The REALLY Wild Wasteland. (The Fallout RP!)

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A good thing about eyebots is that they can't actually fly. They have hover engines. This mans that they can slow their descent, but they can't go more than 5-ish feet off the ground of their own volition.
Jake was casually mowing them down as he was the only one equipped for dealing with large numbers of small targets.
The eyebots were equipped for dealing with unarmored targets, and didn't have an effective counter for power armor.
While Jake did pest control, the other Thorns were scouring the Lone Wanderer's stash.
Sam: "So many spare parts... And a rather silly stockpile of Shishkebabs in near pristine condition. I think the kid actually obsessively swapped to a new one the moment any of them were slightly used."
Moe was looking through a locker labeled "Unique weapons". They appeared to be special variants of the regular weapons found throughout the waste.
Moe pulled out a Super Sledge from the locker.
Moe: "Dibs!"
Jericho: "Got anything giant and lead-spewing?"
Moe handed a Minigun to Jericho.
Simms: Any fancy assault rifles in there?
Moe handed Simms an Assault Rifle.
And so it went. Moe felt like Sandy Claws, (The Deathclaw who gives gifts to good children, and evicerates bad ones) giving every citizen of Megaton a weapon to fit their heart's desires.
Moe also found a new Plasma Rifle for Sam, a large supply of Nuka Grenades for John, and a pretty new Gatling Laser for Jake.
John had found the armor locker, and in it all manner of protective apparel for the citizens of Megaton.
Moe: Jake! Got something for you!
Moe ran the new weapon over to Jake, and within seconds he was burning holes in Eyebots at a much better rate.
Megaton's citizens were armed like a small army.
This would be good.

Beryl smacked her lips and rested the golf club across her shoulders. She silently surveyed the pitiful scene of the incapacitated Johnny and Sylph. Either one of them had a terrible power within them, but for now, both were reduced to writhing around in the dirt. She considered what to do next. As tempting as it was to stove in their heads, she knew there was no way it would actually work out like that. How irritating. Finally, she sighed and wandered over to Sylph. She retrieved the stimpack from her suit pocket and jammed it straight into the girl's bloody thigh.

"Now you might think I'm not the toughest or the smartest," she said eventually, "but I don't think there is anything weaker or dumber than letting myself be led around by that thing your head, Mr Truant." She looked down at the ground and practised a few golf swings in the dust. There's no way he could have missed. she thought. that thing won't let Johnny kill me yet, will it? That's lucky.

She'd been thinking it over for a while now. You don't leave someone alive unless you need them for something. In other words, you don't die as long as you are yet to fulfil your purpose. For that reason, Beryl saw no reason to hurry on towards wherever this thing wants everyone to go.

She turned to Johnny, who was still going through the odd spasm.

"You might not want it, but you look like you need all the help you can get to deal with you know who," she gestured with a finger to her head, "and I don't need more competition from the likes of him."

She retrieved her goods from the wreckage. With the Thompson back in hand, she sat on the ground, lit up a cigarette, and waited for the other two to pull themselves together.

Crashed Bird

Johnny was still spasming and coughing when... out of the blue he just stopped.(1)

(1) I stopped the withdrawal symptoms in their tracks... for now. And picked Mr. Truant's body up off the ground. Literally. It levitated a few inches off the ground, suspended by nothing but... a second shadow as lesser observers would comprehend it. I moved this body towards Beryl.

"You are growing most..." I pause as if looking for the right word, "tiresome, Cold One. As for Mr. Truant being weak and dumb... hmm... he's smarter than you. He saw through you straight away. You imagine yourself to be comparable to one such as I? You think that you are competition to me?" I can't help but chuckle, "Oh don't be simple."

I place Mr. Truant's right hand on Beryl's forehead, and share... a glimpse of my past with her. A torrent of images: Cavemen beating each other to death over territory, Crusaders and Salahadim's finest troops killing each other over Gods and a few decrepit cities, French Revolutionaries storming the Bastille; The North, lead by the first Ulysses, charging through the South's states shooting and burning just as much as the South ever did; the horrors of the first two World Wars; the war between the Bear and The Bull far to the west, over a stone blocking a puddle; and finally, two stars trying to murder each other across the aeons, sped up to show the true battle for what it is, the yellow sun dies, while the red survives. I remove my hand and allow Beryl to take in the view around her.

"That is but a fraction of what I have accomplished over the millenia," I say, setting Johnny back down on the ground, "You, your lifespan, and all you have done until now and all you ever will do, is nothing more than a flicker in comparison."

I coughed, and kicked the rifle even closer to Sylph's hands.

"As you may have guessed by now, if you have a brain in there," I continue, "I have taken many hosts in all this time... Mr. Truant being the latest in an... from your perspective, unfathomably long line of them. And of them all... he is the only one that has ever managed to defy me in the slightest. Do you think that I saved you? No. I wanted you dead after that... brilliant display of intelligence back there. Mr. Truant saved your life. Why? Hmmph. The answer should be obvious if you've been paying any attention to these two at all."

"And I will warn you this once," I place a hand on Beryl's shoulder, letting her have a brief glimpse of all the agony Mr. Truant has suffered since he became my host, "DO NOT do anything more to upset my host or those he holds dear. He is mine to do with as I wish, and I will not tolerate any more of these... shenanigans of yours. Is that perfectly clear?"

The Crashed Mister Black Formerly Enclave Twirly Bird:

BUT WAIT!!! NO! NO! NO! NO! First Inside of Sylph/Sylphee/Shithead's Brain

CREEEEEEEE-CLUNK! Went the Mister Cage Door as it was shut by someone rather familiar looking but not at all familiar to Sylphee as she looked at the also familiar looking but not at all familiar inhabitant of Missus Cage before looking back at the original familiar looking but not at all familiar person who was standing in front of her with a rather not nice looking expression on her face.

"Hey who're you?" The Girl in the Red Cloak asked as she looked at Miss Grumpy Looking Girl in the Red Cloak as Miss Grumpy Looking Girl in the Red Cloak sat down at a coffee table that had appeared from out of thin air.

"Do I really have to answer that question or were you being rhetorical? Oh wait, you don't know what rhetorical means do you?" Miss Grumpy Looking Girl in the Red Cloak said as she looked at Sylphee in a rather grumpy way before something seemed to come through that the both of them could hear.

"I'm sorry sweetheart. I don't think I'll be here when you wake up. Just... please, don't listen to Beryl. To her you are nothing but a pawn. I love you Slyph. If I'd ever had a daughter or a niece... I'd want her to be just like you. Sure... you're troubled, who isn't? You're the kindest, sweetest person I've ever met. And that goes for both of you in there. Wish I could've known you longer."

"Hey! Hey! Hey! That was Papa Johnny Shakes! I like him. He's the coolest! I mean did you see the way he mowed down those Ghoulified Cult Cloaked Ghoul Cultists? BRATATATTATA! That was coooooooool." Sylphee said with a smile as she sat down at the coffee table opposite of Miss Grumpy Looking Girl in the Red Cloak who looked like she was annoyed at this point.

"Jesus. Can they ever just stay away from the wounded birds? Oh wait, no they can't that's why he made us the way we are." Miss Annoyed Looking Girl in the Red Cloak said before returning her attention to Sylphee.

"You're going to get us killed." Miss Annoyed Looking Girl in the Red Cloak said as she stared Sylphee directly in the eyeballs.

"Us? No way! I'm invi - invi - invisible!"

"I wish you were invisible but what you mean is invincible and no we're not invincible, you twat." Miss RUDE Annoyed Looking Girl in the Red Cloak responded with a stern tone of voice.

"Just be more careful. There's only so much I can do to keep us alive and we still have to kill that Undertaker that killed our Master."

"Who're you again?" The Girl in the Red Cloak asked in a happy tone as she remembered that Papa Johnny Shakes and Mommy Meryl Barrel were probably waiting for her and that made her happy to have people that cared enough to wait for her. Miss Rude Annoyed Looking Girl in the Red Cloak must not have understood English so well since she just sighed and disappeared, but not before saying.

"I'm going to go wake us up. Just don't do anything stupid okay? Oh right, I forgot who I was talking to."


OKAY! OKAY! Outside of of Sylph/Sylphee/Shithead's Brain

Master Johnny kicked the rifle even closer to Sylph's hands as she lay there, her eyes slowly opening as she remembered where she was. She was on the ground near the crashsite of the Enclave Vertibird and Master Johnny, no not Master Johnny, the entity that was within Master Johnny, was speaking to Mistress Beryl. There was a certain edge to this editor's voice that made the Stormy Girl in Red want to rip out his throat but she knew that it would mean the death of Master Johnny if she had gone through with the action.

Allowing her eyes to roam around, she noticed the Red Gem choker laying nearby, its black ribbon wrapped around the barrel of Master Johny's Lever Action Rifle. Moving slowly, Sylph palmed the choker and placed it around her neck as she thought to herself

"(I guess she does have her us-)"

Sylphee? Calling Sylphee to the stage. You're up kiddo.

"DO NOT do anything more to upset my host or those he holds dear. He is mine to do with as I wish, and I will not tolerate any more of these... shenanigans of yours. Is that perfectly clear?"

So Mister Editor, have you ever seen the movie Alien(s) 3/Resurrection? You know those face huggers? Well be prepared to meet the Sylph-Hugger.

"PAPA JOHNNY SHAKES!!!!" A rather boisterous voice screamed as the Editor suddenly found that he was under attack, or rather everything went dark as a rather excited Sylphee had jumped into the air and landed on Mister Voice from the Beyond Editor Man, her arms and legs wrapping around Mister Voice from the Beyond Editor Man's head. Now it's not to say that Sylphee was a heavy girl, but still that amount of weight and that amount of surprise is bound to knock someone off their feet and it did, in fact knock Mister Voice from the Beyond Editor Man backwards and Mommy Meryl Barrel as well since Mister Voice from the Beyond Editor Man had his hand on her shoulder.

"WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!" Sylphee screamed in delight as the trio rolled down a steep embankment that had been behind Mister Voice from the Beyond Editor Man which was probably a good thing since Mister Black Formerly Enclave Twirlybird went

"KAAAAAAH-BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMM!!!!!"

as the trio landed at the bottom of the hill.

"Can we do that again?!"

[OOC: My god, you people are funny.]

Since William had basically instituted a 'Ladies first' response, Natsuki led him off to the requisition point where he could get Incinerators or Flamethrowers as he liked for this situation. One thing of importance that he would note was that all of the weapons were pristine. They made them here. There was no sign of wear and tear, and that requisition place looked to be STOCKED, lots of stuff with good soldiers guarding it, Heavy Troopers with Plasma Vulcans. After he got armed up and the girl was up ahead, Alice chimed in.

Alice: It should be safe for me to talk inside the suit, and for you to respond if you turn off the mic before you do. They have weird shit going on down here all the time now. That girl is called a Diclonius. Satellite feeds showed them as beings from Japan who could slice anyone apart that was nearby. Look at her back. The suit's filter should show them, the vectors. They're a sonic-vibrational force in limb form. Stay well out of her way. I'd love for one of their experiments to get out of hand like this one and kill the ones who are against us, but it's too indiscriinate and it'd probably never work...

She went silent, and they arrived at Bio-Lab 3. Only uhhh...well, it seems that the party was already starting. Natsuki cursed under her breath, suddenly looking decidedly...pissed. Why? Because she saw what they were handling, and that there were a few other soldiers already here. Big monster plant, right? Large monstrous stalk, like a prehensile neck leading down to brown roots that were thick and acting as a great amount of limbs for movement and leading up to an impressively-large mouth with teeth. Between all that, a helluva lot of thick vines that splinter off into more vines and are all over the place. They looked...strong. They looked like...they have big thorns, full articulation, and budding mouths of their own. This was one big ugly monstrous plant. But uhhh...you know what else was up?

Soldier: The plant talks!

Plant: No shit, Sherlock! Tell me somethin' I don't know!

Soldier: The plant's gone sentient. Fucking burn it!

Oh shit... No sooner had the song started up, then a number of the vines whipped around and knocked the Enclave soldiers right off their feet and against the walls or floor. The bastard was taking on the offensive, and looks like it wanted to get out in the worst way! And to top it off, it was trying to take the plasma rifles off the soldiers!

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Evan: You know, sometimes...I really wish I weren't so good at this. Fortunately, I have your knife.

Dudley: You be careful with that thing. That knife could slit my wrists faster than you could imagine.

Evan: I may be a light-weight, but I'm not clumsy.

Dudley: Well...I mean, I DID sock you a few times.

Evan: ...I'm on Med-X.

Nevertheless, he was able to get him untied and up on his feet. Geez, that was some fight last night... However, as they were getting ready to leave, Evan noticed a smoketrail. Something was heading East, vaguely in their direction. Evan was no fool. He and Dudley were in a so-so condition, mentally or physically, and they had to make some sort of report and get the Brotherhood to DO something. Because they DID learn something here. They had where, and they had increasing numbers, and they had a way in that obviously led to William getting killed, but he was one man and a team of Paladins could go in and do some damage. They had to get back, and that meant safely, or safety in numbers. So, he tried to flag over whoever that was.

The person in question was Hayes. Well, that's what people called him. Anyone saying different could go to hell. He was in his refurbished Flea, heading East while keeping some of the action away from himself like, you know, bombs when he would notice a kind of pulling-out campsite and a couple of guys trying to get his attention. Didn't seem like there was much around for an ambush, but hey...only he could decide. Risk it? Or screw it and keep going?

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"MUTANT'S LOG, NUMBER...UHHH...DUNNO. FORGOT."

"THEY MADE ME GO BACK TO THE DOC, AND I WANTED TO TASTE MAN-FLESH TONIGHT!! IT'S ALL THE STUPID WALRUS-MAN'S FAULT, 'CAUSE THEY CAUSE HE LOOKED FAMILIAR... I DON'T CARE!! I WANT MEAT!! BASTARDS SAID I COULDN'T EAT HIM OR HIS FRIEND, ONLY HIS GHOULS, AND THEY TASTE NASTY!!"

"DIS JOB SUCKS SOMETIMES... UHHH...FINISHED."

He had to run them back, all the way back to the Bethesda Ruins in his shopping cart backpack, and deliver them to him, the Doc. When he hollered, Doctor Bastion came out and the cart-pack with the walrus and Abe was lowered towards him. He grinned wildly.

Doc: Crawver! You're back! I missed you! So...how was the wasteland?

Abe? Crawver? You're at Bethesda, surrounded by Behemoth super mutants and the Doc is here. What will you do? What WILL you do?

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In the chaos of things at the Citadel, the black Vertibird made to leave with some precious cargo. It hadd Barry, Lucy, FalloutBob, and our surprise passenger...Shifty McGee! Shifty had attempted to Morse Danielle to not shoot at the thing, but she decided not to listen to him and instead aimed for one of the propeller motors. She took careful aim, letting the vertibird pass into her line of fire, she squeezed the trig-

The barrel of Danielle's gun sagged.

"We're even, sweetheart!"

She wouldn't have to guess whose voice that was. Obviously, the Enclave sniper had noticed Shifty's signal too. Yes, it had been aimed at Danielle, but when it was not... Well, you get the idea. Meanwhile, on board the vertibird itself...

"It was one of your men, that took my vision."

FalloutBob: Ummm...whoops?

"Nevertheless Sir, thank you for bringing me home...my new home."

FalloutBob: Well, you know... Priorities change, stuff's going on, and I need some time in the sick tank, otherwise I'll get addicted to hulking out, and we do NOT want that.

There seemed to be some issues with Barry from the girl, though. Why be so hard on the man? He was awesome!

"One more thing, Sir. You told me find out any information on the Brotherhood's next move? Bethesda Ruins. That's where The Brotherhood have narrowed down The Doc's location. We were going to be sent in to deal with him. They were preparing a huge assault to serve as a distraction while we made our way inside."

FalloutBob: Bethesda? BETHESDA?! I need to send out word to the BOX if that's the case. That man will pay...

Barry and Lucy knew nothing of Metal Gear Box, the stealthiest automated nuclear launch platform ever built, a self-motivated war machine.

FalloutBob: Huh, that's weird. I point a signal back there and all I get is GNR...

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And here's our autonomous boy now, the MGB! Currently, it was in an inert state after shooting down Gilford. Now...the MGB does not have a voice to speak with, but it has a brain, a mind. Let's peek in on its thoughts, shall we?

MGB STATUS - GOOD

(Self Defense Mode)

(Radar System Jammed)

(Communications System Jammed)

CURRENT DIRECTIVES:

{1} Discover/receive evidence of Behemoth center of activity and/or Dr. Bastion. MISSION: Destroy.

{2} Destroy all attackers that attempt to destroy this unit.

{3} Re-establish contact with home base.

Waiting. Waiting. Still waiting. No new orders. Radar and communication inoperable. Attempting to re-establish contact. Negative. Full signal jam originating from point 'GNR'. Activating nuclear warheads. Denied. No authorization. Authorization cannot be granted without communication with home base. Origin of GNR signal not currently in line of sight for targeting. No current opposition.

Brotherhood of Steel member sighted.

BoS agent taking non-threatening posture. Continue processing decision. No orders to engage, but no orders will come while jamming is in effect. NOTE: Jamming from GNR cannot be ordered to stop remotely. If this was done as a ploy, nobody can tell them to stop without going to the station. Destruction would appear to be the logical means of ending the jam.

Unknown Impact: Top.

Remove offending attacker. Cannot locate. Target has moved.

Gauss Impact: Rear Port 2.

Frank was beginning to cause a bit of a problem, and the Box deployed those tendrils to get him the hell off of its back, but unfortunately it was having a helluva time with him, even ended up standing while trying to remove him.

MGB MENTAL NOTE: Request creators to install device to electrify armor surface.

This led to Frank dangling, though. And then...a jeep! A jeep driven by an army ghoul and rode in by a few BoS scouts and Gilford came drove into the area! Gilford was aiming a rocket launcher at the tendril-port that our boy Frank was stuck to.

Gilford: Hold still, Franky!

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

FIVE MINUTES AGO...

He had come across a few of the scouts along with a ghoul in a jeep. Gilford had been preparing to hoof it back to base, but he'dd seen down the street that Frank was blue and in a bit of trouble. He addressed the jeep driver now.

Gilford: You're the one that reported that giant machine, right? Well, one of our guys is stuck on it and he needs a hand. Let's get him out of there!

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

Jackson Badass Murphy was back. He was driving the jeep by the rear of the big bot at high speed, allowing Gilford to blast the tendril and get Frank to fall right in the back of the vehicle, where the scouts began to cut the machine's limbs away from him. A load of dynamite from the driver himself also exploded underfoot as the machine stepped down. Seemed to give it a trip-up, but they were on its shit-list now. They could see it sitting on its treads and following now. For now, Gilford was giving it rockets to think about, which it actually placed its arms in front of to protect itself.

Gilford: It's got a big freakin' eye there. Can only be a complex targeting system. We should take it out if we can, but not yet. We have to get this thing away from the Citadel.

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We now pause for station identification and go back for a moment to FalloutDavid, Wayne, and Stan. David Davidson had just remarked on the awesomeness of seeing Nukezilla blown up, and now he was kinda' watching Frank mess about with the MGB, chuckling at the man's antics.

"Sure was. Enclave huh?"

FalloutDavid: Yyyup.

Hang on, there was this...annoying light that...HEY! His favorite vertibird was leaving! And that BoS girl was aiming at it. Well, we can't have that! David suddenly fired over at her gun and watched it sag like his sniper rifle had before.

FalloutDavid: We're even, sweetheart!

"I had a friend with ties to the Enclave y'know, he loved all kinds of technology, mainly stuff that could help people though."

FalloutDavid: Hmmm, you don't say.

"Maybe you know him, his name is Arcade Gannon..."

FalloutDavid: Let me check my database. Hmmm...Arcade Gannon. Ah, here we go! Not on the hit-list, not considered a dangerous asset. Aha, that's why. 'Retired'. He don't work for us no more. Not in any official capacity.

From there, he attempted to contact a ride, but apparently all the radio channels in the area couldn't get contact for love of radio and god because of GNR right now. And then, the Box was attacked and it went off after the offending people in that jeep with Frank... David shrugged.

FalloutDavid: Guess I'm walking. If you guys have some business with me, let's get going. I'm heading north to the Empire of Dave.

Yeah...guess what HE finally annexed.

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FalloutJohn is sort of a laid-back kind of dude. He doesn't tend to yell or carry on. He's even-tempered, rather easy-going even. It's just that they put him in charge of a great deal of solid ammo weaponry and nasty explosions. He likes 'em, and he likes his Enclave Stinger hybrid-copter. Right now, Johnny Bo Drago - our man in the black powersuit with the blue highlights - is chilling against his chopper now, smoking a cigerette right through an open vent of his suit, which is normally used in the event of the normal air system breaking down. He was feelin' fine, having been informed that {A} the MGB was working now and {B} Bob had escaped. Nice day too.

BOOOOOOOOOOOMMMM!!!!!

FalloutJohn: Yyyup, that's a vertibird. They were right.

He'd received reports that a vertibird might've been abducted and then damaged by the people flying the thing, causing it to crash. Well, it'd appeared nearby, actually, so he was waiting for stuff to happen down in this here gully. The kaboom told him that whoever stole the machine wasn't going anywhere. They were either dead...

"Can we do that again?!"

...or close by. Yeah, funny thing. FalloutJohn had just watched three people rolling down the hill. One of 'em was on the Enclave hit-list, another had been observed by a slew of Eyebots as weird and dangerous, and the third was a dangerous elder woman. He dropped his cigarette, pulled out his Vindicator Prime gauss vulcan, and called over to the three.

FalloutJohn: Hey. Heeey. Aren't you guys suppose to be MY enemy or something? This is kind of awkward.

During this time, the whole affair had unexpectedly been made a John-A-Thon. We have Johnny Truant, we have FalloutJohn, and we have...this man! They called him John Smith, and he was a video game character. No, really! In as much as Barry was a superhero - THE FLASH! - this man is a character and his life is a video game. Where he hails from, we can only guess, but right now he had just witnessed a glorious 1000-point explosion, followed by a weird gathering of NPCs. The guy on the right could've been a hostile, but he hadn't quite gone red yet. He seemed to be in talk mode with the other three. Was this a cutscene? Could he interact with it? What was the plot? These graphics were so realistic too...

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The Eyebots were certainly going down faster now. It was all a rigorous application of Rule #37 in The Seven Habits of Highly-Effective Pirates, which states that there is no overkill, only the open fire and the time to reload. They were cleaning up nicely, but unfortunately the Enclave had also read the book, and demonstrated so thusly...

11. Everything is air-droppable at least once.

The three vertibirds opened up from on high and dropped their super-sledge-wielding Replicants - android machines built directly into Enclave powersuits - onto the high walls of Megaton, where they attacked any person that was nearby, not caring at all how much the Lone Wanderer's weapon cache might tear into their armor if they could slam someone hard with a powersd freakin' hammer. There were at least half a dozen of them, faster and stronger than normall Enclave soldiers because they're all-machine.

4. Close air support covereth a multitude of sins.

The rapid-laser and plasma guns mounted on the vertibirds opened fire on the people inside Megaton. One of them was dedicating its full attention to Rose's Thorns, since - you know - they were the BoS and, therefore, enemies. However, there were things going on in other areas, such as...

3. An ordinance technician at a dead run outranks everybody.

At the Springvale School, some Eyebots had tripped a number of boobytraps left at the supposedly-unoccupied school. Windows suddenly broke as railspikes and dynamite flew out and nailed the suckers before exploding loudly. This action would surely have stirred the owner of the boobytraps, a man by the name of Larry Hatchet...who was rather skilled with explosives, improvising, and so on. As it stood, these bots were toast, but there were more. Fortunately...

9. Never turn your back on an enemy.
12. A soft answer turneth away wrath. Once wrath is looking the other way, shoot it in the head.
13. Do unto others.

Several of the little buggers were being stabbed and slashed in half by a tall girl in robes called Oli. Between all of this happening out in the open, the remaining Eyebots around here didn't know who the hell to shoot, so they started shooting at uhhh...everything. Kind of silly, really, but they're simple devices. And one of 'em is jabbering on about space. Definitely gonna be one of those days...

Frank was in a vehicle.
Being in a vehicle that Frank was in was like being in a house full of radon and asbestos, at the foot of an active volcano, in a nuclear test zone, directly underneath the sword of Damocles.
In short; this would end badly.
"Other than the back nukes, the thing only seems to have direct fire weapons on it. I doubt it'll use the back nukes. If we can keep out of a direct line of sight, we won't die horribly!"
Never get on the boat.
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Everything was perfect forever.
Or so Danielle thought, until...
"We're even, sweetheart!"
"Cunt-pickle! Fuck-nuggets! Shit-Waffles!"
Mr. Impotent had damaged her favorite rifle. As far as Danielle was concerned, she was never even with anybody unless she was in a better position than them.
Metaphorically castrating this man was no longer good enough. Literal castration came close, but still not as much as what she had planned for him.
But first, he had to be stopped before he escaped.
Luckily, he was easy to keep track of from all the smoke.
Danielle saw a nearby Paladin with a scoped laser rifle.
"Give me your rifle, get my rifle to a knight for repairs, go to my room, and grab a large box covered in lightning bolts, and bring it to me!"
"Yes Ma'm!"
The Vertibird was out of range now. The number of targets to vent her frustration on was quite limited. This was not good for her only remaining target.

Jackson Badass Murphy

It's got a big freakin' eye there. Can only be a complex targeting system. We should take it out if we can, but not yet. We have to get this thing away from the Citadel.

"The fuck did you think I was gonna do, take it to your nursery?!" Jackson snapped back at him, quickly. Giant death-bot 5000 was already pissing him off, weak battle strategy from the guy who couldn't fly a vertibird helped nothing!

"Other than the back nukes, the thing only seems to have direct fire weapons on it. I doubt it'll use the back nukes. If we can keep out of a direct line of sight, we won't die horribly!"

"Fucking faith too much to ask for, smoothskin?!" Jackson took a sharp turn, drifting slightly and rolling down his window. He stuck his assault rifle out, and took a few potshots to see if he could get the thing riled up. He hoped the guy was right, back nukes sounded like... pretty much exactly what they were.

"Next stop, Greyditch!" Jackson put ghoul flesh to pedal, and he sped off with his unknowing hostages in tow. Ants deserved their fate anyway. Ants were terrible.
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Oli

Oli sighed, eyebots... she thought. It was eyebots, right? They didn't look like eyes but the name felt right... She shrugged, and wiped the oil off of Joyeuse on her sleeve. The robots exploded around her, and she took a few steps forward. There were traps around, she heard their explosions and saw the after effect, therefore someone must have laid the traps!

"Hellooo, who's out there? I promise to only stab you if you're hostile..." She didn't want to fight again, so soon. That only led to bloodlust. And so near a city... That'd be bad. Also messy, and quite hunger inducing for cannibals who liked things bite sized. She simply bounced the flat of the blade on her shoulder, and waited for him to introduce himself.

She got bored after a second and wandered off to go find more ballbots to kill.

Stan stared blankly at Wayne.
"Oh, right. You did say something about..." he shrugged. "Thoughts for another day! For now, we, uh. Ought to get out of here maybe?"

"If you guys have some business with me, let's get going. I'm heading north to the Empire of Dave." the funny-armored other man said.
"Oh! The Empire of Dave? Is that like the Republic of Dave? I went there once. They were a little bit nutty. Democracy, pheh. What's it good for." Stan continued, completely failing to notice the dramatic battle raging around him. "Well, are we gonna go? I kind of did promise one of them I'd come back one day..."

He looked pleadingly at Wayne. "Oooh, can we go with Mr. Scary Enclave Man? Sounds like he's your best shot at finding your pal. And plus, those brotherhood guys are kind of pricks. The Enclave seems like more fun!"

At The Bottom of a Hill Near Mister Sploded Black Former Enclave Formerly Functional Twirlybird:

"Hey. Heeey. Aren't you guys suppose to be MY enemy or something? This is kind of awkward." Said Mister Power Jammy Jams FalloutJohn sounding sorta like he was confused or something of the sort which cause the Girl in the Red Cloak to pounce.

"HIIIIIIIIII! Mister Power Jammy Jams!" The Blue Haired girl exclaimed as she latched on Mister Power Jammy Jams FalloutJohn's arm as she shook it rather profusely and excitedly and forcefully as if she was a piston in the engine that used to be attached to Mister Sploded Black Former Enclave Formerly Functional Twirlybird but was now about a quarter mile away since Mister Sploded Black Former Enclave Formerly Functional Twirlybird spoded in a big BOOOOOOOOOOOOM!

Like always, she assumed that everyone she met was a nice person, except for that one guy near Falls Church who tried to beat her up and take her choker but ended up having his wrist broken and his entrails becoming extrails and then his friends got their butts shot off, quite literally, somehow.

However, there was business to attend to. The business of Mister Jammy Jams and his cigarette that happened to be sticking out of his mouth.

"Heeeeeeeeeeey Mister Power Jammy Jams. Smoking's bad for you. You should stop. You should. Hey! Give me that cigarette Mister Power Jammy Jams. Gimme gimme gimme!" Sylphee said as she started grabbing for the cigarette that was dangling from Mister Metal Jammy Jams FalloutJohn, when she spotted something infinitely cooler than a cigarette.

"Hey! Who's that?!?!" The Bright and Shiny Girl asked as she pointed towards a man or woman who might or might not have been wearing a helmet since they were too far away from Mister Metal Jammy Jams FalloutJohn, Papa Johnny Shakes and Mommy Meryl Beryl.

Today seemed to be quite the lucky day for Sylphee since she had found two people that could be her friends since Papa Johnny Shakes and Mommy Meryl Barrel had been upgraded to Papa and Mommy status respectively.

Looking at the man, Sylphee determined that he must have been wearing a helmet otherwise he had a really shiny sparkly face and an oddly shaped head. Come to think of it, this was the Wastland so he really COULD have a really shiny sparkly face and an oddly shaped head. There was only one way to find out as she charged full steam at the man in the distance she would soon call, MISTER JOHNNY HELMET HEAD!

Larry was in the middle of checking through a row of lockers as he heard one of his many traps detonate, looking at the corridor which now had a lovely view of the wasteland he said to himself 'Looks like I should keep an eye out for trouble' he then chuckled as he got his grenade luncher ready with a emp grenade.

"Hellooo, who's out there? I promise to only stab you if you're hostile..."

From the sounds of it there seemed to be a raider or psycho in the building, larry decided it would be better not to announce his presence. larry decided it would be best to get to higher ground, making his way slowly up the stairs while also setting some traps with emp grenades. By the amount of eyebots larry saw outside it seemed that the enclave were up to something big nearby. It most likely had something to do with megaton or the vault nothing else of value was nearby, but what ever it was he was going to make sure they weren't getting it or would have to go through hell and back to get it.

Stan was right, his brief encounter with the BoS hadn't been the most encouraging. Not only had the soldier been openly rude to him, she also didn't hesitate on leaving him behind to save her own ass, to go and hide in their 'Citadel', much like the BoS of the Mojave apparently stuck to their bunker.

This guy however, had been more helpful with one sentence than the entire BoS had been to him so far. Not in any official capacity That told Wayne one thing, he could be working for them on the side. Gannon was the kind of man who preferred to do things his own way after all, and was more focused on doing things that directly helped, instead of running around doing fetch quests like some sort of lowly courier.

"Alright buddy, we can go... It's not like you really needed my permission anyway" He said to Stan as he began following the Power Armored crack shot. "This Empire of Dave good for trading? Could really use some ammo, dynamite, Pain relief, he thought to himself" Without his Robobrain, it was going to be a painful walk, with few supplies to handle any kind of random wasteland encounter.

They made their way away from the blue, Nukezilla guts covered, giant robotic building, flying men, falling vertibird territory and headed after the Empire. The soldier, the cripple, and ghoul and Stan.

"Fucking faith too much to ask for, smoothskin?!"
[Luck]"Faith is like luck; it's a crutch for those without skills and plans."
"Next stop, Greyditch!"
Greyditch? That place had gotten a lot nicer once the ants were all dealt with. Right next to a main road, lots of driving room, not much cover.
That meant they were heading west. Frank had lost track of his orientation while on the crab, it was good to have a sense of where everything is again.
[Perception]...Speaking of cover...
[Repair 100/75]The building coming up on their right had seen better days. Old office building. 10 stories.
[Explosives 50/50]A blast on the right spot would cause the whole thing to topple in the direction the blast came from.
Frank grabbed the box of dynamite.
[Science 65/50]Dynamite. T.N.T. Tri-Nitro-Toluene. Nitroglycerin (The N in TNT) is one of the most explosive substances on earth. The other stuff added to it acts as a stabilizing agent until an electrical pulse goes through it. But if caught in another explosion; it will still blow.
[Strength]Frank chucked the entire box to the sweet spot on the building.
"Gilford; when I give the word, fire at that spot!"

Heading East Across the Dunes of Death

"LIKE A BAT OUTTA HEEEEEEEEEEEEEELLLLLLLLLL!!!"

Hayes sped across the wasteland in his trusty Grasshopper, tapping along to the radio as he went, positively smashing the wheel with heightened enthusiasm fueled from his high. All concept of speed was lost on him, as he dodged every obstacle with inhuman reflexes, the fluorescent three-wheeler leaving it's trail of irradiated dust billowing behind it.

As he drove off into the sunset, Hayes began to become increasingly aware of two figures that seemed to materialize on the horizon. Normally he would have put this down as a sign that either his buzz was fading, or that he had a bad batch of Med-X, but these mirages grew ever clearer as the car drew nearer, with their encampment's rising smoke also lending credence to them being real.

The pair seemed to be flagging him down, presumably in an attempt to ask for some form of assistance. He had seen enough Raider ambushes to be wary of strangers, but their seemingly isolated location made their plight a little bit more believable. After all, what threat could two lone raiders pose to him?

Hayes slowed the Grasshopper on it's approach, before pulling up and parking the car a good 30-feet from the campsite as a precaution. As he lifted off the roof and began to clamber out of the vehicle, a familiar voice sounded from the base of his neck.

Pssst. It could be a trap, I'd hate for you to die horribly

Hayes brushed off the voice's warning as he walked towards the duo that had seemed so eager to get his attention, most likely wanting one of the few functional vehicles in the wasteland.

On closer inspection, he saw that the pair were hopelessly mismatched: one was a weedy looking man looking decidedly out of place in his combat armour, probably being much better suited to books than weapons; the other being a giant of a man, standing almost 7ft tall in stereotypical merc outfit, looking like he'd seen better days. The odd coupling seemed to reaffirm his theory of them wanting to steal his vehicle, the giant merc merely providing muscle.

Openly brandishing his trench knife, Hayes approached the pair cautiously. He was eager to maintain a certain amount of distance between them to show that he wasn't totally aggressive, the last thing he wanted right now was another headache.

"Well well well... What brings the likes of you two out here on this fine midsummer's day?"

Lucy: Stuck in a Vertibird with no place to go

For the most part, Lucy had kept quiet during the long flight. FalloutBob's replies were either accepted with a nod or didn't warrant a reaction. Bored as hell, she figured she might as well make friends...

"Soooo, where are we going exactly? Aaaaand, are we there yet? Aaaand when do I get my standard-issue black power armour, huh? I think I've proven to be reliable. I want purple-lighting, or I'll settle for pink, but I'm thinking purple."

Bob pointed his finger directly at her, rather dramatically, in fact. He didn't sound too impressed with her.

"Listen, you. These glowing highlights are for Fallout Sector only, as if to say that 'I'm so badass that I don't need to hide the fact.' You might get power-armor if Jack approves, but you're not Fallout material just yet."

He paused for a moment before lowering his finger and shrugging.

"And...we're heading out of state. It's gonna be a while still, even by air."

"I'm already pretty badass..." Mumbled the eye-patched Gauss Girl before indicating that she understood. Okay, don't joke around the Boss-man, got it.

What the hell was Fallout material anyway? If anything, Bob had let it be known that wherever they were going, she was going to be processed by some "Jack" person. Lucy just hoped that processed was not synonymous with evaluation.

Mother dearest had shown her plenty of that.


Despite Lucy's currently dismissive attitude towards everyone in the world but Bob, there was always something to punch you in the gut yet again.

That something, was located outside the small window in the distance. It wasn't difficult to make out, even with one remaining eye. The mountainous pile of scrap turned into a city: Megaton.

Was there anything significant about Megaton at this point? Well for starters, it was swarming with Enclave Vertibirds, airdropping soldiers from above and the perimeter had an innumerable amount of Eyebots scattered along the ground.

No! Lucy had made her first Enclave report years ago. Megaton was aware of their presence in general, maybe a few educated guesses about The Enclave, especially with more frequent visits from The Brotherhood. Fearing for the worst at the time, Lucy had submitted a report that Megaton knew absolutely nothing but rumours.

Had her incomplete truth potentially doomed the residents of Megaton? Why was this being done? What was there to possibly gain from all this?

The personal guilt was nothing short of overwhelming, yet she felt hopelessly out of control at the same time. This allowed her valuable moments to revise and retain her cover identity.

Her instincts urged her to blow off FalloutBob's head at point blank with her Gauss Rifle.

Her Mother's social manipulation training urged her to turn her openly-displayed anger into a believable cover for her emotions, so as to make her reaction believable. Yet not too believable to the point where a rapid departure from her previous behaviour would make her look suspicious.

Show shock, express yourself, don't burn any bridges just yet.

Flinging open the door, Lucy pointed at Megaton and shouted back at Bob, "What the hell is all this?! We had a deal! I report my findings on Megaton, you leave them alone!" For the first time, since the loss of her eye, she had properly emoted. Shock, concern and betrayal was evident in her tone. Yet her manipulatively trained eye showed room for persuasion: understanding. "Look, all I'm asking is for an explanation."

She just hoped the last part of her prepared "reaction" would sway FalloutBob into believing that she could be subdued back into reason, thereby gaining her "faith" once more.

For once, FalloutBob sounded genuinely confused, as opposed to Lucy's outrage and shock.

"I dunno. I've been locked up without my suit in Brotherhood territory. How could I have done it? Hmmm...let's find out.

He turned on his radio and radioed into, presumably, his base.

"Hey, dispatch! Who's in charge of annexing in the capital wastes right now? Was the position circulated again? It was? To whom? Eh heh...the devil you say. Him, really? Figures. Well, I'm riding home in Davenport-1 and he's not here. Tell the nearest vertibirds to give me escort...just to mess with him a little."

He signed off, chuckling to himself, then shrugged.

"FalloutDavid again. Little upstart's all about himself and all things Dave."

Usually, Lucy would be more concerned with what Bob had just said, but something else had caught her eye's attention. Something she couldn't believe.


Downwards, hanging off the footholds, was Shifty Mcgee, The Illustrious Undertaker of The Wasteland. What was he doing here?!

Lucy wasted little time leaning out of the Vertibird, extending her hands and pulling with all her might. Using her safety-belts to hold her in place, she felt like a fairly strong anchor and hauled most of The Tall Undertaker inside the Vertibird, enough for him to make it on his own. Lucy held him in place at least until he decided to move on his own volition.

Quickly hoping that The Undertaker would not break her cover identity, she looked up at FalloutBob and shouted the first thing that came to mind: "He's with me! He's being helping me with The Brotherhood!"

The Undertaker would usually be met with Lucy's previous signature smile and appreciative blue gaze. Now, her remaining eye was fixed into an extremely icy glare simultaneously warning him and indicating for him to follow her lead.

Something was significantly different about Lucy. Usually she was such an expressive individual. As of now, her face was expressionless as she dropped the glare and shut the door.

The Thorns had dealt with with the eyebot menace.
However, when it rains it pours.
Vertibirds.
Jake: "Vertibirds!"
Vertibirds and airdropped soldiers with Super Sledges.
Moe: "Finally some proper melee action! I was getting sick of fighting guys with guns."
Moe ran out; intent on doing much smashing. This left Sam to look through the weapons stash.
Sam: "Well those certainly are Tesla cannons."
Jake: "Sam; you're on AA duty!" (For those unfamiliar with Tesla Cannons, they were developed to counter Vertibirds. They are highly effective against them, and can down a Vertibird in a single shot.)
John was gleefully throwing Nuka Grenades at every Enclave soldier.
When he saw no fleshy bits coming out of the molten remains of the soldiers he had hit with Nuka Grenades he came to a logical conclusion.
John: "I think they're robots!"
Moe: "I love smashing robots! This day just keeps getting better!"
While Sam downed Vertibirds, John blew up any clusters of robots, and Jake provided covering fire, Moe charged into the fray.
Jake: [Suppression] "I've got you covered Moe, get to it!"
Moe: [Unstoppable force]Moe proceeded to smash through the head of a blocking soldier. "Yep, they're robots."
One then proceeded to smack him away into the nearest building with it's super-sledge.
Sam: "You okay?"
Moe: [Toughness 2]"I'll be fine once I smash some more of them!"
Jake: On the plus side they're out of birds!
Sam: "Not quite yet, I see one in the distance. They'll be out of birds momentarily though."
Bum bum bum!
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Paladin Fredrick was on a mission.
"Who is Paladin Fredrick?" you ask?


Star Paladin Danielle had taken his rifle, and sent him to drop off her rifle and retrieve something from her room.
The rifle was the easy part, he simply handed it to a knight with orders to fix it.
After a bit of running, Malcolm came to "The Rose Garden" as the Thorns had taken to calling it after Lyon's Pride dissolved and abdicated the Den.
Going through the Rose Garden, Malcolm entered a side room.
Near the bed, he saw many things that I will not elaborate on for the sake of your sanity. He also saw a man-sized black box with handles on the sides, covered in lightning bolts.
Malcolm attempted to pick it up...
[Strength]"Man this is heavy."
Malcolm went out into the hall to find the nearest person to help. He found them in the form of a Paladin; Ms. Alex Thompson.
"Star Paldin Rose ordered me to bring something to her, but it's quite heavy."
"Sure thing."
And with that, they were off.
But what's in the box?

"This Empire of Dave good for trading? Could really use some ammo, dynamite," Wayne asked after agreeing to come along.

"Dunno." Stan said in an uncharacteristic, laconic way. "Assuming it's the same place I used to know, not really. But I dunno. Been a while. Last time I was up towards Boston."
Stan finally realized just how large of a battle this was, looking around. There were lots of people around, shooting and killing and dying. It was pretty neat. He'd never been in such a large battle.

"Cool! Look at all those lasers!" he said, looking around. "But, uh. Maybe we should go faster? This can't be safe. It kind of looks like those brotherhood meanies are winning. I don't want to be nearby if they do. So, uh, Wayne? Is there maybe something I can do to help? I've got a couple stabby-healy things," he asked, retrieving one of said "stabby-healy things"- a stimpack.

Zoom continued puffing his cigar. Trying to let Sergeant Major Bitch's words roll off his back like rain. If he didn't have to work with her he would have slugged her again. So instead he just thought about it while holding in the smoke in his lungs and slowly breathing it back out with his eyes shut.
Lucy:"He's with me! He's being helping me with The Brotherhood!"
"What now?"Zoom opened his eyes and leaned over seeing Shifty Mcgee hanging out of the Vertibird. "Wait...Shifty found him in the middle of the wastes and was determined to give him a proper Burial. He wasn't even heading toward the Citadel until we...I mean they heard violence. He was as confused as Barry was. And even if he was why would he hide on the Vertibird without letting Lucy know. Why wouldn't she have mentioned him during the escape from the Citadel? She was obviously lying. But why? Did she just have a soft spot for this guy or is she going to pull a double cross against us? Hmm...Should I reveal this now or talk to her about it. Hmm...She is a massive Bitch, but she is useful. Bitch. Useful..."

Beryl slowly stoodup and dusted herself down.

"Thanks for that Sylph," she said hoarsely, "the situation was getting a little too serious."

She blinked away the horrific images from her head, trying her best to put them to the back of her mind (and not really succeeding).

"So who's this fucking guy?" she said to Sylph.

She didn't get an answer. Instead she was treated to a display of the young lady, grabbing for cigarettes. Not being the trusting sort, Beryl thought it was best to keep her weapon at the ready. She slowly and subtly trying to reach for her Thompson, all the while staring and nodding at FalloutJohn in a passive, friendly sort of way. It didn't going well. The strap got caught around her tattered suit, the gun fumbled out of her hands and it fell down around her legs. Still keeping eye contact with FalloutJohn, she stepped out of the strap, picked up the gun, and pointed it in his general direction. Fuck thought Beryl, Maybe he didn't notice.

""Hey! Who's that?!?!"" shouted the young runt.

Beryl flinched and grabbed for the trigger. Luckily, she was holding her Tommy gun backwards, and all she succeeded to do was give the foregrip a good squeeze. Finally she looked down, noticed her mistake, and reorientated the gun so that it was pointing at something useful.

"My apologies" she said to Fallout John.

Johnny took an immediate interest in the power-armored newcomers. Especially...

"Hello, FalloutJohn," Johnny said as The Editor fed him the name with distaste, "What brings you here? And... how do you know Sylph, here?" He said, stepping to get closer to the Red Princess and wrap an arm around her. "Well... however you met, don't even think of trying to hurt this one, got it?"

"Huh, you know... all these people meeting here... reminds me of this one time," Johnny took a deep breath before continuing his tale... and started pacing, "I had just escaped from the Junta of Dave when I fell into this giant frickin' molerat hole. Like, unbelievably large. Not like a canyon or anything ridiculous like that, just big enough for this fucking idiot to fall in because he was running away from a horde of uzi-toting children that were bent on cooking me over a spit and using my blood as barbecue sauce."

Johnny paused in his little story, and looked around as if checking to see if there were an angry group of children hanging around... waiting. Didn't look like it so far, so Johnny kept pacing around the whole group and telling his story.

"So I was tumbling down the hole," Johnny went on, digging through his satchel, checking for how much ammo he had left, "when I got stuck about halfway down. At least, I think it was halfway down. Anyway, I got stuck, dangling down there, from a root or something like that... when this group of white-furred apes started approaching out of nowhere. Don't worry though, I'd heard of these fuckers before, so I took the flare gun I'd been carrying around at the time, and light that tunnel up. You know what happened next? The albinistic little fucks start howling about how all they wanted to do was ask about the surface world and whether they could come up yet and start selling fire in-sewer-ants or something again. So one of them angrily slaps me off whatever got me stuck and further down the molerat hole I tumble."

"So hit the bottom, and you know what I found?" Johnny paused for effect, though he kept pacing around the group, "A bunch of molerats trying to play twister, using their own teeth as betting chips. Don't ask me how I figured that out in a few seconds. You don't want to know." Johnny's left eye started twitching uncontrollably until he smacked himself in the face and kept on pacing, "So I asked them for directions, they point me to a nearby cave. I go through it, and soon the walls change from rock and molerat shit to metal and... molerat shit."

"I keep going, until I hit one of those metallic doors you might find in a Vault or an old military base." Johnny kept pacing, not quite remembering if he'd actually let go of Sylph during all of this, "So I knock on the door. It opens... and inside are MORE molerats dressed in Enclave officer uniforms muttering to each other about how the experiment was a complete failure. As I listened, apparently they'd been working on a way to control molerats and weaponize the annoying buggers."

"And that's the Enclave in a nutshell... performing all of these stupidly perverted experiments, twisting science in on itself and turning it into something horrific and monstrous... in order to make monsters for their own use... and" Johnny coughed, his throat was getting dry, "they always, always fuck it up. Hey, Enclave, why don't you assholes all pick up and move to the Big Empty. At least then you'd have an excuse for being so obviously retarded!"

"I mean seriously," he said staring directly at FalloutJohn, "When have any of these nuthouse experiments of yours EVER worked out for you?"(1)

(1)"Yes, I'm curious myself," I say as I drain all of the color out of Johnny's eyes for effect, "Just what does the Enclave hope to gain out of any of this? Demolishing Megaton, what was the point of that? If you were after me, then great job setting up a trap only someone as stupid as Beryl over there, would fall for."

Giant green monster plant? CHECK
Murderous intent? CHECK
Ability to cause massive amounts of damage? CHECK

It's one of those days isn't it? For William it had been one of those days for a while now, and as the monster plant slammed various Enclave soldiers against the walls it looked like it might be one of those days for a bit longer.

"Follow my lead." William said to Natsuki. Really hoping that his plan would work, that plan being: Talk to the monster plant.

Yes, this is a terrible idea. No, that isn't going to stop William at this point. "Hey big guy! Hold on a minute there. Let's just talk this one out yeah?" The plant shifted in a questioning manner, vines poised to seize multiple plasma rifles.

"Surely you can see that violence isn't the answer here, now I don't want to hurt you, it would be a shame to damage you. But if you kill these men and keep attacking I guarantee..." William paused, considering if he should really do this, he hated saying things like this, though speaking with a Terrifying Presence really did help get him out of problems, "We will burn you so much nothing will be left but a pile of ashes and your pitiful shadow scorched into the wall." William gave a little squeeze on his flamethrower and a small burst of fire came out. Natsuki did the same.

"Our armoury is well stocked, and we have more than enough fire to destroy you... so do the smart thing and talk to us."

The plant whisperer and Natsuki waited for a response.

========================================================================================

"Well well well... What brings the likes of you two out here on this fine midsummer's day?"

This cautiously approaching figure had black hair, green eyes and was well dressed. "William, is that you?" Said Dudley, hardly believing his eyes. You really shouldn't believe your eyes dear Dudley, this was Hayes. He might have looked a bit like a William who had found a few habit forming drugs and had been rolled in the mud a few times but he was very different. Also, watch out for that knife, it can do bad things to you.

Evan shuffled away a few steps, placing his hand on Dudley's back and giving a little push, it was clear Evan didn't want to deal with this guy. Unknown to the others, Evan was starting to get a bad reaction from his earlier Med-X dose. First came nervousness and jitters, then if he was unlucky, came the visions, the things that shouldn't, couldn't be there but were. The things from Vault 106.

That was if he got worse, for now he just looked away from the newcomer and trusted Dudley to sort it out.

"Hey there pal, ya can just put that little thing away there, I don't think we need that. We're friendly, we just wanna talk. Say, if we'd a wanted to kill you like raiders I'd have just shot you as soon as a saw ya." Dudley realised that friendly tone or not, that last bit didn't sound so good.

"Uhhh, hey I don't mean it like that, what I mean is we're clearly not raiders so put the knife away. Now me and my pal Evan here, name's Dudley by the way, are just campin' out. We were gonna be settin' our way east in a while. Why don't we just come over to the camp and chat huh?" Dudley extended his hand, a peace offering to this stranger.

Crouched over he approached his target which thankfully was turned away from him.
The explosion from earlier had caught everyone else's attention and from the look of things everyone there was a unique NPC.
This meant one thing, unique loot!
Closer and closer he came, the only thing that stopped him from going any faster was the number of people there.
Making too many noises and at least one of them might hear him.
One wrong move and someone would see him.

Any of these events would force him to leave the area and try again.
Maybe even fight if they were hostile to strangers.
Though his interface listed them as neutral it was possible that if they saw him he'd undergo a dialogue session which could end up with them demanding that he pay them for passage or something.

Wouldn't be the first time this had happened.

Regardless he was in a prime position and the only thing he was waiting for was the prompt on his screen that would tell him that he could pickpocket the target.
Bullets, guns, caps as long as it was valuable and not too heavy it would be taken.
Everything else would be more or less left alone unless he had room to spare.

He contemplating dropping some empty bottles actually.

He was almost there, he could practically feel the loot and then...

"Hey! Who's that?!?!"

Shit he was being pulled into a dialogue menu!
As his neck and attention was pulled unwillingly away from his target he could feel the frustration boil as his camera zoomed in on the person's face.
He hated being interrupted like this, scripted events like this always pulled you out of everything even if no one could see you, it was BULLSHIT!
He must've crossed some invisible scripted line!
Well at least no one would call him out on being a pickpocket today.

Though annoyed his curiosity was piqued, the scripted event did lead to a conversation with a girl, an attractive one at that. But the most important thing was the BLUE HAIR!
It lead him to the conclusion that she was an important NPC, a companion perhaps or at the very least a quest giver of sorts.
Maybe she could tell him about all the other NPCs with her, perhaps they were a group, a faction of sorts.

"MISTER JOHNNY HELMET HEAD!"

Gosh that was loud, better to turn down the volume when he had the chance, maybe muting the game would be alright.
After all he had subtitles turned on.
A second later his interface provided several possible dialogue choices, none of them included an option to tell her to turn around so he could rob everyone in the room.

"Hello there Miss, how can I help you?"
(Charisma 2/3) "Hey Baby, if I said you had a hot body would you hold it against me?"
"What do you want?"
"Go away, I'm busy."
"How do you know my name?"

The 'Go away' option was tempting but every single angle had to be evaluated first.
After a moment of thinking through the choices he decided to go with the last one, afterall he NEVER told ANYONE his name EVER, it was weird for someone to actually say it.
Even if it wasn't his proper name of 'John'.

"How do you know my name?" Came a synthesised voice from his helmet.
A curious NPC for sure.
Then there was a hat....
Damn buggy games.

Somewhere in the Wild Wastelands, Near a Mister Sploded Utterly Black, Formerly Working, Formerly Enclave Twirlybird:

Little Manic Riding Hood was all over the place focus wise, which wouldn't have been an issue in most cases but she found herself being pulled in two or three separate directions all at once.

First and foremost was the story that Papa Johnny Shakes was telling Mister Jammy-Jams (that's short for Pajamas) FalloutJohn that totally engrossed the girl to the point that she had done a 180o turn to listen to Papa Johnny Shakes' story. She was so engrossed in the story that she could imagine herself playing Twister with the Teeny Weenie Itty Bitty Mister Molerats. She could imagine them spinning and spinning and spinning and spinning and spinning and spinning while screaming "TWISTER" as they did until one of them, most likely the Sky-Blue-Haired-Just-Turned-18-Yesterday-or-two-weeks-ago-maniac-of-a-girl-wearing-a-red-cloak-and-red-dress, inevitably puked.

To her surprise, she did find herself spinning and spinning and spinning and spinning and spinning and spinning and spinning before she quite literally stopped to look at Papa Johnny Shakes with the most endearing smile that she could stick to her face without the use of Photoshop or any other reality manipulation thingies.

"Hey, Enclave, why don't you assholes all pick up and move to the Big Empty. At least then you'd have an excuse for being so obviously retarded!" Papa Johnny Shakes said ending with a moral to his story.

"Papa Johnny Shakes. What's the Big Empty? Where's the Big Empty? Will you take me to the Big Empty sometime with Mommy Meryl Barrel? Can we bring our new friends? Are these our new friends? Can we keep them? PLEEEEEEEEASE?!?!?!?!?" Sylphee asked, giving Papa Johnny Shakes just a few seconds to answer her questions lest she lose track of whatever it was that Papa Johnny Shakes was answering.

Then there was Mister Johnny Helmet Head's turn to start talking.

"How do you know my name?" Asked Mister Johnny Helmet head or something that could have been Mister Johnny Helmet Head's voice or something forcing the Cutest Force of Nature in the Wild Wastelands to turn back around and almost puke all over Mister Johnny Helmet Head's head/helmet/thingy.

"What's your name? I don't know your name? Do you have amnesia? Because sometimes when I close my eyes and open them again, the sky goes from dark to bright. I think I have amnesia. Do you have amnesia Mister Johnny Helmet Head." The Sky-Blue-eyed girl asked Mister Johnny Helmet head before she noticed the hat that had fallen from the sky and put it on top of Mister Johnny Helmet Head's head/helmet/thingy, took a step back and shook her head before putting the hat on her own head.

Airplaning over to Papa Johnny Shakes and Mommy Meryl Barrel, Little Maniac Riding Hood stopped to pose in her new hat.

"Do you like it Mommy Meryl Barrel? Do you like it Papa Johnny Shakes?"

"Papa Johnny Shakes. What's the Big Empty? Where's the Big Empty? Will you take me to the Big Empty sometime with Mommy Meryl Barrel? Can we bring our new friends? Are these our new friends? Can we keep them? PLEEEEEEEEASE?!?!?!?!?" the adorable Red-and-Blue Princess said, bouncing with excitement.

"You don't want to go there, sweetheart," he said quickly, remembering that one time he'd narrowly escaped becoming a lobotomite... Courier turned up at just the right time for him to escape on a nearby rocket, "As for this guy," he pointed to FalloutJohn, "I doubt he's going to be a friend. And as for this... guy," Johnny just stared at the Helmeted John. "I don't know what's going on with him but... he needs a new name. FalloutJohn, me... and this guy... too many Johns wandering around here. FalloutJohn works well enough... and I'm sure as hell not changing my name... again, so yeah... John in the Helmet... you need to come up with a non-John nickname for yourself. Pronto."

Johnny leaned on his rifle again as Sylph interrogated the newbie. Then the hat landed on her head.

Do you like it Mommy Meryl Barrel? Do you like it Papa Johnny Shakes?" the adorable blue-haired wonder said.

"Yeah," Johnny chuckled at how cute she always managed to be, "It suits you. Looks nice. Hmm... reminds me of this one adventurer I hung around with for a while when I was a kid. He kept calling me short-round for some strange reason, and he never went anywhere without his hat and never left it behind if it fell off. Weird guy. Died one especially sunny morning... fell into a spike put full of poisonous snakes and then crushed by a giant boulder that came out of nowhere. It was kind of funny to watch for some reason. Guess all I can hope for is that my own death is that funny."

Lucy had smiled for the first time since the loss of her eye. Truth be told, she was relieved that Shifty was able to come up with something on the spot, something that even made sense. However, the smile lost itself after her eye fixed itself into an icy glare as she slipped back into her cover.

Crossing her arms, she addressed Shifty authoritatively with a slight edge of amusement and warning.

A warning that this was a delicate situation.

"Ever the opportunist, aren't you? If I had known this was your end goal. We could have arranged something more elegant than hitching a ride via foothold. That was risky..." Sighing, she dropped the glare and her voice reflected caution instead. "But it solidifies my cover as a hostage at least. Just tell me about any of your plans that may involve me in the future."

Lucy decided to make the introductions and add an explanation.

Clapping her hands together, she motioned between everyone. "Sir, meet Shifty Mcgee The Illustrious Undertaker of The Wasteland. Shifty...meet Fallout Bob!"

Yes, Shifty. You're sitting next to the man that murdered my Father. Retain your cover. Please.

"And I guess there's an explanation needed for the slow and uneducated...and Fallout Bob. You see, the Undertaker here, was my ticket IN and OUT of the Brotherhood with no questions asked. If ever I had to leave to make a report to an Eyebot, I'd be monitored and marked as a traitor by the Brotherhood within seconds. However, an Undertaker is free to go as they please without the added surveillance...so we worked out a deal and we've been working together. I provide locations of future corpse parties and the Undertaker lets me use him as a hallway pass."

Just go with it! That should cover for you too!

Lucy fixed her eye into a glare that moved between Barry and Shifty. "Just to clarify for everyone present. My job over the past few years has been gathering intel for the Enclave. So don't go jumping to any assumptions that I'm a traitor to this cause. I hate being second guessed."

You know it's a different story, Shifty. I can't give you a signal here!

"Fallout Bob set me free, showed me what the real world is like, now I finally get to see my new home." She said so while running her fingers along her unscoped Gauss Rifle.

Lucy closed her eye for her last sentence. There was an uncomfortable truth in her words that she didn't wish to display.

How far down the Rabbit Hole was she willing to go?

Paladin Fredrick, and Paladin Thompson had returned with Danielle's box, while Danielle tracked Mr. Impotent through Fredrick's rifle's scope.
"Ah, you brought it."
Danielle opened up the box.
The Zeus was one of Danielle's favorite weapons. Frank had taken four Tesla cannons, wired and bolted them to a harness, set them to chain-fire off of one trigger, attached some legs to the front of the harness, and wired all the Tesla cannons to a single back-piece with multiple Electron Charge Pack slots.
It was too heavy to be practical for field use, and required a team to load in new ECPs as they popped out from the firing.
It would also obliterate whatever it was aimed at.
Danielle got into the shoulder harness.
[Strength]While it was quite uncomfortable, she remained standing under the weight.
[Inspiring presence]"You two are on reloading duty!"
Zeus was always Danielle's favorite mythological figure. Her favorite book as a child was a collection of Greek myths.
[Black Widow][Energy Weapons 100]For some reason she identified with a guy who screwed everything that moved, and slew his foes with a hail of energy. She couldn't put her finger on why.
[Energy Weapons 100]Danielle lined up her shot on Mr. Impotent and fired.
Time for Mr. Impotent to ride the lightning!
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sam fired on the Vertibird in the distance.
Suddenly, a Replicant was upon him. He was sent flying by the impact of the super sledge.
Jake: Sam!
A coordinated hail of lasers, plasma, and smashing destroyed the replicant.
There were more though.
John: There's always more.
The cluster of replicants was coming from one side.
Jake slowed them down with a hail of lasers while John bombarded them, and Moe came in the mop up.
That looked to be the last of them...
...When a lone replicant ran up behind John, about to smash his head in.
Suddenly a bolt of plasma melted the replicant's head.
Jake: Sam! You're alive!
John: Thanks. You okay?
Moe: There's a lot of blood, and I see bone...
Sam: Did I hit the bird?
Sam collapsed from blood loss.

Zoom listened in closely to the two exhaling the smoke. Every sentence plastered over a hole in their story. Each word slowly building toward a complete near air tight story. Their individual sections forming one prestine narrative. But it was just too prestine. Each sentence was crafted too carefully before leaving the mouth. A person telling the truth tends to leave questionable details that can be filled by follow up questions. They allow it to stand on its own without forcibly cramming plot hole filling plaster over it. This distinction however was rather difficult to explain to a man like Bob without sounding rather Paranoid, so i will not be able to leverage my knowledge against them quite yet. Rather annoying, but they had failed utterly at removing my knowledge that this was a complete and utter fabrication."
Zoom then spoke in his monotone voice, " And Lucy makes a rather pathetic attempt to insult me once again in such a way as a teenage girl, maybe younger. This pathetic obstinate bitterness most likely came from a very troubled homelife. I would be willing to wager that at least one of your parents tortured you, mentally or physically. You did seem to latch onto Barry's superman persona rather quickly and strongly. Holding onto it so closely. You most likely dreamed of a man saving you from the torment all those years ago. It was the mother. Oh I do wonder how Mama Lucy hurt you deep inside. I bet you try to defend what she did to you. That she was preparing you or only had the best in mind. But deep down where those scars lay, you know that can't be true." He smiled at her, but there was no change in his eyes.

It had been a while now and Marlon hadn't seen either Bob or the weasel, which odds on meant they were no longer in the area or dead. He hoped it was the latter. He really, really did. Rousing one of the few brotherhood medics near the infirmary that had been knocked aside by Bob's door swinging rampage and weren't dead, he got down to business pretty quick.

"Do us a favour and get this fucking piece of steel outta my arm so I can get back out there and not have to worry about catching it on something and doing extra tissue damage. We haven't got all day." In most circumstances the brotherhood medic probably would have been a bit more reluctant to act immediately on a demand from Marlon Van Graff, but with a large portion of the surrounding area rendered a scene of chaos by Bob and Barry, they didn't waste time arguing and set about removing the jagged metal.

In the meantime, Marlon checked his weapons over to make sure they were still in good working order. They were. He knew that, but he needed something to occupy himself while the metal was coming out.

Before too long it was out, the wound bandaged and a stimpak jabbed into the area. Marlon wasted no further time inside, leaving the medic to see if any of the other brotherhood members lying prone on the floor were dead or unconscious, and made his way back topside to see what was going down, coming up just a few minutes after Danielle's crew had returned with her giant electric death ray. "Is everything still terrible out here too or's that just inside?" He had planned to continue along those lines to let then know what had been going on inside, but was distracted by the tesla rig Danielle had going.

"Okay, that's either one of the most interesting weapons I've seen or a really creative deathtrap. Either way I like it."

Three Johns in the group huh?
Wait why was he being forced into a group? He didn't even do any quests for them yet!
Maybe this was the quest to determine if he was going to be part of the group or not. Made sense he supposed.
While thinking his heads up display decided to process a few replies.

"Three Johns? THERE CAN ONLY BE ONE!" (Attack)
"You can just call me Helmet Head."
"I'm Mr Smith, how can I help?"
(Charisma 2/3)"Three Johns? Sounds dirty, like me, do you wanna be like me?"
(Barter 50/60)"You can call me rich John."

Mulling over his options he decided to go with the shortest one.
"I'm Mr Smith, how can I help?" He supposed some of them might just call him Smith, he didn't really mind, anything was an improvement over Helmet Head.
Attacking them was tempting but it was better to finish their quest lines and then kill them all for loot if they turned out to be evil. Besides he was too low level to take out this many unique NPCs on his own. It was better to level up first.
Maybe when he had enough money for explosive weapons...
Another reason why he didn't go with the Barter option, if he did they might get the wrong impression and start asking for caps. Something he'd rather die for then give away.
After all you could always respawn but caps could only be hoarded for so long.
It seemed many of the NPCs were already fighting, perhaps if joined them he could start looting the corpses while they fought each other and still get a quest reward for 'helping' later.

"William, is that you?"

The look in the weedy one's eyes as he stared at Hayes seemed to suggest some kind of familiarity with him, as if he recognised him from somewhere. This confused Hayes, who had never seen either of the two before in his life. All he was eager to do was to ascertain their intentions.

The merc stepped forward, helped by a nudge from his companion. He towered over Hayes, his sheer size probably would have intimidated a lesser man, but Hayes stood his ground; unflinching. His mind was running through every possible scenario that would result in the man's demise if things were to turn sour.

"We're friendly, we just wanna talk. Say, if we'd a wanted to kill you like raiders I'd have just shot you as soon as a saw ya."

Hayes grip on his knife tightened as the seemingly harmless attempt to ease tensions only served to put him further on edge. Anyone who even talked about killing him, even in jest, had a decreased life expectancy in his mind.

"Uhhh, hey I don't mean it like that, what I mean is we're clearly not raiders so put the knife away. Now me and my pal Evan here, name's Dudley by the way, are just campin' out. We were gonna be settin' our way east in a while. Why don't we just come over to the camp and chat huh?"

He looked at Dudley's outstretched, checking it for traps. Finding none, the grip on his knife loosened as he became less anxious towards the pair. He sheathed his knife on his chest before tossing up a peace sign with his hand, still reluctant to shake the stranger's hand.

"Hayes. We cool."

Hayes could tell by Dudley's face and voice that he was being sincere, but he still didn't trust the other one, Evan. There was something about him, something more to him than meets the eye. He slowly began to make his way over to the campsite, pausing briefly to pivot on the spot and point his car keys in the direction of the Grasshopper before clicking a button.

*BEEP*

Satisfied that his car was now secure, Hayes plonked himself down by the fireside and held his hands up to the flame, feeling it's warmth seeping into the his fingertips was a satisfying sensation, the kind one gets when they first shoot up Med-X.

Don't blame me when you're dead. I only wanted the best for us.

Hayes shot up from the fireside, having seemingly ignored Evan who was standing a few feet behind him. The boy was trembling in his boots, looking shot to shit. He was going through something that Hayes had seen too many times before; Med-X withdrawal.

He merely grinned at the boy's plight as he placed his hands behind his back, taking unnecessarily large steps as he paced around the campfire.

"Feel free to chat away"

Danielle had opened fire on Mr. Impotent.
"Is everything still terrible out here too or's that just inside?"
[Perception]The Van Graff was looking a little worse for wear, but still intact.
"The crabs are mostly dealt with, outside of some stragglers. There's some sort of situation with a giant robot to the west, but Francine's got that covered. All that's really left for me is obliterating this Enclave big-wig over there."
"Okay, that's either one of the most interesting weapons I've seen or a really creative deathtrap. Either way I like it."
"Thanks, little sister made it for me. It's basically just designed to be a Tesla machine gun. It chain-fires four Tesla-cannons. Now that you're here you can join these two on reload duty!"

Beryl quietly listened to Johnny's story and quietly adjusting the sight on her gun. It looked like she wasn't the only one clumsily preparing for a fight.

"Do you like it Mommy Meryl Barrel? Do you like it Papa Johnny Shakes?" said Sylph.

"If I say yes, will you stand still and be quiet?"

"I'm Mr Smith, how can I help?" said the other Johnny, but not that Johnny, the other other one...the one called Smith

"I'm Beryl," said Beryl, "and you can help by not hanging around. You won't believe the shit I've had to put up with: a teenage whirlygig psychopath and creepy eldritch force, channelled through a drunken pervert. So what's your story? Are you a secret agent with amnesia, a cyborg sent from the future, or a 10 year old boy in the body of a grown man? Because if it is any of the above, I don't think I'll be able to cope another minute of this."

Beryl raised a cigarette to her face, only to find her hand was shaking too much to guide it into her mouth. These people.

"Assuming it's the same place I used to know, not really. But I dunno. Been a while. Last time I was up towards Boston." Well that didn't sound good, but then again, they had to have something better than the piece of crap 10mm pistol he was toting, besides it was often surprising what even the most remote trader could have in stock, so maybe he would get lucky.

"Cool! Look at all those lasers!" Stan said, looking around. "But, uh. Maybe we should go faster? This can't be safe. It kind of looks like those brotherhood meanies are winning. I don't want to be nearby if they do."

"Going as fast as I can buddy" Wayne answered, though he was holding back a little so the Enclave badass could 'remove' any threat in their way.

"So, uh, Wayne? Is there maybe something I can do to help? I've got a couple stabby-healy things," he asked, retrieving one of said "stabby-healy things"- a stimpack.

"Nah, I've had so many of those things and they don't work on this bum leg of mine. What I need is a Med-X, just to take the edge off the pain.. I'll be OK for now though" He replied.

They were almost out of the battle now, when the Enclave soldier was attacked by a BoS grunt, though it didn't take much to put him down Wayne still leveled his rifle, just in case. The Soldier didn't even bother with a weapon as he grabbed the grunt's helmet and twisted it violently round, the body underneath going limp. As he dropped the body to the floor a straggling Nukalurk leaped from a pile of rubble towards him, the soldier turned as it screeched, about to engage it when Wayne fired a round from his rifle, straight through the creatures eye, causing its head to explode and its body to fly off away from view in spectacular fashion.

The soldier turned to face Wayne, as if to say 'What the hell was that' To which Wayne called back, "Just proving my worth!"

Somewhere in the Wild Wastelands, Near a Mister Sploded Utterly Black, Formerly Working, Formerly Enclave Twirlybird:

"It suits you. Looks nice. Hmm... reminds me of this one adventurer I hung around with for a while when I was a kid. He kept calling me short-round for some strange reason, and he never went anywhere without his hat and never left it behind if it fell off. Weird guy. Died one especially sunny morning... fell into a spike put full of poisonous snakes and then crushed by a giant boulder that came out of nowhere. It was kind of funny to watch for some reason. Guess all I can hope for is that my own death is that funny." Papa Johnny Shakes said in response to Sylphee's question bringing a radiant smile that brought images of one especially sunny morning to her face as she turned to Mommy Meryl Barrel, waiting for her response but there was one little bit of Papa Johnny Shakes' story that Sylphee didn't like.

"Papa Johnny Shakes, I don't think your death will be funny at all. I think it would make me sad." The Red Cloaked girl said as her smile dimmed a few degrees, one Daddy lost was already pretty bad. Two would have been too horrible to think about so Sylphee didn't think about it, well not much at least. Still she waited for Mommy Meryl Barrel to speak when Mister Johnny Helmet Head decided to talk instead.

"I'm Mr Smith, how can I help?" Asked Mister Smithy Mirror Face's face which was rather smooth and lacked features such as a nose or a mouth or eyes begging the question:

"(How's Mister Smithy Mirror Face talking without a mouth?)" Came the thought in the Blue Haired girl's mind. Which brought on a slew of conclusions and questions all on their own and ended with the thought "(If I wanted to help Mister Smithy Mirror Face, what would I do?)"

Which started the dumping of Sylphee's treasure sack all over the ground and ended with the girl holding a rather large, rather black and rather permanent marker in the air in triumph.

Which started the marker assault on Mister Smithy Mirror Face's face and ended with Mister Smithy Mirror Face being known as Mister Smithy Smiley Face.

Smiling brightly, Little Manic Red Riding Hood turned to Mommy Meryl Barrel, her lung inhaling deeply as she was about to ask Mommy Meryl Barrel how the hat looked on top of Sylphee's head.

"If I say yes, will you stand still and be quiet?"

"YAY!!!!" Sylphee exclaimed before remembering her instructions and so she froze in one spot, like quite literally not moving for quite some time. Like standing there with every muscle in the same position for the longest time. Like a statue. Sylphee wanted to look her best for Mommy Meryl Barrel and if that meant standing in one spot, in one position for forever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever, the Red Cloaked Girl was quite happy to do so.

---------- Forever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever later 30 Seconds Later ----------

"omph" The Sky Blue Eyed Girl omph'd as she fell over after losing her balance, falling on Mister Jammy Jams FalloutJohn.

"HI!"

Dudley was feeling on edge, this newcomer by the name of Hayes was pacing around the camp with large strides, hands behind his back. What was he doing? Dudley began to feel that he was no longer in control of his own camp.

"Feel free to chat away." Said Hayes, looking around at several things. Dudley was thinking that the man was paranoid or on edge about something. A long (everything is relative) life out in the wasteland had made Dudley aware, or at least able to see the signs of trouble. This Hayes had a drug habit, whether he was drugged up right now or not was difficult to tell. After a long time of substance abuse most people deteriorated to the point it was difficult to tell.

This Hayes kept looking at Evan a lot, shooting glances as he paced. Dudley was noticing it too, Evan was becoming nervous and quiet. He had not spoken to Hayes at all and was purposefully avoiding looking at anything in particular. This had been the case ever since Evan had taken a shot of Med-X to calm the pain of a few Dudley-punches.

Nobody at the camp felt much like talking, though Dudley attempted to make small talk,

"What brings a guy like you out this way, and where are you headed?"

As soon as he said it Dudley regretted it, asking why somebody was alone in the wasteland and where they were going was an intrusive question and could be the question of a sneaky raider. Figuring out how far away from help somebody was and the next place they were expected to be meant the clever raider could pick their targets off without any problem and leave no evidence as to what did it. Many lone travellers or small groups just vanished without much of a trace, a few bloodstains, abandoned equipment and a few spent bullets by the side of the road were all that remained. Other travellers may scavenge the site later or quicken their pace, fearful of the same fate. The settlements they were headed to would wait a few days, looking into the distance for signs of their arrival and soon lose hope. The word would get out that raiders prowled the roads, caravans would find other ways around and some settlements may no longer be visited, causing them to lose supplies and wither away. In this way a single person could doom whole towns to abandonment.

These were questions Dudley had been asked several times by others, and each time these others had been torn to pieces by his minigun or hacked into bloody chunks by his axe. Dudley had only said it as a conversation starter to ease the tension. It hadn't helped much.

"What I mean is, wanna travel together if we're goin' the same way. Roads aren't safe."

DAMN IT, that wasn't helping, saying the roads weren't safe was almost a threat and with both Evan and Hayes on edge the situation could easily get out of control.

"Let's pack our stuff, huh Evan?" Said Dudley, who started packing his things, trying to coax some reaction out of the jittery scribe.

"I'm Beryl," said the newly identified Beryl, "and you can help by not hanging around. You won't believe the shit I've had to put up with: a teenage whirlygig psychopath and creepy eldritch force, channelled through a drunken pervert. So what's your story? Are you a secret agent with amnesia, a cyborg sent from the future, or a 10 year old boy in the body of a grown man? Because if it is any of the above, I don't think I'll be able to cope another minute of this."

That was fairly interesting and oddly specific. A moment passes and his helmet soon generates another set of possible replies.

(Charisma 2/3) "Baby, I can be anything you want."
"If I was a secret agent with amnesia how the hell would I know I was a secret agent?"
"Yes I'm from the future and I'ma cyborg BEEP BEEP BOOP BOOP!"
"Actually I'm just a prospector, a vault hunter if you will."
"None of your business.

Considering his five options he once again dismissed the 'charisma' based option. Who needed Charisma when half of the charm stuff was skill based? If you wanted to talk good all you needed was enough intelligence to sink into skills.
The secret agent option was nice but he decided against it. Antagonizing a potential friend was a bad idea and might cost him a higher reward.
The future option was not much better, he didn't want to appear stupid and the 'none of your business' option was off the table for the same reason as the secret agent one.
So that left the whole vault hunter thing.

"Actually I'm just a prospector, a Vault Hunter if you will." He spoke tapping his pipboy.

And then the blue haired girl decided to take a pen to his face. It wasn't so bad actually, in fact it was probably positive progress. If he was going to be marked then it meant that he was already a member of the group.
A friendly NPC faction was always good news.
It meant he could piss off harder enemies and just bait them towards his allies and still get the experience and loot.

"Thank you for the markings, what do they mean?"
"Get that shit off my face bitch!"
"Thanks."
(Charisma 2/3) "Thanks babe, now let me show you how a real man does it!"

Though he was curious about the markings he figured he could wait until there was a mirror.
Smith just decided to go with the short reply.

"Thanks" He commented readying his pistol and crouching. Hopefully any hostile enemies nearby wouldn't see him and he'd be able to receive his critical stealth bonus when attacking them. Nothing was more satisfying than killing an enemy that never even knew you were there.

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