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» A Chance Encounter
Sun Sep 23 2018, 21:13 by Good Karma

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» Jiang Heishui
Sat Feb 24 2018, 10:33 by Overseer

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Mon Feb 19 2018, 18:52 by Overseer


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 A Chance Encounter

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Jiang Heishui

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PostSubject: Re: A Chance Encounter   Thu Apr 19 2018, 20:18

Jiang walked into the camp, suddenly feeling the urge to keep a close eye on her belongings. At the very least, she needed to know what the going price for a good fighter was. With her luck, it was likely more than she could afford at the moment.

She'd make it work. It wouldn't do her any good to hire men of quantity instead of quality. Against the enemy she'd be pitting them against, lesser men might as well be marching to their deaths.

Besides, she'd likely need more than just soldiers. Finding her grandmother was a puzzle in itself, and she hadn't the faintest clue where she'd begin her search.

She took a deep breath, trying to focus on the task at hand. She kept her eyes and ears open as she walked through the camp, getting a feel for how these mercenaries lived and worked, keeping an eye out for people of interest.
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PostSubject: Re: A Chance Encounter   Fri Apr 20 2018, 15:01

As you walk into the camp, several pairs of passing eyes meet your gaze. Some residents of the camp seem to want to size up the newcomer. Walking farther into the camp, you can see that the fence surrounds the camp in a circular shape. In the middle of the camp is a circle that's separated by a low wooden fence, as well as a large tent located nearby. The outside of the camp is surrounded by various small tents with no order to their placement.

You see several shady-looking individuals walking around the camp. They're carrying on their persons different sorts of weapons from knives to pistols to energy rifles to different sorts of explosives. Over to one side of the camp are some benches with a few people sitting on them conversing as well as drinking.

Far back on the opposite side of the camp from the entrance is a small shed with boarded up windows and a door that you can see is padlocked.

*DING!!!*

Just then you hear a bell ring out across the camp. Looking over toward the center ring, two scruffy and shirtless men enter the ring and a crowd gathers around the ring, blocking out your view of what's happening. Several people begin running in the direction of ring and the sound of laughter turns to yells and howls. Audible chants of "GET 'IM!" and "FUCK 'EM UP!" can be heard over the sound of the yelling.
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PostSubject: Re: A Chance Encounter   Sat Apr 21 2018, 04:06

At the sound of the commotion, Jiang began to make her way through the crowd, trying her best to get a decent view of the fight. It seemed she now had a crude, but effective, method of gauging the skill of a few of these mercenaries.

Part of her initially wanted to call such a spectacle needless and crass, but she kept herself from making such a quick judgement. Two men enter to compete, one man leaves after proving his skill. If the fight wasn't to the death, she was tempted to join in.

As she drew closer to the ring, she tried to tune out the roar of the crowd, making an effort to move around some of the more excessively armed members of the audience. She focused entirely on the match, trying to see if they'd use any techniques she could incorporate into her own repertoire. Though most of the fighting styles used by outsiders were unrefined, many were still crudely effective.
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PostSubject: Re: A Chance Encounter   Mon Apr 30 2018, 14:50

As you make your way through the jostling bodies of cheering and yelling mercenaries, you feel yourself become wetter and wetter as the sweat from those around you clings to your body as you squeeze through. Finally, you're able to see the ring in between two mercs' shoulders.

Within the ring stands a muscular man with a ragged looking tank top and tight leather pants. His hair is slightly tousled, but you can tell that it was once slicked back. Facing opposite him is a giant black scorpion at least 6 feet long, not including its tail. It's sizing up the human figure as it moves its tail back and forth slowly and stands with its claws raised in a menacing fashion.

The human and insect stand squaring each other up for about a minute. Then as if in sync, they both moved to strike at once. The scorpion brought its tail down, but the human jumped to the right and tucked into a roll. When he came out of it, he was on the scorpions flank, brandishing a small knife. Charging in quickly like lightning, he jammed the blade into the scorpion's shell. The scorpion turned quickly to move away from the pain, taking the man's knife with it. Then, without warning, a claw came swinging into the human like a wrecking ball smashing into his chest and sending him back almost 10 feet.

Clutching his side, the human got to one knee and gazed in anger at the monstrosity. Kicking up dirt with his hands, a dust cloud formed in front of the scorpion's face. Taking advantage of the moment, the human quickly stood up and rushed the scorpion's side where the knife was stuck. He grabbed it quickly and pulled it across the entirety of the scorpion's side. Guts and bug juice spilled out onto the sand as the scorpion reeled back in agony only to fall to its chest moments later.

The human took a deep breath and walked up to the scorpion, its legs still twitching. He jammed the knife into the head of the insect and jumped onto its back, thrusting his arms up in the air. Cheers and whistles exploded from the crowd as he climbed down. The human then walked to the gate and exited the arena. The crowd cleared a path for him out of respect and many hands reached out to pat him on the shoulder and back. As he walked through the crowd, his head turned and for a brief moment his eyes seemed to meet your own.

Passing through the rest of the crowd, he made his way to a tent and closed the flaps.
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PostSubject: Re: A Chance Encounter   Fri May 25 2018, 05:24

Jiang was awe-struck. He gutted the creature like it wasn't anything, and that trick with the dirt, she never would have considered using it on a radscorpion.

If there was a fighter with promise, he had to be one for sure. Was he just a prizefighter? Or did he take jobs? Whatever the case was, she needed to know if he could be persuaded to join her or teach her what he knew.

Could she have done any better? She normally tried to use her spear's reach to her advantage, but the scorpion's tail was almost as good, and if it got its claws on her spear, she'd be weaponless.

Not that she couldn't fight with her fists, but the thought of fighting something like that hand-to-hand...

Or hand-to-claw rather.

Something with so many legs might be easy to trip up. If she got it with her grappling hook and ran around it...

She shook her head as she dispelled her daydreams. She was here on business. She headed away from the arena, and towards the man's tent.
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PostSubject: Re: A Chance Encounter   Tue May 29 2018, 21:28

As you attempt to tail the fighter, it becomes quite wild and raucous around as the other mercenaries in the camp, pumped up from the spectacle they had just witnessed, begin to hoot, holler, and shout at the top of their lungs. It becomes difficult to determine whether they're saying anything or just shouting. Finally making your way through the noisy crowd, you find yourself in a quieter part of the camp with less people. Soon, you have arrived at the tent of the fighter; one of the larger tents in the camp. Listening closely to the noise inside the tent, you can hear the faint grunts of someone in pain and the noise of some sort of tape tearing.

The sounds stop after a minute or so and you hear a heavy sigh from inside.

"What do you want?" says a voice from inside.
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PostSubject: Re: A Chance Encounter   Tue Jun 05 2018, 21:31

Jiang was briefly impressed with his perception when she remembered that she was caught hanging outside his tent.

She could have hoped for better conditions to negotiate under, but she'd just have to try and make the best of it.

She stood up straight, bowed briefly, in case he could see her from inside the tent, and tried to sound as respectful as possible.

"I'm sorry to intrude. I saw your fight. You're a capable warrior, and I need..."

Jiang considered what she had to say carefully. Whether or not he would be willing to help would depend on what she said next.

"Help. My grandmother was taken by the High Evolutionary, and I'm looking for anything that would help me get her back."

She would just have to hope that the urgency of her plea would convince him to help her. Whatever she would be getting him into, he deserved to know about. If his help was obtained under false pretenses, it could further complicate things later.
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PostSubject: Re: A Chance Encounter   Wed Jun 06 2018, 12:26

You hear a heavy sigh from inside the tent.

"Either come in the tent to talk or walk away," says a grizzled voice from inside the tent.
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PostSubject: Re: A Chance Encounter   Wed Jun 06 2018, 15:19

Jiang walked into the tent.
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PostSubject: Re: A Chance Encounter   Wed Jun 06 2018, 20:34

Lifting aside the tent flap, you step through the entry to see a man sitting on a shoddy looking cot, putting away some bandages and tape into a small box. You see the warrior from earlier with his shirt removed and gauze wrapped around his lower abdomen. He slides the box underneath the cot and turns to look at you.

"So, you're looking for your grandmother, eh?"

"What would the High Evolutionary want with some old lady?" he says skeptically.
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PostSubject: Re: A Chance Encounter   Wed Jun 06 2018, 23:24

"She..."

Okay, maybe she shouldn't share everything. Not yet, anyway. As far as she could tell, the Black Spring's existence was known only by her tribe.

"She was a sort of leader to my tribe. She knew... secrets. Secrets that would have been dangerous to the High Evolutionary."

"Secrets that, in their hands, could prove deadly."

She looked around the tent, noting the simplicity of the dwelling. He didn't seem soft or selfish, as she assumed many outsiders would have been.

She looked at him. He lived like a warrior, by choice or not, and he had the physique to prove it.

"Even before they took my grandmother, they were powerful enough to defeat my tribe's greatest warriors."

"My people couldn't hope to match their strength or numbers, but perhaps our defeat came because we let that be the measure of victory."

“I’ve been searching for people with skill, people with cunning. People at home on a battlefield where size doesn’t determine the victor.”

“In short, I think you’re just what I’ve been looking for.”
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PostSubject: Re: A Chance Encounter   Tue Jun 12 2018, 12:37

He looks up at you quizzically. He stands up from his cot and walks over to another small box on the ground. He opens it up and pulls out some Fancy Lads Snack Cakes. With careful, thoughtful precision, he opens up the box without damaging any part of it. He pulls out a cake and tosses it over to you, then pulls out a second one for himself. He sits back down and takes a bite before responding to you.

"From what it sounds like, it sounds like you're looking for people to help you attack the High Evolutionary. Would that be right?"
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PostSubject: Re: A Chance Encounter   Wed Jun 13 2018, 17:39

Take whatever is offered to you. A good rule that makes for a good guest. Jiang catches the snack cake, and takes a bite as well.

"To attack wod gnaw be the goh"

She pauses for a moment to finish chewing.

"...but it would likely be inevitable, yes."
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PostSubject: Re: A Chance Encounter   Wed Jun 13 2018, 18:53

The warrior puts the rest of the snack cake in his mouth, chewing and swallowing before he addresses you again.

"Well, if that's what you're proposing, I'd say that you're either insane or mad as hell. That being said-"

He takes his boots off as he says this and then puts his feet up on the cot.

"-I wouldn't be at all inclined to offer such help without hefty pay and completely knowing what I'm getting myself into. What's your name, girlie? And what's the whole story?"

[For the sake of brevity, you can choose to type what you wish or simply put through narrative voice what Jiang decides to tell the stranger.]
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PostSubject: Re: A Chance Encounter   Wed Jun 13 2018, 19:55

"My name is Jiang. Jiang Heishui. As for the whole story..."

Weighing her options, she decides to share the whole story. This would be the only way to convey the urgency of her quest, and she could only hope that the fallout of her actions would not be too severe. She recounts to him how it was that her village was attacked, and she tells him why: The Black Spring.

"Only the Springkeeper knows its location, and the longer they have her, the more likely it is that they will learn where it is as well."

Jiang was risking everything, her people's legacy, her honor, the Black Spring's security, by saying all this, and from his face, she could already anticipate his reaction. Tribal nonsense. Hokey mysticism.

"The Black Spring is a grave threat in the wrong hands. A very real one. If it wasn't, there would be no reason for the High Evolutionary to take my grandmother in the first place."

"As for payment..."

"I can give you everything I have right now, and when my grandmother is returned, my people would surely be able to compensate if you require further reward."
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PostSubject: Re: A Chance Encounter   Wed Jun 13 2018, 20:18

The warrior lays down while you begin your story, but eventually returns to sitting up. He seems to be listening intently, taking in every detail of what you said, while also starring at you the whole time as if looking for hints of lying or deceit.

After you finish your spiel, he stands up and turns his back toward you. Standing in silence for a moment, he lets out a hefty sigh, then turns back around to face you.

"How much do you have on you?"
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PostSubject: Re: A Chance Encounter   Fri Jun 15 2018, 18:37

"..."

"106 caps."
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PostSubject: Re: A Chance Encounter   Wed Jul 04 2018, 18:25

The warrior looks at you and the expression on his face turns from sympathetic to incredulous. He stands there a moment, awkward silence befalling the two of you and the interior of the tent. Not quite sure what to say to your answer, the man starts out meekly:

"Uh, erm. You only have 106 caps to your name?" The expression on his face morphs into bewilderment as he runs his hand through his hair.

"I'm surprised you're still alive! And to think that you came here looking to hire someone for a job like that with no money."

The man begins pacing back and forth in the tent thinking about something.

As he stops pacing, he looks up at you and stares in your eyes for a moment.

"Look. I'm not unsympathetic to your cause, and I don't mean to insult you, but it's gonna be a hard 'no' from me. What did you expect coming here?"
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PostSubject: Re: A Chance Encounter   Wed Jul 04 2018, 19:07

Jiang tried to hold back her embarrassment, her anger. As she held the man's gaze, she couldn't help but glare.

If he didn't want to help her, he could have just said no.

She clenched her fists, so hard she could feel her nails biting into the skin, and took a deep breath.

"Fine. So I need more money. Noted."

She turned to make her exit. As she opened the tent flap, she turned her head slightly, hardly making eye contact with the man.

"Do you have any other suggestions?"
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PostSubject: Re: A Chance Encounter   Wed Jul 04 2018, 19:52

The man continues watching you as turn to exit from embarrassment.

"Do you have any other suggestions?" The man senses the anger in your voice. He sighs.

"Look, I wanna help, I really do. I just can't risk my neck like that for only 106 caps. I mean, maybe if you have something else to offer. We could work something out. Money isn't the only thing that makes the world go 'round."
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PostSubject: Re: A Chance Encounter   Sun Aug 19 2018, 19:50

"Well..."

She only had one option really. Well, that and one other option. But she didn't want to resort to that just yet. It looked like she wanted his help, she'd need to give up whatever advantage she was holding onto in this bargain.

"...Anything. I'm willing to do anything. What do you need done?"
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PostSubject: Re: A Chance Encounter   Thu Sep 20 2018, 20:58

The warrior looks at you for a moment, the look of pity painting his face. He can sense the desperation in your voice; there's been plenty of it coming to the mercenary camp. Turning away, he begins to walk around the tent and begins fiddling with seemingly random components.

"Well, there is something you can help me with, actually."

He sets the components down and turns toward you, a more serious expression on his face.

"There's someone...I mean I need help finding someone...important to me. A woman. She was a prostitute in a town not too far from here. Whenever I would get some caps from a job, I would go and see her. We started to develop a...relationship."

"We were gonna look for a way to travel to New Vegas. Word around here is that there's plenty of work out there and that it's safer. We were gonna have a fresh start. But then I went to see her one night and she wasn't there anymore. No one saw her leave the hotel and she gave no indication to me that she was going to leave."

He looks back up to you, determination spread across his face.

"I must find out what happened to her. Help me and I'll help you."
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PostSubject: Re: A Chance Encounter   Sat Sep 22 2018, 16:18

Jiang knew that look. She saw it every morning when she looked in the mirror. The dull, throbbing ache of a missing loved one. Their absence felt like a phantom limb.

She could still find the girl. She was sure of it. It had to be possible.

She held the warrior's gaze for a moment, and nodded solemnly, preparing to leave the tent once more, but for another reason.

"Is there anything you know that might aid my search? Places she would go? Enemies?"
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PostSubject: Re: A Chance Encounter   Sun Sep 23 2018, 21:13

"Well I don't think that this is a raider issue. They aren't usually so quiet with their business. I have a few ideas and a few places I'd like to check out."

He walks over and tosses you a bedroll from underneath his cot.

"You can bunk with me tonight. We'll head out in the morning. I suggest you wrap up any business before we leave."

He starts to leave the tent and halts holding the flap open.

"Name's Russell by the way."

Russell exits the tent.
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