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And now for the story.
A pair of scientists in the Commonwealth institution stumbled across something, odd. Among some partially corrupted data recovered from the capital wastes they found mention of a gene bank, hidden in the north of the continental united states as part of an Enclave initiative to ensure that humanity would not just survive, but be able to rebuild from scratch, to ensure a new American Eden would rise from the radioactive earth.
Further examination of the file gave enough evidence to assure the pair of the banks reality as well as the value encased inside for the ones enterprising and intelligent enough to crack it open and begin breeding the species stored inside.
Invigorated by the dreams of vast wealth that would come from an empire founded on being the only ones with access to pre-war species they began trekking north-westward to the great lakes, the northern border of which has frosted over in vast patches of white, the unfortunate result of the nuclear winter that has taken Canada.
Up here is one of the few locations in the continental United States that still has seasons, alternating between the chill of a normal late fall, and the dead winter of a small ice age.
Here the lake shores are dominated by the sailors brave enough to trade along the coast, and the towns successfully pulled out of the frost are connected to the coastal trade by coordinated but independent caravans, moving in lengthy rotation between the shore and what pass for cities.
It's to this near tundra that the scientists were drawn by thoughts of untold wealth. Establishing themselves in the remnants of the city of Green Bay, a city that had survived the worst of the ravages of the war and now operated as a hub for great lakes traffic under the name glowing bay, after the gentle green glow that kept the lakes warm enough to allow life to grow.
The pair considered the dangers that had been related to them on their trip, and that they had survived for themselves, they considered the cold, the uncharted wilderness, the beasts that populated it, the raiders that would just as soon kill them and steal their clothes for the warmth than look at them, and they reached a consensus. They needed help.
Working with their guide, as well as one of the local lake captains they began to recruit. looking to find talented people from among the local caravaners, scavengers and gunslingers, residing in Glowing Bay during the point in winter known locally as the deep freeze, the month long period when lake travel was impossible. They wanted people who knew the area, the people, the wilds, and the dangers ahead. Sure enough, people began to trickle in, looking for work and caps.
The pair of scientists had a definite roster of people they were looking to fill. They needed a guide who knew the area, a trader who knew the caravans, at least a pair of guards, a scavenger, maybe two, who would know the buildings and usual traps, a hunter that was familiar with killing and cooking the local flora and fauna, and a medic, in case the worst happened. They knew they couldn't have much more than ten accompanying them.
Info for joining
The Fallout Wiki will be a dear companion, and should be referenced frequently.
We will expect you to keep track of your carry weight
The formula is 100 + (10*S)
This will factor into the weapons and armor you carry, the food and ammo, and any other equipment and misc you have on you.
You will also need to keep track of your total caps, as I will try to make them important.
I'm keeping this in reserve, in case I need extra space for more information
If you send me any questions about the RP, and I think they need public answering, I'll include them here in addition to sending you a PM response.
Q: does this occur before or after the events of FO:3 & FO:NV
Q: Can I use weapons not taken from the Fallout canon?
A: Use your common sense, and ask me before hand, I'm likely to accept simple weapons, like bows and arrows.
Q: Can I play as something other than a human?
A: Yes you can, I encourage people to play as a ghoul or a west-coast super mutant.
Grizzlies The mutated descendants of grizzly bears, larger and furrier than their southern yao guai cousins, they closely resemble their pre-war ancestors, with the notable exception of their massive size. Weighing in excess of half a ton and standing erect at fifteen feet they are the local apex predator. Fortunately for the local human population, they tend to prefer the mostly unsettled north as their territory and are rarely seen near the areas human have settled. Their meat and hides are incredibly valuable.
Direwolves Large Wolves, the size of a man, they hunt extremely successfully because they continue the same pack structure as their ancestors. The packs average size can range anywhere in size from 5 to 15, they will hunt any target that looks open for the taking. Their presence is the primary reason that Frosts Caravans travel in large groups, in order to make themselves look less like targets.
Copperheads big, thick snakes, their mutation has made a series of metallic plates grow on the top of their heads. In addition to this they are also mildly radioactive, the heat of this reaction keeps them from freezing to death in the frosts, during the deep winter there are massive nests of copperheads, bundled together to warm each other with their radiation. Getting bitten by a copperhead is a serious problem out in the frosts, as their venom isn't just poisonous, but also radioactive. Their venom is rather valuable as it is developed into an antidote and a poison, and their skin is sold for decoration.
Badgers Unlike most other species in the frosts, they've actually shrunk in size. Now the size of a large rat or a small dog, badgers live in networks of burrows. Wild badgers, when threatened or disturbed fight viciously, but usually avoid the larger creatures of the frosts. Badgers have become popular pets, and are much more docile if raised in captivity.
Roosevelts Mutated Moose, while they too have grown in size, the most notable difference between them and their ancestors is the scale of their large horns, now ranging anywhere from 4-6 feet. The massive beasts are ordinarily peaceful herd animals, using their horns to brush aside snow to get at the tough vegetation that grows surprisingly well in the tundra. However when angered their horns become deadly weapons aimed at anything that moves. During the warmer period of spring and summer, the horns fall off, but regrow quickly. The females have no horns, but always travel within the large herds. Large horns are valuable prizes, and are often turned into furniture.
Bighorner Brought to the frosts by farmers from the area around the Rockies, their adaptation to the cold of the mountains has them well prepared for the climate of the frosts. They've begun spreading out into the area and their population is spreading, and are becoming ready prey for the areas predators. Bighorners are also becoming a common sight trailing behind herds of Roosevelts, eating the plants too tough for the others.
Brahmin Surviving up in the cold only by the virtue of the caravans that care for them. you are unlikely to see Brahmin alive outside of towns or away from a caravan. Most towns have built large stables, designed to insulate the animals during the deep freeze.
Drafter a hearty breed of draft horses that escaped and survived from various ranches after the war. Growing to become larger by a few hands, and furry, they're well suited to the cold conditions in the frost. Lately there has been a concerted effort to domesticate the drafters in order to replace the Brahmin, and most large caravan operations have one or two drafters moving with the Brahmin.
Nibblers Large mutated beavers, they've also grown in size, but their two notable distinctions are their incredibly sturdy teeth, capable of chewing through iron and concrete if given enough time, and their softly glowing tails. Largely considered pests due to the damage they cause, they make their homes in the smaller lakes around the region, and often damn off streams and rivers with chunks of old world buildings.
Muskys massive fish living deep under the frosted surface of the lakes, growing anywhere from 10 to 20 feet long they occasionally attack the ships that sail far from the shore, and are the primary reason that most boats don't sail out to the center of the great lakes. There are specially fitted boats that hunt Muskys, their hulls are steel plated and bristling with harpoons. Legends have been circulating of Musky Pete, a 50 foot long musky living in Lake Superior.
Catwalkers Catfish that have been mutated to stand, literally stand, at five feet. Having grown a stunted set of legs and arms and partially functional lungs, they are often seen walking up on the shore to feed on dead people and animals. They are generally regarded as little more than a nuisance, and are usually ignored. Though they will eat children left by the shores unguarded, swallowing them whole.
da da dah da dum, da da da de de, escapist had fucked up, so I reposted. (to the tune of "Strangers in the Night")
Outside the snow was coming down over the frosts creating a wide white blanket covering the city. Outside groups of kids with shovels worked to earn enough caps to keep themselves warm by digging out the streets and ensuring they are navigable by the residents of Glowing Bay. They were fortunate that this was the close of the deep freeze. All too soon the thick snow would become moist slush, and then would melt back into the ground, providing fuel for the plant life that managed to survive and return.
Sitting in one of the bars in the city, three men were grouped together on a table, drinking the alcoholic beverages that were produced in still and breweries around the town. One was a well know figure around the town, sitting wide and broad in his seat, and the other two were relative unknowns, only arriving in town at the beginning of the latest freeze. And the three were deep in discussion.
"So how exactly did you find out about this?" the big one asked
"by being smart" responded the tall bald one, an expression of dull uninterest coloring his face.
"HA... that may be a bit oversimplifying things, but, essentially yes. At the commonwealth we spend a lot of time analyzing finds brought in from pre-war buildings. We found a document, it was incredibly redacted and protected under a few layers of security, but it we got through."
The big man heard this and responded. "So what exactly did you find?"
"Unfortunately just enough to get interested. It was pretty heavily redacted."
"Redacted?" the big man interjected.
The tall scientist scoffed under his breath.
"It means the government blocked out some of the information. Anyway, it was about shipping genetic material from a series of local farms and shelters to a gene bank and cloning lab. Apparently planned as a sort of partner to the vaults for rebuilding the world, we knew it was around here, and we know what's in it, but exact details, like it's specific location, were removed"
"So where do I fit into this?"
"Well, we don't know the area and we don't know the people, everyone we've talked to has pointed us in your direction, they say you're fair and that you know people, and we need people."
"Well, they're not lying, but what exactly am I getting out of this?"
"besides a sense of satisfaction?" muttered the tall one
"Well, You own a trading service, what about exclusive distribution? We'll grow and breed old-world animals, and you help us sell them."
The big sailor laughed out a big belly laugh, this wasn't the first lunatic he had run into in the frosts, but he had balls, and if he was right, they would all be swimming in caps soon. He had heard worse schemes before, and the only thing this would cost him would be a little time, and you had nothing BUT time waiting for the deep freeze to end.
"Alright kid, I know a few people who are looking for something to keep themselves busy. I'll get in touch with them, everything else is your problem. including pay."
The smaller of the two scientists agreed quickly, any thing that got the pair closer to their goal was welcome news. "You won't regret this. We'll be at the rooms above the bar, send anybody who you get in touch with who's interested to us. As far as pay is concerned, We can afford to pay anyone coming in 200 caps, as well as a cut of the profits. I'm Jacob Schmidt, this is John Jingleheimer."
"And if I could ask you one more thing, in order to narrow this down, we need to find a building that would have intact government documents and records. Preferably one that hasn't been opened yet. Are there any places around here that have intact government buildings?"
The big man rubbed his beard briefly. "hmmm, the closest I can think of is St. Paul's. But I wouldn't worry about planning until you've got some people on your side." With that the big sailor called Nick took a deep swig of his booze and slammed it down on the table. "I'll live up to my end, I'll talk to some people I know, people I've traded with, and worked with, and I'll see who bites."
Nick went to the local clinic where that strange doctor had been working for the past few weeks. He always got a creepy vibe from Igor, but he thought that the slave Squire was friendly, if shy.
Nick entered the lobby and the woman at the front desk asked him who he was looking for.
"I'm looking for Igor." he said.
She pressed the intercom and said, "Squire, can you please come to the lobby? Nick is here to see the doctor." There was a muffled response and about a minute later, Squire entered the lobby wearing a set of bloody disposable scrubs. He seemed glad to have an excuse to leave the surgery room.
"Hey nick." Squire said with a breath of relief. "Whats going on?"
"Well, these two commonwealth lab types are going on an expedition. They are looking for the basic type round up, guide, muscle, medic, survivalist, that kinda thing. Since Barker will be back tomorrow, I figured your...boss could come along."
"Sounds good," squire said. "I'll talk to him about it." then in a quieter tone he said, "Go ahead and tell them we'll be waiting for them here. I already know he'll say yes.
"Thanks man. By the way, the base pay is 200." Then nick waved as he exited.
Squire thought about what they might be after on this expedition as he re-entered the O.R.
"What did he want?" Igor asked curtly without looking up from the liver he was stitching in.
"Some scientist guys from the commonwealth are going on an expedition and they need a doctor. the pay is 200 caps upfront." Squire said respectfully, despite Igor's indifference.
By the time Squire finished talking, Igor was stitching the patient closed again. His ever-steady hands making quick accurate work of it. As he stood up and took off his gloves he motioned for a nurse to take care of the clean up. he had a look of satisfaction on his face, the same one he has whenever he did a surgery. Good Squire thought. This will make him more likely to go along.
"Lets talk in my office." Igor said taking Squire by the shoulder.
As they walked Squire explained the job and Igor nodded. Igor seemed oddly eager to meet some true scientists. It had been a while since he met anyone he thought was worthy of the title. Squire could tell all of this just by looking at the unstable doctor. He guessed that is what years of partnership did to people.
When they got to the office Igor changed into his usual clothes then said, "Well, I can't wait to meet them. I presume they will come to us. If they don't then we know that they at least think that we need them more than they need us." Then he gave squire a quick nod before reviewing his supply of field-ready medical supplies.
Squire exited the office and changed into his armor and grabbed his guns, then went to the lobby for guard duty.
Roland flashed his shit eating grin as he won yet another hand of Texas Hold 'Em from another group of chumps who had blown into town looking to fleece some locals. Nothing quite like playing a raider into losing the shirt of his back. It's amazing how readily people will struggle with problematic vices. Especially if they aren't very good at them. Pulling his haul of caps towards him, he registered the shifting eyes and the attempted nonchalant switching of postures to better reach their weapons and his grin only grew. People just can't loosing laying down can they? Why do people instantly assume that a merchant cannot defend himself?
The raiders had been a step away from leveling weapons at him when they each discovered a gun pointed directly at their heads. "Now boys I know it's difficult losing but unless you want to whistle a jaunty tune through a hole north of your mouth then by all means follow through with what you are about to attempt." Roland's grin finally threatened to split his face as the raiders could only gape like fish before sprinting out the door. Chuckling softly, he holstered his revolvers before taking in his winnings, about 140 caps all said and done. Walking up to the bar, he nodded to bartender before a whiskey on the rocks.
Sipping it calmly, he closed his eyes before speaking, "I thought I smelled musky and irridiated sea water. What can I do for you Nick? Need some ammo for your shotgun? Perhaps a game of cards?" The man standing behind silently shook his head before answering rather amused, "No can do Roland. I do have an offer though. I'm taking some scientists on an expedition out into the frosts and was looking for some people to go along. Base Pay is 200." Downing the remainder of his whiskey, Roland opened his eyes and spun around on the bar stool. "200 caps for a chauffeuring some pencil pushers across the ice? Sure why not. Count me in Nick. I'll see you shortly then once I make some preparations."
Ohio was in his log cabin, a warm fire lit in the metal fireplace.
Kneeling on the floor, tools were laid out on the floor, and with two of them in his hands, he was busy with a caravan shotgun.
Taking it largely apart, he examined the dented and rusty metal barrel.
"Fucked." He muttered to himself before tossing it on his pile of scrap, and reaching in a metal case for a new one.
Applying the shiny new upper barrel, he then gave the shotgun a quick clean before he heard a steady two thumps on his door.
"Yep?" Ohio called, signalling to enter.
As the door opened, a wave of cold wintery wind and a strong smell of salt water and fish.
"What've you broken now, Shaunessey?" He asked heartily, before standing up and giving his friend a brief, firm handshake before shutting the door.
"Banter aside, what can I do for you?" Ohio asked, gesturing to Nick to sit on the best chair he had, a scavenged armchair Ohio had picked up from an abandoned cabin in the mountains.
Placing his large figure onto the chair, Nick spoke as Ohio made himself comfortable on a stool made of scrap metal.
"You up for a little expedition, Ohio?" The sailor asked calmly, confident that he knew Ohio well enough that he'd be up for it.
"I'm always up for a trip, what're the details?" Ohio replied, his face giving away his interest immediately.
"Two scientist types, from the Commonwealth, I think they mentioned, are looking for people who'd be useful to help 'em find some genetic device or some such, anyway, thought you'd be up for it. Pay is 200 caps up front." Nick explained, as a grin grew over Ohio's face, and his eyebrows raised at the mention of 'genetic device'.
"Nick, buddy, pay's a little short, but the real reward is the adventure, right? Count me in, I'll see you in a bit, I'll get some gear ready." Ohio replied, as Nick nodded and made for the door.
As Nick approached the stairs to the Two Fox Brothel, he could hear a lot of bashing and thumping from the inside, as well as the occasional yell from Margaret, the Madam. As he placed his hands on the railing, the doors burst open, and three men were standing there with Margaret behind them.
"And if I ever see you around one of my girls again, I'll have your eyes gouged out!" yelled Margaret, as the two men on the sides grabbed the middle one from the back, and tossed him down the stairs and into the street.
"Thank you boys," she said, her hostility being replaced by a coy charm, as the two men turned back to face her. "Consider your next two drinks on me."
Both men nodded, and wandered back inside, but Margaret paused for a moment as she saw Nick standing at near the base of the stairs, still holding onto the railing.
"Hello Captain," she said as she beckoned him in. "He's not welcome, but you always are."
"I'm afraid I'm not here for company this evening Margy."
"Well, then we can speak inside, let's not have any more of the warmth get out."
Soon enough, the two were sitting by the bar, exchanging small talk with each other as they had years before, back when Margaret was one of the working girls, and not the one looking out for them.
"I'll be honest Nick, I didn't expect to see you here, finally through with that hag Meridith?" she asked a dash of jealousy and spite still lingered on her voice even after several years had passed.
"Now, now, I know you two haven't ever seen eye to eye, but you don't need to be cursing each other," he said, as a small grin passed his face. Margaret hadn't changed a bit in years.
"Pity," she said as she crossed her legs and placed her arm on the bar counter. "Then why has the good old ferry captain decided to dock in my port?"
"As much as I'd like to say that I came in to say hi to a friend, I haven't, Merideth would be out the door if she heard I so much as set foot through the door," he chuckled. "I've come her for one of your boys."
"I think you've been out at sea too long Captain."
"No, no!" Nick proclaimed as he waved his hand and shook his head. "I've got a job to offer him from some Scientist types that are getting together an expedition."
"Clay? Brock? Nate? Tanner? Which do you want?"
"I'd appreciate if you could get Nate out here for me, but if he says know to this, Brock could be a possible replacement for him."
"Unfortunately, Brock isn't in tonight, but Nate is," she said as she gestured to one of the nearby girls to come over. "But I'm sure you saw him before helping me deal with that drunk. Some people just don't understand the 'no touching' policy, or at least don't pay to avoid it."
The girl that wandered over had a nervous, grim look on her face as she approached. She stood there for a moment in front of the two of them, before quickly grabbing Margaret's hands and looking her in the eyes.
"Please, please Madam, have Becky---"
"Sam!" she yelled interrupting. The girl quickly released her grip and stepped back, frightened. "You do not get a choice, the customer does. If you don't like it, consider yourself no longer under my care. Would you prefer trying to work out on the streets?"
"No madam," Sam whimpered. "It's just---"
"I don't care for excuses," she snapped again. Sam stopped her protesting. "Now, where is Nate?"
"I think he and Tanner are in the lounge, enjoying their first drinks," she said, trying to avoid direct eye contact with Margaret.
"Fetch him," she said as she watched Sam turn and quickly head over to the doors on the opposite side of the room. Only a minute passed before Nate made his way through the doors, and finding Margaret and Nick at the table.
"Hello Captain," Nate said, the curiosity blatant in his voice. "Why might you be here?"
"Got a job offer for you Nate, from some Scientists types," he said as he tapped his finger on the table. "They're wanting you on some sort of expedition, willing to pay you 200 caps for you signing on, plus a split of what they find."
Nate stood silent for a moment, deep in thought. He was trying to figure out what to make of the offer, as well as the employers.
"Nate," Nick said, his voice getting lower and quieter as he leaned in closer to speak to him, trying not to be overheard. "These guys aren't going after a lost town or factory; they're looking for some type of sealed underground vault."
Nate raised an eyebrow as Nick continued.
"Even if you and your brother had found this thing on your own Nate, neither of you'd even have been able to break into something like this," his voice was now little more than a whisper, but to Nate, with his interest this peaked, a grizzly could be roaring at his ear and he's still be have all of his attention on the Captain. "Think of all the riches that could be locked away behind that."
"Where can I find them?" Nate asked, his attention still completely focused on the pudgy ferry Captain sitting in front of him. Nick leaned back in his chair, with a big, fat smile crossing his face. He had gotten another hooked.
Harley was sitting at his usual booth in an old bar in the Glowing Bay working on his 12 beer, and showing no signs of quitting soon. He had been there all day as no one needed any guards for anything that day, so he thought What the hell, I'll go to the bar!.
As he sat there drinking, a familiar voice boomed out from behind him. "Sinclair! I thought I'd find you here!"
Harley twirled around and gave a big grin at seeing the second best drinker he knew, "Nick Shaunessey! You old fart, how are you?"
He got up to give the old man a big hug and sat him down.
"So, can I get you a drink or four? Hey, gimme tw-"
Nick put his hand up and interrupted him "As much as pains me to pass by a free drink, I didn't come here for that."
Harley looked with a mixture of confusion and interest at the captain as he continued. "Two scientists are lookin' to hire some people on an expedition."
Harley groaned and leaned back, "Oh, two pencil-pushers needing a set of muscles on a trip into the snow. What a nice change of pace..."
A smile crossed over Nick's face as he continued. "Ah...you didn't let me finish. These guys found a gene bank...has DNA of animals that haven't been seen since the bombs fell!"
Harley blinked with surprise "What would they do with that, make new ones?"
Nick responded with a little head shake "They didn't get too far into it, but they did say you get 200 caps for the job, and a split of the profits."
"Oh...so, they need some guy to carry the heavy shit, eh?" Harley drained the remainder of the beer in his mug and gave the sailor one of his famous grins "I'll do it! Hell, for 200 caps I'd wrestle a Roosevelt naked!"
They two men shook hands to signal a deal, and after Nick told Harley where he could find the scientists Harley stood up and grabbed his gun. "See ya later, Nick!" and made his way to the door.
Jingleheimer & Schmidt
The two Commonwealth scientists were in their low rent hotel room, Jingleheimer was standing and pacing along the far wall, while Schmidt sat reclined in a ratty chair. Their bodyguard Clinton was reclining on the bed, his arms behind his head trying to close his eyes and rest, and not succeeding.
[j] "I can't believe you just told him everything, you told us what kind of money we'd be getting if we find this thing, and now you're just going to tell everyone in the whole damn city what we're looking for. What if someone decides to go looking for it themselves? Then what?"
[s] "Then they'll be on exactly the same level we are. All we know is that it exists, we don't know where it is."
[j] That's another problem, we don't know where it is. You managed to talk me into walking all the way out here, and We don't know where it is! How the hell did you talk me into coming here?
[s] "You were just as excited about this as me John, when we found that file, we were over the moon. I didn't drag you anywhere."
Clinton raised his head up from the pillow and interjected
[c] "The only one dragged here was me. You'd better have a fucking plan, because I don't think I can handle sitting here and listening to you two bicker all day."
[j] "He's right, so what's your plan?"
[s] "Relax, you remember what the Captain told us, St Pauls still has intact government buildings, those buildings will have government documents. If there's one advantage to the pre-war bureaucracy, it's that they recorded everything. They'll have records of the facility, and we'll be able to track it down, even a shipping log will help narrow it down. We'll find the place, and all we need to do is get it running."
[j] "And if we can't get it running? We promised these guys a lot of caps, we pay all the people we're expecting and if this doesn't fall through, we'll have barely enough money to get home."
[s] "Then this better work."
Clinton began laughing to the point of almost convulsing on the bed. Finding the pointed and clueless optimism of the scientist absolutely hilarious.
[j] "Goddamn it. goddamn the cold, goddamn genetics and goddamn you."
Jingleheimer paced for a few more seconds before walking to the door.
[j] "This better fucking work."
The big sea Captain made his way back from the bar by the hotel where the two scientists were staying. After spending more time with the two he was more convinced that they would be able to find this gene bank they were so keen on. They had the right combination of balls brains and dumb stubborn pride to survive out in the frosts.
They had discussed a bit more of their plan with him. Nick educated them on the hazards of the frosts, discussed the the plan and gear they would need to get as far as St Pauls. He told them about some of the people he had contacted about the job.
He mentioned to them when the deep freeze would melt. And told them that the beginning, called "the thaw" locally, would be the best time to begin an expedition.
They wrote out a list of supplies they would need to have for a long trip and eventually came to something of a plan. They would be bringing a supply of food, enough to last the team that Nick had recruited at least a week. They would be supplying a supplement of ammunition for the more basic guns, but each recruit would be bringing ammunition for their own guns. Nick also had them purchase a collection of blankets and other basic equipment.
The three finally agreed on a time for the men to meet up, and a location. The season was looking like it was about to turn, so Nick had one of his younger crew members run out to the men he had contacted, to tell them that they were meeting in a week in the Lambeau stables, a pre-war stadium that had been converted into a complex for the care, housing, display and sale of Brahmin and domesticated Drafters. There one of the recruits, Roland, kept his Drafters and wagon. They would load their supplies into the wagon, and then move out.
Roland walked out into the frigid morning sun ready for some easy money. Over the course of the week, he had made preparations of his own, nabbing several barrels of gunpowder on the cheap as well as some extra tools and gun parts to better supply the rest of the group and bring a healthy source of caps at any town they stopped at. Spending a quiet half hour loading his personal wagon to about half capacity Roland thought about what the trip would entail. I'll definitely be able to keep up afloat when it comes to weapons and repair, perhaps I can negotiate a nominal fee with the two pencil pushers. They can throw their shit into the wagon if they need to, Hurricane Deck will be able to handle the load easily.
Walking over to the stable, he clicked his teeth and smiled as his trail partner trotted merrily over to him. Offering him an apple, he then proceeded to gently pat the fur on his sides be smiling and throwing a well used saddle over Hurricane Decks back. Satisfied with his preparations, he layed down in the partially frozen earth and graze and gazed up at the bounty of colors that splayed across the horizon. Hopefully these people are early risers as well.
Repairing Services Closed read the handmade sign on Ohio's shack.
Ohio had been deciding what to pack all week.
Laying every piece of equipment he had in his shack out on the floor, and deciding what could be used when, why, and whether it was truly worth keeping.
Eventually, the day before the expedition was to take place, he had come to a final packing decision, and now, a short hour or two before the arranged meeting time, he was ready.
Laid out neatly on the floor, next to a large rucksack, were some prepared items.
Among these were the obvious; his Riot Shotgun, with the furniture re-fitted with freshly made wooden parts, cleaned fully and glossed. His .45, Crossbow, and Knife were also shining with a recent clean. Plenty of ammo was lain out next to the guns.
He had multiple cans of Pork N' Beans, and 2 bottles of water: Ohio always used snow when he ran out, he just simply found a patch of non-irradiated stuff.
Along with typical survival basics were the post-War survival basics: multiple RadAways, 2 Rad-Xes, and a pocket Geiger Counter.
Incase the pre-war tech they might be dealing with required money, he took about $200 of Pre-war money in wallet, along with a small case of 200 caps
He took a rolled-up Roosevelt fur blanket, and that was all he thought he'd need.
Of course he would be wearing his clothes.
With all his preparations complete, Ohio decided to put a metal box outside the door, with a note: 'Gone for uncertain amount of time. If you want something repaired by me, leave it in box. I'll have a look upon return.'
Ohio put on his coat, hat, and boots. After double checking that everything in the large rucksack was in a firm place, and that there was significant loot room, he slung the bag over his back, along with his Shotgun and Crossbow, before holstering the .45, with the knife in a sheath on the other thigh.
With this, he set out the door for the bar, wanting to purchase one, potentially final, bottle of Green Bay's finest Whiskey for the journey.
Nate looked over the supplies he had laid out on the bed in front of him. His bandoliers were each filled with as much .308 and .357 rounds as they could take, with the excess held in an old ammo box. The green, rusting box was the first thing he placed in his pack, sliding it to the bottom side of the duffel bag he would carry across the wastes once more. On top of that he began to lay a few of the pots and pans he'd take on the journey. It would make cooking on top of a camp fire that much easier. A couple pots for stews and a few pans for cooking whatever meat they'd be able to get off of the trails. He slid a few mismatched bowls and plates to the side of it, as well as a cloth bag containing various pieces of cutlery and utensils. On top of that he placed a variety of empty sealable bottles to store water in, as well as a few cans of emergency 'non-perishable food' that he had bought from the local store. He began to wonder how they kept these cans of pork and beans fresh for so many centuries, but soon figured he'd rather not know. There was still a third of the bags space available though for Nate to use. As always, he took his extra pack and shoved it as best he could into the remaining space. He'd fill it with what he could loot later.
With his duffel bag packed, he picked it up. It didn't feel too heavy to him, which was good, as he'd be having to haul it for countless miles soon enough. He slung his pack over his shoulder, and took his rifle and crossbow and did the same. He placed his knife and revolver on the holsters on his belt. Checking the room to make sure he had everything else, Nate made his way over to the safe in the corner. Using the key he had been given earlier, he unlocked it, and checked over its contents. A small stack of pre-war bills sat at the front. Nate slid them into his back pocket. Behind them were his caps. He lifted it and jingled it, hearing them clink together as he did. There were roughly 400 there from his last count, maybe closer to 350 now, but still enough. Nate then extended his arms, reaching to the back of the safe to pull out his last bit of grizzly skin, and a necklace he had claimed from before the winter. He looked at each bit trying to determine what to do with each. He couldn't lug them around with him across the wastes; he'd have to part with them before they left.
A minute passed before Nate decided what to do with them. He'd trade the fur off for a few sticks of dynamite at the general store, and give the necklace to Margaret in exchange for a good dinner. It was surprising how good the brothel cook could prepare a good steak.
Nate closed the safe and looked over the room once more before heading to the door, and to the lobby to return his keys. His time in Glowing Bay was now up, and soon he'd be back on the trails once more. He'd enjoy his last steak at the Two Foxes before facing weeks, or potentially even months stuck with a small group of people he knew nothing about, wandering through the wilderness to who knew where.
Actually... I'll need 50 more caps for this evening...
(just going to move ahead)
The scientists had loaded the wagon, they had spent the week before collecting the equipment recommended. They loaded the supplies into the wagon, built in an old style reminiscent of the time in American history when "manifest destiny" was the agenda of the day. As the others trickled into the stadium the wagon eventually was filled. Given that snow was still a possibility, the thick canvas cover was draped over the wagons frame, protecting its contents from the elements. Roland hitched up a pair of furry drafters to the wagon, the strong animals would be able to pull the heavy wagon for the long distances required. Although they are not particularly fast.
With the wagon loaded the group was armed, equipped and ready to move on. The route to Saint Pauls would take them a few days of hiking, over what remained of the old highways, still employed as clear throughways for the contemporary travelers. Fortunately for their timing, they were not the first travelers to make their way out of the city. Several enterprising caravans had already decided to make their way through the deep melting passages, enduring the risks of early travel, in order to receive the guaranteed profits of being the first fresh faces the distant settlements see. They pounded down the snow, and left a solid, packed trail behind them.
And so the team began, some sitting on the wagon, keeping an eye on the horizon for any risks, others walking along side the wagon, keeping a reasonable pace, it was only the first day, and the more level headed of the team knew that there was no reason to burn everyone out when they didn't need to. However, an observer could tell that this was not the shared view. Jacob was bouncing back and fourth, alternating between fidgeting in the seat of the wagon, to walking along side the vehicle. Clinton walked along the wagon, holding his assault rifle, and looking ready for anything, meanwhile Jingleheimer rested in the back of the wagon, resting above the firm luggage.
As evening came the team set up camp. Some worked to build a fire, chopping down nearby trees, other set up tents, and some worked to make something to eat before sleeping. Until, in the distance, a loud howling was heard. Direwolves were a much larger problem to travelers and villagers following a deep freeze. Food was always scarce for predators during the deep winters, but they had adapted to survive the deep cold with minimal activity and extra thick coats. However, now that the winter was coming to a close they were hungry, they wanted meat, and didn't particularly care what the source was.
The team members who were used to the frosts, simply grabbed their guns, knowing the wolves were less likely to attack a caravan than they were some of the local herbivores, but preparing themselves regardless. Meanwhile the two scientists were practically quivering, not hearing the howls before, but they had heard stories of the beasts that accompanied them. Clinton had also gripped his gun, much more tightly than the others, and behaving in a way that could kindly be described as "twitchy"
The direwolves were hungry and they were on the hunt. The thaws of spring meant there would soon be pups to feed, and food was now their top priority. The pack had managed to drop a Roosevelt earlier, it had a broken leg which singled it out to the pack, but several had been hurt by its massive horns while trying to bring it down. But this was a week ago, and now the pack was hungry again. The majority of the pack was back in the den, licking their wounds, and protecting the pregnant females. This was a small branch of the pack, moving out to find more food for the soon to grow pack.
The Alpha had scented a group of humans, normally a dangerous prey to track, but the potential for reward outweighed the risk in this case. Especially considering that they scented the food the humans carried with them. The wolves moves closer, keeping low to the ground and moving slowly. 6 wolves crept forward, ready to take at least one of them away with them.
The first wolf leapt up to one of the smaller, weaker looking humans, and gripped him by the arm, closing his jaws around the limb. Loud screams issued from the humans mouth, until one of the others brought up their weapon, loading half a clip into the wolfs massive body.
Clinton lowered his assault rifle, blood was flowing from Jacob's arm where the wolf had latched onto him. The noises from outside the range of the light coming from the fire, told him that there were more out there. Jacob clutched his arm, crying out in pain. John pulled his own recharger pistol, prepared to defend himself and his wounded friend.
"Wolves!" Ohio shouted, as he saw glimpses of the dangerous pack animals darting around the treelines.
He unholstered his .45, and took aim as one wolf broke off from the encircling and charged.
Waiting a second to align his shot, Ohio squeezed the trigger and the powerful round exited the weapon with a loud bang.
The wolf whined loudly for a split second as the bullet pierced it's brain, and it skidded to the icy ground, dead.
"MORE!" He shouted to the rest of the group as the remaining 4 wolves charged from all sides, led by the Alpha.
Ohio stood in a semi-crouched comabt stance, and held his pistol steadily and calmly, as with his other hand he unsheathed his hunting knife, holding it firmly, prepared to stab if he either missed or a wolf got up close.
"Start climbing!" Nate yelled at John as he pushed him towards the nearest tree, and grabbed Jacob by the back of his collar. "One of you is already hurt, and I don't want to be worrying about you getting torn to pieces as we protect Jacob!"
In his right hand, Nate held his pistol, raised towards where he had last seen the wolves pass. With his left, he had grabbed Jacob, and began to drag him away from the open space between trees, and towards a small rocky outcropping about twenty yards off. As he did, he could hear a few shots fired nearby, and Ohio screaming about others nearby. Nate looked to the noise, and could see Ohio moving between some trees further back. A wolf darted by circling him. Nate could tell the wolves' attention was now focused mostly on Ohio, but he was still checking his shoulders, keeping alert to make sure none attempted to rush him or Jacob from the sides before they reached the cover of the rocks.
"Clint, help Ohio," Nate screamed as he started to step onto the outcrop with Jacob. "Unless you want this expedition team to start shrinking!"
Well things have just started wonderfully haven't they? We've been on the road for all of twenty minutes and Jacob's already missing a chunk of himself. Ohio seems to be making a good distraction of himself though. Time to press the advantage. Pulling his left revolver, he waited for one of the wolves to attempt a sneak attack on Ohio before firing, the .45 round striking true between the third and fourth ribs and shredding the heart of the mongrel. "You wolves are going to have to work for you're meal, " he shouted as he moved towards Ohio to ease some of the wolves attention off of him. Just one of those days isn't it?
John gripped the limbs of a nearby branch, kicking at the air as he hauled himself up the tree. The thin scientist managed to perch himself on the tree branch. Wrapping his arm around the trunk of the tree, he pulled out his recharger pistol and began firing potshots at the darting shapes on the ground below.
Jacob was being dragged behind Nate, he pulled his pistol and, still crying in pain, fired a few shots of the pistol over the ridge, he managed to clip one of the direwolves in the shoulder, the hairy beast was knocked onto its side, but quickly regained its footing and resumed its attack.
The pack of wolves were more propelled by anger than hunger at this point, leaping at the two legged foes that shot fire out of their hands.
Clint had backed into the wagon, ensuring that none of the wolves would be able to take him surprise. He lowered his assault rifle and began to fire into the furry shapes, but the wolves were moving too quickly, and the gun had too much of a kick for him to aim accurately. However, several of the direwolves began to display fresh wounds along their chests and haunches.
All was going well, the pack was beginning to tip more to flight than fight. Until John slipped, the tree, still wet, gave his hand a bit of slack, and a shot intended for one of the wolves took Clinton on the shoulder. FUCK, GODDAMN SON OF A BITCH, WHO THE FUCK HIT ME WITH A DAMN LASER!!! In response to the pain Clinton dropped his rifle, and clutched his shoulder, screaming obscenities for anyone who could hear. He briefly dropped to his knees, before scrambling for his gun, but that was exactly the moment of weakness the pack needed to see an injured member of the herd to single out and strike.
Huge jaws clamped down on Clinton's left leg and hand, gnawing at flesh and bone, and removing the hand at the wrist and the leg below the knee. Screaming in pain Clint pulled out his machete and swung wildly, taking another of the animals to its death. With a hefty chunk of meat in its mouth, the wolves began to move faster, and in bigger circles around the campsite, moving to an area where the humans would not be able to easily see them. Still howling they stalked in wide patterns, several of their members dead around the campfire, but still stalking, looking for a gap, another space in the humans defenses that they could exploit.
Ohio tried to stay calm and focused as panic and bloodshed ensued around him.
He watched the wolves, waiting for the right shot.
As one broke off and charged in Nate's direction, Ohio took aim and double-tapped, the first shot cracking it right in the skull and the second putting a hole through the neck.
The body seemed to drop at the front, and it tripped head over heels before lying still.
It was then that he heard Clint's screams of pain, and turned around to see two wolves savaging off his limbs.
With reactions that could only be so swift through a lifetime of quick-thinking, Ohio wheeled around and aimed his .45, as Clint sliced at the one chewing his leg.
Squeezing the trigger three times, the shots hitting the wolf in the torso.
Two of the bullets punctured it's lungs, and the third it's heart, and it fell off Clint with a lifeless thud.
As he was firing, Ohio had not heard the rabid footfalls or the snarling approaching him, fast.
Spinning around as fast as he could, he quickly saw that a wolf, larger than the rest, with darker fur, the clear Alpha of the pack, was very nearly upon him.
With not enough time to either aim or shoot properly, Ohio readied his knife as the huge direwolf leapt at him, and aimed a stab at it's skull.
There was a howl of intense pain as the wolf's body bowled Ohio over onto the snow, and Ohio looked to see the damage.
While he had missed the skull, he found that his large knife had sunk deep into the wolf's upper jaw, and was still firmly lodged in, the end of the blade sticking out the other side.
This was preventing the wolf from moving as it was clearly in excruciating pain, and more importantly, from cementing it's sharp teeth around another of the humans.
Ohio twisted the blade, so the sharp edge was facing up, and the wolf whined loudly as blood poured out of the wound.
Standing up so that the wolf wouldn't bleed all over him, Ohio then swiped the knife upwards out of the Alpha's jaw, taking off nearly all of it's snout in the process.
It whined sharply before falling unconscious in pain.
Another wolf that had been approaching Ohio stopped, saw the well-built man with the bloody knife standing beside the bested body of the pack leader, and turned tail and retreated.
Ohio wiped the blade clean of blood on the Alpha wolf, which was now clearly dying of blood loss, and made his was over to Clint, rummaging in his backpack for some Med-X and Stimpacks.
"We have wounded!" He yelled while he ran to the cart.
Squire Reduced two wolves to ash with his laser rifle before they knew what hit them. He burned a hole through a third one before his gun jammed. while he was trying to fix it he was knocked on his back by a fourth. Just before it could bite his throat it jerked sideways and fell off of him, with a shot from Igor's plasma pistol freshly deforming it's head. He helped Squire up and stuck him with a minimal dose of . Squire drew his .44 revolver and dropped a large female with two shots in the head. Then he picked up his laser rifle while Igor grabbed his field kit and went to where Clint lay wounded. With Squire covering his back he bent down and examined the leg wound.
"Well you're quite lucky," he said as he injected half of a med-x syringe into the exposed muscle. "if that mongrel had bit you just another two centimeters to the left it would have opened an artery." Then Igor took out a microfusion cell and overheated it before pressing it against the muscle that was held together with forceps. The searing heat brought howls of pain from his newest patient, but he ignored them as he rubbed some Absinthe on the burn and wrapped it in bandages, followed by a stimpak. All of this took about 20 seconds.
"There you are. And don't ask for any Hydra, I only have 1 dose."
He stood back up and put a hand on Squire's shoulder, giving him a slight nod. Squire pulled Clint onto his feet again without warning, and after an initial wave of pain he found he could still put a bit of weight on it. Then, to keep his eyes on the wolves, Igor took a Cat-eye capsule and handed another to Squire.
The few surviving wolves moved in a large circle around the camp. There were injuries, but provided Igor's skill held up to the expectation he had set for himself, no one would die as a result of the attack. The pack slowly broke off, long, loping strides carrying them into the secure darkness of the woods.
John was hung up in a tree, clutching the trunk and quivering, the pistol still hot in his hand, Clint was hunched against the wagon, hastily wrapping a bandage around his arm and leg to prevent himself from bleeding out onto the snow. And Jacob and Nate were still hidden from view over the ridge, but after the noise died down, they began to return, seeing the results of the wolves attack first hand.