NationStates Jolt Archive

The Ballad of Valerie

Nation of Fortune
10-08-2006, 00:11

What was this mysterious entity?


Such a constant in the universe.


Peace they shout, but at what cost?


Seems tempting doesn't it? Why is it what we strive for? Why are wars fought for this seemingly blissfull state?

Peace or War. War or Peace.

They are one and the same. People will never agree as long as they have freedom of thought.

Slavery or War.

Is this such a tough choice? Who wishes to be a slave?

Nickel Seven woke up. She was sitting straight up her knife sticking into her stomach, her hand wrapped around the handle. She pulled the knife out with a sickening "schloorp," blood sprayed on the wall next to where she had slept. She stood up, wearing nothing but a tight fitting white, and now red, shirt, with some shorts. She favored her side slightly, and ripped her shirt off. Her tattoo was exposed. It rested on her shoulder blade, it was a poker hand. Four aces, and a three of diamonds. She wiped her stomach off with her shirt, the blood was now gone, as was the wound. Red dots of blood had speckled her white hair. Her eyes were two different colors, one green, the other white.

She looked down at the wound, the same thing always happened. It always healed almost as soon as it was made. It was nice when she went to the nations excuse for a school system, the beatings healed quickly, meaning the high standard expected of her was easily maintained.

The hum of the ship was increasingly the same. She was used to it by now, almost reasuring. She walked to the bridge of the ship, failing to dress anymore than she already was.

She reached the bridge, noticing the other occupant of the ship was still asleep. She checked on the ships path of flight. It was heading straight for Flaming Ninja Death. The planet was little more than a stop for mercenaries, bounty hunters, and people looking for illegal jobs to be done.

The planet was approaching quickly in the distance, getting larger at an increasingly fast rate. Nickel made a call to the other occupant of the ship as the ship made procedures to land automatically. She went to get dressed as the ship started to land at the only port on the simple, but dangerous, planet.

Nickel started off the ship, heading into the bar like atmosphere in the port. Loud music blared in the background, fights broke out to which nobody paid any mind. The solid black battlesuit of the Nofians caused a quiet in the loud atmosphere. Orange eyes pierced into anyone in the way, a part was made for the two soldiers to pass through. Weapons check was..... skipped for these two. Nobody would touch them, death awaited all who messed with the Nofians. They made their way to the bar, and slowly the noise picked up, but everyone was cautious of the two who had just entered the building.

((OOC: OOC thread (
Nation of Fortune
19-08-2006, 02:05
Hidden amongst the crowd of people was a man. This man was very out of place, but he had a purpose of being here. This man had hired the Nofians for a special job. He, like many, had never seen a soldier of this caliber, and like many, they intimidated him. An average man of an average heritage. Knowing exactly what it was that made these soldiers special was even more frightening. These two women hadn't even so much as glanced at this man, and he was frightened.

His balding head broke a slight sweat as he downed the rest of his pan galactic gargleblaster. He stood straight up, and passed out. Most of the patrons paid him no mind.

"Ica....antum," he mumbled under his breath, only parts of the word, or words, distinguishable over the hum of the bar.
Draconis Nightcrawlis
21-08-2006, 23:38
Ddienw walked into the bar and looked around, they had sent him there to find a man. This man would give him a bounty target and they wanted him to track down that target. He didn’t know why, they never told him why. They just gave him orders and he obeyed.

He didn’t really look much like a soldier to anyone but a Draconian, his hair was long and wild. Males with long hair were generally the norm in Draconis Nightcrawlis. His hair also happened to be dark green and his natural colour. Sometimes non Draconians didn’t understand that, it pissed him off when people asked him why he dyed it that colour. They had expressively warned him not to kill anyone who might ask that question and so he obeyed they.

Looking around the bar he saw someone fitting the description of the man he was due to meet. Problem was the man was currently lying unconscious on the floor. He attempted to wake him up the only way he knew how to, by a kick to the back
Nation of Fortune
22-08-2006, 00:11
The man did not stir, at least anymore than someone who was passed out drunk could. Grunting was all that he could, and did do.

The two Nofians had seen this man when he made a spectacle of himself not even a minute earlier, and made their way over. He matched the picture of one who had contracted them, and this hostile gesture on the one who hired them was very. The two said nothing and one picked him up, fireman style.

"Hostile gestures against our employer are an unwise move," said the other in a voice that was masked to sound almost mechanical.

Her gender was indeterminate because of her battlesuit.
Draconis Nightcrawlis
22-08-2006, 00:26
Ddienw's face turned to a scowl. "An employer should be concious," he stated.

He took in the look of these two, he didn't like them.

"He was to give me a bounty, in his condition he cannot do that."
Nation of Fortune
22-08-2006, 00:39
"Look around this place." She paused for a second, "Now look at him. He sticks out like a sore thumb. Chances are likely he was drugged, or given a pan galactic gargleblaster. Does it occur to you that he might have a hit out on his life, or are you so new to the game that it doesn't occur to you that someone willing to pay this much to find something might have a few enemies."
Draconis Nightcrawlis
22-08-2006, 03:06
"That kick was nothing more then to check his responsivness," Ddienw said, his face cold and expressionless. "You disturbed me before I could invest further. Further more he should have known the likelyhood of standing here and taking more effort in being alert to his enemies."
Nation of Fortune
22-08-2006, 03:26
"As I pointed out earlier, he is not the type to understand that sort of thing. In other words, he's an idiot in survival."

The two started walking away. The one talking stopped.

"If he hired you, you must not be completly useless. Follow us."

She kept walking, without even checking to see if Ddienw was following. They stopped in a corner of the bar, and set the man in the booth, before getting in themselves.
Draconis Nightcrawlis
22-08-2006, 03:34
"Hired by an idiot, they failed to mention that," Ddienw said coldly.

His face was expressionless, though he didn't much care for them he followed anyway. He was careful to watch for any tricks they might pull or anyone nearby that appeared to act suspicious.
22-08-2006, 06:29
Hm. Those ones....know what they are doing.

The man held a long needle in his hand, twirling it lazily as he stared across the bar at the two black-clad soldiers. Their equiptmen was top of the line, although he couldn't say the same for the green-haired bounty hunter. That one seemed to have as much intelligance as a dying snail, and seemed just about as young.

Eschaton was not at the bar for a bounty-at least, not a specific one. He was a regular at the place, and found it a good starting base for all sorts of different jobs. He was also well known at the bar, even if he didn't speak much. The long rifle bag hanging off his back tended to speak for him; his pistol spoke even louder.

Eschaton looked across the room, gazing straight at the Nofians with his dark eyes filled with curious intent. They would pick up on his look at once, of course-either that or he had drasticlly underestimated thepair-but he was wondering how the other bounty hunter would react, or even if he would notice. Eschaton continued to twirl his needle patiently, raising it a bit higher so the long piece of steel would catch the glare of the overhead lights.
Nation of Fortune
22-08-2006, 06:44
Nickel Seven saw all, very little escaped her precious eye. Her partner was not as gifted. Nickel's mask would seemingly dampen her vision, however due to certain technological advancements, that was completly false. This person was interested in their table, perhaps the man, but seemingly more so herself and her partner. She pressed a button on her thigh, and spoke into a communicator only Pixious could hear.

"That man, he seems interested in us, go check it out."

"Which one?"

"The one with the needle, at about eleven thirty."

"I'll check it out."

Pixious stood up, and walked over towards the man. As she stood up, the man seeking the bounty hunters slumped over in the booth. He let out a little groan, but was still about useless as a stick with a feather on it in a war.
22-08-2006, 06:55
Eschaton was up from his seat at the bar as soon as Pixious had moved a muscle; he took the soldier's movement as an invitation. Most would see it as a threatening gesture, but Eschaton was farmiliar with the way soldiers worked. He let the needle slip down into his coat and made eye contact-at least as much eye contact as he could make-with Pixious.

"I was thinking you would never notice me, friend." Eschaton grinned and stuck his thumb up. "I couldn't help overhearing your conversation, and of course couldn't fail to notice the state of that one over there." He motioned to the booth were the others were sitting. "I'm somewhat known around here, and I'm good, too, if you catch my drift. I have some special services you might find handy. What's the job, or do you not know yet?"
Nation of Fortune
22-08-2006, 07:05
"What little I know of the details, I'm not apt to share with someone who I don't know, especially in an enviroment such as this," her voice was mechanical, almost identical to Nickel's. "However, you mentioned special services, what might these be? I feel it's only fair to know if you wish to join us."

Nickel was monitoring the conversation through the suits communicator. She was the one in charge. Pixious was more than capable of operating independantly, but she was used to different kinds of operations, so she relied on the wisdom of the older, and far more experienced Nickel Seven.
22-08-2006, 07:14
"Tch, manners, my friend, manners! Still, you are wise to ask such questions." Eschaton peered at the other soldier in the booth and gave a small chuckled. "Ah. That's it, then." He fixed his eyes back on Pixious. "I'm a hunter and a soldier, much like I'm sure you are. Why else would I approach you?"

His grin widened. "I could have probably killed you five minutes ago and you wouldn't have noticed until tomorrow night. If you must know, I work with poisions and, when the time calls for it, explosives. Still, I prefer the quite way the best. The main question is, do you want help or not? I'm more than capable of finding another client."
Nation of Fortune
22-08-2006, 07:23
"They call me by Pixious, and while you may have killed me, I know you would have a much harder time with my comrade," a smirk crossed her face as she thought about how innefective his tactics would be on her. "Seeing as I'm not the one doing the hiring, I can't have much say as to if you get hired or not, I can however invite you to join our party. The choice is yours."
22-08-2006, 14:14
Eschaton gave another small chuckle; Pixious had made a mistake telling him who the stronger of his (Or her? Eschaton couldn't tell yet.) party. Even more importantly the Nofian had made him curious. He wondered what the other black-clad soldier could do.

"I might as well join the group until that employer wakes up. I am Eschaton...shall we, then?" He motioned towards the booth and started walking towards it.
Wandering Vagabonds
22-08-2006, 15:57
*Osis hated places such as this, even as he depended on them. Too many people with too much to drink had a way of being... unpredictable. And unpredictability was bad for business. He sat alone at a table in the corner and watched the antics of the soldiers in enviro-suits over his cup of green tea. Normally he would not have paid them much mind, but the picking up and carrying of a passed out man to a booth in the corner opposite him, this he found curious. A young man followed the first to the booth, while the other went to the bar, it seems, to draft another*


*He took a sip of his tea and wondered what might be the cause for all the commotion*
22-08-2006, 21:27
OOC: Sorry for the delay, classes started yesterday.


"And I'm telling you it was a fair draw!" Esdras Duperard raised his voice, suddenly and unexpectedly. He was arguing with a man nearly twice his size and his two companions about a game of cards that he knew he had rigged. Not the most intelligent of things to do; but then, Esdras wasn't known for possessing a great amount of intelligence. His strenghts lay elsewhere, such as slight of hand.

"I've had enough of this. You cheated. You know you cheated!" The large man slammed his fist on the table, scattering Esdras' prized deck.

As if by command, the two companions rose and started toward Esdras. But Esdras wasn't impressed. Even as one made a grab for him, he kicked a chair into his legs, toppling him. The other was quicker, and was able to grasp Esdras around the neck with his arm. Esdras ran him backwards, into a nearby booth which seated several men, one of them apparently passed out, two of them in some sort of armor, and the fourth looking young with long, dark green hair. The hue was much darker than Megan green hair.

The man connected the table with his back, jolting pain through his spine and causing him to lose his grip on Esdras. Esdras flipped him over his shoulder and slammed his opponent onto the ground, noticing that the first man had returned for more.

Esdras spun and connected a roundhouse kick to the first man's face, returning him to the floor and causing him to writhe with pain. Esdras then turned to his second opponent, who was attempting to collect himself from the floor. With another clean sweeping kick, Esdras rendered unconscious the second man, and turned to the large man he had been playing cards with.

"Will you come at me as well?" Esdras asked.

The large man grunted and murmurred something about not needing the money anyway, lifted himself from his chair, and promptly exited the bar, wishing to preserve what dignity, if any, he had left. As he watched the man exit, Esdras realized the commotion he had stirred, and observed many angry looks in his general direction. He hadn't wanted to draw that much attention, but certain things were unavoidable.

Looking around the room, he said, calmly, "He insulted my mother."

This seemed to appease most of the onlookers, for the moment, but Esdras knew that he was on quite thin ice with those not so easily persuaded. He turned to the booth that he had used to wrench himself free from one of his attackers.

"Excuse me, gentlemen. I didn't mean to disrupt anything. I'm Esdras Duperard, and that large fellow just insulted my mother..." He paused, "Uh...he doesn't look so good." He said, pointing to the man who was passed out.
22-08-2006, 22:25
Eschaton gave Esdras a cold, calculating stare and rose from his seat, staring the other man straight in the eye. The fool should have known better to start trouble in here. He picked up one of the men Esdras had defeated and observed him-the idiot was out cold. Eschaton looked back at Esdras, dropping the unfortanate bar-goer to the floor; the green-skinned man seemed to be very quick on his feet. And what marvelous kicks!

"Apology accepted." Eschaton glanced back at the passed out employer Edras was referring to. "I'm sure he'll be okay." He walked around Edras is a circle, then gave a thumbs-up.

"Nice style. Would you like a drink?"
Nation of Fortune
23-08-2006, 02:05
Nickel was getting tired of this atmosphere, too many people bumped into them, and since it was so crowded, a quick avenue of escape was unlikely. They had already attracted one person. It was too much. She was about to suggest they go to a more private locale when a scene fell out before them.

She watched as the bumbling idiot attracted alot of attention to himself, pissing alot of drunk, violent people off. She was unimpressed with his moves. She did far better when she was sixteen. Ten years of training only honed her skills. It also helped that she acquired certain technologies due to that same fight ten years ago. His excuse was obviously a farce, but she didn't give a damn. The most recent addition to the party, however, had taken a liking to him. She stood up.

The mechanical voice came.

"Lets go to a more private enviroment. Those that wish to join us, I suggest you follow," she started walking out.

Behind her Pixious had hefted the passed out, and starting to rouse drunk, from the booth and over her shoulder. The armor had to have made it very uncomfortable. As she was walking out of the bar Jacob had a bout of conciousness, pointed at Osis, and yelled, "You, I like you, come work for me."

Nickel was not pleased, but seeing as she was contracted by the man she couldn't just ignore his plea.

"Pixious, stay here and get this sorted out. I'm taking the others to the ship."

Pixious only nodded as the drunk started squirming, trying to reach Osis.

"Comeeeree," he said trying to get Osis to work with them.

Nickel lef the bar, only assuming the others were following her. She reached a largish ship docked in a transport bay, even though it obviously wasn't a ship meant to transport material goods. It was long, and looked almost like a soda bottle. The inside of the ship was surprisingly small, at least if you don't count the section marked "authorized personnell only".

To those that had followed her, if there were any, she turned and said, "From here on out, you don't touch anything unless told to do so, anything you see, don't ask about. If I say jump, you better damn well jump. You enter my ship, you follow my rules. Have a seat around the round table while we wait for our employer to show up."
23-08-2006, 02:27
Esdras returned the Eschaton's stare, matching it's intensity with his own. He was curious about the man who regarded him so. Esdras observed Eschaton inspecting the unconcious man on the floor, catching a slight flicker in Eschaton's eyes. He obviously approved. As he began to circle, Esdras sized up Eschaton, not sure if he was to be friend or foe.

After a few moments, however, it would seem that he would be a friend after all. Even still, Esdras knew enough that he should still be wary.

"Absolutely. But, I never drink with a man whose name I don't know." Esdras responded, taking a seat at the booth with the others. As soon as Eschaton responded, they shook hands, and returned to their seats.

Esdras regarded the others seated there, in turn. First were the two Nofians, whose kind he hadn't seen in quite some time. They were all but a mystery to Esdras, but he liked it that way. It always kept him on his toes, never becoming comfortable with a person or a situation. Time had taught him that. Then there was the Draconian (ooc: is that how you say it?), whose hair was a shade darker than Esdras', although quite a bit longer. His skin very much pale, and if Esdras could approximate his age, he would have said very young. Then Esdras deep purple eyes returned to the man who was still passed out.

But before Esdras could get comfortable in his seat, one of the Nofians decided that they should go elsewhere. That was fine with him. He tagged along, out of curiosity, although this seemed to annoy the Nofian who was giving orders. It was alright with Esdras, so long as he recieved that drink that Eschaton now owed him.
Draconis Nightcrawlis
23-08-2006, 02:28
Ddienw had of course followed, he had been ordered to meet up with the guy whom had passed out to get a job from him. They would not have been pleased if he hadn't followed. Saying nothing he sat down as suggested, his face emotionless.
23-08-2006, 03:01
Eschaton motioned to the bartender with his hand, who promptly threw him a pair of bottles filled with a sparkling bright blue liquid; he tossed one of the bottles to his new 'Friend' before opening his own. Before he could get to chatting with Esdras, however, the other Nofian got up and motioned the small group to follow.

Eschaton examined the ship closely as he entered the transport bay, still sipping on his drink. It didn't look very impressive, but he knew looks could be deciving.

"I assume drinks are allowed?" Eschaton motioned towards his glass, slowling swirling the drink around as he continued to scope out the rest of the ship.
Wandering Vagabonds
23-08-2006, 03:38
*Osis shook his head at the fight that broke out. He closed his eyes and took another sip from the tea*

Allah save these poor souls from their vice.

*He sighed and leaned back in the chair and opened his eyes. The heavily armored ones began to leave, but the passed out man they where escorting seemed to find a voice. He said something about liking some one and pointing in his general direction. One of the soldiers carried on out of the bar with 3 others in tow. The other approached his table. Osis cocked his head to the side*

And where is it that I am to accompany you to?
Nation of Fortune
23-08-2006, 04:52
"Just back to my ship, to learn about a proposition that will land you some cash. He's really drunk, and I'd much rather just make our way to the bounty as soon as possible," if emotion could have been detected in her voice, it would have been one of annoyance, "However, he seems to think that he doesn't have enough people as is, so he wants to hire you as well. If you are interested, I suggest following me."

She turned around and started walking away, making personal acquaintences was not a thing Nofians did as a whole, the closest they can relate to such a thing is best known as a battle buddy. Conversations were usually were used in a commanding context. Doing such a thing as ending the conversation as they have been is not considered rude in Nofian culture, or at least what qualifies as culture.

Nickel Seven looked at the men that had gathered. So far it looked as if Eschaton would be the most worthwhile one of the group. She took a deep breath.

"I don't give a damn about your drinks. However since you stepped on my ship you agree to all punishment that is in order if the ship is left in a disorderly fasion."

"What have I gotten into," she thought to herself.

Her hands reached up, and they clasped the bottom of her helmet ( and as she flipped a few latches, her helmet came off.

Her face would be considered pretty by most standards, although in NoF beauty had little meaning. Despite the fact she was pretty, her face held the emotion of a stone. Her white hair was about shoulder length, seemingly matching both of her mismatched eyes, one silver, the other green.

"I am called Nickel Seven. For all practical purposes, I am in charge of this operation. Unless of course you would rather take orders from the man who is passsed out. Those of you who haven't been officially hired, consider yourself hired as of this moment. If Jacob asks questions, tell him it was an impulse while he was stone faced drunk, I'm sure he won't ask anything more. What I know of the operation right now is that we are searching for a scientist on the ruins of Earth. All that I know about him is that he is somewhere in or near the old capital of The Mercenary State of Nation of Fortune, Madras City. I can tell you now, your chances of survival without myself, or my comrade, are highly unlikely, so long as you stay within the borders of the country. Are there any questions, or any people who want to leave?"
Wandering Vagabonds
23-08-2006, 08:26
*The soldier had gotten straight to the point, which was a welcome relief. Pointless small-talk was jsut a waste of time and energy. He stood, took his last sip of tea, and left a few credits on the table for whomever had to clean this filth pit. He put the hood of his robe over his head, casting his face into shadow, and followed the other bounty hunter*
23-08-2006, 15:34

Eschaton nearly broke out laughing, but withheld his outburst; still, a series of chuckles was clearly visable. He gazed at Nickle's multicolored eyes and grinned. What a lovely face! Eschaton wondered if Nickle had ever cracked a smile; judging by her emotionless mug, this girl had been raised on war.

"Figures I'd end up there again...I'll come, even if it is just for the trip." He paused to sip his drink. "I'm somewhat farmiliar with Madras, but do you have any information on the scientist? Why do we want him so badly?"
Draconis Nightcrawlis
23-08-2006, 20:19
Earth? Interesting, Ddienw thought to himself.

They had mentioned that place many times but he'd never been there before until now. Perhaps they wanted him to go there, that was why they had sent him to find this man.
23-08-2006, 21:56
The ship was certainly more than Esdras was used to. Of course, he was rarely backed by a reliable financial source, making a feasible income a rarity. He sipped the drink that Eschaton had given him, following the Nofian who had asserted himself. Or rather, herself, as Esdras discovered when she removed her helmet. To his surprise, she had striking features, something else which Esdras was not entirely used to. Too many soured relationships had spoiled his taste for beautiful women.

As she gave her commands, Esdras' mind suddenly grasped the situation. He had had too much to drink, slowing his wit considerably, but realization had finally made itself apparent. Esdras had accidentally stumbled onto a job! When all he was out for that night was a drink and a game of cards! Only he was capable of such luck!

The Nofian continued by explaining the job; they were to find someone. Esdras could handle that. He had tracked down many a person in his day. His connections and contacts were scattered across the vast galaxy. There was no where...

His train of thought suddenly derailed.

"Where is Earth?" Esdras said, looking genuinely puzzled.
Nation of Fortune
24-08-2006, 01:33
Nickel listened to the responses come one after the other, she decided to answer.

"Well, I guess I should start from the begining if you haven't a clue. Earth is in the Milky Way Galaxy. It revolves around the star Sol. It's where my nation used to be, before it was invaded long ago. Since most of it's resources were either mined until they were dry, or more abundant on other planets. Most life on the planet was destroyed. Although, years ago, people thought of moving back, so they brought plants, and wildlife back, however the idea did not sit well with many, so the planet was abandoned. It is now mostly used for those squatting from the law, those who are too poor to find homes elsewhere, or just those who wish to live in a state of anarchy. Despite it's mostly destroyed state, it still has a fairly large population."

She paused for a second, hoping Pixious would hurry up. It suddenly dawned on her that the most worthwhile of the bounty hunters had said he was familiar with Madras City.

"Certainly you haven't been to Madras City," she said, directing her comments at Eschaton, "It's a place most people avoid like the plauge, and with good reason. Getting there is not easy, especially since the only major way into the city has long since been destroyed, and all the other quick routes were Nofian secrets."

Pixious chose this point to enter the ship with her new found recruit, and a still very drunk Jacob. Pixious walked past everyone, and into a different room on the ship.

"I might take this time to point out that I don't know any other details, and that man is what we are waiting on," Nickel said.
24-08-2006, 02:09
"I was born on Earth, Ms. Seven. My parents were killed by street gangs when I was five; at the age of six I stowed away on a transport ship, whose captian raised took pity on me and raised me. I never did go to Madras myself-I've never gone back to my home since my escape-but I do remember hearing about it as a child, and stories have cropped up about it every now and then in the time I've spent in space. It's not a very friendly city, or so I've been told."

Eschaton grinned and downed the last of his drink.

"Guess now's as good time to go back home as any other."

He motioned towards the drunk man.

"Any idea who this is, then?"
24-08-2006, 02:55
Esdras smiled. Better to let Nickel form false conclusions about him than display his knowledge, for the time being. He knew very well where Earth was, but playing the fool made it so much easier to allow others to show their cards first.

Actually, Esdras thought as Pixious entered, you've revealed more than you think, more than you may yourself have realized. Based on what you said about the conditions of Earth, I'd have to say that this scientist we will search for is either on the run from some sort of authority, or is conducting research in a secluded and hidden manner. Furthermore, this means that this man, Esdras glanced at the employer, who appeared to be in no better state of mind now than earlier, can only be searching for this scientist for one of two reasons; either he himself works for that authority or he needs to contact that scientist for some reason, perhaps personal. Either way, you're right. We can do nothing until he comes to his senses.

Esdras finished his hypothesis, himself even slightly stunned at the depth of his realizations. He sipped his drink in silence, finishing it soon after Eschaton finished his own. He savored the taste of the alcohol by licking his lips, and turned to Nickel.

"So, we're just to find this guy? Sounds simple enough. Not very exciting, though. I tend to do better on jobs that are exciting. But, oh well..." Esdras said, and turned to Eschaton. "You know what I'm talking about, right? The anticipation, the adrenaline rush, and the satisfaction when it's all over. Of course, there's the money, too." He turned back to Nickel. "Speaking of which, would you happen to know how this job pays?
Nation of Fortune
24-08-2006, 03:00
"Good for you. I never had any family. The closest I had to family would have been the masochistic Monroe 483. Also, never, EVER, refer to me with such a prefix again."

She paused for a second to let this sink in.

"That drunken idiot would happen to be your new employer, a Mr. Jacob Lauber."
24-08-2006, 03:11
Eschaton bowed graciously.

"I apologize; I was simply trying to be polite. Shall I call you Nickle, then?"

He glanced at Esdras as he started speaking.

"Friend, visiting Earth will probably be one of the most dangerous things you ever do. This job is sure to be far from a cakewalk; I assure you letting your guard down will mean death. Especially if half of what I've heard about Madras is true. For now...Let's just wait for this Mr. Lauber to come out of his drunkeness."
Nation of Fortune
24-08-2006, 03:31
"Due to your own stupidity you accidently stumbled upon this job, and you are concerned with your pay? It should be the last of your concerns at the moment."

Despite her harshness her face still showed no emotion. She addressed Eschaton.

"Calling me Nickel would be suitable."

Pixious made a second appearance, this time with a very sober looking, and very scared, Mr. Lauber.

"He....Hello Everyone. I've been informed that in my state, I hired all of you for my job. I hope your performance is exceptional," Jacob was incredibly scared, and the thought of releasing most of them hadn't even occured to him. "I feel it would be prudent at this time to explain what exactly you have been hired to do. There is a man named Toshomo residing either in or near Madras City, that is developing a new type of chemical intended for warfare use. What is known about this chemical is very little," at this point his fear was kicking in overdrive, and it was near impossible to tell what, if anything, he was leaving out. "We do however know it is called Icarus Gigantum. We wish to acquire a sample of this, with or without Toshomo's consent."
Wandering Vagabonds
24-08-2006, 03:47
Osis followed the soldier to the ship. The ones he had seen leave earlier where there already and seemed to be in the middle of a briefing. He leaned against a bulkhead a little ways from the group but still in earshot. Soon the employer entered and rambled on for awhile. His eyes narrowed at the man. The fear was pouring off of him in buckets. Not suprising, when one is surounded by bounty hunters. The man provided more information than Osis cared for. All he needed was a target, location, and a price. And even then, locations wasn't neccesary 100% of the time and price he didn't really care about. He was in it for the hunt. He contenued observing in silence.
24-08-2006, 03:52
"Icarus Gigantum. Hmm. Never heard of it, but that's expected of course." Eschaton tipped his head back and thought hard. "Wonder what it does. I expect we'll find out."

He moved close to Jacob, bringing his head down to the small man's level and drawing rather near to him.

"Is he guarded, or on his own? Anyone finacing him we should worry about? And, most importantly, who are you, exactly? I prefer to know as much as possible before I dive into something headfirst."
Nation of Fortune
24-08-2006, 04:05
"Information on him is hard to comeby, even finding out the vicinity he is staying in was incredibly difficult. So as for your first two questions, I have no answer. The third, I'm a representative of a medical corporation, and we wish to devise something to either render his chemical useless, or heal it's effects. Does that answer your questions?"
24-08-2006, 04:22
Eschaton gave Jacob a hard look, then seemed to concede. He didn't belive a word that came out of the man's mouth, though. "Render his chemical useless, or heal it's effects?" He knew he was a older than most mercs, but he wasn't stupid.

"Good enough, then. Any idea when we leave?"
Nation of Fortune
24-08-2006, 04:46
At this point Nickel stepped in.

"We leave as soon as everyone has had their questions answered. Mr. Lauber will not be joining us on our trip to Earth. So we leave as soon as he leaves our ship, which will of not be until after everyone is satisfied with information."
24-08-2006, 21:27
"Well...yeah...of course I'm going to ask how much I'm being paid...that's kinda sorta supposed to be up-front information, no?" Esdras replied, once again puzzled by Nickel. What sort of bounty hunter took a job without first asking how well the monetary gain was? Surely she knew that. Esdras regared Nickel with an inquisitive expression, before turning to the employer who had seemed to finally regain his senses.

"Regardless, I'm in anyway. This has become too interesting to back out now." Esdras continued. "However, I do have one last question. Roughly how large is the area we are to search? If it's a vast city, we'll want to split into teams, and..."

As his voice trailed off, Esdras suddenly became aware that Nickel"s icy stare was drilling a hole straight through him. He guessed that he had encroached on her territory, which was making decisions that affected the party and the mission as a whole. He'd try and remember not to do that again.

"Sorry." Esdras offered. He had no more questions, and decided to remain silent until someone decided to speak to him.
Draconis Nightcrawlis
24-08-2006, 21:32
Ddienw had no questions, any questions he had were being answered anyway so he saw no reason to speak. It was just as they had taught him, always be silent and only speak when spoken to. His face was devoid of any expression as he continued to listen to what the others had to say.
Wandering Vagabonds
24-08-2006, 22:10
*Two of the others asked too many questions. Background and reasons often brought on moral conflicts. Hunters where not meant to think, they where meant to hunt. He regarded the youngling with mild aproval. He had thus far kept his thoughts to himself, a mark of a true hunter. He slid the hood from his head and waited for the two fools to finish*
Nation of Fortune
25-08-2006, 03:44
Esdras didn't realize how close he was to being dead. Nickel already didn't like him, but starting to command around her assets was just about the last straw. A little spasm in her neck muscles indicated she was almost at wits end, restraint was something she wasn't very good at.

"Well then, Mr. Lauber, it looks like there are no more questions. Now would be a very good time to leave," Nickel said, a hint of hostility could be detected in her voice.

"Huuh? Wha......! OH.... yes!" Jacob tipped his head a little, and his scrawny body almost ran off of the ship.

"Lets saddle up now that we can leave this crime of a planet," Nickel said making a gesture with her hand. She realized as she was making it that none of them would understand it, so she decided to elaborate, "Go through that door that says "Authorized Personell Only" and enter the first door on the left or right, neither matters. Each," she paused for a second to think about how to phrase this, "room will hold eight people, that is more than enough for all of you. Either myself or Pixious will come get you once we have left the planets gravity field. I must stress this, DO NOT TOUCH ANYTHING IN THE ROOM OR HALL."

She and Pixious walked in the opposite direction, towards the front of the ship, and into the bridge sort of area.

((OOC: Just so you know, the area through the door will be a long hallway with about one hundered doors on the left, a hundered on the right, and one hundered hatches in the ceiling. Just imagine a sort of triangle with the tips cut off. In between the doors would be cases for weapons, of course they are all empty. Each room will be very basic with eight bucket seats, and a computer panel in the front next to a second door, which will be locked.))
Wandering Vagabonds
26-08-2006, 20:57
*Osis nodded, the terms of travel acceptable to him. He quietly slipped through the door, turned to the room on the right and entered. The room was extremely basic, little more than an escape pod, which it might well have been. Still, he had stayed in worse. He walked to the center of the room, knelt down on the floor, closed his eyes and started meditating*
Nation of Fortune
27-08-2006, 05:49
Nickel Seven fired the ship up, and a loud hum could be heard everywhere onboard. Outside a loud repeated honking noise coupled with a red flashing light indicated that the bay was going to shortly open up, exposing it to the vacuum of space. This port was actually not on the planets surface, but rather offered transportation into the planet, and a place for truckers to store their cargo while it was shipped down to the planet.

The thrusters on the ship slowly took the ship out of the bay. Once in space, the ship adjusted it's course, and set it's destination to Earth. The bottle like ship was a solid black, and it was made out of a nearly frictionless material, trying to touch it was like catching water in a sieve. It shot through the toneless vacuum with no problems at all. Nickel Seven left the bridge to Pixious.

With her suit fully on, she entered the now oxygenless room where everyone had been earlier. It was now empty as everyone had evacuated to the hallway and it's nearly endless stream of rooms. The suit she wore offered a thirty minute supply of oxygen as it filtered carbon dioxoide into oxygen, due to the expense of longer lasting filters the standard suits were only equipped with the smaller filters.

Pixious went to work on a computer that would bring gravity back to this part of the ship, while Nickel worked on sealing the room so it would hold the air that would sustain the life of those on board. After several minutes preperations on both ends were completed, and Nickel grabbed onto a bar near one of the doors in the area. She radioed to Pixious that everything was ready. Pixious pressed several buttons, and the area became a temporary vacuum as it purged all the remaining gasses in the area. Quickly the vacuum stopped as the area became enriched with oxygen and nitrogen. Nickel radioed that the room was cleared. and took her helmet off once more.

Nickel took a deep breath, and felt the artificial gravity pulling on her body. It was one and a half times that what Earth has to offer. She let the breath out.

"Damn idiots, I'd rather let them stew in there, but if they get themselves killed that would fuck alot of things up. I hate dealing with non Nofians," she thought to herself.

Nickel went to the hallway, and opened up the door on the right, sure enough they were all in there.

"You can move about the ship freely now, just keep out of this hall unless it's really necessary," Nickel said sticking her head in the door. She left without waiting for a response, she went back to the main part of the ship.
Draconis Nightcrawlis
29-08-2006, 02:51
Ddienw sat where he was and closed his eyes. He looked to be meditating, or asleep one could not tell. He shut out the others and prepared to wait out the journey in silence, causing no fuss nor getting in anyones way.
29-08-2006, 21:43
Esdras took note of Nickel's words. Heeding them would apparently be in his best interest. After a few minutes passed in silence, though, he became quite bored. Turning to the one person he thought he might be able to have a decent conversation with, his eyes set on Eschaton, whom he had seated himself next to.

"So, you seem to know alot about this place called Earth." Esdras said, maintaining his ploy of ignorance. "Tell me what kind of...resistance, for lack of a better word, we can expect to find there."

It's purpose being two-fold, the answer would allow Esdras' a bit of insight into Eschaton's personality (depending on the nature of the answer, Esdras would speculate on this), and it was also as good of a conversation starter as anything Esdras could think of.
31-08-2006, 23:09
Eschaton yawned openly and studied Esdras for a second before answering.

"Oh, this and that. The majority of people on Earth are simply refugees and poor bastards who can't find the money to take a shuttle out of there-not like any shuttles come by, anyways. It's a rather desolate planet, no natural resources or anything like that. Most of Earth is uninhabitable, with a few slums scattered around here and there."

"As for resistance, expect lots of it. There's a good number of heavily armed gangs, warlords and mafias around, and these arn't the easy types either. I don't know what you're used to dealing with, but these guys don't screw around; not with their survival at risk, anyways. Any enemy is likely to be dangerous, well armed-probably with primative weapons, but a good amount of them-and battle hardened. A life on Earth can do that to you."

Eschaton drew a giant ivory and silver Casull revolver out of his coat, inspected the barrel, and began polishing it vigoriously with a cloth

"As for Madras, I don't know that much about it-only heard rumors and myths, mostly. It's supposedly a pretty isolated part of Earth, and dangerous from what I hear. No idea what's in it, though."
Wandering Vagabonds
02-09-2006, 03:53
*The same two who had voiced themselves before began talking again. Though Osis could only make out a dull hum through his meditating, it was still irritating. He sighed annoyedly and broke his trance. He stood, and walked out of the room and entered the room opposite, where it was more quiet. He re-took his kneeling position and began to meditate again, thankfully free of the noise and distraction of the others*
Nation of Fortune
05-09-2006, 05:38
After a long journey, and a short jump, the ship arrived near Earth's orbit. An intercom turned on all over the ship.

"All hands, report to the meeting room," a computerized voice sounded.

Nikea entered the room everyone had met in earlier, she had since stripped out of her battle suit, and was wearing a tight fitting black T-shirt with shorts that matched in color. Her face was still cold as ever, her mismatched eyes staring holes into whatever she happened to glance at.

Pixious also entered the meeting room, she was wearing an identical outfit. Her hair was a light blue color, and over her right eye was something that looked like a jewel. The jewel almost surrounded her eye, except it was open by her nose. It then streched past her face, and into the side of her head by her ear, where it forked. One fork went to the top of her head, the other went to the back. Just to the left of her eye the jewel had a red spot, where the rest of it was a blueish color.
Draconis Nightcrawlis
05-09-2006, 14:26
Ddienw opened an eye upon hearing the computerised voice and looked around. Upon opening the other eyes he stood up and headed out to the meeting room.
Wandering Vagabonds
05-09-2006, 20:56
*Osis broke his trance just before the voice came through, sensing the lurge as the ship dropped into Orbit. He stood and followed the youngling out into the room where they had first gathered*
Nation of Fortune
07-09-2006, 22:13
Nickel seemed to have a terminally cold look on her face, as it was still there. She waited for every body to enter the meeting room before she began.

"As you may or my not have guessed this ship is unable to enter the Earths atmosphere. This is inherently a problem because there is no space port," She paused so she could hear the comments of those who had taken this job, especially since they didn't know she already had a solution to said problem.
Draconis Nightcrawlis
07-09-2006, 22:24
Ddienw raised an eyebrow at that. There was probably some other way that they could get through the atmosphere like another ship or teleportation. They had told him all about teleportation and had given him some demonstrations of it, particularly during training. He remained silent as he kept his eyes on Nickel awaiting the solution to the problem.
08-09-2006, 01:05
"So what, then?" Eschaton slowly shuffled into the room, yawning. "I don't expect a crash landing will do us much good. Are you planning on using some sort of escape pod, or maybe a capsule? Or shall we just open the airlock and float until we get caught in Earth's atmosphere?"

This last bit was said somewhat sarcasticlly, and on purpose. Eschaton wondered how many of Nickle's buttons he could push until she got really angry.
Nation of Fortune
08-09-2006, 02:50
"You are more than welcome to jump out the airlock if you wish, but I have a far better solution. In thirty minutes a ship that looks like a transport of some sort will enter range, it should be able to withstand the entrance into the atmosphere. All we have to do is steal it. Be ready in twenty five minutes, and waiting in the room where I had you all wait earlier," Nickel and Pixious turned and went towards the bridge of the ship, going to suit up before going to the room.
Wandering Vagabonds
08-09-2006, 03:52
it will be a miricle if everyone leaves this hunt alive and in one piece.

*Osis shook his head and walked back towards the holding room*
08-09-2006, 23:07
Earth. It used to be beautiful, or so I hear. Looks like things had changed since those days. The days of the beautiful, gleaming cities were gone. the days of peaceful countryside were long past.

Now, it was all warlords and roving armed groups. What could still pass for cities was for those who had the might to take them, hold them, and go out to acquire the supplies to keep them running. From what I had read and noticed the hard way, these weren't people I wanted to be around.

The countryside, well, that was something else. There, there were hints of civilization starting to appear. Villages, from walled enclaves to welcoming little hamlets were everywhere, something that I guess wouldn't have been amiss back in the Middle Ages. But for me, this was where I was stuck now.

My ship not so much as crashed as it was hijacked and then crashed. Well, not my ship exactly. I had Egerton Steppleford to thank for this. The rich bastard wanted to go on a safari on Earth, see what it was really all about. He looked at it like some camping trip, and to make sure he would be safe, he took a pretty large contingent of hired guns with him. And he stinted. A lot. He spent good money on a team leader, me, and the rest of his detail, well, let's not even go there. Calling them amateurs would have been rude to wannabe soldiers of fortune everywhere. But things went wrong, as I had warned him. But they went worse than I had expected. The initial gunfight killed half of my men, and the ship was hijacked by some roving gang that wanted to get off-world. The morons should have kept the crew alive.

But surviving down here wasn't an easy job. Especially with a rich, arrogant Daddy's Boy acting like this was just some excursion. He was the first to die, screwing with a snake that had a nasty-sounding rattle at the end of its tail. With anything resembling a field medkit, he would have lived. But no, it was superfluous weight he said. Dumb shit. At least he didn't tell me I was going overboard when I packed enough ammo for three days of hard fighting.

The rest of the team, though, didn't fare much better. Most of the survivors went off on their own, but I found them dead not long after, either by nature's hand or that of man. As for myself, I was keeping a low profile. Yeah, I had to steal some clothes to blend in with the locals a bit more, but I did keep my stuff as much as I could, and I found shelter ion a house that had known much better days.

That was three weeks ago.

It was clear that I wasn't going to be rescued anytime soon, so I resolved myself to starting a bit of a life here. But supplies were something I needed badly. But around here, one can find anything if one looks hard enough. Weapons and ammunition, I was set all right. My pistol and my rifle were common-enough calibers that finding ammunition was easy enough. Most of those I'd wasted so far carried it in some way shape or form, and an SUV belonging to memebers of a gang I had dealt with before, after I had taken care of its owners, provided me with several thousand rounds. Unless I was going to fight a war, I wouldn't need to restock anytime soon.

But there was another problem. Food. I had started to include local fare in my eating habits when I decided to make the hard rations I brought down last a bit longer. It had been a boon, giving my digestive tract a chance to adapt to the conditions. But really, the small community I was in didn't have much to offer me. If anything, I had to forage for most of what I ate, and trading a few things I could spare for what I couldn't find out there. But soon, the demands of my fellow villagers were getting a little too steep for me, and I started to head out.

And it was on one of such runs that I saw a farm, maybe fifteen miles from where I was camped. I had been gone for almost half a day when I came across it, and it looked inhabited all right.

It was a pleasant looking little place, with fields, a small orchard and what looked like a garden and animal pens. From the smells coming from them, I could tell that there were live animals there. Fresh meat I wouldn't have to find in the bush, now this would be interesting. But that meant that there were people there, if the smoke coming form a chimney didn't already indicate that. But even then, I made my way in.

I didn't walk in tall and straight. I had no way to know what sort of people I would find there. Back in my days in the special forces, I would have ditched my rucksack before going in, but here, I wouldn't dare leave it in the bush. Too many valuable things in there to risk losing them. Instead, I made my way to an outer haystack, one that was on my egress route should things get nasty and I hid it under the fragrant, dried golded stalks. And from there, I closed in on the main building.

I had my rifle up as I approached the house, carefully avoiding the windows as I followed the wall along to a back door. So far, I hadn't seen anyone, but whre there is smoke, there is a fire. And where there is a good house with a fire burning inside, under control, then there are people. That I had learned in this place. But instead of barging in with my rifle, I instead let it hang from its combat sling, the weapon nearly dissappearing under the greatcoat I had acquired earlier on. However, I did not go in unarmed as I drew my pistol. I then took a deep breath, and I gave teh back door a hard shoulder, rupturing the latching mechanism instead of taking the risk of finding it locked, and I walked in...

OOC Wow, I did get carried away here...
Nation of Fortune
09-09-2006, 00:14
Several men had been carefully stalking this man. He had killed their blood, and for that he must pay. They however knew that a frontal confrontation could lead to disasterous results, they had been taking it easy and slow, perhaps they could learn something that would make the attack on this man more advantageous to themselves. They knew this road, and the man had been lucky to make it this far. The farm was right on the border to the infamous Mercenary State of Nation of Fortune. Less than a mile down the road the road became nothing more than a narrow foot path as it started it's ascent up a mountain.

Barely visible at the top of one of the mountains in the range, was a structure. It looked like a boxish sort of thing as it protruded off the edge of the mountain. It's purpose was hard to tell from such a distance, but it certainly didn't look inviting. The men knew it's purpose in exsitence, and it petrified them. Once long ago they had tried to make the trip, three of them never came back, and four of the other six were heavily wounded. Everyone with sense feared what lay beyond this farm, as a result it remained a fairly peaceful place.

These men decided what the best plan of action would be, they were going to surround the building and wait for the man to exit, preferably during night fall. With a group of six men attacking, allowing him to enter the dense woods surrounding this area was incredibly disadvantageous. The men snuck up to the building unnoticed, and waited for the man to exit.

Nickel Seven and Pixious were the last one's in the room. They had donned a new type of battle suit. This one was very obviously much more heavily armored, but still black. Both wore this new suit with almost an intimidating appearence. The only obvious identifier between the two was height, to which Nickel was the taller. They both now wielded belt fed machine guns, with a two shot shotgun attachment on the bottom. On their belts were large pistols, ones you didn't dare fire with only one hand for fear your arm would break. Pouches along the front of the vest were filled with clips for the pistol, and one large pouch over the back offered a place to hold various equipment, including several more belts for the machine gun. Years of training in this equipment conditioned them to be unphased by it's bulk, and running hundereds of miles in this gear made this gear easier to wear for long stints of time.

"I suggest you strap yourselves into one of the seats," Nickel said as she dropped her machine gun and pushed it back so that it was now diagnol across her back.

Nickel went to the door that was in the back of the room, and removed her glove, placing her hand on the handle of the door. The door opened for her, while Pixious sat in one of the seats, and strapped herself into the quick release harness. After a couple of seconds a light above the entrance flashed, and a it was sealed off.
Wandering Vagabonds
09-09-2006, 03:21
*Osis strapped in to one of the seats slilently. He watched as the armored ones went about their business. The previously sealed door opened to what looked like a cockpit*

This ship was built for more than a crew of 2. If the rest of these doors lead to the same, then this is a ship built for an army. The question is, where's the rest of the army?

*Osis kept his ponderings to himself. The door hissed shut. He closed his eyes and rested his head against the bulkhead*
09-09-2006, 10:32
A fire is such an enticing thing to watch. It changes its shades of colour and shape constantly, testing the air with its fiery tongue, dancing on the firewood like an exotic animal. As you stare into its reddish core where familiar shapes flicker, it draws you in, inviting you against common sense to touch it.

The crack of splintered wood behind me wakes me from my light rest, lying on the carpet next to the cozy fireplace. Uh oh. With lighting quickness I wrapped my hand around the iron fire poker...

...dipping my burned hand into the bucket of water nearby, putting on gloves, then retrieving the hot iron poker from the flames, taking care to grab it by its wooden handle this time.

I imagined my brother's voice as I hid behind a worn couch with my makeshift weapon in hand. If anyone breaks in, just give them what they want. No valuables in this house are worth your life.

I’ll just give them what they need too. I reinforced my grip on the poker and waited as quietly as I can.
09-09-2006, 14:16
My forced entry took me ito a small, quaint kitchen. It was very much like the history books speaking of the 18th and 19th centuries, with a large wood-burning range and a hand-pump. And from the oven was coming a delicious smell. My, but I was hungry after all. However, I did not start rummaging through the place yet as it was yet unsecured. I had to find the inhabitants, and hopefully not have to kill any of them. I had wasted enough people since I landed on this damned planet already, and even if ammo was glentiful, I was none too keen on wasting any. But the sounds of water sloshing and the rasping of metal on stone did reach me, faint and nearly inaudible. That might mean I had startled someone... Not good. Today might become interesting. Damnit, I liked it boring. Boring was just another word for safe.

First, I closed the door behind me, wedging it shut with a strategically placed chair. At least this would grant me some sort of security behind. However, as I gave this improvised shore one last push, I saw something out of the door's glass panes. It was just a glimpse, really, but it had been enough to tell me what I had been looking at. The saffron-coloured bandana, and the glint of sunlight on the barrel of a gun that had lost much of its blueing. Shit, was my thought. I was ready to bet that they had followed me for a while now. I had killed enough of their buddies to piss them off, and it really was just a matter of time before they would send some of their own after me. Maybe after taking care of those guys they'd get the message that leaving me alone is probably a good idea, and that coming after me was a one-way trip. But before I did anyting, I had to make sure that the house was secure, at least secure enough that the inhabitants wouldn't try to kill me, andthat I could use it as a defensive position. That, and i had to figure out just how many of those armed thugs were around the place, and what they were armed with.

So I went to the first order of business. I was careful in the way I walked, carefully laying my booted feet as to prevent generating any unwanted noise, my pistol held in both hands as I was scanning the room I was in. Clear. As I walked, I kept my eyes moving, spotting a staircase to a second floor, at the foot of which was another dor, solidly barred with a few deadbolts on this side, and a small den or study that was stuffy, but with no one in it. Then, my search led me to what ust have been the main living area. In the hearth was a fire, burning well but not excessively high, the bed of coals deep and bright red. It had been going for a while, this much was obvious. Then, I saw a proof of the sloshing I had heard, a minuscule puddle around what must have been the fire bucket and a trail of soot across the stones that surrounded the base of the fireplace. Most likely just one person, armed with a melee weapon, I was thinking. The fact that I could not see whoever was hiding in the room from the doorway I stood in did limit where they could hide, as there would have been no way to get past me to the staircase or the study without me noticing it first. However, so long as there was a weapon involved, most likely a mean-looking ire poker that might be a little too warm for my health.

So along the wall of the room I started my search, looking over my shoulder on a regular basis to check my back. When I came to the outer wall, though, I ducked as to go beneath the windows, but I kept on going until I came around the edge of a couch that had known better days and there I saw it, the back of whoever was down here, and, just as I had thought, a wrought iron fire poker. Lining up my sights, I then spoke. "Put your weapon down then turn very slowly. If you don't do anything stupid, no one is going to get hurt; I'm just hungry and I don't want to hurt you or anyone else in this house unless I'm given a reason to. Now, are you alone in here?" Hopefully, this girl wouldn't try to jump me, but I was getting the feeling that the business end of my large-frame pistol would be enough to dissuade her. However, I did do my own gesture of good faith and I lowered the muzzle of my weapon, keeping it, though, in-line with her so that a mere snap could line up my sights again.
Draconis Nightcrawlis
09-09-2006, 14:35
Ddienw went with the others and took a seat. Strapping himself in he looked around at the others, still staying quiet. Not speaking unless spoken to as he was always told.
09-09-2006, 15:25
Shit. That made me flinch a bit. I tried to find a place where I can put the iron poker without burning the floor. He's probably got a gun anyway. No way could I win. Yeah.

How the heck did he get there anyway? I turned my body around slowly to look at the speaker.

Okay. He's got a gun. This isn't good. I put on my best expression of person who seen plenty of weapons aimed in her direction. I cleared my throat quietly.

"Um," Damnit. "I...I, this is my property." Good start I guess. Best not to tell him I'm alone, vague enough not to lie either. "M...My brother and the neighbors come here sometimes. What do you want?"
09-09-2006, 16:06
The girl flinched when I first addressed her. Well, odds are she wasn't expecting to e blindsided. Nobody ever did, really, but at least, she capitulated quickly, setting down the iron rod that still held a faint heat glow.

When she looked at me, though, I could see it in those blue eyes that she was none too comfortable here, even if her face wasn't showing much of the terror that someone who has never had a weapon pointed at them before. For a moment, I simply considered her as she spoke, crouched down, alone, and trying to figure out what I was here for.

I did not answer at first, and thinking that she had no reason to lie to me, I even stood down further. If there had been anyone else in here, I'd have probably heard them move around already. So for now, showing her that I really meant her no harm did seem like a good idea. A quick use of hte decocking lever saw my weapon going into its safer double-action mode, only for me to toggle the safety and return it to its holster along my thigh. Carefully, I then walked towards the girl, offering her a hand that was covered in a fingerless glove. "I'm just damned hungry. I didn't come here to hurt anyone, just to get some food."

Then, waiting to see if she would take my hand to rise to her feet, I added something else. "My name is Robert." Well, if anything, that might help her feel a little more at ease, even though I had just broken into her home. After all, people meaning others harm very seldom tell them their name.
09-09-2006, 19:44
Esdras had chuckled inwardly at Eschaton's comment about using the airlock to descend the atmosphere. However, he was sure that he had already made Nickel quite as mad at him as he wanted to, and that wasn't even on purpose. It was best not to try and tempt her wrath intentionally.

The next twenty minutes went by very slowly for Esdras, as he had nothing to do. He was already nearly as prepared as he needed to be. He removed his rifle from its bag, and strapped his pistol at his waist. Donning his HUD, a headset with one opaque red lens, he calibrated it to his rifle and pistol. The rifle was a curious piece of equipment, able alternate between a burst mode for close combat, and a more accurate single shot mode that used his HUD to snipe across fairly large distance. The pistol was a large caliber, a .45, with specialized depleted uranium rounds. He would only use it in situations where his rifle was ill-adept or cumbersome. Satisfied with his equipment, he chose a seat and strapped in, anticipation already beginning to well up inside him.
Nation of Fortune
09-09-2006, 20:18
The small ship lurched forward at an alarmingly high rate of speed. It was fast, and manuverable, but very lightly armored. Nickel had operated this many times before and knew exactly what to do. Evasive movements had a habit of making even experienced passengers ill, knowing this she kept evasive action to a minimum as it looked like their target was unarmed.

The ship saw the little leech pod, but it was too late. The leech was too fast, and it couldn't run now. Having done it many times before made the maneuver an easy one, the leech turned around so it was now going at the ship backwards. A solid 'clunk' and the leech was stuck onto the ship.

The leech's job wasn't quite over yet, Pixious was already out of her harness, and waiting by the sealed door, her weapon at the ready. Nickel emerged from the cockpit quickly, and waited next to Pixious.

On the inside of the ship, a red circle formed, followed by a little hole in the dead center. An explosion followed, destroying the circle, sending shrapnel everywhere in the area. Next the area was filled with flames as a flamethrower activated. Finally a small EMP field detonated, disabling any automated defenses. The shutter that was previously closed shot open, and Nickel and Pixious entered the ship one after the other. They looked around, seeing one man burnt to a crisp, and another having a sizeable piece of metal sticking out of his eye.

Having cleared this room, they went to the next room. Here were the rest of the occupants of the ship, they had all ready surrendered.

"Please, let us live, we're only looking for ou----" His sentence was cut short as Nickel's pistol barked, and the man now lay sprawled backwards, sans part of his head.

Nickel made a motion with her head, and Pixious tied the other three up. Pixious took her helmet of as she sat down next to the main computer.She pressed the redspot on the piece of metal protruding from her head, and a computer screen now covered her eye. She was hacking into the ships computer, and hijacking control of it.

While she was doing this, Nickel called to one of the hired guns, "Take these men and execute them."
Draconis Nightcrawlis
09-09-2006, 20:30
Ddienw said nothing. Doing as Nickel had asked, he forced the men out and subsequently executed them. He forced each oh them to kneel down and as they begged for their lives he shot each of them in the back of the head.

He was of course cold and expressionless as he carried out the deed. Though his face didn't show it, he enjoyed the killing and it had left him satisfied.

The young teen said nothing after that.
09-09-2006, 22:42
Eschaton stared at the dead men Ddienw had just destroyed, frowning slightly. He didn't like killing anyone, especially bystanders-he preffered to neutralize his opponents instead. Now, at least I see how Nickle works. How simple-a true soldier at heart.

"You had no right to kill these men, Nickle. They surrendered peacefully; it would have been smarter to capture them and perhaps use them as bait later."
Nation of Fortune
10-09-2006, 00:12
Eschaton stared at the dead men Ddienw had just destroyed, frowning slightly. He didn't like killing anyone, especially bystanders-he preffered to neutralize his opponents instead. Now, at least I see how Nickle works. How simple-a true soldier at heart.

"You had no right to kill these men, Nickle. They surrendered peacefully; it would have been smarter to capture them and perhaps use them as bait later."
"Bait for what, I ask you? Do you really think people on Earth will yield to the fact that we hold somone they don't know hostage? Where do you suppose we keep them while we go into Madras City? Dragging them into the city would be too risky, causing at the very least all of them to die, and more likely some of us. Leaving them to their own devices? Steal the ship and leave us stranded, or they get killed. Can't leave them on my ship because as soon as the fellow soldiers of mine come to secure the ship they would be dead for trespassing. What logical course of action was there then?" Nickel was obviously less than happy about him questioning her actions

Even though it couldn't be seen, she smiled a little. From his outburst she could tell alot about him, first off he obviously hadn't been in too many combat situations, expressed by not taking things like prisoners into account for for a journey. He was an assassin at best. He would need to have an eye kept on him while they traveled, an assassin may be able to kill extremely well, but a firefight is something entirely different.
10-09-2006, 00:41
"I could think of plenty of usefull situations, Nickle. We could simply let a hostage go forward into an unknown area; if he gets killed by bikers or snipers, then either we know to go a different way or I could pick our adversaries off one by one. Having a scout-even an unwilling one led by gunpoint-is far more conterproductive than this slaughter."

Eschaton gestured towards the recently made corpses.

"I thought we were trying to find a scientist, not needlessly killing transport crews."
Nation of Fortune
10-09-2006, 00:57
"I could think of plenty of usefull situations, Nickle. We could simply let a hostage go forward into an unknown area; if he gets killed by bikers or snipers, then either we know to go a different way or I could pick our adversaries off one by one. Having a scout-even an unwilling one led by gunpoint-is far more conterproductive than this slaughter."

Eschaton gestured towards the recently made corpses.

"I thought we were trying to find a scientist, not needlessly killing transport crews."

"I was being humane, the death I offered them was far more painless than anything they would have gotten down there. Besides, dealing with bikers is no big deal, and snipers would have little reason to attack us even if they are in Madras City, they wouldn't want to waste ammo on travellers."

At that point Pixious turned her head, she had accessed the controls. Nickel nodded.

"I have something to take care of, would you mind holding onto this for me?" Nickel asked Eschaton while pulling out a black egg shaped device.
10-09-2006, 01:06
"I still hold to my opinions. Next time, let me take care of it. I could have administered a fast-acting and powerful anesthetic that would have knocked this crew out for hours or even days, assuming I made had the time to make it powerful enough."

Eschaton sighed and shook his head, then took Nickle's black egg and examined it.

"What's this, then?"
Nation of Fortune
10-09-2006, 01:18
"I still hold to my opinions. Next time, let me take care of it. I could have administered a fast-acting and powerful anesthetic that would have knocked this crew out for hours or even days, assuming I made had the time to make it powerful enough."

Eschaton sighed and shook his head, then took Nickle's black egg and examined it.

"What's this, then?"

"And when that happens I'll let you carry them through the miles of dense brush."

Nickel smiled at his question, as it erupted into poison tipped spikes.

"That is my tracking device, keyed into my DNA sequence. The second someone that isn't me touches it, it does that," She handed him a syringe filled with an antitoxin, "Put that in your jugular if you want to live past the next three minutes. The poison is one consistant of micromachines, that fluid in the syringe will disable the micromachines. However if I feel it necessary, I will reactivate them by remote. I suggest you don't question my decisions like that again."

She turned around and went towards where the leech pod had docked. She pressed a few buttons, and the shutter closed, effectivly sealing the rest of the ship off from the leech.
10-09-2006, 01:39
Eschaton considered blasting Nickly away right there, but couldn't resist the irony of the situation. He laughed heartily as he injected the antitoxin into his jugular.

"My, my, Nickle, you're much better than I thought. I wouldn't need three minutes to kill you, but seeing as how you're in control of the ship right now and you're techniclly my teamate, that might be a bad idea."

Eschaton slipped the syringe inside his coat, purposefully leaving a few drops of antitoxin inside it. He'd work on a serum when he had the appropriate tools and time; he didn't want Nickle Seven hanging over his shoulder the rest of his life.

"I assume it's about time to enter the atmosphere. Will we be dropping into Madras, or outside it?"
Nation of Fortune
10-09-2006, 01:55
"Don't make assumptions about her," Pixious said, as Nickel was already out of the room, "it would take far more than three minutes and a single person to kill her. In addition those darts you were bragging on earlier would have trouble penetrating this armor," she gave the suit a thunk with her finger. "The bit with the tracking device was just a warning, something she rarely gives, I would suggest you not fuck with her any further, or you will find yourself dead faster than you can blink, and not from the poison either."

She started the ascent with the ship, as Nickel walked back into the room.

"Landing in Madras City would be suicide, you should know that, you were born on Earth," Nickel said as she grabbed the device, sticking it back in one of her pouches.

The gang members saw a flicker in the sky as the ship way up above started entering the atmosphere. They wondered who would be landing near the NoF, and since this was the only open area any where near the country, they figured it would be a fools bounty, they would attack when it landed, secure any arms on board, and use them to their advantage against the man who killed thier blood.
10-09-2006, 02:04
"Every armor has it's weak point, Pixious, and so does every soldier." Eschaton gazed at Nickel as she walked away. "I just need to find Nickle's."

He unzipped his rifle pouch and loaded a dart into it, then went about dipping his needles in various poisions.

"A ship entering the atmosphere will not go unnoticed. I expect we'll get mobbed as soon as we land, or ambushed after we're far enough away from the ship."
Draconis Nightcrawlis
10-09-2006, 02:10
Listening in on the conversation, Ddienw could tell that he would never get on with Eschaton. He didn't seem to be one who liked to kill, in this game you had to. A man who didn't like to kill didn't usually last long, they showed him that. Ddienw fully expected Eschaton to die before this was over. He stood against a wall silently watching the others.
Nation of Fortune
10-09-2006, 02:54
"You want to find her weakpoint? Then after this is over, she will gladly have a fight to the death. She would agree to lose her armor for such a fight. But right now I will warn you, she killed seven men, who jumped her at once, barehanded after getting shot three times. The NoF has been around for thousands of years, and in that time has devoted most of it's resources to creating nearly indestructable soldiers," Pixious knew this first hand. She doubted he could even beat her in such a match, and she wasn't trained to be as deadly as Nickel.
10-09-2006, 03:04
Eschaton shrugged.

"An amusing idea, but for now we both just need to work together. Otherwise, we'll perish individually on Earth." He grinned widely. "Besides, I have no doubt that Nickle could put me in my place in close quarters; I don't have the skills nor the training to kill her in that type of combat. I'd love to see how she hold up in a sniper duel, however. None of these darts, either-real bullets and such. Earth would be quite the place for such a fight."
Wandering Vagabonds
10-09-2006, 04:27
*Osis let the others get off the pod and take the ship. Hunter though he may be, a storm trooper he was not. He unstrapped and walked off just as Nickel came and sealed the door behind him. She stalked back off down the hall to what he could only assume was the cockpit of the ship. He wandered after her, taking note of the dead civilians. Casualities where to be expected. He stepped over the last of them and entered the room with the others. One of the loud ones was picking a fight with one of the heavily armored ones. Osis just shook his head and leaned against the bulkhead near the door*
10-09-2006, 17:44
"No thanks. I'll get up myself." I just don't like having a gun pointed at my face, that's all.

I get a better look at him as I stood up. The man who called himself Robert looked like a survivalist or a fugitive, just one who doesn't know how to knock.

"Erm. I got something in the oven, I guess." This is pretty awkward. "You can have it if you like." At least the situation isn't as tense now.
10-09-2006, 18:36
As the girl refused my hand, I took a step back to afford her more room to rise to her feet. As she stood up, I could feel her eyes on her, quite likely trying to figure out what to make of me. Was I jsut strange-looking to her, or threatening? Well, I did barge in here uninvited and have a gun at her head, and then tried to make polite conversation, so I'd say a bit of both.

I too took the opportunity to get a good look at her. She was attractive enough, with that hint of tan she bore, her light-brown hair and those blue eyes of her. Maybe her frame did not make her stand out from the models and actresses I had grown used to off-planet, but there was nothing ugly for me to look at there. However, when she mentionned the food that was in the oven I offered her a smile, one that showed a mouthful of even, white teeth. "Thank you. I know, I did barge in here uninvited, but I won't take any more than you can spare. Last thing I want is to cause you any more trouble than I already have. And I will pay you for what I take, somehow."

I then walked over to one of the window,s ,carefully looking outside, once more catching sight of one, no, two of the men bearing guns and yellow bandannas. Different ones from the one I'd first spotted. Shit, that's at least three of them. "And speaking of trouble, I'm sorry for what I've caused so far, but there's another problem. There are some people who'd like nothing better than killing me, just outside your house. They're not the sort of people that you want to have anything to do with, so I would really advise against stepping out just now." I had said those words matter-of-factly, in a professional sort of tone. I had been in worse situations, right?

However, I said nothing more about my current predicament and I looked back towards the young woman. "First, don't be afraid of me, I'm not going to hurt you." Then, I pointed towards the kitchen. "Please, do lead the way. And can I ask you for your name? I personally hate sharing a meal with someone whose name I don't know." And to that, I smiled again.
Nation of Fortune
10-09-2006, 19:14
The ship containing the soldiers and bounty hunters drew closer to the surface of the planet. The leech drone had flared up extra, it wasn't meant to enter the atmosphere, however the shutter was made to survive such an event so the occupants came to no harm.

The ship rocked, and Pixious yelled, "Fuck, the system died!"

The ship was going to crash land. It touched down in the forest surrounding the fields of the farm, throwing Nickel across the ship. From there it slid until it hit the farm house, effectivly destroying the kitchen. The ship was now sticking partly into the house.

Nickel was up almost instantly, her arm bent in ways a persons arm should not be. With her good arm, she quickly took the armor off of her arm. The bone was sticking out of the skin. She took her helmet off, and set it to the side. She pulled a deck of cards out of one of her pouches and bit down on it. The cards showed many bite marks, indicating that this wasn't the first time something like this happened. Next she grabbed her wrist and gave a sharp jerk, while pulling the other way with her other arm. With a sickening crunch sound, the bone was set. She put the armor back on her arm, and dropped the cards into her hand, then put them away. While she put the helmet back on a psychotic grin came across her face.

"The pain, I love the pain. Lets me know I'm alive," she thought to herself.

Nickel went to the shutter, it effectivly being the only way out of the crashed ship. The lights on the display flickered a little, and did nothing. Suddenly she kicked the shutter, effectively rebooting the system. She fiddled around for a second before it opened. She waited at the entrance for the others, ready to kill whatever may be out there.
Wandering Vagabonds
10-09-2006, 19:31
*Turbulance he expected, but it was much rough that he had thought it would be. He had just enough time to find a chair when all hell broke loose. somehow during the crash the chair loosed itself from the floor and threw Osis against a wall, knocking him out and pinning him there. He came to a moment after the ship came to rest. A pain in his side told him he had a cracked rib. He grunted and pushed the chair away, freeing himself from the bulkhead*
Draconis Nightcrawlis
10-09-2006, 19:44
Ddienw had prepared himself for the rough landing but still got banged around quite a bit. Picking himself up from the ground, the teen ignored the aches and pains in his body. All that would heal quick enough and he had survived the landing.

He saw that Nickel had had to reset a bone in her arm. He noted the pained look upon her face as she did so. That he knew was painful but the training they had put him through meant he was able to ignore it. Joining the others at the entrance he was ready to kill any threats.
10-09-2006, 21:50
Eschaton was suprisingly quick on his feet as the ship went down. The landing threw him into the far wall; he turned in midair and landed on his feet, bouncing on the wall and catching an overhang on the ceiling. He let go and landed on the floor as the ship grinded to a halt.

Before following the others, Eschaton took the time to place a small box on the ground next to him; He opened it, pressed a few buttons, and stood up. An antennae and small camera rose out from it, whirring and spinning in circles. Several nozzles poked out of the box's bottom.

"Motion detector. Anyone besides me comes into the ship will get sprayed with a powerful sedative gas. It'll protect the ship until we get back from any bandits or gangs who would want to use it."

Eschaton jumped out of the shutter with his rifle raised, ready to bring down any threats that might appear.
Nation of Fortune
10-09-2006, 22:33
Nickel jumped out of the ship right behind him, and tackled Eschaton just as one of the bandits opened fire on him. Thanks to Nickel he would survive another day. Unfortunatly in her efforts to save him she took a bullet in the arm. She was up in a flash, and had drawn her knife. He was maybe six feet away. She rushed him, and sunk her knife into his stomach. Before she pulled it out she twisted.

Blood covered her armor from where she had stabbed the man. She kept the limp body stuck on her knife while she scanned the area, making sure there weren't any more of them in the immediate area.Her scan yielded that the closest was around the corner of the house, and the next closest was on the other side of the ruins of the ship.

"Idiot, if you had waited for me to tell you to go, you would have known he was there, and he would have been dead before he got a chance to fire," She barked as she let the body down.
10-09-2006, 22:43
"That wasn't completely nessassary. My coat is lined with bulletproof padding, so a gun like that likely wouln't penetrate it. Although, considering he was that close, I wouldn't be suprised if he clipped me in the head. Thanks for that."

Eschaton turned to examine Nickle's wound.

"You should probably get that patched up, Nickle. I've got some-" Eschaton's sentance was cut off as a gunshot rang in the distance. He ducked as a bullet inpacted the side of the ship where his head was a few seconds earlier.

"Perhaps another time. Let's take care of these first."

Eschaton rasied his rifle and looked through the scop, scanning the surrounding area.
Nation of Fortune
10-09-2006, 22:50
Nickel had already identified the shot, it was the man who was just around the corner of the house. She had this one covered. Her silver eye suddenly turned a bright red color as she detected the head signatures of him through the corner of the house. She pulled out her pistol, and watched him check the magazine. She leveled the sights on his head and squeezed the trigger. The pistol barked loudly and sent a three round burst through the corner of the house and into his head. The body slumped over, and fell into view of them.
Wandering Vagabonds
10-09-2006, 23:23
*In an ambush situation it was unwise to reveal your number to the enemy. Osis stood back from the hatch near the entrance to the cockpit. He unslung his long rifle from his back and shouldered it. The rifle resembled one from around the turn of the 19th-20th century on Earth, measuing about 5 feet from muzzle to hilt. Though it had quite a few modifications, a scope was not pressent. He crouched down and waited for the action to die down outside, one way or the other*
11-09-2006, 10:00
There were more of them? I smell something suspicious. There were plenty of sharp things in the kitchen if he tried anything funny again.

"This way, sir... I'm Uni." He's probably a foreigner with his accent.

This conversation was progressing quickly from a shot to the head, which was pretty good for me. I hoped he actually have the cash to fix the door and...

A loud ear-splitting noise, a blinding white light in my direction, wooden splinters everywhere but most of all...


...a severe headache. It's gone now. My ears were ringing really badly, I've been hit in the forehead by something, and if I touched it it's all gone numb. My fingertips had blood on them for some reason.

The house...what remained of the house looked pretty fuzzy. People were shooting things and screaming very far off. Where's that hungry foreigner with no manners?

Someone's turning off the lights really slowly, but I thought it was quite funny because the roof's been blasted off so it should be all bright right? Is it afternoon? Oh wait its early evening.

I picked up a piece of wood and leaned against the wall rather hard. It's all burnt and still a bit hot, the wood that is. Not the wall, otherwise why would I lean against it?

My brother's going to be mad at me.

I'm tired; I'm going to rest a bit.
11-09-2006, 10:56
Things were progressing well. I had learned the girl's name, and she was about to take me to the kitchen when the wailing sound hit me. I had heard that kind of noise before. Uncontrolled re-entry. Close by.

The initial impact sound, I didn't hear. However, what I did hear was the splitting of timbers and the crusing of stone as the hot hull of some sort of ship cut through right in front of me, obliteratin the kitchen we were heading for. The shower of splinters that came our way, I turned against it, ducking my head into my coat as I tried to shield the girl as well. However, she did get peppered by the flying wood, and she did get hit, blood marring her forehead.

But if it had been just the ship that tok out part of the farmhouse, I would have been fine with that. But to add to this, I was hearing gunfire. Automatic gunfire. Things could never be simple...

I saw her stumbling a bit in shock, only to go rest against a wall. Shock. Damnit. Just what I needed now. Had it just been a ship hitting the dirt poorly, I would have been fine. But now, I had to deal with that big bloody intruder that was still partially embedded in the house, people firing at each other, and now Uni seeming to go into shock, or showing the signs of a concussion. Couldn't tell just now. However, I had to at least see to her. She was a non-combattant, after all, and I had once been a soldier. And I did feel a bit responsible for what had happened here. Damnit. Rushing to her side, I instantly shouted at her. "Uni, open your eyes! Look at me! Talk to me! Don't fall asleep on me!" I couldn't see her wounds under the bladd that was covering her forehead, but she was still breathing, and that meant she could still talk to me. "Just keep talking to me, sing a song, anything to prevent you from falling asleep, I'll be right back!"

I had a small aid kit in my tactical vest, but I needed my larger one, the one that I had in my rucksack. And getting it meant going through the firefight. Taking a deep breath, I hefted my rifle up and clicked the selector switch from safe to single shot, and I headed out through the ruined kitchen.

Right in front of me, about thrity yards distant, was one of those I had seen trailing me. I was recognizing his rifle that had lost most of its blueing. He was firing at something else, but I didn't care. I simply lined up my sights on him even as I walked and I fired two rounds and he recoiled from both impacts before hitting the ground, two neat holes punched in the center of his chest, about two inches between them. One of his buddies did have to be somewhat perceptive, for I did see him turn to face me, leveling his own assault rifle. Well, I couldn't have that, could I? As I pivotted towards him, I dropped to a knee and I fired again, another pair of rounds. However, those I hadn't timed just perfectly. The first one caught him in the gut, the next one in the shoulder, but he didn't drop. So I fired another round, this one hitting right between his dumbstruck eyes. Nobody can survive that, guaranteed. I didn't care much about the firefight. I just had to make my way to that haystack about seventy five yards away, get my ruck and dash back to Uni as fast as I could.

So I started my mad dash. It was something we caled pepper-potting. Run a few steps in a direction, cut at a sharp angle, hit the dirt, get up. Lather, rinse, repeat. It wasn't a very pleasant way to cross any sort of distances, but it sure was better than a straight-line sprint over open ground. It did seem to take an eternity, and I could feel the bruises starting to develop from all my hard landings, but I reached the haystack and I reached in with one hand, hauling my rucksack out. I was still on the ground when I slipped on the shulder straps, and I needed only a moment to get back up and head back for the house. But with all that ear on my back, I wouldn't be able to use that diving maneouver and expect to be back on my feet quickly, so I did the next best thing, simply changing direactions randomly as I ran.

I never really counted myself especially lucky, but there had to be somebody looking over my shoulder today to see that I didn't stop a bullet. Upon reaching the house, I once more let my rifle hang from its combat sling and I rushed to Uni's side, dropping my rucksack even as I lowered myself down to a knee. "Are you still with me?" I then asked her.
11-09-2006, 11:41
I think I went blind for a moment there, until something snapped me out of it. I can't stop my hands and shoulders shaking, but I think I'm still okay. I think.

Some guy was shouting at me, but I couldn't really hear what he's saying. He'll probably look like one of those old movies from way back, the one my brother told me about when I was seven. Or was I six then? It doesn't matter.

The guy's gone while I was thinking. My forehead's starting to hurt, and the noises are getting closer for some reason. I have an itch on my nose, but I'm feeling kind of lazy to scratch it. That’s weird. I tasted something salty.

Another person's come back, and he looked like the foreigner who pulled a gun on me. What's so interesting about my forehead? I doubt he has enough to fix the house now. I hope my brother's okay.

"My head hurts." I felt like complaining, and my head really hurts.
Nation of Fortune
12-09-2006, 04:47
Hearing that things were not faring well for their comrades, two of the four decided it would be a good time to storm the house, at least in there they could get some better cover from gunfire. The front door was kicked open, and the lone figures ran in the room. Nickel had spotted them after the second they ran in, she loved her synthetic eye.

"Eschaton, go around the ship," she barked, her pistol drawn.

She was heading for the wreckage around the ship, and the gap it created. She stepped into the wreckage of the kitchen, and with her eye noticed that someone was leaning against a wall near a fire. She was disguised at a distance to thermal vision. Nickel then closed both her eyes, activating a mild yield X-ray vision. The person near the fire looked seriously injured, thus not a threat. Nickels pistol pointed rather at the ones who had just barged in. They hadn't a clue she was there as she was on the other side of a wall. She watched them advance on the wounded person. Six shots screamed from her pistol, and two bodies fell to the ground. Three round burst was an interesting setting for this pistol.

She then noticed it, how did she miss it before. Another person making their way into the house through the kitchen. He obviously didn't notice her, which is surprising considering her armor. She followed him, it was amazing how people in the heat of battle let things slide from their attention. No wonder they drilled it into her head not to let such an occurance happen. She got right up on him and drew her knife, waiting for him to drop his pack. The second he did she grabbed him by the throat and held the knife to his jugular.

"Not a move, or these walls are painted blood red with your blood. What's the deal with all these men, and how many are there?"

Pixious noticed that things seemed to die down, she definatly couldn't see any enemies. She jumped out of the ship herself, starting a regulation combat formation, before realizing that none of the others knew the proper stances.
12-09-2006, 10:47
She was in pain. No wonder. I couldn't tell just how badly hurt Uni was under the blood that was sheeting across her forehead and face, but consideringthat she wasfeeling some pain, and that she could talk to me in a coherent fashion, that was enough to tell me that it was minor enough. Maybe a concussion at the worst, but that I couldn't treat other than to give it some time.

"All right, let me take a look at..." I couldn't even finish my sentence. I had just freed myself from my rucksack and hit the floor with oen knee when a voice came from behind me and the tip of a very sharp knife was making contact with my neck. How in hell did I just get blindsided? You're starting to slip, Bobby-boy... However, my thoughts translated into something else in the audible spectrum. "Ah shit."

However, it wasn't one of the yellow-bandanna gang that had gotten the drop on me, because first, it was female, and I had never seen one of their women do anything other than the menial tasks. That, and she did ask me about the gunmen outside the house. "First question: local armed gang. They followed me here because I killed something like twelve or fifteen of theirs over the last few weeks. Second, damned me if I know, they wre smart enough not to make contact while following me."

I didn't much care with the kinfe held at my throat, but that I could free myself from. I had enough rolling room off to my left and front all right. Then, with a single seift move, I both twisted my neck within the hand that held it and brought my right hand up, swatting the blade away from my flesh even as I propelled myself along the floor with my legs in a slanted forward roll. Now, I hadn't been quite fast enough to avoid all damage, for I could feel the skin part under the tip of the blade and blood starting to run down my neck. However, I ignored this glorified shaving nick and rose to my feet as I pivotted, taking a step backwards even as I drew my pistol and lined up the sights with the intruder's forehead, my thumb pulling hte hammer back as I did so. "Look, I don't have a problem with you folks just yet, other than for crashing your ship through her house and even then it's not that big a deal so far as I'm concerned. Hell, I'm even willing to overlook the whole incident about wanting to slit my throat here. Who are you? And do you want this to end in the obvious way or like civlized people? I'm not looking for a fight, but if it's a fight you want, you've found one."

Well, she was armoured, and I currently wasn't loaded with anything meant for that. But at this range, my slugs would at least batter at her. And even the, a shot to the face would definitely bypass that...
Nation of Fortune
12-09-2006, 15:15
She was impressed with the man's movements, he obviously knew what he was doing. Still she had more than enough people following her.

"What I'm doing here is nothing I'm bound to share with the likes of you," Her voice was disguised by her gas mask, making her gender undetectable.

She quickly ducked a little, making sure the bullets he fired would not be fatal as they were diverted into her helmet. One of her arms shot up and grabbed his wrist, the other brought an elbow into his face.

"You are a well trained soldier," she said, still holding his wrist, "It would be a pity to see you die. I'm guessing our crash will draw attention, you probably shouldn't stay here any longer. You can follow us, wait here for the gangs, or you could go back the way you came. I will tell you though, the gang will not bother us where we are going."
12-09-2006, 21:54
The words that were shot back at me were neutral enough, something hard and unpleasant, a soldier's tone, that much was obvious even distorted by the communications port of a gas mask. However, I didn't have time to add anything when the armoured figure before me moved. Why did I know I was too close to begin with? I'm truly getting soft here. The thought was hardly formulated when my trigger finger wnet into the guard, but my wrist was eized, and instantly I relaxed that one digit as to avoid discharging my weapon. I did no even have the time to execute a countermove when and elbow smashed into my face.

Stars flashed in my vision, the taste of blood entered my mouth and I could feel a warm, sticky rivulet running down my chin. That bastard hit like a hammer all right. However, I wasn't knocked uncoinsciou, only very slightly rattled when I raised my head again to look into the occulars of the gas mask, my eyes narrowing. I just got complimented about my martial skills when I too sprang into action.

With one step forward, I reached around my opponent's arms, my left hand cupping her elbow and with a hard twist of my waist, powered by me legs, I threw the armoured soldier over my forward leg, freeing my arm from the gauntleted hand that held on to it in the process. However, I did not line up my sights again. Instead, I took a few steps back. "Thank you. I worked hard for that."

But then, I considered the words that were said to me. "You really think that you hitting the countryside liek this would attract attention? The thought never occured to me." My voice was dripping with sarcasm as I regarded my opponent. "As for that gang, they'll be back, guaranteed. These guys use radios with locator beacons, and they like to avenge their dead, trust me on this. And that means I can't go where I came from just yet. But if I go with you, so does she." And with my head, I nodded towards the bleeding Uni. "If she's lucky, they'll only kill her when they get here and nothing else, so either way I'm not leaving her alone. And if you have a medkit handy, I could definitely use it." Yes, I did have my own medical supplies but when I was in the service, it had been a standard practice to always use a source other than our own first if there was one available. Then, I holstered my pistol, a gesture of good faith. "Look, as I said I don't have a beef against you and yours and I'd really like to keep it that way. But you're starting to make it a little hard, you know." Oh yes, my pistol was holstered, but I could still very easily reach my rifle's pistol grip and bring that to bear...
Nation of Fortune
13-09-2006, 01:59
This was starting to be an interesting fight she thought to herself. The first foreigner to ever match her in close quarters combat. It's a good thing for him this armor decreased her mobility so much, or she would have killed him when he pulled that move on her, just like the last person who tried it. She was lying on the ground, and scissor kicked her legs around his, bringing him to the ground. In the moment of falling and the shock of hitting the ground, she was already sitting on his back, with his legs cocked up, and one of his arms grabbed. He was wrapped up into a C position. She was only toying with him now, going back and forth with counters and the conversation at the same time.

"They would have to be insane to follow us. Getting where we are going without a sheer amount of dumb luck, or the knowledge of the area, is suicide. However, once we reach the destination, I would worry about the gangs and vigilantes then. As for a first aid kit, there might be one on the ship, I'm not sure, we haven't had it for very long."
13-09-2006, 03:29
Damnit, didn't that armoured jerk know when to quit? Upon hitting the ground, I felt the mass fo flesh and metal and composites land on my back, and one arm as well as both my legs were brought up, painfully stretching my back. All right, no more Mr. Nice-Guy. I've personally had my bloody fill of this game, and now, this had better end. With a savage grunt, I pulled hard with both my legs against their hold while using my free arm to push off the ruined floor even as I gave a hard twist with my hips, forcing both I and my opponet onto our side. From there, wriggling out of the grasp was easy enough, and I was quck to reverse the situation. Still on the ground, I spun onto one hip, my hand ripping the gas mask off of my opponent's face as I executed yet another roll away from the armoured form adn I whipped around, my hand finally finding the pistol grip of my assault rifle and bringing the muzzle up to be lined up with the now-exposed face, I took myself out of grappling range. "All right, I'm done playing. If you have medical supplies, she needs them now and I'll have no problems following the lot of you, so long as she's coming too. Otherwise, take yourself and yours and get the hell out of here. I've tried to be civil so far, but you are making it a lot harder for me to keep things that way. If you give me no choice, make no mistake, I will kill you." And, as if to reinforce my point, I took my finger within the trigger guard and I started to gently squeeze the trigger, taking the infinitesimal bit of slack that was in there. It wouldn't take much to put a round downrange at this point all right...
Nation of Fortune
13-09-2006, 03:51
A wicked smile crossed her face, it was the first time her face, even her gender had been revealed to the stranger.

"Killing me would be the biggest mistake of your life. Your life would last at least ten more years as they slowly tortured you to death. To make it worse, everyone you ever cared about would meet the same fate, right in front of your eyes," the smile turned into a slight laugh, "besides, I'm only having fun. You would have been dead long ago if I desired."

She jumped knowing the rounds that would spit from the weapon, even if they pierced her armor, would not do any long term damage. The room wasn't big enough to even back away completly out of range, especially while pointing a rifle at someone. Regardless if he fired or not, she kicked the muzzle of the rifle, and drew her own pistol, knowing her other weapon was to large to wield effectivly inside the building.
13-09-2006, 04:28
When the muzzle of my rifle was kicked away, it was only quick wrist action and a full roation that kept the weapon in my grip, and a relexive letting go of the tirgger that prevented me from spitting out a single round that could have hit anything or anyone in the room. But even as the woman drew her pistol, I lined up my rifle again, this time bringing my left hand to the handgrip and the stock to my shoulder. At this range, it would be impossible for either of us to miss, and if anything, we had ourselves a standoff.

"Fun? I doubt that the girl is having fun right now. And my idea of fun is hardly being threatened to have my throat slit when meeting someone. Now, for the last time, I'm offering you a chance to continue our conversation like civilized people. Otherwise, you can go on your merry way and I'll take my chances with the gangs." My tone had gone flat, hard and unyielding. Sargent Robert DeSarre, Special Forces, was coming back to the surface in earnest now. And I still kept Uni in my view, the training I had received in order to become one of my platoon's backup medics having kicked in a while back now. I was done with the goodwill gestures. Right now, this was about survival, and she had to be ready to make the first move here. And, as if to support my point, my left hand quickly hit the switch for the laser pointer, making a point to activate the visible-spectrum one as opposed to the one that would only show on proper optical equipment. From the front, the red light would be pretty clear, and my opponent had to be smart enough to know where the red dot was: right in the middle of her face. My right, too, did not stay idle and a single faint click could be heard when I thumbed the selector switch, selecting the full automatic mode of my weapon. I had my fill, and by now she had to know it.

"Look, neither of us here wants to die. You make your call, woman. Either we both die stupidly or we deal with this without any more blood being shed. And remember that there is one innocent here and that I won't let anything happen to her." Oh yes, that was a soldier's oath. Protect the innocent, for a non-combattant's life is sacred. And right now, I was starting to worry about shock settling in within Uni, any more than it already had...
Nation of Fortune
13-09-2006, 04:50
"I'll allow you to tend to the woman, just so long as you hurry. Onlookers are already appearing, so I suggest you work fast," she moved away, knowing the man wasn't going to fire.

The laser didn't frighten her at all, she already knew the rifle was pointed straight at her head. She already knew that the bandits were all dead. The fight had a secondary purpose, it was to draw out any hostiles that were after the man. The commotion would surely attract their attention, and if they hadn't showed up by now, they were already neutralized.

She picked up her gas mask, quickly affixing it to her face. Next she picked up her knife, which still hadn't had the blood from earlier wiped off. She went outside and addressed the people who had traveled with her.

"We best get a move on quickly, a crowd is gathering, and before long we will be too outnumbered to have a chance of winning. Also, we will have two people joining us."

She holstered her pistol and finally grabbed her main weapon. She made her way to the trail, and looked up the mountain. She saw the structure, and knew what it was. She even knew it's name.

"Syrah, named for the type of wine that is a blood red color," she said, just barely audible.

The trip to the building would be the first part of the journey.
13-09-2006, 10:29
And finally, the woman backed down. As she left, I kept my sights on her the whole time, and once she left the house, I shut down the laser pointer and safed my weapon before making my way back to Uni and my rucksack and dropping to a knee.

I did't waste much time in extracting my medkit from one of the many outer pouches, and taking out a few antiseptic wipes, I proceeded to clean up the mess of blood on her face and forehead, being very, very careful. I don't quite know what she saw, or what she perceived of the dealings with that armoured woman, but I couldn't worry about that for now. "Uni, we have to get moving. There will be more trouble coming this way, so once I'm done here, I'll need you to grab a bag and a few necessities and I'll see to it you get to somewhere safe, all right?"

I was working as I was speaking, finishing my work by applying a spray-on kind of bandage over the mess of nasty gashes in her forehead. And only then did I look after my own cut. Although I didn't clean off all the blood on my neck, I did spray it shut as well before rising to my feet, offering the girl my hand once more and spoke softly. "Come on,things will be all right."

I might be a soldier, a trained and remorseless killer of men and women, but it didn't preclude me being a decent man, or so I liked to think.
14-09-2006, 14:02
I think I'm still a little bit dizzy, but my mind felt a lot clearer now. The headache hurts, but at least it tells me I'm still alive. I felt a pulse in my forehead, beside the wound. The birthmark felt cool to the touch, which was a contrast with the hammering feeling on the other portions of my skull.

"Wait...a moment." I cupped my face in my hands. I must think this situation through. My house was gone, bandits were attacking, everyone I met today were jittery and armed to the teeth, and now some of them offered to carry me off to some place I don't know anything about. This better not be a nightmare.

I spied the man named Robert between the gaps of my fingers. Hand extended, patronizing me with that voice of his, last time he did that gesture a spaceship crashed into my kitchen.

It's entirely his fault. They're probably going to take me someplace secluded and shoot me, an unarmed farm girl, unless I ditched them soon. Not that I won't get shot anyway.

"I don't know why you helped me with my head," even though most of the trouble was caused by you being here in the first place, "but I don't trust you. I want you to know this."

I stood up myself and looked around, staring at him made me feel helpless and angry. I walked past him to what was the couch. I'm not feeling depressed for some reason, only angry, even though this previous life of mine was destroyed in one day.

The burnt bit of timber is still in my hand. I pocketed it.
14-09-2006, 22:58
I was just done seeing to the sealant that I applied, and I was satisfied with the coverage of the wound when Uni drew away from me, burying her face in her hands. Her words, too, just supported what I suspected. She was pretty shaken up and had a rough time making heads or tales of what had just happened. I couldn't blame her. At least, I had my training to fall back onto. That and the instincts that had been ingrained in me to cope with trauma and strife. She didn't.

But when she questionned why I helped with her head, I offered her a bit of a smile. She didn't trust me, but I couldn't blame her for that either. After all, I did kick her door in. When she walked away, though, I did follow her. "And you have no reason to trust me just now, I realize that. But please, hear me out, all right?" I came in closer, though keeping some distance. "No matter whether or not I would have been here, that ship would have crashed on your house anyways. The fact that you were injured, well, that I can claim fault for that. I did compel you to go to the kitchen at that time, after all, and you were an injured non-combattant. I had to look after that. I was a soldier, once. I was a backup medic in my platoon, and it was my job to patch people up. You know, I'm short on medical supplies, it would have been jsut as easy for me to improvise something the wouldn't work half as well as the real stuff." I was keeping my voice quiet and my tone matter-of-factly. If anything, I was trying to make up for what I had done.

"Im really sorry for your house, both for its destruction and me kicking your door in at first. I should have announced myself, but I was too worried of being welcomed by someone trying to kill me so I took the initiative there. Honnestly, I never meant to harm anyone in this place, honest." That, I hoped, she would at least recognize. I don't know how much she had seen of my confrontation with the armoured woman, but she must have seen how I had tried to avoid the use of deadly force, just as I had treated my unwilling hostess at least politely. "And I'll help you find a place to set up when you'll be ready to make your own way. Until then I'm giving you my word, not that it's much to you, that I'll do my best to keep you safe."
Wandering Vagabonds
15-09-2006, 03:53
*The soldiers did their thing. Jump out, shoot, get shot at. He held his position watching the door. Soon after there was an eerie silence, then the lead soldier called that the team was moving out. He sighed, re-saftied his rifle, and stepped out of the ship. The ship had crashed in a house*

Good aim.

*He shook his head and followed after the female soldier*
15-09-2006, 09:30
I spent a few minutes examining Robert's features, to look into those eyes, seeing if he was telling the truth. He had a nice poker face, if he was acting.

Oh what the heck. No time to cry over spilt milk. "...I'll get packing."

As I got up from the couch, I thought about writing a note for my brother, if he ever came back here.

I looked Robert in the eye again, "Be careful. If you're not in league with them," which I'll soon find out, "...just be careful okay? I'm not sure they're friendly."

I checked around the house for any possessions I had still intact, and then crammed them in my old backpack.
15-09-2006, 10:14
There was a long moment of silence as Uni simply looked at me, her eyes looking into mine. I didn't look away, but it didn't mean I was being oblivious to our surroundings. After all, that is what ears are for, too.

The gunfire had stopped, and there was this stillness to the world about me, like the dead calm that will follow a nasty thunderstorm. And it was generally at this time that more shooting would happen, but the crack of firearms did not fill the air. No more violence, at least for now.

Shortly after Uni got up, she spoke to me. Asking me to be careful. And that was enough to provoke another smile from me. "I will be. Thank you." It made sense. I didn't trust those people, even less than Uni trusted me, definitely. Considering that they just hit the ground and started shooting, it was enough to tell me that they weren't exactly here to make friends. Until I could ascertain whether or not they would turn out to be a threat, I would be sleeping with my weapons close to hand...

As Uni started packing, I returned to my rucksack and secured my small medkit. As I watched the woman gathering her things, I called out to her. "Only take the first necessities. Two changes of clothes, warm things, things to sleep in or under. If you run out of room or can't carry some of your stuff, I still got room in my ruck." I was going to suggest food or cooking implements, but it would have been ludicrous, considering that the kitchen was buried under a spaceship.
16-09-2006, 04:36
After quite a while of searching, I found what Robert suggested under the wreckage and crammed them inside the backpack.

I hoisted the backpack onto my shoulders and went outside; looking back at the full damage the crash and the subsequent firefight did to the farmstead.

I realized that I haven't slept for a while.
Nation of Fortune
17-09-2006, 05:28
Pixious looked at the people that had been hired to do this job, and she counts them. The odd one with the tattoo's had started towards Nickel, the greenhaired one was at the entrance to the ship and Eschaton was still somewhere on the other side of the ship. She finally noticed, Esdras wasn't present, and she hadn't seen him after the crash. He must have never left the leech pod and burnt up in the atmosphere. She shrugged this off.

"Ddienw, Eschaton, lets get a move on. We don't have all day, people looking for anything will be here in a minute," she yelled at them.

Pixious then ran to the remains of the kitchen.

"You two, if you're coming with us get moving NOW, we will leave you behind if neccesary."
Draconis Nightcrawlis
17-09-2006, 14:01
Ddienw nodded, checking his guns he went to follow Nickel and the others. As usual he stayed silent.
18-09-2006, 04:42
I glanced at the crowd as passively as I could. Even in this sleep-deprived state, I could tell they were armed for trouble.

Oh boy. It's cold tonight, but better cold and alive than warm and dead, right? My stomach informed me I'm also hungry as well.

I'll have to trust Robert to watch my back, for now. I followed the crowd.
18-09-2006, 22:13
At the urge to move faster, I simply let out a harsh chuckle. Uni had gathered her belongings in what I could call record speed, and in my case I had been ready to move within seconds of the armoured woman leaving. After all, all I had to do was safe my rifle and shoulder my rucksack. By the time I had the waist belt secured and the shoulder straps snugged, I was ready to move, barely feeling the considerable weight I was carrying. And ther were no luxuries in there, save the one of a large supply of ammunition. And even then it did qualify as a necessity...

When I followed Uni outside, I surveyed the damage done. The corpses of the gunmen who had opened up were well in evidence in the moonlight, and their injuries, as well as the number of holes in the house walls and the small impact craters on the ship's hull spoke volumes about the intensity of the gunbattle, without counting my own nearly surgical shooting from earlier on.

The ship, however, had caused much real damage. A stretch of crops had been destroyed, and the animals had stampeded after the impact, as a section of the corral's fence was missing. The house, well, it was beyond repair at this point. A salvage operation would probably save most of Uni's belongings, but the structure had been irremediably compromised. It would have to be rebuilt.

As we started the march, I could feel the chill of the night. Soon, I would not as movement would generate heat. I had marched a long distance today, and the hand-to-hand fight with the armoured woman hadn't done much to rejuvenate me. Uni, on the other hand, she looked nearly dead on her feet and quite cowed. However, I did drift away from the pack to head to the corpse of one of the yellow-bandanna gangmembers and from his body I extracted the spare magazines from his clothes and the one that was still mounted to his weapon. Maybe his mags weren't compatible with my own rifle, but the rounds used in both were the same. At least, I had just scored another hundred and some bullets here. Also, I pulled from his waistband his pistol, for which he carried a half-dozen full clips. It was of an older model, but after a quick test, the action was still smooth. And it was also of a common caliber. This latest find, though, I kept in hand as I rejoined the group.

The rifle ammunition I stuck in the leg pockets of my cargo pants, but the handgun and its mags, I handed towards Uni. "For now, just hold on to these. When we have a chance, I'll teach you how to use it."
19-09-2006, 05:18
"Okay." I held the handgun in my hand, and a chill ran through my arms as I imagine what I could do with it.

...As well as what others would do to me if they found a gun in my hands.

I pointed the gun at a bush off-road, and then carefully take out the magazine of bullets. I didn't like the prospect of the pistol going off accidentally near myself.

The magazine went with the others Robert gave me. The pistol I decided to put into one of my backpack's side pockets.

I really hope I don't have to use it.
Nation of Fortune
30-09-2006, 08:07
Nickel started down the trail as soon as most of the people had joined her. Quickly the fields of the farm became became a dense forest. She slowed her pace and brought her weapon to the ready. She tweaked her head, and her eye became alive screaming bits of information to her. After about a hundered and fifty yards she stopped and crouched down. She put her fingers at a spot about five inches off of the ground, and lifted up slightly. The waning sunlight sent a reflection of a wire to everyone nearby.

"Don't worry about this wire, it's a double layered trap, the first wire is just a ruse. It's the second one that you don't see that will kill you," she said as she indicated a second wire about two inches below, and three away, "Pixious, take the lead and meet me at Syrah with the rest of the group."

Nickel stepped into the brush along side the trail, and started disarming the explosives attached to the wire.

"I want everyone to form a line, six feet between each person. I'll take point, and I want the new guy to take the rear. We're about five miles away from the top of the mountain, and it gets dark in about an hour and a half. We do not want to get caught out here in the dark. Things get especially nasty here at night. There will be shelter at the top of the mountain, however I can't tell you the condition it is in, as it has been many years since anyone has been there. We need to move quickly and carefully, this is just the first of many traps, not only that but we will be dealing with rough terrain, wild animals that were bred to be extremely vicious, and possibly other people who may not take so kindly to us. Lets move out."

By the time she finished her lecture Nickel was already gone, and making a way along the trail, making sure that no major surprises lay in wait for the group, she would leave the traps though, disarming them would take more time than it was worth. She could operate much more efficiently and quickly as a single cell, and not have to worry about the others in the group.

About a mile up the trail a small clearing opened up. Four bodies lay dead, they had been there about a week. They were burned badly with pieces of metal sticking out of their flesh, indicating they had set off an explosive of some sort, it was obvious where the explosion had been, burnt trees were a dead give away. The whole clearing was filled with the stench of rotting flesh and the sounds of flies. She checked out the clearing in a little more detail, and noticed another trap had been set off, this one was obviously a friend of the others. He had somehow avoided the explosion, but had trapped himself in a punji pit. His body was pierced completly by the large spikes. The fact that his hand was removed from a spike indicated he hadn't died immedietly. These traps had been set off and were hard to miss. Nickel continued on her way, travelling near the path, rarely on it.

A short ways away another trap had been set off, this one much more recently, no more than a day. It was a snare sort of trap. Half of a body was hanging from the tree, the other half lay on the ground below. The snare had flung the victim in the air, and chopped him in half with an unseen blade. She continued on her way.

About halfway to the top she noticed a camp. It was well camoflauged, and near impossible to tell from the trail. She snuck closer, keeping in the shadows. She saw someone, most likely a guard. Nickel sized him up, and it dawned on her, he was a mercenary. Most likely he was being trained by an old Nofian soldier. This was nothing more than a training op. Regardless, they still were going to shoot anyone they saw. They also probably had patrols out for the hell of it, what a better way to train someone than in a Nofian forest.

A flash of silver was all he saw before he felt a crack against his forehead. His head bobbed back slightly, and he fell face first, driving the small knife only farther into his head. Nickel let out a yell, and watched as wanna be soldiers ran out of their tents. Not a single one of them had decent training, they must have not been very far in their training to make such a stupid error.

Her machinegun screamed as they dropped like flies. Seven of them total, and the camp was empty, judging from how many shelters there were, there couldn't have been more than two patrols out. She dragged all the bodies but the first one into a pile. This task would have been much harder had they not all been bunched up. Secondly she set up explosives she had disarmed earlier to go off if anyone came near the pile of corpses. Finally she dragged the body with the knife in his head to the trail, she knew the knife would be note enough for Pixious. Pixious and the other group must have been about twenty minutes behind by now.

Nickel moved on, she knew that any second a patrol would make it's way back, and meeting up with the person training these men would be less than fortunate for a single person. She hadn't been away for three minutes when she heard an explosion. At least one patrol had bit the dust.

After the encampment, the terrain made a sharp change, it became more open, and rocky, fewer plants were here and there. Scars of gunfire pocked the rocky terrain, and one area was entirely black from where napalm had killed every living thing there. An age old skull had snuck away from burn marks, it now rested several feet from the trail. It was entirely black, with bits of some thing stuck to it here and there. The open terrain was harder to trap, and it was easier to avoid them, so Nickel picked the pace up significantly.

She had practically ran the rest of the way, and made it to Syrah rather quickly.

The building was a large concrete structure, and age old blood marked the walls of the building, both inside and out. Pill boxes pocked the landscape immediatly outside the building. Nickel looked over at a rock that had been dyed redish from all the blood that had been spilt in the area. It was a no-man's land, no cover whatsoever. Anyone assaulting it would meet a quick doom, yet since this was one of the few ways that allowed entrance into the country, it was a heavily disputed area. Ancient brass shells littered the ground, almost two inches deep in some areas, at least if you could pick apart the corrosion.

On top of the building numerous mounted anti-aircraft weapons had been mounted, and it was obvious that they had seen much use. It was obvious that years ago they had been abandonded, and fallen into a state of disrepair.

Nickel made her way to the entrance. The huge steel doors were ten inches thick, and must have weighed close to a ton each. The doors were inset from the front of the building, and slits allowed for anyone trying to enter to be shot. The area was painted with blood. Inside large hydraulic mechanisms opened and closed the doors, outside a panel allowed for control of the doors. The panel was activated by a retinal scanner.

Nickel removed her helmet and pressed some buttons on the retinal scanner, after a little bit it came to life. She placed closed her good eye, and placed her head in front of the scanner. The machine thought about it for a minute, and beeped. She had acquired the master sequence for all retinal scanners in the nation, it was Cyrus Lanier, the Nations long since deceased commandant. She started the wait for the others to arrive.
Wandering Vagabonds
01-10-2006, 03:11
*Osis followed along silently until the group met the trip mine. One soldier defused it, the other started barking orders. They wanted to group to make a single file line. Usually he would agree that this was a good idea, as it would hide the number of the group if anyone was following them. However, considering that the path they where to walk the line on was obviously booby-trapped. Plus, considering the dense foliage around the path, it was highly likely that there where at least a few guerilla snipers along it. He shook his head, dropped into a crouch and walked a few meters into the foliage. He could still see the path, but was in the brush deep enough that, even should there have been any trip wires out there, the wind blowing the branches would have tripped them shortly after their being set. He slid his rifle off his shoulder and held it at the ready, and waited for the group to start up again*
01-10-2006, 07:26
I did not have to wait long before we set out. Wherever this paramilitary group was headed, it was towards the foreboding landscape that I had spied coming towards the farmstead. And it was close, being only roughly five miles away according to the woman whose brains I had come so close to splattering all over Uni's house.

But when the order or march was given, I landed a hand on the young woman's shoulder and gave it a squeeze. "Stay no more than an arm's length in front of me and put your feet exactly where the one in front of you puts his," I whispered to her. If anything, she must be the one true civilian in this strange company, and she would have none of the observation skills required to avoid the traps that were allegedly out there.

And it did not take long for us to find the first one. The light of the setting sun was reflecting clearly off of two metal wires. The first was a clear decoy, securely attached to two trees. The second, one, though, was connected to an old style of antipersonnel mine that was still in use today, the venerable Claymore. If any of us had tripped it, the angle of the mine would have vaporized all of us save the two armoured women, and those would still have been rocked pretty bad by the explosion.

The terrain we marched across was hardly an easy one to cross. The thick woods, littered with dead and rotting bodies and booby traps, was a bit of an ordeal. I knew what to look for, and my eyes also became Uni's when it came to the trip-wires and other nasty stratagem that an enemy unknown to me had laid out. And then, things became rocky, with far less terrain and for less cover. At least, it meant that hte hard gournd would be unsuitable for most kind of mines or wire-activated weapons. However, it was incidentally devoid of cover and much, much more tracherous. But thigns went well, and finally to a concrete bunker we got, sinking in old brass down to our ankles. Whatever this place was, it obviously was unpleasnt to be there...

"So, are you planning to get us in there, I then asked the armoured woman who had gotten there before the rest of us did.
Draconis Nightcrawlis
01-10-2006, 15:55
As usual Ddienw stayed silent. He watched the others as they headed to their destination and most importantly he followed any orders given by Nickel. She knew where to go and the traps they came across.
02-10-2006, 01:59
Staying silent most of the way, focused to stepping where the others stepped, I tried to make conversation with the others before encountering the first corpse.

Maggots. Burnt flesh. Holes where the eyes should be. Dried blood.

I've seen dead bodies before. Dead pigs, dead cows, dead fowl. Dead people was quite different, as you know they were just as intelligent as you and they still died like livestock. I felt sick most of the way to the bunker.

The building seemed secure to these guys, since they went a lot faster when it was in sight. I went off somewhere private and threw up. What little there was still in my stomach.

I wiped myself off with leaves and went back inside the safety of the concrete walls.
Nation of Fortune
02-10-2006, 03:03
Nickel had waited a good half hour for the group to show up. She had since opened the door, at least as much as it could through several hundered years of rust. One of the doors had opened just enough to fit a person through, and the other door made a whining noise as long as it tried to open. The immediate area inside the door opens into a hallway, with two entrance ways on either side. Small stalactites and stalagmites hung from the ceiling and floor from where the water found it's way through the concrete. She had already set up in the room on the right. It was a plain square room, with nothing more than a weapon rack that had been destroyed from rust, several abandonded chairs, and outdated, nonfunctional machinery. There were slits in the walls that allowed for one to look out and fire a weapon from, unlike the outside of the building, not a single shell was on the ground. She had dropped her gear with the exception of her weapon and knife. Her helmet and gas mask rest inside.

She stood outside, leaning against the wall. She had a cigarette hanging out of her mouth, it was slightly crumpled. Despite this relaxed appearance she was quite alert, when the group came into view she had already identified who they were, anyone hostile would have not been noticable until they were much closer. She waited for them to get closer before moving. The one man asked her about entering Syrah.

"Unless you'd rather stay the night out here, I would suggest going in there," Nickel said to the man. Her voice changed as she addressed the group, "For those of you that wish to join us inside Syrah, we will rest for the night. The shelter should be relativly safe, but we will still post a guard every two hours, starting with Pixious, then Ddienw, and then the new guy. Six hours should be plenty of rest. We only have provisions for ourself, so if you didn't bring any food tough luck."

She turned and went inside. Once there she rummaged around inside her gear, and pulled out a large cracker like object. She breaks it into quarters and eats one quarter. After a little bit she sits against a wall, and closes her eyes. Within minutes she is asleep.

Pixious walked into the room shortly after Nickel, and ate a bit of the same cracker object. Her lightly colored hair was cut short, and waved through a breeze that blew through the room. After a little bit she took her place at the main entrance to the bunker, waiting for either something to happen, or for the next person to take their shift.

After a while Nickels eyes opened, the world seemed hazy. She spotted a blonde woman smoking a cigarette, on her back was a machinegun. Without hesitating Nickel draws her knife and lunges at the woman. The woman grabs Nickels wrist, and wretches her to the ground with her knee in Nickels back.

"Who the fuck are you?" Nickel hisses between tightly gritted.

"I should ask you the same thing," Nickel hears as she feels the sharp jab of a knife enter her hand.

Nickel let out a yell and shot up. She reached for her knife to find it was sticking out of her hand. She looked around to find that the blonde woman was nowhere. She pulled the knife out of her hand, and flicked the blood on the wall before wiping it off on the back of her leg. She looked around to see everyone was asleep, and Pixious had already passed her shift on to the next person.

"Fucked up dreams," she muttered before walking outside to find it was Roberts shift.

Once outside she leaned against the wall again, and started smoking.
Wandering Vagabonds
02-10-2006, 05:15
*They reached that bunker where, presumably, they would be spending the night. The lead female started talking. Something about sleeping in shifts*

More soldier speak.

*Osis began to realize this little group of theirs was less of a hunting party and more of a task force. This was a fact he did not care for. He shook his head as the others entered the room off the main hall . He walked down the hall a ways. As the light began to fade he turned to face the main gate again and took a seat. He laid his rifle across his lap and watched the down the long hallway. It wasn't that he didn't trust the sentry to do his jon. He just trusted himself more. Besides, all that meditating on the ship hadn't just been for show*

*Several hours passed. The watch had changed twice. Suddenly a yelp came from the room where everyone else was shacked up. Osis quirked a brow, but didn't move. Either someone had had a bad dream, which was their own problem, or someone had gotten in and was now slautering his hunt-mates. Either way, his rushing over wouldn't help things. The soldier with the white hair came out. She didn't appear to be injured, so he struck the intruder theory from his mind. He had to admit that a nightmare was a bit anti-climatic, but his legs had been starting to cramp, so he descided to investigate. He got up, slung his rifle back over his shoulder, and walked back up the hallway.*
05-10-2006, 20:46
The inside of the bunker was pretty much what I had expected from a place that had not been used in a long, long time. The furniture had long rotted and while there was no stench of mold, the musty smell of decay and uncirculated air did assault my nose. From both floor and ceiling were spires of mineral material, formed by the condensation leaching minerals from the concrete. It all managed to give this place an eerie feeling, but then again, I prefered being indoors than on the explsed side of a mountain.

Rest was next on people's minds, and, as I had expected, there had been no provisions laid out for the two extra mouths that Uni and I were. But at least, I still had some of my own rations with me, enough to last me two weeks, but far less now that I had to share. From my rucksack, I extracted two foil-wrapped packs. One was reading 'Beef Bourguigon', and the other 'New Orleans Jambalaya'. Amazing the flavours that our suppliers could give to these bars, but without the smell or texture of the real thing, it was rather pale comparison...

One of the bars I tossed towards Uni, and I then unfurled my sleeping bag, but I did not turn in just yet. Instead, I ate first and then proceeded to clean my rifle. It had been fired, and even if only five rounds had gone through it, I needed it to be fully operational. The full field strip, cleaning and reassembly took less than a half hour under my trained hands, and then I caught some sleep.

It was the soft vibration of my watch that woke me up fifteen minutes before my shift as sentry and I wasted no time in pulling out of my sleeping bag and packing it up before taking my spot just outside of the protective walls of our shelter. It was a quiet, boring night but soon, the woman who had held me at knife- and gunpoint walked out into the chill night air and sparked up a smoke. "Can I bum one off of you?" I asked quietly as my eyes kept on scanning the slope before me. It was a clear night, and the angry red flaring of a cigarette would not hamper my night vision, not with a full moon in the sky and no other source of light around me. And it had been a long time since I had one of those...
06-10-2006, 13:35
Thanking Robert, I ate my portion quickly, before turning over to sleep in the corner. It was difficult at first, but soon the exhaustion I was holding back during the hike came back and covered me like a blanket.


With the girl asleep, I awoke. I brushed her hair from my own eyes, securing them behind the ear, and propped the body againist the wall. I shook the limp muscles awake, then stood and took a walk around the place.

Finding a puddle, I looked back at myself. Her stare was blank, irises were small as pins, as it should be. My own eyes was still hidden by the hair falling down again. I crossed my hands and thought.

It was too late to go back to the house now. The time spent there was wasted. At least no one discovered what was in the basement.

I went back to where her backpack was and loaded the pistol. Fumbling for bullets in a gunfight is stupid.
Nation of Fortune
07-10-2006, 18:38
She tossed the pack to him, and then shortly there after a lighter. The lighter was simple, and had the Nofian crest on the front, a picture of the grim reaper holding the world with his scyth looming over it. On the back was an engraving, it read:

As I walk through the shadow of the valley of death
I shall fear not death
for I am the meanest motherfucker in the valley

She took a long drag of cigarette, and opened her mouth.

"Never did catch your name. They call me Nickel Seven."

With her free hand she was absent mindedly twirling her knife between her fingers, a seemingly awkward task because the knife had a fairly long blade.
08-10-2006, 04:57
I expertly caught first the pack of cigarettes and then the lighter from the air and quickly I extracted one of the coffin nails from the box and lit it before tossing both back to their owner. "Thanks," I said, the word muffled by the cigaretted hanging from the corner of my mouth. Taking a full drag, I leaned against the outer concrete wall, my eyes never leaving the hillside. What in the world was I doing here? Escaping a gang that would stop at nothing to see me dead, for one thing...

But when she introduced herself to me and asked me for my name, I looked directly at the woman who had so readily tried to slit my throat at first. "Robert DeSarre. I'd love to say nice to meet you, but our first encounter didn't really happen in good terms now, did it?" I let out a chuckle and a puff of smoke with this before taking another drag, the lit end of my cigarette flaring an angry orange. "Now, Nickle Seven, care to tell me what takes a group of mercenaries down here on a ship, with enough urge to go through a clear no-man's land and into a centuries-old bunker?"
Nation of Fortune
12-10-2006, 06:23
((OOC: Sorry, my computer decided to go to hell in a hand basket, and I had to buy a new harddrive because my other one thought it would be funny to corrupt itself, and make itself entirely useless.))

She caught the pack of cigarettes with her knife, and snatched the lighter out of the air with her other hand. She pulled the little black box off of her knife and chrushed it a little before sticking it back in her pocket.

"What do you mean it wasn't on good terms? I didn't kill you, did I?"

She smiled a little. Combined with her two mismatched eyes it seemed like she was grinning at the thought of bloodshed.

"Mercenaries, heh, the only lot of them that could be called mercenaries are myself and my armored companion. I doubt the rest of them have seen a day of warfare in their life. The deal is a bounty hunt, normally not something my comrades take part in, but this one was something of a special interest to us specifically," she paused for a second.

During the pause her eyes spotted something, the blonde woman from earlier. Her eyes followed this woman as she walked along the hillside. Nickel blinked and the woman was gone. Her hand was grasped around the handle of her knife, which she had subconciously pushed through her other hand. Blood came out of her hand and dripped down her fingers, but she payed this no mind.

"The bounty would take them into the heart of the ruins of The Mercenary State of Nation of Fortune. Making it alive this far would be extremely difficult for anyone who didn't know the habits of my ancestors, and it would be nigh impossible for anyone who did not have access to this bunker. An underground railroad system will bring us to a far better exit into the nation from the natural fortress of these mountains."

It appeared she hadn't noticed the knife sticking through her hand.
Wandering Vagabonds
12-10-2006, 06:36
*Osis paused as the little farm girl also stepped out of the room. She disappeared out the doors, same as the soldier before her. He was now rather curious as to what was happening that was so interesting outside. He crossed the remaining distance to the large doors and slipped out. Thee sentry and the soldier woman where sitting a little ways off to the side. The woman had a dagger sticking out of her hand. He shook his head*

Unsettled dreams lead to an unsettled existance.

*The farm girl had crossed out of sight around the bunker. He took a deep breath. The air outside the bunker was not exactly fresh, but it was better than the stale stink of metal and rot inside the bunker. He stepped out of the way of the door, just in case anyone else should descide they need to stretch their legs*
Nation of Fortune
12-10-2006, 07:10
((OOC:Actually, it wasn't the farmgirl she saw, it was someone noone else could see, I'll be doing this for a bit so get used to it now.))

Nickel shot the man who had left the building a glance. She reached into her pocket and held the pack of cigarettes up, it was a gesture of offering for the tattooed man. She doubted he would take one, but figured she would offer.

It was then she noticed it, several soldiers stealthily making their way up the side of the mountain. She didn't know it, but there were twelve of them out there. She dropped the pack to the ground, and drew her pistol, setting it to single shot. She realized her knife was sticking out of her hand at this point, luckily it wasn't her dominant arm. The pistol was out and resting on top of her arm, and it barked as the hunk of metal screamed out of the barrel.

Her eye had turned a blood red color in an instant. To her, and only her, the darkness that had surrounded them an instant ago became various shades of colors between bright red and a deep purple. One of the yellow figures started rolling down the hill, making clinking noises as his path disturbs the shells.
Wandering Vagabonds
12-10-2006, 22:45
((occ : i figured that might be it, but the farm girl was up and moving to. or at least her body was. i think.))

*He waved the offering off. Suddenly she drew her side arm and fire into the darkness. The shot must have found its mark because the faint noise of something falling came from where the weapon was pointed. He quirked a brow and slid his long rifle off his shoulder*

14-10-2006, 13:38
I was exploring the surroundings of the bunker until someone fired his/her gun nearby.

Shit. I have no time for this. I left the pistol in the bunker because it would be suspicious to carry it around. I brush the hair out of my eyes to look for anything in the dark.

Someone is watching me.

I'll be damned if I stood around waiting to bite a bullet. I ran instead, steering myself towards the faint hint of the stalker.

Sure enough, the silluoette fired a few rounds towards me in reply to this, alerting me of his location. The bullets all failed to stop me until I was in front of him.

I kicked him where it should hurt, picking up the pistol he dropped when he fell. I stomped on him a few times more where I kicked him. He fainted.

Checking myself, finding that I was only grazed slightly in the shoulder. I wondered why this guy didn't travel in a pair.

I looked around. It was too quiet.
Nation of Fortune
23-10-2006, 22:15
((OOC:Perhaps we can continue this RP at some later time, much, much later. So for now, Ta, Ta. It was fun while it lasted.))