Steel Sky (Adelle/Mind Flayer)

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"I don't think I can take multiple tanks on at the same time... especially if they have the pintle-mounted crew guns... So it might be best... If we avoid them. There might be chance they are passive too but... We can't really know... Unless we come in contact with them." Rose would state her opinion on the matter of the oncoming tanks.

The gap between the two parties grew a little less spacious during the discussion, the oncoming tanks now being a little clearer. There were four in front, one being noticeably larger than the remaining three, and it looked to be the command unit as it was the only one with a flag sticking out of the turret. Oddly enough, the flag was possibly the old flag of the Soviets, or maybe the Chinese, it was not quite that visible yet. Behind the four tanks drove a pair of big trucks that had some sort of weapon systems mounted on them.
 

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"Mmm, you're probably right. Honestly I doubt they'd waste their ammo on one single bike with two passengers that serve no threat to them. But you never can tell," Adelle replied with a nod, pulling the bike off the road and heading to some nearby rocks to the right side of the road they were on to hide themselves and the bike for safety's sake. "Alright, this is as good as we're gonna get I think. Completely behind cover now and all. Let's just hope that they don't wanna fight or anything and we can continue on our way. Although... they may end up being relatively friendly. I think I see an old Soviet or Russian flag, and Kozlov's Russian, as is Boris, our neighbor, so... yeah there's that," Adelle said as they waited for them all to pass by.
 

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The pair pulled aside from the road, taking themselves and the bike to a rocky outcropping that had some suitably sizey pieces of stone to hide behind. With them out of the way, the tanks would surely go along their way.

But it did not seem to be that easy. The squadron actually started to slow down somewhere near them, going past them a little before coming to a stop a little ways off from the outcropping. The trucks parked side to side, the tanks moving themselves in a manner that allowed the to set up with their sides forming a kind of loose perimeter fence around the trucks, one tank in each of the cardinal directions. With them being so close, Adelle could finally make out some details. The lead tank was visibly the biggest and most heavily armed of the four tanks, while the other three were less impressive but still more than likely effective enough. With their close position, Adelle could indeed make out the Soviet flag on the lead vehicle. The trucks were not quite as impressive as the tanks when it came to the vehicles themselves, but they had the armanent to stand up to them, bearing rocket batteries on their backs.

With the vehicles parked, the crews started to come out, one on each tank remaining behind to man the machine guns of their respective tanks, probably to act as lookouts. The rest were setting up a campfire and getting some cans out to heat.
 

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"Hmm... yeah that's definitely a soviet flag alright," Adelle muttered softly as the vehicles closed in on them all and came to a halt not far past them both.

"Mmm, I don't like this, but not much we can really do about it I guess. Anyway, I think we got enough room to do it, so wanna get this little magic house set up for the night? Or head on a bit further down the road to get some distance between us and them?" Adelle said, looking a little worried about the soldiers, or possibly raiders that were so close by.
 

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As the two discussed, a slightly relieving sight was spotted in the tank camp, the first possible indication that these people probably were an actual group of soldiers of some stripe and no group of raiders. What looked like a female officer came around, talking with the men in what looked and sounded good-natured spirit. She was not ordering them, the actions around the camp happening at their own pace instead of upon command. Unfortunately it was all in Russian, so Adelle could not actually make much out of it all.

The officer was of obvious Slavic heritage, having the looks of a woman from the east, and a surprisingly tall and good-looking one at that with a figure that stood out. She wore an above-knee length skirt in drab grey color, which was a bit unusual for a military person to use. Her coat was of the same color and fabric, at the moment simply draped over her shoulders instead of being worn normally, and the right sleeve of the coat was knotted close, suggesting that something was missing in there. Underneath the coat was a horizontally striped undershirt with light blue and white making up the colors for the stripes. Her combat boots were fairly standard fare, but had an alternative method keeping them on, which was a long leather strap going around the boot multiple times before ending into a buckle that held the strap tight. On the woman's head was not a helmet or an officer's cap but a garrison cap that most of the men too were using, hers only being somewhat more decorated than their plain ones. She had a sidearm and a knife on her too, so she was in no way unarmed, unlike some of the men who had most likely left their weapons in the tanks they manned.

"Can we set up here? We don't know how big this house is... They might get curious if... there's suddenly a house here..."
 

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Adelle watched the group as they relaxed and noticed the female officers with them, indicating that they were likely not bandits or something like she'd originally thought. "Hmm... well they seem decent enough from here. Maybe... we could go and introduce ourselves perhaps? Strength in numbers and all. Besides, these wastes can be dangerous," Adelle suggested, looking curiously at the group as she waited for Rose to put in her two cents worth on the matter, and if she was okay with it, Adelle would come out of hiding and walk towards the group, and when they noticed her, she'd pull her hands up to show she meant no harm or anything and didn't intend on attacking.

"Hello there. You um... kind of spooked me and my companion on your way in. We weren't expecting to see soldiers out here on the roads and stuff, least of wall with tanks. You mind if we join you for the evening? Strength in numbers and all?" Adelle would call out to say to them, unless Rose was against it all, in which case she'd not exit their cover yet.
 

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"They don't seem... too bad at least. Somehow I think... she would not be there as... I think the leader... if her dress style is anything to go by." Rose would kinda agree with the suggestion. Adelle would have to go a little ways out of cover until she got within a visual distance to the closest tank and the man on the lookout, who immediately raised the gun at her, but when he saw the kinda surrender, he put it down at least a little bit. Turning in place, he shouted for "kapitan!" and gestured the folks at the inner circle of tanks to come to him with his hand and head, and the female officer soon arrived from the circle at a brisk walking pace. Coming out from the relative safety of the tank perimeter, she would come half way the distance between the camp and the busty girl. "He doesn't speak English, sorry. What's your business, stranger?" she would ask in English, again having the usual accent that most of these Russians seemed to have.

This officer was pretty nice-looking, as the earlier looks had told. The cap on her head only partially covered the rich brown hair at the top of her head, the mentioned hair being worn loose and long at the moment. Her eyes were a deep blue, but there did seem to be some flaw as there did not indeed seem to be a whole arm present inside her right sleeve.
 

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"Aye, I think you're right. Well then, nothing for it," Adelle agreed before slipping out of their cover, thankful that they didn't shoot her on sight, and sighing softly as she felt her gamble here paying off a bit.

"It's fine miss, I expected most of you not to speak English honestly, what with the flag and all. A-Anyway, My friend and I are journeying in the direction you guys came from just a few minutes ago doing a job for a wizard from the city, Rizzet. The tanks and stuff kind of... well, gave us pause and we hid behind those rocks over there. It's just myself and my friend though, and our bike. We thought about moving on down the way, but when I spotted you in here, we talked it over and I decided to take a risk, since you all didn't seem like raiders or anything," Adelle explained, nodding to the rocks behind her as she dropped her hands back down, but kept them in front of her. "Anyway, mind if we join you guys? For safety's sake and all that. I know firsthand how dangerous the wastes can be to people that are alone. And we got our own food too, so you needn't worry about that," she then asked, looking a little hopeful that they may have potential allies for the night at least.
 

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The officer gave the suggestion a little ponder, but ultimately seemed to be for it. "As long as you're willing to lend your guns for defense in case we need it. There average raider band won't risk charging a tank squad, but there are some truly deranged or desperate groups of savages out there too that might not care for their safety if it gets them the loot they want. Seen their kind more than once." she would say, raising her partially missing arm in it's sleeve to drive the point about the raiders home with more than just words.
 

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"Oh of course. I wouldn't have asked if we could bunk with you guys if I didn't intend on helping to fight if the need arose. And believe me, I've had to deal with raiders and bandits before myself, so you'll have no lip from me there, other than to just ask where you'd need me in the case of an attack," Adelle replied with a nod of her head. "Mind if I bring my bike into the ring too? Don't wanna lose mine and my friend's only means of transportation, especially since we're heading out from the city a ways for the old wizard's job. Wants us to look and see if nature has started recovering any, and if the a forest has started regrowing yet. Not... the best job, but hey it pays what we're wanting and all so I'm not complaining too much," Adelle went on to say with a shrug, before waving to Rose and going to retrieve her bike and pushing it over just inside the camp and locking it down before introducing Rose to the officer lady before they sat down for the evening to rest their butts from the bike ride, and get some food in them, with Adelle helping Rose get her food to where she could pick at it with her claws, and afterwards Adelle would help Rose clean her claws up with a bit of antiseptics and oil.
 

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"Just take a position that's not taken by anyone if it goes to that. And sure, bring your thing in by all means." the officer would allow most things, letting Adelle and Rose make the moving effort for the bike, herself going over to explain what was going on to the men in the camp. There was almost two dozen of them present, so it looked like they would have a numbers advantage too against any smaller bands of bandits, and everyone they saw had at least a handgun with them. But some had AKs, suggesting they all had them, most of them just having their main armanents stored in the tanks. They were perhaps understandably a little suspicious of the two entering the camp, but they knew what was going on and did not make any hassle despite the rather large albino female with monstrous claws coming this close to them. With no real issues to be had, the two could have their meal time in peace, the men too mostly spending the time eating and joking around the campfire which they were using to heat up their canned rations. The officer lady eventually joined them too, one of the guys offering a helping hand by rolling his sleeve over the heated can of pork and beans so she could fork the stuff out and eat it. If nothing else, this was the last certain bit that confirmed her partially missing an arm.
 

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"Sure, and thank you I truly appreciate it," Adelle replied to the woman before she retreated to get Rose and her bike, parking the bike inside of the encampment but making sure it was out of the way just in case.

Adelle didn't try and move her way into their group any so as to keep them from getting angry with her or anything, keeping mostly to herself with Rose. It didn't really bother her much really that the soldier guys were mistrustful of her and Rose, as she would likely be the same way in their position, plus she and Rose were only staying here for mutual protective benefits and in all likely hood wouldn't see these people again after tonight. She got some of hers and Rose's rations out and would help Rose get her food down, and help her get something to drink in her as well, and she'd eat her own meal in between Rose's bites of food. When it came time to bed down for the night, Adelle yawned as she'd get the larger bedroll she'd brought for them just in case out, and she'd slip her boots off and put them on the handlebars of her bike to keep them off the ground and would help Rose climb in before snuggling up to her. "Hey Rose... if anything happens that you hear before I do, wake me up okay," Adelle whispered to Rose so only she could hear, as she made sure her key for the bike was stuffed on a little necklace chain and the key pushed down between her breasts for safekeeping.
 

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The two were free to do as they pleased in the relative safety of the tank circle, the shadow of one truck and it's large rocket battery falling over them as they started to set up their chosen sleeping spot. They did not quite get to the sleeping part though as the officer came over, sitting herself down near them. "I hope you don't mind Private Severov being near you two, as he'll be sleeping up there for now." she would kinda mention, pointing towards the front of the truck where the drive cabin was, the two of them having set up near the back pair of wheels. The rocket storage box was right behind the cabin, and there was a dude there on the boxes, likely the other guy from this particular vehicle as the trucks had two guys in them. He had set up a sleeping spot on the boxes and was sitting there crosslegged, going through the parts of his Makarov that was disassembled next to him. He would actually stand up and go for a salute as he heard his name being called, but the officer quickly waved him to stop it, which he did without too much prompting. "He was kinda interested about your large friend there, and wanted to look after you in some little way. And I can't really blame him for it. You must have an interesting story to go with you, such an unusual pair of people out here in the wastes."
 

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"Hmm? Oh no we don't mind. And Rose here is one of my close friends. The job we're doing is actually for her sake, but I won't bore you with the details of it all, as it's mostly wizardry and stuff that old wizard will be doing for us. And thank you private, I think we can both sleep well knowing we have someone so diligently keeping watch out for us all," Adelle replied, not seeming to mind one bit. "And ma'am, you sure he's not just up there to get a look down my shirt? Hmhm... I'm sorry, that was in poor taste I guess. Just so used to that being the reason anyone really wants to get up high to look down at me and my friends and stuff," Adelle whispered to the officer lady, giggling softly before apologizing for what she felt was a poorly made joke.

"Hey Rose... you alright hon?" Adelle would ask her companion after they were able to lie down together to get some rest.
 

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"Well it's not just him. There'll be a constant guard going on, each turret gun will be manned through the night. There won't be risks taken with this. And just what do you take my men for, they have enough discipline to not drool over random people. He'll hold out on such behaviour until we reach the city." the officer would state, looking a bit cross about the questioning towards his men, but ultimately dropped it.

"What?... There's nothing wrong with me now... is there?" Rose answered, looking a bit puzzled about the question as she switched her attention from the man back to the discussion at hand.
 

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"I apologize, that wasn't my intention ma'am. I merely meant it in jest, please forgive me," Adelle said to the officer lady, bowing quickly and apologizing profusely as her cheeks flushed a bit in embarrassment.

"Oh no there's nothing wrong with you hon. I just wanna help you however I can is all," Adelle told Rose, smiling over at her large friend cheerfully as they kicked back to rest and relax for the rest of the evening, with Adele hoping that nothing attacked them in the middle of the night..
 

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For all the silliness that had been said, there was no consequences to be found afterwards as the officer strode off after a while. The men had started to finish their meal time, and soon retreated back to their vehicles, some finding sleeping spots on them while others stuffed themselves into small spots that were actually usable for sleeping inside them. Without a doubt, the guys in the trucks had easier time at this than the tank men. All the while, the guys who had manned the guns kept their spots, likely to be relieved when the set time had gone by.

The hopes were not to be fulfilled though as Adelle woke up in the middle of the night, still in the relative safety of the camp. The camp was quiet, save for the sounds of snoring here and there, and the distant chirp of a few crickets. But yet, the air was somehow uneasy, and there was an ever so slight vibration to be detected on the ground now and then as she lay there next to Rose. There was a camp fire and a man looking after it where they had been before, and the guys on the guns were still there, though different ones at this time. The dude at the fire seemed to be sensing something too, and was looking like he was listening intently.
 

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Sometime through the night as they slept, Adelle awakened to the feeling of vibration in the ground, something large, or many somethings causing it to rumble somewhat, just enough to wake her. Adelle raised her head up and looked around at the soldiers around the camp, and the one at the fire seemed to sense whatever it was as well. "You feel that too don't you?" Adelle asked the soldier guy as she raised up a moment before laying her head back to the ground and putting her ear to it off of the pillow she used with her bedroll, trying to gauge what it was, or how far away it seemed to be anyway.
 

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The campfire man seemed to be able to understand, probably being one of the crew who had the understanding for English, confirming the question with a silent nod. The deeper analysis of the ground vibration suggested a single large thing more than the other option, given the steady pace and similar intensity of the vibrations, and more than likely were coming from the west, some distance away.
 

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Adelle listened closely, and came to the conclusion that it was just one thing, one large thing to be exact, possibly a tank, or some other type of large vehicle. "You guys got any enemies this might be?" Adelle asked, having an idea of who could have sent this "vehicle" if it wasn't an enemy of these soldiers, that someone possibly being Miguel.

After listening for a few more moments, she'd get up and would grab her assault rifle as she shifted around to gently shake Rose. "Hey Rose... might want to get up for now. Something's coming and we don't know what it is," Adelle whispered to Rose before moving to take position around the vehicle fort that was around them with the soldiers, where she'd get ready to defend the camp from whatever it may be about to attack them.