The Tribe of the Sun is nearing a deal with Sanctuary that will be mutually beneficial - Sanctuary will offer War Child protection in times of need, trade, and a Savvy-assisted expansion to their farming efforts. In return, the Tribe are giving up all Pure children born over the next 500 days, and the small number of existing Pure children. It's for the best, really. Life out here is harsh, even in a promising new town like Solaris.
Fortunate have been brought to ease the kids along and play ambassador, and Savvy to help with the farm expansion. But first? They have to get there. It's a warm day, the sun harsh in the sky as the caravan heads out to Solaris. Most passengers are gathered in the People Wagon, a heavly-armored school bus. A number of Chariots accompany it.
Anchor's mustache is freshly waxed, most of the dents have been hammered out of his helmet. His head is freshly shaved, and his skin fresh powdered. He revs his chariot engine.
Evelyn is excited. It's her first time leaving Sanctuary. She's in the bus, get herself as good a vantage point as she can to see the journey while they travel. Or as much of it as she can. anyway.
Art's on a Chariot, too, in the gunner's seat, a reason to escape the confines of his shiny, chrome cage. He's got a gas mask on and his stark white hair whips in the breeze, and the heavy white powder over his alabaster skin makes him look like a ghost-- or a corpse. Among the other Warboys, at least for now, he's just a faceless, pasty goon.
Faustina has a gun, but is on the People Wagon. She has claimed a spot by one of the windows, the better to see what might be coming. Also to potentially add to the defense of the wagon as a last resort.
Locke has no preference on how he feels about going along for these missions. For one, it gets you out Sanctuary for a time. However, the wastelands is not a pleasant place. Acting as bodyguard and protector for their entourage, like all Monitors, Locke keeps ever vigilant, scanning their surroundings from his spot at a window with a hand clutching at his weaponry just in case. It's a long, dusty ride, one in which he has very little to say.
If Cinder is going to become a Patron, he has to leave the Citadel. Eden keeps saying that. Also, Cinder is great with children. Plus and plus and that is why he is here. He's deeply unhappy about this. All of it. Even if it's for the best. He mitigates his terror by not sitting near a window, lowering his head and closing his eyes. Deep breaths. A small measure of comfort is provided by his own War Kid buddy, Exo the Centurion. He leaped at the chance to go. At least someone is happy.
Expansions and systems are everything that KissThisThen does that are not directly mycology. And even so, mycology seeps in. He has a set of documents, empty ones, for having sketches and sun direction and ground lines and notes on local resources. He has charcoal sticks, and for once he has on clothing, though it is still all utalitarian - in this case to keep the sun off his skin while out here. Heavy gloves, and a smoked glass brim propped up on his dredlocks. There is a lot of work to do, and items to note out - proportion of workers to consumers, direction water will go, amount of carbon available, plans for developing topsoil or adding living matter to sand. As such, he's working even as he rides, focused tightly on how to tackle issues of crop fertility and biodiversity. Lucky him. He? Is with SKIDMARXXX, who is busy yelling at him. KTT is pretty deaf, so they are a loud pair.
Phoenix longs for any opportunity to get out of the cage, and so when the opportunity came to escort children back to Sanctuary, he was one of the first to make sure that he got a spot to do so. The tattooed performer might not be the first one thinks of as a diplomat, but he is, perhaps surprisingly, good with children. He rides along in silence, in his grey plain garb that he wears when not performing. He rides in silence, hands folded in front of him, bumping along in the People Wagon, and looking at what he can through what small spaces he can see through.
Babysitting duty for the Fortunate, just one of the joys of being a Monitor. Mask sits at the very back of the people wagon where he can keep an eye on everything. Fully wrapped and face hidden by his gasmask as always, he sits almost perfectly still, only shifting to absorb the bumps and shakes of the vehicle as the trudge along.
Escorted down from the gilded cage, Visa tentatively touches the metal reinforcements on her leather jacket as if to reassure herself, but of course all the defenders with guns help her breathe just a bit easier as well. Biting her bottom lip with barely restrained anticipation, she heads for the People Wagon, one hand holding her cat ears on her head as she alights the steps, going to take a seat across the aisle from her half-sister. "I'm so excited!" she faux-whispers to Faustina, eyes shining with enthusiasm as if this is some day trip rather than a serious undertaking.
The trip is largely dull and uneventful, a long drive through the mostly featureless wastes. It's all the longer because the People Wagon isn't the fastest of vehicles. Without it, they'd be ther in about three hours. With it, the journey will take a little more than six.
Hence extra War Kid protection. Six Chariots accompany the Wagon - two in front, two behind, and one on each side. An Imperator drives the Wagon.
It's hour five of the trip and Arachne awakens briefly from her hidey-hole in the Wagon, nestled under a bench seat surrounded by supplies. She pokes her head out, looks around a moment, then disappears back inside.
Anchor is out in front, eyes alert for raiders, gunner riding behind. He doesn't have many runs left in him so each trip out he's just lookig for his chance at the Gory Road.
Art gives a thumbs-up to Arachne as she peeks out: 'All clear.' His mask, stark white as the rest of him, has adjustable lenses, both for work and war, and he's got them cranked to the max, scanning the horizon for even a hint of a threat. There are many out here, despite the seemingly barren landscape: vehicles are apt to burst out from any direction, via either speed or camouflage, sometimes both.
While objectively dull and uneventful, Evelyn maintains her excitement, eyes glued to see what's outside. She glances to Faustina in front of her a few times, "What's this place we're going to like?" She asks, and likely similar questions. Though despite her excitement, as the journey progresses the realization does set in. She's isn't being let outside the cage, she's just allowed a moment in a different cage.
Faustina gives a nod to her half-sister's exclamation, then settles in her the trip. Her eyes largely scan the horizon, though every so often, she glances over the others in the Wagon as well, possibly looking for signs of unrest or panic. It's a little hard to tell what she's thinking unless you're used to her. She wears more or less what she wears all the time, a dull greenish grey jumpsuit, covered in pockets.
Faustina says, "It's a newer settlement. They have succeeded so far, but more of the raiders are taking note of them. They have a well and have been clever protecting it so far, but are looking to a future in which they need better protection."
Cinder looks up a few times. Once, he manages to lock eyes with Mask, so to speak. His expression is pure exhaustion. Fear is tiring. "Hey...I hate this too. I don't want to be here anymore than you." Especially as the trip drags on, his restlessness kicks in. He's soon fidgety and grumpy.
By this point, there is a muscle jumping in KissThisThen's eyelid. He ran out of preparation work to do - as meticulous as he is - a couple of hours back. Now he is having to listen to SKIDMARXXX cheerily serenading him in the hopes of...what? Are they actually dating or something? The Savvy's tic is noticable to others now. KTT might be hard of hearing, but SKIDMARXXX has only one standard volume. Being near chariots and a big bus? He is not the loudest thing out here. So there is that?
That is basically the only good thing.
"I bang on your hut, but you won't let me in, 'cause you're sick and tired of me reeking of sin. Locked all the slots from the front to the back, And left me a note telling me I should pack. I walk in the Garage and the fella's all cheer, They order me up an oil change beer. You ask me why I'm writing this poem, Some call it Garage, but I call it home. Fuck you, I'm drunk Fuck you, I'm drunk Pour my sick down the sink - I've got more inna chariot trunk. Fuck you, I'm drunk Fuck you, I'm drunk And I'm going to be drunk till the next time I'm drunk!"
"It's so good of Sanctuary to help them, protecting that future and taking care of all the little babies," Visa sighs in anticipation. "The Pure ones, anyway," she adds as an afterthought. She's not seated by a window, so there's no view to distract her, and instead she picks up on what Cinder's said. "I hope that's not you practicing your diplomatic greeting?" she asks him with an amused grin, twisting around in her seat to look in his direction as SKIDMARXXX begins singing, her hand clapped over her mouth to keep from laughing aloud.
Keeping careful surveillance of where each of the War Rigs are positioned as they race long the sands, Locke raises a pair of binoculars to his eyes, with his free hand, every so often to look further ahead, though even that is hindered by a flurry of dust. Listening to some of the discussion going on behind him, he half-turns to regard the others, catching the small talk between Faustina and Evelyn, then noting the other Monitors within, especially when Cinder decides to speak to the masked menace in the back. Locke says nothing to this. Despite the usual nerves and the odd excitement felt by those unaccustomed to those who rarely step foot outside of Sanctuary, things seemed mostly stable, though he can't help but be annoyed by the sudden singing, which is a terrible distraction. "Quiet." He says in a firm tone.
It's as if the ground vomits them up, vehicles suddenly bursting from the earth in clouds of dust that make it hard to track them. As the dust clears, the bloody red of the vehicles and body paint make it instantly clear who they are:
This tactic of theirs, of digging trenches on an incline to bury themselves in and launch from give them a decided advantage of surprise. There are only three vehicles, but three is plenty to be highly dangerous in their case.
The two lead War Kid vehicles have to instantly swerve to each side to avoid a crash, and all the Wagon can do is brake hard.
ROLL: Mask rolls brawn+1 for: : x1 : x1 : x1 : x2 (Pair) -- Match Value: 1 (Raw: 2 7 8 5 8 -- d8)
ROLL: Arachne rolls brawn +1 for: : x1 : x1 : x1 : x1 : x1 -- Match Value: 0 (Raw: 3 8 4 6 1 -- d10)
ROLL: Evelyn rolls brawn-1 for: : x1 : x2 (Pair) -- Match Value: 1 (Raw: 7 9 9 -- d10)
SCENE: Arachne has reset everyone's Survival Points.
ROLL: Anchor rolls 1d6 for: : x1 -- Match Value: 0 (Raw: 1 -- d6)
Is Mask scowling? Probably. Can anyone actually, tell? No. But the way he sits with his arms crossed over his chest with his attention directed right up the center of the People Wagon makes his attitude clear enough. And then someone decides to talk to him. So the masked visage just turns in Cinder's direction and the blue eyes behind the glass lenses of the gas mask just sort of stare unblinkingly at him. Maybe he is about to say something.. and then the wagon comes to a very abrupt stop and he growls under his breath as he's tossed.
ROLL: Faustina rolls brawn for: : x1 : x2 (Pair) : x1 -- Match Value: 1 (Raw: 5 8 8 10 -- d10)
ROLL: Anchor rolls 4d6 for: : x2 (Pair) : x1 : x1 -- Match Value: 1 (Raw: 4 1 2 1 -- d6)
ROLL: KissThisThen rolls brawn for: : x1 : x2 (Pair) : x1 -- Match Value: 1 (Raw: 3 6 3 2 -- d10)
ROLL: Locke rolls brawn for: : x2 (Pair) : x1 : x1 -- Match Value: 1 (Raw: 8 1 1 7 -- d8)
ROLL: Phoenix rolls Brawn+1 for: : x1 : x1 : x2 (Pair) : x1 -- Match Value: 1 (Raw: 5 4 3 4 1 -- d6)
ROLL: Cinder rolls brawn for: : x1 : x1 : x1 : x1 -- Match Value: 0 (Raw: 5 2 6 1 -- d8)
ROLL: Visa rolls Brawn+1 for: : x2 (Pair) : x1 : x1 : x1 -- Match Value: 1 (Raw: 8 6 3 10 3 -- d10)
Anchor's eyes go wide and he swerves, experience showing as he keeps the chariot upright. "Piss Drinking Fart sniffers!"
ROLL: Arachne rolls 4d6 for: : x1 : x1 : x1 : x1 -- Match Value: 0 (Raw: 4 3 6 5 -- d6)
ROLL: Arachne rolls 4d6 for: : x1 : x1 : x2 (Pair) -- Match Value: 1 (Raw: 6 6 3 4 -- d6)
ROLL: Arachne rolls 4d6 for: : x1 : x1 : x1 : x1 -- Match Value: 0 (Raw: 3 1 4 6 -- d6)
ROLL: Arachne rolls 4d6 for: : x1 : x1 : x1 : x1 -- Match Value: 0 (Raw: 2 5 4 1 -- d6)
ROLL: Arachne rolls 4d6 for: : x1 : x1 : x1 : x1 -- Match Value: 0 (Raw: 4 5 6 2 -- d6)
ROLL: Arachne rolls 4d6 for: : x1 : x1 : x2 (Pair) -- Match Value: 1 (Raw: 1 3 4 4 -- d6)
Perhaps it's because she was watching the window so intently, or perhaps she just got lucky. But Evelyn manages to put her arms against the seat in front of her and brace herself, she takes a deep breath as she takes a look around for someone to hide behind. She is not ready for this, she's clearly scared, and trying not to show it.
It's about when Locke calls for quiet that Phoenix opens his eyes and wraps his hand around the edge of his seat, grabbing onto it to turn just in time to see the oncoming attack. It's only by the force of his grip alone that he isn't thrown bodily across the wagon. He manages to keep ahold even as he's tossed about, and then hauls himself upright again with a low growl in his throat. Then, his attention is entirely on what is going on outside, what little he can see, frustration evident in that he can't see, but at the same time -- more armor is better than more windows in this situation.
Faustina seems to notice something out the window and braces herself as the Mover brakes. "Fortunates and Savvy, down!" Then she shifts back to looking out the window, cracking it just enough open to get her gun barrel out as she looks for a shot, all her attention outside.
Having been standing this whole at his spot by one of the front windows, Locke's eyes narrow at the first sign of trouble. The overbearing singing was enough of a distraction that when he returns to survey the landscape again, it's already too late to call out a warning, but he will state, "Hold on!" There are straps along the wall for him to grip onto, wrapping it around his his fist and up his wrist. That doesn't save him from being tousled around, but it keeps him mostly stationary as his body sways to bounce off against the wall on which he was leaning. Once he's regained his bearing, a swift gaze looking over the mess of a crowd within the bus, he turns to get a better look at where their enemies are now positioned, looking ready to take a shot when one is available.
Cinder always tries to connect with people. It's who he is. So, sure, bitching to the Masked Monitor isn't anything but just that. Man to man complaining. And because he's manages to make out the blue eyes behind the lenses, the braking catches him completely off guard. Cinder is big enough to ram hard into the seat in front of him and wind up on the floor. He's confused and hurting, which beats scared. But that is coming. He slides his goggles over his eyes. It's gonna get dusty. Dustier...
Art's thumbs-up becomes a middle finger of irritation, and he somehow manages to keep himself up in his seat, swinging around to try to get a bead on the Sons of Celibacy as he puts his faith in Anchor's driving. Beneath the mask, his red eyes uncharacteristically narrow in concentration as he recalibrates his lenses.
Twisted around in her seat as she was, when the vehicle comes to a sudden halt Visa already happens to be gripping the back of the seat and she simply holds on for dear life, letting out a shriek of surprise. Wide-eyed, she drops back down to the seat, then rethinks it, scooting down to crouch on the floor of the People Wagon, her bottom lip dark pink from being worried between her teeth. "Everyone alright?" she whispers, craning her neck to catch a glimpse of her fellow Fortunates along for this interrupted ride.
Mask manages to brace himself and keep from being too rattled, then in a moment is up on his feet, handgun drawn from the inside of his jacket where he keeps it nice and secure, knife flipping out into the other hand. He makes a silent motion for the unarmed individuals to stay down as he takes up position at one of the windows, ready to take a shot when he can.
KissThisThen is tossed - straight into SKIDMARXXX's arms, which means that he does not actually get thrown about too badly. The mouse-costume-headed weirdo, already wearing his armour, bellows "GREASY LITTLE MOTHERFUCKERS-" And starts to stand. KTT scrabbles awkwardly up, loosing his sharpened hand-hoe from his belt. Basically a long, razored hook of metal on a metal handle "-GET THE GIRLIES HEAD DOWN, LITTLEDUDE -" is shouted into his ear, and KTT shoves the man's face out of his and spins, trying to work out what is going on.
"OW!" yells Arachne from her bunker. "The fuck?!"
The other Chariot up front doesn't respond as well as Anchor, and it goes rolling like a spilled cup, ejecting the gunner. Both vehicles in back fishtail as they brake and turn, sliding into the Wagon from behind, but not doing or taking too much damage. Still, they're stopped and pressed up against the massive bus. The two side escorts swerve, one spinning out but not flipping, the other retaining control.
The Devil Boy vehicles break off just before they'd hit the Wagon, and they polecat one raider each onto the bus' roof. The People Wagon has boarders.
ROLL: Faustina rolls finesse+1 for: : x1 : x1 : x2 (Pair) : x1 -- Match Value: 1 (Raw: 7 2 3 1 3 -- d8)
ROLL: Mask rolls finesse -1 for: : x1 : x1 : x1 -- Match Value: 0 (Raw: 2 3 7 -- d8)
[SPEND] Art has spent 1 GP for reason: extra die
ROLL: Art rolls Finesse +2 for: : x3 (Set) : x1 : x2 (Pair) -- Match Value: 4 (Raw: 3 6 1 1 6 1 -- d6)
ROLL: KissThisThen rolls 4d10 for: : x1 : x1 : x1 : x1 -- Match Value: 0 (Raw: 10 5 4 2 -- d10)
ROLL: Locke rolls finesse+1 for: : x2 (Pair) : x1 : x2 (Pair) -- Match Value: 2 (Raw: 5 3 1 1 5 -- d6)
From where he's positioned, Locke can only watch as one of those poles bends forth to drop one of the raiders on top of the bus' roof. They can hear the heavy fall of the person landing up there and he's quick to warn, "Everyone, stay down! We've got an unwanted guest." Shifting from his spot in front of the window, to stand just beside it for protection, he tries his best to listen to footfall coming from the roof, before he takes aims and pulls the trigger, firing several shots up to puncture their cover.
Anchor swings the small heavily armoured car around, trying to get a good raking position for the gunner, while raking Repo's spikes along the side of a lighter Devil Boy vehicle, "Eat Spikes, Pissant!"
Mask's eyes shift from the windows up to the roof as he hears boots hitting the wagon. "Tsssss...." He hisses softly, muffled to a coarse sound by the mask. He swings his gun towards the roof and takes a shot, pretty much blind, but might make the raiders think twice about being up there as it joins the other shots headed up that way.
SKIDMARXXX whips out his pump action shot gun. Chambering a round, he tilts his head, eyes the ceiling, and fires upwards through it towards the sounds. BOOM BOOM. They end up off angle, not quite there. He yells "MOTHERFUCKER!" in what for him is a low whisper.
Faustina manages to get a shot off at one of the Raider vehicles, even hitting it, though not well enough to take the raider out. Still, it looks like he might be hurt. And then she's scanning for her next shot.
Art opens fire directly at the people wagon-- no, above it. A lesser shot would have endangered the passengers, but he does not: his bullets go exactly where he wants them to go.
Phoenix has no weapons on him, and so he just gets down and out of the way so that those with firearms and weapons can actually take a shot. He's not going to be any good unless he can punch someone, so for the moment he holds on tight against further jostling, and keeps his head down.
Evelyn keeps her head down, stays away from the windows. She's trying to keep herself from freaking out, and more importantly from showing fear. She stays close to people who look like they might be able to protect her.
Gunfire makes Cinder cry out but quickly, he covers his mouth. He is curled up in the tightest ball he can manage. Just completely terrified and frozen. He pulls a hood over his head, an afterthought. Red hair stands out.
With her question likely missed in all the gunfire, Visa confirms that her fellow Fortunates are indeed ducked down and tucked out of the way just as she is. Breathing a sigh of relief that might be too soon, she too hunkers down to wait out the fire fight.
Between Art's spray and Locke shooting up through the roof, all three boarders are shredded and fall, the vehicle-mounted War Boy taking out two while the Monitor kills the third. Faustina's shot wings a gunner on a passing vehicle but does not drop him. The People Wagon is safe for the moment.
The three Devil Boy rides loop around and unleash explosive spears at Anchor's ride and the two Chariots jammed up behind the Wagon.
ROLL: Anchor rolls 5d6 for: : x1 : x2 (Pair) : x2 (Pair) -- Match Value: 2 (Raw: 4 6 1 6 4 -- d6)
Anchor swerves their car away, using a bit of boulder for cover, then swings back into postion with a wild whoop.
Art does not whoop. Art is silent as he lines up his next shot.
[SPEND] Art has spent 1 GP for reason: extra die
ROLL: Art rolls Finesse +2 for: : x2 (Pair) : x2 (Pair) : x1 : x1 -- Match Value: 2 (Raw: 1 2 2 1 5 3 -- d6)
ROLL: Faustina rolls finesse+1 for: : x2 (Pair) : x1 : x2 (Pair) -- Match Value: 2 (Raw: 4 2 2 3 4 -- d8)
ROLL: Arachne rolls 5d8 for: : x1 : x2 (Pair) : x1 : x1 -- Match Value: 1 (Raw: 8 5 6 5 4 -- d8)
ROLL: Arachne rolls 5d8 for: : x2 (Pair) : x2 (Pair) : x1 -- Match Value: 2 (Raw: 5 7 3 5 3 -- d8)
ROLL: Arachne rolls 5d8 for: : x1 : x1 : x1 : x1 : x1 -- Match Value: 0 (Raw: 1 3 5 2 8 -- d8)
ROLL: Arachne rolls 5d8 for: : x1 : x1 : x2 (Pair) : x1 -- Match Value: 1 (Raw: 2 6 8 6 5 -- d8)
Three of the four War Kids jammed up behind the Wagon escape their vehicles before the javelins hit. One does not. The Wagon rocks as it takes the concussive force of the explosions just behind it.
ROLL: Locke rolls finesse+2 for: : x2 (Pair) : x1 : x3 (Set) -- Match Value: 4 (Raw: 4 4 4 1 1 3 -- d6)
ROLL: Mask rolls finesse for: : x1 : x1 : x1 : x1 -- Match Value: 0 (Raw: 3 4 5 2 -- d8)
If Cinder could fit under a seat, he would be there. He is utterly still and completely silent. Even as gunfire and explosives go off, he only moves slightly to cover his ears.
Arachne CAN fit under a seat, and is down there still, staying put.
Faustina has been tracking the vehicle she shot before and manages a better shot on it this time, taking out the gunner. Then the Mover rocks and she has to grab for her balance to keep from falling over.
ROLL: Anchor rolls 5d6 for: : x1 : x1 : x2 (Pair) : x1 -- Match Value: 1 (Raw: 4 3 4 2 5 -- d6)
Mask doesn't waste anytime celebrating the bullet-riddled demise of the raiders on the roof, now it's time for the ones driving around making havoc. He yanks one of the windows open and takes a shot at one of the vehicles as it rushes past.
Anchor is now howling his excitement as he races repo towards the last Devil boat, "Die Shit Stains! Die!"
Evelyn sticks low and to the floor, looking at the others and as she tries to keep herself calm she asks a simple question. "Is this normal?"
Phoenix remains down, holding on. He reaches out one hand and puts it on Cinder's shoulder, steady and strong, perhaps just trying to make sure he doesn't topple over with his hands over his ears.
Again War Kid and Monitor team up, this time Art and Faustina littering a vehicle with lead. Now driverless, it careens off into a ditch.
Locke and Mask unload on another, and it too loses both driver and gunner, crashing into the smouldering heaps of the two Chariots behind the Wagon. Again the Wagon rocks.
The last Devl Boy vehicle turns and tries to run for it.
Grabbing onto the edge of her seat, Visa releases a shriek as the Wagon rocks yet again, her composure rapidly deteriorating. "Not again, not again, not again," she murmurs through shaky breaths, her eyes wide and delicately rimmed in red as if she's on the verge of tears, and the shouting from outside just seems to make that worse. "Is it over yet?" she asks, her voice projecting a desperate hope.
Locke doesn't stop firing until any sound from above is completely diminished. It's only then that he takes this moment to crouch down, his back still against the wall in order to reload. It's a good thing too, just at that moment, the bus is rattled by an explosion from behind and his hunkered positioning works to keep him from losing his balance and toppling over. One he's done, he rises to take careful aim at one of the nearby vehicles on his side of the bus. Rather than go for the shooter, he focuses on the driver first. If he doesn't take the guy, the swerving will be enough of a distraction for anyone else aboard that chariot. One, then two shots are fired, before he turns his weapon quickly to try and finish off their gunmen in the commotion, before watching as that particular car crash into several driven by their buddies. He ducks back in to reload, his intense dark eyes staring out at Evelyn, "Unfortunately, yes. This is the danger of wandering the wastelands." It's all spoken in a flat, matter-of-fact way.
KILL SCENE COMPLETE
ROLL: Anchor rolls 5d6 for: : x1 : x1 : x1 : x1 : x1 -- Match Value: 0 (Raw: 1 2 6 4 5 -- d6)
ROLL: Anchor rolls 1d6 for: : x1 -- Match Value: 0 (Raw: 3 -- d6)
Faustina is still scanning out the window, making sure there are no other raiders. Her attention almost all out there. "I am not seeing any more raiders, but Fortunate and Savvy should stay down while we make sure and have someone check on what exploded behind us."
Anchor hits a soft patch of earth and gets bogged down, helpess as the Devil Boy gets away.
With Anchor in hot pursuit of the remaining vehicle, Arthur once again swings into position, taking his time to calmly and deliberately get the enemy into his sights. But the Devil Boy peels off as his own vehicle stalls, and he grunts softly, "Mediocre."
Anchor bellows curses as it becomes clear he's stuck. Time to get out and push. His neck tumors force him to cock his head slightly, but he's still fairly strong. He sighs and puts his back into it.
"Wounded!" yells a War Kid emerging from the catastrophe behind the wagon. "Casualties! Bring the Spider!"
Cinder might not even be here mentally. He was just a big lump of bland, dark clothes. He doesn't startle when Phoenix touches him. He exhales. A sound of resignation. A moment where he thought he was about to die. It's not until Locke speaks of the dangers of the wastelands that Cinder sits up, straight and just screams, like a wild person...a bit like his big brother. "Yes! This is why I do not fucking leave the fucking Citadel. This shit happens all the fucking time!" His eyes are bigger and buggier behind the goggles he wears when in the Dust. He collapses back to the floor, hyperventilating.
Mask let out another "Tsshhhhh..." As he peers out the window towards the rear of the wagon. With a small snnoyed huff he puts his weapons away, and turns to survey the group of people inside the wagon, casting about looking for injured. "All injuries look to be.." And he taps the side of his head, as he turns his attention to his fellow Monitors.
Out squirms Arachne from under her fortress, pulling her satchel behind her. "Someone get me out there," she mutters. "They could be bleeding out."
Taking Faustina's advice, Visa stays down where she is, waiting for some sort of all-clear before risking putting her head back up.
Evelyn reaches out towards Cinder and smiles. "But isn't it exciting though?" She offers, "Way more interesting than a normal day." She spits out the phrase 'normal day' with a clear disdain for normality. She stays down some, but now that it appears to be over her fear is gone, and she can get back to enjoying the trip. While keeping her head down just in case.
His weapon fresh with ammo, Locke keeps his back pressed against the side of the bus, remaining crouched down just as Cinder screams. The Copper does not look amused by this, simply staring at the other man in the hopes that he'll shut up! "Keep your voices down." He finally says, "You don't want to call further attention to the bus." With that said, he rises to stand, weapon still in hand. "If there's anyone here who can help heal, please do so. Then we'll decide whether we want to proceed forward or turn back depending on the damage." Hearing Arachne under some rubble, Locke turns in that direction, then looking to Faustina, to ensure that some of them will remain vigilant, just in case. With that in mind, he takes the few steps over to help the Spider out!
"Fuck exciting." Cinder hisses. He's barely all together as he gets to his feet and heads for Arachne. "Climb up. I'm a universal donor. Let's help. I can help." He reaches down, letting her take it from there
She's already half way up Locke's back, but Cinder gets a nod from Arachne. "We'll need blood. With us."
Art doesn't help Anchor push. Instead, he heads off toward Arachne. There's a first aid kit snapped to his harness, and he unslings it as he trots along.
Visa rises from where she'd been hiding out of sight and out of mind. "Will we be needing more blood?" the Fortunate asks dutifully, craning her neck cautiously to peer outside.
By the time Cinder's off the bus? He's pulled it all in. His expression is placid, posture straight as he follows, dutifully, to donate his body for the good of others. A proper Fortunate. A Patron. Maybe. One day...
Making sure that Arachne is secured onto his back, Locke turns to Cinder, having just scolded the man just earlier about being loud. Those dark, judgmental eyes of his look the Fortunate over and he nods in time with Organic Mechanic's words. "Anyone who is able to assist, keep up. Don't fall behind. And remain ever vigilant." He'll wait a moment for the healing sorts to join them before moving forward towards the crashed injured.
Anchor keeps pushing Repo until she's free. Breath rasping in between grunts of effort.
Faustina is still scanning out the window, apparently watching for a second raid or those who might take advantage of the damaged vehicles and the wounded. "If you can help, do. If not, stay in the Wagon. How many are we down?"
Scurrying forward so as to not slow up the medical party heading off the bus, Visa is already shrugging out of her jacket, pressing on the veins in the middle of her arm with two fingers. "How many are down?" she asks, sounding concerned. "Are we going to need to turn back?"
Behind the People Wagon is a smoking heap of wreckage, two War Kid Chariots and aa Devil Boy ride all tangled up. The back of the bus is scorched but the armor held.
Once she's brought out and around back, Arachne climbs down off Locke's back near the wounded War Kid that's been pulled from the wreckage by his comrades. He's the one that didn't get out of the vehicle fast enough when it was struck by an explosive, and suffered further injuries when a Devl Boy car crashed into his. She scoots on hands and stumps to him and begins looking him over.
"Dig out the back of the Waagon," barks the Imperator to the gathered War Kids. "And right your rides. Fast. Were not sticking around to see if a War Party comes now that we're stopped."
"Just this one," says Arachne of how many injured there are. Someehow only one person has been hurt, but they're badly so.
Evelyn seems conflicted. On one hand, she wants to stretch her legs, on the other. No she doesn't feel like helping. Eventually, she decides to let fate decide. "Do you need me?" The Fortunate asks the people who are preparing for medical work.
Once Arachne is brought to the scene of the crash, Locke gets into position to stand guard, his weapon raised once more, back turned towards the healers as he continues to scan the horizon for any signs of this potential war party that the Imperator brings up. He won't rush the group, knowing that to heal wounds this grievous, it will take time and a delicate hand. He, personally, has no idea what their plans are next. It's not his call.
"Thank goodness it's only one," Visa says, though she covers her mouth with her hand when she sees just how bad it is. "Is he conscious?" she wonders, sounding almost hopeful, for his sake, that he isn't.
"Can you do that on the Wagon?" the Imperator asks Arachne, eyes regularly scanning the horizon. "Not until he's stable," replies the Organic Mechanic as she works. "You. Hook up." She holds out the plastic tubing with large guage needles at each end to Cinder, and the Fortunate knows what to do with it. He gets blood flowing to the War Kid while she continues to work on his wounds.
"If I can stablize him, you need to send him back to Sanctuary for the Hands. He needs immediate attention."
"I'm already down two Chariots, girl. Three isn't enough to guard the Peope Wagon if we get hit again."
The Anchor Man, named after his great Grandfather, who was fleet of foot, finally manages to get Repo moving again and swings her around and back into position, waiting for orders.
"Send the injured back," Arthur agrees, but suggests to the Imperator, "We're only an hour away from Solaris. They probably won't come back out since we routed them pretty decisively, so the return trip should be safe if you hurry. Send three Chariots back to rendezvous with us at the city, and we can return home at full strength." He doesn't seem to be needed for a blood transfusion, so he puts his medikit away.
"Will you be heading back with the injured?" Locke asks Arachne, though it's uncertain whether the Imperator will even allow the use of one of their cars for this mission alone. Even as he speaks, he never lets his guard down, his eyes ever roaming the dust and dirt in the distance. With this arrangement of war children waiting for their orders and monitors on guard, they are mostly secure for the time being. However, what Art says is right, they didn't have too long now from what he'd gathered.
Crouching down to brush the injured man's hair back from his brow while he's being worked on, Visa's expression is one of sympathy. "Poor thing, so badly wounded looking after us." She sighs gently, listening in on the plans for the expedition.
Evelyn stays inside as it's clear she's not needed outside; and it's still a bit scary. "We aren't going back, are we?" She asks someone near her.
Faustina calls over. "One hour to Solaris is better than five hours home, if we're low on guards. Send one vehicle back with the injured and whoever needs to tend him, and they can summon more War Rigs to meet us at Solaris, while we finish the negotiations and start work." Her eyes are still scanning the horizon, though.
Art nods to Faustina, who's clearly on the same wavelength.
The Imperator frowns, not liking it, but one more hour to Solaris is better than five back to Sanctuary. And the injured War Kid can be home in under three if rushed. "We'll have extra gun and defenses at Solaris," he agrees. "All right. You what lost your Chariots, in the Wagon. I want my fastest Chariot to take Jangles back home as soon as the Spider's done. Repo's crew is staying with us. I want that firepower."
"We're fastest," says a black War Kid named Exo. "We'll get Jangles back to the rock, Imperator, lickity-splits. Send three more Chariots to Solar-place, too. Count it."
The Imperator nods.
Cinder has been very quiet, professional even. But he says, blinking sadly. "Please send me to the Citadel."
Locke only half-turns to the discussing crowd when their orders seem to be finalized. "Sounds good. Do what you can to finish up here and we'll start packing everyone back into the wagon." The decision made seems to set his mind at ease. When Cinder requests to be sent along with on this return trip, Locke looks over at the Exo's car. "If there's space for you, I don't see a problem." All in all, it looks like Locke is ready to pack it up all and head out.
Arachne looks up, 'brow quirked at Cinder, meeting his gaze for a quick moment. "...He could use his blood bag," she allows. Covered in another's blood, she rests back on her backside away from Jangles, finished. The injured War Kid is young, and he looks so frail in that moment. "He can be moved now."
The Imperator starts back to tthe wagon. "LOAD UP!" he yells. "We're with the Tribe in an hour! No time wasted!" Exo and his Charioteer help Cinder get Jangles into their ride, then the Fortunate settled in as well. Then they're off.
Art heads back toward Anchor, noting that the car's back where it should be, thanks to the driver's pushing. He swings himself lithely back up into the gunner's seat, and readjusts his lenses, back to scanning the horizon.
Anchor's voice is all gravel, "All set?" He starts his engine, ready to go at the signal.
Leaving the downed man's side once the plans are finalized to get him back for treatment, Visa heads back toward Locke and the rest of the group re-boarding the wagon. "I was useful in theory," she figures optimistically, having accomplished little more than stretching her legs by getting out in the first place.
Arachne hops back onto Locke's back to be carried back to the Wagon. She gets blood all over him, of course. Oops.
Evelyn watches as things get settled, staying in her seat, "So are we about ready to keep going?" She asks, impatiently. Clearly eager to see more of the world.
Once the group returns back to the wagon, and Locke carries Arachne over in this trek, when she's staining his alright clothes in some war kid's blood, he sets her down inside before stepping back out to wait outside of the bus for everyone to pack on in. When Visa passes by, he catches what she says in passing. Though he, and many of the monitors, may come off as cold, he will offer some form of reassurance, "Your work is only just begun. Your talents will be needed at the Solar. Those children will need your guidance." With that said, he'll wait out here until it's ready to head on in.
Faustina is still, largely on the lookout for more raiders or anything else, but she does glance over, making sure Visa gets back on the bus. And then she's back scanning the horizon again.
Beaming a grateful smile up at Locke at the unexpected kind words in response to her private pity party, she laughs. "Those raiders will be child's play compared to a wagon full of hollering children on the way back," she predicts as she heads back onto the People Wagon, briefly checking in with Faustina to let her know she's back before she takes a seat.
Art is not a fan of noisy, restless kids, and so privately counts his blessings that he's just the guy with the gun. For the rest of the trip, he's scanning, scanning, pausing only once to swiftly remove his gas mask and take a precious swig of water from his canteen. His face is at odds with his caste: despite the grease around his brilliant pale red gaze and in his silvery hair, despite the white powder covering the rest, he is beautiful and unscarred and uncancerous, no tumors at his neck, no gashes in his cheeks. And despite the leanness of his form, there is none of that edgy frailty that underlies so many of the War Children: his health has stayed strong. Beneath the guise of a War Boy, he is radiant. And right now, he's pissed. "Those fucking Devil Boys," he calls down to Anchor, and anyone else who might overhear. "All they do is steal." He's ranted this before. "Our people, our vehicles, our," really, HIS, "Paint jobs! I can't even use red anymore! Even if mine is better!"
Anchor is a good driver, steady of nerve and quick of reflex. Proffessional. The sickness has started to hollow out his cheeks, but he was strong before it took hold and he's still fighting. he growls agreement, "Fucking Devil Boys. 'Course yours is better! They don't make; only take."
"I've been working on this new blue dye," Arthur continues, bolstered by Anchor's agreement. "It's like the sky without all the shit we've put up there. I'll turn it into proper paint when I get the right enamel. Who needs red?! Until they're all dead, anyway. Then we'll shine like the purest blood again!" He shakes his water at the sky, takes another drink, and then puts the canteen away. A moment later, and the mask is popped back on, its long skein of pristine white silk looped 'round his neck like a scarf. It clashes, sort of, with his black leather harness-- and yet, somehow, it doesn't. It's not like it's by far the craziest fashion, compared to many of his brethren. Or his own pre-War Child attire, really.
Anchor favors a black harness himself and laced on trousers, his body tatooed with various hazard warnings copied from signs the ancients abandoned in the wastes, his neck lumps given the faces of grinning monsters. "I love blue. Once you get it mixed, I'd love it if you dolled up Repo here." he pats the dash lovingly, "You do historic designs."
Art's smile isn't visible, but he purrs, "After your driving today, I'd love to get my hands all over your rig." Knowing him, he really might just be into the car. Or maybe he's flirting. Who knows?
Faustina continues to watch out the window of the Wagon. She's quiet, waiting out the hour, but unwilling to let her guard drop.
Evelyn is still watching the window herself, a little less excited than before, but still fairly excited. She asks Faustina, "Have you been in a lot of fights?"
Anchor flashes a grin up and back, "Oh, I'd love your hands on my rig anytime. With your shooting, I bet you hav incredibly skilled hands." He's clearly flirting, but also serious about his car.
KissThisThen has been more or less quiet. Given a lack of personal attention right up against him, he has not needed to swing his gardening tool in defence of himself. SKIDMARXXX went off back to Sanctuary, in order to go and see if he could get a bit of assistance with getting to run gun on another Chariot instead of harassing KissThisThen. Finally, the gardener says "...if the bodies are still there on the way back, we should pick them up."
"It's a date, then," Art assures Anchor. "I'll bring the blue, you bring the balls."
Anchor throughs his head back and laughs, the grinning monsters on his neck jiggling. "Promises, promises."
Faustina hmms. "Some. I am not usually the front lines. The Keepers are more commonly called on to engage in battle." She's still not turning from the window.
KissThisThen clears his throat, and he turns around, and puts his hands together - before he starts looking around for his notes. He crouches to pull them up, stacking them in sheathes, and then organising them all. The charcoal is smudged.
Now with the action over and the wait until the next attack begins as they continue their journey through the wastelands, Locke is back at his position near the front of the wagon, the leather strap tied around his arm as he waits beside the window, gun in hand. If anything could be said about Locke, calm is not a word normally used. It's as if something could set him off at any moment,this underlying tension that can be seen in his form. His ears perk on hearing the word 'Keeper' from off Faustina's lips. A brief glance is given his fellow Monitor and then the rest of their crew. Despite the earlier freak out, everyone seems relatively calm now.
"You should teach me how to fight, let me help defend myself." Evelyn opines in Faustina's direction, a casual suggestion that comes out with ease. "I know you guys don't want me on the front lines, but like..." She shrugs.
Faustina shakes her head a little, still not looking away from the window. "That is not your function or role. You should not be in the line of fire."
Eavesdropping is what monitors do best, listening in to other people's conversations and what not, so that is what Locke does now even if he mostly looks to be tuned out from anything happening in the bus, trying to keep his focus on the dangerous world outside. Then to echo something that Faustina says which means that he's been listening, he decides to state, "We all have our purpose in life, chosen for us from those who know best." The Three. There's this side-glance, a subtle look that he gives Evelyn, studying her from where he stands. If anything, he looks thoughtful. "Our job is to protect you and the other Fortunate Ones." He finally says, his gaze drifting back to the window.
The Savvy Reaper's hearing is pretty bad, so without close people to focus on...well, he finds it hard. After a moment, he says "We can change between castes." He is not eavesdropping, but paying attention to Monitors is, well. Wise.
Evelyn sighs and rolls her eyes. "I'm not asking to be in the line of fire. I'm asking to not be left helpless if it comes down to that." She huffs a bit, clearly not satisfied with the answer.
"Caste changes happen when suitability for a given function has been reevaluated. Not often. And knowing how to fight means you are more likely to try to fight. If some attacking force has managed to kill all the War Kids and Monitors, why do you think that you would be suited to fight it off?" Faustina's tone is flat and she still hasn't looked away from the window.
Art was once a Fortunate, and yet now he's outside, protecting his former Caste. Not because of a sudden illness, not because of a fuckup, exactly: because he was too useful. Were he able to overhear the conversation inside, he might have said something like, "Roles change!" But he doesn't. And yet, his presence there is enough to say it, in its own way.
Anchor loves being a Charioteer. They love the speed and the challenge and the adrenaline of it. They squint ahead to try to tell if the blur on the horizon is Solaris or just dunes and heat shimmer.
When KTT pipes up, Locke may have said something in response, but Faustina takes the reins with her own opinion on the matter. Instead, he states, "If the all of the War Children and the Monitors are gone, deceased, there are other skills useful to survival than fighting if it comes down to that." Without looking at Evelyn, knowing many of the Fortunates enough as he frequents the Bazaar, he asks, "Are you planning on becoming a Patron? A diplomat?"
"Poison is a good equaliser," says the Reaper "Better in close situations. And most of the good methods for detection are now lost." He has finally finished ordering his papers correctly.
"Depends on how many you've managed to take out, no?" Evelyn answers Faustina, she shrugs and leans back into her seat. "I haven't thought that far ahead yet." She answers Locke, "Why?"
Faustina shrugs and continues scanning dunes. "Poison is possible, but potentially a double-edged sword."
His tall frame leaning against the interior wall with his firearm at the ready, Locke shakes his head to Evelyn's question. "I was just curious. Diplomats make these trips all the time for negotiation." That might give someone the incentive to take that route if just to leave the cage. "They are also some of our most valuable cargo. As are all Fortunate Ones."
KissThisThen puts his collection to one side, and then he says to Faustina "Only if one is incurious, or inaccurate. But I do think being taught to defend yourself before you are in the worst position is wise." He flexes his hands "If I'd been better at it, I wouldn't ache so much now. At the very least, ducking. Dodging. Avoiding damage. Besides," he adds "Even Fortunate fight. Each other, if nothing else. I've seen it happen. Even in the Green, creatures seek to out-compete one another. Best to do so with a good knowledge, yes?"
Evelyn sighs and just mutters, "Don't feel very fortunate." To herself. Before adding, more loudly, "I'll give it some more thought."
Art just surveils the road, spinning his turret to keep watch from side to side as well as ahead. They're not going to get the jump on him again, oh no!
Anchor's eyes scan a cone in front of them, trusting his gunner to take the wider view.
Faustina doesn't seem to feel the need to add anything else just now and her eyes are still on the hills and dunes, looking for attack.