough egos for now.

    OOC:

    Edit.
     
  9. Zoe

    Zoe Where'd That 6th Toe Come From?

    451
    Dec 5, 2003
    A gunshot.
    Most of the refugees made exclamations of surprise or fear as they ran faster to the gate of the old mission.
    An Oprezky horseman! Nice shot.
    "One is down."
    Zoe smiled: If they shot the Oprezky, they will help us!
    Joey smirked: "I would not be so sure. But you are such an optimist!"
    "Come on! Everybody, faster to the gate!"

    As Zoe and the others reached the gate, it was opened. They sped right in, and the gates were immediatly closed again, as soon as they passed. Zoe and Joey stopped their horses.

    Zoe looked around as people surrounded them. They had a mix look of surprise and expectation. Some were with their guns ready.

    She breathed deep and closed her eyes for a moment, relieved to be potentialy safe.
    A man with an air of authority aproached a bit, stepping forward, and addressed them:
    "Welcome. Identify yourselves, please."
    Joey said: "I am Joey, this is Zoe."
    "And the others? " The man with authority said, looking at her.
    She wet her lips. Feeling a bit nervous, cause she was not sure what to expect, she said:
    Those are refuggees from a vilage attacked by raiders.
    Thanks for hosting us, the Oprezky were attacking us.

    The man nodded and said: "We are organizing the defenses. I wonder how can you help."
    Zoe nodded, and said:"I can shoot decently, but maybe I can be more useful for you in another way.
    A woman stood right beside him and snapped:"How is that?"
    I am a doctor.
    "That i very good."

    There was intense shooting from the walls against the Oprezki raiders outside....
     
  10. Syphon

    Syphon A Smooth-Skin

    632
    Jul 12, 2003
    The leader, or seemed to appear to be, continued on to Joey.

    "What skills do you possess?" He said, looking a bit frantic because time seemed to be of the essence.

    "I can shoot pretty good...", Joey said flinching as another wave of gunshots raced up and down the complex, making a slapping noise against the sandbags. Zoe and the leader did the same.

    "Well, we need you over there!", The leader pointed towards the side wall, where defense seemed to be lacking. Joey dismounted his horse, quickly tieing it to a small post, where the rest of the horses were tied down, and ran to where he was directed.

    Zoe was told she had to assist the staff in saving the mortally wounded. The plan was to save the worst first, then move on to the minor wounds.
     
  11. welsh

    welsh This ghoul has seen it all

    Apr 5, 2003
    Ibis was quickly attending to the wounded. A few of those who had escaped the factory had been hit and he was doing a triage, trying to figure out which were the more critical, which could be helped and which were hopeless.

    "Damn medical supplies."

    Short of bandages, stims, anticeptics, everything. When he had heard that there were people coming from the Southwest, Ibis had hoped it was the group returning from the university with the supplies they needed. Instead, more wounded.

    He was working on one woman who seemed to have been pierced through the shoulder. "Now what caused this wound?"

    He knew another person was present when Cerberus got off his haunches.

    "A lance." It was a woman's voice, from behind.

    "Ah. A lance. Yes, I can see how it tore through." Said Ibis, now inspecting the tear in the flesh and damage to bone and muscle below.

    "They caught up to us as they neared the fortress. We killed a few, but not before they got a few of the stragglers." Said the woman. "I brought this one in on a horse."

    "You didn't bring bandages did you?" Asked Ibis hopefully.

    "No, are you short?" She said.

    "Painfully. Short of everything. Don't mind my matters." He said.

    Ibis looked her over. A pretty brunette who had the look of someone born of more softer environs but had adjust to the harshness of the wastes. "I'm Ibis, currently the doctor here, though my professional training concerns more the dead than living. But they figured a funeral director was close enough. And you?"

    "Zoe, and I'd like to help. I'm a trained doctor." said Zoe.

    "Than your experience is appreciated. However I have to tell you that we are mostly without supplies." Said Ibis, who began telling Zoe about their dire condition.

    _______

    Talon led Joey to the wall. "You in charge of this lot?" He asked.

    "Not exactly." Said Joey, still catching his breath. "I know some of them, but others... Well they come from other villages to the South."

    "I see, so who was in charge then?" asked Talon as the proceeded to the wall.

    "Roger Greenbill, our blacksmith. But they caught him on one of their long spears, out there." Said Joey. He easily recollected Roger going stopping to help the stragglers and how one of the riders had caught him with their long sharp poles.

    "Well than I guess that puts you in charge, at least for now. We got assault rifles, rifles and some other weapons down in that cart over there. Ammunition over there" Said Talon, quickly pointing to the different carts.

    "I'm Talon, currently head of the Red Eye Caravan train going to Grey Cliffs."

    "Joey"

    "Over there." Talon pointed to Isabella and Raoul, "is Isabella DeSilva. She's head of most of these folks, and that fellow next to her is Raoul, he's her military advisor. I can point out the rest later. Get your people deployed and armed, and then join us. We are trying to work out a plan."

    Talon shook the young man's hand and turned away. But Joey held the handshake for a moment.

    "What's our situation?"

    Talon looked back at the younger man. "Desperate. We figure they got at least 200 men, probably more. We figure they will attack tonight. We got ammo, weapons plenty, but not much in the medical supplies. We do have this fort, but as you can see, we're pretty spread out."

    "It's better than being out there." Said Joey.

    Talon nodded. He had seen a group of the lancers come in, riding down the last of the stragglers-older folks and children that had been slow in that last dash. The defenders had killed a few of the lancers from the wall, but when dust clearered the bodies of the victims were clearly visible.

    "We're going to survive this thing." Said Talon, suddenly remembering the fight on the El on the way to Wainright Park, when they had been confronted by more deathclaws than he had ever seen. Jeeva had risen up above them all and given the fighting spirit to fight on. It had been a disaster of a day, but a miracle that any had survived at all.

    Leadership could make a difference. Talon smiled. "Come in when you're ready. We're going to win tonight and send these bastards back to hell."
     
  12. welsh

    welsh This ghoul has seen it all

    Apr 5, 2003
    A loud crack. Rogue turned for another target. But the riders to the North had turned back, leaving one of their men in the dirt. They had thought to support the Lancers in a massacre, and that had brought them within range.

    Jim and Virgil had both brought up their PTRS rifle teams. The big cannon guns were bulky and awkward. They were also slow to reload. The sentries patrolling outside of rifle range moved to quickly for the rifles to train on. But they had greater range than the other rifles.

    Grim was watching the large group of riders to the North move back to their prior positions. The last of the stragglers had come in from the South. Talon, down in the courtyard had seen about their deployment to the eastern wall.

    "You ready?" Asked Grim.

    "Yep." The rifles had been deployed to throughout the building, but now they would concentrate.

    "Good, start with a volley to maximize surprise. Keep shooting as fast you can to push those riders back. Wait till they stop moving."

    There was still cracks of rifle fire as the shooters on the north and west walls continued to pluck at targets. The lancers had come in, hoping to cut off the runners from the fort. In the process they had come within rifle range. At least ten of the Lancers had been dropped, making them pay for their murders.

    Grim looked around, hoping to see Tyler, but he was nowhere to be seen. The sentries had begun to pull back.

    The four PTRS rifles fired in a volley and then began firing off as rapidly as the breachloading rifles could.

    It would be little more than a sting, but it was start. But the real fight would come that night.
     
  13. Syphon

    Syphon A Smooth-Skin

    632
    Jul 12, 2003
    Joey hurried as he handed out Assualt rifles, then returning to the front line of fire. He could hear the quick zipping of bullets rushing past his head, and then he'd flinch. But after a while exposed to the firefight, he began getting used to the occasional explosion and the wave of bullets that followed. He raised his weapon and fired at the distant attackers.
     
  14. Gunslinger

    Gunslinger Mildly Dipped

    528
    Apr 3, 2003
    IC-

    Caleb shaded his eyes as he stared into the sunset horizon. Jeeva, noticing that the old man had stopped once more, turned around and shook his head.

    “What’s up, old man?”

    Caleb looked at Jeeva, startled. Then he turned back to the horizon with a measure of uncertainty that Jeeva didn’t like. The Blade had his hands wrapped around his empty guns.

    The old man licked his lips and turned away. “It’s probably nothing,” he muttered dismissively. Then he started walking again, passing Jeeva wordlessly.

    Jeeva didn’t move. Instead, he also peered into the rising red sun. Finding nothing, he nodded, reassuring himself.

    The pair continued their long walk in silence. Despite trudging hard for three days, they were making little ground. Neither of the two knew this, but it would take at least twenty days more for them to find a break in the massive fissure known as the Great Chasm.

    As they continued on their fruitless journey, Jeeva noticed that Caleb’s eyes kept returning to the brilliant horizon. And, not for the first time, his hands kept settling on the butts of his revolvers.

    “Caleb. What’s going on?” Jeeva asked for the second time when he caught his companion turning to the distance again.

    Caleb only shook his head angrily and walked on.

    The ex-slaver could sense trouble when it was looming over him. He ran up to the old man, easily closing the distance between them. Without thinking, Jeeva grasped Caleb’s thin, wiry arm in a vice grip.

    Caleb’s eyes flashed in anger. Unconsciously, he began drawing his gun with his free arm. But Jeeva shook his head vehemently and closed a hand over Caleb’s, forcing the gun back in.

    “You tell me what’s going on, Caleb,” Jeeva demanded. “I’d like to know when the shit is hitting the fan.”

    The anger disappeared in Caleb’s eyes, replaced with a tired resignation. To Jeeva, the look of dull fear was scarier than Caleb’s anger.

    “Do you have eyes, Jeeva?” Caleb asked wearily. “Can you not tell?” His own eyes wandered sadly to the horizon once more.

    The dull concern in Jeeva’s stomach grew into outright fear. His grip tightened on Caleb’s arm. “What’s going on?” he shouted.

    Caleb shrugged free of Jeeva’s grip. He drew one of his revolvers and opened its chamber, staring mournfully into it as if he didn’t know it was empty. He did the same with his other revolver and the lever-action rifle on his back.

    “My kingdom for some bullets,” Caleb said wistfully. “Now I know how Richard felt.”

    “What?” Jeeva exclaimed. Now Caleb was lapsing into his archaic talk.

    “Never mind,” said Caleb. He turned to Jeeva with intense eyes. “You don’t happen to have any bullets, do you?” His guarded eyes told Jeeva he already knew the answer.

    “No,” Jeeva said numbly. “I tossed my guns away when finding that damned pill of yours.” It sounded foolish but it made sense to Jeeva at the time; why carry shooting irons when you were walking with a Blade? “You already knew that,” Jeeva added.

    “Perhaps,” Caleb answered in his disjointed voice.

    Jeeva couldn’t take it. He grabbed Caleb with both arms and shook him. Twice. Hard. Some manner of consciousness returned to the old man’s eyes but that look of muted fear was still there.

    “Can you tell me what’s going, Caleb?” Jeeva pleaded. He hated this. He hated feeling like a child, relying on his elders to fix whatever was wrong.

    “We’re being followed,” Caleb replied lamely. With the words out of his own mouth, Caleb seemed to deflate into himself. “So close to our goal and being followed.”

    Jeeva let Caleb go and snapped a quick glance towards the horizon. He couldn’t see a thing except for the dripping red sun rising to the sky. “How can you tell?” Jeeva asked sharply, as if he was accusing Caleb of blasphemy. “How can you possibly know, old man?”

    “I know, Jeeva.”

    And, in his secret heart, Jeeva didn’t doubt him. But the self-denial of his self-preserving id seemed to question that knowledge. Because he could not resign himself to dying.

    “How many?” Jeeva asked. The words sounded weak and his tongue stuck to the roof of his mouth.

    “You’ll find out soon enough,” Caleb whispered. His wide eyes locked with Jeeva’s and in them, the ex-slaver could see sincerity.

    Jeeva’s head snapped back to the horizon. With the sun raised and out of the way, he could now see the dim silhouettes of marching figures. Tall, menacing figures bearing long sticks in hands.

    “That’s a drag.”

    Caleb nodded. “It sure is,” he agreed.

    The ex-slaver turned back to the Blade. “So what do we do, oh Eminent One?” He couldn’t keep the mocking tone out of his voice. “March to Jerusalem or slay the infidels now?”

    Caleb settled himself onto the ground, easing onto a rock. “We wait, my friend. No choice.”

    “No chance, either,” Jeeva mumbled. But he also sat down.

    Different scenarios jumbled in Jeeva’s head. Maybe they were only Border Patrol. Maybe they were pilgrims traveling to some damned holy place in the desert. Better yet, maybe they were Blades.

    Jeeva laughed at the thought, surprised. “Never thought I’d be wishing for a company of Blades marching towards us.”

    “If only…,” Caleb whispered. He had his bowie knife in hand and was sharpening the edge with a whetstone.

    They waited.

    It didn’t take long for the pursuers to catch up to them. And when they did, Jeeva broke into laughter.

    It wasn’t hysterical laughter. Relief swept into his bones. Jeeva leapt up from his seat and pumped his fist into the air. He turned towards Caleb, a smile of jubilation in his face.

    “God, Caleb! They’re tribals!” Jeeva cried out. “All this time, we were so worried. But they’re only tribals!”

    The ten tribal warriors before them exchanged glances but their faces were impassive. All of them were naked from the waist up. All of them had the short stabbing spear the most tribals seemed to favor. And all of them had the outline of a red hawk tattooed on their bare chests.

    Caleb was not celebrating, however. He hissed between clenched teeth. He was watching the ten men assorted before them warily.

    “What’s the matter with you?” Jeeva exclaimed. He smiled broadly at the ten strict faces of the tribals and then turned to Caleb. “They’re only tribals, Caleb. Likely to trade some hides for some shiny beads.”

    Caleb shot up from his seat and landed a sharp punch across Jeeva’s face. It wasn’t enough to force him onto his back but it did cause him to reel his head back.

    “You don’t know what you’re talking about,” Caleb spat. “They’re a war party, Jeeva. They want revenge for their fallen brothers. The brothers that we killed.”

    To illustrate that point, one of the tribals released a blood-curling shout. The nine other tribals returned it.

    Oh shit, Jeeva thought as they rushed forward.

    Caleb had enough time to draw both guns. The tribals could not have known they were empty. They kept running, bloodlust fueling their muscles. The old man raised both guns in front of him, as if warding the barbarians away with a holy sigil.

    Jeeva saw the first tribal in line raise the haft of his spear, intending to bash Caleb’s head in. But the Blade bent at his knees, ducking under the blow and pushing the tribal off balance with an open-fisted punch to the stomach. Then the other nine tribals overwhelmed him, striking him across the head.

    Jeeva saw all of this. He would have gone on seeing the nine tribals tying up his unconscious friend if not for the one tribal who had sneaked up behind him and smashed a club on his head.

    Lights out.
     
  15. welsh

    welsh This ghoul has seen it all

    Apr 5, 2003
    The Lancer Column had turned about. To go against the fortified position with only rifle and lance was suicide. They had gone after the stragglers when they shouldn't have, when discipline and judgment should have won over their blood lust. They turned away and moved out of range of the rifles in the fort, regrouping around the company to the North.

    That company had also been hit suddenly. The big PTRS rifles from the fort, with a range of over a mile, were slow firing, but packing a .50 cal shell, could knock a man or a horse down. They too had taken casualties and had moved away, out of caution. The loses to each group stung their pride. But all the riders were certain of one thing, vengence would be delivered that night.

    Further away ikn the Canyon Nicolai was coming in at the head of his column of Lancers. Unlike the others, Nicolai was often a vain and tempermental man, and it showed in the flair of his clothing. Bright colors and a flag of the lancers were his signature. But few teased him, his skill with the sword was well known as was the brutality of his men.

    Nicolai rode near the command post and then dismounted quick. "I have news. The building those people were is now a funeral pyre. Our mortars did a wonderful job using those napalm shells. When they came out we shot them like one does a rat aflamed. Perhaps a dozen came out. More inside. We did not wait for it to burn to the ground, but proceeded here. So, do we have them?"

    Anatoly smiled. "Indeed, in a stockaded church a short ride north of here."

    "So tonight the chase ends, eh?"

    "Tonight." Agreed Anatoly. "Otto, what of the scouts."

    Anatoly meant the scouts who had been sent to find the horses. "Nothing. We tracked them north and west. We should have an easy time picking up their trail tomorrow."

    "After we destroy the fort." Said Gregor, his voice dry and mean. They others did not speak for a moment. The humiliation of the first two columns would need to be avenged. But Anatoly found the way that Gregor kept sharpening his sword somewhat unsettling.

    "We will do it the old way?" Asked Nicolai.

    "Yes. Why not. We will bring down the walls with the mortars, then swarm around. Finish the breach and go in with swords. We are planning it now." Said Anatoly.

    "My first company is deployed to the north with your second." Said Nicolai, pointing to the map.

    And so the leaders went over their plans.

    _________

    Above, on the canyon rim, Gabriel watched through his goggles. he had been keeping track of the men and movements. He counted nearly 350 men below. Nearly twice that in horses. He had also seen heavy weapons: machineguns, mortars.

    They would not wait another night to attack. Not this time. The hunger for revenge was too great.

    He would have to get back to the fort to let the others know what to expect.

    But before he left he noticed something else. Across the canyon, a shadow in the grass. At first he had paid it no heed. But the shadow didn't move with the wind.

    Not a sentry. Sentries tended to patrol. No this was someone who was also watching.

    Gabriel waited, moved to a better vantage point and watched, hidden. He check the position of the sun. The Oprezki would not attack in the day, but would use the dark of night. ANd tonight promised a new moon. Gabriel would watch for an hour before returning.

    He didn't have to wait that long. A breeze picked up out of the canyon and the grass was bent back just a bit more. It was enough.

    Across from him he saw the face of McReady, the scout.

    But what was McReady doing out here?
    _________

    Inside the fort, Grim had spoken to Isabella, Ibis and Zoe. The medical situation was desperate and Isabella had begun to look for cloth that could be used as bandages. In the makeship aid station, Ibis and Zoe worked on a wounded man, hit by rifle fire from the lancers.

    Raoul and others were working on moving people to the basement shelters while Joey dispersed weapons to the new comers. Rogue was giving instruction how to shoot while Jim and Virgil helped go over use of the heavy weapons with some of the other men, inexperienced with such weapons.

    Grim found Tyler along the ramparts watching the sentries who were now further out of range.

    Tyler didn't want to speak to Grim, but that was alright for what Grim had in mind for saying.

    Tyler's back was turned but Grim spoke clearly. He was conscious that others were looking at Tyler with distrust. Perhaps that was fair, but this wasn't the time for it. Tyler was in this as deep as the rest.

    Grim spoke. "Tonight they are going to come after it gets dark. Some will come through the mine fields and razor wire, setting up charges to blow through the barriers. A few might try to blow a hole through the walls. They will also set up their mortars, probably to the North and South, trying to damage the buildings, the gate and the walls. We can't let that happen. A few of us are going to go out and take out the mortars, probably after the first salvo when the horses are already on the way. Others are going to take out their sabatours, or as many as they can. We need to limit the damage done to the wall and especially to the buildings. We also need good men to do the job. But the catch is this, those who go out there probably won't be coming back. You interested?"
     
  16. Zoe

    Zoe Where'd That 6th Toe Come From?

    451
    Dec 5, 2003
    Another wounded patched.
    Zoe used her kershief to dry a drop of sweat in her forehead, and thought: I may have to use this as bandage pretty soon... She sighed and lowered her head.

    Ibis looked at her and said: "You are doing a great job."
    Zoe raised her head and smiled at the unexpected compliment. Thank you.

    "Why don't you take a break? You haven't stoped since you arrived!"
    Zoe was about to protest."Go drink a glass of water."
    Zoe nodded. Indeed a good time for that.

    She went to the well and took a bucket of water. Took a glass and slowly drank it, alowing the refreshing water to gently soothe her thirst.
    Then she thougth about their situation at the fort.
    What were they to do? The assault from Oprezki had not even started - and already they had way less medical supplies than necessary. Even using what she brought from the vault with her, (which she had already started doing, to the surprise and relief of her coleagues, who did not expect to see stimpacks so soon), still Zoe antecipated that it would not be enough if the fight was to last long.

    "You are worried.", said the male, deep voice.
    Zoe turned to look. Ibis near her, with his arms crossed.
    Yes, I am. We have reason to! Those Oprezki are cruel, they will stop at nothing if they start attacking us!
    He took another glass and filled it with water too.
    "Cheer up. We have sharp shooters, our men know how to use their guns, and our leader knows strategy."
    He drank the water and Zoe blinked: Ibis was talking with conviction. Taking another glass of water., she asked: "Sounds like you know each other its been a long time
    "Yes. And we did not survive by chance. As well as I suppose you have not survived by pure luck, either..."
    She smiled. "That is true."
    "Come on, lets continue. Still more work a do."
    Zoe nodded. They returned to the very large room that was being used as enfirmary.
     
  17. welsh

    welsh This ghoul has seen it all

    Apr 5, 2003
    The sun was low in the sky when Gabriel looked through his binoculars towards the fort.

    The sentries had moved back a ways from the fort, now better than 800-1000 meters away. Close enough for a hit from a good sniper, but it would be a luck shot. He counted three pair of snipers, surrounding the fort. Furhter to the north he could see the smoke of cooking fires and what looked like many men and horse.

    Well there was little to do but do it quick.

    Gabriel had uncovered the body of a sentry killed during the prior evening. He was uncertain who had done the killing, but there had been quite a bit of blood spilled. They wouldn't notice the blood until it was too late.

    Keeping his distance, he circled around until he had past the southern sentries, then he directed his horse towards the western ones, who were observing the fort. When they heard him coming, they turned in their mounts and called out to him in a strange language.

    Gabriel shook his head, and lifted a hand to his ear, signalling that he couldn't hear them. They called out again, but by now Gabriel was close.

    The closest one looked to Gabriel's tunic and saw the blood. By the time he reached for his sword, Gabriel's katana was out and swing. Even as the an's hand touched the pommel of the sword, his head was leaving his shoulders and Gabriel was suddently parrying a swing from his colleague.

    Six times Gabriel crossed swords with the other sentry, until a swing to Gabriel's head opened up an opportunity for a thrust into chest of the sentry. The sentry realized his mistake an instant before being pierced by the katana. Mortally wounded, he dropped his heavier cavalry sword and leaned forward, a final bloody gasp before dieing. For a moment, Garbriel could not dislodge his own, and used his free arm to push the body aside.

    Looking up he saw that the fight had not gone unnoticed. Other sentries were coming and these with carbines.

    Kicking his heels into the ribs of his horse, Gabriel made for the gate. CRACK, CRACK. The sound of bullets passing his head.

    "Don't shoot, it's Gabriel!" He shouted to the others so they wouldn't mistake him in their excitement.

    Already the gate was open and Gabriel could see Buffy behind an M-60.

    Then the horse kicked up on two legs. Gabriel clung to hold on, even as he realized that his horse had been hit. He fell back and rolled to the side as the horse collapsed. Staying low, using the horse for cover, he peeked up.

    Two shooters firing, they bullets hitting the fallen horse as they tried to level their rifles for Gabriel.

    Then the sound the hog opening up from behind. A short burst and high, but it was enough to send the sentries away. Quickly, Gabriel made for the gate.

    Inside Grim and Talon were waiting. "Good to see you made it back."

    "Close one." Said Gabriel catching his breath. "Sorry about the horse."

    "Where are the others? Are they well?" Said Isabella, who had come to the gate.

    "Yes, they have ridden far to the north to stay away from the Opreszki. Your enemies have sent trackers, but they have not had luck." Reported Gabriel.

    Isabella seemed relieved. "Is there more you can tell us?"

    Gabriel nodded. "Yes, there are more of them. I count at least 300 back at the Canyon. And they have heavy weapons."

    "Did you notice anything else about them?" Asked Talon.

    "Yes, they wear different colors, and some of them carry long poles with sharp blades, as well as rifles. Weapons include machineguns and mortars." Gabriel said. "They look like they will hit us soon."

    "Add another 100 or so to the North of us, and it sounds like the show is on for tonight." Said Grim.

    "We have moved most of the older people, or at least those that would go. The children also. Most of the supplies but not the carts, and the animals. All underground." Said Isabella. "Only the aid station is above ground. Have you picked the volunteers?"

    _________

    Further away, Gregor looked at the sun, slowly falling from the sky.

    Otto was speaking. "We will move the mortars in using the dark. First targets to be the gate and the church, then the walls. Sappers should break through the walls, here, here and here." He said, pointing to their map of the mission fort.

    "We should send in a negotiator, perhaps there is a chance..." Suggested Nicolai.

    Otto was about to speak, but was cut off by Anatoly. "Why not, give them a sense of escape before the slaughter."
     
  18. Gunslinger

    Gunslinger Mildly Dipped

    528
    Apr 3, 2003
    OOC – Has anyone else found it difficult writing in the present tense? I’ll take a swing at it, anyway.

    IC-

    The two Blades stagger through the League camp. They are like salmon, fighting against the current. They are buffeted back as they push they way to the back of the camp while mercenaries and slavers move in the opposite direction to get to the rest of the Blades. No one notices the two Blades, though they are both dressed in customary attire; they are too pent up, raging to get to the offenders.

    Kino knows that time is fleeting. The scout realizes that thirty-eight Blades can not hold out against three hundred League fighters. Such odds would make even veteran Blades flinch. So he runs with reckless abandon. The worn soles of his boots give birth to dust clouds as they slam into the ground.

    Besides him, Abel follows Kino at a slower pace. He is a tall, bruiser of a man but that does not mean he lacks grace. Only, he is careful. He does not risk detection; he takes the time to find shadows. A few of the slavers give him a passing glances as they run past but Abel ducks his head, cursing his dominating stature. As he runs, the machete slaps against his thigh, a reminder of what must be done.

    As they run, the two Blades notice that not all of the occupants of the League camp are rushing to defend their makeshift home. Instead, rioting has broken out. Rough lieutenants clash with slavers refusing to fight. All around, deserters drop their rifles and scamper up the valley. A few stragglers pickup their shares of loot or break something. The thin level of cooperation has ruptured between the League. And in his secret heart, Kino rejoices.

    The two Blades make it to the back of the camp without contest. As they run, they can hear the sharp reports of thirty-eight carbines letting loose upon the enemy. Their hearts go out to their brothers as they run.

    Finally, they clear the tents and find a dismal sight: forty bedraggled men, all with welts and all chained. They are the forty Elders, the chieftains of the Blade camps and the survivors of the massacre at Tabis. Kino remembers Joachim, the one Elder he had rescued. He has already seen what the League has done to his kinsmen.

    They find that the clearing is clear of any guards; either they had deserted or were dealing with the other Blades. Most of the Elders locked in their cages are comatose but some are still conscious. These few stare at both Kino and Abel with eager eyes. They recognize their fellows when they see them. Not a word is said, however. Silence is a virtue among the Blades.

    Both Blades nod in greeting, keeping silence. When Abel unsheathes the machete at his side, the Elders murmur softly. They pan the area with their eyes, searching for any League men.

    Abel moves to the closest cage. He sees that it is made of shoddy, rusted iron. A few sharp slashes at the bars’ cross pieces opens the cage. Inside, the Blade occupant rattles his chains and smiles wryly. The chains are made of new steel. Abel kneels, grasping the chains with on hand, and sets the edge of the machete against it. He runs the heavy knife over the chains a few times, causing sharp scratches around the link. Then, he lifts the machete and drives it forward, cutting through the link easily.

    Kino keeps watch as his brother frees the other Elders. He has his carbine held loosely in the crook of his arm. His clever eyes keep watch for any intruders. Though Abel is silent in his work, Fate could still twist out of their favor.

    It takes ten minutes, an eternity of agony, for Abel to release the last Blade Elder. When they are all free, they either gather their unconscious brothers or pickup weapons. Some find discarded rifles, others are content with the length of chain around their arms as weapons. They look expectantly at Abel.

    Abel nods his head at Kino, who draws a flare gun from his coat. He raises it to the sky and pulls the trigger. The flare shrieks as its phosphorus tip is ignited. The burning beacon soars into the sky, hanging there as its chemicals burn.

    Back at the base camp, Dante, warleader of the Blades, rallies his men into a phalanx. They abandon their post, the higher ground. Amidst them are the corpses of League fighters. None of their men have fallen yet, either in the infiltration of the camp or in holding the base camp. Dante does not plan on loosing any, either. He raises the stiletto knife in his hand, rallying the men around him.

    Then, they charge at this command. The Blades are beautiful in their ferocity, beating back the enemy. They fight they way out of the camp, out to freedom and Grey Cliffs. The smell of cordite hangs about them as their guns erupt.

    Meanwhile, as the main Blade force fights their way out of the League camp, Kino and Abel leads the rest of the Blade Elders up the valley walls. They meld silently into the shadows.
     
  19. Rogue Hex

    Rogue Hex Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    353
    Apr 10, 2003
    OOC- Again, appologies... This is the first time ive had a couple of free hours to actually sit down and go through the threads.
    Seriously, im thinking of strating to write some stuff at work...

    IC-

    “What in the world…” Were the only words Duke could find appropriate for what he saw before him.

    Duke had been manning the tail of the team, acting as rear guard as they made the dash for the inner university and the temporary security the elevator and lower levels could provide.
    Charged with covering their asses and dissuading any unwanted pursuits, the fighter had managed a glimpse of something or someone approaching the university and in a rush too.

    The burley man brought a dusty pair of fists to his face, rubbing the sleep form his eyes furiously before staring back out.

    No, it was definitely no mirage or figment of his imagination. No, there was most certainly someone approaching. A lone figure was moving through the early morning light towards their position.

    Duke couldn’t make out any detail but the unknown stranger approaching them seemed to be wielding a weapon of some type. A sword maybe. Its long slender blade glinted and gleamed in the mornings rising sun light.

    “Hey.” He exclaimed to those in front but they seemed to not notice.

    “HEY.” Duke yelled aloud gaining the attention of the other members present. “Is it me, or is there some strange loner out there coming our way?”

    Spinning around, those who had stopped stared blankly out into the distance. They could all make out the lone figure moving quickly in their direction.

    “You mind explaining to me who in the hell that is?” Duke asked.

    “Never mind who he is, what the fuck is he doing?” asked Cleary aloud.

    They watched as the mysterious stranger approached where the abominations where still feasting on their earlier kills.

    “He’s a bloody loon.” Duke shouted. “He won’t make it five feet.”

    “Yea, and he’s about to be dessert.” pointed out Luciel as the first abomination reared its head noticing the new arrival. The beast snarled deeply at the man facing it down.

    “I don’t want no heroics you hear, this gets ugly we leave him.” Cleary firmly ordered. “Were gonna need every man alive if we too get the rest out.”
    No one bothered to speak, they simply nodded in agreement.

    The small group watched astonished as the strange man moved quickly into action.

    As fast as the stranger had moved, the sound of an explosion erupting filled the air all around and they watched as the ground was painted with the innards of one abomination.

    Before the resonating echo had disappeared far into the distance, another, larger more impressive abomination fell limply to the ground. Its end just a silver blur as the stranger’s long blade effortlessly cut it through.

    Still the group watched on, their weapons in hand yet they did not seem to even realise they had them.

    “Holy God.” where the only words Duke could manage.

    Then a momentary silence as the lone warrior and an abomination locked eyes. Each one locked in deadly stare before striking but in this case man was faster as the stranger drew a hand gun with blinding speed and un loaded a single round which landed dead between the creatures eyes. The abomination’s head kicked back, a look of shock filled its eyes as it fell to the ground with a thud.

    The stranger turned a full circle on his heels, desert eagle in hand. He’d retired four of the monstrous beasts in what seemed like a few seconds but the growls and snarls could yet be heard. More of the un holy animals were approaching and this time he didn’t have the element of surprise.

    “He aint gonna kill them all.” said Studly levelling the M240.

    With that, Cleary yelled out to the stranger who turned sharply in their direction.

    “Unless you plan on staying for dinner, I suggest you come with us.”
    The strangers stared at the slayer, as if maybe hesitating for a slight moment before jumping forward towards them. As he ran, he could hear the sounds of heavy feet galloping towards their direction.

    From that moment on, the only sound that could be heard was the racketing din of the gunner as he tore into the beasts. The others were firing as well creating a blanket of cover fire for the stranger.

    “Fall back to the elevator.” Cleary ordered as the stranger reached their position.

    With little time for introductions, Stryfe simply nodded accordingly. “Thanks.”

    “Save it.” Cleary replied, “You in the shit now.”

    OOC- A little shobby i realise but serves its purpose. Stryfe, there aint no getting away from this now, joint at the hip!

    Damn it, wheres my manners...

    A JOLLY HOLLY CHRISTMAS TO YOU ALL!

    And a HaPPy NeW YeaR...
     
  20. Carib FMJ

    Carib FMJ Nuka-Cola Chaser

    Nov 8, 2003
    OOC: Rogue, I wouldn't have it any other way.... Thanks for letting me onboard...


    IC:
    Stryfe looked began to take low breathes as he sheathed his sword on the scabbard on his back and checked his Desert Eagles. What the hell where those things? A Centaur/Death Claw FEV hybrid?

    Seems there was no time to ask such questions, Stryfe merely took a stimpak from his chest pocket and gave his side an injection of the healing chemicles as the numbing bliss of peace quickly overided any thought or emotion.

    He looked to the Woman who called him towards sfatey and the broadshouldered man who had gave supporting fire.

    Keeping his tongue between his teeth, Stryfe waited for the elevator ride to end before he'd make any introductions.
     
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