Just the handler, how convenient.
Khaliya, The SwordwindDecember 3rd, 2286
Fleetwood Subway Station
Interacting with - @Apocalypse
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."