The REALLY Wild Wasteland. (The Fallout RP!)

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Arizona
The Wild Wastelands | The Road To Dunwich | Outside Megaton Gates
"Where's my caps, bit--Oh, wait."

It wasn't much more than about 225 caps in all, as it turned out. After rifling through her pack for every last loose cap that she had dumped in there from the cash register in Moriarty's, she figured that that meant one of two things: Either Moriarty didn't get much business, or he was more shrewd than she had first thought, and cleared out the register regularly. Still, it split three ways well enough.

So by the time she made her way back to the other three in her little motley crew of mercenaries, she had divided the caps evenly enough and handed each of them around 75 caps each.

"There. You all get a cut, courtesy of the dipshit Moriarty and his goons were after in the first place." she lied smoothly, jabbing a thumb back in the direction of Jon, "If nothing else, it should be enough to cover the cost of ammo if you used anyway. Otherwise, it's cheap pay."

Really, as far as she was concerned, 75 caps may as well have been chump change, and depending on whatever the job was, that wouldn't have been nearly enough to be worth her while. Still, it was better than nothing, and if anyone was going to be working with her, she insisted that they'd get paid too.

Still, it'd just figure that the moron at the center of all the trouble earlier would've been broke. And was Lucy's friend. Otherwise she probably would've shot the bastard in the foot. Or at least slugged him in the jaw.

Turning to the trio of misfits, she put her hands on her hips and blew a stray lock of red hair out of her face.

"So, are we finally ready to get this shitshow on the road or what? I ain't getting any younger." she announced.


[ dr. sorenson ]
The Wild Wastelands | Following The Post-Apocalypse | Springvale School
"Angry face."

There were times that Jenna was exceedingly glad for the confines of her Science Suit, and now was precisely one of those times. Even if Constance wasn't blind, she wouldn't have seen the tinge of blush on Jenna's cheeks behind her helmet.

"No. It's quite alright, Miss Jenna. It smells absolutely divine. I think the waiting part, while taxing, is going to make it all the more delicious."

"Oh, stop. It's nothing! I just want to help, that's all." she said with a soft giggle.

One of the Sylphy's, however, wasn't nearly so happy about her attempt to help with cooking, presumably the Sylphy who used to do all the cooking judging by the bloodied clothes. As she grumbled, Jenna turned to look at her, frowny face projected across her helmet.

"Sylphy Sylphy!"

Before Jenna could say anything, or even begin to translate what the Sylphy supposedly said, Constance was already replying in her stead.

"It's quite alright. I'm sure Miss Jenna doesn't need your help. You should just relax."

Even Jenna could hear the tinge of relief in her voice. The Sylphy, however, didn't take so kindly to Constance's words, and huffed before leaning against a nearby pipe, and the valve responsible for the gas flow into the ovens. The sudden FWOOOOSH!!! was enough to make Jenna panic, and quickly slipping on the tattered oven mitts that she had found earlier, she opened each oven and practically dove into the infernos inside to save the food.

As it turned out, the Smothered Deathclaw Steaks were only a little overdone. That was enough to make Jenna sigh in relief as she turned each oven off and slipped her hands out of the now lightly-charred mitts. But when she turned to the Sylphy responsible for the enthusiastic gas flow, her hands were clenched into fists at her sides and a red, angry face was projected over her helmet.

Her Pip-Boy chose that moment to be on the fritz as she slowly strode over to the Sylphy, the angry expression over her helmet dissolving into jagged red static. She finally stopped less than a foot away, towering over the clone.

"Don't. Do that." she said firmly but quietly.

Some Garage... Somewhere Somewhere 112...

Grendel halted its assault, and studied the ghoul in front of him. It grunted several times, gesturing with its knives for Eddie to back off a little as it circled around him, sniffing the air the ghoul had just been standing in before turning to face him again.

Grendel nodded to Eddie and then showed him the picture of himself and Slyphee riding their horse. Grendel cocked his head quizzically as he did so.

Wild Wastelands | Doctor Evil's Vault of Evil
"(Oooo) Sail away for that seifuku..."
Enclave Heavy Weapons Specialist #209

"We don't have time for this." The pretty lady told him, bringing up the console by the self-destruct sequence, "I'll need absolute silence."

Now, it should be noted that the phrase 'absolute silence' was a phrase that the Enclave Heavy Weapons Specialist was unfamiliar with. Perhaps it was due to the fact that he was a Heavy Weapons Specialist, versed in the art of throwing down as much plasma down range as humanly possible as loud as humanly possible. To him, the two words used in conjunction was reserved for Steers, Enclave Scout Sniper Specialists (the natural enemy of the Enclave Heavy Weapons Specialist) and Communists. Trixie did not look like an Enclave Scout Sniper Specialist nor did she look like a Steer. He had yet to ascertain as to whether or not she was a communist but if there was one thing that you never spoke about on a first date, it was politics... and what caliber ammunition you've got.

As the lady began typing with the combined speed of one thousand monkeys manning one thousand type writers, E.D. #209 found himself rather amazed at the woman's display of dexterity... and made it known.

"Holy... fucking... shit." You could practically hear the Grunt's eye popping out of his head, "Can I be next with those hands of yours?"

It probably didn't take any stretch of the imagination as to what the Giant Grenade Chucker was implying and if you, my dear reader, don't get what it is that the Enclave Dominator was getting at, just remember, #209 only has two groups of categorization. Shootable and ... Sexable. Obviously Trixie was not yet in the Shootable category so it left the other group.

It was taking a while to disarm that self destruct mechanism. With 15 minutes left until total destruction of the Vault of Evil, E.D. #209 took it upon himself to take matters into his own hands.

"C'mon lady. Lets just get the hell out of here." He stated as he wrapped a phone pole sized arm around the woman and pushed her into the nearby escape pod before wedging himself into the hatch.

BEEP BEEP BEEP!

The warning sirens blared before the magnets hurled the car sized pod through its launch tube and out into the skies over the Wild Wastelands... and beyond.

Using a magnetic accelerator, as a general rule, is a good idea for a weapon but it's a rather bad idea when using it as a mechanism for propulsion for an escape pod. The Pod was able to clear the Vault in a little under 2 seconds and was able to clear the atmosphere in a little less than 2 minutes before gravity started overtaking the momentum of the escape pod. In those brief few moments, Enclave Heavy Weapons Specialist #209 found himself in the near weightless vacuum of space. It was probably a good thing that he was encased in his Power Armor since the survival rate of someone buck ass naked in space was pretty close to 0%. But as he and Trixie floated in space for a few moments, the Enclave Dominator saw the little blue marble known as Earth. The wretched Wasteland that spanned the entire planet. Despite the depressing brownness of the planet, there was also something rather peaceful about the view and for the next few moments, he wasn't obsessed with shooting something or having sex with something. He just stared at the planet.

And then gravity took over...


Wild Wastelands | Outside Smith Casey's Garage
"Coming in Hot!"
Enclave Heavy Weapons Specialist #209

If you throw a cylinder in the middle of a room at random and then move to a random spot in the room, the chances of your throwing another cylinder on top the first without aiming are fairly minuscule. If you can imagine expanding the room to the size of the D.C. Wastelands, it would be a miracle if you got it in the same neighborhood. Still, that's exactly what appeared to happen.

Cutting through the atmosphere at terminal velocity, an escape pod closed in on the building formerly known as Smith Casey's Garage. Were it not for the fact that the area was already occupied with a number of beings (one of which was a man in loin cloth and frilly bonnet, another was a Rock and Roll Ghoul and another was simply... Grendel... no one knew exactly what Grendel was) the landing of the Evil Escape Pod might have gone unnoticed.

A loud explosion signaled the ignition of retro rockets, slowing the descent of the Escape Pod to a few miles an hour before the parachute deployed, slowing down the rate of descent from bone breaking to headache inducing due to the loudness of the retro rockets and the fact that the Escape Hatch to the Escape Pod had been wedged upon by a mammoth suit of Power Armor... whose ass happened to be glowing red.

"Fffffffffffffuuuuuuuuuuck!!!" Enclave Heavy Weapons Specialist #209 screamed loudly as he felt his ass on the verge of sizzling like bacon on a hot pan.

Not bothering to wait for the Escape Pod to land, the mammoth of a man jumped off of the Escape Pod, looking for the nearest source of water.

"PSSSSSSSSSSSSHHHHHHHH!!!!" The man's ass went as he jumped into a drinking trough that had been set up for many a brahmin caravan that passed through.

THUD! Went the Evil Escape Pod as it landed directly on top of the Alien Escape Pod.

"What the fuck is that?!" E.D. #209 went when he spotted Charlie Cannon... clearly the more bizarre looking of the trio of oddities clustered in front of the Garage.

"Can I be next with those hands of yours?"
Trixie looked back at #209 for a moment with a blank expression.
"Absolute, silence..." She mentioned once again.

Not long was left, Trixie had to move fast if she wanted to save this place, she knew there wasn't too much she would have to go through before... "C'mon lady. Lets just get the hell out of here."

"Hey! What do think you're doing! Can't you see I'm trying to get us out of here!" She continued to ramble in frustration, kicking her legs and arms around after suddenly being grabbed and pushed into one of the escape pods.

"Can't you see I..." Her words were cut short by #209 jamming himself into the pod with her, squeezing any remaining breath she had out of her lungs.

Continuing to bang on #209's armor with as little room as her arms allowed her, they were suddenly shot into the great void of space, she stopped her assault as she noticed #209 came to a long pause, observing the planet in such a way caused her to do the same, before she finally came to a realisation.
How are we going to get down from here? And how have I not died yet?

One of her questions however was quickly answered, as the earth began to pull her and the clad enclave powertrooper toward it's loving embrace.
"You idiot!" She shouted as they both began to plummet toward the ground at a terminal velocity.

Suddenly however, she felt the retro rockets beginning to kick it, and let out a long sigh of relief, almost as if she was going to feint.

Her relief was quickly cut short however as she watched #209 leap from the pod, followed by a heavy THUD as it smashed into what Trixie thought must be the ground.

As the door remained open Trixie began to stumble out feeling somewhat dizzy, more of a surprise was that she managed to encounter such an event without being wrapped in some massive spacesuit.
Holding her head as she left the pod she looked below at a strange trio of wasteland enhabitants.

"I think I've a severe concussion..." She mentioned, holding her hand over her head as she finally escaped... The escape pod.

Well, What Do We Have Here?


It's a collab from Jack and Rip!

Lucy would hear the sounds of motorcycles on approach. It was a bit dusty to see who it was, at first, but then there would be this moment of shock, an image that she would not be able to blink away or shake from her head. Once the cycles came to a stop, she would see a man disembark from them - along with William Knight, Dudley Sullivan, and Scribe Ramsey of the BoS - who was the very spitting image of her father on the day he died. The look on his face was shocked as well, and yet somehow...relieved. Isaac Black had been gone - dead - for years, and now he was able to see his baby girl all grown up. He finally found his voice.

Isaac: It...it IS you, isn't it?

Isn't that what she should be asking? For a girl that was struggling with her grip on reality, this particular scene was going to be rather difficult. Turning to face the sounds of motorcycles, undeniably loud and attention-worthy, a trio of riders were fast approaching Megaton. Perhaps it was the sunlight that obscured her vision or maybe her intrusive memories had now become full-blown hallucinations, because she could have sworn that the most heavily-armored of men had resembled her father, Isaac Black.

"I can see him now.", The eyepatched & scarred female murmured, a hint to anyone nearby about why she was in such a dismal place emotionally, repeating the phrase with every step she had unconsciously taken towards the figure that was now exclusively approaching her. "This can't be real. This is all in my head..." Then he spoke. Or more accurately, he spoke, Isaac Black. His daughter's remaining eye widened in disbelief, her mouth slightly agape in shock. She recognised that voice. Oh how she missed that voice. For a few moments she had brought a hand up to reach out to him, pulling away instead and bringing the hand to her mouth when he blinked.

Biting her lip in a vain attempt to quell the welling up of tears, Lucy finally answered her Father, "I should be asking you the same thing.", her voice cracked slightly, "T-this isn't all in my head, is it?"

Reaching out to lay a hand on the very real shoulder of her previously known to be dead Father, the daughter who had seen hell had dropped all pretenses of aggressive authority or cold cunning. No, right now, a simple daughter had wrapped her arms around her much missed father's waist and buried her head in his chest.

"...Hi Dad..."

The moments of disbelief and shock slowly melted away into confusion and questioning of one's own sanity, and then that finally ebbed away. For Isaac, it was a question of 'How long have I been away?' and 'What happened to her?'. When she moved to hug him, he followed suit, holding her tight against his chest as he was overcome with emotion.

Isaac: I'm so sorry I left you, Lucy... I'm sorry for everything. I know it was my fault. I'm sorry...

Time had moved faster for Isaac than Lucy during the years he was dead. He was not aware of anything between his death and his renewed life, so seeing all of this was a shock to his system, without a doubt.


Ladies and gentlemen, we are back in black!


It's the wild wasteland third anniversary special!

Lucy pawed at her face, wiping the tears of shock and greater happiness away, "You're here now, that's all that matters!", she smiled happily, truly happy, before her head tilted in confusion when she had spotted William as one of the trio of newcomers, "How - how are you here? And why is William with you? What is going on? How many strings has #411 attached to you?"

Confusion, in Lucy's case, was a breeding ground for paranoia and subsequent aggression that followed as a response. Lately, one could describe Lucy as exhausted and dispassionate, yet as of this moment she was ready to launch herself headfirst into any opposition for the safekeeping of her father. And if these were the machinations of the Enclave, she was feeling ready to correct her previous mistake in the following Round 2.

"Point me in the right direction and we will tear them apart!", stated what was once a sweet girl.

Isaac put his hands on her shoulders to get her to pay attention to him for a moment.

Isaac: Lucy, calm down. They're not with the Enclave. In fact, I know for a fact that the one on the end with the glasses is a Scribe from the Brotherhood. This isn't a plot, except perhaps of the BoS to give me my life back. Let me explain what I know.

He told her the moment he became alive again, and what he knew from that, in that it seemed to involve a radioactive coffin and a bunch of armored ghouls, somehow. He didn't understand the process or reasoning of it himself, but he was alive because of this and had some sort of mutation that gave him an affinity for radiation.

Isaac: Really hoping I don't go ghoul because of it, but at least that would be better than dying again.

He continued, explaining how he had to beat the last ghoul standing to death because he wasn't - for whatever reason - Frank Rose. Frank was a Brotherhood man. He'd heard of the Roses before he died, so if he was switched with this man Frank, then they had wanted him alive instead of Frank. While he was explaining this, someone took William and company quietly around the wall perimeter of Megaton. Isaac finished his tale and asked her...

Isaac: Now look, what've the Enclave been doing? I've heard some strange things, some worrying things, and I found a helmet and alot of blood at the house. I'd thought for sure something had happened. In fact, judging from your eye, I guess something did happen. Tell me, Lucy, please...

There were few people that could effectively calm Lucy down when she was about to fly off the handle, then again, there was only one of Isaac Black. Tapping his arms to let him know she was okay, a hand ran through her hair while she took everything in.

"So it's safe to assume that Frank Rose is dead? That's surprising. Can't say I'll miss him, but still, surprising."

Lucy paused to touch on her eyepatch, something which she was growing accustomed to. How was she possibly going to explain this? Might as well start from the beginning. "Look, Dad, the Gauss Rifle Plus..."

Lucy glossed over the details of how she attempted to start a new life in Megaton for a few years before meeting Frank Rose and Vikki the mini-mutant on a small excursion one day. Mentioning her battles alongside the Brotherhood, Lucy revealed the nature of Brotherhood's current standing and the subsequent force of the Enclave attacks headed by two members of the Fallout Sector. What followed was Lucy's short-sighted descent into cunning manipulation and opportunistic goals: Using her standing as unwilling Enclave Asset to accompany FalloutBob to the Vault, the truth revealed with FalloutJack and the final test by Number One. The military might of the current Enclave. Lucy's betrayal to save others over that of her vendetta. The final confrontation with FalloutJack and surrendering of the Gauss Rifle Plus in exchange for a fresh start.

"Things seemed to be looking up from there...I met Kristin, Kristin Blamco, Princess to New Vegas BlamCo itself. She helped me get back home. Not long after that, a longtime friend of yours arrived to find you: Jonathan McKenna."

Lucy then delved into the explanation of the events that followed his arrival. The untimely interruption of #411, her plan to unsuccessfully goad Lucy into another betrayal and ultimately the plan to blackmail her with further deception and use of a presumed-dead Thomas McGee as leverage. Suicidally intent on protecting someone else from getting stuck under the Enclave's thumb, Lucy tried in vain to use personal harm to frame and blackmail #411, hence the loss of an eye, even after the initial replacement. Failing to protect Jonathan's cover identity and causing a mess in the process: Jonathan McKenna & Kristin BlamCo had stepped in to fight against #411's leverage.

"But I think someone else can explain that last part more clearly. Still trying to wrap my head around all of it -- and this.", Lucy nodded over to a shocked Jonathan McKenna not too far off. And again to the Valkyrie that killed armored soldiers with her unique blade. "Jonathan has been waiting a long time to see you as well. He needs some good news - today has been hell for a lot of people."

The mere mention of Jonathan had set Isaac looking around, trying to spot him. When he did...yeah, the man looked like he'd been through what he himself had woken up from: Death. Isaac patted the shoulder of his little girl and stepped on over to Jonathan MCKenna, his old friend.

Isaac: Jon? I'm sorry for being dead. I didn't plan it that way, but I'm here now. What I can do for you?

Given the wayJon's been going, probably a while lot, but would he be able to accept this situation as well as Lucy has? We shall see!

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A collab between Jack and Harkinator now!

Let us take this over to the perspective of those good-deed-doers off to the side now... The three of them - Evan Ramsey, Dudley Sullivan, and William Knight - witnessed a heartwarming moment: A father re-united with his daughter after spending years...well...dead. It brings a tingle to one's own heart. Wait... Hearts don't tingle like that, but all three of their own most certainly are. A Mysterious Stranger in a wide-brimmed hat with a sniper rifle on her back walks by, speaking low.

"If you gentlemen do anything other than follow me, I'll crush them where you stand."

She starts walking around the Megaton perimeter wall. William recognizes the voice. It was FalloutJack's girl, Natsuki Manriki!

Oh crap. Oh crap. Oh crap.

The Three Musketeers knew at once if they didn't want to turn the touching little scene they'd just witnessed into a tragedy they'd follow Natsuki. At least to distract her for the time being. They turned almost in unison and began to follow. William looked at Evan and Dudley, mouthing "Hang back" at both of them and motioning for them to slow down. He was sure it was him Natsuki had singled out. They'd encountered one another before at the Enclave base, though William had been disguised as an Enclave trooper at the time. It wasn't impossible that she'd found out who he was afterwards. William's hands brushed his weapons, seeking reassurance from their presence. This could get nasty. Dudley and Evan did as they were told, dropping back a little so they could make a break for it if they had to, but couldn't be accused of disappearing. By this time the little gathering at the gates was out of their sight as the Three Musketeers made their way round the Megaton wall. Each tensed up with apprehension, something about Natsuki told them she was one of the most dangerous people they'd ever encountered. The other two had indeed hung back, but they could not do so that far. A tingle in their chests got a bit intense for a second and they knew that something was wrong. That something was Natsuki. They were now around the side of the walled city, far enough away that the gates were out of earshot.

Natsuki: I didn't want to spoil that scene back there. I honestly like the Blacks, despite the whole 'trying to betray us to the outside world' thing. And Isaac is alive... I don't even know how to react to that. Seeing you three here, though... That's a no-brainer.

She turned and pulled off her hat, revealing to them the pink-haired young lady with the horns that William, at least, had seen. The other two didn't really know much of anything about her. She looked angry with them, a thus-far controlled military kind of anger that the breaking of discipline from that would surely end in a dangerous situation.

Natsuki: Let me be blunt. We found George's body, we joined the dots, and we know that you - Mr. Knight - infiltrated our base by cutting down a good man. Soldiers may die in battle, but he wasn't even in uniform or armed! You killed him during his coffee break and stuffed him into a vent shaft like he was garbage. Let me tell you something, Knight. I liked George. Good friend, family man, trying really hard to make it into the Fallout Sector. We could've had a FalloutGeorge. I'm not simply pissed because you killed one of our men. I'm within an inch of imploding your heart because of how it happened...!

And before either of the other two could say anything, she gave them a sharp look.

Natsuki: Incidentally, Enclave Asset #1 ratted you two out. We know who you are and we saw what you did. I could probably see my way to killing you as well.

"The other two have done nothing against you, it's me you-" William tried to say before being interrupted by Dudley, who slapped William's arm with the back of his hand.

"Y'aint pulling that one William. No way do we leave ya alone on this. One fer all an' all fer one." He said, puffing out his chest before addressing Natsuki, "Listen Miss Pink Power Ranger, ya gotta problem with one of us, ya mess with all of us."

William and Evan both rolled their eyes at the "Miss Pink Power Ranger" bit. Tact never was Dudley's strong suit.

"I know there's no point trying to make excuses or justify me killing your friend. It was him or me in that moment, and I'm sure he was as nice as you say." Said William, resting his hands on his waist, next to but not quite on his weapons.

"You might think you know everything about us, but you underestimate how dangerous we are. It's three against one, you're outnumbered."

None of the Musketeers could see a clean way out of this. If they ran Natsuki would kill the recently reunited Black family. If they tried to hide they'd spend the rest of their lives on the run from the Enclave. What could they do but fight? Something in their chests tingled, this entire situation felt wrong.

Natsuki: I don't think you understand what's going on here, so let me make them more visible.

A little bit of concentration and that tingle got a bit more obvious...because it was partially based in a sonic vibration that was going on. There were these transparent limbs that...oh. William had seen these before, thanks to the powersuit that he'd been in back at the base. Alice had warned him that Natsuki was dangerous. Evan was shocked, as he had noticed that three of these things were leading into their chests.

Evan: That was you? Who are you? No, what are you? I thought the Enclave didn't like mutants.

Natsuki: I'm a Diclonius, a divergent form human being. And my name is Lieutenant Natsuki Manriki, Enclave army, and I literally hold your lives in my hand. You three have most-definitely taken wanton action against the Enclave, my personal feelings aside. Give me one good reason why I shouldn't kill you all.

Neither William nor Evan could think of a reason. Natsuki literally held their lives in her hands, and they couldn't think of a good reason for her to let them live. She had every reason to kill Willam, and she might as well kill Evan and Dudley while she was at it. To their surprise, it was Dudley who spoke.

"Because I'm holdin' a live grenade here missy."

"What?!"

"What?!"

Dudley extended his arm forwards to show he was indeed holding a grenade tightly in his hand, the pin was at his feet.

"I've taken the pin outta this, and if ya kill me or any of the others this goes off with ya in the blast radius. You kill us, we kill you." For once in his life Dudley looked deadly serious. He was seriously pissed off, and when he got pissed of he got dangerous.

"Ya might be thinkin' ya'll survive the blast, but that merry band out by the gates'll hear it an' come runnin' ta find ya stumblin' around with half a body worth of shrapnel. They'll finish you off good." Dudley's arm shook slightly, and he could almost feel the pressure around his heart tighten.

"We all leave now, go our separate ways. Nobody shoots nobody as they's walkin' away and we all make it outta this alive."

Something Natsuki and the others did not know that Dudley did: The grenade was a dud. There was no real way for any of them to put that to the test without chancing the explosion. Only Dudley knew that it would never come, but he put on an excellent act like he was worried too. Actually, he was worried, but of being discovered maybe... Natsuki blinked at this act of his, but then smirked.

Natsuki: Blowing yourselves up to save yourselves? Hmmm, guess I should've restrained you.

Evan: Well, what's it going to be? I don't like the idea of blowing up either, but if we have to die...

Yes, the Brotherhood may not have been comfortable with self-sacrifice, but they were willing to... She appeared to give this some thought.

Natsuki: I have a counter proposal. The truth is, I could probably reduce you all to giblets and indeed survive the explosion, but I'm gonna take a page from dad's handbook and anty-up. If you walk away from me now, I'm gonna make the Brotherhood hurt. If you want to prevent that from happening, I suggest you go west and look after the Blacks. Those are your conditions now. Go west or test your luck now.

"Then we go west, and we all make it out of this alive." Said Evan, stepping back while keeping his eyes on Natsuki. There was no way he would do anything to endanger the Brotherhood of Steel.

"Yeah, an' you get outta here now too." Said Dudley, taking a step back himself and waving the grenade as if it were a lit torch he was using to fend off the encroaching darkness.

All Three Musketeers backed off, edging their way around the walls of Megaton. In unison they breathed a sigh of relief once they could not see Natsuki, though they did not simply turn around and walk normally. Was that it? Were they in the clear? No. The Enclave knew who they were, recognised them by appearance. That would never be the end of it. For now they'd have to bide their time, look after the Blacks as they'd agreed to do. Another opportunity to strike at the Enclave would present itself in time. Natsuki, meanwhile, headed around the back of Megaton, and made use of the radio in her Pip-Boy.

Natsuki: Dad, are you there? Listen, I have something to tell you, something important...

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

On the other end, FalloutJack had heard the news. He was shocked - Shocked! - to hear that gambling was going on in this establishment to hear that Isaac was somehow alive!. He had to tell Number One about this. And...maybe NOT Bob. Jack operated a secret control in his suit and activated the Secret Inter-Vault Transportational Tube...which only he and Number One ever used. Slipping down, he set it for the secret corridor leading to the secret back door into Number One's room. Once down, Jack exited the tube and walked down the hallway.

He stopped, seeing another guy pop in from yet another doorway!

FalloutJack: #86, what are you doing here? This is an unlisted hall.

#86: I just wanted to pop in and see the Chief about my mission.

FalloutJack: What mission?

#86: Well, that's just it. I haven't got one.

FalloutJack: Well look, not now, alright? I have to talk to him over some serious matters. Say, how are you and #99 doing?

#86: Pretty good, apart from the headaches.

FalloutJack: I told you not to boobytrap your quarters.

#86: Just maintaining the element of surprise.

FalloutJack: Well look, I'll get you a mission and it'll be just brimming with danger. You'll be surrounded by enemies trying to kill you every moment of the day.

#86: And...loving it.

FalloutJack: Now, get out of here. Nobody's suppose to know about this thing.

#86: Are you kidding? The Maintenance Brothers - and the Maintenance Sister - know about this! And if they know...everyone knows.

FalloutJack: Except Bob.

#86: Except Bob.

FalloutJack: See ya, #86.

Jack moved on and entered the domicile of Number One. #86 eventually found the secret panel again and let himself out.

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Meanwhile, at a collab between Jack and Eagle...

Questions? Well... After a few moments of silence from Talion as they walked, he said "A few, Soldier. What is your Name? your Rank? and your Serial Number?" Through his helmet it would come off as practiced and forceful, like the tone of an officer. David stopped and looked at him for a moment.

FalloutDavid: Oh, that's wonderful. We're on my base and I'm the one being interrogated.

He sighed, shrugging as he walked along and other soldiers came in a little closer.

FalloutDavid: Alright... We do things a little differently now. I'm David Davidson, Fallout Sector, and I don't have a number anymore. You see, everyone else is a number and I'm one of the exceptionals. It's just that my armor is currently in the shop and I'm doing the casual bit for a while.

He smirked now.

FalloutDavid: How about you, then? It's only fair.

Talion continued walking as he replied "Vague responses for vague responses. Talion Richardson, Marine, and it's been some time since I've bothered to remember my number." He coughed through his helmet before continuing "And you asked if I had questions, I wouldn't have the gall to interrogate you in front of that thing behind us."

FalloutDavid: Too true.

Metal Gear BOX had mysteriously come up north, for reasons he did not know at this time. It was handy, of course. No man in his right mind - which just proves how crazy Frank Rose was - would attack such a machine alone. Just then, one of the Enclave soldiers came over, hefting his plasma rifle. It was a newer design to what Talion was use to seeing.

FalloutDavid: Yes, #337, what is it?

#337: Enclave Asset #1 just reported in. They have FalloutScott.

David blinked, staring at him a moment.

FalloutDavid: Well, how did that happen?

#337: One of the Scribes devised a stun weapon to immobilize powersuits. It must've been pretty good to drop him.

FalloutDavid: Yeah, Scott may spend alot of time drunk, but he's an utter genius.

#337: They have him drunk NOW. They're trying to make him talk.

David snerked.

FalloutDavid: Those poor bastards. Is my replacement suit here?

#337: It's been delivered, yes. Uhh...what do you want done with the prisoner?

FalloutDavid: Him? No idea. He's too strong to chain down. Reminds me of a nicer Horrigan. Although...we could just make it a straight trade, the super cyborg for the super genius. I think we'll wait a while, though, so that Scott has a chance to start singing lymrics.

Talion chuckled slightly "Taking me prisoner and planning to trade me now? I could lie and claim otherwise, but I know nothing of their operations and they know as much about me as you do. I have little value as a prisoner and they have little reason to trade for me."

David chuckled.

FalloutDavid: I think if they've at least met you, they'll help you. And not simply because they're a bunch of nice guys. You're clearly a very-capable person. I'm weighing their ability to recognize that against the fact that Scott will eventually make their lives a living hell. The drunken behavior is only the start. Anyway, I'm sure the Brotherhood will make the right decision. The things we've been leaking to them about situations developing lately should make them far more amicable.

#337: Maybe, maybe not, sir. Scott killed Frank Rose with the MGB. Base came to us with a recording and everything. His own fault, really, but they may not like it.

FalloutDavid: Ah well, we'll just have to see. Ah, you don't mind sitting in view of the MGB, do you, Talion? He's not exactly built for indoors.

"I suppose," Talion replied. "Though if I have to have a gun pointed at my head may I clean my equipment while I wait?"

FalloutDavid: Considering whose guns are doing the pointing? Yeah, sure. Just don't go anywhere. I'm gonna go settle into metal.

He headed off with #337. The MGB continued its eternal stare at the cyborg. It looked somewhat battered, but it was fully-functional and could not be taken down by a single person. They knew this, not only because of common sense, but on the point regarding the death of Frank Rose. Unbeknownst to Talion or anyone else, though, a certain small-scale version of Liberty Prime was traveling north and would find this area soon...

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

At the Citadel, they were having a bit of a problem. Scott had begun singing alright, and it was about the Chinese planning to cover the world in their Red Glow. They had to listen, horrible though his carrying on was. And then, suddenly, he had taken the whiskey bottle jumped into a vent!

FalloutScott: Aye, there's nar'ly a beast which kin outrun a greased Scotsman! Well, maybe that Deathclaw lass, but she's a horse of a different color.

They heard him jabbering on throughout the vents, following him until they reached a locked storeroom In calling for the key, they had the unfortunate problem of having having left him alone in there for a time... They had heard sounds, building sounds! Soon, they opened the door and looked... Scott had jumped back into the vent, and the shelves had nothing on them but little toy RC cars...with grenades!

Toy cars streamed out of there, forcing soldiers to run after them and shoot before they hit something sensitive!

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

There comes a time in a man's life where, frankly, he has had enough. First, it was Grendel they had to deal with, then Eddie the bizarre concert-maker, then a frigging ALIEN ESCAPE POD or something flew out of the sky and crashed into the ground! Then another DIFFERENT escape pod crashed into IT! And what do we have now? Grendel, Eddie the Dead, a guy in a pretty bonnet, a naked man, a strange girl, and...is that a little hovering drone nearby?

Joe Slayer: That's it! I'm out! Let's go.

Jonesy: You don't want to figure this out?

Joe Slayer: Does it look like my problem? Let's go find the way out of this world.

Coyote: Good call.

Speck: Hear, hear.

The Shadowrunners are leaving you to your own devices. Number Six, however, remains watchful...

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

Meanwhile...closer to the Springvale area, overlooking it from the hill in which Vault 101 sat...a nose sniffed the air in disgust.

"I smell...deathclaw meat."

Malkos of the Goris Clan looked among his fellow Deathclaws, the only one of any true intelligence thus far. They were slow to pick things up, but they had at least taken to his lead. What was the right action here? There was an army in that school...and they were eating his kind. This could not be allowed, but...how to handle it?

"Tonight, I will go alone."

The Wild Wastelands | Outside of Megaton
Introductions and Reunions of the Dead
Thomas "Shifty" McGee and Sylphee Smithford

If this was someone's idea of a joke, it was of rather poor taste but looking at the Former One Eyed Gauss Girl, Thomas could only stand there with his mouth slightly open in disbelief. The dead were supposed to stay dead. That was how it had always been and that how it always should have been and yet, despite hearing of his demise from the very lips that the Former Undertaker had been kissing the previous night, Thomas was witness to a walking, talking and breathing Isaac Black. Strangely enough, Sylphee had stopped moving as well, she knew better than to interrupt a family reunion (for at least five minutes before making herself known).

Was the resurrection of Isaac Black proof of the existence of a high power? Was the fact that he happened to arrive just as Thomas, Lucy, Arizona and Sylphee were about to leave Megaton proof that this higher power directed his Children to be where they were needed most at exactly the time they were needed most? As Thomas pondered these things, Sylphee began moving again after her pea-sized brain finished identifying the relationship that this new person named Isaac Black had with her.

"GAMPA IMAX!!!!" The Blue Haired Air Head exclaimed loudly as she started struggling against her Daddy to get to her newly found "Grandfather."

"No. Stop. Wait. Sylphee. Stop." The Former Undertaker turned Insta-Daddy tried to say as he pressed his hand against the aggressively affectionate Crimson Menace. Sighing internally, Thomas realized that it was once again time for him to sacrifice himself for the greater good. In this case, the reunion between Isaac Black and Jonathan Aristotle McKenna, "Stop it, I want a hug Sylphee."

CR-CR-CR-CR-CRACK!

That was the sound of Thomas' spine being forcefully realigned by his Crimson Chiropractor. The world started to tilt a bit as the Straight Spined, Top Hatted Young Man found his center of gravity moved upwards by a foot or two. Wrapping his arms around the pint sized pain, Thomas gave his Delinquent "Daughter" a hug before looking around and spotting Lucy as she retreated from the conversation between Jonathan and Isaac.

Walking over to the One Eyed Formerly Fatherless Former Gauss Girl, Thomas managed to inhale enough air into his lungs to ask Lucy a question.

"Are you alright?" Thomas asked in the gentlest tone possible, feeling more than slightly self conscious as he addressed the woman that he had and would again sacrifice himself for. Between the fact that he had a fully grown woman latched onto him like a child latching onto her father and the fact that he still had no idea what was going on between Lucy and himself, he felt rather ill at ease.

The Top Hatted Former Undertaker felt his body acclimating to Sylphee's Squeeze of Doom and found that he could talk normally once again.

"I'm glad to see that your Father's alive, Lucy. I'm happy for you. I'm sure that you two have more things to discuss and more to get caught up on." Thomas said in a more relaxed tone, "You know... seeing you and your father together makes me miss my own parents. It's been quite some time since I've sent them a letter. Actually, truth be told, I haven't sent them a letter since I arrived here in D.C..." Pause, Sigh, "Ever since I ran into Frank, it's been a rather busy life filled with misfortune in some parts."

Despite the fact that Frank Rose was an asshole, a cheat, a thief and destroyer of vehicles, he was still a living human being... it was rumored. Thomas kicked at some rocks...

"Although my life hasn't been very fortunate until now, I'm glad if I caught your eye because of that misfortune..." He would have said were it not for the fact that Sylphee had decided to tackle Lucy in a rather dramatic fashion.

"MOMMY LUCY CABOOSY!!!" Sylphee squee'd as she tackled the One Eyed Gauss Girl to the ground squeezing her with all her might like a cursed python squeezing the body of a young unliked girl.


The Wild Wastelands | Springvale Elementary School
Food of the Dead
Constance Sorrowfeld and the Sylphys

"Don't. Do that." Miss Jenna said firmly but quietly to the offending Sylphy that had set the smothered Deathclaw steaks on fire "accidentally on purpose." The effect was instant on the offending Sylphy who decided to duck behind the Unwillingly Chosen Queen of the Syphys, Constance Sorrowfeld.

"Sylphy Sylphy Sylphy!" The Offending Sylphy exclaimed from behind Constance's right leg.

"She said she's sorry." Constance said as she petted the cowering Sylphy, "Besides, it looks like you were able to save the food. It still smells wonderful."

This was partially the truth. Despite the fact that the smothered part of the smother Deathclaw steaks smelled quite delicious, Constance's sensitive nose was still able to detect the subtly foul smell of Deathclaw meat. No matter what how much Deathclaw meat was seasoned, stewed, simmered, saute'd, sauced or steamed it was still Deathclaw meat and inherently tasted like FEV laced Chicken that decided to eat everything in sight.

There were some days that Constance wished for the dry rations that the American Enclave Scouts of America issued their scouts as a snack. Sure they tasted like cardboard and they left an oily residue in your mouth and left you extremely thirsty, but at least they didn't taste like a bird that someone had decided to wear as a shoe before slogging through a manure field.

"I guess it's time to eat." Constance said as she signaled one of the Assistant Sylphys to signal the dinner bell.

DING DING DING DING DING!!

A mass of jabbering and chattering soon followed as the Sylphy horde that had been stationed at Springvale elementary converged and waited for chow. All around her, Constance could hear the murmurs of that day's rumors, specifically about a rather large Deathclaw that was rather clever in avoiding the Sylphy hunting parties. Some even said that it was able to talk. Remembering some of the bed time stories the Scout leaders used to tell about Intelligent Deathclaws, Constance wondered if this was one of their number. If what the Sylphys were yammering about was true, the Deathclaw in question was probably not pleased that the Sylphys had taken to hunting Deathclaws.

"Hey... ummm... Sylphy? Double up on guards tonight." Constance ordered. Not that it would do any good of course. Despite the amount of training that she'd invested in the Sylphys, in the end, they were all still idiots.


The Wild Wastelands | The Enclave Vault
Regrets to the Formerly Dead
Enclave Intelligence Officer #411

The Enclave Maintenance Brothers ... and the Enclave Maintenance sister were busy replacing a monitor inside Intelligence Sector of the Enclave Vault. If there was one thing that never mixed well with electronics, it was the introduction of liquids via a fine mist after being spat out. But this is exactly what had happened when Enclave Intelligence Officer #411 saw the latest Eyebot footage relayed back from Megaton's gates. The return of Isaac Black was something she'd never anticipated.

"Helloooooo Nurse!" Enclave Maintenance Brother #888 called out to the Intelligence Officer.

"I'm not a Nurse." Charlotte Sorrowfeld stated bluntly as she waited for more information to come in about the resurrection and reappearance of Isaac Black. As she waited for the Enclave Maintenance Brothers and their Enclave Maintenance Sister to attempt to replace the monitor for the 3rd time, Enclave Intelligence Officer #209 turned to her companion, Enclave Medical Officer #46.

"What do you make of this? How does someone resurrect a traitor that was confirmed as bring killed years ago?" #411 asked as she picked up a clipboard and reviewed the information attached to it.

Joseph Marlow, the survivor that had been brought in by a Enclave Patrol, was sailing through his training with flying colors. It seemed that when given the opportunity to learn how to kill proficiently, the man had no qualms. Having passed basic power armor courses, they had moved him up to small plasma weapons usage and maintenance.

The other message was less pleasant in nature. It seemed that someone else had been brought in by the Enclave Patrols, one that was known to the Enclave quite well. Given the nature of her crimes, #411 was quite surprised when she'd received a pardon and been assigned to the Intelligence department. It looked like the levels of Bitchiness would be increasing quite a fair amount within a few days time.

Arizona
The Wild Wastelands | The Road To Dunwich | Outside Megaton Gates
"I get to heart of matter, and always interruptions!"

As things turned out, her little band of wasteland misfits weren't ready. Due in no small part thanks to a several new arrivals on motorcycles. The old Ghoul turned at the sound of engines and could scarcely believe what she was seeing and hearing. You hardly ever saw someone get even one of those things working after 200 years of rust, decay and fallout, but here there was trio, driving up and dropping off the three riders and the single passenger. She could recognize one of them having been part of the Brotherhood of Steel at least at some point. Their emblem was too distinctive to be otherwise. One of the other three, however, looked vaguely familiar.

She frowned as she tried to place why, when she saw Lucy turn to look over out of the corner of her eye, and the one-eyed young woman looked like she was seeing a ghost.

"I can see him now."

"See who?" she mouthed as she watched the two move closer to one another.

It looked like they were each shocked to see the other there, and from what she was murmuring, it was clear Lucy didn't know whether or not this was even real. But by the time she captured the man in a hug and buried her face into his chest, Arizona realized why he looked so familiar.

"...Hi Dad..."

She blinked, and looked him over a little more closely, but she didn't make any moves to step into their little moment. It wasn't her place, not then. But she could see the resemblance between the two, and it was pretty clear that this was Black Senior, though his clothes looked tattered and, quite frankly, he looked like a fresh corpse on its feet.

"GAMPA IMAX!!!!"

Arizona's eye widened as she remembered that Sylphee was still present, and started to make a move to stop her from interrupting them. Thankfully, Thomas was already doing the same thing, and was desperately trying to pull her away before subjecting himself to one of her bone crushing hugs to save both Lucy and Isaac. She had to admire the fact that he didn't want anything getting in the way of their reunion. But the sounds his back made still made her wince in sympathy.

As she watched father and daughter reunite and explain everything that had happened to the two of them since the last time they saw one another, she tuned out whatever she could hear. It wasn't her business, and for the most part, she didn't really want to know anyway. However, she did notice the three that rode up with Isaac in tow were being lead away by the very girl that helped defuse the situation in Megaton. She quirked up her brow at that, but otherwise shrugged it off.

By the time the two largely finished catching up, she watched as Thomas, still being slowly squeezed to death by Sylphee, made his way to them.

"I'm glad to see that your Father's alive, Lucy. I'm happy for you. I'm sure that you two have more things to discuss and more to get caught up on. You know... seeing you and your father together makes me miss my own parents. It's been quite some time since I've sent them a letter. Actually, truth be told, I haven't sent them a letter since I arrived here in D.C.. Ever since I ran into Frank, it's been a rather busy life filled with misfortune in some parts."

Arizona stepped up at that point and had to give them both a crooked smile.

"And after meeting me, it looks like that might not be changing too much." she quipped, before offering her good hand to Isaac black, "I'm Arizona. You must be Black Senior, given the reunion between you and Lucy."

"MOMMY LUCY CABOOSY!!!"

"We're going to want to save her from that." she said quickly before turning to try and peel Sylphee off of her.


[ dr. sorenson ]
The Wild Wastelands | Following The Post-Apocalypse | Springvale School
"The taste is fascinating in just how bad it is."

The offending Sylphy quickly cowered behind Constance's leg at the sight of Jenna's angry form, if not her angry visage. When she gabbled back, what she meant was pretty clear even without the translation.

"She said she's sorry. Besides, it looks like you were able to save the food. It still smells wonderful."

There was a moment before Jenna nodded and clapped her hands cheerfully.

"Alright then! Let's get the tables set up!"

It was clear that the young blind woman had the same idea as she got one of the other girls to get everything set up. As the dinner bell rang, Jenna watched in wonder as the horde of clones rushed in for food, and she immediately got to work at getting everyone served with a helping of Smothered Deathclaw. As she did so, she couldn't help but wonder if it would end up turning out. After all, she had never eaten Deathclaw before, much less served it. The optimist in her wondered if it really would be much different from brahmin. The scientist in her, however, knew that it probably tasted very different, and probably should have been prepared differently.

When everyone was seated, Jenna included, the entirety of the Sylphy horde were treated with a unique sight whenever they glanced over at her. After all, given Jenna's attachment to her suit, she was one of the few people in the wasteland who learned the secret of eating through one's helmet. It was a mysterious process, and not many people could pull it off, and if anyone could see the technique to doing it, it was Constance. To everyone else, however, all they saw was Jenna loading up a fork, bringing the bite to where her mouth would have been, and the food... Disappeared without so much as smearing on the dome.

The moment she took the first bite however, she was supremely glad for her helmet. Otherwise, everyone would have been able to see the look of utter revulsion on her face.

It was clear enough then that Deathclaw meat was very different from Brahmin, or even Bighorner. It was a little closer to Bloatfly, but one would argue that Bloatfly meat made for a reasonably decent slider. Deathclaw meat wouldn't. Still, she swallowed valiantly and made a face behind her helmets visor when she overheard Constance.

"Hey... ummm... Sylphy? Double up on guards tonight."

"Is something wrong? Should I be worried?" she asked, looking around and wishing she had her AER9.6 right about then.

The Wild Wastelands | Outside Megaton
"Lovely Lecherous Leech or Kuro Richi"
Sylphee and Thomas "Shifty" McGee

If Missy Arizona Not Old One Not Leather Faced Lady Not Ghoul Whore With The Gun was planning on prying the Blue Eyed, Blue Haired Cherub from Mommy Lucy Caboosy, Missy Arizona Not Old One Not Leather Faced Lady Not Ghoul Whore With The Gun would have to try harder... much much harder. Missy Arizona Not Old One Not Leather Faced Lady Not Ghoul Whore With The Gun might have wanted to try wedging a hydraulic jack between Sylphee and Mommy Lucy Caboosy or surgically removing Sylphee's arms using the jaws of life. Even when Daddy attempted to help Missy Arizona Not Old One Not Leather Faced Lady Not Ghoul Whore With The Gun keep Sylphee from merging with Mommy Lucy Caboosy at the subatomic level both found it impossible to even stick a playing card between Mommy Lucy Casboosy and her Assailant the two hugging women.

"Sylphee, would you please let go of... um... Sissy Mommy Lucy Caboosy... please?" Daddy asked nicely as he pulled on Sylphee's legs but found himself dragging both Mommy Lucy Caboosy and Sylphee instead of just Sylphee. Dropping the Red Menace's legs, Daddy sighed in a rather frustrated manner, as if he didn't like the fact that Sylphee was bonding with her Mommy Lucy Caboosy. This was how mothers and daughters bonded... well one of the ways. Sylphee was much too old for the other way which would have involved stripping off some of Mommy Lucy Caboosy's c...

"Sylphee, you're going to hurt your Sissy Mommy Lucy Caboosy very badly if you don't stop hugging the air out of her." Daddy pleaded once again as he managed to wiggle his fingers between Mommy Lucy Caboosy and Sylphee's chests in an area that caused the Crimson Catastrophe to turn rather... crimson in the face.

WHIISSSSSSH!! CRACK! TH-THUD!

That sound was the sound of Daddy flying after one of Sylphee's fists went rogue and backhanded him across the face. Sylphee was rather oblivious of what she had done, of course. Given that she hadn't seen who it was that had fondled her small but developing chest, she had lashed out blindly.

"HEY! HEY! HEY! NO TOUCHY!" The Infringed Upon Red Menace exclaimed loudly as she looked around for the infringer.

"ow." Daddy ow'd as he found himself several feet from where he'd been standing and attempting to pull Sylphee from Mommy Lucy Caboosy. Laying there, Daddy rubbed the side of his face before wondering why it was that his head hurt but not his butt or the back of his head... that's when he realized that he'd landed on something sorta soft.

"Squishy Squishy"

Looking behind him, Daddy realized that he hadn't landed on the ground but rather on top of Missy Arizona Not Old One Not Leather Faced Lady Not Ghoul Whore With The Gun.

"Squishy Squishy"

"Daddy! NO TOUCHY!!" Sylphee exclaimed loudly as she pointed at her Daddy-turned-Random-Groper-of-Girl-Chests.


The Wild Wastelands | Springvale Elementary
"Double the Guards? Try a Triple!"
Constance Sorrowfeld

"Is something wrong? Should I be worried?" Miss Jenna asked as she made more food disappear through her mask. The was a slight amount of worry in her voice that Constance could detect.

"No. Nothing to worry about, Miss Jenna." The Cat Eared American Enclave Scout of America shook her head emphatically as not to worry their guest. As of right now it was just a rumor that was being spread among the members of the hunter Sylphys there was no reason to give it any credit. From what Constance had heard from the American Enclave Scouts of America Troop Leaders, the Intelligent Deathclaws were no longer around. They'd been wiped out. Extinct. Gone the way of the Hippo and Whales.

But if there was an Intelligent Deathclaw out there, Constance hoped that she'd be the one to find it and capture it and talk to it. If anything they could get the Deathclaw's assistance on finding something more palatable than Deathclaw meat. If the thing did try to attack the camp, Constance would defend her troopers with everything she had.

"Just a few strange rumors is all. These Sylphys get spooked pretty easily." Constance added, "Next thing you know they'll be talking about how there's a White Land Whale out there that needs to be killed. I just doubled the guards just in case. You never know if there could be some truth to the rumors. Besides, if we don't give them something to do, next thing you know they'll be invading Megaton."

"SYLPHY! SYLPHY! SYLPHY!" The Sylphys exclaimed loudly as they started to grab their weapons.

"NO NO NO NO NO! We're not invading Megaton!" The Queen of the Sylphys screamed loudly.

"SYLPHYYYYY!" The Sylphys responded in a rather disappointed tone as they got back into their seats and continued eating rather enthusiastically.

Unable to continue her meal, Constance pushed her plate forward and pulled out a pouch from her pack. Opening it, there was a sizzling sound as the air hit a heating element and started warming up the Brahmin Stew inside.

"So, Miss Jenna, we'll give you access to the library but I don't know what you'll expect to find. From what I see, the last bunch of Raider Scum that lived here decided to use the books as toilet wipes. No to mention the fact that there was a Giant Ant nest underneath the building that needed to be collapsed."

This was sort of a hint that Miss Jenna should probably abandon the thought of looking through the books and getting on her way. If the books were destroyed, there would be no reason for her to stay, right? The Cat Ears on top of Constance's head twisted as to give the Cat Eared Shotgun Wielding Acrobat a view of Miss Jenna's "face."


The Wild Wastelands | Outside Smith Casey's Garage
"Lost Again..."
Enclave Heavy Weapons Specialist #209

In another world (called Pandora) what was occurring in front of the ruins of Smith Casey's Garage would have been called a Truxican Standoff, a really really REALLY weird Truxican Standoff. We had a semi-naked Charlie Cannon, a fully clothed Eddie the Dead, a semi-conscious Trixie and a fully naked Enclave Heavy Weapons Specialist #209. You might be wondering why the Enclave Heavy Weapons Specialist was naked and I, my dear reader would call you a pervert for wondering such things. Lets just say a giant Magnetic Acceleration Ring is not too friendly when it comes to Metal Power Armor. It's like being shoved into an MRI while wearing Tin-Foil underpants. Fortunately for the Enclave Dominator, his armor was scattered about the interior of the Escape Pod. Unfortunately for the Enclave Dominator, the Escape Pod was resting on top of another more alien looking escape pod.

The way he saw it, E.D. #209 needed to arm himself with something, anything. Letting his gaze wander about, resting on Trixie's butt for a moment before wandering around some more, his eyes finally came to rest on a Rusty Wrench. It wasn't the wrench that would have made a good weapon however, wrenches were women weapons in the world of tools for weapons. It was the car bumper that the rusty wrench was resting on that caught the Enclave Dominator's attention. The Heavily modified Chryslus had once been black with red flames but was now a rusty brown color. Reaching down, the giant wrapped his muscular fingers around the bumper. Grunting, the Enclave Heavy Weapons Specialist pulled on the bumper with all his might... which might have been too much since the bumper was only barely held onto the car by the thinnest of corroded metals.

With his balance lost, the Enclave Soldier found himself falling backwards into the Alien Looking Escape Pod, jostling it and causing the extraterrestrial metal to groan as the Evil Escape Pod shifted a bit. Staying absolutely still, E.D. #209 waited to see if the Evil Escape Pod was going to fall on him. It did not. Instead something broke off of the Evil Escape Pod and landed on hit head.

CLANNNNNG!!!!

"ow." E.D. #209 ow'd as he rubbed the top of his head, his eyes looking at the little robotic looking ball that rolled around on ground at Trixie's feet.

The Three (relieved) Musketeers.

After their close encounter with Natsuki the Three Musketeers made their way back to Megaton's gates where the group was still gathered. As they rounded the last corner it appeared that Sylph was giving Lucy Black the hug of her life while Shifty tried to separate them, he wasn't succeeding. William couldn't help but smile at Sylph, he'd become quite fond of her in the short time they'd known each other.

Dudley's attention was taken by someone else though. Standing away from the commotion and nearer to Isaac was the most... perfect ghoulette he'd ever laid eyes on. While Evan and William had stopped walking once they'd got back to the gates Dudley kept right on walking. As he did, he licked his lips and slicked his blonde hair back before selecting his chatup line of choice. The other two Musketeers noticed what was happening far too late...

"Hey there little missy, yah just about the cutest ghoulette I ever seen in this whole wasteland. What say you tell me ya name?" She reminded him of his Ghoul sweetheart back home, though all ghoul women reminded him of his sweetheart.

Watching this unfold, William put on his best David Attenborough voice, "And here we see the Biggus Blonus Dudlinium in it's natural habitat, embarrassing itself in social situations. Watch as it approaches a Ghoulius Feminius, full of swagger. The Dudlinium makes the first moves of the mating process, but all it will take is one rejection from this Ghoul to prove the wasteland a harsh and unforgiving place..."

"Why are you doing that voice, where did you even learn that?" Asked Evan, who was intending to do his own "Sports Commentator" narration depending if Dudley succeeded or failed.

"Dunno, it just felt appropriate."

Keira "Shield-maiden" Blamco|| Travelling from New Vegas to Megaton
"Feathered Gifts From Fellow Ravens"

Keira Blamco's identity was not something that she could successfully hide, not with the notorious departure of her eldest sister, Kristin Blamco, following her unhappiness with New Vegas. In glorious hindsight it was perhaps not the smartest idea to hijack and blackmail an unsuspecting caravan driver if she, her sisters and the BlamCo legacy was so often in the public eye.

Impatient times called for reckless measures and regarding Keira, one thing will always remain certain: there is much more than meets the eye.

The caravan driver's revolver was resting in Keira's lap while she tapped away at the Pip-Boy on her wrist.

"Tell me, Mister...?", Keira inquired without lifting her head.

"Olivier. James Olivier.", the caravan driver sputtered nervously, "Please -- "

"Oh please. You are certainly not in any danger if you merely cooperate.", Peering over the rim of her glasses, an annoyed look was directed towards James, "Now tell me, this is your family, correct?"

Eyes wide with panic, James clenched his jaw and turned to face the Pip-Boy screen that was being shoved into his face. Sure enough, a short video clip of his wife and daughter was presented, smiling and waving at the camera. The family appeared to overjoyed at something. Their words were silent since the video was muted, but their bedtime clothing and the timestamp on the video was consistent with what the man had seen mere hours before he had decided to leave for work.

"Where are they!? Wh-what have you done!?"

"They are safe for the time being, provided that you simply do as you were told -- and that is to drive the caravan to my destination at an acceptable rate. No questions, no fuss."

"Please -- please leave them out of this!"

"Your family's collective future is in your hands now. I realise that this must seem difficult.", laying a hand on his shoulder, Keira attempted to convey her own version of heartfelt sympathy. Trouble was, her expression had remained unconvincingly critical. "Now don't attempt to rush either, you are carrying explosives as cargo."

"You did not tell me that!"

"I didn't? Oh dear, my mind must be elsewhe --- "

---

A few continuous beeps on her Pip-Boy had signalled a video transmission. Tapping the screen and upping the dial on the volume, Keira answered the call from a fellow female. "Any news?"

"Everything is a-okay on this end! Do you need to switch soon?"

"No no, that won't be necessary. Seems like we have a winner. Is the new family settling in alright?"

"Ehh, they're rightfully confused and they have a lot of questions for the man you're sitting next to. But no complaints.", a small giggle could be heard, "Did you tell him at least?"

"And compromise the results of the test? Come now, you know me better than that."

Another giggle could be heard, "You're cruel, you know that? Any changes to the plan from here?"

"You may proceed. You have 15 minutes or else you're excluded from the trip."

---

Tapping at the Pip-Boy to end the call, a bead of sweat cascaded down the caravan driver's forehead, Keira had remained silent while she continued tapping at the screen.

"James Olivier...", Keira started, reciting the influx of text being displayed on her wrist. "Small family. Recently left the Follower's of The Apocalypse. Eight years of honest service. Worked exclusively with phobias and rehabilitation regarding victims of animal attacks in the wasteland. Interesting...now what made you choose a career in travel and trade, hmm?"

"What is this?! A job interview?, James demanded.

Smirking behind her hood, Keira replied with a casual pointing of the finger towards the approach of a small stampede.

Twenty-seven horses, or "Nightmares" as they have come to be known, were fast approaching the caravan. Complete with a formation and a leader clad in silver-dyed combat armor and a deep blue cloak. A deadly-looking Power Spear was raised and pointed forward when a few stragglers had suddenly broken off from the formation. Skin of snow was revealed when the female warrior ripped off her hood to address those that remained.

"You cowards! Reform your ranks at once!"

The leader's skeletal mount came to a rest alongside the caravan. Keira tugged at her own hood and unclipped the emerald green cloak to stand up and extend a hand of greetings to the leader. Beneath the cloak had revealed the symbolic silver-dyed combat armor with decorative plate reinforcements, long golden hair and a fair-skinned complexion. Unlike Kristin's loose and free-flowing hairstyle, Keira wore her hair tied-up into a stict bun, meanwhile the woman on the horse had worn hers in a single over-the-shoulder braid.

"How very Valkyrian of you, dear sister.", the smirking Keira remarked, "Still training to the last minute, I see?"

"Ha! You flatter me, you must be in a rare good mood.", the spear-bearing Swan-Maiden replied, "And of course, they need regular exercise. We will be travelling for awhile after all."

"Indeed, but do not forget -- we are travelling for a variety of reasons. This won't be just a simple delivery. We find our sister and retrieve the Grand BlamCo Family Recipe Book...with force --"

" -- or persuasion.", Swan-Maiden dismissively finished the sentence. She was not in favour of endangering the eldest sister's life any further. "She must have had a good reason for why she left."

"I KNOW YOU TWO!", the forgotten caravan driver shouted as her pointed at the two sisters.

The Swan-Maiden nodded respectfully and gracefully rested her power spear on her shoulder, "Sable Blamco -- Swan-Maiden of the BlamCo family."

Keira turned, "Yes, Keira Blamco -- Shield-Maiden of the BlamCo family.", and smiled devilishly, "My most sincere apologies for the cloak-and-dagger routine, Mr Olivier.", something about the grin indicated that she was enjoying this on some level, "We had to be absolutely sure that you were a man not only of your word, but deserving as well. In light of your past dedication to our friends, The Followers, we don't think that a man with your particular set of talents should go waste as a mere caravan driver. So what does this all mean? We hear from your family, in your new home by the way, that you always wanted to own a farm. How does the local New Vegas BlamCo farm manager sound to you?"

"I - "

"Of course, a sign-on bonus of ten thousand caps is all yours. Not to mention a dental plan and paid schooling for your younger daughter."

"This...really was a job interview? Are you serious?"

"We take employment very seriously, Mr Olivier.", Keira extended her hand and was met with a vigorous handshake followed by some relieved weeping, "Welcome to BlamCo."

Sable made a few gestures to the remaining horseman upon witnessing the successful hire of a new employee. Time passed and the caravan was emptied of all belongings that did not belong to the sisters. With enough space for a Nightmare to sleep in the back and take the majority of the space, Sable sat alongside her sister and seized control of the Nightmare-driven caravan.

After watching the group of riders safely depart, Sable turned to the second eldest of her sisters, Keira Blamco. "Our sister is vulnerable without her plumage. Shall we see to our delivery?"

Keira simply nodded and went back to tapping away on her Pip-Boy.

"I am tracking the book as we speak..."


Kristin "Battle-maiden" Blamco || Outside Megaton
"Squeaky Clean"

In the midst of all these miraculous revelations and further developments, where would one find Kristin Blamco? Why in the middle of it all, taking a shower no less. Yes, that's correct! The Proud Princess had stripped down to her most basic of undergarments, wetted a hand cloth and had started to give herself something of a sponge bath with the small reservoir of bottled water that she carried.

Now don't get the wrong idea about the Heiress of Dairy, for it was becoming increasingly clear that she was quite possibly the most rational person of those around her! Ask yourself: What would you do after a glorious battle?
Stand around and mope? Haggle for payment? Hit your head and regress to a child-like state to deal with the horrible trauma wrought by your mere existence? Wish upon a star for the resurrection of a loved one?

You would tend to your wounds, get yourself cleaned up, and finally celebrate over a hearty meal and a horn of mead! That's what you should be doing!

So while it was true that Kristin was surrounded by people that were not paying attention, it could also be considered a matter of perspective that she was also equally alone as well. With lengthy conversations drowned out by the soap in her ear, the battle-ready beauty doused her body in slow-motion in water and proceeded to towel-dry her hair.

Still feeling worn out from the physical exertion, at least the scent of exotic fruit now followed the BlamCo Princess while she sprinkled baby powder inside her armour, allowing it to breath while she tapped her foot for a minute before getting back into her usual attire.

Allowing her hair to dry naturally, Kristin looked around to see if she had gotten any odd looks, none that she was aware of at least. Her Pugilist was still standing some distance away, engaged in a conversation with a newcomer, she wondered who he was. Even further away, a group of more newcomers had arrived, one of the men being rather handsome even if he did carry such a small blade, she wondered if he would have a sparring session with her. Finally, her dearest Huntress had lazily wrestled Miss Black into submission while a tall fellow and a lactose-intolerant had started star-gazing a little too early.

With a blade on her back, Kristin proceeded to step towards the odd-behaving Huntress before stopping in her tracks to listen to the fractured english and child-like demeanour. What in the world had become of her rival, the ferocious berserker!?

Truly a tower of a woman, the Gouda Goddess grabbed Thomas & Arizona by the collar and lifted them off the ground in each hand before placing them on their feet. Without missing a beat, the BlamCo Heiress looked between the two servants to the Crimson Queen, unnervingly bewildered and a touch concerned at her very first witness of Sylph's dramatic change.

"Did I perhaps hit her in the head too hard?"

It should be amusingly noted that Thomas was one of very few men that had matched her height at eye level.


Lucy Black || Outside Megaton
"Dear Diary: Dad came back from the dead today. Kay. #NeedTherapy."

Lucy wanted to say many things to many different people. Off the top of her head, she wanted to thank Arizona for being so patient and understanding despite only having something of a 5 minute conversation. She wanted to apologise to and thank Kristin after hearing how she had stepped in to see to the future care of an army of cloned Sylph's. She wanted to respond to Thomas with tact and nuance, perhaps finding a way to express how she was feeling at the moment. Hell, with the reappearance of Sylphee, even Lucy was happy to see the chaotic side of the Crimson Catastrophe once more. Lucy even had a hug prepared and everything!

So where do we go from here?
How do we start this new chapter in Lucy Black's life where things were finally looking up for her?

With a few words and a humble beginning:

"Mmmmpphhffff! Syymmmphhheeee!", Lucy's muffled mumbled grew louder when Sylph decided to wrap her legs around the Lucy's upper body, "Syyymmppphhhheeee! Yoooooffff! Kifffffingggg! Meeeee!!!"

A few mumbled words.
And a humble beginning buried in Sylph's bosom.

It could be worse, Lucy's neck would have snapped in Kristin's...large tracts of land.

The Wild Wastelands | Megaton Gates
"Ghoulish Gazongas, BlamCo Berserkers and Explanations"
Thomas "Shifty" McGee

Terror filled. Violent. Painful. Embarrassing. Confusing. Five of the most prevalent adjectives that could be used to describe the day that Thomas "Shifty" McGee and company had chosen to leave the Wasteland metropolis known as Megaton. All this and they had only made it as far as the Town Gates. Between a violent and murderous mob, a pained face and a confusing reunion with a man that could only be identified as Lucy Black's supposedly long dead father, Thomas was in the throws of having a steaming pile of embarrassment heaped upon him.

*Squishy Squishy*

The Overly Friendly Former Undertaker hadn't quite identified what it was that his hand had been squeezing. To him, it felt something like an over ripe punga fruit that had been filled with sand and left out in the sun to dry for a time. To him, it felt like a mole rat had died and sat unmolested in the Wasteland sun, its body bloating as gasses filled the corpse. To him, it felt like a Super Mutant had taken one of its gore bags and filled it with Mirelurk eggs. It felt like a ghoul's breast.

*Squishy ... Squishy?*

Turning around, the Dapperly Dressed Former Grave Digger was hit full in the face by a steaming, stinking, filthy shovel load of embarrassment. Now, were he Dudley or the as of yet unmet Eddie the Dead, Thomas might have made a rather lewd remark about continuing this little party over yonder but he was neither of these two. He was Thomas, Thomas the man who had once called Arizona not by her name but by the monikers "Old One" and "Ancient One." He was Thomas, Thomas the man whose family thought that Ghouls were to be revered as they carried with them the fragments of Pre-War knowledge that would one day help end the calamity the world found itself in.

"I... I... I... Ummmm... It was... I..." The normally Well Mannered Former Mortician managed to stammer as he went into full retreat from Arizona's menacing grin that was plastered upon her visage, "It was... it was... I... didn't mean..."

Whether it was through sheer luck, an act of Holiest Walt or just well timed choreography, Thomas managed to worm his way out of the situation through the unlikely assistance of the other religious nutjob not named Thomas, Kristin Blamco. Though truth be told, assistance might have been giving the Bumper Sword Brandisher too much credit. Were Thomas not already in a stunned state, Kristin's act of hauling Thomas and Arizona to their feet might have resulted in whiplash. Instead, it only resulted in the Friendly Former Undertaker feeling rather light headed from being made to stand too quickly. The edges of the world threatened to collapse upon Thomas for a moment before the blood rushed back into the man's brain.

"Did I perhaps hit her in the head too hard?" The Blamco Berserker asked as she tilted her head in the direction of Sylphee who was still attempting to squeeze the last ounces of life from the body of Lucy Black, Sylphee's "mother" and Thomas' lover (?).

"What?" The Tall and Pale Former Assassin blurted out in a moment of confusion before realizing that this was the Macaroni Martyr's first encounter with Sylphee, "Oh... no. You didn't do anything to her. She's already a little ... off in the head. Short version of the story: My-brother-Henry-created-Sylph-to-be-both-a-companion-and-a-bodyguard. To-do-this-he-implanted-a-pair-of-personalities-into-one-body. One-is-the-murderous-half-that-you-met-back-inside-the-Gates, Sylph. The-other-is-the-one-currently-attempting-to-murder-the-love-of-my-life."

Thomas ceased the machine gun salvo of words that he'd unleashed on the Guardian of Gouda. Did he just really say that? Why did he just admit that to a woman that he had only met less than an hour ago? It's not he was some sort of tour guide responsible for telling her the ins and outs of living in the D.C. Wastelands...

"Now. If you'll excuse me. I've gotta go... yeah... gotta go." Thomas said as he rushed to assist Lucy.


The Wild Wastelands | Megaton Gates
"Reunions... of sorts."
Sylphee

The reunion was long and heartfelt. Sylphee pressed Mommy Lucy Caboosy's face into her chest with the intention to never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever let her go. Even Daddy's impromptu chest grabbing couldn't ruin the moment for the Blue Haired Bad Luck Charm. To the best of Sylphee's recollections, she'd never had a Mommy before... well... she had to have had a mommy, that's where Baby Sylphee came from, right? But to finally have one was something that made the Red Menace practically squee for joy.

As the joyful meeting continued, Mommy Lucy Caboosy tried to say something through Sylphee's sternum.

"Mmmmpphhffff! Syymmmphhheeee!", Mommy Lucy Caboody's muffled mumbled grew louder when Sylphee decided to wrap her legs around her Mommy's upper body, "Syyymmppphhhheeee! Yoooooffff! Kifffffingggg! Meeeee!!!"

Now it could be that Mommy Lucy Caboosy was attempting to say: "Mmmmmmm! Sylphee! Sylphee! You're killing me!"

But... That's not exactly how Sylphee heard it.

"I love you too, Mommy Lucy Caboosy!" Sylphee said enthusiastically as she squeezed Mommy Lucy Caboosy's skull even tighter... was that even possible? At a certain pressure they should have fused and started some sort of fusion process that generated a new star right in front of the Megatonian Gates. Fortunately for Mommy Lucy Caboosy, Daddy stepped in.

"Sylphee!" Daddy Hentai-Chan's stern voice came from behind her, as he moved in slow and deliberately loud steps to ensure that the Love Killer was aware of his position at all times. He sounded rather nervous, like he was dealing with some sort of venomous insect, which he was.

Enter our hero, Mister Pinchy, the Stingerless Rad Scorpion and pet to both Sylphee and Sylph. Mister Pinchy didn't exactly like being held aloft by his stump of a tail. It made him feel inadequate, sort of like what happens when you go to the bathroom and the urinal next to you happens to be Ghouly Peter North. That's how Mister Pinchy felt. If he was human he'd probably drive around in a large lifted monster truck with a gun rack. Unfortunately for him, he was simply a Rad Scorpion and would have to content himself with attempting to remove Daddy's nose from his face with his pinchers.

"Sylphee. Mister Pinchy needs to eat!" Daddy said sternly once again, reminding Sylphee that even if she was just an overgrown child, she still had responsibilities.

"Okay, Daddy!" Sylphee said with a groan as she released Mommy Lucy Caboosy from her fleshy tomb. Skipping over to where Daddy stood, Sylphee plucked Mister Pinchy from daddy's grasp and went to look for bugs, mole rats or baby mirelurks to feed Mister Pinchy.

Watching Sylphee skip from spot to spot to spot to spot to spot to spot to spot to spot to spot to spot to spot... you get the idea... Daddy helped Mommy Lucy Caboosy up to her feet and gave her a moment to remember how to breathe.

"You okay, Lucy?" Daddy asked, his voice filled with concern.

Arizona
The Wild Wastelands | The Road To Dunwich | Outside Megaton Gates
"A good menacing grin takes practice. After a century or two, I can safely say I've got a good one."

The last time Arizona had tried to pry Sylphee off of someone while she was in the middle of one of her bone-crushing hugs, it had taken two, very determined people. This time, however, she simply wasn't letting go. And really, it made no logical sense to the Old Ghoul. The girl was practically a stick figure, and barely an adult as far as she was concerned. And yet, she had more strength than ten other girls her size when it came to bear hugs.

So, while she tried to pull apart the Red Menace's arms from Lucy's neck, Thomas tried to go for a different approach. Arizona spared a glance before pulling back to see whether or not it would work with an amused smirk. For a moment, she even thought it had, since Sylphee had practically leaped away from the other one-eyed member of their group, only to backhand Thomas. Right into Arizona herself.

"HEY! HEY! HEY! NO TOUCHY!"

As the two of them sprawled on the ground, Arizona groaned softly as she reached up to rub the back of her head, but a subtle but insistent pressure on her chest made her freeze. Slowly, deliberately, she look the time to look down at Thomas as one of his hands squeezed one of her breasts.

A variety of different emotions ran through her in an instant as she tried to decide which to go with: From vague embarrassment, to minor arousal before finally settling on moderate irritation. After all, it was the the most familiar to her out of the three. The result was the Ghoulish Freelancer baring her teeth in what some would have loosely called a smile, even though there was nothing friendly about it.

"I... I... I... Ummmm... It was... I... It was... it was... I... didn't mean..."

"Get. Off. Of me." she ground out between clenched teeth.

But before he could, the two of them were hoisted to their feet by the helpful Tits McHugeKnockers. As the two of them spoke regarding Sylphee, Arizona stepped away as she brushed the wasteland dirt off of herself. She would have been perfectly content to leave it at that and simply rejoin Lucy and her father, only to be interrupted by who she recognized as one of his companions.

"Hey there little missy, yah just about the cutest ghoulette I ever seen in this whole wasteland. What say you tell me ya name?"

Under other circumstances, she probably would have laughed the pick-up line off. But given the day that she had, she wasn't having any of it. Turning to face the man properly, she leveled an intense death glare at him. Much like her menacing grin, she had cultivated a good glare over the years, and some people had a theory as to why it was so potent: Due to the fact that she only had the one eye left, it ended up intensifying the hate energy into a single, powerful glare beam.

Whether that theory had any weight or not, she paired her death glare with a twisted snarl.

"You want my name? Alright then. It's 'Fuck You'. That's Eff-You-See-Kay, capital Why-Oh-You. Fuck you. That's my name." she spelled out before barking, "Now I'm not in the mood, shitbird, so hit the fucking road!"


[ dr. sorenson ]
The Wild Wastelands | Following The Post-Apocalypse | Springvale School
"There wasn't a single part of what you said that made me worry any less."

Constance mentioning that the Sylphy guard ought to be doubled was enough to make Jenna's budding senses for danger to prickle. In fact, it was a combination of that, and the Smothered Deathclaw Steak that threatened to come back up on her that made her swallow audibly.

"No. Nothing to worry about, Miss Jenna."

The blind young woman shook her head vigorously in an attempt to reassure the tall Followers Doctor.

"Just a few strange rumors is all. These Sylphys get spooked pretty easily. Next thing you know they'll be talking about how there's a White Land Whale out there that needs to be killed. I just doubled the guards just in case. You never know if there could be some truth to the rumors. Besides, if we don't give them something to do, next thing you know they'll be invading Megaton."

At the mention of an invasion, the Sylphy's sitting at the cafeteria tables were suddenly brandishing their weapons, and it was abrupt enough to make the Doctor flinch. She could only exhale a sigh of relief when Constance told them firmly that no, Megaton wasn't going to be invaded anytime soon. The clones were clearly disappointed at that, but nonetheless went back to eating. Satisfied with that, Constance turned back to her, all the while pulling out what she recognized as a ration packet. Jenna couldn't blame her, really. Deathclaw meat simply tasted wretched, and she was pretty sure that even buzzards wouldn't have Deathclaw as one of their first choices for a carcass to pick at.

"So, Miss Jenna, we'll give you access to the library but I don't know what you'll expect to find. From what I see, the last bunch of Raider Scum that lived here decided to use the books as toilet wipes. No to mention the fact that there was a Giant Ant nest underneath the building that needed to be collapsed."

The Follower in her immediately felt an intense stab of despair at the mention of books being used for toilet tissue. Those books were the remnants of the Old World before the War! Any intact book was priceless for the knowledge and history that they preserved! Even fiction had value if only for the escape it offered from the bleak and unforgiving wastelands.

Shaking her head, she groaned. It was to be expected of Raiders though. They didn't care about the preservation of history or knowledge. They only cared about taking everything they could, and screw everyone else.

"What a terrible waste." she said finally, "Still, I'd like to do what I can to help before moving onto Megaton."

There was a moment before she teased, "Besides, I'd rather not be there just yet if you change your mind about that invasion."

The Three Musketeers: A shoulder to cry on.

"AWWW NO! Our boy has struck out!" Cried Evan upon seeing Dudley's swift and brutal rejection.

"Thus rejected by his potential mate, The Dudlinium makes an exit, heart crushed." Narrated William as Dudley looked down at his feet and shuffled away from Arizona. There would be other opportunities for him to try again, but right now he felt crushed. Dudley shuffled over to them and buried his head on Evan's shoulder, letting out a single mournful sob as he did so.

"Do you even wash Dudley? Ugh."

"She doesn't mean it mate, just having a bad day. It's not every day you witness a heartfelt reunion, several fights, stressful conflicts, and getting knocked over and having your boobs squeezed by... that guy." William would have to learn a few new names at this rate, "Actually, that's happened a lot more in the past week or two than it ever has in my life. There might be a correlation."

"What, you've had your boobs squeezed a lot in the past couple of weeks?" Said Evan, voice slightly muffled behind Dudley. He dropped his shoulder a little and lowered Dudley to the ground, who sat cross legged like a child on the naughty step.

"No, I was referring to weird shit in general. You might notice a major increase in weird shit happening when you're around this lot. Some people are a magnet for that kind of thing and I'm looking at a whole collection right now."

"You've got a point. Like why are her breasts so big? Why has that one only got one eye? What's with the crazy blue haired girl? What's with the crazy PINK haired girl? Why do they have a radscorpion? Why does that guy look like an undertaker? Why did we meet somebody who came back from the dead like it was a completely normal thing to do?" Asked Evan in quick succession, it suddenly dawning on him just how weird things had become.

"After a while, you just stop asking these questions. Go with it, you'll either have the time of your life or end up dead in a really stupid way. Whatever happens, it won't be boring." Said William matter-of-factly. He patted Evan on the arm, "Come on, let's introduce ourselves."

"Wait fer me guys!"

Lucy Black || Outside Megaton Gates
"The Girl With Passion Scorched Wings Must Finally Walk Away"

("Where does I even go from here? How do I proceed? Why have I fought? Can I make this choice?")

Lucy Black, the formerly flawed gauss rifle gunslinger, was fraught with worry and not jubilation as one would come to expect from someone reunited with a previously-deceased relative. Now it would be unfair to peg herself as ungrateful, no, the return of her father had complicated matters, to say the least. Matters pertaining to the heart to be exact, for upon discovering that the Brotherhood was tied to her father's resurrection, the former sniper had to say goodbye to Thomas, Sylph & Arizona.

"You okay, Lucy?", Thomas 'Shifty' McGee spoke nearby.

With a heavy heart, Lucy picked herself off of the ground and with her back turned to Thomas, she ran a hand through her hair and sighed. "Not entirely", she replied, sounding disheartened, "The Brotherhood has something to do with Isaac's return. I need to be with him and get some answers. You know how I can get when I want to know something.", a brief smirk emerged, betrayed by a downcast look, it quickly vanished. "This puts a dent in our plans -- together", Lucy regretfully admitted.

Taking a few steps forward, Lucy laid her hands flat on Thomas' chest and stood on her toes to kiss him tenderly. Breaking away and hugging him around the waist, Lucy looked up at Thomas with intensified determination in her eye, "For now. This time it willonly be temporary! You hear me? No dying this time, fake or otherwise, I forbid you.", Lucy attempted to mockingly deride him in spite of her growing reluctance to leave him, "You do your thing. I have to go mend a few fences at the Brotherhood, find out why they kept my dad from me, or burn the place to the ground -- depending on my mood."

After another kiss, longer this time, Lucy broke away while still clasping his hands, "Rivet City, Megaton, Springvale and the Citadel. Places where I'd most likely be.", one hand fell to her side, "Take care of my Sylphy. And look out for Arizona while I'm gone."

Lucy released her remaining hand from his grip and looked him in the eye, without batting an eye, she simply stated in her own fearless Lucy-like way, "I love you, Thomas Shifty McGee.", hurriedly stepping forward to kiss him once more, she broke away for good, winked (as best as a one-eyed girl could) and smiled, "In no uncertain terms."

Turning on her heel, Lucy regarded Sylphy for a moment. Getting on her knees, Lucy wrapped her arms around the Crimson Menace. This version of Sylph seemed to have a greater recollection of Lucy and wasn't fighting every impulse to slaughter the former 'sister'.

"Believe it or not, Sylphy. But I can't be your Mommy, y'know why? Because we're sisters of sorts. The bestest of friends that fight and laugh and love. Can I see your backpack, please? I won't take anything, I have a present for you actually. Now turn around...", Oddly obedient, Sylph turned around to expose the open backpack full oddities and miscellaneous items. Depositing a significant amount of energy cells and her laser pistol into the backpack, Lucy closed it up and informed Sylph to turn around. "No matter what anyone says, that's yours. Sometimes you can't take everything down with a blade or your fists, so start practicing with that."

Lucy smiled, trying to hide the inclination to cry at having to say goodbye to her sister for the second time. "I'll let you in on a little secret. When we were at the vault, I wasn't planning on getting out there alive. I wanted to die while trying to take someone I hated with me. Then you showed up. You made me think: 'Hey, if I'm gone, nobody will be there for Sylph'. So thank you, Sylphy, for giving me many reasons to live.", Kissing Sylph on the top of her head, Lucy embraced her tightly before getting up on her feet, "I have to go on a little trip with my dad. You stay with yours, okay? We'll find each other again. We always do."

Walking over to Arizona, Lucy extended a hand to kind ghoulish leader of the group. "Sorry that my drama held up your trip so much. Here -- my payment. You'll need it more than I do.", Lucy handed over the caps she had only recently received. "Something urgent popped up, I hope you understand. In the meantime, good luck with everything."

Smiling and nodding respectfully, Lucy started to walk away from the group. Brushing past Thomas, she hurriedly kissed him again, lingering in his arms before whispering to him, "Soon. I promise." Reluctantly, she turned her back and proceeded to walk towards Isaac & Jonathan in the distance. Careful not to look back, she struggled with the urge to run back to the group of loved ones.

*chik clak -- chik clak -- chik clak -- chi---*

"Miss Black.", a familiar voice inquired from behind. It appeared that Kristin Blamco was following her. "A moment?"

Crossing her arms, Lucy turned around and looked upwards at the armored amazonian tower of a woman, "What?", she stated flatly, "If this is another bitching session then I don't want to hear it."

Shifting uncomfortably, the tall knight did something beyond Lucy's immediate expectations. Kristin had sunk her sword blade-first in the ground and proceeded to take a knee. "On the honour of my Knighthood. On my dignity as a BlamCo Princess. Finally, on the might of my Valkyrian blood -- I must ask you to overlook my childish actions from earlier. I-it was most unlike me."

Lucy blinked in surprise, she taken aback. She figured that the Proud Princess was the type to hold a grudge, let alone apologise in the first place. Then again, after her most recent chat with Jonathan, it was revealed that Kristin had also taken the fall for Lucy. Much like Lucy, Kristin wished to see to the protection of the Sylph Clone Army.

"You're not used to these, are you? Apologies I mean.", Lucy remarked before waving her off, "I get it, okay? Jonathan told me everything about what happened with #411. You want to protect something that I care about as well, Sylph --- or more of them to be exact."

Kristin stood up and nodded wordlessly, quite unlike her usual behaviour. Honour and responsibility must be a really big deal to her.

"I should be thanking you for covering for me. So, y'know, thank you.", Lucy extended a hand which was met an armored vice-grip of a return handshake, "It -- ow -- mustn't be easy. Carrying all that weight on your shoulders, dealing with everything while still finding time to smile --- ", Kristin quickly averted her gaze, Lucy had touched on a nerve apparently. "It's not my business, so for what it's worth -- don't hold it all in. Talk to Jonathan, let him in, it doesn't make you any less of the most amazing warrior I have ever seen. Two -- TWO Enclave Heavy Soldiers with just a sword?! I've seen badass, and then I met you.", Lucy stopped gushing for a moment, coughed, and composed herself. "Take it from someone that tried to shoulder everything -- you'll burn out. And, well, the way he looks at you when he talks about you -- you have someone that cares."

With a nod, Lucy started to walk away.

*chik clak -- chik clak -- chik clak -- chi---*

"All the best, Miss Black.", the BlamCo Princess remarked with a gauntlet on her shoulder, "May the Dairy Moonlight guide your path, let your erect nipples point you towards success and fight with relentless passion."

With a confused look, Lucy couldn't help but smile as she stood not-too-far-away from her father's position. She would be joining him in his travels to the Brotherhood of Steel.

Arizona
The Wild Wastelands | The Road To Dunwich | Outside Megaton Gates
""

If anyone was expecting for the Old Ghoul's heartstrings to be tugged by the forlorn retreat Dudley made, they were doomed to disappointment. She merely glared after him until finally letting out a disgusted sigh. When she turned back to the others, it was just in time to catch the last part of what Lucy had said.

"This puts a dent in our plans -- together."

That was enough to almost put a complete stop to her ill temper, pushing it to the back of her mind in favor of a sense of confused concern. As she got onto her tiptoes to kiss Thomas, it was clear that she was giving him a farewell.

"For now. This time it willingly be temporary! You hear me? No dying this time, fake or otherwise, I forbid you. You do your thing. I have to go mend a few fences at the Brotherhood, find out why they kept my dad from me, or burn the place to the ground -- depending on my mood."

Then she promptly turned to Sylph give her not only a farewell but a present: A laser pistol. And she explained that she couldn't be her mommy, because they were already sisters, of a sort at least. So when it was Arizona's turn, she wasn't surprised to be handed back the caps she had given as 'payment'.

"Sorry that my drama held up your trip so much. Here -- my payment. You'll need it more than I do. Something urgent popped up, I hope you understand. In the meantime, good luck with everything."

"I don't think so." Arizona said curtly, before forcefully shoving the caps back into Lucy's hand.

"I don't take away payment from a partner, or a friend. Besides, you never know when you might need a few caps for something or other." she added with a small smile.

Patting her shoulder, she nodded.

"You go take care of whatever it is you need to with the Brotherhood. And you keep yourself alive too. Whatever's out there? Remember that you're tougher and meaner. And if you die, I promise I'll find your grave and piss on it." she promised, before turning to Isaac.

"As for you, Isaac Black, if we ever meet again, remind me to buy you a drink. I'm sure by that point we'll both have plenty of fucked-up shit to talk about." the Ghoulish Freelancer offered, before watching Lucy get pulled away by Tits McHugeKnockers.

As the two ladies spoke, Arizona gave Thomas a sidelong glance.

"You know... It's not like we've left Megaton yet," she started, "I'm sure I can find someone in this shithole that knows the way to Dunwich. If you want to go with her, now will probably be your last chance before I finish this job."

After all, she knew what Lucy meant to Thomas. They had only managed to get reunited the night before, and already she was being swept off by what seemed to be personal demons that she had to take care of herself. She couldn't blame him if Thomas wanted to go with her. If anything, it would probably end up being for the best for her too, if Arizona thought about it. That way, she wouldn't risk getting too attached to anyone.

The Wild Wastelands | Megaton | Megatonian Gates
I Left My Heart in Megaton
Thomas "Shifty" McGee and Sylphee

Loyalty, Love, Loss. These seemed to be the major themes that revolved around Thomas "Shifty" McGee's life. Loyalty sacrifices love and begets loss. There was never a simpler recipe for tragedy. To be separated from the one you love once involved pain beyond measure. To be separated from the one you love twice, the star crossed lovers had it easy but Romeo and Juliet had also never been so blessed as Thomas and Lucy. To have been reunited after all that had happened, there was no other word for it. Walt willing, they would be reunited again. For now, this was goodbye, Lucy Black.

"For now. This time it will only be temporary! You hear me? No dying this time, fake or otherwise, I forbid you.", The Once Mousy Haired and Bookish girl attempted to mockingly deride him in spite of her growing reluctance to leave him, "You do your thing. I have to go mend a few fences at the Brotherhood, find out why they kept my dad from me, or burn the place to the ground -- depending on my mood."

He did not envy those in the Brotherhood of Steel. He'd seen the ferocity of his One-Eyed Gauss Girl. Thomas "Shifty" McGee would have many a grave to dig if they did not cooperate. After all, Lucy was the true beast when it came to the Gauss Rifle Plus' "Beast Mode." Without her, the weapon was merely a shiny ornament left gathering dust on an Enclave shelf.

"Rivet City, Megaton, Springvale and the Citadel. Places where I'd most likely be.", one hand fell to her side, "Take care of my Sylphy. And look out for Arizona while I'm gone."

If the heroic thing to do was to stoically bear the sensation of ones heart being ripped from one's chest, our beloved Former Undertaker was acting decidedly non-heroic. The tears that fell from his face were swallowed by the thirsty D.C. Wastes. Faced with the prospect of roaming the Wastelands once, he was glad to be reminded that he would be in the company of friends, even if one of them was a psychotic blue haired imp with a penchant for accidentally killing everyone around her.

"I love you, Thomas Shifty McGee.", Lucy said before hurriedly stepping forward to kiss him a second time. Breaking away for good the girl that had shared a bottle of vodka and a dance with him smiled and added, "In no uncertain terms."

"I love you too, Lucy Black. I will come back." He said with as much certainty that could be mustered under the circumstances. The Wastelands had a rather nasty habit of robbing the certainty out of any equation. A pair of arms wrapped themselves around his waste. Looking down, he was surprised to see Sylphee hugging him where Lucy had. Smiling, Thomas ushered Sylphee towards her Big Sissy Lucy Psycho Caboosy.

For now this was farewell, Lucy.

------------------------------Sylphee------------------------------

The Red Menace was unsure of how to feel. On the one hand, Mommy Lucy Caboosy and Sylphee's newly discovered Gampa Imax were leaving. So she had to be mad at them for that. On the other hand, Mommy Lucy Caboosy and Sylphee's newly discovered Gampa Imax were leaving to find out stuff about Gampa Imax and Sylphee couldn't be mad at them for that. In the end, all the uncertainty melted away like so much Rad Scorpion Meat mixed with Cheesy BlamCo Stew when Mommy Lucy Caboosy folded the Crimson Menace into a warm and loving embrace.

Explanations were given, secrets were divulged and bestest yet, gifts were gifted upon the luckiest blue haired girl standing in front of the Megaton Gates. As much as Sylphee loved gifts, the fact that Mommy Big Sissy Lucy Caboosy had given her so many gifts and Sylphee had not a one to give her back left a feeling of uneasiness deep within the chest of the usually happy go lucky little girl. An idea popped into Sylphee mind as Big Sissy Lucy Caboosy turned away to talk to Missy Arizona Not Old One Not Leather Faced Lady Not Ghoul Whore With The Gun.

Grabbing Big Sissy Lucy Caboosy by the hand, Sylphee started to speak.

"Big Sissy Lucy Caboosy I want you to have -" Click

Sylphee never got a chance to finish her sentence as she gripped the choker around neck and gave it a tug. Where Sylphee once stood gripping the hand of her Big Sissy Lucy Caboosy, Sylph now stood holding the hand of Lucy. If Lucy had any compunction about distancing herself from the bloodthirstier of the Sylphee/Sylph duo, it was quickly squashed by the look on Sylph's face. Somewhere between thoughtful and sad, Sylph's eyes were fixed on the ground. She stayed like that for a moment before she pounced on her sister, her arms wrapping themselves around Lucy's waist. A hug. A genuine hug form the Blue Haired Psychopath.

"I... I remember you." Sylph said quietly, her face buried in Lucy's chest, "Thank you... for being my sister."

A heartbeat later, the moment was gone as Sylph released Lucy from the hug. Nodding at her older sister, Sylph walked back towards her Father before putting her choker back on, wiping away the traces of sadness from her face.

------------------------------Thomas------------------------------

"You know... It's not like we've left Megaton yet," she started, "I'm sure I can find someone in this shithole that knows the way to Dunwich. If you want to go with her, now will probably be your last chance before I finish this job."

Arizona should have known better than to make that offer to the Former Undertaker. This wasn't about getting paid, or personal pride or a sense of honor, Natsuki Manriki had told the group what was happening around Dunwich. This was about ensuring the safety of the D.C. Wastes and its inhabitants.

"I'm sorry, Arizona. I can't let you do this without me. I owe you a debt that I intend to pay. You remember what Miss Manriki told us about the Ancient Ones around Dunwich. You'll need all the help you can get if you're to be successful. Besides, what's a little time away from Lucy to ensure that we have the rest of our lives to be happy?"

Picking up his pack, Thomas shouldered it as well as the assault rifle before gesturing for Sylphee to do the same. They were ready to go whenever everyone else was.

Megaton Gates
Dark thoughts and silver linings

A single glimpse was enough to take what frickle optimism he was feeling from his talk with Lucy and drown it in a sea of hopelessness.

What goes up inevitably crashes down. He was growing used to the hallucinations. But that didn't stop them from being unnerving. He wasn't sure if that was because of the hallucinations themselves or the fact that he was getting used to them not sitting right in his head, but the result was the same, anyway. It was happening again. How many times today? It was happening again. But this was different.

This time it was him.

It was happening again. Why him? Why now? It was happening again. Why did they not cease? It happened again. Why wouldn't they stop?

"It...it IS you, isn't it?"

At least it was in his voice, not hers. At least for once it wasn't lampooning him. At least he was being left alone.
He'd never escape them, would he? They'd never leave him alone. Sometime along the way something in his head broke and this was the result. A frickle old man, slowly losing it more and more, unable to differenciate reality from fantasy.

"I can see him now."

She could see him too? The poor girl. That made him feel even more miserable. Lucy didn't deserve something like this. She was too young... but then again, after everything she'd been through thanks to him, he shouldn't be surprised.

But... if she could see him...

He was real.

Jonathan watched as father and daughter reunited, a prospect that until a few minutes ago seemed impossible. Isaac Black, his benefactor who was regarded as deader than dead, had suddenly appeared before them, alive and well.

Then why didn't he feel happy?

Or for that matter, why didn't he feel anything? There was no excitement, no relief. A hollowness speard throughout his chest as he watched the Black family reunion. He almost wanted to take some steps back and disappear. Almost. He was sapped of energy for that too.

And then, Isaac turned to him.

Isaac: Jon? I'm sorry for being dead. I didn't plan it that way, but I'm here now. What I can do for you?

He couldn't help but feel dumbfounded.

"Do... for me?"

Words, words. Such devilish things. They elude you when you need them, and escape you when you don't. How could he describe the precariousness of his situation? What words would be adequate to describe the utter helpnessness that he felt, the self-loathing further fanned by the phantoms that plague him, his apparent disability at distinguishing reality to the twisted hallucinations of his mind? And what could a man, even if that man is Isaac Black, do?

"I don't know..." he hung his head, "What... what the hell am I even going to do, Isaac? I escaped the Enclave, stumbled my way in this hell of a wasteland for ten years... And for what? To return to their yoke again. History repeats itself. My lone hope hangs on a thread."

He raised his head to face him, and rubbed his forehead, "I don't know anymore. I'm too spent to not feel hopeless, but even so I have too little going for me."


Enclave Vault
Cinders of the past, firestarters of the present

Medical Officer #46 sit next to Intelligence Officer #411, hunching forward on the desk, clasping her hands in front of her mouth, the light of the monitor contrasting on her glasses, giving them an ominous glow.

Jonathan Aristotle McKenna. The man that almost ruined her life, the man that almost doomed her daughter, in the flesh. What a sorry state he was in; had she not been informed that this was him, she would have difficulty believing this broken shell of a man was him. On top of being covered in blood, he looked malnourished, unnaturally aged, his stature and gaze that of a man whose psyche is so fractured it's beyond repair, only breaking more and more. He deserved all that and more, for what he did to her. For what he almost did to Amarantha.

"What do you make of this? How does someone resurrect a traitor that was confirmed as bring killed years ago?"

#46 didn't even turn to acknowledge the question. In her chest reverbated a sensation she hadn't experienced in a long time, not since the breakup. Jonathan Aristotle McKenna, the man that she hoped died in the destruction of Raven Rock, still wasted oxygen. It almost felt like a cruel joke; so many good, capable people, people that could have made a real difference in saving the wasteland had died on that day, yet he, a despicable, manipulative man without morals or a shred of decency had survived. Had he wrapped this group of people under his finger yet? She couldn't tell. But she knew he was dangerous, and he would get more still, the more he spread his influence. She was almost tempted to call in all the favours she had, to make sure that he wouldn't survive the week.

But only almost. She was, above all, a professional, and would not let emotions rule over her. She was certain there was a reason he hadn't been killed yet, and though she was being kept out of the loop, she had faith in the Enclave and what it fought for.

Back to business. The apparent resurrection of Isaac Black was indeed quite puzzling, though her of all people knew there were many ways to cheat death out there, one less obvious than the next.

"It is certainly possible," she finally stated in a dry, matter-of-fact way, "But I have too little information to come to a satisfying conclusion. As such, I request that I am given access to Isaac Black's file, as well as the full report of his death."

She pulled back on her seat, almost slouching. Almost. A professional cannot afford to grow lax. She eyed the report that #411 put down, the one about another of her ex-husband's victims.

"I see that my recommendation that he be given two weeks time to fully recuperate have been ignored" she stated in the same tone, taking the report and reading it carefully, "Pretty impressive, considering he very recently woke up from a coma with a laser shot in the chest, a punctured lung and missing a hand. Plenty of potential, this one. At the rate he's going, he'll be qualified for assignment in six months." she put the report back on the desk, "Quicker than you, unless I am mistaken." She placed her arms on the chair's armrests, clasping her hands in front of her chest, "Hatred is one hell of a motivator." She knew, she finally realised what the sensation she was feeling were.

For the first time in 10 years, Chief Medical Officer #46 felt motivated.

The Three Musketeers: A Parting Gift Or Two

Despite just encouraging Evan and Dudley to make new friends with their soon to be travelling companions, William had one last thing to do. Isaac and Lucy were preparing to leave, and a few were saying their goodbyes.

"You two, keys please. The Blacks could make better use of your motorcycles." Said William, gesturing with both of his hands.

"How do you figure that one?" Said Evan. It was a big ask, motorcycles were hard enough to come by or even get working. Asking Evan and Dudley to hand over theirs for an indefinite period of time sounded like a mad decision.

"Because we're going with that lot to Dunwich right? They don't have any vehicle so they'll have to go on foot, if we're travelling with them the most you can do on them is trundle along at three miles an hour and fight to keep them upright. They'll be more of a hindrance than help this time."

Evan raised his hand to make a point, lowered it slowly and almost formed a few words with his mouth. Instead he handed over his keys, Dudley followed Evan's lead and handed over his keys too.

"Thanks, at least you're more likely to get them back than I am mine. Still sitting right outside the Enclave base and everything..."

===========

William - You need these keys, your father, and two motorcycles.

Catching up the the imminently departing Black family, William handed the keys to Dudley's bike to Isaac and Evan's keys to Lucy.
"You could do with faster transportation. Just be careful with the suspension, we've been overloading them for some time." William turned to go before adding, "Just be careful in general really. You two just found each other, it's important not to abandon something like that." He said before actually leaving, not sure whether the advice about abandoning important people was more for Lucy or himself.

==========

Evan - How to win friends and influence people.

After seeing Dudley get a frosty reception from Arizona, Evan decided to try and smooth things over with their new travelling companions. Two of them were talking together, the ghoulette and Lucy's boyfriend. After deciding that would be a good name for a band or bandit duo Evan went for his opening line.

"Sorry about my friend, I'm looking forward to travelling with the pair of you.

Let's see THIS go wrong!

==========

Dudley - Where cheesy puns go to die.

For reasons we will probably never know, Dudley decided the first person he'd talk to was Kristin Blamco. After such a harsh rejection from Arizona he wasn't looking for luurrve in all the wrong places, she just seemed like a nice person that wouldn't yell at him.

"Hey missy, if it aint too personal a question so soon, why do ya smell like mac and cheese?"

A bit tactless, but have fun with that one Duds. You'll be waking up two weeks later praising Blamco with only half an idea what your name is.

==========

William again - It's dangerous to go alone, take this!

Alright, not really alone at all when you think about it, but William had returned to the rest of the group and handed Lucy's plasma pistol to Thomas "Shifty" McGee, the one she had given to him when they last parted company. It had been done with the intention of keeping him safe, but he'd hardly used it at all and Shifty seemed like a more appropriate person to have it.

"...I've hardly used it at all and you seem like a more appropriate person to have it." Finished William, handing over what little ammo he had for the plasma pistol. After that he turned to look west and spoke to nobody in particular.
"I'm actually quite excited to be back on foot again."

Adventure beckoned.

Arizona
The Wild Wastelands | The Road To Dunwich | Outside Megaton Gates
"Once you take in one stray, you end up taking in the rest."

When Arizona looked at Thomas, she could tell by the expression on his face that the offer, even if tempting, wasn't enough to change his mind. She had two thoughts after realizing that: First was that he was a damned stubborn fool. Second was that she couldn't help but like that about the tall, gangling young man.

"I'm sorry, Arizona. I can't let you do this without me. I owe you a debt that I intend to pay. You remember what Miss Manriki told us about the Ancient Ones around Dunwich. You'll need all the help you can get if you're to be successful. Besides, what's a little time away from Lucy to ensure that we have the rest of our lives to be happy?"

She snorted softly and shook her head. Then she turned to face him, hands on her hips and her single eye glinting with a hint of amusement as she looked up at him.

"You know that you don't owe me a thing, Thomas, but I suppose I can't argue. It'll be nice to have you along." she said.

But when she glanced over at the kid, Sylph, she couldn't help but wonder about whether or not it was alright to take her along too. She was no doubt good in a fight, but even Sylph could get overrun by Ferals. The very idea threatened to send uneasy shivers up her spine.

She never particularly liked Ferals. Even though most were peaceful around other Ghouls, the fact that they used to be normal people unnerved her some. Radiation, time... Simple lack of will. Whatever the reason, they lost their minds and were reduced to nothing more than beasts. The idea freaked her out at odd moments, especially since it was a reminder that maybe, just maybe, that would end up being her one day.

"Sorry about my friend, I'm looking forward to travelling with the pair of you."

She hadn't even noticed that one of the trio that escorted Isaac Black had approached them, and as she looked him over it was clear that it wasn't the same one that had tried to hit her up. And he was lucky that he wasn't the same man, because otherwise she would've laughed in his face. Instead, she merely quirked up a brow and narrowed her eye.

"And why is that? I don't remember inviting you to join us to Dunwich." she drawled.

In truth, she knew that she couldn't really turn away help for this job. A small, greedy part of her wanted to, though. After all, ten thousand caps could only split so many ways until she barely had enough caps at the end of it to cover travel and ammunition expenses. Not only that, but she had a sneaking suspicion that The Three Stooges that showed up not long ago came as a set.

A suspicion that was confirmed not long after she thought it.

"I'm actually quite excited to be back on foot again."

The other member of the trio that wasn't a Casanova Wannabe had come up, and after handing a Plasma Pistol to Shifty, seemed to pose even as he looked off towards the inevitable sunset. Her withered face promptly twisted into an expression of annoyance.

"Oh, goody. Oh happy day! Lemme guess, Romeo over there is tagging along too, isn't he?" she asked with increasingly ill-temper as she jabbed a thumb in the direction of the man in question.

Outside the Abandoned Garage Outside Vault 112, which does not legally exist according to the town council of REDACTED, but is often used to torture re-educate those who vote incorrectly in meaningless municipal elections

Imagine a ball.

Not bad, not bad at all. Except for one detail you forgot: it is a metal ball you should be imagining right now. Don't worry, its clear that you're a little new or rusty at this... or possibly both at the same time. That is also quite possible. Time doesn't always work in one isolated town that this particular metal ball has flown through.

Incidentally, you should also be imagining that the ball can fly, and indeed is currently attempting to activate its hover engines at this very moment because it is not really a simple metal ball, but a vaguely ball-shaped robot with antennae. Maybe you're really not that good at this "imagining things"... thing.

Let's try again.

Imagine a beach ball sized robot vaguely shaped like a ball with grills where its "face" would be, a name spray-painted onto it that reads "VERA 2.0", the color of the paint is constantly shifting color so there may be irregular updates on what color it is if that proves to be important for any reason. Then again, nothing is really all that important if you think about it as you stare at the partially starry expanse at night, and start to worry about what would happen to the light pollution keeping you safe from the tyrannical stars if the radiation poisoning kills it off...

Anyway. Are you imagining a ball-shapped flying robot that has just now managed to get off the ground? Good. That's... actually really good. Are you in my head now? Well, pull up an armchair and those sexy bunny slippers you think no one knows about, you're going to be here for a while. So... the robot. Yes. She. And yes, most robots do not have a gender, but this one does. I mean... with a name like "Vera" (which may or may not be an abbreviation for something like her previous names "ED-E" and "EDNA" were), and adorable ribbons in her antennae... well, what else can you think of such a robot except as a "she?"

I dunno. How about by her name? Didya ever think about that?

Vera waved her antennae around a bit, sending a kind of hollow vibrating sound throughout the mostly empty tract of wasteland around her. This is how she says hello.

She was never entirely sure if that got across, so she also searched her data-banks for an appropriate series of voice files and cobbled together a somewhat hap-hazard greeting.

The following is a transcript of the voices that came out of the little flying robot in quick succession to form this greeting:

"Hello!" said a bright and chipper robotic voice which had that tinny, infuriatingly cheerful quality that instantly made you want to throttle the voice's original owner so that you no longer had to listen to their stupid, stupid voice.

"I'm..." said an old man's voice which sounded as though it were struggling for breath... as if someone were currently throttling its original owner.

"THREE DOG! BOW-WOW!" said an all-too familiar voice for the residents of the Capitol Wasteland.

"JK," said a much younger voice, one that sounded happy and mischievous... and like it knew its way around machines, though it is not clear how that came across in just the voice.

"I'm..." came the old man's death rattle again.

"lVERA!" said a sultry voice that sounded far too crisp and clear... and impossibly tantalizing to be anything but a Pre-War recording. Probably a late night talk show host or something along those lines... though the robot had clearly edited that file a little to emphasize the last part of the name, leaving the preceding "El" all but inaudible to anyone without superhuman hearing.

Is there anyone like that around? Its so hard to keep track sometimes with your brain-washed sleeper agents, and grunting cyber-ninjas, and clones of blue-haired people... and lots of just barely censor-approved sex hanging around at the edges...

Anyway. Meet Vera. Nicely done.

You've Met The Vera.

Cue music!

The Wild Wastelands | Megaton | Outside the Gates
Departures... and Arrivals.
Thomas "Shifty" McGee and Sylphee

Thomas nodded in thanks to William Knight for his gifted Plasma Pistol. While he wasn't exactly a energy weapons nut as much as Lucy Black was, he simply needed to inspect the weapon to get the gist of the design. Point the business end at the bad guys and pull the trigger. Everything, like muzzle velocities and how leading would be picked up somewhere down the line when it was more appropriate to fire the weapon. Given that they were in front of the Megaton Gates under the watch of the guards after barely having escaped not just a riot but an attempt by Colin Moriarty on Jonathan McKenna's life. Now was not the time to stop and experiment with weapons.

Eyeing the man who'd gifted him with the handheld Plasma weapon, Shifty couldn't help but think that the name William Knight sounded familiar. Was it a name that was mentioned in the Enclave Vault? No, he remembered a place where the name was mentioned further back in the past. Perhaps the Citadel? If that was the case maybe they could use the trio's assistance in the matter that lay before them.

Thomas shook the thoughts from his head, he needed to focus more on the task at hand, which was get out of the area before more of Moriarty's goons showed up to finish the job that Moriarty himself couldn't complete... at least he tried to until Arizona's gruff voice pierced through his thought process.

"Oh, goody. Oh happy day! Lemme guess, Romeo over there is tagging along too, isn't he?" she asked with increasingly ill-temper as she jabbed a thumb in the direction of the man in question.

"I think he is, Arizona. at least that's the impression that I get from the trio." Thomas said neutrally. He enjoyed the Ancient one's company and while Thomas had seen kindness in her actions, she could hardly be called a saint and there were times where where she was as far from a saint as one could get.

Taking her to the side, Shifty addressed her gently and respectfully as was due to her status as a revered Ancient one.

"Maybe we should be nicer to them. I know that you might not like the one you call Romeo but you heard Natsuki. It's a guaranteed suicide mission. Maybe with more people, it wouldn't be." Thomas said slowly, thinking aloud before appealing to her more mercenary side, "Besides, if we have to run, at least the Sick Ones will have the three of them to rip up before getting to us."

Turning to William, he waved as introduced himself.

"I'm Thomas McGee by the way. This is Arizona and the one in the crimson is Sylphee. I would keep away from her if I were you." The Former Undertaker of the East nodded towards Sylphee who was looking intently at the Laser Pistol that Lucy had given to her... down the barrel.

"SYLPHEE! NO!" The Former Undertaker turned Father exclaimed as he rushed over to where Sylphee was standing and grabbed the laser, moving it just enough for the bright crimson beam to miss her head by inches, searing a hole in the Megatonian Gates They needed to go, post haste. The sooner they started moving, the sooner they would be able to keep Sylphee distracted. If it wasn't Sylphee, it was the other woman. No sooner than he had finished keeping Sylphee from scorching her face off, he stopped speaking in time to hear Jonathan McKenna's companion speak.

"May the Dairy Moonlight guide your path, let your erect nipples point you towards success and fight with relentless passion."

With the amount of craziness that was contained in this group, they were likely to draw attention sooner rather than later. With any hope, the group would be leaving before anything showed up.


The Wild Wastelands | The Enclave Vault | #411's Office
Patience...
Enclave Intelligence Officer #411

"Pretty impressive, considering he very recently woke up from a coma with a laser shot in the chest, a punctured lung and missing a hand. Plenty of potential, this one. At the rate he's going, he'll be qualified for assignment in six months." Enclave Medical Specialist #46 stated as she put the report back on the desk, "Quicker than you, unless I am mistaken... Hatred is one hell of a motivator."

The Enclave Intelligence Officer ignored the Medical Officer's jab in regards to Recruit #411B's shattering of a number of training records, a few of them held by #411 herself. It was to be expected that someone would some day break her records. It was rather impressive the progress that he'd been making. Pulling up an order form, Enclave Intelligence Officer #411 sent a request to the Training Arm of the Enclave to push up the time table for the trainee.

"Enclave Medical Officer #46. What's you assessment on pushing up the time table for the completion of your patient's training?" The Intelligence Officer asked rhetorically. The order to speed up the training process had already been sent. The wanted to get more of a gauge on her "partner's" resolve to see this through, regardless of the cost of life and regardless of whatever silly oath the Doctor had taken to preserve the life of her patients.

Of course, this also cut short the amount of time that the Sylphee Army would have to train and to get outfitted with new weapons. This was calculated however. The decision to use the Clone army to combat whatever aggression Ghoul China sent into the DC Wastes had already been made. She simply needed to reveal their existence to FalloutJack. After that, it was a matter of getting them trained en masse.

"It must be tempting." The Officer said out of the blue, her finger hovering over a button set next to the screen displaying the scene in front of Megaton "With just the push of a button, we could crash the aerial drone into his position and remove your ex-husband from the board as well as FalloutIsaac, once again."

It was indeed tempting even from Enclave Intelligence Officer #411's position. To have the ability to wipe out this group of threats to the Enclave and not use it took a high measure of discipline. There would likely never be another opportunity to kill so many of the Enclave's more dangerous enemies at one time. With one push of a button she could have wiped out Lucy Black, Isaac Black, Thomas McGee, Kristin Blamco and Jonathan McKenna.

Withdrawing her finger from the button, Enclave Intelligence Officer #411 continued waiting for the group to move out. On another screen, one that was set up to monitor activity around Springvale Elementary School, the remote controlled aerial drone picked up the movements of a Deathclaw, one that appeared to bypass the Sylphy guards with ease. Strangely enough, it appeared that the Deathclaw spoke a few words to them before they allowed him to pass.

Talion - The Republic of Dave

High exterior contamination, surrounded by hostile forces, mechanized weapons platform trained on self, disadvantageous position. Change of conditions required. Distract hostile forces, locate suitable cover from hostile forces, acquire suitable firepower, resolve situation, locate decontamination agents.

Talion snapped into focus as his pipboy shunted generated objectives into his mind. It had been awhile since it had done that, thought the situation seemed appropriate for that feature to come back online. He shook his head slightly as he tried to pull together a plan. More time was needed to think of a distraction that wouldn't kill him in the process. The buildings nearby would work for cover if he could make the run to them. Firepower would take time if he couldn't find an armoury on-site. Decontamination agents shouldn't even be considered at this point.

Talion crouched down as he could and began pulling supplies from his pack. The first thing on his mind at this point with little in the way of mobility was dealing with the Metal Gear Box, as he had learned it was called. Blueprints for the thing were an impossibility so it's capabilities were unknown and so falling back to training from the old days was the only choice. Design appeared to be post war but clearly built on pre-war methodology. AI would rely on IFFs and motion rather than actual intelligence. Operator possible considering he was still alive. Mechanisms would be hardened against pulses unless the designers didn't expect high burst electromagnetism in post-war conditions. Armour would be bulletproofed and hardened against explosives. Treating it like a hardened bunker would be a better choice than thinking of it as a machine, but ignoring the mechanical components would be idiotic.

He began disassembling a mini nuke, a pulse grenade, and a few other things he had brought with him as he began constructing a better charge for the job.

As he peeled away the casing of the nuke, something simple occurred to him, he switched through his radio channels and instructed her to return to the brotherhood citadel if he failed to communicate in an hour. He wasn't going to allow himself to be traded and it was entirely possible he could die in the escape attempt. The recognition tone came through to him and he continued his work, waiting for something to change around him or for enough to have been done to feel prepared.

Alien Escape Pod
Rainy with a chance of Escape Pods

"Hey, Astroboy. Heeeeey."

Eddie poked at the latest still unconcious victim of alien interspecies fetish porn, waiting for some sort of response. Alas, after around a minute that felt more like two and a half months, the young man remained unresponsive, and Eddie grew bored. Never a good thing, that, So, in his boredom, he decided to get creative.

At first, he'd poke along a steady rhythm, not really fast, just organised. Three pokes in quick succession, a small pause, rince and repeat. Then three became five, and the the pause smaller. Picking up the pace, he started alternating between the five-poke and the three-poke, as the rhythm grew quicker. The other hand joined in, poking at the other side, poking at a slower rhythm that matched the pauses of the original. He begun alternating the speed of the pokes between his two hands, and eventually created an entire different rhythm altogether. Then other fingers joined in, and, soon enough, the opening of Painkiller was being played on the poor intergalactic porn star's head. As Eddie was thinking on the lineup of the finger concert he was about to do (you gotta have songs that match, after all), aswell as debating whether he'd do an encore once finished, the sound of something large falling towards the ground whizzed in his ears, and soon enough the impact from the crash almost got him off balance. Turning around to see what it was now, Eddie couldn't help but grin at the absurdity of the situation.

"I knew I should've bought an umbrella!"

As soon as he made his turn, a large, heavy, metallic object impacted on his head, knocking his hat off and causing him to humourously fall on the ground as it circled in the air, finally landing next to him. Rubbing the point of impact and letting out annoyed grunts, he raised his torso and grabbed the object. A familiar thing, a symbol of terror in East and West both, the Enclave Power Armour Helmet gleamed morbidly as light shone upon it from cracks in the damaged pod. Most people would've thrown it away; Enclave had caused a lot of suffering all around the coasts, and no one would be interested in wearing the helmet of the guys that killed their wife. Of course, Eddie being Eddie, he didn't have any problems with it, for he never had a wife; only one night stands and extremely short relationships. You can't keep a free spirit down, after all. Putting it on, he couldn't help but notice that he couldn't see shit, which was wierd as that could mean that all the Enclave soldiers that had tried to kill him in the past were firing blind, though that'd certainly explain their accuracy. Or it was simply broken. Luckily, Eddie was a trained mechanic, with knowledge on how to fix things pedestrian and imperial both. With his high amount of expertise, he tried the most universal and acclaimed method known to man: hitting the helmet until it worked. And work it did, after around five knocks. Stubborn thing.

[Spooky.]

Putting his hat over the helmet, he turned once again to look at the cause of this ruckus. Another escape pod had landed, this one not of alien origin (Trust Eddie, he knows, he's a mechanic). From within spew forth two figures. One was a babe, a beautiful flower that rarely blossoms in the wasteland. Well, beautiful was subjective; any ghoul girl looks better than a feral ghoul girl, and since there are no fat ghoul girls. or worse, fat feral ghoul girls, it would thus be safe to say that the beauty standards when it comes to ghouls were pretty clear. Not that it mattered to Eddie, of course. A hole's a hole, after all. Speaking of, an exaggerated mass of muscled flesh, so exaggerated that that he looked like he ate Billy Herrington to gain his strength, lay on the ground. He looked like quite the speciment, a fine example of how brawn helped man survive through the stone age. Indeed, looking at his attempts to make a weapon made Eddie think of monkeys trying to make weapons out of branches. Of course, it was too early to tell if this furless gorilla would follow the monkeys to the next step; namely, reluctanctly giving up and throwing their poop at the audience. Right now, it more like seemed that he'd continue rubbing his head after a big metal ball landed on it.

[I must say, I am rather disappointed by the size of your gun.] Eddie said as he stared at the Aniki-wannabe from above, shotgun on hand, [So, Biolante, what brings you to upon the presence of the Uberbilly and his two disciples? Art thou a pilgrim wishing for a blessing?]


Enclave Vault
Familiar Territory

"Enclave Medical Officer #46. What's you assessment on pushing up the time table for the completion of your patient's training?"

#46 did not so turn to answer the question, instead continuing staring on the monitor. In her mind thoughts and emotions swirled violently, in contrast to her cold, emotionless exterior. Chief among them, a primal fear: That of the safety of her child. Jonathan Aristotle McKenna, that monster, once sought to deny their child its rightfully claimed chance at life, and if he were to learn...

No, it would not come to that. She wouldn't let it come to that. A parent must always put their child's life first.

"It must be tempting." #411 butted it, and this time #46 acknowledged the fledgling arriviste, raising an eyebrow, "With just the push of a button, we could crash the aerial drone into his position and remove your ex-husband from the board as well as FalloutIsaac, once again."

Needless to say, Enclave Chief Medical Officer was rather unimpressed by the Intelligence Officer's theatrics.

"Unless given the order, I would suggest you do not push that button," she said, as disconnected and emotionlessness as ever, "As for my assessment, it is that you should not waste my time with nugatory, inconsequencal questions. I have experience with immoral, deceptive parvenus, lest you forget." She gave the Agent an indifferent glare with half-closed eyes, before burying the lower half of her face in her clasped hands and turning back to the monitor, fully aware and unconcerned that she just compared #411 to her ex-husband.

"A talking deathclaw..." she paused, considering, seemingly unfettered by such a sight, "I thought them deemed a failed experiment and exterminated."

This already revelatory day was turning to be quite enlightening, indeed.

Alien Escape Pod

Charlie Cannon wasn't quite sure where he was or how he'd got there, but wherever he was it was quite unlike anything he'd ever seen before. The first thing he noticed was he was completely surrounded by people, more than he thought he'd ever seen in his entire lifetime. They were all standing upright, jam-packed tightly together in a loud, sweaty mass of human flesh. The second thing was the music. It assaulted his eardrums in a murderous cacophony, but as he grew adjusted to the volume it wasn't an entirely unpleasant experience. He even started moving along with the crowd to the beat, getting swept away in the atmosphere. The only thing that took away some of the enjoyment was someone behind him was using his head as a drum kit, tapping his head harder and harder as the music ramped up...

It was hot. And bright. Something sharp was digging into his back. Those were the sensations that greeted Charlie as he awoke with a groan, blinking and rubbing his grimy eyes against the blinding sun over the wasteland. His head pounded like someone had actually performed a drum solo on it rather than just a dream, and he was terribly thirsty. Just how long had he been lying there anyway? No wait a moment, where the hell were his clothes? He was almost completely naked, his modesty preserved by only a scant loincloth. There was also something tied around his head, however the string holding it in place refused to yield to his prying fingers.

It was at this moment Charlie realised he wasn't alone. He let out a strangled yelp at the sight of the huge, green ghoul with his back turned to him, its attention focused on something out of Charlie's view. He clapped a hand over his mouth, praying that the big creature hadn't heard him....

Arizona
The Wild Wastelands | The Road To Dunwich | Outside Megaton Gates
"Three's a crowd, six is a raiding party."

While Arizona was perfectly content to hold onto her bad attitude and glare at the new additions to their group, Thomas had other ideas as he leveled a patient gaze at her and took her off to one side.

"I think he is, Arizona. at least that's the impression that I get from the trio."

Her one-eyed glare flashed in his direction, but it was notably less-potent than when it was directed at William.

"Maybe we should be nicer to them. I know that you might not like the one you call Romeo but you heard Natsuki. It's a guaranteed suicide mission. Maybe with more people, it wouldn't be."

He raised perfectly reasonable, logical points. And while a small, petty part of her wanted to argue, she really couldn't, and she slowly deflated. When he mentioned that they could even be a distraction for the ferals, however, she had to suppress a shudder.

"Hopefully not. I'd only wish a horde of ferals on my worst enemy. But you're right." she said with a sigh, patting his shoulder, "We're not exactly in a position to turn away help."

But she looked back at the man that had tried to flirt with her before giving Thomas a sidelong glance.

"But I make no promises that I won't slug that guy if he tries another pickup line on me." she told him.

As Thomas introduced them all to the trio, or at least to the one that seemed like the "leader" of the trio she slipped her hands into the pockets of her fatigues and turned to Sylphee. When she did, her weathered face blanched and her eye widened as she watched the wacky, energetic, and ultimately clueless girl inspect her new Laser Pistol. Namely by pointing the business end at her own face.

"Kid, you don't--" Arizona started, holding out a hand to make her stop, only for Thomas to notice himself and be even quicker on the uptake.

"SYLPHEE! NO!"

He managed to wrest the Laser Pistol away just in time for the red beam to just miss Sylphee's face. Arizona froze at that, her face locked into a dull grimace. She had to take a moment to regain her composure, and by that point she strode over with a scowl and snatched the Laser Pistol away from them both.

"You never, ever, point a gun's dangerous end at your face, kid! I want you to remember that." she barked, before she shoved it into Sylphee's backpack.

Then she reached up and gave an ear-piercing whistle.

"Alright, everyone headed to Dunwich, we're getting this shit-show on the road!" she called.

Taking hold of Lester, she gave Thomas a backward glance. The look in her eye was plain: The sooner they got this job over with the better, because she was liking the idea of Dunwich less and less by the minute. It quickly passed, however, shifting to a mild glare at the members of their group that were lagging behind.

"...Come on, get the molasses out yer asses and let's go!" she added.

The Three Musketeers - Walking still sucks.

"..Come on, get the molasses out yer asses and let's go!" Shouted the irascible ghoul to the lagging members of their group. This appeared to be aimed mostly at Evan and Dudley, who were still getting re-accustomed to travelling by putting one foot in front of the other rather than letting two wheels and an engine do all the work, and were therefore trailing badly behind everyone else. They'd be fine, it was a long walk to Dunwich.

This new crew seemed a decent bunch, if a bit stressed by life in the wasteland and the prospect of a journey to Dunwich. It was one of the few places in the Capital Wasteland William hadn't actually been to or made an attempt to get to. He'd heard the stories, and before now never had a job that led him there. Everything about the place just sounded wrong, and so many of the stories involved treasure hunters going missing after setting off for Dunwich. Things would be different this time, their team was experienced and fully aware of the dangers they were heading into.

"Doesn't mean we'll be fine." Thought William, "I bet dozens just like us thought they had enough about them to survive a dangerous trip like this. You don't stick your head in the Yao Guai's mouth because he's not hiding any sharp teeth."

William tried to force those thoughts from his mind. Their new team looked combat capable, if a little unpredictable. Having travelled with Sylph before, William knew just how dangerous she could be. Even if this was one of the Slyphee clones she was sure to have some combat ability. Arizona and Thomas looked like they could handle themselves in a fight, the ghoul particularly seemed a tough customer. As for Kristin Blamco, William had absolutely no idea what to make of her, but she too seemed to have a hyper-lethal setting.

"Any of you ever been to Dunwich? I'm sure we've all heard the rumours at this point, but does anyone know what it's actually like in there?" Enquired William to the group, hoping that somebody would know their way around once inside. Dudley and Evan remained silent, neither of them had ever been to Dunwich, though of course they'd heard the horror stories.

The Wild Wastelands | Megaton | Outside the Gates
Tales of the Travels of Sylphee...
Thomas "Shifty" McGee and Sylphee

The Wastelands that surrounded the former capital of the United States of America was a dangerous place with many ways to die. Deathclaws, Rad Scorpions, Mole Rats and Mirelurks were but a few examples of the horrible ways that many an unlucky traveler could hit 0 HP. Very few things, save for possibly a Super Mutant Deathclaw hybrid, could match the danger posed by a very bored Crimson Clad Catastrophe known simply by the name of Sylphee. The Phaser Pistol unleashed a crimson blast that had narrowly missed both Sylphee's and Daddy's face before blasting a hole in Megatoon's door.

Unknown to Daddy, Big Sissy Lucy Caboosy, Missy Arizona Not Old One Not Leather Faced Lady Not Ghoul Whore With The Gun, Mister Willy Billy, Missy Krissy Boobs-A-Bunch, Mister Hollow Bongo Head or even Gampa IMAX, the door wasn't the terminal point of impact for the phaser blast. Having drilled a hole through Megatoon's gates, the phaser beam entered a window belonging to Mister Prone Wanderere, bouncing off the bathroom window and Mister Waddlesworth's body before exiting out into the town, toward the Bass Lantern, where a trio of recently converted BamCoists sat having lunch. It would have only been a minimally catastrophic day if Mister BamCoist #1 was the only one that had been affected by Sylphee's Phase Blast, unfortunately, something went bad... really bad. You see, the death of Mister BamCoist #1 triggered a DING DING! on Sylphee level meter and he suddenly exploded as he took a bite out of his Lizard on a Shtick, and Sylphee got the Meltdown perk, causing Mister BamCoist #2 and Mister BamCoist #3 to splode. True story. The Bass Lantern had problems getting customers after that day since people though that the Bass Lantern's Lizard on a Shticks caused spontaneous splosions.

Back to Sylphee and her adventures...

"Any of you ever been to [Sandwich]? I'm sure we've all heard the rumours at this point, but does anyone know what it's actually like in there?" Mister Willy Billy asked in hopes that someone would know their way around the Sandwich Building once they got there.

*PERK!*

"I've been to Sandwich, Mister Willy Billy!" The Blue Haired Air Head exclaimed cheerfully as she shouldered her Deathclaw Plushie pack.

"He said [Sandwich], Sylphee," Daddy said gently as he and Missy Arizona Not Old One Not Leather Faced Lady Not Ghoul Whore With The Gun waited for Mister Hollow Bongo Head and Gampa IMAX to finish talking so that the ... 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6... seven of them could get going to the Sandwich Building.

"That's what I said, Daddy. Sandwich!" The Red Menace said in her typically perky tone, "Mister I-Eat-Small-Women-and-Children took me there once upon a time. It was so much fun! There were lots of leather faces that tried to jump out and scare us and grab us! We ran around the building with them chasing us! It was the bestest time ever! Mister I-Eat-Small-Dogs-and-Cats let me shoot a couple of them and run around in front of him so that I would get the most scares from the Sandwich Building!"

"So Hen... Mister I-Eat-Small-Dogs-and-Cats used you as bait for the Ghouls in the [Sandwich] Building?" Daddy asked, sounding more than a little concerned.

"No! He said that he wanted me to have a lot of fun and that he'd already been on that ride before!" Sylphee said with a smile as she remembered how much fun she had at the Sandwich Building.

Daddy turned to Mister Willy Billy and frowned slightly.

"I think we can take that as a no." Daddy said with a tone of resignation, "At least not in any manner that would help us navigate through that place. Besides, from what Natsuki told us, the place is filled with even more Old Ones than what Sylphee experienced in her... fun times in the [Sandwich] Building.

"You know, Mister I-Poop-On-You-Pillow wore a leather face mask when we were running around. He said that it was so that he could scare the leather faces... but... they didn't even try to scare him when we ran around."

"He ... what? Arizona... do you know what she's talking about? A mask that would keep the Mad Ancient Ones from attacking us? If such a thing existed, would it be possible for us to find some? The last thing I want for this expedition is for it to end tragically. You and I know that I've got plenty of reason for wanting to come back from this venture alive and in one piece." As Daddy said this, he looked over to where Big Sissy Lucy Caboosy stood next to Gampa IMAX, "I've got a promise to keep."


The Wild Wastelands | Smith Casey's Garage
The Call of the Nudes...
Enclave Heavy Weapons Specialist #209

The rather naked looking Enclave Dominator was unsure how to proceed from here. One one hand, there was a Ghoul holding a shotgun that looked like it had enough power to blow ED-209's oversized manhood into lesser sized but still oversized bits of manhood. On the other hand, the way things looked, any raider passing by might have thought that they'd just run into a strangest looking Furry Orgy this side of the Potomac River. I mean lets face it, they had Trixie, the token female of the group. Then they had the Ghoul that looked like he jumped into the rectal cavity of a Rock and Roll Brahmin. Then they had a guy who was dressed like he needed to be changed and breast fed every hour on the hour and finally they had a floating ball-bot that ... looked like a ball! If the Enclave Heavy Weapons Specialist was into those sorts of parties, he'd probably have pitched a tent by now... though that would have required pants.

"[So, Biolante, what brings you to upon the presence of the Uberbilly and his two disciples? Art thou a pilgrim wishing for a blessing?]" The Ghoul said as he looked at the massivity that was ED-209's Man Missile. Whomever this Ghoul was, he talked funny, real funny. Was... he hitting on Enclave Dominator #209? Did he need to be shown who the boss of this... garage was?

Before the Enclave Heavy Weapons Specialist had a chance to question the intentions of the Heavy Metal Ghoul, the Metal Ball that had landed on his head started talking... or rather... playing a random assortment of recorded voices to form an introduction for itself.

"I'm... lVERA" lVERA said through a not so complex arrangements of craftily edited soundbites.

And then there was the kid in the diapers... or loin cloth... or whatever it was that he was wearing. He was hiding in a corner away from the action. Apparently where ever he had come from, they hadn't treated him well. They'd probably kept him in a box of some sort until they needed to use him. The Enclave Dominator had that sort of feeling that this was the life the kid lead because he'd done that to a number of recruits that didn't have the cajones to make it through ED-209's Uber Training.

"I'm Enclave Heavy Weapons Specialist #209..." Enclave Heavy Weapons Specialist #209 said feeling rather defeated by the fact that he was not only out gunned by the Rocking Ghoul but by the fact that the Floating Ball sounded kinda hot, "This is my... companion Trixie."

It should have been noted that Trixie had been silent for a time, probably mesmerized by the package that the ED was packing... and no ... ED does not stand for Erectile Dysfunction... if anything it would stand for Erectile Devastation... or something like that.

"She doesn't talk much out side of requesting girders and such..." Enclave Heavy Weapons Specialist said, slightly aware that it could be taken the wrong way, "I think she's a construction worker."

So that was the introduction... now what was needed was clothing and perhaps a weapon and everything would be right as rain.

"So... who wants to help me get my armor? It's... kinda cold out here... you know what I'm saying?"

Arizona
The Wild Wastelands | The Road To Dunwich | Outside Megaton Gates
"--alias's include 'Butcher', 'Skinner', ' Missy Arizona Not Old One Not Leather Faced Lady Not Ghoul Whore With The Gun'..."

As far as things went, the old Ghoul was looking forward to putting Megaton behind her. After all, with a combination of Sylph being on-par with a hyper-lethal Assaultron and the general mess that Tits McHugeKnockers' sad sack friend caused with Moriarty, she had a feeling that they weren't going to be welcome there again anytime soon.

Which really, was a shame.

Despite the fact that it undoubtedly still had a general prejudice against Ghouls such as herself, it was a secure enough settlement, and the nuke smack-dab in the middle of it all meant there was someplace with just enough radiation to relax in. It was also, presumably, disarmed. She also had the general rule that she hated to burn bridges unnecessarily when it came to wasteland settlements, even if they were shitholes. You never knew when you needed a safe, "civilized" place to hole up in, or needed a job, or even someplace to spend some caps and resupply.

Glancing backward at the growing group trailing behind her, she couldn't help but wonder if the new additions would be able to hold their own against a ruin filled with ferals. As if on cue, one of them even piped up, asking a question that echoed her own thoughts.

"Any of you ever been to Dunwich? I'm sure we've all heard the rumours at this point, but does anyone know what it's actually like in there?"

Sylphee immediately seemed to perk up at that, with excitement in her voice as she spoke up.

"I've been to Sandwich, Mister Willy Billy!"

She took a moment to close her eye and sigh. Of course. This was Sylphee, what else did she expect? Thomas tried to correct her without success.

"Mister I-Eat-Small-Women-and-Children took me there once upon a time. It was so much fun! There were lots of leather faces that tried to jump out and scare us and grab us! We ran around the building with them chasing us! It was the bestest time ever! Mister I-Eat-Small-Dogs-and-Cats let me shoot a couple of them and run around in front of him so that I would get the most scares from the Sandwich Building!"

Her eye popped back open at the odd nicknames, but it didn't take her long to connect them to one Henry McGee, brother to Thomas and given what she knew about him, a piss-poor excuse for a human fucking being. Quirking a brow, she turned to give Thomas a meaningful glance.

"So Hen... Mister I-Eat-Small-Dogs-and-Cats used you as bait for the Ghouls in the Dunwich Building?"

"It's a good thing you killed him when you had the chance, Shifty. I kind of wanted to kill him before from what Sylph told me about him, but now? I think I'd rather skin him alive first." she said flatly before adding in an undertone, "Using a girl as bait for ferals... That's really fucking low..."

"No! He said that he wanted me to have a lot of fun and that he'd already been on that ride before!"

Arizona scoffed. That was a likely story. If that was the case, she was the Queen of England and this was all a bad dream. When she woke up, she'd be waited on by muscular, scantily clad men who were willing and able to satisfy every whim she had.

"I think we can take that as a no. At least not in any manner that would help us navigate through that place. Besides, from what Natsuki told us, the place is filled with even more Old Ones than what Sylphee experienced in her... fun times in the Dunwich Building."

"Worse, actually. From what I was told by the men that hired me on behalf of some guy named Morgan Bloom, there's more than just ferals. There are apparently a lot of normal Ghouls like myself, but brainwashed somehow. And as if that wasn't enough, there's a chance that the Dunwich building's got a connection to some sorta sea monster. Really evil, lotta tentacles, that sort of thing." she added, wiggling her fingers a little for emphasis.

"You know, Mister I-Poop-On-You-Pillow wore a leather face mask when we were running around. He said that it was so that he could scare the leather faces... but... they didn't even try to scare him when we ran around."

Frowning, Arizona turned back to Sylphy with an odd look, wondering just what she was talking about. Leather face mask? Then it struck her. Ferals tended to ignore other Ghouls, sane or not, even if the only thing showing were their face. Added to the fact that ferals were hardly mental heavyweights, a simple mask that made someone look like a Ghoul may be enough to keep them from going ape-shit.

He ... what? Arizona... do you know what she's talking about? A mask that would keep the Mad Ancient Ones from attacking us? If such a thing existed, would it be possible for us to find some? The last thing I want for this expedition is for it to end tragically. You and I know that I've got plenty of reason for wanting to come back from this venture alive and in one piece. I've got a promise to keep."

"Yea, I think I know what she's talking about. Some kind of Ghoul mask. Ferals are stupid, but don't attack other Ghouls. The problem is, I'll need some proper skin to make the masks out of so that they'll look real enough to pass inspection." she said.

Bending down, she reached into her boot sheath and drew Jackie. The bowie knife's blade glinted in what sunlight was left.

"Now, I'm not going to volunteer my own skin for the cause, but if we find some raider's along the way, or better yet some stray ferals? I can probably make some masks for everyone." she said, her lips spreading into a crooked smile, "But I'll warn ya now, they'll stink like death. But who knows? Maybe that'll make them more convincing."

And now, a Jackelude.

You open this door with either the key of imagination or a quick twist to the left, just in case it sticks. Once open, space melts away until only the door remains, and the interior comes into full view. The Bar Beyond Time And Space is a place where one can meet oneself coming and going, and that is precisely what is happening now. Into the bar strode the familiar black powersuit with green energy highlights, signifying that this man was Cornelius Jack, Enclave Fallout Sector. He had received an invitation to come here, stating that it was of the utmost importance. And underneath that glaring helmet, he was indeed surprised to see...JACKS!

Jack: No way... It's you guys.

Three men at a booth, one spot left open for him. The first man was a fellow dressed like something out of Mad Max, a barely-concealed blue overall underneath, with a laser rifle on his back and a sledgehammer at his side. The next one was in an old-style gray Enclave powersuit, the helmet off and a Solar Scorcher on the table near it. Finally, the last one was a guy in a Shady Hat, dressed in leather armor, with a plasma rifle on his back and a Wasteland Survival Guide on the table. Or, in short, these guys were in fact the Vault Dweller, the Chosen One, and the Lone Wanderer - all of them named Jack.

VD: Have a seat, man. Take a load off.

Jack: Uhh, sure.

He did so, removing his own helmet and ordering a drink.

Jack: Man, it's weird, like I'm staring at a bunch of freaky mirrors.

CO: Yeah, it takes some getting use to, sort of like walking in on the Cafe of Broken Dreams. This place is better, though.

Jack: So, all of you are aspects of my personality, right? Because I'm a composite character?

LW: That about sums it up. Nice fourth wall break, by the way.

Jack: Hey, this is the Bar. There's no fourth wall here. This series leans on it a bit hard, as is. So, is everybody in here me right now?

VD: Not all of us. That guy, for instance?

He indicated the man sitting at the counter, drinking a shot of whiskey. They all had black hair, but his was brown, and a different sort of face. He looked younger too, and had on a Suave Gambler Hat on with combat armor and leather pants. On his belt was a formidable-looking laser pistol, with the words 'Pew Pew' etched into the side.

VD: He's a Courier.

LW: Listen, Jack... We wanted to warn you. I mean, you ARE a composite character and all, so it only stands to reason that certain things could change your basic structure a bit.

Jack: What? Why would that happen?

CO: Because of him.

Jack: Who?

VD: It's been a long time coming, Jack. The legend has to continue, and it will...soon.

Jack: Will you guys stop being cryptic and just tell me already?

LW: We wanted to warn you about that guy.

They all pointed to a man coming out of the bathroom and heading for he door. Jack couldn't help but utter "Holy shit!" as the man from Vault 111 stepped out. It would come to pass...in the not-too-distant future.

Jack: Thanks for the warning... Anything I can do for you guys?

VD: Certainly. Tell us who Number One is.

Jack: I can't do that. That would be telling.

CO: Aw, come on! Be a pal!

Jack: I'm sorry, I can't. Buuut...I'll tell you the secret of our Vault.

LW: We're all ears!

Jack: Back before the war, when the American Government and armed military forces were building the Vaults through their ownership of Vault-Tec, the Fort Knox facility was made as the most important project of all, not only because of its sheer power and weapons development, but for so much more! What they built down there was more maddening and powerful than anything you've ever seen.

VD: Was it Number One?

Jack: No, it wasn't Number One! It was-

Suddenly, a green-skinned super mutant in a festive holiday garb dropped a bunch of presents wrapped in mole-rat skin on their table. It was Santa Kirk, the christmas mutant!

Santa Kirk: Urrgh. Is time to make rounds. I go now.

He stepped outside...to his robot-drawn rocket-sleigh...and climbed aboard. He had no time to listen to story spoilers. Christmas was coming, and he had to get going. He shouted to his robots, a bunch of souped-up Mr. Gutsy types.

Santa Kirk: On Richard, on Hamlet! On Slippery John and Mark Hamill! On Belcher and Badass, on Basher and Whomper! MAZINGER GO!!!

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"This is Number One speaking. Prepare the MGB for its next mission!"

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"Ugh, get those bastards on the radio. I've had enough of this."

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

"Greetings, Mr. Bloom. I understand you've been acting against my people lately."

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"This is Threeee Dog, coming to you with the latest, greatest. This just in: Transmissions from the MOON have just come in. Seems there's been a man living up in space all this time, but he just can't get in touch with the right people. Exclusive interview to follow..."

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While Lucy and company were dealing with things - Lucy having to say goodbye, to head off to the Citadel and settle things there - Isaac looked Jonathan over carefully. This man had his life, but his mind and his soul had been put through the wringer. He needed something quiet, something secure, something...not within the reach of the Enclave. The Brotherhood of Steel was a good choice, but there'd always be that friction. Jon may not be in good terms like he himself was. GNR was a place of good and honest work, though...hmmm. He might not like Three Dog. Hold on...

Isaac: While I was helping out the Brotherhood, I met a man - A ghoul, actually - who seemed alright. Rich guy, very business-oriented, has his own town somewhere west of here...but more importantly, he's operated out of Rivet City. What do you think? Big armored ship of a town, safely in Brotherhood territory without actually having them close at hand?

Jonathan raised an eyebrow at what he was being told. The promise of protection, a chance at an honest living, far, far away from this damnable business, a chance at escape. But then again, look where escaping got me last time. This whole deal looked too good to be true. Must be because it is.

"I'm afraid it isn't quite so simple..." he smilled weakly, and rubbed his neck, "If there's one thing I've learned in the past ten years, is that the past has a tendency to catch up with you," Even when least expected. "The Enclave is aware of my existence now. Lucy has explained the situation, hasn't she? Sorrowfield is the motivated bunch. No way she'll let me go, no matter how much I run. And besides, if I work for her, that means less heat on your backs. As long as I work for her, I can assure that she sends no heat your way. May even get her to keep heat off your back."

He put a cig in his mouth, lit it up with a match and inhaled. Violent coughing followed, and he frowned; it was gonna take him a while yet to get used to them, "I swear, this brand packs one hell of a punch!" he joked, or rather attempted to. "I just... figure that it's time I atoned. I've caused enough grief out here. Maybe... Maybe I can do some good, for once."

As soon as Jonathan mentioned things catching up to you, Isaac had this look on his face that said 'Really now. I hadn't noticed.' like he really shouldn't have to mention that to the no-longer-dead man, but he did not interrupt him. It was better to let people speak their peace before delivering more. Besides, that coughing fit all of a sudden had him worried, cigarettes or not.

Isaac: Well, whatever you do, don't overdo it, that's what I say. But in all seriousness, Jon, it doesn't sound to me like getting involved with this Charlotte woman is the 'good' you're looking for. Helping out the Wasteland is always a good thing, but don't do it for them. In the end, I always figured there was something inhuman down there in the Vault. Maybe it was Number One or maybe it was something else. Or maybe both. I couldn't take it any longer, not when I had finished training my protege and had a daughter to look after. They don't give you happiness, old friend, just duty and more duty.

"I know." bluntly stated Jonathan, and took a pause to inhale again. He didn't cough this time. "I've already gone through all that for the majority of my life. Difference is, I'm not doing this for them." he stared at his hands, "These hands are stained with the blood of all the innocents my creations brought suffering to. Yours and Lucy's included. My... craftsmanship is considered unparalled, key to many a success for the Enclave!" he mockingly imitated the congratulatory tone, "How ironic, then, that with it I can now plant the seeds of its destruction."

He turned to look Isaac in the eyes, his stare tired but determined, "I built my reputation creating weapons with the intent to destroy, and it is on that reputation that #411 is cashing upon. So, I will give her what she wants: A weapon to surpass the GRP."

A weak smile appeared across the edge of his lips, "Heh. I probably sound mad, and may well be. I will admit that my gambit is equivocal, and prospects are grim. If I pull it off, then we'll all be better off from it. If not... I will have made all contingencies so that it doesn't cause collateral damage." And besides, it's not like the lifeless body of a single old man will mean anything to the Wasteland.

"I wish I could go into further detail, but I get the feeling that we're being watched. Shifty was being tailed by aerial drones. I don't want to risk jeopardising the plan. I can only ask you to trust me."

Isaac nodded.

Isaac: I understand, and it wouldn't surprise me. Good luck, Jon.

"Thank you, Isaac. This may have not been the best of reunions but... I'm glad you're alive." He eyed Lucy waiting not too far away, "I'm glad to know that she's in safe hands now. I don't doubt Shifty's combat abilities, but that boy is heading into something way over his head." He turned to his friend, "You'll be leaving soon, yes?"

Another nod.

Isaac: Yeah, pretty soon. I wish there was something more I could do for you. We haven't exactly had the easiest of lives, you and I. I'll try and think of something, though. Stay safe, Jon, whatever you do.

With this handled, Isaac now turned back to his daughter, still saying her goodbyes. Suddenly, the rather ancient-looking ghoul turned to him after having shoved some caps back into Lucy's arms.

"As for you, Isaac Black, if we ever meet again, remind me to buy you a drink. I'm sure by that point we'll both have plenty of fucked-up shit to talk about."

The man let off a smile, then.

Isaac: I'll take you up on that, sure.

And now, it was officially a conga line of acquaintances, as William Knight handed over the keys to the bikes.

"You could do with faster transportation. Just be careful with the suspension, we've been overloading them for some time. Just be careful in general really. You two just found each other, it's important not to abandon something like that."

Isaac: I will, thanks.

And with that, they parted company. He and Lucy had some decent rides and a destination, which they would now be off to. As they mounted up to get going - the other party headed off to Dunwich - Isaac turned to his daughter now.

Isaac: So, what's all this Sylphy business about, anyway?

Fade to Black.

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Meanwhile, inside Megaton...

SPLORCH!!!

Those three look...ewww...

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So, at last the party bound for Dunwich was heading off. Moving at speeds of walking, they began to drum up a conversation regarding...well, had anybody actually been there? Oh sure, everyone had heard the stories. About the hauntings, the voices, the sheer amount of feral ghouls that go in and out of there every year... The more Evan heard about it, the more irritated he felt inside. That pink-haired girl, Natsuki, had forced them into this. Her reasoning had been to help the Blacks, but it looked as though they helped themselves out of the frying pan to head for home base. Evan would have gladly called that much 'Mischief Managed', but hearing how this girl had apparently tipped them all off to the dangers ahead AND that this was another trip financed by Morgan Bloom told him that this was serious business...and that Natsuki would have their heads if they backed out.

Evan: Somehow, I'm gonna get back at that girl. Somehow...

They were talking about ghouls, sandwiches, and masks about now. Arizona - the ghoul ON this trip, mentioned cutting it from raider or feral faces. Well, she wasn't wrong, but it WAS kinda' wrong...to do, that is. The mention of sea monsters didn't help either. Just what were they getting themselves into here?

Evan: Umm...so...let's say we actually use these masks to...blend in. What's our actual mission goal?

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Constance chuckled lightly at Miss Jenna's mention of a potential invasion of Megaton. There were no such plans in the works but one did never know with the Sylphys. Standing up, a Sylphy, the one that had managed to almost burn dinner, grabbed the Cat Eared American Enclave Scout of America's plate before scurrying off to the kitchen with it.

"Well I guess since we're talking about it, we should investigate the possibilities of something weird going on," Constance Sorrowfeld stated in a manner that said a blind girl with Cat Ears, a woman who wore a face mask that she could eat through and an army of self replicating clones was normal. Making sure she had her shotgun with her and that it was loaded.

"By the way... what are the chances that some sort of talking Deathclaw would exist?" Constance asked nonchalantly.

Jenna paused for a moment at the young girl's question, and reached up to rub her chin. Or at least, where her chin would have been.

"I'm not sure. And no one can really say one way or another when radiation-induced mutations are involved. It's possible, I suppose." she conceded, "Especially since a few of the trade caravans have told stories about intelligent, talking Deathclaws on the East Coast, but I have no idea if those have any real basis in fact."

She shrugged, and walked over to her AER9.6. With it in hand, she motioned for Constance to go ahead and sit back down.

"Still, I'll check it out with the outside guards. You probably have more important things to do, what with your army of Sylphy's." she told her, the holographic emitter projecting a cartoonish smile over her helmet.

With a friendly wave, she hefted her rifle and started to make her way outside without too much worry. After all, what were the chances of an intelligent, talking Deathclaw actually being real? Well, it was dark out there, even with the patrolling Sylphys around, but after a bit of wandering out there, she would happen to come across something moving in the dark, something with a bit of brush as its concealment. Didn't sound like the usual patrols, but...if it were a Deathclaw, it would be charging right now...right? Right?

The Followers Doctor hesitated for a moment when she noticed the sounds of something moving. She couldn't really tell what it was. She couldn't even tell how large it was, whatever it was. But given the area, something like a mole rat or a giant ant wouldn't have been unusual. Or a raider, for that matter. But, she thought as she leveled her AER9.6 in the direction of the noise, it was always better to be cautious.

"Hello? Is there someone there?" she called out.

There was a pause, and then she heard...

"Sylphy."

Wow, that one must've been REALLY butch, 'cause it sounded incredibly deep-voiced out there in the darkness! The end of her Laser Rifle lowered only slightly, and she tilted her head a little in confusion. That was, without a doubt, a horrible impression of one of the Sylphy's. After all, one of the small benefits of each one being a clone, identical to one another in every physical way, meant that it was hard to impersonate successfully. Especially if the impersonator sounded distinctively male.

"Care to run that by me again? It's pretty obvious you aren't one of the girls." she told the dark.

"Sylphy! Sylphy! Sylphy! Sylphy!"

The irony here was that while this was indeed not a Sylphy, but a gray-hide Deathclaw, he was correctly speaking Sylphese and - in fact - had gotten by several curious patrols using both this and a blue-haired wig. The problem lay in the fact that he was not addressing another of the Sylphys, who were - Let's face it. - not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

"Uh... I don't understand." Jenna said with an uncertain waver in her voice, "I'm sorry?"

"Syl-phy..."

This translated to "Good grief..." and Jenna could hear the facepalm from there. At that point, Jenna simply lowered her Laser Rifle and shook her head with an audible sigh. She still wasn't sure who she was talking to, but it was clear by now they were trying to communicate. Unfortunately...

"Look, if you would speak English, then I could understand you. I don't understand the Sylphys, especially since I only managed to arrive here today." she explained to the source of the voice.

"That is unfortunate."

NYAH! Okay, hello scary voice! Now that it stopped saying that silly word, proper english conversation was just a leetle bit intimidating, coming from whoever that was.

"Oh, good! You do speak English." she said with a soft, nervous giggle as she took a slow backward step, "Who are you, and what brings you here?"

The figure did not move from cover...yet.

"I am Malkos, and I am here to change the menu."

Oh shit. He could only mean one thing... Jenna froze. Change the menu? Since the menu for Constance and the Sylphy's happened to have been Deathclaw recently, that had to mean...

"Oh m-my." she breathed, not moving a single muscle.

This had to be an intelligent, talking Deathclaw, and chances were, she was dead where she stood. Unless she did something, she reminded herself as her mind raced to think of some kind of solution. Terror made thinking awfully hard, since any thought she had was interspersed with images of her suit being torn open, along with her person, by massive hardened claws.

Come on, Jenna, think! she urged herself. What do you know about Deathclaws? Deathclaw Eggs are the main ingredient of a hangover remedy called a Wasteland Oyster, along with gunpowder, pepper, and generic hot sauce--No, that doesn't help! What else? Deathclaws are known to be among the hardiest as well as one of the most dangerous wasteland creatures around, known for being extremely territorial and--That doesn't help right now either! What can kill a Deathclaw? A Gauss or Anti-Materiel Rifle at long range, multiple Miniguns, Gatling Lasers, or Plasma Casters, Missile Launchers or Grenade Machine Guns, or a Tesla Cannon.

None of which she had. What she did have, however, was a modified Laser Rifle, and her fists. She didn't even have the benefit of her Ripper, which was still with her doctors bag in the school. So, since fighting was sure to be fatal, that left the shaky possibility of diplomacy.

"I don't suppose we could talk this over, could we?" she asked when she finally trusted her voice to speak again.

There was a sudden swoosh of movement as a hulking sort of figure leapt up and landed heavily before her, all happening very quickly and allowing her to see the full extent of how BAD this might get. Judging by the development of the horns and the increased size, this was an Alpha Deathclaw... His pale glowing eyes were now but inches from her helmet, glaring at her.

"I understand Mole-Rat to be plentiful in this region."

She hadn't been expecting Malkos the Deathclaw to reveal himself so suddenly, or so closely, at that. The moment he thudded to the ground in front of her, she dropped her rifle and stumbled backwards with what was clearly meant to be a scream. What ended up coming out was a quiet squeak. At that point, she wasn't thinking so much as she was reacting with irrational terror. She scrabbled backwards on all fours with surprising speed with a whimper before crashing into the wall of the school.

"Gaaaah..." she grunted softly before passing out limply.

Malkos poked the suited one a couple times, then huffed in irritation. Great Grandpa Goris never had a day like this...that he mentioned. Well, nothing more he could do with this one, so inside he went and soon...Constance would find a Deathclaw going "Sylphy Sylphy!" at her, explaining in a Lassie-like manner that either timmy had fallen down the well or that the doc in the weird suit had passed out.

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Meanwhile, at the place of all falling escape pods, the Smith Casey's Garage, we have the highly-rhythmic and ghoulish Eddie The Dead, the almost similarly-named Enclave naked-man ED-209, the falls-from-the-heavens-wearing-women's-clothing Charlie Cannon, an unconscious girl, and...an Eyebot. Well, Number 6 had seen enough. The dark-haired man in the helmetless Enclave powersuit approached, plasma rifle on his back, and addressed the group.

Number 6: I know the naked man. He's a loose cannon from the Enclave. The Eyebot should be safe enough, since it's not Rover. The others...I do not know, but I will in a moment. Now then...

The ex-Enclave man fixed Eddie with a decided glare.

Number 6: Whose side are you on?

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The sniper master of the Fallout Sector settled into his new custom Enclave powersuit with the dark-blue glowing tracelines as he received two calls, both of them at once. The first one was that Metal Gear Box should be prepared to mobilize, Number One's orders. The second one was from the Brotherhood of Steel, Sara Lyons on the horn about FalloutScott, at last.

FalloutDavid: This is the Empire of Dave speaking.

Sara: We have your engineer. He's been more than a little problematic, but we finally caught him again. And his suit. Who knew that it could move on its own?

FalloutDavid: We did. Sooo...you come in at a good time. I have this cyborg that literally walked with me right up north to my base and got captured as a result. I have him pinned down with the BOX, but central says the MGB has a mission soon. So, we're proposing a trade-

Sara: Actually, I was thinking of using Scotty-boy here as leverage against you. You see, we heard about him killing Frank Rose. His family in the Outcasts aren't happy about that. He'll make a nice peace offering.

FalloutDavid: You're really getting the band back together? Excellent.

Sara: Wait, you want us to unite? What's your game?

FalloutDavid: Keep the wastes nice and organized to kill the China ghouls, of course. Haven't you heard? There's still a war on. I believe they know over in the West Coast. Sadly, most of the Brotherhood of Steel there was wiped out like we were. Well, I suppose NCR can keep them occupied.

Sara: So, you'd actually sacrifice your engineer, then?

FalloutDavid: War is hell, Miss Lyons. We'll be shipping Talion back to base, then.

Change happened. While Talion was fussing with his equipment, a squad of Enclave soldiers came over with five explosive collars in hand. Looks like they wanted to hook them onto all four of Talion's limbs AND around his neck. One of the soldiers spoke up to clear away any confusion.

#73: There's been a change of plans. We need to mobilize the BOX, so we're putting these collars on you to take you back to homebase. The vertibird's waiting, so put that stuff a way and get these on.

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Sara glared at the mic as David signed off, then turned away in frustration. What the hell was this? The Enclave wasn't trying to tear them apart to conquer the wastes, but keep them whole to fight a new enemy? Did they really think their position so strong? Well, they had that robot of theirs, but that couldn't be it. They actually just sacrificed FalloutScott, one of their best, for this. Why? No, nevermind. The Enclave has ALWAYS been inhuman... Sara Lyons set out orders to put Scott in a packing crate while they analyze his suit. Some answer may lie in there now.

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

Three Dog: Hello, children, and welcome to Three Dog's exclusive interview with the man from space! What'll we call you, space man? Space Ranger?

Absolute Zero: Agent Zero will do. I'm an experimental Cryo Soldier. They froze me and delivered me into space, to land on the moon and sleep within a specially-prepared base until post-war time when I was needed.

Three Dog: Any way you can verify this for our viewers?

Absolute Zero: It's funny you ask that, but I'm in possession of a large space laser which a rogue operation had been threatening your New California Republic with not too long ago. The robots running it are...on ice.

Location: Within 30 feet of a mostly intact Pre-War structure approximately 40 by 20 by 10 feet, Last Known Owner: Casey Smith. Internal Query: How do I know that?

That and a great deal of other data flooding through the newly re-awakened Eyebot's systems wasn't making a whole lot of sense to it. Including but not limited to, why she had no less than three names circling around her head, their mysteries locked to her: ED-E, EDNA, Vera... as well as her certainty that she would rather die than remove the ribbons in her antennae, and then there were the faces... so many faces... that seemed so important mission critical to her, despite all of them being logged into her archive... as in... no longer directly relevant to her.

That was another thing... why was she thinking of herself as a "her"? So much just didn't make sense to her, the swirling, roiling broth of confusing, jumbled images and concepts buzzed through her mind back and forth, making her want to scream out loud with every fiber of her being.

Instead, she had to settle for playing the sound of a dying death-claw den mother before storming off to a nearby hill to take in more of her surroundings and consider her next move. Whatever that might be... and for whatever reason... the little Eyebot couldn't say. Literally, *and* figuratively.

Megaton Gates
Chapter Change

With farewells said, the Blacks rode on into the distance, their figures slowly but surely being swallowed by the dawning sun. He never got to give Lucy a proper farewell, but that was for the best. They had spoken, and made their peace, and said what needed to be said. Far from me to sour a never-expected family reunion with the careless muttering of words, whatever they may have been. He had never been good at goodbyes. Ironic, if you consider all the goodbyes I've had to say over the years.

Jonathan, giving the warmest farewell smile he could muster, stared on, and as the distance grew longer, so did his smile regress into a contemplative, melancholic frown, a single thought prevalent in his mind.

What now?

He turned to stare at Megaton's gate and the walls surrounding it, their gargauntian size and shape a promise of safety, one of keeping all the cruelty and violence of the wastes at bay. And yet, they never expected the violence to come from the inside.He had spent but a night in Megaton. But as I stare at these gates it feels more like months. He tried to remember the events of the night, Many though they are. His arrival, the bomb, the... undressing... and the talk that followed. And the part where it all goes downhill. The bar brawl, I'll have to make sure to steer clear of that child from now on. the clinic, Moriarty and, finally, the pogrom. How quickly my presence makes people thirsting for blood. How many people lie dead now in there? How many fathers did I pluck from their families, how many new graves are being dug on my behalf? It was as he always thought, his mere presence attracted death, and all his attempts to make amends only made things worse. So why do I do this?

He buried his head in his hat and gritted his teeth. Once you've got a task to do, it's better to do it than live with the fear of it. Even if it's a monumental task, like the one he was about to partake in. Then again, when was the last time I wasn't fighting an uphill battle?

With a sigh, he turned to the group standing a few strides away. Thomas had an expression much like his. Though for different reasons, no doubt. "We should get ready to move aswell," he said to Kristin, as he approached them, "I'd wager we all have quite a few things to do, the sooner the better. Thomas," he reached out, and the two shook hands, "Safe travels. Of all the places I've been, Dunwich is not one I'd rather visit again, and I've been to a lot of places."

The Wild Wastelands | The Road to Dunwich
I want to take his face... off...
Thomas "Shifty" McGee | Sylphee

Despite the fact that it was quite possible that Thomas had just exchanged his last words with Lucy Black, he was feeling surprisingly determined to complete this mission and, perhaps, find his way to the Citadal. While it was unseasonably warm for this time of year (well it was always warm) the Tall and Well Dressed Man was able to keep pace with the rest of the group, even if he was still feeling the effects of multiple blows to the head. Looking up ahead of the group, he noticed that Sylphee had put a fair amount of distance between herself and that group, thanks to her use of skipping as her preferred method of travel.

"Sylphee! Don't wander off to far, okay?" The Concerned Surrogate Father called out to his not quite all there in the head pseudo-daughter.

"Okie dokie Daddy!" Sylphee responded, slowing her skipping down by a hair.

He thought briefly about Jonathan and their departure from the group. The two had shook hands and settled their differences. While it had not been the smoothest of introductions, it had worked itself out in the end. We felt guilty that he was thankful to be rid of Jonathan and Kristin. Thomas had enough dealings with the torturous Enclave Intelligence Specialist #411 to last a life time. That those two were on her watch list made the Friendly Former Undertaker less than thrilled to be in their presence, at least until they had gotten rid of the woman. Thomas' thoughts were interrupted by the gravelly voice of his traveling companion since Rivet City.

"It's a good thing you killed him when you had the chance, Shifty. I kind of wanted to kill him before from what Sylph told me about him, but now? I think I'd rather skin him alive first." Arizona said flatly before adding in an undertone, "Using a girl as bait for ferals... That's really fucking low..."

Was it actually a good thing that Henry had been killed? Thomas, wasn't quite sure considering the fact that despite the fact that his brother was a genuine bastard, he was still Thomas' brother. He supposed that the Undertaker's Union had its reasons for wanting Henry executed, but he doubted that it would have been because they were concerned about how nefarious his activities were. While there was still a tinge of guilt associated with the memory of killing his brother, he had to consider it a good thing that Henry had been liquidated, especially considering the revelation of what he'd put Sylphee through.

"I couldn't agree more. Though there are times where I feel like hanging her over a pit of hungry Mirelurks, even Walt could never forgive my brother for using Sylphee as bait for the Mad Ancient Ones." The Former Undertaker stated, surprised at the amount of anger that he did feel over Henry's use of Sylphee as a canary in a mine shaft. "Had I known this, I think that I more than likely would have buried him without benefit of Death. Of all the methods of dying, its the one thing that my brother feared the most. Ironically, it was also his chosen method of dispatching his targets. He would often give his victims a tool which could be used to break open the casket's lid. He would wait atop their grave, however, and would wait for the inevitable shifting of dirt. You see, once you compromise the integrity of a casket, the dirt starts flowing into empty cavity left by the burial vessel. His victims would suffocate to death in whether of not they broke free of their confines or not. He would often tell me that he loved it most when his targets reached the surface. He would stand there, watching for the relief to disappear from their eyes when they saw him waiting for them. He would them shoot them once in the head and leave it exposed to the elements."

The normally talkative Thomas stopped talking for a moment, wanting to change the topic of conversation. He thought about the plan to create masks out of the faces of Mad Ancient Ones.

"You know Arizona, if you need help creating these Ghoul Masks, I could always be of assistance. I do have experience with this in a way," Thomas stated as he warmed up to tell his traveling companion a story, "On my way here, I came across a Sheriff who was trying to infiltrate a gang of Raiders. These Raiders had gotten their hands on some old nuclear warheads and were threatening to detonate them in a highly populated area. Despite having knowledge of this plan, the Sheriff had no idea what the target location was. So he approached me with a rather... novel... idea. He had captured the ringleader of this Raider gang and requested that I remove the man's face and surgically graft it onto his face. Being the only one in a one hundred mile radius that knew as much about human anatomy as I did, I agreed to perform the facial transplant. I was... partially successful in completing the procedure. While I was able to remove his facial skin and that of the other patient's, I was not able to keep the both of them alive. In hindsight, this is probably why I was an Undertaker and not a surgeon. I did, however, learn quite a bit about the anatomy of the human face."

As the group trudge down the road away from Megaton, Thomas "Shifty" McGee pulled out a map he'd purchased from his pack and started looking over the crudely drawn example of cartographical sciences. If there was any singular word that could be used to describe this map, it would have been sad as its edges were in tatters and someone had obviously found an alternative use for the chart based on the prominent brown stain that covered the area of the Citadel. Despite these issues, the Friendly Former Undertaker of the DC Wastes was able to plot three different courses that would have taken them to the Dunwich Building.

Of the three paths that lead to the Dunwich Building and each of these paths had their own inherent dangers. If they took the Northern Route, it would take them through a region that was peppered with Raider groups, thanks to their proximity to Evergreen Mills, as well as Talon Company Patrols, thanks to their proximity to Fort Bannister. Not only that, they would then make a stop near Girdershade and pass through Yao Gaui central, aka F. Scott Key Trail and Campground.

A more central route would take them past the Ruins of Fairfax with its own horde of hostile Raider residents as well as Fort Independence, an apparent Brotherhood of Steel stronghold based on the intricately drawn hairy and silver phallus that was placed over the location. After these two locations, the group would then walk past the RobCo Facility to Tenpenny Towers. They would then have to traverse the Warrington Trainyard before reaching their destination. Thomas had an inkling that Arizona would want to stop at Tenpenny Towers in order to see the sights (and possibly take them if the opportunity presented itself).

The third and more southern route appeared to be safer. The group would have to hike through some rough terrain before making a stop in Andale for the night. The next morning, the group would then pass through the Overlook Drive-In and then Tenpenny Towers, where again, they would more than likely be taking in the sights.

Folding up the map, Thomas called out to the group and explained the three different paths that they could take in order to get to the Dunwich building before making his proposition.

"I doubt that we want to draw any more attention than we already will from the new inhabitants of the Dunwich Complex. So I think that the safest route would be the southern route through Andale." Shifty said as he folded up the map carefully as not to touch the brown stained corner.


The Wild Wastelands | Springvale Elementary School
You're not the Sylphy I was expecting...
Constance Sorrowfeld

When hearing the same voice day in and day out like Constance Sorrowfeld had, something as simple a stranger's voice sticks out like a sore thumb, especially for someone who had the hearing capacity of the American Enclave Scout of America. It was especially true when the stranger's voice was an octave or two below that of Mister Enclave Heavy Weapons Specialist #209's voice. Perhaps it had been this voice, too far out of range for her to hear what was being said but close enough for her subconscious to register, that had made the hair on the back of the Blind Scout's neck stand up on end. Then the voice finally did come into range of Constance's finely tuned ears, it was almost as if someone had hit her with the brown note.

"Sylphy Sylphy!" The voice said, triggering all sorts of alarms in the young girl's brain. The first was that the voice was imitating one of the Sylphys by simply saying "Sylphy Sylphy" without any attempt to change the pitch of his voice. The second was that he was close enough to Constance's position for her to hear him, whomever he was. The third was the fact that simply saying "Sylphy Sylphy" was all it took to bypass Sylphy Security.

Picking up her Pump Action Shotgun, the young Cat Eared Scout loaded the Swiss Army Knife of Firearms with a couple of Incendiary Rounds as well as a couple of solid slugs. Pumping the weapon, the Shotgun Wielding Neko-Scout loaded a bean bag round to be safe. Without knowing what she was going to be walking into, it was worth it to be able to bring in an additional force of Sylphys if needed.

Motioning to a couple of her subordinate Sylphys, Constance exited the school building and started following the sounds of the false Sylphy's voice. As she closed in on the source, the American Enclave Scout of America could make out another voice, this one not so strange as she'd already made Miss Jenna her acquaintance.

"I don't suppose we could talk this over, could we?" Constance heard Jenna's voice say in a very wary and very scared voice.
"I understand Mole-Rat to be plentiful in this region." Said the voice that had previously been imitating a Sylphy.

There was a big of a commotion before Jenna's voice could be heard squeaking, causing the Cat Eared Queen of the Sylphys to make her move. Charging out in the open the words "Freeze" and "Don't touch my friend (inappropriately)!" were on the tip of her tongue. Instead a word that would have cost Constance a weeks worth of dish duty slipped out when she spotted not a human imitating a Sylphy but a giant Deathclaw.

"FRR....UUUUUUCKING HELL!" Constance cursed... kinda. Out in the open, with a Deathclaw staring at her, the young girl's first instinct was to leave Jenna there and run. Her second instinct was to shoot at the Deathclaw, piss it off and get eviscerated by said pissed off Deathclaw. Her final instinct was to utter a singular phrase that all Deathclaws probably hear at least twice a day.

"Don't eat me." Constance muttered as her knees started feeling rather weak... "I... I... I... nyaaaaaah."

*THUD*

And that was two humans passed out in front of Malkos.

"Sylphy Sylphy?" A Sylphy asked Malkos eying both Jenna and Constance before attempting to drag them back to the school. Pausing the Sylphy turned back to Malkos and addressed him in a manner that made him think of ice cream with sugar on top... or whatever the Deathclaw equivalent to that was, "Sylphy Sylphy Sylphy! Sylphy!"

BlamCo: Retrospection & Revelations -- Work In Progress
"The foundation, development and secrets of an overlooked empire."

Before the Great War, roughly two centuries encroaching on three, the BlamCo corporation had found itself a niche in the mainstream food industry. Best known for their specific brand of "Mac & Cheese" and relentless attempts to push the boundaries of innovation, they were met with devastating losses only exceeded by their absurd leaps of success. Still, BlamCo was not content to sit on their laurels and ride the initial wave of success with their nutritious dairy based meals.

Simple Macaroni & Cheese felt like lightning in a bottle, so BlamCo attempted to smash the bottle and seize the lightning with their bare hands.

And they did.

The corporation-turned-conglomerate rose to popularity with their cube-based food technology. The design process was simple: Take Instant Noodles and simplify the process. Aiming for a meal that could be prepared in 20 seconds, the yellow cubes were no larger than the palm of one's hand and experienced an extremely rapid cellular growth when exposed to water being boiled at average oven/microwave temperatures. Early prototypes achieved a 15-second preparation time, with the downsides of a 3 minute shelf life and an appalling flavorless texture. Inadvertently, early prototypes saw brief use in deep cover military operations where spies would swallow the cube whole only for it to rapidly expand and rupture the digestive tract -- a poor man's cyanide.

Millions of dollars of research later, the technology was perfected. With a preparation time of 10 seconds, the American Food and Drug Administration even considered BlamCo's Mac & Cheese as a positive health based product alongside the likes of raw fruits & vegetables. With an array of flavors to customise your meal and a 150-year boxed expiration date -- the BlamCo Conglomerate had caught the eye of another Industry Titan: Vault-Tec.

The idea of self-contained underground Vaults, in the advent of possible atomic annihilation, that could shelter humanities best & brightest was considered to be America's sigh of relief -- especially with regards to the political instability between America and China. So why would Vault-Tec approach BlamCo? Simple. Exclusive production rights and stocking of the Vaults with BlamCo products in exchange for resources, financial aid and protection of the Blamco Bloodline.

It was a match made in heaven. Two industry giants joining forces for the betterment of mankind. It seemed too good to be true...

---

Very few records exist of what exactly had transpired during the decades spent in the Vault-whose-number-goes-unknown. As we all know, the Vaults were social experiments under the guise of protection in the advent of nuclear destruction. In BlamCo's case, their Vault was brimming with weaponry and Vault-Tec was interested in the psychological influence that a confined space, implements of war and the hypothesised bloodshed that would ensue in the resulting power-struggle from a haughty family of great affluence.

Not only did the BlamCo lineage surprise Vault-Tec, they exceeded their survival expectations.

For the first time, contact with the Vault was established and this branch of Vault-Tec had revealed itself to be that of the Enclave, the same group that assisted BlamCo with the Vault Food Project. The opening of the Vault was followed by one condition:

"Will you join us in the restoration of our great country?"

The BlamCo family and their descendents agreed. Implicitly.

Upon exiting the Vault and laying their eyes on a ruined world, the BlamCo Clan did not despair as one might think, instead they returned to the Vault and exited once more with everyone armed to the teeth and stocked with enough food and drink to survive a nuclear winter.

Vault-Tec no longer perceived the BlamCo bloodline as guinea pigs for a failed social experiment. No, they saw allies for their cause.

---

The harsh Wasteland had given birth to the signature warrior mentality and glorification of triumph that permeated the BlamCo family's generations of values and teachings. With their roots in Christianity being molded by the tales of Norse Mythology, an anachronistic belief and lifestyle followed. Females of each generation romanticised the imagery and legends of Valkyries & Vikings, blending their influence to give birth to "BlamCoism" and their spiritual fervor that colored their perception of the world. A Monarchy system, in name only, was established and the titles of Kings, Queens, Princes & Princesses were worn as titles of honor, not to mention an even greater reputation that followed.

---

The BlamCo Vault was placed in the East Coast. Unfamiliar with their terrain, they travelled to the West Coast in order to return home. The boxes of BlamCo's earlier products strewn across the Capital Wasteland was evidence of their exploration attempts, yet very few attempts were made to establish a Food Production presence on the East Coast without their resources or a base of operations. Strangely, no further contact was made by Vault-Tec -- or the Enclave, to be exact.

Returning to the West Coast, the new breed of warriors sought to the teachings of their elders, desperate to renew the former glory of the BlamCo empire under a new rule. With aid from the Follower's of The Apocalypse, the BlamCo generation of that time started the business from scratch -- integrating the luxuries of old values with the new methods that a survivalist lifestyle had taught them. The BlamCo Lineage found their footing in "New Vegas" once more, catapulting themselves on the hope that followed the subtle power of brand recognition.

Resolute in the face of danger, angry yet fiercely determined, curious to a fault and dedicated to the restoration of their great country.

"One meal at a time! We will fill their tum-tums with food and hearts with hope! FIRE THE CANNONS!!!"

- K.BlamCo, date unknown.

---

Not all information was shared, or more likely it was forgotten. The BlamCo's were reported to be found in various skirmishes with the Brotherhood and remnants of the West Coast Enclave. The Vault and subsequent rise to fame back in the day was provided by the East Coast Enclave.

So really, I was --- Kristin BlamCo, Princess, Heiress and "Valkyrie" to the BlamCo Conglomerate was *not* working with an "enemy" at a pivotal point in her life. Her actions lead to the subsequent return of BlamCo's titan levels of fame/infamy.

Actually, unknown to Kristin and her fellow sisters, she was helping out some old friends. Friends that protected her ancestors from nuclear annihilation. Trace it back far enough and remove some of the more needlessly complicated elements, you'll find that the BlamCo Conglomerate was a happily supportive affiliate of The Enclave.

How Kristin BlamCo eventually came to discover the truth...well, that was another story entirely.

---
End of excerpt

- Reigning Queen of Dairy
K.BlamCo




Kristin BlamCo || Megaton Gates
"I want...an army"

While the masses were distracted, Kristin was a little miffed that she had nobody to talk to, and she proceeded to prepare some snacks and light meals for Jonathan and herself in a somewhat passive-aggressive manner. Making occasional quips at the Mini-Microwave while it whirred and hummed, Kristin whirred and hummed in approval, clearly they had a bond that would make anyone else envious. "HUMPH!", humphed the Princess, who was actually acting like a spoiled little Princess, instead of the Unbreakable Golem of Destruction that she wished to be acknowledged as.

Echoing her previous sentiment, what would a rational person do after such a major conflict?! Clean their wounds, wash themselves off and celebrate over a hearty meal and a mug of mead! She had seen to the first 3 steps when her Mini-Micro chimed in, signalling the preparation of brahmin wraps stuffed with cheese, corn and green beans. Packaging it in little lunchboxes, Kristin withdrew a bottle of ale, smashed the bottleneck on her sword and proceeded to down the sweet ale in celebration of today's victory.

It would take a tremendous amount to get Kristin drunk, so one will be sorely disappointed if they expected to see some drunken antics from just a mere bottle of ale. Perhaps she'll challenge the Pugilist to a drinking contest at the next town that they find themselves in. A standard beer was what? A mere 200 caps? Pocket change. Why if she were home right now, she would request the construction of a BlamCo Brewery. Hmm, that was definitely an idea she going to hold onto. Mmmm, mead-maidens. She could see them now.

"We should get ready to move as well...", the Pugilist spoke to her without looking, moving past her over to the tall man from earlier.

Hmm, something was bugging her. Something from her previous exchange with him, when she had greeted him after the battle -- something was off. His enthusiasm did not match hers, let alone exist. At this point, Kristin's stare was a boring a hole into the back of Jonathan's skull, before taking a step to the side of him and she watched the very fake grin wash off his face. Her face scrunched up in concern with a spot of doubt.

"Jonathan.", the Heiress was using his first name, oh dear. She handed him a lunchbox with the brahmin wrap, along with a bottle of purified water, of which she was taking a hearty swig from one of her own. Thirstier than she expected. "Here. Eat up. It is unclear whether we will be getting a quiet moment again anytime soon."

"I've been thinking about our immediate prospects.", such a formal tone, well, unnecessarily formal given the context, "We can venture out and rally allies to our cause.", dull, unenthusiastic, a flat statement, "Or we ask if I can begin the combat training, evaluate their strengths and weaknesses, put in a request for armor or specific weapons, behavioral discipline, modify the dietary intake for the clones --- that sort of thing. Plus I have a plan for them. You can travel without my interference, if that eases things along for you. And we can meet up at a later point?"

Jonathan was the first person she would consider a friend since arriving on the East Coast. She was homesick in all honesty. Making this more complicate than it needed to be.

And by drawing on the BlamCo Valkyrie training regimen devised by her sister, Keira, she had an affinity for spotting a weakness in a pairing -- although this was not directly combat-related, it frustrated and slightly worried the Princess From Afar.
Perhaps a break would be good for them? Although she had difficulty telling what Jonathan was ever thinking, a stark contrast to the open communication with her sisters or -- Dairy forbid, a fight to the death with her Crimson Rival.

Megaton Gates
Another Brick in the Wall

Jonathan accepted the lunchbox with anything but enthusiasm. Truth of the matter was he wasn't hungry, but declining the food would likely be perceived as a slight. Especially considering her tone and demeanour. We wouldn't want the Princess to sweat over small stuff, now, would we? For what it was worth, the meal was enjoyable enough that eating didn't feel too much like a slog.

"I've been thinking about our immediate prospects." said the Princess, and Jonathan stopped in his tracks, felt his stomach tighten As though if I swallow any more I'd end up vomitting it all out.

"We can venture out and rally allies to our cause." It was evidently clear that she wasn't quite fond of the thought. The Princess finds the prospect of talking with her mouth rather than her sword a most uninspiring of endeavours. And what is her counter-proposal?

"Or we ask if I can begin the combat training, evaluate their strengths and weaknesses, put in a request for armor or specific weapons, behavioral discipline, modify the dietary intake for the clones --- that sort of thing. Plus I have a plan for them. You can travel without my interference, if that eases things along for you. And we can meet up at a later point?"

For the briefest of moments, Jonathan lost his cold composure, and stared at her, wide-eyed. So, that's how it is. Quickly regaining it, he stared at her, contemplatively Never mind the fact that was exactly what Charlotte wanted to begin with. Or the fact that I am supposed to requisition the very weapons the Princess may want. Or not knowing how the clones will even react to her training. Does she even know what she's doing? Do I?

"I cannot say that I find it the most sound of courses, given what we know," he finally said, diplomatically, "But we're getting ahead of ourselves. We are supposed to meet a contact in Springvale. We can discuss this after we learn more from them."

He turned away from her, eyes fixed on the road ahead. "If that's how you feel about the matter, I am not one to stop you."

"After all, if you've a task to do, it's better to do it than live in fear of it." And took the first step.

"I doubt that we want to draw any more attention than we already will from the new inhabitants of the Dunwich Complex. So I think that the safest route would be the southern route through Andale." Said Shifty, folding his map up after laying out their options.

"Yeah, that's a good idea. It might take us a little longer but I'd rather make it there in one piece." William had absolutely no worries about raiders or Talon Company, particularly in their large group, but would prefer a relatively quiet journey. "I mean, we'll have to find some ghouls at some point so we can... wear their faces... but we should be fine up until that point. Andale isn't still full of cannibals is it? I heard it was a cannibal town." He continued, thinking out loud.

"Cannibals? Ya better be sure they ain't still around that place. I don't want us wakin' up on some creeps plate." Chipped in Dudley. He'd never been to Tenpenny Tower, and was looking forward to the opportunity. He wasn't looking forward to the ghoul masks though, for a man who projectile vomits when he hears to word "processing" Dudley wasn't likely to react well to wearing a mask of stitched up ghoul face.

"To be honest Duds I don't think we'd be waking up at all, if that's any comfort." Responded William, swiftly realising it was likely to have the opposite effect. Indeed Dudley went rather pale and quiet as he thought about it.

"The southern route would also provide us with the shade and cover of cliffs if we required it. Should we encounter a Vertibird flying overhead it would be bound to spot a group as large as ours on the open wasteland. But that southern route would give us plenty of shelter and we'd see the Vertibird from a mile away." Added Evan, trying to get the group's minds back on their journey.

"I suppose you could say it's all going a bit south..." Joked William as their group set off on the road to Andale, it was a rubbish joke that brought a collective groan from the group. Some may have though he'd jinxed the journey now, but William was sure people didn't really jinx things like they used to before. He'd heard years ago some people had the almost supernatural power to turn themselves and everything around them into a walking disaster zone.

One story he was almost certain had been exaggerated was about Calamity Jack, wasteland gunslinger. Who'd once walked into a bar full of people trying to kill him, only to have all their guns jam. Jack had then gone for his gun only to have that jam too. Calamity Jack was beaten to death in the ensuing brawl but the man who threw the final punch broke his hand and died two weeks later of an infection. Now there was a man who knew how to jinx things.

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