Title: King of the Road
Description: Solo Travel
Run4 - April 10, 2010 07:00 PM (GMT)
Having received his orders from Paul English at the Copperton Sheriff's Office
, and upping his gear loadout in Trapper's, Caleb strode out through the gates of Bucket Town, watching the map Mister English had given him and orienting himself with the land marks. The indicated path would take him right through Red Skull territory. Last he'd heard, the Kurgan weren't exactly on great terms with those cannibal bastards, after the last little war they'd had. Over half the Red Skull Tribe wiped out. Caleb himself had killed their chieftain on-on-one to end that scuffle. He wouldn't be welcomed there.
He rubbed his chin and looked for alternate routes. One went through the steel mill. Caleb winced. He'd seen enough of that place for now. The other swept south towards the Coast before kicking back up North by Northeast to the Sabine Mental Hospital. He'd heard the place was big. The Tribal Superstitions in his head said it was probably haunted too. Caleb doubted that. He looked at his old tribal gear, hefting the rolled-up bundle in his hand as he folded the map and shoved it into the pocket of his newer armour. He glanced around and started kicking a hole in the sandy ground near the railway yard.
Once a hole big enough for a fire pit had formed, Caleb dropped the bundle of tribal clothing into it and crouched, dropping some timber kindling down on top. He scattered a little black powder over that and started trying to strike sparks on a rock with the sword from the Linconson house. He wasn't going to risk damaging the edge on the better one doing this. When a small flame finally caught and ignited the black powder, Caleb started fanning it, spreading it to the kindling and his old suit.
Once the whole heap had burned to ash, Caleb buried it, his Tribal Ritual complete. His ancestors would be watching over him for this.
Run4 - April 13, 2010 09:22 PM (GMT)
((OOC: Random Encounter :o ))
Caleb watched the landmarks again, finding south again and marching off towards the coast. A few eyes from the town followed him, but soon, he was lost to their sight among the dunes and hills around the settlement. He stopped in the shade of a mesa after half an hour to check his direction again, using the sun this time. He followed along his chosen route a mite further before being brought to a sudden stop by sounds in the next hollow.
Dropping to his belly, Caleb crawled up the dune, careful not to let his bandages slip and let sand grind into his wounds. He reached the top of the dune, glancing down to the hollow. He raised an eyebrow at what he saw. Ghouls. Seven of them. Circled around two other Ghouls, stripped to the waist and wailing the tar out of each other. Caleb stood slowly and descended the dune, his hands raised. The Ghouls turned to him, two raising weapons. Caleb stopped in his tracks.
"Easy there fella. Not here to bring any trouble to you or your . . . fight club, I assume?" Caleb said, waving his hands a little to emphasise he wasn't going to reach for his weapons.
The two armed ones lowered their weapons, but didn't stow them. The Ghouls all looked at each other and then pointed at Caleb's various tattoos.
"What're you doin' with FORECON insignia tattooed on you Tribal?" One of the Ghouls, with a flaking version of a similar tattoo to Caleb's visible on his right forearm.
"Long story. Ancestors and all that. My tribe, we got a lot of different blood in us, but we can trace ourselves back to a Force Recon unit on excercises in California when the bombs dropped," Caleb answered, eyes on the Ghouls' guns.
"You know how to fight?" the FORECON Ghoul continued.
"I know some," Caleb answered, finally lowering his hands.
"Get in the ring in the sand. The boys need some experience with smoothskins and bigger people. You fill both criteria," the FORECON Ghoul growled. His tone didn't imply an alternative.
"And what do I call you?" Caleb inquired.
"Master Gunnery Sergeant Carl Younger. But for now, I'm sir," the Ghoul answered, waving Caleb into the sand ring with the two battered Ghouls, who upon closer inspection, were smaller than the armed Ghouls.
Run4 - April 29, 2010 09:12 AM (GMT)
Caleb looked at the Ghouls, briefly considering refusing Younger's command. He had a job to do after all. Caleb sighed and began setting his gear down on the ground, making sure his dust-sensetive machinegun's Dust Cover was secured and the barrel was still wrapped in cloth. He stepped into the sand circle, looking over his shoulder at Younger, who nodded past him. A fist impacted on Caleb's gut, catching him off-guard. Caleb weaved past the second attack, trying to catch his breath and regain his composure. He blocked and countered the next attack, his calloused knuckles connecting with one Ghoul's chin and staggering him. That got Caleb the breathing space he needed.
Caleb moved to the edge of the circle, watching the two Ghouls as they separated to try and hit him from two angles. Caleb's eyes followed the one he hadn't hit yet. Before the Ghouls were ready to launch their attack, Caleb kicked a cloud of sand up at the unhurt Ghoul, catching him off-guard. Caleb launched himself at the other one. The Ghoul wasn't half bad. But he was a rookie in terms of fighting bare-handed. Which was pretty odd for a Ghoul. Caleb had only ever dealt with Pre-War Flakies before this.
Caleb put his reach to use, throwing a strong jab straight at the Ghoul's eye. The rest of the face was a decent shock absorber, but the eyes and nose, they were sensetive. The punch connected with decent force, snapping the Ghoul's head backwards with a dull thud. Caleb glanced over his shoulder at the other Ghoul, who had just recovered from a facefull of sand. Caleb spun towards the unhurt Ghoul, catching him off-guard with a wide-angled hammer fist. The Ghoul fell to the ground, dazed and disoriented by the vicious blow. Caleb spun back to the other Ghoul and landed a backhand that floored him too. The downed Ghouls looked at him, then at each other, then at Younger.
"What now?" Caleb asked Younger, glancing over his shoulder at the Ghoul, who had a look of being impressed in his milky eyes.
"Guess we should try some grappling or ground fighting," Younger said, before shrugging and deciding against it. Caleb's strength would be too much of an advantage over the comparatively inexperienced New Ghouls in either situation. "I think a break and asking for some directions might be in order."
The downed New Ghouls sat up as if they'd just been offered a cure to their condition. Caleb sat down, cross-legged by his gear as the Ghouls either paced or sat down. Younger looked over to Caleb, sizing him up.
"You look like you know your way around Tribal. Now, we're lookin' for a place called Unity Bridge. Hear it's a place Ghouls can go. You wouldn't know where that is, would you?" Younger queried.
"Not exactly where it is, but I know the river it's built on. If you follow the coast around north, it's the first one you come across. Then just follow it upstream and you should hit the bridge. Just make sure to come at the town from the right side. The human and Ghoul halves don't exactly see eye to eye," Caleb replied.
"And where are you headed?" Younger asked.
"Sabine Lunatic Asylum. Scouting the place out for a job," Caleb andswered.
"We'll follow you til we get to our river then," Younger decided. Caleb had the distinct feeling he had no say in the matter. Again.
Run4 - June 12, 2010 02:58 PM (GMT)
Caleb removed the dried, salted jerky-stuff he'd been supplied with at the Copperton Sheriff's Office, taking a bite. Not bad. A bit on the leathery side, but not bad other than that. He offered a strip to Younger and the other Ghouls. The two New Ghouls accepted, but the older ones - Caleb guessed they were members of Younger's unit, they held themselves like he did - declined the offer, digging into their own kit bags. They pulled similar strips of a lighter meat from the packs, splitting them among Younger and his three Old Ghoul associates.
"We should move at sundown Tribal. What's your name anyway?" Younger asked, rather than demanding this time.
"Caleb Wolff. Kurgan Tribe," Caleb answered, chewing absently on his jerky as he tried to think up the route that would lead them to Unity's river without running into much trouble.
"For now, you're Sergeant Wolff. Enjoy the promotion," Younger grunted, shaking Caleb's hand with a bone-crushing grip that outdid Caleb's own handshake by some margin.
"Aye sir," was all Caleb could think of responding with as he watched the sun creep down towards the horizon. This far south, sunset didn't take that long. "It'll be dark in about ten minutes."
Run4 - June 28, 2010 04:48 PM (GMT)
The sun dipped. And dipped further. And further again. This far south there was virtually no half-light time. And there it went. Utter darkness over the Southern Wastes again. Caleb, Younger and the older Ghouls rose without a word, the two New Ghouls jumping to attention once the Ranger and Pre-War Flakies were on their feet. Younger raised an eyebrow at Caleb, waving him on. Caleb oriented himself by the stars this time and headed Northeast. Younger and the Ghouls followed, fanning out around Caleb with their rifles. Automatics. For once, Caleb felt a little underarmed.
"Where'd you get the piece?" Caleb grunted, indicating Younger's FAL.
"Marine Corps. Imported from Europe when Belgium was trying to keep it's head above water during the Resource Wars," Younger answered bitterly.
Caleb nodded and continued in silence, electing to return to Native Guide status. He concentrated on watching the dunes up ahead, his Stoner held tight in his hands. Nothing. The night was startlingly empty. Sure, the desert was usually empty, but there were almost always roving packs of dogs in these parts. Even the occasional mange-ridden or rabid lone hounds. It unnerved Caleb.
The walk went quietly for a further half hour before anyone bothered to ask what was going on. Nothing. Still nothing. It was strange. They called stops every five minutes to check for ambushes. Still nothing. A hunting dog would have been really handy for sniffing anything out, but it appeared there was nothing to sniff.
Run4 - July 12, 2010 02:05 AM (GMT)
Caleb crested another dune, weapon raised. He heard a deep, rumbling bellow as he looked down at an Oasis. He immediately called a halt. Three dead Brahmin lying in various states of decomposure and dismemberment. Limbs and skeletons piled all around what had once been clean, drinkable water. Now it was green, brackish and half-filled with mangled, ruined bodies of dogs, Brahmin, the occasional Mirelurk and innumerable human skeletons. Caleb was almost positive a Hell Cat's forelimbs were floating around in the putrid mixture. The water bubbled and a monstrous, scaly head emerged from the water.
Caleb began backing away. He had only seen three Grators in his life, and none of those incidents had ended well. He grabbed one of the New Ghouls by the clooar as the unfortunate went to take a look down into the hollow. The Pre-War Ghouls had more sense. When someone like Caleb backed away, it was a sign that everyone should back the fuck away. That thundering bellow so commonly heard around the swamps echoed up from the Oasis' hollow, splitting the night air like thunder.
"Of all the territory to walk into, we had to walk onto a Grator's patch?" Caleb thought to himself.
Maybe backing away had stabilised the situation. They bellow echoed again. Deafening. Closer. Situation not stabilised. Situation unstable. Situation very un-fucking stable. The Grator's head lumbered into view. Situation escataled! Caleb grabbed the New Ghoul and ran as the Grator came hurtling down the dune at them, using all six limbs for locomotion. Caleb felt the creature's slipstream as it passed. He tossed the New Ghoul away and raised his machinegun, shouldering the weapon, disengaging the safety and squeezing the trigger in one surprisingly fluid motion.
The Machinegun kicked into violent life, roaring as the muzzle flashed. Younger fired his battle rifle, backing up and firing in short bursts as the Grator skidded to a halt, the bullets thudding into the armoured top half of it's scaly hide. The thing moved like it knew they were trying to get a shot at it's underside. Caleb moved left, spreading the group's heavy fire out as one of the otherPre-War Ghouls raised what Caleb guessed was a sub-machinegun. Impressive firepower. caleb heard the crack - click - crack of a bolt-action rifle bring cycled rapidly. The two New Ghouls fired semi-automatic pistols wildly at the bellowing monstrosity as it rushed at them, using it's tail as an emergency brake to turn rapidly.
This son of a bitch thing knew how to fight on land. Probably decided ambushing caravans and roving dog packs approaching the Oasis was a good way to live. It skidded back to face Younger as the old Ghoul reloaded. Caleb's eyebrows rose as Younger finished the emergency reload in what had to be less than ten seconds. And the old Ghoul was back to firing. Caleb realised his machinegun was no longer kicking. No longer roaring. Now was not the time for a jam. Caleb desperately tried to clear the jam as the beast turned it's attention to him.
The Grator bellowed, rushing at him. It bulled through one of the New Ghouls as he ventured too close, it's massive tail whipping around and launching the Ghoul into the air. The poor bastard hit the ground, his spine bent so far his head and heels were in contact. Caleb tossed his gun to the other New Ghoul, diving out of the way. He felt the wind of the beast's snapping jaws as it passed. The crack of it's jaws closing was like a gunshot going off in the still night. It pulled the emergency brake again, digging it's tail and one rear leg down into the sand as anchors and lurching around with the other five limbs.
It rushed back, snapping it's jaws at Caleb as it made another pass. It was a Pre-War Ghoul's turn to die now, as Caleb dodged it's monstrous, machete-sized teeth. He flattened himself to the ground as it's tail whipped towards him, a gunshot-like whipcrack splitting the air as it rushed one of Younger's Pre-War buddies. The Ghoul didn't stand a chance as a weapon-jam distracted him. There was a snap, a crunch, and the Grator wheeled around again, blood slicking it's mouth. The Pre-War Ghoul's legs stood still in the sand for a few seconds before collapsing.
Caleb was forced to sidestep again as the creature rushed the one surviving New Ghoul - who was standing annoyingly close to Caleb. The burly Tribal shoved the New Ghoul well away from the incoming Grator's path again as it rushed at him - presuming him to be unarmed. Caleb dived to the ground as it passed, drawing his 10mm Pistol and firing from prone, his bullets slamming into it's softer undersides from this angle. Each bullet produced a satisfying slurp as they tore into the Grator's gut.
The Grator merely seemed irritated by having a five-shot bunch pumped into it's trunk and bellowed. Caleb winced at the volume with no dunes in the way to shield him from the noise. And he could smell it's rancid breath from here. It stank of death, decay, and a myriad of infectious flesh-eating diseases. Caleb winced. It felt like the stench had burned the hairs out of his nose.
He emptied the last of the magazine into the creature's soft belly as it wheeled itself around again. He holstered his pistol as it rushed back at him. It lurched it's massive head towards him, nearly catching him as he slid his club free of it's sling and hammered the weapon's lance into it's lower jaw. The steel spike lodged in the Grator's tongue. The beast's weight pulled the club from Caleb's hands as the monster carried on through, gasping and hissing as it tried to shake the weapon free of it's tongue. It finally clamped it's jaws shut, splintering the club like kindling.
Caleb and Younger watched helplessly as the beast used it's tail to launch itself at the other Pre-War Ghoul like a missile, crushing him to pulp as it's monstrous bulk rolled over him. Caleb rushed at the monstrosity, drawing both of his swords.
"Death wish!" he screamed at himself inside his own head.
The Grator called his bluff, rushing at him as Younger opened up on the Grator again. Younger had learned from Caleb and dropped prone to get an angle on the Grator's underbelly. It staggered, distracted as automatic fire raked it's vulnerable spot. It staggered as it barrelled towards Caleb, it's mass carrying it onwards as Younger's bullets raked it's belly and legs.
Caleb rolled between it's flailing forelimbs, driving both swords up into it's chest and diving off to the side, barely avoiding it's claws as it flailed in it's death throes. It thrashed towards him, it's heart beat escalating and pumping it's blood out into the sand at a phenomenal rate as Caleb's swords were shifted about in it's vitals. It heaved, coughed, blood bubbling from it's punctured lungs and it's clipped aorta.
Caleb waited for the struggling to stop before marching over to the corpse and wrenching his blades free. He sighed, spat and wiped them off before sheathing the trusty weapons. He sat down on the slain beast, taking his machinegun - still jammed - from the New Ghoul as he approached, staring at the limp, lifeless, twenty-foot-long monstrosity. Caleb sat and cleared the breach, digging the casing away where it's rim had shorn off and jammed the chamber. He hated when that happened.
Caleb looked up at Younger. Both he and the Ghoul were bruised and cut, but alive, and the New Ghoul was uninjured. Aside from a sprain or two from being thrown around by Caleb.
"Unity Bridge is upstream. There's a river a hundred yards beyond the Oasis. That's the one you're looking for. Good luck Younger," Caleb grunted. Younger just nodded and moved on. There was nothing more to say. He'd lost his unit.
((OOC: Killing the Grator was done in a way mammoths are presumed to have been killed by early hunters. Injure it, and get close enough to make a close-range thrust at the ribcage. Then run like hell as it bleeds out internally.))
Run4 - July 12, 2010 02:06 AM (GMT)
Ready to be locked and graded.
Munk - July 13, 2010 06:06 AM (GMT)
I loved it. As usual, your actions scenes were done very well and I was impressed with the Grator fight. Now Grade Time!
|Caleb Wolff: |
1x Large Hide: The hide from the Grator, a semi-rare skin and you may get a little more for it.
Pistol upgrade (Good Condition): Using the parts from the pistols of the fallen ghouls, Caleb managed to fixed up his own. It now fires faster, crisper and jams less.