IC- Chapter Three: Lone Wanderers

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  1. welsh

    welsh This ghoul has seen it all

    Apr 5, 2003
    "The Oprezki are willing to grant an amnesty to your women and children" Said the man on horse bearing a white flag, speaking in the language of old hispanol.

    Raoul spoke, Isabella at his side. "What do you want in exchange?"

    "The horses you stole from us." Said the flag bearer. "It is only for them that we have come this way." he lied.

    Talon, Gabriel and Grim watched from behind one of the machineguns at the gate as one of the DeSilvas translated. Tyler also watched, but needed no translations. Behind them most of the courtyard had been cleared and people were now digging sheltered foxholes. Dreg had disappeared down the tunnel.

    "What if we don't know where the horses are?" Replied Raoul.

    "Then there is no deal."

    Isabella spoke now. "And the men?"

    "No, they are not part of the deal. But the women and children are innocent. They can live." Said the flag bearer.

    "How long do we have to decide?" She asked.

    "Sunset. I will return." Said the flag bearer, who promptly turned away.

    Tyler looked up at the dieing sun, closing on the western horizon. It would not be long.

    Raoul spat over the battlements. That was his answer.

    Gabriel had told them about the mortars. "They will bring down those walls fast if we don't get to them first."

    Talon nodded. "Even so, we need to stop their first wave."
     
  2. Zoe

    Zoe Where'd That 6th Toe Come From?

    451
    Dec 5, 2003
    Zoe was taking a break when she saw the messanger enter the fort.
    She heard what he had to say and after he left, she walked to Raoul.

    "Raoul? Hi, I heard what he said, and...
    "Yes, Zoe?"
    Zoe twisted her hands, and said" I don't trust him. I dent.
    "Ok, but he was carrying a white flag and his motive seemed reasonable!"
    She grabbed his arm, her voice tense:
    Listen to me! I was captured by the Oprezky. They tortured me. I think, for what I saw and heard, that they are not willing to make any peace... They will slaughter us if we give them a chance!
    She then leg go off his arm and, a bit uncomfortable about her outburst, said sheepishly "Sorry..."
     
  3. welsh

    welsh This ghoul has seen it all

    Apr 5, 2003
    But Raoul only laughed.

    "Yes, they are lying, or they are hoping to take advantage of us, perhaps sow dissent among our ranks so that the women make trouble with the men, hoping that the Oprezki will be merciful when the women leave." Said Raoul. "The Oprezki like to attack the mind. When the mind is gone, so is the spirit."

    Isabella was still watching the man ride back to his lines, and when she spoke her voice was low but full of hatred. . "When the women left it would make those that remain feel as if they had been left for slaughter. They think the lion that is defeated bows it's head before the blade. The women and children would be massacred or raped. It is there way. There will be no survivors. But perhaps this lion has more fight left, eh?"

    "What do you mean?" Asked Zoe.

    "Perhaps we can buy some time, or at least let them think we are weak and will comply. When they attack they will find us furious."
    Said Isabella, her eyes fiery and her smile wicked. "It will make them more easy to kill, and the killing more enjoyable. But how are you doing, Ms Doctor""

    "Zoe." Zoe said, introducing her self.

    "Isabella de Silva, widow of Don Pablo and now matriarch of this clan. We are glad you are here and welcome you. We are grateful for the service you provide us, although I fear you have come at a bad time."

    Raoul said, "At least the fight will be a good one. I must look to the preparations."

    "SO tell me Zoe, how are things fairing."

    _______________

    Elsewhere on the battlements-

    Gabriel, his shades on, was watching the sun. "Not much longer."

    "Not much." Replied Talon, looking at the work being done in the courtyard. Grim had left them to speak to Ibis.

    "I'll be going outside." Said Gabriel.

    "You'll do more good there than here." Said Talon, although he knew that few of those who went out might return.

    "Have you seen McReady?"

    "No. Actually I have not seen him since last night. I had figured he had gone north to chart the way to Grey Cliffs." Replied Talon.

    "I saw him by the Canyon, oberving the Oprezki." Said Gabriel.

    Talon thought about that for a long moment. "I'd like to find out why."

    "As do I."

    ______

    In the aid station, Grim had found Ibis working over the body of a young girl that had not survived the escape, preparing the body for burial.

    Ibis was hard at work, having opened up the chest cavity of the girl. He worked over a table away from the injured, in a corner of the basement of the church. A curtain had been closed for privacy.

    Grim found him by the smell. Opening the curtain he startled Ibis.

    "I thought you might be Zoe." Said Ibis.

    "She's talking to Isabella." Said Grim.

    "Good. She could use the rest. It will be busy tonight." Said Ibis returning to his work. He had cut through the breast bone to the tissue underneath, revealing the recently stopped heart.

    "She's still warm. We thought we could save her but we couldn't stop the bleeding." Said Ibis. His voice sad.

    "Did you finish what I brought you." Asked Grim. The package for the night raid. Grim had brought some of his collection to Ibis, understanding that the old man was probably hungry for sustenance.

    "Yes, thank you. Strong ones those Oprezki."

    "There are many of them. It will be a desperate fight." Said Grim.

    "Will we survive?" Asked Ibis.

    "You seem to have always survived." Said Grim. The two shared a secret. But despite that, or perhaps because of it, had never grown close. "How many of your kind exist."

    "Not many, and fewer with time I fear. ANd no, we don't always survive. We die too. If not from human agency than by natural causes." Said Ibis. He cut out a piece of the girl's stomach and tossed it to Cerberus, sitting near by. THe morsal was consumed in a blink.

    "How old are you Ibis." Asked Grim.

    Ibis seemed to think about it while his scaple sliced through the woman's heart, and then quickly brought it to his mouth. "I stopped counting many years ago. No matter. Tonight we decide the future."

    "How do you mean? The supplies."

    "Yes, the supplies. They must get to Grey Cliffs. It is but one battle in a long war, but it is necessary that the League be frustrated. A war is coming Grim, a terrible one. But for now the two enemies must come closer, like two oceans meeting. This is the center of of that storm. But that is not all. Would you care for a bite?" Ibis was holding out the scaple with a piece of the girl's heart.

    "I'll pass."

    "You shouldn't. She was young and full of life. Innocent and hopeful. It would be good for you to have some of that."

    But Grim shook his head.

    "Your choice. No, it's these folks. It is not chance that we have meet them. The four horsemen came to me by a dream. Skeletal warriors on black monsterous beasts, horses. To defeat them, the champions must have mounts of their own, I think."

    "You think? Meaning you don't know."

    Ibis shook his head sadly. "I prophesize, but I don't know. Vision and understanding are not the same." He cut off another piece and held it to Grim, "You're sure?"

    Grim could barely stand the temptation. He snatched the scaple and brought the meat to his mouth. It was delicious.

    Then he gave Ibis the scaple back and turned around, left the aid station.

    Ibis was finished preparing the body and had cleaned his instruments by the time that Zoe had returned.
     
  4. welsh

    welsh This ghoul has seen it all

    Apr 5, 2003
    Before Zoe returned to the aid station, Isabella took her aside.

    "I need to speak to you about a private matter." Isabella had told Zoe, her voice an urgent whisper.

    But the courtyard was filled with activity, so Isabella had led her into a church where they stood near what had once been a confessional. Even here, men were working, cutting and building shelters. On a long bench, Isabella sat next to Zoe and talked of the thing that so concerned her.

    "I am pregnant." She said it plainly.

    Zoe looked into Isabella's proud face. Pregnancy was common in the wasteland. Birth control had been abandoned for the most part and many of the old sexually transmitted diseases had been dealt with. It this way the species sought to survive, or at least replace those many who died.

    "The father?" Asked Zoe.

    "My husband. Before he left. But that was almost four months ago, and he is dead."

    "Is there another man..." Began Zoe.

    "I am the matron of this clan, doctor. There is tradition here, that a woman needs a man. But first I am matron and will not give up this position for any man or tradition." The outburst was sudden. Zoe caught by surprise did not speak. A number of the others working nearby stopped, also suprised.

    Isabella did not speak but looked around at the men who had stopped until, one by one, they returned to their duty, sheepishly reminded of their duties.

    "I did not mean.." Began Zoe.

    "No I am rude. My position is vulnerable, Doctor. In the past year we have traveled far from our home and many children we have left on the way." Said Isabella.

    "Hard travel won't be good for the baby." Said Zoe.

    "I know. But our travels will soon end, I hope. Or perhaps it all ends tonight. But the baby." Said Isabella.

    "I can see you now if you like or later."

    ___________

    Talon had gone to where Jacin and Virgil were going over the weapons and handing out ammunition. Crossing the courtyard he was careful about going over the holed dug, only some of which were covered.

    Among the weapons were small rectangular objects that one seemed to stick to the ground.

    Talon picked up one, but Virgil quickly took it away. "Careful."

    "What is it?" Asked Talon.

    "Claymore mines. Like a shotgun blast, they fire off pellets."

    "Deadly?"

    "If you're not wearing armor." Said Jacin.
     
  5. Gunslinger

    Gunslinger Mildly Dipped

    528
    Apr 3, 2003
    IC-

    “Char.”

    “Char. Char.”

    “Char, char, char!”

    The chant picked up tempo. The tribals stomped their feet to its beat, dancing to its deathly jive almost. The two bound men bound in rope and slung on a length of wood like game shuffled on their shoulders. One of the men, the one dressed in black with the same raven-colored hair and beard, was still unconscious. The other man, the hard case with the shooting irons who had tried to fight, was wide awake. He was utterly silent as his captors marched.

    The tribals were not a normal hunting party. This, the hard case knew. They were regulators, dishing out retribution. It was not suprising; earlier, the hard case had killed a previous hunting party of tribals. Judging from the red bird totem tattooed on these tribals chest, they were of the same tribe.

    The hard case also knew what was coming up next. The mean looking butcher hooks on the tribals’ belts alluded to it. He knew that flaying was some sort of fucked up ceremony with certain tribes.

    The hard case and the ex-slaver hung on their spits as the tribals carried them further into the desert. The hard case was preparing himself. He did not intend to have his throat cut, the blood pooling out of his wound. His friend slung next to him could not have cared less in his sleep.

    The time of waiting, waiting for the tribals to stop and lay them down so they could cut their throats, was excruciating. And, unknown to the hard case, he was waiting for sometime that would never come.

    They soon came to a hole, to put it plainly. If the hard case had known more, he would have said it was a crater. From it, plumes of smoke puffed and wafted up to the sky.

    “Char,” one of the tribals said.

    “Char,” agreed the others.

    They carried them further. To the hard case’s horror, they were carrying them to the pit of smoke.

    “Wait,” panted Caleb. “Hold on here!”

    The tribal carrying him only shrugged and muttered, “Char.”

    Before another word could be said, the tribals threw both bound men into the pit.

    Char, their god of death, would take care of the rest.
     
  6. welsh

    welsh This ghoul has seen it all

    Apr 5, 2003
    "We will need time." Called out Isabella to the brearer of the white flag.

    "You are not of the luxury to expect more time, madam." He replied. "In an hour the sun will set and all the women and children must be evacuated."

    "It is not enough time. They need to gather things and say goodbye to loved ones." She protested.

    "They may take only what they carry and can say their farewells to loved ones when they put them into the ground. You have but one hour." Said the flag bearer, who turned his horse and quickly galloped away.

    In truth none of the De Silvas were willing to leave. There would be no quarter given by the De Silvas. Therefore it was better to fight them here, in a church yard, with knives and fists if necessary.
    Isabella hoped it would not come to that.

    Talon and Raoul were nearby. She turned to them. "Are we ready."

    "Si Senora," Spoke Raoul, "they will begin to move in the night. When the sun is down, they will move up their mortars and sabatours. We are already putting our people out."

    "There are so many of them." She said. "And us."

    Talon had done the count. There were 27 caravan men (which included those they had picked up from the University and along the road). The De Silvas had about 30 good men who could fight, plus another 41 women who could fire rifles. Plus there were another 16 locals who had joined.

    "There are about 114 of us. Including the dozen outside." Said Talon. "We face about 400 of them. But we got the defense and a few surprises."

    _______

    OCC- the twelve volunteers had begun to move out through the tunnel. With them were Dreg and Tyler, both new comers. Gabriel led the group and Grim followed to the rear.

    Gabriel found the ladder leading to the surface and the hidden entrance. Quietly he moved it aside letting in the last sunshine into the hole.

    "We fight with knives tonight. Silently. Keep your mind on were this tunnel is and try to get back before the horses come in. We must prevent a breach of the walls. And remember, only those that come back get to enjoy being heroes."
     
  7. welsh

    welsh This ghoul has seen it all

    Apr 5, 2003
    Rogue had cleaned her rifle again in the hour before sunset. Even if it weren't her gun, she wanted it to be cleaned once more if this were to be the final battle. She had taken a postion up in the church tower from which she could see the movement below within the small mission fortress and further away, as the riders began to assemble.

    There were so many. The group to the north had grown as others had joined them. Now there were large groups at each point of the compass, those in the east becoming harder to see as darkness crept across the high grass of these rolling plains.

    Down below she could see that they were covering up the holes in the courtyard. Virgil and Jim were making the rounds about the walls giving the defenders instructions. Raoul and Isabella were near the gate conferring as Talon also went about the wall, giving encouragement.

    Outside the wall she could see where the men were emerging from the tunnel, staying low, like phantoms, moving through the grass. Some would come close and plant claymores. Others would kill sabatour who were even now moving towards the wall. Sabatours that sought to blow holes under the wall and making the attack of the horsemen easier. Others were preparing to strike the mortars.

    And of the Oprezki? She could see their early moves as well. Small groups were moving through the grass, dark objects, like predators creeping in on a crippled prey. Like rats in the cornfield streaming towards a target. They were encircling before the attack. They would plant their mortars outside of rifle range and wait until the appointed time.

    The De Silvas and the caravan man had planted other suprises out in the field. Mines, booby traps, left behind to catch them, to take out as many as possible. To kill from under the riders and to upset the momentum of the attack. They would come soon. Having chased their prey across the spine of Hispaniole to this fortress, having been humiliated once, they could only be satisfied by revenge.

    Soon their would be explosions and cries. But most of the fighting woudl be done hand-to-hand, with knives. But it was only the opening moves. She would have her chance soon enough.

    Isabella had said that this was the final battle. Here the chase ended and the fight to the death would be made.
     
  8. Zoe

    Zoe Where'd That 6th Toe Come From?

    451
    Dec 5, 2003
    Zoe had examined Isabella and gave her the diagnostic:
    "You are in great health and the child is fine, as far as I can get to know without the..." She stopped herself; almost spoke too much about her past. Zoe breathed deep and said: As far as I can tell without further technology at my disposal. You will be fine, but as a doctor and as a friend, that I hope we can be, I recommend you stay very away from the front line of battle.
    "Thanks"
    "You are welcome. "
    Zoe tended other patients, a bit curious about what would Ibis be doing. Taking advantage of a moment of peace - which she reckoned as the "calm before the storm", she took a walk around the fort and while getting to know about the defenses being put up, she stated to Raoul and Rogue that she could be in the fight, supporting them. Then she checked her weapons and in another walk, finally found Ibis.
    He was so concentrated she did not want to disturb him. But she got really startled when she realized what he was doing.

    Zoe left as quietly as possible and went back to the well. Was she working too much? Did she imagine that?
    Washing her face with a kerchief just wet in water - cause water was precious - she recovered her breath.

    I never imagined ghoul did it! she thought.
     
  9. Gruug

    Gruug Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    340
    Nov 7, 2003
    Gruug was bumbling around, doing last minute maintanance and cleaning to the fixed weaponry. He had also chosen a few strong looking fellows to use the few rocket launchers they had. There was one that was quite impressive, though Gruug could only make up a bodgy rocket, as they could not waste any of the real rockets.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Dreg was right next to this tyler person, hmph. He was not very old, in his 20's, full of testosterone. Sure, he looked to be fairly good, and he was right on with a rifle, though Dreg cared nought for guns. Now he would see how good he was up close and personal, with his bare fists and a knife. Dreg didn't use a knife, but had his pole out. For him, it was more deadly than any knife could be. Because, if you looked closer to it, right at the ends there were metal plates put into it, and down it there were numerous balls of metal, though not where Dreg usually had his hands on, although, if the situation called for it, Dreg knew how to hold the pole where the metal was, without bleeding his hands. It would be a mighty fine test.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Gruug noticed the new girl, she came walking swiftly from the back wall, she looked as if she had seen a ghost, thought she tried to hide it. In her hands was a rifle. Well, looks like she will fight too. Admirable, these humans.
    Gruug then went back to doing last minute checks.
     
  10. welsh

    welsh This ghoul has seen it all

    Apr 5, 2003
    "Alright, we know what to do." whispered Grim to the others. "Remember, silence. Use the dark to your advantage and don't let them know we are hunting them."

    They dozen men broke into small groups and split up in different directions. Some would take out the mortars, other would kill the sabateurs.

    Grim had his silenced pistol ready and a large hunting knife. Like the others he stayed low in the grass, moving through it like a hungry wherecat of the middle plains. Hunting. His hand touched the ground, and felt its coolness. The sun had just recently set and already the ground had gotten cold as death.

    Closer to the ground, he could make out bricks and stones, the outline of foundations cutting through the tall grass. Once there had been houses here, but they had been reduced to rubble, and only their foundations remained. Wasteland winds had blown around the sand and the tall grass had grown covering it up. The land reclaiming itself.

    He moved slowly towards his designated spot. Raoul had pointed out an area he expected the Oprezki to set up their mortars.

    Pause, wait.

    Something approaching.

    Grim listened.

    He could hear them. Off to the side now.

    Quietly he moved in towards them, letting his body move with the wind.

    Stop.

    Wait.

    He could hear them approach.

    The first passed him within arms length. There were two more.

    As the second pasted, Grim shit him behind the ear. The he pivoted around and shot the third in the face.

    The first sabateur, hearing the sound, turned around reaching for his pistol when he felt something punch him in the chest, knocking the wind out of him and putting him into the ground.

    Then he felt a hand clasp over his mouth and a blade slice through his throat. Then nothing.

    Grim checked through the packs.

    Explosives and detonators. These will come in handy.

    Grim heard something behind and turned. But it was only one of the others hiding the bodies.
     
  11. Gruug

    Gruug Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    340
    Nov 7, 2003
    Dreg went down low, the tall grass helped him somewhat, but he knew he needed to be lower. He went down on all four's, traveling around, looking, listening.

    He paused. He heard something. The thud of someone tripping over, and a noise of exertion that must be someone helping another up. Certainly would be the Oprezki. He moved, then he waited.

    There were three in the little group of sabateurs, and One fell over, with a soft thud. Two then went to help pick him up, whilst Three looked onwards. There was something not right about this. Oh well, he knew what he had to do, and checked his bags. After one got back up that started moving.

    All of a sudden, Three got swept off his feet and had a blow to his neck that ended his life. One and Two stopped. For One's effort of going a bit further to search, he felt something like a baseball bat with small spikes smash against his chest, rushing all the air out of him, and breaking a few ribs. Then he looked down in time to see a pole come rushing up to his face, to greet him with eternal darkness.

    By now, Two was shitting himself, One and Three had dissapeared! Two turned around. He heard footsteps, too late, as the last thing he remembered was a massive forearm around his neck, and a ripping and cracking sensation before total darkness.

    Dreg smiled, that, was fun. Not only had he ended three mens lifes, but he had done it expertly. After what those bastards had done to him. Although he didn't feel anything, he knew the cuts all around his body could not be good. He checked their bags. Explosives! Just as he thought. He had not thought he'd heard the clunk of a mortar. Those would be further back. But for now, Dreg did a bit of patrol.

    Of in the distance, a mortar group was watching eagerly as a group of two sabateurs went closer and closer to the thought. Then they dissapeared. That was odd, although they might of been getting low to conceal themselves even more. Oh well.
    And so the group went on, setting up their mortar, not knowing that death was fast approaching them.
     
  12. welsh

    welsh This ghoul has seen it all

    Apr 5, 2003
    The mortar from what remained of the first two columns had faced no opposition as they moved into position. The few lights from the mission fort were enough for them to find their targets. Their skill with their weapons had been earned for past few years when such night raids were a common Oprezki tactic.

    The leaders had chosen to stay with standard doctrine for a night raid. Yet none could remember a raid of such size. There had also been nervous whispers. The Oprezki struck like sudden lightning, but these defenders had known the storm was gathering and had dug in. This would be different.

    Quietly they worked. Preparing mortar tubes and sighting in their target. They would hit the church building. One mortar would fire first, intending to blast apart or weaken the roof. The next hopefully would land within the church, killing everyone within with sharpnel. Then they woudl depress fire and take down the walls.

    They worked quietly, with barely a whisper among them. Each man knew their task. Their position was low, the floor of what once were a building, now swept over with sand. Yet, barely a few inches from the bottom, they could feel a firm floor.

    Discretion and secrecy meant they moved with the minimum numbers. They posted no guards. That was doctrine. More men ment more opportunity to be revealed, and secrecy demanded they made the most of what stealth they possessed.

    Even so they didn't hear the man crawling around their position, quietly planting the explosives and laying the electrical wires that would set off the plastique with a detonator.

    By the time the mortar crew were ready, the man had crawled away, burying the cables that connected to the detonator. The man crawled back as far as possible to the whole and waited for the signal.

    ________________

    Further away, Gabriel wiped his blade against his pants. Then he handed he gave the signal to the De Silva men to continue setting up the claymore mine.

    A group of claymore mines were strung around the fortress. These would be used to buy time and as a suprise. Not enough to stop the Oprezki, but perhaps enough to buy time. While the De Silva "sappers" worked, Gabriel watched for Oprezki infiltrators.

    Some distance away, an exposion, a scream. The night suddently light up bright and thundered. Gabriel turned away, least his superior night vision suffer.

    An Oprezki man had perhaps triggered a mine. During the prior night Isabella had instructed her men to begin laying mines. Now they were strewn about, an added danger as Gabriel didn't know exactly where they lay.

    But there was something else out there too. McReady had not yet returned, and his absence troubled Gabriel.

    Gabriel felt a buzzing on his wrist. His pipboy.

    Motioning for someone else to cover the position, he quickly looked down at the message.

    "Provide Grid Coordinates of current location."

    Why would the Slayers want to have the location?

    _________________

    On the rampart, Gruug prepared his launcher. Somewhere out there was a mortar site that he was to take out, and quickly. The plan was to target the site with a flare. It would be a long shot, but Gruug was confident in his skills.

    ________________

    Ibis, realizing that the people in the aid station were as well looked after as they might under the circumstances, left the aid station to find Zoe.

    They would need a doctor and it would do little good if the only real doctor they had got killed by a stray bullet.

    For certainly, they would need Zoe in the days to come.

    When Ibis had been younger, there had been a clock working in Tabis. It had been housed in the town hall building and it struck time regularly. He had come to anticipate the sound of the bells tolling.

    Tonight Ibis had that same expectation. But the time being tolled was his life on earth and know he anticipated that he would not see the morning.

    ________________

    Talon made his round near the gate, where he found both Raoul and Buffying behind the M-60s.

    "This will get hot tonight." Said Talon.

    "Don't worry. We won't let the first wave through." Said Buffy.

    "You should be elsewhere, there are many places on the wall that need to be looked after." Said Raoul.

    The old Mex had wrapped a cloth around the butt of the machine gub, perhaps to make it's use easier. But it was a dangerous place for a leader to be. "I could say the same for you."

    "It is my place to guard the gate. This is where they will come, and this is were we must hold at first. Our plan relies on it." Said Raoul. "It is the most dangerous place, so who else should be there."
     
  13. Zoe

    Zoe Where'd That 6th Toe Come From?

    451
    Dec 5, 2003
    (OOC: Oh come on, Welsh, dont kill him! ;) )

    Zoe had taken place and fired a few shots on Oprezky when she felt a hand on her shoulder.
    Her scream was not unnoticed by the others who were concentrated on the battle but also aware of their surroundings. Zoe looked to see who touched her shoulder: It was Ibis, who had reached her. Oh its you!" She could not help a shiver. The others noticed it was ok and were already shooting Oprezkis again.

    "Come, you gotta get out of here!"
    I gotta help!
    "You wont help anybody if you are dead!"
    The coldness of those words fell bitterly on her. She sighed.
    You are right.
    "Come."

    He lead her through the fighters that were defending the wall , bringing Zoe to a safe spot in the main building.
     
  14. Gruug

    Gruug Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    340
    Nov 7, 2003
    Suddenly, a small patch lit up like a christmas tree in the far distance. Gruug sighted. He knew he would have to be quick, because the Ozprezki would recover, and start firing the mortar. Gruug lined up, let his breathing halt, and fired.
    WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSH went the rocket, out from the launcher. The launcher went quite hot for a fraction of a second, but was then cooled down by a mechanism Gruug did not understand, even though he knew the manual for this rocket launcher like the back of his hand.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Dreg was withing 15 meters of the mortar emplacemeant, when he heard the rocket, then looked at it. It looked as if it were coming straight at him! For the first time in years, Dreg was scared. He ran.
    Obviously the Ozprezki mortar saw him, but, too late. It seemed that the rocket had not gone where he was only a few seconds ago, but right in the middle of the Ozprezki mortar tube. Dreg would have to congratulate the mutant later. For now, Dreg went down on all fours and zig zagged around randomly to shake of any where abouts of his position.
     
  15. welsh

    welsh This ghoul has seen it all

    Apr 5, 2003
    occ- Gruug, a bit premature but, well, that's how it sometimes works. Ed. going to give your character an out.

    icc-

    There had been sporadic rifle fire from the walls, but not much. With both Oprezki and defenders, those inside had been very careful least they shoot their own men. The occassion explosion of a mine or the crackle of rifle fire, had been the only audible interruptions of the night.

    Then suddenlty. BOOM. Followed by a series of smaller explosion.

    The explosion caused by the rocket attack suprised everyone. The Oprezki men still working through the tall grass, the De Silvas planting their traps and the Caravaneers silently killing with their knives all froze in the explosion.

    That was the signal. The squad of men going out had known that the rocket strike on the mortar time would be the first blow struck back at the Oprezki. It was also the signal to withdraw. The horsemen would be coming in soon.

    ------
    Otto and Anatoly were making final preparations when the explosion wiping out a mortar team echoed across the plain. Both look and could see the brilliant flashs as the initial explosion set off secondary explosions, other mortar rounds going off.

    "Mortars." Gasped Otto. Knowing that without the artillery hit to the fortress their attack would be jeopardized.

    "Yes, they have people outside the wall." Said Anatoly.

    Far across the field they could hear a cavelry horn blare, signalling an attack. It was Gregor's leading what was left of the first two columns. Hungry for revenge, they would be the first wave.

    Perhaps the Oprezki, realizing that their plan had gone awry, might have hesitated and reconsidered their plan. But as one horn went another, Nicolai's, answered. The Lancers, dismounted, were moving in.

    Then an explosion, and another.

    "The dice is cast." Said Otto, almost wistfully. Surprise would be lost.

    Anatoly nodded. "Till tomorrow then."

    "If the day should come." Said Otto.

    Anatoly rode off to join his horsemen, already now moving on the fortress but now thinking, as did many, that they rode into their doom.

    Otto watched him ride off, then called to his signal man with a wave. The signal blew a long mournful note, like the deathsong of a mighty mythical beast, and the column was charging across the plain.

    _______________

    The first mortar fired, it's shell going high before coming down on the roof of the church. At the sound of the first charge dropped in the tube, the man with the detonator turned the switch on his detonator and ducked his head and clasping his hand around his ears.

    Had he looked the explosion might have blinded him.

    The charges of plastique, hidden around the mortar, went up in one full blast, the concussion blowing the mortar men apart in the blast. They didn't have time to cry out.

    The detonator now dropped the De Silva man took a quick look at the mortar team. But there were only parts of bodies littering the spot.

    He turned and ran for the tunnel. Behind him he could hear the sound of hooves.
    ______

    Grim was having less luck with another mortar team. He and one of the De Silvas had set up a pair of claymore mines to wipe out one of the teams. But unlike the others, this one had chosen a different location to set up.

    But like most battles, this would take on a life of it's and he would have to take it where it chose to go.

    Gabriel, seeing his problem, had joined Grim as soon as his group had set up it's claymores. With Gabriel's keen eyesight they had been able to find the other team, off some 100 paces to the right.

    But the suddenness of the first strike caught them all by surprise and before Grim, Gabriel and the De Silva man could ambush the mortar men.

    There was nothing to do but rush them.

    Grim and Gabriel both ran towards the mortar men, pistols out and firing. But not fast enough. Three mortar rounds were fired. One fell short of the wall, exploding impotently in the sand. Another fell far, into the empty courtyard. But the third fell atop the school building, and part of the second floor was obliterated by the shell.

    Then Grim and Gabriel were among them. Their pistols firing quick. The mortar men, focused on their work, didn't see their danger until it was too late. The first fell before they knew they were being attacked. But that signalled to the others, who turned to face the attack and struggled to find personal weapons. It was too late. Two ran, but were brought down with a burst of automatic weapon fire from the DeSilvas.

    Grim reached for an explosive device and set the timer for a minute, and tossed it in among the mortar shells.

    The three men were racing back even as the first explosions were going off. But would they get back before the horsemen were upon them.

    ___________

    Only one of the mortar teams had survived. This one fired on the main gate.

    Two shells landed inside the courtyard of the fortress, scattering shrapnel that sprayed a few of the people on the wall. One other hit the gate and broke the hingges off one of the door, knocking is slightly ajar. The explosion through sharpnel into one of the two gun emplacements next to the main gate. It was close enough that the sharpnel would certainly have killed anyone inside. But it didn't matter. The fourth shell fell into the hole.

    Raoul could spare only a glance to where Buffy had been. There was nothing left. even the sandbags had been knocked away.

    He turned his gun towards were the Oprezki had fired cutting into the mortar men. Talon had also seen the mortars fire and instructed those with grenade launchers to fire on the mortars. The combined fire silenced any further fire from the mortars.

    Talon yelled down to Raoul to withdraw his position. Outside the gate, his gun was vulnerable.

    But whether Raoul was deafened by the nearby explosions or was ignoring him, Talon did not learn. The old mexican warrior stayed behind his gun, firing into the rush of horses that were storming towards the main gate.

    occ-
    Ok, Raoul is going to die. The first wave of horses will probably be dropped by the claymores and the defenders. But the plan is for those on the wall to withdraw quickly to the buildings and let the Oprezki blow the gate. Once the Oprezki go in, their horses will begin to fall into the holes dug into the courtyard, tripping them up. But in the rush to get into the courtyard, it will be impossible for the Oprezki who enter to escape. There is only one entrance and no exit. From inside, the defenders can cut them down with machine gun fire.

    No reason to rush this. Take your time. Those on the outside need to get in. Those inside have wounded and can fire down on Gregor's column.
     
  16. Rogue Hex

    Rogue Hex Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    353
    Apr 10, 2003
    OOC- Back again. I took the liberty of introducing Stryfe to the rest of the group.


    IC-Luciel rocked back and forth on his heels. The tattered leather boots creaking under the small fidgety movements.

    The small elevator seemed tightly packed with people.

    Sarge hadn’t been able to fit in the elevator, even without other bodies in the small space. Instead, the big mutant had opted to stay on the small landing near the elevator doors and keep their passage clear for a quick exit. Fortunately the abominations seemed more interested in eating than venturing down 3 flights of demolished stairs to the elevator level.
    The two guards which had fought by the mutant’s side had also opted to stay with Sarge. It didn’t seem right they leaving him up hear alone after he’d fought for them.
    Studly had left the mutant his M240 for some heavy support which Sarge had quickly mounted upon some rubble. The first abomination to venture down those stairs would get a lethal sting it wouldn’t forget!

    Surprisingly, no one had ventured to speak yet and the silence was close to seeming awkward. Luciel knew his place though; it wasn’t for him to speak in such moments.

    Surprisingly enough, it was the stranger who stepped forward and made the first move.

    “Stryfe…” He announced quietly. The stranger stood tall and extended a travel worn hand out towards Cleary who he presumed to be the head in charge around here.

    Cleary glanced down to the hand gestured out towards him. Fresh blood stained his tanned skin from battle with the abominations. Not being a squeamish man, the sergeant reached forward and grasped Stryfe’s hand tightly with a sturdy hand shake.

    “Cleary, pleasure im sure.”

    “What is this place?” Asked Stryfe checking out the elevator. Even the most simplistic things seemed extraordinary when you haven’t seen them before or at least for a while in any case. Which ever Stryfe’s case might be, he certainly seemed rather impressed.

    “Pre-war.” Cleary announced, “Way pre-war.”

    “It’s called a university, but it’s also a…” Cleary halted sharply, considering his choice of words.
    Command would still want to know about this place and what Recon had unfortunately discovered. They would also most certainly return with a little more boot. Cleary doubted heavily intelligence would enjoy returning to this location only to find it had already been visited by another party. Especially in these times of darkness.

    “…A place of Knowledge.” Cleary continued.

    “So how did you come to be in these parts?” Stryfe probed inquisitively.

    “What would you entail by that?” Cleary replied with a sheepish grin. The sergeant was a well travelled man and knew how the world worked, how people worked. He admired the stranger’s forward tactics.

    “Well, you don’t strike me as a man of knowledge.” Stryfe answered. A thought crossed his mind that maybe he was probing a little too far now. Or maybe probing the wrong person…

    Cleary laughed deeply. “Not as much a man of knowledge friend, more of a man seeking knowledge if you know my meaning.”

    Before Stryfe could reply the elevator came to a jerky stop and the rusty looking doors slid open with a hiss.
    Cleary stepped out of the elevator and headed off down the corridor, a small smile still painted across the sergeant’s weary face as he went. The others followed without saying much of a word except a “hello” as they passed Stryfe.

    Stryfe shrugged; maybe he had gone too far. Then again, at first glance, these didn’t seem like the sort of people who would let someone go to far and still live to tell the tale.
    No, these were different. Something about them, the armour and weaponry maybe. Stryfe couldn’t put a finger on who they were but there was time yet.

    As Cleary made his way down the short corridor, he passed the wounded which had been evacuated from above when the abominations attacked. Most were still nursing wounds from some time ago. A battle which the sergeant had yet too hear about.
    People moved from wounded to wounded, aiding them with drinking water and small food.
    The sergeant passed a young woman he had yet to notice. Fair face and kind looking, she seemed pre occupied with a wounded man. A caravaner by the looks, traveller of the wastes.

    Shannon stared up at the small group of men as they made their way into where Reggie was working. She her self had only returned a short while ago, the mechanical arm in hand. The youngish woman smiled to Luciel and Duke as they in turn entered the medical room. Finally she noticed Stryfe who trailed closely behind. She noticed his weapons, his desert eagles neatly holstered and the shaft of a sword peering out from his back.
    As Stryfe’s glance met hers, she quickly averted her eyes, concentrating on the wounded guard.

    As the sergeant entered the room, he noticed his lieutenant stood accompanied by a small midget. Both seemed to be tampering with the robotic man the others called Andy bot.

    Cleary didn’t bother saluting and Lyall didn’t seem to bother much either. When it came down to the crunch, Lyall was a fellow soldier. A brother in arms more than a superior.
    The lieutenant looked over towards the stranger trailing behind the others. As Shannon had done just a moment before, the weapons were the first thing Lyall noticed.
    He motioned towards the stranger stood amongst Luciel and duke.

    “We picked him up whilst out there.” Said Cleary answering the lieutenants look. “He’ll come in handy when the time comes, you’ll see.”
    Lyall smiled, he of all people knew better than to doubt his sergeant’s capability to read people.

    “What have you got for me?” Lyall asked.

    “A window of opportunity.” Cleary replied.

    “Opportunity?”

    “It’s too open out there. These beasts will pick us off and cut us down like sleeping brahma before we even break away from the complex. Their faster when they have room to manoeuvre and from what I’ve seen the rest of these things don’t seem to acknowledge pain or care much for death either. You physically have to stop these beasts or they just keep coming.” Explained the sergeant.

    “So what are you suggesting?”

    “Well I believe that now is the best chance we got at getting away from this place. They’ve eaten already, and sun is coming up. Now light won’t stop them but they don’t care for it much either sir.”

    “Their numbers reduced…” The lieutenant muttered quietly to him self. By now Duke and the rest of the able fighters had gathered around. Reggie listened in curiously from where he was still working on Syphon’s arm.

    “With the strongest of the pack fed and put to bed sir, we may have a shot.”

    “How long do you reckon we have?” Inquired the lieutenant.

    “Its hard to say, not long that’s for sure. All they seem to do is eat.” Replied Cleary.

    “Yea, once they get hungry they’ll come, by sun or star.” added Luciel. The youngish lad felt proud just to be present in such converses. It was like being home again with his father and friends before they…
    Luciel didn’t care much for the past anymore, it seemed a long time ago and it pained him to think of such memories.

    Lieutenant Lyall rubbed the thick gritty stubble which was slowly appearing around his chin. He stood up straight, turning towards Reggie and Nat with a concerned look.

    The ghoul didn’t need to hear anything. He understood quite well what could happen if they were to miss such an opportunity. Well let’s just say he knew they might not live to see another…

    “An hour but no sooner, your pushing it at that.” Said Reggie.

    Lyall nodded and turned away; “Get everyone ready, we’ll be moving with in an hour.”

    “An hour?” Nat asked in a worrisome tone. “Isn’t that a little hasty?”

    “It’ll be ok.” Reggie assured her, “Now come, we have much work to do.”

    Cleary turned to Lyall. "You think they will be ready in an hour."

    The lieutenant sighed, "No, but they will take the risk anyway. Its the only chance any of us got at getting out of here alive." Said the lieutenant returning back to where Pip was still pre occupied with the Andy bot.

    "And that?" Cleary asked.


    "If it works, a distraction." The lieutenant replied. "One which may make the difference between live and death for a lot of us out there."


    OOC-

    Hope that was ok. Stryfe I'll PM you the ideas I got in mind about this. Also to see what you think.
    This is pretty open at the minute so if you want, take it where you will. I figure a little more prep for the fight and getting the wounded out whilst we wait for Reggie to finish up the urgent stuff on Syphon and we move out.
    Also a heads up for Syphon if your still with us. If the next post or two you will be coming concious.

    Ciaos
     
  17. Gruug

    Gruug Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    340
    Nov 7, 2003
    Dreg had not gotten back in time, being the furtherst away, he was almost at the gate which had been destroyed when the Ozprezki were at it. He hid, stick his pole out sometimes to knock people off their horses, but that was all he was usefull for.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Sometime earlier: Gruug had reloaded his second rocket, and knew that he should be arming up the heavy machinegun, but he fired, 10 meters infront of the wave. He had estimated that they were traveling atleast 60, and he was right. He watched as the whooooosh of the rocket went, and exploded right in the middle of the group, killing atleast 15 men and horses, but giving major and minor wounds to atleast 20 more.
    He then dropped his rocket launcher and picked up the heavy machinegun.
    "IT IS A GOOD DAY TO DIE!" He bellowed as loud as he could.
     
  18. Carib FMJ

    Carib FMJ Nuka-Cola Chaser

    Nov 8, 2003
    Stryfe took a small self guided tour of the University. The preserved remnants of the past always touched a part of Stryfe's soul, though many questioned if he had a soul at all. Just because his eyes dilated like that of cat into a slit when under intense light didn't make him any less a man. No, he was a man...

    But that didn't matter now, what mattered now was that these people needed his help and he needed them to get out of here.

    After listening to Sergeant Clearly and the Lieutenant, he knew the game plan and was ready to move when the word was given. Already he downed four beasts on his own, but after studying the creatures even in his brief melee, he realized each one was better prepared than the next. For each he killed, it seem the next fought better. Stryfe had encountered death claws with guile before, but these were no death claw, but they were also faster - feeling the wound area after it healed - they were also deadlier. Any closer and Stryfe would have to collect his innards off the desert soul.

    [color]"So..."[/color] Stryfe decided to ask a question. "do you by any chance have any spare weaponry around?"
     
  19. Rogue Hex

    Rogue Hex Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    353
    Apr 10, 2003
    IC-

    “Weapons?” Cleary repeated. “Seems were coming up short in that department. Afraid were only lightly armed with just our personal equipment. No surplus.”

    Stryfe turned away, staring down the corridor towards the elevator.

    “What about this place, maybe an armory or something of the sort?” He asked.

    Cleary looked back towards where Stryfe stood watching, thinking about the blue prints he’d used earlier that morning to navigate through the two lower levels.

    “The level below us contained the central point for the university's security forces. But I wouldn’t chance going down there for nothing…”

    Stryfe turned to face the sergeant.

    “It’s the level below us that harbors those things. It was down there we first encountered them. It was down there where we lost two fellow fighters which I knew as friends.”

    Duke approached the two and stopped, standing up near sergeant Cleary. The combatant took the Kalashnikov hooked around his shoulder and swung it in Stryfe’s direction. Then a clip appeared from his belt which he tossed towards the new comer.

    “Were low on ammunition so you’ll have to make those count…”

    “What about you?” Stryfe asked examining the well maintained weapon.

    “I got one of the injured to occupy me.” replied Duke turning towards where Syphon was still being worked upon. “He is slightly heavy for the others to carry alone.”

    A small grin appeared across Duke's face. "Anyways i got this little baby." He smiled.
    Duke drew his 6 shooter, twirling the gun around a few times with his fingers before bringing it too a halt.
    "I got everything I need right here." He said starting to twirl the gun again before dropping it back into its holster.

    Stryfe watched him wield the ancient weapon like it was attached to him. The stranger smiled as Duke continued with the display.

    Cleary pattered the enthusiastic man on the back. At least their spirit hadn't gone. They would need it dearly over the coming hours.

    Cleary turned and headed off to aid the lieutenant who was busy instructing other people about what they were to do when the time came to make a run for it.


    “How do you know this will work?” asked Nat.

    Reggie was still busy with Syphon’s new mechanical arm and things were taking longer than he had planed. The operation was far from over but Reggie had a deadline to meet. If the need be, he would finish the most important stretch of what had to be done, stabilize Syphon for their escape then return to his attention once they were in a less hostile environment.

    Nat on the other hand could do nothing but worry. First she seemed panicky about Syphon’s health and the risks of not finishing such a complex operation, then about the reliability of the new arm. Maybe she just cared a little too much. But maybe she was right.
    Reggie knew what risks he would be taking with Syphon. But not just with Syphon, Kellay as well. The young girl had yet to come round from her gruelingly long operation. Under other circumstances the ghoul wouldn’t even consider such acts; in fact he would have strongly advised against them. But these weren’t other circumstances and one must play the hand he is dealt.

    “Well I don’t know if it will or not.” Reggie replied, “Unfortunately it’s all we got. I’m afraid only time can answer such a question”

    “How does it work?” Luciel asked as he stumbled passed the table. The young boy was struggling to carry a large box of medical supplies which seemed to dwarf him. The preparations were well underway now. Luciel had been charged with collecting any medical supply’s he could find.
    When they had left the caravan they had been so desperately low in supplies that it would be senseless to return without additional medical equipment, especially when there was some much just sitting here collecting dust before their very eyes.

    “It’s operated much in the same way an arm is. By using what remained of Syphon’s nerves, we were able to link them up. Most movements will work upon impulse.” Reggie explained. “The arm its self seems to be powered by small fusion cells.”

    “Woah, not the easiest things to get your hands on.” Luciel exclaimed. But he was right. Reggie knew it as well. Fusion cells were a rarity anywhere in the wastes, a problem which they would have to face sooner or later. But for now, Reggie had more pressing matters. At that the ghouls waved Luciel on and returned his full attention to the task at hand.
     
  20. welsh

    welsh This ghoul has seen it all

    Apr 5, 2003
    Gregor had taken careful measure of the ground to plan his attack. His objective, first, was to break through the main gate if the mortars had failed. Secondly his men were to try to break through other sections of the wall, capitalizing on the success of the sappers.

    As he rode at the front of the his composite column, his first full command, he saw that the mortars had not done their job. There was a fire on the roof of the school house, and he had seen a few explosions plume from within the walls. He had also seen an explosion as one entire group was wiped out in a tremendous explosion, another group destroyed in a rocket attack.

    He was half way to the wall when he saw the few explosions against the walls. Many of the sappers had been killed by rifle fire, which snapped like firecrackers from the wall. The element of suprise lost, the defenders had sniped at the Oprezki sabatours. Other Oprezki had been killed by mines. Few had gotten through.

    Gregor, at the head of his column. The horse at full gallop. His long hair blowing out behind him. He could almost feel the heart of the horse pounding, and through it his own. His eyes in the wind, tearing. In his hand the sword, waving on, urging his men forward, for revenge, for glory.

    He was approaching the wall from a side, taking advantage of a depression in the ground to give his men what cover they could afford. From the side, the machine gun would have the minimum chance to fire upon them.

    First he and his men would blow the gate, and when successful, his men would throw charges over the wall or against it. The charges were small canisters attacked to sticks of polished wood, the cannisters coated with a sticky jell that would make them stick to the wall. Each of his men carried three such bombs.

    They would circle the fortress once, trying to breach the walls were possible while the other columns stormed through the gate and what entry points Gregor's column could create.

    It was the most dangerous mission and many of his men would be certainly killed. But it was a matter of honor that Gregor's column lead the charge. They, whose horses had been stolen, who had buried so many comrades far from home, deserved this to reclaim their dignity.

    The defenders fire star shells into the air. One, then another. They are continuous. Gregor suddenly feels vulnerable under the illumination, their cloak of darkness removed, now they are easier targets.

    No matter. Success is all.

    Halfway to the fortress. Rifle fire from the walls now heating up. A rider near him falls, his horse hit and crumbles to the ground taking the rider with him. THe rider thrown forward, and then crushed underfoot by the riders behind him.

    Explosions ahead. THe sappers who have gotten through detonate their charges. Pieces of massonry are tossed in the air. taking with it people. Clouds of dust and dirt over the fortress, screams of pain. There is a moment of respite from the rifle fire. Gregor cannot see the damage, but the explosions are too few.

    Machine gun fire from the front of the fortress, an emplacement. Riders begin to fall in larger numbers. As Gregor gets closer he can see that parts of the wall have been damaged, but only on hole cleared. Even this is not enough, the defenders block it with a cart and broken stones.

    "Onwards! For Glory!" Gregor calls out above the din of rifle fire that now erupts, louder than before and more intense. More of the riders fall to the side, horses in pain, some wounded, turning.

    "Onwards!" Gregor is closer now. His men almost to the wall.

    He doesn't hear the claymores go off, or is barely aware of the sensation when the small shot of the claymores, like massive shotgun blasts, devestate the first ranks of the cavalry. These riders and their steeds are shredded by the massive blasts.

    But for the momentum the others might have broken, but Gregor's column rides blind, for glory and revenge.

    Raoul is still firing into them, bringing down man and horse, when the first explosives are thrown into his hole and at the gate. There is a blinding flash of light, and Raoul is no more. The gate doors are also blown apart and down.

    Gregor's men are now circling the fotress. They are so close to the walls that the defenders can't miss. But many of the defenders are already withdrawing. Those that remain throw the bombs back as quickly as they can, but even so, there are too many.

    But the old walls of the fort are strong, reinforced during the night and day. Holes are blasted but not large enough for a horse and rider to go through.

    What remains of Gregor's men attempt one revolution around the fortress, but none successfully make the circle. As the last falls, almost 3/4 of the way around, Anatoly's and Otto's men are breaching the main gate and entering the courtyard.
     
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