The REALLY Wild Wasteland. (The Fallout RP!)

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Kristin BlamCo: Lost -- A retrospective:

"Another tale of the past"

The remains of a crumpled Vertibird was scattered across the Wasteland, the terrible sound of the aircraft's blades scraped against the ground, etching scars into the dirt and sending screams of howling metal for all those near enough to hear. As fate would have it, nobody was around to recount the tale of what had just occurred, only Kristin BlamCo -- currently waist-deep in a Super Mutant Behemoth's chest cavity -- coughed and nearly choked on blood that did not belong to her. Something solid was pushing into her sternum, recognising it as the hilt of her sword, Kristin hoisted herself up from the the sickly innards of the dead Behemoth, only to tumble to the ground. With a hand still firmly gripping her sword, both person and weapon were sent sprawling to the dusty ground, the smell of smoke wafted through the air -- only masked by the stench of a nearby dead mutant.

What felt like an hour had actually turned into two, since Kristin had lost consciousness while she waited for the stimpack to knit together a few of her more superficial wounds. Opening her eyes, a clear blue sky welcomed her, while the waft coming from a street-side vendor filled the air with the smell of cooked meat. Scrambling to her feet, the Confused Princess looked upon the distant buildings that dotted the horizon, the paved road beneath her feet was cracked and warm. A cold hand touched her shoulder, "Hey Smoothsk -- Hey!", the old woman pointed, "Hey, everybody! It's that BlamCo Believer!". A roar of laughter exploded from the crowd. A crowd? Yes, a crowd of people had seemingly popped into existence, having gone unnoticed by Kristin.

Kristin looked on in confusion, her head was pounding and her armor was hanging loosely off of her body. Feeling frail, she tugged at her chest piece to ease her breathing, what her hand touched was bone. In horror, Kristin looked down at her own body -- skin mottled and sickly white, bone exposed beneath the incomplete loose-fitting armor, her blade was a charred black and her breathing was raspy.
Scrambling for a reflective surface, a nearby window exposed the horrors of what had befallen the Heiress. Beneath the wispy golden hair, was a skeletal face, peering back with jaw open in horror as she realised what she had become. A Ghoul.

"Give it up, Relic.", the old ghoul chided, "BlamCo is long gone. Best put your eggs in another basket."

---

"Valkyrie! Answer me!!"

A voice exploded into her earpiece, waking up the wounded Heiress. Kristin looked around for the crowd, yet none was to be found.

"I am not a mere relic!"

"Huh? What are you -- Kristin! Are.You.Okay!?"

"Where am I?"

"That's what I would like to know. Describe your surroundings."

"Mountains. Dead Behemoth -- bigger than usual. Vertibird crash."

"Y-you killed it? You got the bastard?! -- ", swearing and what sounded like someone choking back tears echoed through the earpiece, "Okay okay okay. We just thought -- "

"How long have I been here?"

"12 hours. We were -- oh shit -- have you eaten anything today?"

A seemingly innocuous question, if not unexpected. "Stay.where.you.are."

"I'll do that. I'm not feeling like myself, Bianca."

---

"Bianca?"

" --- It's Sable. Just stay where you are, okay?"

The headset clicked off. Kristin collapsed to one knee, bracing herself on the hilt of her sword while it was plunged into the ground point first. She had killed the Swan-Killer. It had been a two week-long hunt, each remaining member of the BlamCo Sisterhood had taken up arms to slay the beast that had attacked the New Vegas wall. Unfortunately, a younger sister, Bianca -- a sniper -- had not survived the odd Behemoth's subterranean attack. An oddity among oddities, this Behemoth had learned to burrow under ground with terrifying ease -- it's skin hardened, scarred and knit together to form a unique armor after years of abuse from the harsh terrain had made this a formidable opponent. Kristin BlamCo decided to requisition a recovered Brotherhood Vertibird, set it to auto-pilot and prepared to attack the Behemoth from the sky. She got her wish, although the Behemoth wanted to bring her down to his level as well. A well-placed thrown boulder had marked the end of the Vertibird's flight, apparently the noise was irritating the Behemoth, and Kristin dove head first, sword pointed towards her opponent and descended to meet her opponent at a frightening speed. Unknown the Kristin, her sword being a bladed version of the Super Sledge, had displaced most of the impact with the kinetic device, punching through the skull, ribs and finally burying the grief-stricken sister into the torso of the monster.

Being air-dropped into victory, Kristin's recklessness had nearly cost her her life. Even more so, her sanity -- induced by the lack of Dairy intake -- was taking a formidable toll on her. Kristin could not savor this victory, she begged for the voice in her ear to snap her back to the reality she had known -- but her pride wished not to reveal this weakness to her sisters. Instead, Kristin's view of her surroundings quite literally changed as time had passed.

A desert had become a scorched wasteland. Surrounded by ghouls who paid her no heed, the mottled hand on her sword told her that she was one of them. The scorched wasteland shifted to a bustling pre-war city, her appearance seemed anachronistic, although everyone had shunned her -- their words spoke of betrayal and association with the enemy. Conspiracy theories filled her ears, radiation poisoning caused her stomach to churn, the sensation of her armor being charred mixed and matched in a matter of moments.

Distant shouts could be heard, although she could not discern what reality she had belonged to.
Her only memory after that was waking up in a decontamination room. BlamCo-issue.

...but she was home.
She had avenged her sister, but at what cost?




Kristin BlamCo || Megaton

"Onwards to Springvale"

"I cannot say that I find it the most sound of courses, given what we know," Jonathan 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."

"Right.", She could blush. But SHE was a Dairy Princess, not some giggling schoolgirl. Nevertheless, she had honestly forgotten that they had to meet someone. Kristin was more preoccupied with getting to work than following the steps in order to get there. She stood there with a look of silly determination, as if she wanted to prove herself even more.

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."

"Don't get me wrong, Pugilist.", Kristin started lightly, regretting her words from earlier, "I am concerned about our partnership. But not for the reasons you might think. We have a tremendous task on our hands! And I am eager to put your mind and my blade in the correct places. I have no wish to be associated with the Organisation of Helmeted Shame for longer than I have to. -- I just want us to walk into this with her heads screwed on right and our backs available if either of us need the support.", she chirped cheerfully.

"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.

"Speaking of which.", Kristin quickened her pace to match Jonathan's, "My sword. I would like you to take a look at it. You worked with weapons, yes? I don't want her to be damaged." It was big deal for a Valkyrie to offer her weapon to an outsider. Then again, classical poems of the Valkyries had depicted mighty Choosers of the Slain to attempt to form a strong bond with men of perceived renown. "And what of your friend? Miss Black and her Father, you haven't said a worse since...I thought you would be quite cheerful after meeting a man back from the Moon. -- It's where the mightiest go when they die.", adding that last part, Kristin looked as if she had said something profound and wise-beyond-her-years. She looked particularly pleased with herself. "Remind me, who are we meeting -- and why -- again?"

Steel armor clunked onto a cracked road. This had signalled Kristin's first step back into Springvale.

The Wild Wastelands | The Road to Andale
It's the time of Year Again
Thomas "Shifty" McGee | Sylphee

It seemed like only a few days ago that Sylphee had gotten her more favoritest Deathclaw Plushie backpack from Santa Kirk but it seemed that they'd been stuck in Megatown for the better part of 11 months or so without really knowing it because it was that time of year again. Which time of year? No, not the time of year where Sylphee had to leave spring onions in her shoesies to keep the Globulin King from stealing her and make her run the Maze. No, it was definitely not that time of year where Sylphee had to travel up into the stars and help the Scar League again the Sho-Dan Empire. It was one of the big ones... it was...

"CHRISTMAS TIME!" Sylphee yelled loudly as she pointed to an object in the sky. What was it? Was it a Jolly Old Man riding in a sleight drawn by 8 robotic reindeer? Was it the promise of gifts for all the Good Wasteland Boys and Girls who were going to be tucked in the beds dreaming of Sugared Molerat Suprise and Deathclaw Fritters? Was it the...

PEW!! Went Mister Phaser as Sylphee shot the first perfect snowflake of the season out of the sky.

What it had been was the first snow of the year, a sign for the Crimson Catastrophe, who didn't use a colander to keep track of what day it was, that Winter was here and with it Christmas. What it was now was a bunch of highly energetic water molecules that had gone from a solid state to a gaseous state in less than a nanosecond. It was probably a good thing that Meltdown didn't work on snowflakes because more started falling. It was going to be one of those rare white Christmas'. The kind that Ghouls and Cryogenerically Frozen Vault Dwellers spoke of in hushed tones over the jet wash blaze of a downed Whirlybird.

The question remained, had Sylphee been good enough to get a present from Mister Kanta Smirk this year? If she hadn't she still had time to make it so. What was Daddy and Missy Arizona Not Old One Not Leather Faced Lady Not Ghoul Whore With The Gun looking for? Faces? Sylphee could help find faces.

Looking behind her, Sylphee could see that Daddy and his friends, Missy Arizona Not Old One Not Leather Faced Lady Not Ghoul Whore With The Gun, Mister Willy Billy Nighty Night, Mister Scooby Dooby and Mister Raven were talking and groaning. Using the opportunity presented, Sylphee increased her skipping speed and kept her eyes open for faces that Daddy could use. Was that one?

While it was Unfortunate for Daddy and Co that it was not the right kind of Face that Daddy needed, it was fortunate for Mister Molerat that it didn't have a face that Daddy needed. Dropping Mister Molerat on the ground, Sylphee watched as he checked himself a couple of times, unsure as to whether to bite the little crimson menace in the face or run off. Ultimately it ran off, leaving Sylphee skipping down the road looking for something else with a face.

"This?" Sylphee asked.
"No, that's a Mirelurk." Daddy said
"Oh." Sylphee responded before tossing Mister Myra-Lurk back into the water

"This?" Sylphee asked.
"No. I don't even know what the is." Daddy responded.
"Oh." Sylphee said as she tossed the 8 leggy legged crab thingy with a tail that looked like it wanted to do the humpty hump on someone's face back in the water.

Would Sylphee ever find the face she was looking for?!


The Wild Wastelands | The Enclave Vault | Intelligence Division
Santa's Bounty
Enclave Intelligence Officer #411

The Intelligence Division that worked under Enclave Intelligence Officer #411 was a flurry of activity. Researching additional information on Jonathan McKenna and Kristin Blamco, finding more of Thomas "Shifty" McGee's weaknesses, tracking Lucy Black and the freshly back from the dead Isaac Black was part of the usual activity. The unusual activity that was other stuff that was happening. For some reason, 95% of the division was dedicated to making a list that consisted of the children that lived in the D.C. Wastelands. The list was then split into two columns, one for Nice Children and one for Naughty Children.

When one considered the fact that Constance Sorrowfeld had been neglected by Santa Kirk the previous Christmas and added in the fact that Charlotte Sorrowfeld was her mother, things started to make sense. The division was plotting the most likely flight path that Santa Kirk was going to take. Place a few Anti-Aircraft Batteries in said flight path and the Intelligence Officer and Full Time Bitch would have her revenge for last year's embarrassment.

"Setup a Plasma Missile Battery in Chevy Chase Plaza." #411 ordered an Enclave Ordinance Specialist as she poured over more and more data that had been flowing in.

"Bullshit. This McCreedy kid is not on the Nice list." The Intelligence Officer muttered as she reviewed the data that had come from the Enclave's Assets within Little Lamplight. Yes... there were assets in Little Lamplight. Looking over a map of the locations of the children on the Nice list, #411 considered eliminating children from certain areas in the Wastelands, causing Santa Kirk's flightpath to be more predictable, "Maybe if we eliminate the kids in Rivet City..."

"Ma'am" One of the Intelligence Sub-specialists called out as he rushed over to where #411 stood, his voice was nervous as he carried a report of information that had been compiled on Kristin Blamco.

"What?" #411's response wasn't made simply because she was a bitch but rather because it was more efficient than being polite.

"I've got an updated report on the Blamco Family. The Information Technologies Division just gave us permission to access the files." The explanation was wasteful, especially since #411 had already gotten word that she'd been given permission to view the requested files. She had even filled out the paperwork.

"And?"

"Well... it appears that the Blamco Family have been allies of the Enclave for some time. Well... since before the war. Th... they provided some of the weapons technology that is the basis for Plasma Weaponry. Kristin Blamco is the heiress of the family...." The Sub-Specialist paused for a moment as he waited for some sort of reaction, hopefully not the reaction that had allowed him to be promoted to this position after she made it available.

Underneath the helmet she wore, Charlotte had grown pale. If word got out that she'd thoroughly offended one of the Enclave's few allies, she'd be a laughing stock right before she was executed for negligence. Well it wasn't that bad but some of the people that disliked her would not shed a tear over this blunder. In fact, they'd probably make a smarmy remark over lunch and charlotte would have thoroughly deserved this.

"Yes. I'm fine." The Intelligence Officer muttered as she plotted, schemed and thought of ways she could make this better, "Send an Eye-Bot to the location of Kristin Blamco and Jonathan McKenna. I have a message for her."

There was a smile in her voice as she said this. She would ingratiate herself to the Fierce yet Naive Valkyrie and at the same time drive a wedge between the two partners. How would McKenna react when he found out that Kristin and her family had been to chummy with the Enclave?

"Good work." The Intelligence Officer said as she turned back to the job of tracking down Santa Kirk, "Now then... how does that bastard's flightpath change if we nuke Little Lamplight? Did you let the Assets know about the reward on Santa Kirk's head?"


The Wild Wastelands | Springvale
Retainer for Services Rendered
Constance Sorrowfeld | Sylphys

The Blind American Enclave Scout of America could feel herself being dragged across rough terrain. While it would have been easy to imagine that there were a number of raiders responsible for this action and that once they dragged her back to whatever dark corner they'd crawled out of, Constance would never again feel the sun on her skin. However there was a comforting jabbering that could only come from the mouths of the half dozen Sylphys dragging both Constance and Jenna back to the school. Though the young blind girl had her eyes closed, that didn't mean that she couldn't sense what was going on around her. A slowly repeating low frequency sound wave could be felt traveling through the ground and up the young girl's shoulders.

"(Footsteps?)" Constance thought to herself as she willed her ears to turn back to the source of the footsteps. Her blood turned to ice at the sight of the rather large deathclaw following the group of Six Sylphys. This was temporary however as the fact that she was being dragged slowly behind the Sylphys and not mincemeat set in. One of the Sylphys turned to the giant Mutant Lizard.

"Sylphy Sylphy Sylphy Syphy!" The Sylphy said. Whether the Deathclaw Male understood that the Sylphy had asked if he wanted to have snack when they got back to the school was beyond Constance's limited knowledge of the situation. The answer would have probably been no considering the kind of meat that they'd been harvesting as of late.

The sound of boots crunching gravel caught Constance's attention, her ears swivelled to see whom else had arrived on the scene. Judging by the Giant Sword that was strapped to the woman's body, nothing good.

"Hi there!" Constance called out waving as her Sylphys continued to drag her behind them, "Don't mind us!"

There was a reason behind this rather corny "welcome to the neighborhood" gesture. If the man who looked like a rabid bum and the over endowed Amazon happened to get their panties in a bunch over the Deathclaw that hadn't killed Constance or Jenna, chances are that Constance and Jenna would be killed in the cross fire. Of course something about their composure and look reminded Constance that she was supposed to be waiting for assistance.

"Wait... Stop..." The Blind Young Cat-Eared Scout called to her procession. Picking herself off the ground, she walked over to the two that she would know as Jonathan and Kristin, "Are you the two I've been waiting for? Of course you are. I'm Constance, pleasure to make your acquaintance. Don't mind the Deathclaw behind me, he hasn't killed me yet so... I think he's got a reason or something."

Deathclaw and Reason were two words that seldom went together unless the phrase happened to be "And they were killed by the Deathclaw for no reason at all."

As if this wasn't a large enough welcoming committee to the Springvalian Neighborhood, an Eyebot soon descended from the sky with a simple message.

"Greetings Miss Blamco. I bring a Message from Enclave Intelligence Officer #411. She wishes to convey her apologies for her mistreatment of you previously. Had she been aware of you and your family's long standing alliance with the Enclave, one that has existed prior to the Great War and has lasted until this very day, she would have given you the proper respect due to your position. Officer #411 would like to inject a certain amount of trust into this relationship between you and her. It is her hope that you will still be a trainer for the Sylphy Army. They will be needed in the near future to defend the Wastelands from an invasion force that has its sights on our lands. As a sign of her respect to you as a warrior and a ally, the Enclave Intelligence Officer #411 offers you her daughter, Constance, to serve as your retainer until such time as a suitable replacement can be found." The Eyebot said before floating off.

"Wh... what? Me? A retainer? What's a retainer?" Constance asked in a rrather loud and confused voice.

The Three Musketeers - Let it snow.

*BRRRRR!!!*

"Told ya to add a big coat to ya outfit..."

"Shut up, Duds."

"This is an amazing phenomenon! Snow, actual snow! I wouldn't advise eating it of course, but it makes for a marvellous setting."

It a surprising and delightful turn of events (unless you were William) it had started snowing, and the Capital Wasteland was getting covered with the stuff. Each of The Three Musketeers quite enjoyed the sight, especially as it helped cover up the cracked and spoiled ground and each could pretend for just a moment that the world was much nicer than it had become. Dudley thought about starting a snowball fight, but the snow might have traces of radioactivity and throwing radioactive things at each other wasn't really the done thing between friends.

"One for the history books really, it snowed at Christmas." Said Evan, admiring the way even bombed out houses looked nice with a light covering of snow.

"Do either of you celebrate it? It looks like Slyph does." Added William, chuckling at Slyph's loud announcement. They said Christmas was for the kids, and since Slyph was prone to acting like a kid most of the time he suspected she would celebrate it every year.

"Not really, The Brotherhood is aware of the date's significance but most of us don't do anything about it. Maybe some of us have a few more drinks than usual and there might be a little bit of gift giving, but nothing special. It's a religious festival isn't it?" Many in the wasteland no longer believed, or had never known enough about any of the pre-war religions to understand their significant days. Some in Rivet City believed thanks to regular sermons, but for most church was the name of a building.

"I don't. Ya'd think I'd be the type but I never had any idea the day was important. Maybe my parents didn't wanna get our hopes up, we're a big family and I guess that'd be hard to buy presents for every year. Nobody I knew celebrated it, but then nobody I knew could afford to give stuff away to all their family and friends each year." The Sullivan family had been poor, but happy and numerous, Dudley had never felt like he was missing out on anything.

"Same here. Didn't really know about religion growing up, might be the Church of the Atom had something to do with that, making us all think worship was for the mad. But we couldn't really afford to give presents either, just think of the scavenging you'd have to do to get new and unique presents every year." William shivered a little and held his arms tightly to his chest at the cold, he probably would have to get himself a coat one of these days, he was sure Dudley would enjoy that day, especially if he added a bandoleer to the mix as suggested. Dudley had called that look the "John Marston" though nobody knew why.

Christmas hadn't really been celebrated in Anver, but each year in the summer there'd been a town festival where everyone would celebrate the date of the town's founding together and some residents had used it as an opportunity to give gifts. As William remembered it this had more to do with hooking up than anything else, if there was someone you liked often you'd wait until the Founding Festival and present them with a gift, if they accepted it that meant they liked you, rejection meant they weren't interested. The best couple would be crowned King and Queen of the Founding Festival.

It was times like this William really missed his old home, so instead he tried to focus on the sound of snow crunching beneath his boots.

Sable "Swan-Maiden" Blamco|| Travelling from New Vegas to Megaton
"Ashes on Wool"

"You are unusually quiet, dear sister.", Sable remarked, sounding like she was speaking more to herself than anything else.

Keira did not reply immediately since her sister had a point. With a frustrated sigh and a sequence of tapped commands, the wrist-mounted pip-boy powered down for the first time today. "I want to rip her limb from limb."

"I know you do.", Sable stated flatly, "But that is precisely why I am here. To look beyond your haze of anger and judge for myself."

Keira frowned, pushing the offhanded insult aside, choosing to query the last part. "So...you would kill her?"

"I would kill you, dear sister.", Sable declared without hesitation, calmly she blinked, "I am one-third of the true Valkyrie Unit. If I have to slay you lest you become too wild -- a threat to the Wasteland and BlamCo itself -- then I will lay you to rest with a heavy heart."

Keira scoffed, "Oh really?", She did feel a twinge of anxiety when a chill ran down her spine. It was the first that she had heard of Sable's true intentions for joining her on this journey. "So what if I choose to kill you instead?", Keira chided.

"Many have tried.", Sable turned to look at her sister directly, "Yet I am still here."
It wasn't a threat, it was stated as plain fact -- not even a hint of boastful pride, just sincerity.

"You are unusually talkative, dear sister.", Keira remarked, rapidly changing the subject.

A momentary pause was followed by a gasp. A small smile threatened Sable's emotionless gaze, for the pale rider was holding out her hands to the sky, catching slow-moving objects from the sky. It was snowing. Snowing.

"It's beautiful...", Sable whispered aloud, looking serene amongst the backdrop of snow.

---

--- To be continued ---

The Road to Dunwich - Via Andale.

"Hey Shifty, I think this is the spot where we go off road!" Called Evan, who had been checking their progress on his Pip-Boy. The map function on it didn't have as many locations filled in as he would like, but had the basic area map to go off. If they wanted to bypass the Fairfax Ruins and the many raiders that lived there they'd have to do a little hiking. Evan expected a group like theirs could blaze a path through Fairfax if they wanted to but there was no sense in risking their lives by attacking raiders on their own turf.

"If we loop round here and rejoin the road on the other side of Fairfax we'll reach Andale before nightfall. It shouldn't be too hard to avoid detection. According to Brotherhood scouting reports most of the raiders are in tunnels below the town, and the buildings will actually help us. There's limited lines of sight from the town, the raiders don't post very many lookouts." Evan continued, pointing around the east side of the town to suggest a route to the group.

"Makes sense, the whole place is a raider trap. It's designed to lure scavengers in, then they get dropped down one of those grates or get jumped in an alleyway. Wouldn't work if they could be seen from outside, and they might be reluctant to come out and attack us even if we did get spotted. Raiders are cowards, even if they did outnumber us I doubt they'd want a head on confrontation." Added William, though he wasn't too sure about that last part. Anyone hopped up enough on Psycho could be convinced to attack almost anything.

"Grates? I think I fell down one of those in Old Olney runnin' away from a Deathclaw. Guess whoever designed it 'aint considered how tall or strong I was. Just climbed my way outta' there. Funny thing is the Deathclaw chasin' me fell down that hole an' got stuck gettin' out." Dudley gave a slight chuckle as he finished.

"So, do we try and sneak by at the same time, or should we move in a couple of groups?"

Arizona
The Wild Wastelands | The Dunwich Job | The Road To Dunwich
"The other, other white meat."

As they began to plan their trek across the wastes to Dunwich, Arizona couldn't help but agree with Shifty's sentiments regarding Sylph. Or Sylphee, as she was now. Though she only knew the girl, or girls, for a short time, the two occasionally drove her up the goddamn wall, but even she had gotten to know them well enough to feel that using her as Feral bait was a few steps too far, even for her.

Meanwhile one of the new trio, Evan, asked a question that she remembered that she neglected to touch on.

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

Pursing her chapped lips, she glanced back at him and shrugged.

"Find out how to stop the sea monster, and if we can, try to free the brainwashed ghouls. If we can't do that... We kill em all." she said simply.

Shifty spoke up again, offering his help with making Ghoul masks, and recounted an admittedly interesting story that had happened along... Similar lines.

"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."

She let out a bark of laughter and grinned at him, saying, "Well you don't have to worry about that, whoever we start cutting on will be dead from the start."

After a moment, Shifty pulled out a map, prompting Arizona to join his side and walk on her tiptoes to properly see it. The moment she did, she couldn't help but scowl a little. The thing looked like shit. It was crudely drawn, and she wasn't surprised to see that someone had previously tried to use it as toilet paper judging by the disgusting smear on it. But, she supposed it had to do.

"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."

She quickly looked over the route he chose and gave a curt nod.

"Works for me." she said.

The trio seemed to agree, with William speaking up first, and bringing up a reasonable concern. One that was news to her, since she had only recently wandered into the Capital Wastes.

"Yeah, that's a good idea. It might take us a little longer but I'd rather make it there in one piece. 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."

Cannibals. The old Ghoul couldn't help but grimace a little at the thought of trying to tangle with them. Normal Raiders were one thing: They defiled corpses all the time, but in ways she considered normal. But she didn't like the idea of being eaten either, though she supposed that as a Ghoul, not many people would want to eat her afterwards. And it was ultimately a moot point anyway. If she was dead, at that point she'd be beyond caring.

The idiot that had hit on her voiced his own concerns, while William mentioned that if he shouldn't be worried about waking up on anyone's plate. After all, he wouldn't wake at all if that was the case. Meanwhile, Evan endorsed their route for another, equally-important reason: Cover and shade.

"Good. Cover is good." she said shortly, before adding, "And if it turns out that Andale is a cannibal town, then we just kill everyone there and take what valuables and supplies we can. It shouldn't be too hard so long as they don't catch us off-guard. Though..."

She trailed off and a corner of her mouth quirked up a little.

"That does remind me of a town I passed through back west, oh, about a couple decades ago. Whole town was full of cannibals that didn't even realize it." she told them easily.

"See, the town got most of their meat from this one butcher who served up some pretty damn good food. It was a decent enough settlement, trade wasn't bad, and it wasn't quite in the middle of nowhere. But, drifters would end up disappearing soon after leaving town pretty regularly, and people started to get suspicious. Now, there I was, in the middle of eating arguably one of the best steaks I could remember at the time, and I had no clue what it was. Butcher wouldn't say, and apparently never did say. And the whole town was fine with it, until that day." she said.

Her tone, and her smile, practically dripped with dark humor as she continued, "As it turned out, the butcher was the culprit. He'd pick out some of the healthiest drifters that passed through town while they left, chop them up, and serve them to the town. I found out while I was halfway through the steak, and lemme tell you, I was far from happy. So, the butcher got himself lynched, everyone threw up, and I got the taste of human flesh burned into my skull." Arizona told them, adding, "Doesn't really matter how good it tastes once you realize you're chewing on what used to be a person. After that, it kind of kills the appetite of most normal people."


"Hey Shifty, I think this is the spot where we go off road!"

It wasn't long before they started to near the Fairfax Ruins, and Evan was quick to call out when the time came to start going off the beaten path. Arizona could see why, since she had a bad feeling that Fairfax was a deathtrap for scavvers.

"If we loop round here and rejoin the road on the other side of Fairfax we'll reach Andale before nightfall. It shouldn't be too hard to avoid detection. According to Brotherhood scouting reports most of the raiders are in tunnels below the town, and the buildings will actually help us. There's limited lines of sight from the town, the raiders don't post very many lookouts."

"Good idea. We don't need the Ghoul Masks just yet, and we definitely don't want to waste all of our ammo here on some worthless raiders. If need be, we can try and clear this place out on the way back, but hopefully it won't come to that." the Freelancer said, hefting Lester a little for emphasis.

"Makes sense, the whole place is a raider trap. It's designed to lure scavengers in, then they get dropped down one of those grates or get jumped in an alleyway. Wouldn't work if they could be seen from outside, and they might be reluctant to come out and attack us even if we did get spotted. Raiders are cowards, even if they did outnumber us I doubt they'd want a head on confrontation."

"Oh, I wouldn't say that. Not all raider gangs are created equal. Trust me, I used to be one." she pointed out with a small smirk.

At the mention of grate traps, Dudley recalled an encounter with such a trap, one that he managed to escape but a Deathclaw couldn't. Her mouth twisted into a look of utter skepticism, wondering just how he could manage to escape due to being tall and strong... While a Deathclaw couldn't cut the mustard in those areas. Considering that Deathclaws were big, fast, and strong enough to tear through Power Armor, she had her doubts about that.

"So, do we try and sneak by at the same time, or should we move in a couple of groups?"

Turning to Evan as he made his suggestion, she frowned.

"I'm thinking we split into two groups, just in case, but we don't get too far from one another. If one group needs help, the other needs to be able to move in for backup. So let's try not to get each other killed before we reach the hard part of this job." she pointed out with a soft chuckle.


[ dr. sorenson ]
The Wild Wastelands | Following The Post-Apocalypse | Springvale School
"I had the craziest dream about a Talking Deathclaw..."

Jenna Sorenson, Follower of the Apocalypse, multi-disciplinary scientist and physician extraordinaire, was feeling decidedly unscientific was she found herself floating through a thick, pink haze. She had no idea where she was, how she got there, or what happened before she found herself there, but she was pleasantly light-headed, and she vaguely remembered a feeling of distress before this, but she couldn't be sure of why.

"Sylphy! Sylphy Sylphy?"

She lazily glanced over at the familiar voice and spotted a trio of Sylphy clones, seated around a table having some kind of odd tea party, with one using a coffee mug, another using a tin can, and the last one drinking from a skull. Presumably the skull of her enemy, Jenna thought with a stupid snort.

As she drifted past the tea party, she spotted Constance coasting past her in the opposite direction, clad in a heavy Yao Guai fur cloak and a dirty tiara while she clutched a lead pipe with rhinestones glued on it in one hand. She was sitting on the back of another Sylphy, and she cackled.

"Yes, YES! Soon, my faithful Sylphys will assimilate Megaton, and from there, the WORLD! ALL WILL BE ONE WITH SYLPHY!"

Jenna grinned dreamily at that. That didn't sound like a terrible idea, really. After all, the Sylphys weren't that bad, at least not to her.

"Sure. It isn't like they're hunting other humans for food. Just other Deathclaws."

Her blood chilled at the deep, bitter-sounding voice, and her body slowly turned in midair. Only for her to come face-to-face with with a talking Deathclaw. Malkos. Jenna squeaked in shock, and cried out as the back of her head suddenly began to ache, and she began to feel like she was being dragged instead of floating in the air.


Jenna Sorenson, Follower of the Apocalypse, multi-disciplinary scientist and physician extraordinaire, was in pain as she stirred from her dream, and she felt herself being dragged by one of the Sylphys. She blearily thought that she couldn't blame them, considering the fact that she was much bigger than the pubescent clones.

All the while, she could hear a synthesized voice nearby, though she couldn't tell from where since her vision was blurry. She blinked a few times to try and focus a little better, with mixed results.

"Greetings Miss Blamco. I bring a Message from Enclave Intelligence Officer #411. She wishes to convey her apologies for her mistreatment of you previously. Had she been aware of you and your family's long standing alliance with the Enclave, one that has existed prior to the Great War and has lasted until this very day, she would have given you the proper respect due to your position. Officer #411 would like to inject a certain amount of trust into this relationship between you and her. It is her hope that you will still be a trainer for the Sylphy Army. They will be needed in the near future to defend the Wastelands from an invasion force that has its sights on our lands. As a sign of her respect to you as a warrior and a ally, the Enclave Intelligence Officer #411 offers you her daughter, Constance, to serve as your retainer until such time as a suitable replacement can be found."

Blamco? That was a familiar name. That voice couldn't be referring to the illustrious Blamco Family back in the NCR, could it? The Blamco Family was a fairly vocal supporter of the Followers of the Apocalypse. But the fact that the voice mentioned the Enclave... That couldn't be right.

Shortly afterwards, she heard the familiar voice of Constance in a tone of confusion.

"Wh... what? Me? A retainer? What's a retainer?"

"A retainer is someone who owes a service to someone else. A servant or employee..." she murmured as she reached up to rub her helmet where her forehead would have been.

Then she asked, "What happened while I was out?"

Springvale
Burden of Knowledge

"- I just want us to walk into this with her heads screwed on right and our backs available if either of us need the support."

A business-like approach. Perhaps the most ideal for everyone involved. Yet the thought did not bring him much confort. You have more important things to worry about than chasing after girls, old man.

"Speaking of which, my sword. I would like you to take a look at it. You worked with weapons, yes? I don't want her to be damaged."

Ah yes, her sword. At first it looked to him like a barbaric weapon, filled with stickers to hide is crude exterior, its size and shape reminiscent of the "swords" super mutants "forged". But no such weapon could hope to dent even the most basic of power armour, much less the advanced variant that the Enclave employed. I am genuinely curious as to how it did that, it's true, but I am in no shape to inspect it now. Not that he would turn her down, of course. He felt their relationship hung on a thread, and thread lightly he had to, lest he cut it. But would that be a bad thing?

He thought on his past relationship, romantic or otherwise, and came to the all too obvious but nonetheless saddening realisationthat they never ended well. In fact, most of them ended in quite the tragic way. With me left to pick up all the pieces. I swear they get smaller each time. How was this going to be any different? I don't think it will, what with the Enclave and half the world against us. You have to be realistic. Then why do I do this?

"And what of your friend?" he frowned at the mention, " Miss Black and her Father, you haven't said a worse since...I thought you would be quite cheerful after meeting a man back from the Moon. -- It's where the mightiest go when they die."

A long, drawn-out silence followed, as Jonathan stared contemplatively at the ground. It was true, what joy he felt had quickly vanished. Isaac Black, a man he considered his friend, a man whose passing he was just coming to terms with, had appeared before him in the flesh, alive and looking no worse for wear. Yet, he couldn't bring himself to celebrate.

"Have you heard of the hedgehog's dillema?" he said, as he turned to look at her, "It's-" he hesitated, thought on what he was saying, "Actually... Nevermind, it was foolish of me to bring it up, forget I said anything. I will inspect your weapon, Ms. Blamco, but first we need to meet the contact, and I need a shower and some rest." He could see Springvale not too far in the distance.

"Remind me, who are we meeting -- and why -- again?"

That was a good question. Truth of the matter was, very little wasknown about the person they were supposed to meet. Only her name was known -Constance- and that info wasn't given to him willingly. "The contact's name is Constance, and I'm afraid that's all that is known about her. As to why... let's just say that this is our benefactor's way of making sure we keep our end of the bargain. Keeping us on a short leash, so to speak."

They took their first steps into Springvale, and Jonathan felt his chest tighten. He had a bad feeling, and those rarely came false. It was quiet, the kind of quiet you get when navigating ruins - which was coincidentally the same kind of quiet as the one that concealed an ambush, or worse. It's rather mortifying that I consider an ambush the least of my worries right about now.

"Did you hear that?" he said, and stopped in his tracks. Indeed, he could hear something in the distance. It sounded like footsteps mixed with something else. Something possibly monstrous, more than likely violent, definitely bad news. He turned his head to the direction of the noise and...

"Ah!"

...felt his heart skip a beat. A Deathclaw roamed the streets! Two Deathclaws in three days! Or was it the same Deathclaw that attacked him that night, truimphant over its adversary, come to collect the meal it so righteously deserved? He felt cold sweat run down his forehead, and his hands shake. He could make a run for it, but man can't outrun deathclaw, not to mention the Princess would attempt to slay it, and how do you slay a being that can walk off plasma with a sword of all things?

So, that was how it ended, before it even begun. Killed by a random Deathclaw. All the plans, all the struggles, sniffed out before they even begun. He wanted to laugh at how fitting such a death was. Nothing ever worked out for him, why would this?

"Hi there! Don't mind us!"

He threw a glance at the direction of the voice before returning his full attention at the Deathclaw, only to question what he just saw, look back, go wide eyed and start rapidly switching between the clones on the left, the clones right and the Deathclaw in disbelief.

What in the hell-

Clones dragged two people behind them, one wearing a wierd outfit, with what looked like horns(?) on her head, and the other, the one that most likely was Constance, was wearing a scientist suit. Wierd, Jonathan didn't expect #411 to send a member of the Science team of all things, especially since they were supposed to go incognito, but considering he had a Deathclaw to deal with he didn't put further thought into it. He felt himself, almost mechanically, reach out for his laser pistol, gulping in preparation of what was to be his last few fleeting moments.

"Wait... Stop..." the girl with the wierd things on her head said as she got up. She was surprisingly calm for being withing breathing distance of a deathclaw. In fact, the more that he stared at her, the more he got the impression that this girl, based on her eyes and their movements, was blind.

"Are you the two I've been waiting for? Of course you are. I'm Constance, pleasure to make your acquaintance. "

Strike one. His eyebrow involuntarily twitched. Their contact was a blind teenage girl. Charlotte was batshit crazy. And he was working for her.

Don't mind the Deathclaw behind me, he hasn't killed me yet so... I think he's got a reason or something."

Strike two. Cold sweat had started falling down his forehead. Hostile Deathclaws were bad news, non-hostile ones were worse, because Deathclaws were at least predictable in their savagery. For the girl to so casually say that a Deathclaw could possibly have a reason to not kill, maim and eat them showed that she had no idea of how dire the ramifications of Deathclaws developing sentience were. The Enclave had done it, once, many years ago, but the project was terminated. If this Deathclaw was sentient, and the girl had no idea why, it either meant that Deathclaws were slowly evolving into sentience, or that some unknown party had done what the Enclave had done years ago. I am not sure which of the two is worse.

And as though all these news weren't enough, it seemed that the universe, in all its uncaring cruelty, had more news for the tired old former Enclave scientist, for an eyebot descended from the sky, and that always boded ill.

"Greetings Miss Blamco. I bring a Message from Enclave Intelligence Officer #411. She wishes to convey her apologies for her mistreatment of you previously. Had she been aware of you and your family's long standing alliance with the Enclave, one that has existed prior to the Great War and has lasted until this very day, she would have given you the proper respect due to your position. Officer #411 would like to inject a certain amount of trust into this relationship between you and her. It is her hope that you will still be a trainer for the Sylphy Army. They will be needed in the near future to defend the Wastelands from an invasion force that has its sights on our lands. As a sign of her respect to you as a warrior and a ally, the Enclave Intelligence Officer #411 offers you her daughter, Constance, to serve as your retainer until such time as a suitable replacement can be found."

Strike Three and he was out. Jonathan visibly flinched in shock. These news were like the cherry on top of the cake. A cake made of bad news. Teenage contacts, sentient deathclaws, and now this?! All he could do was stare in blankly in shock, mouth half-open, as the Eyebot drifted away into the distance.

Did she know? Had she been toying with him this whole time? He had no fucking idea anymore, it was all to much to process.

He turned at his companion, the same look of stupid shock in his face, and after a few moments trying to reboot his mind, he finally muttered a single, flat word.

"What."


Smith Casey's Garage
Close Encounters of the Eddie Kind

"I'm Enclave Heavy Weapons Specialist #209..." muttered Biolante, clearly thinking that Eddie was born yesterday., because there was no way an Enclave dude would fall from the sky butt-naked. And besides, have you ever seen an Enclave dude outside of Power Armour? He rested his case. Well, Mr Biolante, if that is your real name, thought Eddie, grinning from behind his newly-acquired helmet, I'll let you know that I was, in fact, not born yesterday. I was born many years ago in rural Ireland, raised by a pack of ravenous leprechauns fighting Dullahans. This Biolante is an alien spy!

He was introducing his companion now, who had something to her, Eddie saw, because Eddie had seen every kind of hole under the sun, and this hole wasn't as advertised. I see through your lies, Not-Biolante! You were sent by the Martians to sabotage the Uberbilly's quest to find his sister and procreate!

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

Oh yes, Eddie knew exactly what he was saying. Not-Biolante was cunning, yes, but not cunning enough to fool Eddie the Brutally Cunning (or was it Cunningly Brutal?) He wanted "his" armour -which was probably the armour of the real Biolante- to hide his tiny peashooter so that no one would pay attention and see that it was actually an Alien Blaster in disguise!

As he prepared to call him out for the fraud he was, another man entered the scene. Boy, it sure was getting crowded in here. This one wore power armour, dark black like the leather Eddie was wearing -the mark of the Enclave and the Black Panthers-, but had his face in plain sight.

"I know the naked man. He's a loose cannon from the Enclave." Well, cannon was kind of overselling it there, Mister. From where Eddie stood, it looked more like a child's miniature water pistol.

With that important detail out of the way, it was time to deal with the point of contention. Now, as scientists do it, when two conflicting thesises are presented, they are always analysed to the tiniest detail, and the more sound one was accepted as truth. The Enclave-looking dude could be right, which meant that there was a possibility that Eddie was wrong about the Mercurian plan to foil the Hillssiah or...

...Or he was also an alien spy! Yes, it was clear to Eddie that this was all part of the Uranian's clever plan. Having accounted for Eddie's amazing intellect, which was famous throughout the cosmos, they sent a second agent to make sure that he would fall for it. But he was too clever for even that, and could see the holes in their plan. For one, the power-armour dude wasn't wearing a helmet. That meant he had a face. No Enclave dude was ever seen without a helmet. Needed he say more?

But perhaps the most glaring hole of the plan, the most damning piece of evidence, was that he was blowing out of proportions Not-Biolante's cannon, thus making it sound bigger that it were, thus trying to eliminate suspicion that it was actually a Saturnian Blaster, as it was common knowledge that Plutonians made their blasters tiny.

"Whose side are you on?"

So the aliens thought to outsmart him, huh? Well, two could play at that game. Eddie was the best one there was at games. He was a ten times Super Ultra Alley Warrior Definite Edition champion at REVO, and you couldn't get more street cred than that. Besides, if a fight started he'd have to go all out, and he wouldn't want to see Uberbilly hurt, not before he stopped being entertaining anyway.

So. he would indulge the Jupiterians for now. There would come a time where he would strike at them when they least expected it. Eddie was an expert at being unpredictable. He once outsmarted a Hunter in the jungles of Vietnam, two aliens were nothing in comparison. So, he took out a coin, a coin that just so happened to have the face of the most handsome and magnanimous ghoul out in the wastes, and tossed it in the air, He grabbed it, saw the side landed on his palm, and showed it to the power-armoured Alpha-Centaurian.

[I guess I'm on this guy's side.] he said, grinning within his helmet, showcasing his grinning face cast on the coin.

Kristin BlamCo | Springvale School
"The Chef Has Arrived, In All Her Finery, With Sizeable Cutlery"

Kristin's asymmetrical red cloak fluttered in the wind, covering her still-healing shoulder, while also adding a touch of much needed flair to the short and dreary journey with Jonathan. Ultimately, the cloaks served their purpose as markers to differentiate those of the Valkyrie Unit from their fellow battle sisters. Otherwise, it was an aesthetically pleasing item that lends a touch of elegance to the already dauntingly armored appearance of the BlamCo Princess.

The sound of Kristin's armor echoed amongst the ruins of Springvale, making it abundantly clear that this area was devoid of life -- either a recent battle had ensued or potential threats were waiting in ambush. The former seemed unlikely, if her surroundings were anything to go by, since no explicit signs of combat existed. Frowning, the Princess stopped dead in her tracks, for a distinctive thumping crunched the dirt somewhere nearby -- something large and heavy was moving around, followed by the pitter-patter of lighter steps and the scraping of objects being dragged.

Instinctively, Kristin reached into her bag and stabbed herself with a regular stimpack. She would have no time for recovery in the heat of battle and the knife-wound on her shoulder would prove to be a hindrance if she wished to use her sword correctly. Drawing the man-sized blade, Kristin allowed the tip to hang low in preparation for a low sweeping attack, in addition to edging away from Jonathan, an effective range was created for the duo to attack in unison.

"Did you hear that?"

Kristin didn't answer. There was no need. Where would one even begin to find the words when a Deathclaw, of all things, had come into full view? Her grip tightened and she raised the blade, attacking the legs would serve no purpose if she left herself open to be gutted by claws or gnashing teeth. Sparing a glance to the crimson figures that emerged from behind the Respectable Beast, Kristin grinned a maddened grin -- truly, this would be a fantastic battle!

"Wait... Stop..." A female voice chirped nearby. Picking herself off the ground, a small cat-eared girl scout made her way towards Kristin & Jonathan in a nonchalant manner, "Are you the two I've been waiting for? Of course you are. I'm Constance, pleasure to make your acquaintance. Don't mind the Deathclaw behind me, he hasn't killed me yet so... I think he's got a reason or something."

This was their Enclave Contact?
This young lady was either brilliant in her field or the Enclave itself was severely understaffed. The BlamCo Heiress expected the former to be honest, she was in a rather charitable mood today, all things considered. An odd line of thought, considering that everyone still possessed working limbs in the presence of a Deathclaw. Regardless, the Heiress felt more at ease with the prospect of new guests to entertain ---

SUDDENLY! A spherical robot descended from the sky, hovering at eye level, yet addressing the small(?) gathering for all to hear:

"Greetings Miss Blamco. I bring a Message from Enclave Intelligence Officer #411. She wishes to convey her apologies for her mistreatment of you previously. Had she been aware of you and your family's long standing alliance with the Enclave, one that has existed prior to the Great War and has lasted until this very day, she would have given you the proper respect due to your position. Officer #411 would like to inject a certain amount of trust into this relationship between you and her. It is her hope that you will still be a trainer for the Sylphy Army. They will be needed in the near future to defend the Wastelands from an invasion force that has its sights on our lands. As a sign of her respect to you as a warrior and a ally, the Enclave Intelligence Officer #411 offers you her daughter, Constance, to serve as your retainer until such time as a suitable replacement can be found."

...

Too proud to flinch and far too proud to flush with embarrassment.

("I see. This is the will of BlamCo...Yes, I remember the rumours now.")

Kristin Blamco, Heiress to the BlamCo Empire, had ventured to the East Coast almost certain that halfway across the country she could find a new beginning for the Cheese Conglomerate. In all cases, she was terribly mistaken and woefully unprepared to deal with two centuries of familial burden alone. Yet the time for contemplation had to wait, she was a Princess, and she had her royal duties to uphold!

Allowing herself a moment to exhale, Kristin opened her eyes and plunged her sword point-first into the ground beneath her. Cracks formed around her strike and she addressed the crowd with a level of frightening willpower. Her declaration went beyond the motivations of Kristin herself, in this moment, she was beginning to become one version of the leader that BlamCo needed...

"Will you join us in the restoration of our great country?", Kristin bellowed, "That is the foundation of our partnership! An agreement handed down the BlamCo Lineage. Frayed, lost and all but forgotten in the West Coast -- it seems that I have a familial obligation to fulfill an old debt owed to the timely intervention of the West Coast Enclave before the bombs fell."

Kristin clenched her fist, raising it to her chest, "I, Kristin Blamco, Heiress/Princess & Valkyrie of the BlamCo Family Fortune, will oversee the proper dietary intake/mental conditioning/combat evaluation and physical training of the Crimson Huntress' Clones.",

In a sweeping motion, Kristin opened her palm and extended her arm outwards as if she was discarding the very burden that was BlamCo's questionable history.

"Together, we will forge the finest battle-sisters this side of the country. For now, my fellow comrades, we can relax --- only when war is upon us, will we begin to turn our hearts to unbreakable steel! Today marks the beginning of the Sisterhood of Steel!"

...

"You there, Eyebot!", Kristin pointed her blade at the hovering sphere,with a sneaking suspicion that this was being recorded, "This is an offering of good faith, for the history our families have shared -- If I am able to strike down your elite guard of heavy soldiers with a handful of cheese and this very sword, then you know that I am capable of far worse if any daggers are to be found in my back!"

Sheathing the chunk of metal that vaguely resembled a blade, Kristin unholstered the cooking cleaver that remained unused from her thigh-pouch. Stepping towards the girl named Constance, the Golden-Haired Valkyrie's disposition drained in an instant, an eager grin adorned her face, followed by a welcoming gauntlet to the shoulder and the exchange of the cleaver...

"I have no need for a retainer, Clairvoyant Cat.", Kristin remarked brightly, content with the nickname for the cat-eared individual that tracked her every move -- light & small -- with a flick of the ears. "I require help in the kitchen, some female companionship and a guided tour --- we will be preparing a great feast in celebration of our union!"

Turning on her heel, Kristin extended her hand to the --- the --- the individual in a spacesuit. An astronaut? A moon-dweller?!
"You have walked on hallowed ground, Moon Dweller. Join us or make yourself comfortable for tonight's preparations! It is an honor."

Kristin BlamCo was starstruck, so to speak, whilst in the presence of one that dwelled within the Haven of Fallen Warriors -- the Moon. So much so that she failed to address the Sylph Clones & The Deathclaw!

The Really Wild Wastelands | The Road to Dunwich | Outside of Fairfax
Random Danger Ahead
Thomas "Shifty" McGee | Sylphee

"Hey Shifty, I think this is the spot where we go off road!" Evan called out, causing Thomas to stop and look at their surroundings. He'd been thinking quite a bit since Arizona had made mention of a town out West that dabbled in cannibalism. He knew of this butcher that Arizona and the townspeople had lynched some time ago. Arizona didn't even have to finish the story for Thomas to know all the intimate details. The Butcher, as his Oldest Friend had called him, was actually named Leon McMurphy. It seemed that a relative of one of the drifters that Leon had butchered had placed a contract out on the man's head. You didn't kill that many people without someone taking notice and taking offense to the acts of depravity. The only contradiction to the story that Thomas knew and what Arizona told him was that Henry had supposedly killed off the monster a year or so prior to when Arizona's story took place. Given Henry's track record with the Undertaker's Guild, Thomas gave more merit to Arizona's story.

Pulling out a piece of paper, Friendly Former Undertaker of the East jotted a couple of lines down on it before passing it to the Ancient One. The amount on the I.O.U. wasn't a huge sum by any means, but it reflected the amount of caps that particular job was worth.

"Seems that you've got some Undertaker's blood in you, Arizona." The Sharply Dressed Giant of a Man said before walking over to Evan, Dudley and William.

"So, do we try and sneak by at the same time, or should we move in a couple of groups?" Evan asked the group.

Traveling in a larger group would make it tougher to conceal themselves from the Raiders that populated the Fairfax Ruins but traveling in a smaller groups would make it tougher to repel an attack should one of the groups be discovered by the Fairfaxian Raiders. Were these civilized folk that lived in the destroyed buildings, Thomas would have walked through town and offered to bury the dead. However, these were Raiders and Raiders didn't necessarily care what happened to the bodies of the comrades nor did they care enough to not attack a person that wandered through town offering burial services for their dead.

There was another problem in their midst however, one that had blue hair and a red uniform on. One problem that was currently out of Thomas McGee's line of sight.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mister Glowing Panel winked at the young blue haired Crimson Menace who was standing there staring directly at him. Surrounding the two were the splattered remains of Missy Raiderette who had mistakenly decided that Sylphee was someone to be trifled with. Staring at Mister Glowing Panel, Sylphee winked back.

Mister Glowing Panel winked.

Sylphee winked right back.

Mister Glowing Panel winked.

Sylphee's grubby fingers accepted the invitation that Mister Glowing Panel had presented her and started pushing a random assortment of buttons that appeared to do nothing except for cause Mister Sentry Turret to start beeping rather loudly while looking up and down the street for ... friends?

As it turned out, a few of Missy Raiderette's Raider Friends, unaware that Mister Sentry Turret was looking to be friends with anything that moved, got a few hundred gifts from their new pal.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Has anyone seen Sylphee?" Thomas asked before getting a response via the distance sound of gun firem causing the Formerly Friendly Neighborhood Undertaker to mutter a simple, "Never mind. I think I know where she is."

Which was to say, Thomas was keenly aware of Sylphee's penchant for getting into trouble and the fact that if he ever lost sight of her, he only needed to listen for the sounds of screaming, shooting or explosions to find her. While it was quite likely that she was in no need of their assistance, the Now Concerned Former Undertaker of the East grabbed his rifle and started walking towards the sound of the automatic gun fire, screaming, dying and explosions.

"Daddy! Where you goin'?" Sylphee asked as she skipped towards the group from the direction of the trail ahead of them.

"Ummm... Well I thought you were... ummmm..." Shifty McGee started to stammer at the thought of him being totally and completely wrong about Sylphee this time around.

"Never mind. Is this the face you're looking for?" Sylphee asked as she showed her Daddy Missy Raiderette's head.

Thomas eyed the head and then eyed his "daughter" and then eyed the head again before turning to Evan.

"I believe that it would be in our best interest to travel in one large group. The Fairfaxian Raiders appear to be busy at the moment and we should not have much of an issue avoiding them." The Tall and Well Read Former Undertaker said before adding, "Plus, I think we could use a couple of extra eyes on her."

"OooOoOOoO... Missy Arizona Not Old One Not Leather Faced Lady Not Ghoul Whore With The Gun is in trouuuuuble!" Sylphee blurted out.


The Really Wild Wastelands | Springvale
Sisterhood of Traveling Cheese
Constance Sorrowfeld | Sylphys

"(This chick is nuts.)" Constance Sorrowfeld thought to herself as took in the rather General George Patton-esque speech that had been delivered by the Blamco Princess. The only thing that was needed to complete the imaginary pep-talk scene was a giant BlamCo flag draped behind the booming BlamCo Heiress. Though the speech was laced with a crazy amount of what the American Enclave Scout of America thought of as insanity, it was oddly inspiring in its own way. Constance could almost imagine herself defending the D.C. Wasteland from all manner of threats, including her mother's own Enclave if need be. She could imagine herself storming buildings full of savage raiders, assisting in the reintroduction of Vault Dwellers to the world, assisting in the creation of new outposts of civilization.

"Together, we will forge the finest battle-sisters this side of the country. For now, my fellow comrades, we can relax --- only when war is upon us, will we begin to turn our hearts to unbreakable steel! Today marks the beginning of the Sisterhood of Steel!"

There was a moment of silence...

CLAP... CLAP... CLAP.. CLAP.. CLAP. CLAP. CLAPCLAPCLAPCLAPCLAP!

It took a moment for the Kristen Blamco's personal assistant to realize that it had been her that had started the slow clap. Soon the four Sylphys that had been dragging Constance and Jenna joined in on the applause, one of them even whistling in excitement at the prospect of having someone competent in a position of leadership. Actually, if Kristin hadn't shown up when she did, the Grand Sylphy Army probably would have mutinied against Constance in favor of someone that wasn't so prone to having them jump off the roofs of buildings without explaining proper rappel technique.

"You there, Eyebot! This is an offering of good faith, for the history our families have shared -- If I am able to strike down your elite guard of heavy soldiers with a handful of cheese and this very sword, then you know that I am capable of far worse if any daggers are to be found in my back!" The BlamCo Berserker said to the Eyebot, who was indeed recording the entire scene that took place in front of it. Were it capable of responding, it might have done so with a "shrug" or an "eyeroll" as the affairs of humans were, after all, the affairs of humans. The Eyebot was simply a messenger and had no horse in the race as it were. Instead it simply nodded before floating off toward the Enclave Vault.

With the message sent back to Enclave Intelligence Officer #411, Constance's Mother, the newly dubbed Clairvoyant Cat was surprised to see the Priestess of Cheesy Pasta approaching, a cleaver in hand. Despite the Constance's general rule of "never ever EVER let someone walk towards you with a cleaver in her hand," the young retainer stood in place, mesmerized by the grin on Miss Blamco's face. A heavy gauntlet clapped the young girl's high bruiseable shoulder before the cleaver was shoved into the surprised teenager's hands.

"I have no need for a retainer, Clairvoyant Cat.", Miss Blamco remarked brightly, "I require help in the kitchen, some female companionship and a guided tour --- we will be preparing a great feast in celebration of our union!"

"I... I'll do my best, ma'am." The Cat Eared American Enclave Scout of America/Charter Member of the Sisterhood of Steel managed to squeak out as she did to best not to show the pain that she felt radiating from her shoulder, "I.. look forward to your culinary lessons."

This was true, mostly. If there was one merit badge that Constance had no hope of ever getting without assistance, it would be her Cooking and Culinary Badge. During her time with the Enclave Scouts, she had managed to burn just about every meal she'd been asked to prepare. This included the water that she was asked to boil for Brahmen Ramen. All the other meals she'd been asked to cook had been dangerously undercooked so when it came to needing a little Kitchen Training, Constance was a prime candidate for a crash course.

While Miss Blamco went on to address Miss Sorenson, Constance planned her tour of the facilities... wishing that she'd had a chance to have the Sylphys clean up the place before Miss Blamco had a chance to set foot in the dilapidated Elementary School. Her ears planned around her and she noted the man that had arrived with Miss Blamco. Approaching him, Constance cleared her throat, in an effort to get his attention.

"Good day to you, Mister Blamco. I'm Constance Sorrowfeld. It will be a pleasure to work with you in the Sisterhood of Steel." The Sixteen Year Old Teenager said in a rather friendly manner.


The Really Wild Wastelands | Smith Casey's Garage
Bio-Agent?
Enclave Heavy Weapons Specialist #209

To say that Enclave Heavy Weapons Specialist #209 was ... confused by the way that Eddie simply stared at him through his own helmet was a little bit of an understatement. Feeling a bit naked without his armor on and being stared at by a man that was wearing an Enclave Heavy Weapons Helmet, the Enclave Dominator could feel a tinge of what fear must have felt like. The eerie golden eyes seemed to stare at him as if he was nothing but a prey animal. ED-209 could see his reflection in those golden eyes... like an ant trapped in tree sap. Yes, this was definitely fear that Enclave Heavy Weapons Specialist #209 was feeling. The sensation was really exciting.

"Someone please make him put that away." A feminine voice said from behind the Enclave Heavy Weapons Specialist. By "that" what Trixie meant was the full erection that the Enclave Dominator was sporting, " If you won't help me get his armor..."

Turning to face the woman that had been his companion since the Evil Vault of Evil, #209 could only tease her as she climbed into the Escape Pod and started tossing out over the side.

"Trixie! This isn't the first time you've seen it! Why are you being so shy?!" ED-209 called up to her as he covered his stiff man meat.

"Less talking more getting dressed." The Synth's voice said from inside the Pod.

"Fine..." The Dominator muttered as he started putting on pieces of his armor back on before coming to the conclusion "You're just jealous."

More armor clunked to the ground as the stranger wearing #209's helmet addressed Number 6.

"I guess I'm on this guy's side." The Thief of Helmets said after flipping a coin.

Besides, the moment of excitement was over. Without anything to poke it with, the excitement was gone. More armor fell to the ground and more pieces were put on until finally, there was nothing left but the Helmet. It more natural for ED-209 to have his armor on once again and it felt even better now that he had his plasma vulcan back in his loving hands.

"Now then. Can I have my helmet back, Mister...." The Enclave Dominate asked, his voice trailing off as he asked for the ghoul's name.

"FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK!!!"

Came a voice from somewhere that sounded remarkably like the asshole in the helmet's voice.

"Alright... whatever you say, Mister Fuck. Can I have my helmet back?"

The Really Wild Wastelands | Charlie Cannon

If someone was abducted by potato-like alien beings, you would generally expect that to be the strangest thing to happen to them on that day. Unfortunately for Charlie that was not the case, with the weirdest conversation he'd ever seen taking place in front of him. Featuring ghouls, erections, power armour and all manner of craziness, the naked young man's head was spinning. Inching back away from the motley group, he fell backwards into the escape pod he had come crashing back down to earth in.

"Oof!" he exclaimed as the impact knocked the breathe from his lungs. He heard a loud click as his back smacked against a button on the pod's wall. His foot had managed to catch the door of the pod as he fell, swinging closed with a loud thud. At that moment loud alarms started ringing through the pod and broadcast through it's external speaker.

"Self-destruct sequence initiated. Please clear the area within 30 seconds"

Panic running through his veins, Charlie scrambled over to the door and tried to pry it open, to no avail.

"Hey!" he yelled, banging on the door with his fist. "Help me out of this thing!

Talion - The Republic of Dave

Red wire to black wire. Green wire to blue wire. Yellow wire into cell six. Shielding should fail on detonation and dump material outward with explosion. Talion's mind snapped back to focus as soldiers approached him bearing collars.

"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."

Talion snapped the paneling upon the third IED infront of him shut, flicked a switch on it, and left it on the ground. He asked "Which base?" as he looked and took stock of the situation before simply stating "No." In a smooth and careful motion he pulled the second IED from his belt and flicked the same switch upon it as he took a step towards them "I'm tired of having a sword dangled over my head today."

With a threatening tone he continued walking towards them and commanded them to "Drop your weapons, put the collars on yourselves, and then Radio your boss and tell him that I have enough explosive power to scrap everything around me and that I've taken you three hostage." Bluffing slightly in the face of the large machine he hoped their commander wouldn't take a pointless risk and that neither would his soldiers.

She met the man a mile east of Megaton, handing over a bloody bag...

Natsuki: You know what to do.

The man in the powersuit nodded, and stepped into the Stinger to fly off.

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

Canadian Airspace, Approaching Southern Border...

The engines droned on endlessly, the only sound in the cockpit...apart from the snoring. Yes, snoring. The auto-pilot was engaged and he was taking a nap. Foolish, yes? Perhaps for some, but he knew how to take care of himself. In fact, aboard this pre-war bomber plane - with its fusion engines and its cold comfort - he was the only one there. The man was aged, but strong. He had graying black hair and a thick moustache. He wore dark clothes, a specially-lined longcoat, and a furry winter hat. When the alarm went off, he awoke and checked his position. Then, he went back into the plane to make sure everything was running properly. The radar console needed a swift kick, but it operated. He returned to the pilot's seat, putting on his headset and picking up the mic. He spoke...in Russian!

"Отчетность Метро, Метро ... Radanov сообщаю. Размах канадской территории полное, более."

-Ах, Radanov! Что вы нашли, прием?-

"Незначительные поселения только. Нет очевидной правительство, закончилась."

There was a pause, and then the voice on the radio spoke again in english.

-Very well. We will test your english, then. What is your mission?-

Radanov: Agent Demetri Radanov reporting. I am to penetrate United States airspace and determine if any government exists, and how much of one there is at this time. I have full authority to act as I wish on what I find. Reaching borders now, over.

-Excellent. Try not to kill too many now! Metro out.-

During the great war, the United States and China had been in bitter conflict, but when the bombs fell, the whole world became a battlefield and every country on the planet was effectively in ruin. Russia did not have a Vault systerm itself, so alot of its people perished in their country. However, they still had survivors, many of whom went underground, most notoriously those of the Metro stations. Once things had stabilized there in some way, they had to determine the state of the world, but no contact could be made with the country across the ocean, the United States. The China ghouls had sent warships to determine the level of survivors and civilization in other countries. Russia sent one man: Demetri Radanov.

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

So, Talion had been sitting around, effectively contemplating his naval since he'd been kind of guarded by a giant robot, but...the large machine had suddenly been desployed elsewhere and these black-armored soldiers had orders to take them to 'base', insisting that he put on a number of bomb collars in order to safely transport him. They must've wanted multiples due to the armor all over his body, which kind of made sense. Actually, it made even more sense than you think, considering that soldiers of the Enclave studied their own history, such as the vicious power of one Frank Horrigan, a mutated giant with power armor grafted permanently to his body. Still, Talion had refused, instead delivering his own ultimatum. He thought of it as a bluff, but if the MGB was headed out on another mission... It was possible to get out of here, even if someone from the base got airborne. However, there was one problem: Soldiers in power armor don't scare easily. They all raised their rifles.

#73: Uhh, no. I don't think so.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy has this to say on the subject of Powersuits: Since the early days of aggressive combat, species have been looking for ways to protect their bodies from harm, so as to be able to dismember a foe while remaining Un-dismembered themselves. Thus, throughout the ages, different forms of armor and protection have been used. However, as many would note, the problem with complete protection was that it left you completely vulnerable. That is, you were slow, heavy, and quite glaringly obvious a target. For years, mankind (and other species) have searched for ways to overcome these setbacks, or at least a couple of them. Hence, the powersuit, a mechanical device made to move with the occupant in the manner that he does automatically with its own moving parts and power source to make it happen. They were still considered very obvious a target, but it was no longer a slow-moving target, as it carried its own weight, so to speak. Soldiers using power armor became more commonplace, to the point where it was soon part of basic training in armies. With one engaged, a person's every movement can be enhanced greatly, his or her durability being multiplied.

Now, Talion was personally stronger and more durable, due to his nature, but six guys opening fire with plasma is nothing to sneeze at.

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

Uhhh, Malkos had already caused two people to faint, so he wasn't going to make matters worse, though the Sylphy kept Sylphy-Sylphy-ing at him. The scene of him following the Sylphys dragging the two unconscious people was already bad enough as is. Naturally, it attracted some attention, attention that spoke weirdly and had bright hair. This was after the near-assault upon the Alpha Deathclaw, but then everyone had been confused about the fact that a Deathclaw was just sort of standing there...which led to Constance actually defending him. Interesting... And then, as things went along further, Malkos witnessed an occasion which he did not think possible: For the first time in history, a Deathclaw was ignored... This surprised the hell out of the Deathclaw, even as the bright-haired one took the girl with the metal pieces to the kitchen. All Malkos could do for now was follow...which was fine, because he immediately got into meat stores with a leather bag and 'gathered up the troops'.

"You won't be needing these. Now, perhaps one of you could direct me to the nearest Deathclaw colony?"

A Deathclaw asking for directions...and he was right behind Jonathan. Hoo boy.

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

So, the crew headed for Dunwich were trying to get past the Fairfax Raiders and on to Andale... Well, it was inevitable. Some of the bastards spotted them, and they were headed this way. They were lightly armed, common savage raiders. Could be worse. Could be Talon Company.

However, these were a distraction compared to situations up ahead. No, no canniballism, but...well... Okay, so at one border of the town, there came a traveler, just a guy in leathers with a backpack and a sidearm. Nothing special. He stopped when he saw the motionless black suits. Black powersuits... The Enclave? They'd been all a'buzz again, lately, according to GNR. They claimed to have made some change...but the look of these guys sent shivers down his spine. At the edge of town, at its entrances, there was no roadblock or outpost, just...two guards. Two power armored guards with Super Sledges, completely motionless. Seeing no warning, no indication of prohibiting entrance, he walker forwards. The two guards shifted suddenly, and in unison, to look at him, sledges standing at ready. He was three feet from passing between them.

"WAH!"

The did nothing further.

"Huh?"

Nothing.

"Hello?"

Nothing.

"Uhh...is it 'None shall pass' or...?"

Still nothing. He...put his left foot in, and then he put his left foot out. He put his left foot in and he shook it all about. He did the hokey-pokey and turned himself about. That's what it's all about. However, the two guards did nothing but stare silently.

"Aww, come on. That was funny. No?"

They didn't seem to think so, but then he didn't know that these were Enclave Replicants, robots built right into powersuits. They didn't have a sense of humor. They must've been here for some reason...but why? Didn't look like an occupation...

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

Well, for VERA's reference, there wasn't a whole lot out of here, but...she could see Girdershade, Evergreen Mills, a shack, a gas station, and further out...a Yao Guai cave, Fort Bannister, and two different power stations. There was also a prevaling Enclave signal in the air that was meant to transmit a flow of data to and from Eyebots, but she had the option to ignore this. The people down the hill were still talking.

Number 6 liked this sleezy-looking weirdo. If he read him right, he trusted to luck and no other. That was an interesting take and possibly even admirable. As long as he wasn't on the Enclave's side, this was fine. He wasn't going back there. Never again... We now find the guy being mis-addressed as 'Mr. Fuck'...

Number 6: I sincerely doubt that that is his name.

Strange... What was that Eyebot doing here, exactly. Number 6 was about to draw a bead on it when...he heard a pod announcing a self destruct sequence, and somebody banging on the thing to be let out. Alright, then. He aimed his plasma rifle, fired a number of bursts along the edges of the door, and the thing fell off with a CLUNK!

Number 6: It's open.

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

Once more unto the russian warplane! Demetri received a message...

-Russian aircraft, we have you on satellite. Reply, over.-

He picked up the mic.

Radanov: Da, am reading you. Who is this?

-I'm the commander of the United States Army, codenamed Enclave.-

Radanov: Pleased to meet you, Mr. Enclave. I am Radanov, traveling out from Russia over north pole. Your country looks like shit, like everywhere else.

-It IS shit, but we're working on it.-

Demetri laughed. This one was fun. However, another signal - not as strong, but definitely asserting itself - got into the act.

-This is Sara Lyons of the Brotherhood of Steel. Do not trust Number One. He is a cold-hearted son-of-a-bitch trying to take control of the wasteland.-

Radanov: Is that so?

-You don't know the Enclave like we do. The Brotherhood of Steel has always defied them and their acts of wanton destruction and attempts to control this land.-

-Oh, you mean like what SHOULD happen when the country is in this kind of shape? You rebellious scamps and your funny ideas...-

-Fuck you, asshole.-

-Up yours, lady.-

Demetri leaned back in his seat and chuckled as this continued on.

Radanov: Ahhh...democracy at work.

Road to Dunwich - Who invited these guys?

"Ok, so everyone pick an idiot and do your thing I suppose." Said William almost lazily, after recent encounters with the Enclave, Natsuki, and that giant monster plant thing dealing with raiders had become very easy. It was like cooking food or maintaining his weapons, just another routine thing to do. Plus he was REALLY looking forward to seeing their new travelling companions in action, they looked like a really badass crew that should take these poor raiders to the cleaners. Drawing his sword he pointed to an approaching raider with a tire iron, "That one's mine, any objections?"

Dudley took his axe into hand and looked at some poor sap with a pool cue, "Oh ho ho, no objections here. That scrawny little runt on the left is mine." He was looking forward to fighting someone not encased in Power Armour for a change. Although he considered himself a good guy, Dudley really loved fighting someone he could easily beat. He was almost salivating at the prospect of fighting these raiders.

"What about the stragglers? There are more of them than there are of us." Evan pointed out, shouldering his laser rifle and vaporising some pathetic raider scum. He was right, the raiders had them outnumbered.

"We take on our own guy, then we mop up the rest. Let's enjoy this one." Chuckled William, "Strike a pose and cue the music!"

Springvale
Hypocrisy made paramount

In all his years, Jonathan's most crowning achievement was his seemingly unending capacity to lie his way both in and out of everything. In the vast, ruthless web of realpolitik of the old Enclave, few could be considered quite so skillful as him. Of course, it wasn't uncommon for the deceived to figure out they had been played, but that came too late. Always too late. On the other hand, deception meant trust was in short supply, and contigency upon contigency had to be made for those you gave it to. So though he had certainly been betrayed in the past, he was always, to a rather large capacity, prepared for it, and never quite felt that sting, that jagged dagger in the dark.

Until now. And boy, did it hurt like a bitch.

In front of him, the cheese princess played out her grandoise display, a true mockery to his intelligence, uttered with such gusto and enthusiasm it was difficult, but certainly not impossible, to see how little substance, how utterly empty the words were. Sisterhood of Steel... a foolhardy, ridiculous notion, doomed from the start. If this were poker, the princess was doing the equivalent of throwing her cards at her opponents while going all in.

Overwhelming recklessness aside, there was something else that especially unnerved him. Her words were foolish, and shortsighted, but she uttered them with such ease that it suggested she knew all this as fact... which meant she had been lying to him this whole time.

Ah, hypocrisy, the folly of man. Jonathan was a liar all his life, and for the largest part of it an unremorseful one at that. No matter how great his regret at his past actions, fact was that he had lied, and would almost certainly lie again. That fact didn't escape him, but provided little comfort. In fact, gnawing at his mind as it were, it only seemed to make everything worse.

With her perfomance finished, the young outlandishly dressed teenager of a contact pledged herself to the cause, which either meant she had bought that drivel or did it to appease. He wasn't quite sure which one of the two it was, the lines were blurry enough as it were in his state, but it certainly spoke wonders of the quality of contacts the Harlot had flung at him, one way or the other. She cleared her throat, as she walked close, and proclaimed greetings:

"Good day to you, Mister Blamco. I'm Constance Sorrowfeld. It will be a pleasure to work with you in the Sisterhood of Steel."

Greetings she was soon going to regret. For the little fool had chosen her words poorly, and uttered them at the worst of times. Jonathan, his face already redder than a ripe tomato from rage, unseathed his gun and, in what surely seemed to be his last act bearing any semblance of sanity, averted its sights away from the young blabbermouth, shooting blindly in the air. Not a moment later, an explosion roared far above, and debris resembling eyebot remains fell and crashed to the ground all around.

Frustration and fury. More destructive than a hundred cannons.

"First of all," he growled at the girl, "I am mister McKenna. Do well to remember that. Second of all..." he turned to Kristin, face all uncontrollably twitchy from anger, "I have nothing to do with this... Sisterhood. Let me remind you, Ms Blamco, that overconfidence is a slow, and insidious killer, and that pride precipitates a dizzying fall. It would be best for all involved that you refrain from such overblown tirades in the future, lest you invite misfortune in your pursuits. There is nothing quite as dangerous as the dagger you don't see coming."

He was letting it out, now, all that built up frustration, and had much more to say still. He was past the threshold of civil restrain and was with each breath devolving further into unadulturated barbarity. Fortunately, or perhaps unfortunately, it was during this slow but steady decline into lunacy that something unexpected decided speak up. The Deathclaw, in a move that would surprise almost everyone, spoke up:

"Now, perhaps one of you could direct me to the nearest Deathclaw colony?"

That gave the frothing berserker pause. Teetering on the brink or not, a talking Deathclaw was still a talking Deathclaw, and though others would surely stare aghast, Jonathan had gone off the edge just enough to accept this piece of complete absurdity well. Perhaps too well.

"Ah, so the Deathclaw talks and rationalises." he said unflinching as he turned to face it, a mad grin on his face, ignoring the fact that it hulked over him. Some would call this the suicidal overconfidence he was so quick to condemn, but in truth Jonathan was well past the point of overconfidence, and instead had reached the point of utter apathy, "My heartfelt congratulations to whatever scientist it were that spawned you. A single sentence and already you show yourself to be more intelligent than the majority of the human race. As for your question, unless memory fails me, there has always been a large concentration of your kind to the south west, near the Dunwich building. Pleasant travels and don't forget to procreate enough to slaughter us all. Now, if you'll EXCUSE ME!" he turned to the other humans of the bunch, still that mad, twitching grin on his face, "I'm gonna take a shower and sleep. If you need me for anything, please do hesitate to call me up. GOOD DAY!" and rushed into the building.


Smith Casey's Garage
The Eddie Show

This was a most peculiar scene that was playing out in front of Eddie's eyes, and he'd seen his share of peculiar scenes. He'd once seen C-beams glitter in the dark off the Tannhauser Gate, watched gothic lolitas duke it out with large clubs, and fire pocket monsters using water moves. These aliens were rather good at playing their roles, and the armour props they were using were rather realistic. Which made Eddie wonder: That eyebot sure came in at a convenient time. Right as not-Biolante made his appearance, in fact... only to be followed at the sudden appearance of Not-Kazuya. It couldn't have been a coincidence... so could this be the set of an Alien reality show? Where these actors? Alien actors? The eyebot was a candid camera!

How fascinating! Were these Eddie's first steps towrads becoming an Alien superstar? In fact, could the Greys actually catch a glimpse of his criminally underestimated splendour?

Nah, he was too deep for them. And besides, would prefer to be a rockstar.

Sabotage was the way, then. Behind him, Astroboy had gotten himself in a bit of a pickle. Or perhaps he couldn't live with the same of having his bonnet-wearing arse broadcast on intergalactic reality TV. Whatever the case, not-Kazuya rescued him, robbing Astroboy of his god-given right to suicide. Clearly, these aliens were pissing on everything humans held dear.

So, Eddie was gonna piss on them back. When it came to pissing, after all, Eddie had a head start.

"Alright... whatever you say, Mister Fuck. Can I have my helmet back?"

[Of course!] Eddied said curtly, grabbing Astroboy's bonnet of his head and placed it on not-Biolante. [There ya go. Suits you great, you look like a cute potato!]

How's that for ratings, you alien bastards?!

The Really Wild Wastelands | The Road to Dunwich | Outside of Fairfax
Example of what not to do...
Thomas "Shifty" McGee

It should have stood to reason that there was going to be a fight based solely on the fact that the Dunwich Six... and a Half... had a pack of Raider Scumbags charging them from every direction. The fact that Dudley, Evan and William had called out their targets only confirmed the fact that there was going to be a fair amount of blood spilled... actually, a lot of blood considering the presence of Sylphee. On an individual basis, the skills of an individual or a small group of Raiders did not necessarily worry the Normally Intrepid Former Undertaker of the East but when they were this close to a major raider base of operations, the potential for a protracted battle that would end badly for the Dunwich Six Point Five.

Spotting a group of the Fairfaxian Raiders coming in from the South Eastern section of the ruins, Thomas' natural impulses kicked in, sending the Friendly Former Undertaker on an intercept course with the motley leather clad group of assailants. Taking cover behind a rusted vehicular hulk, the Pale Shoveler racked a round into the chamber of his assault rifle and hazarded a peak around the corner.

*CLANK - PWING - RIPPPPP!!*

A round fired from a barely maintained hunting rifle skittered across the former school bus's shell before raking a bloody path across Thomas' skin, causing the Wounded Former Undertaker to let out a muffled yell as he fell back into cover. The man's arm left like it was burning, a good sign that it the bullet hadn't destroyed any nerves. Looking his arm, Shifty felt a slight bit of relief that the bullet had just grazed his arm. While the injury wasn't life threatening, Thomas would have a bit of an issue since the blood from his arm had decided to thoroughly soak the sleeve of his jacket. Looking in the direction from where he had come, the normally well spoken giant called out to Arizona.

"Arizona! Start moving towards Andale! There's more on the way!" Shifty called out as he went prone, the former transporter of fresh faced young students having enough clearance underneath for Thomas to get a good view of his enemies coming in from down range. Sure enough, beyond the group that had come from the South Eastern portion of Fairfax was another group, this one more likely to have better equipment.

Looking through the scope of his Assault Rifle, the Mortuary Marksman pulled the trigger, sending a trio of bullets at the men who'd managed to wound him with a lucky shot. One of the Leather Clad Highwaymen fell forward, the nerve impulses from the man's destroyed brain no longer sent commands to his legs. While it was good that one of the Raiders had been taken care of, Thomas' attack allowed the remaining members of the first group to draw a bead on the Fierce Former Funeralist's position.

"Walt dammit...." Thomas cursed as he finally noticed the fact that he was laying prone next to what was essentially a giant nuclear bomb. Taking his finger off of his assault rifle's trigger, Thomas waited for the inevitable blast that would send him into the afterlife.

BOOOOOOOM!!!!


The Really Wild Wastelands | The Road to Dunwich | Outside of Fairfax
Example of what to do...
Sylph(ee)

The Crimson Catastrophe was a bit on the slightly nervous side as she spotted her Daddy running off into the distance. It seemed like all this trouble could have been avoided if it weren't for Sylphee wandering over to SnareFax and trying to bring back any of the faces that Daddy and Missy Arizona Not Old One Not Leather Faced Lady Not Ghoul Whore With The Gun had been looking for in order to run around the Sandwich Building. Was this possibly the reason my Mister Sanders Kirk hadn't brought her anything for Christmas this year, knowing that she was going around doing good deeds not for the sake of doing good deeds but rather doing it for the sake of getting a gift from Mister Sanders Kirk.

Of course, her train of thought wasn't nearly as well thought out as has been chronicled, rather Sylphee was wondering if there was any way that she could undo what was happening. The Tree Mouseketeers had already run off leaving Sylphee with Missy Arizona Not Old One Not Leather Faced Lady Not Ghoul Whore With The Gun, who was probably going to be busy shooting at Mister and Missy SnareFaxian Rattlers in a moment.

Dragging the rather large and unwieldy Anti-Materiel Rifle behind her, the Red Menace attempted to hoist the giant gun onto her shoulder in an attempt to get to her Daddy faster.

BOOOOOOOOOM!!!

The rifle exploded as it shot out one of the REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY BIG BULLETS decided to go for a stroll outside its home. The bullet that had torn Daddy's shirt hadn't actually come from the Rattlers but rather from Sylphee own GIANT EXPLODING GUN! Also, it hadn't actually been Daddy that shot Mister Rattler in the face but it had been Mister Bullet that had bounced off of Mister Yellow Skool Bus and decided to make a home inside of Mister Rattler's skull.

TING TING TING!

It seemed that Father and the Raider weren't the only thing that was damaged by Sylphee accidental weapon's discharge. Picking up the choker from the ground, Sylph pocketed the object and took stock on the situation. Just as Father had noted, Sylph noted that he was precariously close to the large former school bus and that the Opposing Raiders were in a position to wipe Sylph's Father from the face of the Earth and that SOMEHOW Sylphee (the name caused Sylph's teeth to grind unconsciously), the Anti-Materiel Rifle had gotten jammed. The only other remaining ranged weapon at Sylph's disposal was the Laser Pistol that her Sister, Lucy, had given her. It was slightly disturbing the fact that Lucy had insisted on being called Sylph's sister despite the fact that there was clearly something going on between Sylph's Sister and Father. Still, that discussion would only be possible if Father survived this encounter with the Approaching Raider Groups.

Dropping to a knee, the Blue Haired, Stormy Eyed Young Woman cradled the Laser Pistol in her hands, careful not to hold it too tightly lest any tremors in her body be transferred to her shot. Looking down the barrel of the laser pistol, Sylph took a deep breath and held it, just as she squeezed the trigger.

[MELTDOWN!!!!]

BOOOOOOOM!!!!

The group of Raiders that had been out to kill her Father were consumed by a ball of intense light and heat, leaving nothing but steaming piles of ash where they had once been. Sylph's Father, on the other hand, was still alive and still breathing.

BOOOOOOOM!!!!

Woah! Was the general reaction from friend and foe alike as one shot from Sylph's laser pistol reduced a whole group of raiders to ash. In the slight pause of appreciation/fear depending on whose side you were on Evan took a moment to wonder why he'd never been able to do such a thing with laser weapons.

"Hey asshole, lookee here!" Cried Dudley, swinging an axe towards his distracted foe. The raider had just enough time to turn his head and see his pool cue sliced in half by the axe blade that was coming right for his face. Ouch. Finding he could not easily remove his weapon from the dead raiders face, Dudley instead grabbed his victim and bullrushed the next closest raider, causing his new foe to stumble back. Finally removing his axe from the first raider, two chops was all it took to un-alive the second raider. Dudley let out a sudden, "HA!" of excitement as he realised how easy it had been to kill those two.

"Move and fight team, move and fight!" Shouted Evan, echoing Shifty's instruction to Arizona. He too could see another group emerging from Fairfax, which was very bad news. The Brotherhood had studied Raider tactics when defending camps and towns, and often found scouting parties of new and inexperienced members of the gangs were used to pin down groups before a more dangerous group closed in for the kill. If they didn't get moving they'd end up swamped by much tougher raiders with far superior weaponry. The first wave seemed to be armed with pool cues, tire irons, and low power guns; Evan was certain the first raider he'd vaporised had been armed with an oven glove. The next wave would have the good stuff. Starting to move towards Andale again, Evan fired off a couple of shots of what he hoped was suppressing fire.

It wasn't really very good suppressing fire, the raiders had recovered from their initial shock at the chain-vaporisation and renewed their attack, they had bloodlust back on their minds and renewed the attack. William sidestepped to the left to avoid his first foe, bringing his sword back down behind the tire iron, the raider's momentum did the rest as the poor sod damn near decapitated himself on the blade. His next opponent was armed with a sword of apparent Chinese origin but displayed no clear skill with it, swinging it more like a meat cleaver than anything. William easily blocked his first two swings, then sidestepped to his right and made a little chop towards the Achilles tendon of his foe, who fell to the ground with a scream. Promptly silencing that scream with a downwards stab of his sword, William began to move with the group as they pushed on South.

With the second wave of raiders getting closer they began to open fire with hunting rifles and assault rifles, though far away their shots still posed a threat to the group. In response Dudley grabbed the nearest raider around the neck and used her as a human shield as he tried to catch up with the group. In his enjoyment of the fight there was now some distance between himself and the others, he was at risk of being cut off by the second group of raiders.

"Come on Duds!" Shouted William, drawing his 10mm pistol and firing off a few rounds at the approaching raiders, most shots missed but William could see at least one hit a raider right in the chest. The psychotic attacker didn't even break stride, it was likely they were using chems to shrug off minor injuries and increase their own killing power. Blocking an attack from one of the last of the scouting party, William put his opponent to the ground with a vicious kick to the midriff, and put the raider down with a point-blank shot to the head.

Picking up speed like an American Footballer going for a touchdown, Dudley was making a mad dash for safety through a few jutting rocks that made useful cover. However, they did not guarantee full protection as a shot from an assault rifle hit Dudley in his right arm, causing him to drop his human shield and dive for cover behind a rock. As the raider gasped for breath a boot to the face sent her collapsing to the ground in an unconscious heap. Dudley clutched his arm in pain and like hunters closing in for the kill the second wave of raiders began to focus their fire on the rock Dudley was hiding behind, pinning him down while one particularly nasty looking raider with a ripper closed in for the kill.

Kristin BlamCo | Springvale School
"The Weight of Obligation & Ruffled Raven Feathers"
--

Rejection. The ultimate form of dismissal. For the BlamCo Valkyrie, this was secretly a sigh of relief, the strings were finally cut from the over-encumbered partnership. For the prideful Kristin BlamCo, losing what loosely constituted as a friendship had made the shoulder wound feel like a mere paper-cut.

This was a turning point for the BlamCo Princess...
...and so she wore her pride like armor, unyielding.

Uncharacteristically, her face showed nothing but a dispassionate expression of regal dismissal. Her eyes burned with bloodthirsty passion for but a moment, soon to be extinguished by the overwhelming sense of pity she felt towards the aged man. The BlamCo Heiress was retreating into the fortress that was the BlamCo Lineage, enveloping herself in the role of a future leader and all of the responsibilities that followed. Nothing could siege the castle in her mind.

("What else am I meant to do, McKenna!? This is about securing the future of BlamCo. I am honor-bound to maintain good relations with allies of the BlamCo Conglomerate -- regardless of reputation.") -- Of course, this was never vocalised. The Valkyrie preferred to avoid topics that involved her 'upset feelings', or some other weakness that had no place on a battlefield.

"Then just you watch, McKenna.", Kristin practically hissed under her breath, audible enough for Constance to hear, "A new kingdom will be built on this very ground."

("Just like the rest -- every 'friend' has abandoned me. Repulsed by my heritage or intrigued only by the benefits of association.") Come now, Valkyrie. This is not the time for personal feelings. Send your message with strength -- the sword will save you, not your words. Remember your training.

As much as Kristin wanted to dislocate McKenna's jaw with a well-placed steel-plated fist, he stormed off in a very timely manner. The exasperated Kristin turned her attention to the others, trying and failing to disguise her annoyance, discovering that she was a terrible liar in the process. A quirk that was never pointed out by her sisters. Were they merely humoring the Princess?

Crossing her arms, Kristin frowned with disapproval when she actually took a moment to assess the physical state of the Crimson Huntress Clones. While she was too angry to rationalize the very phenomenon of cloning, she did notice a distinct lack of....well, everything from these cheap imitations. None of them had a warrior's gaze and they trudged along with lumbering steps, devoid of the elegance of the true Crimson Huntress. With a cursory glance they certainly carried the same physical potential, but they were predictable in their movements. The Crimson Huntress that Kristin fought, she was to be their model. Absentmindedly lifting her cloak, Kristin exposed the healing wound on her shoulder -- until each clone could inflict the same amount of damage on the Valkyrie, their training would continue.

The Deathclaw & Celestial Moon Dweller -- artifacts of curiosity, challenge & reverence -- were largely ignored by the Valkyrie. The only things that mattered in this very moment was the preparation of the first grand feast, followed by the aid and company of Constance Something-Or-Another.

Speaking of which -

"Shall we?", Kristin muttered to the girl-scout-lost-in-thought, before tossing a polkadotted apron over her head, "We have din-dins to prepare. And for legal reasons, I must inform you that our food might become sentient. So eliminate it quickly. Shall we!?"

The Really Wild Wastelands | The Road to Dunwich | Outside of Fairfax
RUN AWAY! RUN AWAY!
Thomas "Shifty" McGee | Sylphee

Thomas "Shifty" McGee was absolutely surprised to find out that he was still alive after that particularly loud explosion that turned a group of Fairfaxian Raiders into a several piles of greasy Snow like ash, though the surprise was tempered by the fact that increasingly larger groups of Raiders were being disgorged from the Ruins, not unlike a swarm of Cazadores erupting from their nest. The main difference being that the Friendly Former Undertaker was much less scared of a Raider group and an individual Cazador, having run into those Brutal Bugs during his migration to the East Coast. Checking the rest of his body to ensure that he hadn't accidentally misplaced a limb during the large conflagration of explosions caused by Sylph, the Grim Grave Digger looked for more suitable cover, rather than the large dilapidated hunk of metal that used to be used as mass transit and spotted... nothing.

"Dammit." Thomas spat the curse as he moved back towards the group, stopping long enough to unload a suppressive spray of bullets in the general direction of the incoming raiders, his wounded arm caused the ill aimed bursts bounce wildly. To his surprise however, a few of the Raiders tumbled to the ground, their flesh smoldering from the laser blast that impacted against their make shift leather armor, burning through both leather, skin and musculature. Turning around, the makeshift Master of Sylph sent a gratitude filled nod towards his charge. If he made it through the rest of this encounter, he'd make sure to treat her a little more nicely.

Turning to retreat once again, Shifty spotted a break away from one of the preliminary probing parties making a move on Sylph. Surprisingly, the wiry looking Raider was able to lift a Sledgehammer with surprising ease as lifted it above his head, intent on splattering the Red Menace's brains across the Wasteland Floor. Shouldering his rifle, the former assassin drew a bead on the would be assassin, pulling the trigger and sending a bullet just wide of the man's head. While it didn't end up hitting the man, it did make him pause just long enough for the Crimson Catastrophe to turn and parry the delayed blow with that all too familiar wrist blade. As the blue haired butcher locked her blade with the Raider's crude but effective hammer, she pointed the Gifted Laser Pistol at the man's gut and pulled the trigger, causing the man's back to erupt into a fine red mist.

More bullets, more fighting, more blood, more screams. The carrion birds were going to get their fill of rendered Raider flesh that afternoon... and non-Raider flesh if the situation didn't improve slightly... well more than slightly. As Thomas stood atop a hill, he could see the border of Andale... more importantly he could see the Enclave Replicants standing guard at the perimeter of the town proper.

"Dammit." Shifty cursed again as he saw that they were stuck between a rock and a hard place. Turning to the others, he informed them of their predicament, "Well my friends, we've got those FairFaxian savages sending every member of their happy little inbred family out direction in an attempt to kill us and then have intercourse with our skulls or we have the Enclave in Andale, who are more than likely going to liquefy us with Plasma bursts the moment we breach the border of that charming little community." The wordy Former Undertaker said feeling a bit more like his old self now that he faced what felt like certain death. Pausing long enough to balance his assault rifle on a battered section of wall, Thomas "Shifty" McGee squeezed the trigger, the bullets cutting into the chest of a charging bandit, "If you want my opinion, I think our best is to run for Andale and hope that they don't turn us into little puddles of green goo before we have the chance to explain we're on a mission for Natsuki Manriki... otherwise, we can sit here spend the rest of the afternoon killing these Raiders until such a time as they get tired of us and decide to leave us alone." Which was unlikely to occur since it was practically an unwritten Raider Rule to kill every single piece of meat that wandered through your territory, "Thoughts?"


The Really Wild Wastelands | Smith Casey's Garage
The Princess ED
Enclave Heavy Weapons Specialist #209

If Mister Fuck was trying to get into a land war in Asia against Enclave Heavy Weapons Specialist #209, he was well on the road to succeeding with this goal. This was especially stupid since Enclave Dominator #209's mother's mother's mother's mother's father was Sicilian and in this presumptive war between the man in black and Mister Fuck, death was definitely on the line. At least this was how ED would have liked to have seen it. Instead what he heard was a cooing sound in response to Mister Fuck's less than generous offer of a bonnet in exchange for a top of the line, nearly mint condition Power Armor Helmet. Apparently Trixie found it amusing that he, her savior from the Evil Vault of Evil, be treated in such a manner.

"Grrrrr." The Man sans Helmet growled at his companion's amusement.

"C'mon Ed. It's a nice bonnet. I think it's rather attractive when a man can make fun of himself." The Synth said in a rather low and husky voice. Trixie had used this tactic many a time to get the upper hand on a trade. While the Enclave Soldier saw no advantage to acceptingMister Fuck a Duck's offer, the trades woman saw the acceptance of such a deal as an opportunity not to get killed by the Demi-Ghoul/Demi-Supermutant thing. For a moment, the Heavy Weapon's Specialist appeared to consider accepting the trade and allowing Mister Fuck a Duck to keep the helmet. It had been so so soooo long...

"No... no no no!" The Enclave Dominator stated authoritively before turning back to Mister Fuck a Duck in a Truck, "That is Enclave Property... so I'll have it back... now."

These were just the opening shots in what was sure to be a spectacular war. Unfortunately, the assembled group did not have the luxury of seeing a grudge develop between the Muscle Bound Marauder and the Muscle Bound Moron. As the two neanderthals stared at one another, the sound of twisting metal could be heard.

Turning to see what the source of the noise was, Enclave Heavy Weapons Specialist #209 noticed that Trixie was holding a rather crude and sad approximation of his Helmet.

image

"Here." Trixie said as she handed Enclave Dominator the Submissive's Mask.


The Wild Wastelands | Springvale Elementary School
Mommy and Daddy issues...
Constance Sorrowfeld

It was probably for the best that Constance's Mother and Father had never lived under the same roof given the likelihood of conflict occuring between Enclave Intelligence Officer #411 and any man desperate brave enough to procreate with that bitch woman. If the awkward feelings that rose between watching the tiff that occurred between Mister McKenna and Miss Blamco were any fraction of what Constance Sorrowfeld would have felt watching her mother and father fight, she more than likely would have grown up a rather sad and depressed young girl instead of the fiery go-getter than her mother had helped mold. Despite the fact that the young American Enclave Scout of America was blinder than a blindfolded and earmuffed bat, her augmented ears allowed her to see some of the subtle cues being broadcast by Miss Kristin's body, cues that Mister McKenna were likely to have missed in his enraged state.

Following Miss Blamco from behind, the Sixteen Year Old girl could appreciate why her mother had recruited this woman as the official trainer for the Sylphy army. There was a grace apparent in the way Miss Blamco moved, one that was belied by the layers of muscle that the BlamCo Valkyrie's lean body. This was this the sort of woman that Constance's mother wanted her to look up to?

"We have din-dins to prepare. And for legal reasons, I must inform you that our food might become sentient. So eliminate it quickly. Shall we!?" Miss Blamco stated commandingly as they started getting the kitchen into some semblance of a kitchen.

"Ummm... Miss Blamco. This might be a little forward but... don't you think you should talk to Mister McKenna?" Constance asked weakly, a bit unsure as to whether this was the correct way to broach the topic of the argument between the two who obviously cared for one another. If they didn't care for one another, would they even get this worked up?

"I'm ... also sorry about my mother broadcasting BlamCo's affiliation with the Enclave. I know it's probably not the sort of information you'd want released into the world... but... you and Mister McKenna are friends right? You shouldn't let something like this ruin that." The Wonderfully Naive Young Woman said as she started scrubbing a pot that had a literal inch of bunch food caked on the inside, "I... might not be experienced in having a boyfriend... or... friend, but I think it's important that you patch things up before he leaves. Again, this might be a little forward but... if I were you... I don't think I would be able to forgive myself if something happened to Mister McKenna after he left but before you and he could patch things."

The Cat Eared Young Teenage went silent after that, unsure as to how her words would be taken or if she would be heard or if she was heard if the words would bring a terrifying tirade upon the well meaning teenager. Maybe things would have been better if Constance's mother had allowed her to get her tail removed and gotten her ear system replaced with the new ocular replacements the Enclave had developed. She wouldn't feel so awkward in a social situation since she would have, more than likely, had more frineds than she did now... which, not counting Miss Blamco or Miss Sorenson... was zero.

Sighing loudly, Constance continued to scrub the pot, using a combat knife to chisel through the burnt food. She wondered absently if Mister McKenna was still outside and if Constance would be able to talk to him once dinner had been prepared. The more the childish young woman thought about things between the two adults who obviously cared for each other, the worse she felt. The worse she felt, the more likely it was that she'd fail her mission in preparing the Sylphy Army to defend the D.C. Wasteland.

DOUBLE POST!!! (Such a newb move)

Arizona
The Wild Wastelands | The Dunwich Job | The Road To Dunwich
"Things never go smoothly."

As the Dunwich Group split up to move more swiftly and, hopefully, draw less attention, Arizona had noticed that something was immediately wrong with this set-up. She wasn't concerned about the group's recent addition, the odd trio that had been accompanying Lucy's father. After all, they could either take care of themselves without much hassle, or they would get killed before they even reached Dunwich. It was an unlikely possibility, but if it happened, it may even have been for the best. Better to know now if they could be counted on in a pinch.

She wasn't worried about Thomas, since he was with her, and she would watch his back if need be. And earlier, when he had given her an IOU after her nostalgic little story, she couldn't help but smirk even as she tucked it under the collar of her shirt. She wasn't about to argue against free caps.

No, the problem was that she had no idea where Sylphee was, and that was a bad thing. Looking around, she murmured a curse to herself as she tried to spot the crimson-clad monster. That little brat shouldn't be able to hide very well at all when she was so damn bright all the time. So, where was she? What kind of mayhem was she going to cause now?

She got her answer before too long due to the sounds of screams, gunfire, and the blue-haired troublemaker herself skipping towards them from the trail ahead.

"Daddy! Where you goin'?"

As Thomas stammered, the Old Ghoul did the only thing she could think of: She let out a low, wearisome groan, and covered her face with her hands.

"Never mind. Is this the face you're looking for?"

Arizona looked up and saw that Sylphee had a head in one hand. A severed, raider head. With deliberate slowness, her lone eye swiveled to gaze blandly at Thomas, and only Thomas.

"I believe that it would be in our best interest to travel in one large group. The Fairfaxian Raiders appear to be busy at the moment and we should not have much of an issue avoiding them."

It was a pretty sound idea at that point. With the local raiders having to deal with the aftermath of... Whatever the fuck Sylphee did, they probably wouldn't mind if all of them just got the hell out. And as Sylphee pointed at her, saying that she was in trouble, Arizona could only nod.

Of course, things were never that easy she realized, as she looked up and spotted a few raiders heading in their direction now. That wasn't much of a surprise, if she was honest, and the only mild surprise she felt was in regards to the reaction of the trio. All but one seemed enthusiastic, and that was for understandable reasons.

"What about the stragglers? There are more of them than there are of us."

Arizona huffed as she ducked behind cover, then peeked up just enough to bring Lester to bear and took careful aim at the group headed towards them.

"It doesn't matter, just kill the sumbitches!" she barked as she opened fire at raiders that weren't already spoken for.

By that point, she shut out everything but the essentials. Spot the enemy. Aim. Fire. Take cover. Repeat. All the while keeping careful tabs of the rest of the group. The Ghoulish Freelancer acted almost purely on instinct, until Thomas's voice cried out in pain. It was like her mind stopped for a moment before she turned and focused on him.

"Thomas, you alright?!" she called.

"Arizona! Start moving towards Andale! There's more on the way!"

She tensed her legs, her body poised to run, but she didn't move. Not out of fear for herself, but fear for Thomas, because she just realized what he was using for cover: A wrecked bus, undoubtedly with a fusion core just waiting for a stray bullet to make it blow.

Turning, she started to run, not towards Andale, but Thomas.

"Thomas, get the fuck out of--!" she started, only for the rest of what she said to be drowned out by a loud boom.

She stopped in her tracks and looked over at Sylphee, hefting her Anti-Materiel Rifle. And the next few moments felt like ages. Arizona watched as Sylphee, no, Sylph, picked up her choker from the ground and tucked it away. Checking the Anti-Materiel Rifle, she noticed it was jammed, and for a split second a look of irritation flashed on the young girl's face. Then she crouched, drew the Laser Pistol Lucy had given her, took aim. Squeezed the trigger.

[MELTDOWN!!!!]

BOOOOOOOM!!!!

The resulting blast of light and plasma was enough to make Arizona need to turn away and keep from getting blinded. But when she looked back, she exhaled a heavy, relieved sigh. The raiders were gone, and both Sylph and Thomas were alive. The relief was palpable for a few seconds, only to be overshadowed be a hot burst of anger, and she took a deep breath.

"Will the two of you move your fucking asses?! Get to goddamn Andale!" she roared.

Hefting Lester, both she and Thomas sprayed suppressing fire at the group before she turned and broke into a run towards the town ahead. She stopped the moment she saw the two sets power armor, hefting Super Sledges. When Thomas rejoined her a few moments later, he saw them too.

"If you want my opinion, I think our best is to run for Andale and hope that they don't turn us into little puddles of green goo before we have the chance to explain we're on a mission for Natsuki Manriki... otherwise, we can sit here spend the rest of the afternoon killing these Raiders until such a time as they get tired of us and decide to leave us alone. Thoughts?"

"I like that plan. It's simple, easy to remember." she said quickly before turning to the rapidly-approaching trio and Sylphee, calling out, "Get into Andale! We let the Enclave deal with the raiders for now!"


[ dr. sorenson ]
The Wild Wastelands | Following The Post-Apocalypse | Springvale School
"Some dizziness and general fainting periods may occur."

There is an old saying regarding Doctors that has most likely persisted throughout the ages, and yes, even past the end of the world: That they make horrible patients. Jenna would have realized that herself if she was still thinking clearly. Instead, her vision swam, and she was vaguely aware of just how disoriented she was. Sitting back, she slowly shook her head to try and clear up her dizzy spell, and only managed to make it worse. Groaning softly in discomfort, she heard muted voices, and saw a silver blur walk up to her, and extend... Something to her.

She reached up and tried to politely grab whatever it was to give it a handshake, since that's what it seemed to be wanting. Instead, she nearly missed entirely and gave whatever it was a light, amicable slap.

"Ugh... If you--oh boy..." she groaned as she forced herself unsteadily to her feet, "If you don't mind, I'm gonna go inside and take a few moments to recover."

Despite pointing away from the school, she staggered towards it instead on long, unsteady legs, and resolved to make her way to a bathroom. Even as she did, she could hear raised voices behind her, and they made her head start to throb. So, she ignored them out of both a sense of self-preservation, and because it wasn't any of her business. At least, she dimly hoped it wasn't.

It took her some time, along with quite a bit of stumbling, but she managed to make her way to one of the bathrooms, and on the way had grabbed her pack so she could examine the back of her head. So, standing hunched over a broken sink in front of one of the more intact mirrors, she took the time to take off her helmet and partly unzip her Science Suit.

The moment the domed helmet was pulled off, it revealed a young woman with light coffee-colored skin and jet black hair, cropped short and standing up in messy spikes. Her face was soft and narrow with high cheekbones, narrow nose, full lips. Almond shaped eyes squinted in pain behind a pair of glasses that were just a little askew. And both her face and the tops of her breasts were drenched in sweat as she panted, revealing something else about the young Follower of the Apocalypse: That she didn't really wear much underneath her Science Suit.

The truth was, it wasn't practical to. Since she wore it around the clock, it was more uncomfortable to try and wear even a thin layer under the bodysuit, especially since it struggled to fit over her unfortunate bust-line as it was. Reaching up and back, she lightly touched the back of her head and flinched with a soft cry.

"Ah, man, my head--!" she groaned, but she stopped as she looked up into the mirror and noticed that she wasn't alone.

She slowly turned and stared at the intruder. It was a man, face red, hair just starting to gray. And she was partly undressed. All she could do is gape, and a small squeak managed to escape from her throat.

The Black Residence
Paranoia the Law

Jonathan kicked the door open, breath audibly rushing in and out of his lungs, anger overflowing through his shaking hands. He was glad she was out of sight; merely the thought of the woman made his blood boil. The worst betrayals always come at the most unexpected moments, but this was well and beyond any plausable possibility he could've ever anticipated.

He clenched his first and moved towards the bathroom, growling lowly along as he did. Jonathan had been an extraordinarily good liar. It's not something to take pride in, but it takes one to know one, and she, well, she was quite frankly on a whole different level. The extent of her lies, her act, they were in a scale that he would never have suspected. All while she was playing him with false promises and empty bravado. Distracting him with her teasing, half-naked theatrics. Poking at him to learn his plans!

He wanted to punch himself for not suspecting anything from the start: Lucy Black, former Enclave asset, conveniently saved and brought home by an expertly trained cheese-worshiping battle vixen from the other side of the country? How the hell had he fallen for such a painfully contrived coincidence? When did he grow so dense?

But at the same time, if the alleged princess was on their side, why did she kill two of her men? Would she really go that far to keep her act? And why did the harlot break the cover so bluntly and suddenly? He couldn't make any sense out of it, his head was pulsing and throbbing with pain, is chest fealt heavy and his stomach felt so tight it was a wonder he hadn't vomitted all the dairy products that had been shoved down his mouth. Now he knew what it truly was like to be on the receiving end of utter betrayal: He'd never get any answers. None of the people he'd ever betrayed got any, why'd he be an exception?

Drained of self-righteous anger and plunging headlong into self-loathing despair, Jonathan let out a sigh as he placed his hand on the door handle. You reap what you sow. With that thought in mind, he opened the door, only to be struck with another surprise: The enclave scientist Constance had brought along stood in front of him, her face flushed and shocked, as a good deal of her chest layed bare, the edges of her unzipped science suit barely, perhaps teasingly so, covering her nipples, before she covered herself up in embarrashment.

Now, in any other circumstance, Jonathan would have awkwardly apologised and walked away, but he had gone through far too much shit to give a damn about courtesies, so instead her stared at her in the eyes, an eyebrow just so starting to twitch, his mood not helped by the fact this whole scene reminded him of what happened just a night ago at the Megaton bomb. It's as though the universe mocks my stupidity

"So, not only does the Harlot see it fit to send a member of the R&D division along with her contact as though saying she doesn't put faith in my intelligence or competence..." his voice got louder just a bit, "but she also sends one that ignores uniform regulations." he let out a long, heavy sigh and massaged his temples, "I'm past the point of caring anymore. Dress up and get out." he said in a tired, defeatist tone, and pointed behind him with a thumb.

Kristin Blamco | Springvale School
"Gold/Black Scene: BlamCat"
--

Springvale Elementary School, the name of Kristin's current location, was a place with a wealth of history as evidenced by the graffiti and other absurdities scrawled across the walls. From bulletholes, dried-blood, scorch marks followed by treacherous falls to the lower levels due to the unfortunate use of explosives indoors and so much more -- every aspect of this Enclave-chosen base of operations left one with an impression of death and struggle -- however, the immediate absence of hope lead Kristin Blamco to be encouraged by the untapped potential of this place and it's occupants -- it felt like the fresh start that the Heiress was looking for.

Familial and political complications aside, the Heiress had discovered her blank-slate, her foundation...she would bring BlamCo to the East Coast, or Dairy Gods drown her in her sleep, she will bring a wealth of resources back to the West Coast! Whether that be in the form of reforged alliances with the (New?) Old Enclave or her own personal army...

The Parmesan Princess' aspirations did not stop there, but a mental note was made to keep it manageable for now.

"Ummm... Miss Blamco. This might be a little forward but...", Constance had broken the silence, albeit rather weakly, "...don't you think you should talk to Mister McKenna?"

They had just reached the kitchen, a place of comfort and duty for the BlamCo Baker. Kitchen quirks aside, the sudden mention of McKenna had caused Kristin to visibly falter, almost dropping her messenger bag in the process. How brazen of this young girl. In an attempt to familiarise herself with the layout of the surprisingly large kitchen, Kristin turned to face Constance without directly looking at her, attention clearly divided. She didn't have a good answer on hand anyway...

"I'm ... also sorry about my mother broadcasting BlamCo's affiliation with the Enclave. I know it's probably not the sort of information you'd want released into the world... but... you and Mister McKenna are friends right? You shouldn't let something like this ruin that."

Locating an empty cabinet, Kristin had emptied the contents of her bag on the kitchen countertop in the center of the room. Proceeding to stock the nearby shelves with surplus BlamCo supplies consisting of spices, packaged instant meals, canned goods, sauces and a few other essentials, Kristin was content to just let Constance speak her mind on the matter.

The scraping and subsequent abuse of an innocent pot had caused Kristin to flinch. Moving to the nearest kitchen sink, Kristin tested the faucet to discover a steady supply of running water. As quickly as she gulped down a glass of water, a compact mirror was pulled out to observe any changes to her appearance: Sure enough, the ever-so-slight oversaturation of her honey-hair had developed into a hue of gold. The impromptu hair-dye was not the only thing to change it's true color, her irises were golden as well. Fortunately, this was the extent of Kristin's sensitivity to radiation -- but the experimental recipes of the past was a story for another time.

The local water supply was irradiated, not dangerously so, but enough to warrant its avoidance until purification. This was precisely why she carried bottles of purified water, although her stockpile will be somewhat limited after tonight's preparations.

"I... might not be experienced in having a boyfriend... or... friend, but I think it's important that you patch things up before he leaves. Again, this might be a little forward but... if I were you... I don't think I would be able to forgive myself if something happened to Mister McKenna after he left but before you and he could patch things."

Putting out four plates before Constance, Kristin hesitated on adding a fifth.

"Will the Deathclaw be joining us?"

It was a question that was so far removed from the current atmosphere. So much so that it revealed Kristin's strong desire to not want to talk about the current state of affairs. Sighing at her inability to lie effectively, Kristin conceded to Constance.
(Truth be told, Kristin felt a little guilty for ignoring a talking Deathclaw. Her sister, Sable Blamco -- a lover of animals, especially of the unique variety -- would skewer her if she ever got wind of this.)

After extensive inspection (Kristin turned a dial or two), the oven was busy with preheating while the Mini-Microwave was plugged into a nearby outlet. Removing the steel gauntlets, vambraces and chest-plate -- Kristin set her armor on a nearby high shelf before tying her hair into a golden messy bun. A quick wash of the hands and the propping of her sword against Constance's chair and she was ready to work and talk.

"First off, never be afraid to speak your mind. You can call me 'Kristin', provided that I can call you Constance and any number of nicknames that will follow in the future.", Kristin started with a slight smile, a smile that grew rather tightlipped at the mention of McKenna, "McKenna is best left alone for now. I've known the man for a few days and already I feel like months have passed --- ", Kristin paused to hand over what looked like a loaf of solid cheese -- the expanding cube of cheese, this time with juicy bits of beefy brahmin inside!, "Here, I need this cut into twenty segments. Divide that by four and add these spices for each, with a drop of this."

Kristin threw all the dirty dishes into he kitchen sink -- including the pot that Constance was abusing -- into a bubbling concoction of grated soap/washing soda/lemon and a BlamCo-developed cleaning agent that chewed through tough bacteria...and human flesh. With the purified water on standby, the vast, vast majority of the kitchen's utensils will be clean and ready-for-use. In the meantime, Kristin switched over to finely chopping up the vegetables -- moving a little too fast to be informative about her methods, Kristin could slow down if she were to have more time than what she currently had.

"Where was I? Oh right -- McKenna.", discovered in the fridge, she paused to chop a fresh mutfruit in half with a swift strike, followed by digging out the seeds, "He has his own reasons for being here, namely for the sake of Lucy Black. So my word will mean very little to him. See, I was just caught up in all of their business by helping out -- I get crucified for trying to make the best out of a bad situa -- ..."

Slowly setting down the utensils, the BlamCo Heiress breathed deeply -- for Kristin to consciously quell the storm of frustration, well, something was very wrong...and she wasn't about to take it out on a potential new partner, Constance Such-and-Such.

"I'm sorry, Constance.", Kristin started earnestly, more calm yet regal, "As my name implies, I am the Blamco Heiress -- next in line to inherit complete ownership of the New Vegas BlamCo Division. On the West Coast, things are far different with the various factions. The Brotherhood burrow like molerats in their bunker. The Enclave Remnants show no recognition or knowledge of the BlamCo/East Coast Enclave alliance -- so we have been fighting for decades, for reasons unclear, because of past generations and their wars carrying over to us. But when you have your battle-sisters picked off by Brotherhood and Enclave alike because of outsider-prejudice, then you cannot help but see red when power armor shows up."

Pausing to cover a fifth large bowl of salad with thin clingwrap cover, Kristin deposited the bowls into the fridge.

"But over here, everything is different. It had been two centuries since the alliance, how would the Enclave over here remember and be so different from the Remnants back at home. So I am still...shocked, confused and...a little guilty now that I know the alliance is still active, let alone remembered.", Kristin started preparing the base of the lasagne, "That message from your mother. A sudden affiliation, one that I believed to not apply -- hence why I never brought it up. It probably looks pretty bad to McKenna...and it feels like I betrayed BlamCo.", Kristin remarked sadly.

With her back turned, "I know - or hope that - you aren't like the Enclave that I know.", Kristin washed her hands once more.

After a few seconds Kristin retrieved some latex gloves from her bag, beginning to rinse off the dishes that will be used for cooking and serving the food. Eight baking trays were available for the BlamCo LazaNyaa, large portions for the main course, but she had the mini-micro cooking instant meals for those that wanted a second helping.

"Although, your mother is lucky.", Kristin smirked for the first time upon arrival, "After getting off on the wrong foot and killing her guards with that -- who knew that she would discover someone fit for training unorganised squads. Training starts tomorrow, but what have you done with them so far? Actually, surprise me tomorrow."

"Now, we have a few minutes...", Kristin started rummaged through the fridge for the two bottles she had moved from her bag, "Red or white?", proceeding to gesture with one hand to wine on her left and purified water on her right. And that's when she noticed -- Constance wasn't overtly shy, as initially expected. No, she was blind -- it was subtle, but the cute mechanical ears followed Kristin's every move while the eyes were always somewhat off. If anyone in this room was blind, it was Kristin for not noticing earlier --- regardless, Kristin continued, not wanting to patronise the distinguished scout, as evidenced by the sash of badges.

She was tempted to 'show' Constance her sword, adorned with cat stickers...but she wasn't quite sure how to broach that topic.

"Tell me more about those, your badges! And those, your 'other' ears. ~They're adorable.~", Kristin noted enthusiastically, taking a seat next to Constance and placing a glass of wine & water for both of them. "Oh, and your training begins tonight. Fret not, it's just a shower together. Plus I need to wash my hair..."

Before one jumps to any conclusions, it was a trust exercise. If Constance could not be trusted on the most fundamental and personal level of physical display, how was she to be trusted with the Valkyrie's life?

[ dr. sorenson ]
The Wild Wastelands | Following The Post-Apocalypse | Springvale School Bathroom
"Trust me, I'm a doctor."

Looking back, Jenna would have said that her slow reflexes were due to how off-kilter her earlier head injury had put her. She would have said the same regarding how slow on the uptake she was too. So she merely stared at the supposed intruder for a moment before she hastily zipped her science suit back up and reached for her helmet. But she paused for a moment when she looked back at the man in front of her, her eyes narrowing behind her crooked glasses.

At first, she thought his face was red because it was flushed with anger. After all, she did vaguely recall a man yelling earlier before she had to retreat to the bathroom. But it took her a moment to realize that it was actually blood, and he was coated in it. It couldn't have all been his, there was far too much, but she did notice a partly-hidden gash on his forehead.

Something in her seemed to click, and she straightened some as she regained some inner-balance.

"You're hurt." she said quickly, and turned not to grab her helmet, but her medical kit.

"So, not only does the Harlot see it fit to send a member of the R&D division along with her contact as though saying she doesn't put faith in my intelligence or competence... But she also sends one that ignores uniform regulations. I'm past the point of caring anymore. Dress up and get out."

She looked back at him with a stern look on her face and an arched brow.

"I don't think so. I'm not entirely sure what you're..." she started, before a look of realization dawned on her.

That was right, she heard some voice mention that they were with the Enclave, and that apparently, the busty Blamco woman was working for them, along with young Constance. This man was with them, and seemed to think that she was with the Enclave, specifically their Research and Development group. She would've kicked herself for not putting two-and-two together sooner, but head injuries tended to make the thought processes a little sluggish for a time.

Shaking her head a little despite the throbbing ache, she turned and looked him in the eye. It was surprisingly easy to do too, since he was nearly as tall as she was.

"I'm not with the Enclave. In fact, we haven't been properly introduced at all. I'm Dr. Jenna Sorenson, with the Followers of the Apocalypse. I'm not interested in building an army, or subjugating the wastes. I'm here for purely humanitarian goals, and before I do anything else, I'm going to treat that head wound of yours." she told him simply, before adding, "Hopefully that's alright with you."

The Black Residence
And all my promises are lies

"I don't think so. I'm not entirely sure what you're..." the Enclave scientist started clearly caught off guard. He wasn't sure what she meant by that, but by the time her voice trailed off she suddenly straightened up, as though suddenly realising something and recovering from her previous blunder. Much like how a liar reminds themselves to put on their act whilst caught off guard. Takes one to know one.

"I'm not with the Enclave. In fact, we haven't been properly introduced at all. I'm Dr. Jenna Sorenson, with the Followers of the Apocalypse." An eyebrow twitched at that, and his expression grew grim. Another woman from the other side of the country that just so happened to appear along with a member of the Enclave, who also just happened to be the contact he was expecting. Did they lack imagination, or something? And why even lie at this point? Everyone must think I'm an idiot, and the worst thing is they are right.

"I'm going to treat that head wound of yours. Hopefully that's alright with you"

"No, it isn't alright." he growled, and pulled his pistol out, "It isn't alright at all." an angry smirk form across his cheeks, "Sorry, I've fallen for that one before. Recently. The fact that you're trying it out on me makes me very..." his smirk twisted into a frown, "irritated."

He drummed on the doorframe with the side of the pistol and stared at it, contemplating, "I wasn't always so prone to anger and violence. I always considered myself a reasonable man." he turned his gaze on her again, "And look at me now. A parody of myself, ready to draw my gun at even the basest slight. I can't help but feel like I could... snap at any moment." he got silent, as though seriously thinking about it, but holstered his gun instead, "I suppose you're lucky that moment isn't this one. I am more than able to treat my wounds, and given how I have blood of at least two different men splattered all over my clothes I also want a shower to clean up and, more importantly, unwind. My demands are reasonable, yes?" he grabbed the grip of his pistol, as though ready to draw. "Last chance, Dr. Sorenson. Do not test my patience. You'll find I have barely any of it left."


The Road
For the wages of sin is death.

From the west walked a lone man. Dressed all in black, he looked like a priest, except for the lack of a collar, his clothes making him look thinner than he already was.

There was an air of detachment to his walk, further reinforced by how enarmoured he looked reading the thick open book he held with his large mechanical arm, the words on the black cover all but worn out. Fixing his round glasses, he licked a finger and turned a page, reading on seemingly unhindered by the hot weather of that hour of the day, or the dangers travelling alone posed. He had nothing to fear, he wasn't dying quite yet.

He licked another finger, turned another page, in what looked like a borderline mechanical routine. This was the third time he was reading this book over the course of the past two months, and he couldn't have discovered it at a more fitting time. His eyes opened these last two months, and this book helped. Once he was a foolish drug addict, betrayed and left for dead. But now he was a man with a mission, and he knew there was nothing that would stop him from seeing it through.

He heard gunshots not too far in the distance, but even then he was unfazed. Lick, turn, repeat. He was close to memorising the whole thing by now. The shots grew louder, but he kept reading on, as though the next paragraph held a new earth-shattering revelation. He knew it didn't; whatever answers this book held he had already found them, but it never hurt to be reminded of them. Walking into the firefight from the west, he stumbled upon a ragtag bunch being assaulted by raiders. Still unnoticed by either side, he moved to flank the raiders, and from his advantageous position looked for targets, the closest being two men in dirty ragged clothes and wierd hairdos taking cover behind a car to his left side. He placed the book back in his mailbag, scratched his beard, and pulled a six-shooter from his coat. A bullet flew from the barrel into the closest man's head and through the other side, spraying blood all over his companion's face, who had turned in shock to see him, terror-filled eyes meeting his, before meeting the same fate. Aim, shoot, repeat.

Having made his presence known, he took cover behind a ruined wall, his expressionless eyes scanning for more targets. Aim, shoot, repeat. There wasn't a duller routine than that, and that was how it was going to go until all hostiles were dead or he run out of bullets and needed to deal with them from up close.

But that didn't much matter to him. He wasn't going to die here. He still had work to be done.

[ dr. sorenson ]
The Wild Wastelands | Springvale | Springvale School Bathroom Black Residence Bathroom
"What a stupid jerk!"

Of all the reactions that Jenna was anticipating out of this man, him pulling a gun on her wasn't one of them. She stared down the barrel with a look of dull shock, only taking her eyes away from it when he finally spoke.

"No, it isn't alright. It isn't alright at all. Sorry, I've fallen for that one before. Recently. The fact that you're trying it out on me makes me very... irritated."

It took her a moment, but with the tone of his voice, the expression on his face, her fear of being shot for trying to help was slowly overwhelmed by a flare of anger at the fact that he didn't believe her, and thought she was some kind of threat! Her eyes narrowed as she reached up to straighten her glasses, all the while he continued.

"I wasn't always so prone to anger and violence. I always considered myself a reasonable man. And look at me now. A parody of myself, ready to draw my gun at even the basest slight. I can't help but feel like I could... snap at any moment. I suppose you're lucky that moment isn't this one. I am more than able to treat my wounds, and given how I have blood of at least two different men splattered all over my clothes I also want a shower to clean up and, more importantly, unwind. My demands are reasonable, yes? Last chance, Dr. Sorenson. Do not test my patience. You'll find I have barely any of it left."

If she wasn't feeling quite so insulted, Jenna would have noticed the subtle conflict of emotion on his face, in his words. Instead, she felt the overwhelming urge to smack him, though she was all but certain that the result of that would be a fresh bullet wound. Or several.

Instead, she crossed her arms and leveled a cold stare at him.

"I see." she said flatly, "I suppose if I told you that the sky used to be blue, that water happens to be wet, or that the sun is a ball of burning gases that you would say that I'm lying about that too, when I'm not."

Turning away, she snatched up her helmet and shoved it on, ignoring her increasingly throbbing head as she secured it.

"Whatever, whoever took advantage of you before, whatever they might have told you? That doesn't change the fact that I'm not your enemy, I'm not lying, and I'm trying to help you." she continued.

Rummaging through her doctor's bag, she pulled out a roll of gauze, a bottle of antiseptic and a few other supplies, before closing the gap between them and shoving them into his arms, saying, "But if you want to treat yourself? Fine by me, Mr. Reasonable. Don't hurt yourself."

Then she quickly strode past him out of the bathroom with her fists clenched at her sides and her shoulders hunched. She waited until she was presumably out of his earshot before she stamped her foot on the wooden floors.

"Ooooooh! I cannot believe that, that... That stubborn, brutish thug!" she huffed in frustration before she looked down at the foot she brought down.

Wooden floor? Springvale School didn't have any wooden floors, it had horribly dirty, broken tile floors. Wildly looking around, she realized with a start that this wasn't, in fact, Springvale School at all, but someone's house. Apparently in her dazed stumbling, she had come here by mistake.

She hunched her shoulders again, this time in embarrassment as she made her way out, and this time she made sure that she was going into the school before stepping inside. There was someone that she needed some clarification from.


[ dr. sorenson ]
The Wild Wastelands | Springvale | Springvale School Kitchen
"You've got some explaining to do."

It had taken some doing, including trying to interpret several Sylphy's gabbling until she finally found both Constance and the other new arrival. She was a little surprised to find them hard at work cleaning dishes and getting ready to cook for at least four, judging by the plates that were set out. Then again, given that she remembered the mechanical voice that mentioned the Enclave also mentioned Blamco, maybe it wasn't quite so surprising after all.

Striding over to them, the Follower's doctor crossed her arms just beneath her bust and glanced at both of them behind her helmet.

"I would like to inform both of you that your companion just pointed a gun at me and accused me of working for the Enclave when I offered to treat his wounds." she said levelly, this time turning directly at Kristin.

"He also told me he was apparently fooled before by someone else, who turned out to be an Enclave agent. I don't suppose either of you would be so kind as to explain just what happened? After all, I don't work for the Enclave in the least: I'm with the Followers of the Apocalypse. I'm not sure you could get a more diametrically opposed organization to the Enclave." Jenna explained.

Road to Dunwich - Run Dudley! Run!

As you might have guessed Dudley wasn't in the best situation. Pinned down and about to be run through with a ripper only one thing could save him, luckily Slyph's meltdown was just that one thing. Dazzling the raider about to kill him, Dudley seized the initiative and pushed the raiders forearm upwards, driving the ripper into its wielders chest. Dudley was covered in a fine shower of blood and guts. Leaping to his feet, he realised the raiders pinning him down were either melted to a crisp or dazzled by the sudden chain reaction. Taking his chance Dudley ran for his life towards the group and reached them just as they were agreeing on Andale as the best destination.

As Dudley approached, William reached out to pat him on the shoulder and Evan held out his hand for a high-five, both were ignored as Dudley ran right through the middle of the group and shouted, "ANDALE SOUNDS FINE TO ME!" with slowing down.

"Well I suppose that's that then..." Said William dryly as Evan dropped his arm back down to his side dejectedly.

The Really Wild Wastelands | The Road to Dunwich | Outside of Fairfax
Reunion?
Thomas "Shifty" McGee | Sylphee

The pair of blue pony tails trailed behind the Red Menace, like a set of two deep blue streamers, as she crested the hill located just North of the town of Andale. The Stormy Eyed Slasher had been playing rear guard as she ensured that the remainder of Father's companions had made it to relative safety. Truth be told, in taking the position as rear guard, Sylph was not working to ensure the survival of her Father's companions, rather the role allowed her to kill more of the Raiders that streamed out of Fairfax. Having spent a large amount of time observing the actions of her other half, enduring the skipping and happy, chipper tunes that passed through the ingrate's lips, Sylph was ready to take out her frustration and annoyances on the local Raider Populace.

*THUD*

The Anti-Materiel rifle that the Crimson Catastrophe had been carrying clattered against the ground as she dropped the jammed weapon in favor of increased mobility. Keeping an eye out for any Raider that dared stray too close to the assembled group, Sylph kept an ear glued to the sound of Father's and Miss Arizona's voices.

"If you want my opinion, I think our best is to run for Andale and hope that they don't turn us into little puddles of green goo before we have the chance to explain we're on a mission for Natsuki Manriki... otherwise, we can sit here spend the rest of the afternoon killing these Raiders until such a time as they get tired of us and decide to leave us alone. Thoughts?"

The Crimson Killer's lip were sealed on this matter since her desires would have exposed the group to added danger. Spotting a Raider at the base of the hill, the Stormy Eyed Terror pointed her Sister's Gifted Laser Pistol at the woman dressed in ragged leathers and squeezed the trigger, sending a bolt of energy through the Raider's chest and bringing her to the ground. Sylph looked down at the unmoving woman and frowned slightly. The super heated bolt of coalesced energy had cauterized the wound as it burnt through the Raider's vital organs...

"(Not enough blood.)" The Blue Haired Butcher thought to herself before returning her attention to Miss Arizona's response to Father's suggestion."I like that plan. It's simple, easy to remember." Miss Arizona said quickly before turning to the rapidly-approaching trio "Get into Andale! We let the Enclave deal with the raiders for now!"

Father's plan was sound and would have been relatively easy to enacted right away were it not for the untimely arrival of a new party into the fight, one who had managed to flank them despite Sylph standing guard. The nearby sound of revolver fire, followed by the muffled yelps of two men drew the Ruby Raider's attention and pushed her to move. Running in the direction of the noise, the young woman jumped up before sliding across the hood of a rusted wreck before spotting the bodies of two Raiders. The two shorts that Sylph had heard had been responsible for the death of the two men, both shot in the head. Shots rang out again, closer to where the Red Menace was and once again the Crimson Catastrophe was on the move. Stalking her prey, Sylph passed through hole in the side of a collapsed building and spotted the person responsible for the gun shots.

Sylph regarded the man for a moment, noting the all black attire that was reminiscent of priestly vestments. The black cover of a once gilded book could be seen poking out of the man's bag. Were it not for the fact that this man was shooting at people, he could have been mistaken for a priest. Instead, Sylph's mind came to one conclusion.

"(Undertaker.)" The Crimson Menace thought to herself as she moved towards him, the Gifted Laser Pistol holstered while both her blades had been revealed, the wrist mounted blade as well as the blade of her gifted Katana. It was likely that this was one of Henry's men and as such she would make this kill up close and personal.

"Brother Undertaker." Father's voice came from behind Sylph as he emerged from the hole that Sylph had come in from. The assault rifle hung at Father's side while his 10mm pistol was pointed at his former brethren, "Unless you were supposed to be my replacement, you're not supposed to be here because clearly stories regarding my death have been grossly exaggerated."

Sylph paused and waited for Father to either kill the man or order her to kill the man for him. Instead Father waited for the man to answer.


The Wild Wastelands | Springvale Elementary School
Constance Sorrowfeld and the Deep End of Adult Issues
Constance Sorrowfeld

Constance Sorrowfeld, daughter of a much maligned member of the East Coast Division of the Enclave, American Enclave Scout of America and Blind Girl with a vestigial tail turned augmentation experiment was fairly normal for a young woman her age. She was at the point in her life where she thought adultish type things but understood none of these thoughts. This was especially true when it came to true adults and their relationships.

"Will the Deathclaw be joining us" Miss Blamco Kristin asked absently as she set a table for five people and in the process appeared to completely ignore thoughts and opinions of the American Enclave Scout of America as if Constance had been spouting a randomized series of made up words. The girl frowned and paused for a moment to listen to the movements taking place around the makeshift headquarters of the Sisterhood of Steel and heard nothing but the chattering of Sylphys and something that sounded like a door being kicked in the distance.

Before she had a chance to answer, a block of... cheese(?)... was placed before her by the quick moving BlamCo Heiress who walked around the school kitchen with an air of authority.

"First off, never be afraid to speak your mind. You can call me 'Kristin', provided that I can call you Constance and any number of nicknames that will follow in the future. McKenna is best left alone for now. I've known the man for a few days and already I feel like months have passed --- " Kristin explained before giving Constance instructions regarding the cheese, "Here, I need this cut into twenty segments. Divide that by four and add these spices for each, with a drop of this."

"(Wait... did she mean cut these into 5 pieces or cut these into 20 pieces and then each piece into 5 pieces making it one hundred pieces?" The slightly panicked Sous Chef wondered as she started hacking away at the block of cheese with a combat knife. As she did, the Commander and Chef started her own preparations, this time with a lowly piece of mutfruit.

"here was I? Oh right -- McKenna --- He has his own reasons for being here, namely for the sake of Lucy Black. So my word will mean very little to him. See, I was just caught up in all of their business by helping out -- I get crucified for trying to make the best out of a bad situa -- ..." Kristen stated before stopping mid sentence. Perhaps she'd come to her senses regarding Mister McKenna or perhaps she'd seen the uncomfortable look that Constance had on display due to her being involved in what was should have been considered Adult only topics. The Sight Impaired Cheese Slicer had been exposed to this sort of behavior before when Constance's mother, Charlotte Sorrowfeld, spoke of the father whose name Constance didn't even know.

"I'm sorry, Constance.", Kristin started is a much more calm tone, "As my name implies, I am the Blamco Heiress -- next in line to inherit complete ownership of the New Vegas BlamCo Division. On the West Coast, things are far different with the various factions. The Brotherhood burrow like molerats in their bunker. The Enclave Remnants show no recognition or knowledge of the BlamCo/East Coast Enclave alliance -- so we have been fighting for decades, for reasons unclear, because of past generations and their wars carrying over to us. But when you have your battle-sisters picked off by Brotherhood and Enclave alike because of outsider-prejudice, then you cannot help but see red when power armor shows up."

"(Leave it to those fanatics on the West Coast to uproot whatever good will the people would have had to a technologically superior organization bent on assisting with the reformation of human civiliazation)" The Feline Daredevil thought to herself as she finished the task that Kristin had given her. Looking up, Constance was amazed to see that Kristin had not only finished processing the mutfruit but a number of other items before mixing them into a rather colorful looking salad.

"But over here, everything is different. It had been two centuries since the alliance, how would the Enclave over here remember and be so different from the Remnants back at home. So I am still...shocked, confused and...a little guilty now that I know the alliance is still active, let alone remembered.", Kristin started preparing the base of the lasagne, "That message from your mother. A sudden affiliation, one that I believed to not apply -- hence why I never brought it up. It probably looks pretty bad to McKenna...and it feels like I betrayed BlamCo."

"(But Mother wouldn't have revealed that sort of information if there wasn't some good reason for it.)" Constance thought to herself, "(Since Kristin and Jonathan had already agreed to assist the training and arming of the Grand Sylphy Army, there would have been no advantage to fracturing their relationship)" The Naive Little Lady concluded. At least that was that was how Constance Sorrowfeld felt about her beloved mother. It was true that Constance had been shipped off to the American Enclave Scouts of America once she was able to walk and talk and it was also true that there were whispers that people around Constance had a tendency to disappear but it was her mother acting to do what was in the best interest of Constance, right? No. Enclave Intelligence Officer #411's tactics were misunderstood. She wanted what was best for the people of the Wasteland even if they didn't know what was best for them. It was the job of the East Coast Enclave to be the torch bearers, the light bringers, the illuminators to the dregs of this once great civilization.

These thoughts brought comfort to the young and impressionable child, who suddenly found herself sitting next to Kristin who was now staring directly at Constance.

"Tell me more about those, your badges! And those, your 'other' ears. ~They're adorable.~", Kristin noted enthusiastically, taking a seat next to Constance and placing a glass of wine & water for both of them. "Oh, and your training begins tonight. Fret not, it's just a shower together. Plus I need to wash my hair..."

"(A... a... bath?!)" The Pretty Panicked Potscourer thought to herself, suddenly self conscious about the tail that was draped over the end of the bench where she sat. It had always been a source of contention in the young girl's life. Despite the fact that she'd been subjected to an endless amount of teasing over the vestigial tail, Constance's mother had never given the Enclave Surgeons permission to remove the appendage. But this was training and Kristin was in charge of training the Sylphy army. What sort of precedent would it set if Constance ignored the Battlemistress? Would the Sylphys take direction from Kristin less seriously if Constance were to bow out of a training task?

"I... would be h...h...honored to begin training with you," The Flushed Little Feline Girl managed to stammer as she felt her cheeks become extremely hot, "A... as for my ears, they help me see by utilizing ultrasonic sound waves. I... it's like radar except I .. can make out objects in fine detail. For instance, I can see every single nick and scratch on your sword, M... Miss Kristin."

The young girl paused for a moment before taking a deep and relaxing and calming breath. Miss Blamco appeared to be the type of woman that respected strength, both physical and mental. If Constance continued this shameful display, would it undermine the trust that she was to build with the woman who was, for all intents and purposes, the de facto commander of this complex during training?

"As for my badges, I've earned a few of them while out in the field." The Slightly Pride Filled Feline Girl pointed at one that showed a Vault Girl doing a flip, "I got this one while evading a group of raiders by using rotting roof tops as landing platforms in a series of evasive acrobatic moves." Pointing to another badge that had the image of a Shotgun Weilding Vault Girl, "I got my Shotgun Proficiency Badge during what the Sylphys are calling the Gary's Last Stand and I got..."

The conversation was interrupted by the arrival of Miss Sorenson.

"I would like to inform both of you that your companion just pointed a gun at me and accused me of working for the Enclave when I offered to treat his wounds." she said levelly, this time turning directly at Kristin.

"He also told me he was apparently fooled before by someone else, who turned out to be an Enclave agent. I don't suppose either of you would be so kind as to explain just what happened? After all, I don't work for the Enclave in the least: I'm with the Followers of the Apocalypse. I'm not sure you could get a more diametrically opposed organization to the Enclave."

From what Jenna had said about the Followers and what Constance had learned from her studies in the American Enclave Scouts of America, this was not the case. The Followers of the Apocalypse followed the same path as the East Coast Enclave but had a different outlook on how Technology should be distributed. While the Followers thought that equal access should have been given to everyone, the Enclave thought that only those who had humanity's best interest in mind should have been given full access to advanced weaponry and medicines. Only those who knew best how to use these technologies should have been given access lest it be squandered by lesser minds. Technology and materiel were not unlimited and should be invested wisely.

"I'm not sure what happened... but I'm apart of the American Enclave Scouts of America, a group formed to learn the ideals and tenets set forth by Number One, Leader of the East Coast branch of the Enclave. I... think you have the wrong idea about us." Constance chimed in, "Do you really think of people like me so badly?"

Kristin Blamco | Springvale Elementary School
"..."

"I... would be h...h...honored to begin training with you," Kristin clapped her hands together upon hearing Constance's agreement to the proposal of training, "A... as for my ears, they help me see by utilizing ultrasonic sound waves. I... it's like radar except I .. can make out objects in fine detail. For instance, I can see every single nick and scratch on your sword, M... Miss Kristin."

This factoid caused Kristin's eyes to widen in amazement. This young girl had woken up one day, fed up with her vision and simply discarded her eyes for more ears! This brazen scout had rejected her own vision, defiant in the face of this perceptual realm and she was rewarded with the greatest view of the world. How utterly remarkable!

("Seeress") - An appropriate title, once earned, would be befitting of the wellspring of potential glimpsed by the Valkyrie.

The young girl paused for a moment before taking a deep and relaxing and calming breath. Kristin, whose attention was divided between Constance and the various pots on the stove, moved to what appeared to be an enormous cauldron of steaming noodles/cheese/spices and chewy brahmin-bits. The large cauldron was reserved for the Sylphys, how she was going to ration this out...well, she would need a little help from Constance in a few minutes. In comparison to the four plates set aside for Constance, Moon-Dweller, McKenna and Kristin -- the Sylphy-Stew was homely and certainly nutritious, but it was not going to stimulate the tastebuds like the BlamCo LazaNyaa. Set to simmer, Kristin prepared the utensils, glasses and placemats for presentation, while she eagerly took in Constance's refreshing enthusiasm.

"As for my badges, I've earned a few of them while out in the field." The Slightly Pride Filled Feline Girl pointed at one that showed a Vault Girl doing a flip, "I got this one while evading a group of raiders by using rotting roof tops as landing platforms in a series of evasive acrobatic moves." (Kristin's imagined version of the events included the Extra-Sensory Acrobat evading a hailstorm of minigun fire from a nearby Super Mutant death squad. There were explosion too, obviously.) Pointing to another badge that had the image of a Shotgun Wielding Vault Girl, "I got my Shotgun Proficiency Badge during what the Sylphys are calling the Gary's Last Stand and I got..."

Heads turned in unison to the sudden arrival of the Moon-Dweller, her white astronaut suit was positively radiant, if not for the ill news that was to follow.

"I would like to inform both of you that your companion just pointed a gun at me and accused me of working for the Enclave when I offered to treat his wounds." she said levelly, this time turning directly at Kristin.

It was fortunate that Kristin had finished arranging the last plate, for if she had heard this news mere moments ago, there was little doubt that an enraged Valkyrie would have snapped the table in half.

"He also told me he was apparently fooled before by someone else, who turned out to be an Enclave agent. I don't suppose either of you would be so kind as to explain just what happened? After all, I don't work for the Enclave in the least: I'm with the Followers of the Apocalypse. I'm not sure you could get a more diametrically opposed organization to the Enclave."

Kristin disliked the petty squabbles and management of allegiances. One party does this, another party does that - 'we need them' says the family, smile and nod and be the kindest little princess. No no no, no fighting or unladylike behaviour! You have a royal duty as a woman and a princess to uphold. This aggravated Kristin BlamCo to no end, hence the rise of the Valkyrie Unit. She might be steadfast in her beliefs and swear fealty to the Blamco name, but she would never be content with the 'life' of a pampered princess.

Still, there were moments like these were Kristin had to walk a fine line for the future of BlamCo. She took no joy in it and she certainly needed to blow off some steam -- unfortunately, McKenna's or #411's jaws were not available for pummeling.

"I'm not sure what happened... but I'm apart of the American Enclave Scouts of America, a group formed to learn the ideals and tenets set forth by Number One, Leader of the East Coast branch of the Enclave. I... think you have the wrong idea about us." Constance chimed in, "Do you really think of people like me so badly?"

Kristin BlamCo, clad in silver-dyed leather armor overlaid with steel-plated greaves, one could easily discern the latest BlamCo Logo patched above her right breast (a comically-shaped bomb seated atop a bowl of smiley-faced noodles). Kristin's face remained grim, yet she gestured to the seat alongside Constance.

"I should make one thing very clear, my loyalty is solely aimed towards the New Vegas BlamCo Branch and our allies.", Kristin had addressed both of them, regal, uncharacteristic, before diverting her attention to Constance, "I am not Enclave, but from what I can gather, it was this very branch of the Enclave that ensured BlamCo's survival just before the Great War -- so on that merit, I will gladly aid in the duty that I was so ambitiously provided with. I have a very concrete reason for being here --- but I must be completely transparent..."

Kristin turned her gaze to the Moon-Dweller, stopping to nod her head in acknowledgement and respect.

"...in the New Vegas BlamCo branch, we work hand-in-hand with the Followers of the Apocalypse. Providing jobs, training, access to more heavily-funded research facilities for medical practises in exchange for crop cultivation, livestock care and food research and experimentation. Even now, I have a sister aiding in an ongoing animal rehabilitation program. Nevertheless...", Kristin shook her head as she was getting sidetracked, "I am here to ensure that the Sylphy Army does not senselessly march to their death. They will not be treated as mere cannon-fodder."

Turning back to Constance, slightly more grim while broaching this topic "As long as our work here is directed towards ensuring the restoration and protection of the Wasteland -- then you will have my endless support. Although it will require some adjustment on my part and good faith on yours, if we are to make up for West Coast BlamCo & Enclave's hostile relationship."

Spinning on her heel, Kristin sought to the dishing up of the BlamCo LazaNyaa alongside the tangy salads she had prepared. Settling for large portions for each, it was a classic Italian lasagne recipe infused with green peppers, mushrooms topped with a thin coating of white sauce. Decorated with thinly-sliced slivers of mutfruit, Kristin presented the plates to her guests. Opening the bowls of salad, a pair of tongs were propped on top for free helpings of a vegetarian (How dare you) option. Filling the glasses of each with fresh water from Kristin's reserves, she paused on the red wine and allowed her guests to make that decision for themselves.

"As for McKenna...", Kristin set the dish cloth down, "I find it repugnant that he can draw a weapon on a Follower and I apologise. He was my companion, a guide through the Wastelands as it were, since I only arrived here on the East Coast mere days ago. I don't wish to deal with him at the moment, since he can become unapproachable and, well, violent in this kind of state. He will come around...if not, I will be your shield."

Why was she even defending him anymore?

"He believes me to be an Enclave Agent?", Kristin almost smirked at the absurdity of the notion, "No, not even close. He did overhear a sudden announcement from those Floating Eyeballs Thingys, from Constance's mother no less about the BlamCo alliance with the East Coast Enclave. We provided all of the Vaults with food, while the Enclave ensured that the Blamco Lineage had a Vault of it's own. On the West Coast, BlamCo has received attacks from the Enclave and Brotherhood alike, as we have expanded our influence. Decades of fighting has bred contempt, so McKenna, under the impression that I am Anti-Enclave...thinks I'm a spy? Because he heard about the alliance over here on the East? That doesn't make me a spy, that means that I have a chance to put an end to senseless fighting between two factions."

Kristin appeared to growing more agitated by the minute. Instead of lashing out, she simply grew silent after the overly long ramble about family and politics. Her most-loathed subjects of conversation.

After waiting for the appropriate moment whilst checking the large cauldron of Sylphy-Stew, Kristin looked around feebly for extra bowls. "Constance. Do we have bowls or plates for the Sylphys? It can wait till after you've eaten, but I like to be prepared."

The Wild Wastelands | Southern New California Republic | The Distant Past
Departures
Thomas "Shifty" McGee

"I had hoped that you had decided on removing ... THAT... before you left," The said a stern and matter of fact voice from behind where Thomas "Shifty" McGee was crouched, packing the last of his equipment. Thomas didn't even need to look behind him to know that it was Thomas' own father that was grumbling his displeasure over the fact that the Freshly Initiated Undertaker was still sporting an outlandishly styled mohawk atop his head, "If it were any other one else within the Union, I'd have ordered them to cut it off their head long ago but your mother, Walt rest her soul, still advises me to allow you this bit of independence. You should thank her before you depart."

This was not how these sort of events, these fair-thee-wells were supposed to unfold. These were not the words that should have been spoken by a father to his son on the eve of his departure, especially if they were potentially the last words were passed between them. Abraham's words should have been filled with advice and encouragement. Shifty, however, was not the sort of person to begrudge his father this last bit of lecturing. The young man was on the cusp of leaving the safety of his home and venturing out into the unknown. There was nothing that could break him of his excitement, not even the current Master of the Undertaker's Union.

"I checked with the outfitters already and they had nothing suitable, sir." Thomas reponded as he turned to face the Patriarch of the McGee family. The two men regarded each other for a moment, Thomas attempting to memorize the details of his father's gruff face while Abraham could only wonder why his only remaining son had decided to take this path. The younger of the McGees was the one to break the awkward silence, "I know that you think that I'm making a mistake by taking over the Victoria's duties on the East Coast but if I am to assume the role of this Union's Master, as you've expressed your desire for me to do on many an occasion, it would benefit our brothers and sisters if they can turn to someone that has been through the same trials that they have endured and seen the same sights that they have seen... sir."

Abraham let out a long sigh. Though he'd been absent for the majority of his youngest son's life, he was still knew his child enough to know when he was lying... or at least not fully revealing himself. Placing a firm hand on Thomas' shoulder he gestured at the relic that was set in the middle of the room, easily recognized by those who chose to follow the Words of Lord Walt.

It had been a miracle for the Undertaker's Union to locate the last resting place of Lord Walt and it had been an even bigger miracle that after all these years, the brain of the most holy of men was still bobbing gently within a container filled with oxygenated cryogenic suspension fluid. The Vault of Lord Walt had been located during the restoration of the Matterhorn, which had also, miraculously, survived the nuclear blast that had leveled the city formerly known as Anaheim. Having gained access to the Vault of Lord Walt, the restoration crew found not a living soul inside of the structure, save for Lord Walt's Brain. Instead, they found mindless automatons that endlessly maintained the Holy Shrine even after all these many years, thus confirming the genius of Lord Walt Disney.

Thomas blinked as his eyes focused on the Relic of Lord Disney before releasing the breath that he'd been holding since he told his lie.

"I... also want to see the world. See its people. I want to know why Hen-... my former brother abandoned us. I want to find someone as special to me as Mother was to you, sir." The Naive Young Undertaker admitted shamefully. It was a selfish desire that made him all the more unfit to be the next in line to me the Master of the Undertaker's Union.

"I understand," The McGee Elder said after a moment, "and you have my blessings to depart on these conditions."

Thomas "Shifty" McGee, Undertaker of the East, turned with a slight smile on his face before awaiting his father's instructions.

"Visit your mother before you leave, since you'll not be visiting her for some time, you should thank her for the years she devoted to raising you and for convincing me to allow you to keep that... rebellion of yours." The Master Undertaker said as he gestured at Shifty's Mohawk, "On your journey to the East, you will pass through New Vegas. You will meet the Undertaker that you are replacing. She will have instructions for you. While you have never met Victoria, you will know her when you see her. You are to also locate the Followers of the Apocalypse. Tell them the Undertakers are in need of their expertise."

The Young, Newly Initiated Undertaker nodded as he memorized this set of instructions.

"Finally, there the body of a departed man was spotted just East of here. Give him a proper burial. He has nothing with which he can pay except for the one thing I suspect you will need." Abraham said before turning away from his son. As he started to walk towards the Shrine's exit, he looked over his shoulder and gave his son a few last words, "Safe travels, Shifty, may you find everything that you're looking for."

Thomas stood there, unable to move or say anything. It had been the first and would be the only time his Father had referred to him by the nickname given to him by his mother. Shifty McGee was sure that his mother would have been pleased with the news. Turning and grabbing his pack, he exited the Shrine of Lord Walt and entered the world.


~SQUEEEEEEAK!~

The wheels of the bicycle that had been issued to the young undertaker screamed in protest as he came to a stop. Cresting a blast damaged overpass, Thomas turned and looked at the place that had been his home since his birth. He had visited his mother's grave. He had spoken with her and found peace in knowing that the decision to leave would be the right one. He had said his goodbyes to the other newly initiated Undertakers that were waiting for their own postings. He had spotted his father talking to a new group of trainees about the importance of the Undertaker's Union and their quest to leave no body unburied. Without another word to his father, Thomas "Shifty" McGee left.

The man who would be the Undertaker of the East turned back to the open road that stretched before him, his eyes misted over by unwelcome tears and regarded the path the lay before him. Before him lay a great unknown World. Before him lay happiness. Before him lay a tragedy. Before him lay love. Before him lay sacrifice. But those things were a ways away, separated by distance and time. Immediately laying before the Undertaker was the corpse of a former Caravan Merchant whose wares had already been plundered. Not an item of worth was left on the man save for a worn and battered top hat. Picking up the item, Thomas the Undertaker looked it over before placing it on top of his head.

"I'm here to help your rest, sir." Shifty said reassuringly to the body as he pulled a shovel from where it had been mounted on the bicycle, "Let no man nor beast bother your eternal slumber again. Let not the world remove one more hair or shred of skin from your mortal body. Be assured that you are in good hands."

Walking to the bottom of the overpass, the Undertaker flipped on the radio that had been mounted to the bicycle's handlebars and started digging.


The Wild Wastelands | Springvale Elementary School
Dinner for 75
Constance Sorrowfeld

American Enclave Scout of America Constance Sorrowfeld was silent for the entirety of Miss Blamco's explanation as to the circumstances surrounding her arrival in Wastelands of D.C. The more Miss Blamco voiced her misgivings of Mister McKenna, the most the young Cat Eared Scout started to worry about the likelihood of her mission's success. If her mother's message was to be believed, the Grand Sylphy Army would be needed to stop a great evil from overtaking the D.C. Wastelands. More to the point, Constance was worried about Miss Blamco. While they had just met eachother, Constance could see that Mis... Kristin was someone that the young girl could look up to... someone that she could aspire to be. She was strong both physically as well as in her convictions. There was part of Constance that even thought the unthinkable, that Kristin was someone who Constance admired more than Miss Natsuki Manriki.

Shaking her head as if to banish the thought, the young Shotgun Toting Cat Eared Scout realized that the Beautiful BlamCo Berserker was addressing her.

"Constance. Do we have bowls or plates for the Sylphys? It can wait till after you've eaten, but I like to be prepared." The Chief Executive of Cheese said as she looked for additional bowls.

"Of... Of... Of course we do, Miss K... Kristin. Though I keep them in the storage room or the Sylphys will start using the plates and bowls for target practice." The Suddenly Surprised Scout said as she nodded emphatically, "I'll go grab them and have them back quickly."

Hopping off of the stool where she was sitting, Constance headed through the kitchen's exit, stopping for a moment to look left and then right before taking the route left. Unbeknownst to either Miss Jenna or Miss Kristin, Constance's sense of direction was slightly off after having passed out after meeting Malkos. "Looking" about, Constance noticed a fair bit of interference that had started clouding her vision. Since it wasn't all that bad, the young Cat Eared, Shotgun Toting Acrobat ignored the issue. While she could talk to Miss Jenna about the issue later, Miss Kristin was waiting for the bowls now. Walking down the hall a little further down the hall, Constance turned and opened the door that lead to the storage closet... unfortunately it wasn't the correct one.

The storage room that Constance had chosen not only contained a few bowls but it also contained a rather large hole that housed a whole colony of Giant Ants, who served as the initial sparring partners for the Sylphy Soldiers. Entering the room, Constance did realize that there was something wrong until she heard the sound of gravel rolling down a sharp incline.

"Oh no." The young girl muttered as she pulled unshouldered her weapon and pointed it at the hole. Waiting for a moment, the Sharp Shooting Shotgunner pulled the trigger as the head of a Giant Ant peaked out over the lip of the hole.

SPLORCH!!

The head exploded messily as the solid shotgun slug slammed into the insect's cranium and sent chunks of green ant goop all over the stacks of dishes and bowls that had been arranged nearby. More noises flooded up from the bottom of the hole and informed the Aurially Augmented Alley-cat that the corpse of Constance's latest victim was being dragged back to the Ant Colony.

"Phew." The Cat Eared Young Girl phewed as she grabbed a stack of bowls and headed back towards the kitchen, not before closing the Storage Room door however.

"Here you go, Kristininin. I think this is enough for the 50 Sylphys." Constance said cheerfully as she put them in the sink and began scrubbing the ant bits off of them.

"Sylphy Sylphy Sylphy!" A Sylphy said from the corner.

"Wh... wh... WHAT?!" The Stuttering Snail Girl, Hachikuji Scout stuttered before looking at the bowls, "75? How are there... never mind."

There weren't actually 25 more bowls left in the storage room but there was a place that Constance knew of that contained more bowls, the house that formerly housed Lucy Black, Constance's Mother's Mortal Enemy... though truth be told Constance thought she was a rather nice woman from the stories she'd heard from the members of Fallout Sector.

"Well Miss Kristin, there's more bowls left in Miss Black's former residence. If you want, I can go pick them up or I can just wash them as the Sylphys eat in shifts." The now Lost Prone snail cow Scout said as she sat back down on the stool, waiting to see what else she could help Miss Kristininin with.

Collab'd by myself and Fiona

The thing about the Enclave's Replicants is that they did as they were programmed to without fail, and did not care about anything else. There were some robots that were a bit more custom or malfunctioned, or even had a better personality... The Replicants had NO personality. They didn't even talk. They were perfectly capable of dispassionately watching the people looking to find Dunwich DIE as much as watching the raiders who attacked them die. It was only going to be a case of them acting if something made them do it, either prior commands or self-defense. That was why some border areas of Andale had corpses that they hadn't even bothered cleaning up. The cracks and pows of gunfire, the explosions and disintegrations... None of these made them budge. No, not even the detection of Deathclaws in the area...

The raiders were cauught entirely flatfooted by them. You see, they had been regrouping in order to try and get at the travelers again, when one of them heard a heavy thump-thump sound along with heavy breathing and peeked over his shoulder. What he got for his successful perception check was the view of three nasty-looking Deathclaws that had simply walked up to them, actually being sneaky in a sense. The next thing ya know, there's this awful roar and a scream of sudden panic from the raiders as the beasts descend upon them. The Dunwich party, those that care to see this going on, get a decent view of the carnage. Raiders fly into bits and pieces from the sheer force or from just being ripped apart, literally. That last one... He looks...ewww... Those Deathclaws ARE the Bloody Mess Perk! However, there was something else here as well: A woman.

The woman was some sort of traveler, with a Chinese Assault Rifle on her back, and a belt with numerous pouches and survival gear at her waist. She was dressed in shirt and skirt, leather gauntlets and cowboy boots with raised heels. One thing that stood out, apart from her proximity to Deathclaws without dying was that she was wow-gorgeous, with long red hair and a traffic-wrecking figure. Might be a little late to wreck any cars lying around, of course, but hey check THIS out! She pulled something from a pouch and raised it over her head for a second. No sooner had she done so than all the Deathclaws raised their heads to scent the air and quickly gather around her like she was one of them! One of the beasts even gave her a quick bunt to the shoulder.

This sort of scene would not make any sense to most people, except that they were witness to the impossible: The woman had control of the Deathclaws somehow. They treated her nicely, even seemed to respond to her somehow. Now that they were all in a group, they were approaching the group, which was still outside Andale limits, as determined by the Replicants. No doubt there would be some jaw-dropping, nervousness, and even stares in horror at the approach of the dealers of death and the one who stood with them. Evan swallowed. Nothing in the Vault, nothing in the Brotherhood, could have prepared him for this. He just about managed to speak.

Evan: Umm...hi?

"Um. Hello? ...You all look like you're about to run in the opposite direction, please don't."

Some of them, certainly. Maybe not Sylph, but Evan's mind was having to work through fight-or-flight right now. Those Deathclaws were bigger than the local breed. Maybe they were older, maybe they were eating well, or maybe she wasn't from around here, but he was having to work hard to come up with a reply and all he was getting right now was...

Evan: Why?

"Because...these are my friends. I'm Fiona Callahan, sometimes called the Deathclaw Whisperer. I mean it, I can talk to them."

She could?! Well, it was obvious, but saying so somehow made it more real. Wait, were they...?

Evan: Do...they talk to? I've heard of it happening...

"No, but they can understand you."

Somehow, that made him feel more uneasy. Did that make them better? Worse? They weren't going to attack, though... Then, he paused, noticing something he'd missed before: Light skin. That was a trait that he himself had, as well as others like him.

Evan: Are you...a Vault Dweller?

"Yes. I am."

Holy shit! A Vault Dweller had tamed a bunch of Deathclaws! Or something like that.

Evan: I think we should talk...like...alot.

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

He wasn't sure what was up with the man who immediately spoke to him, but somehow Malkos didn't want to inform him that there was a strange feeling he kept getting from the South-West, or in fact to bother correcting him at the moment about the fact that he was not engineered, but born. The fact that he understood the concept was...trouble, perhaps. Since the pressure was off of him for the moment, the Deathclaw slunk off quickly and buried the Deathclaw corpses he had recovered. He placed rubble on top of them as well, to make sure it wasn't dug up. Several of the Sylphy things were watching him when he did. He pointed to the place he'd buried them.

"Do not dig them up. Do not eat Deathclaws anymore. That is all."

He went back to the building to see if anything had developed of interest. It was nothing but idle curiosity. Malkos re-entered just in time to be mentioned by the BlamCo woman. There was a...strange smell in the air that was similar to the strange BlamCo boxes he had seen. Hmmm. Was the Deathclaw to join them FOR mealtime or AS mealtime? They'd better not try the latter... The conversation turned to that of the Enclave. That hated word, those monstrious people. Grandfather Goris could never forget Vault 13. Never. And neither would he... Strangely enough, that doctor-woman burst in and started talking about the Enclave just as Constance was going on about her achievements. Good thing she never got down to the Gauntlet...

Most of them appeared to be declaring their allegiance NOT to the Enclave, but there seemed to be some issues of contradiction, and what confused him the most was the girl. Why did such a puny thing exist for the Enclave? This was not a powersuit person. Malkos continued to watch this unfold, and he sniffed the air to make sure the stew was not the last of any Deathclaw meat on hand. It had better not be.

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

Well, while Eddie and the other ED were sizing each other up - bonnet notwithstanding - the Not-Alien, Not-Evil, Not-Enclave Steinmetz - who is not a number, but a free man - was attempting to use a bound wrist-computer to bring that Eye-Bot to heel. They only had a select amount of control code permutations, and so it would either get under his control or - and this was the more likely bit - go rogue and try to kill him for attempting to assume control. Didn't really matter, since he was just making sure that the Enclave was having any of it. By the way...wasn't something suppose to explode around here or something? He stepped near Trixie.

Number Six: I don't incline myself to tell you people how to do things, but you may wish to stand back...

As He did, because the pod was intoning a countdown, and that countdown was seconds away from reaching Zero!

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

When he saw the first bolt of plasma hit him Talion was kind of confused at what was happening. He didn't think they were dumb enough to not understand... Everything began to slow as the other two bolts hit him and he began to wake up in full. Things long inactive began kicking in again at the initial shock and time began to slow. Drugs began to flow through his system and the old implants began to come online. The old VATS system in its inefficiency tugged at its battery and everything seemed to completely freeze as he thought and the implants dragged him into motion.

How long had it been since he had fought anyone so well equipped? Maybe a week or two but they hadn't hit him. It was probably the last war he had felt everything come on properly.

[Terrifying Presence] Talion roared violently at the pitiful enclave as he started moving.

He flicked the switch on his bomb and tossed it straight from him at the grunts as he ran rather quickly backwards, away from the bomb on the ground that would be set off shortly by the explosion and the bomb he had just thrown. There was a trigger delay of... what was it on that detonator? Less than a grenade, more than instantly.

They would be paste, but worst case he would need more drugs and a couple of seconds to get mobile again. Probably.

Ahh, VATS... What was it like? Everything in blissful slo-mo? The Clock King's acceleration device world? Something like that, plus a targeting system. Lovely. He was pelted with plasma bolts and let loose a swift reaction with a bomb that was just far away enough to not harm himself. In their midst, they moved back - having fanned out beforehand - and the bomb instantly caught two of them dead and in pieces. Two more were injured and injecting stims while on the ground. The outer two were concussed, but protected from the flames. They decided immediately that turnabout was fairplay and lobbed a pair of plasma grenades at Talion. Naturally, while the big robot was out of here, though, this was heard at the base. You'd have to be deaf not to have heard that.

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

The warplane came to a landing in an open wasteland area that neither the Brotherhood of Steel nor the Enclave had any official control over. It wasn't long before a vertibird broke the horizon and came to a landing nearby. The Russian stepped out of his plane, the overcoat not bothering him in this heat somehow. He waited for the powersuits to come marching forth from their landing site. But...when they did...it was not the Enclave. These were older models, he could tell, refurbished from a different age. In short, they were the Brotherhood of Steel. Still very strong, but having problems with those who claimed to be, as they say, the 'big boys'. One took off a helmet now, revealing the woman who had spoken earlier, Sara Lyons.

Sara: Radanov, I presume.

Radanov: Da'. Is very good to see that our American allies are not dead. Seems to be a problem with who is in charge, though.

Sara: The Enclave never seems to stay down. They get hit hard, but it's like they're Rad-Roaches. Now, before they get here, I should warn you-

Too late. There was a powerful jetting sound, and soon a black-and-red powersuit - bigger than any other on the market - of the Black Devil design came over the hill, some sort of jetpack on its back. Number One landed nearby, alone. His pack folded into his suit and he approached.

"I wouldn't call it a lovely day, but it could be worse. I hear tell that some areas that were ground zero for nukes generate radiation storms. You are Radanov."

Radanov: Again, Da'. You are being the commander, then?

"I am. They call me Number One."

Sara: To me, you look like Number Two. Know what I mean?

Radanov: What does she mean?

"I'll tell you later. It's disgusting."

Yes, lovely things are happening in the background. Two major leaders were now occupied. In time, there would be more.

Arizona
The Wild Wastelands | The Dunwich Job | The Road To Dunwich
"Some things can only be described with words that include 'cluster' in them."

Sometimes, things go smoothly. Everything according to plan. Other times, there were a few hiccups along the way, but ultimately everything works out. Then, sometimes, you had utter disasters, where everything that could go wrong, did. As the old, Ghoulish Freelancer broke into a run in the direction of Andale, she started to think that the situation they were in fell under the third category.

Then she looked back. Thomas and Sylph were not, in fact, following behind her, or even starting to overtake her on their way to Andale. Instead, they were holding someone at gunpoint. Someone who didn't look like one of the raiders still chasing after the lot of them.

Skidding to a halt, she whirled around and charged forward like a bull in their direction. She only stopped once she was behind some nearby cover, a section of upheaved street, across from the ruined building they had as their own cover.

"Hey! The fuck are you two doing? We're in the middle of a gunfight! It ain't the time to interrogate some stupid motherfucker! Either grab him or shoot him, and lets--!" she called over, only to stop when an oddly familiar sound rang out over the gunfire.

The roar of a Deathclaw.

Arizona found herself clenching her teeth as she slowly eased up from behind the ruined asphalt to take a peek at what was going on. Deathclaws were bad news. The only creatures in the Wastes that were arguably as dangerous were swarms of Cazadores, or a bunch of burrowed Radscorpions, and even they weren't quite as deadly.

As soon as she had a clear view, she hissed a string of curses. It wasn't just one Deathclaw, but three, and they were busy slaughtering the raiders that were in the middle of chasing them. That was all well and good, but once they were done with the raiders, that left her group, and she wasn't about to wish a Deathclaw mauling on Thomas or Sylph. Or on the trio that joined them at Megaton, for that matter.

It took her a moment to notice that the Deathclaws were leaving someone alone: A woman, given the fact that her figure easily rivaled that of the crazy chick with the Bumper Sword. They were focused solely on turning the raiders into bloody paste on the road, and were ignoring her.

She watched with curiosity when, shortly after they were finished slaughtering their pursuers that the girl simply lifted a hand after taking something from her pack. Curiosity turned to dull shock when the Deathclaws, instead of ripping her to shreds, gathered around her, even butting their heads against her with affection.

Arizona slowly stood. Then she glanced over at Thomas and Sylph and jerked her chin in the direction of the newcomer and her Deathclaws.

"Well, do whatever you need to with Judas Priest and meet me over there. Be careful around the Deathclaws: Just because they're friendly to her doesn't mean they'll be friendly to us." she told them.

Then she climbed up onto the street and made her way to the Deathclaw pack. It was clear enough from a glance that she was controlling them somehow, especially when she approached the trio at the edge of Andale and the Deathclaws didn't move to attack them. She also couldn't help but notice the Enclave soldiers just standing there doing absolutely nothing, which was arguably just as weird. She was pretty sure even Enclave boys got nervous or trigger-happy at the sight of Deathclaws.

By the time she got there, she only caught the back half of their conversation.

"Are you... a Vault Dweller?"

This came from one of the trio, though she couldn't quite remember his name. Ewing? Evans? Something with an E. The girl, who looked even more uncomfortably busty up close, didn't even hesitate to answer.

"Yes. I am."

A Vault Dweller, huh? She didn't doubt it. Even without one of those blue jumpsuits, her pale, barely sun-kissed skin was a dead giveaway. In fact, she was willing to bet that all of the boys in her Vault would've drooled over her in skintight leather, or spandex, or whatever those damn Vault Suits were made of.

"Well, that's nice. So, who're you, why are you here, and how the the hell do you have a coupla Deathclaws following you around like they're some overgrown puppies?" she asked gruffly, keeping a firm hold of Lester in case they decided to make a move to attack.


[ dr. sorenson ]
The Wild Wastelands | Springvale | Springvale School Kitchen
"Feast for Sylphy."

Jenna wasn't entirely sure what to expect from either Constance or Kristin when she asked for an explanation regarding Jonathan's behavior. Given the way he was acting, she was reasonably certain that he was more than a little paranoid as far as the Enclave was concerned, but she didn't know why, or what caused it.

What she most definitely did not expect was for Constance to outright state that she was part of the "American Enclave Scouts of America", which was both redundant and a minor shock.

"I'm not sure what happened... but I'm apart of the American Enclave Scouts of America, a group formed to learn the ideals and tenets set forth by Number One, Leader of the East Coast branch of the Enclave. I... think you have the wrong idea about us. Do you really think of people like me so badly?"

The Followers Doctor couldn't help but sigh softly and shake her head.

"Constance, I don't think badly of you. But you're young, and the Enclave... Has a lot of history, especially back in the NCR where I'm from." Jenna said quietly.

Her domed helmet shifted to properly "face" Kristin when she started to speak.

"I should make one thing very clear, my loyalty is solely aimed towards the New Vegas BlamCo Branch and our allies. I am not Enclave, but from what I can gather, it was this very branch of the Enclave that ensured BlamCo's survival just before the Great War -- so on that merit, I will gladly aid in the duty that I was so ambitiously provided with. I have a very concrete reason for being here --- but I must be completely transparent..."

She went on to explain that the New Vegas branch of BlamCo was only allied with the Followers of the Apocalypse, something that Jenna was already familiar with. The only reason she was there, helping the Enclave at all with this endeavor, was to keep the Sylphy clones from being easily-slaughtered cannon-fodder, though if this East Coast Enclave had benevolent goals towards the people of the Wastes, they had her support.

Jenna couldn't exactly argue there. On her way to the Capital Wasteland, she had heard some weird things about the Enclave operating here. Despite the fact that those rumors were fuzzy at best, they didn't exactly align with the stories she had heard about the Enclave back home. Still, even she felt duty-bound to support any group with humanitarian aims, especially whenever they coincided with Follower goals.

Kristin took a moment to finish preparing their meal before turning back and addressing the subject of Jonathan.

"As for McKenna... I find it repugnant that he can draw a weapon on a Follower and I apologise. He was my companion, a guide through the Wastelands as it were, since I only arrived here on the East Coast mere days ago. I don't wish to deal with him at the moment, since he can become unapproachable and, well, violent in this kind of state. He will come around...if not, I will be your shield."

"Hopefully, that won't be necessary." Jenna said quickly, holding up her hands in a pacifying gesture.

"He believes me to be an Enclave Agent? No, not even close. He did overhear a sudden announcement from those Floating Eyeballs Thingys, from Constance's mother no less about the BlamCo alliance with the East Coast Enclave. We provided all of the Vaults with food, while the Enclave ensured that the Blamco Lineage had a Vault of it's own. On the West Coast, BlamCo has received attacks from the Enclave and Brotherhood alike, as we have expanded our influence. Decades of fighting has bred contempt, so McKenna, under the impression that I am Anti-Enclave...thinks I'm a spy? Because he heard about the alliance over here on the East? That doesn't make me a spy, that means that I have a chance to put an end to senseless fighting between two factions."

Shaking her head, Jenna sat down and rubbed two gloved fingers on her helmet where her temples would have been.

"Then it just sounds like a miscommunication. She said one thing, but he heard another. But, I can't help but wonder..." Jenna said, trailing off.

She couldn't help but wonder why he seemed so... So hostile when he suspected that she was with the Enclave. Why was he so adamantly convinced that she was lying when she said she didn't have anything to do with them?

She made a quiet scoffing sound. A better question was why it seemed to bother her so much. It wasn't like she had planned to stick around. After all, the entire reason she was in the Capital Wasteland to begin with was to examine the Project Purity facility. And that meant that she was going to have to get involved with another organization of thugs clad in Power Armor that she wasn't particularly fond-of: The Brotherhood of Steel. As far as she was concerned, they weren't much better than the Enclave, though they at least vaguely valued human lives. Though only human lives.

Slowly lowering her head onto the table with a low groan, she tried to will away the growing migraine as Constance and Kristin tried to sort out the issue of feeding 75 Sylphy Clones. Her self-imposed mission was quickly looking like it was going to be more difficult than she first thought. And she didn't even know where to begin to try and make it more manageable on her own.

Somewhere in the Wastes

Vera the little eyebot with ribbons in her antennae wasn't sure what to make of her new traveling companions as they made their way to... somewhere. Though she wasn't sure if they were actually going anywhere, seeing as most of what they ever seemed to do was stand around. Which was fine by her as she needed a moment to understand them.

First, there was the zombie... er... or was it Ghoul? Vera's data-banks were expansive and contained a lot of useful information... most of which was classified and more closely resembled a bar code than anything else... and I seem to have lost control of this sentence. Damn.

Vera studied the Ghoul. Physically he did not seem to be entirely atypical of his umm... species(?moredataneeded?) though his mode of dress was very strange. The closest analogue Vera's datastores had was... The King. But even that didn't come close to explaining what her visual-sensors were telling her interpretation matrix. He seemed to think himself some kind of musician, but his style of music was far beyond humble Vera's frame of reference (patent pending). She shook off her discomfort. He seemed friendly enough, though she was certain that he was likely radiating a collection of venereal diseases... which in turn led her to question whether he was really a Ghoul or just horribly degenerated from his various infections.

She turned away from the ghoul, shivering violently as he gave her a strange look. At least, that's what it looked like to Vera. She had no idea what he was doing most of the time.

Then there was the quiet one. With the swords. He didn't talk much, in fact, Vera's initial scans found that his voice box was barely functional at all, so it was no surprise.

It really said something that the most normal member of the group was a strange young man that had fallen from the sky in a dress or possibly a kimono. Vera's databanks were a bit light on fashion and cultures other than American - bzzt: Correction: the only culture ever. American. All others are commie propaganda. Bzzt.

Where the hell had THAT come from? Vera thought.

She made a number of excited beeping and chirping noises in an attempt to let her new companions know that she was friendly and was happy to help... however she could.

Road to Andale - When does a Deathclaw not do death?

Evan had so many questions, the idea of Deathclaw domestication whizzed through his mind. The idea of Deathclaw domestication without the Enclave's range of mind control devices enticed him even more. With his mind racing he looked at Fiona properly for the first time and... yeah. Standing close beside Evan was William, who was also ummm... noticing Fiona. Arizona's comment snapped them both out of staring and made them remember themselves.

"Dudley." "Dudley." they said almost simultaneously, reaching their arms out to slap the air where Dudley Sullivan's stomach would have been. Instead their arms were left hanging awkwardly in the air, hands less than a foot away from each other.

"That was weird right?"

"Yes, let's not do this again. You do it next time and we'll alternate from that point onwards." Said William curtly, trying to draw a line under the entire thing. Turning to address Fiona he said, "What's the deal with Snap, Crackle, and Pop?" in a slightly guarded tone. Much as she seemed to have complete control over the Deathclaws, they were still one of the most fearsome predators of the wasteland.

Not that anyone could tell, but Evan was groaning internally at the nicknames William had attributed to the Deathclaws. There was so much he wanted to ask Fiona and in the absence of Dudley it was inevitable the other third of The Three Musketeers would say something stupid.

"So you said you came from a vault?"

The Black Residence
Born to Lose

With the Enclave scientist gone and the door locked, Jonathan finally found himself enough time to relax. Placing the bandages in the sink, he took a look of himself in the mirror. Felt a sudden urge to punch said mirror. Last time I punched something out of an urge I almost broke a hand.

Self-loathing notwithstanding, it was rather fortunate that a momemt of respite had presented itself when it did, for he found himself in desperate need of one. A moment to regain his composure and steel himself for what lay ahead. No matter how hopeless it is. Why do I do this?

When you've a task to do, it's better to do it than live in fear of it. That's what his father used to tell him, and of all the little wisdom pieces he uttered this one was the one that for some reason stuck with Jonathan the most. It was a sorry excuse for his M.O., but thinking on it he couldn't quite come up with a better reason, but also no adequate reason to give up. So, forward to death it is.

But before that, a shower. Ancient Greeks had a custom where warriors would shower before battle so as to meet death clean. A silly, romantic notion, if only because by the time they died they'd likely have littered themselves with sweat and blood -their's or their enemies- but Jonathan was gonna have a shower anyway, and the parallel seemed fitting. He removed his clothes, grunting at the fact he would have to clean his bloody clothes, and walked in the shower, let the cold water encompass him.

After a momentary wince at the sudden cold, he started cleaning himself. He unfortunately lacked any sort of showering lotions, so he'd have to do with just getting rid of the blood and dirt would have to do for now.

And as he did, his thoughts returned to recent events. Specifically, unanswered questions, pecking at the back of his head. Why? That is always the most relevant question.

The woman was an Enclave agent. All evidence showed so. Yet, she killed two Enclave Operatives and had her cover blown by another one. Two very contradictory lines of action lay before him, and that either meant he was wrong, or that he was missing the knot that tied them together.

He turned the water down and started drying himself with a towel. When something doesn't make sense, start from the beginning. Kristin Blamco, alleged princess from the West, stumbles upon Lucy Black as she's being attacked and rescues her. That part at least was easy to follow. Blamco was tasked with making sure that Lucy Black, former Enclave asset, privy to a lot of sensitive information, would make good of her promise of a retirement. It also explains how she immediately latched upon Jonathan when he revealed who he was.

He started dressing his wound. Another contradiction made itself apparent. If Blamco was sent to observe Lucy, why was #411 sent in aswell? There would be little justifiable reason to send two different people to achieve the same goal through two different, mutually exclusive means. Indeed, everything #411 had done thus far only seved to inconvenience Blamco.

With the wound dressed, he started cleaning his bloody clothes. #411 had a civil war planned. Her entire reason for her bargain with him was because she needed a man of his expertise, after all. So could it have been that she was trying to undermine Blamco because they were on opposing sides?

With the cleaning done, he grabbed his wet clothes and, with a towel to cover his modest parts, headed upstairs to get new clothes. No, it wouldn't make sense for #411 to reveal her hand to an advesary so early. As incompetent as she was and as questionable her plans, she at least had enough enough common sense to not commit suicide.

He started dressing up with a pair of Isaac's old clothes. This was the second time he had done so, and wished it wouldn't happen frequently. He grunted with irritation, once more the truth was within his grasp, all he needed was that one hint that would make everything fall into place.

He grabbed the pile of wet clothes again, and moved downstairs and the back of the house to hang them in the sun. Maybe he was wrong. Maybe he was overthinking thing. There was no way #411 would act that way towards an Enclave agent, ally or not.

Unless...

The thought froze him in place, as he was in the process of hanging his trenchcoat on a string.If #411 didn't know that Kristin Blamco was undercover, if she thought her to truly be the cheese-worshipping battle vixed she claimed to be, she'd have no reason not to act as she did. She would have no trouble revealing her plan, since Blamco wouldn't be able to threaten to reveal it, and by revealing her supposed family's ties to the Enclave she'd think Blamco easier to reign in.

Leaving half the clothes still unhung, he walked inside and stared at the school through a window. Why wouldn't she know? Since #411 was of the Intelligence Sector, she surely had access to all undercover personel currently in or outside the field.

What if she didn't? Lucy Black was privy to sensitive information, posssibly even identities of undercover agents. What if, knowing that, #01 sent in an unlisted agent? Unlisted agents have existed ever since the Enclave decided to venture out into the Wasteland. They were given free reign as to how they acted -so killing a fellow operative wouldn't be far-fetched- and had extensive backgrounds made to fit their role -so the supposed alliance #411 dug up could well have been fabricated to fit her backstory-. And since unlisted agents' names were only privy to the President and his council, #411 couldn't have known about her.

Feeling his legs go weak, Jonathan sit down on a chair behind him, his stare having taken a turn to shock. The ramifications of such a development were vast, and none were good.

He felt cold sweat run down his forehead. To think that such a woman walked beside him this whole time, learning of his past, learning of #411's plans before they even hatched. The ramifications were vast indeed.

And all he could do was sit and stare in horror as they became apparent.

Smith Casey's Garage
Demolition Man

Now, for Eddie the Dead, there was nothing more satisfying than a joke, elaborate, mature, offensive, it didn't matter! Jokes gave life spice, and as the saying went, the spice is life. Spice was also a drug up north. Unlike the drug, however, the joke seemed to have... complications. Namely, Not-Biolante couldn't take a joke. He was the worst kind of person. They always ruin the atmosphere. It was obviously not because the joke was in bad taste, for no joke Eddie ever made was so, but because Not-Biolante was, in fact, a filthy alien.

It was only understandable, then, that Eddie had grown less than appreciative of not-Biolante's reactions. The only thing worse than an Urinian was Urinian that couldn't take a joke. Eddie had planned to give the helmet back -eventually- but now? Now the helmet was his. if nothing else, it'd make a good beer cup. He heard of ancient barbarians drinking mead from the skulls of their enemies, but, for one, this was a helmet, not a skull. As a truly civilised man, it was easy to see the difference between the two. And besides, have you seen the shape of a martian skull? Not good for drinking for, he could tell you that much!

So, while not-Biolante had turned 'round to see his lady-assistant's crudely made BDSM mask, Eddie had gotten Murderbloke out, aiming right at not-Biolante's head, and waited for him to face him again.

[A joke's a joke, chummer,] his voice had taken a menacing edge, [but I don't like threats. I've been killing blacksuits since the days Frank Horrigan walked the wastes, so I won't be losing any sleep over one more.

An awkward silence, accompanied by a tense atmosphere, followed his words. But it didn't last long, for the other alien blacksuit spoke up.

"I don't incline myself to tell you people how to do things, but you may with to stand back..."

The blackie followed his own advice, taking a step back as he stared at something, which turned out to be a self-destruct timer. By the time Eddie noticed it, Not-Biolante was already hard at work, fiddling with things so as to stop the timer. Funny, how easily he handled alien equipment. Eddie grinned. Almost like he knew how it worked, eh?

But he was still taking his sweet-ass time, and the timer was running out. There were less than ten seconds now, and Demo looked nowhere close to getting the job done. So, given that Eddie was most intricately acquanted with all sorts of machinery, he put his vast knowledge to the test and did the one thing that was sure to stop the clock.

Kick it very hard.

And just as it did, the timer stopped, exactly at 0:01. Now, a more curious and nit-picky man would ask why aliens use human numerals in their machines, but Eddie had learned to not sweat the small stuff, and instead prided himself for another job well done. Of course, not-Biolante was sure to try and take all the credit, glory-hound that he was, but before he actually did, the Uberbilly himself graced them both with his presence, holding a picture in something that one would have to be very generous to call a hand -twisted and mangled as it were-, showed him the picture, and started grunting.

[What's that?] more grunts. [Uh-uh, you sure?] Why was he replying as though he understood, anyway? [Alright, then.]

Eddie took the picture, showing the blue-haired girl on a horse, and squatted down to Astroboy, who was clearly still shaken up, [Hey, Starman, you seen this girl?]

The kid took a few moments to find his bearings, then stared, then stared in shock, and then took a few more moments to find his bearings again. "That's... That's Sylph!"

Sylph, eh? Guess all those clones where shouting their names as a form of speech. Like Tamagochi or whatever.

[That's her name, eh?]

"You know her?!"

[I killed around a thousand of her clones last night.] It was not said as a boast, but more like a matter of fact. [Damn things multiply faster than cockroaches.]

"You did wha-"

But Eddie was no longer listening. He had already turned and showed the picture to the other blacksuit [You seen this girl?] and then to not-Biolante and his dominatrix [What about you two?]

The Road to Dunwich
'The one who had mercy on him.'

From where he stood, it seemed the raiders had run out of bravado and decided discretion was the better part of valour. He could see them running en masse, and lined a shot. Due to distance, i would be difficult to line up a good shot, but that did not matter. It was a certainty that the wicked would pay, for, sooner or later, their sins would find them out. That was how the world worked. Men of evil intent could laugh at their wealth and power, but theirs was never the last laught. He set a raider in his sights, one that was with a wounded leg, and prepared the shot. Aim...

But before the routine could be finished, he saw movement closing in on him. Following it, he saw the figure try to sneak behind him through a hole in the building. Yet the eyes of the righteous are ever vigilant, and as the figure emerged, she was welcomed with the sight of his revolver's barrel aimed directly between her eyes.

She had an interesting appearance, this one. Blue hair, a wierd assortment of clothes, but the most distinctive feature of her were her eyes. She stared and him and he stared back, and in her eyes he saw bloodlust and an urge to kill.

But he needed not fear. Nimble though her movements were, she would prove no match for his training or conviction. It was not, after all, his time to die.

The girl was joined by a tall, thin man with a top hat, wearing all black clothes. One would be forgiven for thinking that the two men were associates based on the similarities of their clothes, but these similarities were only superficial. His garments were special; before the Great War, they denoted holy men, tasked to guide their flock to deliverance.

"Brother Undertaker," the man said, pointing his pistol at him, "Unless you were supposed to be my replacement, you're not supposed to be here because clearly stories regarding my death have been grossly exaggerated."

He did not answer. Instead he stared at the man in eyes, peering into him. He could see doubt, and guilt, and worry. A man troubled by his past, perhaps, afraid it might catch up to him. The eyes said no lies -you could get more answers from them than from asking a thousand questions- but the answers were seldom straightforward.

He turned to see the girl again. Her eyes said she could barely wait to lunge at him. He gripped his revolver's grip firmer. Already scenarios were playing out in his head, scenarios where this turned violent. He had no fear; he was trained to deal with this situation if it were to arise, and the training was always deadly. He had already come up with a plan of attack, with all contigencies and scenarios accounted for.

"Hey! The fuck are you two doing? We're in the middle of a gunfight!"

Now was his chance. In this brief moment where they were distracted, he could shoot the both of them and end this all the easier. Aim, shoot, repeat. All he had was to pull the trigger.

...But he did not. Always give people a second chance, she had said, and he tried to give then when he could. So, talk it would be.

"'Tis rude to point a gun at a man wishing to provide you with assistance," he said. His voice had a hum to it, not unlike the one preachers of old used to have, and all the words uttered had a weight to them. His expression was adamant, as thought tempered in flame. "As is to accuse them with nary a reason given. More often than not, 'tis the accusers that are the guilty."

He heard a Deathclaw roar in the distance, but had no reason to fear, "Though you are correct in one regard, accusing one. I am indeed a brother, Yohannes is my name, but my mission is with the living." He pulled the book from his bag with the other hand, his voice rising, "My mission is to spread the word of the Good Lord Above, and deliver His faithful from those that brought them suffering and grief." His eyes opened wide, and gave a judging glare of his own, "Pray tell, are you, perhaps, such a man?"

He stared on so for a few more seconds, before speaking up again, this time his voice softer, but still packing an edge, "It does not feel nice when the accusation falls on you, does it? Let us, then, leave them behind us, and start anew. As I said, I am Brother Yohannes."

He kept his grip as firm as ever, ready to act if given the incentive. Goodwill was a virtue, but caution kept a man alive.

New Vegas Strip - Many years in the past
You win some, you lose some, it's all the same to me.

"Oh yeah, mate?" That's how it always started. "You starting?" Case in point.

Crimson snarled on, yelling obscenities while Temple held him back from grabbing the security guard by the throat. A difficult thing, holding Crimson back, given his high stature and muscle mass uncharacteristic of a ghoul, and Temple had to pull with all his weight just to delay him, hoping that Crimson would calm down enough not to resort to violence, "I'll rip you in fucking half! By the time I'm done with you cannibal brahminhumpers you'll need another Great War to clean the stains off the walls!" It didn't look likely.

"Crimson!" Temple yelled, "Stop! Be reasonable!" This felt like a more violent repeat of the previous two casinos: They walk in, start gambling and win. Win big. Big as in, 'almost driving the house bankrupt' big. So big that the house had to take drastic measures to not lose their pants too, and got them kicked out. The first two times all Crimson did was hurl some jabs or insults at the guards, but it was clear that third time's the charm, and his patience was reaching its limits, not helped by the posh, sneering attitude of the White Glove Society's employees. "Think of the money!"

"Piss on the money! This is the third time we're kicked out just 'cuz they can get away with throwing Ghouls out! These corpsefucking degenerates have been looking down on us the moment we walked in!" and he strode forward, dragging Temple along as though he wasn't even an inconvenience.

"Crimson! CRIMSON!" Temple yelled and he stood in front of him. Not the smartest thing to do, standing in Crimson's way when his blood went pumping, but the time was way past being smart. If Crimson got his hands on the guard, the entire town would be upon them, and though Crimson had established a reputation for wiping cities off the map, this one looked a tad bigger than he could chew. "Pragmatism!Remember the plan! We need that money for the plan!"

At that Crimson stopped in his tracks, and turned to stare at Temple. A menacing glare, made even worse by Crimson's glowing green eyes, made what little nerves remained in Temple's ruined body stiffen. He'd always been afraid Crimson would go berserk again, and feared that that it'd drive him feral too.

"They ain't worth it." Crimson flatly stated, and Temple sighed in relief. "I'll go get the hog. Get the money so we can fuck off. High Society makes me wanna vomit." And with that, Crimson walked towards the gate.

"You're lucky you and your friend were out of the casino" said the guard smirking, "If your partner's charade was in there, you wouldn't be walking-"

"Ever heard of the Butcher of Houston?" Temple interrupted, turning to the guard.

He puffed, "A children's fairy tale. No more real than the boogieman."

"Oh, you're wrong about that, kid." Temple walked right at him, staring at him long and hard, "You just saw the butcher himself. I was there." his voice lowered to a growly whisper, "And let me tell you, he did it all and more. The tale's gravely understated to sound believable, but I saw it all." he grinned, "I hear people still are too afraid to thread anywhere near the town."

The guard dismissed him with a sneer, but Temple could see the doubt in his eyes, and the drop of sweat that rolled down his forehead. That was from a different time, when Crimson was known as Hellhound, and wastelanders spoke his name in hushed whispers.

Leaving the guard, Temple walked to the clerk, who was busy stuffing a huge bag with caps. Finishing the counting and turned to Temple, the clerk stared with at contemptious frown, before two others carried the bag over.

"You are lucky we of the White Glove Society are civilised. You'd never get your money from the likes of the Omertas."

Temple only grunted in acknowledgement. He knew better, of course. A casino not paying its customers their due, even if it's so outrageous a sum would only hurt its reputation and credibility. Temple knew how it all worked, he was a highroller second only to the illustrious Mr. House back in his prime. Then the Great War burned all his lifelong achievements along with his body, but that was then and this was now. He had a different name back then too, but if there's one thing he'd learned all these years in the wastes, is that you can't cling to the past. Learn from it, maybe, but otherwise the past was a cage.

Grabbing the bag and hefting it 'round his back, Temple looked like a cartoon burglar carrying his large haul away. The bag was pretty heavy, which he supposed only spoke of the large amount of caps they'd won. Funny, he'd expected his gambling skills to have burned away like everything else, but he still was good as ever, even if a bit rusty. Crimson awaited him outside the Strip's gate, hog's engines roaring. Temple had no idea how Crimson'd gotten that piece of junk working and not exploding, but prolonged exposure to Crimson had taught him not to question such things.

"So," Crimson grinned, "how much's the haul?"

Temple shot back a grin of his own, "A whole fucking lot." He twirled his moustache, which was about the only noticable part of him left with hair save for a few patches here and there on the back of his head.

Crimson's grin had only grown wider, "Throw it in with the rest of 'em!"

Temple lurched the bag along the other two in the sidecar. Could be wrong, but comparing them all, it seemed to him like this one was the smallest of the three.

"Well," Temple said as he took his seat, "This is what one may call 'stinkin' fucking rich.'"

"Enough for the plan?"

"Enough for the plan two times over."

Crimson giggled, "I hear the Great Lakes are wonderful this time of year."

"Canada, eh?" Crimson was the more well travelled of the two, so Temple trusted him on that one.

"Maybe. Maybe a little more south."

"You think we have enough fusion cores to make the trip?"

He grinned at that, "The blacksuits were kind enough to donate a bunch."

"It warms my radiated heart to know people so selfless still walk the wastes."

"Make sure to send them a letter of gratitude when we're done." he pulled on the throttle, "Goodbye, New Vegas! Hope you pulled in a war between superpowers and get torn in half!"

"Goodbye, New Vegas." Temple echoed, and place a hand on Eddie's shoulder, "Hopefully with fewer casualties than when we arrived, eh?"

"Hey, I'm not to blame if some bimbo rushes me because I'm not fond of cheese."

"Funny, from the looks you gave her before she charged you, you looked like you'd like to have a taste of her cheese."

Crimson shrugged, "Turns out it was too sour for my tastes!" They both laughted at that, and then they were off.

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