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Sep 15, 2019 5:47 AM
The Commonwealth gets commandeered
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She won't find a map, but she will find several broadcasts scattered over a range of frequencies, most of them FM and a few of them apparently live. One is playing an inoffensive selection of classical music; one has a peppy marching tune looped with somebody inviting the listener to join the Minutemen and/or request their aid; one plays music from the 1940s or so, interspersed with a young, nervous man speaking on various current topics and tentatively exhorting the listener to try products from "our sponsors" every so often; the last one is broadcasting a noir radio play about some sort of vigilante and a lot of alliteration. There are a few other signals, but they're either too faint to pick up or garbled beyond recognition.

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"Local signals are mostly radio broadcasts," she reports quietly. "No access to an area map, but I should be able to map the surrounding area as we go."

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"Alright then," 'Sidora says, accepting the gun that Epime hands him, automatically checking it despite having seen her check it before they left Milliways. "Ten minutes south you say? Let's go then."

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"You can try to get the map off my Pip-Boy if you want," Cat offers, holding out her arm. "By, uh... waving your fingers at it, I guess? I dunno how you'd do that. Never mind."

As they leave Goodneighbor, she checks the map again, then takes a look at their surroundings. A lot of the roadway is cluttered with rubble and debris, or has been turned into a wall, so that there's only really one way to go from what used to be a four way intersection. "I think we...." She squints at the map. "Okay, it's that way and then we have to kind of come around from the other side...."

Hancock, looking over her shoulder, points at something. "We can't go that way, that's Swan's Pond. Gotta go around like this but that shouldn't take much longer."

From somewhere out of sight, but still nearby, gunshots report and someone yells. Cat unholsters a long, heavily modified rifle that clearly started life as hunting equipment and listens, but doesn't seem too concerned.

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Epimetheus quickly scans the thing on Cat's wrist and manages to find and extract the map. She shares it with Prometheus, and both of them seem to relax somewhat as they proceed. "I can scan local radio signals for broadcasts."

She and Prometheus fall in to either side of 'Sidora, both pulling out weapons the minute they're out of the settlement, holding them casually by their sides, but nevertheless ready to respond to a threat.

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"I'm going to assume that swimming is probably not a good idea?" 'Sidora says lightly. "...Wait. Given we're in a post-nuclear world, how much of your water is actually safe?"

He flinches slightly at the gunshots (more startled than scared), brings his weapon up a second behind Epime and 'Metheus who both react before the sound could possibly have registered in normal human ears. He, however, relaxes quicker than them, giving Cat's rifle an appreciative look.

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"Uh... enough?" hazards Cat. "There's cans of purified water around but mostly we just boil everything." She makes a face. "Thing I miss the most from before the war: food I didn't have to cook. Anyway, you'll take a couple rads from drinking water, but not much more than walking around."

"Swimming in Swan's Pond isn't a bad idea because of the pond," Hancock says. "It's a bad idea because of Swan. You ever fought forty super mutants at once? Neither have I, and look, I'm still breathing."

There's another flurry of gunshots, then a deep, growling voice calls out, "Here, human, human, human! I got a treat for you!"

"Fuck off!" someone else shouts. Presumably the human.

Cat listens, then shrugs. "Super mutants versus raiders, place your bets. We can avoid them pretty easily."

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'Sidora nods thoughtfully, and makes a half-concealed hand-gesture at Epime and 'Metheus.

"Forty super mutants does seem...like an inadvisable course of actions," he agrees, although he's looking speculatively at Epime. "I wonder how many you could take out."

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"As you have already mentioned, sir," she says, her tone almost managing to be arch, "this chassis is not built for extended combat. I suspect forty super mutants at one time would be an impossible task."

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"I'd still put good money on you getting a lot of them."

He frowns at the suggestion of avoiding them, and then seems to shake himself. "For the best, I suppose."

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"Trust me, neither group will declare their everlasting gratitude for us if we save them from the other one," Cat says dryly. "C'mon."

It's tense and somewhat slow going, but if nothing interrupts them, they will eventually make it to a run-down, viscera-festooned version of the Boston Public Library. Cat freezes and drops into a crouch as a super mutant says loudly, "Hmm? A noise?"

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The three strangers follow Cat's example immediately, Epimetheus shifting forward so that she is in front of the more squishy members of the party, and 'Prometheus because he is hanging back slightly. She's ducked down enough that it would be possible to shoot over her, but she's definitely put herself in the position to take any hand-to-hand combat first. She has raised her gun, waiting for the word, or an attack.

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'Sidora makes a gesture to 'Metheus to watch their backs, the mechanical eyes are just that bit sharper than the average human. He looks to Cat for her call on what to do.

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Cat is glancing between the mutant, her Pip-Boy, and the path they need to take.

"There's only three," she whispers. "You want a practice run?"

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'Sidora looks at Epime first, and then back at 'Metheus. It would certainly be a good idea to get an idea of what they were going up against, and how easily Epime and 'Metheus could deal with it.

Epime doesn't respond, but 'Metheus indicates both of them and nods.

"Sounds like a plan," he agrees quietly. "Epime?"

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She turns her head very slightly. And if no-one seems to indicate they're unready, she'll stand up, take a few steps sideways to be clear of the squishy members of the party and let out a shrill electronic whistle.

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Well, that's one way to get their attention. The first super mutant starts running in her direction, the second jumps down from the scaffolding around the building, and the third stays put on the roof and starts peppering their general area with miscellaneous gunfire.

"I'm gonna eat your legs when you die, human!" one of them hollers.

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Cat and Hancock both duck behind the stone railing that separates the plaza they're on from the walk-up to the library. It's better than nothing, anyway. Cat braces her rifle on the top of the railing and takes aim at the super mutant on the roof.

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Epimetheus sets herself, and shifts to meet the mutant, firing two shots aimed at the knee - automatic targeting systems assisting to balance out their movements. She seems just as prepared to meet it hand-to-hand if she needs to.

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'Metheus stays put where he is, gun leveled, but not yet firing, while 'Sidora ducks down beside Cat and Hancock, aiming a few shots at the one jumping down the scaffolding.

"Ares," he mutters, a soldier's prayer in the midst of battle, even at the start. "Strength and aim."

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The first shot hits but doesn't seem to do anything. The second hits and the mutant's leg crumples under him, sending him crashing to the ground. He gets up almost immediately and scoops up a two-by-four, looking furious. "Suffer!"

The second seems to have enough brain cells to commit to a plan other than "run at it until it stops moving." In the shadows beneath the scaffolding, he evades the shots and returns fire, if clumsily.

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Cat, admirably, doesn't flinch at the gun going off right next to her. Probably this is less desensitization and more that she has had it happen so often she is partially deaf. She spends another few seconds lining up her shot, then fires once.

"Ha. Headshot."

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The mutant on the roof yells in pain, and concentrates his fire around the part of the plaza they're hiding behind.

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"Oops."

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"Perils of super mutants?" 'Sidora quips, grinning, a slightly manic grin, but almost delighted. "Hadn't realised how much I missed this. 'Metheus, how'd you think our friend over there would take having the scaffolding dropped on his head?"

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