Day ??? of year 384 Post-Downfall
The Lone Survivor
"Where would you flee?" “Uh...”
Hello-fellow hesitated. He'd have to remember to actually not call
the guy that to his face, but at the very least Enn's mental nickname also served as a sort of mnemonic; there was little chance he'd forget that particular combination of letters this particular guy had been assigned anymore, barring a particularly hard blow to the head. He also remembered Kay, since she had been the first non-Anderekian he had not been assigned to shoot, making the entire encounter different
, and he remembered his own new label because it was literally his - or his old, "dead" self's - initials, but if his suspicions were true, then it would be all too easy to lose track among all these pick-two-letters-from-the-alphabet folks he would probably need to come to be able to organize in his head, somehow. As long as he was not wrong about these folks' ability to read minds, it shouldn't really matter how he referred to them in his mind, so... “I... don’t know?”
No protocol, and no decisions, then. Ab-so-lu-te-ly brilliant.
His jaw behind his outwardly featureless helmet clenched as Kay took over and effectively explained that he was the only one - or rather, one of the very few people - in the entire settlement who had a somewhat serviceable mental map of what (and more importantly, who
) was where to boot. And while his idea of where Anderekian bases and some Trenian bases and other settlements were was rather accurate, there were plenty of gaps in his knowledge of this entire plate. “Though if anyone knew where to go, it’d be Gramps. He used to be a trader!”
There was blatant admiration in Ell's voice, and even Enn himself was given a pause.
"Trader?" his surprise was evident from his voice, reproduced by the helmet as it was ever so slightly notched in the speaker's direction. He knew what the word meant,
in the general, technical sense, but... Even Trenians, to his knowledge, only traded among their own faction, and probably only rarely outside of routine exchanges meant mostly to feed the military, literally and figuratively. Trading with outsiders was, quite probably, considered worth less than assimilation, and not worth the risk with other factions of significant power.
He would not be able to precisely put a finger on what exactly the role of Trenian civilian settlements was compared to their bases, but from what he had seen it had felt more like a distinction between specialized military facilities, and general production and human reserves. More reliant on inter-base and -settlement infrastructure, but also more compact on either end. Trenian settlements were usually simple residences, warehouses and factories away from the frontier, surrounded only by inconspicuous automated defenses unless an incoming assault was expected or intersected, but their bases were nothing but armaments, walls, silos, and things to make more armaments, silos and walls with. Warcraft nests, tank hives. Often underground.
Anderekian bases were more mixed in nature, more expansive, at once less and more vulnerable. Harder to attrition, easier to penetrate. More controlled, less divided. “But I have no idea. Honestly I’m not even completely certain that he wants us to run. He hasn’t actually told me what the plan is, it’s just my guess from what he has us doing.”
"I see." Notrau's tone was flat. They were now in the settlement limits, which gave him ample opportunity to, well, quite literally see
. Complementing patchwork monstrosities which stood for vehicles around these parts, there was a lot of chaos in the streets. The sort that could probably only result from a bunch of people faced with uncertain doom being told to take everything what was needed for an equally undefined future. The contrast with Trenian civilians was stark. But then again, bullets and bombers weren't exactly an unambiguous
threat. On some weird level, he thought he could relate. Maybe not to the dropping things and running around aimlessly part, but certainly the lack of protocol thing.
Enn remained markedly unperturbed when the pickup skidded to a halt - he had been holding onto the side of the cargo hold for a reason, and armor built to negate the recoil of a gun such as his had its perks.
He was not entirely certain what he had been expecting when Kay had told him about Gramps - aside of him being the de facto
leader of the place, in charge of the good old "SHOOT HERE" sign, and something about a cup of tea. Probably an average elderly guy, someone who might have been an aging technician still just about considered fit for duty in Anderekian context.
The guy next to the tank Kay indicated as Gramps was anything but, age notwithstanding. More than anyone else here, he made Enn think of a soldier, though it would have been hard to find a living one who was wearing as little armor out in the open. It made it blatantly obvious if someone was looking at you. No wonder. He was at least as out of place here, if not more so.
Seeing that the pickup was now immobile, Enn stood in one fluid motion, though still makin sure that his one hand remained hanging inertly by his thigh, and the other following suit once it could no longer hold onto the edge of the cargo bed. Look, then.
He was about half a head shorter than Gramps, but one could imagine no less fit. As it was, his dull yellow-green outfit left almost everything
but his height and lack of overt rotundness to imagination. He was wearing enough armor to shrug off many a smaller round point blank, and judging by the gun on his back, was meant to fight the same, after all.
In any case, it appeared he passed the preliminary inspection and was granted permission to move forth. So he did, in what appeared to be his habitual exact, yet not overly threatening manner. Unless indicated otherwise, he stopped a couple of meters away from Gramps. Point one, identify yourself. Didn't even matter whether they knew who you were.
"Enn-Que. Infantry, anti-infantry and light vehicles." Reporting in.
The normal thing would have to wait for instructions, but he supposed this was written off for the time being. "Who I was is dead; purposefully led into elimination or written off as unsalvageable loss, I don't know. Either way, I'd be shot as traitor, and they'd be no kinder to you simply because you're outsiders, so my presence here makes no difference to your potential relations. I am with Eighfour now." He took a deeper breath, not quite a sigh. Since it was not externally reproduced, it came off as simply a brief pause. "Kay and Ell gave me a brief overview of some thing that have ensued on our way here. I still have a fairly up to date knowledge of the terrain, and nearby locations of multiple factions' forces and bases, as well as the tactics, units and predisposition of the same. And my equipment and skill set."