(Basically Patriots Quest reverting the story before the fight happened because everyone agreed that the ending was bad.)
The year is 2280 sometime before the second battle of Hoover Dam a Caesar's Legion Centurion called Pilate is currently outside the base waitng to be let in to meet Special Agent CRONOS at Phoenix Military Base.
(People from the old rp who are welcome to join back in: Kastera1000, CaptainCain, Imthesteve'97, Eden2012, Veteran Legionary)
(There is no post order but please post within reason and give people a while to post as well)
(We'll resume and make changes at this point, if that is okay.)
CRONOS shakes his head in disbelief after overhearing the ongoing conversation between Henderson and the Wastelander visitors from the command room of the Phoenix Military Base.
"Do these goddamned Wasterats not realize the hard work they're undoing...? For years the Secret Service has worked like dogs to secure the temporary favor of Kaesar... and they think they can just waltz in here and take it away from us at the encouragement of Henderson's band of idealistic ruffians!?" CRONOS angrily thought to himself.
Centurion Pilate assumes they are about to test their new weapons, smiling slightly at that thought as his one of his two Legionaries grips his and the other draws his machete.
Seeing his Legion comrades getting rather aggressive with their body languages, CRONOS shakes his head at them fiercefully.
CRONOS: "Pilate, my friend... you're hereby implored to instruct your warriors to stand down because quite frankly? You'll die quickly, pathetically, and pointlessly if you think you'll actually succeed in what you're about to do. The men here are simply misguided, and can be convinced of the inherent value of our glorious alliance with the Kaesar. I understand that the ranking-field officer in charge here can be reasoned with, and simply fear the capabilities of the NCR's infernal horde and increasing resourcefulness..."
Snarling reluctantly, Pilate hesitantly stands down and holds up a finger to his Legionary companions...
Centurion Pilate: "Discedant! Amicus '!. While the old man's blunt doubt of our skill in battle is disrespectfully insulting... this is, indeed, his neck of the woods. We're guests here, and should conduct ourselves accordingly."
Albeit standing down much more quickly than their Centurion chose to, Pilate's entourage of Legionaries reluctantly lower their weapons and reacquire their previous positions at the flanks of their Centurion.
CRONOS: "That's what I appreciate about yourself so much as well... and why I opted to make an example of your inferiors and their inferior Centurion. You have potential, amicus. A lot of it... and if theirs one thing I absolutely refuse to tolerate... it's squandering a unique skillset. Now... we will meet with the man leading the residents here that I also place unequivocally high value in, and work out any and all of our little... 'disagreements', in a way better suited for truly civilized human beings. Is that clear?"
Pilate, smirking slightly at some of the old man's own idealism beginning to show, his facial expression returns to that of his typically intense sneer.
Pilate: "So be it. You've provided the supplies my Decanus' contuberium just recently requested, and swiftly at that... thus, you've abided by the mandatory tenets of your agreement with Emperor Caesar. We will also cooperate with those that you yourself chose to document..."
Meanwhile in the command room section, very suddenly and quite unceremoniously, two members of Enclave High Command's feared Onyx Troopers deactivate their cloaking systems right behind General Henderson, tightly gripping their Laser RCW's and leering back at the Wastelanders fearfully, albeit addressing Henderson himself directly.
Onyx Trooper I: "NCO Steven Henderson... a representative from the High Command, CO Jack Hunter requests an audience with himself and our glorious allies in Caesar's (Like CRONOS, the Onyx's pronounce the name/word 'Caesar' in it's traditional Latin form. Aka, like members of the Legion would pronounce their leaders name) Legion... In private. Should you continue to find loyalty to, a productively cooperative understanding with, and the approval of Colonel Autumn and the Enclave High Command, follow us, if you would..."
The addressing Onyx motions toward the doorway leading to the Phoenix Military Base's armory section, whilst the second silently begins an approach in mildly (For an Enclave Onyx Trooper, anyway) finding, and accosting the Wastelanders admitted into the obscure Enclave outpost.
For now, it is unknown what orders CRONOS instructed to the Wastelander-finding Onyx, particularly in their handling of their target once they're found... she certainly doesn't seem to be wasting any time in doing just that and locating them decisively and quickly...
(Here's the skinny: George, Texas, and Aaron sought shelter from a freak sandstorm. Meanwhile, CRONOS and Centurion Pilate were solidifying the Enclave-Legion alliance; General Henderson didn't want that to happen and was enlisting the help of George, Texas and Aaron to make sure it didn't. Then a battle ensured, but that's not what's happening in this alternate timeline.)
(Yeah and have to addmit I was far more sympathetic towards the NCR back then also it's Colonel now because there seems to be no General rank within the Enclave thought Colonel would be a better but not sure Lt. Colonel might be a better choice)
Texas Calhoun nearly jumped out of his skin when the Onyx troopers condensed out of the ether. His hand instinctively snapped to his hip, but found only dust in his holster. With a heavy sigh, his shoulders slumped and his lips tightened.
"Guess we ain't got much choice," he muttered beneath his breath, eyeing the power armored frames clutching laser weaponry.
Once Lt. Col. Henderson arrived back in the room, Texas folded his arms and shrugged. "Lead the way, I 'spose," he declared to the Onyx troopers, pointing at the doorway with a flattened hand.
George eyed the two power armored Enclave troopers with unease. The last time he had seen the Enclave's trademark devil horned, black armor was on Lachlan, but even then it had never allowed him to cloak himself like those to had. Turning to the two troopers,
"Were you two standing back there the whole time?"
Seeing Texas' quick move to his holster, George was reminded that he wasn't armed. Suddenly feeling very exposed without his revolver or Battle Rifle he looked about the room. After a brief scan he could tell there was nothing in the room he could use effectively against the two Onyx troopers. Shit
(With Spock as the GM, he should be able to interject IC'ly whenever the scenario might require further background, coordination or overall direction. Looking back at the old Patriots RP. I think that might've been another thing that fucked up the ending. Anyway.)
With a curiously misleading mechanical tone in their voice, the second Onyx responds to George.
Onyx Trooper II to George: "Obviously not Waster... or maybe we were... and I'm just telling you that so you'll never know for sure. But, how else would we have known to come inform the Lieutenant Colonel while we were accompanying the CO upon arrival?"
Looking over to the now-armored and armed L.C Henderson, the Onyx's both begin to exchange periodic stares at him usually followed by a sign of tension or uneasiness in their overall body languages... indicating that they're frankly, outright intimidated his first response to their ordered message... was to suit up and arm himself.
But even more so, their hopes of influencing the diplomacy as an intimidation factor on behalf of the High Command had been quite symbolically overriden. They already had their first impression, then... and it left them particularly uncertain.
This man was far too smart for their more... subtle means of achieving their ends, and this could pose a significant threat since Onyx's are rarely, if ever at all taken aback... little lone matched at their own game. They definitely didn't like that Henderson seemed to be way ahead of them... although this was mere smoke and mirrors to all but the most Perceptive of individuals at this point...
Onyx Trooper I to Henderson: "Hmph. And what of the Wastelander's, then? They're not known for being impartial in matters of national security, especially as of late... and so near to NCR insurgent and spy sightings. Nevertheless, respect for your jurisdiction takes priority... even if the potential habit of Wastelanders interloping in, or spying on... matters meant to be exclusive to closed doors."
Halfway to the sliding doorway leading into the armory , the assumed officer Onyx awaits Henderson's approach and response.
Henderson walked up to the Onyx Trooper and spoke to the trooper quietly
Lt. Colonel Henderson: "I Agree I'll have Sergeant Hoffmann watch over them even it might go bad since during the meeting well he very much...dislikes the Legion so best I have him watch them...he's good with Wastelander's."
Henderson looked back at Sgt Hoffmann
Lt. Colonel Henderson: "Hoffmann scratch that order you are to watch over the wastelander's, just bring them to the first level get them something to eat or something."
Henderson looked back at the Onyx Trooper
Lt. Colonel Henderson: "Ok just need to wait for Smith then I'll meet with this "Legion ambassador"."
Sgt Hoffmann sighed slightly and nodded and walked back to the Wastelanders
Sgt Hoffmann: "Well guess I'm stuck with watching you lot."
(I believe it is either amicus Veteran's turn, or it's back to Kastera. Whichever. Centurion Pilate is extremely casual and fair with his comrades though, so there is more than a few things you could do my friend.)
(I am also alright with getting rid of the posting order, except in the case of combat. Just keep in mind that there are five people in this RP; I don't want someone basically getting kicked out because a few people are talking back and forth and that someone can't get a word in edgewise.)
The officer-Onyx Trooper awaits the Lieutenant Colonel patiently at his previous spot, whilst the second Onyx proceeds to eavesdrop on the Wastelanders and Sergeant Hoffmann as directed... activating her stealth system quietly and appropriately.
The decorated Centurion Pilate looks to one of his expert soldiers impatiently, Amadeus the Veteran Legionary, and looking to pass the time addresses him.
Centurion Pilate: "AmicusVeteranus Amadeus... why so silent? You're not usually so... reserved, especially with all that is transpiring. Speak freely."
Amadeus was a little bit startled at being addressed by Pilate out of the blue and even more surprised at being asked what his opinion was.
Amadeus takes a few steps closer to Pilate and speaks softly so the armoured men can't hear what he is saying.
"Well if you want my opinion centurion, i think these men are no better than profligates, they drink, they do drugs, they hide behind fancy armour. I know sometimes we must make deals with the devil to continue our crusade but still it leaves a bad taste in my mouth to work with such men and clearly some of them aint too happy working with us either. This alliance looks like it'll only end in misery for the both of us."
Amadeus glanced around after saying his piece, hoping that the red garbed men were the only ones to hear what he had said.
Suddenly the elevator doors opened and Research Director of Phoenix MB Johnathan Smith walked out, a rather old looking man wearing a labcoat and glasses, Smith walked over to Henderson.
Johnathan Smith: "This better be important Henderson."
Lt. Colonel Henderson: "It is Caesar sent one of his "ambassadors" high commands orders are that we need to be in the deal, I'm guessing it's a weapons trade since their using the armory we better get something good out of this we're low enough on weapons and amunition as it is, Lets get this over with."
Dr. Smith nodded and both of them walked over to the armory door, Henderson pulled out a red keycard and slided it in a slot near the right side of the door and inputted a code at the same time Dr. Smith pulled out his keycard and slided it in the slot at the other side of the door and the large steel door slowly opened.
Still crossing his arms, Texas rolled his head and met Hoffmann's gaze. "So... Hoffmann... they're armin' themselves to the teeth, an' we still ain't got nothin'. Somethin's a-skew in this picture... our guns in there?" he questioned, pointing at the armory Henderson and Smith had just opened.
"Yeah I'm feeling awfully naked right now with out my gear and no offense but I don't care for the Enclave's sense of hospitality" George added, "And I'd rather not get myself around any Legionaries on account I'm not looking to have a psychotic episode today"
Lachlan chuckled slightly after hearing Texas and George's concerns and looked at them.
Lachlan Hoffmann: "Don't worry we don't put wastelander's weapons in there we keep them up in a secured room in the building at the surface don't want to risk the armory getting blown up from inside now do we, We can go up there and get them but probaby just your sidearms you know something easy to conceal cause I would get in a lot of trouble for letting you guys walk around the base with rifles and shotguns."
The eavesdropping, and crouched Onyx Trooper just next to the closed door where Sergeant Hoffmann watches over the small band of visiting Wastelanders holsters her Laser RCW, and produces a radio and holds it up to the door, increasing the range of the overall transmitting frequency slightly by hitting a few buttons and increasing the height of it's antenna by pulling up on it.
Onyx Trooper II (whispering): "Online and transmitting now sir."
CRONOS, about to go off on the Veteran Legionary Amadeus for speaking his mind and what he thought quietly... instead goes for his own radio after it audibly goes off. About to acknowledge his soldiers' mission status report... he instead opts to place it back near a medium-sized metallic table surrounded by the security monitors and large Enclave crates comprising the armory he's seated at.
CRONOS: "Best not to respond, it might blow her cover. But we've got our ears back now."
Pilate's curious sneer quickly grows into a glare as Amadeus answers him honestly. He motions toward the antsy yet seated CRONOS with a firmly pointed finger.
Centurion Pilate: "Your skepticism is misplaced, amicus. This man recognized my old Centurion's sniveling incompetence during our charge on the Profligates of the Mojave, and killed him right in front of his ill-fated decimatio against me and our entire centuria..."
Pausing for a moment to let that sit for a moment... not long after, the rather eccentric Centurion continues.
Centurion Pilate: "Not only did he do this, he and his... 'family', as he says, have assisted us agreeably, faithfully, and loyally ever since... whenever the Emperor has called upon him or dispatched couriers in search of him. No profligate does any of these things... and so to, neither does any profligate ever demonstrate any remote sense of honor on the battlefield, and under our banner... as this old codger has done."
As the door begins to click open, and the representatives of Henderson's Enclave arrive, Pilate finishes his 'correction' of Amadeus' viewpoint.
Centurion Pilate: "So the next time you have a thought about this, amicus... let it go and leave it to me. Am I understood??"
CRONOS smirks, somewhat humbled by Pilate's rather fierce defense of his character... and starts to realize just how great and resourceful an ally in the Legion he's acquired. A Centurion he not only saved the life of, but personally had promoted... and as an unknown quantity to the Legion at that point in time.
Indeed, this was invaluable to him and to the Enclave itself... and he was not about to let it be ruined after all his hardwork, without sharing his and High Command's unified perception on the matter to those that disagreed.
Scoffing once more before the door opens, leering his goggles at Amadeus, he drones toward him personally.
CRONOS: "Ought to kill you myself for having the balls to liken me to an NCR dog. Hmph, how fuckin' pathetically backwards..."
As the door swishes open however, CRONOS turns toward the entrypoint, and stands up and eases toward Lieutenant Colonel Henderson, extending a gloved hand rather gracefully.
CRONOS: "Lieutenant Colonel... it's a pleasure, I've heard a lot. Director CRONOS, United States Secret Service..."
CRONOS' officer Onyx Trooper that escorted Henderson and Smith salutes him zealously, and proceeds to stand near CRONOS and his Legion allies and lowers his wielded Laser RCW casually, acting as a silent observer and/or vanguard of sorts... and to hopefully guarantee nothing gets out of hand.
CRONOS: "Of course not. This is your base and your territory... and everyone in here is aware and respectful of that. A pleasure to meet you as well, Research Director Smith. And yes, the High Command and Colonel Autumn himself considers this matter to be imperative to the very salvation of our cause. As do I."
Unfolding his arms and walking toward the Lieutenant Colonel himself... the Centurion Pilate does the same as CRONOS did curiously enough, extending his own hand out to be shook. Forcing on a smile as he does so.
Centurion Pilate: "Ave. You honor us, just as we honor you and yours, I trust."
Nodding very appreciatively at the sight of Pilate offering a handshake to Henderson, even chuckling slightly, CRONOS holds out his own hand to the Research Director.
Henderson walked over to the Centurion and shaked his hand but not as firmly as he shoke CRONOS's hand, Henderson looked at the Pilate's armor he soon realized that he was a centurion judjing by the various parts of armor used from his foes.
Lt. Col Henderson: "Welcome to Phoenix Military Base Centurion."
Smith looked at CRONOS with his arms folded for a moment but eventually walked over to him and shaked his hand.
Lt. Col Henderson: "So what is this meeting all about then?"
Nodding firmly, acknowledging his welcome to him and his men, Pilate offers a cold, yet legitimate vibe of mutual respect...
Centurion Pilate: "Thank you, I am pleased to be here, and amazed by all of your... marvels from that of the Old World..."
Taking into account what CRONOS had said about their fear of the NCR and other nearby enemies, and the misguidedness that had been created on account of it... Pilate sought to approach this just as he had been instructed too. Although... he was completely oblivious to just how much influence the old man had been exerting over him... and ever so increasingly more frequent.
His own perceived, highly esteemed, utmost respect for what he considered to be one of, if not the most honorable human beings he had ever met in his life was the heart of this obliviousness... and CRONOS exploited this, mercilessly.
Although... he too, had also come to consider the Centurion more than a tool bent to his will, and much more than a temporary ally. He considered him a true friend, a man who had had his back and saved his life, just as he had his own back, and saved his own life...
All CRONOS needed to accomplish... was to outright guarantee the Centurion's loyalty was to him... and not to the Legion. And that effort, bears fruit as of late... although not enough to completely rid his paranoid mind of any skepticism or uncertainty.
This was CRONOS' true, realized agenda... and he so wanted to bluntly state this to the Lieutenant Colonel: that he and his Secret Service were destroying the Legion from the inside as they spoke, securing them at least one potentially swayed (and highly competent yet very eccentric and not to mention, one very clearly raised in Caesar's Legion) new member into the Enclave, establishing a flourishing trade franchise... and most importantly (to him), building toward a straw that will undoubtedly snap the spine of the New California Republic.
And all with the complete and utter support of the Enclave High Command... as they had been completely informed of every possible variable present in this effort. If only he could reveal them to Henderson, if only he could just... make him see it the way Colonel Autumn had so enthusiastically approved of.
But. He couldn't. This would undo every single bit of what he'd been working so hard toward, and in mere seconds, if he said such classified things in front of Pilate... for the moment. He'd been around those that comprised the bulk of the Legion long enough to know... they weren't the stereotypical, 'stupid tribal'. At all. But they can be manipulated and exploited like any other human being... and even better, some few of them can even be swayed into betraying the likes of Caesar, and joining them instead.
And so, CRONOS opts for the next best course of action... starting with openly and honestly acknowledging the concerns of Henderson's Enclave... and 're-educating' them accordingly. He felt total certainty in getting them supportive of High Command's plot... once they'd been properly (and privately) informed...
CRONOS: "Well Henderson... I'm going to be utterly honest with you, from here on out. We're aware of some of your base personnel's disillusion... sometimes even outright disagreement with our alliance. I'd like for us to find out why, figure it out... and then?"
Pausing for a moment to motion toward the metallic table he himself had just accomodated with extra seats, CRONOS takes a seat slowly and with a sigh of slight pain and relief, before finishing his explanation of his intention to Henderson.
CRONOS: "Work past our issues by voicing our concerns honestly. Peacefully, diplomatically... like adults. Like civilized people. And so, Lieutenant Colonel Henderson and Mr. Smith... I would be very appreciative, if you would join us."
Amadeus quickly regrets his words, he had never been subtle. He would always speak his true, honest thoughts. He was curious as to why Pilate had asked him to voice his thoughts. Amadeus was after-all well known for his brutal honesty and his dislike of nigh every organization outside of the Legion. He figured that Pilate had used him to demonstrate his loyalty to CRONOS. Amadeus glares at Pilate as he lectures him, luckily for Amadeus his goggles covers his eyes so Pilate can't see the dislike that is clearly displayed in them.
"Yes centurion" Amadeus tries to keep his voice as neutral as possible but you can still detect a hint of his indignation.
After CRONOS's threat, Amadeus's red mask twitches as his face beneath transforms into an angry leer. He bunches his wrapped hands into fists but keeps it together and stays quiet.
He glowers at Henderson as he enters the room and at the Onyx who situates himself close to him. Amadeus stays vigilant, his right hand gripping the hilt of his machete. No matter what Pilate tells him, Amadeus just can't bring him to trust the tin-men, there was something about them that put him on edge.
Meanwhile in Henderson's office, Texas cracked a wry grin to the sergeant and chuckled, "Not the response I was expectin' if I'm bein' honest, but I'll take what I can get. I think I'm warmin' up to ya kid."
"Lead the way," Calhoun anxiously ordered, shooing Lachlan toward the door.
CRONOS turns his head to the direction of his radio which goes off nearby on the table, and transmits (albeit slightly muffled, it is still clearly audible) the dialogue emanating from inside of Henderson's office as the Onyx Trooper continues to stealthily eavesdrop.
Onyx Trooper II (whisper into radio): "S-sir, yellow alert. Yellow alert! The one meant to keep watch over these Wasters, is about to secure them their weapons."
Looking toward Henderson right after, CRONOS shrugs his shoulders to him.
CRONOS: "I trust a man that's saw the action you have, sees the value in precaution. That is why I ordered my second soldier to eavesdrop on our... 'guests', and transmit me the results as best she can. They seem to think they're in charge here, but no... you are."
Lt. Col Henderson: "Just keep an eye on them I trust Sergeant Hoffmann will make sure nothing goes wrong, He must be letting them have their weapons back because of the Legion soldiers in this base he very much distrusts the Legion."
meanwhile in Henderson's office Lachlan walked towards the exit and into the elevator.
Sgt Hoffmann: "Just going to be brutally honest if any personnel are harmed or killed because I let you have your weapons back you will regret it, I am only letting you have some weapons because I don't trust those legion savages in the armory."
As Sergeant Hoffmann, George, and Texas exited Henderson's office... the eavesdropping Onyx Trooper stalking them dangerously nearby, deactivates her armor's stealth system literally right in front of both of them in an attempt to halt them completely.
Onyx Trooper II: "Hold it right there! I will contact my commanding officer, and have the group armed with machetes and swords you distrust so much... disarmed. The Wastelanders will not be allowed weaponry of any sort while utmost matters of national security are being discussed."
A woman of her word, the Onyx does just that, and speaks into the radio she was previously using to eavesdrop with.
Onyx Trooper II: "Sweet Cheeks reporting in CO CRONOS... I have attempted to apprehend the Sergeant from escalating any sort of aggression by allowing potential spies or sleeper agents to be equipped with lethal firearms. With all due respect sir, and to keep things peaceable... Pilate and company might ought to hand over their machetes to you. They're scared to death of them, apparently, over and out."
CRONOS can't help but burst out laughing after receiving his soldiers' last radio transmission, with even Centurion Pilate garnering a sneering grin from the revelation.
Looking toward Pilate, then back to Henderson... CRONOS nods.
CRONOS: "Well pal... you heard her. Hand you and your men's weapons over here to me... I'll just have them sitting on top of each other on the table here nice and neatly, and in your eyesight still... you have my word. Those Wastelanders will start something if not, and that's unacceptable."
Clearing his throat, and slightly embaressed from the rather hefty chuckle he'd let loose during such an important meeting... CRONOS looks to Henderson.
CRONOS: "My apologies, Lieutenant Colonel. I just think it's... a little ridiculous, that your Sergeant distrusts the bladed objects our friends are carrying here in the slightest... with what he's carrying and'a wearing. Believe you me Henderson, Pilate wouldn't be here with just two of his Legionaries... and with standard-issue Legion equipment at that, if he were here to fight or cause any sort of trouble. I've gave them more than a few crates full of state-of-the-art technology for them to do that with, if they were going to..."
Growling reluctantly, but with gritted teeth... Centurion Pilate instructs Amadeus and his second Veteran Legionary to hand him their machetes.
Centurion Pilate: "Oh for Mars' sake, hurry it up! This wastes all of our time!"
Giving a somewhat peculiar look of disappointment toward CRONOS, Pilate is handed the second Legionary's machete to which Pilate simply tosses over toward CRONOS lightly, which rather impressively hits right on CRONOS' side of the metallic table they huddle around.
Centurion Pilate: "Perhaps we should discuss penalizing this... allowance of interlopers to roam as they please here. I think it would be mutually beneficial..."
CRONOS shrugs his armored shoulders innocently and motions toward Henderson.
Onyx Trooper II: "Hey! Take it easy Sergeant, I'm just doin' my job. I'm on your side here too you know... geez."
Leering toward the direction of Texas... the female Onyx motions toward him with a gloved hand, casually gripping her Wattz Electronics radio in the other. Subsequently, she drones at Texas mechanically.
Onyx Trooper II: "You there! Do you have a moment? I'd like to speak with you."
Meanwhile, back in the armory meeting, CRONOS strokes the beak of his helmet for a moment in considerative thought, digressing on what to suggest in how to handle the visiting Wastelanders.
CRONOS: "Did you get a good look at any of them, Henderson? I've been around enough Wasters to know they're hardly all bad... just most of 'em. Surely theirs at least one good fella among them we let in, someone we can place at least a small bit of faith in. It's just... I become extremely, sometimes embarrassingly paranoid if I may be so candid, this close to even a rumored NCR presence. That is why I had them watched. Those goddamned Rangers are not to be underestimated."
Nodding begrudgingly, yet firmly, Pilate agrees.
Centurion Pilate: "Yes indeed. The black armored profligates are capable of methods not at all that unlike of your own green-eyed soldiers, old man."
Scoffing with a hint of irony in the mechanized voice droning through his helmet, CRONOS responds to Pilate's rather spot-on observation.
CRONOS: "That's exactly what my Onyx's are trained to be the battlefield superior of, Pilate. The NCR Ranger or the Brotherhood Paladin. I made their training regimen brutal enough that they should have no equal when the time comes for them to beat the war drum and smell napalm in the morning."
Shaking his head in annoyance at their collective refusal to stay on the topic of the meeting, CRONOS interrupts himself and clears his throat once more.
CRONOS: "My apologies for sending us elsewhere, Lieutenant Colonel, Research Director, Centurion and Legionaries. Let's get back on the plotted course of our glorious congregation, hmm?"
George glowered at the female Onyx trooper as she stopped the group, turning back into the room following Lachlan. Looking to the two Onyx troopers he thumbs his nose at the both of them.
"Lachlan buddy I don't like the idea of being in a building with a bunch of those Legion mongrels without something to defend myself with, hell the only reason I'm out here is because I'm fairly certain these are the assholes who have my wife"
"Furthermore, I don't even know why the hell you people are dealing with the Legion in the first place! Has your commander gone nuts!? Doesn't he know what the Legion tends to do to groups who are smaller then them? Does the word enslavement come to mind? Sure you got power armor and robots here but hell if the NCR can overrun Navarro while the Brotherhood sits back and watches the Legion overruning this place seems like a cinch!"
(I have to ask Cain... how is it George is so graciously informed on the events of the Enclave-NCR conflict, when CRONOS and the Enclave itself has yet to discover the fate of Navarro at this point in the timeline. How did he become privy to all this rather exclusive, unconventional knowledge? I ask because, a certain someone your character just said that in front of might very well try and violently drag them away to have all of this information brutally interrogated from them.
Understandably, that might change our entire intended course... which contradicts our entire effort here. But at the same time, for me to just ignore George's suspiciously debriefed words on such highly sensitive matters to the Enclave, and to CRONOS and his soldiers... would contradict all conceivable IC reason.
Or... is this a case of meta-gaming? I certainly hope not.)
(George's father was an Enclave trooper who escaped from Navarro after it fell to the NCR-Brotherhood, I don't see how this is an issue but if we must argue fine, one: I'm not a meta gamer so please don't accuse me of that; two, I added this because I'd like my character to actually do something in this RP, rather then just be kept penned up in the armory on account that the previous attempt to have something happen was stopped by the conviently placed Onyx troopers. I would like to have fun doing this as well and not simply be privy to another joint Enclave-Legion screwing of the NCR. Nevermind my personal opinions on factions I'd simply like to do something and sit around, and if you have a problem with that Eden then why am I here? If you want to go make your deal with the Legion then go right ahead but please let us do something beyond have small talk in the back room.)
(I don't think he's metagaming at all Eden. George's father was apparently at Navarro when the NCR sacked it so George could have heard about it from his father; even if that's not the case, its not unheard of for people to have at least some knowledge of military history, especially if the event was huge. Navarro was only sacked ~40 years ago and it was a pretty big event in the NCR-Enclave War. I'd compare it to people remembering the Battle of Khe Sanh or the Tet Offensive from the Vietnam War, which a lot of people definitely do.
Also, how the hell doesn't CRONOS know the fate of Navarro? Only the Enclave in the Capital Wasteland don't know its fate, and CRONOS was on the Oil Rig, which is really close to Navarro.)
(I wasn't meaning to point fingers or get tensions started at all, I was just genuinely clueless as to the reasoning of his knowledge. My apologies. And CRONOS doesn't know of the fate of Navarro, like the rest of the Enclave... because that's where they relocated to the Capital Wasteland from... with apparent stragglers like the Remnants in the Mojave remaining for seemingly no reason at all... which is how he eventually discovers it's fate.
I suppose we'll pause for the time being until Spock is fully returned as a fellow GM. Any other OOC concerns to let out?)
(Ah, good. My Enclave history was mixed up: I thought the Enclave moved to the Capital Wasteland after Navarro got sacked, but I was wrong. But Cain does have a point: there isn't much of a point of us being here if it's just CRONOS and Henderson talking. I trust you have stuff for us to do after the Onyx trooper talks to Texas, so I'll just pick up from there.)
As the others returned to the room behind them, Texas stepped forward to meet the request of the Onyx soldier and folded his arms. "You guys sure like poppin' in outta nowhere, don'tcha? Whattya want?" he said with a certain bite in his words, like he was getting a bit pissed off with the government eavesdropping on him.
Lachlan was a bit suprised after hearing what George said.
Sgt Hoffmann: "I've heard about that base before doesn't really suprise me that it was taken being that far west in NCR territory, but anyway Henderson has to go along with this it's High Commands orders and to be honest I hardly know anything about all this."
(Yes indeedy, it's about that time to dispense to your character's the Patriot's Quest, unless Spock himself wishes to do that honor later. It's definitely not my intention to keep you guys stranded or bored... that's my character's intention. :P)
Pausing rather abruptly in her original approach to Texas... she turns to face the leer of her olive-green goggles toward George.
Onyx Trooper II: "Camp Navarro? NCR? What are you talking about, Wastelander? Part of our deployment orders here were to reestablish contact with the personnel presumed to still be stationed there..."
Glancing to the seemingly irritated Texas and reassuring him, the Onyx seems hellbent on speaking with George now.
Onyx Trooper II: "I'm sorry mister, I'll be with you in just a moment... I must know what this man knows of Camp Navarro..."
"Well come on in and I'll tell you all you want to know about ol' camp navarro, hell my dad served there when the Brotherhood swept the place over"
George looked over to the Onyx troopers, "Though I warn ya it may anger you guys, and in exchange how about you let me and my new friend Texas here out of this here cell"
turning to Lachlan, "Lachlan if you guys believe in the good ol' USA and above all believe in your own survival why is your commander putting himself and everyone under his command in such mortal danger, trusting an organization like the Legion is like trusting a cobra, unless you got your foot on the damn things, its gonna bite ya. Besides wasn't it Thomas Jefferson, author of the Constitution who said that a little rebellion never hurt anyone? If your high command tells you to walk into the divide nude would you do it? Come on Lachlan, use your brain! This whole deal spells a slow death for every Enclave trooper on this base!"
Sgt Hoffmann: "I May hate the Legion but I'm more woried about the NCR and if we somehow rebeled we would be weakened and they would probably take us out, we have no options we just have to follow high command and hope for the best."
The female Onyx Trooper eases down into a seat, her goggled eyes not leaving George's expression for a single solitary second.
Onyx Trooper II: "While you're not being punished or detained... you have my word you'll have the freedom to roam wherever you see fit except the armory, if you tell me about Camp Navarro. Fair enough?"
"So anyway to give you the short version the NCR back in its early days had seen it fit to remove the last bastion of the Enclave on the West Coast. At the time the NCR and Brotherhood were on good terms and with all the tech the Enclave had at Navarro the Brotherhood decided to help out the NCR so they sent troops to support the NCR's, there is a long seige of the base but in the end the NCR and Brotherhood win the day, now I think the place is an NCR base or something, not exactly sure"
Lowering her helmeted head in shame... remorse, regret? You're not quite sure. Regardless, the revelation of the fate of Navarro was a very clear downer to the Onyx Trooper as she stood up and went to leave Henderson's office.
Onyx Trooper II: "Thanks for the intel, Wastelander. Even if it doesn't bode well for us at all... it's appreciated. And I meant what I said... feel free to come, go, whatever you please... just steer clear of the armory."
Walking past Texas with a seemingly melancholy body language, the trooper seems to have forgotten why it is she approached him to begin with due to the shock of the news, and is in obvious need of reminding...
Although not ceasing to walk, heading back towards the armory, she turns her helmeted head toward Texas and drones to him in a low-pitched voice.
"Yeah, I need your assistance with something Wastelander, and I can guarantee there'll be something good in it for you."
Turning her helmeted head back and forth to her right and left, scanning the area for sign of any possible eavesdroppers, the Onyx suddenly stops and leans on a nearby wall at the turn of another corridor heading near the armory.
"I need another guard for a little... trade arranged with Centurion Pilate's centuria. Nothing too serious, just a quick drop-off to us on their part... and we'll be dropping something off to them as well. You'll be payed 500 bottle caps, given some of the supplies we'll be picking up at the drop-off, and of course... I'll see you armed with nothing but the best in case we're tracked by any NCR scouts... in addition to your own weapons being returned to you."
Pausing to survey her surroundings once more, she then looks back to Texas.
Calhoun's eyebrow cocked up when he heard "centuria", but let the trooper continue her case, although he remained wary. A hundred thoughts sped through his mind: "Oh, I can guard alright."... "Wait, help the Legion? Fuck that!"... "500 caps?! Christ."... "I get my guns back? That'd be bully."... "Wait, what 'bout the sandstorm?"... "Shit, they'll just kick me out if I don't...".
"You put me between a rock an' a hard place ma'am. On the one hand," he said raising his right hand, "I ain't too inclined to help out a bunch of slavers an' make some enemies in the process." Teetering his body right, he raised his other hand and continued, "...buuut I get my kit back, which'd be just bully... an' it's not like I got much a choice anyway. I say no, you throw my ass out into the sandstorm with a gun poin'ed at me. Damned if I do, damned if I don't... you see where I'm comin' from."
With a disgruntled sigh, he rubbed the back of his neck and caved. "So what we exchangin' with 'em an' where? Sandstorm's comin' in mighty fast," he said with tight lips.
"We'll be dropping off to them 2 industrial-grade P94 plasma rifles, and in exchange, we'll be compensated with equipment and supplies forbidden to members of the Legion."
Pausing for a moment to read the man's conflicted body language, she leans in a little closer to him... pocketing her radio and folding her arms in the process.
"Trust me, I don't feel anymore comfortable or pleased with helping out these creeps than you do. But these aren't just any dime-a-dozen Legionaries... they're a part of that Centurion my commander is meeting with's outfit. He's in charge of all Legion forces near a place called Spanish Fork, Legion territory... but they never hear from, or are inspected by Caesar... from what we understand."
Leaning back and unfolding her arms, she continues.
"If you don't see where I'm going with this yet... let's just say that Centurion's loyalties are slowly but surely... being adjusted. So in that regard, you don't have to worry much on a conscious-level... I promise. And don't worry about the radstorm either... they'll be meeting us right at the entrance with the goods."
"Yer tellin' me the folks who won't have nothin' t'do with stimpaks want machines that liquefy people at the pull of a trigger? That don't make a goddamn lick o' sense..."
Although skeptical, Calhoun had been naked for too long and nevertheless agreed to aid in the transaction. He bitterly whispered to her, "Let's hope for both our sakes what yer sayin' 'bout loyalties rings true."
He resumed his normal tone and instructed, "You're blazin' the trail, missy," eager to get his weapons back. "Actu'lly, 'nuff o' this "missy" and "ma'am" – you got a name?"
(Hopefully I didn't put you on the spot to come up with a name, Eden.)
"Ryan it is!" he chuckled with a bemused smirk. "Texas' my name, though I's actually born around these parts, ways south... east o' here, if my bearin's are right, 'round Moab." He pointed approximately southeast, over his right shoulder.
"Boy... that was a long time ago, wa'n it? I'm all grey now..." he chuckled, kindly looking back on his hometown. "Now, where's the armory?" he asked, snapping back to the situation at hand.
"Well then Mister Texas... glad to be properly acquainted with you. I know I might sound a little off, but it's a side effect from all the cybernetics and implants soldiers like me receive from day one..."
Commenting on the mechanically-tinted tone of her voice, before stumbling on a closed doorway with a computer terminal on the side of it. Ryan turns to look at Texas one more time, attempting to level with him honestly.
"Look... I don't know what you've heard about us, the Enclave I mean... but for what it's worth... we're trying to make amends for all the mistakes of the past. I figure you're not like most though... and that's why I approached you to begin with. You hang around the old man long enough... and you start to get good at reading people."
Pausing to start fiddling with the doorway computer terminal, Ryan continues.
"Now that I got that off'a my chest... we're right at it, the armory. I just need to grab two crates, one for each of us to carry... and we'll be on our way. Sound good... Texas?"
"Indeed it does, Ryan... indeed it does," Texas mused as he thought about this new Enclave; first Sergeant Hoffmann was talking about the Enclave turning over a new leaf and now Codename Sweet Cheeks was doing the same.
He followed Ryan into the armory and picked up the hefty case she had pointed out. "If you're so good at reading people, you must know that I've never been one to trust the government... any of 'em, really: it's not just the Enclave," he grunted as his back popped several times from hefting the case onto his chest. "I was raised in a frontier town missy, what only had a sheriff and a few deputies, an' things were great. Now I look all around me an' all I see's a bunch of governments fighting over the same piece of pie."
He turned and faced Ryan directly and expanded on a previous point of his, "Way I see it: the only reason to live is to be happy, an' the only way to be happy is to be free. Ergo, the only reason to live is to be free. And that is why I wander the wasteland: to help people be free... so you understand why giving these to the Legion troubles me. And fer some stupid reason... I trust you. Shouldn't wanna, but I really do. I ache to see a wasteland that is free from the wills of others and I can tell ya right now: that ain't gonna happen with a grassroots movement."
(Just to avoid any possible confusion or inconsistency in the layout of Phoenix, is it cool if theirs two different rooms comprising the armory Spock? Would be mighty awkward interrupting CRONOS and company's meeting, especially while Ryan and Texas are getting to know each other so honestly, otherwise...)
With the assistance of the servo-motor(s) in her Mark-O Advanced Power Armor, Ryan faces little difficulty in lifting up her own Enclave crate, albeit still straining herself audibly due to the length of time it had been since she last slept.
Ryan found herself quite taken aback by the sheer... inspirational intrigue of Texas' philosophy... yet sadly, the mind-bending influence of the Enclave's particularly concentrated indoctrination on that of an Onyx Trooper... outright prevented the capabilities of her mind to fully grasp it like she couldn't help but feel the urge too...
Regardless of that, the trust Texas revealed was very much mutual...
"Don't take this the wrong way or nothin'... but you're a hell of a lot smarter than I ever first took you for. Theirs a lot of wisdom in what you just said. But..."
Clearly hesitating at first, Ryan nevertheless takes a potentially huge leap of faith in her genuine trust of Texas.
"...i-if you really are so concerned about the freedom of others so much... maybe I ought to tell you a little secret, only known to the Secret Service, as of now. Sometimes... agents, mostly old CRONOS... will arrange a trade for Legion 'captures', usually real young ones... and they'll bring 'em into the Enclave. Based on what you've told me... I can understand if you don't think too much higher of that... but... I can swear to you one thing, they're very well taken care of and given a purpose that'd be impossible if they were still a piece of meat up for auction by the Legion... but I won't lie to you and tell you that they're completely free."
Scoffing somewhat shamefully, Ryan continues as the two of them haul their respective crates toward their destination.
"I'm sure it's obvious to a fella like you... I'm not exactly free either. But what might not be so obvious... I'm okay with that. I know I've sold my soul to Uncle Sam, and I knew that was a permanent choice when I volunteered too. Why even give a thought to something I know I can't change, even if I wanted too...?"
Although to most anyone else it would've sounded like she'd asked Texas that question genuinely... in truth, she was asking herself that question outloud.
Initially, Texas was repulsed by the conscription of Legion slaves into the Enclave but nevertheless wanted to keep things civil, so he bit his tongue. "Sounds like that it's hardly any different: they're just gettin' traded to another team only to get brainwashed into lying down your life for somethin' else outta their control. 'Mean, I'm sure there's less abuse and rape in the Enclave– I should fuckin' hope so – but you're right: that ain't freedom."
The more he thought about it, the more morally vague and convoluted it became, and he began hinting to Ryan as they approached another door. "'Though if yer not free, but yer happy about it, is it truly evil? If you truly have no desire to be sovereign and lead your own life, who's to say you're wrong? Do you exercise what little personal freedom ya have to relinquish yer freedom to someone else? 'Spose only you can that question fer yerself... But listen t'me yammer on about philosophy! Tsk, tsk, tsk..."
"You're wrong about one thing... what we still believe in enough... and to fight and die for that, if nothin' else in the world, that'll always be in our control. Not just us either, hell... that goes for anyone dying for any cause or idea they believe in."
Going silent as a sort of static thought pattern started swelling all around in her head... Ryan perked back up as Texas started talking again, and as they neared toward the main entrance of Phoenix hauling their respective Enclave containers. Always having a sort of healthy interest in philosophy, the Onyx didn't mind the direction of the conversation... continually more and more impressed with what was inside of that which appeared to be at first glance a gruff, hardened survivor.
"I dunno if I'm happy, considering the more and more desperate position we keep finding ourselves in... not at all. But I'm content I s'pose... just knowing I'm a part of, and working toward something... much more important than just me, in the grand scope of things. Good, evil... I don't know about all that really... always seemed like inconsistent labels to me, words like them. I might just be one of those proverbial 'devils in black' I'm sure you've heard tales of over the years to some... but then, might be an inspiration to, or save the ass'a somebody else."
Stopping to ease down her crate to get the door... she finishes her piece.
Clanking and creaking, the locking mechanisms of the door retracted into the walls and the reinforced steel door slid into the floor. The two were instantly pelted with fine red Utah sand. Ryan's iron shell obviously protected her against the abrasion, but Calhoun was not so lucky.
Without even thinking, Calhoun yelped and turned his back on the brewing sandstorm. Setting down his container, he rolled down his duster sleeves, raised the bandana from around his neck to his face and put on that glove crammed in his pockets. But when he was pawing at his pockets, he realized something... they got the packages, but not his guns.
"Goddammit! Ryan, we got the cases but not my guns! I ain't dealin' with Legion without a Magnum!" he shouted over the winds that whistled through the door frame.
"Relax. I told ya that I'd see you armed with nothing but the best. And I meant it."
Opening the hefty Enclave crate she'd been carrying and put down to open the door with previously, Ryan retrieves a rare sight for the 2280's indeed, a Magneto-model Wattz 1000 laser pistol purposely included with, and just as equally well preserved and pristine-conditioned as the industrial-grade P94 plasma rifle also comprising almost all of the container.
"I didn't know who my guard would be before I'd had the ordinance prepped and ready to go... but I did know they'd be independently hired, and trustworthy enough for a little present from me to them. May not be no Magnum for now... but a Magneto'll match that just fine."
Holding it out for Texas to inspect and/or take... she realizes he's obviously missing his own weapons pretty keenly.
"I apologize, but your weapons were took to the other section of the armory, and I'm not about to interrupt the meeting taking place there or the old man would chew me into the goddamn ground and back. Soon as it's over though... you'll get your stuff back just the way it was when you handed it over and pronto, just as we agreed..."
Texas palmed the laser pistol by the barrel and inspected it, familiarizing himself with the rudimentary workings.
"If I'm bein' honest with ya, I've only held a laser pistol maybe a dozen 'r so times, an' those were the AEP-whatevers. But this... this thing is a beauty," he muttered, astonished by its ergonomic design and its sheen as it danced in the ambient fluorescent light.
He aimed out into the open wasteland to check out the view, and mistakenly released the battery pack beneath the barrel. Luckily, the hinged trough didn't expel the battery as a conventional handgun magazine would, but Calhoun was still a tad red from embarrassment. Reattaching the trough to the barrel, Texas chuckled, "At least I'm learnin'. Let's hope I don't hafta use this thing – they say confidence is 90% the battle, but I ain't ever quickdrawn a laser pistol. Never had to either, could say I'm blessed."
He slipped the Wattz 1000 into his Magnum holster and it seemed to hold on well enough. He picked up his crate again with a familiar pop from his back. "Let's meet our amicuses," he suggested in a very not-Latin accent.