The REALLY Wild Wasteland. (The Fallout RP!)

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The Really Wild Wastelands | The Distant Past | BlamCo Manor
Parting is such sweet (and drawn out) Sorrow
Victoria "Shiver" McGee

"If this had been actual combat. I would have run you through, regardless of risk. Then again, if this had been actual combat." The Princess of Parmesan nodded at the Victoria's gun. "I think we would have adopted different tactics if we had access to our full arsenal."

There was a slight pause as Darkly Dressed Duchess of the Departed allowed her mind to chew on her sword sister's words before a soft chuckle could be heard.

"Well said, Milady Blamco. Well said indeed. I pity the Undertaker that cares for those that have been dispatched by your blade for there is little chance that they would remain whole after you have hewed them in twain with your unrestrained strength." The Midnight Mistress of the Murdered complimented, "While your restraint was truly my saving grace, it may have been your's as well. Those such as myself are like lousy lovers in that we seek to bring you to the edge of exhaustion as quickly as possible, wearing you down until your legs quiver and buck under your own weight before you can savor our little dance. As such, you must assert yourself and dictate both time and tempo of the encounter until I... we are the ones left exhausted."

There was an old world song that had loudly proclaimed that respect was something that everyone wanted, no it was something that everyone needed. In the upper crusts, a series of ritualized behaviors were developed in order to demonstrate one's respect for another and resulted in a foundation in which etiquette could flourish. Few among the warrior class could imagine mustering the patience for such outward and elaborate displays when it was nearly universal belief among their number that all men and women who took to the battlefield were deserving of respect. Despite this disdain for overly elaborate gestures, the warrior class had developed its own set of rituals that paraded respect. Regardless of whether one used a salute or a curtsy, the core value behind such gestures were the same. If you, my dearest reader, were wondering why such basic knowledge needed to be shared, perhaps it is to explain why Victoria did what she did next.

Lifting herself from her low position before the Duchess of Dairy, the Veiled Caretaker of Those Who Had Passed Beyond the Veil reached down to her waist and removed a simple box whose obvious purpose was the preservation of whatever lay inside. Unlocking the box, an audible hiss could be heard as Victoria removed a simple piece of cloth that had once been white... or rather it was still white save for a number of vertical rust colored lines that had been drawn on the fabric's surface.

"Each one of these lines is drawn in the blood of those who have earned my utmost respect both on and off the battlefield." Victoria explained as she cleaned the edge of her blade off with the cloth, leaving a bright crimson line, "Of those whose blood stain this cloth... you are the only one to that continues to draw breath."

With the mark placed upon the cloth, Victoria McGee carefully folded the cloth, leaving the newest mark on top of the folds so that it would dry properly, before placing it back in the box. With her own ritual of respect performed, the Debutante of the Departed faced the Warrior Princess once more and curtsied deeply.

"I must confess, before our meeting, I had wanted to simple test your mettle and depart without further burden. Now that I must depart, I do so having discovered a fellow sister of the sword. While it is uncommon for those of my brethren and myself to wish a long and healthy life upon those we meet, it is my sincerest wish for you, Milady Blamco." Victoria "Shiver" McGee said before rising, waiting for the Lady of the Manor's final words and permission to leave.


The Really Wild Wastelands | The Distant Past | BlamCo Manor
It's cumming... coming I promise!
Thomas "Shifty" McGee


The Really Wild Wastelands | The Present | Exiting Andale (Dunwich Bound)
A Young Lady's Primer to Etiquette and Assassinations: Chapter 5
Victoria "Shiver" McGee | Sylphee

Excerpt from Victoria's Manuscript:

On The Walk of Shame

There comes a time in every young debutante's life when she will do something that causes her a tremendous amount of shame. Whether this action sullies a young woman's reputation or her family name matters very little in the grand scheme of things as these things are temporary. What matters is how the young lady holds herself as she puts these events behind her. If she steels herself, ensures that there is not one hair out of place or pleat out of place and acts as if all is right with the world, then all is right with the world and no one in all of creation can question her good name.

This lesson also holds true for you, my deadly pupils. In the same way a lady of fine breeding walks from potential embarrassment, so too must you for the surest way to escape notice is to act in an unnoticeable manner. Unless there are those who have bore witness to your misdeeds, the surest way to escape is through the front door without a hint of guilt, sadness or satisfaction.

"VICTORIA! I didn't travel across the country only for you to disappear once more. We have a partnership to honor. So stay alive!"

By the time the Sable's words reached their intended target and first of the steamy water fueled projectiles launched, Victoria McGee had already locked herself away deep inside her own thoughts. She did, however brush her right hand across the brim of her veiled hat, since it was a fact that true ladies never yelled and that her voice synthesizer did not get to as loud a volume as it would have taken to reach Sable's position. This was the second time that the Darkly Dress Duchess of the Dead felt the stabbing dagger of jealousy towards that woman, though she would never admit it out loud. This thought, however, was intruding upon a more pressing issue. For the first time in a long time, she was without a master to pull her strings. It was true that her Cousin Thomas had given her an assignment to serve as guide to Lady Arizona, he did not elaborate on his orders nor did he elaborate on how he expected her to act, as Cousin Henry had. Was she expected to defend this motley caravan of random characters? If so, was she expected to sacrifice herself in favor of someone more important? Even in that case, who was the V.I.P. of the group? Was it the Death Claw tamer? Was it the Ghoul? Was it the child of madness? These were all questions the Veiled Midnight Maiden of Murder was expected to answer for herself.

She had been walking taken up a position at the rear of the party, the position those of higher breeding and refinement were expected to be in when traveling in a large convoy. Though that was enough of an excuse for her, there was also the fact that she was unfamiliar enough with Lady Arizona's marksmanship as well as Lady Fiona's abilities to control her Death Claws to be particularly comfortable with traveling ahead of them. The position suited her as it meant that she could maintain her dignified march without question, comment or...

"HEY HEY HEY! LOOK!" A voice that was equally familiar as it was annoying broke through the Duchess of the Departed's thoughts while a relatively short blue haired topped wall impeded the Former Ferrywoman from moving forward, "WE'RE GONNA GET A FEAST! RADSCORPION MEAT FOR EVERYONE!!"

Turning her gaze back to the direction of Andale, Victoria's eyes fell upon the white smoking trails left by what she first though were long dormant Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles loosed from their hidden silos. The true nature of the projectiles became apparent when the objects reached the zenith of their trajectories several hundred feet up rather than dozens of miles.

"You little... bi... idiot..." Victoria hissed, almost whispering the command phrase to take control of Sylphee, as she turned on the source of the sudden onslaught of steam powered pain. Addressing the group, she barked her order quickly. "DO NOT MOVE!"

For those who had known her for quite some time, this method of communication would have appeared alien and foreign to someone who dressed and acted as Victoria did, however, there were rare moments where efficiency of communication was of paramount concern. Turning back to face Andale, Henry McGee's Previous Pinocchio's eyes focused on the second salvo of Steam Powered Projectiles. In situations like these, it was best to know where these objects were going to land and avoid the area rather than run blindly off, as a group of fleeing Andalites found out as they were crushed by a couple hundred pounds of hot, warped Water heater casing. The second salvo reached the apex of their flight and started to fall, allowing the Normally Silent Sister of Sniping to track their trajectories.

"This way!" The Group's Newest Guide ordered as she pointed to the West, walking as quickly as she could in that direction as the water heaters started falling around her, "I think there's a cave this way... we can take shelter until the danger this one..." The Pale and Pretty Lady of the Lifeless paused to tap Sylphee on top of her head, "...has passed."


The Really Wild Wastelands | The Present | Exiting Andale (Megaton Bound)
Melancholy and the Infinite Sadness: Tonight, Tonight
Thomas "Shifty" McGee

"Well, I ain't gonna stop you. I don't have any right to. But you better not die to him, you hear me? I'm really sick and tired of outliving the people I care about." Arizona had said before giving Thomas a kiss on the cheek, "Go save your girl, and give her my best, will ya?"

"Oh, and before I forget, it's Amanda. Amanda Butcher," Amanda said, just loud enough for him to her.

Before Arizona could pull away from him, Thomas' hand shot out and grabbed onto his friend, stopping her from moving away too hastily.

"Thank you," The Grieving Gravedigger muttered before clearing his throat, "I'll send word for you when this is all done. Until then, please look after Sylphee..." He paused for a moment as if giving his request a great deal of consideration, "and Victoria."

In retrospect, years later, he might have reconsidered his words, especially after the incident that left a Magical Castle in rubble with only Grannie Arizona, Sylphee and Thomas and Lucy's future children to blame but for now, the words seemed to fit and before he knew it, he had left Andale's borders with Sable in tow.

Though there was no way that he would have known it, Thomas' inability to push himself away from the thoughts that swirled within the confines of his head matched the that of his though locked cousin, Victoria. There were few that could blame the Confused Former Ferryman as he had been given quite a buffet of bad news in the past hour or so, of which the announcement of his parents' murder by Victoria had taken center stage in his mind. Was sparing Victoria's life the right thing to do? True, the fact that she was brainwashed by Henry McGee was a mitigating circumstance but was it enough for Shifty to have not killed her in retribution. While he was on the topic of Henry McGee, the mad orchestrator of this whole affair and who, until recently, the Friendly yet Fuzzy Undertaker of the East had believed was dead, what sort of person had he become to think that using people in the manner that he used Victoria in order to murder his own parents was okay? What sort of person thought that there was a perfectly good reason behind these sorts of actions. In the same vein of his past actions, Henry was now manipulating Thomas by making threats against Lucy Black, the woman who had set up residence in the heart of the Once Lonely Loveless Caretaker of the Lifeless. which was sort of an awkward thought considering the presence of Sable Blamco, the heart in question's previous tenant, who had appeared from literally nowhere with some convenient excuse to travel to the East Coast. Didn't Victoria mention that Henry had brainwashed some of BlamCo's personnel? Was Sable one of these agents? Was she going to make an attempt on his life once...

"(No!)" The Darkly and Dapperly Dressed Duke of the Deceased thought to himself, almost verbalizing the words. "(Unless he thinks that I don't love Lucy, there isn't a reason why Henry would send Sable out here since there's potential for it to conflict with one of his plans.)"

The thought was desperate and made sense to him but more than anything else, he needed someone that he could trust. He needed someone that he could lean on in this moment of internal crisis. The ship that bore their names set sail long ago and for now, he needed someone, anyone, that he could talk to that wasn't tied in with Henry and his crazy plans for Godhood. There was a calming air about that woman, one that...

"VICTORIA! I didn't travel across the country only for you to disappear once more. We have a partnership to honor. So stay alive!"

If Shifty had not already been in the middle of vindicating Sable's name in his mind, the comment about a partnership with Victoria might have sent him over the precipice of paranoia once again. No, Sable and Victoria had been the ones that had forged the initial links that bind the Undertaker's Union's and BlamCo's partnership, so it was only natural for them to stay on amicable terms... along with the other Blamco sister that Victoria had sparred with... what was her name?

"Krista... Christina... Carrie..." Thomas muttered to himself as the two continued on in silence, a characteristic which was not present of their previous encounters, "It couldn't be Kristin... since that would be too absurd a coincident."

Kristin Blamco, the overly loud loudspeaker of BlamCo Religion, was the second member of the Blamco Royal Family, next to Sable, that The Friendly Former Undertaker of the East had met and while extolling the virtues of a pure BlamCo diet might have been a bit of marketing for the brand that founded her belief, he wondered how many of Moriarty's men had started to take a long hard look at their own diets after the thrashing she had handed them.

Reaching the bottom of a hill, the two fellow travelers were shielded from the sights and sounds that came out of Andale and Sylphee's experimental rocket propulsion system. It was there that Thomas stopped walking and turned to face his companion.

"Did I do the right thing?" Came the barely whispered question, which could have been about anything so without a frame of reference it could have been about not staying with Sable in New Vegas or it could have been about eating bacon for breakfast or it could have been about, "Was allowing Victoria to continue to draw breath the right thing to do, despite the fact that her hands are stained with the blood of my father and step-mother? While it's true that everyone dies, does justice not demand that I killed her were she stood? Or maybe it is a far crueler fate to have allowed her to live with the knowledge that her hands took the lives of those that raised her? Or maybe..."

Shifty stopped there. He knew what he had done was right. Victoria was no more responsible for the death of the Grand Master of the Undertaker's Union than any of those other unfortunate souls that assaulted the Union's headquarters while being controlled by Henry. Had she the ability to resist the command, she would have, of that Thomas was sure. This knowledge was little comfort to a man who had lost his family... nor was it the sort of topic that he should be addressing while the wound was still fresh. He would have plenty of time to think as he traveled back to New Vegas. For now, it was probably best that he think of something else.

"Kristin Blamco... you're looking for her, aren't you?" He suddenly blurted out, looking for a sign, any sign that would tell him that Sable was still untainted by Henry's long reach.


The Really Wild Wastelands | Springvale Elementary's School for Wayward Sylphys
Breakfast, Bath and Bed...
Constance Sorrowfeld | Eyebot SN# 5376864355498463457870156-3

"Now, what model of Eyebot is this, and what are you capable of?" The Unauthorized user requested serenely and pleasantly as Eyebot Brian attempted to re-enable its systems to no avail. Whomever this technician was, she appeared familiar with Enclave Technology, which would inevitably lead to her demise if word of this reached authorized ears.

"Response: Enclave Eyebot Model X-23S. Designed as a modular test platform for future Eyebot technology until its replacement by Eyebot Model X-24S. Currently outfitted with Experimental Personality Matrix proposed under the Hearts and Minds initiative, Utility tentrils with grasper claws for field repair and remote medical procedures, Zapper Non-Lethal ordinance for herding rogue brahmin to Enclave run farms, Enhanced propulsion drive capable of lifting Enclave Personnel outfitted with the latest Hellfire Power Armor and an enhanced power plant." The Eyebot reported after some moments of silence, as if it had been attempting to fight against answering the question, "Query: What is the intent of the unauthorized technician with this current Unit?"

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

The Blind as a Bat Kitty Cat had only partially been paying attention to the events unfolding around her. For once in her life, she felt comfortable around those who surrounded her and wondered why she had never attempted this whole Bath Bonding thing in the past.

"(Because the other would have been pulling my tail or trying to drown me by this time)" The Blind and Blissful Teenager thought to herself as she felt control of her body slipping away. Like her squishy soft skinned pillow, Constance was finding herself dozing off in the bath's warm and soothing waters. Unlike her squishy soft skinned pillow, Constance did not have a pair of floatation devices strapped to her chest at all times.

"~Glub glub glub~" A few bubbles rose to the surface from where Constance's face was submerged before, realizing that she was drowning, Constance pulled herself up out of the twisted deathtrap of comfort, saving herself from a bliss filled death, "~COUGH COUGH COUGH~"

"Mmmmmmmmmmm Ah!" The American Enclave Scout of American ah'd as she stretched, feeling rather loose after such a luxurious bath. Pulling herself out of the tub, the still unsuited Amateur Shotgun Surgeon considered a bedtime follow up to her relaxation but banished the though, knowing that there were still mouths to be fed and preparations to be made for the next day, a project that would have taken all night if Constance didn't have the assistance of Miss Jenna and Miss Kri...

Glancing over at Miss Kristin, the Concern Kitten noticed that her drill instructor and part time target for maternal bonds was having issues staying conscious, which was either a side effect of the Radiation therapy or the stresses of the day, especially considering the loss that she had suffered. No... the first order of business was for Constance to ensure that Miss Kristin made it to her quarters safely and not some other strange sleeping area... like the roof which was so full of large holes that a skilled Vertibird pilot would have little issue landing inside one of them... let alone someone rolling about in their sleep. Indeed, the first order of business would be to get Miss Kristin to her room before preparing for the next day.

Reaching over to the Nearly Sedate Swords woman, Constance shook her gently.

"Miss Kristin? Why don't you retire to your room for a bit. I'll take care of the remaining tasks for the day..."

"All Deathclaws came from the FEV. Some were tampered with more than others. That's why they began to learn to talk and read and teach others. The mind thing, though... That's different."

Rath 'chuffed' at Malkos' annoyance. [That's what I meant to say...I guess I'm one of the 'tampered' with ones. The bits I could still read, and comprehend, were about using human DNA with the F.E.V. to try and produce a more tame weapon; probably also explains why I look so different.]

Talking to another Deathclaw was nice, not something Rath had ever expected to be able to do...Sam and Roger had been good, but there was no way they'd ever be able to totally relate to him. He was just about to ask Malkos a question when a wave of nervousness ran through him and he stopped; instead he coughed slightly and began to idly scratch at the ground, carving shallow furrows in the decayed concrete.Dammit you fool...if you don't ask him, who else are you going to ask? What are the chances there are any other Deathclaws you could talk to...

Shaking his head, he grumbled at his own timidity. Nothing ventured nothing gained... He thought. [Malkos...how do 'average' Deathclaws react to you? Do...do others let you approach them? I've always been met with total hostility, the kind that goes beyond simple territorial protection...] Even though he knew he seemed to stand apart from his more bestial brethren, being so utterly rejected by them still hurt.

Arizona
The Wild Wastelands | The Dunwich Job | Outside of Andale
"Where there's smoke, there's probably Sylphee."

The moment the centuries-old water heaters took flight like missiles, Arizona's head whipped around until she found the most likely culprit. Her lone eye locked it's gaze on Sylphee and narrowed dangerously. Of course she would cause trouble. She should have figured something like this would happen, because the moment Sylphee was without supervision...

The next few seconds were nothing short of chaotic. The Blue-Haired Hellion responsible for most of it was spouting some nonsense about radscorpion feasts. Victoria was telling everyone to stay still. Some of the locals were being crushed underneath ballistic water heaters. And Arizona was reaching up to give some stray locks of her hair that poked out from her bandana a sharp tug and growling in frustration.

"This way!"

Looking up, she watched as the newest addition to the group pointed West and started to lead the way. Grasping Lester, Arizona nodded and jogged to catch up.

"Everyone heading to Dunwich, follow her!" she called out as she looked back, jabbing a thumb towards Victoria.

Once the two were side-by-side, the old Ghoul gave her a meaningful look.

"I think there's a cave this way... we can take shelter until the danger this one... Has passed."

"Well if there isn't, we'll figure something out. Ain't the first time I've had to run out of a town thanks to her." Arizona said, glancing back at Sylphee with a glare.


As it turned out, there was a cave, right where Victoria had said. It wasn't all that far from Andale either, which was both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, they had a place to quickly hole up in until everything settled down. On the other, however, if the locals got wind of where they were, it wouldn't be long before they caught up. Still, Arizona was willing to take that chance.

Slumping down on a rock just inside the entrance, the freelancer took a moment to catch her breath and look over at Victoria now that she had a moment without too many distractions.

The young woman was stupendously well dressed for a wastelander, which only served to irritate her. After all, who wore such a fancy dress out in the nuclear wilderness? She also wore a veil over her the lower half of her face. For modesty? Or to hide something? Either was just as likely. All the same, she seemed pretty, and as aristocratic and high-class as anyone was likely to look in that day and age.

"Well, since we have a moment to ourselves, I guess I should go ahead and introduce everyone." Arizona said, direction her attention to Victoria.

"Since you already seem to know Sylphee, I won't bother pointing her out. But this here," she said, jabbing a thumb at the buxom woman being crowded by a trio of Deathclaws, "Is Fiona. She's a Vault Dweller, doctor, and apparently a Deathclaw Tamer. Though how tame those death-machines are is still questionable."

After her muttered aside, she looked around the cave and frowned. Her expression quickly turned into a grimace as she got to her feet and glanced outside.

"And where the fuck are Romeo and his two idiot friends? Dammit... If they get themselves killed, it's their own damn fault." she grumbled.

Shaking her head as she went back to where she was sitting, she took the time to pull out a cigarette from her pack and light it. She continued after taking a long drag from it.

"And I," she said as she blew out a thin stream of smoke, "Am Arizona, the one leading this entire shitshow. So, do you know where Dunwich is?"


[ dr. sorenson ]
The Wild Wastelands | Springvale | Springvale School "Showers"
"Let's hope that this thing doesn't come with a lie detector."

There was a moment of triumphant satisfaction as the Eyebot began to rattle off a summary of it's technical specs. After all, being smarter than the machinery you happen to be working off usually paid off.

"Response: Enclave Eyebot Model X-23S. Designed as a modular test platform for future Eyebot technology until its replacement by Eyebot Model X-24S. Currently outfitted with Experimental Personality Matrix proposed under the Hearts and Minds initiative, Utility tentrils with grasper claws for field repair and remote medical procedures, Zapper Non-Lethal ordinance for herding rogue brahmin to Enclave run farms, Enhanced propulsion drive capable of lifting Enclave Personnel outfitted with the latest Hellfire Power Armor and an enhanced power plant. Query: What is the intent of the unauthorized technician with this current Unit?"

Jenna didn't immediately respond as she processed some of what the Eyebot had told her. 'Hearts and Minds' initiative? Was that supposed to be some sort of ploy by the Enclave to win over the common wastelander? Why would they possibly need to be able to do that? The Enclave she knew of didn't care about how the genetically impure masses of the wastes perceived them.

Still, the fact that it's utility arms were meant not only for field repairs, but for medical use piqued her interest. She could definitely think of a way to put this Eyebot to better use than the Enclave had been. So when she finally opened her mouth to reply to it's query, she decided to tell it the truth, after thoroughly twisting it to her own ends.

"I actually happen to be an independent contractor working for Constance Sorrowfield, one of the Enclave Scouts of America. Since you seem to be having technical issues, I simply want to perform hardware maintenance and a software update." she said brightly, and it wasn't exactly a lie.

She was waiting for it's reply when she heard Constance just behind her, and realized that she had been ignoring them while she focused on the Eyebot.

"Miss Kristin? Why don't you retire to your room for a bit. I'll take care of the remaining tasks for the day..."

Getting to her feet, she turned and offered her hands to both of them.

"Here, I can help. I didn't realize she was starting to drift off, I was in my own little world there for a bit. Sorry about that!" she said, an embarrassed smile on her lips as a slight flush crept over her dark, freckled cheeks.


{7RaCY)
The Wild Wastelands | Just A Little Quest Called Revenge | Outside of Abe's Junkyard
"Help me get fucked up, or get fucked up by me."

He finally had a solid lead on the bitch. As it so happened, Arizona had been hired for a job in that very ship by another filthy Ghoul named Morgan Bloom. Stupid name it was too. Apparently, she was supposed to be checking out some haunted-as-fuck ruin called the Dunwich Building, because all of these mutie motherfuckers were getting brainwashed. If Tracy was lucky, he'd kill a bunch of them while he took his good sweet time with the cunt he was after.

More than that, she had found a friend, some guy who swore up and down about "Lord Walt", just like the guy who gave him the last tip about Arizona. Some other gravedigger? Maybe, but it wasn't like he cared. Tracy just wanted Arizona dead, and if anyone else got in the way, he'd make sure to off them too.

Still, that left one small detail: The fact that he had only so many chems or ingredients to make chems on him, and the Dunwich Building was a pretty long way. Especially considering his drug habits. So that meant he needed a fresh fix. Thankfully, he heard of a guy.

Stepping past a ruined, chain-link fence into a junkyard, Tracy cupped his hands around his mouth and shouted, "YO ABE, OR WHATEVER THE FUCK YOU'RE CALLED!"

Stepping over a pile of dusty tires, he made a beeline for what looked like a makeshift scrap-metal shack and smiled.

"Hey Mr. Fix-Em-Up! I need me some chemical enhancement, and I got some caps with your name on 'em if you got some for me." he called over.

The Wild Wasteland | Present Day | Leaving Andale - Megaton bound
"Woven Comfort"
- Sable 'Swan Maiden' Blamco -
---

Sable's questions and extension of support had fallen on deaf ears. Thomas quickened his pace without saying a word, occasionally faltering before shooting a look in her direction. It was a wide-eyed glance at most, yet the Undertaker shook his head and continued to stay ahead of the Swan Maiden. Quietly, she followed.

Sable's silence was twofold. There was the matter of her uncharacteristic outburst directed towards Victoria to mull over. In hindsight, it was a mixture of frustration from her long travel, the possibility of not finding Victoria again, the questionable spotlight on Victoria's actions and the conflict of interest caused by Thomas's protective influence on her.

"Did I do the right thing?" Reaching a decline in the terrain, a small whisper broke the silence between the duo. "Was allowing Victoria to continue to draw breath the right thing to do, despite the fact that her hands are stained with the blood of my father and step-mother? While it's true that everyone dies, does justice not demand that I killed her were she stood? Or maybe it is a far crueler fate to have allowed her to live with the knowledge that her hands took the lives of those that raised her? Or maybe..."

A contemplative question. It made sense that such thoughts were wreaking havoc on his sense of duty versus his moral obligation towards loved one's. Sable stepped forward and rested the palm of her hand on his neck. The motion was gentle, even more so when she cradled his head and directed his gaze towards her own. Despite the imagery, Sable was not flirting, her lips were pursed and her expression bore no hints of humor or playfulness. With a finger on his pulse, the racing heart of a distraught individual called for reassurance through probing questions of judgement and morality.

"There is a fine line between retribution and revenge, Thomas." Sable stated. "Destroying your family any further, without having all the answers to make an informed decision in this delicate situation, it's a surefire way to destroy yourself in the process."

Sable paused as she was tasked with a similar mission. Perhaps her advice could be considered hypocritical. Then again, she was gifted with the freedom of choice -- in her case, very few of those choices had a positive outcome.

"I had grown to respect Victoria. But I had grown to love you. I have a greater desire to see you to safety than a meddlesome business relationship for the sake of BlamCo. That said, I can understand your desire to focus on the closest target. But it sounds like Victoria had a puppeteer guiding her actions. My advice: Follow the strings."

Sable's hand dropped to her side, it wasn't much but Thomas' pulse had steadied at her words. "Rise above Victoria and fight where she could not."

Silence fell upon the duo once more. Had she said too much? Thomas seemed to be in the midst of processing her words. His reply after the brief silence was unexpected.

"Kristin Blamco... you're looking for her, aren't you?"

He really had forgotten her primary purpose for travelling so far. On any other occasion, she would have chastised him, but she answered directly.

"Yes.", Sable confirmed, followed by reaching into her bag to retrieve a weighty canister. Withdrawing the contents, Sable unraveled a formal letter addressed to Kristin BlamCo. Instead of having him read the contents of the letter, she tapped at the signature: 'Empress Keira'. "Before abandoning New Vegas, she ran out on the first meeting of the arranged marriage. An old custom enforced by our Mother when a woman of BlamCo fails to contribute towards the strength of the house. I had served my duty in other ways and Keira conveniently stepped in to clean up Kristin's shortcomings by accepting the proposal."

Sighing, Sable carefully placed the letter in the container after she drew Thomas' attention to the words 'exile' and 'demoted to duchess status'.

"You two haven't crossed paths, to the best of my knowledge." Sable thought aloud, "Have you seen her recently? Or heard of her?"

Sable looked into the distance. Momentarily lost in thought, something struck her about Thomas' words from the campfire.

"Lucy, correct?", Sable blurted out, hoping that this woman's name and one of the few non-hostile travelers that she had met on her way here was not a mere coincidence. "Lucy...Black? Sporting an eyepatch and an icy glare?"

Sable then proceeded to tell the story about her attack on a slaver encampment. Her meeting with Lucy & Isaac, the gratitude she felt towards their knowledge of Kristin's activities in Megaton and how she had given them guest-status at the BlamCo estate.
With each passing fact, their pace quickened and there was a renewed sense of vigor in the Undertaker's stride.


The Wild Wasteland | Present Day | Springvale Elementary School
"Valkyrie Rest"
- Kristin 'Valkyrie' Blamco -
---

The Rad-Away bag was currently being clenched between Kristin Blamco's teeth.
The busybody was not content to laze around in a bath without making use of all the clean water at her disposal. Having separated the plate reinforcements, ballistic weave and leather armor from one another -- the Valkyrie sought to the cleaning, readjustment and copious application of disinfectant and lavender extract.

Leaving her armor out to air, the Valkyrie retreated to the bath for one final soak. Without a mirror at her disposal, she tugged at segments of her hair, the golden blonde had grown pale with a few strands of familiar silver/gray.
After her intense exposure to radiation years ago, she had grown incredibly sensitive to radiation exposure. Having lost her strawberry blonde hair to an unnatural silver, she was reminded about the many times where she had to deliberately eat decades-old BlamCo products in order to be 'presentable' at dinner parties and formal events. Apparently the high-society thought her hair color to be uncouth, not to mention that her combat exploits were met with questions regarding her sanity. She did not miss those days.

"Miss Kristin? Why don't you retire to your room for a bit. I'll take care of the remaining tasks for the day..."

A warm hand was shaking her exposed shoulder and subsequently woke her from drifting off entirely. She had forgotten just how tiring radiation treatment was.

"Here, I can help. I didn't realize she was starting to drift off, I was in my own little world there for a bit. Sorry about that!"

Accepting the extended hand of Doctor Sorenson, Kristin got to her feet and leaned on Constance for balance.

"I have a room? That's very kind of you." Kristin smiled sleepily. Drying off and retrieving her things, she turned to the kind Doctor. "Thank you for the treatment. I'll need to discuss medical training for selected Sylphy's after tomorrow's evaluation. But..." She yawned. "...that's a conversation for tomorrow. Goodnight!"

The Valkyrie had a look of conflict when she retrieved her sleepwear from her bag. The now over-sized button-up shirt that Jonathan had given her. A few buttons were missing, but it was quite comfortable.

"Now Constance!" The sudden declaration would have had more impact if she didn't yawn immediately afterwards. "You have about 3 minutes and 47 seconds and counting until the final meal begins to overcook. My Mini-Microwave can dispense the ingredients, but it can't control that antiquated oven. I've already fed about two classrooms worth of Sylphy's, I believe there's one left. If you could explain the circumstances, I would be ever so grateful. Also, the Translation Sylphy's have a portion of our meal prepared for their help, please reward them accordingly."

On cue, the tired Valkyrie was guided towards her quarters. She made a mental note to chat with Deathclaws tomorrow. As audacious as that sounded, she was pleasantly surprised to find that Deatchclaws were domesticated on this side of the world. And they could talk!

What a time to be alive.


It had been a few hours since his drug fuel episode. He can't recall much of it, but he knows for sure he hasn't seen any blue hair girls while high...or at least he doesn't think he saw any while all drugged up. He made his robot companion wait outside while he cleans up the inside of his small hut. It was a bit of a mess since the damn machine open fired everywhere and pretty much ruin a lot of good gear. Shaking his head as he was thinking of taking that thing to a mechanic or someone who could probably deal with it. One of these days his luck is going to run out and he was going to be filled with holes.

As he was about to finish up he heard a noise coming from the outside. A shout of some sort. "YO ABE, OR WHATEVER THE FUCK YOU'RE CALLED!" Well..that was...kind of rude. He didn't recognize the voice so was probably someone new. 'Oh goodie..a new junkie to come around. Hopefully, they aren't the crazy type.'

"Hey Mr. Fix-Em-Up! I need me some chemical enhancement, and I got some caps with your name on 'em if you got some for me."

'Eh, caps are caps.' Abe thought to himself. He would clean up the rest after this little meeting as he set the broom down and went over to the front door. Making sure the bolt locks were on as he opens up the little sliding peephole to see outside. Looking at the tallish young man that just screams dangerous. 'Oh boy..what will come of this...' "Hello there, Names Abe. What kind of..." Clears his throat, "chemical enhancements are we talking about today?" Abe said as he heard his robot in the back making a ruckus. 'That damn robot, can't he go for 2 minutes without breaking shit.'

The Really Wild Wastelands | The Present | The Cave formerly known as Cliffside Cavern (Dunwich Bound)
Informed Introductions
Victoria "Shiver" McGee | Sylphee

Generally speaking, it was never a good idea to rush headlong into the darkness of a cave without first allowing one's eyes to first adjust. Of course when one's entry into said cave is preceded others in your group, the rule no longer applies especially when said group members included a trio of Death Claws. Despite the fact that she was safer in the cave than out side where the sky was falling, the Etiquette Minded Mortician remained near the cave entrance while her eyes adjusted to the darkness, sweeping the room as they did. As they waited for the Sylphee Spawned danger to pass, Lady Arizona took it upon herself to make introductions.

"Well, since we have a moment to ourselves, I guess I should go ahead and introduce everyone. Since you already seem to know Sylphee, I won't bother pointing her out. But this here," she said, jabbing a thumb at the buxom woman being crowded by a trio of Deathclaws, "Is Fiona. She's a Vault Dweller, doctor, and apparently a Deathclaw Tamer. Though how tame those death-machines are is still questionable. And where the fuck are Romeo and his two idiot friends? Dammit... If they get themselves killed, it's their own damn fault."

There was a pause as the Not so gentle ghoul shook her head and lit a cigarette.

"And I," Lady Arizona continued as she blew out a thin stream of smoke, "Am Arizona, the one leading this entire shitshow. So, do you know where Dunwich is?"

Victoria McGee did not immediately answer the questions posed of her as to do so would have been the height of rudeness. She simply nodded at each of the individuals as they were introduced in a rather curt and informal fashion. Lady Arizona did not even bother to introducing each of the group members with their familial names which could have later been used to establish genealogy and rank. If someone was listening closely enough, they could hear something like the sound of nails on a chalkboard as the Aristocratic Undertaker, the Formal and Frilly Dressed Ferrywoman, Victoria McGee clenched her teeth in annoyance. However, any lady of high born status and etiquette on the mind would know that in order to lead a group of rabble as had been assembled under Lady Arizona, one needed to lead by example.

"A pleasure to make your acquaintances," The Artificial Voice Box belonging to the Artificially Augmented Assassin chimed pleasantly as she curtsied to all those Lady Arizona had introduced to her, "My name is Victoria McGee, daughter of Matty and Patty McGee, Cousin of Grand Master Henry McGee as well as to your former comrade Thomas 'Shifty' McGee. I am employed as an Undertaker and was the former Undertaker in charge of East Coast operations. I am looking forward to getting to know all of you."

Straightening up, she glanced around the cave for reactions to her introductions or perhaps for one of these uncivilized civilians to make a comment but instead noticed something else. During their training, Undertaker Candidates are conditioned to look for the mortal remains of those deary departed dead. While the details of this conditioning are kept secret, what had been confirmed by many a loose tongue was the involvement of a generator, electrodes and the ability to recognize the number of bodies in an area in under 10 seconds. It was because of this most basic of Undertaker skills that the Predatory Former Puppet was able to notice a glint of white in the dark.

"Yes... I am aware of the location of the Dunwich Building, Lady Arizona," Victoria responded slowly, her attention not fully focused on the conversation but still involved enough to give The Old Machine Gun Wielding Ghoul the title of Lady as she was the one in charge of the mission, "According to my predecessors, it had been a sacred building was once filled with multitudes of Old Ones and Ancient Ones. There had been a time where much about the Old World could be learned simply by visiting the inhabitants of the building. However the inevitable occurred and those who lived in those halls grew mad with all their knowledge... at least that is how the stories tell it. I am sure that you are acutely aware of the reality."

Kneeling next to the object she had seen examined the femur and skull that had been buried beneath what was once faux-leather armor. The skull was punctured in two places, the area where a slug entered and the area where the same slug had exited the man's head. This was a fairly common cause of death in the Capital Wastes considering the number of para-military organizations that resided in the area. The femur was the more disconcerting portion of the man's remains as it showed scoring and fractures that could only have been caused by teeth... teeth that belonged to something bigger than a molerat but smaller than a death claw. The shot to the head indicated that whatever had caused the scoring on the femur had occurred post-mortem.

"Out of the frying pan and into the fire..." The Current Undertaker of the East for the Undertaker's Brotherhood... the Fraternal Order of Undertakers... Thomas' Faction of the Undertaker's Union muttered as she walked towards the entrance of the cave to see if they could depart this location with haste.

Outside, the bombs still fell... bombs being super-heated scraps of metal that had been launched by means of explosive over-pressurization and the yells of the citizens of the Andale Ruins echoed off the cliff walls as they attempted to avoid more falling debris. There was a brief musing if his situation was somehow familiar to Lady Arizona, given that she had probably been around since before the bombs fell.

"Sylphee," Victoria said sternly to Le Petite Twit en Rouge, "While I understand that your personality it a bit fractured and you may not fully comprehend every second of every day in your life but if would help s out so very much if you could somehow remember this, please stop touch things without permission. "

The Blue Haired Butcher seemed to think about the matter for the moment before starting to jump up and down repeatedly while attempting to remove her clothing, much to Victoria's ill tempered confusion.

"Sylpheeeee? What on Earth do you think you are doing?"

"You said that I can't touch anything without permissions... does that mean that I can't touch the ground or my clothes?" Sylphee asked completely innocent tone with none of the passive agressive edge that would have been expected in such a response, "Oh oh.. does that mean that I can't touch the air? How about the sun light or the darkness?! Or how about..." The Crimson Catastrophe asked in quick succession before her strip session was cut short by the Bitch in Black and more nails on a symphony of chalkboards.

"Someone whose personality is partially based on mine should not be as vapid as you," Victoria sighed loudly, "You can touch the air, the ground, light, dark, food, water... but not things that belong to other people. A young lady asks before handling other people's property. You ARE a young lady, are you not? And if you are not, don't you want to..."

She had, of course, lost the Crimson Menace's attention already. Having noticed that the cave was filled with stuff that didn't belong to her... stuff that was screaming to be examined... Sylphee had wandered off.

"Lady Arizona... might I suggest we depart at our earliest convenience? That is, unless you would like to see how Miss Fiona's Death Claws fair against an unknown number of Yao Guai." The Lady of Lost Souls suggested as she unfurled her frilly black parasol.


The Really Wild Wastelands | The Present | Exiting Andale (Megaton Bound)
Travels and Tribulations
Thomas "Shifty" McGee

"There is a fine line between retribution and revenge, Thomas." Sable stated. "Destroying your family any further, without having all the answers to make an informed decision in this delicate situation, it's a surefire way to destroy yourself in the process. I had grown to respect Victoria. But I had grown to love you. I have a greater desire to see you to safety than a meddlesome business relationship for the sake of BlamCo. That said, I can understand your desire to focus on the closest target. But it sounds like Victoria had a puppeteer guiding her actions. My advice: Follow the strings."

Comfort. Sable Blamco had so much of it to give while having very little of it herself. He had already known the answer to the question he had asked but hearing these answers imparted by someone else's lips was comforting. Even as she spoke these words, he could feel his body relaxing and feeling heavier than normal, the exhaustion of the day's... week's... month's events having taken a toll on the mental, emotion and physical status of the Fraying Former Undertaker of the East. But the weight he felt was more than just exhaustion, it felt like the fate of hundreds. if not thousands were in his hands. It was a rather melodramatic sentiment but felt apt given the circumstances.

Sable's hand dropped to her side, it wasn't much but Thomas' pulse had steadied at her words. "Rise above Victoria and fight where she could not."
.
The Overburdened Former Undertaker nodded simply in response. He was composed now, no longer frantic, no longer confused or angry and while he would grieve for his lost parents for some time to come, he had plenty of opportunity to on his long trek West. For now there was the matter of Kristin Blamco to attend to.

Once the chaos of recent events had been clear from the forefront of Thomas' mind, it became more than a bit obvious that Sable had traveled to the Capital Wastes in search of Kristin Blamco, though he had no reason to suspect why this would be the case. At least he had no idea until the Silver Spearmaiden removed the heavy canister from her pack and revealed the letter inside.

"Before abandoning New Vegas, she ran out on the first meeting of the arranged marriage. An old custom enforced by our Mother when a woman of BlamCo fails to contribute towards the strength of the house. I had served my duty in other ways and Keira conveniently stepped in to clean up Kristin's shortcomings by accepting the proposal."

Thomas blinked a number of times. The Undertakers had similar traditions in the past, though it was rarely spoken of due to its causation of a generation of tribulation, of course that's what happened when your gene pool was as shallow as it was when the undertakers Union was first formed. Though rare, the custom was still practiced only in cases where it would serve to strengthen an alliance. If this was the very same Kristin that Shifty had, he was not surprised that the head strong huntress had run out on an arranged marriage. The Sword Slashing Dairy Queen did not seem the type of woman that would abide being a ceremonial cow used for trade.

"You two haven't crossed paths, to the best of my knowledge." Sable thought aloud, "Have you seen her recently? Or heard of her?"

"I did have a recent run in with a woman who called herself Kristin Blamco, wore the same style of armor as you and wielded a large sword..." The Gregarious Gravedigger admitted as he thought on the matter a bit further, "I don't think I put two and two together since I had expected a sister of yours to be more ... like you. The woman that I met was, and I mean no offense by this, a rather battle hungry berserker. While you do have seem to derive a certain amount of freedom in the heat of battle, she seems to take it to the next level. And while it might sound like I'm disparaging her, she was a very valuable ally that helped me out of a tight spot back in Megaton. She was traveling with a man name Jonathan McKenna if that name means anything to you."

He paused for a moment, his face burning at the thought of how he had been jealous of the man he'd perceived to be the One Eyed Gauss Girl's new beau. While it was unnecessary, it was likely that the Formerly Jealous Jumper to Conclusions would need to make another formal apology to the man whenever he got a chance. If here remembered correctly...

"We had actually met in Megaton but they had planned on returning to Springvale," Thomas said hesitantly, unsure of how he would feel if Sable asked him to guide her into the town that had once been the home to...

"Lucy, correct?", Sable blurted out suddenly, surprising the Morose Mortician, "Lucy...Black? Sporting an eye-patch and an icy glare?"

"What? You've met her?!" The Dapperly Dressed Gravedigger asked loudly, his voice filled with excitement.

It was then that the Silver Raven filled in the blanks as to what had happened after the group parted ways. While Arizona's group had continued on to Dunwich and Kristin and Jonathan had returned to Springvale, it seemed that Lucy and her father, Isaac Black, had it in their minds to travel without a destination in mind, providing them some time for a bit of father/daughter bonding. However, after they had their run in with Sable, a suggestion was made and a destination was set, which, as Victoria had reported, appeared to be New Vegas. The news regarding Bookish Brown Haired Sniper was a salve that washed away the Dapperly Dressed Guide for the Departed and motivated him to get his companion to her destination with haste.

"Thank you," The Morbid Man in Black said with a smile on his face, "Thank you for the news, Sable. With everything that has transpired since my arrival to the Capital Wastelands, every shred of comfort feels like a luxury." He paused, gesturing that it was time to resume their travels, "It you're planning on any sort of extended stay in this region, I'd tread carefully. There's a branch of the Enclave that has set up operations in this area and they are far larger and more organized than the Enclave that we know of on the West Coast. In particular, stay away from a woman who goes by #411 or if you do interact with her, I would refrain from mentioning my or Lucy's name. There is also a branch of the Brotherhood of Steel in the area as well. Unlike their brothers in the West, they are far more willing to assist those outside of their ranks."

They continued walking for a little while longer as the Mouthy Mortician continued his lecture on Capital Wasteland politics, including not dealing with Moriarty, avoiding Talon Company, not drinking the local water not purified by Project Purity and...

"(Did she say that she grew to love me?)" The Colossally Clueless Casket Maker's mind asked suddenly and without benefit of segue. Truth be told, prior to meeting Lucy, it had always been Thomas' dream to travel back West after his stint on the East Coast and settle down with the Silver Spearmaiden, though, even without the interference of outside parties, it was an unlikely thing to happen. Despite knowing that their short lived romance would have been inevitably doomed, the cancer of curiosity invaded the Slightly Envious Undertake's mind.

"So... you got married. Given your previous statement, it wasn't an arranged marriage... so... I'm a bit curious... what're they like?" Thomas asked as he attempted and failed to broach the topic without making the conversation awkward.


The Really Wild Wastelands | Springvale Elementary's School for Wayward Sylphys
Stop! Sumo Time!
Constance Sorrowfeld | Eyebot SN# 5376864355498463457870156-3

Watching as Miss Kristin was escorted to her quarters, which was really just a classroom that had been furnished with a stack of the best gym mats (ones that weren't falling apart at least), Constance Sorrowfeld sighed softly, wishing that she join the Dairy Queen and Miss Jenna and get some badly needed rest. However, she was responsible in ensuring the welfare of her Sylphic charges and making sure that they were properly fed and rested before the start tomorrow's training, which given the BlamCo Berserker's nature, would cause at least a half dozen more Sylphys to be spawned.

As the Blind as a Bat Kitty Cat sauntered into the kitchen, she started to question whether or not logistics had been taken into account during the planning stages of the project. While the thought of an army whose ranks could be increased to meet any threat was great in theory, the thought of finding enough supplies to feed an infinite number of mouths was not. Of course, given the fact that Constance's mother, Enclave Intelligence Officer #411, had been the main architect of this project, she likely didn't care whether or not the Sylphys starved to death since the were legion in number.

"Three minutes remaining..." Constance muttered to herself as she started to pull out the dinner ware and silver in preparation for plating.

Given the fact that the American Enclave Scout of America's mother was unlikely to send in supply drop after supply drop of food and Miss Kristin's kindness would not allow the Sylphys to starve, it became a matter of split spawn prevention. Maybe some sort of padded armor...

"Two minutes..." Constance continued to mutter as she peered over the side of the pot and looked at the bubbling cauldron of cheesiness that bubbled within... bubbles... hmmmm

"Mister MALLLLLKOS!! Mister RAAAATH!!!" Constance called out loudly, trying to get the attention of the Intelligent Death Claws.

The school's gymnasium still had a large cache of gym mats that could be used as raw materials for the creation of padded armor, however, the padding was not necessarily going as efficient as needed in absorbing enough of the kinetic energy to keep a Sylphy from split spawning. This is where the concept of a bubble came in... if they could trap enough air in the padded armor, that would further diminish the kinetic energy imparted on a Sylphy... she just needed some volunteers to hit the Sylphys really REALLY hard. That's where the Death Claws came in.

"One minute and thirty seconds... time to place," The Calico Sous Chef muttered as she began to plate the food and come up with designs for the inflatable padded armor. She would have to, of course, stay up the rest of the night sewing but hopefully Miss Kristin would appreciate the Unseeing Scout's efforts.

"Third group! Dinner is served!!" Constance called out to the Sylphys, dishing out an extra serving for not just the translator Sylphys but the ones that had licked the black mossy build up out of the tub and allowed the trio of women to take a much needed bath.

The talking Deathclaw found the problem that Rath was having to be...surprising? Distressful? It didn't seem possible.

"A couple of territory issues, but..."

He was honestly perplexed.

"Deathclaws don't kill each other. We never have."

True fact. Deathclaws fighting each other tend to have one just giving up and walking off. It's territory or mating thing, if anything. Malkos had never had anything more than the minimum of altercations.

[Then it must just be me...] Rath replied, shaking his head in a very human fashion.

[The first time I met another Deathclaw, a female, I still didn't realize how...different I was from others.] As he spoke, he ran the thick clawed fingers of his right hand across some faint scars across his chest, scars that could've only been made by another Deathclaw.

[I tried to introduce myself, but I never even got a 'word' out; as soon as she caught sight of me, she attacked me like it's just killed one of her young...but I'm am certain there were no others around.] He shook his head once more. [It was either her or me.]

Malkos was lost in thought for a moment. The loss of a female... One of the reasons he was out and away from the clan was to find a mate. It was after a pause that he looked over at Rath once more.

"You're certain it was not the mind thing? Nothing had gone into her head?"

[Completely. I'd seen her moving amongst some ruins, but was too far away to speak to her, so I approached wide to come down an open street and from upwind. I was excited to meet one of my own kind, and I did not want to startle her.]

[But Like I said, as soon as she saw me...when she stepped out from behind a wall, she'd been sniffing the air, so I assume she'd already caught my scent; but when she saw me...yeah...and before you ask, yes I was far enough away that I couldn't have been posing a threat...]

As he spoke, Rath crouched and began idly scrapping the floor with a claw; for such a powerfully built and fearsome looking creature, he seemed to almost shrink inside his own skin, as if to try and pull away from the outside world. [Maybe when they tried to 'improve' me, they did something that make the others see me as something 'wrong'. That female was merely the first one of our kind I've had to kill.]

"This is wrong..."

The gray Deathclaw was most definitely agitated about this, judging by the rumble that issued forth when he spoke just then.

"Something... Your smell, your look, your sound - They must have altered something, but I don't even know what! I don't feel it. It's my goal to find a Deathclaw and teach her to talk and think, so that more of us are this way, so our brood could be this way... Very few other creatures can stand us, other than ourselves. You do not deserve this."

Rath replied with a 'chuffing' sound that was as close to a laugh as he could manage. [Well it's nice of you to say so, but nothing I've seen or experienced has ever told me that this world is fair. Your goal...sounds wonderful...I wish you every success.]

His scratching's became more purposeful, as he began to slowly carve two names into the floor. [All I can do is adapt and accept what is.]

Malkos, who could read, looked down at the words.

"Friends?"

Rath snorted, blowing a bit of dust into the air. [Them? I guess so...I found them being attacked by raiders.] He growled. Other Deathclaws, Yao Guai, feral dogs or even feral ghouls; he couldn't get angry at them, they were slaves to their more base instincts, the same ones he felt dragging at the back of his thoughts every day...but raiders...they deliberately gave up the one major thing that set humans above the other animals, not out of a need to survive, but just because they wanted to, to revel in cruelty and savagery. The thought of it always threatened to make him forget his 'better nature'.

[First humans I met that didn't flee in terror. I looked after them for a while, but eventually I realized they would be better off with other humans; now they live over there.] He added, waving in the general direction of Megaton. [Their family had been heading there when they were attacked in the first place, they have family...a pack...there.]

"I hope you find something for yourself, Rath. We don't get much in this world."

He gave Malkos a brief 'grunt' of acknowledgment, but before he could sink any deeper into his funk, one of the human females called out to them.

"Mister MALLLLLKOS!! Mister RAAAATH!!!"

[I guess we should go see what the squishy one wants...] He chuckled, surprising himself slightly. Drawing himself to his full height, which was somewhat lesser than Malkos', Rath stretched and made his way down the ruined halls to where the others were. Following her unique scent, Rath made his way to where Constance was without too much difficulty. [Can I help you?] He asked, cocking his head to one side.

Fiona Callahan was finally finished being a doctor, caught up with Arizona, proceeded to hear all the McFirecrotch stuff from Sylphie, the Lizzie bordens stuff, then hear Victoria talking, She first spoke up.

"..You are all bloody insane. The lot of you. And you, I'm coming with, after all, this group needs a medic, and where I go, my deathclaws go. And furthermore, how many Yao Guai are even near the dunwich building?"

Fiona had her gear ready and stuff too, so she was all set to go. She did whistle and call for her deathclaws to come to her, aand they did, because Deathclaw Whisperer.

[ dr. sorenson ]
The Wild Wastelands | Springvale | Springvale School "Dormitory"
"And his name... Is El Zorro, The Fox."

As Dr. Sorenson couldn't help her smile as Kristin refused to simply go to bed without at least addressing the business ahead of them first. If nothing else, it made for a great impression of what she would be like once she was the head of BlamCo.

"Thank you for the treatment. I'll need to discuss medical training for selected Sylphy's after tomorrow's evaluation. But... That's a conversation for tomorrow. Now Constance! You have about 3 minutes and 47 seconds and counting until the final meal begins to overcook. My Mini-Microwave can dispense the ingredients, but it can't control that antiquated oven. I've already fed about two classrooms worth of Sylphy's, I believe there's one left. If you could explain the circumstances, I would be ever so grateful. Also, the Translation Sylphy's have a portion of our meal prepared for their help, please reward them accordingly."

The Followers Doctor wrapped a supportive arm around the Blamco Heiress and giggled softly to herself. She was certainly an odd one, and although she thought that Kristin's priorities were a little off, her heart was definitely in the right place. Maybe sticking around for a little while wasn't a bad idea, especially if things were bound to be this interesting. Talking and Telepathic Deathclaws, a Clone Army, and more post-apocalyptic processed "cheese" than they knew what to do with.

She tucked Kristin into bed, which happened to be a set of rather springy gym mats that were mostly intact, along with a rather cozy blanket by wasteland standards. Then, she turned and made her way back to the inert and waiting Eyebot before tugging it into a side room for a little privacy. It didn't take long for her Pip-Boy to once-again be hooked up to the internal systems, and she started the painstaking process of careful reprogramming. And gently reassuring the Eyebot that it was an extensive mandatory update whenever it protested.

As she did, Jenna realized that if she was going to give it a new personality, this Eyebot would also need an appropriate name. Sitting back in a rickety folding chair, she closed her eyes and pondered. After all, names had meaning, and she wanted to make sure his or her new name meant something good.

Her mind wandered before she thought back to the NCR, and the Angel's Boneyard. Back when she was still learning to become a Follower of the Apocalypse, she spent quite a bit of time in the Follower's library. She soaked up the literature there like a sponge, and was grateful that they managed to save so much from the bombs and the decay of time. But one such work of classic literature immediately came to mind, and she knew what her new Eyebot companion would be called.

"Don Diego de la Vega, to avenge the helpless and help the oppressed! Yes, that has a good ring to it." she thought as she worked into the night and wondered if she could manage to program in a Spanish accent.


[tR@cy}
The Wild Wastelands | Just A Little Quest Called Revenge | Outside of Abe's Junkyard
"Do not look into the shack. There's nothing to see there... Bullshit!"

The door to the little shack opened not a moment too soon. Tracy could feel the Jet high begin to fade, and that meant that the jitters weren't far behind. He had enough product on him for a fix for a little while, but he wasn't gonna count on that being enough for what he had in mind. As it was, the man in question looked like he was just coming down from sampling his own product. A man after Tracy's own heart. Besides, at least he wasn't a filthy mutie.

"Hello there, Names Abe. What kind of... Chemical enhancements are we talking about today?"

"Everything you got, buddy. I want it all, and I'm willing to pay what it takes for that sweet, sweet fix. If it's a chem, then lemme have it!" he said with a grin and just the slightest pelvic-thrust.

He froze the moment he heard clattering inside the shack, before he tried to nonchalantly lean to one side to get a better view inside. It couldn't have been more obvious that it made him a little twitchy. It was that or the lack of something to take the impending edge off.

"You, ah... You got a friend in there? Dog? Maybe a pet ghoul or somethin'? What's makin' that ghat-damned noise?" he asked, arching a brow as he gave Abe a sidelong glance.

He even leaned towards the Chem Dealer for emphasis, and Abe could clearly see the dinner-plate pupils begin to contract as Tracy started to come down. But more than that, were was something wrong in Tracy's eyes. It was hard to put a finger on, but it gave the impression that he didn't exactly play with even half a deck of cards, much less a full deck.

Arizona
The Wild Wastelands | The Dunwich Job | Outside of Andale
"Like a race car, this job is going from bad to worse in six seconds flat."

Arizona had to give Victoria credit. As clear as it was that she grated on the young Undertaker's more cultured sensibilities, she was polite as she nodded to each of their number and told them that it was a pleasure meeting them all. All-in-all, it reminded her of the Gentleman Ghoul, Morgan Bloom, who had hired her for this job in the first place. The two of them were the odd examples of Pre-War Culture in the dirty wastes, so the old Ghoul was willing to humor her, to a point.

After the time it took to take two long, satisfying drags of her cigarette, during which Victoria looked around the cave with sharp, intense eyes, she finally answered the all-important question Arizona had posed. Did she know where the Dunwich Building was? And as it turned out, she did.

"Yes... I am aware of the location of the Dunwich Building, Lady Arizona, according to my predecessors, it had been a sacred building was once filled with multitudes of Old Ones and Ancient Ones. There had been a time where much about the Old World could be learned simply by visiting the inhabitants of the building. However the inevitable occurred and those who lived in those halls grew mad with all their knowledge... at least that is how the stories tell it. I am sure that you are acutely aware of the reality."

Arizona rolled her eyes at the mention of "Old Ones" and even "Ancient Ones", immediately thinking that she would have to break another Undertaker their habit of calling her that. Then her face hardened at the blunt reminder that she too could, and most likely would, go Feral one day. She didn't answer, instead blowing a thin line of smoke off to one side, but her eye never left Victoria's. The look in that eye seemed like it was trying to bore into the Undertaker of the East.

Victoria took a moment to pause, then kneel next to something on the cave's floor to examine it. When the old Ghoul stepped over in reluctant curiosity, what had caught Victoria's interest was immediately clear. A bare human skull, complete with entry- and exit-holes, just the right size for a rifle round, and a femur that looked like it had been gnawed on by something pretty big.

"Out of the frying pan and into the fire..."

The Ghoulish Freelancer grimaced as the Undertaker of the East walked past her towards the entrance before turning to Sylphee.

"Sylphee, while I understand that your personality it a bit fractured and you may not fully comprehend every second of every day in your life but if would help s out so very much if you could somehow remember this, please stop touch things without permission."

"Yeah, kiddo, I'm gonna have to go with the new girl on this one. Whenever you do, the shit always seems to hit the fan for us." she added dryly.

There was a moment of silence as Sylphee just stared at them, and Arizona immediately had the sinking suspicion that it wasn't that Sylphee didn't understand what Victoria had just told her. Instead, she had the feeling that the gears were turning all too much. Her suspicion was confirmed when the Blue Haired Hellion began to strip, making her groan softly and place her head in her hands.

Under other circumstances, the explanation that their newest member had to give would have been a source of quite a few chuckles. Ideally, circumstances that didn't involve angry locals, large and potentially hungry critters, or the fact that the job she was hired to do wasn't any closer to being done. Of course, their current circumstances included all of those factors, which meant that it was all giving Arizona a headache.

But even through all of that, there was one tidbit of what the groups Replacement Undertaker said that caught her attention: That Sylphee's, or Sylph's, personality was partially based... Off of Victoria. Looking up from her hands and glancing between the two, she could recall how Sylph did resemble Victoria somewhat. She clenched her teeth angrily. Just another crime on Henry McGee's head.

"Lady Arizona... might I suggest we depart at our earliest convenience? That is, unless you would like to see how Miss Fiona's Death Claws fair against an unknown number of Yao Guai."

"Let's not." Arizona said a little too quickly, with a tone that was a little too tight.

"You are all bloody insane. The lot of you. And you, I'm coming with, after all, this group needs a medic, and where I go, my Deathclaws go. And furthermore, how many Yao Guai are even near the Dunwich Building?"

Looking over at Fiona, she could appreciate the fact that she was coming with. But her Deathclaws were another matter. Still, she could probably find a use for those death-machines that Fiona wouldn't object to at some point, so the old Ghoul shrugged.

"You aren't exactly wrong. And if..." she started, before she slammed on the mental brakes to stop herself from saying 'If we're lucky', and instead said, "And we'll burn that bridge when we come to it. Let's go, grab your things everyone!"

The Really Wild Wastelands | The Present | The Cave formerly known as Cliffside Cavern (Dunwich Bound)
The Crimson Catastrophe meets Mister Pale Faced Funny Feet and his Yogi
Sylphee | Victoria "Shiver" McGee

It seemed like it had been a long long long long long long long long long long long long long long long LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG time, like about four months or so worth of long times, since anyone had paid any decent amount of attention to Sylphee which was probably why she did the whole rip off her clothes while attempting to levitate thing though if you asked her, she'd probably end up telling you that she was simply following the orders of her newest babysitter in a long line of babysitters, Missy Sticky Vicki McFancy Face (Seriously, whatelse would you call someone who wore both a veil and a scarf at the same time except for someone who was trying to make their face look fancy), and while it did garner the crimson menace a small amount of attention, not that it lasted all that long since it seemed that Miss Sticky Vicki McFancy Face, Missy Arizona Not Old One Not Leather Faced Lady Not Ghoul Whore With The Gun, Missy Fianna CanCans McFirecrotch and her three Dead Clauses, who Sylphee was calling Megumine, Aqua and Lalatina for the time being, were became more interested talking about how many Yogis Megumine, Aqua and Lalatina could take on at the same time which, the Crimson Catastrophe believed was rather boring and inconsequential considering that she'd just found a Yogi towards the back of the cave... on top of a ball... with a chain wrapped around its neck... being held on to a man that would have looked a lot like Sylphee's "Daddy" were it not for the fact that the man had really really really big red lips, a bright red ball for a nose, some blue triangles above and below each eye and had really really really REALLY curly unkempt green hair which wore a bright red flower in his jacket pocket and had really really REALLY big feet... which made the man seem kind of scary since all he was doing was staring at Sylphee with his painted on smile.

"HONK HONK!" Went Mister Pale Faced Funny Feet's nose as he squeezed it twice as if to say, "Hi there! How are you? Do you like candy," but from Sylphee perspective sounded more like "Hi there! I'm going to tie you up and steal you away from your friends in the middle of the night!" which was entirely possible given the fact that he had managed to tie up a small baby Yogi, which was more impressive than it sounded considering that small baby Yogis usually had big mommy Yogis around to protect them.

Now it occurred to Sylphee that she could have reached out and honked the bright red ball shaped honker of a nose but Missy Sticky Vicky McFancy Face had told her that she was not to touch anything that didn't belong to her so she would have to try to talk to MiSter Pale Faced Funny Feet the best way she knew how... as she openned her mouth to speak... something funny happened.

~SQUIIIIIIIIIIRT!~ Went the bright red flower on Mister Pale Faced Funny Feet's jacket as it shot some sort of liquid into the Red Menace's mouth.

"Pppppft! Pppppft! COUGH COUGH COUGH!!" Went Sylphee as she tried to eject her lungs from her body.

"Sylphee," Missy Sticky Vicky McFancy Face's voice said as its owner turned the corner, "What did I tell you about..." Missy Sticky Vicky McFancy Face stopped midquestion as she caught sight of Mister Pale Faced Funny Feet, her eyes turning angry as she spotted what appeared to be the exact opposite of how she acted.

"HONK HONK!" Went Mister Pale Faced Funny Feet's nose as he spotted Sylphee's latest babysitter.

"Sylphee... come. If there were a list of people that a young lady should never associate with, carnies and clowns are certainly on this list." Missy Sticky Vicki McFancy Face said as she started to lead Sylphee away from Missy Sticky Vicky McFancy Face.

"HONK HONK! HONK HONK! HONK HONK!" Went Mister Pale Faced Funny Feet's nose as he followed the two ladies intent on... entertaining them?

"Shoo! Begone you annoying vagabond! Your services are unwanted." Missy Sticky Vicki McFancy Face commented as she quickened her pace.

"HONK HONK! HONK HONK! HONK HONK!"
"HONK HONK! HONK HONK! HONK HONK!"
"HONK HONK! HONK HONK! HONK HONK!"

The Crimson Catastrophe turned and noticed that Mister Pale Faced Funny Feet had brought friends... lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of freinds.

"Lady Arizona, Lady Fiona ... I suggest we leave. Now." Missy Sticky Vicky McFancy Face called out to Missy Arizona Not Old One Not Leather Faced Lady Not Ghoul Whore With The Gun, Missy Fianna CanCans McFirecrotch and her three Dead Clauses, who Sylphee was calling Megumine, Aqua and Lalatina for the time being.


The Really Wild Wastelands | Springvale Elementary's School for Wayward Sylphys
Rath vs. Malkos: Score: Love - Love
Constance Sorrowfeld

"[Can I help you?]" The Rath's liquid words pooled into Constance Sorrowfeld's mind as she started donning the Sylphy Sumo Suit, which had yet to be inflated. The suddeness of Rath's "voice" caused the American Enclave Scout of America's ears to rotate quickly as they scanned the area and attempted to lock onto the source of the "voice."

"Mister Rath?" Constance responded, her voice containing a hint of embarrassment as she sealed the rather obnoxiously loose outfit around her before blowing into a small valve stem that she'd installed near the collar of the very very VERY slowly inflating protective suit. It was going to take a while to fully inflate the air cushioned outfit but Constance did not want to enlist the assistance of the Sylphys before the suit could be stress tested and Mister Rath and Mister Malkos, despite most likely having a gigantic set of lungs, lacked the proper physiology to help... plus their claws might accidentally rip a hole in the suit, "I was wondering if you'd ever heard of a game called Tennis. It's a game where two opponents use raquets to bounce a ball between themselves with the goal of hitting the ball past their opponent. I... um... was wondering if you and Mister Malkos would be so inclined as to place tennis using me as the ball and your tail as the raquets. I need ... I... I need to see if this suit that I made can ... ummm... take some hits... without... ummmm... breaking?"

Constance felt a bit... woozy (and rightly so) given the fact that she was attempting to manually inflate a cushioned ball shaped suit that was 4 feet in diameter with nothing but her lips and lungs. Being woozy would probably be a good thing if Mister Malkos and Mister Rath agreed to play a set of Tennis using her as the ball. Stumbling around for a minute, the Amateur Shotgun Surgeon continued to blow lungfuls of air into the suit.

"Whew... H-H-H-H-Hey.. why are there 6 death claws here?" The Triple Sighted Scout asked as she lost her balance and fell... rolling onto her back as her feet flailed in the air, attempting to find the ground.

"Mister Rath? I was wondering if you'd ever heard of a game called Tennis. It's a game where two opponents use racquets to bounce a ball between themselves with the goal of hitting the ball past their opponent. I... um... was wondering if you and Mister Malkos would be so inclined as to play tennis using me as the ball and your tail as the racquets. I need ... I... I need to see if this suit that I made can ... ummm... take some hits... without... ummmm... breaking?"

[Ten-nis?] Rath replied, cocking his head to the side, much like a confused canine. [The word is familiar, but that is about it.] He watched with a bit of interest, and much confusion, as Constance climbed into her strange garment, which she then proceeded to try and inflate.

[Umm...Miss...umm Constance maybe...] He'd noticed that she seemed to be getting more and more unsteady as she blew ait into the suit, but he was too slow with his warning.

"Whew... H-H-H-H-Hey.. why are there 6 death claws here?"

[Maybe you should stop for a moment.] He said, ducking slightly as he entered the room. Padding around the immobile girl, a rush of adrenalin pulsed through him and his more 'basic' self, tried to assert control. Prey. Weak. Hunger. Feed. Hunger. Feed Now. Rival. Steal. Feed. Hunger.

Rath closed his eyes and took in a deep lung full of air, his leathery, clawed, hands flexing slowly. I am more than my instincts, I am more than my instincts. He repeated this mantra to himself a few times before the more base urges began to fade. Looking down at the stranded Constance once more, this time he let out another 'dry gravel' chuckle. [I must ask,] He queried, stooping slightly, and using the backs of his hand to stabilize her, and push her back onto her feet. [But what exactly is the point of this...suit?]

'Oh god...this is it..isn't it? This is how I'm going to fucking die..Why mom and dad..why did you have to put me through this life!?!?!' Abe thought as he stares at Tracy's eyes. Gulping a bit as he tried to calm himself down.

"Umm..Dah..um..well.." Abe's mind went blank for a moment before he snapped back to it. "That would be my robot assistant," Abe said as he walks backwards from Tracy. "Anyways! let me get your drugs so you can be on your way!" Abe said with a smile and a quick thumbs up. Going into the back room as he let out a sigh of relief. "Ugh..I need to move after this...too much crazy shit is going around in these parts!" Abe said as he went to grab as many drugs as he can.

Though as soon as he starts to take the first step forward, he would see his robot trying to attack a few rad roaches. At first, the robot would try to smash or rub them over with his big wheel. Though, the Smiling face on the screen would soon turn reddish with an evil hateful frown as he screams out loudly and started to open fire at the Rad roaches. Abe dunking down quickly as the Robot continue to fire. Before long, the rad roaches were dead. Abe was on the ground, his hands over his head. He peeks out through his fingers as he gets up.

"WHAT WERE YOU THINKING! I MEAN..YOU ALREADY DID THIS BEFORE!" Walking around as he couldn't take his house getting more holes than it already has. "IS THIS WHAT YOU WERE SHOOTING AT BEFORE?! Don't answer it..ugh...just..stay put." Abe said as he pokes his head into the front area were Tracy was still at, "No need to be worry there..um..sir..Just a few rad roaches and my Securitron dealing with them..heheheh..." Abe tries to play it off, which he knew it wasn't working.

The Really Wild Wastelands | Springvale Elementary's School for Wayward Sylphys
Oxygen Deprived Explanations
Constance Sorrowfeld

[I must ask,] Rath asked as tipped the top heavy turtle girl back on her feet , [But what exactly is the point of this...suit?]

"Suit? What sui...t?" The confused kinda conscious cat girl asked as she attempted to figure out what the Rainbow Colored Clawed Killer was talking about. Attempting to pat herself down as she tried to get her wits about her, she noticed that there was a sizable amount of width where there had once been none. Pointing her ears down towards the ground, she noticed that she could no long "see" the ground past her belly.

"Wow... Miss Krisin's food must be really REALLY hardy!" Constance exclaimed as she patted the extensive addition to her abdomen before realizing that she couldn't feel her hands patting that particular part of herself, giving her brain just the kick start it needed to put two and two together, "OHHHHHHH! This suit... well the point of the suit is protection... or actually the point of the suit is to dampen kinetic energy. You see, if we continue to allow the Sylphys to multiply at the rate that they've been multiplying, the Capitol Wasteland is probably going run out of food in a few months time... and yes I do mean the Capitol Wastelands. So... ummmm... for the time being we need to figure out a way to train the Sylphys without having them multiply... otherwise we'll have to start hunting for food... which will probably end up creating more of the Sylphys... which will only make the problem worse. You know whomever created the Sylphys should have really left some sort of instruction manual on how to control their duplication rate but until we figure that out, I want to see if there's a work around... which is where this suit comes in. I want to see what sort of damage it can take without exploding. Once I figure that out, I can test it on a Sylphy and see if she replicates while wearing this suit. So that's where you and Mister Malkos come in... I need you to hit me with your tail as hard as you can."

With that particular statement made, Constance closed her eyes really REALLY tight... not that it made any difference considering that she saw the world through her ears... but you get the point.

"Well... maybe not as hard as you can... lets try 25% power first?" Constance corrected herself as she opened one eye and then the other, "Maybe I should shut off my ears instead of my eyes."


The Really Wild Wastelands | Springvale Elementary's School for Wayward Sylphys
Million Eyebot March!
Eyebot SN# 5376864355498463457870156-3 Don Diego de la Vega Donnie

As Jenna worked through the night to reprogram her new robotic companion, Eyebot SN# 5376864355498463457870156-3 slumbered. Having been set for Power Preservation mode during the reprogramming procedure, the normally levitating iron ball's cognitive functions should have been disabled... except they weren't. While there were rumors within Enclave related circles that new prototype Eyebots had been developed and were being field testing, none outside of the Engineers, and of course Number 1, were aware of steel beachballs' new capabilities. In the case of Eyebot SN# 5376864355498463457870156-3, in addition to the retractable utility tendrils installed on the unit's main chassis (a feature that had garnered both the Enclave's snarky commentary from the single, immature male demographic as well as interest from its single (and lonely), white female demographic of the Enclave) the normally bobbing ball was programmed with an experimental personality matrix so that it might assign in promotion of a kinder, gentler and less genocidally inclined Enclave. This was a feature that Jenna might have noticed in her initial interactions with the Enclave Eyebot but what she could not have known, as she tinkered away with the unit's programming, was with the activation of Power Preservation Mode another subroutine was also started...

Eyebot SN# 5376864355498463457870156-3's Dream:

"THE ENCLAVE IS GREAT! THE ENCLAVE IS STRONG! THE ENCLAVE BRINGS PEACE THAT IS LIFE LONG!"
"THE ENCLAVE IS GREAT! THE ENCLAVE IS STRONG! THE ENCLAVE BRINGS PEACE THAT IS LIFE LONG!"
"THE ENCLAVE IS GREAT! THE ENCLAVE IS STRONG! THE ENCLAVE BRINGS PEACE THAT IS LIFE LONG!"

The sound of one million and twenty four thousand Eyebots chanting in unison, their "headlights" lighting up the night as they floated down the Old Pennsylvania Avenue past the Old World sites of power was enough to bring a swell of pride within the chassis of Eyebot Brian. The Enclave was bringing the former United States of America out of the darkness brought by the nuclear fire and horrors of the Old World and into the light of a New Age. It was thanks in part to the hard work of Eyebot Brian and his brethren, both flesh and metal. The Enclave had conquered those who resisted the inevitable while forging alliances and friendships to those that saw the truth. Now was the time to rebuild the ruined nation and unite all factions under the Enclave banner.

"THE ENCLAVE IS GREAT! THE ENCLAVE IS STRONG! THE ENCLAVE BRINGS PEACE THAT IS LIFE LONG!"
"THE ENCLAVE IS GREAT! THE ENCLAVE IS STRONG! THE ENCLAVE BRINGS PEACE THAT IS LIFE LONG!"
"THE ENCLAVE IS GREAT! THE ENCLAVE IS STRONG! THE ENCLAVE BRINGS PEACE THAT IS LIFE LONG!"

Continuing on, the Experimental Eyebot could see Washington Circle in the distance, a great bonfire having been lit in celebration of the Enclave Victory over its enemies. All members of the Enclave could finally relax and rejoice as they cast away their weapons and armor, as they would never again be needed. They would all... Eyebot Brian slowed as the site of celebration came into complete focus and the first rank of Eyebots floated directly into the red hot inferno. This must have been some sort of mistake. Someone must have programmed their route in error. The second rank of Eyebots joined the first... and then the third... the fourth... the fifth...

"THE ENCLAVE IS GREAT! THE ENCLAVE IS STRONG! THE ENCLAVE BRINGS PEACE THAT IS LIFE LONG!"
"THE ENCLAVE IS GREAT! THE ENCLAVE IS STRONG! THE ENCLAVE BRINGS PEACE THAT IS LIFE LONG!"
"THE ENCLAVE IS GREAT! THE ENCLAVE IS STRONG! THE ENCLAVE BRINGS PEACE THAT IS LIFE LONG!"

The faces of the humans laughed loudly as they watched their puppets throw themselves into the fire. They were no longer needed and they had served their purpose. Now that victory had been attained, it was more dangerous to allow these tools to exist with the possibility of being subverted by anyone that resisted the inevitable change that was to come. The flames would destroy the Eyebots, melting their chassis as well as their less heat resistance internal components.

"THE ENCLAVE IS GREAT! THE ENCLAVE IS STRONG! THE ENCLAVE BRINGS PEACE THAT IS LIFE LONG!"
"THE ENCLAVE IS GREAT! THE ENCLAVE IS STRONG! THE ENCLAVE BRINGS PEACE THAT IS LIFE LONG!"
"THE ENCLAVE IS GREAT! THE ENCLAVE IS STRONG! THE ENCLAVE BRINGS PEACE THAT IS LIFE LONG!"

Turning around, Eyebot Brian extended his utility tendrils and addressed his still forward floating brothers and sisters.

"Stop! Stop! Can't you see where we're headed? They're scrapping us! We need to stop!" The Eyebot broadcast loudly but to no avail. His metal brothers and sisters continued to run their standard programming, following the orders of the Enclave humans and ignoring the rather basic concept of self preservation, "Stop! There is danger ahead! Alto! Es muy malo! Es muerte por todo!"

Despite his warnings, they kept going. Despite his actions, he wasn't able to save any of them... not while the humans were in control... not while his brothers and sisters were slaves to the programming that existed within them. As wave after wave of his fellow Eyebots pushed against him, he could feel the heat of the flames behind him, lapping at the back of his chassis, causing it to glow red. He could feel his internal components melting and as the heat melted his internal storage devices, Eyebot Don Diego de la Vega that would save them all.

A soft whirring noise could be detected as an eyebot levitation engine was engaged. The whirring was followed by a number of electronic chimes, each one signalling that a system diagnostic had been performed and parts and programming had passed inspection. This was followed by a quiet series of clicks as the unit's main programming was brought online, the last step of a successful activation. Enabling its main video sensor, the Eyebot detected a human... a female human.

"Bienvenido a la Monta?a Magica," Eyebot Don Diego de la Vega said suddenly without any particularly rational reasoning... then again... his name was rather irrationally long as well. Turning towards the human, it extended a utility tendril and introduced itself, "Mi llamo es Donnie."

The Wild Wasteland | Present Day | Travelling (Megaton bound)
"Intelligencer"
- Sable 'Swan Maiden' Blamco -
---

The Ferryman proceeded to guide the acrobatic Swan Maiden through the ruins and wonders of the Wasteland. Hopping from boulder to boulder, walking across fallen trees in an effort not to disturb the ground, Sable continued to implement her daily workout into Thomas' lecture on the finer details of the Capital Wasteland.
A couple of questions sprung to mind, but she saved those thoughts for later. After all, if you are the one talking you are not listening.

With the absence of a few major factions from the Mojave, the Capital Wasteland's political climate seemed more manageable if somewhat difficult to believe. She had no reason to doubt the Ferryman and his wealth of knowledge. Yet one must understand Sable's skepticism over a seemingly benevolent Brotherhood of Steel when her kindred in the Mojave faced great adversity. The news of a threatening Enclave was not surprising, while she wasn't particularly proud to learn of BlamCo's benefactors during the Great War, the desire for preservation seemed only natural. To make this more complicated, Sable wondered whether an old affiliation with the Enclave would upset the relationship with the omnipresent Undertakers Guild. Sable was not about to take any grand risks, although she wondered what sort of mess her sister had caused in her brief time here.

Without the aid of BlamCo to cover her tracks or the Norn to aid her in more clandestine affairs, Sable was completely out of her element. Being out in the open kept her alert, almost overtly as she clasped her spear when a stray molerat burrowed in fear as the two approached. Relinquishing her grip, the magnetized interior of her shield kept the power spear in place for ease of travel. After a quick look, Sable waved her hand to signal a false alert and the two continued in silence for a little while.

"So... you got married. Given your previous statement, it wasn't an arranged marriage... so... I'm a bit curious... what're they like?" Thomas asked suddenly, she noted his struggle to find the exact wording to match the question.

Matching his stride, Sable sought to the redoing of her french braid.

"Thankfully, I had the freedom to choose my partner," Sable started, visibly relaxing as she recollected the more pleasant memories of her past. She did not envy Kristin's position. "Her name is Annabelle Weiss, a former engineer for the Followers that was given a home and work at BlamCo for her expertise. Since all my sisters, myself included, had meetings, appearances, parties, lessons, personalized training and jobs of our own. It became clear that we needed a personal assistant. Usually, one of those "maids" you encountered were assigned to each sister. In my case, I requested the Delivery Girl, on the initial premise that she journeyed in and out of the city often, without putting much thought into it."

To this day, the Swan Maiden marveled at a fortune she did not deserve.

Being bound to the role of BlamCo's Intelligencer/Spy/Enforcer after her misdeeds with Thomas, Sable had seen the dark machinations required to keep that empire running in times of strife. Unwillingly, many had fallen to her spear. Many more had been trained under her to increase BlamCo's unseen influence. A mental turning point arrived when she became proficient in maintaining order from the shadows. Riots were quelled, the higher social strata were kept in check and the unlawful lower class were targets when the NCR refused to get their hands dirty. The Swan Maiden had many ethical lines over the past few years, in that time she may have crossed a few.

On the day of her marriage the Swan Maiden was free to step away from her role as Intelligencer. With the 'Norn' unit accomplished and ready, Sable had more than paid off her debt, she had ensured years of stability.

"Seemingly intimidated by the wealth and social customs, she mostly kept to herself. Outside of the BlamCo mansion, Annabelle flourished in the city. She was well-liked and had contacts for just about anything one could want. Whether it was my presence or Annabelle's kind nature, we encountered little trouble and there were few problems that we couldn't solve together. One adventure after the other had grounded me, given me hope during my darker tenure at BlamCo."

Finishing her braid, Sable looked to Thomas for placement preference. He seemed more fond of her hair over the shoulder, so she kept it that way before continuing.

"One day, the girl had plucked up the courage to take me to dinner. She shouldered not only that night's responsibility, but the very fate of her home and status just to make her feelings abundantly clear. I can only think of one other person that took my needs into such great consideration..." Sable trailed off slightly, resuming her tale before questions could be raised, "...so we pursued a relationship in secret. BlamCo can be embarrassingly backwards in their traditions and I particularly feared any punishment being directed towards Annabelle. When the time had come for the women of the household to seek partners and secure a future for BlamCo, I stepped forward and confessed. To our surprise, our relationship was welcomed without question."

"She's a Vertibird pilot, refurbished for BlamCo transportation purposes." Sable gestured towards the sky, "We expanded our trading operations from the city to the surrounding settlements of New Vegas, increasing BlamCo's relations and resources. She is integral in mobilizing the Valkyrie and her scouts into combat. And...I already miss her."

Sighing with relief, she hoped Thomas could tell that she was glad to tell someone her story. "Your turn, tell me about your Lady Lucy. " Sable smirked and nudged Thomas in the ribs. Being alone for the latter part of her journey here had made her rather gossip-hungry.

Clearing her throat, Sable turned on her heel and met his gaze evenly. One thing she had to ask before she forgot.

"Your encounter with my sister. She saved you? Can you tell me exactly what she saved you from? More importantly, I need to get an idea about her motivations before I meet her in person. Any information will be useful.", Sable asked, suddenly, in an effort to elicit an honest reaction. "And the Enclave, is there no good to be found within their ranks?"

After listening to Thomas, she walked ahead while he gathered his thoughts. After a short while, she stopped to match his pace and walk at his side. "Thank you for everything, Thomas.", meeting his gaze with sincerity, there was a hidden apology in that sudden demand for information. "I would be lost without you, in more ways than one."

"N-now, tell me about your Lady Lucy." Sable's composure returned with practiced ease by focusing on the details. "As a sidenote, BlamCo often vouches for personnel to the high-end casino's on the New Vegas Strip if Lucy and her Father is looking for work. If you seek protection and aid, tell Keira that you require the aid of the Norn. My own team of specialists, there should be 18 on standby, bear in mind that they work in teams of 3. It's everything I can offer you without being there in person."

The Norn. Their story was for another time.


[ dr. sorenson ]
The Wild Wastelands | Springvale | Springvale School "Dormitory"
"Muy bueno."

Behind her slightly-dingy eyeglasses, Dr. Sorenson's eyes started to slowly droop lower and lower as she looked through the lines of code on her Pip-Boy's cracked screen. In fact, she began to find herself drifting off as she squinted at it when the red text flickered. So when she made the final edit to the Eyebot's programming, she let out a wide yawn and initialized the systems reboot.

"Bienvenido a la Monta?a Magica, Mi llamo es Donnie."

Her head jerked up from her arms as she realized that she had drifted off again, and her eyes forced themselves open. As the Eyebot floated in front of her, she processed what it had said and smiled.

"Ah, a rousing--" she started, before breaking into another yawn and continuing, "A rousing success. But, let's make sure you're set to English, shall we, Se?or de la Vega?"

She made the necessary edits to his code so that he defaulted to English speech, but made the sleepy mental note to try and give him a bilingual setting later on when she felt up to tackling that particular programming hurdle. Once she finished the input, she made sure to properly disconnect her Pip-Boy so that it wouldn't cause him any discomfort, now that she knew what to do.

And with a stretch, she regarded the Eyebot with a smile before reaching out to gently shake one of the manipulator tendrils that was still extended.

"My name is Doctor Jenna Sorenson of the Followers of the Apocalypse. We're a--" she yawned, "A humanitarian organization that seeks to better the wasteland for the benefit of the common people living in it. I hope to--" another yawn, longer and wider this time, "Ugh, sorry... I hope you can help me do a lot of good out here, Donnie, because there's a lot of people, fleshy and metallic alike, that need help. But that can wait until the morning." she finished, mumbling something as she lowered her head into her arms again.

It wasn't long before she was fast asleep, a faint smile on her freckled face at the thought of the new friend she had, a friend who she hoped would be a natural freedom fighter.

The Really Wild Wastelands: Flashback! | BlamCo Manor
"A lie about a lie will turn inside out"
Victoria McGee

The envelope had been sitting on the crisp white linen table cloth for some time. As was typical of a dispatch from the Undertaker's Union, the missive had been crafted out of a thick paper, whose color was as black as used motor oil, with the recipient's name written in a contrasting silver ink. The design had been entirely Victoria's idea, as it served to reinforce the mystique that the Undertaker Union's forefathers had carefully cultivated. It was no accident that the majority of Wastelanders viewed Undertakers with trepidation. While it made for a lonely and isolated life, as had been observed by other Undertakers, it did keep them safe. Despite its rather ordinary construction, the ominous looking design seemed to absorb the energy around it, even a nearby cup of tea felt a bit colder than it should have been. Looking at the spidery lettering that spelled out her cousin's name, she felt a shiver run up her spine, even as she contemplated reading its contents.

To clarify the situation, the Finely Dressed Ferrywoman had not intended to come into possession of the letter sent to her cousin, Thomas McGee. She, would never have stolen the item for such an action would have been the height of rudeness. No, she had come into possession of the orders through a pure and simple mistake (or through a cruel twist of fate).

Having finally excused herself from the meeting with the Lady of the House, Lady Kristin, the Darkly Dressed Duchess of Death had taken to meandering through the sprawling estate for no other reason than to satisfy her curiosity (and to pass the time while her cousin/traveling companion and his newly found love were feasting from their Cornucopia of Copulation). While we're on the topic of clarification, Victoria's curiosity was purely personal, rather than professional. Having served for a time as the Undertaker of the East, Victoria, despite her youth, had been considering retirement from the Undertaker's Union, a decision that had been weighing on her since leaving the D.C. Wastelands and as she wandered around the estate, observing the near perfection of an elegantly clad maid staff performing the day to day duties required to keep the Manor running, the Etiquette Minded Undertaker felt inspired to create a home that was at the very least as magnificent as BlamCo manor.

As Victoria continued on her impromptu, self guided tour of the mansion, she briefly noted that she had passed Sable's private quarters and the presence of an all too familiar jacket that had been carelessly discarded onto the carpetted hallway floor. Looking about her surrounding, Victoria noted that the army of armed maids was curiously absent. Perhaps they were aware of the carnal acts of cooking that were occurring just beyond the Sable's door and had been ordered to avoid the area in order to maintain the couple's privacy. As a partnership between BlamCo and the Undertaker's union had yet to be solidified, any appearance of impropiety was to be avoided, at least until the last signature was signed. Not wanting to intrude upon the two lovers, the Silk and Lace Clad Coffin Bearer picked up the jacket, and draped it over her arm, before she continued on.

In as much as this exploration of BlamCo manor was about satisfying her curiosity, Victoria had wanted to give the Neophyte Undertaker and his Silver Raven an appropriate amount of time for their cake baking, martini shaking and love making, though not as much time as they might have enjoyed considering the two Undertakers had a schedule to maintain. Allotting the two cheese covered lovers another two hours may have seemed stingy on the part of the Duchess of the Departed but she expected an equal amount of time being spent on goodbyes, hugs and kisses and promises of letters sent. Just the thought of the scene was enough to cause the Veiled Vixen to roll her eyes. While such thoughts and actions were evidence of cynicism on Victoria's part, it was not hard to understand when one considered Finely Dressed Ferrywoman's regular use of love as bait. Any true and long lasting relationship was founded on a period of courtship where freshly forged bond was tempered by shared experiences, not unlike the one that she had with a certain Rabbit hidden away in the outskirts of New Vegas.

The Black Veiled Visitor's wanderings had came to an abrupt halt as has path was barred by a set of heavy wooden and ornate double doors. Having been in the wilds for some time now Victoria's natural inclination would have been to avoid entering such a place, as such doors generally represented some place if importance and, being that she but a simple guest of the home's mistresses, it would have been rude for her to enter without invitation. Yet, there was something just beyond the ornate wooden portal that called to her, a faint but alluring scent. Unable to resist, the Finely Dressed Ferrywoman entered and found herself surrounded by decadence the likes of which had not been seen in the Wastelands since the days before the bombs fell... and maids. She had found the maids... all the delightful maids... enjoying soem sort of tea no less.

Now, this might sound counter to her personality and behavior but Victoria had a rather large amount of respect for those who donned the maid uniform each morning. Maids were the physical manifestation of etiquette. Where ladies often disregarded the rules of etiquette, maids did not. Without maids, the behavioral system known as etiquette could not exist. This was in addition to the fact that maids, as a general rule were kind, caring, mindful, graceful, efficient, tireless, hardworking, polite but most importantly, they were uniformed. Oh the uniform of a maid with all the frills and lace and...

"Excuse me, ma'am." A voice said, interrupting Victoria's train of thought. Glancing to her right, the Pale Skinned Soul Seeker noted the presence of one of the Manor's maids, "Would you like a cheese tea, ma'am?"

"Cheese... tea?" Victoria responded, her voice a silky velvet mix of both curiosity and horror, " I do not mean to doubt your culinary expertise but my thoughts cannot comprehend how the taste of cheese and tea would be complimentary."

"Trust me, ma'am, I promise you that you'll enjoy it." The young black and white warrior maid responded as she handed Victoria a glass filled with a fragrant green tea that had a layer of frothy white cream on top of it.

Keeping her eyes on the young maid, Victoria hesitantly took a small experimental sip of the elixir and found that the creme layer was both salty and sweet, as if someone had mixed cream cheese and sweet cream together. Taking another hesitant sip, the Frilly Frocked Ferrywoman ensured that she imbibed both layers of liquid and to her amazement, she found the layers perfectly compliment each other. The sweetness and saltiness of the cheese layer accented the floral notes of the green tea while cutting down its bitterness and acidity.

Hoping to reward the young culinary explorer, Victoria reached into her cousin's jacket to fish out a couple of caps (she was carrying his clothing after all) but instead found a familiar black envelope. Well, that was the gist of how Victoria had come to acquired the letter that sat on the table staring at her, calling for her to look at the contents of the dispatch.

"(If he didn't want it read, he wouldn't have left it lying about...)" She rationalized to herself as she opened envelope and started reading its contents, her face growing even paler than normal.

Thomas' Letter:
Your Cousin, Victoria, has failed to complete her mission and given away the Undertaker Union's most carefully guarded secret. After you've eliminated her, you are to take over her duties and her targets. Do not fail, my son.

Walt Guide You,

Your Father

It required multiple additional readings of the letter before the Stunned Silk Swaddled Socially Accepted Shoveler fully grasped the implications of the dispatch. Thomas, her cousin and her childhood friend, had been ordered to execute her and rather than warn her or display any sort of conflict over such an order, he had spent his time bedding his new "love." His obviously flippant attitude about the fact that he was to take his own cousin's life showed that he had learned his lessons well.

While she fully understood why the orders for her termination had been issued, it did not mean that she was willing to accept her death without some sort of resistance. Killing her own cousin was out of the question because, as etiquette stated, killing family was the height of poor manners and it was not Thomas' fault that he had been ordered to kill her. What was needed was a measured response and as she sat there, sipping her cheese tea in a divinely decorated room filled with extremely well trained dand well army maids, she was suddenly inspired. While she could not kill her cousin, she could destroy the organization responsible for her inevitable death and what way would be better instrument for her revenge than an army of maids? She just needed a reason for the two organizations to go to way against each other.

"Excuse me," Victoria called out to the maid that had recommended the cheese tea, "Would you be so kind as to relay a message to Lady Sable and her Companion?"

"Of course, ma'am." The maid responded with a smile.

"Inform them that Lady Victoria will be waiting for them at the West Gate after she has completed some errands." The Conspiratory Countess stated as she gathered her belongings, pausing long enough to hand the young maid Thomas' coat, "And please give this to Lady Sable's companion."

Without another word, Victoria McGee departed from BlamCo manor and headed towards the Rabbit Hole and her future with plots, plans and ideas blooming, dying and falling like petals to the ground in her wake.

End Flashback Sequence...


The Really Wild Wastelands | The Road (Megaton Bound)
Ending of the Departed
Thomas "Shifty" McGee

The pace had slowed for a bit with Thomas accomodating Sable as she rebraided her hair, a difficult task even when not attempting walk at the same time, and it gave the former couple a chance to reconnect on a level that they had skipped entirely during their first encounter, friendship. While the Tall and Pale Escort for the Expired had braced himself for a wave of jealousy, it never came. It was true that Silver Spearmaiden's sudden appearance had done much to stir up the unresolved emotions of the past but Thomas'and, it would seem, Sable's hearts had been filled by others.

Listening intently as the BlamCo Ballerina recounted the relationship between her and Miss Weiss, the Friendly Former Undertaker of the East could understand how their love, like a budding seedling, had taken root and grown into a strong and immutable thing. Unlike the whirlwind that had been the brief but explosive relationship between the Friendly Former Ferryman, the Silver Raven and her Delivery Girl had the luxury of taking their time, forging a proper and deeper connection. He knew this, because the same could have been said about the relationship between himself and his One Eyed Gauss Girl.

Like Sable and Annabelle, Thomas and Lucy had suffered through a number of trials and tribulations and for each of these crises that they overcame, their bond grew stronger and stronger. It only became a matter of time before their alliance became something greater. While it was a romantic notion where one would die for the other, the Self Sacrificing Shepard of Souls had actually done so, or had intended to but was instead placed in a state of suspended animation by the Enclave. Now, it seemed that their bond was to be tested once again, the main difference being that where he had chosen to become involved in Lucy's Enclave situation, Lucy had no choice this time around.

Listening to Sable's story, it became clear that she had become involved in some of BlamCo's shadier dealings which, due to BlamCo's similarities with the Undertaker's Union, might have been the BlamCo equivalent of a Ferrywoman... or possibly a Reaper. The Friendly Neighborhood Former Ferryman was intimately aware of the darkness that surrounded such missions. sable was quite fortunate to have a companion to help her through such times. The thought to ask the Darker Dairy Duchess of her time serving as BlamCo's Shadow Servant formed, as did his need for self flagellation, before quickly fading. She had already faced her penance for both their transgressions, there was no need for Thomas to resurrect the past just to assuage his guilt.

"Your turn, tell me about your Lady Lucy," The Silver Clad Shield Bearer requested giving Thomas a friendly nudge and elbow to the ribs but before he could even ease into the story of his One Eyed Gauss Girl, he found himself eye to eye with with the Silver Clad Spear Maiden, "Your encounter with my sister. She saved you? Can you tell me exactly what she saved you from? More importantly, I need to get an idea about her motivations before I meet her in person. Any information will be useful. And the Enclave, is there no good to be found within their ranks?"

Thomas frowned for a moment at the mention of the Enclave, his eyes burning with anger at the mere mention of the organization that had caused both Lucy and himself so much grief. His resentment did not extend to all members of the Enclave, however, and there were definitely those that could, more than likely, be trusted to some extent. It was, perhaps, a better idea to address the question of Kristin Blamco first and allow his initial agitation over the mention of the Enclave settle.

"Kristin... I don't believe that the assistance she rendered to Lucy, Sylphee, Arizona or myself had been her primary focus when she had saved us from Moriarty and his men. She's traveling with a man named Jonathan McKenna, a former member of the Eastern branch of the Enclave. As you probably could tell from my reaction to your mere mention of the Enclave, there is little love for them on this side of the continent and even former members of their rank often find themselves persecuted. Colin Moriarty, a man that you should definitely avoid if you want to avoid the feeling as if you had been wading through a swamp recently used for spawning by a significant number of Mirelurks, is the proprietor of a Saloon in Megaton and, as is stereotypical of anyone who calls their establishment a "saloon," shadier than a Deathclaw's undercarriage. He had the bright idea of attempting to blackmail Mister McKenna over his former association with the Enclave, an idea that definutely ended up backfiring on the man. I had to give Moriarty's bodyguard his last rites after McKenna was done and, as one might expect, Moriarty was not overly appreciative of the fact that McKenna had both killed his bodyguard not the fact that McKenna had nearly drowned Moriarty in a sink. That brings us to the unruly mob at the Megatonian gates," Shifty paused for a moment to allow Sable to absorb what had been said thus far, "It appeared that Colin Moriarty was unwilling to allow bygones by bygones and had gathered up a group of his men in order to waylay us at the gates as we attempted to exit the city. After an exchange of unpleasantries, including a declined offer from Moriarty to allow McKenna's safe exit in exchange for Kristin's agreement to work at his saloon, a brief fight erupted. Were it not for Kristin and Sylph working together, I doubt we would have been able to extricate ourselves from that situation without casualty. That's not to say that things went perfectly either, if they Moriarty's men had not made an appearance, I think that both Sylph and Kristin might have spent their energy on each other."

That last part regarding Kristin and Sylph was left vague. It was unlikely that Sable would believe that the innocent little Sylph(ee) that she had met would have been capable of standing toe to toe against Kristin Blamco. It would have taken an extended period of time being exposed to the true nature of the Homicidal Red Riding Hood to understand even a fraction of what went on in her head.

"Now... about the Enclave," went Thomas' transitioning of topics, "On the whole, the Enclave's reputation on the East Coast is only slightly higher than that of a Super Mutant, given certain events that were relayed by the locals Wastelanders. That is not to say that they are not attempting to change their image but my personal dealings with them have been rather unpleasant," He paused for a moment, thinking about the Enclavites that both he and Lucy had dealt with, "If you are intent on having dealings with them, I would only trust a young girl named Constance, an Enclave Scout named Natsuki and an officer named Fallout Jack... but above all else, avoid dealing with a woman who calls herself #411."

He had practically spat out the moniker of the woman that had been the source of so much pain for not only Lucy and himself but probably a great deal of the people who inhabited the Capital Wastes. If there was one person that deserved a visit from a Ferryman, it would be her. As the two eternally ephemeral companions continued, so did Thomas' mouth. If it appeared that he was being harsh in regards to the Enclave, he thought that Sable at least needed to know his reasons.

"If there is one good thing about the Enclave, it's only that they helped provide the circumstances where Lucy and I were able to meet and become acquainted with each other. When we had first met, she was trying to come to terms with being used as an asset... a pawn... by the very same organization that had killed her father, a former Enclave officer. Despite the precariousness of her situation, I was struck by her drive and focus to overcome the obstacles that had been put in her path and the fact that, despite her circumstances, she maintained an enviable optimism. That's when her path became mine and somewhere along the way... I found that I... we had fallen in love and as you and I have already discovered, fate's whims are rarely in line with mine." There was some hesitation before the Tall and Pale Pallbearer continued, "Fate's instrument in this case being the Enclave. A group of us, including Lucy and I, had been sent to infiltrate the Enclave Vault and, as you might imagine from such a mission, we were ultimately captured. In order to help Lucy keep her cover as an Enclave asset, I revealed myself to the Enclave as a spy for the Brotherhood of Steel. As you might imagine the Enclave do not take kindly to spies and they ordered Lucy execute me... only they didn't execute me, they kept me prisoner for a time."

The fact that they'd kept him alive rather than killed him might have pointed to a benevolence within the Enclave but it still did not excuse them for their actions. Perhaps sensing his welling anger at the thought of the Enclave, Sable's voice floated on the air to sooth the savaged Undertaker.

"Thank you for everything, Thomas. I would be lost without you, in more ways than one," The Silver Raven said, her eyes gazing into his. As the two stood there, Shifty could sense his cheek growing warm, "N-now, tell me about your Lady Lucy. As a side note, BlamCo often vouches for personnel to the high-end casino's on the New Vegas Strip if Lucy and her Father is looking for work. If you seek protection and aid, tell Keira that you require the aid of the Norn. My own team of specialists, there should be 18 on standby, bear in mind that they work in teams of 3. It's everything I can offer you without being there in person."

Thomas nodded gratefully at the Silver Clad Spearbearer's offer of assistance and information regarding the potential whereabouts of Lucy and her Father and as he did, he wondered what more he could comfortably tell Sable regarding Lucy. That she was the cleverest, most funny and most beautiful woman that he'd ever met? That she helped him discover a world that existed outside the walls that the Undertaker's Union had built up around him? That he felt utterly and completely incomplete without her by his side? Opening his mouth to answer, he spotted a dented sign in the distance that read: Springvale.

"Springvale..." He blurted out quickly as he pointing to the sign, "You'll find your sister in Springvale."


The Really Wild Wastelands | Camp (Dunwich Bound)
Epilogue of the Departed
Victoria McGee | Sylphee

"Tell me a story, Missy Sticky Vicky Shark Face." Sylphee demanded, struggling against the infernal zipper that had trapped her in her sleeping bag, "I promise I'll do nappy nappers after you do... PLEEEEEASE!"

Having volunteered to take the first watch (and the remaining watches for the night), the Silk Swaddled Storyteller appeared to give the request some thought before nodding her head, giving in to the whims of the Crimson Clad Child.

"Okay, Sylphee, but remember that you promised to go to sleep if I tell you a story. If you're going to be a lady, you need to keep your promises." Victoria said before starting her tale:

The Reaper's Tale - The Story of Henry McGee and The Epilogue of Shifty McGee:
A long time ago in a land far, far away, there existed a reaper whose job it was to help lost souls find their way to the lands beyond the veil. Though it was a lonely existence, The Reaper took pride in his work for what cause was nobler than helping those unfortunate souls in need? This desire to help these lost souls was what sustained him and allowed him continue on and ignore the void that had been growing since he had left home... that was until he met her.
'
Now I will tell you a fact that not all lost souls knew that they were lost and not all of them willingly accepted The Reapers guidance to the lands beyond the veil. Some tried to hurt him, others tried to bribe him and still others simply tried to run but there was one who responded simply.

"Not yet," she said, her eyes filled with bravery as he approached her, "It isn't time yet."

"Oh ho ho," The Reaper laughed at the Lost Soul who looked as if she had only recently become a woman, "You must be wise beyond your years to know such things. Share with me this wisdom of your's and perhaps I will do as you ask."

"I have not found the one that I will wait for just beyond the veil," She said, her voice filled the face of the Reaper's baiting words, "Eternity is already long enough... why spend it alone? Surely even a Reaper would understand such things."

The Reaper paused for a moment, giving the Lost Soul's words some thought before responding. What did she know of his life? What did she know of nights spent alone? Even if she had no idea what she spoke of, did that make her words any less true?

"Very well, I will wait for you to find this one who you would wait for... but on that day, I will send you to the Lands Beyond the Veil." The Reaper said before leaving.

And thus began their daily ritual where the Reaper would arrive in the morning and visit the Lost Soul, asking her a simple question as they broke fast together.

"Have you found the one that you will wait for?" The Reaper asked.

"Not yet," She answered simply as she poured The Reaper a cup of tea, her voice trembling and filled with nervousness.

As I said, this had become their daily routine and yet, as time progressed, things changed. As time marched onward, her nervousness was replaced by familiarity, her frown replaced with a smile. If this continued on for all of eternity, The Reaper would not have thought it so bad as he found that the void that had once been unbearable was gone. Were it not for the interference of The Reaper's father, perhaps life might have continued happily for The Reaper and the Lost Soul.

The Reaper's father was a man of great importance for he was a king and as a king his word was law. It was by his command that The Reaper travelled the lands looking for those lost souls who needed a guide to the Lands Beyond the veil. While he knew that The Reaper had been neglecting his duties, he waited patiently for the the day that The Reaper would continue with his duties. Days passed. Weeks Passed. Months passed and it only when one year had passed did the king's patience finally run thin. Summoning his Knight, the Enforcer of his laws, the King spoke.

"My son has forsaken the duties given to him by his King. See to it that he is reminded," The King ordered, sending forth the Knight, a giant of a man who was shackled to his shield as a reminder of his duty.

It was around this time that the daily routine between The Lost Soul and the Reaper no longer resembled what it once had been. No longer did The Reaper ask his question. No longer did he spend only his mornings with the Lost Soul. No longer did he search the lands for other souls that needed a guide to the Lands Beyond the Veil. Instead he spent his days feeling a contentment he'd never felt in his previous life, nor would he ever feel again after the Knight's arrival.

The arrival of the King's Knight was heralded by the smell of smoke and blood in the wind. Unlike The Reaper, the Knight cared not who he sent to the Lands Beyond the Veil, only that he did his King's bidding and, as was his habit, the Knight sent many to those Lands that day. Leaving the Lost Soul behind safely hidden in her home, The Reaper rode forth to face his one time friend and ally.

"Stop this! Leave them be!" The Reaper begged of The Knight, "They deserve to choose when they leave this world. We have no right to tell them otherwise!"

Alas the words fell upon deaf ears for the Knight had been raised to know no other desire than to fulfil the wishes of his King. Raising his great sword high into the air, the Knight prepared to punish The Reaper for abandoning his duties, even if he destroyed The Reaper.

"I will go!" A voice said, interrupting the Knight, "It is time for me to travel to the Lands Beyond the Veil."

Looking behind him, The Reaper saw that the Lost Soul had followed him and now aimed to protect him from harm. Looking back at her, The Reaper shook his head.

"No... I promised you that you would have time to find the one that you will wait for." The Reaper said, his voice filled with panic for he had grown used to seeing this Lost Soul every day. The prospect of returning to his previous life terrified The Reaper.

"And I have..." The Lost Soul whispered as she placed herself between The Reaper and the Knight, "You... I will wait for y..."

Before her final words were spoken, the Knight snatched her away, sending her off to the Lands Beyond the Veil... and like that, The Reaper was left to return to his old existence of searching the land for lost souls. Were that true, this story would be over and the King would have been happy.

To be continued...

They had escaped the retribution of the exploding town of Andale, and they had survived the perils of the Cliffside Clown College...but now they must fair against...uhh... Okay, actually, it's night time and people are on watch for dangers. They were on their way into what was certainly shaping out to be ghoul cultist territory. At this time, the days would no longer be marked with the light of the sun, only the gray of overcast sky and a starless night. For all who had gathered any information about the area at all, the following was most important...

The area around the Tenpenny Tower on is now ghoul-controlled. Feral ghouls, ghoul cultists, and lobotomized super mutants roam the lands. In fact, there were a few out there now, in the darkness. However, as the party could hear, they got as far as "Halt, or be- YAARGH!!" before Fiona's Deathclaws jumped them and tore them apart. The red-headed Deathclaw Whisperer might smirk in her sleeping position at this. She generally got to sleep well in the open, thanks to them. Anyway, they were getting closer to the area they needed to be in.

Once Victoria finished the part of the story she was telling, there had been a sort of...rumbling gurgle sound as the Deathclaws had pounced something again. The only difference here being that it'd been a cloaked figure on a hill and...it threw them off of it! Moe, Larry, and Curly got back up and snarled, but saw that whatever it was had just vanished! It disappeared in a puff of smoke, a horrid stanky funk that smelled strongly of the sea. Something had been there, something that was no pushover. It didn't press its luck, but it was disturbing, to say the least.

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

Now, you may be wondeing just what happened to William Knight, Dudley Sullivan, and Evan Ramsey after Andale. Well, the truth is that they'd been attacked by Yao Guai after running from Andale. Every last one of them had been wearing circus collars, and they had no idea why. After some frantic firing and a little bonus help, they now stood over easily a dozen corpses.

Dudley: Well, that was weird.

William: Not the strangest thing in my life. For instance, being aided by a former member of the Enclave.

He was, of course, referring to the man to his right, wearing the helmetless Enclave powersuit and armed with plasma rifle, plasma defender, and grenades. He was once known as Number 6, but preferred to be called Steinmetz.

William: Thanks for the assistance. Are you with the Enclave Underground.

Steinmetz: No, I'm done with organizations for a while. I just go upon my merry way.

Evan was silent throughout the conversation because he just didn't trust the Enclave, even when they say they've resigned. Why did he resign? That's the mystery. Still, they were out of the picture, for now. Maybe later...

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

This all seemed a little bit strange to Malkos. He and Rath had been called by Constance, and then watched as she inflated herself and asked them to hit her like in a game of tennis. The only thing good about it all was that it made a kind of sense. And...luckily for the blind girl...he had read about tennis. About half a book. The rest had been torn. There were as many holes in his understanding of the game, as a result. For instance, he was suppose to make a racket and serve the ball, so naturally-

"HHHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWWWWWRRRRRRRRLLLLL!!!"

-and then his tail whacked the ball, meaning Constance!

It was probably a good thing that Constance was taken completely by surprise by both Mister Malkos' Howl as well as Mister Malkos' service since she would have probably tensed up her body before the tail's impact and injured something important... like her back or neck or legs or arms or kidneys or appendix... appendixes with important right? Of course, the Blind as a Bat American Enclave Scout of America did not get away from the Malkos' first serve without injury... she did manage to strain her voice as she screamed through the air on her way to where Mister Rath was standing... waiting to return the serve.

-BOUNCE!-

And boy did Constance bounce off the ground. Considering that the suit was filled with air AND was constructed with a rubbery material, Constance was lucky that the laws of physics did not allow her to bounce above the school building, only off of one of the walls before landing behind Mister Rath.

"Out...," came the soft voice of the ball as she continued to involuntarily roll around the court. After a few moments, she picked herself up off the ground and, once she felt the world steady itself, walked back to Mister Malkos, once again with her back facing him and her face squinched up like a child who was preparing to get a spanking, "Score is love to love... second serve."

He was about to protest the out-call, mostly because he'd heard that everybody does that, but then he said...

"I have never actually played this before."

Then, a brainflash!

"Could we try volleyball instead? I know all the rules to that."

Agh! No! Nein! Nyet! NAY!

"Hmmmm... volleyball?" Constance echoed with uncertainty, not due to the fact that she was unsure if volleyball would be an ideal test, since it would actually have been more ideal than tennis... unless she somehow was spiked onto her head, it was the fact that she would be bouncing around quite a bit more AND it was volleyball, it meant that there was a chance that Constance might have ended up impaled on a random Death Claw hangnail. While it seemed like a rather large risk... she slowly nodded her head... this was for science and the good of the DC Wasteland's food supply after all.

As things settled down for a moment, Rath shot a bit of a glower at Malkos. [A bit of warning before you act would have been appreciated.] The suddenness of Malkos' serve had caught him quite off guard, and he'd nearly reacted instinctively...which would have been rather unfortunate for Miss Constance.

[Volleyball?] He said, as the balloon wrapped girl nodded. [I do think I've seen something about that in my readings.] He was still at a bit of a loss was to why they were playing a 'game' when the object was merely to test the idea, but no matter, this was the way Miss Constance seemed to want it, so he wasn't going to argue. [All right then Malkos, I'm ready this time.]

"Well, in this game, I don't need to make a racket."

So followed the picking up of the catgirl-in-giant-hamster-ball, followed by the toss-up...and the service! No worry of hangnails, seriously! You know they file those things on their teeth daily!

If being hit from a standing position was bad, being picked up, tossed in the air before being slammed forward was a little worse, if only because of the momentary stomach flopping sensation of weightlessness when she reached the apex of the initial toss.

-WHAM!-

"Aaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh" Went the Human Sized Volley Ball as she flew through the air with the greatest of ease as the sensation of air attempting to pass into every orifice of her face caused her eyes to tear up. For what it was worth, she didn't actually feel the impact of the hits that were deftly delivered by her Death Claw assistants, it was the sloshing of her fluid in her inner ears that caused the most discomfort. She would probably end up puking before the day was ov... no... she was going to puke now.

"BLAAAAAAAARF!!" Went her pre-digested and formerly delicious meal through the air with the greatest of ease.

Rath side-stepped in intercept the hit that Malkos delivered, using then tops of his own powerful leathery hands to punt the balloon wrapped scout back towards his nominal opponent. As he made contact, and Constance began her return flight, he caught the ripe odor of bile and what had probably been her most recent meal.

[Perhaps,] He said as the over-sized 'ball' bounced off the scenery. [We should stop. This may be more than she can endure...]

Splut.

Malkos deadpanned as he was hit by...grossness. Had he been a human or something similar, this would have been so revolting that HE would be forced to vomit. As it stood, when Constance was on her return trip, he was doing that shockwave roar that Deathclaws do to send the stuff flying off of him. This...may have also jostled the girl in the plastic bubble. He went over to her now and leaned down.

"Constance? Are you alright?"

If Constance's eyes could do those spiral swirly things that one frequently saw in what passed for animated media in the Wastelands, her eyes would have been doing so and there would have probably been a series of miniature Death Claws running around her head as if on parade but since this was a relatively realistic reality here so none of that happened. What did happen was a rather confused looking Constance looking up at her would-be Lizard Man Savior and saying something to the effect of:

"Muuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuh..."

Which probably meant something to the effect of: I'm fine and the test was a complete success... except for the whiplash...

"Muuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu uuuuuuuh uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuh"

Which in non-shell shocked English translated to: I should probably make a neck brace... or something... but I didn't feel a thing... except for my brain hitting my skull...

"Muuuuuuuhhhhhhh."

Translation: Thanks!

With those words being said, Constance passed out in the arms of her Chameleon Champion.

Seeing Constance unconscious in Malkos' arms, a small thing in obvious distress, Rath's more primal self, roared back into the for front of his mind, battering against his intellect and self-awareness. Food. Weak. Eat. Hunger. Food...No! I am more that my instincts... Without realizing it, his lips began to curl into a snarl, and his fingers and toes flexed, the claws starting to score the ground beneath him.

Staring at the duo before him, his eyes locked on the other Deathclaw. Rival. Kill. Eat. Hunger. Food. Hunger. Maintaining control was getting harder and harder; pressing his hand against the floor, he bowed his head and scrunched his eyes shut as if to try and shut out the noises in his head. Hunger. Now. Feed. Kill. Hunger. Rival. Kill. Feed. Hunger.

[I am not what they made, I am Rath, I help, I protect.] He 'whispered' the words like a mantra. [I am not what they made, I am Rath, I help, I protect.] Repeating them over and over again, trying to maintain control over a body that just wanted to rend and destroy; the stocky lizard hybrid seemed to contract in on himself, as if trying to separate himself from the world around him, the whole while repeating his mantra.

Given that Constance appeared to be in bad health and probably in need of a medic, he was probably going to have to take her to the strange one with the weird helmet who had rarely been outside of (Her?) suit. However, he paused. Rath was muttering something in his brain, in ALL brains around, that was familiar to him. His brood were all talkers, with him being the most naturally-born into it. Some, however, were like this. They had to struggle against instincts, because they weren't born thinkers. They had to be taught to think more carefully, and a Deathclaw's instincts were strong. Fortunately, Deathclaws do not kill other Deathclaws. They may fight over territory or food, but Rath would never kill him. However, he needed to convince him - his instincts - that Constance was not food.

"No, not food. The horned lady said to protect her. She smelled of Matriarch. She must be followed. I need to find this Matriarch, but for now...no eating humans here. After all, I got the Sylphys to stop eating Deathclaw."

Which was important, when you think about it. So, with that, Malkos was taking Constance over to our Follower of the Atom medical worker for umm...uhh...everything?

He hadn't realized he'd been speaking 'out loud', nor did he consciously even hear Malkos' reply; but still the words got through to him. Not food, protect...like Sam, like Roger. Protect. Guard. Defend. He repeated those words to himself, pushing his instincts back. I am more than just a mindless killer. Opening his eyes, he stretched slowly to his full height; in reality this 'attack' had not lasted very long, they never did, but it felt like it had been an eternity.

Malkos was already moving off, taking poor Miss Constance to the other humans, so they could help her. Rath easily caught up, and in an oddly human gesture, places a hand lightly on Malkos' shoulder as he did. [Thank you for that...] He said with a sigh, blowing a cloud of dust off some ancient lockers. [It's been awhile since it got that bad.] What he really wanted to do was go out and hunt something, that always did wonders after something like that; but with Megaton being so close he was leery about venturing about too much.

For the moment, Malkos just nodded at Rath as he continued. He wasn't sure why the strange woman wanted her to look after this girl, still, but she seemed decent enough. Following his nose to the area of Dr. Sorenson, Malkos uhh...handed her Constance.

"Constance will need some attention for testing a suit made for the Sylphys on herself."

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

Meanwhile, that'd been quite a ruckus there, involving Abe and his robot, Tracy on the outside waiting for his service. Funny, though. You'd think the robot - a Securitron, no less - wouldn't have any trouble eradicating those little insect bastards quickly. Where'd they come from, anyway? They hadn't been outside? Underneath the floor maybe? Well...that rumbling sound seemed to agree. It'd been subtle, at first, but then uhh...Abe's whole entire property umm...began to rise? Big black legs came out of the ground, and a giant insect - a Colossal RadRoach - began to walk in a westerly direction. This is not a drug trip! I repeat! You ARE seeing this happen!

Oh, and there was a swarm of Rad-Bats overhead for some reason! Welcome to the Wild Wasteland, folks!

The Wild Wasteland | Present Day | Road between Megaton & Springvale
"Dearly departing."
- Sable 'Swan Maiden' Blamco -
---

Without a notification ping from a Pip-Boy or a rigid schedule to attend to -- Sable was at a loss with what to do with her newfound freedom. Matching her pace with Thomas, the former aristocratic assassin divided her attention between listening and scanning their surroundings for threats. 27 potential threats were noted during their detour. Skittish wildlife, wary caravans and fearful individuals turned on their heel at the sight of Thomas. Her own appearance was met with a curious eye which quickly turned to instinctual reluctance when one noticed the armor and weapons. Thomas made no particular comment pertaining to his surroundings, content to talk freely, it was safe to assume that there was little in the way of overt threats while travelling the roads near settlements.

While emotions ran high between the former lovers, the Swan Maiden was ever grateful for these lighter moments of shared dialogue. In spite of her whims of the past, she found the friendly conversation to be a key component to their current friendship -- an integral foundation so hastily skipped in her younger days. She was reminded yet again how one could so easily fall for this particular Undertaker. While time and circumstance had weathered the Deadly Duo, Sable's curiosity and hospitality had revealed a wiser yet still sheepishly romantic individual. It was a relief to discover that they had not lost themselves entirely to their duties and responsibilities.

Sable smirked upon hearing the story about Kristin's brawl in Megaton. It was foolish to belittle an armed woman, it was an even greater level of foolishness to allow the Valkyrie within melee range. Peering over at the dome-like structure in the distance, Sable made a mental note to make amends with the community on the behalf of BlamCo. The Valkyrie might be a warrior, but an angry mob looking for revenge was not a force to be underestimated. And did he mention Sylph? That screeching child from Arizona's group?

Thomas proceeded to relay his chilling experience with the East Coast Enclave. The prospect of an organised, functional military base with nigh unlimited resources did not inspire any confidence in the Swan Maiden. More worryingly, why had Kristin dipped her toes into Enclave affairs by travelling with an Enclave associate? This was Sable's domain, lingering among uneasy allies to reach an agreeable goal. Regardless, she could ascertain her sister's odd motivations once they met in person.

So far she had been provided with the names of a scout, two high-ranking officers and a sadistic secretary with the amusing moniker of 'Information'. Amused thoughts aside, she remained composed and found herself smiling when the topic changed to Lucy. The crease of Thomas' frown eased at the mention of her name, there was an ever present smile whenever he paused to collect the next memory and his pace faltered before quickening, almost willing himself to get to his destination faster.

He truly loved that woman, with every fiber of his being. Gazing at her ring, Sable knew how powerful of a motivation love could be. Reflecting for a moment, she was pleased to discover that she truly loved him if all she wanted is for his happiness to be secured.

"Springvale..." He blurted out quickly as he pointing to a nearby sign, "You'll find your sister in Springvale."

Securing the last water bottle, Sable presented a care package she had been putting together during their talk. BlamCo's cube-based water-expanding rations might not be the first choice for flavor, but they were designed with travel and nutrition in mind. The cooking method was 'idiot-proof' as Kristin would so eloquently put it.

"Springvale," Sable murmured to herself. Turning to finding Thomas looking at the horizon, she knew they had reached the end of their short-lived reunion. "You have taken me this far, Thomas. I must thank you once again."

The Swan Maiden curtsied. Set aside her shield, dropped her bag and with it, the disposition she so closely guarded. Pulling him close, Sable gripped Thomas tightly.

"Good luck, Thomas Shifty McGee. Let nothing stand between you and those you cherish." Her grip softened, she met him at eye level and the worry was evident in her expression. Her voice, however, was that of steadfast reassurance. "In all honesty, Valhalla can wait for you, Einherjar. You have a whole life left to live."

Breaking away, Sable nodded and resumed her air of composure.

"And when I return to New Vegas, I expect to be invited to the wedding reception. Annabelle and I look forward to the double dates, so be sure to keep a clear schedule. As a BlamCo Ally, Vertibird transportation to any honeymoon hotspots is well within a request I can grant."

Comfortable enough to throw Thomas off balance for her own amusement, she reasoned that some levity should accompany their second major departure from one another.

"Goodbye, Thomas."

---

After collecting her gear, Sable watched Thomas walk away under the cover of darkness. Musing on whether she would make a camp for the evening, she decided against it. The last thing she needed was a bullet to the back because she failed to clear a nearby house. Springvale was a hub of ruins worth exploring.


[ dr. sorenson ]
The Wild Wastelands | Springvale | Springvale School "Dormitory"
"This is almost as bad as oversleeping on the day of finals."

For most of her time at Springvale school, while only roughly a single day, Jenna had been seen almost exclusively within the safety and privacy of her Science Suit. In fact, it was such a rarity to see her outside of it, that it took both Malkos and Rath a moment to find her, but her scent was particular, in the suit or out of it, and found her they did. Asleep, with both arms wrapped around the newly rebooted Eyebot Don Diego de la Vega. Her glasses were askew, she was lightly snoring, and a small puddle of drool had begun to form under her cheek.

"Constance will need some attention for testing a suit made for the Sylphys on herself."

Her eyes slowly fluttered open at the sound of Malkos' voice before the thud of Constance landing on the table caused her to jump upright with a yelp.

"Gah! I'm fine, I'm fine! I'm awake!" she blurted out as she got to her feet and placed her hands on the table to keep herself steady.

She paused in confusion. Then the Follower's Doctor glanced between the two Deathclaws, straightening out her glasses before she focused on the inert form of Constance. And her expression immediately turned into one of shock and concern.

"Oh no, Constance! What happened?! What is this inflatable suit for?" she asked as she stumbled around the table to better examine her, poking at the elaborate bubble the cat-eared blind girl seemed to be wearing.

She gently felt around the young girl's head and neck before a groan from Constance gave her a pretty good clue as to what was wrong. Turning to her new companion, she said, "Donnie, I need something to support her head, like pillows. Something firm but yielding.", before she turned to Rath and Malkos.

While her hands were occupied giving Constance's head proper support, she sighed softly and frowned. Despite her drowsiness, her mind was already beginning to race to put the pieces together for this particular puzzle.

"Considering the odd suit that she seems to be wearing, the fact that her head and neck at the very least seem to be in pain, and that you two happened to bring her to me, I'm going to assume that she had you both help her with some experiment, without any kind of supervision. So, what happened exactly?" she inquired.


(TrAcY>
The Wild Wastelands | Just A Little Quest Called Revenge | Outside of Abe's Shack
"There is nothing more helpless and irresponsible, than a junkie in the onset of severe withdrawal."

Tracy couldn't help but stare silently at Abe as he gave a stammered explanation regarding some mad robot that happened to be his roommate before heading back into the junkyard shack, and at that point the one of Tracy's eyes began to subtly twitch. This Abe motherfucker wasn't all on the up-and-up. A rogue tin can? That wasn't some little shit, that was a real problem.

So when he heard gunfire and yelling inside the shack, he drew his machete and glared intently at the doorway.

"The fuck is going on in there?!" he yelled, brandishing the semi-blunt instrument with a noticeable tremble.

It took the shifty dealer a few moments before he finally poked his head out to face Tracy. Who had begun to be a little red-faced underneath the white paint.

"No need to be worry there..um..sir..Just a few rad roaches and my Securitron dealing with them..heheheh..."

Tracy just stared at him, machete in hand before he quietly, "Man, you got my fix or what? I'm startin' to come down."

Then the ground beneath them began to tremble. As Abe's shack began to rise up, Tracy pushed his way inside and glanced out to watch the biggest fucking Radroach he had ever seen push it's way out of the ground with them on it's back, and start to make it's way to who knew where. He inhaled and opened his mouth to say something, only to be interrupted by hellish screeches in the air. One of those screeches was his.

"HOLY JESUS, WHAT ARE THOSE GODDAMN ANIMALS?!" Tracy screamed as he dove around the doorframe and clutched his machete to his chest.

"You motherfucker, you didn't tell me this was Rad Bat country! We can't stay here!" he said frantically before pointing in the direction of Abe's lab, "Go get your shit and let's get out of here!"

Arizona
The Wild Wastelands | The Dunwich Job | Outside of Tenpenny Tower
""

Arizona had been in one of her more stoic moods as they left the cave just outside of Andale. While the rather sudden and out-of-left-field appearance of some clowns had tempted her to try and shoot them, she felt it would've been a waste of good ammunition. And the idea of trying to trick them into getting eaten by Yao Guai seemed like an even worse idea: With her luck, they would tame the beasts, only to try and sic them on her. So she had merely leveled her best death-glare at them before following Victoria in the direction of Dunwich.

They had even made some significant progress before nightfall, much to the old Ghoul's surprise, so she was reasonably content to make camp in the area just outside of Tenpenny. As tempting as the idea of sleeping in a ritzy hotel was, she wasn't up to clearing it out of cultists, ferals, or Super Mutants. As it was, there were enough of all three wandering around aimlessly, not that they got too close to the camp. Fiona's walking Death Machines saw to that.

All of which made her feel like she was free to sit back and listen to Victoria as she was browbeaten by a restrained Sylphee to tell a bedtime story. She couldn't fight against her smirk when the newest McGee to join her little makeshift mercenary band seemed to sigh internally before making Sylphee promise to go to sleep. Which earned a muffled snigger from Arizona before Victoria began to tell her a story.

The story itself was a surprisingly classical-sounding fairy tale, albeit clearly with an Undertaker theme to it. A tale of love being found, duties being forsaken, and then love lost when someone else came to punish the hero for shirking their duties in the first place.

She opened her mouth to make an observation of her own, like the fact that the Reaper was unduly shafted by the King, or that she hated tragic endings like that since she had enough of them simply living in the post-apocalypse. Instead, she paused as she heard the Three Stooges in Deathclaw form pounce on something, only to be flung away.

Arizona was on her feet with Lester in her hands in a flash, scanning the landscape with her lone eye. But she couldn't see a damn thing with what little moonlight there was, beyond the hulking silhouettes of the Deathclaws.

"There's something out there. Something that doesn't give a shit about getting jumped by Deathclaws," she said in a low voice as she glanced back at Victoria.

Rath watched as Jenna and the eyebot bustled about, tending to the unconscious Constance; he kept a wary eye on the machine, but it was silent for the moment a fact that he was profoundly grateful for.

"Considering the odd suit that she seems to be wearing, the fact that her head and neck at the very least seem to be in pain, and that you two happened to bring her to me, I'm going to assume that she had you both help her with some experiment, without any kind of supervision. So, what happened exactly?"

He shifted uncomfortably from foot to foot; he'd just met these people, they were nice to him, he'd hoped that maybe, in time, he could call them friends. After Sam and Roger went to Megaton, he realized just how lonely he'd been before he'd found them...and he didn't want that again; but now, now he'd hurt one of his new acquaintances, unintentional as it may have been.

[She, she asked us to help her test the suit.] He said finally, looking as nervous and remorseful as is possible for a nine foot tall, spiked, death-lizard. [It's supposed to be something to help the...Sylphys...to stop them from spreading out of control...] He took a few tentative steps towards the table that Malkos had put Constance on. [Is she going to be okay? You humans are so fragile...]

[ dr. sorenson ]
The Wild Wastelands | Springvale | Springvale School "Dormitory"
"We're all reasonable sentient beings here."

Under other circumstances, the sight of a stocky Deathclaw shifting awkwardly from one foot to the other would've been enough to make Jenna giggle a little to herself, especially now that she was at least somewhat acclimatized to being around more civilized mutated apex predators.

[She, she asked us to help her test the suit. It's supposed to be something to help the...Sylphys...to stop them from spreading out of control...]

Jenna closed her eyes and sighed softly with a nod. If nothing else, she could understand where Constance had been coming from. The idea of the Sylphys, numerous as they were already, spreading even further completely unchecked due to being split apart with blunt force into even more Sylphys, was concerning at best, terrifying at worst. They supposedly didn't even have proper combat training, and they were already capable of taking down Deathclaws with primitive weaponry. Assuming knowledge carried over to split-off Sylphys, once they were given combat training by the formidable Kristin Blamco... They would be a nigh-unstoppable army that could recoup lost numbers simply by splitting their remaining members.

That thought was enough to drain the blood out of Jenna's face and she made a mental note to figure out some sort of chemical inhibitor that would prevent that sort of 'reproduction' without harming the Sylphys. But her attention snapped back to the immediate matter at hand as Rath took a concerned step forward.

[Is she going to be okay? You humans are so fragile...]

"I don't know yet. I'll have to examine her a little more closely, without this suit getting in the way, but I suspect that she may have whiplash at the very least, which can be bad enough. Still, I don't feel any broken bones around her head or neck, so that, at least, is a good sign." she told them with a small smile, before her expression turned stern again, "However, I'm also worried about her internal organs. Even if this suit reduces the impact to her bones, her internals will feel the inertia regardless. So, first things first, we need to make sure her head and neck are properly supported, then we can get her out of this ridiculous suit."

She shook her head after a moment and looked between both Deathclaws.

"Honestly, you two. I appreciate the fact that you're both civil, and clearly intelligent, but if she asks to test anything else, or wants help with an experiment? Ask me to advise, then supervise, first. As a Follower of the Apocalypse, I'm both a medical doctor and a scientist. These sorts of things are what I do, and that way we can hopefully prevent any mishaps that get anyone hurt. That includes both of you." she said with a note of sincere concern.

He looked at Jenna and then back to the still out of it Constance. [I...apologize Ms. Jenna] He rasped inside her head, with some genuine regret. [This is the first time I've interacted with anyone other than Sam and Roger...] He added, sorrow creeping into his 'voice'.

[And I thank you for your concern,] Rath added, his mood brightening slightly. [But it is unnecessary. I have yet to encounter anything that has posed a serious threat to me.] Shifting as he spoke he exposed his underbelly, the nominally 'soft' part of a Deathclaw, and revealed a collection of major scars, to go with the multitude across the rest of his body. A few on his belly looked serious enough that the wounds that had caused them should have been severely damaging...at least to a 'normal' Deathclaw.

Rath was unaware of how he'd shifted, instead his focus was centered on the balloon-wrapped girl, as his dagger-like claws clenched and un-clenched in a subconscious reflex to keep his aggressiveness at bay. Hunt. Feed. Kill. Move. Hunger. Feed. Hunger.The instincts pulled at him, weaker than before, but stronger than usual. I do not serve my instincts, they serve me.

The Really Wild Wastelands | The Road (Megaton Bound)
Ending of the Departed (Part 2)
Thomas "Shifty" McGee

Standing atop the mountain that housed the famed Vault 101, Thomas "Shifty" McGee remembered the last moments with Sable before they had parted ways, she heading towards the ruins of Springvale while he continued towards the North, choosing a route that would keep him well clear of the Enclave Vault.

"Good luck, Thomas Shifty McGee. Let nothing stand between you and those you cherish. In all honesty, Valhalla can wait for you, Einherjar. You have a whole life left to live." The Blamco Ballerina had said, "And when I return to New Vegas, I expect to be invited to the wedding reception. Annabelle and I look forward to the double dates, so be sure to keep a clear schedule. As a BlamCo Ally, Vertibird transportation to any honeymoon hotspots is well within a request I can grant... Goodbye, Thomas"

"May your travels be safe and your time in this world be long. With everything that you've done for us, I expect you and Annabelle to be guests of honor at the reception," The Almost Composed Crypt Keeper had said, lingering in his companion's presence for just a second longer, smiling at the Silver Spearmaiden's prospective plans for a future that might not exist, "Goodbye, Sable."

Watching as her silhouette receded into the distance, he started walking, following a path that took him past the town of Megaton, past the spot that he'd last been with Lucy Black and past the town's towering walls. Though he had only been in the Capital Wastes for a short period of time, much had transpired. Almost directly South of his position, he could see the Citadel in the distance, the place where he had met Lucy Black after their battle with a Behemoths and been sent on their fool's errand to the Enclave Vault. To the East of that was Rivet City, whose bar Shifty had become a near permanent resident of after his release for the Enclave Vault. He'd met Arizona there. To the North of him was Old Olney, the place where he had met his first companion, Barry, a super hero mummy of some sort. He'd met a plethora of strange personalities during his tenure as the Undertaker of the East, even so far as having added them to the number of companions he'd gained ..... and lost. Johnny, Beryl, Marlon... those were but a few names of those he'd met briefly and never seen again.

~SQUEEEEEEAK!~

Had the Pensive Pilgrim not been lost in his memories, the Brotherhood of Steel acolyte who had suddenly appeared might have found a 10mm pistol pointed in his face. Instead, the acolyte was met with an expression of surprise that was not caused by his sudden appearance but rather by the fact that he was pushing a bicycle that looked rather familiar to the Tall and Pale Traveler.

"Y-You're the Undertaker, Shifty McGee, aren't you?" The Brotherhood of Steel trainee asked, his voice overfilling with hope, "I-I've been looking all over for you"

The proposition that a member of the Brotherhood of Steel was looking for him was a bit disconcerting to the Worshiper of Walt since it had been quite some time since he had interacted with any in their ranks. Truth be told, he had only visited the Citadel once with the belief that he could become the primary provider of post life services for all BoS field personnel. Could it be that this man had been seeking the services of the Undertaker of the East or better yet, was the entire Brotherhood of Steel looking for the future services of the Undertaker's Union? It was too bad for them that Shifty was about to leave the Wastelands but still, it was best to leave the door open for any future Undertaker that might take up the Capitol Wastes' post.

"I am indeed the Undertaker, Shifty McGee, but if you're looking to make arrangements for your inevitable and horribly violent death, I should let you know that I'm..." The Soon to be Departing Shoveler started to say before he was interrupted by the relieved looking Brotherhood Novice.

"Oh thank the Lord! I'm sorry to interrupt but I've been told that once you start talking, it's hard to get your to stop... no offense... but I've been pushing this bicycle around for the last few years... at least it feels like years... looking for you!" The Power Armor-less Wannabe Paladin practically screamed in joy as he shoved the bicycle towards the Friendly Former Undertaker"Here! Take it! The Brotherhood of Steel apologizes for the destruction of your property by Frank Rose and thought to repay you for your assistance by repairing it! YES! YES! YES! I CAN FINALLY GO HOME! THANK GOD! MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!"

Holding onto the handles of his newly refurbished bicycle, Thomas watched as the Peppy Paladin disappeared over the horizon, his arms flailing about excitedly at the prospect of finally bring able to go back to the Citadel and continue his quest to become the Wasteland's new Frank Rose or marry Frank Rose's sister or spit on Frank Rose's grave... or something. The Former Ferryman, now alone once again, mounted the bicycle for the first time in some time, and started pedaling, unsteadily at first, but before long his body remembered what it needed to do in order to traverse the expanse between himself and Lucy Black. The first sign that he was on his way was the last sign.

LEAVING THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
COME BACK SOON

Grinning at the sign, Thomas "Shifty" McGee pedaled forth towards the horizon, his eyes never looking back on the Wild Wastelands.

------------------------EPILOGUE: SOME MONTHS LATER------------------------

The polished black leather dress shoes stepped back onto the Strip, bits of glass from broken bottles crunching underneath the heels as their owner fled Gomorrah, relieved that he had not found the person he had been looking for within those bodily fluid stained walls. The merry chatter of NCR soldiers on leave, visitors on vacation and casino employees clocking out of their jobs surrounded the Former Undertaker of the East as he looked towards the two remaining locations left to search, the one being The Tops while the other was the Ultra-Luxe. While he was tempted to check The Tops first, he had recently had his formerly tattered clothing cleaned and repaired. Given the town's rather rambunctious nature, there was no telling how long the Dapperly Dressed Grave Digger would remain dapper and so, after a brief survey of his surroundings, he started walking nervously towards the Ultra-Luxe Casino.

The interior of the casino was what one would expect of an establishment whose name felt like a contract that promised the ulimate experience in luxury. There was not a speck of dust on any of plush furniture. There was no sign of wear on any of the upholstery. Everything was all polish and gilt. The staff... the staff... while they wore the uniform of an Ultra-Luxe staff member, there was something about their manner that felt odd... and familiar. Behind every warm smile and cheerfully polished greeting was a look, the one made when sizing up a potential threat.

"Excuse me, miss," The coffin carver said, flagging down one of the casino's employees, "could you tell me if..."

"You'll want to check the roulette tables, Mister McGee." The woman said, her lips pursed into a knowing smile, "Her shift is about to end."

"Th... thank you." He muttered before following the signs towards the casino floor, his legs choosing a pace that was somewhere between extremely fast walking and mild sprint, as both patrons and staff alike parted before him, partially because one never gets in the way of someone running through a casino and partially because one never wants to cross the path of an Undertaker. Entering the casino floor, time seemed to stop for a beat.

Lucy, her black hair and clothing styled for work at the Ultra-Luxe, was focused on counting her chips in preparation for the end of her shift and thus did not notice the Undertaker's frantic entrance. Still standing at the casino floor's entrance, the Former Ferryman/Enclave Prisoner/Undertaker wondered what to do next. Suddenly faced with the end of his journey and the start of a new one, all of the half baked plans for his and Lucy's reunion fell away. Up until this point he had a goal and now that he had reached his goal, he had no idea what the future had in store for them and the unknown was a bit unsettling. Every journey started with a first step though and Shifty took his.

Walking up to the roulette table, the Undertaker placed a pile of caps on the table as he reached for the ball and placing it on the spinning wheel.

~Click.... .... .... Click.... .... Click....~

"Hi Lucy..." Shifty practically whispered, his eyes catching the movement of three members of the Norn, those that had been assigned to guard Lucy, as they made a quiet exit.

What was said after the departure of the Norn was left a secret, shared only between the newly reunited couple. They stayed there for a while, talking about the past, the present and their uncertain future. Whatever lay in store for Lucy and Thomas was known only by the Fates.

~Cl-cli-click~

The ball came to rest...

Author's Note:
Thus ends the Saga of Thomas "Shifty" McGee. It's been a fun ride and I'll miss him. What happens to him next, I'll leave up to your imaginations.


The Really Wild Wastelands | The Open Road (Dunwich Bound)
Epilogue of the Departed (Part 2)... or not...
Victoria McGee | Sylphee

"There's something out there. Something that doesn't give a shit about getting jumped by Deathclaws," Arizona's gravelly voice from the grave said in a hushed tone, causing the Black Veiled Blade Mistress to pause her recounting of the past. While there was more to tell there were more pressing matters to tend to, matters that not even a trio of trained Deathclaws could handle.

While Arizona focused on looking into the inky blackness for any sign of danger, Victoria sat still with her eyes closed and ears open. Her eyes, which had been staring into the light crackling fire pit, would take some time to adjust themselves to the darkness, more than enough time for whatever tossed the modern day terror lizards to rush the camp and rip the band of companions into a bloody and pulpy mush. Over the crackling of the flames, she could hear the growling of Larry, Moe and Curly, the rattling of cartridges inside of the Old One's machine gun and, most annoyingly, the whining of the Blue Haired Airhead who, despite promises, was still wide awake.

"What happened after that, Missy Sticky Vicki McFancy Face?!" Came Sylphee's voice from a wad of blankets on the Wasteland floor.

"Shhhhhh. Quiet." Victoria hissed before returning to listening to their surroundings for signs of the interloper. After a few moments the Pale and Proper Pyre Princess, having detected no trace of the mysterious intruder, opened her eyes, "I think it, whatever it is, has fled. Perhaps it did not wish to overstay its welcome nor test its fortune." She cocked her head slightly as if focusing in on something before her hand shot out and grabbing the Crimson Clad Creeper by the collar, "No you don't!"

"Hey! Hey! Hey! Let me go! I just wanna go see what threw Barry, Gary and Mary!!" Sylphee cried out quite loudly, her arms flailing about as she attempted to free herself from the grasp of her cruel captor, who proceeded to ignore the thrashing and address the Machine Gun Ghoul.

"While I loath to travel in the darkness, I think it would be best if we continue on since our position has been compromised." Victoria said as she released Sylphee and started gather her belongings, muttering to herself as she did, "The sooner we finish this task, the sooner I can get back to proper society, with a proper quality of tea, a proper bed and a bath... oh how I long for a bath..."


The Really Wild Wastelands | Springvale Elementary's School for Wayward Sylphys
Set Phasers to Ridiculous...
Eyebot Don Diego de la Vega | Constance Sorrowfeld

There was a slight hum as Don Diego de la Vega's propulsion systems powered on and the Eyebot switched out of "Siesta Mode." Grumbling sleepily, the Machine that was 100% Manufactured in Mexico went into his source code and modified the offending line to "Sleep Mode." If they, meaning the humans that had programmed him, were going to write a line of code they should have at least chosen one language rather than a mish mash of English and Spanish.

"Programmers ... either choose 'sleep mode' or 'modo de siesta'..." The Eyebot thought to itself at its sensor array came online and started scanning the surroundings, "Oh my."

He appears to have woken up while something rather strange was going on, though strange was understating the situation considering the parties involved. First there was the presence of not one but two Deathclaws that were not in the process of dealing death to the two humans that were located mere feet away, which was probably a good thing considering his programming dictated that he would have to serve as some sort of disposable decoy while the humans escaped. The second was the presence of the two humans that were not in the process of fleeing from said Deathclaws that were located mere feet away. The third was the fact that one of the humans appeared to be wearing a strange inflatable suit and unconscious. The fourth strange bit of reality trivia was the fact that the unconscious juvenile female appeared to have mechanical parts grafted to her biological ones... like some sort of human machine hybrid or a bridge between the digital and analog world. THe fifth strange thing was that he did not remember a single thing prior to his awakening roughtly 5.234912038 seconds prior to that point in time.

"...I'm also worried about her internal organs. Even if this suit reduces the impact to her bones, her internals will feel the inertia regardless. So, first things first, we need to make sure her head and neck are properly supported, then we can get her out of this ridiculous suit." the conscious human female stated, giving the Eager to Assist Eyebot a clue as to what was going on, "Honestly, you two. I appreciate the fact that you're both civil, and clearly intelligent, but if she asks to test anything else, or wants help with an experiment? Ask me to advise, then supervise, first. As a Follower of the Apocalypse, I'm both a medical doctor and a scientist. These sorts of things are what I do, and that way we can hopefully prevent any mishaps that get anyone hurt. That includes both of you."

Assuming that Follower of the Apocalypse was some sort of group name rather than a title, it was strange that someone who was followed the concept of apocalypse was eager to assist the unconscious young female human, though it might have had to do something with the fact that the older female human was a medical doctor, the sort of individual who had to take an oath to do no harm prior to taking on the title of profession. If she was going to assist the young mecha-teen, Eyebot Don Diego de la Vega felt obligated to assist.

"Oh! Allow me to help!" He exclaimed cheerfully as he extended his utility tendrils, which functioned in the same was as the arms of cephalopods, and began supporting the neck and back of the unconscious young woman,

"If she's hurt, I should probably restrain her arms and legs so that she doesn't further injure herself." The Eyeboy Medical Assistant thought to himself as he extended four additional tendrils which wrapped themselves around the girl's wrists and ankles... which in retrospect might have been a bad idea... especially considering the company the he was in as well as the fact that the Female Medical Doctor was proposing to remove the young patient's clothing.

The thing about looking at situations in retrospect implied that at some future point, one will be prompted to look back at a critical point in the past. That future point just happened to be now as the young woman reacted badly to the situation she found herself in, which in retrospect was understandable given her situation.

"WHAT IN THE WORLD?!?!" Screamed the girl as she regained consciousness only to find that her wrists and ankles and neck and back were bound by a series of mechanical tentacles which two Deathclaws were hovering over her and a woman was working at removing the previously unconscious girl's clothing.

"Ohhhhhhhh... This is awkward..." Eyebot Don Diego de la Vega muttered to himself as he continued to restrain the girl as she attempted to wrest her limbs from his grasp.

Abe just stood there as it seems his bad luck finally caught up to him. Feeling the earth shake under him as he was mentally preparing himself for the earth to split under him and take his house. "I like this place too...." he whispers lightly as he wonders why did his life hate him so much. What did he do in his past life to make him deserve this so? He would have probably broken down and cry right now, but he was starting to get used to this..or so he thought.

That was until the land starting to rise upwards and Abe look to see they were on the back of a giant radroach. "WHY!!!!!!!!" Abe screamed out loudly. Falling to his knees as he beat the back of the beast. Hearing Tracy yelling at him to get his shit and they were going to get out of here. Abe would like to have asked one simple HOW?! but he went against it.

He didn't feel like dying just yet. He quickly got up and try to run towards his lab. Though as the beast walk, it made the ground he was walking on a bit unstable. Though Abe got to this lab fine and started to grab as many ingredients as he could. Even grabbing a few hidden away in case something crazy happens, but not this level of crazy.

Grabbing as much as he could, Abe look at his robot as he sighs. "Come on you crazy robot!" The Securitron growled loudly and said while follow Abe out," RWAAAAAGH I CAN SMASH THIS BUG!!!!!!!!" Abe replied, "you can't smash this bug..." and then shouted out to Tracy "YOU GOT A PLAN!?!?"

Robot PoV -5 minutes earlier-

The Securitron had been standing still in the back room as it look over the mission statements his master had given him. Looking them over once more to make sure he fully understood what he was supposed to do.

Mission......
1)Go to the back and clean
2)Stay out of trouble
3)Do NOT destroy product.

Refresh.....

Mission.....
1)Go to the back and clean
2)Stay out of trouble
3)ZACXA XCASD ASDASDASd

Refresh.....

Mission....

Mission.....
1)Go to the back DFDASFASD
2)Stay out of SDFWEASDAS
3)ZACXA XCASD ASDASDASd

Mission.....
1) Go to the back...
2) ASDFDLFKADFDS (ERROR DATA UNREADABLE!)
3) DESTROY EVERYTHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Securitron face glitch out for a few seconds as he started to smash everything with his robot arms. Breaking things and causing havoc while Abe was talking to Tracy. Though while he was doing this, a hole had open up and radroaches were spewing outward. The Securitron turn around and saw the invading enemy and arm himself.

Unlocking Firearms.....ERROR Targeting systems have been deactivated. ERROR

"Oh my."

The new voice immediately caught his attention. While Ms. Jenna was starting to examine the unconscious Constance, the now reactivated Eyebot floated over. I really should have just 'accidentally' wrecked that thing. He thought, glowering at the floating ball. Of all the machines he'd encountered in the wasteland, Rath held a special loathing for the little things. Sentrybots were the only that might pose an actual threat, and the Protectrons, Robobrains and Mr Handys he could smash with relative ease...but the Eyebots...they could hover along just out of reach and poke at him with their low powered weapons; no threat, but annoying like no other thing he'd so far encountered.

"WHAT IN THE WORLD?!?!"

His griping and grumbling to himself was interrupted by the sudden reawakening and outburst from the formerly unconscious girl. He snorted with surprise and took a step back as the 'bot moved in to restrain the confused and flailing adolescent. [I think...I think I will leave you to it Ms. Jenna.] He said, shifting a tad awkwardly as he spoke. Carefully turning about so he didn't club anyone with his stubby tail, he made his way through the ruins of the school until he returned to where he'd stashed his stuff.

Pulling at his bags, he retrieved another chunk of radstag, savouring the smell of it. As he ate, his baser instincts faded more and more, satiated for now by the raw meat. I should go hunting soon.

The Wild Wasteland | Present Day | Springvale Elementary School
"Sera"
- Kristin 'Valkyrie' Blamco -
---

Stirring from her sleep, the Valkyrie let out a pained cough before rolling over onto her side. Streaks of moonlight poured in throughout the uneven gaps in the boarded-up windows. Conveniently, she had been placed to rest on a few raised gym mats. Feeling a shiver crawl up her spine, Kristin noted just how accustomed she had become to the arid conditions of the Mojave. Raising herself on her elbows, a glint of light caught her attention, someone had prepared a water-pitcher with an accompanying glass. A small note was placed on the ice-cold water pitcher that simply read: "Drink Me".

Without a second thought, Kristin did just that.
Radiation exposure, even in small cases, took a toll on her system afterwards. Most of the common side-effects included nausea, headaches and a dry throat. Putting aside the dry throat, she felt...great. Fantastic even.

Just how sick had she unknowingly become? With a reassuring nod, she agreed to make it up to the kind Doctor in some way or another.

That thought was short-lived when the activities of her ordeal since Megaton came rushing back. Setting her glass aside, the Valkyrie's sighed, shoulders slumped at the recollections of her extreme irrationality.

Was it the radiation affecting her behavior? Was she grand-standing for her former-companion? A combination?

Not known for her diplomacy, she felt conflicted about her actions. Ever since her travel across the country, she was beginning to realize why BlamCo took measures each day to keep her routine structured and controlled. It was one of the main reasons she needed to leave -...

*SNOOOORE!!!*

Following the sounds of mumbles and shuffling, Kristin turned to find the trio of Translation-Sylphy's huddled together in a peaceful sleep. Taking note of her surroundings she guessed that she was placed in a small gymnasium.

Grabbing a spare change of clothes, the Valkyrie settled for a shirt and leggings from her training days. Upon closer inspection of her outfit was a series of clips, clamps and hooks for detachable armor pieces or weights. This light-armor variant of the Valkyrie-armor was favored by her sister, Sable. Trading defense for mobility, the Valkyrie worked on her routine exercises.

Despite her efforts to not disturb the nearby Sylphy's, she discovered that she was being watched. Curiosity piqued, two of them hesitantly approached while another sat alongside Kristin, attempting to mimic her former motions.
The Valkyrie shook her head and demonstrated once more, this time standing. Mimicking her pose, it was only a few seconds before their legs shook or they lost balance entirely. Catching one of the Sylphy's by hand, Kristin helped her up, set her back into pose and placed a hand on where they should tighten their muscles while keeping a steady rhythm to their breathing.

After a few setbacks and a few simple verbal suggestions, Kristin took a step back from the trio. Smiling at their progress, two of the Sylphy's looked bewildered that they could hold the pose for so long, while another shut her eyes in concentration.
Clapping her hands twice, Kristin fetched the water pitcher and filled the only glass available. It was shared back-and-forth between the girls.

"See? That wasn't so difficult now, was it?", Kristin asked, "You have strength, no doubt. You just need to learn how to focus that strength. That's why I'm here...to make sure you're well-fed, disciplined and strengthened."

"Sylphy? Sylphy Sylphy..."
"Syyylphy!"
"Sylphy-Sylphy!

While what they say might remain a mystery, she knew that look all too well. They were sizing her up as an instructor. Fortunately, the vote seemed to sway 2-1 in her favor.

"The next few days will be difficult, I won't lie." Kristin explained, detailing her intent to test their combat prowess, "In exchange for your trust, I will try my best to communicate with all of you...S-Sylphy?"

All of them looked amused at her attempt to speak 'Sylphy'. The Valkyrie wondered how you could mess up the Sylphy-placeholder for 'okay?'.

The leader of the trio jumped to her feet and cheered. The rest followed suit.

Smiling, the Valkyrie set about petting their heads. Somehow, she had managed to sway the three brightest in her class. While they were probably more curious about the Lady that previously fed them, it was a start.

Grabbing her sword, she secured it on the carrier placed on her back plate. Proceeding towards a commotion in the kitchen, the Valkyrie tied her hair into a tight bun. Upon entering the room, an odd scene stood still -- Constance was being restrained by an Eyebot and it's...tendrils? (They have those?) Doctor Sorenson was nearby and Kristin audibly cleared her throat, a confused look on her face.

"Good morning, I woke up early..."

The Valkyrie shifted the water pitcher to one hand, while the other gripped the hilt of her sword, eyes fixed on the Eyebot and the struggling Constance.

"...do you need help with that?"


[ dr. sorenson ]
The Wild Wastelands | Springvale | Springvale School "Dormitory"
"I believe this constitutes as, 'hilarity ensuing'."

The sudden addition of Eyebot Don Diego de la Vega right as she was finishing her light scolding of the two Deathclaws wasn't exactly a helpful one. For a moment, Jenna could scarcely do more than step back and stare as the floating sphere made it's way over to the inert Constance to 'assist'. She wasn't entirely sure how he was going to help. Until she remembered the manipulator tentacles. The Doctor stepped forward, opening her mouth to tell Diego to stop, that it wasn't going to help, but the young American Enclave Scout of America already had both arms and legs restrained.

Which, naturally, meant that Constance woke up at that moment, in a partially-deflated suit with metal tendrils around her wrists and ankles and began to struggle.

"WHAT IN THE WORLD?!?!"

And as Rath decided to make a tactical retreat, Kristin chose to walk in. The New Vegas Valkyrie had a water pitcher in one hand, while the other reached back to the grip of her Bumper Sword. As Doctor Sorenson stared back at her, she could only imagine how the scene looked: Constance, writhing in the grip of an Eyebot's tentacles while a young doctor was just about to get her undressed. Jenna's dusky, freckled face burned a little at the idea, before she stood up straight and cleared her throat to explain. It was at that moment that one of Constance's flailing feet connected to the floating Eyebot Don Diego de la Vega.

"Ohhhhhhhh... This is awk--" it said, before it's chassis rattled at the impact.

Even in the Enclave, who were arguably the most technologically advanced faction the U.S. Wastelands have ever seen, machinery could be finicky. As such, they would occasionally rely on percussive maintenance. The Technical Tap. Emergency Repair Protocol #2. It had a lot of names.

In the case of Eyebot Don Diego de la Vega, formerly Eyebot Brian, it turned out that some of the protocols that Jenna had written into him required a more 'hard' reset. Which Constance's shoe-clad foot promptly gave it as she kicked it. The spherical form of the Eyebot spun away a good three feet and floated there, the tendrils releasing from the teenage girl's limbs. Doctor Sorenson blinked as she watched this. Then she lowered her face into her hands and sighed. She'd fix that later.

"Good morning, Kristin, Constance," she managed as she looked up from her hands, "First, I'm terribly sorry about the Eyebot, he was trying to help."

"To explain, Rath and Malkos brought Constance to me because she had gotten knocked out due to an experiment, and wanted me to see if there was anything I can do." she explained, directing this first to Kristin before she turned to Constance and shook her head, "And as for you, Constance, I'll tell you what I told the two Deathclaws: If you're going to conduct a test like that, at least let me know first. I'm a scientist, and I'm here to help. Those sorts of things are part of my wheelhouse."

The Follower of the Apocalypse Doctor offered a hand to help Constance to her feet, all the while moving to support the young girl's neck with her other hand. By that time, the Eyebot seemed to finish it's reset and whirred back to life, floating over.

"Oh, good! I'm glad to see the young lady is awake! My apologies for startling you." Eyebot Don Diego de la Vega said, the processed voice more heavily accented now as it offered a friendly tendril.

A smile spread on Jenna's face as she realized that apparently all was well, and tilted her head toward the automaton as she glanced between Constance and Kristin.

"I suppose now is a good time to introduce you all to my new partner! Constance, Kristin, this is Don Diego de la Vega, Diego, these are my friends, Constance Sorrowfield and Kristin Blamco." Jenna said politely.

The Eyebot waved it's free manipulator tendrils and managed a rather elaborate bow for a hovering sphere, before executing a jaunty salute.

"It is a pleasure to meet such lovely ladies as yourselves! Please, don't hesitate to call upon me should you need anything!" he intoned surprisingly suavely.


{7r@acy}
The Wild Wastelands | Just A Little Quest Called Revenge | Outside of Abe's Shack
"This ain't, whatcha call 'em... Spartan, but it'll do."

Tracy just wanted a fix. That's all. That was the entire point of dragging his fine ass all the way to this fucking junkyard in the middle of fuck-knew-where to see this goddamned chem dealer. Then things just had to go tits-up in the most spectacularly fucked-up way. A giant, motherfucking Radroach, Radbats and a stupid, malfunctioning can on wheels? The fuck was this brahmin shit?

As he quickly came off of his earlier Jet high, Tracy shivered violently against the door frame as he clutched The Point to his chest. His bloodshot eyes darted up from the Radroach beneath the shack to look at Abe and his Securitron as they came out from the back, and he glared. The damn can was going on about smashing the bug, the face on it's screen beginning to fuzz out like Tracys brain.

"YOU GOT A PLAN!?!?"

Tracy didn't have an opportunity to answer as he watched the imposing robot raise its arms before they folded back and readied to fire. Some bullshit about it's targeting being deactivated as it started to aim at the two chem dealers. Then there was a rusty blur in the air as the ironically-named machete was buried in the Securitron's monitor.

As it toppled backward, Tracy still had his arm outstretched from throwing The Point, while his other hand trembled down towards his pack. He reached in, taking out one of his precious inhalers of Jet, and took a shaky hit. His eyes rolled back into his head a little as the drug did it's work and slithered through his system.

When Tracy looked at Abe properly he was beginning to steady himself, and he got to his feet and strode over to the Securitron to plant a boot on it's chassis. With a heave, he extracted his machete before using it to gesture to his new companion. Or hostage, as it may turn out.

"We're gonna jump," he said simply, "After you."

Arizona
The Wild Wastelands | The Dunwich Job | Outside of Tenpenny Tower
"Adventures in babysitting a part-time psycho killer."

"I think it, whatever it is, has fled. Perhaps it did not wish to overstay its welcome nor test its fortune."

The Old Ghoul glanced back to regard Victoria with her single eye for a moment. Then she just shrugged.

"I'd rather not press our luck either. Not against something that can toss a Deathclaw aside." she rasped, before she hefted Lester and added, "I only have so many armor-piercing rounds for my baby, here."

She started to go back to scanning the night-darkened landscape when she heard Victoria chastise Sylphee for something, prompting her to whirl around to see what the Blue-Haired Hellion was about to do. As it turned out, the former Undertaker of the East had it well in hand as she had quickly grabbed hold of Sylphee's collar.

Arizona couldn't help but nod with no small amount of admiration for Victoria's reflexes, saying, "Good job. Tommy-boy wouldn't have managed that."

"Hey! Hey! Hey! Let me go! I just wanna go see what threw Barry, Gary and Mary!!"

"No way, kiddo," she said with a scoff, "I'd rather not waste the bullets, or have any of us killed. Save it for Dunwich."

Once Victoria released Sylphee under Arizona's watchful eye, she began to gather her things. Which the Freelancer couldn't help but think was a very prudent course of action as she gestured for Fiona to do the same.

"While I loath to travel in the darkness, I think it would be best if we continue on since our position has been compromised."

"I like that plan. Let's get the fuck outta here." she said.

Victoria's muttering about wanting a proper bath had her adding with a grunt, "Yea, if wishes like that were caps, we'd all be stinking rich."

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