The REALLY Wild Wasteland. (The Fallout RP!)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"SYLPHEE! NO!"

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Three Musketeers - Walking still sucks.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Back to Sylphee and her adventures...

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

*PERK!*

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

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

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

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

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

Daddy turned to Mister Willy Billy and frowned slightly.

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Which really, was a shame.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And now, a Jackelude.

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

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

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

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

Jack: Uhh, sure.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

VD: He's a Courier.

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

Jack: What? Why would that happen?

CO: Because of him.

Jack: Who?

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

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

LW: We wanted to warn you about that guy.

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

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

VD: Certainly. Tell us who Number One is.

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

CO: Aw, come on! Be a pal!

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

LW: We're all ears!

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

VD: Was it Number One?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Isaac nodded.

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

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

Another nod.

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

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

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

The man let off a smile, then.

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

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

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

Isaac: I will, thanks.

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

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

Fade to Black.

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Meanwhile, inside Megaton...

SPLORCH!!!

Those three look...ewww...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Sylphy."

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

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

"Sylphy! Sylphy! Sylphy! Sylphy!"

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

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

"Syl-phy..."

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

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

"That is unfortunate."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Number 6: Whose side are you on?

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

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

FalloutDavid: This is the Empire of Dave speaking.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Megaton Gates
Chapter Change

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

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

What now?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*THUD*

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

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

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

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

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

And they did.

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

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

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

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

---

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

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

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

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

The BlamCo family and their descendents agreed. Implicitly.

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

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

---

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

---

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

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

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

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

- K.BlamCo, date unknown.

---

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

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

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

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

---
End of excerpt

- Reigning Queen of Dairy
K.BlamCo




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Megaton Gates
Another Brick in the Wall

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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."

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