Part 64: Buena Vista, Part 3: That Healthy GlowPortable WiFi hotspot loves you all!
Post 64: Buena Vista, Part 3: To Shoot A Sun
Mandy checked her gear. The rifle was loaded and ready, the straps on her armor were tight, and all the materiel she carried on her person was secured so as not to jingle-jangle.
Giving a short not to Flashman, she climbed the stairs to the exposed platform above.
The whole facility was one huge artificial cavern.
Mandy immediately spotted lifter robots patrolling an area around pools of contaminated water.
Even worse, the area to her side contained security bots that were quick to open fire. Mandy was so hasty to retreat that she almost fell down the stairs.
The catwalk is completely exposed?
Mandy. Affirm. Anyone goes there, they get shot at. As far as I can see, none of the rooms in the area have ceilings, so anyone can take potshots, if not more.
Flashman mulled over the idea for a second.
I see only one solution.
An armored charge!
The sound was deafening. Six power-armored feet running metallic raised hell. Three hunkering yet still hulking shapes went over the top of the stairs and thundered down the catwalk. A flurry laser blasts came after them and one hit Peta in the back, yet she kept running. Eventually, the catwalk spilled into a larger of two enclosures and one alarm console.
A humanoid bot took off to arm it.
Skidding an nearly falling on themselves, the soldiers opened fire. The darkness above ate Flashman's RPG while Peta's shots only made a force barrier flicker. It was the bark of the Jackhammer that brought robot down, a sparking and smoking heap of suddenly-inert metal.
A close shave if ever saw one.
The robot could have caused trouble. It was carrying a minigun still scary for the fleshy soldier but it was the console that put fear into the Brotherhood soldiers. They could only guess at what kind of misfortune that would have brought. And the eye could catch five sinister shadows of whatever laid behind the force field.
Flashman slammed an another RPG into the tube and shouldered the weapon. He was to take the lead going upstairs, where a ledge ran along the reactor wall. They had decided against calling in Ice, Mandy or Tony just yet.
Flashman tried running up the stairs, but he was startled by bursts of laser fire from his right flank. A few security bots for it was they that laid trapped behind the force field had awoken and engaged him.
Flashman shot an RPG in the general direction of the robots and legged it.
Patched up, he decided to storm the stairs with Stitch, then shoot the robots from a height advantage.
A turret at the far end of the ledge put a dent in their plans. An RPG sized dent.
Flashman, being Flashman, dealt with this problem by charging, which got him into the turret's blind spot. Whoever had designed the turret, they made it slide back into the ground to reload before popping out to deliver the next burst.
Timing the reload, Stitch joined Flashman in the space of relative safety.
Relative, because the caged robots could fire on it, and there were lifters milling about down below.
After a long game of cat and mouse, Stitch managed to cram a full auto burst down the turret's throat and it seized up. Flashman had used his time to paste the last of the force-field robots.
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Now, he was using up his RPG supplies hunting the powerless lifter bots that were swarming the end of particularly long ladder.
It exhausted the last of the ammo Flashman had and Peta found him rummaging through the insides of the turret, looking for more. However, it was all for naught.
Well, I'll have to settle it... the usual way.
The power fist hummed quietly when activated, seamlessly integrating into the modular design of the armored glove.
Flashman was the first to descend the ladder. The base of the ladder was cluttered with twisted remains of lifters, but he still found a spot to jump off.
He scanned the area intently, but didn't notice any threats. Just two open areas of contaminated water and some blue flames dancing in the ruptured chests of robots.
The rest of the crew joined him at the bottom. The only way out of there lead either through the door in the wall to the north or over the two ladders bracketing said door.
They chose the ladders. Flashman also signaled for Toni to join them.
On the top of the ladders the troops found the view to even more of the power plant floor. And the squad immediately drew fire from a pop-up turret. Fortunately, this one went down a lot easier.
Flashman, Peta and Stitch then rushed the stairs and reached a ledge that went north, to what seemed like the northern edge of the plant.
The troops had to descend stairs again, and they found both a power core and a humanoid robot guarding it. The robot fell quickly.
Meanwhile, Toni had braved the fire of security bots, reached the long ladder and gotten down to the water-room floor. Before long, she was attacked by two scurry bots. The first one nearly managed to nick her heel, but the other one got sliced in half at a safe distance.
Good work, Peta
Her EMP rifle silenced an another power core. This one didn't show any signs of reactivating either, which was a great relief to everyone.
It seemed that there were no more defenders left, save for one pop-up turret. The warriors rushed in, but Flashman's wailing fists failed to beat the machine into pulp before Stitch's EMP shells finished off the steel sentinel.
The defending robot didn't have anything worth looting. Well, that was Flashman's position none of the robots seemed carried .50 cal rounds or RPGs.
Oh fuck this!
They had in fact missed one robot in their sweep. Two, if a scurry drone was to be counted. Both of them fell to Toni's Gatling.
With the hardier members of the squad at his side, Flashman felt confident about going forward. He opened the door the only door leading deeper into the complex.
What have we here!
The squad fanned out in the room, surrounding the plane.
Swept-back, variable geometry wings, tail unit that also housed an atomic thruster, opaque fuselage that hinted at autonomous, sensor driven robotic operation.
It was the most beautiful thing Stitch had ever seen.
The machine was inert, seemingly feeding from a multitude of umbilical cords sprouting from a huge console.
Stitch, get your jaw back in place, it's unseemly.
I want to check the side doors before we venture any further.
Stitch carefully opened the door, his shotgun trained on the darkened aperture.
A berserk humanoid bot burst into the room, flailing around, dropping grenades. Flames and shrapnel washed over the three power armored figures. Explosions that would have gutted regular men left no impression on them.
Nobody was quite sure who actually killed the robot in the end.
The commotion brought Toni in while Peta engaged into a shootout through the door.
Peta got swept up in the advance. As Flashman entered room and went left (as per normal room clearing procedures), Peta took her position near the door to trade shots with an another humanoid bot.
She got the better of the machine at almost the same time as Flashman's powered fist breached his target's power supply. The automaton fell down, never to rise again.
They should have at least given them an entrenching tool as back up.
One of the robots was carrying a bundle of frag grenades a good choice when facing tribals and bandits, but not that suitable against a concentrated attack by the power-armored Brotherhood.
Mandy was looking around in the cold corridor.
You think think they'll come get us?
Doesn't matter. Not getting shot at is good.
I suppose so. It is getting a little boring, tho.
Not. Getting. Shot.
Mandy. Yeah, yeah...
Except for some short and usually unexpected outbursts, Ice was usually a quiet buzzkill.
The arcing electricity on the power core illuminated Flashman's visor, casting long dark shadows in every nook and crevice of the helmet, making it even creepier.
Peta! It's your show now.
The power core was no more. The only thing left to take care of was the reactor. And the only way there lead through the Hellion hangar.
A reactor accessible only through an airplane hangar. The pre-war people must have drunk half the money they took away from the Vault 0 project.
Peta was poking at her PipBoy with open irritation.
It's showing rooms on the roof. A whole network of rooms up there.
Any way to get up there?
Figures. Whoever drew the project for this place was a madman and a maniac.
With that tiny matter settled, they moved out to take care of the last obvious threat: the security bots.
The room with the tentacle beasts was on the opposite end of the hall than the power core area. Inside, they found two security bots who had crammed themselves in corner while fruitlessly trying to pursue anyone going up the catwalk. It was a short fight.
so we silently slipped into her tent an...
The women quizzically turned their heads Flashman's voice was coming from the other side of the wall.
It's safe to cross! We cleared everything out.
...anyways, I'll finish the story next time.
A girl could get used to sitting most of the mission out.
Meanwhile, the rest of the squad was crowding in the hangar.
Alright, everyone, take you positions. I want the switch to the door found right quick!
Stitch, you man the console.
Stitch hovered over the controls, prodding buttons, throwing switches.
A pipe burst underneath the Hellion, blackening its hull. Flashman didn't feel it inside his armor, but he could still read environmental readouts.
A line of explosions went from the plane to the wide door, rushing past Peta before she could blink.
Somehow, that activated the door through means unclear to Stitch. Certainly one would have wanted bulkheads that held the explosions away from the reactor!
The girls arrived just in time to avoid the fire and immediately dropped to the floor. The reactor chamber was teeming with robots.
Tracked, hovering, bipedal all thirsting for human flesh and blood. Yet the crossfire was too thick and the metal monstrosities fell one by one.
In the end, the entryway was nearly clogged with dead lifter robots, their massive carcases almost barring the way.
Peta, check the way to the reactor ugh.
Flashman winced as Stitch was dressing his wounds. The robots were dead, but it had not been an easy fight.
The reactor smoke stack rose in front of her, a miniature model of what cooling tower would look like on a regular plant. Maybe the technology had been brought down in scale? Who knows.
Remembering her schooling on Atom, Peta decided not to fire straight on the reactor, but engaged the turbines instead.
With the reactor offline, they received an all clear, and the squad got ready to leave.
They had learned much on this mission, mostly about the importance about avoiding explosions. The dead paladins had clearly lacked skill in that regard.
Of course, others learned to be sneakier.
Flashman also ran a quick check of any nooks and crannies that might have held any stray equipment looking for a forever pocket.
What a fight it had been! The robot forces were massive and massing their heavier equipment. The Behemoth had been a horrible sight and Flashman was happy that for all its size, the machine had only one weapon.
The squad got back into their transports and set course for the bunker.
Tune in next time for Bunker action and some very special FNGs!
I'd say I'm happy that this mission is over, but I have already played too much of the next mission to feel anything.
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