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@AnneLynch You're all good to post Devon over in the Characters tab and post in the IC when ready.
Khaliya, The Swordwind

December 3rd, 2286 - 16:30
Fleetwood Subway Station

Such a minor difference it seemed to be walking among what the Brotherhood would have called amateurs, the soft chatter over the radio provided a slight distraction from her thoughts of the journey ahead. Up ahead of them and staying on point, she let it be a reminder of those she was leading into a literal hell, and that she would need to protect over the course of their mission. It wasn't a bad distraction in that respect, and a smile came to her as she listened in on the difficulties involved by some who were not quite used to such things.

"The suits are mostly intact and pre-war from the looks of things, though not built for comfort." Khaliya called back, not even glancing behind her to one of the medics who was having a tougher time than most with her suit. "When we make camp I'll see if mine might fit you a little better. Since we're about the same height and all."

A little bit of help would go a long way she figured, and might dispel some of the hard feelings more than a few in the group had towards her and Jeremiah. Of him there was precious little, but she knew he was in the back and keeping watch, which was all she needed for now. First and foremost was figuring out where to go, and how long they needed to take the subway tunnels. Luckily Marvin was on point there and provided the map, showing her the marked areas on the island and immediately she had an intended route.

"Looks like about a mile or so until the first station exit, and another two miles to the more ideal station." At a decent pace they could make it within the hour, but there was no predicting the dangers above or below, especially once they passed the demarcation line that was the wall. More than that, again was the point of most of the group being in hazmat suits, and those were not conducive to extended physical exertion in the slightest. She had concerns to begin with over how they would hold up if the group needed to move in a hurry, but that was what a healthy supply of rad-x, rad-away and patch kits were for.

Behind the metal faceplate of her armor her expression was unknowable to the ghoul pathfinder, but she furrowed her brow deep in thought, taking the map for a moment to study it. "We should actually be coming up on…"

Khaliya went silent as a mechanical hum was just barely within their range of hearing, a sound that was distinct from her power armor's soft whine and hiss of hydraulics. This one was more distinctly mechanical, akin to gears shifting and grinding against each other in the distance, but also as if being heard underwater. The more she focused on the sound, the more disorientating it became, as if it was something that wasn't supposed to be heard. A wrongness about it set her teeth on edge, and she had to quickly adjust the filters on her armor to screen it out.

"It's the wall. The barrier that keeps everything in the Necropolis." She said at last, handing the map back to Marvin as she began moving again, unaware that she had stopped dead in her tracks for a good moment. "Let's get past it as fast as we can and get to the station, it would be best not to dwell beneath it."

@Dread @Polaris North
Khaliya, The Swordwind

December 3rd, 2286
Fleetwood Subway Station

@Polaris North

Readouts scrawled across the right-hand side of the display, the dim purple tint showing all the important bits of information necessary for continued survival. A soft click engaged the seal of her helmet and the suit at the bottom right lit in green to show a hard seal. Khaliya flexed the fingers of each gauntlet for a moment as she stood in front of the group, testing their responsiveness and quietly going over a full-systems check in her head. Radiation was in the green for now, tolerable but at the upper limits. Armor showed minimal damage, only a few places at less than full integrity. That was expected as getting to New York had not been as uneventful as she would have liked. Still, everything looked good to go, and with her pistols mag-locked to the waist of her power armor, her sword at her hip and the spear holstered next to the pack on her back, there was only the group to be concerned with.

They moved out to something close to what she asked for, though whether it was because she had given the order or they thought it the best idea she couldn't tell, not now at least. At least they know how to carry themselves well enough, even the non-combatants. It was more ideal than any squad-leader could have asked for considering the circumstances, and she wasn't complaining in the least. Not that any of them would consider her squad-leader. Jeremiah took up position behind the group with his laser rifle, to all of them appearing much the same as he did when the two of them first entered the subway, but she knew better. His footing was stiff and even with the helmet on she could tell he was looking past her, not at her. That troubled her, not his disdain for possible enemies in the group but that he seemed concerned regarding her.

Khaliya filed it away, resolving to speak to him later when they made camp inside the city at the first checkpoint. For now, they needed to move while there would still be daylight above ground. She accessed the radio inside her helmet, searching nearby open channels and found the one she was looking for, speaking softly to the entire group.

"Khaliya to group, we're moving out. As I'm sure you've noticed since I'm speaking to all of you directly, your suits have a built-in short-band radio. Should be able to find the controls at the neck of your helmets, but for the sake of easy communication I would recommend leaving it on open channel."

Without another word she moved forward, the headlamp for her armor lighting up the tunnel before them and showing the ruined subway. Here the paint had crumbled from the concrete walls exposing the cracked grey surface underneath, but it held steady despite two-hundred years of neglect and the multiple impacts of the Great War. It was something she was thankful for, not just that it afforded them a safer passage into the Necropolis, but that provided a more direct route to their objective. Marvin had the map given to them with the suits, so she spoke to him first, half-turning in her stride.

"The subway stations should be marked on the map, which one gets us as close to the Consulate as possible? Avoiding the surface for as long as possible would be ideal, as that means having to deal with what's up there less than we have to."
I have an obligation that might take me away from the internet for two weeks. I cant commit to anything new until I know what the situation will be.

So I'm going to be quite delayed before joining.

That's all good, I appreciate you popping in and letting me know.
@Apocalypse@Thecrash20@cunfuzzler How you guys doing on posts? We're on the move into the subway tunnels with our first encounter fairly imminent, so would just like to know where you guys are at in case you've got a post in the works.

@Oskar DiLondra@Scallop@Seltak@ShwiggityShwah@Roughdragon1 How about you guys? There's still time to app in if you were interested, and can always fit you in even after we leave the subway station.

Also, another reminder that if you're not on the Discord server that I am most easily reachable there, and generally respond much faster than here on the forums. Even if I do refresh this page multiple times a day :v
Khaliya, The Swordwind

December 3rd, 2286
Fleetwood Subway Station

If she had been expecting an overwhelming positive response to her attempt to spur the group on and towards their objective, then she would have been foolish indeed. Khaliya knew full well that with how divided the group was and how little they seemed to care for the Brotherhood as a whole, that she would be lucky to get even one on her side, but she wasn't aiming for that. She did exactly as she intended, to get enough of them to pay attention and understand that this wasn't just a series of individuals. They were a group whether they liked it or not, and if they didn't then they could turn back now and there were no hard feelings.

Sure enough there was talk amongst them, and it wasn't just her who had heard the talk of the Enclave from one in particular. Jeremiah was on edge already from her prior comments, and now his eyes narrowed towards Monika and Bailey. On the move, there was determination set in his eyes until Khaliya pushed past him. Last thing she wanted was to ruin all that talk she had just given to the group with her husband making war among them, and it took just one firm look to communicate exactly that to him. It didn't matter if one or the other was secretly Enclave, they had a common goal in this and she bore down on Jeremiah off to the side.

"What happened to keeping it diplomatic?" She still watched the others getting the supplies of course, forming up a plan of action as she counseled her husband. Not even a moment before he had warned her off starting a fight with the Talon mercs, when in truth she was just having a little fun getting a jab in at their expense. Yet now, when the Enclave comes up in idle chat between two others, he bristles and gets ready for battle.

"They are here for a reason, Jeremiah. We need to work together on this. From the moment we walked down those steps into the subway, our loyalties changed to keeping this group together and ensuring this mission succeeded. Do you remember?" Only a slight nod came from the larger man, arms crossed as he looked down at her and took heed of her words. Indeed, on the way there she had explained quite clearly the mission they were on as given to her by the Pariah and the importance of each member of this team. "Everyone here has a purpose."

"Even if-" There wasn't even time for him to get the rest of the thought out as she cut him off. "You don't know that, and I don't know that. We can't go after people based only on suspicions and assumptions, nor will we try to find out. The Necropolis is dangerous enough without having to watch our backs. Now, get back in your armor and get ready to move out."

Though it was clear at least from her perspective and anyone who might have listened in that the conversation was over, there was no denying the distinct concern on Jeremiah's face as he watched her walk away. Something was bothering him about the mission, not just the idea of working with possible enemy forces or going into hostile territory with them at his back, but something else. While the others readily dismissed her attempt at a pep-talk to get them moving, he had listened carefully and was not entirely enthused by her choice of words. It was something to bring up later though, as already she was getting ready to move on.

In full power armor she was at least able to stare down at people, but she avoided that for the moment as she gathered a spare suit for herself and Jeremiah, moving just ahead of the ghoul to address those ready to move out.

"Get your gear and get ready to move. I'll take point, Jeremiah will cover our six. Support personnel and non-combatants keep to the center of formation. Talon Company form up just ahead of them to provide fire-support, and you two…" Here she pointed to Alexis and Marvin, both the long-range specialists in their group. "You're with them on watch. We don't know what will be lurking in the buildings, so let's keep scopes on the high-ground and ahead of us at all times. Everyone else, spread out and stay alert."
Going to work on my next follow-up post for a bit tonight and tomorrow, as well as continue on the NPCs section of the character's tab. Just in case anyone missed it, that is a thing now. Just three NPCs for now, with the Pariah's important information pending as I consolidate things.
Fallout: Into the Storm

The party as it stands

Khaliya Bertrand - The Swordwind
Marvin Hiller - Spectre
Alexis Darksong - The Mask
Monika Weiss - N/A
Bailey De Lara - Ares 4-1-H
John Delaware - Field Agent Lambda
Frankie Cabrera - Doc
Jerry Rig - Black Fingers
Rylan Cabot - Paladin
Emil Sauer - Emil

Important NPCs

Khaliya, The Swordwind

December 3rd, 2286
Fleetwood Subway Station

Interacting with - @Apocalypse

Just the handler, how convenient. Keeping the thought to herself as well as the smirk to accompany it, she played off the deflection with the shift in conversation and just filed it away. She knew just as any other paladin in the Brotherhood that there were certain organizations out there with an interest in their activities. Foremost among them were the Enclave, but with their crushing defeat on the East Coast and most of their number in the wind they were not the threat they once were. Rumor persisted of another group up a little more north with the same technological advantage, but operating under far more secrecy. Khaliya cared little for such rumors until hard evidence could be gained, but Maxson had fell into them with an eagerness that bordered on obsession.

There was some credence to such things though, as she picked up on that slight mistep from Alexis. Not to mention that her eyes were sharp enough to notice the difference between the all too perfect parts of the rifle that were far from pre-war standard. It was too clean, too well put together, and just from that offered look she could tell that wherever Alexis had acquired the parts that such things were just the tip of a technological iceberg. Of course she hid it well with a tempered enthusiasm, accepting the rifle and turning it over a moment to get a better look, then shouldering it briefly. The weapon fit well into her shoulder, resting easy and clearly adjusted for a long range duty.

"It's well put together, a fine weapon." Khaliya said at last, returning the rifle and casually resting back against the chest of her power-armor. The slight against her own plasma weapons very nearly got her to bite, but she pushed it down and just smiled back at her. "The pistols were once rifles to be honest, and belonged to my parents. Scribes wanted to take them and keep asking about them, but due to my actions in the big skirmish in the Capitol they had to be less insistent about it. That and it helps to flex a little muscle from time to time."

Her expression there made it clear that it wasn't just a metaphor, flexing her right arm briefly and chuckling back at the woman. It helped her to keep from pushing a little too much on her, to try and understand who or what she was. Too many things struck out at her, the small hints dropped here and there, the rather abrupt shift when she seemed about to say something she shouldn't, and just the way she handled herself. She could tell that The Mask was on the older side, and in the wasteland few people lived to their later years without particular skills or luck. Khaliya knew better than to assume luck.

The brief pause in conversation allowed her eyes to wander from her comrade, glancing over the administrative booth and seeing the caretakers engaged in their own over a short-band radio. Curious, perhaps something has developed… That thought went on hold as the older man of the pair set down the receiver and started heading out to address the group. In one hand was a poster with hastily scrawled writing on the back, a set of notes it seemed. Several of those gathered near the rails had noticed the motion and turned their attention to the old man, others following suit.

Before long most of those in the tunnel were looking over at the caretaker as he took out a set of reading glasses and began to address the group. Khaliya motioned to Jeremiah off to the side and Alexis before her as well, feeling that perhaps this was a message from their benefactor.

"Thank you adventurers." He spoke with a soft and gravely tone, age and radiation wearing down on him over the years. "I have here a message from the one who gathered you all here. The Pariah is pleased to see that everyone who received the invitation is present, as well as a few others who were allowed to come along. Unfortunately, information was recently acquired that demanded their presence deeper within the Necropolis urgently. You will each find a suit proofed against the radiation inside the city, patches for when damage is incurred and geiger counters to continually monitor levels. A map has also been provided, and though it is an Old World copy, the Pariah has marked several places of interest as well as what he believes may be inside."

A momentary pause was left there as the other caretaker came out with a key to unlock a storage trunk next to the administrative area. Opening it was the supplies just as promised, enough suits for everyone in the group including those who were otherwise proof to elevated radiation.

"Your first objective is what he believes to be the remains of what was called the 'USSR Consulate' before the Great War. Supposedly another nation had people staffed there and several vaults below. The Pariah feels that they would have survived assuming the building remains standing, and has a few specific items that he would like salvaged. First and foremost, his interest lies in any data storage devices, paper documents and blueprints that may be stored in the vaults." Such was not what most were expecting, though in fairness the Pariah had never specified exactly what they were after when recruiting. Mere data had never been too important to the average wastelander, only the larger and more advanced groups had sought it out actively.

"Your patron has advised a route, but it will take a day or so to get there on foot with the hazards in the city." It seemed that was it, the caretaker nodding slowly and rolling the paper back up as he began to head back towards the administrative area. Some grumbling among a few of the mercenaries gave him pause, glancing over the group as the leader of the Talon Company trio stood up to direct her frustration at him. "You serious? He wants us to go digging around in some old building deep in one of the most dangerous zones on the East Coast, for some useless papers? The fuck?" It was a bit on the hostile side, and some like Khaliya got a bit defensive as it seemed a fight was poised to break out, but a nod here and there showed that it was not an uncommon sentiment. Instead, she decided to take the diplomatic approach.

"Sounds like a walk in the radioactive park to me, but if it's a little too much for you Prism, then you're welcome to go back to trying to salvage what you can out of what remains of Talon Company." An undisguised barb at the mercenary captain's pride, Khaliya faced her with one hand on her hip and plasma pistol there within reach. "Let's be honest, not all of us are here just for the glory." A glance around the group showed some agreement, and she started walking towards the front so that she could take a good look at each person gathered in turn. "Some of us are here to get a second chance, either for ourselves or for those we hold close. A chance to be a better person, or the chance to give life to another."

Khaliya stood next to the caretaker, looking over the group carefully as she spoke in even tones. For a brief moment her eyes met Bailey's and a knowing glance passed between them as if she was telling her that she had an idea as to what she was. "A few have come here not for ourselves or our family and friends, but for all people. The chance to show everyone that we can do more than just survive. We can take back what we lost, do better than before, and rebuild. That is why I am here. Not for the glory, not for myself or my family. Not even for the Brotherhood."

A concerned look from Jeremiah held her attention for a moment, but she didn't let it stop her, standing proud before everyone as she pointed to the trunk full of gear. "I am here to show that we are no longer at the mercy of the wasteland. When we walk out of the Necropolis, we will do so with our heads held proud and declare to everyone that it is time. It is time to rebuild America, and not under a dozen different flags struggling against each other and the wastes, but under the only flag that matters."
I always find it hilarious that whenever I sit down and make out a plan to get something done by a certain time, something happens to ensure that it doesn't happen. Big storms came through my area, and the increasingly incompetent service provider lost service for a couple hours in the night. Those couple hours just so happened to be right as I was getting off work :v

So yeah, I have most of a post done, but want to fine-tune it a little bit now that I have looked over the IC again.
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