Citadel Outskirts - Camp
Charlie was in a rather uncomfortable position. His nose was on fire from that infernal scorpion, his arm ached from his earlier injury, and now Sylph had slapped a hand over his mouth none too gently. Glaring at her in frustration he pushed her hand off and looked over to where she was pointing. A strange looking reindeer(?) man was yelling and brandishing his rather large sack.
"Now my little helpers, BRING KRAMPUS HIS CHRISTMAS GIFT!!!."
As the small horde of midgets surged out, cackling in glee, Charlie stood up and moved in front of Sylph, determined not to let the nasty little buggers get their mitts on her. Before they took two steps however, they were interrupted by a terrifying shout.
"CAN'T A MAN GET SOME BLOODY PEACE AND QUIET FOR SOME SHUT-EYE?!?!?"
The midgets scattered like bowling pins as the large, armoured hulk of Buchanan crashed through them with the force of a super sledge. As they flailed about in confusion, Buchanan came to a halt and pointed at Krampus.
"Go and find another Sylph, there seem to be plenty around these parts. Stay and things will get very messy, and I mean that literally." he said with a grin, activating the chainsaw in his fist with a loud whirring of teeth.
While this face-off was going down, Charlie noticed for the first time the rocket launcher in his sleeping roll. He almost pulled it out before glancing at Sylph and deciding maybe it wasn't the best time to blow themselves up again. He grabbed his trusty machete instead and held it at the ready.
The Wild Wastelands | Citadel Outskirts | Camp
Sylph ga Kill!
~Shliiink!~ The Crimson Menace's Gifted Katana's bared blade reflected the light from the slivered moon as it was pulled from its scabbard, the blue haired young woman stood at the ready for the first wave of Krampus' Little Helpers to come within range of the blade. She was standing beside Charlie now, ready to clash with the Helper Horde. As they charged, the demon spawn squeaked their not so veiled threats at what they would do if they captured the trio alive.
Were Charlie to glance over as Sylph, he would have noticed that Sylph had a strange expression on her face, as if she knew the man who called himself Krampus. She reached down and pulled the small choker that had been in Charlie's pocket and palmed it in her left hand.
"Wait for Sylphy." The Blue Haired Sadist said as the first midget came into range. She charged, the blade trailing behind her and as she reached the first, it flashed upwards, slicing through the fiend's face, a torrent of blood spraying all over the Wasteland floor, its parched earth soaking up the liquid thirstily. The second raced in to exploit the opening the upward cut had left and received a first for his attempt, an audible click set the wrist blade loose, once again sending blood flying to feed the scorched Wasteland floor. A third, a four, a fifth all fell to Sylph's mad dash towards the man she knew to once be one of her Master's associates. Sylph abandoned her blade in the chest of a sixth, who coughed up blood from his mouth even while he lungs filled with it. The Seventh was received a kick to the neck and lost the ability to breathe and then she was upon Krampus himself.
She leaped onto the shoulders of an Eighth, boosting her into the air as she moved to impale the chuckling asshole on her wrist blade.
Midgets weren't the only thing that Krampus had in his bag. A Rock-it launcher packed full of coal was a good a weapon as any. The first of the coal projectiles struck Sylph in her chest, the second hit her in the head and the third sent her flying back to where Charlie stood ready with his rocket launcher.
Looking down at his feet, he saw Sylph, her eyes closed, blood flowing from her face, blood that flowed around the choker now around her neck.
~Sproing!~ Sylphy had been asleep for a long long time it seemed. Her face and chest hurt, probably from laying on Mister Wasteland Floor for so long. Stretching for a minute, Sylphy realized that she was sore, probably from laying on Mister Wasteland Floor for so long. Mister Chucky Camden was looking at her like he was worried.
"HI MISTER CHUCKY CAMDEN!!!!!!" Sylphy exclaimed as she tackled and hugged him where he stood.
Black Residence: You Can (Not) Forget
Jonathan was in the worst state of mind he could remember in a long time. He had basically fallen into catatonia; unable and unwilling to move even an inch of his body, it was like he was trapped in a cage, his only option to beat himself over in an endless cycle of self loathing while his brain was being ravaged by... something. He couldn't figure what it was, but it had given him a head-splitting headache, and seemed to multiply his misery a thousandfold, in its attempt to...resurface? Was that what was happening? He didn't know and to a certain extend, felt like he really didn't want to.
Why give her the gun?
The hallucinations had returned. Jonathan didn't even turn to acknowledge it.
Why are you so hellbent with the past, when all that lies there is misery? What's done is done, why don't you let it-
Because he doesn't want to let go, obviously.
Another voice, strangely familiar but in a different way, had appeared. He really was going mad, wasn't he? Hah. Fitting.
You. I should have known. What do you hope to accomplish?
Another obvious answer: To help Johnny boy redeem himself. And he has been doing so well, thus far! I'm so proud of you, Jonathan. You finally grew a pair and took responsibility!
You call this taking responsibility? He just handed her the gun and asked her to kill him. How do you expect him to redeem himself if he's dead?
Before the second voice could retort, the sound of a chair hitting the ground was heard, somehow drawing Jonathan's attention. Lucy Black had gotten up and picked up a handful of knives, making a mess of the kitchen while at it. She then proceeded to write something down some pieces of paper, and pinned them down on the table using the knives. By the third one one, Jonathan had lost interest and looked away again. Before long, Ms. Black was standing in front of him.
"Look at me." he heard her say, her voice cold and hateful. Even at her command, Jonathan couldn't bring himself to do so. He couldn't bring himself to do anything. But the choice wasn't his to make, and soon enough Lucy Black gripped him from the chin and forced him to look at her in the eyes, which were filled with hatred and contempt and, before he knew, his left cheek was set ablaze in pain by a slap. Funny, normally he would be crying out in pain, but now? He was indifferent to it, numb even.
"My father did not save you just to be killed by his own daughter down the line! You didn't bring the rifle here, he did. He was killed for stealing technology that could have sparked another war! You were not the one that drove a fucking Ripper blade through his stomach! That. Was. The. Enclave!"
What was she trying to do? On one moment she was looking at him, her eyes screaming murder, and now she was doing psychotherapy?
She grabbed him again, this time by the shirt, and made him look at her again.
"What do you expect me to do with that pistol, huh? Torture you, maybe even kill you?" she said pointing towards the pistol.
That was a good question. Truth is, Jonathan didn't expect anything. By that point he had grown completely indifferent to what was going to happen to him. He would probably contently accept anything, even bathing in one of the Alchemist's Fate-Worse-Than-Death Concoctions. What he got instead was another hard-hitting slap, this time setting his right cheek ablaze. The girl had started crying, which only served to make him feel worse.
"You feel guilty? You think that this all on you? Stop being so self-absorbed! Because I think that you lost sight of the true enemy: The Enclave! Not you, THEM!"
YES! Thank you! Listen to her!
Letting him go, she started whipping her tears away. Before giving him pause to try and make sense of what she was rumbling about, Lucy Black raised her finger, as though telling him that he's dead if he were to even start a verse, and pointed towards the pieces of paper on the table, upon which names and numbers were inscribed.
"Have you ever stopped to consider, on some minor scale, that just fucking maybe you've made this world a little bit safer?" she said and started citing statistics, her voice becoming steadily less violent as she went on.
Jonathan couldn't quite see the point she was trying to make. So what if his weapon had been used for good somewhere along the way? Did that negate the suffering he had caused? Did it negate the reason it was made? Jonathan's headache had grown even more intense, causing a certain amount of nausea. His mood was shifting aswell; he was being filled with anger and frustration, majority of which was towards himself, though a small part of it was towards Lucy Black's "speech".
"You want to honour my dad? Fight the Enclave in anyway that you can."
Fight the Enclave? You? Surely she is joking. There's atonement, and there's suicide. The girl's delirious!
What the other voice said was true. How could a man like Jonathan hope to stand against the Enclave when someone like Isaac Black was dispatched seemingly efortlessly? A crude joke, if he ever heard one.
Suicide? Like how he handed his gun expecting to be shot dead? That wasn't suicide?
There's a difference between righteous punishment and a death that achieves nothing.
Are you even listening to the bullshit that's coming out of your mouth? What would his death here achieve?
Well for one-
"He didn't die because of you. If it wasn't the GRP, it would have been something else."
Doesn't change the fact that it was the GRP, now does it?
What's the point of dwelling on it? All you will do is weight yourself down. It won't bring Isaac back.
Jonathan was close to reaching his boiling point. The headache continued getting worse, which only served to fuel his self-loathing induced barely contained rage.
Oh? What would you suggest then? Complete apathy? Borderline sociopathy? Shouldn't someone that has done wrong work towards setting it right?
"I saved lives and made so many friends because of your creation."
As the young Lucy Black said that, something "clicked" inside Jonathan's head. Or, rather, cracked would be more accurate. His feelings, already hard to monitor, expanded a thousandfold.
Control yourself! Nothing good will come if you let your emotions get the better of you!
"Miss Black, I appreciate your attempt at trying to raise my spirits." he said, his voice cold, but calm. "I will admit, it was the last thing I expected from you, and that I have not considered the point that you made."
He turned to face her.
"BUT IT IS A HOLLOW ONE!"
In what seemed like an instant, his face transformed, going from a blank, tired expression to one filled with contempt and rage.
"So, my weapon was used for good? Does that change the purpose it was made for? Is a hammersmith to blame if the hammer he made for use in construction ends up being a murder weapon? No. The same applies here, only in reverse. I made the weapon with the intent for it to kill the Enclave's enemies! You said it yourself, they were going to use it to start a war!"
There was an intense hatred burning in eyes, his voice filled with self-derogatory disdain
"And do you know what the worst part of it all is? I despised my work. I HATED the Enclave! Ever since my father sacrificed his life to save my skin for my fuck-up, all I could dream about was how much I'd love to SEE THEM BURN! Yet, I worked for them. A man that hates the organization he's in, yet develops weapons to make them even more powerful. And why? TO SAVE MY OWN SKIN! Think about that, for a moment. Let it sink in. Yes. My work almost caused the extinction of most sentient life in the Wasteland because I'm too much of a coward!
His breathing had grown heavy as his headache intensified even more. His eyes, mad with grief, let out a large torrent of tears.
"The Enclave is the true enemy? Of course! And I made them this much of a threat again in the first place! Maybe if it wasn't the GRP, it could have been something else, right? Well, with the GRP it is a certainty while all the other scenarios are hypothetical! And you expect ME of all people to stand up against them? When your own father was dispatched without breaking a sweat? Give..."
Stop! For the love of all that is holy, stop!
Stop, damn you! Stop before it's too late!
It already is.
Jonathan grew silent for a brief moment, on his face a puzzled stare. Whatever it was that had cracked inside his head had completely shattered now. The headache had subdued...
Here we go.
...only to reappear tenfold.
Jonathan fell to the ground, his left hand covering his eye, applying pressure. This wasn't just a headache. Things were pouring into his head.
He fell on the ground, his mind overwhelmed by what he was experiencing.
"Oh god, Lily!"
He turned and stared towards the ceiling with a limp, lank, unfocused gaze filled with horror, completely shut off from external stimuli. The things he was seeing, feeling, remembering were too much to bear. Minutes passed in desperation, until finally darkness overtook him.
Citadel Outskirts - Camp
Fear clutched Charlie's stomach as the cackling midgets charged for them. Gulping, he clutched his machete tight, ready to fight for his life once again. Distracted as he was, he didn't notice Sylph neatly take the choker from his pocket, however he did notice the katana she was brandishing as she charged forward to meet their foes.
'Where did she get that?' he wondered. Pushing the useless question out of his mind he grabbed the rocket launcher at his feet, keeping one eye on his companion as she brutally cleaved her way through the squealing mob. He hadn't ever gotten his hands on such a sophisticated piece of weaponry before, but it seemed easy enough. The barrel was loaded, all he had to do was aim down the sight and fire.
Lining it up he brought it to bear on Krampus himself. Taking a deep breath he steadied himself and pulled the trigger...
...only for a burst of confetti to shoot forth with a trumpeting fanfare! Stunned for a moment with disbelief, Charlie shook his head and tossed the useless contraption aside. This was a worse gift than the Brahmin doll his sisters had got him last Christmas.
Thankfully for him Sylph's present was as deadly as it looked. She made short work of the midgets before Krampus blasted her back with an (actually functional) Rock-it launcher, landing at Charlie's feet. Blood streamed from her face and over the choker clasped around her neck.
"Oh no, no, no, no!" Charlie cried, kneeling down as Sylph's eyes snapped open.
"HI MISTER CHUCKY CAMDEN!!!!!!"
"Sylph! Are you alright?" Charlie asked as the diminutive girl jumped up and tackled him, seemingly oblivious to her injuries. "Wait..." he continued, eyeing the choker. "...Sylphy?" he asked, connecting the dots. Thinking back, he realised that her personality had changed the minute she'd dropped her choker.
While this was happening, Buchanan had been dealing with his own pack of midgets (seriously, how big is that sack?). Where Sylph was a efficient whirlwind of death, he was more of a battering ram. Limbs and blood flew in all directions as he crashed through the pack, his ripper blade tearing through flesh like it was tissue paper. As the trumpeting rocket launcher blared the veteran Knight Captain launched himself at Krampus, knocking away the man's Rock-it launcher with his armoured fist. Swinging a wild haymaker he tried to smash the weird antler-man in the face, but the man proved surprisingly nimble and ducked under it. Following up with his own strike, his fist crashed into Buchanan's unarmoured face, knocking him back.
Slightly dazed, Buchanan responded with a roar and leaped Krampus, the pair rolling around on the floor as they wrestled for supremacy.
The Wild Wastelands | The Citadel Outskirts | Camp
Mister Crap-ass Get Wiped (Out)
While Sylphee watched from the sidelines, holding onto Mister Chucky Camden, Mister Crap-Ass and Mister Bzzt-Bzzt squared off, circling each other and looking for an opening, not that Sylphee knew any of this since, to her, they appeared to be doing some sort of dance. Mister Crap-Ass let out a loud bellow and ripped open Mister Shirt to reveal muscles and muscles and muscles. Sylphee had never seen anyone that had muscles on top of muscles but Mister Crap-Ass looked like he had muscles on top of muscles that had muscles. Apparently, carrying around a treasure sack full of Mister Miggies a very good way to build muscles.
"WOW!!" Sylphee exclaimed as Mister Crap-Ass showed his well toned body, sweat glistening off of Mister Crap-Ass' chiseled pectoral muscles and Mister Crap-Ass' chiseled pectoral muscles' pectoral muscles, "He has boobies!"
Mister Crap-Ass looked directly over at the Smiling Red Menace that was choking the life out of Mister Chucky Camden and visibly deflated at the commentary on his physique.
"No, these are muscles, not breasts." Mister Crap-Ass said, visibly enraged by the commentary about Miss Crap-Ass' physique. He might have well been speaking with Mister Pinchy since Sylphee had since moved on to something else, other than wringing the life out of Mister Chucky Camden.
"OOooOooOo." Sylphee OooOoOO'd when she spotted Mister Chucky Camden's Rocket Thrower and Mister Bzzt Bzzt's Big Book of Smilance.
~Poof~ Went Mister Chucky Camden's Rocket Thrower as it toss mini-sparklies in the sky.
"She's being naughty.... Oh so NAUGHTY!!!" Mister Crap-Ass screamed as he started punching at Mister Bzzt Bzzt. Clearly he wasn't a very nice guy, Sylphee thought to herself as she put Mister Bzzt Bzzt's Big BORING Book of Smilance into Mister Chucky Camden's Rocket Thrower.
The fight between Mister Bzzt Bzzt and Mister Crap-Ass was getting stranger by the minute as Mister Crap-Ass started using Mister Rock-it Launcher and his fists on Mister Bzzt Bzzt, AT THE SAME TIME!
"Hey Mister Bzzt Bzzt! Catch!" Sylphee exclaimed thinking that if Mister Bzzt Bzzt read passages from Mister Bzzt Bzzt's Big BORING Book of Smilance to Mister Crap-Ass, Mister Crap-Ass might just go to sleep.
~POOF~ Went Mister Chucky Camden's Rocker thrower, launching more mini-sparklies into the air... and one very big and heavy Mister Bzzt Bzzt's Big BORING Book of Smilance.
~THUD~ Went Mister Crap-Ass as the Mister Bzzt Bzzt's Big Book of BORING Smilance knocked him in the head, knocking him out.
~PINCHY PINCHY PINCHY~ Went Mister Pinchy.
"Ahoy there!" Said Enclave Asset #19, immediately regretting his use of the word ahoy as he scrambled over the rubble towards the Enclave soldier, "Fellow Enclave member, what a marvellous contraption of yours this is." That part was true, Evan was very interested in the giant robot, he had a thing for giant robots.
"It is such a shame that this marvellous contraption must be sent off somewhere else at this moment in time, orders have just come in this thing needs to be sent to Old Olney." The Powersuit Destabilizer was burning a metaphorical hole behind his back, but now Dudley came in, just like they had practiced.
"Hold it there Asset 19, I'm of higher rank and I say the robot goes to Old Olney, not you." Said Dudley, he could feel Evan bristle at being ordered about like this but it was necessary for the plan to work, Evan was wishing the Enclave had made him Asset 18, "We've also got to attend to the matter of a new recruit." Dudley motioned at Ferdinand as he spoke.
"This one wants to join the cause and the decision rests with you at the moment." Said Dudley, moving past the shambling Evan and getting quite close to Fallout Scott. The plan was to get the trooper to look at the robot leaving as Evan stuck him in the back with the PD. Simple plans never work as well as you'd have liked though because at this moment a solitary figure was only a matter of streets away, jogging ever closer.
"...so while some paperwork will be needed, we wanted to make you aware of the new recruit. Asset 19 can get ahead of himself sometimes and I need to keep him in line. Isn't that right 19?" Said Dudley, patting Evan on the back of the head patronizingly. He felt Evan bristle again.
Only a matter of streets away...
William Knight was getting ever closer, he could see and hear the spot he was going for. Almost there... almost there.
He got to the corner, pausing to draw Lucy's plasma pistol and peered round the corner.
Giant Robot: CHECK
Enclave troubles: CHECK
Evan and Dudley: CHECK
Brilliant... wait who was that? Evan and Dudley were showing some newcomer to the Enclave trooper.
They're alive! Wonderful, hang on... they've replaced me! There are three people in this band and I'm one of them. Who is this newcomer? They replaced me, still I'm glad to see them and I'm sure this happened only recently... right?
Evan and Dudley should probably not tell William about the drug addict they'd originally used to replace him with.
A Very Merry House
The time for obese old burglars to sneak into houses from chimneys and break their legs as they land. The time for families to come together and remind themselves why they stay away from each other the rest of the year. The time that annoying 50-year-old earworms get remixed to be played at every shop lacking self-respect(all of them). The time to look forward to the new year bringing the change and hope that was promised in the last one.
Truly, 'tis the season to be jolly. Never has there been a better time to gather together and listen to your grandparents stutter as they tell you the same joyous, happy stories (like "The Little Match Girl" or "The Fir Tree") they did every year beforehand. So, gather round, children, and let story time commence!
Hmm? Why aren't you happy?
Oh? You've grown tired of hearing the same old stories?! Well...uh... Good! 'Cuz I have a new one right here!
>A frantic search at the bookself is initiated, as the first book that looks remotely festive is picked up.
Right! Now, lemme just... find the right one...
>The book, dubbed "The Wild Wild Musical", is opened, its pages briefly scanned and then turned, until a certain promising one is found.
Is this one even situated in Christmas? No matter. I'll just have to add the merry stuff as I go.
Alrighty, then! Found it! Gather round everybody!
Wild Wild Musical, Scene 127. Wild Wasteland Christmas Musical Special Edition!
It was Christmas time in Raven Rock, and the Enclave celebrated for many a reason. One, it was the time of a timeless American holiday. Two, their brand new weapon, that was sure to give them total victory over the savages and muties of the waste, was just about finished. Three, their biggest advesary was being held in the most secure places in the Rock, tortured reveal all the information they possibly could.
Indeed, the time of the Enclave was nigh, and it showed. Everyone, except for the guards on duty waiting for their shift to come to an end, was overcome by a festive move, drinking and shouting and singing and laughing.
Except for one man.
Jonathan Aristotle McKenna was a well-known researcher. His work had contributed greatly to the Enclave's cause. Yet, where everyone was festive, he was sober and grumpy and sad and frowning, fuelled by remorse, starring at the metal walls of his room inquisitively.
On his desk lay a backpack waiting to be filled with supplies, along with a heavily modified laser pistol. Jonathan got up and picked said pistol, a hint of worry in his face.
"A man's got a heart, hasn't he?" He started saying out loud to no one in particular.
"Joking apart -- hasn't he?
And though I'd be the first one to say that I wasn't a saint," continued sorrowfully while putting the gun back down.
"I'm finding it hard to be really as black as they paint..."
He stepped away from the desk, opening the door to the outside corridor and, after taking a peak outside, slowly turned back into his room with a mischievous grin on his face, doing a wiggly motion with his hand.
With slow steps, he approached the desk again.
I'm reviewing the situation
Can a fellow be in the Enclave all his life?
All the trials and tribulations!
Better run away and get myself a wife!" With that happy exclamation, he started throwing supplies of all kinds into his backpack.
"And a wife would cook and sew for me,
And come for me, and go for me,
And go for me, and nag at me,
The fingers, she would wag at me.
The money she would take from me.
A misery, she'd make from me..."
Taking a step back, with a facial expression having periodically turned from one of joy to one of fright, Jonathan sat back down on his bed.
"...I think I'd better think it out again!"
He got up again, this time grabbing the backpack and heading for the door.
"A wife you can keep, anyway,
I'd rather sleep, anyway.
Left without anyone in the world,
And I'm starting from now.
So 'how to win friends and to influence people'"
He took another peak outside.
He got out, the metallic door closing behind him making too much noise for his liking, and started moving down the corridor in hurried steps.
"I'm reviewing the situation,
I must quickly look up everyone I know."
He stopped briefly to check a corner and continued onwards.
"Titled people -- with a station --
Who can help me give the Wasteland a shot!
I will own a farm of cabbages,
And sell them off as packages,
And laugh at all the savages
With friendliness, as much as is
Befitting of my new estate..."
As he took a quick turn, he run into a guard and, bowing, bellowed:
"Good morrow to you, magistrate!"
After a small awkward laugh, he quickly turned and run back down the hall.
"...I think I'd better think it out again."
He stopped a shy way away from the cafeteria, which, unsurprisingly, was packed with people.
"So where shall I go -- somebody?"
Who do I know? Nobody!"
He stood just outside of it, examing the people inside.
"All my dearest companions
Have always been patriots with nefarious deeds..."
He turned away from the the cafeteria, deep in thought, though still looking out for guards.
"So at my time of life
I should start turning over new leaves...?"
He started walking down the corridor again, this time more carefully.
"I'm reviewing the situation.
If you want to eat -- you've got to earn a cap!
Is it such a humiliation
For a scientist to make a living out of... scrap!
So from scraps I'm living, possibly
Could the caravans be the work for me?
I wonder what the threats could be?
Could Deathclaws be the death of me?
I'll run away and lose my way,
And then my trade, and all... but wait!"
He turned around.
"...I think I'd better think it out..."
"I think I'd better think it out again!"
All the way back to his room.
Disheartened, he put down his backpack and sit on his bed yet again.
"What happens when I'm seventy?
Must come a time... seventy.
When you're old, and it's cold
And who cares if you live or you die,
Your one consolation's the protection
Of those you live by..."
He jolted up from the bed, picking his backpack and...
...Gleefully started unpacking.
"I'm reviewing the situation.
I'm a patriot and a patriot I shall stay!
You'll be seeing no transformation..."
The glee didn't last long, and Jonathan started having second thoughts. Again.
"...But genocide's wrong in every way.
I don't want nobody hurt by me,
Or made to do the dirt for me.
This rotten life is not for me.
It's getting far too hot for me.
There is no in between for me
But who will change the scene for me?"
He walked towards the door
"Don't want no one killed for me."
And opened it. A guard was passing by, when, seeing Jonathan doing his act, turned and stared at him curiously
"But who will find a guild for me...?"
Guard and Jonathan stared at each other for one awkward moment, when suddenly a laser shot hit the guard, disintergrating him.
Jonathan did a sharp 180 degree turn...
"...I think I'd better think it out again!"
...And rammed the door shut.
DoctorJesse Jager-Krieger sat at a conference table that had been bolted to the floor of a shipping-truck's trailer.
Several other ghouls also seated at the table. They were all Revenants. They were discussing important matters. It was a summit.
"-so the Lich wants to solve everything directly."
Beatrice looked at him incredulously.
"I take it you have different plans? Hey Sam; pass me a few mirelurk dumplings."
On the table were various traditional Chinese dishes with a wasteland twist. They were having Dim Sum.
All summits held by the Wight Knights were had over a meal. Today was December 25th. Chinese Food and Movie Day, as such they were having a "Dim Summit". (I am really sorry for that pun. Be warned, the Wight Knights love a few things; fantasy undead iconography, being needlessly cryptic, and puns.)
"While I plan to follow the Lich's commands, I also plan to solve the grandfather paradox. My solution is simple; resurrect grandpa."
"So *Munch* how do plan on going *Chew* about that?"
"I'll need Beatrice's help. Bea; you're the only one with subordinates in the DC area. I'm going to need a couple of your Wraith sleeper agents to carry this out."
"I'll see what I can do."
Citadel Outskirts - Camp
"Can't... Breathe!" Charlie choked out, as he tried to pry Sylphee's arm from around his throat. For such a small girl she sure had some ferocious strength.
Collapsing to the ground, Charlie sucked in a lungful of delicious air as Sylphee released him and picked up his rocket launcher. He watched with a mixture of fascination and horror as the now shirtless Krampus beat on Buchanan. Things weren't looking so hot for the Brotherhood's Knight Captain.
"Hey Mister Bzzt Bzzt! Catch!"
Sylphee to the rescue! With an explosion of confetti and trumpets, a large book of all things shot out of Charlie's discarded rocket launcher and smacked into Krampus' head. The muscular reindeer-man toppled off Buchanan and face-planted into the dirt, knocked unconscious.
Gently taking the rocket launcher out of Sylphee's hand lest she cause more damage, Charlie hurried over to Buchanan and helped him up as he groaned. His mohawk was tattered and dirty and his nose red and probably broken from the repeated bashings it had taken.
"Are you okay Sir?"
"Do I look okay boy? Now out of my way, I'm putting down this maniac. Buchanan said, taking out his laser pistol and lowering it towards Krampus' head.
"W-Wait! You don't need to kill him surely, can't you just take him back to the Citadel?" Charlie cried. True the man had attacked them unprovoked, but that didn't mean they had to murder him like this. Irritated, Buchanan glared at Charlie.
"This man attempted to abduct an innocent girl and assaulted a ranking member of the Brotherhood. He has to pay for his crimes."
Flicking off the pistol's safety, Buchanan looked back to Krampus and tightened his grip on the trigger.
As Talion climbed the beast he felt something horrid happening. It's flesh was trying to consume him. It hadn't been since the old days that he had felt something like this hungering in that way. He fought it for as long as he could as he tried to climb, but all it took was one wrong move. It sucked his hand in and wrapped its way around his legs and then he lost. Darkness, the beat of an unknown heart, and the feeling that he was dead swept his mind at first. But he was alive and inside the creatures flesh he quickly realized. The armour and the rads were probably the only thing keeping it at bay. His mind for a moment was filled with the thought of giving up, removing his helmet, and becoming one with the beast. But he shook that out. It wasn't his own thought and he didn't know where it came from.
He started to crawl underneath the flesh of the creature. He wouldn't die here. He'd make his way to the heart, the lungs, and the brain. He'd shoot them all and cut his way out afterwards. He was alive and he had a job to do, though part of him was vomiting at what he was doing.
Kristin Blamco - Springvale: Share & Care
"Time to face the daaaaay..."
Kristin Blamco, despite having being rudely kicked out of the new Springvale BlamCo Headquarters, took the time to go over her inventory. Bob's cleansing ceremony had used most of her more 'experimental' ingredients. On the bright side, conventional ingredients and 'instant' snack variants were well within order. On top of all that, she still had the Grand BlamCo recipe book which meant that there was an almost endless supply of ideas to sway the hearts (and tummies!) of the East Coast.
With the inventory packed and ready, she still had to formally ask the Pugilist to take Miss Black's place as her guide.
"Time to make it snappy..."
The heiress hummed a jaunty little tune while she sought to the ritualistic cleansing of her sword in purified water. Upon further reflection, it was much like the act of cleaning up after satisfied guests or improving upon a new recipe. At the end of the day, something was improved or a small change was made to someone's life.
Why was Kristin so preoccupied with such mundane tasks? The answer was simple: Her acolytes were having another tiresome serious discussion that could be heard throughout the entire neighborhood. Their screaming match was nothing short of embarrassing and even more difficult to make sense of. Known to anything with ears in a 2-mile radius, the Postman had once again become the Pugilist as his verbal retaliation had overwhelmed Miss Black to the point of silence. This would be impressive, but the sound of a crash, an extended period of silence and light sobbing had filled Kristin's heart with concern.
Kristin leaned against the doorframe after clearing her throat. The sight was not a pleasant one. Bob was unconscious yet again, Lucy was in a state...yet again, although most crushingly of all, the kitchen was an absolute mess!
"Miss Black.", The heiress was unsettled and her voice had reflected an uncharacteristic air of concern. "What happened here?"
A few moments of silence had passed while Lucy fiddled with some kind of contraption on the kitchen table.
"...does it matter?", the sourpuss replied with petty sarcasm..
Kristin pulled up the chair that Bob had presumably collapsed from and rested her head in her hand.
"It matters a great deal to me. You are my very first follower, therefore I am inclined to give you preferential treatment. Although the Pugilist does fascinate me...", Kristin grabbed a nearby tray of apology cupcakes, cheese-based of course and spoke between bites. "Is there anything that you need of me?"
Lucy, to her joy, had taken to the comfort food as well. The feisty one was trying to find her words. "Honestly? I need you two to leave. Don't get me wrong, it's less you and more...him. Will you take him away when you leave?"
"I already intend to, Miss Black. The Postman is unsuitable as a servant, although the Pugilist can serve multiple roles for me. He has much potential...and I am fascinated by his resilience. So yes, I have business with this unconscious man.", Kristin sighed at Bob's unconscious form, this will become a hassle if this kind of behaviour continues. Refocusing on Lucy, "Did you two have a falling out?"
"He knows my father, he blames himself for everything, I got angry at that, so I tried to help.", Lucy somberly muttered to herself. "You probably heard how that went. Then again, his world just got ripped out from under him..."
"Miss Black, why are so eager to see him gone?"
"He insulted my father. He said that he was 'easily dispatched'."
"Did your father die a cowardly death?"
"No! He died trying to protect me!"
"Settle down, Miss Black.", Kristin folded her arms, indicating that she had come to a conclusion. "Then your father was not merely 'dispatched', he died a hero. You said that they knew one another? Bob has upset you in his grief. He has yet to go on your journey. Nothing more nothing less."
Lucy blinked, even going so far as to openly pinch herself as if to convince herself that she was not dreaming. "You are Kristin Blamco, right?", she seemed shocked.
Kristin grew distinctly serious, "I know what it is to lose a loved one, or several to be exact. And that is all I will say on the subject."
Before Lucy could query any further, Kristin had risen from her seat to stand over Bob's unconscious form. Bending down to comically cradle the man in her arms once more.
"If you wish for us to leave, then so be it.", Kristin started to make her way towards the door, deliberately bumping Bob's head into the doorframe. "As the first one to welcome me to the East Coast, I am inclined to give you preference. More importantly, you will find a few promotional packages in your fridge. I will be checking up on you in a few month's time to see how you will be handling the Springvale BlamCo Branch."
Turning to regard Lucy with her usual chirpy attitude, she was pleased to discover that the feisty lady was no longer scowling. Kristin had visibly relaxed, only to resume her jovial disposition. Instead, Lucy piled Bob's belongings on top of him. The sight had made Kristin laugh and Lucy smile.
"Cheer up, Miss Black! Your fight is over. The world, much like any BlamCo product, is what you make of it."
Kristin Blamco - Edge of Springvale: Wakey-wakey!
Atop a boulder formation, Kristin stood with her leg elevated on a rock specifically positioned for dramatic purposes. Meanwhile, Bob was hastily laid out atop the boulder next to her, his personal belongings bore the sign of more promotional sticker modifications (Cats, Cheese, BlamCo, etc...) and they were neatly arranged for his convenience.
It had been two minutes since they had travelled to the edge of Springvale, standing near what appearing to be burned out ruins on the edge of this small settlement. The Heiress was already bored.
The Springvale postman was still asleep, annoyingly so. Kristin had little patience for cat naps when they could be adventuring. Besides, she was already lost.
Positioning the blade of her oversized Bumper Sword in a downwards position, Kristin proceeded to very slowly jab the point into Bob's thigh. Either the pain would wake him up...or he would lose a leg. Fret not! Bob was exceptionally safe in her hands, many of her recipes had revolved around the dulling of the senses or inhibiting pain in some form.
Unfortunately, she had not prepared anything in advance.
When the Postman/Pugilist decided to wake up, he was greeted not with charm or polite worry, no, he was greeted with a large grin and the following declaration:
"Time to face the day, Pugilist! I have already made a pinky promise with the Moon in order to ensure that there will only be sunny skies ahead!"
The Wildest Wastedlands | Citadel Outskirts | Camp
Sylphee was busy when Mister Bzzt Bzzt's first pew entered Mister Crap-Ass' chest cavity, waking Mister Crap-Ass up from his nighty-night time with a roar of pain. Picking himself off the ground, Mister Crap-Ass started running in a I'm REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY angry sort of way towards Mister Bzzt Bzzt, who kept sending more pew-pew-pews into Mister Crap-Ass' chest, sending more blood into the air and all over Sylphee, who was still busy with something.
The last few pew-pew-pews left Mister Crap-Ass staggering, slowing him down as he reached Mister Bzzt Bzzt and instead of punching or kicking or biting or head butting Mister Bzzt Bzzt, Mister Crap-Ass grabbed onto Mister Bzzt-Bzzt's shoulder and pulled him close.
"Don't trust her." Mister Crap-Ass whispered into Mister Bzzt-Bzzt's ear before grabbing onto Mister Bzzt Bzzt's gun and squeezed, sending one more pew into Mister Crap-Ass, turning him into a fine white snowlike powder.
Sylphee looked up from what she had been doing, which was going through Mister Crap-Ass's treasure sack and pulled out a small object, Mister Snowglobe. Inside Mister Snowglobe was a small girl that looked just like Sylphee with blue hair and blue eyes and red clothes, that would dance whenever Sylphee shook Mister Snowglobe.
"Look it's you Mister Bzzt Bzzt and Mister Chucky Camden!" The Red Menace exclaimed as she showed them Mister Snowglobe, which had two men buried underneath the dancing mini-Sylphee, two men that looked exactly like Mister Bzzt Bzzt and Mister Chucky Camden. Standing up, Sylphee tossed Mister Snowglobe over her shoulder, bored with the object.
~HACK! COUGH! COUGH! COUGH! HACK!~ Went the last of Mister Crap-Ass' Mini-Midges as Mister Snowglobe landed in its mouth. It went quiet and limp a few moments later.
The Wild Wastelands | Springvale | Outside the Home of Lucy Black
The Day Just Won't End for Lucy
Enclave Intelligence Specialist #411 was under strict orders not to harm Former Enclave Asset Lucy Black in any way, shape or form. This didn't mean that she couldn't meet the traitorous bitch for a cup of coffee and some idle banter.
"What does he see in her?" #411 thought to herself as she looked through the forward canopy of the Vertibird that was transporting her to her destination, "He must see something in her if he let her off that easy."
The He that #411 was thinking of was none other than her Enclave Secret Crush, FalloutJack, the man who had rescued both her and her mutated excuse for a daughter, Constance, from the clutches of a Slaver Caravan. Ever since the moment she had laid her eyes on FalloutJack's power armor, it had been love at first sight. There was nothing that she wouldn't do for the man, including clean up his mistakes, not that she would admit they were mistakes or even hint at calling them mistakes. There was nothing that she wouldn't do to ensure that the future leader of the Enclave would be FalloutJack when Number 1 inevitably reached the ripe old age of DEAD, not that she ever voiced or thought these treasonous thoughts while in the Enclave Vault.
"Destination ETA 30 seconds." The Vertibird's pilot reported, prompting #411 to double check the items that she was bringing with her.
#411's House Warming Gifts:
1) One Enclave Single Serving Radiation Filtering Coffee Maker
2) One Dozen Boxes of 24 Single Serving Coffee Concentrate
3) One Plasma Pistol for Personal Defense
4) One Live Stream Tablet with extra batteries
5) One Command Module for Bomb Class Eye Bot
6) Two Enclave Heavy Weapons Specialists
"Touch down." The Vertibird's pilot said as the vehicles's wheel touched the brown compacted earth, "Shall I come with you, ma'am?"
"No," Answered #411, "My guards should be plenty if our host does me a favor and gets feisty. Keep the engines warm, this shouldn't take long. Also, get me the latest imagery from the Super Duper Mart. We'll do a flyover once we're done here."
Hopping out of the Vertibird, #411 took in the scenery.
"What a fucking dump. I would expect no less from the traitor's traitorous daughter." The Enclave Intelligence Specialist muttered as she headed for the dump that Former Enclave Asset Lucy Black called home.
If you're wondering why #411 would risk the ire of the Enclave high brass and communicate with someone that had been categorized as off limits, you'd need to have remembered who had just paid Miss Lucy Black a visit. Not that #411 knew who it was, the Enclave database of former Enclave personnel had marked Jonathan's file as highly classified and if anything it vexed #411 to no end that she wasn't in the loop. With as much information as she had been siphoning in as of late, she should have been granted access but her repeated requests were denied. Which meant she had to get the information she wanted straight from the
whore's horse's mouth.
"You two. Stay here unless I call for you." #411 said as she walked up to the door.
~KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK~
The Wild Wastelands | Super Duper Mart | Exterior
Battle of Super Duper Mart
It was a strange occurrence to have mother and daughter so close to one another. Were American Enclave Scouts of America member, Constance Sorrowfeld aware that her mother was but 5 - 10 minutes walking distance from her position, the young blind girl might have made time to arrange a meeting. Then again, even if the young American Enclave Scouts of America scout was privy to such information, she wasn't in any actual position to be able to do anything about it since she was in the middle of a pitch battle between the Sylphys and Garys.
~BOOM!~ Constance shot another one of her Sylphy Squadmembers in the back and as it had been for the last 10 minutes or so, there was no other response than an alarmed and hurt "Sylphy!!" that came from the target. No splitting of one Sylphy into two Sylphys. No extra bodies she could throw into the battle. No replacements that she could use to replace the Sylphys that had already fallen to the Gary Horde. The only comfort that Constance had was that Miss Natsuki was out in the field somewhere killing Garys with her Sniper's Rifle.
Scanning the field with her ears, the blind scout confirmed what she already knew. The Sylphys were losing the battle with the Garys and the Gary King were winning. Either through bad timing or a strategy that the Garys had developed, they were able to neutralize the Sylphys cloning ability. The whole idea of losing to a bunch of raving lunatics that could say only one word left a bad taste in Constance's mouth, not that winning by superior numbers was much better. The whole battle plan was half cocked and relied too heavily on something unreliable, namely the Sylphys. Even if they had their cloning abilities, Constance still had the feeling that she'd still be on the losing end of the battle.
~CHICK CHOCK! CHICK CHOCK! CHICK CHOCK! CHICK CHOCK!~ Constance emptied the rest of the bean bag shells that she had loaded into her shotgun and started loading slugs into her weapon, determined to take a few Garys with her if this was the end.
"Constance's Charge of Carnage... go," The young scout muttered to herself as she slid down the windshield of a dilapidated old heap, pulling the trigger as she landed, creating a grapefruit sized crater in the chest of an unfortunate Gary.
~CHICK CHOCK~ The hot shotgun shell was ejected and sent flying into the face of a second Gary that had decided to charge in and was soon followed by the butt of the shotgun, caving in the Gary's skull as he tried to keep his face from getting burnt my the shell.
~BOOM!~ A third Gary received a slug through the back before he could finish a wounded Sylphy with a makeshift spear, a combat knife tied to a metal post. ~CHICK CHOCK~ Constance slid underneath an axe and pulled the trigger a third time. ~BOOM!! The knees belonging to the axe wielding Gary disintegrated, leaving the Gary to scream out a painful "GARY!!"
~THUD~ A baseball bat found it's mark against Constance's stomach, stopping her charge and robbing her of her air. Gasping for breath, there was a ~Thwip~ as a sniper's bullet found its way into the Gary's head, creating an explosion of brains and blood. The headless Gary flopped to the ground, its body flailing around with the bat, completing its brain's last command before it was exploded.
Turning back towards the source of the sniper's bullet, Constance waved her thanks and continued on, running and shooting, running and shooting until she reached the base of the Super Duper Mart, the location of the HGIC (Head Gary in Charge).
Gary King was too preoccupied to notice the short young waif of a girl sneak up onto the roof where he and his troop had positioned themselves, too preoccupied until he heard the sound of someone behind him and felt the barrel of a shotgun pressed to the back of his head.
"Gary?" Gary King asked as Constance pulled the trigger.
"Dammit." Constance cursed as her face met the back of a fist.
The Wild Wastelands | The Road to Dunwich | Dream Land
Nightmares for Thomas
When Thomas McGee's consciousness returned to him, he found himself in a rather peculiar predicament. It appeared that while he had been unconscious, someone had gone to the trouble of tying him up and wrapping tourniquets around his limbs. What was most worrying wasn't the predicament that he found himself in but the predicament of four of his former associates found themselves in.
"Frank? Sylph? Marlon? Old one?" The Former Undertaker of the East muttered, naming each of the heads that had been mounted to a pike in front of him. Those were the only words that the normally talkative giant could say as he started into the blank eyes of each of the decapitated heads. Were it not for the sound of a Gauss Rifle + being reloaded, he might have continued staring at the dead for some time.
"Shame isn't it? Those you touch inevitably die." #411 said as she shouldered the rifle and pulled the trigger. The only sound that it made was the resulting carnage it left as Thomas' arm exploded, muscle fibers and bone being severed in a single moment. The screams of pain soon followed.
"Unless they decide to betray you... like your brother did." The Enclave Intelligence Officer added as she pulled the trigger again. A leg exploded, eliciting more screams from the even paler Former Undertaker.
"Unless they decide to betray you like I did." #411 said, removing her helmet to reveal the visage of Lucy Black. Pulling the trigger once again, the man formerly known as Shifty, the one who had at one time danced his first and last dance with Lucy Black in the middle of a Citadel bar, screamed out in pain.
There were no more words to be said as Lucy looked down the barrel of her Gauss Rifle and pulled the trigger.
The Wild Wastelands | The Road to Dunwich
Thomas McGee's eyes opened up suddenly causing the Former Undertaker, now guide to a Ghoul named Arizona, to regret his decisions when the Wasteland sun shined directly into his eyes. He was still underneath the dead corpse of a Christmas-Lurk but he found it a much better place than he had been in his dreams. Wishing he had a drink to help calm his frayed nerves, he fell back into the realm of dreamless unconsciousness.
Lucy Black - Springvale: You Can (Not) Let Go
Much to her dismay, the departure of the BlamCo Heiress and Jonathan McKenna had done little to actually relieve Lucy of her stress. Jonathan's arrival had drudged up the past in the worst possible manner and Lucy was forced, no, responsible for the retelling of the events and her traumatic journey that followed.
It wasn't the first time she had told someone. In fact, everyone that had joined her on her journey had known some piece of information. Unfortunately that's all they were...mere pieces, fragments of a greater tragedy. So why was Jonathan such a big deal to her? Perhaps because he challenged the very idea of Isaac, choosing to highlight Isaac's foolishness instead of the herioc image that she clung to.
As often as her views on Isaac had shifted, one thing was for certain: He was her only loving parent and she would fight to preserve his memory.
Lucy Black may have found her answers, gained companions, forged alliances, broken alliances, made terrible sacrifices to further her goals and sought redemption through loved one's such as Sylph. Yet at the end of the day, just how much personal progress had she truly made? Despite being 23 years of age, it appeared that at her emotional core, she was truly stuck in the memory of Isaac's murder, at the age of 18.
These were the thoughts and feelings that Jonathan had uncovered with his outburst. Had she manufactured this glorified image of Isaac, an emotional anchor essentially, in order to cope with her grief over the years? This anchor was, more often than not, used as a weapon, a justification to resort to manipulation and deception to get what she had wanted.
That kind of maladjustment...combined with her abusive mother's ruthless Enclave training...and Lucy Black was free to be exploited and trained as a weapon against her mother's enemies. Regardless of where that wretched woman was...the damage was done, Lucy Black, despite her best efforts, had led a broken life.
In an odd twist of fate, Fallout Jack had given her a second chance, a chance to walk away and make a life for herself that did not involve the Enclave.
Lucy Black - Springvale: Give me a break
Lucy was just about done cleaning the kitchen, meanwhile she delved into the tray of BlamCo apology cupcakes. They were exceptionally delicious and they helped to ease the pain that losing her bathtub would bring.
Uprooting several floorboards, Lucy discovered several laser pistols, most of them in dire need of repair with the exception of one. It wasn't perfect, but she estimated that it would accept the current energy cell before burning out. This also explained why Lucy felt no need to cling to the conventional hunting rifle that she had given to Jonathan, her house was practically a workshop for Isaac's weapons repairs...and she was thankful that his craft would leave her some mementos.
Unfortunately the bathtub was truly unusable. Three bursts from the laser pistol had done little to the ultra-hardened cheese. Perhaps she could scavenge from a neighbor? Regardless, she would ask Moira Brown when she headed to Megaton tomorrow, there was still a matter of supplies to be acquired if she was going to start living here.
Lucy's blood turned cold as the very familiar noise had made it's presence known to anyone in the area. She had killed a Behemoth from one at some point: A Vertibird.
Replacing the floorboards and rushing to the windows, her eyes widened in horror at the sight of Vertibird landing nearby. When three Enclave soldiers clad in full power armour had exited the vertibird, her disposition had shifted to a familiar yet aggressive persona; that of an Enclave Asset.
Already feeling herself bristling at their mere presence, Lucy applied her eyepatch once more. Call it an emotional anchor to a darker time.
She was prepared for two things: Betrayal or Recruitment. The former was more appealing, she would rather die than join their ranks once more.
Did Fallout Jack lie to her? Was their entire exchange just one more method with which to reclaim the GRP? No, Fallout Jack looked just as tortured when he was confronted.
So who the hell was this? Fallout Bob's cleaning up? No, he does things personally.
Lucy expected to be greeted with a salvo of heavy plasma fire, not a knock on the door.
Putting her hand on the doorknob, the Former Enclave Asset put on the deceptive facade once more. It was frighteningly easy. Then again, much of her identity was tragically malleable since her life was built on lies and manipulation.
Opening the door, she was greeted to the sight of three Enclave soldiers, two of them at the rear were heavily armed. Whereas the one at her door wore no highlights on its armour.
"You aren't Fallout Sector.", Lucy scowled. "Unless Jack sent you, then we have no business together."
Lucy leaned forward, peering outside to check for any witnesses. They seemed to be alone, then again, it wasn't long since Kristin and Jonathan had left.
...they didn't seem keen on moving. So they were definitely here to see her. Or kill her discreetly...not everyone would follow Fallout Jack's order.
The retired Enclave Asset sighed and swore, "Be discreet at least, get inside.". Mockingly Lucy curtsied, "Make yourself at home."
Lucy laid her laser pistol on the table and settled down at the head of the table. It would be useless against power armor anyway, she no longer had her Beast Mode powered Gauss Rifle, nor did she have a plasma pistol. As far as combat went, Lucy was screwed.
...Then again, she did deceive her way into a private chat with Fallout Jack and Number One.
"What's your rank?", Lucy's characteristic one-eyed glare made a guest appearance.
The Wild Wastelands | Springvale | 324 West Black Road (Black Residence)
Wake up, little Lucy, wake up!
Enclave Intelligence Specialist #411 checked her corners before entered the hovel that the traitor called home. As a deserter to the Enclave Asset Program and daughter to one of biggest monsters in Enclave history, there was no telling what new lows Lucy Black would stoop to in order to get one over on the Enclave. The cyclopian rebel had already convinced FalloutJack that all she wanted was a life of peace, #411 wanted to see how far Former Asset Black would go in order to maintain this facade.
Seeing that there was no ambush lying in wait, Enclave Intelligence Specialist #411 entered the shack as requested and took a cursory glance around the room.
Cupcakes. Cheese. Discarded Blamco packages. A ruined bathtub. These were signs that Former Enclave Asset Lucy Black was making good on the new life that FalloutJack had so graciously granted her. HAH! Right. No, these were signs that the BlamCo
nitwit Heiress spotted entering the border of former District of Columbia had stopped by.
The Enclave Officer took a seat opposite Lucy, depositing the various housewarming gifts onto the table, at the expense of one of the cupcakes that squished under the weight of the bounty that #411 would bestow upon the traitor.
"What's you rank?" Lucy demanded, glaring at Enclave Intelligence Specialist #411 with an intensity that would have melted steel plates.
#411 was impressed, a rarity these days due to the fact that she kept her ears to the ground, listening for various signs of renewed insurgency against her beloved Enclave. Former Asset Black had been a mewing kitten playing at being a lion when #411 had convinced the woman to commit her Undertaker friend to an eternity of purgatory. The way that the Former Asset held herself was more intense. She'd done some growing up since her last visit to the Enclave Vault.
"Let's not stand on formalities shall we?" #411 responded in a voice that chilled rivers, "I know who you are and you should know who I am, unless your friend truly meant nothing to you. I mean you did abandon him to our tender mercies. If that's the case then you will remember me as Enclave Intelligence Specialist #411. You can call me ma'am."
The insult was a calculated one. A slight that 411 hoped would spark the Traitorous Bitch into some sort of stupid act, like grabbing that laser pistol that she had left on the table. Then this whole mess would be cleaned up, loose ends tied, the world would go back to the way it should be. As much as Enclave Intelligence Specialist #411 wanted for this to occur, there were more important questions that needed to be answered before justice could be served.
"But my dear sweet traitor, I'm not here to dredge up any past animosity that you might have towards your former benefactors in the Enclave nor am I here to open any freshly healed wounds. I'm here to share a cup of coffee with a former employee of the Enclave and for the sharing of civil conversation. We can call this an exit survey if you'd like." #411 said standing up with the Enclave Radiation Filtering Single Serve Coffee machine and the packages of coffee concentrate. A few moments later, the smell of freshly brewed coffee wafted in from the kitchen followed by #411 reentering the room with two cups of coffee.
"Cream? Sugar?" #411 asked setting the coffee cup in front of her enemy, "I assure you that it's not poisoned. That would defeat the purpose of my visit."
When all of the Christmas-themed Mirelurks were dead, Arizona let out a sigh and reloaded Lester out of habit more than anything. A full magazine. What a goddamned waste. She didn't have the caps for it. But since the Mirelurks were done causing trouble, she let Lester hang from the sling around her shoulders and searched for her new partner.
She finally found him pinned underneath one of the 'Lurks and was out cold. Her lips curled a little in disdain before she grabbed a hold of the beast's carapace and pulled it off the poor bastard. Once he was free, she lifted him up with some difficulty, hoisting him over her shoulder and starting to carry him away from Rivet City, his feet dragging along the ground thanks to how short she was.
Arizona could only be thankful that this job she took didn't exactly have a timetable, otherwise she'd be tempted to leave him where he was.
The Road to Dunwich | Ruined Skyscraper near Rivet City
In one of the many buildings that were left behind when the bombs fell, Arizona sat back on a ruined couch in front of a piss-poor excuse for a fire, throwing another end table leg onto the embers to at least keep her partner warm.
Thomas was laid out on an ancient blanket with his things next to him, and she had done her best to bandage him with what she had. The fact that he tossed, turned, and muttered in his sleep didn't make it any easier. But at least he wasn't too badly hurt, so that was something.
After a few moments of watching him with a frown, she finally decided to get up and walk over, kneeling next to him with a look of mild concern over her decayed face. She would've figured he would be awake by now. Eye narrowed, she leaned down so her face was only a few inches from his, searching for some sort of sign that he would wake up at all.
The Wild Wastelands | The Road to Dunwich | Ruined Skyscraper Camp
Ghouls! Ghouls! Ghouls!
The dream had ended and in its place, darkness. Thomas McGee had figured that when he died, his path to the Great Beyond would be filled with small children singing the holiest of holy songs, "It's a Small World." Imagine his surprise when his eyes opened and he saw naught but the Old One's face a scant few inches from his, looking healthy for one who the Friendly Former Undertaker had last seen with her head mounted upon a pike.
"OLD ONE! YOU'RE ALIVE!" Thomas exclaimed as his arms thrust out and ensnared their prey in one hell of a hug, "YOU'RE SAFE! YOUR HEAD IS STILL ... erm... ATTACHED!"
It wasn't one of those long lingering hugs that ended up awkward after a few minutes but it was the sort of hug that one gives when one is relieved to see a partner alive and healthy or as healthy as a ghoul could be. At last, more than likely to the Old One's relief, the arms released her from their embrace.
"S... sorry." The formerly unconscious man stated as he sat up, causing the world to wobble for a few brief but painful moments. He'd clearly not recovered from whatever event had sent him into the realm of unconsciousness, "I'm glad to see that I haven't failed my duties in keeping you from a slow an agonizing death caused by spending an eternity in a Mire Lurk's innards. Though I will admit that for a guide, I haven't been performing up to par."
The admission was born of both embarrassment at having been bested by an already dead Mire Lurk as well as the recent dream... vision... whatever it was that had just recently visited the Formerly Unconscious Former Undertaker of the East.
Frank. Dead. Sylph. Unknown. Marlon Van Graff. Unknown. The Old One. Alive.
At least he knew that the Old One was alive, which meant that Thomas was batting at 25% at least. Possibly higher if Marlon and Sylph were still alive. That still left the final individual that had visited his unconsciousness.
The Enclave Intelligence Specialist had informed him of her demise at the hands of Thomas' very own family. A type of prolonged death that he had witnessed too many a time. Even if the agent of the Hell Spawned Enclave was lying, it would be best for Thomas to avoid further contact with his former associate, though he did long to see her.
Such reflection, however, were best left for a private moment. Given that he was in the presence of the Old One, such reflections needed to wait for another time.
"I apologize for manhandling you, Old One. I know that despite your blessed longevity, there are those of you cursed with a certain frailty. If I hurt you or offended you, I'm sorry but I was very happy to see you still in the realm of the not yet departed."
Well ain't that a kicker. Someone who looked like a walking corpse hanging around with someone who looked and talked like the sort that hung out with corpses all day.
Pausing for a moment, Thomas reached over towards his pack to grab another bottle.
A Certain House, at a Certain Place, at a Certain Time
Jonathan woke up with a stiff neck. The couch, though better than anything else (with the exception of the bed upstairs) he'd slept on in months (if not years), was still very much uncomfortable. It was funny, he didn't quite remember why he decided to sleep on the couch of all places, considering he now owned his own bed.
He opened his eyes, and immediately shielded them. Waking as he were, he wasn't prepared for the intensity the sun shone on coming from the windows. Leaving himself a mental note to get new curtains, he got up to a sitting position and let his eyes starting adjusting.
"Ah, you're finally awake!"said a sweet, motherly voice in the distance. As Jonathan's eyes adjusted fully, he could see the back of her slim but lightly muscled silhouette and her long, red hair(with a few gray hairs here and there) tied into a braid, wearing a lovely looking casual black dress. Her voice always seemed to bring a smile on his face.
"Yeah," he replied, pausing to stretch his arms and legs, "heh, sorry about that, Lily. I seem to have overslept a bit..."
"That's quite alright, Jon. Actually, you looked quite cute as you slept, with your open mouth looking ready to start drooling.." she continued, playfully, as Jonathan scratched the back of his head, smilling awkwardly, before she continued, this time in a more serious tone "You didn't have nightmares, did you?"
"No, I didn't," Lily was the only person Jonathan had talked about his nightmares to. And since one discussion couldn't go without the other, his past, "I slept like the dead, dreamless." He examined what she was doing in greater detail, "Whatcha making for breakfast?"
"That's good to hear. And I'm making lunch."
"Lunch!? Wait, what time is it?"
"Oh, around half past one."
"You serious?!" he bellowed, surprised. It was true that he had overslept, he could feel it in his head, but he had no idea it was for so long, "Why didn't you wake me up?"
"I didn't want to. Besides, you overworked yourself last night with the moving of the furniture. Even Josh was impressed," somehow Jonathan doubted that, "So, I thought you deserved a little bit of rest."
"I... see. Speaking of Josh, where's he now?"
"He went to get spare parts. We're hoping that, with your technical expertise, we'll get the kitchen appliances working"
"I'm a weapons designer, not a mechanic." he replied in a rather anxious and evasive manner. After all they had been through together, he didn't want to let her down. Not even over something like this. "Still, I'll give it my best."
"That's all I ask of you."
"Say, Lily..." Jonathan started, only to stop mid-sentence. He had made himself promise that he would ask it today, and he was going to. Still, he couldn't help but feel awkward, hesitant, even.
"Hmm? Something you want to say? You know you can speak freely to me."
Ah, what the hell. I've started it, might as well see it through
"Look, Lily... I know you said that you were done. But, this peace you've been tryi- we've been trying to build here... Are you sure this peace will last?"
She put her kitchenware down an raised her head, seemingly staring out of the window. If Jonathan was to take a guess as to what her face would look like if he were to look at it, he'd guess it'd be filled with sorrow or bitterness.
"Well," she finally replied after moments of uncomfortable silence, a sense of longing evident in her tone, "That remains to be seen, doesn't it?"
"Yeah... I suppose it does."
"Anyway, lunch is ready!"
Lily put whatever she was preparing on two plates, and started to turn to face-
Springvale Outskirts: You Can (Not) Remember.
The pain kicked in, and Jonathan jolted upwards as he woke up, frantically looking left and right, coming to terms with his surroundings.
Where the hell-
The pain kicked in again, this time even more intensely, and Jonathan, spasming violently from the pain, fell from the boulder he was put on.
"Time to face the day, Pugilist!" said the one voice he really didn't want to hear. Turning to face her, Blamco was staring at him with the most deranged and psychotic grin Jonathan had ever seen.
" I have already made a pinky promise with the Moon in order to ensure that there will only be sunny skies ahead!"
Jonathan was beyond trying to make sense of what she was saying. Right now his leg was on fire, and bleeding rather heavily. His wound was deep, but it seemed that the Cheese Monster had missed the muscles and the main artery by chance. Added to that, his mind was in a haze; he felt that he remembered fragments of... something, but he couldn't think clearly, and wasting his time pondering on something that might had been naught but a dream while he was bleeding to death was not something he would consider the most prudent of choices. Figuring out what that was, along with where he was, and why he was there were secondary to getting his leg fixed
"Why... of all the fucking... why did I have to be stranded here with a psycho... like you!"
Noticing his backpack, Jonathan started crawling towards it, hoping that his bandages and disinfectant were at least left intact.
Lucy Black - Springvale: Tempest
"Let's not stand on formalities shall we?" #411 responded in a manner that put Lucy on edge, "I know who you are and you should know who I am, unless your friend truly meant nothing to you. I mean you did abandon him to our tender mercies. If that's the case then you will remember me as Enclave Intelligence Specialist #411. You can call me ma'am."
No doubt, with a smile under that helmet, it #411 was probably enjoying this. Lucy knew exactly who this was now, the very person that ordered her to kill Thomas 'Shifty' McGee. Lucy could feel the rage building inside of her, although she could sense that #411 was trying to get a rise out of her. All responses would need to be measured and injected with her current emotions in a careful manner, something about this woman had her brain screaming danger as every moment passed.
To Lucy's credit, her glare did not waver, but her hands were balled into fists. "I'll call you what I want, your affiliation and ranks mean nothing here. As for my friend, you didn't exactly give me a choice. He was innocent...and maybe I wouldn't have rebelled if you didn't push me over the edge back there. Jack did make the Enclave's vision quite appealing."
Lucy was glad that the Enclave Specialist had left the room to make what appeared to be coffee in the kitchen. Those damned helmets, Lucy couldn't read the facial expressions and had to rely on vocal inflections alone. Lucy grew excessively cautious, this conversation felt off...much like the conversation with Number One, she was grasping at straws.
Lucy needed a loose thread to pull on, something to throw #411 off, something that would even the playing field or even agitate #411.
"But my dear sweet traitor, I'm not here to dredge up any past animosity that you might have towards your former benefactors in the Enclave nor am I here to open any freshly healed wounds. I'm here to share a cup of coffee with a former employee of the Enclave and for the sharing of civil conversation. We can call this an exit survey if you'd like."
She might have something.
"Exit survey? Spare me - Oh!", Lucy feigned surprise and smirked ever-so-slightly, "So this is an unofficial visit then? The Fallout Sector does not seem to take kindly to any form of insubordination, you should know that. I wonder what Jack would think if he heard about this..."
Lucy was promised by Fallout Jack himself that she was officially off the Enclave's radar. The same Fallout Jack that still held guilt over Isaac's murder and even insisted on keeping Lucy alive even after she tried and failed to kill him. Say what you will, but he didn't seem like the type to go back on his word, especially not in his position within their ranks. Apart from that, Lucy swiftly learned that the Enclave was ruthlessly strict and they had an inclination for order and discipline in their ranks. She could use that.
"You know, Jack stepped out of his armor on the two occasions when we spoke. Handsome guy, he really was a bit of a sweetheart..."
Undermine her superiors.
"...Number One though, he had a sense of humour. A little boring when he was all business though. Kinda reminds me of you, you people hide behind the armour."
Highlight the extent of Lucy's reach.
"Oh! And let's not forget that my case file is probably still flying around in that Vault as we speak, I was a hot topic upon arrival after all. It wouldn't be difficult to get their attention again to report whatever-the-hell-this-is."
Throw a little caution to the wind.
"You see, I've only dealt with the Fallout Sector. And they handle their business personally, they don't send an unnamed rank and number to deal with one of their thorns."
Undermine #411 for a change by highlighting the Enclave's love for authority and control.
"So Jack really doesn't know that you're here, huh? Wow, this is not going to go down well with him. Who knows what might happen to you."
Make light of her superiors again.
"You probably won't understand the relationship between me and Cornelius. We might be on opposite ends, but we shared a certain admiration for someone. So our business was private. You know, we could talk for hours. Looking forward to when he brings over Natsuki on his day off work. Alas..."
Severely exaggerate and make things seem a little more personal.
Taking one glance at the cup of coffee before her, Lucy casually swept her arm across the table, sending the cup to shatter on the floor. Lucy's little gasp and hollow chuckle soon followed.
"Oh, clumsy ol' me! No loss, I'm not much of a coffee person anyway.", Lucy's eye never left #411 as the stepford smile grew ever-so-slightly.
Keep things civil. Yeah, 'civil'.
Lucy Black sighed, playtime was over when her expression reverted back to the withering glare.
"Since I don't care for coffee nor you, I'll ask you again: Why are you here?"
So much for being civil...
Kristin Blamco - Springvale Outskirts: You Are (Not) Dairy
"Why... of all the fucking... why did I have to be stranded here with a psycho... like you!"
"Hmph!!!" Kristin hmphed the mightiest of hmphs that could ever be hmphed. How dare he imply that he was stranded, she had never left his side!
"I will have you know, Mister Pugilist, that I was the one to guarantee you safe passage out of Miss Black's home. My first acolyte was deeply upset and requested that we leave.", Kristin repositioned the stepping-stone rock in order to dramatically tower over a crawling Bob once more. Meanwhile, Kristin was rummaging through her bag for any remaining medical supplies or something similar to that effect. "I have my doubts, but Miss Black seems like she can run the Springvale BlamCo Branch."
Kristin found her final stimpack, with little use for caps in New Vegas, Kristin often offered to cook for the Followers of The Apocalypse in exchange for excess medical supplies or 'rare ingredients'.
"Will this help?", Kristin queried after she had thrown the stimpack like a dart towards Bob's bleeding leg. "I have no idea why you're complaining so much, 'tis merely a flesh wound. Although Sister did say that after injecting the unrefined BlamCo Calcium Stimulant that I feel pain to a very minimal degree. 'Tis why I say 'Tis' and why my hair is a majestic silver!"
Kristin was proud of her hair and before she could launch into more BlamCo babble, Kristin pointed at the Vertibird that flew overhead. How rude of them to interrupt her! That could only mean one thing...
"Oh dear! It seems that Miss Black is already bringing in exclusive clientele! .... Mister Bob!", Kristin huffed and puffed whenever someone was worrying over their 'life' or 'loss of bowel control' or silly things like 'I could lose a limb.'. Bah! More weakness!
Contrary to popular belief, Kristin held a great deal of respect for Bob. He had shown his warrior spirit when he had resisted one of her more potent cleansing rituals. (Of course, it was the first one she had ever performed)...SEMANTICS!...regardless, don't take Kristin's neglect and almost abusive treatment of Bob at face value. Kristin Blamco was truly excited to start her adventures with a guide and a pugilist no less! So giddy with excitement, she found herself neglecting the poor pugilist, but more importantly she had neglected her manners!
Perhaps a chat is in order? Yes!
Hmm, what could be a good BlamCo-Breaker...
"As my reborn gentleman-in-waiting, tell me, what do you call those flying contraptions?!"
Because this community has declared war on escapist realms, this game is hereby devalued no thanks to their mentality. Do not blame me for this action, I'm just acting on duty. Instead, blame those who forced me to go to war, ok?
It was 8 million, now it's rated at 600,000 pts. That's all. Good day.
Springvalian Outskirts: You Can (Not) Lose Your Way
As the clearly deranged self-crowned Princess made her disatisfaction to... something... clear, Jonathan reached his backpack and started looking for bandages and disinfectant, certain that he had not run out. He had, after all, found many a first aid kit on his way out of D.C., and though most of them had already been looted before he had gotten to them, he still found a good amount of medical supplies.
"I will have you know, Mister Pugilist,that I was the one to guarantee you safe passage out of Miss Black's home."
The mention of Lucy Black stopped Jonathan in his tracks, making him give his undivided attention to the usurpious Princess.
"My first acolyte was deeply upset and requested that we leave."
What happened back at the house came back to him: His confession and subsequent self-loathing, Ms. Black's valiant attempt to make him snap out of it, and...
Oh gods, I am such a fool. Such a fucking fool. No wonder I am no longer in the house. No one sane enough would want to keep someone like me around after that.
Th pain in his leg resurfaced, only this time Jonathan didn't react to it. He instead bandaged the wound, sorrow evident in his body language and face.
Luckily, the wound wasn't as deep as first believed, and the wait for the bleeding to stop wouldn't be too long. The Princess whose-claim-to-some-throne-was-dubious-at-best had, in the meanwhile, started rummaging through her stuff, throwing things left and right in exaggerated movements.
"I have my doubts, but Miss Black seems like she can run the Springvale BlamCo Branch."
More nonsense. Kristin Blamco was clearly living in her own world. It was clear to Jonathan that he had best ignore her lest he be confused by things that most likely only made sense to her. Whatever the case, his leg had stopped bleeding, and, after applying antibiotic on a piece of cloth, he cleaned the wound, grunting from the burning feeling it gave to the wound.
"Will this help?" the Princess of some imaginery kingdom said as she threw something much like one would throw a dart, narrowly missing Jonathan and getting stuck on his backpack instead as he was applying a clean bandage on his wound.
A stimpack. This wouldn't do. No, no, it wouldn't do at all. Jonathan had a phobia of needles; as a child, he needed to be anesthetized when it was time to be administered vaccines, so intense was his phobia. Granted, stimpacks would have helped a good many times in the past so there would have been benefits if he were to work on dealing with it, but every time Jonathan imagined a needle entering his skin and releasing something in his organism, he backed out.
The Calligulian princess went on about more things Jonathan couldn't make sense of. Rather than listen to her, he turned to examine his belongings to make sure that everything was here.
The brand new hunting rifle that Lucy Black had given him was among them. Why was it here? After everything he had said, receiving aid was the last thing he expected. Could Kristin have mistaken it for his, absent-minded as she is?
Another note had been left on the hunting rifle. Opening it and reading its contents, Jonathan could barely contain his tears.
"We still help someone in need. Good luck." - Lucy Black
Oh, Lucy... Even after that you still help me. Your father would be so proud of you... But I can't accept this. I-
"As my reborn gentleman-in-waiting, tell me, what do you call those flying contraptions?!"
Hearing the noise, Jonathan looked to the skies. That was the last sight he wanted to see.
A Vertibird. The Enclave's eyes in the skies and a symbol of their superiority. Jonathan had hoped to never have to see one of them flying ever again. And now, here was one, heading towards...
...Where Lucy lives!
Hurriedly getting up, Jonathan tried to run towards the house, only for his wound to act up violently, causing him to lose his footing and fall on his face.
Raising the upper half of his body with his arms, Jonathan punched the ground in exasperation, tears of rage falling from his eyes.
"Shit shit shit shit shit shit shitshitshitshitshitshit!"
He was utterly hopeless. He couldn't even walk. All he could do is watch as that Vertibird started its descent. No way the Enclave had left Lucy Black to live after all she went through. And now that she had given him her rifle, she was completely defenceless.
Using his stick as help to get up on his feet, Jonathan stared at the direction the Vertibird headed, panic and conflict filling his thoughts. He was useless, he couldn't help Lucy Black! Even if his leg was ok, what hope did he have fighting trained personel? He felt the urge to turn around and walk away, because he knew that, if he were to head for that house, it would mean his death.
Jonathan lowered his head and looked at the palm of his hand. The message Lucy left for him lay upon it.
Clunching his hand into a fist, Jonathan wiped the tears from his face and turned to face the Blamco Princess, in his eyes fire fuelled by determination.
"You, woman!" he shouted as he pointed at Kristin, in his voice a tone of absolute authority, "You will carry me back to Lucy Black's residence, and you will do it NOW!"
Before she could protest, he continued, "LISTEN TO ME! I will explain on the move. Do this and I swear on whatever gods you believe in a lifetime of servitude!"
He was about to walk into certain death. But it didn't matter, for Jonathan wasn't going to let Lucy go through this alone.
Citadel Outskirts - Camp
Buchanan snorted with disgust as he brushed the powdered remains of the vaporised Krampus off his armour. 'Don't trust her? I wouldn't trust that little shit as far as I can throw her," he thought as he holstered his pistol. Between his irritation at being stirred from his slumber and the pain radiating from his battered face, the Knight Captain was feeling downright irritable and annoyed.
As the aforementioned girl ran over and started babbling about some trinket she'd dug up from their attacker's belongings, Buchanan returned to his sleeping roll and began packing up his things. He could see Charlie glancing over at him as the young man attempted to humour Sylphee. When she grew bored and threw the item away, Charlie took the opportunity to approach him.
"Uh, Sir? What are you doing?"
"I'm leaving, that's what. Hanging around you two is bad for both my sanity and my health. Try not to blow yourself up again, I won't be there to patch you up next time."
"S-surely you should at least wait until dawn right? The ruins are dangerous at night." Charlie said, worry etched on his face.
"I can take care of myself." Buchanan replied, shouldering his pack. Taking one last look at Sylphee he lowered his voice. "Watch yourself around her son. She's far too unpredictable for my liking."
With that parting comment Buchanan strode off into the night without even waiting for a goodbye. Charlie watched him go with a mixture of fear and worry, unsure what was to come for him and Sylphee now. Turning around he called out to the miniature girl.
"Hey Sylphee? Let's try and find somewhere, uh, less blood-strewn to spend the remainder of the night shall we?"
The Wild Wastelands | 324 West Black Road (Black Residence)
#411 and a Character Sheet of sorts...
By all appearances, Lucy Black was as capable with her words as she was with her Gauss Rifle + as she expertly sniped the chains that held Charlotte Sorrowfeld, AKA Enclave Intelligence Specialist #411's rage in check. With every deliberately crafted word, every innuendo and every insult that the Traitor's traitorous daughter spat out like venom, #411 flinched internally. Each phrase turned, each syllable was another log thrown onto the now white hot anger that threatened to turn this visit into a bloodbath.
"You know, Jack stepped out of his armor on the two occasions when we spoke. Handsome guy, he really was a bit of a sweetheart..."
"You probably won't understand the relationship between me and Cornelius. We might be on opposite ends, but we shared a certain admiration for someone. So our business was private. You know, we could talk for hours. Looking forward to when he brings over Natsuki on his day off work. Alas..."
Camel's backs had been broken, critical limits had been reached, limits had been passed and Enclave Intelligence Specialist #411 found herself reacting without conscious thought or regard for consequence. As much as an intelligence asset as the traitor's whelp had proven herself to be, this was too much. A black blade that appeared to absorb all light around it sprang upwards from its hidden compartment in #411's boot, reaching the apex of its flight at the Enclave Intelligence Specialist's chest where it was caught. Despite her unmarked all matte black Enclave Issue Power armor, the speed and force by which she rose sent the chair flying backwards to splinter against the wall.
And then, the damnedest thing...
#411 suddenly froze, a muffled whirring could be heard coming from the neck area of her armor and the sound of a windpipe and attempts to breath could be heard and yet there was the unmistakable sound of delight as well.
The knife plunged deeply through Lucy's table as #411 seemed to take out her pent up aggression on Lucy's furniture rather than the girl herself. Another movement saw #411 swinging her right arm back towards the door with was exploding inwards as the two Enclave Heavy Weapons Specialists burst through, ready to pepper Lucy with their Rapid Fire Plasma Mini-Guns. Seeing that their charge was unharmed and ordering them to cease, the two bodyguards stood down as #411 depressed a button on the back of her neck.
"It's alright. Former Asset Black was a little too clumsy with her coffee cup. Would you two be dears and scavenge a new door, table and chair for our host?" #411 asked politely before taking another seat, sliding it loudly to the side opposite Lucy before sitting down once again.
Taking a calming breathe, Enclave Intelligence Specialist #411 removed the Enclave Standard issue helmet and placed it upon the table, revealing the face of the woman that had caused Lucy so much grief. With the helmet removed, #411's long black hair cascaded down around her face and eyes, the right one of which mirrored Lucy's own artificial left eye (The one exception being that where Lucy had no scarring, #411 had a vicious looking scar that has the appearance of having been caused by a knife).
Aside from the unmarked Enclave Intelligence Armor, the point of which was so that an enemy would be unaware of the Intelligence Specialist's value should they manage to capture one, the only item of note was the leather collar that the Enclave Intelligence Specialist wore. Connected together by a mini-winch, the collar was designed to constrict the airways of its wearer it detect a certain mental state. In #411's case it was a rage bordering on berserk.
"You may insult me all you want, Lucy Black, daughter of the dual traitors, but if you insult the Enclave or FalloutJack once again, I will not restrain myself next time." The woman said in voice devoid of any emotion, "Before I give you my final house warming gift and the reason for my visit, I'll tell you a story."
"Once upon a time, there was a girl who lived in a small settlement near Lanta. She had no ambitions or goals, save for one day she would be married to the boy that she loved and they would have children while producing food for their community. Life in the community was simple. Rise with the sun and work for the betterment of all. They were taught that there was joy better than working for the betterment of all."
"There were those who coveted what the settlement had worked so hard for, those who didn't realize that had they simply asked, they would have been given a portion of what the food the settlement had to spare. Like wild dogs, they came down from the hills that surrounded the village and burnt it to the ground, killing men, children and women alike, save for the previously mentioned girl, whom the Raider's leader took a fancy to."
"Three year passed. Three years spent as captive to abusive piece of filth. Three years spent serving as his slave in all ways. There were many times that the girl thought that death was a better alternative to the life held captive."
"The Leader had a daughter, one as deformed in body as the leader was in mind. Life in the wastes is not an easy one. The daughter had been born blind and of all things a tail. And despite these deformities, the Raider's leader took care of her, or rather forced his enslaved captive to care for her."
"There was one occasion where the girl had been feeding the Leader's daughter and a scrap of food fell to the floor. Already malnourished and hungry beyond any hunger that you could ever know, the girl unconsciously took the scrap of food and ate it off the ground. The Leader did not take this 'theft' too kindly. It was on this night that he performed his worst act of brutality upon the young girl. Stripping her of her clothing, the man cut out her eye with a knife. He might have gone further were it not for the timely intervention of an Enclave patrol."
"The patrol, lead by a young man that you now know as FalloutJack, had been tracking these Raiders for some time. As Plasma bolts fell from the heavens like the wrath of some God that the girl had forgotten, she found her anger. An anger that had been implanted within her when her village was destroyed. An anger that had been placed in there by day upon day upon day of cruel savagery wrought upon her, an anger that was sated momentarily when she plunged the blade that had taken her eye into the skull of the man who had taken her eye."
"Perhaps it was seeing this act of righteous violence or perhaps it was something that caused the patrol to take the girl in and give her purpose once again. Whatever the cause, she knew that the Enclave's ideals with the same as the ideals that she had been impressed upon her growing up. As for the Leader's daughter, the girl took her as her own. Though the girl could never be an instrument to bring justice upon those who would threatened others, the Leader's daughter could and so they both joined the Enclave."
#411 paused for a moment, looking up at Lucy Black, her eyes showing a sense of pain at having recounted her story.
"I understand your anger at the Enclave for having taken your father. But with his training, how many others would have been lost were someone to have gotten their hands on you and held you hostage. You alone have killed many. How many would a pack of raiders have taken if they had the same training as you?" #411 asked before the hardness once again returned, her good eye staring at Lucy's as her bad eye stared just as hard. The scare, incidentally, could have been removed but #411 wore that as a reminder of what the Wastes were capable of and would not see it removed until the Wastes was the light that was the Enclave.
Enclave Intelligence Specialist #411 slid a small tablet towards Lucy with a video feed being streamed in from a high flying Eyebot. On it was a familiar figure, that of one Thomas "Shifty" McGee.
"Your friend is still alive and has been released from Enclave custody. For how long he remains healthy is entirely upon you." #411 stated as she spoke into a small device, "Vulture E32. Target subject Thomas McGee. Fire in 20 seconds if no further commands by Enclave Intelligence Special #411 are forthcoming."
Roger" Responded the EyeBot as a set of cross hairs and a timer materialized on the viewing panel.
"Now. Tell me who that man was that just left your home or your friend will die. This time there will be no bringing him back."
The Wild Wastelands | Citadel Outskirts | Camp for 2
Sylphee? Hey Sylphee?!
"Hey Sylphee? Let's try and find somewhere, uh, less blood-strewn to spend the remainder of the night shall we?"
"Okie dokie Mister Chucky Camden!!" Sylphee called out as she grabbed her plushy Deathclaw backpack running back towards him as like a crimson clad maniac with a Deathclaw riding piggyback. Curiously enough there were a few more bloodstains on her uniform that weren't there prior to the fight with Mister Crap-Ass, which wasn't to say that Sylphee was wounded, since she was skipping towards Mister Chucky Camden as if she didn't have a care in the world.
And so they were off, just the two of them, the somewhat overwhelmed young man with a penchant for BOOM BOOMS and the overwhelming crimson clad hyperactive young woman with a penchant for causing BOOM BOOMS. It should be noted that hopping/skipping/running or wandering through the Wastelands at night is never a good idea. Not only are there dangers such as Mister Supa-Mutes-that-weren't-so-Mute, Mister and Missy Deathcrows-that-didn't-fly-so-much-as-bite, Mister Myra-Lurks-that-loved-you-and-hugged-you-and-squeezed-you-forever-and-ever-till-the-end-of-time and Mister and Missy Panty Raiders but there were things like steep hills that you couldn't see when you're hopping and skipping at high speeds.
"Whoooooooaaaa!" Sylphee went as she found one such cliff, pulling on Mister Chucky Camden.
"Omph! Wheee! Ow! Wheee! Ouchies! Wheee" and so on and so forth.
That would be the bottom of the incredibly steep hill that Sylphee had managed to find during her madcap hopping and skipping through the darkened Wastes. That would also be the sound of Sylphee landing on Mister Chucky Camden's chest at the bottom of said incredibly steep hill that Sylphee had managed to find during her madcap hopping and skipping through the darkened Wastes.
"Hey! Hey! Hey!" The Blue Haired Blue Eyed Psychopath exclaimed smacking Mister Chucky Camden before dismounting, "No touchy!"
Which brings us to exactly where they had landed. It seemed that they had found a shack at the bottom of said incredibly steep hill that Sylphee had managed to find during her madcap hopping and skipping through the darkened Wastes, a shack with a poorly crafted roof that now had a hole in it. But fortunately, there were more roofing materials outside AND what was even better, there was food inside.
"Look, Mister Chucky Camden, BlamCo!" Sylphee exclaimed excitedly, pausing for a second and remembering that she used to hate BlamCo but someone had convinced her that it was super super super super good. Which brings us to our next point. What sort of well stocked shack would be located in the middle of the Wastelands without an owner?
Sylphee shrugged as she neither had the energy nor the attention span to think of the answer to such a question.
Capcha: Taco Tuesday - I'm hungry now.
[OOC: This is a mini-update for a few of you, plus the new crew. Some of you uhh...don't need my help right now.]
-We interupt this music for a special news report: Frank Rose died today as a result of being fatally-impaled after a powersuit explosion, cause unknown. Out of respect for his family and to prevent misuse or theft of the body, the Brotherhood of Steel cremated the body and gave the ashes to the nearest-available next-of-kin. In other news, witnesses claim to have seen a figure flying a robot open sleigh overhead, dropping presents on people. This day just gets better an' better. This is THREE DOG tellin' you to stay safe and stay sane. And now, back to music.-
Well, Constance's mother complained about her child not getting a present, and Constance really needed to get out of a jam because she was facing Gary King - the one an only - without ammo. Fortunately, she HAD been a good little girl, and thus, salvation came flying out of nowhere in the shape of a specially-augmented dog and knocked Gary Fucking King to the ground. The only explanation Constance would get is a deep super mutant voice going "HO HO HO HO HO!!" and his sleigh flying away.
Rufio had just basically been picked up suddenly from where he had been by this green mutant in the Santa outfit and put in the back of the sleigh, telling him he was taking the dog 'home' to a nice kid who could use a dog. What he didn'tt explain was that he would be in the middle of a battle in involving people who shout nothing but "Sylphy! Sylphy! Sylphy!" and "Gary! Gary! Gary!".
Oh, and when #411 got back to her vertibird, she would find The Club over the control stick with a bow on it, keeping them from flying without removing it.
Also, E.D. 209's B.A.R.N. had some exploding brahmin heading for it.
Santa-Kirk works in mysterious ways...
Talion continued to press further into creature and towards its vitals, unaware of what was going on outside at this time. The Uber-Mutant had David Davidson cornered atop an end-building, it would. The man was out of sniper bullets.
"NOW, I WILL TEACH YOU THE MEANING OF PAIN!! I WILL TEACH ALL OF THEM!!"
FalloutDavid: Oh, I doubt that. You see, they've had time to arrive.
He pointed up and...the former scientist saw...
...black Vertibirds! They were armed with plasma and bombs, straight from the Republic of Dave, which David of course annexed! Suddenly, Talion would hear that big ole' heart loud-and-clear, 'cause the Uber-Mutant was doing a runner atop those buildings! They were playing Batman VS King Kong, and Batman was gonna win!
Ah, but enough of that excitement. Let's get down to...a nice, pleasant, traveling caravan.
What we have here is a group of people who sell their wears and their services on the road. It's a large group of people, plenty of them armed. One of them is Robin, who is a pacifist with alot of marketable skills. Nearby here is a ghoul with a converted ice cream vendor-cycle that is his hop on wheels. That's Chester. He's awesome, and he won't have to worry about his vehicle being destroyed by Frank. Along with them is Trixie, who is also skilled AND trades, but she's also getting caps for protection with that assault rifle of hers. Originally, they had come from the West, having gone through Legion territory AFTER a rampage of cyborgs had gone through it from the East. They had recently left Bloomburg, though, a decent town founded by Morgan Bloom, the Gentleman Ghoul. Now, they were heading for whatever town presented itself. Someone had recommended Megaton, but as they were passing Vault-Tec Headquarters...
...ROBOTS!! Sentries, with their mechanical voices, their mini-guns, and their rocket launchers! AAAAAAAGGGHHH!!!
Inside the building, some Enclave soldiers that had annexed the place were laughing their asses off.
The Wild Wastelands | The Enclave B.A.R.N.
ED 209 gets a taste of Brahmin Cakes
Enclave Dominator #209 was bored and had been relegated to watching porn on the main view screen of the Enclave Barn-Like Advance Recon Nest (B.A.R.N.). Watching it the various fleshy bits pump into various other fleshy bits, the Enclave Heavy Weapons Specialist gripped the barrel of his cannon as he cleaned out his weapon, reminded of what sex was like before being encased in Power Armor. Sure he had sex, but it just wasn't the same without the sensation of being butt naked. Grabbing a brush off of the table, he rammed it down his cannon's barrel and started extricating the bright green residue from inside.
"Ahhhhhhhh," ED #209 ahhh'd as he saw the little green bits of goo.
"Sir? Oh god! What?" #223 exclaimed as he walked in on his boss cleaning his weapon while watching porn... again.
"What the hell did I say about walking in during my personal reflection time?!" ED #209 asked loudly as he put his Plasma Vulcan on the workbench.
"We've got a large herd of Brahmin inbound like... huge. I just thought you'd like to know. #556 already popped a couple of them and it looks like they're explosive!"
"Explosive Brahmin?! SWEEEEEEEEEEET!" ED #209 exclaimed as he rushed towards the BARN's food storage and grabbed a rather large block of salt, "Grab the jeep, we're taking these puppies to towards Megaton or even better, didn't those yahoos from Bravo Squad just annex some place or another?" ED 209 asked as they started leading the Brahmin towards the Vault-Tec Headquarters.
Kristin Blamco & Jonathan McKenna (Collaboration post) - Springvale Outskirts:
Well well well, what do we have here? Kristin thought to herself as she watched the landing of the so-called 'Vertibird'. The Princess of all-that-is-BlamCo watched with eager eyes to see what kind of clientele Miss Black had summoned upon their departure. Surely, if they could afford such extravagant means of transport, they had to be individuals of great affluence!
Kristin smiled to herself, feeling rather fortunate that she had stumbled across Miss Black with all her connections and whatnot. 'Tis a day for celebration, to a new beginning! Right! She would prepare a celebratory snack with Bob, the travelling Pugilist, as they would watch the sale from afar.
Three figures, clad in full-body black power armor had exited the 'Vertibird'. The first had marched right up to Miss Black's residence with something in hand, however, the two remaining figures took to the standing just outside the house. They appeared to carrying matching...things. Kristin couldn't quite tell what they were at this distance, but just as cheese would pop with joy in the microwave, Kristin's pride practically exploded...internally. (Get your mind out of the gutter.)
Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear...
An assault on the newly christened Springvale BlamCo Branch? These weren't customers, these were the dairy-less heathens that the Blamco's fought against for generations!
Why was it that they wore helmets to conceal their faces? Protection? Well you would be right! But protection from what?! BlamCo and the Dairy Gods themselves! Yes, these godless heathens wore their masks out of pure and utter shame!
ABSOLUTE SHAME! BECAUSE THEY COULD NOT PARTAKE IN THE DIVINITY OF DAIRY!
"You, woman!", Bob shouted as he pointed at Kristin, the Pugilist making his authority known, "You will carry me back to Lucy Black's residence, and you will do it NOW!"
Before she could agree or even explain, he continued, "LISTEN TO ME! I will explain on the move. Do this and I swear on whatever gods you believe in; a lifetime of servitude!"
Kristin, struck with a look of absolute shock at Bob's command and giddy excitement at his words, did not hesitate to hop down from the boulder. Pausing only to shift her hands to her hips, Kristin grinned at the Pugilist's enthusiasm.
"Very well, Pugilist of BlamCo!", Kristin grinned with excitement, pointing to Bob and then gripping the handle of her blade, merely lifting it and letting gravity do the rest of the work as it was raised above her head...the ground formed cracks upon impact. "I have no doubt! Those armored figures, those soybeans that masquerade as fake dairy while they hide their deceptive faces under those helmets of shame, all of them...are enemies to the BlamCo name!"
Sheathing the monstrosity of a blade once more, Kristin looked upon Bob and spoke in a manner that demanded attention.
"As an agent of Dairy, I have been issued a strict divine edict to protect the sanctity of all that is Creamy.", In a rare moment of humility, Kristin took a knee before Bob and with her head bowed, she made a heartfelt declaration. "That now includes your life and safety, Bob the Pugilist."
As the moment passed and pride returned, she started rummaging through her bag. Kristin located a pair of latex gloves that she used when working with more questionable ingredients and shoved two cubes of the instant BlamCo Jawbreakers into her mini-microwave (The same variant used in Bob's cleansing bath). Setting the microwave to 'potato', Kristin offered the latex gloves to Bob, "Please put these on, for our attack to work, we will need to work together. Upon the heavenly ring, I will need you to reach within the depths of my bag, extract the ultra-hardening cheese while it is still warm and throw it at our enemies faces. We will blind them first and commence our attack!"
And then the BlamCo Princess turned her back to Bob and proceeded to squat, her fingers making jazz hands as she indicated for Bob to ride upon her back. "As warriors, we will ride into battle and in BlamCo's stead, we smite Soya!"
"Cheese, woman?" Jonathan demanded, a hint of rage in his voice. They were about to face the most technologically advanced and disciplined force on earth, and she wanted to... throw cheese at them? "Have you any idea what we're about to deal with? We need a plan and firepower, do NOT mess around!"
Limping back to his things, he pulled out an ammo belt for the rifle and holstered his pistol behind his back. "Unless you want Lucy Black to die, I suggest you start taking this seriously!" he shouted, pointing at her once again, a hint of urgency in his voice
Kristin raised her eyebrow at his distrust, standing and turning around in place, the BlamCo Heiress pointed back at the Pugilist with her reinforced bumper sword. "Do you not remember what the ultra-hardening Dairy did to your body mere hours ago?", Kristin raised her chin with pride, "You will have the opportunity to render our opposition blind!"
"And a plan!?" Kristin grinned maliciously and far too eagerly, trying her absolute best to stifle the laughter. "Do you not lust for the thrill of battle?" One-handedly planting the sword into the ground with significant impact. Kristin sighed at Bob's anxiety. "But if it is a plan you desire, speak your mind, Pugilist! So long as my blade is within the reach of these Shameful One's, our glorious battle will begin! Surely our tactics will be complementary?" Kristin pointed at the hunting rifle with her bumper sword, highlighting the contrast between the weapons.
Kristin draped the reinforced bumper sword across her shoulder, her appearance looked absurdly casual. Yet the tapping of her foot and the biting of her lip had betrayed her true emotions.
"Don't dare mistake my enthusiasm for indifference! I am rushing into battle, willing to die by your side, in order for us to save Miss Black...and secure the future of BlamCo!"
Kristin puffed out her chest, "If it is a Warrior's demonstration that you require, oh Pugilist, then you will not be disappointed!"
"And I of all people managed to break through it! What will your cheese do against power armoured soldiers? Nothing! And I haven't this...lust for battle as you so put it. The only reason I'm not running the hell away is because the Enclave is after Lucy!"
Having filled his ammo belt and loaded the rifle, he scratched his chin as he contemplated the possibilities.
"First of all..." he started, pointing upwards, "we'll...need to make certain that Lucy is safe. We can't just rush them. That would only put her in more danger."
But then again, they may already be on to her.
He fought back the want to just rush headlong into battle. But it wasn't sensible.
"Before we attack, we survey the battlefield. Assess the enemy strength. Make sure Lucy isn't endangered by us attacking."
"But how do we do that?", he muttered to himself, trying to come up with a way to find out Lucy's status.
Kristin grew increasingly exasperated by the Postman's talk of assessment and safety.
"But...the helmets...they need them to SEE...the cheese will obscure their vision...how else will we nullify their accursed eyes?"
Kristin sighed, rechecking the Jawbreaker BlamCo in her mini-microwave and then she attempted to survey the battlefield. Ruins, ruins, dirt, Miss Black's house and more burned out ruins...
*DING!*, chimed the microwave that was her brain.
"Why don't we traverse the edge of Springvale, use these burnt out ruins as cover while we move and approach the Miss Black's home from behind or the side? You get to do your precious assessment and I get to face the opposition if Miss Black is in danger."
Kristin turned to face Jonathan with her hands on her hips, significantly more serious than before. Combat was something she enjoyed, but she considered it the highest form of glory and therefore it was a serious matter.
"Tell me, in combat, how would you describe your fighting style, Postman?"
"I..." Jonathan sighed, a bit of shame being evident in his voice, "...am not much of a fighter. I'm a worse than average shot, and I can't fight in close quarters. I'm pretty competent at sneaking, but with my leg..."
He eyed the stimpack hanging from his backpack. Perhaps...
At the thought of sticking it in his leg, though, fear filled him. N-no. Last resort.
"L-let's just...get going. You sure you can carry me without raising a commotion?" he said as he picked up the last of his stuff.
Kristin smiled at Bob's self assessment, it reminded her much of her younger days when the weight of a Bumper Sword tied to her leg felt like an immense challenge during training.
"Don't sell yourself short, Pugilist!", Kristin clapped a hand on Bob's shoulder in a jolly manner, "I could sense the spirit of a true warrior within you earlier. Besides, there is some merit in sneak attacks, perhaps I will perform one for you soon.", her voice had a strange sense of admiration. Odd.
Kristin adjusted the bumper sword on her back and opened her backpack so she could have easy access to the emergency Jawbreaker BlamCo. Bending down to allow Jonathan to make her way onto her back, the dynamic duo would start their hunched movement around the outskirts of Springvale.
"Bob, I cannot promise absolute silence, but by the Gods I can try! If we are discovered, I will make you descend upon our enemies in an act of divine punishment."
Kristin adjusted her weight, at best she could break out into a light jog, but her mobility was limited with this piggyback ride. "Now, can you be my eyes and ears and inform me of the situation as I navigate these ruins?"
Descent? Did she just say she would throw me at them?
"R-right. Leave it to me. Navigating ruins is all I've been doing the last ten years." He told her nervously as they started, trying not to imagine his face being plastered on impact with a power armored soldier.
Hold on, Lucy. We're coming.
Kristin was, to his surprise, extremely compliant to his orders as they went through the ruins. She would stop when told to, make sure to traverse ruins the way he told her and to top it all off, she remained silent unless spoken to. What really impressed Jonathan though, was that she was quick to learn all the hand gestures he used as he guided her, quickly leading to him not having to use speech to direct her; something that would come in handy for when they would get closer to the house. Perhaps, under all the cheese nonsense, there lay actual intelligence in her head.
"I...promised to explain certain things," he started, rather hesitantly, as they went through one of the old buildings, using hand motions to guide her in the mean time, "The people that we are dealing with are the Enclave. They are the remnants of the old U.S. government, setting out to reclaim the Wasteland...rather violently."
He motioned her to stop, and then to lie with their backs against the wall, which she did rather violently, causing his back to hit the wall rather violently. Barely containing a yelp, he motioned her to slowly advance to the corner, from which Jonathan took a good look of the outside streets. Upon making certain that the coast was clear, he again motioned her to move forward.
"As I was saying, they are rather forceful with their reclamation, and have the technology to prove it. Compared to them, the Brotherhood of Steel's technological level is very nearly obsolete. It would be like fighting Line formations with sticks."
Kristin, focussing rather intensely on making a good first impression for her second acolyte, chose to follow his navigational lead. If this method of guidance had a name, Kristin's respect for Bob had peaked once more, because whatever he was doing was rather skilled in her eyes.
"Oh? The 'Enclave' and The Brotherhood's territory extend to that of the East Coast as well?", Kristin whisper was layered with disbelief and curiosity. "Where I'm from, New Vegas, the Brotherhood is all but dying out. The cowards choose to hide within a bunker, they reject help from me and my peers within the Follower's of The Apocalypse and they cling to a false religion that contains not a drop of dairy - ..."
Kristin hushed as Bob made a quick motion for her to advance, trying to keep the duo as small as possible, she had committed to hunching over. Admittedly, Kristin was having more fun than she had originally thought. This 'stealth' business carried a certain thrill as they stalked their prey. Once they had moved to a position where Bob's physical grip on her had stopped tensing, she knew it was safe to talk.
"It is not the first time I have encountered enemies with such armor. The silver armor crumples under the slam of my sword, yet the darker armor...that is more resilient.", Kristin whispered in a pained manner, not physically, instead to the perceptive ear it would appear that the Dairy Queen was recalling a painful memory. "My siblings have fallen to their unique brand of...weaponry."
Briefly stopping to adjust Bob for greater comfort, her curiosity got the better of her. "Do you have personal experience with them, this 'Enclave'? Strange name..."
The mention of more people dying to Enclave weaponry made Jonathan tense up, which made Kristin mistake it for a signal to halt.
Even her, huh? Everyone's been hurt by the Enclave, it seems.
Of course, Jonathan's stance on the matter was entirely unreasonable. Kristin hailed from the other side of the country. The Enclave branch there was, as far as he knew, completely cut off from the Capitol one. As such, the possibility of her siblings dying to one of his creations was less than realistic. Still, what he felt guilt about was not something he could quite control, and he felt the strangest urge to confess, despite it not being the best of times or place.
"I...used to be part of it." He started with a heavy sigh, bracing himself for her reaction. "Born into it. Wasn't given much choice in the matter. I hated it. Yet, I didn't have much of a choice other than live with it. After spending the majority of my life doing their work, I managed to escape when their headquarters were destroyed. Bob is...a cover. My real name is Jonathan Aristotle McKenna."
Not only was Bob a postman by day and a pugilist by night, but he also lead a secret life known as a man named Jonathan. What a truly magnificent individual!
"Jon-a-than.", Kristin peered over her shoulder at Bob. "I suppose you do look like a Jonathan."
Kristin sighed. Unlike Miss Black, she was not prone to spilling the beans regarding her personal life. Yet for the two people she had met on the East Coast, both seemed very intent to give the BlamCo Heiress their life story.
"Mister Jonathan, if I am understanding you correctly, you are no longer affiliated with those that hide their heads in shame? To be perfectly honest, that suits me just fine. You are still the same person, just with another name. Besides, there is much that I have not told you."
Kristin rolled her eyes at this wishy-washy emotional business. "I abandoned the New Vegas BlamCo branch out of spite. Condemning the entire city to a lifetime without my family's business and legacy. I have come here to find a better path for the BlamCo name. I believe that we are all trying to brighten our futures after our past has lost its light. Now..."
Kristin raised her head as she heard what would seem to be the sound of Enclave soldiers bursting through Miss Black's front door.
"...can we focus on the task at hand?"
"Yes. That...is best."
Best not mention the fact that I created weapons in the first place.
They were getting closer now, close enough that talking was a risky endeavour. From the building they were at, one could well see the vertibird, along with two guards standing in attendance, guarding the door inside. Jonathan had expected the sound of gunfire, but there was none, which was potentially good or bad. Good because perhaps the fighting hadn't started yet, bad because it could already be over.
No sign of Lucy. I don't like this. So few people when she gave them this much trouble? There must be more inside.
If that were the case, an assault right now could be disastrous. Not only was there no knowledge of enemy movement, but the there was also the possibility that they were interrogating (or torturing) Lucy. Attacking now could give them enough cause to kill her.
There were more derelict and abandoned buildings connected to this one. One could, potentially, sneak through them and hopefully enter the house through a window in the back or the sides.
Motioning Kristin to put him down, Jonathan tested his wounded leg. The result being a barely contained groan.
I could never sneak in with a leg like this. Unless...
He remembered the stimpack. Doing so sent shivers down his spine. He couldn't use that. Anything but that. But if he didn't...
This day just keeps getting better and better, doesn't it?
Hesitantly putting it out of his backpack, Jonathan turned to hand it over to Kristin, fear plain in his face.
"I need you to use this... to fix my leg." He said as he lay down. "And keep my mouth shut. Because if you don't, I'll likely scream." He closed his eyes, and tried to mentally prepare for what was about to happen.
Bob Jonathan was awkwardly laid on the ground, Kristin arched her back and stretched in an overly-animated manner. Making sure to loosen up before combat, the Heiress grew oddly excited at the prospect of being near enemies that were unaware of their presence.
This stealth business was not for her, but that did not mean that it did not have a certain predatory appeal. So despite the incongruent approach, Kristin felt inclined to go along with how her Postman Scout/Warrior Pugilist handled this particular conflict. He was, after all, reborn from Dairy and further care will take place under her bosomy path.
Turning around, Kristin was presented with an offering; Her stimpack from earlier and request for medical aid.
"Very well.", Kristin replied flatly as she palmed the stimpack and loosened the steel vambrace on her left arm. "Are you that afraid of needles? You were quite literally swimming in them earlier. Oh well..."
Kristin twirled the stimpack in her hand, ready to jab the healing juice into his injured leg. However, before the Heiress decided to stab, she offered her forearm for the fearful man to bite into.
"Fret not, Pugilist. Think of this - ", Kristin shoved her forearm into his mouth without warning, pushing the man's head against wall in the process as she jabbed the stimpack into his wounded leg. "...as a bonding experience. As agents of Dairy, we share our pain."
At the feeling of his leg getting pierced, Jonathan's entire body spasmed from the fear as he bit deep and hard into the Princess' arm, and Jonathan could taste blood as the pain passed and Kristin removed her arm along with the stimpack. Taking deep breaths, Jonathan gradually regained his stature and pushed the fear away.
"Shit. I'm sorry I didn't mean to bite so hard, I-"
The Princess raised her hand and smiled a warm smile at him, as though telling him that his apologies were unnecessary. Deciding to not push the matter and instead focus on what actually mattered, Jonathan recollected his thoughts and got up. The stimpack's effects were already made apparent: He no longer felt any pain coming from his leg. That's better, but I hope I'll never have to go through it again.
"Alright, here's my plan:" he whispered as he tested the leg. "We don't know how many more of them are there, or how Lucy is. So, I'll sneak in from the side and take a look inside. When I find Lucy, I will signal you. The guys outside should get distracted, and you'll get your chance to close the distance before they realize you're charging them and shoot you down." Hopefully. "Afterwards, come find me and Lucy. Timing will be of the essence."
"Our signal will be simple: 'In Heaven's Stead, We Smite Soya'." Kristin clapped a hand on Jonathan's shoulder to chase away his worries, small flecks of blood that was drawn through his bite had landed on his attire. "Very well, Pugilist. But first you will need this..."
Kristin carefully removed the Limited Edition BlamCo Mini-Microwave from her bag and placed it in Jonathan's hands. The timer was already set and Jonathan merely needed to press a button with a gaudy smiley face to start cooking.
"You will have about 10 seconds to warm the Jawbreaker BlamCo and another 10 seconds before it hardens.", Kristin informed him as she reapplied the steel vambrace. Shrugging off the inconsequential bite in the process. "So don't forget the gloves, unless you have a particular hatred for your fingers."
Drawing her sword and gripping the blade with two hands, the Princesses preparatory stance shifted to indicate her overly-eager nature. At last! She longed for combat!
Jonathan sighed in irritation. Even at the most critical moment, the Princess wouldn't let her cheese fantasies go. Still, Jonathan had felt the results of her alchemical brews for himself, and they were potent enough as it were.
This may be crazy enough to work
"Very well. When I shout *sigh* 'In Heaven's Stead, We Smite Soya'", Jonathan said this in the most deadpan way possible, "You come running." And with that, he disappeared, holding the mini-micro with his arm.
As he made his way through the abandoned buildings, he felt a sudden rush of adrenaline flow through him. He felt himself becoming, no, wanting to act recklessly and daredevilish. The feeling only grew as he continued, and he barely held himself from going all out on the soldiers. Could this be a side effect to the usage of the stimpack? It was rather...different in some ways to the regular ones. Whatever the case, Jonathan held back, for in his mind he knew that Lucy's safety was paramount.
Upon finding a window at the side of the house and looking over to make sure the coast was clear, Jonathan entered as quietly as he could -a task made harder by the microwave he was carrying. As he entered, he heard a voice.
"Once upon a time, there was a girl who lived in a small settlement near Lanta..."
A woman was talking to someone. Jonathan guessed that that someone was Lucy. Good. That meant she was still alive. As he slowly made his way through the house making sure not to be seen by potential enemies, he listened to her tale. In different circumstances, he would have felt a large amount of sympathy for her -and he did, to a degree-, but her view of the world was misguided, and from what her actions showed, dangerously so. Hero worship never gets anyone anywhere.
"Your friend is still alive and has been released from Enclave custody. For how long he remains healthy is entirely upon you." #411 stated as she spoke into a small device, "Vulture E32. Target subject Thomas McGee. Fire in 20 seconds if no further commands by Enclave Intelligence Specialist #411 are forthcoming."
Jonathan put down the micro-micro and pushed the smiley faced button. He was now behind the counter, opposite to where the female Enclave trooper was facing. With quick glances, he pinpointed where he would have to throw the cheese at her to disarm her. If Lucy's friend was to be saved, he'd need to pacify her while also leaving her mostly intact. And so, he was aiming for the weapon. He put on the gloves, and...
"IN HEAVEN'S STEAD, WE SMITE SOYA!"
The sound of the Micro-Micro not only readied the cheese, but also released all the adrenaline that had been piling in him. Holding both cubes, one hand each, he threw one at the trooper girl's gun and turned to throw the other one to one of the trooper's helmet, splattering upon impact and rendering him blind.
Now, normally Jonathan would duck for cover and wait for Kristin to deal with the rest. But, for one, if he wanted to save Lucy's friend he hadn't the time, and more importantly, his feelings were getting the better of him. Blind to everything else going on around him, Jonathan grabbed his custom laser handgun and pointed it towards the female with a devilish grin on his face and a hint of madness in his eyes.
"Ya know, it's rude to talk behind someone's back. Hello! I'm Bob! A postman of the highest degree! And if you wanna live to learn more about me, then you had better signal your vulture to release this Thomas McGee."
~"IN HEAVEN'S STEAD, WE SMITE SOYA!"~
Indeed we do! Kristin replied internally as she bounded around the corner and into the entrance of Miss Black's house, making her way directly to the source of her mighty Warrior's summoning shout.
"Remain blind, Carrion of the Wasteland!"
With the black armor of the Shameful One's in sight, the raging Berserker Princess raised the modified Bumper Sword above her head, prioritising the one that wasn't scratching at his helmet and leapt a few good feet into the air before sending her Blade of Divinity crashing down upon the helmeted skull of an unsuspecting heathen.
Fret not! For even during combat, the Berserker Princess still found time for a mid-battle speech.
"Before mine eyes, Fake Dairy walk! Soybeans that have forgotten that we, the Paladins of BlamCo, are now the ones that stand in thine way!"
With a wide grin, Kristin spun her body and capitalised on her momentum in order to send another thunderous downward strike upon the helmet of the Shameful First, crushing the floorboards in the process.
In the heat of battle, the Berserker Princess threw aside the need for self-preservation as she recklessly rammed shoulder-first into the Dairy-Blinded Shameful Second, merely sending him a few steps backwards into a nearby wall and unintentionally throwing off his aim. A wide burst of plasma fire was expended from the soldiers shiny trinket a hair's breadth from the lightly-armored-in-comparison Princess. One of the rounds had seared through the uppermost tip of her right steel pauldron.
Lacking finesse, but making up for it in sheer brutality. Her reply was anything but gentle as she swung the blade like a baseball bat into the abdomen of the soldier.
Kristin roared with bloodlust as her modified Bumper Sword smashed down upon the two-handed weapon that had damaged her armor.
"As Connoisseurs of Cheese, in a rank of Three, we will strike down your cowardly means!"
"In doing so, BlamCo will expose your faces that you hide in shame!"
The soldier pulled the trigger in a futile attempt to open fire once more, to which the Berserker Princess could only break down into mad laughter.
"Is this truly the best that you can do?!"
Kristin launched into a flurry of quicker strikes aimed at the legs, forcing the soldier to drop his weapon and fall to his knees.
"Now I bestow upon thee, agent of Soya..."
*CRUUUUUNCH!* went the bones within the neck of the downed soldier.
"My utter disappointment!"
Kristin had taken a devastating two-handed swing at the man's neck.
With two opponents dispatched, Kristin BlamCo turned on her heel and slammed her blade into the floorboards as a warning to the Third. A maniacal grin was spread across the Berserker Princess's face as her eyes darted from a pistol-wielding Jonathan to a shocked Lucy and back to the unknown Third.
The Heiress to the BlamCo Empire bellowed one simple declaration with the pride of a thousand burning cheesecakes.
"REST IN PEACE!"
Even form this distance Robin could tell the robots approaching weren't friendly, as she suspected V.A.T.S agreed. She had a worrying feeling that these robots wouldn't be open to negotiation. They reminded her of the cyber cowboy's back home, same deliberate motion, disconcerting to say the least. Luckily her travels hadn't been as stressful as usual recently so she'd got sufficient charge on her cloak for a closer look. The conversation she'd been in the middle of was forgotten as was who or whatever she'd been talking to. With a spark like crackle she vanished from view, the stealth field bent light around or through her into shapes that were uncomfortable even for photons.
Soon enough she was flanking the advancing robots, laying prone on some rocks and allowing the field to fall from her now she was out path of the stampede.
Correction, one of them.
Her vantage point also gave her quite the odd view, she'd never quite seen so many brahman in one place before, even the few farms she'd saw were much more arable than pastoral, NCR didn't like wasting land. The brahman sure were coming fast, well did one of them just step on a mine, wait no then the ones before would have, were they?
Exploding cattle really?
Another even hastier cloaked run ended with her behind the robots and out of the path of the cattle, but those paths looked to be intersecting soon, considering what she'd seen she wasn't sure how big an explosion, was she safe even this far away? More importantly was the caravan.
"Open radio channel 'Cute red head'" Robin hadn't heard her name last night but her pipboy knew who she meant and was able to get a signal to the radio she'd repaired in exchange for beer, the sounds of panic on the other ends were the last thing she'd hoped to hear. "This is Robbin, it looks like there's brhaman incoming, on a collision course with the bots, it's not going to be pretty but should create a distraction try and get those you can into cover."
It was then Robin became distinctly aware of the new red lines that appeared to be high up in that building, reflexively she cloaked and rolled randomly, had they spotted her? The distinct distant popping sound followed by a chick on the ground she'd just recently been standing on gave her the impression they had.
Unwelcome threat number three, snipers in a building that looked less penetrable than a chaste crab.
A familiar dinging sound informed her she'd somehow picked up a quest as well
Find the ideal view point.
Enjoy your complimentary cow combustion!
Guess which sniper's nest the bloody thing was recommending as just such a viewing platform.
There were times she was sure that her pipboy was taking the piss, for every time it saved her life there were more when it helpfully pointed out interesting nearby locations and gave them names without mentioning how many creepy crawlies were already there.
Still it had a point, she made her way a swiftly as possible to the walls of the Vault Tech HQ, she recognised the name, the same that has been seared off her own pipboy.
Somehow her wrist mounted know it all knew exactly where the doors were as well. There was a less than encouraging sound, the sort of things computers do instead of yawning that indicated invisibility fun time would soon be over.
Guess she had no choice but to approach the doors, right in the open.
As soon as she was close enough to maybe be heard by them she revealed herself shouting two words
Q.D. had been a file on her old pipboy, even for mother it was vague and what little Robin could understand was unrealistically optimistic about the potential of the rest, hopefully.
She'd no idea what the thing was apart from its name and that her mother clearly though it was important enough to encrypt up the ass. Still maybe these nice enclave boys and girls knew, with no cloak or plan she wasn't any deader than she'd been if she hadn't said it.
One other thing occurred to her remembering last night, specifically the cute red head who she'd probably not see again and probably hadn't gotten through to.
"Thirsty." She'd found an unopened bottle and held it out as casually as she could.
Robin had asked for a couple in exchange for her services as an all purpose fixer upper, before trying one and wishing for that cool Sunset Sarsaparilla this coast distinctly lacked, providing whoever is taking their sweet time to shoot her is sufficiently lacking in taste she just might be ok though.
She'd not understood why beer was an aid item until now.
Chester's arm reached to the radio stuffed in his backpack, slowly turning the dial, the upbeat tunes becoming silent. He heard the sounds too, and sure enough the unmistakable clunking meant trouble; trouble in the shape of clumsy automated monstrosities which at this very moment slowly trundled towards them.
"Best you make a break for it, young lady..." Chester croaked, eyes glued to the machines advancing on the caravan's position. "These fellas look in no mood for... kid?" He looked around, the space once occupied beside him now stood vacant.
Could've sworn that lil' grease monkey was standin' right here. Chester thought to himself, eyes looking around the caravan party, but she was nowhere to be seen. Hrrrm... He slid off his seat, taking cover behind the box on the back of his bike, removing the hunting rifle from his shoulder as he did.
"Don't know how you boys 'n girls feel about our current predicament," he said out-loud so the other merchants and guards could hear him over their own squabbling. "But I'm guessing if y'all wanna get outta this situation intact we best be makin' some pretty snap decisions, and I mean quick snap decisions!"
I might not have fancy bodyguards or no obedient hound at my heels, but I can still shoot straight an' that's something...I hope Chester thought, peering out at the machines.
"I hope one of you kids has one of them pulse grenade whatchamacallit's in your inventory, cause I got a hunch we be needin' some extra punch." He checked the rifle's chamber, knocking it back with a satisfying CLICK.
"Quasar Directive!" shouted a voice, drifting through the rabble of robots and panicking merchants. Hrmmm? Was that the grease monkey hollering jus' then? Well whatever, thing's are looking to get real ugly real soon...Wait, what's that rumbling... is that stampeding I hear?
The super sneaky plan of Evan, Dudley and Ferdinand goes wrong... does it ever go right?
Yep, that plan to stun the Enclave trooper after he'd sent MGB to Old Olney was about to get a lot harder because William had spotted them. He'd immediately dropped low to avoid being seen though, as another thought ran through his head:
It's been a while since I last saw them, so much has happened and Evan's intel sent me to the wrong part of the Enclave. Now they're here and looking friendly with the Enclave. What's going on there? How long has this gone for? William couldn't take the risk without finding out a little more. Creeping closer, he could just about hear bits of a conversation but to get closer would risk detection.
It seemed Evan and Dudley were referring to each other as Enclave Assets trying to get their new friend recruited. They were also passing along orders for the metal monstrosity, but to where and further details William couldn't tell.
"...so if you could send the bot on its way that would be great." Finished a sentence of Evan's. If he'd had a cup of coffee he'd have taken a sip like a shift supervisor giving out instructions to an intern on their first day. Possibly not the best way to deal with Scott but that's what the double act was for. Dudley was on hand to rein Evan in and defer to some authority, what with being #18 to Evan's #19.
"Hold up there 19, don't rush the man." Said Dudley, before standing right beside Scott like a co-worker, "Kid's tryna run b'fore he can walk."
This was the point of the plan that Evan would get into position and wait for Scott to give the order to sent MGB away to Old Olney. Except it all hinged on Scott actually sending the giant robot away.
What a recipe for disaster, William isn't very far away now and thinks you've switched sides, let's hope you were convincing enough for Scott but not so convincing for Mr Knight. Lets see shall we?
"This is Paladin Gilbert; we've retrieved Knight Rose's corpse, lasered it to ash, and are returning to the Citadel. Authentication code: LoLazor."
Paladin Paul Gilbert switched off his radio.
"Is that it?"
The ghoul continued to hold the odd looking plasma pistol to Paladin Gilbert's head while a pair of ghouls disappeared around a corner carrying Frank's corpse.
"Two last things; you'll need some ashes. We've provided them in that box over there. Also on top of the box you will see a Gauss Pistol. It's apparently a Rose family heirloom. If you can, bring it to Rothman repairs in Rivet City."
The ghoul then threw down a smoke bomb, and when the smoke cleared she was gone.
One of the member's of Gilbert's squad broke the silence.
"So what do you suppose that was about?"
"I assume they're necrophiliacs."
"Can zombies be necrophiliacs by definition? I think it's the act of a human being fucking a corpse, not a corpse fucking a corpse."
"Do I look like a dictionary? Doesn't matter, we're bringing his family peace and I didn't particularly like the guy so I don't care what happens to his corpse."
"What'd you have against Frank? He left shortly before I joined, but I heard a lot of good stuff about him. People were always grumbling about how their equipment just wasn't as good without him around to maintain it."
"When we were 11 he force-fed me my glasses."
"He had just asked out, and been shot down by then-Squire Brown. I made some joke about how since his dad left and he'd just been rejected, nobody wanted him. He then held me down, popped the lenses out of my glasses, and shoved them down my throat.
"I was blind, and shitting glass."
*Just another day in the wastes...*
Trixie pondered to herself, resting the back of her head on her hands as she walked.
In most of her routes she would travel alone, being able to protect herself, but there was safety in numbers when crossing over this specific part of the wasteland, the competition from other traders was not welcome to her however.
The traders there seemed harmless enough, though some of them a bit odd, the guards were the worst however, always acting so macho as if they were doing them a favour.
Her train of thought was cut off however, by the feel of rumbling on the ground, the sound of lasers following closely after.
"Just another bloody day" She sighed to herself.
The rest of the caravan were already hiding or behind cover by the time she got to a vantage point behind a large rock slightly up the hill and away from the rest of the group, hoping to atom that a radscorp wouldn't sneak up on her from behind.
However her ability to sneak past the robots was hardly competent, a large group of them began firing at her position.
Some of the other robots though were still progressing toward the caravan, with their backs turned to her, using her knowledge of mechanics she knew how to do a good bit of damage.
She chucked a pulse mine to each side of her flank, proceeding to lob a couple blindly toward the proceeding bots, with some success being able to at least slow them down.
Her main plan came into action as she sprung up to take aim with her Assult Rifle.
"Lets make this a bloomen frenzy" she announced to herself as she successfully shot out the combat inhibitors of quite a few of the oblivious robots, causing a chain reaction of robot on robot combat.
Suddenly the ground began to tremble even greater, Trixie turned her head only to see a large stampede of brahmin coming straight for her, with some, exploding?. She didn't have time to reason with this, nor did she care to ponder it. Quickly she lept from the large rock and ran back toward the others in the caravan, a protectron sprung into her way before she quickly disabled it's targeting mechanism with her high-tech pipe iron, giving her enough distance to avoid it's irradic fire.
Jumping behind a ghouls bike for limit cover, she began again aiming for oncoming robots targeting chips and lenses, as the brahmin stampeded closer to the pack of robots. "Focus your fire beneath their barrels, your bullets won't be so useful against armored shell!" she stated to everyone around her in the racket of gunfire and lasers. Blood and guts flying everywhere as they erupted with a 'boom'.
The Wild Wastelands | 324 West Black Street (Black Residence)
Gambling with #411
Enclave Intelligence Specialist #411's expression didn't change when "Bob" appeared suddenly and disabled the plasma pistol holstered at her side, nor did it change when the alarms of her two bodyguards flat lining echoed quietly in her ear. She simply continued stirring her cup of coffee, adding a small sugar cube that had an "E" laser etched on one side. She had apparently taken the news that she was now essentially prisoner to the trio consisting of Former Enclave Asset Lucy Black, "Bob" the Postman and the BlamCo Nitwit fairly well. Or it was the fact that she had other plans within plans.
10 seconds remaining until target elimination" Vulture E32 reported over the EyeBot Remote Control Device
"Bob is it?" Enclave Intelligence Specialist #411 responded after a sip of her coffee, her eyes having never left the Former Enclave Floozy Lucy Black, "I know a Bob and you're not him. But I'm sure Lucy has told you all about Bob and what he did to poor Isaac Black."
5 seconds remaining until target elimination" Vulture E32 reported
"Override Timer Protocol. New Trigger: Deadman Switch on Enclave Uniformed Personnel #411." #411 commanded over the device, her expression changed to thoughtful after a moment before the hardness returned, "Addendum: Send message to Enclave Vault upon trigger: This is Enclave Specialist #411 reporting. We have been attacked by Former Enclave Asset Lucy Black, a Former Enclave Member (Identity Unknown) and the BlamCo Heiress while investigating the possibilities that Former Enclave Asset Lucy Black has broken the implied agreements of her leaving the Enclave Asset Program. If you are hearing this, I'm dead, murdered by Former Asset Lucy Black and her new cohorts. Please forward my belongings to my daughter and give my subordinate #667 your highest consideration for promotion."
The EyeBot Control Module was destroyed, crushed to a fist sized wad of broken metal and silicon. Looking back at her would be captors, #411 smiled briefly before addressing them once again.
"So, 'Bob', Thomas McGee is safe so long as I am. But while we're on the topic of being rude, you've just interrupted the conversation that Miss Black and I were having. Additionally, you've given me what I can only assume as a false name and false profession. Which, as I believe you'll agree, is doubly rude. The Enclave does not keep records on postmen. What I can tell you is that you're a former member of the Enclave and you've worked either in covert operations or you've worked in the Enclave Research division. In either case, meeting with Miss Black makes me assume that you two are are planning an action against the Enclave. Unless you would care to fill me in as to the reason for your visit. I should also warn you that hedging your lot with Miss Black is ill advised. I believe Thomas can attest to this should he make it through this encounter."
As #411 spoke, there was a large explosion outside as the pilot, befuddled by the sudden appearance of The Club and its insane ability to lock him out of his flight controls did what he was trained to do when his Vertibird had become disabled, he tossed a couple of Plasma Grenades into the fuselage.
"Looks like I'm stuck with you three for the moment." #411 commented coolly as she took another sip of her coffee. Looking at her, "Bob" and Lucy would have noticed that the woman was the very appearance of relaxed as she took a sip of coffee, despite the fact that she'd gambled her life on Lucy or "Bob" wanting to keep Thomas alive.
The Wild Wastelands | The Battle of Super Duper Mart
Constance Makes a Four Legged, Machine Gun Toting Friend
Let's keep the introductions short shall we? Four Legged Friend named Rufio, meet Constance Sorrowfeld. Constance Sorrowfeld, meet four legged friend named Rufio. Not to be rude but we are in the middle of a full on war between the Garys and Sylphys and the last thing we want to do is have long winded introduction between two PCs... am I right? Such things can be saved for later... or at least after this post.
"What the..." Constance started to curse before a sudden eruption of thunder drowned out whatever curse word she was about to utter in surprise that she wasn't dead or was it due to the fact that she'd just been saved by a Monocle and Top Hat wearing Husky with machine guns strapped to its sides.
Whatever the case, the appearance of the cute and cuddly had two effects on Constance.
1) She immediately forgot where she was in lieu of such cuteness.
2) She started speaking like an idiot.
"Dass a gud boi. Yes it iz!" She exclaimed as she patted the dog on the head, her own tail swishing back and forth profusely at both her relief at being alive and her being saved by an animal so awesome.
"G...G....Gary." Came a gasping sound nearby. It appeared that the King of the Garys wasn't out of the fight just yet, which was a good thing since Constance had a bone to pick with him.
~Chunk~ ~CHICK CHACK!~
A shell was loaded and chambered into her shotgun as she approached the downed King.
"Son of a ~BASH!~ You should never hit a girl you ~BASH!~ Didn't your mom teach you any better you ~BASH!~" The American Enclave Scout of America yelled as she hit the Gary King in the head with the butt of her shotgun a number of times before pointing the business end at the man's head.
"Sorry." The young girl said as she pulled the trigger.
~BOOM!~ Another crackle of thunder ripped the heavens open and bathed the surrounding countryside in lightning, illuminating the a massive group of just-arrived-in-the-nick-of-time Sylphy backup.
The Wild Wastelands | Vault Tec HQ
Enclave Heavy Weapons Specialist #209 was having the time of his life leading the herd of Explosive Brahmin towards the Vault Tec HQ. Every so often he would pop a plasma cap in one of bulls and watch them explode. Every so often he would also see a random Waster and tell them about the Enclave's new "Have a Brahmin" program and laugh when the gifted Brahmin exploded into a fine bloody mist, along with the unfortunate, yet smiling, Waster.
"This is the life, ain't it?" E.D. #209 asked his fellows as they neared their target destination, Vault Tec HQ, recently annexed by Bravo Company and their dick headed Squad Leader #210. Bravo Company had also taken to calling themselves Enclave Dominators, which was a term that #209 had come up with, after hearing #210 talk about it. This of course had made working with #210 and Bravo Company rather insufferable, especially when #210 got command of a company when #209 was relegated to command of only a squad.
#556 and #223 both nodded as they ensured that the Brahmin continued to follow the small jeep whose springs tried valiantly to hold the weight of three power armored hulks.
"Sir?" #223 said as he pointed towards a small group of Wasters firing at #210's position, "Shouldn't we be wiping them out?"
#223 was the dumber of the trio and so a suggestion such as that was hardly surprising to Squad Leader #209.
"Obviously #210 is out here terrorizing the Wastelands and it's our duty as members of the Enclave to ensure peace and tranquility. If the people can't trust that the Enclave has the best intentions for them, how will they trust us to lead them into a brighter future." Enclave Heavy Weapons Specialist #209 asked his fellows, "It is through these acts of bravery and admissions that we too have our flaws and there are members of the Enclave that should not hold Enclave Membership that we show our fellow denizens of the DC Wastes that we too are human. We are just like you. We are no better than you but we will help you."
"Of course, #210 also has to pay for stealing 'Enclave Dominators' from us."
Oh, that's better.
With that being said, the three Enclave Heavy Weapons Specialist drove that poor little jeep up to Vault Tec HQ, the bots letting them pass due to their Enclave issue Power Armor and stuck that salt lick on the front door.
"HEY! #210! WHO'S THE BITCH NOW?!" #209 yelled as the three scrambled for cover before the brahmin got to Vault Tec HQ's front door.
"Okie dokie Mister Chucky Camden!!"
Despite the lack of sleep, itching wounds, aching limbs and mental exhaustion Charlie was currently suffering, he couldn't help but smile at the sight of Sylphee running towards him, clutching her surprisingly cute Deathclaw plushie backpack. Quickly gathering his own things and shouldering the confetti/rocket launcher, the odd duo wandered off into the Wastelands. Generally speaking travelling at night was a
very slightly stupid thing to do, but Charlie sure as hell wasn't spending the rest of the night at that campsite.
Walking briskly to match the skipping Sylphee's pace, Charlie was taken by surprise when the short girl stumbled and fell, grabbing his arm in the process.
"Sylphee, waaaa!!" he cried as he fell, rolling over and over down the hill until he came to a abrupt halt at the base. A second later the air was forcefully expelled from his lungs as Sylphee landed on his chest with a loud thud.
"Hey! Hey! Hey! No touchy!"
insane slightly irrational girl smacked Charlie silly around the head before jumping off him, stunning him briefly. Groaning, he sat up with a grimace to the sight of a shack. He jumped up at that, glancing around frantically as he remembered what happened last time he stopped at such a place for the night. Thankfully there was no trace of dangerously large, musical brutes, at least for now. Exhaling in relief, he stuck his head inside to see what Sylphee was doing.
"Look, Mister Chucky Camden, BlamCo!"
"BlamCo? I love BlamCo Mac & Cheese!" he said, walking in and crouching down to inspect the food stash they'd found. The mere thought of some warm, steamy Mac & Cheese had him salivating at the mouth, it had been far too long since he'd last had some. As he grabbed a packet he noticed the bloodstains on Sylphee's dress for the first time. He could have sworn they weren't there earlier...
"Hey, Sylphee, hey!" grabbing her shoulder and shaking her lightly to grab her attention. "Are you injured? It looks like you might be bleeding." he said, concern etched on his face.
The Wildest Wastedlands! | Dah Citermerdel Outskirts | Mister Smack Snack Shack
Sylphee has presents!
"Blood? Where?" Sylphee asked as she twirled around in a circle trying to find out if her back might be bleeding. This act could have gone on for roughly 10 minutes as Sylphee would have twirled one way and then the other and then the other and then the other and then the other until she got too dizzy to keep twirling. It was rather fortunate that Mister Chucky Camden was with Sylphee to keep her from doing so and keep Sylph from banging her head against a wall at having to witness such stupidity. A firm set of hands stopped Sylphee about half way through her second set of twirls before she spotted the blood on the front of her outfit.
"Oh... that?! It's nothing Mister Chucky Camden. It's not even mine, honest! Cross my heart, hope to die but pleeeeeeeease don't stick a Mister Prickly Needle in my eye. I hate Mister Prickly needles." The Crimson Menace said with a shudder that ran up her whole entire spine.
Still there was the question of blood, mainly whose blood and why was it stuck on Sylphee's recently washed uniform? The answer was quite simple, really really. Considering the fact that Mister Chucky Camden was kinda sorta like the Big Brother that Sylphee had never had, the kind that was too touchy touchy, the kind that saved you from Mister and Missy Metal Pants Paladines and Mister Crap Ass' and Myra Lurks, considering that he was super nice to Sylphee even when she used his gift without asking him if she could and considering that he was always nice nice to her, Sylphee had decided that Mister Chucky Camden needed a new Christmas gift since Mister Smanta Smirk didn't give Mister Chucky Camden something that he liked.
"I got you something for Christmas Mister Chucky Camden," Sylphee squee'd as she grabbed her Mister Death Craw bag-o-treasures and went shoulder deep into his gift giving gullet, humming as she did so.
"I'm sorry that it didn't have time to dry much, it's kinda sorta gooey still." The Blue Haired Homicidal Hobbyist apologized in advance as she continued her search for Mister Chucky Camden's gift, taking extra special care to toss Mister Pinchy on the ground next to her, "Sit Mister Pinchy, sit!"
"Oh it's in here somewhere, Mister Chucky Camden, I promise." The Rouge Rebel swore as her hand finally latched onto Mister Chucky Camden's gift, her eyes going wide with excitement, "No close your eyes and no peeking."
It should be noted that the polite thing for Mister Chucky Camden to do at this point would be to close his eyes and hold his hands and wait for Sylphee to bestow her gift upon him. To do anything else would have spoiled the surprise and made Sylphee quite the angry girl, though how angry and for how long depended as much as on how fast and which direction the winds were blowing as how nice Sylphee's "Big Bro" was to her.
It should also be noted that at no point in making this gift were any animals harmed or treated inhumanely.
So what was it that Sylphee gave her would be "Big Brother?"
Apparently Syphee had thought that Mister Chucky Camden needed a close quarters weapon since she had given him what looked like a shank... made out of bone... a thigh bone to be exact... extracted from the thigh of one of Mister Crap Ass' mini-midggies and sharpened to a point... with a handle wrapped in some sort of still wet mini-midggy skin colored leather... with a smiley face carved into the handle.
"Tada!" The Little Blue Haired Psycho Tada'd, before turning around to start preparing dinner. As she did, Mister Chucky Camden caught sight of Sylphee's back as her top fluttered, a back that had been crisscrossed with old scars, some of which had been opened by Mister Crap Ass' punch.
Lucy Black - Springvale:
"Panic, Hatred & Exhaustion"
Lucy listened to #411's story with a somber look on her face. Her own thoughts had begun to stir, as much it pained her to acknowledge that the Enclave wasn't some cackling bunch of evil megalomaniacs, surely this woman could show some sense of disgust towards the atrocities that the Enclave had committed? Hell, even FalloutJack, her father's intended killer had shown remorse due to a conflict of ideals. Fair enough, but Lucy was branded with something before journeying to the Enclave Vault, a legacy; "The Daughter of Isaac".
Part of Lucy was swayed by #411's story, one that now seemed sincere once the helmet had come off, she wanted to reach out and wonder why this person had shared such a story.
And then the small portable monitor, displaying what appeared to be a live video feed, had dashed any and all of Lucy's sympathy. The Ex-Gauss Girl looked up at #411 with unbridled rage. The pale girl that had danced with an Undertaker, would recognise just such an Undertaker anywhere. His impeccably neat clothing was unusually tattered and stained. But Lucy Black, the eyepatched girl that mourned for the death of her friend and almost lost herself in the process was looking at a cursed miracle. Thomas Shifty Mcgee was alive...but for 20 seconds lest she taken too long with her decision. Decision? No no no, Lucy, don't delude yourself. There was no right answer in this situation.
#411 arrived with a plan and if such a plan was to trap Lucy Black into a corner. Then well done, for she had succeeded.
What was she to do? Save her friend at the cost of another? It never ended. This cycle with the Enclave, it would never end. Unless...
What happened next had Lucy in even greater shock. Jonathan had snuck into the house, quickly eliminating a guards sight and #411's sidearm. Even more unexpected was how the BlamCo Princess, with the sheer presence and rage of a Behemoth, had eliminated both guards with a mere bumper sword no less.
Oh god no -
#411 had made a recording, one which painted the trio in a terrible light. #411, on an unsanctioned visit, had sauntered into Lucy's home after all the fighting...and reigned her back into the mess that was her past. It was inescapable. Inescapable...
Getting up from the table, Lucy turned her attention to Jonathan, there was a conflict of tears in her eyes while she stared at him.
One was gratitude, "Thank you.", another was sadness, "Why did you come back?" and finally, defeat. "I don't deserve this."
Lucy turned her attention to Kristin, who had resumed a more casual stance with the blade resting on her shoulder, they were both intently looking at one another. "I did nothing to deserve this.", Lucy barely uttered those words, "This was my mess, not yours."
"I just wanted peace, you provoked me.", Lucy grabbed the laser pistol on the table and walked over to the calm & composed #411. "You put me in an impossible position and making me choose between the lives of my friends? Here on an unsanctioned visit. You're defying FalloutJack...his orders were clear: No more interference from the Enclave. None. It was our business, we loved Isaac."
Lucy laid the laser pistol on the table and in the process she had grabbed #411's knife that had smashed the table.
"The way you feel about him - it's a little obvious - that's how I feel about Thomas Shifty McGee.", Lucy looked somber once more and her grip tightened on the knife. "Not a hair is meant to be touched on my head. I also learned something at the armory; every Enclave weapon is registered and accounted for. So take this instead and leave my friends alone..."
Lucy pulled off her eyepatch to reveal the crimson eye that she had grown to despise upon discovery. It was a remnant of her time spent in the Enclave Vault.
"You know that the Enclave gave me this eye, Jack gave me the eyepatch, so they'll find out..."
With a quick exhale, Lucy plunged the blade into her eye, messily attempting to gouge it out as she hit the ground, her knees buckling from the sheer pain. Her screams echoed through house, but the soon-to-be one-eyed girl pulled on the skewered eye until she no longer could. Maybe it all happened too fast, but Lucy's lack of sleep combined with this immense pain had caused her to faint.