The REALLY Wild Wasteland. (The Fallout RP!)

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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.

Okay, so that bit as to who was having the shit kicked out of their day the worst, The Illustrious Undertaker of the East or his hat, given the situational carpet bombing that Miss Lucy had delivered unto the Tall and Pale hatless wonder, I would say that the hat was having the better day by far, at least for the time being. The Formerly Bookish and Verbose Crackshot that he had known has seemingly been replaced with a cold cyclopean sniper, a mindset that was delivered in a tone that Undertaker McGee found disheartening when he looked at the physical trauma that the young woman had undergone. Was Miss Lucy still in there and was this all a ploy or had Miss Lucy changed and was covering for him.

"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."

Still if he was going to survive the situation, he needed to play along. He had already failed to protect Miss Lucy once, he was not going to fail at this a second time.

"They don't call us the Jackals of the Wasteland for no reason, Miss Lucy." The Undertaker said with a hopefully charming smile. He hoped that it was charming at least and he also hoped that it was an appropriate moment to be charming.

"Besides, I couldn't let you get away since there we still have business to attend to, like the matter of the caps that you owe me for that coffin I had to build for you during the Behemoth attack. Even though it would have been quite a shame for my only contact with the Enclave to have gotten herself killed, business is business after all." The Tall and Pale Undertaker said, keeping to the story that he was in it for the money.

"Sir, meet Shifty Mcgee The Illustrious Undertaker of The Wasteland. Shifty...meet Fallout Bob!" The One-Eyed Sniper said formally to FalloutBob.

BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! BLAM!

That's what Mags would have been screaming into Bob's face at that very second had the Friendly Neighborhood Undertaker not remembered that Miss Lucy was in the Vertibird with them and any action that he took against the Power Armored Enclave Agent would have reflected poorly upon her story and her as well. Instead of making FalloutBob swallow a salvo of bullets, the Undertaker swallowed his anger and a bit of his pride as he nodded in a friendly manner towards the Walt-Be-Damned Enclave Soldier.

"An honor to meet you, Mister Bob. Let me say that Miss Lucy spoke highly of you behind closed doors. She was most convincing when she explained her situation to me and that the Enclave would be my best bet at continuing my business in the D.C. Ruins." The Undertaker said. He could have further explained his situation but was a cut off when a monotonous voice cut in.

"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."

The Pale one found himself imagining kicking the cruely smiling Mumsford out the Vertibird door but once again refrained himself from doing anything that would spoil the cover that Miss Lucy had hastily and thoughtfully erected on his behalf. Seeing Mumsford and Miss Lucy, both sounding quite different from how he had initially met them, the world seemed to start turning a bit for the Undertaker as he started feeling rather queezy... until it was that he hurled all over Bob's and Mumsford's feet.

"My... my sincere apologies, gentlemen. I sometimes suffer from bouts of motion sickness, which is why my preferred method of travel through the wastes is via bicycle. Oh you should have seen my bicycle before Mister Frank destroyed her. She was a real beauty..." The Undertaker started saying until he caught a stern look from Miss Lucy.

If we're going to be around one another, we have to take care of each other. You're a little...floaty with your thoughts. Like Blamco Mac and Cheese in water... so let's keep each other in check, okay?

"Excuse me. I tend to get carried away with my words at times. If you'll excuse me, I believe I need to sit down." The Undertaker said as he headed to the back of the Vertibird, unsure of what he had gotten himself into and if there was anyway he was going to be able to extricate Miss Lucy from the situation in a safe manner. Sighing to himself he looked out the window as the brownish rocks of the D.C. Wastelands raced underneath the speedy aircraft.

"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.

Johnny Truant stared at the man as he crouched down. The hell?

"Umm... what are you doing?" he said, resisting the urge to follow suit and crouch as well, "Seriously, the hell are you doing?"

Johnny looked over at, in order, Sylph... who seemed to be dancing around, as giddy as ever; Beryl, who was scowling at everything again, predictable; and FalloutJohn, who hadn't said a word during any of this. Hadn't even seemed to react to Johnny's long-winded insult. Weird.(1)

(1) Don't worry, Mr. Truant. You're still the freak of the group.

Shut up!

"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."

Lucy merely turned to face Barry, her face devoid of emotion.

She blinked once, over exaggerated a shudder and mockingly spoke to the foul-smelling fool before her. "Ooooh! Was that supposed to get under my skin? Was I supposed to feel like less of a person after your little speech?"

Lucy started clapping with a smirk on her face and pure amusement in her remaining eye. "Well done, really, pat yourself on the back. Mother dearest did make life very difficult for me...-" Lucy ceased with the clapping and dropped the amusement in her voice. "...but you are completely wrong on every other front. What is this, cold-reading for idiots?"

Time to turn this around.

Lucy's smile matched the puppet's and grew sadistic as her little speech edged along. "Now tell me, what kind of pathetic, weak and disgraceful man are you, if your own mind has to resort to fragmenting your own personality? So you're supposedly the villain to Barry's superhero persona? Clearly, reality is a little too difficult, for the feeble-minded such as yourself."

Lucy couldn't help but mockingly laugh at the shadow of a man before her. "Don't bother answering. Any more emotional trauma might result in a nervous breakdown for someone as mentally deficient as you."

Sitting back in her chair and crossing her legs, Lucy tuned out the puppet permanently with her final words. "Don't pretend to know me, mental failure. Besides, let's face it, if you can't handle reality...then you are not cut out for the Wasteland or any of this."


Content with the conclusion of her conversation with the puppet, Lucy crossed and uncrossed her legs and addressed Shifty, still rather amused by the puppet.

"Besides, I couldn't let you get away since there we still have business to attend to, like the matter of the caps that you owe me for that coffin I had to build for you during the Behemoth attack. Even though it would have been quite a shame for my only contact with the Enclave to have gotten herself killed, business is business after all."

Lucy's eye turned harshly on the Undertaker. "You'll get paid when I wish, stay focussed in the meantime and be a little more grateful, I just opened up a whole new line of business for you."

"That is...if my handler accepts it." Nodding towards Fallout Bob momentarily.

Much to her amusement, while waiting for the previously uneventful flight to end, Shifty had vomited all over Barry and Bob's boots. Not even a droplet had reached Lucy.

Oh Undertaker Mcgee, you do the sweetest things for me.

Zoom looked down at he vomit on his feet. "Hahahhahahahahaha....hahahahahahahahaha...hahahahahaaha you need to calm the hell down Lucy. Jesus. I simply tried to give you advice and you shat all over it. Then you continue to insult me for no reason whatsoever. So i responded, then you acted like I instigated the argument. You need to calm down and not let me get under your skin that badly that you after rattle off some frankly ridiculous speach about my mental stability that you know absolutely nothing about. I inferred through facts that your childhood was likely less than optimal. You just bullshitted information from no where. We are on the same side in case you didn't notice so relax and be happy to be alive. No need to shit on your comrade to make yourself feel better. Yeah I think you're screwed up, im screwed up, Shifty is screwed up. Truce?" He extended his hand.

- RECORDING DATE MISSING, RESUME -

"Oh blasted damned fool, Crawver! How could you have been so callous? It's all your fault, not mine, yours, you damned bedraggled fish-fuck! You really believed that this...this...'survival tonic' could really keep you ticking along, in the manner to which you've become accustomed? And you call yourself a scientist? A devotee of empirical data and flawless, perfect logic? You've shown us all up, old boy..."

*No...no I can repair him. I just need the tools, I-I've got a surgeon's hands, I know I do, I was made that way.*

"You'd better bloody hope so, Fish. Just take a look at that poor child. You can't, can you? 'One day I will kill you'. That's what you said to him, and now look at him. Didn't think you could shatter that body any further, but you did, didn't you?"

*No, it wasn't...you don't, I-*

"I'll tell you for one, he stuck with you longer than he did that bloody cow of yours."

*You, YOU DAMNED BRIGAND! Curse you with hellfire you SNAKE! You don't know a damned thing about Udders, not a damned thing! You think I want this drunken sot as a companion? I don't have a choice in the matter!*

"Hogwash! You damn well had a choice, and every opportunity to put it into place, taking full account of every permutation."

*Hogwash? HOGWASH! You would speak lowly of me with hogwash?!*

"Shut up you damned provincial quack, or on your own head be it! If there be a modicum of a head left for it to rest upon!"

*Y-yes, yes I will. Oh Abraham, there's barely any of you left...right. Who among my beloved flock has my medical bag...*

"OH GLORIOUS DAY! HE WHO WETS THE LAND FROM THE WATERS HATH CHOSEN ME TO FERRY HIS-"

- RECORDING ENDS -

"Fishy...Fishy this is pow'rful tiresome; ah liked it when ah were followin' the tubes, they got a trail y'know, a scent; that's how ah find 'em. Mighty prideful ah am, Ol' Abe's the only baw from miles aroun' who knows that smell, but ah tell yuh once it gets inside it's...it's like bamboo unner yer fingernails, like the Japs in that war that time. You gotta find the tubes, or the tubes is gon' chew up yer mind. Chew up yer mind. It's goin' on in hyah. Chomp chomp chomp chomp."

"Yes, yes, alrigh...alright, we'll find your tubes, we'll find your tubes, just, just...this is important. Look I...I listened to you for the duration of that journey; you don't need to repeat yourself, I understand fully. Yes, yes I was crushed against mesh and flesh and yes, I was sick that one time...no, no I wasn't reading the crisp packet I was listening to you, we'll find your tubes, just this is important right now, do you understand? Thank you."

*Well, Crawver. All my resources, all of my intellect, and the triumph of science over fortune has brought you before me. Do you have anything to say? Such things must have lain heavy on that aquarian mind of yours, I should know, I designed it to do that, HAH!*

"...I don't know who the bloody hell you are, but do you have a spare stimpak, guv? We're starvin' here..."

Barry's voice was worming it's way into her relaxation time, that annoyed her. With a sigh, she sat up and cocked her head quizzically to the side. This man's mind was truly puzzling if he actually thought Lucy was anywhere near agitated by his comments.

"You're not very good with sarcasm, are you? Perhaps you should calm down and stop assuming I'm even remotely agitated. Try paying attenti-..."

This time she actually had to hold back the lobby of insults, his incessant personal comments was getting on her nerves at this point.

"Alright alright!" Lucy declared in resignation and shook Barry's hand. "On a few conditions: no more free advice and no more personal comments, goes for both of us. Let's keep things professional, unless we have to resort to banter on the job. Otherwise..."

This time, Lucy nodded briefly before sitting back and closing her eye. "...truce. Now let's just wait till we land."

Stan watched bemusedly as the Enclave fellow effortlessly twisted a BoS grunt's head around, then as Wayne dead-eyed a Nukalurk.
"Just proving my worth!" Wayne called up to the Enclave man.
"Showoff." Stan said with a chuckle. "I used to know a man who could shoot like that. Leonidas W. Smiley, he was. Strange guy. Had a brother out West, assuming I remember properly..." Stan trailed off, then walked along quietly for a moment, remembering, apparently. "What about you, Wayne? Where'd you get a whirly-car-plane like that, and who's this Arcade person? A pal of yours, I take it?"
Stan glanced at Wayne. Even crippled and using a beat-up old peashooter, he was still a proficient killer. Certainly more proficient than Stan, even on his best day.
"On second thought, I figure that's probably your business." Stan whistled a short and jaunty tune. "Folks like you seem to not care too much for other folks trying to pry in your business."

You Won't See Me Coming.

"Well, you'll be happy to know that Operation Stormy was a success. Our best roboticists worked on the man and now he's leading a steadily-growing army towards the west."

After the initial push of Caesar's Legion broke against the shores of Enclave hovercraft, several Enclave scientists, led by Doctor-18, considered the idea of animating the human corpse cybernetically as both an insult to their enemy and as a cheap way to retaliate against a foe that was both barbaric and plentiful in number. They operated LIVE on a man they'd taken from the desert, a kind of superhuman that they'd found one day. He was converted into the prototype, and a large set of cadavers were experimented on next. As a result, a large group of mad machines programmed for ultra-violence were aimed in a direction and told to keep going until they found water. These cyber-zombies were armed and not to be easily handled by warriors who almost refuse to use modern weapons, relying on outdated Roman ideals and tactics. Shaun led them innto battle, along with Replicants and a number of soldiers whose job was to hang back and turn all of the dead into autonomous units.

"How does the Legion fare now?"

"They'll never bother us again. And by the time NCR gets wind, the only Legion there'll be is the one we created."

"Oh, that's gooood, Jack. Now is the time to start cleaning house before the guests arrive."

"You expect them soon?"

"Satellites don't lie. There's a big red mark on this planet's record, and it won't go away on its own."

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

Once more unto the breach!

FalloutJack Presents...

"Ack, fer cryin' out loud, this is alot of steps!"

"Ma'am, this is Mr. Nigel-Murray down in research with the data-pull from the suit. We found something."

"The rain hath soaked the land and the journey of the Red One is almost complete... Rejoice, brothers! The flesh of all non-believers shall soon be in our teeth!"

A


REALLY


Wild


Wasteland


SEASON THREE!

The Wild Wasteland has seen some very odd things lately. New Behemoths, a giant robot, healthy rain showers, ghouls gone mad (instead of feral), Nukezilla, and naked Greco-Roman wrestling performed by a Brotherhood and Enclave soldier. But it should be known that there are broader concerns than in this area. The North American territory has been broken for 300 years and it is still divided. Some people take exception to that, such as the Enclave, the Legion, NCR, and the Brotherhood of Steel. And while this story does not encompass the whole territory, it is fair to say that while there are things outside of our scope, it doesn't mean that nothing's happening out there. This is the Wild Wasteland, and plenty of that effect is in other places too.

-Stiiill here, children! By request of our boy from the Brotherhood of Steel, Three Dog is still on all frequencies until one of them can give us the all-clear sign. Just on a note over what's going on, apparently there have been a number of attacks lately. The BoS Citadel has currently survived a giant Mirelurk attack and there's a big-ass robot cruising around as we speak. Other than that, it seems that shortly before this extended broadcast, Rivet City was taken hostage by the big Behemoths. Somebody might wanna check that out, but beee careful! More news as it develops, wastelanders. Stay cool, 'cause looks like another storm comin'.-

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

William, who is NOT #37, had a plan on how to handle the giant plant. He was going to talk to it. Talk to it?! As soon as he started, Natsuki rolled her eyes in irritation. Fortunately, the plant had no eyes and couldn't see that. It basically sensed things and thus could not 'see' in the same sense that people do. Uhh, you know, Will...that thing's awfully big and it seems to grow larger when it's had a meal and boy are there fresh bodies here... Maybe you want to be a little more careful about this?

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

Okay, the fire demonstration seemed to help. The plant tilted what we can only refer to as its head, going "Hmmmmm?" in that entirely jazzy voice of his.

Plant: What have you been smokin', boy? Does this look like Capitol Hall? Is this gonna end with a 'We can do it' speech? I know what goes on 'round here, and I'm makin' my move! Step out, son! Don't ruin mah groove! Me and my BUDS got nothin' to lose!

Buds? You mean those other mouths on the vines that were lookin' at 'em too? Wait, some of them were swung a little too close and- OH CRAP! THEY BLEW OUT THE PILOT LIGHT! Flamethrowers have those little flames that the gas shoots out on to blast the flame at things and they just sorta' blew 'em out like matches. The plant laughed and got ready to fire again. The only reason that ten or so vines didn't suddenly crash down on William now was that Natsuki's vectors swept by to cut them apart!

Natsuki: Nice effort, but could we just stick to the burning part?

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

It wasn't William. Hayes was just another guy in the wasteland, looking out for number one. His thought that this was a trap was a reasonable posibility, even though it was actually...you know...wrong. Dudley invited him to talk at the camp with Evan, who was starting to have uhhh...problems. It wasn't withdrawal, though. Medical tests had shown that Evan had an excellent physical tolerance to drugs now. But mentally...he saw a bedraggled funky man in a labcoat standing there with his arms held out like he was on a crucifix, his palms pierced by injection needles. Evan was shocked and shuddering because he knew the man, and continued to try not to look at him even after settling down into a seat.

Evan: Mason... Why can't I be rid of you?!

He was startled back into attention when Dudley was telling him they should get packing. Evan got up again and nodded at Hayes.

Evan: Nice uhhh...nice meeting you.

"What? No small talk No reminescing from the good old days?"

Evan: There were no good old days. I read every day of my life to keep you and everyone else out of my head while that STUFF was pumping through the air and I will do it now.

"Yeah, you were a smart kid, Evan. But we know how it all ended. It wasn't the brilliant egghead who ended it all. It was GROGNAK THE BARBARIAN! You remember... On the table? All those cocktails I came up with after I learned what the Enclave had done? Who could guess that the bookworm could have the strength of a TITAN?"

Evan lost it in mid-pack.

Evan: SHUT UP, YOU'RE AN ILLUSION AND ALREADY DEAD, YOU PRICK!!!

He seemed to be shouting that at a tree. A moment later, he was lucid again, no longer in a frigging rage. He looked over at the other two.

Evan: I'm sorry, was that out-loud? I was...trying to keep that in my head.

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

Doc: A stimpack? Know ye where you stand? I am Donald Q. Bastion, Doctor-At-Large! I produce a stimpack every half-minute without even realizing it. Take them inside, normal-sized mutants. My creation and I are united once more!

Stimmies were passed around and both Abe and Crawver, plus Head Wet One Worshipper, were shown inside where they would see...a highly-technical mad scientist's lair with several levels and many machines, with super mutants guarding them. The man in the lab coat practically danced up the steps to the higher level.

Doc: My wonderous Wal-Rex, the great Dr. Crawver, MD... If only you knew what had transpired since you were away. Thanks to my research on your mutation, your conversion into a Wal-MAN has allowed me to alter and super-charge the genes of many creatures, though I found that the super mutants were the best candidate so far. The FEV was such a glorious thing, producing their mammoth cousins who may now run across the landscape, crushing small humans that lie in their path. Thanks to you, I have found the next evolution, these radioactive giants who will never die, save for gross violence. And thanks to them, I will have my revenge on the Enclave, and especially on Number One. I'll bet they don't even know that I got Plisskin to infiltrate the base and tamper with Doctor-18's experiments! That was a glory move, my friend! GLORY UNTO MEEE!! Bwa ha ha ha haaaa!!

Crawver, your creator is insane, but that's not really a focus right now. You see, there's a biiig powered door in the middle of the room that sounded like it was over an underground water tank. That would seem familiar, as would uhhh...the splashing and the growling sounds coming from underneath. The ghoul immediately bowed to that spot on the floor.

"OH, GREAT MAKER! The time of the Wet Ones are truly at hand!!"

Doc: What's he going on about? Why is he bowing to Crawver Senior?

What.

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

Jackson had an idea of leading Metal Gear Box over to Greyditch. We're not exactly sure why there, per se, but that was his plan. Frank decided that they should give the big robot something to think about by chucking a rather nasty-looking explosive into an unsteady building and calling on Gilford to fire at it on his command.

Gilford: You got it!

POOOOOOWWW!!!!!

The building exploded. Gilford blinked, looked at his launcher, then back at it, and then at Frank.

Gilford: I didn't do that.

Heavy servo-sounds and a large familiar object now standing on top of the building seemed to indicate that the Box had taken action. It had blown the building on its own initiative to gain a vantage point on its enemy? Or...wait. GNR was quiet. Ohhhh...shit. That's bad, isn't it? The robot would probably be firing on them soon, as it had only to overcome balance issues now, because Gilford exploded rubble underneath its feet with his launcher. What happened to the music?

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

The only way to stop them was to go to the source. Or rather, the TRUE source. GNR was the place making the transmission, but even a dumbass member of the Enclave could trace a radio signal. So, when the vertibird had dropped off FalloutScott to run up the stairs and stop the jamming, you could say that a veritable genius was at work. He had stepped into the room, examined the setup thoroughly, and then just simply...switched it off. And just like that, radio communication and scanners were restored. People could talk again.

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

Some things had happened while they were heading away from the Citadel. David Davidson was aware of them. Being attacked by BoS grunts was not all that special. No, it was that Rose chick that was clearly the issue. You think a sniper doesn't know? Oh, she was always on his radar, so to speak. After that little fight, David found what he was looking for and acted quickly. An open gap leading down into the tunnels was there, you see, and FalloutDavid turned towards the aiming BoS people and Marlon as if to say "Yeah, I knew all along" as he backhandedly shoved Stan and Wayne into the hole all of a sudden. Then, the back of his powersuit opened up as he flipped backwards out of it into the hole...not entirely in an elegant fashion. Two seconds later, his suit exploded from super tesla weapon shots. However, if it hadn't been obvious from the start that he wasn't in it, then the PlasmUzis poking out of the hole to fire at hanging fragile building parts to make them collapse onto the hole would.

Wayne and Stan had been unexpectedly thrown down here and then the way they came blocked off by the Enclave man's actions. They now beheld a man with dark clothes on - black and navy blue - with a black longcoat on and a strange resemblance to Benedict Cumberbatch, though he obviously hasn't been born in this world...or has he? Still, this smirking individual was David Davidson, pocketing his weapons and apparently now leading them to the Empire of Dave. He answered their questions now, moving in a smooth step as opposed to the usual motions of a powersuit. Fleet of foot, this one was.

FalloutDavid: Essentially, I decided to take over the Republic and a few other territories in the name of...well...me. It seemed fitting, so now there are a number of places with proper transport back to base, should I require it. And if you gentlemen would care to join me, that would be fine. Sadly, I'll have to ask Scotty for another suit... He gets so irritable over it.

He stopped, looking over at Wayne.

FalloutDavid: Oh, and about trade? We'll talk.

And...he kept going.

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

They were cleaning up the mess from the fighting, the wrath of Bob, and so on at this time...with Sara Lyons heading down to see what the Scribe wanted. It seemed damn urgent, despite the obvious problems that had arisen here. They met in the archives room, since that was where the data dump happened. Mr. Nigel-Murray was a smallish man, and British in accent, but quite smart.

Mr. Nigel-Murray: We didn't get everything, obviously, and what we DID get seemed like garbage at first...until we decoded it.

Sara: And what did you find?

Mr. Nigel-Murray: Did you know that most irradiated plant-life in the wasteland has learned out to sing?

Sara: Is this what you found or are you spouting irrelevent facts?

Mr. Nigel-Murray: The latter. I do so to concentrate Anyway, the current Enclave has been in heavy secret communication with all of their men in regards to handling a situation very quickly, pointing very large fingers at the U.S. in regards to 'The Red Steel Situation'.

Sara: And do you have any idea what that is?

Mr. Nigel-Murray: No. It might have to do with the ghouls that have been going bonkers lately. There's tale of a red Glowing One out in the wastes and I know that those are VERY rare. Did...you know that rads of a Glowing One can jump-start a generator?

Sara: No, I did not. Did you learn anything else?

Mr. Nigel-Murray: I've discovered that this robot, this MGB, is a direct response to Liberty Prime that was never put into action due to the fact that Prime was destroyed in operation Broken Steel. Oh god...

Sara: You think there's a connection to the two steels.

Mr. Nigel-Murray: It's not impossible, so I'll look into that. In the meantime, the Box robot is looking for the Behemoth Doc. I suggest you give it to him.

He ran off to get back to work. A break, at last...but what was the Enclave up to? Red Steel... They can't be making a new mobile base, right?

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

Sam made his shot, sort of. The rear of the vertibird he'd been aiming at had been open, and something had been flung out of it which intersected the path of the blast he'd aimed in that direction. As a result, something that wasn't a vertibird exploded in mid-air and the proximity to ground zero there had caused secondary damage which would affect that vertibird later. In the meantime, the assault was sort of drawing to a close now. Any of the vertibirds that hadn't been hit were leaving, by orders apparently. However, from destroyed vehicles, some things had fallen out, stating with-

"SPAAAAAAACE!!!"

-defective Eyebots. This one fell on the head of one of Rose's Thorns and now wouldn't stop babbling. Lucas was holding up another one. Larry would have heard that the battle outside was ebbing now, however...right behind him...an Eyebot had systematically managed to skirt all of its traps...and then suddenly spoke! Outside, while investigating the area of the school now, Oli had another Eyebot who was also a bit talkative... Was...it hitting on her?

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

During the time on the vertibird in which the rear door had been opened and allowed Shifty to come in, there was some business which Bob didn't really care about, an unfolding drama between the undertaker, the superhero, and the girl. Somewhere in the middle of that, Bob moved to pull out a talking eyebot from a crate and, seconds later, he chucked it out of the rear, where an explosion of some sort was heard and the vertibird shook briefly.

FalloutBob: Pray continue.

They did, and Bob didn't seem very keen on getting involved. Besides, there was a grinding noise and some other stuff like that to consider, given the fact that someone had just tried to kill them all. A day in the life of a Fallout member... Finally, it all came to a head.

Pilot: Aaah...this is your pilot speaking. Our scheduled flight to the Fort Knox facility will be somewhat delayed due to damages sustained close to the vertibird. The rotors are grinding and our power output is startin' to drop. I've already requested hovercraft to meet us there. Ahhh...we would like to thank you at this time for flying Enclave.

The vertibird came in for a rough landing, harsher than the pilot outlined, in fact. Looks like he broke the landing gears too. This prompted them to pile out and then pile back in...into the waiting Enclave hovercraft, that is. They were jet-propelled, you see, and so the rest of the journey was handled by land. Soon...they were all standing before the doors of the surface perimeter to Fort Knox.

FalloutBob: Home sweet home...

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

FalloutJohn didn't even lurch the entire time. He allowed his hand to be shook by Sylph, but he was the Fallout Sector version of a Heavy Trooper, which meant the heaviest armor. He seemed to be rather level-headed in his own funny way too. For instance...

"Heeeeeeeeeeey Mister Power Jammy Jams. Smoking's bad for you. You should stop."

FalloutJohn: No.

"You should."

FalloutJohn: No.

"Hey! Give me that cigarette Mister Power Jammy Jams. Gimme gimme gimme!"

FalloutJohn: No.

He only kind-of-looked when Sylph excitedly pointed out somebody else around, and only went "Meh." in reaction to Beryl's whole issue with her gun, It wasn't really a thing that would bother him, since he was a walking sort of a tank-man with anti-tank weaponry coded to the use of his powersuit. And then, there was Johnny Truant.

"Hello, FalloutJohn. What brings you here? And...how do you know Sylph, here? Well... however you met, don't even think of trying to hurt this one, got it?"

FalloutJohn: I was about to ask you all that, man. And uhh...threats aren't workin' on me.

Maybe it was because he got bored easily and needed some sort of distraction that exploded every now and then, but somehow Johnny and the Editor with the anecdote weren't doing it for him. Even when the guy was talking about the Enclave, it was just noise noise noise until FINALLY the Editor actually started talking.

FalloutJohn: Wow, I thought you'd never get to a point. It was like talking molerats until you stepped in. Anyway, I heard it was 'Annex Megaton'. You know...territory. It's highly-defensable, as you well-know. Well, not from the air, which is sort of the point, but it looks like they had more weapons than we thought. But uhh...all that jibber-jabber from your pet molerat? New Enclave doesn't even care.

There seemed to be a new guy in a helmet which FalloutJohn quirked an eyebrow at inside his suit, but didn't say anything about. They were going on about some...naming issue or something. Unimportant, though. He laughed, briefly, at Johnny's mention of the guy that died in the overly-complicated pit of doom. Helmet-Head decided to call himself Mr. Smith. That's funny, he didn't have a black suit on. There seemed to be some contention in this group in the form of Beryl, who was not pleased with the world she was in, obviously. She made Sylph stand still after she smiley-faced the Smith. Kind of an odd group, really. He remained mostly silent while stuff continued, then finally...

FalloutJohn: Yeah... I've sent for a hovercraft to take you all to base where, given the look of things, you might actually kill each other on the way because you're dysfunctional and weird. But hey, I'll have a laugh, so great day for me. He should be here anytime now, unless anyone here wants to suddenly run for it while I have enough gunnery on hand to make Deathclaws extinct.

Bad day for hapless wanderers and weirdoes alike.

"Umm... what are you doing?" Asked the other 'John', "Seriously, the hell are you doing?"

Staring at his new ally Smith simply remained silent as he waited for the game to come up with a reply. However he quickly realized that he was no longer in 'Dialogue mode' thus he had no reason to speak back.
So he decided to do the next best thing.

Raising his free hand up towards his face his fingers manipulated themselves into the universal sign of 'Shhhhh'.

Placing his hand back onto his pistol he began sneaking forwards.

Apparently a hover craft was arriving soon to take them all to base.
A base, this sounded like a pretty powerful faction indeed.

Especially if they had access to a hovercraft and enough firepower to take on Deathclaws.
Knowing video games and NPCs it was probably an exaggeration and if it wasn't it probably meant they needed his input to actually go outside and kill all the bastards.

However Smith was no fool, if this hovercraft had guns on it then this could be a turret section.
He didn't mind turret sections of video games but he did find them annoying sometimes, best he stay stealthed in case an enemy popped out of nowhere.
That and he still needed to find some loot.

Stan looked at the Enclave man, then watched as he went on down the tunnel.
"Christ, you could cut someone with those cheekbones. Maybe that's how he survives? Letting the enemy think they've got the upper arm and then SNEAK ATTACK. Murdered by cheekbones."
Stan walked a ways, following Cheekbone Man.

"Or is it upper hand? I think it's probably upper hand. Hmmm."

Stan turned to Wayne. "So, regardless of the combat capabilities of the cheekbones of our esteemed guide, you're hoping to find this pal of yours. Then what? I'm probably going to try to get the hell out of Dodge soon. Or, I guess out of D.C. Dodge is a good thousand miles.." He stopped for a second, and thought. "..that way, probably," he said, selecting a direction from some convoluted process he himself probably couldn't even follow.
"... To digress, what's your plan, bud? After finding this person, I mean. I wouldn't mind following you around a while longer, if you'd let me. Got nothin' better to do this month."

"God-fucking-dammit." Marlon swore, watching the plasma cause the building to collapse across the gap. "I am getting fucking sick of these tin soldiers not fucking dying."

He paused to think a moment. "Don't suppose you happened to off that arsehole who was locked up before? Did he run out here?" It would brighten his day a little if that was the case.

Regardless, he went on to tell Danielle and co how things had unfolded inside, from Bob's rampage to Lucy's presumed intent to kill him personally and ruining his gun, to Barry turning out to be a giant fucking weasel and all the little details in between.

In Mister Jammy Jams FalloutJohn-Z's Arms, Somewhere near Missy Hovering H-to-the-IzOh-V-to-the-IzAy Hover Craft named Beyonce:

"Yeah... I've sent for a hovercraft to take you all to base where, given the look of things, you might actually kill each other on the way because you're dysfunctional and weird. But hey, I'll have a laugh, so great day for me. He should be here anytime now, unless anyone here wants to suddenly run for it while I have enough gunnery on hand to make Deathclaws extinct." Said the newly dubbed Mister Jammy Jams FalloutJohn-Z as he dropped the Red Menace on her ass, which caused her and her bag of treasures to sprawl on the ground, which caused a holoplayer to fall out of her bag, which caused the holoplayer's play button to engage, which caused a song to start playing.

Now it might have been everyone's first instinct to start shooting at the holorecord but if they did then maybe, just maybe, they wouldn't have noticed that the Curious Red Riding Maniac was up on her feet again, not gather her precious holorecorder and placing it back in her sack of treasures, she was instead looking at the multitudic plethora of buttons that had attracted her attention ever since she had met Mister Jammy Jams FalloutJohn-Z.

*BEEP-BEEP-BEEP-BOOP-BEEP* Said the awesomely red red red button that the Red Cloaked Girl had pushed repetitively to the point of spraining something, which might have been unfortunate for Missy Hovering H-to-the-IzOh-V-to-the-IzAy Hover Craft named Beyonce, who was just meandering over a small hill at the moment on approach.

"What's this button do?"*BEEP!!*
"What's this button do?"*BOOP!!*
"What's this button do?"*BLEEP!!*
"What's this button do?"*BLOP!!*
"What's this button do?"*SPROING!!*

"Ooops!" Sylphee said from on top of Mister Jammy Jams FalloutJohn-Z's shoulders as she pushed a button soooooooo hard that it jumped off of Mister Jammy Hams FalloutJohn-Z's suit for dear life. Surely none of those buttons would have caused something to happen to Missy Hovering H-to-the-IzOh-V-to-the-IzAy Hover Craft named Beyonce but if something did happen to Missy Hovering H-to-the-IzOh-V-to-the-IzAy Hover Craft named Beyonce, Sylphee couldn't be guilty, y'all gotta feel me.

Hopping off of Mister Jammy Jams FalloutJohn-Z's shoulders, the Red Menace picked up her bag and holoplayer and waited for Missy Hovering H-to-the-IzOh-V-to-the-IzAy Hover Craft named Beyonce - (or her explosion - just sayin' - it could happen).


Reality

As the group stood there waiting for the hovercraft, they realized that sylph was being super quiet as she stood there with some unknown substance smeared around her face.

"Mmmmm Barrel Fruit" Sylphee muttered as she into the distance, eyes fixed forward and dilated.

Wayne was in utter disbelief as the Iron Man jumped out of his suit and into the hole they were shoved into, right before the suit was destroyed. He was also equally impressed by the compact automatic plasma weapons he used to bring rubble onto the hole, sealing them in safely. Wayne was definitely not one for energy weapons, but he could appreciate the destructive capabilities of them just as much as any other firearm.

Wayne coughed up some of the dust that had filled the air around him, and instinctively reached for a cigarette. But he had none left... Great. He looked at his Pip-boy and tapped away furiously for his Robobrain, knowing by now it was probably long lost, so he opted for the light instead. It blinked into life, revealing the worn old tunnel they were heading along. It looked like the kind that would lead to a Metro line, which would mean Feral Ghouls, Raiders, or both. Though an experienced abomination hunter, a tin man badass and Stan would be able to handle those threats quite easily.

FalloutDavid: Oh, and about trade? We'll talk.

Wayne: I'm sure you can put me to good use, especially if you get this Scott to throw in a suit for me.

Stan:... SNEAK ATTACK. Murdered by cheekbones.

Wayne laughed hard at that comment, Stan really did bring out a cheery side to Wayne, much like how Gannon brought out the decent side to him.

Wanye: Don't tell me you bat for the other side Stan?

His laugh soon died when Stan asked about Gannon though.

Stan: To digress, what's your plan, bud? After finding this person, I mean. I wouldn't mind following you around a while longer, if you'd let me. Got nothin' better to do this month.

Wayne continued hauling his crippled self behind the soldier, not wanting to fall behind, he continued to shine his light forward so the group could see clearly, but faced the ground as he answered.

Wayne: Well... I don't really know. I guess do whatever he's doing. I owe the man my life, Arcade Gannon, follower of the apocalypse. He patched me up, set me up with my Robobrain, gave me work. As long as I know he's safe I'll be ok.

Suddenly Wayne noticed the leading soldier stepping right toward a bear trap.

Wayne: Look out!

He yelled as he grabbed a rock from the floor and threw it right into the trap, causing it to violently snap shut, bouncing into the air a little.

Wayne: Looks like we're not alone down here fella'

Mr. Impotent apparently didn't have the stamina to go against Danielle.
He had ejected from his armor just in the nick of time to avoid being obliterated, and had sealed his escape behind him. Hopefully there wouldn't be enough air down there.
Danielle was annoyed to say the least.
"Shit-covered dicks fucking his bitch-cunt-whore of a mother in the ass!
"God-fucking-dammit. I am getting fucking sick of these tin soldiers not fucking dying."
"It's almost as if the universe is conspiring to save them in progressively less believable ways."
"Don't suppose you happened to off that arsehole who was locked up before? Did he run out here?"
"Unfortunately no. I was about to when Mr. Impotent destroyed my favorite rifle. They got away."
Marlon then explained his wacky adventures in the Citadel during the battle with the crab.
[Black Widow]"Sounds terrible. If you want I can cheer you up later. Simple matter of stripping you naked, covering you in Brahmin gravy and licking you clean."
[Intelligence]"Sounds like she betrayed you, and used her "Emotional trauma" as a cover. Francine always did have shitty taste in women."
[Perception]Danielle was quite annoyed, until she saw something in the distance over the Washington monument. Something black and flying. No Brotherhood markings.
Vertibird in the sky.
Danielle's gonna make it die.
Take a look.
Its goose is cooked.
A.A. (Anti-air) cannons.
Dan can kill anything.
Guns to load.
And foes to slay.
A.A. Cannons!

[Energy Weapons 100]Zeus smote the heathen Vertibird.
Danielle felt much better.
[Perception]The robot Frank was fighting had ports on its back open. There were missiles inside.
Danielle was ready to fire them out of the air and cause them to prematurely explode on the robot if the fired.
This would be fun.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Knight Samuel Ackerman woke up in a bed in Megaton, with Doc Church standing over him.
Church: "Good, your alive. I can stop caring about you now. Your lover is awake asshole!"
Jake entered the room.
Jake: "Good to see you alive and well-ish."
Sam: "What happened?"
Jake: "We repelled the assault with relatively acceptable losses."
Sam: "What about the bird?"
Jake: "Funny thing. It ejected some cargo right as you fired, and it blocked the shot. The explosion damaged it though."
Sam: [Science]"How'd it manage that? A Tesla cannon fires lightning which moves at the speed of light. It would hit them before they would even realize it was hitting them."
Jake: "Near as I can tell; dumb luck. When the box exploded, it started raining eyeybots. The shock must have fried them, because they're not flying, and they're acting weird. We have a bunch of them in a sack for you to dissect. That crazy Moira lady took most of them for similar purposes, and Billy Creel took some to sell for parts."
Sam: "I do like a good robot dissection/vivisection."
[spoiler=The Thorns (With the exception of Sam who was KO'd and didn't receive exp from the battle as a result) had leveled up from defending Megaton!]Points were divvied up, and new perks were earned!
Jake: [Spin Up]The longer you've been firing with a multi-barrel weapon, the higher the damage with said weapon.
Moe: [Gun to a knife-fight]Bonus Melee damage against opponents using ranged weaponry.
John: [Flush]Bonus grenade damage against foes in cover/clustered foes.

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

The large merc's suggestion seemed innocent enough, but Hayes had known that many a raider had operated under the guise of similar propositions, testing lone travellers on their journeys. If Hayes didn't know better, Dudley's innocent warning could almost be seen as a thinly veiled threat. But he did know better. The tone of his voice, his body language, the micro expressions on his face....

"Let's pack our stuff, huh Evan?"

...his eagerness to avoid provocation and make an excuse to leave...

Hayes had obviously intimidated the hulking figure of a man and his jittery sidekick! He even almost felt bad for descending upon the pair with such suspicion, knife and all. Clearly the pair were of no real threat to him, their sincere plight appealing to his more generous nature.

"Now now! Let's all calm down and stop friggin freakin' out..."

Speaking of freak-outs, Hayes noticed the jittery Evan seemingly raging at a nearby tree. What he had assumed before was the result of Med-X withdrawal now seemed all too implausible, as bad reactions to the drug were limited to physical symptoms. Evan's hallucinatory trip suggested to Hayes that it was the result of something much more difficult to diagnose and treat- psychological trauma.

"I'm sorry, was that out-loud? I was...trying to keep that in my head."

Evan's outburst intrigued the otherwise bored Hayes, causing him to walk over in curiosity. The boy was still trembling from his rage at the image of air as Hayes leered over him, peering uneasily into Evan's wide-eyes as if trying to discern the very depths of his soul.

Or he was just very high, it was hard to tell.

Hayes gripped Evans by the shoulders, shaking him vigorously as he tried to coax out some answers.
"Tell me m'boy, what horrors have you witnessed? What daemons possess you? Are you trapped in a never ending nightmare in which your very soul screams out for aid?!"

He immediately stopped, peering over his shoulder at the unimpressed Dudley who was probably now contemplating that it was Hayes that was the raider in this confrontation, almost scaring Evan to near death.
Hayes released his grasp on the scribe, turning sharply to rest his chin upon his fist in contemplation, renewing his pacing around the camp

"Okay! I've decided that there's no harm in travelling together after all, now that I know that you're not hostile"

He looked over at the frightened Evan, offering a hand as a form of apology.

"If you need some Fixer... just let me know"

Oli

Oli stared at the thing from the sky. The area was loud, a battle was ending or starting or something. It could wait, this thing was far closer and fascinating.

She bent down, and picked up the robot, with some effort. Thing was heavy...

"... Psst, I don't like you. HUP!" She tossed the ball away from her, shattering an already mostly shattered window to the school, and went about her day, strolling merrily towards the battle. Artillery and retreating vehicles... Oli began sprinting towards the fleeing enclave vehicles, Whirlybirds she thought her dad called them. They were neat! And also way over her head in terms of mechanics. Woe is to the history nerd of the wastes...

She stopped to catch her breath, Vertibirds were actually very fast. Who knew! She had managed to make it farther from Megaton, her goal since leaving Oasis. She sighed, and turned around. Still, she kept her head held high and walked towards it triumphantly, adventure ahoy!

Badass

"I didn't do that."

Murphy could ACTUALLY feel skin fall off his face from how hard he was frowning at Gilford. Indeed, he was glaring and frowning so hard he was destroying his face in the process. He slammed his head on the steering wheel, making a loud and extended-

*HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONK*

- before he got up, with a neutral line of hatred and untold fury, and began driving away from the giant robot again. They had made SOME distance, so it was safer to blow the robot up, at least. Murphy punched his radio, he was getting annoyed by sudden static.

"Alright, new plan is needed. any ideas?"

**KER-SHHHHHHHHHHHHH**

The sealed hatch of the hovercraft opened like the cork of a champagne bottle, a signal that the hovercraft had arrived at its destination and though the black out windows of the hover craft did a good job of hiding the location of the Enclave Vault but he could tell that it was under ground somewhere as his ears popped from the pressure change.

The Friendly Neighborhood Undertaker's first sight of the Enclave Base wasn't the most pleasant as a couple of armed power armored individuals entered the passenger bay of the hover craft and motioned for the Undertaker to exit, the barrels of their plasma rifles igniting into a pulse of green as fingers were laid on triggers.

"Alright. Gentlemen. No need for theatrics, I'll come with you." Shifty said as he took a look at Miss Lucy and Mister Mumsford before leaving with the men.

Upon exiting the craft, the Undertaker was rather roughly frisked, Mags and his combat knife being removed from his personage, before he was told to move on.


If the Undertaker had to use a word to describe the Enclave Headquarters, it would have been sterile. Sterile, drab, dull, boring, metallic, cold: All these words only hinted at the type of lifestyle the Enclave Soldiers lived day in and day out. Every soldiers' pace was even and measured. Ever soldier wore the same power armored uniform. If Shifty could have removed the helmet from any number of them, he imagined that they would all have the same haircuts, facial hair, the same look to them. Had he been the paranoid sort, he would have imagined them all looking exactly the same, each one a clone of the next.

The only difference seemed to be two Enclave Soldiers that were running down the hall, their boots echoing through the sterile, clinical environment, as they seemed to be following a sound that ran through the air ducts.

"Keep following her. I don't want to be the one who has to explain to Natsuki that her brat got chopped up by the ciculators." One of the soldiers said as they passed.

**SHHHHHHHHHHHHK**

A door opened and revealed a room that could have been anywhere in the complex, anywhere in the world.

Stepping into the room, the Undertaker saw a darkly reflective one way window and a stainless steel chair.

"This looks comfy, gents." The Undertaker said turning around bringing the realization that he was alone and locked in that room.

"Quite comfy indeed." Shifty said as he sat down in the chair.

Getting onto the Hovercraft Smith privately let out a relieved sigh.
The thing didn't look like it had mountable turrets, at least any he could readily access instead the fire power was either attached directly on the vehicle or in the hands of some rather large powered armored fellows.

Thus no turret section (Hopefully), rather this looked like a cinematic section.

'Skipped'

Aka, nap time!
Thus John Smith dreamt of loading screens.

And so as they reached their destination in what Mr. Smith assumed was seconds due to the 'skip' though he did have to wonder if there was any important dialogue in between.
There were a few characters in the travel sequence so it was possible that character moments could've been established along with a few funny lines and memorable quotes.
That said if he got too lost he could probably get what he needed by asking.

Looking around he had to admit that the new location was nice.
High tech, full of super soldiers and by the looks of things the place held many valuables.
However they were friendly if seemingly separate from the NPCs he had befriended just moments ago, best not to rob them just yet.
At least not of their weapons and armor at least. That stuff looked heavy.



Dissociative Amnesia:

Definition: The partial or total loss of important personal information, sometimes occurring after a stressful or traumatic event.

Symptoms: The sudden inability to recall information of a personal nature - due to psychological factors, not physical factors.

Prevalence: Related to early childhood or late teens trauma and stress.

Course: Chronic forms may remit when the individual is exposed to similar situations relating to their particular stressors.


This particular passage was recalled from one of her Mother's textbooks. Being an avid reader, Lucy lamented not having the opportunity to curl up with a good book.

She wasn't a doctor of any sort, but the description seemed to fit and it had explained Lucy's intrusive thoughts and memories over the past few years. Especially the roller-coaster of emotions contained in the memories recalled over the past few days.

A few years after the Springvale incident, Lucy found it excessively easier to compartmentalize her emotions and arrange them according to the needs of others. Essentially, by exercising her Mother's emotional techniques on a daily basis, Lucy excelled in social manipulation.

This continued exercise lead to countless cover identities, ranging from subtle shifts in the way she had treated others to temporarily adopting the values of those she appealed to.

This begged the question, who knew the real Lucy?

Two people.

Frank and Shifty were the first to gain true insight into her values and motivations.


How do you get to an organization that can't be gotten to?

She had finally been brought to the Enclave Headquarters, under the guise of a co-operative asset and by the volition of her handler, FalloutBob.

You get them to come to you.

Heavily armed soldiers surrounded the exit, while other rushed inside to usher the newcomers out at gunpoint.

But to do that, I needed a name.

"Asset Unit-08? Come with us." Walking out of the hovercraft, a nearby soldier addressed her and made a motion for an escort and a weapons check.

And who has names? Well the Enclave have names, titles even.

Looking back hesitantly, all she received was a nod from FalloutBob.

Lucy was stripped of her plasma pistol, backpack full of ammunition and stimpacks. Her personal items were taken into an examination room nearby while she was escorted down the immaculately clean hallways.

Strangely, her Gauss Rifle was unloaded and held by one of the group that comprised of her armed escort.

All I had to do was play the part.

"So where am I going? And what is it with the silent treatment?"

"Orders. We're to bring the Daughter of Isaac to FalloutJack. That is all you need to know."

"Juuust asking, you guys can lighten up, you know. I have one eye, I'm unarmed, I really need to pee and I've been stuck in a stuffy Vertibird!" Sighed an exasperated Lucy.

She promptly received a jab in the back, followed by more grating silence until they reached their destination.

And wait for an opportunity to enter your ranks.

Reaching the entrance to a spacious room engulfed in darkness, a single light had illuminated two chairs, a table and a frame fixed to the table. She watched her rifle being fitted to the frame and surrounded by an energy barrier.

"You will wait in this room." muttered the leader of the escort group before exiting the room.

Taking a seat, Lucy heard the door being sealed shut behind her. With her rifle practically in quarantine and her equipment taken from her. All she could do was wait for this "FalloutJack" person.

"Well, I'm unlucky. And as unlucky, I'm nothing more than a frame of reference to the lucky." Lucy mused in order to calm her nerves.

Yet this does not involve luck.


The Enclave had been a recurring theme in her family. A particular theme that had ruined her family.

One way or another. The Enclave would end with her or she would die crippling it.


Inside the Hoveround:

*Blink*
*Blink*
*Blink*
*BlinkBlinkBlinkBlinkBlinkBlinkBlinkBlinkBlinkBlinkBlinkBlinkBlink*

"Mister Barrel Fruit made Slyphee feel funny." The Red Menace whined as she looked around her to discover that she was inside the Missy Enclave Hoveround with Papa Johnny Shakes, Mommy Meryl Barrel, Mister Jammy Jams FalloutJohn and Mister Johnny Helmet Head. This didn't bother her of course as she was content so long as she was around Papa Johnny Shakes and Mommy Meryl Barrel but what did bother her was the fact that there were in fact no windows in the Missy Enclave Hoveround to speak of except for one.

It seemed that the lone window in the whoooooooole entirety of Missy Enclave Hoveround was being looked out of by Mister Enclave Hoveround Driver, which as we know can only mean one thing when we're dealing with Sylphee. Making her way to where Mister Enclave Hoveround Driver was seated, Sylphee inhaled sharply.

"No." Said Mister Enclave Hoveround Driver rudely interrupting the question that the Red Cloaked Blue Haired Space Cadet was going to ask.

"But I didn't even ask you my question, Mister Enclave Hoveround Driver." Sylphee said, rather loudly, right in Mister Enclave Hoveround Driver's external sound pickups, causing Mister Enclave Hoveround's hands to tighten up on the wheel ever so obviously.

"No, we're not there yet. No, you cannot get on my lap and drive. No, you cannot look out the window. No, you cannot fire the guns. No, we cannot have a Chinese Fire Drill. No, there are no snakes on this Hover Craft. No, I would not like green eggs and ham, Sam I Am. Finally, no, you cannot keep talking to me so get back in the passenger compartment." Mister Enclave Hoveround Driver said calmly, never taking his eyes off of the terrain in front of him.

Clearly, either Sylphee was dealing with a person with the patience of a Saint, or a Bus Driver, or Mister Enclave Hoveround Driver was clearly a robot.

[Intelligence]"Ice Cream" Sylphee suggested in her best monotone Robo-Voiced self that she could.

"What?"

[Intelligence]"Priority Override, Authorization code 420-03-20-9" The Manic Red Girl said even louder this time.

"Will someone get this loony toon to the back of the Hovecraft?!"

[Intelligence]"Icarus Fights Medusa Angels!" Sylphee exclaimed as she bounced up and down, up and down, up and down, clearly enjoying the game that she was playing with Mister Enclave Hoveround Driver.

"I sweat to GOD, I'll pull this Hovercraft over and then you'll be sorry."

[Intelligence]"Justin Bailey?" The girl said, trying one last time to take control of the Robo-Mister Enclave Hoveround Driver.

Now it's not to say that the code words that Sylphee had been blathering about didn't have an effect, oh they definitely had an effect, it just wasn't the one that the Manic Girl in Red was expecting.

KER-SHHHHHHHHHHHH-THUNK

A privacy screen, usually reserved to separate the Mister Enclave Hoveround Driver from and Enclave VIPs, slid up between the off-her-rocker-dressed-in-red-ready-to-party girl and her new friend.

*knock*
*knock*
*knock*
*knockknockknockknockknockknockknockknockknockknockknockknockknock*

[Intelligence]"Swordfish! Razzle Dazzle Root Beer!"


Enclave Base: Somewhere dark

Clearly Sylphee had made a friend in Mister Enclave Hoveround Driver because when they finally arrived at the Enclave Headquarters, a couple of Enclave Power Armored d00ds gestured for the Girl in the Red to follow them "or suffer the consequences."

That phrase soon followed everything they asked her to do.

"Give us all your weapons or suffer the consequences."
"Step into this room or suffer the consequences."
"Please remove your cloak or suffer the consequences."
"- or suffer the consequences. - or suffer the consequences. - or suffer the consequences."

All this mentioning of suffering from consequences made Sylphee wonder just what these consequences were. Were they going to give her a pony, or ice cream, or a trip to meet Mister Iron Maiden, or some frozen yogurt, or

"Remove all personal items and jewelry or suffer the consequences."

"Okie dokie Mister!" The Manic Red Girl said as she removed her back and dropped it in the storage bin.

"The Choker too or suffer the consequences."

"But, I can't take it off. It keeps the murderous ghost away."

BAM!!!

Apparently suffer the consequences meant getting smacked upside the head.

"ow ow ow!!!' The Blue Hair Blue Eyed girl exclaimed as she was knocked to the floor and her choker was ripped off of her neck.

"Enjoy your day or suffer the consequences." The Enclave Asshole said as he left Sylph alone in the holding cell.

"Your funeral." Said a voice was was reminiscent of rain hitting a roaring ocean as the young woman picked herself off the floor and wiped the blood that the Enclave Soldier's back handed strike and drawn off of her face.

Looking around, it didn't take much time to ascertain that she was in a holding cell and that there would be armed guards on the other side of the door should she try anything rash, as was her nature. That only left her with one option.

KRREEEE-CLUNK

The vent to the air ducts was rather rusty, as opposed to the sterile environment that they had left her in. It struck the girl as ironic that they should keep themselves in such a clean environment and yet not clean their ventilation system and allow all these dust particles to float freely in the air they breathed.

Hauling herself up into the duct work, Sylph started crawling through the darkness.

Don't tell me you bat for the other side Stan? Wayne asked, laughing.
"Bats? When did we start talking about bats? Last I checked, we were talking about cheekbones..."
Well... I don't really know. I guess do whatever he's doing. I owe the man my life, Arcade Gannon, follower of the apocalypse. He patched me up, set me up with my Robobrain, gave me work. As long as I know he's safe I'll be ok. the man said in response to Stan's queries. GASP. Actual answers? NO WAY.
"A whoda what now? A follower of the apocalypse? So he what, follows the Horsemen around? To each his own, I guess. If he saved you, he can't be too bad. And if he was with the Enclave, it follows that the Enclave can't be too bad." Stan grinned widely. "I knew we made the right choice. Silly-armor lady did not seem very nice."

Just then, Wayne spotted a trap and tossed something in it before Sgt. Cheekbones could step in it. It was quite skillfully done, Stan had to admit.
"Hey! A beartrap. Who was trying to hunt yao guai down here? Those things only live above ground, and up in the hills. What would they be doing in a secret tunnel?"

Marlon smirked ruefully at the offer from Danielle. "As much as I'd like to take you up on that, your brother's given me enough headaches since I got here and I'm not especially inclined to give him another reason to ruin my day. If he ever stops hating me enough to not issue threats and wreck my supplies before the notion even arises..." He trailed off for a moment, quite clearly momentarily daydreaming about the prospect of Danielle's offer before snapping back to the other topic at hand.

He frowned considering the possibility that Lucy, like Barry was Enclave. "..Guess it's possible. Didn't really give much thought to it at the time, what with that other little prick and his grenade taking my mind off it. If she is though..." He paused a moment to consider and then shrugged. "Well, at the end of the day what's one more shot if she is on their side."

Putting the ammo he was holding for the tesla cannon back into the thunderbox, he looked around at the messy crab remains and the other debris from the battle, before turning his gaze towards the citadel itself. "I'm thinking maybe while we've got some peace and quiet for a bit I'm gonna see if they'll let me use the workshops...Got me an idea for some weaponry that I'd like to try and build if the parts are on hand."

Larry was impressed by the eyebot most would have just ran straight into his traps, it was rambling on about how he was going to die. Larry respectfully disagreed by throwing a emp grenade right into the eyebots eye leaving it to say 'the fact eyebot can still observe its surrounding' before the emp grenade detonated leaving behind a metal sphere filled with scrap electronics. When larry reached the top of the building he saw that the enclave were now heading in the opposite direction. This either meant they were forced to retreat, which would be good, or more likely that they got what they wanted. Larry took aim at the closest vertibird with his emp loaded grenade launcher, which was still notably further away from him then he was used at aiming, but he was good at leading his target. He fired and almost instantly started heading back down the school and to megaton, if his shot landed he would certainly here it so there was no need in waiting for it to hit or miss. As he headed back down school he disarmed his own trap and collected his grenades and other materials from them. Once he would leave the school he would have to careful about the individual he saw outside, no idea of knowing if they were friendly or not. He also loaded another emp round into his grenade launcher in case of more eyebots.

Beryl smiled politely and nodded at FalloutJohn. He seemed placid enough for a walking metal tank. Even the new guy seemed a lot more level headed than the folks she had been dealing with, curious looking and talking aside.

She obligingly clambered aboard the hovercraft without waiting for the others. If things went bad, she could always try crashing it, and this had the bonus of being closer to the ground. That said, the tank man probably wouldn't appreciate it, and unlike the editor, he seemed to have no restrictions at all about killing miscreants.

She made her self as comfy as possible in the squat little compartment. Not seeing any no smoking signs, she immediately lit up a cigarette and reclined in the hard steel chair. As she was just about ready to relax, she heard some disturbing chatter over the burping static of the radio.

"...more eh? *CRACKLE*-ed up another group. One fuc*CRACKLE*-n every minute."

Beryl squinted in the direction of the radio. The voice seemed familiar, but hse couldn't quite put her finger on it. Before she had time to parse it any further, the radio clicked off. Beryl stared up at the ceiling (only a few inches above her face) and wondered for a moment. Then she blinked the suspicions from her mind and shut her eyes. Might as well get a bit of rest.

Just outside of the hovercraft.

Whether it was from the stress, or the multiple withdrawals still running through his system (though to a lesser extent now), or The Editor deciding it was time for Johnny Truant to take a nap... he passed out after taking a step inside the hovercraft.

Several hours later in the Enclave Base. In a lab-cell.

Johnny woke up in a dark room, chained by the neck to a spike jutting out of the center of the room. Even with the lesser effects of Buffout still running through him, Johnny didn't think he'd be able to pull the damn thing out of the floor. So for what felt like several more hours, he sat directly under the only source of light in the room, as far from every edge of darkness that he could manage.

He waited for a few more minutes, then decided enough was enough. He got up, and looked directly at a red dot in the shadows, where he figured a camera would be.

"Hey assholes!" he shouted, waving his arms, "Don't play dumb! I know you bastards are watching! I know what you're up to! You're trying to see how isolation affects me, right? Well, unless you really are stupid enough to forget the reason that you've been chasing me around the whole friggin' Fractured Wastes of America for five fucking years!"

He paused, feeling oddly winded for some reason. He was also feeling a bit light-headed. That's when he figured it out.

"You're draining the air out of here?" he said, dropping to his knees, "That's not going to help you."(1)

(1) Ugh. Time for me to step in again, I see. Very well Mr. Truant. I start by reversing the flow of air, draining the tanks. Then I go one step further and start draining the ventilation system of this facility so that the scientists conducting this fool experiment are suffocating.

"Killing Mr. Truant will get you nowhere you imbeciles," I tell them, keeping my voice... 'affected' but level, "Stop trying to drain the air in here, and I'll let you live."

The scientists promptly stopped trying to drain the air out of Johnny's cell and tried a different tactic. They started increasing the temperature, slowly but surely, as if trying to see what level of resistance he'd have.

Johnny tried to find a door, but found that the collar on his neck started producing mild electrical shocks, and that the metal walls were already searing hot.

"YOU ASSHATS CAN ALL GO FUCK YOURSELVES!" Johnny yelled, beating his fists into the floor in a kind of futile frustration.(2)

(2) Come now, Mr. Truant. You can take more than this. This is just pathetic.

"SHUT UP ASSHOLE!" Johnny shouted. As he did so, he swore he could hear one of the scientists scratch a note on their clipboard, for some reason, Johnny thought it sounded like: Subject demonstrates clear link between physical danger, and his... other side manifesting. Though, judging from what we have seen so far, there are clearly limits to what the subject's alter super-ego will tolerate. This poses a curious question: could this entity not be as cold as we have been led to believe? Has it started to care for a host? This requires further study.

Johnny chuckled, "Unfortunate choice of words there, pal."(3)

(3) "Indeed, Mr. Truant," I say, once again stepping in to rescue my host's sadly frail form from further damage. How, you ask? Well, dear reader, isn't it obvious? I... turned down the thermostat as it were. To subzero temperatures. Well, outside the cell anyway. Inside the cell, I decided to keep things cozy at... 92 degrees Fahrenheit.

The scientists were apparently quicker on the uptake this time, as they almost immediately turned their temp. dials to their original positions.(4)

(4) "Good, you can be taught after all," I say, getting annoyed with this whole stupid affair, "Everyone present knows how resiliant Mr. Truant is to chems, so the next obvious test would be to increase the rad levels in here. Well, by all means, continue, I for one would not wish to get in the way of science. However, I certainly hope you're all wearing radiation suits right now. I doubt you'll have time to put them on in a few moments should you attempt such a test."

This time, Johnny said nothing, and listened. Now, he thought he heard them scratching "Subject is reacting to most harmful stimuli with lethal force. Although so far it has limited its reprisals to research staff conducting the experiment, I feel it would be inadvisable to push our luck. He may decide to flood the entire base with radiation, particularly now that I strongly suspect that I have just given the subject the idea."

Johnny sat back down to catch his breath as the air and temperatures normalized in the test chamber. Then a smaller door slid open in the dark walls and let a Nightstalker in.

"Motherfuckers!" Johnny said, uncertain how he was going to fend this one off on his own.(5)

(5) Don't look at me, Mr. Truant. You can handle this one all on your own. I'm done for now.

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