Kristin Blamco - Springvale
"Fly me to the moon"
"Since it looks like you two are a package deal, I could either eliminate the baggage," The Soya agent greeted The BlamCo Heiress in a brief condescending manner, "or I could include her. I will need you to design and create weapons for the soldiers that I've gathered. Your... compatriot... can train them, seeing as she managed to eliminate two Enclave Heavy Weapons Specialists with nothing but a sword. Once they're outfitted and trained, your work is done. Unless you'd like to take part in the changes to come, help remake the Enclave be the beacon of hope that it should be."
For the first time, Jonathan and #411 bore witness to Kristin's daggered glare. An expression of intensity that was only rivalled by Miss Black's one-eyed harrowing focus. The contrast from the upbeat Princess' usual carefree disposition was a foreboding sign of danger to the perceptive eye. Miss Black was carefully placed on kitchen counter.
"I will not be long, Agent of Soya.", Kristin peered down the bridge of her nose at #411. Then her eyes shifted to Jonathan, her expression softened as she nodded respectfully, the slightest of smiles could be seen. "As an agent of BlamCo, I must see to the burial rights of fellow warriors that have fallen in battle. Regardless of their dairy-less origins.", the somber weight of responsibility layered the Heiress' voice. She took no joy in this part.
Unknown to the arguing occupants of the room, Kristin had been attempting to clear the haze of bloodlust that the battle had brought. During that time, the BlamCo Heiress had taken to removing the armor from the Soya agents that had fallen beneath her blade. Most had to be pried or further broken from their bodies, but Kristin had succeeded in pulling the two men from their shameful encasements, unshackling them from an afterlife in Purgatory by allowing the Gods to reach their hearts and tug at their souls.
Now let it be said that Kristin Blamco did yearn for battle in the name of BlamCo, but that did not mean that those who were misguided were left to rot. Such an act would be dishonorable. Kristin was prepared to walk against the rivers of death, two souls in hand and offer them to the Gods as forgiveness and respect. Which roughly translated to Kristin dragging both of the men outside by the ankles, through the dirt and 200 paces from Miss Black's home and into more burnt-out ruins where dirt was scooped over there bodies. One BlamCo cheese cupcake, taken from the kitchen, adorned the foreheads of the corpses that were stripped of their clothing.
Kristin kneeled between the bodies, her Bumper sword in her left hand and two cupcakes in her right.
"The Gods of Cream, Milk, Cheese and Nipples. I firmly clutch the instrument of death in my left hand and an offering of Dairy in my right.", Kristin closed her eyes and bowed her head, "As I ask for forgiveness, allow me to be so bold as to present you with the unshackled souls of the forsaken. I ask of your benevolence! They know not what the Moon holds. They knew not of the Round Cheese-made Heaven that smiles upon us during the evening."
Kristin sheathed the Bumper Sword across her back and placed the cupcakes on the Fallen corpses.
"Let them play amongst the stars."
Kristin got to her feet and started to make her way back to Miss Black's home.
"Rest in peace." The somber Princess spoke under her breath as she steeled herself for the declaration that was to follow.
"You do not seem to know when to give up, Agent of Soya!", Kristin declared as she entered house once more, her voice echoed along the hallways and she slowly reached the kitchen once more, brandishing her Bumper Sword. "Regardless of how many times you offer, threaten, bargain or merely talk...just accept defeat. You have lost this day."
Slowly advancing towards #411, Kristin's voice boomed with absolute pride.
" 'Baggage'...'Train them'. You wish me to roll over for your imaginary army while your own bodyguards were so easily dispatched? Surrender myself to you while your words ring hollow? How utterly foolish!"
The Dairy Queen circled #411, her silver hair that usually cascaded down her shoulders was wildly swept by the strong winds of the day, eventually she had moved closer to Jonathan. Close enough for the Pugilist to look upon the face of steadfast conviction and defiance. Her kind green eyes had become harsh and every facet of her disposition was positioned in a manner to project her presence upon others.
"That seems to be the sort of language that your kind is used to. Desperation brought about by cowards who have forfeited their right to make demands when they encase their bodies in shameful armor. You have given me no reason to fear the 'might' of your imaginary army!"
Kristin put a hand on Jonathan's shoulder as she stood by his side. From his view, he could see the effortless manner in which Kristin Blamco pointed a modified & reinforced Bumper Sword in one hand at #411, surely a man of his intellect could make an estimate of the weapon's mass.
"I can see your army now. Dead men walk as they swarm before me. LEST YOU FORGET...that we, the agents of the Gods. The Paladins of BlamCo are now the ones that stand in thine way!"
Kristin took a few steps toward #411.
"This war had already begun the moment you stepped foot within the home of Miss Black and by extension, the new Springvale BlamCo Branch. My Advisor graced you with a declaration and I am allowing you to live another day!"
And on that furious declaration, The BlamCo Heiress swung the-blade-that-had-cracked-the-Earth at the discarded helmet of #411 with tremendous force. Crushing the helmet beyond repair and shattering more floorboards of Miss Black's poor home in the process.
"I care not for your poison-laced proposals! We, Blamco's, carve our own path!", Kristin turned to Jonathan, "What say you, my dear Advisor!?"
The Wild Wastelands | 324 West Black Lane (The Blam Shack!)
Preachy Preachers are Precious
Enclave Intelligence Specialist #411 held her ground against the ground trembling typhoonous tirade that was Kristin Blamco's declaration. As ridiculous as her strung together phrases were, there was something rather impressive about the way the woman commanded the room with her presence. She paid attention to each nuance of every gesture not because #411 was plotting to run for government office one day but rather to be utilized during future interrogation sessions. As rivetous as the speech was there were a few informational inconsistencies that needed to be cleared.
"If you're quite done..." The Enclave Intelligence officer interjected before giving Jonathan a chance to respond, "I should clear up a few things. First and foremost, there are no men in this army. They are in fact all women."
Picking up the viewing tablet that contained the Vulture E-32's feed, the Enclave Agent changed the frequency to pick up that of another EyeBot, this on hovering near the ruins of Vault 108.
"Look for yourself."
The Tablet's image had changed and no longer showed the where about of Thomas Shifty McGee but instead focused upon a swarm of similar dressed and similar looking women. They were so similar, in fact, that they were very difficult if not impossible to tell apart. Each one of the blue haired, sky blue eyed women was dressed simply in a red vault suit that had a skirt rather than the traditional pants. They were all crudely armed with various found weapons such as pipes, chains, knives, crude spears and each was jabbering at one another in what appeared to be a language that wasn't English.
Of note to Kristin was a stockpile of empty BlamCo packages near where the group was gathered. It appeared that they were preparing a simple, warm and nutritious meal consisting of BlamCo Mac N' Cheese. Unfortunately the meal would not taste very good since it appeared that they were burning the meal.
"They need your help," #411 said to Kristin and Jonathan, "They'll either starve or die ill equipped to take on the Enclave."
The Wild Wastelands | Abandoned Blam Shack of Confessions
Sylph thought about why she had asked the question. There was no real reason for the query other than the thought of perhaps it was some sort of name that the man had created to fit his chosen persona and weapons. Or perhaps, Charlie Cannon came from a family of human cannon balls.
"No reason." She stated, though it was a poorly hid lie, "It's just that it sounded like you made up the name."
Of course Sylph wasn't Sylph'd real name. She'd forgotten what it was since the last time it was uttered was before she was sold to her Father. Perhaps she was looking for a way to connect to Charlie Cannon that didn't involve being put under his control, not that she hadn't thought about it. He seemed like a kind enough man, one that wouldn't overly abuse her leash were it placed in his hands.
"Maybe we should sleep soon and then we can decide where to go in the morning." Sylph suggested as she pointed towards the lone cot in the room, "I'll take first watch while you rest."
"I'm Robin, like the bird except I don't sing so good and without the red" she stopped there not wanting to set off another one of #209's alarms. "And it sure is, from my mother, I think." She returned the smile "And not just any Pipboy, I've modified it a couple times now. How long have you been around? If you don't mind me asking. One of my old commanding officers worked in vault tech R&D before the war so he helped my break the initial security protocols, funnily enough once past the outer layers the device stopped putting up a fight so it could be modified like crazy. You should see this. Hide time." And in the blink of an eye she wasn't anywhere "Hi there!" She reappeared a second later.
Hearing 209 speak she thought it best to address it now "While it pains me to do myself out of alcohol you should know," How to say this politely? "You aren't my type, it's nothing personal." Well technically...
The Wild Wastelands | Abandoned Shack of Sleepytimes
'Made up my name? Why would I do that?' Charlie wondered. He'd never really thought about his name too much before, it's what he'd been given so it was what he used. He mused that if he'd been called something ridiculous like "Slagathor" or "North West" he may have gone by something different.
"I'll take first watch while you rest."
The cot Sylph was pointing to looked very uncomfortable but it was probably better than the floor. Charlie didn't intend to sleep there though, at least not initially.
"No no, you should sleep first since you're inj-"
Charlie's protest was broken by a jaw-cracking yawn bursting from him. Slightly embarrased he chuckled a little before standing up.
"Okay I'll sleep first then. Wake me up when it's my turn to keep watch."
Rolling out his sleeping roll Charlie collapsed onto the bed and fell asleep almost immediately, his dreams full of exploding mirelurks and stab-happy, blue-haired little murderers.
Black Residence: You Can (Not) Go Your Way
"Let's get her to Megaton first."
Oooooh, she's going for the sympathy points. Careful, she's a good one.
What the figure was true. The only reason she would probably show caring, even a hint of it, would be to find a way to get Jonathan to agree with her. Unfortunately for her, Jonathan had been playing this kind of game way before she was probably born; 'twas why he got as far in the Enclave as he did. Even if he was the greatest scientist to grace earth since Isaac Newton, the stigma of being caught hacking would have ment he would be left to rot in a room that was much more akin to a cell. He needed to learn how to manipulate people if he wanted to get anywhere, and over the years he had grown to so good at it he would probably believe his own lies if he pressed himself long enough. A few key words and an unsuspecting mind makes all the difference when trying to get what you want.
Luckily for Jonathan, he still had his wits about him, and remained unmoved by her show of sympathy.
What was curious, though, was how she turned the colouring of her armour from black to silver. Such technology was still in a theoretical stage when he was still around. Just how much had they progressed technologically in as little as ten years?
"Before I tell you anything, just know that even a whisper of what I say coming from your mouths is as good as putting a pistol to your head and pulling the trigger. I won't have any problems submitting the report stating that you are a danger to the Enclave and its goals."
Awww, look at her. She's soooo cute when she's trying to threaten the guy that took her gun away and could blast her head off. Probably. You aren't that incompetent, are you?
"I have an army that needs weapons and training."
An army. She has an army. And it's loyal to her. Riiiiiiight.
Such a claim really was quite outrageous. A single person getting herself an army, all the while not showing her true colours and remaining trusted enough to carry out missions showed either of two things: The new enclave was incompetent at keeping their agents at check, or she was bullshitting them. Unless...
"I inferred from the lock on your personnel file that you were either someone that could create the weapons that I need or train the army itself."
Why was his profile locked? He once was amongst the most high ranking personell of R&D, true, but years passed and he was never confirmed dead. So it would make sence if the file was left unlocked in case a patrol or agent on the field would find him or his remains and update his status. And if there was a lock, that meant she didn't know everything about him.
"Since it looks like you two are a package deal, I could either eliminate the baggage,"
Right. Eliminate the woman that just took down two power-armoured specialists with a goddamn sword. On her own. Without a weapon. Hollow threats! Hollow threats Everywhere!
Still, Jonathan didn't like the way the agent was referring to Kristin. Kristin looked like the person that was too proud to take kindly to being called baggage
Seriously, though, isn't it pissing you off how she acts like she's the most threatening person in the room where all she has going for her is that if she goes down so does this Thomas McGee? Which could, for all intents and purposes, be a faint? I say kill her.
"Or I could include her."
She speaks as if she actually has a choice! It was cute before, but it's getting old.
"I will need you to design and create weapons for the soldiers that I've gathered. Your... compatriot... can train them, seeing as she managed to eliminate two Enclave Heavy Weapons Specialists with nothing but a sword. Once they're outfitted and trained, your work is done."
At the very least, her plan, if that was actually the case, was laid bare. And it was evidently clear that she needed him more than she showed. And Kristin. The agent was clearly attempting to feint her need of Kristin's battle prowess by insulting her. Good. That meant he could be more flexible with his demands.
"Unless you'd like to take part in the changes to come, help remake the Enclave be the beacon of hope that it should be."
Yeah, I'm sure she'd listen to your objections very heartily after you give her everything she could possibly want from you. Then she'd pat you in the back, thank you kindly, and shoot you in the head.
Everything that was needed to be said was said. All that was left was the discussion of the terms. Jonathan turned to face Kristin and-
Shiver me timbers, look at her!
So lost in thought was Jonathan, making sure to make a point of every little detail the Agent said, that he had completely ignore what the BlamCo Princess was doing. And as Jonathan looked at her, all he saw in her stare was barely contained murder. The contrast to her regular appearance was evident to him, and he was filled with fear that she would let loose on the Agent and ruin everything. As she turned to face Jonathan, her features noticibly less violent, Jonathan softly shook his head, as though trying to tell her not to do anything rash, worry evident in his face.
What happened then, Jonathan did not quite expect. Jonathan and Agent both stood silently as Kristin was... giving due to the dead? While he expected Kristin to be kind (in her own, abusive way) to her subjects, he never expected this kind of work for those she deemed godless, that had attacked one of the people she considered her own. She was... kind. Kinder than most people Jonathan had met.
Then, as though the funeral rites were the calm, Kristin turned her attention back to the agent and brought the storm.
"'Baggage'" Kristin started, her booming voice filled with pride.
Shit. I knew she wasn't gonna let that slide.
Oh! Oh! I wonder if she'll cut her to pieces horizontally or vertically. Let's make a bet! I say vertically!
"'Train them'. You wish me to roll over for your imaginary army while your own bodyguards were so easily dispatched? Surrender myself to you while your words ring hollow? How utterly foolish!"
I'll be honest, I didn't expect her to pick up that the whore of Babylon was preaching bullshizzle. I must admit, she's smarter than she looks. Not like that says much, mind you, but I won't classify her as goldfish-head anymore. I hereby announce that she, from this moment henceforth, will be classified as dodo-head.
The princess circled the Agent as a wolf pack does with its prey, and it was evident from the way the princess eyed the agent that even the slightest of provocations would mean the agent's end.
"That seems to be the sort of language that your kind is used to"
'Your kind'. You should probably take offence to that. You are, after all, also one of her kind, aren't you?
"Desperation brought about by cowards who have forfeited their right to make demands when they encase their bodies in shameful armor."
Hey, you don't have to wear armor to be a coward! Just take a look at Johnny boy, here!
You have given me no reason to fear the 'might' of your imaginary army!"
At that moment, Kristin placed, rather forcibly, her hand on Jonathan's shoulder, and he barely held back groaning from the pain. As she rather effortlessly raised her humongous weapon and pointed it at the Agent, and upon seeing the flare and hint of murder in her eyes, Jonathan started frantically shaking his head in disagreement of the course the BlamCo Princess was taking as he stared at her in horror.
"I can see your army now. Dead men walk as they swarm before me. LEST YOU FORGET...that we, the agents of the Gods. The Paladins of BlamCo are now the ones that stand in thine way!"
I don't like the way this is going. I REALLY don't like the way this is going.
Jonathan's heart rate skyrocketed as Kristin started taking steps towards #411.It was at that moment that Jonathan heard the sound of... popcorn being eaten? He turned towards the direction, then saw it was the figure eating and so frantically turned back to face the princess.
Whaaaaat? said the figure, her voice muffled from the munching of the popcorn, This shit is getting intense!
"This war had already begun the moment you stepped foot within the home of Miss Black and by extension, the new Springvale BlamCo Branch. She said as she raised her sword at the agent. If this were a cartoon, Jonathan would probably be munching on his hat from the stress of the moment.
Shit! Shit! Shit! Shit! Shit! SHIT!
Holy Shit! Here it comes!
Kristin swung at the agent's helmet, utterly destroying it.
"My Advisor graced you with a declaration and I am allowing you to live another day!"
Jonathan let out the deepest sigh of relief he probably had in years. He felt that he was pretty close to having a heart attack.
Well, that was disappointing. My fault for getting my expectations high over a bunch of incompetent idiots.
"I care not for your poison-laced proposals! We, Blamco's, carve our own path!"
She was ruining everything!
"What say you, my dear Advisor!?"
After a moment of staring at her blankly, Jonathan facepalmed with such force that his face visibly reddened where his palm hit. Before he could muster a response, #411, apparently unmoved by the Princesses' display of force, presented a counterargument.
"If you're quite done, I should clear up a few things. First and foremost, there are no men in this army. They are in fact all women."
Take that, Patriarchy!
#411 proceeded to pick up her tablet, and, after tinkering with it for a bit, changed the feed. What Jonathan saw left him in shock, though he suppressed himself from showing it.
Clones. They actually have freaking clones!
Yeah, can you imagine a world with more than one whores or dodo-heads? That would be terrible!
As Jonathan stood there aghaust, thinking back to remember what he knew about the cloning project, he noticed how the agent seemingly highlighted stockpiles of BlamCo Ham & Cheese and the clones' inability to cook it well.
"They need your help, they'll either starve or die ill equipped to take on the Enclave."
She's a devil in disguise, alright.
"MISS KRISTIN!" Jonathan shouted commandingly, to make sure he got her attention. "If you could spare a moment of your time, I would like that we discuss matters... privately."
Kristin approached, and Jonathan moved further away from #411, to make certain that what was said wouldn't be heard. After making it a ways away, but not far enough that monitoring #411 would be difficult, Jonathan put his hat in the way as a makeshift wall, to make sure that the agent wouldn't pick up what he wanted to say through the movements of his lips.
"My dear princess," he started in a whisper, just loud enough for Kristin to hear, "I understand your frustration, believe me. Working for the enclave, even a splinter cell, is the one thing that I realy don't want to do. But now is not the time to act without thinking!
He then said the rest not in words, but by lip motion
(Unless we come to an agreement with her, Thomas' life might be at stake, and he means the world to Lucy. Please, let me handle this.)
But how are you going to handle this? came the million dollar question from the ever present and ever mocking figure. And as much as it pained Jonathan to admit it, it was right. He wasn't sure what to do to not fall into her web and not jeopardize McGee's life. He lowered his head and placed his hand on his chin in contemplation.
Yep, I would say that your situation is pretty hopeless. From where I'm standing, eating this delicious popcorn, you have two options: You can join her, repeating the whole "working for the people you hate due to fear" thing and possibly installing a new dictator to replace the last. Here's the new boss, same as the old boss. Or, you could refuse co-operation with her, she reveals your declaration of war to the rest of the Enclave, probably kills McGee and your days are numbered. Whichever you choose, you lose. So, what kind of loss will you choose?
Jonathan's face lit up as an epiphany came to him.
Jonathan turned back to face #411 with a flare in his eyes and a grin of satisfaction on his face.
"I have heard the full extent of your plan, analyzed it, and found it wanting." he proceeded to point at the tablet, "Unless I am mistaken, those are clones. I recall the Clone project, a friend worked on it. It was created as a way to counter the small numbers the Enclave always had... but not replace the regular soldiers. The reason is apparent from the feed: They are incapable of complex thought. And, again, unless I am mistaken, they are hardwired to follow the orders of one person. Unless you believe that brute force will be enough to deal with the Enclave, both are crippling weaknesses. What if they get outsmarted and outmaneuvered? What if their commander gets killed? You are leaving too much to chance, and I stand unimpressed."
"Fortunately," he said as he assumed a more relaxed stance, "I have a way to counteract this. It's simple. You'll need allies. Regular, human allies. Unfortunately, your ties to the Enclave would probably shut all potential allies off." he pointed at himself with his thumb, "That is where we come in. Kristin and I will wander the Wasteland and strike deals with the major players of the region, so that we have more than just clones to work with when it comes to war. Once alliances are established, I will create weapons for your clones, and we will commence the uprising."
Ah, I see what you're doing there. Impressive.
"Sure, it may take a longer time, but I would rather do things slow and succeed than rush and fail, don't you? Besides, through the uprising our new allies will see our will to change the Enclave into a force of good, and thus trust us more, solving the problem of our reputation. We'll need to eventually work with the rest of the Wasteland if we want to change things for the better. And we are, after all, doing all this to change things for the better, aren't we?" he cast a knowing glare at the Agent.
"So, what say you? I think I have noted why your plan wouldn't work rather well. And even if I am wrong, my plan still gives us a better chance to suceed, better long-term benefits, and we'll work towards the same goal in the end."
Chester smirked, watching the young lady vanish, leaving a barely visible wispy shape quivering in the air, before coming back into sight just as quickly as she had disappeared.
"Mighty fine trick you have there, little Miss. Don't wish to imply nothin' but you don't look the violent type, so you best keep that pipboy of yours in prime condition, hate to see anything untoward happen to a young thing like you." He sniffed loudly, hacking a loud and unpleasant sounding cough, followed by a spit to the ground, wiping his mouth and nostril holes with a rag from his pocket.
"Now, in answer to yer question..." he continued, stuffing the rag back where it came from. "I'm not as old as I look, would you believe I'm only 103 this coming February? 103... makes you think, huh? Makes you think..." He trailed off, eyes looking kinda glassy for a few moments as Robin spoke across him to the Enclave nearby.
"Them soldier boys givin you trouble?" He asked, snapping out of his thoughts. "I know the ol' sayin boys will be boys n' all, but don't let em get the better of you, young Robin. One moment they be sliding a drink into your hand, next minute... well, I'd rather not say. Best keep yer wits about yourself" He kept a beady eye on the Enclave, letting out a low Hrmmm every now and again, before turning to Trixie.
"You're a quiet one, arn't yer? Don't mind me I won't bite... you gotta name and a profession, young lady? I know a grease monkey when I see one..." His eye twinkled at Robin. "But unlike our friend here you ain't got that look about you."
Trixie giggled at what Robin said to #209
"Rejected...!" She remarked in a hushed tone.
Listening to what Chester was saying to Robin, Trixie scoffed.
"Them soldier boys don't normally need to get the better of you, shoot first ask questions later isn't just a term referring to guns for some of them." Trixie stated against Chesters advice to Robin. Turning back to #209 for a moment "No offense".
A slight *chss* sound was made as she opened some Sunset.
"The name's Trix. What do you mean 'profession', what do you think I'm doing in a traveling caravan." She continued.
"Maybe I'm not a greasy monkey as you claim, but I can probably repair any weapon you can find for me. I guess I should be more specific, I sell things people actually need to survive in this hellhole." She gave Chester a look as to offend the usefulness of his wares. "Weapons, ammo, and basic meds." She thought to quickly correct her statement. "No Psycho!" she pointed at #209 as she said that. "I know how you enclave boys relieve the stress. I don't have any." She turned back to Chester again to continue. "And as you perhaps could tell from before, maybe not from the other guards that cowered behind the rocks, sometimes I get some pay for protection. It was just lucky I happen to know a thing or two about them bots."
Taking a swig from her drink and opening another for the now cap-holding Enclave she turned to Robin. "You should watch who you boast about that thing on your arm to, bird. Some people would go to extremes to get their mitts on something like that.
Kristin Blamco - Springvale
"An unlikely agreement"
"Look for yourself."
Kristin remained silent upon receiving the portable screen. Allowing Jonathan a moment to take a good look at the screen, Kristin started to fiddle with the controls. Thankfully, one of the buttons were clearly labelled 'zoom in' & 'zoom out'. She cycled through a variety of emotions as she pawed at the screen to move the camera around.
- Firstly, she was shocked that this supposed army was composed of young, unarmored and ill-equipped females. How could such a woman consider this to be an army?!
- Secondly - and this was dire - they all seemed to match the blue-haired, red dress description that Miss Black had described. This girl, or these girls...one of them at least, must be the much cared for 'Sylph' as Kristin was told. The BlamCo Heiress had agreed to the search and immediate safety of the blue-haired female, in exchange for Lucy's allegiance to Blamcoism. Never had she thought that finding such a person would be so simple.
- Thirdly, these girls were in no manner suitable for direct close-quarters combat if their crude weapons of choice were any indication. Their opposition had to be taken into consideration and the weapons should counter that of their enemies. If these girls were to fight the Enclave, shameful as they may be, they would no doubt be cut down within a matter of minutes. Now Kristin had never received formal training for how she handled her blade, but she was praised for her passion...not her form. These girls showed neither discipline nor passion, as evidenced over the monitor when a 'Sylph' dropped a hammer on her own foot.
- Fourthly, were these girls coerced into a war, or did they truly fight for own beliefs? For all she knew, these girls were cannon-fodder. And as an honorable knight of BlamCo, Kristin would have none of that. While battle was glorious within Blamco tradition, human life was not to be senselessly wasted, especially those of warriors on the battlefield.
- Fifthly and finally, Kristin had to address the Brahmin in the room...their food preparations were severely lacking. T-they were burning the food. They know not what real food tastes like! How will they fight on an unholy stomach?! Their bodies are weak and proper sustenance could turn the tide of battle!
Completely lost in thought, she was pulled aside by Jonathan. "I need a few moments to consider your offer...", Kristin muttered to #411 without looking at her, still staring at the video feed, clearly concerned over what she had seen on the monitor.
Kristin nodded earnestly when she followed what Jonathan was trying to tell her. So this was why the Agent of Soya had not already been dispatched by Jonathan or Lucy. Kristin hadn't heard anything of the their exchange while she had engaged the bodyguards earlier. This 'Thomas' fellow must have been important if Miss Black was willing to gouge out an eye rather than talk. Well, her mind was made-up, she would aid the needs of those who followed her to the best of her abilities.
Kristin watched Jonathan during his speech, he could navigate the inner workings of this woman's plans better than she could. She felt both grateful and bitter over the awe-inspiring display of subtle conversational prowess. Perhaps this required further explanation, being left out of the loop due a lack of skill or ability was exactly what lead to the failure of the New Vegas BlamCo Branch when she was put in a managerial position. Kristin knew nothing of the business's inner-workings or financial affairs...she just loved to prepare the meals. Watching Jonathan weave through the strategic conversational trappings had reminded her of how the New Vegas Council chastised her for ruining the BlamCo branch, bringing further shame upon her family's name...all due to her own ignorance.
She was grateful that Jonathan was a man of honour, one that stayed true to his word by assisting her. She had felt the sting of rejection and false-approval just enough for her to recognise the signs, but not enough for it to stop hurting...the BlamCo Heiress had made many 'friends', only to discover that they were either after her affluence or food. This was not the case though, Jonathan stood before an Agent of BlamCo and Soya and he had chosen BlamCo.
The thought made her smile to herself, returning some measure of her own joviality. When they had the chance, Kristin intended to make a nice meal for Jonathan, perhaps some wine as well to show her thanks.
Jonathan's speech was finishing up, and while she agreed for the most part, she loathed the idea of working for an Agent of Soya. But after the shocking display on the video feed, Kristin was not about to let countless lives be lost over her personal grudges. If anything, this was a test from the Gods.
"I have more to add.", Kristin walked over to Jonathan's side, smiling at him before turning to face #411. "Your army appears ill-equipped, but that's where my esteemed Weaponsmith falls in. I care more for the lives of these girls on the monitor. I will not allow them to senselessly march to their death without giving them a fighting chance and proper training."
Kristin Blamco, Heiress to the BlamCo family fortune sighed and with great emotional effort, pushed aside her personal grudges against the Agent of Soya.
"In time, I will gladly train these girls, not for the Enclave, but for the sanctity of their lives as warriors.", Kristin looked at #411, not with malice, but with absolute sincerity. "I ask that Lucy Black is left alone and whatever you hold above her head is given back to her. And once we are done, our ties to you will be severed. As the Princess of BlamCo, those are my conditions for working with you."
"It wasn't exactly rejection, just having an understanding of which tool is needed for which job." Was that supposed to sound better? "I mean he's sweeter than some people who've almost killed me." Oddly the tension was building up again after the fire fight died down; she'd not wanted to offend 209# despite what the wrench might have meant, partly because she didn't like offending anyone but also because he was heavily armed and still unpredictable.
"But you have a point, it's not exactly something I can keep hidden but I can go on a bit, it's just all so interesting I mean the quantum implications of cloaking could fill a whole book in fact I might actually do that some time. Though anyone else who wears this loses their hand. As far as I can tell it contains some sort of blood tester."
The Wild Wastelands | Ruined Skyscraper Camp
Mean as it was, Arizona snickered a little when Thomas' attempt at taking a drag from her offered cigarette resulted in the typical hacking cough of a first-timer. Taking the cigarette back, she placed it between her teeth and grinned.
"Yea, it burns the lungs real nice, don't it?" she teased, before sitting up and reaching into her duffel, "Don't force yourself. Not everyone has the constitution to take up smokin', even in the wastes."
"Sounds like a rather dangerous job. I'll try not to get in your way, Arizona."
She replied with a grunt before she finally pulled her pack up and started to dig through it in earnest, pulling out a beat-up roll of armorer's tools. Then she stood, strode over to her new partner's side and picked up his rifle. She was about to start taking it apart and servicing it when he spoke up.
"Back home, we used to visit this old temple. It preached peace and harmony. It was massive and there were always images of people being happy. They say it was built before the bombs fell so given your ... experience on this world, have you ever been there? Have you been to Disneyland?"
She looked up at him for a few moments with an expression of confusion, and her cigarette threatened to fall out of her mouth before she realized exactly what he was talking about. His earlier mentions of 'Lord Walt' suddenly made much more sense.
"Wait, so that's who you're referring to with this 'Lord Walt' thing. You're talking about Walt Disney. Man, should've seen that coming..." she murmured to herself before shaking her head and going back to his rifle.
"Can't say I have. Before the bombs fell, Disneyland was for families that were rich and could afford to make the trip. Which meant that I was shit outta luck, even if I wanted to go. As for old Walt Disney himself, sure he got himself frozen, but I don't think anyone has any clue where he is now, and I doubt anyone would know how to thaw the poor guy properly nowadays anyway." she told him, before exhaling a thin trail of smoke and quickly adding, "Though you never know with the Wastes. Guy might be up and about, singin' 'It's a Small World' as we speak."
It wasn't that she particularly cared about his beliefs, since she'd come to the conclusion that Wasteland folk would believe anything. It was more that she saw no reason to try and convince him that what he believed, whatever it was, was wrong. After all, who was she to say otherwise? She didn't particularly believe in anything.
She flicked off the ash building at the end of her cigarette before she started to work on the rifle's barrel, saying, "Anyway, we'll need to get moving once the sun's up. I don't like the place. We'll stop by the first town on the way to Dunwich to restock on supplies."
The Wild Wasteland | The Enclave Vault | Interrogation Room #23Conversations between a traitor and Fallout Jack (Except #1) - Co-produced by FalloutJack
Enclave Intelligence Specialist #667 stalked the room like a dog waiting for the command to rip out its victim's throat. He was edgy, nervous, anxious. He was waiting for orders from the people who made more important decisions than he. Until recently Enclave Intelligence Specialist #411 was one of the those people, until she'd been extricated from the field for disobeying orders. At least that's all they had on her so far.
#667 was told to leave the room. Once that was done, there was a pause, and then FalloutJack did indeed enter the room! He was carrying a strange blue-glowing device that hummed. It was roughly the size of a thermos and, once activated, let off what looks like a brief EMP field - but of a very specific modulation and power field - to short out every audio/visual device in the room. This also included Jack's powersuit eyes, and even the green highlights went out!
FalloutJack: Oh, son of a- COME ON!
He banged his helmet'd head against the wall, almost comically. Then...
Skilldex --> Repair --> Powersuit
...it's fixed! Amazing! He put down the device in front of #411.
FalloutJack: So anyway, I just shorted out every surveillance device in here. Let's talk.
Seeing FallouJack enter the room, the woman in the chair, Charlotte Sorrowfeld, couldn't help herself. She smiled brightly at the sight of the man who had once saved her and given her purpose. The presence of the EMP based Audio/Video Disabler was cause for the woman's smile to fade, the presence of such a device meant that FalloutJack wanted their discussion to be off the books. Despite the deadly serious nature of the implications against her and the presence of the man whom she was risking everything for to place at the head of the Enclave, she couldn't help herself.
"Hi Jack. It's been quite a while. You never write." The Bruised Black-Haired Belle quipped as she sat up straight, despite the pain from the repeated blows to her lower back. She gestured at the device in Fallout Sector's leader's hands, "Since you brought that, I'm assuming that you're not here on official business?"
FalloutJack: Oh no, I'm looking into your case. This is how I deal with sensitive matters. And basically...my work keeps me alot. I mean, I just came back from a mission, and you know I get all the weird ones.
He uncuffed #411, took a seat, produced two cups, and opened the- Hey, it IS a thermos! It was a thermos with integrated technology...
FalloutJack: Scotty made it. Want some?
Charlotte nodded quickly, if not a bit too enthusiastically, causing the room to spin for a moment. She wavered in her seat for a moment, managing to steady herself before toppling over and making more of a scene that she already had. She made a note to chastise Enclave Intelligence Specialist #667 about his methodology. A prisoner with a concussion was as good as having a brain dead corpse in the chair.
Whatever it was that FalloutScott had made and put in the thermos, it tasted rather mellow, like honey mixed with... something else. Charlotte hoped that the something else wasn't coolant.
"You know what I like about you?" The woman started, "You're willing to put your life on the line for everyone... not just the Enclave. I read that report about how Natsuki... became a mother and Lilith's origins. If it wasn't you that had written that report, I'd have filed to have the submitter of the report placed in a straight jacket. I mean, a Pub in the middle of no where with a colony of Deathclaws unanchored in Space and Time? That's a little far fetched. But to top it all off, you managed to travel back in time to the moment of the colony's inception and infect the Deathclaw with a modified form of the FEV, not knowing if you would be returning back to your own time... or if you could return at all."
"But you said that you're here because you're looking at my case. Thoughts?"
Jack wouldn't be drinking it if it contained something weird. However, true to Scotty McLaylen tradition, it IS somewhat spiked. Actually kind of a blessing right now, when you think about it. Jack removes his helmet to drink.
FalloutJack: Like I said, the really weird missions. Besides, I had to. The Matriarch would've impaled Natsuki as she was leaving the bar, otherwise.
He hadn't liked that moment, and it shows, but then he moves on.
FalloutJack: Charlotte, why did you investigate Lucy Black? Surely, my report stated well enough that I was taking her off the board and that she was glad to be off. Her beef with the Enclave was more a personal matter between me and Isaac. Resolving that to some extent removes her need to fight us. Plus, my respect for the man had me wanting her to be out of this, anyway. You've made your report, but this wouldn't have happened if you'd done as I asked.
The Wild Wasteland | #324 West Black Lane (The Black Hovel)
The expression on Enclave Intelligence Specialist #411's face did not exactly reflect one of amusement as she heard the counter proposals to her plans. While she was not so infantile as to expect the BlamCo Nitwit and her Asinine Acolyte to agree to her plan without so much as a peep, it did not mean that she had smile while listening to said counter offers. She had to remind herself that she lacked requisite leverage and influence over these two BlamCo-ites to force them to agree to her plans, a tragedy really since her plan was simple. The more people they added to the plan, the more there was room for things to go awry.
The Enclave Specialist sat in the chair and looked ahead blankly as she analysed the potential impact of their counter offers on the goal of her plans. At all costs, Enclave Intelligence Specialist #411 wanted to avoid the worst case scenario, the implication of FalloutJack as an accessory to her plans. Charlotte Sorrowfeld was willing to sacrifice herself and her adopted daughter but not the man who had saved both of them. Once she got back to the Enclave Vault, she would be able to research whatever she could on the two BlamCo Savagaes and find their weaknesses... that is if she survived the charges that she assumed were pending upon her return, namely disobeying the orders to leave Lucy Black alone.
With the scenarios sufficiently analyzed, the dark haired Intelligence Specialist turned towards the two.
"I'll agree to your terms if you agree to mine. First: You have a six month period to recruit whomever you want to assist you. This is period is all I can allow before the girls become a larger threat to the Wasteland than your own nearsighted perception of the Enclave. Second: When you get back from taking Former Asset Black to Megaton, there will be a young woman waiting for you. She is to be the first of your allies. She has the loyalties of the 'Sylphys,' as those who've encountered them have taken to calling them. Third: The young woman is to be kept safe. Should any harm fall upon her, you'll not only have to worry about the 'Sylphys' hunting you, you'll have to worry about me. Fourth: In regard to Miss Black's friend, I will rescind my order upon my extrication from this location, which I should add, is on its way." Enclave Intelligence Specialist #411 stated, "When you killed my bodyguards, The Enclave were notified via a sensor monitoring their vital stats. There is a team on their way as we sit here and waste time. It would be difficult to explain that you two had nothing to do with their deaths should you still be here."
This was #411's goodwill gesture. If she wanted to kill the three, she only had to stall them until the extraction team arrived and informed them of the events.
"I suggest you accept my terms and take Miss Black to Megaton, but before you leave, "#411 paused with a smile on her face, "I want you, Miss Blamco, to swear upon the honor of BlamCo that you will uphold your end of the bargain."
The Wild Wasteland | BlamCo Supply Shack
Sylph Spots Friends?
The Red Menace watched Charlie Cannon fall asleep before she started wondering what it was or why it was that she had bothered to converse with Charlie Cannon the way she had. He was... an idiot... though not on the level her other half was an idiot, but strangely enough it felt oddly soothing to have someone looking out for her welfare due to their own morality rather than looking out for her because they needed to use her somehow. It was the first time in her memory that someone had done that since her arrival in the Wastelands.
The Crimson Crusader shook her head as if she was clearing cobwebs from her brain. She... felt like there had been others like Charlie Cannon but they were like shadows in her mind. She could neither remember name or face of any of them. The knowledge that she could forget people such as that was more than a little disturbing to Sylph. Was she losing her mind?
Brushing the thought aside, she stood up and quietly walked outside of the Shack, resting up against the door frame and looked out into the night. The Wasteland was dark at night and had it not been for the stars, Sylph might as well had stayed within the shack itself since she wouldn't have been able to see an intruder even if it was doing jumping jacks on the tip of her nose.
There was one oddity though, an odd light located just above the horizon, a flickering, dancing light. It was a camp fire, located in a building not too far from where Charlie Cannon and Sylph had made their own camp. Keeping her eye on the fire, Sylph decided that she would investigate who was there in the morning.
The Wild Wastelands | Ruined Skyscraper Camp
Disney World was for Amusement?!
Arizona's reference to the Thomas McGee's most holy of holy sites as being a simple amusement park was... confusing. He had no reason to doubt anything that she was saying but for her to state that the Holy City of Disneyland was a vacation destination for the rich and spoiled was... slightly more painful that a nail extraction. Her sentiment that Lord Walt might be alive and still preaching was ... more comforting but still left Thomas slightly moody that he might have missed the resurrection of the man that had been the center point for his belief structure.
"I'll have to take your word for it, Arizona." The Formerly Friendly now Moody Undertaker said as he turned his back to the fire and to Arizona, "There's two towns on the way to Dunwich. The closest to Dunwich would be Tenpenny Towers. Last I heard, they weren't exactly welcoming of ... smooth skins. The other is Megaton. I'd prefer if we went to Tenpenny though."
The Wild Wastelands | Vault Tec Headquarters Crater
Rejection?! No... way!!!
Enclave Heavy Weapons Specialist #209 wasn't offended by any of the talk revolving Robin's rejection of his advances. He was QUITE aware of the manliness that his armor exuded and were he a woman, he would have had second thoughts about the possibilities revolving a romantic tryst with someone of #209's MANLINESS! For one, Robin would have to start carrying around a rather large stick with which to shoo away any romantic rivals, such as Trixie. Also, having been similarly rejected by Enclave Intelligence Specialist #411 a number of times, he knew that sooner or later, Robin, Trixie and #411 would give into his persistence. Persistence, as #209 had come to understand, was an admirable quality. Besides, if #209 wasn't Robin's type, clearly she was batting for the other team, which was just fine with #209.
Still he did want to have the appearance of being inhospitable.
That was the sound of Enclave Heavy Weapons Specialist #209 slapping Robin's back as a sign of understanding between comrade in arms.
"Naw! I don't care if you like women! But I might get offended if you turn me down for drinks. I mean, you did bruise my knee." Lies. There was no bruising on #209's knee!, " and while my typical punishment for someone doing that might be to cookie cutter my name into their abdomen with my trusty ole Plasma Vulcan, I think your punishment will be drinking with the Enclave Dominators!"
"As for you, Trixie, we Enclave Dominators do not do Psycho thank you very much," The ED 209 said with mock offense, "We take pride in our bodies and work to bring out its fullest potential. How're you gonna do that with Med-X or Psycho or Stimpacks or Coffee?!"
But enough with the boasting. It was time for drinks. Taking the purchased been from Trixie, the Enclave Heavy Weapons Specialist reached into his pack and pulled out a bendy straw and a miniature Tiki Umbrella before taking off his helmet. Released from the confines of his helmet, Enclave Heavy Weapons Specialist #209's blonde hair spilled down the back of his slender neck? The bangs falling down and covered one side of his face with its high feminine cheekbones and soft jawline? Um... what's going on here? He's a he right? Right?
"Well, I wasn't expected that" Trixie commented in disbelief as #209 removed 'his' helmet.
Almost staring she glanced back and forth from her bottle of Sunset to #209
"I need to get a new supplier..." She said, pouring the rest of the contents of the bottle to the ground with a drawn out sigh, as if it were tainted.
A slightly confused blink, followed by a low raspy Hrmmm was Chester's only response, he was about to resume his conversation with Trixie, that is before noticing she was pouring away her Sarsaparilla.
"You ain't drinkin that? Cause I'll have it if you don't want it," he asked, watching it splatter on the dirt, seemingly forgetting about #209's dramatic reveal.
"Can't be nice being cooped up in a stuffy headpiece all day," he said, turning back to #209. "If you're lookin for some hair brushes or accessories to keep yourself fixed up I might be of assistance." He opened a smaller bag hanging on his side, jammed inside were a couple of nearly finished toilet paper rolls, magazines, toothbrushes, a cracked compact mirror, as well as combs, brushes, bobby pins, hair grips and rollers.
"Anything that'll suit your needs, and you ladies too!" He added, removing an occasional item and holding it up in the sun, so Trixie, Robin and #209 could clearly see. "For but a couple of caps you young things could be even prettier, of course I also accept trades and NCR dollars too! Don't be shy, get em while stocks last!"
Black Residence: You Can (Not) Win
As Jonathan finished his proposal, his mind was filled with anxiety. He was running out of cards to play, and he would rather not use his trump card if he could avoid it. If he did, chances would have it that the wall of cold emotionlessness the Agent was hiding behind could break, tensions could rise and the chance of reaching an agreement could be jeopardised. And so, he fell silent while still keeping the air of confidence he had developed, hoping that #411 would give in. The Princess was quick to follow up his demands. Before she did so, though, she threw a warm smile at him.
There was something... wrong about that smile. Jonathan wasn't sure why, but he thought he saw a hint of... bitterness in it? Regret, perhaps? Why would she feel that way?
Don't you have more serious things to worry about than what could potentially cause the dodo-head distress? For all you know she could be in her period or something. I bet she bleeds cheese instead of blood.
Right. The figure was right. He couldn't show distress or that he cared. The more he conversed with the Agent, the more it all came back to him. If he wanted to get her to agree to terms as beneficial as he could get, he needed to make sure not to show any emotion towards anything. Doing so could potentially give his opponent more leverage to use against him. No, that wouldn't do at all, not with the stakes this high. Above all, he needed to treat all this with a sense of detachment without losing sight of his goal, like a game presenting a challenge he had to overcome.
"Your army appears ill-equipped, but that's where my esteemed Weaponsmith falls in. I care more for the lives of these girls on the monitor. I will not allow them to senselessly march to their death without giving them a fighting chance and proper training."
The princess, despite her goodwill, was incapable of playing the game. She was revealing her hand too quickly; showing emotion and, above all, showing that she cared for the lives of those that were, for all intents and purposes, expendable. This was potentially harmful, as if the agent was as good at playing this as she seemed, she would definately use it for her advantage.
You tell her to let you handle this, but she won't shut up. Comprehension is hard. But then again, it's your fault for bringing her into the negotiations in the first place.
Jonathan had wagered it would be prudent to do so. The Blamco Princess would most likely have invited herself anyway. Kristin looked hardly the person to stay out of something as important as this. Jonathan hoped that by being the one to bring her in the discussion he could a)control her more easily to keep her from causing harm. b) come off as powerful to the agent by giving off the illusion that Kristin and him worked together as one and make things more difficult to her, as she would have to include Kristin in her plans if she wanted an agreement to be reached. Regardless of whether or not Kristin could potentially have wanted to. If Jonathan wanted results, he needed to treat her as a pawn on the chessboard, something that he was not too proud of.
"I ask that Lucy Black is left alone and whatever you hold above her head is given back to her. And once we are done, our ties to you will be severed. As the Princess of BlamCo, those are my conditions for working with you."
No, no, no! You don't make your demands until after you make sure the other party agrees to your proposal. Only if they do, and after gauging how much leverage you have over them, you start making demands. Kristin Blamco may have well robbed them of an advantage, both in the way of now being unable to add demands, and by revealing what they wanted out of her. It was too late for him to intervene, doing so would have shown that Kristin and him weren't as united as he wanted it to look.
An uncomfortable silence fell in the room as the Blamco Princess finished her proposal and Agent Hero Worship contemplated on what to say next. She was good at this; whatever she may have been feeling about what was said, she didn't show. She obviously was disatisfied with the way things went, as one would expect of someone having her plans foiled to a degree, but besides that, no anger or frustration was shown.
She sure is taking her time. Think your counter-proposal left her in disarray?
"I'll agree to your terms if you agree to mine."
Alright, here we go. Finally. Prepare for caustic commentary.
"First: You have a six month period to recruit whomever you want to assist you."
Despite not showing it, Jonathan couldn't help but feel a certain extent of relief as he heard those words. Not only was she agreeing to the most critical part of the deal, but also giving him way more time than he had hoped he'd get.
Good thus far... Though if I have a feeling that she won't be sitting idle during those six months. Better plan ahead, eh?
"This is period is all I can allow before the girls become a larger threat to the Wasteland than your own nearsighted perception of the Enclave."
Oh ho ho, what's this? She's either bullshitting you or she's a worse planner than she seems. If what she says is true, then it's like using a huge boulder to smash an obstacle you can't jump over in a hurdle race! You replace a problem with a bigger one! If that isn't solid reasoning I dunno what is. Or, it could just be an excuse. For all you know she needs those 6 months to raise a second clone army. Just to deal with you, in case you get any funny ideas. However, if what she says is true, then she needs you even more than she lets on, due to the time constrains.
"Second: When you get back from taking Former Asset Black to Megaton, there will be a young woman waiting for you."
Oh, great. As if the dodo-head wasn't filling the mongoloid quota by herself.
"She is to be the first of your allies."
Oh, how generous of her to hand over an "ally" to us, free of charge. I bet there's no catch or anything like that.
"She has the loyalties of the 'Sylphys,' as those who've encountered them have taken to calling them."
Sylphys? She means the clones? She's handing over the clone commander to us? The catch must be larger that Moby Dick!
"Third: The young woman is to be kept safe. Should any harm fall upon her, you'll not only have to worry about the 'Sylphys' hunting you, you'll have to worry about me."
If I had a drink for each time she throws around hollow threats I'd had died from liver failure a while back. Still, her threat reveals she cares for the girl. Which could potentially be used for your benefit.
"Fourth: In regard to Miss Black's friend, I will rescind my order upon my extrication from this location, "
That's all well and good, but why is she grouping it with her list of demands? Doesn't make sense, considering it isn't one.
"Which I should add, is on its way. When you killed my bodyguards, The Enclave were notified via a sensor monitoring their vital stats. There is a team on their way as we sit here and waste time. "
Waste time, huh? Well, sorry we're not gullible enough to agree to whatever bullshit proposal you come up with. Nobody likes a sore loser.
"It would be difficult to explain that you two had nothing to do with their deaths should you still be here."
As I am sure it would be inconvenient for you if Johnny boy here would spill out you're planning a rebellion if he was being interrogated. Brittle and cowardly as he is, I bet he'd break just from the sight of the interrogation tools, amirite?
"I suggest you accept my terms and take Miss Black to Megaton."
Wow, she basically gave you everything you wanted and more! You've wo-
No, I haven't.
The devil let out a psychotic smirk as she continued, "but before you leave, I want you, Miss Blamco, to swear upon the honor of BlamCo that you will uphold your end of the bargain."
It was as Jonathan had feared. #411 was taking advantage of the fact that Kristin had shown empathy for the clones, and was using that in an attempt at manipulating her. If Jonathan was to warn her about it, he would be revealing his some of his cards for free. On the other hand, if he let Kristin take the vow unknowing of what that might ordain he risked greater long-term harm, both to the plan and to herself.
I don't see what the big moral struggle is. You reap what you sow. She brought herself to this position by acting like the dodo-head she is; let her bear the consequences of her actions herself and don't potentially jeopardise the plan for her sake. The nimwit isn't worth it.
Jonathan stared at Kristin puzzlingly, being careful not to betray his thoughts by showing emotion. He wasn't sure what to do. The devil had played him well on that part, giving him a lose-lose situation.
Kristin, behind her veil of confidence, looked rather conflicted. She didn't know what she was walking in, but her pride wouldn't let her consider things long before it took over and she accepted.
Damn it all.
"Miss Kristin," he started again, his tone and stare completely neutral, "a moment of your time again, if you will."
The situation repeated itself, and soon enough Kristin and Jonathan stood away from the agent under the protection of Jonathan's hat. It was there that Jonathan let his emotions show as he stared at her with a tired, disappointed stare.
"The fact that she wants you to swear," he whispered again, his tone matching his stare, "means that there's a catch, and probably a big one. Miss Kristin, if you didn't show your eagerness to help the clones to her, we could have possibly avoided this situation." this wasn't your typical I'm-reprimanding-you-because-I-am-an-insecure-little-bitch-and-I-wanna-feel-better-about-myself kind of reprimand; his criticism was one of genuine care. If he told her, maybe in the future she'd be more careful with her words and avoid such difficult situations.
"I want you to know that, if you swear the oath, you'll, no, we, will probably be walking into some sort of trap. She'll probably use your desire to help the clones and the sympathy you harbor for them to try and manipulate you. To her, the clones are expendable as long as it means she advances her goals. Miss Kristin... know that you'll likely have to choose between being true to your oath and what's best for the wasteland."
His stare sharpened, "It would have been convenient not to have told you this and left you to swear the oath, considering how good a deal we're getting, but I cannot in good concience let you unknowingly walk into the wolf's den. If you take the vow, it would be a good idea not to grow attached to the clones." he let out a deep, defeated sigh and continued, "Swear or not, it's up to you. Think hard about your decision. The final say is yours."
Finishing what he wanted to say, Jonathan returned to the expression of emotionless neutrality he had assumed when he was dealing with #411 and walked back to his previous position, staring at the agent blankly. He had said what he needed to say. It was all up to Kristin now to make her choice and decide their course..
The Wild Wastelands | Ruined Skyscraper Camp
"I'll have to take your word for it, Arizona."
Hearing the gloomy tone of his voice, she glanced up at him and reached up to pull the cigarette from her mouth.
"Thomas, you don't have to take my word for anything regarding Disneyland. It's been two centuries, I've never even been there, and I'm an old Ghoul. For all you know, I've gone senile and can't remember it worth a damn. So you believe what you want about Disneyland, don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Wastes are bad enough, people oughta believe in something, right?" she told him with a small, soft smile.
As soon as she said that, she could hear a snide little voice in the back of her head. You're going soft, old girl. The hell I am, she thought, clearing her throat as her face returned to it's normally grumpy lines and Thomas continued.
"There's two towns on the way to Dunwich. The closest to Dunwich would be Tenpenny Towers. Last I heard, they weren't exactly welcoming of ... smooth skins. The other is Megaton. I'd prefer if we went to Tenpenny though."
"Right. We can go to both, and if Tenpenny Towers is full of Ghouls who don't like normal folks like you, that's their problem. Worse comes to worst, they make too much of a fuss, we'll kill 'em all and loot the corpses. Wouldn't be the first time it's come to that, but with any luck, it won't come to that." she said gruffly.
The Wild Wasteland | Sunrise Shack
Despite the late night before Charlie was feeling strangely upbeat and cheery this morning. Since Sylph had been doing the lion's share of the cooking up until now, Charlie took it upon himself to make breakfast. As he fried up some of the plentiful Mirelurk meat they had obtained the day before, he pulled out some of his precious Brahmin jerky from home along with some Dandy Boy Apples. To help wash the meal down he poured the two of them half a bottle of purified water each.
"Sylph, food's ready!" he called out to the girl who was still lying down on the cot. Chewing on the deliciously spicy jerky he smothered the fire with dirt before picking up his plate.
"I'm gonna go sit outside and watch the sunrise, I recommend you eat that before it gets cold." he said as he walked out the door, sitting down up against the wall and getting stuck in to the food. As the daylight grew brighter the strange, desolate beauty of the ruined landscape became more apparent. As he took a sip of his water Charlie reflected that he was extremely glad he'd set out on this adventure, even if it caused him bodily injury from time to time.
The Wild Wastelands | Intersecting Paths
This Will (Not) Be Good
Let it not be said that the life of a Raider was necessarily one filled with excitement or adventure or women (or men) or caps or food or fun or longevity but on this particular day, Fishface felt something in the air, a sort of electric excitement that he could feel from the tip of his toes to the top of his head... or it could have been the ill advised shock collar around his neck rigged to motion sensors that monitored the crossroads that the Raider group worked. It was rare enough for the Fishface and Friends Raiding Group to get one group of potential victims but two groups was a sign from God that this was going to be a good day.
Now, as a general rule of thumb, Fishface and Friends didn't like tackling their targets head on. Typically their mode of execution was to lead their Sheeple towards a minefield laced killzone through the use of Sniper Rifles. There was usually no fuss ... but... after the mines were done with them, there was tons of muss. An even rarer treat for Fishface and Friends was to get two groups. Through the clever use of positioning and, once again, their sniper rifles, they would take the two groups think that they were attacking each other, before they swooped in for the kills and the loot.
FishFace and friends watched as the first group, one that consisted of a horrid looking man dressed up on ratty formal clothing and an equally horrid looking ghoul. The second group, was only slightly better as it consisted of a boy and a girl wearing a Death Claw plush backpack. Signaling to FoxFace and FrogFace, the Raiders waited to spring their hilarious trap.
Thomas and Arizona had packed up their camp after a long and restless night. While he still appeared mopey, inside he was glad to be on the road again. Perhaps this was a remnant of his previous life. Thinking about it, he missed the old bicycle that used to carry him from town to town. Of course, while it wouldn't have been good manners to speak ill of a man who couldn't defend himself, he silently cursed Frank Rose, though the memory of how the bike was lost was rather amusing.
"So, I used to have this bicycle that had been built back before the War. She was truly a beauty. Black curved frame and these tires that could grip the road like a dead man grips his caps. Of course, you might be wondering 'Thomas where in the devil is this beautiful bike that you're speaking of?' Well, Miss Arizona. Have you ever seen a man in Power Armor try to ride a bike, down a hill that's almost entirely composed of rubble? I hadn't until Frank tried. The ride down rattled him so hard that metal plates started falling off his armor as easily as the bike's bars were bending under his weight... and then his excrement containment system failed... and the brown started flying."
Of course, not one second later after the phrase 'and the brown started flying,' the shit hit the fan as the two snipers positioned on opposite sides of the field fired on their targets, intentionally missing.
The bullet coming in from the West exploded against the side of a wrecked car.
The Crimson Crusader walked silently next to Charlie Cannon, trying to keep down what was supposed to be a good meal. Something about Mirelurk meat didn't sit right with her. Perhaps it was the fact that save for the one occasion they had BlamCo, they'd been subsisting on Mirelurk meat from the day before... Mirelurk meat that didn't have an icebox to keep it from starting to turn. Stopping off by the side of the road, Sylph leaded up against the wall of what was once a toy store.
A quick glance inside made the Red Menace walk away from the building quite briskly. The sight of clowns agreed with her about as much as the Mirelurk meat did.
Sylph had directed them towards the direction of the small campfire that she spotted the night before, the one that looked rather inviting. It was unfortunate though that they would never make it as a shot rang out, the report bouncing against the multitude of cement walls around them. All Sylph knew was that the shot came somewhere from the East.
"Look there!" Sylph said, charging towards what she thought were their attacked.
Through his broken binoculars, FishFace chuckled as the little blue haired girl started running towards the tall pasty looking one, tackling him against the ground and punching him in the face repeatedly.
Kristin Blamco - New Vegas Council: A Few Months Ago
"So, let me get this straight." One of the Council members straightened the paperwork of the BlamCo profit reports for the year. "You, Kristin Blamco, of the Blamco family of the same name, is solely responsible for a 400% debt in the middle and upper-class markets?"
"They have paid with their faith. Faith in BlamCo. Do you not - ...?!"
The council member held up a hand to stop her. "We are also to believe that your advertising campaign is centered around 'Blamcoism', you have spent a ludicrous amount on this alone. Are you trying to run a business, welfare or a church, Miss Blamco?"
"I-if I am to promote the will of the Gods, surely the unenlightened will embrace the blessings that - ...!?"
The council man sighed and turned off the recorder, "Listen. I'm going to brutally honest with you here. You will lose the business if this 'Blamcoism' gimmicky crap continues. As it stands right now, the New Vegas BlamCo branch and all their assets will be liquidated to pay off your debt. Or you can hand over the ownership of the BlamCo branch to our people. Branding will be changed obviously since we don't want to be associated with the mess you have created. Your choice, Miss Blamco."
Kristin bit her lip, how could they be so blind!? A gimmick!? How dare they talk down to the BlamCo Heiress!
"If that is the way you see it, then I choose the latter. I, Kristin Blamco, formally condemn New Vegas and all it's citizens to a godless life that knows not the warmth of cheese!"
The council man merely smirked in reply.
Kristin Blamco - Springvale
"I suggest you accept my terms and take Miss Black to Megaton, but before you leave, "#411 paused with a smile on her face, "I want you, Miss Blamco, to swear upon the honor of BlamCo that you will uphold your end of the bargain."
Kristin was already drawing her blade upon seeing the smirk on #411's face, only to be unceremoniously interrupted by Jonathan once more. The BlamCo Heiress was pulled aside and given a condescending talking to. He reprimanded her for her actions, suggested that she go back on her honor for the sake of deceit and most dreadfully, he showed no concern for the lives of those younger females that were surely marching towards their death.
Don't you dare talk down to me.
Hmph, who's to say that the might of BlamCo will not eclipse the influence of the Enclave?
Who's to say that she cannot create a new age of BlamCo with the help of her own blue-haired army?
By the grace of the Dairy Gods...
"I swear to the Gods of BlamCo, not to a godless Agent of Soya.", Kristin replied aggressively, a combination of her hatred for this situation and her frustration at Jonathan's condescension. "If you want our help, I suppose you will have to trust us, won't you?"
Kristin dismissively turned on her heel and proceeded to cradle the unconscious body of Lucy Black. Miss Black did not seem well at all and she looked positively dreadful while covered was in her own blood. Nevertheless, they were heading to some place called 'Megaton' in order to secure Miss Black's safety. Despite her annoyance at Jonathan, surely he could at least give her vague directions. Kristin mulled over the decision of talking to Jonathan or not...yet threw the notion aside when she fixed the eyepatch back onto the small one-eyed female. They had more pressing matters to attend to...and she was not fond of personal discussions.
Yes, a part of Kristin was questioning Jonathan's intentions behind following her. If he did not care for her beliefs, fine. But she would not be taken for a fool in the process. She had enough of that back 'home'.
Kristin declared flatly, swiftly exiting the house and gathering her bag of BlamCo goods once more.
The Wild Wastelands | Intersecting Paths | The Road to Dunwich
By the time they left the camp, dousing the fire and gathering their things for their trip to Dunwich, Arizona was in a particularly foul mood. She'd barely gotten any sleep, partly due to the fact that the talk of religion the night before made her rather uncomfortable, as well as the fact that she had found out that the couch she 'salvaged' was home to a few radroaches that startled her in the night.
As such, she was finishing her second cigarette of the morning, all while her lone eye drooped in an expression of supreme crankiness.
"So, I used to have this bicycle that had been built back before the War."
"Eh?" she grunted, glancing back at her traveling companion as he started to reminisce about a bike of all things.
"She was truly a beauty. Black curved frame and these tires that could grip the road like a dead man grips his caps. Of course, you might be wondering 'Thomas where in the devil is this beautiful bike that you're speaking of?' Well, Miss Arizona. Have you ever seen a man in Power Armor try to ride a bike, down a hill that's almost entirely composed of rubble? I hadn't until Frank tried. The ride down rattled him so hard that metal plates started falling off his armor as easily as the bike's bars were bending under his weight... and then his excrement containment system failed... and the brown started flying."
She had no idea what the point was to any of that, and the mood she was in meant she didn't really care either. But the idea of some idiot in Power Armor trying to ride a damn bicycle made her smirk a little as she took the cigarette butt from between her teeth and stamped it out onto the broken pavement.
The moment she bent down to do so, she heard the rifle shot crack out. Her head immediately swung around to face the West, then she grabbed Thomas and pulled him with her behind some cover, a series of wrecked cars. She worked to get Lester ready for action when she heard another gunshot and saw a flash of movement and blue hair before Thomas was on the ground and being pounded in the face.
She lashed out at his attacker with a sharp kick before leveling the Light Machine Gun at them.
"Get off of Thomas and tell me where the sniper is, or else I let Lester tear you to shreds you son-of-a-bitch!" she roared with fire in her eye.
The Wild Wastelands | Intersecting Paths
Charlie walked alongside Sylph in the direction she indicated, feeling a little bit queasy. Maybe eating that Mirelurk meat hadn't been a good idea, it really needed some preservatives or something to keep it from going foul. Peering into the nearby buildings Charlie was wondering if they could find some salt around here when the crack of a gunshot rang out. Instinctively ducking down behind a ruined car, Charlie looked around for the source before he saw Sylph charging off down the road. Drawing his laser pistol and pulling a grenade out of his pouch he quickly scampered after her, eventually catching up as she jumped on a man and started beating him up with her small fists. The man's companion, a ghoul of all things, kicked Sylph away before levelling her machine gun at them.
"Get off of Thomas and tell me where the sniper is, or else I let Lester tear you to shreds you son-of-a-bitch!"
"That sniper ain't with us lady!" Charlie yelled back, keeping his pistol levelled at her while trying to simultaneously watch her and scan the surroundings for more attackers. "In fact I'm very much inclined to think they're working with you!" he continued as he slowly walked to the side of a building, trying to stay out of the line of fire.
The Wild Wastelands | The Grisly Diner
Over 5 served here
The Grisly Diner had been busy as of late, in fact, one might say that the last month or so had been the busiest period the Diner had seen in the last 200 years. It seemed that someone had taken the time to start renovations and that someone was Henry McGee, brother to one Thomas "Shifty" McGee. What else was he going to do when his only jobs were to monitor some of the key players in the D.C. Wastelands and wait for news from home. The peculiar sound of percolating coffee had become somewhat of a soothing mantra for the brother of the Former Undertaker who had turned away from the family business to pursue clone crafting and slaving.
Unlike most days where the customers had come against their will, Henry had a visitor. This one would have been rather familiar to some as Professor Flink, the scientist who had assisted Sylph in the repairs of her choker.
"So, Professor, it's been quite some time." Henry stated simply as he took a sip of his coffee, "I hear had a successful outing and that you did manage to repair that choker that I had commissioned you to create all those years ago."
"Well yes and I made the modifications that you requested."
"Good. This should prove to be very interesting." Henry said as he turned his eyes towards the video stream of the scuffle that had broken out between Sylph and Thomas.
The Wild Wastelands | Intersecting Paths
Thomas... you ARE the Father!!
Between the sound of Thomas's face being punched by the Crimson Crusader and overlapping yells of Arizona and Charlie Cannon there wasn't a whole lot of communicating going on, which is exactly what FishFace and Friends was hoping would happen when they tricked the two duos into attacking one another.
While Arizona and Charlie were yelling demands and hurling accusations at one another, something entirely different was occurring between the two known as Thomas "Shifty" McGee and Sylph. For one, Sylph was crying.
Crying? Surely I must be lying, you're probably thinking, since Sylph NEVER EVER cries and if Sylph does cry, it's only when she's Sylphee. Sylph simply doesn't cry. Until now.
As for Thomas, he was going into a state of shock. This shock wasn't from the fact that Sylph was on top of him, hitting him, nor was it from the fact that she was beating him about the head, neck and shoulders. What was causing Thomas to go into a state of shock was what Sylph was asking him after she had stopped pummeling him.
"Why'd you leave me Father? Why? Why Why Why? Why'd you leave me alone with her? You know that I can't stand her!" Sylph asked as she tricked Thomas into believing that he'd fallen into the circle of Hell called Maury, a place reserved for promiscuous men.
This of course didn't bode well for the Former Friendly Undertaker because there were very few things that drew as much sympathy from people as a woman crying. Combine that with the fact that she was calling the man that she had been pummeling with her fists "Father," Thomas was looking as sympathetic a Raider running around with his clothing on fire. It also probably didn't help his plea for sympathy when he was overheard yelling:
"Sylph what are you talking about?! I'm not your Father!!" The Scummy Former Undertaker took a page out of the Deadbeat Dad's Manual to being an Ass.
"Yes! Yes you are! Why would you even say that?!" Sylph retorted, obviously happy to see Thomas, the way a child would be happy to see her father.
"Because someone killed you real parents and made you a slave." The Foot-In-Mouth-Friendly Neighborhood Undertaker said.
Totally smoothe man. Totally. If Arizona and Charlie had stopped long enough to listen to the very special episode of Shifty's Hell, they might have also heard the member of FishFace and Friends laughing their asses off.
Black Residence: You Can (Not) Give Up
As Kristin moved back to confront the agent and decide their course, there was visible distress and frustration painted all over her face. And as she readied herself to announce her decision, Jonathan buried himself in his hat, sheltering the upper part of his face from prying eyes, and closed his eyes.
"I swear to the Gods of BlamCo, not to a godless Agent of Soya. If you want our help, I suppose you will have to trust us, won't you?"
There was an uncharacteristic amount of aggressiveness to the Cheese Princess' voice as she decided to swear the oath, and Jonathan felt he was very much guilty for it.
Or, to be more precise, he felt guilty for including her in a matter that, for all intents and purposes, she shouldn't have been in. He felt guilty for using her as leverage for the negotiations, guilty for not being able to shelter her from being outplayed by #411, and he felt guilty that she was made to choose between two losing scenarios.
Opening his eyes, he returned to the real world. There was silence after the announcement, silence that he was not comfortable with. Still, their course was now clear.
Now the die is cast. The first step, taken.
He turned to look at Lucy, who Kristin, despite her anger and frustration, was gently being picked up. At the very least, despite everything that had happened, she was out of this. Maybe. #411 had ignored an order from the very man she idolized; breaking an agreement seemed trivial to that. But, at the very least, as long as Jonathan was still needed, #411 would probably not risk losing his services. Small relief, but it was better than nothing.
A glimmer of hope lights up our lives.
You're waaaaaaay too empathetic, Johnny boy. Your show of kindness may have cost you the deal you worked towards, and what would you have done then? Besides...
"Let's go." said the princess in a cold hateful tone, walking outside without even turning to face him. That took Jonathan aback, way more than he thought it would.
...it looks like she mistook your intentions, dodo-head that she is.
Jonathan let out a deep, exhausted sigh.
But such is the human condition. You say something, that something is misunderstood and lots of pain and drama happens.
He burried himself in his hat again, attempting to bottle up the anger that was building up in him. Anger at how he handled things, anger at the situation he was in, anger that he also dragged Kristin down with him.
So why even bother? What's the point in trying to help people if they'll simply push you away as if you tried to do them harm? Being empathetic is pathetic indeed.
"I'm keeping the plasma pistol," Jonathan said, as he pushed himself to return back the cold neutrality of playing the game, to #411 as she was stared at the door with a smirk mixed with superiority and satisfaction, " I made it, so it's only fitting." and proceeded to walk towards the door.
He hated her smirk. That sense of satisfaction derived from schadenfreude. He was barely holding himself from damning everything up and just drawing and shooting her; he really wanted wipe it off. But, Kristin had decided she would rather uphold their end of the bargain, and since he had given her the final say on the matter he had to content with the consequences it brings.
Still, he couldn't just walk off without having a final say.
"I hope you uphold your end of the bargain, Agent #411," he said shooting her a threatening side-glance as he stood at the door, "Or else I'll hit you where it hurts." and finished as started walking outside, "And I think you're intelligent enough to know who I'm talking about."
Jonathan walked out of the house. From the placement of the sun, Jonathan could see that it was afternoon now. The entire ordeal had left him extremely emotionally fatigued, and what little satisfaction he had taken out of it wasn't enough to fill the void.
Kristin was... waiting for him to get going, all her things packed up. She was staring at the distance with what seemed to be sadness mixed with disappointment and irritation, apparently lost in thought.
He wanted to explain to her. To let her know his reasons for what he told her. Yes, it was true that he knew her for less than a day and she had mostly tried to kill him in various ways over the course of it, but for better or for worse, thanks to what happened inside Lucy Black's house, Kristin Blamco was dragged into his baggage and stuck with him. So, it only stood to reason that he took responsibilty for her well-being for the time they would have to travel together, even though Kristin was probably more able to look after herself in most dangerous situations out in the wasteland than Jonathan ever could.
"Miss Kris-" he started, only to abruptly stop as Kristin, being interrupted from her thoughts, completely changed her disposition and shot him a glare that clearly said that she was not in the mood to hear even a single word of his. From that glare it also became clear to Jonathan that he hurt her way more than he originally thought he did.
All I ever do is hurt people.
Jonathan, his face filled with sorrow and regret, hanged his head in defeat, pulled up his scarf and put on his sunglasses, which, combined with his hat, completely covered his face and hid his features. Other than making him wander around incognito, it also served as a mask of sorts, one that he could hide his bitterness behind.
Taking que of the fact that Kristin probably only waited for him to show her the way to Megaton, Jonathan walked ahead and, with whatever emotion written on his face concealed behind his "mask", motioned Kristin to follow him as they went back to where they started to pick up the rest of his things, and then headed off to Megaton.
It was going to be one long and arduous road to walk, he felt, and not because of the distance.
The Wild Wastelands | The Enclave Vault | Interrogation Room #23Conversations between a traitor and Fallout Jack (Except #2) - Co-produced by FalloutJack
Seeing Jack's face brought memories of the horrors that she had experienced and the turning point that seeing Jack had made. While he never took advantage of the matter, he'd saved Charlotte from a life of being used until she couldn't be used any longer. Seeing him made her feel safe. BUt the tone that he took when addressing her squashed those feelings and what emotions she had on her face were quitely stuffed back behind a mask.
"Jack, I understand the sentiment and why you specifically ordered us away from the Black residence. However, it wouldn't have been prudent to allow her free reign out of our sight. Her ruse at being loyal to our cause was what allowed her to leave the Vault. She quickly abandoned her mission to locate the Enclave Underground. As an Intelligence Specialist for the Enclave, it's my duty to ensure that potential threats are monitored. After settling into her familial home, she was visited by two individuals. One was the heiress to the BlamCo name and the other... Bob... was falsely identified as a former member of the Enclave... a deserter. I'll admit, it wasn't enough to cast her as a danger once again, but it did warrant further investigation. Also, she should have been informed that her former associate, Shifty McGee, had been released from our custody. You'll be pleased to know that he's no longer being targeted by Vulture E32." Charlotte reported professionally. She was walking a dangerous line. If Jack didn't feel the same way as her, any admission to the plan on her part would have been as good as her shooting herself in the gut. Number One was not known for being kind to traitors in his ranks, "As you also read in my report, she was cleared of my suspicions."
"As for why I disobeyed, we're the Enclave. We're the future of the Wasteland. We can't let people think that we're weak." She said in a rather serious tone. She was testing Jack, seeing what his opinion on the current state of the Enclave was.
Jack appeared to be in deep thought for a moment. Then, he said...
FalloutJack: Number One never trusted her to fulfill that mission, and I had to agree, based on my own feelings on the matter. To wit, Natsuki would immediately kill anyone who kill me. I, admittedly, dropped the ball on Shifty. I wanted him to surprise her, making my intentions for a clean break clearer than words can describe. As for the Enclave...
He scratched the back of his head for a moment.
FalloutJack: It's not weakness that's the problem. It's the fact that nobody can accept that this Enclave is a new entity, trying a new direction. You know that the Remnants over in Mojave are all heroes and the Brotherhood's stuck trying to control things - and failing at it - while mostly everybody hates them? We don't lack in manpower anymore, and we have the technology. Our problem is the past, AND that things are getting out of hand. Our problem is that we're very resilient and lethal, and we can't really stop either at the moment because we'd get killed. There's alot out there to be worried about.
Charlotte took a sip of... whatever it was FalloutScott had concocted... and nodded. If part of the Enclave's problem was image, they were doing a piss poor job of attempting to rebrand themselves, Charlotte thought to herself before saying just that.
"If the issue is rebranding our image, we're not doing the best job. What's this I hear about Bravo company setting up over at Vault-Tec Headquarters and setting a bunch of bots loose on a passing caravan? Ridiculously, if it weren't for #209, we'd have another bunch of dead civilian bodies on our hands." The Enclave Intelligence Specialist commented, showing that even out on the field, she still tried to keep pace as to where all the key Enclave players were.
"Off the record, I think that Number One's mysterious leader bit isn't the sort of thing that the Enclave needs in order for the people to start trusting us. The Enclave needs someone that's been in the field, doing good for the people of the Wasteland." This was perilously close to treason though Charlotte had a perfectly good cover as she fanned herself, "Yeesh. Scott makes a strong batch of punch."
FalloutJack: To be honest, I have no idea what's in this besides the scotch. Apparently, he also polishes his suit with it. The problem with Bravo Company is they got bored, as #209 does on occasion. When they do, they get up to mischief, lethal mischief. The Bravos were there as a follow-up to Operation 'Clearing The Path', where the cyborgs we sent west cleared four-fiftths of Caesar's Legion, territory and all. NCR then killed 'em all at the Hoover Dam, but they had already been dead to begin with. The Enclave gets creative, but it also tends to edge on madness sometimes. The problem with Number One is...
He puts down the...whatever-it-is, now.
FalloutJack: ...he never stops being mysterious, and I don't think he CAN stop. I've never seen him outside his suit and he can do even more than I can. But the real issue is...we need him for all the stuff that's going on. He can see the lines joining all the dots, and he has the capacity to use it. Actually, here, tell me something. Why do you think the Fallout Sector exists?
The Wild Wasteland | 324 West Black Lane (BlamCo HQ)
Blam'd if you do Blam'd if you don't
Seeing the two Blamites leave with the unconscious of Former Enclave Asset Lucy Black in the direction of Megaton, Enclave Intelligence Specialist #411 dropped the mask and started breathing freely once again. Jonathan McKenna was smarter than he appeared and when combined with Kristin Blamco's sheer zeal for battle, the two made a power combination. Which was why #411 was eager to get them on her side of the field, at least so she could keep track of them when the time came. She knew that in the end, the duo would ultimately betray her. Honor and keeping one's word was a pretty sentiment that became one of the first things to fall to the wayside when trouble came a knockin'.
Speaking of trouble. It appeared that Constance was having her share of issues judging from the data she had just received on her adopted daughter's status. Seeing as how #411 would not be there to greet Constance in person, she removed a set of tools from a utility compartment in her Enclave Power Armor and set it on the table as well as a piece of paper on which she had written a note.
My Dearest Constance,
It has come to my attention that you've recently come into contact with the Self Replicating Clone colony that recently took root around the ruins of Vault 108 and that the blue haired clones have chosen you as their leader. Let me be the first to congratulate you on this achievement. I do not need to remind you assuming the role of leader should not be taken lightly. It is your responsibility to ensure that they are well maintained and have their basic requirements met.
Upon hearing this news, I have generated a new assignment for you. You are to turn this colony of clone civilians into a standing army. For that, you will need to train these girls and turn them into soldiers. Additionally, you will need to outfit your army with weapons that suit them. It is for that reason that I have located two assets to assist you in this task. Given the Enclave's less than stellar reputation with the Wastelanders, you shall be working deep cover. This means your uniform and any Enclave identification will need to be hidden away. I've left a set of civilian clothing with these tools to repair your ears.
Do not fail in this endeavor,
Looking at the letter, Enclave Intelligence Specialist #411 sighed at the pang of regret that she felt for being unable to express the pride that she felt when she saw the latest merit scores that Constance had achieved. Outside of Constance and herself there were no others in the world that knew that Charlotte did indeed love her daughter, however, it was through the shared experience of living with the Raiders that had taught them that the fewer people are aware of an emotional bond, the fewer people will be able to use it to their advantage.
Folding up the paper and tucking it under the tools, #411 stood up to take care of the last bit of business before the extraction team came in to "rescue" her.
"Pilot. You can come out now, the coast is clear." #411 called out and saw the pilot's head pop up from behind a pile of rubble located not far from a window belonging to the hovel belonging to Lucy Black.
Approaching the pilot, she saw that the man's stance was tense, the way that he looked at her told her that he had overheard some of the conversation that occurred between the Blamco princess, the Ex-Enclave Weaponsmith and herself. Were he loyal to her, he wouldn't have been trying to hide his knowledge of the situation. Were he going to back her on her push for FalloutJack to come to power, he wouldn't have kept his distance from her, knowing that Jonathan had taken her Plasma pistol. It was unfortunate for the Pilot that neither he nor Jonathan was aware of the hidden plasma caster built into all Enclave Intelligence Power Armor's wrist. The pilot didn't realize until it was too late that his chest was already becoming a green mass of ooze.
With all the loose ends accounted for, Charlotte waited for the extraction team to arrive.
"If this was really a crisis situation, I'd have been dead already." #411 mused as she pulled out a hunk of jerky and gnawed on it.
So he wasn't what she'd expected but a few feminine features didn't make up for how loose his cannon was. "I appreciate the offer Chester but I've got what I need to keep my hair from getting out of hand or my eyes for that matter." To make the point she tied hers back again forming a bow, managing to do it one handed with the one not bulked up by her unique bracelet.
"You know full well I don't have any NRC dollars left after someone convinced me to spend them quickly before merchants stopped taking them. Now shall we drink now and discuss business later or must we be competing when we could be cooperating? Like I say I'm open to trade without contest."
The Wild Wasteland | The Road to Dunwich | Intersecting Paths
It was quickly clear that Thomas's attacker wasn't alone, because the moment she leveled Lester at the blue-haired bitch, a laser pistol was leveled at her.
"That sniper ain't with us lady! In fact I'm very much inclined to think they're working with you!"
"What makes you think the sniper is with us you dipshit?! We got shot at too!" she snarled, Lester's barrel swaying between both the woman and her companion.
It was during that tense moment that Arizona finally managed to catch some of what the woman was saying as she finally stopped beating at Thomas's chest and face.
"-leave me Father? Why? Why Why Why? Why'd you leave me alone with her? You know that I can't stand her!"
Hold on, 'Father'? Thomas? Either the girl was lying, or maybe Thomas's weird religion had a point and it really was a small world after all. She slowly lowered her machine gun as she stared at the two in the middle of their strange and ill-timed heart-to-heart. At least, until she heard the distant laughter and glared in where she thought it was coming from.
"Quiet you two. Hear that? It's the sniper laughing their ass off at the scene yer makin'. So before we do anything about who happens to be your father, girlie, we may want to kill that sumbitch first." she hissed before a bland smile spread her chapped and wrinkled lips, "Unless of course, you'd rather he take a few potshots in the middle of... Whatever it is you two are trying to do."
As she waited for them to make up their minds, she scanned their surroundings with a squint. But she made sure to remember to talk to Thomas about what the hell was going on with that girl once the danger passed. She wasn't about to admit it right then, but the idea of his uncomfortable revelation of fatherhood was immensely entertaining.
The Wild Wasteland | Intersecting Paths
"What makes you think the sniper is with us you dipshit?! We got shot at too!"
Despite the ghoul's words Charlie didn't take his pistol off her for a second. At least not until he caught some of what Sylph was babbling to the man she was violently beating.
"-leave me Father? Why? Why Why Why? Why'd you leave me alone with her? You know that I can't stand her!"
Charlie's mind went blank for a second before kicking into overdrive. This was the man who had tortured Sylph, given her those scars on her back and tried to turn her into an "ideal daughter"? The horrible monster whose cruelty that Charlie had trouble comprehending? The anger from last night boiled up within him once again, threatening to spill out into a violent frenzy.
"Quiet you two. Hear that? It's the sniper laughing their ass off at the scene yer makin'. So before we do anything about who happens to be your father, girlie, we may want to kill that sumbitch first."
The ghoul's words snapped Charlie out of his anger. Listening intently he could make out the faint sounds of laughter coming from somewhere nearby. Stomping over to Sylph he grabbed her roughly with his free arm and dragged her off the man, pulling her towards the cover of a nearby crater. Motioning to the groggy man he called to the ghoul
"Grab that asshole and pull him over here. Let's try get them to come out in the open."
Pulling the struggling Sylph down into the cover he slapped her lightly. "Snap out of it Sylph! We can deal with him after, we've got bigger problems right now!"
The Wild Wastelands | Intersecting Paths
Sylph and Thomas... what?!
Thomas McGee was enveloped in darkness after having been punched several times in the face by the Blue Haired Demon Spawn that Henry McGee had raised as his slave and Bodyguard. It occurred to the Alcoholic Friendly Former Neighborhood Undertaker that perhaps he was dead, killed by either another one of the Sniper bullets that had been sent towards Arizona and himself or the Crimson Clothed Curse named Sylph had finished the job. If this was Hell, and indeed Thomas held no illusion that he was going to Hell, it was not how he had imagined. For one thing, Sylph, the Wretched Wench, was claiming to be the child of the Tall, Pale and Dapper Guide. Secondly, there were no Pirates, Caribbean or otherwise.
More shots rang out and Thomas felt clods of dirt hit his body from where the shots had impacted against the dirt and more shouting, off the annoyed variety, soon followed.
"I done tol' you to kill them! You guys been practicin' hittin' nothin' fer so lon' you can't kill nothin'?!" The voice belonging to a man named FishFace called out to his snipers.
"Sorry, FishFace! We'll get em next time!" a voice answered.
~HACK! COUGH! COUGH! COUGH!~
That was the sound of Thomas being able to breathe after Sylph had been dragged off of him, the girl's fingers forming 10 raked lines in the dirt from where she attempted to maintain her facial smothering.
"Snap out of it Sylph! We can deal with him after, we've got bigger problems right now!" The man who had arrived with the Crimson Clad Kook said in a rather serious yet gentle tone.
The light slap was all the the Crimson Menace needed to snap out of her strangeness and focus on the Snipers. Nodding to Charlie Cannon, Sylph moved silently along the cars, looking for a route that would take her up to he buildings without being seen as her weapons and their lack of range required that she get somewhat closer.
Seeing the Blue Hair Wacko run off in the direction of one of the Snipers all by her lonesome, Thomas pointed to Arizona and gestured for her to get closer to the other Sniper's position before jumping out of cover.
"Gentlemen! If I might have a word with you before you eliminate us and take all the caps from our bodies, leaving our bodies and bones to bleach in the sun. Think of what would happen if the roles were reversed! Would you fine and intelligent gentlemen want your Earthly remains to be treated thus? Is that I no I hear? Well sirs let me introduce myself. I am Thomas McGee, representative of the Undertaker's Union on the East Coast and I am here to offer my organization's services to you, yes you, my fine lads, for the low price of 249 Bottle Caps. What's that? What do you get with the Undertaker's Union? Glad you asked! You sirs will get the finest berths for your journeys to the Underworld, crafted from whatever material we have on hand. We will bury you so that no animal will find your Earthly remains and ensure that your belongings are passed on to your next of kin. If you have no next of kin, they will be forwarded to the person of your choosing. Of course if you choose, you can be interred with your items so that you have use of them in the Afterlife. All this can be yours for the low price of 249 Bottle Caps! If you're interested just holler my way and my associate will take your measurements. Show yourself associate... um... " It was at this point that Thomas gestured at Charlie to come out from cover and address the masses with him.
The Wild Wastelands | Vault Tec Crater HQ
ED 209's Version of Camping
Enclave Heavy Weapons Specialist #209 was only semi-amused by the fact that Chester was attempting to sell him anything. He was amused by the fact that Chester was attempting to sell anything to an Enclave Dominator when the fact of the matter was #209 could have turned the ghoul into a splotch on the dirt by simply setting the Gatling Vulcan on top of him, thereby allowing #209 to get his pick of whatever the ghoul had in stock. The not so amusing part was the fact that Chester was attempting to sell him women's stuff, bringing up #209's trauma inducing memories of Enclave boot camp and when they tried to give him female power armor.
Having drained the bottle, #209 tossed the bottle into the smoking crater that was formerly the headquarters of Vault Tec.
Clang? Bottles don't make clang sounds... something was rather fishy about the fact that there was a clanging noise instead of the satisfying shattering of glass. That something fishy happened to be a Vault Door sized Vault Door at the bottom of the crater.
"Huh." #209 muttered before turning back to the merchants, with caps jingling in his Power Armored Palm, "Hey! How about another round?"
This guy's ganna get himself killed talking to these meatheads like that...
Trixie gave a somewhat unimpressed look to Chester's gesture, before opening another bottle for #209, noticing the slight change in his expression.
Coming to the realisation that everyone else seemed to think #209's appearance to be normal, she opened another bottle, but still was unsure exactly what 'he' was.
Cracking the bottle open with a spare tool she took a small sip before turning back to Robin.
"At least let me have a couple before getting straight to business bird." Trixie fanned one of her hands at Robin.
"I didn't think you were a trader anyway." She said whilst crossing her arms tentatively.
"Well when I've something worth trading it would make sense to trade. But that's ok the device isn't going anywhere."
Or was it?
She moved over to the creator peering over the edge "Now lookie here. Is that a way in or am I imagining it?" There could be access codes on the piece of tech she'd found or maybe 209 had some. "Why were you attacking them anyway, and with such a unique weapons." She still couldn't get over why he used cows of all creatures.
On her way back over to the others she'd 'acquired' a bottle of sunset that no one had been watching. She would pay if asked of course.
The Wild Wastelands | Intersecting Paths
As the boy pulled his girlfriend behind him into a nearby crater, Arizona didn't waste any time in doing the same with Thomas. After all, she wasn't about to get an explanation out of him if he was dead, and he wouldn't be able to get her to the Dunwich building either. It wasn't long after they were in cover that she could hear shouting, probably from the sniper. When another voice joined the first, she shook her head. Snipers. Plural.
The sound of nearby slapping made her head whip back around to the others in the crater, and she noticed the boy snapping the blue-haired bitch to her senses. She seemed to shake herself out of whatever trance she was in, then immediately started to stalk through the nearby cars. Arizona's eye narrowed at that. She wasn't some sort of amateur: Those were practiced movements.
Thomas wasted no time in catching her attention and motioning for her to do the same for the other sniper. She merely responded with a nod before she reached down to her boot and drew her Bowie Knife.
As she hunched forward and snaked her way through wrecked cars, she couldn't help but feel thankful for how short she was. She paused halfway to the building she suspected had the second sniper's nest when she spotted what could only be described as a woman who looked rather... Surprised to say the least. The sight of the mask made her shake her head as she started to work her way around. When she found a crooked ladder leading to the roof, she smiled wickedly as she began to climb.
The sniper didn't even seem to notice as she pushed herself over the edge of the roof and came up behind him. But he did notice the blade of her knife slicing into his throat as he gurgled his last breaths. As the sniper shuddered, she pulled off his blow-up doll mask and slipped it on with a disgusted scowl, then she lowered herself to the rifle he had conveniently left for her.
As she adjusted the scope, she could only hope that Thomas and the boy had enough time while the bitch who jumped them killed the other sniper.
"Geez, not a single cap today..." Chester grunted, letting his bag close beside him. "Well if any of you fellas are desperate you know where to turn to!" He added, trying yet again to give a cheeky smile and a wink, though just like before it looked more like a leer.
Noticing Robin had disappeared from their midst, however he quickly spotted her peering over the edge of the crater not too far away, seemingly curious about whatever was down there. Couldn't have been too interesting since she was already making her way back towards them, but Chester supposed there might be something of interest...
Steady on, don't you forget it was rooting around craters and big holes that got you... well... as you are his common sense whispered as he made his way to the remnants of Vault-Tec. It's not like I can get any more radioactive I suppose... He scratched what remained of his nose as he peeked into the massive crater; a deep circular pit not unlike the craters that littered the wasteland, only presumably fresher in this case. Nothing too noticeable, piles of concrete, combined with office furniture, though the unmistakable shape of one of them heavy duty bomb-proof vault doors was just below, half buried in rubble but nevertheless unscathed.
Couldn't hurt to have a closer look, not like anything alive is going to be down there he assured himself, removing his rifle from his shoulder and using it to steady himself as he climbed over the lip of the pit and slid down to the mess below.
The Wild Wasteland | Vault Tec Crater
Adventure? Excitement? An Enclave Dominator Craves These Things!
The question as to why Enclave Heavy Weapons Specialist #209 had deployed the Explosive Brahmin was a simple question to answer. There was no deep meaning behind why they were used. There was no secrets to be had. It was simply because...
"Well I've been working on a way to destroy the livestock of factions that rival the Enclave. The Bomber Brahmin seemed like a perfect scheme since we could deny wiping out whole herds of Brotherhood cattle. The one problem is the increasing the explosive yield." Enclave Dominator #209 lied. The truth of the matter was that since the Bomber Brahmin were there, why not go out and raise some hell? Of course that answer wouldn't have made #209 look somewhat intelligent. He heard that chicks dug smart guys.
The discovery of a Vault door, however, was quite a nuisance as it took the attention away from what was truly important at that moment, namely drinking. This was especially annoying since there was no way in hell any of them would get that door open and even if they did, there was no telling what they would find inside. If there was one thing that should have been evident by now, Vault Tec was filled with a bunch of messed up brainiacs that used their customers as guinea pigs.
As for what was located at the bottom of the crater, beyond the vault door, that would have to wait until someone could bypass the door's control switch.
The Wild Wastelands | Intersecting Paths
"Show yourself associate... um..."
Charlie glared at the rat-bastard, child abuser as he gestured towards him. Reluctantly he stepped out from behind the cover, aware that they had to keep their attackers distracted while Sylph and the ghoul dealt with them. Clearing his throat he stood up straight to project his voice further.
"Uh yes! The measuring process only takes a second or two, so don't worry about missing other wandering travelers waiting to be ambushed. It is crucial however as I'm sure you don't want to be buried stuffed in a coffin too small for yourself! Um... oh and if you pre-order now, we'll even throw in a complimentary death claw plushie! Uh..."
Charlie looked pleadingly at the Worst Father of the Century, running out of things to say. He hoped their companions were taking care of things up there, he doubted they could keep up this pantomime act for too much longer.
The choice between a rest and exploring possibly enclave infested vaults there was only one possible choice. Sitting on the edge of the creator she lowered herself in as gently as possible. She made her way over to the door giving it a closer inspection. "So we have three options, if someone's got another stampede they can pull out if thin air or elsewhere we could try blasting our way in though that didn't go well last time, I could see about hacking my way in but that could take a while or there's a third option." She knocked three loud times before speaking. "We got em, battles over and we even got a prisoner or two who have been convinced to surrender and seem like they can be coerced into talking." She gave Chester the sort of look that politely asked how he'd feel about being captured.
Sometimes the most blatantly awful lies were the best because too there was just too much wrong for anyone to object to all of it at once so they just ended up too confused to complain.