Part 55: Newton, Part 2: Newton, Newton, It's A Hell Of A TownAs Lizard Wizard collapses under the weight of Shivering Isles not being as terrible as Oblivion, this LP marches forth! By God, we'll be home by Christmas!
Post 55: Newton, pt. 2: Fun Times In Newton Today
The tank suddenly lurched to life. The fusion cell replacing the gas turbine engine worked quietly, so most of the sound that filled the alleyway was composed of random metal clankings and rusted thread crushing old asphalt.
The beast lives on!
She sat in the turret, observing the situation through a multitude of screens showing the world as green outlines on a dark screen. Stein was operating the two steering shafts with relative ease.
Ice and Toni had already taken positions on the side of the road, ready to support the advance of the tank. The younglings steered the metal beast left. Stein's driving was somewhat lacking, as he nearly rode over Flashman (though no one in power armor was really afraid of tanks) and made a dent in an old telephone booth, sending flakes of red paint and rust flying.
Just like a having a big metal brahmin stampeding at you.
Well, lets put this baby through its paces. Advance down the road!
Stein nodded to no-one in particular, and the machine rumbled forwards.
As luck would have it, a pair of security bots tore their way out of the ground just in front of the tank too close for cannon fire!
The tank wasn't maneuverable enough to grind the interlopers under its threads or maybe Stein just lacked the skill.
Why must I always be haunted by these bughunts?
Though I do say I like fighting these blighters a lot more than roaches!
With the last security bot beaten to scrap, Flashman took a stimpack, and looked around as the while the restorative drugs coursed his veins.
There was some sort of a scrap yard beyond the fence that arose a suspicious feeling down in the gut.
Stein, take the tank down the road, and Mindy, put a round into that opening in the fence. Lets see if we can smoke something out.
Flashman had fired an RPG in a closed corridor before, but the blast from the tank shells was louder yet. It kicked up a huge ball of dust and sent a hail of small stones and bits of asphalt flying down the road.
Metalic protests of a robot could eventually be heard, to Flashman's immense satisfaction.
Staying close to the now twisted and torn wall, Flashman got closer to the bot. He could not see it, but the machine made more than enough noise to navigate by.
Flashman sprung into action, catching the robot off-guard. It turned to face him, but caught a blow to the dome. A few more powered fists and the automaton fell apart at Flashman's feet.
Demonstrating trademark impetuousness, Flashman ran into the yard to look for even more robots.
He found one just as it leaped at his chest. The security bot surprised him and, slamming into his torso, knocked the wind out of Flashman. He fell heavy like a tree trunk, while the robot quickly got back on its legs and started stabbing at his armored feet.
Hawk-eyed Ice caught a glimpse of Flashman falling and the tell-tale dust collumn of collapsing power armor. She got to her feet before anyone from the squad had noticed anything and ran where she thought Flashman was. Shouldering the laser rifle mid stride, she prepared her plasma gun.
The robot was still prodding Flashman when two plasma bolts spun the machine around and knocked it out.
Flashman groaned and even moaned while getting up, but he still thanked Ice for assistance.
Back on his feet, Flashman scouted ahead. The area surrounded by sandbags must have been Reavers' explosive range, otherwise there was no explanation for the isolated crated and thrashed car hulk getting fenced up.
The road's blocked! Mandy, Stein, get the tank back to the extraction area.
Mandy's voice sounded doubtful on the radio:
Are you sure about that? We still have a round or two to spare. We could blast the barrier apart.
Or drive through it it's a tank, after all!
Flashman took another look at the looming wall of rusting washing machines and fridges.
No, I don't think you could. Just kick it in reverse, park it near the Reaver woman and get back to the squad.
And while the kids were learning the ropes of the fine art of driving tanks backwards, Flashman summoned Ice. With her at his back, he walked off to check what appeared to be a barracks area. The sturdy metal houses were surprisingly empty, and the only stuff in the area was the crap piled in the yard.
While Flashman was clearing the already empty buildings, Ice noticed a turret in the third floor of the building on the opposite side of the street.
Sometimes, she was surprised by her own perceptiveness.
She was lost in deep thought about the mechanics of seeing turrets this high at that angle when she heard a minigun wind up.
Sure enough, Flashman was taking on two robots at the same time. One was trying to stab him with its spikes, the other one was clumsily firing its minigun at point blank range. .
Sure of her shot, Ice started shooting into melee. The robots were dispatched with ease.
Where are you going?
Ice asked when Flashman headed back past her.
The place where we found the Reaver woman. We didn't check the ground floor and I remembered an opening in the fence.
He stopped and turned on the spot.
You should check it out.
Sneaking in, Ice found a patrolling four armed robot, some dead reavers and an alarm system.
Robots using alarms? Sight unseen!
The system was extremely strange. The wires snaked around wildly, knobs and triggers were haphazardly scattered about. Ice couldn't make nor heads nor tails of it.
The only solution was to take out the patrolling robot. The four-armed sentry didn't even try to defend itself while it bullrushed the alarm switch. Firing wildly, the squad barely managed to take it down in time.
A metal arm reached out, jerked wildly, and fell down.
With the squad at hand (and the doors upstairs locked) Flashman once again went for the force recon approach, revealing himself to the factory floor entrance, trying to draw enemies out.
The blast took him by surprise. A tiny hovering bot, not much larger than a vacuum cleaner, was firing RPGs! Outrageous!
However, the small chassis had little resistance against the heavy machinegun and the the tiny machine disintegrated after one accurate burst.
That was not the case with the tank bot. The name fit because of its threaded propulsion and ability to take obscene amounts of damage. For the armament, it had a terrifying flail that could mince a deathclaw in a heartbeat. The squad poured everything they had at it and the machine eventually ground to a halt just outside the building.
Well shit, it's blocking the path!
Doesn't seem to have anything worthwhile on it.
He tried giving it a shove with his power-armored shoulder.
Doesn't seem to budge, either.
Well, there's a way around on the other side of the building, but it leads through the factory floor.
Though I don't want to think about what would happen to me if I got mobbed by those flying little shits.
So they took a detour through the smelter, letting Flashman take point once more. It was true that Stitch also had power armor, but, being the squad medic, he was a lot less replaceable.
The hover drones came in fast and hard. One of them even rammed Flashman and it hurt a lot more than he expected.
With one bot down via suicide and one dispatched by the M2, Flashman chose to run and lure the remaining foe between the fences. There, stimpack consumed and HMG at the ready, he waited for the robot to appear.
The tiny bronze sphere obliged, flying straight into his sights. It fell apart just like its other brothers.
A whole new part of Newton laid before them.
Ice, you go ahead. And be careful if you see any flying vacuum cleaners, just run straight back here.
Straight down the road, there was a lot of industrial construction. Rusting towers and silos surrounded what seemed to be the end of a rail line. A watch nest had been constructed one of the towers, but it seemed vacant now.
The silos were big and connected to piping. What was its use before the war? Nobody could tell these days.
Though a billboard suggested that this would have been a Nuka Cola plant. Strange that Reavers would base themselves in a Nuka Cola plant instead of, say, Vault-Tec facility, but Ice had seen weirder things.
Even further down the road there was a jumble of boxes and sandbags, a guaranteed hairy enemy contact.
Ice turned back to check out something she had seen earlier.
Reavers! Two live reavers were patrolling the roof of one building. Ice hoped, for everyone's sake, that they had been notified of the Brotherhood's coming.
The Reavers can wait. First, we must check out whatever is in this yard and secure our flank.
The area was filled with stacked shipping containers. As Flashman approached the, he noticed that the interiors were clean and orderly; homes that were as lavish as one could expect in the wasteland.
And there were live Reavers about.
You couldn't see the face through the bandages and masks and goggles, but the posture of the Reaver betrayed fear. Flashman lifted one finger to where his mouth would be and showed the him to stay down.
The containers were a town on itself.
They rose high, connected by ladders and planks, and, strangest of all, most had railings on the sides! The Reavers really valued the safety of their living.
A Reaver recruit would later explain that it was mandated by someone called Saint Osha and that was the end of Flashman's questions.
The homes were largely untouched by the robot invasion. Flashman would periodically find hiding Reavers, but none attacked him.
The idyllic pciture of the Reaver settlement was ruined by two mutilated corpses splayed out in the courtyard. Two security robots patrolled the area.
Carefully, Flashman rummaged what few interesting belongings the Reavers had if anything, he knew that they wouldn't be allowed to stay at their homes.
He wasn't as agile as he liked in power armor, and he oveturned one acid bottle. It rolled off the shelf and shattered. Angry beeping rose up outside.
With Stitch and Ice providing fire support, Flashman managed to easily take one of the security robots apart. The other was shooting lasers, then the strangest thing happened.
Reavers, probably emboldened by seeing one man take on robots with his (somewhat less than bare) fists, rushed out and ganged up on the remaining machine. The machine clearly didn't consider them a threat as it still tried to gun down Flashman.
Being of magnanimous sort, Flashman couldn't let it (eventually) kill the civillians, so he rushed in to help and put his first straight through the metallic torso.
The Reavers were overjoyed: between victorious cries and vigorous kicking of inert ribot tentacles, one managed to sneak in hug for Flashman.
Thus rewarded, he nevertheless had to tell the Reavers to return to their homes and hide until the follow-up Brotherhood forces come and announce an all-clear.
The civilians had demonstrated great warlike spirit; judging by wrecks, the guards near the rail tracks were no worse. Two lifter bots stood dead, mere meters from one another, brought down by disciplined laser rifle fire.
Upon approaching the downed robots, Flashman was immediatelly swamped by scurrying little robots. It felt like a tiny earthquake as the metal forms dug their way out of the ground. Flashman didn't even have to aim his punches enemies were on all sides.
With strength in numbers, they even managed to knock him down once. However, the fists and supporting fire had culled the swarm some, and one robot even found it in itself to obey ancient self preservation protocols. Unfortunately, it chose the wrong direction to run away.
With the robots out of action and Flashman patched up, the building the bots had been guarding was simply begging to be searched.
It didn't hold anything of interest, only rusted canisters and rotten boxes.
Having witnessed the combat with the robots, the Reaver guards gave Flashman a nod and let him into the perimeter. The first floor of the building held a large pump and Reaver elder.
We all have high hopes for the EMP weapon, though I'll never get to use it myself.
Now, if you could only make your way to the extraction area...
The Reaver outpost held a treasure trove. Flashman had never seen them use flamethrowers nor heavy machineguns. Maybe thats the reason why they still had a large stack of BMG rounds.
Not enough to last me a lifetime, but close enough.
And the leader of the Reaver Army hurried back to extraction zone, taking in the last sights of Newton, deeply saddened by the wounds inflicted upon it by the accursed robotic hordes.
Next time: Mo' Newton, Mo' Problems. This post would have gone earlier if not for laptop shenanigans!
And yes, the effort in never setting age to Reaver Elders is still amazing.