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"Point me out the happy man and I will point you out either egotism, selfishness, evil - or else an absolute ignorance."
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Hwær cwom mearg? Hwær cwom mago?
Hwær cwom maþþumgyfa?
Hwær cwom symbla gesetu?
Hwær sindon seledreamas?
Eala beorht bune!
Eala byrnwiga!
Eala þeodnes þrym!
Hu seo þrag gewat,
genap under nihthelm,
swa heo no wære.

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Servius Curius Proculus Vespillo


Servius watched as the creature began to be drawn off by the rock he had thrown. Internally, he smiled and thanked Mars for such fortune. Perhaps the Shadow of the Bull walked with them indeed and gave them protection. He waited for the creature to pass him by, heading towards the back of the tunnel. Soon, they could make their move, he quickly scanned the place and found several passages they could try to take. This was going well.

But then something happened the legionary did not intend and which showed Mars had not yet granted protection to his comrades or else this one had proved wanting; A Mercenary of the Talon company, showing ill discipline as profligates and mercenaries often did, broke ranks and moved to flee.

Stultus, Servius thought to himself, he is going to get himself killed! Had he controlled himself but for another half minute we would all be safe!

Within but a few moments, the situation had gone from hot to cold to hotter than the Mojave sands at noon. This fool was throwing all their lives away. ; it wasn't favourable for them here, trapped in these tight confines with such a deadly killer and with several more of those creatures above. Death seemed likely now, but if this was to be their end then so be it. He would face it with gun and sword and the iron will of the bull.

Servius immediately brought his rifle to bear, taking aim at the head of the creature as it barreled past in pursuit of the Mercenary, ready to intervene and rescue his newfound comrades- but to his surprise he was sent tumbling sideways by a sonic blast as the creature threw its prey to the floor. It seemed this creature did not only use sound to locate them but was also capable of weaponising it against them. Would today's misfortunes never cease?

Servius was quick to realign his aim from his position, training his rifle on the beast again. He thought that his aim was true - as true as could be through the blanket of the darkness that enveloped them like the night swirling around stars - and tightened his finger around the trigger, ready to fire and as he did he opened his mouth to yell out for the others to join him for a focused barrage of fire might yet cause it to fall dead upon the stones of the tunnel - but he was stopped short before a sound ever escaped his lips for another voice spoke.

'Hold.'

Khaliya's voice came over the commas and Servius immediately stopped dead, as though he had been frozen in time. One word, one moment was the difference; He would not disobey such an order, and although he would never admit it even unto himself perhaps he was somewhat grateful for a reprieve from duty against this beast. Maintaining his posture as still as a statue once more, he watched as the beast finished off the mercenary swiftly and as mercilessly as Lanius himself. It crushed his head as though it were delicate china rather than bone; at least such a fate would have been quick.

The beast toyed with its prey for a few moments long, yet each second felt as long as a year. It engaged in what sounded almost like an argument with its fellows, roaring back and forth loudly. Servius did not envy those closer to the beast, for he wouldn't be surprised if their ears bled from this repeated and horrific cry.

When the beast tossed the carcass up the stairs and followed after it, the sound of beating wings fading away into the distance, Servius finally rose from the ground.

He moved a pace towards the centre of the hallway, rifle in hand, and checked around cautiously. No sign of the beast, nor of anything else having been drawn to them by the commotion.

"Is anyone else injured? That screech carried quite the punch." He asked as he looked around quickly, checking to see whether any of the others were injured by the outbreak of violence. That blast of sound had been power, more than enough to throw an armoured man and himself to the ground. Thankfully, it seemed none were hurt by it and so he quickly moved kn

There was no body left and it appeared none had moved to do much, either out of self discipline or out of a lack of caring for the deceased. The latter perhaps, as the stranger had been a coward in the end, and there were few things worse than being a coward. Still, the members of his own unit wouldn't likely take his death happily, and he doubted they appreciated being prevented from interfering as one of their own were torn apart.

Mars would be the judge of him, and it was no mortals duty or privilege to usurp that role; he would speak nothing ill of the dead. Perhaps the rest of this man's life might redeem him in the eyes of the god of War. Perhaps.

And so, Servius felt as though someone ought to give something to the departed here so he might pay his fee, even if no one there cares for him and there was no body to burn. He knelt over the pool of blood, grey matter and skull fragments that had once been the man's head and took a denarius from his pocket, placing it down into the blood. He looked towards the man's fellow Talon Company mercenaries and for but a moment considered asking for the man's name but he thought better of it in the end. For his part, Servius couldn't help but pity him.

Still, Khaliya had been right to order them to hold, had the other two come down, who knows what fate might have befallen the group? Certainly, Servius wagered they would have lost more than a single man. It wasn't worth losing more of them for the life of a coward, and especially not to merely avenge his death. Yet he couldn't shake a small pang of guilt for not having intervened, and worse still, he had acquired a newfound dislike and distrust of these Talon Company Mercenaries.

This man's running and his fate proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that they could not be relied on, they were clearly not as disciplined as he would have liked. No legionaries would ever have shamed themselves in a such a path - and no legionaries would ever have abandoned one of their own without claiming retribution. Even without knowing this fallen comrade, Servius had been within an inch of opening fire. Yet these mercenaries had abandoned him to his fate. Those people were not legionaries nor soldiers, they weren't unbreakable warriors who would fight to the last breath. They didn't even have the redeeming qualities of some of NCRs troopers who he has seen engage in suicidal selfless acts on occassion. No, these ones were worse than that. They seemed more like raiders or powder gangers, selfish and quick to abandon their own to save their own skins - well, they were mercenaries after all. If these mercenaries wouldn't try to save one of their own, would they save any of them?

The Legionary turned away from the macabre scene and crossed back towards the rest of the group, ascending up the staircase after their leader. They were all still part of one unit, and they had to work together whatever the cost. So he pushed the doubts from his mind and told himself that these Mercenaries, like everyone else, didn't intervene because of their orders. They all wanted to, but had to restrain themselves. After all, was that not what he had done? Yes, it was discipline, not weakness that stayed their hand.

He managed to convince - or deceive - himself.

"Ita, Imperatrix." Servius replied to Khaliya following behind her on their pathway. He kept himself slightly hunched over, careful to remain in the shadows and behind cover as much as possible as they made their way, his hands gripping his rifle tightly and checking the sight lines for more danger. He secretly wondered whether they were merely leaping from the cooking pot and into the burning embers of the fire; It occurred to him that if he thought they were easy prey for that monster down here, they would have it even worse in the open where it had room to fly.

He had to trust to hope that those beasts would not return before they had found shelter in this bank. Yet hope, it seemed, had forsaken these lands.
Servius Curius Proculus Vespillo


Servius immediately killed his light when Khaliya's voice came over the radio. If he'd kept it in, he may as well have put up a neon sign saying 'free meal here', at least by his reckoning. Then he quickly moved to the side, dropping down into cover against the side of the Kiosk and a bench, keeping himself obscured from sight. Taking his rifle in both hands, he pushed up against the Kiosk edge, peering around the corner and watching a creature descending down the stairs through the windows in the side of it. It wasn't a great view but it was sufficient and made it easy to keep himself hidden and blend in with the Kiosk itself.

He narrowed his eyes slightly beneath the visor of his hazmat suit, struggling to see as his eyes adjusted to the new found darkness he had plunged himself into. Still, from just from its silhouette cast by the bright light flowing in from behind it, he could tell he did not recognise this beast. Some monster of the east, he supposed, perhaps the others would have a better idea of what it was. He froze as still as a statue, careful not to make a sound.

Clicking. Thunderous clicking, even, maddening and almost deafening. It reminded him of the artillery the Legion had at Hoover Dam, like the cracking of thunder as it launched bolts of wrath into the sky to arc down upon profligate battle lines... For a moment he thought he was back there, fighting his way out onto the roof of the dam and breaking another profligate line. But he was not there, he was here in a darkened pit beneath a skeleton of the old world... And this beast would not break, cower and die so easily as an NCR squad. But perhaps it could be fooled.

Clicking.

So it was a bat like being perhaps, it certainly had the wings of one but its shape seemed very different indeed. It had passed by the two on the stairs, apparently, so perhaps it had difficulty seeing, maybe even smelling (though admittedly their hazmat suits likely helped with that...) Still, he wasn't going to write off sight just yet as he wasn't close enough to see whether it had them (and Mars willing, would never be that close) and since even bat's had deceptively good sight... It wasn't a safe assumption for him to make yet. So stay out of sight and stay silent unless necessary.

Consequently, he had already wrapped his hand tight around a small stone from the floor, lifting it carefully to its side behind the Kiosk. If it looks like it was getting a bit too curious about anyone in the group, he figured he could toss the stone well enough to the tunnel the party had come out of or one of the side passages to attract its attention that way. The group could then sneak away to safety. Hopefully. It was worth having it as an option before resorting to fighting it.

"It. uses. sound." Came Emil's voice over the radio. Servius didn't dare respond, in case it was capable of hearing the output from their radios too. Too many of the group were close enough for that to be risky. He wished he could ask about how the beast looks up close, about potential weaknesses. About whether any of them knew what in Caesar's name it was.

Worse yet (or perhaps better yet, given their circumstance...), he couldn't see all of the rest of the unit and so might have some difficulty judging whether it had become a threat to them, whether it was catching on to them. He could see a handful... And at least he knew where Bailey was. Behind the Kiosk and under the cashiers till. He didn't dare to turn his head to properly look around the room, even though he figured from this angle he was safe from the beast. Better safe here than sorry, it wouldn't do anyone any good if he got himself killed trying to see where they were hidden. So he had to rely on only his eyes, and an ever so slight inclination of his head either way that wouldn't translate into hazmat suit movement. It probably only gained him a four or five degrees either way, but it was better than nothing.

Yes, Marvin had grabbed the medic (at least he assumed so, she was shortest) and was by the wall, he could just about see them.
Monika? She had been by the ticket desk when last he checked, but he hadn't seen where she'd ducked in. He didn't dare turn any more to look, as much as he wanted to.
John had moved off from the terminals, but had he ducked in anywhere? If he had he was just outside his field of view--he could vaguely see a shape out of his blurry peripheral vision.
Devon? She'd been at the back, she was hopefully in safety then. There had been plenty of alcoves and gaps to squeeze into back there (indeed, he'd been careful to check the lot as they passed for any sneaky ghouls or raiders...)
A couple of the mercenaries had taken cover around the room, hidden from sight. That was good.
Emil... Was that him over there? It was hard to tell with the hazmat suits, but he thought it was. He was fairly close - and the creature had started towards him. It must have heard him speaking, or heard his radio. Caesar on a bike...

Servius paused for but a moment, keeping his breathing as shallow as possible and keeping that rock tight in his hand, his other hand keeping his rifle tightly held to him. In his head, he cast a silent prayer for Mars to look over them all; Vos precor, uti sitis volentes propitii nos.

Now, it was time to act. This had been exactly what he'd grabbed the rock for.
He waited for the next click and after it had passed and silence reigned again for a few moments (well, as close to silence as one can get with a monstrous creature slowly stomping its way towards one of them) he tossed the rock in his hand off towards the empty tunnel behind them, which fortunately no one still obscured. He tossed it under arm in order to reduce his movement and keep himself obscured by the Kiosk and bench, ensuring that the sound bouncing off the Kiosk should keep him safe from the next click of the echo location and the creatures sight. He quickly readopted as close to his original posture as he could, just to be safe, peering at it out the corner of his eyes again.

He'd always been a good throw, with spear and grenade and blade alike, and was thankful to hear it echoing off in the distance as it bounced along the floor several times, skimming along the ground and then over the edge down a slope, landing in a small puddle with a splash. Mars must have heard his prayer indeed to bless them with such good fortune, such noise was surely enough to draw attention at least for a time, right? Perhaps it might be mistaken for footsteps even! He offered his silent mental prayer again, hoping it was so.

With good fortune, that would be enough to lure it off and lead it to begin to pass them once more. Perhaps it would even descend into one of the tunnels. Then perhaps they could make a break. Stealth, evasion and cunning. He almost felt like he was back west again, skulking around the rocks of the Mojave...
Double post.
Servius Curius Proculus Vespillo


Servius glanced over the skeleton a single time as he passed, sparing it no further looks. He had seen worse things. They trudged along and halted at a Kiosk, where the Brotherhood Pladain Khaliya stopped to access one of those terminal things. She did it swiftly and simply, and Servius could not help but nod approvingly. It was good to know somebody in the group knew how to break the security on these things, for he certainly did not.

A fortified location to rest sounded good, given the breakdown one of them had earlier and how shaken up some of them had been, rest might be good for them.

"Then let us find our way to this bank." Servius replied simply. Getting out of this fragile hazmat suit was very, very desirable. He felt too vulnerable in this damn thing, a single nick could expose him to an invisible, undefeatable enemy. He didn't like it.

Bailey began to access the terminals and ordered the others to check; she seemed like the soldier kind, especially from that song earlier. He approved. Yet only the detective yet took her up on the offer.

"Devon, take over rear guard." Servius said as he broke off and moved into the Kiosk, holding his rifle in one hand and attempting to access one of the terminals with the other.

Immediately it became apparent to him that he shouldn't have. He fumbled around with the buttons to turn the damn thing on, it took him a good 10 seconds to find it. Thankfully this one didn't require a password - but that didn't make it much better, as he hot buttons slowly and with all the clarity of a mole rat.

"What's this... 'Read Me.' Hmpf." Servius muttered to himself as he skipped over the terminals read me. What stupid raider tried to set a trap up using that? Like anyone would be stupid enough to fall for that, you may as well make a button with 'Press me' attached to it. No doubt if he pressed it, it would trigger a bomb or set off an alarm or something. Nice try but I'm just a bit too smart for you, Servius thought in blissful ignorance...

And then came a yell, a heavily accented yell- Servius couldn't help but look, and Short Fuse went bounding out from the group and up ahead, vanishing up a darkened staircase until he was completely out of sight. Nobody from the group seemed to particularly care any, in fact one of them, the detective John, offered a small bet that he'd die while Bailey suggested they leave them to their fate. Charming.

But this man, though he might be an apparent fool in the art of war, was part of the group. And so, Servius thought with a quiet sigh, it fell to him to protect this man. There were no gunshots... Yet. Perhaps that meant it was clear... Or perhaps it indicated their foe had melee weapons, or else still lay in wait. Who knew yet.

Well, they'd lost the element of surprise thanks to him bolting hp there yelling. It would be best for them to move forward quickly to help their comrade then. Heavily armoured up front so that they'd be the first into the fray being more likely to soak up damage. Then everyone else could in from behind them, using them as a screen to get out of the choke point of the stairs in case there were any hostiles who would otherwise mow them down. Then they could fan out and find cover on the surface. Yes, that sounded like a plan.

"Oh, irrumatio... We must move up and make sure he doesn't get himself killed. Those with power armour, take point and be ready for the worst, everyone else form up behi-" Servius started but then stopped himself short. He wasn't in command here, it wasn't his place to give orders. This wasn't what he was used to anymore, but the BoS Paladin had seemed to take the role of decanus. And so again, he deferred and turned his attention towards Khaliya "Mea Culpa. I await orders."
Servius Curius Proculus Vespillo


Servius watched the two Paladins curiously for a moment, his eyes lingering on the male paladin. Insubordination. Between two of the same, none the less. This was perhaps a bad omen for them and this mission. Perhaps this was how the brotherhood types operated.

The male paladin wanted to kill it, he longed to slaughter it. This made Servius grim indeed; he recalled in great detail the lesson he had been told of the Lone Ranger, the many soldiers lost to the haste and fury of a foolish Decanus. And here another soldier was making such a mistake, blinded by hatred and pride and fury. The sight of the red mist and the willingness to act with insubordinance was not good for any warrior, but he was surprised to see it afflicting one from the Brotherhood. From his experience fighting the Midwestern Brotherhood, he had judged the knights of the brotherhood disciplined from their training, yet perhaps the chapter of the brotherhood these two belonged to suffered from the lack of self-discipline that afflicted the profligate troopers of the bear. Perhaps this Paladin Bertrand would benefit from such a story, and a firm scalding. As Khaliya rightly pointed out, any attempt to take the fight to the enemy here rather than lure it out was suicidal at best. Still, he seemed willing to throw himself into such a hopeless fray. At least he was brave. A fool perhaps, but a brave fool.

Whatever the case, it was not his place to speak on the matter (and indeed, they had invited no speech by switching to a private channel), and thus he kept his thoughts entirely to himself, turning his attention back to the tunnel and maintaining his vigil.

Emil was right. This being had not come after them. It was entirely possible that it held no malicious intent towards them - in which case blowing up the tunnel in an attempt to kill it was a surefire way to change that, for naught was a better way to anger something than to try, and fail, to kill it. That said, calling it an insult to life was harsh. That ghoul had survival - its mental faculties apparently intact - for a reason, whatever that reason was; whether it was strength or guile or sheer dumb luck, it had endured in this dangerous place and that was admirable. It would make a powerful warrior, doubtlessly. Whether they were it's enemy or not, who was Emil to judge its very existence insulting? Mars could claim right to such an opinion, but no living man bore such a privilege.

Once Khaliya switched back to the public channel and relayed their instructions, Servius nodded. It was time to move again and continue with their task, and he was glad of it. They has already lingered in this place too long, they needed to keep moving before something worse found them.

"Audio." He replied in acknowledgement, having realised that through the hazmat suit a nod was almost impossible to detect. He would be glad once they could remove these suits, he felt too fragile in it; and tear or damage might expose him, it was not like armour wherein one might shrug off many blows. Certainly, he didn't want to get a fight whole dressed in it.

Servius waited for the rest of the group to fall in after the paladin and took up a rear guard position at the back, keeping his eyes peeled for any sign they were being followed by their mutated host. It was time to ascend from darkness and into the streets of Necropolis, where fouler things than Ghouls might lurk, gnawing upon the carcass of this concrete jungle...
Servius Curius Proculus Vespillo


When the scouts returned from their mission in a rush and panic, Servius was well aware that something was wrong without a word needing to said. Whatever had been on his mind in that moment, both the girl and her outburst and the information he had just received on the USSR, was pushed from his mind as the situation changed. He shifted into combat mode, as it were; he unsung Requis and checked it as loaded, nodding to Emil and taking a step in advance towards the tunnel and peering into it for a moment as he raised his rifle and took aim into the darkness. So far, he saw nothing following them. With his steps careful and steady as to not throw of his aim should the beast emerge, he drifted off towards the side and knelt down behind some fallen debris that covered up to about his ribcage after he knelt down, providing decent cover. By the time Khaliya had finished ordering them to firing positions, Servius was ready to blast whatever might emerge from the darkness to challenge the party - or die trying.

"Let us split the tin man open. If anyone has explosives, be ready to use them. Its maile will not break easily." Servius said. It's cadence was almost as though that of an order, although he certainly had no authority to give it. Force of habit, perhaps, had stopped him phrasing it as a suggestion in the heat of the moment.

Power armour. He'd killed men (and women) wearing it before, brotherhood knights and paladins from both the midwest and on the west coast chapters, experienced fighters with the equipment and technology to back up their abilities. He had fired the shots that had brought down several of their number and had even killed one in melee combat, for which he'd received quite the praise and honours from the Centurion. They were never easy fights; he had seen their armour deflect bullets and attacks that would have ripped an unarmoured man in half as if they were nothing. They had been far, far greater threats than even the most ardent of the NCRs troopers. Still, Servius expected that by now he had at least some idea on where to shoot to bring this abomination down, he would see whether what he had learned fighting the brotherhood would also apply to whatever this was. And so he waited, weapon at the ready for the target.

And he waited.

And waited.

And... nothing. Not even a shifting shadow nor a footstep to mark the passing of something else. No sound at all save for the creaking of centuries old concrete and girder, and the occasional echo of a distant drip of dew that had perhaps fallen in with the rain and seeped down into the underground. There was nothing but the sounds that one would expect from an abandoned underground tunnel. Perhaps whatever this beast they had encountered was, it was not as hostile as they had initially believed or at the very least, it was not aggressive enough to waste its time chasing them down the tunnel. Else perhaps it had been either unable or unwilling to chase them through the tunnel. Hmph.

He stood up slowly from the ground and still, although it now seemed that nothing was following, Servius didn't drop his guard; he was well aware it could be a ruse and kept his weapon focused on the gap. It could easily be looking for an alternative path as well, perhaps it realised that this choke point would be a disaster and had instead sought another route or otherwise was now lying in wait further along the tunnel, ready to destroy them the moment they dared venture into the darkness.

Hearing Khaliya again and then Marvin, Servius spoke in response. He was rather surprised that the group had nothing more to offer than a 10mm pistol, he had expected from the look of everyone that they had more equipment than that. Apparently this was not the case and that was perhaps cause for concern given the place they were entering. Perhaps he would ask if they could take inventory later so they knew what the unit had to work with. Still, what was done was done.

"Not a rifle, but I've got a 12.7 submachine gun. Stay on overwatch and cover me, I'm moving over." He reported as he quickly and softly slipped across the room, keeping an eye on the tunnel at all times. He kept each step as light and quiet as he can, not wanting to give away anything to the creature should it have been listening for them or trying to observe them before it struck. As he reached Devon, he took note of how she seemed to be at least on the surface calmer and more composed about this than Emil was; he seemed on edge and jumpy, having fallen over once they had escaped the tunnel, and from the rapid description he was giving them it had clearly shaken him up. While her heavy breathing and the speed with which she had exited the tunnel clearly betrayed that she had seemed something, it seemed not to have shaken her as deeply as it had shaken him. He gave her a quick nod and, letting his rifle temporarily fall to his sling, he took the 12.7mm SMG and an extra magazine of ammunition from his side, handing it over to Devon - or perhaps more accurately described as practically thrusting it into her hands. Khaliya was right about this, if this power armoured thing came barging into the room, knives were not going to cut it. She needed a gun and a 12.7mm had a far better chance of piercing this beings armour than her knives did; An extra gun firing was an extra chance of someone getting lucky.

"12.7mm sub machine gun. Powerful and rapid, reliable and short ranged. Perfect for these close tunnels. Watch the kick. Take it. Debate not until later, once we are certain that everyone's safe. For now, be armed and alert." Servius said matter of factly, releasing the weapon into her possession and then taking Requis with both hands again, taking aim at the tunnel as he slipped back across the room towards some cover and kneeling down, making sure there were a couple of meters between him and any other member of the group.

Re-assuming his firing stance, the Legionary waited for instructions to fall back. Khaliya had apparently assuming something of the role of Decanus and so Servius would follow her authority; at the very least she seemed to be the one who was most aware of what was going on and certainly seemed to be very experienced. From his timing fighting the Brotherhood, he knew they were not a force to be underestimated and was certain that she was thus one of the best of the group to lead. His mind dwelt on what Emil had said about the thing they faced; it had spoke which could be either a good sign or a bad sign. Perhaps it was not as aggressive as they had first expected - or perhaps it was simply too smart to charge them and would instead stalk them and wait for an opening. The latter was a very grim proposition, to his mind. Still, if it had bullet holes and had sustained a large amount of damage to its armour to the point that its ribs were visible, its armoured shell was already compromised and thus they would have a far easier time penetrating it. On the other hand, if the helmet had fused to its skull as he had suggested - that could be either very good for them by compromising the protection it provided, or very very bad. It would be hard to tell which until he had tried to shoot it in the head...

An E surrounded by stars. That founded painfully familiar by now, as Servius had come to grow far more familiar with the symbology of the Enclave as of late. Servius grimaced a little and kept his eyes peering into the dark through the visor of his hazmat suit. So, the Enclave had sent people in here... how long ago had that been, he wondered? He pushed the question from his mind for now; he could not afford for his concentration to be compromised. Instead he went back quickly to thinking over the description he had been given and focusing on the darkness, ready to take aim at anything which might try to emerge after them...
Servius Curius Proculus Vespillo


Servius had lingered towards the rear of the group, listening to their conversations where possible while acting as a rear guard. It seemed as though removing the more overtly legion symbology had worked - or they just hadn't noticed before he'd put on the hazmat suit. Either way, it was not a moment too soon either, as some of them seemed more than hostile; He had half wanted to defend the legion against the allegations it had simply collapsed into small tribes... The truth was a tad more complex than that. Civil wars often were. Still, he managed to hold his tongue as they pressed on. Others had seperate rivalries that seemed to burn almost as deep, and there was something of a lack of confidence in their leader due to her connections to the BoS. This seemed much too fractious to work together for long, nobody seemed to trust each other...

Hazmat suits. Not exactly the most comfortable things on the planet. He exhales heavily as he geared up, thinking about their task. Descending into some pre-war building sounded like an excellent way to encounter some of those damnable machines or ghouls. He dwelt on the thought of the Pariah for a moment, puzzling something out in his head before moving on. This whole thing was sitting more uncomfortably with him as he got closer...

Rebuilding American under a single flag. He couldn't really comprehend the idea, to tell the truth. No legion, no NCR, no brotherhood. After an entire life spent in that dichotomy, the idea that it would be different just seemed too foreign. And the promise too much like Caesar's own pipe dream of taking New Vegas. Perhaps it was possible to finally bring some peace and safety across the continent... But people would resist. The NCR wasn't about to quietly submit to a New America, that much he could be certain. He'd spent his entire life bringing order, safety and civilisation across the wastes and rarely had it been embraced quickly and willingly.

***

Abandon all hope, ye who enter here

Servius laughed a little at that one. "Here be deathclaws, per chance?" He murmured darkly, checking his rifle quickly. As the scouts went ahead, Servius tried to make out each member of the group. He hated this damn hazmat suit, but from the sounds of the clicking he'd be dead already without it.

Above ground didn't sound too bad to him right now, provided it wasn't radioactive sludge. He wanted to feel the air, he wasn't exactly comfortable down here. Still, he could see the tactical value in it and was glad to see two of the others volunteer. He thought of it himself, but two seemed the best fit, else they may as well all just walk in anyway.

Mars guard them, he silently prayed

He checked his weapons quickly, so that if they were caught out by something he'd be ready for the fight. All seemed loaded and good to go, which eased him slightly but didn't vanquish the concern. There was no life here, at all. Not even a creature. Everything was way too quiet-

Spoke too soon, evidently!

A loud shout drew his attention go the side and he brought his rifle up, ready to fire at whatever the threat was- yet he couldn't see anyone or anything. He cautiously lower it slightly and advanced a few paces, shining his flashlight over. Although he couldn't make out any features, the voice and the latin led him to the conclusion that if was that former slave girl... Yet he couldn't see any threats to her.

"Is everything okay over there?" Servius called across, his hands tightly wrapped around his gun. Maybe something had just startled her, a rad roach or rat or something - though why shout in Latin, that didn't make sense. Deep inside, he wanted it to be a creature of some kind; even in the Mojave, there was life around. Here there was just... Death.

But she was just huddled up as though a primal animal cowering before a monster, as a slave before a wrathful legionary or as a wastelander before a deathclaw. He remained motionless for a few moments, unsure on what ezactly to do - and then she unfurled and appeared to be quietly mumbling to herself.

As she stood up and headed back over to the formation, Servius tracked her with his gaze. He dared to take another step in advance so he was some 10 feet from where she had been slumped , and leant to the side to peer around... No, there wasn't anything there at all. Just dust.

With a light grunt, Servius turned his back on the corner and headed back over to the group. He couldn't see her face, but from the way she was avoiding looking towards anyone he guessed she was a bit shaken up still. He opened his mouth to speak but closed it again, thinking better of pressing her on the matter; that would only make it worse, and the group needed to be able to rely on her.

Servius could see some of the others looking at her, including the grizzled detective and the younger medic (at least, he thought that was them. It was difficult to tell with the suits on) Probably the last thing she wanted right now. He grimaced beneath the visor of his hazmat suit, he knew that feeling and it wasn't pretty for ones mental state or morale.

Maybe he could help ensure her a reprieve by stimulating a different conversation. He jumped straight into asking about the consulate, even though he wasn't particularly knowledgeable on the matter. The USSR, were they the Chinese or the Russians? Why was old world politics so damn obscure.

"So, what do you all think we'll find in this consulate? USSR - those were one of America's rivals, weren't they? I don't think they would leave any vital data or blueprints of their own in enemy territory so what do you think they had hiding down there that the Pariah wants? They got some documents through espionage maybe? Stolen prototypes?" He finished, looking around the group quizzically. He'd rarely have asked questions like this - it wasn't in the legions nature to dwell on what they were ordered to do, only to do it. Obviously whatever it was would be important, along with everything else in this city; nobody in their right mind would have assembled such a diverse group if not, it was doubtlessly a large investment to have tracked everyone down and brought them together here.
Red still dibsed by anyone or?
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