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3 yrs ago
Current There is no such thing as overkill. There is simply 'Opening Fire' and 'Reloading'


One more semi-evolved ape on this pilot-less organic spaceship.

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He exchanged a few more pleasantries with Gloria before falling silent to watch the Anti-Meta protesters; what they lacked in numbers they more than made up for in volume…and lack of basic empathy. Scanning the crowd he tried to single out the ones likely to actually start something; the religious fundies only fought with lawyers, and the far-righters only fought if they out numbered the other side; the crowd he was watching shifted slightly and he saw the one group he’d been hoping not to see the Asshole. They didn’t generally care what the protest was about, they just wanted to start shit.

One of them seemed to be looming over a rather small girl and was raging at her. Arty could hear him, but he could guess, judging by the asshole’s beet red face and bulging neck. The guy was screaming at the girl, and raising a hand; but it wasn’t until Arty’s own hand locked around his wrist, that Arty realized he’d just stormed across the ‘no mans land’ between the two groups to intervene. The asshole’s attention snapped to Arty, his lips curled to scream something…and then he stopped. The anger in Arty’s eyes, the same flashing anger that had parted the crowd before him as he came over, was more than the bully was prepared to face.

In the movies or comic books Arty would’ve tossed off some sort of one-liner, but instead he simply slowly let out a breath he hadn’t realized he’d been holding and looked down at the rather stunned seeming girl. Christ, I’ve seen CATS bigger than her… ”C’mon, I think we better go.” As he looked at her, he finally saw the cane. No wonder she ended up over here…couldn’t see ‘em.

Using a light touch on a shoulder, he got her pointed out of the crowd, before releasing the Asshole’s wrist and generating as much intimidation as he could to clear a path for them…which was rather effective. Once clear of the crowd, he guided her to a bench about half a block away; she still seemed so stunned by everything, he didn’t feel right leaving her until he was certain she’d gotten her bearings. Getting her sat down, he sat at the other end of the bench.

”Well then…uh…well, sorry touching without asking but I wasn’t sure how else to get you pointed outta there…” Fuck man, you need to spend more time with people…you’re awkward as Hell. He couldn’t help but chuckle at himself, his social skills were pretty shit. ”My name’s Arty…how are you feeling now?” As he said his name, he almost offered his hand for a hand shake. Real smooth there idiot.

Sam gave his radio a grunt of acknowledgement as Eliza came over with a map. ”Hmm,” He let out another grunt as his eyes fixed on the insignia of her uniform. ”And here I thought you were just some merc doin’ their dirty work…if I’d ‘ve realized you were one of ‘em…I’d ‘ve done the world a favour and shot you.” The very lack of heat in his voice amplified the utter sincerity of his words.

Another woman, this one in Brotherhood gear approached, and he was turning to at least give her a minimal greeting when a Marshal came trotting up, throwing Sam a rough salute while ignoring the others. ”Marshal Smith. Last of the raiders are down, though a few may have slipped back out of town.”

Sam replied with his own salute and a nod. ”Fine. Ring the bell to let the civvies know it’s clear, then gather up as many as you can for a graves detail; I want our losses put to rest as soon as possible.” The Marshal saluted again and was about to move off when Sam raised his hand to stop him. ”Oh, and Danforth, get that idiot brother of yours to find out where the fuck our reinforcements are.” Danforth simply nodded before heading off.

He let out a long sigh, and almost reached for the inhaler of Ultra Jet in his coat pocket for a ‘pick-me-up’…but he knew that was false energy and he’d crash even harder once it wore off. Turning his attention to the new woman, he nodded. ”Marshal Smith…can’t say I’m overjoyed to see more of you lot…but hey…” He shrugged, before looking back to Finn. ”I know you’ve got some important shit to lay out, and your folks have been a help,” The thought of thanking Brotherhood or Enclave troops left an unpleasant taste in his mouth, but they were words that needed saying. ”But if you really want to do some good, I need the dead raiders buried before they start to rot and stink up the place any more, and scouts to find where this lot came from. Whoever is in charge of this ‘crew’ wasn’t here, and if they’re ballsy or mad enough to assault the town, odds are they’ll be back.”

Raising a hand he waved it towards the northwest. ”Just dump the bodies in the swamp north of here…” Sam closed his eyes for a moment and took a deep breath, swaying as he did so. ”I’d send some of my own to scout…hell, the crazy bastards would volunteer to go…but we’ve been running on chems and adrenaline for four days now…”
@Eviledd1984 There are wastelanders. My character is a pre-War ghoul clerk turned lawman. He's not a big fan of the BoS or Enclave...but they're the (slightly) lesser evils at the moment, compared to a super mutant army.

Sam fixed Finn with a glare that would break most people. “Don’t apologize to me,” He snarled. “Apologize to the families of the men and women your selfish action killed, apologize to Frank Turbot for having to watch his sister get eaten alive by a fucking Deathclaw!” When Finn tried to put a placating hand on his shoulder, Sam slapped it away.

He let Finn speak his piece, whatever his other failings were, Sam knew Finn wasn’t one to blow smoke. At the mention of ‘Enclave’, coupled with his own realization that a chunk of the forces Finn’d arrived with were also Enclave, his own pulse spiked and he nearly drew anyways. His men were tired, low on ammo and out-gunned…but he nearly committed them to combat with this new force anyways; his mood as soured even further when Finn called out the Enclave Captain and it was her.

He kept himself in check, instead fixing Finn with another withering glare. ”I’ll say this once Phineas. If any of your little tin cans or your new fascist ‘friends’ act out against the folks here, I will shoot them myself, clear?” He let out a long, and slightly aggravated sigh, swaying slightly as he did. Ghouls could go longer without rest that normal humans, but the only things keeping him on his feet at this point were adrenalin, spite and a few hits of ultra jet sometime yesterday. He was about to continue his venting against Finn, when a rapidly approaching commotion distracted him.

Two raiders were rushing towards them, though their attitude seemed much more fearful than hostile. Sam’s fatigue fogged brain was still trying to sort out what was happening, when it all came to a moot point. The strange robot/cyborg/whatever who’d been chasing the raiders caught up with them, and made rather short work of the pair in quick succession. He grunted an acknowledgement to Finn, but kept his eyes on the ‘girl’ as she requested new orders.

”Well done,” He said, ‘her’ actions had saved him expending any more ammo on those two. ”I’m still sorting shit out here, and I think these tin cans can handle the mop up, so take five.”

"Order not understood. Requesting clarification.” The blank stare that accompanied elicited another sigh. When she’d arrived with the caravan, she’d latched onto him for some reason, but only seemed to respond to formal pre-War style directions. He shook his head and let out a small ‘huff’ before trying again. ”The reinforcements will handle further location security; stand easy until further orders.”

A half-forgotten short range radio on Sam’s vest crackled to life. Goddamn civvies! He brought it to his lips. ”Hold your position for now. We’ve got support sweeping the town for raiders. Will ring town bell when it’s safe, for now keep this channel clear. Marshal Smith out.” Stuffing the radio into a pocket, he returned his attention to his one-time protege. ”So, super mutant army? Just what the fuck is going on Bob?”

Marshal Smith always had a reputation as a acerbic personality, and the last few days hadn’t done much for his mood. He’d arrived to help to defend the town, much of which involved stopping the damned civvies from running about like headless chickens in a blind panic; add to that a small caravan arriving with a ‘girl’ who seemed totally bewildered by the world as a whole, and who had latched onto Sam, just minutes before the raiders arrived left him with one more thing to worry about.

Now three days later, he was sore, sleep deprived and running on a mixture of chems and coffee. Perched on the town’s water tower with his rifle, a pre-war megaphone and a whistle that’d once been Constable Wyatt’s, he blew a shrill blast into the megaphone. SOUTH GATE! SOUTH GATE! He bellowed as the latest wave of Raiders pushed the gate. Fire from the defenders crackled and raiders fell in droves.

From his perch, Sam fired into the back ranks of the attackers, targeting anyone how look like they where either in some sort of leadership role, or carried a weapon more effective than an old piece of pipe. His M72 ‘cracked’ and a raider’s head exploded like an over ripe mutfruit, causing the raider to drop their lit firebomb. It shattered and set two more raiders alight; but Sam wasn’t watching, keeping his focus on other targets, engaging them at will.

Movement beyond the assault tugged at the corner of his vision, but he assumed it was hostile reinforcement…at least until an unfortunately familiar voice cut in over the town’s PA system.

"This Knight Captain Cassidy of the Brotherhood of Steel. We are sending reinforcements to clear hostiles assaulting the town, do not fire. I repeat do not fire on the incoming vehicles they are friendly."

” ‘Friendly’ my leathery ass…” He muttered.

Whatever their over all intentions were, the tin cans did open fire on the rear ranks of the raiders with high-ex and canister, churning the force assaulting the town into so many pounds of meat, some of which was still screaming. A cheer from, most, of the beleaguered defenders went up as the raiders died, though from his vantage point, he caught a glimpse of bodies scrambling over the West wall. ”Shit!” He blew another whistle blast into the megaphone. Breach! Breach! Breach! They’re heading for the hotel!”

His rifle came up once more, but he swore violently as he realized he had no shots. Below him, a group of Tarheels, Marshals, and town militia were already heading towards the hotel, and he could hear gunfire bark from the folks who’d been left to defend the non-combatants. He wanted to go rush in and join the group, but he knew they had it under control..and that he was in command now, so the new arrivals were something he needed to deal with. ”Fan-fucking-tastic…”

He scrambled down the tower in short order, and made his way to the gate, swapping in a high-cap magazine to his rifle as he did. All too soon he was standing in front of a man he’d really hoped to never see again. ”The fuck are you doin’ here Bob?” He growled, glaring at the Knight-Captain. A few of the BoS troopers seemed to take umbrage with his tone, but when one made a half-step towards Sam, the reaction from the Tarheels still on the wall made them stop. ”Thanks for the shooting, but you’ve done your bit, so feel free to fuck off.”

He moved closer to Finn, pitching his voice so only the two of them could hear it. ”You got a lot of nerve showing up ‘round here after the shit you pulled… ‘specially when you’re pallin’ ‘round with a bunch of jumped up raiders like this. Swore I’d put a bullet in you the next time I saw you Bob, so you’d best talk fast.”

Workout done, and freshly showered, he flicked on the TV across from his ‘bed’ while he got dressed for the day. To his surprise, instead of the usual banal ‘Happy New Year’ stuff he’d been expecting, all the local stations were going on about an attempted bank robbery and the flying meta that stopped it. The nattering on the talking heads on the news drove Arty to mute them, but he kept watching as the pink-haired woman did her thing. ”Super cheerleader…great…” He said with a chuckle and a shake of his head. The footage stopped and a frame of her face was enlarged while the station applied some video wizardry to try and expose the back lit face.

The whole bit only lasted a few minutes, but Arty found himself staring at the screen. Why the hell does she seem familiar? The ‘cleaned up’ image was barely passable as an iffy CCTV still, but there was obliviously enough to trigger something in his memory. Firing up his laptop, he brought up the same still the newsies were using and looked at it some more; he was certain the face was familiar, but for the life of himself, he couldn’t pin down why. ”Oh this is going to bug me for a while…”

Fortunately for his own sake, the local news shifted to another story. Seeing downtown KC behind the reporter, he hit the sound. “…undreds are gathering outside in support of metahuman rights. While there are some counter-protesters and the police are on hand, the mood here is upbeat and very positive. Bac-” He shut the TV off; not having any work at the moment, he’d been wondering what he was going to do, and now he knew.
He parked his truck in a parkade a few blocks from the gathering and walked in. As he got closer, he saw more and more folks obviously heading in the same direction. The closer he got to the rally the more the area took on a ‘festival feel; parents with their kids, people of all walks of life, some with obvious differences, while much of the crowd looked much like Arty…just people. Moving towards the front of the crowd however, the mood got subtly more tense and folks kept giving Arty side-long glances as he weaved his way forwards.

Getting to the front, he understood the looks, and that was exactly why he’d made his way forward. Across from the pro-Meta rally was a smaller, but much more vocal, counter full of the usual religious nuts, far-right assholes and other such oxygen thieves. Much to his non-surprise he found he looked like he’d have blended in with that pack of idiots rather well unfortunately. Ignoring them, he found himself standing beside an older middle aged woman holding a sign. He lent forward a bit to read it before bursting out laughing as he read ‘You’re just jealous because my grandson can fly’. She smiled up at him as he laughed. ”To be fair,” He chuckled. I’m jealous of your grandson now…flying would save so much hassle getting around downtown.”

The woman laughed. ”My daughter isn’t so happy about it…you can imagine how much trouble a flying four year old can get into.” Arty laughed and feigned a shudder. ”Arthur.” He said, offering a hand. The woman smiled and shook his offered hand, though she did raise an eyebrow. ”Gloria…really? Arthur? You’re already white, no need to bleach yourself. He tried to maintain composure, but that last all of two seconds before he let out an explosive bark of laughter; it took him another two minutes to regain control. Still chuckling, he smiled at Gloria. ”Gotta admit, never heard that one before…and generally I go by ‘Arty’.”

Gloria smiled again. ”Well it’s nice to meet you Arty…and…well I gotta ask. Are you a ‘meta’?”

”Yeah, though what I can do is a bit hard to demonstrate without getting the cops all nervous.” He waved a hand towards the counter-rally. ”On the other hand it’ll be hand if one of those idiots decided to push things.”

”Hey now Arty, this is a peaceful rally…”

”Don’t worry ma’am, I have no intention of starting anything.”

@Silverwind Blade Don't be too hard on yourself. I've been chipping away at mine for days...and I know others who do intend to take part haven't even started theirs. You've got time.

I'm game.
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