The Last Bastion: Bunker Chicago [Collab] Fresh Meat meet Old Salt


The Duke
Anastasia stretched as she stood in the more open area where she'd been eating earlier with her brother. Things seemed to have quieted down, which she attributed to most people going back to work in whatever capacity they could. She needed to get back to her father and his shop, but didn't need to hurry as much as she'd made it seem. Taking the crane rig off was a simple task, requiring maybe twenty minutes of her time. The real trick would be making sure she got her ass and heli back here in time. She only had perhaps a half-dozen hours before the mission, if that. Figuring she had enough downtime to relax, she seated herself for a moment, her mind still reeling slightly from the information put out at the briefing.
Russell had spent a few moments after the briefing conversing with Jenive. Part of him cursed his poor health, though when he realized why he was doing it this time he seemed shocked. Could he, perhaps...?
The man shakes his head, clearing his mind. He can't be distracted, especially now.

When he looked around, Russell had found himself in the somewhat spacious area a few blocks from the food kitchens. He looks up to the sky, shielding his eyes from the midday light. "Perhaps I have some time to acquire some extra supplies before I head out..."
The Pilot stood after just a few minutes of rest, doing her best not to simply wait around. There was one thing she needed to do before heading out, and it wasn't something she anted to rely on her father for. A gun. She knew that her old man had a few rifles, of varying models, but she had never found them to her liking. She'd always figured herself for more of something compact but with lots of rounds. As she stood, she began heading toward the general market area, figuring if she was gonna find a gun, that's where she'd find one first and foremost.
Russell simply shrugs, and begins headed towards the nearest marketplace. By his memory, the closest market mostly dealt in weapons, armor, and various machine parts. Figuring that he is decently stocked on sterilized food, and the air purifier at his home wasn't in need of repairs, he would stock up on parts for the power armour, if the request went through before tonight.

He wasn't that far from the marketplace, only a few streets between him and his destination, so he arrived rather quickly. He scans the area, the plaza less crowded than it usually is, as he searches for parts merchants.
Ana arrived in the market no more than five minutes behind the Coalition veteran, though she wasn't aware he was in the area. As she wandered about, she saw a few familiar faces, but none she knew would deal in weapons. Still, not knowing who to go to initially meant that asking her friends who to head to would be one less bit of confusion for later. She headed for a smaller stall, the sign outside reading 'Marcus' Machines'.

"Heyo, Marcus. How're the sales today?" she asked as she approached the stall. The bright yellow cloth she wore about her shoulders, part scarf, part shawl would mark her to anyone who had met her as who she was, but to her it was simply just another piece of clothing she wore.
After scanning the market for a few minutes, Russell would begin moving towards a particular machinist's shop. The owner was named Marcus, according to the sign in front of the shop. Before he reaches the counter, however, the woman from the briefing would arrive at the counter a mere few seconds ahead of him. He raised an eyebrow, though he recognized the shopkeep from the few times he had been in this area before. Usually Russell would skip over the stall, as this stall seemed to deal more with electronics, pneumatics, and a few other parts that he didn't require, though this time was different. He coughs a bit into his respirator, his hand forming a fist over it out of habit. A cough? Might be nothing, but he'll have to check his respirator later. For now, he simply retrieves one of the immuno boosters from his belt, and injects it into his arm with an audible hiss. Better safe than sorry.
The hiss caused Ana to flinch, Marcus having made a joke at her expense before waving to someone behind her. She tried to get into some kind of defensive position, not sure whether or not being grouped with the Coalition was going to get her mugged out here or not already, only to see Russell stabbing his arm with a needle of something. She didn't really care what it was, but the fact that he was doing it piqued her curiosity.

"The Iron Lung himself is out in the market today," she said, relaxing into a more normal position, doing her best to hide how bad she reacted initially. She smirked and continued on. "The guns aren't over here, if that's what you were looking for, but maybe you could help me find one for myself. I've never owned one, but Marcus was saying that I'm probably a bad shot, considering I've got tits." She shrugged, throwing a pointed look at the shopkeep.

"And who knows, maybe I can repay the kindness if you're looking for something a little more fancy than the mask you're rocking all around the bunker."
Russell raises an eyebrow at the woman as she jokes at his expense. He had seen her initial reaction to the sound of his needle, though it was to be expected what with recent tensions being so high.
"I was not, though once I am finished here, I'm sure I could assist you. I happen to know a thing or two about firearms." With that said, he shoots Marcus a bemused look. "Interesting that he would say that, seeing as how some of the best shots in the bunker are women." He looks past the shopkeep, pointing a few things out. To those who had no experience with building and modifying machines, it would look like he's buying a bunch of junk, though to the experienced, they could see what looks like some adapters to a connector assembly, as well as a few other things. "Hm. A few more things and I'll be done, though Marcus doesn't have what I need beyond this."
She chuckled and watched what he pointed out, then shook her head. She knew what the parts were, but she couldn't think of much they'd all go to. They could be used in half a dozen different odds and ends of tech, but she'd never seen anything that used them all. She gave Russell a querulous look.

"You stocking up for the end of the world there?" She sighed and laughed softly all at once. "Go on. What's the last bit you need. I know all the best places to pick up any scrap or odds bodkins you might need for some tech."
The soldier simply shakes his head in response. "Hardly. Simply gathering the right tech in order to bridge the gap between my SST and a suit of powered armour. The last few things I'll be needing is a cross-systems electronic interface, as well as a few micro-cpu's and adapters. I can get most of those from the shop across the way, though." It's rare that he gets to talk tech with another person, usually spending most of his time resting. This was, however, a nice change of pace, his usually serious expression softening a bit.

"Though to answer your earlier offer: I appreciate it, but "fancy" isn't that important to me. And besides, I know the ins and outs of this thing like the back of my hand." He taps the side of his rebreather to emphasise his point: upon closer inspection, it seems rather affectionately cared for, and well maintained.
Anastasia's mouth opened in a little 'o' when he mentioned it was to bridge his suit to power armor. While she could've likely figure out all the connections, she's never bothered to work with that side of the technological house, so to speak. She was surprised, actually, that he was as well-versed in tech as he was, and it was like a breath of fresh air. She'd seem this man, and immediately thought of him as the kind of guy who'd simply follow orders because they were orders, and aim before asking questions. This new, more intellectual side of him was something she was more comfortable with.

As she took a better look at his rebreather, physically stepping closer to really get the look she wanted, she could see how it all worked together. She was tempted to ask if she could pull it apart and tweak it to work better, her figures actually itching ever so slightly, but she held herself back. She knew asking that would be like him asking to fly her baby, and there was nobody in the world she'd let sit in the chair of her bird. She stepped back.

"Nice handiwork, friend. It's not often I see a non-Pilot with something so well-kept. Something not weapon-based, I mean." She fumbled her words a bit and shook her head, brushing her fingers over the feather on her head briefly before realizing something. "Hold up a tick, I don't know your name, I don't think. I'm Anastasia, pleasure to meet you." She held out her hand, then looked over his shoulder, shifting her focus from the foreground to far into the distance, her pupils constricting noticeably. She thought she'd seen something move, but it turned out to be a common thief getting caught. She brought her focus back to normal, her pupils dilating slightly at the shift.
The man simply shrugs, an indifferent look showing on his face. "I'm sure that if I wasn't in such a shape, I wouldn't have really bothered becoming so well-versed in tech. Besides, it's not like I can take apart an engine, or do maintenance on a helicopter. I simply know how to fix the things that keep me alive." He pauses a moment, relishing one of the rare moments he was able to talk about tech with another person, before accepting her handshake. "Well met, Anastasia. I'm Russell." He notices the shift in her eyes, and moves his head slightly to get a better look at whatever was behind him. Seeing no actual threats in his peripheral vision, he turns his attention back to the pilot.
Anastasia smiled, a bit nervously, as Russell turned to follow her gaze. "Ah, sorry. I saw something going on across the market. Wanted to see what it was. Just a thief getting caught for stealing something. I-" she stopped, her face flushing with color as she became embarrassed. She berated herself mentally for the way she'd phrased things. "My...Mutation allows me to more or less zoom in on things far away. It's like my eyes have the same tech as a variable scope on a rifle. I...I don't normally let people see it in action, let alone tell them about it." She felt her cheeks grow a little less warm as she talked about it, but never one to stay on an uncomfortable subject, she swapped back to something she could talk about with ease. She gestured for him to lead the way to wherever he needed to head next.

"So, did you build it yourself, or simply find it someplace?" she asked, nodding at the rebreather.
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At the mention of her mutation, his eyes widen slightly in terror as he remembers the debriefing two weeks back, but he catches himself. "I... I see." He knows that, while subtle or dormant, listeners aren't much of a threat, but the fact that Eve and her followers could turn listeners into monstrosities whenever they feel like it still terrified him on an instinctual level.

He turns, and begins to head to the next shop, ignoring his own outburst of emotion. "...I had purchased it some time ago, when I outgrew my old one. I had to make quite a few adjustments to it, since it was originally just a painter's air filter, but now it filters out contaminants and dust."
A pained look quickly passed over the Pilot's face when she saw his reaction to her speaking of her mutation. She calmed herself quickly enough, though, allowing the feelings she felt to simply pass. It wasn't worth bringing up what was obviously a more than awkward conversation.

"Did you have anyone helping you, or was it all something you did on your own? Cause that's a hefty amount of work to put into a rebreather, though if it's what keeps you alive I suppose it's worth it." She chuckled, relaxing further. Tech talk was good for her, allowing her to think about things in a way that she could do with ease.
"It would be a half-truth to say I did it alone. Technically I had a bit of help from the medical staff, since it was they who gave me my first rebreather when I was young. I knew it was important to know how it worked, so one day, when I was in a sterile environment, I took it apart to see exactly how it worked." He offered a brief pause before continuing as the two of them reached the next stall. "Though if you are referring to my current rebreather, then yes. It was a one-man job. Too many people are too busy to help a sick man with his mouthpiece." Russell takes this moment to order the few other parts he will be needing.
"Impressive. You should make it smaller, though. Unless you plan on armoring it, it's a bit of a problem to have something so large be so necessary. I'll see fi I can find any parts that might help me miniaturize what you've got here." She looked at the list of things he was ordering, not saying much. What he picked up was all good equipment, if not necessarily the best he could get. Then again, she suspected he was looking for more rugged equipment anyways, or something like that.

When he'd finished his purchase, she piped up again. "So, about this gun situation I'm in. I was thinking something light, but that can put a lot of fire into the bad guys in a short amount of time. Good idea or bad idea?"
Russell shakes his head. "I'm fine with the size. It's necessary for it to be large enough to contain everything that I stuffed into it; it does much more than just filter air." True to Anastasia's observations, Russell wasn't going for the highest-grade parts possible, though this was a deliberate choice. He needed equipment that could withstand a lot of motion and weight, so he went for stronger and tougher parts. "Since you're a pilot, you won't be needing anything particularly large. Some might suggest a pistol, but in your case I would stick with a variable-fire sub-machine gun. Spray and prey isn't the best option, especially in your case where since you aren't focusing on the use of the weapon, seeing as it's a last resort, you have to conserve ammunition. Maybe a Personal Defense Weapon, such as that." He points to a compact weapon at a nearby stall that looked somewhat like a box with a scope attatched to it.
She looked at him for a moment, letting his advice soak in, and then smiled. "Maybe without a scope. If I need to look farther away, I've got that covered. But why would I not want to shoot as much as possible if something right next to me, or even if it's running at me? Wouldn't it be better if the bullet were already headed at them, instead of in my gun?" Her ignorance was obvious, but she walked over the stall he'd pointed at. She saw a rather large variety of firearms available and pointed at a slightly larger weapon, with a more traditional shape, but with a barrel almost as short. Though she didn't know what it was, the carbine sat gently on its rest, barrel raised ever so slightly into the air.

"That one even says it's old enough to be a reliable model," she said, as if it were the better option.
Russell offers a slight chuckle as he follows the pilot to the stand. "The thing is, if you fire all willy-nilly and the recoil makes you miss your shots, you'll run out of ammo. Not only that, but almost everyone that you'll encounter on foot has some sort of body armour, whcih means if you aren't careful, your shots won't do anything. And just because you can see far, doesn't mean you won't need sights." He picks up the weapon after making sure the shopkeep has his eyes on him just to demonstrate. "And this isn't a scope. It's a special kind of sight that allows for a bit more situational awareness." He aims down the sights, his finger off the trigger as he rests his cheek next to the weapon, pointing it towards the ground. He looks over to the carbine that she had pointed out as he returns the weapon to where it was. "If you had a more active role in firefights, that wouldn't be a bad choice. But it's too large to safely store in a cockpith it's more of a Grunt weapon. You want something compact, which is why I recommended either an SMG or a PDW."