The Fifth Age IC

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The Fifth Age IC

Post by Squall Reyes on Sat Nov 27, 2010 10:18 pm


The guard laid against the side of the wall, with the sandstorm coming around the city he was sure that no one would be foolish enough to try and make it through it. And even if they did he was sure they would not survive long. You could imagine his surprise then, when he caught a glimpse of something out in the sand, a man. The figured reached the wall and peered into the bullet proof window where the still shocked guard stood. The hooded figure began to tap the window with a steel closed tube he had in his hand.

“Prepare to bring ‘er around, Briggs!” The red-haired airship captain shouted to her fist mate.

The young man shouted back, “Right!” Briggs was a bit older than Valeria at 30 years old and had been with her and the crew from the beginning. Years of being outdoors left creases at the corners of his eyes showing he smiled a lot. The ship’s wheel is held firmly in his confident hands and the wind blows his long light brown hair back from his hazel eyes.

Valeria bends to a brass speaking tub and calls down, “Sybil? Half power. We’re approaching Vegas.”

The youngest crewmember, Sybil is the engineer aboard the Scarlet Raven and favors the company of her coal-fired steam engines to that of people. The shy girl pushed the leather aviator’s cap back slightly from her dark ponytails, nods to herself and opens a valve on the huge boiler to release the pressure driving the dual propellers at the rear of the sleek airship.

The rest of the crew goes about stowing gear, preparing mooring ropes and peering ahead to the city as they approach. They’re all looking forward to being on the ground again to unwind and buy some things. The gunner, Raven, however ensures his deck cannon are primed and ready just in case the powers that be on the ground decide to get ornery. Raven looks every inch the pirate. He is whipcord thin, is missing a lot of teeth, even at the young age of 27 and has the penetrating scowl of the permanently suspicious. His dark hair is tied back with a dirty leather dew-rag and his clothes are all scavenged and patched together with more leather.

As they approach Vegas, Valeria pulls out a pair of binoculars she has on a strap around her neck. “Kendall, Dan, man the gatling gun. We don’t need any nasty surprises. The two big men head to their stations. Both 23 year olds were dark-haired and dark-eyed who had seen far too much in their young years. Kendall was officially the cook for the crew while Dan specialized in hand to hand combat when needed. His barely restrained anger was often too close to the surface.

The Scarlet Raven approaches from the south, into the wind. Through her binoculars, Valeria looked out over the ruined city. Without power, the desert had reclaimed most of the glamorous hotels and casinos once more. Many had fallen into disrepair and only the main strip still saw any life. The population still alive had moved into the gigantic hotels with the elite on the upper floors and the poorer on the lower floors. Generators continued to power basic services from Hoover Damn. But those that knew how to maintain the giant turbines were becoming fewer every year.

The outlying areas beyond the 2 blocks wide strip were empty, taken over by animals and weeds and sand. All possibly useful supplies had long ago been stripped from them. Surrounding the long, narrow city were thousands of upright airplanes. They had been peeled open like a gutted fish and planted in the hard earth like a giant metal palisade. Weapons were dotted everywhere along the perimeter due to the presence to several military bases in the outskirts of the city that General Stocker had taken over.

Valeria bent to the brass speaking tube again, her unruly, strawberry hair blowing across her cheeks. “Sybil. Cut power, we’ll switch to the sails. We need to conserve all the coal we can.” Sybil’s tinny voice called back, “OK. Captain.” That made Valeria grin. Sybil loved to pretend they were pirates of the high seas. Her dark eyes flick to the sails high above the deck of the ship before looking through the binoculars once again. She aims for the top of the New York, New York casino. From there, they can tie off and find the supplies they need and trade the ‘acquired’ goods they have below decks.

With practiced ease, the Scarlet Raven makes landfall and Dan is left behind to guard the ship. No one will get by him and a fight with locals is avoided by leaving the overly-sensitive man behind. Valeria and most of her crew, including the naïve Sybil stride down the street looking for merchants to trade their goods. Kendall and two others carry a majority of it while Briggs, Sybil and Valeria carry rifles and revolvers openly. Briggs has added his saber hanging from his belt, adding a dramatic swash-buckling air to the picture.

Rick had long lost his protective hood and was striding down the crowded streets of Vegas. Then again any settlement which housed more than 20 people was a bit crowded for his taste. Rick's head however turned as it his eyes followed a pair of his favorite things about cities. Two women scantly dressed women ran by him to the G ran, one of two airship ports of Vegas. Finally Rick reached his destination, the grand Pyramid of Vegas, the General no doubt was compensating for something.

Having been to Vegas on multiple visits, Valeria knew where to head for the best supplies and as the small group strode confidently down the street, they were slowly swarmed by orphaned street children begging for food or candy. All of the crew’s faces turned grim. Not so long ago, those children had been them. Everyone handed out little they could spare, but it was never enough.

As they approached the glass pyramid of the Luxor, there was the distinctive sound of shattering glass. The children disappeared like so many roaches. Valeria’s crew were instantly alert and turning her head, Valeria caught sight of a man running/sliding down the slick outside of the uniquely-shaped casino. Her brows shoot up and she comments to Briggs, “Damn fool’ll get killed that way.”

The world seemed to slow down for a moment, as the glass seemed to surround him. He fell for a moment before his foot made contact with the glass of the pyramid and even as he began to stumble down he kept his vice like grip on the satchel in his right hand. Finally, gravity had won the battle against balance and he felt himself leave his feet as he began to roll down the massive glass structure. A 10 foot drop was there to greet Rick at end of his long trip, and he landed with a bone rattling thud, his hand still clutching the satchel which had lost some of it's contents on the floor. Diamonds.

A disoriented Rick slowly got to his feet trying to shake out the cobwebs. The group of troops coming out of the door however, got him back to his senses faster than any bucket of cold water. Rick sprinted away from group of gun toting guards, trying to make sure to get as many things between him and his pursuers in case they opened fire. To Rick's surprise however, no shots rang out which was not as comforting as one might expect. The General wanted him alive. "Oh crap-oh crap-oh crap-running-running-running." Rick chanted to himself as he came to that unpleasant conclusion.

Rick eyes scanned for any chance of escape before it came upon an broken but stable rail line above his head. His eyes quickly scanning for anyway up, spotting a collapsed section of the rail which had landed on a old world car but also seemed to provide a perfect ramp up to the main line. As he moved toward the ramp, Rick reached into one of the many pouches on his belt finally coming up with a handful of old world grenades. He began pulling the pins as he reached the car, throwing them into the broken windows. Frantically he began to climb, the fallen rail before the car beneath it exploded into a fireball.

The small airship contingent continued toward a known trader where they could get brass and powder. The sound of a group of running feet, followed by an explosion got their attention once more. A glint reached Valeria’s eyes; one Briggs knew well.

“Stay out of it, Valeria. We can’t afford trouble right now. We aren’t exactly carrying legal goods at the moment.” He jerked a thumb toward the sailcloth-enshrouded shape Kendall carried with ease on his massive shoulder.

The force of the blast knocked Rick from his feet as he ran from his orchestrated explosion. Rick slowly got to his feet and was just about to begin to run down the rail when he saw a group of troops coming from the other way. "Right..." He whispered to himself. Rick's eyes scanned all around for someway, anyway to escape. The guards were yards away when Rick's eyes spotted the water a few feet away but under him. Rick took a leap of faith, and after a few moments he burst through the surface of the water. Rick swam as quickly as he could to the other side of the fountain. "I can't believe that worked!" The sounds of thundering footsteps brought his look up to possibly every guard in Vegas pointing their weapons at him. "Oh come on, after all that? You guys have GOT to let me go just out of respect I survived all that."

Tucking an errant lock of hair behind her ear, Valeria nodded reluctantly. The ship and crew came first. “You’re right. Go ahead without me. You don’t need me for this. I’ll meet you back at the ship.” With that, she spun on a booted heel and headed back toward the Luxor once more. As she retraced her steps to see if the man she’d seen skidding down the side of the glass pyramid was the cause of the commotion. Rounding a corner she saw a man in the pool at the former Bellagio surrounded by a dozen armed guards.

"Oh come on, after all that? You guys have GOT to let me go just out of respect I survived all that." A couple of the guards looked somewhat taken aback by the flippant request. Valeria almost laughed aloud. The man had balls, for all the good it would do him. She kept her rifle against her shoulder as she watched. But then, her breath caught when the man reached into the satchel and tossed out a handful of glittering diamonds. The brilliantly scintillating droplets were unmistakable in the desert sunshine. Valeria wasn’t the only one to notice the fortune that now scattered at the feet of the stunned guards.

The man wasted no time, bursting from the pool and racing between the old rusted cars for cover while the guards scrambled to pick up the pieces of brilliance in a frenzy of greed. The guards weren’t the only ones stunned by the sight of the diamonds; Valeria stood as if rooted in place. That is, until the dark man crashed right into her. The impact sent her rifle skittering away and more diamonds to spill from his pouch.

“SUNUVABITCH!” She shrieked when she was knocked on her ass. The guards behind her pounded after him and shouted for her to stop the man, but he’d knocked the breath clean from her lungs with the impact. He recovered before she did, but the guards were there before he could disentangle himself from Valeria’s long legs. Before she could gather her wits, he was thrown to the ground again, his arms wrenched behind him and cuffed. They dragged the man to his feet and marched him away while two guards remained behind to eye her suspiciously.

One finally helped her to her feet. “Who are you?” He asked harshly. The second guard retrieved her rifle and checked it over to see if it was something worth confiscating. Finally he returned it to her. She answered their questions with little side-stepping necessary. And got the basic story of the Scavenger that had run her down. An expert in the wildernesses, huh? She thought. Just what I need. A smile and some small talk quickly garnered where the man would be held and his likely fate. She realized that the man would likely be easy to negotiate with.
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Re: The Fifth Age IC

Post by Crazy Hobo on Sun Nov 28, 2010 2:01 am

This was the moment, the Hand of God would finally get the opportunity to rid the world of yet another band of raiders. It was all the more sweet of a moment due to the fact that this band had been giving the Hand trouble for months. Farrah's body nearly quivered from anticipation as she slowly climbed to the second story of the destroyed building that the raiders were using as a hideout. She quickly used a mirror to look into the window she had positioned herself next to, and upon discovering the room inside was empty, she carefully slipped inside the building. Farrah seemingly melded with the shadows of the night that projected their way into the very poorly lit room. She reached the hallway and once again slipped the mirror out to check for raiders, finding the hallway to also be empty. She advanced on silent feet, quickly moving down a nearby stairwell, and maneuvering herself to a locked side door.

The door opened with a soft click, and the other six members of the Hand of Justice entered the building. The first in was named Johnathan, he was their leader. He was vastly experienced in surviving the Wastes, and was a brilliant strategist and fighter to boot.

"Well done, Farrah." He said in hushed tones. Farrah looked towards the others. Andrew was their resident explosives expert, often being employed to blow their way in when Farrah wasn't infiltrating the buildings instead. The next two were actually twins, Mark and Macy, two names which they hated. They were the two best shots in the group. Often times had Farrah seen one of the two hit a raider in the dead center of their head from hundreds of yards away with little effort. The last two were simply incredible fighters, with guns and up close. Their names were Duncan and William, and Farrah trusted that both of them would be able to fight their way out of a group of twenty raiders. Farrah banished her drifting thoughts as John began to advance through the building, the rest of the Hand falling into formation behind him. The moved through the halls quickly, stopping in a mildly large room.

"Something's wrong." John said, "How many raiders did see, or kill, before you unlocked the door?"

"None." Farrah replied. Horror moved it's way onto her face as she realized what that meant. "Do you think-" Farrah was interrupted as a few bullets collided with Maci, William, and Andrew, dropping all three instantly. The other four wordlessly dove behind whatever cover they could find, and returning fire into the darkness that the bullets came from. Raiders poured from a side hall that had been completely obscured, and the probably half dozen with guns unleashed hell upon the remaining four members of the Hand, while dozens of other raiders advanced with melee weapons. Farrah barely moved in time as a old-world grenade dropped into the cover that Mark and she were using. Shrapnel grazed her face and arm, but she got off lucky. Mark didn't move quite fast enough, and both his legs had been ripped from his body in a bloody mess. John signaled for the remaining three to retreat to a more defensible position as more of the raiders advanced, and instantly they bolted back down the hall they had come from while Duncan provided covering fire. While he allowed the other two to get to safety, Duncan couldn't protect himself, and bullets left him a bleeding mess on the ground. Farrah and John watched, and shot at the raiders, from behind cover in horror as Duncan went down.

"We have to get out of here!" Farrah yelled over the gunfire, also picking off a few raiders that got too close for comfort.

"Wait for the ones with guns to reload then we'll make a break for it." The silence of the raiders reloading came moments later, and Farrah and John burst from their cover to make a mad dash for the nearest exit. Amazingly both burst through the door alive, and instantly began to sprint up the hill that sat in front of them. Just as they were about to crest the hill, a loud crack sounded out through the night, the sound of a sniper rifle, and John went down in a heap. Farrah turned to watch him fall, but didn't stop running, cresting the hill moments later, and barreling down the other side.

How did this happen? Farrah thought to herself, Goddammit, don't think about it now, just run! Or do you want to be raider stew like the others? And so Farrah steeled herself against the pain of loosing the closest thing she had to a family and darted off into the night.

-

Farrah awoke with a start, wiping the sand from her face. She had dozed off for a few minutes, a few minutes she couldn't spare. The raiders were still at her heels, and they had begun to taunt her and worse. It was becoming a game to them. They had all the time in the world, as well as horses and other raiders to fill in the ranks if another grew tired. They knew it was just a matter of time before they caught her.

"Run, bitch, run!" Farrah heard called off in the distance, "I can't wait to cook you up. You look just delicious."

"Not before I get to have me a little fun!" Another called. They were taunting her again. Farrah let the taunts slide off of her, and began running yet again. Her muscles screamed to be given a rest, and many were on the verge of ripping, but she had to keep running, had to find people that could help her kill or drive off these raiders. Suddenly, a small shadow sailed over Farrah, the object in question landing a few feet in front of her. Farrah let out a pained gasp as she saw what the object was. John's head. Farrah spun on her heel, drawing her pistol. She fired two rounds, and was satisfied to see one of the horsemen that had begun to draw a little nearly fall from his mount. With that Farrah kept running, doing her best to keep her eyes off of the head as she passed it.

How much longer can I keep this up? Farrah asked herself, as exhaustion and dehydration tore at her body.
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Re: The Fifth Age IC

Post by Loki on Tue Nov 30, 2010 1:02 am

The dry desert wind whipped into the shop for several moments as a small group of rather rough looking individuals walked into the shop. Janus casually leaned against the chain link fence that made a room within the main room, reaching from ground to ceiling, as a measure of security. Anybody who wanted to access the shop had to travel along six-foot hall between the building’s exterior and the fencing to the opening at the opposite end of the building from the entrance. Should anybody wish to cause trouble, they would be left without cover as they make this trek either to the goods or towards the exit. The dark brown stains on the concrete walls serves as a grim reminder of the fates to those who tried.

Janus watched casually as the group traveled along the perimeter before emerging through the opening next to him, his presence along with his brothers serving as a reminder to customers to remain civil while trading with his parents who stood behind the counter. Although his face may be read as being unimpressed by the newcomers, it was actually one of absolute boredom. He listened to the banter between them and picked up something about a girl who was likely to cause trouble. Eavesdropping was the only form of entertainment he really had once a customer came in, forcing him to put on his game face. Was that the source of those muffled explosions a little while back? He felt yet another reminder of all the adventure that he had been missing out on by remaining in the safety of these walls.

The group continued to talk amongst themselves as they spoke to his mother about the list of supplies they needed. Janus’ brow arched up with interest when he overheard the words ‘gunpowder’, ‘ship’, and ‘captain’ scattered throughout the conversation. Without thinking, Janus stepped forward and placed his hand on Briggs’ shoulder saying, “Excuse me, sir.” There was a snap of motion with everybody in the room as they all placed hands upon their weapons aside from Janus who had them raised in a pacifying gesture, which also contained a signal to his family to stand down. There was a long moment of stillness before the tension in the room slowly subsided as they eased off their weapons.

There was an edge to Briggs’ voice as he spoke, not wanting to provoke a firefight, but clearly annoyed with being approached like that. “What do you want?”

“You wouldn’t happen to have room for another person in your crew, would you?”

The group blinked at that question, taken aback by how random that seemed. A second later, Briggs’ expression returned to its stern scowl. “Even if we did, what makes you think we would be interested in somebody like you?”

Janus grinned as he saw his opening to impress. “Well, I could simply state my skill with improvising and repairing weapons, ability to patch up a wounded person, and otherwise keep anything mechanical running as good as new. I could also mention how having me aboard would give you nice deals on supplies. Instead, I think I will show you my abilities and make you an enticing offer to sweeten the deal. Please, follow me to the back room.” There was a lot of skeptical glances as Janus turned and led the way, both the pirates and his family uncertain of what he was doing. “From the supplies you are getting, I assume your ship is equipped with the standard deck guns found on most airships, relying upon rounds projected by gunpowder. I hope you have room on your ship for one more cannon.”

At the end of the corridor lined with living spaces for the Dekker family was a heavy door that led into a small warehouse. Throughout the room were stacks of weapons, machines, and parts that were clearly inoperative piles of scrap. In a corner of the room was a large object shrouded by a tattered sail. “I don’t need to tell you about how costly those rounds can be even though they are essential for aerial combat.” Janus began before unveiling a massive cannon that immaculately cleaned and polished. “That is why I went through the painstaking effort of converting a deactivated M198 howitzer into a steam powered cannon unlike anything seen today.”

Janus leaned against his cannon before continuing. “You are not the first to see this weapon; several wealthy captains, whose title was earned by the contents of their wallet rather than combat experience, attempted to purchase it from me. Truth is that this gun is much more intricate than your standard gunpowder models. Without the understanding and respect needed to operate this weapon, it would just as soon blow you out of the sky as it would your target. Here is my offer: enlist me into your crew and this fine gun will be all yours. My family and I can have it installed within an hour of delivering it to your ship.”

“So, do we have a deal?”
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Re: The Fifth Age IC

Post by quakernuts on Thu Dec 02, 2010 1:20 am

Daniel

In the jail cell belonging to one of the major factions of the demolished world under the leadership of General Stocker, sat one man. His posture and his constant whistling set a tone of complete ease and a carefree existence. The guards around him were annoyed by his whistling, but they couldn't do anything to him without opening the gate, and he had a talent for escaping. The man's name was Daniel Ruustoff. He was a man who had no morals, who had no ethics, and didn't care what happened to those around him so long as he got what he wanted. He was selfish, he was greedy, and he was smart. His entire life was a lie, and some even question if he remembers who he even really is. Not that he cares at all, but it's fun to hear the rumours all the same.

David had been sitting on the bench now for about half a day, having been captured trying to pick pocket some confiscated money out of a guard's jacket. Well, they noticed, and since he wasn't much of a fighter to begin with, they locked him away. Or at least, that was what he was allowing them to think. Truth was, he never got caught if he didn't want too, at least, not by these fumbling idiots. He had been stripped of anything useful, and all of his personal items sat in a chest in the next room. Whether the guards had helped themselves to the crate, he couldn't tell.

The only excitement to come his way was the guards dragging another man into the room. The man looked like he had grown up in the wastes, which was good to see. Someone who hadn't would have been poor company. As they threw the man in, Daniel simply looked at him on the ground, then back to the guards. "Whatever happened to treating guests with respect?" His voice was cocky, and so sure of himself that arrogance was the first word to seep into anyone's mind once he started talking. The guard simply turned and spat at him, and walked out of the cell. "Oh joy, I shall be adding that little bit of guard poison to my rock soup! Thank you oh kind host." They ignored him, and walked out of view towards the only way out.

The man coughed slightly, but was up on one knee and brushing himself off pretty quickly. Daniel simply stared at him for a moment, before planting a smirk on his face. "Don't you just love the hospitality of guards shot up on testosterone and acting like school yard bullies?"

"Well, you know what they say about guys with guns." The man answered, sitting back against a wall for the time being opposite of Daniel.

"I do hope you are referring to their firearms, because if they are waving around their 'guns' they'd be scarin' all the women and children."

"Psh, if they could see them." The man replied, throwing his arm to enforce the statement.

"Indeed." They sat in a moment of silence, before Daniel continued the conversation.

"The name's Daniel, and who do I owe the honour of sharing my cell?"

"Name's Rick." The man looked through the bars towards the only way out, and unwilling to say more on that certain subject.

"Ah, well, Rick. What did you do that landed you in my fine abode here?"

Rick seemed to hesitate for a moment, but then answer; "What can I say? Sometimes the right thing isn't the smart thing to do."

"Ah, but if the right thing isn't the smart thing, doesn't that make the wrong thing the right thing for being the smart thing?" Daniel retorted.

Rick seemed to give a slight smile at that statement. "Took the words right out of my mouth mate. It goes double when you have a satchel full of diamonds in your hand, but this time was different."

"Diamonds? Well now, there is some proper motivation indeed. Tell me though, if you got caught, who has the diamonds now?"

"Heh, same guy that threw me in here." Rick paused for a second. "Well, not all of them. I'd say about half of them are circulating around the streets somewhere." He chuckled to himself at the memory. This meant it wasn't an act of goodness, more an act of desperation.

"Well, good to know sir." Another bit of an awkward silence fell between them with them both looking towards the exit, before Daniel started up the conversation again.

"Well either you are very accustomed to being in jails, or you like small cramped spaces. So tell me, this can't be your first time in a jail."

Rick grinned to himself, but continued staring out the cell door. "If my travels have taught me anything, it's that there is always another way out." He seemed to pause for a second. "Then again, the general might want to make an example of me, which means I need a way out of here tonight."

"Oh, well in that case, go for it. I won't stop you." Daniel leaned back a bit more, bring his leg up and hold it in place with cupped hands on his knee. Rick finally tore his gaze to look at him.

"Make's me wonder what's stopping you." Daniel gave a small laugh.

"Oh nothing is stopping me my good sir. In fact, I'm planned to be executed tonight, but I simply wanted to rest in a place without paying for a roof over my head. I'll be long gone before they can carry out that execution of theirs." Rick had the question of 'How?' on his face, and Daniel quickly put up his hand. "A magician never reveals his secret, and an escape artist never reveals his tools." Daniel replaced his hand on his knee. "So, by all means, go for it. It would entertain me."

Rick's eyes drifted over the entire cell, and he seemed lost in thought before he spoke again. "Well, since you're going to be executed, I know of at least one time where the guards will be coming." He made his way to a rougher piece of the bar, and started messing with the heel of his boot. After a bit of effort, a sharp piece of plastic was visible, and he started sharpening it on the edge of the roughened bar of the cell door.

Daniel simply watched him in mild curiosity for a moment, before deciding to deflate the man's balloon. "Well, that sounds like a great plan, except for the fact that I'm not going to be here when they try to execute me. What will they do when they find you, but not me? I doubt they are going to ask many questions, I think they might just shoot you on the spot." Daniel leaned forward, cupping his hands out in front of him. "Tell you what, Rick my man. I could use a distraction for my escape. I'll open the gate, we go our separate ways, and we'll split up the guards as they search for us. You go your way, I go mine, and we never see each other again." Daniel opened his hands, revealing a small, sharp rock and half of a straightened paper clip.

"Do we have a deal?"




Nico

A man by the name of Nico Ludgren wandered through the streets undeterred, and not frightened by the heavy presence of soldiers and mercenaries alike. He had on him a shield of protection, in a manner of speaking. A single golden cross hung on small silver chain around his neck and constantly bobbed up and down, hitting him on the chest. It felt good, like a constant reminder that He was always there for him. He also had his collar dyed white, but other than that, nothing else spoke out about him being a man of God. Some of the soldiers saw the cross, and nodded to him. Some mercenaries would step out of his to let him pass, and even a few down trodden civilians had sometimes come right up to him and gave him a hug. People needed all the hope and love they could get in these times, and he was more than willing to help them.

However, everyone that had asked for help, or desperately needed help but were too full of pride to ask had been helped as much as he possibly could. He was not a preacher, he did not go around giving sermons, spreading the word of God as loud as he could everywhere he walked, or scolding people for doing the wrong thing. He helped those who asked for his help, and let those that didn't fend for themselves. He had been on the other side of the spectrum, he knew what it was like, which is what made it so easy to relate to everyone else.

So while those two items labelled him as a Sheperd, the rest of the clothing simply marked him as a survivor. Dark brown vest with so many pockets that it's amazing he can ever find anything in, and Dark brown pants with black military boots. A white, long sleeved shirt is underneath, and black gloves can be seen on his hands at nearly any time of the day. The only thing missing from his attire was the total lack of weapons. There was no sling, no holster, and no hidden compartment in his vest to carry a gun. He was a pacifist, a dangerous thing to be in today's age. Raider's didn't care about the wrath of God, and many animals only saw a meal. Which is why he often needed to hitch a ride with another group of people riding out of town to get anywhere. If he could find a group, he knew God would allow him to reach his destination safely.

As he entered the survival shop just slightly after first group, he gave a curt nod to the guards standing just a slight ways away. He avoided the weapon's area, but instead went to the actual survival gear. He grabbed a backpack to carry some of the larger things, a small medical kit, some water and food, a sleeping bag in case he would be sleeping beneath the stars, and some other odds and ends that could easily fit within his vest pockets. Before he could make the purchase, the room exploded into activity, and then quickly into tension as one of the guards approached the group. Nico was about to interject, but heard the conversation. The group had a ship, and would probably be moving out soon. It would be the perfect opportunity to hitch a ride to another town.

He had all the gear he would need, and went to the counter under the watchful eye of the other guard. He placed the items upon the counter for a price as he fetched for some rubies he knew he had, and some diamonds that he had spotted on the ground just a short while back. The man behind the counter looked at the gear, and then gave a once over of Nico himself. "You're not grabbing a weapon for yourself Sheperd?" Nico gave a genuine smile, and tapped the cross on the chest.

"I represent God, it would not do well to hamper that image by shooting everyone."

"I guess, but Raiders don't care whether your a man of god or a bastard child of a whore..." The man seemed to pause for a second. "Ummm...sorry Sheperd." Nico gave a small laugh.

"If I condemned for harsh language or honest opinions, everyone in this world would be dead. You are right, they don't care." Nico handed over the needed amount, and loaded up everything with surprising ease. "Which is why I'm going to see if I can hitch a ride. Thank you." The man nodded, and went back to doing some other work behind the counter. Nico managed to catch the group as they were heading out of the back room, some of them seeming very pleased about something. He stepped up to the one that seemed to be the leader, and he gave a curt nod.

"Good Afternoon gentlemen." The leader and his men stopped, and hesitated before they saw the cross and white collar and instantly relaxed. While no one knew of them, the superstition and respect that went with being a Sheperd was universally respected.

"Afternoon Father, what can I do for you?" The man answered, a lot more polite than anything Nico was used to.

"Well, I'm in need of some transportation to another city, anywhere is good actually, as long as I'm somewhere new and somewhere where I'm needed." Nico saw the hesitation again in their faces, not wanting to risk the whole superstition of turning away a priest, but not wanting to feed another mouth. Nico smiled and shook his head. "Don't worry, I don't have much money, but I do know enough to get by. I can help around the ship as long as I am travelling with you. I know how to do some minor repair work, a bit of cooking, and fairly decent at patching people up." He looked up at them with a smile beaming on his face. "Helping people, it's what I do. I can give you the money once we are on the ship. Are we good?"

Briggs looked back to his men, who simply shrugged, leaving the decision up to him. Briggs then looked back to the Sheperd. "Of course Sheperd, and I'm sure some of the crew has more than a few confessions to make." Briggs looked back at everyone with a smile, and when everyone pointed to a guy in the middle, the group burst into laughter. Nico simply smiled at the group, glad they had a sense of family among one another.

"Thank you." Nico stated, smiling even wider than before. He made sure all of his gear was secure, and then quickly fell in line with the others, eager to get moving.
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Re: The Fifth Age IC

Post by Digital Muse on Thu Dec 02, 2010 5:55 pm

Valeria found the makeshift jail that the Wasteland Scavenger was being housed in. She lounged across the street, shoulder resting against the crumbling façade of an old casino. Her carbine was held loosely in her right hand. Pursing her lips while she watched the entrance, Valeria puzzled out just what she hoped she’d be able to do. The place wasn’t heavily guarded. Less than 10 men appeared to be moving into and out of the jail. A few more patrolled the exterior.

As she watched, she noted that like many such jobs, the guards were underpaid and bored with the tedious duty. And that was just what Valeria would take advantage of. She left her post to buy a few things for her plan, such as it was. In the dead of night, the airship Captain returned to her place in the alley across the way from the jail. She watched as a couple ‘ladies’ approached the perimeter at different intervals. Coyly, the girls paired up with the 4 guards and they couples slipped away into the darkness, leaving the way clear for Valeria.

She stashed her carbine and revolver, but kept her knife and leather satchel with a few essential items she might need. Leaving her cover, she raced silently to the entrance and using some makeshift lock picks, she entered the interior with little delay. A long hallway lead past several barred, unused rooms and Valeria made her way quickly down the way. She finally found a room filled with half a dozen guards sitting about, drinking, complaining about their lot in life.

“Hello boys.” Valeria cooed softly.

Their heads all snapped up in unison just in time to see the pirate Captain slam the door shut in their faces. A simple screw driver jammed into the deadbolt would hold them at bay for a little while. Hopefully, just long enough. Valeria turned to race down the extended hallway. She passed several make-shifts cells, mostly empty, a few with occupants, but not the man Valeria wanted. The next right turn took Valeria down another long hallway, but there was only one occupied cell there.

The door was partially open and Valeria skidded to a halt just as a man she didn’t recognized slipped from the cell. He also pulled up short in surprise. Over his shoulder, Valeria saw the one she wanted. “You! We’re leaving. Got a deal for you.”

Behind her, the hammering of the guards on their improvised imprisonment made Valeria throw a look over her shoulder. “Come on! There’s not time.” She followed her own advice and spun on her heel to race back the way she’d come. She was sure that the scavenger would follow…the other one? Well, she’d worry about him later.

Back at the shop run by the Dekkers, Briggs, the Preacher and Janus bartered and paid for the ships’ needed supplies. Sybil and some of Janus’ family had gone ahead to deliver and begin the installation of the steam-powered howitzer that Janus had bought his way aboard with. The Preacher wondered just what he might be getting himself into, but remained quiet as he helped the group carry items back and forth to the sleek airship moored to the New York, New York.

The carried the last of the supplies back toward the ship, it had been a very long day and now, night to get everything done. Briggs had remained calmly in charge and affable. But Janus saw the signs of a survivor in the First Mate by the way his eyes kept moving as they ferried supplies back and forth. This last trip was no different. Kendall was hulking a huge wooden crate of valuable fresh vegetables with the Preacher at his side speaking amiably of recipes when the sound of bullets whizzing through the air stopped the entire group in their tracks.

Before anything could be said, Valeria came pounding down the street, having retrieved her rifle and revolver. She is followed closely and almost overtaken by Rick and Daniel. The three flew past Briggs and the others without stopping.

“Step lively, Briggs! Time to leave!” Valeria never slowed down, trusting to her crew to do exactly what she told them. Shouts of the guards and more errant gunshots confirmed the need to move.
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Re: The Fifth Age IC

Post by Squall Reyes on Sat Dec 04, 2010 10:35 am

Rick was looking out the window, night was pitch black. He had heard long ago before the Fires, this city was so bright that it seemed like the sun never set. Rick considered a moment how this would have looked, then came to the conclusion he would not have liked it very much at all. Rick was too much use to the dark, it was his friend which had saved him many a times from Raiders, or guards. But tonight, the dark meant they were running out of time.

"Ok Mr. Magic, It's night fall, means they'll be coming to pick you up soon. But also means the dark could give us enough cover to get the hell outta dodge so there's no better time to get us out of here." Rick said as he turned from the bars of the cell.

Daniel woke with a bit of a start from Rick's voice. "Huh? Oh right, I am in danger of immediate death. Well, no let's see...what was that trick I taught myself?" Daniel got lazily up from the cot, as though he were being forced to get up for work. He walked to the door and twisted her arms around the bars before putting the rock and pin into the lock. "Do a little dance...make a little love...ah, and click!"

Rick couldn't help but be impressed, though his face and stance did not show it. As soon as the Daniel was out the door, Rick was quick to follow, "Well a deals a deal. Cra-" Rick quickly pushed up against the wall next to the door, as footsteps began to approach the room. Rick looked at Daniel who also found his own form of cover and whispered, "You know how to put a man out?"

Daniel slowly slipped the two lock picking instruments into his pocket, taking care not to make too much noise before responding. "Does a Raider know how to shoot?"

The footsteps were nearly right on them now before Rick could remind Daniel that a Raider was lucky to hit a building with they way they spray bullets across their targets. Instead Rick decided to simply give him a nod and move on the hope that this man could indeed take the other guard down. Two rather large men came into the room, one seemed to have a slight stumble. Perhaps drunk? Thought Rick before making his move and wrapping the man closest to him in a choke hold.

Daniel waited until Rick made his move, bringing down a hulking mass quietly from his obviously inebriated partners side. Daniel decided now was a good time to make his presence known, and gave the other guard a tap on his shoulder. "You should really remodel this place." Before the guard could react in anyways Daniel's speed is put on display as his arm comes around grabbing the guards head in his hands. With a violent thud, the guards head made contract to the wall besides the door before his limp body collapsed to the floor. "Well it's a start."

"That's right, only the start. Keep sharp."

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

The prison had been larger than either men expected. They must had been taken into a deeper part as after they had thrown the guards into their former cells, the two jail breakers ran into another door of solid bars. This time however, no lock picking was needed as Daniel had taken the keys from both of the broken guards. Rick could feel his breath catch in his throat as Daniel froze as he went through the door, before seeing a femme fatale appear on the other side of him.

“You! We’re leaving. Got a deal for you.”

The sounds of men pounding on a door was now audible in the distance of the long halls. “Come on! There’s not time.” She shouted as she followed her own advice, turning tail and running. The men looked at each other a moment surprised by this new development. They quickly heeded her advice however and quickly took off after her.

The woman had quite the head start and was the first to pass the door which was creaking from the forces being applied behind it. Once she passed the door was thrown open, it's occupants catching a glimpse of the woman. They turned their weapons to her, but before they could fire were once again thrown back into the room by a force of two men driving their shoulders into the pile. Rick was quick to recover from his impression of a wrecking ball and slammed the door shut before resuming his run.

He heard the door once again slam open and the familiar but never welcomes wizz of bullets passing by him. Obviously these men had not heard Rick was wanted alive, or they didn't care. "Crap-Oh crap-Oh crap" he again chanted to himself. He decided he didn't like this idea any more than the General wanting him alive.

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

After quite the marathon run, the trio was in last in range of their destination. Or at least so Rick had summarized as he noticed the woman running for a ship in particular. Daniel had seemed to have had the same idea as he and Rick quickly over took the woman, before nearly leaping aboard and scrambling for cover as the gunfire had now adjusted for the ship as a whole. A good crew Rick observed as he saw everyone aboard quickly move to their jobs. He made his way over to the woman again, her status of captain long established by her orders. "I sure hope you plan on making this a western trip! The General would never pursue us there and risk open war with the FF."


Last edited by Squall Reyes on Wed Dec 08, 2010 5:13 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: The Fifth Age IC

Post by Loki on Wed Dec 08, 2010 2:05 pm

With the agreement made, a few of Janus’ siblings gathered the horses and began towing the massive cannon, necessary connections, and a footlocker containing Janus’ possession to the Scarlet Raven. The sail was secured around it to attempt to veil the cart’s contents, but it was still pretty obvious what was beneath to even the common observer. This didn’t concern the Dekkers though. The family and the city guards have a long-standing agreement that they look the other way with matters such as these and the family sees to it that the guards are well compensated with fantastic deals on gear and ammo. Janus always found it comical whenever a green recruit attempts to interfere with one of the family’s deals only to get a sharp elbow to the ribs by their superior just before giving them a casual greeting as though the wares rolling past them never existed.

As his siblings delivered the cannon and his parents sold them what they originally came for, Janus was tying any last minute loose ends and to gather the rest of his possessions. By the time he returned to the front of the building sporting a patched hiking pack filled with his tools that were scattered throughout the shop, he found that one more had joined their ranks. He had no idea why a shepherd would want to associate himself with a band of pirates, but he felt vocalizing his inquiry would be awfully hypocritical of him.

They were about halfway to the ship when a woman and a few men sprinted past them, the woman shouting back orders to the one who led the small group into the shop. Janus noticed the sound of gunshots not too far off and reached for his revolver before looking back and seeing city guards turning around the corner. Fuck. Instead of drawing his weapon, he sprinted in the same direction of the woman in a mad dash for the ship. Nearly every guard in the city recognized a Dekker by face, if not by name, and Janus knew he would bring a world of trouble down upon his family if he ever opened fire upon any of them. Being associated with whatever crime the three had just performed would still make things difficult for them, but Janus felt confident that there was still too much distance between them to be identified… yet.

The moment Janus made it on the ship, he sprinted the rest of the way to his four siblings who were standing in a small group near the howitzer trying to stay out of the chaos of movement that was going on around them. “You guys have to get out of here. Whatever these people did the family cannot be associated with them.” They understood the meaning instantly and began to file off the ship after a quick hug and a brief farewell. His older sister, Karen, was the last one to give him a hug, speaking quickly as she updated him. ”The gun is secured to the deck, we cut a path for the piping, and got the flanges seated, but didn’t have a chance to finish bolting them together before this started.”

Janus nodded in understanding, “Thanks sis, I will be able to handle the rest.”

”Be careful. I’d say stay out of trouble… buuut…” She said as she gestured around.

Janus let out a chuckle. “I’ll do my best. Give mom and dad my love, I’ll send word back here every chance I get.”

With that, Karen followed the others off the ship and out of sight before the guards could see them disembark. A moment later, Janus sighted the woman from before barking orders to whomever passed by with the undeniable air of authority. She looked over the shepherd, noticed his collar and cross, and turned away without saying a word to him though she shook her head slightly. Then her gaze locked with Janus’ and she approached him with a scowl.

“Who are you and what are you doing on my ship?”

“Janus Dekker,” he began with a smirk as he jerked a thumb to point at the howitzer towards the front of the ship “I came with the gun.”

Valeria’s eyes followed the gesture and blinked in surprise of not having noticed the new artillery on her own. Janus couldn’t hear what she mumbled beneath her breath before she returned to giving orders preparing to cast off.

Seeing that the rest of the crew knew what they were doing and were in no need for assistance, Janus did a quick inspection of the cannon to make sure it was anchored into place and that the loading valves were installed properly. Sure enough, his family did him proud. He then went below deck to stay out of the way of the crewmen as well as to get the gun operational as he promised. Janus had just grabbed the necessary tools from his pack when he felt the ship shift as it got airborne. A wave of excitement fell over him as he realized his adventure had officially begun. The next few minutes he spent bolting the flanges of the steam pipe together, having a little trouble with them being along the ceiling while he had to manipulate two wrenches to get them tightened properly.

“You’re Janus… right?”

Janus turned his head to see a woman with dark ponytails and a rather meek expression. “Uh, yeah. How did you know?”

”Karen mentioned you while she was connecting the new gun to the boiler. I’m Sybil by the way… Um… Do… Do you need some help?”

A sigh of relief escaped Janus’ lungs at the offer of assistance; his arms were already starting to get tired trying to do the job on his own. “You have no idea how glad I am to hear that.” He said as he offered one of the wrenches to Sybil. “What’s your role on this ship? Shouldn’t you be upstairs helping the rest of them?”

”N-no, I’m the engineer. All my duties take place down here.”

Janus smiled as she took the tool, glad to see that he might have found somebody with whom he would be able to hold meaningful conversations. Techie talk is something that is wasted on those who are not familiar with the trade and he dreaded being stuck around people who could not keep up with the terminology. “So Sybil, do you have any idea where we are headed?”

”I just heard that we are sailing west to make sure the General doesn’t pursue us too far.”

Janus felt himself wonder what they had done to evoke the wrath of the General to this degree, but felt it best to remain oblivious for the time being.
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Re: The Fifth Age IC

Post by quakernuts on Wed Dec 08, 2010 4:46 pm

Daniel

Well, the plan was working well for the most part. As soon as they reached the outside, they would split and Daniel could go back to his job of taking other people's money through non-violent means. The guards they had knocked out carried a set of keys among them, and that meant less work for Daniel to get out of the prison. Rick was right behind as he did this, and he didn't mind since, at the least, the guy knew how to fight. That would come in handy should the guards actually find them out and try to take them on. Rick would serve as a valuable distraction to slip away unnoticed. They came upon a locked door, and Daniel took the lead to open it up. As the key turned, and the lock disengaged, some sort of chill took his spine as he stepped through. He froze as he saw a woman standing right in front of him. She wasn't one of the General troops, so what the hell was she doing here. Better question, what the hell was she going to do to them.

"You, we're leaving! Got a deal for you!" The woman said, pointing to Rick. Daniel was a bit more than confused at the whole situation, but seeing that an armed escort was better than two unarmed men trying to fight a way out of the prison, he ran with them. The sound of men pounding on doors only seemed to get louder as they ran through the hallway, and just as the woman ran past a door, it burst open with General troops taking aim at them. Rick meant to bulldoze the door, Daniel not so much. He simply didn't have enough time to run around, and saw the only option. He rammed the door with Rick, and fell to the ground as all the guards were pushed back into the room. "Well that hurt a little, next time let's just ask and see if they'll go back in on their own!" Rick ignored him, locked the door, and kept running. Daniel, seeing no other option of escape, followed suite.

Reaching the outside, it was clear their escape was a little more public than he had wanted. Guards were now trying to shoot them from nearly every single direction, and Daniel saw no hope of sneaking his way out of this one. His only option was to follow the woman and Rick in hopes that they would have a way out of town before his body was filled with more holes than a Raider's training target.

They ran past another group of people, most likely her crew judging by the way she yelled at them, and then it was clear they were running for a ship. Yep, this was definitely the best escape plan for the situation. Hopefully Daniel could either stay long enough to sucker these people out of some of their hard earned money, or simply get to the next town. He would deem which option would be better once he was on board and not being shot at. As they finally managed to get onto the ship, Daniel dove behind some boxes and effectively covered his head. He was not a fighter, and he was not ashamed of showing people that. Most likely because he was always the last one alive when all the so-called 'brave' people died from numerous means in the wasteland. He only looked up long enough to see that everyone that was joining them had joined them, and hoped for a quick retreat from the area.



Nico

This was not the first time that Nico had travelled among men easily associated with violence. Heck, most of his safest trips were with just said men. At least these ones were better mannered than the others, and obviously trusted each other. It had been more than once where someone had shot someone else for suspicion of something. True, he had been there and done that, but that was all a life he was leaving behind. He no longer wanted to associate with that man that he once was, and never talked about it to anyone. If word got out that he used to be a raider, no one would take the cross, the collar, or the word of God seriously anymore. All hope for his religion would be lost, and he would die before he was forced back into that life again.

The group made it's way outside, and Nico took up a spot beside the man who was carrying the vegetables. He didn't know if the man was a cook or not, but there was no harm in talking to the man. So he started going on about some recipes he had learned over his travels, some of which he promised to make if he was given the chance to do so. He was just getting into the details of his recipe for roasted deer stew complete with spices he had found from back east, when all the shooting began. He ducked out of reflex, and turned around to see a group of people being chased by the city guards come running after them. They blurred past, and the woman gave orders to Briggs. Obviously she was the one in charge, and as Nico looked back at the guards quickly catching up to them, that worried him.

They started running for the ship, Nico doing his best to keep up in his old age. Bullets kept flying mere inches from his head, but for a man of God and peace, he showed remarkable calm among them, almost like he was used to this kind of situation by now. They finally made their way to the ship, and Nico took some cover near the ramp to look down onto the soldiers below. He noticed that the woman was barking orders, and stood up to try and help them escape their situation, short of shooting anyone, but she simply looked at him, and looked away. Most people would have taken that as an insult to their abilities, but Nico took none. He knew that a lot of people saw the collar and cross and expected that person to be about as useful as a boot filled with holes. He would offer his help in a more stable time, and simply decided to stay out of the way for the moment.

Hopefully all this would blow over soon.
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Re: The Fifth Age IC

Post by Digital Muse on Wed Dec 08, 2010 10:17 pm

A co-post with Squalleh and Digi

The crew scrambled aboard the Raven and fell to their duties with little direction needed from Valeria. She took in several things; a slightly elder Shepherd and a brand new toy that came attached to a young man. A darkly arched brow quirked upwards at the sight. Briggs has been busy, it seems. She thought as she headed to the wheel. She bent and shouted into the brass speaking tube. “Sybil! We need full steam yesterday!” Looking up, she saw that the crew had already raised the sails to allow the Raven to begin pulling away from the mooring at the New York, New York. “Keep the sails taut until Sybil gets the pressure built up, Opie!”

A few stray shots ricocheted off the rail near her and Valeria ducked reflexively. “Dan!! Teach those landies some manners!”

The dark giant grinned wolfishly, “With pleasure!” His long legs took him to the deck gun and as Valeria brought the bow around to the west, Dan touched off 3 of the small deck gun, placing his shots perfectly in the midst of the scrap metal and dirt barricades the guards had hidden behind. Great gouts of dirt, metal and bodies flew in all directions. The shocked guards stop firing momentarily. They apparently hadn’t planned on the resistance to be so deadly.

By the time they got their heads back together, the Raven was out of rifle range. Valeria and Briggs traded a look before breaking out in bright laughter. “What the hell did you do?” He asked her with a bit of a growl in his voice. Despite sounding quite gruff, his eyes glittered with merriment,

“Ohhh you know. I wanted a date….so I went and got a man.” She laughed brightly and then turned the wheel over to him. “Speaking of which. What have you been up to? I see a couple unexpected passengers and a new toy that will make Dan the happiest man alive.” She looked at the mid-deck, trying to find her supposed ‘date’. “Scavenger! We need to talk.”

Rick, who was looking out the back of the ship to the ever shrinking Vegas skyline, turned to the Captain. He gave her a half ass salute before following her quickly behind her. He had a bit more time to look over the rest of the crew, making tabs in his mind on first impressions and more importantly skills. He saw his fellow escapee getting up from his hiding spot, Rick couldn't help but grind at the son of a bitches act. He saw what the man did to other guard during the escape. The man knew how to fight, and now Rick saw. How to act, a boiling distrust grew inside of Rick.

As Rick moved down below decks, he noticed how despite the ships large appearance as they got in, many of the rooms were rather cramped though somewhat kept. He finally came to what he presumed was the Captain's quarters. A tight space below decks, but probably the largest cabin within the sleek ship. Lined with old teak wood and a built in raised bed that had drawers beneath the mattress itself. To the left of the door was a stainless table with 2 attached stools that had been bolted to the floor. A single window looks out the back of the ship which seemed to capture the last images of Vegas in almost a picture like quality. One single shelf overflowed with old books, magazines and even a few old album covers, though the vinyl had long been lost. A large hook was screwed in above the table to allow Valeria to hang a lantern there.

Rick looked around the room admiring it, his eyes falling mostly on the old books and magazines since they had been ones Rick had never seen before on his adventures. "Listen, don't think I'm not grateful. I am. Though the means as much louder than I would have liked, I won't complain of its results."

Valeria leaned a hip against her bunk, arms crossed over her breast. Throwing a grin Rick’s way, she shrugged. “I didn’t have much time to plan. Sue me.” She dug into her pocket to produce one of the diamonds she’d managed to make off with. The sunlight that poured into the neat cabin glinted through its facets. “A shame about your satchel of these little baubles. What I couldn’t do with them.” She sighed wistfully, then tossed the pretty little thing onto the table between them.

“What’s your name, by the way. And who was that with you in the jail? Is he with you or is he excess baggage?”

Rick cracked his neck and leaned back on the wall next to the door, he slowly allowed his body to slip down the wall till he was seated on the floor. "'Fraid I can't. I hate lawyers." He cracked before his body perked up by the sight of one of his former diamonds. He finally tore his eyes away from diamond, his face clearly a bit bitter by his loss. "Indeed, I had a lot of plans for them all. But what can I say, there are things in this place that still matters more to me than diamonds. Though not much." He thought for a moment after she asked for his name, he didn't often give his real one to those he just met. But this woman had indeed got him out of Vegas, so he owed her. "Rick....Rick Davis. The other, his name is Daniel. Though I wouldn't trust it to be true...." He let out a sigh, "Sadly, I owe him as well. He got us out of the cell, for safe passage out of Vegas. You can drop him off at your next port. Fact I suggest it."

A brow quirked northward again. “Oh? Is he trouble?” She seemed to consider that and figured she’d let Briggs talk to the man to assess the risk. Turning her attention back to Rick, she nodded, “I’m Valeria Forbes. This is my ship and you are someone I think can help me out with something.” She flashed him her most brilliant smile. “I want to find something. And From what I gathered, I think you can help me do that.” She waved a hand at him flippantly. “If you wanted to, of course.”

Rick sighed at the question knowing he had no evidence or examples for his gut feeling, "Just a feeling." Rick couldn't help but reply with a smile of his own, this woman oozed charisma. It's no wonder she is the captain. "Well obviously," his hand motioning to the diamond on the table. "I'm broke and have no jobs on my plate...And if you’re looking for it. I can find it. What's the job?"

Valeria chuckled softly at Rick’s confident response. She leaned away from where she leaned against the table. Reaching up to the stack of old magazines in various states of decay, she thumbed through them. Finding the one she wanted, she flipped it onto the tabletop so Rick could see it. It was once part of something called Scientific American. The pages she’d opened to featured an article about an old salt mine that had been converted back in the early 21st century to house a treasure-trove of DNA samples. Unfortunately the rest of the magazine was missing.

She tapped the dull pages, “I’m going to find that.” She said with a whisper of near-awe.

Rick slowly stood up, it was the tone of her voice that caught Ricks attention. It was the kind of excitement that Rick had never heard before. He got up from the floor and took a seat at the table. His eyes fell on the pages in front of him. His eyes read the page seemingly at the speed of light. He quickly reached the end before slowly looking up at the captain who still had her bright smile. He was about to say something but then stopped his eyes narrowed and he quickly looked back to the pages. H seemed to click in his mind, and his eyes quickly began to read the page again and started to look through the other pages. He handled the old decaying pages more roughly with every page turned the excitement now coursing through his body as well.

Valeria watched Rick paw through the pages. She was sure he was getting why she wanted to find that storehouse of the seeds of life. “You get it don’t you, Scavenger?” She whispered in a low, almost seductive tone. “Anything we wanted. We could get any price we wanted.” She bent close to his ear. “I know the first part. We need to find the rest of the way and do it before anyone else does.”

She straightened from him and picked up the negligently tossed diamond. “This is nothing, Scavenger. We could restore the entire world.”

Rick finally finished before finally going back to the first page which contained what little information they had about the miracle on Earth. More importantly however, Rick was sure of a very important thing. "There are many pages missing, one of which of course tells us where it is

But I know where we can find a pristine copy of this thing." He said holding up the pages before tossing them back on the table. Ricks eyes, however, shot to the door. He heard....something.

Valeria’s heart leapt into her throat. She had part of a map showing the state that the repository was in. If what he said was true, they could get all the information they needed. But, it also mean that the Scavenger might attempt to cut her out if he found what she needed. She’d have to keep him on a very short leash. “The entire magazine?” She impulsively kissed his cheek. “We have a deal?” She stopped when Rick looked at the door suddenly.

Meanwhile above cabin on deck, the ship had made good time to the west and away from the General’s jurisdiction. Well over the desert, gear had been stored, quarters found for the three new passengers. Briggs stalked the deck ensuring the crew had everything in order. Opie, an almost beautiful dark-haired young man had taken the wheel for the time being. Looking ahead, he shouted out. “We have dust devil ahead, Briggs! Could be Raiders!”

Briggs quickly ran up to the forecastle so he could see more clearly and opened up a brass spyglass to peer ahead. “Hmmms, could be. Take ‘er up. No sense in testing their range.” He commented calmly. As Opie relayed the instructions to the crew, Briggs bawled out, “Dan! Raven! Get to your gun stations.” He looked about to spy Janus, “You! Time for a show!”
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Re: The Fifth Age IC

Post by Crazy Hobo on Wed Dec 08, 2010 11:35 pm

Farrah's body screamed at her for mercy. With ever step she made it begged and pleaded for a moment's rest. Likewise her mind was clouded by a wealth of exhaustion, and every moment that she stayed awake tore at her sanity. The faint light of dawn shined at her as she ran east. Often times people would think of the dawn as a sign of hope. A new beginning, so to speak. For Farrah, it meant nothing. She was only running on the last dregs of adrenaline her body had, and the will to live. Even that was starting to run out. It wouldn't be be too much longer before Farrah simply decided that prolonging it was pointless, and to simply put a bullet in her skull before the raiders decided to capture her. That was precisely what they were waiting for. These raiders were content to watch her flee for her life until every last bit of fight left her body. Only then would the scum choose to descend on her. It was only a matter of time.

That moment seemed to be fast approaching as Farrah felt a pop coming from her left hamstring, accompanied by a sharp pain. Well, that wasn't good. Farrah's obviously pulled hamstring forced her to slow to a ragged limp. There would have been a time earlier in the chase that Farrah could have simply used adrenaline to ignore the torn muscle, but at this point there was nothing that she could do other than pitifully limp away from the oncoming raiders. It seemed that now would be the perfect time to end her life with a bullet rather than let the raiders have there way with her and then probably turn her into dinner. Farrah stopped her fleeing completely, having accepted the fact that she would die days ago. Farrah fully planned on ending her own life before the raiders got to her, but she certainly wouldn't end it without going out with a fight.

She slipped her trusty sub-machine gun of her back, popping the clip out and counting the remaining bullets. Twelve. Eleven for the raiders, and one for her. Well, that was if she could hit any raiders in her current, weakened condition. It was at least worth a try. Farrah waited patiently as the raiders began to draw nearer. Drawing in all the concentration she could muster, Farrah slowly took aim at the group of raiders, counting wordlessly with each shot she squeezed off.

One...

Two...

Three...

Four...

Five...

Six...

Seven...

Farrah paused for a second, glancing at the ground in front of her. She thought she had caught something drifting slowly across the ground, and she had been correct. It seemed that this was her lucky day, for the shadow of what appeared to be an airship glided along the ground. Even if they didn't have deck guns, the people on board would probably want to kill the raiders anyhow. Farrah sighed, nearly collapsing with relief. Something had finally gone right, and she wouldn't have to die after all.
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Re: The Fifth Age IC

Post by Loki on Fri Dec 10, 2010 3:49 pm

It only took twenty minutes after taking off for all of the flanges to be securely bolted into place; a timeframe only possible because of Sybil’s helping hand. With a common goal at hand and similar areas of interest, Janus had been able to lure Sybil into small talk to help pass the time.

“Ready! Open the valve one-quarter!” Janus’ voice called out through the ship’s interior so that it could be heard in the engine room. A moment later he could hear the whisper of steam slowly pressurizing the piping overhead. He followed the assembly throughout the ship, stopping whenever he heard the hissing of steam escaping a flange to tighten it for a better seal. Once he made it to the pressure vessel that was the charge for the cannon, he checked the gauges and returned to the spot he started. “The flanges are seated, fully open the valve!” A moment later the piping overhead groaned slightly as it was exposed to the full pressure within the ship’s engine. Sybil joined him and the two did another pass along the assembly and fixed any remaining leaks in the flanges.

Janus had been a little anxious during the testing of the assembly, though it did not sneak past his poker face. His family’s shop had smaller steam engines that were not a tenth as powerful as what the ship runs on. The cannon and assembly had been tested and shown that it works, but there is a huge difference between his controlled testing and putting the weapon into service. He checked every detail of the cannon to ensure it would work without problems and even got the round to fire with his testing, but he knew that was only theory when compared to the real thing.

With the piping finished and tested, Janus returned to the deck to begin loading the cannon. A wide grin spread across his face when he noticed two men practically drooling over the newest addition to the ship. Looks like I made a few new friends. He approached the two who seemed to be committing every detail of the weapon to memory. “Like what you see?” The two didn’t pay him much mind, still fascinated with the gun. “Would you like me to show you how it works?” That got their attention so quickly that he had feared for Raven when his neck let out a loud crack from turning so quickly. Despite this, the two of them managed to answer in unison.

”Hell fucking yeah!”

The response was what Janus had been hoping for. One of his favorite things about his trade was seeing the excitement in his customers’ eyes. He walked to the two levers at the back of the cannon with the two crewmen following closely. “This” he began, as he put his hand on the black handled lever, “is the loading valve.” As Janus pulled it down slightly, the needle on the pressure gauge gradually rose along its color-coded percentile scale. “By pulling this lever down further the weapon will be loaded faster, but it will also noticeably draw power from the engines. Since the rest of the crew is not aware of this yet, I wanted to make sure they wouldn’t be alarmed by the sudden change.” That and I wanted to make sure the pressure vessel below us could handle the load. Five minutes passed before the needle came to rest on the 65% mark.

“It looks like this is the base pressure for the ship; if you were to get the coals burning really hot, I’d say you could get it around seventy to seventy-five percent. Well within the green since the caution zone doesn’t start until around ninety percent and the danger zone around one-ten percent.”

Janus noticed the look the two shot each other and knew the question behind it. “You want to know how to get it higher than seventy-five percent, right?” Their grins answered his question well enough. “That’s very simple actually. You need to call down to engineering and have Sybil shut off the valve that powers the engines. With the captain’s permission of course. Though you need to be very careful when doing that because that will put a lot of strain on the piping and the pressure vessel. According to my calculations, ninety percent is the pressure needed to match the power behind the gunpowder round for this howitzer back in the old days.”

“If you aren’t going to fire in the near future, keep the black valve open to ensure the vessel holds its charge and does not cool off. Once you are ready to fire, you need to make sure to close this valve otherwise you’ll be venting steam from the ship’s engines after you fire. Something that Sybil will not appreciate. At this time the pressure is being held in the chamber, it would also be a good idea to have Sybil reopen the valve to the engines if you had her close it.”

His hand moved to the red lever, but did not pull it. “This is your safety. Pull it down and the only thing holding the pressurized steam from the barrel of the gun is a quick-release valve. I have installed a mechanism that prevents this lever from being pulled while the black one is still open. Again, we don’t want to be venting the steam that keeps this ship moving.” Janus moved to the small pedestal to the side of the cannon that held a large red button. “And this is the trigger. Follow all the steps I mentioned before and the gun” should “fire and bring a lot of hurt to whatever you are targeting.” And not blow up in our faces.

“Now targeting can be little tricky, but I—“

“Dan! Raven! Get to your gun stations.” Janus looked up to see Briggs looking at him. “You! Time for a show!”

As the two whom he’d been instructing left his side, he realized that every eye on deck was upon him. Janus snapped into a quick salute “Yes, sir!” He went to the cannon and worked the mechanism that caused the breach to slide open, waiting for a round to be placed inside. The pressure of this shot began to have some tangible weight upon his shoulders, though his experience with selling firearms taught him how to hide his anxiety. He went to a large steel crate placed to the side of the cannon and opened the lid to reveal fifteen massive 155mm shells. Janus looked around the group and pointed out some random crew member. “You, I need help lifting this. Each round weighs close to a hundred pounds.”

Before they started hoisting the round from the box, a smaller metal crate caught the corner of his eye. After a moment of consideration, he licked his lips and moved to it, opening the lid to reveal a single shell with a red casing over its tip. Working together, the two lifted the shell and placed it in the breach. Janus took in a breath and worked the latch to remove the red safety devise covering the highly explosive shell. If this thing doesn’t work, then I get thrown off the ship. If this thing backfires, then I want to make damn sure that I don’t survive the blast only to be punished for having damaged the ship. Plus, this will ensure the gun leaves a lasting impression of its capabilities, no matter the result. With a deep breath, Janus closed the breach and secured the mechanism before returning the black handle to the closed position.

“What is my target?”

Briggs gestured towards the rising cloud of dust in the distance. “Raiders.”

Janus looked ahead and judged the distance between them and the target, factored in elevation difference, wind, and stored pressure to determine his firing solution. He spun one wheel to adjust the angle of the barrel from the horizon and another wheel to pivot the cannon to target laterally. With everything in the ready he pulled down and heard the steam flow into the cannon’s loading in a heartbeat; the sound causing Janus to wince until he was sure nothing was going to explode in his face. Yet. With his poker face back on, he moved to the firing mechanism, turned his head towards Briggs.

“Permission to fire?”

”Fire at will!”

Janus took in a deep breath and held it as he smacked the red button. A burst of air slammed into everybody on deck as the steam exploded from the end of the barrel with a powerful boom that sounded muffled compared to gunpowder explosions, but the force behind it was still clear. Had Janus not seen the blur of black escape the white cloud bursting from the end of the barrel, he would have been terrified that the round never left the gun. Since it did, he allowed his breath to release, knowing that the hard part was over. Now it was just a matter of seeing if his second creation worked. There was a few seconds of absolute silence as everybody waiting for what came next, waiting to see some sort of sign of impact.

Around second, four a burst of light, smoke, and dust hit just behind the dust devil. Everything within fifty yards of the impact was shaken to its core by the shockwave if it had avoided the intense flames or lethal shrapnel. Only two raiders had been in that zone and neither of them moved from where they fell. The rest were plenty close enough to experience the intensity of the non-lethal force of the blast. Those who were on horseback were thrown from their mounts, as everything once standing was thrown to the ground from the force of the glancing blow. A moment after the blast was seen from the ship, there was a sound that was not a rolling boom of most explosions, but a brief roaring bang that is only achieved by the detonation of large amounts of high explosives. There was a slight jerk of the ship as the shockwave hit the sails, slowing only slightly, but enough to be felt.

There was a moment of silent awe before the cheers and energetic celebration of Janus broke the stillness. “Wooooooo! Hell fucking yeah! That was fucking AMAZING! It worked PERFECTLY!” His celebration only increased as he began pumping his fists into the air.

“I. Am. A. Badass!”
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Re: The Fifth Age IC

Post by quakernuts on Sat Dec 11, 2010 3:02 am

Daniel

The shooting continued for a few minutes, and the entire time Daniel kept his head low and let the others do the work for him. It was their ship, their escape plan, and their problem. Had he been allowed to do what he did best, the guards wouldn't even know they were gone yet, so this was their fault for drawing all this attention. Soon though, the shooting stopped, and hearty laughter could be heard from the Captain and her first mate. Seeing that as the sign for the all clear, Daniel finally came out of his hiding spot, brushing his clothes off and flashing his venomous smile. "Well, that was a slight bit entertaining. Anyone up for round two?" A couple crew mates looked at him confused, but no one said anything. "No one? Good, one round was good enough for me anyways!" He was at a kind of loss of what to do, until the Captain called Rick aside. Now, Daniel was one to pry into other people's business, so he did what he did best, and followed at a safe distance. Along the way, one of the crewmen attending to one of the deck guns had placed his jacket and hat on the ground. A quick sweeping motion, and a flick of the arms and he was casually camouflaged among the crew.

The two continued to make their way through the lower decks, which were cramped and completely annoying to Daniel. He hated being in close spaces mainly because of the lack of escape routes. He doubted he had anything to fear for the moment though, so he let the feeling slide off of his shoulders. He managed to keep Rick and Val in view until they ducked into a cabin, most likely the Val's, to do whatever it was that Val wanted Rick for. Daniel really hoped it wasn't for a 'Date' like she had said, or he would feel extremely awkward about following them. However, as they started talking, he didn't believe this was the case. The door was closed, but he was used to such a thing. He reached into his vest pocket, and quickly pulled out a doctor's stethoscope. He casually placed the listening end on the door, and put in the earplugs, hiding the cord among the newly acquired jacket.

"Listen, don't think I'm not grateful. I am. Though the means are much louder than I would have liked, I won't complain of it's results." Well, the doctor's tool was working just as it was supposed to, and he could hear everything with almost absolute clarity.

"I didn't have much time to plan. So sue me." Val, the captain of this ship. Sounded like she had an attitude about her, but then again, most airship captain do. Helps to keep the hired hands in line, and the enemies off balance. "A shame about your satchel of these little baubles. What I couldn't do with them." There was the sound of something small hitting the table, most likely one of the diamonds that Rick had told him that he had lost.

"What's your name, by the way. And who was that with you in the jail? Is he with you, or excess baggage?" Excess baggage? Oh you snobby little bitch. If you only knew who I was, and was capable of. Daniel stirred to himself a bit, but continued to listen without making any further words.

"Fraid I can't, I hate lawyers." Rick said, replying to the 'Sue me' comment made earlier. He started saying something about the diamonds, but it was the same he had told him in the jail, so Daniel disregarded it. He waited for the juicier stuff. "Rick...Rick Davis. The other, his name is Daniel. Though I wouldn't trust it to be true..." A sigh was heard, and Daniel smirked to himself. Daniel was indeed his real name, but people were always so suspicious that they never believed it to be. The perfect ruse really. "Sadly, I owe him as well. He got us out of the cell, for safe passage out of Vegas. You can drop him off at the next port. Fact, I suggest it." Well aren't you just the ungrateful shit, next time you can get yourself out of the jail.

"Oh is he trouble?" More than you know Captain. There was a slight pause as, he guessed, she considered the risk. As usual, they would probably underestimate him, but that was a good thing. "I'm Valeria Forbes. This is my ship and you are someone who I think can help me out with something." Now this was getting interesting. "I want to find something, and from what I gathered, I think you can help me do that." There was a slight pause. "If you wanted to, of course."

"Just a feeling." Rick said, answering to how much trouble Daniel would be. Dan still could do nothing but smirk, marking this comment down in his memory for use in the future. "Well obviously. I'm broke, and have no jobs on my plate...And if you're looking for it, I can find it. What's the job?" Good, now we'll see if ship is even worth staying on. There was a slight chuckle, and then a long pause as some movement was heard, and some pages being flipped if he guessed correctly, which he usually did.

"I'm going to find that." Find what? FIND WHAT!? Don't leave me hanging here! C'mon, get with the juicy bit here already! Daniel bit his lip as he regained his patience easily. There was more page flipping which got more intense with time. Whatever it was had to be big to get Rick all riled up about it. Daniel hadn't known him very long, but he wasn't very broke up about losing the diamonds, which meant it took quite a bit to get him excited. Suddenly this trip looked very worthy, and very valuable.

"You get it, don't you scavenger?" GET WHAT?!?! She was talking a little lower now, so Daniel had to strain and concentrate to hear what she was saying. "Anything we wanted. We could get any price we wanted." Now that sounds like something definitely worth staying on this ship. I think these two just made this decision for me. Daniel thought this to himself, and strained to hear the next part. However, it was too low of a whisper for him to hear.

"This is nothing scavenger. We could restore the entire world." Or line my pockets for my entire life. I like that option better.

There was a bit more page flipping. "There are many pages missing, one of which of course tells us where it is. But I know where we can find a pristine copy of this thing." Really now? Do tell!

"The entire magazine? We have a deal!" Daniel went to re-adjust his hand, and the listening part of the stethoscope scraped slightly against the door. He froze, holding his breath and waiting for any signs that they didn't catch that sound. He slowly retracted the stethoscope from the door, and placed it back into vest pocket. He had heard all he needed to anyway. Besides, if that didn't work, he had a backup plan.

Daniel took out a small bag from another of his pockets, opened it, and retrieved a small diamond. He was lucky to have spotted the bag first when it fell off one of the guards when they hit the door, and a giant smile lit his face. "Yeah...too bad about those diamonds Ricky, my boy." He whispered to himself as he placed the bag back within his pocket, and walked down the hallway, dropping the hat and coat into one of the rooms, and whistling quietly to himself as he went.




Nico

The Sheperd had watched everyone sort of congratulate themselves on the successful escape from the General forces. Looking around at the crew, and how they were doing their jobs, he could tell they knew what they were doing. This looked as good a ship as any to take a lift on, and was positive that with the help of the Lord, that they would make it safely to wherever their next destination may be. Nico turned towards the two new comers, one was standing upright, while the other was just coming out of a cowering position. He seemed weak, but the brazen smile on his face after he stood up pointed towards more hiding underneath the surface. Nico had seen enough men like that to know that they were all trouble, but he had no say in the matter. It was not his ship, and therefore not his responsibility to determine if he was allowed to stay or not.

"Sheperd!" Nico turned at the sound of his title, and smiled at the second-in-command. The man walked up to him, and put a hand on his back. "If you're going to be travelling with us, might as well get you settled in, hm? C'mon, let's find you a place to sleep." Nico simply nodded and walked with the man.

Nico was given simple quarters. A bed, a dresser, and a window looking out onto the landscape. This was good, since he wasn't really ever comfortable with anything more. Once Briggs had moved on to do his duties, Nico set about making the room his for the time being. He placed his bag on the bed, and started pulling out little things such as candles and a wooden cross. He had been unable to come across a bible in his travels that he could buy or take. They were either being used by someone who, like him, had found new faith, or were simply tattered beyond all recognition.

Nico took out a small lighter, and lit the four candles and placed them on each corner of the dresser, standing the wooden cross up in the middle. Once he was sure everything was in place, he quietly kneeled in front of the makeshift altar, cupped his hands together, and hanged his head low.

"Lord, I pray to you for a safe journey, and for those that are with me to escape harms wrath. I am but you're loyal servant, and these men and women have taken on one of your sons in an act of kindness and caring. I do not pray for my safety from the crew members of this ship, I pray for the safety from those who have fallen so far from the path as to be condemned to the Devil's care. You are my Father. You are my Saviour. Amen." With that done, he got up from his standing position and went topside to see where it was that he would be needed.

When Nico reached the top however, some action seemed to be present. The big gun seemed to be operational, and the man from the weapon shop was working the cannon. Nico saw a dust cloud off into the distance, their most likely target. The word 'Raiders' was being tossed around, and Nico couldn't help but feel just the slightest twinge of regret and anger. Regret, because he used to be those men and women, who were like brothers and sisters to him; and Anger because they were a plague among the land that needed to be cleansed in a holy fire. They had no remorse, no mercy, and they threw away that it meant to be Human, and one of God's children. Then, suddenly he felt happy. If it wasn't for the raiders themselves, he would not have found his faith. "God works in mysterious ways..." Nico whispered to himself.

"What was that Sheperd?' A nearby crew member asked.

"Nothing. I'm assuming that you plan to test that gun on whoever happens to be out there?" Nico asked, genuine curiousness in his voice.

"Yeah, Raiders having a fun time. Going to cut it short." A smile cut across his face, but Nico's face remained neutral as he looked away.

"Then I will pray for their souls, as well as yours." the member just looked at him confused.

'Alright, I can understand them, seeing as their monsters and all, but why mine?"

Nico looked at the man. "Because you take pleasure in killing your fellow man." Nico pointed to the dust cloud where the Raiders were. "They are still human beings, no matter how far from the path they have fallen. I understand this is a world filled with violence, hate, and malice. I pray for your soul because you so easily can fall into the pit that those very men you aim to kill have fallen in by simply enjoying the fact that you are killing them." The man lost his smile, and looked at the ground slightly before attempting to continue onto his job. He knew the man was now uncomfortable around him, but that would be overcome with time. Some people needed it put bluntly in order to get through, and he only hoped he reached that man in time. Hopefully, he would see what Nico was talking about, and be careful about what he enjoyed in life.

Suddenly the steam powered cannon fired, and there was the pause as the round travelled through the air. Then there was a large explosion as raiders were tossed every single way, and a blast of air managed to sweep over the ship. That, was definitely a big gun. Although, the weapon dealer seemed more pleased that it actually worked. Nico wandered to the side, looking over the carnage from where he was. The round had hit long, and only got the rear most raiders while the rest had simply been tossed around by the concussion. Everyone else was cheering for the death, but Nico simply stared. He had a sense of humour, just not for this sort of thing anymore.

As he was leaning over the rails, he managed to catch a glimpse of a single woman laying down on the ground, her weapon trained on the incoming horde of raiders. She appeared very run down, and guessing simply by the situation, was most likely on the run from the very group of raiders they were shooting. Nico stepped away from the side, and wandered up to the second in command, Briggs.

"I saw someone down below us. Dirty, tired, and most likely injured and being chased by the Raiders. We have to help her." Briggs gave a look that Nico was unsure as to what it meant, but slowly added; "It's the right thing to do, and if you were in her situation, you would feel it was the right thing as well."
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Re: The Fifth Age IC

Post by Crazy Hobo on Sun Dec 12, 2010 6:36 pm

Farrah fired her eight bullet just as she heard a loud boom come from the airship that had just barely arrived on the scene. Several seconds later it was followed by an explosion that hit the very back of the raiders group the explosion roared up into the sky and Farrah only had the time to think Shit, before being tossed backwards by the shock-wave. She landed on her back somewhere near the middle of the ship, and looked up at it with a mixture of gratefulness and disdain. They just had to use high explosives didn't they? Farrah sighed as she heard what appeared to be a celebratory yell from, most likely, the man who had fired the explosive round. So unprofessional. Then again who was she to comment on their professionalism, the had just saved her ass after all.

Farrah opened her mouth to try to get the airship's attention, but was cut off as a rope ladder dropped from the ship and landed a few feet from Farrah's prone form. A few seconds later a man climbed down the rope ladder and approached Farrah. He was a pretty little thing of about 5'6" with black hair, blue eyes, and a soul patch. If this had been any other time, Farrah would have probably made a mission out of fucking the guy. However, at this point in time all Farrah wanted to do was not die. Wait a minute... Farrah caught her thought process, and practically recoiled from it. That was not normally the way she thought. Exhaustion seemed to do weird things to people.

"Hey, I would really like to get up and climb up that ladder, but running for four days without more than five or so minutes of sleep can drain a girl. Mind helping?" Once again, Farrah was slightly taken aback by her attitude. She was so exhausted that she was actually permitting someone to touch her. Hopefully all would be better when she got some rest. The man wordlessly helped Farrah to her feet and walked her to the rope ladder, picking her up as he did so. The 'ride' up the rope ladder was nerve-wracking to say the least, but exhaustion was starting to catch up to Farrah, and after about five rungs she simply stopped caring. Once they reached the top, Farrah pushed away from the man as quickly as she could muster, and stood unstably on her right leg. She looked over the people that were watching her from all sides of the airship, and then after about five seconds she simply dropped to the floor, utter exhaustion finally completely overcoming her.
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Re: The Fifth Age IC

Post by Digital Muse on Sun Dec 19, 2010 12:00 pm

Valeria and Rick stared at the door to her cabin for a moment. Always having been a woman of action, Valeria strode to it, then jerked the door open suddenly only to see an empty companionway. Knitting her brows together in a frown, she was about to dismiss the whole thing as a figment of her imagination when she heard Briggs’ shout; “Fire at will!”

“What by all that’s unholy…” Her tirade was aborted when the ship was rocked by some massive force. Only grabbing the door frame kept Valeria from being thrown across her cabin. Less than a heartbeat later came the *WHOOM!* of the something exploding a small distance away, With an angry growl, the Airship Captain threw herself into the companionway and raced topside.

“Briggs!” She shouted over the ecstatic cheering of the young man that had come aboard with his howitzer. “Report!” Her voice was tense, but she trusted Briggs implicitly. As she reached his side, he handed her his spy-glass and pointed to the now prone group of Raiders on the scrub desert floor below. Her frown quickly turned into a feral smile. From that distance, it had been one hell of a shot, And decidedly effective too

Then the Shepherd spotted the prey that the Raiders had evidently been harrying, Never one to leave someone to die by the hands of the Raiders, Valeria quickly ordered Opie over the side. “Get her up here before those Beasts wake up.” She paused, “Raven cover him,”

In short order, the surprisingly strong, Opie, had hauled a young woman aboard who looked to be at the very end of her rope. She tried standing only briefly before simply collapsing in a heap on deck. Valeria had to smile at her pluck before getting things back under control. They had to get some space between themselves and the ground before the Raiders decide to get up and shoot at them. A few shouted orders were all it took for the experienced crew to get the airship aloft once more. Valeria then turned her attention to the girl they’d snatched from death’s door. Looking at the Shepherd and Janus, she asked, “Do you have any experience in healing? Kendall has only limited skills.” In other words, she was ordering one of them to tend to the girl’s injuries. “When you’re done, come back top-side. I have an announcement that affects you both.”

The dark-haired airship Captain then turned her back to the main portion of the ship and went into a quiet, yet intense conversation with her first mate, obviously filling him in on her plans before the others, It was clear from their body-language that he did not like what she had to say, but finally Briggs nodded his head in resignation. He’d follow Valeria’s lead as he always did,

_________________________________________________________________________

For the next half hour, Valeria and Briggs discussed course settings and consulted charts, both old and new, trying to decide on the best course to steer for their new venture. When a plan was finally agreed upon, Valeria returned to the railing that separated the raised bridge from the main deck. “Alright boys and girls! Gather ‘round and hear me!” She paused, waiting for the crew and new additions to give her their attention. Even Sybil had been called up from her haven below decks to hear the news.

“Most of you know me, You have for most of your lives,” She began. “We have weathered a great deal together and have come out ahead each time, We succeed together!” She paused when a murmur of assent met that statement. When it became quiet once more, she met the eyes of each new addition to her ship. “Some of you are new, you don’t know me or my crew and may have doubts. So I give you a choice to join us or we will let you leave us at the next port. However. I need to know where you stand this moment. Before I reveal anything more. You are with us or you are not,”

Again she paused, meeting the eye of each new person. If they did not speak up, she nodded seriously. Tucking a strand on wind-swept hair behind her ear, she smiled. ‘Welcome aboard.” Turning her attention back to the crew as a whole, she continued in a strong, confident voice. “You know of my personal quest.” The sudden stillness of the crew revealed they did indeed know what their Captain referred to. “I am going to find the DNA repository. That is what we’re going after.” She stopped to allow that to sink in. The crew knew of Valeria’s personal ‘Lost Dutchman Mine’ fever. They all knew she’d been seeking it for years. But, she’d never actively involved the ship or crew before. In fact, few of them truly believed it existed.

She suddenly pointed at Rick. “He’s going to get us there. He is a wilderness Scavenger. He can get us a complete map of the Repository’s location. To do that, we have to go into LA.” Again a small murmur arose among the crew; this time in consternation. They clearly were uncomfortable with the idea. But, Valeria was ready for this and she held her hand up to silence them. “We will not be taking the Raven in. It’s too dangerous. So I, the Scavenger and a few other volunteers will go in on foot. I won’t risk the Raven or your lives unduly. Briggs and I have talked this over. Only volunteers will come with me. But.” Again she paused and lowered her voice in a masterful play, “I can’t do this alone.” Her control of tone and inflection would have made her a powerfully influential speaker in another age, and it served her well now. Several of her crew stepped forward immediately. It brought a smile of gratitude to her face, “Thank you.” She ended simply. “I’ll talk to those that are coming with me individually between here and the LA maze.”
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Re: The Fifth Age IC

Post by Squall Reyes on Wed Dec 22, 2010 2:35 am

Rick let out a frustrated sigh when the open door revealed no one was there. He was sure he heard something there, but it seems the person was wise enough to leave quickly. Rick eyes however turned up as he heard a sudden much more chaotic sounds of footsteps on the deck. The words "fire at will" caused Rick to instinctively grip the table he was next to. Not because he was expecting the coming blast, but because he had thought that his instinct that the General would never had followed them in FF territory was wrong and the ship might soon be hit by AA fire.

It was his first thought when the ship lurched, his position secure by grip on the table. However there was no explosion, as the only boom could be heard a good distance away. Once secure on his feet again, Rick sprinted after the good captain up to the deck. He was close behind the captain who went right to her trusted companion. Rick however, was more interested in the device which has fired the round. 3 words caught Ricks ears more than any other. "It worked perfectly." It was the kinda moment where if one was drinking a liquid, it would be promptly spat back out.

Rick decided to talk with the man later, after all the machine worked. Granted, this was the first time and it could have destroyed the ship, but it didn't. And as long as he didn't test out anymore ship destroying weapons around Rick, he could live with that. Rick once again knew better than to get in this highly skilled crews way as Valeria began to throw around orders which were instantly followed. He found himself a nice perch on the raised bridge as he watched the action below, including the recovery of the Raiders target. Lucky girl, Rick thought.

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

Rick heard footsteps approaching behind him as he leaned on the rail of the raised deck. He looked behind and gave another partial salute before getting out the way of Valeria. He found himself another spot on the top portion of the stairs besides the raised deck. He leaned back some as he listened to the good Captain begin a speech. Rick smiled despite himself, one thing that will never change in the world, a leader must have command over the powers of words. And Valeria seemed to be the best he's heard.

"You are with us or you are not.”

Rick's eyes fells directly on the man who earlier tonight he had shared a cell with. "Go on you son of a bitch. Raise your hand and get off this ship." Thought Rick. Even when Daniel caught Ricks gaze, Rick kept his eyes firmly on him. "I'm watching you" he said through look he gave, Daniel responded with a smile as the captain said "Welcome aboard." Rick gave an unhappy grunt as he leaned back on the steps once again.

The sudden inclusion of himself into Valeria's speech, made him give a little wave from the steps. He noticed several eyes stayed on him longer than others. A clear look of distrust on them, the same kind he had just given Daniel. Those looks turned into glares once the prospect of going to L.A was sounded. Valeria however, to Rick's admiration played the next few words well. Enough to get several volunteers including those who had just joined the crew, including to Rick's disliking Daniel.

A voice rose from the group of volunteers once Valeria was finished with her speech. "What's going to be so hard about L.A. Cap? The Fire's turned it into a ghost town for sure, just like every other city which got crispy." Rick eyes slowly fell on the man who said it, a mountain of a man who in the old times might have one of those men who got payed to run into other men to get across a line. Some of the crew gave a bit of laugh, others chuckled unsure if such a boast were true. Rick however decided it was time to give them the real picture.

"Ever been to those cities friend?" Rick said softly but clearly as it cut through the chatter that was beginning after Valeria had turned back to Briggs. The crew grew silent again as Rick stood up, and climbs the last few stairs to the top. "Has any of you ever been inside of the Great Tombs?" He looked over the crew, he was betting all had spent most of their lives on the ship, or the protected cities. He was right. "No? Well let me enlighten you what exactly you are volunteering to."

Now Rick was where Valeria once stood on the raised deck. "In the time before the Fire's, deadly animals were kept in cages, for show. After the Fire's they have escaped, so you must be weary for huge beasts with razor sharp claws, and teeth that crush bone. Dog's like those you can find in the protected cities also live there. Except these have learned to exist without man. Hunting in packs like wolves, except of course that the years after the Fires only be biggest and strongest remain. These dogs, can reach about....yay high." He said his arm stopping near the bottom of his ribs.

"Course, as always there are bigger threats than the animals. L.A. ladies and gentlemen, is home to an underground cave network. It use to hold large tube like cars which ran on a tracks to get people from here and there. These caves, now however house up to thousands of Raiders. Who have very kindly have set up thousands of booby traps around the city; some which are designed to kill, others to maim, and others worse still, to signal the hungry raiders down below." Rick kept a very serious face as he scanned the completely quiet crew.

"L.A. also holds grant buildings of great height which had survived the Fire's blast. These buildings are as tall and ever taller then the height this ship is now flying. And these building are all on their last legs, where one gunshot, one scream, one rock throw can bring them down. Right on your head, with thousands of tons of concrete, steel and glass. And the place we are going, is right smack dab in the middle of it all. Now if any of you who have volunteered want to rethink your position. Now is the time." Rick said to the still silent crowd as he already saw a couple move back into the group of none volunteers.

The mountain man however stood firm, a look of defiance on his face. Well he's brave. I'll give him that, Rick thought before turning away after feeling Valeria's eyes burning into the back of him. He walked over to her and before she could say anything spoke up, "They need to know what they were getting into. We don't need anyone going down there with an attitude of this being a walk in the park." As he said this he looked down at the maps, finding what he was looking for. He pointed at a spot in the hills with a circular concrete structure with a patch of grass in the middle. "You can find a safe place to land around this structure. This is where we start. I have an extra set of supplies in there I will need." Now standing up and looking into Valeria's eyes, waiting for a reaction.
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Re: The Fifth Age IC

Post by Loki on Thu Dec 30, 2010 3:34 am

Janus was still buzzing with the pride of his achievement when a surviving raider quarry was spotted. Not only had the first full-service firing passed with flying colors, but it actually might have saved a person’s life. It would be fantastic if I could get a first-hand account of the power behind my high explosive round. When the woman was pulled aboard, he grimaced at the sight of her unconscious state. Looks like the interview will have to wait.

“Do you have any experience in healing? Kendall has only limited skills.”

It was then that he felt the gaze of his new captain upon him, which made him aware that the question was more of a command if applicable. Janus walked to her unconscious body and knelt over her to take a preliminary survey of her injuries. After a moment of checking her pupils, pulse, and overall condition of her body, he stood and nodded to Valeria. “Her injuries don’t look severe, but I would prefer to carry her below deck in a stretcher just to be safe.” The captain glanced at one of the crew who went to retrieve one without the need of a vocalized order.

“When you’re done, come back top-side. I have an announcement that affects you both.”

“Yes, captain.” He said, still trying to get a feel for what it the proper response when aboard this ship. “If she’s up and moving by then, I’ll be sure to pass the message along.”

A moment later, the crewman returned with a collapsible stretcher and the two of them moved Farrah to one of the living quarters. Once her unconscious body was moved to a bunk, the crewman took the stretcher and returned topside as far as Janus guessed, leaving just him and her alone in the room. That notion was very unsettling to him. Being in the business of selling survival gear, it is inevitable that stories are told and accounts are witnessed. Among the most chilling of topics is those who survive Raider captivity. He has seen a few such people and paranoid doesn’t even begin to describe them, even so much as placing a hand upon their shoulder could be enough to cause them to lash out. Granted, she didn’t have the physical marks of the typical captive, fresh ones as far as he could see anyways, but that didn’t guarantee her mental facilities were in order. And here he was, alone in a confined space with such a potentially unstable person, ordered to tend to her injuries while she is unconscious.

“Well fuck. Let’s try to get this over with before she wakes up.”

After checking her head for any signs of trauma, not that he would be able to do anything if she had anything more than a concussion. Fortunately, her hair was short, making it easy for him to search for gouges or swelling. After a few moments he was satisfied that he hadn’t overlooked anything and moved on to the next vital portion of the body; the torso. First of all, he took her weaponry and placed them on a footlocker just barely out of her reach but still in sight. Should she wake up sooner than he would like, he didn’t want her to think she was a captive and entirely vulnerable. Next was the armor that was fastened around her upper torso. Although it would have helped to deflect projectiles, he knew that blunt trauma to the chest could be just as lethal as any bullet. Plus, he was still not sure how hard the shockwave of his explosive round hit her. With the rigid plate removed, he first checked for any bruising without venturing into more personal areas of the woman’s anatomy. A decision based around common decency as much as it was self-preservation. With no bruising found, he then began feeling along her rib cage for any breaks. It would have been much easier if she was conscious to tell him if she was having trouble breathing, but since it wasn’t the case he had to find out himself. Unfortunately, it wasn’t something that he felt comfortable by simply waiting for her to wake; a broken rib could mean a punctured lung or heart.

Janus had been so focused on his testing that he had forgotten to keep tabs on her state of consciousness. It wasn’t until her fist caught him on the jaw that he had realized his mistake. The impact caused him to fall back, mostly from surprise since her supine position prevented Farrah from putting any significant force behind it. At any rate, Janus’ first reaction was to crab walk as quickly as he could to the other side of the room shouting, “I’m a medic! Oh dear god, please don’t kill me!”

Farrah nearly jumped from the bed to continue to assault the stranger when she realized just what he was shouting. A medic? That explained the touching. Still, it was quite hard for Farrah to not jump from the bed and kill the guy. His pathetic demeanor helped calm her, plus the fact that the pulled muscle in her leg prevented a lot of running and jumping. Either way, she calmed herself while coming back to a rest in a supine position, "I don't like being touched."

“I figured.” Janus replied as he took in a breath to ease his nerves. “I had to make sure you’re injuries weren’t more severe than they appeared, but now that you’re awake I can make assessments without needing to be so physical. So tell me, any sharp pains, trouble breathing, difficulty thinking, or anything else that seems out of the norm?”

"I don't need a medic." Farrah said as she eyed her guns on the footlocker, "I've been through worse." She looked Janus up and down slowly, taking him in. She was sure the people on this ship wouldn't cause her any trouble, but it was a force of habit. "Nothing that can't be healed with a few hours of sleep."

He rose a skeptical brow with her reply. Although he was not one to question a person’s own ability to determine the severity of their injuries, he also knew that people had a tendency to be macho around strangers, which often led to worsening them. Janus took a drink from the canteen that was at his side before tossing it to her. It was to prove that the contents wouldn’t harm her. He had known from the moment he laid eyes on her that she was dehydrated and suffering from heat exhaustion. “Help yourself. Though you might have to wait a short while before getting that rest, the captain wants us on deck asap. Think you can walk on your own?”

Farrah drank the entire contents of the canteen in moments before turning to the man and gingerly slipping out of the bunk and to her feet. It hurt quite a bit, but it was something that she could manage without the help of this man. "Does that answer your question?" Farrah asked, already limping over to her weapons and slipping them all into their respective holsters. "I guess we should go see this captain, shouldn't we?"

Janus sighed at the subtle wince Farrah made when she put weight on one of her ankles. “Indeed it does.” Macho at the risk of aggravating her injury it is. Seeing no point in arguing, he pulled himself to his feet, retrieved his canteen, and led the way out of the cabin. “By the way, would you mind answering a few questions for me? After all, I did give you my own personal supply of purified water.” He continued with the first question before she could reply either way. “How would you best rate the force behind my explosive round from where you were standing on a scale from one to ten? A one being a strong breeze and a skyscraper falling on you.”

Farrah cocked an eyebrow at Janus's question, "So that was you... My mind is still a bit fuzzy on that subject. I've only had limited rest since then, but I would say about a six. It knocked me on my ass and blew me a few feet, but it wasn't anything special" Janus couldn’t help but think, ‘that’s what she said’ with a slight snicker. Considering the distance she was from the point of impact, he was more than pleased with the rating of a six. Farrah stared at Janus for a few moments after she finished talking, silently observing everything about him. He was clearly inexperienced from the look of him, at least to Farrah. "My turn for a question. What brings someone like you on an airship like this? I only got a glimpse at the people, but they don't seem to be the most morally sound people out there. What's your motivation?"

“Change.” He started simply, “I was born and raised within the protection of Vegas, but life was stagnant. Simply put, I crave the sort of adventure that I always hear about at my family’s store. I need to find some meaning to my life.”

"Life doesn't have a meaning. It's simply an endless chain of misfortune." Farrah stared coldly into Janus's eyes, pausing for a moment, "I'm sure you'll find out soon enough if you spend any time in the wastes. It's not nice to green people like you."

Janus shrugged indifferently. “We’re all green at some point. I’ll just have to wait and see what becomes of me; whether I return with tales of adventure and triumph, become cynical like yourself, or end up in a ditch somewhere. Call me a fool if you like, but ultimately it’s my choice and nobody else’s.”

"Agreed. Just making sure you know what you're getting into." Farrah shifted her hand down to her pistol affectionately, "Just be sure to shoot first and ask questions later. Most people you encounter in the wastes would gut you as easily as they would say hello. Now, somehow you've gotten me rather talkative, which is starting to grate on my nerves. Talking is pointless. Action is what really matters, so can we get a move on it?"

“I’m more in the know and better prepared than most people who find themselves in the middle of the wild wasteland; not that that really counts for much, but it’s better than nothing. Action alone can be more detrimental in the long run without proper planning. Sure, we could be sprinting to the deck, which we are nearly to at any rate, rather than walking at a casual pace. However, doing so would only put your ankle at risk for further injury and for what? To arrive where we need to be a few moments sooner only to find ourselves waiting idly for the captain to make her announcement. It's something I hear time and time again, the ones who return to civilization are almost always the ones who out-think their opponents.” With that, the two finally reached the door that opened into the ship’s deck.

They had only been there for a few minutes before Valeria addressed the crew. Even when Rick’s ‘inspiring’ speech, Janus found himself excited for what lay ahead for him.
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Re: The Fifth Age IC

Post by quakernuts on Thu Dec 30, 2010 8:29 pm

Daniel

Daniel had managed to make it to the deck of the ship only in time to hear three words he always hated to hear no matter the speaker.

"Fire at will"

"Oh, you have to be fu-" Daniel was interrupted mid-sentence by the loud thunder like sound of the Howitzer cannon doing what it did best; blowing shit up in style. The blast of air from the cannon forced Daniel back a step, since he hadn't been expecting it, but watched in anticipation as nothing happened for a moment. Daniel crept forward slightly, hoping to see first hand just what this cannon could do, when the horizon lit up like a firework. The blast was magnificent, even to one who was not very fond of explosives as weapons. The weapon's dealer seemed ecstatic that it seemed to work, and Daniel didn't find that very reassuring that the man who had assembled the weapon didn't know if it would work right.

Then, the Sheperd made for the second in command, and just a few moments later, Val and Rick were topside along with everyone else. Orders were given, speed was slowed, and soon a giant of a man went overboard and brought back up a rather beaten up woman. No doubt she was the prey for the raiders, and her testament to try and stand even after all that showed a vast amount of strength. Daniel doubted if he would be anything less than unconscious, but then again, he also tended to stay away from such situations. As soon as she passed out, Val ordered the Sheperd or the weapon dealer, whose name was now known as Janus, to tend to the woman due to the lack of medical expertise on their ship. The only part Daniel cared about was the announcement that she planned to give, and spent a bit of time simply relaxing on the deck of the ship until the time came where she talked to the entire crew.

Eventually everyone who was going to be there was there, and Val stood in front of the entire crew. Daniel had to give her credit, despite being a woman, she was a damn good public speaker. She didn't fool him with her bravado, but she was very good. As she continued, Daniel found himself not really paying attention, since he knew all the important details already due to him amazing ability to eavesdrop anywhere and on anyone. As she asked for volunteers, he stepped forward, making sure to hesitate just the slightest bit to make it seem like he didn't really know what it was he was getting into, even though he did. As he looked through the bodies, he noticed that Rick was staring at him through the crowd.

It wasn't a friendly stare, or even an inspecting one, it was a warning. Daniel couldn't help but smile at the naivety of the whole thing. You can't watch me at all times, Ricky my boy, and when you let your eyes slip, that is when I make my moves. Val continued on, pointing out Rick as the man who would show them where they would be going, and it wasn't long before the man found his way up to center stage. He warned them about the dangers that could possibly befall them, but to be completely honest, Daniel had seen them all. He had been to the ruined cities, although never alone, but he had been there. Rick wasn't lying about the dangers, and that was good. Let the men know what is going to kill them before they die.

The only question now, was how he would be able to get this prize to himself when the time came. That question would answer itself in due time, until then, he would help, he would fight for, and he would be friends with the men around here.

However fleeting it would be.



Nico

To say the least, Nico was pleased when they brought the woman aboard. He knew first hand just what the raiders would do to her, and he didn't want that fate to befall anyone else if he could help it. So, when Opie brought the woman aboard, and she proved her strength by standing even for a few seconds, he knew that she had been blessed. Sure, she probably wouldn't believe a moment of it, but he knew it, which was enough for him. Val pretty much ordered him and Janus, the weapon's dealer, to help with the aid of the young woman. Before Nico could begin to take in the injuries, the weapon's dealer showed a surprising knowledge of first aid, and seeing as the man knew what he was doing, backed off. There was no need to interfere with his work, and simply watched as they grabbed a stretched from down below and took the woman out of sight. Part of him wanted to go anyways, to at least watch over her, but he didn't want to crowd the area with an unnecessary body.

Returning his attention back to the matter at hand, he noticed that the charismatic leader of the ship had taken to a stand to address the entire crew. As she spoke, he was reminded of why she was captain in the first place, and in a different time, might have made a good politician. It wasn't until she got to the core of her speech that Nico started to frown. She was pretty much implying they were going on a suicide mission, with only volunteers to take her there. Nico saw a few men step back into the crowd as the speech wore on, but he felt no distaste or spite for their actions. They weren't cowards, they were survivors. Self-preservation was woven deep into their hearts, and that often won out over courage or loyalty. Nico wondered how far that instinct run with him, and found that it ran a lot deeper than he would have liked.

It was about this time that Rick took to the stage to layout the city and the possible dangers that would lurk within the town. his speech was...enlightening to put it politely. Sometimes ignorance was a bliss, other times it was a necessary evil. More people stepped back as the threats were listed out, but there was the select few that remained forward. As Nico surveyed the crowd, he was surprised to see the man named Daniel had yet to step back. From what he had seen of his actions earlier that day, he would have suspected he would have been the first man to step back. To the contrary, he was right up there with the volunteers, leaning against the railing with his arms crossed and a cocky smirk on his face. Nico didn't trust the man, body posture and facial expressions were a clear indicator of personality.

Rick ended with his speech, and turned back to address Val. Nico was still in the group of non-volunteers, and was heavily weighing his options. All he had wanted was a ride to another city, to help those who couldn't help themselves. This expedition seemed to be only for the money, but there was something else. A nagging feeling gnawed at the back of Nico's skull as if to say he should join. Maybe there was something worth finding, maybe him being on this ship was His divine will! He couldn't fight, but he had other talents that would no doubt find a way to be incredibly useful in the long run. This could be most important thing I've done, or the stupidest thing I've done. Nico thought to himself as he brushed by a couple of men and women, all giving him weird looks as he pushed his way into the lines of volunteers. Those volunteers gave him even weirder looks.

"Ummm...Sheperd..." One man, at least a foot taller than him, said to Nico. "You're in the volunteer line."

"I know, thank you." Nico said, and the man went to reply, but stopped short. Nico had planted himself firmly within the line, and held a look of determination, and strangely, peace. He stood out, being the oldest man in the entire line, and not carrying a weapon. He didn't know what Val's reaction to him joining would be, but if worse came to worse, he would stand fast. As he looked up at the captain, he made sure that thought was made clear through his eyes.

God will see me through, or God will embrace me. Which ever happens, I will be ready.


Last edited by quakernuts on Fri Jan 14, 2011 2:43 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: The Fifth Age IC

Post by Digital Muse on Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:01 pm

A co-post between Squall Reyes and Digital Muse

As if he intended to undo all the work her own speech had accomplished, Rick felt the need to frighten the crew members that had volunteered to come with her. The scavenger seemed to take great delight in giving lurid details about the dangers of LA. Valeria could see the doubt and fear creep into the eyes of her crew. Her friends.

When he finished speaking and the crew began to slowly break away into small groups to talk, Valeria knew she had to get their minds off what the scavenger had told them. She shouted orders, sending the crew scurrying to the tasks always necessary aboard ship. Idle hands and minds led to fear. And fear killed.

She stalked toward the Scavenger with a fire of anger in her eyes. When she was quite close to him, she hissed at him under her breath. “It was not your place to speak, Scavenger.” She reached out to grip his bicep tightly to ensure she had his attention. “These are my friends. My crew. I wished to tell them aside from those staying behind to minimize the fear.” She leaned in even closer to him, fairly quivering in barely restrained rage. “Don’t you ever do that again.”

Rick looked into the red hot eyes, the anger seemingly as scorching as her hair. But he ignored her as his eyes went back to the map, his memory reaching back into the files of his trips to LA. Traps he had come across, passages, and blocked paths being for most on his mind. He has spoken back without even looking at her direction, his mind so focused on finding a suitable path to bring the others down. "I have not nor will be part of any crew. Nor will any one hold any kind of position over me. I will do and speak as I see fit."

The grabbing of his arm that caught his attention, he looks back into the fiery eyes. He waited for her to finish before he looked at Briggs. He looked ready to kill Rick, and may have if it was up to him. Rick give the big man a small smile then because he knew it was not. It was Valeria's and he was much too valuable to her, and he would be lying if he said he didn't like added power. Rick calmly turned his head back to the captain. "Do you think those who stay with the ship are in any less danger."

He stopped a moment as he said this, and looked at her, into her eyes as though trying to read her soul. Then his eyebrows rose with surprise. "Just how many cities have you explored Captain...have you spent any more time than them off this ship?" He pulled his arm away slowly, "If you've been to them you would know that those dangers are not just in the city but around it as well. Including where the ship will stay, in the Wastes, there are no safe havens. The people on this ship need to understand that, and keep their eyes open. Or else while we're gone risking our necks, the rest of the crew, your friends, could end up dead as easily as us."

Valeria didn’t care if the Scavenger had a valid point or not. She wasn’t going to tolerate his attitude in front of her crew. “I know the dangers those that stay behind face. But they will be in the air and relatively safe compared to the rest of us on the ground.” She growled at Rick. “If you have anything to add that should be passed along, you will do so through me in the future.” She and Briggs shared a look that might have meant anything while they poured over the map laid out on the upturned barrel top that served as a table.

After a short silence, Valeria finally offered an olive branch of sorts, “Once we’re on the ground, you will lead us. But until then, remember you are a guest aboard this ship. Not the Captain.” She turned her eyes back to the maps again, “What is the best way to enter the city and where are we going?” She’d always been one to plan ahead. Except when she was running on impulse like when she’d decided to rescue Rick in the first place.

Rick raised a brow at the thought of their quick transportation may just be above their heads. In Rick's mind that put it out of reach in case they needed to make a quick getaway. "Ok well the then I have something to add. I know your crew are most familiar with their heads in the clouds, but isn't having our means of a potential fast getaway far above our heads a bit....shortsighted. I've not seen a ship make a very quick pick up when under fire before. However you know you're crew best and if you believe they could handle a dive and dash then ok."

Rick looked at the map as well once he said what was on his mind. Her next words sounded as though she was trying to cool the waters. What she got was a look of surprise from Rick. "Me? Lead? Ha! Sorry deary but I don't lead shit. I'm not what you call the leadership type. Consider me more as an adviser. I'll give everyone advice as to how not to get killed, but the hell if I give orders." His eyes went back to the map, "Well. There's some issues with this map. As always this is an old world one, these streets and buildings are no where accurate. Hell it might be completely different from the last time I went. But I know what thing for sure. What we are looking for is, as I said before to the crew, right smack in the middle of downtown. Under the tallest fucking building you will probably ever see." As he said this his finger point right in the middle of a yellowed area of the map.

Rick eyes looked through the map once again, he noticed a strange grey road which had no name that seemed to snake across the land and through the downtown area. "As for how to get into the city, we'll have to see when we get there. Perhaps it's time you bring the 'volunteers' up"

Unbelievable! Valeria thought with true indignation. He wouldn’t follow. He wouldn’t lead. What he needed was a swift kick up the ego. “You have more experience on the ground than any of us. I don’t see that you’ll have a choice.” She stated abruptly. She turns her eyes to the map when Rick indicates they’re horribly out of date and nods, She’d feared that would be the case and none of the crew had ever been to LA that she was aware of.

Addressing his concern, she nodded. “I know. It will be dangerous to keep the Raven aloft to keep it out of the hands of Raiders and to ensure she’s still there when we want to leave.” Valeria straightened from looking over the map and brushed a strand of wild strawberry hair from her cheek. Turning, she looked over those that had volunteered to accompany her on her search.

She smiled brilliantly and met each of their gazes deliberately. “I suppose you’re all wondering what mad scheme I have up my sleeve this time?” She began to weave a tale. She told them about the world before the Fire. The variety of plant and animal life. The efforts to conserve them and the collection of the DNA by scientists all over the world. She paused searching their faces and nodded as she saw the idea sink in before continuing, “And why am I telling you these Fairy Tales?” She smiled slyly. “Because, it just happens to be true. The Repository really exists and I know where it is.”

Once more, Valeria paused for effect and nodded at each of them. “We’re going to LA to find a map. It will show us exactly where to find it. “This time when she paused, she looked right at the Shepherd. “We’re going to restore the world. Back to the way God intended.” Turning back toward Rick, she continued. “It will be dangerous in the extreme, but worth the risk. And we’ll have to rely on one another to survive.”

Rick had thought of several smart things to say to both of her statements, but he thought better of it. This early in a working relationship it is best to give as much as take. He simply nodded his head, "You're the boss....of them. Remember that." He added at the end with a bit more emphasis as a reminder that she had only as much control over him as he'll let her. With that Rick took several steps back away from the barrel as well, leaning back on the railing. He didn't even look at the group standing at attention in front of him. Best to keep from getting too friendly since some, maybe most could very easily not be seeing this ship again.

Rick saw the strong captain turn back at him, and he knew that last part of her speech was meant more for him than anyone. Rick decided to mix things up a bit and instead of his half ass salute he gave her a bow. As he stood up he looked across the group for a moment and leaned back again. "If I'm going to be in charge of this thing on the ground, then I suggest we start tomorrow morning. Moving through any of these cities at night is a death sentence for those who have never done it before. Even with someone as experienced as myself to lead them."

Valeria was somewhat relieved when Rick finally agreed to take charge of the group once on the ground. She hated relying on anyone outside herself, but sometimes you had no choice in the matter. Consulting the map once more, she nodded to Briggs, sending him back to the ship’s wheel. She then turned her brown eyes to the group gathered around her, “We have a few hours flight yet and then we’ll wait till the sun’s up before moving out. Get your packs and weapons together, sleep. I’ll be here if any of you have questions.”

With that, she paused to see if anyone spoke up immediately or not. She shared a look with Rick momentarily. She still wasn’t entirely happy with the man, but what choice did she have? She was so close to her goal. She was not going to let it go and start again. When no one approached her immediately, Valeria returned to the maps laid out on the barrel top. Absently, she took the ribbon from her wild hair and tried to tame it before tying it up once more. Her eyes studied the maps, even though the Scavenger had told her they were completely inadequate and out of date, she wanted to memorize it so she had at least a general idea of the layout of the city.

Rick sighed as he saw the look uncertainty on the Captain's face. He knew as that as stubborn as she had been with this, he had been just as much. Great start asshole. He said to himself as he gave himself a slap on the back of the head. With that out of the way he walked back over to the barrel and looked over the map as well. Noticing a pen to the side of the map Rick took it in his hand, and looked up into the Captain's eyes. He looked for any sign of protest, and when none came he began to write on the map.

He could feel her looking over his work, not quite sure what he was doing. But slowly it became clearer and clearer, he was changing the map. Rick has racked him mind for the memories of this place, and they had painted a pretty clear picture of which roads were blocked, which were passable. At least since the last he risked in neck in the cities shadows. He also began to cross out building to show which had fallen and numbers on the others. "The higher the number, the more likely it is to come down on your head. " He said as his pen finished up with the last building.

He put the pen down to the side once again. "Several paths to take, here, here and here. But these 2 have these 10's. For all we know they have collapsed and blocked them as well. So....there could be only this one. However the Raiders could know this as well and set it up with tons of traps." He took a look back at the group which had dispersed to do whatever they wanted to do to set up. "Won't know for sure until we get there though, maybe there is something there we just can't see on these maps."

When Rick approached and took up a pen, Valeria looked up in surprise. Then she watched avidly when he corrected the maps, using his memories to help clarify their avenues of approach. Rather, the ways they couldn’t use at all. It was becoming very daunting and Rick’s advice regarding the unstable buildings were of particular interest to the airship Captain. Frankly, they worried her more than she cared to admit.

When Rick finished, she studied the altered map and took a deep breath. The mission she was about to take everyone on was far more daunting than even she had imagined. She hoped the Scavenger could get them through alive
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Re: The Fifth Age IC

Post by Crazy Hobo on Sun Jan 02, 2011 8:04 pm

Farrah's mouth tilted upwards ever so slightly at the mention of this airship's destination. The fabled city of LA, home to thousands of raiders. It was an exciting prospect for Farrah, to say the least. It seemed that this airship would be quite the place to be for one like Farrah, and she was positive that the volunteers would need someone like her along with them. Farrah also briefly pondered the whole idea of a DNA Repository. It seemed like just another false hope that would come crashing down in the end. Farrah truly believed that it was either a hoax or that it had been destroyed long ago. Good things just never really happened in this destroyed world, and if they did they were always met with something awful. It was a mere fact of life. Regardless of her opinion of the repository, Farrah had no where else in the world that she could go. Her family was dead, and her home probably destroyed by the raiders that didn't chase her. She was all alone in the wastes, and these people seemed to be her best option.

There was also a plus side to the entire thing; a mission like this was sure to be rather dangerous, especially the trip to LA. Farrah felt that this airship crew actually needed someone like her. A stealth expert that had lots of experience killing raiders would no doubt be helpful in their mission. And what if the repository was real? Farrah could then be part of something world changing, although she still highly doubted that it was still intact after all these years. Farrah shook her head lightly, shaking her thoughts away with it. It was pointless to think about these kinds of things when it all up to the captain of this vessel. Now she was an interesting woman, Farrah mused to herself. It seemed like she had everything riding on this repository. The whole point of her life seemed to revolve around this story, and Farrah could tell that she would do anything to accomplish this goal. That included recruiting Farrah to her cause. This was purely speculation on Farrah's behalf, but she figured that it was more or less right.

Farrah began to move at a measured pace towards the line of volunteers then suddenly turning and making her way to the ship's captain. She sincerely hoped that what she had figured about the captain was correct, because otherwise she ran the risk of being thrown off the airship, most likely while it was still moving. Farrah stopped part way to the captain when she noticed what seemed to be a Shepard out of the corner of her eye. It wasn't too terribly odd that a preacher was aboard an airship, quite common actually, but it was the fact that he was standing in the line of volunteers for the LA mission. Now that was what Farrah would call an oddity, to say the least. After a moment's thought, Farrah turned to the preacher and spoke.

"LA's a dangerous place, Preacher." The Shepard turned to regard her, but Farrah continued talking, "I may be a cold hearted bitch, but I'm not in the business of letting defenseless people die." Farrah, at a moderately slow tempo, pulled her pistol from it's holster, flipping the grip towards the Shepard and then placing it into his hand, "You're going to need it, even with the whole pacifist bullshit thing you probably have going on." Not giving the Shepard a chance to respond, Farrah spun on her heel and walked away. It would have been a touching, albeit odd moment for most people, but the cold, nearly monotone sound of Farrah's voice through the entire moment pointed to the fact that to her it was merely business, and business was bad when people died. Without even thinking back twice on what she had just done, Farrah finally made her way to the captain, who was currently bent over a map of what appeared to be LA.

"Captain?" Farrah asked in a mildly loud tone as to get the other woman's attention. "My names is Farrah Webster, and I would like to be a member of your crew. I have little to no experience with airships, but I do have a lot of experience with killing raiders, as well as infiltration and stealth tactics. You simply caught me on an off day back there. I feel that if you give me the chance, I will prove to be an asset to your mission to find the DNA Repository. That is, if you will have me, Captain."
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Re: The Fifth Age IC

Post by Loki on Wed Jan 12, 2011 3:52 pm

Janus moved to the line of volunteers with a confident swagger. Whatever was about to go down, he knew he wanted to be there to feel the adrenaline of conflict and the triumph of success. Was he naïve? Most likely, but the best cure for that was to earn the experiences of life first hand. He looked along the line and noticed that the Shepherd had also stepped forward. A fellow man of adventure. Janus leaned forward to catch the Shepherd’s attention with a quick nod of approval. “Good on ya, mate.”

Whatever Rick and Valeria were arguing about, Janus neither heard nor cared. He knew that despite the details, his new captain was not the type to go in half-cocked if she knew her crew’s lives were on the line. The matter would either be solved or the mission would be changed accordingly. Sure enough, their powwow ended and the group of volunteers were presented with the objective. Janus looked intently at the map before looking at Valeria to attract her attention. Once her gaze locked with his a moment later, he took it as a sign of being recognized and finally spoke up. “If I may pose a few questions, captain?” She quirked a curious brow at him and nodded slightly.

"Would it be possible for the ship to just drop us directly at our objective point?"

Rick had beaten her to the reply. “You mean have the large airship try and fly between the potentially collapsing towers of metal and glass, which could possibly shred us and the ship to pieces? Yeah, completely possible.” Janus let out a short quiet laugh with how much sarcasm the man had concentrated into those two sentences. It was an impressive feat.

“Well, we are on an airship. Can we not fly above said potentially collapsing towers of metal and glass?”

This time Rick made a grand gesture of looking over the side of the ship then up into the air. ”Sooooo someone has a rope over 1000 feet long and can keep a grip on said rope with over 30 mph winds that chute through said buildings? Yup, totally possible.” Janus realized that the man wasn’t a common spouter of sarcasm. Rick was a professional at it. In response, Janus shrugged with a grin "Well, assuming you're going to come up with another sarcastic remark to landing on one of the more sturdy buildings..." He said as he looked over his shoulder to the howitzer. "Why don't we knock a few of the more unstable ones out of our path?"

Finally, Valeria had beaten Rick to the punch and answered Janus’ question in a reasonable and logical manner. ”Going in and blowing up crumpling buildings will a) draw too much attention and b) potentially kill innocents on the ground.” Janus pondered that for a brief moment before nodding in acknowledgement. He had not considered the possibility of normal people residing in such a place. “Makes sense.” Then diverted his gaze to Rick in a mock-surprise expression. “Does this mean that living in, as the way you described it, one of the most dangerous places in the known world are normal people?” His tone then changed to one of exaggerated disbelief, “Noooo… Surely they are demi-gods who had sculpted the wasteland to their liking with their bare hands and are simply resting in what they deemed to be a cozy town.”

With that, Valeria glared at the pair, effectively signaling to cease the barrage of sarcasm at least until after the briefing. With his attention returned to the task at hand, Janus began to do his best to memorize as much of the map as he could along with the route they planned on taking. He didn’t have a photographic memory by any means, but it would be good enough to work in a pinch should he either be isolated from the others or should the map get destroyed somewhere along the way. After a few more minutes, the briefing was over and the group began to disburse to make preparations. Before Janus could turn away, he caught a cold glare from Rick who immediately made a final address to the volunteers though it was clearly directed at him. Make sure to bring weapons you already tested out to LA.”

Janus looked over his shoulders as a means of suggesting his disbelief that Rick was referring to him. “Who here has been using untested firearms? I would be more than happy to make any necessary calibrations to their weapons.” Rick face flashed a grin and raised his arm, "Ohh I got one! That!" He said motioning over to the cannon. Janus made a show of gasping his surprise to such a claim. “I would never sell a weapon that has gone untested. Sure, I didn’t have the resources to test it at its full capacity, but it certainly underwent careful testing and calibrating.”

”Oh no never sell, just fire while on a ship that it could possibly destroy."

Janus let out a hearty laugh to that and walked with an amused swagger to Rick’s side, putting his arm around his shoulder in a friendly gesture even if it wasn’t exactly invited. He was genuinely amused by the man’s annoyance over the matter. “You’re right, it could have backfired and put the lives of those aboard this ship in danger, just like any other gun out there. In fact, one of those guards back in Vegas who were firing upon you might have remembered the importance of lining up a shot rather than firing randomly and sunk a slug in the middle of your back. Hell, another guard might have just as easily gotten lucky with his aimless spraying and filled all of us with hot lead. Crossing the General in the first place is the epitome of tempting fate. And think about this; you are currently on a pirate vessel with people you have only known for a few hours. Do you know how expensive one of these ships are? Looking around, I have yet to find a single individual that reeks of the money required to make such a purchase. I would know, I have been trading with the sorts for decades. That makes one wonder. How did they come to acquire such a symbol of power and what came of the person who purchased it in the first place, hmmm? I personally don’t care, but it makes you wonder whether the original owner of this ship, or those he had ties with would be wanting some sort of retribution. Not to mention we are currently associated with the people who were bold enough to cross somebody who had enough wealth and power to obtain one of these in the first place; I bet they would be able to simply toss us overboard without so much as batting an eye if it suited them.”

Janus’ free hand came up and gestured to the horizon in a pose of wonder. “Even now, we are heading to a place swarming with raiders and lined with towers that are just waiting to fall upon those who are careless enough to venture within their reach. I don’t need to tell you just how dangerous this world is, out of the two of us you’re the seasoned veteran.” Janus’ gesturing hand came around and patted Rick in the chest as a means of reassurance. “In all that had happen to you in this past week and all that is likely to happen in this upcoming one, me firing the howitzer that I built at optimal capacity is probably one of the safest and thoroughly calculated risks that will be taken. Point is, if you want to achieve anything worthwhile, risks will need to be taken. You crossed the General and fled the city, thus you’ve taken a risk that likely saved your very life. We are going into a ruined city for the hope of bringing some life back to the wasteland. And I have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that my howitzer works, making us one of the most powerful ships in the skies. The day may come where that cannon will free us out of the clutches of death and I will be looking forward to hearing your gratitude that I had taken this risk today. Speaking of the howitzer!”

Before Janus gave Rick a chance to respond, he had already rounded away from the man and approached Briggs. “Just to inform you, that was the only high explosive round I had. Seeing how important it was to display the potential of the cannon and how useless it would have been to fire on of the solid slugs at a scattered group, I felt that it was the one for the job. As it stands now we have fifteen slugs at the ready; if you are wanting me to make some more of the rounds that will cause our enemies to wet themselves, I will need some composition B. I doubt you have an abundance of landmines and hand grenades laying around, but if we come across any while on the ground, I will be able to extract the necessary material on the field if need be. Though it would make my life a lot easier if I wasn’t being shot at during that time. Basically what I’m trying to say is it would be convenient if we kept an eye out for explosive material that we can use later on.”

“Oh, and captain!” Janus said as he pivoted to face Valeria before hooking a thumb towards the howitzer. “It needs a name. I will be happy to engrave it on the length of the barrel for you before we get to LA.”
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Re: The Fifth Age IC

Post by quakernuts on Fri Jan 14, 2011 4:21 pm

Daniel

Daniel had done little more than sit in the background for this one. He didn't want to draw attention to himself just yet, but realized with Rick and Val going at it in front of everyone, he could have worn a chicken suit and dived overboard saying he could fly and still not get any attention. Val had given orders to members of the crew, but he hadn't cared about that, seeing as it didn't concern him. He was still waiting for what exactly they were going for. He knew that she said a DNA repository, and it had to be hard to get at, but he didn't know the value or worth of something like that. So, he continued to lean against a railing, looking as comfortable and completely in place as anyone there. In all reality, he was bored and wished they would get over their little PMS spat already. Rick was a guy who followed his own rules, and Val was a person who expected others to follow her rules. It was a match made in Hell, and Daniel couldn't help but anticipate the many arguments these two were going to have. Finally, after what seemed like hours, the volunteers were brought together again, and Val addressed the group.

As she started talking, Daniel actually found himself leaning forward and listening with great attention to detail. This was bigger than anything he could have guessed, and an even bigger payout that he would have ever dreamed. If he could grab these DNA thingies, then he could sell them to the highest bidder and be riding the good life until he died of a ripe old age. Oh yes, his goal was set in stone and now his path was laid in front of him. The trickiest part of this entire adventure would be how to get the prize away from the others without being shot on the spot. His mind started running through options, and continued to do so even after Val had finished her little speech.

“We’re going to restore the world. Back to the way God intended.”

If you mean with my pockets lined with the ever satisfying clink of money for your's truly, then yes, by all means. Daniel thought to himself as a small smirk planted on his face. Several options had presented themselves to him as he had thought about options, but only time would tell if they would remain a viable path for his goal. The only thing about the entire speech was how Ricky Boy was going to be leading the entire expedition. Daniel had to raise an eyebrow at that, but knew that Rick had to know of LA at least a slight bit better than Daniel did. Sure, he had been there too, but always under the guise of someone he wasn't. He was always to busy filling his role rather than filling his mind on landmark locations. Finally, everyone was dismissed, and Daniel watched as one by one the volunteers walked away to rest up for the adventure tomorrow.

Out of the corner of his eye, he saw the Sheperd, and nearly laughed as the man had placed himself in the volunteer line. Ten diamonds to myself the man doesn't last the day. Daniel thought to himself as a woman wandered up to him, and abrubtly put a pistol in his hand and walked away. That time, he laughed as the Sheperd looked at the pistol as if he didn't know what to do with it. His attention was pried away from that scene though when Janus spoke up to ask a question. To his credit, they were legitimate questions, but Rick was acting like they weren't. The amount of sarcasm and childish remarks going back and forth reminded Daniel of his earlier days, and he couldn't help but flash a smile at the entire situation. The entire argument was quickly quelled though as Janus made his point quite solidly. After that, he asked for a name for the cannon. "How about Big Momma?" Daniel shouted from his spot leaning on the railing. As Janus looked at him, he simply shrugged. "You asked for a name."

Daniel finally moved, and made his way up to where everyone was gathering near Rick and Val. If he was going to survive this, and get a huge payday out of this, he had to know exactly what was going on. The map, old enough to get someone killed if they thought it was accurate, had been modified by Rick to show viable paths and options, along with which buildings were most likely to fall. He had done a decent job, and Daniel simply smiled. "At least you know L.A. better than a jail cell my friend. However, I have an option for the lovely captain, if I may." Waiting to get her attention, he cleared his throat.

"I am what you could call a master of disguise. When we do run into the raiders out there, if you could spare even one of them long enough for me to steal some much needed equipment off of them, I could scout ahead and blend in with the locals. Give you a heads up, and explain paths of least resistance etc etc." Daniel looked at the map once more.

"And judging by the amount of scurrying around we are going to have to do, I think that would be a very nice addition to the team, hmm?"




Nico

Listening with rapt attention, and smiling as Val stated her intentions, Nico hadn't even known he had been approached until the woman stood in front of his face talking to him. He turned, and instantly recognized her as the woman who they had just pulled from death. To say he was surprised to see she was standing would be an understatement. To say he was worried that she wasn't resting would be accurate. As she addressed him, in a such a cold tone that icicles hung from her words. They were not of compassion or worry, but more about business. He had been around long enough to recognize that tone several times over, and while he could not say he hated it, he did not like it. As she pulled the pistol out, he made to refuse it. Before he could even get a word in edge wise, the gun was planted in his hand and she was walking off to the captain. The weapon felt both strange and familiar in his hand as he turned it over and inspected it.

Instantly memories came flooding back into his mind of his other lives. People running in terror, bodies littering the street, and him in the middle of it all...laughing. He closed his eye shut tightly as he forced them into the back of his mind. He would never leave that person behind, not because he didn't want to, but because he couldn't. It was just as much a part of him as his mind was, and so long as he lived, he would deal with that ever pressing guilt from things done in the past. He gave the pistol one more look through, noticing that the weapon had been properly maintained, and looked back up at the group.

Janus and Rick had finished their spat in the time it took Sheperd to get out of that flashback, and he simply looked at all of them with a neutral but worried glare. If they were going to be relying on each other to survive, they needed to get along. This was never a good sign, but he couldn't back out now; he wouldn't back out now. He quietly made his way to the captain. Janus was asking for a name for the cannon, but Sheperd had none to give. Out of principle, he couldn't give a name to a machine of death. However, if he were to say such a thing, Retribution seemed to be the most fitting.

Nico looked over the map, happy to see that Rick knew the land and had changed the layout accordingly. Nico stood beside the woman who had given him the gun, and thought about slipping the gun back into her holster. Looking at her though, he didn't think that would be the best course of action, seeing as she seemed like the itchy trigger finger type. He had been around enough to recognize the signs. Cold stare, non-moving stature, being nearly killed by raiders. When she asked to be a part of the group, Nico opened his mouth to object, wanting to say she was in no way able to do such a thing in her condition. Seeing as she wouldn't be backing down though, Nico closed his mouth and quietly studied the map some more. Then the man by the name of Daniel came up to the map, and set forward an option for them to use.

"Even if you grab the gear, they will not take you for one of their own." Nico spoke up, suddenly feeling everyone's eyes on him. "Just because they are savages does not mean they are stupid. When they don't recognize you, they will surely kill you on the spot." Daniel seemed to cock his head, almost as if he couldn't believe the Sheperd was talking to him.

"Oh really? Then tell me how I've done it in the past, hmm?"

"by grabbing a mask and wearing it." Sheperd said, locking eyes with him. Daniel stopped for half a second, and then gave a laugh.

"Right you are sir, which proves another point. I will need a helmet or...a mask...to cover my face to blend in." Daniel put on a smile, but Nico could tell he didn't like being shut up in front of others, especially when he thought he had the upper hand. Out of everyone here, Nico was the one to know the Raiders inside and out, and he simply looked at the man as he spoke.

"You will also need a mark that will identify you as one of their clan. Usually it's a flag, tattoo, or even some kind of self mutilation." Now he could tell everyone was raising their eyebrow at him at his new found knowledge. Nico, however, had an answer already prepared for everyone. "Just because they are savages does not mean they cannot be understood. I went with another group of adventures a few years back to study the habits and cultures of them. They are a lot more complex than everyone else would give them credit for." A few seemed to accept this answer, but for some reason, Farrah continued to give him a cold stare.

Nico hadn't lied, but he hadn't told the whole truth. He had been with a group of adventurers, although their 'study' had really been when he was still a Raider, and they went to kill a clan stealing their territory. Nico didn't say another word though, and simply waited for someone else to take the attention off of him. Daniel gave a smile, although Nico honestly couldn't tell if it was forced or simply mocking.

"The Sheperd is correct...We will need to kill a few before I can safely assume the disguise. Although, I honestly hope it's the flag...the tattoos and self mutilations hurt like hell." Nico looked him in the eyes, but to his credit, was good at hiding indicators of the truth or fiction. He was a man to look out for, and a man never to have at your back.


Last edited by quakernuts on Fri Feb 11, 2011 6:15 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: The Fifth Age IC

Post by Digital Muse on Tue Jan 18, 2011 10:36 pm

More discussion regarding the best way to handle their trip into the LA maze. Valeria let the jaunty young Janus and Rick trade verbal barbs before bringing things back around to the discussion at hand. She knew they would have to set aside their differences and become a cohesive group and quickly. The discussion turned to the howitzer Janus had brought aboard as his ticket for passage. He believed it needed a name? That made her smile. She liked the young man, but was unsure if he truly understood what he was getting himself into.

Valeria pushed her hair out of her face considering the howitzer for a time. “Miss Maggie.” She stated with a sharp dip of her chin. “Yes. I like the idea of Grandmother watching over us. It suits her.” A gentle smile played over her full lips as memories played within her mind.

Returning her gaze to the other volunteers, Valeria’s brows rise when she sees the Shepherd among the group. The girl, Farrah, had shoved a pistol into his hand and he looked stunned by it and held it awkwardly. Discussion then fell to the best way to bypass the Raiders they would surely deal with. Daniel finally entered the fray. His supreme confidence that he could infiltrate the Raiders and hide himself effectively was met with understandable skepticism. Rick certainly didn’t believe it could be done.

The surprise, however, was the amount of knowledge of the tattoos and piercing identifying clans within the Raider groups the Shepherd seemed to know about. Valeria tilted her head at the man in undisguised curiosity. “You seem well-versed in Raider culture, if one can call it that, Shepherd. Curious, that.” She left that comment on the air before turning her attention toward Daniel.

“And you, Daniel.” She started. “Just what do you hope to gain in this hair-brained scheme of yours? Personally, I want to get in and get the hell out. Infiltrating a Raider clan takes too much time and carries far too high a risk. Avoiding them altogether is the best way to go.”

Valeria spoke with each of her crew briefly, she really didn’t need to say much. They’d been through hell and back together, She knew she could count on them to stick with her. She discussed a contingency plan with Briggs and gave him control of the ship while they were gone. His eyes were filled with concern. “Cap’n.” He paused, “Val. This is the first time you’ve gone into something like this with strangers. I don’t like it. Not a bit.”

Val smiled. “I know you don’t. But it’s the way it’s going to be. You know me. It’ll work out. You’ll see.” She laughed at his scowling face and squeezed his arm before turning away and searching for their latest addition to the crew. The girl plucked from the Raiders. She needed some answers from the girl.

Valeria turned her back on Briggs and studied Farrah for a while. The girl had been running on empty for a while, injured her leg and had been about to sell her life dearly until the Scarlet Raven happened on her. She was curious what the girl’s story was. Striding up to the girl, Valeria stuck out her hand, “We haven’t had a chance to be properly introduced. I’m Valeria Forbes. This is my ship.” She added unnecessarily.

"The name's Farrah Webster. I'm not usually one for talking, but you did save my life." Farrah looked Valeria up and down before continuing, "You really did catch me on quite an off day, though. Normally killing raiders is like my morning tea. I'm a stealth and infiltration expert. My job was to break in to raider hideouts, thin their numbers and let the rest of my team, the Hand of Justice, in. You satisfied?"

Valeria looked Farah over with an arch expression. Touchy thing. She thought to herself. But, Valeria really couldn’t blame her. “You hunted Raiders for….fun? Profit? I’d imagine your life expectancy would be pretty damned short.” She shrugged heavily. “But, that’s your deal. Not mine.” She waved a hand to indicate her ship and the crew. “My deal is this ship. And making money. You can come along or not. Up to you. If you’d rather hunt Raiders, you’re on your own. I’ll outfit you and drop you. Makes no difference to me,” She crossed her arms over her chest, her hair blowing across her cheeks, “Choose then rest.”

"Your quest, if I can call it that, interests me. Not that whole saving the world part, this world was long before now, and it'll keep doing so for an even longer time. No, what interests me is the journey to this repository. I'm betting that you need someone who knows their way around a firefight, and a little stealth couldn't ever hurt you. For the record hunting raiders is my own business, and I've never been fond of people asking me why I do it."

Farrah’s testy response gained a cool look from Valeria. “Whether we need another gun or someone to sneak around is my call.” She stepped closer, well inside Farrah’s personal space. She towered over the smaller woman. “And you’ll do better if you take that boulder off your shoulder and stow it. We don’t tolerate egos aboard the Raven.”

She held Farrah’s gaze a moment longer, as if to remind the girl just who was running this ship. She then stepped back again. “Now. Think you can play nice or shall I just have Opie throw you back?”

"Didn't mean to poke a sore spot," Farrah replied, a cold smile crossing her face, "I've been a bit tired lately, my apologies. I assure you, I'm worth your while, though. Call it me repaying you for my life."

Valeria eyed the woman a while, as if trying to decide about her. She already had trouble aboard with the unknown quality of Daniel. Did she really want to deal with two? Finally she pursed her lips and dipped her chin sharply. “Alright. You can stay. But when aboard you take your orders from me, Go off on some goose-chase on your own and I’ll leave you behind.”

She turned to find Opie and called to him. “Opie. Take Miss Webster below so she can rest. See if you can’t rig a splint for her, if she’ll have it.” The sleekly muscled young man grinned as he approached Farrah, “Aye, Cap’n.” He turned his startling blue eyes to Farrah, “Hungry? We can scare up a bit of a meal too, if you need.”

Val let Opie carry on and returned to the bridge.
Farrah looked at Opie for a moment. It seemed he was the man who carried her up, and with her permission of all things. She really did need the rest, she was putting on a strong show for the crew of this ship, but Farrah was truly tired down to her bones. "Would you mind showing me where the food is? Also, don't ever try to get cute with me, I tend to kill people who touch me without permission." Opie simply nodded in agreement, clearly made slightly uncomfortable with the cold, yet angry manner Farrah addressed him with. Wordlessly he took her to where she could have her first meal in four days, and quickly told Farrah where she could rest before leaving once again.
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Re: The Fifth Age IC

Post by Crazy Hobo on Thu Jan 20, 2011 12:09 am

Farrah finished her meal, well technically two, rather quickly and headed to where Opie had told her she would find a solitary bunk to rest, conveniently being the room she had woken up in. Farrah quickly closed the door behind her and stared at the room in silence for several moments. It was a pretty bare bones room with only a washbasin, cot, and what appeared to be a small dresser of some sort. It was very much like what Farrah was accustomed to. It reminded her too much of her home. Her home that had most likely already been reduced to cinders by those raiders. It was futile to hope that they didn't find it. She stood there for a few more seconds before all that had happened in the last four days truly hit her. And they hit her like a freight train.

Farrah slumped to the floor, sliding down the door, and simply cried. Cried hard. Everything that she had experienced since being saved was finally given a chance to flow freely. She was finally away from the eyes of people, and her walls could fall momentarily. They fell with a deadening impact. Farrah felt like ever emotion that she kept to herself the past eight years exploded out from her. Her withdrawal from everyone except a small handful in recent years buried her in an overwhelming stampede of sorrow. Farrah re-experienced things she hid from all but one other member of the Hand of Justice all at the same time, and it truly threatened to overwhelm her. She had to cut the flow before her anguished sobs alerted a member of the crew. That couldn't be allowed.

No. Farrah thought to herself, I don't do this. This isn't me. I am strong, and I've moved past everything that's happened to me. I will not be the victim in my story. Never. Farrah stood slowly, tears still slowly streaming down her face. A full ten minutes had passed for her, but it felt like years. Farrah slowly moved over to the cot, practically throwing herself into it. In the next few minutes, Farrah went to work rebuilding the strong walls around her mind, and finally wiped the last tears away. Her iron fortress was rebuilt, and Farrah was dedicated to never let it fall again. Emotions like that only made things more difficult. It was easier, more effective to toss them into the deepest corners and never let anyone see them. Life was better that way. Farrah sighed to herself, twisting into a sleeping position. With her defenses rebuilt, Farrah began to muse about the crew. Valeria was like many ship's captains. It was easier to simply let them have their way at all times than to try to have yours. Janus was a nice person, and that made Farrah nearly sick. Nice people died far too quickly. The world just loved to eat them whole. The Shepard was the only enigma. There was something truly off about him, and it wasn't simply his knowledge of raiders. It was subtle, but he held himself like someone that was permanently running from something in their past. It wasn't easy to pick out, but Farrah definitely saw it. Also, the way he held Farrah's pistol wasn't quite the clumsy way any preacher would hold it. It was as if there was an old familiarity that had dulled significantly over time. Farrah sighed to herself. She was probably overthinking the whole situation, but that level of thought rarely hurt out on the wastes. Either way, it was moot point until she learned more about the preacher. Farrah took one moment to look to the dresser and spot that her sub-machine gun was still lying where Janus had left it, and finally drifted off into a heavy sleep.
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Re: The Fifth Age IC

Post by Squall Reyes on Sat Jan 29, 2011 2:27 pm

Rick couldn't help but offer a bit of a glare to Daniel as he came forward with a plan. He knew right away he would not allow Daniel to try anything. Something about him made Rick unwilling to even listen to the plan because it felt like he was giving Daniel a great time to stab them all in the back. But before he would shoot down whatever Daniel had in mind he had to at least pretend to be listening.

"I am what you could call a master of disguise."

He could not keep himself for letting out a bit of a chuckle. "Disguised the fact you could fight pretty well before." He whispered to himself though not loud enough for others to hear. He continued to listen however until he was done. At which point he was about to give everyone a little lesson about the raiders. That is until the Shepard spoke.

Rick had given a smirk at the knowledge of the Shepard. It seemed all that traveling had gained the old man as much experience as Rick himself. In fact, more so. He had not known of the flags and tattoos, though he had guessed there was some way to show which clan they belonged to. Rick's smile however was quick to die as Daniel continued to insist on his plan. Valeria however was quick to put it down and was quick to change her attention from Daniel to the girl the crew had saved from the raiders.

Rick could see Daniel however, waiting and preparing to perhaps try his luck again in convincing the captain. Rick felt it was his time to step in and took a step in front of Daniel and Valeria. He smiled a moment before he began, "The Shepard seems to know about as much as us of the raiders. However the ones in LA are unique to others. You want to kill some patrols or guards to blend in. There is a problem with that. The raider of LA have developed a rather ingenious way of communicating of potential victims and danger. Their entire home is lined with pipes, which they hit to send signals back and forth. Each one unique for each guard and situation he faces. We go in and out like ghosts."

He took another step closer to Daniel, "In the jail I let you do things your way to get us out of the cell. But down there, you do things my way. If you can't do that I'll get the captain to drop you off at the next port and maybe send the general a little hint of your whereabouts."

After speaking with the girl, Valeria turned her back on the prickly Farrah, shaking her head. If the girl managed to refrain from alienating the entire crew, it’d be a minor miracle. Heading back to the bridge to oversee the flight towards to the LA maze, she caught the tail end of a conversation between Rick and Daniel. Her attention is drawn by Rick’s mention of the General. The very one she’d rescued him from when they’d left Las Vegas.

She approached the Scavenger. “I’d been meaning to ask you about him, Scavenger. Just what exactly were you doing when you first started running from the General? Call me curious.”

Rick, who was facing away from the stairs to the bridge turned to face the captain. He thought a few moments of what to say. The way he saw it they were away from Vegas and the General for the time being so why worry about it? Rick concluded that Valeria was looking for more reasons to trust him, no doubt his little speech to the crew rocking what little she had already. Rick gave a sigh, he would give her any info she wanted about it. But he wouldn't go down without a fight.

"The 'General' gave me a job, lied to me about what I was getting and what I was getting it for. And I thought, well hey I went through all this trouble I should at least be paid for it. So I went to him with the container he was looking for, but with the lovely gift of a flash bang inside. I went out the window figuring I had a better chance running down the side than I did fighting my way through all those guards in the building."

Valeria simply stared at Rick for a long time, eyebrow arched, and then burst out into raucous peals of laughter. Her crew paused only momentarily in their usual bustle to see what might be so funny before returning to their work. The airship captain stepped up to Rick and placed her hand on his shoulder, trying to catch her breath in an exaggerated manner. “You screwed the General on a deal? That’s rich!” She giggled a bit before adding, “Sounds like me!” She cast a side-long glance towards her long-suffering First Mate, Briggs and sobered a bit. “That means we can’t go back to Las Vegas anymore.” She sighed softly, then shrugged. “Oh well. Can’t be helped now.”

Shaking her head at Rick made her wild strawberry hair blow about her head. ”We’ll be making landfall in a few hours. Hopefully we won’t have any more adventures along the way. Any other ideas about getting this bunch through the maze?”

Rick returned the silence he got from Valeria at first. He had feared she was going to ask what the item was that the general wanted. He was relieved when she began to laugh and didn't ask any more about it. The world they were in now was the result of the nuclear fires of the old world governments. Rick was not about to go down in history as the man who gave weapons grade plutonium to the unstable despot of Vegas who no doubt planned to use it to finish the job the rest of the world came close to doing.

No, Rick wasn't looking to end up with that kinda mark in the world. But the good captain was certainly his key to getting his name remembered. And his pocket lined with money of course. He looked back down at the map after appreciating the view of the captain, hey, he's only human. His eyes once again looked through it all until it again focused on several gray lines that ran through much of the map but with no names to them.

"I might have a few ideas. But until we get down there I won't set anything in stone." He said as he stood up and moved next to the captain whispering into the red heads ear. "Till then I suggest dismissing the rest. They need to be relaxed and enjoy the rest of the day and sleep well. After all. Could be the last night they get."

Valeria’s eyes followed Rick when he moved back to peer at the map once again. She nodded to his comment. She hated the ‘wait and see what we’re up against’ part of this mission. But, really there was no help for it. Any plans they tried to make would be obliterated within seconds once they reached the ground, so why bother?

At the Scavenger’s suggestion, she turned to the main decks where the rest of the volunteers waited, “Right. We have maybe 6 hours before we make landfall. Get some rest and pack what you’ll be carrying. Don’t over load yourselves, cause you won’t get help hauling your shit out of there again. She looked at Janus sternly, guessing he was the least experienced of the group. “We’ll likely have to run for it.”

The next few hours passed smoothly, the creaking of the ship in the winds of the desert night sky was soothing to the ear. The night temperatures dipped dramatically before the Raven passed over the mountains and headed down into the valley that hid the partially destroyed city formerly called Los Angeles; now called the LA maze. Valeria seemed to have spent the entire time on the bridges, head together with Briggs in intense conversation interrupted by long drawn-out silences.

Finally, in the pre-dawn light, the Scarlet Raven sank gracefully to the ground on a giant and bare parking lot.Briggs’ face was dark with worry, but he sent a crewman to roust the volunteers so they could disembark and get the Raven back into the air.

Rick was first off the ship wasting little time he made his way to the broken and crumbling super structure with its letter though paled still clear. "Welcome to Dodger Stadium" They said to the crowd which will never return to watch the old sport of the old world. Now it simply housed animals and more importantly some equipment which Rick had stored. He disappeared within the ruins as the others had left the ship.

Minutes later he reappeared above them as he climbed some of the broken concrete walls. A small brown pack over his shoulder as he climbed to the very top, more than enough to kill him with the wrong step. But more importantly the height gave him a clear view of the decaying ruins of the once mega city. As he looked across the horizon, he began to remove several items from the sack. His belt, knifes and other equipment were sorely missed from his side. Suddenly he froze, and even from down below it was clear that a smile had grown on his face.

It took him sometime to get back down, but even after all that time he had a smile on his face. He ran up quickly to the captain. "I found our way in."
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Re: The Fifth Age IC

Post by Loki on Tue Feb 08, 2011 5:09 pm

”Miss Maggie.”

Janus nodded in acknowledgement. “You got it captain.”

On his way to get the necessary equipment to make the engraving, he couldn’t help but be pulled into the discussion of blending in to the raiders. Though he didn’t say anything, he simply observed and gauged everybody’s knowledge on the matter while he got a measure of their personalities. He was surprised that of all people to have a wealth of knowledge on the matter, it was the Shepherd that seemed to have the most intimate of details. Janus didn’t concern himself with how or why, if there’s one thing he learned when dealing with survivors of the wastes it’s that everybody has a history that is none but their own. That seemed to be the most interesting thing about the wastes, they bring radical changes to people practically instantaneously and without warning.

He wondered what type of person he would become once his journey had reached its end.

Eventually the huddle was broken and Janus retrieved his gear and began working on the cannon, resetting it to its charging setting. He lowered the barrel so it was parallel with the deck and set to work after plugging his grinder into the small valve at the base of the cannon. It was a feature for such tools for the use of cleaning and repairing the large weapon. Using his best calligraphy, he sketched Miss Maggie in the most elegant of lettering he could manage. His penmanship was most familiar on the sides of cherished side arms and rifles so something on this scale took considerably more concentration. In the end, he couldn’t have been more pleased with the results as the sun reflected brilliantly on the scored metal.

"I found our way in.”

That sounds promising. Janus put his grinder away and returned to the gathering of people to listen to the game plan.
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Re: The Fifth Age IC

Post by quakernuts on Sat Feb 12, 2011 2:02 am

Daniel

Daniel simply smiled and listened to everyone pretty much shoot down his idea. The thing about his idea though, was that he wouldn't be here if he wasn't good at it. It was how he survived, and how he managed to be how he was. When Val called it a hair brained scheme, Daniel mockingly pretended to be shot to show that he wasn't at all hurt by her words. Most people didn't believe him when he said he could do things like that, but he always proved them wrong on every single occasion. When she said that she wanted to avoid them, he raised an eyebrow, and let loose a small laugh. "Avoid the raiders that infest the entire area? And you call my idea 'hair-brained'." Seeing the angry glare directed at him, he simply shrugged. "If that's what you wanna do, then fine. I ain't stoppin ya captain."

Rick then decided to step in, and threaten Daniel. In other circumstances, the moment Rick turned his back, he would be dead. Instead, Daniel smiled some more, as if he didn't have a care in the world. The threat was very real, but also very stupid. "Do you really think he would go for me, dear boy? Sure, tell him of my whereabouts, and I'll be half way around the world before he gets there. You, on the other hand, pissed him off. Who do you really think he will go for." Daniel grabbed Rick's collar as he went to turn around, catching him slightly off guard as his demeanour changed from con man to killer. his voice whisper quiet. "And you would do well to consider who you are threatening Rick." A subtle gesture, and Daniel had patted Rick's shoulder's down and straightened his collar. "Now that this conversation is over Ricky my boy, I think I need some rest before we go sneaking about collapsing buildings. See ya in the mornin." The smile was back, and Daniel was walking away from everyone, towards his bunk. He gave a curt nod to the men, and a smile to the women as he passed. After that, he disappeared within the ship.

After he had had some rest, food, and managed to wake himself to a point of being a little more than lucid, Daniel walked back out onto the deck of the ship to see that they had landed in what appeared to be some sort of sports dome. Daniel had managed to secure himself a pistol, which rested in his holster for a moment, until he got something with a bit more punch. Yes, he was more used to pistols and knives as his weapons of choice, but if they were going with what the captain and Rick had planned, then he doubted a frontal confrontation would be completely avoidable. Instead, he stretched his arms out, and yawned walking across the ship to where everyone had taken a place inside the dome.

Rick had managed to dart around the building, returning with news that he had their way out. Daniel smiled once more as he caught up with the rest of the group. "Well that's good to hear. Now, let's see if we can get this little adventure going, hmm?" Daniel took out the pistol, inspected it once more to make sure it was loaded, did a few twirls to make sure everyone knew he knew how to handle it, and replaced it within his holster. Today was going to be fun, and Daniel didn't want to be caught unprepared.



Nico

The comments and questions that were thrown at the Sheperd after he had revealed his knowledge was not something he was unused to. He had revealed similar knowledge to others, and all greeted him with the same response as everyone expected a Sheperd to not know anything about raiders. Truth was, if anyone should understand them, it should be a Sheperd. It is not their job to pass judgement, but to understand. Nico had met other Sheperds during his travels, and he couldn't believe some of them even called themselves men of God. Nico ignored the comments towards his person, and instead focused on the map. He had never been to L.A., and it was pretty clear to everyone else as his eyes analyzed the map as if it was a bomb and he was trying to defuse it. Nico ignored everyone for the time being, including Daniel and Rick's little 'conversation'. He thought, of all people, they would be the ones who would at least be on talking terms. They fought their way out of jail together, but maybe it was because their personalities were so similiar.

Instead, he had paid partial attention to the conversation between Farrah and Val, wanting to interject that the woman was in no shape to be taking a mission like this. Shrugging off your injuries to go back into the fire was only a viable option when the enemy was on your doorstep, and since that was not the case, she was simply being foolish. After all the talking was done, and Farrah had disappeared below decks, Nico stopped for a second to talk to Val. "I don't want to seem like I'm trying to undermine your orders captain, but that woman is in no shape to fight. If she were to go out into that city, she is more likely to injure herself more, and in a more selfish sight, slow us down." Nico shook his head at the idea. "These are only my thoughts, and I am trained in field medical aid, but that only goes so far. I'll go with whatever you think is best ma'am." With that, Sheperd gave a polite nod of his head, and journeyed below decks to his bunk. With a quick prayer, and putting his gear off to the side, Nico rested his head for the trip ahead of them.

The almost silent creaking of the ship easily put Nico at ease, until the sudden shift in movement and bumps from landing jolted Nico awake. Instantly he was grabbing his gear and shaking off the last remnants of sleep. He didn't want to be late to start, that was often a bad omen for things to go wrong. Luckily, as he reached the deck, he saw that everyone was only just getting their stuff and heading off the ship. Nico had tucked the pistol into a makeshift holster that had been used to carry a bottle of water, and was not fond of carrying the weapon with him, but didn't want to go out there completely unarmed either. He wouldn't, and couldn't, kill, but he could scare off.

Nico turned, and watched as Daniel inspected his pistol, gave it a few twirls, and returned it to his spot. The Sheperd remembered a time when he could a lot more than just that simple trick, but instead, turned his head back towards the group and looked around the stadium. It wasn't exactly a good spot to be, seeing as they were at the bottom and anyone coming in would be at the top. Rick smiling and saying he had a way out was welcome news, and Nico was glad to get right too it. "Then I highly suggest we get moving. The Raiders would have noticed a ship landing, and this isn't exactly the most defendable position available." With that, Nico made sure everything was secured, and waited for everyone to start moving out.
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Re: The Fifth Age IC

Post by Squall Reyes on Sun Feb 20, 2011 1:17 pm

Co post by Squall and Digimuse.

Rick made his way quickly over to the captain, who seemed to catch the excitement bug that had bit him. She was quick to pull out the map they had looked at the day before, and quickly they put it up against the ship. As Rick approached he turned for a moment and took in his surroundings. He heard the others speaking, but ignored them all. Except the Shepard who had a very legitimate reason to be worried and get away from the area quickly. But Rick passed him with hardly a look back, "We are at least 2 miles away from the downtown area. Even if they send scouts to investigate we have some times to leave the area." As Rick got to the map he pointed to the gray lines without names. "This...some kind of old concrete river system. Completely drained. We can walk through this and if we follow..." He said as he ran his finger along the line. "We will end up less than a block away from our destination." Rick said with a smile to the captain.

Once landed, Valeria wasted no time. She gathered her over-sized leather messenger bag, strapped on her sword belt, grabbed a carbine and headed land-side. No sooner had their feet hit the broken old pavement, but the Scavenger took off into the ruins of the old sports arena. She would have gone after him, but she had to round up the volunteers to ensure they were really ready for this trip into the maze. She particularly watched the girl, Farrah, to ensure she’d recovered enough. If she went down, she could endanger all their lives. A short while later, Rick returned shouting that he’d found a way to reach the library they had to reach.

Valeria bent over the map to follow the route Rick was proposing. It looked viable, but in the back of her mind, she shuddered at the thought of being caught at the bottom of the artificial canyon. They’d have to move quickly and keep a wary eye out. “Alright.” She acquiesced. “You lead the way,” She looked up, considering. “Farrah!” She called out. “You’re rear look out. Make sure no one straggles. You know the risks of being caught by the raiders.” She began to move, calling as she went, “Janus, Shepherd, Daniel. Spread out a little and keep your eyes open and don’t get far from the group.” She paused, “Anyone that falls behind will be left.” She stated ominously.

She followed Rick as he led the way toward the old river system. It was far wider than she’d have thought and the steeply sloped sides meant that once at the bottom, they wouldn’t be able to get out very easily. It was as bad as she’d feared. The only thing that alleviated her niggling fears was the sheer number of abandoned and burned out vehicles scattered all along the way that could provide some cover and the thick layers of dirt that covered everything which meant no one used this route on a regular basis.

Rick stopped for a moment at the bottom of the concrete river. Looking though the area he felt a bit more confident and relieved that there were no signs of it being used by the raiders. Even with the reassurance however, they moved cautiously and a bit too slow for Rick's liking. But this was the trade-off of a group instead of going solo. You lose speed, but he hoped he could at least keep the stealth needed to get to the building without incident.

The trip to the edge of downtown was without incident. However Rick was pretty sure everyone's heart rate had increased as the moved into the shadows of the downtown area. The sounds of crumbling concrete and the groaning of strained steel was given even more volume in the now much more narrow dry bed. Rick however felt much more comfortable in this environment, the noises of decaying building were masking the sounds of their steps. As long as no one does something stupid we should be able to get through all this. Thought Rick.

He froze, however, as they came across several circular openings, the rainwater from the drains that would have emptied from the city into the river. However, there had been little rain in this part of the country thanks to the abrupt weather change because of the nuclear winter. The almost totally devoid of live concrete told him that. Not even a bit weed was around. However more importantly there could be Raiders at these entrances.

Rick held up a fist as a sign for everyone to stay right where they were. He moved slowly to one side of the wall and approached the potential landmines. He froze as he heard the familiar rattling of weapons and chatter of immoral deeds. The raiders were indeed keeping watch over this area. Rick continued to move however because he needed to know which side they were. They had lucked out. The raiders were camped only along the right entrances.

Rick slowly made his way back to the group who looked perhaps more tense than he was. He did not speak until he was within whispering distance. "Raiders on the right side of the pipes. We could slip past if we crawl, the pipes themselves are a few feet from the ground. We could slide right under. Or we can take our chances, get out of here and chance the streets. 5 long...long blocks." His eyes looked over the group till they fell on the captain. "What do you think this group can handle?"

Valeria didn’t look at the others before answering Rick. “This is the shortest and the safest way to go. We’ll crawl under. I don’t want it to become a running firefight.” That said, they all slipped beneath the entrance of the pipes, holding their breath until they’d all gotten past. A small mew of distaste marred Valeria’s face as she brushed the dust from her scarlet waist coat. “Hate this part.” She muttered under her breath.

Rick took up point once more and led them rapidly the remaining 4 blocks before they scrambled up the steep concrete incline to emerge from the old river bed. Their first view of the ruined city was awe-inspiring and frightening all at the same time. Have tumbled, half burned buildings lined spread out as far as the eye could see. Almost all of the old wooden structures had burned and turned to ash in the initial attack, the mortar and brick buildings had mostly collapsed in the subsequent earth quakes and years of neglect. Only the more modern buildings or those retro-fitted to withstand earthquakes in the late 20th century seemed to have survived. But even they looked to be deteriorating. The glass in the office buildings had long since shattered, masonry facings had peeled away and littered the streets with broken concrete or stone. The tallest buildings swayed drunkenly in the wind, the structural steel within them stressed to their limit trying to keep the buildings upright.

The party picked their way toward a five story stone building with a central tower rising an additional 5 stories. It was built on what must once have been a lovely manicured tiered dais with trees and flower beds surrounding it. The façade was still mostly intact, showing the entrance flanked by the broken busts of a pair of long forgotten men and topped with the ancient frieze of men on horses. As they approached, Valeria took them aside and laid out the pseudo plan. “Farrah, I need you to go ahead and scout the place out. Make sure there’s nothing unfriendly we need to worry about,”

She let her eyes flick to Daniel and sighed. “I think we’re going to test your bullshit. You’ll be handling any ‘negotiations’.
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Re: The Fifth Age IC

Post by Crazy Hobo on Wed Feb 23, 2011 12:39 am

"Right, captain. Can I kill anyone I find?" Farrah asked, fondly touching her combat knife.

"Only if they kill you first." Valeria snorted, quirking an eyebrow at the question. Farrah nearly sighed, but instead she calmly walked across the broken facade, taking in every destroyed piece of stone and every dead bush as she neared the library. After a brief look at the front of the library, Farrah located a long broken window that contained what appeared to be some sort of side office for the librarian. She slipped through quite quickly, yet at the same time her entrance was completely silent. Her feet almost glided across the ruined floor, skillfully navigating through the now crumbling office. Farrah was practically at home infiltrating a possibly hostile building. She nearly looked relaxed as she crossed the empty room, but at second glace her every movement was calculated and her entire body was poised to react to the slightest provocation. Farrah dropped into a crouch as she heard mumbling waft into the office from the lobby. Moving with even more care, Farrah moved to the empty doorway that led into the lobby. She quickly darted her head out and back into the door frame, catching as much as she could with the incredibly short glance. Others would have seen practically nothing from the look, but Farrah's trained eyes caught quite a bit. The lobby was in shambles, just like the office, a counter making a square around the exit for the office, no doubt some kind of area for people to check out their books upon leaving the library. Additionally, Farrah caught sight of a lone man, old looking, on the other side of the entrance to the library. Farrah couldn't quite tell what he was doing from the one glance, but he was clearly entranced by the wall.

Ducking low, Farrah slipped into the main lobby, making sure to keep below the top of the counter. The man had seemed distracted, but there was never any telling. Much better to remain completely hidden than allow even a bit of your body to be shown to the enemy. Farrah found a square hole that cut through the counter with only a thin piece of wood left at the top, probably the way the librarian would enter and exit, slipping her body smoothly into the gap. Moving with utmost care, Farrah slowly peaked a fraction of her face past the outside of the counter, allowing her left eye to see into the main lobby. From her vantage point, Farrah took a moment to observe the man on the other side of the lobby. He was in fact old, a decrepit old thing to be more exact. The man was practically skeletal with only tufts of white hair on the sides of his head, puffed out over the ears. The clothes definitely matched the man. He wore some kind of tattered robe, almost religious in it's look, but it was hard to really tell. He also had a set of goggles on his head, but that was all irrelevant compared to the shotgun strapped to his back.

I can cover the space between us quickly. He shouldn't be able to hear me unt- No, Valeria just wants a report. 'Sides, he could be friendly enough. Farrah thought to herself. Until that moment, she hadn't bothered to really see what he was doing, but now she readily observed. There were old, tattered mosaics on the walls, clearly some sort of aesthetic flare from the old world. To Farrah the whole idea of art of that kind was stupid, but this man seemed to be enthralled by it. He was even going to a point where he was attempting to restore the old artwork. Something was wrong, though. The things he drew on the walls didn't match the faded mosaics. There were dozens of strange eyeballs painted and mathematical formulas painted along the walls. Clearly this man was crazy, but sometimes crazies were the most alert kind of people, and Farrah decided to test that theory.

She plucked a small pebble from under her and flicked it out into the lobby, the pebble making a small sound as it rolled across the floor. The old man instantly stopped and looked towards the sound, Farrah moving her exposed eye back into her hiding spot. Someone's on high alert. At this point, Farrah decided that she had seen all that she needed. This man was in no way a raider, and he did not seem to be in a group. If there were raiders in the library they were giving this man a wide birth, which would be an unlikely decision for a group of raiders. Thus, Farrah concluded that he was alone in the library, although he was not letting his guard down for an instant. Smart. Farrah was about to slip out of the library when something made the hair on her neck stand on end. Never a good sign. Farrah glanced around the parts of the lobby within her line of sight, and opened her ears to ambient sound, but saw nor heard anything other than the old man. It genuinely disturbed Farrah. She didn't like that feeling of being watched. She was the watcher, not the one being watched. Farrah quickly exited the library. She didn't like the feeling that came over her, even if it was probably nothing. She walked towards the group, showing no signs of the strange feeling she felt in the library.

"There's one man in the main lobby. Old. Carrying a shotgun, and drawing shit on the walls. Definitely not a raider. He's alone too. Any raiders in that building would have already tried to kill him. He's alter though. Reacts to the smallest sounds. What do you say we do?" Farrah turned her head over to Val, tilting it slightly to get a response.

Val chewed her lower lip a moment, thinking. "Well, I'd rather not start a fire fight. I don't want to announce our presence if I can avoid it." A slow smile builds on her face. "Let's knock on the front door and see if we'll get an invite inside." Her brown eyes slip to Daniel. "Up to you to make sure he talks rather than shoots. Up for it?"

"Wait. There was something else. He is alone, but I felt something else in there. It didn't feel right. I can't describe what it is, but it we are going to knock we best be ready for something other than the old man." This was probably the first time the group noted any emotion from Farrah. Something truly disturbed her abut that library even if all signs pointed to the man being alone.

Val paused, holding her hair out of her eyes in the strong breeze. She studied Farrah's features for a long minute before nodding. "Fair enough. I'd trust your instincts in something like this." She looked around at the others, "Keep your eyes out. Daniel and I will go have a chat. " The Airship Captain looked back to Farrah, "Hang back and make sure we have a way out a gain, alright?"

"Yes, captain." Farrah instantly turned away from the library, eyes scanning the cityscape in front of her for every possible point of attack and every location for an ambush. Almost without knowing, Farrah slipped her smg from it's holster and held it in front of her. If anything was going to come for them, Farrah would see it coming and shoot first and ask questions later.
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Re: The Fifth Age IC

Post by quakernuts on Thu Mar 03, 2011 9:55 pm

Daniel

Daniel had done little else other than listen to everyone else as they set their plans in motion. Ricky boy would be leading the group, while the injured chick would be taking the rear. Val gave some instructions to the rest of the group, including him, but all he did was shrug. First off, he wasn't under her command technically, and second, what she asked was only common sense. Don't stand close together, or one mine or rocket will put you all out of your misery. Although the whole falling behind part didn't sit well with Daniel, and made sure to stick with the group as closely as safety would allow. He couldn't exactly get the biggest score of his life if he was left behind in a crumbling L.A.

So they started their adventure by travelling through an abandoned sewer system. Daniel made a few unpleasant faces as he wandered through the crap infested area. "You always take us to the nicest places Ricky Boy." Was all he said during the trip, preferring to be sort of in the background should he need to eavesdrop on something. As they neared the end of the sewer though, Daniel could hear just on the outside of the exit the groaning and straining of the metal from the buildings that were so eager to collapse. The sound wasn't deafening, but there was no way to ignore it. Maybe that was a good thing, any raiders wouldn't be able to hear them coming unless they started shooting.

Suddenly Rick slid to the side, and Daniel froze. It wasn't because he was scared, but he knew that if Rick was doing that, something dangerous had to be close by. He quietly came back, and labelled the situation to everyone, leaving the decision up to the Captain. "Why don't we just invite them in for supper? I'm sure their cooking would be absolutely fantastic, and hospitality even better." A couple of people looked at him strange, but it was the Sheperd actually said something.

"Maybe you should hold your tongue while we try to avoid detection Daniel." Daniel gave the man a once over, then smiled.

"Your position as a Sheperd doesn't hold any relevance to me old man. In the end, you chose the wrong profession in a world filled with murderers and thieves."

"I would think that I chose the perfect one for just such a world." Daniel gave a small laugh, but stopped talking after that. He was still betting that the Sheperd would be the first to die on this trip, and if it weren't for the fact that the man was within earshot, he would have called out a bet to everyone. So, instead of sneaking around the raiders and going the probably safer route, they decided to sneak underneath the pipes that would keep them from their vision. Daniel's face was twisted into disgust as he forced himself underneath the pipes into a crawling position. He didn't say anything about it though, the raiders were close enough to hear them if they whispered now. Instead, he simply crawled until they were far away from them before he said anything.

"Oh beautiful. Now my vest has went and gotten all dirty. Shall I send the cleaning bill to you Ricky Boy?" He flashed his insincere smile once more, and followed with the others for the remaining blocks until they finally reached the exit of the sewers. Daniel had to cover his eyes from the sun for a moment until they re-adjusted to the light, and looked at the city. Many probably found the city awe-inspiring, but Daniel looked upon it with cold indifference. He had been to other 'wasted' cities, and they all looked the same. Broken, destroyed, and holding more personality than when they were alive. "Well are we going to gawk at the city all day, or are we going to move?" Daniel asked everyone who had stopped to stare at the city. Rick started moving, and Daniel fell right in behind him.

It wasn't long before they found the building that was their target, and they all huddled up outside it's boundaries. Val took them all aside, and laid out a few things for everyone there. She ordered Farrah to scout the place out, who asked if she could kill anyone she found. Daniel smiled at this, finally realizing that had somebody who was used to the more rough and tough end of life in the wasteland. Val responded with a smartass comment, something Daniel would have done had he been in the position. Farrah then took off quickly, and entered the building. Val's eyes came to rest upon him.

"I think we're going to test your bullshit. You'll be handling any 'negotiations'."

"Oh joy, should I go sharpen my tongue captain?" Daniel simply flashed a smile once more, to the eye rolling pleasure of the captain herself. It wasn't long before Farrah came back into view once more. She laid out what she saw and what she felt about the place. Daniel simply nodded at the feeling part, considering he was a man who based almost everything on the way his gut was churning. Val suggested for her and Daniel to walk in, making it clear that Daniel's job was for a 'peaceful' negotiation. Daniel smiled, and nodded at the captain.

"Oh don't worry beautiful. No one can resist the Daniel charm once I turn it on." He could pretty much read the exasperation on face, but that had been the truth. How did they think he had gotten by in life. He was a con man, and the power of speech was something not to be taken lightly. She would see a different man once they entered the building, but Daniel was not one to go lightly into any situation. As he passed by Rick, he noticed a couple of grenades hanging off his belt. With barely any movement at all, Daniel managed to grab two on his casual walk by, and slid them into his vest before anyone noticed. He wanted a 'get outta jail free' card, and that was his best chance.

Without any further words or actions, Val and Daniel walked to the front of the Library. Daniel wasn't too sure if the man inside would shoot them on sight or not. He was an old man, by Farrah's report, so it wouldn't be hard to overpower him. However, a gun in experienced hands was deadly to anyone and everything around it. Daniel decided to play it safe, cleared his throats, and gave three hearty knocks on the front door. "Just remember, we want a clean copy Daniel." Val said as he finished knocking.

"Thanks captain, I forgot what I was supposed to be doing in the twenty steps it took us to get here." They waited there for a moment, and Daniel was just about to simply open the door, when the familiar click of a handle being turned got his attention. "Ah, it seems the housekeeper is..." A shotgun barrel poked out and planted itself right in front of Daniel's face. "In..." There was a tense moment while Daniel simply stared down the barrel, wondering if his life was going to end right at this very moment. To his credit, he didn't show that much fear, although his eyes constantly trained on the very end of the weapon betrayed much of his stature.

"Halt, who goes there?" There was an accent to his voice, not one that Daniel had heard before, but it sounded almost slightly forced. It was like he was used to using it, but it was not his given tongue. Daniel looked over at Val for a second, before putting on a very sincere smile towards the shotgun.

"Ummm...hello there sir. My name is Daniel, and this right here is my...wife, Valeria. We're what a lot of people would like to call hope hunters, but what we really seek is the knowledge that was lost to us during the war." Daniel saw the gun waver for a second before it steadied himself. He was getting through to the man. "We came here, to this library, to see if any relics survived that could possibly be used to not only survive every day encounters among the wasteland, but hopefully even help us rebuild what was once a great race." Daniel could tell there was a little more needed to encourage the man to let them in, and he grabbed the magazine away from Val and held it in front of the door. "More specifically, this lead us here. We believe this library would hold a clean copy, untouched and preserved. Please sir, we've travelled long and hard here, we only wish to enter, and possibly learn a great deal while we are here." Daniel's voice sounded completely sincere, a total opposite of what it was normally, and one could easily tell he was doing what he did best.

The shotgun stayed for a moment, but lowered and the door opened fully to reveal a withered old man in what looked like monk robes. Goggles sat upon his head, and white tufts of hair fluffed out on the sides of his head. His smile was inviting, if somewhat giving the impression of insanity. His eyes sparkled with the same kind of feeling. The man held the shotgun at the side, but the tension in his arm revealed he was still ready to raise it. Daniel smiled once more at the man. "Ah, so another group of knowledge seekers has happened the door to my abode. Come come, we must get you and your followers inside before the minions of devils find your scent and descend upon us on with unholy fire."

Val mumbled "Bless you, Brother." as he hobbled away, leaving them alone for the moment. As soon as she was sure that the man had gone inside, she gave a low whistle. "Gonna have to tread lightly, aren't we?" Daniel simply smiled, this one his over confident one.

"Dear, you are in my comfort zone. Come on." Daniel and Val made their way inside, and Daniel was immediately taken back by the paintings and markings on the walls. They were discomforting, but he let none of that show as the old man used the shotgun as a walking stick, held out in front of him with both hands on the barrel of the weapon.

"Try to keep him on target without getting itchy to start shooting. We need that magazine." Val whispered to Daniel as they got closer. He didn't have time for a snappy remark, and nodded once to her. His sincere smile returned as the man cocked a head at them.

"Enjoy, and bask in the nature of my Library. Filled with the words and titles of old, and stories that hold much importance to mind and soul. You are blessed for stepping into such a place, let it show in your stature!" Daniel didn't really know what he meant, but he played the part of simply being in awe of the place as he walked in. It wasn't that hard with all the writings and pictures drawn everywhere. Once they were close enough, the old man spoke once more. "So what was it that you wayfarers travelled for again? A magazine was it?" Daniel tapped Val's arm, having given it back to her on the trek inside. She held it up, and Daniel spoke up once more.

"Yes, this one to be exact. There are some pages within this magazine that are missing, and would be incredibly valuable to us. We were hoping we could find another copy here, and hopefully be on our way in search of another bank of knowledge." the man walked closer, his eyes peering over the magazine. He held out to touch it, almost revering it, but Val pulled it away slightly.

"I apologize, but you understand that, as a fellow knowledge seeker, this magazine is held under very high regards." Daniel spoke, looking over the man as his arm retreated back onto the shotgun.

'Oh of course, of course, of course! I might have just such a magazine within the vaults here. If you will excuse me, I must go searching for the such a magazine deep within the confines of knowledge." The old man hobbled away, and Daniel looked around. Farrah had mentioned a strange feeling, and now Daniel got it as well. Before he could do anything though, Val shouted after the man.

"We have more people waiting outside for us. Would you mind if they joined us inside? It's dangerous Raider country out there." The old man stopped for a second, then turned back and smiled.

"I will not refuse any other followers of the pages. Invite them into my home, and let them bask in the glory of such a holy and wonderful place." With that, he continued his trek until he was out of sight. Val went back to the door while Daniel checked every nook and cranny the place had. Whatever was out there was hiding very well, but he knew it was there. He had enough guns trained on him to know the feeling, and this one just wasn't sitting right.

Only time would tell if this old man was telling the truth or not. For both their sakes, Daniel hoped he was.
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Re: The Fifth Age IC

Post by Loki on Wed Mar 09, 2011 8:18 pm

With his body abuzz with excitement over his first mission into the wastes, Janus gathered his gear. Over his duster was his rucksack packed with necessities and fastened tight to avoid anything inside from rattling around. Over that he slung his carbine affectionately named his Perforator. Under his long jacket at his hip rested Ol' Reliable in its locking holster and at his lower back, just under where the pack pressed against him, hid his one-handed shotgun Falchette. Sure, he was going in armed to the teeth, but it was raider country and he wanted all of his options despite going in under the pretense of being a no-fire mission. Better to have it and not need it than to desperately need it and not have it.

Once given his place in file, Janus assumed his position as they traveled deep into the ruined city. As much as he wished to take in the sights of the collapsing surroundings, he remained alert for movement or sounds among the dying buildings. After military crawling under the occupied pipes, they finished the rest of the trek to their destination. He couldn't help but let out a muffled laugh with Valeria's condition to Farrah's request to kill without restraint. When she finally came back reporting a contact, Janus couldn't help but become intrigued at the description. Bold loner of an old man in the middle of Raiderton, USA. I would love to hear the tales of this guy.

When the captain and the smooth talker entered, Janus stepped into one of the nooks on the building's exterior. He felt uncomfortable standing in the open, especially with the mention of Farrah's unease about the situation. Minutes passed as the city groaned all around them, the lack of sudden noises both welcome and unsettling. Janus' hand rested casually on his revolver as he waiting for the captain to return with news of her findings.
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Re: The Fifth Age IC

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