The REALLY Wild Wasteland. (The Fallout RP!)

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The Wild Wastelands: A Citadel Holding Cell

If glares could unlock locked locks, Sylph would have been able to unlock not just and Professor Frink's cell doors but all of the locks located within 50 miles of the Citadel. How it was that Sylph was unable to unlock the door was well beyond her comprehension. She'd witnessed Sylphee picking all sorts of locks without putting any real effort into the action but the lock that sat smugly in front of Sylph, gloating, was stubborn and refused to be picked.

"Oivay. Don't worry little girl. Not everyone can pick a lock." Professor Frink said from the darkness of his cell located on the other side of the corridor from Sylph's. The positioning of his cell was quite fortunate for Professor Frink since we was out of Sylph's strangling distance.

It was quite a silly thing, flush toilets. They were complete luxury items - or death traps depending on how they were configured. If they were configured to flush with purified water, it was a waste of resources, like urinating into a --- um --- glass of purified water. However, if they were configured to flush using water pulled from the Wastelands, chances were that the toilet's user was more than likely going to get a scorching case of the ass cancers sooner or later. Whichever the case, it really didn't matter when Sylph called out to the Prison Guard.

"Hey! Hey! My Toilet's clogged! There's water spilling all over my floor." Sylph yelled as flushed her entire toilet paper roll down the toilet before she stepped up onto her cot, located next to the cell door.

"DAMMIT, BY THE CODEX AND ALL THAT IS HOLY! CAN'T I GET A MINUTE'S REST AROUND HERE?!" The Prison Guard yelled from down the corridor, the sound of power armored boots sliding off a wooden desk and slamming onto the metal floor echoed down the corridor.

"JEEZ, PRISON AND POOP PATROL?!" The Guard complained loudly as he searched for the plunger before walking towards the occupied cells.

"Alright. What the hell did you do to... I hope you didn't just take a dump in this thing!" The Guard exclaimed as he reached Sylph's cell door and saw the river of water pouring down onto the Holding Cell's door, "Oh maaaaan, seriously?!"

Opening the cell door, the Prison Guard hurried towards the fountain of waterlogged toilet paper and --- other stuff --- and started trying his best to fix the situation, repairs were never his strong suit. He probably would have managed to fix it too if Sylph didn't jump off her cot and land on the Guard's back, bouncing his head off of the back of the toilet before landing squarely into the bowl.

Grabbing the keys, Sylph went to unlock Professor Frink's door.

"Okay. You said you can fix this?" Sylph said, pointing at the damaged jeweled choker around her neck.

Fallout Jack's perspective
Location: Stinger chopper, unknowingly approaching Lucy Black's position

It takes a while to get back to base from all the way out in the open sea, fighting the Chinese and god knows what that other thing was. Cornelius Jack of the Fallout Sector had sent Bob and John ahead to get to...well...whatever it is they had to do. And Jack himself? Just cruising up there. It's not like he was worried about incurring the wrath of somebody up here. Well-past the Citadel area anyway and just chilling out, listening to some music.

You could tell he was enjoying himself, because his Stinger chopper - that thing with the robotic tail and all the weaponry - was going side-to-side as it moved along now.



Lucy Black's perspective: Dealing with the Talon Company ambush

The gunfire was deafening, but the enemy's focus was clear. The Talon Company was trying to cut off Lucy's escape and keep her trapped in this alleyway. Why not just attack her outright? Well she was about to find out because one of the mercenaries appeared on the rooftop above!

Leaping down with spiked-knuckles and a malicious war cry, the mercenary hit the ground and charged at Lucy with tremendous speed, effectively nullifying the use of her gauss rifle. Bracing for the inevitable attack, Lucy swung her rifle as a makeshift club in panicked self-defence. The mercenary expertly dodged and the events slowed down to a crawl in that moment. Was she about to die?

Not quite.

For in that moment, the mercenary was quite literally swept off his feet and sent hurtling into the nearby wall. The cause? The blunt end of a massive bumper sword was swung with such tremendous force that it caused his leg to break with a sickeningly loud crunch.

A bold statement soon followed and it was directed at Lucy.

"FINISH THIS CHEESELESS HEATHEN, IN THE NAME OF BLAMCO!"

Kristin triumphantly planted her boot on the mercenary's broken leg like a pedestal and pinned him in place by absentmindedly shoving the blade through his remaining leg. Looking rather pleased with herself, Kristin had also used cheese as war paint. She looked ridiculous.

"Thanks...Disengage!"

Once her rifle was back in its default state, Lucy planted the Gauss Rifle point blank and pulled the trigger on the mercenaries head. That brief encounter had put her on edge, but she was silently punishing herself for not being more aware of her surroundings.

Looking up to check the rooftops for any more surprises had revealed a strange sight. A flying vehicle, one which she had never seen before, was flying overhead. The strange swaying movements were hard to miss.

She hoped that it was just passing, because she could hear a shout from the remaining Talon Company.


"ADVANCE ON HER POSITION!"


Fallout Jack: Death from above

During his flight, Jack couldn't help but notice the ground among some ruins. That is, the ground and some of nature's irritants, Talon Company. Well, this shouldn't take more than a minute. The tail of the advanced chopper swung down and pointed a rather nasty-looking vulcan at the bulk of the guys, and then Jack pressed fire-

*CLINK!*

"Oh right. Jammed. I need to get that fixed."

Let's see here...Missiles? Spent. Bombs? Spent. Goddammit, Vorn! Aha! The front-mounted machine guns! They still had juice! Jack went around for a pass and began to fire on the Talons with heavy ammo!


Lucy Black: Death from below

The aircraft seemed intent on staying, even worse, it was circling around. For a moment, the aircraft paused and the front-mounted machine guns rained hell down upon the entire area.

This was bad. This was so very very bad!

"Kristin! Get down!"

Lucy screamed at her BlamCo-bound acquaintance, launching herself at Kristin to tackle her to the ground.

The heavy fire from the unknown aircraft was doing a number on nearby walls. The panicked shouting of the Talon Company had ended abruptly after a few moments of deafening gunfire.

Kristin suddenly gripped Lucy by jaw, lifting her head and smooshing her cheeks in the process.

"A proud Blamco warrior never hides from their opponent! SHOW ME YOUR FIGHTING SPIRIT!"

Strangely uplifted by that mini-speech, Lucy nodded, reloaded and steadied her rifle to take a shot at the cockpit. Kristin reverted back to her schoolgirl-like behaviour and clapped in glee at seeing a determined Lucy.

Lucy muttered to herself before pulling the trigger.

"I have brought down bigger monsters than you."


Fallout Jack: Technical difficulties

Well, that was fun. The Talons were either dead or running now, which made Jack chuckle to himself. However, that was when the impact came...followed by the alarms.

"Oh crap." Jack's face looked something like this: ----> O_O

A well-aimed shot had punctured the chopper from below and screwed up the cockpit system, forcing Jack to land nearby-ish. He DID land, as opposed to crashing and exploding. It was the least he could do, given the circumstances. The thing that surprised him was - on the way down - that he was surprised to find that it was Lucy Black who fired the shot. The propellers came to a halt, the cockpit opened, and out comes Jack.

"Young lady, you've got some 'splaining to do."

So far, he was just holding his ground near the Stinger, but that could change at the drop of a hat.


Lucy Black: Show me a good time Jack!

Lucy had hit her target and whatever kind of damage she had done had forced the aircraft to descend. Truth be told, she was hoping for a crash landing, but things weren't exactly going her way today.

Once the aircraft had landed, the cockpit opened immediately. The last person she had expected to see had emerged...

Fallout Jack!

Lucy reloaded in reply to Jack's presence and growled at Kristin.

"Stay out of this, it does not con-...!"

"HMPH! I do not associate with those that cover their faces in shame. Come find me when you are done. I'm feeling peckish."

Kristin, even in this particularly tense moment, sauntered off with an arrogant snort, paying no mind Fallout Jack and disappeared around the corner...leaving the two of them alone.

Well that solves that. More importantly...

"Well hello to you too. I was just securing my own survival and then you showed up, nearly killing me in the process."

Lucy's expression betrayed her words as she marched forward. Her one-eyed glare grew intensely as she got closer to her father's original killer. She was tired of deception.

"To hell with it!" Lucy shouted venomously, digging her heels into the ground and steadying her rifle. "Since you're here, you can repay your debt to me and die!"

Finally, Jack was within her reach and he did not have an Enclave Vault to retreat to.

Lucy smiled widely, she had been waiting for this moment and prepared to pull the trigger once more.


Fallout Jack

Jack was sort of startled by the other girl's sudden outburst. Shame? But...it's his uniform. Well still, she went off in a huff and Lucy uhhh...said that he nearly killed her when he was blowing away those Talons.

"Oops. Uhhh...sorry?"

Yeah, that wouldn't wash. Suddenly, she decided to open up and shoot at him, which gave Jack an Oh Crap moment as he dove aside to hit the ground and slide on for a bit. He was a fairly-perceptive dude, you might recall, especially when the other party shouts that they're going to kill you. Still, the second shot glanced his shoulder, which meant that {A} Lucy meant business and {B} that he was going to have to defend himself. He pulled out two plasma pistols and started firing them akimbo to keep her busy. Jack was kinda' ticked now.

"Do you have ANY idea what kind of a day I've had?! Giant monsters and Red Ghoul China, that's what!!"

He was preparing grenades now...


Lucy

Annoyingly and much to her surprise, Jack had dodged her shot. She was even aiming squarely at his torso.

Jack wasted no time with his retaliation. His dual plasma pistols had her on the run, sliding behind the nearby remains of ruined wall for temporary cover. Lucy knew how to handle her rifle effectively and took the opportunity to reload.

One misstep and one of them would be killed. Then Jack had the gall to complain about his day of all things. This drove her over the edge.

"YOU DON'T HAVE THE RIGHT TO COMPLAIN ABOUT ANYTHING!"

"Invert controls: THE BEAST!"

To the average ear, Lucy's replies were dripping with aggression and hatred. To the perceptive ear, Lucy's voice was layered was heartache and sorrow over the loss of her father.

"Do you have ANY idea what kind of a LIFE I have had!?!"

Gritting her teeth to hopelessly prevent the tears of anguish, she ripped her eyepatch off. Lucy laid on her back as the plasma fire pelted her cover. In Beast Mode, her rifle released a burst of steam as it revved with power.

Roughly pointing the rifle in the direction of the plasma fire, Lucy unleashed a supercharged bolt that obliterated her cover entirely and anything unfortunate enough to be in its path.

00:59

This would be the longest minute of her life.


Jack

Okay, maybe she had something of a better point, overall, but he still had the weird factor on this one. He hadn't ordered a nuke for nothing! That creature was freaky as well! Still, in answer to her question, Jack chimed in a-

"Well, kinda'."

He was then blown out of cover by a pair of Talon Company bodies that were now blown to bits and damaged by the Beast shot. He really wasn't sure about that upgrade. He tossed some concussion grenades over at Lucy and ran to close the distance. Geez, is this what he got for telling Bob not to kill everybody?!


Lucy

Lucy's attack had destroyed her cover entirely and much to her dismay, she had caught sight of Jack charging at her as she found her footing once more.

Glaring at her rifle, Lucy's eyes widened at the cooldown timer display.

00:51

So intent on killing Jack, Lucy failed to notice the concussion grenades that had expertly been thrown to surround her position. Even if she had the time to react, there was no possible way for her to escape their incapacitating effects.

Once the grenades exploded, Lucy had been robbed of all her power. Blinded, deafened and overwhelmed with shock, she stumbled forward and hit the ground painfully.

The heavy rifle attached her arm was searing her hand due to the excess heat expended from its alternate firing mode. Not that she could feel it in that moment.

Is this how she would die? Defeated with such ease and ultimately unable to avenge her father's murder. In that moment, she was reduced to her very core: the heartbroken little girl that simply missed her father.


Jack

Jack did not seem to be trying to kill her. Those grenades were concussion, and that brought the girl to the ground and allowed him to approach. However, they could have just as easily been plasma grenades. Jack had A LOT of weapons on him! He could have pulled out his own gauss rifle or minigun or rocket launcher or whatever! He stood before the girl now, pretty ticked off about now.

"What the hell are you doing?! You think I wanted him dead?! You think I wanted to make your life this way?! What about ME, huh?"

He was waving his arms about with the guns in them, not firing them, though. He even started pacing.

"What about MY life? Most of MY family was on the West Coast, and they're dead! 'Oh, the Enclave are evil!' 'The Enclave are trying to destroy our way of life!' BULLSHIT! This ain't living! I've SEEN what living looks like, good pre-war living! I'm trying to protect what we have so we can get it back to THAT!"


Lucy

Lucy's senses were slowly returning, she could barely move, although that did nothing to stop her repeated attempts to claw her way back onto her feet.

She was aware that Fallout Jack was within arm's length and through ringing ears, she caught bits and pieces of his ranting.

She had never felt so helpless, she hated it.

"If...- " Lucy slowly lifted herself, only to collapse backwards against a nearby chunk of wall.

"If you - know so much...a-about loss. Then you know what it's like to have the...one constant...in your life ripped away."

Sadly, she looked up to face Jack.

"This is your fault." It wasn't intentional, but her eyes were becoming blurred with tears. "You knew dammit! You knew for years! Nobody approached me...not a single soul cared. I clawed my way through the Brotherhood, Bob, the Vault, you and Number One...just to get to the truth! I just - ..."

It took Lucy a few moments to find the words, her emotions were a maelstrom of heartache and frustration.

Weakly, she uttered the next few words.

"I - I miss him, Jack. This - isn't fair."


Jack

Jack sighed, then there was a hiss of air as he pulled off his helmet, and the back opened so he could step out. He took a seat at the foot of his own suit, leaning against the leg.

"Nothing is fair right now, Lucy. If I'd been there, or I'd even come later, you wouldn't have cared about an explanation. You'd be then like you are now, trying to put a gauss slug through me. What do you want from us? Isaac would've brought hellfire down upon our base, just like Navarro. And what're you going to do if MY daughter finds out I'm dead? Does she have the same rights when she comes in full armor and an auto-cannon?"


Lucy

Lucy expected to be killed after Jack's rant. She felt that her own outburst would fall on deaf ears.

Yet here he was, unarmored and sitting across from her. Jack's words were severe, yet they carried the weight of pure sincerity.

"Natsuki, right?"

It was more or less rhetorical. Lucy had fantasised about taking Natsuki away from Jack as retribution. However, if she were to put herself in Jack's shoes...none of this would end. She could keep perpetuating a cycle of vengeance that had long lost it's true meaning. It was all that kept her going. As blind as that motivation had become.

Lucy knew deep down that her father did not want her to go down this path. So she did something in that moment that seemed almost insurmountable...

00:00

"Disengage."

She let go.

The rifle released its grip from her arm as it reverted to its default state. Her hand was shaking from the minor steam burns. She detached the scope and pushed the rifle towards Jack.

"I never wanted a legacy, or that rifle and I never wanted any of this." Lucy clutched the custom kitty-cat scope and held it close to her chest. "Neither did Isaac. He wanted me to become a trader, travel, get out of the house, enjoy the world..."

She smiled softly to herself, content with saying goodbye. She knew her time was up. There was no going back for her at this point, she had caused too much damage.

"I just wanted that life."

Looking up at Jack directly, all traces of anger had dissipated. What remained was someone that was sadly accepting their fate.

"I've done too much, hurt too many. I know it's the end for me. But at least you got to explain it all to me eventually...so there's that."


Jack

He nodded at her question, rhetorical or not. Natsuki was a fierce girl as is, a Diclonius with military discipline. She could probably do worse things than the gauss girl ever would if she had the need to. He was surprised, though, when she disengaged her weapon and handed it over. Her speech kept Jack silent for a moment before he took the gun. And then, he put down a good hunting rifle and pushed it back towards her.

"I hate to see a bare scope."

He stood up, then, and said...

"It's not the end for you, or me, or anyone 'till their dead. But you're off of our radar. I'm sorry I ruined your life and I'll do what I can to minimize this sort of thing from happening again. There's a lot of work to be done, though. I'll keep an eye on this thing for now, though."

...and then he saluted her, before taking his powersuit under one arm and heading back to his Stinger...which he would, of course, have to repair now.


Lucy

Lucy was truly stunned, but not ungrateful.

Nodding earnestly in reply to his salute, she felt overjoyed to have received a second chance from the most unexpected of places, to finally have the chance to live her life as she always wanted.

Shakily getting back on her feet, she collected the new rifle. She was no good with conventional firearms, someone would have to teach her.

Watching Jack walk away, Lucy hesitated before walking in the opposite direction. Instead, she called out to Jack. Lucy was smiling once more, but this time, it was for a different reason entirely.

"Jack!"

...

"Thank you, for the second chance. And I'm sorry too..."

Sheepishly, she brought up a hand for one more question.

"Umm, which way to Springvale from here?"

...

Jack turned when he was called, smiled at what she said, seemingly pausing at her question, while looking around.

"Uhhh, fuck. Hold on!"

He put back on his helmet for a moment, dropping his suit with a loud *CLANK* sound, then after checking around, Jack simply pointed towards Springvale's calculated direction.

"That way!"

Lucy nodded thankfully once more, briefly holding up a hand to indicate her farewell, she walked away to find Kristin.


Kristin & Lucy: Beginning and End

"East Coast dirt tastes terrible!"

Kristin appeared to be gnawing on a piece of concrete dipped in melted cheese. She offered a piece, Lucy declined.

"You asked me to be your guide. I can take you to one place. For me, it's time for me to go home."

Kristin could tell that this was a serious matter. So she offered the cheese-dipped piece of concrete once more. Lucy declined again. How rude.

"Very well. I will keep searching for a fellow traveller to accompany me on my quest. I have another proposition."

Lucy took a long sip from the flask of water that was handed to her. "What is it?"

"Consider the path of Blamcoism, spread the gospel of dairy and you will be dipped in sticky enlightenment!"

Lucy blinked. Kristin actually believed in this stuff. Although...there were worse things than promoting BlamCo everyday. Perhaps she could start trading, get her own brahmin...

"Hmmm...I can make it work. I'll consider it if you do one more thing for me."

Kristin clapped happily, beaming with joy at the success of converting her first follower. "Ask away, milky maiden!"

"There's someone special to me. A younger girl, dressed in red. Her name is Sylph. I won't be travelling, but maybe you'll bump into her. I just want her to be okay."

Kristin pondered for approximately two seconds.

"Potential acolytes? Very well, we have a deal." Kristin enthusiastically shook hands with Lucy, "Tell me more about yourself and this Sylph person..."

Lucy and Kristin started to walk in the direction that Jack gave her.

"Umm, it's complicated but..."

They were heading to Springvale. Lucy was going home.

The Enclave Vault: A Storage Room

Speaking of Natsuki, another member of FalloutJack's extended family was traveling through the Enclave Vault in her usual fashion.

*SHUNK-A-SHUNK-A-SHUNK-A-SHUNK!*

The sound of Lilith's movement through the ventilation system echoed up and down the narrow shafts and would only be occasionally interrupted by the chattering of Lilith's babysitters as they tried to track her movements.

"She's going towards the secured storage center!"
"Dammit! If she gets loose in there, we'll never track her down! We gotta catch her or do you want to be eviscerated by Lieutenant Manriki like the last set of dumbasses that lost the Lieutenant's kid?!" That of course was a total rumor and completely unfounded but it made those assigned to guard Lilith to be all the more attentive.
"Dammit! She's in!"
"Come on! We've gotta go get the Officer of the Watch to let us in there!"
"Aw man! I don't wanna get eviscerated!"

*Chunk-screeeeee*

That was the sound that a vent cover made as it was lifted up and slid over to allow the young adopted daughter of Natsuki Manriki to enter the secured storage facility located within the Enclave Vault. It was quite an interesting place to the naturally inquisitive young girl, who at that very moment was gliding down from her perch to the floor below. She was getting the hang of manipulating her body to suit her environment, a gift granted her by a time travel Grampa Jack, when he infected a KadouClaw nest with a modified version of the FEV in order to save the multiverse (But that's a convoluted-story-that-both-has-and-hasn't-happened yet for another time).

Continuing on...

The young girl really enjoyed spending time in this part of the Vault, since there were quite a few things that had been accumulated over the years. Some of it had even been around since before the Enclave had been founded. But Lilith wasn't there to go sightseeing. She was there to deliver some news.

"Hey Mister! I found out some news about your friend." The young KadouClaw Matriarch 'said,'" She and Grampa Jack met near the Citadel and talked for a bit. Since Grampa Jack's Stinger was broken, I didn't hear anything but he let your friend leave."

The man that she spoke to remained silent and unmoving. It didn't concern Lilith though, he'd been that way for a while now and she could sense that he was still alive.

"I think she'll be safe so you don't need to worry about Lucy anymore." Lilith said as the door to the storage room slid open and three men dressed in Power Armor entered.

"Oh thank god! There she is!"
"Come on Lilith! It's time for your nap!"

"Okay Misters!" Lilith said as she followed the men out of the secured storage area, looking back at Carbonite frozen Undertaker, Shifty McGee, before turning off the lights.

*click*

The Citadel: A Hallway

The phrase "Aren't you a little short to be a Storm Trooper," reverberated through Professor Frink's mind repeatedly, like a 22 caliber slug bouncing from one side of his cranium to the other, slicing brain matter and severing neurons during its travels. This was, however, the least of his worries as he attempted to look normal while walking down one of the Citadel's halls within the very heart of Brotherhood of Steel territory, people who would more than likely not take kindly to a runty scientist disguised in a suit of Brotherhood Power Armor. He was quite sure that wearing Power Armor was one of those things that where training was mandatory but neither he nor his companion had that luxury since he certainly didn't trust her to wear the confounded suit of armor without drawing undo attention towards themselves or killing every random scribe, knight or paladin they ran into or ripping a hole in the side of the Citadel.

"How did I get myself into this mess?" The Balding Professor wondered as he, through sheer force of will and enough scientific knowledge that made Stephen Hawking look like Stephen Baldwin, walked down the hallway in the Power Armor.

"Excuse me?" His Crimson Companion asked in a low voice, but loud enough for the Helmet's audio pickups to hear.

"Ooooh nothing," The Professor said as the duo turned down another corridor, still feeling lost, "maybe we should ask for directions?"

The Professor's Crimson Companion didn't dignify the suggestion with a response, making him feel like quite the idiot. The Good Professor, on the verge of admitting defeat, didn't notice that his companion had stopped until he almost tripped over her. It was only Sylph's well honed reflexes that had saved her from being squished to death by topping Power Armor.

"What? Why'd you stop?" The Professor demanded as he attempted to regain his balance in as dignified a manner as possible or at least not look like a bow legged tin can doing leg exercises in a hallway.

"Is this the lab that we are looking for?" The Stormy Eyed Young Psycho questioned, pointing to a sign that prominently stated "Lab #1."

Professor Frink wasn't too sure what was located in Lab #1, but it was as good a place to start as any, especially if he would be able to removed the blasted Power Armor. Motioning towards the door, the Professor ushered his young companion into the confines of the lab.

Once inside, the professor quickly removed the Damned Helmet and looked around the Rudimentary Laboratory with a trained eye. It took him only moments to realize that there wasn't a single piece of equipment that he could use to hold up his end of the bargain, not even close. Sure there were microfusion cells and bits of electrical wiring that he could use to fashion an electromagnet and there were various sensor modules that he could modify to detect the dopp-article. Using these materials he could, at best, possbly fashion a device that could repair his Crimson Companion's jeweled choker. At worst, he would utterly destroy the jewel and its wearer. Progress, he supposed.

Of course if his calculations were totally off, he could cause a dimensional cascade that would rip a dimension rift open and possibly allow all manners of creatures through. He possibly would have enjoyed seeing such a phenominon in person, were there not the likeihood of all manners of creatures on the other end of said dimensional rift waiting to eat him, burn him, electrocute him, gnaw on the tender portions of his brain and enslave him... all the wonderful things that alternate forms of evolutionary progress could offer. As he worked on making the various pieces of equipment he would need, he wondered what his good-for-nothing son was doing. He was more than likely somewhere between his home in the California and New Vegas with a load of scrap, or he was in New Vegas cheating on his wife once again. His mind quickly wandered for a moment, hoping that his son would some day settle down and raise a young girl, perhaps not too different from the young woman that waited patiently on a nearby chair, waiting to see if trouble would come walking through that door.

Whatever the case, it was time to begin.

"If you could lay down right there," The Professor ordered as he looked at the crude instruments that he had fashioned for this procedure. Reaching into his lab coat's pocket, he pulled out a strand of blue hair that had been left behind by the Doppel-Sylphy. Laying the hair in the middle of the sensor array, the Professor flipped a switch.

There aren't many things that truly scare Larry but unfortunately but an alpha deathclaw at this distance was one of them, immediately Larry started thinking of the best way to tackle the scenario but at this distance his best hope would be his incendiary grenade at point blank from him and the deathclaw, hope his new armour provides enough protection and then go for the throat with his sword. The something happened Larry never expected.

"Yo. Human. Going my way?"

After taking a second to take in what just happened Larry raised his hand in a fashion to signal the guard to hold his fire and then once taking a moment to swallow said 'Hold your fire!' Larry slowly placed his hand on his incendiary grenade while saying to the deathclaw 'I am not planning on using this but I hope you understand if I take the precaution. As you can... speak I hope we can assure each other we don't mean each other harm, and have nothing to gain from doing so.' at this point Larry just stared having no idea what to expect next.

The Deathclaws uhhh...voice...appeared to be the straining of the throat and tongue to produce the words at all the proper inflections. It made him down deep and grim. Nevertheless, there was a fucking Deathclaw...and it was talking to him! WTF?! It appeared to comprehend his subtle movements, and was apparently unsurprised by Larry's precautions. The thing straightened up a bit and crossed its arms.

"Oh yes, this is nothing new to me at all."

He seemed to be waiting for the other shoe to drop, which was a damn peculiar thing for a Deathclaw to EVER do.
Still nervous Larry decided to learn about the thing he had just encountered

'So... I presume you get this question a lot, though more likely get bullets, how or why are you able to speak and seem to also be able to grasp concepts like diplomacy. While I am asking questions heading anywhere particular?'

"It is difficult."

He puts a hand up to his throat.

"This was not meant for the human sound, but it is doing it through precise mimicky."

He lowered his hand.

"My clan learns. We come from a group that was originally altered by experiments, then bred with normal members of our kind while elevating them. I would like to find the local colony, but also humans must learn that we are here and that we do not have to chew their faces off."

Larry was faced with an opportunity he had to make the most, if he allied a clan of intelligent deathclaws he could have a great impact on the wasteland 'I would like to help you and your kin; I could serve as a messenger between you and humans. I think setting up a society is easier when people aren't trying to kill you.'

So, apparently about this time in the RP, this was the Wild Wasteland's Second Anniversary post to happen, right here, but because things went so epic because of what happened to Frank, we just failed to notice until the THIRD Anniversary, which is goddamn hilarious. So, with that in mind...

Welcome to the Second Anniversary of the Wild Wasteland!

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

This entry of Scott VS Frank, funnily enough, begins with...a flashback!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Sitting in a chair by the autodoc, FalloutScott was out of his armor, looking in the mirror. A scientist in armor stands nearby.

FalloutScott: Ya can barely tell the difference. Missy, you've got real talent.

Doctor-18: Thank you, Scott. You're not bad yourself, though it's a pity you don't branch out a bit. Still, this is our mandatory chem-tooth implant that Number One has ordered for all of you. Bob, Jack, and all the others have two rear lower-back molars in place to help you out just in case you need a quick burst.

FalloutScott: Aye, but THAT? Shouldn't ya be hittin' me with Buffout or something?

Doctor-18: Nonsense, these are to push you over the top in your strengths, to use your expertise in a manner greater than before. I gave Bob Buffout even though he hates chems because there, he would be unstoppable...for a time. This will have a totally-different effect, according to calculations...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

CRACK! Munch munch munch...

Suddenly, Scott's lack of combat expertise made as no difference. He saw and understood. His calculating mind now surged with information about Frank's movements, actions, and the area in relation to his own capabilities and resources. All thanks to...Mentats!

He moved backwards as more exploding cars and spider drones were deployed, all while firing the Rock-It Launcher. Frank, of course, detonated little toy cars and ducked and weaved and dodged around and leapt! He'd been leaping around with those new displacer feet the whole time, using them to close distances, for sure. Thanks to the Mentats, Scott didn't have to figure out the calculations of this unfamiliar custom suit's ablities anymore. They came in a sudden flash and he knew how to intercept it. The easiest way, the most-successful way, was to let Frank go leaping right into danger without forethought like he always does, like he has been this entire fight. Scott noted the way he ignored getting his suit's face pummeled in order to inflict damage onto him. Frank relied on his suit. He didn't use the old head muscle for anything more than a blunt object. Soldiers were hard for Scott to handle because they'd just bullrush him and so on, hence the reinforcements to his own suit. Well, not THIS time... Victory must be earned in brilliant strokes. There was always a way to deal with Scott, quite easily if you used your head. But when you don't, and he DOES...

Frank's target slid under him with calculated action and fired the Rock-It Launcher at point-blank range. A damn teddy bear exploded, damaging the launcher and propelling Frank into the air. Well...MORE into the air. Directly afterwhich, he heard one word shouted from his opponent: "PULL!". There that followed was a slightly-more-distant mechanical sound, a quick energy-sound, and then everythng went BLUE. I think you can guess what happened. Scotty got tired of the wily jackrabbit routine and ordered Metal Gear Box to fire on the airborne target he pointed at. The MGB put forth one its main arms and fired a quick burst of its energy ray from the hand emitter. Frank was not killed on impact. That would be unfair, given all the hard work and effort he put into his powersuit. However, he's not an invulnerable hero, either, so what happened next is...understandable. His suit exploded. His suit exploded into bits and pieces to shower the landscape. He himself, was hurled far from here - naked and smoking like hell - riiight over to the downed Vertibird that Scott had disabled earlier. The BoS members looked over at the very-hurt man.

"Frank? Holy shit! Get this man some medical attention! And...some pants!"

"Dayum! What's that smell?"

"Oh, I've seen this. Frank used too much Radaway at once..."

The moral of this story? Don't take on a man with a giant robot alone...unless you've got Big O or something.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

All Evan got for his troubles was a burst of static. That wasn't a good sign. He couldn't contact Frank. Either he could not or would not respond. This essentially made him want to get out there faster, see what's going on. Mounted and riding now with no official markings, Evan would get to the site of everything with Ferdinand and Dudley soon. No raiders or mutants were out in that direction. They didn't want to go out there... Hell, Evan didn't either, not with that big robot and so on, but he had a plan, you see.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

For the record: Abe, Crawver, and their company of misfit cultists did not starve. Following the circle of rad-vultures, they came upon the corpse of...of...well, they really couldn't identify it. Too many legs or eyes or whatever else. It might've once been a mollusk, but now it was decomposing in the sun, with a great load of vultures working at it. Their course was clear: They would kill the vultures and eat their meat. Seek and ye shall find, find and ye shall- ABE, STOP TRYING TO MAKE MEDICINE OUT OF THE CORPSE!!

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And now, an interlude... ((Done by Neuromancer))

The road to get out of DC was a perilous one. Ghouls, raiders, irradiated critters and a metro system with too little cover to easily slip by. But Jonathan had done it.

I'm never going through those tunnels again! Those blasted ghouls almost did a number on me.

For the first time in five years, he'd left the old capital. It was a decision borne of necessity, considering the Enclave was back. Certain as he was that DC would be turning into a warring hellhole; he decided to venture out into the wild wasteland

If I had to choose between the company of radscorpions and that of a power-armoured, energy weapon-wielding, die-hard patriot, I'd choose neither... or, if pressed, the radscorpions.

He wandered onward for hours, hoping to find a safe place to spend the night, when an opportunity crossed his path.

A crumbling edifice, a house by the looks of it, squatting by the bank of the Potomac river.

As he snuck closer, Jonathan noticed an unusually expansive patch of sand outside it. Its purpose for being there, though, he could not quite point out.

The place was definitely a house, and an expensive one at that; two floors and, from the looks of what was once a window, an attic, 12' ceilings, large, spacious rooms and an ornate design that, despite all the destruction and decay, was still evident.

The building itself, though, was not in such a good state; the ridge of the roof sagged at one end, betraying the gradual shift in the walls. Indeed, the walls themselves were leaning inward. While the structural damage didn't look all that critical, the place was some way from being stable. Looking through the holes that served as windows, Jonathan could see that while the place was dirty and run down, there was a distinct lack of the usual chaos and untidiness indicative of a looted house.

But why would a fairly well-to-do place like this not be plundered?

Doubt filled Jonathan's head. There must have been a good reason other people have not scavenged through the place. Sure, one would argue that the fear of having the roof collapse on your head be adequate cause for most to stay away, but people had been scavenging more derelict places than this, so what made it an exception?

Maybe it was a raider setup? If so, where were they? There is no noise coming from the inside; could they have gone out?

Sneaking his way around back, he uncovered a door leading to what looked like a kitchen. He found himself hesitant to venture inside.

This is too dangerous. Surely there were other, much safer places to look for supplies. Besides, it's not like I'm hungry or anything...

As he turned to move away, though, his stomach gave a protesting rumble, reminding him all too well that he actually hadn't eaten for two days. He slowly and reluctantly turned back toward the door.

OK, so I might be a little bit hungry, but that doesn't mean I'm that desperate, right?

His stomach roared, as though arguing with him.

...I'm gonna get killed for this, I know I am.

The kitchen was far from a mess. Despite all the appliances falling into a state of rot and disrepair, searching through the shelves and seeing the placement of things such as pans or pots showed a certain degree of tidiness generally unseen in the wild. More signs that the place is occupied.

Nothing in the kitchen. Looks like I'll have to delve deeper into the house...

Beyond the kitchen lay a rather spacious living room; two armchairs and a sofa, burnt as they were, were sat facing a fireplace, all set upon a large rug, its patterns too burnt to decipher. At the far end of the hallway was a spiraling stairway.

The structural damage was much more obvious in this room; the ceilings were sagging and the supports in the walls had come loose. The second floor would be a dangerous prospect.

Nothing here, either. I'll have to take a gamble and go up...

The staircase wasn't very stable; with each footfall Jonathan could feel it vibrating beneath him, as though it was barely holding together.

The second floor consisted of a long walkway, with a set of 3 rooms at each side.

First order of business: check the rooms for hostiles. Scavenging can come later.

The first room on the left was a bedroom. Judging from the elaborate furniture and the double bed, it was clearly the room of the couple that owned the place.

The first room on the right was another one with a double bed, but was much more sparsely decorated - a guest room, perhaps?

The next rooms on either side were bathrooms. Jonathan couldn't help but sigh at the redundancy; he never was one to try and make sense of how pre-War rich folk would choose to burn their money.

The third room on the right was completely empty, save for a large window and a
stairway leading to the attic.

Ah, what's this?

The third room on the left was the most interesting. It was clear from the wall decorations, furniture and toys laid around that this was a child's room. On the right of the room there was a baby bed. The little skull of an infant sat lonely on its pillow. A curious sight indeed.

Opening one of the dresser drawers here proved to be a wise decision; it was filled to the brim with a wide variety of food, from Pork n' Beans and InstaMash to Sugar Bombs and BlamCo Mac & Cheese.

Ooooh, I've hit the jackpot now. There's enough food here to last a month!, Jonathan thought as he grinned.

As he started to hastily stuff the newfound treasures into his rucksack, he heard a sound. It was a very heavy sound, the sound of the footsteps of something monstrous, and it was very close. As he slowly inched around to see what caused it, the hulking form of a super mutant uncloaked before him.

A Stealth Boy?!? Seriously?!?

A moment of confusion filled both Jonathan and the mutant as they saw each other eye to eye. And the less confused and angrier the facial expression of the mutant got, the less confused and more horrified Jonathan's did.

With a roar, the mutant threw a punch that Jonathan's instincts barely saved him from. The gigantic fist instead smashed right through the wall, leaving the mutant's hand stuck. Hastily snatching up his backpack, Jonathan dashed from the room and straight for the stairs.

Super Mutants with Stealth Boys? Why!? Why did it have to happen to me!?

Reaching the top of the staircase with mounting distress, he turned at the enraged roar of the mutant behind him, misstepped and planted his leg through a rotting wooden plank. Swearing at his trapped leg and barely clinging to the banister, Jonathan found himself in a brief moment of shock, which was brought to an abrupt end when the mutant finally emerged from the ruined bedroom. Murder in its eyes, it charged towards him.

Shitshitshitshitshitshitshitshitshitshit-

With a herculean pounce, the mutant launched its colossal bulk toward Jonathan, only to sail narrowly over his head as the stair banister snapped in half and a terrified Jonathan sank up to his chest in the collapsing staircase. The mutant's course propelled it through the wall separating the living room and the kitchen, finally embedding it headfirst in the refrigerator.

This thing has gone completely berserk!

As Jonathan scrabbled back up the splintering stairway, the dazed behemoth recovered from its fall and, snarling savagely, tackled the pillar supporting the tortured staircase, sealing its fate. With a colossal groan, the rotting edifice finally collapsed into firewood.

The super mutant, annoyed that its prey had scrambled out of reach, activated its Stealth Boy and vanished.

OK...survived thus far. Now I need to find a way out of this place before that monster completely demolishes it to get to me.

Running into one of the left-hand bedrooms and peering out of the window, Jonathan scanned the sprawling banks of the Potomac just outside.

Hmm. A jump in the river, perhaps?

Scanning the distance, he tried to judge his chances of jumping that far.

Too far away. Even if I were to make it I'd still have to deal with radiation and mirelurks. This will not do.

Peering out of the window of the bedroom on the right side of the house proved fruitless as well; all he could see were the charred barks of trees. Some reached the height of the roof, but they were too far away to be of any use.

I'll check the attic - maybe there's rope I can climb down with.

Just as he was about to clamber up to the attic, Jonathan saw some sort of movement outside the window. A hulking, shimmering form was lumbering towards the nearest tree.

Oh no.

The form steadily climbed up the protesting bark until it reached the height of the floor Jonathan was on.

Oh, please don't.

The mutant uncloaked and, after a moment of preparation, threw itself toward the house.

Aw, you gotta be KIDDING ME!

The mutant crashed through the wall like a train through a picket fence, landing right next to Jonathan like an unexploded shell and barring the way back to the hall. All he could do was stare in horrified disbelief. As the mutant began to rise, however, Jonathan's brain finally jolted and compelled his shaking legs to drag him rapidly in the direction of the attic ladder.

Jumping up through the trapdoor, he found the place to be long, low, dim and filled to the brim with junk. He frantically searched the dank room, throwing old boxes around in a frenzied shower of knickknacks, old clothing and cameras, but there was nothing he could use to fight or escape his pursuer. The sound of heavy footsteps could be heard from the staircase. Jonathan looked out of the window in desperation, but he knew he'd never survive a jump like that.

DamnitdamnitdamnitDAMNIT!

The mutant's head emerged from the trapdoor like a periscope and scanned the attic. Jonathan rolled into a dark corner and tried to imitate a mouldy box of clothing.

I have a laser pistol and that thing only has its fists. Men have always been hunting beings deadlier than them with the help of technology, so the odds are with me, right?

Jonathan squeezed the trigger. The laser burst forth from the pistol like a bolt and streaked toward the head of the Super Mutant, who ducked just in time to receive a mildly singed scalp.

When have the odds ever been with me?

The shot hit part of the roof support, causing the ceiling above them to groan and tilt ominously.

Uh-oh.

A moment of trepidation passed as both figures contemplated what had just happened. Then the mutant charged.

I'm done for, I'm so done for.

As Jonathan readied himself to fire a few last desperate shots, the cracked ceiling finally dropped like a tarpaulin, releasing a shower of plaster and tiles that enveloped the startled mutant and sent it through the floorboards. The house had survived a nuclear war, it had survived being partially demolished by an enraged super mutant, but it wasn't going to survive that last pistol shot. With the ceiling over him coming down in sheets and the beams under his feet crackling, Jonathan was completely out of options.

So this is how I go? Hoist by my own petard? How iron-...wait!

Shielding his head from the deluge, he scampered to the window. Directly below him, a few stories down, was the wide pit of sand.

If the sand is deep enough, it might not break my legs...close enough, time to go!

Slipping his shades into their special reinforced case and dropping the backpack and walking stick down ahead of him, Jonathan tensed himself for the leap.

Oh man, this is gonna hurt.

He jumped, screaming all the way down.

---

Jonathan came to with sand in his mouth. Spitting and coughing, he turned around and assessed the situation.

"I'm... alive? I'm alive!"

He checked his legs: no signs of damage. Rising triumphantly, he sneezed a noseful of granules and jabbed a finger at the wreckage of the house.

"Yes! YEEEES!
I'M ALIIIIIIIIIIIVE! YES! EAT IT! EAT FUCKING SHIT! MAN WINS AGAIN! HAHAHAHA-...
OH!"

Pain flared, his whole body seizing up at once. He fell down on the sand again.

I'll be feeling that in the morning...and next week...maybe next year.

Wheezing and waiting for the pain to subside, he rifled through his backpack. Two cans of Pork n Beans, a Sugar Bomb and a BlamCo Mac and Cheese was all he'd managed to gather before being attacked.

That's... not much. Damn.

In an attempt to stave off disappointment, Jonathan got to planning out what to do next.

I'll need to resupply. I'm running out of purified water and this food's only gonna last me a few days if I ration it. So, to a town then. The bridge is nearby, which means I'm a few days' journey from Springvale and Megaton. Where to go? Springvale's only a little settlement with a few residents, so the chances of me getting much in ways of supplies are pretty slim...although I won't be drawing a lotta heat. Plus, that's where... Ishmael? No, Isaac Black lives, so maybe he'll help me again. Megaton's a lot bigger and I know for a fact that there's a good amount of suppliers there, but can I really run the risk of exposure?

Grabbing his walking stick, Jonathan propped himself up on his feet. "Well", he said. "They're both down the same road, so I'll decide on the way. Time to go-ooooooow." The pain intensified again, as though his body was rioting at the thought of walking after what it had just endured. He collapsed again, drowsiness overtaking him.

On second thought, taking a break doesn't seem that bad an idea. Not like anything bad's... gonna... happ-

Giving in, Jonathan slept a dreamless sleep. Just the way he liked it.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Meanwhile...

After his briefing with Sara Lyons, Talion the Purifier rode forth to find the so-named superior behemoth that people were calling 'duper behemoth' or 'uber-mutant'. Upon his mighty mechanical steed, he galloped at full speed to catch the thing, thereby arriving at Old Onley in record time. We know not WHO is keeping records here, but it's a damn robo-horse, so don't worry about it! Vampire Hunter D had one himself and he got around, quick as you like! ...where was I? OH YES! Old Onley, where the Deathclaws roam...and something else.

CRASH!!

He could see it as it passed through an intersection. Hold on, he saw two things... The first was this giant semi-malleable regenerating mutation which was once Dr. Donald Q. Bastion of the Enclave, 'The Doc'. The biggest super mutant ever, how could you miss him? However, before him, swinging on a grappling hook to avoid those meaty hands...had been a man, A human being, wearing a black longcoat and other pre-war clothes. He appeared to be armed with a sniper rifle and responsible for putting holes in the creature every few minutes. Well, talion, looks like it's Shadow of the Colossus time! Ya won't find any interference, as the Deathclaws are actually standing idle now, because they've found this thing can't be done in by mere clawing and biting...so for once they feel a bit lost.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

They had arrived at the Super Duper Mart, currenty base of the Gary clones, and now called them to battle.

"Alright you Garys! Come out!"

"GARY!!!"

The doors and windows opened, some Garys poked their heads out, and a number of them came out as well. However, they then parted their ranks to allow...a different man to exit the place. It wasn't the Runners from the other version of Seattle and is sure as hell wasn't Nicole - No idea what happened to her, really. - but rather...this bloke.

image

He swaggered up within speaking distance, stood in sort of a cool-man's legs-wide-apart stance and took a pull on his ciggy.

"Right. Who're you, then?"

Natsuki: A pair of Enclave agents leading a platoon of Sylphy clones.

"Oh, fuck off! You serious? Fucking war's bullshit. My people won't stand for it. S'right, they put me in charge and I say...piss off."

Natsuki: Hey, I didn't start it, but I'm liable to finish it.

"You what? Nah nah nah, we don't want that."

Natsuki: The Garys and Sylphys think otherwise. Do they really listen to you?

"Yeah, they talk my language."

Okay, confused now.

Natsuki: You...understand them? Well, what do they want? What do YOU want?

"We want to be free, free to do whatever we want to do! We wanna get loaded and have a good time!"

THIS is the man they decided to make their leader? Natsuki had enough, and got ready for a fight. It was then that she noticed the man had probably some hidden arsenal on his person and that looked like the handle to some kind of sword on his back. The Garys and Sylphys were

Natsuki: Who the hell are you, anyway?

"What, me?"

He drew his sword: A fucking Shish-Kabob.

"They call me The King."

The world's been ended and things have gone to hell. In the midst of it all, the clones who say 'Gary' have found their King. BATTLE ON!!

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

"I would like to help you and your kin; I could serve as a messenger between you and humans. I think setting up a society is easier when people aren't trying to kill you."

"I agree. You can call me Malkos. Let us go."

The spotters on the walls at Megaton were flabbergasted by the whole affair, but it was real. The Deathclaw was a talker and actually using some manner of diplomacy. This was news! They had to call it in to GNR. Anyway, as they were leaving, Rose's Thorns had sent out a bunch of rigged Eyebots they thought would give them intel into the Enclave signals and let them use the bots themselves. Well, wrong on two accounts. First, they would get an incomprehensible screeching-hissing noise that later would be understood to be a total data-signal which would translate into merely the directions for the eyebots. They don't do Enclave soldier transmissions. And second, they all ceased to function soon after. Why? Because the operators received erroneous feedback and pulled their plugs remotely. So, Malkos and Larry found themselves watching eyebots fall out of the sky now.

"Strange weather..."

Traveling along, they avoided main roads and other places you might expect some sort of raider ambush, thus keeping away from buildings as much as possible unless there were sure signs of civilization there. On they way, they saw a fight breaking out between a group of jumpsuited males of all similar appearance aganst a group of blue-haired females of similar appearance...with a short bus in the vicinity of said battle. Malkos suggested avoiding that. He knew a clusterfuck when he saw one, and the Sylphy-Gary Conflict was certainly one itself. At last, they came to the river, where...uhhh...okay, that didn't look good. There were a bunch of Mirelurks in the Potomac attacking s strange large mutant plant that appears to have grown from the broken bodies of...those plant-monster things Three Dog was calling Scarecrows. Looks like some of them found water after they were crushed by Mirelurks and they formed into something with a big intertwined stalk with attack vines and mouths. It was swatting Mirelurks away, here and there, and was juuust within striking distance of the low-bridge nearby.

"We could kill them all, take their meat, and burn the vegetable... Wait, what's that?"

There is a man on the OTHER side of the bridge. He's in power-armor - Enclave power-armor - but the helmet is off to reveal a very serious-looking man with dark hair. Under normal conditions, you would call him Number 6, but he rejects that monniker. It is not the name of a man, but a Prisoner...

Malkos is uncertain of whether or not to trust what is obviously an Enclave soldier, yet...there's something different about this man. Also, he was currently concentrating all of his attentions on the plant, firing his plasma rifle at it from his own vantage point.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

"That thing may be seriously bad news for anyone who is fond of existing."

Bloom: I agree. Let us talk of your business and mine, and how to deal with all of our problems...

Well, Danielle, Marlon, and Morgan Bloom were in talks right now, here at Rivet City, so let us move down to the market area!

Down here, we find another ghoul, a lady calling herself Arizona. She was very much like the made-rotten-looking ghouls that are around here, dressed darkly in some loose-fitting fatigues with a red bandanna on her head coverng her bad eye and a blue bandanna on her arm. Arizona is a special ghoul of military origin. Like Badass Jackson Murphy, she was pre-war...which is also like Morgan Bloom, whom she may have heard about. Well, even if she didn't, she was going to. After stepping out of Flak 'n Shrapnel's, three men with his GG symbol - standing for 'Gentleman Ghoul' - sown into their clothing came to stand in her path. No hostilities. They just seemed to want her attention.

"Ma'am, we have been watching you the word around the wastes is that you are not only an experienced person in combat and conflict, but also that you may be pre-war. For those reasons, our boss - Morgan Bloom - would like to offer you work in solving a crisis that threatens not just ghoulkind, but mankind. It is dangerous and will involve fighting other ghouls. It also pertains to other important situations which - with his apologies - Mr. Bloom cannot be present to explain at this time. If you accept, we will go somewhere and talk. If not, go about your business. What is your answer?"

Well now... A strange and likely dangerous job offer. Will wonders never cease?

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Situations over at the Citadel heated up and then kinda' cooled down with the arrival of Charlie Cannon and William Knight's company. During the the entrance, they noticed that Johnny Truant had a problem. They saw it coming a mile away: A Ramsey-level drug addiction come-down. When they originally found Evan Ramsey, the Vault Dweller who was now a scribe, they had to do some serious recovery on him. Johnny's hallucinations got bad, like...Big O bad. He saw the past, he saw the future, and he saw parallel versions of him. It was all a bit trippy and he probably wished he could tell them...The Truth about Number One, for he had seen the edge of the world and what kind of man he was within it. Unfortunately, he had to be isolated right-fucking-immediately....leaving Charlie, Sylph, and William to go in different directions in the former Pentagon.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

William was brought before Sara Lyons, naturally. And while other things were going on, he explained a number of the tight inner-workings and that of the Enclave Underground. He also managed to fully-clear any suspicion of Lucy Black beng a traitor or anything like that. Finally, he handed over the data that he had taken from their computers. And while it was nothing from the main computer, it was important enough to bring back safely. Among a load of technical data, William had found a user guide to the base itself. It was in the educational folders for children being raised in there. It explained the general layout of the base and at least some of the details. Nothing too deeply-specific, but it was all stuff that the BoS didn't know before, and was usable by them.

Sara: Small wonder they've set up shop on the surface. If their access points up there were destroyed, they could be trapped for a very long time. I think we can offer the EU a peaceful co-existence, provided they retire from active duty like the Enclave remnants in the Mojave area. They just want to survive, it seems. The Fallouts and Number One have me a little concerned. I'm almost certain they're trying to play us. We pulled data from FalloutBob's helmet before he got his armor back, heavily-confidential data regarding activity in China, glowing ghoul activity. Now, the Enclave have launched a nuclear missle and it was supposedly a ship of some kind that they hit, possibly foreign. I think they let the info leak on purpose, but I can't prove it. Right now, Danielle Rose and Marlon Van Graff are trying to organize with all of the factions around here to deal with the Enclave It's all a big mess, but I think we'll pull together somehow. You did great work, William. I'll send word to Morgan Bloom right away and you'll get whatever he offered you in payment. As for us, is there anything we can do? I know Ramsey will be pleased to hear you're alive. Unfortunately, I think he went to check up on Frank and that damn huge robot the Enclave has. *Sigh* I miss Liberty...

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

As Charlie slept in the Barracks, one might hear from the hallways...a kind of poetic nonsense coming from a soldier in power-armor.

The uhhh...last part shouted all of a sudden was due to another soldier in power-armorbuzzing him through the hallway with an ATV, honking at him. Charlie would hear a third man in power-armor - a guy who was reading a book - shout "GOD DAMMIT, WILLY!!" before going after him. Yeah, this place could get weird too. Sleep wasn't going to come easy around here, recruit. Still, you could either try and get more shut-eye before they come back or see what there is to DO around here.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

As Frink was analyzing stuff for Sylph - the ORIGNAL Sylph, mind you, and not a Sylphy - they would both hear the sounds of an ATV going through the hallway outside the lab, honking its horn. This was shortly followed by Willy - carrying a flamethrower - running after the soldier and shouting "IF IT'S A CHOICE BETWEEN REGULAR AND EXTRA-CRISPY, I WANT EXTRA-CRISPY!! BUUUURRRNNN!!!" and other profane threats and such. A passing Scribe - seeing this - signed and remarked that Section 2 was quieter. Frink, you haven't been discovered yet, but eventually, someone will...

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

At last, Lucy Black was going home, talking with and escorting Kristin on the way. She was out of the picture, for now, though there maybe a time in the future when she will be needed again. Only time will tell. When she got back into the area, she might hear talk of the battle of the Garys and the Sylphys that involved a girl with pink hair and horns. She would probably also hear about Larry Hatchet walking off with a talking Deathclaw. However, those things weren't her problem right now. Lucy was going back to her LIFE. What she did not know was...the full extent of Jack's influence on the matter.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Back at the Enclave base, Number One's domicile... Number One got a call from Jack, who was busy repairing the damage to his Stinger-chopper.

"Yes, Jack? Oh? Ouch. But the mission WAS completed, correct? Good. So, back to the daughter of Black, then- What? Fought it out, did you? Okay, then what? I see... Yes, I think we can put her on the Retired list. It's not like Isaac succeeded in screwing us up or anything. Hmmm? You want what? No shit? Oh...alright. I'll let you get back to fixing your ride, then."

Five minutes later, a pair of soldiers came to a rather familiar room, the one that a certain wildly-evolved Deathclaw-being had been visiting from time to time. They stopped before the carbonite slab with an undertaker frozen into it and loaded it onto the cart.

#88: You sure he wanted this guy revitalized, no strings attached or nothing?

#55: Hey, if that's what Number One wants, that's what Number One gets.

With the closing of Chapter Black, we demand the return of Shifty McGee!

Arizona

Arizona tossed the appropriate amount of caps onto the counter of Flak and Shrapnel's before shoving the ammo and weapon parts she had bought into her duffel. Shifting so that it hung across her but kept her Light Machine Gun, 'Lester' was still hanging freely against her front in case she needed it, she turned. Only to face a trio of men, all wearing clothes with an ornate 'GG' sewn onto them. Her single eye narrowed, and her right hand twitched a little closer to Lester's trigger.

"Ma'am, we have been watching you the word around the wastes is that you are not only an experienced person in combat and conflict, but also that you may be pre-war. For those reasons, our boss - Morgan Bloom - would like to offer you work in solving a crisis that threatens not just ghoulkind, but mankind. It is dangerous and will involve fighting other ghouls. It also pertains to other important situations which - with his apologies - Mr. Bloom cannot be present to explain at this time. If you accept, we will go somewhere and talk. If not, go about your business. What is your answer?"

At that, she chuckled softly and held up a finger, one of the few she still had on her left hand.

"Yea, hold that thought, Junior." she said, before reaching into her duffel.

She pulled out a half-empty pack of cigarettes and an old Zippo lighter with a scratched First Cavalry emblem on it. Pulling out a cigarette by her teeth, she took her good sweet time lighting it. She found that this trick was not only a good way to put people off of their game, but gave her time to think, especially since it was hardly uncommon for people to smoke in the wastes. What was one more thing slowly killing you?

She had a vague feeling that she had at least heard of this Morgan Bloom, but it wasn't coming to her. Then again, time did that to one's memory. As for it being about a threat to all Ghoul and Mankind, she was skeptical, especially since she wasn't one for noble causes. Unfortunately, she was hard up for work, and she could hardly pass up a job that just landed in her lap like this, especially after what had happened during her last gig...

-Two Days Ago-

He said that he was an 'Arms Dealer', the biggest in his hometown. That last part she believed, especially since he likely came from a tiny, piece-of-shit shantytown in the middle of nowhere. The fact that he refused to pay her up front raised red-flags, but she couldn't afford to be choosy, and she figured that once she got into D.C. proper, she'd find more sustaining work, maybe land some kind of cozy Sheriff position in one of those aforementioned shantytowns. Since he was going to head into the Capital Wasteland himself, it seemed natural enough that she'd agree to be his bodyguard.

She didn't expect him to be such a whiny pain in the ass though.

They were a day outside of D.C. when he moaned about being out of food, and asked her to case the nearest department store for something for them to eat. She couldn't believe he hadn't planned far enough ahead to pack enough food, but she thought of the caps and grudgingly agreed. Once they got there, he refused to go inside with her, saying it was too scary and that he would wait outside. She called him a pussy, and they argued for a good ten minutes.

In the end, she ventured inside while he stayed just outside the door, all while promising a fifty-percent increase to her pay.

When she came back, not fifteen minutes later, she strode out of the department store door to find a body in the middle of the road, naked and bloodied. She dropped the boxes of Fancy Lads and BlamCo Mac & Cheese that were in her arms.

"No. No, no, no, you have to be joking!" she cried as she rushed forward and crouched next to it.

It was the 'Arms Dealer', throat slit, face in an expression of dumb surprise, and missing everything including his dignity. And, more importantly, anything valuable.

Her face, ugly, wrinkled and patchy as it was, shifted through a variety of expressions: Disbelief, disgust, before settling on fury as she stood. A quick staccato of gunfire rang out through the wastes as she unloaded a few rounds into the corpse's face. It was a waste of ammo, but at least it helped her feel a little better. She never should've left his dumb-ass, and never should have let money she didn't have blind her. And she was old enough to know better as it was, so she kicked at the dust in frustration.

-Present Day-

Arizona took a long drag of her cigarette as she put away both lighter and pack, then blew out a thin trail of smoke.

"Sure, I'll hear you out. I can't promise I'll take the job, but I'll at least hear what it is. I don't accept work without knowing the terms though." she pointed out, jabbing the cigarette in their direction as emphasis.

She couldn't rule out the fact that they could be old enemies, but she had no intention of letting her guard down regardless. Not that she could remember anyone who would want to settle an old score with her. She usually didn't bother keeping track, especially when time did wonders to cut down on potential rivals.

The Wild Wastelands: The Citadel - Lab #2

The Crimson Menace lay perfectly still on the Laboratory Table as Professor Frink had instructed her to do, the unfamiliar sensation of anxiety coursed through her body, attempting to make her twitch, fidget and attempt escape as quickly as possible. Despite her body trying to make a coward of her, Sylph willed herself to lay perfectly and completely still, even when Professor Frink flipped the switch to the makeshift machine that he had constructed to repair her the broken choker. It occurred to Sylph, perhaps a little too late, that it might have been safer to simply remove the choker and have the machine repair it without it being on Sylph's neck. Perhaps next time, Sylph, you might want to think these things through.

*Click*

As first nothing seemed to happen and really, nothing did happen. MacGyver'd devices seldom work on the first try unless you really are McGyver.

"Great Hawking's ghost! Work damn you work!" Professor Frink's nasally voice cursed as he gave the machine a swift kick to the chassis.

*Hummmmmmmmm--- CHOOM!!*

The world went white...


Mister Willy Wild Wastedlands: Mister Citermerdel - Missy Labratory Numero Deux!

*YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAWN*
*STREEEEEEEEEEETCH*
*Blink... blink... blinkblinkblinkblink*

That was an awfully nice nap, the bestest of the bestest naps that Sylphee had ever had in a long long long longlonglonglong time. So nice that she forgot where it was that she was at since last she remembered she was outside in Mister Willy Wild Wastedlands and not in Strange Mister White Room with Mister Glassy glasses staring at her like a wierdo that was going to touch her naughty bits, not that Sylphee had ever considered why they were called naughty bits in the first place since they hadn't ever done anything that Sylphee had not told them to do, in fact if anything, Sylphee would have called them rather behaved bits or Missy Model Citizen Bits but no, never naughty bits.

"Hey! HeyHeyHey!" Sylphee yelled suddenly, sitting up on cold Mister Metal Slab, "No touchy!"

Mister Professor Glassy von Frink would have responded had Mister Flamey ATV Man not roared by yelling, "IF IT'S A CHOICE BETWEEN REGULAR AND EXTRA-CRISPY, I WANT EXTRA-CRISPY!! BUUUURRRNNN!!!"

"AHH! We've got to get out of here!" Mister Glassy von Frink yelled at Sylphee who had already taken interest in something else, Mister Ventilation Shaft Cover Grill... thingy, whose magical and mysterical ways informed Sylphee that beyond his Cold Metal Shaft Covering Grill... thingy-self was a land of fun and adventure.

"Hey! We've got no time to go expl-"

FUN AND ADVENTURE!!!!

And that's all it took to convince Sylphee that the bestest of the bestest places to go would be up in Missy Venterlation Shaft for a grand time of FUN AND ADVENTURE!!!!

*Hop! GRUNT GRUNT GRUNT GRUNT GRUNT! CHUNK! WEEEEEEEEEEE SLAM!!!!!*

"Ach! Oi! Oh! My Spleen!" Mister Professor Glassy von Frink exclaimed from somewhere under Mister Ventilation Shaft Covering Grill... thingy. Not that Sylphee paid any attention to this, mind you, since she was on her way to FUN AND ADVENTURE!!!!

"Hey! I know where your friends are! Help me up there!" Mister Professor von Frink called out to the Red Menace as she pulled herself into Missy Venterlation Shaft's welcoming opening, like a baby kangermaroo sliding into its mommy kangermaroo.

It occurred to Sylphee that she had no idea what Mister Professor von Frink was even talking about since she had absolutely no notion of who Daddy Johnny Shakes, Mommy Meryl Barrel, Big Sissy Psycho Lucy Caboosy or Mister Willy Billy Night were. In fact, she didn't remember how she even got there or where there was. BUT little things like that didn't bother Sylphee at all, not when there was the promise of FUN AND ADVENTURE!!!! to be had. Plus she really wanted to find her bag o' treasure.[1]


The Wild Wastelands: Outside the Enclave Vault Entrance

Life is hard in the Wild Wastelands, one day you're frozen in carbonite and the next thing you know you're hanging upsidedown over a Sarlacc pit with your hairy best cohort holding onto your ankle while you try to fish your...

Wait... Scratch that... wrong story...

Life is hard in the Wild Wastelands, one day you're placed in stasis and the next thing you know you're waking up with your robotic companion flailing his arms and screaming "DANGER WILL ROBI..."

Okaaaay... not that one either.

Life is supremely difficult in the Wild Wastelands surrounding what used to the Capital of the United States. One day you're placed in stasis, forever to be displaying in your carbonite plated prison and the next, you find yourself laying in the middle of nowhere, buzzards overhead. Of course to add insult of injury, you find yourself completely devoid and any scrap of clothing, never mind the clothing that you entered the Vault in, but no clothing at all. So thanks Enclave! Thanks for burning every scrap of clothing that the subject of this particular post owned. Sure he was never supposed to be released back out in the wilds and so why bother storing his clothes since all they would do was take up precious Vault space but really, couldn't you have at least left him with a little more dignity than to be cast off outside of the Vault Entrance with little more to cover himself than his shattered dignity?!

"So, Number One, in his infinite wisdom and mercy, let you out, eh?" Said an all too familiar voice behind the Former Undertaker, a voice being one of the two final voices he heard just prior to his little jaunt into hibernation. Leaning against the entrance to the Enclave vault was Enclave Intelligence Specialist #411 (The Bitch) who was more than likely smiling underneath her helmet, "I suspect Jack had something to do with this."

"Wh-where's L..." The Former Undertaker started to ask.

"Lucy? We took care of her. No need to worry yourself about that. No, I suspect that you need to worry more about what your Undertaker's Union is going to do to you for failing your assignment AND for giving away trade secrets. I suspect that they thoroughly enjoyed themselves with poor little Miss Black after I told them where to find her." #411 lied, "I doubt they'll be so ... lenient with your punishment."

The Former Undertaker, bereft of thought and consumed by emotion, attempted to capitalize on #411's gloating and charged her in all his naked glory. But as some people find out, the carbonite freezing process leaves you in a weakened state and our Friendly Neighborhood Former Undertaker found that out the hard way when #411's fist impacted squarely against the man's abdomen, robbing him of his breath, while a kick his his legs robbed him of his verticallity.

Standing over the beaten former Enclave Prisoner, #411 considered putting him out of his misery. Of course, that would have gone against *gush* FalloutJack's request and there was important information that the Enclave could benefit from observing the Undertaker's Union in action as they tracked down their fallen son.

"Alright, guys, he's all yours." #411 said to a nearby patrol, "leave him... where ever but unharmed. Number One's orders."

"MA'AM YES MA'AM" The Patrol barked as they dragged Shifty McGee away.

----------Hours Later----------

"Heeeey maaan. Are you okay?" Asked a voice from the darkness, "You look pretty banged up maaaaan."

Opening his eyes, the Former Undertaker could see that he was still outside, though from the smell in the air, he could tell that he was near water. Looking around he saw a man standing next to a Brahmin ladened with various items and sundries.

"I'd hate to see the other guy." The Caravaner commented with an easy smile.

"Woman... and yes, I doubt that you would enjoy an encounter with her."

"HA! You got beat up by a girl?!"

"In a rudimentary sense, yes, yes I got beat up by a girl, however I was, at the time naked and in a weakened state thanks to the Carbonite freezing process I endured not too long ago." The Tall and Pale Undertaker stated as he realized that someone had been kind enough to drape a tattered cloak over his naked body, " I suppose I have you to thank for this?"

"Not a problem maaan, I found a new blanket for my buddy Chang, here."

"Ah. I was curious as to why this cloak smelled of Brahmin manure."

"Hey, it's free of charge. I don't think you're in any condition to complain maaan. It's not like you got any caps on you... unless you have a pocket that I don't know about."

"I'm afraid not."

"Well, me and Chang gotta hit the road if we wanna make it to Grey Ditch." Caravaner Eech said, "Oh hey, I never got your name."

"Thomas." Thomas McGee responded as he stood up and wrapped the tatter cloak around him before walking off towards Rivet City. Despite having nothing in his possession, he did leave something behind with the Caravaner: His name and his past.

"Well, seeing as how you're walking off in the direction of Super Mutant dismemberment, take this," Caravaner Eech said, handing Shifty Thomas McGee a worn 10mm pistol and a couple of spare magazines, "If you manage to survive with all your limbs, you can pay me back next time I'm in Rivet City."

[1] This concludes the Chapter 198372 - Mister Professor Glassy von Frink goes to Washington

The Battle of Super Duper Mart

Standing atop the American Enclave Scouts of America transport, Constance Sorrowfeld scanned the battlefield with her ears and took note that had this been under any other circumstance, she would have hesitated to bring a group of troops as inexperienced. Furthermore she would have definitely kept the Sylphys separate from a regular squad of Enclave troops given the Sylphys' inability to speak normally. As much as she would have preferred to have more time to train her Sylphy Squad, people in the Wastes were seldom given what they would have preferred. In a battle of life and death, it might have been surprising to find the Cat Eared member of the American Enclave Scouts of America loading beanbag rounds into her shotgun.

"Sylphy sylphy sylphy!" One of the nearby Sylphys said pointed up at the sky, causing Constance to tilt her ears skyward as she completed her preparations for the coming battle. High above the Sylphys and Constance's position was a lone Eye-Valuation Bot positioned to observe the skirmish and evaluate the Scout for various merit badges.

"So, this'll be another evalutaion, huh?" The young American Enclave Scout of America thought to herself as she received a signal from the Eye-Valuation Bot.

"Scout Sorrowfeld. You shall be evaluated for your Strategy merit badge. Good luck. You may begin the evaluation when you are ready." Said the message. If she did not have enough to worry about before, the fact that the Eye-Valuation Bot would be relaying a video feed of her performance to a Merit Evaluator caused Constance to feel another tinge of anxiety.

"Alright, Constance, you can do this." The Young Cat Eared Enclavian reassured herself before addressing the assembled Sylphys.

"Alright you Sylphys. I know that some of you might be a little scared about fighting the Garys. I know that some of you think that we're going to lose and that I'll let you down, but if you follow my plan, we'll get through this. All of you standing here will get through this. Aren't you tired of the Garys trying to push you around?"

"SYLPHY!"

"I can't hear you!"

"SYLPHY!!"

"Are we going to show those Garys that they messed with the wrong girls?!"

"SYLPHY!!"

"So let's go out there and kick some Gary ass!"

"SYLPHY!!"

With her speech made to her assembled Sylphy squads, the Cat Eared Scout signaled them to get into position and wait for the Garys to advance. They did not have to wait long after the appearance of The King. Drawing his Shishkabob, the Garys charged.

"EXECUTE PHASE 1" Constance ordered while she pumped the fore grip of her shotgun and aimed at a target. A moment later, the Scout pulled her weapon's trigger. The shotgun bucked in her hands as it launched the loaded beanbag round out the barrel and toward its intended target, the back a Sylphy. As she did so, the other Sylphys began punching each other.

*POING! POING! POING! POING! POING! POING! POING!*

The Citadel

Charlie woke with a start, nearly falling off the narrow cot. Groaning as he sat up, he rubbed his eyes sleepily as he looked for whatever it was that had disturbed him. He could hear someone spouting random nonsense from the nearby hallway.

'Happy... Arbor Day? Da heck is that?' Charlie thought. Before he could even try and make sense of it people started yelling and horns started blaring.

"That's it! The truce is off you son of a bitch! I'm coming after you like a baby making machine! BALLS TO THE WALL!!!!"

"GOD DAMMIT, WILLY!!"

Power armoured men were chasing each other through the halls, one of them on an ATV of all things. 'Why on earth do they even have one of those down here?' Charlie wondered as it drove past the doorway. Curiosity piqued he quickly jumped up and grabbed his things, before chasing after the lunatics running amok. One of them even had a flamethrower and was spraying it around like a madman!

"IF IT'S A CHOICE BETWEEN REGULAR AND EXTRA-CRISPY, I WANT EXTRA-CRISPY!! BUUUURRRNNN!!!"

This was certainly not what Charlie had expected to find in The Brotherhood, although frankly he'd seen a lot stranger lately and was getting less and less surprised by it. When you've seen an army of blue haired, singing little girls that only know one word, it was hard to be shocked by much less. It was a strange world he'd been flung into, even stranger than some of his Pa's tales.

Maintaing a safe distance, the young man watched as the flamethrower man ran into what appeared to be a laboratory of some sort, wincing at the sounds that came out.

*Hop! GRUNT GRUNT GRUNT GRUNT GRUNT! CHUNK! WEEEEEEEEEEE SLAM!!!!!*

"Ach! Oi! Oh! My Spleen!"

Feeling a little fearful for his safety all of a sudden Charlie backed away slowly, before halting when he heard something above him.

*CLUMP CLUMP CLUMP*

There was something in the vent above him! Looking up through the conveniently placed grate, Charlie saw one of those blue girls crawling along!

"Aaaahh, one got in! Oh geez, get out of their you little minx! I'll pull you out myself if I have to!" he yelled, although he had no actual way of doing such a thing.


Having escorted William Knight to Elder Lyons, Buchanan headed straight to the barracks to check on their new arrival. Upon reaching it however, he was nowhere to be seen.

"Oh for heaven's sake, where did that kid run off to?" Buchanan thought, looking around the empty barracks. "I told them to put a guard on his door!" he grumbled, stomping off through the halls looking for the young man and someone to yell at.

Mister Willy Wild Wastedlands: Mister Citermerdel - Comrade Mister Venterlation Duck!

Comrade Mister Venerlation Duck quacked words at Sylphee as she crawled through him towards her goal of FUN AND ADVENTURE!!!!, which was kinda strange since none of the other Comrade Mister Venterlation Ducks that the Blue Haired Young Woman had ever been in had ever quacked words at her. It took a moment but Sylphee was able to decipher Comrade Mister Venterlation Duck's words.

"Aaaahh, one got in! Oh geez, get out of their you little minx! I'll pull you out myself if I have to!" quacked Comrade Mister Venterlation Duck. Which didn't make sense since Comrade Mister Verterlation Ducks didn't have arms, did they? Continuing on for a moment, she noticed another Mister Ventilation Shaft Cover Grill... thingy. Was this the door to FUN AND ADVENTURE?!?

Looking through Mister Ventilation Shaft Cover Grill... thingy Sylphee saw a strange Mister Man looking at her in a way that said, "Hey you, I know you! Come down here and we can have some FUN AND ADVENTURE!"

This statement communicated by look was only in Sylphee's mind of course and might not have been actually communicated by the Stranger Mister Man that would soon be known to Sylphee as Mister Chuck Camden!

Giving Mister Ventilation Shaft Cover Grill... thingy a kick (Sorry Mister Ventilation Shaft Cover Grill... thingy!) sent him to the floor below and opened up the path to Mister Chuck Camden. Popping her head out of Comrade Mister Venterlation Duck, Sylphee diligently checked both ways before dropping down to the ground below.

"Hi there Strange Mister Man! Is this the way to FUN AND ADVENTURE?! Do you know where my stuff is? What's your name? My name is Sylphee! Do you know me? Do you know where the FUN AND ADVENTURE is? Have you seen Mister Squinchy Pinch?! Do you know him? What's your name? Oh hey do you have anything special in your bag o' treasure? Can I see it? Please? Please?! PLEASEPLEASEPLEASEPLEASEPLEASE?!?!"

Oh Mister Chuck Camden, you shouldn't have. Really... you shouldn't have.

Lucy Black: Springvale

Lucy stood before her house in Springvale. Hunting rifle in one hand and her black eyepatch clenched in the other.

"We're here."

Lucy appeared to take a deep breath before she walked towards the dilapidated house, planting a hand on a nearby wall.

"You own these ruins?", Kristin whistled impressively.

Lucy almost laughed at Kristin's nonchalant attitude, "It used to be a nice house. Small at first, but we built on as time passed."

"We?"

"My father, Isaac. This was our house, mine now - I suppose."

"Is this where we part ways?"

Lucy turned, scratching her cheek sheepishly. "Well - it's going to be really difficult to start hosting any BlamCo parties if I have a terrible place to live in, so - "

"I refuse! I refuse to let you be cucumbered by the petty inconveniences of dirt and dust!"

"Encumbered?"

"An agent of the Gods need not make sense!"


And the odd duo started cleaning. Kristin 'cleaned' the exterior by bashing/smashing/slashing any nearby rubble, dirt, crumbling walls, etc.

Meanwhile, Lucy started sorting through the interior of her house. Quite literally throwing broken/old/useless items out the window.

This carried on for awhile. The two took a break outside, nearby was their small pile of useless appliances/furniture/old food containers and such.

The odd female pair sat back-to-back, sensing that their time together was coming to an end. Nevertheless, Lucy was grateful that she had someone to tackle what remained of her house.

It was empty, but perhaps wiping the slate clean was necessary for a new beginning.

The Citadel

*CRASH*

Charlie probably should have kept his mouth shut. The diminutive girl kicked her way through the grate which fell to the ground with a loud bang and jumped down in front of him. Fumbling for his machete he paused as the girl began speaking, no, gushing a violent torrent of conversation - which was not just the one word repeated over and over.

'She... she can talk?' he thought bewildered. Too bad she seemed just as crazy as the other lot, if a tiny bit more in control of her behaviour and brain function.

"...What's your name? Oh hey do you have anything special in your bag o' treasure? Can I see it? Please? Please?! PLEASEPLEASEPLEASEPLEASEPLEASE?!?!""

"Wha- hey careful! There's dangerous things in there, you'll blow your brains out!" Charlie said, yanking the bag away from her. Hearing strange sounds coming from the lab behind him he grabbed the girl and held his hand over her mouth, listening intently.

"Listen, Sylphee was it? My name's Charlie Cannon, I'm not going to hurt you. But there is a crazy man in that room back there and I think we should try and get far away from him okay? We'll go and find some FUN AND ADVENTURE yea?"

Charlie had a bad feeling about this but he didn't want to see this strange girl turned into a BBQ lunch due to wanting to play with the front end of a flamethrower.

Arizona

Bloom's men didn't seem to be bothered by her dragging things out with a ciggy. More likely, they were paid to deal with personality quirks, such as the business-ghoul's own. The lead man listened to what she had to say, then nodded.

"We wouldn't send you out there without a briefing. Dropping people blind into a situation is not the boss' style. Follow us, please."

They would take her to, well, just any old room on the ship that they could tell someone to leave and shut the door behind them. People on the ship were use to this sort of thing, lately. This was, in fact, somebody's quarters, currently empty. She followed them casually, though she kept Lester ready on it's sling, just in case. She could never be too careful. The talker of the group then unfolded a map that had been in his keeping and placed on the nearby table, pointing to a circled spot. It referred to an area in the lower-western section of the Capital Wastelands.

"The Dunwich Building. Maybe you know something about it or maybe you don't, but Mr. Bloom recalls from the 'good old days' that it was always a creepy sort of place. About now, things are going on to justify those feelings. Over the past few weeks, maybe a month, or maybe longer - a cult has been forming there of ghouls who have gone mad and 'answered the call'. Some sort of mental hold has been put upon these people, screwing with their minds. Mr. Bloom became aware of it when several of his likewise-ghoulified partners began acting strangely. With the advent of both the Enclave being about and Behemoths on the major rise, he did not have time to address it. This has proven to have been an error."

He now put down a series of photographs that were taken from the bridge of Rivet City. They were long distance, showing a warship, then showing Enclave combat choppers - Stingers, they called 'em. - attacking it, then the appearance of a giant squid-headed monster, and then finally the nuke hitting when the Enclave high-tailed it.

While she had heard of the Enclave, being the last of the "True American Government", she didn't recognize the choppers they were using. The warship was also unusual, since she hadn't heard of anyone coming from another continent. But it was the monster that caused her single eye to widen in shock. That was almost certainly something she hadn't seen before, which was... Novel, to say the least.

"There was a ship out at sea, a foreign vessel that the Enclave struck with a nuclear missile. They did so not because of the ship, but because of this thing. We have no proof that the cult is responsible, but we're playing a hunch on that account. Mr. Bloom would like you to find some way - any means at your disposal - to confirm it, to find out what's going on. It's against all reason that this happened, but it could happen again. We believe a ghoul such as yourself - highly-capable - can get close without raising suspicion and learn what's been going on down there. It IS a dangerous mission, but I've been told the man we sent on our last dangerous mission is alive and well, himself."

She placed one hand on the table, leaning forward and holding up a finger.

"So, let me get this straight. You want me to infiltrate a cult of Ghouls who 'answered' some kind of 'call'," she said, making air-quotes, "And see if they were responsible for this, this... This ugly squid-faced motherfucker here. You say they're pretty much brainwashing these Ghouls, and if I find out that they are responsible, I'm supposed to do... What? Kill them all? Because diplomacy isn't exactly my strong suit." she said, before holding her hand up again.

"This is also assuming they don't just brainwash me and get me to spill the beans on why I'm there." she added before tilting her head to one side, her expression thoughtful.

"How much is this paying, anyway? Because if you know my reputation, then you know that I don't do charity work, and I don't do work for 'favors'." the old, shrewd Ghoul said with a narrowed eye.

As it was the job itself sounded insane, but if the pay was good enough, she'd seriously consider it. She didn't exactly need the money right then, but she wasn't going to pass up the chance to build up her 'nest egg' as it were. Not only that, but the fact that it sounded so unusual intrigued her. Not much did that to her nowadays. Two centuries of wandering the wastes meant that you saw most of everything that went on, but this? This was new.

Mister Willy Wild Wastedlands: Mister Citermerdel - Missy Crispinatored Hallway!

Mister Chucky Camden was simultaneously the rudest and the nicest person that Sylphee could remember meeting, though that wasn't saying much since she didn't remember anyone that she had met since entering Mister Willy Wild Wastedlands. The Red Menace's jaw practically hit the floor at Mister Chucky Camden's rudeness when he snatched his bag o' treasure out of Sylphee's hands when he could have simply asked for it back. That, in the Blue Haired Heroine's book, was just about the rudest thing that a person could do short of punching Sylphee in the face for no reason at all.

Such a rude act shouldn't have gone uncommented upon had Mister Chucky Camden not made himself the nicest person in that Sylphee could remember meeting moments later.

"BLAH! BLAH! BLAH! BLAH! BLAH! BLAH! BLAH! BLAH! BLAH! BLAH! BLAH! BLAH! BLAH! BLAH! BLAH! BLAH! BLAH! BLAH! BLAH! BLAH! BLAH! But there is a crazy man in that room back there and I think we should try and get far away from him okay? We'll go and find some FUN AND ADVENTURE yea?" Mister Chucky Camden promised a promise that he needed absolutely was required to keep or else. Such a promise on Mister Chucky Camden's part did require a response and that response was...

"*Huff huff huff* Who's this Mister Crazy Guy in the room back there? Do you know him? Is he a friend of yours, Mister Chucky Camden? Is he crazy, or REALLY CRAZY or REALLY REALLY CRAZY?! Why do we need to get away from him? Do you owe him money? It's not nice to not pay money that you owe people! I think they call those people Welsh. Are you Welsh? Where are you from, Mister Chucky Camden? I heard a someone yelling about crispinating people earlier, is that Mister Crazy Guy? I think he likes to cook. Do you like to cook, Mister Chucky Camden? Oh! Oh! Oh! What's your favorite food?! I love Rad Scorpion Meats. I could eat that all day! Do you like Rad Scorpion Meats? What's your favorite thing about Rad Scorpion Meats?! I love how it makes your tongue tingle when you eat it!" Sylphee machine gunned before pointing down Missy Crispinated Hallway, "Hey! Is that Mister Crazy Guy? Wow! He's got a Missus ATV! Do you think he'll let us borrow it? If we borrow it, we can get away from him faster which means that we can go find FUN AND ADVENTURE faster! You promised that we could go find FUN AND ADVENTURE! You promised! You PROMISED! YOOOOUUUU PROOOOOOOMISED!!!"

Let it never be said that Sylphee wasn't one of those people who was willing to let other people do things for her and not want to do it herself, especially when it came to asking to borrow things, but Mister Chucky Camden was making things a little hard on Sylphee by blocking Missy Crispinated Hallway.

"HEY! HEY! HEY! Mister Crazy Guy! Can I borrow your Missus ATV?! Mister Chucky Camden said that we could go find FUN AND ADVENTURE if we got far away from you! Does he owe you money? I told him it wasn't nice to be Welsh! If he pays you your money back, can I borrow your Missus ATV?" Sylphee said as she started running skipping very quickly towards Mister Crazy Guy.

Now then, given that Mister Crazy Guy was more than likely responsible for the Crispification of Missy Crispinated Hallway, he would have probably been more than happy to crispify the Happily Skipping Blue Eyed Heroine. He would have probably crispified Sylphee with a smile on his face. He probably would have crispified her if it wasn't for the unfortunate placement of a crispificated Missy Stellar Bro-hood Scribe, who, due to her unfortunate placement on the ground caused Sylphee to trip and fall on the ground, right underneath a fiery stream of fire. Mister Crazy Guy didn't fair too well either when a piece of Missy Crispinated Hallway was hucked into the air by Sylphee trip, smashing into Mister Crazy Guy's face as he sped towards the Red Menace, knocking him off of Missy ATV.

"Thanks Mister Crazy Guy!" Sylphee yelled as she sat up and saw Missy ATV roll right up to her.

The Wastes, Day Three since Escape From D.C.

After his catastrophic first day in the wilds, Jonathan was delighted to see his second one was uneventuful. Though his body still ached after his fall, the pain was much more bearable since he woke up. Still, the pain slowed him down, and he progressed at a much slower pace than he would have liked. The roaming gangs of punks and the irradiated wildlife didn't help him go about his way either.

It was night of Day three now, and problems had already arisen, mostly due to lack of food. Despite rationing, the amount he had hauled was minimal, and his purified water, already running low, was nearing its depletion. It was due to this that drastic measures needed to be taken, and so Jonathan continued on his way past sunfall.

Oh, how I hate travelling at night. The visibility's poor, the wildlife's more aggressive, I can't wear my sunglasses and it's pretty darn difficult to see black power armor with all this darkness around!

Still, most of the night was rather uneventful. A handful of radscorpions and some bloatflies here and there were easy to evade. And at least, given that visibility was low, he didn't have to worry about being spotted by gangs without noticing. As he went on, a peculiar sight lay before him.

Who -or what- did all this?

A group of 12 people, lightly armed and mostly unarmored, lay slain before him, their bodies horribly mutilated. Given the smell and, at closer inspection, the condition of the bodies, Jonathan concluded that they couldn't have been dead for more than a day.

I reaaaally wanna get away from this... he thought as he tried walking away in hurried steps ...but I reaaaally need provisions. He scanned the area as well as he could. Well, he rationalised, whatever did all this clearly ate its fill and moved on. Should be safe to search, right?

He started with the corpse closest to him, that of a young woman in her twenties. Opening her bag, he found it strangely empty. He moved on to the victim closest to her, a man that had his face completely chewed off, but whose body's state gave away that he was in an advanced age. His bag was empty as well.

Did others get to the scene before me? he thought as he decided to search one last corpse before moving on...

...Except, he saw movement. Fast movement. As the bipedal figure approached and its features became recongizable, complete and utter horror filled Jonathan from head to toe.

Deathclaw.

They say fear gives men wings. While that unfortunately does not apply in Jonathan's case, it did make him run faster than his condition allowed. Despite his best effort, though, the Deathclaw was gaining ground, and it was doing so fast.

And just as things couldn't get bleacker, a Yao guai appeared in the direction he was running to and, since the universe decided that being chased by a Deathclaw wasn't enough entertainment, it rushed towards him aswell.

He was starving, exhausted and possibly dehydrated. Despite his initial burst of speed, his body didn't have enough energy to keep going, and now a bear wanted him dead aswell. And so, Jonathan stopped dead on his tracks.

"I give up," he muttered in a frustrated, defeated tone as he fell on his knees, staring at the sky with a disappointed look. "You know, I'm not even mad anymore." To whom he said it, he didn't know, nor mattered. He figured he'd find out soon enough.

He lied down and waited for the end to come. He hoped it would be quick, but knowing his luck whichever beast was to land the killing blow would just pierce his stomach and sit watch him bleed to death.

As both approached him, he closed his eyes. The steps grew louder and the ground shook a bit. He heard the sickening sound of flesh being pierced. Luckily, there was no pain.

...

...Why wasn't there any pain?

Slowly and hesitantly, he opened his eyes. Deathclaw and Yao Guai stood above him, locked in what seemed to be a grapple.

With both beasts' attention turned to one another, Jonathan crawled his way away. The grapple ended, and both beasts started lashing out at each other.

Are they fighting on who gets to eat me or do they have a grudge to settle? An epiphany struck him. Am I really sitting here analyzing why two predators fight over my apparently delicious body?

Getting up, Jonathan gathered what little strength he had left and run like hell.

---

Day Four. Springvale, maybe. (Present Time)

He had made it... somewhere. Springvale? It must have been Springvale. Boy, what a ruin. It wasn't the Springvale he remembered. Yet it was the Springvale he remembered. How wierd.

He was starving, thirsty, and exhausted beyond his wildest dreams. He spent the entire night running away as far away as possible, and as a result he couldn't even stand if not for his walking stick. Each step was a painful limp, with his body screaming him to stop.

Not yet... must find...

He crept his way into town. It really was a wreck. Not the kind of wreck that you could plunder or a ghost town wreck. It was a nice wreck. A liveable wreck. It wasn't such a wreck when he first passed through it years ago, but then again things get wrecked easily in the wasteland. Funny word, wreck. Wreck, wreck, wreck, wreck.

He heard noise. Noise attracts things, people included. And so he was also attracted to the noise, as though the noise was a guiding light. Ya know, if noise could actually be seen. And noise can't be seen. So that metaphor doesn't work for noise. Noise. That's another funny word. It sounds like nice.

The noise was coming from a wreck of a house. Specifically, a woman clad in silver armor. She could have been a true medieval knight, if, ya know, women were allowed to be anything more than baby breeders and alliance makers at that time. And the lack of a time machine. Was time travel even possible?

A pretender, then! Just like him. They could be best buddies.

"Hulloooo! I'm lukin fer... eh..." What was the name? Gotta remember the damn name. Ah, of course! "...Ishmael! I'm lukin fer Ishamael... Black..."

Finally giving in to exhaustion, Jonathan fell face down on the ground. "Yus... Yus.." he continued, darkness starting to overtake him, "Ishmamael Black. Gots ta find..."

With a groan, Jonathan passed out.

The Wild Wasteland: The Road to Rivet City

The camp fire emitted a low and sickly light, barely allowing the Formerly Friendly Neighborhood Undertaker to see his own hands as he looked over the beat-up old 10mm pistol in his possession. His travel, thus far, had been uneventful and lonely as the crows that followed him made for poor conversational partners. With post hibernation hunger hitting his gut, Thomas McGee had spent some time attempting to find edible game and had managed to find a small molerat and yet, at the most crucial moment, the hand-me-down pistol jammed on him, the click of the trigger having scared away his potential meal. The only use the Tall and Pale former Undertaker found for the would be weapon was as an ignition source (the black powder in the bullet) for the camp fire that kept him warm, for now.

Thomas removed the slide from the pistol and examined the still chambered bullet and found that the pistol's hammer had missed primer and had instead hit the bullet's rim. The pistol was effectively useless, since the Former Undertaker would be unable to make the necessary repairs. Placing the pistol on the ground next to him, the man formerly known as Shifty laid down on his side, ignoring the hunger pains that pounded his gut. Staring into the dying flames of the camp fire, the Tall and Pale man imagined that he could see a pair of glowing eyes through the fire's embers, eyes that looked at him and whispered.

"Sleep... brother."


The Wild Flashback: Somewhere in the MidWest - A Church

The sun hung high in the sky, beating down on the inhabitants of the Former MidWestern United States. It was hot enough to make a Feral Ghoul sweat. Yet for a man dressed in all black, the Dapperly Dressed Undertaker didn't complain or whine. Instead, he kept his gaze firmly planted on the white wooden church that stood in the middle of nowhere, a salt flat that had all the features of a blank page of paper. Beside him sat a farthest-away-from-serious looking young woman with blue hair that had been pulled back into twin pony tails. Despite the covert requirements of their task, she still opted to wear a red dress, a color the clashed rather brightly against the whiteness of the salt flats.

The Undertaker had met her a few days ago in a nearby town as he was trying to dig up information regarding his target. While most tended to avoid Undertakers like the plague, being that the only time you would ever want to talk to a member of the Undertaker's Union would be to plan your own funeral or that of a loved one. The girl, Sylphee was her name, was not like the others and readily talked to him. Despite her lack of lingual eloquence, the normally lonely Thomas "Shifty" McGee was thankful for the company.

"Are you sure that he's in there, Sylphee?" The Friendly Neighborhood Undertaker prodded gently, since getting a straight answer from her was as difficult as saddling a Deathclaw in heat.

"Uh huh! Of course I'm sure that Dad - he's in there Mister Shafty McCree!" The young Blue Haired Hyperactive Heroine said loud enough to wake the Dear Lord Walt Disney out of his frozen slumber, it was at this point that Thomas noticed the young girl taking a deep breathe, a sign that he should brace himself for an overwhelming verbal onslaught.

"So-how-do-you-know-dad-Mister-Henry-McCree? Did-you-know-that-he-has-the-same-last-name-as-you? Are-you-brothers? You-look-kind-of-similar! Is-he-older-than-you? Does-he-boss-you-around-like-he-bosses-me? You-two-don't-act-alike! You're-kinda-nicer-than-him! Hey! Hey! Hey! Don't-you-think-we-should-go-see-your-brother?"

"Take a breath, Sylphee." The Undertaker said, causing the young girl to exhale the rest of the stale air in her lungs, "I don't know how you do it, but it seems that you're even more gregarious than I am."

"I'm not Greg! I'm Sylphee!"

"N...nevermind." The Tall and Pale man said as he picked himself off the ground and brushed himself off, sending a cloud of dust off of his clothing in into the air, "You're right. We should go see my brother."

"YAY!! Let's go see Mister Henri McCree. Hey! You know that you have the same last name Mister Shafty McCree?!" Sylphee asked as she connected a random array of dots to form her conclusion

"Yes. I'm quite aware of that little tidbit of information, my young lass, and yes, he is my brother. I haven't seen him for quite some time but given that he appears to be in the middle of services, it might not be an appropriate time to... HEY!" Undertaker McGee yelled when he realized that he was talking to a hole in space and time where Sylphee once stood and was staring at the young girl running into the church.

"Saint Walt's Divinity, protect me." The Assassin Undertaker prayed as he pulled out Mags from her holster and followed.


Between the two brothers, Henry McGee was more theatrical than his sibling as was proven by the funeral setup that Thomas observed upon entering the church. On one side of the church stood the visiting Undertaker and on the other side of the church, standing in front of a host of mourners and a choir, stood the resident Undertaker whose clothing was bathed in a cacophony of colors thanks to the stained glass windows that lined the walls of the church.

"Welcome Brother. I've been expecting you and have made preparations for your arrival." Henry McGee said with his arms stretched out and head slightly bowed, the man appeared unaffected by the sight of a naked gun barrel pointed at his chest. Raising his head, he gestured at the empty casket, "as you can see, I've made you a very fine coffin."

"A very fine casket, indeed, Brother Henry. However, I'll have to respectfully decline your kind gift as Our Lord Walt has yet to beckon me to his place high above the Matterhorn." The Friendly Neighborhood Undertaker said, keeping his gun trained on his brother. He didn't pull the trigger however as the environment in which he found himself had failed to react to his presence. Despite having drawn his gun, the choir that stood next to Henry McGee continued the sing and the mourners that sat in the church pews continued to weep.

"I see you're admiring my children." Henry said as he walked to one of the girls in the choir, cupping her chin as she continued to sing, unresponsive to the man's touch, "It took me a ery long time to train this batch. But she proved to be the breakthrough. Have you met Sylphee?"

Shifty's eyes widened as he realized when Henry was saying.

*THUD*

The ground rushed towards the Undertaker's face as the lights started to go out...


The Wild Wasteland: The Road to Rivet City

Thomas yelled out as he shot up from where he lay, his body drenched in what he thought was sweat. His heart beat like a drum inside his chest and his lungs tried to suck in as much of the cool Wasteland air as it could. His body felt like it was on fire and his mind tried to banish the memories that he had surfaced. Breathing deeply, the Friendly Neighborhood Undertaker willed himself to calm down before looking around him, realizing the fire that he been on the verge of dying was now burning brightly, its dancing light reflected in the frozen and blank eyes of the dead that now surrounded him.

Unable to rip his eyes from what was on display before him, the Undertaker smelled the metallic scent of the blood the had pooled on the ground, underneath the many piked identical blue hair topped heads. Each head reminding Thomas of the Sylphee, the girl who had taken him for a fool and given the Former Undertaker to his brother. Next to him, he saw the repaired 10mm pistol laying on a log atop a pile of clothing that had been carefully folded.

"Saint Disney guide me and protect me." Thomas whispered as he looked at the blood that covered his hands.

The Citadel

It was a real struggle trying to communicate with this girl. Charlie suspected she was shot up on chems based on the machine gun frenzy of words pouring from her mouth.

"Who's this Mister Crazy Guy in the room back there?"

"I don't kno-"

"Why do we need to get away from him?"

"Cuz he has a flame-"

"Do you owe him money?"

"No I don-"

"Where are you from,"

"A brahmin ran-"

"Do you like Rad Scorpion Meats?"

"No-"

"Hey! Is that Mister Crazy Guy?"

"Oh cra-"

"Do you think he'll let us borrow it?

"No!"

"You promised that we could go find FUN AND ADVENTURE! You promised! You PROMISED! YOOOOUUUU PROOOOOOOMISED!!!"

"Nooooo, Sylphee wait!" the flustered and very bewildered Charlie called after the blue-haired girl as she skipped down the hallway towards the deranged pyromaniac. Very nearly cursing he ran after her, dropping to the floor as a burst of flame flooded down the hallway, singeing the tips of his hair. Scrambling up he hurried up to Sylphee as the ATV rolled to a stop next to her, its former rider lying flat on the ground.

"Thanks Mister Crazy Guy!"

"Sylphee I don't think-" Charlie began, cutting off when 'Mister Crazy Guy' stirred and grumbled something about barbeques incoherently. Grabbing the girl he dumped her on the ATV seat before jumping on behind her.

"Hang on tight miss, we're getting out of here!"

Unfortunately for Charlie and Sylphee the young man had never driven any sort of vehicle before. The vehicle refused to move as he squeezed the brake lever, the sounds of more ATVs fast approaching rumbling down the halls.

"Um... I don't suppose you know how to drive this thing do you Sylphee?" Charlie asked, very afraid of what the answer would be.

"Just where is Evan, exactly?" Asked William to one of the scribes, already thinking of his next move. This business with the Enclave was too big to ignore, wherever Evan was, Dudley might be and they'd probably be getting themselves into trouble. They probably thought he was dead too, reports of such had been greatly exaggerated.

"Oh he's off somewhere with the big one and the not as big one looking for a giant robot and our most violent member. He seemed quite excited about it."

"Oh yeah and who do I see for a bit of help..." said William, giving his bomb collar two very gentle taps. William was feeling relieved that he might actually get this thing off soon. He had no idea if it was still transmitting his location or if he had gotten out of its range, the former was more likely with the technology the Enclave Underground had at their disposal.

"You want to see Scribe Explodium, part of the Order of the Sword, a master at working with explosives. She's down the hall, third door on the left, the singed one."

Scribe Explodium? What a ridiculous name.

Mister Willy Wild Wastedlands: Mister Citermerdel - Senor Courtyard

Outside in Senor Courtyard of Mister Citermerdel, Mister Birds were chirping, Missy Flowers were blooming, Mister Sun was shining and Misters and Missuses New Brotherhood Recruits were training with Mister BoomBooms and Missy Slashers and Punchies. This of course was all before one of Senor Courtyard's walls exploded outwards, sending bits of Little Rubble Juniors flying into the air, heralding the arrival of Missy ATV, Mister Chucky Camden and the Red Menace herself.

Maybe we should rewind for a moment...

----------Rewind!!!!----------

*Plop* went Sylphee booty against Missy ATV's seat after Mister Chucky Camden plopped Sylphee onto Missy ATV. Missy ATV's seat was kinda gross since there were little unidentifiable crispy meaty bits stuck to it. Was is Rad Scorpion meats?

"Hey Mister Chucky Camden! Do you want some? It tastes like chicken!" The Red Menace exclaimed after trying a little bit of the little unidentifiable crispy meat bits stuck on Missy ATV's seat. Mister Chucky Camden seemed a little too distracted to answer since he was trying to get Missy ATV to do something, his hand pinching Missy ATV's handbrake.

It seemed that Missy ATV was quite the classy dame and wouldn't succumb to Mister Chucky Camden's pincherific wiles and that in trying to get Missy ATV to succumb to his pincherific wiles, Mister Chucky Camden made her mad since she decided not to go anywhere and simply sat there purring. She even responded to Mister Chucky Camden by saying "N" on her panel which clearly meant "NO!" Seeing that he was getting nowhere with the classy Missy ATV, Mister Chucky Camden turned to Sylpee.

"Um... I don't suppose you know how to drive this thing do you Sylphee?"

Thing?! Missy ATV wasn't a thing! She was a classy dame with standards and clearly didn't like being objectified by Mister Chucky Camden and let him know by letting out a throaty roar as Sylphee leaned forward to try to see if Missy ATV would take them to where the FUN AND ADVENTURE was.

"I can try," the Red Menace responded politely before addressing Missy ATV, ""HI-MISSY-ATV! WILL-YOU-PLEASE-TAKE-MISTER-CHUCKY-CAMDEN-AND-ME-OUT-OF-HERE? MISTER-CHUCKY-CAMDEN-PROMISED-TO-HELP-ME-FIND-FUN-AND-ADVENTURE! WOULDN'T-YOU-LIKE-TO-COME-WITH-US-FOR-SOME-FUN-AND-ADVENTURE, MISSY-ATV?"

Missy ATV must have liked FUN AND ADVENTURE also since she responded to Sylphee with an "R" on her dashboard, which Sylphee assumed meant "Roger that!," before letting out another one of her deafening roars and started moving... backwards.

"WHEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!"

----------The Present----------

Outside in Senor Courtyard of Mister Citermerdel, Mister Birds were chirping, Missy Flowers were blooming, Mister Sun was shining and Misters and Missuses New Brotherhood Recruits were training with Mister BoomBooms and Missy Slashers and Punchies. This of course was all before one of Senor Courtyard's walls exploded outwards, sending bits of Little Rubble Juniors flying into the air, heralding the arrival of Missy ATV, Mister Chucky Camden and the Red Menace herself.

As Missy ATV came to a stop, everyone that was practicing in Senor Courtyard stared staring at Mister Chucky Camden and Sylphee.

"Hi!" Sylphee yelled as she waved excitedly at everyone.

The Citadel

"HI-MISSY-ATV! WILL-YOU-PLEASE-TAKE-MISTER-CHUCKY-CAMDEN-AND-ME-OUT-OF-HERE? MISTER-CHUCKY-CAMDEN-PROMISED-TO-HELP-ME-FIND-FUN-AND-ADVENTURE! WOULDN'T-YOU-LIKE-TO-COME-WITH-US-FOR-SOME-FUN-AND-ADVENTURE, MISSY-ATV?"

Wincing as Sylphee conversed extremely loudly with the ATV, Charlie tried pulling the handle again unsuccessfully. As Sylphee leaned forward he tried twisting the handle and finally the machine responded...

"VROOOOOOOM!!!"

"WHEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!"

"WHAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!"

...rocketing backwards down the hallway! The odd duo clung on for dear life as they careened from side to side, bouncing off the walls and crunching the unfortunate arsonist under their tyres.

"Sorry!" Charlie called back as he struggled to maintain control, in his panic not realising that all he had to do was let go of the handle. Glancing over his shoulder he cringed at the wall rushing to meet them.

"OH GOD, WHYYYYYY?!"


*Earlier That Week*

"Hey Graves! What do you think of our ramp?"

The young paladin paused as he looked at the rickety, wooden ramp built against the wall of the compound. He didn't think he'd ever seen such shoddy workmanship before.

"What on earth is that meant to be for?"

"It's for quick exits man! We can jump out over the wall and get moving asap! Plus, it'll look awesome!"

"That is literally the stupidest idea I've ever heard," Graves replied, slapping his face with his palm. "No one will ever use it."

"We'll see Graves old boy, we'll see."


With an explosion of rubble the ATV shot out into the courtyard, coming to rest in a group of laser rifle toting soldiers. Charlie looked around nervously at all the people staring surprised at them.

"Hi!"

"Shit, it's one of those little devils! And the kid who arrived with them! Stop them!"

Rifles pointed at his face and soldiers cautiously approaching the vehicle, Charlie looked around for a way out. Spying something promising, he made a hasty decision.

"Hang on Sylphee!"

Gripping the accelerator tightly Charlie gunned the engine, roaring backwards and swerving around the shouting men. Lining up their back end with the ramp he increased their speed, praying fervently. Laser blasts pinged around them as they shot up the rickety construction and soared majestically into the air.

The Wild Wastelands: Outside the Citadel

The sun was shining down on the sandy shores just outside the Brotherhood of Steel's headquarters, The Citadel, and upon one of the few visitors that risked getting reduced to a pile of smoldering ashes just by visiting said shoreline. The thought of getting reduced to a pile of smoldering ashes didn't bother Mira, short for Mira-Lurk, since she didn't really ever think about the possibility. Actually, truth be told, she never thought about much. If one were to decypher just what her thought process was, it would probably be:

Eat
Spawn
Sleep
Spawn
Eat
Spawn
Sleep
Spawn
SPLOOOORCH!!!!
VROOOOM!!!!
WHEEEEEEEEE!!!!

It should probably be noted, dear reader, that the last part wasn't truly part of Mira's thought process, rather it was the knobby tired belonging to an airborne ATV crunching down on Mira's head. Not the most elegant way to go.

"WHEEEEEEEEE!!!!!" Screamed one of Mira's murderers as they made their getaway, right up until the ATV hit the water.

----------We Now return you to your regularly typoed program already in progress----------

SPLOOOORCH!!!!
VROOOOM!!!!
"WHEEEEEEEEE!!!!"
Went Missy Mira-Lurk's Head, Missy ATV and Sylphee all at the same time, after Missy ATV took to the skies like a Mister Death Claw jumping onto the back of a Mister Brahmin, which was kinda funny since just like Mister Death Claw, Missy ATV didn't have wings. Which made sense since Missy ATV hit the ground rather hard, hard enough to make Missy ATV jump a couple more time before she decided to go swimming in Missy River. This was also sort of funny since Missy ATV didn't look like she knew how to swim either.

SPLAAAAAAAAASH!!!! Went Missy ATV before going GLUB GLUB GLUB GLUB.

SPLAAAAAAAAASH!!!! Went Mister Chucky Camden and Sylphee not to far from where Missy ATV decided to go skinny dipping.

"THAT WAS FUN! CAN WE DO THAT AGAIN, MISTER CHUCKY CAMDEN?! CAN WE CAN WE PLEEEEEEEEEAAAAAASE!??!?!?!?!?!!" Asked Sylphee as she rose out of the water, unaware that Missy Mira Lurk's sister was right behind her.

*BONK!!!* Went the Missy Mira Lurk's claw against the back of the Red Menace's head.

"ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ" Went Sylphee before she fell face first in the water.

The Wild Wastelands: The Road to Rivet City

The flock of bullets that whizzed over Thomas' head like a choir of mosquitoes intent on sinking their proboscises into the former Undertaker's pale flesh, punctuated by the percussive staccato of gunfire that followed moments later. This just wasn't his morning. It didn't take the normally Wordy Worshiper of Walt too long to realize that this was all a setup and that whomever had setup the display of Blue Haired Heads on a pike around his camp had done so for more than just a chuckle.

Before the sky started raining bullets, Thomas had been able to examine the scene that resembled a trophy collection of doll heads that some kid used to torture his younger sister. Before a green skinned Death Squad wandered onto the scene. It seemed as though they had been tracking the Blue Haired Group, maybe with the intent of taking the heads so that they could torture their own little sisters. Whatever their reasoning, they appeared to be rather pissed that Thomas had apparently beat them to the punch. So yeah, this wasn't exactly the best start of the day for the down on his luck former Undertaker.

Taking refuge behind a wall that had seen much much better times, even before the bombs fell, Former Undertaker McGee tried to process what he'd seen, all the while, the full metal jackets did their best impression of a piece of straw being blown through a 2x4 by a tornado and sent bits of powdered concrete down like snow on Christmas.

As he stalled behind the wall that kept the former Undertaker from being perforated by several hundred metal slugs, he remembered the #411's words about his former family coming into town for him and how they had already done what they wanted to Lucy and if he knew his former family and friends like he thought that he did, the Four were in town. A coldness ran up Thomas's spine, threatening to snap his back like a twig at the thought of the Four coming after him.

There was a lull in the bullet barrage as the Green Gankers grunted at each other, arguing over who would get Thomas' corpse and the loot. Another burst of gun fire, this time not aimed at the man behind the wall, was followed by gurgling. It seemed that someone had settled the argument the old fashioned way. Not wanting to wait for the hail of bullets to return, Thomas moved out from cover, snapping off a couple of shots as he did as he dove behind a low wall and waited for the inevitable. More gunfire split the morning silence. But this time it didn't seem to be directed at him. This time it was followed by more grunts and curses before everyting was dead silent again. Looking up from where he had dove, he saw what was left of the Green Skinned Goon Squad and the gang of ninja squad of Blue Haired psychopaths that had gotten the jump on them.

"Sylphy Sylphy Sylphy." They chattered happily as they continued to bash the pulpy masses of flesh that used to be Super Mutants. Yes, this was not the finest morning that Thomas had experienced, but he was glad that he wasn't one of those Super Mutants.

Outside The Citadel"

SPLAAAAAAAAASH!!!!

The ATV sank like a stone as Charlie struggled for the surface, coughing and spluttering as he broke through. For his first time driving it had certainly been an exciting experience. He wasn't too keen to repeat it immediately though. Nearby his strange new companion surfaced as well.

"THAT WAS FUN! CAN WE DO THAT AGAIN, MISTER CHUCKY CAMDEN?! CAN WE CAN WE PLEEEEEEEEEAAAAAASE!??!?!?!?!?!!"

"Hehe, sure Sylphee. Although I think we may have ticked off some Brotherhood folks..." Charlie said, turning to face her.

BONK!!!

"Sylphee!" Charlie cried as she tipped forward, floating face down in the water. The mirelurk chattered triumphantly before raising its claw over Sylphee's neck.

"Leave her alone beast!" Charlie cried, pushing through the water and swinging his machete at the creature. His movements were slowed and sluggish however and his strike bounced harmlessly off its shell. Chattering angrily the creature backhanded the youth with a claw, sending him reeling with a spray of water. Dazed, Charlie's vision blurred and he felt his mind slipping away. As he descended into unconsciousness he vaguely noted some strange sounds.

"BZZZZZZZTT!!! BZZZZZT"

"RAAARR!!!"

"VRRRRRRRRR!!!"


Charlie blinked groggily as he came to, shivering violently as he sat up. His clothes were still drenched but he was no longer in the water, he'd been dragged up onto the shoreline. Slyphee was laid out next to him, eyes still closed. The sound of someone coughing caught his attention, turning his head he noticed the man he assumed to be their rescuer. Laser pistol in one hand, his right was hooked up to a scary looking custom power fist.

"Nice of you to wake up boy," Buchanan commented, looking decidedly displeased. His clothes were soaked as well and bits of flesh and shell were stuck to the teeth of his weapon.

Mister Willy Wild Wastedland: FUN AND ADVENTURE!!!! Outside Mister Citermerdel

The Red Menace was having a Roller Coaster sort of day so far since she woke up inside of Mister Citermerdel. He had gone from "HIIIIII MISTER CHUCKY CAMDEN!!!" to "WHEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!" to *BONK* (Whatever that means is totally up to you, I've given up on trying decyphering the girl's thought process long ago). In other words, it was par for the course for whatever Sylphee was involved in. Of course, this being the first time that Mister Chucky Camden, one wouldn't fault him if he decided to run for the hills, build himself a cabin and retreat from society entirely whilst writing his memoirs about how he became a Geisha, met a rich industrialist and fell in love despite himself. Unfortunately, Mister BZZT BZZT seemed to be in the way of Mister Chucky Camden doing so.

"Nice of you to wake up boy," Said Mister BZZT BZZT to Mister Chucky Camden in a rather mean sounding voice. The way Mister BZZT BZZT was looking at Mister Chucky Camden didn't seem too nice either, especially since Sylphee thought that Mister Chucky Camden was a rather nice fellow, even though he objectified women like poor drowned Missy ATV (Not everyone could be perfect like Syphee was... could you even imagine a world if everyone was as perfect as she?).

Despite the dazed state she found herself in due to the *BONK BONK*ing that she had received from the now strewn about the four corners of the Wasted Lands Missy Mira Lurk, the blue haired ever so happy psychopath decided that she needed to defend the honor of her new friend.

"HEY-MISTER-BZZT-BZZT! YOU-SHOULDN'T-CALL-MISTER-CHUCKY-CAMDEN-BOY-JUST-BECAUSE-YOU-DON'T-KNOW-HIS-NAME, WHICH-IS-MISTER-CHUCKY-CAMDEN, MISTER-BZZT-BZZT. HOW-WOULD-YOU-LIKE-IT-IF-I-STARTED-CALLING-YOU-BOY-EVEN-THOUGH-YOU-HAVE-A-NAME! AND-WHY-DO-YOU-HAVE-TO-LOOK-AT-HIM-SO-MEAN? DID-MISSY-MIRA-LURK-HAVE-POISONOUS-PINCHERS? IS-YOUR-FACE-STUCK-LIKE-THAT? YOU-SHOULD-REALLY-SMILE-WHEN-YOU-MEET-NEW-PEOPLE! DIDN'T-YOUR-MOMMY-EVER-TEACH-YOU-THAT, MISTER-BZZT-BZZT?! Sylphee yelled as she walked right up to Mister BZZT BZZT and started poking him on the chest to emphasize just how much of a jerk he was being by trying to scare Mister Chucky Camden, "DON'T-YOU-START-TRYING-TO-SCARE-ME-WITH-THAT-LOOK-EITHER, MISTER-BZZT-BZZT, OR-EVEN-THINK-ABOUT-CALLING-ME-BOY-BECAUSE-IT'S-MEAN-AND-I'M-A-GIRL-IN-CASE-YOU-COULDN'T-TELL! I'LL-HAVE-YOU-KNOW-THAT-MISTER-CHUCKY-CAMDEN-IS-A-NICE-MAN-AND----HEY-LOOK-IT'S-MISSY-MIRA-LURK'S-FRIENDS. THEY-DON'T-LOOK-TOO-HAPPY-THAT-YOU-BASHED-MISSY-MIRA-LURK-INTO-TINY-WEENIE-ITSY-BITSY-PIECES!"

Yup, it seemed that Missy Mira Lurk's friends had appeared on the scene, none too pleased about the racket that Sylphee was making in their little slice of paradise. After all, how would you react if the place where you lived, raised your brood and made a home for yourself suddenly lost a large chuck of its property value due to some blue haired motor mouth running over your neighbors right before another of your neighbors was brutally murdered by a man with a chainsaw for a fist.

"HEY! I-THINK-THEY-WANT-TO-HUG-US!" Sylphee added before she was sent flying by a non-huggable Missy Mira-Lurk, landing nearby, her choker falling off her neck with an audible *click*.

The Wild Wastelands: Rivet City Market

Just as they had before on his previous visits to Rivet City, people kept a respectful distance from the Former Undertaker of the East. This suited him fine since he wasn't in the mood to talk to anyone nor was it his profession anymore to ask the residence of the sea going scow turned slum if they had taken the time to think about their future plans when it came to the fragile bag of flash they called a body once they had passed. No, he was there for one purpose and one purpose alone, drinking.

Having scavenged several handfuls of caps off of the meaty green tinged pulps of flesh that the Sylphees had left behind in the Wastes outside of Rivet City, the Formerly friendly neighborhood Undertaker had purchased a couple bottles of some sort of gut rot that passed for alcohol before sitting back and ignoring the people that avoided being blatant in their stares at him. Having already polished off a bottle of what tasted like a cross between fermented mushrooms and a fermented old boot, Thomas was already one and a half sheets to the wind.

The old and well worn jukebox in the corner of the cesspit of a bar played dead air for a moment as the previous song stopped before moving on to the next track which, unfortunately for the jukebox, was a song that Thomas was attempting to erase from his mind.

Hearing the song, the formerly friendly and now quite angry ex-Undertaker, stood up, his legs wobbling beneath him as he steadied himself and gave the unlucky jukebox a cold glare as he inhaled deeply before unleashing a giant expletive upon the machine:

"FUCK YOU!!!"

Seeing that Thomas' righteous anger (at least in his eyes) was having no effect on getting the infernal machine to cease playing that infernal song, the Tall, Pale and decidedly Drunk man pulled out his firearm.

*BAM!* screamed the 10mm pistol, causing the formerly gawking inhabitants of the bar to jump for cover as Thomas fired a bullet into the guts of the jukebox, causing the song to come to a screeching halt. Unsatisfied with shooting the music machine just once, Thomas fired again and again and again.

*BAM! BAM! BAM! BAM! BAM!* -click- -click- -click- -click-

Ejecting the spent magazine, Thomas jammed fresh one into the Milly before noticing a number of hostile eyes looking at him. It appeared that the inhabitants of the bar didn't particularly like the fact that their sole source of music had been shot repeatedly by the drunken Thomas McGee.

"(Best get out of here)" Thomas decided as he headed out the exit, attempting to look as casual as possible as a couple of Rivet City's finest passed him without a sideways glance. Deep in the bowels of the ship and deep in his own inebriation, the Former Undertaker's sense of direction failed him as he burst through a door and found himself interrupting a meeting.

"Pardon me," Thomas managed to slur to the man and the ghoul before falling flat on his face and passing out.

Arizona

The man talking patiently waited for Arizona to finish her peace before speaking.

"Mr. Bloom does not expect that you'll overthrow a cult all on your own and you're not required to do so. Should an opportunity arise to either save ghouls en masse from themselves or defeat the cult swiftly, he will pay double. Mostly, though, this is about finding the means TO either save the cultists or defeat the cult. Either way, what's preferred out of this is proof of the creature, and hopefully a way to defeat it. Bidding starts at ten thousand caps."

Morgan Bloom throwing down ten thousand caps meant that the job was important enough and he had faith in the skills enough, but was she interested...?

The moment that he mentioned the amount of caps this Mr. Bloom was willing to pay for this job, it took all of her self-restraint to only quirk a brow instead of gaping at them. Ten thousand caps? That was more than ten times what she had on her now, and that was more than enough to open up some investment opportunities, or even set her up for future retirement. It was also all-too tempting. That amount of money was enough to make most people turn off their brain out of greed.

"FUCK YOU!!!"

She was thankfully saved from making a decision right then by a scream and the sound of gunshots. Quite a lot of gunshots. She whirled around to the doorway, hand on Lester's trigger just in case.

The door burst open as a staggering drunk weaved in, looking worse for wear. He took one look at them and realized that he had made a mistake.

"Pardon me."

Then he promptly fell and passed out in front of them. The ghoul could only sigh as she lowered her light machine gun, knelt down, and picked up the drunkard by the front of his shirt and shook him once to try and wake him. And that was enough to tell her that shaking and slaps in the face just wasn't going to cut it.

"Do you have any water? Doesn't matter if it's clean or dirty, just so long as it's wet and there's plenty of it." she said, turning to Mr. Blooms reps with a bland expression.

Naturally, these men had fresh water. They were, after all, workiing for a rich man and weren't even that far from Project Purity. One of them wordlessly handed her a water bottle as several irate and pissed off Rivet Citizens gathered.

Arizona snatched it up, ignoring the sounds of other voices started to get closer. And angrier. Instead, she lifted the unconscious drunk, tipped his head back, and dumped the water unceremoniously onto his face and into his open mouth. Tossing the empty bottle aside, she gave his cheeks a few sharp slaps for good measure.

"Hey. Wake up." she snapped, her mouth twisted into a scowl.

Then she looked up at the several citizens of Rivet City as they approached.

"And just what might be your problem?" she asked.

The Wild Wastelands: Rivet City - A Place for not so Secret Meetings
- Thomas Makes a Friend... sort of

*SLOOOSH!!!! SLOOOSH!!!! SLOOOSH!!!!*

I know what you're thinking. You're thinking that this is yet another one of those incredibly well written posts about the blue haired, crimson wearing young woman that is a walking talking natural disaster what with the SLOOOSHING and the SLAPPING and what not, or you're thinking that maybe you've wandered in to witness a BDSM scene involving Enclave Intelligence Officer #411 but rest assured, this is neither of the previously listed things. When we last left the Former Undertaker of the East, Thomas had landed face first on the floor after busting up some sort of meeting between the ghoul, Arizona and Morgan Bloom... not that he remembers any of that mind you. In fact, were you to ask the Friendly Former Undertaker, he more than likely wouldn't have remembered anything after entering the borders of Rivet City. You see, Thomas McGee had been chugging every bottle of alcohol that he could get his hands on as an attempt to drown his sorrows. Unfortunately, his sorrows were proving to be rather buoyant.

*SLOOOSH!!!! SLOOOSH!!!! SLOOOSH!!!!*

"(Someone must have gotten tired of my boorish inebriated antics)" Thomas sober thoughts bubbled up from the well of unconsciousness that he had thrown himself into, "(Maybe they're trying to drown me and I'm about to 'sleep with the Mirelurks.' Was that how that saying went?)"

It was at this moment that the man who had lost so much and checked out on life was pulled back into reality... sort of.

"Heyheyheyhey. Wake upupupup." Urged a voice that sounded like it was the lead vocalist for the choir of Angels.

"(Oh Lord Walt. Hast thou come to save thy wretched servant from this life? Hast thou come to hold thy son against thy breast? Is this one of the servant Angels that thou hast sent for thine son, an Angel whose voice shall forever sing the sacred hymn 'It's a Small World?!'")

Yeah... In case any of you missed it, Thomas has a rather interesting religion, one that revolves around Disney Land. Back to the show... and the slapping.

*SLAP!!! SLAP!!! SLAP!!!*

The flurry of slaps to Thomas' face started the unusually tall and unusually pale young man on a path towards rethinking that perhaps he wasn't quite dead yet. But what about the Angel that he had heard? Where was she? Why was Lord Walt's servant allowing Thomas to be manhandled so?

"And just what might be your problem?" Asked the Angel whom Thomas had yet to lay his unworthy eyes upon. Was she addressing the person who was continuing to assault the poor drunken soul?

"He shot out jukebox!"
"He ruined my date!"
"He made me spill my drink!

"N... now...wait... jushhh a minute." Thomas sputtered as he tried, and failed miserably, to pick himself up off of the ground or wall or ceiling or whatever it was that he was laying on. It was damn near impossible to tell with the room spinning the way it was, "Ah... I wush jushhht fendin' myself. Yur jukebox hur.... hur.... hurt me so I hur... hur... hurt it right back."

Ah, Shifty, such eloquent logic is bound to go right over the heads of these cretins, especially when the cretins think that you're responsible for their wasted alcohol.

"That doesn't even make sense!!! How does you disliking a song make it okay for you to shoot our jukebox?!"

See?

"I...I don haff to splain myself." Thomas continued, shutting the debate down with not only his words but by pulling out his pistol once again, "D... don't chu know who I am? I... I don haff to wait fur you to die 'fore I bury you."

So that was the scene, we've got Thomas McGee waving his pistol about like an orchestra conductor, Arizona behind him with Morgan Bloom and Co and a mob of pissed off Rivet City Citizens who've had a few shots too many themselves. What's a ghoul to do?!

Arizona

As the drunkard slowly came to, the Ghoul focused on the Rivet City locals as they told her just what was the matter. As it turned out, the man hanging limply in her arms had not only been responsible for the gunshots she had heard earlier, but those gunshots were the sound of him plugging a few rounds into the jukebox in the bar. The fact that he also ruined a date, and caused someone else to spill their drink was the icing on the metaphorical Fancy Lad's Snack Cake.

She instantly sympathized with them wanting to lynch him, or whatever it was they wanted to do to him, because quite frankly, a bar without a working jukebox was just sad and pathetic, and not likely to last very long.

The man took his time then to try and stagger onto his feet, and failed, all while speaking in a drunkards slur that she was all too familiar with. Thankfully, she understood exactly what he meant.

"Now wait just a minute! I was just defending myself. Your jukebox hurt me, so I hurt it right back!"

The locals seemed to understand him clear enough too, since their response was far from happy.

"That doesn't even make sense!!! How does you disliking a song make it okay for you to shoot our jukebox?!"

The drunkard reached for his pistol when he responded, causing Arizona to back away quickly. After all, drunks with guns were something else that she was familiar with, a little too much for her own liking.

"I don't have to explain myself! Don't you know who I am? I don't have to wait before I bury you..."

She rolled her one eye before reaching over and grabbing the wrist that held the pistol to hold it still, and keep it pointed at the ceiling. The entire situation seemed to be a powder keg... But since it seemed that this man was a local himself, or so she assumed, maybe she could turn this to her advantage.

"Careful with that, hoss. Now, while I'm inclined to hand you to these fine people for breaking an innocent jukebox, but I'm new to D.C., you could even say I'm somethin' of a tourist. That means I need a guide, and if you know your way around the wastes, I'd be willing to keep you safe from the locals, while you show me where I need to go. Sound good?" she asked smoothly, a slow smile spreading on her wrinkled lips.

The Wild Wastelands: Rivet City - A Place for not so Secret Meetings

A gentle yet firm hand wrapped itself around Thomas' wrist, steadying it before he was allowed to self destruct under a torrent of fists, boots and firearms. It seemed that someone else had designs for the Former Undertaker, ones that likely contradicted his current inclinations towards finding bottles of liquor and emptying said bottles. Looking at the hand that grasped his, Thomas could tell, even through the alcohol induced haze, that it didn't belong to the angelic being that he thought had spoken to him just moments ago. He didn't need to look behind him to tell that the hand belonged to one of the long lived ones, beings that the Undertakers were taught to respect for despite their cursed appearance, they had found a way to cheat death.

"Careful with that, hoss. Now, while I'm inclined to hand you to these fine people for breaking an innocent jukebox, but I'm new to D.C., you could even say I'm somethin' of a tourist. That means I need a guide, and if you know your way around the wastes, I'd be willing to keep you safe from the locals, while you show me where I need to go. Sound good?"

The Friendly Neighborhood Former Undertaker opened his mouth to argue with the Ghoul and yet, Thomas had enough will power to simply bite his tongue rather than engage himself in what would be a wasted war of words. Observing the Ancient one, Thomas noted the Light Machine Gun and the supplies that she carried with her, his experience telling him that where ever her destination, it was likely to be dangerous, more so than the situation that he now found himself in.

Twisting his wrist, he broke the Old One's hold on his wrist and used the barrel of his pistol to scratch his temple, putting more thought into whether he would help this stranger or continue on his binge of boot flavored booze. After a few moments of the local yokels staring at Thomas, wondering if they were about to get sprayed by brain matter, Thomas looked back to Arizona and answered.

"Deal. I'll be your guide to where ever it is that you need to go, Old One, though it'll be for my own reasons and not for your protection against the citizenry of Rivet City." The Former Undertaker replied as he pulled the trigger on the still-pressed-against-his-temple pistol.

*CLICK*

Apparently someone might have forgotten to chamber a round... or did they.

"My name is Shif... Thomas. Thomas McGee."

Arizona

After she made her offer, Arizona could see that the man had to mull it over some as he opened his mouth to speak, then closed it in thought. So she just gazed at him placidly, ignoring the citizens of Rivet City as he looked her over. But the look on her face shifted to one of uncertainty as he pulled his hand out of hers, and scratched his head with the barrel of his 10mm.

This man is an idiot, she thought, especially since she took notice that the locals started to back away in anticipation of him blowing his own head off. But he seemed to come to a decision before too long.

"Deal. I'll be your guide to where ever it is that you need to go, Old One, though it'll be for my own reasons and not for your protection against the citizenry of Rivet City."

Then he promptly pulled the trigger on his pistol, and she heard the telltale click of an empty chamber. That was enough to make her raise her eyebrow in interest. Maybe this man wasn't an idiot after all, and was more aware than he seemed despite being drunk. Or maybe he simply didn't care one way or another. Regardless, she stood and nodded.

"Good man. Hold on for one second." she told him, before turning to Mr. Bloom's representatives.

She held out a hand for them to shake and smiled sharply. It wasn't an expression that could be described as friendly.

"I'll take the job. Where should I meet you, or this Mr. Bloom, when I'm done?" she asked.

The lead man nodded and made a note of job acceptance under the opening terms and so on.

"Mr. Bloom tends to move around a bit, but in general he is in the area of the DC Ruins. You know... Rivet City, the Ghoul Underworld, The Citadel - that kind of thing. Good luck."

The handshake was short and firm, and once the deal was done, Arizona turned back to her new companion.

"My name is Shif... Thomas. Thomas McGee."

She nodded, then offered a hand to help him on his feet.

"Arizona. So, lets start by making our way to the Dunwich Building. I have business there." she said, jabbing a thumb at Mr. Bloom's reps, before glancing at the still-lingering locals.

"Alright folks, move along. Can't exactly let you beat up or kill my new guide after all, so you'd best get back to the bar. You don't want trouble." she told them firmly, hefting Lester and motioning with his barrel for them to leave.

The Wild Wastelands: Rivet City - A Place for not so Secret Meetings

"So, lets start by making our way to the Dunwich Building. I have business there." Said the Old One before waving off the Rivet City Citizenry with a wave of her light machine gun. The citizens, disappointed with the lack of a suicide show, were all too happy to wander off to their homes, jobs, lives and loved ones. Thomas, on the other hand, was having second thoughts about agreeing to assist the Old One on her errand. There were worse places that he would have sooner escorted her to than the old Dunwich Building, among them were Niveral Studos and Magic Moutin.

It wasn't that the former Undertaker was afraid of the old Dunwich Building or its occupants, there was a sense of pride crushing failure that he associated with the building. He had never ever been able to make a sale in that area. The buildings occupants, Ancient Ones that had been alive for so long they had lost their minds, would have rather torn Thomas' limbs off and beat him to death with them than purchase one of his burial packages and when he did have to defend himself, the Ancient Ones never had enough on them to cover the cost of services. In the end, he had to leave their still rotting corpses where they lay, lest he eat the expense of making their coffins and burial services.

Still, he had agreed to become the Old One's guide though there was never an agreement to do so sober.

"If you'll give me a moment to collect my gear, Old One, I'll be right back," The Tall and Pale man said as he staggered off in the direction of the now empty bar. With its musical distraction and diversion a smoking wreck, the bar was empty and the owner was in the process of cleaning the mess that Thomas was partially responsible for.

Seeing the source her troubles walking back into her establishment, Belle Bonny rushed to her bar, grabbing an assault rifle that looked right at home in a place called the Muddy Rudder. Her actions were halted though with the sounds of caps being dropped on the bar, more than enough to get her jukebox repaired. Looking up at the Pale Man, a stern look etched on his face, he told her what the remainder of the caps were for.

"I think you've had enough." Belle Bonny said, not wanting another incident in her bar so soon after the last.

"It's for the road. Same with that assault rifle if you'll part ways with it... or I could simply continue staring into the Mesmerizing eyes of the Muddy Rudder's owner until the Bomb fall from the sky again." Thomas stated with a smile on his face.

"Take it. Take it and go." Belle Bonny said turning away from the Former Undertaker. Sure it had been a while since she had felt the touch of a man but she'd sooner lay with a Death Claw than an Undertaker.

Defeated, the Thomas McGee walked out of the bar with his booze stash in a bag and the rifle in hand, reuniting with the Old One 10 minutes after he had left her.

"I've settled my bar tab all set to get you to Dunwich. However, If you're so inclined, there are much more scenic places to get killed that are far closer than the Dunwich Building. Paradise Falls or Minefield perhaps?" Thomas said amiably as he waited for the Old One's go ahead, "I hear the Talon Company Compound is nice this time of year."

Clearly he was being one sarcastic ass.

Citadel Outskirts

PEW PEW PEW!!

"GRRAAAaaaa....."

The Mirelurk that had cracked Sylphee over the head screamed its death cry as it received several laser pistol shots to the face from point blank range. Buchanan had been so bemused by the blue haired girl's strange behaviour that he had not even noticed the encroaching mirelurks until they were right on top of them. Blocking an incoming claw with his chainsaw fist before felling it with a kick to the knee, he called out to Charlie.

"Boy! Let's get out of here!" he yelled, running over to the prone girl. Holstering his pistol he grabbed the girl under one arm and pointed to the nearby ruins. "Make for there, we can lose them in the alleys!

Firing his own laser pistol (and missing nine out of ten shots), Charlie turned. "Right behind you sir!" Chasing after the older man he spotted the dropped choker, scooping it up as he passed. The mirelurks hot on their tail, the odd trio fled the river and its horde of deranged crustaceans.

Arizona

The moment she mentioned the Dunwich Building, Thomas seemed to look concerned, like he was beginning to second-guess the brand new partnership they had. But even as she watched him consider it for a moment, he seemed to decide that he may as well honor the bargain.

"If you'll give me a moment to collect my gear, Old One, I'll be right back."

Arizona promptly screwed up her face in a mixture of confusion and insult. Old One? As he turned to walk away, all she could think of was the fact that this 'Old One' title was going to have to stop real quick, or else their partnership was going to get irritating faster than she'd like.

But, she waited patiently, finishing off her cigarette and crossing her arms, even as Mr. Blooms representative's got ready to leave for their next assignment. They had already left when Thomas came back not ten minutes later, and by that point she was already on another cigarette, having crushed the first underneath her boot. She noticed he had a bag in one hand and an assault rifle in the other, and it was in poor condition if she was any judge.

"I've settled my bar tab all set to get you to Dunwich. However, If you're so inclined, there are much more scenic places to get killed that are far closer than the Dunwich Building. Paradise Falls or Minefield perhaps? I hear the Talon Company Compound is nice this time of year."

With a quirk of her brow, Arizona slowly smiled around her cigarette.

"A smartass, huh? I like that." she said before blowing out a thin trail of smoke.

"Nope, not unless any of those places are on the way to Dunwich. But two things first: The 'Old One' shit? That's gotta stop, or it'll drive me nuts. And once we have a chance to stop and rest, I'm gonna need to look at that rifle. If you think I'm going to have you cover my ass without making sure it's in decent condition, you've got another think coming." she told him.

Then she motioned him to follow her as she made her way out and into the halls of Rivet City.

"By the way, what's wrong with this Paradise Falls place? Sounds like a vacation spot." she added with a wry smirk as she glanced back at him.

The Wild Wasteland: Citadel Outskirts

Despite being carried upside down and being jostled around more than a baby stuck in a paint mixer, the Blue Haired Menace to society at large was able to get a read on the situation. This having been her primary means of transport in her formative years, she could tell that the Charlie Cannon and Knight Captain Buchanan were running through a series of alleys in an attempt to allude their pursuers.

Having stated that, it should be noted that Mirelurks do not, as a general rule, venture fall from the water. Between the heavy armored exoskeleton and the sun's rays turning said exoskeletons into large wearable solar ovens, the walking crabby patties tended to stick with their survival instinct and stay in the water.

There are, however, exceptions to the rule. It appeared that Sylph's more wantonly happy half had offended the Mirelurk Queen quite a bit as was evidenced by the mob(?) of Mirelurks still in hot pursuit. If these gaggle of Mirelurks could sweat, Sylph was sure they would have since it appeared to be sometime around noon when the sun was at its highest and the day was at its hottest. More than a few members of the Mirelurk Pod dropped to the ground mid run as their tender insides become something best enjoyed with a small bowl of lemon butter and perhaps a bib.

The smell of freshly steamed Mirelurk meat was bound to draw the wrong attention if something didn't happen soon.

*pew pew pew*

*RUMBLE! RUMBLE! RUMBLE!*

*CRASH! BOOM! SPLORCH!!!!*

That would be the upper portions of the alleyway crushing the pursuing Mirelurks and sending their tender, flaky meaty-bits flying all thanks to Sylph's timely use of a laser pistol borrowed from Knight Captain Buchanan.

"You can set me down now." Sylph's unnervingly calm voice said as Knight Captain Buchanan and Charlie Cannon continued to run, "The Mirelurks have stopped chasing us."

Which was mostly true. Mostly.

"Nooooooo! My beautiful ladies! *Sluuuuurp! Chomp!* Those damn apes will *Gobble gobble gobble* regret messing with Professor Zoidberg The Mirelurk Emperor. WHOO! WHOO! WHOOWHOOP! WHOO! WHOO! WHOOWHOOP!"


Somewhere between Dunwich and Rivet City

Thomas wasn't used to travelling the Wasted on foot. He used to have a bicycle and it was a thing of beauty. All spray can matte black. Vintage brahmin leather seat. Shock absorbers that actually absorbed shock rather than exist solely as a 10 pound decoration. A bell that went *Ching ching! What happened to it? Oh yes. Frank. Frank happened. Still, if the former Undertaker was going to be forced out of the bottom most levels of Rivet city and out into the oppressive sun, he figured that it was best with someone that gave it to him straight and someone that he would more that likely not be required to bury at a later date, since he would probably be dead as well.

Having an Old One as a traveling companion wasn't as bad as one may have assumed. There was no decaying or burnt smell. It was more like a finely polished leather. She spoke in a manner that put her personality on display, something that Thomas could not say of himself at one time or another. Plus the sight of someone dressed like someone that buried the dead walking with one that appeared to have been dug up from the dead gave the Former Friendly Neighborhood Undertaker all the privacy he wanted.

Speaking of which, the Old One was speaking to him.

"Nope, not unless any of those places are on the way to Dunwich. But two things first: The 'Old One' shit? That's gotta stop, or it'll drive me nuts. And once we have a chance to stop and rest, I'm gonna need to look at that rifle. If you think I'm going to have you cover my ass without making sure it's in decent condition, you've got another think coming." The Old One stated to him as they crossed the Rivet City bridge.

"I'm sorry about calling you that, ma'am. I can see why you might not be too comfortable with being called 'Old One,' but it's how my pa referred to you people, Ma'am. He has a lot of respect for you and says that you're Walt's chosen. Those who lived long enough see who was worthy of going upstairs and who was worthy of being sent to, feh, Knott's. I hope that you didn't take any offense to the term, ma'am. Among my... family... those who can avoid giving death its due are to be revered, just as Lord Walt was able to cheat death by placing himself in cryogenic suspension, ma'am." Thomas stated simply as the crossed the bridge's midway pooint.

"And speaking of my rifle, why not look at it now, ma'am?" Thomas asked as he dropped depressed the rifle's magazine release and almost caught the clip before it hit the ground, bounced off the ground and flew off into the water.

"Oops." Former Undertaker McGee said as he pulled the charging handle and caught the single chambered round, this time before it hit the ground before handing the rifle to Arizona.

"Carrying that thing keeps me from my true calling, anyways." The man said as he reached into his bag and pulled out one of the many bottles he'd purchased. The mention of Paradise Falls seemed to have triggered something in the man formerly stuck in the family business as he took a long drink from the bottle.

*GLUG! GLUG! GLUG!*

"As for Paradise Falls... feh."

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